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The tyranny of the dark


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Title:TheTyrannyoftheDark
Author:HamlinGarland
ReleaseDate:January8,2008[EBook#24220]
Language:English

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Shecameslowly,withoneslimhandontherailing.
Seep.243
"SHECAMESLOWLY,WITHONESLIMHANDONTHERAILING"ToList


THETYRANNY
OFTHEDARK

BY


HAMLINGARLAND
AUTHOROF
"THECAPTAINOFTHEGRAY-HORSETROOP"
"HESPER""THELIGHTOFTHESTAR"
ETC.ETC.

Publisher'sMark

LONDONANDNEWYORK
HARPER&BROTHERS
PUBLISHERS::MCMV

Copyright,1905,byHamlinGarland.
Allrightsreserved.
PublishedMay,1905.


CONTENTS

BOOKI
CHAPTER



PAGE

I. THESETTING
II. THEMAIDONTHEMOUNTAIN-SIDE
III. THEMAN
IV. ASECONDMEETING
V. PUPILANDMASTER
VI. INTHEMARSHALLBASIN
VII. THEFORCESOFLIGHTANDDARKNESS
VIII. DR.BRITTEXPLAINS
IX. ANTHONYCLARKE,EVANGEL
X. CLARKE'SWOOING

1
4
11
15
23
42
59
68
83
94

BOOKII
I. THEMODERNISTS
II. NEWSOFVIOLA
III. BRITTCOMESTODINE
IV. THEPATRONOFPSYCHICS
V. KATEVISITSVIOLA
VI. SERVISSLISTENSSHREWDLY
VII. THESLEEPINGSIBYL
VIII. KATE'SINTERROGATION
IX. VIOLA'SPLEAFORHELP
X. MORTONSENDSATELEGRAM
XI. DR.BRITTPAYSHISDINNER-CALL
XII. VIOLAINDINNER-DRESS
XIII. THETESTSÉANCE
XIV. PUZZLEDPHILOSOPHERS

103
112
132
146
164
188
201
213
224
245
251
262
283
307


XV. VIOLAREVOLTSFROMCLARKE
XVI. THEHOUSEOFDISCORD
XVII. WHENDOCTORSDISAGREE
XVIII. LAMBERTINTERVENES
XIX. SERVISSASSUMESCONTROL
XX. THEMOTHER'SFAITH
XXI. CLARKESHADOWSTHEFEAST
XXII. THESPIRITUALRESCUE

328
337
353
370
386
399
413
429

ILLUSTRATIONS

"SHECAMESLOWLY,WITHONESLIM
Frontispiece
HANDONTHERAILING"
"THEREWASINHISLOOKANEXPRESSION
Facingp.
OFACKNOWLEDGEDKINSHIP"
6
"SERVISSLISTENEDWITHGROWING
Facingp.
AMAZEMENT"
36
"VIOLA,TOO,CAMEBACKTOBEWITCH
Facingp.
HIMFROMHISREADING"
108
"'WHATDOYOUMEAN?DOYOUWANTTO
Facingp.
KILLTHEPSYCHIC?'"
212
"'BUT,TELLME,HOWDIDTHECHANGE
Facingp.
COME?WHATBEGANTOHAPPEN?'"
276
"THEGIRL'SEYESWEREOPENINGAS
Facingp.
FROMNATURALSLUMBER"
308
"'YOUNEEDNOTSPEAK—JUSTPUTYOUR
Facingp.
HANDINMINEANDIWILLUNDERSTAND'"
436



BOOKI

THECHARACTERSCONCERNED

VIOLALAMBERT,thesubject
MRS.LAMBERT,hermother
JOS.LAMBERT,herstep-father
ANTHONYCLARKE,herpastor
DR.BRITT,herphysician
MORTONSERVISS,herlover
KATERICE,herfriend
DR.WEISSMANN,her
investigator
SIMEONPRATT,herpatron

Thoseinthe
Light



Thoseinthe
Dark


WALDRON,herfather
MCLEOD,her"control"
WALTIE,herpoltergeist
JENNIEPRATT,Pratt'seldest
daughter
MRS.PRATT,"Loggy,"and
othersdimlyfelt



