Part 5 out of 11
grinned almost affectionately at the small, amazed party, first
puzzling, and then delighting, them, because he looked so
extraordinarily friendly. A gentleman who laughed at you like that
ought to be equal to a miscellaneous distribution of pennies in the
future, if not on the spot. They themselves grinned and chuckled and
nudged one another, with stares and giggles.
"I am sorry to say that in a great many places the villagers are not
nearly so respectful as they used to be," Miss Alicia explained. "In
Rowcroft the children were very remiss about curtseying. It's quite
sad. But Mr. Temple Barholm was very strict indeed in the matter of
demanding proper respectfulness. He has turned men off their farms for
incivility. The villagers of Temple Barholm have much better manners
than some even a few miles away."
"Must I tip my hat to all of them?" he asked.
"If you please. It really seems kinder. You--you needn't quite lift
it, as you did to the children just now. If you just touch the brim
lightly with your hand in a sort of military salute--that is what they
are accustomed to."
After they had passed through the village street she paused at the end
of a short lane and looked up at him doubtfully.
"Would you--I wonder if you would like to go into a cottage," she
"Go into a cottage?" he asked. "What cottage? What for?"
He had not the remotest idea of any reason why he should go into a
cottage inhabited by people who were entire strangers to him, and Miss
Alicia felt a trifle awkward at having to explain anything so wholly
"You see, they are your cottages, and the people are your tenants,
"But perhaps they mightn't like it. It might make 'em mad," he argued.
"If their water-pipes had busted, and they'd asked me to come and look
at them or anything; but they don't know me yet. They might think I
was Mr. Buttinski."
"I don't quite--" she began. "Buttinski is a foreign name; it sounds
Russian or Polish. I'm afraid I don't quite understand why they should
mistake you for him."
Then he laughed--a boyish shout of laughter which brought a cottager
to the nearest window to peep over the pots of fuchsias and geraniums
blooming profusely against the diamond panes.
"Say," he apologized, "don't be mad because I laughed. I'm laughing at
myself as much as at anything. It's a way of saying that they might
think I was 'butting in' too much-- pushing in where I wasn't asked.
See? I said they might think I was Mr. Butt-in-ski! It's just a bit of
fool slang. You're not mad, are you?"
"Oh, no!" she said. "Dear me! no. It is very funny, of course. I'm
afraid I'm extremely ignorant about--about foreign humor" It seemed
more delicate to say "foreign" than merely "American." But her gentle
little countenance for a few seconds wore a baffled expression, and
she said softly to herself, "Mr. Buttinski, Butt-in--to intrude. It
sounds quite Polish; I think even more Polish than Russian."
He was afraid he would yell with glee, but he did not. Herculean
effort enabled him to restrain his feelings, and present to her only
an ordinary-sized smile.
"I shouldn't know one from the other," he said; "but if you say it
sounds more Polish, I bet it does."
"Would you like to go into a cottage?" she inquired. "I think it might
be as well. They will like the attention."
"Will they? Of course I'll go if you think that. What shall I say?" he
asked somewhat anxiously.
"If you think the cottage looks clean, you might tell them so, and ask
a few questions about things. And you must be sure to inquire about
Susan Hibblethwaite's legs."
"What?" ejaculated Tembarom.
"Susan Hibblethwaite's legs," she replied in mild explanation. "Susan
is Mr. Hibblethwaite's unmarried sister, and she has very bad legs. It
is a thing one notices continually among village people, more
especially the women, that they complain of what they call `bad legs.'
I never quite know what they mean, whether it is rheumatism or
something different, but the trouble is always spoken of as `bad legs'
And they like you to inquire about them, so that they can tell you
"Why don't they get them cured?"
"I don't know, I'm sure. They take a good deal of medicine when they
can afford it. I think they like to take it. They're very pleased when
the doctor gives them `a bottle o' summat,' as they call it. Oh, I
mustn't forget to tell you that most of them speak rather broad
"Shall I understand them?" Tembarom asked, anxious again. "Is it a
sort of Dago talk?"
"It is the English the working-classes speak in Lancashire. 'Summat'
means 'something.' 'Whoam' means 'home.' But I should think you would
be very clever at understanding things."
"I'm scared stiff," said Tembarom, not in the least uncourageously;
"but I want to go into a cottage and hear some of it. Which one shall
we go into?"
There were several whitewashed cottages in the lane, each in its own
bit of garden and behind its own hawthorn hedge, now bare and wholly
unsuggestive of white blossoms and almond scent to the uninitiated.
Miss Alicia hesitated a moment.
"We will go into this one, where the Hibblethwaites live," she
decided. "They are quite clean, civil people. They have a naughty,
queer, little crippled boy, but I suppose they can't keep him in order
because he is an invalid. He's rather rude, I'm sorry to say, but he's
rather sharp and clever, too. He seems to lie on his sofa and collect
all the gossip of the village."
They went together up the bricked path, and Miss Alicia knocked at the
low door with her knuckles. A stout, apple-faced woman opened it,
looking a shade nervous.
"Good morning, Mrs. Hibblethwaite," said Miss Alicia in a kind but
remote manner. "The new Mr. Temple Barholm has been kind enough to
come to see you. It's very good of him to come so soon, isn't it?"
"It is that," Mrs. Hibblethwaite answered respectfully, looking him
over. "Wilt tha coom in, sir?"
Tembarom accepted the invitation, feeling extremely awkward because
Miss Alicia's initiatory comment upon his goodness in showing himself
had "rattled" him. It had made him feel that he must appear
condescending, and he had never condescended to any one in the whole
course of his existence. He had, indeed, not even been condescended
to. He had met with slanging and bullying, indifference and brutality
of manner, but he had not met with condescension.
"I hope you're well, Mrs. Hibblethwaite," he answered. "You look it."
"I deceive ma looks a good bit, sir," she answered. "Mony a day ma
legs is nigh as bad as Susan's."
"Tha 'rt jealous o' Susan's legs," barked out a sharp voice from a
corner by the fire.
The room had a flagged floor, clean with recent scrubbing with
sandstone; the whitewashed walls were decorated with pictures cut from
illustrated papers; there was a big fireplace, and by it was a hard-
looking sofa covered with blue- and-white checked cotton stuff. A boy
of about ten was lying on it, propped up with a pillow. He had a big
head and a keen, ferret-eyed face, and just now was looking round the
end of his sofa at the visitors. "Howd tha tongue, Tummas! " said his
mother. "I wunnot howd it," Tummas answered. "Ma tongue's th' on'y
thing about me as works right, an' I'm noan goin' to stop it."
"He's a young nowt," his mother explained; "but, he's a cripple, an'
we conna do owt wi' him."
"Do not be rude, Thomas," said Miss Alicia, with dignity.
"Dunnot be rude thysen," replied Tummas. "I'm noan o' thy lad."
Tembarom walked over to the sofa.
"Say," he began with jocular intent, "you've got a grouch on, ain't
Tummas turned on him eyes which bored. An analytical observer or a
painter might have seen that he had a burning curiousness of look, a
sort of investigatory fever of expression.
"I dunnot know what tha means," he said. "Happen tha'rt talkin'
"That's just what it is," admitted Tembarom. " What are you talking?"
"Lancashire," said Tummas. "Theer's some sense i' that."
Tembarom sat down near him. The boy turned over against his pillow and
put his chin in the hollow of his palm and stared.
"I've wanted to see thee," he remarked. "I've made mother an' Aunt
Susan an' feyther tell me every bit they've heared about thee in the
village. Theer was a lot of it. Tha coom fro' 'Meriker?"
"Yes." Tembarom began vaguely to feel the demand in the burning
"Gi' me that theer book," the boy said, pointing to a small table
heaped with a miscellaneous jumble of things and standing not far from
him. "It's a' atlas," he added as Tembarom gave it to him. "Yo' con
find places in it." He turned the leaves until he found a map of the
world. "Theer's 'Meriker," he said, pointing to the United States.
"That theer's north and that theer's south. All th' real 'Merikens
comes from the North, wheer New York is."
"I come from New York," said Tembarom.
"Tha wert born i' th' workhouse, tha run about th' streets i' rags,
tha pretty nigh clemmed to death, tha blacked boots, tha sold
newspapers, tha feyther was a common workin'-mon-- and now tha's coom
into Temple Barholm an' sixty thousand a year."
"The last part's true all right," Tembarom owned, "but there's some
mistakes in the first part. I wasn't born in the workhouse, and though
I've been hungry enough, I never starved to death--if that's what
Tummas looked at once disappointed and somewhat incredulous.
"That's th' road they tell it i' th' village," he argued.
"Well, let them tell it that way if they like it best. That's not
going to worry me," Tembarom replied uncombatively.
Tummas's eyes bored deeper into him.
"Does na tha care?" he demanded.
"What should I care for? Let every fellow enjoy himself his own way."
"Tha'rt not a bit like one o' th' gentry," said Tummas. "Tha'rt quite
a common chap. Tha'rt as common as me, for aw tha foine clothes."
"People are common enough, anyhow," said Tembarom. "There's nothing
much commoner, is there? There's millions of 'em everywhere --
billions of 'em. None of us need put on airs."
"Tha'rt as common as me," said Tummas, reflectively. "An' yet tha owns
Temple Barholm an' aw that brass. I conna mak' out how th' loike
"Neither can I; but it does all samee."
"It does na happen i' 'Meriker," exulted Tummas. "Everybody's equal
"Rats!" ejaculated Tembarom. "What about multimillionaires?"
He forgot that the age of Tummas was ten. It was impossible not to
forget it. He was, in fact, ten hundred, if those of his generation
had been aware of the truth. But there he sat, having spent only a
decade of his most recent incarnation in a whitewashed cottage,
deprived of the use of his legs.
Miss Alicia, seeing that Tembarom was interested in the boy, entered
into domestic conversation with Mrs. Hibblethwaite at the other side
of the room. Mrs. Hibblethwaite was soon explaining the uncertainty of
Susan's temper on wash-days, when it was necessary to depend on her
"Can't you walk at all?" Tembarom asked. Tummas shook his head. "How
long have you been lame?"
"Ever since I wur born. It's summat like rickets. I've been lyin' here
aw my days. I look on at foak an' think 'em over. I've got to do
summat. That's why I loike th' atlas. Little Ann Hutchinson gave it to
me onct when she come to see her grandmother."
Tembarom sat upright.
"Do you know her?" he exclaimed.
