Part 3 out of 5
of jest he seems to excel in."
"I fancy it wasn't altogether a jest," said Pauline. "I don't
inquire into those matters any more. I used to, but--the more I
saw, the worse it was. Tricks and traps and squeezes and--oh,
business is all vulgar and low. It's necessary, I suppose, but
it's repulsive to me." She paused, then added carelessly, yet
with a certain deliberateness, "I never meddle with Mr. Dumont,
nor he with me."
Olivia wished to protest against Pauline's view of business.
But--how could she without seeming to attack, indeed, without
attacking, her cousin's husband?
Dumont brought Fanshaw up in his automobile, Herron remaining at
the offices for half an hour to give the newspapers a carefully
considered account of the much-discussed "merger" of the
manufacturers of low-grade woolens. Herron had objected to any
statement. "It's our private business," he said. "Let them
howl. The fewer facts they have, the sooner they'll stop
howling." But Dumont held firm for publicity. "There's no
such thing as a private business nowadays," he replied.
"Besides, don't we want the public to take part of our stock?
What's the use of acting shady--you've avoided the legal
obstacles, haven't you? Let's tell the public frankly all we
want it to know, and it'll think it knows all there is to know."
The whole party met in the drawing-room at a quarter-past eight,
Langdon the last to come down--Olivia was uncertain whether or
not she was unjust to him when she suspected design in his late
entrance, the handsomest and the best-dressed man of the company.
He looked cynically at Dumont. "Well, fellow pirate: how go our
plans for a merry winter for the poor?"
"Ass!" muttered Herron to Olivia, who happened to, be nearest
him. "He fancies impudence is wit. He's devoid of moral sense
or even of decency. He's a traitor to his class and shouldn't be
tolerated in it."
Dumont was laughingly answering Langdon in his own vein.
"Splendidly," he replied, "thanks to our worthy chaplain,
Herron, who secures us the blessing and protection of the law."
"That gives me an appetite!" exclaimed Langdon. "I feared
something might miscarry in these last hours of our months of
plotting. Heaven be praised, the people won't have so much to
waste hereafter. I'm proud to be in one of the many noble bands
that are struggling to save them from themselves."
But Dumont had turned away from him; so he dropped into Mrs.
Herron's discussion with Mrs. Fanshaw on their proposed trip to
the Mediterranean. Dinner was announced and he was put between
Mrs. Herron and Olivia, with Dumont on her right. It was a round
table and Olivia's eyes lingered upon its details--the
embroidered cloth with real lace in the center, the graceful
antique silver candlesticks, the tall vases filled with enormous
roses--everything exquisitely simple and tasteful.
Langdon talked with her until Mrs. Herron, impatient at his
neglect, caught his eye and compelled his attention. Dumont,
seeing that Olivia was free, drew her into his conversation with
Mrs. Fanshaw; and then Mrs. Fanshaw began to talk with Mr.
Herron, who was eating furiously because he had just overheard
Langdon say: "That was a great day for pirates when they
thought of taking aboard the lawyers as chaplains."
All the men were in high spirits; Dumont was boyish in his
exuberance. When he left home that morning he was four times a
millionaire; now he was at least twelve times a millionaire,
through the magic of the "merger." True, eight of the twelve
millions were on paper; but it was paper that would certainly pay
dividends, paper that would presently sell at or near its face
value. And this success had come when he was only thirty-four.
His mind was already projecting greater triumphs in this modern
necromancy by which millionaires evoke and materialize millions
from the empty air--apparently. He was bubbling over with
happiness--in the victory won, in victories to be won.
Olivia tried him on several subjects, but the conversation
dragged. Of Pauline he would not talk; of Europe, he was
interested only in the comfort of hotels and railway trains, in
the comparative merits of the cooking and the wines in London and
Paris. But his face--alert, shrewd, aggressive--and his mode of
expression made her feel that he was uninteresting because he was
thinking of something which he did not care to expose to her and
could not take his mind from. And this was the truth. It was
not until she adventured upon his business that he became
talkative. And soon she had him telling her about his
"combine"--frankly, boastfully, his face more and more flushed,
for as he talked he drank.
