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Emily Fox-Seton - Being The Making of a Marchioness and The Methods of Lady Walderhurst
by Frances Hodgson Burnett
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The day was dull and cold, but the front room was warm and made cheerful by fire. Mrs. Jameson was sitting at a writing-table. There were letters before her, and she seemed to have been re-reading them. She did not any longer bloom with normal health. Her face was a little dragged, and the first thing he noted in the eyes she lifted to him was that they were bewildered.

"She has had a shock," he thought. "Poor woman!"

He began to talk to her about herself with the kindly perception which was inseparable from him. He wondered if the time had not come when she would confide in him. Her shock, whatsoever it had been, had left her in the position of a woman wholly at a loss to comprehend what had occurred. He saw this in her ingenuous troubled face. He felt as if she was asking herself what she should do. It was not unlikely that presently she would ask him what she should do. He had been asked such things before by women, but they usually added trying detail accompanied by sobs, and appealed to his chivalry for impossible aid. Sometimes they implored him to go to people and use his influence.

Emily answered all his questions with her usual sweet, good sense. She was not well. Yesterday she had fainted.

"Was there any disturbing reason for the faint?" he inquired.

"It was because I was—very much disappointed," she answered, hesitating. "I had a letter which—It was not what I expected."

She was thinking desperately. She could understand nothing. It was not explainable that what she had written did not matter at all, that James should have made no reply.

"I was awake all night," she added.

"That must not go on," he said.

"I was thinking—and thinking," nervously.

"I can see that," was his answer.

Perhaps she ought to have courage to say nothing. It might be safer. But it was so lonely not to dare to ask anyone's advice, that she was getting frightened. India was thousands and thousands of miles away, and letters took so long to come and go. Anxiety might make her ill before she could receive a reply to a second letter. And perhaps now in her terror she had put herself into a ridiculous position. How could she send for Lady Maria to Mortimer Street and explain to her? She realised also that her ladyship's sense of humour might not be a thing to confide in safely.

Warren's strong, amiable personality was good for her. It served to aid her to normal reasoning. Though she was not aware of the fact, her fears, her simplicity, and her timorous adoration of her husband had not allowed her to reason normally in the past. She had been too anxious and too much afraid.

Her visitor watched her with great interest and no little curiosity. He himself saw that her mood was not normal. She did not look as poor Mrs. Jerrold had looked, but she was not in a normal state.

He made his visit a long one purposely. Tea was brought up, and he drank it with her. He wanted to give her time to make up her mind about him. When at last he rose to go away, she rose also. She looked nervously undecided, but let him go towards the door.

Her move forward was curiously sudden.

"No, no," she said. "Please come back. I—oh!—I really think I ought to tell you."

He turned towards her, wishing that Mary were with him. She stood trying to smile, and looking so entirely nice and well-behaved even in her agitation.

"If I were not so puzzled, or if there was anybody—" she said. "If you could only advise me; I must—I must keep safe."

"There is something you want to tell me?" he said quietly.

"Yes," she answered. "I am so anxious, and I am sure it must be bad for one to be anxious always. I have not dared to tell anyone. My name is not Mrs. Jameson, Dr. Warren. I am—I am Lady Walderhurst."

He barely managed to restrain a start. He was obliged to admit to himself that he had not thought of anything like this. But Mary had been right.

Emily blushed to her ears with embarrassment. He did not believe her.

"But I am really," she protested. "I really am. I was married last year. I was Emily Fox-Seton. Perhaps you remember."

She was not flighty or indignant. Her frank face was only a little more troubled than it had been before. She looked straight into his eyes without a doubt of his presently believing her. Good heavens! if—

She walked to the writing-table and picked up a number of letters. They were all stamped with the same seal. She brought them to him almost composedly.

"I ought to have remembered how strange it would sound," she said in her amenable voice. "I hope I am not doing wrong in speaking. I hope you won't mind my troubling you. It seemed as if I couldn't bear it alone any longer."

After which she told him her story.

* * * * *

The unadorned straightforwardness of the relation made it an amazing thing to hear, even more amazing than it would have been made by a more imaginative handling. Her obvious inability to cope with the unusual and villainous, combined with her entire willingness to obliterate herself in any manner in her whole-souled tenderness for the one present object of her existence, were things a man could not be unmoved by, even though experience led him to smile at the lack of knowledge of the world which had left her without practical defence. Her very humbleness and candour made her a drama in herself.

"Perhaps I was wrong to run away. Perhaps only a silly woman would have done such a queer, unconventional thing. But I could think of nothing else so likely to be quite safe, until Lord Walderhurst could advise me. And when his letter came yesterday, and he did not speak of what I had said—" Her voice quite failed her.

"Captain Osborn has detained your letter. Lord Walderhurst has not seen it."

Life began to come back to her. She had been so horribly bewildered as to think at moments that perhaps it might be that a man who was very much absorbed in affairs—

"The information you sent him is the most important, and moving, a man in his position could receive."

"Do you think so, really?" She lifted her head with new courage and her colour returned.

"It is impossible that it should be otherwise. It is, I assure you, impossible, Lady Walderhurst."

"I am so thankful," she said devoutly. "I am so thankful that I have told you."

Anything more touching and attractive than her full eyes and her grown-up child's smile he felt he had never seen.



Chapter Twenty two

The attack of fever which had seemed to begin lightly for Lord Walderhurst assumed proportions such as his medical man had not anticipated. His annoyance at finding his duties interfered with fretted him greatly. He was not, under the circumstances, a good patient, and, partly as a result of his state of mind, he began, in the course of a few weeks, to give his doctors rather serious cause for anxiety. On the morning following Emily's confession to Dr. Warren she had received a letter from her husband's physician, notifying her of his new anxieties in connection with his patient. His lordship required extreme care and absolute freedom from all excitement. Everything which medical science and perfect nursing could do would be done. The writer asked Lady Walderhurst's collaboration with him in his efforts at keeping the invalid as far as possible in unperturbed spirits. For some time it seemed probable that letter writing and reading would be out of the question, but if, when correspondence might be resumed, Lady Walderhurst would keep in mind the importance of serenity to the convalescent, the case would have all in its favour. This, combined with expressions of sympathetic encouragement and assurances that the best might be hoped for, was the gist of the letter. When Dr. Warren arrived, Emily handed the epistle to him and watched him as he read it.

"You see," she said when he looked up, "that I did not speak too soon. Now I shall have to trust to you for everything. I could never have borne it all by myself. Could I?"

"Perhaps not," thinking it over; "but you are very brave."

"I don't think I'm brave," thinking it over on her own part, "but it seemed as if there were things I must do. But now you will advise me."

She was as biddable as a child, he told his wife afterwards, and that a woman of her height and carriage should be as biddable as she might have been at six years old, was an effective thing.

"She will do anything I tell her, she will go anywhere I advise. I advise that she shall go to her husband's house in Berkeley Square, and that together you and I will keep unobtrusive guard over her. All is quite simple, really. All would have been comparatively simple at the outset, if she had felt sure enough of her evidence to dare to confide in some practical person. But she was too uncertain and too much afraid of scandal, which might annoy her husband. She is deeply in awe of Lord Walderhurst and deeply in love with him."

"When one realises how unnecessary qualities and charms seem to be to the awakening of the tender emotion, it is rather dull, perhaps, to ask why. Yet one weakly asks it," was Mrs. Warren's summation.

"And one cannot supply the answer. But the mere devotion itself in this nice creature is a thing to be respected. She will control even her anxieties and reveal nothing while she writes her cheerful letters, as soon as she is allowed to write them."

"Lord Walderhurst will be told nothing?"

