Part 2 out of 11
"Eh, Ann," he said, "you are a comfortable little body. You've got a
way with you just like your poor mother had. You always say the right
thing to help a chap pull himself together. Your mother did believe in
it, didn't she?"
She had, indeed, believed in it, though her faith was founded more
upon confidence in "Mr. Hutchinson" than in any profound knowledge of
the mechanical appliance his inspiration would supply. She knew it had
something important to do with locomotive engines, and she knew that
if railroad magnates would condescend to consider it, her husband was
sure that fortune would flow in. She had lived with the "invention,"
as it was respectfully called, for years.
"That she did," answered Little Ann. "And before she died she said to
me: 'Little Ann,' she said, 'there's one thing you must never let your
father do. You must never let him begin not to believe in his
invention. Your father's a clever man, and it's a clever invention,
and it'll make his fortune yet. You must remind him how I believed in
it and how sure I was.'"
Hutchinson rubbed his hands thoughtfully. He had heard this before,
but it did him good to hear it again.
"She said that, did she?" he found vague comfort in saying. "She said
"Yes, she did, Father. It was the very day before she died."
"Well, she never said anything she hadn't thought out," he said in
slow retrospection. "And she had a good head of her own. Eh, she was a
wonderful woman, she was, for sticking to things. That was th'
Lancashire in her. Lancashire folks knows their own minds."
"Mother knew hers," said Ann. "And she always said you knew yours.
Come and sit in your own chair, Father, and have your paper."
She had tided him past the worst currents without letting him slip
"I like folks that knows their own minds," he said as he sat down and
took his paper from her. "You know yours, Ann; and there's that
Tembarom chap. He knows his. I've been noticing that chap." There was
a certain pleasure in using a tone of amiable patronage. "He's got a
way with him that's worth money to him in business, if he only knew
"I don't think he knows he's got a way," Little Ann said. "His way is
"He just gets over people with it, like he got over me. I was ready to
knock his head off first time he spoke to me. I was ready to knock
anybody's head off that day. I'd just had that letter from Hadman. He
made me sick wi' the way he pottered an' played the fool about the
invention. He believed in it right enough, but he hadn't the courage
of a mouse. He wasn't goin' to be the first one to risk his money.
Him, with all he has! He's the very chap to be able to set it goin'.
If I could have got some one else to put up brass, it'd have started
him. It's want o' backbone, that's the matter wi' Hadman an' his lot."
"Some of these days some of them 're going to get their eyes open,"
said Little Ann, "and then the others will be sorry. Mr. Tembarom says
they'll fall over themselves to get in on the ground floor."
"That's New York," he said. "He's a rum chap. But he thinks a good bit
of the invention. I've talked it over with him, because I've wanted to
talk, and the one thing I've noticed about Tembarom is that he can
keep his mouth shut."
"But he talks a good deal," said Ann.
"That's the best of it. You'd think he was telling all he knows, and
he's not by a fat lot. He tells you what you'll like to hear, and he's
not sly; but he can keep a shut mouth. That's Lancashire. Some folks
can't do it even when they want to."
"His father came from England."
"That's where the lad's sense comes from. Perhaps he's Lancashire. He
had a lot of good ideas about the way to get at Hadman."
A knock at the door broke in upon them. Mrs. Bowse presented herself,
wearing a novel expression on her face. It was at once puzzled and not
altogether disagreeably excited.
"I wish you would come down into the dining-room, Little Ann." She
hesitated. " Mr. Tembaron's brought home such a queer man. He picked
him up ill in the street. He wants me to let him stay with him for the
night, anyhow. I don't think he's crazy, but I guess he's lost his
memory. Queerest thing I ever saw. He doesn't know his name or
"See here," broke out Hutchinson, dropping his hands and his paper on
his knee, "I'm not going to have Ann goin' down stairs to quiet
"He's as quiet as a child," Mrs. Bowse protested. "There's something
pitiful about him, he seems so frightened. He's drenched to the skin."
"Call an ambulance and send him to the hospital," advised Hutchinson.
"That's what Mr. Tembarom says he can't do. It frightens him to death
to speak of it. He just clings to Mr. Tembarom sort of awful, as if he
thinks he'll save his life. But that isn't all," she added in an
amazed tone; "he's given Mr. Tembarom more than two thousand dollars."
"What!" shouted Hutchinson, bounding to his feet quite unconsciously.
"What!" exclaimed Little Ann.
"Just you come and look at it," answered Mrs. Bowse, nodding her head.
"There's over two thousand dollars in bills spread out on the table in
the dining-room this minute. He had it in a belt pocket, and he
dragged it out in the street and would make Mr. Tembarom take it. Do
come and tell us what to do."
"I'd get him to take off his wet clothes and get into bed, and drink
some hot spirits and water first," said Little Ann. "Wouldn't you,
Hutchinson got up, newspaper in hand.
"I say, I'd like to go down and have a look at that chap myself," he
"If he's so frightened, perhaps--" Little Ann hesitated.
"That's it," put in Mrs. Bowse. "He's so nervous it'd make him worse
to see another man. You'd better wait, Mr. Hutchinson."
Hutchinson sat down rather grumpily, and Mrs. Bowse and Little Ann
went down the stairs together.
"I feel real nervous myself," said Mrs. Bowse, "it's so queer. But
he's not crazy. He's quiet enough."
As they neared the bottom of the staircase Little Ann could see over
the balustrade into the dining-room. The strange man was sitting by
the table, his disordered, black-haired head on his arm. He looked
like an exhausted thing. Tembarom was sitting by him, and was talking
in an encouraging voice. He had laid a hand on one of the stranger's.
On the table beside them was spread a number of bills which had
evidently just been counted.
"Here's the ladies," said Tembarom.
The stranger lifted his head and, having looked, rose and stood
upright, waiting. It was the involuntary, mechanical action of a man
who had been trained among gentlemen.
"It's Mrs. Bowse again, and she's brought Miss Hutchinson down with
her. Miss Hutchinson always knows what to do," explained Tembarom in
his friendly voice.
The man bowed, and his bewildered eyes fixed themselves on Little Ann.
"Thank you," he said. "It's very kind of you. I--I am-- in great
Little Ann went to him and smiled her motherly smile at him.
"You're very wet," she said. "You'll take a bad cold if you're not
careful. Mrs. Bowse thinks you ought to go right to bed and have
something hot to drink."
"It seems a long time since I was in bed," he answered her.
"I'm very tired. Thank you." He drew a weary, sighing breath, but he
didn't move his eyes from the girl's face. Perhaps the cessation of
action in certain cells of his brain had increased action in others.
He looked as though he were seeing something in Little Ann's face
which might not have revealed itself so clearly to the more normal
He moved slightly nearer to her. He was a tall man, and had to look
down at her.
"What is your name?" he asked anxiously. "Names trouble me."
It was Ann who drew a little nearer to him now. She had to look up,
and the soft, absorbed kindness in her eyes might, Tembarom thought,
have soothed a raging lion, it was so intent on its purpose.
"My name is Ann Hutchinson; but never you mind about it now," she
said. "I'll tell it to you again. Let Mr. Tembarom take you up-stairs
to bed. You'll be better in the morning." And because his hollow eyes
rested on her so fixedly she put her hand on his wet sleeve.
"You're wet through," she said. "That won't do."
He looked down at her hand and then at her face again.
"Help me," he pleaded, "just help me. I don't know what's happened.
Have I gone mad? "
"No," she answered; "not a bit. It'll all come right after a while;
"Will it, will it?" he begged, and then suddenly his eyes were full of
tears. It was a strange thing to see him in his bewildered misery try
to pull himself together, and bite his shaking lips as though he
vaguely remembered that he was a man. "I beg pardon," he faltered: "I
suppose I'm ill."
"I don't know where to put him," Mrs. Bowse was saying half aside;
"I've not got a room empty."
"Put him in my bed and give me a shake-down on the floor," said
Tembarom. "That'll be all right. He doesn't want me to leave him,
He turned to the money on the table.
"Say," he said to his guest, "there's two thousand five hundred
dollars here. We've counted it to make sure. That's quite some money.
And it's yours--"
The stranger looked disturbed and made a nervous gesture.
"Don't, don't!" he broke in. "Keep it. Some one took the rest. This
was hidden. It will pay."
"You see he isn't real' out of his mind," Mrs. Bowse murmured
"No, not real' out of it," said Tembarom. "Say,"--as an inspiration
occurred to him, --"I guess maybe Miss Hutchinson will keep it. Will
you, Little Ann? You can give it to him when he wants it."
"It's a good bit of money," said Little Ann, soberly; "but I can put
it in a bank and pay Mrs. Bowse his board every week. Yes, I'll take
it. Now he must go to bed. It's a comfortable little room," she said
to the stranger, "and Mrs. Bowse will make you a hot milk-punch.
That'll be nourishing."
"Thank you," murmured the man, still keeping his yearning eyes on her.
So he was taken up to the fourth floor and put into Tembarom's bed.
The hot milk-punch seemed to take the chill out of him, and when, by
lying on his pillow and gazing at the shakedown on the floor as long
as he could keep his eyes open, he had convinced himself that Tembarom
was going to stay with him, he fell asleep.
Little Ann went back to her father carrying a roll of bills in her
hands. It was a roll of such size that Hutchinson started up in his
chair and stared at the sight of it.
"Is that the money?" he exclaimed. "What are you going to do with it?
What have you found out, lass?"
