Part 2 out of 5
since we were children. And then he went away to college. He
did several things father didn't like. You know how older people
are--they don't make allowances. And though father's the
gentlest, best--at any rate, he turned against Jack, and--"
Scarborough abruptly went to the window and stood with his back
After a pause Pauline said, in a rush, "And he came here last
fall and we got married."
There was a long silence.
"It was DREADFUL, wasn't it?" she said in the tone of one who
has just made a shocking discovery.
Scarborough did not answer.
"I never realized till this minute," she went on after a while.
"Not that I'm sorry or that I don't--don't CARE--just as I
always did. But somehow, telling it out loud to some one else
has made me see it in a different light. It didn't seem like
treachery to them--to father and mother--then. It hasn't seemed
like a--a marriage REALLY marriage--until now."
Another long silence. Then she burst out appealingly: "Oh, I
don't see how I'm ever going to tell them!"
Scarborough came back to his chair and seated himself. His face
was curiously white. It was in an unnatural voice that he said:
"How old is he?"
"Twenty-five," she replied, then instantly flared up, as if he
had attacked Dumont: "But it wasn't his fault--not in the
least. I knew what I was doing--and I wanted to do it. You
mustn't get a false impression of him, Hampden. You'd admire and
respect him. You--any one--would have done as he did in the same
circumstances." She blushed slightly. "You and he are ever so
much alike--even in looks. It was that that made me tell you,
that made me like you as I have--and trust you."
Scarborough winced. Presently he began: "Yet you regret----"
"No--no!" she protested--too vehemently. "I do NOT regret
marrying him. That was certain to be sooner or later. All I
regret is that I did something that seems underhanded. Perhaps
I'm really only sorry I didn't tell them as soon as I'd done
She waited until she saw he was not going to speak. "And now,"
she said, "I don't know HOW to tell them." Again she waited,
but he did not speak, continued to look steadily out into the
sky. "What do you think?" she asked nervously. "But I can
see without your saying. Only I--wish you'd SAY it."
"No, I don't condemn you," he said slowly. "I know you. YOU
couldn't possibly do anything underhanded. If you'd been where
you'd have had to conceal it directly, face to face, from some
one who had the right to know--you'd never have done it." He
rested his arms on the table and looked straight at her. "I
feel I must tell you what I think. And I feel, too, it wouldn't
be fair and honest if I didn't let you see why you might not want
to take my advice."
She returned his gaze inquiringly.
"I love you," he went on calmly. "I've known it ever since I
missed you so at the Christmas holidays. I love you for what you
are, and for what you're as certain to be as--as a rosebud is
certain to be a full-blown rose. I love you as my father loved
my mother. I shall love you always." His manner was calm,
matter-of-fact; but there was in his musical, magical voice a
certain quality which set her nerves and her blood suddenly to
vibrating. She felt as if she were struggling in a great
sea--the sea of his love for her--struggling to reach the safety
of the shore.
"Oh--I WISH you hadn't told me!" she exclaimed.
"Suppose I hadn't; suppose you had taken my advice? No"--he
shook his head slowly--"I couldn't do that, Pauline--not even to
"I'm sorry I said anything to you about it."
"You needn't be. You haven't harmed yourself. And maybe I can
"No--we won't talk of it," she said--she was pressing her hand
on her bosom where she could feel her wedding ring. "It
wouldn't be right, now. I don't wish your advice."
"But I must give it. I'm years and years older than you--many,
many years more than the six between us. And----"
"I don't wish to hear."
"For his sake, for your own sake, Pauline, tell them! And
they'll surely help you to wait till you're older before you do
"But I care for him," she said--angrily, though it could not
have been what he was saying so gently that angered her. "You
forget that I care for him. It IS irrevocable now. And I'm glad
"You LIKE him. You don't LOVE him. And--he's not worthy of
your love. I'm sure it isn't prejudice that makes me say it. If
he were, he'd have waited----"
She was on her feet, her eyes blazing.
"I asked for advice, not a lecture. I DESPISE you! Attacking
the man I love and behind his back! I wish to be alone."
He rose but met her look without flinching.
"You can send ME away," he said gently, "but you can't send
away my words. And if they're true you'll feel them when you get
over your anger. You'll do what you think right. But--be SURE,
Pauline. Be SURE!" In his eyes there was a look--the secret
altar with the never-to-be-extinguished flame upon it. "Be
SURE!, Pauline. Be SURE."
Her anger fell; she sank, forlorn, into a chair. For both, the
day had shriveled and shadowed. And as he turned and left the
room the warmth and joy died from air and sky and earth; both of
them felt the latent chill--it seemed not a reminiscence of
winter past but the icy foreboding of winter closing in.
When Olivia came back that evening from shopping in Indianapolis
she found her cousin packing.
"Is it something from home?" she asked, alarmed.
Pauline did not look up as she answered:
"No--but I'm going home--to stay--going in the morning. I've
"Yes--I was married to Jack--here--last fall."
"You--married! To JOHN DUMONT--you, only seventeen--oh,
Pauline--" And Olivia gave way to tears for the first time
since she was a baby.
Scarborough was neither at supper nor at breakfast--Pauline left
without seeing him again.
When the sign-board on a station platform said "5.2 miles to St.
X," Pauline sank back in her chair in the parlor-car with
blanched face. And almost immediately, so it seemed to her,
Saint X came into view--home! She fancied she could see the very
house as she looked down on the mass of green in which the town
was embowered. The train slid into the station, slowed
down--there were people waiting on the platform--her father! He
was glancing from window to window, trying to catch a glimpse of
her; and his expression of almost agonized eagerness made her
heartsick. She had been away from him for nearly seven
months--long enough to break the habit which makes it impossible
for members of a family to know how they really look to each
other. How gray and thin his beard seemed! What was the meaning
of that gaunt look about his shoulders? What was the strange,
terrifying shadow over him? "Why, he's OLD!" The tears welled
into her eyes--"He's gliding away from me!" She remembered
what she had to tell him and her knees almost refused to support
He was at the step as she sprang down. She flew into his arms.
He held her away from him and scanned her face with anxious eyes.
"Is my little girl ill?" he asked. "The telegram made me
"Oh, no!" she said with a reassuring hug. "Where's mother?"
"She--she's got a--a--surprise for you. We must hurry--she'll
be impatient, though she's seen you since I have."
At the curbstone stood the familiar surrey, with Mordecai humped
upon the front seat. "I don't see how the colonel ever knowed
you," said he, as she shook hands with him. "I never seen the
like for growin'."
"But YOU look just the same, Mordecai--you and the surrey and
the horses. And how's Amanda?"
"Poorly," replied Mordecai--his invariable answer to inquiries
about his wife. She patterned after the old school, which held
that for a woman to confess to good health was for her to confess
to lack of refinement, if not of delicacy.
"You think I've changed, father?" asked Pauline, when the
horses were whirling them home. She was so busily greeting the
familiar streets and houses and trees and faces that she hardly
heard his reply.
"`I never seen the like for growin',' " he quoted, his eyes
shining with pride in her. He was a reticent man by nature as
well as by training; he could not have SAID how beautiful, how
wonderful he thought her, or how intensely he loved her. The
most he could do to express himself to her was, a little shyly,
to pat her hand--and to LOOK it into Mordecai's back.
She was about to snuggle up to him as a wave of delight at being
home again swept over her; but her secret rushed from the
background of her mind. "How could I have done it? How can I
tell them?" Then, the serene and beautiful kindness of her
father's face reassured her.
Her mother was waiting in the open front door as the surrey came
up the drive--still the same dear old-young mother, with the same
sweet dignity and gentleness.
"Oh, mother, mother!" exclaimed Pauline, leaping from the
carriage into her arms. And as they closed about her she felt
that sorrow and evil could not touch her; felt just as when she,
a little girl, fleeing from some frightful phantom of her own
imagining, had rushed there for safety. She choked, she sobbed,
she led her mother to the big sofa opposite the stairway; and,
sitting there, they held each the other tightly, Pauline kissing
her, smoothing her hair, she caressing Pauline and crying softly.
"We've got a surprise for you, Polly," said she, when they were
"I don't want anything but you and father," replied Pauline.
Her father turned away--and so she did not see the shadow deepen
in his face. Her mother shook her head, mischief in her eyes
that were young as a girl's--younger far than her daughter's at
that moment. "Go into the sitting-room and see," she said.
Pauline opened the sitting-room door. John Dumont caught her in
his arms. "Polly!" he exclaimed. "It's all right. They've
come round and--and--here I am!"
Pauline pushed him away from her and sank to the floor in a
When she came to herself she was lying on the divan in the
sitting-room. Her mother was kneeling beside her, bathing her
temples with cold water; her father and her husband were
standing, helplessly looking at her. "Send him away," she
murmured, closing her eyes.
Only her mother heard. She motioned to the two men to leave the
room. When the door closed Pauline sat up.
"He said it was all right," she began feverishly. "What did
he mean, mother?" She was hoping she was to be spared the worst
part of her ordeal.
But her mother's reply dashed her hopes, made her settle back
among the cushions and hide her face. "It IS all right, Polly.