"Nothing until his recovery is complete. Now that she has made a clean breast of everything to me and given herself into my hands, I believe that she finds a sentimental pleasure in the thought of keeping her secret until he returns. I will confess to you, Mary, that I think that she has read of and tenderly sympathised with heroines who have done the like before. She does not pose to herself as a heroine, but she dwells affectionately on ingenuous mental pictures of what Lord Walderhurst will say. It is just as well that it should be so. It is better for her than fretting would be. Experience helped me to gather from the medical man's letter that his patient is in no condition to be told news of any kind, good or bad."

The house in Berkeley Square was reopened. Lady Walderhurst returned to it, as it was understood below stairs, from a visit to some German health resort. Mrs. Cupp and Jane returned with her. The wife of her physician in attendance was with her a great deal. It was most unfortunate for her ladyship that my lord was detained in India by illness.

The great household, having presented opened shutters to the world, went on in the even tenor of its way. There brooded over it, however, a sort of hushed dignity of atmosphere. The very housemaids wore an air of grave discretion. Their labours assumed the proportions of confidential interested service, in which they felt a private pride. Not one among them had escaped becoming attached to Lady Walderhurst.

Away from Palstrey, away from Mortimer Street, Emily began to find reality in the fact that everything had already become quite simple, after all. The fine rooms looked so well ordered and decent in a stately way. Melodramatic plotting ceased to exist as she looked at certain dignified sofas and impressive candelabra. Such things became even more impossible than they had become before the convincingness of the first floor front bedroom in Mortimer Street, She began to give a good deal of thought to the summer at Mallowe. There was an extraordinary luxury in living again each day of it, the morning when she had taken the third-class carriage which provided her with hot, labouring men in corduroys as companions, that fleeting moment when the tall man with the square face had passed the carriage and looked straight through her without seeming to see her at all. She sat and smiled tenderly at the mere reminiscent thought. And then the glimpse of him as he got into the high phaeton at the station; and the moment when Lady Maria had exclaimed "There's Walderhurst," and he had come swinging with his leisurely step across the lawn. And he had scarcely seemed to see her then, or notice her really when they met, until the morning he had joined her as she gathered the roses and had talked to her about Lady Agatha. But he had actually been noticing her a little even from the first—he had been thinking about her a little all the time. And how far she had been from guessing it when she had talked to Lady Agatha, how pleased she had been the morning of the rose gathering when he had seemed interested only in Agatha's self! She always liked to recall, however, the way in which he had asked the few questions about her own affairs. Her simplicity never wearied of the fascination of the way in which he had looked at her, standing on the pathway, with that delightful non-committal fixing of her with the monocle when she had said:

"People are kind. You see, I have nothing to give, and I always seem to be receiving."

And he had gazed at her quite unmovedly and answered only:

"What luck!"

But since then he had mentioned this moment as one of those in which he had felt that he might want to marry her, because she was so unconscious of the fact that she gave much more to everybody than she received, that she had so much to give and was totally unaware of the value of her gifts.

"His thoughts of me are so beautiful very often," was her favourite reflection, "though he always has that composed way of saying things. What he says seems more valuable, because he is like that."

In truth, his composed way of saying things it was which seemed to her incomparable. Even when, without understanding its own longing for a thing it lacked, her heart had felt itself a little unsustained she had never ceased to feel the fascination of his entire freedom from any shadow of interest in the mental attitude of others towards himself. When he stood and gazed at people through the glass neatly screwed into his eye, one felt that it was he whose opinion was of importance, not the other person's. Through sheer chill imperviousness he seemed entirely detached from the powers of criticism. What people said or thought of his fixed opinion on a subject was not of the least consequence, in fact did not exist; the entities of the persons who cavilled at such opinions themselves ceased to exist, so far as he was concerned. His was the immovable temperament. He did not snub people: he cut the cord of mental communication with them and dropped them into space. Emily thought this firmness and reserved dignity, and quailed before the thought of erring in such a manner as would cause him to so send her soul adrift. Her greatest terror during the past months had been the fear of making him ridiculous, of putting him in some position which might annoy him by objectionable publicity.

But now she had no further fears, and could wait in safety and dwell in peace upon her memories and her hopes. She even began to gain a kind of courage in her thoughts of him.

The atmosphere of the Berkeley Square mansion was good for her. She had never felt so much its mistress before the staff of servants of whose existence she was the centre, who so plainly served her with careful pleasure, who considered her least wish or inclination as a royal command, increased her realisation of her security and power. The Warrens, who understood the dignity and meaning of mere worldly facts her nature did not grasp, added subtly to her support. Gradually she learned to reveal herself in simple talk to Mrs. Warren, who found her, when so revealed, a case more extraordinary than she had been when enshrouded in dubious mystery.

"She is absolutely delicious," Mrs. Warren said to her husband. "That an adoration such as hers could exist in the nineteenth century is—"

"Almost degenerate," he laughed.

"Perhaps it is regenerate," reflecting. "Who knows! Nothing earthly, or heavenly, would induce me to cast a doubt upon it. Seated opposite to a portrait of her James, I hear her opinions of him, when she is not in the least aware of what her simplest observation conveys. She does not know that she is including him when she is talking of other things, that one sees that while she is too shy to openly use his name much, the very breath of her life is a reference to him. Her greatest bliss at present is to go unobtrusively into his special rooms and sit there dwelling upon his goodness to her."

In fact Emily spent many a quiet hour in the apartments she had visited on the day of her farewell to her husband. She was very happy there. Her soul was uplifted by her gratitude for the peace she had reached. The reports of Lord Walderhurst's physician were never alarming and generally of a reassuring nature. But she knew that he must exercise great caution, and that time must elapse before he could confront his return voyage. He would come back as soon as was quite safe. And in the meantime her world held all that she could desire, lacking himself.

Her emotion expressed itself in her earnest performance of her reverent daily devotions. She read many chapters of the Bible, and often sat happily absorbed in the study of her Book of Common Prayer. She found solace and happiness in such things, and spent her Sunday mornings, after the ringing of the church bells, quite alone in Walderhurst's study, following the Service and reading the Collects and Lessons. The room used to seem so beautifully still, even Berkeley Square wearing its church-hour aspect suggested devout aloofness from worldly things.

"I sit at the window and think," she explained to Mrs. Warren. "It is so nice there."

She wrote her letters to India in this room. She did not know how far the new courage in her thoughts of her husband expressed itself in these letters. When Walderhurst read them, however, he felt a sense of change in her. Women were sometimes spoken of as "coming out amazingly." He began to feel that Emily was, in a measure at least, "coming out." Perhaps her gradually increasing feeling of accustomedness to the change in her life was doing it for her. She said more in her letters, and said it in a more interesting way. It was perhaps rather suggestive of the development of a girl who was on the verge of becoming a delightful sort of woman.

Lying upon his back in bed, rendered, it may be, a trifle susceptible by the weakness of slow convalescence, he found a certain habit growing upon him—a habit of reading her letters several times, and of thinking of her as it had not been his nature to think of women; also he slowly awakened to an interest in the arrival of the English mails. The letters actually raised his spirits and had an excellent physical effect. His doctor always found him in good condition after he had heard from his wife.

"Your letters, my dear Emily," Walderhurst once wrote, "are a great pleasure to me. You are to-day exactly as you were at Mallowe,—the creature of amiable good cheer. Your comfort stimulates me."

"How dear, how dear?" Emily cried to the silence of the study, and kissed the letter with impassioned happiness.



The next epistle went even farther. It absolutely contained "things" and referred to the past which it was her joy to pour libations before in secret thought. When her eye caught the phrase "the days at Mallowe" in the middle of a sheet, she was almost frightened at the rush of pleasure which swept over her. Men who were less aloof from sentimental moods used such phrases in letters, she had read and heard. It was almost as if he had said "the dear old days at Mallowe" or "the happy days at Mallowe," and the rapture of it was as much as she could bear.

