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Title:      The Professor's House (1925)
Author:     Willa Cather
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A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook

Title:      The Professor's House (1925)
Author:     Willa Cather

"The Family"

Chapter 1

The moving was over and done.  Professor St. Peter was alone in the
dismantled house where he had lived ever since his marriage, where
he had worked out his career and brought up his two daughters.  It
was almost as ugly as it is possible for a house to be; square,
three stories in height, painted the colour of ashes--the front
porch just too narrow for comfort, with a slanting floor and
sagging steps.  As he walked slowly about the empty, echoing rooms
on that bright September morning, the Professor regarded
thoughtfully the needless inconveniences he had put up with for so
long; the stairs that were too steep, the halls that were too
cramped, the awkward oak mantles with thick round posts crowned by
bumptious wooden balls, over green-tiled fire-places.

Certain wobbly stair treads, certain creaky boards in the upstairs
hall, had made him wince many times a day for twenty-odd years--and
they still creaked and wobbled.  He had a deft hand with tools, he
could easily have fixed them, but there were always so many things
to fix, and there was not time enough to go round.  He went into
the kitchen, where he had carpentered under a succession of cooks,
went up to the bath-room on the second floor, where there was only
a painted tin tub; the taps were so old that no plumber could ever
screw them tight enough to stop the drip, the window could only be
coaxed up and down by wriggling, and the doors of the linen closet
didn't fit.  He had sympathized with his daughters' dissatisfaction,
though he could never quite agree with them that the bath should be
the most attractive room in the house.  He had spent the happiest
years of his youth in a house at Versailles where it distinctly was
not, and he had known many charming people who had no bath at all.
However, as his wife said:  "If your country has contributed one
thing, at least, to civilization, why not have it?"  Many a night,
after blowing out his study lamp, he had leaped into that tub, clad
in his pyjamas, to give it another coat of some one of the many
paints that were advertised to behave like porcelain, and didn't.

The Professor in pyjamas was not an unpleasant sight; for looks,
the fewer clothes he had on, the better.  Anything that clung to
his body showed it to be built upon extremely good bones, with the
slender hips and springy shoulders of a tireless swimmer.  Though
he was born on Lake Michigan, of mixed stock (Canadian French on
one side, and American farmers on the other), St. Peter was
commonly said to look like a Spaniard.  That was possibly because
he had been in Spain a good deal, and was an authority on certain
phases of Spanish history.  He had a long brown face, with an oval
chin over which he wore a close trimmed Van-Dyke, like a tuft of
shiny black fur.  With this silky, very black hair, he had a tawny
skin with gold lights in it, a hawk nose, and hawk-like eyes--brown
and gold and green.  They were set in ample cavities, with plenty
of room to move about, under thick, curly, black eyebrows that
turned up sharply at the outer ends, like military moustaches.  His
wicked-looking eyebrows made his students call him Mephistopheles--
and there was no evading the searching eyes underneath them; eyes
that in a flash could pick out a friend or an unusual stranger from
a throng.  They had lost none of their fire, though just now the
man behind them was feeling a diminution of ardour.

His daughter Kathleen, who had done several successful studies of
him in water-colour, had once said:--"The thing that really makes
Papa handsome is the modelling of his head between the top of his
ear and his crown; it is quite the best thing about him."  That
part of his head was high, polished, hard as bronze, and the close-
growing black hair threw off a streak of light along the rounded
ridge where the skull was fullest.  The mould of his head on the
side was so individual and definite, so far from casual, that it
was more like a statue's head than a man's.

From one of the dismantled windows the Professor happened to look
out into his back garden, and at that cheerful sight he went
quickly downstairs and escaped from the dusty air and brutal light
of the empty rooms.

His walled-in garden had been the comfort of his life--and it was
the one thing his neighbours held against him.  He started to make
it soon after the birth of his first daughter, when his wife began
to be unreasonable about his spending so much time at the lake and
on the tennis court.  In this undertaking he got help and
encouragement from his landlord, a retired German farmer, good-
natured and lenient about everything but spending money.  If the
Professor happened to have a new baby at home, or a faculty dinner,
or an illness in the family, or any unusual expense, Appelhoff
cheerfully waited for the rent; but pay for repairs he would not.
When it was a question of the garden, however, the old man
sometimes stretched a point.  He helped his tenant with seeds and
slips and sound advice, and with his twisted old back.  He even
spent a little money to bear half the expense of the stucco wall.

The Professor had succeeded in making a French garden in Hamilton.
There was not a blade of grass; it was a tidy half-acre of
glistening gravel and glistening shrubs and bright flowers.  There
were trees, of course; a spreading horse-chestnut, a row of slender
Lombardy poplars at the back, along the white wall, and in the
middle two symmetrical, round-topped linden-trees.  Masses of
green-brier grew in the corners, the prickly stems interwoven and
clipped until they were like great bushes.  There was a bed for
salad herbs.  Salmon-pink geraniums dripped over the wall.  The
French marigolds and dahlias were just now at their best--such
dahlias as no one else in Hamilton could grow.  St. Peter had
tended this bit of ground for over twenty years, and had got the
upper hand of it.  In the spring, when home-sickness for other
lands and the fret of things unaccomplished awoke, he worked off
his discontent here.  In the long hot summers, when he could not go
abroad, he stayed at home with his garden, sending his wife and
daughters to Colorado to escape the humid prairie heat, so
nourishing to wheat and corn, so exhausting to human beings.  In
those months when he was a bachelor again, he brought down his
books and papers and worked in a deck chair under the linden-trees;
breakfasted and lunched and had his tea in the garden.  And it was
there he and Tom Outland used to sit and talk half through the
warm, soft nights.

On this September morning, however, St. Peter knew that he could
not evade the unpleasant effects of change by tarrying among his
autumn flowers.  He must plunge in like a man, and get used to the
feeling that under his work-room there was a dead, empty house.  He
broke off a geranium blossom, and with it still in his hand went
resolutely up two flights of stairs to the third floor where, under
the slope of the mansard roof, there was one room still furnished--
that is, if it had ever been furnished.

The low ceiling sloped down on three sides, the slant being
interrupted on the east by a single square window, swinging outward
on hinges and held ajar by a hook in the sill.  This was the sole
opening for light and air.  Walls and ceiling alike were covered
with a yellow paper which had once been very ugly, but had faded
into inoffensive neutrality.  The matting on the floor was worn and
scratchy.  Against the wall stood an old walnut table, with one
leaf up, holding piles of orderly papers.  Before it was a cane-
backed office chair that turned on a screw.  This dark den had for
many years been the Professor's study.

Downstairs, off the back parlour, he had a show study, with roomy
shelves where his library was housed, and a proper desk at which he
wrote letters.  But it was a sham.  This was the place where he
worked.  And not he alone.  For three weeks in the fall, and again
three in the spring, he shared his cuddy with Augusta, the sewing-
woman, niece of his old landlord, a reliable, methodical spinster,
a German Catholic and very devout.

Since Augusta finished her day's work at five o'clock, and the
Professor, on week-days, worked here only at night, they did not
elbow each other too much.  Besides, neither was devoid of
consideration.  Every evening, before she left, Augusta swept up
the scraps from the floor, rolled her patterns, closed the sewing-
machine, and picked ravellings off the box-couch, so that there
would be no threads to stick to the Professor's old smoking-jacket
if he should happen to lie down for a moment in working-hours.

St. Peter, in his turn, when he put out his lamp after midnight,
was careful to brush away ashes and tobacco crumbs--smoking was
very distasteful to Augusta--and to open the hinged window back as
far as it would go, on the second hook, so that the night wind
might carry away the smell of his pipe as much as possible.  The
unfinished dresses which she left hanging on the forms, however,
were often so saturated with smoke that he knew she found it a
trial to work on them the next morning.

These "forms" were the subject of much banter between them.  The
one which Augusta called "the bust" stood in the darkest corner of
the room, upon a high wooden chest in which blankets and winter
wraps were yearly stored.  It was a headless, armless female torso,
covered with strong black cotton, and so richly developed in the
part for which it was named that the Professor once explained to
Augusta how, in calling it so, she followed a natural law of
language, termed, for convenience, metonymy.  Augusta enjoyed the
Professor when he was risque since she was sure of his ultimate
delicacy.  Though this figure looked so ample and billowy (as if
you might lay your head upon its deep-breathing softness and rest
safe forever), if you touched it you suffered a severe shock, no
matter how many times you had touched it before.  It presented the
most unsympathetic surface imaginable.  Its hardness was not that
of wood, which responds to concussion with living vibration and is
stimulating to the hand, nor that of felt, which drinks something
from the fingers.  It was a dead, opaque, lumpy solidity, like
chunks of putty, or tightly packed sawdust--very disappointing to
the tactile sense, yet somehow always fooling you again.  For no
matter how often you had bumped up against that torso, you could
never believe that contact with it would be as bad as it was.

The second form was more self-revelatory; a full-length female
figure in a smart wire skirt with a trim metal waist line.  It had
no legs, as one could see all too well, no viscera behind its
glistening ribs, and its bosom resembled a strong wire bird-cage.
But St. Peter contended that it had a nervous system.  When Augusta
left it clad for the night in a new party dress for Rosamond or
Kathleen, it often took on a sprightly, tricky air, as if it were
going out for the evening to make a great show of being harum-
scarum, giddy, folle.  It seemed just on the point of tripping
downstairs, or on tiptoe, waiting for the waltz to begin.  At times
the wire lady was most convincing in her pose as a woman of light
behaviour, but she never fooled St. Peter.  He had his blind spots,
but he had never been taken in by one of her kind!

Augusta had somehow got it into her head that these forms were
unsuitable companions for one engaged in scholarly pursuits, and
she periodically apologized for their presence when she came to
install herself and fulfil her "time" at the house.

"Not at all, Augusta," the Professor had often said.  "If they were
good enough for Monsieur Bergeret, they are certainly good enough
for me."

This morning, as St. Peter was sitting in his desk chair, looking
musingly at the pile of papers before him, the door opened and
there stood Augusta herself.  How astonishing that he had not heard
her heavy, deliberate tread on the now uncarpeted stair!

"Why, Professor St. Peter!  I never thought of finding you here, or
I'd have knocked.  I guess we will have to do our moving together."

St. Peter had risen--Augusta loved his manners--but he offered her
the sewing-machine chair and resumed his seat.

"Sit down, Augusta, and we'll talk it over.  I'm not moving just
yet--don't want to disturb all my papers.  I'm staying on until I
finish a piece of writing.  I've seen your uncle about it.  I'll
work here, and board at the new house.  But this is confidential.
If it were noised about, people might begin to say that Mrs. St.
Peter and I had--how do they put it, parted, separated?"

Augusta dropped her eyes in an indulgent smile.  "I think people in
your station would say separated."

"Exactly; a good scientific term, too.  Well, we haven't, you know.
But I'm going to write on here for a while."

"Very well, sir.  And I won't always be getting in your way now.
In the new house you have a beautiful study downstairs, and I have
a light, airy room on the third floor."

"Where you won't smell smoke, eh?"

"Oh, Professor, I never really minded!"  Augusta spoke with
feeling.  She rose and took up the black bust in her long arms.

The Professor also rose, very quickly.  "What are you doing?"

She laughed.  "Oh, I'm not going to carry them through the street,
Professor!  The grocery boy is downstairs with his cart, to wheel
them over."

"Wheel them over?"

"Why, yes, to the new house, Professor.  I've come a week before my
regular time, to make curtains and hem linen for Mrs. St. Peter.
I'll take everything over this morning except the sewing-machine--
that's too heavy for the cart, so the boy will come back for it
with the delivery wagon.  Would you just open the door for me,

"No, I won't!  Not at all.  You don't need her to make curtains.  I
can't have this room changed if I'm going to work here.  He can
take the sewing-machine--yes.  But put her back on the chest where
she belongs, please.  She does very well there."  St. Peter had got
to the door, and stood with his back against it.

Augusta rested her burden on the edge of the chest.

"But next week I'll be working on Mrs. St. Peter's clothes, and
I'll need the forms.  As the boy's here, he'll just wheel them
over," she said soothingly.

"I'm damned if he will!  They shan't be wheeled.  They stay right
there in their own place.  You shan't take away my ladies.  I never
heard of such a thing!"

Augusta was vexed with him now, and a little ashamed of him.  "But,
Professor, I can't work without my forms.  They've been in your way
all these years, and you've always complained of them, so don't be
contrary, sir."

"I never complained, Augusta.  Perhaps of certain disappointments
they recalled, or of cruel biological necessities they imply--but
of them individually, never!  Go and buy some new ones for your
airy atelier, as many as you wish--I'm said to be rich now, am I
not?--Go buy, but you can't have my women.  That's final."

Augusta looked down her nose as she did at church when the dark
sins were mentioned.  "Professor," she said severely, "I think this
time you are carrying a joke too far.  You never used to."  From
the tilt of her chin he saw that she felt the presence of some
improper suggestion.

"No matter what you think, you can't have them."  They considered,
both were in earnest now.  Augusta was first to break the defiant

"I suppose I am to be allowed to take my patterns?"

"Your patterns?  Oh, yes, the cut-out things you keep in the couch
with my old note-books?  Certainly, you can have them.  Let me lift
it for you."  He raised the hinged top of the box-couch that stood
against the wall, under the slope of the ceiling.  At one end of
the upholstered box were piles of notebooks and bundles of
manuscript tied up in square packages with mason's cord.  At the
other end were many little rolls of patterns, cut out of newspapers
and tied with bits of ribbon, gingham, silk, georgette; notched
charts which followed the changing stature and figures of the
Misses St. Peter from early childhood to womanhood.  In the middle
of the box, patterns and manuscripts interpenetrated.

"I see we shall have some difficulty in separating our life work,
Augusta.  We've kept our papers together a long while now."

"Yes, Professor.  When I first came to sew for Mrs. St. Peter, I
never thought I should grow grey in her service."

He started.  What other future could Augusta possibly have
expected?  This disclosure amazed him.

"Well, well, we mustn't think mournfully of it, Augusta.  Life
doesn't turn out for any of us as we plan."  He stood and watched
her large slow hands travel about among the little packets, as she
put them into his waste-basket to carry them down to the cart.  He
had often wondered how she managed to sew with hands that folded
and unfolded as rigidly as umbrellas--no light French touch about
Augusta; when she sewed on a bow, it stayed there.  She herself was
tall, large-boned, flat and stiff, with a plain, solid face, and
brown eyes not destitute of fun.  As she knelt by the couch,
sorting her patterns, he stood beside her, his hand on the lid,
though it would have stayed up unsupported.  Her last remark had
troubled him.

"What a fine lot of hair you have, Augusta!  You know I think it's
rather nice, that grey wave on each side.  Gives it character.
You'll never need any of this false hair that's in all the shop

"There's altogether too much of that, Professor.  So many of my
customers are using it now--ladies you wouldn't expect would.  They
say most of it was cut off the heads of dead Chinamen.  Really,
it's got to be such a frequent thing that the priest spoke against
it only last Sunday."

"Did he, indeed?  Why, what could he say?  Seems such a personal

"Well, he said it was getting to be a scandal in the Church, and a
priest couldn't go to see a pious woman any more without finding
switches and rats and transformations lying about her room, and it
was disgusting."

"Goodness gracious, Augusta!  What business has a priest going to
see a woman in the room where she takes off these ornaments--or to
see her without them?"

Augusta grew red, and tried to look angry, but her laugh narrowly
missed being a giggle.  "He goes to give them the Sacrament, of
course, Professor!  You've made up your mind to be contrary today,
haven't you?"

"You relieve me greatly.  Yes, I suppose in cases of sudden illness
the hair would be lying about where it was lightly taken off.  But
as you first quoted the priest, Augusta, it was rather shocking.
You'll never convert me back to the religion of my fathers now, if
you're going to sew in the new house and I'm going to work on here.
Who is ever to remind me when it's All Souls' day, or Ember day, or
Maundy Thursday, or anything?"

Augusta said she must be leaving.  St. Peter heard her well-known
tread as she descended the stairs.  How much she reminded him of,
to be sure!  She had been most at the house in the days when his
daughters were little girls and needed so many clean frocks.  It
was in those very years that he was beginning his great work; when
the desire to do it and the difficulties attending such a project
strove together in his mind like Macbeth's two spent swimmers--
years when he had the courage to say to himself:  "I will do this
dazzling, this beautiful, this utterly impossible thing!"

During the fifteen years he had been working on his Spanish
Adventures in North America, this room had been his centre of
operations.  There had been delightful excursions and digressions;
the two Sabbatical years when he was in Spain studying records, two
summers in the Southwest on the trail of his adventurers, another
in Old Mexico, dashes to France to see his foster-brothers.  But
the notes and the records and the ideas always came back to this
room.  It was here they were digested and sorted, and woven into
their proper place in his history.

Fairly considered, the sewing-room was the most inconvenient study
a man could possibly have, but it was the one place in the house
where he could get isolation, insulation from the engaging drama of
domestic life.  No one was tramping over him, and only a vague
sense, generally pleasant, of what went on below came up the narrow
stairway.  There were certainly no other advantages.  The furnace
heat did not reach the third floor.  There was no way to warm the
sewing-room, except by a rusty, round gas stove with no flue--a
stove which consumed gas imperfectly and contaminated the air.  To
remedy this, the window must be left open--otherwise, with the
ceiling so low, the air would speedily become unfit to breathe.  If
the stove were turned down, and the window left open a little way,
a sudden gust of wind would blow the wretched thing out altogether,
and a deeply absorbed man might be asphyxiated before he knew it.
The Professor had found that the best method, in winter, was to
turn the gas on full and keep the window wide on the hook, even if
he had to put on a leather jacket over his working-coat.  By that
arrangement he had somehow managed to get air enough to work by.

He wondered now why he had never looked about for a better stove, a
newer model; or why he had not at least painted this one, flaky
with rust.  But he had been able to get on only by neglecting
negative comforts.  He was by no means an ascetic.  He knew that he
was terribly selfish about personal pleasures, fought for them.  If
a thing gave him delight, he got it, if he sold his shirt for it.
By doing without many so-called necessities he had managed to have
his luxuries.  He might, for instance, have had a convenient
electric drop-light attached to the socket above his writing table.
Preferably he wrote by a faithful kerosene lamp which he filled and
tended himself.  But sometimes he found that the oil-can in the
closet was empty; then, to get more, he would have had to go down
through the house to the cellar, and on his way he would almost
surely become interested in what the children were doing or in what
his wife was doing--or he would notice that the kitchen linoleum
was breaking under the sink where the maid kicked it up, and he
would stop to tack it down.  On that perilous journey down through
the human house he might lose his mood, his enthusiasm, even his
temper.  So when the lamp was empty--and that usually occurred when
he was in the middle of a most important passage--he jammed an
eyeshade on his forehead and worked by the glare of that tormenting
pear-shaped bulb, sticking out of the wall on a short curved neck
just about four feet above his table.  It was hard on eyes even as
good as his.  But once at his desk, he didn't dare quit it.  He had
found that you can train the mind to be active at a fixed time,
just as the stomach is trained to be hungry at certain hours of the

If someone in the family happened to be sick, he didn't go to his
study at all.  Two evenings of the week he spent with his wife and
daughters, and one evening he and his wife went out to dinner, or
to the theatre or a concert.  That left him only four.  He had
Saturdays and Sundays, of course, and on those two days he worked
like a miner under a landslide.  Augusta was not allowed to come on
Saturday, though she was paid for that day.  All the while that he
was working so fiercely by night, he was earning his living during
the day; carrying full university work and feeding himself out to
hundreds of students in lectures and consultations.  But that was
another life.

St. Peter had managed for years to live two lives, both of them
very intense.  He would willingly have cut down on his university
work, would willingly have given his students chaff and sawdust--
many instructors had nothing else to give them and got on very
well--but his misfortune was that he loved youth--he was weak to
it, it kindled him.  If there was one eager eye, one doubting,
critical mind, one lively curiosity in a whole lecture-room full of
commonplace boys and girls, he was its servant.  That ardour could
command him.  It hadn't worn out with years, this responsiveness,
any more than the magnetic currents wear out; it had nothing to do
with Time.

But he had burned his candle at both ends to some purpose--he had
got what he wanted.  By many petty economies of purse, he had
managed to be extravagant with not a cent in the world but with his
professor's salary--he didn't, of course, touch his wife's small
income from her father.  By eliminations and combinations so many
and subtle that it now made his head ache to think of them, he had
done full justice to his university lectures, and at the same time
carried on an engrossing piece of creative work.  A man can do
anything if he wishes to enough, St. Peter believed.  Desire is
creation, is the magical element in that process.  If there were an
instrument by which to measure desire, one could foretell
achievement.  He had been able to measure it, roughly, just once,
in his student Tom Outland,--and he had foretold.

There was one fine thing about this room that had been the scene of
so many defeats and triumphs.  From the window he could see, far
away, just on the horizon, a long, blue, hazy smear--Lake Michigan,
the inland sea of his childhood.  Whenever he was tired and dull,
when the white pages before him remained blank or were full of
scratched out sentences, then he left his desk, took the train to a
little station twelve miles away, and spent a day on the lake with
his sail-boat; jumping out to swim, floating on his back alongside,
then climbing into his boat again.

When he remembered his childhood, he remembered blue water.  There
were certain human figures against it, of course; his practical,
strong-willed Methodist mother, his gentle, weaned-away Catholic
father, the old Kanuck grandfather, various brothers and sisters.
But the great fact in life, the always possible escape from
dullness, was the lake.  The sun rose out of it, the day began
there; it was like an open door that nobody could shut.  The land
and all its dreariness could never close in on you.  You had only
to look at the lake, and you knew you would soon be free.  It was
the first thing one saw in the morning, across the rugged cow
pasture studded with shaggy pines, and it ran through the days like
the weather, not a thing thought about, but a part of consciousness
itself.  When the ice chunks came in of a winter morning, crumbly
and white, throwing off gold and rose-coloured reflections from a
copper-coloured sun behind the grey clouds, he didn't observe the
detail or know what it was that made him happy; but now, forty
years later, he could recall all its aspects perfectly.  They had
made pictures in him when he was unwilling and unconscious, when
his eyes were merely open wide.

When he was eight years old, his parents sold the lakeside farm and
dragged him and his brothers and sisters out to the wheat lands of
central Kansas.  St. Peter nearly died of it.  Never could he
forget the few moments on the train when that sudden, innocent blue
across the sand dunes was dying for ever from his sight.  It was
like sinking for the third time.  No later anguish, and he had had
his share, went so deep or seemed so final.  Even in his long,
happy student years with the Thierault family in France, that
stretch of blue water was the one thing he was home-sick for.  In
the summer he used to go with the Thierault boys to Brittany or to
the Languedoc coast; but his lake was itself, as the Channel and
the Mediterranean were themselves.  "No," he used to tell the boys,
who were always asking him about le Michigan, "it is altogether
different.  It is a sea, and yet it is not salt.  It is blue, but
quite another blue.  Yes, there are clouds and mists and sea-gulls,
but--I don't know, il est toujours plus naif."

Afterward, when St. Peter was looking for a professorship, because
he was very much in love and must marry at once, out of the several
positions offered him he took the one at Hamilton, not because it
was the best, but because it seemed to him that any place near the
lake was a place where one could live.  The sight of it from his
study window these many years had been of more assistance than all
the convenient things he had done without would have been.

Just in that corner, under Augusta's archaic "forms," he had always
meant to put the filing-cabinets he had never spared the time or
money to buy.  They would have held all his notes and pamphlets,
and the spasmodic rough drafts of passages far ahead.  But he never
got them, and now he really didn't need them; it would be like
locking the stable after the horse is stolen.  For the horse was
gone--that was the thing he was feeling most just now.  In spite of
all he'd neglected, he had completed his Spanish Adventurers in
eight volumes--without filing cabinets or money or a decent study
or a decent stove--and without encouragement, Heaven knew!  For all
the interest the first three volumes awoke in the world, he might
as well have dropped them into Lake Michigan.  They had been
timidly reviewed by other professors of history, in technical and
educational journals.  Nobody saw that he was trying to do
something quite different--they merely thought he was trying to do
the usual thing, and had not succeeded very well.  They recommended
to him the more even and genial style of John Fiske.

St. Peter hadn't, he could honestly say, cared a whoop--not in
those golden days.  When the whole plan of his narrative was coming
clearer and clearer all the time, when he could feel his hand
growing easier with his material, when all the foolish conventions
about that kind of writing were falling away and his relation with
his work was becoming every day more simple, natural, and happy--he
cared as little as the Spanish Adventurers themselves what
Professor So-and-So thought about them.  With the fourth volume he
began to be aware that a few young men, scattered about the United
States and England, were intensely interested in his experiment.
With the fifth and sixth, they began to express their interest in
lectures and in print.  The two last volumes brought him a certain
international reputation and what were called rewards--among them,
the Oxford prize for history, with its five thousand pounds, which
had built him the new house into which he did not want to move.

"Godfrey," his wife had gravely said one day, when she detected an
ironical turn in some remark he made about the new house, "is there
something you would rather have done with that money than to have
built a house with it?"

"Nothing, my dear, nothing.  If with that cheque I could have
brought back the fun I had writing my history, you'd never have got
your house.  But one couldn't get that for twenty thousand dollars.
The great pleasures don't come so cheap.  There is nothing else,
thank you."

Chapter 2

That evening St. Peter was in the new house, dressing for dinner.
His two daughters and their husbands were dining with them, also an
English visitor.  Mrs. St. Peter heard the shower going as she
passed his door.  She entered his room and waited until he came out
in his bath-robe, rubbing his wet, ink-black hair with a towel.

"Surely you'll admit that you like having your own bath," she said,
looking past him into the glittering white cubicle, flooded with
electric light, which he had just quitted.

"Whoever said I didn't?  But more than anything else, I like my
closets.  I like having room for all my clothes, without hanging
one coat on top of another, and not having to get down on my
marrow-bones and fumble in dark corners to find my shoes."

"Of course you do.  And it's much more dignified, at your age, to
have a room of your own."

"It's convenient, certainly, though I hope I'm not so old as to be
personally repulsive?"  He glanced into the mirror and straightened
his shoulders as if he were trying on a coat.

Mrs. St. Peter laughed,--a pleasant, easy laugh with genuine
amusement in it.  "No, you are very handsome, my dear, especially
in your bath-robe.  You grow better-looking and more intolerant all
the time."

"Intolerant?"  He put down his shoe and looked up at her.  The
thing that stuck in his mind constantly was that she was growing
more and more intolerant, about everything except her sons-in-law;
that she would probably continue to do so, and that he must school
himself to bear it.

"I suppose it's a natural process," she went on, "but you ought to
try, try seriously, I mean, to curb it where it affects the
happiness of your daughters.  You are too severe with Scott and
Louie.  All young men have foolish vanities--you had plenty."

St. Peter sat with his elbows on his knees, leaning forward and
playing absently with the tassels of his bath-robe.  "Why, Lillian,
I have exercised the virtue of patience with those two young men
more than with all the thousands of young ruffians who have gone
through my class-rooms.  My forbearance is overstrained, it's gone
flat.  That's what's the matter with me."

"Oh, Godfrey, how can you be such a poor judge of your own
behaviour?  But we won't argue about it now.  You'll put on your
dinner coat?  And do try to be sympathetic and agreeable to-night."

Half an hour later Mr. and Mrs. Scott McGregor and Mr. and Mrs.
Louie Marsellus arrived, and soon after them the English scholar,
Sir Edgar Spilling, so anxious to do the usual thing in America
that he wore a morning street suit.  He was a gaunt, rugged, large-
boned man of fifty, with long legs and arms, a pear-shaped face,
and a drooping, pre-war moustache.  His specialty was Spanish
history, and he had come all the way to Hamilton, from his cousin's
place in Saskatchewan, to enquire about some of Doctor St. Peter's

Introductions over, it was the Professor's son-in-law, Louie
Marsellus, who took Sir Edgar in hand.  He remembered having met in
China a Walter Spilling, who was, it turned out, a brother of Sir
Edgar.  Marsellus had also a brother there, engaged in the silk
trade.  They exchanged opinions on conditions of the Orient, while
young McGregor put on his horn-rimmed spectacles and roamed
restlessly up and down the library.  The two daughters sat near
their mother, listening to the talk about China.

Mrs. St. Peter was very fair, pink and gold,--a pale gold, now that
she was becoming a little grey.  The tints of her face and hair and
lashes were so soft that one did not realize, on first meeting her,
how very definitely and decidedly her features were cut, under the
smiling infusion of colour.  When she was annoyed or tired, the
lines became severe.  Rosamond, the elder daughter, resembled her
mother in feature, though her face was heavier.  Her colouring was
altogether different; dusky black hair, deep dark eyes, a soft
white skin with rich brunette red in her cheeks and lips.  Nearly
everyone considered Rosamond brilliantly beautiful.  Her father,
though he was very proud of her, demurred from the general opinion.
He thought her too tall, with a rather awkward carriage.  She
stooped a trifle, and was wide in the hips and shoulders.  She had,
he sometimes remarked to her mother, exactly the wide femur and
flat shoulder-blade of his old slab-sided Kanuck grandfather.  For
a tree-hewer they were an asset.  But St. Peter was very critical.
Most people saw only Rosamond's smooth black head and white throat,
and the red of her curved lips that was like the duskiness of dark,
heavy-scented roses.

Kathleen, the younger daughter, looked even younger than she was--
had the slender, undeveloped figure then very much in vogue.  She
was pale, with light hazel eyes, and her hair was hazel-coloured
with distinctly green glints to it.  To her father there was
something very charming in the curious shadows her wide cheekbones
cast over her cheeks, and in the spirited tilt of her head.  Her
figure in profile, he used to tell her, looked just like an
interrogation point.

Mrs. St. Peter frankly liked having a son-in-law who could tot up
acquaintances with Sir Edgar from the Soudan to Alaska.  Scott, she
saw, was going to be sulky because Sir Edgar and Marsellus were
talking about things beyond his little circle of interests.  She
made no effort to draw him into the conversation, but let him prowl
like a restless leopard among the books.  The Professor was
amiable, but quiet.  When the second maid came to the door and
signalled that dinner was ready--dinner was signalled, not
announced--Mrs. St. Peter took Sir Edgar and guided him to his seat
at her right, while the others found their usual places.  After
they had finished the soup, she had some difficulty in summoning
the little maid to take away the plates, and explained to her guest
that the electric bell, under the table, wasn't connected as yet--
they had been in the new house less than a week, and the trials of
building were not over.

"Oh?  Then if I had happened along a fortnight ago I shouldn't have
found you here?  But it must be very interesting, building your own
house and arranging it as you like," he responded.

Marsellus, silenced during the soup, came in with a warm smile and
a slight shrug of the shoulders.  "Building is the word with us,
Sir Edgar, my--oh, isn't it!  My wife and I are in the throes of
it.  We are building a country house, rather an ambitious affair,
out on the wooded shores of Lake Michigan.  Perhaps you would like
to run out in my car and see it?  What are your engagements for to-
morrow?  I can take you out in half an hour, and we can lunch at
the Country Club.  We have a magnificent site; primeval forest
behind us and the lake in front, with our own beach--my father-in-
law, you must know, is a formidable swimmer.  We've been singularly
fortunate in architect,--a young Norwegian, trained in Paris.  He's
doing us a Norwegian manor house, very harmonious with its setting,
just the right thing for rugged pine woods and high headlands."

Sir Edgar seemed most willing to make this excursion, and allowed
Marsellus to fix an hour, greatly to the surprise of McGregor,
whose look at his wife implied that he entertained serious doubts
whether this baronet with walrus moustaches amounted to much after

The engagement made, Louie turned to Mrs. St. Peter.  "And won't
you come too, Dearest?  You haven't been out since we got our
wonderful wrought-iron door fittings from Chicago.  We found just
the right sort of hinge and latch, Sir Edgar, and had all the
others copied from it.  None of your Colonial glass knobs for us!"

Mrs. St. Peter sighed.  Scott and Kathleen had just glass-knobbed
their new bungalow throughout, yet she knew Louie didn't mean to
hurt their feelings--it was his heedless enthusiasm that made him
often say untactful things.

"We've been extremely fortunate in getting all the little things
right," Louie was gladly confiding to Sir Edgar.  "There's really
not a flaw in the conception.  I can say that, because I'm a mere
onlooker; the whole thing's been done by the Norwegian and my wife
and Mrs. St. Peter.  And," he put his hand down affectionately upon
Mrs. St. Peter's bare arm, "AND we've named our place!  I've
already ordered the house stationary.  No, Rosamond, I won't keep
our little secret any longer.  It will please your father, as well
as your mother.  We call our place 'Outland,' Sir Edgar."

He dropped the announcement and drew back.  His mother-in-law rose
to it--Spilling could scarcely be expected to understand.

"How splendid, Louie!  A real inspiration."

"Yes, isn't it?  I knew that would go to your hearts."  The
Professor had expressed his emotion only by lifting his heavy,
sharply uptwisted eyebrow.  "Let me explain, Sir Edgar," Marsellus
went on eagerly.  "We have named our place for Tom Outland, a
brilliant young American scientist and inventor, who was killed in
Flanders, fighting with the Foreign Legion, the second year of the
war, when he was barely thirty years of age.  Before he dashed off
to the front, this youngster had discovered the principle of the
Outland vacuum, worked out the construction of the bulkheaded
vacuum that is revolutionizing aviation.  He had not only invented
it, but, curiously enough for such a hot-headed fellow, had taken
pains to protect it.  He had no time to communicate his discovery
or to commercialize it--simply bolted to the front and left the
most important discovery of his time to take care of itself."

Sir Edgar, fork arrested, looked a trifle dazed.  "Am I to
understand that you are referring to the inventor of the Outland

Louie was delighted.  "Exactly that!  Of course you would know all
about it.  My wife was young Outland's fiancee--is virtually his
widow.  Before he went to France he made a will in her favour; he
had no living relatives, indeed.  Toward the close of the war we
began to sense the importance of what Outland had been doing in his
laboratory--I am an electrical engineer by profession.  We called
in the assistance of experts and got the idea over from the
laboratory to the trade.  The monetary returns have been and are,
of course, large."

While Louie paused long enough to have some intercourse with the
roast before it was taken away, Sir Edgar remarked that he himself
had been in the Air Service during the war, in the construction
department, and that it was most extraordinary to come thus by
chance upon the genesis of the Outland vacuum.

"You see," Louie told him, "Outland got nothing out of it but death
and glory.  Naturally, we feel terribly indebted.  We feel it's our
first duty in life to use that money as he would have wished--we've
endowed scholarships in his own university here, and that sort of
thing.  But our house we want to have as a sort of memorial to him.
We are going to transfer his laboratory there, if the university
will permit,--all the apparatus he worked with.  We have a room for
his library and pictures.  When his brother scientists come to
Hamilton to look him up, to get information about him, as they are
doing now already, at Outland they will find his books and
instruments, all the sources of his inspiration."

