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T. TEMBAROM
by Frances Hodgson Burnett

CHAPTER I:

The boys at the Brooklyn public school which he attended did not know
what the "T." stood for. He would never tell them. All he said in
reply to questions was: "It don't stand for nothin'. You've gotter
have a' 'nitialain't you?" His name wasin factan almost
inevitable school-boy modification of one felt to be absurd and
pretentious. His Christian name was Templewhich became "Temp." His
surname was Baromso he was at once "Temp Barom." In the natural
tendency to avoid waste of time it was pronounced as one wordand
the letter p being superfluous and cumbersomeit easily settled
itself into "Tembarom and there remained. By much less inevitable
processes have surnames evolved themselves as centuries rolled by.
Tembarom liked it, and soon almost forgot he had ever been called
anything else.

His education really began when he was ten years old. At that time
his mother died of pneumonia, contracted by going out to sew, at
seventy-five cents a day, in shoes almost entirely without soles,
when the remains of a blizzard were melting in the streets. As, after
her funeral, there remained only twenty-five cents in the shabby
bureau which was one of the few articles furnishing the room in the
tenement in which they lived together, Tembarom sleeping on a cot,
the world spread itself before him as a place to explore in search of
at least one meal a day. There was nothing to do but to explore it to
the best of his ten-year-old ability.

His father had died two years before his mother, and Tembarom had
vaguely felt it a relief. He had been a resentful, domestically
tyrannical immigrant Englishman, who held in contempt every American
trait and institution. He had come over to better himself, detesting
England and the English because there was no chance for a man there
and, transferring his dislikes and resentments from one country to
another, had met with no better luck than he had left behind him.
This he felt to be the fault of America, and his family, which was
represented solely by Tembarom and his mother, heard a good deal
about it, and also, rather contradictorily, a good deal about the
advantages and superiority of England, to which in the course of six
months he became gloomily loyal. It was necessary, in fact, for him
to have something with which to compare the United States unfavorably.
The effect he produced on Tembarom was that of causing him, when he
entered the public school round the corner, to conceal with
determination verging on duplicity the humiliating fact that if he
had not been born in Brooklyn he might have been born in England.
England was not popular among the boys in the school. History had
represented the country to them in all its tyrannical rapacity and
bloodthirsty oppression of the humble free-born. The manly and
admirable attitude was to say, Give me liberty or give me death"-and
there was the Fourth of July.


Though Tembarom and his mother had been poor enough while his father
livedwhen he died the returns from his irregular odd jobs no longer
came in to supplement his wife's sewingand add an occasional day or
two of fuller mealsin consequence of which they were oftener than
ever hungry and coldand in desperate trouble about the rent of
their room. Tembaromwho was a wiryenterprising little fellow
sometimes found an odd job himself. He carried notes and parcels when
any one would trust him with themhe split old boxes into kindlingwood
more than once he "minded" a baby when its mother left its
perambulator outside a store. But at eight or nine years of age one's
pay is in proportion to one's size. Tembaromhoweverhad neither
his father's bitter eye nor his mother's discouraged one. Something
different from either had been reincarnated in him from some more
cheerful past. He had an alluring grin instead--a grin which curled
up his mouth and showed his soundhealthyyoung teeth--a lot of
them--and people liked to see them.

At the beginning of the world it is only recently reasonable to
suppose human beings were made with healthy bodies and healthy minds.
That of course was the original scheme of the race. It would not have
been worth while to create a lot of things aimlessly ill made. A
journeyman carpenter would not waste his time in doing itif he knew
any better. Given the power to make a maneven an amateur would make
him as straight as he couldinside and out. Decent vanity would
compel him to do it. He would be ashamed to show the thing and admit
he had done itmuch less people a world with millions of like proofs
of incompetence. Logically consideredthe race was built straight
and clean and healthy and happy. Howsince thenit has developed in
multitudinous less sane directionsand lost its normal straightness
and proportionsI amsingularly enoughnot entirely competent to
explain with any degree of satisfactory detail. But it cannot be
truthfully denied that this has rather generally happened. There are
human beings who are not beautifulthere are those who are not
healthythere are those who hate people and things with much waste
of physical and mental energythere are people who are not unwilling
to do others an ill turn by word or deedand there are those who do
not believe that the original scheme of the race was ever a decent
one.

This is all abnormal and unintelligenteven the not being beautiful
and sometimes one finds oneself called upon passionately to resist a
temptation to listen to an internal hint that the whole thing is
aimless. Upon this tendency one may as well put one's foot firmlyas
it leads nowhere. At such times it is supporting to call to mind a
certain undeniable fact which ought to loom up much larger in our
philosophical calculations. No one has ever made a collection of
statistics regarding the enormous number of perfectly sanekind
friendlydecent creatures who form a large proportion of any mass of
human beings anywhere and everywhere--people who are not vicious or
cruel or depravednot as a result of continual self-controlbut
simply because they do not want to bebecause it is more natural and
agreeable to be exactly the opposite things; people who do not tell
lies because they could not do it with any pleasureand wouldon
the contraryfind the exertion an annoyance and a bore; people whose
manners and morals are good because their natural preference lies in
that direction. There are millions of them who in most essays on life
and living are virtually ignored because they do none of the things
which call forth eloquent condemnation or brilliant cynicism. It has
not yet become the fashion to record them. When one reads a daily
newspaper filled with dramatic elaborations of crimes and
unpleasantnessone sometimes wishes attention might be called to
them --to their numbersto their decenciesto their normal lack of
any desire to do violence and their equally normal disposition to


lend a hand. One is inclined to feel that the majority of persons do
not believe in their existence. But if an accident occurs in the
streetthere are always several of them who appear to spring out of
the earth to give human sympathy and assistance; if a national
calamityphysical or socialtakes placethe world suddenly seems
full of them. They are the thousands of BrownsJonesesand
Robinsons whomassed togethersend food to famine-stricken
countriessustenance to earthquake-devastated regionsaid to
wounded soldiers or miners or flood-swept homelessness. They are the
ones who have happened naturally to continue to grow straight and
carry out the First Intention. They really form the majority; if they
did notthe people of the earth would have eaten one another alive
centuries ago. But though this is surely truea happy cynicism
totally disbelieves in their existence. When a combination of
circumstances sufficiently dramatic brings one of them into
prominencehe is either called an angel or a fool. He is neither. He
is only a human creature who is normal.

After this manner Tembarom was wholly normal. He liked work and
rejoiced in good cheerwhen he found ithowever attenuated its form.
He was a good companionand even at ten years old a practical
person. He took his loose coppers from the old bureau drawerand
remembering that he had several times helped Jake Hutchins to sell
his newspapershe went forth into the world to find and consult him
as to the investment of his capital.

Where are you goin', Tem?a woman who lived in the next room said
when she met him on the stairs. "What you goin' to do?"

I'm goin' to sell newspapers if I can get some with this,he
repliedopening his hand to show her the extent of his resources.

She was almost as poor as he wasbut not quite. She looked him over
curiously for a momentand then fumbled in her pocket. She drew out
two ten-cent pieces and considered themhesitating. Then she looked
again at him. That normal expression in his nice ten-year-old eyes
had its suggestive effect.

You take this,she saidhanding him the two pieces. "It'll help
you to start."

I'll bring it back, ma'am,said Tem. "Thank youMis' Hullingworth."

In about two weeks' time he did bring it back. That was the beginning.
He lived through all the experiences a small boy waif and stray
would be likely to come in contact with. The abnormal class treated
him illand the normal class treated him well. He managed to get
enough food to eat to keep him from starvation. Sometimes he slept
under a roof and much oftener out-of-doors. He preferred to sleep outof-
doors more than half of the yearand the rest of the time he did
what he could. He saw and learned many strange thingsbut was not
undermined by vice because he unconsciously preferred decency. He
sold newspapers and annexed any old job which appeared on the horizon.
The education the New York streets gave him was a liberal one. He
became accustomed to heat and cold and wet weatherbut having sound
lungs and a tough little body combined with the normal tendencies
already mentionedhe suffered no more physical deterioration than a
young Indian would suffer. After selling newspapers for two years he
got a place as "boy" in a small store. The advance signified by
steady employment was inspiring to his energies. He forged aheadand
got a better job and better pay as he grew older. By the time he was
fifteen he shared a small bedroom with another boy. In whatsoever
quarter he livedfriends seemed sporadic. Other boy's congregated
about him. He did not know he had any effect at allbut his effect


in factwas rather like that of a fire in winter or a cool breeze in
summer. It was natural to gather where it prevailed.

There came a time when he went to a night class to learn stenography.
Great excitement had been aroused among the boys he knew best by a
rumor that there were "fellows" who could earn a hundred dollars a
week "writing short." Boyhood could not resist the florid splendor of
the idea. Four of them entered the class confidently looking forward
to becoming the recipients of four hundred a month in the course of
six weeks. One by one they dropped offuntil only Tembarom remained
slowly forging ahead. He had never meant anything else but to get on
in the world--to get as far as he could. He kept at his "short and
by the time he was nineteen it helped him to a place in a newspaper
office. He took dictation from a nervous and harried editor, who,
when he was driven to frenzy by overwork and incompetencies, found
that the long-legged, clean youth with the grin never added fuel to
the flame of his wrath. He was a common young man, who was not marked
by special brilliancy of intelligence, but he had a clear head and a
good temper, and a queer aptitude for being able to see himself in
the other man's shoes--his difficulties and moods. This ended in his
being tried with bits of new work now and then. In an emergency he
was once sent out to report the details of a fire. What he brought
back was usable, and his elation when he found he had actually made
good" was ingenuous enough to spur Galtonthe editorinto trying
him again.

To Tembarom this was a magnificent experience. The literary
suggestion implied by being "on a newspaper" was more than he had
hoped for. If you have sold newspapersand slept in a barrel or
behind a pile of lumber in a wood-yardto report a fire in a streetcar
shed seems a flight of literature. He applied himself to the
careful study of newspapers--their points of viewtheir style of
phrasing. He believed them to be perfect. To attain ease in
expressing himself in their elevated language he felt to be the
summit of lofty ambition. He had no doubts of the exaltation of his
ideal. His respect and confidence almost made Galton cry at times
because they recalled to him days when he had been nineteen and had
regarded New York journalists with reverence. He liked Tembarom more
and more. It actually soothed him to have him aboutand he fell into
giving him one absurd little chance after another. When he brought in
stuffwhich bore too evident marks of utter ignorancehe actually
touched it up and used itgiving him an enlighteningironical hint
or so. Tembarom always took the hints with gratitude. He had no
mistaken ideas of his own powers. Galton loomed up before him a sort
of godand though the editor was a man with a keenthough wearied
brain and a sense of humorthe situation was one naturally
productive of harmonious relations. He was of the many who
unknowingly came in out of the cold and stood in the glow of
Tembarom's warm fireor took refuge from the heat in his cool breeze.
He did not know of the privatearduous study of journalistic style
and it was not unpleasing to see that the nice young cub was
gradually improving. Through pure modest fear or ridiculeTembarom
kept to himself his vaulting ambition. He practised reports of fires
weddingsand accidents in his hall bedroom.

A hall bedroom in a third-rate boarding-house is not a cheerful place
but when Tembarom vaguely felt thishe recalled the nights spent in
empty trucks and behind lumber-pilesand thought he was getting
spoiled by luxury. He told himself that he was a fellow who always
had luck. He did not knowneither did any one elsethat his luck
would have followed him if he had lived in a coal-hole. It was the
concomitant of his normal build and outlook on life. Mrs. Bowsehis
hard-worked landladybegan by being calmed down by his mere bearing
when he came to apply for his room and board. She had a touch of


grippeand had just emerged from a heated affray with a dirty cook
and was inclined to battle when he presented himself. In a few
minutes she was inclined to battle no longer. She let him have the
room. Cantankerous restrictions did not ruffle him.

Of course what you say GOES,he saidgiving her his friendly grin.
Any one that takes boarders has GOT to be careful. You're in for a
bad cold, ain't you?

I've got grippe again, that's what I've got,she almost snapped.

Did you ever try Payson's 'G. Destroyer'? G stands for grippe, you
know. Catchy name, ain't it? They say the man that invented it got
ten thousand dollars for it. 'G. Destroyer.' You feel like you have
to find out what it means when you see it up on a boarding. I'm just
over grippe myself, and I've got half a bottle in my pocket. You
carry it about with you, and swallow one every half-hour. You just
try it. It set me right in no time.

He took the bottle out of his waistcoat pocket and handed it to her.
She took it and turned it over.

You're awful good-natured,--She hesitated--"but I ain't going to
take your medicine. I ought to go and get some for myself. How much
does it cost?"

It's on the bottle; but it's having to get it for yourself that's
the matter. You won't have time, and you'll forget it.

That's true enough,said Mrs. Bowselooking at him sharply. "I
guess you know something about boarding-houses."

I guess I know something about trying to earn three meals a day--or
two of them. It's no merry jest, whichever way you do it.

CHAPTER II

When he took possession of his hall bedroom the next day and came
down to his first mealall the boarders looked at him interestedly.
They had heard of the G. Destroyer from Mrs. Bowsewhose grippe had
disappeared. Jim Bowles and Julius Steinberger looked at him because
they were about his own ageand shared a hall bedroom on his floor;
the young woman from the notion counter in a down-town department
store looked at him because she was a young woman; the rest of the
company looked at him because a young man in a hall bedroom might or
might not be noisy or objectionableand the incident of the G.
Destroyer sounded good-natured. Mr. Joseph Hutchinsonthe stout and
discontented Englishman from Manchesterlooked him over because the
mere fact that he was a new-comer had placed him by his own rash act
in the position of a target for criticism. Mr. Hutchinson had come to
New York because he had been told that he could find backers among
profuse and innumerable multi- millionaires for the invention which
had been the haunting vision of his uninspiring life. He had not been
met with the careless rapture which had been described to himand he
was becoming violently antagonistic to American capital and
pessimistic in his views of American institutions. Like Tembarom's
fatherhe was the resentful Englishman.

I don't think much o' that chap,he said in what he considered an
undertone to his daughterwho sat beside him and tried to manage


that he should not be infuriated by waiting for butter and bread and
second helpings. A finehealthy old feudal feeling that servants
should be roared at if they did not "look sharp" when he wanted
anything was one of his salient characteristics.

Wait a bit, Father; we don't know anything about him yet,Ann
Hutchinson murmured quietlyhoping that his words had been lost in
the clatter of knives and forks and dishes.

As Tembarom had taken his seathe had found thatwhen he looked
across the tablehe looked directly at Miss Hutchinson; and before
the meal ended he felt that he was in great good luck to be placed
opposite an object of such singular interest. He knew nothing about
types,but if he had been of those who dohe would probably have
said to himself that she was of a type apart. As it washe merely
felt that she was of a kind one kept looking at whether one ought to
or not. She was a little thing of that exceedingly light slimness of
build which makes a girl a childish feather-weight. Few girls retain
it after fourteen or fifteen. A wind might supposably have blown her
awaybut one knew it would notbecause she was firm and steady on
her small feet. Ordinary strength could have lifted her with one hand
and would have been tempted to do it. She had a slimround throat
and the English daisy face it upheld caused it to suggest to the mind
the stem of a flower. The roundness of her cheekin and out of which
totally unexpected dimples flickeredand the forget-me-not blueness
of her eyeswhich were large and rather round alsomade her look
like a nice baby of singularly serious and observing mind. She looked
at one as certain awe-inspiring things in perambulators look at one-with
a far and clear silence of gaze which passes beyond earthly
obstacles and reserves a benign patience with follies. Tembarom felt
interestedly that one really might quail before itif one had
anything of an inferior quality to hide. And yet it was not a
critical gaze at all. She wore a black dress with a bit of white
collarand she had so much softred hair that he could not help
recalling one or two women who owned the same quantity and seemed
able to carry it only as a sort of untidy bundle. Hers looked
entirely under controland yet was such a wonder of burnished
fullness that it tempted the hand to reach out and touch it. It
became Tembarom's task during the meal to keep his eyes from turning
too often toward it and its owner.

If she had been a girl who took things hardshe might have taken her
father very hard indeed. But opinions and feelings being solely a
matter of points of viewshe was very fond of himandregarding
him as a sacred charge and dutytook care of him as though she had
been a reverentially inclined mother taking care of a boisterous son.
When his roar was heardher calm little voice always fell quietly on
indignant ears the moment it ceased. It was her part in life to act
as a palliative: her motherwhose well-trained attitude toward the
ruling domestic male was of the early Victorian orderhad lived and
died one. A nicerwarmer little woman had never existed. Joseph
Hutchinson had adored and depended on her as much as he had harried
her. When he had charged about like a mad bull because he could not
button his collaror find the pipe he had mislaid in his own pocket
she had never said more than "NowMr. Hutchinson or done more than
leave her sewing to button the collar with soothing fingers, and
suggest quietly that sometimes he DID chance to carry his pipe about
with him. She was of the class which used to call its husband by a
respectful surname. When she died she left him as a sort of legacy to
her daughter, spending the last weeks of her life in explaining
affectionately all that Father" needed to keep him quiet and make
him comfortable.

Little Ann had never forgotten a detailand had even improved upon


some of themas she happened to be cleverer than her motherand had
indeeda far-seeing and clear young mind of her own. She had been
called "Little Ann" all her life. This had held in the first place
because her mother's name had been Ann alsoand after her mother's
death the diminutive had not fallen away from her. People felt it
belonged to her not because she was especially littlethough she was
a smalllight personbut because there was an affectionate humor in
the sound of it.

Despite her hard needsMrs. Bowse would have faced the chance of
losing two boarders rather than have kept Mr. Joseph Hutchinson but
for Little Ann. As it wasshe kept them bothand in the course of
three months the girl was Little Ann to almost every one in the house.
Her normalness took the form of an instinct which amounted to genius
for seeing what people ought to haveand in some occult way filling
in bare or trying places.

She's just a wonder, that girl,Mrs. Bowse said to one boarder
after another.

She's just a wonder,Jim Bowles and Julius Steinberger murmured to
each other in rueful confidenceas they tilted their chairs against
the wall of their hall bedroom and smoked. Each of the shabby and
poverty-stricken young men had of course fallen hopelessly in love
with her at once. This was merely human and inevitablebut realizing
in the course of a few weeks that she was too busy taking care of her
irritableboisterous old Manchester fatherand everybody elseto
have time to be made love to even by young men who could buy new
boots when the old ones had ceased to be water-tightthey were
obliged to resign themselves to theafter allcomforting fact that
she became a mother to themnot a sister. She mended their socks and
sewed buttons on for them with a firm frankness which could not be
persuaded into meaning anything more sentimental than a fixed habit
of repairing anything which needed itand whichwhile at first
bewildering in its serenityended by reducing the two youths to a
dust of devotion.

She's a wonder, she is,they sighed when at every weekend they
found their forlorn and scanty washing resting tidily on their bed.

In the course of a weekmore or lessTembarom's feeling for her
would have been exactly that of his two hall-bedroom neighborsbut
that his naturethough a practical onewas not inclined to any
supine degree of resignation. He was a sensible youthhoweverand
gave no trouble. Even Joseph Hutchinsonwho of course resented
furiously any "nonsense" of which his daughter and possession was the
objectbecame sufficiently mollified by his good spirits and ready
good nature to refrain from open conversational assault.

I don't mind that chap as much as I did at first,he admitted
reluctantly to Little Ann one evening after a good dinner and a
comfortable pipe. "He's not such a fool as he looks."

Tembarom was givenas Little Ann wasto seeing what people wanted.
He knew when to pass the mustard and other straying condiments. He
picked up things which. dropped inconvenientlyhe did not interrupt
the remarks of his elders and bettersand several times when he
chanced to be in the halland saw Mr. Hutchinsonin irritable
stout Englishman fashionstruggling into his overcoathe sprang
forward with a lightfriendly air and helped him. 'He did not do it
with ostentatious politeness or with the manner of active youth
giving generous aid to elderly avoirdupois. He did it as though it
occurred to him as a natural result of being on the spot.


It took Mrs. Bowse and her boarding-house less than a week definitely
to like him. Every night when he sat down to dinner he brought news
with him- news and jokes and new slang. Newspaper-office anecdote and
talk gave a journalistic air to the gathering when he was present
and there was novelty in it. Soon every one was intimate with him
and interested in what he was doing. Galton's good-natured patronage
of him was a thing to which no one was indifferent. It was felt to be
the right thing in the right place. When he came home at night it
became the custom to ask him questions as to the bits of luck which
befell him. He became " T. T." instead of Mr. Tembaromexcept to
Joseph Hutchinson and his 'daughter. Hutchinson called him Tembarom
but Little Ann said " Mr. Tembarom " with quaint frequency when she
spoke to him.

Landed anything to-day, T. T. ? some one would ask almost every
eveningand the interest in his relation of the day's adventures
increased from week to week. Little Ann never asked questions and
seldom made commentsbut she always listened attentively. She had
gatheredand guessed from what she had gathereda rather definite
idea of what his hard young life had been. He did not tell pathetic
stories about himselfbut he and Jim Bowles and Julius Steinberger
had become fast friendsand the genial smoking of cheap tobacco in
hall bedrooms tends to frankness of relationand the various ways in
which each had found himself "up against it" in the course of their
brief years supplied material for anecdotal talk.

But it's bound to be easier from now on,he would say. "I've got
the 'short' down pretty fine - not fine enough to make big moneybut
enough to hold down a job with Galton. He's mighty good to me. If I
knew moreI believe he'd give me a column to take care of--Up-town
Society column perhaps. A fellow named Biker's got it. Twenty per.
Goes on a bust twice a monththe fool. Gee! I wish I had his job!"

Mrs. Bowse's house was provided with a parlor in which her boarders
could sit in the evening when so inclined. It was a fearsome room
whichwhen the darkhigh-ceilinged hall was enteredrevealed
depths of dingy gloom which appeared splashed in spots with
incongruous brilliancy of color. This effect was produced by richly
framed department-store chromo lithographs on the wallsaided by
lurid cushion-coversor "tidies" representing Indian maidens or
chieftains in full war paintor clusters of poppies of great
boldness of hue. They had either been Christmas gifts bestowed upon
Mrs. Bowse or department-store bargains of her own selection
purchased with thrifty intent. The red-and-green plush upholstered
walnut chairs arid sofa had been acquired by her when the bankruptcy
of a neighboring boarding-house brought them within her means. They
were no longer very red or very greenand the cheerfully hopeful
design of the tidies and cushions had been to conceal worn places and
stains. The mantelpiece was adorned by a black-walnut-and-gold-framed
mirrorand innumerable vases of the ornate ninety-eight-cents order.
The centerpiece held a large and extremely soiled spray of artificial
wistaria. The end of the room was rendered attractive by a tent-like
cozy-corner built of savage weapons and Oriental cotton stuffs long
ago become stringy and almost leprous in hue. The proprietor of the
bankrupt boarding-house had been "artistic." But Mrs. Bowse was a
good-enough soul whose boarders liked her and her houseand when the
gas was lighted and some one played "rag-time" on the second-hand
pianolathey liked the parlor.

Little Ann did not often appear in itbut now and then she came down
with her bit of sewing--she always had a "bit of sewing--and she
sat in the cozy-corner listening to the talk or letting some one
confide troubles to her. Sometimes it was the New England widow, Mrs.
Peck, who looked like a spinster school-ma'am, but who had a married


son with a nice wife who lived in Harlem and drank heavily. She used
to consult with Little Ann as to the possible wisdom of putting a
drink deterrent privately in his tea. Sometimes it was Mr. Jakes, a
depressed little man whose wife had left him, for no special reason
he could discover. Oftenest perhaps it was Julius Steinberger or Jim
Bowles who did their ingenuous best to present themselves to her as
energetic, if not successful, young business men, not wholly unworthy
of attention and always breathing daily increasing devotion.
Sometimes it was Tembarom, of whom her opinion had never been
expressed, but who seemed to have made friends with her. She liked to
hear about the newspaper office and Mr. Galton, and never was
uninterested in his hopes of making good." She seemed to him the
wisest and most direct and composed person he had ever known. She
spoke with the broadflatfriendly Manchester accentand when she
let drop a suggestionit carried a delightfully sober conviction
with itbecause what she said was generally a revelation of logical
mental argument concerning details she had gathered through her
little way of listening and saying nothing whatever.

If Mr. Biker drinks, he won't keep his place,she said to Tembarom
one night. "Perhaps you might get it yourselfif you persevere."

Tembarom reddened a little. He really reddened through joyous
excitement.

Say, I didn't know you knew a thing about that,he answered.
You're a regular wonder. You scarcely ever say anything, but the way
you get on to things gets me.

Perhaps if I talked more I shouldn't notice as much,she said
turning her bit of sewing round and examining it. "I never was much
of a talker. Father's a good talkerand Mother and me got into the
way of listening. You do if you live with a good talker."

Tembarom looked at the girl with a male gentlenessendeavoring to
subdue open expression of the fact that he was convinced that she was
as thoroughly aware of her father's salient characteristics as she
was of other things.

You do,said Tembarom. Then picking up her scissorswhich had
dropped from her lapand politely returning themhe added anxiously:
To think of you remembering Biker! I wonder, if I ever did get his
job, if I could hold it down?

Yes,decided Little Ann; "you could. I've noticed you're that kind
of personMr. Tembarom."

Have you?he said elatedly. "Sayhonest Injun?"

Yes.

I shall be getting stuck on myself if you encourage me like that,
he saidand thenhis face fallinghe addedBiker graduated at
Princeton.

I don't know much about society,Little Ann remarked-- "I never
saw any either up-town or down-town or in the country--but I
shouldn't think you'd have to have a college education to write the
things you see about it in the newspaper paragraphs."

Tembarom grinned.

They're not real high-brow stuff, are they,he said. "'There was a
brilliant gathering on Tuesday evening at the house of Mr. Jacob


Sturtburger at 79 Two Hundredth Street on the occasion of the
marriage of his daughter Miss Rachel Sturtburger to Mr. Eichenstein.
The bride was attired in white peau de cygne trimmed with duchess
lace.'"

Little Ann took him up. "I don't know what peau de cygne isand I
daresay the bride doesn't. I've never been to anything but a village
schoolbut I could make up paragraphs like that myself."

That's the up-town kind,said Tembarom. "The down-town ones wear
their mothers' point-lace wedding-veils some-timesbut they're not
much different. SayI believe I could do it if I had luck."

So do I,returned Little Ann.

Tembarom looked down at the carpetthinking the thing over. Ann went
on sewing.

That's the way with you,he said presently: "you put things into a
fellow's head. You've given me a regular boostLittle Ann."

It is not unlikely that but for the sensible conviction in her voice
he would have felt less bold whentwo weeks laterBikerhaving
gone upon a "bust " too prolongedwas dismissed with-out benefit of
clergyand Galton desperately turned to Tembarom with anxious
question in his eye.

Do you think you could take this job?he said.

Tembarom's heartas he believed at the timejumped into his throat.

What do you think, Mr. Galton?he asked.

It isn't a thing to think about,was Galton's answer. "It's a
thing I must be sure of."

Well,said Tembaromif you give it to me, I'll put up a mighty
hard fight before I fall down.

Galton considered himscrutinizing keenly his toughlong-built body
his sharpeagerboyish faceand especially his companionable grin.

We'll let it go at that,he decided. "You'll make friends up in
Harlemand you won't find it hard to pick up news. We can at least
try it."

Tembarom's heart jumped into his throat againand he swallowed it
once more. He was glad he was not holding his hat in his hand because
he knew he would have forgotten himself and thrown it up into the air.

Thank you, Mr. Galton,he saidflushing tremendously. "I'd like to
tell you how I appreciate your trusting mebut I don't know how.
Thank yousir."

When he appeared in Mrs. Bowse's dining-room that evening there was a
glow of elation about him and a swing in his entry which attracted
all eyes at once. For some unknown reason everybody looked at him
andmeeting his eyesdetected the presence of some new exultation.

Landed anything, T. T.?Jim Bowles cried out. "You look it."

Sure I look it,Tembarom answeredtaking his napkin out of its
ring with an unconscious flourish. "I've landed the up-town society
page--landed itby gee!"


A good-humored chorus of ejaculatory congratulation broke forth all
round the table.


Good business!Three cheers for T. T.!Glad of it!Here's
luck!
said one after another.


They were all pleasedand it was generally felt that Galton had
shown sense and done the right thing again. Even Mr. Hutchinson
rolled about in his chair and grunted his approval.


After dinner TembaromJim Bowlesand Julius Steinberger went up-
stairs together and filled the hall bedroom with clouds of tobacco-
smoketilting their chairs against the wallsmoking their pipes
furiouslyflushed and talkativeworking themselves up with the
exhilarated plannings of youth. Jim Bowles and Julius had been down
on their luck for several weeksand that "good old T. T." should
come in with this fairy-story was an actual stimulus. If you have
never in your life been able to earn more than will pay for your food
and lodgingtwenty dollars looms up large. It might be the beginning
of anything.


First thing is to get on to the way to do it,argued Tembarom. "I
don't know the first thing. I've got to think it out. I couldn't ask
Biker. He wouldn't tell meanyhow."


He's pretty mad, I guess,said Steinberger.


Mad as hops,Tembarom answered. "As I was coming down-stairs from
Galton's room he was standing in the hall talking to Miss Dooleyand
he said: `That Tembarom fellow's going to do it! He doesn't know how
to spell. I should like to see his stuff come in.' He said it loud
because he wanted me to hear itand he sort of laughed through his
nose."


Say, T. T., can you spell?Jim inquired thoughtfully.


Spell? Me? No,Tembarom owned with unshaken good cheer. "What I've
got to do is to get a tame dictionary and keep it chained to the leg
of my table. Those words with two m's or two l's in them get me right
down on the mat. But the thing that looks biggest to me is how to
find out where the news isand the name of the fellow that'll put me
on to it. You can't go up a man's front steps and ring the bell and
ask him if he's going to be married or buried or have a pink tea."


Wasn't that a knock at the door?said Steinberger.


It was a knockand Tembarom jumped up and threw the door open
thinking Mrs. Bowse might have come on some household errand. But it
was Little Ann Hutchinson instead of Mrs. Bowseand there was a
threaded needle stuck into the front of her dressand she had on a
thimble.


I want Mr. Bowles's new socks,she said maternally. "I promised I'd
mark them for him."


Bowles and Steinberger sprang from their chairsand came forward in
the usual comfortable glow of pleasure at sight of her.


What do you think of that for all the comforts of a home?said
Tembarom. "As if it wasn't enough for a man to have new socks without
having marks put on them! What are your old socks made of anyhow--
solid gold? Burglars ain't going to break in and steal them."



They won't when I've marked them, Mr. Tembarom,answered Little Ann
looking up at him with soberroundfor-get-me-not blue eyesbut
with a deep dimple breaking out near her lip; "but all three pairs
would not come home from the wash if I didn't."

Three pairs!ejaculated Tembarom. "He's got three pairs of socks!
New? That's what's been the matter with him for the last week. Don't
you mark them for himLittle Ann. 'Tain't good for a man to have
everything."

Here they are,said Jimbringing them forward. "Twenty-five marked
down to ten at Tracy's. Are they pretty good?"

Little Ann looked them over with the practised eye of a connoisseur
of bargains.

They'd be about a shilling in Manchester shops,she decidedand
they might be put down to sixpence. They're good enough to take care
of.

She was not the young woman who is ready for prolonged lively
conversation in halls and at bedroom doorsand she had turned away
with the new socks in her hand when Tembaromsuddenly inspired
darted after her.

Say, I've just thought of something,he exclaimed eagerly. "It's
something I want to ask you."

What is it?

It's about the society-page lay-out.He hesitated. "I wonder if
it'd be rushing you too much if --say he suddenly broke off, and
standing with his hands in his pockets, looked down at her with
anxious admiration, I believe you just know about everything."

No, I don't, Mr. Tembarom; but I'm very glad about the page.
Everybody's glad.

One of the chief difficulties Tembarom found facing him when he
talked to Little Ann was the difficulty of resisting an awful
temptation to take hold of her--to clutch her to his healthy
tumultuous young breast and hold her there firmly. He was half
ashamed of himself when he realized itbut he knew that his venial
weakness was shared by Jim Bowles and Steinberger and probably others.
She was so slim and light and softand the serious frankness of her
eyes and the quaint air of being a sort of grown-up child of
astonishing intelligence produced an effect it was necessary to
combat with.

What I wanted to say,he put it to herwas that I believe if
you'd just let me talk this thing out to you it'd do me good. I
believe you'd help me to get somewhere. I've got to fix up a scheme
for getting next the people who have things happening to them that I
can make society stuff out of, you know. Biker didn't make a hit of
it, but, gee! I've just got to. I've got to.

Yes,answered Little Annher eyes fixed on him thoughtfully;
you've got to, Mr. Tembarom.

There's not a soul in the parlor. Would you mind coming down and
sitting there while I talk at you and try to work things out? You
could go on with your marking.


She thought it over a minute.

I'll do it if Father can spare me,she made up her mind. "I'll go
and ask him."

She went to ask himand returned in two or three minutes with her
small sewing-basket in her hand.

He can spare me,she said. "He's reading his paperand doesn't
want to talk."

They went down-stairs together and found the room empty. Tembarom
turned up the lowered gasand Little Ann sat down in the cozy-corner
with her work-basket on her knee. Tembarom drew up a chair and sat
down opposite to her. She threaded a needle and took up one of Jim's
new socks.

Now,she said.

It's like this,he explained. "The page is a new dealanyhow.
There didn't used to be an up-town society column at all. It was all
Fifth Avenue and the four hundred; but ours isn't a fashionable paper
and their four hundred ain't going to buy it to read their names in
it. They'd rather pay to keep out of it. Uptown's growing like smoke
and there's lots of people up that way that'd like their friends to
read about their weddings and receptionsand would buy a dozen
copies to send away when their names were in. There's no end of women
and girls that'd like to see their clothes described and let their
friends read the descriptions. They'd buy the papertooyou bet.
It'll be a big circulation-increaser. It's Galton's ideaand he gave
the job to Biker because he thought an educated fellow could get hold
of people. But somehow he couldn't. Seems as if they didn't like him.
He kept getting turned down. The page has been mighty poor-- no
pictures of brides or anything. Galton's been sick over it. He'd been
sure it'd make a hit. Then Biker's always drinking more or lessand
he's got the swell headanyhow. I believe that's the reason he
couldn't make good with the up-towners."

Perhaps he was too well educated, Mr. Tembarom,said Little Ann.
She was marking a letter J in red cottonand her outward attention
was apparently wholly fixed on her work.

Say, now,Tembarom broke outthere's where you come in. You go on
working as if there was nothing but that sock in New York, but I
guess you've just hit the dot. Perhaps that was it. He wanted to do
Fifth Avenue work anyway, and he didn't go at Harlem right. He put on
Princeton airs when he asked questions. Gee! a fellow can't put on
any kind of airs when he's the one that's got to ask.

You'll get on better,remarked Little Ann. "You've got a friendly
way and you've a lot of sense. I've noticed it."

Her head was bent over the red J and she still looked at it and not
at Tembarom. This was not coynessbut simplecalm absorption. If
she had not been making the Jshe would have sat with her hands
folded in her lapand gazed at the young man with undisturbed
attention.

Have you?said Tembaromgratefully. "That gives me another boost
Little Ann. What a man seems to need most is just plain twenty-centsa-
yard sense. Not that I ever thought I had the dollar kind. I'm not
putting on airs."

Mr. Galton knows the kind you have. I suppose that's why he gave you


the page.The wordsspoken in the shrewd-sounding Manchester accent
were neither flattering nor unflattering; they were merely impartial.

Well, now I've got it, I can't fall down,said Tembarom. "I've got
to find out for myself how to get next to the people I want to talk
to. I've got to find out who to get next to."

Little Ann put in the final red stitch of the letter J and laid the
sock neatly folded on the basket.

I've just been thinking something, Mr. Tembarom,she said. "Who
makes the wedding-cakes?"

He gave a delighted start.

Gee!he broke outthe wedding-cakes!

Yes,Little Ann proceededthey'd have to have wedding-cakes, and
perhaps if you went to the shops where they're sold and could make
friends with the people, they'd tell you whom they were selling them
to, and you could get the addresses and go and find out things.

Tembaromglowing with admiring enthusiasmthrust out his hand.

Little Ann, shake! he said. " You've given me the whole showjust
like I thought you would. You're just the limit."

Well, a wedding-cake's the next thing after the bride,she answered.

Her practical little head had given him the practical lead. The mere
wedding-cake opened up vistas. Confectioners supplied not only
weddingsbut refreshments for receptions and dances. Dances
suggested the "halls" in which they were held. You could get
information at such places. Then there were the churchesand the
florists who decorated festal scenes. Tembarom's excitement grew as
he talked. One plan led to another; vistas opened on all sides. It
all began to look so easy that he could not understand how Biker
could possibly have gone into such a land of promiseand returned
embittered and empty-handed.

He thought too much of himself and too little of other people,
Little Ann summed him up in her unseverereasonable voice. "That's
so silly."

Tembarom tried not to look at her affectionatelybut his voice was
affectionate as well as admiringdespite him.

The way you get on to a thing just in three words!he said. "Daniel
Webster ain't in it."

I dare say if you let the people in the shops know that you come
from a newspaper, it'll be a help,she went on with ingenuous
worldly wisdom. "They'll think it'll be a kind of advertisement. And
so it will. You get some neat cards printed with your name and Sunday
Earth on them."

Gee!Tembarom ejaculatedslapping his kneethere's another! You
think of every darned thing, don't you?

She stopped a moment to look at him.

You'd have thought of it all yourself after a bit,she said. She
was not of those unseemly women whose intention it is manifestly to
instruct the superior man. She had been born in a small Manchester


street and trained by her motherwhose own training had evolved
through affectionately discreet conjugal management of Mr. Hutchinson.

Never you let a man feel set down when you want him to see a thing
reasonable, Ann,she had said. "You never get on with them if you do.
They can't stand it. The Almighty seemed to make 'em that way.
They've always been mastersand it don't hurt any woman to let 'em
beif she can help 'em to think reasonable. Just you make a man feel
comfortable in his mind and push him the reasonable way. But never
you shove himAnn. If you dohe'll just get all upset-like. Me and
your father have been right-down happy togetherbut we never should
have been if I hadn't thought that out before we was married two
weeks. Perhaps it's the Almighty's willthough I never was as sure
of the Almighty's way of thinking as some are."

Of course Tembarom felt soothed and encouragedthough he belonged to
the male development which is not automatically infuriated at a
suspicion of female readiness of logic.

Well, I might have got on to it in time,he answeredstill trying
not to look affectionatebut I've no time to spare. Gee! but I'm
glad you're here!

I sha'n't be here very long.There was a shade of patient regret in
her voice. "Father's got tired of trying America. He's been
disappointed too often. He's going back to England."

Back to England!Tembarom cried out forlornlyOh Lord! What shall
we all do without you, Ann?

You'll do as you did before we came,said Little Ann.

No, we sha'n't. We can't. I can't anyhow.He actually got up from
his chair and began to walk aboutwith his hands thrust deep in his
pockets.

Little Ann began to put her first stitches into a red B. No human
being could have told what she thought.

We mustn't waste time talking about that,she said. "Let us talk
about the page. There are dressmakersyou know. If you could make
friends with a dressmaker or two they'd tell you what the wedding
things were really made of. Women do like their clothes to be
described right."

CHAPTER III

His work upon the page began the following week. When the first
morning of his campaign opened with a tumultuous blizzardJim Bowles
and Julius Steinberger privately sympathized with him as they dressed
in companybut they heard him whistling in his own hall bedroom as
he put on his clothesand to none of the three did it occur that
time could be lost because the weather was inhuman. Blinding snow was
being whirled through the air by a wind which had bellowed across the
bayand torn its way howling through the streetsmaltreating people
as it wentsnatching their breath out of themand leaving them
gaspingly clutching at hats and bending their bodies before it.
Street-cars went by loaded from front to back platformand were
forced from want of room to whizz heartlessly by groups waiting
anxiously at street corners.


Tembarom saw two or three of them pass in this wayleaving the
waiting ones desperately huddled together behind them. He braced
himself and whistled louder as he buttoned his celluloid collar.

I'm going to get up to Harlem all the same,he said. "The 'L' will
be just as jammedbut there'll be a place somewhereand I'll get
it."

His clothes were the outwardly decent ones of a young man who must
perforce seek cheap clothing-storesand to whom a ten-dollar "handme-
down" is a source of exultant rejoicing. With the aid of great
care and a straightwell-formed young bodyhe managed to make the
best of them; but they were not to be counted upon for warmth even in
ordinarily cold weather. His overcoat was a specious coveringand
was not infrequently odorous of naphtha.

You've got to know something about first aid to the wounded if you
live on ten per,he had said once to Little Ann. "A suit of clothes
gets to be an emergency-case mighty often if it lasts three years."

Going up to Harlem to-day, T. T.?his neighbor at table asked him
as he sat down to breakfast.

Right there,he answered. "I've ordered the limousine roundwith
the foot-warmer and fur rugs."

I guess a day wouldn't really matter much,said Mrs. Bowsegoodnaturedly.
Perhaps it might be better to-morrow.

And perhaps it mightn't,said Tembaromeating "break-fast-food"
with a cheerful appetite. "What you can't be stone-cold sure of tomorrow
you drive a nail in to-day."

He ate a tremendous breakfast as a discreet precautionary measure.
The dark dining-room was warmand the food was substantial. It was
comfortable in its way.

You'd better hold the hall door pretty tight when you go out, and
don't open it far,said Mrs. Bowse as he got up to go. "There's wind
enough to upset things."

Tembarom went out in the halland put on his insufficient overcoat.
He buttoned it across his chestand turned its collar up to his ears.
Then he bent down to turn up the bottoms of his trousers.

A pair of arctics would be all to the merry right here,he said
and then he stood upright and saw Little Ann coming down the
staircase holding in her hand a particularly ugly tar-tan-plaid
woolen neck-scarf of the kind known in England as a "comforter."

If you are going out in this kind of weather,she said in her
serenedecided little voiceyou'd better wrap this comforter right
round your neck, Mr. Tembarom. It's one of Father's, and he can spare
it because he's got another, and, besides, he's not going out.

Tembarom took it with a sudden emotional perception of the fact that
he was being taken care of in an abnormally luxurious manner.

Now, I appreciate that,he said. "The thing about you. Little Ann
is that you never make a wrong guess about what a fellow needsdo
you?"

I'm too used to taking care of Father not to see things,she


answered.

What you get on to is how to take care of the whole world --initials
on a fellow's socks and mufflers round his neck.His eyes looked
remarkably bright.

If a person were taking care of the whole world, he'd have a lot to
do,was her sedate reception of the remark. "You'd better put that
twice round your neckMr. Tembarom."

She put up her hand to draw the end of the scarf over his shoulder
and Tembarom stood still at onceas though he were a little boy
being dressed for school. He looked down at her round cheekand
watched one of the unexpected dimples reveal itself in a place where
dimples are not usually anticipated. It was coming out because she
was smiling a smallobserving smile. It was an almost exciting thing
to look atand he stood very still indeed. A fellow who did not own
two pairs of boots would be a fool not to keep quiet.

You haven't told me I oughtn't to go out till the blizzard lets up,
he said presently.

No, I haven't, Mr. Tembarom,she answered. "You're one of the kind
that mean to do a thing when they've made up their minds. It'll be a
nice bit of money if you can keep the page."

Galton said he'd give me a chance to try to make good,said
Tembarom. "And if it's the hit he thinks it ought to behe'll raise
me ten. Thirty per. Vanastorbilts won't be in it. I think I'll get
married he added, showing all his attractive teeth at once.

I wouldn't do that she said. It wouldn't be enough to depend on.
New York's an expensive place."

She drew back and looked him over. "That'll keep you much warmer
she decided. Now you can go. I've been looking in the telephone-book
for confectionersand I've written down these addresses." She handed
him a slip of paper.

Tembarom caught his breath.

Hully gee!he exclaimedthere never were TWO of you made! One
used up all there was of it. How am I going to thank you, anyhow!

I do hope you'll be able to keep the page,she said. "I do thatMr.
Tembarom."

If there had been a touch of coquetry in her earnestsoberround
little face she would have been less distractingly alluringbut
there was no shade of anything but a sort of softly motherly anxiety
in the dropped note of her voiceand it was almost more than flesh
and blood at twenty-five could stand. Tembarom made a hasty
involuntary move toward herbut it was only a slight oneand it was
scarcely perceptible before he had himself in hand and hurriedly
twisted his muffler tightershowing his teeth again cheerily.

You keep on hoping it all day without a let-up,he said. "And tell
Mr. Hutchinson I'm obliged to himplease. Get out of the wayLittle
Annwhile I go out. The wind might blow you and the hat-stand upstairs."


He opened the door and dashed down the high steps into the full blast
of the blizzard. He waited at the street corner while three
overcrowded cars whizzed past himignoring his signals because there


was not an inch of space left in them for another passenger. Then he
fought his way across two or three blocks to the nearest "L" station.
He managed to wedge himself into a train thereand then at least he
was on his way. He was thinking hard and fastbut through all his
planning the warm hug of the tartan comforter round his neck kept
Little Ann near him. He had been very thankful for the additional
warmth as the whirling snow and wind had wrought their will with him
while he waited for the cars at the street corner. On the "L" train
he saw her serious eyes and heard the motherly drop in her voice as
she saidI do hope you'll be able to keep the page. I do that, Mr.
Tembarom.It made him shut his hands hard as they hung in his
overcoat pockets for warmthand it made him shut his sound teeth
strongly.

Gee! I've got to!his thoughts said for him. "If I make itperhaps
my luck will have started. When a man's luck gets startedevery
darned thing's to the good."

The "L" had dropped most of its crowd when it reached the up-town
station among the hundredth streets which was his destination. He
tightened his comfortertucked the ends firmly into the front of his
overcoatand started out along the platform past the officeand
down the steepiron stepsalready perilous with freezing snow. He
had to stop to get his breath when he reached the streetbut he did
not stop long. He charged forth again along the pavementlooking
closely at the shop-windows. There were naturally but few passers-by
and the shops were not important-looking; but they were openand he
could see that the insides of them looked comfortable in contrast
with the blizzard-ruled street. He could not see both sides of the
street as he walked up one side of the block without coming upon a
confectioner's. He crossed at the corner and turned back on the other
side. Presently he saw that a light van was standing before one place
backed up against the sidewalk to receive parcelsits shuddering
horse holding its head down and bracing itself with its forelegs
against the wind. At any ratesomething was going on thereand he
hurried forward to find out what it was. The air was so thick with
myriads of madly flying bits of snowwhich seemed whirled in all
directions in the airthat he could not see anything definite even a
few yards away. When he reached the van he found that he had also
reached his confectioner. The sign over the window read "M. Munsberg
Confectionery. Cakes. Ice-Cream. WeddingsBalls and Receptions."

Made a start, anyhow,said Tembarom.

He turned into the storeopening the door carefullyand thereby
barely escaping being blown violently against a stoutexcited
middle-aged little Jew who was bending over a box he was packing.
This was evidently Mr. Munsbergwho was extremely busyand even the
modified shock upset his temper.

Vhere you goin'?he cried out. "Can't you look vhere you're goin'?"

Tembarom knew this was not a good beginningbut his natural mental
habit of vividly seeing the other man's point of view helped him
after its usual custom. His nice grin showed itself.

I wasn't going; I was coming,he said. "Beg pardon. The wind's
blowing a hundred miles an hour."

A good-looking young womanwho was probably Mrs. Munsbergwas
packing a smaller box behind the counter. Tembarom lifted his hat
and she liked it.

He didn't do it a bit fresh,she said later. "Kind o' nice." She


spoke to him with professional politeness.

Is there anything you want?she asked.

Tembarom glanced at the boxes and packages standing about and at
Munsbergwho had bent over his packing again. Here was an occasion
for practical tact.

I've blown in at the wrong time,he said. "You're busy getting
things out on time. I'll just wait.. Gee! I'm glad to be inside. I
want to speak to Mr. Munsberg."

Mr. Munsberg jerked himself upright irasciblyand broke forth in the
accent of the New York German Jew.

If you comin' in here to try to sell somedings, young man, joost you
let that same vind vat blew you in blow you right out pretty quick.
I'm not buyin' nodings. I'm busy.

I'm not selling a darned thing,answered Tembaromwith undismayed
cheer.

You vant someding?jerked out Munsberg.

Yes, I want something,Tembarom answered but it's nothing any
one has to pay for. I'm only a newspaper man.He felt a glow of
pride as he said the words. He was a newspaper man even now. "Don't
let me stop you a minute. I'm in luck to get inside anywhere and sit
down. Let me wait."

Mrs. Munsberg read the Sunday papers and revered them. She also knew
the value of advertisement. She caught her husband's eye and
hurriedly winked at him.

It's awful outside. 'T won't do harm if he waits--if he ain't no
agent,she put in.

See,said Tembaromhanding over one of the cards which had been
Little Ann's businesslike inspiration.

T. Tembarom. New York Sunday Earth,read Munsbergrather
grudgingly. He looked at T. Tembaromand T. Tembarom looked back at
him. The normal human friendliness in the sharp boyish face did it.

Vell,he saidmaking another jerk toward a chairif you ain't no
agent, you can vait.

Thank you,said Tembaromand sat down. He had made another start
anyhow.

After this the packing went on fast and furious. A youth appeared
from the back of the storeand ran here and there as he was ordered.
Munsberg and his wife filled wooden and cardboard boxes with small
cakes and larger oneswith sandwiches and saladscandies and
crystallized fruits. Into the larger box was placed a huge cake with
an icing temple on the top of itwith silver doves adorning it
outside and in. There was no mistaking the poetic significance of
that cake. Outside the blizzard whirled clouds of snow-particles
through the airand the van horse kept his head down and his
forelegs braced. His driver had long since tried to cover him with a
blanket which the wind continually tore loose from its fastenings
and flapped about the creature's sides. Inside the store grew hot.
There was hurried moving aboutbanging of doorsexcited voices
irascible orders given and countermanded. Tembarom found out in five


minutes that the refreshments were for a wedding reception to be held
at a place known as "The Hall and the goods must be sent out in
time to be ready for the preparations for the wedding supper that
night.

If I knew how to handle itI could get stuff for a column just
sitting here he thought. He kept both eyes and ears open. He was
sharp enough to realize that the mere sense of familiarity with
detail which he was gaining was material in itself. Once or twice he
got up and lent a hand with a box in his casual way, and once or
twice he saw that he could lift some-thing down or up for Mrs.
Munsberg, who was a little woman. The natural casualness of his way
of jumping up to do the things prevented any suspicion of
officiousness, and also prevented his waiting figure from beginning
to wear the air of a superfluous object in the way. He waited a long
time, and circumstances so favored him as to give him a chance or so.
More than once exactly the right moment presented itself when he
could interject an apposite remark. Twice he made Munsberg laugh, and
twice Mrs. Munsberg voluntarily addressed him.

At last the boxes and parcels ware all carried out and stored in the
van, after strugglings with the opening and shutting of doors, and
battlings with outside weather.

When this was all over, Munsberg came back into the store, knocking
his hands together and out of breath.

Dot's all right he said. It'll all be there plenty time.
Vouldn't have fell down on that order for tventy-vive dollars. Dot
temple on the cake was splendid. Joseph he done it fine."

He never done nothin' no finer,Mrs. Munsberg said. "It looked as
good as anything on Fift' Avenoo."

Both were relieved and pleased with themselvestheir storeand
their cake-decorator. Munsberg spoke to Tembarom in the manner of a
man whohaving done a good thingdoes not mind talking about it.

Dot was a big order,he remarked.

I should smile,answered Tembarom. "I'd like to know whose going to
get outside all that good stuff. That wedding-cake took the tart away
from anything I've ever seen. Which of the four hundred's going to
eat it?"

De man vot ordered dot cake,Munsberg swaggeredhe's not got to
vorry along on vun million nor two. He owns de biggest brewery in New
York, I guess in America. He's Schwartz of Schwartz & Kapfer.

Well, he 's got it to burn!said Tembarom.

He's a mighty good man,went on Munsberg. " He's mighty fond of his
own people. He made his first money in Harlemand he had a big fight
to get it; but his own people vas good to himan' he's never forgot
it. He's built a fine house herean' his girls is fine girls. De
vun's goin' to be married to-night her name's Rachelan' she's goin'
to marry a nice fellerLouis Levy. Levy built the big entertainmenthall
vhere the reception's goin' to be. It's decorated vith two
thousand dollars' worth of bride roses an' lilies of de valley an'
smilax. All de up-town places vas bought outan' den Schwartz vent
down Fift' Avenoo."

The right moment had plainly arrived.


Say, Mr. Munsberg,Tembarom broke forthyou're giving me just
what I wanted to ask you for. I'm the new up-town society reporter
for the Sunday Earth, and I came in here to see if you wouldn't help
me to get a show at finding out who was going to have weddings and
society doings. I didn't know just how to start.

Munsberg gave a sort of grunt. He looked less amiable.

I s'pose you're used to nothin' but Fift' Avenoo,he said.

Tembarom grinned exactly at the right time again. Not only his good
teeth grinnedbut his eyes grinned alsoif the figure may be used.

Fifth Avenue!he laughed. "There's been no Fifth Avenue in mine.
I'm not used to anythingbut you may bet your life I'm going to get
used to Harlemif you people'll let me. I've just got this joband
I'm dead stuck on it. I want to make it go."

He's mighty different from Biker,said Mrs. Munsberg in an
undertone.

Vhere's dod oder feller?inquired Munsberg. "He vas a dam fooldot
oder fellerhalf corned most de timean' puttin' on Clarence airs.
No one was goin' to give him nothin'. He made folks mad at de start."

I've got his job,said Tembaromand if I can't make it go, the
page will be given up. It'll be my fault if that happens, not
Harlem's. There's society enough up-town to make a first-class page,
and I shall be sick if I can't get on to it.

He had begun to know his people. Munsberg was a good- natured
swaggering little Hebrew.

That the young fellow should make a clean breast of it and claim no
down-town superiorityand that he should also have the business
insight to realize that he might obtain valuable society items from
such a representative confectioner as M. Munsbergwas a situation to
incite amiable sentiments.

Vell, you didn't come to de wrong place,he said. "All de biggest
things comes to mean' I don't mind tellin' you about 'em. 'T ain't
goin' to do no harm. Weddings an' things dey ought to be wrote up
anyhowif dey're done right. It's good for business. Vy don't dey
have no pictures of de supper- tables? Dot'd be good."

There's lots of receptions and weddings this month,said Mrs.
Munsbergbecoming agreeably excited. "And there's plenty handsome
young girls that'd like their pictures published.

None of them have been in Sunday papers before, and they'd like it.
The four Schwartz girls would make grand pictures. They dress
splendid, and their bridesmaids dresses came from the biggest place
in Fift' Avenoo.

Say,exclaimed Tembaromrising from his chairI'm in luck. Luck
struck me the minute I turned in here. If you'll tell me where
Schwartz lives, and where the hall is, and the church, and just
anything else I can use, I'll go out and whoop up a page to beat the
band.He was glowing with exultation. "I know I can do it. You've
started me off."

Munsberg and his wife began to warm. It was almost as though they had
charge of the society page themselves. There was something
stimulating in the idea. There was a suggestion of social importance


in it. They knew a number of people who would be pleased with the
prospect of being in the Sunday Earth. They were of a race which
holds togetherand they gave not only the names and addresses of
prospective entertainersbut those of florists and owners of halls
where parties were given.

Mrs. Munsberg gave the name of a dressmaker of whom she shrewdly
guessed that she would be amiably ready to talk to a society-page
reporter.

That Biker feller,she saidgot things down all wrong. He called
fine white satin 'white nun's-veiling,' and he left out things. Never
said nothing about Miss Lewishon's diamond ring what her grandpa gave
her for a wedding-present. An' it cost two hundred and fifty.

Well, I'm a pretty big fool myself,said Tembarombut I should
have known better than that.

When he opened the door to goMrs. Munsberg called after him:

When you get through, you come back here and tell us what you done.
I'll give you a cup of hot coffee.

He returned to Mrs. Bowse's boarding-house so late that night that
even Steinberger and Bowles had ended their day. The gas in the hall
was turned down to a glimmering pointand the house was silent for
the night. Even a cat who stole to him and rubbed herself against his
leg miauwed in a sort of abortive whisperopening her mouth wide
but emitting no sound. When he went cautiously up the staircase he
carried his damp overcoat with himand hung it in company with the
tartan muffler close to the heater in the upper hall. Then he laid on
his bedside table a package of papers and photographs.

After he had undressedhe dropped heavily into bedexhaustedbut
elate.

I'm dog-tired,he saidbut I guess I've got it going.And
almost before the last word had uttered itself he fell into the deep
sleep of worn-out youth.

CHAPTER IV

Mrs. Bowse's boarding-house began to be even better pleased with him
than before. He had stories to tellfestivities to describeand
cheerful incidents to recount. The boarders assisted vicariously at
weddings and wedding receptionsafternoon teas and dancesgiven in
halls. "Up-town" seemed to them largely given to entertainment and
hilarity of an enviably prodigal sort. Mrs. Bowse's guests were not
of the class which entertains or is entertainedand the details of
banquets and ball-dresses and money-spending were not uncheering
material for conversation. Such topics suggested the presence and
dispensing of a good deal of desirable speciewhich in floating
about might somehow reach those who needed it most. The impression
was that T. Tembarom was having "a good time." It was not his way to
relate any incidents which were not of a cheering or laughterinspiring
nature. He said nothing of the times when his luck was bad
when he made blundersandapproaching the wrong peoplewas met
roughly or grudginglyand found no resource left but to beat a
retreat. He made no mention of his experiences in the blizzardwhich
continuedand at times nearly beat breath and life out of him as he


fought his way through it. Especially he told no story of the morning
whenafter having labored furiously over the writing of his "stuff"
until long after midnighthe had taken it to Galtonand seen his
face fall as he looked over it. To battle all day with a blizzard and
occasional brutal discouragementsand to sit up half the night
tensely absorbed in concentrating one's whole mental equipment upon
the doing of unaccustomed work has its effect. As he waitedTembarom
unconsciously shifted from one foot to anotherand had actually to
swallow a sort of lump in his throat.

I guess it won't do,he said rather uncertainly as Galton laid a
sheet down.

Galton was worn out himself and harried by his nerves.

No, it won't,he said; and then as he saw Tembarom move to the
other foot he addedNot as it is.

Tembarom braced himself and cleared his throat.

If,he ventured--" wellyou've been mighty easy on meMr Galton-and
this is a big chance for a fellow like me. If it's too big a
chance--why--that's all. But if it's anything I could change and it
wouldn't be too much trouble to tell me--"

There's no time to rewrite it,answered Galton. "It must be handed
in to-morrow. It's too flowery. Too many adjectives. I've no time to
give you--" He snatched up a blue pencil and began to slash at the
paper with it. "Look here-- and here--cut out that balderdash--cut
this--and this-- oh--" throwing the pencil down--"you'd have to cut
it all out. There's no time." He fell back in his chair with a
hopeless movementand rubbed his forehead nervously with the back of
his hand. Ten people more or less were waiting to speak to him; he
was worn out with the rush of work. He believed in the pageand did
not want to give up his idea; but he didn't know a man to hand it to
other than this untrainedeager ignoramus whom he had a queer
personal liking for. He was no business of hisa mere stenographer
in his office with whom he could be expected to have no relations
and yet a curious sort of friendliness verging on intimacy had
developed between them.

There'd be time if you thought it wouldn't do any harm to give me
another chance,said Tembarom. "I can sit up all night. I guess I've
caught on to what you DON'T want. I've put in too many fool words. I
got them out of other papersbut I don't know how to use them. I
guess I've caught on. Would it do any harm if you gave me till tomorrow?"


No, it wouldn't,said Galtondesperately. "If you can't do it
there's no time to find another manand the page must be cut out.
It's been no good so far. It won't be missed. Take it along."

As he pushed back the papershe saw the photographsand picked one
up.

That bride's a good-looking girl. Who are these others? Bridesmaids?
You've got a lot of stuff here. Biker couldn't get anything.He
glanced up at the young fellow's rather pale face. "I thought you'd
make friends. How did you get all this?"

I beat the streets till I found it,said Tembarom. "I had luck
right away. I went into a confectionery store where they make weddingcakes.
A good-natured little Dutchman and his wife kept itand I
talked to them--"


Got next?said Galtongrinning a little.

They gave me addresses, and told me a whole lot of things. I got
into the Schwartz wedding reception, and they treated me mighty well.
A good many of them were willing to talk. I told them what a big
thing the page was going to be, and I--well, I said the more they
helped me the finer it would turn out. I said it seemed a shame there
shouldn't be an up-town page when such swell entertainments were
given. I've got a lot of stuff there.

Galton laughed.

You'd get it,he said. "If you knew how to handle ityou'd make it
a hit. Welltake it along. If it isn't right tomorrowit's done
for."

Tembarom didn't tell stories or laugh at dinner that evening. He said
he had a headache. After dinner he bolted upstairs after Little Ann
and caught her before she mounted to her upper floor.

Will you come and save my life again?he said. "I'm in the tightest
place I ever was in in my life."

I'll do anything I can, Mr. Tembarom,she answeredand as his face
had grown flushed by this time she looked anxious. "You look
downright feverish."

I've got chills as well as fever,he said. "It's the page. It seems
like I was going to fall down on it."

She turned back at once.

No you won't, Mr. Tembarom,she said "I'm just right-down sure you
won't."

They went down to the parlor againand though there were people in
itthey found a corner apartand in less than ten minutes he had
told her what had happened.

She took the manuscript he handed to her.

If I was well educated, I should know how to help you,she said
but I've only been to a common Manchester school. I don't know
anything about elegant language. What are these?pointing to the
blue-pencil marks.

Tembarom explainedand she studied the blue slashes with serious
attention.

Well,she said in a few minuteslaying the manuscript downI
should have cut those words out myself if--if you'd asked me which to
take away. They're too showy, Mr. Tembarom.

Tembarom whipped a pencil out of his pocket and held it out.

Say,he put it to herwould you take this and draw it through a
few of the other showy ones?

I should feel as if I was taking too much upon myself,she said. "I
don't know anything about it."

You know a darned sight more than I do,Tembarom argued. "I didn't
know they were showy. I thought they were the kind you had to put in


newspaper stuff."

She held the sheets of paper on her kneeand bent her head over them.
Tembarom watched her dimples flash in and out as she worked away
like a child correcting an exercise. Presently he saw she was quite
absorbed. Sometimes she stopped and thoughtpressing her lips
together; sometimes she changed a letter. There was no lightness in
her manner. A badly mutilated stocking would have claimed her
attention in the same way.

I think I'd put 'house' there instead of 'mansion' if I were you,
she suggested once.

Put in a whole block of houses if you like,he answered gratefully.
Whatever you say goes. I believe Galton would say the same thing.

She went over sheet after sheetand though she knew nothing about it
she cut out just what Galton would have cut out. She put the papers
together at last and gave them back to Tembaromgetting up from her
seat.

I must go back to father now,she said. "I promised to make him a
good cup of coffee over the little oil-stove. If you'll come and
knock at the door I'll give you one. It will help you to keep fresh
while you work."

Tembarom did not go to bed at all that nightand he looked rather
fagged the next morning when he handed back the "stuff" entirely
rewritten. He swallowed several times quite hard as he waited for the
final verdict.

You did catch on to what I didn't want,Galton said at last. "You
will catch on still more as you get used to the work. And you did get
the 'stuff'"

That--you mean--that goes?Tembarom stammered.

Yes, it goes,answered Galton. "You can turn it in. We'll try the
page for a month."

Gee! Thank the Lord!said Tembaromand then he laughed an excited
boyish laughand the blood came back to his face. He had a whole
month before himand if he had caught on as soon as thisa month
would teach him a lot.

He'd work like a dog.

He worked like a healthy young man impelled by a huge enthusiasmand
seeing ahead of him something he had had no practical reason for
aspiring to. He went out in all weathers and stayed out to all hours.
Whatsoever rebuffs or difficulties he met with he never was even on
the verge of losing his nerve. He actually enjoyed himself
tremendously at times. He made friends; people began to like to see
him. The Munsbergs regarded him as an inspiration of their own.

He seen my name over de store and come in here first time he vas
sent up dis vay to look for t'ings to write,Mr. Munsberg always
explained. "Ve vas awful busy--time of the Schwartz veddingan' dere
vas dat blizzard. He owned up he vas newan' vanted some vun vhat
knew to tell him vhat vas goin' on. 'Course I could do it. Me an' my
vife give him addresses an' a lot of items. He vorked 'em up good.
Dot up-town page is gettin' first-rate. He says he don' know vhat
he'd have done if he hadn't turned up here dot day."


Tembaromhaving "caught on" to his fault of styleapplied himself
with vigor to elimination. He kept his tame dictionary chained to the
leg of his table--an old kitchen table which Mrs. Bowse scrubbed and
put into his hall bedroomovercrowding it greatly. He turned to
Little Ann at moments of desperate uncertaintybut he was man enough
to do his work himself. In glorious moments when he was rather sure
that Galton was far from unsatisfied with his progressand Ann had
looked more than usually distracting in her aloof and sober
alluringness-- it was her entire aloofness which so stirred his
blood--he sometimes stopped scribbling and lost his head for a
minute or sowondering if a fellow ever COULD "get away with it" to
the extent of making enough to--but he always pulled himself up in
time.

Nice fool I look, thinking that way!he would say to himself.
She'd throw me down hard if she knew. But, my Lord! ain't she just a
peach!

It was in the last week of the month of trial which was to decide the
permanency of the page that he came upon the man Mrs. Bowse's
boarders called his "Freak." He never called him a "freak" himself
even at the first. Even his somewhat undeveloped mind felt itself
confronted at the outset with something too abnormal and serious
something with a suggestion of the weird and tragic in it.

In this wise it came about:

The week had begun with another blizzardwhich after the second day
had suddenly changed its mindand turned into sleet and rain which
filled the streets with melted snowand made walking a fearsome
thing. Tembarom had plenty of walking to do. This week's page was his
great effortand was to be a "dandy." Galton must be shown what
pertinacity could do.

I'm going to get into it up to my neck, and then strike out,he
said at breakfast on Monday morning.

Thursday was his most strenuous day. The weather had decided to
change againand gusts of sleet were being driven aboutwhich added
cold to sloppiness. He had found it difficult to get hold of some
details he specially wanted. Two important and extremely good-looking
brides had refused to see him because Biker had enraged them in his
day. He had slighted the description of their dresses at a dance
where they had been the observed of all observersand had worn
things brought from Paris. Tembarom had gone from house to house. He
had even searched out aunts whose favor he had won professionally. He
had appealed to his dressmakerwhose affection he had by that time
fully gained. She was doing work in the brides' housesand could
make it clear that he would not call peau de cygne "Surah silk nor
duchess lace Baby Irish." But the young ladies enjoyed being
besought by a society page. It was something to discuss with one's
bridesmaids and friendsto protest that "those interviewers" give a
person no peace. "If you don't want to be in the papersthey'll put
you in whether you like it or nothowever often you refuse them."
They kept Tembarom running aboutthey raised faint hopesand then
went out when he calledleaving no messagesbut allowing the
servant to hint that if he went up to Two Hundred and Seventy-fifth
Street he might chance to find them.

All right,said Tembarom to the girldelighting her by lifting his
hat genially as he turned to go down the steps. "I'll just keep going.
The Sunday Earth can't come out without those photographs in it. I
should lose my job."


When at last he ran the brides to cover it was not at Two Hundred and
Seventy-fifth Streetbut in their own hometo which they had
finally returned. They had heard from the servant-girl about what the
young gentleman from the Sunday Earth had saidand they were
mollified by his proper appreciation of values. Tembarom's dressmaker
friend also proffered information.

I know him myself,she saidand he's a real nice gentle-manlike
young man. He's not a bit like Biker. He doesn't think he knows
everything. He came to me from Mrs. Munsberg, just to ask me the
names of fashionable materials. He said it was more important than a
man knew till he found outMiss Stuntz chuckled.

He asked me to lend him some bits of samples so he could learn them
off by heart, and know them when he saw them. He's got a pleasant
laugh; shows his teeth, and they're real pretty and white; and he
just laughed like a boy and said: 'These samples are my alphabet,
Miss Stuntz. I'm going to learn to read words of three syllables in
them.'

When late in the evening Tembarombeing let out of the house after
his interviewturned down the steps againhe carried with him all
he had wanted--information and photographseven added picturesque
details. He was prepared to hand in a fuller and better page than he
had ever handed in before. He was in as elated a frame of mind as a
young man can be when he is used up with tramping the streetsand
running after street-carsto stand up in them and hang by a strap.
He had been wearing a new pair of bootsone of which rubbed his heel
and had ended by raising a blister worthy of attention. To reach the
nearest "L" station he must walk across townthrough several
deserted streets in the first stages of being built uptheir vacant
lots surrounded by high board fencing covered with huge advertising
posters. The hall bedroomwith the gas turned up and the cheapredcotton
comfort on the bedmade an alluring picture as he faced the
sleety wind.

If I cut across to the avenue and catch the 'L,' I'm bound to get
there sometime, anyhow,he said as he braced himself and set out on
his way.

The blister on his heel had given him a good deal of troubleand he
was obliged to stop a moment to ease itand he limped when he began
to walk again. But he limped as fast as he couldwhile the sleety
rain beat in his faceacross one streetdown another for a block or
soacross anotherthe melting snow soaking even the new boots as he
splashed through it. He bent his headhoweverand limped steadily.
At this end of the city many of the streets were only scantily built
upand he was passing through one at the corner of which was a big
vacant lot. At the other corner a row of cheap houses which had only
reached their second story waited among piles of bricks and frozen
mortar for the return of the workmen the blizzard had dispersed. It
was a desolate-enough thoroughfareand not a soul was in sight. The
vacant lot was fenced in with high boarding plastered over with
flaring sheets advertising whiskiessaucesand theatrical ventures.
A huge picture of a dramatically interrupted wedding ceremony done in
reds and yellowsand announcing in large letters that Mr. Isaac
Simonson presented Miss Evangeline St. Clair in "Rent Asunder
occupied several yards of the boarding. As he reached it, the heel of
Tembarom's boot pressed, as it seemed to him, a red-hot coal on the
flesh. He had rubbed off the blister. He was obliged to stop a moment
again.

Gee whizz!" he exclaimed through his teethI shall have to take
my boot off and try to fix it.


To accomplish this he leaned against the boarding and Miss Evangeline
St. Clair being "Rent Asunder" in the midst of the wedding service.
He cautiously removed his bootand finding a hole in his sock in the
place where the blister had rubbed offhe managed to protect the raw
spot by pulling the sock over it. Then he drew on his boot again.

That'll be better,he saidwith a long breath.

As he stood on his feet again he started involuntarily. This was not
because the blister had hurt himbut because he had heard behind him
a startling sound.

What's that?broke from him. "What's that?"

He turned and listenedfeeling his heart give a quick thump. In the
darkness of the utterly empty street the thing was unnatural enough
to make any man jump. He had heard it between two gusts of windand
through another he heard it again - an uncannyawful sobbingbroken
by a hopeless wail of words.

I can't remember! I can't- remember! 0 my God !

And it was not a woman's voice or a child's; it was a man'sand
there was an eerie sort of misery in it which made Tembarom feel
rather sick. He had never heard a man sobbing before. He belonged to
a class which had no time for sobs. This sounded ghastly.

Good Lord!he saidthe fellow's crying! A man!

The sound came directly behind him. There was not a human being in
sight. Even policemen do not loiter in empty streets.

Hello!he cried. "Where are you?"

But the lowhorrible sound went onand no answer came. His physical
sense of the presence of the blister was blotted out by the abnormal
thrill of the moment. One had to find out about a thing like that-
one just had to. One could not go on and leave it behind
uninvestigated in the dark and emptiness of a street no one was
likely to pass through. He listened more intently. Yesit was just
behind him.

He's in the lot behind the fence,he said. "How did he get there?"

He began to walk along the boarding to find a gap. A few yards
farther on he came upon a broken place in the inclosure - a place
where boards had sagged until they fell downor had perhaps been
pulled down by boys who wanted to get inside. He went through itand
found lie was in the usual vacant lot long given up to rubbish. When
he stood still a moment he heard the sobbing againand followed the
sound to the place behind the boarding against which he had supported
himself when he took off his boot.

A man was lying on the ground with his arms flung out. The street
lamp outside the boarding cast light enough to reveal him. Tembarom
felt as though he had suddenly found himself taking part in a
melodrama-" The Streets of New York for choice,-though no
melodrama had ever given him this slightly shaky feeling. But when a
fellow looked up against it as hard as this, what you had to do was
to hold your nerve and make him feel he was going to be helped. The
normal human thing spoke loud in him.

Helloold man!" he said with cheerful awkwardness. "What's hit you?"


The man started and scrambled to his feet as though he were
frightened. He was wetunshavenwhite and shudderingpiteous to
look at. He stared with wild eyeshis chest heaving.

What's up?said Tembarom.

The man's breath caught itself.

I don't remember.There was a touch of horror in his voicethough
he was evidently making an effort to control him-self. "I can't - I
can't remember." "What's your name? You remember that?" Tembarom put
it to him.

N-n-no !agonizingly. "If I could! If I could!"

How did you get in here?

I came in because I saw a policeman. He wouldn't understand. He
would have stopped me. I must not be stopped. I MUST not.

Where were you going? asked Tembaromnot knowing what else to say.

Home! My God! man, home!and he fell to shuddering again. He put
his arm against the boarding and dropped his head against it. The low
hideous sobbing tore him again.

T. Tembarom could not stand it. In his newsboy days he had never been
able to stand starved dogs and homeless cats. Mrs. Bowse was taking
care of a wretched dog for him at the present moment. He had not
wanted the poor brute--he was not particularly fond of dogs-- but
it had followed him homeand after he had given it a bone or soit
had licked its chops and turned up its eyes at him with such abject
appeal that he had not been able to turn it into the streets again.
He was unsentimentalbut ruled by primitive emotions. Also he had a
sudden recollection of a night when as a little fellow he had gone
into a vacant lot and cried as like this as a child could. It was a
bad night when some "tough" big boys had turned him out of a warm
corner in a shedand he had had nowhere to goand being a friendly
little fellowthe unfriendliness had hit him hard. The boys had not
seen him cryingbut he remembered it. He drew nearand put his hand
on the shaking shoulder.
Say, don't do that,he said. "I'll help you to remember."

He scarcely knew why he said it. There was something in the situation
and in the man himself which was compelling. He was not of the tramp
order. His wet clothes had been decentand his brokenterrified
voice was neither coarse nor nasal. He lifted his head and caught
Tembarom's armclutching it with desperate fingers.

Could you?he poured forth the words. "Could you? I'm not quite mad.
Something happened. If I could be quiet! Don't let them stop me! My
God! my God! my God! I can't say it. It's not far awaybut it won't
come back. You're a good fellow; if you're humanhelp me! help me!
help me!" He clung to Tembarom with hands which shook; his eyes were
more abject than the starved dog's; he chokedand awful tears rolled
down his cheeks. "Only help me he cried--just helphelphelp-for
a while. Perhaps not long. It would come back." He made a
horrible effort. "Listen! My name--I am--I am--it's--"

He was down on the ground againgroveling. His efforts had failed.
Tembaromoverwrought himselfcaught at him and dragged him up.


Make a fight,he said. "You can't lie down like that. You've got to
put up a fight. It'll come back. I tell you it will. You've had a
clip on the head or something. Let me call an ambulance and take you
to the hospital."

The next moment he was sorry he had said the wordsthe man's terror
was so ill to behold. He grew livid with itand uttered a low animal
cry.

Don't drop dead over it,said Tembaromrather losing his head. "I
won't do itthough what in thunder I'm going to do with you I don't
know. You can't stay here."

For God's sake!said the man. "For God's sake!" He put his shaking
hand on Tembarom againand looked at him with a bewildered scrutiny.
I'm not afraid of you,he said; "I don't know why. There's
something all right about you. If you'll stand by me--you'd stand by
a manI'd swear. Take me somewhere quiet. Let me get warm and think."

The less you think now the better,answered Tembarom. "You want a
bed and a bath and a night's rest. I guess I've let myself in for it.
You brush off and brace yourself and come with me."

There was the hall bedroom and the red-cotton comfort for one night
at leastand Mrs. Bowse was a soft-hearted woman. If she'd heard the
fellow sobbing behind the fenceshe'd have been in a worse fix than
he was. Women were kinder-hearted than menanyhow. The way the
fellow's voice sounded when he saidHelp me, help me, help me!
sounded as though he was in hell. "Made me feel as if I was bracing
up a chap that was going to be electrocuted he thought, feeling
sickish again. I've not got backbone enough to face that sort of
thing. Got to take him somewhere."

They were walking toward the "L" togetherand he was wondering what
he should say to Mrs. Bowse when he saw his companion fumbling under
his coat at the back as though he was in search of something. His
hands being unsteadyit took him some moments to get at what he
wanted. He evidently had a belt or a hidden pocket. He got something
out and stopped under a street light to show it to Tembarom. His
hands still shook when he held them outand his look was a curious
puzzledquestioning one. What he passed over to Tembarom was a roll
of money. Tembarom rather lost his breath as he saw the number on two
five-hundred-dollar billsand of several hundredsbesides twenties
tensand fives.

Take it--keep it,he said. "It will pay."

Hully gee!cried Tembaromaghast. "Don't go giving away your whole
pile to the first fellow you meet. I don't want it."

Take it.The stranger put his hand on his shoulderthe abject look
in his eyes harrowingly like the starved dog's again.

There's something all right about you. You'll help me.

If I don't take it for you, some one will knock you upon the head
for it.Tembarom hesitatedbut the next instant he stuffed it all
in his pocketincited thereto by the sound of a whizzing roar.

There's the 'L' coming,he cried; "run for all you're worth." And
they fled up the street and up the stepsand caught it without a
second to spare.


CHAPTER V

At about the time Tembarom made his rush to catch the "L" Joseph
Hutchinson was passing through one of his periodical fits of
infuriated discouragement. Little Ann knew they would occur every two
or three daysand she did not wonder at them. Also she knew that if
she merely sat still and listened as she sewedshe would be doing
exactly what her mother would have done and what her father would find
a sort of irritated comfort in. There was no use in citing people's
villainies and calling them names unless you had an audience who would
seem to agree to the justice of your accusations.

So Mr. Hutchinson charged up and down the roomhis face redand his
hands thrust in his coat pockets. He was giving his opinions of
America and Americansand he spoke with his broadest Manchester
accentand threw in now and then a word or so of Lancashire dialect
to add roughness and strengththe angrier a Manchester man beingthe
broader and therefore the more forcible his accent. "Tha" is somehow a
great deal more bitter or humorous or affectionate than the mere
ordinary "You" or "Yours."

'Merica,he bellowed - "dang 'Merica! I says - an' dang 'Mericans.
Goin' about th' world braggin' an' boastin' about their sharpness an'
their open-'andedness. 'Go to 'Merica' folks'll tell you'with an
inventionand there's dozens of millionaires ready to put money in
it.' Fools!"

Now, Father,- Little Ann's voice was as maternal as her mother's
had been- "nowFatherlovedon't work yourself up into a passion.
You know it's not good for you." "I don't need to work myself up into
one. I'm in one. A man sells everything he owns to get to 'Mericaan'
when he gets there what does he find? He canna' get near a
millionaire. He's pushed here an scuffled therean' told this chap
can't see himan' that chap isn't interestedan' he must wait his
chance to catch this one. An' he waits an' waitsan' goes up in
elevators an' stands on one leg in lobbiestill he's broke' down an'
sick of itan' has to go home to England steerage."

Little Ann looked up from her sewing. He had been walking furiously
for half an hourand had been tired to begin with. She had heard his
voice break roughly as he said the last words. He threw himself
astride a chair andcrossing his arms on the back of itdropped his
head on them. Her mother never allowed this. Her idea was that women
were made to tide over such moments for the weaker sex. Far had it
been from the mind of Mrs. Hutchinson to call it weaker. "But there's
timesAnnwhen just for a bit they're just like children. They need
comforting without being let to know they are being comforted. You
know how it is when your back achesand some one just slips a pillow
under it in the right place without saying anything. That's what women
can do if they've got heads. It needs a head."

Little Ann got up and went to the chair. She began to run her fingers
caressingly through the thickgrizzled hair.

There, Father, love, there!she said. "We are going back to England
at any ratearen't we? And grandmother will be so glad to have us
with her in her cottage. And America's only one place."

I tried it first, dang it!jerked out Hutchinson. "Every one told me
to do it." He quoted again with derisive scorn: "'You go to 'Merica.
'Merica's the place for a chap like you. 'Merica's the place for


inventions.' Liars!"

Little Ann went on rubbing the grizzled head lovingly.

Well, now we're going back to try England. You never did really try
England. And you know how beautiful it'll be in the country, with the
primroses in bloom and the young lambs in the fields.The caressing
hand grew even softer. "And you're not going to forget how mother
believed in the invention; you can't do that."

Hutchinson lifted his head and looked at her.

Eh, Ann,he saidyou are a comfortable little body. You've got a
way with you just like your poor mother had. You always say the right
thing to help a chap pull himself together. Your mother did believe in
it, didn't she?

She hadindeedbelieved in itthough her faith was founded more
upon confidence in "Mr. Hutchinson" than in any profound knowledge of
the mechanical appliance his inspiration would supply. She knew it had
something important to do with locomotive enginesand she knew that
if railroad magnates would condescend to consider ither husband was
sure that fortune would flow in. She had lived with the "invention
as it was respectfully called, for years.

That she did answered Little Ann. And before she died she said to
me: 'Little Ann' she said'there's one thing you must never let your
father do. You must never let him begin not to believe in his
invention. Your father's a clever manand it's a clever invention
and it'll make his fortune yet. You must remind him how I believed in
it and how sure I was.'"

Hutchinson rubbed his hands thoughtfully. He had heard this before
but it did him good to hear it again.

She said that, did she?he found vague comfort in saying. "She said
that?"

Yes, she did, Father. It was the very day before she died.

Well, she never said anything she hadn't thought out,he said in
slow retrospection. "And she had a good head of her own. Ehshe was a
wonderful womanshe wasfor sticking to things. That was th'
Lancashire in her. Lancashire folks knows their own minds."

Mother knew hers,said Ann. "And she always said you knew yours.
Come and sit in your own chairFatherand have your paper."

She had tided him past the worst currents without letting him slip
into them.

I like folks that knows their own minds,he said as he sat down and
took his paper from her. "You know yoursAnn; and there's that
Tembarom chap. He knows his. I've been noticing that chap." There was
a certain pleasure in using a tone of amiable patronage. "He's got a
way with him that's worth money to him in businessif he only knew
it."

I don't think he knows he's got a way,Little Ann said. "His way is
just him."

He just gets over people with it, like he got over me. I was ready to
knock his head off first time he spoke to me. I was ready to knock
anybody's head off that day. I'd just had that letter from Hadman. He


made me sick wi' the way he pottered an' played the fool about the
invention. He believed in it right enough, but he hadn't the courage
of a mouse. He wasn't goin' to be the first one to risk his money.
Him, with all he has! He's the very chap to be able to set it goin'.
If I could have got some one else to put up brass, it'd have started
him. It's want o' backbone, that's the matter wi' Hadman an' his lot.

Some of these days some of them 're going to get their eyes open,
said Little Annand then the others will be sorry. Mr. Tembarom says
they'll fall over themselves to get in on the ground floor.

Hutchinson chuckled.

That's New York,he said. "He's a rum chap. But he thinks a good bit
of the invention. I've talked it over with himbecause I've wanted to
talkand the one thing I've noticed about Tembarom is that he can
keep his mouth shut."

But he talks a good deal,said Ann.

That's the best of it. You'd think he was telling all he knows, and
he's not by a fat lot. He tells you what you'll like to hear, and he's
not sly; but he can keep a shut mouth. That's Lancashire. Some folks
can't do it even when they want to.

His father came from England.

That's where the lad's sense comes from. Perhaps he's Lancashire. He
had a lot of good ideas about the way to get at Hadman.

A knock at the door broke in upon them. Mrs. Bowse presented herself
wearing a novel expression on her face. It was at once puzzled and not
altogether disagreeably excited.

I wish you would come down into the dining-room, Little Ann.She
hesitated. " Mr. Tembaron's brought home such a queer man. He picked
him up ill in the street. He wants me to let him stay with him for the
nightanyhow. I don't think he's crazybut I guess he's lost his
memory. Queerest thing I ever saw. He doesn't know his name or
anything."

See here,broke out Hutchinsondropping his hands and his paper on
his kneeI'm not going to have Ann goin' down stairs to quiet
lunatics.

He's as quiet as a child,Mrs. Bowse protested. "There's something
pitiful about himhe seems so frightened. He's drenched to the skin."

Call an ambulance and send him to the hospital,advised Hutchinson.

That's what Mr. Tembarom says he can't do. It frightens him to death
to speak of it. He just clings to Mr. Tembarom sort of awful, as if he
thinks he'll save his life. But that isn't all,she added in an
amazed tone; "he's given Mr. Tembarom more than two thousand dollars."

What!shouted Hutchinsonbounding to his feet quite unconsciously.

What!exclaimed Little Ann.

Just you come and look at it,answered Mrs. Bowsenodding her head.
There's over two thousand dollars in bills spread out on the table in
the dining-room this minute. He had it in a belt pocket, and he
dragged it out in the street and would make Mr. Tembarom take it. Do
come and tell us what to do.


I'd get him to take off his wet clothes and get into bed, and drink
some hot spirits and water first,said Little Ann. "Wouldn't you
Mrs. Bowse?"

Hutchinson got upnewspaper in hand.

I say, I'd like to go down and have a look at that chap myself,he
announced.

If he's so frightened, perhaps--Little Ann hesitated.

That's it,put in Mrs. Bowse. "He's so nervous it'd make him worse
to see another man. You'd better waitMr. Hutchinson."

Hutchinson sat down rather grumpilyand Mrs. Bowse and Little Ann
went down the stairs together.

I feel real nervous myself,said Mrs. Bowseit's so queer. But
he's not crazy. He's quiet enough.

As they neared the bottom of the staircase Little Ann could see over
the balustrade into the dining-room. The strange man was sitting by
the tablehis disorderedblack-haired head on his arm. He looked
like an exhausted thing. Tembarom was sitting by himand was talking
in an encouraging voice. He had laid a hand on one of the stranger's.
On the table beside them was spread a number of bills which had
evidently just been counted.

Here's the ladies,said Tembarom.

The stranger lifted his head andhaving lookedrose and stood
uprightwaiting. It was the involuntarymechanical action of a man
who had been trained among gentlemen.

It's Mrs. Bowse again, and she's brought Miss Hutchinson down with
her. Miss Hutchinson always knows what to do,explained Tembarom in
his friendly voice.

The man bowedand his bewildered eyes fixed themselves on Little Ann.

Thank you,he said. "It's very kind of you. I--I am-- in great
trouble."

Little Ann went to him and smiled her motherly smile at him.

You're very wet,she said. "You'll take a bad cold if you're not
careful. Mrs. Bowse thinks you ought to go right to bed and have
something hot to drink."

It seems a long time since I was in bed,he answered her.

I'm very tired. Thank you.He drew a wearysighing breathbut he
didn't move his eyes from the girl's face. Perhaps the cessation of
action in certain cells of his brain had increased action in others.
He looked as though he were seeing something in Little Ann's face
which might not have revealed itself so clearly to the more normal
gaze.

He moved slightly nearer to her. He was a tall manand had to look
down at her.

What is your name?he asked anxiously. "Names trouble me."


It was Ann who drew a little nearer to him now. She had to look up
and the softabsorbed kindness in her eyes mightTembarom thought
have soothed a raging lionit was so intent on its purpose.

My name is Ann Hutchinson; but never you mind about it now,she
said. "I'll tell it to you again. Let Mr. Tembarom take you up-stairs
to bed. You'll be better in the morning." And because his hollow eyes
rested on her so fixedly she put her hand on his wet sleeve.

You're wet through,she said. "That won't do."

He looked down at her hand and then at her face again.

Help me,he pleadedjust help me. I don't know what's happened.
Have I gone mad?

No,she answered; "not a bit. It'll all come right after a while;
you'll see."

Will it, will it?he beggedand then suddenly his eyes were full of
tears. It was a strange thing to see him in his bewildered misery try
to pull himself togetherand bite his shaking lips as though he
vaguely remembered that he was a man. "I beg pardon he faltered: I
suppose I'm ill."

I don't know where to put him,Mrs. Bowse was saying half aside;
I've not got a room empty.

Put him in my bed and give me a shake-down on the floor,said
Tembarom. "That'll be all right. He doesn't want me to leave him
anyhow."

He turned to the money on the table.

Say,he said to his guestthere's two thousand five hundred
dollars here. We've counted it to make sure. That's quite some money.
And it's yours--

The stranger looked disturbed and made a nervous gesture.

Don't, don't!he broke in. "Keep it. Some one took the rest. This
was hidden. It will pay."

You see he isn't real' out of his mind,Mrs. Bowse murmured
feelingly.

No, not real' out of it,said Tembarom. "Say--as an inspiration
occurred to him, --I guess maybe Miss Hutchinson will keep it. Will
youLittle Ann? You can give it to him when he wants it."

It's a good bit of money,said Little Annsoberly; "but I can put
it in a bank and pay Mrs. Bowse his board every week. YesI'll take
it. Now he must go to bed. It's a comfortable little room she said
to the stranger, and Mrs. Bowse will make you a hot milk-punch.
That'll be nourishing."

Thank you,murmured the manstill keeping his yearning eyes on her.
Thank you.

So he was taken up to the fourth floor and put into Tembarom's bed.
The hot milk-punch seemed to take the chill out of himand whenby
lying on his pillow and gazing at the shakedown on the floor as long
as he could keep his eyes openhe had convinced himself that Tembarom
was going to stay with himhe fell asleep.


Little Ann went back to her father carrying a roll of bills in her
hands. It was a roll of such size that Hutchinson started up in his
chair and stared at the sight of it.

Is that the money?he exclaimed. "What are you going to do with it?
What have you found outlass?"

Yes, this is it,she answered. "Mr. Tembarom asked me to take care
of it. I'm going to put it in the bank. But we haven't found out
anything."

CHAPTER VI

His was the opening incident of the series of extraordinary and
altogether incongruous events which took place afterwardsas it
appeared to T. Tembaromlike scenes in a play in which he had become
involved in a manner which one might be inclined to regard humorously
and make jokes aboutbecause it was a thousand miles away from
anything like real life. That was the way it struck him. The events
referred toit was truewere things one now and then read about in
newspapersbut while the world realized that they were actual
occurrencesone rather regarded themwhen their parallels were
reproduced in books and playsas belonging alone to the world of pure
and highly romantic fiction.

I guess the reason why it seems that way,he summed it up to
Hutchinson and Little Annafter the worst had come to the worstis
because we've not only never known any one it's happened to, but we've
never known any one that's known any one it's happened to. I've got to
own up that it makes me feel as if the fellows'd just yell right out
laughing when they heard it.

The stranger's money had been safely deposited in a bankand the
stranger himself still occupied Tembarom's bedroom. He slept a great
deal and was very quiet. With great difficulty Little Ann had
persuaded him to let a doctor see himand the doctor had been much
interested in his case. He had expected to find some signs of his
having received accidentally or otherwise a blow upon the headbut on
examination he found no scar or wound. The condition he was in was
frequently the result of concussion of the brainsometimes of
prolonged nervous strain or harrowing mental shock. Such cases
occurred not infrequently. Quiet and entire freedom from excitement
would do more for such a condition than anything else. If he was
afraid of strangersby all means keep them from him. Tembarom had
been quite right in letting him think he would help him to remember
and that somehow he would in the end reach the place he had evidently
set out to go to. Nothing must be allowed to excite him. It was well
he had had money on his person and that he had fallen into friendly
hands. A city hospital would not have been likely to help him greatly.
The restraint of its necessary discipline might have alarmed him.

So long as he was persuaded that Tembarom was not going to desert him
he was comparatively calmthough sunk in a piteous and tormented
melancholy. His worst hours were when he sat alone in the hall
bedroomwith his face buried in his hands. He would so sit without
moving or speakingand Little Ann discovered that at these times he
was trying to remember. Sometimes he would suddenly rise and walk
about the little roommutteringwith woe in his eyes. Annwho saw
how hard this was for himfound also that to attempt to check or


distract him was even worse. Whensitting in her father's roomwhich
was on the other side of the wallshe heard his frettedhurried
pacing feether face lost its dimpled cheerfulness. She wondered if
her mother would not have discovered some way of clearing the black
cloud distracting his brain. Nothing would induce him to go down to
the boarders' dining-room for his mealsand the sight of a servant
alarmed him so that it was Ann who took him the scant food he would
eat. As the time of her return to England with her father drew near
she wondered what Mr. Tembarom would do without her services. It was
she who suggested that they must have a name for himand the name of
a part of Manchester had provided one. There was a place called
Strangewaysand one night whenin talking to her fathershe
referred to it in Tembarom's presencehe suddenly seized upon it.

Strangeways,he said. "That'd make a good-enough name for him. Let's
call him Mr. Strangeways. I don't like the way the fellows have of
calling him 'the Freak.'"

So the name had been adoptedand soon became an established fact.

The way I feel about him,Tembarom saidis that the fellow's not a
bit of a joke. What I see is that he's up against about the toughest
proposition I've ever known. Gee! that fellow's not crazy. He's worse.
If he was out-and-out dippy and didn't know it, he'd be all right.
Likely as not he'd be thinking he was the Pope of Rome or Anna Held.
What knocks him out is that he's just right enough to know he's wrong,
and to be trying to get back. He reminds me of one of those chaps the
papers tell about sometimes--fellows that go to work in livery-stables
for ten years and call themselves Bill Jones, and then wake up some
morning and remember they're some high-browed minister of the gospel
named the Rev. James Cadwallader.

When the curtain drew up on Tembarom's amazing dramaStrangeways had
been occupying his bed nearly three weeksand he himself had been
sleeping on a cot Mrs. Bowse had put up for him in his room. The
Hutchinsons were on the point of sailing for England--steerage--on the
steamship Transatlanticand Tembarom was secretly torn into
fragmentsthough he had done well with the page and he was daring to
believe that at the end of the month Galton would tell him he had
made goodand the work would continue indefinitely.

If that happenedhe would be raised to "twenty-five per" and would be
a man of means. If the Hutchinsons had not been going awayhe would
have been floating in clouds of rose color. If he could persuade
Little Ann to take him in hand when she'd had time to "try him out
even Hutchinson could not utterly flout a fellow who was making his
steady twenty-five per on a big paper, and was on such terms with his
boss that he might get other chances. Gee! but he was a fellow that
luck just seemed to chase, anyhow! Look at the other chaps, lots of
'em, who knew twice as much as he did, and had lived in decent homes
and gone to school and done their darned best, too, and then hadn't
been able to get there! It didn't seem fair somehow that he should run
into such pure luck.

The day arrived when Galton was to give his decision. Tembarom was
going to hand in his page, and while he was naturally a trifle
nervous, his nervousness would have been a hopeful and not unpleasant
thing but that the Transatlantic sailed in two days, and in the
Hutchinson's rooms Little Ann was packing her small trunk and her
father's bigger one, which held more models and drawings than
clothing. Hutchinson was redder in the face than usual, and indignant
condemnation of America and American millionaires possessed his soul.
Everybody was rather depressed. One boarder after another had wakened
to a realization that, with the passing of Little Ann, Mrs. Bowse's


establishment, even with the parlor, the cozy-corner, and the secondhand
pianola to support it, would be a deserted-seeming thing. Mrs.
Bowse felt the tone of low spirits about the table, and even had a
horrible secret fear that certain of her best boarders might decide to
go elsewhere, merely to change surroundings from which they missed
something. Her eyes were a little red, and she made great efforts to
keep things going.

I can only keep the place up when I've no empty roomsshe had said
to Mrs. Peck, but I'd have boarded her free if her father would have
let her stay. But he wouldn'tandanywayshe'd no more let him go
off alone than she'd jump off Brooklyn Bridge."

It had been arranged that partly as a farewell banquet and partly to
celebrate Galton's decision about the pagethere was to be an oyster
stew that night in Mr. Hutchinson's roomwhich was distinguished as a
bed-sitting-room. Tembarom had diplomatically suggested it to Mr.
Hutchinson. It was to be Tembarom's oyster supperand somehow he
managed to convey that it was only a proper and modest tribute to Mr.
Hutchinson himself. First-class oyster stew and pale ale were not so
bad when properly suggestedtherefore Mr. Hutchinson consented. Jim
Bowles and Julius Steinberger were to come in to share the feastand
Mrs. Bowse had promised to prepare.

It was not an inspiring day for Little Ann. New York had seemed a
bewildering and far too noisy place for her when she had come to it
directly from her grandmother's cottage in the English villagewhere
she had spent her last three months before leaving England. The dark
rooms of the five-storied boarding-house had seemed gloomy enough to
herand she had found it much more difficult to adjust herself to her
surroundings than she could have been induced to admit to her father.
At first his temper and the open contempt for American habits and
institutions which he called "speaking his mind" had given her a great
deal of careful steering through shoals to do. At the outset the
boarders had resented himand sometimes had snapped back their own
views of England and courts. Violent and disparaging argument had
occasionally been imminentand Mrs. Bowse had worn an ominous look.
Their rooms had in fact been "wanted" before their first week had come
to an endand Little Ann herself scarcely knew how she had tided over
that situation. But tide it over she didand by supernatural effort
and watchfulness she contrived to soothe Mrs. Bowse until she had been
in the house long enough to make friends with people and aid her
father to realize thatif they went elsewherethey might find only
the same class of boardersand there would be the cost of moving to
consider. She had beguiled an armchair from Mrs. Bowseand had recovered
it herself with a remnant of crimson stuff secured from a
miscellaneous heap at a marked-down sale at a department store. She
had arranged his books and papers adroitly and had kept them in their
places so that he never felt himself obliged to search for any one of
them. With many little contrivances she had given his bed-sitting-room
a look of comfort and established homelinessand he had even begun to
like it.

Tha't just like tha mother, Ann,he had said. "She'd make a railway
station look as if it had been lived in."

Then Tembarom had appearedheralded by Mrs. Bowse and the G.
Destroyerand the first time their eyes had met across the table she
had liked him. The liking had increased. There was that in his boyish
cheer and his not-too-well-fed-looking face which called forth
maternal interest. As she gradually learned what his life had been
she felt a thrilled anxiety to hear day by day how he was getting on.
She listened for detailsand felt it necessary to gather herself
together in the face of a slight depression when hopes of Galton were


less high than usual. His mending was mysteriously doneand in time
he knew with amazed gratitude that he was being "looked after." His
first thanks were so awkwardbut so full of appreciation of
unaccustomed luxurythat they almost brought tears to her eyessince
they so clearly illuminated the entire novelty of any attention
whatever.

I just don't know what to say,he saidshuffling from one foot to
anotherthough his nice grin was at its best. "I've never had a woman
do anything for me since I was ten. I guess women do lots of things
for most fellows; butthenthey're mothers and sisters and aunts. I
appreciate it like--like thunder. I feel as if I was RockefellerMiss
Ann."

In a short time she had become "Little Ann" to himas to the rest
and they began to know each other very well. Jim Bowles and Julius
Steinberger had not been able to restrain themselves at first from
making slangyyearning love to herbut Tembarom had been different.
He had kept himself well in hand. Yesshe had liked T. Tembaromand
as she packed the trunks she realized that the Atlantic Ocean was
three thousand miles acrossand when two people who had no money were
separated by itthey were likely to remain so. Rich people could
travelpoor people couldn't. You just stayed where things took you
and you mustn't be silly enough to expect things to happen in your
class of life--things like seeing people again. Your life just went
on. She kept herself very busyand did not allow her thoughts any
latitude. It would vex her father very much if he thought she had
really grown fond of America and was rather sorry to go away. She had
finished her packing before eveningand the trunks were labeled and
set asidesome in the outside hall and some in the corner of the
room. She had sat down with some mending on her lapand Hutchinson
was walking about the room with the restlessness of the traveler whose
approaching journey will not let him settle himself anywhere.

I'll lay a shilling you've got everything packed and ready, and put
just where a chap can lay his hands on it,he said.

