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A beautiful alien


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Title:ABeautifulAlien
Author:JuliaMagruder
ReleaseDate:July6,2008[EBook#25989]
Language:English

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A

BEAUTIFUL
ALIEN
BY


JULIAMAGRUDER
BOSTON
RichardG.Badger&Co.
(Incorporated)
1901

COPYRIGHT1899BY
RICHARDG.BADGER&CO.
AllRightsReserved
PRINTEDBYLAKEVIEWPRESS
SOUTHFRAMINGHAM,MASS.,FOR
RICHARDGBADGER&COMPANY(INC)
BOSTON


TABLEOFCONTENTS
ChapterI
ChapterII
ChapterIII
ChapterIV
ChapterV
ChapterVI
ChapterVII
ChapterVIII
ChapterIX
ChapterX
ChapterXI
ChapterXII
ChapterXIII
ChapterXIV
ChapterXV
ChapterXVI

5
17


22
38
44
68
73
114
121
127
135
156
164
182
188
204


ABeautifulAlien


I.
Onthedeckofanoceansteamer,homewardboundfromEurope,amanandgirl
werewalkingtoandfro.Theirlongmarchofmonotonousregularityhadlasted
perhapsanhour,andtheyhadbecomeobjectsofspecialattentiontothepeople
scatteredabout.
Aman,whowastakinghisafternoonexercisealone,andwhohadaccidentally
fallenintolinedirectlybehindthiscouple,keptthatpositionpurposely,turning
astheyturned,and,withoutseemingtodoso,observingthemnarrowly,forthe
reasonthatthewomanwasuncommonlybeautiful.
Thisman—AlbertNoelbyname—wasanartistbyinstinctandhabit,thougha
lawyerbyprofession.Hepaintedpicturesforloveandpractisedlawformoney,
or conventionality, or to please his mother and sisters, or from some reason
which, however indefinite, had been strong enough to predominate over the
longinghehadalwayshadtogotoParis,liveintheLatinQuarter,andbesimply
and honestly what his taste dictated. Few people, perhaps, suspected his
Bohemianproclivities;forhelivedanextremelyconventionallife,wastheidol
ofhismotherandsisters,and,beingwellborn,well-off,andsufficientlygoodlooking,wasregardedasanexcellentmatchmatrimonially.Inspiteofthisfact
hehadneverbeenknowntobeseriouslyinlove;though,beingaquietman,this
experience might have befallen him without the knowledge of his friends. He
was coming home from Europe now, reluctantly and with regret; but, since he
hadaprofession,itmustbeattendedto.
Heobservedthetallyoungwomanwhowalkedinfrontofhimonherhusband’s
arm(someinstincttoldhimthatitwasherhusband)fromanartist’sstandpoint
only.Ithadoccurredtohimthatherewasaremarkablemodelforapicture.He
furtivelystudiedthelinesofherfigure,whichwascladinalong,tight-fighting
cloak, trimmed with fur, and the contour and color of the knot of brown hair,
whoselivinglustreshonerichlybetweenthedullfurthatborderedhercollarand
her hat. Every moment the study fascinated him more, as he followed and
turned,astheyturned.Suddenlyitstruckhimthatperhapshisinterestinthepair
aheadofhimmight,inspiteofhim,beobserved;andso,ratherreluctantly,he
tookaseatinoneofseveralemptychairsatthesteamer’sstern.Herehecould
stillobservethem,atintervals,astheycameandwent.Theyspoketonoone,not


