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"I'll bring it down to give you the that them Van Cleves allays kin tell idea," she said, and ran up for it. when a Suydam is near them."
Van Cleve looked at it over his wife's shoulder when it came. "Try that thing on Humpty, Miss Coyt," he said, and when it was on he held the boy up on his outstretched arm. "Pretty's a picture, hey, Dumfort?"
"I'll finish it for him," exclaimed Lucy, with a gush of generosity. "I can make Sam another."
Mrs. Dorcas broke into a delighted flood of thanks. She jumped up to fit and button it on the boy, while her husband, quite as vain and pleased as she, held him. It seemed incredible to Lucy that this ghastly horror, which never could be mentioned, stood like a shadow behind the three; that this commonplace, jolly little family went to bed, rose, sat down to eat, with Death as their perpetual companion, dumb, waiting to strike.
The next morning was that of an April day. The whole world was swathed in fog and grey dampness, and the next moment it flashed and sparkled in the sunlight, every leaf quivering back in brilliance. Young Van Cleve had set off by daylight, whistling behind his steers. Before noon he came up the mountain, his head sunk, silent, and morcse. Even the ruddy colour was gone: his thick-featured, jolly face was nipped as with age.
Dorcas ran to meet him. sick, Tom?"
"Have you"-she glanced swiftly around "have you heard-anything?" "Nothing. I thought it best to throw off work to-day."
He drove the steers into the inclosure. As he unyoked them he sent keen, furtive glances into the darkening woods. Meanwhile the sky had lowered. Clouds walled in the mountain plateau; the day had grown heavy and foreboding.
Dumfort came to Lucy, who was sitting on the steps with the baby.
"Thomas has hed a warnin',” he said, in a low tone. "Cunnel Abram's on his track."
Nonsense!" Lucy set the child down
"Jess as some men," pursued Dumfort, calmly, "kin tell when there's a rattlesnake in the grass nigh; an' others creep with cold ef a cat's in the room."
Miss Coyt, still contemptuous, watched Van Cleve sharply as he passed into the house. "Dorcas," he said, quietly, as he passed, "bring Humpty in. Keep indoors to-day." He went up to the loft, closing the trap-door behind him, and Lucy fancied that she heard the click of fire-arms.
Dumfort's pipe went out in his mouth with his smothered excitement. "He's loadin'! Suydam's comin'!" he whispered. "Thomas ain't the same man he was this mawnin'! He's layin' to, 'n' waitin'."
"To murder another man! And he calls himself a Christian! He had family prayers this morning!"
"What's that got to do with it?" demanded Dumfort, fiercely. "Thomas's got his dooty laid out. He's got the murderer of his brother to punish. The law's left it to them two famblies to settle with each other. God's left it to them. Them old Jews sent the nearest of kin to avenge blood. The Suydams hev blood to avenge." He got up abruptly and walked uneasily up and down the barn-yard. Dorcas had left her work, and with Humpty in her arms sat by the window, her keen eyes fixed on the thicket of pines that fenced in the house, black and motionless in the breathless air.
No rain had fallen as yet, but the forest, the peaks of the mountains beyond, the familiar objects in the barn-yard, had drawn closer with that silent hush and peculiar dark distinctness that precedes a storm. They, too, listened and waited. Lucy heard a step in the house. Van Cleve came heavily down from the loft and seated himself, his face turned toward the road by which a stranger must approach.
Lucy stood irresolute for a few minutes; she felt as if she could not draw her breath; the air was full of death. Pulling the hood of her waterproof over her head, she crossed the stile and walked down the road. I will be first to meet the wolf," she said aloud, laughing nervously.
The road wound through the unbroken forest down to the creek. As she came nearer to the water she heard the plash of a horse's feet crossing the ford. She tried to cry out that he was coming, to warn them, but her mouth would not make a sound; her legs shook under her; she caught by a tree, possessed by childish, abject fear. When the horse and rider came into sight she laughed hysterically.
It was the good-humoured doctor. He turned quietly at her cry, and smiled placidly. Nothing would startle that phlegmatic mass of flesh. He alighted, tied his horse, and came to her with the leisurely, noiseless movements peculiar to him.
You are frightened. What are you afraid of, Miss Coyt?"