"I know her best o' onybody in th' world. An' I loike her best."
"So do I," rashly admitted Tembarom.
"Tha does?" Tummas asked suspiciously. "Does she loike thee?"
"She says she does." He tried to say it with proper modesty.
"Well, if she says she does, she does. An' if she does, then yo an'
me'll be friends." He stopped a moment, and seemed to be taking
Tembarom in with thoroughness. "I could get a lot out o' thee," he
said after the inspection.
"A lot of what?" Tembarom felt as though he would really like to hear.
"A lot o' things I want to know about. I wish I'd lived th' life tha's
lived, clemmin' or no clemmin'. Tha's seen things goin' on every day
o' thy loife."
"Well, yes, there's been plenty going on, plenty," Tembarom admitted.
"I've been lying here for ten year'," said Tummas, savagely. "An' I've
had nowt i' th' world to do an' nowt to think on but what I could mak'
foak tell me about th' village. But nowt happens but this chap gettin'
drunk an' that chap deein' or losin' his place, or wenches gettin'
married or havin' childer. I know everything that happens, but it's
nowt but a lot o' women clackin'. If I'd not been a cripple, I'd ha'
been at work for mony a year by now, 'arnin' money to save by an' go
"You seem to be sort of stuck on America. How's that?"
"What dost mean?"
"I mean you seem to like it."
"I dunnot loike it nor yet not loike it, but I've heard a bit more
about it than I have about th' other places on th' map. Foak goes
there to seek their fortune, an' it seems loike there's a good bit
"Do you like to read newspapers?" said Tembarom, inspired to his query
by a recollection of the vision of things "doin'" in the Sunday Earth.
"Wheer'd I get papers from?" the boy asked testily. "Foak like us
hasn't got th' brass for 'em."
"I'll bring you some New York papers," promised Tembarom, grinning a
little in anticipation. "And we'll talk about the news that's in them.
The Sunday Earth is full of pictures. I used to work on that paper
"Tha did?" Tummas cried excitedly. "Did tha help to print it, or was
it th' one tha sold i' th' streets?"
"I wrote some of the stuff in it."
"Wrote some of th' stuff in it? Wrote it thaself ? How could tha, a
common chap like thee?" he asked, more excited still, his ferret eyes
"I don't know how I did it," Tembarom answered, with increased cheer
and interest in the situation. " It wasn't high-brow sort of work."
Tummas leaned forward in his incredulous eagerness.
"Does tha mean that they paid thee for writin' it--paid thee?"
"I guess they wouldn't have done it if they'd been Lancashire,
"Tembarom answered." But they hadn't much more sense than I had. They
paid me twenty-five dollars a week-- that's five pounds."
"I dunnot believe thee," said Tummas, and leaned back on his pillow
short of breath.
"I didn't believe it myself till I'd paid my board two weeks and
bought a suit of clothes with it," was Tembarom's answer, and he
chuckled as he made it.
But Tummas did believe it. This, after he had recovered from the
shock, became evident. The curiosity in his face intensified itself;
his eagerness was even vaguely tinged with something remotely
resembling respect. It was not, however, respect for the money which
had been earned, but for the store of things "doin'" which must have
been required. It was impossible that this chap knew things undreamed
"Has tha ever been to th' Klondike ? " he asked after a long pause.
"No. I've never been out of New York."
Tummas seemed fretted and depressed.
"Eh, I'm sorry for that. I wished tha'd been to th' Klondike. I want
to be towd about it," he sighed. He pulled the atlas toward him and
found a place in it.
"That theer's Dawson," he announced. Tembarom saw that the region of
the Klondike had been much studied. It was even rather faded with the
frequent passage of searching fingers, as though it had been pored
over with special curiosity.
"There's gowd-moines theer," revealed Tummas. "An' theer's welly newt
else but snow an' ice. A young chap as set out fro' here to get theer
froze to death on th' way."
"How did you get to hear about it?"
"Ann she browt me a paper onet." He dug under his pillow, and brought
out a piece of newspaper, worn and frayed and cut with age and usage.
"This heer's what's left of it." Tembarom saw that it was a fragment
from an old American sheet and that a column was headed "The Rush for
"Why didna tha go theer?" demanded Tummas. He looked up from his
fragment and asked his question with a sudden reflectiveness, as
though a new and interesting aspect of things had presented itself to
"I had too much to do in New York," said Tembarom. "There's always
something doing in New York, you know."
Tummas silently regarded him a moment or so.
"It's a pity tha didn't go," he said." Happen tha'd never ha' coom
Tembarom laughed the outright laugh.
"Thank you," he answered.
Tummas was still thinking the matter over and was not disturbed.
"I was na thinkin' o' thee," he said in an impersonal tone. "I was
thinkin' o' t' other chap. If tha'd gon i'stead o' him, he'd ha' been
here i'stead o' thee. Eh, but it's funny." And he drew a deep breath
like a sigh having its birth in profundity of baffled thought.
Both he and his evident point of view were "funny" in the Lancashire
sense, which does not imply humor, but strangeness and the
unexplainable. Singular as the phrasing was, Tembarom knew what he
meant, and that he was thinking of the oddity of chance. Tummas had
obviously heard of "poor Jem" and had felt an interest in him.
"You're talking about Jem Temple Barholm I guess," he said. Perhaps
the interest he himself had felt in the tragic story gave his voice a
tone somewhat responsive to Tummas's own mood, for Tummas, after one
more boring glance, let himself go. His interest in this special
subject was, it revealed itself, a sort of obsession. The history of
Jem Temple Barholm had been the one drama of his short life.
"Aye, I was thinkin' o' him," he said. "I should na ha' cared for th'
Klondike so much but for him."
"But he went away from England when you were a baby."
"Th' last toime he coom to Temple Barholm wur when I wur just born.
Foak said he coom to ax owd Temple Barholm if he'd help him to pay his
debts, an' th' owd chap awmost kicked him out o' doors. Mother had
just had me, an' she was weak an' poorly an' sittin' at th' door wi'
me in her arms, an' he passed by an' saw her. He stopped an' axed her
how she was doin'. An' when he was goin' away, he gave her a gold
sovereign, an' he says, `Put it in th' savin's-bank for him, an' keep
it theer till he's a big lad an' wants it.' It's been in th' savin's-
bank ever sin'. I've got a whole pound o' ma own out at interest.
There's not many lads ha' got that."
"He must have been a good-natured fellow," commented Tembarom. "It was
darned bad luck him going to the Klondike."
"It was good luck for thee," said Tummas, with resentment.
"Was it?" was Tembarom's unbiased reply. "Well, I guess it was, one
way or the other. I'm not kicking, anyhow."
Tummas naturally did not know half he meant. He went on talking about
Jem Temple Barholm, and as he talked his cheeks flushed and his eyes
"I would na spend that sovereign if I was starvin'. I'm going to leave
it to Ann Hutchinson in ma will when I dee. I've axed questions about
him reet and left ever sin' I can remember, but theer's nobody knows
much. Mother says he was fine an' handsome, an' gentry through an'
through. If he'd coom into th' property, he'd ha' coom to see me again
I'll lay a shillin', because I'm a cripple an' I canna spend his
sovereign. If he'd coom back from th' Klondike, happen he'd ha' towd
me about it." He pulled the atlas toward him, and laid his thin finger
on the rubbed spot. "He mun ha' been killed somewheer about here," he
sighed. "Somewheer here. Eh, it's funny."
Tembarom watched him. There was something that rather gave you the
"Willies" in the way this little cripple seemed to have taken to the
dead man and worried along all these years thinking him over and
asking questions and studying up the Klondike because he was killed
there. It was because he'd made a kind of story of it. He'd enjoyed it
in the way people enjoy stories in a newspaper. You always had to give
'em a kind of story; you had to make a story even if you were telling
about a milk-wagon running away. In newspaper offices you heard that
was the secret of making good with what you wrote. Dish it up as if it
was a sort of story.
He not infrequently arrived at astute enough conclusions concerning
things. He had arrived at one now. Shut out even from the tame drama
of village life, Tummas, born with an abnormal desire for action and a
feverish curiosity, had hungered and thirsted for the story in any
form whatsoever. He caught at fragments of happenings, and colored and
dissected them for the satisfying of unfed cravings. The vanished man
had been the one touch of pictorial form and color in his ten years of
existence. Young and handsome and of the gentry, unfavored by the
owner of the wealth which some day would be his own possession,
stopping "gentry-way" at a cottage door to speak good-naturedly to a
pale young mother, handing over the magnificence of a whole sovereign
to be saved for a new-born child, going away to vaguely understood
disgrace, leaving his own country to hide himself in distant lands,
meeting death amid snow and ice and surrounded by gold-mines, leaving
his empty place to be filled by a boot-black newsboy--true there was
enough to lie and think over and to try to follow with the help of
maps and excited questions.
"I wish I could ha' seen him," said Tummas. "I'd awmost gi' my
sovereign to get a look at that picture in th' gallery at Temple
"What picture?" Tembarom asked. "Is there a picture of him there?"
"There is na one o' him, but there's one o' a lad as deed two hundred
year' ago as they say wur th' spit an' image on him when he wur a lad
hissen. One o' th' owd servants towd mother it wur theer."
This was a natural stimulus to interest and curiosity.
"Which one is it? Jinks! I'd like to see it myself. Do you know which
one it is? There's hundreds of them."
"No, I dunnot know," was Tummas's dispirited answer, "an' neither does
mother. Th' woman as knew left when owd Temple Barholm deed."
"Tummas," broke in Mrs. Hibblethwaite from the other end of the room,
to which she had returned after taking Miss Alicia out to complain
about the copper in the "wash-'us'--" "Tummas, tha'st been talkin'
like a magpie. Tha'rt a lot too bold an' ready wi' tha tongue. Th'
gentry's noan comin' to see thee if tha clacks th' heads off theer
"I'm afraid he always does talk more than is good for him," said Miss
Alicia. "He looks quite feverish."
"He has been talking to me about Jem Temple Barholm," explained
Tembarom. "We've had a regular chin together. He thinks a heap of poor
Miss Alicia looked startled, and Mrs. Hibblethwaite was plainly
flustered tremendously. She quite lost her temper.
"Eh," she exclaimed, "tha wants tha young yed knocked off, Tummas
Hibblethwaite. He's fair daft about th' young gentleman as--as was
killed. He axes questions mony a day till I'd give him th' stick if he
wasna a cripple. He moithers me to death."
