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the novel Greatheart

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Title:Greatheart
Author:EthelM.Dell
ReleaseDate:September18,2004[eBook#13497]
Language:English
***STARTOFTHEPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKGREATHEART***
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GREATHEART
by
ETHELM.DELL

AuthoroftheHundredthChance,TheLampintheDesert,
TheSwindler,etc.
1918



"NOWMR.GREATHEARTWASASTRONGMAN."—ThePilgrims
Progress.

IDedicateThisBooktoA.G.C.
FriendofMyHeartandtotheMemoryofAlltheHappyDaysWehaveSpent
Together.


CONTENTS
PARTI
I.TheWanderer
II.TheLooker-On
III.TheSearch
IV.TheMagician
V.Apollo
VI.Cinderella
VII.TheBrokenSpell
VIII.Mr.Greatheart
IX.TheRunawayColt.
X.TheHouseofBondage
XI.Olympus
XII.TheWineoftheGods
XIII.FriendshipintheDesert
XIV.ThePurpleEmpress
XV.TheMountainCrest
XVI.TheSecondDraught
XVII.TheUnknownForce
XVIII.TheEscapeofthePrisoner
XIX.TheCupofBitterness
XX.TheVisionofGreatheart
XXI.TheReturn
XXII.TheValleyoftheShadow
XXIII.TheWayBack
XXIV.TheLightsofaCity
XXV.TheTrueGold
XXVI.TheCallofApollo
XXVII.TheGoldenMaze



XXVIII.TheLesson
XXIX.TheCaptive
XXX.TheSecondSummons
PARTII
I.Cinderella'sPrince
II.WeddingArrangements
III.Despair
IV.TheNewHome
V.TheWatcher
VI.TheWrongRoad
VII.DoubtingCastle
VIII.THEVICTORY
IX.THEBURDEN
X.THEHOURSOFDARKNESS
XI.THENET
XII.THEDIVINESPARK
XIII.THEBROKENHEART
XIV.THEWRATHOFTHEGODS
XV.THESAPPHIREFORFRIENDSHIP
XVI.THEOPENDOOR
XVII.THELIONINTHEPATH
XVIII.THETRUTH
XIX.THEFURNACE
XX.THECOMINGOFGREATHEART
XXI.THEVALLEYOFHUMILIATION
XXII.SPOKENINJEST
XXIII.THEKNIGHTINDISGUISE
XXIV.THEMOUNTAINSIDE
XXV.THETRUSTYFRIEND
XXVI.THELASTSUMMONS
XXVII.THEMOUNTAIN-TOP
XXVIII.CONSOLATION
XXIX.THESEVENTHHEAVEN


PARTI


CHAPTERI
THEWANDERER.

BiddyMaloneystoodatthewindowofhermistress'sbedroom,andsurveyedthe
worldwitheyesofsterndisapproval.Therewasnothingofthesmartlady'smaid
aboutBiddy.Sheabominatedsmartlady'smaids.AflyawayFrenchcapandan
apronbarelyreachingtothekneesweretohertheveryessenceofflighty
impropriety.TherewasjustsuchacreatureinattendanceuponLadyGracede
Vignewhooccupiedthebestsuiteofroomsinthehotel,andBiddyverystrongly
resentedherexistence.Inherownmindshedespisedherasashamelesshussy
whollydevoidofallideasof"dacency."Herresentmentwaspartlyduetothe
factthattheindecentonebelongedtothepartyinpossessionofthebestsuite,
whichtheyhadoccupiedsomethreeweeksbeforeBiddyandherpartyhad
appearedonthescene.
ItwasallMasterScott'sfault,ofcourse.Heoughttohavewrittentoengage
roomssooner,butthentobesurethedecisiontomigratetothiswinterparadise
intheAlpshadbeenasuddenone.ThathadbeenSirEustace'sfault.Hewas
alwayssosuddeninhisways.
Biddysighedimpatiently.SirEustacehadalwaysbeenhardtomanage.Shehad
neverreallyconqueredhimeveninthedayswhenshehadmadehimstandinthe
cornerandgowithoutsugarinhistea.Shewellrememberedtheshocking
occasiononwhichhehadflungsugarandbasintogetherintothefiresothatthe
othersmightbemadetosharehisenforcedabstinence.Shebelievedhewas
equaltocommittingasimilaractofviolenceifbaulkedevennow.Buthenever
wasbaulked.Atthirty-fivehereignedsupremeinhisownworld.Nooneever
crossedhim,unlessitwereMasterScott,andofcoursenoonecouldbeseriously
angrywithhim,poordearyoungman!Hewassogentleandkind.Afaint,
maternalsmilerelaxedBiddy'sgrimlips.Shebecameawarethatthewhiteworld
belowwasa-floodwithsunshine.