Yes, Father. Your tweed cap's in the big pocket of your thick topcoat,
and there's an extra pair of spectacles and your pipe and
tobacco in the small one.

And off we go back to England same as we came!He rubbed his head
and drew a bigworried sigh. "Where's them going?" he askedpointing
to some newly laundered clothing on a side table. "You haven't
forgotten 'emhave you?"

No, Father. It's just some of the young men's washing. I thought I'd
take time to mend them up a bit before I went to bed.

That's like tha mother, too--taking care of everybody. What did these
chaps do before you came?

Sometimes they tried to sew on a button or so themselves, but oftener
they went without. Men make poor work of sewing. It oughtn't to be
expected of them.

Hutchinson stopped and looked her and her mending over with a touch of
curiosity.

Some of them's Tembarom's?he asked.

Little Ann held up a pair of socks.

These are. He does wear them out, poor fellow. It's tramping up and


down the streets to save car-fare does it. He's never got a heel to
his name. But he's going to be able to buy some new ones next week.

Hutchinson began his tramp again.

He'll miss thee, Little Ann; but so'll the other lads, for that
matter.

He'll know to-night whether Mr. Galton's going to let him keep his
work. I do hope he will. I believe he'd begin to get on.

Well,--Hutchinson was just a little grudging even at this
comparatively lenient moment--"I believe the chap'll get on myself.
He's got pluck and he's sharp. I never saw him make a poor mouth yet."

Neither did I,answered Ann.

A door leading into Tembarom's hall bedroom opened on to Hutchinson's.
They both heard some one inside the room knock at it. Hutchinson
turned and listenedjerking his head toward the sound.

There's that poor chap again,he said. "He's wakened and got
restless. What's Tembarom going to do with himI'd like to know? The
money won't last forever."

Shall I let him in, Father? I dare say he's got restless because Mr.
Tembarom's not come in.

Aye, we'll let him in. He won't have thee long. He can't do no harm
so long as I'm here.

Little Ann went to the door and opened it. She spoke quietly.

Do you want to come in here, Mr. Strangeways?

The man came in. He was cleanbut still unshavenand his clothes
looked as though he had been lying down. He looked round the room
anxiously.

Where has he gone?he demanded in an overstrung voice. "Where is
he?" He caught at Ann's sleeve in a sudden access of nervous fear.
What shall I do if he's gone?

Hutchinson moved toward him.

'Ere, 'ere,he saiddon't you go catchin' hold of ladies. What do
you want?

I've forgotten his name now. What shall I do if I can't remember?"
faltered Strangeways.

Little Ann patted his arm comfortingly.

There, there, now! You've not really forgotten it. It's just slipped
your memory. You want Mr. Tembarom--Mr. T. Tembarom.

Oh, thank you, thank you. That's it. Yes, Tembarom. He said T.
Tembarom. He said he wouldn't throw me over.

Little Ann led him to a seat and made him sit down. She answered him
with quiet decision.

Well, if he said he wouldn't, he won't. Will he, Father?


No, he won't.There was rough good nature in Hutchinson's admission.
He paused after it to glance at Ann. "You think a lot of that lad
don't youAnn?"

Yes, I do, Father,she replied undisturbedly. "He's one you can
trusttoo. He's up-town at his work she explained to Strangeways.
He'll be back before long. He's giving us a bit of a supper in here
because we're going away."

Strangeways grew nervous again.

But he won't go with you? T. Tembarom won't go?

No, no; he's not going. He'll stay here,she said soothingly. He had
evidently not observed the packed and labeled trunks when he came in.
He seemed suddenly to see them nowand rose in distress.

Whose are these? You said he wasn't going?

Ann took hold of his arm and led him to the corner.

They are not Mr. Tembarom's trunks,she explained. "They are
father's and mine. Look on the labels. Joseph HutchinsonLiverpool.
Ann HutchinsonLiverpool."

He looked at them closely in a puzzled way. He read a label aloud in a
dragging voice.

Ann Hutchinson, Liverpool. What's--what's Liverpool?

Ohcome encouraged Little Ann, you know that. It's a place in
England. We're going back to England."

He stood and gazed fixedly before him. Then he began to rub his
fingers across his forehead. Ann knew the straining look in his eyes.
He was making that horrible struggle to get back somewhere through the
darkness which shut him in. It was so painful a thing to see that even
Hutchinson turned slightly away.

Don't!said Little Annsoftlyand tried to draw him away.

He caught his breath convulsively once or twiceand his voice dragged
out words againas though he were dragging them from bottomless
depths.

Going--back--to--England--back to England--to England.

He dropped into a chair near byhis arms thrown over its backand
brokeas his face fell upon theminto heavydeadly sobbing--the
kind of sobbing Tembarom had found it impossible to stand up against.
Hutchinson whirled about testily.

Dang it!he broke outI wish Tembarom'd turn up. What are we to
do?He didn't like it himself. It struck him as unseemly.

But Ann went to the chairand put her hands on the shuddering
shoulderbending over the soul-wrung creaturethe wisdom of
centuries in the softexpostulatory voice which seemed to reach the
very darkness he was lost in. It was a wisdom of which she was wholly
unawarebut it had been born with herand was the building of her
being.

'Sh! 'S-h-h!she said. "You mustn't do that. Mr. Tembarom wouldn't
like you to do it. He'll be in directly. 'Sh! 'Shnow!" And simple as


the words weretheir soothing reached him. The wildness of his sobs
grew less.

See here,Hutchinson protestedthis won't do, my man. I won't have
it, Ann. I'm upset myself, what with this going back and everything. I
can't have a chap coming and crying like that there. It upsets me
worse than ever. And you hangin' over him! It won't do.

Strangeways lifted his head from his arms and looked at him.

Aye, I mean what I say,Hutchinson added fretfully.

Strangeways got up from the chair. When he was not bowed or slouching
it was to be seen that he was a tall man with square shoulders.
Despite his unshavenhaggard facehe had a sort of presence.

I'll go back to my room,he said. "I forgot. I ought not to be
here."

Neither Hutchinson nor Little Ann had ever seen any one do the thing
he did next. When Ann went with him to the door of the hall bedroom
he took her handand bowing low before herlifted it gently to his
lips.

Hutchinson stared at him as he turned into the room and closed the
door behind him.

Well, I've read of lords and ladies doin' that in books,he said
but I never thought I should see a chap do it myself.

Little Ann went back to her mendinglooking very thoughtful.

Father,she saidafter a few momentsEngland made him come near
to remembering something.

New York'll come near making me remember a lot of things when I'm out
of it,said Mr. Hutchinsonsitting down heavily in his chair and
rubbing his head. "Ehdang it! dang it!"

Don't you let it, Father,advised Little Ann. "There's never any
good in thinking things over."

You're not as cheerful yourself as you let on,he said. "You've not
got much color to-daymy lass."

She rubbed one cheek a littletrying to laugh.

I shall get it back when we go and stay with grandmother. It's just
staying indoors so much. Mr. Tembarom won't be long now; I'll get up
and set the table. The things are on a tray outside.

As she was going out of the roomJim Bowles and Julius Steinberger
appeared at the door.

May we come in?Jim asked eagerly. "We're invited to the oyster
stewand it's time old T. T. was here. Julius and me are just getting
dippy waiting up-stairs to hear if he's made good with Galton."

Well, now, you sit down and be quiet a bit, or you'll be losing your
appetites,advised Ann.

You can't lose a thing the size of mine,answered Jimany more
than you could lose the Metropolitan Opera-house.


Ann turned her head and paused as though she were listening. She heard
footsteps in the lower hall.

He's coming now,she announced. "I know his step. He's tired. Don't
go yetyou two she added as the pair prepared to rush to meet him.
When any one's that tired he wants to wash his faceand talk when
he's ready. If you'll just go back to your room I'll call you when
I've set the table."

She felt that she wanted a little more quiet during the next few
minutes than she could have if they remained and talked at the top of
elated voices. She had not quite realized how anxiously she had been
waiting all day for the hour when she would hear exactly what had
happened. If he was all rightit would be a nice thing to remember
when she was in England. In this moderate form she expressed herself
mentally. "It would be a nice thing to remember." She spread the cloth
on the table and began to lay out the plates. Involuntarily she found
herself stopping to glance at the hall bedroom door and listen rather
intently.

I hope he's got it. I do that. I'm sure he has. He ought to.

Hutchinson looked over at her. She was that like her motherthat
lass!

You're excited, Ann,he said.

Yes, Father, I am--a bit. He's--he's washing his face now.Sounds of
splashing water could be heard through the intervening door.

Hutchinson watched her with some uneasiness.

You care a lot for that lad,he said.

She did not look fluttered. Her answer was quite candid.

I said I did, Father. He's taking off his boots.

You know every sound he makes, and you're going away Saturday, and
you'll never see him again.

That needn't stop me caring. It never did any one any harm to care
for one of his sort.

But it can't come to anything,Hutchinson began to bluster. "It
won't do--"

He's coming to the door, he's turning the handle,said Little Ann.

Tembarom came in. He was fresh with recent face-washingand his hair
was dampso that a short lock curled and stood up. He had been uptown
making frantic efforts for hoursbut he had been making them in
a spirit of victorious reliefand he did not look tired at all.

I've got it!he cried out the moment he entered. "I've got itby
jingo! The job's mine for keeps."

Galton's give it to you out and out?Hutchinson was slightly excited
himself.

He's in the bulliest humor you ever saw. He says I've done firstrate,
and if I go on, he'll run me up to thirty.

Well, I'm danged glad of it, lad, that I am!Hutchinson gave in


handsomely. "You put backbone into it."

Little Ann stood nearsmiling. Her smile met Tembarom's.

I know you're glad, Little Ann,he said. "I'd never have got there
but for you. It was up to meafter the way you started me."

You know I'm glad without me telling you,she answered. "I'm
RIGHTDOWN glad."

And it was at this moment that Mrs. Bowse came into the room.

It's too bad it's happened just now,she saidmuch flustered.
That's the way with things. The stew'll spoil, but he says it's real
important.

Tembarom caught at both her hands and shook them.

I've got it, Mrs. Bowse. Here's your society reporter! The bestlooking
boarder you've got is going to be able to pay his board
steady.

I'm as glad as can be, and so will everybody be. I knew you'd get it.
But this gentleman's been here twice to-day. He says he really must
see you.

Let him wait,Hutchinson ordered. "What's the chap want? The stew
won't be fit to eat."

No, it won't,answered Mrs. Bowse; "but he seems to think he's not
the kind to be put off. He says it's more Mr. Tembarom's business than
his. He looked real mad when I showed him into the parlorwhere they
were playing the pianola. He asked wasn't there a private room where
you could talk."

A certain flurried interest in the manner of Mrs. Bowsea something
not usually awakened by inopportune callersan actual suggestion of
the possible fact that she was not as indifferent as she was nervous
somewhat awakened Mr. Hutchinson's curiosity.

Look here,he volunteered if he's got any real business, he can't
talk over to the tune of the pianola you can bring him up here,
Tembarom. I'll see he don't stay long if his business isn't worth
talkin' about. He'll see the table set for supper, and that'll hurry
him.

Oh, gee I wish he hadn't come!said Tembarom. "I'll just go down and
see what he wants. No one's got any swell private business with me."

You bring him up if he has,said Hutchinson. "We'd like to hear
about it."

Tembarom ran down the stairs quickly.

No one had ever wanted to see him on business before. There was
something important-sounding about it; perhaps things were starting up
for him in real earnest. It might be a message from Galtonthough he
could not believe that he had at this early stage reached such a
distinction. A ghastly thought shot a bolt at himbut he shook
himself free of it.

He's not a fellow to go back on his word, anyhow,he insisted.

There were more boarders than usual in the parlor. The young woman


from the notion counter had company; and one of her guests was playing
He sut'nly was Good to Meon the pianola with loud and steady tread
of pedal.

The new arrival had evidently not thought it worth his while to commit
himself to permanency by taking a seat. He was standing not far from
the door with a businesslike-looking envelop in one hand and a pincenez
in the otherwith which Tembarom saw he was rather fretfully
tapping the envelop as he looked about him. He was plainly taking in
the characteristics of the roomand was not leniently disposed toward
them. His tailor was clearly an excellent onewith entirely correct
ideas as to the cut and material which exactly befitted an elderly
gentleman of some impressiveness in the positionwhatsoever it
happened to bewhich he held. His face was not of a friendly type
and his eyes held cold irritation discreetly restrained by
businesslike civility. Tembarom vaguely felt the genialities of the
oyster supper assume a rather fourth-rate air.

The caller advanced and spoke first.

Mr. Tembarom?he inquired.

Yes,Tembarom answeredI'm T. Tembarom.

T.,repeated the strangerwith a slightly puzzled expression. "Ah
yes; I see. I beg pardon."

In that moment Tembarom felt that he was looked overtaken insummed
upand without favor. The sharpsteady eyehoweverdid not seem to
have moved from his face. At the same time it had aided him to realize
that he wasto this well-dressed person at leasta too exhilarated
young man wearing a ten-dollar "hand-me-down."

My name is Palford,he said concisely. "That will convey nothing to
you. I am of the firm of Palford & Grimby of Lincoln's Inn. This is my
card."

Tembarom took the card and read that Palford & Grimby were
solicitors,and he was not sure that he knew exactly what
solicitorswere.

Lincoln's Inn?he hesitated. "That's not in New Yorkis it?"

No, Mr. Tembarom; in London. I come from England.

You must have had bad weather crossing,said Tembaromwith amiable
intent. Somehow Mr. Palford presented a more unyielding surface than
he was accustomed to. And yet his hard courtesy was quite perfect.

I have been here some weeks.

I hope you like New York. Won't you have a seat?

The young lady from the notion counter and her friends began to sing
the chorus of "He sut'nly was Good to Me" with quite professional
negro accent.

That's just the way May Irwin done it,one of them laughed.

Mr. Palford glanced at the performers. He did not say whether he liked
New York or not.

I asked your landlady if we could not see each other in a private
room,he said. "It would not be possible to talk quietly here."


We shouldn't have much of a show,answered Tembarominwardly
wishing he knew what was going to happen. "But there are no private
rooms in the house. We can be quieter than thisthoughif we go up
stairs to Mr. Hutchinson's room. He said I could bring you."

That would be much better,replied Mr. Palford.

Tembarom led him out of the roomup the first steep and narrow flight
of stairsalong the narrow hall to the secondup thatdown another
hall to the thirdup the thirdand on to the fourth. As he led the
way he realized again that the worn carpetsthe steep narrownessand
the pieces of paper unfortunately stripped off the wall at intervals
were being rather counted against him. This man had probably never
been in a place like this before in his lifeand he didn't take to
it.

At the Hutchinsons' door he stopped and explained:

We were going to have an oyster stew here because the Hutchinsons are
going away; but Mr. Hutchinson said we could come up.

Very kind of Mr. Hutchinson, I'm sure.

Despite his stiffly collected bearingMr. Palford looked perhaps
slightly nervous when he was handed into the bed-sitting-roomand
found himself confronting Hutchinson and Little Ann and the table set
for the oyster stew. It is true that he had never been in such a place
in his lifethat for many reasons he was appalledand that he was
beset by a fear that he might be grotesquely compelled by existing
circumstances to accept these people's invitationif they insisted
upon his sitting down with them and sharing their oyster stew. One
could not calculate on what would happen among these unknown
quantities. It might be their idea of boarding-house politeness. And
how could one offend them? God forbid that the situation should
intensify itself in such an absurdly trying manner! What a bounder the
unfortunate young man was! His own experience had not been such as to
assist him to any realistic enlightenment regarding himeven when he
had seen the society page and had learned that he had charge of it.

Let me make you acquainted with Mr. and Miss Hutchinson,Tembarom
introduced. "This is Mr. PalfordMr. Hutchinson."

Hutchinsonhalf hidden behind his newspaperjerked his head and
grunted:

Glad to see you, sir.

Mr. Palford bowedand took the chair Tembarom presented.

I am much obliged to you, Mr. Hutchinson, for allowing me to come to
your room. I have business to discuss with Mr. Tembarom, and the
pianola was being played down-stairs--rather loudly.

They do it every night, dang 'em! Right under my bed,growled
Hutchinson. "You're an Englishmanaren't you?"

Yes.

So am I, thank God! Hutchinson devoutly gave forth.

Little Ann rose from her chairsewing in hand.

Father'll come and sit with me in my room,she said.


Hutchinson looked grumpy. He did not intend to leave the field clear
and the stew to its fate if he could help it. He gave Ann a protesting
frown.

I dare say Mr. Palford doesn't mind us,he said. "We're not
strangers."

Not in the least,Palford protested. "Certainly not. If you are old
friendsyou may be able to assist us."

Well, I don't know about that,Hutchinson answeredWe've not known
him long, but we know him pretty well. You come from London, don't
you?

Yes. From Lincoln's Inn Fields.

Law?grunted Hutchinson.

Yes. Of the firm of Palford & Grimby.

Hutchinson moved in his chair involuntarily. There was stimulation to
curiosity in this. This chap was a regular top sawyer--clothesway of
pronouncing his wordsmannerseverything. No mistaking him--old
family solicitor sort of chap. What on earth could he have to say to
Tembarom? Tembarom himself had sat down and could not be said to look
at his ease.

I do not intrude without the excuse of serious business,Palford
explained to him. "A great deal of careful research and inquiry has
finally led me here. I am compelled to believe I have followed the
right cluebut I must ask you a few questions. Your name is not
really Tembaromis it?"

Hutchinson looked at Tembarom sharply.

Not Tembarom? What does he mean, lad?

Tembarom's grin was at once boyish and ashamed.

Well, it is in one way,he answeredand it isn't in another. The
fellows at school got into the way of calling me that way,--to save
time, I guess,--and I got to like it. They'd have guyed my real name.
Most of them never knew it. I can't see why any one ever called a
child by such a fool name, anyhow.

What was it exactly?

Tembarom looked almost sheepish.

It sounds like a thing in a novel. It was Temple Temple Barholm. Two
Temples, by gee! As if one wasn't enough!

Joseph Hutchinson dropped his paper and almost started from his chair.
His red face suddenly became so much redder that he looked a trifle
apoplectic.

Temple Barholm does tha say?he cried out.

Mr. Palford raised his hand and checked himbut with a suggestion of
stiff apology.

If you will kindly allow me. Did you ever hear your father refer to a
place called Temple Barholm?he inquired.


Tembarom reflected as though sending his thoughts backward into a
pretty thoroughly forgotten and ignored past. There had been no reason
connected with filial affection which should have caused him to recall
memories of his father. They had not liked each other. He had known
that he had been resented and looked down upon as a characteristically
American product. His father had more than once said he was a "common
American lad and he had known he was.

Seems to me he said at last, that once when he was pretty mad at
his luck I heard him grumbling about English lawsand he said some of
his distant relations were swell people who would never think of
speaking to him--perhaps didn't know he was alive--and they lived in
a big way in a place that was named after the family. He never saw it
or themand he said that was the way in England--one fellow got
everything and the rest were paupers like himself. He'd always been
poor."

Yes, the relation was a distant one. Until this investigation began
the family knew nothing of him. The inquiry has been a tiresome one. I
trust I am reaching the end of it. We have given nearly two years to
following this clue.

What for?burst forth Tembaromsitting upright.

Because it was necessary to find either George Temple Barholm or his
son, if he had one.

I'm his son, all right, but he died when I was eight years old,
Tembarom volunteered. "I don't remember much about him."

You remember that he was not an American?

He was English. Hated it; but he wasn't fond of America.

Have you any papers belonging to him?

Tembarom hesitated again.

There's a few old letters--oh, and one of those glass photographs in
a case. I believe it's my grandfather and grandmother, taken when they
were married. Him on a chair, you know, and her standing with her hand
on his shoulder.

Can you show them to me?Palford suggested.

Sure,Tembarom answeredgetting up from his seat "They're in my
room. I turned them up yesterday among some other things."

When he left themMr. Palford sat gently rubbing his chin. Hutchinson
wanted to burst forth with questionsbut he looked so remote and
acidly dignified that there was a suggestion of boldness in the idea
of intruding on his reflections. Hutchinson stared at him and breathed
hard and short in his suspense. The stiff old chap was thinking things
over and putting things together in his lawyer's way. He was entirely
oblivious to his surroundings. Little Ann went on with her mending
but she wore her absorbed lookand it was not a result of her work.

Tembarom came back with some papers in his hand. They were yellowed
old lettersand on the top of the package there was a worn
daguerreotype-case with broken clasp.

Here they are,he saidgiving them to Palford. "I guess they'd just
been married opening the case. Get on to her embroidered collar and


big breast-pin with his picture in it. That's English enoughisn't
it? He'd given it to her for a wedding-present. There's something in
one of the letters about it."

It was the letters to which Mr. Palford gave the most attention. He
read them and examined post-marks and dates. When he had finishedhe
rose from his chair with a slightly portentous touch of professional
ceremony.

Yes, those are sufficiently convincing. You are a very fortunate
young man. Allow me to congratulate you.

He did not look particularly pleasedthough he extended his hand and
shook Tembarom's politely. He was rigorously endeavoring to conceal
that he found himself called upon to make the best of an extremely bad
job. Hutchinson started forwardresting his hands on his knees and
glaring with ill-suppressed excitement.

What's that for?Tembarom said. He felt rather like a fool. He
laughed half nervously. It seemed to be up to him to understandand
he didn't understand in the least.

You have, through your father's distant relationship, inherited a
very magnificent property--the estate of Temple Barholm in
Lancashire,Palford began to explainbut Mr. Hutchinson sprang from
his chair outrightcrushing his paper in his hand.

Temple Barholm!he almost shoutedI dunnot believe thee! Why, it's
one of th' oldest places in England and one of th' biggest. Th' Temple
Barholms as didn't come over with th' Conqueror was there before him.
Some of them was Saxon kings! And him--pointing a stumpyred finger
disparagingly at Tembaromaghast and incredulous--"that New York lad
that's sold newspapers in the streets--you say he's come into it?"

Precisely.Mr. Palford spoke with some crispness of diction. Noise
and bluster annoyed him. "That is my business here. Mr. Tembarom is
in factMr. Temple Temple Barholm of Temple Barholmwhich you seem
to have heard of."

Heard of it! My mother was born in the village an' lives there yet.
Art tha struck dumb, lad!he said almost fiercely to Tembarom. "By
Judd! Tha well may be!"

Tembarom was standing holding the back of a chair. He was paleand
had once opened his mouthand then gulped and shut it. Little Ann had
dropped her sewing. His first look had leaped to herand she had
looked back straight into his eyes.

I'm struck something,he saidhis half-laugh slightly unsteady.
Who'd blame me?

You'd better sit down,said Little Ann. "Sudden things are
upsetting."

He did sit down. He felt rather shaky. He touched himself on his chest
and laughed again.

Me!he said. "T. T.! Hully gee! It's like a turn at a vaudeville."

The sentiment prevailing in Hutchinson's mind seemed to verge on
indignation.

Thee th' master of Temple Barholm! he ejaculated. "Whyit stood
for seventy thousand pound' a year!"


It did and it does,said Mr. Palfordcurtly. He had less and less
taste for the situation. There was neither dignity nor proper
sentiment in it. The young man was utterly incapable of comprehending
the meaning and proportions of the extraordinary event which had
befallen him. It appeared to present to him the aspect of a somewhat
slangy New York joke.

You do not seem much impressed, Mr. Temple Barholm,he said.

Oh, I'm impressed, all right,answered Tembarombut, say, this
thing can't be true! You couldn't make it true if you sat up all night
to do it.

When I go into the business details of the matter tomorrow morning
you will realize the truth of it,said Mr. Palford. "Seventy thousand
pounds a year--and Temple Barholm--are not unsubstantial facts."

Three hundred and fifty thousand dollars, my lad--that's what it
stands for!put in Mr. Hutchinson.

Well,said TembaromI guess I can worry along on that if I try
hard enough. I mayn't be able to keep myself in the way I've been used
to, but I've got to make it do.

Mr. Palford stiffened. He did not know that the garishflippantsounding
joking was the kind of defense the streets of New York had
provided Mr. Temple Barholm with in many an hour when he had been a
half-clad newsboy with an empty stomachand a bundle of unsold
newspapers under his arm.

You are jocular,he said. "I find the New Yorkers are given to being
jocular--continuously."

Tembarom looked at him rather searchingly. Palford wouldn't have found
it possible to believe that the young man knew all about his distaste
and its near approach to disgustthat he knew quite well what he
thought of his ten-dollar suithis ex-newsboy's dictionand his
entire incongruousness as a factor in any circumstances connected with
dignity and splendor. He would certainly not have credited the fact
that though he had not the remotest idea what sort of a place Temple
Barholm wasand what sort of men its long line of possessors had
beenhe had gained a curious knowledge of their significance through
the mental attitude of their legal representative when he for a moment
failed to conceal his sense of actual revolt.

It seems sort of like a joke till you get on to it,he said. "But I
guess it ain't such a merry jest as it seems."

And then Mr. Palford did begin to observe that he had lost his color
entirely; also that he had a rather decentsharp-cut faceand
extremely white and good young teethwhich he showed not
unattractively when he smiled. And he smiled frequentlybut he was
not smiling now.

CHAPTER VII

In the course of the interview given to the explaining of business and
legal detail which took place between Mr. Palford and his client the
following morningTembarom's knowledge of his situation extended


itself largelyand at the same time added in a proportionate degree
to his sense of his own incongruity as connected with it. He sat at a
table in Palford's private sitting-room at the respectableoldfashioned
hotel the solicitor had chosen - sat and listenedand
answered questions and asked themuntil his head began to feel as
though it were crammed to bursting with extraordinary detail.

It was all extraordinary to him. He had had no time for reading and no
books to readand therefore knew little of fiction. He was entirely
ignorant of all romance but such as the New York papers provided. This
was highly coloredbut it did not deal with events connected with the
possessors of vast English estates and the details of their habits and
customs. His geographical knowledge of Great Britain was simple and
largely incorrect. Information concerning its usual conditions and
aspects had come to him through talk of international marriages and
cup racesand had made but little impression upon him. He liked New
York - its noiseits streetsits glareits Sunday newspaperswith
their ever-increasing number of sheetsand pictures of everything on
earth which could be photographed. His choicewhen he could allow
himself a fifty-cent seat at the theaternaturally ran to productions
which were farcical or cheerfully musical. He had never reached
serious dramaperhaps because he had never had money enough to pay
for entrance to anything like half of the "shows" the other fellows
recommended. He was totally unprepared for the facing of any kind of
drama as connected with himself. The worst of it was that it struck
him as being of the nature of farce when regarded from the normal New
York point of view. If he had somehow had the luck to come into the
possession of money in ways which were familiar to him- to "strike
it rich" in the way of a "big job" or "deal - he would have been
better able to adjust himself to circumstances. He might not have
known how to spend his money, but he would have spent it in New York
on New York joys. There would have been no foreign remoteness about
the thing, howsoever fantastically unexpected such fortune might have
been. At any rate, in New York he would have known the names of places
and things.

Through a large part of his interview with Palford his elbow rested on
the table, and he held his chin with his hand and rubbed it
thoughtfully. The last Temple Temple Barholm had been an eccentric and
uncompanionable person. He had lived alone and had not married. He had
cherished a prejudice against the man who would have succeeded him as
next of kin if he had not died young. People had been of the opinion
that he had disliked him merely because he did not wish to be reminded
that some one else must some day inevitably stand in his shoes, and
own the possessions of which he himself was arrogantly fond. There
were always more female Temple Barholms than male ones, and the
families were small. The relative who had emigrated to Brooklyn had
been a comparatively unknown person. His only intercourse with the
head of the house had been confined to a begging letter, written from
America when his circumstances were at their worst. It was an illmannered
and ill-expressed letter, which had been considered
presuming, and had been answered chillingly with a mere five-pound
note, clearly explained as a final charity. This begging letter, which
bitterly contrasted the writer's poverty with his indifferent
relative's luxuries, had, by a curious trick of chance which preserved
it, quite extraordinarily turned up during an examination of
apparently unimportant, forgotten papers, and had furnished a clue in
the search for next of kin. The writer had greatly annoyed old Mr.
Temple Barholm by telling him that he had called his son by his name -
not that there was ever likely to be anything in it for him." But a
waif of the New York streets who was known as "Tem" or "Tembarom" was
not a link easily attached to any chainand the search had been long
and rather hopeless. It hadhoweverat last reached Mrs. Bowse's
boarding-house and before Mr. Palford sat Mr. Temple Temple Barholma


cheap young man in cheap clothesand speaking New York slang with a
nasal accent. Mr. Palfordfeeling him appalling and absolutely
without the palewas still aware that he stood in the position of an
important client of the firm of Palford & Grimby. There was a section
of the offices at Lincoln's Inn devoted to documents representing a
lifetime of attention to the affairs of the Temple Barholm estates. It
was greatly to be hoped that the crass ignorance and commonness of
this young outsider would not cause impossible complications.

He knows nothing! He knows nothing!Palford found himself forced to
exclaim mentally not oncebut a hundred timesin the course of their
talk.

There was - this revealed itself as the interview proceeded - just one
slight palliation of his impossible benightedness: he was not the kind
of young man whoknowing nothinghuffily protects himself by
pretending to know everything. He was of an unreserve concerning his
ignorance which his solicitor felt sometimes almost struck one in the
face. Now and then it quite made one jump. He was singularly free from
any vestige of personal vanity. He was also singularly unready to take
offense. To the head of the firm of Palford & Grimbywho was not
accustomed to lightness of mannerand inclined to the view that a
person who made a joke took rather a liberty with himhis tendency to
be joculareven about himself and the estate of Temple Barholmwas
irritating and somewhat disrespectful. Mr. Palford did not easily
comprehend jokes of any sort; especially was he annoyed by cryptic
phraseology and mammoth exaggeration. For instancebe could not in
the least compass Mr. Temple Barholm's meaning when he casually
remarked that something or other was "all to the merry"; or again
quite as though he believed that he was using reasonable English
figures of speechThe old fellow thought he was the only pebble on
the beach.In using the latter expression he had been referring to
the late Mr. Temple Barholm; but what on earth was his connection with
the sea-shore and pebbles? When confronted with these baffling
absurditiesMr. Palford either saidI beg pardon,or stiffened and
remained silent.

When Tembarom learned that he was the head of one of the oldest
families in Englandno aspect of the desirable dignity of his
position reached him in the least.

Well,he remarkedthere's quite a lot of us can go back to Adam
and Eve.

When he was told that he was lord of the manor of Temple Barholmhe
did not know what a manor was.

What's a manor, and what happens if you're lord of it?he asked.

He had not heard of William the Conquerorand did not appear moved to
admiration of himthough he owned that he seemed to have "put it
over."

Why didn't he make a republic of it while he was about it?he said.
But I guess that wasn't his kind. He didn't do all that fighting for
his health.

His interest was not alone totally dissevered from the events of past
centuries; it was as dissevered from those of mere past years. The
habitscustomsand points of view of five years before seemed to
have been cast into a vast waste-paper basket as wholly unpractical in
connection with present experiences.

A man that's going to keep up with the procession can't waste time


thinking about yesterday. What he's got to do is to keep his eye on
what's going to happen the week after next,he summed it up.

Rather to Mr. Palford's surprisehe did not speak lightlybut with a
sort of inner seriousness. It suggested that he had not arrived at
this conclusion without the aid of sharp experience. Now and then one
saw a touch of this profound practical perception in him.

It was not to be denied that he was clear-headed enough where purely
practical business detail was concerned. He was at first plainly
rather stunned by the proportions presented to himbut his questions
were direct and of a common-sense order not to be despised.

I don't know anything about it yet,he said once. "It's all Dutch to
me. I can't calculate in half-crowns and pounds and half poundsbut
I'm going to find out. I've got to."

It was extraordinary and annoying to feel that one must explain
everything; but this impossible fellow was not an actual fool on all
pointsand he did not seem to be a weakling. He might learn certain
things in timeand at all events one was no further personally
responsible for him and his impossibilities than the business concerns
of his estate would oblige any legal firm to be. Clientswhether
highly desirable or otherwisewere no more than clients. They were
not relatives whom one must introduce to one's friends. Thus Mr.
Palfordwho was not a specially humane or sympathetic person
mentally decided. He saw no pathos in this raw young manwho would
presently find himself floundering unaided in waters utterly unknown
to him. There was even a touch of bitter amusement in the solicitor's
mind as he glanced toward the future.

He explained with detail the necessity for their immediate departure
for the other side of the Atlantic. Certain legal formalities which
must at once be attended to demanded their presence in England.
Foreseeing thison the day when he had finally felt himself secure as
to the identity of his client he had taken the liberty of engaging
optionally certain state-rooms on the Adrianasailing the following
Wednesday.

Subject of course to your approval,he added politely. "But it is
imperative that we should be on the spot as early as possible." He did
not mention that he himself was abominably tired of his sojourn on
alien shoresand wanted to be back in London in his own chambers
with his own club within easy reach.

Tembarom's face changed its expression. He had been looking rather
weighted down and fatiguedand he lighted up to eagerness.

Say,he exclaimedwhy couldn't we go on the Transatlantic on
Saturday?

It is one of the small, cheap boats,objected Palford.

The accommodation would be most inferior.

Tembarom leaned forward and touched his sleeve in hastyboyish
appeal.

I want to go on it,he said; "I want to go steerage."

Palford stared at him.

You want to go on the Transatlantic! Steerage!he ejaculatedquite
aghast. This was a novel order of madness to reveal itself in the


recent inheritor of a great fortune.

Tembarom's appeal grew franker; it took on the note of a too crude
young fellow's misplaced confidence.

You do this for me,he said. "I'd give a farm to go on that boat.
The Hutchinsons are sailing on it - Mr. and Miss Hutchinsonthe ones
you saw at the house last night."

I - it is really impossible.Mr. Palford hesitated. "As to steerage
my dear Mr. Temple Barholmyou - you can't."

Tembarom got up and stood with his hands thrust deep in his pockets.
It seemed to be a sort of expression of his sudden hopeful excitement.

Why not he said. "If I own about half of England and have money to
burnI guess I can buy a steerage passage on a nine-day steamer."

You can buy anything you like,Palford answered stiffly. "It is not
a matter of buying. But I should not be conducting myself properly
toward you if I allowed it. It would not be - becoming."

Becoming!cried TembaromThunder! It's not a spring bat. I tell
you I want to go just that way.

Palford saw abnormal breakers ahead. He felt that he would be glad
when be had landed his charge safely at Temple Barholm. Once there
his family solicitor was not called upon to live with him and hobnob
with his extraordinary intimates.

As to buying,he saidstill with marked lack of enthusiasm
instead of taking a steerage passage on the Transatlantic yourself,
you might no doubt secure first-class state-rooms for Mr. and Miss
Hutchinson on the Adriana, though I seriously advise against it.

Tembarom shook his head.

You don't know them,he said. "They wouldn't let me. Hutchinson's a
queer old fellow and he's had the hardest kind of luckbut he's as
proud as they make 'em. Me butt in and offer to pay their passage
backas if they were paupersjust because I've suddenly struck it
rich! Hully gee! I guess not. A fellow that's been boosted up in the
air all in a minuteas I havehas got to lie pretty low to keep
folks from wanting to kick himanyhow. Hutchinson's a darned sight
smarter fellow than I amand he knows it--and he's Lancashireyou
bet." He stopped a minute and flushed. "As to Little Ann he said-
me make that sort of a break with HER! WellI should be a fool."

Palford was a cold-blooded and unimaginative personbut a long legal
experience had built up within him a certain shrewdness of perception.
He had naturally glanced once or twice at the girl sitting still at
her mendingand he had observed that she said very little and had a
singularly quietfirm little voice.

I beg pardon. You are probably right. I had very little conversation
with either of them. Miss Hutchinson struck me as having an
intelligent face.

She's a wonder,said Tembaromdevoutly. "She's just a wonder."

Under the circumstances,suggested Mr. Palfordit might not be a
bad idea to explain to her your idea of the steerage passage. An
intelligent girl can often give excellent advice. You will probably
have an opportunity of speaking to her tonight. Did you say they were


sailing to-morrow?

To-morrow! That brought it so near that it gave Tembarom a shock. He
had known that they sailed on Saturdayand now Saturday had become
to-morrow. Things began to surge through his mind--all sorts of things
he had no time to think of clearlythough it was true they had darted
vaguely about in the delirious excitement of the nightduring which
he had scarcely slept at all. His face changed againand the appeal
died out of it. He began to look anxious and restless.

Yes, they're going to-morrow,he answered.

You see,argued Mr. Palfordwith convictionhow impossible it
would be for us to make any arrangements in so few hours. You will
excuse my saying,he added punctiliouslythat I could not make the
voyage in the steerage.

Tembarom laughed. He thought he saw him doing it.

That's so,he said. Thenwith renewed hopehe addedSay, I 'm
going to try and get them to wait till Wednesday.

I do not think--Mr. Palford beganand then felt it wiser to leave
things as they were. "But I'm not qualified to give an opinion. I do
not know Miss Hutchinson at all."

But the statement was by no means frank. He had a private conviction
that he did know her to a certain degree. And he did.

CHAPTER VIII

There was a slight awkwardness even to Tembarom in entering the
dining-room that evening. He had not seen his fellow boardersas his
restless night had made him sleep later than usual. But Mrs. Bowse had
told him of the excitement he had caused.

They just couldn't eat,she said. "They could do nothing but talk
and talk and ask questions; and I had wafflestooand they got
stone-cold."

The babel of friendly outcry which broke out on his entry was made up
of jokesejaculationsquestionsand congratulatory outbursts from
all sides.

Good old T. T.!Give him a Harvard yell! Rah! Rah! Rah!Lend me
fifty-five cents?Where's your tiara?Darned glad of it!Make us
a speech!

Say, people,said Tembaromdon't you get me rattled or I can't
tell you anything. I'm rattled enough already.

Well, is it true?called out Mr. Striper.

No,Tembarom answered backsitting down. "It couldn't be; that's
what I told Palford. I shall wake up in a minute or two and find
myself in a hospital with a peacherino of a trained nurse smoothing
'me piller.' You can't fool ME with a pipe-dream like this. Palford's
easier; he's not a New Yorker. He says it IS trueand I can't get out
of it."


Whew! Great Jakes!A long breath was exhaled all round the table.

What are you, anyhow?cried Jim Bowles across the dishes.

Tembarom rested his elbow on the edge of the table and began to check
off his points on his fingers.

I'm this, he said: I'm Temple Temple BarholmEsquireof Temple
BarholmLancashireEngland. At the time of the flood my folks
knocked up a house just about where the ark landedand I guess
they've held on to it ever since. I don't know what business they went
intobut they made money. Palford swears I've got three hundred and
fifty thousand dollars a year. I wasn't going to call the man a liar;
but I just missed itby jings!"

He was trying to "bluff it out." Somehow he felt he had to. He felt it
more than ever when a momentary silence fell upon those who sat about
the table. It fell when he said "three hundred and fifty thousand
dollars a year." No one could find voice to make any remark for a few
seconds after that.

Are you a lord--or a duke?some one asked after breath had recovered
itself.

No, I'm not,he replied with relief. "I just got out from under
that; but the Lord knows how I did it."

What are you going to do first? said Jim Bowles.

I've got to go and 'take possession.' That's what Palford calls it.
I've been a lost heir for nearly two years, and I've got to show
myself.

Hutchinson had not joined the clamor of greetingbut had grunted
disapproval more than once. He felt thatas an Englishmanhe had a
certain dignity to maintain. He knew something about big estates and
their owners. He was not like these common New York chapswho
regarded them as Arabian Nights tales to make jokes about. He had
grown up as a village boy in proper awe of Temple Barholm. They were
ignorant foolsthis lot. He had no patience with them. He had left
the village and gone to work in Manchester when he was a boy of
twelvebut as long as he had remained in his mother's cottage it had
been only decent good manners for him to touch his forehead
respectfully when a Temple Barholmor a Temple Barholm guest or
carriage or pony phaetonpassed him by. And this chap was Mr. Temple
Temple Barholm himself! Lord save us!

Little Ann said nothing at all; butthenshe seldom said anything
during meal-times. When the rest of the boarders laughedshe ate her
dinner and smiled. Several timesdespite her cautionTembarom caught
her eyeand somehow held it a second with his. She smiled at him when
this happened; but there was something restless and eager in his look
which made her wish to evade it. She knew what he feltand she knew
why he kept up his jokes and never once spoke seriously. She knew he
was not comfortableand did not enjoy talking about hundreds of
thousands a year to people who worked hard for ten or twenty "per."
To-morrow morning was very nearshe kept thinking. To-morrow night
she would be lying in her berth in the steerageor more probably
taking care of her fatherwho would be very uncomfortable.

What will Galton do? Mr. Striper asked.

I don't know,Tembarom answeredand he looked troubled. Three
hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year might not be able to give


aid to a wounded society page.

What are you going to do with your Freak? called out Julius
Steinberger.

Tembarom actually started. As things had surged over himhe had had
too much to think over. He had not had time to give to his strange
responsibility; it had become one nevertheless.

Are you going to leave him behind when you go to England?

He leaned forward and put his chin on his hand.

Why, say,he saidas though he were thinking it outhe's spoken
about England two or three times. He's said he must go there. By
jings! I'll take him with me, and see what'll happen.

When Little Ann got up to leave the room he followed her and her
father into the hall.

May I come up and talk it over with you?he appealed. "I've got to
talk to some one who knows something about it. I shall go dotty if I
don't. It's too much like a dream."

Come on up when you're ready,answered Hutchinson. "Ann and me can
give you a tip or two."

I'm going to be putting the last things in the trunks,said Ann
but I dare say you won't mind that. The express'll be here by eight
in the morning.

0 Lord!groaned Tembarom.

When he went up to the fourth floor a little laterHutchinson had
fallen into a doze in his chair over his newspaperand Ann was
kneeling by a trunk in the hallfolding small articles tightlyand
fitting them into corners. To Tembarom she looked even more than usual
like a slight child thing one could snatch up in one's arms and carry
about or set on one's knee without feeling her weight at all. An
inferior gas-jet on the wall just above her was doing its best with
the lot of softred hairwhich would have been an untidy bundle if
it had not been hers.

Tembarom sat down on the trunk next to her.

0 Little Ann!he broke out under his breathlest the sound of his
voice might check Hutchinson's steady snoring. "0 Little Ann!"

Ann leaned backsitting upon her small heelsand looked up at him.

You're all upset, and it's not to be wondered at, Mr. Temple
Barholm,she said.

Upset! You're going away to-morrow morning! And, for the Lord's sake,
don't call me that!he protested.

You're going away yourself next Wednesday. And you ARE Mr. Temple
Barholm. You'll never be called anything else in England.

How am I going to stand it?" he protested again. "How could a fellow
like me stand it! To be yanked out of good old New Yorkand set down
in a place like a museumwith Central Park round itand called Mr.
Temple Temple Barholm instead of just 'Tem' or 'T. T.'! It's not
natural."


What you must do, Mr. Temple Barholm, is to keep your head clear,
that's all,she replied maturely.

Lord! if I'd got a head like yours!

She seemed to take him inwith a benign appreciativenessin his
entirety.

Well, you haven't,she admittedthough quite without disparagement
merely with slight reservation. "But you've got one like your own. And
it's a good head--when you try to think steady. Yours is a man's head
and mine's only a woman's."

It's Little Ann Hutchinson's, by gee!said Tembaromwith feeling.

Listen here, Mr. Tem--Temple Barholm,she went onas nearly
disturbed as he had ever seen her outwardly. "It's a wonderful thing
that's happened to you. It's like a novel. That splendid placethat
splendid name! It seems so queer to think I should ever have talked to
a Mr. Temple Barholm as I've talked to you."

He leaned forward a little as though something drew him.

But--there was unsteady appeal in his voice--"you have liked me
haven't youLittle Ann?"

Her own voice seemed to drop into an extra quietness that made it
remote. She looked down at her hands on her lap.

Yes, I have liked you. I have told Father I liked you,she answered.

He got upand made an impetuous rush at his goal.

Then--say, I'm going in there to wake up Mr. Hutchinson and ask him
not to sail to-morrow morning.

You'd better not wake him up,she answeredsmiling; but he saw that
her face changed and flushed. "It's not a good time to ask Father
anything when he's just been waked up. And we HAVE to go. The express
is coming at eight."

Send it away again; tell 'em you're not going. Tell 'em any old
thing. Little Ann, what's the matter with you? Something's the matter.
Have I made a break?

He had felt the remoteness in her even before he had heard it in her
dropped voice. It had been vaguely there even when he sat down on the
trunk. Actually there was a touch of reserve about heras though she
was keeping her little place with the self-respecting propriety of a
girl speaking to a man not of her own world.

I dare say I've done some fool thing without knowing it. I don't know
where I'm at, anyhow,he said woefully.

Don't look at me like that, Mr. Temple Barholm,she said--"as if I
was unkind. I--I'm NOT."

But you're different,he implored. "I saw it the minute I came up. I
ran up-stairs just crazy to talk to you--yescrazy to talk to you-and
you--wellyou were different. Why are youif you're not mad?"

Then she rose and stood holding one of her neatly rolled packages in
her hand. Her eyes were soft and clearand appealed maternally to his


reason.

Because everything's different. You just think a bit,she answered.

He stared at her a few secondsand then understanding of her dawned
upon him. He made a human young dash at herand caught her arm.

What!he cried out. "You mean this Temple Barholm song and dance
makes things different? Not on your life! You're not the girl to work
that on meas if it was my fault. You've got to hear me speak my
piece. Ann--you've just got to!"

He had begun to tremble a littleand she herself was not steady; but
she put a hand on his arm.

Don't say anything you've not had time to think about,she said.

I've been thinking of pretty near nothing else ever since I came
here. Just as soon as I looked at you across the table that first day
I saw my finish, and every day made me surer. I'd never had any
comfort or taking care of,--I didn't know the first thing about it,-and
it seemed as if all there was of it in the world was just in YOU.

Did you think that?she asked falteringly.

Did I? That's how you looked to me, and it's how you look now. The
way you go about taking care of everybody and just handing out solid
little chunks of good sense to every darned fool that needs them, why-
There was a break in his voice--"whyit just knocked me out the
first round." He held her a little away from himso that he could
yearn over herthough he did not know he was yearning. "SeeI'd
sworn I'd never ask a girl to marry me until I could keep her. Well
you know how it wasAnn. I couldn't have kept a goatand I wasn't
such a fool that I didn't know it. I've been pretty sick when I
thought how it was; but I never worried youdid I?"

No, you didn't.

I just got busy. I worked like--well, I got busier than I ever was in
my life. When I got the page SURE, I let myself go a bit, sort of
hoping. And then this Temple Barholm thing hits me.

That's the thing you've got to think of now,said Little Ann. "I'm
going to talk sensible to you."

Don't, Ann! Good Lord! DON'T!

I MUST.She put her last tight roll into the trunk and tried to shut
the lid. "Please lock this for me."

He locked itand then she seated herself on the top of itthough it
was rather high for herand her small feet dangled. Her eyes looked
large and moist like a baby'sand she took out a handkerchief and
lightly touched them.

You've made me want to cry a bit,she saidbut I'm not going to.

Are you going to tell me you don't want me?he askedwith anxious
eyes.

No, I'm not.

God bless you!He was going to make a dash at her againbut pulled
himself up because he must. "Noby jings!" he said. "I'm not going to


till you let me."

You see, it's true your head's not like mine,she said reasonably.
Men's heads are mostly not like women's. They're men, of course, and
they're superior to women, but they're what I'd call more flutterylike.
Women must remind them of things.

What--what kind of things?

This kind. You see, Grandmother lives near Temple Barholm, and I know
what it's like, and you don't. And I've seen what seventy thousand
pounds a year means, and you haven't. And you've got to go and find
out for yourself.

What's the matter with you coming along to help me?

I shouldn't help you; that's it. I should hold you back. I'm nothing
but Ann Hutchinson, and I talk Manchester-- and I drop my h's.

I love to hear you drop your little h's all over the place,he burst
forth impetuously. "I love it."

She shook her head.

The girls that go to garden-parties at Temple Barholm look like those
in the `Ladies' Pictorial', and they've got names and titles same as
those in novels.

He answered her in genuine anguish. He had never made any mistake
about her characterand she was beginning to make him feel afraid of
her in the midst of his adoration.

What do I want with a girl out of a magazine?he cried. "Where
should I hang her up?"

She was not unfeelingbut unshaken and she went on:

I should look like a housemaid among them. How would you feel with a
wife of that sort, when the other sort was about?

I should feel like a king, that's what I should feel like,he
replied indignantly.

I shouldn't feel like a queen. I should feel MISERABLE.

She sat with her little feet danglingand her hands folded in her
lap. Her infantile blue eyes held him as the Ancient Mariner had been
held. He could not get away from the clear directness of them. He did
not want to exactlybut she frightened him more and more.

I should be ashamed,she proceeded. "I should feel as if I had taken
an advantage. What you've got to do is to find out something no one
else can find out for youMr. Temple Barholm."

How can I find it out without you? It was you who put me on to the
wedding-cake; you can put me on to other things.

Because I've lived in the place,she answered unswervingly. "I know
how funny it is for any one to think of me being Mrs. Temple Barholm.
You don't."

You bet I don't,he answered; "but I'll tell you what I do knowand
that's how funny it is that I should be Mr. Temple Barholm. I've got
on to that all rightall right. Have you?"


She looked at him with a reflection that said much. She took him in
with a judicial summing up of which it must be owned an added respect
was part. She had always believed he had more sense than most young
menand now she knew it.

When a person's clever enough to see things for himself, he's
generally clever enough to manage them,she replied.

He knelt down beside the trunk and took both her hands in his. He held
them fast and rather hard.

Are you throwing me down for good, Little Ann?he said. "If you are
I can't stand itI won't stand it."

If you care about me like that, you'll do what I tell you,she
interruptedand she slipped down from the top of her trunk. "I know
what Mother would say. She'd say'Annyou give that young man a
chance.' And I'm going to give you one. I've said all I'm going to
Mr. Temple Barholm."

He took both her elbows and looked at her closelyfeeling a somewhat
awed conviction.

I - believe - you have,he said.

And here the sound of Mr. Hutchinson's loud and stertorous breathing
ceasedand he waked upand came to the door to find out what Ann was
doing.

What are you two talking about?he asked. "People think when they
whisper it's not going to disturb anybodybut it's worse than
shouting in a man's ear."

Tembarom walked into the room.

I've been asking Little Ann to marry me,he announcedand she
won't.

He sat down in a chair helplesslyand let his head fall into his
hands.

Eh!exclaimed Hutchinson. He turned and looked at Ann disturbedly.
I thought a bit ago tha didn't deny but what tha'd took to him?

I didn't, Father,she answered. "I don't change my mind that quick.
I - would have been willing to say 'Yes' when you wouldn't have been
willing to let me. I didn't know he was Mr. Temple Barholm then."

Hutchinson rubbed the back of his headreddening and rather
bristling.

Dost tha think th' Temple Barholms would look down on thee?

I should look down on myself if I took him up at his first words,
when he's all upset with excitement, and hasn't had time to find out
what things mean. I'm--well, I 'm too fond of him, Father.

Hutchinson gave her a longsteady look.

You are? he said.

Yes, I am.


Tembarom lifted his headand looked at hertoo.

Are you?he asked.

She put her hands behind her backand returned his look with the calm
of ages.

I'm not going to argue about it,she answered. "Arguing's silly."

His involuntary rising and standing before her was a sort of
unconscious tribute of respect.

I know that,he owned. "I know you. That's why I take it like this.
But I want you to tell me one thing. If this hadn't happenedif I'd
only had twenty dollars a weekwould you have taken me?"

If you'd had fifteen, and Father could have spared me, I'd have taken
you. Fifteen dollars a week is three pounds two and sixpence, and I've
known curates' wives that had to bring up families on less. It
wouldn't go as far in New York as it would in the country in England,
but we could have made it do--until you got more. I know you, too, Mr.
Temple Barholm.

He turned to her fatherand saw in his florid countenance that which
spurred him to bold disclosure.

Say,he put it to himas man to manshe stands there and says a
thing like that, and she expects a fellow not to jerk her into his
arms and squeeze the life out of her! I daren't do it, and I'm not
going to try; but--well, you said her mother was like her, and I guess
you know what I'm up against.

Hutchinson's grunting chuckle contained implications of exultant
tenderness and gratified paternal pride.

She's th' very spit and image of her mother,he saidand she had
th' sense of ten women rolled into one, and th' love of twenty. You
let her be, and you're as safe as th' Rock of Ages.

Do you think I don't know that?answered Tembaromhis eyes shining
almost to moisture. "But what hits meby thunder! is that I've lost
the chance of seeing her work out that fifteen-dollar-a-week
propositionand it drives me crazy."

I should have downright liked to try it,said Little Annwith
speculative reflectionand while she knitted her brows in lovely
consideration of the attractive problemseveral previously unknown
dimples declared themselves about her mouth.

Ann,Tembarom venturedif I go to Temple Barholm and try it a year
and learn all about it---

It would take more than a year,said Ann.

Don't make it two,Tembarom pleaded. "I'll sit up at night with wet
towels round my head to learn; I'll spend fourteen hours a day with
girls that look like the pictures in the `Ladies' Pictorial'or
whatever it is in England; I'll give them every chance in lifeif
you'll let me off afterward. There must be another lost heir
somewhere; let's dig him up and then come back to little old New York
and be happy. Gee! Ann--letting himself go and drawing nearer to
her,-- how happy we could be in one of those little flats in Harlem!"

She was a warm little human thingand a tender oneand when he came


close to herglowing with tempestuous boyish eagernessher eyes grew
bluer because they were suddenly wetand she was obliged to move
softly back.

Yes,she said; "I know those little flats. Any one could---" She
stopped herselfbecause she had been going to reveal. what a home a
woman could make in rooms like the compartments in a workbox. She knew
and saw it all. She drew back a little againbut she put out a hand
and laid it on his sleeve.

When you've had quite time enough to find out, and know what the
other thing means, I'll do whatever you want me to do,she said. "It
won't matter what it is. I'll do it."

She means that,Hutchinson mumbled unsteadilyturning aside. "Same
as her mother would have meant it. And she means it in more ways than
one."

And so she did. The promise included quite firmly the possibility of
not unnatural changes in himself such as young ardor could not
foreseeeven the possibility of his new life withdrawing him entirely
from the plane on which rapture could materialize on twenty dollars a
week in a flat in Harlem.

CHAPTER IX

Type as exotic as Tembarom's was to his solicitor naturally suggested
problems. Mr. Palford found his charge baffling becauseaccording to
ordinary rulesa young man so rudimentary should have presented no
problems not perfectly easy to explain. It was herein that he was
exotic. Mr. Palfordwho was not given to subtle analysis of
differences in character and temperamentargued privately that an
English youth who had been brought up in the streets would have been
one of two or three things. He would have been secretly terrified and
resentfulroughly awkward and resentfulor boastfully delighted and
given to a common youth's excitedly common swagger at finding himself
suddenly a "swell."

This special kind of youth would most assuredly have constantly
thought of himself as a "swell" and would have lost his head
altogetherpossibly with results in the matter of conduct in public
which would have been either maddening or crushing to the spirit of a
well-bredmature-minded legal gentleman temporarily thrust into the
position of bear-leader.

But Tembarom was none of these things. If he was terrifiedhe did not
reveal his anguish. He was without doubt not resentfulbut on the
contrary interested and curiousthough he could not be said to bear
himself as one elated. He indulged in no frolics or extravagances. He
saw the Hutchinsons off on their steamerand supplied them with fruit
and flowers and books with respectful moderation. He did not conduct
himself as a benefactor bestowing unknown luxuriesbut as a young man
on whom unexpected luck had bestowed decent opportunities to express
his friendship. In factPalford's taste approved of his attitude. He
was evidently much under the spell of the slight girl with the
Manchester accent and sober blue eyesbut she was neither flighty nor
meretriciousand would have sense enough to give no trouble even when
he naturally forgot her in the revelations of his new life. Her father
also was plainly a respectable working-manwith a blunt Lancashire
pride which would keep him from intruding.


You can't butt in and get fresh with a man like that,Tembarom said.
Money wouldn't help you. He's too independent.

After the steamer had sailed away it was observable to his solicitor
that Mr. Temple Barholm was apparently occupied every hour. He did not
explain why he seemed to rush from one part of New York to another and
why he seemed to be seeking interviews with persons it was plainly
difficult to get at. He was evidently working hard to accomplish
something or other before he left the United Statesperhaps. He asked
some astutely practical business questions; his intention seeming to
be to gain a definite knowledge of what his future resources would be
and of his freedom to use them as he chose.

Once or twice Mr. Palford was rather alarmed by the tendency of his
questions. Had he actually some prodigious American scheme in view? He
seemed too young and inexperienced in the handling of large sums for
such a possibility. But youth and inexperience and suddenly inherited
wealth not infrequently led to rash adventures. Something which
Palford called "very handsome" was done for Mrs. Bowse and the
boarding-house. Mrs. Bowse was evidently not proud enough to resent
being made secure for a few years' rent. The extraordinary page was
provided for after a large amount of effort and expenditure of energy.

I couldn't leave Galton high and dry,Tembarom explained when he
came in after rushing about. "I think I know a man he might trybut
I've got to find him and put him on to things. Good Lord! nobody
rushed about to find me and offer me the job. I hope this fellow wants
it as bad as I did. He'll be up in the air." He discovered the whereabouts
of the young man in questionand finding himas the youngster
almost tearfully declaredabout down and out,his proposition was
met with the gratitude the relief from a prospect of something
extremely like starvation would mentally produce. Tembarom took him to
Galton after having talked him over in detail.

He's had an education, and you know how much I'd had when I butted
into the page,he said. "No one but you would have let me try it. You
did it only because you saw--you saw--"

Yes, I saw,answered Galtonwho knew exactly what he had seen and
who found his up-town social representative and his new situation as
interesting as amusing and just touched with the pathetic element.
Galton was a traveled man and knew England and several other countries
well.

You saw that a fellow wanted the job as much as I did would be likely
to put up a good fight to hold it down. I was scared out of my life
when I started out that morning of the blizzard, but I couldn't afford
to be scared. I guess soldiers who are scared fight like that when
they see bayonets coming at them. You have to.

I wonder how often a man finds out that he does pretty big things
when bayonets are coming at him,answered Galtonwho was actually
neglecting his work for a few minutes so that he might look at and
talk to himthis New York descendant of Norman lords and Saxon kings.

Joe Bennett had been trying to live off free-lunch counters for a
week when I found him,Tembarom explained. "You don't know what that
is. He'll go at the page all right. I'm going to take him up-town and
introduce him to my friends there and get them to boost him along."

You made friends,said Galton. "I knew you would."

Some of the best ever. Good-natured and open-handed. Well, you bet!


Only trouble was they wanted you to eat and drink everything in sight,
and they didn't quite like it when you couldn't get outside all the
champagne they'd offer you.

He broke into a bigpleased laugh.

When I went in and told Munsberg he pretty near threw a fit. Of
course he thought I was kidding. But when I made him believe it, he
was as glad as if he'd had luck himself. It was just fine the way
people took it. Tell you what, it takes good luck, or bad luck, to
show you how good-natured a lot of folks are. They'll treat Bennett
and the page all right; you'll see.

They'll miss you,said Galton.

I shall miss them,Tembarom answered in a voice with a rather
depressed drop in it.

I shall miss you,said Galton.

Tembarom's face reddened a little.

I guess it'd seem rather fresh for me to tell you how I shall miss
you,he said. "I said that first day that I didn't know how to tell
you how I--wellhow I felt about you giving a mutt like me that big
chance. You never thought I didn't know how little I did knowdid
you?" he inquired almost anxiously.

That was it--that you did know and that you had the backbone and the
good spirits to go in and win,Galton replied. "I'm a tired manand
good spirits and good temper seem to me about the biggest assets a man
can bring into a thing. I shouldn't have dared do it when I was your
age. You deserved the Victoria Cross he added, chuckling.

What's the Victoria Cross?" asked Tembarom.

You'll find out when you go to England.

Well, I'm not supposing that you don't know about how many billion
things I'll have to find out when I go to England.

There will be several thousand,replied Galton moderately; "but
you'll learn about them as you go on."

Say,said Tembaromreflectivelydoesn't it seem queer to think of
a fellow having to keep up his spirits because he's fallen into three
hundred and fifty thousand a year? You wouldn't think he'd have to,
would you?

But you find he has?queried Galtoninterestedly.

Tembarom's lifted eyes were so honest that they were touching.

I don't know where I'm at,he said. "I'm going to wake up in a new
place--like people that die. If you knew what it was likeyou
wouldn't mind it so much; but you don't know a blamed thing. It's not
having seen a sample that rattles you."

You're fond of New York?

Good Lord! it's all the place I know on earth, and it's just about
good enough for me, by gee! It's kept me alive when it might have
starved me to death. My! I've had good times here,he addedflushing
with emotion. "Good times-- when I hadn't a whole meal a day!"


You'd have good times anywhere,commented Galtonalso with feeling.
You carry them over your shoulder, and you share them with a lot of
other people.

He certainly shared some with Joe Bennettwhom he took up-town and
introduced right and left to his friendly patronswhoexcited by the
atmosphere of adventure and prosperityreceived him with open arms.
To have been the choice of T. Tembarom as a mere representative of the
EARTH would have been a great thing for Bennettbut to be the choice
of the hero of a romance of wildest opulence was a tremendous sendoff.
He was accepted at onceand when Tembarom actually "stood for" a
big farewell supper of his own in "The Hall and nearly had his hand
shaken off by congratulating acquaintances, the fact that he kept the
new aspirant by his side, so that the waves of high popularity flowed
over him until he sometimes lost his joyful breath, established him as
a sort of hero himself.

Mr. Palford did not know of this festivity, as he also found he was
not told of several other things. This he counted as a feature of his
client's exoticism. His extraordinary lack of concealment of things
vanity forbids many from confessing combined itself with a quite
cheerful power to keep his own counsel when he was, for reasons of his
own, so inclined.

He can keep his mouth shutthat chap Hutchinson had said once, and
Mr. Palford remembered it. Most of us can't. I've got a notion I can;
but I don't many's the time when I should. There's a lot more in him
than you'd think for. He's naught but a ladbut he is na half such a
fool as he looks."

He was neither hesitant nor timidMr. Palford observed. In an
entirely unostentatious way he soon realized that his money gave
things into his hands. He knew he could do most things he chose to do
and that the power to do them rested in these days with himself
without the necessity of detailed explanation or appeal to othersas
in the casefor instanceof this mysterious friend or protege whose
name was Strangeways. Of the history of his acquaintance with him
Palford knew nothingand that he should choose to burden himself with
a half-witted invalid --in these terms the solicitor described him-was
simply in-explainable. If he had asked for advice or by his manner
left an opening for the offering of ithe would have been most
strongly counseled to take him to a public asylum and leave him there;
but advice on the subject seemed the last thing he desired or
anticipatedand talk about his friend was what he seemed least likely
to indulge in. He made no secret of his intentionsbut he frankly
took charge of them as his own special businessand left the rest
alone.

Say nothing and saw wood,Palford had once been a trifle puzzled by
hearing him remark casuallyand he remembered it lateras he
remembered the comments of Joseph Hutchinson. Tembarom had explained
himself to Little Ann.

You'll understand,he said. " It is like this. I guess I feel like
you do when a dog or a cat in big trouble just looks at you as if you
were all they hadand they know if you don't stick by them they'll be
killedand it just drives them crazy. It's the way they look at you
that you can't stand. I believe something would burst in that fellow's
brain if I left him. When he found out I was going to do it he'd just
let out some awful kind of a yell I'd remember till I died. I dried
right up almost as soon as I spoke of him to Palford. He couldn't see
anything but that he was crazy and ought to be put in an asylum. Well
he's not. There're times when he talks to me almost sensible; only


he's always so awful low down in his mind you're afraid to let him go
on. And he's a little bit better than he was. It seems queer to get to
like a man that's sort of dottybut I tell youAnnbecause you'll
understand --I've got to sort of like himand want to see if I can
work it out for him somehow. England seems to sort of stick in his
mind. If I can't spend my money in living the way I want to live-buying
jewelry and clothes for the girl I'd like to see dressed like a
queen--I'm going to do this just to please myself. I'm going to take
him to England and keep him quiet and see what'll happen. Those big
doctors ought to know about all there is to knowand I can pay them
any old thing they want. By jings! isn't it the limit--to sit here and
say that and know it's true!"

Beyond the explaining of necessary detail to him and piloting him to
EnglandMr. Palford did not hold himself many degrees responsible.
His theory of correct conduct assumed no form of altruism. He had
formulated it even before he reached middle age. One of his fixed
rules was to avoid the error of allowing sympathy or sentiment to
hamper him with any unnecessary burden. Natural tendency of
temperament had placed no obstacles in the way of his keeping this
rule. To burden himself with the instruction or modification of this
unfortunately hopeless young New Yorker would be unnecessary.
Palford's summing up of him was that he was of a type with which
nothing palliative could be done. There he was. As unavoidable
circumstances forced one to take him--commonnessslanginess
appalling ignoranceand all--one could not leave him. Fortunately
no respectable legal firm need hold itself sponsor for a "next of kin"
provided by fate and the wilds of America.

The Temple Barholm estate had neverin Mr. Palford's generationbeen
specially agreeable to deal with. The late Mr. Temple Temple Barholm
had been a client of eccentric and abominable temper. Interviews with
him had been avoided as much as possible. His domineering insolence of
bearing had at times been on the verge of precipitating unheard-of
actionsbecause it was almost more than gentlemanly legal flesh and
blood could bear. And now appeared this young man.

He rushed about New York strenuously attending to business concerning
himself and his extraordinary acquaintancesand on the day of the
steamer's sailing he presented himself at the last moment in an
obviously just purchased suit of horribly cut clothes. At all events
their cut was horrible in the eyes of Mr. Palfordwho accepted no cut
but that of a West End tailor. They were badly made things enough
because they were unconsidered garments that Tembarom had barely found
time to snatch from a "ready-made" counter at the last moment. He had
been too much "rushed" by other things to remember that he must have
them until almost too late to get them at all. He bought them merely
because they were clothesand warm enough to make a voyage in. He
possessed a monster ulsterin whichto Mr. Palford's mindhe looked
like a flashy black-leg. He did not know it was flashy. His
opportunities for cultivating a refined taste in the matter of
wardrobe had been limitedand he had wasted no time in fastidious
consideration or regrets. Palford did him some injustice in taking it
for granted that his choice of costume was the result of deliberate
bad taste. It was really not choice at all. He neither liked his
clothes nor disliked them. He had been told he needed warm garments
and he had accepted the advice of the first salesman who took charge
of him when he dropped into the big department store he was most
familiar with because it was the cheapest in town. Even when it was no
longer necessary to be cheapit was time-saving and easy to go into a
place one knew.

The fact that he was as he wasand that they were the subjects of
comment and objects of unabated interest through-out the voyagethat


it was proper that they should be companions at table and on deck
filled Mr. Palford with annoyed unease.

Of course every one on board was familiar with the story of the
discovery of the lost heir. The newspapers had reveled in itand had
woven romances about it which might well have caused the deceased Mr.
Temple Barholm to turn in his grave. After the first day Tembarom had
been picked out from among the less-exciting passengersand when he
walked the deckbooks were lowered into laps or eyes followed him
over their edges. His steamer-chair being placed in a prominent
position next to that of a prettyeffusive Southern womanthe mother
of three daughters whose eyes and eyelashes attracted attention at the
distance of a deck's lengthhe was without undue delay provided with
acquaintances who were prepared to fill his every moment with
entertainment.

The three Gazelles,as their mother playfully confided to Tembarom
her daughters were called in Charlestonwere destructively lovely.
They were swaying reeds of graceand being in radiant spirits at the
prospect of "going to Europe were companions to lure a man to any
desperate lengths. They laughed incessantly, as though they were
chimes of silver bells; they had magnolia-petal skins which neither
wind nor sun blemished; they had nice young manners, and soft moods in
which their gazelle eyes melted and glowed and their long lashes
drooped. They could dance, they played on guitars, and they sang. They
were as adorable as they were lovely and gay.

If a fellow was going to fall in love Tembarom said to Palford,
there'd be no way out of this for him unless he climbed the rigging
and dragged his food up in a basket till he got to Liverpool. If he
didn't go crazy about Irenehe'd wake up raving about Honora; and if
he got away from HonoraAdelia Louise would have him `down on the
mat.'" From which Mr. Palford argued that the impression made by the
little Miss Hutchinson with the Manchester accent had not yet had time
to obliterate itself.

The Gazelles were of generous Southern spiritand did not surround
their prize with any barrier of precautions against other young
persons of charm. They introduced him to one girl after anotherand
in a day or two he was the center of animated circles whenever he
appeard. The singular thinghoweverwas that he did not appear as
often as the other men who were on board. He seemed to stay a great
deal with Strangewayswho shared his suite of rooms and never came on
deck. Sometimes the Gazelles prettily reproached him. Adelia Louise
suggested to the others that his lack of advantages in the past had
made him feel rather awkward and embarrassed; but Palford knew he was
not embarrassed. He accepted his own limitations too simply to be
disturbed by them. Palford would have been extremely bored by him if
he had been of the type of young outsider who is anxiouus about
himself and expansive in self-revelation and appeals for advice; but
sometimes Tembarom's air of franknesswhich was really the least
expansive thing in the world and revealed nothing whateverbesides
concealing everything it chosemade him feel himself almost
irritatingly baffled. It would have been more natural if he had not
been able to keep anything to himself and had really talked too much.

CHAPTER X

The necessary business in London having been transactedTembarom went
north to take possession of the home of his forefathers. It had rained


for two days before he left Londonand it rained steadily all the way
to Lancashireand was raining steadily when he reached Temple
Barholm. He had never seen such rain before. It was the quietunmoved
persistence of it which amazed him. As he sat in the railroad carriage
and watched the slanting lines of its unabating downpourhe felt that
Mr. Palford must inevitably make some remark upon it. But Mr. Palford
continued to read his newspapers undisturbedlyas though the
condition of atmosphere surrounding him were entirely accustomed and
natural. It was of course necessary and proper that he should
accompany his client to his destinationbut the circumstances of the
case made the whole situation quite abnormal. Throughout the centuries
each Temple Barholm had succeeded to his estate in a natural and
conventional manner. He had either been welcomed or resented by his
neighborshis tenantsand his familyand proper and fitting
ceremonies had been observed. But here was an heir whom nobody knew
whose very existence nobody had even suspecteda young man who had
been an outcast in the streets of the huge American city of which
lurid descriptions are given. Even in New York he could have produced
no circle other than Mrs. Bowse's boarding-house and the objects of
interest to the up-town pageso he brought no one with him; for
Strangeways seemed to have been mysteriously disposed of after their
arrival in London.

Never had Palford & Grimby on their hands a client who seemed so
entirely alone. WhatMr. Palford asked himselfwould he do in the
enormity of Temple Barholmwhich always struck one as being a place
almost without limit. But thatafter allwas neither here nor there.
There he was. You cannot undertake to provide a man with relatives if
he has noneor with acquaintances if people do not want to know him.
His past having been so extraordinarythe neighborhood would
naturally be rather shy of him. At firstthrough mere force of custom
and respect for an old namepunctiliousif somewhat alarmed
politeness would be shown by most people; but after the first calls
all would depend upon how much people could stand of the man himself.

The aspect of the country on a wet winter's day was not enlivening.
The leafless and dripping hedges looked like bundles of sticks; the
huge treeswhich in June would be majestic bowers of greenerynow
held out great skeleton armswhich seemed to menace both earth and
sky. Heavy-faced laborers tramped along muddy lanes; cottages with
soaked bits of dead gardens looked like hovels; bigmelancholy carthorses
dragging jolting carts along the country roadshung their
heads as they splashed through the mire.

As Tembarom had known few persons who had ever been out of Americahe
had not heard that England was beautifuland he saw nothing which led
him to suspect its charms. London had impressed him as gloomydirty
and behind the times despite its pretensions; the country struck him
as "the limit." Hully gee! was he going to be expected to spend his
life in this! Should he be obliged to spend his life in it. He'd find
that out pretty quickand thenif there was no hard-and-fast law
against ithim for little old New York againif he had to give up
the whole thing and live on ten per. If he had been a certain kind of
youthhis discontent would have got the better of himand he might
have talked a good deal to Mr. Palford and said many disparaging
things.

But the man was born here,he reflected. "I guess he doesn't know
anything elseand thinks it's all right. I've heard of English
fellows who didn't like New York. He looks like that kind."

He had supplied himself with newspapers and tried to read them. Their
contents were as unexciting as the rain-sodden landscape. There were
no head-lines likely to arrest any man's attention. There was a lot


about Parliament and the Courtand one of them had a column or two
about what lords and ladies were doinga sort of English up-town or
down-town page.

He knew the stuffbut there was no snap in itand there were no
photographs or descriptions of dresses. Galton would have turned it
down. He could never have made good if he had done no better than
that. He grinned to himself when he read that the king had taken a
drive and that a baby prince had the measles.

I wonder what they'd think of the Sunday Earth,he mentally
inquired.

He would have been much at sea if he had discovered what they really
would have thought of it. They passed through smoke-vomiting
manufacturing townswhere he saw many legs seemingly bearing about
umbrellasbut few entire people; they whizzed smoothly past drenched
suburbswet woodlandsand endless-looking brown moorscovered with
dead bracken and bare and prickly gorse. He thought these last great
desolate stretches worse than all the rest.

But the railroad carriage was luxuriously upholstered and comfortable
though one could not walk about and stretch his legs. In the
afternoonMr. Palford ordered in teaand plainly expected him to
drink two cups and eat thin bread and butter. He felt inclined to
laughthough the tea was all rightand so was the bread and butter
and he did not fail his companion in any respect. The inclination to
laugh was aroused by the thought of what Jim Bowles and Julius would
say if they could see old T. T. with nothing to do at 4:30 but put in
cream and sugaras though he were at a tea-party on Fifth Avenue.

Butgee! this rain did give him the Willies. If he was going to be
sorry for himselfhe might begin right now. But he wasn't. He was
going to see this thing through.

The train had been continuing its smooth whir through fieldswooded
landsand queerdead-and-alive little villages for some time before
it drew up at last at a small station. Bereft by the season of its
garden bloom and green creepersit looked a bare and uninviting
little place. On the two benches against the wall of the platform a
number of women sat huddled together in the dampness. Several of them
held children in their laps and all stared very hardnudging one
another as he descended from the train. A number of rustics stood
about the platformgiving it a somewhat crowded air. It struck
Tembarom thatfor an out- of-the-way placethere seemed to be a good
many travelersand he wondered if they could all be going away. He
did not know that they were the curious element among such as lived in
the immediate neighborhood of the station and had come out merely to
see him on his first appearance. Several of them touched their hats as
he went byand he supposed they knew Palford and were saluting him.
Each of them was curiousbut no one was in a particularly welcoming
mood. There wasindeedno reason for anticipating enthusiasm. It
washoweverbut human nature that the bucolic mind should bestir
itself a little in the desire to obtain a view of a Temple Barholm who
had earned his living by blacking boots and selling newspapers
unknowing that he was "one o' th' gentry."

When he stepped from his first-class carriageTembarom found himself
confronted by a very straightclean-facedand well-built young man
who wore a longfawn-colored livery coat with claret facings and
silver buttons. He touched his cockaded hatand at once took up the
Gladstone bags. Tembarom knew that he was a footman because he had
seen something like him outside restaurantstheatersand shops in
New Yorkbut he was not sure whether he ought to touch his own hat or


not. He slightly lifted it from his head to show there was no ill
feelingand then followed him and Mr. Palford to the carriage waiting
for them. It was a severe but sumptuous equipageand the coachman was
as well dressed and well built as the footman. Tembarom took his place
in it with many mental reservations.

What are the illustrations on the doors?he inquired.

The Temple Barholm coat of arms,Mr. Palford answered. "The people
at the station are your tenants. Members of the family of the stout
man with the broad hat have lived as yeoman farmers on your land for
three hundred years."

They went on their waywith more rainmore rainmore dripping
hedgesmore soaked fieldsand more barehuge-armed trees. CLOP
CLOPCLOPsounded the horses' hoofs along the roadand from his
corner of the carriage Mr. Palford tried to make polite conversation.
Faces peered out of the windows of the cottagessometimes a whole
family group of facesall crowded togethereager to lookfrom the
mother with a baby in her arms to the old man or womanplainly
grandfather or grandmother--sharpchildishly roundor bleared old
eyesall excited and anxious to catch glimpses.

They are very curious to see you,said Mr. Palford. "Those two
laborers are touching their hats to you. It will be as well to
recognize their salute."

At a number of the cottage doors the group stood upon the threshold
and touched foreheads or curtsied. Tembarom saluted again and again
and more than once his friendly grin showed itself. It made him feel
queer to drive alongturning from side to side to acknowledge
obeisancesas he had seen a well-known military hero acknowledge them
as he drove down Broadway.

The chief street of the village of Temple Barholm wandered almost
within hailing distance of the great entrance to the park. The gates
were supported by massive pillarson which crouched huge stone
griffins. Tembarom felt that they stared savagely over his head as he
was driven toward them as for inspectionand in disdainful silence
allowed to pass between them as they stood on guardapparently with
the haughtiest mental reservations.

The park through which the long avenue rolled concealed its beauty to
the unaccustomed eyeshowing only more bare trees and sodden
stretches of brown grass. The house itselfas it loomed up out of the
thickening rain-mistappalled Tembarom by its size and gloomily gray
massiveness. Before it was spread a broad terrace of stoneguarded by
more griffins of even more disdainful aspect than those watching over
the gates. The stone noses held themselves rigidly in the air as the
reporter of the up-town society page passed with Mr. Palford up a
flight of steps broad enough to make him feel as though he were going
to church. Footmen with powdered heads received him at the carriage
doorseemed to assist him to moveto put one foot before the other
for himto stand in rows as though they were a military guard ready
to take him into custody.

Then he was insidestanding in an enormous hall filled with
furnishings such as he had never seen or heard of before. Carved oak
suits of armorstone urnsportraitsanother flight of church steps
mounting upward to surrounding galleriesstained-glass windows
tigers' and lions' headshorns of tremendous sizestrange and
beautiful weaponssuggested to him that the dream he had been living
in for weeks had never before been so much a dream. He had walked
about as in a visionbut among familiar surroundings. Mrs. Bowse's


boarders and his hall bedroom had helped him to retain some hold over
actual existence. But here the reverently saluting villagers staring
at him through windows as though he were General Grantthe huge
stone entrancethe drive of what seemed to be ten miles through the
parkthe gloomy mass of architecture looming upthe regiment of
liveried men-servantswith respectfully lowered but excitedly curious
eyesthe dark and solemn richness inclosing and claiming him--all
this created an atmosphere wholly unreal. As he had not known books
its parallel had not been suggested to him by literature. He had
literally not heard that such things existed. Selling newspapers and
giving every moment to the struggle for life or livingone did not
come within the range of splendors. He had indeed awakened in that
other world of which he had spoken. And though he had heard that there
was another worldhe had had neither time nor opportunity to make
mental pictures of it. His life so far had expressed itself in another
language of figures. The fact that he had in his veins the blood of
the Norman lords and Saxon kings may or may not have had something to
do with the fact that he was not abashedbut bewildered. The same
factor may or may not have aided him to preserve a certain stoic
outward composure. Who knows what remote influences express themselves
in common acts of modern common life? As Cassivellaunus observed his
surroundings as he followed in captive chains his conqueror's
triumphal car through the streets of Romeso the keen-eyed product of
New York pavement life "took in" all about him. Existence had forced
upon him the habit of sharp observance. The fundamental working law of
things had expressed itself in the simple colloquialismKeep your
eye skinned, and don't give yourself away.In what phrases the
parallel of this concise advice formulated itself in 55 B.C. no
classic has yet exactly informed usbut doubtless something like it
was said in ancient Rome. Tembarom did not give himself awayand he
took rapidif uncertaininventory of people and things. He remarked
for instancethat Palford's manner of speaking to a servant was
totally different from the manner he used in addressing himself. It
was courteousbut remoteas though he spoke across an accepted chasm
to beings of another race. There was no hint of incivility in itbut
also no hint of any possibility that it could occur to the person
addressed to hesitate or resent. It was a subtle thingand Tembarom
wondered how he did it.

They were shown into a room the walls of which seemed built of books;
the furniture was rich and grave and luxuriously comfortable. A fire
blazed as well as glowed in a fine chimneyand a table near it was
set with a glitter of splendid silver urn and equipage for tea.

Mrs. Butterworth was afraid you might not have been able to get tea,
sir,said the man-servantwho did not wear liverybut whose
butler's air of established authority was more impressive than any
fawn color and claret enriched with silver could have encompassed.

Tea again? Perhaps one was obliged to drink it at regular intervals.
Tembarom for a moment did not awaken to the fact that the man was
speaking to himas the master from whom orders came. He glanced at
Mr. Palford.

Mr. Temple Barholm had tea after we left Crowly,Mr. Palford said.
He will no doubt wish to go to his room at once, Burrill.

Yes, sir,said Burrillwith that note of entire absence of comment
with which Tembarom later became familiar. "Pearson is waiting."

It was not unnatural to wonder who Pearson was and why he was waiting
but Tembarom knew he would find out. There was a slight relief on
realizing that tea was not imperative. He and Mr. Palford were led
through the hall again. The carriage had rolled awayand two footmen


who were talking confidentially togetherat once stood at attention.
The staircase was more imposing as one mounted it than it appeared as
one looked at it from below. Its breadth made Tembarom wish to lay a
hand on a balustradewhich seemed a mile away. He had never
particularly wished to touch balustrades before. At the head of the
first flight hung an enormous piece of tapestryits forest and
hunters and falconers awakening Tembarom's curiosityas it looked
wholly unlike any picture he had ever seen in a shop-window. There
were pictures everywhereand none of them looked like chromos. Most
of the people in the portraits were in fancy dress. Rumors of a New
York millionaire ball had given him some vague idea of fancy dress. A
lot of them looked like freaks. He caught glimpses of corridors
lighted by curioushighdeep windows with leaded panes. It struck
him that there was no end to the placeand that there must be rooms
enough in it for a hotel.

The tapestry chamber, of course, Burrill,he heard Mr. Palford say
in a low tone.

Yes, sir. Mr. Temple Barholm always used it.

A few yards farther on a door stood openrevealing an immense room
rich and gloomy with tapestry-covered walls and dark oak furniture. A
bed which looked to Tembarom incredibly bigwith its carved oak
canopy and massive postshad a presiding personality of its own. It
was mounted by stepsand its hangings and coverlid were of embossed
velvettime-softened to the perfection of purples and blues. A fire
enriched the color of everythingand did its best to drive the
shadows away. Deep windows opened either into the leafless boughs of
close-growing trees or upon outspread spaces of heavily timbered park
where gauntthough magnificentbare branches menaced and defied. A
slimneat young manwith a rather pale face and a touch of anxiety
in his expressioncame forward at once.

This is Pearson, who will valet you,exclaimed Mr. Palford.

Thank you, sir,said Pearson in a lowrespectful voice. His manner
was correctness itself.

There seemed to Mr. Palford to be really nothing else to say. He
wantedin factto get to his own apartment and have a hot bath and a
rest before dinner.

Where am I, Burrill?he inquired as he turned to go down the
corridor.

The crimson room, sir,answered Burrilland he closed the door of
the tapestry chamber and shut Tembarom in alone with Pearson.

CHAPTER XI

For a few moments the two young men looked at each otherPearson's
gaze being one of respectfulness which hoped to propitiateif
propitiation was necessarythough Pearson greatly trusted it was not.
Tembarom's was the gaze of hasty investigation and inquiry. He
suddenly thought that it would have been "all to the merry" if
somebody had "put him on to" a sort of idea of what was done to a
fellow when he was "valeted." A valethe had of course gathered
waited on one somehow and looked after one's clothes. But were there
by chance other things he expected to do--manicure one's nails or cut


one's hair--and how often did he do itand was this the day? He was
evidently there to do somethingor he wouldn't have been waiting
behind the door to pounce out the minute he appearedand when the
other two went awayBurrill wouldn't have closed the door as solemnly
as though he shut the pair of them in together to get through some
sort of performance.

Here's where T. T. begins to feel like a fool,he thought. "And
here's where there's no way out of looking like one. I don't know a
thing."

But personal vanity was not so strong in him as healthy and normal
good temper. Despite the fact that the neat correctness of Pearson's
style and the finished expression of his neat face suggested that he
was of a class which knew with the most finished exactness all that
custom and propriety demanded on any occasion on which "valeting" in
its most occult branches might be donehe was only "another fellow
after all, and must be human. So Tembarom smiled at him.

HelloPearson he said. How are you?"

Pearson slightly started. It was the tiniest possible startquite
involuntaryfrom which he recovered instantlyto reply in a tone of
respectful gratefulness:

Thank you, sir, very well; thank you, sir.

That's all right,answered Tembaroma sense of relief because he'd
got startedincreasing the friendliness of his smile. "I see you got
my trunk open he said, glancing at some articles of clothing neatly
arranged upon the bed.

Pearson was slightly alarmed. It occurred to him suddenly that perhaps
it was not the custom in America to open a gentleman's box and lay out
his clothes for him. For special reasons he was desperately anxious to
keep his place, and above all things he felt he must avoid giving
offense by doing things which, by being too English, might seem to
cast shades of doubt on the entire correctness of the customs of
America. He had known ill feeling to arise between gentlemen's
gentlemen" in the servants' hall in the case of slight differences in
customscontested with a bitterness of feeling which had made them
almost an international question. There had naturally been a great
deal of talk about the new Mr. Temple Barholm and what might be
expected of him. When a gentleman was not a gentleman--this was the
form of expression in "the hall--the Lord only knew what would
happen. And this one, who had, for all one knew, been born in a
workhouse, and had been a boot-black kicked about in American
streets,--they did not know Tembarom,--and nearly starved to death,
and found at last in a low lodging-house, what could he know about
decent living? And ten to one he'd be American enough to swagger and
bluster and pretend he knew everything better than any one else, and
lose his temper frightfully when he made mistakes, and try to make
other people seem to blame. Set a beggar on horseback, and who didn't
know what he was? There were chances enough and to spare that not one
of them would be able to stand it, and that in a month's time they
would all be looking for new places.

So while Tembarom was rather afraid of Pearson and moved about in an
awful state of uncertainty, Pearson was horribly afraid of Tembarom,
and was, in fact, in such a condition of nervous anxiety that he was
obliged more than once furtively to apply to his damp, pale young
forehead his exceedingly fresh and spotless pocket-handkerchief.

In the first place, there was the wardrobe. What COULD he do? How


could he approach the subject with sufficient delicacy? Mr. Temple
Barholm had brought with him only a steamer trunk and a Gladstone bag,
the latter evidently bought in London, to be stuffed with hastily
purchased handkerchiefs and shirts, worn as they came out of the shop,
and as evidently bought without the slightest idea of the kind of
linen a gentleman should own. What most terrified Pearson, who was of
a timid and most delicate-minded nature, was that having the workhouse
and the boot-blacking as a background, the new Mr. Temple Barholm
COULDN'T know, as all this had come upon him so suddenly. And was it
to be Pearson's calamitous duty to explain to him that he had NOTHING,
that he apparently KNEW nothing, and that as he had no friends who
knew, a mere common servant must educate him, if he did not wish to
see him derided and looked down upon and actually cut" by gentlemen
that WERE gentlemen? All this to say nothing of Pearson's own wellearned
reputation for knowledge of customintelligenceand deftness
in turning out the objects of his care in such form as to be a
reference in themselves when a new place was wanted. Of course
sometimes there were even real gentlemen who were most careless and
indifferent to appearanceand whoif left to themselveswould buy
garments which made the blood run cold when one realized that his own
character and hopes for the future often depended upon his latest
employer's outward aspect. But the ulster in which Mr. Temple Barholm
had presented himself was of a cut and material such as Pearson's most
discouraged moments had never forced him to contemplate. The limited
wardrobe in the steamer trunk was all new and all equally bad. There
was no evening dressno proper linen--not what Pearson called
proper,-- no proper toilet appurtenances. What was Pearson called
upon by duty to do? If he had only had the initiative to anticipate
thishe might have asked permission to consult in darkest secrecy
with Mr. Palford. But he had never dreamed of such a situationand
apparently he would be obliged to send his new charge down to his
first dinner in the majestically decorous dining-roombefore all the
servants,in a sort of speckled tweed cutawaywith a brown necktie.

Tembaromrealizing without delay that Pearson did not expect to be
talked to and being cheered by the sight of the firesat down before
it in an easy-chair the like of which for luxurious comfort he had
never known. He wasin factwaiting for developments. Pearson would
say or do something shortly which would give him a chance to "catch
on or perhaps he'd go out of the room and leave him to himself,
which would be a thing to thank God for. Then he could wash his face
and hands, brush his hair, and wait till the dinner-bell rang. They'd
be likely to have one. They'd have to in a place like this.

But Pearson did not go out of the room. He moved about behind him for
a short time with footfall so almost entirely soundless that Tembarom
became aware that, if it went on long, he should be nervous; in fact,
he was nervous already. He wanted to know what he was doing. He could
scarcely resist the temptation to turn his head and look; but he did
not want to give himself away more entirely than was unavoidable, and,
besides, instinct told him that he might frighten Pearson, who looked
frightened enough, in a neat and well-mannered way, already. Hully
gee! how he wished he would go out of the room!

But he did not. There were gently gliding footsteps of Pearson behind
him, quiet movements which would have seemed stealthy if they had been
a burglar's, soft removals of articles from one part of the room to
another, delicate brushings, and almost noiseless foldings. Now
Pearson was near the bed, now he had opened a wardrobe, now he was
looking into the steamer trunk, now he had stopped somewhere behind
him, within a few yards of his chair. Why had he ceased moving? What
was he looking at? What kept him quiet?

Tembarom expected him to begin stirring mysteriously again; but he did


not. Why did he not? There reigned in the room entire silence; no soft
footfalls, no brushing, no folding. Was he doing nothing? Had he got
hold of something which had given him a fit? There had been no sound
of a fall; but perhaps even if an English valet had a fit, he'd have
it so quietly and respectfully that one wouldn't hear it. Tembarom
felt that he must be looking at the back of his head, and he wondered
what was the matter with it. Was his hair cut in a way so un-English
that it had paralyzed him? The back of his head began to creep under
an investigation so prolonged. No sound at all, no movement. Tembarom
stealthily took out his watch--good old Waterbury he wasn't going to
part with --and began to watch the minute-hand. If nothing happened in
three minutes he was going to turn round. One--two-- three--and the
silence made it seem fifteen. He returned his Waterbury to his pocket
and turned round.

Pearson was not dead. He was standing quite still and resigned,
waiting. It was his business to wait, not to intrude or disturb, and
having put everything in order and done all he could do, he was
waiting for further commands--in some suspense, it must be admitted.

Hello!" exclaimed Tembarominvoluntarily.

Shall I get your bath ready, sir?inquired Pearson. "Do you like it
hot or coldsir?"

Tembarom drew a relieved breath. He hadn't dropped dead and he hadn't
had a fitand here was one of the things a man did when he valeted
you--he got your bath ready. A hasty recollection of the much-used
paint-smeared tin bath on the fourth floor of Mrs. Bowse's boardinghouse
sprang up before him. Everybody had to use it in turnand you
waited hours for the chance to make a dash into it. No one stood still
and waited fifteen minutes until you got good and ready to tell him he
could go and turn on the water. Gee whizz!

Being relieved himselfhe relieved Pearson by telling him he might
fix itfor himand that he would have hot water.

Very good, sir. Thank you, sir,said Pearsonand silently left the
room.

Then Tembarom got up from his chair and began to walk about rather
restlessly. A new alarm seized him. Did Pearson expect to WASH him or
to stand round and hand him soap and towels and things while he washed
himself?

If it was supposed that you hadn't the strength to turn the faucets
yourselfit might be supposed you didn't have the energy to use a
flesh-brush and towels. Did valeting include a kind of shampoo all
over?

I couldn't stand for that,he said. "I'd have to tell him there'd
been no Turkish baths in mineand I'm not trained up to them. When
I've got on to this kind of thing a bit moreI'll make him understand
what I'm NOT in for; but I don't want to scare the life out of him
right off. He looks like a good little fellow."

But Pearson's duties as valet did not apparently include giving him
his bath by sheer physical force. He was deftcalmamenable. He led
Tembarom down the corridor to the bath-roomrevealed to him stores of
sumptuous bath-robes and towelshot- and cold-water faucetssprays
and tonic essences. He forgot nothing andhaving prepared allmutely
vanishedand returned to the bedroom to wait--and gaze in troubled
wonder at the speckled tweed cutaway. There was an appalling
possibility--he was aware that he was entirely ignorant of American


customs--that tweed was the fashionable home evening wear in the
States. Tembaromreturning from his bath much refreshed after a warm
plunge and a cold showerevidently felt that as a costume it was all
that could be desired.

Will you wear--these, sir,--this evening?Pearson suggested.

It was suggestive of more than actual inquiry. If he had dared to hope
that his manner might suggest a number of things! For instancethat
in England gentlemen really didn't wear tweed in the evening even in
private. That through some unforeseen circumstances his employer's
evening-dress suit had been delayedbut would of course arrive tomorrow!


But Tembaromphysically stimulated by hot and cold waterand relief
at being left alonewas beginning to recover his natural buoyancy.

Yes, I'll wear 'em,he answeredsnatching at his hairbrush and
beginning to brush his damp hair. It was a wooden-backed brush that
Pearson had found in his Gladstone bag and shudderingly laid in
readiness on the dressing-table. "I guess they're all rightain't
they?"

Oh, quite right, sir, quite,Pearson ventured--"for morning wear."

Morning?said Tembarombrushing vigorously. "Not night?"

Black, sir,most delicately hinted Pearsonis--more usual--in the
evening--in England.After which he addedSo to speak,with a
vague hope that the mollifying phrase might counteract the effect of
any apparently implied aspersion on colors preferred in America.

Tembarom ceased brushing his hairand looked at him in good-natured
desire for information.

Frock-coats or claw-hammer?he asked. Despite his natural anxiety
and in the midst of itPearson could not but admit that he had an
uncondemnatory voice and a sort of young way with him which gave one
courage. But he was not quite sure of "claw-hammer."

Frock-coats for morning dress and afternoon wear, sir,he ventured.
The evening cut, as you know, is--

Claw-hammer. Swallow-tail, I guess you say here,Tembarom ended for
himquite without hint of rancorhe was rejoiced to see.

Yes, sir,said Pearson.

The ceremony of dressing proved a fearsome thing as it went on.
Pearson moved about deftly and essayed to do things for the new Mr.
Temple Barholm which the new Mr. Temple Barholm had never heard of a
man not doing for himself. He reached for things Pearson was about to
hand to him or hold for him. He unceremoniously achieved services for
himself which it was part of Pearson's manifest duty to perform. They
got into each other's way; there was even danger sometimes of their
seeming to snatch things from each otherto Pearson's unbounded
horror. Mr. Temple Barholm did not express any irritation whatsoever
misunderstandings took placebut he held his mouth rather close-shut
and Pearsonnot aware that he did this as a precaution against open
grinning or shouts of laughter as he found himself unable to adjust
himself to his attendant's movementsthought it possible that he was
secretly annoyed and regarded the whole matter with disfavor. But when
the dressing was at an end and he stood ready to go down in all his
innocent ignoring of speckled tweed and brown necktiehe looked


neither flurried nor out of humorand he asked a question in a voice
which was actually friendly. It was a question dealing with an
incident which had aroused much interest in the servants' hall as
suggesting a touch of mystery.

Mr. Strangeways came yesterday all right, didn't he?he inquired.

Yes, sir,Pearson answered. "Mr. Hutchinson and his daughter came
with him. They call her `Little Ann Hutchinson.' She's a sensible
little thingsirand she seemed to know exactly what you'd want done
to make him comfortable. Mrs. Butterworth put him in the west room
sirand I valeted him. He was not very well when he camebut he
seems better to-daysironly he's very anxious to see you."

That's all right,said Tembarom. "You show me his room. I'll go and
see him now."

And being led by Pearsonhe went without delay.

CHAPTER XII

The chief objection to Temple Barholm in Tembarom's mind was that it
was too big for any human use. That at least was how it struck him.
The entrance was too bigthe stairs were too widethe rooms too
broad and too long and too high to allow of eyes accustomed to hall
bedrooms adjusting their vision without discomfort. The dining-room in
which the new owner took his first meal in company with Mr. Palford
and attended by the largeserious man who wore no livery and three
tall footmen who didwas of a size and stateliness which made him
feel homesick for Mrs. Bowse's dining-roomwith its two hurried
incompetentand often-changed waitresses and its prevailing friendly
custom of pushing things across the table to save time. Meals were
quickly disposed of at Mrs. Bowse's. Everybody was due up-town or
down-townand regarded food as an unavoidablebecause necessary
interference with more urgent business. At Temple Barholm one sat half
the night-- this was the impression made upon Tembarom--watching
things being brought in and taken out of the roomcarved on a huge
buffetand passed from one man to another; and when they were brought
solemnly to youif you turned them downit seemed that the whole
ceremony had to be gone through with again. All sorts of silver
knivesforksand spoons were given to one and taken awayand half a
dozen sorts of glasses stood by your plate; and if you made a move to
do anything for yourselfthe man out of livery stopped you as though
you were too big a fool to be trusted. The food was all rightbut
when you knew what anything wasand were inclined to welcome it as an
old friendit was given to you in some way that made you get rattled.
With all the swell dishesyou had no butter-plateand ice seemed
scarceand the deadstill way the servants moved about gave you a
sort of feeling that you were at a funeral and that it wasn't decent
to talk so long as the remains were in the room. The head-man and the
foot-men seemed to get on by signsthough Tembarom never saw them
making any; and their faces never changed for a moment. Once or twice
he tried a jokeaddressing it to Mr. Palfordto see what would
happen. But as Mr. Palford did not seem to see the humor of itand
gave him the "glassy eye and neither the head-man nor the footmen
seemed to hear it, he thought that perhaps they didn't know it was a
joke; and if they didn't, and they thought anything at all, they must
think he was dippy. The dinner was a deadly, though sumptuous, meal,
and long drawn out, when measured by meals at Mrs. Bowse's. He did not
know, as Mr. Palford did, that it was perfect, and served with a


finished dexterity that was also perfection.

Mr. Palford, however, was himself relieved when it was at an end. He
had sat at dinner with the late Mr. Temple Barholm in his day, and had
seen him also served by the owners of impassive countenances; but he
had been aware that whatsoever of secret dislike and resentment was
concealed by them, there lay behind their immovability an acceptance
of the fact that he represented, even in his most objectionable
humors, centuries of accustomedness to respectful service and of
knowledge of his right and power to claim it. The solicitor was keenly
aware of the silent comments being made upon the tweed suit and brown
necktie and on the manner in which their wearer boldly chose the wrong
fork or erroneously made use of a knife or spoon. Later in the
evening, in the servants' hall, the comment would not be silent, and
there could be no doubt of what its character would be. There would be
laughter and the relating of incidents. Housemaids and still-room
maids would giggle, and kitchen-maids and boot-boys would grin and
whisper in servile tribute to the witticisms of the superior servants.

After dinner the rest of the evening could at least be spent in talk
about business matters. There still remained details to be enlarged
upon before Palford himself returned to Lincoln's Inn and left Mr.
Temple Barholm to the care of the steward of his estate. It was not
difficult to talk to him when the sole subject of conversation was of
a business nature.

Before they parted for the night the mystery of the arrangements made
for Strangeways had been cleared. In fact, Mr. Temple Barholm made no
mystery of them. He did not seem ignorant of the fact that what he had
chosen to do was unusual, but he did not appear hampered or
embarrassed by the knowledge. His remarks on the subject were entirely
civil and were far from actually suggesting that his singular conduct
was purely his own business and none of his solicitor's; but for a
moment or so Mr. Palford was privately just a trifle annoyed. The
Hutchinsons had traveled from London with Strangeways in their care
the day before. He would have been unhappy and disturbed if he had
been obliged to travel with Mr. Palford, who was a stranger to him,
and Miss Hutchinson had a soothing effect on him. Strangeways was for
the present comfortably installed as a guest of the house, Miss
Hutchinson having talked to the housekeeper, Mrs. Butterworth, and to
Pearson. What the future held for him Mr. Temple Barholm did not seem
to feel the necessity of going into. He left him behind as a subject,
and went on talking cheerfully of other things almost as if he had
forgotten him.