"I'll bring you some of those New York papers to look at," Tembarom
said to the boy as he went away.
He walked back through the village to Temple Barholm, holding Miss
Alicia's elbow in light, affectionate guidance and support, a little
to her embarrassment and also a little to her delight. Until he had
taken her into the dining-room the night before she had never seen
such a thing done. There was no over- familiarity in the action. It
merely seemed somehow to suggest liking and a wish to take care of
"That little fellow in the village," he said after a silence in which
it occurred to her that he seemed thoughtful, "what a little freak he
is! He's got an idea that there's a picture in the gallery that's said
to look like Jem Temple Barholm when he was a boy. Have you ever heard
anything about it? He says a servant told his mother it was there."
"Yes, there is one," Miss Alicia answered. "I sometimes go and look at
it. But it makes me feel very sad. It is the handsome boy who was a
page in the court of Charles II. He died in his teens. His name was
Miles Hugo Charles James. Jem could see the likeness himself.
Sometimes for a little joke I used to call him Miles Hugo."
"I believe I remember him," said Tembarom. "I believe I asked Palford
his name. I must go and have a look at him again. He hadn't much
better luck than the fellow that looked like him, dying as young as
Form, color, drama, and divers other advantages are necessary to the
creation of an object of interest. Presenting to the world none of
these assets, Miss Alicia had slipped through life a scarcely remarked
unit. No little ghost of prettiness had attracted the wandering eye,
no suggestion of agreeable or disagreeable power of self-assertion had
arrested attention. There had been no hour in her life when she had
expected to count as being of the slightest consequence. When she had
knocked at the door of the study at Rowcroft Vicarage, and "dear papa"
had exclaimed irritably: "Who is that? Who is that?" she had always
replied, "It is only Alicia."
This being the case, her gradual awakening to the singularity of her
new situation was mentally a process full of doubts and sometimes of
alarmed bewilderments. If in her girlhood a curate, even a curate with
prominent eyes and a receding chin, had proposed to her that she
should face with him a future enriched by the prospect of being called
upon to bring up a probable family of twelve on one hundred and fifty
pounds a year, with both parish and rectory barking and snapping at
her worn-down heels, she would have been sure to assert tenderly that
she was afraid she was "not worthy." This was the natural habit of
her mind, and in the weeks which followed the foggy afternoon when
Tembarom "staked out his claim" she dwelt often upon her unworthiness
of the benefits bestowed upon her.
First the world below-stairs, then the village, and then the county
itself awoke to the fact that the new Temple Temple Barholm had "taken
her up." The first tendency of the world below-stairs was to resent
the unwarranted uplifting of a person whom there had been a certain
luxury in regarding with disdain and treating with scarcely veiled
lack of consideration. To be able to do this with a person who, after
all was said and done, was not one of the servant class, but a sort of
lady of birth, was not unstimulating. And below-stairs the sense of
personal rancor against "a 'anger-on" is strong. The meals served in
Miss Alicia's remote sitting-room had been served at leisure, her tea
had rarely been hot, and her modestly tinkled bell irregularly
answered. Often her far from liberally supplied fire had gone out on
chilly days, and she had been afraid to insist on its being relighted.
Her sole defense against inattention would have been to complain to
Mr. Temple Barholm, and when on one occasion a too obvious neglect had
obliged her to gather her quaking being together in mere self- respect
and say, "If this continues to occur, William, I shall be obliged to
speak to Mr. Temple Barholm," William had so looked at her and so ill
hid a secret smile that it had been almost tantamount to his saying,
"I'd jolly well like to see you."
And now! Sitting at the end of the table opposite him, if you please!
Walking here and walking there with him! Sitting in the library or
wherever he was, with him talking and laughing and making as much of
her as though she were an aunt with a fortune to leave, and with her
making as free in talk as though at liberty to say anything that came
into her head! Well, the beggar that had found himself on horseback
was setting another one galloping alongside of him. In the midst of
this natural resentment it was "a bit upsetting," as Burrill said, to
find it dawning upon one that absolute exactness of ceremony was as
much to be required for "her" as for "him." Miss Alicia had long felt
secretly sure that she was spoken of as "her" in the servants' hall.
That businesslike sharpness which Palford had observed in his client
aided Tembarom always to see things without illusions. He knew that
There was no particular reason why his army of servants should regard
him for the present as much more than an intruder; but he also knew
that if men and women had employment which was not made hard for them,
and were well paid for doing, they were not anxious to lose it, and
the man who paid their wages might give orders with some certainty of
finding them obeyed. He was "sharp" in more ways than one. He observed
shades he might have been expected to overlook. He observed a certain
shade in the demeanor of the domestics when attending Miss Alicia, and
it was a shade which marked a difference between service done for her
and service done for himself. This was only at the outset, of course,
when the secret resentment was felt; but he observed it, mere shade
though it was.
He walked out into the hall after Burrill one morning. Not having yet
adjusted himself to the rule that when one wished to speak to a man
one rang a bell and called him back, fifty times if necessary, he
walked after Burrill and stopped him.
"This is a pretty good place for servants, ain't it?" he said.
"Good pay, good food, not too much to do?"
"Certainly, sir," Burrill replied, somewhat disturbed by a casualness
which yet suggested a method of getting at something or other.
"You and the rest of them don't want to change, do you?"
"No, sir. There is no complaint whatever as far as I have heard."
"That's all right." Mr. Temple Barholm had put his hands into his
pockets, and stood looking non-committal in a steady sort of way.
"There's something I want the lot of you to get on to--right away.
Miss Temple Barholm is going to stay here. She's got to have
everything just as she wants it. She's got to be pleased. She's the
lady of the house. See?"
"I hope, sir," Burrill said with professional dignity, "that Miss
Temple Barholm has not had reason to express any dissatisfaction."
"I'm the one that would express it--quick," said Tembarom. "She
wouldn't have time to get in first. I just wanted to make sure I
shouldn't have to do it. The other fellows are under you. You've got a
head on your shoulders, I guess. It's up to you to put 'em on to it.
"Thank you, sir," said Burrill.
His master went back into the library smiling genially, and Burrill
stood still a moment or so gazing at the door he closed behind him.
Be sure the village, and finally circles not made up of cottagers,
heard of this, howsoever mysteriously. Miss Alicia was not aware that
the incident had occurred. She could not help observing, however, that
the manners of the servants of the household curiously improved; also,
when she passed through the village, that foreheads were touched
without omission and the curtseys of playing children were prompt.
When she dropped into a cottage, housewives polished off the seats of
chairs vigorously before offering them, and symptoms and needs were
explained with a respectful fluency which at times almost suggested
that she might be relied on to use influence.
"I'm afraid I have done the village people injustice," she said
leniently to Tembarom. "I used to think them so disrespectful and
unappreciative. I dare say it was because I was so troubled myself.
I'm afraid one's own troubles do sometimes make one unfair."
"Well, yours are over," said Tembarom. "And so are mine as long as you
stay by me."
Never had Miss Alicia been to London. She had remained, as was
demanded of her by her duty to dear papa, at Rowcroft, which was in
Somersetshire. She had only dreamed of London, and had had fifty-five
years of dreaming. She had read of great functions, and seen pictures
of some of them in the illustrated papers. She had loyally endeavored
to follow at a distance the doings of her Majesty,-- she always spoke
of Queen Victoria reverentially as "her Majesty,"--she rejoiced when a
prince or a princess was born or christened or married, and believed
that a "drawing-room" was the most awe-inspiring, brilliant, and
important function in the civilized world, scarcely second to
Parliament. London--no one but herself or an elderly gentlewoman of
her type could have told any one the nature of her thoughts of London.
Let, therefore, those of vivid imagination make an effort to depict to
themselves the effect produced upon her mind by Tembarom's casually
suggesting at breakfast one morning that he thought it might be rather
a good "stunt" for them to run up to London. By mere good fortune she
escaped dropping the egg she had just taken from the egg-stand.
"London!" she said. "Oh!"
"Pearson thinks it would be a first-rate idea," he explained. "I guess
he thinks that if he can get me into the swell clothing stores he can
fix me up as I ought to be fixed, if I'm not going to disgrace him. I
should hate to disgrace Pearson. Then he can see his girl, too, and I
want him to see his girl."
"Is--Pearson--engaged?" she asked; but the thought which was repeating
itself aloud to her was "London! London!"
"He calls it 'keeping company,' or 'walking out,'" Tembarom answered.
"She's a nice girl, and he's dead stuck on her. Will you go with me,
"Dear Mr. Temple Barholm," she fluttered, "to visit London would be a
privilege I never dreamed it would be my great fortune to enjoy--
"Good business!" he ejaculated delightedly. "That's luck for me. It
gave me the blues--what I saw of it. But if you are with me, I'll bet
it'll be as different as afternoon tea was after I got hold of you.
When shall we start? To-morrow?"
Her sixteen-year-old blush repeated itself.
"I feel so sorry. It seems almost undignified to mention it, but--I
fear I should not look smart enough for London. My wardrobe is so very
limited. I mustn't," she added with a sweet effort at humor, "do the
new Mr. Temple Barholm discredit by looking unfashionable."
He was more delighted than before.
"Say," he broke out, "I'll tell you what we'll do: we'll go together
and buy everything 'suitable' in sight. The pair of us'll come back
here as suitable as Burrill and Pearson. We'll paint the town red."
He actually meant it. He was like a boy with a new game. His sense of
the dreariness of London had disappeared. He knew what it would be
like with Miss Alicia as a companion. He had really seen nothing of
the place himself, and he would find out every darned thing worth
looking at, and take her to see it-- theaters, shops, every show in
town. When they left the breakfast-table it was agreed upon that they
would make the journey the following day.
He did not openly refer to the fact that among the plans for their
round of festivities he had laid out for himself the attending to one
or two practical points. He was going to see Palford, and he had made
an appointment with a celebrated nerve specialist. He did not discuss
this for several reasons. One of them was that his summing up of Miss
Alicia was that she had had trouble enough to think over all her
little life, and the thing for a fellow to do for her, if he liked
her, was to give her a good time and make her feel as if she was at a
picnic right straight along--not let her even hear of a darned thing
that might worry her. He had said comparatively little to her about
Strangeways. His first mention of his condition had obviously made her
somewhat nervous, though she had been full of kindly interest. She was
in private not sorry that it was felt better that she should not
disturb the patient by a visit to his room. The abnormality of his
condition seemed just slightly alarming to her.
