The Project Gutenberg EBook of McClure's Magazine, Vol. VI., No. 6, May,
1896, by Various

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Title: McClure's Magazine, Vol. VI., No. 6, May, 1896

Author: Various

Release Date: August 27, 2004 [EBook #13304]
HTML version most recently revised: November 9, 2004

Language: English

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Transcriber's Note: The Table of Contents and List of Illustrations were added by the transcriber.

McClure's Magazine

Vol. VI. May, 1896. No. 6.














































































Reproduced by permission of Braun, Clement & Co.


Reproduced by permission of Braun, Clement & Co. A facsimile of one of the little drawings which Millet was accustomed to make for acquaintances and collectors of autographs, and which he laughingly called his "armes parlantes."


Reproduced by permission of Braun, Clement & Co. Of this portrait, drawn in 1847, Sensier, in his "Life" of Millet, says: "It is in crayon, and life-sized. The head is melancholy, like that of Albert Dürer; the profound regard is filled with intelligence and goodness."

[pg 499]



BY Will H. Low.

letter 'T'

hese papers, disclaiming any other authority than that which appertains to the conclusions of a practising painter who has thought deeply on the subject of his art, have nevertheless avoided the personal equation as much as possible. A conscientious endeavor has been made to consider the work of each painter in the place which has been assigned him by the concensus of opinion in the time which has elapsed since his work was done. In the consideration of Jean François Millet, however, I desire for the nonce to become less impersonal, for the reason that it was my privilege to know him slightly, and in the case of one who as a man and as a painter occupies a place so entirely his own, the value of recorded personal impressions is greater, at least for purposes of record, than the registration of contemporary opinion concerning him.

I must further explain that, as a young student who received at his hands the kindly reception which the master, stricken in health, and preoccupied with his work, vouchsafed, I could only know him superficially. It may have been the spectacle of youthful enthusiasm, or the modest though dignified recognition of the reverence with which I approached him, that made this grave man unbend; but it is certain that the few times when I was permitted to enter the rudely built studio at Barbizon have remained red-letter days in my life, and on each occasion I left Millet with an impression so strong and vital that now, after a lapse of twenty years, the work which he showed me, and the words which he uttered, are as present as though it all had occurred yesterday. The reverence which I then felt for this great man was born of his works, a few of which I had seen in 1873 in Paris; and their constant study, and the knowledge of his life and character gained since then, have intensified this feeling.


Reproduced by permission of Braun, Clement & Co. A replica of Millet's picture in the Salon of 1861, which is now owned by Mr. Quincy Shaw, Boston, Massachusetts. Charles Jacque, who had quarrelled with Millet, after seeing this picture, went to him and said: "We cannot be friends; but I have come to say that you have painted a masterpiece."

Jean François Millet was born October 4, 1814, in the hamlet of Gruchy, a mere handful of houses which lie in a valley descending to the sea, in the department of the Manche, not far from Cherbourg. He was the descendant of a class which has no counterpart in England or America, and which in his native France has all but disappeared. The rude forefathers of our country may have in a degree resembled the French peasant of Millet's youth; but their Protestant belief made them more independent in thought, and the problems of a new country, and the lack of stability inherent to the colonist, robbed them of the fanatical love of the earth, which is perhaps the strongest trait of the peasant. Every inch of the ground up to the cliffs above the sea, in Millet's country, represented the struggle of man with nature; and each parcel of land, every stone in the walls which kept the earth from being engulfed in the floods beneath, bore marks of his handiwork. Small wonder, then, that [pg 500] this rude people should engender the painter who has best expressed the intimate relation between the man of the fields and his ally and foe, the land which he subjugates, and which in turn enslaves him. The inherent, almost savage, independence of the peasant had kept him freer and of a nobler type than the English yokel even in the time before the Revolution, and in the little hamlet where Millet was born, [pg 501] the great upheaval had meant but little. Remote from the capital, cultivating land which but for their efforts would have been abandoned as worthless, every man was a land-owner in a small degree, and the patrimony of Millet sufficed for a numerous family of which he was the eldest son. Sufficed, that is, for a Spartan subsistence, made up of unrelaxing toil, with few or no comforts, save those of a spiritual nature which came in the guise of religion.


Reproduced by permission of Braun, Clement & Co. This picture, popularly known as "The man with the hoe," was the cause of much discussion at the time of its exhibition. Millet was accused of socialism; of inciting the peasants to revolt; and from his quiet retreat in the country, he defended himself in a letter to his friend Sensier as follows: "I see very clearly the aureole encircling the head of the daisy, and the sun which glows beyond, far, far over the country-side, its glory in the skies; I see, not less clearly, the smoking plough-horses in the plain, and in a rocky corner a man bent with labor, who groans as he works, or who for an instant tries to straighten himself to catch his breath. The drama is enveloped in splendor. This is not of my creation; the expression, 'the cry of the earth,' was invented long ago."

Millet was reared by his grandmother, such being the custom of the country; the younger women being occupied in the service of the mastering earth, and the elders, no longer able to go afield, bringing up the children born to their children, who in turn replaced their parents in the never-ending struggle. This grandmother, Louise Jumelin, widow of Nicolas Millet, was a woman of great force of character, and extremely devout. The most ordinary occupation of the day was made the subject not of uttered prayer, for that would have entailed suspension of her ceaseless activity, but of spiritual example tersely expressed, which fell upon the fruitful soil of Millet's young imagination, and left such a lasting impression that to the end of his life his natural expression was almost Biblical in character of language.

Another formative influence of this young life was that of a granduncle, Charles Millet, a priest who, driven from his church by the Revolution, had returned to his native village and taken up the simple life of his people, without, however, abandoning his vocation. He was to be seen behind his plough, his priest's robe gathered up about his loins, his breviary in one hand, following the furrow up and down the undulating fields which ran to the cliffs.

[pg 502]

Reproduced by permission of Braun, Clement & Co. Probably commenced at Cherbourg, where Millet took refuge with his family during the Franco-Prussian War, as Sensier mentions it on Millet's return. This picture, or a replica of it (Millet was fond of repeating his subjects, with slight changes in each case), was in his studio in 1873, and called forth the remark quoted in the text, about the women in his country.

Gifted with great strength, he piled up great masses of granite, to reclaim a precious morsel of earth from the hungry maw of the sea; lifting his voice, as he worked, in resonant chants of the church. He it was who taught Millet to read; and, later, it was another priest, the Abbé Jean Lebrisseux, who, in the intervals of the youth's work in the fields, where he had early become an efficient aid to his father, continued his instruction. With the avidity of intelligence Millet profited by this instruction, not only in the more ordinary studies, but in Latin, with the Bible and Virgil as text-books. His mind was also nourished by the books belonging to the scanty library of his granduncle. These were of a purely religious character—the "History of the Saints," the "Confessions" of St. Augustine, the letters of St. Jerome, and the works of Bossuet and Fénelon.


"The three fates of pauperism" was the disdainful appreciation of Paul de Saint-Victor on the first exhibition of this picture, while Edmond About wrote: "The picture attracts one from afar by its air of grandeur and serenity. It has the character of a religious painting. It is drawn without fault, and colored without crudity; and one feels the August sun which ripens the wheat." Sensier says: "The picture sold with difficulty for four hundred dollars. What is it worth to-day?"

In his father, whose strongest characteristic was an intense love of nature, Millet found an unconscious influence in the direction which his life was to follow. Millet recalled in after life that he would show him a blade of grass or a flower, and say: "See how beautiful; how the petals overlap; and the tree there, how strong and fine it is!" It was his father who was attentive to the [pg 504] youth's first rude efforts, and who encouraged him when the decisive step was to be taken, which Millet, feeling that his labor in the fields was necessary to the common good of the family, hesitated to take. The boy was in his eighteenth year when his father said:

"My poor François, you are tormented between your desire to be an artist and your duty to the family. Now that your brothers are growing, they can take their turn in the fields. I have long wished that you could be instructed in the craft of the painter, which I am told is so noble, and we will go to Cherbourg and see what can be done."


Reproduced by permission of Braun, Clement & Co. Despite its fame, this is distinctly not Millet's masterpiece. During his life it sold for about ten thousand dollars, and later for one hundred and fifty thousand.

Thus encouraged, the boy made two drawings—one of two shepherds in blouse and sabots, one listening while the other played a rustic flute; and a second where, under a starlit sky, a man came from out a house, carrying bread for a mendicant at his gate. Armed with these two designs—typical of the work which in the end, after being led astray by schools and popular taste, he was to do—the two peasants sought a local painter named Mouchel at Cherbourg. After a moment of doubt as to the originality of the youth's work, Mouchel offered to teach him all that he knew.

Millet stayed with Mouchel some months. Then his father's death recalled him home, where his honest spirit prompted him to remain as the eldest son and head of the family, although his heart was less than ever in the fields. But this the mother, brought up in the spirit of resignation, would not allow him to do. "God has made you a painter. His will be done. Your father, my Jean Louis, has said it was to be, and you must return to Cherbourg."

Millet returned to Cherbourg, this time to the studio of one Langlois, a pupil of Gros, who was the principal painter of the little city. But Langlois, like his first master, Mouchel, kept him at work copying either his own studies or pictures in the city museum. After a few months, though, he had the honesty to recognize that his pupil needed more efficient instruction [pg 505] than he could give him, and in August, 1836, he addressed a petition to the mayor and common council of the city of Cherbourg, who took the matter into consideration, and, with the authorities of the department, voted a sum of one thousand francs—two hundred dollars—as a yearly allowance to Millet, in order that he might pursue his studies in Paris. Langlois in his petition asks that he be permitted to "raise without fear the veil of the future, and to assure the municipal council a place in the memory of the world for having been the first to endow their country with one more great name." Grandiloquent promise has often been made without result; but one must admire the hard-headed Norman councillors who, representing a little provincial city which in 1884 had but thirty-six thousand inhabitants, gave even this modest sum to assure a future to one who might reflect honor on his country.


Reproduced by permission of Braun, Clement & Co. A notable instance of the scope of Millet's power, as tender in depicting children as it is austere in "The Gleaners."

With a portion, of this allowance, and a small addition from the "economies" of [pg 506] his mother and grandmother, Millet went to Paris in 1837. The great city failed to please the country-bred youth, and, indeed, until the end of his life, Millet disliked Paris. I remember his saying that, on his visits from Barbizon to the capital, he was happy on his arrival at the station, but when he arrived at the column of the Bastille, a few squares within the city, the mal du pays took him by the throat.

At first he spent all his time in the Louvre, which revealed to him what the little provincial museum of Cherbourg had but faintly suggested. Before long, however, he entered the studio of Paul Delaroche, who was the popular master of the time. There he won the sobriquet of the "man of the woods," from a savage taciturnity which was his defence in the midst of the atelier jokes. He had come to work, and to work he addressed himself, with but little encouragement from master or comrades. Strong as a young Hercules, with a dignity which never forsook him, his studies won at least the success of attention. When a favorite pupil of the master remonstrated that his men and women were hewed from stone, Millet replied tranquilly, "I came here because there are Greek statues and living men and women to study from, not to please you or any one. Do I preoccupy myself with your figures made of honey and butter?"

Delaroche, won by the strength of the man, at length unbent, and showed him such favor as a commonplace mind could accord to native superiority. He advised him to compete for the Prix de Rome, warning him, however, that whatever might be the merit of his work, he could not take it that year, as it was arranged that another, approaching the limit of age, must have it. This revolted the simple nature of Millet, who refused to compete, and left the school.

A return to Cherbourg, where he married his first wife, who died at the end of two years; another sojourn in Paris, and a visit home of some duration; a number of portraits and pictures painted in Cherbourg and Havre, in which his talent was slowly asserting itself, brings us to 1845, when he remarried. Returning to Paris with his wife, he remained there until 1849, when he went to Barbizon "for a time," which was prolonged to twenty-seven years.

In all the years preceding his final return to the country, Millet was apparently undecided as to the definite character of his work. Out of place in a city, more or less influenced by his comrades in art, and forced to follow in a degree the dictation of necessity in the choice of subject, as his brush was his only resource and his family constantly increasing, his work of this period is always tentative. In painting it is luscious in color and firmly drawn and modelled, but it lacks the perception of truth which, when once released from the bondage of the city, began to manifest itself in his work. The first indication of the future Millet is in a picture in the Salon of 1848, "The Winnower," which has, in subject at least, much the character of the work which followed his establishment at Barbizon. For the rest, although the world is richer in beautiful pictures of charmingly painted nymphs, and of rustic scenes not altogether devoid of a certain artificiality, and in at least one masterly mythological picture of Oedipus rescued from the tree, through Millet's activity in these years, yet his work, had it continued on this plane, would have lacked the high significance which the next twenty-five years were to show.

Having endeavored to make clear the source from which Millet came, and indicated the formative influences of his early life, I may permit myself (as I warned my readers I should do) to return to my recollections of Barbizon in 1873, and the glimpses of Millet which my sojourn there in that and the following year afforded me.

Barbizon lies on a plain, more vast in the impression which it makes on the eye than in actual area, and the village consists of one long street, which commences at a group of farm buildings of some importance, and ends in the forest of Fontainebleau. About midway down this street, on the way to the forest, Millet's home stood, on the right of the road. The house, of two low stories, had its gable to the street, and on the first floor, with the window breast high from the ground, was the dining-room. Here, in pleasant weather, with the window wide open, sat Millet at the head of his patriarchal table, his children, of whom there were nine, about him; his good wife, their days of acute misery past, smiling contentedly on her brood, which, if I remember rightly, already counted a grandchild or more: as pleasant a sight as one could readily see. Later, in the autumn evenings, a lamplit replica of the same picture presented itself. Or, if the dinner was cleared away, one would see Madame Millet busy with her needle, the children at their lessons, and the painter, whom even then tradition [pg 508] painted a sad and cheerless misanthrope, contentedly playing at dominoes with one of the children, or his honest Norman face wreathed in smiles as the conversation took an amusing turn. This, it is true, was when the master of the house was free from his terrible enemy, the headache, which laid him low so often, and which in these days became more and more frequent.


Reproduced by permission of Braun, Clement & Co. As Sensier remarks, Millet, with nine children, had abundant opportunity to study them. This charming drawing was one of the collection of Millet's pastels formed by M. Gavet, which was unfortunately dispersed by auction soon after the artist's death.

The house, to resume the description of Millet's home, went back at right angles from the street, and contained the various apartments of the family, many of them on the ground floor, and all of the most modest character. It was a source of wonder how so large a family could inhabit so small a house. The garden lay in front, and extended back of the house. A high wall with a little door, painted green, by which you entered, ran along the street, and ended at the studio, which was, like the dining-room, on the street. The garden was pleasant with flowers and trees, the kitchen garden being at the rear. But a few short years ago, within its walls Madame Millet plucked a red rose, and gave it to me, saying: "My husband planted this." Outside the little green door, on either hand, were stone benches set against the wall, on which the painter's children sometimes sat and played; but it is somewhat strange that I never remember Millet at his door or on the village street. He walked a great deal, but always went out of the garden to the fields back of the house, and from there gained the forest or the plain. Among the young painters who frequented Barbizon in those days (which were, however, long after the time when the men of Millet's age established themselves there), there were, strange as it may seem, few who cared for Millet's work, and many who knew little or nothing of it. The prejudices of the average art student are many and indurated. His horizon is apt to be bounded by his master's work or the last Salon success, and as Millet had no pupils, and had ceased to exhibit at the Salon, he was little known to most of the youths who, as I look back, must have made Barbizon a most undesirable place for a quiet family to live in. An accident which made me acquainted with Millet's eldest son, a painter of talent, seemed for a time to bring me no nearer to knowing the father until one day some remark of mine which showed at least a sincere admiration for his work made the son suggest that I should come and see a recently completed picture.

If the crowd of young painters who frequented the village were indifferent to Millet, such was not the case with people from other places. The "personally conducted" were then newly invented, and I have seen a wagon load of tourists, who had been driven to different points in the forest, draw up before Millet's modest door and express indignation in a variety of languages when they were refused admittance. There were many in those days who tried with little or no excuse to break in on the work of a man whose working days were already counted, and who was seldom free from his old enemy migraine. I was to learn this when—I hope after having had the grace to make it plain that, though I greatly desired to know Millet, I felt no desire to intrude—the son had arranged for a day when, at last, I was admitted to the studio.

Millet did not make his appearance at once; and when he came, and the son had said a few kindly words of presentation, he seemed so evidently in pain that I managed, in a French which must have been distinguished by a pure New York accent and a vocabulary more than limited, to express a fear that he was suffering, and suggested that my visit had better be deferred.

"No, it will pass," was his answer; and going to his easel he placed, with the help of his son, picture after picture, for my delectation.

It was Millet's habit to commence a great number of pictures. On some of them he would work as long, according to his own expression, as he saw the scene in nature before him; for, at least at this epoch, he never painted directly from nature. For a picture which I saw the following summer, where three great hay-stacks project their mass against a heavy storm cloud, the shepherd seeking shelter from the impending rain, and the sheep erring here and there, affected by the changing weather—for this picture, conveying, as it did, the most intense impression of nature, Millet showed me (in answer to my inquiry and in explanation of his method of work) in a little sketch-book, so small that it would slip into a waistcoat pocket, the pencilled outline of the three hay-stacks. "It was a stormy day," he said, "and on my return home I sat down and commenced the picture, but of direct studies—voila tout." Of another picture, now in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, of a young girl, life size, with a distaff, seated on a hillock, her head shaded by a great straw hat relieved against the sky, he told [pg 509] me that the only direct painting from nature on the canvas was in a bunch of grass in the foreground, which he had plucked in the fields and brought into his studio.


From the original painting, now in the collection of Mrs. W.H. Vanderbilt; reproduced by permission of Braun, Clement & Co. In his criticism of the Salon of 1850, where the picture was first exhibited, Théophile Gautier thus described it: "The sower advances with rhythmic step, casting the seed into the furrowed land; sombre rags cover him; a formless hat is drawn down over his brow; he is gaunt, cadaverous, and thin under his livery of misery; and yet life is contained in his large hand, as with a superb gesture he who has nothing scatters broadcast on the earth the bread of the future."

On this first day, it would be difficult to say how many pictures in various states of advancement I saw. The master would occasionally say, reflectively: "It is six months since I looked at that, and I must get to work at it," as some new canvas was placed on the easel. At first, fearing that he was too ill to have me stay, I made one or two motions to leave. But each time, with a kindly smile, I was bidden to stay, with the assurance that the headache was "going better." After a time I quite forgot everything in enthusiasm at what I saw and the sense that I was enjoying the privilege of a lifetime. The life of the fields seemed to be unrolled before me like some vast panorama. Millet's comments were short and descriptive of what he aimed to represent, seldom or never concerning the method of his work. "Women in my country," meaning Lower Normandy, of course, "carry jars of milk in that way," he said, indicating the woman crossing the fields with the milk-can supported by a strap on her shoulder. "When I was a boy there were great flights of wild pigeons which [pg 510] settled in the trees at night, when we used to go with torches, and the birds, blinded by the light, could be killed by the hundred with clubs," was his explanation of another scene full of the confusion of lights and the whirr of the bewildered pigeons.


Delightful for a sense of air through the cool and spacious room, and for the sculpturesque solidity of the group composed of the woman, the churn, and the cat.

"And you have not seen it since you were a boy?" I asked.

"No; but it all comes back to me as I work," was his answer.

From picture to picture, from question to kindly answer, the afternoon sped, and at length, in response to a question as to the relative importance of subject, the painter sent his son into the house whence he returned with a panel a few inches square. The father took it, wiped the dust from it, absent-mindedly, on his sleeve, with a half caressing movement, and placed it on the easel. "Voila! (There!)" was all he said. The panel represented three golden juicy pears, their fat sides relieved one against the other, forming a compact group which, through the magic of color, told of autumn sun, and almost gave the odor of ripened fruit. It was a lovely bit of painting, and much interested, I said: "Pardon me, but you seem as much or more proud of this than anything you have shown."

"Exactly," answered Millet, with an amused smile at my eagerness. "Everything in nature is good to paint, and the painter's business is to be occupied with his manner of rendering it. These pears, a man or a woman, a flock of sheep, all have the same qualities for a painter. There are," with a gesture of his hands to make his meaning clear, "things that lie flat, that are horizontal, like a plain; and there are others which stand up, are perpendicular; and there are the planes between: all of which should be expressed in a picture. There are the distances between objects also. But all this can be found in the simplest thing as in the most complicated."

"But," I again ventured, "surely some subjects are more important than others."

"Some are more interesting in the sense that they add to the problems of a painter. When he has to paint a human being, he has to represent truth of action, the particular character of an individual; but he must do the latter when he paints a pear. No two pears are alike."

I fear at the time I hardly understood the importance of the lesson which I then received; certainly not to the degree with which experience has confirmed it. But I have written it here, the sense, if not the [pg 511] actual language, because Millet has been so often misrepresented as seeking to point a moral through the subject of his pictures. When we recall the manner in which "The Angelus" was paraded through the country a few years ago, and the genuine sentiment of the simple scene—where Millet had endeavored to express "the things that lie flat, like a plain; and the things that stand up," like his peasants—was travestied by gushing sentimentalists, it is pleasant to think of the wholesome common sense of the great painter.


The background here is typical of that part of the forest of Fontainebleau which borders the plain of Barbizon.

The picture which I had specially come to see was meanwhile standing covered with a drapery, on another easel, and at length the resources of the studio were apparently exhausted. Millet asked me to step back a few paces to where a short curtain was placed on a light iron rod at right angles from the studio window, so that a person standing behind it saw into the studio while his eyes were screened from the glare of the window. The painter then drew the covering, and—I feel that what I am about to say may seem superlative, and I am quite willing to-day to account for it by the enthusiasm for the painter's work, which had been growing crescendo with each successive moment passed in the studio. Be that as it may, the picture which I saw caused me to forget where I was, to forget painting, and to look, apparently, on a more enchanting scene than my eyes had [pg 512] ever beheld—one more enchanting than they have since seen. It was a landscape, "Springtime," now in the Louvre. Ah me! I have seen the picture since, not once, but many times, and he who will go to Paris may see it. A beautiful picture; but of the transcendent beauty which transfigured it that day, it has but the suggestion. It is still a masterpiece, however, and still conveys, by methods peculiarly Millet's own, a satisfying sense of the open air, and the charm of fickle spring. The method is that founded on the constant observation of nature by a mind acute to perceive, and educated to remember. The method is one which misses many trivial truths, and thereby loses the superficial look of reality which many smaller men have learned to give; but it retains the larger, more essential truths. Though dependence on memory carried to the extent of Millet's practice would be fatal to a weaker man, it can hardly be doubted that it was the natural method for him.

I left the studio that day, walking on clouds. When I returned it was always to receive kindly and practical counsel. For Millet, though conscious, as such a man must be, of his importance, was the simplest of men. In appearance the portrait published here gives him in his youth. At the time of which I speak he was heavier, with a firm nose, eyes that, deeply set, seemed to look inwards, except, when directly addressing one, there was a sudden gleam. His manner of speech was slow and measured, perhaps out of kindness to the stranger, though I am inclined to think that it was rather the speech of one who arrays his thoughts beforehand, and produces them in orderly sequence. In dress he was like the ordinary bourgeois in the country, wearing generally a woven coat like a cardigan jacket in the studio, at the door of which he would leave his sabots and wear the felt slippers, or chaussons, which are worn with the wooden shoes. This was not the affectation of remaining a peasant; every one in the country in France wears sabots, and very comfortable they are.

One more visit stands out prominently in my memory. It came about in this wise. In the summer of 1874 the "two Stevensons," as they were known, the cousins Robert Louis and Robert Alan Mowbray Stevenson (the author of the recent "Life of Velasquez," and the well-known writer on art), were in Barbizon. It fell that the cousins, in pessimistic vein, were decrying modern art—the great men were all dead; we should never see their like again; in short, the mood in which we all fall at times was dominant. As in duty bound, I argued the cause of the present and future, and as a clinching argument told them that I had it in my power to convince them that at least one of the greatest painters of all time was still busy in the practice of his art. Millet was not much more than a name to my friends, and I am certain that that day when we talked over our coffee in the garden of Siron's inn, they had seen little or none of his work. I ventured across the road, knocked at the little green door, and asked permission to bring my friends, which was accorded for the same afternoon. In half an hour, therefore, I was witness of an object lesson of which the teacher was serenely unconscious. Of my complete triumph when we left there was no doubt, though one of my friends rather begged the question by insisting that I had taken an unfair advantage; and that, as he expressed it, "it was not in the game, in an ordinary discussion, between gentlemen, concerning minor poets, to drag in Shakespeare in that manner."

I saw Millet but once after this, when late in the autumn I was returning to Paris, and went, out of respect, to bid him farewell. He was already ill, and those who knew him well, already feared for his life. Not knowing this, it was a shock to learn of his death a few months after—January 20, 1875. The news came to me in the form of the ordinary notification and convocation to the funeral, which, in the form of a lettre de faire part, is sent out on the occasion of a death in France, not only to intimate friends, but to acquaintances.

Determined to pay what honor I could, I went to Barbizon, to find, as did many others gone for the same sad purpose, that an error in the notices sent, discovered too late to be rectified, had placed the date of the funeral a day later than that on which it actually occurred. Millet rests in the little cemetery at Chailly, across the plain from Barbizon, near his lifetime friend, Theodore Rousseau, who is buried there. I will never forget the January day in the village of Barbizon. Though Millet had little part in the village life, and was known to few, a sadness, as though the very houses felt that a great man had passed away, had settled over the place. I sought out a friend who had been Millet's friend for many years and was with him at the last, and as he told me of the last sad months, tears fell from his eyes.

[pg 513]


By Elizabeth Stuart Phelps,

Author of "The Gates Ajar," "A Singular Life," etc.


As was said in the last paper, "The Gates Ajar" was written without hope or expectation of any especial success, and when the happy storm broke in truth, I was the most astonished girl in North America.

From the day when Mr. Fields's thoughtful note reached the Andover post-office, that miracle of which we read often in fiction, and sometimes in literary history, touched the young writer's life; and it began over again, as a new form of organization.

As I look back upon them, the next few years seem to have been a series of amazing phantasmagoria. Indeed, at the time, they were scarcely more substantial. A phantom among phantoms, I was borne along. Incredulous of the facts, and dubious of my own identity, I whirled through readjustments of scene, of society, of purposes, of hopes, and now, at last, of ambitions; and always of hard work, and plenty of it. Really, I think the gospel of work then, as always, and to all of us, was salvation from a good deal of nonsense incident to the situation.

I have been told that the American circulation of the book, which has remained below one hundred thousand, was rather more than that in Great Britain. Translations, of course, were manifold. The French, the German, the Dutch, the Italian have been conscientiously sent to the author; some others, I think, have not. More applications to republish my books have reached me from Germany than from any other country. For a while, with the tenderness of a novice in such experience, I kept all these foreign curiosities on my book-shelves; but the throes of several New England "movings" have scattered their ashes.

Not long ago I came across a tiny pamphlet in which I used to feel more honest pride than in any edition of "The Gates Ajar" which it has ever been my fortune to handle. It is a sickly yellow thing, covered with a coarse design of some kind, in which the wings of a particularly sprawly angel predominate.

The print is abhorrent, and the paper such as any respectable publisher would prepare to be condemned for in this world and in that to come. In fact, the entire book was thus given out by one of the most enterprising of English pirates, as an advertisement for a patent medicine. I have never traced the chemical history of the drug; but it has pleased my fancy to suppose it to be the one in which Mrs. Holt, the mother of Felix, dealt so largely; and whose sale Felix put forth his mighty conscience to suppress.

Of course, owing to the state of our copyright laws at that time, all this foreign publication was piratical; and most of it brought no visible consequence to the author, beyond that cold tribute to personal vanity on which our unlucky race is expected to feed. I should make an exception. The house of Sampson, Low and Company honorably offered me, at a very early date, a certain recognition of their editions. Other reputable English houses since, in the case of succeeding books, have passed contracts of a gentlemanly nature, with the disproportionately grateful author, who was, of course, entirely at their mercy. When an American writer compares the sturdy figures of the foreign circulation with the attenuated numerals of such visible returns as reach him, he is more puzzled in his mind than surfeited in his purse. But the relation of foreign publishers to "home talent" is an ancient and honorable conundrum, which it is not for this paper or its writer to solve.

Nevertheless, I found the patent medicine "Gates Ajar" delicious, and used to compare it with Messrs. Fields and Osgood's edition de luxe with an undisguised delight, which I found it difficult to induce the best of publishers to share.

Like most such matters, the first energy of the book had its funny and its serious [pg 514] side. A man coming from a far Western village, and visiting Boston for the first time, is said to have approached a bartender, in an exclusive hotel, thus confidentially:

"Excuse me, but I am a stranger in this part of the country, and I want to ask a question. Everywhere I go, I see posters up like this—'The Gates Ajar!' 'The Gates Ajar!' I'm sick to death of the sight of the durn thing; I haven't darst to ask what it is. Do tell a fellar! Is it a new kind of drink?"

There was a "Gates Ajar" tippet for sale in the country groceries; I have fancied that it was a knit affair of as many colors as the jewels in the eternal portals, and extremely openwork. There was a "Gates Ajar" collar—paper, I fear—loading the city counters. Ghastly rumors have reached me of the existence of a "Gates Ajar" cigar. I have never personally set my eyes upon these tangible forms of earthly fame. If the truth must be told, I have kept a cowardly distance from them. Music, of course, took her turn at the book, and popular "pieces" warbled under its title. One of these, I think, is sung in Sunday-schools to this day. Then there was, and still exists, the "Gates Ajar" funeral piece. This used to seem to me the least serious of them all; but, by degrees, when I saw the persistence of force in that elaborate symbol, how many mourning people were so constituted as to find comfort in it, I came to have a tolerance for it which even grows into a certain tenderness. I may frankly admit that I have begun to love it since I heard about the two ragged little newsboys who came to the eminent city florist, with all their savings clenched in their grimy fists, and thus made known their case:

"Ye see, Larks he was our pardner—him an' us sold on the same beat—and he jes' got run over by a 'lectric, and it went over his back. So they tuk him to the horspittle, 'n Larks he up an' died there yestiddy. So us fellars we're goin' to give Larks a stylish funeril, you bet. We liked Larks—an' it went over his back. Say, mister, there ain't nothin' mean 'bout us, come to buryin' of Larks; 'n we've voted to settle on one them 'Gates Ajar' pieces—made o'flowers, doncherknow. So me 'n him an' the other fellars we've saved up all our propurty, for we're agoin' ter give Larks a stylish funeril—an' here it is, mister. I told the kids ef there was more'n enough you's trow in a few greens, anyhow. Make up de order right away, mister, and give us our money's worf now, sure—for Larks."

The gamin proudly counted out upon the marble slab of that fashionable flower store the sum of seventy-five cents.

The florist—blessings on him—is said not to have undeceived the little fellows, but to have duly honored their "order," and the biggest and most costly "Gates Ajar" piece to be had in the market went to the hospital, and helped to bury Larks.