"I cannot help remembering as I lie here," she read in actual letters as she went on, "of the many thoughts which passed through my mind as I drove over the heath to pick you up. I had been watching you for days. I always liked particularly your clear, large eyes. I recall trying to describe them to myself and finding it difficult. They seemed to me then to resemble something between the eyes of a very nice boy and the eyes of a delightful sheep-dog. This may not appear so romantic a comparison as it really is."

Emily began most softly and sweetly to cry. Nothing more romantic could she possibly have imagined.

"I thought of them in spite of myself as I drove across the moor, and I could scarcely express to you how angry I was at Maria. It seemed to me that she had brutally imposed on you only because she had known she might impose on a woman with such a pair of eyes. I was angry and sentimental at one and the same time. And to find you sitting by the wayside, absolutely worn out with fatigue and in tears, moved me really more than I had anticipated being moved. And when you mistook my meaning and stood up, your nice eyes looking into mine in such ingenuous appeal and fear and trouble, I have never forgotten it, my dear, and I never shall."

His mood of sentiment did not sit easily upon him, but it meant a real and interesting quite human thing.

Emily sat alone in the room and brooded over it as a mother might brood over a new-born child. She was full of tremulous bliss, and, dwelling with reverent awe upon the wonder of great things drawing nearer to her every hour, wept for happiness as she sat.

* * * * *

The same afternoon Lady Maria Bayne arrived. She had been abroad taking, in no dull fashion, various "cures," which involved drinking mineral waters while promenading to the sounds of strains of outdoor music, and comparing symptoms wittily with friends equal to amazing repartee in connection with all subjects.

Dr. Warren was an old acquaintance, and as he was on the point of leaving the house as she entered it she stopped to shake hands with him.

"It's rather unfortunate for a man when one can only be glad to see him in the house of an enemy."

She greeted him with, "I must know what you are doing here. It's not possible that Lady Walderhurst is fretting herself into fiddle-strings because her husband chooses to have a fever in India."

"No, she is behaving beautifully in all respects. May I have a few minutes' talk with you, Lady Maria, before you see her?"

"A few minutes' talk with me means something either amusing or portentous. Let us walk into the morning-room."

She led the way with a rustle or silk petticoats and a suggestion of lifted eyebrows. She was inclined to think that the thing sounded more portentous than amusing. Thank Heaven! it was not possible for Emily to have involved herself in annoying muddles. She was not that kind of woman.

When she came out of the room some twenty minutes later she did not look quite like herself. Her smart bonnet set less well upon her delicate little old face, and she was agitated and cross and pleased.

"It was ridiculous of Walderhurst to leave her," she was saying. "It was ridiculous of her not to order him home at once. It was exactly like her,—dear and ridiculous."

In spite of her agitation she felt a little grotesque as she went upstairs to see Emily,—grotesque, because she was obliged to admit to herself that she had never felt so curiously excited in her life. She felt as she supposed women did when they allowed themselves to shed tears through excitement; not that she was shedding tears, but she was "upset," that was what she called it.

As the door opened Emily rose from a chair near the fire and came slowly towards her, with an awkward but lovely smile.

Lady Maria made a quick movement forward and caught hold of both her hands.

"My good Emily," she broke forth and kissed her. "My excellent Emily," and kissed her again. "I am completely turned upside down. I never heard such an insane story in my life. I have seen Dr. Warren. The creatures were mad."

"It is all over," said Emily. "I scarcely believe it was true now."

Lady Maria being led to a sofa settled herself upon it, still wearing her complex expression of crossness, agitation, and pleasure.

"I am going to stay here," she said, obstinately. "There shall be no more folly. But I will tell you that they have gone back to India. The child was a girl."

"It was a girl?"

"Yes, absurdly enough."

"Oh," sighed Emily, sorrowfully. "I'm sure Hester was afraid to write to me."

"Rubbish!" said Lady Maria. "At any rate, as I remarked before, I am going to stay here until Walderhurst comes back. The man will be quite mad with gratified vanity."



Chapter Twenty three

It was a damp and depressing day on which Lord Walderhurst arrived in London. As his carriage turned into Berkeley Square he sat in the corner of it rather huddled in his travelling-wraps and looking pale and thin. He was wishing that London had chosen to show a more exhilarating countenance to him, but he himself was conscious of being possessed by something more nearly approaching a mood of eagerness than he remembered experiencing at any period of his previous existence. He had found the voyage home long, and had been restless. He wanted to see his wife. How agreeable it would be to meet, when he looked across the dinner-table, the smile in her happy eyes. She would grow pink with pleasure, like a girl, when he confessed that he had missed her. He was curious to see in her the changes he had felt in her letters. Having time and opportunities for development, she might become an absolutely delightful companion. She had looked very handsome on the day of her presentation at Court. Her height and carriage had made her even impressive. She was a woman, after all, to be counted on in one's plans.

But he was most conscious that his affection for her had warmed. A slight embarrassment was commingled with the knowledge, but that was the natural result of his dislike to the sentimental. He had never felt a shadow of sentiment for Audrey, who had been an extremely light, dry, empty-headed person, and he had always felt she had been adroitly thrust upon him by their united families. He had not liked her, and she had not liked him. It had been very stupidly trying. And the child had not lived an hour. He had liked Emily from the first, and now—It was an absolute truth that he felt a slight movement in the cardiac region when the carriage turned into Berkeley Square. The house would look very pleasant when he entered it. Emily would in some subtle way have arranged that it should wear a festal, greeting air. She had a number of nice, little feminine emotions about bright fires and many flowers. He could picture her childlike grown-up face as it would look when he stepped into the room where they met.

Some one was ill in Berkeley Square, evidently very ill. Straw was laid thick all along one side of it, depressing damp, fresh straw, over which the carriage rolled with a dull drag of the wheels.

It lay before the door of his own house, he observed, as he stepped out. It was very thickly scattered. The door swung open as the carriage stopped. Crossing the threshold, he glanced at the face of the footman nearest to him. The man looked like a mute at a funeral, and the expression was so little in accord with his mood that he stopped with a feeling of irritation. He had not time to speak, however, before a new sensation arrested his attention,—a faint odour which filled the place.

"The house smells like a hospital," he exclaimed, in great annoyance. "What does it mean?"

The man he addressed did not answer. He turned a perturbed awkward face to his superior in rank, an older man, who was house steward.

In the house of mortal pain or death there is but one thing more full of suggestion than the faint smell of antiseptics,—the gruesome, cleanly, unpleasant odour,—that is, the unnatural sound of the whispering of hushed voices. Lord Walderhurst turned cold, and felt it necessary to stiffen his spine when he heard his servant's answer and the tone in which it was made.

"Her ladyship, my lord—her ladyship is very low. The doctors do not leave her."

"Her ladyship?"

The man stepped back deferentially. The door of the morning-room had been opened, and old Lady Maria Bayne stood on the threshold. Her worldly air of elderly gaiety had disappeared. She looked a hundred. She was almost dilapidated. She had allowed to relax themselves the springs which held her together and ordinarily supplied her with sprightly movement.

"Come here!" she said.

When he entered the room, aghast, she shut the door.

"I suppose I ought to break it to you gently," she said shakily, "but I shall do no such thing. It's too much to expect of any woman who has gone through what I have during these last three days. The creature is dying; she may be dead now."

She sank on the sofa and began to wipe away pouring tears. Her old cheeks were pale and her handkerchief showed touches of rose-pink on its dampness. She was aware of their presence, but was utterly indifferent. Walderhurst stared at her haggard disorder and cleared his throat, finding himself unable to speak without doing so.

"Will you have the goodness to tell me," he said with weird stiffness, "what you are talking about?"

"About Emily Walderhurst," she answered. "The boy was born yesterday, and she has been sinking ever since. She cannot possibly last much longer."

"She!" he gasped, turning lead colour. "Cannot possibly last,—Emily?"

