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AN OCTAVE OF SHORT STORIES BY FAMOUS NOVELISTS. No. 8. A MODERN GIRL'S STORY. 4. BY JULIAN HAWTHORNE. Author of An American Monte Clirislo," Another's Crime," I, Fortune's Fool," &c, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. — NOW FIRST PUBLISHED. I. EN years ago I re- visited a Continental town which had been familiar to me when a youth just out of college. We cannot live our lives over fEN years ago I re- would' not do it if we could; but the next thing to doing it is to see again scenes that we saw in youth. Brick and mortar, streets and customs, do not V change so rapidly as we do—not, at any rate, in Europe. The contrast between the old unaltered things and oar own altered selves, though never exactly pleasant, has a charm III it. But the face that once looked hopefully I forth on life beneath our own hat-brim—the spectre of that face haunts usevery where. He is still here-the ignorant, jolly, lusty, credulous boy—unchanged bat what an abyss between him and us No matter what good lite may have brought us, there is sadness in that thought, and an unreasonable kind of humilia- tion." Age, for all its grave and authoritative front, stands ashamed before the ghost of its own youth. Yet our youth has nothing to ba proud of. What foolish things we did And it seems unjust that those ignorant follies should sometimes have the power to hamper and handicap all our after-existence. On the terrace, the second afternoon, I sat at a table placed outside the concert-room, to bear the band play, and see the river flow by. I had done this same thing on the second afternoon of my first arrival in the tow/i, fourteen years before. The weather was as lovely now as it had been then: late May weather, soft, fresh, seductive, and fragrant with the perfume of lilacs. The river flowed, a liquid mirror of the colour of sunset. Down stream was the dark, hog-backed bridge, with its many arches; opposite was the barracks, with a "squad of helmetted soldiers in the courtyard: up stream on the low hill-tops, were "the great brewery, like a castle, and graceful villas with towe) s and steep gardens down to the margin of the river. Yonder, round the bend, came the white steamboat, completing its long day's voyage. The high- built stone terrace, an artificial precipice, looked out upon all these things. And now the music began; and here is a waiter to ask what sort of beer I will drink. I turn and see the lively crowd at the round tables-the officers in their uniforms, the pretty girls, the civilians, the English and Americans. What an appalling thing is this vitality-this im- mortality—of the human race, when we happen to catch a glimpse of our individual frailty and mortality side by side with it Year after year the same things are done, felt and thought, but not by ua! Have we gone on, or have we been left behind ? Well, and how is Dr. Mei'lawe ? II. I had been conscious for several moments that a figure was standing on my left, a little behind me, just out of easy eye-shot; and I had bad an impression that I was being looked at It is absurd to be apprised at meeting people we know in places of this kind, whero everybody who goes anywhere is sure to turn up sooner or later and perhaps it is unrea- sonable to feel annoyed at it, But 1 had been entertaining the phantoms of the past, and that is a kind of company whoever intrudes upon which seems doubly an intruder. I turned round, and after a moment recog- nised the face of the speaker, though I could not have spoken hia name. He was a tallish man, fashionably dressed, with a rough red beard, and eye-glasses. He was a type of the well-to-do man-about-town-man-auout-the- world, rather the cosmopolitan whom modern travelling facilities have evolved. He is at home in many places, and knows all about ail of them—their accommodations, their cookery, their objects of interest, their sociery. He is cheerful, cynical, talkative, courteous; an agreeable companion, useful and obliging in his measure. He is quick to notice and be amused at the betrayal of ignorance on your part of the. technicalities with which it is his business to be familiar and though it gratifies him to be interrogated about this or that, you must be careful to so frame your inquiries and adjust your intonations as to indicate that you could yourself give the in- formation, were it required of you, and that in any case you are indifferent on the subject. Ah how are you P So^ you're here ? said I, cxtendiog my hand with a conven- tional smile. I did not know how lorg it might be since we had met, so to be on the safe side I conducted myself as if we had parted only last week. I recognised you by your shoulders," said he, drawing up a chair and seating himself. Your face is less changed than mine, I fancy, though you haven't grown