"But," he said presently, "this little matter to-day is only a
fair beginning. It seemed big until it was about accomplished.
Then I saw it was only a suggestion for a scheme that'd be really
worth, while." And he went on to unfold one of those projects
of to-day's commerce and finance that were regarded as fantastic,
delirious a few years ago. He would reach out and out for
hundreds of millions of capital; with his woolens "combine" as
a basis he would build an enormous corporation to control the
sheep industry of the world--to buy millions of acres of
sheep-ranges; to raise scores of millions of sheep; to acquire
and to construct hundreds of plants for utilizing every part of
the raw product of the ranges; to sell wherever the human race
had or could have a market.
Olivia was ambitious herself, usually was delighted by ambition
in others. But his exhibit of imagination and energy repelled
her, even while it fascinated. Partly through youth, more
through that contempt for concealment which characterizes the
courageous type of large man, he showed himself to her just as he
was. And she saw him not as an ambition but as an appetite, or
rather a bundle of appetites.
"He has no ideals," she thought. "He's like a man who wants
food merely for itself, not for the strength and the intellect it
will build up. And he likes or dislikes human beings only as one
likes or dislikes different things to eat."
"It'll take you years and years," she said to him, because she
must say something.
"Not at all." He waved his hand--Olivia thought it looked as
much like a claw as like a hand. "It's a sky-scraper, but we
build sky-scrapers overnight. Time and space used to be the big
elements. WE practically disregard them." He followed this
with a self-satisfied laugh and an emptying of his champagne
glass at a gulp.
The women were rising to withdraw. After half an hour Langdon
and Herron joined them. Dumont and Fanshaw did not come until
eleven o'clock. Then Dumont was so abrupt and surly that every
one was grateful to Mrs. Fanshaw for taking him away to the west
veranda. At midnight all went to their rooms, Pauline going with
Olivia, "to make sure you haven't been neglected."
She lingered until after one, and when they kissed each the other
good night, she said: "It's done me a world of good to see you,
'Livia--more even than I hoped. I knew you'd be sympathetic with
me where you understood. Now, I feel that you're sympathetic
where you don't understand, too. And it's there that one really
"That's what friendship means--and--love," said Olivia.
"MY SISTER-IN-LAW, GLADYS."
The following afternoon Dumont took the Herrons, the Fanshaws and
Langdon back to New York in his private car, and for three days
Olivia and Pauline had the Eyrie to themselves. Olivia was about
to write to Scarborough, asking him to call, when she saw in the
News-Bulletin that he had gone to Denver to speak. A week after
she left, Dumont returned, bringing his sister Gladys, just
arrived from Europe, and Langdon. He stayed four days, took
Langdon away with him and left Gladys.
Thus it came about that Scarborough, riding into Colonel
Gardiner's grounds one hot afternoon in mid September, saw a
phaeton-victoria with two women in it coming toward him on its
way out. He drew his horse aside to make room. He was conscious
that there were two women; he saw only one--she who was all in
white except the scarlet poppies against the brim of her big
As he bowed the carriage stopped and Pauline said cordially:
"Why, how d'ye do?"
He drew his horse close to the carriage and they shook hands.
She introduced the other woman--"My sister-in-law, Gladys
Dumont"--then went on: "We've been lunching and spending the
afternoon with father and mother. They told us you returned this
"I supposed you were in the East," said Scarborough--the first
words he had spoken.
"Oh--I'm living here now--Gladys and I. Father says you never
go anywhere, but I hope you'll make an exception for us."
"Thank you--I'll be glad to call."
"Why not dine with us--day after to-morrow night?"
"I'd like that--certainly, I'll come."
"We dine at half-past eight--at least we're supposed to."
Scarborough lifted his hat.