"Oh, of a monster!"-laughing feebly -"a human beast of prey that is in these mountains. Every time a branch moved I expected to see his murderous face coming toward his victim."
She wanted to pour out the whole story, but he stood stolid and incurious, asking no questions. She hesitated and stopped.
"I saw nobody," he said, composedly. Whether he was interested or not, she must tell him. He was so wise and kind; he was a man used to control others. If he would interfere he could doubtless put an end to it all.
"It is a vendetta," she began. "You heard of it at the time of the accident." "You should not allow yourself to be excited by the gossip of the mountains," he interrupted, gently; but his eyes, smiling down at her, suddenly seemed to her as hard and impenetrable as granite. "I fear I must leave you. I must reach Otoga before noon.'
"You must not go to Otoga," catching him by the arm. The yellow fever is there. Half of the population are dead." "Worse than that, I am afraid," he said, gravely. "We heard this morning that there was now neither doctor, nurse, nor anybody to bury the dead."
"And you are going to help them?" drawing back with a kind of awe.
"I am a doctor," he said, indifferently, "and I can nurse in a fashion, and if the worst comes to the worst, I can dig a grave."
"I'm sure it is very heroic," gasped Lucy. The tears came to her eyes.
He frowned irritably. "Nothing of the kind. Somebody must go, of course. The physicians in Abingdon are married men. I am a stranger, and have nobody. There is nothing to keep me in this world but a little business which I have to do, and that lies in Otoga. I really must ride on. But I will take you safely home first. Where are you staying?"
"At the cabin yonder. Behind the pines. Thomas Van Cleve's."
The doctor had stepped before her to bend aside the bushes. He stopped short, and stood motionless a moment, his back to her. When he turned there was an alteration in his face which she could not define. The actor was gone; the real man looked out for an instant from behind the curtain.
She would have passed on, but stopped, troubled and frightened, she knew not why. The man had not heard her; he stood slowly stroking his heavy chin, deliberating. Certainly there was nothing dramatic in the stout figure in its long linen coat, low hat, and boots sunk in the mud-there was not a trace of emotion on the flabby, apathetic features, yet Lucy cowered as though she had been brought face to face with a naked soul in the crisis of its life.
"I have been looking for him a long time," he repeated, talking to himself. "But there is Otoga. They need me in Otoga."
There was not a sound. Not the fall of a leaf. Even the incessant sough of the wind through the gorges was still. The world seemed to keep silence. The time comes to every man when the devil of his life-long appetites and passions rises to face the God that is in him for a final struggle.
He looked up at the cabin; it was but a step. He had been following Van Cleve for years. He drew his breath quickly once, thrust the bushes aside, and began to climb the rock.
The sun suddenly flashed out; a bird fluttered up from the thicket, and perched on a bough close beside him, sending out a clear trill of song. He stopped short, a quick, pleased heat coming to his face.
"Pretty little thing, hey? It knows me, d'ye see? It's watching me."
He waited a moment until the song ceased, and then nervously adjusted his hat.
"I'll go to those poor devils in Otoga. I reckon that's the right thing to do." And turning, he hastily mounted his horse. Lucy felt that he was going to his death, and he seemed like an old friend. She ran across the road and put her hands up on the horse's neck. "Good-bye," she said.
Me?" He looked at her, bewildered. "God? Oh yes. Well, perhaps so." He rode down the road, and the stout figure and flapping linen coat disappeared in the fog.
Four days passed. Dumfort, who appeared to be a man of leisure, lounged about the cabin, helping with the work, and occasionally bringing news from Otoga, gathered from some straggler who was flying from the fever. He came in one morning and beckoned Van Cleve out. "There's one of them poor wretches fallen by the wayside. He's got the plague. It's my belief there's not an
hour's life in him."
"I'll come." Van Cleve hastily gathered some simple remedies; he had not heroism enough to leave his family and sacrifice his life for his neighbours, but he was a kindly fellow, and could not turn back from any dying creature creeping to his door. The two men went down the mountain together.
"I wanted," said Dumfort, "to pull him under a rock. But he said, 'No, let me die out-of-doors." "
"That was a queer notion."
'God knows, I don't." The men stood silent. "He's been doctorin' them pore souls in Otoga," ventured Dumfort, presently.
Still Van Cleve did not move. Then, with a jerk, he started down-hill. “I'll go to him. Bring them other medicines, Dumfort."