a beard as I have. Let's see. It was at the Boehmlsche Bahnhof, wasn't it ? You came down with the other fellows to see me off. Hosmer was with you, I recollect. Have you seen him lately ? Ned Hosmer P I saw him five or six years ago. He's a steady married man now. Is there any Mrs. Caohepolle yet ? By this it will be seen that I had recovered his name; the incident he had re-called brought it back to me. Henry Cachepolle, in the old days, had been nominally a student at the Polytechnic, but in reality a moneyed youth who studied to amuse himself. Apparently he was at it still. He had acquired a certain ease and style! Uut I suspected that his liver was touched, his heart fatty, his muscles flabby, and his character lacking in fibre. To have known a man in his youth gives you an other- wise unattainable insight into him. The ingenious disguise that he has built up round himself during his years of discretion is transparent to you, who know all about the boy inside. Cachepolle would be quite an imposing figure to one meeting him for the first time; but I perceived that he had not strengthened in any way during the past ten years, and had deteriorated in others. He was a good sort of fellow, but not worthy of much respect. Mra. Cachepolle is still lie made a gesture with his band, intended to express that the lady was still in the hypothetical stage of evolution. In his own way Cache- polle was a satisfactory person. He was always properly harnessed and groomed. It was a pleasure to see, as he lifted his arm to light a cigarette, that his shirt cuffs were of one piece with his shirt, that his undervest was one of the fine3t pure wool; that he had probably made a complete change of raiment within an hour or two; that bis rings were both handsome and valuable, without being too showy; that his coat was an indubitable Poole, and his shoes by Lobb of Regent- street. Evidently, Cachepolle had a valet who understood his business. Their theory of a gentleman was, that he should present at the first glance a somewhat rough and careless aspect, which upon closer scrutiny should be discovered to be oorrect and costly to the last degree. By "their "I mean Cachepolle's and his valet's, who wonld hold consultations together, and plan effects, some- what as actor and dramatist do. It was a good theory that they had adopted, espe- cially for a man like Caohepolle, who was deficient in individuality—had always to guard against the danger of being mistaken for somebody else. It was indispensable that he should enaot a role of some kind, because the moment he should become himself he would become invisible. The English squire or nanritry nobleman was his present cha- racter. ine get-up sua a.v were good; the broad-mouthed, highly-j modulated epeeob was also florul, our) the phrases and idioms were uniformly cor- rect; but Cachepolle's somewhat feeblw vita- lity caused him to falter occasionally, and revert for a moment or two to his native patois, which was, I believe, that of Con- necticut. He needed an English interlocutor to keep him up to the mark. And, since all effects have their causes, I surmised that Cachepolle might have formed the acquain- tance of some eminent Briton, out of the materials of whose personality, as it were, be built his own as the modern inhabitants of Cairo build their homes out of the skin of the Pyramids. I was in a bad humour at havirg been in- truded upon but after I had drunk a couple of pints of dark, creamy beer, I felt much more amiable, and disposed to talk and be talked to. Good German beer relaxes in some degree the restraints of moral fastidious- ness and refinement, and letiO one down towards the Cachepolle level. III. "Is there anything going on here?" 1 asked. Do you recollect the Luellens P" Cache- polle returned. "The Luellens. Do you mean that numerous family?" That's it; a dozen of "em, more or less." "Father and mother English; children born on the Continent, or in America, The old man was always tracking some claim he had against some government. The children were nice children, and some of them very pretty. I remember one—I forget her name -but she promised to turn out a beauty." M Blanche, was it ?' Yes, Blanche. Sho would be nineteen or twenty by this time. I'd like to see her. I'll wager she has justified my prediction. Would you care to see her really ?" Do you mean to say the Luellens arc still living here; after all these years ?'