Tải bản đầy đủ

the novel araby


ARABY
BY
BaronessvonHutten
TheSmartSetPublishingCo.
NewYorkLondon
COPYRIGHTEDMarch,1902,byESSESSPUBLISHINGCO
COPYRIGHTED1904,byTHESMARTSETPUBLISHINGCO
FirstPrintinginMARCH


CONTENTS
I.AMARMOSET
II.YELVERTONISREMEMBERED
III.OFARABYANDMRS.COPELAND
IV.INTHESTEERAGE
V.“PADDY”
VI.TWOONDECK
VII.ATGIBRALTAR
VIII.MALDEMER
IX.ROCKISLANDCURIOSITY

X.ARABYASKSAQUESTION
XI.LOSTLIBERTY
XII.CHAMPAGNEFORONE
XIII.ADVICETOJOEC
XIV.HIGHWORDS
XV.FOUNTAINCONSULTED
XVI.ANDTHELAST
*
“Asaweed
Flungfromtherock,onocean’sfoamtosail


Where’erthesurgemaysweep,thetempest’sbreathprevail.”
Byron.


I
AMARMOSET
“ASTRING.AtoneendofthestringFluffyDaddies,attheotherendAraby!”
T.H.HowardBax-Drurylookeddownhislongnoseandsmiled.Mrs.Copeland
lookeduphershortnoseandsmiled,too.Whatadifferencethereisbetweenone
smileandanother!Bax-Drury‘sdrewhisthin,ratherwell-cutlipsneatlyback
overarowofevenwhiteandgoldteeth,hardlyderanginghisheavymustache.
Mrs.Copeland’ssmilewasaflash,aglimpse,apairofdimples,ashiverof
eyelidsathingoverinasecond,butlongtoberemembered.
Theystoodleaningontherail,behindthemGenoa,opalescentinasea-mist;
beforethemtheusualuninterestingcrowdoffellow-passengers,fellow-sufferers
worst,fellow-feeders.ComingbytheSouthernroutehadbeenafreakofMrs.
Copeland,andaminutebefore,assheviewedthosewithwhomshewastobe
thrownintoacertainamountofcontactforthenexttendays,shehadregretted
it.
“Thatmanwiththeduckcompressabouthiswristisgoingtositoppositeme,”
shehadgrumbled,“andheeatswithhisknife.”
“Everseenhimbefore?”
“No;butheeatswithhisknife.Andthere’sawomanwhomakeswaxygraypills
ofherbread,andleavesthetableandhasn’tthegracetostayaway,butcomes
backpale—bah!”
ThenBax-Druryhadmadetheremarkaboutthestring,FluffyDaddies,and
Araby,andtheybothlaughed.
Araby,forherpart,lookedasifsheneverhadlaughed,nevercouldlaugh.Her


mouthwasdrawnintoafirmline,thecornersdeepcut;herheavy,straightbrows
hidhalfherupperlids,hersofthathalfherforehead.FluffyDaddiessatbyher,
hisscarletribbonlimpwiththefog,hishairoutofcurl.
“Isn’tshefunny!”Mrs.Copelandsaid,afterapause,duringwhichafatwoman


inasweaterphotographedtheharborandthecitywithasix-bysixkodak.
“Uncommon.What’stherowthismorning?”
“You,me,Fountain,theLord,FluffyDaddiesinaword,toutelaboutique”
“Isee!Abadday!”
“Abadday!Goodheavens,Baxy,lookatthatman!Whathasheinhispocket?”
Shebrokeoffexcitedlyandtookafewstepsforward,herhandonhisarm.
“Whichman?Thebounderinthebowler?”
“No,thebigman—oh,hishat’soverboard!”
Sheburstintoaloudlaughofchildishglee,andkeptonlaughingwiththe
insoucianceofthefashionablyvulgar,asthemaninquestionturnedandlooked
ather.
Thehatwasgone,andtheclosecroppedyellowhair,yellowerthanoneoften
seesonaman,lookedverystriking,highupabovetheotherheadsintheirmore
orlessconventionalcoverings.
Bax-Drurywatchedwithlazyamazementtheapproachofthehatlessone,and
theleisurelycontemplationbyhim,throughhisgold-mountedsingleglass,of
Mrs.Copeland.
“He’sgoingtospeaktome,”shewhispered,ahuskyexcitementinhervoice.
Andhedid.“It’sonlyamarmoset,”hesaid,stopping,andstillsmiling.
“Onlyawhat?Yourhat?”
“Oh,no;notmyhat.That’saragbythistime.WhatIhaveinmypocket.Iheard
youask.”Andputtingonehandinhispocket,hedrewoutawee,blinking
monkey,whichheheldoutforMrs.Copeland’sinspection.
*
“Journeysendinloversmeeting,


Everywiseman’ssondothknow.”
Shakespeare.