"Yes, this is it," she answered. "Mr. Tembarom asked me to take care
of it. I'm going to put it in the bank. But we haven't found out
His was the opening incident of the series of extraordinary and
altogether incongruous events which took place afterwards, as it
appeared to T. Tembarom, like scenes in a play in which he had become
involved in a manner which one might be inclined to regard humorously
and make jokes about, because it was a thousand miles away from
anything like real life. That was the way it struck him. The events
referred to, it was true, were things one now and then read about in
newspapers, but while the world realized that they were actual
occurrences, one rather regarded them, when their parallels were
reproduced in books and plays, as belonging alone to the world of pure
and highly romantic fiction.
"I guess the reason why it seems that way," he summed it up to
Hutchinson and Little Ann, after the worst had come to the worst, "is
because we've not only never known any one it's happened to, but we've
never known any one that's known any one it's happened to. I've got to
own up that it makes me feel as if the fellows'd just yell right out
laughing when they heard it."
The stranger's money had been safely deposited in a bank, and the
stranger himself still occupied Tembarom's bedroom. He slept a great
deal and was very quiet. With great difficulty Little Ann had
persuaded him to let a doctor see him, and the doctor had been much
interested in his case. He had expected to find some signs of his
having received accidentally or otherwise a blow upon the head, but on
examination he found no scar or wound. The condition he was in was
frequently the result of concussion of the brain, sometimes of
prolonged nervous strain or harrowing mental shock. Such cases
occurred not infrequently. Quiet and entire freedom from excitement
would do more for such a condition than anything else. If he was
afraid of strangers, by all means keep them from him. Tembarom had
been quite right in letting him think he would help him to remember,
and that somehow he would in the end reach the place he had evidently
set out to go to. Nothing must be allowed to excite him. It was well
he had had money on his person and that he had fallen into friendly
hands. A city hospital would not have been likely to help him greatly.
The restraint of its necessary discipline might have alarmed him.
So long as he was persuaded that Tembarom was not going to desert him,
he was comparatively calm, though sunk in a piteous and tormented
melancholy. His worst hours were when he sat alone in the hall
bedroom, with his face buried in his hands. He would so sit without
moving or speaking, and Little Ann discovered that at these times he
was trying to remember. Sometimes he would suddenly rise and walk
about the little room, muttering, with woe in his eyes. Ann, who saw
how hard this was for him, found also that to attempt to check or
distract him was even worse. When, sitting in her father's room, which
was on the other side of the wall, she heard his fretted, hurried
pacing feet, her face lost its dimpled cheerfulness. She wondered if
her mother would not have discovered some way of clearing the black
cloud distracting his brain. Nothing would induce him to go down to
the boarders' dining-room for his meals, and the sight of a servant
alarmed him so that it was Ann who took him the scant food he would
eat. As the time of her return to England with her father drew near,
she wondered what Mr. Tembarom would do without her services. It was
she who suggested that they must have a name for him, and the name of
a part of Manchester had provided one. There was a place called
Strangeways, and one night when, in talking to her father, she
referred to it in Tembarom's presence, he suddenly seized upon it.
"Strangeways," he said. "That'd make a good-enough name for him. Let's
call him Mr. Strangeways. I don't like the way the fellows have of
calling him 'the Freak.'"
So the name had been adopted, and soon became an established fact.
"The way I feel about him," Tembarom said, "is that the fellow's not a
bit of a joke. What I see is that he's up against about the toughest
proposition I've ever known. Gee! that fellow's not crazy. He's worse.
If he was out-and-out dippy and didn't know it, he'd be all right.
Likely as not he'd be thinking he was the Pope of Rome or Anna Held.
What knocks him out is that he's just right enough to know he's wrong,
and to be trying to get back. He reminds me of one of those chaps the
papers tell about sometimes--fellows that go to work in livery-stables
for ten years and call themselves Bill Jones, and then wake up some
morning and remember they're some high-browed minister of the gospel
named the Rev. James Cadwallader."
When the curtain drew up on Tembarom's amazing drama, Strangeways had
been occupying his bed nearly three weeks, and he himself had been
sleeping on a cot Mrs. Bowse had put up for him in his room. The
Hutchinsons were on the point of sailing for England--steerage--on the
steamship Transatlantic, and Tembarom was secretly torn into
fragments, though he had done well with the page and he was daring to
believe that at the end of the month Galton would tell him he had
"made good" and the work would continue indefinitely.
If that happened, he would be raised to "twenty-five per" and would be
a man of means. If the Hutchinsons had not been going away, he would
have been floating in clouds of rose color. If he could persuade
Little Ann to take him in hand when she'd had time to "try him out,"
even Hutchinson could not utterly flout a fellow who was making his
steady twenty-five per on a big paper, and was on such terms with his
boss that he might get other chances. Gee! but he was a fellow that
luck just seemed to chase, anyhow! Look at the other chaps, lots of
'em, who knew twice as much as he did, and had lived in decent homes
and gone to school and done their darned best, too, and then hadn't
been able to get there! It didn't seem fair somehow that he should run
into such pure luck.
The day arrived when Galton was to give his decision. Tembarom was
going to hand in his page, and while he was naturally a trifle
nervous, his nervousness would have been a hopeful and not unpleasant
thing but that the Transatlantic sailed in two days, and in the
Hutchinson's rooms Little Ann was packing her small trunk and her
father's bigger one, which held more models and drawings than
clothing. Hutchinson was redder in the face than usual, and indignant
condemnation of America and American millionaires possessed his soul.
Everybody was rather depressed. One boarder after another had wakened
to a realization that, with the passing of Little Ann, Mrs. Bowse's
establishment, even with the parlor, the cozy-corner, and the second-
hand pianola to support it, would be a deserted-seeming thing. Mrs.
Bowse felt the tone of low spirits about the table, and even had a
horrible secret fear that certain of her best boarders might decide to
go elsewhere, merely to change surroundings from which they missed
something. Her eyes were a little red, and she made great efforts to
keep things going.
"I can only keep the place up when I've no empty rooms, "she had said
to Mrs. Peck, "but I'd have boarded her free if her father would have
let her stay. But he wouldn't, and, anyway, she'd no more let him go
off alone than she'd jump off Brooklyn Bridge."
It had been arranged that partly as a farewell banquet and partly to
celebrate Galton's decision about the page, there was to be an oyster
stew that night in Mr. Hutchinson's room, which was distinguished as a
bed-sitting-room. Tembarom had diplomatically suggested it to Mr.
Hutchinson. It was to be Tembarom's oyster supper, and somehow he
managed to convey that it was only a proper and modest tribute to Mr.
Hutchinson himself. First-class oyster stew and pale ale were not so
bad when properly suggested, therefore Mr. Hutchinson consented. Jim
Bowles and Julius Steinberger were to come in to share the feast, and
Mrs. Bowse had promised to prepare.
It was not an inspiring day for Little Ann. New York had seemed a
bewildering and far too noisy place for her when she had come to it
directly from her grandmother's cottage in the English village, where
she had spent her last three months before leaving England. The dark
rooms of the five-storied boarding-house had seemed gloomy enough to
her, and she had found it much more difficult to adjust herself to her
surroundings than she could have been induced to admit to her father.
At first his temper and the open contempt for American habits and
institutions which he called "speaking his mind" had given her a great
deal of careful steering through shoals to do. At the outset the
boarders had resented him, and sometimes had snapped back their own
views of England and courts. Violent and disparaging argument had
occasionally been imminent, and Mrs. Bowse had worn an ominous look.
Their rooms had in fact been "wanted" before their first week had come
to an end, and Little Ann herself scarcely knew how she had tided over
that situation. But tide it over she did, and by supernatural effort
and watchfulness she contrived to soothe Mrs. Bowse until she had been
in the house long enough to make friends with people and aid her
father to realize that, if they went elsewhere, they might find only
the same class of boarders, and there would be the cost of moving to
consider. She had beguiled an armchair from Mrs. Bowse, and had re-
covered it herself with a remnant of crimson stuff secured from a
miscellaneous heap at a marked-down sale at a department store. She
had arranged his books and papers adroitly and had kept them in their
places so that he never felt himself obliged to search for any one of
them. With many little contrivances she had given his bed-sitting-room
a look of comfort and established homeliness, and he had even begun to
"Tha't just like tha mother, Ann," he had said. "She'd make a railway
station look as if it had been lived in."
Then Tembarom had appeared, heralded by Mrs. Bowse and the G.
Destroyer, and the first time their eyes had met across the table she
had liked him. The liking had increased. There was that in his boyish
cheer and his not-too-well-fed-looking face which called forth
maternal interest. As she gradually learned what his life had been,
she felt a thrilled anxiety to hear day by day how he was getting on.
She listened for details, and felt it necessary to gather herself
together in the face of a slight depression when hopes of Galton were
less high than usual. His mending was mysteriously done, and in time
he knew with amazed gratitude that he was being "looked after." His
first thanks were so awkward, but so full of appreciation of
unaccustomed luxury, that they almost brought tears to her eyes, since
they so clearly illuminated the entire novelty of any attention
"I just don't know what to say," he said, shuffling from one foot to
another, though his nice grin was at its best. "I've never had a woman
do anything for me since I was ten. I guess women do lots of things
for most fellows; but, then, they're mothers and sisters and aunts. I
appreciate it like--like thunder. I feel as if I was Rockefeller, Miss
In a short time she had become "Little Ann" to him, as to the rest,
and they began to know each other very well. Jim Bowles and Julius
Steinberger had not been able to restrain themselves at first from
making slangy, yearning love to her, but Tembarom had been different.