"Even Rosamond," murmured McGregor, his eyes upon his cool green
salad.  He was struggling with a desire to shout to the Britisher
that Marsellus had never so much as seen Tom Outland, while he,
McGregor, had been his classmate and friend.

Sir Edgar was as much interested as he was mystified.  He had come
here to talk about manuscripts shut up in certain mouldering
monasteries in Spain, but he had almost forgotten them in the turn
the conversation had taken.  He was genuinely interested in
aviation and all its problems.  He asked few questions, and his
comments were almost entirely limited to the single exclamation,
"Oh!"  But this, from his lips, could mean a great many things;
indifference, sharp interrogation, sympathetic interest, the
nervousness of a modest man on hearing disclosures of a delicately
personal nature.  McGregor, before the others had finished dessert,
drew a big cigar from his pocket and lit it at one of the table
candles, as the horridest thing he could think of to do.

When they left the dining-room, St. Peter, who had scarcely spoken
during dinner, took Sir Edgar's arm and said to his wife:  "If you
will excuse us, my dear, we have some technical matters to
discuss."  Leading his guest into the library, he shut the door.

Marsellus looked distinctly disappointed.  He stood gazing
wistfully after them, like a little boy told to go to bed.  Louie's
eyes were vividly blue, like hot sapphires, but the rest of his
face had little colour--he was a rather mackerel-tinted man.  Only
his eyes, and his quick, impetuous movements, gave out the zest for
life with which he was always bubbling.  There was nothing Semitic
about his countenance except his nose--that took the lead.  It was
not at all an unpleasing feature, but it grew out of his face with
masterful strength, well-rooted, like a vigorous oak-tree growing
out of a hill-side.

Mrs. St. Peter, always concerned for Louie, asked him to come and
look at the new rug in her bedroom.  This revived him; he took her
arm, and they went upstairs together.

McGregor was left with the two sisters.  "Outland, outlandish!" he
muttered, while he fumbled about for an ashtray.  Rosamond
pretended not to hear him, but the dusky red on her cheeks crept a
little farther toward her ears.

"Remember, we are leaving early, Scott," said Kathleen.  "You have
to finish your editorial to-night."

"Surely you don't make him work at night, too?" Rosamond asked.
"Doesn't he have to rest his brain sometimes?  Humour is always
better if it's spontaneous."

"Oh, that's the trouble with me," Scott assured her.  "Unless I
keep my nose to the grindstone, I'm too damned spontaneous and tell
the truth, and the public won't stand for it.  It's not an
editorial I have to finish, it's the daily prose poem I do for the
syndicate, for which I get twenty-five beans.  This is the motif:

     'When your pocket is under-moneyed and your fancy is
      over-girled, you'll have to admit while you're cursing
      it, it's a mighty darned good old world.'

Bang, bang!"

He threw his cigar-end savagely into the fireplace.  He knew that
Rosamond detested his editorials and his jingles.  She had
fastidious taste in literature, like her mother--though he didn't
think she had half the general intelligence of his wife.  She also,
now that she was Tom Outland's heir, detested to hear sums of money
mentioned, especially small sums.

After the good-nights were said, and they were outside the front
door, McGregor seized his wife's elbow and rushed her down the walk
to the gate where his Ford was parked, breaking out in her ear as
they ran:  "Now what the hell is a virtual widow?  Does he mean a
virtuous widow, or the reverseous?  Bang, bang!"

Chapter 3

St. Peter awoke the next morning with the wish that he could be
transported on his mattress from the new house to the old.  But it
was Sunday, and on that day his wife always breakfasted with him.
There was no way out; they would meet at compt.

When he reached the dining-room Lillian was already at the table,
behind the percolator.  "Good morning, Godfrey.  I hope you had a
good night."  Her tone just faintly implied that he hadn't deserved

"Excellent.  And you?"

"I had a good conscience."  She smiled ruefully at him.  "How can
you let yourself be ungracious in your own house?"

"Oh, dear!  And I went to sleep happy in the belief that I hadn't
said anything amiss the whole evening."

"Nor anything aright, that I heard.  Your disapproving silence can
kill the life of any company."

"It didn't seem to last night.  You're entirely wrong about
Marsellus.  He doesn't notice."

"He's too polite to TAKE notice, but he feels it.  He's very
sensitive, under a well-schooled impersonal manner."

St. Peter laughed.  "Nonsense, Lillian!"  If he were, he couldn't
pick up a dinner party and walk off with it, as he almost always
does.  I don't mind when it's our dinner, but I hate seeing him do
it in other people's houses."

"Be fair, Godfrey.  You know that if you'd once begun to talk about
your work in Spain, Louie would have followed it up with
enthusiasm.  Nobody is prouder of you than he."

"That's why I kept quiet.  Support can be too able--certainly too

"There you are; the dog in the manger!  You won't let him discuss
your affairs, and you are annoyed when he talks about his own."

"I admit I can't bear it when he talks about Outland as his affair.
(I mean Tom, of course, not their confounded place!)  This calling
it after him passes my comprehension.  And Rosamond's standing for
it!  It's brazen impudence."

Mrs. St. Peter frowned pensively.  "I knew you wouldn't like it,
but they were so pleased about it, and their motives are so

"Hang it, Outland doesn't need their generosity!  They've got
everything he ought to have had, and the least they can do is to be
quiet about it, and not convert his very bones into a personal
asset.  It all comes down to this, my dear: one likes the florid
style, or one doesn't.  You yourself used not to like it.  And will
you give me some more coffee, please?"

She refilled his cup and handed it across the table.  "Nice hands,"
he murmured, looking critically at them as he took it, "always such
nice hands."

"Thank you.  I dislike floridity when it is beaten up to cover the
lack of something, to take the place of something.  I never
disliked it when it came from exuberance.  Then it isn't
floridness, it's merely strong colour."

"Very well; some people don't care for strong colour.  It fatigues
them."  He folded his napkin.  "Now I must be off to my desk."

"Not quite yet.  You never have time to talk to me.  Just when did
it begin, Godfrey, in the history of manners--that convention that
if a man were pleased with his wife or his house or his success, he
shouldn't say so, frankly?"  Mrs. St. Peter spoke thoughtfully, as
if she had considered this matter before.

"Oh, it goes back a long way.  I rather think it began in the Age
of Chivalry--King Arthur's knights.  Whoever it was lived in that
time, some feeling grew up that a man should do fine deeds and not
speak of them, and that he shouldn't speak the name of his lady,
but sing of her as a Phyllis or a Nicolette.  It's a nice idea,
reserve about one's deepest feelings: keeps them fresh."

"The Oriental peoples didn't have an Age of Chivalry.  They didn't
need one," Lillian observed.  "And this reserve--it becomes in
itself ostentatious, a vainglorious vanity."

"Oh, my dear, all is vanity!  I don't dispute that.  Now I must
really go, and I wish I could play the game as well as you do.  I
have no enthusiasm for being a father-in-law.  It's you who keep
the ball rolling.  I fully appreciate that."

"Perhaps," mused his wife, as he rose, "it's because you didn't get
the son-in-law you wanted.  And yet he was highly coloured, too."

The Professor made no reply to this.  Lillian had been fiercely
jealous of Tom Outland.  As he left the house, he was reflecting
that people who are intensely in love when they marry, and who go
on being in love, always meet with something which suddenly or
gradually makes a difference.  Sometimes it is the children, or the
grubbiness of being poor, sometimes a second infatuation.  In their
own case it had been, curiously enough, his pupil, Tom Outland.

St. Peter had met his wife in Paris, when he was but twenty-four,
and studying for his doctorate.  She too was studying there.
French people thought her an English girl because of her gold hair
and fair complexion.  With her really radiant charm, she had a very
interesting mind--but it was quite wrong to call it mind, the
connotation was false.  What she had was a richly endowed nature
that responded strongly to life and art, and very vehement likes
and dislikes which were often quite out of all proportion to the
trivial object or person that aroused them.  Before his marriage,
and for years afterward, Lillian's prejudices, her divinations
about people and art (always instinctive and unexplained, but
nearly always right), were the most interesting things in St.
Peter's life.  When he accepted almost the first position offered
him, in order to marry at once, and came to take the chair of
European history at Hamilton, he was thrown upon his wife for
mental companionship.  Most of his colleagues were much older than
he, but they were not his equals either in scholarship or in
experience of the world.  The only other man in the faculty who was
carrying on important research work was Doctor Crane, the professor
of physics.  St. Peter saw a good deal of him, though outside his
specialty he was uninteresting--a narrow-minded man, and painfully
unattractive.  Years ago Crane had begun to suffer from a malady
which in time proved incurable, and which now sent him up for an
operation periodically.  St. Peter had had no friend in Hamilton of
whom Lillian could possibly be jealous until Tom Outland came
along, so well fitted by nature and early environment to help him
with his work on the Spanish Adventurers.

When he had almost reached his old house and his study, the
Professor remembered that he really must have an understanding with
his landlord, or the place would be rented over his head.  He
turned and went down into another part of the city, by the car
shops, where only workmen lived, and found his landlord's little
toy house, set on a hillside, over a basement faced up with red
brick and covered with hop vines.  Old Appelhoff was sitting on a
bench before his door, making a broom.  Raising broom corn was one
of his economies.  Beside him was his dachshund bitch, Minna.

St. Peter explained that he wanted to stay on in the empty house,
and would pay the full rent each month.  So irregular a project
annoyed Appelhoff.  "I like fine to oblige you, Professor, but dey
is several parties looking at de house already, an' I don't like to
lose a year's rent for maybe a few months."

"Oh, that's all right, Fred.  I'll take it for the year, to
simplify matters.  I want to finish my new book before I move."

Fred still looked uneasy.  "I better see de insurance man, eh?  It
says for purposes of domestic dwelling."

"He won't object.  Let's have a look at your garden.  What a fine
crop of apples and sickle pears you have!"

"I don't like dem trees what don't bear not'ing," said the old man
with sly humour, remembering the Professor's glistening, barren
shrubs and the good ground wasted behind his stucco wall.

"How about your linden-trees?"

"Oh, dem flowers is awful good for de headache!"

"You don't look as if you were subject to it, Fred."

"Not me, but my woman always had."

"Pretty lonesome without her, Appelhoff?"

"I miss her, Professor, but I ain't just lonesome."  The old man
rubbed his bristly chin.  "My Minna here is most like a person, and
den I got so many t'ings to t'ink about."

"Have you?  Pleasant things, I hope?"

"Well, all kinds.  When I was young, in de old country, I had it
hard to git my wife at all, an' I never had time to t'ink.  When I
come to dis country I had to work so turrible hard on dat farm to
make crops an' pay debts, dat I was like a horse.  Now I have it
easy, an' I take time to t'ink about all dem t'ings."

St. Peter laughed.  "We all come to it, Applehoff.  That's one
thing I'm renting your house for, to have room to think.  Good

Crossing the public park, on his way back to the old house, he
espied his professional rival and enemy, Professor Horace Langtry,
taking a Sunday morning stroll--very well got up in English clothes
he had brought back from his customary summer in London, with a
bowler hat of unusual block and a horn-handled walking-stick.  In
twenty years the two men had scarcely had speech with each other
beyond a stiff "good morning."  When Langtry first came to the
university he looked hardly more than a boy, with curly brown hair
and such a fresh complexion that the students called him Lily
Langtry.  His round pink cheeks and round eyes and round chin made
him look rather like a baby grown big.  All these years had made
little difference, except that his curls were now quite grey, his
rosy cheeks even rosier, and his mouth dropped a little at the
corners, so that he looked like a baby suddenly grown old and
rather cross about it.

Seeing St. Peter, the younger man turned abruptly into a side
alley, but the Professor overtook him.

"Good morning, Langtry.  These elms are becoming real trees at
last.  They've changed a good deal since we first came here."

Doctor Langtry moved his rosy chin sidewise over his high double
collar.  "Good morning, Doctor St. Peter.  I really don't remember
much about the trees.  They seem to be doing well now."

St. Peter stepped abreast of him.  "There have been many changes,
Langtry, and not all of them are good.  Don't you notice a great
difference in the student body as a whole, in the new crop that
comes along every year now--how different they are from the ones of
our early years here?"

The smooth chin turned again, and the other professor of European
history blinked.  "In just what respect?"

"Oh, in the all-embracing respect of quality!  We have hosts of
students, but they're a common sort."

"Perhaps.  I can't say I've noticed it."  The air between the two
colleagues was not thawing out any.  A church-bell rang.  Langtry
started hopefully.  "You must excuse me, Doctor St. Peter, I am on
my way to service."

The Professor gave it up with a shrug.  "All right, all right,
Langtry, as you will.  Quelle folie!"

Langtry half turned back, hesitated on the ball of his suddenly
speeding foot, and said with faultless politeness:  "I beg your

St. Peter waved his hand with a gesture of negation, and detained
the church-goer no longer.  He sauntered along slackly through the
hot September sunshine, wondering why Langtry didn't see the
absurdity of their long grudge.  They had always been directly
opposed in matters of university policy, until it had almost become
a part of their professional duties to outwit and cramp each other.

When young Langtry first came there, his specialty was supposed to
be American history.  His uncle was president of the board of
regents, and very influential in State politics; the institution
had to look to him, indeed, to get its financial appropriations
passed by the Legislature.  Langtry was a Tory in his point of
view, and was considered very English in his tone and manner.  His
lectures were dull, and the students didn't like him.  Every
inducement was offered to make his courses popular.  Liberal
credits were given for collateral reading.  A student could read
almost anything that had ever been written in the United States and
get credit for it in American history.  He could charge up the time
spent in perusing "The Scarlet Letter" to Colonial history, and
"Tom Sawyer" to the Missouri Compromise, it was said.  St. Peter
openly criticized these lax methods, both to the faculty and to the
regents.  Naturally, "Madame Langtry" paid him out.  During the
Professor's second Sabbatical year in Spain, Horace and his uncle
together very nearly got his department away from him.  They worked
so quietly that it was only at the eleventh hour that St. Peter's
old students throughout the State got wind of what was going on,
dropped their various businesses and professions for a few days,
and came up to the capital in dozens and saved his place for him.
The opposition had been so formidable that when it came time for
his third year away, the Professor had not dared ask for it, but
had taken an extension of his summer vacation instead.  The fact
that he was carrying on another line of work than his lectures, and
was publishing books that weren't strictly text-books, had been
used against him by Langtry's uncle.

As Langtry felt that the unpopularity of his course was due to his
subject, a new chair was created for him.  There couldn't be two
heads in European history, so the board of regents made for him a
chair of Renaissance history, or, as St. Peter said, a Renaissance
chair of history.  Of late years, for reasons that had not much to
do with his lectures, Langtry had prospered better.  To the new
generations of country and village boys now pouring into the
university in such large numbers, Langtry had become, in a curious
way, an instructor in manners,--what is called an "influence."  To
the football-playing farmer boy who had a good allowance but didn't
know how to dress or what to say, Langtry looked like a short cut.
He had several times taken parties of undergraduates to London for
the summer, and they had come back wonderfully brushed up.  He
introduced a very popular fraternity into the university, and its
members looked after his interests, as did its affiliated sorority.
His standing on the faculty was now quite as good as St. Peter's
own, and the Professor wondered what Langtry still had to be sore
about.  What was the use of keeping up the feud?  They had both
come there young men, fighting for their places and their lives;
now they were not very young any more; they would neither of them,
probably, ever hold a better position.  Couldn't Langtry see it was
a draw, that they had both been beaten?

Chapter 4

On Monday afternoon St. Peter mounted to his study and lay down on
the box-couch, tired out with his day at the university.  The first
few weeks of the year were very fatiguing for him; there were so
many exhausting things besides his lectures and all the new
students; long faculty meetings in which almost no one was ever
frank, and always the old fight to keep up the standard of
scholarship, to prevent the younger professors, who had a sharp eye
to their own interests, from farming the whole institution out to
athletics, and to the agricultural and commercial schools favoured
and fostered by the State Legislature.

The September heat, too, was hard on him.  He wanted to be out at
the lake every day--it was never so fine as in late September.  He
was lying with closed eyes, resting his mind on the picture of
intense autumn-blue water, when he heard a tap at the door and his
daughter Rosamond entered, very handsome in a silk suit of a vivid
shade of lilac, admirably suited to her complexion and showing that
in the colour of her cheeks there was actually a tone of warm
lavender.  In that low room she seemed very tall indeed, a little
out of drawing, as, to her father's eye, she so often did.
Usually, however, people were aware only of her rich complexion,
her curving, unresisting mouth and mysterious eyes.  Tom Outland
had seen nothing else, and he was a young man who saw a great deal.

"Am I interrupting something important, Papa?"

"No, not at all, my dear.  Sit down."

On his writing-table she caught a glimpse of pages in a handwriting
not his--a script she knew very well.

"Not much choice of chairs, is there?" she smiled.  "Papa, I don't
like to have you working in a place like this.  It's not fitting."

"Much easier than to break in a new room, Rosie.  A work-room
should be like an old shoe; no matter how shabby, it's better than
a new one."

"That's really what I came to see you about."  Rosamond traced the
edge of a hole in the matting with the tip of her lilac sunshade.
"Won't you let me build you a little study in the back yard of the
new house?  I have such good ideas for it, and you would have no
bother about it at all."

"Oh, thank you, Rosamond.  It's most awfully nice of you to think
of it.  But keep it just an idea--it's better so.  Lots of things
are.  For the present I'll plod on here.  It's absurd, but it suits
me.  Habit is such a big part of work."

"With Augusta's old things lying about, and those dusty old forms?
Why didn't she at least get those out of your way?"

"Oh, they have a right here, by long tenure.  It's their room, too.
I don't want to come upon them lying in some dump-heap on the road
to the lake.  They remind me of the times when you were little
girls, and your first party frocks used to hang on them at night,
when I worked."

Rosamond smiled, unconvinced.  "Papa, don't joke with me.  I've
come to talk about something serious, and it's very difficult.  You
know I'm a little afraid of you."  She dropped her shadowy,
bewitching eyes.

"Afraid of me?  Never!"

"Oh, yes, I am when you're sarcastic.  You mustn't be to-day,
please.  Louie and I have often talked this over.  We feel strongly
about it.  He's often been on the point of blurting out with it,
but I've curbed him.  You don't always approve of Louie and me.  Of
course it was only Louie's energy and technical knowledge that ever
made Tom's discovery succeed commercially, but we don't feel that
we ought to have all the returns from it.  We think you ought to
let us settle an income on you, so that you could give up your
university work and devote all your time to writing and research.
That is what Tom would have wanted."

St. Peter rose quickly, with the light, supple spring he had when
he was very nervous, crossed to the window, wide on its hook, and
half closed it.  "My dear daughter," he said decisively, when he
had turned round to her, "I couldn't possibly take any of Outland's

"But why not?  You were the best friend he had in the world, he
owed more to you than to anyone else, and he hated having you
hampered by teaching.  He admired your mind, and nothing would have
pleased him more than helping you to do the work you do better than
anyone else.  If he were alive, that would be one of the first
things he would use this money for."

"But he is not alive, and there was no word about me in his will,
and so there is nothing to build your pretty theory upon.  It's
wonderfully nice of you and Louie, and I'm very pleased, you know."

"But Tom was so impractical, Father.  He never thought it would
mean more than a liberal dress allowance for me, if he thought at
all.  I don't know--he never spoke to me about it."

St. Peter smiled quizzically.  "I'm not so sure about his
impracticalness.  When he was working on that gas, he once remarked
to me that there might be a fortune in it.  To be sure he didn't
wait to find out whether there was a fortune, but that had to do
with quite another side of him.  Yes, I think he knew his idea
would make money and he wanted you to have it, with him or without

The young woman's face grew troubled.  "Even if I married?"

"He wanted you to have whatever would make you happy."

She sighed luxuriously.  "Louie has done that.  The only thing that
troubles me is, I feel you ought to have some of this money, that
he would wish it.  He was so full of gratitude, felt that he owed
you so much."

Her father again rose, with that guarded, nervous movement.  "Once
and for all, Rosamond, understand that he owed me no more than I
owed him.  Nothing hurts me so much as to have any member of my
family talk as if we had done something fine for that young man,
brought him out, produced him.  In a lifetime of teaching, I've
encountered just one remarkable mind; but for that, I'd consider my
good years largely wasted.  And there can be no question of money
between me and Tom Outland.  I can't explain just how I feel about
it, but it would somehow damage my recollections of him, would make
that episode in my life commonplace like everything else.  And that
would be a great loss to me.  I'm purely selfish in refusing your
offer; my friendship with Outland is the one thing I will not have
translated into the vulgar tongue."

His daughter looked perplexed and a little resentful.

"Sometimes," she murmured, "I think you feel I oughtn't to have
taken it, either."

"You had no choice.  For you it was settled by his own hand.  Your
bond with him was social, and it follows the laws of society, and
they are based on property.  Mine wasn't, and there was no material
clause in it.  He empowered you to carry out all his wishes, and I
realize that you have responsibilities--but none toward me.  There
is Rodney Blake, of course, if he should ever turn up.  You keep up
some search for him?"

"Louie attends to it.  He has investigated and rejected several

"Then, of course, there are other friends of Tom's.  The Cranes,
for instance?"

Rosamond's face grew hard.  "I won't bother you about the Cranes,
Papa.  We will attend to them.  Mrs. Crane is a common creature,
and she is advised by that dreadful shyster brother of hers, Homer
Bright.  You know what he is."

"Oh, yes!  He was about the greatest bluffer I ever had in my

Rosamond had risen to go.  "I want you to be awfully happy,
daughter," St. Peter went on, "and Tom did.  It's only young people
like you and Louie who can get any fun out of money.  And there is
enough to cover the fine, the almost imaginary obligations.  You
won't be sorry if you are generous with people like the Cranes."

"Thank you, Papa.  I shan't forget."  Rosamond went down the narrow
stairway, leaving behind her a faint, fresh odour of lavender and
orrisroot, and her father lay down again on the box-couch.  "A hint
about the Cranes will be enough," he was thinking.

He didn't in the least understand his older daughter.  Not that he
pretended to understand Kathleen, either; but he usually knew how
she would feel about things, and she had always seemed to need his
protection more than Rosamond.  When she was a student at the
university, he used sometimes to see her crossing the campus alone,
her head and shoulders lowered against the wind, her muff beside
her face, her narrow skirt clinging close.  There was something too
plucky, too "I can-go-it-alone," about her quick step and jaunty
little head; he didn't like it, it gave him a sudden pang.  He
would always call to her and catch up with her, and make her take
his arm and be docile.

She had been much quicker at her lessons than Rosie, and very
clever at water-colour portrait sketches.  She had done several
really good likenesses of her father--one, at least, was the man
himself.  With her mother she had no luck.  She tried again and
again, but the face was always hard, the upper lip longer than it
seemed in life, the nose long and severed, and she made something
cold and plaster-like of Lillian's beautiful complexion.

"No, I don't see Mamma like that," she used to say, throwing out
her chin.  "Of course I don't!  It just COMES like that."  She had
done many heads of her sister, all very sentimental and curiously
false, though Louie Marsellus protested to them.  Her drawing-
teacher at the university had urged Kathleen to go to Chicago and
study in the life classes at the Art Institute, but she said
resolutely:  "No, I can't really do anybody but Papa, and I can't
make a living painting him."

"The only unusual thing about Kitty," her father used to tell his
friends, "is that she doesn't think herself a bit unusual.  Nowdays
the girls in my classes who have a spark of aptitude for anything
seem to think themselves remarkable."

Though wilfulness was implied in the line of her figure, in the way
she sometimes threw out her chin, Kathleen had never been deaf to
reasoning, deaf to her father, but once; and that was when, shortly
after Rosamond's engagement to Tom, she announced that she was
going to marry Scott McGregor.  Scott was young, was just getting a
start as a journalist, and his salary was not large enough for two
people to live upon.  That fact, the St. Peters thought, would act
as a brake upon the impetuous young couple.  But soon after they
were engaged Scott began to do his daily prose poem for a newspaper
syndicate.  It was a success from the start, and increased his
earnings enough to enable him to marry.  The Professor had expected
a better match for Kitty.  He was no snob, and he liked Scott and
trusted him; but he knew that Scott had a usual sort of mind, and
Kitty had flashes of something quite different.  Her father thought
a more interesting man would make her happier.  There was no
holding her back, however, and the curious part of it was that,
after the very first, her mother supported her.  St. Peter had a
vague suspicion that this was somehow on Rosamond's account more
than on Kathleen's; Lillian always worked things out for Rosamond.
Yet at the time he couldn't see how Kathleen's marriage would
benefit Rosie.  "Rosie is like your second self," he once declared
to his wife, "but you never pampered yourself at her age as you do

Chapter 5

It was an intense September noon--warm, windy, golden, with the
smell of ripe grapes and drying vines in the air, and the lake
rolling blue on the horizon.  Scott McGregor, going into the west
corner of the university campus, caught sight of Mrs. St. Peter,
just ahead of him, walking in the same direction.  He ran and
caught up with her.

"Hello, Lillian!  Going in to see the Professor?  So am I.  I want
him to go swimming with me--I'm cutting work.  Shall we drop in and
hear the end of his lecture, or sit down here on the bench in the

"We can go quietly to the door and listen.  If it's not
interesting, we can come back and sit down for a chat."

"Good!  I came early to overhear a bit.  This is the hour he's with
his seniors, isn't it?"

They entered and went along the hall until they came to number 17;
the door was ajar, and at the moment one of the students was
speaking.  When he finished, they heard the Professor reply to him.
"No, Miller, I don't myself think much of science as a phase of
human development.  It has given us a lot of ingenious toys; they
take our attention away from the real problems, of course, and
since the problems are insoluble, I suppose we ought to be grateful
for distraction.  But the fact is, the human mind, the individual
mind, has always been made more interesting by dwelling on the old
riddles, even if it makes nothing of them.  Science hasn't given us
any new amazements, except of the superficial kind we get from
witnessing dexterity and sleight-of-hand.  It hasn't given us any
richer pleasures, as the Renaissance did, nor any new sins--not
one!  Indeed, it takes our old ones away.  It's the laboratory, not
the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world.  You'll
agree there is not much thrill about a physiological sin.  We were
better off when even the prosaic matter of taking nourishment could
have the magnificence of a sin.  I don't think you help people by
making their conduct of no importance--you impoverish them.  As
long as every man and woman who crowded into the cathedrals on
Easter Sunday was a principal in a gorgeous drama with God,
glittering angels on one side and the shadows of evil coming and
going on the other, life was a rich thing.  The king and the beggar
had the same chance at miracles and great temptations and
revelations.  And that's what makes men happy, believing in the
mystery and importance of their own individual lives.  It makes us
happy to surround our creature needs and bodily instincts with as
much pomp and circumstance as possible.  Art and religion (they are
the same thing, in the end, of course) have given man the only
happiness he has ever had.

"Moses learned the importance of that in the Egyptian court, and
when he wanted to make a population of slaves into an independent
people in the shortest possible time, he invented elaborate
ceremonials to give them a feeling of dignity and purpose.  Every
act had some imaginative end.  The cutting of the finger nails was
a religious observance.  The Christian theologians went over the
books of the Law, like great artists, getting splendid effects by
excision.  They reset the stage with more space and mystery,
throwing all the light upon a few sins of great dramatic value--
only seven, you remember, and of those only three that are
perpetually enthralling.  With the theologians came the cathedral-
builders; the sculptors and glass-workers and painters.  They
might, without sacrilege, have changed the prayer a little and
said, Thy will be done in art, as it is in heaven.  How can it be
done anywhere else AS it is in heaven?  But I think the hour is up.
You might tell me next week, Miller, what you think science has
done for us, besides making us very comfortable."

As the young men filed out of the room, Mrs. St. Peter and McGregor
went in.

"I came over to get you to go to the electrician's with me,
Godfrey, but I won't make you.  Scott wants you to run out to the
lake, and it's such a fine day, you really should go."

"Car's outside.  We'll just drop Lillian at the house, Doctor, and
you can pick up your bathing-suit.  We heard part of your lecture,
by the way.  How you get by the Methodists is still a mystery to

"I wish he would get into trouble, Scott," said Lillian as they
left the building.  "I wish he wouldn't talk to those fat-faced
boys as if they were intelligent beings.  You cheapen yourself,
Godfrey.  It makes me a little ashamed."

"I was rather rambling on to-day.  I'm sorry you happened along.
There's a fellow in that lot, Tod Miller, who isn't slow, and he
excites me to controversy."

"All the same," murmured his wife, "it's hardly dignified to think
aloud in such company.  It's in rather bad taste."

"Thank you for the tip, Lillian.  I won't do it again."

It took Scott only twenty minutes to get out to the lake.  He drew
up at the bit of beach St. Peter had bought for himself years
before; a little triangle of sand running out into the water, with
a bath-house and seven shaggy pine-trees on it.

Scott had to fuss with the car, and the Professor was undressed and
in the water before him.

When McGregor was ready to go in, his father-in-law was some
distance out, swimming with an over-arm stroke, his head and
shoulders well out of the water.  He wore on his head a rubber
visor of a kind he always brought home from France in great
numbers.  This one was vermilion, and was like a continuation of
his flesh--his arms and back were burned a deep terra-cotta from a
summer in the lake.  His head and powerful reaching arms made a
strong red pattern against the purple blue of the water.  The visor
was picturesque--his head looked sheathed and small and intensely
alive, like the heads of the warriors on the Parthenon frieze in
their tight, archaic helmets.

By five o'clock St. Peter and McGregor were dressed and lying on
the sand, their overcoats wrapped about them, smoking.  Suddenly
Scott began to chuckle.

"Oh, Professor, you know your English friend, Sir Edgar Spilling?
The day after I met him at your house, he came up to my office at
the Herald to get some facts you'd been too modest to give him.
When he was leaving he stood and looked at one of these motto cards
I have over my desk, DON'T KNOCK, and said:  'May I ask why you
don't have that notice on the outside of your door?  I didn't
observe any other way of getting in.'  They never get wise, do
they?  He really went out to see Marsellus' place--seemed
interested.  Doctor, are you going to let them call that place
after Tom?"

"My dear boy, how can I prevent it?"

"Well, you surely don't like the idea, do you?"

The Professor lit another cigarette and was a long while about it.
When he had got it going, he turned on his elbow and looked at
McGregor.  "Scott, you must see that I can't make suggestions to
Louie.  He's perfectly consistent.  He's a great deal more generous
and public-spirited than I am, and my preferences would be
enigmatical to him.  I can't, either, very gracefully express
myself to you about his affairs."

"I get you.  Sorry he riles me so.  I always say it shan't occur
next time, but it does."  Scott took out his pipe and lay silent
for a time, looking at the gold glow burning on the water and on
the wings of the gulls as they flew by.  His expression was
wistful, rather mournful.  He was a good-looking fellow, with
sunburned blond hair, splendid teeth, attractive eyes that usually
frowned a little unless he was laughing outright, a small, prettily
cut mouth, restless at the corners.  There was something moody and
discontented about his face.  The Professor had a great deal of
sympathy for him; Scott was too good for his work.  He had been
delighted when his daily poem and his "uplift" editorials first
proved successful, because that enabled him to marry.  Now he could
sell as many good-cheer articles as he had time to write, on any
subject, and he loathed doing them.  Scott had early picked himself
out to do something very fine, and he felt that the was wasting his
life and his talents.  The new group of poets made him angry.  When
a new novel was discussed seriously by his friends, he was
perfectly miserable.  St. Peter knew that the poor boy had seasons
of desperate unhappiness.  His disappointed vanity ate away at his
vitals like the Spartan boy's wolf, and only the deep lines in his
young forehead and the twitching at the corners of his mouth showed
that he suffered.

Not long ago, when the students were giving an historical pageant
to commemorate the deeds of an early French explorer among the
Great Lakes, they asked St. Peter to do a picture for them, and he
had arranged one which amused him very much, though it had nothing
to do with the subject.  He posed his two sons-in-law in a
tapestry-hung tent, for a conference between Richard Plantagenet
and the Saladin, before the walls of Jerusalem.  Marsellus, in a
green dressing-gown and turban, was seated at a table with a chart,
his hands extended in reasonable, patient argument.  The
Plantagenet was standing, his plumed helmet is his hand, his square
yellow head haughtily erect, his unthoughtful brows fiercely
frowning, his lips curled and his fresh face full of arrogance.
The tableau had received no special notice, and Mrs. St. Peter had
said dryly that she was afraid nobody saw his little joke.  But the
Professor liked his picture, and he thought it quite fair to both
the young men.

Chapter 6

The Professor happened to come home earlier than usual one bright
October afternoon.  He left the walk and cut across the turf,
intending to enter by the open French window, but he paused a
moment outside to admire the scene within.  The drawing-room was
full of autumn flowers, dahlias and wild asters and goldenrod.  The
red-gold sunlight lay in bright puddles on the thick blue carpet,
made hazy aureoles about the stuffed blue chairs.  There was, in
the room, as he looked through the window, a rich, intense effect
of autumn, something that presented October much more sharply and
sweetly to him than the coloured maples and the aster-bordered
paths by which he had come home.  It struck him that the seasons
sometimes gain by being brought into the house, just as they gain
by being brought into painting, and into poetry.  The hand,
fastidious and bold, which selected and placed--it was that which
made the difference.  In Nature there is no selection.

In a corner, beside the steaming brass tea-kettle, sat Lillian and
Louie, a little lacquer table between them, bending, it seemed,
over a casket of jewels.

Lillian held up lovingly in her fingers a green-gold necklace,
evidently an old one, without stones.  "Of course emeralds would be
beautiful, Louie, but they seem a little out of scale--to belong to
a different scheme of life than any you and Rosamond can live here.
You aren't, after all, outrageously rich.  When would she wear

"At home, Dearest, with me, at our own dinner-table at Outland!  I
like the idea of their being out of scale.  I've never given her
any jewels.  I've waited all this time to give her these.  To me,
her name spells emeralds."

Mrs. St. Peter smiled, easily persuaded.  "You'll never be able to
keep them.  You'll show them to her."

"Oh, no, I won't!  They are to stay at the jeweller's, in Chicago,
until we all go down for the birthday party.  That's another secret
we have to keep.  We have such lots of them!"  He bent over her
hand and kissed it with warmth.

St. Peter swung in over the window rail.  "That is always the cue
for the husband to enter, isn't it?  What's this about Chicago,

He sat down, and Marsellus brought him some tea, lingering beside
his chair.  "It must be a secret from Rosie, but you see it happens
that the date of your lecture engagement at the University of
Chicago is coincident with her birthday, so I have planned that we
shall all go down together.  And among other diversions, we shall
attend your lectures."

The Professor's eyebrows rose.  "Bus-man's holiday for the ladies,
I should say."

"But not for me.  Remember, I wasn't in your classes, like Scott
and Outland.  I'd give a good deal if I'd had the chance!" Louie
said somewhat plaintively.  "So you must make it up to me."

"Come if you wish.  Lectures seem to me a rather grim treat,

"Not to me.  With a wink of encouragement I'll go on to Boston with
you next winter, when you give the Lowell lectures."