II
YELVERTONISREMEMBERED
MRS.COPELANDlaughedagain,butthefaintpinkinhercheekdeepeneda
little,asBax-Drurynoticedwithamusement.Shewasusedtolaughingwhen
amused,andnevermodifiedhermirthoutofconsiderationforherfellows;but
shehadneverbeforebeenmetinquitethisway.
Theyellowhairedmanwasasmuchathiseaseasshe,andstoodholdingoutthe
monkeywitheveryappearanceofexpectinghertotakeit.
“Oh!Doesitbite?”
“Notoften.Heisavegetarian.”
Themonkeyscrewedupitsfaceandgaveasudden,comprehensiveshiver.
“Hefeelsthefog.HisnameisJoeC.”
Mrs.CopelandputoutonefingerandstrokedJoeC.‘shead,gingerly.
Bax-Drurywatched.
“Andmine,”wentontheyellowhairedman,“isYelverton.Youseemtohave
forgotten.”
Mrs.Copelandstarted,andburiedherhandsinthepocketsofherulster.
“Goodgracious!didIknowit?”
“Evidentlynot,Mrs.Copeland.Buthowgood-naturedofyounottosnubme
whenIcameuptoyou!”
“Oh!Doesitbite?”
Bax-Druryhadknownherforyears,buthehadneverbeforeseenherutterlyata
loss.Sheblushedscarlet,bitherlips,andthen,withahelplesslaugh,ownedup.


“Ididn’tknowI’deverseenyoubefore,butIthoughtifyoucouldseeit
through,IcouldandthentherewasMr.Bax-Drury.”
YelvertonbowedtoBax-Drury,andputtheshiveringJoeC.backinhispocket.
“ItwasgoingovertheBremen,twoyearsago.Itsnowedfearfully,andIgot
yourluggagethroughatKiefstein.Youweresmugglingalotofoldsnuffboxes.”
“Oh,yes;ofcourseIremember.Howkindyouwere!Andweateanastyvealand-porkymealtogetheratsomehorribleplace.Iwonder,”sheadded,witha
suddenchangeoftone,“howIhappenedtoforgetyou?”
“Don’tflatter,Allegra,”Bax-Druryputin.“It’sabadhabit,anditgrowson
you.”
Yelvertonlaughed.“Ihadabeardabouttwofeetlongthen.Iwascomingfrom
theCaucasus.Also,Iworeglassesinflammationcausedbytheglareontheroad.
EverbeentotheCaucasus?”Heturnedtotheotherman.
“Yes,I’vebeenmostplaces.”
“Thesnuff-boxes.NowwhatdidIdowiththosesnuff-boxes?”mused
Mrs.Copeland.“IremembershowingthemtoAnthonyinRome,andthenI’llbe
blessedifIcanrememberwhatbecameAraby,whatdidIdowithmysnuffboxes?”
Araby,thefrown,andFluffyDaddiescrossedthedeck.“Yougave‘emtothe
Duke.”“Oh,yes;soIdidtheDukeofTackleton,”sheexplainedtoYelverton.
“He’smyhusband’scousinverynice,butquitemad.Hiswiferanawayfrom
himbecausehemadesuchawfulfacesatherandinsistedonhavinggarlicinall
thedishes.Whatdidhegivemeinreturn,Araby?”
Arabystraightenedherhat,thusrevealingastripoffine-grained,whiteforehead.
“Twohundredandfifty.”
Yelvertonstared,whileBax-Drurylaughed.
“Twohundredoh,yes.Iremember.IbetwithLorrimerBentleythatthe


