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Talent should always be rewarded, bell was rung violently, and I was told but for some forms of begging no tal- man urgently wanted to see ent is required. For instance, when A vivacious little man, respectably unemployment is rife, five or six stout dressed, and with eyes sparkling with fellows in their best corduroys will enthusiasm, greeted me with fervor hire an organ, and stand in a row by on the doorstep. He had come to the pavement while one grinds, and thank me, that was all. On my ask. another shakes a money box in the ing him what benefit I had done him, face of the public. I had it once on he rapidly poured forth his story. the authority of an indignant 'bus- Some years ago he had been knocked driver, who knew one of them, that down by a butcher's cart just opposite each took more in a day than he Gloucester Road Station, and I, fortunearned in a week, and I shrink from ately passing at the moment, had stating the sum for fear of being dis- picked him up, hailed a passing cab, believed.

and driven him off to the Hospital. There is an old Frenchman who is He was now cured, though I could see constantly seen in South Kensington, by his demonstration one leg was and whose methods are extremely shorter than the other, still he was able simple, but his appearance is a master- to work, and he could not leave Lonpiece. A frogged coat with a short don without laying his gratitude at my cape gives him a military air, a tall feet. This tickled my heartstrings with hat with true Parisian flat brim car- a pleasing warmth, for it was the kind ries a whiff of the Faubourg St. Ger- of thing which, of course, I should main, and a dandy cane poised in a have done, but, unfortunately, having delicate hand, which looks as though no recollection of the affair, or of his it had featly wielded a rapier in better face, I denied the soft impeachment. days, overwhelms you with an im- Then came further details too numerpression of gentility. He is tall, and ous to be mentioned here, little shadsmiles sadly down on you, from St. ings, middle distances, all put in with Cloud as it were, as he asks you the the sincerity of an artist, till the more nearest way to Croydon.

he added, the more I liked the picture. Basingstoke would do equally well, It was so true to nature, and so cirbut he prefers Croydon. You tell him in cumstantial, that I was almost peryour worst French, and then he relates suaded that I really had been a good with the air of a "Banished Lord” how Samaritan. His thanks were received he has had his pocket picked. If you with the vicarious grace which should cannot give him money, he requests have belonged to another, and I was with resignation that he may be per- about to dismiss him with my benedicmitted to give you and yours lessons tion when the true cause of his quest in French! The idea of this noble old came out. He had just obtained a sitaristocrat doing any thing so plebeian uation in Bristol worth 258. a week, seems a trifle incongruous, but you are and he congratulated himself on his obliged to continue the conversation good fortune in such hard times, and because there is something pleasing in

after his accident too! I mingled my being seen talking to such a distin- gratulations with his in a friendly guished-looking person, and it is only tone when he just let fall, by the way on his acceptance, with a pitying air, as it were, that his resources were at of some lame excuse that you will be a low ebb, and he modestly craved the permitted to go on your way.

loan of a third-class fare to the said One evening at dinner-time my door western port. His gratitude was a

"lively sense of favors to come.” I will not reveal whether I gave him the money or not. There are many ways of lowering oneself in the eyes of one's fellows, and one is by confession. А beggar always places you in a dilemma. You must either be stonyhearted or a fool, and neither appella

is particularly complimentary. The well-worn confidence trick which requires an accomplice pales before the art, the judgment of character, and the dramatic talent displayed by the

The Cornbill Magazine.

street beggar. He feels his story for the moment, and his tears flow with the same sympathy as the actor's. He is as fascinating and as traditionally old as Punch and Judy, only he is nearer to life itself. When he accosts you in the street you feel that, but for the grace of God and an unaccountable thing called fortune, you might be making out a similar case. If we pay, we are rewarding an artist, if we deny him, let us at least appreciate his talent.

Gilbert Coleridge.


CHAPTER I. Arnold walked all that night and the following day without anything like a rest. He saw things without heeding them. The fading of the stars, the creep of the dawn, and then the sun starting up to the left of him were matters of course. So were the market-carts plodding on to Covent Garden, leaving trails of tobacco-smoke behind them. He got past these quite easily. Only the motor-cars gave him a glimmering consciousness of himself-their brutal bright eyes and offensive sudden bark when almost on the top of him; he rapped out a curse at one of them as it flashed past at about “thirty,” just scraping his toes. This was in a lane a little wider than the car itself. The lane smelt of honeysuckle, and he was aware of that. A ripple of laughter drifted back to him from the car, and then he was more lost than before-indignant still, but totally lost.