They had their coffee in the library, and afterward sat at the
writing-table and looked over documents and talked until Mr. Palford
felt that he could quite decorously retire to his bedroom. He was glad
to be relieved of his duties, and Tembarom was amiably resigned to
parting with him.

Tembarom did not go up-stairs at once himself. He sat by the fire and
smoked several pipes of tobacco and thought things over. There were a
lot of things to think over, and several decisions to make, and he
thought it would be a good idea to pass them in review. The quiet of
the dead surrounded him. In a house the size of this the servants were
probably half a mile away. They'd need trolleys to get to one, he
thought, if you rang for them in a hurry. If an armed burglar made a
quiet entry without your knowing it, he could get in some pretty rough
work before any of the seventy-five footmen could come to lend a hand.
He was not aware that there were two of them standing in waiting in
the hall, their powdered heads close together, so that their whispers
and chuckles could be heard. A sound of movement in the library would
have brought them up standing to a decorous attitude of attention


conveying to the uninitiated the impression that they had not moved
for hours.

Sometimes as he sat in the big morocco chair, T. Tembarom looked grave
enough; sometimes he looked as though he was confronting problems
which needed puzzling out and with which he was not making much
headway; sometimes he looked as though he was thinking of little Ann
Hutchinson, and not infrequently he grinned. Here he was up to the
neck in it, and he was darned if he knew what he was going to do. He
didn't know a soul, and nobody knew him. He didn't know a thing he
ought to know, and he didn't know any one who could tell him. Even the
Hutchinsons had never been inside a place like Temple Barholm, and
they were going back to Manchester after a few weeks' stay at the
grandmother's cottage.

Before he had left New York he had seen Hadman and some other fellows
and got things started, so that there was an even chance that the
invention would be put on its feet. He had worked hard and used his
own power to control money in the future as a lever which had proved
to be exactly what was needed.

Hadman had been spurred and a little startled when he realized the
magnitude of what really could be done, and saw also that this slangy,
moneyed youth was not merely an enthusiastic fool, but saw into
business schemes pretty sharply and was of a most determined
readiness. With this power ranging itself on the side of Hutchinson
and his invention, it was good business to begin to move, if one did
not want to run a chance of being left out in the cold.

Hutchinson had gone to Manchester, and there had been barely time for
a brief but characteristic interview between him and Tembarom, when he
rushed back to London. Tembarom felt rather excited when he remembered
it, recalling what he had felt in confronting the struggles against
emotion in the blunt-featured, red face, the breaks in the rough
voice, the charging up and down the room like a curiously elated bull
in a china shop, and the big effort to restrain relief and gratitude
the degree of which might seem to under-value the merits of the
invention itself.

Once or twice when he looked serious, Tembarom was thinking this over,
and also once or twice when he grinned. Relief and gratitude
notwithstanding, Hutchinson had kept him in his place, and had not
made unbounded efforts to conceal his sense of the incongruity of his
position as the controller of fortunes and the lord of Temple Barholm,
which was still vaguely flavored with indignation.

When he had finished his last pipe, Tembarom rose and knocked the
ashes out of it.

Now for Pearson he said.

He had made up his mind to have a talk with Pearson, and there was no
use wasting time. If things didn't suit you, the best thing was to see
what you could do to fix them right away --if it wasn't against the
law. He went out into the hall, and seeing the two footmen standing
waiting, he spoke to them.

SayI didn't know you fellows were there he said. Are you waiting
up for me? Wellyou can go to bedthe sooner the quicker. Good
night." And he went up-stairs whistling.

The glow and richness and ceremonial order of preparation in his
bedroom struck him as soon as he opened the door. Everything which
could possibly have been made ready for his most luxurious comfort had


been made ready. He did notit is truecare much for the huge bed
with its carved oak canopy and massive pillars.

But the lying-down part looks about all right,he said to himself.

The fine linenthe soft pillowsthe downy blanketswould have
allured even a man who was not tired. The covering had been neatly
turned back and the snowy whiteness opened. That was Englishhe
supposed. They hadn't got on to that at Mrs. Bowse's.

But I guess a plain little old New York sleep will do,he said.
Temple Barholm or no Temple Barholm, I guess they can't change that.

Then there sounded a quiet knock at the door. He knew who it would
turn out to beand he was not mistaken. Pearson stood in the
corridorwearing his slightly anxious expressionbut ready for
orders.

Mr. Temple Barholm looked down at him with a friendlyif unusual
air.

Say, Pearson,he announcedif you've come to wash my face and put
my hair up in crimping-pins, you needn't do it, because I'm not used
to it. But come on in.

If he had told Pearson to enter and climb the chimneyit cannot be
said that the order would have been obeyed upon the spotbut Pearson
would certainly have hesitated and explained with respectful delicacy
the fact that the task was not "his place." He came into the room.

I came to see, if I could do anything further and--making a
courageous onslaught upon the situation for which he had been
preparing himself for hours--"and also--if it is not too late--to
venture to trouble you with regard to your wardrobe." He coughed a
lowembarrassed cough. "In unpackingsirI found--I did not find--"

You didn't find much, did you?Tembarom assisted him.

Of course, sir,Pearson apologizedleaving New York so hurriedly,
your--your man evidently had not time to-- er--

Tembarom looked at him a few seconds longeras if making up his mind
to something. Then he threw himself easily into the big chair by the
fireand leaned back in it with the frankest and best- natured smile
possible.

I hadn't any man,he said. "SayPearson waving his hand to
another chair near by, suppose you take a seat."

Long and careful training came to Pearson's aid and supported himbut
he was afraid that he looked nervousand certainly there was a lack
of entire calm in his voice.

I--thank you, sir,--I think I'd better stand, sir.

Why?inquired Tembaromtaking his tobacco-pouch out of his pocket
and preparing to fill another pipe.

You're most kind, sir, but--but--in impassioned embarrassment--"I
should really PREFER to standsirif you don't mind. I should feel
more--more at 'omesir he added, dropping an h in his agitation.

Wellif you'd like it betterthat's all right yielded Mr. Temple
Barholm, stuffing tobacco into the pipe. Pearson darted to a table,


produced a match, struck it, and gave it to him.

Thank you said Tembarom, still good-naturedly. But there are a few
things I've GOT to say to you RIGHT now."

Pearson had really done his besthis very bestbut he was terrified
because of the certain circumstances once before referred to.

I beg pardon, sir,he appealedbut I am most anxious to give
satisfaction in every respect.He WASpoor young manhorribly
anxious. "To-day being only the first dayI dare say I have not been
all I should have been. I have never valeted an American gentleman
beforebut I'm sure I shall become accustomed to everything QUITE
soon--almost immediately."

Say,broke in Tembaromyou're 'way off. I'm not complaining.
You're all right.

The easy good temper of his manner was so singularly assuring that
Pearsonunexplainable as he found him in every other respectknew
that this at least was to be depended uponand he drew an almost
palpable breath of relief. Something actually allured him into
approaching what he had never felt it safe to approach before under
like circumstances--a confidential disclosure.

Thank you, sir: I am most grateful. The--fact is, I hoped especially
to be able to settle in place just now. I--I'm hoping to save up
enough to get married, sir.

You are?Tembarom exclaimed. "Good business! So was I before all
this"--he glanced about him--"fell on top of me."

I've been saving for three years, sir, and if I can know I'm a
permanency--if I can keep this place--

You're going to keep it all right,Tembarom cheered him up with. "If
you've got an idea you're going to be firedjust you forget it. Cut
it right out."

Is--I beg your pardon, sir,Pearson asked with timorous joybut is
that the American for saying you'll be good enough to keep me on?

Mr. Temple Barholm thought a second.

Is 'keep me on' the English for 'let me stay'?

Yes, sir.

Then we're all right. Let's start from there. I'm going to have a
heart-to-heart talk with you, Pearson.

Thank you, sir,said Pearson in a deferential murmur. But if he was
not dissatisfiedwhat was going to happen?

It'll save us both trouble, and me most. I'm not one of those clever
Clarences that can keep up a bluff, making out I know things I don't
know. I couldn't deceive a setting hen or a Berlin wool antimacassar.

Pearson swallowed something with effort.

You see, I fell into this thing KERCHUNK, and I'm just RATTLED--I'm
rattled.As Pearson slightly coughed againhe translated for him
That's American for 'I don't know where I'm at'.


Those American jokes, sir, are very funny indeed,answered Pearson
appreciatively.

Funny!the new Mr. Temple Barholm exclaimed even aggrievedly. "If
you think this lay-out is an American joke to mePearsonthere's
where you're 'way off. Do you think it a merry jest for a fellow like
me to sit up in a high chair in a dining-room like a cathedral and not
know whether he ought to bite his own bread or not? And not dare to
stir till things are handed to him by five husky footmen? I thought
that plain-clothes man was going to cut up my meatand slap me on the
back if I choked."

Pearson's sense of humor was perhaps not inordinatebut unseemly
mirthwhich he had swallowed at the reference to the setting hen and
the Berlin wool antimacassarmomentarily got the better of him
despite his efforts to cough it downand broke forth in a hoarse
ill-repressed sound.

I beg pardon, sir,he said with a laudable endeavor to recover his
professional bearing. "It's your--American way of expressing it which
makes me forget myself. I beg pardon."

Tembarom laughed outright boyishly.

Oh, cut that out,he said. "Sayhow old are you?"

Twenty-five, sir.

So am I. If you'd met me three months ago, beating the streets of New
York for a living, with holes in my shoes and a celluloid collar on,
you'd have looked down on me. I know you would.

Oh, no, sir,most falsely insisted Pearson.

Oh, yes, you would,protested Tembaromcheerfully. "You'd have said
I talked through my noseand I should have laughed at you for
dropping your h's. Now you're rattled because I'm Mr. Temple Temple
Barholm; but you're not half as rattled as I am."

You'll get over it, sir, almost immediately,Pearson assured him
hopefully.

Of course I shall,said Tembaromwith much courage. "But to start
right I've got to get over YOU."

Me, sir?Pearson breathed anxiously.

Yes. That's what I want to get off my chest. Now, first off, you came
in here to try to explain to me that, owing to my New York valet
having left my New York wardrobe behind, I've not got anything to
wear, and so I shall have to buy some clothes.

I failed to find any dress-shirts, sir,began Pearsonhesitatingly.

Mr. Temple Barholm grinned.

I always failed to find them myself. I never had a dress-shirt. I
never owned a suit of glad rags in my life.

Gl--glad rags, sir?stammered Pearsonuncertainly.

I knew you didn't catch on when I said that to you before dinner. I
mean claw-hammer and dress-suit things. Don't you be frightened,
Pearson. I never had six good shirts at once, or two pair of shoes, or


more than four ten-cent handkerchiefs at a time since I was born. And
when Mr. Palford yanked me away from New York, he didn't suspect a
fellow could be in such a state. And I didn't know I was in a state,
anyhow. I was too busy to hunt up people to tell me, because I was
rushing something important right through, and I couldn't stop. I just
bought the first things I set eyes on and crammed them into my trunk.
There, I guess you know the most of this, but you didn't know I knew
you knew it. Now you do, and you needn't be afraid to hurt my feelings
by telling me I haven't a darned thing I ought to have. You can go
straight ahead.

As he leaned backpuffing away at his pipehe had thrown a leg over
the arm of his chair for greater comfortand it really struck his
valet that he had never seen a gentleman more at his easeeven one
who WAS one. His casual candidness produced such a relief from the
sense of strain and uncertainty that Pearson felt the color returning
to his face. An opening had been given himand it was possible for
him to do his duty.

If you wish, sir, I will make a list,he ventured furtherand the
proper firms will send persons to bring things down from London on
appro.

What's 'appro' the English for?

Approval, sir.

Good business! Good old Pearson!

Thank you, sir. Shall I attend to it to-night, to be ready for the
morning post?

In five minutes you shall. But you threw me off the track a bit. The
thing I was really going to say was more important than the clothes
business.

There was something elsethenthought Pearsonsome other unexpected
point of view.

What have you to do for me, anyhow?

Valet you, sir.

That's English for washing my face and combing my hair and putting my
socks on, ain't it?

Well, sir, it means doing all you require, and being always in
attendance when you change.

How much do you get for it?

Thirty shillings a week, sir.

Say, Pearson,said Tembaromwith honest feelingI'll give you
sixty shillings a week NOT to do it.

Calmed though he had felt a few moments agoit cannot be denied that
Pearson was aghast. How could one be prepared for developments of such
an order?

Not to do it, sir!he faltered. "But what would the servants think
if you had no one to valet you?"

That's so. What would they think?But he evidently was not dismayed


for he smiled widely. "I guess the plainclothes man would throw a fit."

But Pearson's view was more serious and involved a knowledge of not
improbable complications. He knew "the hall" and its points of view.

I couldn't draw my wages, sir,he protested. "There'd be the
greatest dissatisfaction among the other servantssirif I didn't do
my duties. There's always a--a slight jealousy of valets and ladies'maids.
The general idea is that they do very little to earn their
salaries. I've seen them fairly hated."

Is that so? Well, I'll be darned! remarked Mr. Temple Barholm. He
gave a moment to reflectionand then cheered up immensely.

I'll tell you how we'll fix it. You come up into my room and bring
your tatting or read a newspaper while I dress.He openly chuckled.
Holy smoke! I've GOT to put on my shirt and swear at my collarbuttons
myself. If I'm in for having a trained nurse do it for me,
it'll give me the Willies. When you danced around me before dinner--

Pearson's horror forced him to commit the indiscretion of
interrupting.

I hope I didn't DANCE, sir,he implored. "I tried to be extremely
quiet."

That was it,said Tembarom. "I shouldn't have said danced; I meant
crept. I kept thinking I should tread on youand I got so nervous
toward the end I thought I should just break down and sob on your
bosom and beg to be taken back to home and mother."

I'm extremely sorry, sir, I am, indeed,apologized Pearsondoing
his best not to give way to hysterical giggling. How was a man to keep
a decently straight faceand if one didn'twhere would it end? One
thing after another.

It was not your fault. It was mine. I haven't a thing against you.
You're a first-rate little chap.

I will try to be more satisfactory to-morrow.

There must be no laughing aloudeven if one burst a blood- vessel. It
would not do. Pearson hastily confronted a vision of a young footman
or Mr. Burrill himself passing through the corridors on some errand
and hearing master and valet shouting together in unseemly and wholly
incomprehensible mirth. And the next remark was worse than ever.

No, you won't, Pearson,Mr. Temple Barholm asserted. "There's where
you're wrong. I've got no more use for a valet than I have for a pair
of straight-front corsets."

This contained a sobering suggestion.

But you said, sir, that--

Oh, I'm not going to fire you,said Tembaromgenially. "I'll 'keep
you on'but little Willie is going to put on his own socks. If the
servants have to be pacifiedyou come up to my room and do anything
you like. Lie on the bed if you want to; get a jew's-harp and play on
it--any old thing to pass the time. And I'll raise your wages. What do
you say? Is it fixed?"

I'm here, sir, to do anything you require,Pearson answered
distressedly; "but I'm afraid--"


Tembarom's face changed. A sudden thought had struck him.

I'll tell you one thing you can do,he said; "you can valet that
friend of mine."

Mr. Strangeways, sir?

Yes. I've got a notion he wouldn't mind it.He was not joking now.
He was in fact rather suddenly thoughtful.

Say, Pearson, what do you think of him?

Well, sir, I've not seen much of him, and he says very little, but I
should think he was a GENTLEMAN, sir.

Mr. Temple Barholm seemed to think it over.

That's queer,he said as though to himself. "That's what Ann said."
Then aloudWould you say he was an American?

In his unavoidable interest in a matter much talked over below stairs
and productive of great curiosity Pearson was betrayed. He could not
explain to himselfafter he had spokenhow he could have been such a
fool as to forget; but forget himself and the birthplace of the new
Mr. Temple Barholm he did.

Oh, no, sir,he exclaimed hastily; "he's QUITE the gentlemansir
even though he is queer in his mind." The next instant he caught
himself and turned cold. An American or a Frenchman or an Italianin
facta native of any country on earth so slighted with an
unconsciousness so naturalif he had been a man of hot tempermight
have thrown something at him or kicked him out of the room; but Mr.
Temple Barholm took his pipe out of his mouth and looked at him with a
slowbroadening smile.

Would you call me a gentleman, Pearson?he asked.

Of course there was no retrieving such a blunderPearson feltbut-


Certainly, sir,he stammered. "Most--most CERTAINLYsir."

Pearson,said Tembaromshaking his head slowlywith a grin so
good-natured that even the frankness of his words was friendly humor
itself--"Pearsonyou're a liar. But that doesn't jolt me a bit. I
dare say I'm not oneanyhow. We might put an 'ad' in one of your
papers and find out."

I--I beg your pardon, sir,murmured Pearson in actual anguish of
mind.

Mr. Temple Barholm laughed outright.

Oh, I've not got it in for you. How could you help it?he said. Then
he stopped joking again. "If you want to please ME he added with
deliberation, you look after Mr. Strangewaysand don't let anything
disturb him. Don't bother himbut just find out what he wants. When
he gets restlesscome and tell me. If I'm outtell him I'm coming
back. Don't let him worry. You understand--don't let him worry."

I'll do my best--my very best, sir,Pearson answered devoutly. "I've
been nervous and excited this first day because I am so anxious to
please--everything seems to depend on it just now he added, daring
another confidential outburst. But you'll see I do know how to keep


my wits about me in generaland I've got a good memoryand I have
learned my dutiessir. I'll attend to Mr. Strangeways most
particular."

As Tembarom listenedand watched his neatblond countenanceand
noted the undertone of quite desperate appeal in his low voicehe was
thinking of a number of things. Chiefly he was thinking of little Ann
Hutchinson and the Harlem flat which might have been "run" on fifteen
dollars a week.

I want to know I have some one in this museum of a place who'll
UNDERSTAND,he said--"some one who'll do just exactly what I say and
ask no fool questions and keep his mouth shut. I believe you could do
it."

I'll swear I could, sir. Trust me,was Pearson's astonishingly
emotional and hasty answer.

I'm going to,returned Mr. Temple Barholm. "I've set my mind on
putting something through in my own way. It's a queer thingand most
people would say I was a fool for trying it. Mr. Hutchinson doesbut
Miss Hutchinson doesn't."

There was a note in his tone of saying "Miss Hutchinson doesn't" which
opened up vistas to Pearson--strange vistas when one thought of old
Mrs. Hutchinson's cottage and the estate of Temple Barholm.

We're just about the same age,his employer continuedand in a
sort of way we're in just about the same fix.

Their eyes looked into each other's a second; but it was not for
Pearson to presume to make any comment whatsoever upon the possible
nature of "the fix." Two or three more puffsand Mr. Temple Barholm
spoke again.

Say, Pearson, I don't want to butt in, but what about that little
bunch of calico of yours--the one you're saving up for?

Calico, sir?said Pearsonat seabut hopeful. Whatsoever the new
Mr. Temple Barholm meantone began to realize that it was not likely
to be unfriendly.

That's American for HER, Pearson. 'Her' stands for the same thing
both in English and American, I guess. What's her name and where is
she? Don't you say a word if you don't want to.

Pearson drew a step nearer. There was an extraordinary human
atmosphere in the room which caused things to begin to go on in his
breast. He had had a harder life than Tembarom because he had been
more timid and less buoyant and less unselfconscious. He had been
beaten by a drunken mother and kicked by a drunken father. He had gone
hungry and faint to the board school and had been punished as a dull
boy. After he had struggled into a place as pagehe had been bullied
by footmen and had had his ears boxed by cooks and butlers. Ladies'maids
and smart housemaids had sneered at himand made him feel
himself a hopelessvulgar little worm who never would "get on." But
he had got onin a measurebecause he had worked like a slave and
openly resented nothing. A place like this had been his fevered hope
and dream from his page daysthough of course his imagination had not
encompassed attendance on a gentleman who had never owned a dressshirt
in his life. Yet gentleman or no gentlemanhe was a Temple
Barholmand there was something about himsomething human in his
young voice and grin and queerunheard-of New York jokeswhich
Pearson had never encounteredand which had the effect of making him


feel somehow more of a man than his timorous nature had ever allowed
of his feeling before. It suggested that they were bothvalet and
mastermerely masculine human creatures of like kind. The way he had
said "Miss Hutchinson" and the twinkle in his eye when he'd made that
American joke about the "little bunch of calico"! The curious fact was
that thinneatwhite-blooded-looking Pearson was passionately in
love. So he took the step nearer and grew hot and spoke low.

Her name is Rose Merrick, sir, and she's in place in London. She's
lady's-maid to a lady of title, and it isn't an easy place. Her lady
has a high temper, and she's economical with her servants. Her maid
has to sew early and late, and turn out as much as if she was a whole
dressmaking establishment. She's clever with her needle, and it would
be easier if she felt it was appreciated. But she's treated haughty
and severe, though she tries her very best. She has to wait up half
the night after balls, and I'm afraid it's breaking her spirit and her
health. That's why,--I beg your pardon, sir,he addedhis voice
shaking--"that's why I'd bear anything on earth if I could give her a
little home of her own."

Gee whizz!ejaculated Mr. Temple Barholmwith feeling. "I guess you
would!"

And that's not all, sir,said Pearson. "She's a beautiful girlsir
with a figureand service is sometimes not easy for a young woman
like that. His lordship--the master of the housesir--is much too
attentive. He's a man with bad habits; the last lady's-maid was sent
away in disgrace. Her ladyship wouldn't believe she hadn't been
forward when she saw things she didn't likethough every one in the
hall knew the girl hated his bold ways with herand her mother nearly
broke her heart. He's begun with Roseand it just drives me madsir
it does!"

He chokedand wiped his forehead with his clean handkerchief. It was
dampand his young eyes had fire in themas Mr. Temple Barholm did
not fail to observe.

I'm taking a liberty talking to you like this, sir,he said. "I'm
behaving as if I didn't know my placesir."

Your place is behind that fellow, kicking him till he'll never sit
down again except on eider-down cushions three deep,remarked Mr.
Temple Barholmwith fire in his eyes also. "That's where your place
is. It's where mine would be if I was in the same house with him and
caught him making a goat of himself. I bet nine Englishmen out of ten
would break his darned neck for him if they got on to his little ways
even if they were lordships themselves."

The decent ones won't know,Pearson said. "That's not what happens
sir. He can laugh and chaff it off with her ladyship and coax her
round. But a girl that's discharged like thatRose saysthat's the
worst of it: she says she's got a character fastened on to her for
life that no respectable man ought to marry her with."

Mr. Temple Barholm removed his leg from the arm of his chair and got
up. Long-leggedsinewybut somewhat slouchy in his badly made tweed
suitsharp New York face and awful American style notwithstandinghe
still looked rather nice as he laid his hand on his valet's shoulder
and gave him a friendly push.

See here,he said. "What you've got to say to Rose is that she's
just got to cut that sort of thing out--cut it right out. Talking to a
man that's in love with her as if he was likely to throw her down
because lies were told. Tell her to forget it --forget it quick. Why


what does she suppose a man's FORby jinks? What's he FOR?"

I've told her that, sir, though of course not in American. I just
swore it on my knees in Hyde Park one night when she got out for an
hour. But she laid her poor head on the back of the bench and cried
and wouldn't listen. She says she cares for me too much to--

Tembarom's hand clutched his shoulder. His face lighted and glowed
suddenly.

Care for you too much,he asked. "Did she say that? God bless her!"

That's what I said,broke in Pearson.

I heard another girl say that--just before I left New York--a girl
that's just a wonder,said his master. "A girl can be a wondercan't
she?"

Rose is, sir,protested Pearson. "She isindeedsir. And her eyes
are that blue--"

Blue, are they? interrupted Tembarom. "I know the kind. I'm on to
the whole thing. And what's moreI'm going to fix it. You tell Rose-and
tell her from me--that she's going to leave that placeand you're
going to stay in this oneand--wellpresently things'll begin to
happen. They're going to be all right--ALL RIGHT he went on, with
immensely convincing emphasis. She's going to have that little home
of her own." He paused a moment for reflectionand then a sudden
thought presented itself to him. "Whydarn it!" he exclaimedthere
must be a whole raft of little homes that belong to me in one place or
another. Why couldn't I fix you both up in one of them?

Oh, sir!Pearson broke forth in some slight alarm. He went so fast
and so far all in a moment. And Pearson really possessed a neatwellordered
conscienceandmoreoverknew his place.I hope I didn't
seem to be expecting you to trouble yourself about me, sir. I mustn't
presume on your kindness.

It's not kindness; it's--well, it's just human. I'm going to think
this thing over. You just keep your hair on, and let me do my own
valeting, and you'll see I'll fix it for you somehow.

What he thought of doinghow he thought of doing itand what Pearson
was to expectthe agitated young man did not know. The situation was
of course abnormaljudged by all respectablelong-established
custom. A man's valet and his valet's "young woman" were not usually
of intimate interest. Gentlemen were sometimes "kind" to you--gave you
half a sovereign or even a sovereignand perhaps asked after your
mother if you were supporting one; but-


I never dreamed of going so far, sir,he said. "I forgot myselfI'm
afraid."

Good thing you did. It's made me feel as if we were brothers.He
laughed againenjoying the thought of the little thing who cared for
Pearson "too much" and had eyes that were "that blue." "SayI've just
thought of something else. Have you bought her an engagement-ring
yet?"

No, sir. In our class of life jewelry is beyond the means.

I just wondered,Mr. Temple Barholm said. He seemed to be thinking
of something that pleased him as he fumbled for his pocket-book and
took a clean banknote out of it. "I'm not on to what the value of this


thing is in real moneybut you go and buy her a ring with itand I
bet she'll be so pleased you'll have the time of your life."

Pearson taking it; and recognizing its value in UNreal moneywas
embarrassed by feeling the necessity of explanation.

This is a five-pound note, sir. It's too much, sir, it is indeed.
This would FURNISH THE FRONT PARLOR.He said it almost solemnly.

Mr. Temple Barholm looked at the note interestedly.

Would it? By jinks!and his laugh had a certain softness of
recollection. "I guess that's just what Ann would say. She'd know what
it would furnishyou bet your life!"

I'm most grateful, sir,protested Pearsonbut I oughtn't to take
it. Being an American gentleman and not accustomed to English money,
you don't realize that--

I'm not accustomed to any kind of money,said his master. "I'm
scared to be left alone in the room with it. That's what's the matter.
If I don't give some awayI shall never know I've got it. Cheer up
Pearson. You take that and buy the ringand when you start
furnishingI'll see you don't get left."

I don't know what to say, sir,Pearson faltered emotionally. "I
don'tindeed."

Don't say a darned thing,replied Mr. Temple Barholm. And just here
his face changed as Mr. Palford had seen it change beforeand as
Pearson often saw it change later. His New York jocular irreverence
dropped from himand he looked mature and oddly serious.

I've tried to sort of put you wise to the way I've lived and the
things I HAVEN'T had ever since I was born,he saidbut I guess you
don't really know a thing about it. I've got more money coming in
every year than a thousand of me would ever expect to see in their
lives, according to my calculation. And I don't know how to do any of
the things a fellow who is what you call `a gentleman' would know how
to do. I mean in the way of spending it. Now, I've got to get some fun
out of it. I should be a mutt if I didn't, so I'm going to spend it my
own way. I may make about seventy-five different kinds of a fool of
myself, but I guess I sha'n't do any particular harm.

You'll do good, sir,--to every one.

Shall I?--said Tembarom, speculatively. WellI'm not exactly
setting out with that in my mind. I'm no Young Men's Christian
Associationbut I'm not in for doing harmanyway. You take your
five-pound note--come to think of itPalford said it came to about
twenty- five dollarsreal money. Hully gee! I never thought I'd have
twenty-five dollars to GIVE AWAY! It makes me feel like I was Morgan."

Thank you, sir; thank you,said Pearsonputting the note into his
pocket with rapt gratitude in his neat face. "You --you do not wish me
to remain--to do anything for you?"

Not a thing. But just go and find out if Mr. Strangeways is asleep.
If he isn't and seems restless, I'll come and have a talk with him.

Yes, sir,said Pearsonand went at once.


CHAPTER XIII

In the course of two days Mr. Palfordhaving given his client the
benefit of his own exact professional knowledge of the estate of
Temple Barholm and its workings and privileges as far as he found them
transferable and likely to be understoodreturned to London
breathing perhaps something like a sigh of relief when the train
steamed out of the little station. Whatsoever happened in days to
comePalford & Grimby had done their most trying and awkward duty by
the latest Temple Barholm. Bradfordwho was the steward of the
estatewould now take him overand could be trusted to furnish
practical information of any ordinary order.

It did not appear to Mr. Palford that the new inheritor was
particularly interested in his possessions or exhilarated by the
extraordinary turn in his fortunes. The enormity of Temple Barholm
itselfregarded as a house to live in in an everyday mannerseemed
somewhat to depress him. When he was taken over its hundred and fifty
roomshe wore a detached air as he looked about himand such remarks
as he made were of an extraordinary nature and expressed in terms
peculiar to America. Neither Mr. Palford nor Burrill understood them
but a young footman who was said to have once paid a visit to New
Yorkand who chanced to be in the picture-gallery when his new master
was looking at the portraits of his ancestorsover-hearing one
observationwas guilty of a convulsive snortand immediately made
his way into the corridorcoughing violently. From this Mr. Palford
gathered that one of the transatlantic jokes had been made. That was
the New York idea--to be jocular. Yet he had not looked jocular when
he had made the remark which had upset the equilibrium of the young
footman. He hadin factlooked reflective before speaking as he
stood and studied a portrait of one of his ancestors. Butthenhe
had a trick of saying things incomprehensibly ridiculous with an
unmoved expression of gravitywhich led Palford to feel that he was
ridiculous through utter ignorance and was not aware that he was
exposing the fact. Persons who thought that an air of seriousness
added to a humorous remark were especially annoying to the solicitor
because they frequently betrayed one into the position of seeming to
be dull in the matter of seeing a point. Thathe had observedwas
often part of the New York manner--to make a totally absurdly
exaggerated or seemingly ignorance-revealing observationand then
leave one's hearer to decide for himself whether the speaker was an
absolute ignoramus and fool or a humorist.

More than once he had somewhat suspected his client of meaning to "get
a rise out of him after the odious manner of the tourists described
in The Innocents Abroad though at the same time he felt rather
supportingly sure of the fact that generally, when he displayed
ignorance, he displayed it because he was a positive encyclopedia of
lack of knowledge.

He knew no more of social customs, literature, and art than any other
street lad. He had not belonged to the aspiring self-taught, who
meritoriously haunt the night schools and free libraries with a view
to improving their minds. If this had been his method, he might in one
sense have been more difficult to handle, as Palford had seen the
thing result in a bumptiousness most objectionable. He was markedly
not bumptious, at all events.

A certain degree of interest in or curiosity concerning his ancestors
as represented in the picture-gallery Mr. Palford had observed. He had
stared at them and had said queer things --sometimes things which
perhaps indicated a kind of uneducated thought. The fact that some of


them looked so thoroughly alive, and yet had lived centuries ago,
seemed to set him reflecting oddly. His curiosity, however, seemed to
connect itself with them more as human creatures than as historical
figures.

What did that one do?" he inquired more than once. "What did he
startor didn't he start anything?"

When he disturbed the young footman he had stopped before a dark man
in armor.

Who's this fellow in the tin overcoat?he asked seriouslyand
Palford felt it was quite possible that he had no actual intent of
being humorous.

That is Miles Gaspard Nevil John, who fought in the Crusades with
Richard Coeur de Lion,he explained. "He is wearing a suit of armor."
By this time the footman was coughing in the corridor.

That's English history, I guess,Tembarom replied. "I'll have to get
a history-book and read up about the Crusades."

He went on fartherand paused with a slightly puzzled expression
before a boy in a costume of the period of Charles II.

Who's this Fauntleroy in the lace collar?he inquired. "Queer!" he
addedas though to himself. "I can't ever have seen him in New York."
And he took a step backward to look again.

That is Miles Hugo Charles James, who was a page at the court of
Charles II. He died at nineteen, and was succeeded by his brother
Denzel Maurice John.

I feel as if I'd had a dream about him sometime or other,said
Tembaromand he stood still a few seconds before he passed on.
Perhaps I saw something like him getting out of a carriage to go into
the Van Twillers' fancy-dress ball. Seems as if I'd got the whole show
shut up in here. And you say they're all my own relations?Then he
laughed. "If they were alive now!" he said. "By jinks!"

His laughter suggested that he was entertained by mental visions. But
he did not explain to his companion. His legal adviser was not in the
least able to form any opinion of what he would dohow he would be
likely to comport himselfwhen he was left entirely to his own
devices. He would not know alsoone might be surethat the county
would wait with repressed anxiety to find out. If he had been a minor
he might have been taken in handand trained and educated to some
extent. But he was not a minor.

On the day of Mr. Palford's departure a thick fog had descended and
seemed to enwrap the world in the white wool. Tembarom found it close
to his windows when he got upand he had dressed by the light of tall
wax candlesthe previous Mr. Temple Barholm having objected to more
modern and vulgar methods of illumination.

I guess this is what you call a London fog,he said to Pearson.

No, not exactly the London sort, sir,Pearson answered. "A London
fog is yellow--when it isn't brown or black. It settles on the hands
and face. A fog in the country isn't dirty with smoke. It's much less
tryingsir."

When Palford had departed and he was entirely aloneTembarom found a
country fog trying enough for a man without a companion. A degree of


relief permeated his being with the knowledge that he need no longer
endeavor to make suitable reply to his solicitor's efforts at
conversation. He had made conversational efforts himself. You couldn't
let a man feel that you wouldn't talk to him if you could when he was
doing business for youbut what in thunder did you have to talk about
that a man like that wouldn't be bored stiff by? He didn't like New
Yorkhe didn't know anything about itand he didn't want to know
and Tembarom knew nothing about anything elseand was homesick for
the very stones of the roaring city's streets. When he said anything
Palford either didn't understand what he was getting at or he didn't
like it. And he always looked as if he was watching to see if you were
trying to get a joke on him. Tembarom was frequently not nearly so
much inclined to be humorous as Mr. Palford had irritably suspected
him of being. His modes of expression might on numerous occasions have
roused to mirth when his underlying idea was almost entirely serious.
The mode of expression was merely a result of habit.

Mr. Palford left by an extremely early trainand after he was gone
Tembarom sat over his breakfast as long as possibleand thengoing
to the librarysmoked long. The library was certainly comfortable
though the fire and the big wax candles were called upon to do their
best to defy the chillmysterious dimness produced by the heavy
white wool curtain folding itself more and more thickly outside the
windows.

But one cannot smoke in solitary idleness for much more than an hour
and when he stood up and knocked the ashes out of his last pipe
Tembarom drew a long breath.

There's a hundred and thirty-six hours in each of these days,he
said. "That's nine hundred and fifty-two in a weekand four thousand
and eighty in a month--when it's got only thirty days in it. I'm not
going to calculate how many there'd be in a year. I'll have a look at
the papers. There's Punch. That's their comic one."

He looked out the American news in the London papersand sighed
hugely. He took up Punch and read every joke two or three times over.
He did not know that the number was a specially good one and that
there were some extremely witty things in it. The jokes were about
bishops in gaitersabout garden-partiesabout curates or lovely
young ladies or rectors' wives and rusticsabout Royal Academicians
or esthetic poets. Their humor appealed to him as little and seemed as
obscure as his had seemed to Mr. Palford.

I'm not laughing my head off much over these,he said. "I guess I'm
not on to the point."

He got up and walked about. The "L" in New York was roaring to and fro
loaded with men and women going to work or to do shopping. Some of
them were devouring morning papers bearing no resemblance to those of
Londonsome of them carried parcelsand all of them looked as though
they were intent on something or other and hadn't a moment to waste.
They were all going somewhere in a hurry and had to get back in time
for something. When the train whizzed and slackened at a stationsome
started uphastily caught their papers or bundles closerand pushed
or were pushed out on the platformwhich was crowded with other
people who rushed to get inand if they found seatsdropped into
them hastily with an air of relief. The street-cars were loaded and
rang their bells loudlytrucks and carriages and motors filled the
middle of the thoroughfaresand people crowded the pavements. The
store windows were dressed up for Christmasand most of the people
crowded before them were calculating as to what they could get for the
inadequate sums they had on hand.


The breakfast at Mrs. Bowse's boarding-house was overand the
boarders had gone on cars or elevated trains to their day's work. Mrs.
Bowse was getting ready to go out and do some marketing. Julius and
Jim were down-town deep in the work pertaining to their separate
jobs.They'd go home at nightand perhapsif they were in luck
would go to a "show" somewhereand afterward come and sit in their
tilted chairs in the hall bedroom and smoke and talk it over. And he
wouldn't be thereand the Hutchinsons' rooms would be emptyunless
some new people were in them. Galton would be sitting among his
papersworking like mad. And Bennett--wellBennett would be either
getting out his page,or would be rushing about in the hundredth
streets to find items and follow up weddings or receptions.

Gee!he saidevery one of them trying their best to put something
over, and with so much to think of they've not got time to breathe!
It'd be no trouble for THEM to put in a hundred and thirty-six hours.
They'd be darned glad of them. And, believe me, they'd put something
over, too, before they got through. And I'm here, with three hundred
and fifty thousand dollars a year round my neck and not a thing to
spend it on, unless I pay some one part of it to give me lessons in
tatting. What is tatting, anyhow?

He didn't really know. It was vaguely supposed to imply some intensely
feminine fancy-work done by old ladies, and used as a figure of speech
in jokes.

If you could ride or shootyou could amuse yourself in the country
Palford had said.

I can ride in a street-car when I've got five cents Tembarom had
answered. That's as far as I've gone in riding --and what in thunder
should I shoot?"

Game,replied Mr. Palfordwith chill inward disgust. "Pheasants
partridgeswoodcockgrouse--"

I shouldn't shoot anything like that if I went at it,he responded
shamelessly. "I should shoot my own head offor the fellow's that
stood next to meunless he got the drop on me first."

He did not know that he was ignominious. Nobody could have made it
clear to him. He did not know that there were men who had gained
distinctionpopularityand fame by doing nothing in particular but
hitting things animate and inanimate with magnificent precision of
aim.

He stood still now and listened to the silence.

There's not a sound within a thousand miles of the place. What do
fellows with money DO to keep themselves alive?he said piteously.
They've got to do SOMETHING. Shall I have to go out and take a walk,
as Palford called it? Take a walk, by gee!

He couldn't conceive ita man "taking a walk" as though it were
medicine--a walk nowhereto reach nothingjust to go and turn back
again.

I'll begin and take in sewing,he saidor I'll open a store in the
village--a department store. I could spend something on that. I'll ask
Pearson what he thinks of it-- or Burrill. I'd like to see Burrill if
I said that to him.

He decided at last that he would practise his "short" awhile; that
would be doing somethingat any rate. He sat down at the big writing



table and began to dash off mystic signs at furious speed. But the
speed did not keep up. The silence of the great roomof the immense
houseof all the scores of rooms and galleries and corridorsclosed
in about him. He had practised his "short" in the night schoolwith
the "L" thundering past at intervals of five minutes; in the newspaper
officewith all the babel of New York about him and the bang of
steam-drills going on below in the next lotwhere the foundation of a
new building was being excavated; he had practised it in his hall
bedroom at Mrs. Bowse'sto the tumultuous accompaniment of street
sounds and the whizz and TING-A-LING of street-cars dashing pastand
he had not been disturbed. He had never practised it in any place
which was silentand it was the silence which became more than he
could stand. He actually jumped out of his chair when he heard
mysterious footsteps outside the doorand a footman appeared and
spoke in a low voice which startled him as though it had been a
thunderclap.

A young person with her father wants to see you, sir,he announced.
I don't think they are villagers, but of the working-class, I should
say.

Where are they?

I didn't know exactly what to do, sir, so I left them in the hall.
The young person has a sort of quiet, determined way--

Little Ann, by gee!exclaimed Tembarom with mad joyand shot out of
the room.

The footman--he had not seen Little Ann when she had brought
Strangeways--looked after him and rubbed his chin.

Wouldn't you call that a rummy sort for Temple Barholm?he said to
one of his fellows who had appeared in the hall near him.

It's not my sort,was the answer. "I'm going to give notice to old
Butterworth."

Hutchinson and Little Ann were waiting in the hall. Hutchinson was
looking at the richshadowy spaces about him with a sort of proud
satisfaction. Finedark corners with armored figures lurking in them
ancient portraitscarved oak settlesand massive chairs and
cabinets--these were Englishand he was an Englishmanand somehow
felt them the outcome of certain sterling qualities of his own. He
looked robustly welland wore a new rough tweed suit such as one of
the gentry might tramp about muddy roads and fields in. Little Ann was
dressed in something warm and rough alsoa brown thingwith a little
closecap-likebrown hatfrom under which her red hair glowed. The
walk in the coldwhite fog had made her bloom freshsoft-red and
white-daisy color. She was smilingand showing three distinct
dimpleswhich deepened when Tembarom dashed out of the library.

Hully gee!he cried outbut I'm glad to see you!

He shook hands with both of them furiouslyand two footmen stood and
looked at the group with image-like calm of featurebut with
curiously interested eyes. Hutchinson was aware of themand
endeavored to present to them a back which by its stolid composure
should reveal that he knew more about such things than this chap did
and wasn't a bit upset by grandeur.

Hully gee!cried Tembarom againhow glad I am! Come on in and sit
down and let's talk it over.


Burrill made a stately step forwardproperly intent on his dutyand
his master waved him back.

Say,he said hastilydon't bring in any tea. They don't want it.
They're Americans.

Hutchinson snorted. He could not stand being consigned to ignominy
before the footmen.

Nowt o' th' sort,he broke forth. " We're noan American. Tha'rt
losing tha headlad."

He's forgetting because he met us first in New York,said Little
Annsmiling still more.

Shall I take your hat and cane, sir?inquired Burrillunmovedlyat
Hutchinson's side.

He wasn't going to say anything about tea,explained Little Ann as
they went into the library. "They don't expect to serve tea in the
middle of the morningMr. Temple Barholm."

Don't they?said Tembaromreckless with relieved delight. "I
thought they served it every time the clock struck. When we were in
London it seemed like Palford had it when he was hot and when he was
cold and when he was glad and when he was sorry and when he was going
out and when he was coming in. It's brought up to meby jinks! as
soon as I waketo brace me up to put on my clothes--and Pearson wants
to put those on."

He stopped short when they reached the middle of the room and looked
her over.

O Little Ann!he breathed tumultuously. "0 Little Ann!"

Mr. Hlutchinson was looking about the library as he had looked about
the hall.

Well, I never thought I'd get inside Temple Barlholm in my day,he
exclaimed. "Ehladtha must feel like bull in a china shop."

I feel like a whole herd of 'em,answered Tembarom. Hutchinson
nodded. He understood.

Well, perhaps tha'll get over it in time,he concededbut it'll
take thee a good bit.Then he gave him a warmly friendly look. "I'll
lay you know what Ann came with me for to-day." The way Little Ann
looked at him--the way she looked at him!

I came to thank you, Mr. Temple Barholm,she said--"to thank you."
And there was an oddtender sound in her voice.

Don't you do it, Ann,Tembarom answered. "Don't you do it."

I don't know much about business, but the way you must have worked,
the way you must have had to run after people, and find them, and make
then listen, and use all your New York cleverness--because you ARE
clever. The way you've forgotten all about yourself and thought of
nothing but father and the invention! I do know enough to understand
that, and it seems as if I can't think of enough to say. I just wish I
could tell you what it means to me.Two round pearls of tears brimmed
over and fell down her cheeks. "I promised mother FAITHFUL I'd take
care of him and see he never lost hope about it she added, and
sometimes I didn't know whatever I was going to do."


It was perilous when she looked at one like thatand she was so
little and light that one could have snatched her up in his arms and
carried her to the big arm-chair and sat down with her and rocked her
backward and forward and poured forth the whole thing that was making
him feel as though he might explode.

Hutchinson provided salvation.

Tha pulled me out o' the water just when I was going under, lad. God
bless thee!he broke outand shook his hand with rough vigor. "I
signed with the North Electric yesterday."

Good business!said Tembarom. "Now I'm in on the ground floor with
what's going to be the biggest money-maker in sight."

The way tha talked New York to them chaps took my fancy,chuckled
Hutchinson. "None o' them chaps wants to be the first to jump over the
hedge."

We've got 'em started now,exulted Tembarom.

Tha started 'em,said Hutchinsonand it's thee I've got to thank.

Say, Little Ann,said Tembaromwith sudden thoughtwho's come
into money now? You'll have it to burn.

We've not got it yet, Mr. Temple Barholm,she repliedshaking her
head. "Even when inventions get startedthey don't go off like skyrockets."


She knows everything, doesn't she?Tembarom said to Hutchinson.
Here, come and sit down. I've not seen you for 'steen years.

She took her seat in the big arm-chair and looked at him with softly
examining eyesas though she wanted to understand him sufficiently to
be able to find out something she ought to do if he needed help.

He saw it and half laughednot quite unwaveringly.

You'll make me cry in a minute,he said. " You don't know what it's
like to have some one from home and mother come and be kind to you."

How is Mr. Strangeways?she inquired.

He's well taken care of, at any rate. That's where he's got to thank
you. Those rooms you and the housekeeper chose were the very things
for him. They're big and comfortable, and 'way off in a place where no
one's likely to come near. The fellow that's been hired to valet me
valets him instead, and I believe he likes it. It seems to come quite
natural to him, any how. I go in and see him every now and then and
try to get him to talk. I sort of invent things to see if I can start
him thinking straight. He's quieted down some and he looks better.
After a while I'm going to look up some big doctors in London and find
out which of 'em's got the most plain horse sense. If a real big one
would just get interested and come and see him on the quiet and not
get him excited, he might do him good. I'm dead stuck on this stunt
I've set myself--getting him right. It's something to work on.

You'll have plenty to work on soon,said Little Ann. "There's a lot
of everyday things you've got to think about. They may seem of no
consequence to youbut they AREMr. Temple Barholm."

If you say they are, I guess they are,he answered. "I'll do


anything you sayAnn."

I came partly to tell you about some of them to-day,she went on
keeping the yearningly thoughtful eyes on him. It was rather hard for
hertooto be firm enough when there was so much she wanted to say
and do. And he did not look half as twinkling and light-heartedly
grinning as he had looked in New York.

He couldn't help dropping his voice a little coaxinglythough Mr.
Hutchinson was quite sufficiently absorbed in examination of his
surroundings.

Didn't you come to save my life by letting me have a look at you,
Little Ann--didn't you?he pleaded.

She shook her wonderfulred head.

No, I didn't, Mr. Temple Barholm,she answered with Manchester
downrightness. " When I said what I did in New YorkI meant it. I
didn't intend to hang about here and let you--say things to me. You
mustn't say them. Father and me are going back to Manchester in a few
daysand very soon we have to go to America again because of the
business."

America!he said. "OhLord!" he groaned. "Do you want me to drop
down dead here with a dullsickening thudAnn? "

You're not going to drop down dead,she replied convincedly. "You're
going to stay here and do whatever it's your duty to donow you've
come into Temple Barholm."

Am I?he answered. "Wellwe'll see what I'm going to do when I've
had time to make up my mind. It may be something different from what
you'd thinkand it mayn't. Just now I'm going to do what you tell me.
Go aheadLittle Ann."

She thought the matter over with her most destructive little air of
sensible intentness.

Well, it may seem like meddling, but it isn't,she began rather
concernedly. "It's just that I'm used to looking after people. I
wanted to talk to you about your clothes."

My clothes?he repliedbewildered a moment; but the next he
understood and grinned. "I haven't got any. My valet--think of T. T.
with a valet!--told me so last night."

That's what I thought,she said maternally." I got Mrs. Bowse to
write to meand she told me you were so hurried and excited you
hadn't time for anything."

I just rushed into Cohen's the last day and yanked a few things off
the ready-made counter.

She looked him over with impersonal criticism.

I thought so. Those you've got on won't do at all.

Tembarom glanced at them.

That's what Pearson says.

They're not the right shape,she explained. "I know what a
gentleman's clothes mean in Englandand--" her face flushedand


suddenwarm spirit made her speak rather fast-- "I couldn't ABIDE to
think of you coming here and--being made fun of--just because you
hadn't the right clothes."

She said itthe little thingas though he were hers--her very own
and defend him against disrespect she WOULD. Tembarombeing but young
flesh and bloodmade an impetuous dart toward herand checked
himselfcatching his breath.

Ann,he saidhas your grandmother got a dog?

Y-e-s,she saidfaltering because she was puzzled.

How big is he?

He's a big one. He's a brindled bulldog. Why?

Well,he saidhalf pathetichalf defiantif you're going to come
and talk to me like that, and look like that, you've got to bring that
bull along and set him on me when I make a break; for there's nothing
but a dog can keep me where you want me to stay--and a big one at
that.

He sat down on an ottoman near her and dropped his head on his hands.
It was not half such a joke as it sounded.

Little Ann saw it wasn't and she watched him tenderlycatching her
breath once quickly. Men had ways of taking some things hard and
feeling them a good bit more than one would think. It made trouble
many a time if one couldn't help them to think reasonable.

Father,she said to Hutchinson.

Aye,he answeredturning round.

Will you tell Mr. Temple Barholm that you think I'm right about
giving him his chance?

Of course I think she's right,Hutchinson blusteredand it isn't
the first time either. I'm not going to have my lass married into any
family where she'd be looked down upon.

But that was not what Little Ann wanted; it was notin facther
argument. She was not thinking of that side of the situation.

It's not me that matters so much, Father,she said; "it's him."

Oh, is it?disagreed Hutchinsondictatorially. "That's not th' road
I look at it. I'm looking after younot him. Let him take care of
himself. No chap shall put you where you won't be looked up toeven
if I AM grateful to him. So there you have it."

He can't take care of himself when he feels like this,she answered.
That's WHY I'm taking care of him. He'll think steadier when he's
himself again.She put out her hand and softly touched his shoulder.

Don't do that,she said. "You make me want to be silly." There was a
quiver in her voicebut she tried to change it. "If you don't lift
your head she added with a great effort at disciplinarian firmness,
I shall have to go away without telling you the other things."

He lifted his headbut his attempt at a smile was not hilarious.

Well, Ann,he submitted I've warned you. Bring along your dog.


She took a sheet of paper out of one of the neat pockets in her rough
brown coat.

I just wrote down some of the very best tailors' addresses --the very
best,she explained. "Don't you go to any but the very bestand be a
bit sharp with them if they're not attentive. They'll think all the
better of you. If your valet's a smart onetake him with you."

Yes, Ann,he said rather weakly. "He's going to make a list of
things himselfanyhow."

That sounds as if he'd got some sense.She handed him the list of
addresses. "You give him thisand tell him he must go to the very
best ones."

What do I want to put on style for?he asked desperately. "I don't
know a soul on this side of the Atlantic Ocean."

You soon will,she repliedwith calm perspicacity. "You've got too
much money not to."

A gruff chuckle made itself heard from Hutchinson's side of the room.

Aye, seventy thousand a year'll bring th' vultures about thee, lad.

We needn't call them vultures exactly,was Little Ann's tolerant
comment; "but a lot of people will come here to see you. That was one
of the things I thought I might tell you about."

Say, you're a wonder!

I'm nothing of the sort. I'm just a girl with a bit of common sense-and
grandmother's one that's looked on a long time, and she sees
things. The country gentlemen will begin to call on you soon, and then
you'll be invited to their houses to meet their wives and daughters,
and then you'll be kept pretty busy.

Hutchinson's bluff chuckle broke out again.

You will that, my lad, when th' match-making mothers get after you.
There's plenty on 'em.

Father's joking,she said. Her tone was judicially unprejudiced.
There are young ladies that--that'd be very suitable. Pretty ones and
clever ones. You'll see them all.

I don't want to see them.

You can't help it,she saidwith mild decision. "When there are
daughters and a new gentleman comes into a big property in the
neighborhoodit's nothing but natural that the mothers should be a
bit anxious."

Aye, they'll be anxious enough. Mak' sure o' that,laughed
Hutchinson.

Is that what you want me to put on style for, Little Ann?Tembarom
asked reproachfully.

I want you to put it on for yourself. I don't want you to look
different from other men. Everybody's curious about you. They're ready
to LAUGH because you came from America and once sold newspapers.


It's the men he'll have to look out for,Hutchinson put inwith an
experienced air. "There's them that'll want to borrow moneyand them
that'll want to drink and play cards and bet high. A green American
lad'll be a fine pigeon for them to pluck. You may as well tell him
Ann; you know you came here to do it."

Yes, I did,she admitted. "I don't want you to seem not to know what
people are up to and what they expect."

That little note of involuntary defense was a dangerous thing for
Tembarom. He drew nearer.

You don't want them to take me for a fool, Little Ann. You're
standing up for me; that's it.

You can stand up for yourself, Mr. Temple Barholm, if you're not
taken by surprise,she said confidently. "If you understand things a
bityou won't be."

His feelings almost overpowered him.

God bless your dear little soul!he broke out. "Sayif this goes
onthat dog of your grandmother's wouldn't have a showAnn. I should
bite him before he could bite me."

I won't go on if you can't be sensible, Mr. Temple Barholm. I shall
just go away and not come back again. That's what I shall do.Her
tone was that of a young mother.

He gave in incontinently.

Good Lord! no!he exclaimed. "I'll do anything if you'll stay. I'll
lie down on the mat and not open my mouth. Just sit here and tell me
things. I know you won't let me hold your handbut just let me hold a
bit of your dress and look at you while you talk." He took a bit of
her brown frock between his fingers and held itgazing at her with
all his crude young soul in his eyes. "Now tell me he added.

There's only one or two things about the people who'll come to Temple
Barholm. Grandmother's talked it over with me. She knew all about
those that came in the late Mr. Temple Barholm's time. He used to hate
most of them."

Then why in thunder did he ask them to come?

He didn't. They've got clever, polite ways of asking themselves
sometimes. He couldn't bear the Countess of Mallowe. She'll come.
Grandmother says you may be sure of that.

What'll she come for?

Little Ann's pause and contemplation of him were fraught with
thoughtfulness.

She'll come for you,at last she said.

She's got a daughter she thinks ought to have been married eight
years ago,announced Hutchinson.

Tembarom pulled at the bit of brown tweed he held as though it were a
drowning man's straw.

Don't you drive me to drink, Ann,he said. "I'm frightened. Your
grandmother will have to lend ME the dog."


This was a flightiness which Little Ann did not encourage.

Lady Joan--that's her daughter--is very grand and haughty. She's a
great beauty. You'll look at her, but perhaps she won't look at you.
But it's not her I'm troubled about. I'm thinking of Captain Palliser
and men like him.

Who's he?

He's one of those smooth, clever ones that's always getting up some
company or other and selling the stock. He'll want you to know his
friends and he'll try to lead you his way.

As Tembarom held to his bit of her dresshis eyes were adoring ones
which was really not to be wondered at. She WAS adorable as her soft
kindwonderfully maternal girl face tried to control itself so that
it should express only just enough to help and nothing to disturb.

I don't want him to spoil you. I don't want anything to make you-different.
I couldn't bear it.

He pulled the bit of dress pleadingly.

Why, Little Ann?he implored quite low.

Because,she saidfeeling that perhaps she was rash-- "because if
you were differentyou wouldn't be T. Tembarom; and it was T.
Tembarom that--that was T. Tembarom she finished hastily.

He bent his head down to the bit of tweed and kissed it.

You just keep looking after me like that he said, and there's not
one of them can get away with me."

She got upand he rose with her. There was a touch of fire in the
forget-me-not blue of her eyes.

Just you let them see--just you let them see that you're not one they
can hold light and make use of.But there she stopped shortlooking
up at him. He was looking down at her with a kind of matureness in his
expression. "I needn't be afraid she said. You can take care of
yourself; I ought to have known that."

You did,he saidsmiling; "but you wanted to sort of help me. And
you've done itby gee! just by saying that thing about T. Tembarom.
You set me right on my feet. That's YOU."

Before they went away they paid a visit to Strangeways in his remote
undisturbedand beautiful rooms. They were in a wing of the house
untouched by any ordinary passing to and froand the deep windows
looked out upon gardens which spring and summer would crowd with
loveliness from which clouds of perfume would float up to him on days
when the sun warmed and the soft airs stirred the flowersshaking the
fragrance from their full incense-cups. But the white fog shut out today
even their winter bareness. There were light and warmth inside
and every added charm of rich harmony of deep color and comfort made
beautiful. There were books and papers waiting to be looked overbut
they lay untouched on the writing-tableand Strangeways was sitting
close to the biggest windowstaring into the fog. His eyes looked
hungry and hollow and dark. Ann knew he was "trying to remember"
something.

When the sound of footsteps reached his earhe turned to look at


themand rose mechanically at sight of Ann. But his expression was
that of a man aroused from a dream of far-off places.

I remember you,he saidbut hesitated as though making an effort to
recall something.

Of course you do,said Little Ann. "You know me quite well. I
brought you here. Think a bit. Little--Little--"

Yes,he broke forth. "Of courseLittle Ann! Thank God I've not
forgotten." He took her hand in both his and held it tenderly. "You
have a sweet little face. It's such a wise little face!" His voice
sounded dreamy.

Ann drew him to his chair with a coaxing laugh and sat down by him.

You're flattering me. You make me feel quite shy,she said. "You
know HIMtoo nodding toward Tembarom.

Ohyes he replied, and be looked up with a smile. He is the one
who remembers. You said you did." He had turned to Tembarom.

You bet your life I do,Tembarom answered. "And you willtoo
before long."

If I did not try so hard,said Strangewaysthoughtfully. "It seems
as if I were shut up in a roomand so many things were knocking at
the doors--hundreds of them--knocking because they want to be let in.
I am damnably unhappy-- damnably." He hung his head and stared at the
floor. Tembarom put a hand on his shoulder and gave him a friendly
shake.

Don't you worry a bit,he said. "You take my word for it. It'll all
come back. I'm working at it myself." Strangeways lifted his head.

You are the one I know best. I trust you.But there was the
beginning of a slight drag in his voice. "I don't always --quite
recollect--your name. Not quite. Good heavens! I mustn't forget that."

Little Ann was quite ready.

You won't,she saidbecause it's different from other names. It
begins with a letter--just a letter, and then there is the name.
Think.

Yes, yes,he said anxiously.

Little Ann bent forward and fixed her eyes on his with concentrated
suggestion. They had never risked confusing him by any mention of the
new name. She began to repeat letters of the alphabet slowly and
distinctly until she reached the letter T.

T,she ended with much emphasis--"R. S. _T_."

His expression cleared itself.

T,he repeated. "T--Tembarom. RST. How clever you are!"

Little Ann's gaze concentrated itself still more intently.

Now you'll never forget it again,she saidbecause of the T.
You'll say the other letters until you come to it. R, S, T.

T. Tembarom,he ended relievedly. "How you help me!" He took her


hand and kissed it very gently.

We are all going to help you,Ann soothed himT. Tembarom most of
all.

Say,Tembarom broke out in an aside to herI'm going to come here
and try things on him every day. When it seems like he gets on to
something, however little a thing it is, I'm going to follow it up and
see if it won't get somewhere.

Ann nodded.

There'll be something some day,she said. "Are you quite comfortable
here?" she asked aloud to Strangeways.

Very comfortable, thank you,he answered courteously. "They are
beautiful rooms. They are furnished with such fine old things. This is
entirely Jacobean. It's quite perfect." He glanced about him. "And so
quiet. No one comes in here but my manand he is a very nice chap. I
never had a man who knew his duties better."

Little Ann and Tembarom looked at each other.

I shouldn't be a bit surprised,she said after they had left the
roomif it wouldn't be a good thing to get Pearson to try to talk to
him now and then. He's been used to a man-servant.

Yes,answered Tembarom. "Pearson didn't rattle HIMyou bet your
life."

CHAPTER XIV

He could not persuade them to remain to take lunch with him. The
firmness of Hutchinson's declination was not unconnected with a
private feeling that "them footmen chaps 'u'd be on the lookout to see
the way you handled every bite you put in your mouth." He couldn't
have stood itdang their impudence! Little Annon her partfrankly
and calmly saidIt wouldn't DO.That was alland evidently covered
everything.

After they had gonethe fog lifted somewhatbut though it withdrew
from the windowsit remained floating about in masseslike huge
ghostsamong the trees of the park. When Tembarom sat down alone to
prolong his lunch with the aid of Burrill and the footmenhe was
confronted by these unearthly shapes every time he lifted his eyes to
the window he faced from his place at the table. It was an outlook
which did not inspire to cheerfulnessand the fact that Ann and her
father were going back to Manchester and later to America left him
without even the simple consolation of a healthy appetite. Things were
bound to get better after a while; they were BOUND to. A fellow would
be a fool if he couldn't fix it somehow so that he could enjoy
himselfwith money to burn. If you made up your mind you couldn't
stand the way things wereyou didn't have to lie down under them
with a thousand or so "per" coming in. You could fix it so that it
would be different. By jinks! there wasn't any law against your giving
it all to the church but just enough to buy a flat in Harlem outright
if you wanted to. But you weren't going to run crazy and do a
lot of fool things in a minuteand be sorry the rest of your life.
Money was money. And first and foremost there was Annwith her round
cheeks flushed and her voice all sweet and queersayingYou


wouldn't be T. Tembarom; and it was T. Tembarom that--that was T.
Tembarom.

He couldn't help knowing what she had begun to sayand his own face
flushed as he thought of it. He was at that time of life when there
generally happens to be one center about which the world revolves. The
creature who passes through this period of existence without watching
it revolve about such a center has missed an extraordinary and
singularly developing experience. It is sometimes happyoften
disastrousbut always more or less developing. Speaking calmly
detachedlybut not cynicallyit is a phase. During its existence it
is the blood in the veinsthe sight of the eyesthe beat of the
pulsethe throb of the heart. It is also the day and the nightthe
sunthe moonand the starsheaven and hellthe entire universe.
And it doesn't matter in the least to any one but the creatures living
through it. T. Tembarom was in the midst of it. There was Ann. There
was this new crazy thing which had happened to him--"this fool thing
as he called it. There was this monstrous, magnificent house,--he knew
it was magnificent, though it wasn't his kind,--there was old Palford
and his solemn talk about ancestors and the name of Temple Barholm. It
always reminded him of how ashamed he had been in Brooklyn of the
Temple Temple" and how he had told lies to prevent the fellows
finding out about it. And there was seventy thousand pounds a year
and there was Annwho looked as soft as a baby--Good Lord! how soft
she'd feel if you got her in your arms and squeezed her!--and yet was
somehow strong enough to keep him just where she wanted him to stay
and believed he ought to stay until "he had found out." That was it.
She wasn't doing it for any fool little idea of making herself seem
more important: she just believed it. She was doing it because she
wanted to let him "have his chance just as if she were his mother
instead of the girl he was clean crazy about. His chance! He laughed
outright--a short, confident laugh which startled Burrill exceedingly.

When he went back to the library and lighted his pipe he began to
stride up and down as he continued to think it over.

I wish she was as sure as I am he said. I wish she was as sure of
me as I am of myself--and as I am of her." He laughed the short
confident laugh again. "I wish she was as sure as I am of us both.
We're all right. I've got to get through thisand find out what it's
best to doand I've got to show her. When I've had my chance good and
plentyus two for little old New York! Gee! won't it be fine!" he
exclaimed imaginatively. "Her going over her billslooking like a
peach of a baby that's trying to knit its browsand adding upand
thinking she ought to economize. She'd do it if we had ten million."
He laughed outright joyfully. "Good Lord! I should kiss her to death!"

The simplest process of ratiocination would lead to a realization of
the fact that though he was lonely and uncomfortablehe was not in
the least pathetic or sorry for himself. His normal mental and
physical structure kept him steady on his feetand his practical and
unsentimental trainingcombining itself with a touch of iron which
centuries ago had expressed itself through some fighting Temple
Barholm and a medium of battle-axescrossbowsand spearsdid the
rest.

It'd take more than this to get me where I'd be down and out. I'm
feeling fine,he said. "I believe I'll go and 'take a walk' as
Palford says."

The fog-wreaths in the park were floating awayand he went out
grinning and whistlinggiving Burrill and the footman a nod as he
passed them with a springing young stride. He got the door open so
quickly that he left them behind him frustrated and staring at each


other.

It wasn't our fault,said Burrillgloomily. "He's never had a door
opened for him in his life. This won't do for me."

He was away for about an hourand came back in the best of spirits.
He had found out that there was something in "taking a walk" if a
fellow had nothing else to do. The park was "fine and he had never
seen anything like it. When there were leaves on the trees and the
grass and things were green, it would be better than Central Park
itself. You could have base-ball matches in it. What a cinch it would
be if you charged gate-money! But he supposed you couldn't if it
belonged to you and you had three hundred and fifty thousand a year.
You had to get used to that. But it did seem a fool business to have
all that land and not make a cent out of it. If it was just outside
New York and you cut it up into lots, you'd just pile it up. He was
quite innocent--calamitously innocent and commercial and awful in his
views. Thoughts such as these had been crammed into his brain by life
ever since he had gone down the staircase of the Brooklyn tenement
with his twenty-five cents in his ten-year-old hand.

The stillness of the house seemed to have accentuated itself when he
returned to it. His sense of it let him down a little as he entered.
The library was like a tomb--a comfortable luxurious tomb with a
bright fire in it. A new Punch and the morning papers had been laid
upon a table earlier in the day, and he sat down to look at them.

I guess about fifty-seven or eight of the hundred and thirty- six
hours have gone by he said. Butgee! ain't it lonesome!"

He sat so still trying to interest himself in "London Day by Day" in
the morning paper that the combination of his exercise in the fresh
air and the warmth of the fire made him drowsy. He leaned back in his
chair and closed his eyes without being aware that he did so. He was
on the verge of a doze.

He remained upon the verge for a few minutesand then a soft
rustling sound made him open his eyes.

An elderly little lady had timidly entered the room. She was neatly
dressed in an old-fashioned and far-from-new black silk dresswith a
darned lace collar and miniature brooch at her neck. She had also
thingray side-ringlets dangling against her cheeks from beneath a
smallblack lace cap with pale-purple ribbons on it. She had most
evidently not expected to find any one in the roomandhaving seen
Tembaromgave a half-frightened cough.

I--I beg your pardon,she faltered. "I really did not mean to
intrude--really."

Tembarom jumped upawkwardbut good-natured. Was she a kind of
servant who was a lady?

Oh, that's all right,he said.

But she evidently did not feel that it was all right. She looked as
though she felt that she had been caught doing something wrongand
must properly propitiate by apology.

I'm so sorry. I thought you had gone out--Mr. Temple Barholm.

I did go out--to take a walk; but I came in.

Having been discovered in her overt actshe evidently felt that duty


demanded some further ceremony from her. She approached him very
timidlybut with an exquisitelittle elderly early-Victorian manner.
She was of the most astonishingly perfect typethough Tembarom was
not aware of the fact. The mannera century earlierwould have
expressed itself in a curtsy.

It is Mr. Temple Barholm, isn't it? she inquired.

Yes; it has been for the last few weeks,he answeredwondering why
she seemed so in awe of him and wishing she didn't.

I ought to apologize for being here,she began.

Say, don't, please!he interrupted. "What I feel isthat it ought
to be up to me to apologize for being here."

She was really quite flurried and distressed.

Oh, please, Mr. Temple Barholm!she flutteredproceeding to explain
hurriedlyas though he without doubt understood the situation. "I
should of course have gone away at once after the late Mr. Temple
Barholm diedbut--but I really had nowhere to go--and was kindly
allowed to remain until about two months agowhen I went to make a
visit. I fully intended to remove my little belongings before you
arrivedbut I was detained by illness and could not return until this
morning to pack up. I understood you were in the parkand I
remembered I had left my knitting-bag here." She glanced nervously
about the roomand seemed to catch sight of something on a remote
corner table. "Ohthere it is. May I take it?" she saidlooking at
him appealingly. "It was a kind present from a dear lost friendand-and--"
She pausedseeing his puzzled and totally non-comprehending
air. It was plainly the first moment it had dawned upon her that he
did not know what she was talking about. She took a smallalarmed
step toward him.

Oh, I BEG your pardon,she exclaimed in delicate anguish. "I'm
afraid you don't know who I am. Perhaps Mr. Palford forgot to mention
me. Indeedwhy should he mention me? There were so many more
important things. I am a sort of distant--VERY distant relation of
yours. My name is Alicia Temple Barholm."

Tembarom was relieved. But she actually hadn't made a move toward the
knitting-bag. She seemed afraid to do it until he gave her permission.
He walked over to the corner table and brought it to hersmiling
broadly.

Here it is,he said. "I'm glad you left it. I'm very happy to be
acquainted with youMiss Alicia."

He was glad just to see her looking up at him with her timidrefined
intensely feminine appeal. Why she vaguely brought back something that
reminded him of Ann he could not have told. He knew nothing whatever
of types early-Victorian or late.

He took her handevidently to her greatest possible amazementand
shook it heartily. She knew nothing whatever of the New York street
typeand it made her gasp for breathbut naturally with an allayed
terror.

Gee!he exclaimed whole-heartedlyI'm glad to find out I've got a
relation. I thought I hadn't one in the world. Won't you sit down?He
was drawing her toward his own easy-chair. But he really didn't know
she was agitatedly thinking. She really must tell him. He seemed so
good tempered and--and DIFFERENT. She herself was not aware of the


enormous significance which lay in that word "different." There must
be no risk of her seeming to presume upon his lack of knowledge.

It is MOST kind of you,she said with grateful emphasisbut I
mustn't sit down and detain you. I can explain in a few words--if I
may.

He positively still held her hand in the oddestnaturalboyish way
and before she knew what she was doing he had made her take the chair-
quite MADE her.

Well, just sit down and explain,he said. "I wish to thunder you
would detain me. Take all the time you like. I want to hear all about
it--honest Injun."

There was a cushion in the chairand as he talkedhe pulled it out
and began to arrange it behind herstill in the most natural and
matter-of-fact way--so natural and matter-of-factindeedthat its
very natural matter-of-factedness took her breath away.

Is that fixed all right?he asked.

Being a little ladyshe could only accept his extraordinary
friendliness with grateful appreciationthough she could not help
fluttering a little in her bewilderment.

Oh, thank you, thank you, Mr. Temple Barholm,she said.

He sat down on the square ottoman facing herand leaned forward with
an air of making a frank confession.

Guess what I was thinking to myself two minutes before you came in? I
was thinking, `Lord, I'm lonesome--just sick lonesome!' And then I
opened my eyes and looked-- and there was a relation! Hully gee! I
call that luck!

Dear me!she saidshyly delighted. "DO youMr. Temple Barholm-REALLY?"


Her formal little way of saying his name was like Ann's.

Do I? I'm tickled to death. My mother died when I was ten, and I've
never had any women kin-folks.

Poor bo--She had nearly said "Poor boy!" and only checked the
familiarity just in time--" Poor Mr. Temple Barholm!"

Say, what are we two to each other, anyhow?He put it to her with
great interest.

It is a very distant relationship, if it is one at all,she
answered. "You seeI was only a second cousin to the late Mr. Temple
Barholmand I had not really the SLIGHTEST claim upon him." She
placed pathetic emphasis on the fact. "It was most generous of him to
be so kind to me. When my poor father died and I was left quite
pennilesshe gave me a--a sort of home here."

A sort of home?Tembarom repeated.

My father was a clergyman in VERY straitened circumstances. We had
barely enough to live upon--barely. He could leave me nothing. It
actually seemed as if I should have to starve --it did, indeed.There
was a delicate quiver in her voice. "And though the late Mr. Temple
Barholm had a great antipathy to ladieshe was so--so noble as to


send word to me that there were a hundred and fifty rooms in his
houseand that if I would keep out of his way I might live in one of
them."

That was noble,commented her distant relative.

Oh, yes, indeed, especially when one considers how he disliked the
opposite sex and what a recluse he was. He could not endure ladies. I
scarcely ever saw him. My room was in quite a remote wing of the
house, and I never went out if I knew he was in the park. I was most
careful. And when he died of course I knew I must go away.

Tembarom was watching her almost tenderly.

Where did you go?

To a kind clergyman in Shropshire who thought he might help me.

How was he going to do it?

She answered with an effort to steady a somewhat lowered and
hesitating voice.

There was near his parish a very nice--charity,--her breath caught
itself pathetically--"some most comfortable almshouses for decayed
gentlewomen. He thought he might be able to use his influence to get
me into one." She paused and smiledbut her smallwrinkled hands
held each other closely.

Tembarom looked away. He spoke as though to himselfand without
knowing that he was thinking aloud.

Almshouses!he said. "Wouldn't that jolt you!" He turned on her
again with a change to cheerful concern. "Saythat cushion of yours
ain't comfortable. I 'm going to get you another one." He jumped up
andtaking one from a sofabegan to arrange it behind her
dexterously.

But I mustn't trouble you any longer. I must go, really,she said
half rising nervously. He put a hand on her shoulder and made her sit
again.

Go where?he said. "Just lean back on that cushionMiss Alicia. For
the next few minutes this is going to be MY funeral."

She was at once startled and uncomprehending. What an extraordinary
expression! What COULD it mean?

F--funeral?she stammered.

Suddenly he seemed somehow to have changed. He looked as serious as
though he was beginning to think out something all at once. What was
he going to say?

That's New York slang,he answered. "It means that I want to explain
myself to you and ask a few questions."

Certainly, certainly, Mr. Temple Barholm.

He leaned his back against the manteland went into the matter
practically.

First off, haven't you ANY folks?Thenanswering her puzzled look
addedI mean relations.


Miss Alicia gently shook her head.

No sisters or brothers or uncles or aunts or cousins?

She shook her head again.

He hesitated a momentputting his hands in his pockets and taking
them out again awkwardly as he looked down at her.

Now here's where I'm up against it,he went on. "I don't want to be
too fresh or to butt inbut--didn't old Temple Barholm leave you ANY
money?"

Oh, no!she exclaimed. "Dear me! no! I couldn't possibly EXPECT such
a thing."

He gazed at her as though considering the situation. "Couldn't you?"
he said.

There was an odd reflection in his eyesand he seemed to consider her
and the situation again.

Well,he began after his pausewhat I want to know is what you
expect ME to do.

There was no unkindness in his mannerin factquite the contrary
even when he uttered what seemed to Miss Alicia these awful
unwarranted words. As though she had forced herself into his presence
to make demands upon his charity! They made her tremble and turn pale
as she got up quicklyshocked and alarmed.

Oh, nothing! nothing! nothing WHATEVER, Mr. Temple Barholm!she
exclaimedher agitation doing its best to hide itself behind a fine
little dignity. He saw in an instant that his style of putting it had
been "'way off that his ignorance had betrayed him, that she had
misunderstood him altogether. He almost jumped at her.

OhsayI didn't mean THAT!" he cried out. "For the Lord's sake!
don't think I'm such a Tenderloin tough as to make a break like that!
Not on your life!"

Never since her birth had a male creature looked at Miss Alicia with
the appeal which showed itself in his eyes as he actually put his arm
half around her shoulderslike a boy begging a favor from his mother
or his aunt.

What I meant was--He broke off and began again quite anxiously
say, just as a favor, will you sit down again and let me tell you
what I did mean?

It was that naturalwarmboyish way which overcame her utterly. It
reminded her of the only boy she had ever really knownthe one male
creature who had allowed her to be fond of him. There was moisture in
her eyes as she let him put her back into her chair. When he had done
ithe sat down on the ottoman again and poured himself forth.

You know what kind of a chap I am. No, you don't, either. You mayn't
know a thing about me; and I want to tell you. I'm so different from
everything you've ever known that I scare you. And no wonder. It's the
way I've lived. If you knew, you'd understand what I was thinking of
when I spoke just now. I've been cold, I've been hungry, I've walked
the wet streets on my uppers. I know all about GOING WITHOUT. And do
you expect that I am going to let a--a little thing like you--go away


from here without friends and without money on the chance of getting
into an almshouse that isn't vacant? Do you expect that of me? Not on
your life! That was what I meant.

Miss Alicia quivered; the pale-purple ribbons on her little lace cap
quivered.

I haven't,she saidand the fine little dignity was piteousa
SHADOW of a claim upon you.It was necessary for her to produce a
pocket- handkerchief. He took it from herand touched her eyes as
softly as though she were a baby.

Claim nothing!he said. "I've got a claim on YOU. I'm going to stake
one out right now." He got up and gesticulatedtaking in the big room
and its big furniture. "Look at all this! It fell on me like a
thunderbolt. It's nearly knocked the life out of me. I'm like a lost
cat on Broadway. You can't go away and leave meMiss Alicia; it's
your duty to stay. You've just GOT to stay to take care of me." He
came over to her with a wheedling smile. "I never was taken care of in
my life. Just be as noble to me as old Temple Barholm was to you: give
me a sort of home."

If a little gentlewoman could stareit might be said that Miss Alicia
stared at him. She trembled with amazed emotion.

Do you mean--Despite all he had saidshe scarcely dared to utter
the words lestafter allshe might be taking for granted more than
it was credible could be true. "Can you mean that if I stayed here
with you it would make Temple Barholm seem more like HOME? Is it
possible you--you mean THAT?"

I mean just that very thing.

It was too much for her. Finely restrained little elderly gentlewoman
as she wasshe openly broke down under it.

It can't be true!she ejaculated shakily. "It isn't possible. It is
too--too beautiful and kind. Do forgive me! I c-a-n't help it." She
burst into tears.

She knew it was most stupidly wrong. She knew gentlemen did not like
tears. Her father had told her that men never really forgave women who
cried at them. And herewhen her fate hung in the balanceshe was
not able to behave herself with feminine decorum.

Yet the new Mr. Temple Barholm took it in as matter-of- fact a manner
as he seemed to take everything. He stood by her chair and soothed her
in his dear New York voice.

That's all right, Miss Alicia,he commented. "You cry as much as you
want tojust so that you don't say no. You've been worried and you're
tired. I'll tell you there's been two or three times lately when I
should like to have cried myself if I'd known how. Say he added with
a sudden outburst of imagination, I bet anything it's about time you
had tea."

The suggestion was so entirely within the normal order of things that
it made her feel steadierand she was able to glance at the clock.

A cup of tea would be refreshing,she said. "They will bring it in
very soonbut before the servants come I must try to express--"

But before she could express anything further the tea appeared.
Burrill and a footman brought it on splendid salversin massive urn


and tea-potwith chastesacrificial flame flickeringand wonderful
hot buttered and toasted things and wafers of bread and butter
attendant. As they crossed the thresholdthe sight of Miss Alicia's
small form enthroned in their employer's chair was one so obviously
unanticipated that Burrill made a step backward and the footman almost
lost the firmness of his hold on the smaller tray. Each recovered
himself in timehoweverand not until the tea was arranged upon the
table near the fire was any outward recognition of Miss Alicia's
presence made. Then Burrillpausingmade an announcement entirely
without prejudice:

I beg pardon, sir, but Higgins's cart has come for Miss Temple
Barholm's box; he is asking when she wants the trap.

She doesn't want it at all,answered Tembarom. "Carry her trunk upstairs
again. She's not going away."

The lack of proper knowledge contained in the suggestion that Burrill
should carry trunks upstairs caused Miss Alicia to quail in secret
but she spoke with outward calm.

No, Burrill,she said. "I am not going away."

Very good, Miss,Burrill repliedand with impressive civility he
prepared to leave the room. Tembarom glanced at the tea-things.

There's only one cup here,he said. "Bring one for me."

Burrill's expression might perhaps have been said to start slightly.

Very good, sir,he saidand made his exit. Miss Alicia was
fluttering again.

That cup was really for you, Mr. Temple Barholm,she ventured.

Well, now it's for you, and I've let him know it,replied Tembarom.

Oh, PLEASE,she said in an outburst of feeling--"PLEASE let me tell
you how GRATEFUL--how grateful I am!"

But he would not let her.

If you do,he saidI'll tell you how grateful _I_ am, and that'll
be worse. No, that's all fixed up between us. It goes. We won't say
any more about it.

He took the whole situation in that wayas though he was assuming no
responsibility which was not the simpleinevitable result of their
drifting across each other--as though it was only what any man would
have doneeven as though she was a sort of delightfulunexpected
happening. He turned to the tray.

Say, that looks all right, doesn't it?he said. "Now you are hereI
like the way it looks. I didn't yesterday."

Burrill himself brought the extra cup and saucer and plate. He wished
to make sure that his senses had not deceived him. But there she sat
who through years had existed discreetly in the most unconsidered
rooms in an uninhabited wingknowing better than to presume upon her
privileges--there she sat with an awed and rapt face gazing up at this
new outbreak into Temple Barholm's and "him joking and grinning as
though he was as pleased as Punch."


CHAPTER XV

To employ the figure of BurrillTembarom was indeed "as pleased as
Punch." He was one of the large number of men whoapart from all
sentimental relationsare made particularly happy by the kindly
society of women; who expand with quite unconscious rejoicing when a
woman begins to take care of them in one way or another. The
unconsciousness is a touching part of the condition. The feminine
nearness supplies a primeval human need. The most complete of menas
well as the weaklingsfeel it. It is a survival of days when warm
arms held and protectedwarm hands servedand affectionate voices
soothed. An accomplished male servant may perform every domestic
service perfectlybut the fact that he cannot be a woman leaves a
sense of lack. An accustomed feminine warmth in the surrounding daily
atmosphere has caused many a man to marry his housekeeper or even his
cookas circumstances prompted.

Tembarom had known no woman well until he had met Little Ann. His
feeling for Mrs. Bowse herself had verged on affectionbecause he
would have been fond of any woman of decent temper and kindliness
especially if she gave him opportunities to do friendly service.
Little Ann had seemed the apotheosis of the femininethe warmly
helpfulthe subtly supportingthe kind. She had been to him an
amazement and a revelation. She had continually surprised him by
revealing new characteristics which seemed to him nicer things than he
had ever known beforebut whichif he had been aware of itwere not
really surprising at all. They were only the characteristics of a very
nice young feminine creature.

The presence of Miss Aliciawith the long-belated fashion of her
ringlets and her little capwas delightful to him. He felt as though
he would like to take her in his arms and hug her. He thought perhaps
it was partly because she was a little like Annand kept repeating
his name in Ann's formal little way. Her delicate terror of presuming
or intruding he felt in its every shade. Mentally she touched him
enormously. He wanted to make her feel that she need not be afraid of
him in the leastthat he liked herthat in his opinion she had more
right in the house than he had. He was a little frightened lest
through ignorance he should say things the wrong wayas he had said
that thing about wanting to know what she expected him to do. What he
ought to have said wasYou're not expecting me to let that sort of
thing go on.It had made him sick when he saw what a break he'd made
and that she thought he was sort of insulting her. The room seemed all
right now that she was in it. Small and unassuming as she wasshe
seemed to make it less over-sized. He didn't so much mind the
loftiness of the ceilingthe depth and size of the windowsand the
walls covered with thousands of books he knew nothing whatever about.
The innumerable books had been an oppressing feature. If he had been
one of those "college guys" who never could get enough of bookswhat
a "cinch" the place would have been for him--good as the Astor
Library! He hadn't a word to say against books--good Lord! no;--but
even if he'd had the education and the time to readhe didn't believe
he was naturally that kindanyhow. You had to be "that kind" to know
about books. He didn't suppose she-- meaning Miss Alicia--was learned
enough to make you throw a fit. She didn't look that wayand he was
mighty glad of itbecause perhaps she wouldn't like him much if she
was. It would worry her when she tried to talk to him and found out he
didn't know a darned thing he ought to.

They'd get on together easier if they could just chin about common
sort of every-day things. But though she didn't look like the Vassar


sorthe guessed that she was not like himself: she had lived in
libraries beforeand books didn't frighten her. She'd been born among
people who read lots of them and maybe could talk about them. That was
why she somehow seemed to fit into the room. He was aware thattimid
as she was and shabby as her neat dress lookedshe fitted into the
whole placeas he did not. She'd been a poor relative and had been
afraid to death of old Temple Barholmbut she'd not been afraid of
him because she wasn't his sort. She was a lady; that was what was the
matter with her. It was what made things harder for hertoo. It was
what made her voice tremble when she'd tried to seem so contented and
polite when she'd talked about going into one of those "decayed alms-
houses." As if the old ladies were vegetables that had gone wrongby
gee! he thought.

He liked her littlemodestdelicate old face and her curls and her
little cap with the ribbons so much that he smiled with a twinkling
eye every time he looked at her. He wanted to suggest something he
thought would be mighty comfortablebut he was half afraid he might
be asking her to do something which wasn't "her job and it might
hurt her feelings. But he ventured to hint at it.

Has Burrill got to come back and pour that out?" he askedwith an
awkward gesture toward the tea-tray. "Has he just GOT to?"

Oh, no, unless you wish it,she answered. "Shall--may I give it to
you?"

Will you?he exclaimed delightedly. "That would be fine. I shall
feel like a regular Clarence."

She was going to sit at the table in a straight-backed chairbut he
sprang at her.

This big one is more comfortable,he saidand he dragged it forward
and made her sit in it. "You ought to have a footstool he added, and
he got one and put it under her feet. Therethat's all right."

A footstoolas though she were a royal personage and he were a
gentleman in waitingonly probably gentlemen in waiting did not jump
about and look so pleased. The cheerful content of his boyish face
when he himself sat down near the table was delightful.

Now,he saidwe can ring up for the first act.

She filled the tea-pot and held it for a momentand then set it down
as though her feelings were too much for her.

I feel as if I were in a dream,she quavered happily. "I do indeed."

But it's a nice one, ain't it? he answered. "I feel as if I was in
two. Sitting here in this big room with all these fine things about
meand having afternoon tea with a relation! It just about suits me.
It didn't feel like this yesterdayyou bet your life!"

Does it seem--nicer than yesterday?she ventured. "ReallyMr.
Temple Barholm?"

Nicer!he ejaculated. "It's got yesterday beaten to a frazzle."

It was beyond all belief. He was speaking as though the advantagethe
reliefthe happinesswere all on his side. She longed to enlighten
him.

But you can't realize what it is to me,she said gratefullyto sit


here, not terrified and homeless and--a beggar any more, with your
kind face before me. Do forgive me for saying it. You have such a kind
young face, Mr. Temple Barholm. And to have an easy-chair and
cushions, and actually a buffet brought for my feet! She suddenly
recollected herself. "OhI mustn't let your tea get cold she added,
taking up the tea-pot apologetically. Do you take cream and sugar
and is it to be one lump or two?"

I take everything in sight,he replied joyouslyand two lumps,
please.

She prepared the cup of tea with as delicate a care as though it had
been a sacramental chaliceand when she handed it to him she smiled
wistfully.

No one but you ever thought of such a thing as bringing a buffet for
my feet--no one except poor little Jem,she saidand her voice was
wistful as well as her smile.

She was obviously unaware that she was introducing an entirely new
acquaintance to him. Poor little Jem was supposed to be some one whose
whole history he knew.

Jem?he repeatedcarefully transferring a piece of hot buttered
crumpet to his plate.

Jem Temple Barholm,she answered. "I say little Jem because I
remember him only as a child. I never saw him after he was eleven
years old."

Who was he?he asked. The tone of her voiceand her manner of
speaking made him feel that he wanted to hear something more.

She looked rather startled by his ignorance. "Have you-- have you
never heard of him?" she inquired.

No. Is he another distant relation?

Her hesitation caused him to neglect his crumpetto look up at her.
He saw at once that she wore the air of a sensitive and beautifully
mannered elderly lady who was afraid she had made a mistake and said
something awkward.

I am so sorry,she apologized. "Perhaps I ought not to have
mentioned him."

Why shouldn't he be mentioned?

She was embarrassed. She evidently wished she had not spokenbut
breeding demanded that she should ignore the awkwardness of the
situationif awkwardness existed.

Of course--I hope your tea is quite as you like it--of course there
is no real reason. But--shall I give you some more cream? No? You see,
if he hadn't died, he--he would have inherited Temple Barholm.

Now he was interested. This was the other chap.

Instead of me?he askedto make sure. She endeavored not to show
embarrassment and told herself it didn't really matter--to a
thoroughly nice person. But-


He was the next of kin--before you. I'm so sorry I didn't know you
hadn't heard of him. It seemed natural that Mr. Palford should have


mentioned him.

He did say that there was a young fellow who had died, but he didn't
tell me about him. I guess I didn't ask. There were such a lot of
other things. I'd like to hear about him. You say you knew him?

Only when he was a little fellow. Never after he grew up. Something
happened which displeased my father. I'm afraid papa was very easily
displeased. Mr. Temple Barholm disliked him, too. He would not have
him at Temple Barholm.

He hadn't much luck with his folks, had he?remarked Tembarom.

He had no luck with any one. I seemed to be the only person who was
fond of him, and of course I didn't count.

I bet you counted with him,said Tembarom.

I do think I did. Both his parents died quite soon after he was born,
and people who ought to have cared for him were rather jealous because
he stood so near to Temple Barholm. If Mr. Temple Barholm had not been
so eccentric and bitter, everything would have been done for him; but
as it was, he seemed to belong to no one. When he came to the vicarage
it used to make me so happy. He used to call me Aunt Alicia, and he
had such pretty ways.She hesitated and looked quite tenderly at the
tea-pota sort of shyness in her face. "I am sure she burst forth,
I feel quite sure that you will understand and won't think it
indelicate; but I had thought so often that I should like to have a
little boy--if I had married she added in hasty tribute to
propriety.

Tembarom's eyes rested on her in a thoughtfulness openly touched with
affection. He put out his hand and patted hers two or three times in
encouraging sympathy.

Say he said frankly, I just believe every woman that's the real
thing'd like to have a little boy--or a little girl--or a little
something or other. That's why pet cats and dogs have such a cinch of
it. And there's men that's the same way. It's sort of nature."

He had such a high spirit and such pretty ways,she said again. "One
of his pretty ways was remembering to do little things to make one
comfortablelike thinking of giving one a cushion or a buffet for
one's feet. I noticed it so much because I had never seen boys or men
wait upon women. My own dear papa was used to having women wait upon
him--bring his slippersyou knowand give him the best chair. He
didn't like Jem's ways. He said he liked a boy who was a boy and not
an affected nincompoop. He wasn't really quite just." She paused
regretfully and sighed as she looked back into a past doubtlessly
enriched with many similar memories of "dear papa." "Poor Jem! Poor
Jem!" she breathed softly.

Tembarom thought that she must have felt the boy's loss very much
almost as much as though she had really been his mother; perhaps more
pathetically because she had not been his mother or anybody's mother.
He could see what a good little mother she would have madelooking
after her children and doing everything on earth to make them happy
and comfortablejust the kind of mother Ann would makethough she
had not Ann's steady wonder of a little head or her shrewd
farsightedness. Jem would have been in luck if he had been her son. It
was a darned pity he hadn't been. If he hadperhaps he would not have
died young.

Yes,he answered sympatheticallyit's hard for a young fellow to


die. How old was he, anyhow? I don't know.

Not much older than you are now. It was seven years ago. And if he
had only died, poor dear! There are things so much worse than death.

Worse!

Awful disgrace is worse,she faltered. She was plainly trying to
keep moisture out of her eyes.

Did he get into some bad mix-up, poor fellow?If there had been
anything like thatno wonder it broke her up to think of him.

It surely did break her up. She flushed emotionally.

The cruel thing was that he didn't really do what he was accused of,
she said.

He didn't?

No; but he was a ruined man, and he went away to the Klondike because
he could not stay in England. And he was killed--killed, poor boy! And
afterward it was found out that he was innocent--too late.

Gee!Tembarom gaspedfeeling hot and cold. "Could you beat that for
rotten luck! What was he accused of?"

Miss Alicia leaned forward and spoke in a whisper. It was too dreadful
to speak of aloud.

Cheating at cards--a gentleman playing with gentlemen. You know what
that means.

Tembarom grew hotter and colder. No wonder she looked that waypoor
little thing!

But,--he hesitated before he spoke--"but he wasn't that kindwas
he? Of course he wasn't."

No, no. But, you see,--she hesitated herself here--"everything
looked so much against him. He had been rather wild." She dropped her
voice even lower in making the admission.

Tembarom wondered how much she meant by that.

He was so much in debt. He knew he was to be rich in the future, and
he was poor just in those reckless young days when it seemed unfair.
And he had played a great deal and had been very lucky. He was so
lucky that sometimes his luck seemed uncanny. Men who had played with
him were horrible about it afterward.

They would be,put in Tembarom. " They'd be sore about itand bring
it up."

They both forgot their tea. Miss Alicia forgot everything as she
poured forth her story in the manner of a woman who had been forced to
keep silent and was glad to put her case into words. It was her case.
To tell the truth of this forgotten wrong was again to offer
justification of poor handsome Jem whom everybody seemed to have
dropped talk ofand even preferred not to hear mentioned.

There were such piteously cruel things about it,she went on. "He
had fallen very much in loveand he meant to marry and settle down.
Though we had not seen each other for yearshe actually wrote to me


and told me about it. His letter made me cry. He said I would
understand and care about the thing which seemed to have changed
everything and made him a new man. He was so sorry that he had not
been better and more careful. He was going to try all over again. He
was not going to play at all after this one evening when he was
obliged to keep an engagement he had made months before to give his
revenge to a man he had won a great deal of money from. The very night
the awful thing happened he had told Lady Joanbefore he went into
the card-roomthat this was to be his last game."

Tembarom had looked deeply interested from the firstbut at her last
words a new alertness added itself.

Did you say Lady Joan? he asked. " Who was Lady Joan?"

She was the girl he was so much in love with. Her name was Lady Joan
Fayre.

Was she the daughter of the Countess of Mallowe?

Yes. Have you heard of her?

He recalled Ann's reflective consideration of him before she had said
She'll come after you.He replied now: "Some one spoke of her to me
this morning. They say she's a beauty and as proud as Lucifer."

She was, and she is yet, I believe. Poor Lady Joan--as well as poor
Jem!

She didn't believe it, did she?he put in hastily. "She didn't throw
him down?"

No one knew what happened between them afterward. She was in the
card-room, looking on, when the awful thing took place.

She stoppedas though to go on was almost unbearable. She had been so
overwhelmed by the past shame of it that even after the passing of
years the anguish was a living thing. Her small hands clung hard
together as they rested on the edge of the table. Tembarom waited in
thrilled suspense. She spoke in a whisper again:

He won a great deal of money--a great deal. He had that uncanny luck
again, and of course people in the other rooms heard what was going
on, and a number drifted in to look on. The man he had promised to
give his revenge to almost showed signs of having to make an effort to
conceal his irritation and disappointment. Of course, as he was a
gentleman, he was as cool as possible; but just at the most exciting
moment, the height of the game, Jem made a quick movement, and--and
something fell out of his sleeve.

Something,gasped Tembaromfell out of his sleeve!

Miss Alicia's eyes overflowed as she nodded her beribboned little cap.

It--her voice was a sob of woe--"it was a marked card. The man he
was playing against snatched it and held it up. And he laughed out
loud."

Holy cats! burst from Tembarom; but the remarkable exclamation was
one of genuine horrorand he turned palegot up from his seatand
took two or three strides across the roomas though he could not sit
still.

Yes, he laughed--quite loudly,repeated Miss Aliciaas if he had


guessed it all the time. Papa heard the whole story from some one who
was present.

Tembarom came back to her rather breathless.

What in thunder did he do--Jem?he asked.

She actually wrung her poor little hands.

What could he do? There was a dead silence. People moved just a
little nearer to the table and stood and stared, merely waiting. They
say it was awful to see his face--awful. He sprang up and stood still,
and slowly became as white as if he were dying before their eyes. Some
one thought Lady Joan Fayre took a step toward him, but no one was
quite sure. He never uttered one word, but walked out of the room and
down the stairs and out of the house.

But didn't he speak to the girl?

He didn't even look at her. He passed her by as if she were stone.

What happened next?

He disappeared. No one knew where at first, and then there was a
rumor that he had gone to the Klondike and had been killed there. And
a year later--only a year! Oh, if he had only waited in England!--a
worthless villain of a valet he had discharged for stealing met with
an accident, and because he thought he was going to die, got horribly
frightened, and confessed to the clergyman that he had tucked the card
in poor Jem's sleeve himself just to pay him off. He said he did it on
the chance that it would drop out where some one would see it, and a
marked card dropping out of a man's sleeve anywhere would look black
enough, whether he was playing or not. But poor Jem was in his grave,
and no one seemed to care, though every one had been interested enough
in the scandal. People talked about that for weeks.

Tembarom pulled at his collar excitedly.

It makes me sort of strangle,he said. "You've got to stand your own
bad luckbut to hear of a chap that's had to lie down and take the
worst that could come to him and know it wasn't his--just KNOW it! And
die before he's cleared! That knocks me out."

Almost every sentence he uttered had a mystical sound to Miss Alicia
but she knew how he was taking itwith what hotyoung human sympathy
and indignation. She loved the way he took itand she loved the
feeling in his next words

And the girl--good Lord!--the girl?

I never met her, and I know very little of her; but she has never
married.

I'm glad of that,he said. "I'm darned glad of it. How could she?"
Ann wouldn'the knew. Ann would have gone to her grave unmarried. But
she would have done things first to clear her man's name. Somehow she
would have cleared himif she'd had to fight tooth and nail till she
was eighty.

They say she has grown very bitter and haughty in her manner. I'm
afraid Lady Mallowe is a very worldly woman. One hears they don't get
on together, and that she is bitterly disappointed because her
daughter has not made a good match. It appears that she might have
made several, but she is so hard and cynical that men are afraid of


her. I wish I had known her a little--if she really loved Jem.

Tembarom had thrust his hands into his pocketsand was standing deep
in thoughtlooking at the huge bank of red coals in the fire-grate.
Miss Alicia hastily wiped her eyes.

Do excuse me,she said.

I'll excuse you all right,he repliedstill looking into the coals.
I guess I shouldn't excuse you as much if you didn'tHe let her cry
in her gentle way while he staredlost in reflection.

And if he hadn't fired that valet chap, he would be here with you
now--instead of me. Instead of me,he repeated.

And Miss Alicia did not know what to say in reply. There seemed to be
nothing whichwith propriety and natural feelingone could say.

It makes me feel just fine to know I'm not going to have my dinner
all by myself,he said to her before she left the library.

She had a way of blushing about things he noticedwhen she was shy or
moved or didn't know exactly what to say. Though she must have been
sixtyshe did it as though she were sixteen. And she did it when he
said thisand looked as though suddenly she was in some sort of
trouble.

You are going to have dinner with me,he saidseeing that she
hesitated--"dinner and breakfast and lunch and tea and supper and
every old thing that goes. You can't turn me down after me staking out
that claim."

I'm afraid--she said. "You seeI have lived such a secluded life.
I scarcely ever left my rooms except to take a walk. I'm sure you
understand. It would not have been necessary even if I could have
afforded itwhich I really couldn't--I'm afraid I have nothing--
quite suitable--for evening wear."

You haven't!he exclaimed gleefully. "I don't know what is suitable
for evening wearbut I haven't got it either. Pearson told me so with
tears in his eyes. It never was necessary for me either. I've got to
get some things to quiet Pearson downbut until I do I've got to eat
my dinner in a tweed cutaway; and what I've caught on to is that it's
unsuitable enough to throw a man into jail. That little black dress
you've got on and that little cap are just 'way out of sightthey're
so becoming. Come down just like you are."

She felt a little as Pearson had felt when confronting his new
employer's entire cheerfulness in face of a situation as exotically
hopeless as the tweed cutawayand nothing else by way of resource.
But there was something so nice about himsomething which was almost
as though he was actually a gentlemansomething which absolutelyif
one could go so farstood in the place of his being a gentleman. It
was impossible to help liking him more and more at every queer speech
he made. Stillthere were of course things he did not realizeand
perhaps one ought in kindness to give him a delicate hint.

I'm afraid,she began quite apologetically. "I'm afraid that the
servantsBurrill and the footmenyou knowwill be--will think--"

Say,he took her up let's give Burrill and the footmen the
Willies out and out. If they can't stand it, they can write home to
their mothers and tell 'em they've got to take 'em away. Burrill and
the footmen needn't worry. They're suitable enough, and it's none of


their funeral, anyhow.