Spaniardswouldn’tgetoutofthatharborwherewasit?Andtheydid,andIhad
onlyfifty,andowedthat.Let’sgoandgetsomethingtoeat.Araby,giveFluffyto
FountainandtellhertomakeussomeBovril.DoyoulikeBovril,Mr.
Yelverton?”
“Bovrilismyonevice.Willyounotpresentmetoyourfriend?”
“Mycousin,MissWinship;Mr.Yelverton.”
Arabybowedsulkily,andpickingupthedog,strodedownthedeck.
Yelvertonstoodlookingafterherforafewseconds,andthen,puttinghisbig
handtohishead,rememberedthelossofhishat.
“Imustgoandlookupacapofsomekind.MayIjoinyouinafewmoments?”
“Ofcourse.Wehavethecaptain’sroomsondeck.PoorArabyhastosleepona
sofa-bedaswideasaknifeblade,andthere’sabustoftheKaiser;butthereisat
leastair.Justlookatthatwoman!Baxy,didyoueverseesuchafigureinyour
life?”
*
“Adaughterofthegods,divinelytall,
Andmostdivinelyfair.”
Tennyson.


III
OFARABYANDMRS.COPELAND
ARABY’Seyes,deep-setundertheheavybrows,weregray-blue,somber,
sullen,tigereyes,withvioletmarksunderthem.Hernose,straightandshort,had
delicate,slim,transparentnostrils,ononeofwhichwasasmallbrownmole.Her
mouth,fullinthemiddleandcurveddaintily,wasinteresting,foritmeant,or
wasgoingtomean,much.Yelvertonwatchedherquietlywhileheflirtedwith
Mrs.Copeland.Hesawthatshewasveryyoung,notmorethannineteen;that
sheconsideredherselfadisagreeableandbad-temperedperson,andthatshewas
neithertheonenortheother.Henoticed,withthekeennessofmenofhisstamp,
thecurveunderthearm,atanagewhencurvesarerare,thelinefromthehipto
theknee,thebendinthethroatassheturnedherhead.Meantimehelearnedthat
thepartywasonitswaytoNewport,whereitwastobeentertainedbyMrs.
KnickerbockerHareandshowntheinternationalracefromthedeckofthe
secondlargestyachtintheworld.Mr.Bax-Drury,Yelvertonwasinformed,hada
potofmoneyontherace,andMrs.Copelandherselfafewpounds.Helearned
thattherewasaMr.Copeland,butthatheandMr.Bax-Drurydidn’tgeton,and
asshecouldn’tgetonwithoutBaxy,whowasheroldestanddearestfriend,Mr.
Copelandhadstayedathome,whichwasmuchthebestplaceforhim.He
learnedthatArabywasthedaughterofMrs.Copeland’smother’sstep-sister,and
averydecentsortnotasbadasshelooked.Arabyhadnomoney,butshelived
withMrs.Copeland,whowouldbeaduchesssoonerorlater,anditwastobe
hopedthatsometitle-lovingYankeemightmarryherforthesakeofthe
connection.
YelvertonlearnedalsothatMrs.
Copelandlovedpearlsandhateddiamonds;thatshewascrazytotasteterrapin
becauseitwouldbesolikeeatingasnake;thatshelikedsweetchampagneand
adoredsausage;thatMadameLorraine,ofRegentStreet,madeherclothes,but
thatsheneverpaidforthem,asthesaidMadameLorrainechargedoutrageously.
HelearnedthatMrs.Copelandwasreallythirty-one;thatshealwaystoldthe
truthaboutherage,asshewasproudoflookingfouryearsyoungerthanshe
was;thatshehadstoppeddyeingherhairwhenitbecamesocommon;thatshe
wenttoCoweseveryyear;thatshehatedhunting,andlovedchinaandsmall


dogs;thatsheflirted,andsawnoearthlyharminit,assheknewwhentodraw
theline;thatshedidn’tbelieveinanychurch,butsaidherprayers;thatshehad
nochildren;thatshelovedTosti’slovesongsandthe”SymphonicPathetique”;
andthat,onthewhole,therewereworsesortsinEngland.
Mrs.Copelandwasmostcommunicativeinherownway.Theseconddayout
sheeventoldhimBax-Drury’slife-historyinherownway.Accordingtoher,
Bax-Druryhadlovedforyearsacousinofherown,aMissPhyllisCone.Phyllis
floutedhim,andhesoughttheplainjoysoffriendshipwithMrs.Copeland,who
lovedhimdevotedly.“Ofcourse,peoplesaythatheismylover,butheisn’t;and
afterall,itreallymatterssolittlewhatpeoplesay,doesn’tit?”
Yelvertonagreed.Itmatteredparticularlylittletohimwhatshemightsay.
ThatafternoonhepumpedBax-DruryaboutAraby.Bax-Drurylethimpump,
andtoldnexttonothing.Arabyhadnomother,whichwassadamotherlessgirl
wasalwaystobepitied;itwasveryluckyforherthatMrs.Copelandlikedher.
Mrs.Copelandwasverycharmingoh,yes,andaverygoodsort.Andwould
Yelvertongivehimalight?Andwouldhehaveawhiskyandsoda?
Yelvertonhadaveryfineprofileandratheradisappointingfullface.Bax-Drury
thoughthimstunning.YelvertonthoughtBax-Drurycleveranddull.
*
“Olove!Ofire!oncehedrew
Withonelongkissmywholesoulthrough
Mylips,assunlightdrinkethdew.”
Tennyson.