Thesnowymountainsthatroseagainstthevividblueweredream-likeintheir
beauty.Wherethesunshoneuponthem,theirpuritywasalmosttoodazzlingto
behold.Itwasarelieftoresttheeyesuponthegreatpatchesofpine-woodsthat
clothedsomeoftheslopes.
"IwonderifMissIsabelwillbehappyhere,"musedBiddy.
Thattohermindwastheonlythingonearththatreallymattered,practicallythe
onlythingforwhichsheevertroubledherMaker.Herownwantswereall
amalgamatedinthisonegreatdesireofherheart—thatherdarling'spoortorn
spiritshouldbemadehappy.Shehadwhollyceasedtorememberthatshehad
everwantedanythingelse.ItwasforMissIsabelthatshedesiredthebestrooms,
thebestcarriages,thebestofeverything.EvenherloveforMasterScott—poor
dearyoungman!—dependedlargelyuponthefacultyhepossessedforconsoling
andinterestingMissIsabel.AnyonewhodidthatearnedBiddy'sundyingrespect
andgratitude.Oftherestoftheworld—saveforapassingdisapproval—shewas
scarcelyaware.Nothingelsematteredinthesameway.Infactnothingelse
reallymatteredatall.
Ah!Amovementfromthebedatlast!Herquickears,everonthealert,warned
herontheinstant.Sheturnedfromthewindowwithsuchmother-loveshiningin
heroldbrownfaceunderitsseverewhitecapasmadeitasbeautifulinitsway
astheparadisewithout.
"Why,MissIsabeldarlint,howyou'vesleptthen!"shesaid,inthesoft,crooning
voicewhichwaskeptforthisonebelovedbeingalone.
Twowhitearmswerestretchedwideoutsidethebed.Twodarkeyes,
mysteriouslyshadowedandsunken,lookeduptohers.
"Hashegonealready,Biddy?"alowvoiceasked.
"Onlyalittleway,darlint.He'sjustroundthecorner,"saidBiddytenderly."Will
yewaitaminutewhileIgiveyeyourtay?"
Therewasaspirit-kettlesingingmerrilyintheroom.Shebusiedherselfaboutit,
herwitheredfaceintentoverthetask.
Thewhitearmsfelluponthebluetravelling-rugthatBiddyhadspreadwith
lovingcareoutsidethebedthenightbeforetoaddtohermistress'scomfort.


"Whendidhego,Biddy?"thelowvoiceasked,andtherewasafurtivequalityin
thequestionasifitweredesignedfornonebutBiddy'sears."Didhe—didhe
leavenomessage?"
"Ah,tobesure!"saidBiddy,turningherfaceforamoment."Andthelikesof
metohaveforgottenit!Hesentyehisbestlove,darlint,andyeweretoeata
finebreakfastbeforeyewentout."
Thesadeyessmiledatherfromthebed,half-gratified,half-incredulous,likethe
eyesofalonelychildwholistenstoafairy-tale."Itwaslikehimtothinkofthat,
Biddy.But—Iwishhehadstayedalittlelonger.Imustgetupandgoandfind
him."
"Hasn'thebeenwithyethroughthenight?"askedBiddy,bentagaintohertask.
"Nearlyallnightlong!"Theanswercameonanoteoftriumph,yettherewas
alsoanoteofchallengeinitalso.
"Thenwhatmorewouldyehave?"saidBiddywisely."Leavehimaloneforabit,
darlint!Husbandsarebetterwithouttheirwivessometimes."
Alowlaughcamefromthebed."Oh,Biddy,Imusttellhimthat!Hewouldlove
yourbon-mots.Didhe—didhesaywhenhewouldbeback?"
"Thathedidnot,"saidBiddy,stillabsorbedoverthekettle."Butthere'snothing
inthatatall.Yecan'tbealwaysexpectingamantogiveaccountofhimself.
Now,mavourneen,I'llgiveyeyourtay,andye'llbeabletogetupwhenyefeel
likeit.Ah!There'sMasterScott!Andwouldyelikehimtocomeinandhavea
cupwithye?"
Threesoftknockshadsoundedonthedoor.Thewomaninthebedraisedherself,
andherhairfellingloryaroundher,hairthatattwenty-fivehadbeenravenblack,hairthatatthirty-twowaswhiteasthesnowoutsidethewindow.
"Isthatyou,Stumpydear?Comein!Comein!"shecalled.
Hervoicewashollowanddeep.Sheturnedherfacetothedoor—abeautiful,
wastedfacewithhungryeyesthatwatchedandwaitedperpetually.
Thedooropenedveryquietlyandunobtrusively,andasmall,insignificantman