But when he reached the dying man he saw that it was too late for medicines. He kneeled beside him and lifted his head, motioning Dumfort to stand back out of hearing.
What passed between them no one but God ever knew.
As the sun was setting that day Van Cleve came to the cabin. He was pale and haggard, but he tried to speak cheerfully.
"It was a poor fellow, Dorcas, down in the woods as died of the fever. Dumfort an' I have buried him. But I'd like you an' Miss Coyt to come to the grave. It'd seem kinder, somehow." He carried the baby in his arms, and when they reached the place—it was a patch of sunny sward, where the birds sang overhead-he said: "Humpty, I wish you'd kneel down on the grave an' say your little prayer. I think he'd know, an' 'd feel better of it; an'-there's another reason."
The next week Miss Coyt received a letter from home, which, with very red cheeks, she told Dorcas would compel her immediate return home. Mr. Pettit, of whom she had told her, had received a call, and had asked her to be his wife, and this would put an end to her experiment of teaching in the South. day or two Dumfort drove her back to Abingdon, and the little family in the cabin returned to their usual quiet
"Yes." Dumfort glanced askance at routine of life.
APOLLODORUS came in the other morn-stated.
ing and announced to the Easy Chair that it had been made by common consent arbiter of a dispute in a circle of young men. "The question," said he, "is not a new one in itself, but it constantly recurs, for it is the inquiry under what conditions a gentleman may smoke in the presence of ladies?
The Easy Chair replied that it could not answer more pertinently than in the words of the famous Princess Emilia, who, upon being asked by a youth who was attending her in a promenade around the garden, "What should you say if a gentleman asked to smoke as he walked with you?" replied, "It is not supposable, for no gentleman would propose it."
Naturally that youth did not venture to light even a cigarette. Emilia had parried his question so dexterously that, although the rebuke was stinging, he could not even pretend to be offended. His question was merely a form of saying, "I am about to smoke, and what have you to say? That he asked the question was evidence of a lingering persuasion, inherited from an ancestry of gentlemen, that it was not seemly to puff tobacco smoke around a lady with whom he was walking.
Apollodorus was silent for a moment, as if reflecting whether this anecdote was to be regarded as a general judgment of the arbiter that a gentleman will never smoke in the presence of a lady. But the Easy Chair broke in upon his meditations with a question, "If you had a son should you wish to meet him smoking as he accompanied a lady upon the Avenue? or, were you the father of a daughter, should you wish to see her cavalier smoking as he walked by her side? Upon your own theory of what is gentlemanly and courteous and respectful and becoming in the manner of a man towards a woman, should you regard the spectacle with satisfaction?"
Well," replied Apollodorus, " isn't that rather a high-flying view? When can a man smoke
For instance, a gentleman will not smoke while walking with a lady in the street. He will not smoke while paying a visit in her drawing-room. He will not smoke while driving with her in the Park."
It is significant of a radical change in manners that such rules can be laid down, because formerly the question could not have arisen. The grandfather of Apollodorus, who was the flower of courtesy, could no more have smoked with a lady with whom he was walking or driving than he could have attended her without a coat or collar. Yet manners change, and the grandfather must not insist that those of his time were best because they were those of his time. It is but a little while since a gentleman who appeared at a party without gloves would have been a "queer" figure. But now should he wear gloves he would be remarked as unfamiliar with good usage.
It does not argue a decline of courtesy that the Grandisonian compliment and the ineffable bending over a lady's hand and respectful kissing of the finger-tips have yielded to a simpler and less stately manner. The woman of the minuet was not really more respected than the woman of the waltz. However the word gentlemanly may be defined, it will not be questioned that the quality which it describes is sympathetic regard for the feelings of others and the manner which evinces it. The manner, of course, may be counterfeited and put to base uses. To say that Lovelace has a gentlemanly manner is not to say that he is a gentleman, but only that he has caught the trick of a gentleman. To call him or Robert Macaire or Richard Turpin a gentleman is to say only that he behaves as a gentleman behaves. But he is not a gentleman, unless that word describes manners and nothing
This is the key to the question of Apollodorus. It is not easy to define a gentleman, but it is perfectly easy to see that in his pleasures and in the little indifferent practices of society the gentleman will do nothing which is disagreeable to others. He certainly will not assume that a personal gratification or indulgence must necessarily be pleasant to others, nor will he make the selfish habits of others a plea for his own.