IV
INTHESTEERAGE
“WHYareyoualwaysso?”Yelvertonhesitated.
“Sowhat?”
“Sosavage.”
Araby,undertheshadowofhercapuchin,laughed.Hehadnotseenherlaugh
before,andhedrewasharpbreath.
“Savage?BecauseIhateitalleverything.”
“Thewholebagoftricks?”
“Thewholebagoftricks.”
Yelvertonwatchedherafewmomentsinsilence.Theystoodaft,lookingdown
atthesteerage,whereamanhadbeensinging”Marie,Marie!”inatenorworth
listeningto.Itwashalfpasteightandaclearnight.Arabyworearedsilkblouse
withanedgingofpinkroundthecollar.PinklookedPalais-RoyalonMrs.
Copeland,Yelvertonreflected,andbarbarousonthegirl.Shemight,sofaras
personalitywent,beasavageprincessofsomesouthernisland.
“Didyoueverhaveafanofeaglefeathers?”heasked,suddenly,asmuchtohis
ownsurpriseastohers.
“Eaglefeathers?No.Why?”
“Iwondered.Itwouldsuityou.
Andpomegranateflowersinyourhair.Whotaughtyoutowearyourhairinthat
looseknot?”
“Noone.Whatqueerthingsyousay.”
Helookedather,somberly.“ThethingsIsayarenothingtothethingsI—feel.”


Herfacedidnotchange.Itwascuriouslyimmobileforsoyoungaface,andyet
Yelvertonknewthatithadthepowerofinfiniteexpression.
Themaninthesteeragewassingingagain.Hesatonabarrel,onekneedrawn
uptosupporthisguitar.Hisdarkfacewasthrownbackinanecstasyofdelight
inhisownvoice.
“Thatfellowhasamilliondollarsinhisthroat,”saidSchimmelbusch,apokerplayingpassengerwhotalkedtoeveryone,ashepassedbythetwo.
“Hashe?”Arabyquestioned,uninterestedly.
“He’sgotahighCthatReszkeain’tgot.Reszke’sonlyahighbaritone,anyhow.
Thatfellow’satenor.”
“Youseemtoknowalotaboutmostthings,”saidYelverton,ratheroffensively.
“YoubetyerlifeIknowalotaboutsingin’.IruntheThaliaMusicHallin
Milwaukee.Thatboy’llbesingin’therenextyear,too.”
Arabywalkedawaywithoutaword.Schimmelbuschboredher.Afewminutes
latershesaidtoYelverton,“Thatlittlegirlintheyellowblouseishiswife.”
“Thesinger’s?”
“Yes.HisnameisGaetano,andhersisCarm.TheyareSicilians.”
“Howdoyouknow?”askedYelverton,surprised.
“Iwatchthem,andIlisten.Ihavenothingbettertodo.”
“YouknowItalian?”
“Yes.MynursewasanItalian;shestayedwithmeuntillastyear.Allegrasent
heraway.”
“Why?”
“Becauseshelied.Asifthatmadeanydifference!Ilovedher.”
Yelvertonlaughed.“IsMrs.Copelandsuchasticklerforthetruth?”