He had kept himself well in hand. Yes, she had liked T. Tembarom, and
as she packed the trunks she realized that the Atlantic Ocean was
three thousand miles across, and when two people who had no money were
separated by it, they were likely to remain so. Rich people could
travel, poor people couldn't. You just stayed where things took you,
and you mustn't be silly enough to expect things to happen in your
class of life--things like seeing people again. Your life just went
on. She kept herself very busy, and did not allow her thoughts any
latitude. It would vex her father very much if he thought she had
really grown fond of America and was rather sorry to go away. She had
finished her packing before evening, and the trunks were labeled and
set aside, some in the outside hall and some in the corner of the
room. She had sat down with some mending on her lap, and Hutchinson
was walking about the room with the restlessness of the traveler whose
approaching journey will not let him settle himself anywhere.
"I'll lay a shilling you've got everything packed and ready, and put
just where a chap can lay his hands on it," he said.
"Yes, Father. Your tweed cap's in the big pocket of your thick top-
coat, and there's an extra pair of spectacles and your pipe and
tobacco in the small one."
"And off we go back to England same as we came!" He rubbed his head,
and drew a big, worried sigh. "Where's them going?" he asked, pointing
to some newly laundered clothing on a side table. "You haven't
forgotten 'em, have you?"
"No, Father. It's just some of the young men's washing. I thought I'd
take time to mend them up a bit before I went to bed."
"That's like tha mother, too--taking care of everybody. What did these
chaps do before you came?"
"Sometimes they tried to sew on a button or so themselves, but oftener
they went without. Men make poor work of sewing. It oughtn't to be
expected of them."
Hutchinson stopped and looked her and her mending over with a touch of
"Some of them's Tembarom's?" he asked.
Little Ann held up a pair of socks.
"These are. He does wear them out, poor fellow. It's tramping up and
down the streets to save car-fare does it. He's never got a heel to
his name. But he's going to be able to buy some new ones next week."
Hutchinson began his tramp again.
"He'll miss thee, Little Ann; but so'll the other lads, for that
"He'll know to-night whether Mr. Galton's going to let him keep his
work. I do hope he will. I believe he'd begin to get on."
"Well,"--Hutchinson was just a little grudging even at this
comparatively lenient moment,--"I believe the chap'll get on myself.
He's got pluck and he's sharp. I never saw him make a poor mouth yet."
"Neither did I," answered Ann.
A door leading into Tembarom's hall bedroom opened on to Hutchinson's.
They both heard some one inside the room knock at it. Hutchinson
turned and listened, jerking his head toward the sound.
"There's that poor chap again," he said. "He's wakened and got
restless. What's Tembarom going to do with him, I'd like to know? The
money won't last forever."
"Shall I let him in, Father? I dare say he's got restless because Mr.
Tembarom's not come in."
"Aye, we'll let him in. He won't have thee long. He can't do no harm
so long as I'm here."
Little Ann went to the door and opened it. She spoke quietly.
"Do you want to come in here, Mr. Strangeways?"
The man came in. He was clean, but still unshaven, and his clothes
looked as though he had been lying down. He looked round the room
"Where has he gone?" he demanded in an overstrung voice. "Where is
he?" He caught at Ann's sleeve in a sudden access of nervous fear.
"What shall I do if he's gone?"
Hutchinson moved toward him.
"'Ere, 'ere," he said, "don't you go catchin' hold of ladies. What do
I've forgotten his name now. What shall I do if I can't remember?"
Little Ann patted his arm comfortingly.
"There, there, now! You've not really forgotten it. It's just slipped
your memory. You want Mr. Tembarom--Mr. T. Tembarom."
"Oh, thank you, thank you. That's it. Yes, Tembarom. He said T.
Tembarom. He said he wouldn't throw me over."
Little Ann led him to a seat and made him sit down. She answered him
with quiet decision.
"Well, if he said he wouldn't, he won't. Will he, Father?"
"No, he won't." There was rough good nature in Hutchinson's admission.
He paused after it to glance at Ann. "You think a lot of that lad,
don't you, Ann?"
"Yes, I do, Father," she replied undisturbedly. "He's one you can
trust, too. He's up-town at his work," she explained to Strangeways.
"He'll be back before long. He's giving us a bit of a supper in here
because we're going away."
Strangeways grew nervous again.
"But he won't go with you? T. Tembarom won't go?"
"No, no; he's not going. He'll stay here," she said soothingly. He had
evidently not observed the packed and labeled trunks when he came in.
He seemed suddenly to see them now, and rose in distress.
"Whose are these? You said he wasn't going?"
Ann took hold of his arm and led him to the corner.
"They are not Mr. Tembarom's trunks," she explained. "They are
father's and mine. Look on the labels. Joseph Hutchinson, Liverpool.
Ann Hutchinson, Liverpool."
He looked at them closely in a puzzled way. He read a label aloud in a
"Ann Hutchinson, Liverpool. What's--what's Liverpool?
"Oh, come," encouraged Little Ann, "you know that. It's a place in
England. We're going back to England."
He stood and gazed fixedly before him. Then he began to rub his
fingers across his forehead. Ann knew the straining look in his eyes.
He was making that horrible struggle to get back somewhere through the
darkness which shut him in. It was so painful a thing to see that even
Hutchinson turned slightly away.
"Don't!" said Little Ann, softly, and tried to draw him away.
He caught his breath convulsively once or twice, and his voice dragged
out words again, as though he were dragging them from bottomless
"Going--back--to--England--back to England--to England."
He dropped into a chair near by, his arms thrown over its back, and
broke, as his face fell upon them, into heavy, deadly sobbing--the
kind of sobbing Tembarom had found it impossible to stand up against.
Hutchinson whirled about testily.
"Dang it!" he broke out, "I wish Tembarom'd turn up. What are we to
do?" He didn't like it himself. It struck him as unseemly.
But Ann went to the chair, and put her hands on the shuddering
shoulder, bending over the soul-wrung creature, the wisdom of
centuries in the soft, expostulatory voice which seemed to reach the
very darkness he was lost in. It was a wisdom of which she was wholly
unaware, but it had been born with her, and was the building of her
"'Sh! 'S-h-h!" she said. "You mustn't do that. Mr. Tembarom wouldn't
like you to do it. He'll be in directly. 'Sh! 'Sh, now!" And simple as
the words were, their soothing reached him. The wildness of his sobs
"See here," Hutchinson protested, "this won't do, my man. I won't have
it, Ann. I'm upset myself, what with this going back and everything. I
can't have a chap coming and crying like that there. It upsets me
worse than ever. And you hangin' over him! It won't do."
Strangeways lifted his head from his arms and looked at him.
"Aye, I mean what I say," Hutchinson added fretfully.
Strangeways got up from the chair. When he was not bowed or slouching
it was to be seen that he was a tall man with square shoulders.
Despite his unshaven, haggard face, he had a sort of presence.
"I'll go back to my room," he said. "I forgot. I ought not to be
Neither Hutchinson nor Little Ann had ever seen any one do the thing
he did next. When Ann went with him to the door of the hall bedroom,
he took her hand, and bowing low before her, lifted it gently to his
Hutchinson stared at him as he turned into the room and closed the
door behind him.
"Well, I've read of lords and ladies doin' that in books," he said,
"but I never thought I should see a chap do it myself."
Little Ann went back to her mending, looking very thoughtful.
"Father," she said, after a few moments, "England made him come near
to remembering something."
"New York'll come near making me remember a lot of things when I'm out
of it," said Mr. Hutchinson, sitting down heavily in his chair and
rubbing his head. "Eh, dang it! dang it!"
"Don't you let it, Father," advised Little Ann. "There's never any
good in thinking things over."
"You're not as cheerful yourself as you let on," he said. "You've not
got much color to-day, my lass."
She rubbed one cheek a little, trying to laugh.
"I shall get it back when we go and stay with grandmother. It's just
staying indoors so much. Mr. Tembarom won't be long now; I'll get up
and set the table. The things are on a tray outside."
As she was going out of the room, Jim Bowles and Julius Steinberger
appeared at the door.
"May we come in?" Jim asked eagerly. "We're invited to the oyster
stew, and it's time old T. T. was here. Julius and me are just getting
dippy waiting up-stairs to hear if he's made good with Galton."
"Well, now, you sit down and be quiet a bit, or you'll be losing your
appetites," advised Ann.
"You can't lose a thing the size of mine," answered Jim, "any more
than you could lose the Metropolitan Opera-house."
Ann turned her head and paused as though she were listening. She heard
footsteps in the lower hall.
"He's coming now," she announced. "I know his step. He's tired. Don't
go yet, you two," she added as the pair prepared to rush to meet him.
"When any one's that tired he wants to wash his face, and talk when
he's ready. If you'll just go back to your room I'll call you when
I've set the table."
She felt that she wanted a little more quiet during the next few
minutes than she could have if they remained and talked at the top of
elated voices. She had not quite realized how anxiously she had been
waiting all day for the hour when she would hear exactly what had
happened. If he was all right, it would be a nice thing to remember
when she was in England. In this moderate form she expressed herself
mentally. "It would be a nice thing to remember." She spread the cloth
on the table and began to lay out the plates. Involuntarily she found
herself stopping to glance at the hall bedroom door and listen rather
"I hope he's got it. I do that. I'm sure he has. He ought to."
Hutchinson looked over at her. She was that like her mother, that
"You're excited, Ann," he said.
