Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

the rustling of her skirts broke in upon the utterly dead quiet of the winter night. Her eyes were upon him, and if he had seen the light which burned in them he would not have hesitated. For she had loved him for more than a year, and knew that he loved her—she had been certain of it for months. And she had begun to think him a little timid, though his pluck had been proven on many a playing field and racetrack. For she had waited a tiresome while for him to speak, and was growing impatient. And every day her love grew greater, and hurt her more. But she had given him no hint or sign; she had only allowed him to see her oftener.

The sight of the ribbon-like stretch of moonlit ice, fenced by naked swampwillows and the lance-like brown reeds, and dotted with mud-and-stick muskrat houses recalled, as it often had, the night of the last year's winter when, while skating with him, she had discovered that she loved him. On that night Love had entered her heart as a ghost might enter one's room. (But

self over and over again that the feellove is never an unwelcome visitor).

ing that had prevented him was not A recollection of the same sensations

one of timidity, but of caution. And was brought often to his mind by the

when the sleeping village was reached familiar landscape, and the moon glow- should have parted with a kiss.

they said cold “Good-nights" who ing like a great lamp, and the dry, frosty air. For by a singular trick of

II. Fate both had been made suddenly aware of their love at the same time. It was a charming night, and a deHe had watched her closely since for lightful garden, and the month was some sign that his love was reciprocat- June, and there was an enchanting ed, but had noted none. For, being a smell of roses swimming in the Japanwoman and perverse by instinct, she ese-lantern-lit dark. And underneath had not given the faintest indication of a magnificent maple, from the lower the passion that was torturing her. branches of which green and yellow And he had always feared the conse and red paper lanterns hung and effused quences of a premature proposal, and soft light, stood Longmore and the had set himself, with the enduring pa girl whom you know, and her head was tience of a strong man, to wait.

upon his shoulder, and in her eyes were And even now, despite his resolve, tears—the hot tears of inconceivable a dread that the fitting time had not happiness. yet come, filled him, and though he After a time she sat down upon hated to break a promise made to him the rustic garden seat beneath the tree self quite as much as if it had been and lifted a greatly flushed face to given to a friend, his mind began to the steel-blue sky, which was like a vast vacillate, and, after holding fierce men velvet pin-cushion with stars that were tal debate with himself for several miles not unlike protruding heads of pins. he again put off proposing, telling him She wiped her wetted cheeks with a

[graphic]

a

handkerchief and made a pretty pre

and head against the great roughtence of annoyance.

barked trunk behind her. “You horrid boy,” she said reproach I cannot forgive you for that,” she fully, “you must have kissed me said, seriously. “Oh, if you could thousand times. My face smarts.” imagine what I suffered !” She gave And then she gave a little hysterical a little gasp, like one who has narrowlaugh.

ly escaped a terrible danger. “Sweet,” he said gravely and softly, He bent over her. “how timid and spiritless you must “ Some time you'll forgive me, will think me.

If I had known or guessed
I should have spoken months ago. " Perhaps."
Forgive me, dear heart."

He bent lower, and she put up her She leaned her splendid shoulders lips, like a child, to be kissed-again.

you not ?"

Marry Marstyn.

ALLONS !

Allons! Allons! look up-work on !
Hope is the star that lights the weary way!
Entangled with the thorns that pierce our feet
Are Autumn flowers that failed us in life's May.

Allons ! Allons ! take heart ! grope on!
Fix on the heights thine eye ; and through the night,
And o'er the tempest's loud alarm, will come
The Dawn, dispensing shadows with the light,

Allons! Allons!! I grieve not that we met-
Nor do I weep that you did fail me, Friend !
Within my heart there's gladness with regret,
(I do not count this pilgrimage the end).

Allons! Allons ! face every woe! fight on !
The bravest hath the scars! Ere victory's won
Some in the dust must lie ! But I, with lip tight drawn,
Still cry Allons ! Allons !” until life's day is done.

Mary Markwell.

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

Illustrated by C. H. Kahrs.

CLA

"LA - UDE!” sang a voice from sands, or heaven's countless stars are an adjoining room.

altogether less than they. Dearest," “Yes, dear."

with mock resignation, “it is Fido. I “Mabel is coming on Wednesday— know it is Fido. Yesterday, it was a week from yesterday; I have just re your-our-darling cat ; to-day, our ceived a message.'

sweetest, dearest Fido lies in death's “ That's cheerful news,” replied the

cold arms.

Saddest of husband of the voice, with enthusiasm, Claude!stamping her foot in and John Louis Claude Morin, diplo- rage. “What do you mean by such mat, resumed his arduous occupation nonsense? Have you blown all your of blowing smoke rings into space, ex senses out in smoke? If you can be erting himself at the same time to train serious for a minute, look at this—Frihis thoughts down to the zero point, or day—thirteenth. Did you ever hear of what he called a “brain-rest.'

anything so awful ? I wish Mabel were He had just about achieved this diffi here now !” cult feat, and was enjoying the fruits Morin took the letter from her hand of his labour, when a shriek brought and read it slowly and reflectively. He him again to intelligence.

turned it sideways, and held it up to “ Heavens!” he exclaimed with a the light. He examined the address; humourous groan, “ something hor then looking at his wife, said, with rible has happened.” Fine wavering well-feigned awe : “Serious—Very. rings floated toward the ceiling, and This is even worse than I expected,” their progenitor lay back in his chair dropping into a chair, “much worse. to await with fortitude the coming That Koh-i-nur of men, the Count, trouble.

can't come.

We

never, never His wife rushed into the room.

afford extra table decoration to make Morin sprang to his feet and, holding up for his absence.” his hands out before his face, exclaimed, “Claude, why can't you be sensible ? tragically, “Darling, don't tell me. I I think he is a charming man." know. O, heavens! Is there no end “Delightful! Irreproachable! Ento these calamities? They pile upon trancing ! le grande roué, and all that.” us; they crush our lives; they

“Why, Claude ? ” " Claude !" reproachfully.