"But, oh, how good, how charitable, you are!" she had murmured.
"Good," he answered, the devout admiration of her tone rather puzzling
him. "It ain't that. I just want to see the thing through. I dropped
into it by accident, and then I dropped into this by accident, and
that made it as easy as falling off a log. I believe he's going to get
well sometime. I guess I kind of like him because he holds on to me so
and believes I'm just It. Maybe it's because I'm stuck on myself."
His visit to Strangeways was longer than usual that afternoon. He
explained the situation to him so that he understood it sufficiently
not to seem alarmed by it. This was one of the advances Tembarom had
noticed recently, that he was less easily terrified, and seemed
occasionally to see facts in their proper relation to one another.
Sometimes the experiments tried on him were successful, sometimes they
were not, but he never resented them.
"You are trying to help me to remember," he said once. "I think you
"Sure I will," said Tembarom. "You're better every day."
Pearson was to remain in charge of him until toward the end of the
London visit. Then he was to run up for a couple of days, leaving in
his place a young footman to whom the invalid had become accustomed.
The visit to London was to Miss Alicia a period of enraptured
delirium. The beautiful hotel in which she was established, the
afternoons at the Tower, the National Gallery, the British Museum, the
evenings at the play, during which one saw the most brilliant and
distinguished actors, the mornings in the shops, attended as though
one were a person of fortune, what could be said of them? And the
sacred day on which she saw her Majesty drive slowly by, glittering
helmets, splendid uniforms, waving plumes, and clanking swords
accompanying and guarding her, and gentlemen standing still with their
hats off, and everybody looking after her with that natural touch of
awe which royalty properly inspires! Miss Alicia's heart beat rapidly
in her breast, and she involuntarily made a curtsey as the great lady
in mourning drove by. She lost no shade of any flavor of ecstatic
pleasure in anything, and was to Tembarom, who knew nothing about
shades and flavors, indeed a touching and endearing thing.
He had never got so much out of anything. If Ann had just been there,
well, that would have been the limit. Ann was on her way to America
now, and she wouldn't write to him or let him write to her. He had to
make a fair trial of it. He could find out only in that way, she said.
It was not to be denied that the youth and longing in him gave him
some half-hours to face which made him shut himself up in his room and
stare hard at the wall, folding his arms tightly as he tilted his
There arrived a day when one of the most exalted shops in Bond Street
was invaded by an American young man of a bearing the peculiarities of
which were subtly combined with a remotely suggested air of knowing
that if he could find what he wanted, there was no doubt as to his
power to get it. What he wanted was not usual, and was explained with
a frankness which might have seemed unsophisticated, but, singularly,
did not. He wanted to have a private talk with some feminine power in
charge, and she must be some one who knew exactly what ladies ought to
Being shown into a room, such a feminine power was brought to him and
placed at his service. She was a middle-aged person, wearing
beautifully fitted garments and having an observant eye and a
dignified suavity of manner. She looked the young American over with a
swift inclusion of all possibilities. He was by this time wearing
extremely well-fitting garments himself, but she was at once aware
that his tailored perfection was a new thing to him.
He went to his point without apologetic explanation.
"You know all the things any kind of a lady ought to have," he said--
"all the things that would make any one feel comfortable and as if
they'd got plenty? Useful things as well as ornamental ones?"
"Yes, sir," she replied, with rising interest. "I have been in the
establishment thirty years."
"Good business," Tembarom replied. Already he felt relieved. "I've got
a relation, a little old lady, and I want her to fix herself out just
as she ought to be fixed. Now, what I'm afraid of is that she won't
get everything she ought to unless I manage it for her somehow
beforehand. She's got into a habit of-- well, economizing. Now the
time's past for that, and I want her to get everything a woman like
you would know she really wants, so that she could look her best,
living in a big country house, with a relation that thinks a lot of
He paused a second or so, and then went further, fixing a clear and
astonishingly shrewd eye upon the head of the department listening to
"I found out this was a high-class place," he explained. "I made sure
of that before I came in. In a place that was second or third class
there might be people who'd think they'd caught a 'sucker' that would
take anything that was unloaded on to him, because he didn't know. The
things are for Miss Temple Barholm, and she DOES know. I shall ask her
to come here herself to-morrow morning, and I want you to take care of
her, and show her the best you've got that's suitable." He seemed to
like the word; he repeated it--"Suitable," and quickly restrained a
sudden, unexplainable, wide smile.
The attending lady's name was Mrs. Mellish. Thirty years' experience
had taught her many lessons. She was a hard woman and a sharp one, but
beneath her sharp hardness lay a suppressed sense of the perfect in
taste. To have a customer with unchecked resources put into her hands
to do her best by was an inspiring incident. A quiver of enlightenment
had crossed her countenance when she had heard the name of Temple
Barholm. She had a newspaper knowledge of the odd Temple Barholm
story. This was the next of kin who had blacked boots in New York, and
the obvious probability that he was a fool, if it had taken the form
of a hope, had been promptly nipped in the bud. The type from which he
was furthest removed was that of the fortune-intoxicated young man who
could be obsequiously flattered into buying anything which cost money
"Not a thing's to be unloaded on her that she doesn't like," he added,
"and she's not a girl that goes to pink teas. She's a--a--lady --and
not young--and used to quiet ways."
The evidently New York word "unload" revealed him to his hearer as by
a flash, though she had never heard it before.
"We have exactly the things which will be suitable, sir," she said. "I
think I quite understand." Tembarom smiled again, and, thanking her,
went away still smiling, because he knew Miss Alicia was safe.
There were of course difficulties in the way of persuading Miss Alicia
that her duty lay in the direction of spending mornings in the most
sumptuous of Bond Street shops, ordering for herself an entire
wardrobe on a basis of unlimited resources. Tembarom was called upon
to employ the most adroitly subtle reasoning, entirely founded on his
"claim" and her affectionate willingness to give him pleasure.
He really made love to her in the way a joyful young fellow can make
love to his mother or his nicest aunt. He made her feel that she
counted for so much in his scheme of enjoyment that to do as he asked
would be to add a glow to it.
"And they won't spoil you," he said. "The Mellish woman that's the
boss has promised that. I wouldn't have you spoiled for a farm," he
And he spoke the truth. If he had been told that he was cherishing her
type as though it were a priceless bit of old Saxe, he would have
stared blankly and made a jocular remark. But it was exactly this
which he actually clung to and adored. He even had a second private
interview with Mrs. Mellish, and asked her to "keep her as much like
she was" as was possible.
Stimulated by the suppressed touch of artistic fervor, Mrs. Mellish
guessed at something even before her client arrived; but the moment
she entered the showroom all was revealed to her at once. The very
hint of flush and tremor in Miss Alicia's manner was an assistance.
Surrounded by a small and extremely select court composed of Mrs.
Mellish and two low-voiced, deft-handed assistants, it was with a fine
little effort that Miss Alicia restrained herself from exterior
suggestion of her feeling that there was something almost impious in
thinking of possessing the exquisite stuffs and shades displayed to
her in flowing beauty on every side. Such linens and batistes and
laces, such delicate, faint grays and lavenders and soft-falling
blacks! If she had been capable of approaching the thought, such
luxury might even have hinted at guilty splendor.
Mrs. Mellish became possessed of an "idea" To create the costume of an
exquisite, early-Victorian old lady in a play done for the most
fashionable and popular actor manager of the most "drawing-room" of
West End theaters, where one saw royalty in the royal box, with
bouquets on every side, the orchestra breaking off in the middle of a
strain to play "God Save the Queen," and the audience standing up as
the royal party came in -- that was her idea. She carried it out,
steering Miss Alicia with finished tact through the shoals and rapids
of her timidities. And the result was wonderful; color,--or, rather,
shades, -- textures, and forms were made subservient by real genius.
Miss Alicia -- as she was turned out when the wardrobe was complete --
might have been an elderly little duchess of sweet and modest good
taste in the dress of forty years earlier. It took time, but some of
the things were prepared as though by magic, and the night the first
boxes were delivered at the hotel Miss Alicia, on going to bed, in
kneeling down to her devotions prayed fervently that she might not be
"led astray by fleshly desires," and that her gratitude might be
acceptable, and not stained by a too great joy "in the things which
The very next day occurred Rose. She was the young person to whom
Pearson was engaged, and it appeared that if Miss Alicia would make up
her mind to oblige Mr. Temple Barholm by allowing the girl to come to
her as lady's-maid, even if only temporarily, she would be doing a
most kind and charitable thing. She was a very nice, well-behaved
girl, and unfortunately she had felt herself forced to leave her place
because her mistress's husband was not at all a nice man. He had shown
himself so far from nice that Pearson had been most unhappy, and Rose
had been compelled to give notice, though she had no other situation
in prospect and her mother was dependent on her. This was without
doubt not Mr. Temple Barholm's exact phrasing of the story, but it was
what Miss Alicia gathered, and what moved her deeply. It was so cruel
and so sad! That wicked man! That poor girl! She had never had a
lady's-maid, and might be rather at a loss at first, but it was only
like Mr. Temple Barholm's kind heart to suggest such a way of helping
the girl and poor Pearson.
So occurred Rose, a pretty creature whose blue eyes suppressed
grateful tears as she took Miss Alicia's instructions during their
first interview. And Pearson arrived the same night, and, waiting upon
Tembarom, stood before him, and with perfect respect, choked.
"Might I thank you, if you please, sir," he began, recovering himself-
-"might I thank you and say how grateful--Rose and me, sir--" and
"I told you it would be all right," answered Tembarom. "It is all
right. I wish I was fixed like you are, Pearson."
When the Countess of Mallowe called, Rose had just dressed Miss Alicia
for the afternoon in one of the most perfect of the evolutions of Mrs.
Mellish's idea. It was a definite creation, as even Lady Mallowe
detected the moment her eyes fell upon it. Its hue was dull, soft
gray, and how it managed to concede points and elude suggestions of
modes interred, and yet remain what it did remain, and accord
perfectly with the side ringlets and the lace cap of Mechlin, only
dressmaking genius could have explained. The mere wearing of it gave
Miss Alicia a support and courage which she could scarcely believe to
be her own. When the cards of Lady Mallowe and Lady Joan Fayre were
brought up to her, she was absolutely not really frightened; a little
nervous for a moment, perhaps, but frightened, no. A few weeks of
relief and ease, of cheery consideration, of perfectly good treatment
and good food and good clothes, had begun a rebuilding of the actual
cells of her.