Of course, as is customary in the case of all authors who have written one popular book, requests for work at once rained in on the new study on Andover Hill. For it soon became evident that I must have a quiet place to write in. In the course of time I found it convenient to take for working hours a sunny room in the farm-house of the Seminary estate, a large, old-fashioned building adjoining my father's house. In still later years I was allowed to build over, for my own purposes, the summer-house under the big elm in my father's garden, once used by my mother for her own study, and well remembered by all persons interested in Andover scenery. This building had been for some years used exclusively as a mud-bakery by the boys; it was piled with those clay turnovers and rolls and pies in whose manufacture the most select circles of Andover youth delighted.

But the bakery was metamorphosed into a decent, dear little room, about nine by eleven, and commanding the sun on the four sides of its quadrangle. In fact, it was a veritable sun-bath; and how dainty was the tip-drip of the icicles from the big elm-bough, upon the little roof! To this spot I used to travel down in all weathers; sometimes when it was so slippery on the hill behind the carriage-house (for the garden paths were impassable in winter) that I have had to return to primitive methods of locomotion, and just sit down and coast half the way on the crust. Later still, when an accident and crutches put this delightful method of travelling out of the question, the summer-house (in a blizzard I delighted in the name) was moved up beside my father's study. I have, in fact, always had an out-of-door study, apart from the house I lived in, and have come to look upon it as quite a necessity; so that we have carried on the custom in our Gloucester house. We heartily recommend it to all people who live by their brains and pens. The incessant trotting to and fro on little errands is a wholesome thing. Proof-sheets, empty ink-stands, dried-up mucilage, yawning wood-boxes, wet feet, missing scissors, unfilled kerosene lamps, untimely thirst, or unromantic lunches, the morning mail, and the dinner-bell, and the [pg 515] orders of one's pet dog—all are so many imperious summonses to breathe the tingling air and stir the blood and muscle.

Be as uncomfortable or as cross about it as you choose, an out-of-door study is sure to prove your best friend. You become a species of literary tramp, and absorb something of the tramp's hygiene. It is impossible to be "cooped" at your desk, if you have to cross a garden or a lawn thirty times a day to get to it. And what reporter can reach that sweet seclusion across the distant housemaid's wily and experienced art? What autograph or lion hunter can ruin your best chapter by bombardment in mid-morning?

In the farm-house study I remember one of my earliest callers from the publishing world, that seems always to stand with clawing fingers demanding copy of the people least able to give it. He was an emissary from the "Youth's Companion," who threatened or cajoled me into a vow to supply him with a certain number of stories. My private suspicion is that I have just about at this present time completed my share in that ancient bargain, so patient and long-suffering has this pleasant paper been with me. I took particular delight in that especial visit, remembering the time when the "Companion" gave my first pious little sentence to print, and paid me with the paper for a year.

"The Gates Ajar" was attacked by the press. In fact it was virulently bitten. The reviews of the book, some of them, reached the point of hydrophobia. Others were found to be in a milder pathological condition. Still others were gentle or even friendly enough. Religious papers waged war across that girl's notions of the life to come as if she had been an evil spirit let loose upon accepted theology for the destruction of the world. The secular press was scarcely less disturbed about the matter, which it treated, however, with the more amused good-humor of a man of the world puzzled by a religious disagreement.

In the days of the Most Holy Inquisition there was an old phrase whose poignancy has always seemed to me to be but half appreciated. One did not say: He was racked. She was burned. They were flayed alive, or pulled apart with little pincers, or clasped in the arms of the red-hot Virgin. One was too well-bred for so bald a use of language. One politely and simply said: He was put to the question.

The young author of "The Gates Ajar" was only put to the question. Heresy was her crime, and atrocity her name. She had outraged the church; she had blasphemed its sanctities; she had taken live coals from the altar in her impious hand. The sacrilege was too serious to be dismissed with cold contempt.

Opinion battled about that poor little tale as if it had held the power to overthrow church and state and family.

It was an irreverent book—it was a devout book. It was a strong book—it was a weak book. It was a religious book—it was an immoral book (I have forgotten just why; in fact, I think I never knew). It was a good book—it was a bad book. It was calculated to comfort the comfortless—it was calculated to lead the impressionable astray. It was an accession to Christian literature—it was a disgrace to the religious antecedents of the author; and so on, and so forth.

At first, when some of these reviews fell in my way, I read them, knowing no better. But I very soon learned to let them alone. The kind notices, while they gave me a sort of courage which by temperament possibly I needed more than all young writers may, overwhelmed me, too, by a sense of my own inadequacy to be a teacher of the most solemn of truths, on any such scale as that towards which events seemed to be pointing. The unfair notices put me in a tremor of distress. The brutal ones affected me like a blow in the face from the fist of a ruffian. None of them, that I can remember, ever helped me in any sense whatsoever to do better work.

I quickly came to the conclusion that I was not adapted to reading the views of the press about my own writing. I made a vow to let them alone; and, from that day to this, I have kept it. Unless in the case of something especially brought to my attention by friends, I do not read any reviews of my books. Of course, in a general way, one knows if some important pen has shown a comprehension of what one meant to do and tried to do, or has spattered venom upon one's poor achievement. Quite fairly, one cannot sit like the Queen in the kitchen, eating only bread and honey—and venom disagrees with me.

I sometimes think—if I may take advantage of this occasion to make the only reply in a working life of thirty years to any of the "slashers" with whose devotion I am told that I have been honored—I sometimes think, good brother critics, that I have had my share of the attentions of poisoned weapons.

But, regarding my reviewers with the great good humor of one who never reads [pg 516] what they say, I can afford to wish them lively luck and better game in some quivering writer who takes the big pile of what it is the fashion to call criticisms from the publisher's table, and conscientiously reads them through. With this form of being "put to the question" I will have nothing to do. If it gives amusement to the reviewers, they are welcome to their sport. But they stab at the summer air, so far as any writer is concerned who has the pertinacity of purpose to let them alone.

Long after I had adopted the rule to read no notices of my work, I learned from George Eliot that the same had been her custom for many years, and felt reënforced in the management of my little affairs by this great example. Discussing the question once, with one of our foremost American writers, I was struck with something like holy envy in his expression. He had received rough handling from those "critics" who seem to consider authors as their natural foes, and who delight in aiming the hardest blows at the heaviest enemy. His fame is immeasurably superior to that of all his reviewers put together.

"Don't you really read them?" he asked, wistfully. "I wish I could say as much. I'm afraid I shouldn't have the perseverance to keep that up right along."

In interesting contrast to all this discord from the outside, came the personal letters. The book was hardly under way before the storm of them set in. It began like a New England snow-storm, with a few large, earnest flakes; then came the swirl of them, big and little, sleet and rain, fast and furious, regular and irregular, scurrying and tumbling over each other through the Andover mails.

The astonished girl bowed her head before the blast at first, with a kind of terrified humility. Then, by degrees, she plucked up heart to give to each letter its due attention.

It would not be very easy to make any one understand, who had not been through a closely similar experience, just what it meant to live in the centre of such a whirlwind of human suffering.

It used to seem to me sometimes, at the end of a week's reading of this large and painful mail, as if the whole world were one great outcry. What a little portion of it cried to the young writer of one little book of consolation! Yet how the ear and heart ached under the piteous monotony! I made it a rule to answer every civil letter that I received; and as few of them were otherwise, this correspondence was no light load.

I have called it monotonous; yet there was a curious variety in monotony, such as no other book has brought to the author's attention. The same mail gave the pleasant word of some distinguished writer who was so kind as to encourage a beginner in his own art, or so much kinder as gently and intelligently to point out her defects; and beneath this welcome note lay the sharp rebuke of some obscure parishioner who found the Temple of Zion menaced to its foundation by my little story. Hunters of heresy and of autograph pursued their game side by side. Here, some man of affairs writes to say (it seemed incredible, but it used to happen) that the book has given him his first intelligent respect for religious faith. There, a poor colored girl, inmate of a charitable institution, where she has figured as in deed and truth the black sheep, sends her pathetic tribute:

"If heaven is like that, I want to go, and I mean to."

To-day I am berated by the lady who is offended with the manner of my doctrine. I am called hard names in no soft language, and advised to pray heaven for forgiveness for the harm I am doing by this ungodly book.

To-morrow I receive a widower's letter, of twenty-six pages, rose-tinted and perfumed. He relates his personal history. He encloses the photographs of his dead wife, his living children, and himself. He adds the particulars of his income, which, I am given to understand, is large. He adds—but I turn to the next.

This correspondent, like scores upon scores of others, will be told instanter if I am a spiritualist. On this vital point he demands my confession or my life.

The next desires to be informed how much of the story is autobiography, and requires the regiment and company in which my brother served.

And now I am haughtily taken to task by some unknown nature for allowing my heroine to be too much attached to her brother. I am told that this is impious; that only our Maker should receive such adoring affection as poor Mary offered to dead Roy.

Having recovered from this inconceivable slap in the face, I go bravely on. I open the covers of a pamphlet as green as Erin, entitled, "Antidote to the Gates Ajar;" consider myself as the poisoner of the innocent and reverent mind, and learn what I may from this lesson in toxicology.

There was always a certain share of abuse in these outpourings from strangers; it was relatively small, but it was enough to save my spirits, by the humor of it, or they would [pg 517] have been crushed with the weight of the great majority.

I remember the editor of a large Western paper, who enclosed a clipping from his last review for my perusal. It treated, not of "The Gates Ajar" just then, but of a magazine story in "Harper's," the "Century," or wherever. The story was told in the first person fictitious, and began after this fashion:

"I am an old maid of fifty-six, and have spent most of my life in boarding-houses." (The writer was, be it said, at that time, scarcely twenty-two.)

"Miss Phelps says of herself," observed this oracle, "that she is fifty-six years old; and we think she is old enough to know better than to write such a story as this."

At a summer place where I was in the early fervors of the art of making a home, a citizen was once introduced to me at his own request. I have forgotten his name, but remember having been told that he was "prominent." He was big, red, and loud, and he planted himself with the air of a man about to demolish his deadliest foe.

"So you are Miss Phelps. Well, I've wanted to meet you. I read a piece you wrote in a magazine. It was about Our Town. It did not please Me."

I bowed with the interrogatory air which seemed to be expected of me. Being just then very much in love with that very lovable place, I was puzzled with this accusation, and quite unable to recall, out of the warm flattery which I had heaped upon the town in cool print, any visible cause of offence.

"You said," pursued my accuser, angrily, "that we had odors here. You said Our Town smelled of fish. Now, you know, we get so used to these smells we like 'em! It gave great offence to the community, madam. And I really thought at one time—feelin' ran so high—I thought it would kill the sale of your book!"

From that day to this I do not believe the idea has visited the brain of this estimable person that a book could circulate in any other spot upon the map than within his native town. This delicious bit of provincialism served to make life worth living for many a long day.

There was fun enough in this sort of thing to "keep one up," so that one could return bravely to the chief end of existence; for this seemed for many years to be nothing less, and little else, than the exercise of those faculties called forth by the wails of the bereaved. From every corner of the civilized globe, and in its differing languages, they came to me—entreaties, outpourings, cries of agony, mutterings of despair, breathings of the gentle hope by which despair may be superseded; appeals for help which only the Almighty could have given; demands for light which only eternity can supply.

A man's grief, when he chooses to confide it to a woman, is not an easy matter to deal with. Its dignity and its pathos are never to be forgotten. How to meet it, Heaven only teaches; and how far Heaven taught that awed and humbled girl I shall never know.

But the women—oh, the poor women! I felt less afraid to answer them. Their misery seemed to cry in my arms like a child who must be comforted. I wrote to them—I wrote without wisdom or caution or skill; only with the power of being sorry for them, and the wish to say so; and if I said the right thing or the wrong one, whether I comforted or wearied, strengthened or weakened, that, too, I shall not know.

Sometimes, in recent years, a letter comes or a voice speaks: "Do you remember—so many years ago—when I was in great trouble? You wrote to me." And I am half ashamed that I had forgotten. But I bless her because she remembers.

But when I think of the hundreds—it came into the thousands, I believe—of such letters received, and how large a proportion of them were answered, my heart sinks. How is it possible that one should not have done more harm than good by that unguided sympathy? If I could not leave the open question to the Wisdom that protects and overrules well-meaning ignorance, I should be afraid to think of it. For many years I was snowed under by those mourners' letters. In truth, they have not ceased entirely yet, though of course their visits are now irregular.

I am so often asked if I still believe the views of another life set forth in "The Gates Ajar" that I am glad to use this opportunity to answer the question; though, indeed, I have been led to do so, to a certain extent, in another place, and may, perhaps, be pardoned for repeating words in which the question first and most naturally answered itself:

"Those appeals of the mourning, black of edge and blurred with tears, were a mass high beneath the hand and heavy to the heart. These letters had the terrible and unanswerable power of all great, natural voices; and the chiefest of these are love and grief. Year upon year the recipient has sat dumb before these signs of human misery and hope. They have rolled upon the shore [pg 518] of life, a billow of solemn inspiration. I have called them a human argument for faith in the future life, and see no reason for amending the term."

But why dwell on the little book, which was only the trembling organ-pipe through which the music thrilled? Its faults have long since ceased to trouble, and its friends to elate me. Sometimes one seems to one's self to be the least or last agency in the universe responsible for such a work. What was the book? Only an outcry of nature—and nature answered it. That was all. And nature is of God, and is mighty before Him.

Do I believe in the "middle march" of life, as the girl did in the morning, before the battle of the day?

For nature's sake—which is for God's sake—I cannot hesitate.

Useless suffering is the worst of all kinds of waste. Unless He created this world from sheer extravagance in the infliction of purposeless pain, there must be another life to justify, to heal, to comfort, to offer happiness, to develop holiness. If there be another world, and such a one, it will be no theologic drama, but a sensible, wholesome scene. The largest and the strongest elements of this experimental life will survive its weakest and smallest. Love is "the greatest thing in the world," and love "will claim its own" at last.

The affection which is true enough to live forever, need have no fear that the life to come will thwart it. The grief that goes to the grave unhealed, may put its trust in unimagined joy to be. The patient, the uncomplaining, the unselfish mourner, biding his time and bearing his lot, giving more comfort than he gets, and with beautiful wilfulness believing in the intended kindness of an apparently harsh force which he cannot understand, may come to perceive, even here, that infinite power and mercy are one; and, I solemnly believe, is sure to do so in the life beyond, where "God keeps a niche in heaven to hold our idols."


By Ella Higginson.

I know a place where the sun is like gold,

And the cherry blooms burst with snow;

And down underneath is the loveliest nook,

Where the four-leaf clovers grow.

One leaf is for hope, and one is for faith,

And one is for love, you know;

And God put another one in for luck—

If you search, you will find where they grow.

But you must have hope, and you must have faith;

You must love and be strong—and so—

If you work, if you wait, you will find the place

Where the four-leaf clovers grow.

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[pg 519]


By James T. Mckay,

Author of "Stella Grayland," "Larcone's Little Chap," and other stories.

The Windhams and Mandisons were old neighbors, and Phil Windham had always been very much at home among the Mandisons, and especially with Mary, the oldest daughter, who was like a wise, kind sister to him. Now his own house began to break up—his brothers went West; his sisters married; his father, who was a chemist and inventor, was killed one day by an explosion. In these trying times the Mandison household was his chief resource, and Mary most of all.

Then the Mandisons moved away. That seemed to Windham like the end of things. He was awfully lonely, and thought a great deal about Mary in the months that followed, but was not quite sure of himself; though he was certain there was no one else he liked and admired half so much. But in the following winter he went to spend the holidays with the Mandisons, and when he came away he and Mary were engaged.

The next summer the Mandisons took a cottage at the shore, and Windham went to spend some weeks with them. Idly busy and calmly happy in the pleasant company of Mary and all the friendly house, the sunny days slipped by till one came that disturbed his dream. An aunt of Mary's arrived with her husband, Dr. Saxon, and his niece, Agnes Maine. At the first glance Miss Maine challenged Windham's attention. She was a tall and striking person, with a keen glance that he felt took his measure at the first look. She piqued his curiosity, and interested him more and more.

One day he saw her and Mary together, and caught himself comparing them, not in Mary's favor. Panic seized him, and he turned his back on Miss Maine and devoted himself to Mary. Miss Maine went to stay with some neighbors, the Colemans. One night she was caught at the Mandisons by a storm. Mary asked Windham to entertain her, and he went and asked her to play chess. She declined coldly, and Windham turned away with such a look that Mary wondered what Agnes could have said so unkind. And the next day Miss Maine spoke so gently to him that it warmed him all through. Still he persistently avoided her.

The Colemans got up a play in the attic of their large old house. On the night of the performance the place was crowded. The first two acts went off smoothly.

Windham had been helping to shift the scenes, and was standing alone, looking over the animated spectacle as the audience chatted and laughed. Something in the play had made him think of Agnes Maine, though she was not in the cast, and he had not seen her. Suddenly, without any notice of her approach, she stood close to him, looking in his face. Her face was paler than usual, and her eyes had a startling light in them. She said only half a dozen low words, but they made him turn ghastly white. What she said was:

"The house is on fire down-stairs."

He stood looking at her an instant, long enough to reflect that any alarm would result in piling those gay people in an awful mass at the foot of the one steep and fragile stairway. The stage entrance was little better than an enclosed ladder, and not to be thought of.

"Go and stand at the head of the stairs," he said to her.

The bell rang for the curtain to rise, but he slipped back behind it, and it did not go up. Instead, Jeffrey Coleman appeared before it, bowing and smiling with exaggeration, and announced that the continuation of the performance had been arranged as a surprise below-stairs, and would be found even more exciting and interesting than the part already given. The audience were requested to go below quickly, but at the same time were cautioned against crowding, as the stair was rather steep and temporary. As they did not start at once, he came off the stage and led the way, going on down the stairs, and calling gayly to the rest to follow.

[pg 520]

Windham had got to the stairhead by this time. Agnes Maine stood there, on one side, looking calm and contained, and he took up his position on the other, and followed the cue given by young Coleman. He began to call out, extolling the absorbing and thrilling character of the performance down-stairs, with the extravagant epithets of the circus posters, laughing all the while. He urged them on when they lingered, and restrained them when they came too fast, addressing one and another with jocularity, laying his hands on some and pushing them on with assumed playfulness, keeping up the fire of raillery with desperate resistance. When screams were heard now and then from below, he made it appear to be only excited feminine merriment, directing attention to it, and calling out to those yet to come:

"You hear them? Oh, yes; you'll scream, too, when you see it!"

All the time, though his faculties were sufficiently strained by the effort he was making, he was watching Agnes Maine, who stood opposite, doing nothing, but looking her calm, pale self, and now and then smiling slightly at his extravagant humor. And he thought admiringly that her simple quiet did more to keep up the illusion than all his labored and violent simulation.

It seemed as if there never would be an end to the stream of leisurely people who answered his banter with laugh and joke. But finally the last of them were fairly on the stair, and he turned to Agnes Maine with a suddenly transformed face.

"Now—be quick!" he called.

But she gave a low cry, looking away toward the farther end, where she caught sight of a young couple still lingering. She ran toward them, calling to them to hurry, and as they did not understand, she took hold of the girl, and made her run. Windham had followed her, and the four came together to the stairhead, but there they stopped, and the young girl broke into wild screams. The foot of the stairway was wrapped in smoke and flames.

There was an observatory upon the house, into which Windham had once gone with Jeffrey Coleman, and he turned to it now, and made the three go up before him. He stopped and cut away a rope that held some of the hangings, and took it up with him. Miss Maine was standing with her arm about Fanny Lee, whom she had quieted.

"Had she better go first?" he asked.

"Yes, of course," Miss Maine answered.

He fastened the rope about the girl, assured her they would let her down safely, and between them they persuaded her, shrinkingly, to let herself be swung over, and lowered to the ground. In this Miss Maine gave more help than young Pritchard, who shook and chattered so much as to be of little use. And as soon as the girl was down and Windham turned toward Miss Maine, Pritchard took a turn of the rope around the railing, with a hasty knot, went over, and slid down it, out of sight. But before he reached the ground, the rope broke loose, and slipped out of Windham's grasp as he tried to catch it.

A cry came up from below. Windham turned toward Miss Maine, and they looked at one another, but said nothing. She was very pale and still. Windham glanced down and around; the fire was already following them up the tower. He made her come to the other side, where the balcony overhung the ridge of the sloping roof, got over the railing, and helped her to do the same, and to seat herself on the narrow ledge outside, holding on by the bars with her arms behind her. He let himself down by his hands till within two or three feet of the roof, and dropped safely upon it. Then he stood up, facing her just below, braced himself with one foot on each side of the ridge, and told her to loosen her hold and let herself fall forward. She did so, and he caught her in his arms as she fell.

It was a struggle for a minute to keep his balance; and whether in the involuntary stress of the effort, or by an instinctive impulse, conscious or otherwise, he clasped her close for a moment, till her face touched his own. Then he put her down, and they sat on the ridge near each other, flushed, and short of breath. Below, on the lawn, a throng of people looked up at them, some motionless, some gesticulating, and some shouting in dumb show, their voices drowned in the fierce roar and crackling that raged beneath the roof and shut in the two above it in a kind of visible privacy. They were still a while; then Agnes asked: "Can we do anything more?"

"No," he answered, "nothing but wait."

Both saw that men were running for ladders and ropes. Presently he asked quietly:

"Why did you come to me?"

She looked up at him for a moment, then answered:

"I suppose I thought you would know what to do."

[pg 33]

"Thank you," he said, in a grave, low voice.

After a little the tower blazed out above them, and they moved along the ridge till stopped by a chimney, against which he made her lean. Then they sat still again. The flames rose above the eaves on one side, and flared higher and hotter. Soon they grew scorching, and Agnes said, with quickened breathing:

"We couldn't stay here long."

He looked at her, and the side of her face toward the fire glowed bright red. He took off his coat, moved close to her, and held it up between their faces and the flames; and they sat together so, breathing audibly, but not speaking, till the head of a ladder rose suddenly above the eaves, and a minute later the head and shoulders of Jeffrey Coleman. He flung a rope to Windham, who in another minute had let Miss Maine slip down by it to the ladder; then, throwing a noose of it over the chimney, he slid down himself to the eaves, and so to the ground.


Miss Maine stood waiting for him, pale and trembling now, but said nothing. Mary Mandison was with her; she had made no scene, and made none now.

But there were sharper eyes than Mary's. That night, as Windham strolled on the lawn alone, Dr. Saxon confronted him, grimly puffing at his pipe. Then he said:

"I thought you were an honest fellow."

Windham leaned against a tree.

"I want to be," he said feebly.

"Then you'll have to look sharp," the doctor retorted. "You'd better go fishing with me up-country in the morning."

He went, Mary making him promise to return in time for an excursion to Blackberry Island which he had helped her plan. He got back the night before; and in the morning the party set out, some going round the shore by stage, and some in the boat down the bay.

Miss Maine went with those in the boat, and Windham went with Mary in the stage. Both on the way and after their arrival, he stayed by her, and did all he could to be useful and amusing.

They lunched on a grassy bank, in the shade of a cliff, by a tumbling brook that streamed down from the rocks. By and by Mary remarked that she would like to see where the little torrent came from, and Windham said he would try and find out for her. He scrambled up, and soon passed out of sight among the bowlders. He found some tough climbing, but kept on, and after a while traced the stream to a clear pool where a spring bubbled out of a rock wall in a cave-like chamber near the top.

As he reached its edge, he caught sight of the reflection in the pool of a woman's white dress; and, glancing up, saw Agnes Maine standing a little above him, on a [pg 522] sort of natural pedestal, in a rude niche at one side. She looked so like a statue that she smiled slightly at the confused thought of it which she saw for an instant in his face, but she turned grave then as their eyes met for a moment in a look of intimate recognition. Then he turned his away, with a sudden terror at himself, and leaned back against the wall, white in the face.

She stepped down and passed by him. He half put out his hand to stop her, but drew it back, and she partly turned at the gesture, but went on out of his sight.

He stood there for some time; then climbed down the rocks again, shaping his features into a careless form as he went, and came back to Mary with a forced smile on his face. But he forgot what he had gone for, and looked confused when Mary asked him if he had found it. And she commented:

"Why, Philip, what has happened? You look as if you had seen a ghost."

"I have," he answered.

Mary asked no more, except by her look. Some one came and proposed a sail, and Windham eagerly agreed, and went out in the boat with Mary and others.

They sailed down the bay. On the return the wind died away, and when they got back, the stage had gone with more than half the party, and Agnes Maine was not among those who were waiting. They came on board, and the boat headed away for home.

After landing they had to walk across some fields. When near the house, Mary missed something, and Windham went back for it. He had to cross the road, and as he came near it the stage passed along, with its merry company laughing and singing. They did not notice him among the trees, but he distinctly saw all who were in the open vehicle, and Miss Maine was not among them.

She had climbed up the cliff by a gradual, roundabout path; and after Windham saw her, she had wandered on, lost herself for a while, and got back after both stage and boat had left, each party supposing she had gone with the other.

Windham found a row-boat and started back. He knew nothing about boats; but the bay was very smooth, it was yet early, and he got across in due time. As he neared the island he saw her, in her white dress, standing on the bluff, and looking out toward him.

Off the shore, rocks and bowlders stood thickly out of the water, and Windham threaded his way in among them, thinking nothing of those underneath. The skiff was little better than an egg-shell, being built of half-inch cedar; and before he knew what had happened, the point of a sunken rock had cut through the bows, and the boat was filling with water. With a landsman's instinct, he stood up on a thwart; the boat tipped over and went from under him. In the effort to right it, he made a thrust downward with one of the oars, but found no bottom; and the next minute Agnes saw him clinging to the side of a steep rock, with only his head and shoulders out of water.

She did not cry out; but after he had struggled vainly to get up the rock, and found no other support for foot or hand than the one projection just above him, by which he held, he looked toward her as he clung there out of breath, and saw her eagerly watching him from the water's edge. And her voice showed the stress of her feeling, though it was quite clear when she called:

"Can't you climb up?"

"No, there is nothing to hold by."

"Can you swim?"


She looked all about, then back to him. There was no one in sight; the island was out of the lines of communication, and a point just north of them shut off the open water. But she saw that the reef to which Windham clung trended in to the shore a little way off, and she called:

"I think I can get out to you—keep hold till I come."

She ran along the beach, but not all the way. As soon as she was opposite a part of the reef that seemed accessible, she walked straight into the water, and made her way through it, though it was two or three feet deep near the rocks. He saw her clamber upon them and start toward him, springing from one to another, wading across submerged places, climbing around or over the higher points. And even there, in his desperate plight, as he watched her coming steadily toward him, her eyes fixed on the difficult path, and her skirt instinctively gathered a little in one hand, the sight of her fearless grace thrilled through him, and filled him with despairing admiration.

She came presently to the edge of a wider gap with clear water beneath, and paused for an instant. Windham called out:

"Don't jump; you'll be lost!"

[pg 523]

She looked at him a moment, studied the rocks again, stepped back, then forward quickly, and sprang across. She slipped and fell, but got to her feet again, and came on as before. She went out of Windham's sight, but in another minute he heard a rustle above him, looked up, and saw her standing very near the edge, and looking down at him, panting a little, but otherwise calm.

"Don't stand there; you will fall!" he called to her.

She kneeled down and tried to reach over, but could not. She raised herself again, and looked all around anxiously, but saw no one; she had not seen any one since she left him hours before on the cliff. She looked down at him and asked:

"Can you hold on long?"

"No," he answered, "not very long."

She moved back and lay down on the rock, with her face over the edge. It was wet and slippery, and inclined forward, so that she had to brace herself with one hand by a projection just below the brink. Lying so, she could reach down very near him.

"Take hold of my hand," she said.

He raised one arm with an effort, so that she caught him by the wrist, and his fingers closed about hers. She tried to pull him up slowly, but he felt that it was hopeless, and would only result in drawing her off the rock; so he settled back as before. He noticed that she had given him her left hand, and saw that there was another reason besides the necessity of bracing herself with her right. Her wrist was cut and bleeding.

"Oh, you are hurt!" he exclaimed.

"Never mind," she replied; "that is nothing."

He looked up in her face with passionate regret. Her lips were parted, and her breathing came quick and deep. He felt in her wrist the hot blood with which all her pulses throbbed, and it went through him as though one current flowed in their veins. Her eyes looked full into his, and did not turn away till the lashes trembled over them suddenly, and tears gushed out upon her face. An agony of yearning took hold of Windham and wrung his heart.

"Agnes, do you know?" he asked.

And she answered, "Yes."

When she could see him again, drops stood out on his forehead, and his eyes looked up at her with a despairing tenderness. Her lips closed, and her features settled into a look of answering resolve.

"You must not give up," she urged. "Don't let go of my hand."

"Oh, I must!" he answered. "You couldn't hold me; I should only draw you down."

She neither looked away nor made any reply.

"It would do no good," he went on. "I should only drown you too."

"I don't care," she answered. "I will not let you go."

"Oh, Agnes!" he responded, the faintness of exhaustion creeping over him, and mingling with a sharp but sweet despair.

Mary was standing at the door when the stage arrived, and she saw that Agnes was not there. She took one of her brothers who was a good boatman, and started back at once. When their boat rounded the point of the island she was on the lookout, and was the first to see the two they came to succor none too soon. And before they saw her she caught sight, with terrible clearness, of the look in the two faces that were bent upon one another. It was she who supported Windham until Agnes could be taken off, and preparations made for getting him on board; but she turned her eyes away, and did not speak to him.

On the way back she hardly noticed the dreary and draggled pair, who had little to say for themselves. Many things that had puzzled and troubled her ranged themselves in a dreadful sequence and order now in her unsuspicious mind. On their arrival she made some arrangements for their comfort, quietly; then went to her room, and did not come down again.

Windham left early in the morning, went straight back to Dr. Saxon, and told him the whole story.

"I hardly know whether I'm a villain or not," Windham concluded.

"You might as well be," the doctor growled. "You've been a consummate fool, and one does about as much harm as the other. Go home now and stay there; and don't do anything more, for heaven's sake, until you hear from me."

Windham went home, and was very miserable, as may be supposed. Hearing nothing for some time, he could not bear it, and wrote to Mary that he honored and admired her, and thought everything of her that he ever had or could. In a week he got this reply:

"Mary Mandison has received Philip Windham's letter, and can only reply that there is nothing to be said."

[pg 524]

This stung him more deeply than silence, and he wrote that he was going to see her on a certain day, and begged her not to deny him. He went at the time, and she saw him, simply sitting still, and hearing what he had to say. He hardly knew what to say then, but vowed and protested, and finally complained of her coldness and cruelty. She replied that she was not cold or cruel, but only, as she had told him, there was nothing to be said. In the end he found this was true, and rushed away in despair.

Mary had seemed calm; but when her mother came in that afternoon and looked for her, she found her in her room, lying on her face.

When she knew who it was, she raised herself silently, looked in her mother's face a moment, put her arms about her neck, and hid her hot, dry eyes there as she used to do when a child.

Late that night those two were alone together in the same place, and, before they parted, the mother said:

"You were always my brave child, and you are going to be my brave Mary still."

And Mary answered with a low cry:

"Yes—yes; but not now—not now!"

For a good while Windham felt the sensation of having run headlong upon a blank wall and been flung back and crippled. But the feeling wore itself out as the months passed.