"Would you, really?  Next year's a long way off.  Now I must get
clean.  I've been working in my other-house garden, and I'm
scarcely fit to have tea with a beautiful lady and a smartly
dressed gentleman.  What am I to do about that garden in the end,
Lillian?  Destroy it?  Or leave it to the mercy of the next

As he went upstairs he turned at the bend of the staircase and
looked back at them, again bending over their little box.  Mrs. St.
Peter was wearing the white silk crepe that had been the most
successful of her summer dresses, and an orchid velvet ribbon about
her shining hair.  She wouldn't have made herself look quite so
well if Louie hadn't been coming, he reflected.  Or was it that he
wouldn't have noticed it if Louie hadn't been there?  A man long
accustomed to admire his wife in general, seldom pauses to admire
her in a particular gown or attitude, unless his attention is
directed to her by the appreciative gaze of another man.

Lillian's coquetry with her sons-in-law amused him.  He hadn't
foreseen it, and he found it rather the most piquant and
interesting thing about having married daughters.  It had begun
with Scott--the younger sister was married before the elder.  St.
Peter had thought that Scott McGregor was the sort of fellow
Lillian always found tiresome.  But no; within a few weeks after
Kathleen's marriage, arch and confidential relations began to be
evident between them.  Even now, when Louie was so much in the
foreground, and Scott was touchy and jealous, Lillian was very
tactful and patient with him.

With Louie, Lillian seemed to be launching into a new career, and
Godfrey began to think that he understood his own wife very little.
He would have said that she would feel about Louie just as he did;
would have cultivated him as a stranger in the town, because he was
so unusual and exotic, but without in the least wishing to adopt
anyone so foreign into the family circle.  She had always been
fastidious to an unreasonable degree about small niceties of
deportment.  She could never forgive poor Tom Outland for the angle
at which he sometimes held a cigar in his mouth, or for the fact
that he never learned to eat salad with ease.  At the dinner-table,
if Tom, forgetting himself in talk, sometimes dropped back into
railroad lunch-counter ways and pushed his plate away from him when
he had finished a course, Lillian's face would become positively
cruel in its contempt.  Irregularities of that sort put her all on
edge.  But Louie could hurry audibly through his soup, or kiss her
resoundingly on the cheek at a faculty reception, and she seemed to
like it.

Yes, with her sons-in-law she had begun the game of being a woman
all over again.  She dressed for them, planned for them, schemed in
their interests.  She had begun to entertain more than for years
past--the new house made a plausible pretext--and to use her
influence and charm in the little anxious social world of Hamilton.
She was intensely interested in the success and happiness of these
two young men, lived in their careers as she had once done in his.
It was splendid, St. Peter told himself.  She wasn't going to have
to face a stretch of boredom between being a young woman and being
a young grandmother.  She was less intelligent and more sensible
than he had thought her.

When Godfrey came down stairs ready for dinner, Louie was gone.  He
walked up to the chair where his wife was reading, and took her

"My dear," he said quite delicately, "I wish you could keep Louie
from letting his name go up for the Arts and Letters.  It's not
safe yet.  He's not been here long enough.  They're a fussy little
bunch, and he ought to wait until they know him better."

"You mean someone will blackball him?  Do you really think so?  But
the Country Club--"

"Yes, Lillian; the Country Club is a big affair, and needs money.
The Arts and Letters is a little group of fellows, and, as I said,

"Scott belongs," said Mrs. St. Peter rebelliously.  "Did he tell

"No, he didn't, and I shall not tell you who did.  But if you're
tactful, you can save Louie's feelings."

Mrs. St. Peter closed her book without glancing down at it.  A new
interest shone in her eyes and made them look quite through and
beyond her husband.  "I must see what I can do with Scott," she

St. Peter turned away to hide a smile.  An old student of his, a
friend who belonged to "the Outland period," had told him
laughingly that he was sure Scott would blackball Marsellus if his
name ever came to the vote.  "You know Scott is a kid in some
things," the friend had said.  "He's a little sore at Marsellus,
and says a secret ballot is the only way he can ever get him where
it wouldn't hurt Mrs. St. Peter."

While the Professor was eating his soup, he studied his wife's face
in the candlelight.  It had changed so much since he found her
laughing with Louie, and especially since he had dropped the hint
about the Arts and Letters.  It had become, he thought, too hard
for the orchid velvet in her hair.  Her upper lip had grown longer,
and stiffened as it always did when she encountered opposition.

"Well," he reflected, "it will be interesting to see what she can
do with Scott.  That will make rather a test case."

Chapter 7

Early in November there was a picturesque snow-storm, and that day
Kathleen telephoned her father at the university, asking him to
stop on his way home in the afternoon and help her to decide upon
some new furs.  As he approached McGregor's spick-and-span bungalow
at four o'clock, he saw Louie's Pierce-Arrow standing in front,
with Ned, the chauffeur and gardener, in the driver's seat.  Just
then Rosamond came out of the bungalow alone, and down the path to
the sidewalk, without seeing her father.  He noticed a singularly
haughty expression on her face; her brows drawn together over her
nose.  The curl of her lips was handsome, but terrifying.  He
observed also something he had not seen before--a coat of soft,
purple-grey fur, that quite disguised the wide, slightly stooping
shoulders he regretted in his truly beautiful daughter.  He called
to her, very much interested.  "Wait a minute, Rosie.  I've not
seen that before.  It's extraordinarily becoming."  He stroked his
daughter's sleeve with evident pleasure.  "You know, these things
with a kind of lurking purple and lavender in them are splendid for
you.  They make your colour prettier than ever.  It's only lately
you've begun to wear them.  Louie's taste, I suppose?"

"Of course.  He selects all my things for me," said Rosamond

"Well, he does a good job.  He knows what's right for you."  St.
Peter continued to look her up and down with satisfaction.  "And
Kathleen is getting new furs.  You were advising her?"

"She didn't mention it to me," Rosamond replied in a guarded voice.

"No?  And what do you call this, what beast?" he asked ingenuously,
again stroking the fur with his bare hand.

"It's taupe."

"Oh, moleskin!"  He drew back a little.  "Couldn't be better for
your complexion.  And is it warm?"

"Very warm--and so light."

"I see, I see!"  He took Rosamond's arm and escorted her to her
car.  "Give Louie my compliments on his choice."  The motor glided
away--he wished he could escape as quickly and noiselessly, for he
was a coward.  But he had a feeling that Kathleen was watching him
from behind the sash curtains.  He went up to the door and made a
long and thorough use of the foot-scraper before he tapped on the
glass.  Kathleen let him in.  She was very pale; even her lips,
which were always pink, like the inside of a white shell, were
without colour.  Neither of them mentioned the just-departed guest.

"Have you been out in the park, Kitty?  This is a pretty little
storm.  Perhaps you'll walk over to the old house with me
presently."  He talked soothingly while he took off his coat and
rubbers.  "And now for the furs!"

Kathleen went slowly into her bedroom.  She was gone a great while--
perhaps ten actual minutes.  When she came back, the rims of her
eyes were red.  She carried four large pasteboard boxes, tied
together with twine.  St. Peter sprang up, took the parcel, and
began untying the string.  He opened the first and pulled out a
brown stole.  "What is it, mink?"

"No, it's Hudson Bay sable."

"Very pretty."  He put the collar round her neck and drew back to
look at it.  But after a sharp struggle Kathleen broke down.  She
threw off the fur and buried her face in a fresh handkerchief.

"I'm so sorry, Daddy, but it's no use to-day.  I don't want any
furs, really.  She spoils everything for me."

"Oh, my dear, my dear, you hurt me terribly!"  St. Peter put his
hands tenderly on her soft hazel-coloured hair.  "Face it squarely,
Kitty; you must not, you cannot, be envious.  It's self-

"I can't help it, Father.  I AM envious.  I don't think I would be
if she let me alone, but she comes here with her magnificence and
takes the life out of all our poor little things.  Everybody knows
she's rich, why does she have to keep rubbing it in?"

"But, Kitty dear, you wouldn't have her go home and change her coat
before coming to see you?"

"Oh, it's not that, Father, it's everything!  You know we were
never jealous of each other at home.  I was always proud of her
good looks and good taste.  It's not her clothes, it's a feeling
she has inside her.  When she comes toward me, I feel hate coming
toward me, like a snake's hate!"

St. Peter wiped his moist forehead.  He was suffering with her, as
if she had been in physical anguish.  "We can't, dear, we can't, in
this world, let ourselves think of things--of comparisons--like
that.  We are all too susceptible to ugly suggestions.  If Rosamond
has a grievance, it's because you've been untactful about Louie."

"Even if I have, why should she be so revengeful?  Does she think
nobody else calls him a Jew?  Does she think it's a secret?  I
don't mind being called a Gentile."

"It's all in the way it's done, you know, Kitty.  And you've shown
that you were a little bored with all their new things, now haven't

"I've shown that I don't like the way she overdresses, I suppose.
I would never have believed that Rosie could do anything in such
bad taste.  While she is here among her old friends, she ought to
dress like the rest of us."

"But doesn't she?  It seems to me her things look about like

"Oh, Father, you're so simple!  And Mother is very careful not to
enlighten you.  We go to the Guild to sew for the Mission fund, and
Rosie comes in in a handmade French frock that cost more than all
our dresses put together."

"But if hers are no prettier, what does it matter how much they
cost?"  He was watching Kathleen fearfully.  Her pale skin had
taken on a greenish tinge--there was no doubt about it.  He had
never happened to see that change occur in a face before, and he
had never realized to what an ugly, painful transformation the
common phrase "green with envy" referred.

"Oh, foolish, they are prettier, though you may not see it.  It's
not just the clothes"--she looked at him intently, and her eyes, in
their reddened rims, expanded and cleared.  "It's everything.  When
we were at home, Rosamond was a kind of ideal to me.  What she
thought about anything decided it for me.  But she's entirely
changed.  She's become Louie.  Indeed, she's worse than Louie.  He
and all this money have ruined her.  Oh, Daddy, why didn't you and
Professor Crane get to work and stop all this before it began?  You
were to blame.  You knew that Tom had left something that was worth
a lot, both of you.  Why didn't you DO something?  You let it lie
there in Crane's laboratory for this--this Marsellus to come along
and exploit, until he almost thinks it's his own idea."

"Things might have turned out the same, anyway," her father
protested.  "Whatever the process earned was Rosamond's.  I wasn't
in the mood to struggle with manufacturers, I know nothing of such
things.  And Crane needs every ounce of his strength for his own
experiments.  He doesn't care anything but the extent of space."

"He'd better have taken a few days off and saved his friend's
reputation.  Tom trusted him with everything.  It's too foolish;
that poor man being cut to pieces by surgeons all the time, and
picking up the little that's left of himself and bothering about
the limitations of space--much good they'll do him!"

St. Peter rose, took both of his daughter's hands and stood
laughing at her.  "Come now!  You have more brains than that,
Kitty.  It happens you do understand that whatever poor Crane can
find out about space is more good to him than all the money the
Marselluses will ever have.  But are you implying that if Crane and
I had developed Tom's discovery, we might have kept Rosie and her
money in the family, for ourselves?"

Kathleen threw up her head.  "Oh, I don't want her money!"

"Exactly; nor do I.  And we mustn't behave as if we did want it.
If you permit yourself to be envious of Rosie, you'll be very
foolish, and very unhappy."

The Professor walked away across the snowy park with a tired step.
He was heavy-hearted.  For Kathleen he had a special kind of
affection.  Perhaps it was because he had had to take care of her
for one whole summer when she was little.  Just as Mrs. St. Peter
was ready to start for Colorado with the children, the younger one
developed whooping-cough and had to be left at home with her
father.  He had opportunity to observe all her ways.  She was only
six, but he found her a square-dealing, dependable little creature.
They worked out a satisfactory plan of life together.  She was to
play in the garden all morning, and was not on any account to
disturb him in his study.  After lunch he would take her to the
lake or the woods, or he would read to her at home.  She took pride
in keeping her part of the contract.  One day when he came out of
his study at noon, he found her sitting on the third floor stairs,
just outside his door, with the arnica bottle in one hand and the
fingers of the other puffed up like wee pink sausages.  A bee had
stung her in the garden, and she had waited half the morning for
sympathy.  She was very independent, and would tug at her leggings
or overshoes a great while before she asked for help.

When they were little girls, Kathleen adored her older sister and
liked to wait on her, was always more excited about Rosie's new
dresses and winter coat than about her own.  This attachment had
lasted even after they were grown.  St. Peter had never seen any
change in it until Rosamond announced her engagement to Louie
Marsellus.  Then, all at once, Kathleen seemed to be done with her
sister.  Her father believed she couldn't forgive Rosie's
forgetting Tom so quickly.

It was dark when the Professor got back to the old house and sat
down at his writing-table.  He would have an hour on his notes, he
told himself, in spite of families and fortunes.  And he had it.
But when he looked up from his writing as the Angelus was ringing,
two faces at once rose in the shadows outside the yellow circle of
his lamp: the handsome face of his older daughter, surrounded by
violet-dappled fur, with a cruel upper lip and scornful half-closed
eyes, as she had approached her car that afternoon before she saw
him; and Kathleen, her square little chin set so fiercely, her
white cheeks actually becoming green under her swollen eyes.  He
couldn't believe it.  He rose quickly and went to his one window,
opened it wider, and stood looking at the dark clump of pine-trees
that told where the Physics building stood.  A sharp pain clutched
his heart.  Was it for this the light in Outland's laboratory used
to burn so far into the night!

Chapter 8

The following week St. Peter went to Chicago to give his lectures.
He had engaged rooms for himself and Lillian at a quiet hotel near
the university.  The Marselluses went down by the same train, and
they all alighted at the station together, in a raging snow-storm.
The St. Peters were to have tea with Louie at the Blackstone,
before going to their own quarters.

Tea was served in Louie's suite on the lake front, with a fine view
of the falling snow from the windows.  The Professor was in a
genial mood; he was glad to be in a big city again, in a luxurious
hotel, and especially pleased to be able to sit in comfort and
watch the storm over the water.

"How snug you are here, Louie!  This is really very nice," he said,
turning back from the window when Rosamond called him.

Louie came and put both hands on St. Peter's shoulders, exclaiming
delightedly:  "And do you like these rooms, sir?  Well, I'm glad,
for they're yours!  Rosie and I are farther down the corridor.  Not
a word!  It's all arranged.  You are our guests for this
engagement.  We won't have our great scholar staying off in some
grimy place on the South side.  We want him where we can keep an
eye on him."

Louie was so warm with his plan that the Professor could only
express satisfaction.  "And our luggage?"

"It's on the way.  I cancelled your reservations and did everything
in order.  Now have your tea, but not too much.  You dine early;
you have an engagement for to-night.  You and Dearest are going to
the opera--Oh, not with us!  We have other fish to fry.  You are
going off alone."

"Very well, Louie!  And what are they giving to-night?"

"Mignon.  It will remind you of your student days in Paris."

"It will.  I always had abonnement at the Opera Comique, and Mignon
came round frequently.  It's one of my favourites."

"I thought so!"  Louie kissed both the ladies, to express his
satisfaction.  The Professor had forgotten his scruples about
accepting lavish hospitalities.  He was really very glad to have
windows on the lake, and not to have to go away to another hotel.
After the Marselluses went to their own apartment, he remarked to
his wife, while he unpacked his bag, that it was much more
convenient to be on the same floor with Louie and Rosamond.

"Much better than cabbing across Chicago to meet them all the time,
isn't it?"

At eight o'clock he and his wife were in their places in the
Auditorium.  The overture brought a smile to his lips and a
gracious mood to his heart.  The music seemed extraordinarily fresh
and genuine still.  It might grow old-fashioned, he told himself,
but never old, surely, while there was any youth left in men.  It
was an expression of youth,--that, and no more; with the sweetness
and foolishness, the lingering accent, the heavy stresses--the
delicacy, too--belonging to that time.  After the entrance of the
hero, Lillian leaned toward him and whispered:  "Am I over-
credulous?  He looks to me exactly like the pictures of Goethe in
his youth."

"So he does to me.  He is certainly as tall as Goethe.  I didn't
know tenors were ever so tall.  The Mignon seems young, too."

She was slender, at any rate, and very fragile beside the courtly
Wilhelm.  When she began her immortal song, one felt that she was
right for the part, the pure lyric soprano that suits it best, and
in her voice there was something fresh and delicate, like deep wood
flowers.  "Connais-tu--le pays"--it stirred one like the odours of
early spring, recalled the time of sweet, impersonal emotions.

When the curtain fell on the first act, St. Peter turned to his
wife.  "A fine cast, don't you think?  And the harps are very good.
Except for the wood-winds, I should say it was as good as any
performance I ever heard at the Comique."

"How it does make one think of Paris, and of so many half-forgotten
things!" his wife murmured.  It had been long since he had seen her
face so relaxed and reflective and undetermined.

Through the next act he often glanced at her.  Curious, how a young
mood could return and soften a face.  More than once he saw a
starry moisture shine in her eyes.  If she only knew how much more
lovely she was when she wasn't doing her duty!

"My dear," he sighed when the lights were turned on and they both
looked older, "it's been a mistake, our having a family and writing
histories and getting middle-aged.  We should have been
picturesquely shipwrecked together when we were young."

"How often I've thought that!" she replied with a faint, melancholy

"You?  But you're so occupied with the future, you adapt yourself
so readily," he murmured in astonishment.

"One must go on living, Godfrey.  But it wasn't the children who
came between us."  There was something lonely and forgiving in her
voice, something that spoke of an old wound, healed and hardened
and hopeless.

"You, you too?" he breathed in amazement.

He took up one of her gloves and began drawing it out through his
fingers.  She said nothing, but he saw her lip quiver, and she
turned away and began looking at the house through the glasses.  He
likewise began to examine the audience.  He wished he knew just how
it seemed to her.  He had been mistaken, he felt.  The heart of
another is a dark forest, always, no matter how close it has been
to one's own.  Presently the melting music of the tenor's last aria
brought their eyes together in a smile not altogether sad.

That night, after he was in bed, among unaccustomed surroundings
and a little wakeful, St. Peter still played with his idea of a
picturesque shipwreck, and he cast about for the particular
occasion he would have chosen for such a finale.  Before he went to
sleep he found the very day, but his wife was not in it.  Indeed,
nobody was in it but himself, and a weather-dried little sea
captain from the Hautes-Pyrenees, half a dozen spry seamen, and a
line of gleaming snow peaks, agonizingly high and sharp, along the
southern coast of Spain.

Louie arranged the birthday dinner in the public dining-room of the
hotel, and three of the Professor's colleagues dined with them on
that occasion.  Louie had gone out to the university to hear St.
Peter lecture, had met some of the faculty, and immediately invited
them to dinner.  They accepted--when was a professor known to
refuse a good dinner?  Rosamond was presented with her emeralds,
and, as St. Peter afterward observed to his wife, practically all
the guests in the dining-room were participants in the happy event.
Lillian was doubtless right when she told him that, all the same,
his fellow professors went away from the Blackstone that night
respecting Godfrey St. Peter more than they had ever done before,
and if they had marriageable daughters, they were certainly envying
him his luck.

"That," her husband replied, "is my chief objection to public
magnificence; it seems to show everybody up in the worst possible
light.  I'm not finding fault with anyone but myself, understand.
When I consented to occupy an apartment I couldn't afford, I let
myself in for whatever might follow."

They got back to Hamilton in bitter weather.  The lake winds were
scourging the town, and Scott had laryngitis and was writing prose
poems about the pleasures of tending your own furnace when the
thermometer is twenty below.

"Godfrey," said Mrs. St. Peter when he set off for his class-room
on the morning after their return, "surely you're not going to the
old house this afternoon.  It will be like a refrigerating-plant.
There's no way of heating your study except by that miserable
little stove."

"There never was, my dear.  I got along a good many years."

"It was very different when the house below was heated.  That stove
isn't safe when you keep the window open.  A gust of wind might
blow it out at any moment, and if you were at work you'd never
notice until you were half poisoned by gas.  You'll get a fine
headache one of these days."

"I've got headaches that way before, and survived them," he said

"How can you be so perverse?  You know things are different now,
and you ought to take more care of your health."

"Why so?  It's not worth half so much as it was then."

His wife disregarded this.  "And don't you think it's foolish
extravagance to go on paying the rent of an entire house, in order
to spend a few hours a day in one very uncomfortable room of it?"

The Professor's dark skin reddened, and the ends of his formidable
eyebrows ascended toward his black hair.  "It's almost my only
extravagance," he muttered fiercely.

"How irritable and unreasonable he is becoming!" his wife
reflected, as she heard him putting on his overshoes in the hall.

Chapter 9

For Christmas day the weather turned mild again.  There would be a
family dinner in the evening, but St. Peter was going to have the
whole day to himself, in the old house.  He asked his wife to put
him up some sandwiches, so that he needn't come back for lunch.  He
kept a few bottles of sherry in his study, in the old chest under
the forms.  Fortunately he had brought back a great deal of it from
his last trip to Spain.  It wasn't foresight--Prohibition was then
unthinkable--but a lucky accident.  He had gone with his innkeeper
to an auction, and bought in a dozen dozens of a sherry that went
very cheap.  He came home by the City of Mexico and got the wine
through without duty.

As he was crossing the park with his sandwiches, he met Augusta
coming back from Mass.  "Are you still going to the old house,
Professor?" she asked reproachfully, her face smiling at him
between her stiff black fur collar and her stiff black hat.

"Oh, yes Augusta, but it's not the same.  I miss you.  There are
never any new dresses on my ladies in the evening now.  Won't you
come in sometime and deck them out, as a surprise for me?  I like
to see them looking smart."

Augusta laughed.  "You are a funny man, Doctor St. Peter.  If
anyone else said the things you do to your classes, I'd be
scandalized.  But I always tell people you don't mean half you

"And how do you know what I say to my classes, may I ask?"

"Why, of course, they go out and talk about it when you say
slighting things about the Church," she said gravely.

"But, really, Augusta, I don't think I ever do."

"Well, they take it that way.  They are not as smart as you, and
you ought to be careful."

"It doesn't matter.  What they think to-day, they'll forget to-
morrow."  He was walking beside Augusta, with a slack, indifferent
stride, very unlike the step he had when he was full of something.
"That reminds me: I've been wanting to ask you a question.  That
passage in the service about the Mystical Rose, Lily of Zion, Tower
of Ivory--is that the Magnificat?"

Augusta stopped and looked at him.  "Why, Professor!  Did you
receive NO religious instruction at all?"

"How could I, Augusta?  My mother was a Methodist, there was no
Catholic church in our town in Kansas, and I guess my father forgot
his religion."

"That happens, in mixed marriages."  Augusta spoke meaningly.

"Ah, yes, I suppose so.  But tell me, what is the Magnificat,

"The Magnificat begins, My soul doth magnify the Lord; you must
know that."

"But I thought the Magnificat was about the Virgin?"

"Oh, no, Professor!  The Blessed Virgin composed the Magnificat."

St. Peter became intensely interested.  "Oh, she did?"

Augusta spoke gently, as if she were prompting him and did not wish
to rebuke his ignorance too sharply.  "Why, yes, just as soon as
the angel had announced to her that she would be the mother of our
Lord, the Blessed Virgin composed the Magnificat.  I always think
of you as knowing everything, Doctor St. Peter!"

"And you're always finding out how little I know.  Well, you don't
give me away.  You are very discreet."

Their ways parted, and both went on more cheerful than when they
met.  The Professor climbed to his study feeling quite as though
Augusta had been there and brightened it up for him.  (Surely she
had said that the Blessed Virgin sat down and composed the
Magnificat!)  Augusta had been with them often in the holiday
season, back in the years when holidays were holidays indeed.  He
had grown to like the reminders of herself that she left in his
workroom--especially the toilettes upon the figures.  Sometimes she
made those terrible women entirely plausible!

In the early years, no matter how hard he was working, he had
always felt the sense of holiday, of a special warmth and fragrance
in the air, steal up to his study from the house below.  When he
was writing his best, he was conscious of pretty little girls in
fresh dresses--of flowers and greens in the comfortable, shabby
sitting-room--of his wife's good looks and good taste--even of a
better dinner than usual under preparation downstairs.  All the
while he had been working so fiercely at his eight big volumes, he
was not insensible to the domestic drama that went on beneath him.
His mind had played delightedly with all those incidents.  Just as,
when Queen Mathilde was doing the long tapestry now shown at
Bayeux,--working her chronicle of the deeds of knights and heroes,--
alongside the big pattern of dramatic action she and her women
carried the little playful pattern of birds and beasts that are a
story in themselves; so, to him, the most important chapters of his
history were interwoven with personal memories.

On this Christmas morning, with that sense of the past in his mind,
the Professor went mechanically to work, and the morning
disappeared.  Before he knew it was passing, the bells from
Augusta's church across the park rang out and told him it was gone.
He pushed back his papers and arranged his writing-table for lunch.

He had been working hard, he judged, because he was so hungry.  He
peered with interest into the basket his wife had given him--a
wicker bag, it was, really, that he had once bought full of
strawberries at Gibraltar.  Chicken sandwiches with lettuce leaves,
red California grapes, and two shapely, long-necked russet pears.
That would do very well; and Lillian had thoughtfully put in one of
her best dinner napkins, knowing he hated ugly linen.  From the
chest he took out a round of cheese, and a bottle of his wine, and
began to polish a sherry glass.

While he was enjoying his lunch, he was thinking of certain
holidays he had spent alone in Paris, when he was living at
Versailles, with the Thieraults, as tutor to their boys.  There was
one All Souls' Day when he had gone into Paris by an early train
and had a magnificent breakfast on the Rue de Vaugirard--not at
Foyot's, he hadn't money enough in those days to put his nose
inside the place.  After breakfast he went out to walk in the soft
rainfall.  The sky was of such an intense silvery grey that all the
grey stone buildings along the Rue St. Jacques and the Rue Sufflot
came out in that silver shine stronger than in sunlight.  The shop
windows were shut; on the bleak ascent to the Pantheon there was
not a spot of colour, nothing but wet, shiny, quick-silvery grey,
accented by black crevices, and weatherworn bosses white as wood-
ash.  All at once, from somewhere behind the Pantheon itself, a man
and woman, pushing a hand-cart, came into the empty street.  The
cart was full of pink dahlias, all exactly the same colour.  The
young man was fair and slight, with a pale face; the woman carried
a baby.  Both they and the heels of their barrow were splashed with
mud.  They must have come from a good way in the country, and were
a weary, anxious-looking pair.  They stopped at a corner before the
Pantheon and fearfully scanned the bleak, silvery, deserted
streets.  The man went into a bakery, and his wife began to spread
out the flowers, which were done up in large bouquets with fresh
green chestnut-leaves.  Young St. Peter approached and asked the

"Deux francs cinquante," Monsieur, she said with a kind of
desperate courage.

He took a bunch and handed her a five-franc note.  She had no
change.  Her husband, watching from the bakery, came running across
with a loaf of bread under his arm.

"Deux francs cinquante," she called to him as he came up.  He put
his hand into his pocket and fumbled.

"Deux francs cinquante," she repeated with painful tension.  The
price agreed upon had probably been a franc or a franc fifty.  The
man counted out the change to the student and looked at his wife
with admiration.  St. Peter was so pleased with his flowers that it
hadn't occurred to him to get more; but all his life he had
regretted that he didn't buy two bunches, and push their fortunes a
little further.  He had never again found dahlias of such a
beautiful colour, or so charmingly arranged with bright chestnut-

A moment later he was strolling down the hill, wondering to whom he
could give his bouquet, when a pathetic procession filed past him
through the rain.  The girls of a charity school came walking two
and two, in hideous dark uniforms and round felt hats without
ribbon or bow, marshalled by four black-bonneted nuns.  They were
all looking down, all but one--the pretty one, naturally--and she
was looking sidewise, directly at the student and his flowers.
Their eyes met, she smiled, and just as he put out his hand with
the bouquet, one of the sisters flapped up like a black crow and
shut the girl's pretty face from him.  She would have to pay for
that smile, he was afraid.  Godfrey spent his day in the Luxembourg
Gardens and walked back to the Gare St. Lazare at evening with
nothing but his return ticket in his pocket, very glad to get home
to Versailles in time for the family dinner.

When he first went to live with the Thieraults, he had found Madame
Thierault severe and exacting, stingy about his laundry and
grudging about the cheese and fruit he ate for dinner.  But in the
end she was very kind to him; she never pampered him, but he could
depend upon her.  Her three sons had always been his dearest
friends.  Gaston, the one he loved best, was dead--killed in the
Boxer uprising in China.  But Pierre still lived at Versailles, and
Charles had a business in Marseilles.  When he was in France their
homes were his.  They were much closer to him than his own
brothers.  It was one summer when he was in France, with Lillian
and the two little girls, that the idea of writing a work upon the
early Spanish explorers first occurred to him, and he had turned at
once to the Thieraults.  After giving his wife enough money to
finish the summer and get home, he took the little that was left
and went down to Marseilles to talk over his project with Charles
Thierault fils, whose mercantile house did a business with Spain in
cork.  Clearly St. Peter would have to be in Spain as much as
possible for the next few years, and he would have to live there
very cheaply.  The Thieraults were always glad of a chance to help
him.  Not with money,--they were too French and too logical for
that.  But they would go to any amount of trouble and no
inconsiderable expense to save him a few thousand francs.

That summer Charles kept him for three weeks in his oleander-buried
house in the Prado, until his little brig, L'Espoir, sailed out of
the new port with a cargo for Algeciras.  The captain was from the
Hautes-Pyrenees, and his spare crew were all Provencals, seamen
trained in that hard school of the Gulf of Lyons.  On the voyage
everything seemed to feed the plan of the work that was forming in
St. Peter's mind; the skipper, the old Catalan second mate, the sea
itself.  One day stood out above the others.  All day long they
were skirting the south coast of Spain; from the rose of dawn to
the gold of sunset the ranges of the Sierra Nevadas towered on
their right, snow peak after snow peak, high beyond the flight of
fancy, gleaming like crystal and topaz.  St. Peter lay looking up
at them from a little boat riding low in the purple water, and the
design of his book unfolded in the air above him, just as
definitely as the mountain ranges themselves.  And the design was
sound.  He had accepted it as inevitable, had never meddled with
it, and it had seen him through.

It was late on Christmas afternoon when the Professor got back to
the new house, but he was in such a happy frame of mind that he
feared nothing, not even a family dinner.  He quite looked forward
to it, on the contrary.  His wife heard him humming his favorite
air from Matrimonio Segreto while he was dressing.

That evening the two daughters of the house arrived almost at the
same moment.  When Rosamond threw off her cloak in the hall, her
father noticed that she was wearing her new necklace.  Kathleen
stood looking at it, and was evidently trying to find courage to
say something about it, when Louie helped her by breaking in.

"And, Kitty, you haven't seen our jewels!  What do you think?  Just
look at it."

"I was looking.  It's too lovely!"

"It's very old, you see, the gold.  What a work I had finding it!
She doesn't like anything showy, you know, and she doesn't care
about intrinsic values.  It must be beautiful, first of all."

"Well, it is that, surely."

Louie walked up and down, admiring his wife.  "She carries off
things like that, doesn't she?  And yet, you know, I like her in
simple things, too."  He dropped into reflection, just as if her
were alone and talking to himself.  "I always remember a little
bracelet she wore the night I first met her.  A turquoise set in
silver, wasn't it?  Yes, a turquoise set in dull silver.  Have you
it yet, Rosie?"

"I think so."  There was a shade of displeasure in Rosamond's
voice, and she turned back into the hall to look for something.
"Where are the violets you brought for Mamma?"

Mrs. St. Peter came in, followed by the maid and the cocktails.
Scott began the usual Prohibition lament.

"Why don't you journalists tell the truth about it in print?" Louie
asked him.  "It's a case where you could do something."

"And lose my job?  Not much!  This country's split in two,
socially, and I don't know if it's ever coming together.  It's not
so hard on me, I can drink hard liquor.  But you and the Professor
like wine and fancy stuff."

"Oh, it's nothing to us!  We're going to France for the summer,"
Louie put his arm round his wife and rubbed his cheek against hers,
saying caressingly, "and drink Burgundy, Burgundy, Burgundy!"

"Please take me with you, Louie," Mrs. St. Peter pleaded, to
distract him from his wife.  Nothing made the McGregors so
uncomfortable and so wrathful as the tender moments which sometimes
overtook the Marselluses in public.

"We are going to take you, and Papa too.  That's our plan.  I take
him for safety.  If I travelled on the Continent alone with two
such handsome women, it wouldn't be tolerated.  There would be a
trumped-up quarrel, and a stiletto, and then somebody would be a
widow," turning again to his wife.

"Come here, Louie."  Mrs. St. Peter beckoned him.  "I have a
confession to make.  I'm afraid there's no dinner for you tonight."

"No dinner for me?"

"No.  There's nothing either you or Godfrey will like.  It's
Scott's dinner to-night.  Your tastes are so different, I can't
compromise.  And this is his, from the cream soup to the frozen

"But who said I didn't like cream soup and frozen pudding?"  Louie
held out his hands to show their guiltlessness.  "And are there
haricots verts in the cream sauce?  I thought so!  And I like
those, too.  The truth is, Dearest," he stood before her and tapped
her chin with his finger, "the truth is that I like all Scott's
dinners, it's he who doesn't like mine!  He's the intolerant one."

"True for you, Louie," laughed the Professor.

"And it's that way about lots of things," said Louie a little

"Kitty," said Scott as they were driving home that night, Kathleen
in the drivers seat beside him, "that silver bracelet Louie spoke
of was one of Tom's trinkets, wasn't it?  Do you suppose she has
some feeling for him still, under all this pompuosity?"

"I don't know, and I don't care.  But, oh, Scott, I do love you
very much!" she cried vehemently.

He pinched off his driving-glove between his knees and snuggled his
hand over hers, inside her muff.  "Sure?" he muttered.

"Yes, I DO!" she said fiercely, squeezing his knuckles together
with all her might.

"Awful nice of you to have told me all about it at the start,
Kitty.  Most girls wouldn't have thought it necessary.  I'm the
only one who knows, ain't I?"

"The only one who ever has known."

"And I'm just the one another girl wouldn't have told.  Why did
you, Kit?"

"I don't know.  I suppose even then I must have had a feeling that
you were the real one."  Her head dropped on his shoulder.  "You
know you ARE the real one, don't you?"

"I guess!"

Chapter 10

That winter there was a meeting of an Association of Electrical
Engineers in Hamilton.  Louie Marsellus, who was a member, gave a
luncheon for the visiting engineers at the Country Club, and then
motored them to Outland.  Scott McGregor was at the lunch, with the
other newspaper men.  On his return he stopped at the university
and picked up his father-in-law.

"I'll run you over home.  Which house, the old?  How did you get
out of Louie's party?"

"I had classes."

"It was some lunch!  Louie's a good host.  First-rate cigars, and
plenty of them," Scott tapped his breast pocket.  "We had poor Tom
served up again.  It was all right, of course--the scientific men
were interested, didn't know much about him.  Louie called on me
for personal recollections; he was very polite about it.  I didn't
express myself very well.  I'm not much of a speaker, anyhow, and
this time I seemed to be talking uphill.  You know, Tom isn't very
real to me any more.  Sometimes I think he was just a--a glittering
idea.  Here we are, Doctor."