Lady Mallowe entered alone. She was a handsome person, and
astonishingly young when considered as the mother of a daughter of
twenty-seven. She wore a white veil, and looked pink through it. She
swept into the room, and shook hands with Miss Alicia with delicate
"We do not really know each other at all," she said. "It is
disgraceful how little relatives see of one another."
The disgrace, if measured by the extent of the relationship, was not
immense. Perhaps this thought flickered across Miss Alicia's mind
among a number of other things. She had heard "dear papa" on Lady
Mallowe, and, howsoever lacking in graces, the vicar of Rowcroft had
not lacked an acrid shrewdness. Miss Alicia's sensitively self-
accusing soul shrank before a hasty realization of the fact that if he
had been present when the cards were brought up, he would, on glancing
over them through his spectacles, have jerked out immediately: "What
does the woman want? She's come to get something." Miss Alicia wished
she had not been so immediately beset by this mental vision.
Lady Mallowe had come for something. She had come to be amiable to
Miss Temple Barholm and to establish relations with her.
"Joan should have been here to meet me," she explained. "Her
dressmaker is keeping her, of course. She will be so annoyed. She
wanted very much to come with me."
It was further revealed that she might arrive at any moment, which
gave Miss Alicia an opportunity to express, with pretty grace, the
hope that she would, and her trust that she was quite well.
"She is always well," Lady Mallowe returned. "And she is of course as
interested as we all are in this romantic thing. It is perfectly
delicious, like a three- volumed novel."
"It is romantic," said Miss Alicia, wondering how much her visitor
knew or thought she knew, and what circumstances would present
themselves to her as delicious.
"Of course one has heard only the usual talk one always hears when
everybody is chattering about a thing," Lady Mallowe replied, with a
propitiating smile. "No one really knows what is true and what isn't.
But it is nice to notice that all the gossip speaks so well of him. No
one seems to pretend that he is anything but extremely nice himself,
notwithstanding his disadvantages."
She kept a fine hazel eye, surrounded by a line which artistically
represented itself as black lashes, steadily resting on Miss Alicia as
she said the last words.
"He is," said Miss Alicia, with gentle firmness, "nicer than I had
ever imagined any young man could be--far nicer."
Lady Mallowe's glance round the luxurious private sitting-room and
over the perfect "idea" of Mrs. Mellish was so swift as to be almost
"How delightful!" she said. "He must be unusually agreeable, or you
would not have consented to stay and take care of him."
"I cannot tell you how HAPPY I am to have been asked to stay with him,
Lady Mallowe," Miss Alicia replied, the gentle firmness becoming a
"Which of course shows all the more how attractive he must be. And in
view of the past lack of advantages, what a help you can be to him! It
is quite wonderful for him to have a relative at hand who is an
Englishwoman and familiar with things he will feel he must learn."
A perhaps singular truth is that but for the unmistakable nature of
the surroundings she quickly took in the significance of, and but for
the perfection of the carrying out of Mrs. Mellish's delightful idea,
it is more than probable that her lady-ship's manner of approaching
Miss Alicia and certain subjects on which she desired enlightenment
would have been much more direct and much less propitiatory.
Extraordinary as it was, "the creature"--she thought of Tembarom as
"the creature"-- had plainly been so pleased with the chance of being
properly coached that he had put everything, so to speak, in the
little old woman's hands. She had got a hold upon him. It was quite
likely that to regard her as a definite factor would only be the part
of the merest discretion. She was evidently quite in love with him in
her early-Victorian, spinster way. One had to be prudent with women
like that who had got hold of a male creature for the first time in
their lives, and were almost unaware of their own power. Their very
unconsciousness made them a dangerous influence.
With a masterly review of these facts in her mind Lady Mallowe went on
with a fluent and pleasant talk, through the medium of which she
managed to convey a large number of things Miss Alicia was far from
being clever enough to realize she was talking about. She lightly
waved wings of suggestion across the scene, she dropped infinitesimal
seeds in passing, she left faint echoes behind her-- the kind of
echoes one would find oneself listening to and trying to hear as
definitely formed sounds. She had been balancing herself on a
precarious platform of rank and title, unsupported by any sordid
foundation of a solid nature, through a lifetime spent in London. She
had learned to catch fiercely at straws of chance, and bitterly to
regret the floating past of the slightest, which had made of her a
finished product of her kind. She talked lightly, and was sometimes
almost witty. To her hearer she seemed to know every brilliant
personage and to be familiar with every dazzling thing. She knew well
what social habits and customs meant, what their value, or lack of
value, was. There were customs, she implied skilfully, so established
by time that it was impossible to ignore them. Relationships, for
instance, stood for so much that was fine in England that one was
sometimes quite touched by the far-reachingness of family loyalty. The
head of the house of a great estate represented a certain power in the
matter of upholding the dignity of his possessions, of caring for his
tenantry, of standing for proper hospitality and friendly family
feeling. It was quite beautiful as one often saw it. Throughout the
talk there were several references to Joan, who really must come in
shortly, which were very interesting to Miss Alicia. Lady Joan, Miss
Alicia heard casually, was a great beauty. Her perfection and her
extreme cleverness had made her perhaps a trifle difficile. She had
not done--Lady Mallowe put it with a lightness of phrasing which was
delicacy itself-- what she might have done, with every exalted
advantage, so many times. She had a profound nature. Here Lady Mallowe
waved away, as it were, a ghost of a sigh. Since Miss Temple Barholm
was a relative, she had no doubt heard of the unfortunate, the very
sad incident which her mother sometimes feared prejudiced the girl
"You mean--poor Jem!" broke forth involuntarily from Miss Alicia's
lips. Lady Mallowe stared a little.
"Do you call him that?" she asked. "Did you know him, then?"
"I loved him," answered Miss Alicia, winking her eyes to keep back the
moisture in them, "though it was only when he was a little boy."
"Oh," said Lady Mallowe, with a sudden, singular softness, "I must
tell Joan that."
Lady Joan had not appeared even after they had had tea and her mother
went away, but somehow Miss Alicia had reached a vaguely yearning
feeling for her and wished very much the dressmaker had released her.
She was quite stirred when it revealed itself almost at the last
moment that in a few weeks both she and Lady Mallowe were to pay a
visit at no great distance from Temple Barholm itself, and that her
ladyship would certainly arrange to drive over to continue her
delightful acquaintance and to see the beautiful old place again.
"In any case one must, even if he lived in lonely state, pay one's
respects to the head of the house. The truth is, of course, one is
extremely anxious to meet him, and it is charming to know that one is
not merely invading the privacy of a bachelor," Lady Mallowe put it.
"She'll come for YOU," Little Ann had soberly remarked.
Tembarom remembered the look in her quiet, unresentful blue eyes when
he came in to dinner and Miss Alicia related to him the events of the
The spring, when they traveled back to the north, was so perceptibly
nearer that the fugitive soft days strayed in advance at intervals
that were briefer. They chose one for their journey, and its clear
sunshine and hints at faint greenness were so exhilarating to Miss
Alicia that she was a companion to make any journey an affair to rank
with holidays and adventures. The strange luxury of traveling in a
reserved first-class carriage, of being made timid by no sense of
unfitness of dress or luggage, would have filled her with grateful
rapture; but Rose, journeying with Pearson a few coaches behind,
appeared at the carriage window at every important station to say, "Is
there anything I may do for you, ma'am?" And there really never was
anything she could do, because Mr. Temple Barholm remembered
everything which could make her comfort perfect. In the moods of one
who searches the prospect for suggestions as to pleasure he can give
to himself by delighting a dear child, he had found and bought for her
a most elegant little dressing-bag, with the neatest of plain-gold
fittings beautifully initialed. It reposed upon the cushioned seat
near her, and made her heart beat every time she caught sight of it
anew. How wonderful it would be if poor dear, darling mama could look
down and see everything and really know what happiness had been
vouchsafed to her unworthy child!
Having a vivid recollection of the journey made with Mr. Palford,
Tembarom felt that his whole world had changed for him. The landscape
had altered its aspect. Miss Alicia pointed out bits of freshening
grass, was sure of the breaking of brown leaf-buds, and more than once
breathlessly suspected a primrose in a sheltered hedge corner. A
country-bred woman, with country-bred keenness of eye and a country-
bred sense of the seasons' change, she saw so much that he had never
known that she began to make him see also. Bare trees would be thick-
leaved nesting-places, hedges would be white with hawthorn, and hold
blue eggs and chirps and songs. Skylarks would spring out of the
fields and soar into the sky, dropping crystal chains of joyous
trills. The cottage gardens would be full of flowers, there would be
poppies gleaming scarlet in the corn, and in buttercup-time all the
green grass would be a sheet of shining gold.
"When it all happens I shall be like a little East-Sider taken for a
day in the country. I shall be asking questions at every step,"
Tembarom said. "Temple Barholm must be pretty fine then."
"It is so lovely," said Miss Alicia, turning to him almost solemnly,
"that sometimes it makes one really lose one's breath."
He looked out of the window with sudden wistfulness.
"I wish Ann--" he began and then, seeing the repressed question in her
eyes, made up his mind.
He told her about Little Ann. He did not use very many words, but she
knew a great deal when he had finished. And her spinster soul was
thrilled. Neither she nor poor Emily had ever had an admirer, and it
was not considered refined for unsought females to discuss "such
subjects." Domestic delirium over the joy of an engagement in families
in which daughters were a drug she had seen. It was indeed inevitable
that there should be more rejoicing over one Miss Timson who had
strayed from the fold into the haven of marriage than over the ninety-
nine Misses Timson who remained behind. But she had never known
intimately any one who was in love-- really in love. Mr. Temple
Barholm must be. When he spoke of Little Ann he flushed shyly and his
eyes looked so touching and nice. His voice sounded different, and
though of course his odd New York expressions were always rather
puzzling, she felt as though she saw things she had had no previous
knowledge of--things which thrilled her.
"She must be a very--very nice girl," she ventured at length. "I am
afraid I have never been into old Mrs. Hutchinson's cottage. She is
quite comfortably off in her way, and does not need parish care. I
wish I had seen Miss Hutchinson."
"I wish she had seen you," was Tembarom's answer.
Miss Alicia reflected.
"She must be very clever to have such--sensible views," she remarked.
If he had remained in New York, and there had been no question of his
inheriting Temple Barholm, the marriage would have been most suitable.