You're to have your own way, and it's your father's way. John
has convinced him that he really has changed. We knew--that is,
I suspected why you were coming, and we thought we'd give you a
surprise--give you what your heart was set on, before you had to
ask for it. I'm so sorry, dear, that the shock was--"
Pauline lay perfectly still, her face hidden. After a pause:
"I don't feel well enough to see him now. I want this day with
you and father. To-morrow--to-morrow, we'll--to-day I want to be
as I was when I was--just you and father, and the house and the
Her mother left her for a moment and, when she came back, said:
Pauline gave a quick sigh of relief. Soon she rose. "I'm going
for father, and we'll walk in the garden and forget there's
anybody else in the world but just us three."
At half-past eight they had family prayers in the sitting-room;
Pauline kneeling near her mother, her father kneeling beside his
arm-chair and in a tremulous voice pouring out his gratitude to
God for keeping them all "safe from the snares and temptations
of the world," for leading them thus far on the journey.
"And, God, our Father, we pray Thee, have this daughter of ours,
this handmaiden of Thine, ever in Thy keeping. And these things
we ask in the name of Thy Son--Amen." The serene quiet, the
beloved old room, the evening scene familiar to her from her
earliest childhood, her father's reverent, earnest voice, halting
and almost breaking after every word of the petition for her; her
mother's soft echo of his "Amen"--Pauline's eyes were swimming
as she rose from her knees.
Her mother went with her to her bedroom, hovered about her as she
undressed, helped her now and then with fingers that trembled
with happiness, and, when she was in bed, put out the light and
"tucked her in" and kissed her--as in the old days. "Good
night--God bless my little daughter--my HAPPY little daughter."
Pauline waited until she knew that they were sleeping. Then she
put on a dressing-gown and went to the open window--how many
springtimes had she sat there in the moonlight to watch, as now,
the tulips and the hyacinths standing like fairies and bombarding
the stars with the most delicious perfumes.
She sat hour after hour, giving no outward sign of battle within.
In every lull came Scarborough's "Be SURE, Pauline!" to start
the tumult afresh. When the stars began to pale in the dawn she
rose--she WAS sure. Far from sure that she was doing the best
for herself; but sure, sure without a doubt, that she was doing
her duty to her parents.
"I must not punish THEM for MY sin," she said.
Late the next morning she went to the farthest corner of the
garden, to the small summer-house where she had played with her
dolls and her dishes, where she had worked with slate and
spelling-book, where she had read her favorite school-girl
romances, where she had dreamed her own school-girl romance. She
was waiting under the friendly old canopy of bark--the posts
supporting it were bark-clad, too; up and around and between them
clambered the morning-glories in whose gorgeous, velvet-soft
trumpets the sun-jewels glittered.
And presently he came down the path, his keen face and insolent
eyes triumphant. He was too absorbed in his own emotion
especially to note hers. Besides, she had always been receptive
rather than demonstrative with him.
"We'll be married again, and do the gossips out of a
sensation," he said. Though she was not looking at him, his
eyes shifted from her face as he added in a voice which at
another time she might have thought strained: "Then, too, your
father and mother and mine are so strait-laced--it'd give 'em a
terrible jar to find out. You're a good deal like them,
Polly--only in a modern sort of way."
Pauline flushed scarlet and compressed her lips. She said
presently: "You're sure you wish it?"
"To marry me. Sometimes I've thought we're both too young, that
we might wait----"
He put his arm round her with an air of proud possession.
"What'd be the sense in that?" he demanded gaily. "Aren't you
And again she flushed and lowered her eyes and compressed her
lips. Then she astonished him by flinging her arms round his
neck and kissing him hysterically. "But I DO love you!" she
exclaimed. "I do! I DO!"
A THOROUGHBRED RUNS AWAY.
It was midday six weeks later, and Pauline and Dumont were
landing at Liverpool, when Scarborough read in the college-news
column of the Battle Field Banner that she had "married the only
son of Henry Dumont, of Saint Christopher, one of the richest men
in our state, and has departed for an extended foreign tour."
Olivia--and Pierson naturally--had known, but neither had had the
courage to tell him.
Scarborough was in Pierson's room. He lowered the paper from in
front of his face after a few minutes.
"I see Pauline has married and gone abroad," he said.
"Yes, so I heard from Olivia," replied Pierson, avoiding
"Why didn't you tell me?" continued Scarborough, tranquil so
far as Pierson could judge. "I'd have liked to send her a
Pierson was silent.
"I thought it would cut him horribly," he was thinking. "And
he's taking it as if he had only a friendly interest."
Scarborough's face was again behind the newspaper. When he had
finished it he sauntered toward the door. He paused there to
glance idly at the titles of the top row in the book-case.
Pierson was watching him. "No--it's all right," he concluded.
Scarborough was too straight and calm just to have received such
a blow as that news would have been had HE cared for Pauline.
Pierson liked his look better than ever before--the tall,
powerful figure; the fair hair growing above his wide and lofty
brow, with the one defiant lock; and in his aquiline nose and
blue-gray eyes and almost perfect mouth and chin the stamp of one
who would move forward irresistibly, moving others to his will.
"How old are you, Scarborough?" he asked.
"Twenty-three-nearly twenty-four. I ought to be ashamed to be
only a freshman, oughtn't I?" He shrugged his shoulders. "I'm
tired of it all." And he strolled out.
He avoided Pierson and Olivia and all his friends for several
days, went much into the woods alone, took long walks at night.
Olivia would have it that he had been hard hit, and almost
"He's the sort of person that suffers the most," she said.
"I've a brother like him--won't have sympathy, keeps a wound
covered up so that it can't heal."
"But what shall I do for him?" asked Pierson.
"Don't do anything--he'd hate you if you did."
After a week or ten days he called on Pierson and, seating
himself at the table, began to shuffle a pack of cards. He
"I never saw cards until I was fifteen," he said.
"At home they thought them one of the devil's worst devices--we
had a real devil in our house."
"So did we," said Pierson.
"But not a rip-snorter like ours--they don't have him in cities,
or even in towns, any more. I've seen ours lots of times after
the lights were out--saw him long after I'd convinced myself in
daylight that he didn't exist. But I never saw him so close as
the night of the day I learned to play casino."
"Did you learn in the stable?" asked Pierson.
"That's where I learned, and mother slipped up behind me--I
didn't know what was coming till I saw the look in the other
boy's face. Then--" Pierson left the rest to imagination.
"I learned in the hay-loft--my sister and my cousin Ed and I.
One of the farm-hands taught us. The cards were so stained we
could hardly see the faces. That made them look the more
devilish. And a thunder-storm came up and the lightning struck a
tree a few rods from the barn."
"Horrible!" exclaimed Pierson. "I'll bet you fell to
"Not I. I'd just finished Tom Paine's Age of Reason--a
preacher's son down the pike stole it from a locked closet in his
father's library and loaned it to me. But I'll admit the
thunderbolt staggered me. I said to them--pretty shakily, I
guess: `Come on, let's begin again.' But the farm-hand said:
`I reckon I'll get on the safe side,' and began to pray--how he
roared! And I laughed--how wicked and reckless and brave that
laugh did sound to me. 'Bella and Ed didn't know which to be
more afraid of--my ridicule or the lightning. They
compromised--they didn't pray and they didn't play."
"And so you've never touched a card since."
"We played again the next afternoon--let's have a game of poker.
I'm bored to death today."
This was Scarborough's first move toward the fast set of which
Pierson was leader. It was a small fast set--there were not many
spoiled sons at Battle Field. But its pace was rapid; for every
member of it had a constitution that was a huge reservoir of
animal spirits and western energy. They "cribbed" their way
through recitations and examinations--as the faculty did not put
the students on honor but watched them, they reasoned that
cribbing was not dishonorable provided one did barely enough of
it to pull him through. They drank a great deal--usually whisky,
which they disliked but poured down raw, because it was the
"manly" drink and to take it undiluted was the "manly" way.
They made brief excursions to Indianapolis and Chicago for the
sort of carousals that appeal to the strong appetites and
undiscriminating tastes of robust and curious youth.
Scarborough at once began to reap the reward of his advantages--a
naturally bold spirit, an unnaturally reckless mood. In two
weeks he won three hundred dollars, half of it from Pierson. He
went to Chicago and in three nights' play increased this to
twenty-nine hundred. The noise of the unprecedented achievement
echoed through the college. In its constellation of bad examples
a new star had blazed out, a star of the first magnitude.
Bladen Scarborough had used his surplus to improve and extend his
original farm. But farms were now practically unsalable, and
Hampden and Arabella were glad to let their cousin Ed--Ed
Warfield--stay on, rent free, because with him there they were
certain that the place would be well kept up. Hampden, poor in
cash, had intended to spend the summer as a book agent. Instead,
he put by a thousand dollars of his winnings to insure next
year's expenses and visited Pierson at his family's cottage in
the summer colony at Mackinac. He won at poker there and went on
East, taking Pierson. He lost all he had with him, all Pierson
could lend him, telegraphed to Battle Field for half his thousand
dollars, won back all he had lost and two thousand besides.
When he reappeared at Battle Field in September he was dazzling
to behold. His clothes were many and had been imported for him
by the Chicago agent of a London tailor. His shirts and ties
were in patterns and styles that startled Battle Field. He had
taken on manners and personal habits befitting a "man of the
world"--but he had not lost that simplicity and directness which
were as unchangeably a part of him as the outlines of his face or
the force which forbade him to be idle for a moment. He and
Pierson--Pierson was pupil, now--took a suite of rooms over a
shop in the town and furnished them luxuriously. They had
brought from New York to look after them and their belongings the
first English manservant Battle Field had seen.