The wrench and shock were so unnatural that they reached that part of his being where human feeling was buried under selfishness and inhuman conventionality. He spoke, and actually thought, of Emily first.

Lady Maria continued to weep shamelessly.

"I am over seventy," she said, "and the last three days have punished me quite enough for anything I may have done since I was born. I have been in hell, too, James. And, when she could think at all, she has only thought of you and your miserable child. I can't imagine what is the matter with a woman when she can care for a man to such an extent. Now she has what she wants,—she's dying for you."

"Why wasn't I told?" he asked, still with the weird and slow stiffness.

"Because she was a sentimental fool, and was afraid of disturbing you. She ought to have ordered you home and kept you dancing attendance, and treated you to hysterics."

No one would have resented such a course of action more derisively than Lady Maria herself, but the last three days had reduced her to something like hysteria, and she had entirely lost her head.

"She has been writing cheerfully to me—"

"She would have written cheerfully to you if she had been seated in a cauldron of boiling oil, it is my impression," broke in her ladyship. "She has been monstrously treated, people trying to murder her, and she afraid to accuse them for fear that you would disapprove. You know you have a nasty manner, James, when you think your dignity is interfered with."

Lord Walderhurst stood clenching and unclenching his hands as they hung by his sides. He did not like to believe that his fever had touched his brain, but he doubted his senses hideously.

"My good Maria," he said, "I do not understand a word you say, but I must go and see her."

"And kill her, if she has a breath left! You will not stir from here. Thank Heaven! here is Dr. Warren."

The door had opened and Dr. Warren came in. He had just laid down upon the coverlet of a bed upstairs what seemed to be the hand of a dying woman, and no man like himself can do such a thing and enter a room without a singular look on his face.

People in a house of death inevitably whisper, whatsoever their remoteness from the sick-room. Lady Maria cried out in a whisper:

"Is she still alive?"

"Yes," was the response.

Walderhurst went to him.

"May I see her?"

"No, Lord Walderhurst. Not yet."

"Does that mean that it is not yet the last moment?"

"If that moment had obviously arrived, you would be called."

"What must I do?"

"There is absolutely nothing to be done but to wait. Brent, Forsythe, and Blount are with her."

"I am in the position of knowing nothing. I must be told. Have you time to tell me?"

They went to Walderhurst's study, the room which had been Emily's holy of holies.

"Lady Walderhurst was very fond of sitting here alone," Dr. Warren remarked.

Walderhurst saw that she must have written letters at his desk. Her own pen and writing-tablet lay on it. She had probably had a fancy for writing her letters to himself in his own chair. It would be like her to have done it. It gave him a shock to see on a small table a thimble and a pair of scissors.

"I ought to have been told," he said to Dr. Warren.

Dr. Warren sat down and explained why he had not been told.

As he spoke, interest was awakened in his mind by the fact that Lord Walderhurst drew towards him the feminine writing-tablet and opened and shut it mechanically.

"What I want to know," he said, "is, if I shall be able to speak to her. I should like to speak to her."

"That is what one most wants," was Dr. Warren's non-committal answer, "at such a time."

"You think I may not be able to make her understand?"

"I am very sorry. It is impossible to know."

"This," slowly, "is very hard on me."

"There is something I feel I must tell you, Lord Walderhurst." Dr. Warren kept a keen eye on him, having, in fact, felt far from attracted by the man in the past, and wondering how much he would be moved by certain truths, or if he would be moved at all. "Before Lady Walderhurst's illness, she was very explicit with me in her expression of her one desire. She begged me to give her my word, which I could not have done without your permission, that whatsoever the circumstances, if life must be sacrificed, it should be hers."

A dusky red shot through Walderhurst's leaden pallor.

"She asked you that?" he said.

"Yes. And at the worst she did not forget. When she became delirious, and we heard that she was praying, I gathered that she seemed to be praying to me, as to a deity whom she implored to remember her fervent pleading. When her brain was clear she was wonderful. She saved your son by supernatural endurance."

"You mean to say that if she had cared more for herself and less for the safety of the child she need not have been as she is now?"

Warren bent his head.

Lord Walderhurst's eyeglass had been dangling weakly from its cord. He picked it up and stuck it in his eye to stare the doctor in the face. The action was a singular, spasmodic, hard one. But his hands were shaking.

"By God!" he cried out, "if I had been here it should not have been so!"

He got up and supported himself against the table with the shaking hands.

"It is very plain," he said, "that she has been willing to be torn to pieces upon the rack to give me the thing I wanted. And now, good God in heaven, I feel that I would have strangled the boy with my own hands rather than lose her."

In this manner, it seemed, did a rigid, self-encased, and conventional elderly nobleman reach emotion. He looked uncanny. His stiff dignity hung about him in rags and tatters. Cold sweat stood on his forehead and his chin twitched.

"Just now," he poured forth, "I don't care whether there is a child or not. I want her—I care for nothing else. I want to look at her, I want to speak to her, whether she is alive or dead. But if there is a spark of life in her, I believe she will hear me."

Dr. Warren sat and watched him, wondering. He knew curious things of the human creature, things which most of his confreres did not know. He knew that Life was a mysterious thing, and that even a dying flame of it might sometimes be fanned to flickering anew by powers more subtle than science usually regards as applicable influences. He knew the nature of the half-dead woman lying on her bed upstairs, and he comprehended what the soul of her life had been,—her divinely innocent passion for a self-centred man. He had seen it in the tortured courage of her eyes in hours of mortal agony.

"Don't forget," she had said. "Our Father which art in Heaven. Don't let anyone forget. Hallowed be thy name."

The man, leaning upon his shaking hands before him, stood there, for these moments at least, a harrowed thing. Not a single individual of his acquaintance would have known him.

"I want to see her before the breath leaves her," he gave forth in a harsh, broken whisper. "I want to speak. Let me see her."

Dr. Warren left his chair slowly. Out of a thousand chances against her, might this one chance be for her,—the chance of her hearing, and being called back to the shores she was drifting from, by this stiff, conventional fellow's voice. There was no knowing the wondrousness of a loving human thing, even when its shackles were loosening themselves to set it free.

"I will speak to those in charge with me," he said. "Will you control every outward expression of feeling?"

"Yes."

Adjoining Lady Walderhurst's sleeping apartment was a small boudoir where the medical men consulted together. Two of them were standing near the window conversing in whispers.

Walderhurst merely nodded and went to wait apart by the fire. Ceremony had ceased to exist. Dr. Warren joined the pair at the window. Lord Walderhurst only heard one or two sentences.

"I am afraid that nothing, now, can matter—at any moment."

* * * * *

Those who do not know from experience what he saw when he entered the next room have reason to give thanks to such powers as they put trust in.

There ruled in the large, dim chamber an awful order and silence. The faint flickering of the fire was a marked sound. There was no other but a fainter and even more irregular one heard as one neared the bed. Sometimes it seemed to stop, then, with a weak gasp, begin again. A nurse in uniform stood in waiting; an elderly man sat on a chair at the bedside, listening and looking at his watch, something white and lifeless lying in his grasp,—Emily Walderhurst's waxen, unmoving hand. The odour of antiseptics filled the nostrils. Lord Walderhurst drew near. The speaking sign of the moment was that neither nurse nor doctor stirred.

Emily lay low upon a pillow. Her face was as bloodless as wax and was a little turned aside. The Shadow was hovering over it and touched her closed lids and the droop of her cheek and corners of her mouth. She was far, far away.

This was what Walderhurst felt first,—the strange remoteness, the lonely stillness of her. She had gone alone far from the place he stood in, and which they two familiarly knew. She was going, alone, farther still. As he stood and watched her closed eyes,—the nice, easily pleased eyes,—it was they themselves, closed on him and all prosaic things and pleasures, which filled him most strangely with that sense of her loneliness, weirdly enough, hers, not his. He was not thinking of himself but of her. He wanted to withdraw her from her loneliness, to bring her back.