"Yes, Father, I am--a bit. He's--he's washing his face now." Sounds of
splashing water could be heard through the intervening door.
Hutchinson watched her with some uneasiness.
"You care a lot for that lad," he said.
She did not look fluttered. Her answer was quite candid.
"I said I did, Father. He's taking off his boots."
"You know every sound he makes, and you're going away Saturday, and
you'll never see him again."
"That needn't stop me caring. It never did any one any harm to care
for one of his sort."
"But it can't come to anything," Hutchinson began to bluster. "It
"He's coming to the door, he's turning the handle," said Little Ann.
Tembarom came in. He was fresh with recent face-washing, and his hair
was damp, so that a short lock curled and stood up. He had been up-
town making frantic efforts for hours, but he had been making them in
a spirit of victorious relief, and he did not look tired at all.
"I've got it!" he cried out the moment he entered. "I've got it, by
jingo! The job's mine for keeps."
"Galton's give it to you out and out?" Hutchinson was slightly excited
"He's in the bulliest humor you ever saw. He says I've done first-
rate, and if I go on, he'll run me up to thirty."
"Well, I'm danged glad of it, lad, that I am!" Hutchinson gave in
handsomely. "You put backbone into it."
Little Ann stood near, smiling. Her smile met Tembarom's.
"I know you're glad, Little Ann," he said. "I'd never have got there
but for you. It was up to me, after the way you started me."
"You know I'm glad without me telling you," she answered. "I'm
And it was at this moment that Mrs. Bowse came into the room.
"It's too bad it's happened just now," she said, much flustered.
"That's the way with things. The stew'll spoil, but he says it's real
Tembarom caught at both her hands and shook them.
"I've got it, Mrs. Bowse. Here's your society reporter! The best-
looking boarder you've got is going to be able to pay his board
"I'm as glad as can be, and so will everybody be. I knew you'd get it.
But this gentleman's been here twice to-day. He says he really must
"Let him wait," Hutchinson ordered. "What's the chap want? The stew
won't be fit to eat."
"No, it won't," answered Mrs. Bowse; "but he seems to think he's not
the kind to be put off. He says it's more Mr. Tembarom's business than
his. He looked real mad when I showed him into the parlor, where they
were playing the pianola. He asked wasn't there a private room where
you could talk."
A certain flurried interest in the manner of Mrs. Bowse, a something
not usually awakened by inopportune callers, an actual suggestion of
the possible fact that she was not as indifferent as she was nervous,
somewhat awakened Mr. Hutchinson's curiosity.
"Look here," he volunteered," if he's got any real business, he can't
talk over to the tune of the pianola you can bring him up here,
Tembarom. I'll see he don't stay long if his business isn't worth
talkin' about. He'll see the table set for supper, and that'll hurry
"Oh, gee I wish he hadn't come!" said Tembarom. "I'll just go down and
see what he wants. No one's got any swell private business with me."
"You bring him up if he has," said Hutchinson. "We'd like to hear
Tembarom ran down the stairs quickly.
No one had ever wanted to see him on business before. There was
something important-sounding about it; perhaps things were starting up
for him in real earnest. It might be a message from Galton, though he
could not believe that he had at this early stage reached such a
distinction. A ghastly thought shot a bolt at him, but he shook
himself free of it.
"He's not a fellow to go back on his word, anyhow," he insisted.
There were more boarders than usual in the parlor. The young woman
from the notion counter had company; and one of her guests was playing
"He sut'nly was Good to Me" on the pianola with loud and steady tread
The new arrival had evidently not thought it worth his while to commit
himself to permanency by taking a seat. He was standing not far from
the door with a businesslike-looking envelop in one hand and a pince-
nez in the other, with which Tembarom saw he was rather fretfully
tapping the envelop as he looked about him. He was plainly taking in
the characteristics of the room, and was not leniently disposed toward
them. His tailor was clearly an excellent one, with entirely correct
ideas as to the cut and material which exactly befitted an elderly
gentleman of some impressiveness in the position, whatsoever it
happened to be, which he held. His face was not of a friendly type,
and his eyes held cold irritation discreetly restrained by
businesslike civility. Tembarom vaguely felt the genialities of the
oyster supper assume a rather fourth-rate air.
The caller advanced and spoke first.
"Mr. Tembarom?" he inquired.
"Yes," Tembarom answered, "I'm T. Tembarom."
"T.," repeated the stranger, with a slightly puzzled expression. "Ah,
yes; I see. I beg pardon."
In that moment Tembarom felt that he was looked over, taken in, summed
up, and without favor. The sharp, steady eye, however, did not seem to
have moved from his face. At the same time it had aided him to realize
that he was, to this well-dressed person at least, a too exhilarated
young man wearing a ten-dollar "hand-me-down."
"My name is Palford," he said concisely. "That will convey nothing to
you. I am of the firm of Palford & Grimby of Lincoln's Inn. This is my
Tembarom took the card and read that Palford & Grimby were
"solicitors," and he was not sure that he knew exactly what
"Lincoln's Inn?" he hesitated. "That's not in New York, is it?"
"No, Mr. Tembarom; in London. I come from England."
"You must have had bad weather crossing," said Tembarom, with amiable
intent. Somehow Mr. Palford presented a more unyielding surface than
he was accustomed to. And yet his hard courtesy was quite perfect.
"I have been here some weeks."
"I hope you like New York. Won't you have a seat?"
The young lady from the notion counter and her friends began to sing
the chorus of "He sut'nly was Good to Me" with quite professional
"That's just the way May Irwin done it," one of them laughed.
Mr. Palford glanced at the performers. He did not say whether he liked
New York or not.
"I asked your landlady if we could not see each other in a private
room," he said. "It would not be possible to talk quietly here."
"We shouldn't have much of a show," answered Tembarom, inwardly
wishing he knew what was going to happen. "But there are no private
rooms in the house. We can be quieter than this, though, if we go up
stairs to Mr. Hutchinson's room. He said I could bring you."
"That would be much better," replied Mr. Palford.
Tembarom led him out of the room, up the first steep and narrow flight
of stairs, along the narrow hall to the second, up that, down another
hall to the third, up the third, and on to the fourth. As he led the
way he realized again that the worn carpets, the steep narrowness, and
the pieces of paper unfortunately stripped off the wall at intervals,
were being rather counted against him. This man had probably never
been in a place like this before in his life, and he didn't take to
At the Hutchinsons' door he stopped and explained:
"We were going to have an oyster stew here because the Hutchinsons are
going away; but Mr. Hutchinson said we could come up."
"Very kind of Mr. Hutchinson, I'm sure."
Despite his stiffly collected bearing, Mr. Palford looked perhaps
slightly nervous when he was handed into the bed-sitting-room, and
found himself confronting Hutchinson and Little Ann and the table set
for the oyster stew. It is true that he had never been in such a place
in his life, that for many reasons he was appalled, and that he was
beset by a fear that he might be grotesquely compelled by existing
circumstances to accept these people's invitation, if they insisted
upon his sitting down with them and sharing their oyster stew. One
could not calculate on what would happen among these unknown
quantities. It might be their idea of boarding-house politeness. And
how could one offend them? God forbid that the situation should
intensify itself in such an absurdly trying manner! What a bounder the
unfortunate young man was! His own experience had not been such as to
assist him to any realistic enlightenment regarding him, even when he
had seen the society page and had learned that he had charge of it.
"Let me make you acquainted with Mr. and Miss Hutchinson," Tembarom
introduced. "This is Mr. Palford, Mr. Hutchinson."
Hutchinson, half hidden behind his newspaper, jerked his head and
"Glad to see you, sir."
Mr. Palford bowed, and took the chair Tembarom presented.
"I am much obliged to you, Mr. Hutchinson, for allowing me to come to
your room. I have business to discuss with Mr. Tembarom, and the
pianola was being played down-stairs--rather loudly."
"They do it every night, dang 'em! Right under my bed," growled
Hutchinson. "You're an Englishman, aren't you?"
"So am I, thank God! " Hutchinson devoutly gave forth.
Little Ann rose from her chair, sewing in hand.
"Father'll come and sit with me in my room," she said.
Hutchinson looked grumpy. He did not intend to leave the field clear
and the stew to its fate if he could help it. He gave Ann a protesting
"I dare say Mr. Palford doesn't mind us," he said. "We're not
"Not in the least," Palford protested. "Certainly not. If you are old
friends, you may be able to assist us."
"Well, I don't know about that," Hutchinson answered, "We've not known
him long, but we know him pretty well. You come from London, don't
"Yes. From Lincoln's Inn Fields."
"Law?" grunted Hutchinson.
"Yes. Of the firm of Palford & Grimby."
Hutchinson moved in his chair involuntarily. There was stimulation to
curiosity in this. This chap was a regular top sawyer--clothes, way of
pronouncing his words, manners, everything. No mistaking him--old
family solicitor sort of chap. What on earth could he have to say to
Tembarom? Tembarom himself had sat down and could not be said to look
at his ease.
"I do not intrude without the excuse of serious business," Palford
explained to him. "A great deal of careful research and inquiry has
finally led me here. I am compelled to believe I have followed the
right clue, but I must ask you a few questions. Your name is not
really Tembarom, is it?"
Hutchinson looked at Tembarom sharply.
"Not Tembarom? What does he mean, lad?"
Tembarom's grin was at once boyish and ashamed.
"Well, it is in one way," he answered, "and it isn't in another. The
fellows at school got into the way of calling me that way,--to save
time, I guess,--and I got to like it. They'd have guyed my real name.