THETYRANNYOFTHEDARK

IToC
THESETTING

The village of Colorow is enclosed by a colossal amphitheatre of dove-gray
stone, in whose niches wind-warped pines stand like spectators silent and
waiting.Sixthousandfeetabovethevalleyfloorgreenandorangeslopesrunto
the edges of perennial ice-fields, while farther away, and peering above these
almost inaccessible defences, like tents of besieging Titans, rise three great
mountainsgleamingwithsnowandthunderouswithstorms.Altogetherastage
worthy of some colossal drama rather than the calm slumber of a forgotten
hamlet.
The railway enters the valley from the south by sinuously following the
windings of a rushing, foam-white stream, and for many miles the engines
cautiouslyfeeltheirwayamongstupendouswalls,passinghaltinglyoverbridges
hungperilouslybetweenperpendicularcliffsbyslenderironrods,orcreeplike
mountain-catsfromledgetoledge,sothatwhentheyhavereachedsafeharbor
besidethelittlereddepottheyneverfailtopantandwheezelikeatired,gratified
dogbesidehismaster'sdoor.Asidefromthecomingandgoingofthesetrains,
thetownissilentastheregardingpines.
Theonlyotherwaysofentrancetothisdeeppocketlieoverthreadliketrails
whichclimbthedividefromSilverCityandToltecandVermilion,andlooptheir
terrifyingcoursesdownthedeclivitiestrodonlybythesturdyburroortheagile,
sure-footed mountain-horse. These wavering paths, worn deep and dusty once,
aregrass-grownnow,fortheywerebuiltinthedayswhensilverwasaccounteda
preciousmetal,andonlyanoccasionalhunterorprospectormakespresentuseof
them.
Colorow itself, once a flaming, tumultuous centre of miners, gamblers, and


socialoutcasts,isnowrisen(ordeclined)tothequietofaNewEnglandsummer
resort,supportedpartlybytwoorthreebigmines(whosewhiteoreisstreaked
withgold),butmoreandmorebythegrowingfameofitsmountainsandtheir
medicinalsprings,forthesesplendidpeakshavetheirwaters,hotandcoldand
sweetandbitter,whosehealingpowersarebecomingknowntoanever-growing
numberofthoseAmericanswhoaremindedtoexploretheirnativeland.
Thiscentreofaërialstorms,thesegroupsoftranscendentsummits,wouldbe
morewidelyknownstill,butforthesingularsenseofproprietorshipwithwhich
eachdiscovererregardsthem.Theluckytravellerwhofallsintothisparadiseis
seized with a certain instant jealousy of it, and communicates his knowledge
only to his family and his friends. Nevertheless, its fame spreads slowly, and
eachyearnewdiscoverersflockingrowingnumberstotheonelittlehoteland
itsramshacklebath-house,sothatthecommunityonceabsolutelyandviciously
utilitarian begins to take timid account of its aesthetic surroundings, and here
andtherealittlelog-cabin(asappropriatetothislandasthechalettotheAlps)is
builtbesidethecallingripplesoftheriver,whilesaddledhorses,ladenburrosin
longlines,andnowandthenavastyelloworredore-wagoncreakingdolefully
asitdescends,stillgiveevidenceoftheminingwhichgoesonfarupthezigzag
trailstowardsthesoaring,shiningpeaksoftheContinentalDivide.

IIToC
THEMAIDONTHEMOUNTAIN-SIDE

One day in July a fair young girl, with beautiful gray eyes, sat musingly
besideoneofthesesoutherntrailsgazingupontheinvertedpyramidofredsky
which glowed between the sloping shoulders of the westward warding peaks.
Herexquisitelips,scarletasstrawberrystains,weredrawnintoanexpressionof
bitterconstraint,andherbrowswereunnaturallyknit.Herhatlaybesideheron