Scarborough kept up his college work; he continued regularly to
attend the Literary Society and to be its most promising orator
and debater; he committed no overt act--others might break the
college rules, might be publicly intoxicated and noisy, but he
was always master of himself and of the situation. Some of the
fanatical among the religious students believed and said that he
had sold himself to the devil. He would have been expelled
summarily but for Pierson--Pierson's father was one of the two
large contributors to the support of the college, and it was
expected that he would will it a generous endowment. To entrap
Scarborough was to entrap Pierson. To entrap Pierson-- The
faculty strove to hear and see as little as possible of their
In the college Y.M.C.A. prayers were offered for Scarborough--his
name was not spoken, but every one understood. A delegation of
the religious among his faithful fellow barbs called upon him to
pray and to exhort. They came away more charmed than ever with
their champion, and convinced that he was the victim of slander
and envy. Not that he had deliberately deceived them, for he
hadn't; he was simply courteous and respectful of their
"The fraternities are in this somewhere," the barbs decided.
"They're trying to destroy him by lying about him." And they
liked it that their leader was the brilliant, the talked-about,
the sought-after person in the college. When he stood up to
speak in the assembly hall or the Literary Society they always
greeted him with several rounds of applause.
To the chagrin of the faculty and the irritation of the
fraternities a jury of alumni selected him to represent Battle
Field at the oratorical contest among the colleges of the state.
And he not only won there but also at the interstate contest--a
victory over the orators of the colleges of seven western states
in which public speaking was, and is, an essential part of higher
education. His oratory lacked style, they thought at Battle
Field. It was the same then, essentially, as it was a few years
later when the whole western country was discussing it. He
seemed to depend entirely upon the inherent carrying power of his
ably constructed sentences--like so many arrows, some flying
gracefully, others straight and swift, all reaching the mark at
which they were aimed. In those days, as afterward, he stood
upon the platform almost motionless; his voice was clear and
sweet, never noisy, but subtly penetrating and, when the sense
demanded it, full of that mysterious quality which makes the
blood run more swiftly and the nerves tingle. "Merely a talker,
not an orator," declared the professor of elocution, and few of
those who saw him every day appreciated his genius then. It was
on the subject-matter of his oration, not on his "delivery,"
that the judges decided for him--so they said and thought.
In February of this resplendent sophomore year there came in his
mail a letter postmarked Battle Field and addressed in printed
handwriting. The envelope contained only a newspaper
cutting--from the St. Christopher Republic:
At four o'clock yesterday afternoon a boy was born to Mr. and
Mrs. John Dumont. It is their first child, the first grandchild
of the Dumont and Gardiner families. Mother and son are reported
as doing well.
Scarborough spent little time in the futile effort to guess what
coward enemy had sped this anonymous shaft on the chance of its
hitting him. His only enemies that interested him were those
within himself. He destroyed envelope and clipping, then said to
Pierson: "I neglected to celebrate an important event not long
ago." He paused to laugh--so queerly that Pierson looked at him
uneasily. "We must go to Chicago to celebrate it."
"Very good," said Fred. "We'll get Chalmers to go with us
"No-to-day--the four-o'clock train--we've got an hour and a
half. And we'll have four clear days."
"But there's the ball to-night and I'm down for several
"We'll dance them in Chicago. I've never been really free to
dance before." He poured out a huge drink. "I'm impatient for
the ball to begin." He lifted his glass. "To our ancestors,"
he said, "who repressed themselves, denied themselves, who
hoarded health and strength and capacity for joy, and transmitted
them in great oceans to us--to drown our sorrows in!"
He won six hundred dollars at faro in a club not far from the
Auditorium, Pierson won two hundred at roulette, Chalmers lost
seventy--they had about fourteen hundred dollars for their four
days' "dance." When they took the train for Battle Field they
had spent all they had with them--had flung it away for dinners,
for drives, for theaters, for suppers, for champagne. All the
return journey Scarborough stared moodily out of the car window.
And at every movement that disturbed his clothing there rose to
nauseate him, to fill him with self-loathing, the odors of
strong, sickening-sweet perfumes.
The next day but one, as he was in the woods near Indian Rock, he
saw Olivia coming toward him. They had hardly spoken for several
months. He turned to avoid her but she came on after him.
"I wish to talk with you a few minutes, Mr. Scarborough," she
said coldly, storm in her brave eyes.
"At your service," he answered with strained courtesy. And he
walked beside her.
"I happen to know," she began, "that they're going to expel
you and Fred Pierson the next time you leave here without
"Indeed! You are very kind to warn me of my awful danger." He
looked down at her with a quizzical smile.
"And I wish to say I think it's a disgrace that they didn't do
it long ago," she went on, her anger rising to the bait of his
"Your opinions are always interesting," he replied. "If you
have nothing further I'll ask your permission to relieve you
"No," she interrupted. "I've not said what I wished to say.
You're making it hard for me. I can't get accustomed to the
change in you since last year. There used to be a good side to
you, a side one could appeal to. And I want to talk about--Fred.
You're RUINING him."
"You flatter me." He bowed mockingly. "But I doubt if HE'D
"I've told him the same thing, but you're too strong for me."
Her voice trembled; she steadied it with a frown. "I can't
influence him any longer."
"Really, Miss Shrewsbury----"
"Please!" she said. "Fred and I were engaged. I broke it
last night. I broke it because--you know why."
Scarborough flushed crimson.
"Oh," he said. "I didn't know he was engaged."
"I know you, Hampden Scarborough," Olivia continued. "I've
understood why you've been degrading yourself. And I haven't
blamed you--though I've wondered at your lack of manhood."
"You are imposing on my courtesy," he said haughtily.
"I can't help it. You and I must talk this thing to the end.
You're robbing me of the man I love. Worse than that, you're
destroying him, dragging him down to a level at which HE may
stay, while YOU are sure to rise again. You've got your living
to make--I don't agree with those who think you'll become a
professional gambler. But he his father's rich and indulgent,
and--God only knows how low he'll sink if you keep on pushing
"You are excited, hysterical. You misjudge him, believe me,"
said Scarborough, gently.
"No--I know he's not depraved--yet. Do you think _I_ could care
for him if he were?"
"I hope so. That's when he'd need it most."
Olivia grew red. "Well, perhaps I should. I'm a fool, like all
women. But I ask you to let him alone, to give his better self a
"Why not ask him to let ME alone--to give MY better nature a
"You--laughing at me in these circumstances! You who pretended
to be a man, pretended to love Pauline Gardiner----"
He started and his eyes blazed, as if she had cut him across the
face with a whip. Then he drew himself up with an expression of
insolent fury. His lips, his sharp white teeth, were cruel.
She bore his look without flinching.
"Yes," she went on, "you think you love her. Yet you act as
if her love were a degrading influence in your life, as if she
were a bad woman instead of one who ought to inspire a man to do
and be his best. How ashamed she'd be of you, of your love, if
she could see you as you are now--the tempter of all the bad
impulses in this college."
He could not trust himself to reply. He was suffocating with
rage and shame. He lifted his hat, walked rapidly away from her
and went home. Pierson had never seen him in an ugly mood
before. And he, too, was in an ugly mood--disgusted with his own
conduct, angry at Scarborough, whom he held responsible for the
unprecedented excesses of this last trip to Chicago and for their
"What's happened?" he asked sourly. "What's the matter with
"Your Olivia," replied Scarborough, with a vicious sneer, "has
been insulting me for your sins. She is a shrew! I don't wonder
you dropped her."
Pierson rose slowly and faced him.
"You astonish me," he said. "I shouldn't have believed you
capable of a speech which no gentleman could possibly utter."
"YOU, sitting as a court of honor to decide what's becoming a
gentleman!" Scarborough looked amused contempt. "My dear
Pierson, you're worse than offensive--you are ridiculous."
"No man shall say such things to me especially a man who
notoriously lives by his wits."
Scarborough caught him up as if he had been a child and pinned
him against the wall. "Take that back," he said, "or I'll
kill you." His tone was as colorless as his face.
"Kill and be damned," replied Pierson, cool and disdainful.
"You're a coward."
Scarborough's fingers closed on Pierson's throat. Then flashed
into his mind that warning which demands and gets a hearing in
the wildest tempest of passion before an irrevocable act can be
done. It came to him in the form of a reminder of his laughing
remark to Pauline when he told her of the traditions of murder in
his family. He released Pierson and fled from the apartment.
Half an hour later Pierson was reading a note from him:
"I've invited some friends this evening. I trust it will be
convenient for you to absent yourself. They'll be out by eleven,
and then, if you return, we can decide which is to stay in the
apartment and which to leave."
Pierson went away to his fraternity house and at half-past eight
Scarborough, Chalmers, Jack Wilton and Brigham sat down to a game
of poker. They had played about an hour, the cards steadily
against Chalmers and Brigham--the cards were usually against
Brigham. He was a mere boy, with passionate aspirations to be
considered a sport. He had been going a rapid gait for a year.
He had lost to Scarborough alone as much as he had expected to
spend on the year's education.
