« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
concealing something from her; she divined Lyon had gone and from which the guide that it was the very thing in which I retreated had disappeared, falling into the had promised my aid ;—and she felt that liquid lava, just then boiling with renewed somehow there was a breach of trust upon activity in that portion of the crater. my part. She was acutely hurt, and the Alarmed for their safety they withdrew, more so that her father evaded her and still calling and searching for Lyon. They sought me. I could not explain and at first remained in the vicinity till night without avoided her, for I knew that if she asked me finding any trace of him, and at last dea direct question I could not tell her a direct scended the mountain with the conviction falsehood. If I had known Agnes Dyer as that he had been swallowed up in the crater. well then as I knew her afterward I should It was a horrible fate, but one that he apnot have made that mistake, and she would peared to court. In fact, it would seem never have so misunderstood me. I should that he had repeatedly tried to give away. have known that she was too proud to ask the life he no longer valued. This recklesswhat she thought I was unwilling to tell. ness passed for bravery. He was reported
Directly there was a change in her man- to have entered a burning building in San ner. She became less frank and confiding Francisco, despite efforts to prevent him, and more strictly courteous, and this increas- saving a child in an upper room by letting ed. I had nothing to complain of; she was it down from a spot inaccessible to the firealways a lady and treated me with the men, and then flinging himself down, and, greatest deference; but she no longer told to the astonishment of all present, escaping me her perplexities or asked my counsel with only a few bruises and a broken arm. with that trustfulness which, now that I had At another time during a storm he threw it no more, I found had been grateful. I himself into the sea in mid-ocean to rescue could not endure that she should think a drowning sailor,—the same man who acmeanly of me, and writhed under her inn- companied him to Mauna Loa. Now, howplied distrust.
ever, the life he held so cheap he had sucBut of course there are two sides to every- ceeded in throwing away. At least that thing. I must admit that Joel Dyer's keen was the opinion of those who knew most interest was infectious, and I found myself about the affair. Two years had passed, going into details with a sort of satisfaction leaving no evidence to the contrary, and I scarcely to be accounted for. It proved as I should have been quite content to acquiesce surmised, that thus far he had unconsciously in the general opinion, only that neither followed Tom's track in his search for the Tom nor Mr. Dyer were quite satisfied with same man. I went over it again, and all the proofs, and had presentiments, born, as three ended together at Mauna Loa. I thought, of their hope, that he was still
This much was proved : that in company alive. To make a certainty of the matter, a with an American sailor an English tour- man was found who for a considerable sum ist and a guide he ascended the volcano for engaged to go to Hawaii, and search the a view of the crater. They all went down affair to the bottom. within the old crater and walked about on
CHAPTER IX. the hardened lava, a not dangerous feat. Lyon, however, pushed on through smoke and steam, and over insecure footing to ob- ONE rare May morning I was walking up tain a near view of the living fire. In vain and down the garden path finishing my cithe guide warned, called, and followed, till gar, and on better terms with myself than I half-stifled by sulphurous fumes, and noti- had been for some time past, when Maud fied by repeated sounds of coming danger, came cooing about me. She harmonized he hastily clambered back to a place of with the morning and my contented mood. safety, and none to soon. All three waited She was so small, so round, so dainty that breathlessly till the smoke and steam, lag- she was everybody's pet, and withal so abging off, showed that the crust over which surdly dignified that she was nobody's play
thing. In her the transition from childhood splendid,” and Mand waltzed down the garto womanhood was unmarked by those sur- den path, keeping time to fairy bells that prising changes that in some girls show an are ever ringing in the ear of youth. Reunprepossessing child one day, and an attrac- turning she made me a graceful obeisance. tive maiden the next. From a wee thing “Thanks, Uncle, for Ilal as well as myshe had ever been somewhat of a woman; self! Do you know the thing was his sugto old age she would ever be somewhat of a gestion? He is just wild to get Miss Dyer child. Just now, in her light raiment, her here.” delicately-tinted skin and her fair hair “What possesses the boy? He needs a brushed back and fastened in some becom- cooling draught." ing fashion, she was almost an object of No, Uncle,” said Maud, sobered by someadoration; much like an angel, no way like thing she saw in my face. “We shall all a saint.
be cool enough. Hal insists on bringing For a man who had never loved any wo- North P. with him. I fear it will spoil man enough to feel that she must be mine, everything, but Hal says No.” I was singularly susceptible to feminine in- The next two weeks I kept to my office fluences. Maud graciously accepted my and my den, and thrust my fingers in my homage as her due, pleased with it as an ears if any of the family offered to approach. evidence that she could coax me into almost For every thing in the house was upsideany arrangement she might choose to make.' down and inside-out, and consultations inShe clasped her dimpled hands over my arm numerable were going on. and walked with me up and down, voiceless, “Now, Uncle," said Maud on the morning save her persuasive face. Presently I tossed of the erentful day, “you must look your the remainder of my cigar into a tuft of rib- very best to-night, for you are all the Papa bon grass and answering her silent en- I have, and we must do each other great treaty said:
credit." And before the guests began to “Well Pet, what now?”
arrive she came to my room, turned me “Oh Uncle, in two weeks I shall be around, looked me over, pronounced me sateighteen!”
isfactory-only that I did not look suffi“Shocking! I supposed you not more ciently reverend to be her Papa; and sugthan nine or ten at the utmost. What am gested that a few gray hairs in my brown I to do? Take off a few years?”
beard would be an improvement. As for “No, no! I would not be older nor Maud, she looked like a sunbeam astray in younger," chanted she gaily.
a fleecy cloud. I had not dreamed that she “ What then? I know there is something could be so beautiful. to be done."