Most of them never knew it. I can't see why any one ever called a
child by such a fool name, anyhow."
"What was it exactly?"
Tembarom looked almost sheepish.
"It sounds like a thing in a novel. It was Temple Temple Barholm. Two
Temples, by gee! As if one wasn't enough!"
Joseph Hutchinson dropped his paper and almost started from his chair.
His red face suddenly became so much redder that he looked a trifle
"Temple Barholm does tha say?" he cried out.
Mr. Palford raised his hand and checked him, but with a suggestion of
"If you will kindly allow me. Did you ever hear your father refer to a
place called Temple Barholm?" he inquired.
Tembarom reflected as though sending his thoughts backward into a
pretty thoroughly forgotten and ignored past. There had been no reason
connected with filial affection which should have caused him to recall
memories of his father. They had not liked each other. He had known
that he had been resented and looked down upon as a characteristically
American product. His father had more than once said he was a "common
American lad," and he had known he was.
"Seems to me," he said at last, "that once when he was pretty mad at
his luck I heard him grumbling about English laws, and he said some of
his distant relations were swell people who would never think of
speaking to him,--perhaps didn't know he was alive,--and they lived in
a big way in a place that was named after the family. He never saw it
or them, and he said that was the way in England--one fellow got
everything and the rest were paupers like himself. He'd always been
"Yes, the relation was a distant one. Until this investigation began
the family knew nothing of him. The inquiry has been a tiresome one. I
trust I am reaching the end of it. We have given nearly two years to
following this clue."
"What for?" burst forth Tembarom, sitting upright.
"Because it was necessary to find either George Temple Barholm or his
son, if he had one."
"I'm his son, all right, but he died when I was eight years old,"
Tembarom volunteered. "I don't remember much about him."
"You remember that he was not an American?"
"He was English. Hated it; but he wasn't fond of America."
"Have you any papers belonging to him?"
Tembarom hesitated again.
"There's a few old letters--oh, and one of those glass photographs in
a case. I believe it's my grandfather and grandmother, taken when they
were married. Him on a chair, you know, and her standing with her hand
on his shoulder."
"Can you show them to me?" Palford suggested.
"Sure," Tembarom answered, getting up from his seat "They're in my
room. I turned them up yesterday among some other things."
When he left them, Mr. Palford sat gently rubbing his chin. Hutchinson
wanted to burst forth with questions, but he looked so remote and
acidly dignified that there was a suggestion of boldness in the idea
of intruding on his reflections. Hutchinson stared at him and breathed
hard and short in his suspense. The stiff old chap was thinking things
over and putting things together in his lawyer's way. He was entirely
oblivious to his surroundings. Little Ann went on with her mending,
but she wore her absorbed look, and it was not a result of her work.
Tembarom came back with some papers in his hand. They were yellowed
old letters, and on the top of the package there was a worn
daguerreotype-case with broken clasp.
"Here they are," he said, giving them to Palford. "I guess they'd just
been married," opening the case. "Get on to her embroidered collar and
big breast-pin with his picture in it. That's English enough, isn't
it? He'd given it to her for a wedding-present. There's something in
one of the letters about it."
It was the letters to which Mr. Palford gave the most attention. He
read them and examined post-marks and dates. When he had finished, he
rose from his chair with a slightly portentous touch of professional
"Yes, those are sufficiently convincing. You are a very fortunate
young man. Allow me to congratulate you."
He did not look particularly pleased, though he extended his hand and
shook Tembarom's politely. He was rigorously endeavoring to conceal
that he found himself called upon to make the best of an extremely bad
job. Hutchinson started forward, resting his hands on his knees and
glaring with ill-suppressed excitement.
"What's that for?" Tembarom said. He felt rather like a fool. He
laughed half nervously. It seemed to be up to him to understand, and
he didn't understand in the least.
"You have, through your father's distant relationship, inherited a
very magnificent property--the estate of Temple Barholm in
Lancashire," Palford began to explain, but Mr. Hutchinson sprang from
his chair outright, crushing his paper in his hand.
"Temple Barholm!" he almost shouted, "I dunnot believe thee! Why, it's
one of th' oldest places in England and one of th' biggest. Th' Temple
Barholms as didn't come over with th' Conqueror was there before him.
Some of them was Saxon kings! And him--" pointing a stumpy, red finger
disparagingly at Tembarom, aghast and incredulous--"that New York lad
that's sold newspapers in the streets--you say he's come into it?"
"Precisely." Mr. Palford spoke with some crispness of diction. Noise
and bluster annoyed him. "That is my business here. Mr. Tembarom is,
in fact, Mr. Temple Temple Barholm of Temple Barholm, which you seem
to have heard of."
"Heard of it! My mother was born in the village an' lives there yet.
Art tha struck dumb, lad!" he said almost fiercely to Tembarom. "By
Judd! Tha well may be!"
Tembarom was standing holding the back of a chair. He was pale, and
had once opened his mouth, and then gulped and shut it. Little Ann had
dropped her sewing. His first look had leaped to her, and she had
looked back straight into his eyes.
"I'm struck something," he said, his half-laugh slightly unsteady.
"Who'd blame me?"
"You'd better sit down," said Little Ann. "Sudden things are
He did sit down. He felt rather shaky. He touched himself on his chest
and laughed again.
"Me!" he said. "T. T.! Hully gee! It's like a turn at a vaudeville."
The sentiment prevailing in Hutchinson's mind seemed to verge on
"Thee th' master of Temple Barholm! " he ejaculated. "Why, it stood
for seventy thousand pound' a year!"
"It did and it does," said Mr. Palford, curtly. He had less and less
taste for the situation. There was neither dignity nor proper
sentiment in it. The young man was utterly incapable of comprehending
the meaning and proportions of the extraordinary event which had
befallen him. It appeared to present to him the aspect of a somewhat
slangy New York joke.
"You do not seem much impressed, Mr. Temple Barholm," he said.
"Oh, I'm impressed, all right," answered Tembarom, "but, say, this
thing can't be true! You couldn't make it true if you sat up all night
to do it."
"When I go into the business details of the matter tomorrow morning
you will realize the truth of it," said Mr. Palford. "Seventy thousand
pounds a year--and Temple Barholm--are not unsubstantial facts."
"Three hundred and fifty thousand dollars, my lad--that's what it
stands for!" put in Mr. Hutchinson.
"Well," said Tembarom, "I guess I can worry along on that if I try
hard enough. I mayn't be able to keep myself in the way I've been used
to, but I've got to make it do."
Mr. Palford stiffened. He did not know that the garish, flippant-
sounding joking was the kind of defense the streets of New York had
provided Mr. Temple Barholm with in many an hour when he had been a
half-clad newsboy with an empty stomach, and a bundle of unsold
newspapers under his arm.
"You are jocular," he said. "I find the New Yorkers are given to being
Tembarom looked at him rather searchingly. Palford wouldn't have found
it possible to believe that the young man knew all about his distaste
and its near approach to disgust, that he knew quite well what he
thought of his ten-dollar suit, his ex-newsboy's diction, and his
entire incongruousness as a factor in any circumstances connected with
dignity and splendor. He would certainly not have credited the fact
that though he had not the remotest idea what sort of a place Temple
Barholm was, and what sort of men its long line of possessors had
been, he had gained a curious knowledge of their significance through
the mental attitude of their legal representative when he for a moment
failed to conceal his sense of actual revolt.
"It seems sort of like a joke till you get on to it," he said. "But I
guess it ain't such a merry jest as it seems."
And then Mr. Palford did begin to observe that he had lost his color
entirely; also that he had a rather decent, sharp-cut face, and
extremely white and good young teeth, which he showed not
unattractively when he smiled. And he smiled frequently, but he was
not smiling now.
In the course of the interview given to the explaining of business and
legal detail which took place between Mr. Palford and his client the
following morning, Tembarom's knowledge of his situation extended
itself largely, and at the same time added in a proportionate degree
to his sense of his own incongruity as connected with it. He sat at a
table in Palford's private sitting-room at the respectable, old-
fashioned hotel the solicitor had chosen - sat and listened, and
answered questions and asked them, until his head began to feel as
though it were crammed to bursting with extraordinary detail.
It was all extraordinary to him. He had had no time for reading and no
books to read, and therefore knew little of fiction. He was entirely
ignorant of all romance but such as the New York papers provided. This
was highly colored, but it did not deal with events connected with the
possessors of vast English estates and the details of their habits and
customs. His geographical knowledge of Great Britain was simple and
largely incorrect. Information concerning its usual conditions and
aspects had come to him through talk of international marriages and
cup races, and had made but little impression upon him. He liked New
York - its noise, its streets, its glare, its Sunday newspapers, with
their ever-increasing number of sheets, and pictures of everything on
earth which could be photographed. His choice, when he could allow
himself a fifty-cent seat at the theater, naturally ran to productions
which were farcical or cheerfully musical. He had never reached
serious drama, perhaps because he had never had money enough to pay
for entrance to anything like half of the "shows" the other fellows
recommended. He was totally unprepared for the facing of any kind of
drama as connected with himself. The worst of it was that it struck
him as being of the nature of farce when regarded from the normal New
York point of view. If he had somehow had the luck to come into the
possession of money in ways which were familiar to him, - to "strike
it rich" in the way of a "big job" or "deal," - he would have been
better able to adjust himself to circumstances. He might not have
known how to spend his money, but he would have spent it in New York
on New York joys. There would have been no foreign remoteness about
the thing, howsoever fantastically unexpected such fortune might have
been. At any rate, in New York he would have known the names of places
Through a large part of his interview with Palford his elbow rested on
the table, and he held his chin with his hand and rubbed it
thoughtfully. The last Temple Temple Barholm had been an eccentric and
uncompanionable person. He had lived alone and had not married. He had
cherished a prejudice against the man who would have succeeded him as
next of kin if he had not died young. People had been of the opinion
that he had disliked him merely because he did not wish to be reminded
that some one else must some day inevitably stand in his shoes, and
own the possessions of which he himself was arrogantly fond. There
were always more female Temple Barholms than male ones, and the
families were small. The relative who had emigrated to Brooklyn had
been a comparatively unknown person. His only intercourse with the
head of the house had been confined to a begging letter, written from
America when his circumstances were at their worst. It was an ill-
mannered and ill-expressed letter, which had been considered
presuming, and had been answered chillingly with a mere five-pound
note, clearly explained as a final charity. This begging letter, which
bitterly contrasted the writer's poverty with his indifferent
relative's luxuries, had, by a curious trick of chance which preserved
it, quite extraordinarily turned up during an examination of
apparently unimportant, forgotten papers, and had furnished a clue in
the search for next of kin. The writer had greatly annoyed old Mr.