It was nearly a year before he heard from Dr. Saxon, and he had given up looking for anything from him, when he received a cold note, inviting him to call at the doctor's home, if he chose, at a certain date and hour. At the time set he went to the city, and rang the doctor's bell as the hour was striking.


He was shown into the library, and when the door closed behind him, he fell back against it. Dr. Saxon was not the only person in the room; at the farther end sat Agnes Maine. She knew nothing of his coming; and when she glanced round and saw him, she stood up and faced him, with her hands crossed before her, her breathing quickened, and her face flushed blood-red.

The old doctor leaned back and looked from one to the other, studying them openly and keenly. When he was satisfied, he ordered Windham to take a chair near the window and told Agnes she might go out. She faced him a moment; then went away with her straight, proud carriage. The doctor finished something he was at, then got his pipe and filled and lighted it, backed up against the chimney-piece, and stood eying Windham [pg 525] with something more than his usual scowl.

"Well, young man," he asked, finally, "what did you come here for?"

"I came here because you asked me to."

"No, sir; you didn't," the old man retorted. "I said you might come if you liked."

Windham stood up, trembling, and replied with suppressed passion:

"I came on your invitation. I did not come to be insulted."

"Tut, tut," the doctor rejoined. "You needn't be so hoity-toity; you haven't much occasion; sit down. Have you been making any more of your 'mistakes,' as you call them?"

Windham answered emphatically: "No!"

"Are you going to?" the doctor continued.

"No, sir; I am not," Windham replied, with angry decision.

"Well, I wouldn't; you've done enough," the doctor commented roughly. "You call it a mistake, but I call it blind stupidity, worse than many crimes. Mary is worth three of Agnes, to begin with; but it would be just as bad if she were a doll or a dolt. Any fellow out of swaddling-clothes, who has brains in his body, and isn't made of wood, ought to know that passion is as hard a fact as hunger, and no more to be left out of account. You were bound to know the chances were that it would have to be reckoned with, first or last, and you deliberately took the risk of wrecking two women's lives. I don't say anything about your own; you richly deserve all you got, and all that's coming to you. If law could be made to conform to abstract justice, it would rank your offence worse than many for which men pay behind bars."

He went out abruptly, and after a few minutes returned with Agnes, who came in lingering, and apparently unwilling.

"Here, Agnes, I am going out," he said. "I've been giving this young man my opinion of him, and haven't any more time to waste. You can tell him what you think of him, and send him off."

He went out, and banged the door after him. Agnes leaned against it, and stood there downcast and perfectly still. Windham sat sunk together, as the doctor had left him, waiting for her to speak. But she did not, and after a while he got up and stood by the high desk, looking at her. Finally he spoke low:

"Are you going to scold me, too? Mary has discarded me, and your uncle says I am a miserable sinner, and ought to be in the penitentiary. I don't deny it; but if I went there it would be for your sake. Do you condemn me, too? Have you no mercy for me?"

A flush spread slowly over her pale face. Then she replied softly:

"No, I have no right. I am no better than you."

Two or three hours later Dr. Saxon sat at his desk, when Agnes entered and came silently and stood beside him. He did not look up, but asked quietly:

"Well, have you packed him off?"

"No," she answered under her breath; "you know I haven't."

He smiled up at her. This gruff old man had a rare smile on occasion for those he liked. And he said:

"Well, he isn't the worst they make; he's got spirit, and he can take a drubbing, too, when it's deserved. I tried him pretty well. Didn't I fire into him, though, hot shot!" He fairly grinned at the recollection. "I had to, you know, to keep myself in countenance. I suppose I said rather more than I meant—but don't you tell him so."

She smiled. "I have told him so already; I told him you didn't mean a word you said."

"You presumptuous baggage!" The doctor scowled now. "Then you told him a tremendous fib. I meant a deal of it. Well, he'll get his deserts yet, if he gets you, you deceiving minx. I told him one thing that was true enough, anyway"—he smiled broadly again—"I told him Mary was worth half a dozen of you."

Agnes turned grave, and put down her head so that she hid her face.

"So she is," she answered. "Oh, I'm very sorry—and ashamed!"

"Well, well," the old doctor responded soberly, stroking her cheek, "it is a pity; but I suppose it can't be helped. Mary's made of good stuff, and will pull through. It wouldn't do her any good if three lives were spoiled instead of one. It's lucky she found out before it was too late."

[pg 526]


By Ida M. Tarbell.


The following article is made up almost entirely of new matter. It includes six hitherto unpublished letters, all of them of importance in illustrating Lincoln's political methods and his views on public questions from 1843 to 1848, and an excellent report of a speech delivered in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1848, hitherto unknown to Lincoln's biographers, discovered in course of a search instituted by this Magazine through the files of the Boston and Worcester newspapers of September, 1848. The article also comprises various reminiscences of Lincoln in the period covered, gathered especially for this Magazine from associates of his who are still living.

the letter 'F'

or eight successive years Lincoln had been a member of the General Assembly of Illinois. It was quite long enough, in his judgment. He wanted something better. In 1842 he declined re-nomination, and became a candidate for Congress. He did not wait to be asked, nor did he leave his case in the hands of his friends. He frankly announced his desire, and managed his own canvass. There was no reason, in Lincoln's opinion, for concealing political ambition. He recognized, at the same time, the legitimacy of the ambition of his friends, and entertained no suspicion or rancor if they contested places with him.

"Do you suppose that I should ever have got into notice if I had waited to be hunted up and pushed forward by older men?" he wrote his friend Herndon once, when the latter was complaining that the older men did not help him on. "The way for a young man to rise is to improve himself every way he can, never suspecting that anybody wishes to hinder him. Allow me to assure you that suspicion and jealousy never did help any man in any situation. There may sometimes be ungenerous attempts to keep a young man down; and they will succeed, too, if he allows his mind to be diverted from its true channel to brood over the attempted injury. Cast about, and see if this feeling has not injured every person you have ever known to fall into it."

Lincoln had something more to do, however, in 1842, than simply to announce himself in the innocent manner of earlier politics. The convention system introduced into Illinois in 1835 by the Democrats had been zealously opposed by all good Whigs, Lincoln included, until constant defeat taught them that to resist organization by an every-man-for-himself policy was hopeless and wasteful, and that if they would succeed they must meet organization with organization. In 1841 a Whig State convention had been called to nominate candidates for the offices of governor and lieutenant-governor; and now, in March, 1843, a Whig meeting was held again at Springfield, at which the party's platform was laid, and a committee, of which Lincoln was a member, was appointed to prepare an "Address to the People of Illinois." In this address the convention system was earnestly defended. Against this rapid adoption of the abominated system many of the Whigs protested, and Lincoln found himself supporting before his constituents the tactics he had once warmly opposed. In a letter to his friend John Bennett of Petersburg, written in March, 1843, and now for the first time published,1he said:

[pg 527]

"Your letter of this day was handed me by Mr. Miles. It is too late now to effect the object you desire. On yesterday morning the most of the Whig members from this district got together and agreed to hold the convention at Tremont, in Tazewell County. I am sorry to hear that any of the Whigs of your county, or of any county, should longer be against conventions.

"On last Wednesday evening a meeting of all the Whigs then here from all parts of the State was held, and the question of the propriety of conventions was brought up and fully discussed, and at the end of the discussion a resolution recommending the system of conventions to all the Whigs of the State was unanimously adopted. Other resolutions also were passed, all of which will appear in the next 'Journal.' The meeting also appointed a committee to draft an address to the people of the State, which address will also appear in the next 'Journal.' In it you will find a brief argument in favor of conventions, and, although I wrote it myself, I will say to you that it is conclusive upon the point, and cannot be reasonably answered.

"The right way for you to do is to hold your meeting and appoint delegates anyhow, and if there be any who will not take part, let it be so.

"The matter will work so well this time that even they who now oppose will come in next time. The convention is to be held at Tremont on the fifth of April; and, according to the rule we have adopted, your county is to have two delegates—being double the number of your representation.

"If there be any good Whig who is disposed still to stick out against conventions, get him, at least, to read the argument in their favor in the 'Address.'"2

The "brief argument" which Lincoln thought so conclusive, "if he did write it himself," justified his good opinion. After its circulation there were few found to "stick out against conventions." The Whigs of the various counties in the Congressional district met as they had been ordered to do, and chose delegates. John J. Hardin of Jacksonville, Edward D. Baker and Abraham Lincoln of Springfield, were the three candidates for whom these delegates were instructed.

To Lincoln's keen disappointment, the delegation from Sangamon County was instructed for Baker. A variety of social and personal influences, besides Baker's popularity, worked against Lincoln. "It would astonish, if not amuse, the older citizens," wrote Lincoln to a friend, "to learn that I (a stranger, friendless, uneducated, penniless boy, working on a flat-boat at ten dollars per month) have been put down here as the candidate of pride, wealth, and aristocratic family distinction." He was not only accused of being an aristocrat, he was called "a deist." He had fought, or been about to fight, a duel. His wife's relations were Episcopalian and Presbyterian. He and she attended a Presbyterian church. These influences alone could not be said to have defeated him, he wrote, but "they levied a tax of considerable per cent. upon my strength."

The meeting that named Baker as its choice for Congress appointed Lincoln one of the delegates to the convention. "In getting Baker the nomination," Lincoln wrote to Speed, "I shall be fixed a good deal like a fellow who is made a grooms-man to a man that has cut him out, and is marrying his own dear 'gal.'" From the first, however, he stood bravely by Baker. "I feel myself bound not to hinder him in any way from getting the nomination; I should despise myself were I to attempt it," he wrote certain of his constituents who were anxious that he should attempt to secure the nomination in spite of his instructions. It was soon evident to both Lincoln and Baker that John J. Hardin was probably the strongest candidate in the district, and so it proved when the convention met in May, 1843, at Pekin.

It has frequently been charged that in this Pekin convention, Hardin, Baker, and Lincoln agreed to take in turn the three next nominations to Congress, thus establishing a species of rotation in office. This charge cannot be sustained. What occurred at the Pekin convention has been written out for this magazine by one of the only two surviving delegates, the Hon. J.M. Ruggles of Havana, Illinois.

"When the convention assembled," writes Mr. Ruggles, "Baker was there with his friend and champion delegate, Abraham Lincoln. The ayes and noes had been taken, and there were fifteen votes apiece, and one in doubt that had not arrived. That was myself. I was known to be a warm friend of Baker, representing people who were partial to Hardin. As soon as I arrived Baker hurried to me, saying: 'How is it? It all depends on you.' On being told that notwithstanding my partiality for him, the people I represented [pg 528] expected me to vote for Hardin, and that I would have to do so, Baker at once replied: 'You are right—there is no other way.' The convention was organized, and I was elected secretary. Baker immediately arose, and made a most thrilling address, thoroughly arousing the sympathies of the convention, and ended by declining his candidacy. Hardin was nominated by acclamation; and then came the episode.

"Immediately after the nomination, Mr. Lincoln walked across the room to my table, and asked if I would favor a resolution recommending Baker for the next term. On being answered in the affirmative, he said: 'You prepare the resolution, I will support it, and I think we can pass it.' The resolution created a profound sensation, especially with the friends of Hardin. After an excited and angry discussion, the resolution passed by a majority of one."

Lincoln supported Hardin as energetically as he had Baker. In a letter3 to the former, hitherto unpublished, written on May 11th, just after the convention, he says:

"Butler informs me that he received a letter from you in which you expressed some doubt as to whether the Whigs of Sangamon will support you cordially. You may at once dismiss all fears on that subject. We have already resolved to make a particular effort to give you the very largest majority possible in our county. From this no Whig of the county dissents. We have many objects for doing it. We make it a matter of honor and pride to do it; we do it because we love the Whig cause; we do it because we like you personally; and, last, we wish to convince you that we do not bear that hatred to Morgan County that you people have seemed so long to imagine. You will see by the 'Journal' of this week that we propose, upon pain of losing a barbecue, to give you twice as great a majority in this county as you shall receive in your own. I got up the proposal.

"Who of the five appointed is to write the district address? I did the labor of writing one address this year, and got thunder for my reward. Nothing new here.

Yours as ever,


"P.S. I wish you would measure one of the largest of those swords we took to Alton, and write me the length of it, from tip of the point to tip of the hilt, in feet and inches. I have a dispute about the length4

A. L."


Hardin was elected, and in 1844 Baker was nominated and elected. Lincoln had accepted his defeat by Hardin manfully. He had secured the nomination for Baker in 1844. He felt that his duty toward his friends was discharged, and that the nomination in 1846 belonged to him. Through the terms of both Hardin and Baker, he worked persistently and carefully to insure his own nomination. With infinite pains-taking he informed himself about the temper of every individual whom he knew or of whom he heard. In an amusing letter to Hardin, hitherto unpublished, written in May, 1844, while the latter was in Congress, he tells him of one disgruntled constituent who must be pacified, giving him, at the same time, a hint as to the temper of the "Locofocos."

"Knowing that you have correspondents enough, I have forborne to trouble you heretofore," he writes; "and I now only do so to get you to set a matter right which has got wrong with one of our best friends. It is old Uncle Thomas Campbell of Spring Creek (Berlin P.O.). He has received several documents from you, and he says they are old newspapers and old documents, having no sort of interest in them. He is, therefore, getting a strong impression that you treat him with disrespect. This, I know, is a mistaken impression, and you must correct it. The way, I leave to yourself. Robert W. Canfield says he would like to have a document or two from you.

"The Locos here are in considerable trouble about Van Buren's letter on Texas, and the Virginia electors. They are growing sick of the tariff question, and consequently are much confounded at Van Buren's cutting them off from the new Texas question. Nearly half the leaders swear they won't stand it. Of those are Ford, T. Campbell, Ewing, Calhoun, and others. They don't exactly say they won't go for Van Buren, but they say he will not be the candidate, and that they are for Texas anyhow.

"As ever yours,


[pg 529]

From an ambrotype taken in Springfield, Illinois, in 1860, and given by Lincoln to J. Henry Brown, a miniature artist who had gone to Springfield to paint a portrait of the President for Judge Read of Pennsylvania. The ambrotype is now in a collection in Boston. A companion picture, made at the same time, is owned by Mr. William H. Lambert of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was reproduced as the frontispiece to MCCLURE'S MAGAZINE for March, 1896 (see note to this frontispiece).

[pg 530]

After a portrait owned by Mrs. Julia Duncan Kirby, Jacksonville, Illinois. John J. Hardin was born at Frankfort, Kentucky, January 6, 1810; was educated at Transylvania University; removed to Jacksonville, Illinois, in 1830, and there began practising law. He at once became active in politics, and in 1834 was a candidate for Prosecuting Attorney, an officer at that time chosen by the legislature. He was defeated by Stephen A. Douglas, then a recent arrival from Vermont. In 1836 he was elected to the lower branch of the General Assembly, and served three terms. In the session of 1836-37, he was one of the few members who opposed the internal improvements scheme. He was elected to Congress from the Sangamon district in 1843, and served until 1845. For some time he was a general in the State militia. In the Mexican War, he was colonel of the First Illinois Regiment, and was killed at the battle of Buena Vista, February 23, 1847. General Hardin was a man of brilliant parts. He was an able lawyer, and at the time of his death had risen to the leadership of the Whig party in his State. It was through his intercession, aided by Dr. R.W. English, that the unpleasantness between Lincoln and Shields in 1842 was amicably settled and a duel prevented.—J. McCan Davis.


From the Civil War collection of Mr. Robert Coster. Edward Dickinson Baker was born in London, February 24, 1811. In his infancy his parents emigrated to America, and his father became a teacher at Philadelphia. There Edward was apprenticed to a weaver; but he disliked the trade, and soon gave it up and left home. He drifted to Belleville, Illinois, about 1826, and was followed a year later by his parents. For several months he drove a dray in St. Louis, Missouri; then removed to Carrollton, Illinois, and studied law. His early experience at the bar was disheartening, and upon becoming a member of the Christian church he resolved to enter the ministry; but political success about this time caused a change of mind, and robbed the pulpit of a splendid ornament. In 1835 he removed to Springfield, and in 1837 was elected to the legislature. He achieved immediate distinction as an orator, and for the ensuing fifteen years he ranked among the foremost lawyers and politicians of the State. He was reflected to the House in 1838, served in the State Senate from 1840 to 1844, and was then elected to Congress. Upon the breaking out of the Mexican War he returned home, and raised a regiment of which he was commissioned colonel. After the war he removed to Galena, and was there sent back to Congress. In 1851 he went to the Isthmus of Panama with four hundred laborers to engage in the construction of the Panama Railroad. In 1852 he went to San Francisco, California, where he at once became the leader of the bar. He was not successful there in any of his political aspirations, and removed to Oregon. That State at once made him a United States Senator. The Civil War coming on, he resigned his seat in the Senate, raised "the California regiment," immediately went to the front, and was killed at Ball's Bluff, October 20, 1861.—. J. McCan Davis.

In 1844, being a presidential elector, Lincoln entered the canvass with ardor. Henry Clay was the candidate, and Lincoln shared the popular idolatry of the man. His devotion was not merely a sentiment, however. He had been an intelligent student of Clay's public life, and his sympathy was all with the principles of the "gallant Harry of the West." Throughout the campaign he worked zealously, travelling all over the State, speaking and talking. As a rule he was accompanied by a Democrat. The two went unannounced, simply stopping at some friendly house. On their arrival the word was sent around, "the candidates are here," and the men of the neighborhood gathered to hear the discussion, which was carried on in the most [pg 531] informal way, the candidates frequently sitting tipped back against the side of the house, or perched on a rail, whittling during the debates. Nor was all of this electioneering done by argument. Many votes were still cast in Illinois out of personal liking, and the wily candidate did his best to make himself agreeable, particularly to the women of the household. The Hon. William L.D. Ewing, a Democrat who travelled with Lincoln in one campaign, used to tell a story of how he and Lincoln were eager to win the favor of one of their hostesses, whose husband was an important man in his neighborhood. Neither had made much progress until at milking-time Mr. Ewing started after the woman of the house as she went to the yard, took her pail, and insisted on milking the cow himself. He naturally felt that this was a master stroke. But receiving no reply from the hostess, to whom he had been talking loudly as he milked, he looked around, only to see her and Lincoln leaning comfortably over the bars, engaged in an animated discussion. By the time he had his self-imposed task done, Lincoln had captivated the hostess, and all Mr. Ewing received for his pains was hearty thanks for giving her a chance to have so pleasant a talk with Mr. Lincoln.5


Lincoln's speeches at this time were not confined to his own State. He made several in Indiana, being invited thither by prominent Whig politicians who had heard him speak in Illinois. The first and most important of his meetings in Indiana was at Bruceville. The Democrats, learning of the proposed Whig gathering, arranged one, for the same evening, with Lieutenant William W. Carr of Vincennes as speaker. As might have been expected from the excited state of politics at the moment, the proximity of the two mass-meetings aroused party loyalty to a fighting pitch. "Each party was determined to break up the other's speaking," writes Miss O'Flynn, in a description of the Bruceville meeting prepared for this Magazine from interviews with those who took part in it. "The night was made hideous with the rattle of tin pans and bells and the blare of cow-horns. In spite of all the din and uproar of the younger element, a few grown-up male radicals and partisan women sang and cheered loudly for their favorites, who kept on with their flow of political information. Lieutenant Carr stood in his carriage, and addressed the crowd around him, while a local politician acted as grand marshal of the night, and urged the yelling Democratic legion to surge to the schoolhouse, where Abraham Lincoln was speaking, and run the Whigs from their headquarters. Old men now living, who were big boys then, cannot remember any of the burning eloquence of [pg 532] either speaker. As they now laughingly express it: 'We were far more interested in the noise and fussing than the success of the speakers, and we ran backward and forward from one camp to the other.'

Fortunately, the remaining speeches in Indiana were made under more dignified conditions. One was delivered at Rockport; another "from the door of a harness shop" near Gentryville, Lincoln's old home in Indiana; and a third at the "Old Carter School" in the same neighborhood. At the delivery of the last many of Lincoln's old neighbors were present, and they still tell of the cordial way in which he greeted them and of the interest he showed in every familiar spot.

"'I was a young fellow,' Mr. Redmond Grigsby says, 'and took a long time to get to the speaking. When I got to the out-skirts of the crowd, Mr. Lincoln saw me, and called out: "If that isn't Red Grigsby, then I'm a ghost." He then came through the crowd and met me. We shook hands and talked a little. His speech was good, and was talked about for a long while around in this section. The last words of his speech at the Carter schoolhouse were: 'My fellow-citizens, I may not live to see it, but give us protective tariff, and we will have the greatest country on the globe.'"

"After the speaking was over, Mr. Josiah Crawford invited Abraham Lincoln and John W. Lamar to go home with him. As they rode along, Mr. Lincoln talked over olden times. He asked about a saw pit in which he had worked when a young boy. Mr. Crawford said it was still in existence, and that he would drive around near it. The three men, Lincoln, Crawford, and Lamar, went up into the woods where the old pit was. It had partly fallen down; the northwest corner, where Lincoln used to stand when working, was propped up by a large forked stick against a tree. Mr. Lincoln said: 'This looks more natural than I thought it would after so many years since I worked here.' During the time spent at Mr. Crawford's home, Mr. Lincoln went around inspecting everything."6

So vivid were the memories which this visit to Gentryville aroused, so deep were Lincoln's emotions, that he even attempted to express them in verse.


The Rev. Peter Cartwright, the most famous itinerant preacher of the pioneer era, was born in Amherst County, Virginia, on James River, September 1, 1785. His father was a Revolutionary soldier, and soon after peace was declared the family moved to the wildest region of Kentucky. The migrating party consisted of two hundred families, guarded by an armed escort of one hundred men. Peter was a wild boy; but in his sixteenth year he was persuaded by his mother to join the Methodist Church. He at once displayed a wonderful talent for exhorting, and at the age of seventeen he became a licensed exhorter. A year later he became a regular travelling preacher. His reputation soon spread over Kentucky and Ohio. He hated slavery, and in 1823, to get into a free State, he and his wife (he had married Frances Gaines in 1808) and their seven children removed to Illinois. They settled in the Sangamon valley, near Springfield. For the next forty years he travelled over the State, most of the time on horseback, preaching the gospel in his unique and rugged fashion. His district was at first so large (extending from Kaskaskia to Galena) that he was unable to traverse the whole of it in the same year. He was elected to the legislature in 1828 and again in 1832; Lincoln, in the latter year, being an opposing candidate. In 1846 he was the Democratic nominee for Congress against Lincoln, and was badly beaten. Peter Cartwright enjoyed, perhaps, a larger personal acquaintance with the people of Illinois than any other man ever had. His name was familiar in every household in the West. Up to 1856 (he wrote an autobiography in that year) he had baptized twelve thousand persons and preached five hundred funeral sermons. His personality was quaint and original. A native vigor of intellect largely overbalanced the lack of education. He was a great wit, and often said startling things. His religion sometimes bordered upon fanaticism. He was fearless and aggressive, and was no respecter of persons. It was not a rare thing for him to descend from the pulpit, and by sheer physical force subdue a disorderly member of his congregation. On one occasion, attending a dinner given by Governor Edwards, he requested the governor to "say grace," observing that the ceremony was about to be dispensed with. The wife of a Methodist brother objected to family worship; Peter Cartwright shut her outdoors and kept her there until she became convinced of her error. At Nashville, Tennessee, as he was about to begin a sermon, a distinguished-looking stranger entered the church; some one whispered to him that it was Andrew Jackson; whereupon he at once blurted out, "Who is General Jackson? If he don't get his soul converted, God will damn him as quick as he would a Guinea nigger!" Attending the general conference in New York, he astonished the hotel clerk by asking for an axe "to blaze his way" up the six flights of stairs, so that he would not get lost on the return trip. He died in 1872, after having been a member of the Methodist Church for more than seventy-one years.—J. McCan Davis.]


In this campaign of 1844 the annexation of Texas was one of the most hotly discussed questions. The Whigs opposed annexation, but their ground was not [pg 533] radical enough to suit the growing body of Abolitionists in the country, who nominated a third candidate, James G. Birney. Lincoln was obliged to meet the arguments of the Abolitionists frequently in his campaigning. In 1845, while working for Congress, he found the abolition sentiment stronger than ever. Prominent among the leaders of the third party in the State were two brothers, Williamson and Madison Durley of Hennepin, Illinois. They were outspoken advocates of their principles, and even operated a station of the underground railroad. Lincoln knew the Durleys, and, when visiting Hennepin to speak, solicited their support. They opposed their liberty principles. When Lincoln returned to Springfield he wrote Williamson Durley a letter which has never before been published,7 and which sets forth with admirable clearness his exact position on the slavery question at that period. It must be regarded, we think, as the most valuable document on the question which we have up to this point in Lincoln's life.


"When I saw you at home," Lincoln began, "it was agreed that I should write to you and your brother Madison. Until I then saw you I was not aware of your being what is generally called an Abolitionist, or, as you call yourself, a Liberty man, though I well knew there were many such in your county.

"I was glad to hear that you intended to attempt to bring about, at the next election in Putnam, a union of the Whigs proper and such of the Liberty men as are Whigs in principle on all questions save only that of slavery. So far as I can perceive, by such union neither party need yield anything on the point in difference between them. If the Whig abolitionists of New York had voted with us last fall, Mr. Clay would now be President, Whig principles in the ascendant, and Texas not annexed; whereas, by the division, all that either had at stake in the contest was lost. And, indeed, it was extremely probable, beforehand, that such would be the result. As I always understood, the Liberty men deprecated the annexation of Texas extremely; and this being so, why they should refuse to cast their votes [so] as to prevent it, even to me seemed wonderful. What was their process of reasoning, I can only judge from what a single one of them [pg 534] told me. It was this: 'We are not to do evil that good may come.' This general proposition is doubtless correct; but did it apply? If by your votes you could have prevented the extension, etc., of slavery, would it not have been good, and not evil, so to have used your votes, even though it involved the casting of them for a slave-holder? By the fruit the tree is to be known. An evil tree cannot bring forth good fruit. If the fruit of electing Mr. Clay would have been to prevent the extension of slavery, could the act of electing have been evil?

"But I will not argue further. I perhaps ought to say that individually I never was much interested in the Texas question. I never could see much good to come of annexation, inasmuch as they were already a free republican people on our own model. On the other hand, I never could very clearly see how the annexation would augment the evil of slavery. It always seemed to me that slaves would be taken there in about equal numbers, with or without annexation. And if more were taken because of annexation, still there would be just so many the fewer left where they were taken from. It is possibly true, to some extent, that, with annexation, some slaves may be sent to Texas and continued in slavery that otherwise might have been liberated. To whatever extent this may be true, I think annexation an evil. I hold it to be a paramount duty of us in the free States, due to the Union of the States, and perhaps to liberty itself (paradox though it may seem), to let the slavery of the other States alone; while, on the other hand, I hold it to be equally clear that we should never knowingly lend ourselves, directly or indirectly, to prevent that slavery from dying a natural death—to find new places for it to live in, when it can no longer exist in the old. Of course I am not now considering what would be our duty in cases of insurrection among the slaves. To recur to the Texas question, I understand the Liberty men to have viewed annexation as a much greater evil than ever I did; and I would like to convince you, if I could, that they could have prevented it, without violation of principle, if they had chosen.

"I intend this letter for you and Madison together; and if you and he or either shall think fit to drop me a line, I shall be pleased.

"Yours with respect,



As the time drew near for the convention of 1846 Lincoln learned that Hardin proposed to contest the nomination with him. Hardin certainly was free to do this. He had voluntarily declined the nomination in 1844, because of the events of the Pekin convention, but he had made no promise to do so in 1846. Many of the Whigs of the district had not expected him to be a candidate, however, arguing that Lincoln, because of his relation to the party, should be given his turn. "We do not entertain a doubt," wrote the editor of the "Sangamo Journal," in February, 1846, "that if we could reverse the positions of the two men, a very large portion of those who now support Mr. Lincoln most warmly would support General Hardin quite as warmly." Although Lincoln had anticipated that Hardin would enter the race, it made him anxious and a little melancholy.

"Since I saw you last fall," he wrote on January 7, 1846, to his friend Dr. Robert Boal of Lacon, Illinois, in a letter hitherto unpublished8, "I have often thought of writing you, as it was then understood I would; but, on reflection, I have always found that I had nothing new to tell you. All has happened as I then told you I expected it would—Baker's declining, Hardin's taking the track, and so on.

"If Hardin and I stood precisely equal—that is, if neither of us had been to Congress, or if we both had—it would not only accord with what I have always done, for the sake of peace, to give way to him; and I expect I should do it. That I can voluntarily postpone my pretensions, when they are no more than equal to those to which they are postponed, you have yourself seen. But to yield to Hardin under present circumstances seems to me as nothing else than yielding to one who would gladly sacrifice me altogether. This I would rather not submit to. That Hardin is talented, energetic, unusually generous and magnanimous, I have, before this, affirmed to you, and do not now deny. You know that my only argument is that 'turn about is fair play.' This he, practically at least, denies.

"If it would not be taxing you too much, I wish you would write me, telling the aspect of things in your county, or rather your district; and also send the names of [pg 535] some of your Whig neighbors to whom I might, with propriety, write. Unless I can get some one to do this, Hardin, with his old franking list, will have the advantage of me. My reliance for a fair shake (and I want nothing more) in your county is chiefly on you, because of your position and standing, and because I am acquainted with so few others. Let me hear from you soon."


From a carbon reproduction, by Sherman and McHugh of New York City, of a daguerreotype in the collection of Peter Gilsey, Esq., and here reproduced through his courtesy.

Lincoln followed the vibrations of feeling in the various counties with extreme nicety, studying every individual whose loyalty he suspected or whose vote was not [pg 536] yet pledged. "Nathan Dresser is here," he wrote to his friend Bennett, on January 15, 1846, "and speaks as though the contest between Hardin and me is to be doubtful in Menard County. I know he is candid, and this alarms me some. I asked him to tell me the names of the men that were going strong for Hardin; he said Morris was about as strong as any. Now tell me, is Morris going it openly? You remember you wrote me that he would be neutral. Nathan also said that some man (who, he could not remember) had said lately that Menard County was again to decide the contest, and that made the contest very doubtful. Do you know who that was?

"Don't fail to write me instantly on receiving, telling me all—particularly the names of those who are going strong against me9."

In January, General Hardin suggested that, since he and Mr. Lincoln were the only persons mentioned as candidates, there be no convention, but the selection be left to the Whig voters of the district. Lincoln refused.

"It seems to me," he wrote Hardin, "that on reflection you will see the fact of your having been in Congress has, in various ways, so spread your name in the district as to give you a decided advantage in such a stipulation. I appreciate your desire to keep down excitement; and I promise you to 'keep cool' under all circumstances.... I have always been in the habit of acceding to almost any proposal that a friend would make, and I am truly sorry that I cannot in this. I perhaps ought to mention that some friends at different places are endeavoring to secure the honor of the sitting of the convention at their towns respectively, and I fear that they would not feel much complimented if we shall make a bargain that it should sit nowhere."10

After General Hardin received this refusal he withdrew from the contest, in a manly and generous letter which was warmly approved by the Whigs of the district. Both men were so much loved that a break between them would have been a disastrous thing for the party. "We are truly glad that a contest which in its nature was calculated to weaken the ties of friendship has terminated amicably," said the "Sangamo Journal."