- "Not lived here right along, you cnow. Why, the old chap'got his claim allowed, I believe, three or four years ago. Brought him in quite a bit of cash, I fancy They came back here last winter—what there is left of them. The old lady's dead. The threo elder girls are married. One of the boys is in the navy, and two others are engineers. The old fellow has the gout, but otherwise he's all right; he has put the youngest boy to school here, and he and Blanche are doing the society act, you know. They are living at the Saxe. They're awfully swell, and Blanche is supposed to be an heiress Will you try it on ?" II The girl was young enough, wht-n I last saw her, to sit on my knee and look at a picture-book," said I. "If you want to marry her you can rely on me not to stand in your way I'd like to see her. and that's all." I. If you turn your head to the rightabout ten degrees, and fix your eyes on a point about 0 ten yards off, you will look her in the face," said Cachepolle. So I did. And here, in order to dispose of the matter I will try to show you Blanche Luellen, as she then was-a girl of nineteen or twenty Having known her in her child- hood, I 'could see further into her than an ordinary acquaintance could, and being myself beyond the age to hope for any personal ad- mittance to her favour. I was able to look at her in the dry light. It, any light she was well worth contemplating.. i She was of medium height, with sloping shoulders, and a very deep chest, with room in it for a heart and lungs strong enough to carry her through a hundred years of mortal life. Her limbs were round and firm, and well set on a vigorous but lightsome body. The long curve which, in women, takes it rise 11 just above the hip, and sweeps to the knee, had a fuller arc than is usual it) our latitudes; j it gave her hgure an Oriental quality. But her complextion was blonde, with yellow- brown hair, with a crinkle and a glitter in it. Her youthful face had in it something sensual, but pure; the excess of physical health and vitality, which her subsequent life woad either refine or coarsen. The lower margins of her face were full, melting into a round, white throat; her mouth had the innocent, inquisitive contour of an infant's. It still, in fact, had the infantine quality, telling of a nature that had not been re- pressed, or drilled to dissimulate emotion. Hereafter, life would perhaps contract and compress those tender outlines, now so beauti- ful in their freedom. Meeting her eyes you encountered a mystery; not a self-conscious one, but belonging to the girl's age and temperament. She could not have deciphered herself; she only enjoyed life, absorbed pleasure, radiated happiness. There was a dancing intentness in her glance, i dark, expectant, apprehensive, mirthful; the gaze of a spirit born to investigate all things, and to whom all that was unknown was good. Eve may have had such eyes. There was an uneveness about them—not a cast in the eye itself, but an irregularity in their placings in the head; or perhaps one may have been a thought larger than the other. Whatever it was, it greatly enhanced the force of her ex- pression, and was as much more charming than mere regularity as an octave in music is more charming than a single note twice repeated. The line of her nose was neither aquiline nor straight—there is no life in a straight line-but when she smiled, the tip was drawn down a little, making the profile straight for an instant-a bewitching modu- lation. In all respects her countenance was more lovely in its movements than in itself. I You were concious, in approaching her of ,g the fragrance of sex; she was female to her marrow, and the depth of her muliebrity awakened your virility; she put you in mind of your manhood. But she was virgin as well as woman; her thoughts were as innocent as they were fearless; she was unsophisticated, and had never been put to her I defence, been deceived, or made ashamed. The aroma of these qualities was as delicious as the smell of incense. Ecrtunate would be I' that man who was destined to take in his her soft, slender, speaking hand, and go with her through the bidden gardens !—to look at the world through her new eyes, and to taste it through her fresh senses. Only, it would need a man of powerful organisation and I Sat beddc Blanche ft the lillle round talle in such a postlioii that h-r left shoulder was nearest >/iet and, by herding forward a trifl. I co.dd speak Ivw in her ear. resources to manage Blanche Luellen. If he failed to keep pace with her, he would be destroyed. Women like Blanche resemble flanie-beantiful, graceful, beneficient, life- giving, but if they get the upper band Blanche was a type of natural higli-breeding -to employ an apparent contradiction in terms. She was not starched, drilled, and posed, according to fashionable convention, but the ideal of gentle behaviour was innate in her. This has nothing to do with morality. Blanche might [bave disregarded every injunction of the taw without impairing the refinement and high-breeding that were of her essence. She could say and do things without a fleck on her white plumage that would socially annihilate a woman of vulgar roul. But it is a question whether she was the better off for this. Society