Temple Barholm by telling him that he had called his son by his name -
"not that there was ever likely to be anything in it for him." But a
waif of the New York streets who was known as "Tem" or "Tembarom" was
not a link easily attached to any chain, and the search had been long
and rather hopeless. It had, however, at last reached Mrs. Bowse's
boarding-house and before Mr. Palford sat Mr. Temple Temple Barholm, a
cheap young man in cheap clothes, and speaking New York slang with a
nasal accent. Mr. Palford, feeling him appalling and absolutely
without the pale, was still aware that he stood in the position of an
important client of the firm of Palford & Grimby. There was a section
of the offices at Lincoln's Inn devoted to documents representing a
lifetime of attention to the affairs of the Temple Barholm estates. It
was greatly to be hoped that the crass ignorance and commonness of
this young outsider would not cause impossible complications.
"He knows nothing! He knows nothing!" Palford found himself forced to
exclaim mentally not once, but a hundred times, in the course of their
There was - this revealed itself as the interview proceeded - just one
slight palliation of his impossible benightedness: he was not the kind
of young man who, knowing nothing, huffily protects himself by
pretending to know everything. He was of an unreserve concerning his
ignorance which his solicitor felt sometimes almost struck one in the
face. Now and then it quite made one jump. He was singularly free from
any vestige of personal vanity. He was also singularly unready to take
offense. To the head of the firm of Palford & Grimby, who was not
accustomed to lightness of manner, and inclined to the view that a
person who made a joke took rather a liberty with him, his tendency to
be jocular, even about himself and the estate of Temple Barholm, was
irritating and somewhat disrespectful. Mr. Palford did not easily
comprehend jokes of any sort; especially was he annoyed by cryptic
phraseology and mammoth exaggeration. For instance, be could not in
the least compass Mr. Temple Barholm's meaning when he casually
remarked that something or other was "all to the merry"; or again,
quite as though he believed that he was using reasonable English
figures of speech, "The old fellow thought he was the only pebble on
the beach." In using the latter expression he had been referring to
the late Mr. Temple Barholm; but what on earth was his connection with
the sea-shore and pebbles? When confronted with these baffling
absurdities, Mr. Palford either said, "I beg pardon," or stiffened and
When Tembarom learned that he was the head of one of the oldest
families in England, no aspect of the desirable dignity of his
position reached him in the least.
"Well," he remarked, "there's quite a lot of us can go back to Adam
When he was told that he was lord of the manor of Temple Barholm, he
did not know what a manor was.
"What's a manor, and what happens if you're lord of it?" he asked.
He had not heard of William the Conqueror, and did not appear moved to
admiration of him, though he owned that he seemed to have "put it
"Why didn't he make a republic of it while he was about it?" he said.
"But I guess that wasn't his kind. He didn't do all that fighting for
His interest was not alone totally dissevered from the events of past
centuries; it was as dissevered from those of mere past years. The
habits, customs, and points of view of five years before seemed to
have been cast into a vast waste-paper basket as wholly unpractical in
connection with present experiences.
"A man that's going to keep up with the procession can't waste time
thinking about yesterday. What he's got to do is to keep his eye on
what's going to happen the week after next," he summed it up.
Rather to Mr. Palford's surprise, he did not speak lightly, but with a
sort of inner seriousness. It suggested that he had not arrived at
this conclusion without the aid of sharp experience. Now and then one
saw a touch of this profound practical perception in him.
It was not to be denied that he was clear-headed enough where purely
practical business detail was concerned. He was at first plainly
rather stunned by the proportions presented to him, but his questions
were direct and of a common-sense order not to be despised.
"I don't know anything about it yet," he said once. "It's all Dutch to
me. I can't calculate in half-crowns and pounds and half pounds, but
I'm going to find out. I've got to."
It was extraordinary and annoying to feel that one must explain
everything; but this impossible fellow was not an actual fool on all
points, and he did not seem to be a weakling. He might learn certain
things in time, and at all events one was no further personally
responsible for him and his impossibilities than the business concerns
of his estate would oblige any legal firm to be. Clients, whether
highly desirable or otherwise, were no more than clients. They were
not relatives whom one must introduce to one's friends. Thus Mr.
Palford, who was not a specially humane or sympathetic person,
mentally decided. He saw no pathos in this raw young man, who would
presently find himself floundering unaided in waters utterly unknown
to him. There was even a touch of bitter amusement in the solicitor's
mind as he glanced toward the future.
He explained with detail the necessity for their immediate departure
for the other side of the Atlantic. Certain legal formalities which
must at once be attended to demanded their presence in England.
Foreseeing this, on the day when he had finally felt himself secure as
to the identity of his client he had taken the liberty of engaging
optionally certain state-rooms on the Adriana, sailing the following
"Subject of course to your approval," he added politely. "But it is
imperative that we should be on the spot as early as possible." He did
not mention that he himself was abominably tired of his sojourn on
alien shores, and wanted to be back in London in his own chambers,
with his own club within easy reach.
Tembarom's face changed its expression. He had been looking rather
weighted down and fatigued, and he lighted up to eagerness.
"Say," he exclaimed, "why couldn't we go on the Transatlantic on
"It is one of the small, cheap boats," objected Palford.
"The accommodation would be most inferior."
Tembarom leaned forward and touched his sleeve in hasty, boyish
"I want to go on it," he said; "I want to go steerage."
Palford stared at him.
"You want to go on the Transatlantic! Steerage!" he ejaculated, quite
aghast. This was a novel order of madness to reveal itself in the
recent inheritor of a great fortune.
Tembarom's appeal grew franker; it took on the note of a too crude
young fellow's misplaced confidence.
"You do this for me," he said. "I'd give a farm to go on that boat.
The Hutchinsons are sailing on it - Mr. and Miss Hutchinson, the ones
you saw at the house last night."
"I - it is really impossible." Mr. Palford hesitated. "As to steerage,
my dear Mr. Temple Barholm, you - you can't."
Tembarom got up and stood with his hands thrust deep in his pockets.
It seemed to be a sort of expression of his sudden hopeful excitement.
"Why not " he said. "If I own about half of England and have money to
burn, I guess I can buy a steerage passage on a nine-day steamer."
"You can buy anything you like," Palford answered stiffly. "It is not
a matter of buying. But I should not be conducting myself properly
toward you if I allowed it. It would not be - becoming."
"Becoming!" cried Tembarom, "Thunder! It's not a spring bat. I tell
you I want to go just that way."
Palford saw abnormal breakers ahead. He felt that he would be glad
when be had landed his charge safely at Temple Barholm. Once there,
his family solicitor was not called upon to live with him and hobnob
with his extraordinary intimates.
"As to buying," he said, still with marked lack of enthusiasm,
"instead of taking a steerage passage on the Transatlantic yourself,
you might no doubt secure first-class state-rooms for Mr. and Miss
Hutchinson on the Adriana, though I seriously advise against it."
Tembarom shook his head.
"You don't know them," he said. "They wouldn't let me. Hutchinson's a
queer old fellow and he's had the hardest kind of luck, but he's as
proud as they make 'em. Me butt in and offer to pay their passage
back, as if they were paupers, just because I've suddenly struck it
rich! Hully gee! I guess not. A fellow that's been boosted up in the
air all in a minute, as I have, has got to lie pretty low to keep
folks from wanting to kick him, anyhow. Hutchinson's a darned sight
smarter fellow than I am, and he knows it--and he's Lancashire, you
bet." He stopped a minute and flushed. "As to Little Ann," he said--
"me make that sort of a break with HER! Well, I should be a fool."
Palford was a cold-blooded and unimaginative person, but a long legal
experience had built up within him a certain shrewdness of perception.
He had naturally glanced once or twice at the girl sitting still at
her mending, and he had observed that she said very little and had a
singularly quiet, firm little voice.
"I beg pardon. You are probably right. I had very little conversation
with either of them. Miss Hutchinson struck me as having an
"She's a wonder," said Tembarom, devoutly. "She's just a wonder."
"Under the circumstances," suggested Mr. Palford, "it might not be a
bad idea to explain to her your idea of the steerage passage. An
intelligent girl can often give excellent advice. You will probably
have an opportunity of speaking to her tonight. Did you say they were
To-morrow! That brought it so near that it gave Tembarom a shock. He
had known that they sailed on Saturday, and now Saturday had become
to-morrow. Things began to surge through his mind--all sorts of things
he had no time to think of clearly, though it was true they had darted
vaguely about in the delirious excitement of the night, during which
he had scarcely slept at all. His face changed again, and the appeal
died out of it. He began to look anxious and restless.