camein.Hewasaboutthesizeoftheaverageschoolboyoffifteen,andhe
walkedwithaslightlimp,onelegbeingatrifleshorterthantheother.
Notwithstandingthisdefect,hisgeneralappearancewasoneofextreme
neatness,fromhiscolourlessbutcarefullytrainedmoustacheandsmalltrim
beardtohiswell-shodfeet.Hisclothes—-likehisbeard—fittedhimperfectly.
Hisclose-croppedhairwasalsocolourlessandgrewsomewhatfarbackonhis
forehead.Hispalegreyeyeshadatiredexpression,asiftheyhadlookedtoo
longortooearnestlyupontheturmoiloflife.
Hecametothebedsideandtookthethinwhitehandoutstretchedtohimon
whichaweddingringhungloose.Hewalkedwithoutawkwardness;therewas
evendignityinhiscarriage.
Hebenttokisstheupliftedface."Haveyousleptwell,dear?"
Herarmsreachedupandclaspedhisneck."Oh,Stumpy,yes!Ihavehadalovely
night.Basilhasbeenwithme.Hehasgoneoutnow;butIamgoingtolookfor
himpresently."
"Manyhappyreturnsofthedaytoye,MasterScott!"putinBiddyrather
pointedly.
"Ahyes.Itisyourbirthday.Ihadforgotten.Forgiveme,Stumpydarling!You
knowIwishyoualwaysthevery,verybest."Theclingingarmsheldhimmore
closely,
"Thankyou,Isabel."Scott'svoicewasastiredashiseyes,andyetithada
certainqualityofstrength."Ofcourseit'saveryimportantoccasion.Howarewe
goingtocelebrateit?"
"Ihaveapresentforyousomewhere.Biddy,whereisit?"Isabel'svoicehada
noteofimpatienceinit.
"It'shere,darlint!It'shere!"Biddybustleduptothebedwithaparcel.
IsabeltookitfromherandturnedtoScott."It'sonlyasillyoldcigarette-case,
dear,butIthoughtofitallmyself.Howoldareyounow,Stumpy?"
"Iamthirty,"heanswered,smiling."Thankyouverymuch,dear.It'sjustthe


thingIwanted—onlytoogood!"
"Asifanythingcouldbetoogoodforyou!"hissistersaidtenderly.
"HasEustaceremembered?"
"Ohyes.Eustacehasgivenmeasaddle,butashedidn'tthinkIshouldwantit
here,itistobepresentedwhenwegethomeagain."Hesatdownonthesideof
thebed,stillinspectingthebirthdayoffering.
"Haven'tyouhadanythingfromanyoneelse?"Isabelasked,afteramoment.
Heshookhishead."Whoelseistheretobotheraboutaminnowlikeme?"
"You'renotaminnow,Scott.Anddidn't—didn'tBasilgiveyouanything?"
Scott'stiredeyeslookedatherwithasuddenfixity.Hesaidnothing;buta
piteouslookcameintoIsabel'sfaceunderhissteadygaze,andshedroppedher
ownasifashamed.
"Whisht,MasterScottdarlint,fortheLord'ssake,don'tyegoupsettingher!"
warnedBiddyinasibilantwhisper."Ihadtroubleenoughlastnight.Ifithadn't
beenforthedraught,shewouldn'thavesleptatall,atall."
Scottdidnotlookather."Youshouldhavecalledme,"hesaid,andleaning
forwardtookhissister'shand."Isabel,wouldn'tyouliketocomeoutandseethe
skaters?Thereissomewonderfulluginggoingontoo."
Shedidnotraisehereyes;herwholedemeanourhadchanged.Sheseemedto
droopasifallanimationhadgone;"Idon'tknow,"shesaidlistlessly."IthinkI
wouldalmostassoonstayhere."
"Haveyourtay,darlint!"coaxedBiddy,onherotherside.
"Eustacewillbecomingtolookforyouifyoudon't,"saidScott.
Shestartedatthat,andgaveaquickshiver."Ohno,Idon'twant
Eustace!Don'tlethimcomehere,Stumpy,willyou?"
"ShallIgoandtellhimyouarecomingthen?"askedScott,hiseyesstillsteadily
watchingher.


Shenodded."Yes,yes.ButIdon'twanttobemade.Basilnevermademedo
things."
Scottrose."Iwillwaitforyoudownstairs.Thankyou,Biddy.Yes,I'lldrinkthat
first.Noteaintheworldevertasteslikeyourbrew."
"Getalongwithyourblarney,MasterScott!"protestedBiddy."AndyouandSir
Eustacemustn'ttireMissIsabelout.Remember,she'sjustcomealongjourney,
andit'snotwonderfulatallthatshedon'tfeellikeexertingherself."
Aredfireofresentmentsmoulderedintheoldwoman'seyes,butScottpaidno
attentiontoit."You'dbettergetsomesleepyourself,Biddy,ifyoucan,"hesaid.
"Nomore,thanks.Youwillbeoutinanhourthen,Isabel?"
"Perhaps,"shesaid.
Hepaused,standingbesideher."IfyouarenotoutinanhourIshallcomeand
fetchyou,"hesaid.
Sheputforthanappealinghandlikeachild."Iwillcomeout,Stumpy.Iwill
comeout,"shesaidtremulously.
Hepressedthehandforamoment."Inanhourthen,Iwanttoshowyou
everything.Thereisplentytobeseen."
Heturnedtothedoor,lookedbackwithapartingsmile,andwentout.
Isabeldidnotseethesmile.Shewasstaringmoodilydownwardswitheyesthat
onlylookedwithin.