Thegirllookedupathimsharply.“Inotherpeople,youmean?Shedoesn’tlie
anymorethantherest,Isuppose.”
“Nodoubt.Butyoudon’tlie.”
“No;becauseI’mnotafraidofbeingdisagreeable.Doyoulie?Imeanoutside
liesofhonor?”
“Liesofhonor?”
“Yes;liesaboutwomen.Everymantellsthem,Ihaveheard.”
Yelvertonwasabouttoexpresshisamazement,whensomethinghappenedinthe
steerage.
Thetenorwasstrikingtheopeningchordsofanothersong;thegirlofwhom
Arabyhadspoken,conspicuousinheryellowblouse,stoodbesidehim,nodding
herheadintimetothemusicandsmiling.Suddenly,astheman’slipspartedto
thefirstnote,awomandartedfromthecrowd.Aflashoflightfellswiftly,a
screamroseabovethemusic,andthegirlintheblousestaggeredandsanktill
thesingercaughther.
Foralittletherewasuproar.Womenshrieked,menclamoredwildly,thecrowd
swayedtoandfro.Butsoonthewoundedgirlwascarriedaway,andthedoctor
wassummonedtoher,whileonthesceneofthetragedythethirdofficerheldthe
would-bemurderessprisoner.Nearbystoodthesinger,staringblanklydownon
theslowspreadingstainathisfeet.
Theprisonerhadheldashawldrawnconcealinglyoverherface.Nowsheloosed
it,anditdropped.
“Carolina!Thou!”criedthemaninhorror.
“AsIpromisedthee,Gaetano!”shereplied,coldly.
Herface,nowclearlyrevealed,declareditsstoryoflongsuffering,ofsorrow
beyondendurance,endinginrelentlesshate.Nowheremotionwasveiledbythe
apathyofachievement.
Whenthecaptainappearedandquestionedhershemadenoanswer,butstood


silent,drooping.Thecaptainaddressedthesingerandaskedthenameofthe
woman.
“CarolinaSampestri,mywife!”
Ahushofinterestfellonthecrowd.Butnowthewomanspoke.Thecaptain,
unabletounderstandherItalian,madeagestureofhopelessness,butAraby,
leaningovertherail,spokedistinctly:
“Ifyouwish,Iwilltranslatetoyou.”
Thecaptainnodded,andArabycontinued:
“Theystolehermoneythewife’smoneyandranawaytogetherwithit.Thegirl
washismistress.Thewifewantedtokillher;shehopesshehas.Shesays
nothingmore.”
ThecaptaingavecourteousthankstoAraby,andwentaway.Immediatelythe
prisonerwasremoved,andthehumofmanyvoicessoundedoncemore.
“Ihopeshe’sdead!”saidAraby,readjustinghercapuchinandstaringsullenlyat
thepeoplewhohadcomeupbehindher.”Womenaresuchbeasts!”
Yelvertontheimpressionofherbeingasavageprincesslostinthewildsof
civilizationstrongerthaneveronhimdrewherhandthroughhisarmandledher
away.
“Youthinkshedidrightintryingtokillherrival?”
“Right?No,Isupposenot.ButI’mgladshedidit.”
“Wouldyoudoit?”
Somethinginhisvoicestartledher,andsheturnedaway.“Yes,”shesaid,aftera
pause;“only,Ishouldhavetocarealotfirst.”
“Youcouldcarealot.Mostwomencan’t,butyoucould.”
Sheturnedandlookedathim.
Thecrowdwasstillaft;noonewasinsight.Yelvertontookthegirlinhisarms


andkissedher.
*
“Butloveisblind,andloverscannotsee
Theprettyfolliesthatthemselvescommit.”
Shakespeare.


V
“PADDY”
“JUSTlookatAraby,Bax.Whatcanbethematterwithher?”
Mrs.Copelandsetherlemonadeglassdownbesideherandtookupher
embroidery.Hermaidwasverycleveratembroidery,andastripofneedlework
ispleasingtomen,eveniftheworkisdonebehindthescenes.Bax-Drurylooked
downthedeck.Thematterwithher?”“Why,yes;she’slaughing.”Therewasno
doubtthatArabywaslaughing,andwhatwasmore,shewaslaughingwith
Schimmelbusch,towhomshehadbeensystematicallyrudeeversincethey
sailed,fourdaysago.Schimmelbusch‘soffensivelygood-naturedfacewasred
withsurprisedpleasure.Hewasoneofthemenwholookasiftheywerebuiltof
ballsofdough,eachballmeltingshapelesslyintothenext.Heusedatoothpick
mountedingold;heclearedhisthroat;hesmokedGermancigars.Yetthere
stoodAraby,smilingintohiseyes,hercheekspink,apparentlywiththepleasure
oftheinterview.
“Ihaveoftenthoughtheralittletouched,andnowIamsureofit,”observed
Bax-Drury,jerkinghisdeerskinpillowtothesmallofhisback.“Shelooksvery
prettythismorninginsanityandSchimmelbuschevidentlyagreewithher.”
“Arabyisnotpretty,”returnedMrs.Copeland,“butIsometimesthinksheis
goingtobeabeauty.Shehasfeatures,Baxy,andfeaturesarenearlyextinctthese
days.”
“There’sanidea,now!”
“It’strue.Youhaveanose,butwell”sheburstoutlaughing“it’shardlya
feature.Don’tbehurt,butit’smorelikealimb.”
Bax-Drurylaughed,lazily.“Youareunpleasantthismorning,Allegra.Well,
aboutyourownnose,forinstance?”
Mrs.Copelandshookherheadandlaiddownherwork,inwhichshehadbeen
prickingholeswithanunthreadedneedle.“Mynoseisameremistake,nottobe
considered.Iampretty,but,asIsay,Arabymayturnoutabeauty.”