Born in Boston in 1809, graduated at Harvard, and studied law with Daniel Webster. Winthrop's career as a statesman began with his election to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1834. He remained there until elected to Congress in 1840, where he served ten years. In 1847 he was elected Speaker by the Whigs. In 1850 Winthrop was appointed Senator to take Daniel Webster's place, but he was defeated in his efforts to be re-elected. Candidate for governor in the same year, he was also defeated. He retired from politics after this, though often offered various candidacies. Winthrop was especially noted as an orator.

The charge that Hardin, Baker, and Lincoln tried to ruin one another in this contest for Congress has often been denied by their associates, and never more emphatically than by Judge Gillespie, an influential politician of the State. In an unpublished letter Judge Gillespie says: "Hardin was one of the most unflinching and unfaltering Whigs that ever drew the breath of life. He was a mirror of chivalry, and so was Baker. Lincoln had boundless respect for, and confidence in, them both. He knew they would sacrifice themselves rather than do an act that could savor in the slightest degree of meanness or dishonor. Those men, Lincoln, Hardin, and Baker, were bosom friends, to my certain knowledge.... Lincoln felt that they could be actuated by nothing but the most honorable sentiments towards him. For although they were rivals, they were all three men of the most punctilious honor, and devoted friends. I knew them intimately, and can say confidently that there never was a particle of envy on the part of one towards the other. The rivalry between them was of the most honorable and friendly character, and when Hardin [pg 537] and Baker were killed (Hardin in Mexico, and Baker at Ball's Bluff) Lincoln felt that in the death of each he had lost a dear and true friend11."


After Hardin's withdrawal, Lincoln went about in his characteristic way trying to soothe his and Hardin's friends. "Previous to General Hardin's withdrawal," he wrote one of his correspondents,12 "some of his friends and some of mine had become a little warm; and I felt ... that for them now to meet face to face and converse together was the best way to efface any remnant of unpleasant feeling, if any such existed. I did not suppose that General Hardin's friends were in any greater need of having their feelings corrected than mine were."

In May, Lincoln was nominated. His Democratic opponent was Peter Cartwright, the famous Methodist exhorter. Cartwright had been in politics before, and made an energetic canvass. His chief weapon against Lincoln was the old charges of deism and aristocracy; but they failed of effect, and in August, Lincoln was elected.

The contest over, sudden and characteristic disillusion seized him. "Being elected to Congress, though I am grateful to our friends for having done it, has not pleased me as much as I expected," he wrote Speed.


In November, 1847, Lincoln started for Washington. The city in 1848 was little more than the outline of the Washington of 1896. The Capitol was without the present wings, dome, or western terrace. The White House, the City Hall, the Treasury, the Patent Office, and the Post-Office were the only public buildings standing then which have not been rebuilt or materially changed. The streets were unpaved, and their dust in summer and mud in winter are celebrated in every record of the period. The parks and circles were still unplanted. Near the White House were a few fine old homes, and Capitol Hill was partly built over. Although there were deplorable wastes between these two points, the majority of the people lived in this part of the city, on or near Pennsylvania [pg 538] Avenue. The winter that Lincoln was in Washington, Daniel Webster lived on Louisiana Avenue, near Sixth Street; Speaker Winthrop and Thomas H. Benton on C Street, near Third; John Quincy Adams and James Buchanan, the latter then Secretary of State, on F Street, between Thirteenth and Fourteenth. Many of the senators and congressmen were in hotels, the leading ones of which were Willard's, Coleman's, Gadsby's, Brown's, Young's, Fuller's, and the United States. Stephen A. Douglas, who was in Washington for his first term as senator, lived at Willard's. So inadequate were the hotel accommodations during the sessions that visitors to the town were frequently obliged to accept most uncomfortable makeshifts for beds. Seward, visiting the city in 1847, tells of sleeping on "a cot between two beds occupied by strangers."

The larger number of members lived in "messes," a species of boarding-club, over which the owner of the house occupied usually presided. The "National Intelligencer" of the day is sprinkled with announcements of persons "prepared to accommodate a mess of members." Lincoln went to live in one of the best known of these clubs, Mrs. Sprigg's, in "Duff Green's Row," on Capitol Hill. This famous row has now entirely disappeared, the ground on which it stood being occupied by the new Congressional Library.


Born in New Hampshire in 1802; removed to Illinois in 1832. A member of the legislature from 1836 to 1840, and of Congress from 1843 to 1849. During the war, paymaster in the United States Army at St. Louis. Died at Alton in 1868.

At Mrs. Sprigg's, Lincoln had as mess-mates several Congressmen: A.R. McIlvaine, James Pollock, John Strohm, and John Blanchard, all of Pennsylvania, Patrick Tompkins of Mississippi, Joshua R. Giddings of Ohio, and Elisha Embree of Indiana. Among his neighbors in messes on Capitol Hill were Andrew Johnson of Tennessee, Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia, and Jefferson Davis of Mississippi. Only one of the members of the mess at Mrs. Sprigg's in the winter of 1847-1848 is now living, Dr. S.C. Busey of Washington, D.C. He sat nearly opposite Lincoln at the table.

"I soon learned to know and admire him," says Dr. Busey13, "for his simple and unostentatious manners, kind-heartedness, and amusing jokes, anecdotes, and witticisms. When about to tell an anecdote during a meal he would lay down his knife and fork, place his elbows upon the table, rest his face between his hands, and begin with the words, 'That reminds me,' and proceed. Everybody prepared for the explosions sure to follow. I recall with vivid pleasure the scene of merriment at the dinner after his first speech in the House of Representatives, occasioned by the descriptions, by himself and others of the Congressional mess, of the uproar in the House during its delivery.


Wentworth removed to Chicago from New Hampshire in 1836, where he published the "Chicago Democrat." He was twice Mayor of Chicago, and served in Congress from 1843 to 1851. He was an ardent anti-slavery man. He died in 1888.

"Congressman Lincoln was always neatly but very plainly dressed, very simple and approachable in manner, and unpretentious. He attended to his business, going promptly to the House and remaining till the session adjourned, and appeared to be familiar with the progress of legislation."

The town offered then little in the way of amusement. The Adelphi Theatre was opened that winter for the first [pg 539] time, and presented a variety of mediocre plays. At the Olympia were "lively and beautiful exhibitions of model artists." Herz and Sivori, the pianists, then touring in the United States, played several times in the season; and there was a Chinese Museum. Add the exhibitions of Brown's paintings of the heroes of Palo Alto, Resaca, Monterey, and Buena Vista, and of Powers's "Greek Slave," the performances of Dr. Valentine, "Delineator of Eccentricities," a few lectures, and numerous church socials, and you have about all there was in the way of public entertainment in Washington in 1848. But of dinners, receptions, and official gala affairs there were many. Lincoln's name appears frequently in the "National Intelligencer" on committees to offer dinners to this or that great man. He was, in the spring of 1849, one of the managers of the inaugural ball given to Taylor. His simple, sincere friendliness and his quaint humor won him soon a sure, if quiet, social position. He was frequently invited to Mr. Webster's Saturday breakfasts, where his stories were highly relished for their originality and drollery.


Richardson removed to Illinois from Kentucky about 1831. He was a prominent Democratic politician, serving in the state legislature and in Congress. He was a captain in the Mexican War, Governor of the territory of Nebraska in 1858, and in 1863 the successor of Douglas in the United States Senate. He died in 1875.


Member of the United States House of Representatives during the twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth Congresses. In 1846 Douglas was chosen Senator by the Democrats.

Dr. Busey recalls his popularity at one of the leading places of amusement on Capitol Hill.


Sidney Breese was born at Whitesboro, New York, July 15, 1800; graduated from Union College, New York, in 1818; and at once removed to Illinois, where he was admitted to the bar. He became active in the Democratic party, and served in many important positions: United States District Attorney, Judge of the Supreme Court, and United States Senator. He died in 1878.

"Congressman Lincoln was very fond of bowling," he says, "and would frequently join others of the mess, or meet other members in a match game, at the alley of James Casparis, which was near the boarding-house. He was a very awkward bowler, but played the game with great zest and spirit, solely for exercise and amusement, and greatly to the enjoyment and entertainment of the other players and bystanders by his criticisms and funny illustrations. He accepted success and defeat with like good nature and humor, and left the alley at the conclusion of the game without a sorrow or disappointment. When it was known that he was in the alley, there would assemble numbers of people to witness the fun which was anticipated by those who knew of his fund of anecdotes and jokes. When in the alley, surrounded by a crowd of eager listeners, he indulged with great freedom in the sport of narrative, some of which were very broad. His witticisms seemed for the most part to be impromptu, but he always told the anecdotes and jokes as if he wished to convey the impression that he had heard them from some one; but they appeared very [pg 540] many times as if they had been made for the immediate occasion."

Another place where he became at home and was much appreciated was in the post-office at the Capitol. "During the Christmas holidays," says Ben: Perley Poore, "Mr. Lincoln found his way into the small room used as the post-office of the House, where a few jovial raconteurs used to meet almost every morning, after the mail had been distributed into the members' boxes, to exchange such new stories as any of them might have acquired since they had last met. After modestly standing at the door for several days, Mr. Lincoln was reminded of a story, and by New Year's he was recognized as the champion story-teller of the Capitol. His favorite seat was at the left of the open fireplace, tilted back in his chair, with his long legs reaching over to the chimney jamb. He never told a story twice, but appeared to have an endless répertoire of them always ready, like the successive charges in a magazine gun, and always pertinently adapted to some passing event. It was refreshing to us correspondents, compelled as we were to listen to so much that was prosy and tedious, to hear this bright specimen of Western genius tell his inimitable stories, especially his reminiscences of the Black Hawk War."


Ficklin was a Kentuckian who settled in Illinois in 1830. He served four terms in the state legislature, four terms in Congress, and filled many important posts in the Democratic party, of which he was a leader. He died in 1885.


But Lincoln had gone to Washington for work, and he at once interested himself in the Whig organization formed to elect the officers of the House. There was only a small Whig majority, and it took skill and energy to keep the offices in the party. Lincoln's share in achieving this result was generally recognized. As late as 1860, twelve years after the struggle, Robert C. Winthrop of Massachusetts, who was elected speaker, said in a speech in Boston wherein he discussed Lincoln's nomination to the Presidency: "You will be sure that I remember him with interest, if I may be allowed to remind you that he helped to make me the speaker of the Thirtieth Congress, when the vote was a very close and strongly contested vote."


Came to Illinois from Kentucky when a boy. Served in Black Hawk War, and was one of the earliest editors of the State. Served three terms in the state legislature, and in Congress. Was active in the war, rising to the rank of major-general. General McClernand is still living in Springfield, Illinois.

A week after Congress organized, Lincoln wrote to Springfield: "As you are all so anxious for me to distinguish myself, I have concluded to do so before long;" and he did it—but not exactly as his Springfield friends wished. The United States were then at war with Mexico, a war that the Whigs abhorred. Lincoln had used his influence against it; but, hostilities declared, he had publicly affirmed that every loyal man must stand by the army. Many of his friends, Hardin, Baker, and Shields, among others, were at that moment in Mexico. Lincoln had gone to Washington intending to say nothing in opposition to the war. But the administration wished to secure from the Whigs not only votes of supplies and men, but a resolution declaring that the war was just and right. Lincoln, with others of his party in Congress, refused his sanction, voting a resolution that the war had been "unnecessarily and unconstitutionally" begun. On December 22d he made his debut in the House by the famous "Spot Resolutions," a series of searching questions so clearly put, so strong historically and logically, that they drove [pg 541] the administration step by step from the "spot" where the war began, and showed that it had been the aggressor in the conquest. In January Lincoln followed up these resolutions with a speech in support of his position. His action was much criticised in Illinois, where the sound of the drum and the intoxication of victory had completely turned attention from the moral side of the question, and Lincoln found himself obliged to defend his position with even his oldest friends.


The routine work assigned him in the Thirtieth Congress was on the Committee on the Post-office and Post Roads. Several reports were made by him from this committee. These reports, with a speech on internal improvements, cover his published work in the House up to July. Then he made a speech which was at the time quoted far and wide.

In July Zachary Taylor had been nominated at Philadelphia for President by the Whigs. Lincoln had been at the convention, and went back to Washington full of enthusiasm. "In my opinion we shall have a most overwhelming, glorious triumph," he wrote a friend. "One unmistakable sign is that all the odds and ends are with us—Barnburners, Native Americans, Tyler men, disappointed office-seekers, Locofocos, and the Lord knows what. This is important, if in nothing else, in showing which way the wind blows."

In connection with Alexander H. Stephens, with whom he had become a warm friend, Toombs, and Preston, Lincoln formed the first Congressional Taylor Club, known as the "Young Indians." Campaigning had already begun on the floor of Congress, and the members were daily making speeches for the various candidates. On July 27th Lincoln made a speech for Taylor. It was a boisterous election speech, full of merciless caricaturing, and delivered with inimitable drollery. It kept the House in an uproar, and was reported the country over by the Whig press. The "Baltimore American," in giving a synopsis of it, called it the "crack speech of the day," and said of Lincoln: "He is a very able, acute, uncouth, honest, upright man, and a tremendous wag, withal.... Mr. Lincoln's manner was so good-natured, and his style so peculiar, that he kept the House in a continuous roar of merriment for the last half hour of his speech. He would commence a point in his speech far up one of the aisles, and keep on talking, gesticulating, and walking until he would find himself, at the end of a paragraph, down in the centre of the area in front of the clerk's desk. He would then go back and take another head, and work down [pg 542] again. And so on, through his capital speech."


This speech, as well as the respect Lincoln's work in the House had inspired among the leaders of the party, brought him an invitation to deliver several campaign speeches in New England at the close of Congress, and he went there early in September. There was in New England, at that date, much strong anti-slavery feeling. The Whigs claimed to be "Free Soilers" as well as the party which appropriated that name, and Lincoln, in the first speech he made, defined carefully his position on the slavery question. This was at Worcester, Massachusetts, on September 12th. The Whig State convention had met to nominate a candidate for governor, and the most eminent Whigs of Massachusetts were present. Curiously enough the meeting was presided over by ex-Governor Levi Lincoln, a descendant, like Abraham Lincoln, from the original Samuel of Hingham. There were many brilliant speeches made; but if we are to trust the reports of the day, Lincoln's was the one which by its logic, its clearness, and its humor, did most for the Whig cause. "Gentlemen inform me," says one Boston reporter, who came too late for the exercises, "that it was one of the best speeches ever heard in Worcester, and that several Whigs who had gone off on the Free Soil fizzle have come back again to the Whig ranks."

A report was made and printed in the Boston "Advertiser," though it has hitherto been entirely overlooked by biographers of Lincoln. A search made for this magazine through the files of the Boston and Worcester papers of the year brought it to light, and we reprint it here for the first time. It gives concisely what Lincoln thought about the slavery question in 1848. The report reads:

"Mr. Lincoln has a very tall and thin figure, with an intellectual face, showing a searching mind and a cool judgment. He spoke in a clear and cool and very eloquent manner for an hour and a half, carrying the audience with him in his able arguments and brilliant illustrations—only interrupted by warm and frequent applause. He began by expressing a real feeling of modesty in addressing an audience this 'side of the mountains,' a part of the country where, in the opinion of the people of his section, everybody was supposed to be instructed and wise. But he had devoted his attention to the question of the coming Presidential election, and was not unwilling to exchange with all whom he might the ideas to which he had arrived. He then began to show the fallacy of some of the arguments against General Taylor, making his chief theme the fashionable statement of all those who oppose him (the old Locofocos as well as the new), that he has no principles, and that the Whig party have abandoned their principles by adopting him as their candidate. He maintained that General Taylor occupied a high and unexceptionable Whig ground, and took for his first instance and proof of this his statement in the Allison letter—with regard to the Bank, Tariff, Rivers and Harbors, etc.—that the will of the people should produce its own results, without executive influence. The principle that the people should do what—under the Constitution—they please, is a Whig principle. All that, General Taylor not only consents to, but appeals to the people to judge and act for themselves. And this was no new doctrine for Whigs. It was the 'platform' on which they had fought all their battles, the resistance of executive influence, and the principle of enabling the people to frame the government according to their will. General Taylor consents to be the candidate, and to assist the people to do what they think to be their duty, and think to be best in their national affairs; but because he don't want to tell what we ought to do, he is accused of having no principles. The Whigs have maintained for years that neither the influence, the duress, nor the prohibition of the executive should control the legitimately expressed will of the people; and now that on that very ground General Taylor says that he should use the power given him by the people to do, to the best of his judgment, the will of the people, he is accused of want of principle and of inconsistency in position.

"Mr. Lincoln proceeded to examine the absurdity of an attempt to make a platform or creed for a national party, to all parts of which all must consent and agree, when it was clearly the intention and the true philosophy of our government, that in Congress all opinions and principles should be represented, and that when the wisdom of all had been compared and united, the will of the majority should be carried out. On this ground he conceived (and the audience seemed to go with him) that General Taylor held correct, sound republican principles.

[pg 543]

From a photograph kindly loaned by Miss Frances M. Lincoln of Worcester, Massachusetts, after a painting by Chester Harding. Levi Lincoln was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1782, and died there in 1868. He was a fourth cousin of Thomas Lincoln, father of the President, being descended from the oldest son of Samuel Lincoln of Hingham, Massachusetts, from whose fourth son, Mordecai, Abraham Lincoln descended. Levi Lincoln was a graduate of Harvard, and studied law, practising in Worcester. He filled many important public positions in the State, serving in the legislature, and as lieutenant-governor, judge of the Supreme Court, and from 1825 to 1834 as governor. He represented the Whigs in Congress from 1835 to 1841, and after the expiration of his term was made collector of the port of Boston. Levi Lincoln was an active member of several learned societies, and prominent in all the public functions of his State. In 1848, when Abraham Lincoln, then member of Congress, spoke in Worcester, ex-Governor Lincoln presided.

"Mr. Lincoln then passed to the subject of slavery in the States, saying that the people of Illinois agreed entirely with the people of Massachusetts on this subject, except, perhaps, that they did not keep so constantly thinking about it. All agreed that slavery was an evil, but that we were not responsible for it, and cannot affect it in States of this Union where we do not live. But the question of the extension of slavery to new territories of this country is a part of our responsibility and care, and is under our control. In opposition to this Mr. Lincoln believed that the self-named 'Free Soil' party was far behind the Whigs. Both parties opposed the extension. As he understood it, the new party had no principle except this opposition. If their platform held any other, it was in such a general way that it was like the pair of pantaloons the Yankee peddler offered for sale, 'large enough for any man, small enough for any boy.' They therefore had taken a position calculated to break down their single important declared object. They were working for the election of either General Cass or General Taylor. The speaker then went on to show, clearly and eloquently, the danger of extension of slavery likely to result from the election of General Cass. To unite with those who annexed the new territory, to prevent the extension of slavery in that territory, seemed to him to be in the highest degree absurd and ridiculous. Suppose these gentlemen succeed in electing Mr. Van Buren, they had no specific means to prevent the extension of slavery to New Mexico and California; and General Taylor, he confidently believed, would not encourage it, and would not prohibit its restriction. But if General Cass was elected, he felt certain that the plans of farther extension of territory would be encouraged, and those of the extension of slavery would meet no check. The 'Free Soil' men, in claiming that name, indirectly attempt a deception, by implying that Whigs were not Free Soil men. In declaring that they would 'do their duty and leave the consequences to God,' they merely gave an excuse for taking a course they were not able to maintain by a fair and full argument. To make this declaration did not show what their duty was. If it did, we should have no use for judgment; we might as well be made without intellect; and when divine or human law does not clearly point out what is our duty, we have no means of finding out what it is but using our most intelligent judgment of [pg 544] the consequences. If there were divine law or human law for voting for Martin Van Buren, or if a fair examination of the consequences and first reasoning would show that voting for him would bring about the ends they pretended to wish, then he would give up the argument. But since there was no fixed law on the subject, and since the whole probable result of their action would be an assistance in electing General Cass, he must say that they were behind the Whigs in their advocacy of the freedom of the soil.

"Mr. Lincoln proceeded to rally the Buffalo convention for forbearing to say anything—after all the previous declarations of those members who were formerly Whigs—on the subject of the Mexican War because the Van Burens had been known to have supported it. He declared that of all the parties asking the confidence of the country, this new one had less of principle than any other.

"He wondered whether it was still the opinion of these Free Soil gentlemen, as declared in the 'whereas' at Buffalo, that the Whig and Democratic parties were both entirely dissolved and absorbed into their own body. Had the Vermont election given them any light? They had calculated on making as great an impression in that State as in any part of the Union, and there their attempts had been wholly ineffectual. Their failure there was a greater success than they would find in any other part of the Union.

"Mr. Lincoln went on to say that he honestly believed that, if all those who wished to keep up the character of the Union, who did not believe in enlarging our field, but in keeping our fences where they are, and cultivating our present possessions, making it a garden, improving the morals and education of the people, devoting the administrations to this purpose—all real Whigs, friends of good honest government—will unite, the race was ours. He had opportunities of hearing from almost every part of the Union, from reliable sources, and had not heard of a county in which we had not received accessions from other parties. If the true Whigs come forward and join these new friends, they need not have a doubt. We had a candidate whose personal character and principles he had already described, whom he could not eulogize if he would. General Taylor had been constantly, perseveringly, quietly standing up, doing his duty, and asking no praise or reward for it. He was and must be just the man to whom the interests, principles, and prosperity of the country might be safely intrusted. He had never failed in anything he had undertaken, although many of his duties had been considered almost impossible.

"Mr. Lincoln then went into a terse though rapid review of the origin of the Mexican War, and the connection of the administration and General Taylor with it, from which he deduced a strong appeal to the Whigs present to do their duty in the support of General Taylor, and closed with the warmest aspirations for and confidence in a deserved success.

"At the close of this truly masterly and convincing speech, the audience gave three enthusiastic cheers for Illinois, and three more for the eloquent Whig member from that State."

After the speech at Worcester, Lincoln spoke at Dorchester, Dedham, Roxbury, and Chelsea, and on September 22d, in Tremont Temple, Boston,14 following a splendid oration by Governor Seward. His speech on this occasion was not reported, though the Boston papers united in calling it "powerful and convincing." His success at Worcester and Boston was such that invitations came from all over New England asking him to speak, and "The Atlas," to which many of these requests were sent, was obliged finally to print the following note:


In answer to the many applications which we daily receive from different parts of the State for this gentleman to speak, we have to say that he left Boston on Saturday morning on his way home to Illinois.

But Lincoln won something in New England of vastly deeper importance than a reputation for making popular campaign speeches. He for the first time caught a glimpse of the utter irreconcilableness of the Northern conviction that slavery was evil and unendurable, and the Southern claim that it was divine and necessary; and he began here to realize that something must be done. Listening to Seward's speech in Tremont Temple, he seems to have had a sudden insight into the truth, a quick illumination; and that night, as the two men sat talking, he said gravely to the great anti-slavery advocate:

"Governor Seward, I have been thinking about what you said in your speech. I reckon you are right. We have got to deal with this slavery question, and got to give much more attention to it hereafter than we have been doing."

[pg 545]




By Anthony Hope,

Author of "The Prisoner of Zenda," "The Dolly Dialogues," etc.


Lord Charles Wheatley, having taken leave in London (in a parting not overcharged with emotion) of Miss Beatrice Hipgrave, to whom he is to be married in a year; of her mother, Mrs. Kennett Hipgrave. and of Mr. Bennett Hamlyn, a rich young man who gives promise of seeing that Miss Hipgrave does not wholly lack a man's attentions in the absence of her lover,—sets put to enter possession of a remote Greek island, Neopalia, which he has purchased of the hereditary lord, Stefanopoulos. But on arriving he finds himself anything but welcome. He and his companions,—namely, his cousin, Denny Swinton; his factotum, Hogvardt; and his servant, Watkins,—are at once locked up; and though released soon, it is with a warning from the populace, headed by Vlacho, the innkeeper, that if found on the island after six o'clock the next morning, their lives will not be worth much. Toward midnight, little disposed to sleep, and curious to look about somewhat before leaving the island, they stroll inland, and come by chance upon the manor-house, still and apparently deserted. Curiosity drives them to enter. They find Lord Stefanopoulos, whom Vlacho had reported to them as recently dead of a fever, not dead, but on the point of dying—from a dagger wound. And the wound, they learn from his own lips, was given him by his nephew, Constantine, in a tumult that arose a few hours before when the people came up to protest against the sale of the island, and to persuade the lord to send the strangers away. Constantine, it further appears, is making them all their trouble, having come to the island just ahead of them to that end, after learning their plans by overhearing Wheatley talking in a London restaurant. In the darkness, on their way up, they have met a man and a woman going toward the village. The man, by his voice, they knew to be Constantine. The woman, they now learn, was the Lady Euphrosyne, cousin of Constantine and heiress to the island. From talk overheard between her and Constantine, she had seemed to be, while desirous of their departure, also anxious to spare them harm. In full possession of the house, they decide to stand siege, though scant of provisions and ammunition, and armed only with their own revolvers and a rifle left behind by Constantine. Soon Stefanopoulos dies, and by an old serving-woman they send warning to Constantine that he shall be brought to justice for his crime. Thus passes the night. Next morning Wheatley's attention is engaged by a woman studying them through a field-glass from before a small bungalow, higher up the mountain. Then Vlacho, the innkeeper, presents himself for a parley, of which nothing comes but the disclosure that Constantine is pledged to marry Euphrosyne, while already secretly married to another woman. The evening falls with the "death-chant" sounding in the air—a chant made by Alexander the Bard when an earlier Lord Stefanopoulos was killed by the people for having tried to sell the island. Lord Wheatley himself tells the story.



It was between eight and nine o'clock when the first of the enemy appeared on the road, in the persons of two smart fellows in gleaming kilts and braided jackets. It was no more than just dusk, and I saw that they were strangers to me. One was tall and broad, the other shorter, and of very slight build. They came on towards us confidently enough. I was looking over Denny's shoulder; he held Constantine's rifle, and I knew that he was impatient to try it. But inasmuch as might was certainly not on our side, I was determined that right should abide with us, and was resolute not to begin hostilities. Constantine had at least one powerful motive for wishing our destruction; I would not furnish him with any plausible excuse for indulging his desire. So we stood, Denny and I at one window, Hogvardt and Watkins at the other, and watched the approaching figures. No more appeared; the main body did not show itself, and the sound of the fierce chant had suddenly died away. But all at once a third man appeared, running rapidly after the first two. He caught the shorter by the arm, and seemed to argue or expostulate with him. For a while the three stood thus talking; then I saw the last comer make a gesture of protest, and they all came on together.

[pg 546]

"Push the barrel of that rifle a little farther out," said I to Denny, "It may be useful to them to know it's there."

Denny obeyed. The result was a sudden pause in our friends' advance; but they were near enough now for me to distinguish the last comer, and I discerned in him, although he wore the native costume, and had discarded his tweed suit, Constantine Stefanopoulos himself.

"Here's an exercise of self-control," I groaned, laying a detaining hand on Denny's shoulder.

As I spoke, Constantine put a whistle to his lips and blew loudly. The blast was followed by the appearance of five more fellows. In three of them I recognized old acquaintances—Vlacho, Demetri, and Spiro. These three all carried guns; and the whole eight came forward again, till they were within a hundred yards of us. There they halted, and, with a sudden, swift movement, three barrels were levelled at the window where Denny and I were looking out. Well, we ducked. There is no use in denying it. For we thought that the fusillade had really begun. Yet no shot followed, and, after an instant, holding Denny down, I peered out cautiously myself. The three stood motionless, their aim full on us. The other five were advancing cautiously, well under the shelter of the rock, two on one side of the road and three on the other. The slim, boyish fellow was with Constantine, on our right hand; a moment later the other three dashed across the road and joined them. Suddenly what military men call "the objective," the aim of these manoeuvres, flashed across me. It was simple almost to ludicrousness; yet it was very serious, for it showed a reasoned plan of campaign, with which we were very ill prepared to cope. While the three held us in check, the five were going to carry off our cows. And without our cows we should soon be hard put to it for food. For the cows had formed in our plans a most important pièce de résistance.

"This won't do," said I. "They're after the cows." And I took the rifle from Denny's hand, cautioning him not to show his face at the window. Then I stood in the shelter of the wall, so that I could not be hit by the three, and levelled the rifle, not at any human enemies, but at the unoffending cows.

"A dead cow," I remarked, "is a great deal harder to move than a live one."

The five had now come quite near the pen of rude hurdles in which the cows were. As I spoke, Constantine appeared to give some order; and while he and the boy stood looking on, Constantine leaning on his gun, the boy's hand resting with jaunty elegance on the handle of the knife in his girdle, the others leaped over the hurdles. Crack, went the rifle! A cow fell! I reloaded hastily. Crack! And the second cow fell. It was very fair shooting in such a bad light, for I hit both mortally; and my skill was rewarded by a shout of anger from the robbers (for robbers they were; I had bought the live stock).

"Carry them off now!" I cried, carelessly showing myself at the window. But I did not stay there long, for three shots rang out, and the bullets pattered on the masonry above me. Luckily the covering party had aimed a trifle too high.

"No more milk, my lord," observed Watkins, in a regretful tone. He had seen the catastrophe from the other window.

The besiegers were checked. They leaped out of the pen with alacrity. I suppose they realized that they were exposed to my fire, while at that particular angle I was protected from the attack of their friends. They withdrew to the middle of the road, selecting a spot at which I could not take aim without showing myself at the window. I dared not look out to see what they were doing. But presently Hogvardt risked a glance, and called out that they were in retreat, and had rejoined the three, and that the whole body stood together in consultation, and were no longer covering my window. So I looked out, and saw the boy standing in an easy, graceful attitude, while Constantine and Vlacho talked a little apart. It was growing considerably darker now, and the figures became dim and indistinct.

"I think the fun's over for to-night," said I, glad to have it over so cheaply.

Indeed, what I said seemed to be true, for the next moment the group turned, and began to retreat along the road, moving briskly out of our sight. We were left in the thick gloom of a moonless evening and the peaceful silence of still air.

"They'll come back and fetch the cows," said Hogvardt. "Could we not drag one in, my lord, and put it where the goat is, behind the house?"

I approved of this suggestion, and Watkins having found a rope, I armed Denny with the rifle, took from the wall a large, keen hunting-knife, opened the door, and stole out, accompanied by Hogvardt and Watkins, who carried their revolvers. We reached the pen without interruption, [pg 547] tied our rope firmly round the horns of one of the dead beasts, and set to work to drag it along. It was no child's play, and our progress was very slow; but the carcass moved, and I gave a shout of encouragement as we got it down to the smoother ground of the road and hauled it along with a will. Alas! that shout was a great indiscretion. I had been too hasty in assuming that our enemy was quite gone. We heard suddenly the rush of feet; shots whistled over our heads; we had but just time to drop the rope and turn round when Denny's rifle rang out, and then—somebody was at us! I really do not know exactly how many there were. I had two at me, but by great good luck I drove my big knife into one fellow's arm at the first hazard, and I think that was enough for him. In my other assailant I recognized Vlacho. The fat innkeeper had got rid of his gun, and had a knife much like the one I carried myself. I knew him more by his voice, as he cried fiercely, "Come on," than by his appearance, for the darkness was thick now. Parrying his fierce thrusts—he was very active for so stout a man—I called out to our people to fall back as quickly as they could, for I did not know but that we might be taken in the rear also.