CHAPTERII
THELOOKER-ON

Downontheskating-rinkbelowthehotel,acrowdofpeopleweremaking
merry.Theicewasinsplendidcondition.Itsparkledinthesunlikeasheetof
frostedglass,andoverittheskatersglidedwithmuchmirthandlaughter.
Scottstoodontheroadaboveandwatchedthem.Therewereagoodmany
accomplishedperformersamongthem,andtherewerealsoseveralbeginners.
Butallseemedalikeinfectedwiththegaietyoftheplace.Therewasnotoneface
thatdidnotwearasmile.
Itwasaninvigoratingscene.Fromaslopeofthewhitemountain-sidebeyond
therinktheshoutsandlaughterofhigerscamethroughthecrystalair.Astringof
lugeswasshootingdowntherun,andevenasScottcaughtsightofitthe
foremostcametogrief,andadozenpeoplerolledignominiouslyinthesnow.He
smiledinvoluntarily.Heseemedtohavesteppedintoanatmosphereof
irresponsibleyouth.Theairwasfullofthemagicfluid.Itstirredhispulseslikea
draughtofchampagne.
Thenhiseyesreturnedtotherink,andalmostimmediatelysingledoutthebest
skaterthere.Amaninawhitesweater,dark,handsome,magnificentlymade,
supremelysureofhimself,dartedwiththeswiftgraceofaswallowthroughthe
throng.Hisabsoluteconfidenceandsplendidphysiquemadehimconspicuous.
Heexecutedelaboratefigureswithsuchperfecteaseandcertaintyofmovement
thatmanyturnedtolookathiminastonishedadmiration.
"GreatScott!"saidacrackedvoiceatScott'sshoulder.
Heturnedsharply,andmetthefrankregardofarosy-facedschoolboyalittle
shorterthanhimself.


"Lookatthatbloomin'swell!"saidthenew-comerintonesofdeepdisgust."He
seemstohavesproutedinthenight.I'venouseforthesestarskatersmyself.
They'reallsobeastlysidey."
HeaddressedScottasanequal,andasanequalScottmadereply."P'rapswhen
you'reastarskateryourself,you'llchangeyourmindabout'em."
Theboygrinned."Ah!P'raps!You'reanewchum,aren'tyou?"
"Verynew,"saidScott.
"Canyouskate?"askedthelad."Butofcourseyoucan.Isupposeyou'reanother
darkhorse.It'stoobad,youknow;justasDinahandIarebeginningtofancy
ourselvesatit.Webeganrightatthebeginningtoo."
"Consideryourselflucky!"saidScottratherbriefly.
"Whatdoyoumean?"Theboy'seyesflashedoverhimintelligently,greeneyes
humorouslyalert.
Scottglanceddownwards."Imeanmylegsarenotapair,soIcan'tevenbegin."
"Oh,badluck,sir!"Theequalityvanishedfromtheboy'svoice.Hebecame
suddenlyalmostdeferential,andScottrealizedthathewasnolongerregardedas
acomrade."Still"—hehesitated—"youcanluge,Isuppose?"
"Idon'tquiteseemyself,"saidScott,lookingacrossoncemoretothemerry
grouponthedistantrun.
"Anyidiotcandothat,"theboyprotested,thenturnedsuddenlyadeepred."Oh,
lor,Ididn'tmeanthat!Hi,Dinah!"Heturnedtocoverhisembarrassmentand
sentadeafeningyellatthesun-bathedfaçadeofthehotel."Areyounever
coming,youcuckoo?Halfthemorning'sgonealready!"
"Coming,Billy!"atonceacleargayvoicemadeanswer,andthemerriestface
thatScotthadeverseenmadeasuddenappearanceatanopenwindow."Darling
Billy,dokeepyourhaironforjusttwominuteslonger!Yvonnehasbeentrying
onmyfancydress,butshe'snearlydone."
Theneckandshouldersbelowthelaughingfacewerebareandabarearmwaved


inapropitiatoryfashionereitvanished.
"Looksasifthefancydressisaminusquantity,"observedBillytohis
companionwithagrin."Ididn'tseeanyofit,didyou?"
Scotttriednottolaugh."Yoursister?"heasked.
Billynoddedaffirmation."Sheain'tabadurchin,"heobserved,"assistersgo.
We'restayingherealongwiththedeVignes.Evermet'em?LadyGraceisaholy
terror.Herhusbandisahorriblestuck-upboreofanAnglo-Indian,—thinks
himselfeverybody,andtellsthemostawfulhowlers.Rose—that'sthedaughter
—isbywayofbeingverybeautiful.Thereshegoesnow;see?Thatgoldenhairedgirlinred!She'sanotherofyourbeastlystarskaters.I'llbetshe'llhave
thatbigboundercuttingcaperswithherbeforetheday'sout."
"Thinkso?"saidScott.
Billynoddedagain."Isupposehe'saprinceatleast.Myword,doesn'thefancy
himself?Lookatthatnow?Side—sheerside!"
Theskaterunderdiscussionhadjustexecutedamostintricatefigurenotfarfrom
them.Havingaccomplisheditwiththatunerringandsomewhatblatant
confidencethatsorevoltedBilly'sschoolboysoul,hestraightenedhistallfigure,
anddartedinastraightlinefortheendoftherinkabovewhichtheystood.His
handswereinhispockets.Hisbearingwassuperb.Hedescribedacomplete
circlebelowthembeforehebroughthimselftoastand.Thenheliftedhisdark
arrogantface.Heworeashortclippedmoustachewhichbynomeanshidthe
strengthofawell-modelledthoughslightlysneeringmouth.Hiseyeswere
somewhatdeeplyset,andshoneextraordinarilyblueunderstraightblackbrows
thatmet.Theman'swholeexpressionwasoneofdominantself-assertion.He
borehimselflikeaking.
"Well,Stumpy,"hesaid,"where'sIsabel?"
Scott'scompanionjumped,andbeataswiftretreat.Scottsmiledalittleashe
madereply.
"Ihavebeenuptoseeher.Shewillbeoutpresently.Biddyhadtogivehera
sleeping-draughtlastnight."