“Abeautyindisguise.”
“Youcan’tseeitbecauseshedislikesyou,butit’strue.Andreally,Baxy,you
oughtn’ttobesohardonher.It’sherideaofloyaltydislikingyou.Shewas
alwaysfondofAnthony.”
Bax-Druryyawned.“SoamIfondofAnthony,butthatdoesn’tmakemedislike
Araby.”
“Allofwhichisbesidethequestion.
Andtogobacktoourba-ba’s,Arabyisevidentlyflirtingmadlywithpoor
Schimmelbusch.Therearehopesforheryet.Nowomancangetonnowadays
withoutknowinghowtoflirt,anduptothisshehaslookedatmenexactlyasif
theyweretreesorwomen.”
ArabycertainlywastreatingSchimmelbuschtoaseriesofglanceslikeanything
ratherthanthosebestowedbyonewomanonanother.Sheworeawhiteduck
blouse,withaleatherbeltandaredsilkcravat.Hercheekswerepink,herlips
mobile,asshetalkedtotheobviouslybewilderedTeuton-American.
Twoyouths,bothofwhomhadmadepleasanttentativesandbeenruthlessly
snubbed,staredfranklyastheypassed.Thefatwoman,onherperennialprowl
withthekodak,hesitated,aimedherweapon,andthen,mindfulofearlier
witherings,withdrewnoiselesslyonherround-soledfeet.
Itwaseleveno’clock,andthedeckwasfullofhorizontalmortals,enjoyingthe
lethargyinducedbylemonadeandcheesesandwiches.AgirlfromHarbor
Beach,Michigan,andanagedlookingboyfromElizabethwereplayingshuffleboardtothestrainsof“TheStarsandStripesForever,”doneintoGermanbythe
band.Agirlwithacommon-sensefiguresangasshewalkedupanddown.
Asthemarchendedwithacrashandabelatedhighnotefromthesinger,
Yelvertoncameoutofthecabin,hisrugoverhisarm.Heturnedtotheleft,
bowingperfunctorilytoseveralpeople,oneofwhomwasAraby,thendrewa
chairupbesideMrs.Copeland.
“Welcome,littlestranger!”saidthelady,holdingupasmallwhitehand.
Yelvertonkissedthehand,apracticeofhissincesheoncelamented,inhis
hearing,theneglectofthatcharmingcustominEngland.


“Idreamedofyoulastnight,”hesaid,“butIsha’n’ttellyouthedreambefore
Mr.Bax-Drury.Iamafraidhemighttellyourhusband.”
“Cheekybeggar!”returnedBax-Drury,laughing.”I’llclearout.Eitherofyou
likeacocktail?”
Mrs.Copelandorderedtwo,andsettledbackinherchairwithalittlewriggleof
contentment.
“I’lltakeoffmycap,thatyoumayenjoymycurls,”Yelvertonwenton,reaching
forBax-Drury’spillow.”Turnthisway,soIcanseebothofyoureyesatonce.”
Sheturned.“Youareacheekybeggar,asBaxysays.Areyougoingtomakelove
tome?”
“Iam,assoonasI’vehadacocktail—Baxyhavingbeensoobligingastoclear
out.”
“Iwonderwhetheryoucouldmakelove?Imean,nottome,butseriously.”
Yelvertonhadreasontothinkhecould,andsaidso.
“Howoldareyou?Andwhatisyourfirstname?”
“Iamthirty-six,andmysponsorsinbaptismnamedmePatrick.”
Thestewardbroughtthecocktails,andtheydrankthemleisurely.
“ThenIsupposeyourfriendscallyouPat?”
“Pat.”
“IshallcallyouPaddy.Doyoumind?IhavenamesforallthepeopleIlikeall
thedear,sympatheticsouls,youknow.”
ItwasnotthefirsttimehehadbeendubbedPaddy,buthesaidnothingofthis.
Thebeautiesofsilencewereunderstoodbyhim.
“Well,then,Paddyyoumaymakelovetome.”
AndYelvertonmadelovetoherthelovethatismadeunderthecircumstances.


