Tải bản đầy đủ

The impregnable city


TheImpregnableCity


ARomance


ByMaxPemberton
COPYRIGHT,1895,
BYDODD,MEAD&COMPANY.
AIIrightsreserved.
INTRODUCTION.
THEstoryofalife;thestoryofanunknowncity;thestoryofmenwhodreamed
dreams;thestoryofmercyandofdeath,ofdarknessandoflight,oforderandof
chaos;thestoryofmyself,IrwinTrevena,whosetdownthesethingsasIhave
seenandknownthem.
CONTENTS.


INTRODUCTION
I.ICOMEHOMEFROMTHEPLAY

II.INWHICHIBEGINTODOUBT
III.IWAITFORTHELIGHT
IV.THE“WANDERER”ANDHERCREW
V.THEMANINTHECAGE
VI.ISEEMTOKNOWTHEITALIAN
VII.THEBEGINNINGOFVERYGREATEVENTS
VIII.IGOBELOWTHESEA
IX.THEISLANDOFLIGHTS
X.THESUBJECTOFTHEPICTURE
XI.IFACEAGREATDANGER
XII.ANIGHTOFWAKING
XIII.IFINDMYPATIENTWORSE
XIV.ARIDEUPONTHEHEIGHTS
XV.THEVALLEYOFTHECAPTIVES
XVI.FORTUNESPEAKSWITHME
XVII.IHEAROFTREACHERY
XVIII.IAMTAKENFROMTHEISLEOFLIGHTS
XIX.AVOICEFROMTHENlGHT


XX.IGOTOPARIS
XXI.APARLOIRINTHEMAZAS
XXII.THEDUEDEMARNE
XXIII.IKNOCKUPONTHEDOOR
XXIV.THECITYWAKES
XXV.SHIPSOFTHENIGHT
XXVI.IMEETWITHAGREATWELCOME
XXVII.IGAINALL
XXVIII.JACOBDYERBEGSHISBREAD
XXIX.FROMTHEWATCH-TOWERSOFTHEWEST
XXX.TRUCEOFTHESTORM
XXXI.IWAKETOSTRANGEDREAMS
XXXII.“MINEISTHENIGHTWITHALLHERSTARS”
THEIMPREGNABLECITY.
CHAPTERI.
ICOMEHOMEFROMTHEPLAY.
THEREwasanewsboyuponthepavementcryingofanoutrageattheCafe”
Mirabeau,inParis;buthesteppedbackasmycabstruckthecurbandcameby
goodhapunharmedintothebroadroadwayofCavendishSquare.Isawhisface
foramomentintheaureolaofalamp,apalefaceandwan;butthemistswere


quiveringuponthewetstreets,andhiscrywasdeadinmyearsalmostwithits
firstcomingtome.ThenweenteredHarleyStreet;andtherewasnosoundor
voiceuponthecalmofrespectability.
Thehourwasmidnight,thedaywasthelothofMarch,theyear1892.Ihadbeen


totheHaymarketTheaterasarelaxationfrommywantofapractice;andwas
nowgoinghometomylittlehouseinWelbeckStreet,theretodreamoffame
andoffees.UntilthattimeIhadneither.Mybrassplate,whichtold,urbietorbi,
thatLondonUniversityhadfoundmeafitandproperpersontoattendatthe
deathbedsofmyfellows,attractedneithertheundeservingrichnorthe
unprofitablepoor.Iwasaphysicianministeringtomyself,tothelonelinessof
onelife,andtoitsbuddingfailure.
Iwriteofthesethings,inthemselvesoflittleinterest,thatthosewhocareto
knowofthestrangeeventsnowtoberecordedmayaccompanymeinthe
narrationfromtheverybeginning;maybewithmewhenmen,asitwere,rose
upinmypathfromtheunknown,andinthenightofmysteriesvisionswere
giventomyeyes.Outofthefog,lyingwetuponWelbeckStreet,thefirstvision
cameasinglebroughamstandingatmyowndoor;alightburninginmy
consultingroom,wherelightsorarelywas.
HowmuchIpaidtomyowncabmanasIsprangtothepavementIshallnever
know.Mylatchkeywasinthelockwhiletheshillingswereyettumblingfrom
theroofofhiscrazycab;andIheardhis“Thankyou!“inthesamemomentthat
myservantcriedtomethatagentlemanwishedtoseemeinmyroom.Beloved
Donald!thesightofapatienthadalmostbeentoomuchforhim.Hishand
trembleduponthelatch;heevenaskedifheshouldsetglasses.
“Glasses!”saidI.“Donald,areyoumad?Howlonghasthegentlemanbeen
waiting?”
“Anhoormaybetwo.Oh,sir,IthankGodforthenicht!”
“Didyougivehimthepaper?“Iasked,changingmybootsinthehallaswe
stood.
“IndeedandIdid;butI’mverrawellsurethatitwaslastweek’s.”
“That’sunfortunate.What’stheman’sname?”
“I’mno’acquaintwithit;butthere’slettersclappedontothehindend.You’llbe
makinghastetolearn,maybe.”
Itwasahint,andItookit;butmyhandtrembledasmyman’shaddonewhenhe
toldmethenews.Apatientmypatient;myfirstpatient.Hope,advance,