He knelt down carefully, making no sound, stealthily, not removing his eyes from her strange, aloof face. He slowly dared to close his hand on hers which lay outside the coverlet. And it was a little chill and damp,—a little chill.

A power, a force which hides itself in human things and which most of them know not of, was gathering within him. He was warm and alive, a living man; his hand as it closed on the chill of hers was warm; his newly awakened being sent heat to it.

He whispered her name close to her ear.

"Emily!" slowly, "Emily!"

She was very far away and lay unmoving. Her breast scarcely stirred with the faintness of her breath.

"Emily! Emily!"

The doctor slightly raised his eyes to glance at him. He was used to death-bed scenes, but this was curious, because he knew the usual outward aspect of Lord Walderhurst, and its alteration at this moment suggested abnormal things. He had not the flexibility of mind which revealed to Dr. Warren that there were perhaps abnormal moments for the most normal and inelastic personages.

"Emily!" said his lordship, "Emily!"

He did not cease from saying it, in a low yet reaching whisper, at regular intervals, for at least half an hour. He did not move from his knees, and so intense was his absorption that the presence of those who came near was as nothing.

What he hoped or intended to do he did not explain to himself. He was of the order of man who coldly waves aside all wanderings on the subjects of occult claims. He believed in proven facts, in professional aid, in the abolition of absurdities. But his whole narrow being concentrated itself on one thing,—he wanted this woman back. He wanted to speak to her.

What power he unknowingly drew from the depths of him, what exquisite answering thing he reached at, could not be said. Perhaps it was only some remote and subtle turn of the tide of life and death which chanced to come to his aid.

"Emily!" he said again, after many times.

Dr. Warren at this moment met the lifted eyes of the doctor who was counting her pulse, and in response to his look went to him.

"It seems slightly stronger," Dr. Forsythe whispered.

The slow, faint breathing changed a shade; there was heard a breath slightly, very slightly deeper, less flickering, then another.

Lady Walderhurst slightly stirred.

"Remain where you are," whispered Dr. Warren to her husband, "and continue to speak to her. Do not alter your tone. Go on."

* * * * *

Emily Walderhurst, drifting out on a still, borderless, white sea, sinking gently as she floated, sinking in peaceful painlessness deeper and deeper in her drifting until the soft, cool water lapped her lips and, as she knew without fear, would soon cover them and her quiet face, hiding them for ever,—heard from far, very far away, across the whiteness floating about her, a faint sound which at first only fell upon the stillness without meaning. Everything but the silence had been left behind aeons ago. Nothing remained but the soundless white sea and the slow drifting and sinking as one swayed. It was more than sleep, this still peace, because there was no thought of waking to any shore.

But the far-off sound repeated itself again, again, again and again, monotonously. Something was calling to Something. She was so given up to the soft drifting that she had no thoughts to give, and gave none. In drifting so, one did not think—thought was left in the far-off place the white sea carried one from. She sank quietly a little deeper and the water touched her lip. But Something was calling to Something, something was calling something to come back. The call was low, low and strange, so regular and so unbroken and insistent, that it arrested, she knew not what. Did it arrest the floating and the swaying in the enfolding sea? Was the drifting slower? She could not rouse herself to think, she wanted to go on. Did she no longer feel the water lapping against her lip? Something was calling to Something still. Once, aeons ago, before the white sea had borne her away, she would have understood.

"Emily, Emily, Emily!"

Yes, once she would have known what the sound meant. Once it had meant something, a long time ago. It had even now disturbed the water, and made it cease to lap so near her lip.

* * * * *

It was at this moment that one doctor had raised his eyes to the other, and Lady Walderhurst had stirred.

When Walderhurst left his place beside his wife's bed, Dr. Warren went with him to his room. He made him drink brandy and called his man to him. "You must remember," he said, "that you are an invalid yourself."

"I believe," was the sole answer, given with an abstracted knitting of the brows,—"I believe that in some mysterious way I have made her hear me."

Dr. Warren looked grave. He was a deeply interested man. He felt that he had been looking on at an almost incomprehensible thing.

"Yes," was his reply. "I believe that you have."

About an hour later Lord Walderhurst made his way downstairs to the room in which Lady Maria Bayne sat. She still looked a hundred years old, but her maid had redressed her toupee, and given her a handkerchief neither damp nor tinted with rubbed-off rouge. She looked at her relative a shade more leniently, but still addressed him with something of the manner of a person undeservedly chained to a malefactor. Her irritation was not modified by the circumstance that it was extremely difficult to be definite in the expression of her condemnation of things which had made her hideously uncomfortable. Having quite approved of his going to India in the first place, it was not easy to go thoroughly into the subject of the numerous reasons why a man of his years and responsibilities ought to have realised that it was his duty to remain at home and take care of his wife.

"Incredible as it seems," she snapped, "the doctors think there is a slight change, for the better."

"Yes," Walderhurst answered.

He leaned against the mantel and gazed into the fire.

"She will come back," he added in a monotone.

Lady Maria stared at him. She felt that the man was eerie, Walderhurst, of all men on earth!

"Where do you think she has been?" She professed to make the inquiry with an air of reproof.

"How should one know?" rather with the old stiffness. "It is impossible to tell."

Lady Maria Bayne was not the person possessing the temperament to incline him to explain that, wheresoever the outer sphere might be to which the dying woman had been drifting, he had been following her, as far as living man could go.

The elderly house steward opened the door and spoke in the hollow whisper.

"The head nurse wished to know if your ladyship would be so good as to see Lord Oswyth before he goes to sleep."

Walderhurst turned his head towards the man. Lord Oswyth was the name of his son. He felt a shock.

"I will come to the nursery," answered Lady Maria. "You have not seen him yet?" turning to Walderhurst.

"How could I?"

"Then you had better come now. If she becomes conscious and has life enough to expect anything, she will expect you to burst forth into praises of him. You had better at least commit to memory the colour of his eyes and hair. I believe he has two hairs. He is a huge, fat, overgrown thing with enormous cheeks. When I saw his bloated self-indulgent look yesterday, I confess I wanted to slap him."

Her description was not wholly accurate, but he was a large and robust child, as Walderhurst saw when he beheld him.

From kneeling at the pillow on which the bloodless statue lay, and calling into space to the soul which would not hear, it was a far cry to the warmed and lighted orris-perfumed room in which Life had begun.

There was the bright fire before which the high brass nursery fender shone. There was soft linen hanging to be warmed, there was a lace-hung cradle swinging in its place, and in a lace-draped basket silver and gold boxes and velvet brushes and sponges such as he knew nothing about. He had not been in such a place before, and felt awkward, and yet in secret abnormally moved, or it seemed abnormally to him.

Two women were in attendance. One of them held in her arms what he had come to see. It was moving slightly in its coverings of white. Its bearer stood waiting in respectful awe as Lady Maria uncovered its face.

"Look at it," she said, concealing her relieved elation under a slightly caustic manner. "How you will relish the situation when Emily tells you that he is like you, I can't be as sure as I should be of myself under the same circumstances."

Walderhurst applied his monocle and gazed for some moments at the object before him. He had not known that men experienced these curiously unexplainable emotions at such times. He kept a strong hold on himself.

"Would you like to hold him?" inquired Lady Maria. She was conscious of a benevolent effort to restrain the irony in her voice.

Lord Walderhurst made a slight movement backward.

"I—I should not know how," he said, and then felt angry at himself. He desired to take the thing in his arms. He desired to feel its warmth. He absolutely realised that if he had been alone with it, he should have laid aside his eyeglass and touched its cheek with his lips.