Scott's remark rather troubled the Professor.  He went up the two
flights of stairs and sat down in his shadowy crypt at the top of
the house.  With his right elbow on the table, his eyes on the
floor, he began recalling as clearly and definitely as he could
every incident of that bright, windy spring day when he first saw
Tom Outland.

He was working in his garden one Saturday morning, when a young man
in a heavy winter suit and a Stetson hat, carrying a grey canvas
telescope, came in at the green door that led from the street.

"Are you Professor St. Peter?" he inquired.

Upon being assured, he set down his bag on the gravel, took out a
blue cotton handkerchief, and wiped his face, which was covered
with beads of moisture.  The first thing the Professor noticed
about the visitor was his manly, mature voice--low, calm,
experienced, very different from the thin ring or the hoarse shouts
of boyish voices about the campus.  The next thing he observed was
the strong line of contrast below the young man's sandy hair--the
very fair forehead which had been protected by his hat, and the
reddish brown of his face, which had evidently been exposed to a
stronger sun than the spring sun of Hamilton.  The boy was fine-
looking, he saw--tall and presumably well built, though the
shoulders of his stiff, heavy coat were so preposterously padded
that the upper part of him seemed shut up in a case.

"I want to go to school here, Professor St. Peter, and I've come to
ask you advice.  I don't know anybody in the town."

"You want to enter the university, I take it?  What high school are
you from?"

"I've never been to high school, sir.  That's the trouble."

"Why, yes.  I hardly see how you can enter the university.  Where
are you from?"

"New Mexico.  I haven't been to school, but I've studied.  I read
Latin with a priest down there."

St. Peter smiled incredulously.  "How much Latin?"

"I read Caesar and Virgil, the AEneid."

"How many books?"

"We went right through."  He met the Professor's questions
squarely, his eyes were resolute, like his voice.

"Oh, you did."  St. Peter stood his spade against the wall.  He had
been digging around his red-fruited thorn-trees.  "Can you repeat
any of it?"

The boy began:  Infandum, regina, jubes renovare dolorem and
steadily continued for fifty lines or more, until St. Peter held up
a checking hand.

"Excellent.  Your priest was a thorough Latinist.  You have a good
pronunciation and good intonation.  Was the Father by any chance a

"Yes, sir.  He was a missionary priest, from Belgium."

"Did you learn any French from him?"

"No, sir.  He wanted to practise his Spanish."

"You speak Spanish?"

"Not very well, Mexican Spanish."

The Professor tried him out in Spanish and told him he thought he
knew enough to get credit for a modern language.  "And what are
your deficiencies?"

"I've never had any mathematics or science, and I write very bad

"That's not unusual," St. Peter told him.  "But, by the way, how
did you happen to come to me instead of the registrar?"

"I just got in this morning, and your name was the only one here I
knew.  I read an article by you in a magazine, about Fray Marcos.
Father Duchene said it was the only thing with any truth in it he'd
read about our country down there."

The Professor had noticed before that whenever he wrote for popular
periodicals it got him into trouble.  "Well, what are your plans,
young man?  And, by the way, what is your name?"

"Tom Outland."

The Professor repeated it.  It seemed to suit the boy exactly.

"How old are you?"

"I'm twenty."  He blushed, and St. Peter supposed he was dropping
off a few years, but he found afterward that the boy didn't know
exactly how old he was.  "I thought I might get a tutor and make up
my mathematics this summer."

"Yes, that could be managed.  How are you fixed for money?"

Outland's face grew grave.  "I'm rather awkwardly fixed.  If you
were to write to Tarpin, New Mexico, to inquire about me, you'd
find I have money in the bank there, and you'd think I had been
deceiving you.  But it's money I can't touch while I'm able-bodied.
It's in trust for someone else.  But I've got three hundred dollars
without any string on it, and I'm hoping to get work here.  I've
been bossing a section gang all winter, and I'm in good condition.
I'll do anything but wait table.  I won't do that."  On this point
he seemed to feel strongly.

The Professor learned some of his story that morning.  His parents,
he said, were "mover people," and both died when they were crossing
southern Kansas in a prairie schooner.  He was a baby and had been
informally adopted by some kind people who took care of his mother
in her last hours,--a locomotive engineer named O'Brien, and his
wife.  This engineer was transferred to New Mexico and took the
foundling boy along with his own children.  As soon as Tom was old
enough to work, he got a job as call boy and did his share toward
supporting the family.

"What's a call boy, a messenger boy?"

"No, sir.  It's a more responsible position.  Our town was an
important freight division on the Santa Fe, and a lot of train men
live there.  The freight schedule is always changing because it's a
single track road and the dispatcher has to get the freights
through when he can.  Suppose you're a brakeman, and your train is
due out at two A.M.; well, like as not, it will be changed to
midnight, or to four in the morning.  You go to bed as if you were
going to sleep all night, with nothing on your mind.  The call boy
watches the schedule board, and half an hour before your train goes
out, he comes and taps on your window and gets you up in time to
make it.  The call boy has to be on to things in the town.  He must
know when there's a poker game on, and how to slip in easy.  You
can't tell when there's a spotter about, and if a man's reported
for gambling, he's fired.  Sometimes you have to get a man when he
isn't where he ought to be.  I found there was usually a reason at
home for that."  The boy spoke with gravity, as if he had reflected
deeply upon irregular behaviour.

Just then Mrs. St. Peter came out into the garden and asked her
husband if he wouldn't bring his young friend in to lunch.  Outland
started and looked with panic toward the door by which he had come
in; but the Professor wouldn't hear of his going, and picked up his
telescope to prevent his escape.  As he carried it into the house
and put it down in the hall, he noticed that it was strangely light
for its bulk.  Mrs. St. Peter introduced the guest to her two
little girls, and asked him if he didn't want to go upstairs to
wash his hands.  He disappeared; as he came back something
disconcerting happened.  The front hall and the front staircase
were the only hard wood in the house, but as Tom came down the
waxed steps, his heavy new shoes shot out from under him, and he
sat down on the end of his spine with a thump.  Little Kathleen
burst into a giggle, and her elder sister looked at her
reprovingly; Mrs. St. Peter apologized for the stairs.

"I'm not much used to stairs, living mostly in 'dobe houses," Tom
explained, as he picked himself up.

At luncheon the boy was very silent at first.  He sat looking
admiringly at Mrs. St. Peter and the little girls.  The day had
grown warm, and the Professor thought this was the hottest boy he
had ever seen.  His stiff white collar began to melt, and his
handkerchief, as he kept wiping his face with it, became a rag.
"I didn't know it would be so warm up here, or I'd have picked a
lighter suit," he said, embarrassed by the activity of his skin.

"We would like to hear more about your life in the Southwest," said
his host.  "How long were you a call boy?"

"Two years.  Then I had pneumonia, and the doctor said I ought to
go on the range, so I went to work for a big cattle firm."

Mrs. St. Peter began to question him about the Indian pueblos.  He
was reticent at first, but he presently warmed up in defence of
Indian housewifery.  He forgot his shyness so far, indeed, that
having made a neat heap of mashed potato beside his chop, he
conveyed it to his mouth on the blade of his knife, at which sight
the little girls were not able to conceal their astonishment.  Mrs.
St. Peter went on quietly talking about Indian pottery and asking
him where they made the best.

"I think the very best is the old,--the cliff-dweller pottery," he
said.  "Do you take an interest in pottery, Ma'am?  Maybe you'd
like to see some I have brought along."  As they rose from the
table he went to his telescope underneath the hat-rack, knelt
beside it, and undid the straps.  When he lifted the cover, it
seemed full of bulky objects wrapped in newspapers.  After feeling
among them, he unwrapped one and displayed an earthen water jar,
shaped like those common in Greek sculpture, and ornamented with a
geometrical pattern in black and white.

"That's one of the real old ones.  I know, for I got it out myself.
I don't know just how old, but there's pinon trees three hundred
years old by their rings, growing up in the stone trail that leads
to the ruins where I got it."

"Stone trail . . . pinons?" she asked.

"Yes, deep, narrow trails in white rock, worn by their moccasin
feet coming and going for generations.  And these old pinon trees
have come up in the trails since the race died off.  You can tell
something about how long ago it was by them."  He showed her a
coating of black on the under side of the jar.

"That's not from the firing.  See, I can scratch it off.  It's
soot, from when it was on the cook-fire last--and that was before
Columbus landed, I guess.  Nothing makes those people seem so real
to me as their old pots, with the fire-black on them."  As she gave
it back to him, he shook his head.  "That one's for you, Ma'am, if
you like it."

"Oh, I couldn't think of letting you give it to me!  You must keep
it for yourself, or put it in a museum."  But that seemed to touch
a sore spot.

"Museums," he said bitterly, "they don't care about our things.
They want something that came from Crete or Egypt.  I'd break my
jars sooner than they should get them.  But I'd like this one to
have a good home, among your nice things"--he looked about
appreciatively.  "I've no place to keep them.  They're in my way,
especially that big one.  My trunk is at the station, but I was
afraid to leave the pottery.  You don't get them out whole like
that very often."

"But get them out of what, from where?  I want to know all about

"Maybe some day, Ma'am, I can tell you," he said, wiping his sooty
fingers on his handkerchief.  His reply was courteous but final.
He strapped his bag and picked up his hat, then hesitated and
smiled.  Taking a buckskin bag from his pocket, he walked over to
the window-seat where the children were, and held out his hand to
them, saying:  "These I would like to give to the little girls."
In his palm lay two lumps of soft blue stone, the colour of robins'
eggs, or of the sea on halcyon days of summer.

The children marvelled.  "Oh, what are they?"

"Turquoises, just the way they come out of the mine, before the
jewellers have tampered with them and made them look green.  The
Indians like them this way."

Again Mrs. St. Peter demurred.  She told him very kindly that she
couldn't let him give his stones to the children.  "They are worth
a lot of money."

"I'd never sell them.  They were given to me by a friend.  I have a
lot, and they're no use to me, but they'll make pretty playthings
for little girls."  His voice was so wistful and winning that there
was nothing to do.

"Hold them still a moment," said the Professor, looking down, not
at the turquoises, but at the hand that held them: the muscular,
many-lined palm, the long, strong fingers with soft ends, the
straight little finger, the flexible, beautifully shaped thumb that
curved back from the rest of the hand as if it were its own master.
What a hand!  He could see it yet, with the blue stones lying in

In a moment the stranger was gone, and the St. Peter family sat
down and looked at one another.  He remembered just what his wife
had said on that occasion.

"Well, this is something new in students, Godfrey.  We ask a poor
perspiring tramp boy to lunch, to save his pennies, and he departs
leaving princely gifts."

Yes, the Professor reflected, after all these years, that was still
true.  Fellows like Outland don't carry much luggage, yet one of
the things you know them by is their sumptuous generosity--and when
they are gone, all you can say of them is that they departed
leaving princely gifts.

With a good tutor, young Outland had no difficulty in making up
three years' mathematics in four months.  Latin, he owned, had been
hard for him.  But in mathematics, he didn't have to work, he had
merely to give his attention.  His tutor had never known anything
like it.  But St. Peter held the boy at arm's length.  As a young
teacher full of zeal, he had been fooled more than once.  He knew
that the wonderful seldom holds water, that brilliancy has no
staying power, and the unusual becomes commonplace by a natural

In those first months Mrs. St. Peter saw more of their protege than
her husband did.  She found him a good boarding-place, took care
that he had proper summer clothes and that he no longer addressed
her as "Ma'am."  He came often to the house that summer, to play
with the little girls.  He would spend hours with them in the
garden, making Hopi villages with sand and pebbles, drawing maps of
the Painted Desert and the Rio Grande country in the gravel,
telling them stories, when there was no one by to listen, about the
adventures he had had with his friend Roddy.

"Mother," Kathleen broke out one evening at dinner, "what do you
think!  Tom hasn't any birthday."

"How is that?"

"When his mother died in the mover wagon, and Tom was a baby, she
forgot to tell the O'Briens when his birthday was.  She even forgot
to tell them how old he was.  They thought he must be a year and a
half, because he was so big, but Mrs. O'Brien always said he didn't
have enough teeth for that."

St. Peter asked her whether Tom had ever said how it happened that
his mother died in a wagon.

"Well, you see, she was very sick, and they were going West for her
health.  And one day, when they were camped beside a river, Tom's
father went in to swim, and had a cramp or something, and was
drowned.  Tom's mother saw it, and it made her worse.  She was
there all alone, till some people found her and drove her on to the
next town to a doctor.  But when they got her there, she was too
sick to leave the wagon.  They drove her into the O'Briens' yard,
because that was nearest the doctor's and Mrs. O'Brien was a kind
woman.  And she died in a few hours."

"Does Tom know anything about his father?"

"Nothing except that he was a school-teacher in Missouri.  His
mother told the O'Briens that much.  But the O'Briens were just
lovely to him."

St. Peter had noticed that in the stories Tom told the children
there were no shadows.  Kathleen and Rosamond regarded his free-
lance childhood as a gay adventure they would gladly have shared.
They loved to play at being Tom and Roddy.  Roddy was the
remarkable friend, ten years older than Tom, who knew everything
about snakes and panthers and deserts and Indians.  "And he gave up
a fine job firing on the Santa Fe, and went off with Tom to ride
after cattle for hardly any wages, just to be with Tom and take
care of him after he'd had pneumonia," Kathleen told them.

"That wasn't the only reason," Rosamond added dreamily.  "Roddy was
proud.  He didn't like taking orders and living on pay cheques.  He
liked to be free, and to sit in his saddle all day and use it for a
pillow at night.  You know Tom said that, Kitty."

"Anyhow, he was noble.  He was always noble, noble Roddy!"
Kathleen finished it off.

After the first day, when he had walked into the garden and
introduced himself, Tom never took up the story of his own life
again, either with the Professor or Mrs. St. Peter, though he was
often encouraged to do so.  He would talk about the New Mexico
country when questioned, about Father Duchene, the missionary
priest who had been his teacher, about the Indians; but only with
the two little girls did he ever speak freely and confidentially
about himself.  St. Peter used to wonder how the boy could afford
to spend so much time with the children.  All through that summer
and fall he used to come in the afternoon and join them in the
garden.  In the winter he dropped in two or three evenings a week
to play Five Hundred or to take a dancing-lesson.

There was evidently something enchanting about the atmosphere of
the house to a boy who had always lived a rough life.  He enjoyed
the prettiness and freshness and gaiety of the little girls as if
they were flowers.  Probably, too, he liked being so attractive to
them.  A flush of pleasure would come over Tom's face--so much
fairer now than when he first arrived in Hamilton--if Kathleen
caught his hand and tried to squeeze it hard enough to hurt,
crying:  "Oh, Tom, TELL us about the time you and Roddy found the
water hole dry, and then afterward tell us about when the
rattlesnake bit Henry!"  He would whisper:  "Pretty soon," and
after a while, through the open windows, the Professor would hear
them in the garden: the laughter and exclamations of the little
girls, and that singularly individual voice of Tom's--mature,
confident, seldom varying in pitch, but full of slight, very moving

He couldn't have wished for a better companion for his daughters,
and they were teaching Tom things that he needed more than

Sitting thus in his study, long afterward, St. Peter reflected that
those first years, before Outland had done anything remarkable,
were really the best of all.  He liked to remember the charming
groups of three he was always coming upon,--in the hammock swung
between the linden-trees, in the window-seat, or before the dining-
room fire.  Oh, there had been fine times in this old house then:
family festivals and hospitalities, little girls dancing in and
out, Augusta coming and going, gay dresses hanging in his study at
night, Christmas shopping and secrets and smothered laughter on the
stairs.  When a man had lovely children in his house, fragrant and
happy, full of pretty fancies and generous impulses, why couldn't
he keep them?  Was there no way but Medea's, he wondered?

Chapter 11

St. Peter had come in late from an afternoon lecture, and had just
lighted his kerosene lamp to go to work, when he heard a light foot
ascending the stairs.  In a moment Kathleen's voice called:  "May I
interrupt for a moment, Papa?"

He opened the door and drew her in.

"Kitty, do you remember the time you sat out there with your bee-
sting and your bottle?  Nobody ever showed me more consideration
than that, not even your mother."

Kathleen threw her hat and jacket into the sewing-chair and walked
about, touching things to see how dusty they were.  "I've been
wondering if you didn't need me to come in and clean house for you,
but it's not so bad as they report it.  This is the first time I've
called on you since you've been here alone.  I've turned in from
the walk more than once, but I've always run away again."  She
paused to warm her hands at the little stove.  "I'm silly, you
know; such queer things make me blue.  And you still have Augusta's
old forms.  I don't think anything ever happened to her that amused
her so much.  And now, you know, she's quite sentimental about
their being here.  It's about Augusta that I came, Papa.  Did you
know that she had lost some of her savings in the Kinkoo Copper

"Augusta?  Are you sure?  What a shame!"

"Yes.  She was sewing for me last week.  I noticed that she seemed
depressed and hadn't much appetite for lunch--which, you know, is
unusual for Augusta.  She was ashamed to tell any of us about it,
because it seems she'd asked Louie's advice, and he told her not to
invest in that company.  But a lot of the people in her church were
putting money into it, and of course that made it seem all right to
her.  She lost five hundred dollars, a fortune for her, and Scott
says she'll never get a cent of it back."

"Five hundred dollars," murmured St. Peter.  "Let me see, at three
dollars a day that means one hundred and sixty-six days.  Now what
can we do about it?"

"Of course we must do something.  I knew you'd feel that way,

"Certainly.  Among us, we must cover it.  I'll speak to Rosamond

"You needn't, dear."  Kathleen tossed her head.  "I have been to
her.  She refuses."

"Refuses?  She can't refuse, my dear.  I'll have a word to say."
The firmness of his tone, and the quick rush of claret colour under
his skin, were a gratification to his daughter.

"She says that Louie took the trouble to speak to his banker and to
several copper men before he advised Augusta; and that if she
doesn't learn her lesson this time, she will do the same thing over
again.  Rosamond said they would do something for Augusta later,
but she didn't say what."

"Leave Rosamond to me.  I'll convince her."

"Even if you can do anything with her, she's determined to make
Augusta admit her folly, and it can't be done that way.  Augusta is
terribly proud.  When I told her her customers ought to make it up
to her, she was very haughty and said she wasn't that kind of a
sewing-woman; that she gave her ladies good measure for their
money.  Scott thought we could buy stock in some good company and
tell her we had used our influence and got an exchange, but that
she must keep quiet about it.  We could manage some such little
fib, she knows so little about business.  I know I can get the
Dudleys and the Browns to help.  We needn't go to the Marselluses."

"Wait a few days.  It's a disgrace to us as a family not to make it
up ourselves.  On her own account, we oughtn't to let Rosamond out.
She's altogether too blind to responsibilities of that kind.  In a
world full of blunders, why should Augusta have to pay scrupulously
for her mistakes?  It's very petty of Rosie, really!"

Kathleen started to speak, stopped and turned away.  "Scott will
give a hundred dollars," she said a moment later.

"That's very generous of him.  I'll give another, and Rosie shall
make up the rest.  If she doesn't, I'll speak to Louie.  He's an
absolutely generous chap.  I've never known him to refuse to give
either time or money."

Kathleen's eyes suddenly brightened.  "Why, Daddy, you have Tom's
Mexican blanket!  I never knew he gave it to you.  I've often
wondered what became of it."  She picked up from the foot of the
box-couch a purple blanket, faded in streaks to amethyst, with a
pale yellow stripe at either end.

"Oh, yes, I often get chilly when I lie down, especially if I turn
the stove out, which your mother says I ought always to do.
Nothing could part me from that blanket."

"He wouldn't have given it to anybody but you.  It was like his
skin.  Do you remember how horsey it smelled when he first brought
it over and showed it to us?"

"Just like a livery stable!  It had been strapped behind the saddle
on so many sweating cow-ponies.  In damp weather that smell is
still perceptible."

Kathleen stroked it thoughtfully.  "Roddy brought it up from Old
Mexico, you know.  He gave it to Tom that winter he had pneumonia.
Tom ought to have taken it to France with him.  He used to say that
Rodney Blake might turn up in the Foreign Legion.  If he had taken
this, it might have been like the wooden cups that were always
revealing Amis and Amile to each other."

St. Peter smiled and patted her hand on the blanket.  "Do you know,
Kitty, I sometimes think I ought to go out and look for Blake
myself.  He's on my conscience.  If that country down there weren't
so everlastingly big--"

"Oh, Father!  That was my romantic dream when I was little, finding
Roddy!  I used to think about it for hours when I was supposed to
be taking my nap.  I used to swim rivers and climb mountains and
wander about with Navajos, and rescue Roddy at the most critical
moments, when he was being stabbed in the back, or drugged in a
gambling-house, and bring him back to Tom.  You know Tom told us
about him long before he ever told you."

"You children used to live in his stories.  You cared more about
them than about all your adventure books."

"I still do," said Kathleen, rising.  "Now that Rosamond has
Outland, I consider Tom's mesa entirely my own."

St. Peter put down the cigarette he had just lighted with
anticipation.  "Can't you stay awhile, Kitty?  I almost never see
anyone who remembers that side of Tom.  It was nice, all those
years when he was in and out of the house like an older brother.
Always very different from the other college boys, wasn't he?
Always had something in his voice, in his eyes. . . .  One seemed
to catch glimpses of an unusual background behind his shoulders
when he came into the room."

Kathleen smiled wanly.  "Yes, and now he's all turned out chemicals
and dollars and cents, hasn't he?  But not for you and me!  Our Tom
is much nicer than theirs."  She put on her jacket and went out of
the study and quickly down the stairs.  Her father, on the landing,
looked after until she disappeared.  When she was gone he still
stood there, motionless, as if he were listening intently, or
trying to fasten upon some fugitive idea.

Chapter 12

St. Peter was breakfasting at six-thirty, alone, reading last
night's letters while he waited for the coffee to percolate.  It
had been long since he had had an eight o'clock class, but this
year the schedule committee had slyly put him down for one.  "He
can afford to take a taxi over now," the Dean remarked.

After breakfast he went upstairs and into his wife's room.  "I have
a rendezvous with a lady," he said, tossing an envelope upon her
counterpane.  She read a note from Mrs. Crane, the least attractive
of the faculty ladies, requesting an interview with the professor
at his earliest convenience: as she wished to see him quite alone,
might she come to his study in the old house, where she understood
he still worked?

"Poor Godfrey!" murmured his wife.

"One ought not to joke about it--"  St. Peter went into his room to
get a handkerchief and came back, taking up his suspended sentence.
"I'm afraid it means poor Crane is coming up for another operation.
Or, worse still, that the surgeons tell her another would be
useless.  It's like The Pit and the Pendulum.  I feel as if the
poor fellow were strapped down on a revolving disk that comes
around under the knife just so often."

Mrs. St. Peter looked judicially at the letter, then at her
husband's back.  She didn't believe that surgery would be the
subject of discussion when they met.  Mrs. Crane had been behaving
very strangely of late.

Doctor Crane had married a girl whom no other man ever thought of
courting, a girl of whom people always said:  "Oh, she's so GOOD!"
chiefly because she was so homely.  They had three very plain
daughters, and only Crane's salary to live upon.  Doctors and
surgeons kept them poor enough.

St. Peter kissed his wife and went forth quite unconscious of what
was going on in her mind.  During the morning he telephoned Mrs.
Crane, and arranged a meeting with her at five o'clock.  As the
bell in the old house didn't work now, he waited downstairs on the
front porch, to receive his visitor and conduct her up to his
study.  It was raining drearily, and Mrs. Crane arrived in a rubber
coat, and a knitted sport hat belonging to one of her daughters.
St. Peter took her wet umbrella and led her up the two flights of

"I'm not very well appointed to receive ladies, Mrs. Crane.  This
was the sewing-room, you know.  There's Augusta's chair, which she
insisted was comfortable."

"Thank you."  Mrs. Crane sat down, took off her gloves, and tucked
wisps of damp hair up under her crocheted hat.  Her bleak, plain
face wore an expression of grievance.

"I've come without my husband's knowledge, Doctor St. Peter, to ask
you what you think can be done about our rights in the Outland
patent.  You know how my husband's health has crippled us
financially, and we never know when his trouble may come on worse
again.  Myself, I've never doubted that you would see it is only
right to share with us."

St. Peter looked at her in amazement.  "But, my dear Mrs. Crane,
how can I share with you what I haven't got?  Tom willed his estate
and royalties in a perfectly regular way.  The fact that he named
my daughter as his sole beneficiary doesn't affect me, any more
than if he had named some relative of his own.  I tell you frankly,
I have never received one dollar from the Outland patent."

"It's all the same if it goes to your family, Doctor St. Peter.  My
husband must be considered in this matter.  He spent days and
nights working with Outland.  Tom never could have worked his
theory out without Robert's help.  He said so, more than once, in
my presence and in the presence of others."

"Oh, I believe that, Mrs. Crane.  But the difficulty is that Tom
didn't make any recognition of that assistance in his will."

Mrs. Crane had set her head and advanced her long chin with meek
determination.  "Well, this is how it was, Professor.  Mr.
Marsellus came here a stranger, to put in the Edison power plant,
just at the time the city was stirred up about Outland's being
killed at the front.  Everybody was wanting to do something in
recognition of the young man.  You brought Mr. Marsellus to our
house and introduced him.  After that he came alone, again and
again, and he got round my husband.  Robert thought he was
disinterested, and was only taking a scientific interest, and he
told him a great deal about what he and Outland had been working
on.  Then Rosamond's lawyers came for the papers.  Tom Outland had
no laboratory of his own.  He was allowed the use of a room in the
physics building, at my husband's request.  He wanted to be there,
because he constantly needed Robert's help.  The first thing we
knew, your daughter's engagement to Marsellus was announced, and
then we heard that all Outland's papers had been given over to

Here St. Peter anticipated her.  "But, Mrs. Crane, your husband
couldn't, and wouldn't, have kept Tom's papers.  They had to be
given over to his executor, who was my daughter's attorney."

"Well, I could have kept them, if he couldn't!"--Mrs. Crane threw
up her head as if to show that the worm had turned at last--"kept
them until justice was done us, and some recognition had been made
of my husband's part in all that research work.  If he had taken
the papers to court then, with all the evidence we have, we could
easily have got an equity.  But Mr. Marsellus is very smooth.  He
flattered Robert and got everything there was."

"But he didn't get anything from your husband.  Outland's papers
and apparatus were delivered to his executor, as was inevitable."

"That was poor subterfuge," said Mrs. Crane, with deep meaning.
"You know how unworldly Robert is, and as an old friend you might
have warned us."

"Of what, Mrs. Crane?"

"Why, that Marsellus saw there was a fortune in the gas my husband
and his pupil had made, and we could have asked for our equity
before we gave your son-in-law a free hand with everything."

St. Peter felt very unhappy.  He began walking up and down the
little room.  "Heaven knows I'd like to see Crane get something out
of it, but how?  How?  I've thought a great deal about this matter,
and I've blamed Tom for making that kind of will.  I don't think it
occurred to the boy that the will would ever be probated.  He
expected to come back from the war and develop the thing himself.
I doubt whether Robert, with all his superior knowledge, would have
known the twists and turns by which the patent could be
commercialized.  It took a great deal of work and a special kind of
ability to do that."

"A salesman's ability!"  Mrs. Crane was becoming nasty.

"If you like; but certainly Robert would have been no man to
convince manufacturers and machinists, any more than I would.  A
great deal of money was put into it, too, before any came back;
every cent Marsellus had, and all he could borrow.  He took heavy
chances.  Crane and I together could never have raised a hundredth
part of the capital that was necessary to get the thing started.
Without capital to make it go, Tom's idea was merely a formula
written out on paper.  It had lain for two years in your husband's
laboratory, and would have lain there for years more before he or I
would have done anything about it."

Mrs. Crane's dreary face took on more animation than he had
supposed it capable of.  "It had lain there because it belonged
there, and was made there!  My husband was done out of it by an
adventurer, and his friendship for you tied his hands.  I must say
you've shown very little consideration for him.  You might have
warned us never to let those papers go.  You see Robert getting
weaker all the time and having those terrible operations, and our
girls going shabby and teaching in the ward schools, and Rosamond
riding about in a limousine and building country houses,--and you
do nothing about it.  You take your honours--you've deserved them,
we never forget that--and move into your new house, and you don't
remember what it is to be in straitened circumstances."

St. Peter drew his chair nearer to Mrs. Crane, and addressed her
patiently.  "Mrs. Crane, if you had any legal rights in the patent,
I'd defend them against Rosamond as soon as against anyone else.  I
think she ought to recognize Dr. Crane's long friendship and
helpfulness to Tom in some way.  I don't see just how it can be
done, but I feel it should be.  And if you wish I'll tell Rosamond
how I feel.  Why don't you put this matter before her?"

"I don't care to ask anything of Mrs. Marsellus.  I wrote her some
time ago, and she replied to me through her lawyer, saying that all
claims against the Outland patent would be considered in due order.
It's not worthy of a man in Robert's position to accept hush money
from the Marselluses.  We want justice, and my brother is confident
the court will give it to us."

"Well, I suppose Bright knows more about what the courts will do
than I.  But if you've decided to go to law about it, why did you
come to me?"

"There are some things the law don't cover," said Mrs. Crane
mysteriously, as she rose and put on her gloves.  "I wanted you to
know how we feel about it."

St. Peter followed her downstairs and put up her umbrella for her,
and then went back to his study to think it over.  His friendship
with Crane had been a strange one.  Out in the world they would
almost certainly have kept clear of each other; but in the
university they fought together in a common cause.  Both, with all
their might, had resisted the new commercialism, the aim to "show
results" that was undermining and vulgarizing education.  The State
Legislature and the board of regents seemed determined to make a
trade school of the university.  Candidates for the degree of
Bachelor of Arts were allowed credits for commercial studies;
courses in bookkeeping, experimental farming, domestic science,
dress-making, and what not.  Every year the regents tried to
diminish the number of credits required in science and the
humanities.  The liberal appropriations, the promotions and
increases in salary, all went to the professors who worked with the
regents to abolish the purely cultural studies.  Out of a faculty
of sixty, there were perhaps twenty men who made any serious stand
for scholarship, and Robert Crane was one of the staunchest.  He
had lost the Deanship of the College of Science because of his
uncompromising opposition to the degrading influence of politicians
in university affairs.  The honour went, instead, to a much younger
man, head of the department of chemistry, who was willing "to give
the taxpayers what they wanted."

The struggle to preserve the dignity of the university, and their
own, had brought St. Peter and Dr. Crane much together.  They were,
moreover, the only two men on the faculty who were doing research
work of an uncommercial nature, and they occasionally dropped in on
one another to exchange ideas.  But that was as far as it went.
St. Peter couldn't ask Crane to dinner; the presence of a bottle of
claret on the table would have made him uncomfortable.  Dr. Crane
had all the prejudices of the Baptist community in which he grew
up.  He carried them with him when he went to study at a German
university, and brought them back.  But Crane knew that none of his
colleagues followed his work so closely, and rejoiced at his little
triumphs so heartily, as St. Peter.

St. Peter couldn't help admiring the man's courage; poor, ill,
overworked, held by his conscience to a generous discharge of his
duties as a teacher, he was all the while carrying on these tedious
and delicate experiments that had to do with determining the extent
of space.  Fortunately, Crane seemed to have no social needs or
impulses.  He never went anywhere, except, once or twice a year, to
a dinner at the President's house.  Music disturbed him too much,
dancing shocked him--he couldn't see why it was permitted among the
students.  Once, after Mrs. St. Peter had set next to him at the
President's dinner-table, she said to her husband:  "The man is too
dreary!  All evening his heavy underwear kept coming down below his
cuffs, and he kept poking it back with his forefinger.  I believe
he thinks it's wicked to live with even so plain a woman as Mrs.

After Tom Outland graduated from the university, he and Dr. Crane
worked side by side in the Physics building for several years.  The
older man had been of great assistance to the younger, without
doubt.  Though that kind of help, the result of criticism and
suggestion, is not easily reckoned in percentages, still St. Peter
thought Crane ought to get something out of the patent.  He
resolved to see Louie about it.  But first he had better talk with
Crane himself, and try to dissuade him from going to law.  His
brother-in-law, Homer Bright, would be tempted by the publicity
which an action involving the Outland patent would certainly bring
him.  But he would lose the case, and Crane would get nothing.
Whereas Louie, if he were properly approached, would be generous.

St. Peter looked at his watch.  He would go home now, and after
dinner he would walk over to the Physics building, where his
colleague worked every night.  He never went to see Crane at his
house if he could help it.  He lived in the most depressing and
unnecessary ugliness.

Chapter 13

At dinner Lillian asked him no questions about his interview with
Mrs. Crane, and he volunteered no information.  She was not
surprised, however, when he said he would not stop for a cigar, as
he was going over to the Physics laboratory.

He walked through the park, past the old house and across the north
end of the campus, to a building that stood off by itself in a
grove of pine-trees.  It was constructed of red brick, after an
English model.  The architect had had a good idea, and he very
nearly succeeded in making a good thing, something like the old
Smithsonian building in Washington.  But after it was begun, the
State Legislature had defeated him by grinding down the contractor
to cheap execution, and had spoiled everything, outside and in.
Ever since it was finished, plumbers and masons and carpenters had
been kept busy patching and repairing it.  Crane and St. Peter,
both young men then, had wasted weeks of time with the contractors,
and had finally gone before the Legislative committee in person to
plead for the integrity of that building.  But nothing came of all
their pains.  It was one of many lost causes.

St. Peter entered the building and went upstairs to a small room at
the end of a chain of laboratories.  After knocking, he heard the
familiar shuffle of Crane's carpet slippers, and the door opened.

Crane was wearing a grey cotton coat, shrunk to a rag by washing,
though he wasn't working with fluids or batteries tonight, but at a
roll-top desk littered with papers.  The room was like any study
behind a lecture room; dusty books, dusty files, but no apparatus--
except a spirit-lamp and a little saucepan in which the physicist
heated water for his cocoa at regular intervals.  He was working by
the glare of an unshaded electric bulb of high power--the man
seemed to have no feeling for comfort of any kind.  He asked his
visitor to sit down, and to excuse him for a moment while he copied
some entries into a note-book.

St. Peter watched him scribbling with his fountain pen.  The hands
that were so deft in delicate manipulations were white and soft-
looking; the fingers long and loosely hung, stained with chemicals,
and blunted at the tips like a violinist's.  His head was square,
and the lower part of his face was covered by a reddish, matted
beard.  His pale eyes and fawn-coloured eyebrows were outbalanced
by his mouth, his most conspicuous feature.  One always remembered
about Crane that unexpected, startling red mouth in a setting of
kinky beard.  The lips had no modelling, they were as thick at the
corners as in the middle, and he spoke through them rather than
with them.  He seemed painfully conscious of them.