“Well, doesn't he think himself so, “They glory in our wrongs; they with his tales of women that are lanmultiply, until Xerxes' army, Biscay's guishing for a smile from his withered

can

It was

lips? Ha! Ha! Ha! You should see “No, I wont,” doubtfully. the way—that is, you should hear Morin exchanged another meaning Rocheforte tell of the way Louise Noir look with the representation of his deat the Grande mimics him.

funct ancestor. very funny, and the best of it was

“I have an idea, Bess, that will get *Louis Rocheforte? You don't mean us out of the difficulty. May I come to say that Louis Rocheforte How in ?” tenderly. does he know?"

“* What is it?” with some show of “Oh! Ah! I don't know-oh, yes, interest in her voice. Raneau told him ; Raneau has to be “I must whisper it, dear.” around the wings a good deal, you “Well, I suppose so. know, seeing that the ideas are carried " You're the sweetest little woman out, and all that. Wonderful fellow, in the world, Bess. There ; am I forRaneau-going to bring on something given now?” Although there was no new, she says—that is, the manager verbal response, Morin was satisfied. says. Managers are always called “Now, what is it, dear?“she' over here, you know."

" What would you say to a Trei. "No, I didn't know, and I don't sième." care either.”

Mme. Morin stepped back a pace or Morin was devoutly glad she neither two, and looked at her husband admirknew nor cared, and as a thank-offer- ingly. “ Claude, you're a genius. ing he slyly closed one eye in the di What made you think of it? The very rection of the portrait of a delightfully thing: But, do you know of one?” wicked ancestor, who would have ap “Know of one? Lots ; heaps," he preciated it mightily could he have said, with more confidence than conbeen temporarily animated.

science. Mme. Morin suddenly remembered Then, run away, dear, and see her woe : “ But this letter, Claude ! about him, at once. No time must Can't you understand? Oh, the stu be lost. He must be good-looking, pidity of man! Don't you see that the Claude,” as Morin was going out of Count's refusal leaves us with thirteen the door, “and fair, and clever. And at dinner, and Friday, too. For Claude,” she called after him, I would Heaven's sake suggest something. like him to be literary, dear.

You “Why don't you ask someone else?” know Mme. Riviere dotes on men with

“ Ask someone else ? reiterated minds, and we can give him to her. Mme. Morin. “Didn't we cudgel our Don't be long." brains for a week to get together four Mme. Morin closed the door, and teen people who would not stain the thought reflectively, “We might as floor with blood ? Oh, these politics ! well have a good one, when there are Where is your boasted diplomacy? so many to choose from. Although Oh, you men ! When will women's Claude is so big and stupid, he occabrains be recognized ? ”

sionally has an idea.” Then sinking “When, I wonder," said Morin, into a chair, she said softly, “Wouldn't with a grin.

" When we all get eye it be funny if I hadn't Claude to order glasses, I suppose; that magnify," he around?” added.

Mme. Morin drew herself up, cast an Morin started off briskly. The fact annihilating look at her husband, and of the matter was that his acquaintance swept majestically out of the room. with men who rented themselves out

A door slammed, and Morin knew at so much per night, to act in the caphe had a peace to make.

acity of thirteenth guest, and so take “* Bessie !” No response.

all responsibility of the ill-luck attend“ Bessie, dear!” Still no answer. ing that fatal number, was limited to

"Bess-Bess-darling," coaxingly, the very insignificant quantity-if it “forgive me."

may be called such-of none at all.

“Here he is, coming along now,

sir." “Well, I tell you, James, I'll get behind this stall and you can sound him. Gently, now. Twenty-five francs, or you may even go fifty.' And Morin withdrew to his hiding-place, feeling rather criminal, but very well pleased that madame did not see him in this, what she might consider, disgraceful act of policy

“Bon jour, monsieur.”

“Bon jour, James. How is old Satan, to-day ?”

“Oh, getting along all right. Come in and see him. Sorry I can't offer you a seat, sir.

Smoke? Yes, yes, no danger.

“Well,” thought Morin, smokes ; that's a good sign. I rather commence to like him."

“Monsieur is having a dinner-party to-morrow night,” said James, working up to his point by easy stages.

“Yes !” assented his visitor. "I suppose you don't object to that. Ex

" he

He had been talking very glibly to his Canadian wife a few evenings before about this custom, and had been very circumstantial—as is often the way when a man's knowledge is more theoretical than practical. Now that he had thrown this idea into the breach, something, he felt, must be done. He had gone some distance down the street when an idea seemed to strike him. He hesitated, walked along slowly, and then, as if seized with a sudden determination, retraced his steps and made a detour which brought him up at his own stables.

"James."
“Yes, sir.”
“Come here. I want you."

“Who is that young fellow that you tell me sometimes comes in as he is passing, and looks at the horses? An Englishman, I think you said.”

"Yes, sir, an Englishman, a literary chap.”

Do you think he wants a job-at my dinner party tomorrow evening?"

James shrugged his shoulders. “I guess he's not over-rushed with work; but he's a gentleman, sir, every inch of him.”

“Well, that's what I want.'

“Oh.”

“What does he look like, James ?”

“Oh, he's tall and fair, and he looks just like an Englishman, sir.”

Do you think he would be a "treiziè. me?”

“I don't know, sir,” said James, doubtfully. “They're very queer, those Englishmen. Would you like me to ask him, sir?"

“Oh, I don't know -I

guess not; perhaps I can hunt up someone else.”

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

ENGAGING A TREIZIÈME.

« PředchozíPokračovat »