notoriety,moneythedreamofthatlong-drawnmomentgavethesetome.And,
dreaming,Ithrewopenthedooroftheconsultingroom,thatlittlechamber
garnishedforthestrangerwithallthefewbaublesIpossessed,andtheinterview
began.
Thevisitorsatinabasketarmchair,drawnneartoacracklingfireoflogs.A
shadedlampuponacabinetathissidecastlightuponhisface;andIsawthathe
wasayoungman,withblackhairofexceedingrichness,andeyeswhichwere
verygentleintheirexpression.Hehadloosenedaheavycapewhichwasabout
hisshoulders,andIthoughtfromthefirstthatIhadneverseenahumanbeingof
suchphysiqueorfineproportionofbodyandlimb.AsIenteredtheroomhe
pausedintheactofturningovertheveryancientcopyofTheIllustratedLondon
NeivswhichDonaldhadfoundforhim,andstooduptogreetmeamagnificent
sight,andnotalittlestartling.InthesamemomentIobservedthathiscapewas
buckledwithaclaspofmotherof-pearl,andthatlettersofgoldstoodoutuponit
inrelief.
Myfirstwordstohimwerethoseofapology;tutheputthemasidewitha
gesture,andbegantospeakinavoicedeepandpleasingasthenoteofabell.
“Praydon’tthinkofme,”saidhe;“mytimeisentirelyyours.YouareDr.Irwin
Trevena,Ithink;andtherewasinTheLancetfourmonthsagoanarticlefrom
yourpenonthesubjectofanaemiaofthebrain.Iamnotmistaken?”
“Bynomeans,”saidI.“Thebrainanditsdiseaseshavebeenmyspecialstudy
forfiveyearsandmore.”
“Ipresumedsofromyourwork;andthatiswhyIamhere,”saidhenext.
“Notasapatient?”criedI,withalaugh;forhehadtheairofamanwhowas
absurdlyhealthy.
“Notasapatient,”hecontinued“no,indeed.Yoursubjectliesuponayacht
mooredatthismomentintheSolent.ShehascometoEnglandtoconsultthe
firstauthorityonthediseasetowhichsheisavictim.Ifyouwillbegoodenough
toaccompanyme,weshallbewithherbeforedaybreak.”
“Thecase,then,isserious?“saidI.
“Fromonepointofviewonly.Theladyhascomeathousandmilestoseeyou.


Everydayshehassaid:‘InsomanyhoursDr.Trevenawillbewithme.’The
confidenceinspiredbyyourwork,whichshereadcasuallyatCairo,ismore
wonderfulthananythingIhavewitnessed.Iknownothingofbraindisease,
doctor;butmyignorancetellsmethatitwerewellifthiscravingweresatisfied.
AndIamsure,ifitisinyourpower,youwillrespondtothewishesofonewho
hasmadeofyouanidolbeforeshehadopportunitytoworshipyouintheflesh.”
Itwasallsaidbrightly,buoyantly,withtheairofamantooserioustobedeemed
flippant,merryenoughtoinspireconfidence.Amorecommanding,noble
mannerIhadnevermetwith;norsuchagraceofspeechandbearing.AndI
repliedtohimreadily.
“Ifyouwillgivemeleavetochangemycoat,Iwillgowithyounow,”saidI.
“Ofcourse,”hereplied;“andletmebegofyounottoleavegolduponyour
table.”
Hesaidthiswithinfinitedelicacy.Whilewehadbeentalkinghehadputalittle
pileofsovereignsuponmywritingtable,andnowhepointedtothem.
“Iamnotquiteawareofthecustomofyourprofession,”saidhe,“butIknow
thatforsuchacaseasthistheremunerationisbymileage.Southamptonis
seventy-eightandthree-quartermilesfromhere.Theyachtisamileanda
quarterfromtheshore.Youwillfindeightyguineasthere.”
“Iamonlyentitledtosixty,”saidI;“twothirdsofthemileageisthecustom.”
Hewavedofftheprotestwithamotionofhishand,andIlefthim.Fiveminutes
laterwesteppedintothebroughamtogether;butanewthoughtcametome
beforethehorsehadmoved.
“Hollo!“criedI,“whatarewedoing?ThelasttraintoSouthamptonisat9.45!”
“Don’tthinkofit,”saidhe;“weshallconjureonefromsomewhere.”
“Youmeantotakea*special‘?“saidI.
“Itiswaitingattheplatformforus,”criedhe.
Isaidnomore,butsankbackinthesoftcushions.Mydream!Ithadcome,then,


comeasIhaddreamedit!Oh,Icouldhavefilledalltheheavenswithmythanks
toGod!
CHAPTERII.
INWHICHIBEGINTODOUBT.
IWASveryfullofsleepwhenourtraincametoSouthampton,andmyeyeswere
scarceopenwhenmycompanionledthewayfromthestationtothewater.
Therewaswaitingforhimatthequayasmallship’slaunch,suchassailorscall
akettle,andinthiswewentquicklytowardtheopensea,thenightbeing
infinitelydark,andthewhitemistsrisinginbedewingclouds.Suchhullsof
greatsteamersaswesawroseupsuddenlylikephantomsinourwake;andthe
lanternswereasgoldenballsfloatinglightlyabovethespumingswell.
Thejourneytotheyachtseemedtomeoverlong,butnorainfell,andthewest
windblewsoftlyuponmyface.Iwasnowwarmeduptoaconsiderable
curiosityastomypatient,andthesuccesswhichwouldfollowuponmyventure;
andthisdrovefrommyheadbothobservationofthetwoseamenwhohad
chargeofthelaunchandthoughtoftalkwithmycompanion.Hehadslept
duringthewholeofthejourneyfromLondon;andevennow,withthesaltspray
whippinghiseyes,hecouldnotfindhistongue.Atthelast,however,andjustas
oneofthetwomencried:“Ahoy,there!“inaringingvoice,“hestoodupquickly
andputhishanduponmyshoulder.
“Dr.Trevena,”saidhe,“welcometotheWanderer!”
“Wearethere,then?“saidI.“Well,I’mnotsorry.Thecoldwasbeginningto
quarrelwithme.”
“Onceonboard,andI’lltakeituponmyselftoprescribeforthat,”criedhe
merrily;andnosoonerwerethewordsoutthantheshapeofagreatvessel
loomedupovertheblackofthewater,andthelightoflanternsdanceduponher
deck,andshqtoutbrilliantlyfromherports.
Hewentuptheladderquickly,andIfollowedhimtoadeckshiningwhiteunder
theglowofsilverylamps.Therewerethreeofthecrewtheretoreceivehim,all
dressedcuriously;andtooneofthesehespokehurriedlyinItalian.‘Theman
noddedhisheadforanswer,andwithoutfurtherparleyIwasconductedtoa
cabinlyingfaraft,andthereleftwithawordfromthemanwhohadbroughtme.