St. Peter saw no use in beating about the bush.  As soon as Crane
put down his pen, he remarked that Mrs. Crane had been to see him
that afternoon.  His colleague flushed, took up a large celluloid
paper-knife, and began shutting and unshutting his hands about the

"I want to know exactly how you feel about this, and what the facts
are," St. Peter began.  "We've never discussed it before, and there
may be things I know nothing about.  Did Tom ever say that he meant
you to have a share in his profits, if there were any?"

"No, not exactly.  Not exactly that."  Dr. Crane moved his
shoulders about in his tight coat and looked embarrassed and
unhappy.  "More than once he said, in a general way, that he hoped
it would go, on my account as well as on his own, and that we would
use the income for further experiments."

"Did he talk much about the possible commercial value of the gas
while he was trying to make it?"

"Not much.  No, very seldom.  Perhaps not more than half a dozen
times in the three years he was working in my laboratory.  But
whenever he did, he spoke as if there would be something in it for
both of us if our gas became remunerative."

"Just how much was it 'our gas,' Crane?"

"Strictly speaking, of course, it wasn't.  The idea was Outland's.
He benefited by my criticism, and I often helped him with his
experiments.  He never acquired a nice laboratory technic.  He
would fail repeatedly in some perfectly sound experiment because of
careless procedure."

"Do you think he would have arrived at his results without your

Dr. Crane was clenching the paper-knife with both hands.  "That I
cannot say.  He was impatient.  He might have got discouraged and
turned to something else.  He would have been much slower in
getting his results, at any rate.  His conception was right, but
very delicate manipulation was necessary, and he was a careless

St. Peter felt that this was becoming nothing less than cross-
examination.  He tried to change the tone of it.

"I want to see you get recognition and compensation for whatever
part you had in his experiments, if there's any way to get it.  But
you've been neglectful, Crane.  You haven't taken the proper steps.
Why in the world didn't you have some understanding with Tom when
he was getting his patent?  You knew all about it."

"It didn't occur to me then.  We'd finished the experiments, and I
put them out of my mind.  I was trying to concentrate on my own
work.  His results weren't as interesting scientifically as I'd
expected them to be."

"While his manuscripts and formulae were lying here those two years,
did you ever make the gas, or give any study to its behaviour?"

"No, of course not.  It's off my own line, and didn't interest me."

"Then it's only since this patent has begun to make money that it
does interest you?"

Dr. Crane twisted his shoulders.  "Yes.  It's the money."

"Heaven knows I'd like to see you get some of it.  But why did you
put it off so long?  Why didn't you make some claim when you
delivered the papers to his executor, since you hadn't done so
before?  Why didn't you bring the matter up to me then, and let me
make a claim against the estate for you?"

Dr. Crane could endure his chair no longer.  He began to walk
softly about in his slippers, looking at nothing, but, as he
talked, picking up objects here and there,--drawing-tools, his
cocoa-cup, a china cream-pitcher, turning them round and carefully
putting them down again, just as he often absently handled pieces
of apparatus when he was lecturing.

"I know," he said, "appearances are against me.  But you must
understand my negligence.  You know how little opportunity a man
has to carry on his own line of investigation here.  You know how
much time I give to any of my students who are doing honest work.
Outland was, of course, the most brilliant pupil I ever had, and I
gave him time and thought without stint.  Gladly, of course.  If he
were reaping the rewards of his discovery himself, I'd have nothing
to say--though I've not the least doubt he would compensate me
liberally.  But it does not seem right that a stranger should
profit, and not those who helped him.  You, of course, do profit--
indirectly, if not directly.  You cannot shut your eyes to the fact
that this money, coming into your family, has strengthened your
credit and your general security.  That's as it should be.  But
your claim was less definite than mine.  I spent time and strength
I could ill afford to spare on the very series of experiments that
led to this result.  Marsellus gets the benefit of my work as well
as Outland's.  I have certainly been ill-used--and, as you say,
it's difficult to get recompense when I ask for it so late.  It's
not to my discredit, certainly, that I didn't take measures to
protect my interests.  I never thought of my student's work in
terms of money.  There were others who did, and I was not
considered," he concluded bitterly.

"Why don't you put in a claim to Marsellus, for your time and
expert advice?  I think he'd honour it.  He is going to live here.
He probably doesn't wish to be more unpopular than a suddenly
prosperous man is bound to be, and you have many friends.  I
believe I can convince him that it would be poor policy to
disregard any reasonable demand."

"I had thought of that.  But my wife's brother advises a different

"Ah, yes.  Mrs. Crane said something of that sort.  Well, Crane, if
you're going to law about it, I hope you'll consult a sound lawyer,
and you know as well as I that Homer Bright is not one."

Dr. Crane coloured and bridled.  "I'm sure you are disinterested,
St. Peter, but, frankly, I think your judgment has been warped by
events.  You don't realize how clear the matter is to unprejudiced
minds.  Though I'm such an unpractical man, I have evidence to rest
my claims upon."

"The more the better, if you are going to depend on such a windbag
as Bright.  If you go to law, I'd like to see you win your case."

St. Peter said good-night, went down the stairs, and out through
the dark pine-trees.  Evidence, Crane said; probably letters Tom
had written him during the winter he was working at Johns Hopkins.
Well, there was nothing to be done, unless he could get old Dr.
Hutchins to persuade Crane to employ an intelligent lawyer.  Homer
Bright's rhetoric might influence a jury in a rape or bigamy case,
but it would antagonize a judge in an equity court.

The Professor took a turn in the park before going home.  The
interview had depressed him, and he was afraid he might be wakeful.
He had never seen his colleague in such an unbecoming light before.
Crane was narrow, but he was straight; a man you could count on in
the shifty game of college politics.  He had never been out to get
anything for himself.  St. Peter would have said that nothing about
the vulgar success of Outland's idea could possibly matter to
Crane, beyond gratifying his pride as a teacher and friend.

The park was deserted.  The arc-lights were turned off.  The
leafless trees stood quite motionless in the light of the clear
stars.  The world was sad to St. Peter as he looked about him; the
lake-shore country flat and heavy, Hamilton small and tight and
airless.  The university, his new house, his old house, everything
around him, seemed insupportable, as the boat on which he is
imprisoned seems to a sea-sick man.  Yes, it was possible that the
little world, on its voyage among all the stars, might become like
that; a boat on which one could travel no longer, from which one
could no longer look up and confront those bright rings or

He brought himself back with a jerk.  Ah, yes, Crane; that was the
trouble.  If Outland were here to-night, he might say with Mark
Antony, My fortunes have corrupted honest men.

Chapter 14

At the end of the semester, St. Peter went to Chicago with Rosamond
to help her buy things for her country house.  He had very much
wanted to stay at home and rest--the university work seemed to take
it out of him that winter more than ever before; but Rosamond had
set her mind on his going, and Mrs. St. Peter told him he couldn't
refuse.  A Chicago merchant had brought over a lot of old Spanish
furniture, and on this nobody's judgement would be better than St.
Peter's.  He was supposed to know a good deal about rugs, too.
When his wife said a thing must be done, the Professor usually did
it, from long-established habit.  Her instincts about what one owed
to other people were better than his.

Louie accompanied them to Chicago, where he was to join his
brother, the one who was in the silk trade in China, and go on to
New York with him for a family reunion.  St. Peter was amused, and
pleased, to see that Louie sincerely hated to leave them--with very
little encouragement he would have sent his brother on alone and
remained in Chicago with his wife and father-in-law.  They all
lunched together, after which the Professor and Rosamond took the
Marsellus brothers to the LaSalle Street station.  When Louie had
again and again kissed his hand to them from the rear platform of
the Twentieth Century observation car, and was rolled away in the
very act of shouting something to his wife, St. Peter, who had so
often complained that there was to much Louie in his life, now felt
a sudden drop, a distinct sense of loss.

He took Rosamond's arm, and they turned away from the shining
rails.  "We must be diligent, Rosie.  He expects wonders of us."

Scott McGregor got on the Blue Bird Express one afternoon,
returning from a business trip for his paper.  On entering the
smoking-car, he came upon his father-in-law lying back in a leather
chair, his clothes covered with dust, his eyes closed, a dead cigar
hanging between the relaxed fingers of his dark, muscular hand.  It
gave Scott a start; he thought the Professor didn't look well.

"Hello, Doctor!  What are you doing here?  Oh, yes! the shopping
expedition.  Where's Rosamond?"

"In Chicago.  At the Blackstone."

"Outlasted you, did she?"

"That's it."  The Professor smiled apologetically, as if he were
ashamed to admit it.

Scott sat down beside him and tried to interest him in one subject
after another, without success.  It occurred to him that he had
never before seen the Professor when he seemed absolutely flattened
out and listless.  That was a bad sign; he was glad they were only
half an hour from Hamilton.  "The old chap needs rest," he
reflected.  "Rosamond's run him to death in Chicago.  He oughtn't
to be used as a courier, anyhow!  I'm going to tell Kitty that we
must look out for her father a little.  The Marselluses have no
mercy, and Lillian has always taken it for granted that he was as
strong as three men."

That evening Mrs. St. Peter was standing by the French windows in
the drawing-room, watching somewhat anxiously for her husband.  The
Chicago train was usually punctual, and surely he would have taken
a cab from the station, for it was a raw February night with a
freezing wind blowing off the lake.  St. Peter arrived on foot,
however.  As he came through the gate, she could see by his walk
and the set of his shoulders that he was very tired.  She hurried
to open the front door, and asked him why he hadn't come up in a

"Didn't think of it, really.  I'm a creature of habit, and that's
one of the things I never used to do."

"And in you lightest overcoat!  I thought you only wore this one
because you were going to buy a new fur coat in Chicago."

"Well, I didn't," he said rather shortly.  "Let's omit the verb 'to
buy' in all forms for a time.  Keep dinner back a little, will you,
Lillian?  I want to take a warm bath and dress.  I did get rather
chilled coming up."

Mrs. St. Peter went to the kitchen, and, after a discreet interval,
followed her husband upstairs and into his room.

"I know you're tired, but tell me one thing: did you find the
painted Spanish bedroom set?"

"Oh, dear, yes!  Several of them."

"And were they pretty?"

"Very.  At least, I think I'd have found them so if I'd come upon
them without so many other things.  Too much is certainly worse
than too little--of anything.  It turned out to be rather an orgy
of acquisition."

"Rosamond lost her head?"

"Oh, no!  Perfectly cool.  I should say she had a faultless
purchasing manner.  Wonder where a girl who grew up in that old
house of ours ever got it.  She was like Napoleon looting the
Italian palaces."

"Don't be harsh.  You had a nice little vacation, at any rate."

"A very expensive one, for a poor professor.  And not much rest."

A look of sharp anxiety came into Mrs. St. Peter's face.  "You
mean," she breathed in a hushed voice, "that she let you--"

He cut in sharply.  "I mean that I paid my way, as I hope always to
be able to do.  Any suggestion to the contrary might have been very
graceful, but it would have been rejected.  I am quite ready to
permit myself a little extravagance to be of service to the women
of my family.  Any other arrangement is humiliating."

"Then that was why you didn't get your fur coat."

"That may have been one reason.  I was not much in the humour for

Mrs. St. Peter went swiftly downstairs to make him a cocktail.  She
sensed an unusual weariness in him, and felt, as it were, the
bitter taste on his tongue.  A man, she knew, could get from his
daughter a peculiar kind of hurt--one of the cruellest that flesh
is heir to.  Her heart ached for Godfrey.

When the Professor had been warmed and comforted by a good dinner,
he lit a cigar and sat down before the hearth to read.  After a
while his wife saw that the book had slid to his knee, and he was
looking into the fire.  Studying his dark profile, she noticed that
the corners of his funny eyebrows rose, as if he were amused by

"What are you thinking about, Godfrey?" she said presently.  "Just
then you were smiling--quite agreeably!"

"I was thinking," he answered absently, "about Euripides; how, when
he was an old man, he went and lived in a cave by the sea, and it
was thought queer, at the time.  It seems that houses had become
insupportable to him.  I wonder whether it was because he had
observed women so closely all his life."

Chapter 15

The month of March was the dreariest and bleakest of the year in
Hamilton, and Louie strove to brighten it by opening a discussion
of plans for the summer.  He had been hinting for some time that he
had a very attractive project up his sleeve, and though he had not
succeeded in keeping it from Mrs. St. Peter, he said nothing to the
Professor until one night when they were dining at the Marselluses'.
All through dinner Louie kept reminding them of the specialties of
this and that Paris restaurant, so that St. Peter was not altogether

As they left the dining-room, Louie burst out with it.  He and
Rosamond were to take Doctor and Mrs. St. Peter to France for the
summer.  Louie had decided upon the dates, the boat, the itinerary;
he was intoxicated with the pleasure of planning.

"Understand," he said, "it is to be our excursion, from Hamilton
back to Hamilton.  We'll travel in the most ample comfort, but not
in magnificence.  We'll go down to Biarritz for a little
fashionable life, and stop at Marseilles to see your foster-
brother, Charles Thierault.  The rest of the summer we'll lead a
scholarly life in Paris.  I have my own reasons for wishing you to
go along, Professor.  The pleasure of your company would be quite
enough, but I have also other reasons.  I want to see the
intellectual side of Paris, and to meet some of the savants and men
of letters whom you know.  What a shame Gaston Paris is not living!
We could very nicely make up a little party at Laperouse for him.
But there are others."

Mrs. St. Peter developed the argument.  "Yes, Louie, you and
Godfrey can lunch with the scholars while Rosamond and I are

Marsellus looked alarmed.  "Not at all, Dearest!  It's to be
understood that I always shop with you.  I adore the shops in
Paris.  Besides, we shall want you with us when we lunch with
celebrities.  When was a savant, and a Frenchman, not eager for the
company of two charming ladies at dejeuner?  And you may have too
much of the society of your sposi; very nice for you to have
variety.  You must keep a little engagement book:  Lundi, dejeuner,
M. Emile Faguet.  Mercredi, diner, M. Anatole France; and so on."

St. Peter chuckled.  "I'm afraid you exaggerate the circumference
of my social circle, Louie.  I haven't the pleasure of knowing
Anatole France."

"No matter; we can have M. Paul Bourget for Wednesday."

"You can help us, too, about finding things for the house, Papa,"
said Rosamond.  "We expect to pick up a good many things.  The
Thieraults ought to know good shops down in the South, where prices
have not gone up."

"I'm afraid the antiquaries are centralized in Paris.  I never saw
anything very interesting in Lyons or the Midi.  However, they may

"Charles Thierault is still interested in a shipping-line that runs
to the City of Mexico for us.  They would go in without duty, and
Louie thinks he can get them across the border as household goods."

"That sounds practicable, Rosie.  It might be managed."

Marsellus laughed and patted his wife's hand.  "Oh-ho, cher Papa,
you haven't begun to find how practical we can be!"

"Well, Louie, it's a tempting idea, and I'll think it over.  I'll
see whether I can arrange my work."  St. Peter knew at that moment
that he would never be one of this light-hearted expedition, and he
hated himself for the ungracious drawing-back that he felt in the
region of his diaphragm.

The family discussed their summer plans all evening.  Louie wanted
to write at once for rooms at the Meurice, but Mrs. St. Peter ruled
it out as too expensive.

That night, after he was in bed, St. Peter tried in vain to justify
himself in his inevitable refusal.  He liked Paris, and he liked
Louie.  But one couldn't do one's own things in another person's
way; selfish or not, that was the truth.  Besides, he would not be
needed.  He could trust Louie to take every care of Lillian, and
nobody could please her more than her son-in-law.  Beaux-fils,
apparently, were meant by Providence to take the husband's place
when husbands had ceased to be lovers.  Marsellus never forgot one
of the hundred foolish little attentions that Lillian loved.  Best
of all, he admired her extravagantly, her distinction was priceless
to him.  Many people admired her, but Louie more than most.  That
worldliness, that willingness to get the most out of occasions and
people, which had developed so strongly in Lillian in the last few
years, seemed to Louie as natural and proper as it seemed unnatural
to Godfrey.  It was an element that had always been in Lillian, and
as long as it resulted in mere fastidiousness, was not a means to
an end, St. Peter liked it, too.  He knew it was due to this
worldliness, even more than to the fact that his wife had a little
money of her own, that she and his daughters had never been drab
and a little pathetic, like some of the faculty women.  They hadn't
much, but they were never absurd.  They never made shabby
compromises.  If they couldn't get the right thing, they went
without.  Usually they had the right thing, and it got paid for,
somehow.  He couldn't say they were extravagant; the old house had
been funny and bare enough, but there were no ugly things in it.

Since Rosamond's marriage to Marsellus, both she and her mother had
changed bewilderingly in some respects--changed and hardened.  But
Louie, who had done the damage, had not damaged himself.  It was to
him that one appealed,--for Augusta, for Professor Crane, for the
bruised feelings of people less fortunate.  It was less because of
Louie than for any other reason that he would refuse this princely

He could get out of it without hurting anybody--though he knew
Louie would be sorry.  He could simply insist that he must work,
and that he couldn't work away from his old study.  There were some
advantages about being a writer of histories.  The desk was a
shelter one could hide behind, it was a hole one could creep into.

When St. Peter told his family of his decision, Louie was
disappointed; but he was respectful, and readily conceded that the
Professor's first duty was to his work.  Rosamond was incredulous
and piqued; she didn't see how he could be so ungenerous as to
spoil an arrangement which would give pleasure to everyone
concerned.  His wife looked at him with thoughtful disbelief.

When they were alone together, she approached the matter more
directly than was her wont nowadays.

"Godfrey," she said slowly and sadly, "I wonder what it is that
makes you draw away from your family.  Or who it is."

"My dear, are you going to be jealous?"

"I wish I were going to be.  I'd much rather see you foolish about
some woman than becoming lonely and inhuman."

"Well, the habit of living with ideas grows on one, I suppose, just
as inevitably as the more cheerful habit of living with various
ladies.  There's something to be said for both."

"I think your ideas were best when you were your most human self."

St. Peter sighed.  "I can't contradict you there.  But I must go on
as I can.  It is not always May."

"You are not old enough for the pose you take.  That's what puzzles
me.  For so many years you never seemed to grow at all older,
though I did.  Two years ago you were an impetuous young man.  Now
you save yourself in everything.  You're naturally warm and
affectionate; all at once you begin shutting yourself away from
everybody.  I don't think you'll be happier for it."  Up to this
point she had been lecturing him.  Now she suddenly crossed the
room and sat down on the arm of his chair, looking into his face
and twisting up the ends of his military eyebrows with her thumb
and middle finger.  "Why is it, Godfrey?  I can't see any change in
your face, though I watch you so closely.  It's in your mind, in
your mood.  Something has come over you.  Is it merely that you
know too much, I wonder?  Too much to be happy?  You were always
the wisest person in the world.  What is it, can't you tell me?"

"I can't altogether tell myself, Lillian.  It's not wholly a matter
of the calendar.  It's the feeling that I've put a great deal
behind me, where I can't go back to it again--and I don't really
wish to go back.  The way would be too long and too fatiguing.
Perhaps, for a home-staying man, I've lived pretty hard.  I wasn't
willing to slight anything--you, or my desk, or my students.  And
now I seem to be tremendously tired.  One pays, coming or going.  A
man has got only just so much in him; when it's gone he slumps.
Even the first Napoleon did."  They both laughed.  That was an old
joke--the Professor's darkest secret.  At the font he had been
christened Napoleon Godfrey St. Peter.  There had always been a
Napoleon in the family, since a remote grandfather got his
discharge from the Grande Armee.  Godfrey had abbreviated his name
in Kansas, and even his daughters didn't know what it had been

"I think, you know," he told his wife as he rose to go to bed,
"that I'll get my second wind.  But for the present I don't want
anything very stimulating.  Paris is too beautiful, and too full of

Chapter 16

One Saturday morning in the spring, when the Professor was at work
in the old house, he heard energetic footsteps running up the
uncarpeted stairway.  Louie's voice called:

"Cher Papa, shall I disturb you too much?"

St. Peter rose and opened to him.  Louie was wearing his golf
stockings, and a purple jacket with a fur collar.

"No, I'm not going golfing.  I changed my mind, but didn't have
time to change my clothes.  I want you to take a run out along the
lake-shore with us.  Rosie is going to lunch with some friends at
the Country Club.  We'll have a drive with her, and then drop her
there.  It's a glorious day."  Louie's keen, interested eye ran
about the shabby little room.  He chuckled.  "The old bear, he just
likes his old den, doesn't he?  I can readily understand.  Your
children were born here.  Not your daughters--your sons, your
splendid Spanish-adventurer sons!  I'm proud to be related to them,
even by marriage.  And your blanket, surely that's a Spanish
touch!"  Louie pounced upon the purple blanket, threw it across his
chest, and, moving aside the wire lady, studied himself in
Augusta's glass.  "And a very proper dressing-gown it would make
for Louie, wouldn't it?"

"It was Outland's--a precious possession.  His lost chum brought it
up from Mexico."

"Was it Outland's, indeed?"  Louie stroked it and regarded it in the
glass with increased admiration.  "I can never forgive destiny that
I hadn't the chance to know that splendid fellow."

The Professor's eyebrows rose in puzzled interrogation.  "It might
have been awkward--about Rosie, you know."

"I never think of him as a rival," said Louie, throwing back the
blanket with a wide gesture.  "I think of him as a brother, an
adored and gifted brother."

Half an hour later they were spinning along through the country,
just coming green, Rosamond and her father on the back seat, Louie
facing them.  It struck the Professor that Louie had something on
his mind; his restless bright eyes watched his wife narrowly, as if
to seize an opportune moment.

"You know, Doctor," he said presently, "we've decided to give up
our house before we go abroad, and cut off the rent.  We'll move
the books and pictures up to Outland (and our wedding presents, of
course), and the silver we'll put in the bank.  There won't be much
of our present furniture that we'll need.  I wonder if you could
use any of it?  And it has just occurred to me, Rosie," here he
leaned forward and tapped her knee, "that we might ask Scott and
Kathleen to come round and select anything they like.  No use
bothering to sell it, we'd get so little."

Rosamond looked at him in astonishment.  It was very evident they
had not discussed anything of this sort before.  "Don't be foolish,
Louie," she said quietly.  "They wouldn't want your things."

"But why not?" he persisted playfully.  "They are very nice things.
Not right for Outland, but perfectly right for a little house.  We
chose them with care, and we don't want them going into some dirty
second-hand shop."

"They won't have to.  We can store them in the attic at Outland,
Heaven knows it's big enough!  You don't have to do anything with
them just now."

"It seems a pity, when somebody might be getting the good of them.
I know Scott could do very well with that chiffonier of mine.  He
admired it greatly, I remember, and said he'd never had one with
proper drawers for his shirts."

Rosamond's lip curled.

"Don't look like that, Rosie!  It's naughty.  Stop it!"  Louie
reached forward and shook her gently by the elbows.  "And how can
you be sure the McGregors wouldn't like our things, when you've
never asked them?  What positive ideas she does get into her head!"

"They wouldn't want them because they are ours, yours and mine, if
you will have it," she said coldly, drawing away from him.

Louie sank back into his seat and gave it up.  "Why do you think
such naughty things?  I don't believe it, you know!  You are so
touchy.  Scott and Kitty may be a little stand-offish, but it might
very possibly make them feel better if you went at them nicely
about this."  He rallied and began to coax again.  "She's got it
into her head that the McGregors have a grudge, Doctor.  There's
nothing to it."

Rosamond had grown quite pale.  Her upper lip, that was so like her
mother's when she was affable, so much harder when she was not,
came down like a steel curtain.  "I happen to know, Louie, that
Scott blackballed you for the Arts and Letters.  You can call that
a grudge or not, as you please."

Marsellus was visibly shaken.  He looked sad.  "Well, if he did, it
wasn't very nice of him, certainly.  But are you sure, Rosie?
Rumours do go about, and people like to stir up family differences."

"It isn't people, and it's not rumour.  I know it positively.
Kathleen's best friend told me."

Louie lay back and shook with laughter.  "Oh, the ladies, the
ladies!  What they do to each other, Professor!"

St. Peter was very uncomfortable.  "I don't think I'd accept such
evidence, Rosamond.  I don't believe it of Scott, and I think Louie
has the right idea.  People are like children, and Scott's poor and
proud.  I think Louie's chiffonier would go to his heart, if Louie
offered it to him.  I'm afraid you wouldn't do it very graciously."

"Professor, I'll go to McGregor's office and put it up to him.  If
he scorns it, so much the worse for him.  He'll lose a very handy
piece of furniture."

Rosamond's paleness changed to red.  Fortunately they were spinning
over the gravel loops that led through shaven turf to the Country
Club.  "You can do as you like with your own things, Louie.  But I
don't want any of mine in the McGregors' bungalow.  I know Scott's
brand of humour too well, and the kind of jokes that would be made
about them."

The car stopped.  Louie sprang out and gave his arm to his wife.
He walked up the steps to the door with her, and his back expressed
such patient, protecting kindness that the Professor bit his lower
lip with indignation.  Louie came back looking quite grey and
tired, and sank into the seat beside the Professor with a sadder-
and-wiser smile.

"Louie," St. Peter spoke with deep feeling, "do you happen to have
read a novel of Henry James, The American?  There's rather a nice
scene in it, in which a young Frenchman, hurt in a duel, apologizes
for the behaviour of his family.  I'd like to do something of the
sort.  I apologize to you for Rosamond, and for Scott, if he has
done such a mean thing."

Louie's downcast face brightened at once.  He squeezed the
Professor's arm warmly.  "Oh, THAT'S all right, sir!  As for Scott,
I can understand.  He was the first son of the family, and he was
the whole thing.  Then I came along, a stranger, and carried off
Rosie, and this patent began to pay so well--it's enough to make
any man jealous, and he a Scotchman!  But I think Scott will come
around in the end; people usually do, if you treat them well, and I
mean to.  I like the fellow.  As for Rosamond, you mustn't give
that a thought.  I love her when she's naughty.  She's a bit
unreasonable sometimes, but I'm always hoping for a period of
utter, of fantastic unreasonableness, which will be the beginning
of a great happiness for us all."

"Louie, you are magnanimous and magnificent!" murmured his
vanquished father-in-law.

Chapter 17

Lillian and the Marselluses sailed for France early in May.  The
Professor, left alone, had plenty of time to spray his rose-vines,
and his garden had never been so beautiful as it was that June.
After his university duties were over, he smuggled his bed and
clothing back to the old house and settled down to a leisurely
bachelor life.  He realized that he ought to be getting to work.
The garden, in which he sat all day, was no longer a valid excuse
to keep him from his study.  But the task that awaited him up there
was difficult.  It was a little thing, but one of those little
things at which the hand becomes self-conscious, feels itself stiff
and clumsy.

It was his plan to give part of this summer to Tom Outland's diary--
to edit and annotate it for publication.  The bother was that he
must write an introduction.  The diary covered only about six
months of the boy's life, a summer he spent on the Blue Mesa, and
in it there was almost nothing about Tom himself.  To mean
anything, it must be prefaced by a sketch of Outland, and some
account of his later life and achievements.  To write of his
scientific work would be comparatively easy.  But that was not all
the story; his was a many-sided mind, though a simple and
straightforward personality.

Of course Mrs. St. Peter had insisted that he was not altogether
straightforward; but that was merely because he was not altogether
consistent.  As an investigator he was clear-sighted and hard-
headed; but in personal relations he was apt to be exaggerated and
quixotic.  He idealized the people he loved and paid his devoir to
the ideal rather than to the individual, so that his behaviour was
sometimes a little too exalted for the circumstances--"chivalry of
the cinema," Lillian used to say.  One of his sentimental
superstitions was that he must never on any account owe any
material advantage to his friends, that he must keep affection and
advancement far apart, as if they were chemicals that would
disintegrate each other.  St. Peter thought this the logical result
of Tom's strange bringing-up and his early associations.  There is,
he knew, this dream of self-sacrificing friendship and disinterested
love down among the day-labourers, the men who run the railroad
trains and boats and reapers and thrashers and mine-drills of the
world.  And Tom had brought it along to the university, where
advancement through personal influence was considered honourable.

It was not until Outland was a senior that Lillian began to be
jealous of him.  He had been almost a member of the family for two
years, and she had never found fault with the boy.  But after the
Professor began to take Tom up to the study and talk over his work
with him, began to make a companion of him, then Mrs. St. Peter
withdrew her favour.  She could change like that; friendship was
not a matter of habit with her.  And when she was through with
anyone, she of course found reasons for her fickleness.  Tom, she
reminded her husband, was far from frank, though he had such an
open manner.  He had been consistently reserved about his own
affairs, and she could not believe the facts he withheld were
altogether creditable.  They had always known he had a secret,
something to do with the mysterious Rodney Blake and the bank
account in New Mexico upon which he was not at liberty to draw.
The young man must have felt the change in her, for he began that
winter to make his work a pretext for coming to the house less
often.  He and St. Peter now met in the alcove behind the
Professor's lecture room at the university.

One Sunday, shortly before Tom's Commencement, he came to the house
to ask Rosamond to go to the senior dance with him.  The family
were having tea in the garden; a few days of intensely warm weather
had come on and hurried the roses into bloom.  Rosamond happened to
ask Tom, who sat in his white flannels, fanning himself with his
straw hat, if spring in the South-west was as warm as this.

"Oh, no," he replied.  "May is usually chilly down there--bright
sun, but a kind of edge in the wind, and cool nights.  Last night
reminded me of smothery May nights in Washington."

Mrs. St. Peter glanced up.  "You mean Washington City?  I didn't
know you had ever been so far east."

There was no denying that the young man looked uncomfortable.  He
frowned and said in a low voice:  "Yes, I've been there.  I suppose
I don't speak of it because I haven't very pleasant recollections
of it."

"How long were you there?" his hostess asked.

"A winter and spring, more than six months.  Long enough to get
very home-sick."  He went away almost at once, as if he were afraid
of being questioned further.

The subject came up again a few weeks later, however.  After Tom's
graduation, two courses were open to him.  He was offered an
instructor-ship, with a small salary, in the Physics department
under Dr. Crane, and a graduate scholarship at Johns Hopkins
University.  St. Peter strongly urged him to accept the latter.
One evening when the family were discussing Tom's prospects, the
Professor summed up all the reasons why he ought to go to Baltimore
and work in the laboratory made famous by Dr. Rowland.  He assured
him, moreover, that he would find the atmosphere of an old Southern
city delightful.

"Yes, I know something about the atmosphere," Tom broke out at
last.  "It is delightful, but it's all wrong for me.  It
discourages me dreadfully.  I used to go over there when I was in
Washington, and it always made me blue.  I don't believe I could
ever work there."

"But can you trust a child's impression to guide you now, in such
an important decision?" asked Mrs. St. Peter gravely.

"I wasn't a child, Mrs. St. Peter.  I was as much grown up as I am
now--older, in some ways.  It was only about a year before I came

"But, Tom, you were on the section gang that year!  Why do you mix
us all up?"  Kathleen caught his hand and squeezed the knuckles
together, as she did when she wanted to punish him.

"Well, maybe it was two years before.  It doesn't matter.  It was
long enough to count for two ordinary years," he muttered

Again he went away abruptly, and a few days later he told St. Peter
that he had definitely accepted the instructorship under Crane, and
would stay on in Hamilton.

During that summer after Outland's graduation, St. Peter got to
know all there was behind his reserve.  Mrs. St. Peter and the two
girls were in Colorado, and the Professor was alone in the house,
writing on volumes three and four of his history.  Tom was carrying
on some experiments of his own, over in the Physics laboratory.  He
and St. Peter were often together in the evening, and on fine
afternoons they went swimming.  Every Saturday the Professor turned
his house over to the cleaning-woman, and he and Tom went to the
lake and spent the day in his sail-boat.

It was just the sort of summer St. Peter liked, if he had to be in
Hamilton at all.  He was his own cook, and had laid in a choice
assortment of cheeses and light Italian wines from a discriminating
importer in Chicago.  Every morning before he sat down at his desk
he took a walk to the market and had his pick of the fruits and
salads.  He dined at eight o'clock.  When he cooked a fine leg of
lamb, saignant, well rubbed with garlic before it went into the
pan, then he asked Outland to dinner.  Over a dish of steaming
asparagus, swathed in a napkin to keep it hot, and a bottle of
sparkling Asti, they talked and watched night fall in the garden.
If the evening happened to be rainy or chilly, they sat inside and
read Lucretius.

It was on one of those rainy nights, before the fire in the dining-
room, that Tom at last told the story he had always kept back.  It
was nothing very incriminating, nothing very remarkable; a story of
youthful defeat, the sort of thing a boy is sensitive about--until
he grows older.

"Tom Outland's Story"

Chapter 1

The thing that side-tracked me and made me so late coming to
college was a somewhat unusual accident, or string of accidents.
It began with a poker game, when I was a call boy in Pardee, New

One cold, clear night in the fall I started out to hunt up a
freight crew that was to go out soon after midnight.  It was just
after pay day, and one of the fellows had tipped me off that there
would be a poker game going on in the card-room behind the Ruby
Light saloon.  I knew most of my crew would be there, except
Conductor Willis, who had a sick baby at home.  The front windows
were dark, of course.  I went up the back alley, through a tumble-
down ice house and a court, into a 'dobe room that didn't open into
the saloon proper at all.  It was crowded, and hot and stuffy
enough.  There were six or seven in the game, and a crowd of
fellows were standing about the walls, rubbing the white-wash off
on to their coat shoulders.  There was a bird-cage hanging in one
window, covered with an old flannel shirt, but the canary had
wakened up and was singing away for dear life.  He was a beautiful
singer--an old Mexican had trained him--and he was one of the
attractions of the place.

I happened along when a jack-pot was running.  Two of the fellows
I'd come for were in it, and they naturally wanted to finish the
hand.  I stood by the door with my watch, keeping time for them.
Among the players I saw two sheep men who always liked a lively
game, and one of the bystanders told me you had to buy a hundred
dollars' worth of chips to get in that night.  The crowd was
fussing about one fellow, Rodney Blake, who had come in from his
engine without cleaning up.  That wasn't customary; the minute a
man got in from his run, he took a bath, put on citizen's clothes,
and went to the barber.  This Blake was a new fireman on our
division.  He'd come up town in his greasy overalls and sweaty blue
shirt, with his face streaked up with smoke.  He'd been drinking;
he smelled of it, and his eyes were out of focus.  All the other
men were clean and freshly shaved, and they were sore at Blake--
said his hands were so greasy they marked the cards.  Some of them
wanted to put him out of the game, but he was a big, heavy-built
fellow, and nobody wanted to be the man to do it.  It didn't please
them any better when he took the jack-pot.

I got my two men and hurried them out, and two others from the row
along the wall took their places.  One of the chaps who left with
me asked me to go up to his house and get his grip with his work
clothes.  He's lost every cent of his pay cheque and didn't want to
face his wife.  I asked him who was winning.

"Blake.  The dirty boomer's been taking everything.  But the
fellows will clean him out before morning."