The carriage drove on.
"Why, he's not a bit as I expected," Gladys began at once.
"He's much younger. ISN'T he handsome! That's the way a MAN
ought to look. He's not married?"
"No," replied Pauline.
"Why did you look so queer when you first caught sight of him?"
"Did I?" Pauline replied tranquilly. "Probably it was because
he very suddenly and vividly brought Battle Field back to
me--that was the happiest time of my life. But I was too young
or too foolish, or both, to know it till long afterward. At
seventeen one takes happiness for granted."
"Did he look then as he does now?"
"No--and yes," said Pauline. "He was just from the farm and
dressed badly and was awkward at times. But--really he was the
same person. I guess it was the little change in him that
startled me." And she became absorbed in her thoughts.
"I hope you'll send him in to dinner with me," said Gladys,
"What did you say?" asked Pauline, absently.
"I was talking of Mr. Scarborough. I asked if you wouldn't send
him in to dinner with me--unless you want to discuss old times
"Yes--certainly--if you wish."
And Pauline gave Scarborough to Gladys and did her duty as
hostess by taking in the dullest man in the party--Newnham.
While Newnham droned and prosed, she watched Gladys lay herself
out to please the distinguished Mr. Scarborough, successful as a
lawyer, famous as an orator, deferred to because of his influence
with the rank and file of his party in the middle West.
Gladys had blue-black hair which she wore pulled out into a sort
of halo about her small, delicate face. There were points of
light in her dark irises, giving them the look of black quartz in
the sunshine. She was not tall, but her figure was perfect, and
she had her dresses fitted immediately to it. Her appeal was
frankly to the senses, the edge taken from its audacity by its
artistic effectiveness and by her ingenuous, almost innocent,
Seeing Pauline looking at her, she tilted her head to a graceful
angle and sent a radiant glance between two blossom-laden
branches of the green and white bush that towered and spread in
the center of the table. "Mr. Scarborough says," she called
out, "character isn't a development, it's a disclosure. He
thinks one is born a certain kind of person and that one's life
simply either gives it a chance to show or fails to give it a
chance. He says the boy isn't father to the man, but the
miniature of the man. What do you think, Pauline?"
"I haven't thought of it," replied Pauline. "But I'm certain
it's true. I used to dispute Mr. Scarborough's ideas sometimes,
but I learned better."
As she realized the implications of her careless remark, their
eyes met squarely for the first time since Battle Field. Both
hastily glanced away, and neither looked at the other again.
When the men came up to the drawing-room to join the women,
Gladys adroitly intercepted him. When he went to Pauline to take
leave, their manner each toward the other was formal, strained
and even distant.
Dumont came again just after the November election. It had been
an unexpected victory for the party which Scarborough advocated,
and everywhere the talk was that he had been the chief
factor--his skill in defining issues, his eloquence in presenting
them, the public confidence in his party through the dominance of
a man so obviously free from self-seeking or political trickery
of any kind. Dumont, to whom control in both party machines and
in the state government was a business necessity, told his
political agent, Merriweather, that they had "let Scarborough go
about far enough," unless he could be brought into their camp.
"I can't make out what he's looking for," said Merriweather.
"One thing's certain--he'll do US no good. There's no way we
can get our hooks in him. He don't give a damn for money. And
as for power--he can get more of that by fighting us than by
falling in line. We ain't exactly popular."
This seemed to Dumont rank ingratitude. Had he not just divided
a million dollars among charities and educational institutions in
the districts where opposition to his "merger" was strongest?
"Well, we'll see," he said. "If he isn't careful we'll have
to kill him off in convention and make the committees stop his
"The trouble is he's been building up a following of his
own--the sort of following that can't be honeyfugled," replied
Merriweather. "The committees are afraid of him."
Merriweather always took the gloomy view of everything, because
he thus discounted his failures in advance and doubled the effect
of his successes.