“Doctor,”saidhe,“you’llfindbooks,andyou’llfindcigars.OftheformerI’m
nojudge,butI’llwagerthatthelatterarethebestyoueversmoked.Tryone
whileIspeaktothepatient.”
“WhosenameIhavenotyetthepleasureofknowing?”exclaimedIinquiringly.
“Sheshalltellyouherself,”criedhe,withalaugh.“Itwillsoundtheprettier
fromawoman’slips.Meanwhile,ifthereisanythingyouwant,hereisthebell
whichbringsthesteward.Considerthatweareyourservantswhileyouremain
withus.AndifImayprescribeasIpromised,letmerecommendaglassof
greenChartreuseasthefinestknownantidotetocold.”
“Well,”saidI,“sinceyoucallmeintoconsult,Imustagreewiththetreatment.
ButImustnotsmokeuntiltheinterviewisended.”
Hewentoffhumminganairfromthestreetsinthesamebuoyanthumorthathe
hadatfirstdisplayed,andIsatdowntoexaminethecabin.Ijudgedatoncethat
itwasthemusicroomoftheyacht,yetamoreexquisitelyfurnishedplaceIhad
neverseen.Thehangingswereoftapestry,richlyworkedinscenes,which
glowedwithcolor.Thefriezeshowedinnumerableshipsdoneinivoryinalto
relievo;agoldcoronalayabovethem,andfrommanyanooktherepeeped
sketchesandlandscapeswhosevalueneedednobuttressofcriticism.A
moonlightscenebyJosephVernet,asketchafterGreuzebyMile,laDoux,an
undoubtedMeissonier,thepictureofanItalianwomanbyAlmaTademathese
werebutafewofthemanytreasuresmyeyediscoveredinitsfirstrapidsurvey.
Andeverywhere,inthewondrousplayofconcealedlights,inthepillarsofivory,
inthewhitetableinlaidwithcunninggold-work,inthefineorgan,andthepiano
whosecasemusthavebeenworthtwothousandpounds,therewasevidenceofa
colossalwealthandararetastesuchasmytravelshadnothithertoputmein
touchwith.
Here,then,wasthehomeofmyfirstpatient.AsIsippedthewarmingliquor
whichamaninaquietliveryofblackhadsetuponthetableIcouldhavebeen
contenttothinkthatIlayinbewitchingsleep,andthatallthishadrisentomy
visionasthemockingphantomofmybrain.Asurpassingpleasurefilledmea
delirioushopesuchascomestosomeofusbeforethethirtiesandfailurehave
souredus.Iwasbuttwentyeight,susceptibletotheleastswayoffortune,
depressedbyaword,elatedbyanother.Andwhatstrugglingpractitionerhad
eversuchlucktobecalledfromobscuritytothelightofpracticelikethis,inthe


homeofonewhosefameorpositioncouldbenolesssingularthanthesignsof
wealthInowsawaboutme?
Ihadremainedinthisstateofexquisitecontentformanyminutesbutforthe
suddenconvictionthattheyachtwasmoving.Alowtremorofthescrew-shaft
struckthroughthesteeloftheship;thetablequiveredalmostimperceptibly;and
I,lookingthroughtheportatmyright,observedtheCalshotLight,andwewere
passingit.Itoccurredtomeatoncethatthemanwhohadcomewithmewasa
longtimeabsent,andhadmadenomentionofanyvoyage.Ideterminedtospeak
withhim,andwenttothedoorforthatpurpose;butIfoundittobelocked,and
withagreatthrilloffearstrikingupintomybrainmydreampassedfromme.
FormanyminutesIsatwhilethecoldsweatgathereduponmyforehead,andI
feltmyshirtdampuponmychest.Ihadreadintalesofmedicalmentrapped
hereortrappedthere;butthoughtthemsurefictions.YetherewasIlockedina
cabininayachtthatwassteamingouttosea,andnomoresignofapatientthan
ofdaybreak.Iaskedmyselfahundredtimeswhatthemeaningofitwas?who
wasthemanwhohadcarriedmefromLondon?whitherwastheyachtbound?
Therewasnotevenechotogivemeanswer,and,forlackofit,Iputmyhand
uponthebell,andheldittherewhileminutespassed.
Myfingerswerestillupontheknobwhentheanswercame.Thedoorwas
openedquicklyandthemanstoodbeforeme,nowdressedinacoatofsome
whitesilkystuff,delicatelyembroideredwithgoldlace.Helookedvastly
handsomewithouthiscapoffur;andtherewasamerrysmileuponhislipswhen
hespoketome.
“Mydeardoctor,”saidhe,“ahundredpardons,butmystewardisbusyondeck.
Iwasjustcomingtofetchyou.”
Mycomplaintdiedawayinmythroatbeforehisspeech,andIcouldonlygurgle
areply.
“Thedoor,”Istammered“thedoorwasfastenedthatis,locked.”.
Helaughedaloudatthesuggestion.
“Somuchforourpatenthandles,”saidhe;“youshouldhaveliftedit.”
Ihadshamebeyondexpressionattherebuke.


“Andthepatient?“Iasked.
“Isreadyforus,”saidhe;“mayIbegyoutofollowme?”
Heledmethroughacorridor,dimlylightedwithincandescentlamps,andsoto
thedoorofthesaloon,asIjudgedittobe.Therewasacurtainofclothofgold
hungbeforeit,andthissuddenlyhedrewback,exclaiming:
“Hereisyourpatient.”
ForamomentIsawnothing;thenIknewthatmanylampsshonesoftlyupona
tablebrightwithgoldandsilver,thatpalmsstoodoutineverynookandcranny,
thatluxuriouscouchesinvitedtorest,thattheodorofrichdishescametomy
nostrils,thatflagonsofwinestoodamongbanksofexquisiteflowers,thatthe
softharmoniesofvoluptuousmusicfellpleasantlyuponmyears.Buttheroom
wasempty.HeandIwerealonetoenjoythefeastthathadbeenprepared,andas
Imadethediscoveryhisgentlelaughandmyexclamationroseuptogether.
“Well,”saidhe,“doyouthinkthatanoperationisnecessary?”
Iturnedroundandfacedhim.
“Mr.“beganI,butthenrememberedIhadnothisname.
“MynameisAdamMonk,buttomyintimatesIamknownas‘Rocco/“saidhe.
“Ishallfeelunderanobligationifyouwillsocallme.”
“But,”criedI,nowfullofanger,“youhavetakenaverygreatlibertywithme.I
demandatoncetobeputonshore!”
“Oh,doctor,”saidhe,“whateverwouldyoudoonshoreatthistimeofnight?”
“Sir,”continuedI,“thatisnobusinessofyours.Willyoupleasetoexplainthis
masquerade?”
“Explanations,doctor,”repliedhe,seatinghimselfmostimpudentlyatthehead
ofthetable,“shouldgivewaytothemoreseriousthingsoflife.Look,now,do
youthinkIamarogue?”
Ilookedathimclosely,andmysuspicionsdiedaway.WhothateversawRocco