Toward ten o'clock there was a jack-pot with forty-three dollars
in it and Brigham was betting wildly, his hands and his voice
trembling, his lips shriveled. With a sudden gesture Chalmers
caught the ends of the table and jerked it back. There--in
Brigham's lap--were two cards.
"I thought so!" exclaimed Chalmers. "You dirty little cheat!
I've been watching you."
The boy looked piteously at Chalmers' sneering face, at the faces
of the others. The tears rolled down his cheeks. "For God's
sake, boys," he moaned, "don't be hard on me. I was desperate.
I've lost everything, and my father can't give me any more. He's
a poor man, and he and mother have been economizing and
sacrificing to send me here. And when I saw I was ruined--God
knows, I didn't think what I was doing." He buried his face in
his hands. "Don't be hard on me," he sobbed. "Any one of you
might have done the same if he was in my fix."
"You sniveling cur," said Chalmers, high and virtuous, "how
dare you say such a thing! You forget you're among
"None of that, Chalmers," interrupted Scarborough. "The boy's
telling the truth. And nobody knows it better than YOU." This
with a significant look into Chalmers' eyes. They shifted and he
"I agree with Scarborough," said Wilton. "We oughtn't to have
let the boy into our games. We must never mention what has
happened here this evening."
"But we can't allow a card sharp to masquerade as a gentleman,"
objected Chalmers. "I confess, Scarborough, I don't understand
how you can be so easy-going in a matter of honor."
"You think I must have a fellow-feeling for dishonor, eh?"
Scarborough smiled satirically. "I suppose because I was
sympathetic enough with you to overlook the fact that you were
shy on your share of our Chicago trip."
"What do you mean?"
"The three hundred you borrowed of Pierson when you thought he
was too far gone to know what he was doing. My back was
turned--but there was the mirror."
Chalmers' sullen, red face confirmed Scarborough's charge.
"No," continued Scarborough, "we GENTLEMEN ought to be
charitable toward one another's DISCOVERED lapses." He seated
himself at his desk and wrote rapidly:
We, the undersigned, exonerate Edwin Brigham of cheating in the
poker game in Hampden Scarborough's rooms on Saturday evening,
February 20, 18--. And we pledge ourselves never to speak of the
matter either to each other or to any one else.
"I've signed first," said Scarborough, rising and holding the
pen toward Chalmers. "Now, you fellows sign. Chalmers!"
Chalmers signed, and then Wilton.
"Take Chalmers away with you," said Scarborough to Wilton in an
undertone. "I've something to say to Brigham."
When they were gone he again seated himself at his desk and,
taking his check-book, wrote a check and tore it out.
"Now, listen to me, Brig," he said friendlily to Brigham, who
seemed to be in a stupor. "I've won about six hundred dollars
from you, first and last--more, rather than less. Will that
amount put you in the way of getting straight?"
"Yes," said Brigham, dully.
"Then here's a check for it. And here's the paper exonerating
you. And--I guess you won't play again soon."
The boy choked back his sobs.
"I don't know how I ever came to do it, Scarborough. Oh, I'm a
dog, a dog! When I started to come here my mother took me up to
her bedroom and opened the drawer of her bureau and took out a
savings-bank book--it had a credit of twelve hundred dollars.
`Do you see that?' she said. `When you were born I began to put
by as soon as I was able--every cent I could from the butter and
the eggs--to educate my boy. And now it's all coming true,' she
said, Scarborough, and we cried together. And----" Brigham
burst into a storm of tears and sobs. "Oh, how could I do it!"
he said. "How COULD I!"
"You've done wrong," said Scarborough, shakily, "but I've done
much worse, Eddie. And it's over now, and everything'll be all
"But I can't take your money, Scarborough. I must pay for what
"You mean, make your mother pay. No, you must take it back,
Brigham. I owe it to you--I owe it to your mother. This, is the
butter and egg money that I--I stole from her."
He put the papers into the boy's pocket. "You and I are going
to be friends," he went on.
"Come round and see me to-morrow--no, I'll look you up." He
put out his hand and held Brigham's hand in a courage-giving
grasp. "And--I hope I'll have the honor of meeting your mother
Brigham could only look his feelings. Soon after he left Pierson
came. His anger had evaporated and his chief emotion was dread
lest Scarborough might still be angry. "I want to take
back----" he began eagerly, as soon as his head was inside the
"I know you do, but you shan't," replied Scarborough. "What
you said was true, what Olivia said was true. I've been acting
like a blackguard."
"No," said Pierson, "what I said was a disgraceful lie. Will
you try to forget it, Scarborough?"
"FORGET it?" Scarborough looked at his friend with brilliant
eyes. "Never! So help me God, never! It's one of three things
that have occurred to-day that I must never forget."
"Then we can go on as before. You'll still be my friend?"
"Not STILL, Fred, but for the first time."
He looked round the luxurious study with a laugh and a sigh.
"It'll be a ghastly job, getting used to the sort of
surroundings I can earn for myself. But I've got to grin and
bear it. We'll stay on here together to the end of the term--my
share's paid, and besides, I'm not going to do anything
sensational. Next year--we'll see."
While Pierson was having his final cigarette before going to bed
he looked up from his book to see before him Scarborough, even
more tremendous and handsome in his gaudy pajamas.
"I wish to register a solemn vow," said he, with mock solemnity
that did not hide the seriousness beneath. "Hear me, ye
immortal gods! Never again, never again, will I engage in any
game with a friend where there is a stake. I don't wish to
tempt. I don't wish to be tempted."
"What nonsense!" said Pierson. "You're simply cutting
yourself off from a lot of fun."
"I have spoken," said Scarborough, and he withdrew to his
bedroom. When the door was closed and the light out he paused at
the edge of the bed and said: "And never again, so long as he
wishes to retain his title to the name man, will Hampden
Scarborough take from anybody anything which he hasn't honestly
And when he was in bed he muttered: "I shall be alone, and I
may stay poor and obscure, but I'll get back my self-respect--and
MRS. JOHN DUMONT.
And Pauline?--She was now looking back upon the first year of her
She had been so brought up that at seventeen, within a few weeks
of eighteen, she had only the vaguest notion of the meaning of
the step she was about to take in "really marrying" John
Dumont. Also, it had never occurred to her as possible for a
properly constituted woman not to love her husband. It was
clearly her duty to marry Jack; therefore, the doubting thoughts
and the ache at the heart which would not ease were merely more
outcroppings of the same evil part of her nature that had tempted
her into deceiving her parents, and into entangling herself and
Scarborough. She knew that, if she were absolutely free, she
would not marry Jack. But she felt that she had bartered away
her birthright of freedom; and now, being herself, the daughter
of HER father and HER mother, she would honorably keep her
bargain, would love where she ought to love--at seventeen "I
will" means "I shall." And so--they were "really married."
But the days passed, and there was no sign of the miracle she had
confidently expected. The magic of the marriage vow failed to
transform her; Pauline Dumont was still Pauline Gardiner in mind
and in heart. There was, however, a miracle, undreamed of,
mysterious, overwhelming--John Dumont, the lover, became John
Dumont, the husband. Beside this transformation, the revelation
that the world she loved and lived in did not exist for him, or
his world for her, seemed of slight importance. She had not then
experience enough to enable her to see that transformation and
revelation were as intimately related as a lock and its key.
"It's all my fault," she told herself. "It must be my
fault." And Dumont, unanalytic and self-absorbed, was amused
whenever Pauline's gentleness reminded him of his mother's
half-believed warnings that his wife had "a will of her own, and
a mighty strong one."
They were back at Saint X in August and lived at the Frobisher
place in Indiana Street--almost as pretentious as the Dumont
homestead and in better taste. Old Mrs. Dumont had gone to
Chicago alone for the furnishings for her own house; when she
went for the furnishings for her son's house, she got Mrs.
Gardiner to go along--and Pauline's mother gave another of her
many charming illustrations of the valuable truth that tact can
always have its own way. Saint X was too keen-eyed and too
interested in the new Mrs. Dumont to fail to note a change in
her. It was satisfied with the surface explanation that Europe
in general and Paris in particular were responsible. And it did
not note that, while she had always been full of life and fond of
company, she was now feverish in her restlessness, incessantly
seeking distraction, never alone when she could either go
somewhere or induce some one to come to her.
"You MUST be careful, my dear," said her mother-in-law, as soon
as she learned that she had a grandmotherly interest in her
daughter-in-law's health. "You'll wear yourself out with all
this running about."
Pauline laughed carelessly, recklessly.
"Oh, I'm disgustingly healthy. Nothing hurts me. Besides, if I
were quiet, I think I should--EXPLODE!"
Late in September Dumont had to go to New York. He asked her to
go with him, assuming that she would decline, as she had visitors
coming. But she was only too glad of the chance to give her
increasing restlessness wider range. They went to the
Waldorf--Scarborough and Pierson had been stopping there not a
week before, making ready for that sensational descent upon
Battle Field which has already been recorded. The first evening
Dumont took her to the play. The next morning he left her early
for a busy day down-town--"and I may not be able to return for
dinner. I warned you before we left Saint X," he said, as he
rose from breakfast in their sitting-room.
"I understand," she answered. "You needn't bother to send
word even, if you don't wish. I'll be tired from shopping and
shan't care to go out this evening, anyhow."
In the afternoon she drove with Mrs. Fanshaw, wife of one of
Jack's business acquaintances--they had dined at the Fanshaws'
when they paused in New York on the way home from Europe.