Two days afterwards he was sitting by his wife's pillow, watching her shut lids, when he saw them quiver and slowly move until they were wide open. Her eyes looked very large in her colourless, more sharply chiselled face. They saw him and him only, as light came gradually into them. They did not move, but rested on him. He bent forward, almost afraid to stir.

He spoke to her as he had spoken before.

"Emily!" very low, "Emily!"

Her voice was only a fluttering breath, but she answered.

"It—was—you!" she said.



Chapter Twenty four

Such individuals as had not already thought it expedient to gradually loosen and drop the links of their acquaintance with Captain Alec Osborn did not find, on his return to his duties in India, that the leave of absence spent in England among his relatives had improved him. He was plainly consuming enormous quantities of brandy, and was steadily going, physically and mentally, to seed. He had put on flesh, and even his always dubious good looks were rapidly deserting him. The heavy young jowl looked less young and more pronounced, and he bore about an evil countenance.

"Disappointment may have played the devil with him," it was said by an elderly observer; "but he has played the devil with himself. He was a wrong'un to begin with."

When Hester's people flocked to see her and hear her stories of exalted life in England, they greeted her with exclamations of dismay. If Osborn had lost his looks, she also had lost hers. She was yellow and haggard, and her eyes looked over-grown. She had not improved in the matter of temper, and answered all effusive questions with a dry, bitter little smile. The baby she had brought back was a puny, ugly, and tiny girl. Hester's dry, little smile when she exhibited her to her relations was not pretty.

"She saved herself disappointment by being a girl," she remarked. "At all events, she knows from the outset that no one can rob her of the chance of being the Marquis of Walderhurst."

It was rumoured that ugly things went on in the Osborn bungalow. It was known that scenes occurred between the husband and wife which were not of the order admitted as among the methods of polite society. One evening Mrs. Osborn walked slowly down the Mall dressed in her best gown and hat, and bearing on her cheek a broad, purpling mark. When asked questions, she merely smiled and made no answer, which was extremely awkward for the well-meaning inquirer.

The questioner was the wife of the colonel of the regiment, and when the lady related the incident to her husband in the evening, he drew in his breath sharply and summed the situation up in a few words.

"That little woman," he said, "lives every day through twenty-four hours of hell. One can see it in her eyes, even when she professes to smile at the brute for decency's sake. The awfulness of a woman's forced smile at the devil she is tied to, loathing him and bearing in her soul the thing, blood itself could not wipe out. Ugh! I've seen it once before, and I recognised it in her again. There will be a bad end to this."

There probably would have been, with the aid of unlimited brandy and unrestrained devil, some outbreak so gross that the social laws which rule men who are "officers and gentlemen" could not have ignored or overlooked it. But the end came in an unexpected way, and Osborn was saved from open ignominy by an accident.

On a certain day when he had drunk heavily and had shut Hester up with him for an hour's torture, after leaving her writhing and suffocating with sobs, he went to examine some newly bought firearms. In twenty minutes it was he who lay upon the floor writhing and suffocating, and but a few minutes later he was a dead man. A charge from a gun he had believed unloaded had finished him.

* * * * *

Lady Walderhurst was the kindest of women, as the world knew. She sent for little Mrs. Osborn and her child, and was tender goodness itself to them.

Hester had been in England four years, and Lord Oswyth had a brother as robust as himself, when one heavenly summer afternoon, as the two women sat on the lawn drinking little cups of tea, Hester made a singular revelation, and made it without moving a muscle of her small countenance.

"I always intended to tell you, Emily," she began quietly, "and I will tell you now."

"What, dear?" said Emily, holding out to her a plate of tiny buttered scones. "Have some of these nice, little hot ones."

"Thank you." Hester took one of the nice, little hot ones, but did not begin to eat it. Instead, she held it untouched and let her eyes rest on the brilliant flower terraces spread out below. "What I meant to tell you was this. The gun was not loaded, the gun Alec shot himself with, when he laid it aside."

Emily put down her tea-cup hastily.

"I saw him take out the charge myself two hours before. When he came in, mad with drink, and made me go into the room with him, Ameerah saw him. She always listened outside. Before we left The Kennel Farm, the day he tortured and taunted me until I lost my head and shrieked out to him that I had told you what I knew, and had helped you to go away, he struck me again and again. Ameerah heard that. He did it several times afterwards, and she always knew. She always intended to end it in some way. She knew how drunk he was that last day, and—It was she who went in and loaded the gun while he was having his scene with me. She knew he would go and begin to pull the things about without having the sense to know what he was doing. She had seen him do it before. I know it was she who put the load in. We have never uttered a word to each other about it, but I know she did it, and that she knows I know. Before I married Alec, I did not understand how one human being could kill another. He taught me to understand, quite. But I had not the courage to do it myself. Ameerah had."

And while Lady Walderhurst sat gazing at her with a paling face, she began quietly to eat the little buttered scone.

THE END

[** Transcriber changes:

Original page 90 (Part One, Chapter 4): The whole treat, juvenile and adult, male and female, burst into three cheers which were roars and bellows[missing. inserted]

Original page 37 (Part One, Chapter 2): "I wish I had such clothes,[missing " inserted] answered Lady Maria, and she chuckled again.

Original page 150 (Part Two, Chapter 7): Realising this, he did not quite understand why he rather liked it in the case of Emily Fox-Seton, though he only liked it remotely and felt his his[second "his" has been omitted] own inaptness a shade absurd.

Original page 277 (Part Two, Chapter 14): "I know what her ladyship feels about being talked over. If I was a lady myself, I shouldn't like it. And I know how deep you'll feel it, that when the doctor advised her to get an experienced married person to be at hand, she said in that dear way of hers, 'Jane, if your uncle could spare your mother, how I should like to have her.'[extraneous ' omitted] I've never forgot her kindness in Mortimer Street.'"

Original page 312 (Part Two, Chapter 17): "My lady! my lady!" she gasped out as soon as she dare[missing "d" inserted].

Original page 320 (Part Two, Chapter 17): "They may be as innocent as I am. And they may be murderers in their hearts. I can prove nothing, I can prevent nothing. "[extraneous " omitted]Oh! do come home."

Original page 432: Human nature at its best and worst is well protrayed[changed to "portrayed"]. **]

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THE SIEGE OF THE SEVEN SUITORS. By Meredith Nicholson. Illustrated by C. Coles Phillips and Reginald Birch.

Seven suitors vie with each other for the love of a beautiful girl, and she subjects them to a test that is full of mystery, magic and sheer amusement.

THE MAGNET. By Henry C. Rowland. Illustrated by Clarence F. Underwood.

The story of a remarkable courtship involving three pretty girls on a yacht, a poet-lover in pursuit, and a mix-up in the names of the girls.

THE TURN OF THE ROAD. By Eugenia Brooks Frothingham.

A beautiful young opera singer chooses professional success instead of love, but comes to a place in life where the call of the heart is stronger than worldly success.

SCOTTIE AND HIS LADY. By Margaret Morse. Illustrated by Harold M. Brett.

A young girl whose affections have been blighted is presented with a Scotch Collie to divert her mind, and the roving adventures of her pet lead the young mistress into another romance.

SHEILA VEDDER. By Amelia E. Barr. Frontispiece by Harrison Fisher.

A very beautiful romance of the Shetland Islands, with a handsome, strong willed hero and a lovely girl of Gaelic blood as heroine. A sequel to "Jan Vedder's Wife."

JOHN WARD. PREACHER. By Margaret Deland.

The first big success of this much loved American novelist. It is a powerful portrayal of a young clergyman's attempt to win his beautiful wife to his own narrow creed.

THE TRAIL OF NINETY-EIGHT. By Robert W. Service. Illustrated by Maynard Dixon.

One of the best stories of "Vagabondia" ever written, and one of the most accurate and picturesque of the stampede of gold seekers to the Yukon. The love story embedded in the narrative is strikingly original.