But however "superior" she might be, a vision of old Mrs. Hutchinson's
granddaughter as the wife of Mr. Temple Barholm, and of noisy old Mr.
Hutchinson as his father-in-law was a staggering thing.
"You think they were sensible?" asked Tembarom. "Well, she never did
anything that wasn't. So I guess they were. And what she says GOES. I
wanted you to know, anyhow. I wouldn't like you not to know. I'm too
fond of you, Miss Alicia." And he put his hand round her neat glove
and squeezed it. The tears of course came into her tender eyes.
Emotion of any sort always expressed itself in her in this early-
"This Lady Joan girl," he said suddenly not long afterward, "isn't she
the kind that I'm to get used to--the kind in the pictorial magazine
Ann talked about? I bought one at the news-stand at the depot before
we started. I wanted to get on to the pictures and see what they did
He found the paper among his belongings and regarded it with the
expression of a serious explorer. It opened at a page of illustrations
of slim goddesses in court dresses. By actual measurement, if regarded
according to scale, each was about ten feet high; but their long
lines, combining themselves with court trains, waving plumes, and
falling veils, produced an awe-inspiring effect. Tembarom gazed at
them in absorbed silence.
"Is she something like any of these?" he inquired finally.
Miss Alicia looked through her glasses.
"Far more beautiful, I believe," she answered. "These are only
fashion-plates, and I have heard that she is a most striking girl."
"A beaut' from Beautsville!" he said. "So that's what I'm up against!
I wonder how much use that kind of a girl would have for me."
He gave a good deal of attention to the paper before he laid it aside.
As she watched him, Miss Alicia became gradually aware of the
existence of a certain hint of determined squareness in his boyish
jaw. It was perhaps not much more than a hint, but it really was
there, though she had not noticed it before. In fact, it usually hid
itself behind his slangy youthfulness and his readiness for any good
One may as well admit that it sustained him during his novitiate and
aided him to pass through it without ignominy or disaster. He was
strengthened also by a private resolve to bear himself in such a
manner as would at least do decent credit to Little Ann and her
superior knowledge. With the curious eyes of servants, villagers, and
secretly outraged neighborhood upon him, he was shrewd enough to know
that he might easily become a perennial fount of grotesque anecdote,
to be used as a legitimate source of entertainment in cottages over
the consumption of beans and bacon, as well as at great houses when
dinner-table talk threatened to become dull if not enlivened by some
spice. He would not have thought of this or been disturbed by it but
for Ann. She knew, and he was not going to let her be met on her
return from America with what he called "a lot of funny dope" about
"No girl would like it," he said to himself. "And the way she said she
'cared too much' just put it up to me to see that the fellow she cares
for doesn't let himself get laughed at."
Though he still continued to be jocular on subjects which to his valet
seemed almost sacred, Pearson was relieved to find that his employer
gradually gave himself into his hands in a manner quite amenable. In
the touching way in which nine out of ten nice, domesticated American
males obey the behests of the women they are fond of, he had followed
Ann's directions to the letter. Guided by the adept Pearson, he had
gone to the best places in London and purchased the correct things,
returning to Temple Barholm with a wardrobe to which any gentleman
might turn at any moment without a question.
"He's got good shoulders, though he does slouch a bit," Pearson said
to Rose. "And a gentleman's shoulders are more than half the battle."
What Tembarom himself felt cheered by was the certainty that if Ann
saw him walking about the park or the village, or driving out with
Miss Alicia in the big landau, or taking her in to dinner every
evening, or even going to church with her, she would not have occasion
to flush at sight of him.
The going to church was one of the duties of his position he found
out. Miss Alicia "put him on" to that. It seemed that he had to
present himself to the villagers "as an example." If the Temple
Barholm pews were empty, the villagers, not being incited to
devotional exercise by his exalted presence, would feel at liberty to
remain at home, and in the irreligious undress of shirt-sleeves sit
and smoke their pipes, or, worse still, gather at "the Hare and
Hounds" and drink beer. Also, it would not be "at all proper" not to
go to church.
Pearson produced a special cut of costume for this ceremony, and
Tembarom walked with Miss Alicia across the park to the square-towered
In a position of dignity the Temple Barholm pews over-looked the
congregation. There was the great square pew for the family, with two
others for servants. Footmen and house-maids gazed reverentially at
prayer-books. Pearson, making every preparation respectfully to
declare himself a "miserable sinner" when the proper moment arrived,
could scarcely re- strain a rapid side glance as the correctly cut and
fitted and entirely "suitable" work of his hands opened the pew-door
for Miss Alicia, followed her in, and took his place.
Let not the fact that he had never been to church before be counted
against him. There was nothing very extraordinary in the fact. He had
felt no antipathy to church-going, but he had not by chance fallen
under proselyting influence, and it had certainly never occurred to
him that he had any place among the well- dressed, comfortable-looking
people he had seen flocking into places of worship in New York. As far
as religious observances were concerned, he was an unadulterated
heathen, and was all the more to be congratulated on being a heathen
of genial tendencies.
The very large pew, under the stone floor of which his ancestors had
slept undisturbedly for centuries, interested him greatly. A recumbent
marble crusader in armor, with feet crossed in the customary manner,
fitted into a sort of niche in one side of the wall. There were carved
tablets and many inscriptions in Latin wheresoever one glanced. The
place was like a room. A heavy, round table, on which lay prayer-
books, Bibles, and hymn-books, occupied the middle. About it were
arranged beautiful old chairs, with hassocks to kneel on. Toward a
specially imposing chair with arms Miss Alicia directed, him with a
glance. It was apparently his place. He was going to sit down when he
saw Miss Alicia gently push forward a hassock with her foot, and kneel
on it, covering her face with her hands as she bent her head. He
hastily drew forth his hassock and followed her example.
That was it, was it? It wasn't only a matter of listening to a sermon;
you had to do things. He had better watch out and see that he didn't
miss anything. She didn't know it was his first time, and it might
worry her to the limit if he didn't put it over all right. One of the
things he had noticed in her was her fear of attracting attention by
failing to do exactly the "proper thing." If he made a fool of himself
by kneeling down when he ought to stand up, or lying down when he
ought to sit, she'd get hot all over, thinking what the villagers or
the other people would say. Well, Ann hadn't wanted him to look
different from other fellows or to make breaks. He'd look out from
start to finish. He directed a watchful eye at Miss Alicia through his
fingers. She remained kneeling a few moments, and then very quietly
got up. He rose with her, and took his big chair when she sat down. He
breathed more freely when they had got that far. That was the first
It was not a large church, but a gray and solemn impression of dignity
brooded over it. It was dim with light, which fell through stained-
glass memorial windows set deep in the thick stone walls. The silence
which reigned throughout its spaces seemed to Tembarom of a new kind,
different from the silence of the big house. The occasional subdued
rustle of turned prayer-book leaves seemed to accentuate it; the most
careful movement could not conceal itself; a slight cough was a
startling thing. The way, Tembarom thought, they could get things
dead-still in English places!
The chimes, which had been ringing their last summons to the tardy,
slackened their final warning notes, became still slower, stopped.
There was a slight stir in the benches occupied by the infant school.
It suggested that something new was going to happen. From some unseen
place came the sound of singing voices-- boyish voices and the voices
of men. Tembarom involuntarily turned his head. Out of the unseen
place came a procession in white robes. Great Scott! every one was
standing up! He must stand up, too. The boys and men in white garments
filed into their seats. An elderly man, also in white robes, separated
himself from them, and, going into his special place, kneeled down.
Then he rose and began to read:
"When the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness--"
Tembarom took the open book which Miss Alicia had very delicately
pushed toward him. He read the first words,--that was plain sailing,--
then he seemed to lose his place. Miss Alicia turned a leaf. He turned
"Dearly beloved brethren--"
There you were. This was once more plain sailing. He could follow it.
What was the matter with Miss Alicia? She was kneeling again,
everybody was kneeling. Where was the hassock? He went down upon his
knees, hoping Miss Alicia had not seen that he wasn't going to kneel
at all. Then when the minister said "Amen," the congregation said it,
too, and he came in too late, so that his voice sounded out alone. He
must watch that. Then the minister knelt, and all the people prayed
aloud with him. With the book before him he managed to get in after
the first few words; but he was not ready with the responses, and in
the middle of them everybody stood up again. And then the organ
played, and every one sang. He couldn't sing, anyhow, and he knew he
couldn't catch on to the kind of thing they were doing. He hoped Miss
Alicia wouldn't mind his standing up and holding his book and doing
nothing. He could not help seeing that eyes continually turned toward
him. They'd notice every darned break he made, and Miss Alicia would
know they did. He felt quite hot more than once. He watched Miss
Alicia like a hawk; he sat down and listened to reading, he stood up
and listened to singing; he kneeled, he tried to chime in with "Amens"
and to keep up with Miss Alicia's bending of head and knee. But the
creed, with its sudden turn toward the altar, caught him unawares, he
lost himself wholly in the psalms, the collects left him in deep
water, hopeless of ever finding his place again, and the litany
baffled him, when he was beginning to feel safe, by changing from
"miserable sinners" to "Spare us Good Lord" and "We beseech thee to
hear us." If he could just have found the place he would have been all
right, but an honest anxiety to be right excited him, and the fear of
embarrassing Miss Alicia by going wrong made the morning a strenuous
thing. He was so relieved to find he might sit still when the sermon
began that he gave the minister an attention which might have marked
him, to the chance beholder, as a religious enthusiast.
By the time the service had come to an end the stately peace of the
place had seemed to sink into his being and become part of himself.
The voice of the minister bestowing his blessing, the voices of the
white-clothed choir floating up into the vaulted roof, stirred him to
a remote pleasure. He liked it, or he knew he would like it when he
knew what to do. The filing out of the choristers, the silent final
prayer, the soft rustle of people rising gently from their knees,
somehow actually moved him by its suggestion of something before
unknown. He was a heathen still, but a heathen vaguely stirred.
He was very quiet as he walked home across the park with Miss Alicia.
"How did you enjoy the sermon? " she asked with much sweetness.
"I 'm not used to sermons, but it seemed all right to me," he
answered. "What I've got to get on to is knowing when to stand up and
when to sit down. I wasn't much of a winner at it this morning. I
guess you noticed that."
But his outward bearing had been much more composed than his inward
anxiety had allowed him to believe. His hesitations had not produced
the noticeable effect he had feared.
"Do you mean you are not quite familiar with the service?" she said.