theground,herbrownhairwasblowingfree,andinhereyeswasthelookofone
longingfortheworldbeyondthehills.Sheappearedbothlonelyanddesolate.
It was a pity to see one so young and so comely confronting with sad and
sullenbrowsuchaërialmajestyastheeveningpresented.Itwas,indeed,asort
ofimpiety,andthegirlseemedatlasttofeelthis.Herfrowningbrowsmoothed
out,herlipsgrewmoregirlishofline,andatlength,raptwithwonder,shefixed
hereyesonasinglepurplecloudwhichwasdissolving,becomingeachmoment
smaller, more remote, like a fleeing eagle, yet burning each instant with even
moredazzling flame ofcolorthanbefore—hastingasiftoovertakethefailing
day. A dream of still fairer lands, of conquest, and of love, swept over her—
became mirrored in her face. She had at this moment the wistful gaze which
comestotheeyesoftheyoungwhendesireofthefutureisstrong.
Uponhermusingsasmallsoundbroke,sofaint,sofar,shecouldnottellfrom
whenceitcamenorwhatitscausemightbe.Itmighthavebeentherattleofa
pebble under the feet of a near-by squirrel or the scrambling rush of a distant
bear. A few moments later the voice of a man—very diminished and yet
unmistakable—camepulsingdownthemountain-side.
Thegirlroseaslightly,asgracefullyasafawnwho,rousedbutnotaffrighted,
standsonherimprintinthegrassandwaitsandlistens.
The man or men—for another voice could now be heard in answer—came
rapidlyon,andsoonacoupleofmenandasmallpack-traincameoutofaclump
of thick trees at the head of a gulch, and, doubling backward and forward,
descended swiftly upon the girl, who stood, with some natural curiosity, to let
thetravellers,whoevertheymightbe,passandprecedeherdowntothevalley.
Sheresentedthem,forthereasonthattheycutshortherreverie,hermomentof
spiritualpeace.
The man who first appeared was a familiar type of the West, a small, lean,
sharp-featured, foxy-eyed mountaineer, riding gracefully yet wearily—the
naturalhorsemanandtrailer.Behindhimtwotiredhorses,heapedwithacamp
outfit, stumbled, with low-hanging heads, while at the rear, sitting his saddle
sturdilyratherthanwithgrace,rodeayoungmanbareheaded,butotherwisein
therough-and-readydressofaplainsman.Hiseyeswereonthesunsetalso,and
something in the manner of his beard, as well as in the poise of his head,
proclaimedhimtobethemasterofthelittletrain,amanofcultureandanalien.
At sight of the girl he smiled and bowed with a look of frank and most
respectfuladmiration,quiteremovedfromtheimpudentstareofhisguide.His


handsweregloved,heworeaneatshirt,andhistiewasinorder—somuchthe
girl saw as he faced her—and as he passed she apprehended something strong
andmanlyinthelinesofhisbackandshoulders.Plainlyhewasnottothesaddle
born,likethemanahead,andyethewasquiteasbronzedandtravel-worn.
Aturninthetrailbroughtthembothcloseunderherfeet,andagainthemanin
therearglancedupatthefigurepoisedonthebowlderabovehim,andhiseyes
glowed once more with pleasure. There was in his look an expression of
acknowledgedkinship,asofonerefinedsoultoanother,akindofsubtleflattery
whichpleasedwhileitpuzzledthegirl.Menwitheyesofthatappealwerenot
commoninherworld.
The bitter lookvanishedoutofherface.She gazedafterthetrailerwiththe
unabashed interest of a child, wondering who he might be. In that instant her
soul, impressionable and eager, received and retained, like a sensitive plate,
everylineofhisfigure,everyminutemodellingofhisface—evenhisfashionof
saddleandtheleatherofhisgun-caseremainedwithherasfoodforreflection,
and as she loitered down the trail a wish to know more about him rose in her
heart.Therewasakindofsmilingecstasyonhisfacebeforehesawher—asif
he,too,weretransportedbythescene,andthisexpressioncameatlasttobethe
chiefrevelationofhischaracter.
Therewasinhislookanexpressionofacknowledgedkinship.
"THEREWASINHISLOOKANEXPRESSIONOFACKNOWLEDGEDKINSHIP"ToList

The red went out of the sky. The golden eagle of cloud flew home over the
illimitableseas ofsaffron,thepurpleshadowsroseinthe valleys,thelightsof
thetownbegantosparkle.Engine-bellsclangedtoandfro,andthestrainsofa
saloon band rose to vex the girl's poetic soul with repugnant remembrances of
the dance-hall. "I suppose he is only camping through," she thought, a little
wistfully,referringbacktothestranger."IwishIknewwhoheis."
Asshecamedowntothelevelofthestreamitsfriendlyroarcutofftheribald
musicandtheclamoroftheenginespreciselyasthebankshutawaythevisible
town,leavingthelittlerowofprettycottagesinthewardofthemountainsand
themartial,ranked,andtoweringfirs.
At the foot of the trail a gray-haired woman met her. It was her mother,
disturbed, indignant. "Viola Lambert, what do you mean by staying up there
afterdark?I'malla-trembleoveryou."


