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the room, had walked to the front scarcely spoke to her, but took some door. Presently he heard voices pains to make himself agreeable to coming down the narrow path and Mr. Lee. Nay, in this he succeeded saw two figures approaching. Tony beyond his hopes, not to say his and Ianthe, talking eagerly. His wishes, for the old gentleman having momentary surprise was followed up entangled him in one of his faby a sudden sharp misgiving, painful vourite politico-socio-psychologieand incensing as a stab from a pen- anthropological discourses during knife. Those two had made friends, dessert, would not let him go, particular friends it appeared. even after dinner, but carried him Well, and why not? What was off to finish the subject over a cigar there so exasperating in that? out of doors. Tony submitted
“My mercurial pupil, after all, with a respectful patience that was falling under the spell of a second very edifying, but which from him daughter of Eve! Is that not
was no more than a secret tribute enough?"
to the father of Ianthe-it is to be Scarcely, to account for that feared. sudden heart-burning. However Ichabod, on a sudden impulse, he might lay it to this, as he said excused himself from joining them, to himself that he could, he must assigning letters as a pretext. It prevent that catastrophe.
Was early still, about eight o'clock. “ What on earth is the matter Mr. Lee and Tony strolled down with Ichabod ? ” said Tony care- the village, which was already half lessly, as they came in sight of him asleep.
asleep. Ichabod returned to the as he stood on the doorstep: “He long, cheerless, half-lighted dininglooks as green
green and yellow as sitting-reading room, where they jealousy incarnate. I
had left Ianthe alone. He did not fellow, you've missed the most at once begin his letters, but shifted magnificenthurly-burly over there.” restlessly about the room, wonder
The pair came up with glowing ing why he could not settle. He cheeks, and hair still wet with the supposed he was waiting for Ianthe rain drops. Ichabod joined them, to go—not that he wanted her to and walked on with them to the depart, either. other hotel, where they found poor And she did not, but stood at Mr. Lee chafing in enforced the window, looking out, and taking solitude, all the other travellers, no notice of him. disgusted by the wet weather, Well, he would take no notice of having left en masse that morning. her, so he seated himself defiantly Any human creature would have at the writing-desk and began to been welcome, how much more the indite. two familiar English faces of It was odd, in a man of his Ichabod and Tony Sebright! Mr. calibre, that his will should fail to Lee greeted them both cordially, overcome such a
nervous tacitly agreeing to forget the little distraction as that caused by her fracas at the Grievance Club, and
presence in the room.
But so it asked them to dinner immediately. was ; no two consecutive words He and his daughter were leaving could he string together. Sense, the next day.
grammar, handwriting—it was all During the table d'hôte, which consisted of their party alone, the con- He glanced now and then at versation was general, but Tony, as Ianthe, fancying she was watching Ichabod observed with relief, so far him. No; her eyes and her thoughts from devoting himself to Ianthe, were far away. Over and over
a very chaos.
again he began, and in vain. Sud- despise it. It was her settlei,
. denly he sprang up with, for him, serious, unaffected disapprobation a violent and unusual exclamation and her unconcern about concealing and gesture of impatience.
it that piqued, nay, maddened him “ What is the matter ? ” she more than the most delicate play of asked in surprise.
feminine cunning could have done. “I cannot write," said Ichabod, “I am sure I've heard you say, ruffled.
she replied, " that you consider it “No wonder; that ink is fit for quite beneath the dignity of a nothing but to blot out with. I rational animal to give way to such discovered that this morning,” she trifling influences as those, and call returned good humouredly. "Don't people who are the sport of them attempt it.”
simply contemptible. “ It is not the ink,” muttered "It is possible," said Ichabod, Ichabod.
coming to a standstill opposite her Well, what is it then?”
where she sat at the long narrov “I cannot write, it appears, with table, bending over her work. She somebody-with you, at least, in would not look up. He returned the room,” he said with an awkward to the desk. laugh. “No; don't go, that is not
“ What? Are you going to try what I want,” he added very spon
the ink again?" said she laughing. taneously. Ianthe seated herself “ Indeed, it is hopeless; put there at the table and took up her needle- to punish tourists who stop indoors work. This gave her at once an to write letters when they ought to immense advantage over empty and be in the woods. Oh, but I forgot nervous-fingered manhood. Ichabod -Tony says you are a nature paced up and down the length of hater." the room, glancing at her from Tony" repeated Ichabod, whom time to time.
the word struck like a stone or a She was in black to-night, with slap in the face. a little cloud of lace round her "Tony Sebright," she said, throat. Into her hair, which was smiling to herself, but not particucurled
loosely round her head, larly confused by her inadvertence. she had fancifully twisted a little “No hater or lover, only a critic knot of Alpine flowers, gentians, and a judge, but as such, of course, pinks, and Parnassus grass, beyond your sympathy. I have no gathered during her walk, and patience, I own, with the senti. already beginning to droop. mental school who go shedding
“ I cannot think,” she said pre- maudlin tears over the decline of sently, “why my presence, of all the primitive virtues, and whose things, should affect you, of all childish admiration of nature people."
springs from blind ignorance, and "Why me, of all people ?” said can anly live on through a conhe.