Poor dear boy! he had perhaps not been able to go to church regularly
"I'm not familiar with any service," he answered without prejudice." I
never went to church before."
She slightly started and then smiled.
"Oh, you mean you have never been to the Church of England," she said.
Then he saw that, if he told her the exact truth, she would be
frightened and shocked. She would not know what to say or what to
think. To her unsophisticated mind only murderers and thieves and
criminals NEVER went to church. She just didn't know. Why should she?
So he smiled also.
"No, I've never been to the Church of England," he said.
The country was discreetly conservative in its social attitude. The
gulf between it and the new owner of Temple Barholm was too wide and
deep to be crossed without effort combined with immense mental
agility. It was on the whole, much easier not to begin a thing at all
than to begin it and find one must hastily search about for not too
noticeable methods of ending it. A few unimportant, tentative calls
were made, and several ladies who had remained unaware of Miss Alicia
during her first benefactor's time drove over to see what she was like
and perhaps by chance hear something of interest. One or two of them
who saw Tembarom went away puzzled and amazed. He did not drop his
h's, which they had of course expected, and he was well dressed, and
not bad-looking; but it was frequently impossible to understand what
he was talking about, he used such odd phrases. He seemed good natured
enough, and his way with little old Miss Temple Barholm was really
quite nice, queer as it was. It was queer because he was attentive to
her in a manner in which young men were not usually attentive to
totally insignificant, elderly dependents.
Tembarom derived an extremely diluted pleasure from the visits. The
few persons he saw reminded him in varying degrees of Mr. Palford.
They had not before seen anything like his species, and they did not
know what to do with him. He also did not know what to do with them. A
certain inelasticity frustrated him at the outset. When, in obedience
to Miss Alicia's instructions, he had returned the visits, he felt he
had not gone far.
Serious application enabled him to find his way through the church
service, and he accompanied Miss Alicia to church with great
regularity. He began to take down the books from the library shelves
and look them over gravely. The days gradually ceased to appear so
long, but he had a great deal of time on his hands, and he tried to
find ways of filling it. He wondered if Ann would be pleased if he
learned things out of books.
When he tentatively approached the subject of literature with Miss
Alicia, she glowed at the delightful prospect of his reading aloud to
her in the evenings-- "reading improving things like history and the
"Let's take a hack at it some night," he said pleasantly.
The more a fellow knew, the better it was for him, he supposed; but he
wondered, if anything happened and he went back to New York, how much
"improving things" and poetry would help a man in doing business.
The first evening they began with Gray's " Elegy," and Miss Alicia
felt that it did not exhilarate him; she was also obliged to admit
that he did not read it very well. But she felt sure he would improve.
Personally she was touchingly happy. The sweetly domestic picture of
the situation, she sitting by the fire with her knitting and he
reading aloud, moved and delighted her. The next evening she suggested
Tennyson's "Maud." He was not as much stirred by it as she had hoped.
He took a somewhat humorous view of it.
"He had it pretty bad, hadn't he?"' he said of the desperate lover.
"Oh, if only you could once have heard Sims Reeves sing 'Come into the
Garden, Maud'!" she sighed. "A kind friend once took me to hear him,
and I have never, never forgotten it."
But Mr. Temple Barholm notably did not belong to the atmosphere of
On still another evening they tried Shakspere. Miss Alicia felt that a
foundation of Shakspere would be "improving" indeed. They began with
He found play-reading difficult and Shaksperian language baffling, but
he made his way with determination until he reached a point where he
suddenly grew quite red and stopped.
"Say, have you read this?" he inquired after his hesitation.
"The plays of Shakspere are a part of every young lady's education,"
she answered; "but I am afraid I am not at all a Shaksperian scholar."
"A young lady's education?" he repeated. "Gee whizz!" he added softly
after a pause.
He glanced over a page or so hastily, and then laid the book down.
"Say," he suggested, with an evasive air, "let's go over that 'Maud'
one again. It's--well, it's easier to read aloud."
The crude awkwardness of his manner suddenly made Miss Alicia herself
flush and drop a stitch in her knitting. How dreadful of her not to
have thought of that!
"The Elizabethan age was, I fear, a rather coarse one in some
respects. Even history acknowledges that Queen Elizabeth herself used
profane language." She faltered and coughed a little apologetic cough
as she picked up her stitch again.
"I bet Ann's never seen inside Shakspere," said Tembarom. Before
reading aloud in the future he gave some previous personal attention
to the poem or subject decided upon. It may be at once frankly
admitted that when he read aloud it was more for Miss Alicia's
delectation than for his own. He saw how much she enjoyed the
His effect of frankness and constant boyish talk was so inseparable
from her idea of him that she found it a puzzling thing to realize
that she gradually began to feel aware of a certain remote reserve in
him, or what might perhaps be better described as a habit of silence
upon certain subjects. She felt it marked in the case of Strangeways.
She surmised that he saw Strangeways often and spent a good deal of
time with him, but he spoke of him rarely, and she never knew exactly
what hours were given to him. Sometimes she imagined he found him a
greater responsibility than he had expected. Several times when she
believed that he had spent part of a morning or afternoon in his room,
he was more silent than usual and looked puzzled and thoughtful. She
observed, as Mr. Palford had, that the picture-gallery, with its
portraits of his ancestors, had an attraction. A certain rainy day he
asked her to go with him and look them over. It was inevitable that
she should soon wander to the portrait of Miles Hugo and remain
standing before it. Tembarom followed, and stood by her side in
silence until her sadness broke its bounds with a pathetic sigh.
"Was he very like him?" he asked.
She made an unconscious, startled movement. For the moment she had
forgotten his presence, and she had not really expected him to
"I mean Jem," he answered her surprised look. "How was he like him?
Was there--" he hesitated and looked really interested--"was he like
him in any particular thing?"
"Yes," she said, turning to the portrait of Miles Hugo again. "They
both had those handsome, drooping eyes, with the lashes coming
together at the corners. There is something very fascinating about
them, isn't there? I used to notice it so much in dear little Jem. You
see how marked they are in Miles Hugo."
"Yes," Tembarom answered. "A fellow who looked that way at a girl when
he made love to her would get a strangle-holt. She wouldn't forget him
"It strikes you in that way, too?" said Miss Alicia, shyly. "I used to
wonder if it was--not quite nice of me to think of it. But it did seem
that if any one did look at one like that--" Maidenly shyness overcame
her. "Poor Lady Joan!" she sighed.
"There's a sort of cleft in his chin, though it's a good, square
chin," he suggested. "And that smile of his--Were Jem's--?"
"Yes, they were. The likeness was quite odd sometimes-- quite."
"Those are things that wouldn't be likely to change much when he grew
up," Tembarom said, drawing a little closer to the picture. "Poor Jem!
He was up against it hard and plenty. He had it hardest. This chap
There was no mistaking his sympathy. He asked so many questions that
they sat down and talked instead of going through the gallery. He was
interested in the detail of all that had occurred after the ghastly
moment when Jem had risen from the card-table and stood looking
around, like some baited dying animal, at the circle of cruel faces
drawing in about him. How soon had he left London? Where had he gone
first? How had he been killed? He had been buried with others beneath
a fall of earth and stones. Having heard this much, Tembarom saw he
could not ask more questions. Miss Alicia became pale, and her hands
trembled. She could not bear to discuss details so harrowing.
"Say, I oughtn't to let you talk about that," he broke out, and he
patted her hand and made her get up and finish their walk about the
gallery. He held her elbow in his own odd, nice way as he guided her,
and the things he said, and the things he pretended to think or not to
understand, were so amusing that in a short time he had made her
laugh. She knew him well enough by this time to be aware that he was
intentionally obliging her to forget what it only did her harm to
remember. That was his practical way of looking at it.
"Getting a grouch on or being sorry for what you can't help cuts no
ice," he sometimes said. "When it does, me for getting up at daybreak
and keeping at it! But it doesn't, you bet your life on that."
She could see that he had really wanted to hear about Jem, but he knew
it was bad for her to recall things, and he would not allow her to
dwell on them, just as she knew he would not allow himself to dwell on
little Miss Hutchinson, remotely placed among the joys of his beloved
Two other incidents besides the visit to Miles Hugo afterward marked
that day when Miss Alicia looked back on it. The first was his
unfolding to her his plans for the house-party, which was
characteristic of his habit of thinking things over and deciding them
before he talked about them.
"If I'm going to try the thing out, as Ann says I must," he began when
they had gone back to the library after lunch, "I've got to get going.
I'm not seeing any of those Pictorial girls, and I guess I've got to
"You will be invited to dine at places," said Miss Alicia, --
"presently," she added bravely, in fact, with an air of greater
conviction than she felt.
"If it's not the law that they've got to invite me or go to jail,"
said Tembarom, "I don't blame 'em for not doing it if they're not
stuck on me. And they're not; and it's natural. But I've got to get in
my fine work, or my year'll be over before I've 'found out for
myself,' as Ann called it. There's where I'm at, Miss Alicia--and I've
been thinking of Lady Joan and her mother. You said you thought they'd
come and stay here if they were properly asked."
"I think they would," answered Miss Alicia with her usual delicacy. "I
thought I gathered from Lady Mallowe that, as she was to be in the
neighborhood, she would like to see you and Temple Barholm, which she
"If you'll tell me what to do, I'll get her here to stay awhile," he
said, "and Lady Joan with her. You'd have to show me how to write to
ask them; but perhaps you'd write yourself."
"They will be at Asshawe Holt next week," said Miss Alicia, "and we
could go and call on them together. We might write to them in London
before they leave."
"We'll do it," answered Tembarom. His manner was that of a practical
young man attacking matter-of-fact detail. "From what I hear, Lady
Joan would satisfy even Ann. They say she's the best-looker on the
slate. If I see her every day I shall have seen the blue-ribbon
winner. Then if she's here, perhaps others of her sort'll come, too;
and they'll have to see me whether they like it or not--and I shall
see them. Good Lord!" he added seriously, "I'd let 'em swarm all over
me and bite me all summer if it would fix Ann."
He stood up, with his hands thrust deep in his pockets, and looked
down at the floor.
"I wish she knew T. T. like T. T. knows himself," he said. It was
It was so wistful and so boyish that Miss Alicia was thrilled as he
often thrilled her.
"She ought to be a very happy girl," she exclaimed.