"Itisn'tdark,mother,"answeredthegirl;"andifitwere,itisn'tthefirsttime
I'vebeenoutalone."
Mrs.Lambert'svoicesoftened."Child,Icanhardlyseeyourface!Youmust
notdosuchthings.Idon'tmindyourbeingoutonhorseback,butyoumustnot
goupthereafoot.Itisdangerouswithallthesetrampminerscomingandgoing."
"Well,don'tscold—I'mheresafeandsound."
"I haven't had such a turn for years, Viola," the mother explained, as they
waitedsidebysidealongthenarrowwalk."Ihadanimpression—sovivid—that
Idroppedmyworkandrantofindyou.Itwasjustasifyoucalledme,askingfor
help.Itseemedtomethatsomedreadfulthinghadhappenedtoyou."
"Butnothingdid.Iwentuptoseethesunset.Ididn'tmeetasoul."Sheended
abruptly,forshedidnotwishtoretracehersadreverie.
"Whowerethetwomenwhocamedownjustnow?Theymusthavepassed
you."
"Yes, they passed me—I didn't know them. The one behind looked like an
'expert.'PerhapshehascometoexaminetheSanLuismine.Someonesaidthey
wereexpectingamanfromEngland."
"HelookedmorelikeaFrenchmantome."
"Itmaybeheis,"answeredViola,restrainedly.
Theyturnedinatarusticgatewayopeningintotheyardofasmallandvery
prettylog-cabinwhichseemeda toyhouse,sominutewasitin contrasttothe
mighty, fir-decked wall of gray and yellow rock behind it. Flowers had been
plantedalongthepath,andthroughtheopendoorared-shadedlampshonelike
apoppy.Plainlyitwasthehomeofrefinedandtastefulwomen,aplacewhere
tall,rudemenenteredtimidlyandwithapologies.
"Wasthereanymail?"askedthegirl,assheputasideherhat.
"Notathing."
The shadow deepened on her small, sensitive face. "Oh, why don't the girls
write?theyshouldknowhowhorriblylonelyitishere.I'mtiredofeverything
to-day,mother—perfectlystone-blue.Idon'tlikewhatIam;I'mtiredofchurchwork and the people here. I want to go back East; I want to change my life
completely."
The mother, a handsome woman, with fresh, unlined face, made no reply to


this outburst. "Gusta won't be back until late; we will have to get our own
supper."
Thegirlseemedratherpleasedatthisopportunitytodosomething,andwent
to her work cheerfully, moving with such grace and lightness that the mother
stood in doting admiration to watch her; she was so tall and lithe and fullbosomed—heronetreasure.
Assheworked,theshadowagainliftedfromthegirl'sface,asmilecameback
toherscarletlips,andshesangunderbreathasonlyayoungmaidencansingto
whomloveisawonderandmarriageafar-offdream.
Sherecalledthelookwhichlayonthefaceofthemanwhowasridingwith
bared head in ecstasy of the scene above and below him; but, most of all, she
dweltuponthegraciousandcandidglanceofadmirationwithwhichhegreeted
herandwhichherepeatedashedisappearedbelowhertobeseennomore.
This look went with her to her room, and as she sat at her window, which
openedupontheriver,shewonderedwhetherhehadgoneintocampinthepine
grovesjustbelowthebridge,orwhetherhehadtakenlodgingsatthehotel.
She had lovers—no girl of her charm could move without meeting the
admiring glances of men; but this stranger's regard was so much more subtly
exalting—it held an impersonal quality—it went beyond her entire
understanding, adding an element of mystery to herself, to him, and to the
sunset.

IIIToC
THEMAN

Meanwhile the young tourist had alighted before the door of the principal


hotel,and,afterwritinghisnameinaclearandprecisehandonthebookinthe
office, had hastened to his supper, carrying a most vivid recollection of the
slenderfigureandflushedandspeakingfaceofthegirlonthetrail.Thatmoment
ofmeeting,accidentalandfleeting,hadalreadybecomeamostbeautifulclimax
of his pilgrimage. "She was born of the sunset; she does not really exist," he
said, with unwonted warmth of phrase. "How could this little mining town
producesoexquisiteaflower?"
Hisgrosserneedssupplied,helithisbigstudent'spipeandwentoutuponthe
upperstoryofthehotel'srudeporch, andtheresat,listeningtotherush ofthe
stream,whilethegreatyellowstarsappearedonebyoneabovetheloftypeaks,
andtheairgrewcrisptofrostiness.Hewasprofoundlyatpeacewiththeworld
andhimself,hisphysicalwearinessbeingjustsufficienttogivethishourasound
completenessofcontent.
Asthebeautyofthenightdeepened,thegirl'sbeautyalluredlikethemoon.
Hestillsoughttoexplainher."Sheissometravellerlikemyself,"hesaid,"Bret
Hartetothecontrary,notwithstanding,thewildernessdoesnotproducemaidsof
herevidentrefinementandgrace.Shecomesofalonglineofwell-bredpeople."
He was not an emotional person, and had not been permitted to consider
pleasure the chief object, even of a vacation, but he went to his bed that night
wellpleasedwithColorow,andwithahalf-definedsensethatthiswas,afterall,
the point towards which his long journey, with all its windings, had really
tended.However,hewasnotreadytoacknowledgethatalargepartofthecharm
oftheplacewasduetotheglamourofaslendermaidlitbythesunsetlight.
This delight in the town and its surroundings gained a new quality next
morningashelookedfromhiswindowuponasinglewhitecloudrestinglikea
wearyswanonthekeenpointofoldKanab.ThoughthemesasofNewMexico
andthedesertsofArizonawerehisspecialfield,hebaredhisheadtothecharm
of"thehighcountry."
Each summer, after months of prolonged peering into the hidden heart of
microscopic things in his laboratory (he was both analytical chemist and
biologist),itwashiscustomtoreturnforafewweekstohuge,crudesynthetic,
natureforrelief.Afterendlessdiscussionof"whorlsofforce"andof"theoffice
of germs in the human organism," he enjoyed the racy vernacular of the
plainsman,towhombacteriawereasindifferentasblackberry-seeds.Eachyear
heresolvedtogototheforest,tothelakeregions,ortothemountains;butasthe
day of departure drew near the desert and the strange peoples living thereon