Pauline was at the hotel again at five; while she and Mrs.
Fanshaw were having tea together in the palm garden a telegram
was handed to her. She read it, then said to Mrs. Fanshaw: "I
was going to ask you and your husband to dine with us. Jack
sends word he can't be here, but--why shouldn't you come just the
"No you must go with us," Mrs. Fanshaw replied. "We've got a
box at Weber and Fields', and two men asked, and we need another
woman. I'd have asked you before, but there wouldn't be room for
any more men."
Mrs. Fanshaw had to insist until she had proved that the
invitation was sincere; then, Pauline accepted--a distraction was
always agreeable, never so agreeable as when it offered itself
unannounced. It was toward the end of the dinner that Mrs.
Fanshaw happened to say: "I see your husband's like all of
them. I don't believe there ever was a woman an American man
wouldn't desert for business."
"Oh, I don't in the least mind," replied Pauline. "I like him
to show that he feels free. Why, when we were in Paris on the
return trip and had been married only two months, he got tangled
up in business and used to leave me for a day--for two days,
At Pauline's right sat a carefully dressed young man whose name
she had not caught--she learned afterward that he was Mowbray
Langdon. He was now giving her a stare of amused
mock-admiration. When he saw that he had her attention, he said:
"Really, Mrs. Dumont, I can't decide which to admire most--YOUR
trust or your husband's."
Pauline laughed--it struck her as ridiculous that either she or
Jack should distrust the other. Indeed, she only hazily knew
what distrust meant, and hadn't any real belief that "such
things" actually existed.
Half an hour later the party was driving up to Weber and Fields'.
Pauline, glancing across the thronged sidewalk and along the
empty, brilliantly lighted passage leading into the theater, saw
a striking, peculiar-looking woman standing at the box-office
while her escort parleyed with the clerk within. "How much that
man looks like Jack," she said to herself--and then she saw that
it was indeed Jack. Not the Jack she thought she knew, but quite
another person, the one he tried to hide from her--too
carelessly, because he made the common mistake of underestimating
the sagacity of simplicity. A glance at the woman, a second
glance at Dumont, his flushed, insolent face now turned full
front--and she KNEW this unfamiliar and hitherto-only-hinted
The omnibus was caught in a jam of cars and carriages; there were
several moments of confusion and excitement. When the Fanshaw
party was finally able to descend, she saw that Jack and his
companion were gone--the danger of a scene was over for the
moment. She lingered and made the others linger, wishing to give
him time to get to his seats. When they entered the theater it
was dark and the curtain was up. But her eyes, searching the few
boxes visible from the rear aisle, found the woman, or, at least,
enough of her for recognition--the huge black hat with its vast
pale blue feather. Pauline drew a long breath of relief when the
Fanshaws' box proved to be almost directly beneath, the box.
If she had been a few years older, she would have given its
proper significance to the curious fact that this sudden
revelation of the truth about her husband did not start a tempest
of anger or jealousy, but set her instantly to sacrificing at the
shrine of the great god Appearances. It is notorious that of all
the household gods he alone erects his altar only upon the hearth
where the ashes are cold.
As she sat there through the two acts, she seemed to be watching
the stage and taking part in the conversation of the Fanshaws and
their friends; yet afterward she could not recall a single thing
that had occurred, a single word that had been said. At the end
of the last act she again made them linger so that they were the
last to emerge into the passage. In the outside doorway, she saw
the woman--just a glimpse of a pretty, empty, laughing face with
a mouth made to utter impertinences and eyes that invited them.
Mrs. Fanshaw was speaking--"You're very tired, aren't you?"
"Very," replied Pauline, with a struggle to smile.
"What a child you look! It seems absurd that you are a married
woman. Why, you haven't your full growth yet." And on an
impulse of intuitive sympathy Mrs. Fanshaw pressed her arm, and
Pauline was suddenly filled with gratitude, and liked her from
Alone in her sitting-room at the hotel, she went up to the mirror
over the mantel, and, staring absently at herself, put her hands
up mechanically to take out her hat-pins. "No, I'll keep my,
hat on," she thought, without knowing why. And she sat, hat and
wrap on, and looked at a book. Half an hour, and she took off
her hat and wrap, put them in a chair near where she was sitting.
The watched hands of the clock crawled wearily round to half-past
one, to two, to half-past two, to three--each half-hour an
interminable stage. She wandered to the window and looked down
into empty Fifth Avenue. When she felt that at least an hour had
passed, she turned to look at the clock again--twenty-five
minutes to four. Her eyes were heavy.
"He is not coming," she said aloud, and, leaving the lights on
in the sitting-room, locked herself in the bedroom.
At five o'clock she started up and seized the dressing-gown on
the chair near the head of the bed. She listened--heard him
muttering in the sitting-room. She knew now that a crash of some
kind had roused her. Several minutes of profound silence, then
through the door came a steady, heavy snore.
The dressing-gown dropped from her hand. She slid from the bed,
slowly crossed the room, softly opened the door, looked into the
sitting-room. A table and a chair lay upset in the middle of the
floor. He was on a sofa, sprawling, disheveled, snoring.
Slowly she advanced toward him--she was barefooted, and the white
nightgown clinging to her slender figure and the long braid down
her back made her look as young as her soul--the soul that gazed
from her fixed, fascinated eyes, the soul of a girl of eighteen,
full as much child as woman still. She sat down before him in a
low chair, her elbows on her knees, her chin supported by her
hands, her eyes never leaving his swollen, dark red, brutish
face--a cigar stump, much chewed, lay upon his cheek near his
open mouth. He was as absurd and as repulsive as a gorged pig
asleep in a wallow.
The dawn burst into broad day, but she sat on motionless until
the clock struck the half-hour after six. Then she returned to
the bedroom and locked herself in again.
Toward noon she dressed and went into the sitting-room. He was
gone and it had been put to rights. When he came, at twenty
minutes to one, she was standing at the window, but she did not
"Did you get my note?" he asked, in a carefully careless tone.
He went on to answer himself: "No, there it is on the floor
just where I put it, under the bedroom door. No matter--it was
only to say I had to go out but would be back to lunch. Sorry I
was kept so late last night. Glad you didn't wait up for me--but
you might have left the bedroom door open--it'd have been
perfectly safe." He laughed good-naturedly. "As it was, I was
so kind-hearted that I didn't disturb you, but slept on the
As he advanced toward her with the obvious intention of kissing
her, she slowly turned and faced him. Their eyes met and he
stopped short--her look was like the eternal ice that guards the
"I saw you at the theater last night," she said evenly. "And
this morning, I sat and watched you as you lay on the sofa over
He was taken completely off his guard. With a gasp that was a
kind of groan he dropped into a chair, the surface of his mind
strewn with the wreckage of the lying excuses he had got ready.
"Please don't try to explain," she went on in the same even
tone. "I understand now about--about Paris and--everything. I
know that--father was right."
He gave her a terrified glance--no tears, no trace of excitement,
only calmness and all the strength he knew was in her nature and,
in addition, a strength he had not dreamed was there.
"What do you intend to do?" he asked after a long silence.
She did not answer immediately. When she did, she was not
looking at him.
"When I married you--across the river from Battle Field," she
said, "I committed a crime against my father and mother. This
is--my punishment--the beginning of it. And now--there'll be
the--the--baby--" A pause, then: "I must bear the
consequences--if I can. But I shall not be your
wife--never--never again. If you wish me to stay on that
condition, I'll try. If not--"
"You MUST stay, Pauline," he interrupted. "I don't care what
terms you make, you must stay. It's no use for me to try to
defend myself when you're in this mood. You wouldn't listen.
But you're right about not going. If you did, it'd break your
father's and mother's hearts. I admit I did drink too much last
night, and made a fool of myself. But if you were more
He thought he had worked his courage up to the point where he
could meet her eyes. He tried it. Her look froze his flow of
words. "I KNOW that you were false from the beginning," she
"The man I thought you were never existed--and I know it. We
won't speak of this--ever--after now. Surely you can't wish me
to stay?" And into her voice surged all her longing to go, all
her hope that he would reject the only terms on which
self-respect would let her stay.
"Wish you to stay?" he repeated. And he faced her, looking at
her, his chest heaving under the tempest of hate and passion that
was raging in him--hate because she was defying and dictating to
him, passion because she was so beautiful as she stood there,
like a delicate, fine hot-house rose poised on a long, graceful
stem. "No wonder I LOVE you!" he exclaimed between his
A bright spot burned in each of her cheeks and her look made him
redden and lower his eyes.
"Now that I understand these last five months," she said,
"that from you is an insult."
His veins and muscles swelled with the fury he dared not show;
for he saw and felt how dangerous her mood was.
"I'll agree to whatever you like, Pauline," he said humbly.
"Only, we mustn't have a flare-up and a scandal. I'll never
speak to you again about--about anything you don't want to
She went into her bedroom. When, after half an hour, she
reappeared, she was ready to go down to lunch. In the elevator
he stole a glance at her--there was no color in her face, not
even in her lips. His rage had subsided; he was ashamed of
himself--before her. But he felt triumphant too.
"I thought she'd go, sure, in spite of her fear of hurting her
father and mother," he said to himself. "A mighty close
squeak. I was stepping round in a powder magazine, with every
word a lit match."