"Yes, they're going to-morrow," he answered.
"You see," argued Mr. Palford, with conviction, "how impossible it
would be for us to make any arrangements in so few hours. You will
excuse my saying," he added punctiliously, "that I could not make the
voyage in the steerage."
Tembarom laughed. He thought he saw him doing it.
"That's so," he said. Then, with renewed hope, he added, "Say, I 'm
going to try and get them to wait till Wednesday."
"I do not think--" Mr. Palford began, and then felt it wiser to leave
things as they were. "But I'm not qualified to give an opinion. I do
not know Miss Hutchinson at all."
But the statement was by no means frank. He had a private conviction
that he did know her to a certain degree. And he did.
There was a slight awkwardness even to Tembarom in entering the
dining-room that evening. He had not seen his fellow boarders, as his
restless night had made him sleep later than usual. But Mrs. Bowse had
told him of the excitement he had caused.
"They just couldn't eat," she said. "They could do nothing but talk
and talk and ask questions; and I had waffles, too, and they got
The babel of friendly outcry which broke out on his entry was made up
of jokes, ejaculations, questions, and congratulatory outbursts from
"Good old T. T.!" "Give him a Harvard yell! Rah! Rah! Rah!" "Lend me
fifty-five cents?" "Where's your tiara?" "Darned glad of it!" "Make us
"Say, people," said Tembarom, "don't you get me rattled or I can't
tell you anything. I'm rattled enough already."
"Well, is it true?" called out Mr. Striper.
"No," Tembarom answered back, sitting down. "It couldn't be; that's
what I told Palford. I shall wake up in a minute or two and find
myself in a hospital with a peacherino of a trained nurse smoothing
'me piller.' You can't fool ME with a pipe-dream like this. Palford's
easier; he's not a New Yorker. He says it IS true, and I can't get out
"Whew! Great Jakes!" A long breath was exhaled all round the table.
"What are you, anyhow?" cried Jim Bowles across the dishes.
Tembarom rested his elbow on the edge of the table and began to check
off his points on his fingers.
"I'm this, he said: "I'm Temple Temple Barholm, Esquire, of Temple
Barholm, Lancashire, England. At the time of the flood my folks
knocked up a house just about where the ark landed, and I guess
they've held on to it ever since. I don't know what business they went
into, but they made money. Palford swears I've got three hundred and
fifty thousand dollars a year. I wasn't going to call the man a liar;
but I just missed it, by jings!"
He was trying to "bluff it out." Somehow he felt he had to. He felt it
more than ever when a momentary silence fell upon those who sat about
the table. It fell when he said "three hundred and fifty thousand
dollars a year." No one could find voice to make any remark for a few
seconds after that.
"Are you a lord--or a duke?" some one asked after breath had recovered
"No, I'm not," he replied with relief. "I just got out from under
that; but the Lord knows how I did it."
"What are you going to do first? " said Jim Bowles.
"I've got to go and 'take possession.' That's what Palford calls it.
I've been a lost heir for nearly two years, and I've got to show
Hutchinson had not joined the clamor of greeting, but had grunted
disapproval more than once. He felt that, as an Englishman, he had a
certain dignity to maintain. He knew something about big estates and
their owners. He was not like these common New York chaps, who
regarded them as Arabian Nights tales to make jokes about. He had
grown up as a village boy in proper awe of Temple Barholm. They were
ignorant fools, this lot. He had no patience with them. He had left
the village and gone to work in Manchester when he was a boy of
twelve, but as long as he had remained in his mother's cottage it had
been only decent good manners for him to touch his forehead
respectfully when a Temple Barholm, or a Temple Barholm guest or
carriage or pony phaeton, passed him by. And this chap was Mr. Temple
Temple Barholm himself! Lord save us!
Little Ann said nothing at all; but, then, she seldom said anything
during meal-times. When the rest of the boarders laughed, she ate her
dinner and smiled. Several times, despite her caution, Tembarom caught
her eye, and somehow held it a second with his. She smiled at him when
this happened; but there was something restless and eager in his look
which made her wish to evade it. She knew what he felt, and she knew
why he kept up his jokes and never once spoke seriously. She knew he
was not comfortable, and did not enjoy talking about hundreds of
thousands a year to people who worked hard for ten or twenty "per."
To-morrow morning was very near, she kept thinking. To-morrow night
she would be lying in her berth in the steerage, or more probably
taking care of her father, who would be very uncomfortable.
"What will Galton do? " Mr. Striper asked.
"I don't know," Tembarom answered, and he looked troubled. Three
hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year might not be able to give
aid to a wounded society page.
"What are you going to do with your Freak? " called out Julius
Tembarom actually started. As things had surged over him, he had had
too much to think over. He had not had time to give to his strange
responsibility; it had become one nevertheless.
"Are you going to leave him behind when you go to England?"
He leaned forward and put his chin on his hand.
"Why, say," he said, as though he were thinking it out, "he's spoken
about England two or three times. He's said he must go there. By
jings! I'll take him with me, and see what'll happen."
When Little Ann got up to leave the room he followed her and her
father into the hall.
"May I come up and talk it over with you?" he appealed. "I've got to
talk to some one who knows something about it. I shall go dotty if I
don't. It's too much like a dream."
"Come on up when you're ready," answered Hutchinson. "Ann and me can
give you a tip or two."
"I'm going to be putting the last things in the trunks," said Ann,
"but I dare say you won't mind that. The express'll be here by eight
in the morning."
"0 Lord!" groaned Tembarom.
When he went up to the fourth floor a little later, Hutchinson had
fallen into a doze in his chair over his newspaper, and Ann was
kneeling by a trunk in the hall, folding small articles tightly, and
fitting them into corners. To Tembarom she looked even more than usual
like a slight child thing one could snatch up in one's arms and carry
about or set on one's knee without feeling her weight at all. An
inferior gas-jet on the wall just above her was doing its best with
the lot of soft, red hair, which would have been an untidy bundle if
it had not been hers.
Tembarom sat down on the trunk next to her.
"0 Little Ann!" he broke out under his breath, lest the sound of his
voice might check Hutchinson's steady snoring. "0 Little Ann!"
Ann leaned back, sitting upon her small heels, and looked up at him.
"You're all upset, and it's not to be wondered at, Mr. Temple
Barholm," she said.
"Upset! You're going away to-morrow morning! And, for the Lord's sake,
don't call me that!" he protested.
"You're going away yourself next Wednesday. And you ARE Mr. Temple
Barholm. You'll never be called anything else in England.
"How am I going to stand it?" he protested again. "How could a fellow
like me stand it! To be yanked out of good old New York, and set down
in a place like a museum, with Central Park round it, and called Mr.
Temple Temple Barholm instead of just 'Tem' or 'T. T.'! It's not
"What you must do, Mr. Temple Barholm, is to keep your head clear,
that's all," she replied maturely.
"Lord! if I'd got a head like yours!"
She seemed to take him in, with a benign appreciativeness, in his
"Well, you haven't," she admitted, though quite without disparagement,
merely with slight reservation. "But you've got one like your own. And
it's a good head--when you try to think steady. Yours is a man's head,
and mine's only a woman's."
"It's Little Ann Hutchinson's, by gee!" said Tembarom, with feeling.
"Listen here, Mr. Tem--Temple Barholm," she went on, as nearly
disturbed as he had ever seen her outwardly. "It's a wonderful thing
that's happened to you. It's like a novel. That splendid place, that
splendid name! It seems so queer to think I should ever have talked to
a Mr. Temple Barholm as I've talked to you."
He leaned forward a little as though something drew him.
"But"--there was unsteady appeal in his voice--"you have liked me,
haven't you, Little Ann?"
Her own voice seemed to drop into an extra quietness that made it
remote. She looked down at her hands on her lap.
"Yes, I have liked you. I have told Father I liked you," she answered.
He got up, and made an impetuous rush at his goal.
"Then--say, I'm going in there to wake up Mr. Hutchinson and ask him
not to sail to-morrow morning."
"You'd better not wake him up," she answered, smiling; but he saw that
her face changed and flushed. "It's not a good time to ask Father
anything when he's just been waked up. And we HAVE to go. The express
is coming at eight."
"Send it away again; tell 'em you're not going. Tell 'em any old
thing. Little Ann, what's the matter with you? Something's the matter.
Have I made a break?"
He had felt the remoteness in her even before he had heard it in her
dropped voice. It had been vaguely there even when he sat down on the
trunk. Actually there was a touch of reserve about her, as though she
was keeping her little place with the self-respecting propriety of a
girl speaking to a man not of her own world.
"I dare say I've done some fool thing without knowing it. I don't know
where I'm at, anyhow," he said woefully.
"Don't look at me like that, Mr. Temple Barholm," she said--"as if I
was unkind. I--I'm NOT."
"But you're different," he implored. "I saw it the minute I came up. I
ran up-stairs just crazy to talk to you,--yes, crazy to talk to you--
and you--well, you were different. Why are you, if you're not mad?"
Then she rose and stood holding one of her neatly rolled packages in
her hand. Her eyes were soft and clear, and appealed maternally to his
"Because everything's different. You just think a bit," she answered.
He stared at her a few seconds, and then understanding of her dawned
upon him. He made a human young dash at her, and caught her arm.