eventoeachother,thoughhewasconvincedtheywerenewlymarried.Bothof
themlookedveryyoung.
Afterafewturnstheladycomplainedofbeingtired,andproposedtheyshould
sitdown.Hercompanionassentedbyanod,andtheytooktheseatsnexttoNoel.
She spoke English, but with much hesitation and with a strong foreign accent.
Themanwassilentstill,astheyseatedthemselvesandwrappedtheirrugsabout
them;forinspiteofthefullblazeofthesinkingsunitwasverycold.Noelalso
keptstill,lookingandlistening.Hewasalittlebackofthem,andonlyherpure
profilewasvisibletohim.Theman’sprofile,whichwasalsoahandsomeone,
hecouldseebeyondhers.
For a longtime there was silence. Thewindgrewkeener.The tarpaulin which
coveredthewhitelife-boatnearbytrembledfromendtoend,asifthethinghid
were alive and shivering. The sea-gulls that followed the boat fluttered and
dippedaboutinthecoldair.Thesun,agreatgoldball,wassinkingrapidlyina
mist of pink and yellow light. The wide stretch of water underneath it was a
heavy iron black, except where, near the ship, it was dashed into green-white
foam.Noellookedatthefaceofthewomannearhim,and,seeingasuddenlight
ofinterestinhereyes,followedtheirglancetowhereaschoolofdolphinswas
rising and plunging in the cold sea water. He heard her call her companion’s
attention to them by a quick exclamation; but he made no answer, scarcely
showingthatheheard.
Noel became aware that the face before him was not only beautiful, but sad.
Therewerenolinesuponitofeithercareorsorrow,butbothwerewritteninthe
eyes. These were very remarkable,—almost gold in color, and shaded by thick
lashes, darker even than her dark brown hair. They were large, well-opened,
heavy-lidded;andnowonderwasitthat,whenhehadseenallthis,hebeganto
desiretomeettheirgaze,thathemighttherebyknowthemthoroughly.
The sun sank. People began to complain of the increasing cold, and gather up
wrapsandbooksandmoveaway;butstillthemanandwomansattheresilent,
andNoeldidthesame.Thedistantskywastintednowwithcolorsasdelicateas
theflowersofspring,—pinkandcreamandlilac,softeningtoarichlineofdeep
purple at the horizon. A slight sigh escaped the woman’s lips; and then, as if
recollectingherself,shesatupright,andlookedaboutattheobjectsnearher.Her
glance passed across Noel, and was arrested with a certain amusement on the
littlecannonlashedtothesideofthedeck,whichinitscoverofwhitetarpaulin
had evidently given her some diverting thought. Then in the most hesitating,


laboriously constructed English, Noel heard her telling her companion what it
hadmadeherthinkof.Byusingalittleimaginationwithwhatheheardandsaw,
hearrivedathermeaning.Shewasattemptingtosaythatitlookedlikeachild
onallfours,tryingtofrightenitscompanionbythrowingatable-clothoverits
head.Thereitwascomplete,—thehead,thehandsandfeet,thebulkybody.Noel
caughthermeaning,andsmiledinvoluntarily.Itwasreallywonderfullylike.He
controlled his features instantly, however; and, as her gaze was fixed upon her
husband,shedidnotseehim.Butherchildishideahadawakenednoresponsein
the husband. He simply asked her meaning over again, and seemed unable to
comprehend it, and not sufficiently interested to make much effort. The few
words he uttered proved that English was his native tongue. One would have
saidhehadtheability,butnottheinclination,totalk,whilewithherthecontrary
was true. Noel, now that he found that she was alive to her immediate
surroundings,gotupandmovedaway.Hewentandlookedoutatthesea-gulls;
butallthetimehewasseeinghereyes,andcomparingthemtotopaz,toamber,
to a dozen things, but without feeling that he had matched, even in his
imagination,theirpeculiarandbeautifulcolor.
Itwasthefirstdayout;andhelikedtothinkthathecouldoccasionallylookat
thisfaceforaweektocome,andwhenhegottoshorehewouldpainther.He
hadastudiointhesuburbs,towhichheoftenwentandtowhichhismotherand
sisters had never been invited. It was often a delight to him to think of its
freedomandseclusion.
Hewasacutelyjarredupon,ashestoodaloneatthedeckrail,bytheapproachof
a man who had a club acquaintance with him at home, which he had shown a
dispositiontomagnifysincecomingaboardthesteamer.Hewasnotamanfor
whosetalkNoelcaredatanytime,buthefeltadistinctrebellionagainstitjust
now.Thisfeelingwasswiftlyputtoflight,however,bythefactthatonhisway
tohimthenew-comerpassedandbowedtothebeautifulgirl,receivinginreturn
abowand asmile.Thebowwasgracious,thesmilecharming,lightingforan
instantthegravityofhercalmface,andshowingperfectteeth.
“Ah,Miller!thatyou?How’reyoucomingon?”saidNoel,withasuddenaccess
ofcordiality,makingaplaceforthenew-comerathisside.
“Allright,thanks,consideringit’sthefirstdayout.That’sgenerallythebiggest
bore,becauseyouknowtherearesixorsevenmorejustlikeittofollow.Pretty
girlthat,ain’tit?”