"I'll see--I'll see," said Dumont, impatiently. And he thought
he was beginning to "see" when Gladys expanded to him upon the
subject of Scarborough--his good looks, his wit, his
Scarborough came to dinner a few evenings later and Dumont was
particularly cordial to him; and Gladys made the most of the
opportunity which Pauline again gave her. That night, when the
others had left or had gone to bed, Gladys followed her brother
into the smoke-room adjoining the library. They sat in silence
drinking a "night-cap." In the dreaminess of her eyes, in the
absent smile drifting round the corners of her full red lips,
Gladys showed that her thoughts were pleasant and sentimental.
"What do you think of Scarborough?" her brother asked suddenly.
She started but did not flush--in her long European experience
she had gained control of that signal of surprise. "How do you
mean?" she asked. She rarely answered a question immediately,
no matter how simple it was, but usually put another question in
reply. Thus she insured herself time to think if time should be
"I mean, do you like him?"
"Why, certainly. But I've seen him only a few times."
"He's an uncommon man," continued her brother. "He'd make a
mighty satisfactory husband for an ambitious woman, especially
one with the money to push him fast."
Gladys slowly lifted and slowly lowered her smooth, slender
"That sort of thing doesn't interest a woman in a man, unless
she's married to him and has got over thinking more about him
than about herself."
"It ought to," replied her brother. "A clever woman can
always slosh round in sentimental slop with her head above it and
cool. If I were a girl I'd make a dead set for that chap."
"If you were a girl," said Gladys, "you'd do nothing of the
sort. You'd compel him to make a dead set for you." And as she
put down her glass she gave his hair an affectionate pull--which
was her way of thanking him for saying what she most wished to
hear on the subject she most wished to hear about.
STRAINING AT THE ANCHORS.
Gladys was now twenty-four and was even more anxious to marry
than is the average unmarried person. She had been eleven years
a wanderer; she was tired of it. She had no home; and she wanted
Her aunt--her mother's widowed sister--had taken her abroad when
she was thirteen. John was able to defy or to deceive their
mother. But she could and did enforce upon Gladys the rigid
rules which her fanatical nature had evolved--a minute and
crushing tyranny. Therefore Gladys preferred any place to her
home. For ten years she had been roaming western Europe,
nominally watched by her lazy, selfish, and physically and
mentally near-sighted aunt. Actually her only guardian had been
her own precocious, curiously prudent, curiously reckless self.
She had been free to do as she pleased; and she had pleased to do
very free indeed. She had learned all that her intense and
catholic curiosity craved to know, had learned it of masters of
her own selecting--the men and women who would naturally attract
a lively young person, eager to rejoice in an escape from
slavery. Her eyes had peered far into the human heart, farthest
into the corrupted human heart; yet, with her innocence she had
not lost her honesty or her preference for the things she had
been brought up to think clean.
But she had at last wearied of a novelty which lay only in
changes of scene and of names, without any important change in
characters or plot. She began to be bored with the game of
baffling the hopes inspired by her beauty and encouraged by her
seeming simplicity. And when her mother came--as she said to
Pauline, "The only bearable view of mother is a distant view. I
had forgot there were such people left on earth--I had thought
they'd all gone to their own kind of heaven." So she fled to
America, to her brother and his wife.
Dumont stayed eight days at the Eyrie on that trip, then went
back to his congenial life in New York--to his business and his
dissipation. He tempered his indulgence in both nowadays with
some exercise--his stomach, his heart, his nerves and his doctor
had together given him a bad fright. The evening before he left
he saw Pauline and Gladys sitting apart and joined them.
"Why not invite Scarborough to spend a week up here?" he asked,
just glancing at his wife. He never ventured to look at her when
there was any danger of their eyes meeting.
Her lips tightened and the color swiftly left her cheeks and
"Wouldn't you like it, Gladys?" he went on.
"Oh, DO ask him, Pauline," said Gladys, with enthusiasm. Like
her brother, she always went straight to the point--she was in
the habit of deciding for herself, of thinking what she did was
above criticism, and of not especially caring if it was
criticised. "Please do!"