reassertedtheirdominion,andsohehadcontinuedtoreturntothesand,tothe
home of the horned toad and the rattlesnake. These trips restored the sane
balanceofhismind.Tocampinthechaparral,toexplorethesourceofstreams,
andtorelivethewonderoftheboykepthisfacultiesalertandkeen.
Hisloveofthesandsandthepurplebuttesoftheplaindidnotblindhimtothe
beautyofcoloringandthegraciousmajestyofthesepeaks,clothedastheywere
withtherussetandgoldandamberofripenedgrasses,whichgreweventothe
verysummits(onlythekingliestofthepeakswerepermittedtoweartheermine
robes which denoted sovereignty); the Continental Divide was, indeed, much
moreimpressivethanhehadexpectedittobe.
Hewasnotoneofthosewhoseekoutstrangewomen,andhehadnohopeof
meetingthegirlofthemountain-sideagain.Hewascontenttohaveherremaina
poem—a song of the sunset—a picture seen only for a moment, yet whose
impression outlasts iron. Everything in nature had converged to make her
momentous. His long stay among the ugly, dusky women of the desert, his
exultantjoyinthemountainsunset,andhisaboundinghealth(whichfilledhis
heart with the buoyancy of a boy)—all these causes combined to revive
emotions which his absorption in scientific investigation had set in the
background—emotions which concern the common man, but which the deeply
ambitious chemist, eager to discover the chemical molecular structure of the
plasm,mustputasidewithafirmhand.

IVToC
ASECONDMEETING

Violawasjustleavinghermother'sgatethefollowingafternoonwhenaman's
voice,cordial,assured,andcultivated,startledher.


"Good-morning.Isthisyourhome?"
She looked up to meet the smiling eyes of the stranger horseman. Again an
indefinable charm of manner robbed his greeting of offence, and quite
composedlyshereplied:
"Yes,thisisourhome."
"What a view you have, and what music!" He indicated the river which ran
whiteandbroadoveritspebbles,justbelowthewalk."Iamenchantedwiththe
place.Ithinkyoumustloveitverymuch."
Herfaceexpressedaqualifiedassent."Ohyes,butIgettiredofitsometimes,
especiallyinwinterwhenweareallshutinwithsnow."
"Thenyoureallyareayear-roundresident?Isupposemyviewisthetourist's
view. I can't believe anybody lives here in winter. I hope you won't mind my
introducingmyself"—hehandedheracard."Youmadesuchaprettypictureup
there beside the trail yesterday that I couldn't forbear speaking to you on a
secondmeeting.Iwantedtoknowwhetheryouwererealorjustafragmentof
sunsetcloud."
The ease and candor of his manner, joined to the effect of the name on the
card, fully reassured her, and she looked up with a smile. "Won't you come in
andrest?"
"Thankyou,Ishouldlikeparticularlytodoso,I'vebeenforaclimbupthat
peakbehindyourcottageandI'mtired."
Her reserve quite melted, the girl led the way to the door where her mother
stoodinartlesswonder.
"Mother,thisisDr.Serviss,ofCorlearCollege."
"I'mgladtoknowyou,sir,"saidMrs.Lambert,withold-fashionedformality.
"Won'tyoucomein?"
"Thankyou.Itwillbeapleasure."
"Areyouaphysician?"sheasked,asshetookhishatandstick.
"Oh,dear,no!Nothingsousefulasthat.I'madoctorbybrevet,astheysayin
thearmy."Then,asthoughacknowledgingthathishostesswasentitledtoknow
alittlemoreaboutherintrusiveguest,headded:"Iamastudentofbiology,Mrs.
Lambert, and assistant to Dr. Weissmann, the head of the bacteriological
departmentofCorlearMedicalCollege.Westudygerms—microscopic'bugs,'"