He wasn't upset in the least. Miss Aliciawhoas a timid dependent
either upon "poor dear papa" or Mr. Temple Barholmhad been secretly
in her sensitiveladylike little wayafraid of superior servants all
her lifeknowing that they realized her utterly insignificant
helplessnessand resented giving her attention because she was not
able to show her appreciation of their services in the proper manner-Miss
Alicia saw that it had not occurred to him to endeavor to
propitiate them in the leastbecause somehow it all seemed a joke to
himand he didn't care. After the first moment of being startledshe
regarded him with a novel feelingalmost a kind of admiration.
Tentatively she dared to wonder if there was not something even
rather--rather ARISTOCRATIC in his utter indifference.

If be had been a dukehe would not have regarded the servants' point
of view; it wouldn't have mattered what they thought. Perhapsshe
hastily decidedhe was like this becausethough he was not a duke
boot-blacking in New York notwithstanding he was a Temple Barholm.
There were few dukes as old of blood as a Temple Barholm. That must be
it. She was relieved.

Whatsoever lay at the root of his being what he was and as he washe
somehow changed the aspect of things for herand without doing
anything but be himselfcleared the atmosphere of her dread of the
surprise and mental reservations of the footmen and Burrill when she
came down to dinner in her high-neckedmuch-cleanedand muchrepaired
black silkand with no more distinguishing change in her
toilet than a white lace cap instead of a black oneand with "poor
dear mamma's" hair bracelet with the gold clasp on her wristand a
weeping-willow made of "poor dear papa's" hair in a brooch at her
collar.

It was so curiousthough still "nice but he did not offer her his
arm when they were going into the dining-room, and he took hold of
hers with his hand and affectionately half led, half pushed, her along
with him as they went. And he himself drew back her chair for her at
the end of the table opposite his own. He did not let a footman do it,
and he stood behind it, talking in his cheerful way all the time, and
he moved it to exactly the right place, and then actually bent down
and looked under the table.

Here he said to the nearest man-servant, where's there a
footstool? Get oneplease in that odd, simple, almost aristocratic
way. It was not a rude dictatorial way, but a casual way, as though he
knew the man was there to do things, and he didn't expect any time to
be wasted.

And it was he himself who arranged the footstool, making it
comfortable for her, and then he went to his own chair at the head of
the table and sat down, smiling at her joyfully across the glass and
silver and flowers.

Push that thing in the middle on one sideBurrill he said. It's
too high. I can't see Miss Alicia."

Burrill found it difficult to believe the evidence of his hearing.

The epergne, sir? he inquired.

Is that what it's called, an apern? That's a new one on me. Yes,
that's what I mean. Push the apern over.

Shall I remove it from the table, sir?Burrill steeled himself to


exact civility. Of what use to behave otherwise? There always remained
the liberty to give notice if the worst came to the worstthough what
the worst might eventually prove to be it required a lurid imagination
to depict. The epergne was a beautiful thing of crystal and golda
celebrated work of artregarded as an exquisite possession. It was
almost remarkable that Mr. Temple Barholm had not saidShove it on
one side,but Burrill had been spared the poignant indignity of being
required to "shove."

Yes, suppose you do. It's a fine enough thing when it isn't in the
way, but I've got to see you while I talk, Miss Alicia,said Mr.
Temple Barholm. The episode of the epergne-- Burrill's expressionand
the rigidly restrained mouths of Henry and James as the decoration was
removedleaving a painfully blank space of table-cloth until Burrill
silently filled it with flowers in a low bowl--these things
temporarily flurried Miss Alicia somewhatbut the pleased smile at
the head of the table calmed even that trying moment.

Then what a delightful meal it wasto be sure! How entertaining and
cheerful and full of interesting conversation! Miss Alicia had always
admired what she reverently termed "conversation." She had read of the
houses of brilliant people where they had it at tableat dinner and
supper partiesand in drawing-rooms. The Frenchespecially the
French ladieswere brilliant conversationalists. They held "salons"
in which the conversation was wonderful--Mme. de Stael and Mme.
Rolandfor instance; and in EnglandLady Mary Wortley Montague
Sydney Smithand Horace Walpoleand surely Miss Fanny Burneyand no
doubt L. E. L.whose real name was Miss Letitia Elizabeth Landon-what
conversation they must have delighted their friends with and how
instructive it must have been even to sit in the most obscure corner
and listen!

Such gifted persons seemed to have been chosen by Providence to
delight and inspire every one privileged to hear them. Such privileges
had been omitted from the scheme of Miss Alicia's existence. She did
not knowshe would have felt it sacrilegious to admit it even if the
fact had dawned upon herthat "dear papa" had been a heartlessly
arrogantutterly selfishand tyrannical old blackguard of the most
pronounced type. He had been of an absolute morality as far as social
laws were concerned. He had written and delivered a denunciatory
sermon a weekand had made unbearable by his ministrations the
suffering hours and the last moments of his parishioners during the
long years of his pastorate. When Miss Aliciain reading records of
the helpful relationship of the male progenitors of the BrontesJane
AustenFanny Burneyand Mrs. Browningwas frequently reminded of
himshe revealed a perception of which she was not aware. He had
combined the virile qualities of all of them. Consequentlybrilliancy
of conversation at table had not been the attractive habit of the
household; "poor dear papa" had confined himself to scathing criticism
of the incompetence of females who could not teach their menials to
cook a dinner which was not a disgrace to any decent household.When
not virulently aspersing the muttonhe was expressing his opinion of
muddle-headed weakness which would permit household bills to mount in
a manner which could only bring ruin and disaster upon a minister of
the gospel who throughout a protracted career of usefulness had sapped
his intellectual manhood in the useless effort to support in silly
idleness a family of brainless and maddening fools. Miss Alicia had
heard her characterher unsuccessful physical appearanceher mind
and her pitiful efforts at table-talkdescribed in detail with a
choice of adjective and adverb which had broken into terrified
fragments every atom of courage and will with which she had been
sparsely dowered.

Sonot having herself been gifted with conversational powers to begin


withand never having enjoyed the exhibition of such powers in
othersher ideals had been high. She was not sure that Mr. Temple
Barholm's fluent and cheerful talk could be with exactness termed
conversation.It was perhaps not sufficiently lofty and
intellectualand did not confine itself rigorously to one exalted
subject. But how it did raise one's spirits and open up curious
vistas! And how good tempered and humorous it waseven though
sometimes the humor was a little bewildering! During the whole dinner
there never occurred even one of those dreadful pauses in which dead
silence felland one triedlike a frightened hen flying from side to
side of a coopto think of something to say which would not sound
sillybut perhaps might divert attention from dangerous topics. She
had often thought it would be so interesting to hear a Spaniard or a
native Hindu talk about himself and his own country in English.
Tembarom talked about New York and its people and atmosphereand he
did not know how foreign it all was. He described the streets--Fifth
Avenue and Broadway and Sixth Avenue--and the street-cars and the
elevated railroadand the way "fellows" had to "hustle" "to put it
over." He spoke of a boarding-house kept by a certain Mrs. Bowseand
a presidential campaignand the election of a mayorand a quicklunch
counterand when President Garfield had been assassinatedand
a department store; and the electric lightsand the way he had of
making a sort of picture of everything was really instructive and
wellfascinating. She felt as though she had been taken about the
city in one of the vehicles the conductor of which described things
through a megaphone.

Not that Mr. Temple Barholm suggested a megaphonewhatsoever that
might bebut he merely made you feel as if you had seen things. Never
had she been so entertained and enlightened. If she had been a
beautiful girlhe could not have seemed more as though in amusing her
he was also really pleasing himself. He was so very funny sometimes
that she could not help laughing in a way which was almost unladylike
because she could not stopand was obliged to put her handkerchief up
to her face and wipe away actual tears of mirth.

Fancy laughing until you criedand the servants looking on!

Once Burrill himself was obliged to turn hastily awayand twice she
heard him severely reprove an overpowered young footman in a rapid
undertone.

Tembarom at least felt that the unlifting heaviness of atmosphere
which had surrounded him while enjoying the companionship of Mr.
Palford was a thing of the past.

The thrilled interestthe surprise and delight of Miss Alicia would
have stimulated a man in a comatose conditionit seemed to him. The
little thing just loved every bit of it--she just "eat it up." She
asked question after questionsometimes questions which would have
made him shout with laughter if he had not been afraid of hurting her
feelings. She knew as little of New York as he knew of Temple Barholm
and wasit made him grin to seeallured by it as by some illicit
fascination. She did not know what to make of itand sometimes she
was obliged hastily to conceal a fear that it was a sort of Sodom and
Gomorrah; but she wanted to hear more about itand still more.

And she brightened up until she actually did not look frightenedand
ate her dinner with an excellent appetite.

I really never enjoyed a dinner so much in my life,she said when
they went into the drawing-room to have their coffee. "It was the
conversation which made it so delightful. Conversation is such a
stimulating thing!"


She had almost decided that it was "conversation or at least a
wonderful substitute.

When she said good night to him and went beaming to bed, looking
forward immensely to breakfast next morning, he watched her go up the
staircase, feeling wonderfully normal and happy.

Some of these nightswhen she's used to me he said as he stuffed
tobacco into his last pipe in the library--some of these nights I'm
darned if I sha'n't catch hold of the sweetlittle old thing and hug
her in spite of myself. I sha'n't be able to help it." He lit his
pipeand puffed it even excitedly. "Lord!" he saidthere's some
blame' fool going about the world right now that might have married
her. And he'll never know what a break he made when he didn't.

CHAPTER XVI

A fugitive fine day which had strayed into the month from the
approaching spring appeared the next morningand Miss Alicia was
uplifted by the enrapturing suggestion that she should join her new
relative in taking a walkin fact that it should be she who took him
to walk and showed him some of his possessions. Thisit had revealed
itself to himshe could do in a special way of her ownbecause
during her life at Temple Barholm she had felt it her duty to "try to
do a little good" among the villagers. She and her long-dead mother
and sister had of course been working adjuncts of the vicarageand
had numerous somewhat trying tasks to perform in the way of improving
upon "dear papa's" harrying them into attending churchchivying the
mothers into sending their children to Sunday-schooland being
unsparing in severity of any conduct which might be construed into
implying lack of appreciation of the vicar or respect for his
eloquence.

It had been necessary for them as members of the vicar's family-always
of coursewithout adding a sixpence to the household bills-to
supply bowls of nourishing broth and arrowroot to invalids and to
bestow the aid and encouragement which result in a man of God's being
regarded with affection and gratitude by his parishioners. Many a
man's career in the churchdear papahad frequently observedhad
been ruined by lack of intelligence and effort on the part of the
female members of his family.

No man could achieve proper results,he had saidif he was
hampered by the selfish influence and foolishness of his womenkind.
Success in the church depends in one sense very much upon the conduct
of a man's female relatives.

After the deaths of her mother and sisterMiss Alicia had toiled on
patientlyfading day by day from a slimplainsweet-faced girl to a
slimeven plainer and sweeter-faced middle-aged and at last elderly
woman. She had by that time read aloud by bedsides a great many
chapters in the Biblehad given a good many tractsand bestowed as
much arrowrootbarley-waterand beef-tea as she could possibly
encompass without domestic disaster. She had given a large amount of
conscientiousif not too intelligentadviceand had never failed to
preside over her Sunday-school class or at mothers' meetings. But her
timid unimpressiveness had not aroused enthusiasm or awakened
comprehension. "Miss Alicia the cottage women said, she's well
meanin'but she's not one with a head." "She reminds me one of them


had summed her up, of a hen that lays a' egg every daybut it's too
small for a mealand 'u'd never hatch into anythin'."

During her stay at Temple Barholm she had tentatively tried to do a
little "parish work but she had had nothing to give, and she was
always afraid that if Mr. Temple Barholm found her out, he would be
angry, because he would think she was presuming. She was aware that
the villagers knew that she was an object of charity herself, and a
person who was a lady" and yet an object of charity wasso to speak
poaching upon their own legitimate preserves. The rector and his wife
were rather grand peopleand condescended to her greatly on the few
occasions of their accidental meetings. She was neither smart nor
influential enough to be considered as an asset.

It was she who "conversed" during their walkand while she trotted by
Tembarom's side looking more early-Victorian than ever in a neat
fringed mantle and a small black bonnet of a fashion long decently
interred by a changing worldTembarom had never seen anything
resembling it in New York; but he liked it and her increasingly at
every moment.

It was he who made her converse. He led her on by asking her questions
and being greatly interested in every response she made. In fact
though he was quite unaware of the situationshe was creating for him
such an atmosphere as he might have found in a bookif he had had the
habit of books. Everything she told him was new and quaint and very
often rather touching. She related anecdotes about herself and her
poor little past without knowing she was doing it. Before they had
talked an hour he had an astonishing clear idea of "poor dear papa"
and "dearest Emily" and "poor darling mama" and existence at Rowcroft
Vicarage. He "caught on to" the fact that though she was very much
given to the word "dear--people were dear and so were things and
places,--she never even by chance slipped into saying dear Rowcroft
which she would certainly have done if she had ever spent a happy
moment in it.

As she talked to him he realized that her simple accustomedness to
English village life and all its accompaniments of county surroundings
would teach him anything and everything he might want to know. Her
obscurity had been surrounded by stately magnificence, with which she
had become familiar without touching the merest outskirts of its
privileges. She knew names and customs and families and things to be
cultivated or avoided, and though she would be a little startled and
much mystified by his total ignorance of all she had breathed in since
her birth, he felt sure that she would not regard him either with
private contempt or with a lessened liking because he was a vandal
pure and simple.

And she had such a nice, little, old polite way of saying things.
When, in passing a group of children, he failed to understand that
their hasty bobbing up and down meant that they were doing obeisance
to him as lord of the manor, she spoke with the prettiest apologetic
courtesy.

I'm sure you won't mind touching your hat when they make their little
curtsiesor when a villager touches his forehead she said.

Good Lord! no he said, starting. Ought I? I didn't know they were
doing it at me." And he turned round and made a handsome bow and
grinned almost affectionately at the smallamazed partyfirst
puzzlingand then delightingthembecause he looked so
extraordinarily friendly. A gentleman who laughed at you like that
ought to be equal to a miscellaneous distribution of pennies in the
futureif not on the spot. They themselves grinned and chuckled and


nudged one anotherwith stares and giggles.

I am sorry to say that in a great many places the villagers are not
nearly so respectful as they used to be,Miss Alicia explained. "In
Rowcroft the children were very remiss about curtseying. It's quite
sad. But Mr. Temple Barholm was very strict indeed in the matter of
demanding proper respectfulness. He has turned men off their farms for
incivility. The villagers of Temple Barholm have much better manners
than some even a few miles away."

Must I tip my hat to all of them?he asked.

If you please. It really seems kinder. You--you needn't quite lift
it, as you did to the children just now. If you just touch the brim
lightly with your hand in a sort of military salute--that is what they
are accustomed to.

After they had passed through the village street she paused at the end
of a short lane and looked up at him doubtfully.

Would you--I wonder if you would like to go into a cottage,she
said.

Go into a cottage?he asked. "What cottage? What for?"

He had not the remotest idea of any reason why he should go into a
cottage inhabited by people who were entire strangers to himand Miss
Alicia felt a trifle awkward at having to explain anything so wholly
natural.

You see, they are your cottages, and the people are your tenants,
and--

But perhaps they mightn't like it. It might make 'em mad,he argued.
If their water-pipes had busted, and they'd asked me to come and look
at them or anything; but they don't know me yet. They might think I
was Mr. Buttinski.

I don't quite--she began. "Buttinski is a foreign name; it sounds
Russian or Polish. I'm afraid I don't quite understand why they should
mistake you for him."

Then he laughed--a boyish shout of laughter which brought a cottager
to the nearest window to peep over the pots of fuchsias and geraniums
blooming profusely against the diamond panes.

Say,he apologizeddon't be mad because I laughed. I'm laughing at
myself as much as at anything. It's a way of saying that they might
think I was 'butting in' too much-- pushing in where I wasn't asked.
See? I said they might think I was Mr. Butt-in-ski! It's just a bit of
fool slang. You're not mad, are you?

Oh, no!she said. "Dear me! no. It is very funnyof course. I'm
afraid I'm extremely ignorant about--about foreign humor" It seemed
more delicate to say "foreign" than merely "American." But her gentle
little countenance for a few seconds wore a baffled expressionand
she said softly to herselfMr. Buttinski, Butt-in--to intrude. It
sounds quite Polish; I think even more Polish than Russian.

He was afraid he would yell with gleebut he did not. Herculean
effort enabled him to restrain his feelingsand present to her only
an ordinary-sized smile.

I shouldn't know one from the other,he said; "but if you say it


sounds more PolishI bet it does."

Would you like to go into a cottage?she inquired. "I think it might
be as well. They will like the attention."

Will they? Of course I'll go if you think that. What shall I say?he
asked somewhat anxiously.

If you think the cottage looks clean, you might tell them so, and ask
a few questions about things. And you must be sure to inquire about
Susan Hibblethwaite's legs.

What?ejaculated Tembarom.

Susan Hibblethwaite's legs,she replied in mild explanation. "Susan
is Mr. Hibblethwaite's unmarried sisterand she has very bad legs. It
is a thing one notices continually among village peoplemore
especially the womenthat they complain of what they call `bad legs.'
I never quite know what they meanwhether it is rheumatism or
something differentbut the trouble is always spoken of as `bad legs'
And they like you to inquire about themso that they can tell you
their symptoms."

Why don't they get them cured?

I don't know, I'm sure. They take a good deal of medicine when they
can afford it. I think they like to take it. They're very pleased when
the doctor gives them `a bottle o' summat,' as they call it. Oh, I
mustn't forget to tell you that most of them speak rather broad
Lancashire.

Shall I understand them?Tembarom askedanxious again. "Is it a
sort of Dago talk?"

It is the English the working-classes speak in Lancashire. 'Summat'
means 'something.' 'Whoam' means 'home.' But I should think you would
be very clever at understanding things.

I'm scared stiff,said Tembaromnot in the least uncourageously;
but I want to go into a cottage and hear some of it. Which one shall
we go into?

There were several whitewashed cottages in the laneeach in its own
bit of garden and behind its own hawthorn hedgenow bare and wholly
unsuggestive of white blossoms and almond scent to the uninitiated.
Miss Alicia hesitated a moment.

We will go into this one, where the Hibblethwaites live,she
decided. "They are quite cleancivil people. They have a naughty
queerlittle crippled boybut I suppose they can't keep him in order
because he is an invalid. He's rather rudeI'm sorry to saybut he's
rather sharp and clevertoo. He seems to lie on his sofa and collect
all the gossip of the village."

They went together up the bricked pathand Miss Alicia knocked at the
low door with her knuckles. A stoutapple-faced woman opened it
looking a shade nervous.

Good morning, Mrs. Hibblethwaite,said Miss Alicia in a kind but
remote manner. "The new Mr. Temple Barholm has been kind enough to
come to see you. It's very good of him to come so soonisn't it?"

It is that,Mrs. Hibblethwaite answered respectfullylooking him
over. "Wilt tha coom insir?"


Tembarom accepted the invitationfeeling extremely awkward because
Miss Alicia's initiatory comment upon his goodness in showing himself
had "rattled" him. It had made him feel that he must appear
condescendingand he had never condescended to any one in the whole
course of his existence. He hadindeednot even been condescended
to. He had met with slanging and bullyingindifference and brutality
of mannerbut he had not met with condescension.

I hope you're well, Mrs. Hibblethwaite,he answered. "You look it."

I deceive ma looks a good bit, sir,she answered. "Mony a day ma
legs is nigh as bad as Susan's."

Tha 'rt jealous o' Susan's legs,barked out a sharp voice from a
corner by the fire.

The room had a flagged floorclean with recent scrubbing with
sandstone; the whitewashed walls were decorated with pictures cut from
illustrated papers; there was a big fireplaceand by it was a hardlooking
sofa covered with blue- and-white checked cotton stuff. A boy
of about ten was lying on itpropped up with a pillow. He had a big
head and a keenferret-eyed faceand just now was looking round the
end of his sofa at the visitors. "Howd tha tongueTummas! " said his
mother. "I wunnot howd it Tummas answered. Ma tongue's th' on'y
thing about me as works rightan' I'm noan goin' to stop it."

He's a young nowt,his mother explained; "buthe's a cripplean'
we conna do owt wi' him."

Do not be rude, Thomas,said Miss Aliciawith dignity.

Dunnot be rude thysen,replied Tummas. "I'm noan o' thy lad."

Tembarom walked over to the sofa.

Say,he began with jocular intentyou've got a grouch on, ain't
you?

Tummas turned on him eyes which bored. An analytical observer or a
painter might have seen that he had a burning curiousness of looka
sort of investigatory fever of expression.

I dunnot know what tha means,he said. "Happen tha'rt talkin'
'Merican?"

That's just what it is,admitted Tembarom. " What are you talking?"

Lancashire,said Tummas. "Theer's some sense i' that."

Tembarom sat down near him. The boy turned over against his pillow and
put his chin in the hollow of his palm and stared.

I've wanted to see thee,he remarked. "I've made mother an' Aunt
Susan an' feyther tell me every bit they've heared about thee in the
village. Theer was a lot of it. Tha coom fro' 'Meriker?"

Yes.Tembarom began vaguely to feel the demand in the burning
curiosity.

Gi' me that theer book,the boy saidpointing to a small table
heaped with a miscellaneous jumble of things and standing not far from
him. "It's a' atlas he added as Tembarom gave it to him. Yo' con
find places in it." He turned the leaves until he found a map of the


world. "Theer's 'Meriker he said, pointing to the United States.
That theer's north and that theer's south. All th' real 'Merikens
comes from the Northwheer New York is."

I come from New York,said Tembarom.

Tha wert born i' th' workhouse, tha run about th' streets i' rags,
tha pretty nigh clemmed to death, tha blacked boots, tha sold
newspapers, tha feyther was a common workin'-mon-- and now tha's coom
into Temple Barholm an' sixty thousand a year.

The last part's true all right,Tembarom ownedbut there's some
mistakes in the first part. I wasn't born in the workhouse, and though
I've been hungry enough, I never starved to death--if that's what
`clemmed' means.

Tummas looked at once disappointed and somewhat incredulous.

That's th' road they tell it i' th' village,he argued.

Well, let them tell it that way if they like it best. That's not
going to worry me,Tembarom replied uncombatively.

Tummas's eyes bored deeper into him.

Does na tha care?he demanded.

What should I care for? Let every fellow enjoy himself his own way.

Tha'rt not a bit like one o' th' gentry,said Tummas. "Tha'rt quite
a common chap. Tha'rt as common as mefor aw tha foine clothes."

People are common enough, anyhow,said Tembarom. "There's nothing
much commoneris there? There's millions of 'em everywhere --
billions of 'em. None of us need put on airs."

Tha'rt as common as me,said Tummasreflectively. "An' yet tha owns
Temple Barholm an' aw that brass. I conna mak' out how th' loike
happens."

Neither can I; but it does all samee.

It does na happen i' 'Meriker,exulted Tummas. "Everybody's equal
theer."

Rats!ejaculated Tembarom. "What about multimillionaires?"

He forgot that the age of Tummas was ten. It was impossible not to
forget it. He wasin factten hundredif those of his generation
had been aware of the truth. But there he sathaving spent only a
decade of his most recent incarnation in a whitewashed cottage
deprived of the use of his legs.

Miss Aliciaseeing that Tembarom was interested in the boyentered
into domestic conversation with Mrs. Hibblethwaite at the other side
of the room. Mrs. Hibblethwaite was soon explaining the uncertainty of
Susan's temper on wash-dayswhen it was necessary to depend on her
legs.

Can't you walk at all?Tembarom asked. Tummas shook his head. "How
long have you been lame?"

Ever since I wur born. It's summat like rickets. I've been lyin' here
aw my days. I look on at foak an' think 'em over. I've got to do


summat. That's why I loike th' atlas. Little Ann Hutchinson gave it to
me onct when she come to see her grandmother.

Tembarom sat upright.

Do you know her?he exclaimed.

I know her best o' onybody in th' world. An' I loike her best.

So do I,rashly admitted Tembarom.

Tha does?Tummas asked suspiciously. "Does she loike thee?"

She says she does.He tried to say it with proper modesty.

Well, if she says she does, she does. An' if she does, then yo an'
me'll be friends.He stopped a momentand seemed to be taking
Tembarom in with thoroughness. "I could get a lot out o' thee he
said after the inspection.

A lot of what?" Tembarom felt as though he would really like to hear.

A lot o' things I want to know about. I wish I'd lived th' life tha's
lived, clemmin' or no clemmin'. Tha's seen things goin' on every day
o' thy loife.

Well, yes, there's been plenty going on, plenty,Tembarom admitted.

I've been lying here for ten year',said Tummassavagely. "An' I've
had nowt i' th' world to do an' nowt to think on but what I could mak'
foak tell me about th' village. But nowt happens but this chap gettin'
drunk an' that chap deein' or losin' his placeor wenches gettin'
married or havin' childer. I know everything that happensbut it's
nowt but a lot o' women clackin'. If I'd not been a crippleI'd ha'
been at work for mony a year by now'arnin' money to save by an' go
to 'Meriker."

You seem to be sort of stuck on America. How's that?

What dost mean?

I mean you seem to like it.

I dunnot loike it nor yet not loike it, but I've heard a bit more
about it than I have about th' other places on th' map. Foak goes
there to seek their fortune, an' it seems loike there's a good bit
doin'.

Do you like to read newspapers?said Tembarominspired to his query
by a recollection of the vision of things "doin'" in the Sunday Earth.

Wheer'd I get papers from?the boy asked testily. "Foak like us
hasn't got th' brass for 'em."

I'll bring you some New York papers,promised Tembaromgrinning a
little in anticipation. "And we'll talk about the news that's in them.
The Sunday Earth is full of pictures. I used to work on that paper
myself."

Tha did?Tummas cried excitedly. "Did tha help to print itor was
it th' one tha sold i' th' streets?"

I wrote some of the stuff in it.


Wrote some of th' stuff in it? Wrote it thaself ? How could tha, a
common chap like thee?he askedmore excited stillhis ferret eyes
snapping.

I don't know how I did it,Tembarom answeredwith increased cheer
and interest in the situation. " It wasn't high-brow sort of work."

Tummas leaned forward in his incredulous eagerness.

Does tha mean that they paid thee for writin' it--paid thee?

I guess they wouldn't have done it if they'd been Lancashire,
Tembarom answered." But they hadn't much more sense than I had. They
paid me twenty-five dollars a week-- that's five pounds."

I dunnot believe thee,said Tummasand leaned back on his pillow
short of breath.

I didn't believe it myself till I'd paid my board two weeks and
bought a suit of clothes with it,was Tembarom's answerand he
chuckled as he made it.

But Tummas did believe it. Thisafter he had recovered from the
shockbecame evident. The curiosity in his face intensified itself;
his eagerness was even vaguely tinged with something remotely
resembling respect. It was nothoweverrespect for the money which
had been earnedbut for the store of things "doin'" which must have
been required. It was impossible that this chap knew things undreamed
of.

Has tha ever been to th' Klondike ? he asked after a long pause.

No. I've never been out of New York.

Tummas seemed fretted and depressed.

Eh, I'm sorry for that. I wished tha'd been to th' Klondike. I want
to be towd about it,he sighed. He pulled the atlas toward him and
found a place in it.

That theer's Dawson,he announced. Tembarom saw that the region of
the Klondike had been much studied. It was even rather faded with the
frequent passage of searching fingersas though it had been pored
over with special curiosity.

There's gowd-moines theer,revealed Tummas. "An' theer's welly newt
else but snow an' ice. A young chap as set out fro' here to get theer
froze to death on th' way."

How did you get to hear about it?

Ann she browt me a paper onet.He dug under his pillowand brought
out a piece of newspaperworn and frayed and cut with age and usage.
This heer's what's left of it.Tembarom saw that it was a fragment
from an old American sheet and that a column was headed "The Rush for
the Klondike."

Why didna tha go theer?demanded Tummas. He looked up from his
fragment and asked his question with a sudden reflectivenessas
though a new and interesting aspect of things had presented itself to
him.

I had too much to do in New York,said Tembarom. "There's always
something doing in New Yorkyou know."


Tummas silently regarded him a moment or so.

It's a pity tha didn't go,he said." Happen tha'd never ha' coom
back."

Tembarom laughed the outright laugh.

Thank you,he answered.

Tummas was still thinking the matter over and was not disturbed.

I was na thinkin' o' thee,he said in an impersonal tone. "I was
thinkin' o' t' other chap. If tha'd gon i'stead o' himhe'd ha' been
here i'stead o' thee. Ehbut it's funny." And he drew a deep breath
like a sigh having its birth in profundity of baffled thought.

Both he and his evident point of view were "funny" in the Lancashire
sensewhich does not imply humorbut strangeness and the
unexplainable. Singular as the phrasing wasTembarom knew what he
meantand that he was thinking of the oddity of chance. Tummas had
obviously heard of "poor Jem" and had felt an interest in him.

You're talking about Jem Temple Barholm I guess,he said. Perhaps
the interest he himself had felt in the tragic story gave his voice a
tone somewhat responsive to Tummas's own moodfor Tummasafter one
more boring glancelet himself go. His interest in this special
subject wasit revealed itselfa sort of obsession. The history of
Jem Temple Barholm had been the one drama of his short life.

Aye, I was thinkin' o' him,he said. "I should na ha' cared for th'
Klondike so much but for him."

But he went away from England when you were a baby.

Th' last toime he coom to Temple Barholm wur when I wur just born.
Foak said he coom to ax owd Temple Barholm if he'd help him to pay his
debts, an' th' owd chap awmost kicked him out o' doors. Mother had
just had me, an' she was weak an' poorly an' sittin' at th' door wi'
me in her arms, an' he passed by an' saw her. He stopped an' axed her
how she was doin'. An' when he was goin' away, he gave her a gold
sovereign, an' he says, `Put it in th' savin's-bank for him, an' keep
it theer till he's a big lad an' wants it.' It's been in th' savin'sbank
ever sin'. I've got a whole pound o' ma own out at interest.
There's not many lads ha' got that.

He must have been a good-natured fellow,commented Tembarom. "It was
darned bad luck him going to the Klondike."

It was good luck for thee,said Tummaswith resentment.

Was it?was Tembarom's unbiased reply. "WellI guess it wasone
way or the other. I'm not kickinganyhow."

Tummas naturally did not know half he meant. He went on talking about
Jem Temple Barholmand as he talked his cheeks flushed and his eyes
lighted.

I would na spend that sovereign if I was starvin'. I'm going to leave
it to Ann Hutchinson in ma will when I dee. I've axed questions about
him reet and left ever sin' I can remember, but theer's nobody knows
much. Mother says he was fine an' handsome, an' gentry through an'
through. If he'd coom into th' property, he'd ha' coom to see me again
I'll lay a shillin', because I'm a cripple an' I canna spend his


sovereign. If he'd coom back from th' Klondike, happen he'd ha' towd
me about it.He pulled the atlas toward himand laid his thin finger
on the rubbed spot. "He mun ha' been killed somewheer about here he
sighed. Somewheer here. Ehit's funny."

Tembarom watched him. There was something that rather gave you the
Williesin the way this little cripple seemed to have taken to the
dead man and worried along all these years thinking him over and
asking questions and studying up the Klondike because he was killed
there. It was because he'd made a kind of story of it. He'd enjoyed it
in the way people enjoy stories in a newspaper. You always had to give
'em a kind of story; you had to make a story even if you were telling
about a milk-wagon running away. In newspaper offices you heard that
was the secret of making good with what you wrote. Dish it up as if it
was a sort of story.

He not infrequently arrived at astute enough conclusions concerning
things. He had arrived at one now. Shut out even from the tame drama
of village lifeTummasborn with an abnormal desire for action and a
feverish curiosityhad hungered and thirsted for the story in any
form whatsoever. He caught at fragments of happeningsand colored and
dissected them for the satisfying of unfed cravings. The vanished man
had been the one touch of pictorial form and color in his ten years of
existence. Young and handsome and of the gentryunfavored by the
owner of the wealth which some day would be his own possession
stopping "gentry-way" at a cottage door to speak good-naturedly to a
pale young motherhanding over the magnificence of a whole sovereign
to be saved for a new-born childgoing away to vaguely understood
disgraceleaving his own country to hide himself in distant lands
meeting death amid snow and ice and surrounded by gold-minesleaving
his empty place to be filled by a boot-black newsboy--true there was
enough to lie and think over and to try to follow with the help of
maps and excited questions.

I wish I could ha' seen him,said Tummas. "I'd awmost gi' my
sovereign to get a look at that picture in th' gallery at Temple
Barholm."

What picture?Tembarom asked. "Is there a picture of him there?"

There is na one o' him, but there's one o' a lad as deed two hundred
year' ago as they say wur th' spit an' image on him when he wur a lad
hissen. One o' th' owd servants towd mother it wur theer.

This was a natural stimulus to interest and curiosity.

Which one is it? Jinks! I'd like to see it myself. Do you know which
one it is? There's hundreds of them.

No, I dunnot know,was Tummas's dispirited answeran' neither does
mother. Th' woman as knew left when owd Temple Barholm deed.

Tummas,broke in Mrs. Hibblethwaite from the other end of the room
to which she had returned after taking Miss Alicia out to complain
about the copper in the "wash-'us'--" "Tummastha'st been talkin'
like a magpie. Tha'rt a lot too bold an' ready wi' tha tongue. Th'
gentry's noan comin' to see thee if tha clacks th' heads off theer
showthers."

I'm afraid he always does talk more than is good for him,said Miss
Alicia. "He looks quite feverish."

He has been talking to me about Jem Temple Barholm,explained
Tembarom. "We've had a regular chin together. He thinks a heap of poor


Jem."

Miss Alicia looked startledand Mrs. Hibblethwaite was plainly
flustered tremendously. She quite lost her temper.

Eh,she exclaimedtha wants tha young yed knocked off, Tummas
Hibblethwaite. He's fair daft about th' young gentleman as--as was
killed. He axes questions mony a day till I'd give him th' stick if he
wasna a cripple. He moithers me to death.

I'll bring you some of those New York papers to look at,Tembarom
said to the boy as he went away.

He walked back through the village to Temple Barholmholding Miss
Alicia's elbow in lightaffectionate guidance and supporta little
to her embarrassment and also a little to her delight. Until he had
taken her into the dining-room the night before she had never seen
such a thing done. There was no over- familiarity in the action. It
merely seemed somehow to suggest liking and a wish to take care of
her.

That little fellow in the village,he said after a silence in which
it occurred to her that he seemed thoughtfulwhat a little freak he
is! He's got an idea that there's a picture in the gallery that's said
to look like Jem Temple Barholm when he was a boy. Have you ever heard
anything about it? He says a servant told his mother it was there.

Yes, there is one,Miss Alicia answered. "I sometimes go and look at
it. But it makes me feel very sad. It is the handsome boy who was a
page in the court of Charles II. He died in his teens. His name was
Miles Hugo Charles James. Jem could see the likeness himself.
Sometimes for a little joke I used to call him Miles Hugo."

I believe I remember him,said Tembarom. "I believe I asked Palford
his name. I must go and have a look at him again. He hadn't much
better luck than the fellow that looked like himdying as young as
that."

CHAPTER XVII

Formcolordramaand divers other advantages are necessary to the
creation of an object of interest. Presenting to the world none of
these assetsMiss Alicia had slipped through life a scarcely remarked
unit. No little ghost of prettiness had attracted the wandering eye
no suggestion of agreeable or disagreeable power of self-assertion had
arrested attention. There had been no hour in her life when she had
expected to count as being of the slightest consequence. When she had
knocked at the door of the study at Rowcroft Vicarageand "dear papa"
had exclaimed irritably: "Who is that? Who is that?" she had always
repliedIt is only Alicia.

This being the caseher gradual awakening to the singularity of her
new situation was mentally a process full of doubts and sometimes of
alarmed bewilderments. If in her girlhood a curateeven a curate with
prominent eyes and a receding chinhad proposed to her that she
should face with him a future enriched by the prospect of being called
upon to bring up a probable family of twelve on one hundred and fifty
pounds a yearwith both parish and rectory barking and snapping at
her worn-down heelsshe would have been sure to assert tenderly that
she was afraid she was "not worthy." This was the natural habit of


her mindand in the weeks which followed the foggy afternoon when
Tembarom "staked out his claim" she dwelt often upon her unworthiness
of the benefits bestowed upon her.

First the world below-stairsthen the villageand then the county
itself awoke to the fact that the new Temple Temple Barholm had "taken
her up." The first tendency of the world below-stairs was to resent
the unwarranted uplifting of a person whom there had been a certain
luxury in regarding with disdain and treating with scarcely veiled
lack of consideration. To be able to do this with a person whoafter
all was said and donewas not one of the servant classbut a sort of
lady of birthwas not unstimulating. And below-stairs the sense of
personal rancor against "a 'anger-on" is strong. The meals served in
Miss Alicia's remote sitting-room had been served at leisureher tea
had rarely been hotand her modestly tinkled bell irregularly
answered. Often her far from liberally supplied fire had gone out on
chilly daysand she had been afraid to insist on its being relighted.
Her sole defense against inattention would have been to complain to
Mr. Temple Barholmand when on one occasion a too obvious neglect had
obliged her to gather her quaking being together in mere self- respect
and sayIf this continues to occur, William, I shall be obliged to
speak to Mr. Temple Barholm,William had so looked at her and so ill
hid a secret smile that it had been almost tantamount to his saying
I'd jolly well like to see you.

And now! Sitting at the end of the table opposite himif you please!
Walking here and walking there with him! Sitting in the library or
wherever he waswith him talking and laughing and making as much of
her as though she were an aunt with a fortune to leaveand with her
making as free in talk as though at liberty to say anything that came
into her head! Wellthe beggar that had found himself on horseback
was setting another one galloping alongside of him. In the midst of
this natural resentment it was "a bit upsetting as Burrill said, to
find it dawning upon one that absolute exactness of ceremony was as
much to be required for her" as for "him." Miss Alicia had long felt
secretly sure that she was spoken of as "her" in the servants' hall.
That businesslike sharpness which Palford had observed in his client
aided Tembarom always to see things without illusions. He knew that
There was no particular reason why his army of servants should regard
him for the present as much more than an intruder; but he also knew
that if men and women had employment which was not made hard for them
and were well paid for doingthey were not anxious to lose itand
the man who paid their wages might give orders with some certainty of
finding them obeyed. He was "sharp" in more ways than one. He observed
shades he might have been expected to overlook. He observed a certain
shade in the demeanor of the domestics when attending Miss Aliciaand
it was a shade which marked a difference between service done for her
and service done for himself. This was only at the outsetof course
when the secret resentment was felt; but he observed itmere shade
though it was.

He walked out into the hall after Burrill one morning. Not having yet
adjusted himself to the rule that when one wished to speak to a man
one rang a bell and called him backfifty times if necessaryhe
walked after Burrill and stopped him.

This is a pretty good place for servants, ain't it?he said.

Yes, sir.

Good pay, good food, not too much to do?

Certainly, sir,Burrill repliedsomewhat disturbed by a casualness
which yet suggested a method of getting at something or other.


You and the rest of them don't want to change, do you?

No, sir. There is no complaint whatever as far as I have heard.

That's all right.Mr. Temple Barholm had put his hands into his
pocketsand stood looking non-committal in a steady sort of way.
There's something I want the lot of you to get on to--right away.
Miss Temple Barholm is going to stay here. She's got to have
everything just as she wants it. She's got to be pleased. She's the
lady of the house. See?

I hope, sir,Burrill said with professional dignitythat Miss
Temple Barholm has not had reason to express any dissatisfaction.

I'm the one that would express it--quick,said Tembarom. "She
wouldn't have time to get in first. I just wanted to make sure I
shouldn't have to do it. The other fellows are under you. You've got a
head on your shouldersI guess. It's up to you to put 'em on to it.
That's all."

Thank you, sir,said Burrill.

His master went back into the library smiling geniallyand Burrill
stood still a moment or so gazing at the door he closed behind him.

Be sure the villageand finally circles not made up of cottagers
heard of thishowsoever mysteriously. Miss Alicia was not aware that
the incident had occurred. She could not help observinghoweverthat
the manners of the servants of the household curiously improved; also
when she passed through the villagethat foreheads were touched
without omission and the curtseys of playing children were prompt.
When she dropped into a cottagehousewives polished off the seats of
chairs vigorously before offering themand symptoms and needs were
explained with a respectful fluency which at times almost suggested
that she might be relied on to use influence.

I'm afraid I have done the village people injustice,she said
leniently to Tembarom. "I used to think them so disrespectful and
unappreciative. I dare say it was because I was so troubled myself.
I'm afraid one's own troubles do sometimes make one unfair."

Well, yours are over,said Tembarom. "And so are mine as long as you
stay by me."

Never had Miss Alicia been to London. She had remainedas was
demanded of her by her duty to dear papaat Rowcroftwhich was in
Somersetshire. She had only dreamed of Londonand had had fifty-five
years of dreaming. She had read of great functionsand seen pictures
of some of them in the illustrated papers. She had loyally endeavored
to follow at a distance the doings of her Majesty-- she always spoke
of Queen Victoria reverentially as "her Majesty--she rejoiced when a
prince or a princess was born or christened or married, and believed
that a drawing-room" was the most awe-inspiringbrilliantand
important function in the civilized worldscarcely second to
Parliament. London--no one but herself or an elderly gentlewoman of
her type could have told any one the nature of her thoughts of London.

Letthereforethose of vivid imagination make an effort to depict to
themselves the effect produced upon her mind by Tembarom's casually
suggesting at breakfast one morning that he thought it might be rather
a good "stunt" for them to run up to London. By mere good fortune she
escaped dropping the egg she had just taken from the egg-stand.


London!she said. "Oh!"

Pearson thinks it would be a first-rate idea,he explained. "I guess
he thinks that if he can get me into the swell clothing stores he can
fix me up as I ought to be fixedif I'm not going to disgrace him. I
should hate to disgrace Pearson. Then he can see his girltooand I
want him to see his girl."

Is--Pearson--engaged?she asked; but the thought which was repeating
itself aloud to her was "London! London!"

He calls it 'keeping company,' or 'walking out,'Tembarom answered.
She's a nice girl, and he's dead stuck on her. Will you go with me,
Miss Alicia?

Dear Mr. Temple Barholm,she flutteredto visit London would be a
privilege I never dreamed it would be my great fortune to enjoy-never.


Good business!he ejaculated delightedly. "That's luck for me. It
gave me the blues--what I saw of it. But if you are with meI'll bet
it'll be as different as afternoon tea was after I got hold of you.
When shall we start? To-morrow?"

Her sixteen-year-old blush repeated itself.

I feel so sorry. It seems almost undignified to mention it, but--I
fear I should not look smart enough for London. My wardrobe is so very
limited. I mustn't,she added with a sweet effort at humordo the
new Mr. Temple Barholm discredit by looking unfashionable.

He was more delighted than before.

Say,he broke outI'll tell you what we'll do: we'll go together
and buy everything 'suitable' in sight. The pair of us'll come back
here as suitable as Burrill and Pearson. We'll paint the town red.

He actually meant it. He was like a boy with a new game. His sense of
the dreariness of London had disappeared. He knew what it would be
like with Miss Alicia as a companion. He had really seen nothing of
the place himselfand he would find out every darned thing worth
looking atand take her to see it-- theatersshopsevery show in
town. When they left the breakfast-table it was agreed upon that they
would make the journey the following day.

He did not openly refer to the fact that among the plans for their
round of festivities he had laid out for himself the attending to one
or two practical points. He was going to see Palfordand he had made
an appointment with a celebrated nerve specialist. He did not discuss
this for several reasons. One of them was that his summing up of Miss
Alicia was that she had had trouble enough to think over all her
little lifeand the thing for a fellow to do for herif he liked
herwas to give her a good time and make her feel as if she was at a
picnic right straight along--not let her even hear of a darned thing
that might worry her. He had said comparatively little to her about
Strangeways. His first mention of his condition had obviously made her
somewhat nervousthough she had been full of kindly interest. She was
in private not sorry that it was felt better that she should not
disturb the patient by a visit to his room. The abnormality of his
condition seemed just slightly alarming to her.

But, oh, how good, how charitable, you are!she had murmured.

Good,he answeredthe devout admiration of her tone rather puzzling


him. "It ain't that. I just want to see the thing through. I dropped
into it by accidentand then I dropped into this by accidentand
that made it as easy as falling off a log. I believe he's going to get
well sometime. I guess I kind of like him because he holds on to me so
and believes I'm just It. Maybe it's because I'm stuck on myself."

His visit to Strangeways was longer than usual that afternoon. He
explained the situation to him so that he understood it sufficiently
not to seem alarmed by it. This was one of the advances Tembarom had
noticed recentlythat he was less easily terrifiedand seemed
occasionally to see facts in their proper relation to one another.
Sometimes the experiments tried on him were successfulsometimes they
were notbut he never resented them.

You are trying to help me to remember,he said once. "I think you
will sometime."

Sure I will,said Tembarom. "You're better every day."

Pearson was to remain in charge of him until toward the end of the
London visit. Then he was to run up for a couple of daysleaving in
his place a young footman to whom the invalid had become accustomed.

The visit to London was to Miss Alicia a period of enraptured
delirium. The beautiful hotel in which she was establishedthe
afternoons at the Towerthe National Gallerythe British Museumthe
evenings at the playduring which one saw the most brilliant and
distinguished actorsthe mornings in the shopsattended as though
one were a person of fortunewhat could be said of them? And the
sacred day on which she saw her Majesty drive slowly byglittering
helmetssplendid uniformswaving plumesand clanking swords
accompanying and guarding herand gentlemen standing still with their
hats offand everybody looking after her with that natural touch of
awe which royalty properly inspires! Miss Alicia's heart beat rapidly
in her breastand she involuntarily made a curtsey as the great lady
in mourning drove by. She lost no shade of any flavor of ecstatic
pleasure in anythingand was to Tembaromwho knew nothing about
shades and flavorsindeed a touching and endearing thing.

He had never got so much out of anything. If Ann had just been there
wellthat would have been the limit. Ann was on her way to America
nowand she wouldn't write to him or let him write to her. He had to
make a fair trial of it. He could find out only in that wayshe said.
It was not to be denied that the youth and longing in him gave him
some half-hours to face which made him shut himself up in his room and
stare hard at the wallfolding his arms tightly as he tilted his
chair.

There arrived a day when one of the most exalted shops in Bond Street
was invaded by an American young man of a bearing the peculiarities of
which were subtly combined with a remotely suggested air of knowing
that if he could find what he wantedthere was no doubt as to his
power to get it. What he wanted was not usualand was explained with
a frankness which might have seemed unsophisticatedbutsingularly
did not. He wanted to have a private talk with some feminine power in
chargeand she must be some one who knew exactly what ladies ought to
have.

Being shown into a roomsuch a feminine power was brought to him and
placed at his service. She was a middle-aged personwearing
beautifully fitted garments and having an observant eye and a
dignified suavity of manner. She looked the young American over with a
swift inclusion of all possibilities. He was by this time wearing
extremely well-fitting garments himselfbut she was at once aware


that his tailored perfection was a new thing to him.

He went to his point without apologetic explanation.

You know all the things any kind of a lady ought to have,he said-"
all the things that would make any one feel comfortable and as if
they'd got plenty? Useful things as well as ornamental ones?"

Yes, sir,she repliedwith rising interest. "I have been in the
establishment thirty years."

Good business,Tembarom replied. Already he felt relieved. "I've got
a relationa little old ladyand I want her to fix herself out just
as she ought to be fixed. Nowwhat I'm afraid of is that she won't
get everything she ought to unless I manage it for her somehow
beforehand. She's got into a habit of-- welleconomizing. Now the
time's past for thatand I want her to get everything a woman like
you would know she really wantsso that she could look her best
living in a big country housewith a relation that thinks a lot of
her."

He paused a second or soand then went furtherfixing a clear and
astonishingly shrewd eye upon the head of the department listening to
him.

I found out this was a high-class place,he explained. "I made sure
of that before I came in. In a place that was second or third class
there might be people who'd think they'd caught a 'sucker' that would
take anything that was unloaded on to himbecause he didn't know. The
things are for Miss Temple Barholmand she DOES know. I shall ask her
to come here herself to-morrow morningand I want you to take care of
herand show her the best you've got that's suitable." He seemed to
like the word; he repeated it--"Suitable and quickly restrained a
sudden, unexplainable, wide smile.

The attending lady's name was Mrs. Mellish. Thirty years' experience
had taught her many lessons. She was a hard woman and a sharp one, but
beneath her sharp hardness lay a suppressed sense of the perfect in
taste. To have a customer with unchecked resources put into her hands
to do her best by was an inspiring incident. A quiver of enlightenment
had crossed her countenance when she had heard the name of Temple
Barholm. She had a newspaper knowledge of the odd Temple Barholm
story. This was the next of kin who had blacked boots in New York, and
the obvious probability that he was a fool, if it had taken the form
of a hope, had been promptly nipped in the bud. The type from which he
was furthest removed was that of the fortune-intoxicated young man who
could be obsequiously flattered into buying anything which cost money
enough.

Not a thing's to be unloaded on her that she doesn't like he added,
and she's not a girl that goes to pink teas. She's a--a--lady --and
not young--and used to quiet ways."

The evidently New York word "unload" revealed him to his hearer as by
a flashthough she had never heard it before.

We have exactly the things which will be suitable, sir,she said. "I
think I quite understand." Tembarom smiled againandthanking her
went away still smilingbecause he knew Miss Alicia was safe.

There were of course difficulties in the way of persuading Miss Alicia
that her duty lay in the direction of spending mornings in the most
sumptuous of Bond Street shopsordering for herself an entire
wardrobe on a basis of unlimited resources. Tembarom was called upon


to employ the most adroitly subtle reasoningentirely founded on his
claimand her affectionate willingness to give him pleasure.

He really made love to her in the way a joyful young fellow can make
love to his mother or his nicest aunt. He made her feel that she
counted for so much in his scheme of enjoyment that to do as he asked
would be to add a glow to it.

And they won't spoil you,he said. "The Mellish woman that's the
boss has promised that. I wouldn't have you spoiled for a farm he
added heartily.

And he spoke the truth. If he had been told that he was cherishing her
type as though it were a priceless bit of old Saxe, he would have
stared blankly and made a jocular remark. But it was exactly this
which he actually clung to and adored. He even had a second private
interview with Mrs. Mellish, and asked her to keep her as much like
she was" as was possible.

Stimulated by the suppressed touch of artistic fervorMrs. Mellish
guessed at something even before her client arrived; but the moment
she entered the showroom all was revealed to her at once. The very
hint of flush and tremor in Miss Alicia's manner was an assistance.
Surrounded by a small and extremely select court composed of Mrs.
Mellish and two low-voiceddeft-handed assistantsit was with a fine
little effort that Miss Alicia restrained herself from exterior
suggestion of her feeling that there was something almost impious in
thinking of possessing the exquisite stuffs and shades displayed to
her in flowing beauty on every side. Such linens and batistes and
lacessuch delicatefaint grays and lavenders and soft-falling
blacks! If she had been capable of approaching the thoughtsuch
luxury might even have hinted at guilty splendor.

Mrs. Mellish became possessed of an "idea" To create the costume of an
exquisiteearly-Victorian old lady in a play done for the most
fashionable and popular actor manager of the most "drawing-room" of
West End theaterswhere one saw royalty in the royal boxwith
bouquets on every sidethe orchestra breaking off in the middle of a
strain to play "God Save the Queen and the audience standing up as
the royal party came in -- that was her idea. She carried it out,
steering Miss Alicia with finished tact through the shoals and rapids
of her timidities. And the result was wonderful; color,--or, rather,
shades, -- textures, and forms were made subservient by real genius.
Miss Alicia -- as she was turned out when the wardrobe was complete --
might have been an elderly little duchess of sweet and modest good
taste in the dress of forty years earlier. It took time, but some of
the things were prepared as though by magic, and the night the first
boxes were delivered at the hotel Miss Alicia, on going to bed, in
kneeling down to her devotions prayed fervently that she might not be
led astray by fleshly desires and that her gratitude might be
acceptable, and not stained by a too great joy in the things which
corrupt."

The very next day occurred Rose. She was the young person to whom
Pearson was engagedand it appeared that if Miss Alicia would make up
her mind to oblige Mr. Temple Barholm by allowing the girl to come to
her as lady's-maideven if only temporarilyshe would be doing a
most kind and charitable thing. She was a very nicewell-behaved
girland unfortunately she had felt herself forced to leave her place
because her mistress's husband was not at all a nice man. He had shown
himself so far from nice that Pearson had been most unhappyand Rose
had been compelled to give noticethough she had no other situation
in prospect and her mother was dependent on her. This was without
doubt not Mr. Temple Barholm's exact phrasing of the storybut it was


what Miss Alicia gatheredand what moved her deeply. It was so cruel
and so sad! That wicked man! That poor girl! She had never had a
lady's-maidand might be rather at a loss at firstbut it was only
like Mr. Temple Barholm's kind heart to suggest such a way of helping
the girl and poor Pearson.

So occurred Rosea pretty creature whose blue eyes suppressed
grateful tears as she took Miss Alicia's instructions during their
first interview. And Pearson arrived the same nightandwaiting upon
Tembaromstood before himand with perfect respectchoked.

Might I thank you, if you please, sir,he beganrecovering himself-"
might I thank you and say how grateful--Rose and mesir--" and
choked again.

I told you it would be all right,answered Tembarom. "It is all
right. I wish I was fixed like you arePearson."

When the Countess of Mallowe calledRose had just dressed Miss Alicia
for the afternoon in one of the most perfect of the evolutions of Mrs.
Mellish's idea. It was a definite creationas even Lady Mallowe
detected the moment her eyes fell upon it. Its hue was dullsoft
grayand how it managed to concede points and elude suggestions of
modes interredand yet remain what it did remainand accord
perfectly with the side ringlets and the lace cap of Mechlinonly
dressmaking genius could have explained. The mere wearing of it gave
Miss Alicia a support and courage which she could scarcely believe to
be her own. When the cards of Lady Mallowe and Lady Joan Fayre were
brought up to hershe was absolutely not really frightened; a little
nervous for a momentperhapsbut frightenedno. A few weeks of
relief and easeof cheery considerationof perfectly good treatment
and good food and good clotheshad begun a rebuilding of the actual
cells of her.

Lady Mallowe entered alone. She was a handsome personand
astonishingly young when considered as the mother of a daughter of
twenty-seven. She wore a white veiland looked pink through it. She
swept into the roomand shook hands with Miss Alicia with delicate
warmth.

We do not really know each other at all,she said. "It is
disgraceful how little relatives see of one another."

The disgraceif measured by the extent of the relationshipwas not
immense. Perhaps this thought flickered across Miss Alicia's mind
among a number of other things. She had heard "dear papa" on Lady
Malloweandhowsoever lacking in gracesthe vicar of Rowcroft had
not lacked an acrid shrewdness. Miss Alicia's sensitively selfaccusing
soul shrank before a hasty realization of the fact that if he
had been present when the cards were brought uphe wouldon glancing
over them through his spectacleshave jerked out immediately: "What
does the woman want? She's come to get something." Miss Alicia wished
she had not been so immediately beset by this mental vision.

Lady Mallowe had come for something. She had come to be amiable to
Miss Temple Barholm and to establish relations with her.

Joan should have been here to meet me,she explained. "Her
dressmaker is keeping herof course. She will be so annoyed. She
wanted very much to come with me."

It was further revealed that she might arrive at any momentwhich
gave Miss Alicia an opportunity to expresswith pretty gracethe
hope that she wouldand her trust that she was quite well.


She is always well,Lady Mallowe returned. "And she is of course as
interested as we all are in this romantic thing. It is perfectly
deliciouslike a three- volumed novel."

It is romantic,said Miss Aliciawondering how much her visitor
knew or thought she knewand what circumstances would present
themselves to her as delicious.

Of course one has heard only the usual talk one always hears when
everybody is chattering about a thing,Lady Mallowe repliedwith a
propitiating smile. "No one really knows what is true and what isn't.
But it is nice to notice that all the gossip speaks so well of him. No
one seems to pretend that he is anything but extremely nice himself
notwithstanding his disadvantages."

She kept a fine hazel eyesurrounded by a line which artistically
represented itself as black lashessteadily resting on Miss Alicia as
she said the last words.

He is,said Miss Aliciawith gentle firmnessnicer than I had
ever imagined any young man could be--far nicer.

Lady Mallowe's glance round the luxurious private sitting-room and
over the perfect "idea" of Mrs. Mellish was so swift as to be almost
imperceptible.

How delightful!she said. "He must be unusually agreeableor you
would not have consented to stay and take care of him."

I cannot tell you how HAPPY I am to have been asked to stay with him,
Lady Mallowe,Miss Alicia repliedthe gentle firmness becoming a
soft dignity.

Which of course shows all the more how attractive he must be. And in
view of the past lack of advantages, what a help you can be to him! It
is quite wonderful for him to have a relative at hand who is an
Englishwoman and familiar with things he will feel he must learn.

A perhaps singular truth is that but for the unmistakable nature of
the surroundings she quickly took in the significance ofand but for
the perfection of the carrying out of Mrs. Mellish's delightful idea
it is more than probable that her lady-ship's manner of approaching
Miss Alicia and certain subjects on which she desired enlightenment
would have been much more direct and much less propitiatory.
Extraordinary as it wasthe creature--she thought of Tembarom as
the creature-- had plainly been so pleased with the chance of being
properly coached that he had put everythingso to speakin the
little old woman's hands. She had got a hold upon him. It was quite
likely that to regard her as a definite factor would only be the part
of the merest discretion. She was evidently quite in love with him in
her early-Victorianspinster way. One had to be prudent with women
like that who had got hold of a male creature for the first time in
their livesand were almost unaware of their own power. Their very
unconsciousness made them a dangerous influence.

With a masterly review of these facts in her mind Lady Mallowe went on
with a fluent and pleasant talkthrough the medium of which she
managed to convey a large number of things Miss Alicia was far from
being clever enough to realize she was talking about. She lightly
waved wings of suggestion across the sceneshe dropped infinitesimal
seeds in passingshe left faint echoes behind her-- the kind of
echoes one would find oneself listening to and trying to hear as
definitely formed sounds. She had been balancing herself on a


precarious platform of rank and titleunsupported by any sordid
foundation of a solid naturethrough a lifetime spent in London. She
had learned to catch fiercely at straws of chanceand bitterly to
regret the floating past of the slightestwhich had made of her a
finished product of her kind. She talked lightlyand was sometimes
almost witty. To her hearer she seemed to know every brilliant
personage and to be familiar with every dazzling thing. She knew well
what social habits and customs meantwhat their valueor lack of
valuewas. There were customsshe implied skilfullyso established
by time that it was impossible to ignore them. Relationshipsfor
instancestood for so much that was fine in England that one was
sometimes quite touched by the far-reachingness of family loyalty. The
head of the house of a great estate represented a certain power in the
matter of upholding the dignity of his possessionsof caring for his
tenantryof standing for proper hospitality and friendly family
feeling. It was quite beautiful as one often saw it. Throughout the
talk there were several references to Joanwho really must come in
shortlywhich were very interesting to Miss Alicia. Lady JoanMiss
Alicia heard casuallywas a great beauty. Her perfection and her
extreme cleverness had made her perhaps a trifle difficile. She had
not done--Lady Mallowe put it with a lightness of phrasing which was
delicacy itself-- what she might have donewith every exalted
advantageso many times. She had a profound nature. Here Lady Mallowe
waved awayas it werea ghost of a sigh. Since Miss Temple Barholm
was a relativeshe had no doubt heard of the unfortunatethe very
sad incident which her mother sometimes feared prejudiced the girl
even yet.

You mean--poor Jem!broke forth involuntarily from Miss Alicia's
lips. Lady Mallowe stared a little.

Do you call him that?she asked. "Did you know himthen?"

I loved him,answered Miss Aliciawinking her eyes to keep back the
moisture in themthough it was only when he was a little boy.

Oh,said Lady Mallowewith a suddensingular softnessI must
tell Joan that.

Lady Joan had not appeared even after they had had tea and her mother
went awaybut somehow Miss Alicia had reached a vaguely yearning
feeling for her and wished very much the dressmaker had released her.
She was quite stirred when it revealed itself almost at the last
moment that in a few weeks both she and Lady Mallowe were to pay a
visit at no great distance from Temple Barholm itselfand that her
ladyship would certainly arrange to drive over to continue her
delightful acquaintance and to see the beautiful old place again.

In any case one must, even if he lived in lonely state, pay one's
respects to the head of the house. The truth is, of course, one is
extremely anxious to meet him, and it is charming to know that one is
not merely invading the privacy of a bachelor,Lady Mallowe put it.

She'll come for YOU,Little Ann had soberly remarked.

Tembarom remembered the look in her quietunresentful blue eyes when
he came in to dinner and Miss Alicia related to him the events of the
afternoon.

CHAPTER XVIII


The springwhen they traveled back to the northwas so perceptibly
nearer that the fugitive soft days strayed in advance at intervals
that were briefer. They chose one for their journeyand its clear
sunshine and hints at faint greenness were so exhilarating to Miss
Alicia that she was a companion to make any journey an affair to rank
with holidays and adventures. The strange luxury of traveling in a
reserved first-class carriageof being made timid by no sense of
unfitness of dress or luggagewould have filled her with grateful
rapture; but Rosejourneying with Pearson a few coaches behind
appeared at the carriage window at every important station to sayIs
there anything I may do for you, ma'am?And there really never was
anything she could dobecause Mr. Temple Barholm remembered
everything which could make her comfort perfect. In the moods of one
who searches the prospect for suggestions as to pleasure he can give
to himself by delighting a dear childhe had found and bought for her
a most elegant little dressing-bagwith the neatest of plain-gold
fittings beautifully initialed. It reposed upon the cushioned seat
near herand made her heart beat every time she caught sight of it
anew. How wonderful it would be if poor deardarling mama could look
down and see everything and really know what happiness had been
vouchsafed to her unworthy child!

Having a vivid recollection of the journey made with Mr. Palford
Tembarom felt that his whole world had changed for him. The landscape
had altered its aspect. Miss Alicia pointed out bits of freshening
grasswas sure of the breaking of brown leaf-budsand more than once
breathlessly suspected a primrose in a sheltered hedge corner. A
country-bred womanwith country-bred keenness of eye and a countrybred
sense of the seasons' changeshe saw so much that he had never
known that she began to make him see also. Bare trees would be thick-
leaved nesting-placeshedges would be white with hawthornand hold
blue eggs and chirps and songs. Skylarks would spring out of the
fields and soar into the skydropping crystal chains of joyous
trills. The cottage gardens would be full of flowersthere would be
poppies gleaming scarlet in the cornand in buttercup-time all the
green grass would be a sheet of shining gold.

When it all happens I shall be like a little East-Sider taken for a
day in the country. I shall be asking questions at every step,
Tembarom said. "Temple Barholm must be pretty fine then."

It is so lovely,said Miss Aliciaturning to him almost solemnly
that sometimes it makes one really lose one's breath.

He looked out of the window with sudden wistfulness.

I wish Ann--he began and thenseeing the repressed question in her
eyesmade up his mind.

He told her about Little Ann. He did not use very many wordsbut she
knew a great deal when he had finished. And her spinster soul was
thrilled. Neither she nor poor Emily had ever had an admirerand it
was not considered refined for unsought females to discuss "such
subjects." Domestic delirium over the joy of an engagement in families
in which daughters were a drug she had seen. It was indeed inevitable
that there should be more rejoicing over one Miss Timson who had
strayed from the fold into the haven of marriage than over the ninetynine
Misses Timson who remained behind. But she had never known
intimately any one who was in love-- really in love. Mr. Temple
Barholm must be. When he spoke of Little Ann he flushed shyly and his
eyes looked so touching and nice. His voice sounded differentand
though of course his odd New York expressions were always rather
puzzlingshe felt as though she saw things she had had no previous


knowledge of--things which thrilled her.

She must be a very--very nice girl,she ventured at length. "I am
afraid I have never been into old Mrs. Hutchinson's cottage. She is
quite comfortably off in her wayand does not need parish care. I
wish I had seen Miss Hutchinson."

I wish she had seen you,was Tembarom's answer.

Miss Alicia reflected.

She must be very clever to have such--sensible views,she remarked.

If he had remained in New Yorkand there had been no question of his
inheriting Temple Barholmthe marriage would have been most suitable.
But however "superior" she might bea vision of old Mrs. Hutchinson's
granddaughter as the wife of Mr. Temple Barholmand of noisy old Mr.
Hutchinson as his father-in-law was a staggering thing.

You think they were sensible?asked Tembarom. "Wellshe never did
anything that wasn't. So I guess they were. And what she says GOES. I
wanted you to knowanyhow. I wouldn't like you not to know. I'm too
fond of youMiss Alicia." And he put his hand round her neat glove
and squeezed it. The tears of course came into her tender eyes.
Emotion of any sort always expressed itself in her in this early-
Victorian manner.

This Lady Joan girl,he said suddenly not long afterwardisn't she
the kind that I'm to get used to--the kind in the pictorial magazine
Ann talked about? I bought one at the news-stand at the depot before
we started. I wanted to get on to the pictures and see what they did
to me.

He found the paper among his belongings and regarded it with the
expression of a serious explorer. It opened at a page of illustrations
of slim goddesses in court dresses. By actual measurementif regarded
according to scaleeach was about ten feet high; but their long
linescombining themselves with court trainswaving plumesand
falling veilsproduced an awe-inspiring effect. Tembarom gazed at
them in absorbed silence.

Is she something like any of these?he inquired finally.

Miss Alicia looked through her glasses.

Far more beautiful, I believe,she answered. "These are only
fashion-platesand I have heard that she is a most striking girl."

A beaut' from Beautsville!he said. "So that's what I'm up against!
I wonder how much use that kind of a girl would have for me."

He gave a good deal of attention to the paper before he laid it aside.
As she watched himMiss Alicia became gradually aware of the
existence of a certain hint of determined squareness in his boyish
jaw. It was perhaps not much more than a hintbut it really was
therethough she had not noticed it before. In factit usually hid
itself behind his slangy youthfulness and his readiness for any good
cheer.

One may as well admit that it sustained him during his novitiate and
aided him to pass through it without ignominy or disaster. He was
strengthened also by a private resolve to bear himself in such a
manner as would at least do decent credit to Little Ann and her
superior knowledge. With the curious eyes of servantsvillagersand


secretly outraged neighborhood upon himhe was shrewd enough to know
that he might easily become a perennial fount of grotesque anecdote
to be used as a legitimate source of entertainment in cottages over
the consumption of beans and baconas well as at great houses when
dinner-table talk threatened to become dull if not enlivened by some
spice. He would not have thought of this or been disturbed by it but
for Ann. She knewand he was not going to let her be met on her
return from America with what he called "a lot of funny dope" about
him.

No girl would like it,he said to himself. "And the way she said she
'cared too much' just put it up to me to see that the fellow she cares
for doesn't let himself get laughed at."

Though he still continued to be jocular on subjects which to his valet
seemed almost sacredPearson was relieved to find that his employer
gradually gave himself into his hands in a manner quite amenable. In
the touching way in which nine out of ten nicedomesticated American
males obey the behests of the women they are fond ofhe had followed
Ann's directions to the letter. Guided by the adept Pearsonhe had
gone to the best places in London and purchased the correct things
returning to Temple Barholm with a wardrobe to which any gentleman
might turn at any moment without a question.

He's got good shoulders, though he does slouch a bit,Pearson said
to Rose. "And a gentleman's shoulders are more than half the battle."

What Tembarom himself felt cheered by was the certainty that if Ann
saw him walking about the park or the villageor driving out with
Miss Alicia in the big landauor taking her in to dinner every
eveningor even going to church with hershe would not have occasion
to flush at sight of him.

The going to church was one of the duties of his position he found
out. Miss Alicia "put him on" to that. It seemed that he had to
present himself to the villagers "as an example." If the Temple
Barholm pews were emptythe villagersnot being incited to
devotional exercise by his exalted presencewould feel at liberty to
remain at homeand in the irreligious undress of shirt-sleeves sit
and smoke their pipesorworse stillgather at "the Hare and
Hounds" and drink beer. Alsoit would not be "at all proper" not to
go to church.

Pearson produced a special cut of costume for this ceremonyand
Tembarom walked with Miss Alicia across the park to the square-towered
Norman church.

In a position of dignity the Temple Barholm pews over-looked the
congregation. There was the great square pew for the familywith two
others for servants. Footmen and house-maids gazed reverentially at
prayer-books. Pearsonmaking every preparation respectfully to
declare himself a "miserable sinner" when the proper moment arrived
could scarcely re- strain a rapid side glance as the correctly cut and
fitted and entirely "suitable" work of his hands opened the pew-door
for Miss Aliciafollowed her inand took his place.

Let not the fact that he had never been to church before be counted
against him. There was nothing very extraordinary in the fact. He had
felt no antipathy to church-goingbut he had not by chance fallen
under proselyting influenceand it had certainly never occurred to
him that he had any place among the well- dressedcomfortable-looking
people he had seen flocking into places of worship in New York. As far
as religious observances were concernedhe was an unadulterated
heathenand was all the more to be congratulated on being a heathen


of genial tendencies.

The very large pewunder the stone floor of which his ancestors had
slept undisturbedly for centuriesinterested him greatly. A recumbent
marble crusader in armorwith feet crossed in the customary manner
fitted into a sort of niche in one side of the wall. There were carved
tablets and many inscriptions in Latin wheresoever one glanced. The
place was like a room. A heavyround tableon which lay prayerbooks
Biblesand hymn-booksoccupied the middle. About it were
arranged beautiful old chairswith hassocks to kneel on. Toward a
specially imposing chair with arms Miss Alicia directedhim with a
glance. It was apparently his place. He was going to sit down when he
saw Miss Alicia gently push forward a hassock with her footand kneel
on itcovering her face with her hands as she bent her head. He
hastily drew forth his hassock and followed her example.

That was itwas it? It wasn't only a matter of listening to a sermon;
you had to do things. He had better watch out and see that he didn't
miss anything. She didn't know it was his first timeand it might
worry her to the limit if he didn't put it over all right. One of the
things he had noticed in her was her fear of attracting attention by
failing to do exactly the "proper thing." If he made a fool of himself
by kneeling down when he ought to stand upor lying down when he
ought to sitshe'd get hot all overthinking what the villagers or
the other people would say. WellAnn hadn't wanted him to look
different from other fellows or to make breaks. He'd look out from
start to finish. He directed a watchful eye at Miss Alicia through his
fingers. She remained kneeling a few momentsand then very quietly
got up. He rose with herand took his big chair when she sat down. He
breathed more freely when they had got that far. That was the first
round.

It was not a large churchbut a gray and solemn impression of dignity
brooded over it. It was dim with lightwhich fell through stainedglass
memorial windows set deep in the thick stone walls. The silence
which reigned throughout its spaces seemed to Tembarom of a new kind
different from the silence of the big house. The occasional subdued
rustle of turned prayer-book leaves seemed to accentuate it; the most
careful movement could not conceal itself; a slight cough was a
startling thing. The wayTembarom thoughtthey could get things
dead-still in English places!

The chimeswhich had been ringing their last summons to the tardy
slackened their final warning notesbecame still slowerstopped.
There was a slight stir in the benches occupied by the infant school.
It suggested that something new was going to happen. From some unseen
place came the sound of singing voices-- boyish voices and the voices
of men. Tembarom involuntarily turned his head. Out of the unseen
place came a procession in white robes. Great Scott! every one was
standing up! He must stand uptoo. The boys and men in white garments
filed into their seats. An elderly manalso in white robesseparated
himself from themandgoing into his special placekneeled down.
Then he rose and began to read:

When the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness--

Tembarom took the open book which Miss Alicia had very delicately
pushed toward him. He read the first words--that was plain sailing-then
he seemed to lose his place. Miss Alicia turned a leaf. He turned
one also.

Dearly beloved brethren--

There you were. This was once more plain sailing. He could follow it.


What was the matter with Miss Alicia? She was kneeling again
everybody was kneeling. Where was the hassock? He went down upon his
kneeshoping Miss Alicia had not seen that he wasn't going to kneel
at all. Then when the minister said "Amen the congregation said it,
too, and he came in too late, so that his voice sounded out alone. He
must watch that. Then the minister knelt, and all the people prayed
aloud with him. With the book before him he managed to get in after
the first few words; but he was not ready with the responses, and in
the middle of them everybody stood up again. And then the organ
played, and every one sang. He couldn't sing, anyhow, and he knew he
couldn't catch on to the kind of thing they were doing. He hoped Miss
Alicia wouldn't mind his standing up and holding his book and doing
nothing. He could not help seeing that eyes continually turned toward
him. They'd notice every darned break he made, and Miss Alicia would
know they did. He felt quite hot more than once. He watched Miss
Alicia like a hawk; he sat down and listened to reading, he stood up
and listened to singing; he kneeled, he tried to chime in with Amens"
and to keep up with Miss Alicia's bending of head and knee. But the
creedwith its sudden turn toward the altarcaught him unawareshe
lost himself wholly in the psalmsthe collects left him in deep
waterhopeless of ever finding his place againand the litany
baffled himwhen he was beginning to feel safeby changing from
miserable sinnersto "Spare us Good Lord" and "We beseech thee to
hear us." If he could just have found the place he would have been all
rightbut an honest anxiety to be right excited himand the fear of
embarrassing Miss Alicia by going wrong made the morning a strenuous
thing. He was so relieved to find he might sit still when the sermon
began that he gave the minister an attention which might have marked
himto the chance beholderas a religious enthusiast.

By the time the service had come to an end the stately peace of the
place had seemed to sink into his being and become part of himself.
The voice of the minister bestowing his blessingthe voices of the
white-clothed choir floating up into the vaulted roofstirred him to
a remote pleasure. He liked itor he knew he would like it when he
knew what to do. The filing out of the choristersthe silent final
prayerthe soft rustle of people rising gently from their knees
somehow actually moved him by its suggestion of something before
unknown. He was a heathen stillbut a heathen vaguely stirred.

He was very quiet as he walked home across the park with Miss Alicia.

How did you enjoy the sermon? she asked with much sweetness.

I 'm not used to sermons, but it seemed all right to me,he
answered. "What I've got to get on to is knowing when to stand up and
when to sit down. I wasn't much of a winner at it this morning. I
guess you noticed that."

But his outward bearing had been much more composed than his inward
anxiety had allowed him to believe. His hesitations had not produced
the noticeable effect he had feared.

Do you mean you are not quite familiar with the service?she said.
Poor dear boy! he had perhaps not been able to go to church regularly
at all.

I'm not familiar with any service,he answered without prejudice." I
never went to church before."

She slightly started and then smiled.

Oh, you mean you have never been to the Church of England,she said.


Then he saw thatif he told her the exact truthshe would be
frightened and shocked. She would not know what to say or what to
think. To her unsophisticated mind only murderers and thieves and
criminals NEVER went to church. She just didn't know. Why should she?
So he smiled also.

No, I've never been to the Church of England,he said.

CHAPTER XIX

The country was discreetly conservative in its social attitude. The
gulf between it and the new owner of Temple Barholm was too wide and
deep to be crossed without effort combined with immense mental
agility. It was on the wholemuch easier not to begin a thing at all
than to begin it and find one must hastily search about for not too
noticeable methods of ending it. A few unimportanttentative calls
were madeand several ladies who had remained unaware of Miss Alicia
during her first benefactor's time drove over to see what she was like
and perhaps by chance hear something of interest. One or two of them
who saw Tembarom went away puzzled and amazed. He did not drop his
h'swhich they had of course expectedand he was well dressedand
not bad-looking; but it was frequently impossible to understand what
he was talking abouthe used such odd phrases. He seemed good natured
enoughand his way with little old Miss Temple Barholm was really
quite nicequeer as it was. It was queer because he was attentive to
her in a manner in which young men were not usually attentive to
totally insignificantelderly dependents.

Tembarom derived an extremely diluted pleasure from the visits. The
few persons he saw reminded him in varying degrees of Mr. Palford.
They had not before seen anything like his speciesand they did not
know what to do with him. He also did not know what to do with them. A
certain inelasticity frustrated him at the outset. Whenin obedience
to Miss Alicia's instructionshe had returned the visitshe felt he
had not gone far.

Serious application enabled him to find his way through the church
serviceand he accompanied Miss Alicia to church with great
regularity. He began to take down the books from the library shelves
and look them over gravely. The days gradually ceased to appear so
longbut he had a great deal of time on his handsand he tried to
find ways of filling it. He wondered if Ann would be pleased if he
learned things out of books.

When he tentatively approached the subject of literature with Miss
Aliciashe glowed at the delightful prospect of his reading aloud to
her in the evenings-- "reading improving things like history and the
poets."

Let's take a hack at it some night,he said pleasantly.

The more a fellow knewthe better it was for himhe supposed; but he
wonderedif anything happened and he went back to New Yorkhow much
improving thingsand poetry would help a man in doing business.

The first evening they began with Gray's " Elegy and Miss Alicia
felt that it did not exhilarate him; she was also obliged to admit
that he did not read it very well. But she felt sure he would improve.
Personally she was touchingly happy. The sweetly domestic picture of
the situation, she sitting by the fire with her knitting and he


reading aloud, moved and delighted her. The next evening she suggested
Tennyson's Maud." He was not as much stirred by it as she had hoped.
He took a somewhat humorous view of it.

He had it pretty bad, hadn't he?' he said of the desperate lover.

Oh, if only you could once have heard Sims Reeves sing 'Come into the
Garden, Maud'!she sighed. "A kind friend once took me to hear him
and I have nevernever forgotten it."

But Mr. Temple Barholm notably did not belong to the atmosphere of
impassioned tenors.

On still another evening they tried Shakspere. Miss Alicia felt that a
foundation of Shakspere would be "improving" indeed. They began with
Hamlet.

He found play-reading difficult and Shaksperian language bafflingbut
he made his way with determination until he reached a point where he
suddenly grew quite red and stopped.

Say, have you read this?he inquired after his hesitation.

The plays of Shakspere are a part of every young lady's education,
she answered; "but I am afraid I am not at all a Shaksperian scholar."

A young lady's education?he repeated. "Gee whizz!" he added softly
after a pause.

He glanced over a page or so hastilyand then laid the book down.

Say,he suggestedwith an evasive airlet's go over that 'Maud'
one again. It's--well, it's easier to read aloud.

The crude awkwardness of his manner suddenly made Miss Alicia herself
flush and drop a stitch in her knitting. How dreadful of her not to
have thought of that!

The Elizabethan age was, I fear, a rather coarse one in some
respects. Even history acknowledges that Queen Elizabeth herself used
profane language.She faltered and coughed a little apologetic cough
as she picked up her stitch again.

I bet Ann's never seen inside Shakspere,said Tembarom. Before
reading aloud in the future he gave some previous personal attention
to the poem or subject decided upon. It may be at once frankly
admitted that when he read aloud it was more for Miss Alicia's
delectation than for his own. He saw how much she enjoyed the
situation.

His effect of frankness and constant boyish talk was so inseparable
from her idea of him that she found it a puzzling thing to realize
that she gradually began to feel aware of a certain remote reserve in
himor what might perhaps be better described as a habit of silence
upon certain subjects. She felt it marked in the case of Strangeways.
She surmised that he saw Strangeways often and spent a good deal of
time with himbut he spoke of him rarelyand she never knew exactly
what hours were given to him. Sometimes she imagined he found him a
greater responsibility than he had expected. Several times when she
believed that he had spent part of a morning or afternoon in his room
he was more silent than usual and looked puzzled and thoughtful. She
observedas Mr. Palford hadthat the picture-gallerywith its
portraits of his ancestorshad an attraction. A certain rainy day he
asked her to go with him and look them over. It was inevitable that


she should soon wander to the portrait of Miles Hugo and remain
standing before it. Tembarom followedand stood by her side in
silence until her sadness broke its bounds with a pathetic sigh.

Was he very like him?he asked.

She made an unconsciousstartled movement. For the moment she had
forgotten his presenceand she had not really expected him to
remember.

I mean Jem,he answered her surprised look. "How was he like him?
Was there--" he hesitated and looked really interested--"was he like
him in any particular thing?"

Yes,she saidturning to the portrait of Miles Hugo again. "They
both had those handsomedrooping eyeswith the lashes coming
together at the corners. There is something very fascinating about
themisn't there? I used to notice it so much in dear little Jem. You
see how marked they are in Miles Hugo."

Yes,Tembarom answered. "A fellow who looked that way at a girl when
he made love to her would get a strangle-holt. She wouldn't forget him
soon."

It strikes you in that way, too?said Miss Aliciashyly. "I used to
wonder if it was--not quite nice of me to think of it. But it did seem
that if any one did look at one like that--" Maidenly shyness overcame
her. "Poor Lady Joan!" she sighed.

There's a sort of cleft in his chin, though it's a good, square
chin,he suggested. "And that smile of his--Were Jem's--?"

Yes, they were. The likeness was quite odd sometimes-- quite.

Those are things that wouldn't be likely to change much when he grew
up,Tembarom saiddrawing a little closer to the picture. "Poor Jem!
He was up against it hard and plenty. He had it hardest. This chap
only died."

There was no mistaking his sympathy. He asked so many questions that
they sat down and talked instead of going through the gallery. He was
interested in the detail of all that had occurred after the ghastly
moment when Jem had risen from the card-table and stood looking
aroundlike some baited dying animalat the circle of cruel faces
drawing in about him. How soon had he left London? Where had he gone
first? How had he been killed? He had been buried with others beneath
a fall of earth and stones. Having heard this muchTembarom saw he
could not ask more questions. Miss Alicia became paleand her hands
trembled. She could not bear to discuss details so harrowing.

Say, I oughtn't to let you talk about that,he broke outand he
patted her hand and made her get up and finish their walk about the
gallery. He held her elbow in his own oddnice way as he guided her
and the things he saidand the things he pretended to think or not to
understandwere so amusing that in a short time he had made her
laugh. She knew him well enough by this time to be aware that he was
intentionally obliging her to forget what it only did her harm to
remember. That was his practical way of looking at it.

Getting a grouch on or being sorry for what you can't help cuts no
ice,he sometimes said. "When it doesme for getting up at daybreak
and keeping at it! But it doesn'tyou bet your life on that."

She could see that he had really wanted to hear about Jembut he knew


it was bad for her to recall thingsand he would not allow her to
dwell on themjust as she knew he would not allow himself to dwell on
little Miss Hutchinsonremotely placed among the joys of his beloved
New York.

Two other incidents besides the visit to Miles Hugo afterward marked
that day when Miss Alicia looked back on it. The first was his
unfolding to her his plans for the house-partywhich was
characteristic of his habit of thinking things over and deciding them
before he talked about them.

If I'm going to try the thing out, as Ann says I must,he began when
they had gone back to the library after lunchI've got to get going.
I'm not seeing any of those Pictorial girls, and I guess I've got to
see some.

You will be invited to dine at places,said Miss Alicia--
presently,she added bravelyin factwith an air of greater
conviction than she felt.

If it's not the law that they've got to invite me or go to jail,
said TembaromI don't blame 'em for not doing it if they're not
stuck on me. And they're not; and it's natural. But I've got to get in
my fine work, or my year'll be over before I've 'found out for
myself,' as Ann called it. There's where I'm at, Miss Alicia--and I've
been thinking of Lady Joan and her mother. You said you thought they'd
come and stay here if they were properly asked.

I think they would,answered Miss Alicia with her usual delicacy. "I
thought I gathered from Lady Mallowe thatas she was to be in the
neighborhoodshe would like to see you and Temple Barholmwhich she
greatly admires."

If you'll tell me what to do, I'll get her here to stay awhile,he
saidand Lady Joan with her. You'd have to show me how to write to
ask them; but perhaps you'd write yourself.

They will be at Asshawe Holt next week,said Miss Aliciaand we
could go and call on them together. We might write to them in London
before they leave.

We'll do it,answered Tembarom. His manner was that of a practical
young man attacking matter-of-fact detail. "From what I hearLady
Joan would satisfy even Ann. They say she's the best-looker on the
slate. If I see her every day I shall have seen the blue-ribbon
winner. Then if she's hereperhaps others of her sort'll cometoo;
and they'll have to see me whether they like it or not--and I shall
see them. Good Lord!" he added seriouslyI'd let 'em swarm all over
me and bite me all summer if it would fix Ann.

He stood upwith his hands thrust deep in his pocketsand looked
down at the floor.

I wish she knew T. T. like T. T. knows himself,he said. It was
quite wistful.

It was so wistful and so boyish that Miss Alicia was thrilled as he
often thrilled her.

She ought to be a very happy girl,she exclaimed.

She's going to be,he answeredsure as you're alive. But whatever
she does, is right, and this is as right as everything else. So it
just goes.


They wrote their letters at onceand sent them off by the afternoon
post. The letter Miss Alicia composedand which Tembarom copiedhe
read and rereadwith visions of Jim Bowles and Julius looking over
his shoulder. If they picked it up on Broadwaywith his name signed
to itand read itthey'd throw a fit over itlaughing. But he
supposed she knew what you ought to write.

It had notindeedthe masculine touch. When Lady Mallowe read it
she laughed several times. She knew quite well that he had not known
what to sayandallowing Miss Alicia to instruct himhad followed
her instructions to the letter. But she did not show the letter to
Joanwho was difficult enough to manage without being given such
material to comment upon.

The letters had just been sent to the post when a visitor was
announced--Captain Palliser. Tembarom remembered the nameand
recalled also certain points connected with him. He was the one who
was a promoter of schemes--"One of the smoothclever ones that get up
companies Little Ann had said.

That in a well-bred and not too pronounced way he looked smooth and
clever might be admitted. His effect was that of height, finished
slenderness of build, and extremely well-cut garments. He was no
longer young, and he had smooth, thin hair and a languidly observant
gray eye.

I have been staying at Detchworth Grange he explained when he had
shaken hands with the new Temple Barholm and Miss Alicia. It gave me
an excellent opportunity to come and pay my respects."

There was a hint of uncertainty in the observant gray eye. The fact
was that he realized in the space of five minutes that he knew his
ground even less than he had supposed he did. He had not spent his
week at Detchworth Grange without making many quiet investigations
but he had found out nothing whatever. The new man was an ignoramus
but no one had yet seemed to think him exactly a fool. He was not
excited by the new grandeurs of his position and he was not ashamed of
himself. Captain Palliser wondered if he was perhaps sharp--one of
those New Yorkers shrewd even to light-fingeredness in clever
scheming. Stories of a newly created method of business dealing
involving an air of candor and almost primitive good nature--an
American method--had attracted Captain Palliser's attention for some
time. A certain Yankee rawness of manner played a part as a factora
crudity which would throw a man off guard if he did not recognize it.
The person who employed the method was of philosophical noncombativeness.
The New York phrase was that "He jollied a man along."
Immense schemes had been carried through in that way. Men in London
in Englandwere not sufficiently light of touch in their jocularity.
He wondered if perhaps this young fellowwith his ready laugh and
rather loose-jointedcasual way of carrying himselfwas of this
dangerous new school.

Whathowevercould he scheme forbeing the owner of Temple
Barholm's money? It may be mentioned at once that Captain Palliser's
past had been such as had fixed him in the belief that every one was
scheming for something. People with money wanted more or were
privately arranging schemes to prevent other schemers from getting any
shade the better of them. Debutantes with shy eyes and slim figures
had their little plans to engineer delicately. Sometimes they were
larger plans than the uninitiated would have suspected as existing in
the brains of creatures in their 'teenssometimes they were mere
fantastic little ideas connected with dashing young men or innocent
dances which must be secured or lovely young rivals who must be


evaded. Young men had also deft things to do-- people to see or not to
seereasons for themselves being seen or avoiding observation. As
years increasedreasons for schemes became more numerous and
amazingly more varied. Women with daughterswith sonswith husbands
found in each relationship a necessity for activeif quiet
manoeuvering. Women like Lady Mallowe--good heaven! by what schemes
did not that woman live and have her being--and her daughter's--from
day to day! Without moneywithout a friend who was an atom more to be
relied on than she would have been herself if an acquaintance had
needed her aidher outwardly well-to-do and fashionable existence was
a hand-to-hand fight. No wonder she had turned a still rather
brilliant eye upon Sir Moses Monaldinithe great Israelite financier.
All of these types passed rapidly before his mental vision as he
talked to the American Temple Barholm. What could he wantby chance?
He must want somethingand it would be discreet to find out what it
chanced to be.

If it was social successhe would be better off in Londonwhere in
these days you could get a good run for your money and could swing
yourself up from one rung of the ladder to another if you paid some
one to show you how. He himself could show him how. A youngster who
had lived the beastly hard life he had lived would be likely to find
exhilaration in many things not difficult to purchase. It was an odd
thingby the waythe fancy he had taken to the little early-
Victorian spinster. It was not quite natural. It perhaps denoted
tendencies--or lack of tendencies--it would also be well to consider.
Palliser was a sufficiently finished product himself to be struck
greatly by the artistic perfection of Miss Aliciaand to wonder how
much the new man understood it.

He did not talk to him about schemes. He talked to him of New York
which he had never seen and hoped sometime shortly to visit. The
information he gained was not of the kind he most desiredbut it
edified him. Tembarom's knowledge of high finance was a street lad's
knowledge of itand he himself knew its limitations and probable
unreliability. Such of his facts as rested upon the foundation of
experience did not include multimillionaires and their resources.

Captain Palliser passed lightly to Temple Barholm and its
neighborhood. He knew places and namesand had been to Detchworth
more than once. He had never visited Temple Barholmand his interest
suggested that he would like to walk through the gardens. Tembarom
took him outand they strolled about for some time. Even an alert
observer would not have suspected the fact that as they strolled
Tembarom slouching a trifle and with his hands in his pocketsCaptain
Palliser bearing himself with languid distinctioneach man was
summing up the other and considering seriously how far and in what
manner he could be counted as an asset.

You haven't been to Detchworth yet?Palliser inquired.

No, not yet,answered Tembarom. The Granthams were of those who had
not yet called.

It's an agreeable house. The Granthams are agreeable people.

Are there any young people in the family? Tembarom asked.

Young people? Male or female? Palliser smilingly put it. Suddenly
it occurred to him that this might give him a sort of lead.

Girls,said Tembaromcrudely--" just plain girls."

Palliser laughed. Here it wasperhaps.


They are not exactly 'plain' girls, though they are not beauties.
There are four Misses Grantham. Lucy is the prettiest. Amabel is quite
tremendous at tennis.

Are they ladies?inquired Tembarom.

Captain Palliser turned and involuntarily stared at him. What was the
fellow getting at?

I'm afraid I don't quite understand,he said.

The new Temple Barholm looked quite serious. He did notamazing to
relatelook like a fool even when he gave forth his extraordinary
question. It was his almost business-like seriousness which saved him.

I mean, do you call them Lady Lucy and Lady Amabel?he answered.

If he had been youngerless hardenedor less finishedCaptain
Palliser would have laughed outright. But he answered without selfrevelation.


Oh, I see. You were asking whether the family is a titled one. No; it
is a good old name, quite old, in fact, but no title goes with the
estate.

Who are the titled people about here?Tembarom askedquite
unabashed.

The Earl of Pevensy at Pevensy Park, the Duke of Stone at Stone
Hover, Lord Hambrough at Doone. Doone is in the next county, just over
the border.

Have they all got daughters?

Captain Palliser found it expedient to clear his throat before
speaking.

Lord Pevensy has daughters, so has the duke. Lord Hambrough has three
sons.

How many daughters are there--in a bunch?Mr. Temple Barholm
suggested liberally.

There Captain Palliser felt it safe to allow himself to smileas
though taking it with a sense of humor.

'In a bunch' is an awfully good way of putting it,he said. "It
happens to apply perhaps rather unfortunately well; both families are
much poorer than they should beand daughters must be provided for.
Each has four. 'In a bunch' there are eight: Lady AliceLady Edith
Lady Etheland Lady Celia at Stone Hover; Lady BeatriceLady
GwyneddLady Honoraand Lady Gwendolen at Pevensy Park. And not a
fortune among thempoor girls!"

It's not the money that matters so much,said the astounding
foreignerit's the titles.

Captain Palliser stopped short in the garden path for a moment. He
could scarcely believe his ears. The crude grotesqueness of it so far
got the better of him that if he had not coughed he would have
betrayed himself.

I've had a confounded cold lately,he said. "Excuse me; I must get


it over."

He turned a little aside and coughed energetically.

After watching him a few seconds Tembarom slipped two fingers into his
waistcoat pocket and produced a small tube of tablets.

Take two of these,he said as soon as the cough stopped. "I always
carry it about with me. It's a New York thing called 'G. Destroyer.' G
stands for grippe."

Palliser took it.

Thanks. With water? No? Just dissolve in the mouth. Thanks awfully.
And he took twowith tears still standing in his eyes.

Don't taste bad, do they?Mr. Temple Barholm remarked encouragingly.

Not at all. I think I shall be all right now. I just needed the
relief. I have been trying to restrain it.

That's a mistake,said Tembarom. They strolled on a pace or soand
he began againas though he did not mean to let the subject drop.
It's the titles,he saidand the kind. How many of them are goodlookers?


Palliser reflected a momentas though making mental choice.

Lady Alice and Lady Celia are rather plain,he saidand both of
them are invalidish. Lady Ethel is tall and has handsome eyes, but
Lady Edith is really the beauty of the family. She rides and dances
well and has a charming color.

And the other ones,Tembaron suggested as he paused--"Lady Beatrice
and Lady Gwynedd and Lady Honora and Lady Gwendolen."

You remember their names well,Palliser remarked with a half-laugh.

Oh, I shall remember them all right,Tembarom answered. "I earned
twenty-five per in New York by getting names down fine."

The Talchesters are really all rather taking. Talchester is Lord
Pevensy's family name,Palliser explained. "They are girls who have
pretty little noses and bright complexions and eyes. Lady Gwynedd and
Lady Honora both have quite fascinating dimples."

Dimples!exclaimed his companion. "Good business."

Do you like dimples particularly?Palliser inquired with an
impartial air.

I'd always make a bee-line for a dimple,replied Mr. Temple Barholm.
Clear the way when I start.

This was New York phrasingand was plainly humorous; but there was
something more than humor in his eye and smile--something hinting
distantly at recollection.

You'll find them at Pevensy Park,said Palliser.

What about Lady Joan Fayre?was the next inquiry.

Palliser's side glance at him was observant indeed. He asked himself
how much the man could know. Taking the past into considerationLady


Joan might turn out to be a subject requiring delicate handling. It
was not the easiest thing in the world to talk at all freely to a
person with whom one desired to keep on
good termsabout a young woman supposed still to cherish a tragic
passion for the dead man who ought to stand at the present moment in
the person'sfiguratively speakingextremely ill-fitting shoes.

Lady Joan has been from her first season an undeniable beauty,he
replied.

She and the old lady are going to stay at a place called Asshawe
Holt. I think they're going next week,Tembarom said.

The old lady?repeated Captain Palliser.

I mean her mother. The one that's the Countess of Mallowe.

Have you met Lady Mallowe?Palliser inquired with a not wholly
repressed smile. A vision of Lady Mallowe over-hearing their
conversation arose before him.

No, I haven't. What's she like?

She is not the early- or mid-Victorian old lady,was Palliser's
reply. "She wears Gainsborough hatsand looks a quite possible eight
and thirty. She is a handsome person herself."

He was not aware that the term "old lady" wasamong Americans of the
class of Mrs. Bowse's boardersa sort of generic term signifying
almost anything maternal which had passed thirty.

Tembarom proceeded.

After they get through at the Asshawe Holt place, I've asked them to
come here.

Indeed,said Palliserwith an inward start. The man evidently did
not know what other people did. After allwhy should he? He had been
selling something or other in the streets of New York when the thing
happenedand he knew nothing of London.

The countess called on Miss Alicia when we were in London,he heard
next. "She said we were relations."

You are--as we are. The connection is rather distant, but it is near
enough to form a sort of link.

I've wanted to see Lady Joan,explained Tembarom. "From what I've
heardI should say she was one of the 'Lady's Pictorial' kind."

I am afraid--Palliser's voice was slightly unsteady for the moment-"
I have not studied the type sufficiently to know. The 'Pictorial' is
so exclusively a women's periodical."

His companion laughed.

Well, I've only looked through it once myself just to find out. Some
way I always think of Lady Joan as if she was like one of those
Beaut's from Beautsville, with trains as long as parlor-cars and
feathers in their heads--dressed to go to see the queen. I guess she's
been presented at court,he added.

Yes, she has been presented.


Do they let 'em go more than once?he asked with casual curiosity.

Confound this cough!exclaimed Captain Palliserand he broke forth
again.

Take another G,said Tembaromproducing his tube. "Sayjust take
the bottle and keep it in your pocket"

When the brief paroxysm was over and they moved on againPalliser was
looking an odd thing or so in the face. "I always think of Lady Joan"
was one of them. "Always" seemed to go rather far. How often and why
had he "always thought"? The fellow was incredible. Did his sharp
boyish face and his slouch conceal a colossalvulgaryoung ambition?
There was not much concealment about itHeaven knew. And as he so
evidently was not aware of the factshow would they affect him when
he discovered them? And though Lady Mallowe was a woman not in the
least distressed or hampered by shades of delicacy and scrupleshe
surely was astute enough to realize that even this bounder's dullness
might be awakened to realize that there was more than a touch of
obvious indecency in bringing the girl to the house of the man she had
tragically lovedand manoeuvering to work her into it as the wife of
the man whomonstrously unfit as he washad taken his place. Captain
Palliser knew well that the pressing of the relationship had meant
only one thing. And howin the name of the Furies! had she dragged
Lady Joan into the scheme with her?

It was as unbelievable as was the new Temple Barholm himself. And how
unconcerned the fellow looked! Perhaps the man he had supplanted was
no more to him than a scarcely remembered nameif he was as much as
that. Then Tembarompacing slowly by his sidehands in pocketseyes
on the walkspoke:

Did you ever see Jem Temple Barholm? he asked.

It was like a thunderbolt. He said it as though he were merely
carrying his previous remarks on to their natural conclusion; but
Palliser felt himself so suddenly unadjustedso to speakthat he
palpably hesitated.

Did you?his companion repeated.

I knew him well,was the answer made as soon as readjustment was
possible.

Remember just how he looked?

Perfectly. He was a striking fellow. Women always said he had
fascinating eyes.

Sort of slant downward on the outside corners--and black eyelashes
sorter sweeping together?

Palliser turned with a movement of surprise.

How did you know? It was just that odd sort of thing.

Miss Alicia told me. And there's a picture in the gallery that's like
him.

Captain Palliser felt as embarrassed as Miss Alicia had feltbut it
was for a different reason. She had felt awkward because she had
feared she had touched on a delicate subject. Palliser was embarrassed
because he was entirely thrown out of all his calculations. He felt
for the moment that there was no calculating at allno security in


preparing paths. You never know where they would lead. Here had he
been actually alarmed in secret! And the oaf stood before him
undisturbedly opening up the subject himself.

For a fellow like that to lose a girl as he lost Lady Joan was pretty
tough,the oaf said. "By gee! it was tough!"

He knew it all--the whole thingscandaltragically broken marriage
everything. And knowing ithe was laying his Yankee plans for getting
the girl to Temple Barholm to look her over. It was of a grossness one
sometimes heard of in men of his kindand yet it seemed in its
casualness to out-leap any little scheme of the sort he had so far
looked on at.

Lady Joan felt it immensely,he said.

A footman was to be seen moving toward themevidently bearing a
message. Tea was served in the drawing-roomand he had come to
announce the fact.

They went back to the houseand Miss Alicia filled cups for them and
presided over the splendid tray with a persuasive suggestion in the
matter of hot or cold things which made it easy to lead up to any
subject. She was the best of unobtrusive hostesses.

Palliser talked of his visit at Detchworthwhich had been shortened
because he had gone to "fit in" and remain until a large but uncertain
party turned up. It had turned up earlier than had been anticipated
and of course he could only delicately slip away.

I am sorry it has happened, however,he saidnot only because one
does not wish to leave Detchworth, but because I shall miss Lady
Mallowe and Lady Joan, who are to be at Asshawe Holt next week. I
particularly wanted to see them.

Miss Alicia glanced at Tembarom to see what he would do. He spoke
before he could catch her glance.