didnotlovehim?
“Atanyrate,”saidI,“tellmesomething.”
“Withpleasure,”criedhe.“Thischampagneis1874Heidsieck.Letmefillyour
glass.”
Icouldsaynomore.Isatdowntothetable,andbegantoeatmechanically.But
themotionoftheyacht,asshenowrushedthroughthewater,wasunmistakable.
WemusthavepassedtheNeedles.
CHAPTERIII.
IWAITFORTHELIGHT.
THEsupperwenowenjoyedwas,asIsay,servedperfectly;thewinewassuch
asonlyamanofrarepalatecouldbuy.Mycompanion,whocalledhimself
Rocco,wasthemostcaptivatingtalkerIhaveknown.Hepassedlightlyfrom
subjecttosubject,hadanecdotesofallpeoplesandofalllands;but,forthemost
part,hespokeofsouthernseas,thewondersoftheirislands,theperpetual
sunshinewhichwasuponthem,thebeautyoftheircalmsandthegrandeurof
theirstorms.OftenIsoughttodrawhimtothesubjectwhichwasstronginmy
thoughts,thereasonhehadbroughtmetohisyacht,butnowordscamefromhis
lips;andhesoavoidedmysnaresofspeechthatanuncontrollableangercame
uponmeatlast,andIbrokeintohistalkwithnolittleabruptness.Itwasatthe
verymomentthestewardsetcigarsandpunchuponthetable.
“Mr.Monk,”saidI,swingingroundmychairtofacehim,“yoursupperis
admirable,andIhaveenjoyedyourcompany.ItisnonethelessnecessarythatI
askyouagain,Whyhaveyoubroughtmehere,andinwhatcapacitycanIserve
you?”
“Youcanserveme,doctor,”repliedhe,puttingamatchtohiscigar,“bygiving
meyouropinionofmysteward’spunch.Itellhimthere’stoomuchboragein
it.”
“That’sallverywell,”saidI,“andyouplayyourpartcapitally.Butit’smyturn
nowtogiveyoutragedyforfarce.Iwilldoitinaquestion.Whatisthereto
preventmegoingupondeckandbawlingtothefirstshipwepassfor
assistance?”


Heblewacloudofsmokefromhislips,andthensippedthesteamingliquor.
“Youaskmeaquestion,”saidhe,“andIwillbeequalreadyinanswering.What
istopreventyougoingondeck,doctor?Why,nothingintheworld.Only“-and
herehebecamethoughtful“only,itmightnotbewise.”
“Mightnotbewise!“saidI,tryingtoconcealtheuneasinessnay,fearIfelt.“But
surelyyoudonotthreatenyourguests,Mr.Monk?”
“Ithreaten?Godforbid!Iamonlytryingtointerestyou.”
“Thensetmymindatrest,andletusendthisplay.Whereareyoutakingmeto?”
“FillyourglassandIwilltellyou.”
Ididashecommanded,buttheeffortofdrinkingwentneartochokingme.
“Now,”saidhe,puttinghiselbowsuponthetable,“listentothis,doctor,and
takemywordthatIamdealingwithyouasIwoulddealwithmyownbrother.
Yourdestinationis,roughly,alittlemorethantenthousandmilesfromhere”
BeforehecouldsaymoreIrosefrommychair.Mylegstrembledunderme;an
intensesicknessandfeelingofunutterabledespaircameuponme.
“Ifyoutakemethatfar,”saidIatrandom,“Iamaruinedman!”
“Indeed!“saidhe;“butIwasjustthinkingyouwereamademan.”
Isatdownagain.
“Howcanthatbe?“Iasked.
“Inthesimplestwaypossible,”saidhe.“Iamgoingtobeveryplainwithyou.
Youareamanyoungandfullofcleverness;butforthemomentyoudonotmake
threehundredpoundsayear.Verywell.Duringthetimethatyouarewithme
youwillreceivearemunerationofonehundredguineasaweek”
“Onehundredguineas!“Iexclaimed.
“AsIsay.”


“Butforwhat?“Igasped.
“Forusingsuchskillasyouhaveintheinterestofonewhoissick.”
“Andthenameofhimwhosendsforme”
“Youwilllearningoodtime.BecontentnowtoknowthatIaminhisservice
thatIliveforhim,andwoulddieforhim.Amanwhoisakingamongmen,
doctor;whosesecretpowerisfeltineverycourtinEurope;whoisthefatherof
charityandtruthandjustice;amanwhoispoor,yetrich,weak,yetstrong,a
childinhand,butamonarchinactthatmansummonsyou.”
“Andthecountryinwhichhelives?”
“Isacountrywhosenameyouwillneverlearn.”
Iwassilentformanyminutes.Mycigarwentoutinmyhand.Thewholeofhis
storyranginmyearslikethevoiceofadream.
“Yourfriendisill?“Iasked,whenminuteshadgone.
“Indeed,no,”saidhe;“hishealthissplendid.”
“Thenwhoismypatient?”
Heturnedroundinhischairagain,and,bendingforward,hetouchedaspringin
thepanelofthewall.Twolittledoorsfellback,toshowmethepictureofagirl,
uponwhichashadedlamp,burstingintolight,castapowerfulglow.Theface
wasnotonetocallforanimmediateadmissionofpowerorbeauty;yet,asI
continuedtogazeuponit,thecanvasseemedtoholdmewithafascinationnotto
bedescribed.Itwereasiftheeyesofthegirlsearchedmyveryheart.Neverhad
Iknownsocuriousaspelloronesosure.Isawbutthesketchofachildof
seventeenoreighteenyears;achildwithlonghairofadeepauburnwoundabout
herbody;achildwithivoryskinandlittlecolorinhercheeks;achilddressedin
awhiterobeandwearingatherbreastthesameclaspofmotherof-pearlandof
goldthathewhocalledhimselfRoccohad.Isawallthis,Isay,andyetI
continuedtogaze,andtofeelanewandpotentinteresttheliketowhichmylife
hadneverknown.Thepicturespoketome;amessagecameasfromthevery
heartofherIlookedupon;thethoughtthatshewastobemypatientfilledmy
veinswithwarmblood;formanyminutesIsatwithoutspeechormotion;I