being what it ilJ, beauty is generally a curse to its possessor, and so the woman who, by some natural felicity of constitution, seems to pass scathe- less tbraugh sinister ways, may at last meet disaster deeper than her vulgar sister is even capable of reaching. I suppose, by the way, a classicist might have hesitated to call Blanche beautiful: there*was nothing Greek about her. But her face harmonised with her expression in a manner that was the very life of beauty; it had something of that I 'strangeness of proportion' that Bacoll demands in distinguished comeliness. Distinction she undoubtedly possessed, due in great measure to her intense vitality, the glowing perfection of her senses, her original force of feeling and sentiment. Moreover, she had curiosity, which, in its higher phase, is almost the characteristic human quality—not life, but that which induces us to live, without which that which induces us to live, without which sin would be an unattractive hypothesis, and love a metaphysical theory. Her movements and gestures were quiet, but each one had a meaning; she was not loquacious in wordd, but her eyes and the changing colour in her cheeks talked, and the inward emotions of her soul seemed to be indicated, to an intelligent observer, in the subtle foldings and modulations of her lips. Her voice, however, was singularly agree-able-full, low, and guttural—a sound that secretly stirred and oaressed the hearer. As a rule, she was more ready to listen than to speak, and the intelligence of her listening was an inspiration to her interlocutor. Gid though she was, she stimulated men to do their utmost to please her. IV. Her father was a tall, grey-bearded, bass- voiced old fellow, with blue, humorous eyes, j cheeks ruddy with good cheer, and a stiff leg. Hespoke with a slowe swinging emphasis, a jolly, ohuokling heartiness pleasant to hear, but liable to become oppressive. He had a fondness for champagne, in season and out of season; and I remember he ordered a bottle when Caohepolle and I came up to his table that afternoon, and I re-called myself to his recolleotion and that of his daughter. The musio was going on all the while, and audible conversation is discountenanced by Germans under such circumstances. But I sat beside Blanche at the little round table, in such a position that her left shoulder was nearest me, and, by bending forward a trifle, I could speak low in her ear. She listened with her profile turned but over and anon she turned further towards me, so as to encounter her eyes with mine, and, I suppose, gauge what I said by what I looked. Of course, what I said amounted to nothing. It is astonishing how uniformly nothing is said in society con- versation. We meet to look one another over, to practice our accomplishments of intonation and innuendo, of gesture and pose; and we keep up a sort of accompaniment of remark and rejoinder; but nothing is really e, said, nor is that nothing listened to. To this pass has civilised hypocrisy brought human speech. But we get our impressions and con- viotions about one another just the same. The way the word is said signifies something, though the word itself does not. I shall not attempt to repeat what Blanche and I said to each other. She, I may venture to surmise, came to the conclusion that I was nice, witty, genial, and just old enough to be comfortable—no possible harm in me. We re-called some of our adventures when she was a ohild. Soon we were on the easiest, most spontaneous terms. She had been out of school a few months only. Society was a novelty to her. She liked old men (she said) better than young men. And as she said it she looked at me with so ingenuous a convic- tion that I must regard myself as an old'man, that I was conscious of a slight, guilty twinge, as it were, in every wrinkle and grey hair (there were really not so many after all) that time had given me. Still, you are not going to fall in love with I an old man ?" I said interrogatively. She smiled: the delicate arc of her nose straightened. I thought she was not going to reply; but after a pause she said, When I fall in love, I shall—go t" And again her eyes rested on mine for a moment. In that moment 1 wished I were younger and the man I .The symphony which was being played came to an end, and with it the little aria of impossible romance. 