Say,he suggestedwhy don't you bring your grip over here and
stay? I wish you would.

A grip means a Gladstone bag,Miss Alicia murmured in a rapid
undertone.

Palliser replied with appreciative courtesy. Things were going
extremely well.

That's awfully kind of you,he answered. "I should like it
tremendously. Nothing better. You are giving me a delightful
opportunity. Thank youthank you. If I may turn up on Thursday I
shall be delighted."

There was satisfaction in this at least in the observant gray eye when
he went away.

CHAPTER XX

Dinner at Detchworth Grange was most amusing that evening. One of the
chief reasons -- in factit would not be too venturesome to say THE


chief reason -- for Captain Palliser's frequent presence in very good
country houses was that he had a way of making things amusing. His
relation of anecdotesof people and thingswas distinguished by a
manner which subtly declined to range itself on the side of vulgar
gossip. Quietly and with a fine casualness he conveyed the whole
picture of the new order at Temple Barholm. He did it with wonderfully
light touchesand yet the whole thing was to be seen -- the little
old maid in her exquisite clothesher unmistakable stamp of timid
good breedingher protecting adoration combined with bewilderment;
the longleannot altogether ill-looking New York bounderwith his
slight slouchhis dangerously unsophisticated-looking faceand his
American jocularity of slang phrase.

He's of a class I know nothing about. I own he puzzled me a trifle at
first,Palliser said with his cool smile. "I'm not sure that I've
'got on to him' altogether yet. That's an expressive New York phrase
of his own. But when we were strolling about togetherhe made
revelations apparently without being in the least aware that they were
revelations. He was unbelievable. My fear was that he would not go
on."

But he did go on?asked Amabel. "One must hear something of the
revelations."

Then was given in the best possible form the little drama of the talk
in the garden. No shade of Mr. Temple Barholm's characteristics was
lost. Palliser gave occasionally an English attempt at the
reproduction of his nasal twangbut it was only a touch and not
sufficiently persisted in to become undignified.

I can't do it,he said. "None of us can really do it. When English
actors try it on the stageit is not in the least the real thing.
They only drawl through their nosesand it is more than that."

The people of Detchworth Grange were not noisy peoplebut their
laughter was unrestrained before the recital was finished. Nobody had
gone so far as either to fear or to hope for anything as undiluted in
its nature as this was.

Then he won't give us a chance, the least chance,cried Lucy and
Amabel almost in unison. "We are out of the running."

You won't get even a look in--because you are not 'ladies,'said
their brother.

Poor Jem Temple Barholm! What a different thing it would have been if
we had had him for a neighbor!Mr. Grantham fretted.

We should have had Lady Joan Fayre as well,said his wife.

At least she's a gentlewoman as well as a 'lady,'Mr. Grantham said.
She would not have become so bitter if that hideous thing had not
occurred.

They wondered if the new man knew anything about Jem. Palliser had not
reached that part of his revelation when the laughter had broken into
it. He told it forthwithand the laughter was overcome by a sort of
dismayed disgust. This did not accord with the rumors of an almost
nicegood nature.

There's a vulgar horridness about it,said Lucy.

What price Lady Mallowe!said the son. "I'll bet a sovereign she
began it."


She did,remarked Palliser; "but I think one may leave Mr. Temple
Barholm safely to Lady Joan." Mr. Grantham laughed as one who knew
something of Lady Joan.

There's an Americanism which I didn't learn from him,Palliser
addedand I remembered it when he was talking her over. It's this:
when you dispose of a person finally and forever, you 'wipe up the
earth with him.' Lady Joan will 'wipe up the earth' with your new
neighbor.

There was a little shout of laughter. "Wipe up the earth" was entirely
new to everybodythough even the country in England was at this time
by no means wholly ignorant of American slang.

This led to so many other things both mirth-provoking and serious
even sometimes very serious indeedthat the entire evening at
Detchworth was filled with talk of Temple Barholm. Very naturally the
talk did not end by confining itself to one household. In due time
Captain Palliser's little sketches were known in divers placesand it
became a habit to discuss what had happenedand what might possibly
happen in the future. There were those who went to the length of
calling on the new man because they wanted to see him face to face.
People heard new things every few daysbut no one realized that it
was vaguely through Palliser that there developed a general idea that
crude and self-revealing as he wasthere lurked behind the outward
candor of the intruder a hint of over-sharpness of the American kind.
There seemed no necessity for him to lay schemes beyond those he had
betrayed in his inquiries about "ladies but somehow it became a
fixed idea that he was capable of doing shady things if at any time
the temptation arose. That was really what his boyish casualness
meant. That in truth was Palliser's final secret conclusion. And he
wanted very much to find out why exactly little old Miss Temple
Barholm had been taken up. If the man wanted introductions, he could
have contrived to pick up a smart and enterprising unprofessional
chaperon in London who would have done for him what Miss Temple
Barholm would never presume to attempt. And yet he seemed to have
chosen her deliberately. He had set her literally at the head of his
house. And Palliser, having heard a vague rumor that he had actually
settled a decent income upon her, had made adroit inquiries and found
it was true.

It was. To arrange the matter had been one of his reasons for going to
see Mr. Palford during their stay in London.

I wanted to fix you--fix you safe he said when he told Miss Alicia
about it. I guess no one can take it away from youwhatever old
thing happens."

What could happen, dear Mr. Temple Barholm?said Miss Alicia in the
midst of tears of gratitude and tremulous joy. "You are so young and
strong and--everything! Don't even speak of such a thing in jest. What
could happen?"

Anything can happen,he answeredjust anything. Happening's the
one thing you can't bet on. If I was betting, I'd put my money on the
thing I was sure couldn't happen. Look at this Temple Barholm song and
dance! Look at T. T. as he was half strangling in the blizzard up at
Harlem and thanking his stars little Munsberg didn't kick him out of
his confectionery store less than a year ago! So long as I'm all
right, you're all right. But I wanted you fixed, anyhow.

He paused and looked at her questioningly for a moment. He wanted to
say something and he was not sure he ought. His reverence for her


little finenesses and reserves increased instead of wearing away. He
was always finding out new things about her.

Say,he broke forth almost impetuously after his hesitationI wish
you wouldn't call me Mr. Temple Barholm.

D-do you?she fluttered. "But what could I call you?"

Well,he answeredreddening a shade or soI'd give a house and
lot if you could just call me Tem.

But it would sound so unbecoming, so familiar,she protested.

That's just what I'm asking for,he said--"some one to be familiar
with. I'm the familiar kind. That's what's the matter with me. I'd be
familiar with Pearsonbut he wouldn't let me. I'd frighten him half
to death. He'd think that he wasn't doing his duty and earning his
wagesand that somehow he'd get fired some day without a character."

He drew nearer to her and coaxed.

Couldn't you do it?he asked almost as though he were asking a favor
of a girl. "Just Tem? I believe that would come easier to you than T.

T. I get fonder and fonder of you every dayMiss Aliciahonest
Injun. And I'd be so grateful to you if you'd just be that
unbecomingly familiar."
He looked honestly in earnest; and if he grew fonder and fonder of
hershe without doubt hadin the face of everythinggiven her whole
heart to him.

Might I call you Temple -- to begin with?she asked. "It touches me
so to think of your asking me. I will begin at once. Thank you --
Temple with a faint gasp. I might try the other a little later."

It was only a few evenings later that he told her about the flats in
Harlem. He had sent to New York for a large bundle of newspapersand
when he opened them he read aloud an advertisementand showed her a
picture of a large building given up entirely to "flats."

He had realized from the first that New York life had a singular
attraction for her. The unrelieved dullness of her life -- those few
years of youth in which she had stifled vague longings for the joys
experienced by other girls; the years of middle age spent in the
dreary effort to be "submissive to the will of God which, honestly
translated, signified submission to the exactions and domestic
tyrannies of dear papa" and others like him -- had left her with her
capacities for pleasure as freshly sensitive as a child's. The
smallest change in the routine of existence thrilled her with
excitement. Tembarom's casual references to his strenuous boyhood
caused her eyes to widen with eagerness to hear more. Having seen
thishe found keen delight in telling her stories of New York life --
stories of himself or of other lads who had been his companions. She
would drop her work and gaze at him almost with bated breath. He was
an excellent raconteur when he talked of the things he knew well. He
had an unconscious habit of springing from his seat and acting his
scenes as he depicted themlaughing and using street-boy phrasing:

It's just like a tale,Miss Alicia would breatheenraptured as he
jumped from one story to another. "It's exactly like a wonderful
tale."

She learned to know the New York streets when they blazed with heat
when they were hard with frozen snowwhen they were sloppy with


melting slush or bright with springtime sunshine and spring winds
blowingwith pretty women hurrying about in beflowered spring hats
and dresses and the exhilaration of the world-old springtime joy. She
found herself hurrying with them. She sometimes hung with him and his
companions on the railing outside dazzling restaurants where scores of
gay people ate rich food in the sight of their boyish ravenousness.
She darted in and out among horses and vehicles to find carriages
after the theater or operawhere everybody was dressed dazzlingly and
diamonds glittered.

Oh, how rich everybody must have seemed to you--how cruelly rich,
poor little boy!

They looked rich, right enough,he answered when she said it. "And
there seemed a lot of good things to eat all corralled in a few
places. And you wished you could be let loose inside. But I don't know
as it seemed cruel. That was the way it wasyou knowand you
couldn't help it. And there were places where they'd give away some of
what was left. I tell youwe were in luck then."

There was some spirit in his telling it all--a spirit which had surely
been with him through his hardest daysa spirit of young mirth in
rags--which made her feel subconsciously that the whole experience
hadafter allbeen somehow of the nature of life's high adventure.
He had never been ill or heart-sickand he laughed when he talked of
itas though the remembrance was not a recalling of disaster.

Clemmin' or no clemmin'. I wish I'd lived the loife tha's lived,
Tummas Hibblethwaite had said.

Her amazement would indeed have been great if she had been told that
she secretly shared his feeling.

It seems as if somehow you had never been dull,was her method of
expressing it.

Dull! Holy cats! no,he grinned. "There wasn't any time for being
anything. You just had to keep going."

She became in time familiar with Mrs. Bowse's boarding-house and
boarders. She knew Mrs. Peck and Mr. Jakes and the young lady from the
notion counter (those wonderful shops!). Julius and Jem and the hall
bedroom and the tilted chairs and cloud of smoke she saw so often that
she felt at home with them.

Poor Mrs. Bowse,she saidmust have been a most respectable,
motherly, hard-working creature. Really a nice person of her class.
She could not quite visualize the "parlor but it must have been warm
and comfortable. And the pianola--a piano which you could play without
even knowing your notes--What a clever invention! America seemed full
of the most wonderfully clever things.

Tembarom was actually uplifted in soul when he discovered that she
laid transparent little plans for leading him into talk about New
York. She wanted him to talk about it, and the Lord knows he wanted to
talk about himself. He had been afraid at first. She might have hated
it, as Palford did, and it would have hurt him somehow if she hadn't
understood. But she did. Without quite realizing the fact, she was
beginning to love it, to wish she had seen it. Her Somerset vicarage
imagination did not allow of such leaps as would be implied by the
daring wish that sometime she might see it.

But Tembarom's imagination was more athletic.


Jinks! wouldn't it be fine to take her there! The lark in London
wouldn't be ace high to it."

The Hutchinsons were not New Yorkersbut they had been part of the
atmosphere of Mrs. Bowse's. Mr. Hutchinson would of course be rather a
forward and pushing man to be obliged to meetbut Little Ann! She did
so like Little Ann! And the dear boy did so wantin his heart of
heartsto talk about her at times. She did not know whetherin the
circumstancesshe ought to encourage him; but he was so dearand
looked so much dearer when he even said "Little Ann that she could
not help occasionally leading him gently toward the subject.

When he opened the newspapers and found the advertisements of the
flats, she saw the engaging, half-awkward humorousness come into his
eyes.

Here's one that would do all right he said--four rooms and a bath
eleventh floorthirty-five dollars a month."

He spread the newspaper on the table and rested on his elbowgazing
at it for a few minutes wholly absorbed. Then he looked up at her and
smiled.

There's a plan of the rooms,he said. "Would you like to look at it?
Shall I bring your chair up to the table while we go over it
together?"

He brought the chairand side by side they went over it thoroughly.
To Miss Alicia it had all the interest of a new kind of puzzle. He
explained it in every detail. One of his secrets had been that on
several days when Galton's manner had made him hopeful he had visited
certain flat buildings and gone into their intricacies. He could
therefore describe with color their resources--the janitor; the
elevator; the dumb-waiters to carry up domestic supplies and carry
down ashes and refuse; the refrigerator; the unlimited supply of hot
and cold waterthe heating plan; the astonishing little kitchenwith
stationary wash-tubs; the telephoneif you could afford it-- all the
conveniences which to Miss Aliciaaccustomed to the habits of
Rowcroft Vicaragewhere you lugged cans of water up-stairs and down
if you took a bath or even washed your face; seemed luxuries
appertaining only to the rich and great.

How convenient! How wonderful! Dear me! Dear me!she said again and
againquite flushed with excitement. "It is like a fairy-story. And
it's not big at allis it?"

You could get most of it into this,he answeredexulting. "You
could get all of it into that big white-and gold parlor."

The white saloon?

He showed his teeth.

I guess I ought to remember to call it that,he saidbut it always
makes me think of Kid MacMurphy's on Fourth Avenue. He kept what was
called a saloon, and he'd had it painted white.

Did you know him?Miss Alicia asked.

Know him! Gee! no! I didn't fly as high as that. He'd have thought me
pretty fresh if I'd acted like I knew him. He thought he was one of
the Four Hundred. He'd been a prize-fighter. He was the fellow that
knocked out Kid Wilkens in four rounds.He broke off and laughed at
himself. "Hear me talk to you about a tough like that!" he endedand


he gave her hand the little apologeticprotective pat which always
made her heart beat because it was so "nice."

He drew her back to the advertisementsand drew such interesting
pictures of what the lives of two people--mother and son or father and
daughter or a young married couple who didn't want to put on style--
might be in the tiny compartmentsthat their excitement mounted
again.

This could be a bedroomthat could be a bedroomthat could be the
living-roomand if you put a bit of bright carpet on the hallway and
hung up a picture or soit would look first-rate. He even went into
the matter of measurementswhich made it more like putting a puzzle
together than everand their relief when they found they could fit a
piece of furniture he called "a lounge" into a certain corner was a
thing of flushing delight. The "lounge she found, was a sort of cot
with springs. You could buy them for three dollars, and when you put
on a mattress and covered it with a spread you could sit on it in
the daytime and sleep on it at night, if you had to.

From measurements he went into calculations about the cost of things.
He had seen unpainted wooden tables you could put mahogany stain on,
and they'd look all you'd want. He'd seen a splendid little rockingchair
in Second Avenue for five dollars, one of the padded kind that
ladies like. He had seen an arm-chair for a man that was only seven;
but there mightn't be room for both, and you'd have to have the
rocking-chair. He had once asked the price of a lot of plates and cups
and saucers with roses on them, and you could get them for six; and
you didn't need a stove because there was the range.

He had once heard Little Ann talking to Mrs. Bowse about the price of
frying-pans and kettles, and they seemed to cost next to nothing. He'd
looked into store windows and noticed the prices of groceries and
vegetables and things like that--sugar, for instance; two people
wouldn't use much sugar in a week--and they wouldn't need a ton of tea
or flour or coffee. If a fellow had a mother or sister or wife who had
a head and knew about things, you could put it over" on mighty
littleand have a splendid time togethertoo. You'd even be able to
work in a cheap seat in a theater every now and then. He laughed and
flushed as he thought of it.

Miss Alicia had never had a doll's house. Rowcroft Vicarage did not
run to dolls and their belongings. Her thwarted longing for a doll's
house had a sort of parallel in her similarly thwarted longing for "a
little boy."

And here was her doll's house so longso long unpossessed! It was
like thatthis absorbed contriving and fitting of furniture into
corners. She also flushed and laughed. Her eyes were so brightly eager
and her cheeks so pink that she looked quite girlish under her lace
cap.

How pretty and cozy it might be made, how dear!she exclaimed. "And
one would be so high up on the eleventh floorthat one would feel
like a bird in a nest."

His face lighted. He seemed to like the idea tremendously.

Why, that's so,he laughed. "That idea suits me down to the ground.
A bird in a nest. But there'd have to be two. One would be lonely.
SayMiss Aliciahow would you like to live in a place like that?"

I am sure any one would like it--if they had some dear relative with
them.


He loved her "dear relative loved it. He knew how much it meant of
what had lain hidden unacknowledged, even unknown to her, through a
lifetime in her early-Victorian spinster breast.

Let's go to New York and rent one and live in it together. Would you
come?" he saidand though he laughedhe was not jocular in the usual
way. "Would youif we waked up and found this Temple Barholm thing
was a dream?"

Something in his mannershe did not know whatpuzzled her a little.

But if it were a dream, you would be quite poor again,she said
smiling.

No, I wouldn't. I'd get Galton to give me back the page. He'd do it
quick--quick,he saidstill with a laugh. "Being poor's nothing
anyhow. We'd have the time of our lives. We'd be two birds in a nest.
You can look out those eleventh- story windows 'way over to the Bronx
and get bits of the river. And perhaps after a while Ann would do -
like she saidand we'd be three birds."

Oh!she sighed ecstatically. "How beautiful it would be! We should
be a little family!"

So we should,he exulted. "Think of T. T. with a family!" He drew
his paper of calculations toward him again. "Let's make believe we're
going to do itand work out what it would cost - for three. You know
about housekeepingdon't you? Let's write down a list."

If he had warmed to his work beforehe warmed still more after this.
Miss Alicia was drawn into it againand followed his fanciful plans
with a new fervor. They were like two children who had played at makebelieve
until they had lost sight of commonplace realities.

Miss Alicia had lived among small economies and could be of great
assistance to him. They made lists and added up lines of figures until
the finehuge room and its thousands of volumes melted away. In the
great hallguarded by warriors in armorthe powdered heads of the
waiting footmen drooped and nodded while the prices of pounds of
butter and sugar and the value of potatoes and flour and nutmegs were
balanced with a hectic joyand the relative significance of dollars
and cents and shillings and half-crowns and five-cent pieces caused
Miss Alicia a mild delirium.

By the time that she had established the facts that a shilling was
something like twenty-five centsa dollar was four and twopenceand
twenty-five dollars was something over five poundsit was past
midnight.

They heard the clock strike the half-hourand stopped to stare at
each other.

Tembarom got up with yet another laugh.

Say, I mustn't keep you up all night,he said. "But haven't we had a
fine time - haven't we? I feel as if I'd been there."

They had been there so entirely that Miss Alicia brought herself back
with difficulty.

I can scarcely believe that we have not,she said. "I feel as if I
didn't like to leave it. It was so delightful." She glanced about her.
The room looks huge,she said--"almost too huge to live in."


Doesn't it?he answered. "Now you know how I feel." He gathered his
scraps of paper together with a feeling touch. "I didn't want to come
back myself. When I get a bit of a grouch I shall jerk these out and
go back there again."

Oh, do let me go with you!she said. "I have so enjoyed it."

You shall go whenever you like,he said. "We'll keep it up for a
sort of game on rainy days. How much is a dollarMiss Alicia?"

Four and twopence. And sugar is six cents a pound.

Go to the head,he answered. "Right again."

The opened roll of newspapers was lying on the table near her. They
were copies of The Earthand the date of one of them by merest chance
caught her eye.

How odd!she said. "Those are old papers. Did you notice? Is it a
mistake? This one is dated" She leaned forwardand her eye caught a
word in a head-line.

The Klondike,she read. "There's something in it about the
Klondike." He put his hand out and drew the papers away.

Don't you read that,he said. "I don't want you to go to bed and
dream about the Klondike. You've got to dream about the flat in
Harlem."

Yes,she answered. "I mustn't think about sad things. The flat in
Harlem is quite happy. But it startled me to see that word."

I only sent for them--because I happened to want to look something
up,he explained. "How much is a poundMiss Alicia?"

Four dollars and eighty-six cents,she repliedrecovering herself.

Go up head again. You're going to stay there.

When she gave him her hand on their parting for the night he held it a
moment. A subtle combination of things made him do it. The
calculationsthe measurementsthe nest from which one could look out
over the Bronxwere prevailing elements in its make-up. Ann had been
in each room of the Harlem flatand she always vaguely reminded him
of Ann.

We are relations, ain't we?he asked.

I am sure we often seem quite near relations--Temple.She added the
name with very pretty kindness.

We're not distant ones any more, anyhow,he said. "Are we near
enough--would you let me kiss you good nightMiss Alicia?"

An emotional flush ran up to her cap ribbons.

Indeed, my dear boy--indeed, yes.

Holding her hand with a chivalricif slightly awkwardcourtesyhe
bentand kissed her cheek. It was a heartyaffectionately grateful
young kisswhichwhile it was for herselfremotely included Ann.

It's the first time I've ever said good night to any one like that,


he said. "Thank you for letting me."

He patted her hand again before releasing it. She went up-stairs
blushing and feeling rather as though she had been proposed toand
yetspinster though she wassomehow quite understanding about the
nest and Ann.

CHAPTER XXI

Lady Mallowe and her daughter did not pay their visit to Asshawe Holt
the absolutethough not openly referred tofact being that they had
not been invited. The visit in question had merely floated in the air
as a delicate suggestion made by her ladyship in her letter to Mrs.
Asshe Shawto the effect that she and Joan were going to stay at
Temple Barholmthe visit to Asshawe they had partly arranged some
time ago might now be fitted in.

The partial arrangement itselfMrs. Asshe Shaw remarked to her eldest
daughter when she received the suggesting notewas so partial as to
require slight considerationsince it had been made "by the woman
herselfwho would push herself and her daughter into any house in
England if a back door were left open." In the civilly phrased letter
she received in answer to her ownLady Mallowe read between the lines
the point of view takenand writhed secretlyas she had been made to
writhe scores of times in the course of her career. It had happened so
oftenindeedthat it might have been imagined that she had become
used to it; but the woman who acted as maid to herself and Joan always
knew when "she had tried to get in somewhere" and failed.

The note of explanation sent immediately to Miss Alicia was at once
adroit and amiable. They had unfortunately been detained in London a
day or two past the date fixed for their visit to Asshaweand Lady
Mallowe would not allow Mrs. Asshe Shawewho had so many gueststo
be inconvenienced by their arriving late and perhaps disarranging her
plans. So if it was quite convenientthey would come to Temple
Barholm a week earlier; but notof courseif that would be the least
upsetting.

When they arrivedTembarom himself was in London. He had suddenly
found he was obliged to go. The business which called him was
something which could not be put off. He expected to return at once.
It was made very easy for him when he made his excuses to Palliser
who suggested that he might even find himself returning by the same
train with his guestswhich would give him opportunities. If he was
detainedMiss Alicia could take charge of the situation. They would
quite understand when she explained. Captain Palliser foresaw for
himself some quiet entertainment in his own meeting with the visitors.
Lady Mallowe always provided a certain order of amusement for himand
no man alive objected to finding interest and even a certain
excitement in the society of Lady Joan. It was her chief
characteristic that she inspired in a man a vagueeven if slightly
irritateddesire to please her in some degree. To lead her on to talk
in her sometimes brilliantalways heartlessly unsparingfashion
perhaps to smile her shade of a bitter smilegave a man something to
doespecially if he was bored. Palliser anticipated a possible chance
of repeating the dialogue of "the ladies not, however, going into
the Jem Temple Barholm part of it. When one finds a man whose idle
life has generated in him the curiosity which is usually called
feminine, it frequently occupies him more actively than he is aware or
will admit.


A fashionable male gossip is a curious development. Palliser was, upon
the whole, not aware that he had an intense interest in finding out
the exact reason why Lady Mallowe had not failed utterly in any
attempt to drag her daughter to this particular place, to be flung
headlong, so to speak, at this special man. Lady Mallowe one could run
and read, but Lady Joan was in this instance unexplainable. And as she
never deigned the slightest concealment, the story of the dialogue
would no doubt cause her to show her hand. She must have a hand, and
it must be one worth seeing.

It was not he, however, who could either guess or understand. The
following would have been his summing up of her: Flaringly handsome
girlbrought up by her mother to one end. Bad temper to begin with.
Girl who mightif she lost her headget into some frightful mess.
Meets a fascinating devil in the first season. A regular Romeo and
Juliet passion blazes up--all for love and the world well lost. All
London looking on. Lady Mallowe frantic and furious. Suddenly the
fascinating devil ruined for lifedone for. Boltsgets killed. Lady
Mallowe triumphant. Girl dragged about afterward like a beautiful
young demon in chains. Refuses all sorts of things. Behaves
infernally. Nobody knows anything else."

Nobody did know; Lady Mallowe herself did not. From the first year in
which Joan had looked at her with child consciousness she had felt
that there was antagonism in the deeps of her eyes. No mother likes to
recognize such a thingand Lady Mallowe was a particularly vain
woman. The child was going to be an undeniable beautyand she ought
to adore the mother who was to arrange her future. Instead of which
she plainly disliked her. By the time she was three years oldthe
antagonism had become defiance and rebellion. Lady Mallowe could not
even indulge herself in the satisfaction of showing her embryo beauty
offand thus preparing a reputation for her. She was not cross or
tearfulbut she had the temper of a little devil. She would not be
shown off. She hated itand her bearing dangerously suggested that
she hated her handsome young mother. No effects could be produced with
her.

Before she was four the antagonism was mutualand it increased with
years. The child was of a passionate natureand had been born
intensely all her mother was notand intensely not all her mother
was. A throw-back to some high-spirited and fiercely honest ancestor
created in her a fury at the sight of mean falsities and dishonors.
Before she was old enough to know the exact cause of her rage she was
shaken by it. She thought she had a bad temperand was bad enough to
hate her own mother without being able to help it. As she grew older
she found out that she was not really so bad as she had thought
though she was obliged to concede that nothing palliative could be
said about the temper. It had been violent from the firstand she had
lived in an atmosphere which infuriated it. She did not suppose such a
thing could be controlled. It sometimes frightened her. Had not the
old Marquis of Norborough been celebrated through his entire life for
his furies? Was there not a hushed-up rumor that he had once thrown a
decanter at his wifeand so nearly killed her that people had been
asking one another in whispers if a peer of the realm could be hanged.
He had been born that wayso had she. Her school-room days had been a
horror to herand also a terrorbecause she had often almost flung
ink-bottles and heavy rulers at her sillylying governessesand once
had dug a pair of scissors into one sneaking old maid fool's arm when
she had made her "see red" by her ignoble trickeries. Perhaps she
would be hanged some day herself. She once prayed for a week that she
might be made better tempered--not that she believed in prayer--and
of course nothing came of it.


Every year she lived she raged more furiously at the tricks she saw
played by her mother and every one who surrounded her; the very
servants were greater liars and pilferers than any other servants. Her
mother was always trying to get things from people which they did not
want to give her. She would carry off slights and snubs as though they
were actual tributesif she could gain her end. The girl knew what
the meaning of her own future would be. Since she definitely disliked
her daughterLady Mallowe did not mince matters when they were alone.
She had no moneyshe was extremely good lookingshe had a certain
number of years in which to fight for her own hand among the new
debutantes who were presented every season. Her first season overthe
next season other girls would be fresher than she wasand newer to
the men who were worth marrying. Men like novelty. After her second
season the debutantes would seem fresher still by contrast. Then
people would begin to sayShe was presented four or five years ago.
After that it would be all struggle--every season it would be worse.
It would become awful. Unmarried women over thirty-five would speak of
her as though they had been in the nursery together. Married girls
with a child or so would treat her as though she were a maiden aunt.
She knew what was before her. Beggary stared them both in the face if
she did not make the most of her looks and waste no time. And Joan
knew it was all trueand that worsefar worse things were true also.
She would be obliged to spend a long life with her mother in cheap
lodgingsa fadedpennilessunmarried womanrailed attaunted
sneered atforced to be part of humiliating tricks played to enable
them to get into debt and then to avoid paying what they owed. Had she
not seen one horrible old woman of their own rank who was an example
of what poverty might bring one toan old harpy who tried to queen it
over her landlady in an actual back streetand was by turns fawned
upon and disgustingly "your ladyshiped" or outrageously insulted by
her landlady?

Then that first season! Deardear God! that first season when she met
Jem! She was not nineteenand the facile world pretended to be at her
feetand the sun shone as though London were in Italyand the park
was marvelous with flowersand there were such dances and such
laughter!

And it was all so young--and she met Jem! It was at a garden-party at
a lovely old house on the rivera place with celebrated gardens which
would always come back to her memory as a riot of roses. The frocks of
the people on the lawn looked as though they were made of the petals
of flowersand a mad little haunting waltz was being played by the
bandand there under a great copper birch on the green velvet turf
near her stood Jemlooking at her with darkliquidslanting eyes!
They were only a few feet from each other--and he lookedand she
lookedand the hauntingmad little waltz played onand it was as
though they had been standing there since the world beganand nothing
else was true.

Afterward nothing mattered to either of them. Lady Mallowe herself
ceased to count. Now and then the world stops for two people in this
unearthly fashion. At such timesas far as such a pair are concerned
causes and effects cease. Her bad temper fledand she knew she would
never feel its furious lash again.

With Jem looking at her with his glowingdrooping eyesthere would
be no reason for rage and shame. She confessed the temper to him and
told of her terror of it; he confessed to her his fondness for high
playand they held each other's handsnot with sentimental youthful
lightnessbut with the strong clasp of sworn comradesand promised
on honor that they would stand by each other every hour of their lives
against their worst selves.


They would have kept the pact. Neither was a slight or dishonest
creature. The phase of life through which they passed is not a new
onebut it is not often so nearly an omnipotent power as was their
three-months' dream.

It lasted only that length of time. Then came the end of the world.
Joan did not look fresh in her second seasonand before it was over
men were rather afraid of her. Because she was so young the freshness
returned to her cheekbut it never came back to her eyes.

What exactly had happenedor what she thoughtit was impossible to
know. She had delicateblack browsand between them appeared two
delicatefierce lines. Her eyes were of a purplish-graythe color
of thunder,a snubbed admirer had once said. Between their black
lashes they were more deeply thunder-colored. Her life with her mother
was a thing not to be spoken of. To the desperate girl's agony of
rebellion against the horror of fate Lady Mallowe's taunts and
beratings were devilish. There was a certain boudoir in the house in
Hill Street which was to Joan like the question chamber of the
Inquisition. Shut up in it togetherthe two went through scenes which
in their cruelty would have done credit to the Middle Ages. Lady
Mallowe always locked the door to prevent the unexpected entrance of a
servantbut servants managed to hover about itbecause her ladyship
frequently forgot caution so far as to raise her voice at timesas
ladies are not supposed to do.

We fight,Joan said with a shorthorrible laugh one morning--"we
fight like cats and dogs. Nolike two cats. A cat-and-dog fight is
more quickly over. Some day we shall scratch each other's eyes out."

Have you no shame?her mother cried.

I am burning with it. I am like St. Lawrence on his gridiron. 'Turn
me over on the other side,'she quoted.

This was when she had behaved so abominably to the Duke of Merthshire
that he had actually withdrawn his more than half-finished proposal.
That which she hated more than all else was the God she had prayed to
when she asked she might be helped to control her temper.

She had not believed in Him at the timebut because she was
frightened after she had stuck the scissors into Fraulein she had
tried the appeal as an experiment. The night after she met Jemwhen
she went to her room in Hill Street for the nightshe knelt down and
prayed because she suddenly did believe. Since there was Jem in the
worldthere must be the other somewhere.

As day followed dayher faith grew with her love. She told Jem about
itand they agreed to say a prayer together at the same hour every
night. The big young man thought her piety beautifulandhis voice
was unsteady as they talked. But she told him that she was not pious
but impious.

I want to be made good,she said. "I have been bad all my life. I
was a bad childI have been a bad girl; but now I must be good."

On the night after the tragic card-party she went to her room and
kneeled down in a new spirit. She kneltbut not to cover her face
she knelt with throat strained and her fierce young face thrown back
and upward.

Her hands were clenched to fists and flung out and shaken at the
ceiling. She said things so awful that her own blood shuddered as she
uttered them. But she could not--in her mad helplessness--make them


awful enough. She flung herself on the carpet at lasther arms
outstretched like a creature crucified face downward on the cross.

I believed in You!she gasped. "The first moment you gave me a
reason I believed. I did! I did! We both said our prayer to You every
nightlike children. And you've done this--this--this!" And she beat
with her fists upon the floor.

Several years had passed since that nightand no living being knew
what she carried in her soul. If she had a soulshe said to herself
it was black--black. But she had none. Neither had Jem had one; when
the earth and stones had fallen upon him it had been the endas it
would have been if he had been a beetle.

This was the guest who was coming to the house where Miles Hugo smiled
from his frame in the picture-gallery--the house which would to-day
have been Jem's if T. Tembarom had not inherited it.

Tembarom returned some twenty-four hours after Miss Alicia had
received his visitors for him. He had been "going into" absorbing
things in London. His thoughts during his northward journey were
puzzled and discouraged ones. He sat in the corner of the railway
carriage and stared out of the window without seeing the springtime
changes in the flying landscape.

The price he would have given for a talk with Ann would not have been
easy to compute. Her headher level little headand her way of
seeing into things and picking out facts without being rattled by what
didn't really countwould have been worth anything. The day itself
was a discouraging onewith heavy threatenings of rain which did not
fall.

The low clouds were piles of dark-purple grayand when the sun tried
to send lances of ominous yellow light through themstrange and lurid
effects were producedand the heavy purple-gray masses rolled
together again. He wondered why he did not hear low rumblings of
thunder.

He went to his room at once when he reached home. He was lateand
Pearson told him that the ladies were dressing for dinner. Pearson was
in waiting with everything in readiness for the rapid performance of
his duties. Tembarom had learned to allow himself to be waited upon.
He hadin factdone this for the satisfying of Pearsonwhose
respectful unhappiness would otherwise have been manifest despite his
efforts to conceal it. He dressed quickly and asked some questions
about Strangeways. Otherwise Pearson thought he seemed preoccupied. He
only made one slight joke.

You'd be a first-rate dresser for a quick-change artist, Pearson,he
remarked.

On his way to the drawing-room he deflected from the direct path
turning aside for a moment to the picture-gallery because for a reason
of his own he wanted to take a look at Miles Hugo. He took a look at
Miles Hugo oftener than Miss Alicia knew.

The gallery was dim and gloomy enoughnow closing in in the purplegray
twilight. He walked through it without glancing at the pictures
until he came to the tall boy in the satin and lace of Charles II
period. He paused there only for a short timebut he stood quite near
the portraitand looked hard at the handsome face.

Gee!he exclaimed under his breathit's queer, gee!


Then he turned suddenly round toward one of the big windows. He turned
because he had been startled by a sounda movement. Some one was
standing before the window. For a second's space the figure seemed as
though it was almost one with the purple-gray clouds that were its
background. It was a tall young womanand her dress was of a thin
material of exactly their color--dark-gray and purple at once. The
wearer held her head high and haughtily. She had a beautifulstormy
faceand the slenderblack brows were drawn together by a frown.
Tembarom had never seen a girl as handsome and disdainful. He had
indeednever been looked at as she looked at him when she moved
slightly forward.

He knew who it was. It was the Lady Joan girland the sudden sight of
her momentarily "rattled" him.

You quite gave me a jolt,he said awkwardlyand knowing that he
said it like a "mutt." "I didn't know any one was in the gallery."

What are you doing here?she asked. She spoke to him as though she
were addressing an intruding servant. There was emphasis on the word
you.

Her intention was so evident that it increased his feeling of being
rattled.To find himself confronting deliberate ill nature of a
superior and finished kind was like being spoken to in a foreign
language.

I--I'm T. Tembarom.he answerednot able to keep himself from
staring because she was such a "winner" as to looks.

T. Tembarom?she repeated slowlyand her tone made him at once see
what a fool he had been to say it.

I forgot,he half laughed. "I ought to have said I'm Temple
Barholm."

Oh!was her sole comment. She actually stood still and looked him up
and down.

She knew perfectly well who he wasand she knew perfectly well that
no palliative view could possibly be taken by any well-bred person of
her bearing toward him. He was her host. She had comea guestto his
house to eat his bread and saltand the commonest decency demanded
that she should conduct herself with civility. But she cared nothing
for the commonestor the most uncommondecency. She was thinking of
other things. As she had stood before the window she had felt that her
soul had never been so black as it was when she turned away from Miles
Hugo's portrait--nevernever. She wanted to hurt people. Perhaps Nero
had felt as she did and was not so hideous as he seemed.

The man's tailor had put him into proper clothesand his features
were respectable enoughbut nothing on earth could make him anything
but what he so palpably was. She had seen that much across the gallery
as she had watched him staring at Miles Hugo.

I should think,she saiddropping the words slowly againthat you
would often forget that you are Temple Barholm.

You're right there,he answered. "I can't nail myself down to it. It
seems like a sort of joke."

She looked him over again.

It is a joke,she said.


It was as though she had slapped him in the facethough she said it
so quietly. He knew he had received the slapand thatas it was a
womanhe could not slap back. It was a sort of surprise to her that
he did not giggle nervously and turn red and shuffle his feet in
impotent misery. He kept quite still a moment or so and looked at her
though not as she had looked at him. She wondered if he was so thickskinned
that he did not feel anything at all.

That's so,he admitted. "That's so." Then he actually smiled at her.
I don't know how to behave myself, you see,he said. "You're Lady
Joan Fayreain't you? I'm mighty glad to see you. Happy to make your
acquaintanceLady Joan."

He took her hand and shook it with friendly vigor before she knew what
he was going to do.

I'll bet a dollar dinner's ready,he addedand Burrill's waiting.
It scares me to death to keep Burrill waiting. He's got no use for me,
anyhow. Let's go and pacify him.

He did not lead the way or drag her by the armas it seemed to her
quite probable that he mightas costermongers do on Hampstead Heath.
He knew enough to let her pass first through the door; and when Lady
Mallowe looked up to see her enter the drawing-roomhe was behind
her. To her ladyship's amazement and reliefthey came inso to
speaktogether. She had been spared the trying moment of assisting at
the ceremony of their presentation to each other.

CHAPTER XXII

In a certain sense she had been dragged to the place by her mother.
Lady Mallowe had many resourcesand above all she knew how to weary
her into resistlessness which was almost indifference. There had been
several shameless little scenes in the locked boudoir. But though she
had been draggedshe had come with an intention. She knew what she
would find herself being forced to submit to if the intruder were not
disposed of at the outsetand if the manoeuvering began which would
bring him to London. He would appear at her elbow here and there and
at every cornerprobably unaware that he was being made an offensive
puppet by the astute cleverness against which she could not defend
herselfunless she made actual scenes in drawing-roomsat dinnertables
in the very streets themselves. Gifted as Lady Mallowe was in
fine and light-handed dealing of her cards in any gameher stakes at
this special juncture were seriously high. Joan knew what they were
and that she was in a mood touched with desperation. The defenselessly
new and ignorant Temple Barholm was to her mind a direct intervention
of Providenceand it was only Joan herself who could rob her of the
benefits and reliefs he could provide. With regard to Lady Joan
though Palliser's quoted New Yorkismwipe up the earth,was unknown
to herthe process she had in mind when she left London for
Lancashire would have been well covered by it. As in feudal days she
might have ordered the right hand of a creature such as this to be
struck offforgetting that he was a manso was she capable to-day of
inflicting upon him any hurt which might sweep him out of her way. She
had not been a tender-hearted girland in these years she was
absolutely callous. The fellow being what he wasshe had not the
resources she might have called upon if he had been a gentleman. He
would not understand the chills and slights of good manners. In the
country he would be easier to manage than in townespecially if


attacked in his first timidity before his new grandeurs. His big house
no doubt frightened himhis servantsthe people who were of a class
of which he knew nothing. When Palliser told his story she saw new
openings. He would stand in servile awe of her and of others like her.
He would be afraid of herto begin withand she could make him more so.

But though she had come to alarm him so that he would be put to
absolute flightshe had also come for another reason. She had never
seen Temple Barholmand she had discovered before they had known each
other a week that it was Jem's secret passion. He had loved it with a
slighted and lonely child's romantic longing; he had dreamed of it as
boy and manknowing that it must some time be his ownhis homeand
yet prevented by his uncle's attitude toward him from daring to act as
though he remembered the fact. Old Mr. Temple Barholm's special humor
had been that of a man guarding against presumption.

Jem had not intended to presumebut he had been snubbed with
relentless cruelty even for boyish expressions of admiration. And he
had hid his feeling in his heart until he poured it out to Joan. Today
it would have been his. Togethertogetherthey would have lived
in it and loved every stone of itevery leaf on every great tree
every wild daffodil nodding in the green grass. Most peopleGod be
thanked! can forget. The wise ones train themselves beyond all else to
forgetting.

Joan had been a lucklessill-brought-uppassionate child and girl.
In her Mayfair nursery she had been as little trained as a young
savage. Since her black hour she had forgotten nothingallowed
herself no palliating moments. Her brief dream of young joy had been
the one real thing in her life. She absolutely had lain awake at night
and reconstructed the horror of Jem's deathhad lived it over again
writhing in agony on her bedand madly feeling that by so doing she
was holding her love close to her life.

And the man who stood in the place Jem had longed forthe man who sat
at the head of his tablewas this "thing!" That was what she felt him
to beand every hurt she could do himevery humiliation which should
write large before him his presumption and grotesque unfitnesswould
be a blow struck for Jemwho could never strike a blow for himself
again. It was all senselessbut she had not want to reason. Fate had
not reasoned in her behalf. She watched Tembarom under her lids at the
dinner-table.

He had not wriggled or shuffled when she spoke to him in the gallery;
he did neither nowand made no obvious efforts to seem unembarrassed.
He used his knife and fork in odd waysand he was plainly not used to
being waited upon. More than once she saw the servants restrain
smiles. She addressed no remarks to him herselfand answered with
chill indifference such things as he said to her. If conversation had
flagged between him and Mr. Palford because the solicitor did not know
how to talk to himit did not even reach the point of flagging with
herbecause she would not talk and did not allow it to begin. Lady
Mallowesick with annoyancewas quite brilliant. She drew out Miss
Alicia by detailed reminiscences of a visit paid to Rowlton Hall years
before. The vicar had dined at the hall while she had been there. She
remembered perfectly his charm of manner and powerful originality of
mindshe said sweetly. He had spoken with such affection of his
little Alicia,who was such a help to him in his parish work.

I thought he was speaking of a little girl at first,she said
smilinglybut it soon revealed itself that 'little Alicia' was only
his caressing diminutive.

A certain widening of Miss Alicia's fascinated eyewhich could not


remove itself from her facecaused her to quail slightly.

He was of course a man of great force of character and-- and
expression,she added. "I remember thinking at the time that his
eloquent frankness of phrase might perhaps seem even severe to
frivolous creatures like myself. A really remarkable personality."

His sermons,faltered Miss Aliciaas a refugewere indeed
remarkable. I am sure he must greatly have enjoyed his conversations
with you. I am afraid there were very few clever women in the
neighborhood of Rowlton.

Casting a bitter side glance on her silent daughterLady Mallowe
lightly seized upon New York as a subject. She knew so much of it from
delightful New Yorkers. London was full of delightful New Yorkers. She
would like beyond everything to spend a winter in New York. She
understood that the season there was in the winter and that it was
most brilliant. Mr. Temple Barholm must tell them about it.

Yes,said Lady Joanlooking at him through narrowed lidsMr.
Temple Barholm ought to tell us about it.

She wanted to hear what he would sayto see how he would try to get
out of the difficulty or flounder staggeringly through it. Her mother
knew in an instant that her own speech had been a stupid blunder. She
had put the man into exactly the position Joan would enjoy seeing him
in. But he wasn't in a positionit appeared.

What is the season, anyhow?he said. "You've got one on me when you
talk about seasons."

In London,Miss Alicia explained courageouslyit is the time when
her Majesty is at Buckingham Palace, and when the drawing-rooms are
held, and Parliament sits, and people come up to town and give balls.

She wished that Lady Mallowe had not made her remark just at this
time. She knew that the quietly moving servants were listeningand
that their civilly averted eyes had seen Captain Palliser smile and
Lady Joan's curious lookand that the whole incident would form
entertainment for their supper- table.

I guess they have it in the winter in New York, then, if that's it,
he said. "There's no Buckingham Palace thereand no drawing-rooms
and Congress sits in Washington. But New York takes it out in suppers
at Sherry's and Delmonico's and theaters and receptions. Miss Alicia
knows how I used to go to them when I was a little fellowdon't you
Miss Alicia?" he addedsmiling at her across the table.

You have told me,she answered. She noticed that Burrill and the
footmen stood at attention in their places.

I used to stand outside in the snow and look in through the windows
at the people having a good time,he said. "Us kids that were selling
newspapers used to try to fill ourselves up with choosing whose plate
we'd take if we could get at it. Beefsteak and French fried potatoes
were the favoritesand hot oyster stews. We were so all-fired
hungry!"

How pathetic!exclaimed Lady Mallowe. "And how interestingnow that
it is all over!"

She knew that her manner was gushingand Joan's slight side glance of
subtle appreciation of the fact exasperated her almost beyond
endurance. What could one dowhat could one talk aboutwithout


involving oneself in difficulties out of which one's hasty retreat
could be effected only by gushing? Taking into consideration the
awkwardness of the whole situation and seeing Joan's temper and
attitudeif there had not been so much at stake she would have
received a summoning telegram from London the next day and taken
flight. But she had been forced to hold her ground before in places
she detested or where she was not wantedand she must hold it again
until she had found out the worst or the best. Andgreat heaven! how
Joan was conducting herselfwith that slowquiet insultingness of
tone and lookthe wickedsilent insolence of bearing which no man
was able to standhowever admiringly he began! The Duke of Merthshire
had turned his back upon it even after all the world had known his
intentionseven after the newspapers had prematurely announced the
engagement and she herself had been convinced that he could not
possibly retreat. She had worked desperately that seasonshe had
fawned on and petted newspaper peopleand stooped to little things no
one but herself could have invented and which no one but herself knew
of. And never had Joan been so superb; her beauty had seemed at its
most brilliant height. The match would have been magnificent; but he
could not stand herand would not. Whyindeedshould any man? She
glanced at her across the table. A beautyof course; but she was
thinnerand her eyes had a hungry fierceness in themand the two
delicatestraight lines between her black brows were deepening.

And there were no dukes on the horizon. Merthshire had married almost
at onceand all the others were too young or had wives already. If
this man would take hershe might feel herself lucky. Temple Barholm
and seventy thousand a year were not to be trifled with by a girl who
had made herself unpopular and who was twenty-six. And for her own
luck the moment had come just before it was too late--a second
marriagewealththe end of the hideous struggle. Joan was the
obstacle in her pathand she must be forced out of it. She glanced
quickly at Tembarom. He was trying to talk to Joan now. He was trying
to please her. She evidently had a fascination for him. He looked at
her in a curious way when she was not looking at him. It was a way
different from that of other men whom she had watched as they
furtively stared. It had struck her that he could not take his eyes
away. That was because he had never before been on speaking terms with
a woman of beauty and rank.

Joan herself knew that he was trying to please herand she was asking
herself how long he would have the courage and presumption to keep it
up. He could scarcely be enjoying it.

He was not enjoying itbut he kept it up. He wanted to be friends
with her for more reasons than one. No one had ever remained long at
enmity with him. He had "got over" a good many people in the course of
his careeras he had "got over" Joseph Hutchinson. This had always
been accomplished because he presented no surface at which arrows
could be thrown. She was the hardest proposition he had ever come up
againsthe was thinking; but if he didn't let himself be fool enough
to break loose and get madshe'd not hate him so much after a while.
She would begin to understand that it wasn't his fault; then perhaps
he could get her to make friends. In factif she had been able to
read his thoughtsthere is no certainty as to how far her temper
might have carried her. But she could see him only as a sharp-faced
common American of the shop-boy classsitting at the head of Jem
Temple Barholm's tablein his chair.

As they passed through the hall to go to the drawing-room after the
meal was overshe saw a neatpale young man speaking to Burrill and
heard a few of his rather anxiously uttered words.

The orders were that he was always to be told when Mr. Strangeways


was like this, under all circumstances. I can't quiet him, Mr.
Burrill. He says he must see him at once.

Burrill walked back stiffly to the dining-room.

It won't trouble HIM much to be disturbed at his wine,he muttered
before going. "He doesn't know hock from port."

When the message was delivered to himTembarom excused himself with
simple lack of ceremony.

I 'll be back directly,he said to Palliser. "Those are good
cigars." And he left the room without going into the matter further.

Palliser took one of the good cigarsand in taking it exchanged a
glance with Burrill which distantly conveyed the suggestion that
perhaps he had better remain for a moment or so. Captain Palliser's
knowledge of interesting detail was obtained "by chance here and
there he sometimes explained, but it was always obtained with a
light and casual air.

I am not sure he remarked as he took the light Burrill held for him
and touched the end of his cigar--I am not quite sure that I know
exactly who Mr. Strangeways is."

He's the gentleman, sir, that Mr. Temple Barholm brought over from
New York,replied Burrill with a stolidity clearly expressive of
distaste.

Indeed, from New York! Why doesn't one see him?

He's not in a condition to see people, sir,said Burrilland
Palliser's slightly lifted eyebrow seeming to express a good dealhe
added a sentenceHe's not all there, sir.

From New York, and not all there. What seems to be the matter?
Palliser asked quietly. "Odd idea to bring a lunatic all the way from
America. There must be asylums there."

Us servants have orders to keep out of the way,Burrill said with
sterner stolidity. "He's so nervous that the sight of strangers does
him harm. I may say that questions are not encouraged."

Then I must not ask any more,said Captain Palliser. "I did not know
I was edging on to a mystery."

I wasn't aware that I was myself, sir,Burrill remarkeduntil I
asked something quite ordinary of Pearson, who is Mr. Temple Barholm's
valet, and it was not what he said, but what he didn't, that showed me
where I stood.

A mystery is an interesting thing to have in a house,said Captain
Palliser without enthusiasm. He smoked his cigar as though he was
enjoying its aromaand even from his first remark he had managed not
to seem to be really quite addressing himself to Burrill. He was
certainly not talking to him in the ordinary way; his air was rather
that of a gentleman overhearing casual remarks in which he was only
vaguely interested. Before Burrill left the roomhoweverand he left
it under the impression that he had said no more than civility
demandedCaptain Palliser had reached the point of being able to
deduce a number of things from what helike Pearsonhad not said.


CHAPTER XXIII

The man who in all England was most deeply submerged in deadly boredom
wasthe old Duke of Stone said with wearied finalityhimself. He had
been a sinful young man of finished taste in 1820; he had cultivated
these tasteswhich were for literature and art and divers other
thingsin the most richly alluring foreign capitals until finding
himself becoming an equally sinful and finished elderly manhe had
decided to marry. After the birth of her four daughtershis wife had
died and left them on his hands. Developing at that time a tendency to
rheumatic gout and a daily increasing realization of the fact that the
resources of a poor dukedom may be hopelessly depleted by an expensive
youth passed brilliantly in ViennaParisBerlinand Londonwhen it
was endurablehe found it expedient to give up what he considered the
necessities of life and to face existence in the country in England.
It is not imperative that one should enter into detail. There was
muchand it covered years during which his four daughters grew up and
he "grew down as he called it. If his temper had originally been a
bad one, it would doubtless have become unbearable; as he had been
born an amiable person, he merely sank into the boredom which
threatens extinction. His girls bored him, his neighbors bored him,
Stone Hover bored him, Lancashire bored him, England had always bored
him except at abnormal moments.

I read a great dealI walk when I can this he wrote once to a
friend in Rome. When I am too stiff with rheumatic goutI drive
myself about in a pony chaise and feel like an aunt in a Bath chair. I
have so far escaped the actual chair itself. It perpetually rains
hereI may mentionso I don't get out often. You who gallop on white
roads in the sunshine and hear Italian voices and vowelsfigure to
yourself your friend trundling through damplead-colored Lancashire
lanes and being addressed in the Lancashire dialect. But so am I
driven by necessity that I listen to it gratefully. I want to hear
village news from villagers. I have become a gossip. It is a wonderful
thing to be a gossip. It assists one to get through one's declining
years. Do not wait so long as I did before becoming one. Begin in your
roseate middle age."

An attack of gout more severe than usual had confined him to his room
for some time after the arrival of the new owner of Temple Barholm. He
hadin factbeen so far indisposed that a week or two had passed
before he had heard of him. His favorite nurse had been chosen by him
because she was a comfortable village woman whom he had taught to lay
aside her proper awe and talk to him about her own affairs and her
neighbors when he was in the mood to listen. She spoke the broadest
possible dialect--he liked dialecthaving learned much in his youth
from mellow-eyed Neapolitan and Tuscan girls--and she had never been
near a hospitalbut had been trained by the bedsides of her children
and neighbors.

If I were a writing person, she would become literature, impinging
upon Miss Mitford's tales of 'Our Village,' Miss Austen's varieties,
and the young Bronte woman's 'Wuthering Heights.' Mon Dieu! what a
resource it would be to be a writing person!he wrote to the Roman
friend.

To his daughters he said:

She brings back my tenderest youth. When she pokes the fire in the
twilight and lumbers about the room, making me comfortable, I lie in
my bed and watch the flames dancing on the ceiling and feel as if I
were six and had the measles. She tucks me in, my dears--she tucks me


in, I assure you. Sometimes I feel it quite possible that she will
bend over and kiss me.

She had tucked him in luxuriously in his arm-chair by the fire on the
first day of his convalescenceand as she gave him his traywith his
beef tea and toasthe saw that she contained anecdotal information of
interest which tactful encouragement would cause to flow.

Now that I am well enough to be entertained, Braddle,he saidtell
me what has been happening.

A graidely lot, yore Grace,she answered; "but not so much i' Stone
Hover as i' Temple Barholm. He's coom!"

Then the duke vaguely recalled rumors he had heard sometime before his
indisposition.

The new Mr. Temple Barholm? He's an American, isn't he? The lost heir
who had to be sought for high and low-- principally low, I
understand.

The beef tea was excellently savorythe fire was warmand relief
from two weeks of pain left a sort of Nirvana of peace. Rarely had the
duke passed a more delightfully entertaining morning. There was a
richness in the Temple Barholm situationas described in detail by
Mrs. Braddlewhich filled him with delight. His regret that he was
not a writing person intensified itself. Americans had not appeared
upon the horizon in Miss Mitford's timeor in Miss Austen'sor in
the Brontes' the type not having entirely detached itself from that of
the red Indian. It struck himhoweverthat Miss Austen might have
done the best work with this affair if she had survived beyond her
period. Her finely demure and sly sense of humor would have seen and
seized upon its opportunities. Stark moorland life had not encouraged
humor in the Brontesand village patronage had not roused in Miss
Mitford a sense of ironic contrasts. YesJane Austen would have done
it best.

That the story should be related by Mrs. Braddle gave it extraordinary
flavor. No man or woman of his own class could have given such a
recountingor revealed so many facets of this jewel of entertainment.
He and those like him could have seen the thing only from their own
amusedoutragedbewilderedor cynically disgusted point of view.
Mrs. Braddle saw it as the villagers saw it--excitedcurious
secretly hopeful of undue lavishness from "a chap as had nivver had
brass before an' wants to chuck it away for brag's sake or somewhat
alarmed at the possible neglecting of customs and privileges by a
person ignorant of memorial benefactions. She saw it as the servants
saw it--secretly disdainful, outwardly respectful, waiting to discover
whether the sacrifice of professional distinction would be balanced by
liberties permitted and lavishness of remuneration and largess. She
saw it also from her own point of view--that of a respectable cottage
dweller whose great-great-grandfather had been born in a black-andwhite
timbered house in a green lane, and who knew what were gentry
ways" and what nature of being could never even remotely approach the
assumption of them. She had seen Tembarom more than onceand summed
him up by no means ill-naturedly.

He's not such a bad-lookin' chap. He is na short-legged or turn-upnosed,
an' that's summat. He con stride along, an' he looks healthy
enow for aw he's thin. A thin chap nivver looks as common as a fat un.
If he wur pudgy, it ud be a lot more agen him.

I think, perhaps,amiably remarked the dukesipping his beef tea
that you had better not call him a `chap,' Braddle. The late Mr.


Temple Barholm was never referred to as a `chap' exactly, was he?

Mrs. Braddle gave vent to a sort of internal-sounding chuckle. She had
not meant to be impertinentand she knew her charge was aware that
she had notand that he was neither being lofty or severe with her.

Eh, I'd 'a'loiked to ha' heard somebody do it when he was nigh,she
said. "Happen I'd better be moindin' ma P's an' Q's a bit more. But
that's what this un isyore Grace. He's a `chap' out an' out. An'
theer's some as is sayin' he's not a bad sort of a chap either.
There's lots o' funny stories about him i' Temple Barholm village. He
goes in to th' cottages now an' thenan' though a fool could see he
does na know his placenor other people'she's downreet open-handed.
An' he maks foak laugh. He took a lot o' New York papers wi' big
pictures in 'em to little Tummas Hibblethwaite. An' wot does tha think
he did one rainy day? He walks in to the owd Dibdens' cottagean'
sits down betwixt 'em as they sit one each side o' th' f'rean' he
tells 'em they've got to cheer him up a bit becos he's got nought to
do. An' he shows 'em th' picter-paperstooan' tells 'em about New
Yorkan' he ends up wi' singin' 'em a comic song. They was frightened
out o' their wits at firstbut somehow he got over 'eman' made 'em
laugh their owd heads nigh off."

Her charge laid his spoon downand his shrewdlined face assumed a
new expression of interest.

Did he! Did he, indeed!he exclaimed. "Good Lord! what an
exhilarating person! I must go and see him. Perhaps he'd make me laugh
my `owd head nigh off.' What a sensation! "

There was really immense color in the anecdotes and in the side views
accompanying them; the routing out of her obscurity of the isolated
dependent spinster relativefor instance. Delicious! The man was
either desperate with loneliness or he was one of the rough-diamond
benefactors favored by novelistsin which latter case he would not be
so entertaining. Pure self-interest caused the Duke of Stone quite
unreservedly to hope that he was anguished by the unaccustomedness of
his surroundingsand was ready to pour himself forth to any one who
would listen. There would be originality in such a situationand one
could draw forth revelations worth forming an audience to. He himself
had thought that the volte-face such circumstances demanded would
surely leave a man staring at things foreign enough to bore him. This
indeedhad been one of his cherished theories; but the only man he
had ever encountered who had become a sort of millionaire between one
day and another had been an appalling Yorkshire manwho had had some
extraordinary luck with diamond-mines in South Africaand he had been
simply drunk with exhilaration and the delight of spending money with
both handswhile he figuratively slapped on the back persons who six
weeks before would have kicked him for doing it.

This man did not appear to be excited. The duke mentally rocked with
gleeful appreciation of certain things Mrs. Braddle detailed. She
gaveof courseBurrill's version of the brief interview outside the
dining-room door when Miss Alicia's status in the household bad been
made clear to him. But the dukebeing a man endowed with a subtle
sense of shadeswas wholly enlightened as to the inner meaning of
Burrill's master.

Now, that was good,he said to himselfalmost chuckling. "By the
Lord! the man might have been a gentleman."

When to all this was added the story of the friend or poor relative
or what notwho was supposed to be "not quoite reet i' th' yed and
was taken care of like a prince, in complete isolation, attended by a


valet, visited and cheered up by his benefactor, he felt that a boon
had indeed been bestowed upon him. It was a nineteenth century
Mysteries of Udolpho" in embryothough too greatly diluted by the
fact that though the stranger was seen by no onethe new Temple
Barholm made no secret of him.

If he had only made a secret of himthe whole thing would have been
complete. There was of course in the situation a discouraging
suggestion that Temple Barholm MIGHT turn out to be merely the
ordinary noble character bestowing boons.

I will burn a little candle to the Virgin and offer up prayers that
he may NOT. That sort of thing would have no cachet whatever, and
would only depress me,thought his still sufficiently sinful Grace.

When, Braddle, do you think I shall be able to take a drive again?
he asked his nurse.

Braddle was not prepared to say upon her own responsibilitybut the
doctor would tell him when he came in that afternoon.

I feel astonishingly well, considering the sharpness of the attack,
her patient said. "Our little talk has quite stimulated me. When I go
out--there was a gleam in the eye he raised to hers,--I am going
to call at Temple Barholm."

I knowed tha would,she commented with maternal familiarity. "I
dunnot believe tha could keep away."

And through the rest of the morningas he sat and gazed into the
fireshe observed that he several times chuckled gently and rubbed
his delicatechillswollen knuckled hands together.

A few weeks later there were some warm daysand his Grace chose to go
out in his pony carriage. Much as he detested the suggestion of "the
aunt in the Bath chair he had decided that he found the low,
informal vehicle more entertaining than a more imposing one, and the
desperation of his desire to be entertained can be comprehended only
by those who have known its parallel. If he was not in some way
amused, he found himself whirling, with rheumatic gout and seventy
years, among recollections of vivid pictures better hung in galleries
with closed doors. It was always possible to stop the pony carriage to
look at views--bits of landscape caught at by vision through trees or
under their spreading branches, or at the end of little green-hedged
lanes apparently adorned with cottages, or farm-houses with ricks and
barn-yards and pig-pens designed for the benefit of Morland and other
painters of rusticity. He could also slacken the pony's pace and draw
up by roadsides where solitary men sat by piles of stone, which they
broke at leisure with hammers as though they were cracking nuts. He
had spent many an agreeable half-hour in talk with a road-mender who
could be led into conversation and was left elated by an extra
shilling. As in years long past he had sat under chestnut-trees in the
Apennines and shared the black bread and sour wine of a peasant, so in
these days he frequently would have been glad to sit under a hedge and
eat bread and cheese with a good fellow who did not know him and whose
summing up of the domestic habits and needs of th' workin' mon" or
the amiabilities or degeneracies of the gentry would be expressed
figuratively speakingin thoughts and words of one syllable. The
ponyhowevercould not take him very far afieldand one could not
lunch on the grass with a stone-breaker well within reach of one's own
castle without an air of eccentricity which he no more chose to assume
than he would have chosen to wear long hair and a flowing necktie.
Alsorheumatic gout had not hovered about the days in the Apennines.
He did notit might be remarkeddesire to enter into conversation


with his humble fellow-man from altruistic motives. He did it because
there was always a chance more or less that he would be amused. He
might hear of little tragedies or comedies-- he much preferred the
comedies--and he often learned new words or phrases of dialect
interestingly allied to pure Anglo-Saxon. When this last occurredhe
entered them in a notebook he kept in his library. He sometimes
pretended to himself that he was going to write a book on dialects;
but he knew that he was a dilettante sort of creature and would really
never do it. The pretensehoweverwas a sort of asset. In dire
moments during rains or foggy weather when he felt twinges and had
read till his head achedhe had wished that he had not eaten all his
cake at the first course of life's feastthat he had formed a habit
or so which might have survived and helped him to eke out even an
easy-chair existence through the last courses. He did not find
consolation in the use of the palliative adjective as applied to
himself. A neatly cynical sense of humor prevented it. He knew he had
always been an entirely selfish man and that he was entirely selfish
stilland was not revoltingly fretful and domineering only because he
was constitutionally unirritable.

He washoweveramiably obstinateand was accustomed to getting his
own way in most things. On this day of his outing he insisted on
driving himself in the face of arguments to the contrary. He was so
fixed in his intention that his daughters and Mrs. Braddle were
obliged to admit themselves overpowered.

Nonsense! Nonsense!he protested when they besought him to allow
himself to be driven by a groom. "The pony is a fat thing only suited
to a Bath chair. He does not need driving. He doesn't go when he is
driven. He frequently lies down and puts his cheek on his hand and
goes to sleepand I am obliged to wait until he wakes up."

But, papa, dear,Lady Edith saidyour poor hands are not very
strong. And he might run away and kill you. Please do be reasonable!

My dear girl,he answeredif he runs, I shall run after him and
kill him when I catch him. George,he called to the groom holding the
plump pony's headtell her ladyship what this little beast's name
is.

The Indolent Apprentice, your Grace,the groom answeredtouching
his hat and suppressing a grin.

I called him that a month ago,said the duke. "Hogarth would have
depicted all sorts of evil ends for him. Three weeks sincewhen I was
in bed being fed by Braddle with a spoonI could have outrun him
myself. Let George follow me on a horse if you likebut he must keep
out of my sight. Half a mile behind will do."

He got into the phaetonconcealing his twinges with determination
and drove down the avenue with a fine airsitting erect and smiling.
Indoor existence had become unendurableand the spring was filling
the woods.

I love the spring,he murmured to himself. "I am sentimental about
it. I love sentimentalityin myselfwhen I am quite alone. If I had
been a writing personI should have made verses every year in April
and sent them to magazines-- and they would have been returned to me."

The Indolent Apprentice wasit is truefatthough comelyand he
was also entirely deserving of his name. Like his Grace of Stone
howeverhe had seen other and livelier daysand now and then he was
beset by recollections. He was still a rather highthough slow
stepper--the latter from fixed preference. He had once stepped fast


as well as with a spirited gait. During his master's indisposition he
had stood in his loose box and professed such harmlessness that he had
not been annoyed by being taken out for exercise as regularly as he
might have been. He had champed his oats and listened to the repartee
of the stable-boysand he hadperhapsfelt the coming of the spring
when the cuckoo insisted upon it with thrilling mellowness across the
green sweeps of the park land. Sometimes it made him sentimentalas
it made his mastersometimes it made him stamp his small hoofs
restlessly in his straw and want to go out. He did not intendwhen he
was taken outto emulate the Industrious Apprentice by hastening his
pace unduly and raising false hopes for the futurebut he sniffed in
the air the moist green of leafage and damp mossmassed with yellow
primroses cuddling in it as though for warmthand he thought of other
fresh scents and the feel of the road under a pony's feet.

Thereforewhen he found himself out in the world againhe shook his
head now and then and even tossed it with the recurring sensations of
a pony who was a mere boy and still slight in the waist.

You feel it too, do you? said the duke. "I won't remind you of your
years."

The drive from Stone Hover to the village of Temple Barholm was an
easy oneof many charms of leaf-arched lanes and green- edged road.
The duke had always had a partiality for itand he took it this
morning. He would probably have taken it in any casebut Mrs.
Braddle's anecdotes had been floating through his mind when he set
forth and perhaps inclined him in its direction.

The groom was a young man of three and twentyand he felt the spring
also. The horse he rode was a handsome animaland he himself was not
devoid of a healthy young man's good looks. He knew his belted livery
was becoming to himand when on horseback he prided himself on what
he considered an almost military bearing. Sarah Hibsonfarmer
Hibson's dimple-chinned and saucy-eyed daughterhad been "carryin' on
a good bit" with a soldier who was a smartwell-set-upimpudent
fellowand it was the manifest duty of any other young fellow who had
considered himself to be "walking out with her" to look after his
charges. His Grace had been most particular about George's keeping far
enough behind him; and as half a mile had been mentioned as near
enoughcertainly one was absolved from the necessity of keeping in
sight. Why should not one turn into the lane which ended at Hibson's
farm-yardand drop into the dairyand "have it out wi' Sarah?"

Dimpled chins and saucy eyesand baredimpled arms and hands patting
butter while heads are tossed in coquettishly alluring defiancemade
even "having it out" an attractive and memory-obscuring process. Sarah
was a plump and sparkling imp of prettinessand knew the power of
every sly glance and every dimple and every golden freckle she
possessed. George did not know it so welland in ten minutes had lost
his head and entirely forgotten even the half-mile behind.

He was lover-likehe was masterfulhe brought the spring with him;
he "carried on as Sarah put it, until he had actually out-distanced
the soldier, and had her in his arms, kissing her as she laughed and
prettily struggled.

Shame o' tha face! Shame o' tha faceGeorge!" she scolded and
dimpled and blushed. "Wilt tha be done now? Wilt tha be done? I'll
call mother."

And at that very moment mother came without being calledrunningred
of faceheavy-footedand pantingwith her cap all on one side.


Th' duke's run away! Th' duke's run away!she shouted. "Jo seed him.
Pony got freetened at summat-- an' what art doin' hereGeorge Bind?
Get o' thy horse an' gallop. If he's killedtha 'rt a ruined man."

There was an odd turn of chance in itthe duke thought afterward.
Though friskier than usualthe Indolent Apprentice had behaved
perfectly well until they neared the gates of Temple Barholmwhich
chanced to be open because a cart had just passed through. And it was
not the cart's faultfor the Indolent Apprentice regarded it with
friendly interest. It happenedhoweverthat perhaps being absorbed
in the cartwhich might have been drawn by a friend or even a distant
relativethe Indolent Apprentice was horribly startled by a large
rabbit which leaped out of the hedge almost under his noseandworse
stillwas followed the next instant by another rabbit even larger and
more sudden and unexpected in its movements. The Indolent Apprentice
snortedpawedwhirleddashed through the open gateway--the duke's
hands were even less strong than his daughter had thought--and
gallopedhead in air and bit between teethup the avenuethe low
carriage rocking from side to side.

Damn! Damn!cried the dukerocking also. "Ohdamn! I shall be
killed in a runaway perambulator!"

And ridiculous as it wasthings surged through his brainand once
though he laughed at himself bitterly afterwardhe gasped "Ah
Heloise;" as he almost whirled over a jagged tree-stump; gallop and
gallop and gallopoff the road and through treesand back again on
to the swardand gallop and gallop and jerk and jolt and jerkand he
was nearing the houseand a long-legged young man ran down the steps
pushing aside footmenand was ahead of the drunken little beast of a
ponyand caught him just as the phaeton overturned and shot his grace
safely though not comfortably in a heap upon the grass.

It was of course no trifle of a shockbut its victim's sensations
gave him strong reason to hopeas he rolled overthat no bones were
broken. The following servants were on the spot almost at onceand
took the pony's head.

The young man helped the duke to his feet and dusted him with masterly
dexterity. He did not know he was dusting a dukeand he would not
have cared if he had.

Hello,he saidyou're not hurt. I can see that. Thank the Lord! I
don't believe you've got a scratch.

His grace felt a shade shakyand he was slightly palebut he smiled
in a way which had been celebrated forty years earlierand the charm
of which had survived even rheumatic gout.

Thank you. I'm not hurt in the least. I am the Duke of Stone. This
isn't really a call. It isn't my custom to arrive in this way. May I
address you as my preserver, Mr. Temple Barholm?

CHAPTER XXIV

Upon the terracewhen he was led up the stepsstood a most perfect
little elderly lady in a state of agitation much greater than his own
or his rescuer's. It was an agitation as perfect in its femininity as
she herself was. It expressed its kind tremors in the fashion which
belonged to the puce silk dress and fine bits of collar and


undersleeve the belated gracefulness of which caused her to present
herself to him rather as a figure cut neatly from a book of the styles
he had admired in his young manhood. It was of course Miss Aliciawho
havingwith Tembaromseen the galloping pony from a windowhad
followed him when he darted from the room. She came forwardlooking
pale with charming solicitude.

I do so hope you are not hurt,she exclaimed. "It really seemed that
only divine Providence could prevent a terrible accident."

I am afraid that it was more grotesque than terrible,he answered a
shade breathlessly.

Let me make you acquainted with the Duke of Stone, Miss Alicia,
Tembarom said in the formula of Mrs. Bowse's boarders on state
occasions of introduction. "Dukelet me make you acquaintedsir
with my--relation--Miss Alicia Temple Barholm."

The duke's bow had a remote suggestion of almost including a kissed
hand in its gallant courtesy. Nothoweverthat Early Victorian
ladies had been accustomed to the kissing of hands; but at the period
when he had best known the type he had daily bent over white fingers
in Continental capitals.

A glass of wine,Miss Alicia implored. "Pray let me give you a glass
of wine. I am sure you need it very much."

He was taken into the library and made to sit in a most comfortable
easy-chair. Miss Alicia fluttered about him with sympathy still
delicately tinged with alarm. How longhow longit had been since he
had been fluttered over! Nearly forty years. Ladies did not flutter
nowand he remembered that it was no longer the fashion to call them
ladies.Only the lower-middle classes spoke of "ladies." But he
found himself mentally using the word again as he watched Miss Alicia.

It had been "ladies" who had fluttered and been anxious about a man in
this quite pretty way.

He could scarcely remove his eyes from her as he sipped his wine. She
felt his escape "providential and murmured such devout little
phrases concerning it that he was almost consoled for the grotesque
inward vision of himself as an aged peer of the realm tumbling out of
a baby-carriage and rolled over on the grass at the feet of a man on
whom later he had meant to make, in proper state, a formal call. She
put her hand to her side, smiling half apologetically.

My heart beats quite fast yet she said. Whereupon a quaintly novel
thing took place, at the sight of which the duke barely escaped
opening his eyes very wide indeed. The American Temple Barholm put his
arm about her in the most casual and informally accustomed way, and
led her to a chair, and put her in it, so to speak.

Say he announced with affectionate authority, you sit down right
away. It's you that needs a glass of wineand I'm going to give it to
you."

The relations between the two were evidently on a basis not common in
England even among people who were attached to one another. There was
a spontaneousevery-day air of naturalprotective petting about it
as though the fellow was fond of her in his crude fashionand meant
to take care of her. He was fond of herand the duke perceived it
with elationand also understood. He might be the ordinary bestower
of boonsbut the protective curve of his arm included other things.
In the blank dullness of his unaccustomed splendors he had somehow


encountered this finedelicately preserved little relic of other
daysand had seized on her and made her his own.

I have not seen anything as delightful as Miss Temple Barholm for
many a year,the duke said when Miss Alicia was called from the room
and left them together.

Ain't she great?was Tembarom's reply. "She's just great."

It's an exquisite survival of type,said the duke. "She belongs to
my timenot yours he added, realizing that survival of type" might
not clearly convey itself.

Well, she belongs to mine now,answered Tembarom. "I wouldn't lose
her for a farm."

The voice, the phrases, the carriage might survive,- they do in
remote neighborhoods, I suppose--but the dress is quite delightfully
incredible. It is a work of art,the duke went on. She had seemed too
good to be true. Her clotheshoweverhad certainly not been dug out
of a wardrobe of forty years ago.

When I went to talk to the head woman in the shop in Bond Street I
fixed it with 'em hard and fast that she was not to spoil her. They
were to keep her like she was. She's like her little cap, you know,
and her little mantles and tippets. She's like them,exclaimed
Tembarom.

Did he see that? What an odd feature in a man of his sort! And how
thoroughly New Yorkish it was that he should march into a fashionable
shop and see that he got what he wanted and the worth of his money!
There had been no rashness in the hope that the unexplored treasure
might be a rich one. The man's simplicity was an actual complexity. He
had a boyish eye and a grinbut there was a business-like line about
his mouth which was strong enough to have been hard if it had not been
good-natured.

That was confoundedly clever of you,his grace commented heartily-"
confoundedly. I should never have had the wit to think of it myself
or the courage to do it if I had. Shop-women make me shy."

Oh, well, I just put it up to them,Tembarom answered easily.

I believe,cautiously translated the dukethat you mean that you
made them feel that they alone were responsible.

Yes, I do,assented Tembaromthe grin slightly in evidence. "Put it
up to them's the short way of saying it."

Would you mind my writing that down?said the duke. "I have a fad
for dialects and new phrases." He hastily scribbled the words in a
tablet that he took from his pocket. "Do you like living in England?"
he asked in course of time.

I should like it if I'd been born here,was the answer.

I see, I see.

If it had not been for finding Miss Alicia, and that I made a promise
I'd stay for a year, anyhow, I'd have broken loose at the end of the
first week and worked my passage back if I hadn't had enough in my
clothes to pay for it.He laughedbut it was not real laughter.
There was a thing behind it. The situation was more edifying than one
could have hoped. "I made a promiseand I'm going to stick it out


he said.

He was going to stick it out because he had promised to endure for a
year Temple Barholm and an income of seventy thousand pounds! The duke
gazed at him as at a fond dream realized.

I've nothing to do Tembarom added.

Neither have I replied the Duke of Stone.

But you're used to itand I'm not. I'm used to working 'steen hours
a dayand dropping into bed as tired as a dogbut ready to sleep
like one and get up rested."

I used to play twenty hours a day once,answered the dukebut I
didn't get up rested. That's probably why I have gout and rheumatism
combined. Tell me how you worked, and I will tell you how I played.

It was worth while taking this tone with him. It had been worth while
taking it with the chestnut-gathering peasants in the Apennines
sometimes even with a stone-breaker by an English roadside. And this
one was of a type more unique and distinctive than any other--a fellow
whowith the blood of Saxon kings and Norman nobles in his veinshad
known nothing but the street life of the crudest city in the world
who spoke a sort of argotwho knew no parallels of the things which
surrounded him in the ancient home he had inherited and in which he
stood aparta sort of semi-sophisticated savage. The duke applied
himself with grace and finished ability to drawing him out. The
questions he asked were all seemingly those of a man of the world
charmingly interested in the superior knowledge of a foreigner of
varied experience. His method was one which engaged the interest of
Tembarom himself. He did not know that he was not only questioned
butso to speakdelicately cross-examined and that before the end of
the interview the Duke of Stone knew more of himhis past existence
and present sentimentsthan even Miss Alicia knew after their long
and intimate evening talks. The dukehoweverhad the advantage of
being a man and of cherishing vivid recollections of the days of his
youthwhichunlike as it had been to that of Tembaromfurnished a
degree of solid foundation upon which go to build conjecture.

A young man of his age,his grace reflected astutelyhas always
just fallen out of love, is falling into it, or desires vaguely to do
so. Ten years later there would perhaps be blank spaces, lean years
during which he was not in love at all; but at his particular period
there must be a young woman somewhere. I wonder if she is employed in
one of the department stores he spoke of, and how soon he hopes to
present her to us. His conversation has revealed so far, to use his
own rich simile, 'neither hide nor hair' of her.

On his own parthe was as ready to answer questions as to ask them.
In facthe led Tembarom on to asking.

I will tell you how I playedhad been meant. He made a human
document of the history he enlargedhe brilliantly divergedhe
includedhe made picturesand found Tembarom's point of view or lack
of it gave spice and humor to relations he had thought himself tired
of. To tell familiar anecdotes of courts and kings to a man who had
never quite believed that such things were realitieswho almost found
them humorous when they were casually spoken ofwas edification
indeed. The novel charm lay in the fact that his class in his country
did not include them as possibilities. Peasants in other countries
plowmenshopkeeperslaborers in England--all these at least they
knew ofand counted them in as factors in the lives of the rich and
great; but this dear young man--!


What's a crown like? I'd like to see one. How much do you guess such
a thing would cost--in dollars?

Did not Miss Temple Barholm take you to see the regalia in the Tower
of London? I am quite shocked,said the duke. He wasin facta
trifle disappointed. With the puce dress and undersleeves and little
fringes she ought certainly to have rushed with her pupil to that seat
of historical instruction on their first morning in London
immediately after breakfasting on toast and bacon and marmalade and
eggs.

She meant me to go, but somehow it was put off. She almost cried on
our journey home when she suddenly remembered that we'd forgotten it,
after all.

I am sure she said it was a wasted opportunity,suggested his grace.

Yes, that was what hit her so hard. She'd never been to London
before, and you couldn't make her believe she could ever get there
again, and she said it was ungrateful to Providence to waste an
opportunity. She's always mighty anxious to be grateful to Providence,
bless her!

She regards you as Providence,remarked the dukeenraptured. With a
touch here and therethe touch of a masterhe had gathered the whole
little story of Miss Aliciaand had found it of a whimsical
exquisiteness and humor.

She's a lot too good to me,answered Tembarom. "I guess women as
nice as her are always a lot too good to men. She's a kind of little
old angel. What makes me mad is to think of the fellows that didn't
get busy and marry her thirty-five years ago."

Were there--er--many of 'em?the duke inquired.

Thousands of 'em, though most of 'em never saw her. I suppose you
never saw her then. If you had, you might have done it.

The dukesitting with an elbow on each arm of his chairput the tips
of his finegouty fingers together and smiled with a far-reaching
inclusion of possibilities.

So I might,he said; "so I might. My loss entirely-- my abominable
loss."

They had reached this point of the argument when the carriage from
Stone Hover arrived. It was a stately barouche the coachman and
footman of which equally with its big horses seemed to have hastened
to an extent which suggested almost panting breathlessness. It
contained Lady Edith and Lady Celiaboth paleand greatly agitated
by the news which had brought them horrified from Stone Hover without
a moment's delay.

They both ascended in haste and swept in such alarmed anxiety up the
terrace steps and through the hall to their father's side that they
had barely a polite gasp for Miss Alicia and scarcely saw Tembarom at
all.

Dear Papa!they cried when he revealed himself in his chair in the
library intact and smiling. "How wicked of youdear! How you have
frightened us!"

I begged you to be good, dearest,said Lady Edithalmost in tears.


Where was George? You must dismiss him at once. Really--really--

He was half a mile away, obeying my orders, said the duke. "A groom
cannot be dismissed for obeying orders. It is the pony who must be
dismissedto my great regret; or else we must overfeed him until he
is even fatter than he is and cannot run away."

Were his arms and legs and his ribs and collar-bones and head quite
right? Was he sure that he had not received any internal injury when
he fell out of the pony-carriage? They could scarcely be convinced
and as they hung over and stroked and patted himTembarom stood aside
and watched them with interest. They were the girls he had to please
Ann by "getting next to giving himself a chance to fall in love with
them, so that she'd know whether they were his kind or not. They were
nice-looking, and had a way of speaking that sounded rather swell, but
they weren't ace high to a little slim, redheaded thing that looked at
you like a baby and pulled your heart up into your throat.

Don't poke me any moredear children. I am quitequite sound he
heard the duke say. In Mr. Temple Barholm you behold the preserver of
your parent. Filial piety is making you behave with shocking
ingratitude."

They turned to Tembarom at once with a pretty outburst of apologies
and thanks. Lady Celia wasn'tit is truea looker,with her narrow
shoulders and rather long nosebut she had an air of breedingand
the charming color of which Palliser had spokenreturning to Lady
Edith's cheeksilluminated her greatly.

They both were very polite and made many agreeably grateful speeches
but in the eyes of both there lurked a shade of anxiety which they
hoped to be able to conceal. Their father watched them with a wicked
pleasure. He realized clearly their well-behaved desire to do and say
exactly the right thing and bear themselves in exactly the right
mannerand also their awful uncertainty before an entirely unknown
quantity. Almost any other kind of young man suddenly uplifted by
strange fortune they might have known some parallel forbut a newsboy
of New York! All the New Yorkers they had met or heard of had been so
rich and grand as to make them feel themselvesby contrastmere
country paupersquite shivering with poverty and huddling for
protection in their barely clean ragsso what was there to go on? But
how dreadful not to be quite rightprecisely rightin one's
approach--quite familiar enoughand yet not a shade too familiar
which of course would appear condescending! And be it said the
delicacy of the situation was added to by the fact that they had heard
something of Captain Palliser's extraordinary little story about his
determination to know "ladies." Reallyif Willocks the butcher's boy
had inherited Temple Barholmit would have been easier to know where
one stood in the matter of being civil and agreeable to him. First
Lady Edithmade perhaps bold by the suggestion of physical advantage
bestowed by the colortalked to him to the very best of her ability;
and when she felt herself fearfully flaggingLady Celia took him up
and did her very well-conducted best. Neither she nor her sister were
brilliant talkers at any timeand limited by the absence of any
common familiar topiceffort was necessary. The neighborhood he did
not know; London he was barely aware of; social functions it would be
an impertinence to bring in; games he did not play; sport he had
scarcely heard of. You were confined to Americaand if you knew next
to nothing of American lifethere you were.

Tembarom saw it all--he was sharp enough for that--and his habit of
being jocular and wholly unashamed saved him from the misery of
awkwardness that Willocks would have been sure to have writhed under.
His casual franknesshoweverfor a moment embarrassed Lady Edith to


the bitterest extremity. When you are trying your utmost to make a
queer person oblivious to the fact that his world is one unknown to
youit is difficult to know where do you stand when he says

It's mighty hard to talk to a man who doesn't know a thing that
belongs to the kind of world you've spent your life in, ain't it? But
don't you mind me a minute. I'm glad to be talked to anyhow by people
like you. When I don't catch on, I'll just ask. No man was ever
electrocuted for not knowing, and that's just where I am. I don't
know, and I'm glad to be told. Now, there's one thing. Burrill said
'Your Ladyship' to you, I heard him. Ought I to say it, er oughtn't I?

Oh, no,she answeredbut somehow without distaste in the momentary
stare he had startled her into; "Burrill is--"

He's a servant,he aided encouragingly. "WellI've never been a
butlerbut I've been somebody's servant all my lifeand mighty glad
of the chance. This is the first time I've been out of a job."

What nice teeth he had! What a queercandidunresentful creature!
What a good sort of smile! And how odd that it was he who was putting
her more at her ease by the mere way in which he was saying this
almost alarming thing! By the time he had endedit was not alarming
at alland she had caught her breath again.

She was actually sorry when the door opened and Lady Joan Fayre came
infollowed almost immediately by Lady Mallowe and Captain Palliser
who appeared to have just returned from a walk and heard the news.

Lady Mallowe was most sympathetic. Why notindeed? The Duke of Stone
was a delightfulcynical creatureand Stone Hover wasdespite its
ducal povertya desirable place to be invited toif you could manage
it. Her ladyship's method of fluttering was not like Miss Alicia's
its character being wholly modern; but she flutterednevertheless.
The dukewho knew all about herreceived her amiabilities with
appreciative smilesbut it was the splendidly handsomehungry-eyed
young woman with the line between her black brows who engaged his
attention. On the alertas he always wasfor a situationhe
detected one at once when he saw his American address her. She did not
address himand scarcely deigned a reply when he spoke to her. When
he spoke to othersshe conducted herself as though he were not in the
roomso obviously did she choose to ignore his existence. Such a
bearing toward one's host had indeed the charm of being an interesting
novelty. And what a beauty she waswith her lovelyferocious eyes
and the smallblack head poised on the exquisite long throatwhich
was on the verge of becoming a trifle too thin! Then as in a flash he
recalled between one breath and another the quite fiendish episode of
poor Jem Temple Barholm--and she was the girl!

Then he became almost excited in his interest. He saw it all. As he
had himself argued must be the casethis poor fellow was in love. But
it was not with a lady in the New York department stores; it was with
a young woman who would evidently disdain to wipe her feet upon him.
How thrilling! As Lady Mallowe and Palliser and the others chattered
he watched himobserving his manner. He stood the handsome creature's
steadily persistent rudeness very well; he made no effort to push into
the talk when she coolly held him out of it. He waited without
external uneasiness or spasmodic smiles. If he could do that despite
the inevitable fact that he must feel his position uncomfortablehe
was possessed of fiber. That alone would make him worth cultivating.
And if there were persons who were to be made uncomfortablewhy not
cut in and circumvent the beauty somewhat and give her a trifle of
unease? It was with the light and adroit touch of accustomedness to
all orders of little situations that his grace took the matter in


handwith a shadealsoof amiable malice. He drew Tembarom adroitly
into the center of things; he knew how to lead him to make easily the
oddfrank remarks which were sufficiently novel to suggest that he
was actually entertaining. He beautifully edged Lady Joan out of her
position. She could not behave ill to himhe was far too oldhe said
to himselfleaving out the fact that a Duke of Stone is a too
respectable personage to be quite waved aside.

Tembarom began to enjoy himself a little more. Lady Celia and Lady
Edith began to enjoy themselves a little more also. Lady Mallowe was
filled with admiring delight. Captain Palliser took in the situation
and asked himself questions about it. On her partMiss Alicia was
restored to the happiness any lack of appreciation of her "dear boy"
touchingly disturbed. In circumstances such as these he appeared to
the advantage which in a brief period would surely reveal his
wonderful qualities. She clung so to his "wonderful qualities" because
in all the three-volumed novels of her youth the herodebarred from
early advantages and raised by the turn of fortune's wheel to
splendorwas transformed at once into a being of the highest
accomplishments and the most polished breedingand ended in the third
volume a creature before whom emperors paled. And how more than
charmingly cordial his grace's manner was when he left them!

To-morrow,he saidif my daughters do not discover that I have
injured some more than vital organ, I shall call to proffer my thanks
with the most immense formality. I shall get out of the carriage in
the manner customary in respectable neighborhoods, not roll out at
your feet. Afterward you will, I hope, come and dine with us. I am
devoured by a desire to become more familiar with The Earth.

CHAPTER XXV

It was Lady Mallowe who perceived the moment when he became the
fashion. The Duke of Stone called with the immense formality he had
describedand his visit was neither brief nor dull. A little later
Tembarom with his guests dined at Stone Hoverand the dinner was
further removed from dullness than any one of numerous past dinners
always noted for being the most agreeable the neighborhood afforded.
The duke managed his guest as an impresario might have managed his
tenorthough this was done with subtly concealed methods. He had
indeed a novelty to offer which had been discussed with much
uncertainty of point of view. He presented it to an only languidly
entertained neighborhood as a trouvaille of his own choice. Here was
dramahere was atmospherehere was charm verging in its character
upon the occult. You would not see it if you were not a collector of
such values.

Nobody will be likely to see him as he is unless he is pointed out to
them,was what he said to his daughters. "But being bored to death-we
are all bored--once adroitly assisted to suspect him of being
alluringmost of them will spring upon him and clasp him to their
wearied breasts. I haven't the least idea what will happen afterward.
I shall in fact await the result with interest."

Being told Palliser's story of the "Ladies he listened, holding the
tips of his fingers together, and wearing an expression of deep
interest slightly baffled in its nature. It was Lady Edith who related
the anecdote to him.

Now he said, it would be very curious and complicating if that


were true; but I don't believe it is. Palliserof courselikes to
tell a good story. I shall be able to discover in time whether it is
true or not; but at present I don't believe it."

Following the dinner party at Stone Hover came many others. All the
well-known carriages began to roll up the avenue to Temple Barholm.
The Temple Barholm carriages also began to roll down the avenue and
between the stone griffins on their way to festive gatherings of
varied order. Burrill and the footmen ventured to reconsider their
early plans for giving warning. It wasn't so bad if the country was
going to take him up.

Do you see what is happening?Lady Mallowe said to Joan. "The man is
becoming actually popular."

He is popular as a turn at a music hall is,answered Joan. "He will
be dropped as he was taken up."

There's something about him they like, and he represents what
everybody most wants. For God's sake! Joan, don't behave like a fool
this time. The case is more desperate. There is nothing else-nothing.


There never was,said Joan and I know the desperateness of the
case. How long are you going to stay here?

I am going to stay for some time. They are not conventional people.
It can be managed very well. We are relatives.

Will you stay,inquired Joan in a low voiceuntil they ask you to
remove yourself?

Lady Mallowe smiled an agreeably subtle smile.

Not quite that,she answered. "Miss Alicia would never have the
courage to suggest it. It takes courage and sophistication to do that
sort of thing. Mr. Temple Barholm evidently wants us to remain. He
will be willing to make as much of the relationship as we choose to
let him."

Do you choose to let him make as much of it as will establish us here
for weeks--or months?Joan askedher low voice shaking a little.

That will depend entirely upon circumstances. It will, in fact,
depend entirely upon you,said Lady Malloweher lips setting
themselves into a straightthin line.

For an appreciable moment Joan was silent; but after it she lost her
head and whirled about.

I shall go away,she cried.

Where?asked Lady Mallowe.

Back to London.

How much money have you?asked her mother. She knew she had none.
She was always sufficiently shrewd to see that she had none. If the
girl had had a pound a week of her ownher mother had always realized
that she would have been unmanageable. After the Jem Temple Barholm
affair she would have been capable of going to live alone in slums. As
it wasshe knew enough to be aware that she was too handsome to walk
out into Piccadilly without a penny in her pocket; so it had been just
possible to keep her indoors.


How much money have you?she repeated quietly. This was the way in
which their unbearable scenes began--the scenes which the servants
passing the doors paused to listen to in the hope that her ladyship
would forget that raised voices may be heard by the discreet outsider.

How much money have you?she said again.

Joan looked at her; this time it was for about five seconds. She
turned her back on her and walked out of the room. Shortly afterward
Lady Mallowe saw her walking down the avenue in the rainwhich was
beginning to fall.

She had left the house because she dared not stay in it. Once out in
the parkshe folded her long purple cloak about her and pulled her
soft purple felt hat down over her browswalking swiftly under the
big trees without knowing where she intended to go before she
returned. She liked the rainshe liked the heavy clouds; she wore her
dark purples because she felt a fantasticsecret comfort in calling
them her mourning --her mourning which she would wear forevermore.

No one could know so well as herself how desperate from her own point
of view the case was. She had long known that her mother would not
hesitate for a moment before any chance of a second marriage which
would totally exclude her daughter from her existence. Why should she
after allJoan thought? They had always been antagonists. The moment
of chance had been looming on the horizon for months. Sir Moses
Monaldini had hovered about fitfully and evidently doubtfully at
firstmore certainly and frequently of latebut always with a
clearly objecting eye cast askance upon herself. With determination
and desire to establish a social certaintyastute enough not to care
specially for young beauty and exactions he did not purpose to submit
toand keen enough to see the advantage of a handsome woman with
bitter reason to value what was offered to her in the form of a
luxurious futureSir Moses was moving toward actionthough with
proper caution. He would have no penniless daughters hanging about
scowling and sneering. None of that for him. And the ripest apple upon
the topmost bow in the highest wind would not drop more readily to his
feet than her mother wouldJoan knew with sharp and shamed burnings.

As the rain fellshe walked in her purple cloakunpaid forand her
purple hatfor which they had been dunned with threatening insults
and knew that she did not own and could not earn a penny. She could
not digand to beg she was ashamedand all the more horribly because
she had been a beggar of the meaner order all her life. It made her
sick to think of the perpetual visits they had made where they were
not wantedof the times when they had been politely bundled out of
placesof the methods which had been used to induce shop-keepers to
let them run up bills. For years her mother and she had been walking
advertisements of smart shops because both were handsomewore clothes
welland carried them where they would be seen and talked about. Now
this would be all oversince it had been Lady Mallowe who had managed
all details. Thrown upon her own resourcesJoan would have none of
themeven though she must walk in rags. Her education had prepared
her for only one thing--to marry wellif luck were on her side. It
had never been on her side. If she had never met Jemshe would have
married somebodysince that would have been better than the
inevitable last slide into an aging life spent in cheap lodgings with
her mother. But Jem had been the beginning and the end.

She bit her lips as she walkedand suddenly tears swept down her
cheeks and dripped on to the purple cloth folded over her breast.

And he sits in Jem's place! And every day that common, foolish stare


will follow me!she said.

He satit was truein the place Jem Temple Barholm would have
occupied if he had been a living manand he looked at her a good
deal. Perhaps he sometimes unconsciously stared because she made him
think of many things. But if she had been in a state of mind admitting
of judicial fairnessshe would have been obliged to own that it was
not quite a foolish stare. Absorbedabstractedperhapsbut it was
not foolish. Sometimeson the contraryit was searching and keen.

Of course he was doing his best to please her. Of all the "Ladies it
seemed evident that he was most attracted by her. He tried to talk to
her despite her unending rebuffs, he followed her about and endeavored
to interest her, he presented a hide-bound unsensitiveness when she
did her worst. Perhaps he did not even know that she was being icily
rude. He was plainly making up to her" after the manner of his class.
He was perhaps playing the part of the patient adorer who melted by
noble long-suffering in novels distinguished by heroes of humble origin.

She had reached the village when the rain changed its mindand
without warning began to pour down as if the black cloud passing
overhead had suddenly opened. She was wondering if she would not turn
in somewhere for shelter until the worst was over when a door opened
and Tembarom ran out with an umbrella.

Come in to the Hibblethwaites cottage, Lady Joan,he said. "This
will be over directly."

He did not affectionately hustle her in by the arm as he would have
hustled in Miss Aliciabut he closely guarded her with the umbrella
until he guided her inside.

Thank you,she said.

The first object she became aware of was a thin face with pointed chin
and ferret eyes peering at her round the end of a sofathen a sharp
voice.

Tak' off her cloak an' shake th' rain off it in th' wash 'us',it
said. "Mother an' Aunt Susan's out. Let him unbutton it fer thee."

I can unbutton it myself, thank you,said Lady Joan. Tembarom took
it when she had unbuttoned it. He took it from her shoulders before
she had time to stop him. Then he walked into the tiny "wash 'us" and
shook it thoroughly. He came back and hung it on a chair before the
fire.

Tummas was leaning back in his pillows and gazing at her.

I know tha name,he said. "He towd me with a jerk of the head
toward Tembarom.

Did he?" replied Lady Joan without interest.

A flaringly illustrated New York paper was spread out upon his sofa.
He pushed it aside and pulled the shabby atlas toward him. It fell
open at a map of North America as if through long habit.

Sit thee down,he ordered.

Tembarom had stood watching them both.

I guess you'd better not do that,he suggested to Tummas.


Why not? said the boysharply. "She's th' wench he was goin' to
marry. It's th' same as if he'd married her. If she wur his widder
she'd want to talk about him. Widders allus wants to talk. Why
shouldn't she? Women's women. He'd ha' wanted to talk about her."

Who is `he'?asked Joan with stiff lips.

The Temple Barholm as' 'd be here if he was na.

Joan turned to Tembarom.

Do you come here to talk to this boy about HIM?she said. "How dare you!"

Tummas's eyes snapped; his voice snapped also.

He knew next to nowt about him till I towd him,he said. "Then he
came to ax me things an' foind out more. He knows as much as I do now.
Us sits here an' talks him over."

Lady Joan still addressed Tembarom.

What interest can you have in the man who ought to be in your place?
she asked. "What possible interest?"

Well,he answered awkwardlybecause he ought to be, I suppose.
Ain't that reason enough?

He had never had to deal with women who hated him and who were angry
and he did not know exactly what to say. He had known very few women
and he had always been good- natured with them and won their liking in
some measure. Alsothere was in his attitude toward this particular
woman a baffled feeling that he could not make her understand him. She
would always think of him as an enemy and believe he meant things he
did not mean. If he had been born and educated in her worldhe could
have used her own language; but he could use only his ownand there
were so many things he must not say for a time at least.

Do you not realize,she saidthat you are presuming upon your
position--that you and this boy are taking liberties?

Tummas broke in wholly without compunction.

I've taken liberties aw my loife,he statedan' I'm goin' to tak'
'em till I dee. They're th' on'y things I can tak', lyin' here
crippled, an' I'm goin' to tak' 'em.

Stop that, Tummas! said Tembarom with friendly authority. "She
doesn't catch onand you don't catch oneither. You're both of you
'way off. Stop it!"

I thought happen she could tell me things I didn't know,protested
Tummasthrowing himself back on his pillows. "If she connashe
connaan' if she wunnotshe wunnot. Get out wi' thee!" he said to
Joan. "I dunnot want thee about th' place."

Say,said Tembaromshut up!

I am going,said Lady Joan and turned to open the door.

The rain was descending in torrentsbut she passed swiftly out into
its deluge walking as rapidly as she could. She thought she cared
nothing about the rainbut it dashed in her face and eyestaking her
breath awayand she had need of breath when her heart was beating
with such fierceness.


If she wur his widder,the boy had said.

Even chance could not let her alone at one of her worst moments. She
walked faster and faster because she was afraid Tembarom would follow
herand in a few minutes she heard him splashing behind herand then
he was at her sideholding the umbrella over her head.

You're a good walker,he saidbut I'm a sprinter. I trained
running after street cars and catching the 'L' in New York.

She had so restrained her miserable hysteric impulse to break down and
utterly humiliate herself under the unexpected blow of the episode in
the cottage that she had had no breath to spare when she left the
roomand her hurried effort to escape had left her so much less that
she did not speak.

I'll tell you something,he went on. "He's a little freakbut you
can't blame him much. Don't be mad at him. He's never moved from that
corner since he was bornI guessand he's got nothing to do or to
think of but just hearing what's happening outside. He's sort of crazy
curiousand when he gets hold of a thing that suits him he just holds
on to it till the last bell rings."

She said nothing whateverand he paused a moment because he wanted to
think over the best way to say the next thing.

Mr. James Temple Barholm --he ventured it with more delicacy of
desire not to seem to "take liberties" than she would have credited
him with--"saw his mother sitting with him in her arms at the cottage
door a week or so after he was born. He stopped at the gate and talked
to her about himand he left him a sovereign. He's got it now. It
seems a fortune to him. He's made a sort of idol of him. That's why he
talks like he does. I wouldn't let it make me mad if I were you."