forgotthenightanditscircumstance,forgoteventhatanotherwatchedme.
“Thereisyourpatient!”
Mycompanionspoke.Iturnedfromthepaintingwithastart,tolookathim.He
waslikeamantransformed.Thetendernessofhiseyeswasmultiplieda
hundredfold;therewasredinhischeeks;hebentforwardtothepictureasifhe
wouldputhislipsuponit,andinthatmomentIreadhissecret.Hewasthelover
ofhertowhomIwastocarrymyskill.Perhapsshewashiswife.Thethought
stungmeeventhen,thoughIhadneverseenher;Iwasafraidtolookatthe
pictureagain.WhenIdidso,Isawthattheupraisedlefthandofthegirlwas
withoutaring,andthemoodofdepressionpassed.Inthesamemomenthe
touchedthespringofthepanel,andthedoorsshuttogether.Thelightfaded;the
visionwasmovedfrommyeyes.
Forsometimethetwoofussatwithoutspeaking,thesmokefromourrelighted
cigarsfloatingheavilyinthestillair.Hewasthefirsttobreakthesilence,buthis
voicewasnowlow,andhisbuoyancyhadlefthim.
“Dr.Trevena,”saidhegently,“youaregoingtostrangeseasandtostrange
places.Sightswillbegiventoyoubeyondanythingyoucanimagine.Youwill
learnofthingsofwhichdreamersmayhavedreamed,butwhichfewmenhave
seen.Youareonthewaytorichesforwhichyoumighthaveworkedalifetime,
andyethavemissed.Youareprivilegedtobecometheservantofonewhoisthe
belovedmasterofapeoplethatadorehim.Yetnow,atthebeginningofit,Isay
toyou,Beware;shutallweaknessfromyourheart;thinkofhertowhomyou
willministerasapatientonly.Asyouvalueeverythingthatisdeartoyou,seek
nottomakeherafriend,lesttheheartbeeatenoutofyouasminehasbeenand
theheartsofothersmoreworthyofbetterthings.IspeaktoyouasafriendI
speakonlyofwhatIknow.Beware,forthelastminutehastoldmewhereyou
stand.”
Ishruggedmyshouldersindifferently;butitwasashallowthingtodo.
“Ithankyou,”saidI,“butthewarningisscarcelynecessary.Doctors,youknow,
arenotusuallyweakinthatrespect.
Thelaughthathegavewasscornful,buthecheckeditatonce.
“Forgiveme!“saidhe;“itwassaidbyonewhowisheswelltoyou.MayIcount


nowonyourgoingthroughtotheendofitwithoutprotest?”
Thememoryofthepicturedictatedmyanswer.
“Mr.Monk,”saidI,“youmaycountuponmetotheend.”
“Youarewise!“criedhe,risingfromthetable.“Ihaveonlyonemorefavorto
ask.Weshallbetogethermanymonths.Beamongthenumberofmyfriends,
andbelieveinme!”
Heheldouthishand,andIgaveitaheartygrip.Thenastewardappearedto
conductmetomybedroom.
Iwasnowwornoutwithexcitementandthehour;andthoughthecabininto
whichIwasshownwasinkeepingwiththeluxuryelsewheretobeobserved
upontheship,Ihadnothoughtforit,butfelluponmybed,dressedasIwas,and
therelay,withthrobbingeyeballsandburninghead.Inmyearsthereechoedthe
soundoftheman’svoice;beforemyeyestherefloatedthevisionofthepicture.
TowhathomeofwonderswasIgoing?whatplayofFatehaddrawnme
suddenlytothesemysteriesandthesephantoms?whowasthemasterofmen?
wherewashishome?shouldIeverseeLondonagain?orhadIbeencutfrom
lifeandfriendsandhopeasthoughdeathhadtakenme?NoanswercouldIfind
totheseever-changingthoughtsnoanswerbutthetremulousplayofthescrew,
thedullswishofthesea,therolloftheyachtassheroseandfellinthewatersof
theChannel.Noanswer,indeed,butfearandhopeandforeboding,thesenseof
solitude,thedespairofthenight.And,wornandweary,atlastIfellasleep,with
thedaylightstreaminguponmybed,andtheeyesofthegirlwatchingmetorest.
CHAPTERIV.
THE“WANDERER”ANDHERCREW.
THEwholecabinwasfullofsunbeamswhenIawoke,andalittleclock,setina
pillaratthefootofmybed,markedthehourofeleven.AsIlaylookinguponitI
begantowonderhowsuchathinghadcomeintomyroom,andwhyDonaldhad
notgotmeupatmyusualhour.Withmyeyeshalfclosed,andagreatsenseof
heavinessinmymind,thefactthatIwasuponaship,andinsomewaya
prisoner,wasnottoberealized.Irememberedonlythatitwasmymorningat
thehospital,andthatIwasalreadylate.