1 leaned back in my chair, looked up, and saw the handsomest man that ever 1 beheld. He was a hairy man—an Esau—strong, straight, and masculine. His eyes were bold, and his bearing manifested the audacity of conscious power. His hair wai black, with a hyacinthine curl to it; and black was his beard, and bis brows, which were neither arched nor level; the line of eaoh ascended gently from within outwards and then turned downwards at an angle, giving him an expression of mingled devilry and humour. The lift of these brows gave ample wiMPsbfflf&thij, Hi.9.eves were large and long, the lids. The nose was powerful and indi- vidual—a handsome nose, at once patrician and humorous. The cheek bones were broad, giving a certain massiveness to his aspect. He was a man to meet with adventures a man of whom you would expect to hear wild tales. His beard curled like his hair: it was a trifle longer than was the fashion for young men who went bearded, yet not so long as to distort the face and make it appear like an appendage to a beard; you could trace through it the outline of the square chin every hair was crisp with charao- ter. Tho head, as a whole, was a model of strength and proportion, and was set on a handsome pair of shoulders. The man's figure was active and vigorous, and graceful in movement, bat withal it had a stateliness of bearing—an air of careless authority. There were traces of a military training in the erectness of the neck and the confident poise of the gait, but it was far removed from the rigid stiffness, of the German offioers. The countenance was that of a man not above five-and-thirty years of age, yet hair and beard were grizzled, as if made of threads of oxidised silver. His dress demands some speoial mention. He had a fashion of his own it was near enough to the prevailing fashioned to appear outre, and yet it was not liktf anyone else's; there was a certain dash and style about it that spoke of the great dandy — the sort of being that we read about in the chronic!es of the last century. He had the face and the figure to carry off any extrava- gance of costume, so that what would have seemed audacious in a lesser man was modera- tion in him. The total effect was a rich picturesqueness though whether it were due most to the man or to his garments it was hard to decide. There must have been in him a strong infusion of the artistic temperament; he had an eye for colour and for form. His black felt hat was of the Tyrolese fashion, with a rolling brim, and there was a bit of an iridiscent grouse's feather in tho band. lie wore a sack coat of dark brown broadoloth, bound with silk braid; his waistcoat, if I remember right, was of silk, out rather low and he had a voluminous silk neckscarf, with a thread of crimson running through it, to match the crimson flower in his button- hols. He wore low-cut Oxford shoes, and socks of crimson siik. In his left hand he had a pair of gloves, his right carried a stout cane of dark-polished wood, with a gold head, and ornamented with a silken tassel. As he set it on the ground in walking h<* gave an outward swing of the hand, in harmony with the haughty ease and swagger of hio wholi) bearing. There is a man (thought I) as dangerous, powerful, and unscrupulous as a beast of prey.! He has the splendour and savagery of the tiger, rendered more formidable by the culti- vation of a gentleman, and the jovial magne- tism of a man of genius. Had he been born in the age of pirates, he would have been the emperor of the tribe. And the worst of him is the enormous wealth of human nature in him, endowing him with a fascination that disarms resistance. He could deprave a whole college of Divinity, from the oldest professor down to the most callow student; and as for woman But c 1 what a drama it would be, if he were to meet a woman who was a match for him Is there any such ? Meanwhile, the person whom I was observ. ing made his way towards our table, and just; as he reached it, Blanche turned and saw him. The colour rose to her oheeks. Oh. Mr. Stewart; she said and she gat more erect, her face full of light. lie doffed his hat with a jaunty swing,'
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ggp1 a m PAM H THE "P AND PIAOR THR SECOND INSIDE THE FIRST HALF. Owl
smiled, and spoke in a jovial, ringing, bari- tone voice H HaIlo, all of you! Thought I'd nudyou here. Dakyn would have it you were in the garden but I have secret channels of informa- tion-eb, little gal As he said the last words, with a laugh in his beard, he put forth his hand and grasped Blanche lightly but strongly by her wrist, as her arm rested on the table; at the same time he plunged a look into her eyes. She accepted his look, and did not withdraw her hand. She seemed to have undergone a change—as a rioh strain of musio makes one feel potent, alort, and sumptuous. A waiter—and waiters were not easy to secure in that plaoe and at that hour- hastened up unbidden with chair*. I have not mentioned that the new comer had a companion with him-a young fellow of three or four and twenty, tall and brawny, a good example of the athletio college youth. He was a good-looking lad, with a smooth, ruddy faoe, and a clears guileless expression. He might have graduated stroke-oar of the 'Varsity crew, or pitcher of the nine; but hardly summd cum laude in the merely intellectual