He did not know that she could not have answered him if she would
that she felt that if he did not stop she might fling herself down
upon the wet heather and wail aloud.

You don't like me,he began after they had walked a few steps
farther. "You don't like me."

This was actually better. It choked back the sobs rising in her
throat. The stupid shock of ithis tasteless foolishnesshelped her
by its very folly to a sort of defense against the disastrous wave of
emotion she might not have been able to control. She gathered herself
together.

It must be an unusual experience,she answered.

Well, it is--sort of,he saidbut in a manner curiously free from
fatuous swagger. "I've had luck that way. I guess it's been because
I'd GOT to make friends so as I could earn a living. It seems sort of
queer to know that some one's got a grouch against me that--that I
can't get away with."

She looked up the avenue to see how much farther they must walk
togethersince she was not "a sprinter" and could not get away from
him. She thought she caught a glimpse through the trees of a dog-cart
driven by a groomand hoped she had not mistaken and that it was
driving in their direction.

It must, indeed,she saidthough I am not sure I quite understand
what a grouch is.


When you've got a grouch against a fellow,he explained
impersonallyyou want to get at him. You want to make him feel like
a mutt; and a mutt's the worst kind of a fool. You've got one against
me.

She looked before her between narrowed lids and faintly smiled--the
most disagreeable smile she was capable of. And yet for some too
extraordinary reason he went on. But she had seen men go on before
this when all the odds were against them. Sometimes their madness took
them this way.

I knew there was a lot against me when I came here,he persisted. "I
should have been a fool if I hadn't. I knew when you came that I was
up against a pretty hard proposition; but I thought perhaps if I got
busy and SHOWED you--you've got to SHOW a person--"

Showed me what?she asked contemptuously.

Showed you--well--me,he tried to explain.

You!

And that I wanted to be friends,he added candidly.

Was the man mad? Did he realize nothing? Was he too thick of skin even
to see?

Friends! You and I?The words ought to have scorched himpachyderm
though he was.

I thought you'd give me a chance--a sort of chance--

She stopped short on the avenue.

You did?

She had not been mistaken. The dog-cart had rounded the far-off curve
and was coming toward them. And the man went on talking.

You've felt every minute that I was in a place that didn't belong to
me. You know that if the man that it did belong to was here, you'd be
here with him. You felt as if I'd robbed him of it--and I'd robbed
you. It was your home--yours. You hated me too much to think of
anything else. Suppose-- suppose there was a way I could give it back
to you--make it your home again.

His voice dropped and was rather unsteady. The foolthe gross
brutalvulgarhopeless fool! He thought this was the way to approach
herto lead her to listen to his proposal of marriage! Not for a
second did she guess that they were talking at cross purposes. She did
not know that as he kept himself steady under her contemptuousness he
was thinking that Ann would have to own that he had been up against it
hard and plenty while the thing was going on.

I'm always up against it when I'm talking to you,he said. "You get
me rattled. There's things I want to talk about and ask you. Suppose
you give me a chanceand let us start out by being sort of friends."

I am staying in your house,she answered in a deadly voiceand I
cannot go away because my mother will not let me. You can force
yourself upon me, if you choose, because I cannot help it; but
understand once for all that I will not give you your ridiculous
chance. And I will not utter one word to you when I can avoid it.


He was silent for a moment and seemed to be thinking rather deeply.
She realized now that he saw the nearing dog-cart.

You won't. Then it's up to me,he said. Then with a change of tone
he addedI'll stop the cart and tell the man to drive you to the
house. I'm not going to force myself on you, as you call it. It'd be
no use. Perhaps it'll come all right in the end.

He made a sign to the groomwho hastened his horse's pace and drew up
when he reached them.

Take this lady back to the house,he said.

The groomwho was a new arrivalbegan to prepare to get down and
give up his place.

You needn't do that,said Tembarom.

Won't you get up and take the reins, sir?the man asked uncertainly.

No. I can't drive. You'll have to do it. I'll walk.

And to the groom's amazementthey left him standing under the trees
looking after them.

It's up to me,he was saying. "The whole durned thing's up to me."

CHAPTER XXVI

The neighborhood of Temple Barholm was notupon the wholea
brilliant one. Indeedit had been frankly designated by the casual
guest as dull. The country was beautiful enoughand several rather
large estates lay within reach of one anotherbut their owners were
neither very rich nor especially notable personages. They were of
extremely good old bloodand were of established respectability. None
of themhoweverwas given to entertaining house parties made up of
the smart and dazzlingly sinful world of fashion said by moralists to
be composed entirely of young and mature beautiesmale and female
capable of supplying at any moment enlivening detail for the divorce
court--glittering beings whose wardrobes were astonishing and whose
conversations were composed wholly of brilliant paradox and sparkling
repartee.

Most of the residents took their sober season in Londonthe men of
the family returning gladly to their pheasantsthe women not
regretfully to their gardens and tennisbecause their successes in
town had not been particularly delirious. The guests who came to them
were generally as respectable and law-abiding as themselvesand
introduced no iconoclastic diversions. For the greater portion of the
yearin factdiners out were of the neighborhood and met the
neighborhoodand were reduced to discussing neighborhood topics
which was noton the wholea fevered joy. The Duke of Stone was
perhapsthe one man who might have furnished topics. Privately it was
believedand in part knownthat he at least had had a brilliantif
not wholly unreprehensiblepast. He might have introduced enlivening
elements from Londoneven from ParisViennaBerlinand Rome; but
the sobering influence of years of rheumatic gout and a not entirely
sufficing income prevented activitiesand his opinions of his social


surroundings were vaguely guessed to be those of a not too lenient
critic.

I do not know anything technical or scientific about ditch- water,
he had expressed himself in the bosom of his family. "I never analyzed
itbut analyzersI gatherconsider it dull. If anything could be
duller than ditch-waterI should say it was Stone Hover and its
surrounding neighborhood." He had also remarked at another time: "If
our society could be enriched by some of the characters who form the
house parties and seemin factintegral parts of all country society
in modern problem or even unproblem novelshow happy one might be
how edified and amused! A wicked lady or so of highor extremely low
rankof immense beauty and corruscating brilliancy; a lovely
creaturemale or femalewhom she is bent upon undoing--"

Dear papa!protested Lady Celia.

Reproach me, dearest. Reproach me as severely as you please. It
inspires me. It makes me feel like a wicked, dangerous man, and I have
not felt like one for many years. Such persons as I describe form the
charm of existence, I assure you. A ruthless adventuress with any kind
of good looks would be the making of us. Several of them, of different
types, a handsome villain, and a few victims unknowing of their fate,
would cause life to flow by like a peaceful stream.

Lady Edith laughed an unseemly little laugh--unseemlysince filial
regret at paternal obliquity should have restrained it.

Papa, you are quite horrible,she said. "You ought not to make your
few daughters laugh at improper things."

I would make my daughters laugh at anything so long as I must doom
them to Stone Hover--and Lady Pevensy and Mrs. Stoughton and the
rector, if one may mention names,he answered. "To see you laugh
revives me by reminding me that once I was considered a witty person-quite
so. Some centuries agohowever; about the time when things were
being rebuilt after the flood."

In such circumstances it cannot be found amazing that a situation such
as Temple Barholm presented should provide rich food for conversation
suppositionargumentand humorous comment.

T. Tembarom himselfafter the duke had established himfurnished an
unlimited source of interest. His household became a perennial fount
of quiet discussion. Lady Mallowe and her daughter were the members of
it who met with the most attention. They appeared to have become
members of it rather than visitors. Her ladyship had plainly elected
to extend her stay even beyond the period to which a fond relative
might feel entitled to hospitality. She had been known to extend
visits before with great clevernessbut this one assumed an
established aspect. She was not going awaythe neighborhood decided
until she had achieved that which she had come to accomplish. The
present unconventional atmosphere of the place naturally supported
her. And how probable it seemedtaking into consideration Captain
Palliser's storythat Mr. Temple Barholm wished her to stay. Lady
Joan would be obliged to stay alsoif her mother intended that she
should. But the poor American--there were some expressions of
sympathythough the situation was greatly added to by the feature -the
poor American was being treated by Lady Joan as only she could
treat a man. It was worth inviting the whole party to dinner or tea or
lunch merely to see the two together. The manner in which she managed
to ignore him and be scathing to him without apparently infringing a
law of civilityand the number of laws she sometimes chose to sweep
aside when it was her mood to do sowere extraordinary. If she had

not been a beautywith a sort of mystic charm for the male creature
surely he would have broken his chains. But he did not. What was he
going to do in the end? What was she going to do? What was Lady
Mallowe going to do if there was no end at all? He was not as unhappylooking
a lover as one might have expectedthey said. He kept up his
spirits wonderfully. Perhaps she was not always as icily indifferent
to him as she chose to appear in public. Temple Barholm was a great
estateand Sir Moses Monaldini had been mentioned by rumor. Of course
there would be something rather strange and tragic in it if she came
to Temple Barholm as its mistress in such singular circumstances. But
he certainly did not look depressed or discouraged. So they talked it
over as they looked on.

How they gossip! How delightfully they gossip!said the duke. "But
it is such a perfect subject. They have never been so enthralled
before. Dear young man! how grateful we ought to be for him!"

One of the most discussed features of the case was the duke's own
cultivation of the central figure. There was an actual oddity about
it. He drove from Stone Hover to Temple Barholm repeatedly. He invited
Tembarom to the castle and had long talks with him--longcomfortable
talks in secludeddelightful rooms or under great trees on a lawn. He
wanted to hear anecdotes of his pastto draw him on to giving his
points of view. When he spoke of him to his daughtershe called him
T. Tembarom,but the slight derision of his earlier tone modified
itself.

That delightful young man will shortly become my closest intimate,
he said. "He not only keeps up my spiritsbut he opens up vistas.
Vistas after a man's seventy-second birthday! At times I could clasp
him to my breast."

I like him first rate,Tembarom said to Miss Alicia. "I liked him
the minute he got up laughing like an old sport when he fell out of
the pony carriage."

As he became more intimate with himhe liked him still better.
Obscured though it was by airyelderly persiflagehe began to come
upon a background of stability and points of view wholly to be relied
on in his new acquaintance. It had evolved itself out of long and
varied experiencewith the aid of brilliant mentality. The old peer's
reasons were always logical. He laughed at most thingsbut at a few
he did not laugh at all. After several of the long conversations
Tembarom began to say to himself that this seemed like a man you need
not be afraid to talk things over with--things you didn't want to
speak of to everybody.

Seems to me,he said thoughtfully to Miss Aliciahe's an old
fellow you could tie to. I've got on to one thing when I've listened
to him: he talks all he wants to and laughs a lot, but he never gives
himself away. He wouldn't give another fellow away either if he said
he wouldn't. He knows how not to.

There was an afternoon on which during a drive they took together the
duke was enlightened as to several points which had given him cause
for reflectionamong others the story beloved of Captain Palliser and
his audiences.

I guess you've known a good many women,T. Tembarom remarked on this
occasion after a few minutes of thought. "Living all over the world as
you've doneyou'd be likely to come across a whole raft of them one
time and another."

A whole raft of them, one time and another,agreed the duke. "Yes."


You've liked them, haven't you?

Immensely. Sometimes a trifle disastrously. Find me a more absolutely
interesting object in the universe than a woman --any woman--and I
will devote the remainder of my declining years to the study of it,
answered his grace.

He said it with a decision which made T. Tembarom turn to look at him
and after his look decide to proceed.

Have you ever known a bit of a slim thing--he made an odd embracing
gesture with his arm--"the size that you could pick up with one hand
and set on your knee as if she was a child"--the duke remained still
knowing this was only the beginning and pricking up his ears as he
took a rapid kaleidoscopic view of all the "Ladies" in the
neighborhoodand as hastily waved them aside--"a bit of a thing that
some way seems to mean it all to you--and moves the world?" The
conclusion was one which brought the incongruous touch of maturity
into his face.

Not one of the `Ladies,' the duke was mentally summing the matter
up. "Certainly not Lady Joanafter all. NotI thinkeven the young
person in the department store."

He leaned back in his corner the better to inspect his companion
directly.

You have, I see,he replied quietly. "Once I myself did." (He had
cried outAh! Heloise!though he had laughed at himself when he
seemed facing his ridiculous tragedy.)

Yes,confessed T. Tembarom. "I met her at the boarding-house where I
lived. Her father was a Lancashire man and an inventor. I guess you've
heard of him; his name is Joseph Hutchinson."

The whole country had heard of him; more countriesindeedthan one
had heard. He was the man who was going to make his fortune in America
because T. Tembarom had stood by him in his extremity. He would make a
fortune in America and another in England and possibly several others
on the Continent. He had learned to read in the village schooland
the girl was his daughter.

Yes,replied the duke.

I don't know whether the one you knew had that quiet little way of
seeing right straight into a thing, and making you see it, too,said
Tembarom.

She had,answered the dukeand an odd expression wavered in his
eyes because he was looking backward across forty years which seemed a
hundred.

That's what I meant by moving the world,T. Tembarom went on. "You
know she's RIGHTand you've got to do what she saysif you love
her."

And you always do,said the duke--"always and forever. There are
very few. They are the elect."

T. Tembarom took it gravely.
I said to her once that there wasn't more than one of her in the
world because there couldn't be enough to make two of that kind. I


wasn't joshing either; I meant it. It's her quiet little voice and her
quiet, babyfied eyes that get you where you can't move. And it's
something else you don't know anything about. It's her never doing
anything for herself, but just doing it because it's the right thing
for you.

The duke's chin had sunk a little on his breastand looking back
across the hundred yearshe forgot for a moment where he was. The one
he remembered had been another man's wifea little angel brought up
in a convent by white-souled nunspassed over by her people to an
elderly vaurien of great magnificenceand she had sent the strong
laughingimpassioned young English peer away before it was too late
and with the youngyoung eyes of her looking upward at him in that
way which saw "straight into a thing" and with that quiet little
voice. So long ago! So long ago!

Ah! Heloise!he sighed unconsciously.

What did you say?asked T. Tembarom. The duke came back.

I was thinking of the time when I was nine and twenty,he answered.
It was not yesterday nor even the day before. The one I knew died
when she was twenty-four.

Died!said Tembarom. "Good Lord!" He dropped his head and even
changed color. "A fellow can't get on to a thing like that. It seems
as if it couldn't happen. Suppose--" he caught his breath hard and
then pulled himself up-- "Nothing could happen to her before she knew
that I've proved what I said--just proved itand done every single
thing she told me to do."

I am sure you have,the duke said.

It's because of that I began to say this.Tembarom spoke hurriedly
that he might thrust away the sudden dark thought. "You're a manand
I'm a man; far away ahead of me as you areyou're a mantoo. I was
crazy to get her to marry me and come here with meand she wouldn't."

The duke's eyes lighted anew.

She had her reasons,he said.

She laid 'em out as if she'd been my mother instead of a little redheaded
angel that you wanted to snatch up and crush up to you so she
couldn't breathe. She didn't waste a word. She just told me what I was
up against. She'd lived in the village with her grandmother, and she
knew. She said I'd got to come and find out for myself what no one
else could teach me. She told me about the kind of girls I'd see--
beauties that were different from anything I'd ever seen before. And
it was up to me to see all of them--the best of them.

Ladies?interjected the duke gently.

Yes. With titles like those in novels, she said, and clothes like
those in the Ladies' Pictorial. The kind of girls, she said, that
would make her look like a housemaid. Housemaid be darned!he
exclaimedsuddenly growing hot. "I've seen the whole lot of them;
I've done my darndest to get nextand there's not one--" he stopped
short. "Why should any of them look at meanyhow?" he added suddenly.

That was not her point,remarked the duke. "She wanted you to look
at themand you have looked." T. Tembarom's eagerness was inspiring
to behold.


I have, haven't I?he cried. "That was what I wanted to ask you.
I've done as she said. I haven't shirked a thing. I've followed them
around when I knew they hadn't any use on earth for me. Some of them
have handed me the lemon pretty straight. Why shouldn't they? But I
don't believe she knew how tough it might be for a fellow sometimes."

No, she did not,the duke said. "Also she probably did not know that
in ancient days of chivalry ladies sent forth their knights to bear
buffeting for their sakes in proof of fealty. Rise upSir Knight!"
This last phrase of course T. Tembarom did not know the poetic
significance of.

To his hearer Palliser's story became an amusing thingread in the
light of this most delicious frankness. It was Palliser himself who
played the fooland not T. Tembaromwho had simply known what he
wantedand hadwith businesslike directnessapplied himself to
finding a method of obtaining it. The young women he gave his time to
must be "Ladies" because Miss Hutchinson had required it from him. The
female flower of the noble houses had been passed in review before him
to practise uponso to speak. The handsomer they werethe more
dangerously charmingthe better Miss Hutchinson would be pleased. And
he had been regarded as a presumptuous aspirant. It was a situation
for a comedy. But the "Ladies" would not enjoy it if they were told.
It was also not the Duke of Stone who would tell them. They could not
in the least understand the subtlety of the comedy in which they had
unconsciously taken part. Ann Hutchinson's grandmother curtsied to
them in her stiff old way when they passed. Ann Hutchinson had gone to
the village school and been presented with prizes for needlework and
good behavior. But what a girl she must bethe slim bit of a thing
with a red head! What a clear-headed and firm little person!

In courts he had learned to wear a composed countenance when he was
prompted to smileand he wore one now. He enjoyed the society of T.
Tembarom increasingly every hour. He provided him with every joy.

Their drive was a long oneand they talked a good deal. They talked
of the Hutchinsonsof the inventionof the business "deals" Tembarom
had entered into at the outsetand of their tremendously encouraging
result. It was not mere rumor that Hutchinson would end by being a
rich man. The girl would be an heiress. How complex her position would
be! And being of the elect who unknowingly bear with them the power
that "moves the world how would she affect Temple Barholm and its
surrounding neighborhood?

I wish to God she was here now! " exclaimed Tembaromsuddenly.

It had been an interesting talkbut now and then the duke had
wondered ifas it went onhis companion was as wholly at his ease as
was usual with him. An occasional shade of absorption in his
expressionas if he were thinking of two things at once despite
himselfa hint of restlessnessrevealed themselves occasionally. Was
there something more he was speculating on the possibility of saying
something more to tell or explain? If there waslet him take his
time. His audienceat all eventswas possessed of perceptions. This
somewhat abrupt exclamation might open the way.

That is easily understood, my dear fellow,replied the duke.

There's times when you want a little thing like that just to talk
things over with, just to ask, because you--you're dead sure she'd
never lose her head and give herself away without knowing she was
doing it. She could just keep still and let the waves roll over her
and be standing there ready and quiet when the tide had passed. It's
the keeping your mouth shut that's so hard for most people, the not


saying a darned thing, whatever happens, till just the right time.

Women cannot often do it,said the duke. "Very few men can."

You're right,Tembarom answeredand there was a trifle of anxiety
in his tone.

There's women, just the best kind, that you daren't tell a big thing
to. Not that they'd mean to give it away--perhaps they wouldn't know
when they did it--but they'd feel so anxious they'd get--they'd get--

Rattled,put in the dukeand knew who he was thinking of. He saw
Miss Alicia's delicatetimid face as he spoke.

T. Tembarom laughed.
That's just it,he answered. "They wouldn't go back on you for
worldsbut--wellyou have to be careful with them."

He's got something on his mind,mentally commented the duke. "He
wonders if he will tell it to me."

And there's times when you'd give half you've got to be able to talk
a thing out and put it up to some one else for a while. I could do it
with her. That's why I said I wish to God that she was here.

You have learned to know how to keep still,the duke said. "So have

I. We learned it in different schoolsbut we have both learned."
As he was saying the wordshe thought he was going to hear something;
when he had finished saying them he knew that he would without a
doubt. T. Tembarom made a quick move in his seat; he lost a shade of
color and cleared his throat as he bent forwardcasting a glance at
the backs of the coachman and footman on the high seat above them.

Can those fellows hear me?he asked.

No,the duke answered; "if you speak as you are speaking now."

You are the biggest man about here,the young man went on. "You
stand for everything that English people care forand you were born
knowing all the things I don't. I've been carrying a big load for
quite a whileand I guess I'm not big enough to handle it alone
perhaps. AnyhowI want to be sure I'm not making fool mistakes. The
worst of it is that I've got to keep still if I'm rightand I've got
to keep still if I'm wrong. I've got to keep stillanyhow."

I learned to hold my tongue in places where, if I had not held it, I
might have plunged nations into bloodshed,the duke said. "Tell me
all you choose."

As a result of whichby the time their drive had ended and they
returned to Stone Hoverhe had told himandthe duke sat in his
corner of the carriage with an unusual light in his eyes and a flush
of somewhat excited color on his cheek.

You're a queer fellow, T. Tembarom,he said when they parted in the
drawing-room after taking tea. "You exhilarate me. You make me laugh.
If I were an emotional personyou would at moments make me cry.
There's an affecting uprightness about you. You're rather a fine
fellow too'pon my life." Putting a waxengout-knuckled old hand on
his shoulderand giving him a friendly push which was half a pathe
addedYou are, by God!


And after his guest had left himthe duke stood for some minutes
gazing into the fire with a complicated smile and the air of a man who
finds himself quaintly enriched.

I have had ambitions in the course of my existence-- several of
them,he saidbut even in over-vaulting moments never have I
aspired to such an altitude as this--to be, as it were, part of a
melodrama. One feels that one scarcely deserves it.

CHAPTER XXVII

Mr.Temple Barholm seems in better spirits,Lady Mallowe said to
Captain Palliser as they walked on the terrace in the starlight dusk
after dinner.

Captain Palliser took his cigar from his mouth and looked at the
glowing end of it.

Has it struck you that he has been in low spirits?he inquired
speculatively. "One does not usually connect him with depression."

Certainly not with depression. He's an extraordinary creature. One
would think he would perish from lack of the air he is used to
breathing--New York air.

He is not perishing. He's too shrewd,returned Palliser. "He mayn't
exactly like all thisbut he's getting something out of it."

He is not getting much of what he evidently wants most. I am out of
all patience,said Lady Mallowe.

Her acquaintance with Palliser had lasted through a number of years.
They argued most matters from the same basis of reasoning. They were
at times almost candid with each other. It may be acknowledged
howeverthat of the two Lady Mallowe was the more inclined to verge
on self-revelation. This was of course because she was the less clever
and had more temper. Her tempershe hadnow and thenowned bitterly
to herselfhad played her tricks. Captain Palliser's temper never did
this. It was Lady Mallowe's temper which spoke nowbut she did not in
the least mind his knowing that Joan was exasperating her beyond
endurance. He knew the whole situation well enough to be aware of it
without speech on her part. He had watched similar situations several
times before.

Her manner toward him is, to resort to New York colloquialisms, `the
limit,'Palliser said quietly. "Is it your idea that his less good
spirits have been due to Lady Joan's ingenuities? They are ingenious
you know."

They are devilish,exclaimed her mother." She treads him in the mire
and sails about professing to be conducting herself flawlessly. She is
too clever for me she added with bitterness.

Palliser laughed softly.

But very often you have been too clever for her he suggested. For
my partI don't quite see how you got her here."


Lady Mallowe became not almostbut entirelycandid.

Upon the whole, I don't quite know myself. I believe she really came
for some mysterious reason of her own.

That is rather my impression,said Palliser. "She has got something
up her sleeveand so has he."

He!Lady Mallowe quite ejaculated the word. "She always has. That's
her abominable secretive way. But he! T. Tembarom with something up
his sleeve! One can't imagine it."

Almost everybody has. I found that out long years ago,said
Palliserlooking at his cigar end again as if consulting it. "Since I
arrived at the conclusionI always take it for grantedand look out
for it. I've become rather clever in following such things upand I
have taken an unusual interest in T. Tembarom from the first."

Lady Mallowe turned her handsome facemuch softened by an enwreathing
gauze scarftoward him anxiously.

Do you think his depression, or whatever it is, means Joan?she
asked.

If he is depressed by her, you need not be discouraged,smiled
Palliser. "The time to lose hope would be whendespite her
ingenuitieshe became entirely cheerful. But he added after a
moment of pause, I have an idea there is some other little thing."

Do you suppose that some young woman he has left behind in New York
is demanding her rights?said Lady Mallowewith annoyance. "That is
exactly the kind of thing Joan would like to hearand so entirely
natural. Some shop-girl or other."

Quite natural, as you say; but he would scarcely be running up to
London and consulting Scotland Yard about her,Palliser answered.

Scotland Yard!ejaculated his companion. "How in the world did you
find that out?"

Captain Palliser did not explain how he had done it. Presumably his
knowledge was due to the adroitness of the system of "following such
things up."

Scotland Yard has also come to him,he went on. "Did you chance to
see a red-faced person who spent a morning with him last week?"

He looked like a butcher, and I thought he might be one of his
friends,Lady Mallowe said.

I recognized the man. He is an extremely clever detective, much
respected for his resources in the matter of following clues which are
so attenuated as to be scarcely clues at all.

Clues have no connection with Joan,said Lady Mallowestill more
annoyed. "All London knows her miserable story."

Have you--Captain Palliser's tone was thoughtful--has any one
ever seen Mr. Strangeways?

No. Can you imagine anything more absurdly romantic? A creature
without a memory, shut up in a remote wing of a palace like this, as
if he were the Man with the Iron Mask. Romance is not quite compatible
with T. Tembarom.


It is so incongruous that it has entertained me to think it over a
good deal,remarked Palliser. "He leaves everything to one's
imagination. All one knows is that he isn't a relative; that he isn't
madbut only too nervous to see or be seen. Queer situation. I've
found there is always a reason for things; the queerer they arethe
more sure it is that there's a reason. What is the reason Strangeways
is kept hereand where would a detective come in? Just on general
principles I'm rather going into the situation. There's a reasonand
it would be amusing to find it out. Don't you think so?"

He spoke casuallyand Lady Mallowe's answer was casualthough she
knew from experience that he was not as casual as he chose to seem. He
was clever enough always to have certain reasons of his own which
formulated themselves into interests large and small. He knew things
about people which were useful. Sometimes quite small things were
useful. He was always well behavedand no one had ever accused him of
bringing pressure to bear; but it was often possible for him to sell
things or buy things or bring about things in circumstances which
would have presented difficulties to other people. Lady Mallowe knew
from long experience all about the exigencies of cases when "needs
must and she was not critical. Temple Barholm as the estate of a
distant relative and T. Tembarom as its owner were not assets to deal
with indifferently. When a man made a respectable living out of people
who could be persuaded to let you make investments for them, it was
not an unbusinesslike idea to be in the position to advise an
individual strongly.

It's quite natural that you should feel an interest she answered.
But the romantic stranger is too romanticthough I will own Scotland
Yard is a little odd."

Yes, that is exactly what I thought,said Palliser.

He had in fact thought a good deal and followed the thing up in a
quietamateur waythough with annoyingly little result. Occasionally
he had felt rather a fool for his painsbecause he had been led to so
few facts of importance and had found himself so often confronted by

T. Tembarom's entirely frank grin. His own mental attitude was not a
complex one. Lady Mallowe's summing up had been correct enough on the
whole. Temple Barholm ought to be a substantial assetregarded in its
connection with its present owner. Little dealings in stocks-sometimes
rather large ones when luck was with him-- had brought
desirable returns to Captain Palliser throughout a number of years.
Just now he was taking an interest in a somewhat imposing schemeor
what might prove an imposing one if it were managed properly and
presented to the right persons. If T. Tembarom had been sufficiently
lured by the spirit of speculation to plunge into old Hutchinson's
affairas he evidently had donehe was plainly of the temperament
attracted by the game of chance. There had been no reason but that of
temperament which could have led him to invest. He had found himself
suddenly a moneyed man and had liked the game. Never having so much as
heard of Little Ann HutchinsonCaptain Palliser not unnaturally
argued after this wise. There seemed no valid reason whyif a vague
invention had allureda less vague schememanaged in a more
businesslike mannershould not. This Mexican silver and copper mine
was a dazzling thing to talk about. He could go into details. He had
in factallowed a good deal of detail to trail through his
conversation at times. It had not been difficult to accomplish this in
his talks with Lady Mallowe in his host's presence. Lady Mallowe was
always ready to talk of minesgoldsilveror copper. It happened at
times that one could manage to secure a few shares without the actual
payment of money. There were little hospitalities or social
amiabilities now and then which might be regarded as value received.

So she had made it easy for Captain Palliser to talkand T. Tembarom
had heard much which would have been of interest to the kind of young
man he appeared to be. Sometimes he had listened absorbedlyand on a
few occasions he had asked a few questions which laid him curiously
bare in his role of speculator. If he had no practical knowledge of
the ways and means of great mining companieshe at least professed
none. At all eventsif there was any little matter he preferred to
keep to himselfthere was no harm in making oneself familiar with its
aspect and significance. A man's argumentsso far as he himself is
concernedassume the character with which his own choice of
adjectives and adverbs labels them. That isif he labels them. The
most astute do not. Captain Palliser did not. He dealt merely with
reasoning processes which were applicable to the subject in hand
whatsoever its nature. He was a practical man of the world--a
gentlemanof course. It was necessary to adjust matters without
romantic hair-splitting. It was all by the way.

T. Tembarom had at the outset seemed to presentso to speakno
surface. Palliser had soon ceased to be at all sure that his social
ambitions were to be relied on as a lever. Besides whichwhen the old
Duke of Stone took delighted possession of himdined with himdrove
with himsat and gossiped with him by the hourthere was not much
one could offer him. Strangeways had at first meant only eccentricity.
A little later he had occasionally faintly stirred curiosityand
perhaps the fact that Burrill enjoyed him as a grievance and a mystery
had stimulated the stirring. The veriest chance had led him to find
himself regarding the opening up of possible vistas.
From a certain window in a certain wing of the house a much-praised
view was to be seen. Nothing was more natural than that on the
occasion of a curious sunset Palliser shouldin coming from his room
decide to take a look at it. As he passed through a corridor Pearson
came out of a room near him.

How is Mr. Strangeways to-day?Palliser asked.

Not quite so well, I am afraid, sir,was the answer.

Sorry to hear it,replied Palliserand passed on.

On his return he walked somewhat slowly down the corridor. As he
turned into it he thought he heard the murmur of voices. One was that
of T. Tembaromand he was evidently using argument. It sounded as if
he were persuading some one to agree with himand the persuasion was
earnest. He was not arguing with Pearson or a housemaid. Why was he
arguing with his pensioner? His voice was as low as it was eagerand
the other man's replies were not to be heard. Only just after Palliser
had passed the door there broke out an appeal which was a sort of cry.

No! My God, no! Don't send me away? Don't send me away!

One could noteven if so inclinedstand and listen near a door while
servants might chance to be wandering about. Palliser went on his way
with a sense of having been slightly startled.

He wants to get rid of him, and the fellow is giving him trouble,he
said to himself. "That voice is not American. Not in the least." It
set him thinking and observing. When Tembarom wore the look which was
not a look of depressionbut of something more puzzlinghe thought
that he could guess at its reason. By the time he talked with Lady
Mallowe he had gone much further than he chose to let her know.


CHAPTER XXVIII

The popularity of Captain Palliser's story of the "Ladies" had been
great at the outsetbut with the passage of time it had oddly waned.
This had resulted from the story's ceasing to develop itselfas the
simplest intelligence might have anticipatedby means of the only
person capable of its proper development. The person in question was
of course T. Tembarom. Expectationsamusing expectationsof him had
been raisedand he had singularly failed in the fulfilling of them.
The neighborhood hadso to speakstood upon tiptoe--the feminine
portion of itat least--looking over shoulders to get the first
glimpses of what would inevitably take place.

As weeks flew bythe standing on tiptoe became a thing of the past.
The whole thing flattened out most disappointingly. No attack whatever
was made upon the "Ladies." That the Duke of Stone had immensely taken
up Mr. Temple Barholm had of course resulted in his being accepted in
such a manner as gave him many opportunities to encounter one and all.
He appeared at dinnersteasand garden parties. Miss Aliciawhom he
had in some occult manner impressed upon people until they found
themselves actually paying a sort of court to herwas always his
companion.

One realizes one cannot possibly leave her out of anything,had been
said. "He has somehow established her as if she were his mother or his
aunt--or his interpreter. And such clothesmy dearone doesn't
behold. Worth and Paquin and Doucet must go sleepless for weeks to
invent them. They are without a flaw in shade or line or texture."
Which was truebecause Mrs. Mellish of the Bond Street shop had
become quite obsessed by her idea and committed extravagances Miss
Alicia offered up contrite prayer to atone forwhile Tembaromsimply
chortling in his gleesigned checks to pay for their exquisite
embodiment. That he was not reluctant to avail himself of social
opportunities was made manifest by the fact that he never refused an
invitation. He appeared upon any spot to which hospitality bade him
and unashamedly placed himself on record as a neophyte upon almost all
occasions. His well-cut clothes began in time to wear more the air of
garments belonging to himbut his hat made itself remarked by its
trick of getting pushed back on his head or tilted on sideand his
New York voice and accent rang out sharp and finely nasal in the midst
of low-pitchedthroatyor mellow English enunciations. He talked a
good deal at times because he found himself talked to by people who
either wanted to draw him out or genuinely wished to hear the things
he would be likely to say.

That the hero of Palliser's story should so comport himself as to
provide either diversion or cause for haughty displeasure would have
been only a natural outcome of his ambitions. In a brief period of
timehoweverevery young woman who might have expected to find
herself an object of such ambitions realized that his methods of
approach and attack were not marked by the usual characteristics of
aspirants of his class. He evidently desired to see and be seen. He
presented himselfas it werefor inspection and considerationbut
while he was attentivehe did not press attentions upon any one. He
did not make advances in the ordinary sense of the word. He never
essayed flattering or even admiring remarks. He said queer things at
which one often could not help but laughbut he somehow wore no air
of saying them with the intention of offering them as witticisms which
might be regarded as allurements. He did not oglehe did not simper
or shuffle about nervously and turn red or paleas eager and awkward
youths have a habit of doing under the stress of unrequited
admiration. In the presence of a certain slightingness of treatment


which he at the outset met with not infrequentlyhe conducted himself
with a detached good nature which seemed to take but small account of
attitudes less unoffending than his own. When the slightingness
disappeared from sheer lack of anything to slighthe did not change
his manner in any degree.

He is not in the least forward,Beatrice Talchester saidthe time
arriving when she and her sisters occasionally talked him over with
their special friendsthe Granthamsand he is not forever under
one's feet, as the pushing sort usually is. Do you remember those rich
people from the place they called Troy--the ones who took Burnaby for
a year--and the awful eldest son who perpetually invented excuses for
calling, bringing books and ridiculous things?

This one never makes an excuse,Amabel Grantham put in.

But he never declines an invitation. There is no doubt that he wants
to see people,said Lady Honorawith the pretty little nose and the
dimples. She had ceased to turn up the pretty little noseand she
showed a dimple as she added: "Gwynedd is tremendously taken with him.
She is teaching him to play croquet. They spend hours together."

He's beginning to play a pretty good game,said Gwynedd. "He's not
stupidat all events."

I believe you are the first choice, if he is really choosing,Amabel
Grantham decided. "I should like to ask you a question."

Ask it, by all means,said Gwynedd.

Does he ever ask you to show him how to hold his mallet, and then do
idiotic things, such as managing to touch your hand?

Never,was Gwynedd's answer. "The young man from Troy used to do it
and then beg pardon and turn red."

I don't understand him, or I don't understand Captain Palliser's
story,Amabel Grantham argued. "Lucy and I are quite out of the
runningbut I honestly believe that he takes as much notice of us as
he does of any of you. If he has intentionshe 'doesn't act the
part' which is pure New York of the first water."

He said, however, that the things that mattered were not only titles,
but looks. He asked how many of us were 'lookers.' Don't be modest,
Amabel. Neither you nor Lucy are out of the running,Beatrice amiably
suggested.

Ladies first,commented Amabelpertly. There was no objection to
being supported in one's suspicion thatafter allone was a
looker.

There may be a sort of explanation,Honora put the idea forward
somewhat thoughtfully. "Captain Palliser insists that he is much
shrewder than he seems. Perhaps he is cautiousand is looking us all
over before he commits himself."

He is a Temple Barholm, after all,said Gwyneddwith boldness.
He's rather good looking. He has the nicest white teeth and the most
cheering grin I ever saw, and he's as 'rich as grease is,' as I heard
a housemaid say one day. I'm getting quite resigned to his voice, or
it is improving, I don't know which. If he only knew the mere A B C of
ordinary people like ourselves, and he committed himself to me, I
wouldn't lay my hand on my heart and say that one might not think him
over.


I told you she was tremendously taken with him,said her sister.
It's come to this.

But,said Lady Gwyneddhe is not going to commit himself to any of
us, incredible as it may seem. The one person he stares at sometimes
is Joan Fayre, and he only looks at her as if he were curious and
wouldn't object to finding out why she treats him so outrageously. He
isn't annoyed; he's only curious.

He's been adored by salesladies in New York,said Honoraand he
can't understand it.

He's been liked,Amabel Grantham summed him up. "He's a likable
thing. He's even rather a dear. I've begun to like him myself."

I hear you are learning to play croquet,the Duke of Stone remarked
to him a day or so later. "How do you like it?"

Lady Gwynedd Talchester is teaching me,Tembarom answered. "I'd
learn to iron shirt-waists if she would give me lessons. She's one of
the two that have dimples he added, reflection in his tone. I guess
that'll count. Shouldn't you think it would?"

Miss Hutchinson?queried the duke.

Tembarom nodded.

Yes, it's always her,he answered without a ray of humor. "I just
want to stack 'em up."

You are doing it,the duke replied with a slightly twisted mouth.
There werein factmoments when he might have fallen into fits of
laughter while Tembarom was seriousness itself. "I musthowevercall
your attention to the fact that there is sometimes in your manner a
hint of a businesslike pursuit of a fixed object which you must beware
of. The Lady Gwynedds might not enjoy the situation if they began to
suspect. If they decided to flout you--'to throw you down' I ought
to say--where would little Miss Hutchinson be?"

Tembarom looked startled and disturbed.

Say,he exclaimeddo I ever look that way? I must do better than
that. Anyhow, it ain't all put on. I'm doing my stunt, of course, but
I like them. They're mighty nice to me when you consider what they're
up against. And those two with the dimples,--Lady Gwynned and Lady
Honora, are just peaches. Any fellow might--he stopped and looked
serious again--"That's why they'd count he added.

They were having one of their odd long talks under a particularly
splendid copper beech which provided the sheltered out-of-door corner
his grace liked best. When they took their seats together in this
retreat, it was mysteriously understood that they were settling
themselves down to enjoyment of their own, and must not be disturbed.

When I am comfortable and entertained Moffat, the house steward,
had quoted his master as saying, you may mention it if the castle is
in flames; but do not annoy me with excitement and flurry. Ring the
bell in the courtyardand call up the servants to pass buckets; but
until the lawn catches fireI must insist on being left alone."

What dear papa talks to him about, and what he talks about to dear
papa,Lady Celia had more than once murmured in her gently remote
high-nosed wayI cannot possibly imagine. Sometimes when I have


passed them on my way to the croquet lawn I have really seen them both
look as absorbed as people in a play. Of course it is very good for
papa. It has had quite a marked effect on his digestion. But isn't it
odd!

I wish,Lady Edith remarked almost wistfullythat I could get on
better with him myself conversationally. But I don't know what to talk
about, and it makes me nervous.

Their fatheron the contraryfound in him unique resourcesand this
afternoon it occurred to him that he had never so far heard him
express himself freely on the subject of Palliser. If led to do sohe
would probably reveal that he had views of Captain Palliser of which
he might not have been suspectedand the manner in which they would
unfold themselves would more than probably be illuminating. The duke
wasin factserenely sure that he required neither warning nor
adviceand he had no intention of offering either. He wanted to hear
the views.

Do you know,he said as he stirred his teaI've been thinking
about Palliser, and it has occurred to me more than once that I should
like to hear just how he strikes you?

What I got on to first was how I struck him,answered Tembaromwith
a reasonable air. "That was dead easy."

There was no hint of any vaunt of superior shrewdness. His was merely
the level-toned manner of an observer of facts in detail.

He has given you an opportunity of seeing a good deal of him,the
duke added. "What do you gather from him-- unless he has made up his
mind that you shall not gather anything at all?"

A fellow like that couldn't fix it that way, however much he wanted
to,Tembarom answered again reasonably. "Just his trying to do it
would give him away."

You mean you have gathered things?

Oh, I've gathered enough, though I didn't go after it. It hung on the
bushes. Anyhow, it seemed to me that way. I guess you run up against
that kind everywhere. There's stacks of them in New York--different
shapes and sizes.

If you met a man of his particular shape and size in New York, how
would you describe him?the duke asked.

I should never have met him when I was there. He wouldn't have come
my way. He'd have been on Wall Street, doing high-class bucket-shop
business, or he'd have had a swell office selling copper-mines--any
old kind of mine that's going to make ten million a minute, the sort
of deal he's in now. If he'd been the kind I might have run up
against,he added with deliberationhe wouldn't have been as well
dressed or as well spoken. He'd have been either flashy or down at
heel. You'd have called him a crook.

The duke seemed pleased with his tea asafter having sipped ithe
put it down on the table at his side.

A crook?he repeated. "I wonder if that word is altogether
American?"

It's not complimentary, but you asked me,said Tembarom. "But I
don't believe you asked me because you thought I wasn't on to him."


Frankly speaking, no,answered the duke. "Does he talk to you about
the mammoth mines and the rubber forests?"

Say, that's where he wins out with me,Tembarom replied admiringly.
He gets in such fine work that I switch him on to it whenever I want
cheering up. It makes me sorter forget things that worry me just to
see a man act the part right up to the top notch the way he does it.
The very way his clothes fit, the style he's got his hair brushed, and
that swell, careless lounge of his, are half of the make-up. You see,
most of us couldn't mistake him for anything else but just what he
looks like--a gentleman visiting round among his friends and a million
miles from wanting to butt in with business. The thing that first got
me interested was watching how he slid in the sort of guff he wanted
you to get worked up about and think over. Why, if I'd been what I
look like to him, he'd have had my pile long ago, and he wouldn't be
loafing round here any more.

What do you think you look like to him?his host inquired.

I look as if I'd eat out of his hand,Tembarom answeredquite
unbiased by any touch of wounded vanity. "Why shouldn't I? And I'm not
trying to wake him upeither. I like to look that way to him and to
his sort. It gives me a chance to watch and get wise to things. He's a
high-school education in himself. I like to hear him talk. I asked him
to come and stay at the house so that I could hear him talk."

Did he introduce the mammoth mines in his first call?the duke
inquired.

Oh, I don't mean that kind of talk. I didn't know how much good I was
going to get out of him at first. But he was the kind I hadn't known,
and it seemed like he was part of the whole thing--like the girls with
title that Ann said I must get next to. And an easy way of getting
next to the man kind was to let him come and stay. He wanted to, all
right. I guess that's the way he lives when he's down on his luck,
getting invited to stay at places. Like Lady Mallowe,he addedquite
without prejudice.

You do sum them up, don't you?smiled the duke.

Well, I don't see how I could help it,he said impartially. "They're
printed in sixty-four point black-faceseems to me."

What is that?the duke inquired with interest. He thought it might
be a new and desirable bit of slang. "I don't know that one."

Biggest type there is,grinned Tembarom. "It's the kind that's used
for head-lines. That's newspaper-office talk."

Ah, technical, I see. What, by the way, is the smallest lettering
called?his grace followed up.

Brilliant,answered Tembarom.

You,remarked the dukeare not printed in sixty-four-point blackface
so far as they are concerned. You are not even brilliant. They
don't find themselves able to sum you up. That fact is one of my
recreations.

I'll tell you why,Tembarom explained with his clearly unprejudiced
air. "There's nothing much about me to sum upanyhow. I'm too sort of
plain sailing and ordinary. I'm not making for anywhere they'd think
I'd want to go. I'm not hiding anything they'd be sure I'd want to


hide."

By the Lord! you're not!exclaimed the duke.

When I first came here, every one of them had a fool idea I'd want to
pretend I'd never set eyes on a newsboy or a boot-black, and that I
couldn't find my way in New York when I got off Fifth Avenue. I used
to see them thinking they'd got to look as if they believed it, if
they wanted to keep next. When I just let out and showed I didn't care
a darn and hadn't sense enough to know that it mattered, it nearly
made them throw a fit. They had to turn round and fix their faces all
over again and act like it was 'interesting.' That's what Lady Mallowe
calls it. She says it's so 'interesting!'

It is,commented the duke.

Well, you know that, but she doesn't. Not on your life! I guess it
makes her about sick to think of it and have to play that it's just
what you'd want all your men friends to have done. Now, Palliser--he
paused and grinned again. He was sitting in a most casual attitude
his hands clasped round one up-raised kneewhich he nursedbalancing
himself. It was a position of informal ease which had an air of
assisting enjoyable reflection.

Yes, Palliser? Don't let us neglect Palliser,his host encouraged
him.

He's in a worse mix-up than the rest because he's got more to lose.
If he could work this mammoth-mine song and dance with the right
people, there'd be money enough in it to put him on Easy Street.
That's where he's aiming for. The company's just where it has to have
a boost. It's just GOT to. If it doesn't, there'll be a bust up that
may end in fitting out a high-toned promoter or so in a striped
yellow-and-black Jersey suit and set him to breaking rocks or playing
with oakum. I'll tell you, poor old Palliser gets the Willies
sometimes after he's read his mail. He turns the color of ecru baby
Irish. That's a kind of lace I got a dressmaker to tell me about when
I wrote up receptions and dances for the Sunday Earth. Ecru baby
Irish--that's Palliser's color after he's read his letters.

I dare say the fellow's in a devil of a mess, if the truth were
known,the duke said.

And here's 'T. T.,' hand-made and hand-painted for the part of the
kind of sucker he wants.T. Tembarom's manner was almost sympathetic
in its appreciation. "I can tell you I'm having a real good time with
Palliser. It looked like I'd just dropped from heaven when he first
saw me. If he'd been the praying kindI'd have been just the sort
he'd have prayed for when he said his `Now-I-lay-me's' before he went
to bed. There wasn't a chance in a hundred that I wasn't a fool that
had his head swelled so that he'd swallow any darned thing if you
handed it to him smooth enough. First time he called he asked me a lot
of questions about New York business. That was pretty smart of him. He
wanted to find outsort of carelesshow much I knew--or how little."

The duke was leaning back luxuriously in his chair and gazing at him
as he might have gazed at the work of an old master of which each line
and shade was of absorbing interest.

I can see him,he said. "I can see him."

He found out I knew nothing,Tembarom continued. "And what was to
hinder him trying to teach me somethingby gee! Nothing on top of the
green earth. I was therewaiting with my mouth openit seemed like."


And he has tried--in his best manner?said his grace.

What he hasn't tried wouldn't be worthy trying,Tembarom answered
cheerfully. "Sometimes it seems like a shame to waste it. I've got so
I know how to start him when he doesn't know I'm doing it. I tell you
he's fine. Gentlemanly --that's his wayyou know. High-toned friend
that just happens to know of a good thing and thinks enough of you in
a sort of reserved way to feel like it's a pity not to give you a
chance to come in on the ground floorif you've got the sense to see
the favor he's friendly enough to do you. It's such a favor that it'd
just disgust a man if you could possibly turn it down. But of course
you're to take it or leave it. It's not to his interest to push it.
Lordno! Whatever you did his way is that he'd not condescend to say
a darned word. High-toned silencethat's all."

The Duke of Stone was chuckling very softly. His chuckles rather broke
his words when he spoke.

By--by--Jove!he said. "You--you do see itdon't you? You do see
it."

Tembarom nursed his knee comfortably.

Why,he saidit's what keeps me up. You know a lot more about me
than any one else does, but there's a whole raft of things I think
about that I couldn't hang round any man's neck. If I tried to hang
them round yours, you'd know that I would be having a hell of a time
here, if I'd let myself think too much. If I didn't see it, as you
call it, if I didn't see so many things, I might begin to get sorry
for myself. There was a pause of a second. Gee!" he saidGee! this
not hearing a thing about Ann!--

Good Lord! my dear fellow,the duke said hastilyI know. I know.

Tembarom turned and looked at him.

You've been there,he remarked. "You've been thereI bet."

Yes, I've been there,answered the duke. "I've been there--and come
back. But while it's going on--you have just described it. A man can
have a hell of a time."

He can,Tembarom admitted unreservedly. "He's got to keep going to
stand it. WellStrangeways gives me some work to do. And I've got
Palliser. He's a little sunbeam."

A man-servant approaching to suggest a possible need of hot tea
started at hearing his grace break into a sudden and plainly
involuntary crow of glee. He had not heard that one before either.
Palliser as a little sunbeam brightening the pathway of T. Tembarom
wasin the particular existing circumstancesall that could be
desired of fine humor. It somewhat recalled the situation of the
Ladiesof the noble houses of PevensyTalchesterand Stone
unconsciously passing in review for the satisfaction of little Miss
Hutchinson. Tembarom laughed a little himselfbut he went on with a
sort of seriousness

There's one thing sure enough. I've got on to it by listening and
working out what he would do by what he doesn't know he says. If he
could put the screws on me in any way, he wouldn't hold back. It'd be
all quite polite and gentlemanly, but he'd do it all the same. And
he's dead-sure that everybody's got something they'd like to hide--or


get. That's what he works things out from.

Does he think you have something to hide--or get?the duke inquired
rather quickly.

He's sure of it. But he doesn't know yet whether it's get or hide. He
noses about. Pearson's seen him. He asks questions and plays he ain't
doing it and ain't interested, anyhow.

He doesn't like you, he doesn't like you,the duke said rather
thoughtfully. "He has a way of conveying that you are far more subtle
than you choose to look. He is given to enlarging on the fact that an
air of entire frankness is one of the chief assets of certain
promoters of huge American schemes."

Tembarom smiled the smile of recognition.

Yes,he saidit looks like that's a long way round, doesn't it?
But it's not far to T. T. when you want to hitch on the connection.
Anyhow, that's the way he means it to look. If ever I was suspected of
being in any mix-up, everybody would remember he'd said that.

It's very amusin',said the duke. " It's very amusin'."

They had become even greater friends and intimates by this time than
the already astonished neighborhood suspected them of being. That they
spent much time together in an amazing degree of familiarity was the
talk of the countryin factone of the most frequent resources of
conversation. Everybody endeavored to find reason for the situation
but none had been presented which seemed of sufficiently logical
convincingness. The duke was eccentricof course. That was easy to
hit upon. He was amiably perverse and good-humoredly cynical. He was
of course immensely amused by the incongruity of the acquaintance.
This being the casewhy exactly he had never before chosen for
himself a companion equally out of the picture it was not easy to
explain. There were plow-boys or clerks out of provincial shops who
would surely have been quite as incongruous when surrounded by ducal
splendors. He might have got a young man from Liverpool or Blackburn
who would have known as little of polite society as Mr. Temple
Barholm; there were fewof coursewho could know less. But he had
never shown the faintest desire to seek one out. Palliserit is true
suggested it was Tembarom's "cheek" which stood him in good stead. The
young man from behind the counter in a Liverpool or Blackburn shop
would probably have been frightened to death and afraid to open his
mouth in self-revelationwhereas Temple Barholm was so entirely a
bounder that he did not know he was oneand was ready to make an ass
of himself to any extent. The frankest statement of the situationif
any one had so chosen to put itwould have been that he was regarded
as a sort of court fool without cap or bells.

No one was aware of the odd confidences which passed between the
weirdly dissimilar pair. No one guessed that the old peer sat and
listened to stories of a red-headedslim-bodied girl in a dingy New
York boarding-housethat he liked them sufficiently to encourage
their tellingthat he had made a mental picture of a certain look in
a pair of maternally yearning and fearfully convincing round young
eyesthat he knew the burnished fullness and glow of the red hair
until he could imagine the feeling of its texture and abundant warmth
in the hand. And this subject was only one of many. And of others they
talked with interestdoubtargumentspeculationholding a living
thrill.

The tap of croquet mallets sounded hollow and clear from the sunken
lawn below the mass of shrubs between them and the players as the duke


repeated.

It's hugely amusin',dropping his "g which was not one of his
usual affectations.

Confound it!" he said nextwrinkling the thinfine skin round his
eyes in a speculative smileI wish I had had a son of my own just
like you.

All of Tembarom's white teeth revealed themselves.

I'd have liked to have been in it,he repliedbut I shouldn't have
been like me.

Yes, you would.The duke put the tips of his fingers delicately
together. "You are of the kind which in all circumstances is like
itself." He looked about himtaking in the turretedmajestic age and
mass of the castle. "You would have been born here. You would have
learned to ride your pony down the avenue. You would have gone to Eton
and to Oxford. I don't think you would have learned muchbut you
would have been decidedly edifying and companionable. You would have
had a sense of humor which would have made you popular in society and
at court. A young fellow who makes those people laugh holds success in
his hand. They want to be made to laugh as much as I do. Good God! how
they are obliged to be bored and behave decently under it! You would
have seen and known more things to be humorous about than you know
now. I don't think you would have been a fool about womenbut some of
them would have been fools about youbecause you've got a way. I had
one myself. It's all the more dangerous because it's possibility
suggesting without being sentimental. A friendly young fellow always
suggests possibilities without being aware of it.

Would I have been Lord Temple Temple Barholm or something of that
sort?Tembarom asked.

You would have been the Marquis of Belcarey,the duke replied
looking him over thoughtfullyand your name would probably have been
Hugh Lawrence Gilbert Henry Charles Adelbert, or words to that
effect.

A regular six-shooter,said Tembarom.

The duke was following it up with absorption in his eyes.

You'd have gone into the Guards, perhaps,he saidand drill would
have made you carry yourself better. You're a good height. You'd have
been a well-set-up fellow. I should have been rather proud of you. I
can see you riding to the palace with the rest of them, sabres and
chains clanking and glittering and helmet with plumes streaming. By
Jove! I don't wonder at the effect they have on nursery-maids. On a
sunny morning in spring they suggest knights in a fairytale.

I should have liked it all right if I hadn't been born in Brooklyn,
grinned Tembarom. "But that starts you out in a different way. Do you
thinkif I'd been born the Marquis of Bel--what's his name--I should
have been on to Palliser's little song and danceand had as much fun
out of it?"

On my soul, I believe you would,theduke answered. "Brooklyn or
Stone Hover CastleI'm hanged if you wouldn't have been YOU."


CHAPTER XXIX

After this came a pause. Each man sat thinking his own thoughts
whichwhile marked with difference in formwere doubtless subtly
alike in the line they followed. During the silence T. Tembarom looked
out at the late afternoon shadows lengthening themselves in darkening
velvet across the lawns.

At last he said:

I never told you that I've been reading some of the 'steen thousand
books in the library. I started it about a month ago. And somehow
they've got me going.

The slightly lifted eyebrows of his host did not express surprise so
much as questioning interest. This manat leasthad discovered that
one need find no cause for astonishment in any discovery that he had
been doing a thing for some time for some reason or through some
prompting of his ownand had said nothing whatever about it until he
was what he called "good and ready." When he was "good and ready" he
usually revealed himself to the dukebut he was not equally expansive
with others.

No, you have not mentioned it,his grace answeredand laughed a
little. "You frequently fail to mention things. When first we knew
each other I used to wonder if you were naturally a secretive fellow;
but you are not. You always have a reason for your silences."

It took about ten years to kick that into me--ten good years, I
should say.T. Tembarom looked as if he were looking backward at many
episodes as he said it. "NaturallyI guessI must have been an
innocentblab-mouthed kid. I meant no harmbut I just didn't know.
Sometimes it looks as if just not knowing is about the worst disease
you can be troubled with. But if you don't get killed firstyou find
out in time that what you've got to hold on to hard and fast is the
trick of 'saying nothing and sawing wood.'"

The duke took out his memorandum-book and began to write hastily. T.
Tembarom was quite accustomed to this. He even repeated his axiom for
him.

Say nothing and saw wood,he said. "It's worth writing down. It
means 'shut your mouth and keep on working.'"

Thank you,said the duke. "It is worth writing down. Thank you."

I did not talk about the books because I wanted to get used to them
before I began to talk,Tembarom explained. "I wanted to get
somewhere. I'd never read a book through in my life before. Never
wanted to. Never had one and never had time. When night cameI was
dog-tired and dog-ready to drop down and sleep."

Here was a situation of interest. A young man of odddirect
shrewdnesswho had never read a book through in his existencehad
plunged suddenly into the extraordinarily varied literary resources of
the Temple Barholm library. If he had been a fool or a genius one
might have guessed at the impression made on him; being T. Tembarom
one speculated with secret elation. The primitiveness he might reveal
the profundities he might touch the surface ofthe unexpected ends he
might reachsuggested the opening of vistas.

I have often thought that if books attracted you the library would
help you to get through a good many of the hundred and thirty-six


hours a day you've spoken of, and get through them pretty decently,
commented the duke.

That's what's happened,Tembarom answered. "There's not so many now.
I can cut 'em off in chunks."

How did it begin?

He listened with much pleasure while Tembarom told him how it had
begun and how it had gone on.

I'd been having a pretty bad time one day. Strangeways had been
worse--a darned sight worse--just when I thought he was better. I'd
been trying to help him to think straight; and suddenly I made a
break, somehow, and must have touched exactly the wrong spring. It
seemed as if I set him nearly crazy. I had to leave him to Pearson
right away. Then it poured rain steady for about eight hours, and I
couldn't get out and `take a walk.' Then I went wandering into the
picture-gallery and found Lady Joan there, looking at Miles Hugo. And
she ordered me out, or blamed near it.

You are standing a good deal,said the duke.

Yes, I am--but so is she.He set his hard young jaw and nursed his
kneestaring once more at the velvet shadows. "The girl in the book I
picked up--" he began.

The first book? his host inquired.

Tembarom nodded.

The very first. I was smoking my pipe at night, after every one else
had gone to bed, and I got up and began to wander about and stare at
the names of the things on the shelves. I was thinking over a whole
raft of things--a whole raft of them--and I didn't know I was doing
it, until something made me stop and read a name again. It was a book
called `Good-by, Sweetheart, Good-by,' and it hit me straight. I
wondered what it was about, and I wondered where old Temple Barholm
had fished up a thing like that. I never heard he was that kind.

He was a cantankerous old brute,said the Duke of Stone with candor
but he chanced to be an omnivorous novel-reader. Nothing was too
sentimental for him in his later years.

I took the thing out and read it,Tembarom went onuneasilythe
emotion of his first novel-reading stirring him as he talked. "It kept
me up half the nightand I hadn't finished it then. I wanted to know
the end."

Benisons upon the books of which one wants to know the end!the duke
murmured.

Tembarom's interest had plainly not terminated with "the end." Its
freshness made it easily revived. There was a hint of emotional
indignation in his relation of the plot.

It was about a couple of fools who were dead stuck on each other-dead.
There was no mistake about that. It was all real. But what do
they do but work up a fool quarrel about nothing, and break away from
each other. There was a lot of stuff about pride. Pride be damned!
How's a man going to be proud and put on airs when he loves a woman?
How's a woman going to be proud and stick out about things when she
loves a man? At least, that's the way it hit me.


That's the way it hit me--once,remarked his grace.

There is only once,said Tembaromdoggedly.

Occasionally,said his host. "Occasionally."

Tembarom knew what he meant.

The fellow went away, and neither of them would give in. It's queer
how real it was when you read it. You were right there looking on, and
swallowing hard every few minutes-- though you were as mad as hops.
The girl began to die--slow --and lay there day after day, longing for
him to come back, and knowing he wouldn't. At the very end, when there
was scarcely a breath left in her, a young fellow who was crazy about
her himself, and always had been, put out after the hard-headed fool
to bring him to her anyhow. The girl had about given in then. And she
lay and waited hour after hour, and the youngster came back by
himself. He couldn't bring the man he'd gone after. He found him
getting married to a nice girl he didn't really care a darn for. He'd
sort of set his teeth and done it--just because he was all in and down
and out, and a fool. The girl just dropped her head back on the pillow
and lay there, dead! What do you think of that?quite fiercely. "I
guess it was sentimental all rightbut it got you by the throat."

'Good-bye, Sweetheart, Good-bye,' his grace quoted. "First-class
title. We are all sentimental. And that was the firstwas it?"

Yes, but it wasn't the last. I began to read the others. I've been
reading them ever since. I tell you, for a fellow that knows nothing
it's an easy way of finding out a lot of things. You find out what
different kinds of people there are, and what different kinds of ways.
If you've lived in one place, and been up against nothing but earning
your living, you think that's all there is of it--that it's the whole
thing. But it isn't, by gee!His air became thoughtful. "I've begun
to kind of get on to what all this means"--glancing about him--"to you
people; and how a fellow like T. T. must look to you. I've always sort
of guessedbut reading a few dozen novels has helped me to see WHY
it's that way. I've yelled right out laughing over it many a time.
That fellow called Thackeray--I can't read his things right straight
through-- but he 's an eye-opener."

You have tried nothing BUT novels?his enthralled hearer inquired.

Not yet. I shall come to the others in time. I'm sort of hungry for
these things about PEOPLE. It's the ways they're different that gets
me going. There was one that stirred me all up--but it wasn't like
that first one. It was about a man --he spoke slowlyas if searching
for words and parallels --"wellI guess he was one of the early
savages here. It read as if they were like the first Indians in
Americaonly stronger and fiercer. When Palford was explaining things
to me he'd jerk in every now and then something about 'coming over
with the Conqueror' or being here 'before the Conqueror.' I didn't
know what it meant. I found out in this book I'm telling about. It
gave me the whole thing so that you SAW it. Here was this little
countrywith no one in it but these first savage fellows it'd always
belonged to. They thought it was the world." There was a humorous
sense of illumination in his half-laugh. "It was their New Yorkby
jings he put in. Their little old New York that they'd never been
outside of! And then first one lot slams inand then anotherand
anotherand tries to take it from them. Julius Caesar was the first
Mr. Buttinski; and they fought like hell. They were fighters from
Fightersvilleanyhow. They fought each othertook each other's
castles and lands and wives and jewelry--just any old thing they
wanted. The only jails were private ones meant for their particular


friends. And a man was hung only when one of his neighbors got mad
enough at himand then he had to catch him first and run the risk of
being strung up himselfor have his head chopped off and stuck up on
a spike somewhere for ornament. But fight! Good Lord! They were at it
day and night. Did it for funjust like folks go to the show. They
didn't know what fear was. Never heard of it. They'd go about shouting
and bragging and swaggeringwith their heads hanging half off. And
the one in this book was the bulliest fighter of the lot. I guess I
don't know how to pronounce his name. It began with H."

Was it Hereward the Wake, by chance?exclaimed his auditor.
Hereward the Last of the English?

That's the man,cried Tembarom.

An engaging ruffian and thief and murderer, and a touching one also,
commented the duke. "You liked him?" He really wanted to know.

I like the way he went after what he wanted to get, and the way he
fought for his bit of England. By gee! When he went rushing into a
fight, shouting and boasting and swinging his sword, I got hot in the
collar. It was his England. What was old Bill doing there anyhow, darn
him! Those chaps made him swim in their blood before they let him put
the thing over. Good business! I'm glad they gave him all that was
coming to him--hot and strong.

His sharp face had reddened and his voice rose high and nasal. There
was a look of roused blood in him.

Are you a fighter from Fightersville?the duke askedfar from
unstirred himself. These things had become myths to most peoplebut
here was Broadway in the midst of them unconsciously suggesting that
it might not have done ill in the matter of swinging "Brain-Biter"
itself. The modern entity slipped back again through the lengthened
links of bygone centuries--back until it became T. Tembarom once more


-casual though shrewd; ready and jocular. His eyes resumed their dry
New York humor of expression as they fixed themselves on his wholly
modern questioner.
I'll fight,he saidfor what I've got to fight for, but not for a
darned thing else. Not a darned thing.

But you would fight,smiled the dukegrimly. "Did you happen to
remember that blood like that has come down to you? It was some drop
of it which made you `hot in the collar' over that engaging savage
roaring and slashing about him for his `bit of England."'

Tembarom seemed to think it out interestedly.

No, I did not,he answered. "But I guess that's so. I guess it's so.
Great Jakes! Think of me perhaps being sort of kin to fellows just
like that. Some wayyou couldn't help liking him. He was always
making big breaks and bellowing out `The Wake! The Wake!' in season
and out of season; but the way he got there--just got there!"

He was oddly in sympathy with "the early savages here and as
understandingly put himself into their places as he had put himself
into Galton's. His New York comprehension of their berserker furies
was apparently without limit. Strong partizan as he was of the last of
the English, however, he admitted that William of Normandy had got in
some good workthough it wasn't square."

He was a big man,he ended. "If he hadn't been the kind he was I
don't know how I should have stood it when the Hereward fellow knelt


down before himand put his hands between his and swore to be his
man. That's the way the book said it. I tell you that must have been
tough--tough as hell!"

From "Good-byeSweetheart" to "Hereward the Last of the English" was
a far crybut he had gathered a curious collection of ideas by the
wayand with characteristic everyday reasoning had linked them to his
own experiences.

The women in the Hereward book made me think of Lady Joan,he
remarkedsuddenly.

Torfreda? the duke asked.

He nodded quite seriously.

She had ways that reminded me of her, and I kept thinking they must
both have had the same look in their eyes--sort of fierce and hungry.
Torfreda had black hair and was a winner as to looks; but people were
afraid of her and called her a witch. Hereward went mad over her and
she went mad over him. That part of it was 'way out of sight, it was
so fine. She helped him with his fights and told him what to do, and
tried to keep him from drinking and bragging. Whatever he did, she
never stopped being crazy about him. She mended his men's clothes, and
took care of their wounds, and lived in the forest with him when he
was driven out.

That sounds rather like Miss Hutchinson,his host suggestedthough
the parallel between a Harlem flat and an English forest in the
eleventh century is not exact.

I thought that, too,Tembarom admitted. "Ann would have done the
same thingsbut she'd have done them in her way. If that fellow had
taken his wife's advicehe wouldn't have ended with his head sticking
on a spear."

Another lady, if I remember rightly,said the duke.

He left her, the fool! Tembarom answered. "And there's where I
couldn't get away from seeing Lady Joan; Jem Temple Barholm didn't go
off with another womanbut what Torfreda went throughthis one has
gone throughand she's going through it yet. She can't dress herself
in sackclothand cut off her hairand hide herself away with a bunch
of nunsas the other one did. She has to stay and stick it out
however bad it is. That's a darned sight worse. The day after I'd
finished the bookI couldn't keep my eyes off her. I tried to stop
itbut it was no use. I kept hearing that Torfreda one screaming out
`Lost! Lost! Lost!' It was all in her face."

But, my good fellow,protested the dukedespite feeling a touch of
the thrill againunfortunately, she would not suspect you of looking
at her because you were recalling Torfreda and Hereward the Wake. Men
stare at her for another reason.

That's what I know about half as well again as I know anything else,
answered Tembarom. He addedwith a deliberation holding its own
meaningThat's what I'm coming to.

The duke waited. What was it he was coming to?

Reading that novel put me wise to things in a new way. She's been
wiping her feet on me hard for a good while, and I sort of made up my
mind I'd got to let her until I was sure where I was. I won't say I
didn't mind it, but I could stand it. But that night she caught me


looking at her, the way she looked back at me made me see all of a
sudden that it would be easier for her if I told her straight that she
was mistaken.

That she is mistaken in thinking--?

What she does think. She wouldn't have thought it if the old lady
hadn't been driving her mad by hammering it in. She'd have hated me
all right, and I don't blame her when I think of how poor Jem was
treated; but she wouldn't have thought that every time I tried to be
decent and friendly to her I was butting in and making a sick fool of
myself. She's got to stay where her mother keeps her, and she's got to
listen to her. Oh, hell! She's got to be told!

The duke set the tips of his fingers together.

How would you do it?he inquired.

Just straight,replied T. Tembarom. "There's no other way."

From the old worldling broke forth an involuntary low laughwhich was
a sort of cackle. So this was what he was coming to.

I cannot think of any devious method,he saidwhich would make it
less than a delicate thing to do. A beautiful young woman, whose host
you are, has flouted you furiously for weeks, under the impression
that you are offensively in love with her. You propose to tell her
that her judgment has betrayed her, and that, as you say, `There's
nothing doing.'

Not a darned thing, and never has been,said T. Tembarom. He looked
quite grave and not at all embarrassed. He plainly did not see it as a
situation to be regarded with humor.

If she will listen--the duke began.

Oh, she'll listen,put in Tembarom. "I'll make her."

His was a self-contradicting countenancethe duke reflectedas he
took him in with a somewhat long look. One did not usually see a face
built up of boyishness and maturitysimpleness which was baffling
and a good nature which could be hard. At the momentit was both of
these last at one and the same time.

I know something of Lady Joan and I know something of you,he said
but I don't exactly foresee what will happen. I will not say that I
should not like to be present.

There'll be nobody present but just me and her,Tembarom answered.

CHAPTER XXX

The visits of Lady Mallowe and Captain Palliser had had their
features. Neither of the pair had come to one of the most imposing
placesin Lancashire to live a life of hermit-like seclusion and
dullness. They had arrived with the intention of availing themselves
of all such opportunities for entertainment as could be guided in
their direction by the deftness of experience. As a resultthere had
been hospitalities at Temple Barholm such as it had not beheld during
the last generation at least. T. Tembarom had looked onan interested


spectatoras these festivities had been adroitly arranged and managed
for him. He had nothoweverin the least resented acting as a sort
of figurehead in the position of sponsor and host.

They think I don't know I'm not doing it all myself,was his easy
mental summing-up. "They've got the idea that I'm pleased because I
believe I'm It. But that's all to the merry. It's what I've set my
mind on having going on hereand I couldn't have started it as well
myself. I shouldn't have known how. They're teaching me. All I hope is
that Ann's grandmother is keeping tab."

Do you and Rose know old Mrs. Hutchinson?he had inquired of Pearson
the night before the talk with the duke.

Well, not to say exactly know her, sir, but everybody knows of her.
She is a most remarkable old person, sir.Thenafter watching his
face for a moment or sohe added tentativelyWould you perhaps wish
us to make her acquaintance for-- for any reason?

Tembarom thought the matter over speculatively. He had learned that
his first liking for Pearson had been founded upon a rock. He was
always to be trusted to understandand also to apply a quite unusual
intelligence to such matters as he became aware of without having been
told about them.

What I'd like would be for her to hear that there's plenty doing at
Temple Barholm; that people are coming and going all the time; and
that there's ladies to burn--and most of them lookers, at that,was
his answer.

How Pearson had discovered the exotic subtleties of his master's
situation and mental attitude toward itonly those of his class and
gifted with his occult powers could explain in detail. The fact exists
that Pearson did know an immense number of things his employer had not
mentioned to himand held them locked in his bosom in honored
securitylike a little gentleman. He made his reply with a polite
conviction which carried weight.

It would not be necessary for either Rose or me to make old Mrs.
Hutchinson's acquaintance with a view to informing her of anything
which occurs on the estate or in the village, sir,he remarked. "Mrs.
Hutchinson knows more of things than any one ever tells her. She sits
in her cottage thereand she just knows things and sees through
people in a way that'd be almost unearthlyif she wasn't a good old
personand so respectable that there's those that touches their hats
to her as if she belonged to the gentry. She's got a blue eyesir--"

Has she?exclaimed Tembarom.

Yes, sir. As blue as a baby's, sir, and as clear, though she's past
eighty. And they tell me there's a quiet, steady look in it that illdoers
downright quail before. It's as if she was a kind of judge that
sentenced them without speaking. They can't stand it. Oh, sir! you can
depend upon old Mrs. Hutchinson as to who's been here, and even what
they've thought about it. The village just flocks to her to tell her
the news and get advice about things. She'd know.

It was as a result of this that on his return from Stone Hover he
dismissed the carriage at the gates and walked through them to make a
visit in the village. Old Mrs. Hutchinsonsitting knitting in her
chair behind the abnormally flourishing fuchsiasgeraniumsand
campanula carpaticas in her cottage-windowlooked between the bankedup
flower-pots to see that Mr. Temple Barholm had opened her wicketgate
and was walking up the clean bricked path to her front door. When


he knocked she called out in the broad Lancashire she had always
spokenCoom in!When he entered he took off his hat and looked at
herfriendly but hesitantand with the expression of a young man who
has not quite made up his mind as to what he is about to encounter.

I'm Temple Temple Barholm, Mrs. Hutchinson,he announced.

I know that,she answered. "Not that tha looks loike th' Temple
Barholmsbut I've been watchin' thee walk an' drive past here ever
since tha coom to th' place."

She watched him steadily with an astonishingly limpid pair of old
eyes. They were old and young at the same time; old because they held
deeps of wisdomyoung because they were so alive and full of
question.

I don't know whether I ought to have come to see you or not,he
said.

Well, tha'st coom,she repliedgoing on with her knitting. "Sit
thee doun and have a bit of a chat."

Say!he broke out. "Ain't you going to shake hands with me?" He held
his hand out impetuously. He knew he was all right if she'd shake
hands.

Theer's nowt agen that surely,she answeredwith a shrewd bit of a
smile. She gave him her hand. "If I was na stiff in my legsit's my
place to get up an' mak' thee a curtseybut th' rheumatics has no
respect even for th' lord o' th' manor."

If you got up and made me a curtsey,Tembarom saidI should throw
a fit. Say, Mrs. Hutchinson, I bet you know that as well as I do.

The shrewd bit of a smile lighted her eyes as well as twinkled about
her mouth.

Sit thee doun,she said again.

So he sat down and looked at her as straight as she looked at him.

Tha 'd give a good bit,she said presentlyover her flashing
needlesto know how much Little Ann's tow'd me about thee.

I'd give a lot to know how much it'd be square to ask you to tell me
about her,he gave back to herhesitating yet eager.

What does tha mean by square?she demanded.

I mean `fair.' Can I talk to you about her at all? I promised I'd
stick it out here and do as she said. She told me she wasn't going to
write to me or let her father write. I've promised, and I'm not going
to fall down when I've said a thing.

So tha coom to see her grandmother?

He reddenedbut held his head up.

I'm not going to ask her grandmother a thing she doesn't want me to
be told. But I've been up against it pretty hard lately. I read some
things in the New York papers about her father and his invention, and
about her traveling round with him and helping him with his business.

In Germany they wur,she put inforgetting herself. "They're havin'


big doin's over th' invention. What Joe 'u'd do wi'out th' lass I
canna tell. She's doin' every bit o' th' managin' an' contrivin' wi'
them furriners--but he'll never know it. She's got a chap to travel
wi' him as can talk aw th' languages under th' sun."

Her face flushed and she stopped herself sharply.

I'm talkin' about her to thee!she said. "I would na ha' believed o'
mysen'."

He got up from his chair.

I guess I oughtn't to have come,he saidrestlessly. "But you
haven't told me more than I got here and there in the papers. That was
what started me. It was like watching her. I could hear her talking
and see the way she was doing things till it drove me half crazy. All
of a suddenI just got wild and made up my mind I'd come here. I've
wanted to do it many a timebut I've kept away."

Tha showed sense i' doin' that,remarked Mrs. Hutchinson. "She'd not
ha' thowt well o' thee if tha'd coom runnin' to her grandmother every
day or so. What she likes about thee is as she thinks tha's got a
strong backbone o' thy own."

She looked up at him over her knittinglooked straight into his eyes
and there was that in her own which made him redden and feel his pulse
quicken. It was actually something which even remotely suggested that
she was not--in the deeps of her strong old mind--as wholly unswerving
as her words might imply. It was something more subtle than words. She
was not keeping him wholly in the dark when she said "What she likes
about thee." If Ann said things like that to herhe was pretty well
off.

Happen a look at a lass's grandmother--when tha conna get at th' lass
hersen--is a bit o' comfort,she added. "But don't tha go walkin' by
here to look in at th' window too often. She would na think well o'
that either."

Say! There's one thing I'm going to get off my chest before I go,he
announcedjust one thing. She can go where she likes and do what she
likes, but I'm going to marry her when she's done it--unless something
knocks me on the head and finishes me. I'm going to marry her.

Tha art, art tha?laconically; but her eyes were still on hisand
the something in their depths by no means diminished.

I'm keeping up my end here, and it's no slouch of a job, but I'm not
forgetting what she promised for one minute! And I'm not forgetting
what her promise means,he said obstinately.

Tha'd like me to tell her that?she said.

If she doesn't know it, you telling her wouldn't cut any ice,was
his reply. "I'm saying it because I want you to know itand because
it does me good to say it out loud. I'm going to marry her."

That's for her and thee to settle,she commentedimpersonally.

It is settled,he answered. "There 's no way out of it. Will you
shake hands with me again before I go?"

Aye,she consentedI will.

When she took his hand she held it a minute. Her own was warmand


there was no limpness about it. The secret which had seemed to conceal
itself behind her eyes had some difficulty in keeping itself wholly in
the background.

She knows aw tha' does,she said coollyas if she were not suddenly
revealing immensities. "She knows who cooms an' who goesan' what
they think o' theean' how tha gets on wi' 'em. Now get thee gone
ladan' dunnot tha coom back till her or me sends for thee."

Within an hour of this time the afternoon post brought to Lady Mallowe
a letter which she read with an expression in which her daughter
recognized relief. It was in fact a letter for which she had waited
with anxietyand the invitation it contained was a tribute to her
social skill at its highest watermark. In her less heroic momentsshe
had felt doubts of receiving itwhich had caused shudders to run the
entire length of her spine.

I'm going to Broome Haughton,she announced to Joan.

When?Joan inquired.

At the end of the week. I am invited for a fortnight.

Am I going?Joan asked.

No. You will go to London to meet some friends who are coming over
from Paris.

Joan knew that comment was unnecessary. Both she and her mother were
on intimate terms with these hypothetical friends who so frequently
turned up from Paris or elsewhere when it was necessary that she
should suddenly go back to London and live in squalid seclusion in the
unopened housewith a charwoman to provide her with underdone or
burnt chopsand eggs at eighteen a shillingwhile the shutters of
the front rooms were closedand dusty desolation reigned. She knew
every detail of the melancholy squalor of itthe dragging hoursthe
nights of lying awake listening to the occasional passing of belated
cabsor the squeaks and nibbling of mice in the old walls.

If you had conducted yourself sensibly you need not have gone,
continued her mother. "I could have made an excuse and left you here.
You would at least have been sure of good food and decent comforts."

After your visit, are we to return here?was Lady Joan's sole reply.

Don't look at me like that,said Lady Mallowe. "I thought the
country would freshen your color at least; but you are going off more
every day. You look like the Witch of Endor sometimes."

Joan smiled faintly. This was the brandishing of an old weaponand
she understood all its significance. It meant that the time for
opportunities was slipping past her like the waters of a rapid river.

I do not know what will happen when I leave Broome Haughton,her
mother addeda note of rasped uncertainty in her voice. "We may be
obliged to come here for a short timeor we may go abroad."

If I refuse to come, would you let me starve to death in Piers
Street?Joan inquired.

Lady Mallowe looked her overfeeling a sort of frenzy at the sight of
her. In truththe future was a hideous thing to contemplate if no


rescue at all was in sight. It would be worse for her than for Joan
because Joan did not care what happened or did not happenand she
cared desperately. She had indeed arrived at a maddening moment.

Yes,she snappedfiercely.

And when Joan faintly smiled again she understood why women of the
lower orders beat one another until policemen interfere. She knew
perfectly well that the girl had somehow found out that Sir Moses
Monaldini was to be at Broome Haughtonand that when he left there he
was going abroad. She knew also that she had not been able to conceal
that his indifference had of late given her some ghastly hoursand
that her play for this lagging invitation had been a frantically bold
one. That the most ingenious efforts and devices had ended in success
only after such delay made it all the more necessary that no straw
must remain unseized on.

I can wear some of your things, with a little alteration,she said.
Rose will do it for me. Hats and gloves and ornaments do not require
altering. I shall need things you will not need in London. Where are
your keys?

Lady Joan rose and got them for her. She even flushed slightly. They
were often obliged to borrow each other's possessionsbut for a
moment she felt herself moved by a sort of hard pity.

We are like rats in a trap,she remarked. "I hope you will get out."

If I do, you will be left inside. Get out yourself! Get out
yourself!said Lady Mallowe in a fierce whisper.

Her regrets at the necessity of their leaving Temple Barholm were
expressed with fluent touchingness at the dinner-table. The visit had
been so delightful. Mr. Temple Barholm and Miss Alicia had been so
kind. The loveliness of the whole dear place had so embraced them that
they felt as if they were leaving a home instead of ending a
delightful visit. It was extraordinary what an effect the house had on
one. It was as if one had lived in it always--and always would. So few
places gave one the same feeling. They should both look forward-greedy
as it seemed--to being allowed some time to come again. She had
decided from the first that it was not necessary to go to any extreme
of caution or subtlety with her host and Miss Alicia. Her method of
paving the way for future visits was perhaps more than a shade too
elaborate. She felthoweverthat it sufficed. For the most part
Lady Joan sat with lids dropped over her burning eyes. She tried to
force herself not to listen. This was the kind of thing which made her
sick with humiliation. Howsoever rudimentary these people werethey
could not fail to comprehend that a foothold in the house was being
bid for. They should at least see that she did not join in the
bidding. Her own visit had been filled with feelings at war with one
another. There had been hours too many in which she would have been
glad--even with the dingy horrors of the closed town house before her-
to have flown from the hundred things which called out to her on
every side. In the long-past three months of happinessJem had
described them all to her--the roomsgardenspleached walks
picturesthe very furniture itself. She could enter no roomwalk in
no spot she did not seem to knowand passionately love in spite of
herself. She loved them so much that there were times when she yearned
to stay in the place at any costand others when she could not endure
the misery it woke in her-- the pure misery. Now it was over for the
time beingand she was facing something new. There were endless
varieties of wretchedness. She had been watching her mother for some
monthsand had understood her varying moods of temporary elation or
prolonged anxiety. Each one had meant some phase of the episode of Sir


Moses Monaldini. The people who lived at Broome Haughton were
enormously rich Hebrewswho were related to him. They had taken the
beautiful old country-seat and were filling it with huge parties of
their friends. The party which Lady Mallowe was to join would no doubt
offer opportunities of the most desirable kind. Among this special
class of people she was a great success. Her amazingly achieved
toilettesher ripe good looksher air of belonging to the great
worldimpressed themselves immensely.

T. Tembarom thought he never had seen Lady Joan look as handsome as
she looked to-night. The color on her cheek burnedher eyes had a
driven loneliness in them. She had a wonderfully beautiful mouthand
its curve drooped in a new way. He wished Ann could get her in a
corner and sit down and talk sense to her. He remembered what he had
said to the duke. Perhaps this was the time. If she was going away
and her mother meant to drag her back again when she was readyit
would make it easier for her to leave the place knowing she need not
hate to come back. But the duke wasn't making any miss hit when he
said it wouldn't be easy. She was not like Annwho would feel some
pity for the biggest fool on earth if she had to throw him down hard.
Lady Joan would feel neither compunctions nor relentings. He knew the
way she could look at a fellow. If he couldn't make her understand
what he was aiming atthey would both be worse off than they would be
if he left things as they were. But--the hard line showed itself about
his mouth--he wasn't going to leave things as they were.
As they passed through the hall after dinnerLady Mallowe glanced at
a side-table on which lay some letters arrived by the late post. An
imposing envelope was on the top of the rest. Joan saw her face light
as she took it up.

I think this is from Broome Haughton,she said. "If you will excuse
meI will go into the library and read it. It may require answering
at once."

She turned hot and coldpoor womanand went awayso that she might
be free from the disaster of an audience if anything had gone wrong.
It would be better to be alone even if things had gone right. The
letter was from Sir Moses Monaldini. Grotesque and ignoble as it
naturally strikes the uninitiated as seemingthe situation had its
touch of hideous pathos. She had fought for her own hand for years;
she could not digand to beg she was not ashamed; but a time had come
when even the most adroit begging began to bore people. They saw
through itand then there resulted strained relationsslight
stiffness of mannereven in the most useful and amiable personslack
of desire to be hospitableor even condescendingly generous. Cold
shoulders were turnedthere were ominous threatenings of icy backs
presenting themselves. The very tradesmen had found this outand
could not be persuaded that the advertisement furnished by the fact
that two beautiful women of fashion atedrankand wore the articles
which formed the items in their unpaid billswas sufficient return
for the outlay of capital required. Even Mrs. Mellishwhen graciously
approached by the "relative of Miss Temple Barholmwhose perfect
wardrobe you supplied had listened to all seductions with a civil
eye fixed unmovedly and had referred to the rules of the
establishment." Nearer and nearer the edge of the abyss the years had
pushed themand now if something did not happen--something-something--
even the increasingly shabby small house in town would
become a thing of the past. And what then? Could any one wonder she
said to herself that she could have beaten Joan furiously. It would
not matter to any one else if they dropped out of the world into
squalid oblivion--ohshe knew that--she knew that with bitter
certainty!--but ohhow it would matter to them!--at least to herself.
It was all very well for Mudie's to pour forth streams of sentimental


novels preaching the horrors of girls marrying for moneybut what
were you to do--what in heaven's name were you to do? Sofeeling
terrified enough actually to offer up a prayershe took the
imposingly addressed letter into the library.

The men had come into the drawing-room when she returned. As she
enteredJoan did not glance up from the book she was readingbut at
the first sound of her voice she knew what had occurred.

I was obliged to dash off a note to Broome Haughton so that it would
be ready for the early post,Lady Mallowe said. She was at her best.
Palliser saw that some years had slipped from her shoulders. The
moment which relieves or even promises to relieve fears does
astonishing things. Tembarom wondered whether she had had good news
and Miss Alicia thought that her evening dress was more becoming than
any she had ever seen her wear before. Her brilliant air of social
ease returned to herand she began to talk fluently of what was being
done in Londonand to touch lightly upon the possibility of taking
part in great functions. For some time she had rather evaded talk of
the future. Palliser had known that the future had seemed to be
closing in upon herand leaving her staring at a high blank wall.
Persons whose fortunate names had ceased to fall easily from her lips
appeared again upon the horizon. Miss Alicia was impressed anew with
the feeling that she had known every brilliant or important personage
in the big world of social London; that she had taken part in every
dazzling event. Tembarom somehow realized that she had been afraid of
something or otherand was for some reason not afraid any more. Such
a changewhatsoever the reason for itought to have had some effect
on her daughter. Surely she would share her luckif luck had come to
her.

But Lady Joan sat apart and kept her eyes upon her book. This was one
of the things she often chose to doin spite of her mother's
indignant protest.

I came here because you brought me,she would answer. "I did not
come to be entertaining or polite."

She was reading this evening. She heard every word of Lady Mallowe's
agreeable and slightly excited conversation. She did not know exactly
what had happened; but she knew that it was something which had buoyed
her up with a hopefulness which exhilarated her almost too much--as an
extra glass of wine might have done. Once or twice she even lost her
head a little and was a trifle swaggering. T. Tembarom would not
recognize the slipbut Joan saw Palliser's faint smile without
looking up from her book. He observed shades in taste and bearing.
Before her own future Joan saw the blank wall of stone building itself
higher and higher. If Sir Moses had capitulatedshe would be counted
out. With what degree of boldness could a mother cast her penniless
daughter on the world? What unendurable provision make for her? Dare
they offer a pound a week and send her to live in the slums until she
chose to marry some Hebrew friend of her step-father's? That she knew
would be the final alternative. A cruel little smile touched her lips
as she reviewed the number of things she could not do to earn her
living. She could not take in sewing or washingand there was nothing
she could teach. Starvation or marriage. The wall built itself higher
and yet higher. What a hideous thing it was for a penniless girl to be
brought up merely to be a beautyand in consequence supposably a
great lady. And yet if she was born to a certain rank and had height
and figurea lovely moutha delicate noseunusual eyes and lashes
to train her to be a dressmaker or a housemaid would be a stupid
investment of capital. If nothing tragic interfered and the right man
wanted such a girlshe had been trained to please him. But tragic
things had happenedand before her grew the wall while she pretended


to read her book.

T. Tembarom was coming toward her. She had heard Palliser suggest a
game of billiards.
Will you come and play billiards with us?Tembarom asked. "Palliser
says you play splendidly."

She plays brilliantly,put in Lady Mallowe. "ComeJoan."

No, thank you,she answered. "Let me stay here and read."

Lady Mallowe protested. She tried an air of playful maternal
reproach because she was in good spirits. Joan saw Palliser
smiling quietlyand there was that in his smile which suggested
to her that he was thinking her an obstinate fool.

You had better show Temple Barholm what you can do,he remarked.
This will be your last chance, as you leave so soon. You ought never
let a last chance slip by. I never do.

Tembarom stood still and looked down at her from his good height. He
did not know what Palliser's speech meantbut an instinct made him
feel that it somehow held an uglyquiet taunt.

What I would like to do,was the unspoken crudity which passed
through his mindwould be to swat him on the mouth. He's getting at
her just when she ought to be let alone.

Would you like it better to stay here and read?he inquired.

Much better, if you please,was her reply.

Then that goes,he answeredand left her.

He swept the others out of the room with a good-natured promptness
which put an end to argument. When he said of anything "Then that
goes it usually did so.

CHAPTER XXXI

When she was alone Joan sat and gazed not at her wall but at the
pictures that came back to her out of a part of her life which seemed
to have been lived centuries ago. They were the pictures that came
back continually without being called, the clearness of which always
startled her afresh. Sometimes she thought they sprang up to add to
her torment, but sometimes it seemed as if they came to save her from
herself--her mad, wicked self. After all, there were moments when to
know that she had been the girl whose eighteen-year-old heart had
leaped so when she turned and met Jem's eyes, as he stood gazing at
her under the beech-tree, was something to cling to. She had been that
girl and Jem had been--Jem. And she had been the girl who had joined
him in that young, ardent vow that they would say the same prayers at
the same hour each night together. Ah! how young it had been--how
YOUNG! Her throat strained itself because sobs rose in it, and her
eyes were hot with the swell of tears.

She could hear voices and laughter and the click of balls from the
billiard-room. Her mother and Palliser laughed the most, but she knew
the sound of her mother's voice would cease soon, because she would


come back to her. She knew she would not leave her long, and she knew
the kind of scene they would pass through together when she returned.
The old things would be said, the old arguments used, but a new one
would be added. It was a pleasant thing to wait here, knowing that it
was coming, and that for all her fierce pride and fierce spirit she
had no defense. It was at once horrible and ridiculous that she must
sit and listen--and stare at the growing wall. It was as she caught
her breath against the choking swell of tears that she heard Lady
Mallowe returning. She came in with an actual sweep across the room.
Her society air had fled, and she was unadornedly furious when she
stopped before Joan's chair. For a few seconds she actually glared;
then she broke forth in a suppressed undertone:

Come into the billiard-room. I command it!"

Joan lifted her eyes from her book. Her voice was as low as her
mother'sbut steadier.

No,she answered.

Is this conduct to continue? Is it?Lady Mallowe panted.

Yes,said Joanand laid her book on the table near her. There was
nothing else to say. Words made things worse.

Lady Mallowe had lost her headbut she still spoke in the suppressed
voice.

You SHALL behave yourself!she criedunder her breathand actually
made a passionate half-start toward her. "You violent-natured virago!
The very look on your face is enough to drive one mad!"

I know I am violent-natured,said Joan. "But don't you think it wise
to remember that you cannot make the kind of scene here that you can
in your own house? We are a bad-tempered pairand we behave rather
like fishwives when we are in a rage. But when we are guests in other
people's houses--"

Lady Mallowe's temper was as elemental as any Billingsgate could
provide.

You think you can take advantage of that!she said. "Don't trust
yourself too far. Do you imagine that just when all might go well for
me I will allow you to spoil everything?"

How can I spoil everything?

By behaving as you have been behaving since we came here--refusing to
make a home for yourself; by hanging round my neck so that it will
appear that any one who takes me must take you also.

There are servants outside,Joan warned her.

You shall not stop me!cried Lady Mallowe.

You cannot stop yourself,said Joan. "That is the worst of it. It is
bad enough when we stand and hiss at each other in a stage whisper;
but when you lose control over yourself and raise your voice--"

I came in here to tell you that this is your last chance. I shall
never give you another. Do you know how old you are?

I shall soon be twenty-seven,Joan answered. "I wish I were a
hundred. Then it would all be over."


But it will not be over for years and years and years,her mother
flung back at her. "Have you forgotten that the very rags you wear are
not paid for?"

No, I have not forgotten.The scene was working itself up on the old
linesas Joan had known it would. Her mother never failed to say the
same thingsevery time such a scene took place.

You will get no more such rags--paid or unpaid for. What do you
expect to do? You don't know how to work, and if you did no decent
woman would employ you. You are too good-looking and too badtempered.


Joan knew she was perfectly right. Knowing itshe remained silent
and her silence added to her mother's helpless rage. She moved a step
nearer to her and flung the javelin which she always knew would strike
deep.

You have made yourself a laughing-stock for all London for years. You
are mad about a man who disgraced and ruined himself.

She saw the javelin quiver as it struck; but Joan's voice as it
answered her had a quality of low and deadly steadiness.

You have said that a thousand times, and you will say it another
thousand--though you know the story was a lie and was proved to be
one.

Lady Mallowe knew her way thoroughly.

Who remembers the denials? What the world remembers is that Jem
Temple Barholm was stamped as a cheat and a trickster. No one has time
to remember the other thing. He is dead--dead! When a man's dead it's
too late.

She was desperate enough to drive her javelin home deeper than she had
ever chanced to drive it before. The truth--the awful truth she
uttered shook Joan from head to foot. She sprang up and stood before
her in heart-wrung fury.

Oh! You are a hideously cruel woman!she cried. "They say even
tigers care for their young! But you--you can say that to _me_. 'When
a man's deadit's too late.'"

It _is_ too late--it IS too late!Lady Mallowe persisted. Why had
not she struck this note before? It was breaking her will: "I would
say anything to bring you to your senses."

Joan began to move restlessly to and fro.

Oh, what a fool I am!she exclaimed. "As if you could understand--as
if you could care!"

Struggle as she might to be defiantshe was breakingLady Mallowe
repeated to herself. She followed her as a hunter might have followed
a young leopardess with a wound in its flank.

I came here because it _is_ your last chance. Palliser knew what he
was saying when he made a joke of it just now. He knew it wasn't a
joke. You might have been the Duchess of Merthshire; you might have
been Lady St. Maur, with a husband with millions. And here you are.
You know what's before you--when I am out of the trap.


Joan laughed. It was a wild little laughand she felt there was no
sense in it.

I might apply for a place in Miss Alicia's Home for Decayed
Gentlewomen,she said.

Lady Mallowe nodded her head fiercely.

Apply, then. There will be no place for you in the home I am going to
live in,she retorted.

Joan ceased moving about. She was about to hear the one argument that
was new.

You may as well tell me,she saidwearily.

I have had a letter from Sir Moses Monaldini. He is to be at Broome
Haughton. He is going there purposely to meet me. What he writes can
mean only one thing. He means to ask me to marry him. I'm your mother,
and I'm nearly twenty years older than you; but you see that I'm out
of the trap first.

I knew you would be,answered Joan.

He detests you,Lady Mallowe went on. "He will not hear of your
living with us--or even near us. He says you are old enough to take
care of yourself. Take my advice. I am doing you a good turn in giving
it. This New York newsboy is mad over you. If he hadn't been we should
have been bundled out of the house before this. He never has spoken to
a lady before in his lifeand he feels as if you were a goddess. Go
into the billiard-room this instantand do all a woman can. Go!" And
she actually stamped her foot on the carpet.

Joan's thunder-colored eyes seemed to grow larger as she stared at
her. Her breast lifted itselfand her face slowly turned pale.
Perhaps--she thought it wildly--people sometimes did die of feelings
like this.

He would crawl at your feet,her mother went onpursuing what she
felt sure was her advantage. She was so sure of it that she added
words only a fool or a woman half hysteric with rage would have added.
You might live in the very house you would have lived in with Jem
Temple Barholm, on the income he could have given you.

She saw the crassness of her blunder the next moment. If she had had
an advantageshe had lost it. Wickedlywithout a touch of mirth
Joan laughed in her face.

Jem's house and Jem's money--and the New York newsboy in his shoes,
she flung at her. "T. Tembarom to live with until one lay down on
one's deathbed. T. Tembarom!"

Suddenlysomething was giving way in herLady Mallowe thought again.
Joan slipped into a chair and dropped her head and hidden face on the
table.

Oh! Mother! Mother!she ended. "Oh! Jem! Jem!"

Was she sobbing or trying to choke sobbing back? There was no time to
be lost. Her mother had never known a scene to end in this way before.

Crying!there was absolute spite in her voice. "That shows you know
what you are in forat all events. But I've said my last word. What
does it matter to meafter all? You're in the trap. I'm not. Get out


as best you can. I've done with you."

She turned her back and went out of the room--as she had come into it-
with a sweep Joan would have smiled at as rather vulgar if she had
seen it. As a child in the nurseryshe had often seen that her
ladyship was vulgar.

But she did not see the sweep because her face was hidden. Something
in her had broken this timeas her mother had felt. That bitter
sordid truthdriven home as it had beenhad done it. Who had time to
remember denialsor lies proved to be lies? Nobody in the world. Who
had time to give to the defense of a dead man? There was not time
enough to give to living ones. It was true--true! When a man is dead
it is too late. The wall had built itself until it reached her sky;
but it was not the wall she bent her head and sobbed over. It was that
suddenly she had seen again Jem's face as he had stood with slowgrowing
pallorand looked round at the ring of eyes which stared at
him; Jem's face as he strode by her without a glance and went out of
the room. She forgot everything else on earth. She forgot where she
was. She was eighteen againand she sobbed in her arms as eighteen
sobs when its heart is torn from it.

Oh Jem! Jem!she cried. "If you were only in the same world with me!
If you were just in the same world!"

She had forgotten all elseindeed. She forgot too long. She did not
know how long. It seemed that no more than a few minutes had passed
before she was without warning struck with the shock of feeling that
some one was in the room with herstanding near herlooking at her.
She had been mad not to remember that exactly this thing would be sure
to happenby some abominable chance. Her movement as she rose was
almost violentshe could not hold herself stilland her face was
horribly wet with shamelessunconcealable tears. Shameless she felt
them--indecent--a sort of nudity of the soul. If it had been a servant
who had intrudedor if it had been Palliser it would have been
intolerable enough. But it was T. Tembarom who confronted her with his
common facemoved mysteriously by some feeling she resented even more
than she resented his presence. He was too grossly ignorant to know
that a man of breedinghaving entered by chancewould have turned
and gone awayprofessing not to have seen. He seemed to think--the
dolt!--that he must make some apology.

Say! Lady Joan!he began. "I beg your pardon. I didn't want to butt
in."

Then go away,she commanded. "Instantly--instantly!"

She knew he must see that she spoke almost through her teeth in her
effort to control her sobbing breath. But he made no move toward
leaving her. He even drew nearerlooking at her in a sort of
meditativeobstinate way.

N-no,he replieddeliberately. "I guess--I won't."

You won't?Lady Joan repeated after him. "Then I will."

He made a stride forward and laid his hand on her arm.

No. Not on your life. You won't, either--if I can help it. And you're
going to LET me help it.

Almost any one but herself--any oneat leastwho did not resent his
very existence--would have felt the drop in his voice which suddenly
struck the note of boyishfriendly appeal in the last sentence.


You're going to LET me,he repeated.

She stood looking down at the daringunconscious hand on her arm.

I suppose,she saidwith cutting slownessthat you do not even
_know_ that you are insolent. Take your hand away,in arrogant
command.

He removed it with an unabashed half-smile.

I beg your pardon,he said. "I didn't even know I'd put it there. It
was a break--but I wanted to keep you."

That he not only wanted to keep herbut intended to do so was
apparent. His air was neither rough nor brutalbut he had ingeniously
placed himself in the outlet between the big table and the way to the
door. He put his hands in his pockets in his vulgarunconscious way
and watched her.

Say, Lady Joan!he broke forthin the frank outburst of a man who
wants to get something over. "I should be a fool if I didn't see that
you're up against it--hard! What's the matter?" His voice dropped
again.