“Am I all right?" she asked, surveying Why you see it's an epoch, a crisis, and herself in my mirror. ought to be emphasized."
“Yes, Pet, only I think I ought to give “By what?”
you a sedative to keep your head level. All “A party, a grand party, in honor of the the gentlemen will go crazy over you to event, Uncle Doctor.”
night." Now Maud knew that I detested crowds, “You forget that other ladies are to be parties, assemblies of more than a dozen or present, some of them very beautiful-Miss so, and was prepared for a sharp encounter, Dyer, for instance." fully persuaded that she would come off vic- Hal and his chum had already arrived torious in the end. Seeing this in her mis- and were dressing in the room above. Peals chievous eyes I surrendered without a of laughter testified to their hilarity. struggle. She should have a party, a Have you seen this North P.?” whisstrictly elegant affair, stipulating only that pered I to Maud. there should be no more guests than could “No. Hal smuggled him up-stairs the be easily entertained.
moment they arrived. How he ever got him “ Trust mother for that! It will be just up there if he is half as tall as they pretend,
is more than I can understand. Jack says tinually vibrating between a straight line we shall be frozen stiff in half an hour, and and a right angle whenever he addressed her. quoting you for authority that food is fire, If he had been sitting and she standing it has fortified himself with a good supper in would have been more comfortable for both. advance."
To an observer Northrop Duff was all black “ Make Jack hold his tongue and see that and white, with a good, strong, manly you treat Hal's guest with consideration.” face, and was, I doubt not, sufficiently mag
Yes, of course. But if he looms up so netic to deserve his sobriquet. A theologue, dreadfully what am I to do?”
evidently; and a man of mark in the future. • Get upon a chair and shout.”
As Maud fluttered compassionately about Now, Uncle, you are worse than Jack. him I could think only of a moth-miller I shall laugh in his face.”
about a lighted torch. “No, Maud. If he is so tall you will Probably no one noticed the sharp tussle never see his face. You are short in sight between duty and repugnance in Tom's exas well as in stature."
pressive face before he approached Mr. Mary called and Maud obeyed, shaking Dyer with courteous inquiries and congratuher finger at me as she went.
lations, as pastor to a convalescent parishAs the evening wore on I saw that Mary ioner. It was a thing to study—the antipahad consulted my enjoyment as well as thy of these two men, which both shared Maud's happiness in reference to our guests. and neither could explain. I could see that I saw old friends on all sides; prominently Tom was holding himself with a strong Tom and his cultured wife. But I must hand, and admired his cool pluck, wonderown to a feeling of surprise compounded ing if he saw the latent fury like a pent-up with uneasiness as I saw Mr. Dyer approach fire in Mr. Dyer's steady eyes, while he acwith Agnes on his arm. Possibly she di- cepted with icy courtliness Tom's congratuvined this, for a little later she said : “ Pa- lations. This episode once over it was a pa so rarely goes in society that I should relief to see them drift apart into more conhave solicited in vain if the invitation had genial eddies. come from elsewhere;” adding as I thought Late in the evening Tom touched my arm a little sadly and reproachfully as her eyes saying: “Do you remember I once said rested for a moment on mine, "you seem to that Miss Dyer was probably a heathen by have unlimited influence with him.” It was inheritance?” one of those swift impressions that come "Something of the sort," answered I, and go, and recur after an interval. And I with a nod. was so busy speculating how Mr. Dyer and " It occurred to me just now, and I wish Tom would get on together that I failed to to take it back. It was uncharitable in the give her words the attention they deserved. beginning, but I did not know how thorThen, too, Maud was hovering about for a oughly unjust it was till recently. I have chance to say unobserved : He is not so met her several times and find her a true very tall, Uncle. He hears me readily." Christian lady in every sense of the word.
“Only about six feet six. See that Jack And if you have through me received the keeps out of ear-shot. I heard him just now impression that she is anything else, I am making inquiries about longitude and talk- truly sorry.” ing of the open Polar sea.”