heended,withhumorousglanceatViola."Whatacharmingbungalowyouhave
here!Didyougatherthosewildflowers?"
Violaansweredinthetoneofapupiltohermaster,"Yes,sir."
"But some of them grow high. You must be a mountaineer. Pardon my
curiosity—itisinexcusable—buthowlonghaveyoulivedhere?"
Themotherlookedatherdaughterforconfirmation."Eightyears."
"OfcourseyouarefromtheEast?"
"Yes,fromWisconsin."
Helaughed."WecallWisconsinaWesternState.Ofcourse,it'stheignorant
prejudiceoftheNew-Yorker,butIfindithardtothinkofyouasactualresidents
ofthisfar-awaylittletown.Ithoughtonlyminerslivedhere?"
"Weareminers.MyhusbandhasamineupintheBasin,buthe'sputtingin
some new machinery just now and is unable to come down but once a week."
Then mildly resenting his implied criticism of the town, she added: "We have
justasnicepeoplehereasyou'llfindanywhere."
He responded gallantly, "I am quite prepared to believe that, Mrs. Lambert.
Butdomanynicepeoplelikeyouliveherealltheyearround?"Hewasbenton
drawingthegirlout,butshedidnotrespond.
Themotheranswered:"Ihaven'tbeenawayexcepttotakemydaughterEast
toschool."
Hewascautious."ByEastyoumeanMilwaukee?"
"DiamondLake,Wisconsin."
Heturnedtothegirl."Howlongwereyouaway?"
"Fouryears."
"Didyoulikeit?"
"Verymuch."
"Thatisthereasonyoufinditlonesomehere."Uptothismomenthisattitude
was that of a teacher towards a pretty pupil. "You miss your classmates, I
suppose?Stilltheremustbediversionshere,evenforayounggirl."
Themothersighed."ItreallyisverylonesomehereforViola—ifitweren'tfor
her church work and her music I don't know what she'd do. There are so few


youngpeople,andthenheryearsattheseminaryspoiledherforthesocietyout
here,anyway."
"SomuchtheworseforColorowsociety,"laughedServiss.Then,toclearthe
shadowwhichhad gatheredonthegirl'sface,hesaid:"Iseeafinepiano, and
shelvesofmusicbooks.Thisarguesthatyoulovemusic.Won'tyousingforme?
Iamhungryforasong."
"Idonotsing,"shereplied,coldly,"Ihavenovoice."
"Then play for me. I have been for eight weeks on the desert and I am
famishingformusic."
"Areyouamusician?"askedMrs.Lambert.
"Ohno,onlyamusic-lover."
"Mydaughterispassionatelyfondofthepiano,"themotherexplained,"and
herteachersadvisedhertogoonandmakeaspecialtyofit.Theyrecommended
Boston, but Viola wants to go to New York. She wanted to go last year, but I
couldn'tlethergo.I'dbeenwithoutherforfouryears,andMr.Lambert'saffairs
wouldn'tpermitusbothtogo,andsoshehadtostay;butitdoesseemtoobad
foroneasgiftedassheistogiveitup."
AtthismomentServisschangedhisentireattitudetowardsthesepeople.They
weretoogenuine,tootrustful,andtoofinetopermitofanypatronization,and
thegirl'sdignifiedsilenceandthecharmofherpellucideyesandrose-leaflips
quitetransmutedhimfromthecuriousonlookertothefriend."Icanunderstand
your dilemma," he said, with less of formal cheer and more of genuine
sympathy. "And yet, if your daughter has most decided talent it is only fair to
giveherachancetoshowwhatshecando."
Thegirlflushedandhereyesfellasthemotherbenttowardshervisitor.
"Iwishyouwouldlistentoherplay,Dr.Serviss,andtellmewhatyouthinkof
hertalent."
Hiseyesshonewithhumor."Iwilllistenwithgreatpleasure;butdon'taska
chemisttojudgeapianist.Ilovemusic—itisasweetnoiseinmyears—butI
canhardlydistinguishChopinfromSchumann."Hefacedthegirl."Playforme.
Ishallbeverydeeplyindebted."Asshestillhesitatedheadded:"Pleasedo,orI
willcertainlythinkyouconsidermeintrusive."
As Viola slowly rose, Mrs. Lambert said: "You must not feel that way, Dr.
Serviss. We are highly honored to entertain one so eminent as you are. I was