venient suspension of judgment on Now, had Ianthe been a coquette, every question where the answer here, it would seem, was a glorious, would be harsh and unpleasant.” a divine opportunity for a tour de “Yes,” said Ianthe, taking him force in the art. Still, all her up with vivacity, “and because subtlety could hardly have hidden this view is a wrong view, and life from Ichabod that it was coquetry; and nature have their stern side, and, feeling that, he might have other people who have not strength shaken off her spell and cured his or courage to face or bear the own weakness the moment he could roughness revenge themselves by
heaping abuse on the whole. They the blight of Nihilism – then cannot frankly accept harsh the reaction may come—and the realities and struggle with them, goddess you disown find and so condemn the scheme at once returning to her worship more as clumsy and wicked. This is eagerly than ever. what I should call weak and I would make delight in beauty the maudlin.”
object of life. But I call it a “I ask merely, what right have guiding star we lose sight of at our you to set up nature as a model, peril. Surely it is there to reconcile and then omit all her characteris- us to existence. Without it, what tics but tenderness and pretti- talisman should we have to carry ness ?”
us through moments when our “I leave out nothing
It is spirits flag, and life and fate you who leave out the last two
appear intolerable ?" features of hers and their signi- How well she looked while she ficance."
spoke! One of Ianthe's charac“I can dispense with them, in teristics was a rare harmony of my Cosmos.
After all they are her outward with her inner self. but the luxuries, not necessaries Voice, look, manner, words, were of
the dessert it all equally expressive of her were."
nature. She was a perfectly tuned “ So you think.” Ianthe had instrument that gave the true thrown down her work and turned response to every pressure. Few to him, speaking with great anima- characters can afford to be so tion. “But that love of beauty transparent. which is born in us, and has grown Ichabod had come to a standstill up in us,- I believe it is something by her side. He was most unwe cannot do without. Life consciously turning over the conmay go on without it, perhaps- tents of her work-basket. They but it is sad, and scanty, and in- might have been dominoes for complete-and its best pleasures re- aught he knew. main "might have beens.' I know “Do you leave Zermatt soon ?” it is the fashion to cry down the he asked. feeling, and set up others in its For once in his life he felt no place—and some have lost faith in desire to contradict or even to
But it is not dead for that-as argue. some day we shall see, when its “To-morrow morning; for Luenemies have done their worst, cerne,
route home. And and turned town into a factory, you ?” country to a market-garden, and “I am bound for Geneva." humanity to an automaton to work
with them. Then men and women will discover that life, as they have
“ Of course.” made it, is not worth living, and
you adopted him ?” will wonder how it could have asked Ianthe, with a spark of seemed
to those before malice. them.”
“Why do you ask?” “ Well,” said Ichabod.
“ Because he is not of your age, “Well, then, perhaps, they will nor, I should fancy, of your disunderstand how the charm has position, yet you seem inseparable, been lost, and the power of the
so far.” beauty of the world, and its
far ! What do
you infinite variety has suffered under mean?"
“That I don't think you will Like a man under mesmerism he keep him long,” returned the girl, must yield to, even while resenting,
this power stronger than his own “ Why — who do you think will. Ianthe began to feel the will tempt him away?” said tête-à-tête becoming painful, unhe, pointedly, forcing a laugh. bearable, and wishing to end it at íanthe blushed, but replied all hazards, she rose, a little quietly:
abruptly, gathered up her work, “Merely his own bent. It is and wishing him good night, held very strong, you know."
out her hand. Strong-like a wave that may He took it, and did not let go be turned into one channel or directly. She looked up quickly, another."
presence—not “There is a tide that sets, and absence of mind on his part. Also, conquers at last.”
and for the first and only time, she Ichabod consumed with seemed to see a glimpse of some curiosity. She spoke with a sort frank emotion in that face; the of authority. Yet there was that man, as it were, painfully strugin her manner which reassured gling with the mask, the iron of him. It was like a settled in- which had entered into his soul. difference. If only it were not It touched her with pity. He confidence.
saw that, and with it came the “ Tony's a nice fellow," he said, fear that more it could never watching her with avidity, “though do now, a feeling that brought whether he's
all the with it a sudden heart-sinking trouble I've taken about him which overwhelmed him for a at different times I begin to minute. doubt."
The wings of fortune do not “ Will you resign him ?” said
pass every day, and after all, Ianthe, suddenly, looking up. the best that can befall a man
“To you? Never!” He had for- generally has passed him once, gotten himself, and the words came as a chance, which he has too out with a violence that startled often put from him, awares them both. “I mean," he re- unawares. sumed, “ to whom do
“Good-night," she repeated in to leave him ?”
a softened tone. Only to himself.”
“Good-bye," said he; then, “You seem excessively interested upon some odd senseless impulse, in his welfare."
he suddenly raised his left hand “How can I help it?” said she to the fading gentians in her hair, frankly. “I am sure he has very loosened, and took them out.
. rare ability, and I hate to see him The voices of Mr. Lee and Tony wasting it, or letting it lie fallow in the passage outside here came - the natural
consequence of to relieve Ianthe's embarrassment, having the nothingness of all and restore Ichabod's mind to its things mortal perpetually im- equilibrium. As the two others pressed on him.”
entered the room, the knot of half“So that is all ? "
withered flowers dropped from his " It seems to me enough.” hand. The next minute Tony,
No more would he get from her, seeing them lie on the floor, picked at all events. There was a long them up. But turning round to silence. Ichabod wondered why restore them to Ianthe he found he did not, could not go away.
she was gone.
The two friends took leave thing-when you wouldn't smoke. of Mr. Lee, and returned to You've been over-walking.” their hotel. “Old fellow, what's “ Not I,” said Ichabod, shortly, wrong?” said Tony, innocently. “ but I think there's vertigo in the “I knew there must be
air to-night, Tony.” (To be continued.)