Thestrikingofabellalmostabovetheroofofmycabinshatteredthedreamsof
waking.Seventimesthenoterangout:andwhilethemetalwasstillvibratingI
hadcometopossessionofmyfullsenses;andmemoryofallthatIhadseenand
doneleapedswiftlyintomymind.IrecalledthecomingofAdamMonk,his
speechinmyroomsinWelbeckStreet;myjourneytotheyacht,thehappenings
thereon,and,morevividlythanthese,thefaceofthegirlIhadseeninthe
pictureandthebeautyofit!Thevigorofthemorningsoftenednoneofthe
impressionwhichthefirstsightofthepaintinghadmadeuponme.Ihadgoneto
mysleepwiththegirl’seyeslookingintomine;IawokeandthoughtstillthatI
sawthem,andthattheywereveryneartome.
InthismoodIsatupinmybedtosurveymycabin.Therehadbeenlightof
dawnwhenIhadthrownmyselfuponmybed;butIwasthentoowearytotake
anyobservationofmysurroundings.Now,however,withthewholeroomfullof
sunlight,andthesweetfreshbreezeoftheseacomingthroughtheporthole,I
examinedtheplaceandsatinsomeastonishmenttorealizeitsluxury.ThatIwas
inabedinlieuofthemorecommonbunk,andwastherecuriouslyproppedup
withpillows,gavememyfirstsurprise;butwhenIlookedabout,therewere
morewonderfulthingsthanthese.Closetomyheadwereknobs,bywhichI
couldcommandheatorcoldorlightinthecabin;ablindofstainedglass
permittedmeeithertoletinthesun’sraysortoexcludethem;agreatcouch,
paddedandcushioned,offered,withanarmchairincrimsonleather,restforthe
day;awashstand,whosebasinwasseeminglyofsolidsilver,wascunningly
fittedagainstthewall;therewasarackfullofgoodfictionalmostatmyelbow;
anduponthelittletableatthesideofmybedadecanterofcutglasshalffilled
withyellowwine,aboxofcigarettes,andsomesiphonsofsodawaterwere
placedformyrefreshment.
OfthedecorationofthecabinIobservedonlythatitsschemewasinlightblue
andsilver,andthatafriezeoffineOrientalwork,seeminglydoneinmetal,gave
itanairofrichnessandoflight.ThecarpetwasaPersianone,verysofttothe
feetandglowingwithcolor;andinallthepanelsweredepictedthefacesandthe
formsofseanymphsandofnereids.Here,asinthemusicroomandthesaloon,
richnessandthesenseofwealthplumbedmyimaginationtoitsdepths.Who,I
asked,ownedayachtlikethis?howcamehishometobenameless,andten
thousandmilesfromSouthampton?WhatwasthemysteryinwhichIwastaking
socuriousapart?whowasAdamMonk,andwhywasheinchargeoftheyacht
andofmyself?Withtheclearbrainofmorning,Ievenfoundmyselfwritinga
diaryinmymind,andthewordsofitarestillfastinmymemory.Forthus,had


pencilbeenneartome,shouldIhavesetdownmystory:
“I,IrwinTrevena,doctor,practicingyesterday,thelothofMarch,1892,in
London,amtodayaprisonerupontheyachtWanderer,boundIknownotfor
whatport,ownedIknownotbywhatmasterofmoneyandprinceofmen.Last
night,asbymagic,IwascarriedfromWelbeckStreettotheship;strangesights
wereshowntomyeyes;strangetaleswerewhisperedformydelectationina
saloontheliketowhichfewyachtsmenhaveseen;Iwasfeastedwithgreat
splendor;thestrainsofmusicfelluponmyears;therewassetbeforemean
entertainmentwhichwouldhaveservedforaking.AndthenIwasshownthe
pictureofawomanwhichimpressedmemoreprofoundlythanIhaveeverbeen
impressedbefore.To-day”
Butwiththewords“to-day“thementaldiaryended,thedoorofmycabin
opened,andastewardentered.Hecarriedatray,whereonweresteamingcoffee
andbreadinmanyshapes;andashesetthembymybedhewishedmegoodmorning.
“ShallIsendthebarber,sir?“heasked.
“Iammuchobligedtoyou,”saidI.“Isyourmasterup?”
“Thegentlemenarenowuponthepromenadedeck,”repliedhe.“Theywaitfor
youthere.”
Themanwasimmobile,verycivil,yetquiteuncommunicative.ThehopethatI
hadofobtainingfromhimanyparticularsastotheownershipoftheyacht
passedawayatthemomentofitsinception,andIwatchedhimwhileheraised
thefloorofmycabinanddisclosedabathofshiningmetal.Bythetimethathe
hadfilledthisanIndianbarberhadcomeintotheroomandshavedmewith
wonderfuladroitness.Andwhenthepairofthemhadgone,Idressedwithsome
haste.Thestewardhadsaidthat“gentlemen“wishedtoseeme.Who,then,was
addedtothenumberofthemanRocco’sguests?
TheseweremyspeculationswhenIopenedmycabindoorandsteppeduponthe
deck;butasthegloriousbreezesnatchedthehandlefrommygraspIforgot
them.Isawnowthewholeoftheyachtforthefirsttime,andsurprisewasmy
chiefthought.Fromthehurricanedeck,towhichImounted,Ilookeddownupon
arakingshipoffifteenhundredtonsburdenattheleast,andcouldbutmarvelat
thesight.Threemasted;withtwofunnels,whiteandbrass-bound;withspotless