But discipline is hard to maintain in such a force as mine.

"Bosh!" cried Denny's voice.

"Mein Gott, no!" exclaimed Hogvardt.

Watkins said nothing, but for once in his life he also disobeyed me.

Well, if they would not do as I said, I must do as they did. The line advanced—the whole line, as at Waterloo. We pressed them hard. I heard a revolver fired and a cry follow. Fat Vlacho slackened in his attack, wavered, halted, turned and ran. A shout of triumph from Denny told me that the battle was going well there. Fired with victory, I set myself for a chase. But, alas! my pride was checked. Before I had gone two yards I fell headlong over the body for which we had been fighting (as Greeks and Trojans fought for the body of Hector), and came to an abrupt stop, sprawling most ignominiously over the cow's broad back.

"Stop! stop!" I cried. "Wait a bit, Denny. I'm down over this infernal cow!" It was an inglorious ending to the exploits of the evening.

Prudence, or my cry, stopped them. The enemy were in full retreat; their steps pattered quick along the rocky road, and Denny observed in a tone of immense satisfaction:

"I think that's our trick, Charlie,"

"Are you hurt?" I asked, scrambling to my feet.

Watkins owned to a crack from the stock of a gun on his right shoulder; Hogvardt to a graze of a knife on the arm. Denny was unhurt. We had reason to suppose that we had left our mark on at least two of the enemy. For so great a victory it was cheaply bought.

"We'll just drag in the cow," said I—I like to stick to my point—"and then we might see if there's anything in the cellar."

We did drag in the cow; we dragged it through the house, and finally bestowed it in the compound behind. Hogvardt suggested that we should fetch the other also; but I had no mind for another surprise, which might not end so happily, and I decided to run the risk of leaving the second animal till the morning. So Watkins went off to seek for some wine, for which we all felt very ready, and I went to the door with the intention of securing it. But before I did so I stood for a moment on the step, looking out into the night, and snuffing the sweet, clear, pure air. It was in quiet moments like this, not in the tumult that had just passed, that I had pictured my beautiful island; and the love of it came on me now, and made me swear that these fellows and their arch ruffian Constantine should not drive me out of it without some more and more serious blows than had been struck that night. If I could get away safely, and return with enough force to keep them quiet, I would pursue that course. If not—well, I believe I had very blood-thirsty thoughts in my mind, as even the most peaceable man will have, when he has been served as I had and his friends roughly handled on his account.

Having registered these determinations, I was about to proceed with my task of securing the door, when I heard a sound that startled me. There was nothing hostile or alarming about it, rather it was pathetic and appealing; and, in spite of my previous truculence of mind, it caused me to exclaim: "Hullo, is that one of those poor beggars mauled?" For the sound was a slight, painful sigh, as of somebody in suffering, and it seemed to come from out of the darkness about a dozen yards ahead of me. My first impulse was to go straight to the spot; but I had begun by now to doubt whether the Neopalians were not unsophisticated in quite as peculiar a sense as that in which they were [pg 548] good-hearted; so I called Denny and Hogvardt, bidding the latter to bring his lantern with him. Thus protected, I stepped out of the door, in the direction from which the sigh had come. Apparently we were to crown our victory by the capture of a wounded enemy.

An exclamation from Hogvardt told me that he, aided by the lantern, had come upon the quarry; but Hogvardt spoke in disgust rather than triumph.

"Oh, it's only the little one!" said he. "What's wrong with him, I wonder." He stooped down, and examined the prostrate form. "By heaven, I believe he's not touched! Yes, there's a bump on his forehead; but not big enough for any of us to have given it."

By this time Denny and I were with him, and we looked down on the boy's pale face, which seemed almost death-like in the glare of the lantern. The bump was not such a very small one, but it would not have been made by any of our weapons, for the flesh was not cut. A moment's further inspection showed that it must be the result of a fall on the hard, rocky road.

"Perhaps he tripped on the cord, as you did on the cow;" suggested Denny, with a grin.

It seemed likely enough, but I gave very little thought to it, for I was busy studying the boy's face.

"No doubt," said Hogvardt, "he fell in running away, and was stunned; and they did not notice it in the dark, or were afraid to stop. But they'll be back, my lord, and soon."

"Carry him inside," said I. "It won't hurt us to have a hostage."

Denny lifted the lad in his long arms—Denny was a tall, powerful fellow—and strode off with him. I followed, wondering who it was that we had got hold of; for the boy was strikingly handsome. I was last in, and barred the door. Denny had set our prisoner down in an armchair, where he sat now, conscious again, but still with a dazed look in his large, dark eyes, as he looked from me to the rest, and back again to me, finally fixing a long glance on my face.

"Well, young man," said I, "you've begun this sort of thing early. Lifting cattle and taking murder in the day's work is pretty good for a youngster like you. Who are you?"

"Where am I?" he cried, in that blurred, indistinct kind of voice that comes with mental bewilderment.

"You're in my house," said I, "and the rest of your infernal gang's outside, and going to stay there. So you must make the best of it."

The boy turned his head away and closed his eyes. Suddenly I snatched the lantern from Hogvardt. But I paused before I brought it close to the boy's face, as I had meant to do, and I said:

"You fellows go and get something to eat and a snooze, if you like. I'll look after this youngster. I'll call you if anything happens outside."

After a few unselfish protests, they did as I bade them. I was left alone in the hall with the prisoner, and merry voices from the kitchen told me that the battle was being fought again over the wine. I set the lantern close to the boy's face.

"H'm!" said I, after a prolonged scrutiny. Then I sat down on the table, and began to hum softly that wretched chant of One-eyed Alexander's, which had a terrible trick of sticking in a man's head.

For a few minutes I hummed. The lad shivered, stirred uneasily, and opened his eyes. I had never seen such eyes, and I could not conscientiously except even Beatrice Hipgrave's, which were in their way quite fine. I hummed away, and the boy said, still in a dreamy voice, but with an imploring gesture of his hand:

"Ah, no, not that! Not that, Constantine!"

"He's a tender-hearted youth," said I; and I was smiling now. The whole episode was singularly unusual and interesting.

The boy's eyes were on mine again. I met his glance full and square. Then I poured out some water, and gave it to him. He took it with trembling hand—the hand did not escape my notice—and drank it eagerly, setting the glass down with a sigh.

"I am Lord Wheatley," said I, nodding to him. "You came to steal my cattle, and murder me, if it happened to be convenient, you know."

The boy flashed out at me in a minute:

"I didn't. I thought you'd surrender, if we got the cattle away."

"You thought," said I, scornfully. "I suppose you did as you were bid."

"No; I told Constantine that they weren't to—" The boy stopped short, looked round him, and said in a questioning voice: "Where are all the rest of my people?"

"The rest of your people," said I, "have run away. You are in my hands. I can do just as I please with you."

[pg 549]

His lips set in an obstinate curve, but he made no answer. I went on as sternly as I could: "And when I think of what I saw here yesterday—of that poor old man stabbed by your blood-thirsty crew—"

"It was an accident," he cried, sharply; the voice had lost its dreaminess, and sounded clear now.

"We'll see about that when we get Constantine and Vlacho before a judge," I retorted grimly. "Anyhow, he was foully stabbed in his own house, for doing what he had a perfect right to do."

"He had no right to sell the island," cried the boy; and he rose for a moment to his feet, with a proud air, only to sink back again into the chair and stretch out his hand for water again.

Now at this moment Denny, refreshed by meat and drink, and in the highest of spirits, bounded into the hall.

"How's the prisoner?" he cried.

"Oh, he's all right. There's nothing the matter with him," I said; and, as I spoke, I moved the lantern, so that the boy's face and figure were again in shadow.

"That's all right," observed Denny, cheerfully. "Because I thought, Charlie, we might get a little information out of him."

"Perhaps he won't speak," I suggested, casting a glance at the captive, who sat now motionless in the chair.

"Oh, I think he will," said Denny, confidently; and I observed for the first time that he held a very substantial looking whip in his hand; he must have found it in the kitchen. "We'll give the young ruffian a taste of this, if he's obstinate," said Denny; and I cannot say that his tone witnessed any great desire that the boy should prove at once compliant.

I shifted my lantern so that I could see the proud young face while Denny could not. The boy's eyes met mine defiantly.

"You hear what he proposes?" I asked. "Will you tell us all we want to know?"

The boy made no answer, but I saw trouble in his face, and his eyes did not meet mine so boldly now.

"We'll soon find a tongue for him," said Denny, in cheerful barbarity; "upon my word, he richly deserves a thrashing. Say the word, Charlie."

"We haven't asked him anything yet," said I.

"Oh, I'll ask him something. Look here, who was the fellow with you and Vlacho?"

The boy was silent; defiance and fear struggled in the dark eyes.

"You see, he's an obstinate beggar," said Denny, as though he had observed all necessary forms and could now get to business; and he drew the lash of the whip through his fingers. I am afraid Denny was rather looking forward to executing justice with his own hands.

The boy rose again, and stood facing that heartless young ruffian, Denny—it was thus that I thought of Denny at the moment—then once again he sank back into his seat, and covered his face with his hands.

"Well, I wouldn't go out killing if I hadn't more pluck than that," said Denny, scornfully. "You're not fit for the trade, my lad."

The boy had no retort. His face was buried in those slim hands of his. For a moment he was quite still. Then he moved a little; it was a movement that spoke of helpless pain, and I heard something very like a stifled sob.

"Just leave us alone a little, Denny," said I. "He may tell me what he won't tell you."

"Are you going to let him off?" demanded Denny, suspiciously. "You never can be stiff in the back, Charlie."

"I must see if he won't speak to me first," I pleaded, meekly.

"But if he won't?" insisted Denny.

"If he won't," said I, "and you still wish it, you may do what you like."

Denny sheered off to the kitchen, with an air that did not seek to conceal his opinion of my foolish tender-heartedness. Again I was alone with the boy.

"My friend is right," said I, gravely. "You are not fit for the trade. How came you to be in it?"

My question brought a new look, as the boy's hands dropped from his face.

"How came you," said I, "who ought to restrain these rascals, to be at their head? How came you, who ought to shun the society of men like Constantine Stefanopoulos and his tool Vlacho, to be working with them?"

I got no answer; only a frightened look appealed to me in the white glare of Hogvardt's lantern. I came a step nearer, and leaned forward to ask my next question:

"Who are you? What's your name?"

"My name—my name?" stammered the prisoner. "I won't tell my name."

"You'll tell me nothing? You heard what I promised my friend?"

"Yes, I heard," said the lad, with a face utterly pale, but with eyes that were [pg 550] again set in fierce determination. I laughed a low laugh.

"I believe you are fit for the trade, after all," said I; and I looked with mingled distaste and admiration on him. But I had my last weapon still, my last question.

I turned the lantern full on his face; I leaned forward again, and said, in distinct, low tones—and the question sounded an absurd one to be spoken in such an impressive way:

"Do you generally wear clothes like these?"

I had got home with that question. The pallor vanished; the haughty eyes sank. I saw long, drooping lashes and a burning flush; and the boy's face once again sought his hands.

At the moment I heard chairs pushed back in the kitchen. In came Hogvardt, with an amused smile on his broad face; in came Watkins, with his impassive acquiescence in anything that his lordship might order; in came Master Denny, brandishing his whip in jovial relentlessness.

"Well, has he told you anything?" cried Denny. It was plain that he hoped for the answer "No."

"I have asked him half a dozen questions," said I, "and he has not answered one."

"All right," said Denny, with wonderful emphasis.

Had I been wrong to extort this much punishment for my most inhospitable reception? Sometimes now I think that it was cruel. In that night much had occurred to breed viciousness in a man of the most equable temper. But the thing had now gone to the extreme limit to which it could; and I said to Denny:

"It's a gross case of obstinacy, of course, Denny; but I don't see very well how we can horsewhip the lady!"

A sudden, astounded cry, "The lady!" rang from three pairs of lips; the lady herself dropped her head on the table, and fenced her face round about with her protecting arms.

"You see," said I, "this lad is the Lady Euphrosyne."

For who else could it be that would give orders to Constantine Stefanopoulos, and ask where "my people" were? Who else, I also asked myself, save the daughter of the noble house, would boast the air, the hands, the face, that graced our young prisoner? In all certainty it was Lady Euphrosyne.



The effect of my remark was curious. Denny turned scarlet, and flung his whip down on the table; the others stood for a moment motionless, then turned tail and slunk back to the kitchen. Euphrosyne's face remained invisible. However, I felt quite at my ease. I had a triumphant conviction of the importance of my capture, and a determination that no misplaced chivalry should rob me of it. Politeness is, no doubt, a duty, but only a relative duty; and, in plain English, men's lives were at stake here. Therefore I did not make my best bow, fling open the door, and tell the lady that she was free to go whither she would; but I said to her in a dry, severe voice:

"You had better go, madam, to that room you usually occupy here, while we consider what to do with you. You know where the room is; I don't."

She raised her head, and said in tones that sounded almost eager:

"My own room? May I go there?"

"Certainly," said I. "I shall accompany you as far as the door; and when you've gone in, I shall lock the door."

This programme was duly carried out, Euphrosyne not favoring me with a word during its progress. Then I returned to the hall, and said to Denny:

"Rather a trump card, isn't she?"

"Yes, but they'll be back pretty soon to look for her, I expect."

Denny accompanied this remark with such a yawn that I suggested he should go to bed.

"And aren't you going to bed?" he asked.

"I'll take first watch," said I. "It's nearly twelve now. I'll wake you at two, and you can wake Hogvardt at five, and Watkins will be fit and well at breakfast time, and can give us roast cow."

Thus I was left alone again; and I sat, reviewing the position. Would the islanders fight for their lady? Or would they let us go? They would only let us go, I felt sure, if Constantine were outvoted, for he could not afford to see me leave Neopalia with a head on my shoulders and a tongue in my mouth. Then they probably would fight. Well, I calculated that as long as our provisions held out, we could not be stormed; our stone fortress was too strong. But we could be beleaguered and starved out, and [pg 551] should be very soon, unless the lady's influence could help us. I had just arrived at the conclusion that I would talk very seriously to her in the morning, when I heard a remarkable sound.

"There never was such a place for queer noises," said I, pricking up my ears.

The noise seemed to come from directly above my head; it sounded as though a light, stealthy tread were passing over the roof of the hall in which I sat. But the only person in the house besides ourselves was the prisoner; she had been securely locked in her room; how then could she be on the top of the hall? For her room was in the turret over the door. Yet the steps crept over my head, going toward the kitchen. I snatched up my revolver, and trod with a stealth equal to the stealth of the steps overhead, across the hall and into the kitchen beyond. My three companions slept the sleep of tired men, but I ruthlessly roused Denny.

"Go on guard in the hall," said I; "I want to have a look round."

Denny was sleepy, but obedient. I saw him start for the hall, and went on till I reached the compound behind the house. Here I stood, deep in the shadow of the wall. The steps were now over my head again. I glanced up cautiously, and above me, on the roof, three yards to the right, I saw the flutter of a white kilt.

"There are more ways out of this house than I know," I thought to myself.

I heard next a noise as though of something being pushed cautiously along the flat roof. Then there protruded from between two of the battlements the end of a ladder! I crouched closer under the wall. The light flight of steps was let down; it reached the ground; the kilted figure stepped on it and began to descend. Here was the Lady Euphrosyne again! Her eagerness to go to her own room was fully explained; there was a way from it across the house and out on to the roof of the kitchen; the ladder showed that the way was kept in use. I stood still. She reached the ground, and as her foot touched it she gave the softest possible little laugh of gleeful triumph. A pretty little laugh it was. Then she stepped briskly across the compound, till she reached the rocks on the other side. I crept forward after her, for I was afraid of losing sight of her in the darkness, and yet did not desire to arrest her progress till I saw where she was going. On she went, skirting the perpendicular drop of rock, I was behind her now. At last she came to the angle formed by the rock running north and that which, turning to the east, enclosed the compound.

"How's she going to get up?" I asked myself.

But up she began to go—her right foot on the north rock, her left foot on the east. She ascended with such confidence that it was evident that steps were ready for her feet. She gained the top. I began to mount in the same fashion, finding steps cut in the face of the cliff. I reached the top, and I saw her standing still, ten yards ahead of me. She went on. I followed. She stopped, looked, saw me, screamed. I rushed on her. Her arms dealt a blow at me—I caught her hand, and in her hand there was a little dagger. Seizing her other hand, I held her fast.

"Where are you going?" I asked in a matter-of-fact tone, taking no notice of her hasty resort to the dagger. No doubt that was purely a national trait.

Seeing that she was caught, she made no attempt to struggle.

"I was trying to escape," she said. "Did you hear me?"

"Yes, I heard you. Where were you going?"

"Why should I tell you? Shall you threaten me with the whip again?"

I loosed her hands. She gave a sudden glance up the hill. She seemed to measure the distance.

"Why do you want to go to the top of the hill?" I asked. "Have you friends there?"

She denied the suggestion, as I thought she would.

"No, I have not. But anywhere is better than with you."

"Yet there is some one in the cottage up there," I observed. "It belongs to Constantine, doesn't it?"

"Yes, it does," she answered, defiantly. "Dare you go and seek him there? Or dare you only skulk behind the walls of the house?"

"As long as we are only four against a hundred I dare only skulk," I answered. She did not annoy me at all by her taunts. "But do you think he's there?"

"There! No, he's in the town—and he'll come from the town to kill you to-morrow."

"There is nobody there?" I pursued.

"Nobody," she answered.

"You're wrong," said I. "I saw somebody there to-day."

"Oh, a peasant, perhaps."

"Well, the dress didn't look like it. Do you really want to go there now?"

"Haven't you mocked me enough?" she burst out. "Take me back to my prison."

[pg 552]

Her tragedy air was quite delightful. But I had been leading her up to something which I thought she ought to know.

"There's a woman in that cottage," said I. "Not a peasant—a woman in some dark-colored dress, who uses opera glasses."

I saw her draw back with a start of surprise.

"It's false," she cried. "There's no one there. Constantine told me no one went there except Vlacho, and sometimes Demetri."

"Do you believe all Constantine tells you?" I asked.

"Why should I not? He's my cousin and—"

"And your suitor?"

She flung her head back proudly.

"I have no shame in that," she answered.

"You would accept his offer?"

"Since you ask, I will answer. Yes; I have promised my uncle I would."

"Good God!" said I, for I was very sorry for her.

The emphasis of my exclamation seemed to startle her afresh. I felt her glance rest on me in puzzled questioning.

"Did Constantine let you see the old woman whom I sent to him?" I demanded.

"No," she murmured. "He told me what she said."

"That I told him he was his uncle's murderer?"

"Did you tell her to say that?" she asked, with a sudden inclination of her body toward me.

"I did. Did he give you the message?"

She made no answer. I pressed my advantage.

"On my honor I saw what I have told you at the cottage," I said. "I know what it means no more than you do. But before I came here I saw Constantine in London. And there I heard a lady say she would come with him. Did any lady come with him?"

"Are you mad?" she asked; but I could hear her breathing quickly, and I knew that her scorn was assumed. I drew suddenly away from her, and put my hands behind my back.

"Go to the cottage if you like," said I. "But I won't answer for what you'll find there."

"You set me free?" she cried with eagerness.

"Free to go to the cottage. You must promise to come back. Or I'll go to the cottage, if you'll promise to go back to your room and wait till I return."

She hesitated, looking again toward where the cottage was; but I had stirred suspicion and disquietude in her. She dared not face what she might find in the cottage.

"I'll go back and wait for you," she said. "If I went to the cottage and—and all was well, I'm afraid I shouldn't come back."

The tone sounded softer. I would have sworn a smile or a half smile accompanied the words, but it was too dark to be sure; and when I leaned forward to look, Euphrosyne drew back.

"Then you mustn't go," said I decisively, "I can't afford to lose you,"

"But if you let me go, I could let you go," she cried.

"Could you? Without asking Constantine? Besides, it's my island, you see."

"It's not," she cried, with a stamp of her foot. And without more she walked straight by me and disappeared over the ledge of rock. Two minutes later I saw her figure defined against the sky, a black shadow on the deep gray ground. Then she disappeared. I set my face straight for the cottage under the summit of the hill. I knew that I had only to go straight, and I must come to the little plateau, scooped out of the hillside, on which the cottage stood. I found not a path, but a sort of rough track that led in the desired direction, and along this I made my way very cautiously. At one point it was joined at right angles by another track, from the side of the hill where the main road across the island lay. This, of course, afforded an approach to the cottage without passing by my house. In twenty minutes the cottage loomed, a blurred mass, before me. I fell on my knees and peered at it.

There was a light in one of the windows; I crawled nearer. Now I was on the plateau; a moment later I was under the wooden veranda and beneath the window where the light glowed. My hand was on my revolver. If Constantine or Vlacho caught me here, neither side would be able to stand on trifles; even my desire for legality would fail under the strain. But for the minute everything was quiet, and I began to fear that I should have to return empty-handed; for it would be growing light in another hour or so, and I must be gone before the day began to appear. Ah! There was a sound—a sound that appealed to me after my climb—the sound of wine poured into a glass; and then came a voice I knew.

"Probably they have caught her," said Vlacho the innkeeper. "What of that? They will not hurt her. And she'll be kept safe."

[pg 553]

"You mean she can't come spying about here?"

"Exactly. And that, my lord, is an advantage. If she came here—"

"Oh the deuce!" laughed Constantine. "But won't the men want me to free her by letting that infernal crew go?"

"Not if they think Wheatley will go to Rhodes and get soldiers and return. They love the island more than her. It will all go well, my lord. And this other here?"

I strained my ears to listen. No answer came; yet Vlacho went on as though he had received an answer.

"These cursed fellows make that difficult, too," he said. "It would be an epidemic." Then he laughed, seeming to see wit in his own remark.

"Curse them, yes. We must move cautiously," said Constantine. "What a nuisance women are, Vlacho."

"Ay, too many of them," laughed Vlacho.

"I had to swear my life out that no one was here—and then, 'If no one's there, why mayn't I come?' You know the sort of thing."

"Indeed, no, my lord. You wrong me," protested Vlacho, humorously; and Constantine joined in his laugh.

"You've made up your mind which, I gather?" asked Vlacho.

"Oh, this one, beyond doubt," answered his master.

Now, I thought that I understood most of this conversation, and I was very sorry that Euphrosyne was not by my side to listen to it. But I had heard about enough for my purpose, and I had turned to crawl away stealthily—it is not well to try fortune too far—when I heard the sound of a door opening in the house. Constantine's voice followed directly on the sound.

"Ah, my darling, my sweet wife," he cried, "not sleeping yet? Where will your beauty be. Vlacho and I must plot and plan for your sake, but you need not spoil your eyes with sleeplessness."

Constantine did it uncommonly well. His manner was a pattern for husbands. I was guilty of a quiet laugh all to myself, in the veranda.

"For me? You're sure it's for me?" came in that Greek tongue with a strange accent which had first fallen on my ears in the Optimum restaurant.

"She's jealous, she's most charmingly jealous!" cried Constantine, in playful rapture. "Does your wife pay you such compliments, Vlacho?"

"She has not cause, my lord. Now my Lady Francesca thinks she has cause to be jealous of the Lady Euphrosyne."

Constantine laughed scornfully at the suggestion.

"Where is she now?" came swift and sharp from the woman. "Where is Euphrosyne?"

"Why, she's a prisoner to that Englishman," answered Constantine.

I suppose explanations passed on this point, for the voices fell to a lower level, as is apt to happen in the telling of a long story, and I could not catch what passed till Constantine's tones rose again, as he said:

"Oh, yes, we must have a try at getting her out, just to satisfy the people. For me, she might stay there as long as she likes, for I care for her just as little as, between ourselves, I believe she cares for me."

Really, this fellow was a very tidy villain; as a pair, Vlacho and he would be hard to beat—in England, at all events. About Neopalia I had learned to reserve my opinion. Such were my reflections as I turned to resume my interrupted crawl to safety. But in an instant I was still again—still, and crouching close under the wall, motionless as an insect that feigns death, holding my breath, my hand on the trigger. For the door of the cottage was flung open, and Constantine and Vlacho appeared on the threshold.

"Ah," said Vlacho, "dawn is nearly on us. See, it grows lighter on the horizon."

A more serious matter was that, owing to the opened door and the lamp inside, it had grown lighter on the veranda, so light that I saw the three figures—for the woman had come also—in the doorway; so light that my huddled shape would be seen if any of the three turned an eye towards it. I could have picked off both men before they could move; but a civilized education has drawbacks; it makes a man scrupulous; I did not fire. I lay still, hoping that I should not be noticed. And I should not have been noticed but for one thing. Acting up to his part in the ghastly farce which these two ruffians were playing with the wife of one of them, Constantine turned to bestow kisses on the woman before he parted from her. Vlacho, in a mockery that was horrible to me who knew his heart, must needs be facetious. With a laugh he drew back; he drew back farther still; he was but a couple of feet from the wall of the house, and that couple of feet I filled.

In a moment, with one step backward, he would be upon me. Perhaps he would not have made that step; perhaps I should [pg 554] have gone, by grace of that narrow interval, undetected. But the temptation was too strong for me. The thought of the thing threatened to make me laugh. I had a penknife in my pocket; I opened it, and I dug it hard into that portion of Vlacho's frame which came most conveniently (and prominently) to my hand. Then, leaving the penknife where it was, I leaped up, gave the howling ruffian a mighty shove, and with a loud laugh of triumph bolted for my life down the hill. But when I had gone twenty yards I dropped on my knees, for bullet after bullet whistled over my head. Constantine, the outraged Vlacho too, perhaps, carried a revolver. And the barrels were being emptied after me. I rose and turned one hasty glance behind me. Yes, I saw their dim shapes like moving trees. I fired once, twice, thrice, in my turn, and then went crashing and rushing down the path that I had ascended so cautiously.

I cannoned against the tree trunks; I tripped over trailing branches; I stumbled over stones. Once I paused and fired the rest of my barrels; a yell told me I had hit—but Vlacho, alas! not Constantine. At the same instant my fire was answered, and a bullet went through my hat. I was defenceless now, save for my heels, and to them I took again with all speed. But as I crashed along, one, at least, of them came crashing after me. Yes, it was only one. I had checked Vlacho's career. It was Constantine alone. I suppose one of your heroes of romance would have stopped and faced him, for with them it is not etiquette to run away from one man. Ah, well, I ran away. For all I knew, Constantine might still have a shot in the locker. I had none. And if Constantine killed me, he would kill the only man who knew all his secrets. So I ran. And just as I got within ten yards of the drop into my own territory I heard a wild cry, "Charlie, Charlie! Where the devil are you, Charlie?"

"Why, here, of course," said I, coming to the top of the bank and dropping over.

I have no doubt that it was the cry uttered by Denny which gave pause to Constantine's pursuit. He would not desire to face all four of us. At any rate the sound of his pursuing feet died away and ceased. I suppose he went back to look after Vlacho and show himself safe and sound to that most unhappy woman, his wife. As for me, when I found myself safe and sound in the compound, I said, "Thank God!" And I meant it, too. Then I looked round. Certainly the sight that met my eyes had a touch of comedy in it.

Denny, Hogvardt, and Watkins stood in the compound. Their backs were toward me, and they were all staring up at the roof of the kitchen, with expressions which the cold light of morning revealed in all their puzzled foolishness. On the top of the roof, unassailable and out of reach—for no ladder ran from roof to ground now—stood Euphrosyne, in her usual attitude of easy grace. And Euphrosyne was not taking the smallest notice of the helpless three below, but stood quite still, with unmoved face, gazing up toward the cottage. The whole thing reminded me of nothing so much as of a pretty, composed cat in a tree, with three infuriated, helpless terriers barking round the trunk. I began to laugh.

"What's all the shindy?" called out Denny. "Who's doing revolver practice in the wood? And how the dickens did she get there, Charlie?"

But when the still figure on the roof saw me, the impassivity of it vanished. Euphrosyne leant forward, clasping her hands, and said to me:

"Have you killed him?"

The question vexed me. It would have been civil to accompany it, at all events, with an inquiry as to my own health.

"Killed him?" I answered gruffly. "No, he's sound enough."

"And—" she began; but now she glanced, seemingly for the first time, at my friends below. "You must come and tell me," she said; and with that she turned and disappeared from our gaze behind the battlements. I listened intently. No sound came from the wood that rose gray in the new light behind us.

"What have you been doing?" demanded Denny, surlily; he had not enjoyed Euphrosyne's scornful attitude.

"I have been running for my life," said I, "from the biggest scoundrels unhanged. Denny, make a guess who lives in that cottage."


"I don't mean him."

"Not Vlacho—he's at the inn."

"No, I don't mean Vlacho."

"Who, then, man?"

"Some one you've seen."

"Oh, I give it up. It's not the time of day for riddles."

"The lady who dined at the next table to us at the Optimum," said I.

Denny jumped back in amazement, with a long, low whistle.

"What, the one who was with Constantine?" he cried.

[pg 555]

"Yes," said I. "The one who was with Constantine."

They were all three round me now; and, thinking that it would be better that they should know what I knew, and four lives instead of one stand between a ruffian and the impunity he hoped for, I raised my voice and went on in an emphatic tone:

"Yes. She's there, and she's his wife."

A moment's astonished silence greeted my announcement. It was broken by none of our party. But there came from the battlemented roof above us a low, long, mournful moan that made its way straight to my heart, armed with its dart of outraged pride and trust betrayed. It was not thus, boldly and abruptly, that I should have told my news. But I did not know that Euphrosyne was still above us, hidden by the battlements; nor had I known that she understood English. We all looked up. The moan was not repeated. Presently we heard slow steps retreating with a faltering tread across the roof; and we also went into the house in silence and sorrow. For a thing like that gets hold of a man; and when he has heard it, it's hard for him to sit down and be merry till the fellow that caused it has paid his reckoning—as I swore then and there that Constantine Stefanopoulos should pay his.



There is a matter on my conscience which I can't excuse, but may as well confess. To deceive a maiden is a very sore thing—so sore that it had made us all hot against Constantine; but it may be doubted by a cool mind whether it is worse, nay, whether it is as bad, as to contrive the murder of a lawful wife. Poets have paid more attention to the first—maybe they know more about it; the law finds greater employment on the whole in respect to the latter. For me, I admit that it was not till I found myself stretched on a mattress in the kitchen, with the idea of getting a few hours' sleep, that it struck me that Constantine's wife deserved a share of my concern and care. Her grievance against him was at least as great as Euphrosyne's; her peril was far greater. For Euphrosyne was his object, Francesca (for that appeared from Vlacho's mode of address to be her name) was an obstacle that prevented his attaining that object.