SchimmelbuschmeantimepassedwithAraby,butYelverton’seyeswerefixed
onhisemptyglass,andhedidnotlookup.
“Arabyishavingafineflirtationthismorning,”Mrs.Copelandsaid,laughing
softly.
“Surelyyoudon’tgrudgeherthat?”
“Mydearman,Inevergrudgeanybodyanything.Ionlywonderatherchoice.
TheadmirableSchimmelbusch’scharmsarenotobvioustoAllegra’slittleeye.”
“Allegra’slittleeyewillpleasefixitselfonmycharms.AsIwassaying“
Andthelove-makingwenton.
*
“Theflashandoutbreakofafierymind,
Asavagenessinunreclaimedblood.”
Shakespeare.


VI
TWOONDECK
YELVERTONwasdeterminednottomakeanassofhimself.Hisself-control
wasasstrongashispassions,acombinationrareinman,andwhenaddedtoa
certainamountofcharm,nearlyirresistibletowomenofdeepfeeling.
AllegraCopelandfoundnomanirresistible,becauseinhertherewasneither
strengthofwillnorstrengthofpassion,andhencenoansweringchords.She
couldbemulish,butmulishnessisnotstrength,aseveryoneknowsexceptthe
mulish.Afour-leggedmuleplantshisfeetfirmlyandlowershisearsandrefuses
tobudge,becauseitliesinhimsdtodo.Eventhemostoptimisticofanimal
lovers,soinsistentinthelifeofto-day,canhardlyassertthatamulehasalogical
reasonforbalking.Andthuswiththegreatrunofbipedmules.Anthony
Copelandhadinolddaystriedtocontenthiswife,butsoongaveitupand
returnedintoindifferenceandSussex,wherehedeliveredhimselftothestudyof
entomology.Scientistashewas,heknewtheworldandsavedhimselfmuch
utterlyuselessworrybyrealizingthatthatworld,solimitedoflateyears,would
forgivemuchmorethanT.H.HowardBax-DrurytothefutureDuchessof
Tackleton.
Yelverton,bentonnotbeinganass,calledtogetherallthestrengthhehadand
madelovetothecharmingmule.
AndArabyraged.Yelvertonhadreadheraright.Heknewthatitwouldhave
beenimpossibleforamanofhischaracterandexperiencetofallinlovewitha
womanlackingpassion.HehadfalleninlovewithAraby’ssullen,darkfacethe
dayhefirstsawher;andheknewthatArabywascapableofthestrongfeelings
heloved.Shecouldhate,shecouldlove;doubtlessshecouldgotothesavage
lengthoflovingandhatingthesamemanatthesametime.YetYelvertonflirted
withMrs.Copeland,andknew,withoutlookingup,everytimethegirlcame
nearhim.
Heheldoutallday.Thenthestarsgotthebetterofhim,andhemethereyes.
Afterall,inspiteoftheangerandprideinthem,therewasalookofchildish
bewildermentthathurthim,andherosewithasuddendisregardofappearances.