In January she sank into a profound lassitude. Nothing
interested her, everything wearied her. As the time drew near,
her mother came to stay with her; and day after day the two women
sat silent, Mrs. Gardiner knitting, Pauline motionless, hands
idle in her lap, mind vacant. If she had any emotion, it was a
hope that she would die and take her child with her.
"That would settle everything, settle it right," she reflected,
with youth's morbid fondness for finalities.
When it was all over and she came out from under the opiate, she
lay for a while, open-eyed but unseeing, too inert to grope for
the lost thread of memory. She felt a stirring in the bed beside
her, the movement of some living thing. She looked and there,
squeezed into the edge of the pillow was a miniature head of a
little old man--wrinkled, copperish. Yet the face was
fat--ludicrously fat. A painfully homely face with tears running
from the closed eyes, with an open mouth that driveled and
"What is it?" she thought, looking with faint curiosity. "And
why is it here?"
Two small fists now rose aimlessly in the air above the face and
flapped about; and a very tempest of noise issued from the
"A baby," she reflected. Then memory came--"MY baby!"
She put her finger in the way of the wandering fists. First one
of them, then the other, awkwardly unclosed and as awkwardly
closed upon it. She smiled. The grip tightened and tightened
and tightened until she wondered how hands so small and new could
cling so close and hard. Then that electric clasp suddenly
tightened about her heart. She burst into tears and drew the
child against her breast. The pulse of its current of life was
beating against her own--and she felt it. She sobbed, laughed
softly, sobbed again.
Her mother was bending anxiously over her.
"What's the matter, dearest?" she asked. "What do you wish?"
"Nothing!" Pauline was smiling through her tears. "Oh,
mother, I am SO happy!" she murmured.
And her happiness lasted with not a break, with hardly a pause,
all that spring and all that summer--or, so long as her baby's
helplessness absorbed the whole of her time and thought.
When Pierson, laggard as usual, returned to Battle Field a week
after the end of the long vacation, he found Scarborough just
establishing himself. He had taken two small and severely plain
rooms in a quaint old frame cottage, one story high, but perched
importantly upon a bank at the intersection of two much-traveled
"What luck?" asked Pierson, lounging in on him.
"A hundred days' campaign; a thousand dollars net," replied the
book agent. "And I'm hard as oak from tramping those roads, and
I've learned--you ought to have been along, Pierson. I know
people as I never could have come to know them by any other
means--what they think, what they want, how they can be
There was still much of the boy in Pierson's face. But
Scarborough looked the man, developed, ready.
Pierson wandered into the bedroom to complete his survey. "I
see you're going to live by the clock," he called out presently.
He had found, pasted to the wall, Scarborough's schedule of the
daily division of his time; just above it, upon a shelf, was a
new alarm clock, the bell so big that it overhung like a canopy.
"You don't mean you're going to get up at four?"
"Every morning--all winter," replied Scarborough, without
stopping his unpacking. "You see, I'm going to finish this
year--take the two years in one. Then I've registered in a law
office--Judge Holcombe's. And there's my speaking--I must
practise that every day."
Pierson came back to the sitting-room and collapsed into a chair.
"I see you allow yourself five hours for sleep," he said.
"It's too much, old man. You're self-indulgent."
"That's a mistake," replied Scarborough. "Since making out the
schedule I've decided to cut sleep down to four hours and a
"That's more like it!"
"We all sleep too much," he continued. "And as I shan't
smoke, or drink, or worry, I'll need even less than the average
man. I'm going to do nothing but work. A man doesn't need much
rest from mere work."
"What! No play?"
"Play all the time. I've simply changed my playthings."
Pierson seated himself at the table and stared gloomily at his
"Look here, old man. For heaven's sake, don't let Olivia find
out about this program."
But Olivia did hear of it, and Pierson was compelled to leave his
luxury in the main street and to take the two remaining available
rooms at Scarborough's place. His bed was against the wall of
Scarborough's bedroom--the wall where the alarm clock was. At
four o'clock on his first morning he started from a profound
"My bed must be moved into my sitting-room to-day," he said to
himself as soon as the clamor of Scarborough's gong died away and
he could collect his thoughts. But at four o'clock the next
morning the gong penetrated the two walls as if they had not been
there. "I see my finish," he groaned, sitting up and tearing
at his hair.
He tried to sleep again, but the joint pressure of Olivia's
memory-mirrored gray eyes and of disordered nerves from the
racking gong forced him to make an effort to bestir himself.
Groaning and muttering, he rose and in the starlight looked from
his window. Scarborough was going up the deserted street on his
way to the woods for his morning exercise. His head was thrown
back and his chest extended, and his long legs were covering four
feet at a stride. "You old devil!" said Pierson, his tone
suggesting admiration and affection rather than anger. "But
I'll outwit you."
By a subterfuge in which a sympathetic doctor was the main
factor, he had himself permanently excused from chapel. Then he
said to Scarborough: "You get up too late, old man. My
grandfather used to say that only a drone lies abed after two in
the morning, wasting the best part of the day. You ought to turn
in, say, at half-past nine and rise in time to get your hardest
work out of the way before the college day begins."
"That sounds reasonable," replied Scarborough, after a moment's
consideration. "I'll try it."
And so it came to pass that Pierson went to bed at the sound of
Scarborough's two-o'clock rising gong and pieced out his sleep
with an occasional nap in recitations and lectures and for an
hour or two late in the afternoon. He was able once more to play
poker as late as he liked, and often had time for reading before
the gong sounded. And Scarborough was equally delighted with the
new plan. "I gain at least one hour a day, perhaps two," he
said. "Your grandfather was a wise man."
Toward spring, Mills, western manager of the publishing house for
which Scarborough had sold Peaks of Progress through Michigan,
came to Battle Field to see him.
"You were far and away the best man we had out last year," said
he. "You're a born book agent."
"Thank you," said Scarborough, sincerely. He appreciated that
a man can pay no higher compliment than to say that another is
master of his own trade.
"We got about fifty orders from people who thought it over after
you'd tried to land them and failed--that shows the impression
you made. And you sold as many books as our best agent in our
"I'll never go as agent again," said Scarborough. "The
experience was invaluable--but sufficient."
"We don't want you to go as agent. Our proposition is for much
easier and more dignified work."
At the word dignified, Scarborough could not restrain a smile.
"I've practically made my plans for the summer," he said.
"I think we've got something worth your while, Mr. Scarborough.
Our idea is for you to select about a hundred of the young
fellows who're working their way through here, and train them in
your methods of approaching people. Then you'll take them to
Wisconsin and Minnesota and send them out, each man to a district
you select for him. In that way you'll help a hundred young men
to earn a year at college and you'll make a good sum for
yourself--two or three times what you made last summer."
Scarborough had intended to get admitted to the bar in June, to
spend the summer at an apprenticeship in a law office and to set
up for himself in the fall. But this plan was most
attractive--it would give him a new kind of experience and would
put him in funds for the wait for clients. The next day he
signed an advantageous contract--his expenses for the summer and
a guaranty of not less than three thousand dollars clear.
He selected a hundred young men and twelve young women, the most
intelligent of the five hundred self-supporting students at
Battle Field. Pierson, having promised to behave himself, was
permitted to attend the first lesson. The scholars at the
Scarborough, School for Book Agents filled his quarters and
overflowed in swarms without the windows and the door. The
weather was still cool; but all must hear, and the rooms would
hold barely half the brigade.
"I assume that you've read the book," began Scarborough. He
was standing at the table with the paraphernalia of a book agent
spread upon it. "But you must read it again and again, until
you know what's on every page, until you have by heart the
passages I'll point out to you." He looked at Drexel--a
freshman of twenty-two, with earnest, sleepless eyes and a lofty
forehead; in the past winter he had become acquainted with hunger
and with that cold which creeps into the room, crawls through the
thin covers and closes in, icy as death, about the heart. "What
do you think of the book, Drexel?"
The young man--he is high in the national administration
to-day--flushed and looked uneasy.
"Speak frankly. I want your candid opinion."
"Well, I must say, Mr. Scarborough, I think it's pretty bad."
"Thank you," said Scarborough; and he glanced round. "Does
anybody disagree with Mr. Drexel?"
There was not a murmur. Pierson covered his face to hide his
smile at this "jolt" for his friend. In the group round one of
the windows a laugh started and spread everywhere except to seven
of the twelve young women and to those near Scarborough--THEY
"I expected Mr. Drexel's answer," began Scarborough. "Before
you can sell Peaks of Progress each of you must be convinced that
it's a book he himself would buy. And I see you've not even read
it. You've at most glanced at it with unfriendly eyes. This
book is not literature, gentlemen. It is a storehouse of facts.
It is an educational work so simply written and so brilliantly
illustrated that the very children will hang over its pages with
delight. If you attend to your training in our coming three
months of preliminary work you'll find during the summer that the
book's power to attract the children is its strongest point. I
made nearly half my sales last summer by turning from the parents
to the children and stirring their interest."
Pierson was now no more inclined to smile than were the pupils.
