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for himself—and he felt himself no revulsion of feeling had come over coward.
him. His nerves were in that overSuddenly, through the plash of strung condition, when every imthe waterfall, he heard voices pression is magnified to the utmost below. Looking over the parapet, in its intensity and in power of his eye met the figures of a party rapid working. He was well awake of travellers standing on the bridge now, but felt like a man who has far beneath at the base of the barely escaped some nameless rocks. They could not see him for danger, and shudders instinctively, the spray. He only saw even when safe, at the peril he has Ianthe Lee.
passed. Her rare, ever - welcome face Something had scattered the looked up at him from under a pack of ill-omened thoughts as if dark - spreading picturesque som- by a magic wand, and he returned brero hat. The breeze played with to the châlet in an altered mood. her loosened curls ; her eyes, even He found Ichabod at war with a from here, it seemed to him he fanatical French photographer, a could see their light. The moun. gentleman who had sentenced him. tain air had heightened her colour, self to six weeks' solitary confineand the guides and her father were ment at Handeck, involving such involuntarily dividing their admira- rough board and lodging as a clever tion between her and the waterfall. criminal might have made a Times
On Tony the impression was in- grievance of. The artist was very describable. Something like the eloquent on the subject of his shock of waking from what was sufferings, but declared himself, worse than the deadliest dream- nevertheless, in the third heaven. first sudden, then a long thrill of The fair weather for which he had relief so intense as to be absolutely waited so long had relented yesterpainful.
day, and condescended to favour He leaned over and continued to him. He had got a divine light, watch them while they lingered and taken the never-before-achieved below. When they moved away or attempted view upon which he and he heard the voices of the had set his heart. party mounting the hill, he made Ichabod could not help laughing his way to the edge of the wood, at his earnestness, or refrain from which he reached in time to catch reminding him that those six preone more glimpse of the travellers. cious weeks had been wasted, and Mr. Lee was on foot, his daughter that, supposing his pet photograph riding. They were not stopping at obtained ever such a sale, it could Handeck, intending evidently to never repay him for the long delay push on that same night to the and enforced idleness. Grimsel. Tony they had not seen, The Frenchman exploded. Ah as he stood half-hidden by the yes, it might be one whim, it might trees. He would not come forward. be one folly, but it was part of He felt bewildered and dizzy- himself, for he had vowed to take everything before him, his own this view, which had baffled all self, seemed strange and unreal. other photographers. He would When the figures had disappeared have waited for it six months in he flung himself on his back on the this purgatory of an inn if he grass in the wood, staring upwards must. Money might go to the through the black fir boughs into deuce. Why, this was a question the blue sky above.
of a strong caprice. Not but what An extraordinary, unaccountable he meant to make as many francs as he could out of his caprice now thing was as if seen through fairy he had succeeded, and he ended by glasses that distinctly showed even blandly suggesting that Ichabod the dewdrops, the gossamer threads, should put down his name for tiny ferns, and fibres of moss and half-a-dozen copies—a request that grass. At intervals a meteor, like was summarily declined. He then a golden dart, shot through the attacked Tony, with a more satis- air, and sank out of sight behind factory result. Generosity. is one the black fir groves and stony of the first symptoms of a bright. mountains. . The crash of the ening mind, and Ichabod had to waterfall was loud and ceaseless. shake his head over the incurably In spite of the magnificence impulsive character of his young of the scene, Tony was too taken friend.
up in teazing Ichabod to attend He had occasion to do so again
to it. before the next morning.
The “What do you say to that?” he occupants of the châlet retired asked triumphantly. early to bed. Towards the middle Just what I always have said, of the night Ichabod was roused that the moon has a great deal from a comfortable slumber by to answer for,” Ichabod replied. Tony shaking him vigorously. “I verily believe that, but for
“I say, old fellow, get up, do; her, we might have no lovers, no you must, indeed.”
poets.” " What on earth for " muttered “No lunatics, in short," laughed Ichabod, crossly, only half awake. Tony. “ To look at the moon.
Exactly. Oh, I'd blow her out that's glorious, it baffles descrip- if I could, with her glamour and tion-imagination !"
glare, and deceptive veil. I thought “I-get up to look at a moon ?” her day was past, though, and a He was wide awake now.
moonlight night a topic too old“Yes, I've been watching it this fashioned and puerile even for you half hour (" Tony, what a fool to rave about it. And now, by you are!" put in Ichabod, paren- your leave, I shall go to bed." thetically), till I couldn't help He went. But Tony remained, coming to wake you.