For myself, I should have welcomed a cutthroat if it came as an alternative to Constantine's society; but probably his wife would not agree with me; and the conversation I had heard left me in little doubt that her life was not safe. They could not have an epidemic, Vlacho had prudently reminded his master; the island fever could not kill Constantine's wife and our party all in a day or two. Men suspect such obliging maladies, and the old lord had died of it, pat to the happy moment, already. But if the thing could be done, if it could be so managed that London, Paris, and the Riviera would find nothing strange in the disappearance of one Madame Stefanopoulos and the appearance of another, why, to a certainty, done the thing would be, unless I could warn or save the woman in the cottage. But I did not see how to do either. So (as I set out to confess) I dropped the subject. And when I went to sleep I was thinking, not how to save Francesca, but how to console Euphrosyne, a matter really of less urgency, as I should have seen had not the echo of that sad little cry still filled my ears.

The news that Hogvardt brought me, when I woke in the morning and was enjoying a slice of cow steak, by no means cleared my way. An actual attack did not seem imminent—I fancy these fierce islanders were not too fond of our revolvers—but the house was, if I may use the term, carefully picketed; and that both before and behind. Along the road that approached it in front, there stood sentries at intervals. They were stationed just out of range of our only effective long-distance weapon, but it was evident that egress on that side was barred; and the same was the case on the other. Hogvardt had seen men moving in the wood, and had heard their challenges to one another, repeated at regular intervals. We were shut off from the sea; we were shut off from the cottage. A blockade would reduce us as well as an attack. I had nothing to offer except the release of Euphrosyne. And to release Euphrosyne would in all likelihood not save us, while it would leave Constantine free to play out his ghastly game to its appointed end.

I finished my breakfast in some perplexity of spirit. Then I went and sat in the hall, expecting that Euphrosyne would appear from her room before long. I was alone, for the rest were engaged in various occupations, Hogvardt being particularly busy over a large handful of hunting-knives that he had gleaned from the walls; I did not understand what he wanted with them, unless he meant to arm himself in porcupine fashion.

[pg 556]

Presently Euphrosyne came, but it was a transformed Euphrosyne. The kilt, knee breeches, and gaiters were gone; in their place was the white linen garment with flowing sleeves and the loose jacket over it, the national dress of the Greek woman; but Euphrosyne's was ornamented with a rare profusion of delicate embroidery, and of so fine a texture that it seemed rather like some delicate, soft, yielding silk. The change of attire seemed reflected in her altered manner. Defiance was gone and appeal glistened from her eyes as she stood before me. I sprang up, but she would not sit. She stood there, and, raising her glance to my face, asked simply: "Is it true?"

In a business-like way I told her the whole story, starting from the every-day scene at home in the restaurant, ending with the villainous conversation and the wild chase of the night before. When I related how Constantine had called Francesca his wife, Euphrosyne shivered; while I sketched lightly my encounter with him and Vlacho, she eyed me with a sort of grave curiosity; and at the end she said: "I'm glad you weren't killed." It was not an emotional speech, nor delivered with any empressement; but I took it for thanks, and made the best of it. Then at last she sat down and rested her head on her hand. Her absent air allowed me to study her closely, and I was struck by a new beauty which the bizarre boy's dress had concealed. Moreover, with the doffing of that, she seemed to have put off her extreme hostility; but perhaps the revelation I had made to her, which showed her the victim of an unscrupulous schemer, had more to do with her softened air. Yet she bore the story firmly, and a quivering lip was her extreme sign of grief or anger. And her first question was not of herself.

"Do you mean that they will kill this woman?" she asked.

"I'm afraid it's not unlikely that something will happen to her, unless, of course—" I paused, but her quick wit supplied the omission.

"Unless," she said, "he lets her live now, because I am out of his hands."

"Will you stay out of his hands?" I asked. "I mean, as long as I can keep you out of them."

She looked round with a troubled expression.

"How can I stay here?" she said in a low tone.

"You will be as safe here as you were in your mother's arms," I answered.

She acknowledged my promise with a movement of her head; but a moment later she cried:

"But I am not with you—I am with the people! The island is theirs and mine. It is not yours. I will have no part in giving it to you."

"I wasn't proposing to take pay for my hospitality," said I. "It'll be hardly handsome enough for that, I'm afraid. But mightn't we leave that question for the moment?" And I described briefly to her our present position.

"So that," I concluded, "while I maintain my claim to the island, I am at present more interested in keeping a whole skin on myself and my friends."

"If you will not give it up, I can do nothing," said she. "Though they knew Constantine to be all you say, yet they would follow him and not me if I yielded the island. Indeed, they would most likely follow him in any case. For the Neopalians like a man to follow, and they like that man to be a Stefanopoulos; so they would shut their eyes to much, in order that Constantine might marry me and become lord."

She stated all this in a matter-of-fact way, disclosing no great horror of her countrymen's moral standard. The straightforward barbarousness of it perhaps appealed to her a little; she loathed the man who would rule on those terms, but had some toleration for the people who set the true dynasty above all else. And she spoke of her proposed marriage as though it were a natural arrangement.

"I shall have to marry him, I expect, in spite of everything," she said.

I pushed my chair back violently. My English respectability was appalled.

"Marry him?" I cried. "Why, he murdered the old lord!"

"That has happened before among the Stefanopouloi," said Euphrosyne, with a calmness dangerously near to pride.

"And he proposes to murder his wife," I added.

"Perhaps he will get rid of her without that." She paused; then came the anger I had looked for before. "Ah, but how dared he swear that he had thought of no one but me and loved me passionately? He shall pay for that." Again it was injured pride that rang in her voice, as in her first cry. It did not sound like love, and for that I was glad. The courtship had probably been an affair of state rather than affection. I did not ask how Constantine was to be made to pay, whether before or after marriage. I was struggling between horror and amusement at my guest's point [pg 557] of view. But I take leave to have a will of my own, even sometimes in matters that are not exactly my concern, and I said now, with a composure that rivalled Euphrosyne's: "It is out of the question that you should marry him. I'm going to get him hanged, and, anyhow, it would be atrocious."

She smiled at that, but then she leant forward and asked:

"How long have you provisions for?"

"That's a good retort," I admitted. "A few days; that's all. And we can't get out to procure any more; and we can't go shooting, because the wood's infested with these ruff—I beg pardon—with your countrymen."

"Then it seems to me," said Euphrosyne, "that you and your friends are more likely to be hanged."

Well, on a dispassionate consideration, it did seem more likely; but she need not have said so. And she went on with an equally discouraging good sense:

"There will be a boat from Rhodes in about a month or six weeks. The officer will come then to take the tribute; perhaps the governor will come. But till then nobody will visit the island, unless it be a few fishermen from Cyprus."

"Fishermen? Where do they land? At the harbor?"

"No. My people do not like them, though the governor threatens to send troops if we do not let them land. So they come to a little creek at the opposite end of the island, on the other side of the mountain. Ah, what are you thinking of?"

As Euphrosyne perceived, her words had put a new idea in my mind. If I could reach that creek and find the fishermen and persuade them to help me, or to carry me and my party off, that hanging might happen to the right man, after all.

"You're thinking you can reach them?" she cried.

"You don't seem sure that you want me to," I observed.

"Oh, how can I tell what I want? If I help you, I am betraying the island. If I do not—"

"You'll have a death or two at your door, and you'll marry the biggest scoundrel in Europe," said I.

She hung her head, and plucked fretfully at the embroidery on the neck of her dress.

"But, anyhow, you couldn't reach them," she said. "You are close prisoners here."

That, again, seemed true, so true that it put me in a very bad temper. Therefore I rose, and, leaving her without much ceremony, strolled into the kitchen. Here I found Watkins dressing the cow's head, Hogvardt surrounded by knives, and Denny lying on a rug on the floor with a small book, which he seemed to be reading. He looked up with a smile that he. considered knowing.

"Well, what does the captive queen say?" he asked with levity.

"She proposes to marry Constantine," I answered, and added quickly to Hogvardt: "What's the game with those knives, Hog?"

"Well, my lord," said Hogvardt, surveying his dozen murderous instruments, "I thought there was no harm in putting an edge on them, in case we should find a use for them;" and he fell to grinding one with great energy.

"I say, Charlie, I wonder what this yarn's about? I can't construe half of it. It's in Greek, and it's something about Neopalia, and there's a lot about a Stefanopoulos."

"Is there? Let's see;" and taking the book I sat down to look at it. It was a slim old book, bound in calfskin. The Greek was written in an antique style; it was verse. I turned to the title-page. "Hullo, this is rather interesting," I exclaimed. "It's about the death of old Stefanopoulos—the man they sing that song about, you know."

In fact, I had got hold of the poem which One-eyed Alexander composed. Its length was about three hundred lines, exclusive of the refrain which the islanders had chanted, and which was inserted six times, occurring at the end of each fifty lines. The rest was written in rather barbarous iambics; and the sentiments were quite as barbarous as the verse. It told the whole story, and I ran rapidly over it, translating here and there for the benefit of my companions. The arrival of the Baron d'Ezonville recalled our own with curious exactness, except that he came with one servant only. He had been taken to the inn, as I had, but he had never escaped from there, and had been turned adrift the morning after his arrival. I took more interest in Stefan, and followed eagerly the story of how the islanders had come to his house, and demanded that he should revoke the sale. Stefan, however, was obstinate; it lost the lives of four of his assailants before his house was forced. Thus far I read, and expected to find next an account of a mêlée in the hall. But here the story took a turn unexpected by me, one that might make the reading of the old poem more than a mere pastime.

"But when they had broken in," said One-eyed Alexander, "behold, the hall was empty and the house empty! And they stood amazed. But the two cousins of the [pg 558] lord, who had been the hottest in seeking his death, put all the rest to the door, and were themselves alone in the house; for the secret was known to them who were of the blood of the Stefanopouloi. Unto me, the bard, it is not known. Yet men say they went beneath the earth, and there in the earth found the lord. And certain it is they slew him, for in a space they came forth to the door bearing his head, and they showed it to the people, who answered with a great shout. But the cousins went back, barring the door again; and again, when but a few minutes had passed, they came forth, and opened the door, and the elder of them, being now by the traitor's death become lord, bade the people in and made a great feast for them. But the head of Stefan none saw again, nor did any see his body; but the body and head were gone, whither none know saving the noble blood of the Stefanopouloi; for utterly they disappeared, and the secret was securely kept."

I read this passage aloud, translating as I went. At the end Denny drew a breath.

"Well, if there aren't ghosts in this house, there ought to be," he remarked. "What the deuce did those rascals do with the old gentleman, Charlie?"

"It says 'they went beneath the earth.'"

"The cellar," suggested Hogvardt, who had a prosaic mind.

"But they wouldn't leave the body in the cellar," I objected; "and if, as this fellow says, they were only away a few minutes, they couldn't have dug a grave for it. And then it says that they 'there in the earth found the lord'!"

"It would have been more interesting," said Denny, "if they'd told Alexander a bit more about it. However, I suppose he consoles himself with his chant again?"

"He does. It follows immediately on what I've read, and so the thing ends." And I sat looking at the little yellow volume. "Where did you find it, Denny?" I said.

"Oh, on a shelf in the corner of the hall, between the Bible and a Life of Byron."

I got up and walked back to the hall. I looked round. Euphrosyne was not there. I inspected the hall door; it was still locked on the inside. I mounted the stairs, and called at the door of her room; when no answer came I pushed it open and took the liberty of glancing round; she was not there. I called again, for I thought she might have passed along the way over the hall and reached the roof, as she had done before. This time I called loudly. Silence followed for a moment. Then came an answer, in a hurried, rather apologetic tone, "Here I am." But then the answer came, not from the direction that I had expected, but from the hall. And looking over the balustrade, I saw Euphrosyne sitting in the armchair.

"This," said I, going down-stairs, "taken in conjunction with this," and I patted One-eyed Alexander's book, which I held in my hand, "is certainly curious and suggestive." "Here I am," said Euphrosyne, with an air that added, "I've not moved. What are you shouting for?"

"Yes, but you weren't there a minute ago," I observed, reaching the hall and walking across to her.

She looked disturbed and embarrassed.

"Where have you been?" I asked.

"Must I give an account of every movement?" said she, trying to cover her confusion with a show of haughty offence.

The coincidence was really a remarkable one; it was as hard to account for Euphrosyne's disappearance and reappearance as for the vanished head and body of old Stefan. I had a conviction, based on a sudden intuition, that one explanation must lie at the root of both these curious things, that the secret of which Alexander spoke was a secret still hidden, hidden from my eyes but known to the girl before me, the daughter of the Stefanopouloi.

"I won't ask you where you've been, if you don't wish to tell me," said I, carelessly.

She bowed her head in recognition of my indulgence.

"But there is one question I should like to ask you," I pursued, "if you'll be so kind as to answer it."

"Well, what is it?"

"Where was Stefan Stefanopoulos killed, and what became of his body?"

As I put my question I flung One-eyed Alexander's book open on the table beside her.

She started visibly, crying, "Where did you get that?"

I told her how Denny had found it, and I added:

"Now, what does 'beneath the earth' mean? You are one of the house, and you must know."

"Yes, I know, but I must not tell you. We are all bound by the most sacred oath to tell no one."

"Who told you?"

"My uncle. The boys of our house are told when they are fifteen, the girls when they are sixteen. No one else knows."

"And why is that?"

She hesitated, fearing perhaps that her [pg 559] answer would itself tend to betray the secret.

"I dare tell you nothing," she said. "The oath binds me; and it binds every one of my kindred to kill me if I break it."

"But you've no kindred left except Constantine," I objected.

"He is enough. He would kill me."

"Sooner than marry you?" I suggested, rather maliciously.

"Yes, if I broke the oath."

"Hang the oath!" said I, impatiently. "The thing might help us. Did they bury Stefan somewhere under the house?"

"No, he was not buried," she answered.

"Then they brought him up, and got rid of his body when the islanders had gone?"

"You must think what you will."

"I'll find it out," said I. "If I pull the house down, I'll find it. Is it a secret door or—"

She had colored at the question. I put the latter part in a low, eager voice, for hope had come to me.

"Is it a way out?" I asked, leaning over to her.

She sat mute, but irresolute, embarrassed and fretful.

"Heavens!" I cried, impatiently, "it may mean life or death to all of us, and you boggle over your oath!"

My rude impatience met with a rebuke that it perhaps deserved. With a glance of the utmost scorn, Euphrosyne asked, coldly:

"And what are the lives of all of you to me?"

"True, I forgot," said I with a bitter politeness. "I beg your pardon. I did you all the service I could last night, and now I and my friends may as well die as live! But I'll pull this place to ruin but I'll find your secret."

I was walking up and down now in a state of some excitement. My brain was fired with the thought of stealing a march on Constantine through the discovery of his own family secret.

Suddenly Euphrosyne gave a little soft clap with her hands. It was over in a minute, and she sat blushing, confused, trying to look as if she had not done it at all.

"What did you do that for?" I asked, stopping in front of her.

"Nothing," said Euphrosyne.

"Oh, I don't believe that," said I.

She looked at me. "I didn't mean to do it," she said again. "But can't you guess why?"

"There's too much guessing to be done here," said I, impatiently; and I started walking again. But presently I heard a voice say softly, and in a tone that seemed to address nobody in particular—me least of all:

"We Neopalians like a man who can be angry, and I began to think you never would."

"I am not the least angry," said I, with great indignation. I hate being told that I am angry when I am merely showing firmness.

Now, at this protest of mine Euphrosyne saw fit to laugh—the most hearty laugh she had given since I had known her. The mirthfulness of it undermined my wrath. I stood still opposite her, biting the end of my mustache.

"You may laugh," said I, "but I'm not angry; and I shall pull this house down—or dig it up—in cold blood, in perfectly cold blood."

"You are angry," said Euphrosyne, "and you say you're not. You are like my father. He would stamp his foot furiously like that and say, 'I am not angry, I am not angry, Phroso.'"

Phroso! I had forgotten that diminutive of my guest's classical name. It rather pleased me, and I repeated it gently after her, "Phroso, Phroso," and I'm afraid I eyed the little foot that had stamped so bravely.

"He always called me Phroso. Oh, I wish he were alive! Then Constantine—"

"Since he isn't," said I, sitting by Phroso (I must write it, it's a deal shorter)—by Phroso's elbow—"since he isn't, I'll look after Constantine. It would be a pity to spoil the house, wouldn't it?"

"I've sworn," said Phroso.

"Circumstances alter oaths," said I, bending till I was very near Phroso's ear.

"Ah," said Phroso, reproachfully, "that's what lovers say when they find another more beautiful than their old love."

I shot away from Phroso's ear with a sudden backward start. Her remark, somehow, came home to me with a very remarkable force. I got off the table, and stood opposite to her, in an awkward and stiff attitude.

"I am compelled to ask you for the last time if you will tell me the secret," said I, in the coldest of tones.

She looked up with surprise. My altered manner may well have amazed her. She did not know the reason of it.

"You asked me kindly and—and pleasantly, and I would not. Now you ask me as if you threatened," she said. "Is it likely I should tell you now?"

[pg 560]

Well, I was angry with myself, and with her because she had made me angry with myself; and, the next minute, I became furiously angry with Denny, whom I found standing in the doorway that led to the kitchen, with a grin of intense amusement on his face.

"What are you grinning at?" I demanded fiercely.

"Oh, nothing," said Denny, and his face strove to assume a prudent gravity.

"Bring a pickaxe," said I.

Denny's face wandered toward Phroso. "Is she as annoying as that?" he seemed to ask. "A pickaxe?" he repeated in surprised tones.

"Yes, two pickaxes! I'm going to have this floor up, and see if I can find out the great Stefanopoulos secret." I spoke with an accent of intense scorn.

Again Phroso laughed; her hands beat very softly against one another. Heavens, what did she do that for when Denny was there, watching everything with those shrewd eyes of his?

"The pickaxes!" I roared.

Denny turned and fled; a moment elapsed; I did not know what to do, how to look at Phroso, or how not to look at her. I took refuge in flight. I rushed into the kitchen on pretence of aiding or hastening Denny's search. I found him taking up an old pick that stood near the door leading to the compound. I seized it from his hand.

"Confound you!" I cried, for Denny laughed openly at me; and I rushed back to the hall! But on the threshold I paused—and said what I will not write.

For, though there came from somewhere just the last ripple of a mirthful laugh, the hall was empty! Phroso was gone! I flung the pickaxe down with a clatter on the boards, and exclaimed in my haste:

"I wish to heaven I'd never bought the island!"

But I did not mean that really.

(To be continued.)



By Garrett P. Serviss,

Author of "Astronomy with an Opera Glass," "Climbing the Matterhorn,etc.15

 the letter 'S'

tanding on the spindling tower of the Matterhorn early one August morning in 1894 I saw, for the first time, the white crown of Europe, Mont Blanc, with its snows sparkling high above the roof of clouds that covered the dozing summer in the valleys of Piedmont. Just one year later I started from Chamonix to climb to that cool world in the blue.

My guide was Ambroise Couttet, whose family name is famous in the mountaineering annals of Savoy. An earlier Ambroise Couttet lies in the icy bosom of Mont Blanc, fallen, years ago, down a crevasse so profound that his would-be rescuers were drawn, baffled, awe-struck, and with shaking nerves, from its horrible depths, whose bottom they could not find. Even before that time Pierre Couttet had been whirled to death on the great peak, and his body, embedded and preserved in a glacier, was found nearly half a century afterward at its foot. And two other Couttets of past years escaped, by the merest hair of miraculous fortune, from a catastrophe on the same dreadful slopes in which three of their comrades were swallowed up. Yet the Ambroise Couttet of to-day is never so happy as when he is on the mountain. His eyes sparkle if he hears the thunder of an avalanche, and he smiles as he watches its tossing white crest ploughing swiftly across some snowy incline which he has just traversed.

One porter sufficed, for my only traps consisted of a hand camera, a field-glass, and a few extra woollen shirts and stockings. Having had no serious exercise since climbing the Matterhorn a year before, I deemed it prudent to spare my strength for the more important work [pg 561] above by taking a mule to the Pierre Pointue. It was a fine morning, offering a promise of favorable weather after several days of mist and rain. Monsieur Janssen, the French astronomer, who was waiting at Chamonix for his porters to complete their long and wearisome labor of transporting piecemeal his telescope and other instruments of observation to the summit, before making the ascent himself, said, grasping my arm at parting:

"I wish you good luck; good weather you are sure of."


From a photograph loaned by Mr. Frank Hegger, New York.

It was high authority, for Monsieur Janssen has studied the weather all his life, and knows the atmosphere of mountain peaks and of the airy levels where balloons float; yet if he could have foreseen what was to occur on Mont Blanc within twenty hours, he would have wished me the good fortune of being somewhere else.

It was past the middle of the forenoon of the 10th of August when, with Couttet and the porter, I left Chamonix. Dismissing my tired mule at the Pierre Pointue, which hangs with its flag nearly seven thousand feet above sea level, and high over the séracs of the Glacier des Bossons, we began the ascent by way of the Pierre a l'Echelle and over the missile-scarred foot of the Aiguille du Midi. The upper part of this mountain as seen from Chamonix looks quite sharp-pointed enough to deserve its name of the "Needle of the South." The side toward the Glacier des Bossons is exceedingly steep, and when the snows are melting the peak becomes a perfect catapult, volleys of ice and stones being discharged from its lofty precipices. The falling rocks, dropping, as some of them do, from ledge to ledge half a mile, acquire the velocity of cannon shots. Nobody ever lingers on this part of the route, and we had no desire to pause, although the Aiguille sends comparatively few stones down so late in the summer.

The sun beat furiously while we were scrambling on the rocks, and the latter were warm to the touch, although, thousands of feet below, the immense cleft in the mountain side was choked with masses of never-melted ice.

"Never mind," said Couttet, as I stopped to wipe the perspiration from my face, "it will be cool enough when we get onto the glacier."

And it was—so cool in fact that I hastily pulled on my coat. Having passed out of range of the Aiguille du Midi, we found comfortable going on the ice.

[pg 562]


The northern slope of Mont Blanc is hollowed into a vast cavernous channel, half filled with glaciers, and edged on the east by the Mont Maudit, the Aiguille de Saussure, and the Aiguille du Midi, and on the west by the Dome and Aiguille du Gouter and the Gros Bechat. Down this tremendous gutter crowd the eternal snows of Mont Blanc, compressed toward the bottom into the Glacier des Bossons and the Glacier de Taconnaz. These immense ice streams are separated by the projecting [pg 563] nose of the Montagne de la Cote, which rises from the valley of Chamonix and lies in a long, dark ridge on the foot of Mont Blanc. Above the Montagne de la Cote several gigantic rock masses, shooting into pinnacles, push up through the ice from the bottom and near the centre of the channel. These are called the Grands Mulets, from the resemblance which they present, when seen from Chamonix, to a row of huge black mules tramping up the white mountain side.


I mention these features because the best route to the summit of Mont Blanc lies over the glaciers and snow fields and between the walls of the great trough I have described, and the first station is at the Grands Mulets, where a cabin for the accommodation of climbers has existed for many years. From the foot of the Aiguille du Midi, at the Pierre a l'Echelle, across the Glacier des Bossons to the rocks of the Grands Mulets the distance is about a mile and a quarter, and the perpendicular increase of elevation nearly two thousand feet. The passage seldom presents any difficulty, except to inexperienced persons, although at times many crevasses must be crossed, particularly at what is called the Junction, just above the point where the Glacier des Bossons and the Glacier de Taconnaz are divided by the Montagne de la Cote. Here some underlying irregularity of the rocks, deep beneath the surface of the mighty river of ice, causes the formation of a labyrinth of fissures and crevasses, overhung with towering séracs, or ice turrets; and the ice descends between the Grands Mulets and the rock wall in front of the Gros Bechat in a sort of motionless cascade—motionless, that is to say, except when cracks break apart into yawning chasms, and massive blocks tumble into the depths.

Even a practised climber is occasionally compelled to look to his steps in passing the Junction. On my return I witnessed an accident in this place which proved at the same time the reality of the danger and the usefulness in sudden crises of the mountaineer's rope. A tourist descending from the Grands Mulets was passing, under an impending sérac, around the head of a crevasse, where the only footway was a few inches of ice hewn with the axe. Being heedless or nervous, his feet shot from under him, and with a yell he plunged into the pit. Luckily, he was tied to the rope between two guides, one of whom had passed the dangerous corner, while the other, behind, had also a safe footing. As he fell the guides braced themselves, the rope zipped, and the unfortunate adventurer hung clutching and kicking at the polished blue wall. He had really descended but a few feet into the crevasse, though to him doubtless it seemed a hundred, and with a surprising display of strength, or skill, the [pg 564] guides hauled him out by simply tightening the rope. One of them pulled back and the other forward, and between them the sprawling victim rose with the strain to the brink of the chasm, where a third man dexterously caught and landed him.


Madame Marke and Olivier Gay were not so fortunate near this spot in 1870. A bridge of snow spanning a crevasse gave way beneath them, and, the rope breaking, they disappeared and perished in the abyss.

We reached the Grands Mulets in the middle of the afternoon. Here the great majority of amateur climbers are content to terminate their ascent of Mont Blanc. The experience of getting as far as this point and back again is, as the incidents just related show, anything but insignificant, and may prove not only exciting but even tragic. Yet, of course, the real work, the tug of war between human endurance and the obstacles of untamed nature, is above. The Grands Mulets formed the stopping place in some of the earliest attempts to climb Mont Blanc, more than a hundred years ago. Here Jacques Balmat, the hero of the first ascent, passed an awful night alone, amid the cracking of glaciers and the shaking of avalanches, before his final victory over the peak in 1786. In the spirit which led the Romans to surname the conqueror of Hannibal "Scipio Africanus," the exultant Chamonniards called their hero "Balmat de Mont Blanc." He, too, finally perished by a fall from a precipice in 1834, and to-day there are those who whisper that his spirit can be seen flitting over the snowy wastes before every new catastrophe.

The cabin at the Grands Mulets is furnished with rough bunks and cooking apparatus, and during the summer a woman, Adéle Balmat, assisted by the guides, acts as hostess for this high-perched "inn," ten thousand feet above sea level.

It is customary to leave the Grands Mulets for the ascent to the summit soon after midnight, in order to get over the immense snow slopes before the action of the sun has loosened the avalanches and weakened the crevasse bridges. But we did not start until half-past three in the morning. The waning moon, hanging over the Dome [pg 565] du Gouter, gave sufficient light to render a lantern unnecessary, and dawn was near at hand. Threatening bands of clouds attracted anxious glances from Couttet, and it was evident that a change of weather impended. But we clambered over the rocks to the crevassed slopes below the Gouter, and pushed upward.

We were now approaching the higher and narrower portion of the immense cleft or channel in the mountain that I have described. On our right towered the Dome du Gouter, and on the left the walls of the Mont Maudit and its outlying pinnacles. Snowy ridges and peaks shone afar in the moonlight on all sides. It was a wilderness of white.


At the height of twelve thousand feet we came upon the Petit Plateau, a comparatively horizontal lap of snow which is frequently swept clear across with avalanches of ice descending from the enormous séracs that hang like cornices upon the precipices above. The frosty splinters of a recent downfall sparkled and crunched under our feet. It is one of the most dangerous places on the mountain. "Men have lost their lives here and will again lose them," is the remark of Mr. Conway, the Himalayan climber, in describing his passage of the place. "Many times I have crossed it," said Monsieur Vallot, the mountain meteorologist, last summer, "but never without a sinking of the heart, and the moment we are over the Petit Plateau I always hear my guides, trained and fearless men, mutter, 'Once more we are out of it.'"

Knowing these things, it is needless to say that I found the Petit Plateau keenly interesting. The menacing séracs leaned from the cliffs, glittering icily, and threw black shadows upon the névé beneath, but suffered us to pass unmolested.

Above the Petit Plateau is a steep ascent called the Grands Montées which taxes the breath. Having surmounted this, we were on the Grand Plateau, a much wider level than the other, edged with tremendous ice cliffs and crevasses, and situated at an elevation of thirteen thousand feet. For some time now it had been broad day, but the clouds had thickened rapidly, and the summit was wrapped and completely hidden in them. Blasts of frigid wind began to whistle about us, driving stinging pellets of ice into our faces. We quickened our steps, for it would not do to be caught in a storm here. The Grand Plateau has taken more lives than its ill-starred neighbor below.


We now bore off to the right, in order to clamber up the side of the great channel, or depression, that we had thus far followed, because at its upper end, where it meets the base of the crowning pyramid of Mont Blanc, it abuts against ice-covered precipices that no mortal will ever scale. Snow commenced to fall, and the wind rose. As we neared the crest of the ridge connecting the Dome du Gouter with the Bosses du Dromadaire and the summit, the tempest burst fiercely upon us. In an instant we were enveloped by a cloud of whirling snow that blotted out sky and mountains alike. It drove into my eyes, and half blinded me. It was so thick that objects a few yards away would have been concealed even without a violent wind to confuse the vision. At times Couttet, close ahead of me, was visible only in a kind of gray outline, like a wraith. On an open plain such a storm in such a temperature would have had its dangers for a traveller seeking his way. We were seeking our way, not on an open plain, but two miles and a half above sea level, in a desert of snow and ice, encompassed with precipices, chasms, and pitfalls, treading on we knew not what, assailed by a wild storm, all landmarks obliterated, and our footsteps filling so fast with drifted snow that in two minutes we could not see from what direction we had last come.

In such a situation the imagination [pg 566] becomes dramatic. The night before I had been reading the account of the loss, in 1870, of Dr. Bean, Mr. Randall, and the Rev. Mr. Corkendale, together with five guides and three porters, eleven persons in all, in just such a storm and within sight of this spot. And now as we stumbled along I repeated to myself, almost word for word, Dr. Bean's message to his wife, found when his body was discovered:

"September 7, evening—My dear Hessie: We have been two days on Mont Blanc in the midst of a terrible hurricane of snow; we have lost our way, and are in a hole scooped in the snow at an altitude of fifteen thousand feet. I have no longer any hope of descending. Perhaps this notebook will be found and sent to you. We have nothing to eat, my feet are already frozen, and I am exhausted. I have strength to write only a few words more. I have left means for C.'s education; I know you will employ them wisely. I die with faith in God and with loving thoughts of you. Farewell to all. We shall meet again in heaven—I think of you always."

The bodies of five of these victims were found but a few feet aside from the proper route which in clear weather would have led to safety; the other six had disappeared.

While such cheerful recollections were running through my mind I noticed that we were no longer ascending, and that Couttet, whom I had not troubled with questions as long as he showed no hesitation, was bearing now this way and now that, and occasionally stopping and peering about with spread nostrils, like a dog seeking a trail. Clearly we were on the top of the highest elevation in our neighborhood, for the wind now came point blank in our faces out of the white abyss of the atmosphere, and almost blew me off my feet.

"Have you lost the way?" I asked.

"I'll find it," Couttet replied.

"Where are we?"

"Near the Bosses."

"Isn't there a refuge hut on the Bosses?"


"Can we reach it?"

Couttet did not immediately reply, but looked up and about, as if trying to pierce the driving snow with his gaze. "If I could catch sight of the rocks," at length he said.