"When I started out," continued Scarborough, "I, too, had just
glanced at the book and had learned a few facts from the
prospectus. And I failed to sell, except to an occasional fool
whom I was able to overpower. Every one instinctively felt the
estimate I myself placed upon my goods. But as I went on the
book gradually forced itself upon me. And, long before the
summer was over, I felt that I was an ambassador of education to
those eager people. And I'm proud that I sold as many books as I
did. Each book, I know, is a radiating center of pleasure, of
thought, of aspiration to higher things. No, ladies and
gentlemen, you must first learn that these eight hundred pages
crowded with facts of history, these six hundred illustrations
taken from the best sources and flooding the text with light,
together constitute a work that should be in all humble
Scarborough had his audience with him now.
"Never sneer," he said in conclusion. "Sneering will
accomplish nothing. Learn your business. Put yourself, your
BEST self, into it. And then you may hope to succeed at it."
He divided his pupils into six classes of about twenty each and
dismissed them, asking the first class to come at three the next
afternoon. The young men and young women went thoughtfully away;
they were revolving their initial lesson in the cardinal
principle of success--enthusiasm. When the two friends were
alone Pierson said: "Do you know, I'm beginning to get a
glimpse of you. And I see there isn't anything beyond your
reach. You'll get whatever you want."
Scarborough's reply was a sudden look of dejection, an impatient
shrug. Then he straightened himself, lifted his head with a
lion-like toss that shook back the obstinate lock of hair from
his forehead. He laid his hand on his friend's shoulder.
"Yes," he said, "because I'm determined to want whatever I
get. Good fortune and bad--everything shall be grist for THIS
Pierson attended next day's class and afterward went to Olivia
with an account of it.
"You ought to have seen him put those fellows through, one at a
time. I tell you, he'll teach them more in the next three months
than they'll learn of the whole faculty. And this summer he'll
get every man and woman of them enough to pay their way through
college next year."
"What did he do to-day?" asked Olivia. Of the many qualities
she loved in Pierson, the one she loved most was his unbounded,
unselfish admiration for his friend.
"He took each man separately, the others watching and listening.
First he'd play the part of book agent with his pupil as a
reluctant customer. Then he'd reverse, and the pupil as agent
would try to sell him the book, he pretending to be an ignorant,
obstinate, ill-natured, close-fisted farmer or farmer's wife. It
was a liberal education in the art of persuasion. If his pupils
had his brains and his personality, Peaks of Progress would be on
the center-table in half the farm parlors of Wisconsin and
Minnesota by September."
"IF they had his personality, and IF they had his brains," said
"Well, as it is, he'll make the dumbest ass in the lot bray to
In September, when Scarborough closed his headquarters at
Milwaukee and set out for Indianapolis, he found that the average
earnings of his agents were two hundred and seventy-five dollars,
and that he himself had made forty-three hundred. Mills came and
offered him a place in the publishing house at ten thousand a
year and a commission. He instantly rejected it. He had already
arranged to spend a year with one of the best law firms in
Indianapolis before opening an office in Saint X, the largest
town in the congressional district in which his farm lay.
"But there's no hurry about deciding," said Mills. "Remember
we'll make you rich in a few years."
"My road happens not to lie in that direction," replied
Scarborough, carelessly. "I've no desire to be rich. It's too
easy, if one will consent to give money-making his exclusive
Mills looked amused--had he not known Scarborough's ability, he
would have felt derisive.
"Money's power," said he. "And there are only two ambitions
for a wide-awake man--money and power."
"Money can't buy the kind of power I'd care for," answered
Scarborough. "If I were to seek power, it'd be the power that
comes through ability to persuade."
"Money talks," said Mills, laughing.
"Money bellows," retorted Scarborough,, "and bribes and
browbeats, bully and coward that it is. But it never
"I'll admit it's a coward." `
`And I hope I can always frighten enough of it into my service to
satisfy my needs. But I'm not spending my life in its
service--no, thank you!"
AFTER EIGHT YEARS.
While Scarborough was serving his clerkship at Indianapolis,
Dumont was engaging in ever larger and more daring speculations
with New York as his base. Thus it came about that when
Scarborough established himself at Saint X, Dumont and Pauline
were living in New York, in a big house in East Sixty-first
And Pauline had welcomed the change. In Saint X she was
constantly on guard, always afraid her father and mother would
see below that smiling surface of her domestic life which made
them happy. In New York she was free from the crushing sense of
peril and restraint, as their delusions about her were secure.
There, after she and he found their living basis of "let
alone," they got on smoothly, rarely meeting except in the
presence of servants or guests, never inquiring either into the
other's life, carrying on all negotiations about money and other
household matters through their secretaries. He thought her cold
by nature--therefore absolutely to be trusted. And what other man
with the pomp and circumstance of a great and growing fortune to
maintain had so admirable an instrument? "An ideal wife," he
often said to himself. And he was not the man to speculate as to
what was going on in her head. He had no interest in what others
thought; how they were filling the places he had assigned
them--that was his only concern.
In one of those days of pause which come now and then in the
busiest lives she chanced upon his letters from Europe in her
winter at Battle Field. She took one of them from its envelope
and began to read--carelessly, with a languid curiosity to
measure thus exactly the change in herself. But soon she was
absorbed, her mind groping through letter after letter for the
clue to a mystery. The Dumont she now knew stood out so plainly
in those letters that she could not understand how she,
inexperienced and infatuated though she then was, had failed to
see the perfect full-length portrait. How had she read romance
and high-mindedness and intellect into the personality so frankly
flaunting itself in all its narrow sordidness, in all its poverty
of real thought and real feeling?
And there was Hampden Scarborough to contrast him with. With this
thought the truth suddenly stared at her, made her drop the
letter and visibly shrink. It was just because Scarborough was
there that she had been tricked. The slight surface resemblance
between the two men, hardly more than the "favor" found in all
men of the family of strong and tenacious will, had led her on to
deck the absent Dumont with the manhood of the present
Scarborough. She had read Scarborough into Dumont's letters.
Yes, and--the answers she addressed and mailed to Dumont had
really been written to Scarborough.
She tossed the letters back into the box from which they had
reappeared after four long years. She seated herself on the
white bear-skin before the open fire; and with hands clasped
round her knees she rocked herself slowly to and fro like one
trying to ease an intolerable pain.
Until custom dulled the edge of that pain, the days and the
nights were the cruelest in her apprenticeship up to that time.
When her boy, Gardiner, was five years old, she got her father
and mother to keep him at Saint X with them.
"New York's no place, I think, to bring up and educate a boy in
the right way," she explained. And it was the truth, though not
the whole truth. The concealed part was that she would have made
an open break with her husband had there been no other way of
safeguarding their all-seeing, all-noting boy from his example.
Before Gardiner went to live with his grandparents she stayed in
the East, making six or eight brief visits "home" each year.
When he went she resolved to divide her year between her pleasure
as a mother and her obligation to her son's father, to her
parents' son-in-law--her devotions at the shrine of Appearances.
It was in the fall of the year she was twenty-five--eight years
and a half after she left Battle Field--that Hampden Scarborough
reappeared upon the surface of her life.
On a September afternoon in that year Olivia, descending from the
train at Saint X, was almost as much embarrassed as pleased by
her changed young cousin rushing at her with great
energy--"Dear, dear Olivia! And hardly any different--how's the
baby? No--not Fred, but Fred Junior, I mean. In some ways you
positively look younger. You know, you were SO serious at
"But you--I don't quite understand how any one can be so
changed, yet--recognizable. I guess it's the plumage. You're in
a new edition--an edition deluxe."
Pauline's dressmakers were bringing out the full value of her
height and slender, graceful strength. Her eyes, full of the
same old frankness and courage, now had experience in them, too.
She was wearing her hair so that it fell from her brow in two
sweeping curves reflecting the light in sparkles and flashes.
Her manner was still simple and genuine--the simplicity and
genuineness of knowledge now, not of innocence. Extremes
meet--but they remain extremes. Her "plumage" was a
fashionable dress of pale blue cloth, a big beplumed hat to
match, a chiffon parasol like an azure cloud, at her throat a
sapphire pendant, about her neck and swinging far below her waist
a chain of sapphires.
"And the plumage just suits her," thought Olivia. For it
seemed to her that her cousin had more than ever the quality she
most admired--the quality of individuality, of distinction. Even
in her way of looking clean and fresh she was different, as if
those prime feminine essentials were in her not matters of
frequent reacquirement but inherent and inalienable, like her
brilliance of eyes and smoothness of skin.
Olivia felt a slight tugging at the bag she was carrying. She
looked--an English groom in spotless summer livery was touching
his hat in respectful appeal to her to let go. "Give Albert
your checks, too," said Pauline, putting her arm around her
cousin's waist to escort her down the platform. At the entrance,
with a group of station loungers gaping at it, was a
phaeton-victoria lined with some cream-colored stuff like silk,
the horses and liveried coachman rigid. "She's giving Saint X a
good deal to talk about," thought Olivia.
"Home, please, by the long road," said Pauline to the groom,
and he sprang to the box beside the coachman, and they were
instantly in rapid motion. "That'll let us have twenty minutes
more together," she went on to Olivia. "There are several
people stopping at the house."
The way led through Munroe Avenue, the main street of Saint X.
Olivia was astonished at the changes--the town of nine years
before spread and remade into an energetic city of twenty-five
"Fred told me I'd hardly recognize it," said she, "but I
didn't expect this. It's another proof how far-sighted Hampden
Scarborough is. Everybody advised him against coming here, but
he would come. And the town has grown, and at the same time he's
had a clear field to make a big reputation as a lawyer in a few
years, not to speak of the power he's got in politics."