broughtuptovaluelearning.Playforhim,Viola."
"Whatisthereasonforherreluctance?"Servissaskedhimself."Isitshyness?
Ordoessheresentme?"
With a glance of protest at her mother the girl took her seat at the piano. "I
willtry,"shesaid,bluntly."ButIknowIshallfail."
Twiceshelaidherhandsuponthekeysonlytosnatchthemawayagainasif
they were white-hot metal, and Serviss fancied her cheek grew pale. The third
time she clashed out a few jarring chords intermixed with quite astonishing
rouladeonthetreble—anunaccountableinterruption,asifathirdhandhadbeen
thrustintoconfuseher.Shestopped,andhebegantoshareherembarrassment.
She tried again, shaking her head determinedly from side to side as if to
escape someinvisibleannoyingobject.Itseemedasifsomemockingspritein
theinstrumentwerelaboringtomakehereveryharmonyadiscord,andServiss
keenlyregrettedhisinsistence.
Suddenly she sprang up with an impatient, choking cry. "I can't do it! He
won'tletme!"shepassionatelyexclaimed,andrushedfromtheroomleavingher
visitorgazingwithpityandamazementintothefaceofthemother,whoseemed
troubledbutinnowiseastoundedbyherdaughter'shystericalaction.Shesatin
silence—a painful silence, as if lacking words to express her thought; and
Servissrose,rebuked,andforthefirsttimeillatease.
"Ibegyourpardon,Mrs.Lambert;Ididn'tintendtoembarrassyourdaughter."
"Sheisverynervous—"
"Iunderstand.Beingacompletestranger,I should nothaveinsisted.Oneof
thebestsingersIeverknewwassomorbidlyshythatontheplatformshewasan
absolutefailure.Hervocalchordsbecamesocontractedthatshesangquiteout
oftune,andyetamongfriendsshewasmagnificent."
Themother'svoicewasquitecalm."Itwasnotyourfault,sir.Sometimesshe's
thisway,evenwhenherbestfriendsaskhertoplay.That'swhyIfearshewill
neverbeabletoperforminconcerts—sheisliabletothesebreak-downs."
Hewaspuzzledbysomethingconcealedinthemother'stone,andpainedand
deeplyanxioustorestorethepeacefulcharmofthehomeintowhichhehad,ina
sense, unbiddenly penetrated. "I am guilty—unpardonably guilty. I beg you to
tell her that my request was something more than polite seeming—I was
sincerelyeagertohearherplay.Perhapsatanothertime,whenshehascometo


know me better, she will feel like trying again. I don't like to think that our
acquaintancehasendedthus—indiscord.MayInotcomeinagain,nowthatI
am,inasense,explained?"
He blundered on from sentence to sentence, seeking to soften the stern,
straightlineonthemother'slips—alineofsingularrepression,sweetbutfirm.
"Iwishyouwouldcomeagain.IshouldreallylikeyouradviceaboutViola's
future.Can'tyoucomeinthisevening?"
"Ishallbeverygladtodoso.Atwhathour?"
"Ateight.Perhapsshewillbeabletoplayforyouthen."
With a feeling of having blundered into a most unpleasant predicament,
throughapassinginterestinaprettygirl,Servissretreatedtohishotelacrossthe
river.

VToC
PUPILANDMASTER

Onceoutofthespelloftheimmediatepresenceofthistroubledmotherand
herappealingdaughter,Servissbegantodoubtandtoquestion."Theyarealmost
too simple, too confiding. Why should Mrs. Lambert, at a first meeting,
accidental and without explanation, ask me to take thought of her daughter's
future?"Thefactthathisconnectionwithaninstitutionoflearninggavehima
sortofsanctityintheireyesdidnotweighwithhim.Hewasofthosewhotake
professorshipsinthemodernway—withlevity,eitherrealorassumed.
"I think, on the whole, I'd better keep out of this family complication,
whatever it may be," he concluded. "This absence of the husband in the hills
may be more significant than at present appears—it may be a voluntary