And yet he brooded all the while. He mixed up Gertie with Mr. John and Mr. Ralph—these three were the enemies who had sped him forth like thistledown before a gale. There was a fourth-Hilton Caswell, a fellow with very black eyes, moustache, and

beard, and a complexion like a smoked cider-apple's. But after the birds began to chirrup he didn't make much show in Arnold's wilderness of a mind. That was odd, considering how intimately he had to do with Gertie and the present flight from Surbiton. Arnold stopped once by a milestone, and with his hand on it tried to hold on to Caswell's personality. He had always hated Caswell's red-faced smile, especially when Gertie was near it; but whywhy-why-and who was the brute? It beat him, and, shaking his head at the milestone, he wandered on.

Mr. John and Mr. Ralph lasted much longer in him. They bullied him about contangoes and Heaven knows what. He could hear their voices. "Now then, look spry with those accounts. What! Tired, d’you say? Rubbish! You don't know your luck, making an extra dollar every night this week! Not many firms treat their clerks like that in boom-times.

Don't grouse about nothing, and hurry up!" That was Mr. Ralph. A good-hearted sort, Mr. Ralph. Mr. John's method was a bit keener. "Good God, not done with your lot yet! When will you be? Look here, you'll have to march to the scrap-heap if you don't hustle.” This

was in the office, of course, with all shudder. Once he was going through a the lights on. What a relief to slip village when it came upon him. Some away for the last train of the livelong one put a hand on his shoulder and day! Then Gertie got complete con- asked if anything was wrong with trol of him. There he sat, collapsed in him. How he flung the hand off him! an empty "third," fac the blankness "Mind your own business!” he cried, of a future without her. All this and away he went. All he rememsweating


tearing after-hours' bered of that village was its inn, with work just for himself? Not much. two old-fashioned supporting posts unImpossible. Why, she had been the der the window of its porch. But he sustaining keystone of his efforts for couldn't have given the inn its name years. He had said just that to one of to save his life, although its sign stuck the men in the office_what was his out from that peculiar window. Very name?—“If I wasn't engaged I'd chuck patchy this memory, of his, even so it and buy a revolver. A fellow's early in the fateful day! head can't keep it up without the best He didn't want to eat or drink, but kind of hope. That's what she is to merely to move. He didn't exactly me—the very best. We're to be want to move either, but there was married when I've saved two-fifty, always that gadily of unrest urging and I'm in the two-twenties already." him forward. As for the roads, he "Poor old Johnnie! you'll soon be in took them anyhow. His gadfly was your chains as well, then," the man supremely indifferent. It turned him had retorted rather nastily. Every out of broad white mainways into the one had raw edges in boom-times. He narrowest of lanes, and an hour later himself felt like taking the man by the would land him back into the thorears (he had conveniently large ears) oughfare, with motor-cars and dust all and putting his nose in the ink-pot. about. What was his name? He could see So it went on until the evening, him as plainly as Gertie herself; but when something—not the gadily this as for his name, that couldn't be time-made him get over a rather caught. Well, it didn't matter. The mouldy gate and zigzag through a main thing was to plod on. That was clover-scented field towards a stream. the imperative necessity-to keep The stream took him by surprise. He moving.

stood on its bank, stared at some With the warming up of the new irises in the shallows, and then sat day Arnold couldn't think of anything down. It was mowing grass, but it or anyone except Gertie. She dodged would have been just the same to him in and out of him. One time she was had it been ripe wheat. Down he sat, a lovely memory, so that he stood and gazed at the gliding water for a few cherished it. But there were other minutes, and then lay full-length and memories which made him shiver and seemed to sleep. increase the length of his strides. The That was what he required-sleep. worst had to do with a letter. It be. The doctor they fetched to him at the gan: "Dear old boy, you will be dis- white farm-house above the meadow tressed to receive this, but I must said so. If he had slept at the proper write it, dear.” It was an awful let- time, and sufficiently, that is to say. ter. He couldn't recall any more of He was roused by a little image with it, but it meant that he had lost her. fat, bare legs, two large, round blue It came to him again and again, al- eyes, and the words, “What you doin' ways with an accompanying shiver or here?"


He couldn't answer the question, sat “Then you must be ill," she said. up and looked the child over, and then And that is what the doctor said he looked at the stream.

ought to be, if he wasn't. “This b’longs to gran'father, all this Willie's grandfather (an amiable part,” said the little boy, with a giant in brown gaiters) armed him up chubby hand towards the sun. The to the house as irresistibly as sun was setting amid crimson splashes traction-engine, and there he sat shrugbehind some distant trees.

ging and yawning and able to say "Oh, does it?"

nothing convincing until the doctor Arnold got up, but had to sit down arrived. again. "I'm done,” he said. A mist "I'll send him a draught," said the came to his eyes. “What's that?" he doctor, after more questions and some asked, pointing at the river.

mauling. “And I should think there'll “It's water," said the child, with be no risk in accommodating him for baby conceit. “Tommy Cat-cart got the night, Mr. Harcourt. He seems a drowned over there. He fell in.” gentlemanly young fellow.”