There was something in the drop this time which--perhaps because of
her recent emotion--sounded to her almost as if he were asking the
question with the protecting sympathy of the tone one would use in
speaking to a child. How dare he! But it came home to her that Jem had
once said "What's the matter?" to her in the same way.

Do you think it likely that I should confide in you?she saidand
inwardly quaked at the memory as she said it.

No,he answeredconsidering the matter gravely. "It's not likely-the
way things look to you now. But if you knew me better perhaps it
would be likely."

I once explained to you that I do not intend to know you better,she
gave answer.

He nodded acquiescently.

Yes. I got on to that. And it's because it's up to me that I came out
here to tell you something I want you to know before you go away. I'm
going to confide in you.

Cannot even you see that I am not in the mood to accept confidences?
she exclaimed.

Yes, I can. But you're going to accept this one,steadily. "No as
she made a swift movement, I'm not going to clear the way till I've
done."

I insist!she cried. "If you were--"

He put out his handbut not to touch her.

I know what you're going to say. If I were a gentleman--Well, I'm not
laying claim to that--but I'm a sort of a man, anyhow, though you
mayn't think it. And you're going to listen.

She began to stare at him. It was not the ridiculous boyish drop in
his voice which arrested her attention. It was a fantastic
incongruouswholly different thing. He had suddenly dropped his


slouch and stood upright. Did he realize that he had slung his words
at her as if they were an order given with the ring of authority?

I've not bucked against anything you've said or done since you've
been here,he went onspeaking fast and grimly. "I didn't mean to. I
had my reasons. There were things that I'd have given a good deal to
say to you and ask you aboutbut you wouldn't let me. You wouldn't
give me a chance to square things for you--if they could be squared.
You threw me down every time I tried!"

He was too wildly incomprehensible with his changes from humanness to
folly. Remembering what he had attempted to say on the day he had
followed her in the avenueshe was inflamed again.

What in the name of New York slang does that mean?she demanded.

Never mind New York,he answeredcool as well as grim. "A fellow
that's learned slang in the streets has learned something else as
well. He's learned to keep his eyes open. He's on to a way of seeing
things. And what I've seen is that you're so doggone miserable that-that
you're almost down and out."

This time she spoke to him in the voice with the quality of deadliness
in it which she had used to her mother.

Do you think that because you are in your own house you can be as
intrusively insulting as you choose?she said.

No, I don't,he answered. "What I think is quite different. I think
that if a man has a house of his ownand there's any one in big
trouble under the roof of it--a woman most of all--he's a cheap skate
if he don't get busy and try to help--just plainstraight help."

He saw in her eyes all her concentrated disdain of himbut he went
onstill obstinate and cool and grim.

I guess 'help' is too big a word just yet. That may come later, and
it mayn't. What I'm going to try at now is making it easier for you-just
easier.

Her contemptuous gesture registered no impression on him as he paused
a moment and looked fixedly at her.

You just hate me, don't you?It was a mere statement which couldn't
have been more impersonal to himself if he had been made of wood.
That's all right. I seem like a low-down intruder to you. Well,
that's all right, too. But what ain't all right is what your mother
has set you on to thinking about me. You'd never have thought it
yourself. You'd have known better.

What,fiercelyis that?

That I'm mutt enough to have a mash on you.

The common slangy crassness of it was a kind of shock. She caught her
breath and merely stared at him. But he was not staring at her; he was
simply looking straight into her faceand it amazingly flashed upon
her that the extraordinary words were so entirely unembarrassed and
direct that they were actually not offensive.

He was merely telling her something in his own waynot caring the
least about his own effectbut absolutely determined that she should
hear and understand it.


Her caught breath ended in something which was like a half-laugh. His
queersharpincomprehensible facehis queerunmoved voice were too
extraordinarily unlike anything she had ever seen or heard before.

I don't want to be brash--and what I want to say may seem kind of
that way to you. But it ain't. Anyhow, I guess it'll relieve your
mind. Lady Joan, you're a looker--you're a beaut from Beautville. If I
were your kind, and things were different, I'd be crazy about you-crazy!
But I'm not your kind--and things are different.He drew a
step nearer still to her in his intentness. "They're this different.
WhyLady Joan! I'm dead stuck on another girl!"

She caught her breath againleaning forward.

Another--!

She says she's not a lady; she threw me down just because all this
darned money came to me,he hastened onand suddenly he was
imperturbable no longerbut flushed and boyishand more of New York
than ever. "She's a little bit of a quiet thing and she drops her h's
but gee--! You're a looker --you're a queen and she's not. But Little
Ann Hutchinson-- WhyLady Joanas far as this boy's concerned"--and
he oddly touched himself on the breast--"she makes you look like
thirty cents."

Joan quickly sat down on the chair she had just left. She rested an
elbow on the table and shaded her face with her hand. She was not
laughing; she scarcely knew what she was doing or feeling.

You are in love with Ann Hutchinson,she saidin a low voice.

Am I?he answered hotly. "WellI should smile!" He disdained to say
more.

Then she began to know what she felt. There came back to her in
flashes scenes from the past weeks in which she had done her worst by
him; in which she had swept him asideloathed himset her feet on
himused the devices of an ingenious demon to discomfit and show him
at his poorest and least ready. And he had not been giving a thought
to the thing for which she had striven to punish him. And he plainly
did not even hate her. His mind was clearas water is clear. He had
come back to her this evening to do her a good turn--a good turn.
Knowing what she was capable of in the way of arrogance and villainous
temperhe had determined to do her--in spite of herself--a good turn.

I don't understand you,she faltered.

I know you don't. But it's only because I'm so dead easy to
understand. There's nothing to find out. I'm just friendly --friendly-
that's all.

You would have been friends with me! she exclaimed. "You would have
told meand I wouldn't let you! Oh!" with an impulsive flinging out
of her hand to himyou good --good fellow!

Good be darned! he answeredtaking the hand at once.

You are good to tell me! I have behaved like a devil to you. But oh!
if you only knew!

His face became mature again; but he took a most informal seat on the
edge of the table near her.

I do know--part of it. That's why I've been trying to be friends with


you all the time.He said his next words deliberately. "If I was the
woman Jem Temple Barholm had loved wouldn't it have driven me mad to
see another man in his place--and remember what was done to him. I
never even saw himbutgood God! "--she saw his hand clench itself--
when I think of it I want to kill somebody! I want to kill half a
dozen. Why didn't they know it couldn't be true of a fellow like that!

She sat up stiffly and watched him.

Do--you--feel like that--about him?

Do I!red-hotly. "There were men there that knew him! There were
women there that knew him! Why wasn't there just one to stand by him?
A man that's been square all his life doesn't turn into a card-sharp
in a night. Damn fools! I beg your pardon hastily. And then, as
hastily again: NoI mean it. Damn fools!"

Oh!she gaspedjust once.

Her passionate eyes were suddenly blinded with tears. She caught at
his clenched hand and dragged it to herletting her face drop on it
and crying like a child.

The way he took her utter breaking down was just like him and like no
one else. He put the other hand on her shoulder and spoke to her
exactly as he had spoken to Miss Alicia on that first afternoon.

Don't you mind me, Lady Joan,he said. "Don't you mind me a bit.
I'll turn my back. I'll go into the billiard- room and keep them
playing until you get away up-stairs. Now we understand each other
it'll be better for both of us."

No, don't go! Don't!she begged. "It is so wonderful to find some
one who sees the cruelty of it." She spoke fast and passionately. "No
one would listen to any defense of him. My mother simply raved when I
said what you are saying."

Do you want --he put it to her with a curious comprehending of her
emotion--"to talk about him? Would it do you good?"

Yes! Yes! I have never talked to any one. There has been no one to
listen.

Talk all you want,he answeredwith immense gentleness. "I'm here."

I can't understand it even now, but he would not see me!she broke
out. "I was half mad. I wroteand he would not answer. I went to his
chambers when I heard he was going to leave England. I went to beg him
to take me with himmarried or unmarried. I would have gone on my
knees to him. He was gone! Ohwhy? Why?"

You didn't think he'd gone because he didn't love you?he put it to
her quite literally and unsentimentally. "You knew better than that?"

How could I be sure of anything! When he left the room that awful
night he would not look at me! He would not look at me!

Since I've been here I've been reading a lot of novels, and I've
found out a lot of things about fellows that are not the common,
practical kind. Now, he wasn't. He'd lived pretty much like a fellow
in a novel, I guess. What's struck me about that sort is that they
think they have to make noble sacrifices, and they'll just walk all
over a woman because they won't do anything to hurt her. There's not a
bit of sense in it, but that was what he was doing. He believed he was


doing the square thing by you--and you may bet your life it hurt him
like hell. I beg your pardon--but that's the word--just plain hell.

I was only a girl. He was like iron. He went away alone. He was
killed, and when he was dead the truth was told.

That's what I've remembered --quite slowly--"every time I've looked
at you. By gee! I'd have stood anything from a woman that had suffered
as much as that."

It made her cry--his genuineness--and she did not care in the least
that the tears streamed down her cheeks. How he had stood things! How
he had bornein that oddunimpressive wayinsolence and arrogance
for which she ought to have been beaten and blackballed by decent
society! She could scarcely bear it.

Oh! to think it should have been you,she weptjust you who
understood!

Well,he answered speculativelyI mightn't have understood as well
if it hadn't been for Ann. By jings! I used to lie awake at night
sometimes thinking `supposing it bad been Ann and me!' I'd sort of
work it out as it might have happened in New York--at the office of
the Sunday Earth. Supposing some fellow that'd had a grouch against me
had managed it so that Galton thought I'd been getting away with money
that didn't belong to me--fixing up my expense account, or worse. And
Galton wouldn't listen to what I said, and fired me; and I couldn't
get a job anywhere else because I was down and out for good. And
nobody would listen. And I was killed without clearing myself. And
Little Ann was left to stand it--Little Ann! Old Hutchinson wouldn't
listen, I know that. And it would be all shut up burning in her big
little heart--burning. And T. T. dead, and not a word to say for
himself. Jehoshaphat!--taking out his handkerchief and touching his
forehead--"it used to make the cold sweat start out on me. It's doing
it now. Ann and me might have been Jem and you. That's why I
understood."

He put out his hand and caught hers and frankly squeezed it--squeezed
it hard; and the unconventional clutch was a wonderful thing to her.

It's all right now, ain't it?he said. "We've got it straightened
out. You'll not be afraid to come back here if your mother wants you
to." He stopped for a moment and then went on with something of
hesitation: "We don't want to talk about your mother. We can't. But I
understand hertoo. Folks are different from each other in their
ways. She's different from you. I'll--I'll straighten it out with her
if you like."

Nothing will need straightening out after I tell her that you are
going to marry Little Ann Hutchinson,said Joanwith a half-smile.
And that you were engaged to her before you saw me.

Well, that does sort of finish things up, doesn't it?said T.
Tembarom.

He looked at her so speculatively for a moment after this that she
wondered whether he had something more to say. He had.

There's something I want to ask you,he ventured.

Ask anything.

Do you know any one--just any one--who has a photo-- just any old
photo--of Jem Temple Barholm?


She was rather puzzled.

Yes. I know a woman who has worn one for nearly eight years. Do you
want to see it?

I'd give a good deal to,was his answer.

She took a flat locket from her dress and handed it to him.

Women don't wear lockets in these days.He could barely hear her
voice because it was so low. "But I've never taken it off. I want him
near my heart. It's Jem!"

He held it on the palm of his hand and stood under the lightstudying
it as if he wanted to be sure he wouldn't forget it.

It's--sorter like that picture of Miles Hugo, ain't it?he
suggested.

Yes. People always said so. That was why you found me in the picturegallery
the first time we met.

I knew that was the reason--and I knew I'd made a break when I butted
in,he answered. Thenstill looking at the photographYou'd know
this face again most anywhere you saw it, I guess.

There are no faces like it anywhere,said Joan.

I guess that's so,he replied. "And it's one that wouldn't change
much either. Thank youLady Joan."

He handed back the pictureand she put out her hand again.

I think I'll go to my room now,she said. "You've done a strange
thing to me. You've taken nearly all the hatred and bitterness out of
my heart. I shall want to come back here whether my mother comes or
not--I shall want to."

The sooner the quicker,he said. "And so long as I'm here I'll be
ready and waiting."

Don't go away,she said softly. "I shall need you."

Isn't that great?he criedflushing delightedly. "Isn't it just
great that we've got things straightened so that you can say that.
Gee! This is a queer old world! There's such a lot to do in itand so
few hours in the day. Seems like there ain't time to stop long enough
to hate anybody and keep a grouch on. A fellow's got to keep hustling
not to miss the things worth while."

The liking in her eyes was actually wistful.

That's your way of thinking, isn't it?she said. "Teach it to me if
you can. I wish you could. Good-night." She hesitated a second. "God
bless you!" she addedquite suddenly--almost fantastic as the words
sounded to her. That sheJoan Fayreshould be calling down devout
benisons on the head of T. Tembarom--T. Tembarom!

Her mother was in her room when she reached it. She had come up early
to look over her possessions--and Joan's--before she began her
packing. The bedthe chairsand tables were spread with evening
morningand walking-dressesand the millinery collected from their
combined wardrobes. She was examining anxiously a lace appliqued and


embroidered white coatand turned a slightly flushed face toward the
opening door.

I am going over your things as well as my own,she said. "I shall
take what I can use. You will require nothing in London. You will
require nothing anywhere in future. What is the matter?" she said
sharplyas she saw her daughter's face.

Joan came forward feeling it a strange thing that she was not in the
mood to fight--to lash out and be glad to do it.

Captain Palliser told me as I came up that Mr. Temple Barholm had
been talking to you,her mother went on. "He heard you having some
sort of scene as he passed the door. As you have made your decision
of course I know I needn't hope that anything has happened."

What has happened has nothing to do with my decision. He wasn't
waiting for that,Joan answered her. "We were both entirely mistaken
Mother."

What are you talking about?cried Lady Mallowebut she temporarily
laid the white coat on a chair. "What do you mean by mistaken?"

He doesn't want me--he never did,Joan answered again. A shadow of a
smile hovered over her faceand there was no derision in itonly a
warming recollection of his earnestness when he had said the words she
quoted: "He is what they call in New York `dead stuck on another
girl."'

Lady Mallowe sat down on the chair that held the white coatand she
did not push the coat aside.

He told you that in his vulgar slang!she gasped it out. "You--you
ought to have struck him dead with your answer."

Except poor Jem Temple Barholm,was the amazing reply she received
he is the only friend I ever had in my life.

CHAPTER XXXII

It was business of serious importance which was to bring Captain
Palliser's visit to a close. He explained it perfectly to Miss Alicia
a day or so after Lady Mallowe and her daughter left them. He had
lately been most amiable in his manner toward Miss Aliciaand had
given her much valuable information about companies and stocks. He
rather unexpectedly found it imperative that he should go to London
and Berlin to "see people"--dealers in great financial schemes who
were deeply interested in solid business speculationssuch as his
ownwhich were fundamentally different from all others in the
impeccable firmness of their foundations.

I suppose he will be very rich some day,Miss Alicia remarked the
first morning she and T. Tembarom took their breakfast alone together
after his departure. "It would frighten me to think of having as much
money as he seems likely to have quite soon."

It would scare me to death,said Tembarom. She knew he was making a
sort of jokebut she thought the point of it was her tremor at the
thought of great fortune.


He seemed to think that it would be an excellent thing for you to
invest in--I'm not sure whether it was the India Rubber Tree Company,
or the mahogany forests or the copper mines that have so much gold and
silver mixed in them that it will pay for the expense of the digging-
she went on.

I guess it was the whole lot,put in Tembarom.

Perhaps it was. They are all going to make everybody so rich that it
is quite bewildering. He is very clever in business matters. And so
kind. He even said that if I really wished it he might be able to
invest my income for me and actually treble it in a year. But of
course I told him that my income was your generous gift to me, and
that it was far more than sufficient for my needs.

Tembarom put down his coffee-cup so suddenly to look at her that she
was fearful that she had appeared to do Captain Palliser some vague
injustice.

I am sure he meant to be most obliging, dear,she explained. "I was
really quite touched. He said most sympathetically and delicately that
when women were unmarriedand unaccustomed to investmentsometimes a
business man could be of use to them. He forgot"--affectionately-"
that I had you."

Tembarom regarded her with tender curiosity. She often opened up
vistas for him as he himself opened them for the Duke of Stone.

If you hadn't had me, would you have let him treble your income in a
year?he asked.

Her expression was that of a softwoodland rabbit or a trusting
spinster dove.

Well, of course, if one were quite alone in the world and had only a
small income, it would be nice to have it wonderfully added to in such
a short time,she answered. "But it was his friendly solicitude which
touched me. I have not been accustomed to such interested delicacy on
the part of--of gentlemen." Her hesitance before the last word being
the result of trainingwhich had made her feel that it was a little
bold for "ladies" to refer quite openly to "gentlemen."

You sometimes read in the newspapers,said Tembarombuttering his
toastabout ladies who are all alone in the world with a little
income, but they're not often left alone with it long. It's like you
said--you've got me; but if the time ever comes when you haven't got
me just you make a dead-sure thing of it that you don't let any
solicitous business gentleman treble your income in a year. If it's an
income that comes to more than five cents, don't you hand it over to
be made into fifteen. Five cents is a heap better--just plain five.

Temple!gasped Miss Alicia. "You--you surely cannot mean that you do
not think Captain Palliser is--sincere!"

Tembarom laughed outrighthis most hilarious and comforting laugh. He
had no intention of enlightening her in such a manner as would lead
her at once to behold pictures of him as the possible victim of
appalling catastrophes. He liked her too well as she was.

Sincere?he said. "He's sincere down to the ground --in what he's
reaching after. But he's not going to treble your incomenor mine. If
he ever makes that offer againyou just tell him I'm interestedand
that I'll talk it over with him."


I could not help saying to him that I didn't think you could want any
more money when you had so much,she addedbut he said one never
knew what might happen. He was greatly interested when I told him you
had once said the very same thing yourself.

Their breakfast was at an endand he got uplaughing againas he
came to her end of the table and put his arm around her shoulders in
the unconventional young caress she adored him for.

It's nice to be by ourselves again for a while,he said. "Let us go
for a walk together. Put on the little bonnet and dress that are the
color of a mouse. Those little duds just get me. You look so pretty in
them."

The sixteen-year-old blush ran up to the roots of her gray sideringlets.
Just imagine his remembering the color of her dress and
bonnetand thinking that anything could make her look pretty! She was
overwhelmed with innocent and grateful confusion. There really was no
one else in the least like him.

You do look well, ma'am,Rose saidwhen she helped her to dress.
You've got such a nice color, and that tiny bit of old rose Mrs.
Mellish put in the bonnet does bring it out.

I wonder if it is wrong of me to be so pleased,Miss Alicia thought.
I must make it a subject of prayer, and ask to be aided to conquer a
haughty and vain-glorious spirit.

She was pathetically serioushaving been trained to a view of the
Great First Cause as figuratively embodied in the image of a gigantic
irascibleomnipotent old gentlemanespecially wrought to fury by
feminine follies connected with becoming headgear.

It has sometimes even seemed to me that our Heavenly Father has a
special objection to ladies,she had once timorously confessed to
Tembarom. "I suppose it is because we are so much weaker than menand
so much more given to vanity and petty vices."

He had caught her in his arms and actually hugged her that time. Their
intimacy had reached the point where the affectionate outburst did not
alarm her.

Say!he had laughed. "It's not the men who are going to have the
biggest pull with the authorities when folks try to get into the place
where things are evened up. What I'm going to work my passage with is
a list of the few 'ladies' I've known. You and Ann will be at the head
of it. I shall just slide it in at the box-office window and say
'Just look over thiswill you? These were friends of mineand they
were mighty good to me. I guess if they didn't turn me downyou
needn't. I know they're in here. Reserved seats. I'm not expecting to
be put with them but if I'm allowed to hang around where they are
that'll be heaven enough for me.'"

I know you don't mean to be irreverent, dear Temple,she gasped. "I
am quite sure you don't! It is--it is only your American way of
expressing your kind thoughts. And of course"--quite hastily--"the
Almighty must understand Americans--as he made so many." And half
frightened though she wasshe patted his arm with the warmth of
comfort in her soul and moisture in her eyes. Somehow or otherhe was
always so comforting.

He held her arm as they took their walk. She had become used to that
alsoand no longer thought it odd. It was only one of the ways he had
of making her feel that she was being taken care of. They had not been


able to have many walks together since the arrival of the visitors
and this occasion was at once a cause of relief and inward rejoicing.
The entire truth was that she had not been altogether happy about him
of late. Sometimeswhen he was not talking and saying amusing New
York things which made people laughhe seemed almost to forget where
he was and to be thinking of something which baffled and tried him.
The way in which he pulled himself together when he realized that any
one was looking at him wasto her mindthe most disturbing feature
of his fits of abstraction. It suggested that if he really had a
trouble it was a private one on which he would not like her to
intrude. Naturallyher adoring eyes watched him oftener than he knew
and she tried to find plausible and not too painful reasons for his
mood. He always made light of his unaccustomedness to his new life;
but perhaps it made him feel more unrestful than he would admit.

As they walked through the park and the villageher heart was greatly
warmed by the way in which each person they met greeted him. They
greeted no one else in the same wayand yet it was difficult to
explain what the difference was. They liked him-- really liked him
though how he had overcome their natural distrust of his newsboy and
bootblack record no one but himself knew. In factshe had reason to
believe that even he himself did not know--had indeed never asked
himself. They had gradually begun to like himthough none of them had
ever accused him of being a gentleman according to their own
acceptance of the word. Every man touched his cap or forehead with a
friendly grin which spread itself the instant he caught sight of him.
Grin and salute were synchronous. It was as if there were some
extremely human joke between them. Miss Alicia had delightedly
remembered a remark the Duke of Stone had made to her on his return
from one of their long drives.

He is the most popular man in the county,he had chuckled. "If war
broke out and he were in the armyhe could raise a regiment at his
own gates which would follow him wheresoever he chose to lead it--if
it were into hottest Hades."

Tembarom was rather silent during the first part of their walkand
when he spoke it was of Captain Palliser.

He's a fellow that's got lots of curiosity. I guess he's asked you
more questions than he's asked me,he began at lastand he looked at
her interestedlythough she was not aware of it.

I thought--she hesitated slightly because she did not wish to be
critical--"I sometimes thought he asked me too many."

What was he trying to get on to mostly?

He asked so many things about you and your life in New York--but
more, I think, about you and Mr. Strangeways. He was really quite
persistent once or twice about poor Mr. Strangeways.

What did he ask?

He asked if I had seen him, and if you had preferred that I should
not. He calls him your Mystery, and thinks your keeping him here is so
extraordinary.

I guess it is--the way he'd look at it,Tembarom dropped in.

He was so anxious to find out what he looked like. He asked how old
he was and how tall, and whether he was quite mad or only a little,
and where you picked him up, and when, and what reason you gave for
not putting him in some respectable asylum. I could only say that I


really knew nothing about him, and that I hadn't seen him because he
had a dread of strangers and I was a little timid.

She hesitated again.

I wonder,she saidstill hesitating even after her pauseI wonder
if I ought to mention a rather rude thing I saw him do twice?

Yes, you ought,Tembarom answered promptly; "I've a reason for
wanting to know."

It was such a singular thing to do--in the circumstances,she went
on obediently. "He knewas we all knowthat Mr. Strangeways must not
be disturbed. One afternoon I saw him walk slowly backward and forward
before the west room window. He had something in his hand and kept
looking up. That was what first attracted my attention--his queer way
of looking up. Quite suddenly he threw something which rattled on the
panes of glass--it sounded like gravel or small pebbles. I couldn't
help believing he thought Mr. Strangeways would be startled into
coming to the window."

Tembarom cleared his throat.

He did that twice,he said. "Pearson caught him at itthough
Palliser didn't know he did. He'd have done it three timesor more
than thatperhapsbut I casually mentioned in the smoking-room one
night that some curious fool of a gardener boy had thrown some stones
and frightened Strangewaysand that Pearson and I were watching for
himand that if I caught him I was going to knock his block off-bing!
He didn't do it again. Darned fool! What does he think he's
after?"

I am afraid he is rather--I hope it is not wrong to say so --but he
is rather given to gossip. And I dare say that the temptation to find
something quite new to talk about was a great one. So few new things
happen in the neighborhood, and, as the duke says, people are so
bored--and he is bored himself.

He'll be more bored if he tries it again when he comes back,
remarked Tembarom.

Miss Alicia's surprised expression made him laugh.

Do you think he will come back?she exclaimed. "After such a long
visit?"

Oh, yes, he'll come back. He'll come back as often as he can until
he's got a chunk of my income to treble--or until I've done with him.

Until you've done with him, dear?inquiringly.

Oh! well,--casually--"I've a sort of idea that he may tell me
something I'd like to know. I'm not sure; I'm only guessing. But even
if he knows it he won't tell me until he gets good and ready and
thinks I don't want to hear it. What he thinks he's going to get at by
prowling around is something he can get me in the crack of the door
with."

Temple--imploringly--"are you afraid he wishes to do you an injury?"

No, I'm not afraid. I'm just waiting to see him take a chance on it,
and he gave her arm an affectionate squeeze against his side. He was
always immensely moved by her little alarms for him. They reminded
himin a remote wayof Little Ann coming down Mrs. Bowse's staircase


bearing with her the tartan comforter.

How could any one--how could any one want to do him an injury? she
began to protest pathetically. But he would not let her go on. He
would not talk any more of Captain Palliser or allow her to talk of
him. Indeedher secret fear was that he really knew something he did
not wish her to be troubled byand perhaps thought he had said too
much. He began to make jokes and led her to other subjects. He asked
her to go to the Hibblethwaites' cottage and pay a visit to Tummas. He
had learned to understand his accepted privileges in making of cottage
visits by this time; and when he clicked any wicket-gate the door was
open before he had time to pass up the wicket-path. They called at
several cottagesand he nodded at the windows of others where faces
appeared as he passed by.

They had a happy morning togetherand he took her back to Temple
Barholm beamingand forgetting Captain Palliser's existencefor the
timeat least. In the afternoon they drove out togetherand after
dining they read the last copy of the Sunday Earthwhich had arrived
that day. He found quite an interesting paragraph about Mr. Hutchinson
and the invention. Little Miss Hutchinson was referred to most
flatteringly by the writerwho almost inferred that she was
responsible not only for the inventor but for the invention itself.
Miss Alicia felt quite proud of knowing so prominent a characterand
wondered what it could be like to read about oneself in a newspaper.

About nine o'clock he laid his sheet of the Earth down and spoke to
her.

I'm going to ask you to do me a favor,he said. "I couldn't ask it
if we weren't alone like this. I know you won't mind."

Of course she wouldn't mind. She was made happier by the mere idea of
doing something for him.

I'm going to ask you to go to your room rather early,he explained.
I want to try a sort of stunt on Strangeways. I'm going to bring him
downstairs if he'll come. I'm not sure I can get him to do it; but
he's been a heap better lately, and perhaps I can.

Is he so much better as that?she said. "Will it be safe?"

He looked as serious as she had ever seen him look--even a trifle more
serious.

I don't know how much better he is,was his answer. "Sometimes you'd
think he was almost all right. And then--! The doctor says that if he
could get over being afraid of leaving his room it would be a big
thing for him. He wants him to go to his place in London so that he
can watch him."

Do you think you could persuade him to go?

I've tried my level best, but so far--nothing doing.

He got up and stood before the mantelhis back against ithis hands
in his pockets.

I've found out one thing,he said. "He's used to houses like this.
Every now and again he lets something out quite natural. He knew that
the furniture in his room was Jacobean - that's what he called it -
and he knew it was fine stuff. He wouldn't have known that if he'd
been a piker. I'm going to try if he won't let out something else when
he sees things here - if he'll come."


You have such a wonderfully reasoning mind, dear,said Miss Alicia
as she rose. "You would have made a great detectiveI'm sure."

If Ann had been with him,he saidrather gloomilyshe'd have
caught on to a lot more than I have. I don't feel very chesty about
the way I've managed it.

Miss Alicia went up-stairs shortly afterwardand half an hour later
Tembarom told the footmen in the hall that they might go to bed. The
experiment he was going to make demanded that the place should be
cleared of any disturbing presence. He had been thinking it over for
sometime past. He had sat in the private room of the great nerve
specialist in London and had talked it over with him. He had talked of
it with the duke on the lawn at Stone Hover. There had been a flush of
color in the older man's cheek-bonesand his eyes had been alight as
he took his part in the discussion. He had added the touch of his own
personality to itas always happened.

We are having some fine moments, my good fellow,he had said
rubbing his hands. "This is extremely like the fourth act. I'd like to
be sure what comes next."

I'd like to be sure myself,Tembarom answered. "It's as if a flash
of lightning came sometimesand then things clouded up. And sometimes
when I am trying something out he'll get so excited that I daren't go
on until I've talked to the doctor."

It was the excitement he was dubious about to-night. It was not
possible to be quite certain as to the entire safety of the plan; but
there might be a chance - even a big chance - of wakening some cell
from its deadened sleep. Sir Ormsby way had talked to him a good deal
about brain cellsand he had listened faithfully and learned more
than he could put into scientific English. Graduallyduring the past
monthshe had been coming upon strangely exciting hints of curious
possibilities. They had been mere hints at firstand had seemed
almost absurd in their unbelievableness. But each one had linked
itself with anotherand led him on to further wondering and
exploration. When Miss Alicia and Palliser had seen that he looked
absorbed and baffledit had been because he had frequently found
himselfto use his own figures of speechmixed up to beat the
band.He had not known which way to turn; but he had gone on turning
because he could not escape from his own excited interestand the
inevitable emotion roused by being caught in the whirl of a melodrama.
That was what he'd dropped into--a whacking big play. It had begun for
him when Palford butted in that night and told him he was a lost heir
with a fortune and an estate in England; and the curtain had been
jerking up and down ever since. But there had been thrills in it
queer as it was. Something doing all the timeby gee!

He sat and smoked his pipe and wished Ann were with him because he
knew he was not as cool as he had meant to be. He felt a certain
tingling of excitement in his body; and this was not the time to be
excited. He waited for some minutes before he went up-stairs. It was
true that Strangeways had been much better lately. He had seemed to
find it easier to follow conversation. During the past few days
Tembarom had talked to him in a matter-of-fact way about the house and
its various belongings. He had at last seemed to waken to an interest
in the picture-gallery. Evidently he knew something of picturegalleries
and portraitsand found himself relieved by his own
clearness of thought when he talked of them.

I feel better,he saidtwo or three times. "Things seem clearer-nearer."



Good business!exclaimed Tembarom. "I told you it'd be that way.
Let's hold on to pictures. It won't be any time before you'll be
remembering where you've seen some."

He had been secretly rather strung up; but he had been very gradual in
approaching his final suggestion that some nightwhen everything was
quietthey might go and look at the gallery together.

What you need is to get out of the way of wanting to stay in one
place,he argued. "The doctor says you've got to have a changeand
even going from one room to another is a fine thing."

Strangeways had looked at him anxiously for a few momentseven
suspiciouslybut his face had cleared after the look. He drew himself
up and passed his hand over his forehead.

I believe - perhaps he is right,he murmured.

Sure he's right!said Tembarom. "He's the sort of chap who ought to
know. He's been made into a baronet for knowing. Sir Ormsby Galloway
by jings! That's no slouch of a name Ohhe knowsyou bet your life!"

This morning when he had seen him he had spoken of the plan again. The
visitors had gone away; the servants could be sent out of sight and
hearing; they could go into the library and smoke and he could look at
the books. And then they could take a look at the picture-gallery if
he wasn't too tired. It would be a change anyhow.

To-nightas he went up the huge staircaseTembarom's calmness of
being had not increased. He was aware of a quickened pulse and of a
slight dampness on his forehead. The dead silence of the house added
to the unusualness of things. He could not remember ever having been
so anxious beforeexcept on the occasion when he had taken his first
day's "stuff" to Galtonand had stood watching him as he read it. His
forehead had grown damp then. But he showed no outward signs of
excitement when he entered the room and found Strangeways standing
perfectly attired in evening dress.

Pearsonsetting things in order at the other side of the roomwas
taking note of him furtively over his shoulder. Quite in the casual
manner of the ordinary manhe had expressed his intention of dressing
for the eveningand Pearson had thanked his stars for the fact that
the necessary garments were at hand. From the firsthe had not
infrequently asked for articles such as only the resources of a
complete masculine wardrobe could supply; and on one occasion he had
suddenly wished to dress for dinnerand the lame excuses it had been
necessary to make had disturbed him horribly instead of pacifying him.
To explain that his condition precluded the necessity of the usual
appurtenances would have been out of the question. He had been angry.
What did Pearson mean? What was the matter? He had said it over and
over againand then had sunk into a hopelessly bewildered moodand
had sat huddled in his dressing-gown staring at the fire. Pearson had
been so harrowed by the situation that it had been his own idea to
suggest to his master that all possible requirements should be
provided. There were occasions when it appeared that the cloud over
him lifted for a passing momentand a gleam of light recalled to him
some familiar usage of his past. When he had finished dressing
Pearson had been almost startled by the amount of effect produced by
the straightcorrectly cut lines of black and white. The mere change
of clothes had suddenly changed the man himself--had "done something
to him Pearson put it. After his first glance at the mirror he had
straightened himself, as if recognizing the fault of his own carriage.
When he crossed the room it was with the action of a man who has been


trained to move well. The good looks, which had been almost hidden
behind a veil of uncertainty of expression and strained fearfulness,
became obvious. He was tall, and his lean limbs were splendidly hung
together. His head was perfectly set, and the bearing of his square
shoulders was a soldierly thing. It was an extraordinarily handsome
man Tembarom and Pearson found themselves gazing at. Each glanced
involuntarily at the other.

Now that's first-rate! I'm glad you feel like coming Tembarom
plunged in. He didn't intend to give him too much time to think.

Thank you. It will be a changeas you said Strangeways answered.
One needs change."

His deep eyes looked somewhat deeper than usualbut his manner was
that of any well-bred man doing an accustomed thing. If he had been an
ordinary guest in the houseand his host had dropped into his room
he would have comported himself in exactly the same way.

They went together down the corridor as if they had passed down it
together a dozen times before. On the stairway Strangeways looked at
the tapestries with the interest of a familiarized intelligence.

It is a beautiful old place,he saidas they crossed the hall.
That armor was worn by a crusader.He hesitated a moment when they
entered the librarybut it was only for a moment. He went to the
hearth and took the chair his host offered himandlighting a cigar
sat smoking it. If T. Tembarom had chanced to be a man of an
analytical or metaphysical order of intellect he would have found
during the past monthmany things to lead him far in mental argument
concerning the weird wonder of the human mind--of its power where its
possessorthe bodyis concernedits sometime closeness to the
surface of sentient beingits sometime remoteness. He would have
known--awedmarveling at the blackness of the pit into which it can
descend--the unknown shades that may enfold it and imprison its
gropings. The old Duke of Stone had sat and pondered many an hour over
stories his favorite companion had related to him. What curious and
subtle processes had the queer fellow not been watching in the closely
guarded quiet of the room where the stranger had spent his days; the
strange thing cowering in its darkness; the ray of light piercing the
cloud one day and seeming lost again the next; the struggles the
imprisoned thing made to come forth-- to cry out that it was but
immurednot wholly conqueredand that some hour would arrive when it
would fight its way through at last. Tembarom had not entered into
psychological research. He had been entirely uncomplex in his
attitudesitting down before his problem as a besieger might have sat
down before a castle. The duke had sometimes wondered whether it was
not a good enough thing that he had been so simple about itmerely
continuing to believe the best with an unswerving obstinacy and
lending a hand when he could. A never flagging sympathy had kept him
singularly alive to every chanceand now and then he had
illuminations which would have done credit to a cleverer manand
which the duke had rubbed his hands over in half-amusedhalf- touched
elation. How he had kept his head level and held to his purpose!

T. Tembarom talked but little as he sat in his big chair and smoked.
Best let him alone and give him time to get used to the newnesshe
thought. Nothing must happen that could give him a jolt. Let things
sort of sink into himand perhaps they'd set him to thinking and lead
him somewhere. Strangeways himself evidently did not want talk. He
never wanted it unless he was excited. He was not excited nowand had
settled down as if he was comfortable. Having finished one cigar he
took anotherand began to smoke it much more slowly than he had
smoked his first. The slowness began to arrest Tembarom's attention.

This was the smoking of a man who was either growing sleepy or sinking
into deep thoughtbecoming oblivious to what he was doing. Sometimes
he held the cigar absently between his strongfine fingersseeming
to forget it. Tembarom watched him do this until he saw it go outand
its white ash drop on the rug at his feet. He did not notice itbut
sat sinking deeper and deeper into his own beinggrowing more remote.
What was going on under his absorbed stillness? Tembarom would not
have moved or spoken "for a block of Fifth Avenue he said
internally. The dark eyes seemed to become darker until there was only
a pin's point of light to be seen in their pupils. It was as if he
were looking at something at a distance--at a strangely long distance.
Twice he turned his head and appeared to look slowly round the room,
but not as normal people look-- as if it also was at the strange, long
distance from him, and he were somewhere outside its walls. It was an
uncanny thing to be a spectator to.

How dead still the room is!" Tembarom found himself thinking.

It was "dead still." And it was a queer deal sittingnot daring to
move--just watching. Something was bound to happensure! What was it
going to be?

Strangeways' cigar dropped from his fingers and appeared to rouse him.
He looked puzzled for a momentand then stooped quite naturally to
pick it up.

I forgot it altogether. It's gone out,he remarked.

Have another,suggested Tembarommoving the box nearer to him.

No, thank you.He rose and crossed the room to the wall of book-
shelves. And Tembarom's eye was caught again by the fineness of
movement and line the evening clothes made manifest. "What a swell he
looked when he moved about like that! What a swellby jings!"

He looked along the line of shelves and presently took a book down and
opened it. He turned over its leaves until something arrested his
attentionand then he fell to reading. He read several minuteswhile
Tembarom watched him. The silence was broken by his laughing a little.

Listen to this,he saidand began to read something in a language
totally unknown to his hearer. "A man who writes that sort of thing
about a woman is an old bounderwhether he's a poet or not. There's a
smallbiting spitefulness about it that's cattish."

Who did it?Tembarom inquired softly. It might be a good idea to
lead him on.

Horace. In spite of his genius, he sometimes makes you feel he was
rather a blackguard.

Horace!For the moment T. Tembarom forgot himself. "I always heard
he was a sort of Y.M.C.A. old guy--old Horace Greeley. The Tribune was
no yellow journal when he had it."

He was sorry he had spoken the next moment. Strangeways looked
puzzled.

The Tribune,he hesitated. "The Roman Tribune?"

No, New York. He started it--old Horace did. But perhaps we're not
talking of the same man.

Strangeways hesitated again.


No, I think we're not,he answered politely.

I've made a break,thought Tembarom. "I ought to have kept my mouth
shut. I must try to switch him back."

Strangeways was looking down at the back of the book he held in his
hand.

This one was the Latin poet, Quintus Horatius Flaccus, 65 B. C. You
know him,he said.

Oh, that one!exclaimed Tembaromas if with an air of immense
relief. "What a fool I was to forget! I'm glad it's him. Will you go
on reading and let me hear some more? He's a winner from Winnersville


-that Horace is."
Perhaps it was a sort of miracleaccomplished by his great desire to
help the right thing to happento stave off any shadow of the wrong
thing. Whatsoever the reasonStrangeways waited only a moment before
turning to his book again. It seemed to be a link in some chain slowly
forming itself to drag him back from his wanderings. And T. Tembarom
lightly sweating as a frightened horse willsat smoking another pipe
and listening intently to "Satires" and "Lampoons read aloud in the
Latin of 65 B. C.

By gee!" he said faithfullyat intervalswhen he saw on the
reader's face that the moment was ripe. "He knew it all-- old Horace-didn't
he?"

He had steered his charge back. Things were coming along the line to
him. He'd learned Latin at one of these big English schools. Boys
always learned Latinthe duke had told him. They just had to. Most of
them hated it like thunderand they used to be caned when they didn't
recite it right. Perhaps if he went on he'd begin to remember the
school. A queer part of it was that he did not seem to notice that he
was not reading his own language.

He did notin factseem to remember anything in particularbut went
on quite naturally for some minutes. He had replaced Horace on the
shelf and was on the point of taking down another volume when he
pausedas if recalling something else.

Weren't we going to see the picture-gallery?he inquired. "Isn't it
getting late? I should like to see the portraits."

No hurry,answered T. Tembarom. "I was just waiting till you were
ready. But we'll go right awayif you like."

They went without further ceremony. As they walked through the hall
and down the corridors side by sidean imaginative person might have
felt that perhaps the eyes of an ancient darkling portrait or so
looked down at the pair curiously: the longloosely built New Yorker
rather slouching along by the soldierlyalmost romantic figure which
in a measuresuggested that others not unlike it might have trod the
same oaken floorwearing ruff and doubletor lace jabot and sword.
There was a far cry between the twobut they walked closely in
friendly union. When they entered the picture-gallery Strangeways
paused a moment againand stood peering down its length.

It is very dimly lighted. How can we see?he said.

I told Pearson to leave it dim,Tembarom answered. "I wanted it just
that way at first."


He tried--and succeeded tolerably well--to say it casuallyas he led
the way ahead of them. He and the duke had not talked the scheme over
for nothing. As his grace had saidthey had "worked the thing up." As
they moved down the gallerythe men and women in their frames looked
like ghosts staring out to see what was about to happen.

We'll turn up the lights after a while,T. Tembarom explainedstill
casually. "There's a picture here I think a good deal of. I've stood
and looked at it pretty often. It reminded me of some one the first
day I set eyes on it; but it was quite a time before I made up my mind
who it was. It used to drive me half dotty trying to think it out."

Which one was it?asked Strangeways.

We're coming to it. I want to see if it reminds you of any one. And I
want you to see it sudden.It's got to be sudden,he had said to
the duke. "If it's going to pan outI believe it's got to be sudden."
That's why I had the rest of 'em left dim. I told Pearson to leave a
lamp I could turn up quick,he said to Strangeways.

The lamp was on a table near by and was shaded by a screen. He took it
from the shadow and lifted it suddenlyso that its full gleam fell
upon the portrait of the handsome youth with the lace collar and the
darkdrooping eyes. It was done in a secondwith a dramatically
unexpected swiftness. His heart jumped up and down.

Who's that?he demandedwith abruptness so sharp-pitched that the
gallery echoed with the sound. "Who's that?"

He heard a hardquick gaspa sound which was momentarily a little
horribleas if the man's soul was being jerked out of his body's
depths.

Who is he?he cried again. "Tell me."

After the gaspStrangeways stood still and stared. His eyes were
glued to the canvasdrops of sweat came out on his foreheadand he
was shuddering. He began to back away with a look of gruesome
struggle. He backed and backedand stared and stared. The gasp came
twice againand then his voice seemed to tear itself loose from some
power that was holding it back.

Th--at!he cried. "It is--it--is Miles Hugo!"

The last words were almost a shoutand he shook as if he would have
fallen. But T. Tembarom put his hand on his shoulder and held him
breathing fast himself. Gee! if it wasn't like a thing in a play!

Page at the court of Charles the Second,he rattled off. "Died of
smallpox when he was nineteen. Miles Hugo! Miles Hugo! You hold on to
that for all your worth. And hold on to me. I'll keep you steady. Say
it again."

Miles Hugo.The poor majestic-looking fellow almost sobbed it.
Where am I? What is the name of this place?

It's Temple Barholm in the county of Lancashire, England. Hold on to
that, too--like thunder!

Strangeways held the young man's arm with hands that clutched. He
dragged at him. His nightmare held him yet; Tembarom saw itbut
flashes of light were blinding him.


Who--he pleaded in a shaking and hollow whisper--"are you?"

Here was a stumper! By jings! By jings! And not a minute to think it
out. But the answer came all right--all right!

My name's Tembarom. T. Tembarom.And he grinned his splendid grin
from sheer sense of relief. "I'm a New Yorker--Brooklyn. I was just
forked in here anyhow. Don't you waste time thinking over me. You sit
down here and do your durndest with Miles Hugo."

CHAPTER XXXIII

Tembarom did not look as though he had slept particularly wellMiss
Alicia thoughtwhen they met the next morning; but when she asked him
whether he had been disappointed in his last night's experimenthe
answered that he had not. The experiment had come out all rightbut
Strangeways had been a good deal worked upand had not been able to
sleep until daylight. Sir Ormsby Galloway was to arrive in the
afternoonand he'd probably give him some- thing quieting. Had the
coming downstairs seemed to help him to recall anything? Miss Alicia
naturally inquired. Tembarom thought it had. He drove to Stone Hover
and spent the morning with the duke; he even lunched with him. He
returned in time to receive Sir Ormsby Gallowayhoweverand until
that great personage leftthey were together in Mr. Strangeways'
rooms.

I guess I shall get him up to London to the place where Sir Ormsby
wants him,he said rather nervouslyafter dinner. "I'm not going to
miss any chances. If he'll goI can get him away quietly some time
when I can fix it so there's no one about to worry him."

She felt that he had no inclination to go much into detail. He had
never had the habit of entering into the details connected with his
strange charge. She believed it was because he felt the subject too
abnormal not to seem a little awesome to her sympathetic timidity. She
did not ask questions because she was afraid she could not ask them
intelligently. In factthe knowledge that this unknown man was living
through his struggle with his lost past in the remote rooms of the
west wingalmost as though he were a secret prisonerdid seem a
little awesome when one awoke in the middle of the dark night and
thought of it.

During the passage of the next few weeksTembarom went up to London
several times. Once he seemed called there suddenlyas it was only
during dinner that he told her he was going to take a late trainand
should leave the house after she had gone to bed. She felt as though
something important must have happenedand hoped it was nothing
disturbing.

When he had said that Captain Palliser would return to visit themher
private impressiondespite his laughhad been that it must surely be
some time before this would occur. But a little more than three weeks
later he appearedpreceded only half an hour by a telegram asking
whether he might not spend a night with them on his way farther north.
He could not at all understand why the telegramwhich he said he had
sent the day beforehad been delayed.

A certain fatigued haggardness in his countenance caused Miss Alicia
to ask whether he had been illand he admitted that he had at least
not been wellas a result of long and too hurried journeysand the


strenuousness of extended and profoundly serious interviews with his
capitalist and magnates.

No man can engineer gigantic schemes to success without feeling the
reaction when his load drops from his shoulders,he remarked.

You've carried it quite through?inquired Tembarom.

We have set on foot one of the largest, most substantially
capitalized companies in the European business world,Palliser
repliedwith the composure which is almost indifference.

Good!said Tembarom cheerfully.

He watched his guest a good deal during the day. He was a bad color
for a man who had just steered clear of all shoals and reached the
highest point of success. He had a haggard eye as well as a haggard
face. It was a terrified eye when its desperate determination to hide
its terrors dropped from it for an instantas a veil might drop. A
certain restlessness was manifest in himand he talked more than
usual. He was going to make a visit in Northumberland to an elderly
lady of great possessions. It was to be vaguely gathered that she was
somewhat interested in the great company--the Cedric. She was a
remarkable old person who found a certain agreeable excitement in
dabbling in stocks. She was rich enough to be in a position to regard
it as a sort of gameand he had been able on several occasions to
afford her entertainment. He would remain a few daysand spend his
time chiefly in telling her the details of the great scheme and the
manner in which they were to be developed.

If she can play with things that way, she'll be sure to want stock in
it,Tembarom remarked.

If she does, she must make up her mind quickly,Palliser smiledor
she will not be able to get it. It is not easy to lay one's hands on
even now.

Tembarom thought of certain speculators of entirely insignificant
standing of whom he had chanced to see and hear anecdotes in New York.
Most of them were youths of obscure origin who sold newspapers or
blacked bootsor "swapped" articles the value of which lay in the
desire they could excite in other persons to possess them. A popular
method known as "bluff" was their most trusted weaponand even at
twelve and fifteen years of age Tembarom had always regarded it as
singularly obvious. He always detested "bluff whatsoever its
disguise, and was rather mystified by its ingenious faith in itself.

He's got badly stung was his internal comment as he sucked at his
pipe and smiled urbanely at Palliser across the room as they sat
together. He's come here with some sort of deal on that he knows he
couldn't work with any one but just such a fool as he thinks I am. I
guess he added in composed reflectiveness, I don't really know how
big a fool I do look."

Whatsoever the deal washe would be likely to let it be known in
time.

He'll get it off his chest if he's going away to-morrow,decided
Tembarom. "If there's anything he's found outhe'll use it. If it
doesn't pan out as he thinks it will he'll just float away to his old
lady."

He gave Palliser every chancetalking to him and encouraging him to
talkeven asking him to let him look over the prospectus of the new


company and explain details to himas he was going to explain them to
the old lady in Northumberland. He opened up avenues; but for a time
Palliser made no attempt to stroll down them. His walk would be a
strollTembarom knewbeing familiar with his methods. His aspect
would be that of a man but little concerned. He would be capable of a
slightly rude coldness if he felt that concern on his part was in any
degree counted as a factor. Tembarom was awareamong other things
that innocent persons would feel that it was incumbent upon them to be
very careful in their treatment of him. He seemed to be thinking
things over before he decided upon the psychological moment at which
he would beginif he began. When a man had a good deal to lose or to
winTembarom realized that he would be likely to hold back until he
felt something like solid ground under him.

After Miss Alicia had left them for the nightperhaps he feltas a
result of thinking the matter overthat he had reached a foothold of
a firmness at least somewhat to be depended upon.

What a change you have made in that poor woman's life!he said
walking to the side-table and helping himself to a brandy and soda.
What a change!

It struck me that a change was needed just about the time I dropped
in,answered his host.

All the same,suggested Pallisertolerantlyyou were immensely
generous. She wasn't entitled to expect it, you know.

She didn't expect anything, not a darned thing,said Tembarom. "That
was what hit me."

Palliser smiled a coldamiable smile. His slimneatly fitted person
looked a little shrunken and less straight than was its habitand its
slackness suggested itself as being part of the harry and fatigue
which made his face and eyes haggard under his palesmooth hair.

Do you purpose to provide for the future of all your indigent
relatives even to the third and fourth generation, my dear chap?he
inquired.

I won't refuse till I'm asked, anyhow,was the answer.

Asked!Palliser repeated. "I'm one of themyou knowand Lady
Mallowe is another. There are lots of uswhen we come out of our
holes. If it's only a matter of askingwe might all descend on you."

Tembaromsmilingwondered whether they hadn't descended alreadyand
whether the descent had so far been all that they had anticipated.

Palliser strolled down his opened avenue with an incidental air which
was entirely creditable to his training of himself. T. Tembarom
acknowledged that much.

You are too generous,said Palliser. "You are the sort of fellow who
will always need all he hasand more. The way you go among the
villagers! You think you merely slouch about and keep it quietbut
you don't. You've set an example no other landowner can expect to live
up toor intends to. It's too lavish. It's perniciousdear chap. I
have heard all about the cottage you are doing over for Pearson and
his bride. You had better invest in the Cedric."

Tembarom wanted him to go onif there was anything in it. He made his
face look as he knew Palliser hoped it would look when the
psychological moment came. Its expression was not a deterrent; in


factit had a character not unlikely to lead an eager manor one who
was not as wholly experienced as he believed he wasto rush down a
steep hill into the seaafter the manner of the swine in the parable.

Heaven knew Palliser did not mean to rushand was not aware when the
rush began; but he had reason to be so much more eager than he
professed to be that momentarily he swerveddespite himselfand
ceased to be casual.

It is an enormous opportunity,he said--"timber lands in Mexicoyou
know. If you had spent your life in Englandyou would realize that
timber has become a desperate necessityand that the difficulties
which exist in the way of supplying the demand are almost insuperable.
These forests are virtually boundlessand the company which controls
them--"

That's a good spiel!broke in Tembarom.

It sounded like the crudely artless interruption of a person whose
perceptions left much to be desired. T. Tembarom knew what it sounded
like. If Palliser lost his temperhe would get over the ground
fasterand he wanted him to get over the ground.

I'm afraid I don't understand,he replied rather stiffly.

There was a fellow I knew in New York who used to sell type-writers,
and he had a thing to say he used to reel off when any one looked like
a customer. He used to call it his 'spiel.'

Palliser's quick glance at him asked questionsand his stiffness did
not relax itself.

Is this New York chaff?he inquired coldly.

No,Tembarom said. "You're not doing it for ten per. He was"

No, not exactly,said Palliser. "Neither would you be doing it for
ten per if you went into it." His voice changed. He became slightly
haughty. "Perhaps it was a mistake on my part to think you might care
to connect yourself with it. You have notof coursebeen in the
position to comprehend such matters."

If I was what I look like, that'd stir me up and make me feel bad,
thought T. Tembaromwith cheerful comprehension of thisat least.
I'd have to rush in and try to prove to him that I was as accustomed
to big business as he is, and that it didn't rattle me. The way to do
it that would come most natural would be to show I was ready to buy as
big a block of stock as any other fellow.

But the expression of his face did not change. He only gave a half-
awkward sort of laugh.

I guess I can learn,he said.

Palliser felt the foothold become firmer. The bounder was interested
butafter a bounder's fashionwas either nervous or imagined that a
show of hesitation looked shrewd. The slight hit made at his
inexperience in investment had irritated him and made him feel less
cock-sure of himself. A slightly offended manner might be the best
weapon to rely upon.

I thought you might care to have the thing made clear to you,he
continued indifferently. "I meant to explain. You may take the chance
or leave itas you likeof course. That is nothing to me at this


stage of the game. Butafter allwe are as I saidrelatives of a
sortand it is a gigantic opportunity. Suppose we change the subject.
Is that the Sunday Earth I see by you on the table?" He leaned forward
to take the paperas though the subject really were dropped; but
after a seemingly nervous suck or two at his pipeTembarom came to
his assistance. It wouldn't do to let him quiet down too much.

I'm no Van Morganbilt,he said hesitatinglybut I can see that
it's a big opportunity--for some one else. Let's have a look over the
prospectus again.

Palliser paused in his unconcerned opening of the copy of the Sunday
Earth. His manner somewhat disgustedly implied indecision as to
whether it was worth while to allow oneself to be dropped and taken up
by turns.

Do you really mean that?he asked with a certain chill of voice.

Yes. I don't mind trying to catch on to what's doing in any big
scheme.

Palliser did not lay aside his suggestion of cold semi-reluctance more
readily than any man who knew his business would have laid it aside.
His manner at the outset was quite perfect. His sole ineptitude lay in
his feeling a too great confidence in the exact quality of his
companion's typeas he summed it up. He did not calculate on the
variations from all type sometimes provided by circumstances.

He produced his papers without too obvious eagerness. He spread them
upon the tableand coolly examined them himself before beginning his
explanation. There was more to explain to a foreigner and one unused
to investment than there would be to a man who was an Englishman and
familiar with the methods of large companieshe said. He went into
technicalitiesso to speakand used rapidly and lightly some
imposing words and phrasesto which T. Tembarom listened attentively
but without any special air of illumination. He dealt with statistics
and the resulting probabilities. He made apparent the existing
condition of England's inability to supply an enormous and unceasing
demand for timber. He had acquired divers excellent methods of stating
his case to the party of the second part.

He made me feel as if a fellow had better hold on to a box of matches
like grim death, and that the time wasn't out of sight when you'd have
to give fifty-seven dollars and a half for a toothpick,Tembarom
afterwards said to the duke.

What Tembarom was thinking as he listened to him was that he was not
getting over the ground with much rapidityand that it was time
something was doing. He had not watched him for weeks without learning
divers of his idiosyncrasies.

If he thought I wanted to know what he thinks I'd a heap rather NOT
know, he'd never tell me,he speculated. "If he gets a bit hot in the
collarhe may let it out. Thing is to stir him up. He's lost his
nerve a bitand he'll get mad pretty easy."

He went on smoking and listeningand asking an unenlightened question
now and thenin a manner which was as far from being a deterrent as
the largely unilluminated expression of his face was.

Of course money is wanted,Palliser said at length. "Money is always
wantedand as much when a scheme is a success as when it isn't. Good
nameswith a certain characterare wanted. The fact of your
inheritance is known everywhere; and the fact that you are an American


is a sort of guaranty of shrewdness."

Is it?said T. Tembarom. "Well he added slowly, I guess Americans
are pretty good business men."

Palliser thought that this was evolving upon perfectly natural lines
as he had anticipated it would. The fellow was flattered and pleased.
You could always reach an American by implying that he was one of
those who specially illustrate enviable national characteristics.

He went on in smoothcasual laudation:

No American takes hold of a scheme of this sort until he knows jolly
well what he's going to get out of it. You were shrewd enough,he
added significantlyabout Hutchinson's affair. You `got in on the
ground floor' there. That was New York forethought, by Jove!

Tembarom shuffled a little in his chairand grinned a faintpleased
grin.

I'm a man of the world, my boy--the business world,Palliser
commentedhoping that he concealed his extreme satisfaction. "I know
New Yorkthough I haven't lived there. I'm only hoping to. Your air
of ingenuous ignorance is the cleverest thing about you which
agreeable implication of the fact that he had been privately observant
and impressed ought to have fetched the bounder if anything would.

T. Tembarom's grin was no longer faint, but spread itself. Palliser's
first impression was that he had fetched" him. But when he answered
though the very crudeness of his words seemed merely the result of his
betrayal into utter tactlessness by soothed vanitythere was
something--a shade of something-- not entirely satisfactory in his
face and nasal twang.
Well, I guess,he saidNew York DID teach a fellow not to buy a
gold brick off every con man that came along.

Palliser was guilty of a mere ghost of a start. Was there something in
itor was he only the grossblundering fool he had trusted to his
being? He stared at him a momentand saw that there WAS something
under the words and behind his professedly flattered grin--something
which must be treated with a high hand.

What do you mean?he exclaimed haughtily. "I don't like your tone.
Do you take ME for what you call a `con man'?"

Good Lord, no!answered Tembarom; and he looked straight at Palliser
and spoke slowly. "You're a gentlemanand you're paying me a visit.
You could no more try on a game to do me in my own house than--well
than I could TELL you if I'd got on to you if I saw you doing it.
You're a gentleman."

Palliser glared back into his infuriatingly candid eyes. He was a far
cry from being a dullard himself; he was sharp enough to "catch on" to
the revelation that the situation was not what he had thought itthe
type was more complex than he had dreamed. The chap had been playing a
part; he had absolutely been "jollying him along after the New York
fashion. He became pale with humiliated rage, though he knew his only
defense was to control himself and profess not to see through the
trick. Until he could use his big lever, he added to himself.

OhI see he commented acridly. I suppose you don't realize that
your figures of speech are unfortunate."


That comes of New York streets, too,Tembarom answered with
deliberation. "But you can't live as I've lived and be dead easy--not
DEAD easy."

Palliser had left his chairand stood in contemptuous silence.

You know how a fellow hates to be thought DEAD easy-- Tembarom
actually went to the insolent length of saying the words with a touch
of cheerful confidingness--"when he's NOT. And I'm not. Have another
drink."

There was a pause. Palliser began to seeor thought he began to see
where he stood. He had come to Temple Barholm because he had been
driven into a corner and had a dangerous fight before him. In
anticipation of it he had been following a clue for some timethough
at the outset it had been one of incredible slightness. Only his
absolute faith in his theory that every man had something to gain or
losewhich he concealed discreetlyhad led him to it. He held a card
too valuable to be used at the beginning of a game. Its power might
have lasted a long timeand proved an influence without limit. He
forbore any mental reference to blackmail; the word was absurd. One
used what fell into one's hands. If Tembarom had followed his lead
with any degree of docilityhe would have felt it wiser to save his
ammunition until further pressure was necessary. But behind his
ridiculous rawnesshis foolish jocularityand his professedly candid
good humorhad been hidden the Yankee trickster who was fool enough
to think he could play his game through. Wellhe could not.

During the few moments' pause he saw the situation as by a
photographic flashlight. He leaned over the table and supplied himself
with a fresh brandy and soda from the tray of siphons and decanters.
He gave himself time to take the glass up in his hand.

No,he answeredyou are not `dead easy.' That's why I am going to
broach another subject to you.

Tembarom was refilling his pipe.

Go ahead,he said.

Who, by the way, is Mr. Strangeways?

He was deliberate and entirely unemotional. So was T. Tembarom when
with match applied to his tobaccohe replied between puffs as he
lighted it:

You can search me. You can search him, too, for that matter. He
doesn't know who he is himself.

Bad luck for him!remarked Palliserand allowed a slight pause
again. After it he addedDid it ever strike you it might be good
luck for somebody else?

Somebody else?Tembarom puffed more slowlyperhaps because his pipe
was lighted.

Palliser took some brandy in his soda.

There are men, you know,he suggestedwho can be spared by their
relatives. I have some myself, by Jove!he added with a laugh. "You
keep him rather darkdon't you?"

He doesn't like to see people.


Does he object to people seeing him? I saw him once myself.

When you threw the gravel at his window?

Palliser stared contemptuously.

What are you talking about? I did not throw stones at his window,he
lied. "I'm not a school-boy."

That's so,Tembarom admitted.

I saw him, nevertheless. And I can tell you he gave me rather a
start.

Why?

Palliser half laughed again. He did not mean to go too quickly; he
would let the thing get on Tembarom's nerves gradually.

Well, I'm hanged if I didn't take him for a man who is dead.

Enough to give any fellow a jolt,Tembarom admitted again.

It gave me a `jolt.' Good word, that. But it would give you a bigger
one, my dear fellow, if he was the man he looked like.

Why?Tembarom asked laconically.

He looked like Jem Temple Barholm.

He saw Tembarom start. There could be no denying it.

You thought that? Honest?he said sharplyas if for a moment he had
lost his head. "You thought that?"

Don't be nervous. Perhaps I couldn't have sworn to it. I did not see
him very close.

T. Tembarom puffed rapidly at his pipeand onlyejaculated:
Oh!

Of course he's dead. If he wasn't,--with a shrug of his shoulders--
Lady Joan Fayre would be Lady Joan Temple Barholm, and the pair would
be bringing up an interesting family here.He looked about the room
and thenas if suddenly recalling the factaddedBy George! you'd
be selling newspapers, or making them--which was it?--in New York!

It was by no means unpleasing to see that he had made his hit there.

T. Tembarom swung about and walked across the room with a suddenly
perturbed expression.
Say,he put it to himcoming backare you in earnest, or are you
just saying it to give me a jolt?

Palliser studied him. The American sharpness was not always so keen as
it sometimes seemed. His face would have betrayed his uneasiness to
the dullest onlooker.

Have you any objection to my seeing him in his own room?Palliser
inquired.

It does him harm to see people,Tembarom saidwith nervous
brusqueness. "It worries him."


Palliser smiled a quiet but far from agreeable smile. He enjoyed what
he put into it.

Quite so; best to keep him quiet,he returned. "Do you know what my
advice would be? Put him in a comfortable sanatorium. A lot of stupid
investigations would end in nothingof coursebut they'd be a
frightful bore."

He thought it extraordinarily stupid in T. Tembarom to come nearer to
him with an anxious eagerness entirely unconcealedif he really knew
what he was doing.

Are you sure that if you saw him close you'd KNOW, so that you could
swear to him?he demanded.

You're extremely nervous, aren't you?Palliser watched him with
smiling coolness. "Of course Jem Temple Barholm is dead; but I've no
doubt that if I saw this man of yoursI could swear he had remained
dead--if I were asked."

If you knew him well, you could make me sure. You could swear one way
or another. I want to be SURE,said Tembarom.

So should I in your place; couldn't be too sure. Well, since you ask
me, I COULD swear. I knew him well enough. He was one of my most
intimate enemies. What do you say to letting me see him?

I would if I could,Tembarom repliedas if thinking it over. "I
would if I could."

Palliser treated him to the far from pleasing smile again.

But it's quite impossible at present?he suggested. "Excitement is
not good for himand all that sort of thing. You want time to think
it over."

Tembarom's slowly uttered answerspoken as if he were still
considering the matterwas far from being the one he had expected.

I want time; but that's not the reason you can't see him right now.
You can't see him because he's not here. He's gone.

Then it was Palliser who startedtaken totally unaware in a manner
which disgusted him altogether. He had to pull himself up.

He's gone!he repeated. "You are quicker than I thought. You've got
him safely awayhave you? WellI told you a comfortable sanatorium
would be a good idea."

Yes, you did.T. Tembarom hesitatedseeming to be thinking it over
again. "That's so." He laid his pipe aside because it had gone out.

He suddenly sat down at the tableputting his elbows on it and his
face in his handswith a harried effect of wanting to think it over
in a sort of withdrawal from his immediate surroundings. This was as
it should be. His Yankee readiness had deserted him altogether.

By Jove! you are nervous!Palliser commented. "It's not surprising
though. I can sympathize with you." With a markedly casual air he
himself sat down and drew his documents toward him. "Let us talk of
something else he said. He preferred to be casual and incidental, if
he were allowed. It was always better to suggest things and let them
sink in until people saw the advantage of considering them and you. To


manage a business matter without open argument or too frank a display
of weapons was at once more comfortable and in better taste.

You are making a great mistake in not going into this he suggested
amiably. You could go in now as you went into Hutchinson's affair
`on the ground floor.' That's a good enough phrasetoo. Twenty
thousand pounds would make you a million. You Americans understand
nothing less than millions."

But T. Tembarom did not take him up. He muttered in a worried way from
behind his shading handsWe'll talk about that later.

Why not talk about it now, before anything can interfere?Palliser
persisted politelyalmost gently.

Tembarom sprang uprestless and excited. He had plainly been planning
fast in his temporary seclusion.

I'm thinking of what you said about Lady Joan,he burst forth. "Say
she's gone through all this Jem Temple Barholm thing once; it about
half killed her. If any one raised false hopes for hershe'd go
through it all again. Once is enough for any woman."

His effect at professing heat and strong feeling made a spark of
amusement show itself in Palliser's eye. It struck him as being
peculiarly American in its affectation of sentiment and chivalry.

I see,he said. "It's Lady Joan you're disturbed about. You want to
spare her another shockI see. You are a considerate fellowas well
as a man of business."

I don't want her to begin to hope if--

Very good taste on your part.Palliser's polite approval was
admirablebut he tapped lightly on the paper after expressing it. "I
don't want to seem to press you about thisbut don't you feel
inclined to consider it? I can assure you that an investment of this
sort would be a good thing to depend on if the unexpected happened. If
you gave me your check nowit would be Cedric stock to-morrowand
quite safe. Suppose you--"

I--I don't believe you were right--about what you thought.The
sharp- featured face was changing from pale to red. "You'd have to be
able to swear to itanyhowand I don't believe you can." He looked
at Palliser in eager and anxious uncertainty. "If you could he
dragged out , I shouldn't have a check-book. Where would you be
then?"

I should be in comfortable circumstances, dear chap, and so would you
if you gave me the money to-night, while you possess a check-book. It
would be only a sort of temporary loan in any case, whatever turned
up. The investment would quadruple itself. But there is no time to be
lost. Understand that.

T. Tembarom broke out into a sort of boyish resentment.
I don't believe he did look like him, anyhow,he cried. "I believe
it's all a bluff." His crude-sounding young swagger had a touch of
final desperation in it as he turned on Palliser. "I'm dead sure it's
a bluff. What a fool I was not to think of that! You want to bluff me
into going into this Cedric thing. You could no more swear he was like
him than --than I could."

The outrightpresumptuousbold stripping bare of his phrases


infuriated Palliser too suddenly and too much. He stepped up to him
and looked into his eyes.

Bluff you, you young bounder!he flung out at him. "You're losing
your head. You're not in New York streets here. You are talking to a
gentleman. No he said furiously, I couldn't swear that he was like
himbut what I can swear in any court of justice is that the man I
saw at the window was Jem Temple Barholmand no other man on earth."

When he had said ithe saw the astonishing dolt change his expression
utterly againas if in a flash. He stood upputting his hands in his
pockets. His face changedhis voice changed.

Fine!he said. "First-rate! That's what I wanted to get on to."

CHAPTER XXXIV

After this climax the interview was not so long as it was interesting.
Two men as far apart as the polesas remote from each other in mind
and bodyin training and education or lack of itin desires and
intentionsin points of view and trend of beingas nature and
circumstances could make themtalked in a language foreign to each
other of a wildly strange thing. Palliser's arguments and points of
aspect were less unknown to T. Tembarom than his own were to Palliser.
He had seen something very like them beforethough they had developed
in different surroundings and had been differently expressed. The
colloquialism "You're not doing that for your health" can be made to
cover much ground in the way of the stripping bare of motives for
action. This was whatin excellent and well-chosen EnglishCaptain
Palliser frankly said to his host. Of nothing which T. Tembarom said
to him in his own statement did he believe one word or syllable. The
statement in question was not long or detailed. It wasof course
Palliser sawa ridiculously impudent flinging together of a farrago
of nonsensetransparent in its effort beyond belief. Before he had
listened five minutes with the distinctly "nasty" smilehe burst out
laughing.

That is a good `spiel,' my dear chap,he said. "It's as good a
`spiel' as your typewriter friend used to rattle off when he thought
he saw a customer; but I'm not a customer."

Tembarom looked at him interestedly for about ten seconds. His hands
were thrust into his trousers pocketsas was his almost invariable
custom. Absorption and speculationeven emotion and excitementwere
usually expressed in this unconventional manner.

You don't believe a darned word of it,was his sole observation.

Not a darned word,Palliser smiled. "You are trying a `bluff' which
doesn't do credit to your usual sharpness. It's a bluff that is
actually silly. It makes you look like an ass."

Well, it's true,said Tembarom; "it's true."

Palliser laughed again.

I only said it made you look like an ass,he remarked. "I don't
profess to understand you altogetherbecause you are a new species.


Your combination of ignorance and sharpness isn't easy to calculate
on. But there is one thing I have found outand that isthat when
you want to play a particular sharp trick you are willing to let
people take you for a fool. I'll own you've deceived me once or twice
even when I suspected you. I've heard that's one of the most
successful methods used in the American business world. That's why I
only say you look like an ass. You are an ass in some respects; but
you are letting yourself look like one now for some shrewd end. You
either think you'll slip out of danger by it when I make this
discovery publicor you think you'll somehow trick me into keeping my
mouth shut."

I needn't trick you into keeping your mouth shut,Tembarom
suggested. "There's a straightway to do thatain't there?" And he
indelicately waved his hand toward the documents pertaining to the
Cedric Company.

It was stupid as well as grossin his hearer's opinion. If he had
known what was good for him he would have been clever enough to ignore
the practical presentation of his case made half an hour or so
earlier.

No, there is not,Palliser repliedwith serene mendacity. "No
suggestion of that sort has been made. My business proposition was
given out on an entirely different basis. Youof coursechoose to
put your personal construction upon it."

Gee whiz!ejaculated T. Tembarom. "I was 'way offwasn't I?"

I told you that professing to be an ass wouldn't be good enough in
this case. Don't go on with it,said Pallisersharply.

You're throwing bouquets. Let a fellow be natural,said Tembarom.

That is bluff, too,Palliser replied more sharply still. "I am not
taken in by itbold as it is. Ever since you came hereyou have been
playing this game. It was your fool's grin and guffaw and pretense of
good nature that first made me suspect you of having something up your
sleeve. You were too unembarrassed and candid."

So you began to look out,Tembarom saidconsidering him curiously
just because of that.Then suddenly he laughed outrightthe fool's
guffaw.

It somehow gave Palliser a sort of puzzled shock. It was so hearty
that it remotely suggested that he appeared more secure than seemed
possible. He tried to reply to him with a languid contempt of manner.

You think you have some tremendously sharp `deal' in your hand,he
saidbut you had better remember you are in England where facts are
like sledge-hammers. You can't dodge from under them as you can in
America. I dare say you won't answer me, but I should like to ask you
what you propose to do.

I don't know what I'm going to do any more than you do,was the
unilluminating answer. "I don't mind telling you that."

And what do you think he will do?

I've got to wait till I find out. I'm doing it. That was what I told
you. What are you going to do?he added casually.

I'm going to Lincoln's Inn Fields to have an interview with Palford &
Grimby.


That's a good enough move,commented Tembaromif you think you can
prove what you say. You've got to prove things, you know. I couldn't,
so I lay low and waited, just like I told you.

Of course, of course,Palliser himself almost grinned in his
derision. "You have only been waiting."

When you've got to prove a thing, and haven't much to go on, you've
got to wait,said T. Tembarom--"to wait and keep your mouth shut
whatever happensand to let yourself be taken for a fool or a horse-
thief isn't as gilt-edged a job as it seems. But proof's what it's
best to have before you ring up the curtain. You'd have to have it
yourself. So would Palford & Grimby before it'd be stone-cold safe to
rush things and accuse a man of a penitentiary offense."

He took his unconventional half-seat on the edge of the tablewith
one foot on the floor and the other one lightly swinging.

Palford & Grimby are clever old ducks, and they know that much. Thing
they'd know best would be that to set a raft of lies going about a man
who's got money enough to defend himself, and to make them pay big
damages for it afterward, would be pretty bum business. I guess they
know all about what proof stands for. They may have to wait; so may
you, same as I have.

Palliser realized that he was in the position of a man striking at an
adversary whose construction was of India-rubber. He struck homebut
left no bruise and drew no bloodwhich was an irritating thing. He
lost his temper.

Proof!he jerked out. "There will be proof enoughand when it is
made publicyou will not control the money you threaten to use."

When you get proof, just you let me hear about it,T. Tembarom said.
And all the money I'm threatening on shall go where it belongs, and
I'll go back to New York and sell papers if I have to. It won't come
as hard as you think.

The flippant insolence with which he brazened out his pretense that he
had not liedthat his ridiculous romance was actual and simple truth
suggested dangerous readiness of device and secret knowledge of power
which could be adroitly used.

You are merely marking time,said Palliserrisingwith cold
determination to be juggled with no longer. "You have hidden him away
where you think you can do as you please with a man who is an invalid.
That is your dodge. You've got him hidden somewhereand his friends
had better get at him before it is too late."

I'm not answering questions this evening, and I'm not giving
addresses, though there are no witnesses to take them down. If he's
hidden away, he's where he won't be disturbed,was T. Tembarom's
rejoinder. "You may lay your bottom dollar on that."

Palliser walked toward the door without speaking. He had almost
reached it when he whirled about involuntarilyarrested by a shout of
laughter.

Say,announced Tembaromyou mayn't know it, but this lay-out would
make a first-rate turn in a vaudeville. You think I'm lying, I look
like I'm lying, I guess every word I say sounds like I'm lying. To a
fellow like you, I guess it couldn't help but sound that way. And I'm
not lying. That's where the joke comes in. I'm not lying. I've not


told you all I know because it's none of your business and wouldn't
help; but what I have told you is the stone-cold truth.

He was keeping it up to the very end with a desperate determination
not to let go his hold of his pose until he had made his private
shrewd dealwhatsoever it was. At leastso it struck Palliserwho
merely said:

I 'm leaving the house by the first train to-morrow morning.He
fixed a cold gray eye on the fool's grin.

Six forty-five,said T. Tembarom. "I'll order the carriage. I might
go up myself."

The door closed.

Tembarom was looking cheerful enough when he went into his bedroom. He
had become used to its size and had learned to feel that it was a good
sort of place. It had the hall bedroom at Mrs. Bowse's boarding-house
beaten to a frazzle.There was about everything in it that any man
could hatch up an idea he'd like to have. He had slept luxuriously on
the splendid carved bed through long nightshe had lain awake and
thought out things on ithe had lain and watched the fire-light
flickering on the ceilingas he thought about Ann and made plansand
fixed upthe Harlem flat which could be run on fifteen per. He had
picked out the pieces of furniture from the Sunday Earth advertisement
sheetand had set them in their places. He always saw the six-dollar
mahogany-stained table set for supperwith Ann at one end and himself
at the other. He had grown actually fond of the old room because of
the silence and comfort of itwhich tended to give reality to his
dreams. Pearsonwho had ceased to look anxiousand who had acquired
fresh accomplishments in the form of an entirely new set of duties
was waitingand handed him a telegram.

This just arrived, sir,he explained. "James brought it here because
he thought you had come upand I didn't send it down because I heard
you on the stairs."

That's right. Thank you, Pearson,his master said.

He tore the yellow envelopand read the message. In a moment Pearson
knew it was not an ordinary messageand therefore remained more than
ordinarily impassive of expression. He did not even ask of himself
what it might convey.

Mr. Temple Barholm stood still a few secondswith the look of a man
who must think and think rapidly.

What is the next train to London, Pearson?he asked.

There is one at twelve thirty-six, sir,he answered. "It's the last
till six in the morning. You have to change at Crowley."

You're always ready, Pearson,returned Mr. Temple Barholm. "I want
to get that train."

Pearson was always ready. Before the last word was quite spoken he had
turned and opened the bedroom door.

I'll order the dog-cart; that's quickest, sir,he said. He was out
of the room and in again almost immediately. Then he was at the
wardrobe and taking out what Mr. Temple Barholm called his "grip but
what Pearson knew as a Gladstone bag. It was always kept ready packed


for unexpected emergencies of travel.

Mr. Temple Barholm sat at the table and drew pen and paper toward him.
He looked excited; he looked more troubled than Pearson had seen him
look before.

The wire's from Sir Ormsby GallowayPearson he said.

It's about Mr. Strangeways. He's done what I used to be always
watching out against: he's disappeared."

Disappeared, sir!cried Pearsonand almost dropped the Gladstone
bag. "I beg pardonsir. I know there's no time to lose." He steadied
the bag and went on with his task without even turning round.

His master was in some difficulty. He began to writeand after
dashing off a few wordsstoppedand tore them up.

No,he mutteredthat won't do. There's no time to explain.Then
he began againbut tore up his next lines also.

That says too much and not enough. It'd frighten the life out of
her.

He wrote againand ended by folding the sheet and putting it into an
envelop.

This is a message for Miss Alicia,he said to Pearson. "Give it to
her in the morning. I don't want her to worry because I had to go in a
hurry. Tell her everything's going to be all right; but you needn't
mention that anything's happened to Mr. Strangeways."

Yes, sir,answered Pearson.

Mr. Temple Barholm was already moving about the roomdoing odd things
for himself rapidlyand he went on speaking.

I want you and Rose to know,he saidthat whatever happens, you
are both fixed all right--both of you. I've seen to that.

Thank you, sir,Pearson falteredmade uneasy by something new in
his tone. "You said whatever happenedsir--"

Whatever old thing happens,his master took him up.

Not to you, sir. Oh, I hope, sir, that nothing--

Mr. Temple Barholm put a cheerful hand on his shoulder.

Nothing's going to happen that'll hurt any one. Things may change,
that's all. You and Rose are all right, Miss Alicia's all right, I'm
all right. Come along. Got to catch that train.'

In this manner he took his departure.

Miss Alicia had from necessity acquired the habit of early rising at
Rowcroft vicarageand as the next morning was brightshe was
clipping roses on a terrace before breakfast when Pearson brought her
the note.

Mr. Temple Barholm received a telegram from London last night,
ma'am,he explainedand he was obliged to take the midnight train.
He hadn't time to do any more than leave a few lines for you, but he
asked me to tell you that nothing disturbing had occurred. He


specially mentioned that everything was all right.

But how very sudden!exclaimed Miss Aliciaopening her note and
beginning to read it. Plainly it had been written hurriedly indeed. It
read as though he had been in such haste that he hadn't had time to be
clear.

Dear little Miss Alicia:

I've got to light out of here as quick as I can make it. I can't even
stop to tell you why. There's just one thing-- don't get rattledMiss
Alicia. Whatever any one says or doesjust don't let yourself get
rattled.

Yours affectionately

T. TEMBAROM.
Pearson,Miss Alicia exclaimedagain looking upare you sure
everything is all right?

That was what he said, ma'am. `All right,' ma'am.

Thank you, Pearson. I am glad to hear it.

She walked to and fro in the sunshinereading the note and rereading
it.

Of course if he said it was all right, it was all right,she
murmured. "It is only the phrasing that makes me slightly nervous. Why
should he ask me not to get rattled?" The term was by this time as
familiar to her as any in Dr. Johnson's dictionary. "Of course he
knows I do get rattled much too easily; but why should I be in danger
of getting rattled now if nothing has happened?" She gave a very small
start as she remembered something. "Could it be that Captain Palliser


-But how could he? Though I do not like Captain Palliser."
Captain Palliserher distaste for whom at the moment quite agitated
herwas this morning an early riser alsoand as she turned in her
walk she found him coming toward her.

I find I am obliged to take an early train to London this morning,
he saidafter their exchange of greetings. "It is quite unexpected. I
spoke to Mr. Temple Barholm about it last night."

Perhaps the unexpectednessperhaps a certain suggestion of
coincidencecaused Miss Alicia's side ringlets to appear momentarily
tremulous.

Then perhaps we had better go in to breakfast at once,she said.

Is Mr. Temple Barholm down?he inquired as they seated themselves at
the breakfast-table.

He is not here,she answered. "Hetoowas called away
unexpectedly. He went to London by the midnight train."


She had never been so aware of her unchristian lack of liking for
Captain Palliser as she was when he paused a moment before he made any
comment. His pause was as marked as a startand the smile he indulged
in wasshe feltmost singularly disagreeable. It was a smile of the
order which conceals an unpleasant explanation of itself.

Oh,he remarkedhe has gone first, has he?

Yes,she answeredpouring out his coffee for him. "He evidently had
business of importance."

They were quite aloneand she was not one of the women one need
disturb oneself about. She had been browbeaten into hypersensitive
timidity early in lifeand did not know how to resent cleverly
managed polite bullying. She would always feel herself at fault if she
was tempted to criticize any one. She was innocent and nervous enough
to betray herself to any extentbecause she would feel it rude to
refuse to answer questionshowsoever far they exceeded the limits of
polite curiosity. He had learned a good deal from her in the past. Why
not try what could be startled out of her now? Thus Captain Palliser
said:

I dare say you feel a little anxious at such an extraordinarily
sudden departure,he suggested amiably. "Bolting off in the middle of
the night was suddenif he did not explain himself."

He had no time to explain,she answered.

That makes it appear all the more sudden. But no doubt he left you a
message. I saw you were reading a note when I joined you on the
terrace.

Lightly casual as he chose to make the words soundthey were an
audacity he would have known better than to allow himself with any one
but a timid early-Victorian spinster whose politeness was
hypersensitive in its quality.

He particularly desired that I should not be anxious,she said. "He
is always considerate."

He would, of course, have explained everything if he had not been so
hurried?

Of course, if it had been necessary,answered Miss Alicianervously
sipping her tea.

Naturally,said Captain Palliser. "His note no doubt mentioned that
he went away on business connected with his friend Mr. Strangeways?"

There was no question of the fact that she was startled.

He had not time enough,she said. "He could only write a few lines.
Mr. Strangeways?"

We had a long talk about him last night. He told me a remarkable
story,Captain Palliser went on. "I suppose you are quite familiar
with all the details of it?"

I know how he found him in New York, and I know how generous he has
been to him.

Have you been told nothing more?


There was nothing more to tell. If there was anything, I am sure he
had some good reason for not telling me,said Miss Alicialoyally.
His reasons are always good.

Palliser's air of losing a shade or so of discretion as a result of
astonishment was really well done.

Do you mean to say that he has not even hinted that ever since he
arrived at Temple Barholm he has strongly suspected Strangeways'
identity--that he has even known who he is?he exclaimed.

Miss Alicia's small hands clung to the table-cloth.

He has not known at all. He has been most anxious to discover. He has
used every endeavor,she brought out with some difficulty.

You say he has been trying to find out?Palliser interposed.

He has been more than anxious,she protested. "He has been to London
again and again; he has gone to great expense; he has even seen people
from Scotland Yard. I have sometimes almost thought he was assuming
more responsibility than was just to himself. In the case of a
relative or an old friendbut for an entire stranger--OhreallyI
ought not to seem to criticize. I do not presume to criticize his
wonderful generosity and determination and goodness. No one should
presume to question him."

If he knows that you feel like this--Palliser began.

He knows all that I feel,Miss Alicia took him up with a pretty
rising spirit. "He knows that I am full of unspeakable gratitude to
him for his beautiful kindness to me; he knows that I admire and
respect and love him in a way I could never expressand that I would
do anything in the world he could wish me to do."

Naturally,said Captain Palliser. "I was only about to express my
surprise that since he is aware of all this he has not told you who he
has proved Strangeways to be. It is a little oddyou know."

I think --Miss Alicia was even gently firm in her reply --"that you
are a little mistaken in believing Mr. Temple Barholm has proved Mr.
Strangeways to be anybody. When he has proofhe will no doubt think
proper to tell me about it. Until then I should prefer--"

Palliser laughed as he finished her sentence.

Not to know. I was not going to betray him, Miss Alicia. He evidently
has one of his excellent reasons for keeping things to himself. I may
mention, however, that it is not so much he who has proof as I
myself.

You!How could she help quite starting in her seat when his gray
eyes fixed themselves on her with such a touch of finely amused
malice?

I offered him the proof last night, and it rather upset him,he
said. "He thought no one knew but himselfand he was not inclined to
tell the world. He was upset because I said I had seen the man and
could swear to his identity. That was why he went away so hurriedly.
He no doubt went to see Strangeways and talk it over."

See Mr. Strangeways? But Mr. Strangeways--Miss Alicia rose and rang
the bell.


Tell Pearson I wish to see him at once,she said to the footman.

Palliser took in her mood without comment. He had no objection to
being present when she made inquiries of Pearson.

I hear the wheels of the dog-cart,he remarked. "You seeI must
catch my train."

Pearson stood at the door.

Is not Mr. Strangeways in his room, Pearson?Miss Alicia asked.

Mr. Temple Barholm took him to London when he last went, ma'am,
answered Pearson. "You remember he went at night. The doctor thought
it best."

He did not tell you that, either?said Pallisercasually.

The dog-cart is at the door, sir,announced Pearson.

Miss Alicia's hand was unsteady when the departing guest took it.

Don't be disturbed,he said consideratelybut a most singular
thing has happened. When I asked so many questions about Temple
Barholm's Man with the Iron Mask I asked them for curious reasons.
That must be my apology. You will hear all about it later, probably
from Palford & Grimby.

When he had left the room Miss Alicia stood upon the hearth- rug as
the dog-cart drove awayand she was pale. Her simple and easily
disturbed brain was in a whirl. She could scarcely remember what she
had heardand could not in the least comprehend what it had seemed
intended to implyexcept that there had been concealed in the
suggestions some disparagement of her best beloved.

Singular as it was that Pearson should return without being summoned
when she turned and found that he mysteriously stood inside the
threshold againas if she had called himshe felt a great sense of
relief.

Pearson,she falteredI am rather upset by certain things which
Captain Palliser has said. I am afraid I do not understand.

She looked at him helplesslynot knowing what more to say. She wished
extremely that she could think of something definite.

The masterly finish of Pearson's reply lay in its neatly restrained
hint of unobtrusively perceptive sympathy.

Yes, Miss. I was afraid so. Which is why I took the liberty of
stepping into the room again. I myself do not understand, but of
course I do not expect to. If I may be so bold as to say it, Miss,
whatever we don't understand, we both understand Mr. Temple Barholm.
My instructions were to remind you, Miss, that everything would be all
right.

Miss Alicia took up her letter from the table where she had laid it
down.

Thank you, Pearson,she saidher forehead beginning to clear itself
a little. "Of courseof course. I ought not to-- He told me not to--
get rattled she added with plaintive ingenuousness, and I ought not
toabove all things."


Yes, Miss. It is most important that you should not.

CHAPTER XXXV

The story of the adventuresexperiencesand journeyings of Mr.
Joseph Hutchinsonhis daughterand the inventionif related in
detailwould prove reading of interest; but as this is merely a study
of the manner in which the untrained characteristics and varied
limitations of one man adjusted or failed to adjust themselves to
incongruous surroundings and totally unprepared-for circumstances
such detailswhatsoever their potential picturesquenesscan be
touched upon but lightly. No new idea of value to the world of
practical requirements is presented to the public at large without the
waking of many sleeping dogsand the stirring of many snapping fish
floating with open ears and eyes in many pools. An uneducated
blusteringobstinate man of one ideahaving resentfully borne
discouragement and wounded egotism for yearsand suddenly confronting
immense promise of successis not unlikely to be prey easily
harpooned. Joseph Hutchinson's rebound from despair to high and wellfounded
hope made of him exactly what such a man is always made by
such rebound. The testimony to his genius and judgment which
acknowledgment of the value of his work implied was naturallyin his
opiniononly a proper tribute which the public had been a bull-headed
fool not to lay at his feet years before. So much time lostand so
much money for itas well as for himand served 'em all damned well
righthe said. If Temple Barholm hadn't come into his moneyand
hadn't had more sense than the rest of themwhere would they all have
been? Perhaps they'd never have had the benefit of the thing he'd been
telling them about for years. He prided himself immensely on the
possession of a business shrewdness which was an absolute defense
against any desire on the part of the iniquitous to overreach him. He
believed it to be a peculiarly Lancashire characteristicand kept it
in view constantly.

Lancashire's not easy to do,he would say hilariouslyThem that
can do a Lancashire chap has got to look out that they get up early in
the morning and don't go to bed till late.

Smooth-mannered and astute men of business who knew how to make a man
talk were given diffuse and loud-voiced explanations of his methods
and long-acknowledged merits and characteristics. His lifehis
moralsand his trainingor rather lack ot itwere laid before them
as examples of what a man might work himself up to if "he had it in
him." Education didn't do it. He had never been to naught but a
village schoolwhere he'd picked up precious little but the three
R's. It had to be born in a man. Look at him! His invention promised
to bring him in a fortune like a duke'sif he managed it right and
kept his eyes open for sharpers. This company and that company were
after himbut Lancashire didn't snap up things without going into
'emand under 'emand through 'emfor the matter of that.

The well-mannered gentlemen of business stimulated him greatly by
their appreciative attention. He sometimes lost his head a trifle and
almost bullied thembut they did not seem to mind it. Their
apparently old- time knowledge of and respect for Lancashire business
sagacity seemed invariably a marked thing. Men of genius and powerful
character combined with practical shrewdness of outlook they
intimatedwere of enormous value to the business world. They were to
be counted upon as important factors. They could see and deal with
both sides of a proposal as those of weaker mind could not.


That they can,Hutchinson would admitrolling about in his chair
and thrusting his hands in his pockets. "They've got some bottom to
stand on." And he would feel amenable to reason.

Little Ann found her duties and responsibilities increasing daily.
Many persons seemed to think it necessary to come and talk business
and father had so much to think of and reason outso that he could be
sure that he didn't make any mistakes. In a quietremoteand
darkened corner of her mindin which were stored all such things as
it was well to say little or nothing aboutthere was discreetly kept
for reference the secretly acquired knowledge that father did not know
so much about business ways and business people as he thought he did.
Mother had learned this somewhat important factand had secluded it
in her own private mental store-room with much affectionate delicacy.

Father's a great man and a good man, Ann love,she had confided to
herchoosing an occasion when her husband was a hundred miles away
and he IS right-down Lancashire in his clever way of seeing through
people that think themselves sharp; but when a man is a genius and
noble-minded he sometimes can't see the right people's faults and
wickedness. He thinks they mean as honest as he does. And there's
times when he may get taken in if some one, perhaps not half as clever
as he is, doesn't look after him. When the invention's taken up, and
everybody's running after him to try to cheat him out of his rights,
if I'm not there, Ann, you must just keep with him and watch every
minute. I've seen these sharp, tricky ones right-down flinch and quail
when there was a nice, quiet-behaved woman in the room, and she just
fixed her eye steady and clear-like on them and showed she'd took in
every word and was like to remember. You know what I mean, Ann; you've
got that look in your own eye.

She had. The various persons who interviewed Mr. Hutchinson became
familiar with the fact that he had an unusual intimacy with and
affection for his daughter. She was present on all occasions. If she
had not been such a quiet and entirely unobtrusive little thingshe
might have been an obstacle to freedom of expression. But she seemed a
childishunsophisticated creaturewho always had a book with her
when she waited in an officeand a trifle of sewing to occupy herself
with when she was at home. At first she so obliterated herself that
she was scarcely noticed; but in course of time it became observed by
some that she was curiously pretty. The face usually bent over her
book or work was tinted like a flowerand she had quite magnificent
red hair. A stout old financier first remarked her eyes. He found one
day that she had quietly laid her book on her lapand that they were
resting upon him like unflinching crystals as he talked to her father.
Their serenity made him feel annoyed and uncomfortable. It was a sort
of recording serenity. He felt as though she would so clearly remember
every word he had said that she would be able to write it down when
she went home; and he did not care to have it written down. So he
began to wander somewhat in his argumentand did not reach his
conclusions.

I was glad, Father, to see how you managed that gentleman this
afternoon,Little Ann said that night when Hutchinson had settled
himself with his pipe after an excellent dinner.

Eh?he exclaimed. "Eh?"

The one,she exclaimedthat thought he was so sure he was going to
persuade you to sign that paper. I do wonder he could think you'd
listen to such a poor offer, and tie up so much. Why, even I could see
he was trying to take advantage, and I know nothing in the world about
business.


The financier in question had been a brilliant and laudatory
conversationalistand had so soothed and exhilarated Mr. Hutchinson
that such perils had beset him as his most lurid imaginings could
never have conceived in his darkest moments of believing that the
entire universe had ceased all other occupation to engage in that of
defrauding him of his rights and dues. He had been so uplifted by the
admiration of his genius so properly exhibitedand the fluency with
which his future fortunes had been describedthat he had been huffed
when the arguments seemed to dwindle away. Little Ann startled him
but it was not he who would show signs of dismay at the totally
unexpected expression of adverse opinion. He had got into the habit of
always listeningthough inadvertentlyas it wereto Ann as he had
inadvertently listened to her mother.

Rosenthal?he said. "Are you talking about him?"

Yes, I am,Little Ann answeeredsmiling approvingly over her bit of
sewing. "FatherI wish you'd try and teach me some of the things you
know about business. I've learned a little by just listening to you
talk; but I should so like to feel as if I could follow you when you
argue. I do so enjoy hearing you argue. It's just an education."

Women are not up to much at business,reflected Hutchinson. "If
you'd been a boyI'd have trained you same as I've trained myself.
You're a sharp little thingAnnbut you're a woman. Not but what a
woman's the best thing on earth he added almost severely in his
conviction--the best thing on earth in her place. I don't know what
I'd ever have done without youAnnin the bad times."

He loved herblundering old egotistjust as he had loved her mother.
Ann always knew itand her own love for him warmed all the world
about them both. She got up and went to him to kiss himand pat him
and stuff a cushion behind his stout back.

And now the good times have come,she saidbestowing on him two or
three special little pats which were caresses of her own invention
and people see what you are and always have been, as they ought to
have seen long ago, I don't want to feel as if I couldn't keep up with
you and understand your plans. Perhaps I've got a little bit of your
cleverness, and you might teach me to use it in small ways. I've got a
good memory you know, Father love, and I might recollect things people
say and make bits of notes of them to save you trouble. And I can
calculate. I once got a copy of Bunyan's `Pilgrim's Progress' for a
prize at the village school just for sums.

The bald but unacknowledged fact that Mr. Hutchinson had never
exhibited gifts likely to entitle him to receive a prize for "sums"
caused this suggestion to be one of some practical value. When
business men talked to him of per cents.and tenth shares or net
receiptsand expected him to comprehend their proportions upon the
spot without recourse to pencil and paperhe felt himself grow hot
and nervous and redand was secretly terrified lest the party of the
second part should detect that he was tossed upon seas of horrible
uncertainty. T. Tembarom in the same situation would probably have
saidThis is the place where T. T. sits down a while to take breath
and count things up on his fingers. I am not a sharp on arithmetic,
and I need time--lots of it.

Mr. Hutchinson's way was to bluster irritatedly.

Aye, aye, I see that, of course, plain enough. I see that.And feel
himself breaking into a cold perspiration. "Ehthis English climate
is a damp un he would add when it became necessary to mop his red


forehead somewhat with his big clean handkerchief.

Therefore he found it easy to receive Little Ann's proposition with
favor.

There's summat i' that he acknowledged graciously, dropping into
Lancashire. That's one of the little things a woman can do if she's
sharp at figures. Your mother taught me that much. She always said
women ought to look after the bits of things as was too small for a
man to bother with."

Men have the big things to look after. That's enough for anybody,
said Little Ann. "And they ought to leave something for women to do.
If you'll just let me keep notes for you and remember things and
answer your lettersand just make calculations you're too busy to
attend toI should feel right-down happyFather."

Eh!he said relievedlytha art like thy mother.

That would make me happy if there was nothing else to do it,said
Annsmoothing his shoulder.

You're her girl,he saidwarmed and supported.

Yes, I'm her girl, and I'm yours. Now, isn't there some little thing
I could begin with? Would you mind telling me if I was right in what I
thought you thought about Mr. Rosenthal's offer?

What did you think I thought about it?He was able to put
affectionate condescension into the question.

She went to her work-basket and took out a sheet of paper. She came
back and sat cozily on the arm of his chair.

I had to put it all down when I came home,she said. "I wanted to
make sure I hadn't forgotten. I do hope I didn't make mistakes."

She gave it to him to look atand as he settled himself down to its
careful examinationshe kept her blue eyes upon him. She herself did
not know that it was a wonderful little document in its neatly jotted
down notes of the exact detail most important to his interests.

There were figuresthere were calculations of profitsthere were
records of the gist of his repliesthere were things Hutchinson
himself could not possibly have fished out of the jumbled rag-bag of
his uncertain recollections.

Did I say that?he exclaimed once.

Yes, Father love, and I could see it upset him. I was watching his
face because it wasn't a face I took to.

Joseph Hutchinson began to chuckle--the chuckle of a relieved and
gratified stout man.

Tha kept thy eyes open, Little Ann,he said. "And the way tha's put
it down is a credit to thee. And I'll lay a sovereign that tha made no
mistakes in what tha thought I was thinking."

He was a little anxious to hear what it had been. The memorandum had
brought him up with a slight shockbecause it showed him that he had
not remembered certain pointsand had passed over others which were
of dangerous importance. Ann slipped her warm arm about his neckas
she nearly always did when she sat on the arm of his chair and talked


things over with him. She had never thoughtin fact she was not even
awarethat her soft little instincts made her treat him as the big
goodconceitedblundering child nature had created him.

What I was seeing all the time was the way you were taking in his
trick of putting whole lots of things in that didn't really matter,
and leaving out things that did,she explained. "He kept talking
about what the invention would make in Englandand how it would make
itand adding up figures and per cents. and royalties until my head
was buzzing inside. And when he thought he'd got your mind fixed on
England so that you'd almost forget there was any other country to
think ofhe read out the agreement that said `All rights' and he was
silly enough to think he could get you to sign it without reading it
over and over yourselfand showing it to a clever lawyer that would
know that as many tricks can be played by things being left out of a
paper as by things being put in."

Small beads of moisture broke out on the bald part of Joseph
Hutchinson's head. He had been first so flattered and exhilarated by
the quoting of large figuresand then so flustrated and embarrassed
by his inability to calculate and follow argumentand again so
soothed and elated and thrilled by his own importance in the scheme
and the honors which his position in certain companies would heap upon
himthat an abyss had yawned before him of which he had been wholly
unaware. He was not unaware of it now. He was a vaingloriousignorant
manwhose life had been spent in common work done under the
supervision of those who knew what he did not know. He had fed himself
upon the comforting belief that he had learned all the tricks of any
trade. He had been openly boastful of his astuteness and experience
and yetas Ann's soft little voice went onand she praised his
cleverness in seeing one point after anotherhe began to quake within
himself before the dawning realization that he had seen none of them
that he had been carried along exactly as Rosenthal had intended that
he should beand that if luck had not intervenedhe had been on the
brink of signing his name to an agreement that would have implied a
score of concessions he would have bellowed like a bull at the thought
of making if he had known what he was doing.

Aye, lass,he gulped out when he could speak--"ayelasstha wert
right enow. I'm glad tha wert there and heard itand saw what I was
thinking. I didn't say much. I let the chap have rope enow to hang
himself with. When he comes back I'll give him a bit o' my mind as'll
startle him. It was right-down clever of thee to see just what I had
i' my head about all that there gab about things as didn't matteran'
the leavin' out them as did--thinking I wouldn't notice. Many's the
time I've said`It is na so much what's put into a contract as what's
left out.' I'll warrant tha'st heard me say it thysen."

I dare say I have,answered Annand I dare say that was why it
came into my mind.