departments. I took a liking to him at the first glance. He was bashful and awkward, and it waa easy to perceive two things-first, that ho was infatuated with him of thegrizzled beard and the Tyrolese bat, and, secondly, that he abjectly worshipped Blanche Luellen. He reddened as he pulled off his hat and ducked his head to her; he made no attempt to address her, As for ehe. she recognised him with a passing look-the residue of that which she had bestowed upon the other-Iud that was all. They sat down; Mr. Luellen bad put on the curiously subservient manner which an Englishman adopts towards a countryman of superior social rank. He was all attention and assent, laughed delightedly, and kepi exclaiming, Yes, yes! By Jove Certainly, of course! Bless my soul, you don't say so Ob, that's good! Capital—ha, ha, ha !—and the like; while the hairy man discoursed, ostensibly to the company in general, but evidently with an eye to the effect on Blanche, who, for her part, followed every word, and on whose faoe, in the pauses of his spirited, rollicking talk, his eyes usually rested. I could not but confess his magnetism; it, was no hai-doliip LU listen to nun; out some ut Lia utterances were rather daring—not to use a gl'1"r.1-uu. for the Dresence of a young What was that yarn about you and the Musgraves ?" asked LueHen. "Ohi quite a lark that," said the other. II Mrs. Musgrave is no lightweight, you know, but she's ambitious. We three had tramped three miles in the hot sun, and Mus- grave himself was tuckered When we got to the glen he planted himself beside the brook, under a tree, be- side the luuch-basket, and stuck his feet in the water. But nothing would do for Mrs. Musgrave but to swarm up the cliff- she wanted the view, or some flowers, or some such nonsense. I wouldn't be bluffed, yon know, and she and I started. It was stiff work, and I had some boosting and pulling to do into the bargain. However, we vot up somehow, and then the fun began. She was scrambling round near the edge, and the first thing I knew she had disappeared. I looked over, and there she was about fifteen feet down. She had caught on a ledge about a foot wide, and there was a drop of at least a hundred and fifty, clear, below her. She was too scared to squeak, and I couldn't see at first what I could do for her. No rope, and no timber to make a pole of. But something had to be done, and quiok, too, for she was getting giddy, and would drop. I pulled of my coat, tore it in two up the back, and tied the two pieces together by the sleeves. I hung that over, but it didn't reach by about five feet. Question of life and death only one way out of it. I slipped off my trousers, and tied them on to the ooat. That got to her, and she caught it, and hung on like a nun to salvation. Then I began to haul in on the slack. It was the biggest Sail 1 ever bobbed for-eleven stone at leait, I thought I'd lost her a dozen times. I'll never forget the look in her faoe; and I wanted to laugh, too. It seemed to me a long time that I was playing' her but I fancy it seemed a bit longer to her. And all the while I was expecting the line to snap. But they were my best clothes, and I'll give my tailor credit for putting in some good staff and proper sewing, I. got her head above the level at last, and she hooked her hands over the edge. Then I grabbed her under the arms and landed her. She flopped down in a heap; end when she caught her breath, she went into hysterios, laughing and crying like maniao. I was as limp as a string myself, and ail I could do was to sit and goggw. at her. I fancy we made a queer group and just then she gave a yell, and glared over my shoulder. I looked round, and there was Musgrave Well, he isn't an Othello exactly; but it was a nice situation so far as appear- ances went for all thai." I cannot desCl ihe the animation, humour, and swiftness with which this story was given. I have seen nothing on the stage more vivid and complete. The rich and various tones of the voice,"the gestures, the audacious glow and sparlile of eyes and face, and the deep, ohuckling laughter running through it all, were irresistible. Withal, there was the dauntless assurance of the man-of-the-world, redeeming it from the fatal error of vulgarity, which would have been inevitable in anyone else. It was only in thinking it over after- wards iu co'd blood, that I oould realise what a piece of insolence it was. Did Blanche realise it too? 1 think not. She probably believed that whatever this man did must be right-a dangerous belief for a girl to hold of anyone; most of all, of such a man as thiw. I could not blame her but 1 was angry with her father, who orowed with laughter, >ike a oourtier when his monaroh vouchsafes a jest I liked better the flush that I saw in young Djkkya's boyish oheek, and the twitching of his brow, (To It concluded..