decks;withcapstans,wheels,andmetal-workshininglikegoldinthesun’srays;
withluxuriouschairsatallpointsonherhigherpromenade;withpanelingof
teakandskylightsofstainedglass;withacrewindressofthepurestwhite;with
machinegunseverywhere,andlittlehousesstartingup,andrichrugsforthe
feet,andsnowyawningsagainstthesun,thereneverwasafairersightthanthe
Wanderer;norwilltherebe,Ithink,inthewholehistoryofyachting.
AsIstoodthusengrosseduponthepromenadetheseawastumblingandtossing
infoam-cappedridgesabouttheyacht;shewasdippinghernoseintothespray,
andrushingforwardasahoundofthedeep.FrommystationIseemedtobea
tremendousheightabovethegreenhollows,andtobeinsomepleasingmannera
masterofthem.Icouldsee,butagreatwayfromusonourstarboardbow,the
darklineofland;fishingboatslayrollinginthetroughoftheswellneartous,
andtheirbrownsailsflappedsharplyintherushingwind;abigsteamer,with
smokedrivenoverherprowbythebreeze,waspassingus,andherpassengers
crowdedtoherdeck-railstogiveusgreeting.Andoverallwasthespiritofthe
morning,thespiritofthesun’slight,andoftheinvigorating,exaltingwind;of
thefoam-flecksbreakingupontheface,andthesweetairswhichgavelife.
FromacontemplationofthesethingsAdamMonkhimselfnowarousedme.He
cameswiftlyalongthedeck,whereonthereweresomedozenseamendressedin
spotlesswhite,andveryrichlycladfortheirwork;andwithhimtherewasa
youngmanshabbilybegarbedintheoldestofillcutclothes.Theyouthappeared
tobeaforeigner,thoughhishairwasofadeepredcolor;andIlearnedpresently
thathewasanItalian.Monkhimselfwasinhisgayesthumor,andgreetedme
almostwithaffection.
“Doctor,”saidhe,“tellmethatyou’vesleptwell,orI’llhavetohangsomeone.
Wasitallasyouwished?”
“ItwasmorethanIcouldhavewished,”saidI.
“I’mgladtohearit,andgladtoseeyoulookingbright,”saidhenext.“IwishI
couldsaythesameformyfriend,here.Letmeintroduceyou.SignorPrivliDr.
IrwinTrevena.Hedoesn’tspeakawordofEnglish,doctor,whichisavirtuein
thesedays.”
Ibowedtotheman,andsawthathewassufferingfrommaldemer.
“Well,”saidI,“myItalianislimitedtothreewords,andthoseIhaveforgotten;


but,ifIcanbeofanyservicetoSignerPrivli”
“Indeed,andyoucan’t,”saidMonklightly.“I’vedoneforhimalready.One
basintobetakenasrequired.Butnowtellme,areyouhungry?”
“IshouldbeawonderfulmanifIwas,”criedI,“seeingtheamountofcoffeeI
havejustdrunk.”
“Thenwe’llhaveourbreakfastinthirtyminutes,”saidhe,takingmyarmwitha
kindlygesture;“letmerecommendyoutoeateveryhalfhouratsea.The
constitutionrequiresit.MeanwhileI’llshowyoutheyacht,whichyou’llbeglad
tosee,sinceitmustbeyourhomeforthenextthirtydaysandmore.”
“Thirtydaysandmore!“criedI,againfeelingmyheartsinkastherealityofmy
separationfromallthatinterestedmewasthusemphasized.“Yourdestination
surelyisnotsofar?”
“IwishthatIcouldbringitnearer,doctor,”criedhe,walkingmeslowlyupthe
deck;“butit’sthirtydayswiththebestofweather.Myonlyconsolationisthe
thoughtthatyou’llfor.givemewhenwegetthere.Believeme,youareoneof
theluckiestmeninexistence.Itisdifficulttorealizeit,andyouhaveonlymy
word;buttothatIcanaddtheevidenceofyoureyes.Lookdownthere,andask
yourselfifyoueversawamorecontentedcrew.”
Westoodnowbythebridge,andIsawatagreatdistancetheEddystoneLight,
likeablackpillarabovethesea.Uponthedeckitselfthespectaclewasoneof
profoundorder.Menofallnations,butprincipallyFrenchmenandRussians,
withanumberofolive-skinnedfellowswhohadtheairofPolynesians,stood
soberlyattheirplaces.Theirwhiteuniformsandscarletcapsshonepleasantlyin
thesunlight;theyworked,whencalledupon,withaquicknessandaskillrarely
seenexceptuponaman-of-war.Thefirstofficerhimself,nowslowingpacing
thebridge,hadtheruddyfaceandtheyellowhairofanorthcountryman,but
was,Ilearned,anAmerican,longsincedistinguishedforhisseamanship.The
manbyhimwasanEnglishman,fromHull;anIrishmanwasatthewheel;andI
observedothersofmyowncountrymenhereandthereneartheforecastle.But
chiefly,asIsay,thecrewwasmadeupofforeigners,andwasnotalittle
remarkableforthebabeloftonguesitcommanded.
“Theseareourmen,”saidMonk,whenwehadstoodgazinguponthescenefor
manyminutes.“Igiveyouleavetoaskanyofthemiftheyarehappy.Aren’t


theyamagnificentlot?WatchthatgreathulkingIrishman,there;didyouever
seeapictureoffinerhealthorbuild?There’snotacomplaintintheheadsofthe
wholeofthem;andtheyservethemasteryouaregoingtoserve,andadorehim.
Talktothemforyourself,andseehowyoufindthem.”
“ThatIwillwithpleasurewhentheopportunitycomes,”repliedI,notalittle
consoledatthesight;“butwhereandwhoisyourskipper?”
“Hewillbeatthebreakfasttable,whereIthinkwemightlookforhim.They’re
goingtostrikeeightbells,andmyappetiteringsinresponse.Wefollowthe
Frenchcustomhere,andtakedfy’etiner.Ifyoucan’tbecomeaFrenchmanI’ll
havethingssentintoyourcabineverymorning.”
“You’reverygood,”saidI,“butyourmethodistheonlycivilizedone.Anearly
breakfastisthelastrelicofbarbarism.”
ThebellwasstruckasIspoke,andIcaughtaglimpseoftheIrishmanwho
struckit,themanwhomMonkhadpraisedforhispowerandhishealth.It
occurredtomeatoncethatthefacewasridiculouslyfamiliartome.Ihadseen
themaninWestminsterHospitalsixmonthsbeforeapoordevilofafellow,
woe-begone,sick,andapauper.Henowstoodbeforemeaverygiantinheight
andbreadth,andruddywiththevigorofthesea.Whenoureyesmet,hegavea
littlestart,andthenputhimselftohisworkagain;nordidhelookupasIwent
withMonkonmywaytothesaloon;andthushepassedfrommyview.Butthe
sightofthemanwaslikenewwinetome,foritseemedatlastthatIhadfound
onewhowasafriend,calledfromthelifeIknew,tobewithmeinthis
unsurpassableexperienceofmysteries,everyhourgrowingdeeperandmore
profound.
FiveminuteslaterIwastalkingtoReubenJoyce,thegray-haired,gentleold
skipperoftheyacht,whogreetedmeasthoughhehadknownmeallhislife.
CHAPTERV.
THEMANINTHECAGE.
ITwasthenightoftheninthday,webeingsometwelvehoursoutfromPorto
GrandeintheDeVerdeIslands,wherewehadtakencoal.Istoodaloneonthe
lowerdeckoftheWandererwatchingtheglorioussky,shotwithitsmyriadof
rollingstars.Theairwaswarm,yetnotlackingfreshness;theseawasalmost