Suddenly the gale seemed to split the clouds, and for an instant a vision opened of blue sky over our heads, and endless slopes of snow, falling one below another, under our feet. I saw that we were standing on the rounded back of a snowy ridge. Just in front the white surface dipped and disappeared in a vast gulf of air, where flying clouds were torn against the black jagged points of lower mountains. Above our level, to the left, rocks appeared projecting through the covering of snow. I knew that these must belong to the Bosses du Dromadaire, and that the hut we sought was perched on one of them.

All this the eye caught in a twinkling, for the storm curtain was lifted only to be as quickly dropped again, shutting out both the upper and the lower world, and leaving us isolated on the slippery roof ridge of Europe. At the same time the wind increased its violence, and the cold became more penetrating. I pulled my fingers out of the digits of my woollen gloves, and gripped my iron-shod baton between thumb and knuckles. We now had our bearings, thanks to the momentary glance, and it behooved us not to lose them, for the storm was every instant growing worse. At times it was not the simplest thing in the world to keep one's feet in the face of the blasts. I was too fresh from reading the history of Mont Blanc not to remember that a few years ago Count Villanova and two guides were blown from another nearby ridge into the very abyss whose jaws had just opened before us, where their bodies lie undiscovered to this day.

Moving cautiously, we began to descend, in order to cross the neck which stretches between the Dome du Gouter and the Bosses. When we wandered a little to the right the surface commenced to pitch off, and we knew what that meant—beware! Once when we had veered too far to the left, staggering down hill under the blows of the storm, and able to see but a few feet away, we stopped as if a shot had arrested us. Another step or two would have carried us over a precipice of ice, whose blue wall fell perpendicularly from the brittle edge at our feet into cloud-choked depths. We had gone down our roof to the eaves. Not a word was spoken, but with instant unanimity we turned and scrambled up again, Couttet in the lead, and the porter breathing hard at my heels. Such a scene in the fraction of a second is photographed on the memory for a lifetime.

In a little while we began to ascend another slope, to which we had felt our way, and this was surely the swelling hump of [pg 567] the first of the Bosses, and the rocks must be near at hand. Another opportune gap in the clouds, which left us for an instant surrounded with retreating walls of vapor, confirmed that opinion, and vindicated the mountaineering skill of Couttet, who had found the way though way there was none. A quick, breathless scramble up a confused heap of ice and slippery points of rock brought us at last to the refuge.



Couttet shook and banged the door, making a noise that did not penetrate far through the whistling air, and, with cold fingers, began fumbling at the latch, when, to my surprise, the door opened and a muffled voice bade us enter. An Englishman who had started with his guides at midnight from the Grands Mulets, and three or four of Monsieur Janssen's porters, had already sought refuge in the hut. Icicles hung about my face, and my clothes were as stiff as chain armor. There was no fire in the little hut and no means of making any. My watch, when I was able to get it out of my pocket, showed the time to be a quarter to nine A.M.

Pulling off our shoes and putting on dry stockings as quickly as possible, we imitated the example of the man who had let us in, and who no sooner closed the door than he tumbled back into his bunk and buried himself in the rough woollen blankets which the Alpine Club has provided for the use of those who may need them.

In about an hour the storm lightened, and the Englishman and the porters started back to the Grands Mulets. I consulted Couttet about making a dash for the summit; but he thought it would be better to wait awhile, and better still to follow the others down the mountain. To this last proposition I decidedly objected, although Couttet was right, as it turned out; for in another hour the storm, which had not entirely ceased at any time, whipped itself into renewed fury, and before noon the wind was howling and shrieking with demoniac energy, and flinging gritty snow and ice in blinding clouds against the hut, which, situated on a ridge, was completely exposed. Fortunately it is strongly built and solidly anchored. While I entertained no reasonable doubt of its security, yet when a blast of extraordinary fierceness made it tremble, as if it were holding itself with desperate grip upon the rocks, I could not help picturing it, in imagination, taking flight at last, and sailing high over the mountains in the wild embrace of the tempest.

Time moved with a dreadfully slow [pg 568] pace. The only way to keep warm was to remain in the bunk under a pile of blankets. Once, in my impatience, I got out and painfully hauled on my shoes, which were as cold as ice, and as hard almost; but my feet were blistered through lack of previous exercise, and after hobbling and shivering for a few minutes on the narrow floor, which was partly covered with a constantly accumulating deposit of snow, as fine and dry as flour and as frigid as though it had come straight from the Arctic Circle, I hurried back under the blankets. The invading snow penetrated through cracks that one could hardly see, around the door and the little square window.

At last noon came, and we ate our remaining morsels of dry bread, which finished our provisions. We had brought along only enough to provide a lunch on the way to the summit, intending to be back at the Grands Mulets not later than midday. Then the long afternoon dragged its weary hours, while the storm got higher, shriller, and colder, and the sense of our isolation became keener. Finally daylight began to fade. Slowly the light grew dim in the window at my feet, until it was a mere glimmer. Since we had to stay, we thanked the storm for hastening the fall of night. When the gloom became so dense that even the window had disappeared, Couttet lit a tallow dip, but it would not remain upright in its improvised holder, and the freezing draughts that stole through the hut kept it flickering so that he finally put it out, and we remained in the dark, not "seein' things," like Eugene Field's youthful hero, but hearing things no less uncanny. The wind whistled, moaned, screeched, growled, and occasionally shouted with such startling imitation of human voices that I once asked Couttet if some one were not calling for help. But investigation showed that we were alone on our tempestuous perch, and that the cry of agony had been uttered by the hurricane, or the wind-lashed rocks.


Supperless, we wrapped our blankets closer, got ears and noses under, and tried to sleep. I had a few naps, but the roar outside, and the shaking of the hut as the storm smote it again and again, rendered continuous sleep impossible. Something had been loosened on the roof close overhead, and it rattled and banged as if the destruction of the hut had actually begun. It was a queer sound, angry, imperious, menacing, and it produced a quaking sensation. Sometimes it would [pg 569] die down, and, with a final rap or two, entirely cease. Then it would resume, with perhaps five strokes to the second, increasing to ten, then to twenty, and quickly rising to an ear-splitting r-r-r-h, terminated with a bang! bang!! bang!!! that made the heart leap, while the hut seemed to rock on its foundations.

Getting out of the bunk, I found by the sense of touch that the powdery snow-drifts were becoming steadily deeper on the floor. This recalled another incident which had greatly interested me during my preliminary reading at Chamonix. The winter before, Monsieur Janssen's men had stored some of the heavier materials for his observatory near these rocks. At the opening of summer they could not be found, and no one knew what had become of them. Finally, as the snows melted and fell from the peak in slides and avalanches, the missing articles were uncovered, having been buried in a white grave forty feet deep.

And so the wild night passed, until with tedious deliberation the little window made a hole in the darkness, and I knew that morning was at hand. The howling without was as loud as ever, and the fine snow was packed high upon the window, shutting out a good share of the light. The floor was covered with white drifts, and my shoes had swallowed snow; but being hard and dry, it was easily shaken out. There was no fire to be built and no breakfast to be prepared. But it was impossible to lie still, even for the sake of keeping warm, and pulling on our shoes we stamped about the floor, and occasionally opened the door to see what the storm was about. Along about eight o'clock it began to lighten, and my hopes rose. We could catch an occasional glimpse of the crowning peak and of the observatory, which we knew contained two or three of Janssen's men and some provisions. An hour later, when the storm seemed about at an end, and we were preparing to ascend to the top, we saw the men from the observatory coming down. They warned us that the snow above was in bad condition, and, believing that more foul weather was to come, they were embracing this opportunity to get down. Couttet proposed that we should accompany them, especially as they reported nothing left to eat at the observatory, but I declined. Again the event proved that he was right, for while we waited a little before starting out, the storm fell upon us once more. Then Couttet insisted upon descending, and I did not think it wise to oppose his decision, knowing that it was based upon experience and that he had nothing to gain and something to lose in returning without having conducted his "monsieur" to the summit.



We put on the rope and scrambled down, but when we got upon the neck below the Bosses the clouds whirled off and the burnished sun stood over the white peak, too splendid to be looked upon.

"Couttet, we must go up," I exclaimed.

"As you say," he replied; and we turned upon our track.

We had got back to the hut and started up the steep arête above it, when the sun disappeared, the air turned white, and the wind resumed its wrestle. So powerful was it that on our narrow ridge it had the advantage of us, and we crouched behind a projecting point.

"It is too perilous," said Couttet, "and we must descend. I will not take the risk."

I saw it was necessary to yield, and down we went. Hunger was beginning to [pg 570] tell, and we made haste. Where the slopes were not seamed with open crevasses we "glissaded," which is a very expeditious and exhilarating method of getting down a mountain, although unsafe unless one is certain of his ground. Sometimes we slid on our feet, steadying ourselves with our batons or ice-axes, and sometimes I sat on the hard snow and glided like a Turk on a toboggan slide, the tassel of my woollen cap fluttering behind in the wind. We took the unbridged crevasses with flying leaps, and so plunged rapidly downward, with frequent keen regrets on my part, because the weather seemed mending again. But it would not do to turn back now in our half-famished condition, and we were glad when the Grands Mulets hove in sight below, a black squadron in a sea of snow.


In Chamonix I took a day or two to thaw out and mend bruises, and then ran over to Martigny, crossed the Grand St. Bernard, the St. Gotthard, and the Grimsel passes, spent a week in William Tell's country, prowling about the ruins of old castles and the sites of legendary battles, and finally settled down in Milan to feast my eyes on the pinnacles of its wondrous cathedral. But my failure to reach the top of Mont Blanc cast a perceptible shadow over everything I saw.

One day, the 27th of August, as I stood on the cathedral spire, the sun lay warm upon the Alps, and Mont Blanc shone in the distance. "It is time to go," I said to myself; and descending, I hurried to my hotel and packed a gripsack. The night express via Mont Cenis placed me in Geneva the next morning in time to catch the first train for Cluses. The same evening the diligence landed me in Chamonix. I sent for Couttet.

"Mont Blanc in the morning," I said.

"Delighted, monsieur; we'll do it this time."

"Storm or no storm?"


It so happened that I was to hear one more story of disaster before getting to the top of Mont Blanc. While I watched the distant mountain from the Milan cathedral spire the closing scene of a new tragedy was being enacted amid its merciless crevasses. Dr. Robert Schnurdreher, an advocate of Prague, accompanied by Michael Savoye, guide, and Laurent Brou, porter, ascended Mont Blanc from the Italian side on August 17th, and passed the night in the hut on the Bosses du Dromadaire where, six days before, I had had a stormy experience. But now the weather was superb, and when, on the morning of the 18th, they started to descend to Chamonix, no thought of impending evil could have oppressed their minds.

They passed the Grand Plateau and the Petit Plateau in safety, and reached the labyrinth of crevasses between the cliffs of the Dome du Gouter and the Grands Mulets. Just what happened then no one [pg 571] will ever know, but there they disappeared from the world of the living.


Eight days went by, and then a telegram was received at Chamonix from the family of the guide Savoye, in Courmayer, Italy, inquiring if he and his party had been seen. All Chamonix comprehended in an instant the significance of that telegram, and thirty guides started post haste for the mountains.

The fact was now recalled that several days before some of Monsieur Janssen's porters had noticed an ice axe lying on the snow a little aside from the ordinary route. They thought nothing of it at the time, supposing that the implement had either been thrown away, or left behind by some one who would return to get it. This abandoned axe now became the first object of the search. Having discovered it, the guides knew well where to look for its owner. The axe lay on a slope of snow almost as hard as ice, and at the foot of the slope was the inevitable crevasse; not one of the largest, being only fifteen feet wide by two hundred long, and one hundred deep, but all too sufficient. They crept to the edge, and peered into the gloomy depths. There lay the missing men, still tied together. Schnurdreher and Savoye had apparently been killed at once; but there was heart-rending evidence that Brou had survived the fall, and made a pitiful effort to scale the perpendicular walls of the ice chasm. Enclosed in bags of rough sacking, the bodies were dragged with ropes down to the Pierre Pointue, and thence carried to Chamonix. This is a time-honored procedure in such cases. Every boy in Chamonix understands how a body should be brought down from Mont Blanc.

On the night of my arrival Savoye and Brou had just been buried at Chamonix, and money was being raised for the relief of their almost destitute families. But Schnurdreher, in his mountain dress, with his spiked shoes on his feet, still lay at the undertaker's, awaiting the coming of his relatives.


The morning of August 29th was cloudless, and with the same outfit as before, but with a scion of the house of Balmat for porter in place of the man who had filled that office on the first occasion, I started once more for the frosty topknot of Europe. At the Grands Mulets we found two Germans with their retinue of guides and porters, six persons in all, who were also bound for the summit. They left the Grands Mulets at midnight, and we followed them three-quarters of an hour later. [pg 572] There was no moon, and Couttet carried a lantern. On reaching the Petit Plateau we saw the lights of the other party flashing ahead of us, and at the foot of the Grands Montées we overtook them. They had talked confidently of making the ascent in extraordinarily quick time, and some good-natured chaffing now passed between Couttet and the rival guides. I had had no thought of a race; but I defy anybody, under the circumstances in which we were placed, not to experience a little spurring from the spirit of emulation. Jerking the rope to attract Couttet's attention, I told him in a low voice to pass the others at the first opportunity.

"We'll do it on the Grand Plateau," he whispered.

Five minutes later, however, the advance party paused to take breath. We immediately broke out of their tracks in the snow and started to pass around them; but they instantly accepted the challenge, and a scrambling race began up the steep slope. Sometimes we sank so deep that time was lost in extricating our legs, and again we slipped back, which was even more annoying than sticking fast. The powdery snow flew about like dust, and was occasionally dumped into my face by the piston-like action of my knees. The lanterns jangled and flickered wildly, and in their shifting and uncertain light, with our odd habiliments, we must have resembled a company of mad demons on a lark.

Such a race in such a place could only last a couple of minutes, and it was soon over, the American coming out ahead. Getting upon the Grand Plateau, we did not stop to rest, but broke into a dog trot.

"Whatever happens, Couttet, we must be first at the top."

"Very well, monsieur."

From the Grand Plateau there are two ways to the summit: one by the Bosses du Dromadaire, which we followed on the first attempt; the other, which we now adopted, by the "Corridor." This is a steep furrow, crossed by an ice precipice with a great crevasse near its foot, which leads upward from the left-hand border of the Grand Plateau to a snowy saddle between the Mont Maudit and a precipitous out-cropping of rock called the Mur de la Cote. A faint glimmer of approaching dawn now lay on part of the rim of mountains surrounding us.

When we reached the foot of the Corridor the lights of the other party were not visible. But here step-cutting became necessary, and this delayed us so much that presently I caught dancing gleams from the pursuing lanterns moving rapidly at the bottom of the bowl of night out of which we were climbing. They were fast gaining upon us.

"We must hurry, Couttet!"

"Yes, but no man goes quick here who does not go for the last time."

In fact, our position had an appearance of peril. We were part way up the frozen precipice that cuts across the Corridor, and were balancing ourselves on an acute wedge of ice which stood off several feet in front of the precipice, being separated from it by a deep cleft. The outer side of this wedge, whose edge we were traversing lengthwise, pitched down into the darkness and ended, I believe, in a crevasse. Presently we reached a place where the precipice overhung our precarious footway, and an inverted forest of icicles depended above us.

"Make as little noise as possible, and step gently," said Couttet.

This is a familiar precaution in the High Alps, where the vibrations of sound sometimes act the part of the trigger of a gun and let loose terrific energies ready poised for action. The clinking of particles of ice that shot from our feet into the depths distracted attention from the beautiful play of the light of the lanterns on some of the hanging masses.

At last we attained a point where it was possible, by swinging round a somewhat awkward corner, to get upon the roof of the precipice. This we found so steep that occasional steps had also to be cut there.

The lights of the pursuers had approached the foot of the wall, and though now invisible, we knew the party was ascending close behind, taking advantage of the steps we had made. This spurred us on, although I was beginning to suffer some inconvenience from the rarity of the air, and had to stop to breathe much oftener than I liked. In truth, the spurt we had made, beginning at the Grands Montées, involved an over-expenditure of energy whose effects I could not escape, and nature was already demanding usury for the loan.

As we approached the ridge of the saddle, day rose blushing in the east, and Couttet put out the lantern. Turning to the right, we hurried in zigzags up the slippery Mur de la Cote, stopping to cut steps only when strictly necessary. While we were ascending this wall the sun appeared, and hung for a moment, a great, dazzling, fire-colored circle, on a distant mountain rim. Below us for a long time [pg 573] the great valleys remained filled with gloom, while out of and around there rose hundreds of peaks, tipped with pink and gold. But very few of the towering giants now reached to our level, and in a little while we should be above them all.

Once on top of the Mur we had level going again for a space, and hurrying to the base of the crowning dome, which swells upward another thousand feet, we began its ascent without stopping. About half way up the dome the highest visible rocks of Mont Blanc on this side break through the Mur. They are called the Petits Mulets. We had nearly reached them when, looking back, I saw the heads of the other party appearing on the brink of the Mur. They looked up at us hanging right above them on the white slope, while Couttet carried my handkerchief, streaming triumphantly in the morning wind, from the end of his baton. Waving their hands, they sat down and gave up the race. While they lunched we pushed upward more slowly, and at six o'clock entered the door of Monsieur Janssen's observatory, fifteen thousand seven hundred and seventy-seven feet above the sea.

My first look was directed to the Matterhorn, which, thirty-five miles away, pierced the morning sky with its black spike. Glittering near it were the snow turrets of Monte Rosa, the Dent Blanche, and all the marvellous circle of peaks that stand around Zermatt. There was not a cloud to break the view. On one side lay Italy; on the other France. It would be impossible to imagine the wild scene immediately below us. The tremendous slopes of snow falling away on all sides, now in steep inclines and now in broken precipices, ever down and down, were not after all so imposing as the jagged pinnacles of bare rock that sprang out of them.

There was something peculiarly savage, almost menacing, in the aspect of these lower mountains, pressing in serried ranks around their white-capped chief. They seemed to shut us far away from the human world below, and one felt that he had placed himself entirely in the hands of nature. This was her realm, where she acknowledged no laws but her own, and was incapable of sympathy, pity, or remorse.


By Mary Stewart Cutting,

Author of "The Coupons of Fortune," "Henry," and other stories.

When Mr. William Belden walked out of his house one wet October evening and closed the hall door carefully behind him, he had no idea that he was closing the door on all the habits of his maturer life and entering the borders of a land as far removed from his hopes or his imagination as the country of the Gadarenes.

He had not wanted to go out that evening at all, not knowing what the fates had in store for him, and being only too conscious of the comfort of the sitting-room lounge, upon which, after the manner of the suburban resident who travelleth daily by railways, he had cast himself immediately after the evening meal was over. The lounge was in proximity—yet not too close proximity—to the lamp on the table; so that one might have the pretext of reading to cover closed eyelids and a general oblivion of passing events. On a night when a pouring rain splashed outside on the pavements and the tin roofs of the piazzas, the conditions of rest in the cosey little room were peculiarly attractive to a man who had come home draggled and wet, and with the toil and wear of a long business day upon him. It was therefore with a sinking of the heart that he heard his wife's gentle tones requesting him to wend his way to the grocery to purchase a pound of butter.

"I hate to ask you to go, William dear, but there really is not a scrap in the house for breakfast, and the butter-man does not come until to-morrow afternoon," she said deprecatingly. "It really will only take you a few minutes."

Mr. Belden smothered a groan, or perhaps something worse. The butter question was a sore one, Mrs. Belden taking only a stated quantity of that article a week, and always unexpectedly coming short of it before the day of replenishment, although no argument ever served to induce her to increase the original amount for consumption.

"Cannot Bridget go?" he asked weakly, [pg 574] gazing at the small, plump figure of his wife, as she stood with meek yet inexorable eyes looking down at him.

"Bridget is washing the dishes, and the stores will be closed before she can get out."

"Can't one of the boys—" He stopped. There was in this household a god who ruled everything in it, to whom all pleasures were offered up, all individual desires sacrificed, and whose Best Good was the greedy and unappreciative Juggernaut before whom Mr. Belden and his wife prostrated themselves daily. This idol was called The Children. Mr. Belden felt that he had gone too far.

"William!" said his wife severely, "I am surprised at you. John and Henry have their lessons to get, and Willy has a cold; I could not think of exposing him to the night air; and it is so damp, too!"

Mr. Belden slowly and stiffly rose from his reclining position on the sofa. There was a finality in his wife's tone before which he succumbed.

The night air was damp. As he walked along the street the water slopped around his feet, and ran in rills down his rubber coat. He did not feel as contented as usual. When he was a youngster, he reflected with exaggerated bitterness, boys were boys, and not treated like precious pieces of porcelain. He did not remember, as a boy, ever having any special consideration shown him; yet he had been both happy and healthy, healthier perhaps than his over-tended brood at home. In his day it had been popularly supposed that nothing could hurt a boy. He heaved a sigh over the altered times, and then coughed a little, for he had a cold as well as Willy.

The streets were favorable to silent meditation, for there was no one out in them. The boughs of the trees swished backward and forward in the storm, and the puddles at the crossings reflected the dismal yellow glare of the street lamps. Every one was housed to-night in the pretty detached cottages he passed, and he thought with growing wrath of the trivial errand on which he had been sent. "In happy homes he saw the light," but none of the high purpose of the youth of "Excelsior" fame stirred his heart—rather a dull sense of failure from all high things. What did his life amount to anyway, that he should count one thing more trivial than another? He loved his wife and children dearly, but he remembered a time when his ambition had not thought of being satisfied with the daily grind for a living and a dreamless sleep at night.

"'Our life is but a sleep and a forgetting,'" he thought grimly, "in quite a different way from what Wordsworth meant." He had been one of the foremost in his class at college, an orator, an athlete, a favorite in society and with men. Great things had been predicted for him. Then he had fallen in love with Nettie; a professional career seemed to place marriage at too great a distance, and he had joyfully, yet with some struggles in his protesting intellect, accepted a position that was offered to him—one of those positions which never change, in which men die still unpromoted, save when a miracle intervenes. It was not so good a position for a family of six as it had been for a family of two, but he did not complain. He and Nettie went shabby, but the children were clothed in the best, as was their due.

He was too wearied at night to read anything but the newspapers, and the gentle domestic monotony was not inspiring. He and Nettie never went out in the evenings; the children could not be left alone. He met his friends on the train in that diurnal journey to and from the great city, and she occasionally attended a church tea; but their immediate and engrossing world seemed to be made up entirely of persons under thirteen years of age. They had dwelt in the place almost ever since their marriage, respected and liked, but with no real social life. If Mr. Belden thought of the years to come, he may be pardoned an unwonted sinking of the heart.

It was while indulging in these reflections that he mechanically purchased the pound of butter, which he could not help comparing with Shylock's pound of flesh, so much of life had it taken out of him, and then found himself stepping up on the platform of the station, led by his engrossing thoughts to pass the street corner and tread the path most familiar to him. He turned with an exclamation to retrace his way, when a man pacing leisurely up and down, umbrella in hand, caught sight of him.

"Is that you, Belden?" said the stranger. "What are you doing down here to-night?"

"I came out on an errand for my wife," said Belden sedately. He recognized the man as a young lawyer, much identified with politics; a mere acquaintance, yet it was a night to make any speaking animal seem a friend, and Mr. Belden took a couple of steps along beside him.

"Waiting for a train?" he said.

"Oh, thunder, yes!" said Mr. Groper, [pg 575] throwing away the stump of a cigar. "I have been waiting for the last half hour for the train; it's late, as usual. There's a whole deputation from Barnet on board, due at the Reform meeting in town to-night, and I'm part of the committee to meet them here."

"Where is the other part of the committee?" asked Mr. Belden.

"Oh, Jim Crane went up to the hall to see about something, and Connors hasn't showed up at all; I suppose the rain kept him back. What kind of a meeting we're going to have I don't know. Say, Belden, I'm not up to this sort of thing. I wish you'd stay and help me out—there's no end of swells coming down, more your style than mine."

"Why, man alive, I can't do anything for you," said Mr. Belden. "These carriages I see are waiting for the delegation, and here comes the train now; you'll get along all right."

He waited as the train slowed into the station, smiling anew at little Groper's perturbation. He was quite curious to see the arrivals. Barnet had been the home of his youth, and there might be some one whom he knew. He had half intended, earlier in the day, to go himself to the Reform meeting, but a growing spirit of inaction had made him give up the idea. Yes, there was quite a carload of people getting out—ladies, too.

"Why, Will Belden!" called out a voice from the party. A tall fellow in a long ulster sprang forward to grasp his hand. "You don't say it's yourself come down to meet us. Here we all are, Johnson, Clemmerding, Albright, Cranston—-all the old set. Rainsford, you've heard of my cousin, Will Belden. My wife and Miss Wakeman are behind here; but we'll do all the talking afterward, if you'll only get us off for the hall now."

"Well, I am glad to see you, Henry," said Mr. Belden heartily. He thrust the pound of butter hastily into a large pocket of his mackintosh, and found himself shaking hands with a score of men. He had only time to assist his cousin's wife and the beautiful Miss Wakeman into a carriage, and in another moment they were all rolling away toward the town hall, with little Mr. Groper running frantically after them, ignored by the visitors, and peacefully forgotten by his friend.

The public hall of the little town—which called itself a city—was all ablaze with light as the party entered it, and well filled, notwithstanding the weather. There were flowers on the platform where the seats for the distinguished guests were placed, and a general air of radiance and joyful import prevailed. It was a gathering of men from all political parties, concerned in the welfare of the State. Great measures were at stake, and the election of governor of immediate importance. The name of Judge Belden of Barnet was prominently mentioned. He had not been able to attend on this particular occasion, but his son had come with a delegation from the county town, twenty miles away, to represent his interests. On Mr. William Belden devolved the task of introducing the visitors; a most congenial one, he suddenly found it to be.

His friends rallied around him as people are apt to do with one of their own kind when found in a foreign country. They called him Will, as they used to, and slapped him on the shoulder in affectionate abandon. Those among the group who had not known him before were anxious to claim acquaintance on the strength of his fame, which, it seemed, still survived him in his native town. It must not be supposed that he had not seen either his cousin or his friends during his sojourn away from them; on the contrary, he had met them once or so in two or three years, in the street, or on the ferry-boat—though they travelled by different roads—but he had then been but a passing interest in the midst of pressing business. To-night he was the only one of their kind in a strange place—-his cousin loved him, they all loved him. The expedition had the sentiment of a frolic under the severer political aspect.

In the welcome to the visitors by the home committee Mr. Belden also received his part, in their surprised recognition of him, almost amounting to a discovery.

"We had no idea that you were a nephew of Judge Belden," one of them said to him, speaking for his colleagues, who stood near.

Mr. William Belden bowed, and smiled; as a gentleman, and a rather reticent one, it had never occurred to him to parade his family connections. His smile might mean anything. It made the good committeeman, who was rich and full of power, feel a little uncomfortable, as he tried to cover his embarrassment with effusive cordiality. In the background stood Mr. Groper, wet, and breathing hard, but plainly full of admiration for his tall friend, and the position he held as the centre of the group. The visitors referred all arrangements to him.

At last they filed on to the platform—the two cousins together.

"You must find a place for the girls," [pg 576] said Henry Belden, with the peculiar boyish giggle that his cousin remembered so well. "By George, they would come; couldn't keep 'em at home, after they once got Jim Shore to say it was all right. Of course, Marie Wakeman started it; she said she was bound to go to a political meeting and sit on the platform; arguing wasn't a bit of use. When she got Clara on her side I knew that I was doomed. Now, you couldn't get them to do a thing of this kind at home; but take a woman out of her natural sphere, and she ignores conventionalities, just like a girl in a bathing-suit. There they are, seated over in that corner. I'm glad that they are hidden from the audience by the pillar. Of course, there's that fool of a Jim, too, with Marie."

"You don't mean to say she's at it yet?" said his cousin William.

"'At it yet'! She's never stopped for a moment since you kissed her that night on the hotel piazza after the hop, under old Mrs. Trelawney's window—do you remember that, Will?"

Mr. William Belden did indeed remember it; it was a salute that had echoed around their little world, leading, strangely enough, to the capitulation of another heart—it had won him his wife. But the little intimate conversation was broken off as the cousins took the places allotted to them, and the business of the meeting began.

If he were not the chairman, he was appealed to so often as to almost serve in that capacity. He became interested in the proceedings, and in the speeches that were made; none of them, however, quite covered the ground as he understood it. His mind unconsciously formulated propositions as the flow of eloquence went on. It therefore seemed only right and fitting toward the end of the evening, when it became evident that his Honor the Mayor was not going to appear, that our distinguished fellow-citizen, Mr. William Belden, nephew of Judge Belden of Barnet, should be asked to represent the interests of the county in a speech, and that he should accept the invitation.

He stood for a moment silent before the assembly, and then all the old fire that had lain dormant for so long blazed forth in the speech that electrified the audience, was printed in all the papers afterward, and fitted into a political pamphlet.

He began with a comprehensive statement of facts, he drew large and logical deductions from them, and then lit up the whole subject with those brilliant flashes of wit and sarcasm for which he had been famous in bygone days. More than that, a power unknown before had come to him; he felt the real knowledge and grasp of affairs which youth had denied him, and it was with an exultant thrill that his voice rang through the crowded hall, and stirred the hearts of men. For the moment they felt as he felt, and thought as he thought, and a storm of applause arose as he ended—applause that grew and grew until a few more pithy words were necessary from the orator before silence could be restored.

He made his way to the back of the hall for some water, and then, half exhausted, yet tingling still from the excitement, dropped into an empty chair by the side of Miss Wakeman.

"Well done, Billy," she said, giving him a little approving tap with her fan. "You were just fine." She gave him an upward glance from her large dark eyes. "Do you know you haven't spoken to me to-night, nor shaken hands with me?"

"Let us shake hands now," he said, smiling, flushed with success, as he looked into the eyes of this very pretty woman.

"I shall take off my glove first—such old friends as we are! It must be a real ceremony."

She laid a soft, white, dimpled hand, covered with glistening rings, in his outstretched palm, and gazed at him with coquettish plaintiveness. "It's so lovely to see you again! Have you forgotten the night you kissed me?"

"I have thought of it daily," he replied, giving her hand a hearty squeeze. They both laughed, and he took a surreptitious peep at her from under his eyelids. Marie Wakeman! Yes, truly, the same, and with the same old tricks. He had been married for nearly fourteen years, his children were half grown, he had long since given up youthful friskiness, but she was "at it" still. Why, she had been older than he when they were boy and girl; she must be for—He gazed at her soft, rounded, olive cheek, and quenched the thought.

"And you are very happy?" she pursued, with tender solicitude. "Nettie makes you a perfect wife, I suppose."

"Perfect," he assented gravely.

"And you haven't missed me at all?"

"Can you ask?" It was the way in which all men spoke to Marie Wakeman, married or single, rich or poor, one with another. He laughed inwardly at his lapse into the expected tone. "I feel that I really breathe for the first time in years, now that I'm with you again. But how is it that you are not married?"

[pg 577]

"What, after I had known you?" She gave him a reproachful glance. "And you were so cruel to me—as soon as you had made your little Nettie jealous you cared for me no longer. Look what I've declined to!" She indicated Jim Shore, leaning disconsolately against the cornice, chewing his moustache. "Now don't give him your place unless you really want to; well, if you're tired of me already—thank you ever so much, and I am proud of you to-night, Billy!"