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A CERTAIN RICH MAN. By William Allen White.

A vivid, startling portrayal of one man's financial greed, its wide spreading power, its action in Wall Street, and its effect on the three women most intimately in his life. A splendid, entertaining American novel.

IN OUR TOWN. By William Allen White. Illustrated by F.R. Gruger and W. Glackens.

Made up of the observations of a keen newspaper editor, Involving the town millionaire, the smart set, the literary set, the bohemian set, and many others. All humorously related and sure to hold the attention.

NATHAN BURKE. By Mary S. Watts.

The story of an ambitious, backwoods Ohio boy who rose to prominence. Everyday humor of American rustic life permeates the book.

THE HIGH HAND. By Jacques Futrelle. Illustrated by Will Grefe.

A splendid story of the political game, with a son of the soil on the one side, and a "kid glove" politician on the other. A pretty girl, interested in both men, is the chief figure.

THE BACKWOODSMEN. By Charles G.P. Roberts. Illustrated.

Realistic stories of men and women living midst the savage beauty of the wilderness. Human nature at its best and worst is well portrayed.

YELLOWSTONE NIGHTS. By Herbert Quick.

A jolly company of six artists, writers and other clever folks take a trip through the National Park, and tell stories around camp fire at night. Brilliantly clever and original.

THE PROFESSOR'S MYSTERY. By Wells Hastings and Brian Hooker. Illustrated by Hanson Booth.

A young college professor, missing his steamer for Europe, has a romantic meeting with a pretty girl, escorts her home, and is enveloped in a big mystery.

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THE SECOND WIFE. By Thompson Buchanan. Illustrated by W.W. Fawcett. Harrison Fisher wrapper printed in four Colors and gold.

An intensely interesting story of a marital complication in a wealthy New York family involving the happiness of a beautiful young girl.

TESS OF THE STORM COUNTRY. By Grace Miller White. Illustrated by Howard Chandler Christy.

An amazingly vivid picture of low class life in a New York college town, with a heroine beautiful and noble, who makes a great sacrifice for love.

FROM THE VALLEY OF THE MISSING. By Grace Miller White. Frontispiece and wrapper in colors by Penrhyn Stanlaws.

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THE LIGHTED MATCH. By Charles Neville Buck. Illustrated by R.F. Schabelitz.

A lovely princess travels incognito through the States and falls in love with an American man. There are ties that bind her to someone in her own home, and the great plot revolves round her efforts to work her way out.

MAUD BAXTER. By C.C. Hotchkiss. Illustrated by Will Grefe.

A romance both daring and delightful, involving an American girl and a young man who had been impressed into English service during the Revolution.

THE HIGHWAYMAN. By Guy Rawlence. Illustrated by Will Grefe.

A French beauty of mysterious antecedents wins the love of an Englishman of title. Developments of a startling character and a clever untangling of affairs hold the reader's interest.

THE PURPLE STOCKINGS. By Edward Salisbury Field. Illustrated in colors; marginal illustrations.

A young New York business man, his pretty sweetheart, his sentimental stenographer, and his fashionable sister are all mixed up in a misunderstanding that surpasses anything in the way of comedy in years. A story with a laugh on every page.

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THE SILENT CALL. By Edwin Milton Royle. Illustrated with scenes from the play.

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JOHN MARCH, SOUTHERNER. By George W. Cable.

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OLD LADY NUMBER 31. By Louise Forsslund.

A heart-warming story of American rural life, telling of the adventures of an old couple in an old folk's home, their sunny, philosophical acceptance of misfortune and ultimate prosperity.

THE HUSBAND'S STORY. By David Graham Phillips.

A story that has given all Europe as well as all America much food for thought. A young couple begin life in humble circumstances and rise in worldly matters until the husband is enormously rich—the wife in the most aristocratic European society—but at the price of their happiness.

THE TRAIL OF NINETY-EIGHT. By Robert W. Service. Illustrated by Maynard Dixon.

One of the best stories of "Vagabondia" ever written, and one of the most accurate and picturesque descriptions of the stampede of gold seekers to the Yukon. The love story embedded in the narrative is strikingly original.

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HIS HOUR. By Elinor Glyn. Illustrated.

A beautiful blonde Englishwoman visits Russia, and is violently made love to by a young Russian aristocrat. A most unique situation complicates the romance.

THE GAMBLERS. By Charles Klein and Arthur Hornblow, Illustrated by C.E. Chambers.

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THE LIGHT THAT LURES. By Percy Brebner. Illustrated. Handsomely colored wrapper.

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THE RAMRODDERS. By Holman Day. Frontispiece by Harold Matthews Brett.

A clever, timely story that will make politicians think and will make women realize the part that politics play—even in their romances.

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The Master's Violin

By MYRTLE REED

A Love Story with a musical atmosphere. A picturesque, old German virtuoso is the reverent possessor of a genuine Cremona. He consents to take as his pupil a handsome youth who proves to have an aptitude for technique, but not the soul of the artist. The youth has led the happy, careless life of a modern, well-to-do young American, and he cannot, with his meagre past, express the love, the longing, the passion and the tragedies of life and its happy phases as can the master who has lived life in all its fulness. But a girl comes into his existence, a beautiful bit of human driftwood that his aunt had taken into her heart and home; and through his passionate love for her, he learns the lessons that life has to give—and his soul awakens.

Founded on a fact well known among artists, but not often recognized or discussed.

If you have not read "LAVENDER AND OLD LACE" by the same author, you have a double pleasure in store—for these two books show Myrtle Reed in her most delightful, fascinating vein—indeed they may be considered as masterpieces of compelling interest.

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The Prodigal Judge

By VAUGHAN KESTER

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The Prodigal Judge is a shabby outcast, a tavern hanger-on, a genial wayfarer who tarries longest where the inn is most hospitable, yet with that suavity, that distinctive politeness and that saving grace of humor peculiar to the American man. He has his own code of morals—very exalted ones—but honors them in the breach rather than in the observance.

Clinging to the Judge closer than a brother, is Solomon Mahaffy—fallible and failing like the rest of us, but with a sublime capacity for friendship; and closer still, perhaps, clings little Hannibal, a boy about whose parentage nothing is known until the end of the story. Hannibal is charmed into tolerance of the Judge's picturesque vices, while Miss Betty, lovely and capricious, is charmed into placing all her affairs, both material and sentimental, in the hands of this delightful old vagabond.

The Judge will be a fixed star in the firmament of fictional characters as surely as David Harum or Col. Sellers. He is a source of infinite delight, while this story of Mr. Kester's is one of the finest examples of American literary craftmanship.

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* * * * *

GROSSET & DUNLAP'S DRAMATIZED NOVELS

Original, sincere and courageous—often amusing—the kind that are making theatrical history.

* * * * *

MADAME X. By Alexandra Bisson and J. W. McConaughy. Illustrated with scenes from the play.

A beautiful Parisienne became an outcast because her husband would not forgive an error of her youth. Her love for her son is the great final influence in her career. A tremendous dramatic success.

THE GARDEN OF ALLAH. By Robert Hichens.

An unconventional English woman and an inscrutable stranger meet and love in an oasis of the Sahara. Staged this season with magnificent cast and gorgeous properties.

THE PRINCE OF INDIA. By Lew. Wallace.

A glowing romance of the Byzantine Empire, presenting with extraordinary power the siege of Constantinople, and lighting its tragedy with the warm underglow of an Oriental romance. As a play it is a great dramatic spectacle.

TESS OF THE STORM COUNTRY. By Grace Miller White. Illust. by Howard Chandler Christy.

A girl from the dregs of society, loves a young Cornell University student, and it works startling changes in her life and the lives of those about her. The dramatic version is one of the sensations of the season.