"Damn!"saidtheotherinafierceundertone."Didshecallyoufirst?"
"No."
"Thenwhythedevildidn'tshe?Ishallsackthatwoman.Isabelhasn'tachance
togetwellwithamischievousoldhaglikethatalwayswithher."
"IthinkIsabelwouldprobablydiewithouther,"Stumpyrespondedinhisquiet
voicewhichpresentedavividcontrasttohisbrother'sstormyutterance."And
Biddywouldprobablydietoo—ifsheconsentedtogo,whichIdoubt."
"Oh,damnBiddy!Thesoonershediesthebetter.She'snothingbutaperpetual
nuisance.WhatisIsabellikethismorning?"
Scotthesitated,andhisbrotherfrowned.
"That'senough.Whatelsecouldanyoneexpect?Lookhere,Scott!Thisthing
hasgottoend.Ishalltakethatsleeping-stuffaway."
"Ifyoucangetholdofit,"putinScottdrily.
"Youmustgetholdofit.Youhaveampleopportunity.It'sallverywelltopreach
patience,butshehasbeentakingslowpoisonforsevenyears.Iamcertainofit.
It'sridiculous!It'smonstrous!It'sgottoend."Hespokewithimpatientfinality,
hisblueeyeschallengingremonstrance.
Scottmadenone.Onlyafteramomenthesaid,"Ifyoutakeawayoneprop,old
chap,youmustprovideanother.Abrokenthingcan'tstandalone.Butneedwe
discussitnow?AsItoldyou,sheiscomingoutpresently,andthisgloriousairis
boundtomakeadifferencetoher.Ittasteslikewine."
Itwasatthispointthatthegolden-hairedgirlinredsuddenlyglidedupandsat
downonthebankafewyardsawaytoadjustaskate.
SirEustaceturnedhishead,andasparklecameintohiseyes.Hewatchedherfor
amoment,thenlefthisbrotherwithoutfurtherwords.
"CanIdothatforyou?"heasked.
Sheliftedaflushedface."Oh,howkindofyou!ButIhavejustmanagedit.How


lovelytheiceisthismorning!"
Sherosewiththewords,balancingherselfwithagraceasfinishedashisown,
andthrewhimadazzlingsmileofgratitude.Scott,fromhispostofobservation
onthebank,decidedthatshecertainlywasbeautiful.Herfacewasalmost
faultless.Andyetitseemedtohimthattherewasinfinitelymoreofwitcheryin
thefacethathadlaughedfromthewindowafewminutesbefore.Almost
unconsciouslyhewaswaitingtoseetheownerofthatfaceemerge.
Hewatchedtheinevitableexchangeofcommonplacesbetweenhisbrotherand
thebeautifulMissdeVignewhosegraciousnessplainlyindicatedherwillingness
foraneareracquaintance,andpresentlyhesawthemmoveawaysidebyside.
"WhatdidItellyou?"saidBilly'svoiceathisshoulder."Butyoumighthave
saidthatchapbelongedtoyou.HowwasItoknow?"
"Oh,quiteso,"saidScott."Praydon'tapologize!Hedoesn'tbelongtomeeither.
ItisIwhobelongtohim."
Billy'sgreeneyestwinkledappreciatively."You'rehisbrother,aren'tyou?"
Scottlookedathim."Nowhowonearthdidyouknowthat?"
Helookedbackwithhisfrank,engaginggrin."Oh,there'sthesamehangabout
you.Ican'ttellyouwhatitis.Dinahwouldknowdirectly.You'dbetteraskher."
"Idon'thappentohavethepleasureofyoursister'sacquaintance,"observed
Scott,withhisquietsmile.
"Oh,I'llsoonintroduceyouifthat'swhatyouwant,"saidBilly."Comealong!
Theresheisnow,justcrossingtheroad.Bytheway,Idon'tthinkyoutoldme
yourname."
"MynameisStudley—ScottStudley,Stumpytomyfriends,"saidScott,inhis
whimsical,ratherwearyfashion.
Billylaughed."You'reasport,"hesaid."WhenIknowyouabitbetter,
Ishallrememberthat.Hi,Dinah!Whatadeuceofatimeyou'vebeen.
ThisisMr.Studley,andhesawyouatthewindowwithoutanythingon."