About two o'clock, when my work for that night was over and I was
going home to sleep, I just dropped in at the card-room to see how
things had come out.  The game was breaking up.  Since I left them
at midnight, they had changed to stud poker, and Blake, the
fireman, had cleaned everybody out.  He was cashing in his chips
when I came in.  The bank was a little short, but Blake made no
fuss about it.  He had something over sixteen hundred dollars lying
on the table before him in bank-notes and gold.  Some of the crowd
were insulting him, trying to get him into a fight and loot him.
He paid no attention and began to put the money away, not looking
at anybody.  The bills he folded and put inside the band of his
hat.  He filled his overall pockets with the gold, and swept the
rest of it into his big red neckerchief.

I'd been interested in this fellow ever since he came on our
division; he was close-mouthed and unfriendly.  He was one of those
fellows with a settled, mature body and a young face, such as you
often see among working-men.  There was something calm, and
sarcastic, and mocking about his expression--that, too, you often
see among workingmen.  When he had put all his money away, he got
up and walked toward the door without a word, without saying good-
night to anybody.

"Manners of a hog, and a dirty hog!" little Barney Shea yelled
after him.  Blake's back was just in the doorway; he hitched up one
shoulder, but didn't turn or make a sound.

I slipped out after him and followed him down the street.  His walk
was unsteady, and the gold in his baggy overalls pockets clinked
with every step he took.  I ran a little way and caught up with
him.  "What are you going to do with all that money, Blake?" I
asked him.

"Lose it, to-morrow night.  I'm no hog for money.  Damned barber-
pole dudes!"

I thought I'd better follow him home.  I knew he lodged with an old
Mexican woman, in the yellow quarter, behind the round-house.  His
room opened on to the street, by a sky-blue door.  He went in,
didn't strike a light or make a stab at undressing, but threw
himself just as he was on the bed and went to sleep.  His hat stuck
between the iron rods of the bed-head, the gold ran out of his
pockets and rolled over the bare floor in the dark.

I struck a match and lit a candle.  The bed took up half the room;
on the dresser was a grip with his clean clothes in it, just as
he'd brought it in from his run.  I took out the clothes and began
picking up the money; got the bills out of his hat, emptied his
pockets, and collected the coins that lay in the hollow of the bed
about his hips, and put it all into the grip.  Then I blew out the
light and sat down to listen.  I trusted all the boys who were at
the Ruby Light that night, except Barney Shea.  He might try to
pull something off on a stranger, down in Mexican town.  We had a
quiet night, however, and a cold one.  I found Blake's winter
overcoat hanging on the wall and wrapped up in it.  I wasn't a bit
sorry when the roosters began to crow and the dogs began barking
all over Mexican town.  At last the sun came up and turned the
desert and the 'dobe town red in a minute.  I began to shake the
man on the bed.  Waking men who didn't want to get up was part of
my job, and I didn't let up on him until I had him on his feet.

"Hello, kid, come to call on me?"

I told him I'd come to call him to a Harvey House breakfast.  "You
owe me a good one.  I brought you home last night."

"Sure, I'm glad to have company.  Wait till I wash up a bit."  He
took his soap and towel and comb and went out into the patio, a
neat little sanded square with flowers and vines all around, and
washed at the trough under the pump.  Then he called me to come and
pump water on his head.  After he'd stood the gush of cold water
for a few seconds, he straightened up with his teeth chattering.

"That ought to get the whisky out of a fellow's head, oughtn't it?
Felt good, Tom."  Presently he began feeling his side pockets.
"Was I dreaming something, or did I take a string of jack-pots last

"The money's in your grip," I told him.  "You don't deserve it, for
you were too drunk to take care of it.  I had to come after you and
pick it up out of the mud."

"All right.  I'll go halvers.  Easy come, easy go."

I told him I didn't want anything off him but breakfast, and I
wanted that pretty soon.

"Go easy, son.  I've got to change my shirt.  This one's wet."

"It's worse than wet.  You oughtn't to go up town without changing.
You're a stranger here, and it makes a bad impression."

He shrugged his shoulders and looked superior.  He had a square-
built, honest face and steady eyes that didn't carry a cynical
expression very well.  I knew he was a decent chap, though he'd
been drinking and acting ugly ever since he'd been on our division.

After breakfast we went out and sat in the sun at a place where the
wooden sidewalk ran over a sand gully and made a sort of bridge.  I
had a long talk with him.  I was carrying the grip with his
winnings in it, and I finally persuaded him to go with me to the
bank.  We put every cent of it into a savings account that he
couldn't touch for a year.

From that night Blake and I were fast friends.  He was the sort of
fellow who can do anything for somebody else, and nothing for
himself.  There are lots like that among working-men.  They aren't
trained by success to a sort of systematic selfishness.  Rodney had
been unlucky in personal relations.  He'd run away from home when
he was a kid because his mother married again--a man who had been
paying attention to her while his father was still alive.  He got
engaged to a girl down on the Southern Pacific, and she double-
crossed him, as he said.  He went to Old Mexico and let his friends
put all his savings into an oil well, and they skinned him.  What
he needed was a pal, a straight fellow to give an account to.  I
was ten years younger, and that was an advantage.  He liked to be
an older brother.  I suppose the fact that I was a kind of stray
and had no family, made it easier for him to unbend to me.  He
surely got to think a lot of me, and I did of him.  It was that
winter I had pneumonia.  Mrs. O'Brien couldn't do much for me; she
was overworked, poor woman, with a houseful of children.  Blake
took me down to his room, and he and the old Mexican woman nursed
me.  He ought to have had boys of his own to look after.  Nature's
full of such substitutions, but they always seem to me sad, even in

I wasn't able to be about until spring, and then the doctor and
Father Duchene said I must give up night work and live in the open
all summer.  Before I knew anything about it, Blake had thrown up
his job on the Santa Fe, and got a berth for him and me with the
Sitwell Cattle Company.  Jonas Sitwell was one of the biggest
cattle men in our part of New Mexico.  Roddy and I were to ride the
range with a bunch of grass cattle all summer, then take them down
to a winter camp on the Cruzados river and keep them on pasture
until spring.

We went out about the first of May, and joined our cattle twenty
miles south of Pardee, down toward the Blue Mesa.  The Blue Mesa
was one of the landmarks we always saw from Pardee--landmarks mean
so much in a flat country.  To the northwest, over toward Utah, we
had the Mormon Buttes, three sharp blue peaks that always sat
there.  The Blue Mesa was south of us, and was much stronger in
colour, almost purple.  People said the rock itself had a deep
purplish cast.  It looked, from our town, like a naked blue rock
set down alone in the plain, almost square, except that the top was
higher at one end.  The old settlers said nobody had ever climbed
it, because the sides were so steep and the Cruzados river wound
round it at one end and under-cut it.

Blake and I knew that the Sitwell winter camp was down on the
Cruzados river, directly under the mesa, and all summer long, while
we drifted about with our cattle from one water-hole to another, we
planned how we were going to climb the mesa and be the first men up
there.  After supper, when we lit our pipes and watched the sunset,
climbing the mesa was our staple topic of conversation.  Our job
was a cinch; the actual work wouldn't have kept one man busy.  The
Sitwell people were good to their hands.  John Rapp, the foreman,
came along once a month in his spring-wagon, to see how the cattle
were doing and to bring us supplies and bundles of old newspapers.

Blake was conscientious reader of newspapers.  He always wanted to
know what was going on in the world, though most of it displeased
him.  He brooded on the great injustices of his time; the hanging
of the Anarchists in Chicago, which he could just remember, and the
Dreyfus case.  We had long arguments about what we read in the
papers, but we never quarrelled.  The only trouble I had with Blake
was in getting to do my share of the work.  He made my health a
pretext for taking all the heavy chores, long after I was as well
as he was.  I'd brought my Caesar along, and had promised Father
Duchene to read a hundred lines a day.  Blake saw that I did it--
made me translate the dull stuff aloud to him.  He said if I once
knew Latin, I wouldn't have to work with my back all my life like a
burro.  He had great respect for education, but he believed it was
some kind of hocus-pocus that enabled a man to live without work.
We had Robinson Crusoe with us, and Roddy's favourite book,
Gulliver's Travels, which he never tired of.

Late in October, Rapp, the foreman, came along to accompany us down
to the winter camp.  Blake stayed with the cattle about fifteen
miles to the east, where the grass was still good, and Rapp and I
went down to air out the cabin and stow away our winter supplies.

Chapter 2

The cabin stood in a little grove of pinons, about thirty yards
back from the Cruzados river, facing south and sheltered on the
north by a low hill.  The grama grass grew right up to the
doorstep, and the rabbits were running about and the grasshoppers
hitting the door when we pulled up and looked at the place.  There
was no litter around, it was as clean as a prairie-dog's house.  No
outbuildings, except a shed for our horses.  The hillside behind
was sandy and covered with tall clumps of deer-horn cactus, but
there was nothing but grass to the south, with streaks of bright
yellow rabbit-brush.  Along the river the cottonwoods and quaking
asps had already turned gold.  Just across from us, overhanging us,
indeed, stood the mesa, a pile of purple rock, all broken out with
red sumach and yellow aspens up in the high crevices of the cliffs.
From the cabin, night and day, you could hear the river, where it
made a bend round the foot of the mesa and churned over the rocks.
It was the sort of place a man would like to stay in forever.

I helped Rapp open the wooden shutters and sweep out the cabin.  We
put clean blankets on the bunks, and stowed away bacon and coffee
and canned stuff on the shelves behind the cook-stove.  I confess I
looked forward to cooking on an iron stove with four holes.  Rapp
explained to me that Blake and I wouldn't be able to enjoy all this
luxury together for a time.  He wanted the herd kept some distance
to the north as long as the grass held out up there, and Roddy and
I could take turn about, one camping near the cattle and one
sleeping in a bed.

"There's not pasture enough down here to take them through a long
winter," he said, "and it's safest to keep them grazing up north
while you can.  Besides, if you bring them down here while the
weather's so warm, they get skittish, and that mesa over there
makes trouble.  They swim the river and bolt into the mesa, and
that's the last you ever see of them.  We've lost a lot of critters
that way.  The mesa has been populated by run-aways from our herd,
till now there's a fine bunch of wild cattle up there.  When the
wind's right, our cows over here get the scent of them and make a
break for the river.  You'll have to watch 'em close when you bring
'em down."

I asked him whether nobody had ever gone over to get the lost
cattle out.

Rapp glared at me.  "Out of that mesa?  Nobody has ever got into it
yet.  The cliffs are like the base of a monument, all the way
round.  The only way in is through that deep canyon that opens on
the water level, just where the river makes the bend.  You can't
get in by that, because the river's too deep to ford and too swift
to swim.  Oh, I suppose a horse could swim it, if cattle can, but I
don't want to be the man to try."

I remarked that I had had my eye on the mesa all summer and meant
to climb it.

"Not while you're working for the Sitwell Company, you don't!  If
you boys try any nonsense of that sort, I'll fire you quick.  You'd
break your bones and lose the herd for us.  You have to watch them
close to keep them from going over, I tell you.  If it wasn't for
that mesa, this would be the best winter range in all New Mexico."

After the foreman left us, we settled down to easy living and fine
weather; blue and gold days, and clear, frosty nights.  We kept the
cattle off to the north and east and alternated in taking charge of
them.  One man was with the herd while the other got his sleep and
did the cooking at the cabin.  The mesa was our only neighbour, and
the closer we got to it, the more tantalizing it was.  It was no
longer a blue, featureless lump, as it had been from a distance.
Its sky-line was like the profile of a big beast lying down; the
head to the north, higher than the flanks around which the river
curved.  The north end we could easily believe impassable--sheer
cliffs that fell from the summit to the plain, more than a thousand
feet.  But the south flank, just across the river from us, looked
accessible by way of the deep canyon that split the bulk in two,
from the top rim to the river, then wound back into the solid cube
so that it was invisible at a distance, like a mouse track winding
into a big cheese.  This canyon didn't break the solid outline of
the mesa, and you had to be close to see that it was there at all.
We faced the mesa on its shortest side; it was only about three
miles long from north to south, but east and west it measured
nearly twice that distance.  Whether the top was wooded we couldn't
see--it was too high above us; but the cliffs and canyon on the
river side were fringed with beautiful growth, groves of quaking
asps and pinons and a few dark cedars, perched up in the air like
the hanging gardens of Babylon.  At certain hours of the day, those
cedars, growing so far up on the rocks, took on the bluish tint of
the cliffs themselves.

It was light up there long before it was with us.  When I got up at
daybreak and went down to the river to get water, our camp would be
cold and grey, but the mesa top would be red with sunrise, and all
the slim cedars along the rocks would be gold--metallic, like
tarnished gold-foil.  Some mornings it would loom up above the dark
river like a blazing volcanic mountain.  It shortened our days,
too, considerably.  The sun got behind it early in the afternoon,
and then our camp would lie in its shadow.  After a while the
sunset colour would begin to stream up from behind it.  Then the
mesa was like one great ink-black rock against a sky on fire.

No wonder the thing bothered us and tempted us; it was always
before us, and was always changing.  Black thunder-storms used to
roll up from behind it and pounce on us like a panther without
warning.  The lightning would play round it and jab into it so that
we were always expecting it would fire the brush.  I've never heard
thunder so loud as it was there.  The cliffs threw it back at us,
and we thought the mesa itself, though it seemed so solid, must be
full of deep canyons and caverns, to account for the prolonged
growl and rumble that followed every crash of thunder.  After the
burst in the sky was over, the mesa went on sounding like a drum,
and seemed itself to be muttering and making noises.

One afternoon I was out hunting turkeys.  Just as the sun was
getting low, I came through a sea of rabbit-brush, still yellow,
and the horizontal rays of light, playing into it, brought out the
contour of the ground with great distinctness.  I noticed a number
of straight mounds, like plough furrows, running from the river
inland.  It was too late to examine them.  I cut a scrub willow and
stuck a stake into one of the ridges, to mark it.  The next day I
took a spade down to the plantation of rabbit-brush and dug around
the sandy soil.  I came upon an old irrigation main, unmistakable,
lined with hard smooth cobbles and 'dobe cement, with sluices where
the water had been let out into the trenches.  Along these ditches
I turned up some pieces of pottery, all of it broken, and
arrowheads, and a very neat, well-finished stone pick-ax.

That night I didn't go back to the cabin, but took my specimens out
to Blake, who was still north with the cattle.  Of course, we both
knew there had been Indians all over this country, but we felt sure
that Indians hadn't used stone tools for a long while back.  There
must have been a colony of pueblo Indians here in ancient time:
fixed residents, like the Taos Indians and the Hopis, not wanderers
like the Navajos.

To people off alone, as we were, there is something stirring about
finding evidences of human labour and care in the soil of an empty
country.  It comes to you as a sort of message, makes you feel
differently about the ground you walk over every day.  I liked the
winter range better than any place I'd ever been in.  I never came
out of the cabin door in the morning to go after water that I
didn't feel fresh delight in our snug quarters and the river and
the old mesa up there, with its top burning like a bonfire.  I
wanted to see what it was like on the other side, and very soon I
took a day off and forded the river where it was wide and shallow,
north of our camp.  I rode clear around the mesa, until I met the
river again where it flowed under the south flank.

On that ride I got a better idea of its actual structure.  All the
way round were the same precipitous cliffs of hard blue rock, but
in places it was mixed with a much softer stone.  In these soft
streaks there were deep dry watercourses which could certainly be
climbed as far as they went, but nowhere did they reach to the top
of the mesa.  The top seemed to be one great slab of very hard
rock, lying on the mixed mass of the base like the top of an old-
fashioned marble table.  The channels worn out by water ran for
hundreds of feet up the cliffs, but always stopped under this great
rim-rock, which projected out over the erosions like a granite
shelf.  Evidently, it was because of this unbroken top layer that
the butte was inaccessible.  I rode back to camp that night,
convinced that if we ever climbed it, we must take the route the
cattle took, through the river and up the one canyon that broke
down to water-level.

Chapter 3

We brought the bunch of cattle down to the winter range in the
latter part of November.  Early in December the foreman came along
with generous provisions for Christmas.  This time he brought with
him a super-cargo, a pitiful wreck of an old man he had picked up
at Tarpin, the railroad town thirty miles northeast of us, where
the Sitwells bought their supplies.  This old man was a castaway
Englishman, Henry Atkins by name.  He had been a valet, and a
hospital orderly, and a cook, and for many years was a table
steward on the Anchor Line.  Lately he had been cooking for a sheep
outfit that were grazing in the cattle country, were they weren't
wanted.  They had done something shady and had to get out in a
hurry.  They dropped old Henry at Tarpin, where he soon drank up
all his wages.  When Rapp picked him up there, he was living on

"I've told him we can't pay him anything," Rapp explained.  "But if
he wants to stay here and cook for you boys till I make my next
trip, he'll have plenty to eat and a roof over him.  He was
sleeping in the livery stable in Tarpin.  He says he's a good cook,
and I thought he might liven things up for you at Christmas time.
He won't bother you, he's not got any of the mean ways of a bum--I
know a bum when I see one.  Next time I come down I'll bring him
some old clothes from the ranch, and you can fire him if you want
to.  All his baggage is that newspaper bundle, and there's nothing
in it but shoes--a pair of patent leathers and a pair of sneakers.
The important thing is, never, on any account, go off skylarking,
you two, and leave him with the cattle.  Not for an hour, mind you.
He ain't strong enough, and he's got no head."

Life was a holiday for Blake and me after we got old Henry.  He was
a wonderful cook and a good housekeeper.  He kept that cabin
shining like a playhouse; used to dress it all out with pinon
boughs, and trimmed the kitchen shelves with newspapers cut in
fancy patterns.  He had learned to make up cots when he was a
hospital orderly, and he made our bunks feel like a Harvey House
bed.  To this day that's the best I can say for any bed.  And he
was such a polite, mannerly old boy; simple and kind as a child.  I
used to wonder how anybody so innocent and defenceless had managed
to get along at all, to keep alive for nearly seventy years in as
hard a world as this.  Anybody could take advantage of him.  He
held no grudge against any of the people who had misused him.  He
loved to tell about the celebrated people he'd been steward to, and
the liberal tips they had given him.  There with us, where he
couldn't get at whisky, he was a model of good behaviour.  "Drink
is me weakness, you might say," he occasionally remarked
apologetically.  He shaved every morning and was as clean as a pin.
We got to be downright fond of him, and the three of us made a
happy family.

Ever since we'd brought our herd down to the winter camp, the wild
cattle on the mesa were more in evidence.  They came down to the
river to drink oftener, and loitered about, grazing in that low
canyon so much that we began to call it Cow Canyon.  They were
fine-looking beasts, too.  One could see they had good pasture up
there.  Henry had a theory that we ought to be able to entice them
over to our side with salt.  He wanted to kill one for beef-steaks.
Soon after he joined us we lost two cows.  Without warning they
bolted into the mesa, as the foreman had said.  After that we
watched the herd closer; but a few days before Christmas, when
Blake was off hunting and I was on duty, four fine young steers
sneaked down to the water's edge through the brush, and before I
knew it they were swimming the river--seemed to do it with no
trouble at all.  They frisked out on the other side, ambled up the
canyon, and disappeared.  I was furious to have them steal a march
on me, and I swore to myself I'd follow them over and drive them

The next morning we took the herd a few miles east, to keep them
out of mischief.  I made some excuse to Blake, cut back to the
cabin, and asked Henry to put me up a lunch.  I told him my plan,
but warned him not to bear tales.  If I wasn't home when Blake came
in at night, then he could tell him where I'd gone.

Henry went down to the river with me to watch me across.  It had
grown colder since morning, and looked like snow.  The old man was
afraid of a storm; said I might get snowed in.  But I'd got my
nerve up, and I didn't want to put off making a try at it.  I
strapped my blanket and my lunch on my shoulders, hung my boots
around my neck to keep them dry, stuffed my socks inside my hat,
and we waded in.  My horse took the water without any fuss, though
he shivered a good deal.  He stepped out very carefully, and when
it got too deep for him, he swam without panic.  We were carried
down-stream a little by the current, but I didn't have to slide off
his back.  He found bottom after a while, and we easily made a
landing.  I waved good-bye to Henry on the other side and started
up the canyon, running beside my horse to get warm.

The canyon was wide at the water's edge, and though it corkscrewed
back into the mesa by abrupt turns, it preserved this open, roomy
character.  It was, indeed, a very deep valley with gently sloping
sides, rugged and rocky, but well grassed.  There was a clear
trail.  Horses have no sense about making a trail, but you can
trust cattle to find the easiest possible path and to take the
lowest grades.  The bluish rock and the sun-tanned grass, under the
unusual purple-grey of the sky, gave the whole valley a very soft
colour, lavender and pale gold, so that the occasional cedars
growing beside the boulders looked black that morning.  It may have
been the hint of snow in the air, but it seemed to me that I had
never breathed in anything that tasted so pure as the air in that
valley.  It made my mouth and nostrils smart like charged water,
seemed to go to my head a little and produce a kind of exaltation.
I kept telling myself that it was very different from the air on
the other side of the river, though that was pure and uncontaminated

When I had gone up this canyon for a mile or so, I came upon
another, opening out to the north--a box canyon, very different in
character.  No gentle slope there.  The walls were perpendicular,
where they weren't actually overhanging, and they were anywhere
from eight hundred to a thousand feet high, as we afterward found
by measurement.  The floor of it was a mass of huge boulders, great
pieces of rock that had fallen from above ages back, and had been
worn round and smooth as pebbles by the long action of water.  Many
of them were as big as haystacks, yet they lay piled on one another
like a load of gravel.  There was no footing for my horse among
those smooth stones, so I hobbled him and went on alone a little
way, just to see what it was like.  My eyes were steadily on the
ground--a slip of the foot there might cripple one.

It was such rough scrambling that I was soon in a warm sweat under
my damp clothes.  In stopping to take breath, I happened to glance
up at the canyon wall.  I wish I could tell you what I saw there,
just AS I saw it, on that first morning, through a veil of lightly
falling snow.  Far up above me, a thousand feet or so, set in a
great cavern in the face of the cliff, I saw a little city of
stone, asleep.  It was as still as sculpture--and something like
that.  It all hung together, seemed to have a kind of composition:
pale little houses of stone nestling close to one another, perched
on top of each other, with flat roofs, narrow windows, straight
walls, and in the middle of the group, a round tower.

It was beautifully proportioned, that tower, swelling out to a
larger girth a little above the base, then growing slender again.
There was something symmetrical and powerful about the swell of the
masonry.  The tower was the fine thing that held all the jumble of
houses together and made them mean something.  It was red in
colour, even on that grey day.  In sunlight it was the colour of
winter oak-leaves.  A fringe of cedars grew along the edge of the
cavern, like a garden.  They were the only living things.  Such
silence and stillness and repose--immortal repose.  That village
sat looking down into the canyon with the calmness of eternity.

The falling snow-flakes, sprinkling the pinons, gave it a special
kind of solemnity.  I can't describe it.  It was more like
sculpture than anything else.  I knew at once that I had come upon
the city of some extinct civilization, hidden away in this
inaccessible mesa for centuries, preserved in the dry air and
almost perpetual sunlight like a fly in amber, guarded by the
cliffs and the river and the desert.

As I stood looking up at it, I wondered whether I ought to tell
even Blake about it; whether I ought not to go back across the
river and keep that secret as the mesa had kept it.  When I at last
turned away, I saw still another canyon branching out of this one,
and in its was still another arch, with another group of buildings.
The notion struck me like a rifle ball that this mesa had once been
like a bee-hive; it was full of little cliff-hung villages, it had
been the home of a powerful tribe, a particular civilization.

That night when I got home Blake was on the river-bank waiting for
me.  I told him I'd rather not talk about my trip until after
supper,--that I was beat out.  I think he'd meant to upbraid me for
sneaking off, but he didn't.  He seemed to realize from the first
that this was a serious matter to me, and he accepted it in that

After supper, when we had lit our pipes, I told Blake and Henry as
clearly as I could what it was like over there, and we talked it
over.  The town in the cliffs explained the irrigation ditches.
Like all pueblo Indians, these people had had their farms away from
their dwellings.  For a stronghold they needed rock, and for
farming, soft earth and a water main.

"And this proves," said Roddy, "that there must have been a trail
into the mesa at the north end, and that they carried their harvest
over by the ford.  If this Cow Canyon was the only entrance, they
could never have farmed down here."  We agreed that he should go
over on the first warm day, and try to find a trail up to the Cliff
City, as we already called it.

We talked and speculated until after midnight.  It was Christmas
eve, and Henry said it was but right we should do something out of
the ordinary.  But after we went to bed, tired as I was, I was
unable to sleep.  I got up and dressed and put on my overcoat and
slipped outside to get sight of the mesa.  The wind had come up and
was blowing the squall clouds across the sky.  The moon was almost
full, hanging directly over the mesa, which had never looked so
solemn and silent to me before.  I wondered how many Christmases
had come and gone since that round tower was built.  I had been to
Acoma and the Hopi villages, but I'd never seen a tower like that
one.  It seemed to me to mark a difference.  I felt that only a
strong and aspiring people would have built it, and a people with a
feeling for design.  That cluster of buildings, in its arch, with
the dizzy drop into empty air from its doorways and the wall of
cliff above, was as clear in my mind as a picture.  By closing my
eyes I could see it against the dark, like a magic-lantern slide.

Blake got over the river before New Year's day, but he didn't find
any way of getting from the bottom of the box canyon up into the
Cliff City.  He felt sure that the inhabitants of that sky village
had reached it by a trail from the top of the mesa down, not from
the bottom of the canyon up.  He explored the branch canyons a
little, and found four other villages, smaller than the first,
placed in similar arches.

These arches we had often seen in other canyons.  You can find them
in the Grand Canyon, and all along the Rio Grande.  Whenever the
surface rock is much harder than the rock beneath it, the softer
stone begins to crack and crumble with weather just at the line
where it meets the hard rim rock.  It goes on crumbling and falling
away, and in time this wash-out grows to be a spacious cavern.  The
Cliff City sat in an unusually large cavern.  We afterward found
that it was three hundred and sixty feet long, and seventy feet
high in the centre.  The red tower was fifty feet in height.

Blake and I began to make plans.  Our engagement with the Sitwell
Company terminated in May.  When we turned our cattle over to the
foreman, we would go into the mesa with what food and tools we
could carry, and try to find a trail down the north end, where we
were sure there must once have been one.  If we could find an
easier way to get in and out of the mesa, we would devote the
summer, and our winter's wages, to exploring it.  From Tarpin, the
nearest railroad, we could get supplies and tools, and help if we
needed it.  We thought we could manage to do the work ourselves if
old Henry would stay with us.  We didn't want to make our discovery
any more public than necessary.  We were reluctant to expose those
silent and beautiful places to vulgar curiosity.  Finally we
outlined our plan to Henry, telling him we couldn't promise him
regular wages.

"We won't mention it," he said, waving his hand.  "I'd ask nothing
better than to share your fortunes.  In me youth it was me ambition
to go to Egypt and see the tombs of the Pharaohs."

"You may get a bad cold going over the river, Henry," Blake warned
him.  "It's a bad crossing--makes you dizzy when you take to
swimming.  You have to keep your head."

"I was never seasick in me life," he declared, "and at that, I've
helped in the cook's galley on the Anchor Line when she was fair
standing on her head.  You'll find me strong and active when I'm
once broke into the work.  I come of an enduring family, though, to
be sure, I've abused me constitution somewhat."

Henry liked to talk about his family, and the work they'd done, and
the great age to which they lived, and the brandy puddings his
mother made.  "Eighteen we was in all, when we sat down at table,"
he would often say with his thin, apologetic smile.  "Mother and
father, and ten living, and four dead, and two still-born."  Roddy
and I used to strain our imagination trying to visualize such a
family dinner party.

Everything worked out well for us.  The foreman showed so much
interest in our plans that we told him everything.  He insisted
that we should stay on at the winter camp as long as we needed a
home base, and use up whatever supplies were left.  When he paid us
off, he sold us our two horses at a very reasonable figure.

Chapter 4

Blake and I got over to the mesa together for the first time early
in May.  We carried with us all the food we could, and an ax and
spade.  It took us several days to find a trail leading from the
bottom of the box canyon up to the Cliff City.  There were gaps in
it; it was broken by ledges too steep for a man to climb.  Lying
beside one of these, we found an old dried cedar trunk, with toe-
notches cut in it.  That was a plain suggestion.  We felled some
trees and threw them up over the gaps in the path.  Toward the end
of the week, when our provisions were getting low, we made the last
lap in our climb, and stepped upon the ledge that was the floor of
the Cliff City.

In front of the cluster of buildings, there was an open space, like
a court-yard.  Along the outer edge of this yard ran a low stone
wall.  In some places the wall had fallen away from the weather,
but the buildings themselves sat so far back under the rim rock
that the rain had never beat on them.  In thunder-storms I've seen
the water come down in sheets over the face of that cavern without
a drop touching the village.

The court-yard was not choked by vegetation, for there was no soil.
It was bare rock, with a few old, flat-topped cedars growing out of
the cracks, and a little pale grass.  But everything seemed open
and clean, and the stones, I remember, were warm to the touch,
smooth and pleasant to feel.

The outer walls of the houses were intact, except where sometimes
an outjutting corner had crumbled.  They were made of dressed
stones, plastered inside and out with 'dobe, and were tinted in
light colours, pink and pale yellow and tan.  Here and there a
cedar log in the ceiling had given way and let the second-story
chamber down into the first; except for that, there was little
rubbish or disorder.  As Blake remarked, wind and sun are good

This village had never been sacked by an enemy, certainly.  Inside
the little rooms water jars and bowls stood about unbroken, and
yucca-fibre mats were on the floors.

We could give only a hurried look over the place, as our food was
exhausted, and we had to get back over the river before dark.  We
went about softly, tried not to disturb anything--even the silence.
Besides the tower, there seemed to be about thirty little separate
dwellings.  Behind the cluster of houses was a kind of back court-
yard, running from end to end of the cavern; a long, low, twilit
space that got gradually lower toward the back until the rim rock
met the floor of the cavern, exactly like the sloping roof of an
attic.  There was perpetual twilight back there, cool, shadowy,
very grateful after the blazing sun in the front court-yard.  When
we entered it we heard a soft trickling sound, and we came upon a
spring that welled out of the rock into a stone basin and then ran
off through a cobble-lined gutter and dripped down the cliffs.
I've never anywhere tasted water like it; as cold as ice, and so
pure.  Long afterward Father Duchene came out to spend a week with
us on the mesa; he always carried a small drinking-glass with him,
and he used to fill it at the spring and take it out into the
sunlight.  The water looked like liquid crystal, absolutely
colourless, without the slight brownish or greenish tint that water
nearly always has.  It threw off the sunlight like a diamond.

Beside this spring stood some of the most beautifully shaped water
jars we ever found--I gave Mrs. St. Peter one of them--standing
there just as if they'd been left yesterday.  In the back court we
found a great many things besides jars and bowls: a row of grinding
stones, and several clay ovens, very much like those the Mexicans
use to-day.  There were charred bones and charcoal, and the roof
was thick with soot all the way along.  It was evidently a kind of
common kitchen, where they roasted and baked and probably gossiped.
There were corncobs everywhere, and ears of corn with the kernels
still on them--little, like popcorn.  We found dried beans, too,
and strings of pumpkin seeds, and plum seeds, and a cupboard full
of little implements made of turkey bones.

Late that afternoon Roddy and I crossed the river and got back to
our cabin to rest for a few days.

The second time we went over, we found a long winding trail leading
from the Cliff City up to the top of the mesa--a narrow path worn
deep into the stone ledges that overhung the village, then running
back into the wood of stunted pinons on the summit.  Following this
to the north end of the mesa, we found what was left of an old road
down to the plain.  But making this road passable was a matter of
weeks, and we had to get workmen and tools from Tarpin.  It was a
narrow foot-path, barely wide enough for a sure-footed mule, and it
wound down through Black Canyon, dropping in loops along the face
of terrifying cliffs.  About a hundred feet above the river, it
ended--broke right off into the air.  A wall of rock had fallen
away there, probably from a landslide.  That last piece of road
cost us three weeks' hard work, and most of our winter's wages.  We
kept the workmen on long enough to build us a tight log cabin on
the mesa top, a little way back from the ledge that hung over the
Cliff City.

While we were engaged in road-building, we made a short cut from
our cabin down to the Cliff City and Cow Canyon.  Just over the
Cliff City, there was a crack in the ledge, a sort of manhole, and
in this we hung a ladder of pine-trunks spliced together with light
chains, leaving the branch forks for foot-holds.  By climbing down
this ladder we saved about two miles of winding trails, and dropped
almost directly into Cow Canyon, where we meant always to leave one
of the horses grazing.  Taking this route, we could at any time
make a quick exit from the mesa--we were used to swimming the river
now, and in summer our wet clothes dried very quickly.

Bill Hook, the liveryman at Tarpin, who'd sheltered old Henry when
he was down and out, proved a good friend to us.  He got our
workmen back and forth for us, brought our supplies up on to the
mesa on his pack-mules, and when one of us had to stay in town
overnight he let us sleep in his hay barn to save a hotel bill.  He
knew our expenses were heavy, and did everything for us at bottom

By the first of July our money was nearly gone, but we had our road
made, and our cabin built on top of the mesa.  We brought old Henry
up by the new horse-trail and began housekeeping.  We were now
ready for what we called excavating.  We built wide shelves all
around our sleeping-room, and there we put the smaller articles we
found in the Cliff City.  We numbered each specimen, and in my day-
book I wrote down just where and in what condition we had found it,
and what we thought it had been used for.  I'd got a merchant's
ledger in Tarpin, and every night after supper, while Roddy read
the newspapers, I sat down at the kitchen table and wrote up an
account of the day's work.

Henry, besides doing the housekeeping, was very eager to help us in
the "rew-ins," as he called them.  He was more patient than we, and
would dig with his fingers half a day to get a pot out of a rubbish
pile without breaking it.  After all, the old man had a wider
knowledge of the world than either of us, and it often came in
handy.  When we were working in a pale pink house, with two
stories, and a sort of balcony before the upper windows, we came on
a closet in the wall of the upstairs room; in this were a number of
curious thing, among them a deerskin bag full of little tools.
Henry said at once they were surgical instruments; a stone lancet,
a bunch of fine bone needles, wooden forceps, and a catheter.

One thing we knew about these people; they hadn't built their town
in a hurry.  Everything proved their patience and deliberation.
The cedar joists had been felled with stone axes and rubbed smooth
with sand.  The little poles that lay across them and held up the
clay floor of the chamber above, were smoothly polished.  The door
lintels were carefully fitted (the doors were stone slabs held in
place by wooden bars fitted into hasps).  The clay dressing that
covered the stone walls was tinted, and some of the chambers were
frescoed in geometrical patterns, one colour laid on another.  In
one room was a painted border, little tents, like Indian tepees, in
brilliant red.