“Whoisshe?”askedNoel,refusingtoconcurinthedesignation.
“Mrs.Dallas,accordingtohernewname.”
“Andthatisherhusband?”
“Thatisherhusband.He’snotabad-lookingfellow,either;butyoudon’tlookas
ifyouapprovedhim.”
“I?”saidNoel.“Whyshouldn’tI?Heseemsagood-lookingfellowenough.Do
youknowher?”
“Yes,Iknowher.EverybodyknewheratBaden.Itwasnotveryhardtodo.”
“Whatdoyoumean?”saidNoel,lookingathimsuddenlyverystraightandhard.
“Oh,Isimplymeanthatherfather,whoseemsaratherbadtypeofadventurer,
gave free access to her acquaintance to any man who might turn out to be
marriageable.HeintroducedmetoherassoonashesawIhadbeenattractedby
herlooks,andIusedtotalktoheragooddeal.Hermother,itseems,diedinher
childhood;andshewasputtoschoolataconvent,wheresheremaineduntilshe
was eighteen. Her father then brought her home, and began assiduously his
effortstomarryheroff.Itwasplainthatshehamperedhimagooddeal,buthe
hadasortofsenseofdutywhichheseemedtofulfiltohisownsatisfactionby
rushing her about from one watering-place to another, and facilitating her
acquaintancewiththeyoungmenateach.”
“Andwhatwasthegirlthinkingoftoallowit?”saidNoel.
“Thegirlwasabsolutelyblindtoit,—asignorantoftheworldasalittlenun,and
apparentlyquitepleasedwithherfather,whowasavowedlyanewacquisition.
Shemusthavehadgoodteachingatherconvent;forshesingssplendidlyandis
a pretty fair linguist, too. I tried her in English, however, and found her so
uncertain that my somewhat limited conversation with her was carried on in
French.MyFrenchisnothingtoboastof,butit’sbetterthanherEnglish.”
“Whatisshe?”
“An Italian, with a Swedish mother. She seems awfully foot-loose, somehow,
poorthing;andIhopethemarriagewhichherfathersuddenlycontrivedbetween
her and this young American will turn out well for her. He’s an odd sort of
fellowtome,somehow.”


“Wheredoeshecomefrom?”
“I don’t know,—somemisty placeintheWestsomewhere,Ibelieve.Itriedto
talkwithhimadozentimes,butInevergotsolittleoutofamaninmylife.”
“Washesodeepormerelyforbidding?”
“Neither. He was good-tempered enough, and would answer questions; but he
seemed to have nothing to give out. He is a quiet man and inoffensive, but
somehowqueer.”
“Doesheplaycards?”
“Notatall.”
“Seemtohavemoney?”
“Yes,asfarasIcouldjudge,heappearstohaveenoughtodoashechoosesand
gowherehepleases,thoughIshouldsayhewasnotextravagant.Heseemsto
caretoolittleforthings.”
“Hecaresforher,it’stobesupposed.”
“Yes. He could hardly help that, and yet he showed very little emotion in his
courting days. I used to see them walking together or sitting on the piazza for
hours, and they seemed a strangely silent pair under the circumstances. I got
somekeytothatmystery,however,whenIfoundthathedoesn’tknowawordof
FrenchorItalian;andIhadalreadydiscoveredherlimitationsinEnglish.”
“Why,goodheavens!howcansheknowthemanthen?Itisnotpossible.Andhe
mayturnouttobeanything!Doyouthinkherfathercouldhaveforcedherinto
thismarriageagainstherwill?”
“No,I’msurehedidnot.Ithoughtofthat,butI’mcertainitisn’tso.Ithinkshe
wasinlovewiththeman,assheunderstoodit,inherconvent-bredsortofway.
He’sgood-lookingandhasacertaingentlenessofmanner.Itmaybedulness,but
it’swhatwomenlike.Ithinkherfather,thoughhefeltheragreatburden,wanted
to do the best he could for her, without too much trouble. He saw plainly the
dangersshewassurroundedby,andwasgladtogethermarriedtoaquietyoung
American,whohadnovicesandwouldprobablybekindtoher.Hetoldmehe
wantedhertomarryanAmerican,becausetheymadethebesthusbands.Lookat
them now. It is always the same thing,—either silence or that difficult sort of


talk.Shehastodothemostofit,yousee,andinEnglish.Heliterallyknowsnot
awordinanyothertongue.”