"What!" he cried out. "You mean this Temple Barholm song and dance
makes things different? Not on your life! You're not the girl to work
that on me, as if it was my fault. You've got to hear me speak my
piece. Ann--you've just got to!"
He had begun to tremble a little, and she herself was not steady; but
she put a hand on his arm.
"Don't say anything you've not had time to think about," she said.
"I've been thinking of pretty near nothing else ever since I came
here. Just as soon as I looked at you across the table that first day
I saw my finish, and every day made me surer. I'd never had any
comfort or taking care of,--I didn't know the first thing about it,--
and it seemed as if all there was of it in the world was just in YOU."
"Did you think that?" she asked falteringly.
"Did I? That's how you looked to me, and it's how you look now. The
way you go about taking care of everybody and just handing out solid
little chunks of good sense to every darned fool that needs them, why-
-" There was a break in his voice--"why, it just knocked me out the
first round." He held her a little away from him, so that he could
yearn over her, though he did not know he was yearning. "See, I'd
sworn I'd never ask a girl to marry me until I could keep her. Well,
you know how it was, Ann. I couldn't have kept a goat, and I wasn't
such a fool that I didn't know it. I've been pretty sick when I
thought how it was; but I never worried you, did I?"
"No, you didn't."
"I just got busy. I worked like--well, I got busier than I ever was in
my life. When I got the page SURE, I let myself go a bit, sort of
hoping. And then this Temple Barholm thing hits me."
"That's the thing you've got to think of now," said Little Ann. "I'm
going to talk sensible to you."
"Don't, Ann! Good Lord! DON'T!"
"I MUST." She put her last tight roll into the trunk and tried to shut
the lid. "Please lock this for me."
He locked it, and then she seated herself on the top of it, though it
was rather high for her, and her small feet dangled. Her eyes looked
large and moist like a baby's, and she took out a handkerchief and
lightly touched them.
"You've made me want to cry a bit," she said, "but I'm not going to."
"Are you going to tell me you don't want me?" he asked, with anxious
"No, I'm not."
"God bless you!" He was going to make a dash at her again, but pulled
himself up because he must. "No, by jings!" he said. "I'm not going to
till you let me."
"You see, it's true your head's not like mine," she said reasonably.
"Men's heads are mostly not like women's. They're men, of course, and
they're superior to women, but they're what I'd call more fluttery-
like. Women must remind them of things."
"What--what kind of things?"
"This kind. You see, Grandmother lives near Temple Barholm, and I know
what it's like, and you don't. And I've seen what seventy thousand
pounds a year means, and you haven't. And you've got to go and find
out for yourself."
"What's the matter with you coming along to help me?"
"I shouldn't help you; that's it. I should hold you back. I'm nothing
but Ann Hutchinson, and I talk Manchester-- and I drop my h's."
"I love to hear you drop your little h's all over the place," he burst
forth impetuously. "I love it."
She shook her head.
"The girls that go to garden-parties at Temple Barholm look like those
in the `Ladies' Pictorial', and they've got names and titles same as
those in novels."
He answered her in genuine anguish. He had never made any mistake
about her character, and she was beginning to make him feel afraid of
her in the midst of his adoration.
"What do I want with a girl out of a magazine?" he cried. "Where
should I hang her up?"
She was not unfeeling, but unshaken and she went on:
"I should look like a housemaid among them. How would you feel with a
wife of that sort, when the other sort was about?"
"I should feel like a king, that's what I should feel like," he
"I shouldn't feel like a queen. I should feel MISERABLE."
She sat with her little feet dangling, and her hands folded in her
lap. Her infantile blue eyes held him as the Ancient Mariner had been
held. He could not get away from the clear directness of them. He did
not want to exactly, but she frightened him more and more.
"I should be ashamed," she proceeded. "I should feel as if I had taken
an advantage. What you've got to do is to find out something no one
else can find out for you, Mr. Temple Barholm."
"How can I find it out without you? It was you who put me on to the
wedding-cake; you can put me on to other things."
"Because I've lived in the place," she answered unswervingly. "I know
how funny it is for any one to think of me being Mrs. Temple Barholm.
"You bet I don't," he answered; "but I'll tell you what I do know, and
that's how funny it is that I should be Mr. Temple Barholm. I've got
on to that all right, all right. Have you?"
She looked at him with a reflection that said much. She took him in
with a judicial summing up of which it must be owned an added respect
was part. She had always believed he had more sense than most young
men, and now she knew it.
"When a person's clever enough to see things for himself, he's
generally clever enough to manage them," she replied.
He knelt down beside the trunk and took both her hands in his. He held
them fast and rather hard.
"Are you throwing me down for good, Little Ann?" he said. "If you are,
I can't stand it, I won't stand it."
"If you care about me like that, you'll do what I tell you," she
interrupted, and she slipped down from the top of her trunk. "I know
what Mother would say. She'd say, 'Ann, you give that young man a
chance.' And I'm going to give you one. I've said all I'm going to,
Mr. Temple Barholm."
He took both her elbows and looked at her closely, feeling a somewhat
" I - believe - you have," he said.
And here the sound of Mr. Hutchinson's loud and stertorous breathing
ceased, and he waked up, and came to the door to find out what Ann was
"What are you two talking about?" he asked. "People think when they
whisper it's not going to disturb anybody, but it's worse than
shouting in a man's ear."
Tembarom walked into the room.
"I've been asking Little Ann to marry me," he announced, "and she
He sat down in a chair helplessly, and let his head fall into his
"Eh!" exclaimed Hutchinson. He turned and looked at Ann disturbedly.
"I thought a bit ago tha didn't deny but what tha'd took to him?"
"I didn't, Father," she answered. "I don't change my mind that quick.
I - would have been willing to say 'Yes' when you wouldn't have been
willing to let me. I didn't know he was Mr. Temple Barholm then."
Hutchinson rubbed the back of his head, reddening and rather
"Dost tha think th' Temple Barholms would look down on thee?"
"I should look down on myself if I took him up at his first words,
when he's all upset with excitement, and hasn't had time to find out
what things mean. I'm--well, I 'm too fond of him, Father."
Hutchinson gave her a long, steady look.
"You are? " he said.
"Yes, I am."
Tembarom lifted his head, and looked at her, too.
"Are you?" he asked.
She put her hands behind her back, and returned his look with the calm
"I'm not going to argue about it," she answered. "Arguing's silly."
His involuntary rising and standing before her was a sort of
unconscious tribute of respect.
"I know that," he owned. "I know you. That's why I take it like this.
But I want you to tell me one thing. If this hadn't happened, if I'd
only had twenty dollars a week, would you have taken me?"
"If you'd had fifteen, and Father could have spared me, I'd have taken
you. Fifteen dollars a week is three pounds two and sixpence, and I've
known curates' wives that had to bring up families on less. It
wouldn't go as far in New York as it would in the country in England,
but we could have made it do--until you got more. I know you, too, Mr.
He turned to her father, and saw in his florid countenance that which
spurred him to bold disclosure.
"Say," he put it to him, as man to man, "she stands there and says a
thing like that, and she expects a fellow not to jerk her into his
arms and squeeze the life out of her! I daren't do it, and I'm not
going to try; but--well, you said her mother was like her, and I guess
you know what I'm up against."
Hutchinson's grunting chuckle contained implications of exultant
tenderness and gratified paternal pride.
"She's th' very spit and image of her mother," he said, "and she had
th' sense of ten women rolled into one, and th' love of twenty. You
let her be, and you're as safe as th' Rock of Ages."
"Do you think I don't know that?" answered Tembarom, his eyes shining
almost to moisture. "But what hits me, by thunder! is that I've lost
the chance of seeing her work out that fifteen-dollar-a-week
proposition, and it drives me crazy."
"I should have downright liked to try it," said Little Ann, with
speculative reflection, and while she knitted her brows in lovely
consideration of the attractive problem, several previously unknown
dimples declared themselves about her mouth.
"Ann," Tembarom ventured, "if I go to Temple Barholm and try it a year
and learn all about it---"
"It would take more than a year," said Ann.
"Don't make it two," Tembarom pleaded. "I'll sit up at night with wet
towels round my head to learn; I'll spend fourteen hours a day with
girls that look like the pictures in the `Ladies' Pictorial', or
whatever it is in England; I'll give them every chance in life, if
you'll let me off afterward. There must be another lost heir
somewhere; let's dig him up and then come back to little old New York
and be happy. Gee! Ann,"--letting himself go and drawing nearer to
her,-- "how happy we could be in one of those little flats in Harlem!"
She was a warm little human thing, and a tender one, and when he came
close to her, glowing with tempestuous boyish eagerness, her eyes grew
bluer because they were suddenly wet, and she was obliged to move
"Yes," she said; "I know those little flats. Any one could---" She
stopped herself, because she had been going to reveal. what a home a
woman could make in rooms like the compartments in a workbox. She knew
and saw it all. She drew back a little again, but she put out a hand
and laid it on his sleeve.
"When you've had quite time enough to find out, and know what the
other thing means, I'll do whatever you want me to do," she said. "It
won't matter what it is. I'll do it."
"She means that," Hutchinson mumbled unsteadily, turning aside. "Same
as her mother would have meant it. And she means it in more ways than
And so she did. The promise included quite firmly the possibility of
not unnatural changes in himself such as young ardor could not
foresee, even the possibility of his new life withdrawing him entirely
from the plane on which rapture could materialize on twenty dollars a
week in a flat in Harlem.