But the really splendid thing about our city, the thing that made
it delightful to work there, and must have made it delightful to
live there, was the setting.  The town hung like a bird's nest in
the cliff, looking off into the box canyon below, and beyond into
the wide valley we called Cow Canyon, facing an ocean of clear air.
A people who had the hardihood to build there, and who lived day
after day looking down upon such grandeur, who came and went by
those hazardous trails, must have been, as we often told each
other, a fine people.  But what had become of them?  What
catastrophe had overwhelmed them?

They hadn't moved away, for they had taken none of their
belongings, not even their clothes.  Oh, yes, we found clothes;
yucca moccasins, and what seemed like cotton cloth, woven in black
and white.  Never any wool, but sheepskins tanned with the fleece
on them.  They may have been mountain sheep; the mesa was full of
them.  We talked of shooting one for meat, but we never did.  When
a mountain sheep comes out on a ledge hundreds of feet above you,
with his trumpet horns, there's something noble about him--he looks
like a priest.  We didn't want to shoot at them and make them shy.
We liked to see them.  We shot a wild cow when we wanted fresh

At last we came upon one of the original inhabitants--not a
skeleton, but a dried human body, a woman.  She was not in the
Cliff City; we found her in a little group of houses stuck up in a
high arch we called the Eagle's Nest.  She was lying on a yucca
mat, partly covered with rags, and she had dried into a mummy in
that water-drinking air.  We thought she had been murdered; there
was a great wound in her side, the ribs stuck out through the dried
flesh.  Her mouth was open as if she were screaming, and her face,
through all those years, had kept a look of terrible agony.  Part
of the nose was gone, but she had plenty of teeth, not one missing,
and a great deal of coarse black hair.  Her teeth were even and
white, and so little worn that we thought she must have been a
young woman.  Henry named her Mother Eve, and we called her that.
We put her in a blanket and let her down with great care, and kept
her in a chamber in the Cliff City.

Yes, we found three other bodies, but afterward.  One day, working
in the Cliff City, we came upon a stone slab at one end of the
cavern, that seemed to lead straight into the rock.  It was set in
cement, and when we loosened it we found it opened into a small,
dark chamber.  In this there had been a platform, of fine cedar
poles laid side by side, but it had crumbled.  In the wreckage were
three bodies, one man and two women, wrapped in yucca-fibre, all in
the same posture and apparently prepared for burial.  They were the
bodies of old people.  We believed they were among the aged who
were left behind when the tribe went down to live on their farms in
the summer season, that they had died in the absence of the
villages, and were put into this mortuary chamber to await the
return of the tribe, when they would have their funeral rites.
Probably these people burned their dead.  Of course an archaeologist
could have told a great deal about that civilization from those
bodies.  But they never got to an archaeologist--at least, not on
this side of the world.

Chapter 5

The first of August came, and everything was going well with us.
We hadn't met with any bad luck, and though we had very little
money left, there was Blake's untouched savings account in the bank
at Pardee, and we had plenty of credit in Tarpin.  The merchants
there took an interest and were friendly.  But the little new moon,
that looked so innocent, brought us trouble.  We lost old Henry,
and in a terrible way.  From the first we'd been a little bothered
by rattlesnakes--you generally find them about old stone quarries
and old masonry.  We had got them pretty well cleared out of the
Cliff City, hadn't seen one there for weeks.  But one Sunday we
took Henry and went on an exploring expedition at the north end of
the mesa, along Black Canyon.  We caught sight of a little bunch of
ruins we'd never noticed before, and made a foolhardy scramble to
get up to them.  We almost made it, and then there was a stretch of
rock wall so smooth we couldn't climb it without a ladder.  I was
the tallest of the three, and Henry was the lightest; he thought he
could get up there if he stood on my shoulders.  He was standing on
my back, his head just above the floor of the cavern, groping for
something to hoist himself by, when a snake struck him from the
ledge--struck him square in the forehead.  It happened in a flash.
He came down and brought the snake with him.  By the time we picked
him up and turned him over, his face had begun to swell.  In ten
minutes it was purple, and he was so crazy it took the two of us to
hold him and keep him from jumping down the chasm.  He was struck
so near the brain that there was nothing to do.  It lasted nearly
two hours.  Then we carried him home.  Roddy dropped down the
ladder into Cow Canyon, caught his horse, and rode into Tarpin for
the coroner.  Father Duchene was preaching there at the mission
church that Sunday, and came back with him.

We buried Henry on the mesa.  Father Duchene stayed on with us a
week to keep us company.  We were so cut up that we were almost
ready to quit.  But he had been planning to come out to see our
find for a long while, and he got our minds off our trouble.  He
worked hard every day.  He went over everything we'd done, and
examined everything minutely: the pottery, cloth, stone implements,
and the remains of food.  He measured the heads of the mummies and
declared they had good skulls.  He cut down one of the old cedars
that grew exactly in the middle of the deep trail worn in the
stone, and counted the rings under his pocket microscope.  You
couldn't count them with the unassisted eye, for growing out of a
tiny crevice in the rock as that tree did, the increase of each
year was so scant that the rings were invisible except with a
glass.  The tree he cut down registered three hundred and thirty-
six years' growth, and it could have begun to grow in that well-
worn path only after human feet had ceased to come and go there.

Why had they ceased?  That question puzzled him, too.  Smallpox,
any epidemic, would have left unburied bodies.  Father Duchene
suggested what Dr. Ripley, in Washington, afterward surmised: that
the tribe had been exterminated, not here in their stronghold, but
in their summer camp, down among the farms across the river.
Father Duchene had been among the Indians nearly twenty years then,
he had seventeen Indian pueblos in his parish, and he spoke several
Indian dialects.  He was able to explain the use of many of the
implements we found, especially those used in religious ceremonies.
The night before he left us, he summed up the results of his week's
study, something like this:

"The two square towers on the mesa top, to which you have given
little attention, were unquestionably granaries.  Under the stones
and earth fallen from the walls, there is a quantity of dried corn
on the ear.  Not a great harvest, for life must have come to an end
here in the summer, when the new crop was not yet garnered and the
last year's grain was getting low.  The semicircular ridge on the
mesa top, which you can see distinctly among the pinons when the
sun is low and brings it into high relief, is the buried wall of an
amphitheatre, where probably religious exercises and games took
place.  I advise you not to dig into it.  It is probably the most
important thing here, and should be left for scholars to excavate.

"The tower you so much admire in the cliff village may have been a
watch tower, as you think, but from the curious placing of those
narrow slits, like windows, I believe it was used for astronomical
observations.  I am inclined to think that your tribe were a
superior people.  Perhaps they were not so when they first came
upon this mesa, but in an orderly and secure life they developed
considerably the arts of peace.  There is evidence on every hand
that they lived for something more than food and shelter.  They had
an appreciation of comfort, and went even further than that.  Their
life, compared to that of our roving Navajos, must have been quite
complex.  There is unquestionably a distinct feeling for design in
what you call the Cliff City.  Buildings are not grouped like that
by pure accident, though convenience probably had much to do with
it.  Convenience often dictates very sound design.

"The workmanship on both the wood and stone of the dwellings is
good.  The shapes and decoration of the water jars and food bowls
is better than in any of the existing pueblos I know, better even
than the pottery made at Acoma.  I have seen a collection of early
pottery from the island of Crete.  Many of the geometrical
decorations on these jars are not only similar, but, if my memory
is trustworthy, identical.

"I see your tribe as a provident, rather thoughtful people, who
made their livelihood secure by raising crops and fowl--the great
number of turkey bones and feathers are evidence that they had
domesticated the wild turkey.  With grain in their storerooms, and
mountain sheep and deer for their quarry, they rose gradually from
the condition of savagery.  With the proper variation of meat and
vegetable diet, they developed physically and improved in the
primitive arts.  They had looms and mills, and experimented with
dyes.  At the same time, they possibly declined in the arts of war,
in brute strength and ferocity.

"I see them here, isolated, cut off from other tribes, working out
their destiny, making their mesa more and more worthy to be a home
for man, purifying life by religious ceremonies and observances,
caring respectfully for their dead, protecting the children,
doubtless entertaining some feelings of affection and sentiment for
this stronghold where they were at once so safe and so comfortable,
where they had practically overcome the worst hardships that
primitive man had to fear.  They were, perhaps, too far advanced
for their time and environment.

"They were probably wiped out, utterly exterminated, by some roving
Indian tribe without culture or domestic virtues, some horde that
fell upon them in their summer camp and destroyed them for their
hides and clothing and weapons, or from mere love of slaughter.  I
feel sure that these brutal invaders never even learned of the
existence of this mesa, honeycombed with habitations.  If they had
come here, they would have destroyed.  They killed and went their

"What I cannot understand is why you have not found more human
remains.  The three bodies you found in the mortuary chamber were
prepared for burial by the old people who were left behind.  But
what of the last survivors?  It is possible that when autumn wore
on, and no one returned from the farms, the aged banded together,
went in search of their people, and perished in the plain.

"Like you, I feel reverence for this place.  Wherever humanity has
made that hardest of all starts and lifted itself out of mere
brutality, is a sacred spot.  Your people were cut off here without
the influence of example or emulation, with no incentive but some
natural yearning for order and security.  They built themselves
into this mesa and humanized it."

Father Duchene warmly agreed with Blake that I ought to go to
Washington and make some report to the Government, so that the
proper specialists would be sent out to study the remains we had

"You must go to the Director of the Smithsonian Institution," he
said.  "He will send us an archaeologist who will interpret all
that is obscure to us.  He will revive this civilization in a
scholarly work.  It may be that you will have thrown light on some
important points in the history of your country."

After he left us, Blake and I began to make definite plans for my
trip to Washington.  Blake was to work on the railroad that winter
and save as much money as possible.  The expense of my journey
would be paid out of what we called the jack-pot account, in the
bank at Pardee.  All our further expenses on the mesa would be paid
by the Government.  Roddy often hinted that we would get a
substantial reward of some kind.  When we broke or lost anything at
our work, he used to smile and say:  "Never mind.  I guess our
Uncle Sam will make that good to us."

We had a beautiful autumn that year, soft, sunny, like a dream.
Even up there in the air we had so little wind that the gold hung
on the poplars and quaking aspens late in November.  We stayed out
on the mesa until after Christmas.  We wanted our archaeologist,
when he came, to find everything in good order.  We cleared up any
litter we'd made in digging things out, stored all the specimens,
even the mummies, in our cabin, and padlocked the doors and windows
before we left it.  I had written up my day-book carefully to the
very end, had even written out some of Father Duchene's deductions.
This book I left in concealment on the mesa.  I climbed up to the
Eagle's Nest in which we had found the mummy of the murdered woman
we called Mother Eve, where I had noticed a particularly neat
little cupboard in the wall.  I put my book in this niche and
sealed it up with cement.  Mother Eve had greatly interested Father
Duchene, by the way.  He laughed and said she was well named.  He
didn't believe her death could throw any light on the destruction
of her people.  "I seem to smell," he said slyly, "a personal
tragedy.  Perhaps when the tribe went down to the summer camp, our
lady was sick and would not go.  Perhaps her husband thought it
worth while to return unannounced from the farms some night, and
found her in improper company.  The young man may have escaped.  In
primitive society the husband is allowed to punish an unfaithful
wife with death."

When the first snow began to fly, we said goodbye to our mesa and
rode into Tarpin.  It took several days to outfit me for my journey
to Washington.  We bought a trunk (I'd never owned one in my life),
and a supply of white shirts, an overcoat that was as heavy as lead
and just about as cold, and two suits of clothes.  That
conscienceless trader worked off on me a clawhammer coat he must
have had in stock for twenty years.  He easily persuaded Roddy that
it was the proper thing for dress occasions.  I think Roddy
expected that I would be received by ambassadors--perhaps I did.

Roddy drew me six hundred dollars out of the bank to stake me, and
bought my ticket and Pullman through to Washington.  He went to the
station with me the morning I left, and a hard handshake was good-

For a long while after my train pulled out, I could see our mesa
bulking up blue on the sky-line.  I hated to leave it, but I
reflected that it had taken care of itself without me for a good
many hundred years.  When I saw it again, I told myself, I would
have done my duty by it; I would bring back with me men who would
understand it, who would appreciate it and dig out all its secrets.

Chapter 6

I got off the train, just behind the Capitol building, one cold
bright January morning.  I stood for a long while watching the
white dome against a flashing blue sky, with a very religious
feeling.  After I had walked about a little and seen the parks, so
green though it was winter, and the Treasury building, and the War
and Navy, I decided to put off my business for a little and give
myself a week to enjoy the city.  That was the most sensible thing
I did while I was there.  For that week I was wonderfully happy.

My sightseeing over, I got to work.  First I went to see the
Representative from our district, to ask for letters of
introduction.  He was cordial enough, but he gave me bad advice.
He was very positive that I ought to report to the Indian
Commission, and gave me a letter to the Commissioner.  The
Commissioner was out of town, and I wasted three days waiting about
his office, being questioned by clerks and secretaries.  They were
not very busy, and seemed to find me entertaining.  I thought they
were interested in my mission, and interest was what I wanted to
arouse.  I didn't know how influential these people might be--they
talked as if they had great authority.  I had brought along in my
telescope bag some good pieces of pottery--not the best, I was
afraid of accident, but some that were representative--and all the
photographs Blake and I had taken.  We had only a small kodak, and
these pictures didn't make much show,--looked, indeed, like grubby
little 'dobe ruins such as one can find almost anywhere.  They gave
no idea of the beauty and vastness of the setting.  The clerks at
the Indian Commission seemed very curious about everything and made
me talk a lot.  I was green and didn't know any better.  But when
one of the fellows there tried to get me to give him my best bowl
for his cigarette ashes, I began to suspect the nature of their

At last the Commissioner returned, but he had pressing engagements,
and I hung around several days more before he would see me.  After
questioning me for about half an hour, he told me that his business
was with living Indians, not dead ones, and that his office should
have informed me of that in the beginning.  He advised me to go
back to our Congressman and get a letter to the Smithsonian
Institution.  I packed up my pottery and got out of the place,
feeling pretty sore.  The head clerk followed me down the corridor
and asked me what I'd take for that little bowl he'd taken a fancy
to.  He said it had no market value, I'd find Washington full of
such things; there were cases of them in the cellar at the
Smithsonian that they'd never taken the trouble to unpack, hadn't
any place to put them.

I went back to my Congressman.  This time he wasn't so friendly as
before, but he gave me a letter to the Smithsonian.  There I went
through the same experience.  The director couldn't be seen except
by appointment, and his secretary had to be convinced that your
business was important before he would give you an appointment with
his chief.  After the first morning I found it difficult to see
even the secretary.  He was always engaged.  I was told to take a
seat and wait, but when he was disengaged he was hurrying off to
luncheon.  I would sit there all morning with a group of
unfortunate people: girls who wanted to get typewriting to do, nice
polite old men who wanted to be taken out on surveys and
expeditions next summer.  The secretary would at last come out with
his overcoat on, and would hurry through the waiting-room reading a
letter or a report, without looking up.

The office assistants cheered me along, and I kept this up for some
days, sitting all morning in that room, studying the patterns of
the rugs, and the shoes of the patient waiters who came as
regularly as I.  One day after the secretary had gone out, his
stenographer, a nice little Virginia girl, came and sat down in an
empty chair next to mine and began talking to me.  She wasn't
pretty, but her kind eyes and soft Southern voice took hold of me
at once.  She wanted to know what I had in my telescope, and why I
was there, and where I came from, and all about it.  Nearly
everyone else had gone out to lunch--that seemed to be the one
thing they did regularly in Washington--and we had the waiting-room
to ourselves.  I talked to her a good deal.  Her name was Virginia
Ward.  She was a tiny little thing, but she had lovely eyes and
such gentle ways.  She seemed indignant that I had been put off so
long after having come so far.

"Now you just let me fix it up for you," she said at last.  "Mr.
Wagner is bothered by a great many foolish people who waste his
time, and he is suspicious.  The best way will be for you to invite
him to lunch with you.  I'll arrange it.  I keep a list of his
appointments, and I know he is not engaged for luncheon tomorrow.
I'll tell him that he is to lunch with a nice boy who has come all
the way from New Mexico to inform the Department about an important
discovery.  I'll tell him to meet you at the Shoreham, at one.
That's expensive, but it would do no good to invite him to a cheap
place.  And, remember, you must ask him to order the luncheon.  It
will maybe cost you ten dollars, but it will get you somewhere."

I felt grateful to the nice little thing,--she wasn't older than I.
I begged her wouldn't she please come to lunch with me herself to-
day, and talk to me.

"Oh, no!" she said, blushing red as a poppy.  "Why, I'm afraid you

I told her I didn't think anything but how nice she was to me, and
how lonesome I was.  She went with me, but she wouldn't go to any
swell place.  She told me a great many useful things.

"If you want to get attention from anybody in Washin'ton," she
said, "ask them to lunch.  People here will do almost anything for
a good lunch."

"But the Director of the Smithsonian, for instance," I said,
"surely you don't mean that the high-up ones like that--?  Why
would he want to bother with a cow-puncher from New Mexico, when he
can lunch with scientists and ambassadors?"

She had a pretty little fluttery Southern laugh.  "You just name a
hotel like the Shoreham to the Director, and try it!  There has to
be somebody to pay for a lunch, and the scientists and ambassadors
don't do that when they can avoid it.  He'd accept your invitation,
and the next time he went to dine with the Secretary of State he'd
make a nice little story of it, and paint you up so pretty you'd
hardly know yourself."

When I asked her whether I'd better take my pottery--it was there
under the table between us--to the Shoreham to show Mr. Wagner, she
tittered again.  "I wouldn't bother.  If you show him enough of the
Shoreham pottery, that will be more effective."

The next morning, when the secretary arrived at his office, he
stopped by my chair and said he understood he had an engagement
with me for one o'clock.  That was a good idea, he added: his mind
was freer when he was away from office routine.

I had been in Washington twenty-two days when I took the secretary
out to lunch.  It was an excellent lunch.  We had a bottle of
Chateau d'Yquem.  I'd never heard of such a wine before, but I
remember it because it cost five dollars.  I drank only one glass,
and that pleased him too, for he drank the rest.  Though he was
friendly and talked a great deal, my heart sank lower, for he
wouldn't let me explain my mission to him at all.  He kept telling
me that he knew all about the South-west.  He had been sent by the
Smithsonian to conduct parties of European archaeologists through
all the show places, Frijoles and Canyon de Chelly, and Taos, and
the Hopi pueblos.  When some Austrian Archduke had gone to hunt in
the Pecos range, he had been sent by his chief and the German
ambassador to manage the tour, and he had done it with such success
that both he and the Director were given decorations from the
Austrian Crown, in recognition of his services.  Then I had to
listen to a long story about how well he was treated by the
Archduke when he went to Vienna with his chief the following
summer.  I had to hear about the balls and receptions, and the
names and titles of all the people he had met at the Duke's country
estate.  I was amazed and ashamed that a man of fifty, a man of the
world, a scholar with ever so many degrees, should find it worth
his while to show off before a boy, and a boy of such humble
pretensions, who didn't know how to eat the hors d'oevres any more
than if an assortment of cocoanuts had been set before him with no

Imagine my astonishment when, as he was drinking his liqueur, he
said carelessly:  "By the way, I was successful in arranging an
interview with the Director for you.  He will see you at four
o'clock on Monday."

That was Thursday.  I spent the time between then and Monday trying
to find out something more about the kind of people I had come
among.  I persuaded Virginia Ward to go to the theatre with me, and
she told me that it always took a long while to get anything
through with the Director, that I mustn't lose heart, and she would
always be glad to cheer me up.  She lived with her mother, a widow
lady, and they had me come to dinner and were very nice to me.

All this time I was living with a young married couple who
interested me very much, for they were unlike any people I had ever
known.  The husband was "in office," as they say there, he had some
position in the War Department.  How it did use to depress me to
see all the hundreds of clerks come pouring out of that big
building at sunset!  Their lives seemed to me so petty, so slavish.
The couple I lived with gave me a prejudice against that kind of
life.  I couldn't help knowing a good deal about their affairs.
They had only a small rented flat, and rented me one room of it, so
I was very much in their confidence and couldn't help overhearing.
They asked me not to mention the fact that I paid rent, as they had
told their friends I was making them a visit.  It was like that in
everything; they spent their lives trying to keep up appearances,
and to make his salary do more than it could.  When they weren't
discussing where she should go in the summer, they talked about the
promotions in his department; how much the other clerks got and how
they spent it, how many new dresses their wives had.  And there was
always a struggle going on for an invitation to a dinner or a
reception, or even a tea-party.  When once they got the invitation
they had been scheming for, then came the terrible question of what
Mrs. Bixby should wear.

The Secretary of War gave a reception; there was to be dancing and
a great showing of foreign uniforms.  The Bixbys were in painful
suspense until they got a card.  Then for a week they talked about
nothing but what Mrs. Bixby was going to wear.  They decided that
for such an occasion she must have a new dress.  Bixby borrowed
twenty-five dollars from me, and took his lunch hour to go shopping
with his wife and choose the satin.  That seemed to me very
strange.  In New Mexico the Indian boys sometime went to trader's
with their wives and bought shawls or calico, and we thought it
rather contemptible.  On the night of the reception the Bixbys set
off gaily in a cab; the dress they considered a great success.  But
they had bad luck.  Somebody spilt claret-cup on Mrs. Bixby's skirt
before the evening was half over, and when they got home that night
I heard her weeping and reproaching him for having been so upset
about it, and looking at nothing but her ruined dress all evening.
She said he cried out when it happened.  I don't doubt it.

Every cab, every party, was more than they could afford.  If he
lost an umbrella, it was a real misfortune.  He wasn't lazy, he
wasn't a fool, and he meant to be honest; but he was intimidated by
that miserable sort of departmental life.  He didn't know anything
else.  He thought working in a store or a bank not respectable.
Living with the Bixbys gave me a kind of low-spiritedness I had
never known before.  During my days of waiting for appointments, I
used to walk for hours around the fence that shuts in the White
House grounds, and watch the Washington monument colour with those
beautiful sunsets, until the time when all the clerks streamed out
of the treasury building and the War and Navy.  Thousands of them,
all more or less like the couple I lived with.  They seemed to me
like people in slavery, who ought to be free.  I remember the city
chiefly by those beautiful, hazy, sad sunsets, white columns and
green shrubbery, and the monument shaft still pink while the stars
were coming out.

I got my interview with the Director of the Smithsonian at last.
He gave me his attention, he was interested.  He told me to come
again in three days and meet Dr. Ripley, who was the authority on
prehistoric Indian remains and had excavated a lot of them.  Then
came an exciting and rather encouraging time for me.  Dr. Ripley
asked the right sort of questions, and evidently knew his business.
He said he'd like to take the first train down to my mesa.  But it
required money to excavate, and he had none.  There was a bill up
before Congress for an appropriation.  We'd have to wait.  I must
use my influence with my Representative.  He took my pottery to
study it.  (I never got it back, by the way.)  There was a Dr. Fox,
connected with the Smithsonian, who was also interested.  They told
me a good many things I wanted to know, and kept me dangling about
the office.  Of course they were very kind to take so much trouble
with a green boy.  But I soon found that the Director and all his
staff had one interest which dwarfed every other.  There was to be
an International Exposition of some sort in Europe the following
summer, and they were all pulling strings to get appointed on
juries or sent to international congresses--appointments that would
pay their expenses abroad, and give them a salary in addition.
There was, indeed, a bill before Congress for appropriations for
the Smithsonian; but there was also a bill for Exposition
appropriations, and that was the one they were really pushing.
They kept me hanging on through March and April, but in the end it
came to nothing.  Dr. Ripley told me he was sorry, but the sum
Congress had allowed the Smithsonian wouldn't cover an expedition
to the Southwest.

Virginia Ward, who had been so kind to me, went out to lunch with
me that day, and admitted I had been let down.  She was almost as
much disappointed as I.  She said the only thing Dr. Ripley really
cared about was getting a free trip to Europe and acting on a jury,
and maybe getting a decoration.  "And that's what the Director
wants, too," she said.  "They don't care much about dead and gone
Indians.  What they do care about is going to Paris, and getting
another ribbon on their coats."

The only other person besides Virginia who was genuinely concerned
about my affair was a young Frenchman, a lieutenant attached to the
French Embassy, who came to the Smithsonian often on business
connected with this same International Exposition.  He was nice and
polite to Virginia, and she introduced him to me.  We used to walk
down along the Potomac together.  He studied my photographs and
asked me such intelligent questions about everything that it was a
pleasure to talk to him.  He had a fine attitude about it all; he
was thoughtful, critical, and respectful.  I feel sure he'd have
gone back to New Mexico with me if he'd had the money.  He was even
poorer than I.

I was utterly ashamed to go home to Roddy, dead broke after all the
money I'd spent, and without a thing to show for it.  I hung on in
Washington through May, trying to get a job of some sort, to at
least earn my fare home.  My letters to Blake had been pretty blue
for some time back.  If I'd been sensible, I'd have kept my
troubles to myself.  He was easily discouraged, and I knew that.
At last I had to write him for money to go home.  It was slow in
coming, and I began to telegraph.  I left Washington at last, wiser
than I came.  I had no plans, I wanted nothing but to get back to
the mesa and live a free life and breathe free air, and never,
never again to see hundreds of little black-coated men pouring out
of white buildings.  Queer, how much more depressing they are than
workmen coming out of a factory.

I was terribly disappointed when I got off the train at Tarpin and
Roddy wasn't at the station to meet me.  It was late in the
afternoon, almost dark, and I went straight to the livery stable to
ask Bill Hook for news of Blake.  Hook, you remember, had done all
our hauling for us, and had been a good friend.  He gave me a glad
hand and said Blake was out on the mesa.

"I expect maybe he's had his feelings hurt here.  He's been shy of
this town lately.  You see, Tom, folks weren't bothered none about
that mesa so long as you fellows were playing Robinson Crusoe out
there, digging up curios.  But when it leaked out that Blake had
got a lot of money for your stuff, then they begun to feel jealous--
said them ruins didn't belong to Blake any more than anybody else.
It'll blow over in time; people are always like that when money
changes hands.  But right now there's a good deal of bad feeling."

I told him I didn't know what he was talking about.

"You mean you ain't heard about the German, Fechtig?  Well,
Rodney's got some surprise waiting for you!  Why, he's had the
damnedest luck!  He's cleaned up a neat little pile on your stuff."

I begged him to tell me what stuff he meant.

"Why, your curios.  This German, Fechtig, come along; he'd been
buying up a lot of Indian things out here, and he bought your whole
outfit and paid four thousand dollars down for it.  The transaction
made quite a stir here in Tarpin.  I'm not kicking.  I made a good
thing out of it.  My mules were busy three weeks packing the stuff
out of there on their backs, and I held the Dutchman up for a fancy
price.  He had packing cases made at the wagon shop and took 'em up
to the mesa full of straw and sawdust, and packed the curios out
there.  I lost one of my mules, too.  You remember Jenny?  Well,
they were leading her down with a big box on her, and right there
where the trail runs so narrow around a bump in the cliff above
Black Canyon, she lost her balance and fell clean to the bottom,
her load on her.  Pretty near a thousand feet, I guess.  We never
went down to hold a post-mortem, but Fechtig paid for her like a

I remember I sat down on the sofa in Hook's office because I
couldn't stand up any longer, and the smell of the horse blankets
began to make me deathly sick.  In a minute I went over, like a
girl in a novel.  Hook pulled me out on the sidewalk and gave me
some whisky out of his pocket flask.

When I felt better I asked him how long this German had been gone,
and what he had done with the things.

"Oh, he cleared out three weeks ago.  He didn't waste no time.  He
treated everybody well, though; nobody's sore at him.  It's your
partner they're turned against.  Fechtig took the stuff right along
with him, chartered a freight car, and travelled in the car with
it.  I reckon it's on the water by now.  He took it straight
through into Old Mexico, and was to load it on a French boat.
Seems he was afraid of having trouble getting curiosities out of
the United States ports.  You know you can take anything out of the
City of Mexico."

I had heard all I wanted to hear.  I went to the hotel, got a room,
and lay down without undressing to wait for daylight.  Hook was to
drive me and my trunk out to the mesa early the next morning.  All
I'd been through in Washington was nothing to what I went through
that night.  I thought Blake must have lost his mind.  I didn't for
a minute believe he'd meant to sell me out, but I cursed his
stupidity and presumption.  I had never told him just how I felt
about those things we'd dug out together, it was the kind of thing
one doesn't talk about directly.  But he must have known; he
couldn't have lived with me all summer and fall without knowing.
And yet, until that night, I had never known myself that I cared
more about them than about anything else in the world.

At the first blink of daylight I jumped up from my damnable bed and
went round to the stable to rout Hook out of his bunk.  We had
breakfast and got out of town with his best team.  On the way to
the mesa we had a break-down, one of the old dry wheels smashed to
splinters.  Hook had to unhitch and ride back to Tarpin and get
another.  Everything took an unreasonably long time, and the
afternoon was half gone when he put me and my trunk down at the
foot of the Black Canyon trail.  Every inch of that trail was dear
to me, every delicate curve about the old pinon roots, every chancy
track along the face of the cliffs, and the deep windings back into
shrubbery and safety.  The wild-currant bushes were in bloom, and
where the path climbed the side of a narrow ravine, the scent of
them in the sun was so heavy that it made me soft, made me want to
lie down and sleep.  I wanted to see and touch everything, like
home-sick children when they come home.

When I pulled out on top of the mesa, the rays of sunlight fell
slantingly through the little twisted pinons,--the light was all in
between them, as red as a daylight fire, they fairly swam in it.
Once again I had that glorious feeling that I've never had anywhere
else, the feeling of being ON THE MESA, in a world above the world.
And the air, my God, what air!--Soft, tingling, gold, hot with an
edge of chill on it, full of the smell of pinons--it was like
breathing the sun, breathing the colour of the sky.  Down there
behind me was the plain, already streaked with shadow, violet and
purple and burnt orange until it met the horizon.  Before me was
the flat mesa top, thinly sprinkled with old cedars that were not
much taller than I, though their twisted trunks were almost as
thick as my body.  I struck off across it, my long black shadow
going ahead.

I made straight for the cabin, it was about three miles from the
spot where the trail emerged at the top.  I saw smoke rising before
I could see the hut itself.  Blake was in the doorway when I got
there.  I didn't look at his face, but I could feel that he looked
at mine.

"Don't say anything, Tom.  Don't rip me up until you hear all about
it," he said as I came toward him.

"I've heard enough to about do for me," I blurted out.  "What made
you do it, Blake?  What made you do it?"

"It was a chance in a million, boy.  There wasn't any time to
consult you.  There's only one man in thousands that wants to buy
relics and pay real money for them.  I could see how your
Washington campaign was coming out.  I know you'd thought about big
figures, so had I.  But that was all a pipe dream.  Four thousand's
not so bad, you don't pick it up every day.  And he bore all the
expenses.  Why, it was a terrible expensive job, getting all that
frail stuff out of here.  Who else would have bought it, I want to
know?  We'd have had to pack it around at Harvey Houses, selling it
at a dollar a bowl, like the poor Indians do.  I took the best
chance going, for both of us, Tom."

I didn't say anything, because there was too much to say.  I stood
outside the cabin until the gold light went blue and a few stars
came out, hardly brighter than the bright sky they twinkled in, and
the swallows came flying over us, on their way to their nests in
the cliffs.  It was the time of day when everything goes home.
From habit and from weariness I went in through the door.  The
kitchen table was spread for supper, I could smell a rabbit stew
cooking on the stove.  Blake lit the lantern and begged me to eat
my supper.  I didn't go into the bunk-room, for I knew the shelves
in there were empty.  I heard Blake talking to me as you hear
people talking when you are asleep.

"Who else would have bought them?" he kept saying.  "Folks make a
lot of fuss over such things, but they don't want to pay good money
for them."

When I at last told him that such a thing as selling them had never
entered my head, I'm sure he thought I was lying.  He reminded me
about how we used to talk of getting big money from the Government.

I admitted I'd hoped we'd be paid for our work, and maybe get a
bonus of some kind, for our discovery.  "But I never thought of
selling them, because they weren't mine to sell--nor yours!  They
belonged to this country, to the State, and to all the people.
They belonged to boys like you and me, that have no other ancestors
to inherit from.  You've gone and sold them to a country that's got
plenty of relics of its own.  You've gone and sold your country's
secrets, like Dreyfus."

"That man was innocent.  It was a frame-up," Blake murmured.  It
was a point he would never pass up.

"Whether he's guilty or not, you are!  If there was only anybody in
Washington I could telegraph to, and have that German held up at
the port!"

"That's just it.  If there was anybody in Washington that cared a
damn, I wouldn't have sold 'em.  But you pretty well found out
there ain't."

"We could have kept them, then," I told him.  "I've got a strong
back.  I'm not so poor that I have to sell the pots and pans that
belonged to my poor grandmothers a thousand years ago.  I made all
my plans on the train, coming back."  (It was a lie, I hadn't.)  "I
meant to get a job on the railroad and keep our find right here,
and come back to it when I had a lay-off.  I think a lot more of it
now than before I went to Washington.  And after a while, when that
Exposition is over and the Smithsonian people get home, they would
come out here all right.  I've learned enough from them so that I
could go on with it myself."

Blake reminded me that I had my way to make in the world, and that
I wanted to go to school.  "That money's in the bank this minute,
in your name, and you're going to college on it.  You're not going
to be a day-labourer like me.  After you've got your sheepskin,
then you can divide with me."

"You think I'd touch that money?"  I looked squarely at him for the
first time.  "No more than if you'd stolen it.  You made the sale.
Get what you can out of it.  I want to ask you one question: did
you ever think I was digging those things up for what I could sell
them for?"

Rodney explained that he knew I cared about the things, and was
proud of them, but he'd always supposed I meant to "realize" on
them, just as he did, and that it would come to money in the end.
"Everything does," he added.

"If that nice young Frenchman I met had come down here with me, and
offered me four million instead of four thousand, I'd have refused
him.  There never was any question of money with me, where this
mesa and its people were concerned.  They were something that had
been preserved through the ages by a miracle, and handed on to you
and me, two poor cow-punchers, rough and ignorant, but I thought we
were men enough to keep a trust.  I'd as soon have sold my own
grandmother as Mother Eve--I'd have sold any living woman first."

"Save your tears," said Roddy grimly.  "She refused to leave us.
She went to the bottom of Black Canyon and carried Hook's best mule
along with her.  They had to make her box extra wide, and she
crowded out an inch or so too far from the canyon wall."

This painful interview went on for hours.  I walked up and down the
kitchen trying to make Blake understand the kind of value those
objects had had for me.  Unfortunately, I succeeded.  He sat
slumping on the bench, his elbows on the table, shading his eyes
from the lantern with his hands.

"There's no need to keep this up," he said at last.  "You're away
out of my depth, but I think I get you.  You might have given me
some of this Fourth of July talk a little earlier in the game.  I
didn't know you valued that stuff any different than anything else
a fellow might run on to: a gold mine or a pocket of turquoise."

"I suppose you gave him my diary along with the rest?"