II.
Itwasbeautifulweather;andNoel,beingagoodsailor,spentmuchofhistime
on deck. Wherever he went about the ship, his eyes continually sought Mrs.
Dallas. Her beauty and singular history interested him much. He also made a
close study of the husband. So far he had not cared to avail himself of the
opportunity of making their acquaintance, which he knew Miller would gladly
havegivenhim.
Ontheafternoonoftheseconddayouthelookedupfromhisbook,andfound
Mr.andMrs.Dallasseatednearhim.Hewaspartlyhidbyapileofrope,over
which, however,it was easy toseethem.Hefoldedhispapernoiselessly, and,
leaningback,begantowatchthemfurtively.Asusual,theyweresilent.Theman
wassmokingcigarettesoneafteranother,andlookingapatheticallyatthewater.
Thewoman’seyeswereonthewater,too;buttheirexpressionwascertainlynot
apathetic. Noel had never been so puzzled to read a face. He was not only an
artist, but also a very human-hearted man; and he longed to go beneath that
lovelysurface,andreadthethoughtsofthiswoman’smind.Nowandthenshe
turnedapuzzledgazeuponherhusband,whoseemedcompletelyunconsciousof
bothitandher.Onceshespoke,andthestrongaccentinherpainstakingEnglish
was fascinating to Noel’s ears. She only inquired if her husband were
comfortable and satisfied to stay here. When he answered affirmatively, she
spokeagain,—thistimesolowthatNoelcaughtonlythelastword,“Robert.”It
waspronouncedintheFrenchmanner,andcamefromherlipsverywinningly.
“Can’tyousayRobert?”saidherhusband,bluntly.“Peoplewilllaughatyouif
youtalklikethat.”
“I vill try,” she answered, and turned her eyes away across the water. Noel
fanciedhesawthemwidenwithtearsforamoment;andhelookedtoseeifher
companionwerewatchingher,buthiswholeattentionwasgiventothecigarette
hewasrolling.Inafewmoments,attheman’ssuggestion,theyroseandwalked
away.
Noel noticed that she looked at no one as she passed along on her husband’s
arm;butheinterpretedthistobenotshynessnorself-consciousness,butrathera
sortofinstinctagainstgivinganyonethatopportunityoflookingintoherheart


throughhereyes.
One morning a new mood came over Noel, and he asked Miller to introduce
him. The latter complied with alacrity. Noel had no sooner bowed his
acknowledgmentsthanhelookedatMrs.Dallas,andaddressedherintheItalian
tongue.Thelightthatcameintoherfaceatthefamiliarsoundsmadehisheart
quicken.Theystoodsometimebytherailing,thegroupoffour,—Millertalking
inadesultorywaytoDallas,whileNoelspoke,inanimated,ifsomewhathalting
Italian, to the young wife. There was quite a strong breeze blowing; and some
darkribbons,whichtiedherfurcollar,flutteredandsoundedontheair.Sheheld
totherailwithbothlittlesmooth-glovedhands;andherheavyclothdressclung
closeabouther,andwasblownbackwardinstrong,swayingfolds.Theytalked
ofItaly,whereNoelhadoncelivedforawhile,andofpictures,art,andmusic,
forwhichshehadanenthusiasmwhichmadethesubjectsasinterestingtoNoel
ashisgreaterknowledgemadethemtoher.Hefoundheragenuinegirlinher
feelings, and at once perceived her absolute inexperience of the world. Her
convent breeding came out frequently in a sort of quaint politeness of manner,
and it provoked him a little to find that he was being treated with a sort of
deferenceduetoasuperiorinageorinexperience.Hefelthimselfagedindeed
in comparison with her vibrating youth and the innocence of her simple little
life,which,uptothispoint,hadplainlybeenthatofachild;andhedreadedto
thinkhowsoonandhowsuddenlyshemightgrowold.Sheseemedinaworldof
mysterynow,asonewhohadutterlylostherbearings,andwastoodazedtosee
whereshewasorwhatweretheobjectsandinfluencesthatsurroundedher.Out
ofthisshadowhispresenceseemedforthemomenttohaveliftedher;andashe
talked to her of these subjects, round which the whole ardor of her nature
centred,sheseemedadifferentcreature.Therestraintandseveritydisappeared
fromhermanner,sheforgotherself,—herrecentselfthatwassostrangetoher,
—andoverandoveragainhelookedfarintothecleardepthsofhergoldeneyes.
More than once he glanced at Dallas to see if he showed any disrelish of this
talk, carried on in his presence in a foreign tongue; but he was evidently not
concernedaboutitintheleast.Hesmokedhiseternalcigarettes,andansweredin
monosyllables the remarks that Miller was making. He did not look bored, for
thatexpressionimpliesacapabilityofbeinginterested;andthatheseemednot
topossess,atleastsofarasNoel’sexperiencewent,andMiller’sconfirmedit.