"I'msurehedidn't!Billy,howdareyou?"Dinah'sbrownfaceburnedan
indignantred;shelookedatScottwithinstanthostility.
"Oh,please!"heprotestedmildly."That'snotquitefaironme."
"Servesyouright,"declaredBillywithmaliciousdelight."Youplayedmea
shabbytrick,youknow."
Dinah'sbrowcleared.ShesmileduponScott."Isn'theahorridlittlepig?How
doyoudo?Isn'titarippingday?Itmakesyouwanttoclimb,doesn'tit?Iwish
I'dgotanalpenstock."
"Can'tyougetoneanywhere?"askedScott."Ithoughttheywerealwaystobe
had."
"Yes,buttheycostmoney,"sighedDinah."AndIhaven'tgotany.Itdoesn't
reallymatterthough.Therearelotsofotherthingstodo.Areyoukeenon
luging?Iam."
Herbrighteyessmiledintohiswiththeutmostfriendliness,andheknewthat
shewouldnotcommitBilly'smistakeandaskhimifheskated.
Hersmilewasinfectious.Thecharmofitlingeredafterithadpassed.Hereyes
weregreenlikeBilly's,onlysofter.Theyhadagreatdealofsweetnessinthem,
andaspice—justaspiceofdevilryaswell.Therestofthefacewouldhavebeen
quiteunremarkable,butthelaughter-lovingmouthandpointedchinwholly
redeemeditfromthecommonplace.Shewasalittlebrownthinglikea
woodlandcreature,andherdaintyairandquickwaysputScottirresistiblyin
mindofapertrobin.
Inreplytoherquestionhetoldherthathehadarrivedonlythenightbefore.
"AndIamquiteatyro,"headded."Ihavebeenwatchingthelugingonthat
slope,andthankingallthestarsthatcontrolmydestinythatIwasn'tthere."
Shelaughed,showingarowofsmallwhiteteeth."Oh,you'dloveitonceyou
started.It'saheavenlysportiftherunisn'tbumpy.Isn'tthisaglorious
atmosphere?Itmakesonefeelsohappy."
Shecameandstoodbyhissidetowatchtheskaters.Billywasseatedonthe
bank,impatientlychanginghisboots.


"I'mnotgoingtowaitforyouanylonger,Dinah,"hesaid."I'mfedup."
"Don'tthen!"sheretorted."Ineveraskedyouto."
"Whatalie!"saidBilly,withallabrother'sgallantry.
Shethrewhimasister'slookofscornanddeignednorejoinder.Butinamoment
theincidentwasforgotten."Oh,lookthere!"shesuddenlyexclaimed."Isn'tthat
justlikeRosedeVigne?She'salwayssuretoappropriatethemosthandsome
manwithinsight.I'vebeenwatchingthatmanfrommywindow.Heisaperfect
Apollo,andskatesdivinely.Andnowshe'sgothim!"
Deepdisgustwasaudibleinhervoice.Billylookedupwithasidewaysgrin.
"Youdon'tsupposehe'dlookatasparrowlikeyou,doyou?"hesaid."Heprefers
aswan,youbet."
"Bequiet,Billy!"commandedDinah,makinganineffectualdigathimwithher
foot."Idon'twanthimtolookatme.Ihatemen.ButitistoobadthewayRose
alwayschoosesthebest.It'sjustthesamewitheverything.AndIlong—oh,Ido
longsometimes—tocutherout!"
"Ishouldmyself,"saidScottunexpectedly."Butwhydon'tyou.I'msureyou
could."
Shethrewhimawhimsicalsmile."I!"shesaid."Whythat'saboutaslikelyas—"
shestoppedshortinsomeconfusion.
Helaughedalittle."YoumeanImightassoonhopetocutoutApollo?Butthe
casesarenotparallel,Iassureyou.Besides,Apollohappenstobemybrother,
whichmakesadifference."
"Oh,isheyourbrother?Whatagoodthingyoutoldme!"laughedDinah.
"Imighthavesaidsomethingrudeabouthiminaminute."
"Likeme!"saidBilly,stumblingtohisfeet."Imadeamosthorrificblunder,
didn'tI,Mr.Studley?Icalledhimabounder!"
Dinahlookedathimwitheringly."Youwould!"shesaid."Well,Ihopeyou
apologized."


Billystuckouthistongueather."Ididn'tthen!"hereturned,andskated
elegantlyawayononeleg.
"Billy,"remarkedDinahdispassionately,"isnotreallysuchahorridlittlebeast
asheseems."
Scottsmiledhiscourteoussmile."Ihadalreadygatheredthat,"hesaid.
Hergreeneyesdartedhimaswiftlook,asiftoascertainifhewereinearnest.
Then:"Thatwasveryniceofyou,"shesaid."Iwonderhowyouknew."
Hestillsmiled,butwithoutmuchmirth."Alooker-onseesagoodmanythings,
youknow,"hesaid.
Dinah'seyesflashedunderstanding.Shesaidnomore.