sequestration.Itakethehint.Iamnotseekingnewresponsibilities,andIdon't
caretoactasadviser,eventoaprettygirl—especiallynottoaprettygirl."And
hewavedhishandinthemannerofonedecliningadoubtfulcigar.
But this slim young witch, with the scarlet lips and pleading gray eyes, was
notsoeasilybanished.Hisinwardeyedweltuponherwithincreasingjoy,"How
beautifulshewas,asshestoodthereonthatbowlder!Perhapsshewasposing?
She is now at the very height of her girlish charm. What an appeal she must
maketothemenofthisregion—thoseexquisitelips—thatpliantwaist—thatfull
bosom! There is some antagonism between mother and daughter—something
morethanappearsonthesurface.Sheisbothsullenandhysterical.Whatapity!"
She continued to trouble him as he sat again after his evening meal on the
veranda of the hotel. He could hear the slow tramp of heavy boots along the
sidewalksbeneathhim,andtheroaroftheColorow,softenedbydistance,rose
and fell like a drowsy tune. On the highest peaks the after-glow still lingered,
andfromoneofthelittlecottagesdeepintheshadowacrossthestreamalight
appearedlikeasignal,aninvitation,and,thebloodinhimbeingyoung,accepted
the lure. He rose with the impulse. "I'm going! Why not? 'Tis a night for
adventure.There'snoneedofinvolvingmyselfinanywisewiththeirfuture.I'm
anoutsider,andwilltakepreciousgoodcaretostayso."Hisfacewasimpassive,
buthisheartwasquickwithinhimashesetfootonthebridge."Perhapsthisis
myRubicon?"hesaid,andpausedwithamoment'sirresolution.
His doubt, his suspicion, instantly vanished as he re-entered the pretty little
sitting-roomandfacedthesweet-visagedmother,whotacitlyacknowledgedher
daughterasthecauseofhiscomingbysaying:
"Viola has just stepped over to the parsonage. She will return in a moment.
Won'tyoupleasebeseated?"
Serviss took a chair, quite ready—even eager—to listen to the further
confidenceswhichheperceivedhishostesswasabouttogivehim.
"Ihopeyouwon'tthinkitstrange,professor—"
Heinterruptedher."Pleasedon'tcallmeprofessor."
"Ibegyourpardon,sir.Iunderstoodthatyouwereaprofessorinauniversity."
Sheseemeddisappointed,andheexplained:"It'strueIaminthehand-bookas
amemberofthefaculty,andIpleadguiltytothedegreeofdoctorofphilosophy
—thatIamproudof;buttobecalledprofessorrobsmeofmyyounghumanity."
This humorous explanation seemed to confuse her, and he added, kindly and


naturally:"Really,Mrs.Lambert,Iamachemistandexperimentalistinbiology.
Ihavenoclass-roomwork,becausethecollegepreferstohavememakewhat
they call 'original investigation.' And, pray, let me say that while I am very
willingtoassistyourdaughter,ortoadviseyouinanyway,Iseeverylittleof
musicalNewYork.Myworkconfinesmetomy'shop'veryclosely,andwhenI
go out I associate almost wholly with my peculiar kind. However, I can easily
secureinformationastothebestschoolsofmusic,forIhaveseveralfriendswho
knowallaboutit.Iinterruptedyou—pleasecontinue."
Thispleasant,straightforwardspeechrestoredherconfidence."I thinkI was
abouttosay,sir,thatitmayseemstrangetoyouthatIshouldsosuddenlyask
youradvice,but,yousee—"
"Oh, not at all," he genially interrupted. "I am consulted on all kinds of
matters;infact,Ipassforarealdoctor—outonthetrail.Icarryalittlemedicinecaseforemergencies,andIassumealltheauthorityoftheregularpractitioner—
onoccasion.Ishallbeverysorryifmydistasteforthetitle'professor'leadsyou
tothinkmeunsympathetic.Ishallbeverygladtoassistyouinanyway."
"Thank you. You see, I was brought up to esteem learning, and we seldom
meetoneofyoureminence—wearesocompletelyoutoftheworldhere—itisa
greatpleasuretous—"
Footstepsjustoutsideofthescreen-doorannouncedthereturnofthegirl,who
enteredcomposedly,followedbyayoungman.Hermannerwascold,herglance
aloof,asshegreetedServiss.
"I'mgladyoucame,"shesaid."Iwasafraidyouwouldforgetus."Sheturned
towardsherescort,whohadhaltedinthedoorway."ProfessorServiss,thisisthe
ReverendMr.Clarke,thepastorofourchurch."
As Serviss shook hands with the Reverend Clarke he experienced a distinct
shockofrepulsion—anunaccountablefeeling,fortheclergymanwasdecidedly
handsome,atfirstsight.Buthishandwascold,hisfacepallid,andabitterline,
thewornpathwayofasneer,curvedatonecornerofhismouth."Unwholesome,
anæmic,"wasServiss'sinwardcommentasheturnedawaytoaddressthegirl,
whosechangeofmannerexertedanewwitcheryoverhim.
Shewasdressedinblackforsomereason,andherfaceseemedbothsadand
morose,butthegracefuldignityofherstrongyoungbodywasenhancedbyher
dark gown. Her hands, her feet, were shapely, without being dainty. "Plainly
these women come of good stock, no matter what the husband and father may
be," Serviss thought. He resented the clergyman's intrusive presence more and


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