Apollodorus listened patiently, and then said slowly that he understood the judgment to be that a gentleman would smoke in the presence of ladies only when he knew that it was agreeable to them, but that, as the infinite grace and courtesy of women often led them, as an act of self-denial, to persuade themselves that what others wish to do ought not to annoy them, it was very difficult to know whether the practice was or was
THE frontispiece to this number of the Magazine, as the reader will have observed, is a beautiful reduction by Robert Hoskin of one of Gustave Doré's illustrations of Poe's "Raven," the legend of which is the line, "The night's Plutonian shore." The poem, with the complete series of illustrations by Doré, will be one of the most striking and interesting of Messrs. Harpers' publications for the autumn. At the Paris Salon of 1883 two medals only were awarded for engraving on wood, and both were of the third class. M. Charles Baude, of Paris, the engraver of the portrait of Washington Irving which was published in the April number of this Magazine, received one of the medals. The other was received by Mr. Robert Hoskin, of the Harper engraving-room. Poe is a writer whose poems are curiously adapted to the peculiar skill of Doré, and the delicate and sympathetic touch of Hoskin has exquisitely reproduced in our engraving the character of the original.
The poem itself is one of the most familiar and popular in American literature. It is nearly forty years since it was first published, soon after Poe's removal to New York in 1844, and Willis hailed it as the most effective single example of fugitive poetry ever published in America, and for certain qualities unsurpassed in English poetry. The generous critic proved the sincerity of his opinion by engaging Poe as assistant editor of the Mirror.
That name recalls the literary situation in New York at that time. The Mirror was a mall quarto published weekly under the joint editorship for many years of Willis and George P. Morris, with whom Theodore S. Fay, and later James Parton and other familiar writers, were editorially associated. It was a publication which, with a certain typographical elegance as certifying its adaptation to the most refined social circles, offered every Saturday a light repast, unvexed by heavy dishes of political or any other grave discussion, but graced with the sweet trifle and whipped syllabub of evanescent literature. The most important contribution to the Mirror was Willis's "Pencillings by the Way," which work, if we VOL. LXVII.-No. 400.-40.
remember correctly, was published serially as letters in the Mirror.
The "Pencillings" are memorable as the first of the records of travel which deal with audacious freedom with private life, revealing what was not meant to be seen, and reporting what was not meant to be heard. They contain brilliant and graphic sketches of the more famous English men and women of the day, and their freedom was so astounding to the English taste that for a long time afterward any American who could be suspected of connection with the press was received in English society with great reserve. Thackeray more than once brought the burningglass of his satire to bear upon Willis, but when he was in New York he met Willis at breakfast at the house of a common friend, and found him, as he frankly said, exceedingly agreeable. "But yet," said Thackeray, with his twinkling English eye, "how could he have been so bumptious?"
Willis was already forecasting the extreme literary mannerism of his later time when Poe joined the literary circle in the city of New York. He was very soon its most brilliant and erratic figure, even his affectations being of a kind to enhance the impression that he made. The immediate and universal popularity of the "Raven without parallel in American literary history, except in the case of Bret Harte's "Heathen Chinee." It was instantly republished in all the newspapers, and its long resounding lines, which seemed to some critics to murmur with something of the music of Mrs. Browning's "Lady Geraldine's Courtship," were soon repeated in all school declamations. The peculiar nomenclature of Poe and his phantasmal world were skilfully wrought into the poem, and there were many eager readers in whose minds the ingenuous melody of the stanzas constantly echoed and reverberated, who felt that here was a new poet, and another grace, if not glory, of American letters.
The remarkable talent and acuteness, the felicity of phrase, and the alluring rhythm of much of Poe's verse are obvious to the most cursory reader, like the singular skill with which his prose tales are constructed. But there was from the first a large number of readers who felt that it was all a marvellous ingenuity, not a sincere inspiration, and who cannot even now admit his claim to a higher worth. Perhaps such critics feel that the entablature which in memory of Poe is to be unveiled during the autumn is much more appropriate than a statue to indicate the place that he holds in the American literary Pantheon.
How fascinating he must have been to an artist like Doré, as he has proved to be to the French mind in general, is evident to any one who is but superficially familiar