One look and when he had done laughing, out of the window and you'll for- still sat, staring out and lucubragive me.”
ting, till driven by the piercing Tony, it is to be feared, was not cold to follow his friend's example. prompted solely by enthusiasm. He was stifling a laugh, and his face, but for the darkness, would
CHAPTER XV. have betrayed how thoroughly he enjoyed Ichabod's ineffable dis- “ TONY," remarked Ichabod, the gust.
following evening, "we have only The latter said nothing, but been abroad a week, it is true, but wrapped himself in his dressing- it strikes me that, whatever was gown and marched to the window, amiss with our health at starting, to judge between Tony and the we have both of us already conmoon.
trived to get into first-rate condiIt was a half moon, riding high tion again.” in a starry cloudless sky. The They had crossed the Grimsel intense brilliancy of the atmo- Pass that day, and were talking sphere seemed preterraturally to over their future movements in the quicken the power of vision. Every dining-room of the little hotel that
sits solitary at the foot of the vapour shall be properly mixed, to glacier of the Rhone.
be inhaled by those who need it. “ And so,” he concluded, “I So a man might live in London think we may consider ourselves within three minutes' walk of the to have already accomplished the benefits of Chamouni, all of which object of our journey.
would then be available without “One of its objects," said Tony. the bother and risk of a journey."
“I had only one,” returned Tony protested that the two Ichabod ; “and what I say now is last were part of the prescripthis, why waste our money and tion. Exercise, excitement, change, time in carrying coals to New- amusement, were necessary things, castle ? as
we may find a better but that could not always so well market for our capital elsewhere.”
would not be “So you propose
willingly taken, at home. “To decide on taking the shortest Ichabod laughed such a conround, which from here, I imagine, fession of weakness to scorn of would be by Lucerne, and thence course.
He could prove
that home direct. I suppose you have there would always be room in no objection."
the most crowded town hive for Tony said he had a dozen of the exercise, even should it become strongest. Having come so far, necessary to set up public tread. were they to turn their backs on mills, to economise space. People the Alps without having done who refused to accustom them. much more than make their bow selves to such arrangementsto them? So much, too, might be arrangements made necessary by seen by going just a little farther. the state of society in their time He surprised Ichabod by his -must just suffer the penalty of obstinacy, and forced him at not being adapted to the condilast to agree to a compromise.
a compromise. tions under which they had to They would go down the Rhone live, and succumb in the battle of valley, visit Zermatt_on the way,
life accordingly. and then descend to Lausanne and Ichabod had to suffer a good Geneva, whence Tony promised to deal at Tony's hands during the set his face towards home without next day or two.
traveller was Alp intoxicated, and “I always wonder,” observed kept ringing the changes on every Ichabod, as they started on their note of admiration. Partly, it drive along the valley the next must be owned, for the malicious morning, "how it is that, in spite pleasure of tormenting his comiof the progress of science, the panion, who saw nothing in the thousand ways in which discoveries Oberland or the Valais but the are being turned to practical ac- pump of Europe, and
a very count, nobody should as yet have clumsy one, as pumps go. started a company for supplying Ichabod quite dreaded the appure mountain air to the inhabi- proach to the Matterhorn. He tants of London. Now we can knew what a fertile source
of analyse chemically and know all enthusiastic
it is-an the different parts of the atmo- absolute nuisance when boys, sphere and their proportions. I young ladies, and old men are of look forward to some coming the party. enormous institution of mountain
They came in sight of it sudair baths, where the oxygen, nitro- denly, as they were approaching gen, carbon, ozone, and aqueous Zermatt. Fresh snow had fallen
the night before, and the Colossus You won't have lost this sloppy rose before them in the double day, Tony," he added, quizzically, splendour of majesty of form and “if it helps to open your eyes to dazzling whiteness.
the hollowness of what people call But Tony, whether because he the religion of nature, still ramwas tired or because he could find pant, I am sorry to say, in the no suitable word in his dictionary, human mind.” kept silence; and even when his irre- “Rampant in mine I confess," verence, Ichabod, whose dictionary returned Tony, “and I cannot was equal to every emergency, com- spare it either yet-the goddess pared the mountain to a big has her teaching as well as the cockatoo, “Very like a whale laboratory.” was all the reply he provoked.
“Yes, but of a morality that In a few minutes more they clashes a little with ours. For were at the hotel at Zermatt, and instance, you know how the swalTony was reading over the list of lows, when about to migrate, visitors. Here, among the arrivals pierce the weaker fry with their of yesterday, he found what he bills, and make a general massacre had looked for in every traveller's of their own kith and kin." book since they left Handeck, the “ Those cursed swallows !” mut
of Mr. Lee and his tered Tony. “Oh, yes, I know; daughter.
how they are always brought in They were at the opposition inn, when a happy theory has to be of course.