CHAPTERIII
THESEARCH

WhenIsabelcameslowlyforthatlengthfromthehoteldoorwhitherBiddyhad
conductedher,Scottwassittingaloneonabenchinthesunshine.
Heroseatoncetojoinher."Why,howquickyouhavebeen!Orelsethetime
flieshere.Eustaceisstillskating.Ihadnoideahewassoaccomplished.See,
thereheis!"
ButIsabelsetherhaggardfacetowardsthemountain-roadthatwoundup
beyondthehotel."IamgoingtolookforBasil,"shesaid.
"Itiswasteoftime,"saidScottquietly.
Buthedidnotattempttowithstandher.Theyturnedsidebysideupthehard,
snowytrack.
Forsometimetheywalkedinsilence.Atashortdistancefromthehotel,the
roadascendedsteeplythroughapine-wood,darkandmysteriousasan
enchantedforest,throughwhichthererosethesoundofarushingstream.
Scottpausedtolisten,butinstantlyhissisterlaidanimperioushanduponhim.
"Ican'twait,"shesaid."Iamsureheisjustroundthecorner.Iheardhim
whistle."
Hemovedoninresponsetoherinsistence."Iheardthatwhistletoo,"hesaid.
"Butitwasamountain-boy."
Hewasright.Atacurveintheroad,theymetayoungSwissladwhowentby
themwithasmileandsalute,andfelltowhistlingagainwhenhehadpassed.


Isabelpressedoninsilence.Shehadstartedinfeverishhaste,butherspeedwas
graduallyslackening.Shelookedneithertorightnorleft;hereyesperpetually
strainedforwardasthoughtheysoughtforsomethingjustbeyondtheirrangeof
vision.ForawhileScottlimpedbesideherwithoutspeaking,butatlastasthey
sightedtheendofthepine-woodhegentlybrokethesilence.
"Isabeldear,Ithinkwemustturnbackverysoon."
"Oh,why?"shesaid."Why?Youalwayssaythatwhen—"Therecameabreak
inhervoice,andsheceasedtospeak.
Herpacequickenedsothathehadsomedifficultyinkeepingupwithher,buthe
madenoprotest.Withtheutmostpatiencehealsopressedon.
Butitwasnotlongbeforeherstrengthbegantofail.Shestumbledonceortwice,
andheputasupportinghandunderherelbow.Astheynearedtheedgeofthe
pinesitbecameevidentthattheroaddwindledtoameremountain-pathwinding
steeplyupwardsthroughthesnow.Thesunshonedazzlinglyuponthegreat
wasteofwhiteness.
VerysuddenlyIsabelstopped."Hecan'thavegonethiswayafterall,"shesaid,
andturnedtoherbrotherwitheyesoftragichopelessness."Stumpy,Stumpy,
whatshallIdo?"
Hedrewherhandverygentlythroughhisarm."Wewillgoback,dear,"hesaid.
Alowsobescapedher,butshedidnotweep."IfIonlyhadthestrengthtogoon
andonandon!"shesaid."IknowIshouldfindhimsomedaythen."
"Youwillfindhimsomeday,"heansweredwithgraveassurance."Butnotyet."
Theywentbacktotheturnintheroadwherethesoundofthestreamroselike
fairymusicfromanunseenglen.Thesnowlaypureanduntroddenunderthe
trees.
Scottpausedagain,andthistimeIsabelmadenoremonstrance.Theystood
togetherlisteningtotherushofthetorrent.
"Howbeautifulthisplacemustbeinspringtime!"hesaid.


Shegaveasharpshiver."Itislikeadeadworldnow."
"Aworldthatwillverysoonriseagain,"heanswered.
Shelookedathimwithvagueeyes."Youarealwaystalkingoftheresurrection,"
shesaid.
"WhenIamwithyou,Iamoftenthinkingofit,"hesaidwithsimplicity.
Ahauntedlookcameintoherface."Butthatimplies—death,"shesaid,hervoice
verylow.
"AndwhatisDeath?"saidScottgently,asifhereasonedwithachild."Doyou
thinkitismorethanastepfurtherintoLife?Thepassingofaboundary,thatis
all."
"Butthereisnoreturning!"sheprotestedpiteously."Itmustbemorethanthat."
"Mydear,thereisneveranyreturning,"hesaidgravely."Noneofuscango
backwards.Yesterdayisbutastepaway,butcanweretracethatstep?No,not
oneofus."
Shemadeasudden,almostfiercegesture."Oh,togoback!"shecried."Oh,to
goback!Whyshouldwebeforcedblindlyforwardwhenweonlywanttogo
back?"
"Thatistheuniversallaw,"saidScott."ThatisGod'sWill."
"Itiscruel!Itiscruel!"shewailed.
"No,itismerciful.SolongasthereisDeathintheworldwemustgoon.We
havegottogetpastDeath."
Sheturnedhertragiceyesuponhim."Andwhatthen?Whatthen?"
Scottwasgazingsteadfastlyintoherfaceofravagedbeauty."Then—the
resurrection,"hesaid."Therearemillionsofpeopleintheworld,Isabel,whoare
livingouttheirlivessolelyforthesakeofthat,becausetheyknowthatifthey
onlykeepon,theResurrectionwillgivebacktothemallthattheyhavelost.My
dear,itisnotgoingbackthatcouldhelpanyone.Thepastispast,thepresentis