“It is all right, Tom,” said I, giving his arm That sent Maud off in a comical gale of a little shake. “Your conscience troubles distress, for she was as tender-hearted as a you unnecessarily." fluffy chicken. I understood her motherly “No; I say heedless things when I, of all attention to Mr. Duff for the remainder of men, should be more careful. Look at Miss the evening. It had an absurd side too that Dyer. Did you ever see a finer face?” kept my risibles in a state of chronic irrita- Following his eyes I saw through the tion. She was so short and he was so tall open doors Northrop Duff and Miss Dyer sitand so ceremoniously polite, that he was con- ting in the library, while Hal stood between
them, leaning over the back of the tete-a- dazzled me. But ii vanished as quickly as it tete talking to Miss Dyer. How well the came, and she added, gravely, “ Father is fellow looked; I suppose I had a right to be getting weary and we must go home. I proud of him, and said as much to Tom. was looking for your niece."
“Ile is well enough,” answered Tom, in- We will find her; and putting Miss Dyer's differently. " It was Miss Dyer I wanted hand on my arm we threaded our way you to see.”
through room after room. She was quite Miss Dyer seemed listening attentively, silent and walked with down-cast eyes. and when Hal paused she answered, while There were several things I wished to say, he stood quite near looking steadily in her but somehow not a word came till in the face; and no wonder, for as she went on it hall we found Maud searching for us. Leavkindled and glowed till it was something , ing her in Maud's hands I sought Mr. Dyer, rare to see. It was a most changeful and and found him looking as weary and anexpressive face, with a language all its own. noyed as a well-bred man ever allows himBoth men listened as if entranced, but they self to look in society. were too far off, and the hum of voices in Doctor," said he, as I accompanied him our vicinity were too distinct to permit us to his carriage, “I have seen you in the disto get at all the drift of their conversation. tance all the evening. Come up to the I had seen her only in her own home, in the house and let me see you close at hand.” characters of daughter and nurse. Now “ To-morrow.” her ease, her sincerity, her culture, all told. Hal was handing in Miss Dyer, his manly It was impossible to look at her and not face glowing with happiness. How well feel that, sympathetic and considerate as they set each other off. she was, she still somehow stood apart as The next morning Hal and Northrop if of finer clay, and yet a Christian lady as Duff went to New Haven to prepare for exTom had said, and that without the least amination, for both were to graduate in shadow of assumption. She was marked July. too by the severe elegance of her dress We heard from them almost daily, and as which was of some sort of heavy pearl-col- soon as examinations were satisfactorily ored fabric, that fell in folds like the drapery over Ilal came home, bringing his friend of a Grecian goddess. Her only ornament with him to pass the time till commencewas a chain about her white throat, with a inent. cross of opals set in Etruscan gold.
All sorts of excursions, drives, walks, and Mary called me off and I saw Miss Dyer what not were planned and executed, includno more till later in the evening. I sur- ing of course Miss Dyer. They were a prised an old friend by breaking off in the frolicsome set. And if Miss Dyer tempered midst of a remark and turning as if I had their gaiety she also joined in their mirth, been called. Directly back of me and at the and they were all the happier for her presopposite side of the room stood Miss Dyer ence. Her low laugh was a pleasant thing looking at me. A quick flush swept over to hear, and both girls grew brighter and her face as on the first night at her father's more beautiful day by day. house she unexpectedly saw me looking at Of course everybody went to commenceher. I went over to her at once.
ment to hear Northrop's philosophical and “What is wanting ?” I asked.
Hal's oration. My previous opinion of NorShe smiled. “How did you know that throp's ability was confirmed. His head anything was wanting ?” and for a moment was the better of the two, but Hal's speech a light came into her clear eyes that quite was by all odds the more popular.
TO A GRIEVED SOUL-THE ETHICS OF HOSPITALITY.
TO A GRIEVED SOUL.
Kinsman in pain, thou dwellest; 0, somewhere
With heart too crushed to syllable a prayer.
Is it so ill with thee then? In the gloom
Wherein thou harborest dreamest thou all is light
Hath fallen on thee to bar thee from delight?
It is because thou dwellest in the dark
Thou canst not see around thee other souls
O'er whom the self-same tide of anguish rolls.
Brother forsaken! 'tis because I know
This bitter saying, “Lo, I have no friend ! ”
That from my soul this sign to thine I send :
and listen, Brother! mine own grief
And yet thou dwellest not with thy dole apart.
Who clasp not hands in it are passicg few;
Knowest thou our wailings smite him through and through?
Should drift this token, fragile as a sigh,
THE ETHICS OF HOSPITALITY. My dictionary tells me that hospitality is and a powerful factor in the upbuilding “ the act or practice of receiving or enter- of friendships and of love. It is so irnpor
or guests, with kindness tant a thing to the growth of the individual and without reward,” and my Bible tells me soul, and to keeping steady the balance of that this same hospitality is to be counted social economy, that we are not only bound among the Christian virtues. The highest to a practice of it, but to study and consider form of religion teaches us to do as a duty it in its moral relations, that we may, as far what the lowest grade of humanity practices as in us lies, disentangle its great principles as an impulse. There is no civilization so from the snarl of local customs and meanhigh and no barbarism so low that it does ingless conventionalities in which it is often not count hospitality among the social vir- involved. tues. It is the grace of all social compacts
In the older countries of Europe hospi