That was it,he answered. "Thy mother was always tellin' me of
things I'd said that I'd clean forgot myself."

He was beginning to recover his balance and self-respect. It would
have been so like a Lancashire chap to have seen and dealt shrewdly
with a business schemer who tried to outwit him that he was gradually
convinced that he had thought all that had been suggestedand had
comported himself with triumphant though silent astuteness. He even
began to rub his hands.

I'll show him,he saidI'll send him off with a flea in his ear.

If you'll help me, I'll study out the things I've written down on


this paper,Ann saidand then I'll write down for you just the
things you make up your mind to say. It will be such a good lesson for
me, if you don't mind, Father. It won't be much to write it out the
way you'll say it. You know how you always feel that in business the
fewer words the better, and that, however much a person deserves it,
calling names and showing you're angry is only wasting time. One of
the cleverest things you ever thought was that a thief doesn't mind
being called one if he's got what he wanted out of you; he'll only
laugh to see you in a rage when you can't help yourself. And if he
hasn't got what he wanted, it's only waste of strength to work
yourself up. It's you being what you are that makes you know that
temper isn't business.

Well,said Hutchinsondrawing a long and deep breathI was almost
hot enough to have forgot that, and I'm glad you've reminded me. We'll
go over that paper now, Ann. I'd like to give you your lesson while
we've got a bit o' time to ourselves and what I've said is fresh in
your mind. The trick is always to get at things while they're fresh in
your mind.

The little daughter with the red hair was present during Rosenthal's
next interview with the owner of the invention. The fellowhe told
himselfhad been thinking matters overhad perhaps consulted a
lawyer; and having had time for reflectionhe did not present a mass
of mere inflated and blundering vanity as a target for adroit aim. He
seemed a trifle sulkybut he did not talk about himself diffusely
and lose his head when he was smoothed the right way. He had a set of
curiously concise notes to which he referredand he stuck to his
points with a bulldog obstinacy which was not to be shaken. Something
had set him on a new tack. The tricks which could be used only with a
totally ignorant and readily flattered and influenced business amateur
were no longer in order. This was baffling and irritating.

The worst feature of the situation was that the daughter did not read
a bookas had seemed her habit at other times. She sat with a tablet
and pencil on her kneeandstill as unobtrusively as everjotted
down notes.

Put that down, Ann,her father said to her more than once. "There's
no objections to having things written downI suppose?" he put it
bluntly to Rosenthal. "I've got to have notes made when I'm doing
business. Memory's all well enoughbut black and white's better. No
one can go back of black and white. Notes save time."

There was but one attitude possible. No man of business could resent
the recording of his considered wordsbut the tablet and pencil and
the quietly bent red head were extraordinary obstacles to the fluidity
of eloquence. Rosenthal found his arguments less ready and his methods
modifying themselves. The outlook narrowed itself. When he returned to
his office and talked the situation over with his partnerhe sat and
bit his nails in restless irritation.

Ridiculous as it seems, outrageously ridiculous, I've an idea,he
saidI've more than an idea that we have to count with the girl.

Girl? What girl?

Daughter. Well-behaved, quiet bit of a thing, who sits in a corner
and listens while she pretends to sew or read. I'm certain of it.
She's taken to making notes now, and Hutchinson's turned stubborn. You
need not laugh, Lewis. She's in it. We've got to count with that girl,
little female mouse as she looks.

This viewwhich was first taken by Rosenthal and passed on to his


partnerwas in course of time passed on to others and gradually
acceptedsometimes reluctantly and with much private protest
sometimes with amusement. The well-behaved daughter went with
Hutchinson wheresoever his affairs called him. She was changeless in
the unobtrusiveness of her demeanorwhich was always that of a
dutiful and obedient young person who attended her parent because he
might desire her humble little assistance in small matters.

She's my secretary,Hutchinson began to explainwith a touch of
swagger. "I've got to have a secretaryand I'd rather trust my
private business to my own daughter than to any one else. It's safe
with her."

It was so safe with her steady demureness that Hutchinson found
himself becoming steady himself. The "lessons" he gave to Little Ann
and the notes made as a resultalways ostensibly for her own security
and instructionbegan to form a singularly firm foundation for
statement and argument. He began to tell himself that his memory was
improving. Facts were no longer jumbled together in his mind. He could
better follow a line of logical reasoning. He less often grew red and
hot and flustered.

That's the thing I've said so often--that temper's got naught to do
wi' business, and only upsets a man when he wants all his wits about
him. It's the truest thing I ever worked out,he not infrequently
congratulated himself. "If a chap can keep his temperhe'll be like
to keep his head and drive his bargain. I see it plainer every day o'
my life."

CHAPTER XXXVI

It was in the course of the "lessons" that he realized that he had
always argued that the best way to do business was to do it face to
face with people. To stay in Englandand let another chap make your
bargains for you in France or Germany or some other outlandish
placewhere frog-eating foreigners ran loosewas a fool's trick.
He'd said it often enough. "Get your eye on 'emand let them know
you've got it on themand they'd soon find out they were dealing with
Lancashireand not with foreign knaves and nincompoops." Sowhen it
became necessary to deal with FranceLittle Ann packed him up neatly
so to speakand in the role of obedient secretarial companion took
him to that countryhaving for weeks beforehand mentally confronted
the endless complications attending the step. She knewin the first
placewhat the effect of the French language would be upon his
temper: that it would present itself to him as a wall deliberately
built by the entire nation as a means of concealing a deep duplicity
the sole object of which was the bafflingthwartingand undoing of
Englishmenfrom whom it wished to wrest their honest rights. Apoplexy
becoming imminentas a result of his impotent rage during their first
few days in Parisshe paid a private visit to a traveler's agency
and after careful inquiry discovered that it was not impossible to
secure the attendance and service of a well-mannered young man who
spoke most of the languages employed by most of the inhabitants of the
globe. She even found that she might choose from a number of such
personsand she therefore selected with great care.

One that's got a good temper, and isn't easy irritated,she said to
herselfin summing up the aspirantsbut not one that's easytempered
because he's silly. He must have plenty of common sense as
well as be willing to do what he's told.


When her father discovered that he himself had been considering the
desirability of engaging the services of such a personand had
indeed alreadyin a wayexpressed his intention of sending her to
the agency chapto look him upshe was greatly relieved.

I can try to teach him what you've taught me, Father,she saidand
of course he'll learn just by being with you.

The assistant engaged was a hungry young student who had for weeks
through ill luckbeen endeavoring to return with some courage the
gaze of starvationwhich had been staring him in the face.

His name was Dudevantand with desperate struggles he had educated
himself highlyhaving cherished literary ambitions from his infancy.
At this juncture it had become imperative that he shouldfor a few
months at leastobtain food. Ann had chosen well by instinct. His
speech had told her that he was intelligenthis eyes had told her
that he would do anything on earth to earn his living.

From the time of his adventJoseph Hutchinson had become calmer and
had ceased to be in peril of apoplectic seizure. Foreign nations
became less iniquitous and dangerousforeign languages were less of a
barriereasier to understand. A pleasing impression that through
great facility he had gained a fair practical knowledge of French
Germanand Italiansupported and exhilarated him immensely.

It's right-down wonderful how a chap gets to understand these
fellows' lingo after he's listened to it a bit,he announced to Ann.
I wouldn't have believed it of myself that I could see into it as
quick as I have. I couldn't say as I understand everything they say
just when they're saying it; but I understand it right enough when
I've had time to translate like. If foreigners didn't talk so fast and
run their words one into another, and jabber as if their mouths was
full of puddin', it'd be easier for them as is English. Now, there's
`wee' and `nong.' I know 'em whenever I hear 'em, and that's a good
bit of help.

Yes,answered Annof course that's the chief thing you want to
know in business, whether a person is going to say `yes' or `no.'

He began to say "wee" and "nong" at mealsand once broke forth "Passy
mor le burr" in a tone so casually Parisian that Ann was frightened
because she did not understand immediatelyand also because she saw
looming up before her a future made perilous by the sudden
interjection of unexpected foreign phrases it would be incumbent upon
her and Dudevant to comprehend instantaneously without invidious
hesitation.

Don't you understand? Pass the butter. Don't you understand a bit o'
French like that?he exclaimed irritatedly. "Buy yourself one o'
these books full of easy sentences and learn some of 'emlass. You
oughtn't to be travelin' about with your father in foreign countries
and learnin' nothin'. It's not every lass that's gettin' your
advantages."

Ann had not mentioned the fact that she spent most of her rare leisure
moments in profound study of phrase-books and grammarswhich she kept
in her trunk and gave her attention to before she got up in the
morningafter she went to her room at nightand usually while she
was dressing. You can keep a book open before you when you are
brushing your hair. Dudevant gave her a lesson or so whenever time
allowed. She was as quick to learn as her father thought he wasand
she was desperately determined. It was really not long before she


understood much more than "wee and nong" when she was present at a
business interview.

You are a wonderful young lady,Dudevant saidwith that well-known
yearning in his eyes. "You are most wonderful."

She's just a wonder,Mrs. Bowse and her boarders had said. And the
respectful yearning in the young Frenchman's eyes and voice were well
known to her because she had seen it often beforeand remembered it
in Jem Bowles and Julius Steinberger. That this young man had without
an hour of delay fallen abjectly in love with her was a circumstance
with which she dealt after her own inimitably kind and undeleterious
methodwhich in itself was an education to any amorous youth.

I can understand all you tell me,she said when he reached the point
of confiding his hard past to her. "I can understand it because I knew
some one who had to fight for himself just that wayonly perhaps it
was harder because he wasn't educated as you are."

Did he--confide in you?Dudevant venturedwith delicate hesitation.
You are so kind I am sure he did, Mademoiselle.

He told me about it because he knew I wanted to hear,she answered.
I was very fond of him,she addedand her kind gravity was quite
unshaded by any embarrassment. "I was right-down fond of him."

His emotion rendered him for a moment indiscreetto her immediate
realization and regretas was evident by his breaking off in the
midst of his question.

And now--are you?

Yes, I always shall be, Mr. Dudevant.

His adoration naturally only deepened itself as all hope at once
recededas it could not but recede before the absolute pellucid truth
of her.

However much he likes me, he will get over it in time. People do,
when they know how things stand,she was thinkingwith maternal
sympathy.

It did him no bitter harm to help her with her efforts at learning
what she most neededand he found her intelligence and modest power
of concentration remarkable. A singularly clear knowledge of her own
specialized requirements was a practical background to them both. She
had no desire to shine; she was merely steadily bent on acquiring as
immediately as possible a comprehension of nounsverbsand phrases
that would be useful to her father. The manner in which she applied
herselfand assimilated what it was her quietly fixed intention to
assimilatebespoke her possession of a brain the powers of which
being concentrated on large affairs might have accomplished almost
startling results. There washowevernothing startling in her
intentionsand ambition did not touch her. Yetas she went with
Hutchinson from one country to anothermore than one man of affairs
had it borne in upon him that her young slimness and her silence
represented an unanticipated knowledge of points under discussion
which might wisely be considered as a factor in all decisions for or
against. To realize that a soft-cheekedchild-eyed girl was an
element to regard privately in discussions connected with the sale of
or the royalties paid ona valuable patent appeared in some minds to
be a situation not without flavor. She was the kind of little person a
man naturally made love toand a girl who was made love to in a
clever manner frequently became amenable to reasonand might be


persuaded to use her influence in the direction most desired. But such
male financiers as began with this idea discovered that they had been
led into errors of judgment through lack of familiarity with the
variations of type. One personable young man of titlewho had just
been disappointed in a desirable marriage with a fortunebeing made
aware that the invention was likely to arrive at amazing resultswas
sufficiently rash to approach Mr. Hutchinson with formal proposals.
Having a truly British respect for the lofty in placeand not being
sufficiently familiar with titled personages to discriminate swiftly
between the large and the smallJoseph Hutchinson was somewhat unduly
elated.

The chap's a count, lass,he said. "Tha'u'd go back to Manchester a
countess."

I've heard they're nearly all counts in these countries,commented
Ann. "And there's countesses that have to do their own washingin a
manner of speaking. You send him to meFather."

When the young man cameand compared the fine little nose of Miss
Hutchinson with the large and bony structure dominating the
countenance of the German heiress he had lostalso when he gazed into
the clearness of the infantile blue eyeshis spirits rose. He felt
himself en veine; he was equal to attacking the situation. He felt
that he approached it with alluring and chivalric delicacy. He almost
believed all that he said.

But the pellucid blueness of the gaze that met his was confusingly
unstirred by any shade of suitable timidity or emotion. There was
something in the lovelysedate little creaturesomething so
undisturbed and matter of factthat it frightened himbecause he
suddenly felt like a fool whose folly had been found out.

That's downright silly,remarked Little Annnot allowing him to
escape from her glancewhich unhesitatingly summed up him and his
situation. "And you know it is. You don't know anything about meand
you wouldn't like me if you did. And I shouldn't like you. We're too
different. Please go awayand don't say anything more about it. I
shouldn't have patience to talk it over."

Father,she said that nightif ever I get married at all, there's
only one person I'm going to marry. You know that.And she would say
no more.

By the time they returned to Englandthe placing of the invention in
divers countries had been arranged in a manner which gave assurance of
a fortune for its owners on a foundation not likely to have
established itself in more adverse circumstances. Mr. Hutchinson had
really driven some admirable bargainsand had secured advantages
which to his last hour he would believe could have been achieved only
by Lancashire shrewdness and Lancashire ability to "see as far through
a mile-stone as most chapsan' a bit farther." The way in which he
had never allowed himself to be "done" caused him at times to chuckle
himself almost purple with self-congratulation.

They got to know what they was dealing with, them chaps. They was
sharp, but Joe was a bit sharper,he would say.

They found letters waiting for them when they reached London.

There's one fro' thy grandmother,Hutchinson saidin dealing out
the package. "She's written to thee pretty steady for an old un."

This was true. Letters from her had followed them from one place to


another. This was a thick one in an envelop of good size.

Aren't tha going to read it? he asked.

Not till you've had your dinner, Father. You've had a long day of it
with that channel at the end. I want to see you comfortable with your
pipe.

The hotel was a good oneand the dinner was good. Joseph Hutchinson
enjoyed it with the appetite of a robust man who has had time to get
over a not too pleasant crossing. When he had settled down into a
stout easy-chair with the pipehe drew a long and comfortable breath
as he looked about the room.

Eh, Ann, lass,he saidthy mother 'd be fine an' set up if she
could see aw this. Us having the best that's to be had, an' knowin' we
can have it to the end of our lives, that's what it's come to, tha
knows. No more third-class railway-carriages for you and me. No more
`commercial' an' `temperance' hotels. Th' first cut's what we can
have--th' upper cut. Eh, eh, but it's a good day for a man when he's
begun to be appreciated as he should be.

It's a good day for those that love him,said Little Ann. "And I
dare say mother knows every bit about it."

I dare say she does,admitted Hutchinsonwith tender lenience. "She
was one o' them as believed that way. And I never knowed her to be
wrong in aught elseso I'm ready to give in as she was reet about
that. Good lass she wasgood lass."

He had fallen into a contented and utterly comfortable doze in his
chair when Ann sat down to read her grandmother's letter. The old
woman always wrote at lengthgiving many details and recording
village events with shrewd realistic touches. Throughout their
journeyingsAnn had been followed by a record of the estate and
neighborhood of Temple Barholm which had lacked nothing of atmosphere.
She had known what the new lord of the manor didwhat people said
what the attitude of the gentry had become; that the visit of the
Countess of Mallowe and her daughter had extended itself until
curiosity and amusement had ceased to commentand passively awaited
results. She had heard of Miss Alicia and her reincarnationand knew
much of the story of the Duke of Stonewhose reputation as a "dommed
clever owd chap" had earned for him a sort of awed popularity. There
had been many "ladies." The new Temple Barholm had boldly sought them
out and faced them in their strongholds with the manner of one who
would confront the worst and who revealed no tendency to flinch. The
one at Stone Hover with the "pretty color" and the one with the
dimples had appeared frequently upon the scene. Then there had been
Lady Joan Fayrewho had lived at his elbowsitting at his table
driving in his carriages with the air of cold aloofness which the
cottagers "could na abide an' had no patience wi'." She had sometimes
sat and wondered and wondered about thingsand sometimes had flushed
daisy-red instead of daisy-pink; and sometimes she had turned rather
pale and closed her soft mouth firmly. Butthough she had written
twice a week to her grandmothershe had recorded principally the
successes and complexities of the inventionand had asked very few
questions. Old Mrs. Hutchinson would tell her all she must knowand
her choice of revelation would be made with a far-sightedness which
needed no stimulus of questioning. The letter she had found awaiting
her had been long on its wayhaving missed her at point after point
and followed her at last to London. It looked and felt thick and solid
in its envelop. Little Ann opened itstirred by the suggestion of
quickened pulse-beats with which she had become familiar. As she bent
over it she looked sweetly flushed and warmed.


Joseph Hutchinson's doze had almost deepened into sleep when he was
awakened by the touch of her hand on his shoulder. She was standing by
himholding some sheets of her grandmother's letterand several
other sheets were lying on the table. Something had occurred which had
changed her quiet look.

Has aught happened to your grandmother?he asked.

No, Father, but this letter that's been following me from one place
to another has got some queer news in it.

What's up, lass? Tha looks as if summat was up.

The thing that's happened has given me a great deal to think of,was
her answer. "It's about Mr. Temple Barholm and Mr. Strangeways."

He became wide-awake at oncesitting up and turning in his chair in
testy anxiety.

Now, now,he exclaimedI hope that cracked chap's not gone out an'
out mad an' done some mischief. I towd Temple Barholm it was a foolish
thing to do, taking all that trouble about him. Has he set fire to th'
house or has he knocked th' poor lad on th' head?

No, he hasn't, Father. He's disappeared, and Mr. Temple Barholm's
disappeared, too.

Disappeared?Hutchinson almost shouted. "What fori' the Lord's
name?"

Nobody knows for certain, and people are talking wild. The village is
all upset, and all sorts of silly things are being said.

What sort o' things?

You know what servants at big houses are--how they hear bits of talk
and make much of it,she explained. "They've been curious and
chattering among themselves about Mr. Strangeways from the first. It
was Burrill that said he believed he was some relation that was being
hid away for some good reason. One night Mr. Temple Barholm and
Captain Palliser were having a long talk togetherand Burrill was
about--"

Aye, he'd be about if he thought there was a chance of him hearing
summat as was none of his business,jerked out Hutchinsonirately.

They were talking about Mr. Strangeways, and Burrill heard Captain
Palliser getting angry; and as he stepped near the door he heard him
say out loud that he could swear in any court of justice that the man
he had seen at the west room window--it's a startling thing, Father-was
Mr. James Temple Barholm.For the moment her face was pale.

Hereupon Hutchinson sprang up.

What!His second shout was louder than his first. "Th' liar! Th'
chap's deadan' he knows it. Th' dommed mischief-makin' liar!"

Her eyes were clear and speculatively thoughtfulnotwithstanding her
lack of color.

There have been people that have been thought dead that have come


back to their friends alive. It's happened many a time,she said. "It
wouldn't be so strange for a man that had no friends to be lost in a
wildfar-off place where there was neither law nor orderand where
every man was fighting for his own life and the gold he was mad after.
Particularly a man that was shamed and desperate and wanted to hide
himself. Andmost of allit would be easyif he was like Mr.
Strangewaysand couldn't rememberand had lost himself."

As her father listenedthe angry redness of his countenance moderated
its hue. His eyes gradually began to question and his under jaw fell
slightly.

Si' thee, lass,he broke out huskilydoes that mean to say tha
believes it?

It's not often you can believe what you don't know,she answered. "I
don't know anything about it. There's just one thing I believe
because I know it. I believe what grandmother does. Read that."

She handed him the final sheet of old Mrs. Hutchinson's letter. It was
written with very black ink and in an astonishingly bold and clear
hand. It was easy to read the sentences with which she ended.

There's a lot said. There's always more saying than doing. But it's
right-down funny to see how the lad has made hard and fast friends
just going about in his queer wayand no one knowing how he did it. I
like him myself. He's one of those you needn't ask questions about. If
there's anything said that isn't to his creditit's not true. There's
no ifsbutsor ands about thatAnn.

Little Ann herself read the words as her father read them.

That's the thing I believe, because I know it,was all she said.

It's the thing I'd swear to mysel',her father answered bluffly.
But, by Judd--

She gave him a little push and spoke to him in homely Lancashire
phrasingand with some soft unsteadiness of voice.

Sit thee down, Father love,she saidand let me sit on thy knee.

He sat down with emotional readinessand she sat on his stout knee
like a child. It was a thing she did in tender or troubled moments as
much in these days as she had done when she was six or seven. Her
little lightness and soft young ways made it the most natural thing in
the worldas well as the prettiest. She had always sat on his knee in
the hours when he had been most discouraged over the invention. She
had known it made him feel as though he were taking care of herand
as though she depended utterly on him to steady the foundations of her
world. What could such a little bit of a lass do without "a father"?

It's upset thee, lass,he said. "It's upset thee."

He saw her slim hands curl themselves into smallfirm fists as they
rested on her lap.

I can't bear to think that ill can be said of him, even by a wastrel
like Captain Palliser,she said. "He's MINE."


It made him fumble caressingly at her big knot of soft red hair.

Thine, is he?he said. "Thine! Ehbut tha did say that just like
thy mother would ha' said it; tha brings the heart i' my throat now
and again. That chap's i' luckI can tell him--same as I was once."

He's mine now, whatever happens,she went onwith a firmness which
no skeptic would have squandered time in the folly of hoping to shake.
He's done what I told him to do, and it's ME he wants. He's found out
for himself, and so have I. He can have me the minute he wants me--the
very minute.

He can?said Hutchinson. "That settles it. I believe tha'd rather
take him when he was i' trouble than when he was out of it. Same as
tha'd rather take him i' a flat in Harlem on fifteen dollar a week
than on fifteen hundred."

Yes, Father, I would. It'd give me more to do for him.

Eh, eh,he grunted tenderlythy mother again. I used to tell her
as the only thing she had agen me was that I never got i' jail so she
could get me out an' stand up for me after it. There's only one thing
worrits me a bit: I wish the lad hadn't gone away.

I've thought that out, though I've not had much time to reason about
things,said Little Ann. "If he's gone awayhe's gone to get
something; and whatever it happens to behe'll be likely to bring it
back with himFather."

CHAPTER XXXVII

Old Mrs. Hutchinson's letter had supplied much detailbut when her
son and grand-daughter arrived in the village of Temple Barholm they
heard much morethe greater part of it not in the least to be relied
upon.

The most of it's lies, as folks enjoys theirsels pretendin' to
believe,the grand- mother commented. "It's servants'-hall talk and
cottage gossipand plenty made itself up out o' beer drunk in th'
tap-room at th' Wool Park. In a place where naught much happens
people get into th' way 'o springin' on a bit o' newsand shakin' and
worryin' it like a terrier does a rat. It's nature. That lad's given
'em lots to talk about ever since he coom. He's been a blessin' to
'em. If he'd been gentryhe'd not ha' been nigh as lively. Th'
village lads tries to talk through their noses like him. Little Tummas
Hibblethwaite does it i' broad Lancashire."

The only facts fairly authenticated were that the mysterious stranger
had been taken away very late one nightsome time before the
interview between Mr. Temple Barholm and Captain Palliserof which
Burrill knew so much because he had "happened to be about." When a
domestic magnate of Burrill's type "happens to be about" at a crisis
he is not unlikely to hear a great deal. Burrillit was believed
knew much more than he deigned to make public. The entire truth was
that Captain Palliser himselfin one of his hasty appearances in the
neighborhood of Temple Barholmhad bestowed a few words of cold
caution on him.

Don't talk too much,he had said. "Proof is required before talk is
safe. The American was sharp enough to say that to me himself. He was


sharp enoughtooto keep his man hidden. I was the only person that
saw him who could have recognized himand I saw him by chance.
Palford & Grimby require proof. We are in search of it. Servants will
talk; but if you don't want to run the risk of getting yourself into
troubledon't make absolute statements."

This had been a disappointment to Burrillwho had seen himself
developing in magnitude; but he was a timid manand therefore felt it
wise to convey his knowledge merely through the conviction carried by
a dignified silence after his first indiscreet revelation of having
happened to be abouthad been made. It would have been some solace
to him to intimate to Miss Alicia by his bearing and the manner of his
services that she had been discoveredso to speakin the character
of a sort of accomplice; that her position was a perilously uncertain
onewhich would probably end in utter downfallleaving her in her
old and proper place as an elderlyinsignificantand unattractive
poor relationwithout a feature to recommend her. But beingas
before remarkeda timid manand recalling the interview between
himself and his employer held outside the dining-room doorand having
also a disturbing memory of the sharpcoolboyish eye and the tone
of the casual remark that he had "a head on his shoulders" and that it
was "up to him to make the others understand it seemed as well to
restrain his inclinations until the proof Palford & Grimby required
was forthcoming.

It was perhaps the moderate and precautionary attitude of Palford &
Grimby, during their first somewhat startled though reserved interview
with Captain Palliser, which had prevented the vaguely wild rumors
from being regarded as more than villagers' exaggerated talk among
themselves. The gentry indeed, knew much less of the cottagers than
the cottagers knew of the gentry; consequently events furnishing much
excitement among the village people not infrequently remained unheardof
by those in the class above them. A story less incredible might
have been more considered; but the highly colored reasons given for
the absence of the owner of Temple Barholm would, if heard of, have
been more than likely to be received and passed over with a smile.

The manner of Mr. Palford and also of Mr. Grimby during the
deliberately unmelodramatic and carefully connected relation of
Captain Palliser's singular story, was that of professional gentlemen
who for reasons of good breeding were engaged in restraining outward
expression of conviction that they were listening to utter nonsense.
Palliser himself was aware of this, and upon the whole did not wonder
at it in entirely unimaginative persons of extremely sober lives. In
fact, he had begun by giving them some warning as to what they might
expect in the way of unusualness.

You willno doubtthink what I am about to tell you absurd and
incredible he had prefaced his statements. I thought the same
myself when my first suspicions were aroused. I wasin factinclined
to laugh at my own idea until one link connected itself with another."

Neither Mr. Grimby nor Mr. Palford was inclined to laugh. On the
contrarythey were extremely graveand continued to find it
necessary to restrain their united tendency to indicate facially that
the thing must be nonsense. It transcended all boundsas it were. The
delicacy with which they managed to convey this did them much credit.
This delicacy was equaled by the moderation with which Captain
Palliser drew their attention to the fact that it was not the thing
likely-to-happen on which were founded the celebrated criminal cases
of legal history; it was the incredible and almost impossible events
the ordinarily unbelievable duplicitiesmoral obliquities and
coincidenceswhich made them what they were and attracted the
attention of the world. ThisMr. Palford and his partner were


obviously obliged to admit. What they did not admit was that such
things never having occurred in one's own worldthey had been
mentally relegated to the world of newspaper and criminal record as
things that could not happen to oneself. Mr. Palford cleared his
throat in a seriously cautionary way.

This is, of course, a matter suggesting too serious an accusation not
to be approached in the most conservative manner,he remarked.

Most serious consequences have resulted in cases implying libelous
assertions which have been made rashly,added Mr. Grimby. "As Mr.
Temple Barholm intimated to youa man of almost unlimited means has
command of resources which it might not be easy to contend with if he
had reason to feel himself injured."

The fact that Captain Palliser had in a bitterly frustrated moment
allowed himself to be goaded into losing his temperand "giving away"
to Tembarom the discovery on which he had felt that he could rely as a
leverdid not argue that a like weakness would lead him into more
dangerous indiscretion. He had always regarded himself as a careful
man whose defenses were well built about him at such crises in his
career as rendered entrenchment necessary. There wouldof coursebe
some pleasure in following the matter up and getting more than even
with a man who had been insolent to him; but a more practical feature
of the case was that ifthrough his alert observation and shrewd aid
Jem Temple Barholm was restored to his much-to-be-envied place in the
worlda far from unnatural result would be that he might feel
suitable gratitude and indebted-ness to the man whonot from actual
personal liking but from a mere sense of justicehad rescued him. As
for the fears of Messrs. Palford & Grimbyhe had put himself on
record with Burrill by commanding him to hold his tongue and stating
clearly that proof was both necessary and lacking. No man could be
regarded as taking risks whose attitude was so wholly conservative and
non-accusing. Servants will gossip. A superior who reproves such
gossip holds an unattackable position. In the private room of Palford
& Grimbyhoweverhe could confidently express his opinions without
risk.

The recognition of a man lost sight of for years, and seen only for a
moment through a window, is not substantial evidence,Mr. Grimby had
proceeded. "The incident was startlingbut not greatly to be relied
upon."

I knew him.Palliser was slightly grim in his air of finality. "He
was a man most men either liked or hated. I didn't like him. I
detested a trick he had of staring at you under his drooping lids. By
the waydo you remember the portrait of Miles Hugo which was so like
him?"

Mr. Palford remembered having heard that there was a certain portrait
in the gallery which Mr. James Temple Barholm had been said to
resemble. He had no distinct recollection of the ancestor it
represented.

It was a certain youngster who was a page in the court of Charles the
Second and who died young. Miles Hugo Charles James was his name. He
is my strongest clue. The American seemed rather keen the first time
we talked together. He was equally keen about Jem Temple Barholm. He
wanted to know what he looked like, and whether it was true that he
was like the portrait.

Indeed!exclaimed Palford and Grimbysimultaneously.

It struck me that there was something more than mere curiosity in his


manner,Palliser enlarged. "I couldn't make him out then. LaterI
began to see that he was remarkably anxious to keep every one from
Strangeways. It was a sort of Man in the Iron Mask affair. Strangeways
was apparently not only too excitable to be looked at or spoken to
but too excitable to be spoken of. He wouldn't talk about him."

That is exceedingly curious,remarked Mr. Palfordbut it was not in
response to Palliser. A few moments before he had suddenly looked
thoughtful. He wore now the aspect of a man trying to recall something
as Palliser continued.

One day, after I had been to look at a sunset through a particular
window in the wing where Strangeways was kept, I passed the door of
his sitting-room, and heard the American arguing with him. He was
evidently telling him he was to be taken elsewhere, and the poor devil
was terrified. I heard him beg him for God's sake not to send him
away. There was panic in his voice. In connection with the fact that
he has got him away secretly--at midnight-it's an ugly thing to
recall.

It would seem to have significance.Grimby said it uneasily.

It set me thinking and looking into things,Palliser went on.
Pearson was secretive, but the head man, Burrill, made casual
enlightening remarks. I gathered some curious details, which might or
might not have meant a good deal. When Strangeways suddenly appeared
at his window one evening a number of things fitted themselves
together. My theory is that the American--Tembarom, as he used to call
himself --may not have been certain of the identity at first, but he
wouldn't have brought Strangeways with him if he had not had some
reason to suspect who he was. He daren't lose sight of him, and he
wanted time to make sure and to lay his plans. The portrait of Miles
Hugo was a clue which alarmed him, and no doubt he has been following
it. If he found it led to nothing, he could easily turn Strangeways
over to the public charge and let him be put into a lunatic asylum. If
he found it led to a revelation which would make him a pauper again,
it would be easy to dispose of him.

Come! Come! Captain Palliser! We mustn't go too far!ejaculated Mr.
Grimbyalarmedly. It shocked him to think of the firm being dragged
into a case dealing with capital crime and possible hangmen! That was
not its line of the profession.

Captain Palliser's slight laugh contained no hint of being shocked by
any possibilities whatever.

There are extremely private asylums and so-called sanatoriums where
the discipline is strict, and no questions are asked. One sometimes
reads in the papers of cases in which mild-mannered keepers in
defending themselves against the attacks of violent patients are
obliged to use force--with disastrous results. It is in such places
that our investigations should begin.

Dear me! Dear me!Mr. Grimby broke out. "Isn't that going rather
far? You surely don't think--"

Mr. Tembarom's chief characteristic was that he was a practical and
direct person. He would do what he had to do in exactly that
businesslike manner. The inquiries I have been making have been as to
the whereabouts of places in which a superfluous relative might be
placed without attracting attention.

That is really astute, but--but--what do you think, Palford?Mr.
Grimby turned to his partnerstill wearing the shocked and disturbed


expression.

I have been recalling to mind a circumstance which probably bears
upon the case,said Mr. Palford. "Captain Palliser's mention of the
portrait reminded me of it. I remember now that on Mr. Temple
Barholm's first visit to the picture-gallery he seemed much attracted
by the portrait of Miles Hugo. He stopped and examined it curiously.
He said he felt as if he had seen it before. He turned to it once or
twice; and finally remarked that he might have seen some one like it
at a great fancy-dress ball which had taken place in New York."

Had he been invited to the ball?laughed Palliser.

I did not gather that,replied Mr. Palford gravely. "He had
apparently watched the arriving guests from some railings near by--or
perhaps it was a lamp-post--with other news-boys."

He recognized the likeness to Strangeways, no doubt, and it gave him
what he calls a 'jolt,'said Captain Palliser. "He must have
experienced a number of jolts during the last few months."

Palford & Grimby's view of the matter continued to be marked by
extreme distaste for the whole situation and its disturbing and
irritating possibilities. The coming of the American heir to the
estate of Temple Barholm had been trying to the verge of extreme
painfulness; butsufficient time having lapsed and their client
having troubled them but littlethey had outlived the shock of his
first appearance and settled once more into the calm of their
accustomed atmosphere and routine. That he should suddenly reappear
upon their dignified horizon as a probable melodramatic criminal was a
fault of taste and a lack of consideration beyond expression. To be
dragged-into vulgar detective workto be referred to in news-papers
in a connection which would lead to confusing the firm with the
representatives of such branches of the profession as dealt with
persons who had committed acts for which in vulgar parlance they might
possibly "swing if their legal defenders did not get them off to
a firm whose sole affairs had been the dealing with noble and ancient
estates, with advising and supporting personages of stately name, and
with private and weighty family confidences. If the worst came to the
worst, the affair would surely end in the most glaring and odious
notoriety: in head-lines and daily reports even in London, in
appalling pictures of every one concerned in every New York newspaper,
even in baffled struggles to keep abominable woodcuts of themselves--
Mr. Edward James Palford and Mr. James Matthew Grimby--from being
published in sensational journalistic sheets! Professional duty
demanded that the situation should be dealt with, that investigation
should be entered into, that the most serious even if conservative
steps should be taken at once. With regard to the accepted report of
Mr. James Temple Barholm's tragic death, it could not be denied that
Captain Palliser's view of the naturalness of the origin of the
mistake that had been made had a logical air.

In a region full of rioting derelicts crazed with the lawless
excitement of their dash after gold he had said, identities and
names are easily lost. Temple Barholm himself was a derelict and in a
desperate state. He was in no mood to speak of himself or try to make
friends. He no doubt came and went to such work as he did scarcely
speaking to any one. A mass of earth and debris of all sorts suddenly
gives wayburying half-a-dozen men. Two or three are dug out dead
the others not reached. There was no time to spare to dig for dead
men. Some one had seen Temple Barholm near the place; he was seen no
more. Ergohe was buried with the rest. At that timethose who knew
him in England felt it was the best thing that could have happened to
him. It would have been if his valet had not confessed his trickand


old Temple Barholm had not died. My theory is that he may have left
the place days before the accident without being missed. His mental
torment caused some mental illnessit does not matter what. He lost
his memory and wandered about--the Lord knows how or where he lived;
he probably never knew himself. The American picked him up and found
that he had money. For reasons of his ownhe professed to take care
of him. He must have come on some clue just when he heard of his new
fortune. He was naturally panic-stricken; it must have been a big blow
at that particular moment. He was sharp enough to see what it might
meanand held on to the poor chap like grim deathand has been
holding on ever since."

We must begin to take steps,decided Palford & Grimby. "We must of
course take steps at oncebut we must begin with discretion."

After grave private discussionthey began to take the steps in
question and with the caution that it seemed necessary to observe
until they felt solid ground under their feet. Captain Palliser was
willing to assist them. He had been going into the matter himself. He
went down to the neighborhood of Temple Barholm and quietly looked up
data which might prove illuminating when regarded from one point or
another. It was on the first of these occasions that he saw and warned
Burrill. It was from Burrill he heard of Tummas Hibblethwaite.

There's an impident little vagabond in the village, sir,he said
that Mr. Temple Barholm used to go and see and take New York
newspapers to. A cripple the lad is, and he's got a kind of craze for
talking about Mr. James Temple Barholm. He had a map of the place
where he was said to be killed. If I may presume to mention it, sir,
he added with great dignityit is my opinion that the two had a good
deal of talk together on the subject.

I dare say,Captain Palliser admitted indifferentlyand made no
further inquiry or remark.

He sauntered into the Hibblethwaite cottagehoweverlate the next
afternoon.

Tummas was in a bad temperfor reasons quite sufficient for himself
and he regarded him sourly.

What has tha coom for?he demanded. "I did na ask thee."

Don't be cheeky!said Captain Palliser. "I will give you a sovereign
if you'll let me see the map you and Mr. Temple Barholm used to look
at and talk so much about."

He laid the sovereign down on the small table by Tummas's sofabut
Tummas did not pick it up.

I know who tha art. Tha'rt Palliser, an' tha wast th' one as said as
him as was killed in th' Klondike had coom back alive.

You've been listening to that servants' story, have you?remarked
Palliser. "You had better be careful as to what you say. I suppose you
never heard of libel suits. Where would you find yourself if you were
called upon to pay Mr. Temple Barholm ten thousand pounds' damages?
You'd be obliged to sell your atlas."

Burrill towd as he heard thee say tha'd swear in court as it was th'
one as was killed as tha'd seen.

That's Burrill's story, not mine. And Burrill had better keep his
mouth shut,said Palliser. "If it were truehow would you like it?


I've heard you were interested in 'th' one as was killed.'"

Tummas's eyes burned troublously.

I've got reet down taken wi' th' other un,he answered. "He's noan
gentrybut he's th' reet mak'. I--I dunnot believe as him as was
killed has coom back."

Neither do I,Palliser answeredwith amiable tolerance. "The
American gentleman had better come back himself and disprove it. When
you used to talk about the Klondikehe never said anything to make
you feel as if he doubted that the other man was dead?"

Not him,answered Tummas.

Eh! Tummas, what art tha talkin' about?exclaimed Mrs.
Hibblethwaitewho was mending at the other end of the room. "I heerd
him say mysel`Suppose th' story hadn't been true an' he was alive
somewhere nowit'd make a big changewould na' it?' An' he laughed."

I never heerd him,said Tummasin stout denial.

Tha's losin' tha moind,commented his mother. "As soon as I heerd
th' talk about him runnin' away an' takin' th' mad gentleman wi' him I
remembered it. An' I remembered as he sat still after it and said nowt
for a minute or sosame as if he was thinkin' things over. Theer was
summat a bit queer about it."

I never heerd him,Tummas assertedobstinatelyand shut his mouth.

He were as ready to talk about th' poor gentleman as met with th'
accident as tha wert thysel', Tummas,Mrs. Hibblethwaite proceeded
moved by the opportunity offered for presenting her views on the
exciting topic. "He'd ax thee aw sorts o' questions about what tha'd
found out wi' pumpin' foak. He'd ax me questions now an' agen about
what he was loike to look atan' how tall he wur. Onct he axed me if
I remembered what soart o' chin he had an' how he spoke."

It wur to set thee goin' an' please me,volunteered Tummas
grudgingly. "He did it same as he'd look at th' map to please me an'
tell me tales about th' news-lads i' New York."

It had not seemed improbable that a village cripple tied to a sofa
would be ready enough to relate all he knewand perhaps so much more
that it would be necessary to use discretion in selecting statements
of value. To drop in and give him a sovereign and let him talk had
appeared simple. Lads of his class liked to be listened toenjoyed
enlarging upon and rendering dramatic such material as had fallen into
their hands. But Tummas was an eccentricand instinct led him to
close like an oyster before a remote sense of subtly approaching
attack. It was his mothernot hewho had provided information; but
it was not sufficiently specialized to be worth much.

What did tha say he'd run away fur?Tummas said to his parent later.
He's not one o' th' runnin' away soart.

He has probably been called away by business,remarked Captain
Palliseras he rose to go after a few minutes' casual talk with Mrs.
Hibblethwaite. "It was a mistake not to leave an address behind him.
Your mother is mistaken in saying that he took the mad gentleman with
him. He had him removed late at night some time before he went
himself."

Tak tha sov'rin',said Tummasas Palliser moved away. "I did na


show thee th' atlas. Tha did na want to see it."

I will leave the sovereign for your mother,said Palliser. "I'm
sorry you are not in a better humor."

His interest in the atlas had indeed been limited to his idea that it
would lead to subjects of talk which might cast illuminating sidelights
and possibly open up avenues and vistas. Tummashowever
having instinctively found him displeasinghe had gained but little.

Avenues and vistas were necessary --avenues through which the steps of
Palford and Grimby might wandervistas which they might explore with
hesitatinginvestigating glances. So farthe scene remained
unpromisingly blank. The American Temple Barholm had simply
disappearedas had his mysterious charge. Steps likely to lead to
definite results can scarcely be taken hopefully in the case of a
person who has seemed temporarily to cease to exist. You cannot
interrogate himyou cannot demand informationwhatsoever the
foundations upon which rest your accusationsif such accusation can
be launched only into thin air and the fact that there is nobody to
reply to --to acknowledge or indignantly refute them--is in itself a
serious barrier to accomplishment. It was also true that only a few
weeks had elapsed since the accused hadso to speakdematerialized.
It was also impossible to calculate upon what an American of his class
and peculiarities would be likely to do in any circumstances whatever.

In private conferencePalford and Grimby frankly admitted to each
other that they would almost have preferred that Captain Palliser
should have kept his remarkable suspicions to himselffor the time
being at least. Yet when they had admitted this they were confronted
by the disturbing possibility--suggested by Palliser--that actual
crime had been or might be committed. They had heard unpleasant
stories of private lunatic asylums and their like. Things to shudder
at might be going on at the very moment they spoke to each other.
Under this possibilityno supineness would be excusable. Efforts to
trace the missing man must at least be made. Efforts were madebut
with no result. Painful as it was to reflect on the subject of the
asylumscareful private inquiry was madeinformation was quietly
collectedthere were even visits to gruesomely quiet places on
various polite pretexts.

If a longer period of time had elapsed,Mr. Palford remarked several
timeswith some stiffness of mannerwe should feel that we had more
solid foundation for our premises.

Perfectly right,Captain Palliser agreed with himbut it is lapse
of time which may mean life or death to Jem Temple Barholm; so it's
perhaps as well to be on the safe side and go on quietly following
small clues. I dare say you would feel more comfortable yourselves.

Both Mr. Palford and Mr. Grimbyhaving made an appointment with Miss
Aliciaarrived one afternoon at Temple Barholm to talk to her
privatelythereby casting her into a state of agonized anxiety which
reduced her to pallor.

Our visit is merely one of inquiry, Miss Temple Barholm,Mr. Palford
began. "There is perhaps nothing alarming in our client's absence."

In the note which he left me he asked me to--feel no anxiety,Miss
Alicia said.

He left you a note of explanation? I wish we had known this earlier!
Mr. Palford's tone had the note of relieved exclamation. Perhaps there
was an entirely simple solution of the painful difficulty.


But his hope had been too sanguine.

It was not a note of explanation, exactly. He went away too suddenly
to have time to explain.

The two men looked at each other disturbedly.

He had not mentioned to you his intention of going?asked Mr.
Grimby.

I feel sure he did not know he was going when he said good-night. He
remained with Captain Palliser talking for some time.Miss Alicia's
eyes held wavering and anxious question as she looked from one to the
other. She wondered how much more than herself her visitors knew. "He
found a telegram when he went to his room. It contained most
disquieting news about Mr. Strangeways. He--he had got away from the
place where--"

Got away!Mr. Palford was again exclamatory. "Was he in some
institution where he was kept under restraint?"

Miss Alicia was wholly unable to explain to herself why some quality
in his manner filled her with sudden distress.

Oh, I think not! Surely not! Surely nothing of that sort was
necessary. He was very quiet always, and he was getting better every
day. But it was important that he should be watched over. He was no
doubt under the care of a physician in some quiet sanatorium.

Some quiet sanatorium!Mr. Palford's disturbance of mind was
manifest. "But you did not know where?"

No. Indeed, Mr. Temple Barholm talked very little of Mr. Strangeways.
I believe he knew that it distressed me to feel that I could be of no
real assistance as--as the case was so peculiar.

Each perturbed solicitor looked again with rapid question at the
other. Miss Alicia saw the exchange of glances andso to speakbroke
down under the pressure of their unconcealed anxiety. The last few
weeks with their suggestion of accusation too vague to be met had been
too much for her.

I am afraid--I feel sure you know something I do not,she began. "I
am most anxious and unhappy. I have not liked to ask questions
because that would have seemed to imply a doubt of Mr. Temple Barholm.
I have even remained at home because I did not wish to hear things I
could not understand. I do not know what has been said. Pearsonin
whom I have the greatest confidencefelt that Mr. Temple Barholm
would prefer that I should wait until he returned."

Do you think he will return?said Mr. Grimbyamazedly.

Oh!the gentle creature ejaculated. "Can you possibly think he will
not? Why? Why?"

Mr. Palford had shared his partner's amazement. It was obvious that
she was as ignorant as a babe of the details of Palliser's
extraordinary story. In her affectionate consideration for Temple
Barholm she had actually shut herself up lest she should hear anything
said against him which she could not refute. She stood innocently
obedient to his wisheslike the boy upon the burning deckawaiting
his return and his version of whatsoever he had been accused of. There
was something delicately heroic in the littleslender old thingwith


her troubled eyes and her cap and her quivering sideringlets.

You,she appealedare his legal advisers, and will be able to tell
me if there is anything he would wish me to know. I could not allow
myself to listen to villagers or servants; but I may ask you.

We are far from knowing as much as we desire to know,Mr. Palford
replied.

We came here, in fact,added Grimbyto ask questions of you, Miss
Temple Barholm.

The fact that Miss Temple Barholm has not allowed herself to be
prejudiced by village gossip, which is invariably largely unreliable,
will make her an excellent witness,Mr. Palford said to his partner
with a deliberation which held suggestive significance. Each manin
facthad suddenly realized that her ignorance would leave her
absolutely unbiased in her answers to any questions they might put
and that it was much better in cross-examining an emotional elderly
lady that such should be the case.

Witness!Miss Alicia found the word alarming. Mr. Palford's bow was
apologetically palliative.

A mere figure of speech, madam,he said.

I really know so little every one else doesn't know.Miss Alicia's
protest had a touch of bewilderment in it. What could they wish to ask
her?

But, as we understand it, your relations with Mr. Temple Barholm were
most affectionate and confidential.

We were very fond of each other,she answered.

For that reason he no doubt talked to you more freely than to other
people,Mr. Grimby put it. "PerhapsPalfordit would be as well to
explain to Miss Temple Barholm that a curious feature of this matter
is that it--in a way--involves certain points concerning the late Mr.
Temple Barholm."

Miss Alicia uttered a pathetic exclamation.

Poor Jem--who died so cruelly!

Mr. Palford bent his head in acquiescence.

Perhaps you can tell me what the present Mr. Temple Barholm knew of
him--how much he knew?

I told him the whole story the first time we took tea together,Miss
Alicia replied; andbetween her recollection of that strangely happy
afternoon and her wonder at its connection with the present moment
she began to feel timid and uncertain.

How did it seem to impress him?

She remembered it all so well--his queerdear New York way of
expressing his warm-hearted indignation at the cruelty of what had
happened.

Oh, he was very much excited. He was so sorry for him. He wanted to
know everything about him. He asked me what he looked like.


Oh!said Palford. "He wanted to know that?"

He was so full of sympathy,she repliedher explanation gaining
warmth. "When I told him that the picture of Miles Hugo in the gallery
was said to look like Jem as a boyhe wanted very much to see it.
Afterward we went and saw it together. I shall always remember how he
stood and looked at it. Most young men would not have cared. But he
always had such a touching interest in poor Jem."

You mean that he asked questions about him--about his death, and so
forth?was Mr. Palford's inquiry.

About all that concerned him. He was interested especially in his
looks and manner of speaking and personality, so to speak. And in the
awful accident which ended his life, though he would not let me talk
about that after he had asked his first questions.

What kind of questions?suggested Grimby.

Only about what was known of the time and place, and how the sad
story reached England. It used to touch me to think that the only
person who seemed to care was the one who --might have been expected
to be almost glad the tragic thing had happened. But he was not.

Mr. Palford watched Mr. Grimbyand Mr. Grimby gave more than one
dubious and distressed glance at Palford.

His interest was evident,remarked Palfordthoughtfully. "And
unusual under the circumstances."

For a moment he hesitatedthen put another question: "Did he ever
seem--I should saydo you remember any occasion when he appeared to
think that--there might be any reason to doubt that Mr. James Temple
Barholm was one of the men who died in the Klondike?"

He felt that through this wild questioning they had at least reached a
certain testimony supporting Captain Palliser's views; and his
interest reluctantly increased. It was reluctant because there could
be no shadow of a question that this innocent spinster lady told the
absolute truth; andthis being the caseone seemed to be dragged to
the verge of depths which must inevitably be explored. Miss Alicia's
expression was that of one who conscientiously searched memory.

I do not remember that he really expressed doubt,she answered
carefully. "Not exactly thatbut--"

But what?prompted Palford as she hesitated. "Please try to recall
exactly what he said. It is most important."

The fact that his manner was almost eagerand that eagerness was not
his habitmade her catch her breath and look more questioning and
puzzled than before.

One day he came to my sitting-room when he seemed rather excited,
she explained. "He had been with Mr. Strangewayswho had been worse
than usual. Perhaps he wanted to distract himself and forget about it.
He asked me questions and talked about poor Jem for about an hour. And
at last he said`Do you suppose there's any sort of chance that it
mightn't be true--that story that came from the Klondike?' He said it
so thoughtfully that I was startled and said`Do you think there
could be such a chance--do you?' And he drew a long breath and
answered`You want to be sure about things like that; you've got to
be sure.' I was a little excitedso he changed the subject very soon
afterwardand I never felt quite certain of what he was really


thinking. You see what he said was not so much an expression of doubt
as a sort of question."

A touch of the lofty condemnatory made Mr. Palford impressive.

I am compelled to admit that I fear that it was a question of which
he had already guessed the answer,he said.

At this point Miss Alicia clasped her hands quite tightly together
upon her knees.

If you please,she exclaimedI must ask you to make things a
little clear to me. What dreadful thing has happened? I will regard
any communication as a most sacred confidence.

I think we may as well, Palford?Mr. Grimby suggested to his
partner.

Yes,Palford acquiesced. He felt the difficulty of a blank
explanation. "We are involved in a most trying position he said. We
feel that great discretion must be used until we have reached more
definite certainty. An extraordinary--in facta startling thing has
occurred. We are beginningas a result of cumulative evidenceto
feel that there was reason to believe that the Klondike story was to
be doubted--"

That poor Jem--!cried Miss Alicia.

One begins to be gravely uncertain as to whether he has not been in
this house for months, whether he was not the mysterious Mr.
Strangeways!

Jem! Jem!gasped poor little Miss Temple Barholmquite white with
shock.

And if he was the mysterious Strangeways,Mr. Grimby assisted to
shorten the matterthe American Temple Barholm apparently knew the
fact, brought him here for that reason, and for the same reason kept
him secreted and under restraint.

No! No!cried Miss Alicia. "Never! Never! I beg you not to say such
a thing. Excuse me--I cannot listen! It would be wrong--ungrateful.
Excuse me!" She got up from her seattrembling with actual anger in
her sense of outrage. It was a remarkable thing to see the small
elderly creature angrybut this remarkable thing had happened. It was
as though she were a mother defending her young.

I loved poor Jem and I love Temple, and, though I am only a woman who
never has been the least clever, I know them both. I know neither of
them could lie or do a wicked, cunning thing. Temple is the soul of
honor.

It was quite an inspirational outburst. She had never before in her
life said so much at one time. Of course tears began to stream down
her facewhile Mr. Palford and Mr. Grimby gazed at her in great
embarrassment.

If Mr. Strangeways was poor Jem come back alive, Temple did not know-
he never knew. All he did for him was done for kindness' sake. I--I-
It was inevitable that she should stammer before going to this
length of violenceand that the words should burst from her: "I would
swear it!"

It was really a shock to both Palford and Grimby. That a lady of Miss


Temple Barholm's age and training should volunteer to swear to a thing
was almost alarming. It was also in rather unpleasing taste.

Captain Palliser obliged Mr. Temple Temple Barholm to confess that he
had known for some time,Mr. Palford said with cold regret. "He also
informed him that he should communicate with us without delay."

Captain Palliser is a bad man.Miss Alicia choked back a gasp to
make the protest.

It was after their interview that Mr. Temple Barholm almost
immediately left the house.

Without any explanation whatever,added Grimby.

He left a few lines for me,defended Miss Alicia.

We have not seen them.Mr. Palford was still as well as cold. Poor
little Miss Alicia took them out of her pocket with an unsteady hand.
They were always with herand she could not on such a challenge seem
afraid to allow them to be read. Mr. Palford took them from her with a
slight bow of thanks. He adjusted his glasses and read aloudwith
pauses between phrases which seemed somewhat to puzzle him.

Dear little Miss Alicia:

I've got to light out of here as quick as I can make it. I can't even
stop to tell you why. There's just one thing--don't get rattledMiss
Alicia. Whatever any one says or doesdon't get rattled.

Yours affectionately,

T. TEMBAROM."

There was a silenceMr. Palford passed the paper to his partnerwho
gave it careful study. Afterward he refolded it and handed it back to
Miss Alicia.

In a court of law,was Mr. Palford's sole remarkit would not be
regarded as evidence for the defendant.

Miss Alicia's tears were still streamingbut she held her ringleted
head well up.

I cannot stay! I beg your pardon, I do indeed!she said. "But I must
leave you. You see she added, with her fine little touch of dignity,
as yet this house is still Mr. Temple Barholm's homeand I am the
grateful recipient of his bounty. Burrill will attend you and make you
quite comfortable." With an obeisance which was like a slight curtsey
she turned and fled.

In less than an hour she walked up the neat bricked pathand old Mrs.
Hutchinsonlooking outsaw her through the tiers of flower-pots in
the window. Hutchinson himself was in Londonbut Ann was reading at
the other side of the room.

Here's poor little owd Miss Temple Barholm aw in a flutter,remarked
her grandmother. "Tha's got some work cut out for thee if tha's going
to quiet her. Oppen th' doorlass."


Ann opened the doorand stood by it with calm though welcoming
dimples.

Miss Hutchinson --Miss Alicia began all at once to realize that they
did not know each otherand that she had flown to the refuge of her
youth without being at all aware of what she was about to say. "Oh!
Little Ann!" she broke down with frank tears. "My poor boy! My poor
boy!"

Little Ann drew her inside and closed the door.

There, Miss Temple Barholm,she said. "There now Just come in and
sit down. I'll get you a good cup of tea. You need one."

CHAPTER XXXVIII

The Duke of Stone had been sufficiently occupied with one of his
slighter attacks of rheumatic gout to have beenso to speakout of
the running in the past weeks. His indisposition had not condemned him
to the usual dullnesshowever. He had suffered less pain than was
customaryand Mrs. Braddle had been more than usually interesting in
conversation on those occasions whenin making him very comfortable
in one way or anothershe felt that a measure of entertainment would
add to his well-being. His epicurean habit of mind tended toward
causing him to find a subtle pleasure in the hearing of various
versions of any story whatever. His intimacy with T. Tembarom had
furnished forth many an agreeable mental repast for him. He had had T.
Tembarom's version of himselfthe version of the countythe version
of the uneducated classand his own version. All of these had had
varying shades of their own. He had found a cynically fine flavor in
Palliser's versionwhich he had gathered through talk and processes
of exclusion and inclusion.

There is a good deal to be said for it,he summed it up. "It's
plausible on ordinary sophisticated grounds. T. Tembarom would say
`It looks sort of that way."'

As Mrs. Braddle had done what she could in the matter of expounding
her views of the uncertainties of the village attitudehe had
listened with stimulating interest. Mrs. Braddle's version on the
passing of T. Tembarom stood out picturesquely against the background
of the version which was his own--the one founded on the singular
facts he had shared knowledge of with the chief character in the
episode. He had notlike Miss Aliciareceived a communication from
Tembarom. This seemed to him one of the attractive features of the
incident. It provided opportunity for speculation. Some wild
development had called the youngster away in a rattling hurry. Of what
had happened since his departure he knew no more than the villagers
knew. What had happened for some months before his going he had
watched with the feeling of an intelligently observant spectator at a
play. He had been provided with varied emotions by the fantastic
drama. He had smiled; he had found himself moved once or twiceand he
had felt a good deal of the thrill of curious uncertainty as to what
the curtain would rise and fall on. The situation was such that it was
impossible to guess. Results could seem only to float in the air. One
thing might happen; so might anotherso might a dozen more. What he
wished really to attain was some degree of certainty as to what was
likely to occur in any case to the American Temple Barholm.

He feltthe first time he drove over to call on Miss Aliciathat his


indisposition and confinement to his own house had robbed him of
something. They had deprived him of the opportunity to observe shades
of development and to hear the expressing of views of the situation as
it stood. He drove over with views of his own and with anticipations.
He had reason to know that he would encounter in the dear lady
indications of the feeling that she had reached a crisis. There was a
sense of this crisis impending as one mounted the terrace steps and
entered the hall. The men-servants endeavored to wipe from their
countenances any expression denoting even a vague knowledge of it. He
recognized their laudable determination to do so. Burrill was
monumental in the unconsciousness of his outward bearing.

Miss Aliciasitting waiting on Fate in the librarywore precisely
the aspect he had known she would wear. She had been lying awake at
night and she had of course wept at intervalssince she belonged to
the period the popular female view of which had been that only the
unfeeling did not so relieve themselves in crises of the affections.
Her eyelids were rather pink and her nice little face was tired.

It is very, very kind of you to come,she saidwhen they shook
hands. "I wonder "--her hesitance was touching in its obvious appeal
to him not to take the wrong side--"I wonder if you know how deeply
troubled I have been?"

You see, I have had a touch of my abominable gout, and my treasure of
a Braddle has been nursing me and gossiping,he answered. "Soof
course I know a great deal. None of it trueI dare say. I felt I must
come and see youhowever."

He looked so neat and entirely within the boundaries of finished and
well-dressed modernity and every-day occurrencein his perfectly
fitting clothesbeautifully shining bootsand delicate fawn gaiters
that she felt a sort of support in his mere aspect. The mind connected
such almost dapper freshness and excellent taste only with
unexaggerated incidents and a behavior which almost placed the stamp
of absurdity upon the improbable in circumstance. The vision of
disorderly and illegal possibilities seemed actually to fade into an
unreality.

If Mr. Palford and Mr. Grimby knew him as I know him --as--as you
know him--she added with a faint hopefulness.

Yes, if they knew him as we know him that would make a different
matter of it,admitted the dukeamiably. Butthought Miss Alicia
he might only have put it that way through consideration for her
feelingsand because he was an extremely polished man who could not
easily reveal to a lady a disagreeable truth. He did not speak with
the note of natural indignation which she thought she must have
detected if he had felt as she felt herself. He was of course a man
whose manner had always the finish of composure. He did not seem
disturbed or even very curious--only kind and most polite.

If we only knew where he was!she began again. "If we only knew
where Mr. Strangeways was!"

My impression is that Messrs. Palford & Grimby will probably find
them both before long,he consoled her. "They are no doubt exciting
themselves unnecessarily."

He was not agitated at all; she felt. it would have been kinder if he
had been a little agitated. He was really not the kind of person whose
feelings appeared very deepbeing given to a light and graceful
cynicism of speech which delighted people; so perhaps it was not
natural that he should express any particular emotion even in a case


affecting a friend--surely he had been Temple's friend. But if he had
seemed a little distressedor doubtful or annoyedshe would have
felt that she understood better his attitude. As it washe might
almost have been on the other side--a believer or a disbeliever--or
merely a person looking on to see what would happen. When they sat
downhis glance seemed to include her with an interest which was
sympathetic but rather as if she were a child whom he would like to
pacify. This seemed especially so when she felt she must make clear to
him the nature of the crisis which was pendingas he had felt when he
entered the house.

You perhaps do not know--the appeal which had shown itself in her
eyes was in her voice--"that the solicitors have decidedafter a
great deal of serious discussion and private inquiry in Londonthat
the time has come when they must take open steps."

In the matter of investigation?he inquired.

They are coming here this afternoon with Captain Palliser to--to
question the servants, and some of the villagers. They will question
me,alarmedly.

They would be sure to do that,--he really seemed quite to envelop
her with kindness--"but I beg of you not to be alarmed. Nothing you
could have to say could possibly do harm to Temple Barholm." He knew
it was her fear of this contingency which terrified her.

You do feel sure of that?she burst forthrelievedly. "You do-because
you know him?"

I do. Let us be calm, dear lady. Let us be calm.

I will! I will!she protested. "But Captain Palliser has arranged
that a lady should come here--a lady who disliked poor Temple very
much. She was most unjust to him."

Lady Joan Fayre?he suggestedand then paused with a remote smile
as if lending himself for the moment to some humor he alone detected
in the situation.

She will not injure his cause, I think I can assure you.

She insisted on misunderstanding him. I am so afraid--

The appearance of Pearson at the door interrupted her and caused her
to rise from her seat. The neat young man was pale and spoke in a
nervously lowered voice.

I beg pardon, Miss. I beg your Grace's pardon for intruding, but--

Miss Alicia moved toward him in such a manner that he himself seemed
to feel that he might advance.

What is it, Pearson? Have you anything special to say?

I hope I am not taking too great a liberty, Miss, but I did come in
for a purpose, knowing that his Grace was with you and thinking you
might both kindly advise me. It is about Mr. Temple Barholm, your
Grace--addressing him as if in involuntary recognition of the fact
that he might possibly prove the greater support.

Our Mr. Temple Barholm, Pearson? We are being told there are two of
them.The duke's delicate emphasis on the possessive pronoun was
delightfuland it so moved and encouraged sensitive little Pearson


that he was emboldened to answer with modest firmness:

Yes,--ours. Thank you, your Grace.

You feel him yours too, Pearson?a shade more delightfully still.

I--I take the liberty, your Grace, of being deeply attached to him,
and more than grateful.

What did you want to ask advice about?

The family solicitors. Captain Palliser and Lady Joan Fayre and Mr.
and Miss Hutchinson are to be here shortly, and I have been told I am
to be questioned. What I want to know, your Grace, is--He paused
and looked no longer pale but painfully red as he gathered himself
together for his anxious outburst--"Must I speak the truth?"

Miss Alicia started alarmedly.

The duke looked down at the delicate fawn gaiters covering his fine
instep. His fleeting smile was not this time an external one.

Do you not wish to speak the truth, Pearson?

Pearson's manner could have been described only as one of obstinate
frankness.

No, your Grace. I do not! Your Grace may misunderstand me--but I do
not!

His Grace tapped the gaiters with the slight ebony cane he held in his
hand.

Is this --he put it with impartial curiosity--"because the truth
might be detrimental to our Mr. Temple Barholm?"

If you please, your Grace,Pearson made a firm step forwardwhat
is the truth?

That is what Messrs. Palford & Grimby seem determined to find out.
Probably only our Mr. Temple Barholm can tell them.

Your Grace, what I'm thinking of is that if I tell the truth it may
seem to prove something that's not the truth.

What kinds of things, Pearson?still impartially.

I can be plain with your Grace. Things like this: I was with Mr.
Temple Barholm and Mr. Strangeways a great deal. They'll ask me about
what I heard. They'll ask me if Mr. Strangeways was willing to go away
to the doctor; if he had to be persuaded and argued with. Well, he had
and he hadn't, your Grace. At first, just the mention of it would
upset him so that Mr. Temple Barholm would have to stop talking about
it and quiet him down. But when he improved--and he did improve
wonderfully, your Grace--he got into the way of sitting and thinking
it over and listening quite quiet. But if I'm asked suddenly--

What you are afraid of is that you may be asked point-blank questions
without warning?his Grace put it with the perspicacity of
experience.

That's why I should be grateful for advice. Must I tell the truth,
your Grace, when it will make them believe things I'd swear are lies-I'd
swear it, your Grace.


So would I, Pearson.His serene lightness was of the most baffling
but curiously supportingorder. "This being the casemy advice would
be not to go into detail. Let us tell white lies--all of us--without a
shadow of hesitancy. Miss Temple Barholmeven you must do your best."

I will try--indeed, I will try!And the Duke felt her tremulously
ardent assent actually delicious.

There! we'll consider that settled, Pearson,he said.

Thank you, your Grace. Thank you, Miss,Pearson's relieved gratitude
verged on the devout. He turned to goand as he did so his attention
was arrested by an approach he remarked through a window.

Mr. and Miss Hutchinson are arriving now, Miss,he announced
hastily.

They are to be brought in here,said Miss Alicia.

The duke quietly left his seat and went to look through the window
with frank and unembarrassed interest in the approach. He wentin
factto look at Little Annand as he watched her walk up the avenue
her father lumbering beside herhe evidently found her aspect
sufficiently arresting.

Ah!he exclaimed softlyand paused. "What a lot of very nice red
hair he said next. And then, No wonder! No wonder!"

That, I should say,he remarked as Miss Alicia drew nearis what I
once heard a bad young man call `a deserving case.'

He was conscious that she might have been privately a little shocked
by such aged flippancybut she was at the moment perturbed by
something else.

The fact is that I have never spoken to Hutchinson,she fluttered.
These changes are very confusing. I suppose I ought to say Mr.
Hutchinson, now that he is such a successful person, and Temple--

Without a shadow of a doubt!The duke seemed struck by the happiness
of the idea. "They will make him a peer presently. He may address me
as 'Stone' at any moment. One must learn to adjust one's self with
agility. `The old order changeth.' Ah! she is smiling at him and I see
the dimples."

Miss Alicia made a clean breast of it.

I went to her--I could not help it! she confessed. "I was in such
distress and dare not speak to anybody. Temple had told me that she
was so wonderful. He said she always understood and knew what to do."

Did she in this case?he askedsmiling.

Miss Alicia's manner was that of one who could express the extent of
her admiration only in disconnected phrases.

She was like a little rock. Such a quiet, firm way! Such calm
certainty! Oh, the comfort she has been to me! I begged her to come
here to-day. I did not know her father had returned.

No doubt he will have testimony to give which will be of the greatest
assistance,the duke said most encouragingly. "Perhaps he will be a
sort of rock."


I--I don't in the least know what he will be!sighed Miss Alicia
evidently uncertain in her views.

But when the father and daughter were announced she felt that his
Grace was really enchanting in the happy facility of his manner. He at
least adjusted himself with agility. Hutchinson was of course
lumbering. Lacking the support of T. Tembarom's presence and
incongruityhe himself was the incongruous feature. He would have
been obliged to bluster by way of sustaining himselfeven if he had
only found himself being presented to Miss Alicia; but when it was
revealed to him that he was also confronted with the greatest
personage of the neighborhoodhe became as hot and red as he had
become during certain fateful business interviews. More soindeed.

Th' other chaps hadn't been dukes;and to Hutchinson the old order
had not yet so changed that a duke was not an awkwardly impressive
person to face unexpectedly.

The duke's manner of shaking hands with himhoweverwas even touched
with an amiable suggestion of appreciation of the value of a man of
genius. He had heard of the inventionin fact knew some quite
technical things about it. He realized its importance. He had
congratulations for the inventor and the world of inventions so
greatly benefited.

Lancashire must be proud of your success, Mr. Hutchinson.How
agreeably and with what ease he said it!

Aye, it's a success now, your Grace,Hutchinson answeredbut I
might have waited a good bit longer if it hadn't been for that lad an'
his bold backing of me.

Mr. Temple Barholm?said the duke.

Aye. He's got th' way of making folks see things that they can't see
even when they're hitting them in th' eyes. I'd that lost heart I
could never have done it myself.

But now it is done,smiled his Grace. "Delightful!"

I've got there--same as they say in New York--I've got there,said
Hutchinson.

He sat down in response to Miss Alicia's invitation. His unease was
wonderfully dispelled. He felt himself a person of sufficient
importance to address even a duke as man to man.

What's all this romancin' talk about th' other Temple Barholm comin'
back, an' our lad knowin' an' hidin' him away? An' Palliser an' th'
lawyers an' th' police bein' after 'em both?

You have heard the whole story?from the duke.

I've heard naught else since I come back.

Grandmother knew a great deal before we came home,said Little Ann.

The duke turned his attention to her with an engaged smile. His look
his bowhis bearingin the moment of their being presented to each
otherhad seemed to Miss Alicia the most perfect thing. His fine eye
had not obviously wandered while he talked to her fatherbut it had
in fact been taking her in with an inclusiveness not likely to miss
agreeable points of detail.


What is her opinion, may I ask?he said. "What does she say?"

Grandmother is very set in her ways, your Grace.The limpidity of
her blue eye and a flickering dimple added much to the quaint
comprehensiveness of her answer. "She says the world's that full of
fools that if they were all killed the Lord would have to begin again
with a new Adam and Eve."

She has entire faith in Mr. Temple Barholm--as you have,put forward
his Grace.

Mine's not faith exactly. I know him,Little Ann answeredher tone
as limpid as her eyes.

There's more than her has faith in him,broke forth Hutchinson.
Danged if I don't like th' way them village chaps are taking it.
They're ready to fight over it. Since they've found out what it's come
to, an' about th' lawyers comin' down, they're talkin' about gettin'
up a kind o' demonstration.

Delightful!ejaculated his Grace again. He leaned forward. "Quite
what I should have expected. There's a good deal of beer drunkI
suppose."

Plenty o' beer, but it'll do no harm.Hutchinson began to chuckle.
They're talkin' o' gettin' out th' fife an' drum band an' marchin'
round th' village with a calico banner with `Vote for T. Tembarom'
painted on it, to show what they think of him.

The duke chuckled also.

I wonder how he's managed it?he laughed. "They wouldn't do it for
any of the rest of usyou knowthough I've no doubt we're quite as
deserving. I amI know."

Hutchinson stopped laughing and turned on Miss Alicia.

What's that young woman comin' down here for?he inquired.

Lady Joan was engaged to Mr. James Temple Barholm,Miss Alicia
answered.

Eh! Eh!Hutchinson jerked out. "That'll turn her into a wildcat
I'll warrant. She'll do all th' harm she can. I'm much obliged to you
for lettin' us comema'am. I want to be where I can stand by him."

Father,said Little Annwhat you have got to remember is that you
mustn't fly into a passion. You know you've always said it never did
any good, and it only sends the blood to your head.

You are not nervous, Miss Hutchinson?the duke suggested.

About Mr. Temple Barholm? I couldn't be, your Grace. If I was to see
two policemen bringing him in handcuffed I shouldn't be nervous. I
should know the handcuffs didn't belong to him, and the policemen
would look right-down silly to me.

Miss Alicia fluttered over to fold her in her arms.

Do let me kiss you,she said. "Do let meLittle Ann!"

Little Ann had risen at once to meet her embrace. She put a hand on
her arm.


We don't know anything about this really,she said. "We've only
heard what people say. We haven't heard what he says. I'm going to
wait." They were all looking at her-- the duke with such marked
interest that she turned toward him as she ended. "And if I had to
wait until I was as old as grandmother I'd wait--and nothing would
change my mind."

And I've been lying awake at night!softly wailed Miss Alicia.

CHAPTER XXXIX

It was Mr. Hutchinson whohaving an eye on the windowfirst
announced an arriving carriage.

Some of 'em's comin' from the station,he remarked. "There's no
young woman with 'emthat I can see from here."

I thought I heard wheels.Miss Alicia went to look outagitatedly.
It is the gentlemen. Perhaps Lady Joan--she turned desperately to
the duke. "I don't know what to say to Lady Joan. I don't know what
she will say to me. I don't know what she is coming forLittle Ann
do keep near me!"

It was a pretty thing to see Little Ann stroke her hand and soothe
her.

Don't be frightened, Miss Temple Barholm. All you've got to do is to
answer questions,she said.

But I might say things that would be wrong--things that would harm
him.

No, you mightn't, Miss Temple Barholm. He's not done anything that
could bring harm on him.

The Duke of Stonewho had seated himself in T. Tembarom's favorite
chairwhich occupied a point of vantageseemed to Mr. Palford and
Mr. Grimby when they entered the room to wear the aspect of a sort of
presidiary audience. The sight of his erect head and clear-cutivorytinted
old facewith its alertwhile wholly unbiasedexpression
somewhat startled them both. They had indeed not expected to see him
and did not know why he had chosen to come. His presence might mean
any one of several thingsand the fact that he enjoyed a reputation
for quite alarming astuteness of a brilliant kind presented elements
of probable embarrassment. If he thought that they had allowed
themselves to be led upon a wild-goose chasehe would express his
opinions with trying readiness of phrase.

His manner of greeting themhoweverexpressed no more than a lightly
agreeable detachment from any view whatsoever. Captain Palliser felt
this curiouslythough he could not have said what he would have
expected from him if he had known it would be his whim to appear.

How do you do? How d' you do?His Grace shook hands with the amiable
ease which scarcely commits a man even to casual interestafter which
he took his seat again.

How d' do, Miss Hutchinson?said Palliser. "How d' doMr.
Hutchinson? Mr. Palford will be glad to find you here."


Mr. Palford shook hands with correct civility.

I am, indeed,he said. "It was in your room in New York that I first
saw Mr. Temple Temple Barholm."

Aye, it was,responded Hutchinsondryly.

I thought Lady Joan was coming,Miss Alicia said to Palliser.

She will be here presently. She came down in our train, but not with
us.

What--what is she coming for?faltered Miss Alicia.

Yes,put in the dukewhat, by the way, is she coming for?

I wrote and asked her to come,was Palliser's reply. "I have reason
to believe she may be able to recall something of value to the inquiry
which is being made."

That's interesting,said his Gracebut with no air of participating
particularly. She doesn't like himthoughdoes she? Wouldn't do to
put her on the jury."

He did not wait for any replybut turned to Mr. Palford.

All this is delightfully portentous. Do you know it reminds me of a
scene in one of those numerous plays where the wrong man has murdered
somebody--or hasn't murdered somebody--and the whole company must be
cross-examined because the curtain cannot be brought down until the
right man is unmasked. Do let us come into this, Mr. Palford; what we
know seems so inadequate.

Mr. Palford and Mr. Grimby each felt that there lurked in this manner
a possibility that they were being regarded lightly. All the
objections to their situation loomed annoyingly large.

It is, of course, an extraordinary story,Mr. Palford saidbut if
we are not mistaken in our deductions, we may find ourselves involved
in a cause celebre which will set all England talking.

I am not mistaken,Palliser presented the comment with a short and
dry laugh.

Tha seems pretty cock-sure!Hutchinson thrust in.

I am. No one knew Jem Temple Barbolm better than I did in the past.
We were intimate--enemies.And he laughed again.

Tha says tha'll swear th' chap tha saw through th' window was him?
said Hutchinson.

I'd swear it,with composure.

The duke was reflecting. He was again tapping with his cane the gaiter
covering his slendershining boot.

If Mr. Temple Temple Barholm had remained here his actions would have
seemed less suspicious?he suggested.

It was Palliser who replied.

Or if he hadn't whisked the other man away. He lost his head and


played the fool.

He didn't lose his head, that chap. It's screwed on th' right way-his
head is,grunted Hutchinson.

The curious fellow has a number of friends,the duke remarked to
Palford and Grimbyin his impartial tone. "I am hoping you are not
thinking of cross-examining me. I have always been convinced that
under cross-examination I could be induced to innocently give evidence
condemnatory to both sides of any case whatever. But would you mind
telling me what the exact evidence is so far? "

Mr. Palford had been opening a budget of papers.

It is evidence which is cumulative, your Grace,he said. "Mr. Temple
Temple Barholm's position would have been a far less suspicious one-as
you yourself suggested--if he had remainedor if he hadn't
secretly removed Mr.--Mr. Strangeways."

The last was Captain Palliser's suggestion, I believe,smiled the
duke. "Did he remove him secretly? How secretlyfor instance?"

At night,answered Palliser. "Miss Temple Barholm herself did not
know when it happened. Did you?" turning to Miss Aliciawho at once
flushed and paled.

He knew that I was rather nervous where Mr. Strangeways was
concerned. I am sorry to say he found that out almost at once. He even
told me several times that I must not think of him--that I need hear
nothing about him.She turned to the dukeher air of appeal plainly
representing a feeling that he would understand her confession. "I
scarcely like to say itbut wrong as it was I couldn't help feeling
that it was like having a--a lunatic in the house. I was afraid he
might be more--ill--than Temple realizedand that he might some time
become violent. I never admitted so much of coursebut I was."

You see, she was not told,Palliser summed it up succinctly.

Evidently,the duke admitted. "I see your point." But he seemed to
disengage himself from all sense of admitting implications with entire
calmnessas he turned again to Mr. Palford and his papers.

You were saying that the exact evidence was--?

Mr. Palford referred to a sheet of notes.

That--whether before or shortly after his arrival here is not at all
certain--Mr. Temple Temple Barholm began strongly to suspect the
identity of the person then known as Strangeways--

Palliser again emitted the short and dry laughand both the duke and
Mr. Palford looked at him inquiringly.

He had `got on to' it before he brought him,he answered their
glances. "Be sure of that."

Then why did he bring him?the duke suggested lightly.

Oh, well,taking his cue from the dukeand assuming casual
lightness alsohe was obliged to come himself, and was jolly well
convinced that he had better keep his hand on the man, also his eye.
It was a good-enough idea. He couldn't leave a thing like that
wandering about the States. He could play benefactor safely in a house
of the size of this until he was ready for action.


The duke gave a moment to considering the matter--still detachedly.

It is, on the whole, not unlikely that something of the sort might
suggest itself to the criminal mind,he said. And his glance at Mr.
Palford intimated that he might resume his statement.

We have secured proof that he applied himself to secret
investigation. He is known to have employed Scotland Yard to make
certain inquiries concerning the man said to have been killed in the
Klondike. Having evidently reached more than suspicion he began to
endeavor to persuade Mr. Strangeways to let him take him to London.
This apparently took some time. The mere suggestion of removal threw
the invalid into a state of painful excitement--

Did Pearson tell you that? the duke inquired.

Captain Palliser himself in passing the door of the room one day
heard certain expressions of terrified pleading,was Mr. Palford's
explanation.

I heard enough,Palliser took it up carelesslyto make it worth
while to question Pearson--who must have heard a great deal more.
Pearson was ordered to hold his tongue from the first, but he will
have to tell the truth when he is asked.

The duke did not appear to resent his view.

Pearson would be likely to know what went on,he remarked. "He's an
intelligent little fellow."

The fact remains that in spite of his distress and reluctance Mr.
Strangeways was removed privately, and there our knowledge ends. He
has not been seen since--and a few hours after, Captain Palliser
expressed his conviction, that the person he had seen through the West
Room window was Mr. James Temple Barholm, Mr. Temple Temple Barholm
left the house taking a midnight train, and leaving no clue as to his
where-abouts or intentions.

Disappeared! said the duke. "Where has he been looked for?"

The countenance of both Mr. Palford and his party expressed a certain
degree of hesitance.

Principally in asylums and so-called sanatoriums,Mr. Grimby
admitted with a hint of reluctance.

Places where the curiosity of outsiders is not encouraged,said
Palliser languidly. "And where if a patient dies in a fit of mania
there are always respectable witnesses to explain that his case was
hopeless from the first."

Mr. Hutchinson had been breathing hard occasionally as he sat and
listenedand now he sprang up uttering a sound dangerously near a
violent snort.

Art tha accusin' that lad o' bein' black villain enough to be ready
to do bloody murder?he cried out.

He was in a very tight place, Hutchinson,Palliser shrugged his
shoulders as he said it. "But one makes suggestions at this stage--not
accusations."

That Hutchinson had lost his head was apparent to his daughter at


least.

Tha'd be in a tight place, my fine chap, if I had my way,he flung
forth irately. "I'd like to get thy head under my arm."

The roll of approaching wheels reached Miss Alicia.

There's another carriage,was her agitated exclamation. "Ohdear!
It must be Lady Joan!"

Little Ann left her seat to make her father return to his.

Father, you'd better sit down,she saidgently pushing him in the
right direction. "When you can't prove a thing's a lieit's just as
well to keep quiet until you can." And she kept quiet herselfthough
she turned and stood before Palliser and spoke with clear
deliberateness. "What you pretend to believe is not trueCaptain
Palliser. It's just not true she gave to him.

They were facing and looking at each other when Burrill announced Lady
Joan Fayre. She entered rather quickly and looked round the room with
a sweeping glance, taking them all in. She went to the duke first, and
they shook hands.

I am glad you are here! " she said.

I would not have been out of it, my dear young lady,he answered
`for a farm' That's a quotation.

I know,she repliedgiving her hand to Miss Aliciaand taking in
Palliser and the solicitors with a bow which was little more than a
nod. Then she saw Little Annand walked over to her to shake hands.

I am glad you are here. I rather felt you would be,was her
greeting. "I am glad to see you."

Whether tha 'rt glad to see me or not I'm glad I'm here,said
Hutchinson bluntly. "I've just been speaking a bit o' my mind."

Now, Father love!Little Ann put her hand on his arm.

Lady Joan looked him over. Her hungry eyes were more hungry than ever.
She looked like a creature in a fever and worn by it.

I think I am glad you are here too,she answered.

Palliser sauntered over to her. He had approved the duke's air of
being at once detached and inquiringand he did not intend to wear
the aspect of the personage who plays the unpleasant part of the
pursuer and avenger. What he said was:

It was good of you to come, Lady Joan.

Did you think I would stay away?was her answer. "But I will tell
you that I don't believe it is true."

You think that it is too good to be true?

Her hot eyes had records in them it would have been impossible for him
to read or understand. She had been so torn; she had passed through
such hours since she had been told this wild thing.

Pardon my not telling you what I think,she said. "Nothing matters
after allif he is alive!"


Except that we must find him,said Palliser.

If he is in the same world with me I shall find him,fiercely. Then
she turned again to Ann. "You are the girl T. Tembarom loves?" she put
it to her.

Yes, my lady.

If he was lost, and you knew he was on the earth with you, don't you
know that you would find him?

I should know he'd come back to me,Little Ann answered her. "That's
what--" her small face looked very fine as in her second of hesitation
a spirited flush ran over itthat's what your man will do,quite
firmly.

It was amazing to see how the bitter face changedas if one word had
brought back a passionate softening memory.

My man!Her voice mellowed until it was deep and low. "Did you call

T. Tembarom thattoo? OhI understand you! Keep near me while I talk
to these people." She made her sit down by her.
I know every detail of your letters.She addressed Palliser as well
as Palford & Grimbysweeping all details aside. "What is it you want
to ask me?"

This is our position, your ladyship,Mr. Palford fumbled a little
with his papers in speaking. "Mr. Temple Temple Barholm and the person
known as Mr. Strangeways have been searched for so far without result.
In the meantime we realize that the more evidence we obtain that Mr.
Temple Temple Barholm identified Strangeways and acted from motive
the more solid the foundation upon which Captain Palliser's conviction
rests. Up to this point we have only his statement which he is
prepared to make on oath. Fortunatelyhoweverhe on one occasion
overheard something said to you which he believes will be
corroborative evidence."

What did you overhear?she inquired of Palliser.

Her tone was not pacific considering thatlogicallyshe must be on
the side of the investigators. But it was her habitas Captain
Palliser rememberedto seem to put most people on the defensive. He
meant to look as uninvolved as the dukebut it was not quite within
his power. His manner was sufficiently deliberate.

One evening, before you left for London, I was returning from the
billiard-room, and heard you engaged in animated conversation with-our
host. My attention was arrested, first because--a sketch of a
smile ill-concealed itselfyou usually scarcely deigned to speak to
him, and secondly because I heard Jem Temple Barholm's name.

And you--?neither eyes nor manner omitted the word listened.

But the slight lift of his shoulders was indifferent enough.

I listened deliberately. I was convinced that the fellow was a
criminal impostor, and I wanted evidence.

Ah! come now,remarked the duke amiably. "Now we are getting on. Did
you gain any?"

I thought so. Merely of the cumulative order, of course,Palliser


answered with moderation. "Those were early days. He asked you
turning to Lady Joan again, if you knew any one--any one--who had any
sort of a photograph of Jem. You had one and you showed it to him!"

She was quite silent for a moment. The hour came back to her--the
extraordinary hour when he had stood in his lounging fashion before
herand through some odduncivilized but absolutely human force of
his own had made her listen to him --and had gone on talking in his
nasal voice until with one commoncrudegrotesque phrase he had
turned her hideous world upside down--changed the whole face of it-sent
the stone wall rising before her crumbling into dustand seemed
somehow to set her free. For the moment he had lifted a load from her
the nature of which she did not think he could understand--a load of
hatred and silence. She had clutched his handshe had passionately
wept on itshe could have kissed it. He had told her she could come
back and not be afraid. As the strange episode rose before her detail
by detailshe literally stared at Palliser.

You did, didn't you?he inquired.

Yes,she answered.

Her mind was in a riotbecause in the midst of things which must be
truesomething was false. But with the memory of a myriad subtle
duplicities in her brainshe had never seen anything which could have
approached a thing like that. He had made her feel more human than any
one in the world had ever made her feel--but Jem. He had been able to
do it because he was human himself--human. "I'm friendly he had said
with his boy's laugh--just friendly."

I saw him start, though you did not,Palliser continued. "He stood
and studied the locket intently."

She remembered perfectly. He had examined it so closely that he had
unconsciously knit his brows.

He said something in a rather low voice,Palliser took it up. "I
could not quite catch it all. It was something about `knowing the face
again.' I can see you rememberLady Joan. Can you repeat the exact
words?"

He did not understand the struggle he saw in her face. It would have
been impossible for him to understand it. What she felt was that if
she lost hold on her strange belief in the honesty of this one decent
thing she had seen and felt so close to her that it cleared the air
she breathedit would be as if she had fallen into a bottomless
abyss. Without knowing why she did itshe got up from her chair as if
she were a witness in a court.

Yes, I can,she said. "YesI can; but I wish to make a statement
for myself. Whether Jem Temple Barholm is alive or deadCaptain
PalliserT. Tembarom has done him no harm."

The duke sat up delicately alert. He had evidently found her worth
looking at and listening to from the outset.

Hear! Hear!he said pleasantly.

What were the exact words?suggested Palliser.

Miss Alicia who had been weeping on Little Ann's shoulder --almost on
her lap--lifted her head to listen. Hutchinson set his jaw and
gruntedand Mr. Palford cleared his throat mechanically.


He said,and no one better than herself realized how ominously
cumulativethe words soundedthat a man would know a face like
that again--wherever he saw it.

Wherever he saw it!ejaculated Mr. Grimby.

There ensued a moment of entire pause. It was inevitable. Having
reached this point a taking of breath was necessary. Even the duke
ceased to appear entirely detached. As Mr. Palford turned to his
papers again there was perhaps a slight feeling of awkwardness in the
air. Miss Alicia had droppedterror smitteninto new tears.

The slight awkwardness wason the wholerather added to by T.
Tembarom--as if serenely introduced by the hand of drama itself-opening
the door and walking into the room. He came in with a matterof-
factbut rather obstinateairand stopped in their midst
looking round at them as if collectedly taking them all in.

Hutchinson sprang to his feet with a kind of roarhis big hands
plunging deep into his trousers pockets.

Here he is! Danged if he isn't!he bellowed. "Nowladtha let 'em
have it!"

What he was to let them have did not ensuebecause his attitude was
not one of assault.

Say, you are all here, ain't you!he remarked obviously. "Good
business!"

Miss Alicia got up from the sofa and came trembling toward him as one
approaches one risen from the deadand he made a big stride toward
her and took her in his armspatting her shoulder in reproachful
consolation.

Say, you haven't done what I told you--have you?he soothed. "You've
let yourself get rattled."

But I knew it wasn't true,she sobbed. "I knew it wasn't."

Of course you did, but you got rattled all the same.And he patted
her again.

The duke came forward with a delightfully easy and--could it be almost
jocose?--air of bearing himself. Palford and Grimby remarked it with
pained dismay. He was so unswerving in his readiness as he shook
hands.

How well done of you!he said. "How well arranged! But I'm afraid
you didn't arrange it at all. It has merely happened. Where did you
come from?"

From America; got back yesterday.T. Tembarom's hand-shake was a
robust hearty greeting. "It's all right."

From America!The united voices of the solicitors exclaimed it.

Joseph Hutchinson broke into a huge guffawand he stamped in
exultation.

I'm danged if be has na' been to America!he cried out. "To
America!"

Oh!Miss Alicia gasped hystericallythey go backward and forward


to America like--like lightning!

Little Ann had not risen at his entrancebut sat still with her hands
clasped tightly on her lap. Her face had somehow the effect of a
flower gradually breaking into extraordinary bloom. Their eyes had
once met and then she remainedher soul in hers which were upon him
as she drank in every word he uttered. Her time had not yet come.

Lady Joan had remained standing by the chairwhich a few moments
before her manner had seemed to transform into something like a
witness stand in a court of justice. Her hungry eyes had grown
hungrier each secondand her breath came and went quickly. The very
face she had looked up at on her last talk with T. Tembarom--the oddly
human face--turned on her as he came to her. It was just as it had
been that night --just as commonly uncommon and believable.

Say, Lady Joan! You didn't believe all that guff, did you--You
didn't?he said.

No--no--no! I couldn't!she cried fiercely.

He saw she was shaking with suspenseand he pushed her gently into a
chair.

You'd better sit down a minute. You're about all in,he said.

She might have been a woman with an ague as she caught his arm
shaking it because her hands themselves so shook.

Is it true?was her low cry. "Is he alive--is he alive?"

Yes, he's alive.And as he answered he drew close and so placed
himself before her that he shielded her from the others in the room.
He seemed to manage to shut them outso that when she dropped her
face on her arms against the chair-back her shudderingsilent sobbing
was hidden decently. It was not only his body which did itbut some
protecting power which was almost physically visible. She felt it
spread before her.

Yes, he's alive,he saidand he's all right--though it's been a
long time coming, by gee!

He's alive.They all heard it. For a man of Palliser's make to stand
silent in the midst of mysterious slowly accumulating convictions that
some one--perilously of his own rarely inept type--was on the verge of
feeling appallingly like a fool--was momentarily unendurable. And
nothing had been explainedafter all.

Is this what you call `bluff' in New York?he demanded. "You've got
a lot to explain. You admit that Jem Temple Barholm is alive?" and
realized his asinine error before the words were fully spoken.

The realization was the result of the square-shouldered swing with
which T. Tembarom turned roundand the expression of his eyes as they
ran over him.

Admit!he said. "Admit hell! He's up-stairs with a slight jerk of
his head in the direction of the ceiling.

The duke alone did not gasp. He laughed slightly.

We've just got here. He came down from London with meand Sir Ormsby
Galloway." And he said it not to Palliser but to Palford and Grimby.


The Sir Ormsby Galloway?It was an ejaculation from Mr. Palford
himself.

T. Tembarom stood square and gave his explanation to the lot of them
so to speakwithout distinction.
He's the big nerve specialist. I've had him looking after the case
from the first--before I began to suspect anything. I took orders, and
orders were to keep him quiet and not let any fool butt in and excite
him. That's what I've been giving my mind to. The great stunt was to
get him to go and stay at Sir Ormsby's place.He stopped a moment and
suddenly flared forth as if he had had about enough of it. He almost
shouted at them in exasperation. "All I'm going to tell you is that
for about six months I've been trying to prove that Jem Temple Barholm
was Jem Temple Barholmand the hardest thing I had to do was to get
him so that he could prove it himself." He strode over to the hearth
and rang a bell. "It's not my place to give orders here now he said,
but Jem commissioned me to see this thing through. Sir Ormsby'll tell
you all you want to hear."

He turned and spoke solely to the duke.

This is what happened,he said. "I dare say you'll laugh when you
hear it. I almost laughed myself. What does Jem dowhen he thinks
things overbut get some fool notion in his head about not coming
back here and pushing me out. And he lights out and leaves the
country--leaves it--to get time to think it over some more."

The duke did not laugh. He merely smiled--a smile which had a shade of
curious self-questioning in it.

Romantic and emotional--and quite ridiculous,he commented slowly.
He'd have awakened to that when he had thought it out `some more.'
The thing couldn't be done.

Burrill had presented himself in answer to the belland awaited
orders. His Grace called Tembarom's attention to himand Tembarom
included Palliser with Palford and Grimby when he gave his gesture of
instruction.

Take these gentlemen to Sir Ormsby Galloway, and then ask Mr. Temple
Barholm if he'll come down-stairs,he said.

It is possible that Captain Palliser felt himself more irritatingly
infolded in the swathing realization that some one was in a ridiculous
positionand it is certain that Mr. Palford felt it necessary to
preserve an outwardly flawless dignity as the duke surprisingly left
his chair and joined them.

Let me go, too,he suggested; "I may be able to assist in throwing
light." His including movement in Miss Alicia's direction was
delightfully gracious and friendly. It was inclusive of Mr. Hutchinson
also.

Will you come with us, Miss Temple Barholm?he said. "And you too
Mr. Hutchinson. We shall go over it all in its most interesting
detailand you must be eager about it. I am myself."

His happy and entirely correct idea was that the impending entrance of
Mr. James Temple Barholm would "come off" better in the absence of
audience.

Hutchinson almost bounced from his chair in his readiness. Miss Alicia
looked at Tembarom.


Yes, Miss Alicia,he answered her inquiring glance. "You gotoo.
You'll get it all over quicker."

Rigid propriety forbade that Mr. Palford should express annoyancebut
the effort to restrain the expression of it was in his countenance.
Was it possible that the American habit of being jocular had actually
held its own in a matter as serious as this? And could even the most
cynical and light-minded of ducal personages have been involved in its
unworthy frivolities? But no one looked jocular--Tembarom's jaw was
set in its hard lineand the duketaking up the broad ribbon of his
rimless monocle to fix the glass in his eyewore the expression of a
man whose sense of humor was temporarily in abeyance.

Are we to understand that your Grace--?

Yes,said his Grace a trifle curtlyI have known about it for some
time.

But why was nobody told?put in Palliser.

Why should people be told? There was nothing sufficiently definite to
tell. It was a waiting game.His Grace wasted no words. "I was told.
Mr. Temple Barholm did not know England or English methods. His idea-perhaps
a mistaken one--was that an English duke ought to be able to
advise him. He came to me and made a clean breast of it. He goes
straight at thingsthat young fellow. Makes what he calls a `bee
line.' Oh! I've been in it--I 've been in itI assure you."

It was as they crossed the hall that his Grace slightly laughed.

It struck me as a sort of wild-goose chase at first. He had only a
ghost of a clue--a mere resemblance to a portrait. But he believed in
it, and he had an instinct.He laughed again. "The dullest and most
unmelodramatic neighborhood in England has been taking part in a
melodrama--but there has been no villain in it--only a matter-of-fact
young manworking out a queer thing in his own queermatter-of-fact
way."

When the door closed behind themTembarom went to Lady Joan. She had
risen and was standing before the windowher back to the room. She
looked tall and straight and tensely braced when she turned roundbut
there was endurancenot fierceness in her eyes.

Did he leave the country knowing I was here--waiting?she asked. Her
voice was low and fatigued. She had remembered that years had passed
and that it was perhaps after all only human that long anguish should
blot things outand dull a hopeless man's memory.

No,answered Tembarom sharply. "He didn't. You weren't in it then.
He believed you'd married that Duke of Merthshire fellow. This is the
way it was: Let me tell it to you quick. A letter that had been
wandering round came to him the night before the cave-inwhen they
thought he was killed. It told him old Temple Barholm was dead. He
started out before daylightand you can bet he was strung up till he
was near crazy with excitement. He believed that if he was in England
with plenty of money he could track down that cardsharp lie. He
believed you'd help him. Somewherewhile he was traveling he came
across an old paper with a lot of dope about your being engaged."

Joan remembered well how her mother had worked to set the story
afloat--how they had gone through the most awful of their scenes-almost
raving at each othershut up together in the boudoir in Hill
Street.


That's all he remembers, except that he thought some one had hit him
a crack on the head. Nothing had hit him. He'd had too much to stand
up under and something gave way in his brain. He doesn't know what
happened after that. He'd wake up sometimes just enough to know he was
wandering about trying to get home. It's been the limit to try to
track him. If he'd not come to himself we could never have been quite
sure. That's why I stuck at it. But he DID come to himself. All of a
sudden. Sir Ormsby will tell you that's what nearly always happens.
They wake up all of a sudden. It's all right; it's all right. I used
to promise him it would be--when I wasn't sure that I wasn't lying.
And for the first time he broke into the friendly grin--but it was
more valiant than spontaneous. He wanted her to know that it was "all
right."

Oh!she criedoh! you--

She stopped because the door was opening.

It's Jem,he said sharply. "Annlet's go." And that instant Little
Ann was near him.

No! no! don't go,cried Lady Joan.

Jem Temple Barholm came in through the doorway. Life and sound and
breath stopped for a secondand then the two whirled into each
other's arms as if a storm had swept them there.

Jem!she wailed. "OhJem! My man! Where have you been?"

I've been in hell, Joan--in hell!he answeredchoking--"and this
wonderful fellow has dragged me out of it."

But Tembarom would have none of it. He could not stand it. This sort
of thing filled up his throat and put him at an overwhelming
disadvantage. He just laid a hand on Jem Temple Barholm's shoulder and
gave him an awkwardly friendly push.

Say, cut me out of it!he said. "You get busy his voice rather
breaking. You've got a lot to say to her. It was up to me before;-now
it's up to you."

Little Ann went with him into the next room.

The room they went into was a smaller onequietand its oriel
windows much overshadowed by trees. By the time they stood together in
the center of it Tembarom had swallowed something twice or thriceand
had recovered himself. Even his old smile had come back as he took one
of her hands in each of hisand holding them wide apart stood and
looked down at her.

God bless you, Little Ann,he said. "I just knew I should find you
here. I'd have bet my last dollar on it."

The hands he held were trembling just a littleand the dimples
quivered in and out. But her eyes were steadyand a lovely increasing
intensity glowed in them.

You went after him and brought him back. He was all wrought up, and
he needed some one with good common sense to stop him in time to make
him think straight before he did anything silly,she said.


I says to him,T. Tembarom made the matter clear; "`Sayyou've left
something behind that belongs to you! Comeback and get it.' I meant
Lady Joan. And I says`Good Lordmanyou're acting like a fellow in
a play. That place doesn't belong to me. It belongs to you. If it was
minefair and squareLittle Willie'd hang on to it. There'd be no
noble sacrifice in his. You get a brace on.'"

When they were talking in that silly way about you, and saying you'd
run away,said Little Annher face uplifted adoringly as she talked
I said to father, `If he's gone, he's gone to get something. And
he'll be likely to bring it back.'

He almost dropped her hands and caught her to him then. But he saved
himself in time.

Now this great change has come,he saideverything will be
different. The men you'll know will look like the pictures in the
advertisements at the backs of magazines--those fellows with chins and
smooth hair. I shall look like a chauffeur among them.

But she did not blench in the leastthough she remembered whose words
he was quoting. The intense and lovely femininity in her eyes only
increased. She came closer to himand so because of his height had to
look up more.

You will always make jokes--but I don't care. I don't care for
anything but you,she said. "I love your jokes; I love everything
about you: I love your eyes--and your voice --and your laugh. I love
your very clothes." Her voice quivered as her dimples did. "These last
months I've sometimes felt as if I should die of loving you."

It was a wonderful thing--wonderful. His eyes--his whole young being
had kindled as he looked down drinking in every word.

Is that the kind of quiet little thing you are?he said.

Yes, it is,she answered firmly.

And you're satisfied--you know, who it is I want?-- You're ready to
do what you said you would that last night at Mrs. Bowse's?

What do you think?she said in her clear little voice.

He caught her then in a strongheartyyoungjoyous clutch.

You come to me, Little Ann. You come right to me,he said.

CHAPTER XL

Many an honest penny was turnedwith the assistance of the romantic
Temple Barholm caseby writers of paragraphs for newspapers published
in the United States. It was not merely a romance which belonged to
England but was excitingly linked to America by the fact that its hero
regarded himself as an Americanand had passed through all t