Her lustrous eyes dwelt on him lingeringly as he left her; he smiled back into them. The lines around her mouth were a little hard; she reminded him indefinably of "She;" but she was a handsome woman, and he had enjoyed the encounter. The sight of her brought back so vividly the springtime of life; his hopes, the pangs of love, the joy that was his when Nettie was won; he felt an overpowering throb of tenderness for the wife at home who had been his early dream.

The last speeches were over, but Mr. William Belden's triumph had not ended. As the acknowledged orator of the evening he had an ovation afterward; introductions and unlimited hand-shakings were in order.

He was asked to speak at a select political dinner the next week; to speak for the hospital fund; to speak for the higher education of woman. Led by a passing remark of Henry Belden's to infer that his cousin was a whist player of parts, a prominent social magnate at once invited him to join the party at his house on one of their whist evenings.

"My wife, er—will have great pleasure in calling on Mrs. Belden," said the magnate. "We did not know that we had a good whist player among us. This evening has indeed been a revelation in many ways—in many ways. You would have no objection to taking a prominent part in politics, if you were called upon? A reform mayor is sadly needed in our city—sadly needed. Your connection with Judge Belden would give great weight to any proposition of that kind. But, of course, all this is in the future."

Mr. Belden heard his name whispered in another direction, in connection with the cashiership of the new bank which was to be built. The cashiership and the mayoralty might be nebulous honors, but it was sweet, for once, to be recognized for what he was—man of might; a man of talent, and of honor.

There was a hurried rush for the train at the last on the part of the visitors. Mr. William Belden snatched his mackintosh from the peg whereon it had hung throughout the evening, and went with the crowd, talking and laughing in buoyant exuberance of spirits. The night had cleared, the moon was rising, and poured a flood of light upon the wet streets. It was a different world from the one he had traversed earlier in the evening. He walked home with Miss Wakeman's exaggeratedly tender "Good-by, dear Billy!" ringing in his ears, to provoke irrepressible smiles. The pulse of a free life, where men lived instead of vegetating, was in his veins. His footstep gave forth a ringing sound from the pavement; he felt himself stalwart, alert, his brain rejoicing in its sense of power. It was even with no sense of guilt that he heard the church clocks striking twelve as he reached the house where his wife had been awaiting his return for four hours.

She was sitting up for him, as he knew by the light in the parlor window. He could see her through the half-closed blinds as she sat by the table, a magazine in her lap, her attitude, unknown to herself, betraying a listless depression. After all, is a woman glad to have all her aspirations and desires confined within four walls? She may love her cramped quarters, to be sure, but can she always forget that they are cramped? To what does a wife descend after the bright dreams of her girlhood! Does she really like above all things to be absorbed in the daily consumption of butter, and the children's clothes, or is she absorbed in these things because the man who was to have widened the horizon of her life only limits it by his own decadence?

She rose to meet her husband as she heard his key in the lock. She had exchanged her evening gown for a loose, trailing white wrapper, and her fair hair was arranged for the night in a long braid. Her husband had a smile on his face.

"You look like a girl again," he said brightly, as he stooped and kissed her. "No, don't turn out the light, come in and sit down a while longer, I've ever so much to tell you. You can't guess where I've been this evening."

"At the political meeting," she said promptly.

"How on earth did you know?"

"The doctor came here to see Willy, and he told me he saw you on the way. I'm glad you did go, William; I was worrying because I had sent you out; I did not realize until later what a night it was."

"Well, I am very glad that you did [pg 578] send me," said her husband. He lay back in his chair, flushed and smiling at the recollection. "You ought to have been there, too; you would have liked it. What will you say if I tell you that I made a speech—yes, it is quite true—and was applauded to the echo. This town has just waked up to the fact that I live in it. And Henry said—but there, I'll have to tell you the whole thing, or you can't appreciate it."

His wife leaned on the arm of his chair, watching his animated face fondly, as he recounted the adventures of the night. He pictured the scene vividly, and with a strong sense of humor.

"And you don't say that Marie Wakeman is the same as ever?" she interrupted, with a flash of special interest. "Oh, William!"

"She called me Billy." He laughed anew at the thought. "Upon my word, Nettie, she beats anything I ever saw or heard of."

"Did she remind you of the time you kissed her?"

"Yes!" Their eyes met in amused recognition of the past.

"Is she as handsome as ever?"

"Um—yes—I think so. She isn't as pretty as you are."

"Oh, Will!" She blushed and dimpled.

"I declare, it is true!" He gazed at her with genuine admiration. "What has come over you to-night, Nettie?—you look like a girl again."

"And you were not sorry when you saw her, that—that—"

"Sorry! I have been thinking all the way home how glad I was to have won my sweet wife. But we mustn't stay shut up at home as much as we have; it's not good for either of us. We are to be asked to join the whist club—what do you think of that? You used to be a little card fiend once upon a time, I remember."

She sighed. "It is so long since I have been anywhere! I'm afraid I haven't any clothes, Will. I suppose I might—"

"What, dear?"

"Take the money I had put aside for Mary's next quarter's music lessons; I do really believe a little rest would do her good."

"It would—it would," said Mr. Belden with suspicious eagerness. Mary's after-dinner practising hour had tinged much of his existence with gall. "I insist that Mary shall have a rest. And you shall join the reading society now. Let us consider ourselves a little as well as the children; it's really best for them, too. Haven't we immortal souls as well as they? Can we expect them to seek the honey dew of paradise while they see us contented to feed on the grass of the field?"

"You call yourself an orator!" she scoffed.

He drew her to him by one end of the long braid, and solemnly kissed her. Then he went into the hall and took something from the pocket of his mackintosh which he placed in his wife's hand—a little wooden dish covered with a paper, through which shone a bright yellow substance—the pound of butter, a lump of gleaming fairy gold, the quest of which had changed a poor, commonplace existence into one scintillating with magic possibilities.

Fairy gold, indeed, cannot be coined into marketable eagles. Mr. William Belden might never achieve either the mayoralty or the cashiership, but he had gained that of which money is only a trivial accessory. The recognition of men, the flashing of high thought to high thought, the claim of brotherhood in the work of the world, and the generous social intercourse that warms the earth—all these were to be his. Not even his young ambition had promised a wider field, not the gold of the Indies could buy him more of honor and respect.

At home also the spell worked. He had but to speak the word, to name the thing, and Nettie embodied his thought. He called her young, and happy youth smiled from her clear eyes; beautiful, and a blushing loveliness enveloped her; clever, and her ready mind leaped to match with his in thought and study; dear, and love touched her with its transforming fire and breathed of long-forgotten things.

If men only knew what they could make of the women who love them—but they do not, as the plodding, faded matrons who sit and sew by their household fires testify to us daily.

Happy indeed is he who can create a paradise by naming it!

[pg 579]

The Ruhmkorff coil in the background; the Crookes tube in front of it; under the hand is the photographic plate in its plate-holder.


By W.W. Keen, M.D., LL.D.

The nineteenth century resembles the sixteenth in many ways. In or about the sixteenth we have the extensive use of the mariner's compass and of gunpowder, the discovery of printing, the discovery and exploration of America, and the acquisition of territory in the New World by various European states. In the nineteenth century we have the exploration of Africa and the acquisition of territory in its interior, in which the various nations of Europe vie with each other again as three centuries before; the discovery of steam, and its ever-growing application to the transportation of goods and passengers on sea and land; of the spectroscope, and through it of many new elements, including helium in the sun, and, later, on the earth; of argon in the earth's atmosphere; of anæsthetics and of the antiseptic methods in surgery, and, lastly, the enormous recent strides in electrical science.

Not only has electricity been applied to transportation and the development of light and power; but the latest discovery by Professor Röntgen of the X rays seems destined, possibly, not only to revolutionize our ideas of radiation in all its forms on the scientific side, but also on the practical side to be of use in the domain of medicine. It is, therefore, with great pleasure that I accede to the request of the editor of this Magazine to state briefly what has been achieved in the department of medicine up to the present time.

The method of investigating the body by means of the X rays is very simple, as is shown in Figure 1. The Crookes tube, actuated from a storage battery or other source of electricity through a Ruhmkorff coil, is placed on one side of the body. If need be, instead of using the entire tube, the rays from the most effective portion of it only are allowed to impinge upon the [pg 580] part of the body to be investigated, through an opening in a disk of lead interposed between the Crookes tube and the body. On the other side of the part to be investigated is placed a quick photographic plate shut up in its plate-holder, and is exposed to the rays emanating from the tube for a greater or less length of time. The parts of the plate not protected by the body are acted upon by the rays, through the lid of the plate-holder (to which the rays are pervious), while the tissues of the body act, feebly or strongly, as the case may be, as obstacles to the rays. Hence, the part of the plate thus protected is less acted upon than the rest, and a shadow is produced upon the plate. The soft tissues of the body form but a very slight obstacle to the passage of the rays, and, hence, throw very faint shadows on the plate. The more dense portions, presenting a greater obstacle to the passage of the rays, throw deeper shadows; hence the bones are seen as dark shadows, the soft parts as lighter ones. That the flesh or soft parts are not wholly permeable to the rays is well shown in the skiagraph—i.e., a "shadow picture"—of a foot. (Figure 2.) Where two toes overlap, it will be observed that there is a deeper shadow, like the section of a biconvex lens.


(From the "British Medical Journal.")

When we attempt to skiagraph the thicker portions of the body, for example, the shoulder, the thigh, or the trunk, even the parts consisting only of flesh obstruct the rays to such an extent, by reason of their thickness, that the shadows of the still more dense tissues, like the thigh bone, the arm bone, or the bones of the trunk, cannot be distinguished from the shadows of the thicker soft parts. Tesla ("Electrical Review," March 11, 1896) has to some extent overcome these difficulties by his improved apparatus, and has skiagraphed, though rather obscurely, the shoulder and trunk, and Rowland has been able to do the same. Doubtless when we are able to devise apparatus of greater penetration, and to control the effect of the rays, we shall be able to skiagraph clearly even through the entire thickness of the body.

It might be supposed that clothing or surgical dressings would prove an obstacle to this new photography, but all our preconceived notions derived from the ordinary photograph must be thrown aside. The bones of the forearm or the hand can be as readily skiagraphed through a voluminous surgical dressing or through the ordinary clothing, as when the parts are entirely divested of any covering. Even bed-ridden patients can be skiagraphed through the bed-clothes, and, therefore, without danger from exposure.

[pg 581]

(From the "American Journal of the Medical Sciences," March, 1896.)

One of the principal difficulties of the method at present is the time ordinarily required to obtain a good picture. Usually this time may be stated at in the neighborhood of an hour, though many good skiagraphs have been taken in a half hour or twenty minutes. It is stated that Messrs. McLeennan, Wright, and Keele of Toronto have reduced the necessary time to one second, and that Mr. Edison has taken even instantaneous pictures; but I am not aware of the publication of any pictures showing how perfect these results are. Undoubtedly, as a result of the labors of so many scores of physicists and physicians as are now working at the problem, before long we shall be able to skiagraph at least the thinner parts of the body in a very brief interval. The brevity of the exposure will also better the pictures in another way. At present, if the attempt is made to skiagraph the shoulder or parts of the trunk, we have to deal with organs which cannot be kept motionless, since the movements incident to breathing produce a constant to and fro movement of the shoulder, the lungs, the heart, the stomach, the liver, and other organs which, hereafter, may be made accessible to this process. There is no serious discomfort excepting the somewhat irksome necessity of remaining absolutely still.


(From the "American Journal of the Medical Sciences," March, 1896.)

Another method of seeing the denser tissues of the body is by direct observation. A means of seeing through the thinner parts of the body, such as the fingers or the toes, has been devised simultaneously by Salvioni of Italy, and Professor Magie of Princeton. Their instruments are practically identical, consisting of a hollow cylinder a few inches long, one end of which is applied to the eye, the other end, instead of having a lens, being covered by a piece of paper smeared with a phosphorescent salt, the double cyanide of platinum and barium. When the hand is held before a Crookes tube, and is looked at through the cylinder, we can see the bones of the hand or foot almost as clearly as is shown in Figure 2. It has not yet, I believe, been applied to thicker parts of the body. Figures 3 and 4 show a baby's foot and knee as seen through this tube. The partial development of the bones accounts for the peculiar appearance. There is no bony knee-pan, or patella, at birth, and the bones of the toes consist only of cartilage, which is translucent, and therefore not seen. The name given by Professor Salvioni to this sort of "spy-glass"—if one may apply this term to an instrument which has no glass—is that of "cryptoscope" (seeing that which is hidden). The name suggested by Professor Magie is "skiascope" (seeing a shadow.)

This leads me to say a word in reference to the nomenclature. The very unfortunate name "shadowgraph" has been suggested and largely used in the newspapers, and even in medical journals. It has only the merit of clearness as to its meaning to English-speaking persons. It is, however, an abominable linguistic crime, being an unnatural compound of English and Greek. "Radiograph" and its derivatives are equally objectionable as compounds of Latin and Greek. The Greek word for shadow is "skia," and the proper rendering, therefore, of shadowgraph is "skiagraph," corresponding to photograph.

The first question that meets us in the use of the method in medicine is what normal constituents of the body are permeable or impermeable to the X rays. It may be stated, in a general way, that all of the fleshy parts of the body are partially permeable to the rays in a relatively short time; and if the exposure is long enough, they become entirely permeable, so that no [pg 582] shadow is cast. Even the bones, on prolonged exposure, do not present a sufficient obstacle to the passage of the rays, and the shadow originally cast becomes obliterated. Hence, skiagraphs of the same object exposed to the rays for varying times may be of value in showing the different tissues. The most permeable of the normal tissues are cartilage or gristle, and fat. A kidney (out of the body) is stated by Dr. Reid of Dundee to show the difference between the rind, or secreting portion, which is more transparent, and the central portion, consisting chiefly of conducting tubes, which is less transparent. On the contrary, in the brain the gray cortex, or rind, is less transparent than the white nerve tubules in the centre.

The denser fibrous tissues, such as the ligaments of joints and the tendons or sinews of muscles, cast very perceptible shadows, so that when we come to a thick tendon like the tendo Achillis, the shadow approaches even the density of the shadow cast by bone. I presume that it is for the same reason (the dense fibrous envelope, or sclerotic coat) that the eye-ball is not translucent to the rays, as is seen in Figure 5, of a bullock's eye.


(From the "American Journal of the Medical Sciences," March 1896.)

Mr. Arthur H. Lea has ingeniously suggested that the translucency of the soft parts of the living and of those of the dead body might show a difference, and that, if such were the case, it might be used as a definite test of death. Unfortunately Figure 6, of a dead hand, when contrasted with Figure 11, of a living hand, shows virtually no difference, and the method cannot be used as a positive proof of death.

That we are not able at present to skiagraph the soft parts of the body, does not imply that we shall not be able to do it hereafter; and should this be possible, especially with our increasing ability to penetrate thick masses of tissue, it is evident, without entering into details, that the use of the X rays may be of immense importance in obstetrics.

The bones, however, as is seen in nearly all of the skiagraphs illustrating this paper, cast well-defined shadows. This is at once an advantage and a hindrance. To illustrate the latter first, even one thickness of bone is difficult to penetrate, so that the attempt to skiagraph the opening which had been made in a skull of a living person by a trephine entirely failed, since the bone upon the opposite side of the skull formed so dense an obstacle that not the slightest indication of the trephine opening appeared. To take, therefore, a skiagraph of a brain through two thicknesses of skull, with our present methods, is an impossibility. Even should the difficulty be overcome, it is very doubtful whether there would be any possibility of discovering diseases of the brain, since diseased tissues, such as cancer, sarcoma, etc., are probably as permeable to the X rays as the normal tissues. Thus Reid ("British Medical Journal," February 15, 1896) states that a cancerous liver showed no difference in permeability to the rays through its cancerous and its normal portions.

Foreign bodies, such as bullets, etc., in the brain may be discovered when our processes have become perfected. Figure 7 shows two buck-shot skiagraphed inside of a baby's skull, and therefore through two thicknesses of bone. It must be remembered, however, that not only are the bones of a baby's skull much less thick than those of an adult's skull, but they are much less densely ossified, and so throw far less of a shadow.

The dense shadows cast by bone are, at least at present, an insuperable obstacle to skiagraphing the soft translucent organs of the body which are enclosed within a more or less complete bony case, as the rays will be intercepted by the bones. Efforts, therefore, to skiagraph the heart, the lungs, the liver, and stomach, and all the pelvic organs, probably will be fruitless to a greater or less extent until our methods are improved. While a stone in a bladder outside the body would undoubtedly [pg 583] be perceptible, in the body the bones of the pelvis prevent any successful picture being taken.


("American Journal of the Medical Sciences," March, 1896.)

To turn from the hindrances to the advantages of the application of the method to the bones, one of the most important uses will be in diseases and injuries of bones. In many cases it is very difficult to determine, even under ether, by the most careful manipulations, whether there is a fracture or a dislocation, or both combined. When any time has elapsed after the accident, the great swelling which often quickly follows such injuries still further obscures the diagnosis by manipulation. The X rays, however, are oblivious, or nearly so, of all swelling, and the bones can be skiagraphed in the thinner parts of the body at present, say up to the elbow and the ankle, with very great accuracy. Thus, Figure 8 shows the deformity from an old fracture of the ulna (one of the bones of the forearm) very clearly.

By this means we shall be able to distinguish between fracture and dislocation in obscure cases. Thus Mr. Gray ("British Medical Journal," March 7, 1896), in a case of injury to an elbow, was enabled to diagnosticate and successfully to replace a very rare dislocation, which could not be made out by manipulation, but was clearly shown by the X rays. We may also possibly be able to determine when the bones are properly adjusted after a fracture; and all the better, since the skiagraph can be taken through the dressings, even if wooden splints have been employed. If plaster of Paris is used (and it is often the best "splint") this is impermeable to the rays.

That this method will come into general use, however, is very unlikely, since the expense, the time, and the trouble will be so great that it will be impracticable to use it in every case, especially in hospitals or dispensaries, where crowds of patients have to be attended to in a relatively brief time. In the surgical dispensary alone of the Jefferson Medical College Hospital, about one hundred patients are in attendance between twelve and two o'clock every day, and all the time of a large number of assistants is occupied with dressing the cases. It would be manifestly an utter impossibility to skiagraph the many fractures which are seen there daily, considering that it would take from half an hour to an hour of the time of not less than two or three assistants skilled not only in surgery, but also in electricity, to skiagraph a single fracture. Now and then, in obscure [pg 584] cases, however, the method will be undoubtedly of great service, as in the case above described.


("American Journal of the Medical Sciences," March, 1896.)

Too hasty conclusions, especially in medico-legal cases, may easily be reached. We do not yet know, by skiagraphs of successful results after fracture, just how such bones look during the process of healing, and, therefore, we cannot yet be sure that the skiagraph of an unsuccessful case is an evidence of unskilfulness on the part of the surgeon.

In diseases of bone, which are obscure, it has already proved of great advantage, as in a case related by Mr. Abrahams ("British Medical Journal," February 22, 1896). A lad of nineteen, who had injured his little finger in catching a cricket ball, had the last joint of the finger bent at a slight angle, and he could neither flex nor extend it. Any attempt to do so caused great pain. The diagnosis was made of a fracture extending into the joint, and that the joint having become ossified, nothing short of amputation would give relief. Mr. Sydney Rowland skiagraphed the hand, and showed that there was only a bridge of bone uniting the last two joints of the finger. An anaesthetic was administered, and with very little force the bridge of bone was snapped, the finger saved, and the normal use of the hand restored.

Deformities of bone can be admirably shown. Thus Figure 9 ("British Medical Journal," February 15, 1896) shows the deformity of the last two toes of the foot, due to the wearing of tight shoes. (Owing to the accidental breaking of the plate, only a part of the foot is shown.) The lady whose foot was thus skiagraphed stated that she had suffered tortures from her boots, so that walking became a penance, and she even wanted the toes amputated. Relief was obtained by wearing broad-toed boots, which gave room for the deformed toes. Another admirable illustration of a similar use of the method is seen in Figure 2, from a case of Professor Mosetig in Vienna. The last joint of the great toe was double the ordinary size, and by touch it was recognized that there were two bones instead of one. The difficulty was to determine which was the normal bone, and which the extra bone that ought to be removed. The moment the skiagraph was taken, it was very clear [pg 585] which bone should be removed. Bony tumors elsewhere can also be diagnosticated and properly treated. Possibly, also, we may be able to determine the presence of dead bone, though I am not aware of any such skiagraphs having been taken.


(Taken at the State Physical Laboratory, Hamburg, and published in the "British Medical Journal.")

Diseases and injuries of the joints will be amenable to examination by this method. Figure 10 shows an elbow joint with tuberculous disease. The bones of the arm and forearm are clearly seen, and between them, is a light area due to granulation-tissue, or to fluid, probably of tuberculous nature, which is translucent to the rays. The picture confirms the prior diagnosis of tuberculous disease, and shows that the joint will have to be opened and treated for the disease. Deposits of uric acid in gouty diseases of the joints will undoubtedly be shown by these methods, but this will scarcely be of any help in the treatment. Whether light will be thrown on other diseases of the joints is a problem not yet solved.

Analogous to the bony tissues are the so-called ossified (really, calcified) arteries. In the dead body, arteries filled with substances opaque to the X rays, such as plaster of Paris or cinnabar mixtures, have already been skiagraphed successfully. It is not at all improbable that calcified arteries in the living subject may be equally well shown. So, too, when we are able to skiagraph through thick tissues, we may be able to show such deposits in the internal organs of the body. Stones in various organs, such as the kidney, will be accessible to examination so soon as our methods have improved sufficiently for us to skiagraph through the thicker parts of the trunk. The presence of such stones in the kidney is very often inferential, and it will be a great boon, both to the surgeon and the patient, if we shall be able to demonstrate positively their presence by skiagraphy. For the reason already given (the pelvic bones which surround the bladder), it is doubtful whether we can make use of it in stone in the bladder. Gall stones, being made not of lime and other similar salts, as are stones in the kidney and bladder, but of cholesterine, are, unfortunately, permeable to these rays; and it is, therefore, doubtful whether the X rays will be of any service to us in determining their presence.

The chief use of the method up to the present time, besides determining the diseases, injuries, and abnormities of bone, has been in determining with absolute accuracy the presence of foreign bodies, especially of needles, bullets, or shot and glass. It is often extremely difficult to decide whether a needle is actually present [pg 586] or not. There may be a little prick of the skin, and no further positive evidence, as the needle is often imperceptible to touch. The patient, when cross-questioned, is frequently doubtful whether the needle has not dropped on the floor; and it might be, in some cases, a serious question whether an exploratory operation to find a possible needle might not do more harm than the needle. Moreover, though certainly present, to locate it exactly is often very difficult; and even after an incision has been made, though it may be embedded in a hand or foot, it is no easy task to find it.


(Skiagraphed by Mr. Sydney Rowland, and published in the "British Medical Journal.")

The new method is a great step in advance in the line of precision of diagnosis, and, therefore, of correct treatment. About half a dozen cases have already been reported in the medical journals in which a needle was suspected to be in the hand or the foot, and, in some instances, had been sought for fruitlessly by a surgeon, in which the use of the X rays demonstrated absolutely, not only its presence, but its exact location, and it has then been an easy matter to extract it. So, too, in an equal number of cases, bullets and shot have been located, even after a prior fruitless search, and have been successfully extracted. Figure 6 is the skiagraph of the hand of a cadaver which shows a needle deeply embedded in the thumb, and also two buck-shot, which were inserted into the palm of the hand through two incisions. It will be noticed that their denser shadow is seen even through the bones of the hand themselves, for the hand was skiagraphed palm downward.

Professor von Bergmann of Berlin has uttered, however, a timely warning upon this very point. In many cases, after bullets or shot have been embedded in the tissues for any length of time, they become quite harmless. They are surrounded with a firm capsule of gristly substance which renders them inert. In 1863, soon after I graduated in medicine, I remember very well assisting the late Professor S.D. Gross in extracting a ball from the leg of a soldier who had been wounded at the Borodino, during Napoleon's campaign in Russia. It lay in the leg entirely harmless for almost fifty years, and then became a source of irritation, and was easily found and removed. There are many veterans of the Civil War now living with bullets embedded in their bodies which are doing no harm; and there is not a little danger that in the desire to find and remove them greater harm may be done by an operation than by letting them alone.

Glass is, fortunately, quite opaque to the Röntgen rays, and it will be of great service to the patient, if the surgeon shall [pg 587] be able, by skiagraphing the hand, to determine positively whether any fragment of glass still remains in a hand from which it is at least presumed all the fragments have been extracted. Even after the hand has been dressed, it is possible, through the dressing, to skiagraph it, and determine the presence or absence of any such fragments of glass.


("American Journal of the Medical Sciences," March, 1896.)

Possibly before long we shall be able to determine also the presence or absence of solid foreign bodies in the larynx or windpipe. Every now and then, patients, especially children, get into the windpipe jack-stones, small tin toys, nails, pins, needles, etc., foreign bodies which may menace life very seriously. To locate them exactly is very difficult. The X rays may here be a great help. An attempt has been made by Rowland and Waggett. to skiagraph such foreign bodies, with encouraging results. Improvements in our methods will, I think, undoubtedly lead to a favorable use of the method in these instances. Beans, peas, wooden toys, and similar foreign bodies, being easily permeable to the rays, will not probably be discovered.

If our methods improve so that we can skiagraph through the entire body, it will be very possible to determine the presence and location of foreign bodies in the stomach and intestines. A large number of cases are on record in which plates with artificial teeth, knives, forks, coins, and other such bodies have been swallowed; and the surgeon is often doubtful, especially if they are small, whether they have remained in the stomach, or have passed into the intestines, or entirely escaped from the body. In these cases, too, a caution should be uttered as to the occasional inadvisability of operating, even should they be located, for if small they will probably escape without doing any harm. But it may be possible to look at them from day to day and determine whether or not they are passing safely through the intestinal canal, or have been arrested, at any point, and, therefore, whether the surgeon should interfere. The man who had swallowed a fork which remained in his stomach (l'homme a la fourchette, as he was dubbed in Paris) was a noted patient, and would have proved an excellent subject for a skiagraph, had the method then existed.

As sunlight is known to be the foe of bacteria, the hope has been expressed that the new rays might be a means of destroying the microbes of consumption and other diseases in the living body. Delépine, Park, and others have investigated this with a good deal of care. A dozen different varieties of bacteria have been exposed to the Röntgen rays for over an hour, but cultures made from the tubes after this exposure have shown not only that they were not destroyed, but possibly they were more vigorous than before.

The facts above stated seem to warrant [pg 588] the following conclusions as to the present value of the method:

First.—That deformities, injuries, and diseases of bone can be readily and accurately diagnosticated by the Röntgen rays; but that the method at present is limited in its use to the thinner parts of the body, especially to the hands, forearms, and feet.

Second.—That foreign bodies which are opaque to the rays, such as needles, bullets, and glass, can be accurately located and their removal facilitated by this means; but that a zeal born of a new knowledge almost romantic in its character, should not lead us to do harm by attempting the indiscriminate removal of every such foreign body. Non nocere (to do no harm) is the first lesson a surgeon learns.

Third.—That at present the internal organs are not accessible to examination by the X rays for two reasons: First, because many of them are enclosed in more or less complete bony cases, which cut off the access of the rays; and, second, because even where not so enclosed, the thickness of the body, even though it consists only of soft parts, is such that the rays have not sufficient power of penetration to give us any information.

Fourth.—Even if the rays can be made to permeate the thicker parts of the body, it is doubtful whether tumors, such as cancers, sarcoma, fatty tumors, etc., which are as permeable to the rays as the normal soft parts, can be diagnosticated. Bony tumors, however, can be readily diagnosticated; and possibly fibrous tumors, by reason of their density, may cast shadows.

Fifth.—That stones in the kidney, bladder, and gall bladder cannot be diagnosticated, either (1) because they are embedded in such parts of the body as are too thick to be permeable by the rays, or (2) are surrounded by the bones of the pelvis, or (3) are, in the case of gall stones, themselves permeable to the Röntgen rays.

Sixth.—That with the improvements which will soon be made in our methods, and with a better knowledge of the nature of the rays, and greater ability to make them more effective, we shall be able to overcome many of the obstacles just stated, and that the method will then probably prove to be much more widely useful than at present.


From a photograph taken by Mr. Herbert B. Shallenberger, Rochester, Pennsylvania, and reproduced by his permission. This is a particularly interesting picture, because it not only shows the bones with unusual clearness, but also shows that the ulna (the small bone of the forearm) has been broken; a small projection at its lower end, which ought to appear, being absent from the bone as shown in the picture.

Footnote 1: (return)

The term "unpublished" is employed in this series of articles to cover documents that have never been published in any authoritative or permanent way. Most of the documents so designated have never, so far as we know, been published at all; but a few have been printed in local newspapers, though so long ago, and under such circumstances, as to be practically unpublished now.

Footnote 2: (return)

The original of this letter is owned by E.R. Oeltjen of Petersburg, Illinois.

Footnote 3: (return)

The originals of both the letters on this page addressed by Lincoln to Hardin are owned by the daughter of General Hardin, Mrs. Ellen Hardin Walworth of New York City.

Footnote 4: (return)

The swords referred to in this postscript are those used in the Shields-Lincoln duel. See MCCLURE'S MAGAZINE for April, 1896.

Footnote 5: (return)

Interview with Judge William Ewing of Chicago.

Footnote 6: (return)

Lincoln in Indiana in 1844. Unpublished MS. by Anna O'Flynn.

Footnote 7: (return)

This letter is dated October 3, 1845. It is now owned by the son of Williamson Durley, Mr. A.W. Durley of West Superior, Wisconsin. Mr. C.W. Durley of Princeton, Illinois, kindly secured the copy for us from his brother.

Footnote 8: (return)

This letter is still in the possession of Dr. Boal of Lacon, Illinois, and the right of publication was secured for the Magazine by W.B. Powell of that city.

Footnote 9: (return)

This letter, hitherto unpublished, is owned by E. R. Oeltjen of Petersburg, Illinois.

Footnote 10: (return)

From a letter published in the "Sangamo Journal" of February 26, 1846, and which is not found in any collection of Lincoln's letters and speeches.

Footnote 11: (return)

From an unpublished letter by Joseph Gillespie, owned by Mrs. Ellen Hardin Walworth of New York City.

Footnote 12: (return)

From an unpublished letter to Judge James Berdan of Jacksonville, Illinois, dated April 26, 1846. The original is now owned by Mrs. Mary Berdan Tiffany of Springfield, Illinois.

Footnote 13: (return)

"Personal Reminiscences and Recollections," by Samuel C. Busey, M.D., LL.D., Washington, D.C., 1895.

Footnote 14: (return)

At this meeting the secretary was Ezra Lincoln, also a descendant of Samuel Lincoln of Hingham.

Footnote 15: (return)

See MCCLURE'S MAGAZINE for September, 1895.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of McClure's Magazine, Vol. VI., No. 6,
May, 1896, by Various


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