passing;thereisonlythefuturethatcanrestoreallthings.Weareboundtogo
forward,andthankGodforit!"
Hereyesfellslowlybeforehis.Shedidnotspeak,butafteramomentgavehim
herhandwithashadowysmile.Theycontinuedthedescentsidebyside.
Anothercurveoftheroadbroughtthemwithinsightofthehotel.
Scottbrokethesilence."HereisEustacecomingtomeetus!"
Shelookedupwithastart,andintoherfacecameacurious,veiledexpression,
halffurtive,halfafraid.
"Don'ttellhim,Stumpy!"shesaidquickly.
"What,dear?"
"Don'ttellhimIhavebeenlookingforBasilthismorning.He—hewouldn't
understand.And—and—youknow—Imustlookforhimsometimes.Ishalllose
himaltogetherifIdon't."
"Shallwepretendweareenjoyingourselves?"saidScottwithasmile.
Sheansweredhimwithfeverishearnestness."Yes—yes!Letusdothat!
And,Stumpy,Stumpydear,youaregood,youcanpray.Ican't,youknow.
Willyou—willyoupraysometimes—thatImayfindhim?"
"Ishallpraythatyoureyesmaybeopened,Isabel,"heanswered,"sothatyou
mayknowyouhaveneverreallylosthim."
Shesmiledagain,herfleeting,phantomsmile."Don'tprayfortheimpossible,
Stumpy!"shesaid."I—Ithinkthatwouldbeamistake."
"Isanythingimpossible?"saidScott.
Heraisedhishandbeforeshecouldmakeanyanswer,andsentacheeryholloa
downtohisbrotherwhowavedaswiftresponse.Theyquickenedtheirstepsto
meethim.
Eustacewasstridingupthehillwiththeeasyswingofagiant.Heheldoutboth


handstoIsabelashedrewnear.ShepulledherselffreefromScott,andwentto
himasonedrawnbyanunseenforce.
"Ah,that'sright,"hesaid,andbenttokissher."I'mgladyou'vebeenforawalk.
Butyoumighthavecomeandspokentomefirst.Iwasonlyontherink."
"Ididn'twanttoseealotofpeople,"saidIsabel,shrinkingalittle.
"I—Idon'tlikesomanystrangers,Eustace."
"Oh,nonsense!"hesaidlightly."Youhavebeenburiedtoolong.It'stimeyou
cameoutofyourshell.Ishan'ttakeyouhomeagaintillyouhavequitegotover
that."
Histonewaskindlybutitheldauthority.Isabelattemptednoprotest.Onlyshe
lookedawayoverthesparklingworldofwhiteandbluewithsomethingnear
akintodespairinhereyes.
Scotttookouthiscigarette-case,andhandedittohisbrother.
"Isabel'sbirthdaypresenttome!"hesaid.
Eustaceexamineditwithasmile."Verynice!Didyouthinkofitallbyyourself,
Isabel?"
"No,"shesaidwithdrearylistlessness."Biddyremindedme."
Eustace'sfacechanged.Hefrownedslightlyandgavethecasebacktohis
brother.
"Haveacigarette!"saidScott.
Hetookoneabsently,andScottdidthesame.
"Howdidyougetonwiththeladyinred?"heasked.
Eustacethrewhimaglancehalf-humorous,half-malicious."Ifitcomestothat,
howdidyougetonwiththelittlebrowngirl?"
"Oh,verynicely,"smiledScott."HernameisDinah.Yourlady'snameis
RosedeVigne,ifyoucaretoknow."


"Really?"saidEustace."Andwhotoldyouthat?"
"Dinah,ofcourse,orDinah'sbrother.Iforgetwhich.Theybelongtothesame
party."
"Ishouldthinkthatlittlesnub-nosedpersonfeelssomewhatintheshade,"
observedEustace.
"Iexpectshedoes.Butshehasplentyofwitstomakeupforit.Sheseemsto
findlifequiteaninterestingentertainment."
"Shecan'tskateabit,"saidEustace.
"Can'tshe?You'llhavetogiveherahintortwo.Iamsureshewouldbevery
grateful."
"Didshetellyouso?"
"I'mnotgoingtotellyouwhatshetoldme.Itwouldn'tbefair."
Eustacelaughedwitheasytolerance."Oh,I'venoobjectiontogivingherahand
nowandthenifshe'samusing,anddoesn'tbecomeanuisance.I'mnotgoingto
letmyselfbeboredbyanybodythistrip.I'moutforsportonly."
"It'salovelyplace,"observedScott.
"Oh,perfect.I'mgoingtoskithisafternoon.Howdoyoulikeit,
Isabel?"
Abruptlytheelderbrotheraccostedher.Shewaswalkingbetweenthemasone
inadream.Shestartedatthesoundofhername.
"Idon'tknowyet,"shesaid."Itisrathercold,isn'tit?I—IamnotsurethatI
shallbeabletosleephere."
Eustace'seyesheldhersforamoment."Oh,nooneexpectstosleephere,"he
saidlightly."Youskatealldayanddanceallnight.That'stheprogramme."
Herlipspartedalittle."I—dance!"shesaid.
"Whynot?"saidEustace.


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