“Comeandtakeawalk,Miss”hehadforgottenhername.ShewasArabyto
him.
“Tellme,”hesaid,abruptly,astheyfellinstep,“whyyoulooksoangr}r.”
“YouknowwhyIlookangrywhyIamangry.”
“No,Idon’t,mydearchild,orIshouldn’thaveasked.”
“ThenI’lltellyou.Becausealldayyouhavetreatedmelikeadog.”
Thisformofsavagedirectnessratherembarrassedhim.“Likeadog?No;ifyou
hadbeenadogIcouldhavepattedyouandbeenwithyou.Youwrongme.”
“PerhapsIdo.Yourmonkeyistreatedkindlyenough.Whereishe?”
“Inmypocket.Wanthim?”
“Yes,”returnedthegirl.
Theystoppedinthelightofthesmoking-roomwhilethetransferfromhispocket
toherarmswasmade,andBax-Drury,seeingthemfromhiscorner,cameout,
stillsmoking.
“Where’sAllegra?”heasked.
“Inherchair,alone.”
Bax-Drurylaughed.“ThenImayperhapsbeallowedafewminutes’
conversationwithher?Youhavefinished,Yelverton?”Hismannerwasthatofa
rathernattered,half-boredhusband.
Yelverton,whoknewthemanner,wasamusedbyit,andansweredinkind.“I’m
afraidIboreyoustiff.You’reawfullykind,Bax-Drury.”
Arabywatchedthem.
“Anthonyisworthhimandherandyou,allputtogether,”shesaidasthey
crossedthebridgeleadingtothedesertedsecond-cabindeck.
“IamconvincedthatAnthonyis,ofallmortals,themostadmirable.Only,heis


nothere.Iam,sopleasebenicetome.”
Theysatdownontwosteamer-chairsintheshadow,andhelightedacigar
withoutaskingherpermission.Hewasacourteousenoughmanintherudeway
ofmodernAnglo-Saxons,buthisnerveswerequeerandheforgot.
“Whydidyoubehavelikethat?”wentonthegirl.“Tellme,whathadIdone?”
“Done?You?Nonsense!IfIhaddoneasIwantedto,I’dhavebroughtyouout
earlythismorningandkeptyouformyselfallday.”
“Whydidn’tyou?”
Hiscigardidnotburn.Helightedamatchandheldituptoherface.“Wouldyou
havecome?”
Shelookedunblinkingacrosstheflame.“YouknowI’dhavecome.”
AndthenthethoughtofSchimmelbuschcametohimlikeaguardianangel.
“That’sallverywell,“butwhataboutSchimmelbusch?”
“Schimmelbusch?”
“Yes.YouwereflirtinglikethedeucewithhimwhenIcameupthismorning,
andthisafternoonyouandhedisappeared.”
“Mr.Yelverton!”
Heheardherstraightenupinherexcitement.“Youdidn’tthinkIwaswiththat
thatbeast?”
“Ofcourse,that’sjustwhatIdidthink,”heanswered,deliberately,butgivingup
thecigar.
Therewasashortpause.Thenshesaid,hervoicesingularlyhoarse:“Iwilltell
youwhereIwas.Iwasinmycabin,howling!Ihowledalltheafternoon.”
Yelvertondrewadeepbreath.Hewouldnotmakeanassofhimselfagain.“And
whydidyouhowl?”
“BecauseyouwerewithAllegra.”


TheflapofYelverton’schairfellwithabangasherose.“Thenitwasa
misunderstandingallaround,wasn’tit?I’llforgiveyouforflirtingwiththe
alluringSchimmelbuschifyou’llforgivemeforbeingwithAllegra.”
Sherose,too,andcameoutintothelight.Herfacewasaswhiteasstone,her
eyeslookedsunken.”Letusgoback;Iamtired.”
“Araby!Hangit,youknowI’dratherbewithyouthanwithAllegraoranyone
else.Don’tyou?”Hespokesorapidlythatshehardlyunderstoodhim.“Don’t
you?”Hetookherhandandhelditclose,watchinglifecomebacktoherfrozen
face.
Andnotonlylifecame,butbeauty,hope,triumphandhumility.“Thennothing
matters,”shesaid,puttingherarmsabouthisneck.
Aminutelaterhewasalone,sittingontheendofherchair,hisfaceinhishands.
Hecouldn’ttellwhetherhehadbeenanassorademi-god.
“Thennothingmatters,’shesaid,puttingherarmsabouthisneck.
*
“Freelovefreefieldwelovebutwhilewemay.
Thewoodsarehush’d,theirmusicisnomore;
Theleafisdead,theyearningpastaway.
Newleaf,newlifethedaysoffrostareo’er;
Newlife,newlove,tosuitthenewerday;
Newlovesaresweetasthosethatwentbefore.
Freelovefreefieldwelovebutwhilewemay.”
Tennyson.


Tài liệu bạn tìm kiếm đã sẵn sàng tải về

Tải bản đầy đủ ngay

×