Still Zermatt is so knocked on the head. small and imprisoned that, once know how the ancient
heroes, within its narrow limits, when they lost a battle, used to friends can hardly miss each other. command their own soldiers to
The next day, however, it rained, kill them, sooner than fall by the and so peremptorily that for a hands of their enemies. You tourist there was nothing to do would scarcely call this ferocity on but to sit helplessly at the window, the part of the soldiers.” fret, storm, or offer up prayers for
the swallows, Tony ? fine weather, according to the What on earth are you talking dictates of his organism. Tony about?” was consumed with a dire im- “Don't be impatient. I'm coming patience that made the confine- back to them. Of course you ment a trial indeed.
“ See now,"
know also, Ichabod, that flights of said Ichabod, philosophically, migratory birds are often followed “how inconvenient is your idea of by vultures and kites, that prey nature compared to mine. Make the laggers.
Suppose our her a goddess, and she is always swallow chooses rather to die by disgracing herself-make her a the beak of his friend than to laboratory only, and she cannot make a supper for his foe.” disappoint you. Who could wor- " Acquitting the swallow--say it ship a fog or a grey drizzle like is a necessary law of nature that this ? Yet they are nature just as the strong should prey on the much as sunshine. But her laws weak. Is it from such laws that and her workings are always on can learn our ethics, justice view, and sometimes from the and humanity, etcetera ?” most detestable phenomena we “Yes," said Tony audaciously, may learn the most valuable, if “it's the old song of the lower not quite pleasant-facts with re- principle yielding to the higher. gard to man and the universe. Even if I'm to be the one to
knock under, I wouldn't have the for I love a storm, murderous law reversed for me. It is good.” tastes, and all; the danger doubles
“What is bad ?” said Ichabod, the pleasure of the sight." sententiously, “and what is good ? This was flat rebellion. Was Terms exchangeable in every place the scholar turning restive in good
Duty is an arbitrary earnest? Or perhaps it might be thing; different, nay, opposite, in the electricity in the atmosphere. different creeds. The virtue of one Ichabod trusted to a good soaking nation is the accursed thing to for bringing him shortly to his another."
senses, and returned to read over “ What is happiness?” said the old newspapers for the tenth Tony, mimicking him, “and what time that day. is misery? Terms exchangeable Tony took himself out of doors, in every place and age. Pleasure strolling beyond the village, folis an arbitrary thing; its con- lowing the bank of the swollen ditions different, opposite even, stream. Crossing it presently he to different people. If you doubt struck up a mountain path skirting it, I refer you to my note book. a pine wood in the direction of the Yet that happiness and misery are Görner glacier. realities even you wouldn't deny." Most glaciers that have come “Oh, but I would.”
down to look at us instead of "Then you are going to write a daring us to beard them in their book about something that doesn't lair on high are exceedingly disexist. However, I only want you appointing, for they reach us little to admit as much general reality better than a mass of congealed for virtue and vice as for pleasure mud with a soiled and slimy face. and pain, and I'm content."
The Görner is a grand exception, “I can't do that, but I'll tell a clear, frozen, petrified cataract, you why.”
with transparent tints of unsur"To-morrow, to-morrow,” said passable beauty, all sapphire and Tony, with an instinctive gesture aqua-marine. in self-defence of his hands to his But the storm was still hanging ears and rising hastily. “For the about the hills. “ Ichabod's a present I think I'll take a little true prophet," said Tony, grimly, walk. It's clearing up, do you
as usual. Already I feel it
coming down without the smallest " It will rain again in half an compunction for me, my good hour.”
clothes, delicate constitution, and nonsense. The sun's exposed situation on the brow of a brilliant. Look! Exeunt clouds hill. Oh, unoffending youth that and enter the Matterhorn!”
I am, what have I done to be “This brightness is treacherous." wetted to the skin, perhaps be
“Oh yes, we know that,” said colded to death by the mysterious Tony, turning round little workings of a meteorological prodesperate, like an antelope at bay. vidence ?" “ The weather's as fickle and false Luckily for him there was as a thief or a woman; the stream little châlet close at band, a winter thinks nothing of drowning, or the den for cattle, rude in its work. hail of stunning, or the lightning of manship as a Bushman's hut, but burning you to a cinder; all acts
Tony crept which, if committed by men, we inside. It was dark and rough, should call frightful enormities. with no opening except the door. But my ethics are out of order, But there was room to stand up
solid and opaque.