"But wouldn't he have won no matter where he was?" suggested
"Sooner or later--but not so soon," replied Olivia.
"No--a tree doesn't have to grow so tall among a lot of bushes
before it's noticed as it does in a forest."
"And you've never seen him since Battle Field?" As Olivia put
this question she watched her cousin narrowly without seeming to
"But," replied Pauline--and Olivia thought that both her face
and her tone were a shade off the easy and the natural--"since
he came I've been living in New York and haven't stayed here
longer than a few days until this summer. And he's been in
Europe since April. No," she went on, "I've not seen a soul
from Battle Field. It's been like a painting, finished and
hanging on the wall one looks toward oftenest, and influencing
one's life every day."
They talked on of Battle Field, of the boys and girls they had
known--how Thiebaud was dead and Mollie Crittenden had married
the man who was governor of California; what Howe was not doing,
the novels Chamberlayne was writing; the big women's college in
Kansas that Grace Wharton was vice-president of. Then of
Pierson--in the state senate and in a fair way to get to Congress
the next year. Then Scarborough again--how he had distanced all
the others; how he might have the largest practice in the state
if he would take the sort of clients most lawyers courted
assiduously; how strong he was in politics in spite of the
opposition of the professionals--strong because he had a genius
for organization and also had the ear and the confidence of the
people and the enthusiastic personal devotion of the young men
throughout the state. Olivia, more of a politician than Fred
even, knew the whole story; and Pauline listened appreciatively.
Few indeed are the homes in strenuously political Indiana where
politics is not the chief subject of conversation, and Pauline
had known about parties and campaigns as early as she had known
about dolls and dresses.
"But you must have heard most of this," said Olivia, "from
people here in Saint X."
"Some of it--from father and mother," Pauline answered.
"They're the only people I've seen really to talk to on my
little visits. They know him very well indeed. I think mother
admires him almost as much as you do. Here's our place," she
added, the warmth fading from her face as from a spring landscape
when the shadow of the dusk begins to creep over it.
They were in the grounds of the Eyrie--the elder Dumont was just
completing it when he died early in the previous spring. His
widow went abroad to live with her daughter and her sister in
Paris; so her son and his wife had taken it. It was a great
rambling stone house that hung upon and in a lofty bluff. From
its windows and verandas and balconies could be seen the panorama
of Saint Christopher. To the left lay the town, its ugly
part--its factories and railway yards--hidden by the jut of a
hill. Beneath and beyond to the right, the shining river wound
among fields brown where the harvests had been gathered, green
and white where myriads of graceful tassels waved above acres on
acres of Indian corn. And the broad leaves sent up through the
murmur of the river a rhythmic rustling like a sigh of content.
Once in a while a passing steamboat made the sonorous cry of its
whistle and the melodious beat of its paddles echo from hill to
hill. Between the house and the hilltop, highway lay several
hundred acres of lawn and garden and wood.
The rooms of the Eyrie and its well-screened verandas were in a
cool twilight, though the September sun was hot.
"They're all out, or asleep," said Pauline, as she and Olivia
entered the wide reception hall. "Let's have tea on the east
veranda. Its view isn't so good, but we'll be cooler. You'd
like to go to your room first?"
Olivia said she was comfortable as she was and needed the tea.
So they went on through the splendidly-furnished drawing-room and
were going through the library when Olivia paused before a
portrait--"Your husband, isn't it?"
"Yes," replied Pauline, standing behind her cousin. "We each
had one done in Paris."
"What a masterful face!" said Olivia. "I've never seen a
better forehead." And she thought,
"He's of the same type as Scarborough, except--what is it I
dislike in his expression?"
"Do you notice a resemblance to any one you know?" asked
"Ye-e-s," replied Olivia, coloring. "I think----"
"Scarborough, isn't it?"
"Yes," admitted Olivia.
After a pause Pauline said ambiguously: "The resemblance is
stronger there than in life."
Olivia glanced at her and was made vaguely uneasy by the look she
was directing at the face of the portrait. But though Pauline
must have seen that she was observed, she did not change
expression. They went out upon the east veranda and Olivia stood
at the railing. She hardly noted the view in the press of
thoughts roused by the hints of what was behind the richly
embroidered curtain of her cousin's life.
All along the bluff, some exposed, some half hid by dense
foliage, were the pretentious houses of the thirty or forty
families who had grown rich through the industries developed
within the past ten years. Two foreign-looking servants in
foreign-looking house-liveries were bringing a table on which was
an enormous silver tray with a tea-service of antique silver and
artistic china. As Olivia turned to seat herself a young man and
a woman of perhaps forty, obviously from the East, came through
the doors at the far end of the long porch. Both were in white,
carefully dressed and groomed; both suggested a mode of life
whose leisure had never been interrupted.
"Who are coming?" asked Olivia. She wished she had gone to her
room before tea. These people made her feel dowdy and mussy.
Pauline glanced round, smiled and nodded, turned back to her
"Mrs. Herron and Mr. Langdon. She's the wife of a New York
lawyer, and she takes Mr. Langdon everywhere with her to amuse
her, and he goes to amuse himself. He's a socialist, or
something like that. He thinks up and says things to shock
conservative, conventional people. He's rich and never has
worked--couldn't if he would, probably. But he denounces leisure
classes and large fortunes and advocates manual labor every day
for everybody. He's clever in a queer, cynical way."
A Mrs. Fanshaw, also of New York, came from the library in a
tea-gown of chiffon and real lace. All were made acquainted and
Pauline poured the tea. As Olivia felt shy and was hungry, she
ate the little sandwiches and looked and listened and
thought--looked and thought rather than listened. These were
certainly well-bred people, yet she did not like them.
"They're in earnest about trifles," she said to herself, "and
trifle about earnest things." Yet it irritated her to feel
that, though they would care not at all for her low opinion of
them, she did care a great deal because they would fail to
"They ought to be jailed," Langdon was drawling with
"Who, Mr. Langdon?" inquired Mrs. Fanshaw--she had been as
abstracted as Olivia. "You've been filling the jails rapidly
to-day, and hanging not a few."
Mrs. Herron laughed. "He says your husband and Mrs. Dumont's
and mine should be locked up as conspirators."
"Precisely," said Langdon, tranquilly. "They'll sign a few
papers, and when they're done, what'll have happened? Not one
more sheep'll be raised. Not one more pound of wool will be
shorn. Not one more laborer'll be employed. Not a single
improvement in any process of manufacture. But, on the other
hand, the farmer'll have to sell his wool cheaper, the
consumer'll have to pay a bigger price for blankets and all kinds
of clothes, for carpets--for everything wool goes into. And
these few men will have trebled their fortunes and at least
trebled their incomes. Does anybody deny that such a performance
is a crime? Why, in comparison, a burglar is honorable and
courageous. HE risks liberty and life."
"Dreadful! Dreadful!" exclaimed Mrs. Fanshaw, in mock horror.
"You must go at once, Mowbray, and lead the police in a raid on
"Thanks--it's more comfortable here." Langdon took a piece of
a curious-looking kind of hot bread. "Extraordinary good stuff
this is," he interjected; then went on: "And I've done my duty
when I've stated the facts. Also, I'm taking a little stock in
the new trust. But I don't pose as a `captain of industry' or
`promoter of civilization.' I admit I'm a robber. My point is
the rotten hypocrisy of my fellow bandits--no, pickpockets, by
Olivia looked at him with disapproving interest. It was the
first time she had been present at a game of battledore and
shuttlecock with what she regarded as fundamental morals.
Langdon noted her expression and said to Pauline in a tone of
contrition that did not conceal his amusement: "I've shocked
your cousin, Mrs. Dumont."
"I hope so," replied Pauline. "I'm sure we all ought to be
shocked--and should be, if it weren't you who are trying to do
the shocking. She'll soon get used to you."
"Then it was a jest?" said Olivia to Langdon.
"A jest?" He looked serious. "Not at all, my dear Mrs.
Pierson. Every word I said was true, and worse. They----"
"Stop your nonsense, Mowbray," interrupted Mrs. Herron, who
appreciated that Olivia was an "outsider." "Certainly he was
jesting, Mrs. Pierson. Mr. Langdon pretends to have eccentric
ideas--one of them is that everybody with brains should be put
under the feet of the numskulls; another is that anybody who has
anything should be locked up and his property given to those who
"Splendid!" exclaimed Langdon. And he took out a gold
cigarette case and lighted a large, expensive-looking cigarette
with a match from a gold safe. "Go on, dear lady! Herron
should get you to write our prospectus when we're ready to unload
on the public. The dear public! How it does yearn for a share
in any piratical enterprise that flies the snowy flag of
respectability." He rose. "Who'll play English billiards?"
"All right," said Mrs. Herron, rising.
"And I, too," said Mrs. Fanshaw.
"Give me one of your cigarettes, Mowbray," said Mrs. Herron.
"I left my case in my room."
Pauline, answering Olivia's expression, said as soon as the three
"Why not? Is it any worse for a woman than for a man?"
"I don't know why not," replied Olivia. "There must be
another reason than because I don't do it, and didn't think
ladies did. But that's the only reason I can give just now."
"What do you think of Langdon?" asked Pauline.
"I guess my sense of humor's defective. I don't like the sort