"Tommy Catgut!" Arnold exclaimed, Outside, on the gravel, the doctor and broke into rusty laughter, “What suggested to the farmer the searching a name—Tommy Catgut!"

of the gentlemanly young fellow's Suddenly the child ran away, and pockets when the potion was doing its after a time returned with a blue-eyed work. young woman who was unmistakably But the farmer was a gentlemanly his parent. He proclaimed the fact old fellow, and shook his head. “Time nevertheless. "Here's mother!" he said. enough for that when there's a need

She was very pretty, and gentle with for it, doctor," said he. “No doubt he'll Arnold; these were the impressions be all right in the morning." she made upon him. But the questions she asked! And the absurdity of

CHAPTER II. his not being able to answer them to her satisfaction!

The farm was called Cherry-Tree "No," he replied rather crossly at Farm, and Arnold stayed there till the length; "I don't know where I am, nor harvest. They couldn't coax him to my name, nor anything. And I don't remember the essential things about want to. Let me go to sleep, will himself. The doctor confessed that he you?"

didn't understand the case. It was Instead of doing this, she sent Willie the first one of the kind that had come to the farm for grandfather. It struck his way. In all other respects save Arnold as droll that the boy should this, the young man seemed sound have a name and he none, so far as he enough in mind and body. He could, knew. He said so with a chuckle that for example, talk about politics very made the pretty young woman gasp rationally, with opinions about the and then gaze after her boy.

State in agreeable conformity with I'm afraid you are very poorly," those of both the doctor and the she said very softly.

farmer. But they couldn't induce him He didn't argue the point, only to remember his own line of life, nodded.

family, place of abode, or-name. "You've been walking all day and His pockets told nothing. They all night?"

contained insurance company's "Ever so many days and ever so memorandum-book, with no name in many nights," he told her.

it, pipe, tobacco, knife, handkerchief,



matches, about nine pounds in money, it, only to discover that he was filling and a letter. He was persuaded by his pipe by the window and whistling Willie's mother to turn the articles out unconcernedly. upon the red cloth of the parlor table. Don't you remember her other The farmer said Peggy might try her name-besides Gertie?" she whispered hand on him if she liked. She didn't afterwards. like at all, but regarded it as a duty. He tried, but gave it up. “I'll be

Nothing came of it except some hanged if I do," he said gaily. "What smiles and chuckles from Arnold. a curious thing, isn't it? But-she's "Anything else I can do for you, Mrs. about your age, Mrs. Brandon. ErBrandon ?” he asked, when she said has your husband been dead long?" how sorry she was there was no en- "Three years. It was an accident in velope with an address on it, no visit- the tithebarn. I thought”ing-card-in short, nothing helpful. "You thought?"

“We want to assist you to find your “That I should have died too. But home,” she explained.

we won't talk about it, please. What “Ah!" said he vacantly; and then, a pity she didn't put her full address looking about him, and lastly at her, at the top of the letter! Just 'Clap"I seein very well off where I am- ham' is no more use than just 'Lonthat is, if I'nı not in the way."

don' is it?" Willie was in the room at the time, Arnold supposed so; then took Willie and made up to his left leg. “I want

in his arms. You're a nice little Mr. Man to

out and play, chap!" he said enthusiastically. mother," he said.

“And so’re you, Mr. Man," said the Arnold brisked up immediately. He boy.--"Isn't he, mother?-You was bad already played a little with Willie. found in the grass." And in about a minute Mrs. Brandon They both smiled at the proclamawas watching them together at the tion of this truth. swing under the farm's oldest cherry- “But," then said the boy's mother, tree.

with a charming wrinkle on her otherWhen he returned to the parlor Mrs. wise smooth brow, "shall you think me Brandon suggested that the letter rude if I ask you about something in (still lying on the table) might help the letter?" them, although it had no cover. But, “Of course not,” said Arnold. "Try strange to say, nothing came of this me with anything.” either.

"She mentions an H. C.-another “Won't you read it and tell us if gentieman. I-I gather that she didn't there is anything in it?" she urged, know her own mind. I'm so sorry for when he seemed unwilling to touch it. you. Were you engaged a long time?”

He read it then, tossed it away, said, "Engaged! Who? Oh, that. Yes, I “Ah, yes–Gertie! It's from Gertie. believe we were." A tormented look That's all over!" and sat with his came upon him. “It's all over, whathands to his head until Mrs. Brandon ever it is. That beast-Do you know, ventured a reminder.

I think Dr. Capper's right. I ought to “May I read it?" she asked.

be lying down somewhere. I feel"Certainly,” said he, "if you think here.” Even with the boy in his arms it will interest you."

he managed to touch the tiresome part It interested her very much; a bloom of his head. came to her cheeks while she read it; Mrs. Brandon took the boy from she glanced at him in the middle of him, and was as insistent as the doc

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