"No," said Blake, his voice growing gloomier and darker, "that's in
the Eagle's Nest, where you hid it.  That's your private property.
I supposed I had some share in the relics we dug up--you always
spoke of it that way.  But I see now I was working for you like a
hired man, and while you were away I sold your property."

I said again it wasn't mine or his.  He took something out of the
pocket of his flannel shirt and laid it on the table.  I saw it was
a bank passbook, with my name on the yellow cover.

"You may as well keep it," I said.  "I'll never touch it.  You had
no right to deposit it in my name.  The townspeople are sore about
the money, and they'll hold it against me."

"No they won't.  Can't you trust me to fix that?"

"I don't know what I can trust you with, Blake.  I don't know where
I'm at with you," I said.

He got up and began putting on his coat.  "Motives don't count,
eh?" he said, his face turned away, as he put his arm into the

"They would in anything of our own, between you and me," I told
him.  "If it was my money you'd lost gambling, or my girl you'd
made free with, we could fight it out, and maybe be friends again.
But this is different."

"I see.  You make it clear."  He was quietly stirring around as he
spoke.  He got his old knapsack off its nail on the wall, opened
his trunk and took out some underwear and socks and a couple of
shirts.  After he had put these into the bag, he slung it over one
shoulder, and his canvas water-bag over the other.  I let these
preparations go on without a word.  He went to the cupboard over
the stove and put some sticks of chocolate into his pocket, then
his pipe and a bag of tobacco.  Presently I said he'd break his
neck if he tried riding down the trail in the dark.

"I'm not riding the trail," he replied curtly.  "I'm going down the
quick way.  My horse is grazing in Cow Canyon."

"I noticed the river's high.  It's dangerous crossing," I remarked.

"I got over that way a few days ago.  I'm surprised at you, using
such common expressions!" he said sarcastically.  "Dangerous
crossing; it's painted on signboards all over the world!"  He
walked out of the cabin without looking back.  I followed him to
the V-shaped break in the rim rock, hardly larger than a man's
body, where the spliced tree-trunks made a swinging ladder down the
face of the cliff.  I wanted to protest, but only succeeded in
finding fault.

"You'll catch your knapsack on those forks and come to grief."

"That's my look-out."

By this time my eyes had grown accustomed to the darkness, and I
could see Blake quite clearly--the stubborn, crouching set of his
shoulders that I used to notice when he first came to Pardee and
was drinking all the time.  There was an ache in my arms to reach
out and detain him, but there was something else that made me
absolutely powerless to do so.  He stepped down and settled his
foot into the first fork.  Then he stopped a moment and
straightened his pack, buttoned his coat up to the chin, and pulled
his hat on tighter.  There was always a night draught in the
canyon.  He gripped the trunk with his hands.  "Well," he said with
grim cheerfulness, "here's luck!  And I'm glad it's you that's
doing this to me, Tom; not me that's doing it to you."

His head disappeared below the rim.  I could hear the trees creak
under his heavy body, and the chains rattle a little at the
splicings.  I lay down on the ledge and listened.  I could hear him
for a long way down, and the sounds were comforting to me, though I
didn't realize it.  Then the silence closed in.  I went to sleep
that night hoping I would never waken.

Chapter 7

The next morning the whinnying of my saddle-horse in the shed
roused me.  I took him down to the foot of the trail where I'd left
my trunk, and packed my things up to the cabin on his back.  I sat
up late that night, waiting for Blake, though I knew he wouldn't
come.  A few days later I rode into Tarpin for news of him.  Bill
Hook showed me Roddy's horse.  He had sold him to the barn for
sixty dollars.  The station-master told me Blake had bought a
ticket to Winslow, Arizona.  I wired the station-master and the
dispatcher at Winslow, but they could give me no information.
Father Duchene came along, on his rounds, and I told him the whole

He thought Blake would come back sometime, that I'd only miss him
if I went out to look for him.  He advised me to stay on the mesa
that summer and get ahead with my studies, work up my Spanish
grammar and my Latin.  He had friends all along the Santa Fe, and
he was sure we could catch Blake by advertising in the local papers
along the road; Albuquerque, Winslow, Flagstaff, Williams, Los
Angeles.  After a few days with him, I went back to the mesa to

I'll never forget the night I got back.  I crossed the river an
hour before sunset and hobbled my horse in the wide bottom of Cow
Canyon.  The moon was up, though the sun hadn't set, and it had
that glittering silveriness the early stars have in high altitudes.
The heavenly bodies look so much more remote from the bottom of a
deep canyon than they do from the level.  The climb of the walls
helps out the eye, somehow.  I lay down on a solitary rock that was
like an island in the bottom of the valley, and looked up.  The
grey sage-brush and the blue-grey rock around me were already in
shadow, but high above me the canyon walls were dyed flame-colour
with the sunset, and the Cliff City lay in a gold haze against its
dark cavern.  In a few minutes it, too, was grey, and only the rim
rock at the top held the red light.  When that was gone, I could
still see the copper glow in the pinons along the edge of the top
ledges.  The arc of sky over the canyon was silvery blue, with its
pale yellow moon, and presently stars shivered into it, like
crystals dropped into perfectly clear water.

I remember these things, because, in a sense, that was the first
night I was ever really on the mesa at all--the first night that
all of me was there.  This was the first time I ever saw it as a
whole.  It all came together in my understanding, as a series of
experiments do when you begin to see where they are leading.
Something had happened in me that made it possible for me to co-
ordinate and simplify, and that process, going on in my mind,
brought with it great happiness.  It was possession.  The
excitement of my first discovery was a very pale feeling compared
to this one.  For me the mesa was no longer an adventure, but a
religious emotion.  I had read of filial piety in the Latin poets,
and I knew that was what I felt for this place.  It had formerly
been mixed up with other motives; but now that they were gone, I
had my happiness unalloyed.

What that night began lasted all summer.  I stayed on the mesa
until November.  It was the first time I'd ever studied
methodically, or intelligently.  I got the better of the Spanish
grammar and read the twelve books of the AEneid.  I studied in the
morning, and in the afternoon I worked at clearing away the mess
the German had made in packing--tidying up the ruins to wait
another hundred years, maybe, for the right explorer.  I can
scarcely hope that life will give me another summer like that one.
It was my high tide.  Every morning, when the sun's rays first hit
the mesa top, while the rest of the world was in shadow, I wakened
with the feeling that I had found everything, instead of having
lost everything.  Nothing tired me.  Up there alone, a close
neighbour to the sun, I seemed to get the solar energy in some
direct way.  And at night, when I watched it drop down behind the
edge of the plain below me, I used to feel that I couldn't have
borne another hour of that consuming light, that I was full to the
brim, and needed dark and sleep.

All that summer, I never went up to the Eagle's Nest to get my
diary--indeed, it's probably there yet.  I didn't feel the need of
that record.  It would have been going backward.  I didn't want to
go back and unravel things step by step.  Perhaps I was afraid that
I would lose the whole in the parts.  At any rate, I didn't go for
my record.

During those months I didn't worry much about poor Roddy.  I told
myself the advertisements would surely get him--I knew his habit of
reading newspapers.  There are times when one's vitality is too
high to be clouded, too elastic to stay down.  Hurrying in from my
cabin in the morning to the spot in the Cliff City where I studied
under a cedar, I used to be frightened at my own heartlessness.
But the feel of the narrow moccasin-worn trail in the flat rock
made my feet glad, like a good taste in the mouth, and I'd forget
all about Blake without knowing it.  I found I was reading too
fast; so I began to commit long passages of Vergil to memory--if it
hadn't been for that, I might have forgotten how to use my voice,
or gone to talking to myself.  When I look into the AEneid now, I
can always see two pictures: the one on the page, and another
behind that: blue and purple rocks and yellow-green pinons with
flat tops, little clustered houses clinging together for
protection, a rude tower rising in their midst, rising strong, with
calmness and courage--behind it a dark grotto, in its depths a
crystal spring.

Happiness is something one can't explain.  You must take my word
for it.  Troubles enough came afterward, but there was that summer,
high and blue, a life in itself.

Next winter I went back to Pardee and stayed with the O'Briens
again, working on the section and studying with Father Duchene and
trying to get some word of Blake.  Now that I was back on the
railroad, I thought I couldn't fail to find him.  I went out to
Winslow and to Williams, and I questioned the railroad men.  We
advertised for him in every possible way, had all the Santa Fe
operatives and the police and the Catholic missionaries on the
watch for him, offered a thousand dollars reward for whoever found
him.  But it came to nothing.  Father Duchene and our friends down
there are still looking.  But the older I grow, the more I
understand what it was I did that night on the mesa.  Anyone who
requites faith and friendship as I did, will have to pay for it.
I'm not very sanguine about good fortune myself.  I'll be called to
account when I least expect it.

In the spring, just a year after I quarrelled with Roddy, I landed
here and walked into your garden, and the rest you know.

The Professor

Chapter 1

All the most important things in his life, St. Peter sometimes
reflected, had been determined by chance.  His education in France
had been an accident.  His married life had been happy largely
through a circumstance with which neither he nor his wife had
anything to do.  They had been young people with good qualities,
and very much in love, but they could not have been happy if
Lillian had not inherited a small income from her father--only
about sixteen hundred a year, but it had made all the difference in
the world.  A few memorable interregnums between servants had let
him know that Lillian couldn't pinch and be shabby and do
housework, as the wives of some of his colleagues did.  Under such
conditions she became another person, and a bitter one.

Tom Outland had been a stroke of chance he couldn't possibly have
imagined; his strange coming, his strange story, his devotion, his
early death and posthumous fame--it was all fantastic.  Fantastic,
too, that this tramp boy should amass a fortune for someone whose
name he had never heard, for "an extravagant and wheeling
stranger."  The Professor often thought of that curiously bitter
burst from the barytone in Brahms' Requiem, attending the words,
"He heapeth up riches and cannot tell who shall scatter them!"  The
vehemence of this passage had seemed to him uncalled for until he
read it by the light of the history of his own family.

St. Peter thought he had fared well with fate.  He wouldn't choose
to live his life over--he might not have such good luck again.  He
had had two romances: one of the heart, which had filled his life
for many years, and a second of the mind--of the imagination.  Just
when the morning brightness of the world was wearing off for him,
along came Outland and brought him a kind of second youth.

Through Outland's studies, long after they had ceased to be pupil
and master, he had been able to experience afresh things that had
grown dull with use.  The boy's mind had the superabundance of heat
which is always present where there is rich germination.  To share
his thoughts was to see old perspectives transformed by new effects
of light.

If the last four volumes of "The Spanish Adventurers" were more
simple and inevitable than those that went before, it was largely
because of Outland.  When St. Peter first began his work, he
realized that his great drawback was the lack of early association,
the fact that he had not spent his youth in the great dazzling
South-west country which was the scene of his explorers'
adventures.  By the time he had got as far as the third volume,
into his house walked a boy who had grown up there, a boy with
imagination, with the training and insight resulting from a very
curious experience; who had in his pocket the secrets which old
trails and stones and water-courses tell only to adolescence.

Two years after Tom's graduation they took the copy of Fray Garces'
manuscript that the Professor had made from the original in Spain,
and went down into the South-west together.  By autumn they had
been over every mile of his trail on horseback.  Tom could take a
sentence from Garces' diary and find the exact spot at which the
missionary crossed the Rio Colorado on a certain Sunday in 1775.
Given one pueblo, he could always find the route by which the
priest had reached the next.

It was on that trip that they went to Tom's Blue Mesa, climbed the
ladder of spliced pine-trees to the Cliff City, and up to the
Eagle's Nest.  There they took Tom's diary from the stone cupboard
where he had sealed it up years ago, before he set out for
Washington on his fruitless errand.

The next summer Tom went with the Professor to Old Mexico.  They
had planned a third summer together, in Paris, but it never came
off.  Outland was delayed by the formalities of securing his
patent, and then came August, 1914.  Father Duchene, the missionary
priest who had been Tom's teacher, stopped in Hamilton on his way
back to Belgium, hurrying home to serve in any capacity he might.
The rugged old man stayed in Hamilton only four days, but in that
time Outland made up his mind, had a will drawn, packed, and said
good-bye.  He sailed with Father Duchene on the Rochambeau.

To this day St. Peter regretted that he had never got that vacation
in Paris with Tom Outland.  He had wanted to revisit certain spots
with him: to go with him some autumn morning to the Luxembourg
Gardens, when the yellow horse-chestnuts were bright and bitter
after the rain; to stand with him before the monument to Delacroix
and watch the sun gleam on the bronze figures--Time, bearing away
the youth who was struggling to snatch his palm--or was it to lay a
palm?  Not that it mattered.  It might have mattered to Tom, had
not chance, in one great catastrophe, swept away all youth and all
palms, and almost Time itself.

And suppose Tom had been more prudent, and had not gone away with
his old teacher?  St. Peter sometimes wondered what would have
happened to him, once the trap of worldly success had been sprung
on him.  He couldn't see Tom building "Outland," or becoming a
public-spirited citizen of Hamilton.  What change would have come
in his blue eye, in his fine long hand with the backspringing
thumb, which had never handled things that were not the symbols of
ideas?  A hand like that, had he lived, must have been put to other
uses.  His fellow scientists, his wife, the town and State, would
have required many duties of it.  It would have had to write
thousands of useless letters, frame thousands of false excuses.  It
would have had to "manage" a great deal of money, to be the
instrument of a woman who would grow always more exacting.  He had
escaped all that.  He had made something new in the world--and the
rewards, the meaningless conventional gestures, he had left to

Chapter 2

All those summer days, while the Professor was sending cheerful
accounts of his activities to his family in France, he was really
doing very little.  He had begun, in a desultory way, to annotate
the diary that Tom had kept on the mesa, in which he had noted down
the details of each day's work among the ruins, along with the
weather and anything unusual in the routine of their life.  There
was a minute description of each tool they found, of every piece of
cloth and pottery, frequently accompanied by a very suggestive
pencil sketch of the object and a surmise as to its use and the
kind of life in which it had played a part.  To St. Peter this
plain account was almost beautiful, because of the stupidities it
avoided and the things it did not say.  If words had cost money,
Tom couldn't have used them more sparingly.  The adjectives were
purely descriptive, relating to form and colour, and were used to
present the objects under consideration, not the young explorer's
emotions.  Yet through this austerity one felt the kindling
imagination, the ardour and excitement of the boy, like the
vibration in a voice when the speaker strives to conceal his
emotion by using only conventional phrases.

When the first of August came round, the Professor realized that he
had pleasantly trifled away nearly two months at a task which
should have taken little more than a week.  But he had been doing a
good deal besides--something he had never before been able to do.

St. Peter had always laughed at people who talked about "day-
dreams," just as he laughed at people who naively confessed that
they had "an imagination."  All his life his mind had behaved in a
positive fashion.  When he was not at work, or being actively
amused, he went to sleep.  He had no twilight stage.  But now he
enjoyed this half-awake loafing with his brain as if it were a new
sense, arriving late, like wisdom teeth.  He found he could lie on
his sand-spit by the lake for hours and watch the seven motionless
pines drink up the sun.  In the evening, after dinner, he could sit
idle and watch the stars, with the same immobility.  He was
cultivating a novel mental dissipation--and enjoying a new
friendship.  Tom Outland had not come back again through the garden
door (as he had so often done in dreams!), but another boy had: the
boy the Professor had long ago left behind him in Kansas, in the
Solomon Valley--the original, unmodified Godfrey St. Peter.

This boy and he had meant, back in those faraway days, to live some
sort of life together and to share good and bad fortune.  They had
not shared together, for the reason that they were unevenly
matched.  The young St. Peter who went to France to try his luck,
had a more active mind than the twin he left behind in the Solomon
Valley.  After his adoption into the Thierault household, he
remembered that other boy very rarely, in moments of home-sickness.
After he met Lillian Ornsley, St. Peter forgot that boy had ever

But now that the vivid consciousness of an earlier state had come
back to him, the Professor felt that life with this Kansas boy,
little as there had been of it, was the realest of his lives, and
that all the years between had been accidental and ordered from the
outside.  His career, his wife, his family, were not his life at
all, but a chain of events which had happened to him.  All these
things had nothing to do with the person he was in the beginning.

The man he was now, the personality his friends knew, had begun to
grow strong during adolescence, during the years when he was always
consciously or unconsciously conjugating the verb "to love"--in
society and solitude, with people, with books, with the sky and
open country, in the lonesomeness of crowded city streets.  When he
met Lillian, it reached its maturity.  From that time to this,
existence had been a catching at handholds.  One thing led to
another and one development brought on another, and the design of
his life had been the work of this secondary social man, the lover.
It had been shaped by all the penalties and responsibilities of
being and having been a lover.  Because there was Lillian, there
must be marriage and a salary.  Because there was marriage, there
were children.  Because there were children, and fervour in the
blood and brain, books were born as well as daughters.  His
histories, he was convinced, had no more to do with his original
ego than his daughters had; they were a result of the high pressure
of young manhood.

The Kansas boy who had come back to St. Peter this summer was not a
scholar.  He was a primitive.  He was only interested in earth and
woods and water.  Wherever sun sunned and rain rained and snow
snowed, wherever life sprouted and decayed, places were alike to
him.  He was not nearly so cultivated as Tom's old cliff-dwellers
must have been--and yet he was terribly wise.  He seemed to be at
the root of the matter; Desire under all desires, Truth under all
truths.  He seemed to know, among other things, that he was
solitary and must always be so; he had never married, never been a
father.  He was earth, and would return to earth.  When white
clouds blew over the lake like bellying sails, when the seven pine-
trees turned red in the declining sum, he felt satisfaction and
said to himself merely:  "That is right."  Coming upon a curly root
that thrust itself across his path, he said:  "That is it."  When
the maple-leaves along the street began to turn yellow and waxy,
and were soft to the touch,--like the skin on old faces,--he said:
"That is true; it is time."  All these recognitions gave him a kind
of sad pleasure.

When he was not dumbly, deeply recognizing, he was bringing up out
of himself long-forgotten, unimportant memories of his early
childhood, of his mother, his father, his grandfather.  His
grandfather, old Napoleon Godfrey, used to go about lost in
profound, continuous meditation, sometimes chuckling to himself.
Occasionally, at the family dinner-table, the old man would try to
rouse himself, from motives of politeness, and would ask some
kindly question--nearly always absurd and often the same one he had
asked yesterday.  The boys used to shout with laughter and wonder
what profound matters could require such deep meditation, and make
a man speak so foolishly about what was going on under his very
eyes.  St. Peter thought he was beginning to understand what the
old man had been thinking about, though he himself was but fifty-
two, and Napoleon had been well on in his eighties.  There are only
a few years, at the last, in which man can consider his estate, and
he thought he might be quite as near the end of his road as his
grandfather had been in those days.

The Professor knew, of course, that adolescence grafted a new
creature into the original one, and that the complexion of a man's
life was largely determined by how well or ill his original self
and his nature as modified by sex rubbed on together.

What he had not known was that, at a given time, that first nature
could return to a man, unchanged by all the pursuits and passions
and experiences of his life; untouched even by the tastes and
intellectual activities which have been strong enough to give him
distinction among his fellows and to have made for him, as they
say, a name in the world.  Perhaps this reversion did not often
occur, but he knew it had happened to him, and he suspected it had
happened to his grandfather.  He did not regret his life, but he
was indifferent to it.  It seemed to him like the life of another

Along with other states of mind which attended his realization of
the boy Godfrey, came a conviction (he did not see it coming, it
was there before he was aware of its approach) that he was nearing
the end of his life.  This conviction took its place so quietly,
seemed so matter-of-fact, that he gave it little thought.  But one
day, when he realized that all the while he was preparing for the
fall term he didn't in the least believe he would be alive during
the fall term, he thought he might better see a doctor.

Chapter 3

The family doctor knew all about St. Peter.  It was summer,
moreover, and he had plenty of time.  He devoted several mornings
to the Professor and made tests of the most searching kind.  In the
end he of course told St. Peter there was nothing the matter with

"What made you come to me, any discomfort or pain?"

"None.  I simply feel tired all the time."

Dr. Dudley shrugged.  "So do I!  Sleep well?"

"Almost too much."

"Eat well?"

"In every sense of the word, well.  I am my own chef."

"Always a gourmet, and never anything wrong with your digestive
tract!  I wish you'd ask me to dine with you some night.  Any of
that sherry left?"

"A little.  I use it plentifully."

"I'll bet you do!  But why did you think there was something wrong
with you?  Low in your mind?"

"No, merely low in energy.  Enjoy doing nothing.  I came to you
from a sense of duty."

"How about travel?"

"I shrink from the thought of it.  As I tell you, I enjoy doing

"Then do it!  There's nothing the matter with you.  Follow your

St. Peter went home well satisfied.  He did not mention to Dr.
Dudley the real reason for his asking for a medical examination.
One doesn't mention such things.  The feeling that he was near the
conclusion of his life was an instinctive conviction, such as we
have when we waken in the dark and know at once that it is near
morning; or when we are walking across the country and suddenly
know that we are near the sea.

Letters came every week from France.  Lillian and Louie alternated,
so that one or the other got off a letter to him on every fast
boat.  Louie told him that wherever they went, when they had an
especially delightful day, they bought him a present.  At
Trouville, for instance, they had laid in dozens of the brilliant
rubber casquettes he liked to wear when he went swimming.  At Aix-
les-Bains they found a gorgeous dressing-gown for him in a Chinese
shop.  St. Peter was happy in his mind about them all.  He was glad
they were there, and that he was here.  Their generous letters,
written when there were so many pleasant things to do, certainly
deserved more than one reading.  He used to carry them out to the
lake to read them over again.  After coming out of the water he
would lie on the sand, holding them in his hand, but somehow never
taking his eyes off the pine-trees, appliqued against the blue
water, and their ripe yellow cones, dripping with gum and
clustering on the pointed tips like a mass of golden bees in
swarming-time.  Usually he carried his letters home unread.

His family wrote constantly about their plans for next summer, when
they were going to take him over with them.  Next summer?  The
Professor wondered. . . .  Sometimes he thought he would like to
drive up in front of Notre Dame, in Paris, again, and see it
standing there like the Rock of Ages, with the frail generation
breaking about its base.  He hadn't seen it since the war.

But if he went anywhere next summer, he thought it would be down
into Outland's country, to watch the sunrise break on sculptured
peaks and impassable mountain passes--to look off at those long,
rugged, untamed vistas dear to the American heart.  Dear to all
hearts, probably--at least, calling to all.  Else why had his
grandfather's grandfather, who had tramped so many miles across
Europe into Russia with the Grande Armee, come out to the Canadian
wilderness to forget the chagrin of his Emperor's defeat?

Chapter 4

The fall term of the university opened, and now the Professor went
to his lectures instead of to the lake.  He supposed he did his
work, he heard no complaints from his assistants, and the students
seemed interested.  He found, however, that he wasn't willing to
take the trouble to learn the names of several hundred new
students.  It wasn't worth while.  He felt that his relations with
them would be of short duration.

The McGregors got home from their vacation in Oregon, and Scott was
much amused to find the Professor so doggedly anchored in the old

"It never struck me, Doctor, that you were a man who would be
keeping up two establishments.  They'll be coming home pretty soon,
and then you'll have to decide where you are going to live."

"I can't leave my study, Scott.  That's flat."

"Don't then!  Darn it, you've a right to two houses if you want

This encounter took place on the street in front of the house.  The
Professor went wearily upstairs and lay down on the couch, his
refuge from this ever-increasing fatigue.  He really didn't see
what he was going to do about the matter of domicile.  He couldn't
make himself believe that he was ever going to live in the new
house again.  He didn't belong there.  He remembered some lines of
a translation from the Norse he used to read long ago in one of his
mother's few books, a little two-volume Ticknor and Fields edition
of Longfellow, in blue and gold, that used to lie on the parlour

     For thee a house was built
     Ere thou was born;
     For thee a mould was made
     Ere thou of woman camest.

Lying on his old couch, he could almost believe himself in that
house already.  The sagging springs were like the sham upholstery
that is put in coffins.  Just the equivocal American way of dealing
with serious facts, he reflected.  Why pretend that it is possible
to soften that last hard bed?

He could remember a time when the loneliness of death had terrified
him, when the idea of it was insupportable.  He used to feel that
if his wife could but lie in the same coffin with him, his body
would not be so insensible that the nearness of hers would not give
it comfort.  But now he thought of eternal solitude with
gratefulness; as a release from every obligation, from every form
of effort.  It was the Truth.

One morning, just as St. Peter was leaving the house to go to his
class-room, the postman handed him two letters, one addressed in
Lillian's hand and one in Louie's.  He put them into his pocket.
The feel of them disturbed him.  They were of a suspicious
thinness--as if they didn't contain amusing gossip, but announced
sudden decisions.  He set off down the street, sniffing the lake-
cooled morning air and trying to overcome a feeling of nervous

All the morning those two letters lay in his breast pocket.  Though
they were so light, their effect was to make him drop his shoulders
and look woefully tired.  The weather, too, had changed, come on
suddenly hot and sultry at noon, as if getting ready for a storm.
When his classes were over and he was back in his study again, St.
Peter felt no interest in lunch.  He took out the two letters and
ripped them open with his forefinger to have it over.  Yes, all
plans were changed, and by the happiest of expectations.  The
family were hurrying home to prepare for the advent of a young
Marsellus.  They would sail on the sixteenth, on the Berengaria.

Lillian added a postscript to the effect that by this same mail she
was getting off a letter to Augusta, who would come to him for the
keys of the new house.  She would be the best person to open the
house and arrange to have the cleaning done.  She would take it
entirely off his shoulders and see that everything was properly put
in order.

They were sailing on the sixteenth, and this was the seventeenth;
they were already on the water.  The Berengaria was a five-day
boat.  St. Peter caught up his hat and light overcoat and started
down the stairs.  Halfway down, he stopped short, went back to his
study, and softly shut the door behind him.  He sat down,
forgetting to take off his overcoat, though the afternoon was so
hot and his face was damp with perspiration.  He sat motionless,
breathing unevenly, one dark hand lying clenched on his writing-
table.  There must, he was repeating to himself, there must be some
way in which a man who had always tried to live up to his
responsibilities could, when the hour of desperation came, avoid
meeting his own family.

He loved his family, he would make any sacrifice for them, but just
now he couldn't live with them.  He must be alone.  That was more
necessary, even, than his marriage had been in his vehement youth.
He could not live with his family again--not even with Lillian.
Especially not with Lillian!  Her nature was intense and positive;
it was like a chiselled surface, a die, a stamp upon which he could
not be beaten out any longer.  If her character were reduced to an
heraldic device, it would be a hand (a beautiful hand) holding
flaming arrows--the shafts of her violent loves and hates, her
clear-cut ambitions.

"In great misfortunes," he told himself, "people want to be alone.
They have a right to be.  And the misfortunes that occur within one
are the greatest.  Surely the saddest thing in the world is falling
out of love--if once one has ever fallen in."

Falling out, for him, seemed to mean falling out of all domestic
and social relations, out of his place in the human family, indeed.

St. Peter did not go out of the house that afternoon.  He did not
leave his study.  He sat at his desk with bent head, reviewing his
life, trying to see where he had made his mistake, to account for
the fact that he now wanted to run away from everything he had
intensely cared for.

Late in the afternoon the heaviness of the air in the room drove
him to the window.  He saw that a storm was coming on.  Great
orange and purple clouds were blowing up from the lake, and the
pine-trees over about the Physics laboratory were blacker than
cypresses and looked contracted, as if they were awaiting
something.  The rain broke, and it turned cold.

The rain-storm was over in half and hour, but a heavy blow had set
in for the night.  The wind would be a protection, he thought.
Even Augusta would hardly come plodding up the stairs to-night.

It seemed strange to be dreading Augusta, but just now he did dread
her.  He believed he was safe, for to-night.  Though it was only
five o'clock, the sky was black, and the room was dusky and chilly.
He lit the stove and lay down on the couch.  The fire made a
flickering pattern of light on the wall.  He lay watching it,
vacantly; without meaning to, he fell asleep.  For a long while he
slept deeply and peacefully.  Then the wind, increasing in
violence, disturbed him.  He began to be aware of noises--things
banging and slamming about.  He turned over on his back and slept
deeper still.

When St. Peter at last awoke, the room was pitch-black and full of
gas.  He was cold and numb, felt sick and rather dazed.  The long-
anticipated coincidence had happened, he realized.  The storm had
blown the stove out and the window shut.  The thing to do was to
get up and open the window.  But suppose he did not get up--?  How
far was a man required to exert himself against accident?  How
would such a case be decided under English law?  He hadn't lifted
his hand against himself--was he required to lift it for himself?

Chapter 5

At midnight St. Peter was lying in his study, on his box-couch,
covered up with blankets, a hot water bottle at his feet; he knew
it was midnight, for the clock of Augusta's church across the park
was ringing the hour.  Augusta herself was there in the room,
sitting in her old sewing-chair by the kerosene lamp, wrapped up in
a shawl.  She was reading a little much-worn religious book that
she always carried in her handbag.  Presently he spoke to her.

"Just when did you come in, Augusta?"

She got up and came over to him.

"Are you feeling comfortable, Doctor St. Peter?"

"Oh, very thank you.  When did you happen in?"

"Not any too soon, sir," she said gravely, with a touch of reproof.
"You never would take my cautions about that old stove, and it very
nearly asphyxiated you.  I was barely in time to pull you out."

"You pulled me out, literally?  Where to?"

"Into the hall.  I came over in the storm to ask you for the keys
of the new house--I didn't get Mrs. St. Peter's letter until I got
home from work this evening, and I came right over.  When I opened
the front door I smelled gas, and I knew that stove had been up to
its old tricks.  I supposed you'd gone out and forgot to turn it
off.  When I got to the second floor I heard a fall overhead, and
it flashed across me that you were up here and had been overcome.
I ran up and opened the two windows at the head of the stairs and
dragged you out into the wind.  You were lying on the floor."  She
lowered her voice.  "It was perfectly frightful in here."

"I seem to remember Dudley's being here."

"Yes, after I'd turned off the stove and opened everything up, I
went next door and telephoned for Doctor Dudley.  I thought I'd
better not say what the trouble was, but I asked him to come at
once, as you'd been taken ill.  You soon came round, but you were
flighty."  Augusta hurried over her recital.  She was evidently
embarrassed by the behaviour of the stove and the condition in
which she had found him.  It was an ugly accident, and she didn't
want the neighbours to know of it.

"You must have great presence of mind, Augusta, and a strong arm as
well.  You say you found me on the floor?  I thought I was lying
here on the couch.  I remember waking up and smelling gas."

"You were stupefied, but you must have got up and tried to get to
the door before you were overcome.  I was on the second floor when
I heard you fall.  I'd never heard anyone fall before, that I can
remember, but I seemed to know just what it was."

"I'm sorry to have given you a fright.  I hope the gas hasn't made
your head ache."

"All's well that ends well, as they say.  But I doubt if you ought
to be talking, sir.  Could you go to sleep again?  I can stay till
morning, if you prefer."

"I'd be greatly obliged if you would stay the night with me,
Augusta.  It would be a comfort.  I seem to feel rather lonely--for
the first time in months."

"That's because your family are coming home.  Very well, sir."

"You do a good deal of this sort of thing--watching and sitting up
with people, don't you?"

"Well, when I happen to be sewing in a house where there's
sickness, I am sometimes called upon."

Augusta sat down by the table and again took up little religious
book.  St. Peter, with half-closed eyes, lay watching her--
regarding in her humankind, as if after a definite absence from the
world of men and women.  If he had thought of Augusta sooner, he
would have got up from the couch sooner.  Her image would have at
once suggested the proper action.

Augusta, he reflected, had always been a corrective, a remedial
influence.  When she sewed for them, she breakfasted at the house--
that was part of the arrangement.  She came early, often directly
from church, and had her breakfast with the Professor, before the
rest of the family were up.  Very often she gave him some wise
observation or discreet comment to begin the day with.  She wasn't
at all afraid to say things that were heavily, drearily true, and
though he used to wince under them, he hurried off with the feeling
that they were good for him, that he didn't have to hear such
sayings half often enough.  Augusta was like the taste of bitter
herbs; she was the bloomless side of life that he had always run
away from,--yet when he had to face it, he found that it wasn't
altogether repugnant.  Sometimes she used to telephone Mrs. St.
Peter that she would be a day late, because there had been a death
in the family where she was sewing just then, and she was "needed."
When she met him at the table the next morning, she would look just
a little more grave than usual.  While she ate a generous
breakfast, she would reply to his polite questions about the
illness or funeral with befitting solemnity, and then go readily to
another topic, not holding the dolorous note.  He used to say that
he didn't mind hearing Augusta announce these deaths which seemed
to happen so frequently along her way, because her manner of
speaking about it made death seem less uncomfortable.  She hadn't
any of the sentimentality that comes from a fear of dying.  She
talked about death as she spoke of a hard winter or a rainy March,
or any of the sadnesses of nature.

It occurred to St. Peter, as he lay warm and relaxed but undesirous
of sleep, that he would rather have Augusta with him just now than
anyone he could think of.  Seasoned and sound and on the solid
earth she surely was, and, for all her matter-of-factness and hard-
handedness, kind and loyal.  He even felt a sense of obligation
toward her, instinctive, escaping definition, but real.  And when
you admitted that a thing was real, that was enough--now.

He didn't, on being quite honest with himself, feel any obligations
toward his family.  Lillian had had the best years of his life,
nearly thirty, and joyful years they had been, nothing could ever
change that.  But they were gone.  His daughters had outgrown any
great need of him.  In certain wayward moods Kitty would always
come to him.  But Rosamond, on that shopping expedition in Chicago
had shown him how painful the paternal relation could be.  There
was still Augusta, however; a world full of Augustas, with whom one
was outward bound.

All the afternoon he had sat there at the table where now Augusta
was reading, thinking over his life, trying to see where had made
his mistake.  Perhaps the mistake was merely in an attitude of
mind.  He had never learned to live without delight.  And he would
have to learn to, just as, in a Prohibition country, he supposed he
would have to learn to live without sherry.  Theoretically he knew
that life is possible, may be even pleasant, without joy, without
passionate griefs.  But it had never occurred to him that he might
have to live like that.

Though he had been low-spirited all summer, he told the truth when
he told Dr. Dudley that he had not been melancholy.  He had no more
thought of suicide than he had thought of embezzling.  He had
always regarded it as a grave social misdemeanour--except when it
occurred in very evil times, as a form of protest.  Yet when he was
confronted by accidental extinction, he had felt no will to resist,
but had let chance take its way, as it had done with him so often.
He did not remember springing up from the couch, though he did
remember a crisis, a moment of acute, agonized strangulation.

His temporary release from consciousness seemed to have been
beneficial.  He had let something go--and it was gone: something
very precious, that he could not consciously have relinquished,
probably.  He doubted whether his family would ever realize that he
was not the same man they had said good-bye to; they would be too
happily preoccupied with their own affairs.  If his apathy hurt
them, they could not possibly be so much hurt as he had been
already.  At least, he felt the ground under his feet.  He thought
he knew where he was, and that he could face with fortitude the
Berengaria and the future.


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