"She's going to be," he answered, "sure as you're alive. But whatever
she does, is right, and this is as right as everything else. So it
They wrote their letters at once, and sent them off by the afternoon
post. The letter Miss Alicia composed, and which Tembarom copied, he
read and reread, with visions of Jim Bowles and Julius looking over
his shoulder. If they picked it up on Broadway, with his name signed
to it, and read it, they'd throw a fit over it, laughing. But he
supposed she knew what you ought to write.
It had not, indeed, the masculine touch. When Lady Mallowe read it,
she laughed several times. She knew quite well that he had not known
what to say, and, allowing Miss Alicia to instruct him, had followed
her instructions to the letter. But she did not show the letter to
Joan, who was difficult enough to manage without being given such
material to comment upon.
The letters had just been sent to the post when a visitor was
announced--Captain Palliser. Tembarom remembered the name, and
recalled also certain points connected with him. He was the one who
was a promoter of schemes--"One of the smooth, clever ones that get up
companies," Little Ann had said.
That in a well-bred and not too pronounced way he looked smooth and
clever might be admitted. His effect was that of height, finished
slenderness of build, and extremely well-cut garments. He was no
longer young, and he had smooth, thin hair and a languidly observant
"I have been staying at Detchworth Grange," he explained when he had
shaken hands with the new Temple Barholm and Miss Alicia. "It gave me
an excellent opportunity to come and pay my respects."
There was a hint of uncertainty in the observant gray eye. The fact
was that he realized in the space of five minutes that he knew his
ground even less than he had supposed he did. He had not spent his
week at Detchworth Grange without making many quiet investigations,
but he had found out nothing whatever. The new man was an ignoramus,
but no one had yet seemed to think him exactly a fool. He was not
excited by the new grandeurs of his position and he was not ashamed of
himself. Captain Palliser wondered if he was perhaps sharp--one of
those New Yorkers shrewd even to light-fingeredness in clever
scheming. Stories of a newly created method of business dealing
involving an air of candor and almost primitive good nature--an
American method--had attracted Captain Palliser's attention for some
time. A certain Yankee rawness of manner played a part as a factor, a
crudity which would throw a man off guard if he did not recognize it.
The person who employed the method was of philosophical non-
combativeness. The New York phrase was that "He jollied a man along."
Immense schemes had been carried through in that way. Men in London,
in England, were not sufficiently light of touch in their jocularity.
He wondered if perhaps this young fellow, with his ready laugh and
rather loose-jointed, casual way of carrying himself, was of this
dangerous new school.
What, however, could he scheme for, being the owner of Temple
Barholm's money? It may be mentioned at once that Captain Palliser's
past had been such as had fixed him in the belief that every one was
scheming for something. People with money wanted more or were
privately arranging schemes to prevent other schemers from getting any
shade the better of them. Debutantes with shy eyes and slim figures
had their little plans to engineer delicately. Sometimes they were
larger plans than the uninitiated would have suspected as existing in
the brains of creatures in their 'teens, sometimes they were mere
fantastic little ideas connected with dashing young men or innocent
dances which must be secured or lovely young rivals who must be
evaded. Young men had also deft things to do-- people to see or not to
see, reasons for themselves being seen or avoiding observation. As
years increased, reasons for schemes became more numerous and
amazingly more varied. Women with daughters, with sons, with husbands,
found in each relationship a necessity for active, if quiet,
manoeuvering. Women like Lady Mallowe--good heaven! by what schemes
did not that woman live and have her being--and her daughter's--from
day to day! Without money, without a friend who was an atom more to be
relied on than she would have been herself if an acquaintance had
needed her aid, her outwardly well-to-do and fashionable existence was
a hand-to-hand fight. No wonder she had turned a still rather
brilliant eye upon Sir Moses Monaldini, the great Israelite financier.
All of these types passed rapidly before his mental vision as he
talked to the American Temple Barholm. What could he want, by chance?
He must want something, and it would be discreet to find out what it
chanced to be.
If it was social success, he would be better off in London, where in
these days you could get a good run for your money and could swing
yourself up from one rung of the ladder to another if you paid some
one to show you how. He himself could show him how. A youngster who
had lived the beastly hard life he had lived would be likely to find
exhilaration in many things not difficult to purchase. It was an odd
thing, by the way, the fancy he had taken to the little early-
Victorian spinster. It was not quite natural. It perhaps denoted
tendencies--or lack of tendencies--it would also be well to consider.
Palliser was a sufficiently finished product himself to be struck
greatly by the artistic perfection of Miss Alicia, and to wonder how
much the new man understood it.
He did not talk to him about schemes. He talked to him of New York,
which he had never seen and hoped sometime shortly to visit. The
information he gained was not of the kind he most desired, but it
edified him. Tembarom's knowledge of high finance was a street lad's
knowledge of it, and he himself knew its limitations and probable
unreliability. Such of his facts as rested upon the foundation of
experience did not include multimillionaires and their resources.
Captain Palliser passed lightly to Temple Barholm and its
neighborhood. He knew places and names, and had been to Detchworth
more than once. He had never visited Temple Barholm, and his interest
suggested that he would like to walk through the gardens. Tembarom
took him out, and they strolled about for some time. Even an alert
observer would not have suspected the fact that as they strolled,
Tembarom slouching a trifle and with his hands in his pockets, Captain
Palliser bearing himself with languid distinction, each man was
summing up the other and considering seriously how far and in what
manner he could be counted as an asset.
"You haven't been to Detchworth yet?" Palliser inquired.
"No, not yet," answered Tembarom. The Granthams were of those who had
not yet called.
"It's an agreeable house. The Granthams are agreeable people."
"Are there any young people in the family? " Tembarom asked.
"Young people? Male or female? " Palliser smilingly put it. Suddenly
it occurred to him that this might give him a sort of lead.
"Girls," said Tembarom, crudely--" just plain girls."
Palliser laughed. Here it was, perhaps.
"They are not exactly 'plain' girls, though they are not beauties.
There are four Misses Grantham. Lucy is the prettiest. Amabel is quite
tremendous at tennis."
"Are they ladies?" inquired Tembarom.
Captain Palliser turned and involuntarily stared at him. What was the
fellow getting at?
"I'm afraid I don't quite understand," he said.
The new Temple Barholm looked quite serious. He did not, amazing to
relate, look like a fool even when he gave forth his extraordinary
question. It was his almost business-like seriousness which saved him.
"I mean, do you call them Lady Lucy and Lady Amabel?" he answered.
If he had been younger, less hardened, or less finished, Captain
Palliser would have laughed outright. But he answered without self-
"Oh, I see. You were asking whether the family is a titled one. No; it
is a good old name, quite old, in fact, but no title goes with the
"Who are the titled people about here?" Tembarom asked, quite
"The Earl of Pevensy at Pevensy Park, the Duke of Stone at Stone
Hover, Lord Hambrough at Doone. Doone is in the next county, just over
"Have they all got daughters?"
Captain Palliser found it expedient to clear his throat before
"Lord Pevensy has daughters, so has the duke. Lord Hambrough has three
"How many daughters are there--in a bunch?" Mr. Temple Barholm
There Captain Palliser felt it safe to allow himself to smile, as
though taking it with a sense of humor.
"'In a bunch' is an awfully good way of putting it," he said. "It
happens to apply perhaps rather unfortunately well; both families are
much poorer than they should be, and daughters must be provided for.
Each has four. 'In a bunch' there are eight: Lady Alice, Lady Edith,
Lady Ethel, and Lady Celia at Stone Hover; Lady Beatrice, Lady
Gwynedd, Lady Honora, and Lady Gwendolen at Pevensy Park. And not a
fortune among them, poor girls!"
"It's not the money that matters so much," said the astounding
foreigner, "it's the titles."
Captain Palliser stopped short in the garden path for a moment. He
could scarcely believe his ears. The crude grotesqueness of it so far
got the better of him that if he had not coughed he would have
"I've had a confounded cold lately," he said. "Excuse me; I must get
He turned a little aside and coughed energetically.
After watching him a few seconds Tembarom slipped two fingers into his
waistcoat pocket and produced a small tube of tablets.
"Take two of these," he said as soon as the cough stopped. "I always
carry it about with me. It's a New York thing called 'G. Destroyer.' G
stands for grippe."
Palliser took it.
"Thanks. With water? No? Just dissolve in the mouth. Thanks awfully."
And he took two, with tears still standing in his eyes.
"Don't taste bad, do they?" Mr. Temple Barholm remarked encouragingly.
"Not at all. I think I shall be all right now. I just needed the
relief. I have been trying to restrain it."
"That's a mistake," said Tembarom. They strolled on a pace or so, and
he began again, as though he did not mean to let the subject drop.
"It's the titles," he said, "and the kind. How many of them are good-
Palliser reflected a moment, as though making mental choice.
"Lady Alice and Lady Celia are rather plain," he said, "and both of
them are invalidish. Lady Ethel is tall and has handsome eyes, but
Lady Edith is really the beauty of the family. She rides and dances
well and has a charming color."
"And the other ones," Tembaron suggested as he paused--"Lady Beatrice
and Lady Gwynedd and Lady Honora and Lady Gwendolen."
"You remember their names well," Palliser remarked with a half-laugh.
"Oh, I shall remember them all right," Tembarom answered. "I earned
twenty-five per in New York by getting names down fine."
"The Talchesters are really all rather taking. Talchester is Lord
Pevensy's family name," Palliser explained. "They are girls who have
pretty little noses and bright complexions and eyes. Lady Gwynedd and
Lady Honora both have quite fascinating dimples."
"Dimples!" exclaimed his companion. "Good business."
"Do you like dimples particularly?" Palliser inquired with an
"I'd always make a bee-line for a dimple," replied Mr. Temple Barholm.
"Clear the way when I start."
This was New York phrasing, and was plainly humorous; but there was
something more than humor in his eye and smile--something hinting
distantly at recollection.
"You'll find them at Pevensy Park," said Palliser.
"What about Lady Joan Fayre?" was the next inquiry.
Palliser's side glance at him was observant indeed. He asked himself
how much the man could know. Taking the past into consideration, Lady
Joan might turn out to be a subject requiring delicate handling. It
was not the easiest thing in the world to talk at all freely to a
person with whom one desired to keep on
good terms, about a young woman supposed still to cherish a tragic
passion for the dead man who ought to stand at the present moment in
the person's, figuratively speaking, extremely ill-fitting shoes.
"Lady Joan has been from her first season an undeniable beauty," he
"She and the old lady are going to stay at a place called Asshawe