III.
Noelhadbeenathomeamonth.Hehadopenedhislawofficeandgonehardto
work,andhisfriendscomplainedthattheysawbutlittleofhim.Hehadlearned
from the Dallases, before parting with them at the wharf, that they were
expectingtogotohousekeepinginhisowncity,andhehadaskedthemtosend
himtheiraddresswhentheywereestablished.
Sofar,ithadnotcome,andhewasbeginningtofearhehadlostsightofthem
whenonedayhemetthemonthestreet.She,atleast,wasgladtoseehim,and
whenshegavetheaddressandaskedhimtocall,thehusband,inhisdullway,
echoedtheinvitation.
Thenexteveninghewenttothehouse,whichwasinanunfashionablequarter,
butverycharming,tastefulandhomelike.Ashesatdownintheprettydrawingroomsomelivingobjectscaughthiseye,andtohisgreatamusementhesawthat
theruginfrontoftheopenfirewasoccupiedbyapicturesquegroupcomposed
ofaMaltesecatandfourkittens.Themother,whowasanunusuallylargeand
imposing specimen of her kind, was seated very erect, her front feet straight
beforeher,evidentlymakinganefforttoenjoyanap,whichheroffspringwere
engaged in thwarting, after the most vigorous fashion. They were all exactly
alike,distinguishableonlybytheribbons—blue,green,yellowandred—which
ornamentedtheirnecksandweretiedinbowsundertheirchins.Themotherhad
a garland composed of these four colors around her neck, upon which hung a
littlesilverbell.Noelhadbeenwatchingthisprettysight,withafascinatedgaze,
andwassopreoccupiedwiththeirgambolsthathefailedtohearasoftfootstep
approaching,anddidnotturntolookuntilMrs.Dallaswasstandingquitenear
him,holdingoutherhand.
She was dressed in a gown of a peculiar dim shade of blue that fell in free,
straight folds about her, confined by a loose silver girdle round the waist. It
clothedherbeautifulbodyinawaythatsatisfiedthesouloftheartistwhostood
andlookedather,utteringlightwordsaboutthecatandkittensandinaugurating
aconversationthatimmediatelyputthematease.
It was evident that she was glad to see him. She told him so at once. Her
husband,shesaid,hadwantedhertogotothetheatre,butshehadbeenevery


nightforsolongthatshewastiredofit,andhadjustdecidedtostayathome.
Was Mr. Dallas then such an infatuated theatre-goer? Noel asked. Oh, yes, he
always wanted to go every night, she said. It seemed to be a confirmed habit
with him, and she was sorry to say she did not care for it much, though she
usuallywentwithhim.Noelknewthattheseasonwasnotfairlyopenedyet,and
reflectinguponthebillsadvertisedatthevarioustheatres,hecouldbutwonder
attheman’schoiceofentertainments.
PresentlyDallasenteredandgreetedhimcivilly,thoughwithhisusualapathetic
manner, and said he was glad he had come in, as he could keep Mrs. Dallas
company,ashewasgoingtothetheatre.Mrs.Dallaslookedalittlesurprisedat
thisannouncementandsuggestedhispostponingthetheatre,sothathemightnot
missMr.Noel’svisit,butheansweredthatMr.Noelheknewwouldexcusehim,
and turned to leave the room. As he did so he stepped on one of the kittens
whichcriedoutpitifully.Ithadbeenanaccident,ofcourse,buthemighthave
shown some compunction, which he utterly failed to do. The little creature
hopped awayonthreefeet, andMrs.Dallas, withprettyforeignwordsof pity,
followeditandbroughtittothefiresidewhereshesatdownwithitonherlap,
and stroked and soothed it, laying the wounded little paw against her lips and
making,whatseemedtoNoel,munificentatonementfortheinjuryinflictedby
herhusband.
As the kitten settled down contentedly purring in its mistress’ silken lap, the
frontdoorclosedbehindMr.Dallas,andturningtohishostess,Noelforthefirst
time addressed her in her native tongue, asking the abrupt question, “How are
you?”
She lifted her golden eyes to his a moment, and then dropped them under the
scrutinyofhisgaze,whichhefelt,thenextinstant,tohavebeeninconsiderate.
“Alittlehomesick,Idaresay,”hewenton,lookingdownatthekitten,“thatwas
tobeexpected.”
“Even whenonenever hada home?”she asked. “Thenearestthing to itthatI
havehadwastheconventwhereIwaseducated.Thesisterswereverygoodto
me.Itwasasweethome,andofcourseIdomissitattimes.”
“Perhapsyouhadadearfriendthereamongthesisters,orpossiblythepupils.”
“Oh, yes,” she said, “a dear girl friend—Nina her name was. She was a year
younger than I, andwasnotpermittedtoleave theconventtoseememarried.