YOUNG WALLINGFORD. By George Randolph Chester. Illust. by F.R. Gruger and Henry Raleigh.

A series of clever swindles conducted by a cheerful young man, each of which is just on the safe side of a State's prison offence. As "Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford," it is probably the most amusing expose of money manipulation ever seen on the stage.

THE INTRUSION OF JIMMY. By P. G. Wodehouse. Illustrations by Will Grefe.

Social and club life in London and New York, an amateur burglary adventure and a love story. Dramatized under the title of "A Gentleman of Leisure," it furnishes hours of laughter to the play-goers.

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Grosset & Dunlap, 526 West 26th St., New York

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THE NOVELS OF WINSTON CHURCHILL

Skillful in plot, dramatic in episode, powerful and original in climax.

MR. CREWE'S CAREER. Illus. by A.I. Keller and Kinneys.

A New England state is under the political domination of a railway and Mr. Crewe, a millionaire, seizes the moment when the cause of the people against corporation greed is being espoused by an ardent young attorney, to further his own interest in a political way, by taking up this cause.

The daughter of the railway president, with the sunny humor and shrewd common sense of the New England girl, plays no small part in the situation as well as in the life of the young attorney who stands so unflinchingly for clean politics.

THE CROSSING. Illus. by S. Adamson and L. Baylis.

Describing the battle of Fort Moultrie and the British fleet in the harbor of Charleston, the blazing of the Kentucky wilderness, the expedition of Clark and his handful of dauntless followers in Illinois, the beginning of civilization along the Ohio and Mississippi, and the treasonable schemes builded against Washington and the Federal Government.

CONISTON. Illustrated by Florence Scovel Shinn.

A deft blending of love and politics distinguishes this book. The author has taken for his hero a New Englander, a crude man of the tannery, who rose to political prominence by his own powers, and then surrendered all for the love of a woman.

It is a sermon on civic righteousness, and a love story of a deep motive.

THE CELEBRITY. An Episode.

An inimitable bit of comedy describing an interchange of personalities between a celebrated author and a bicycle salesman of the most blatant type. The story is adorned with some character sketches more living than pen work. It is purest, keenest fun—no such piece of humor has appeared for years: it is American to the core.

THE CRISIS. Illus. by Howard Chandler Christy.

A book that presents the great crisis in our national life with splendid power and with a sympathy, a sincerity, and a patriotism that are inspiring. The several scenes in the book in which Abraham Lincoln figures must be read in their entirety for they give a picture of that great, magnetic, loveable man, which has been drawn with evident affection and exceptional success.

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Grosset & Dunlap, 526 West 26th St., New York

* * * * *

B. M. Bower's Novels

Thrilling Western Romances

Large 12 mos. Handsomely bound in cloth. Illustrated

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CHIP, OF THE FLYING U

A breezy wholesome tale, wherein the love affairs of Chip and Delia Whitman are charmingly and humorously told. Chip's jealousy of Dr. Cecil Grantham, who turns out to be a big, blue eyed young woman is very amusing. A clever, realistic story of the American Cow-puncher.

THE HAPPY FAMILY

A lively and amusing story, dealing with the adventures of eighteen jovial, big hearted Montana cowboys. Foremost amongst them, we find Ananias Green, known as Andy, whose imaginative powers cause many lively and exciting adventures.

HER PRAIRIE KNIGHT

A realistic story of the plains, describing a gay party of Easterners who exchange a cottage at Newport for the rough homeliness of a Montana ranch-house. The merry-hearted cowboys, the fascinating Beatrice, and the effusive Sir Redmond, become living, breathing personalities.

THE RANGE DWELLERS

Here are everyday, genuine cowboys, just as they really exist. Spirited action, a range feud between two families, and a Romeo and Juliet courtship make this a bright, jolly, entertaining story, without a dull page.

THE LURE OF DIM TRAILS

A vivid portrayal of the experience of an Eastern author, among the cowboys of the West, in search of "local color" for a new novel. "Bud" Thurston learns many a lesson while following "the lure of the dim trails" but the hardest, and probably the most welcome, is that of love.

THE LONESOME TRAIL

"Weary" Davidson leaves the ranch for Portland, where conventional city life palls on him. A little branch of sage brush, pungent with the atmosphere of the prairie, and the recollection of a pair of large brown eyes soon compel his return. A wholesome love story.

THE LONG SHADOW

A vigorous Western story, sparkling with the free, outdoor, life of a mountain ranch. Its scenes shift rapidly and its actors play the game of life fearlessly and like men. It is a fine love story from start to finish.

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* * * * *

THE NOVELS OF GEORGE BARR McCUTCHEON

GRAUSTARK.

A story of love behind a throne, telling how a young American met a lovely girl and followed her to a new and strange country. A thrilling, dashing narrative.

BEVERLY OF GRAUSTARK.

Beverly is a bewitching American girl who has gone to that stirring little principality—Graustark—to visit her friend the princess, and there has a romantic affair of her own.

BREWSTER'S MILLIONS.

A young man is required to spend one million dollars in one year in order to inherit seven. How he does it forms the basis of a lively story.

CASTLE CRANEYCROW.

The story revolves round the abduction of a young American woman, her imprisonment in an old castle and the adventures created through her rescue.

COWARDICE COURT.

An amusing social feud in the Adirondacks in which an English girl is tempted into being a traitor by a romantic young American, forms the plot.

THE DAUGHTER OF ANDERSON CROW.

The story centers about the adopted daughter of the town marshal in a western village. Her parentage is shrouded in mystery, and the story concerns the secret that deviously works to the surface.

THE MAN FROM BRODNEY'S.

The hero meets a princess in a far-away island among fanatically hostile Musselmen. Romantic love making amid amusing situations and exciting adventures.

NEDRA.

A young couple elope from Chicago to go to London traveling as brother and sister. They are shipwrecked and a strange mix-up occurs on account of it.

THE SHERRODS.

The scene is the Middle West and centers around a man who leads a double life. A most enthralling novel.

TRUXTON KING.

A handsome good natured young fellow ranges on the earth looking for romantic adventures and is finally enmeshed in most complicated intrigues in Graustark.

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Grosset & Dunlap, 526 West 26th St., New York

* * * * *

LOUIS TRACY'S CAPTIVATING AND EXHILARATING ROMANCES

May be had wherever books are sold. Ask for Grosset & Dunlap's list

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CYNTHIA'S CHAUFFEUR. Illustrated by Howard Chandler Christy.

A pretty American girl in London is touring in a car with a chauffeur whose identity puzzles her. An amusing mystery.

THE STOWAWAY GIRL. Illustrated by Nesbitt Benson.

A shipwreck, a lovely girl stowaway, a rascally captain, a fascinating officer, and thrilling adventures in South Seas.

THE CAPTAIN OF THE KANSAS.

Love and the salt sea, a helpless ship whirled into the hands of cannibals, desperate fighting and a tender romance.

THE MESSAGE. Illustrated by Joseph Cummings Chase.

A bit of parchment found in the figurehead of an old vessel tells of a buried treasure. A thrilling mystery develops.

THE PILLAR OF LIGHT.

The pillar thus designated was a lighthouse, and the author tells with exciting detail the terrible dilemma of its cut-off inhabitants.

THE WHEEL O'FORTUNE. With illustrations by James Montgomery Flagg.

The story deals with the finding of a papyrus containing the particulars of some of the treasures of the Queen of Sheba.

A SON OF THE IMMORTALS. Illustrated by Howard Chandler Christy.

A young American is proclaimed king of a little Balkan Kingdom, and a pretty Parisian art student is the power behind the throne.

THE WINGS OF THE MORNING.

A sort of Robinson Crusoe redivivus with modern settings and a very pretty love story added. The hero and heroine are the only survivors of a wreck, and have many thrilling adventures on their desert island.

* * * * *

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* * * * *

THE END

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