goldeninthepathofthemoonlight;therewasasoundoffiddlesandoffifes
fromtheforecastle,wherethemenmademerry;fromthebridgethedeep,
resoundingvoiceofReubenJoyce,thecaptainoftheship,wastobeheardat
intervals.
Ihadgoneforwardaftertheusualsatisfyingbanquetinthesaloon,thefeast
beingaccompaniedaseverbythemusicoftheship’sband,towitness,at
Monk’sinvitation,thejunketingsofthemen,nolessmerryintheirplaythan
soberintheirwork.ButmyheadwassofullofthoughtsthatwhenIhadseen
oneoftheirdances,andlistenedtoasong,awild,delirious,hauntingsong,like
tonothingIhadheardinanyquarteroftheworld,Iwanderedfromthesceneto
thelowerdeckoftheship,andsostoodveryneartothehatchoftheengine
room.Uponthewaterthereshonetheglowofthearclampsbeneathwhichthe
menweregathered;theseaitselfwasdarkandlimpidandstill;thebreezewas
softandsweetasabreezefromagardenofroses;thethudoftheengineswas
liketheriseandfallofamightyhammer.Oftentimes,whenthedoorsofthe
furnaceswereopened,agreatwaveofcrimsonlightbathedthedecksand
funnelsaboveme;itshonescarletuponthefacesoftheengineers;itdiedaway
toleavethedarkness.Andallthroughittheyachtwasrushingaheadtoaland
whosenameIwasnottoknow,toapeopleandapowerstronger,asIhadbeen
told,thananypeopleoranypoweruponthefaceoftheglobe.
NinedaysnowhadIbeenaprisoner;forninedayslivedinthecompanyof
AdamMonk,oftheItalianPrivli,oftheofficersoftheship.Eachmorninghad
beenlikeothermornings;eachnightasothernights.Banquets,richfoods,rare
wines,engrossingbooks,sweetmusicallthesewereminedaybydayandhour
byhour;yetmelancholysatheavyuponme,thelongingformyhomeateatmy
heart.Iseemedtobegoingevenoutoftheworlditself;onlythememoryofthe
woman’sface,thespellthatthepaintinghadcastuponme,heldmebackfrom
unspeakabledespairandadepthofwoe.
Askmewhy,andIhavenoanswer.Meninnumberswouldhavegivenyearsof
theirlifetohavebeenwhereIstood.Iwasenjoyinganexperiencesuchasthe
veryrichonlycanknow;Isawnothinguntilthattimebutkindnessandaffection
andnoblethought.Strangethatinonemomentthewholeofmytrustwastobe
shattered,thewholeofmyfearingtoberenewed.
Itbefellthus;butnowordscouldconveytheterrorofthethingasIsawit,there
offtheAfricancoast,onthatmemorablenight.Iwasstandingonthelowerdeck,


asIhavesaid,whenthelowsoundofmoaningfelluponmyears.Ilistened,and
thecrywasrepeated;Icouldhearitquiteclosetomethebittercryofaman
suffering,almostthesoundofweepingandofultimatedespair.Forlong
momentsIstoodinacoldsweat,sofearfulwastheplaintivemoan.Ithought
eventhatsomedreadfuldeedwasbeingdonealmostatmyfeet.Thenthecry
diedaway,andIaskedmyselfwhatdelusionhadbroughtittomyears.
Whileallthisstupefyingfearwasuponme,andmyhandhadbeguntotremble
asawoman’s,Iobserved,abafttheengineroom,astaircaseleadingtothelower
quartersoftheship.NosoonerhadIseenitthanthecrywasraisedagain,andit
cametomethatitwasuttereddownthereinthedepthsofthelightlesspassage.
Therewasnoonetowatchme.Thehandswereforwardwiththemusic.Iknew
thatIwasdoingthatwhichmightbringmetodanger;yetsoweirdandwildand
fullofsufferingwasthevoicethatIwentquicklydownthestairs,andallthat
washiddenlayinstantlybeforemyeyes.
Thepassagewasnarrowandoflittleheight.Asolitaryoillampcastaflickering
glowuponthelowdoorsoneithersideofit.Oneofthesedoorshadnowswung
openuponitshinges;andasIfollowedthedimlightcastintothedennow
revealed,Isawtheman.Helaybehindthickbarsofironuponafloorofwood;
hishairwaslongandmatted,andfelluponhisfaceinblindingcurls;hehad
handslikethetalonsofabird,andaheavylockofironboundhiswrists
togather.Unabletostand,unabletolie,compelledtocrouchuponhishams,
fetterseatingintothefleshofhisankles,paleasonedying,weakwith
exhaustion,hismouthdrywiththirst,tearsclotteduponhisfacethevisionof
thatmanwilllingerwithmetomydyingday.Andwhenhesawme,whenhe
raisedhisheadandcriedagainlikeawoundedwoman,Ifeltpitywellingup
frommyheart,andangerwhichscarcebrookedcontrol.
“Whoareyou?“Iwhispered,bendingoverhim.“Tellmewithoutfear;Iama
doctor,andastranger.”
“Godrewardyou!“gaspedhe.“IamJackWilliams,seaman.Lookforyourself;
they’rekillingmehere.”
“Whathaveyoudone?”Iasked.“Whyareyouinthisplace?”
“Forgoingashore,”hemoaned;“goingashorewithoutleave.It’stherule,andI
brokeit.Thisislighttowhat’sbeforeme.”


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