Shewasheartbroken.Wehadalwaysplannedthattheonefirstmarriedwasto
taketheothertolivewithher.Herparentsarebothdead.”
“Ah,thenwhenshe leavesschoolshe will cometoyou,nodoubt,”saidNoel.
“Thatwillbedelightfulforyou.”
“I don’t know. It is not certain. No, I don’t think she will do that,” said his
companion,evidentlyinsomeconfusion.“ThefactisIhavenotwrittentoher—
Icouldn’t.Idon’tknowwhatshewillthinkofme,butIcannotwritetoher.I
havetriedinvain.Ifearshewillbehurt,butIhavedonenomorethansendher
abriefnotetotellhershemustnotjudgemebythefrequencyofmyletters—
thatIloveherjustthesame—butIseemreallynottoknowwhattowrite.Itis
all so strange—the new country and the changes—and everything being so
different—andIfeelshewouldwantafullandinterestingletter,whichIcannot
yetcomposemyselftowrite.Thisseemsverystrange,butitwillbedifferentin
time,willitnot?Youdon’tthinkthisfeelingofbeinginsuchastrange,strange
land, as if it couldn’t be real, and couldn’t be I—myself—will last always, do
you?Itwillsurelypassaway.Oh,ifyouknewhowIlongtofeelathome—to
feelitisaplacewhereIamtostay!IfeelallthetimethatImustbejustonthe
way to somewhere, and that I have just stopped here a little while. But I have
not.ItismyhomeandIamtospendmylifehere.Itrytotellmyselfthatallday
long and make myself believe it, but I cannot. I often fear it will distress my
husbandthatIfeelso,buthehasnotfounditout,I’mgladtosay.Heseemsso
quietandsatisfied,thatIfeelashamedtofeelsorestless.Itwillgoawayintime,
willitnot?ItisperhapsbecauseIamaforeignerandthisisastrangelandthat
the feeling is so strong, but it was almost the same when we were in Italy.
SometimesIamafraidIhavenotacontenteddisposition,andthatIwillmake
myselfunhappyalwaysbyit,andperhapsmyhusbandtoo,ifheshouldfindit
out.SometimesIcrytothinkhowwrongitisofme.Myfathertoldmeitwas
mydutytobehappy,withakind,goodhusbandtotakecareofme,andIknowI
ought,butIfeelsohomesick—for,Idon’tknowwhat—forNinaandthesisters
andtheconvent.Oh,”shebrokeoffsuddenly,“Idohopeyouwillforgiveme.It
isverysillytotalktoyouso,allaboutmyself,butIhavehadnoonetospeakto
—atleastnoonebutmyhusband,andIcouldnottellhimallthesefeelingsthat
I ought to be ashamed of. I know it is my duty to be satisfied and not feel
homesick,butyouthinkitwillpassawayafterawhile,doyounot?”
Whatwashetosay?Thetruthwasveryplaintohimthatitwouldneverpass,
but go on growing worse and worse, as gradually she came to know her own
soulbetterandtounderstandherself,inthelightofthenewrelationshipshehad


enteredinto.Inthecaseofmostwomentherevelationshehadsounconsciously
madetohimoftheinsufficiencyofhermarriagewouldhavebeenunwomanly,
and perhaps it was even so in her, but it was so only in the sense of being
childlike.Shewasreallynomorethanachild,andmoreignorantoftheworld
thanmanyachildoften.Whatdidsheknowaboutmarriageortheneedsofher
own soul? Evidently nothing, and some day he saw before her a terrible
awakeningfromthistranceofignorance.Hisheartliterallyachedforherashe
soughtdiligentlyinhismindforsomewaytohelpherandcouldfindnotone.
Theonlythingwastolether talkfreely,toencourageher byagentlefriendly
interest, such as a girl friend might have shown, and to give her the relief of
expression for these vague troubles and perplexities which, when uttered,
seemedintangibleandentirelyinexplicabletoher.Notoncedidshesomuchas
implyanyreproachtoherhusband,anditwasplainthatshefeltunconsciousof
anygroundforcomplaint.Shealludedtohimfrequentlyandalwaysmostkindly,
andlaidatherowndoortheentirefaultofherdiscontent.
Noelspokelittle,butledhergentlyontotalkasfreelyasshechose.Oftenshe
wouldpauseandremindherselfthatshewasdoingwrongtotakeuphiswhole
visitwithtalkaboutherself,butitwasevidentitneveronceoccurredtoherthat
she had been guilty of any self-betrayal which she should not have made. He
sawherutterloyaltytoherhusband,eveninthought,anditmadehisbloodboil
tothinkofhisstupidinsensibilitytothepossessionhehadinsuchawife.
Gradually he was able to soothe her—or perhaps it was the relief of utterance
thatmadeherpresentlyseemmorelight-hearted.Noelpronouncedagreatmany
platitudesinaninsincereefforttopersuadeherthatthingswouldgetbetter,and
somehow they seemed to give her comfort for the moment. As if to put the
subject by, she called the big cat to her, snapping her fine slim fingers, and
saying, “Come, Grisette”; and the creature jumped into her lap with the
obedienceofawell-traineddog.Thensheenticedthekittenstofollow,oneby
one,untiltheywereallinherlapplayingwithherribbons,catchingatherlittle
embroidered handkerchief with their soft paws, and rolling over in high glee.
Shetalkedtothemasiftheyhadbeenchildren,pettedandchidedtheminthe
prettiestway,andthenputthemdown,onebyone,withakissoneachlittlesoft
headthatmadeNoelhalfangryandwhollypitying.Itwassotouchingtoseeher
tenderness,herlongingtoexpendthegreatstoreoflovewithinher—andtosee
her,too,soutterlywithoutanobjectforit.
The cat and kittens having returned to their place on the rug, Noel proffered a
requesthehadbeenwantingtoputalltheeveningandaskedhertosing.Hehad


found out on the steamer that she possessed an extraordinarily beautiful voice.
Herface,whichhadgrownbrighter,cloudedsuddenly.
“I cannot,” she answered. “I don’t sing at all. My husband got me a piano,
thinkingitwouldpleaseme,butIhavenotopenedit.Iwasafraidhewouldbe
disappointed, but he has not noticed it. I used to be sorry he was not fond of
music,butthismakesmeglad.”
“Doyoureallymeanthatyouaregoingtogiveupsinging?Ifyoudoyoumust
letmeassureyouthatitwouldbeverywrong,awrongtoothers,toletsucha
voiceasyoursbesilent.”
“Oh,donottellmethat,”shesaid,“Iwantnottodoanythingwrong,butindeed
I cannot sing. I have tried it sometimes when I sit alone, and it is always the
samething—IchokesoIcannotsing.Iwillgetoverit,butdon’taskmetosing
yet.”
He could not say another word, especially as the tears were evidently near her
eyes,andseeingthatthehourwaslateandherhusband,forwhosereturnhehad
expectedtowait,wasdelayed,hegotuptotakehisleave.
“Vill you not vait for Robert?” she said, speaking for the first time in English
andshowingalreadyagreatereaseinitsuse.“Hevillnotbelate.Ihafnotknow
himtoremainsolongasthis,sinceIamhere.”
Noelsmiledtohearher,butshookhishead.
“No,” he answered, “I must go now, but first I want to get you to give me a
promise.” He put out his hand as he spoke, and she placed hers in it with the
confidenceofachild.
“Youareinastrangeland,”hesaid,“butIdon’twantyoutofeelthatyouare
altogether among strangers. You may have some need of friends—trouble or
sicknessorsomeofthethingsthatarealwayshappeninginthissadworld,may
cometoyou.Itrustnot.IhopetoGodtheymayletyougoby,butwecannever
tellwhatwillcometous,andIwantyoutopromisemethatifyouareeverin
needofafriendyouwillwritetome.Yourhusbandmaybeill,orsomethinglike
that,”headdedhurriedly,fearinghehadventuredtoofar,thoughsheshowedno
sign of thinking so. “And if it is a thing in which you want a woman’s help, I
have sisters and a mother and they shall come to you. Will you promise me
this?”


“Ivill.Oh,Ivillpromisetruly,”shesaid.“Butvillyounotcomemore?”
“Oh,perhapsso,nowandthen,”hesaidhurriedly.Hecouldnottellherhehad
resolvednotto,butthatwasthefixeddeterminationwhichhadbeentheresultof
thisevening’sexperiences.HesawherX WhenHalf-GodsGo
XI TheAnvil
XII TheWingsoftheMorning
XIII TheLyricLibrary
XIV AnAlphabeticalListofBooks



TheNewLiteraryReview
AMonthlyNewsJournalofBellesLettres.
Singlecopies10cents.Bytheyear$1.00
The publishers wish to make no large promises, but
theybelieveTheNewLiteraryReviewwillbefoundto
be as interesting a literary news journal as any
Americanperiodicalofthekind.
Thedepartmentofnotesandcommentunderthetitleof
Various Appraisements the Editor will endeavor to
makeparticularlyinclusiveandentertaining.
The Reviews of New Books while for the most part
necessarily brief will be written with the object of
givingaconcise,impartialandcarefulsummaryofthe
booksunderdiscussion.
In addition to these Notes and Reviews there will be
manycontributionsofEssays,Poetry,andFiction.
The object of the Editor and Publishers is to present a
programme which without undue pretensions, will
provetobebothwellproportionedandofconsiderable
entertainment.


OUTDOORS
ABOOKOFTHEWOODS,FIELDSANDMARSHLAND

BYERNESTMcGAFFEY
8vo.About300pp.Frontispieceinphotogravure.$1.50

THECONTENTS
1. TheMarshesin
April
2. PloverShooting

17. DowntheSt.Joe
River
18. Brook-trout
Fishing
19. AMasqueofthe
Seasons
20. Wood-chucks

3. TheMelancholy
Crane
4. FishingforBigmouth
Bass
21. Frog-hunting
5. FlightofCommon 22. TheCrow’sWing
Birds
6. FishingforCrappie 23. PrairieChicken
Shooting
7. IntheHauntsofthe 24. AFoxinthe
Loon
Meramec
8. Blue-billsand
Valley
Decoys
9. WalkingasaFine 25. FallJack-snipe
Art
Shooting
10. FishingforBull26. InDimOctober
heads
11. AlongaCountry
27. RuffedGrouse
Road


12. Wood-cock
Shooting
13. UndertheGreenwood
Tree
14. Pan-fishing
15. ANorthern
Nightingale
16. SquirrelShooting

28. InPrairieLands
29. Huntingwith
Ferrets
30. TheBare,Brown
Fields
31. QuailShooting
32. InWinterWoods

[ReadyinMay


WellesleyStories
BYGRACELOUISECOOK
12mo.340pp.$1.50
TheStories
Clorinda
PresidentJefferson
TheTrialofProfessor
Lamont

Submerged
ALyricalInterlude
SirToby’sCareer
InitiatedIntoLove

TheVerdict
These Wellesley stories give a truthful picture of
Wellesley student life that will appeal strongly to its
alumnæ, greatly interest preparatory students, and
should receive the hearty approval of its undergraduates;andalso,asissometimesnotthecase,they
are worthy of a reading outside of college circles, for
they meet the requirements of a good “short story” of
whatevertheme.
Wellesley traditions, customs, and spirit pervade the
book,eitherdescribedatsomelengthorindicatedbya
masterlyallusion.Allkindsofgirlsaredepicted,asall
kindsofgirlsgotocollege—girlspoorandrich,clever,
dull, and commonplace, refined and unrefined, the
unsubstantialandthedilettante,andthosewithgenuine
talent, and the life among them seems very real, for
nothing is forced or strained in the stories. The trial
sceneinProfessorLamontisoneofthecleverestbitsof
writing in any recent book of short stories, and it is a
truepictureofthewayin whichcollegegirlsembrace


everyopportunityforgenuinefun.Thelaststoryinthe
bookisoneofthebestcollegelovestorieseverwritten.
The dialogue is spirited, the diction graceful, and a
literary style is well sustained throughout.—The N. Y.
TimesSaturdayReview.
[Ready


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