Pauline waited long--it seemed to her long enough for time to
wrinkle her heart--before answering: "We'll need another man.
I'll ask him--if you wish."
Gladys pressed her hand gratefully--she was fond of Pauline, and
Pauline was liking her again as she had when they were children
and playmates and partners in the woes of John Dumont's raids
upon their games. Just then Langdon's sister, Mrs. Barrow,
called Gladys to the other end of the drawing-room. Dumont's
glance followed her.
"I think it'd be a good match," he said reflectively.
Pauline's heart missed a beat and a suffocating choke contracted
"What?" she succeeded in saying.
"Gladys and Scarborough," replied Dumont. "She ought to
marry--she's got no place to go. And it'd be good business for
her--and for him, too, for that matter, if she could land him.
Don't you think she's attractive to men?"
"Very," said Pauline, lifelessly.
"Don't you think it would be a good match?" he went on.
"Very," she said, looking round wildly, as her breath came more
and more quickly.
Langdon strolled up.
"Am I interrupting a family council?" he asked.
"Oh, no," Dumont replied, rising. "Take my chair." And he
"This room is too warm," said Pauline. "No, don't open the
window. Excuse me a moment." She went into the hall, threw a
golf cape round her shoulders and stepped out on the veranda,
closing the door-window behind her. It was a moonless, winter
night--stars thronging the blue-black sky; the steady lamp of a
planet set in the southern horizon.
When she had been walking there for a quarter of an hour the
door-window opened and Langdon looked out. "Oh--there you
are!" he said.
"Won't you join me?" Her tone assured him that he would not be
intruding. He got a hat and overcoat and they walked up and down
"Those stars irritate me," he said after a while. "They make
me appreciate that this world's a tiny grain of sand adrift in
infinity, and that I'm----there's nothing little enough to
express the human atom where the earth's only a grain. And then
they go on to taunt me with how short-lived I am and how it'll
soon be all over for me--for ever. A futile little insect,
buzzing about, waiting to be crushed under the heel of the Great
"Sometimes I feel that," answered Pauline. "But again--often,
as a child--and since, when everything has looked dark and ugly
for me, I've gone where I could see them. And they seemed to
draw all the fever and the fear out of me, and to put there
instead a sort of--not happiness, not even content,
They were near the rail now, she gazing into the southern sky, he
studying her face. It seemed to him that he had not seen any one
so beautiful. She was all in black with a diamond star
glittering in her hair high above her forehead. She looked like
a splendid plume dropped from the starry wing of night.
"The stars make you feel that way," he said, in the light tone
that disguises a compliment as a bit of raillery, "because
you're of their family. And I feel as I do because I'm a
blood-relation of the earthworms."
Her face changed. "Oh, but so am I!" she exclaimed, with a
passion he had never seen or suspected in her before. She drew a
long breath, closed her eyes and opened them very wide.
"You don't know, you can't imagine, how I long to LIVE! And
KNOW what `to live' means."
"Then why don't you?" he asked--he liked to catch people in
their confidential moods and to peer into the hidden places in
their hearts, not impudently but with a sort of scientific
"Because I'm a daughter--that's anchor number one. Because I'm
a mother--that's anchor number two. Because I'm a wife--that's
anchor number three. And anchor number four--because I'm under
the spell of inherited instincts that rule me though I don't in
the least believe in them. Tied, hands and feet!"
"Inherited instinct." He shook his head sadly. "That's the
skeleton at life's banquet. It takes away my appetite."
She laughed without mirth, then sighed with some self-mockery.
"It frightens ME away from the table."
But Scarborough declined her invitation. However, he did come to
dinner ten days later; and Gladys, who had no lack of confidence
in her power to charm when and whom she chose, was elated by his
friendliness then and when she met him at other houses.
"He's not a bit sentimental," she told Pauline, whose silence
whenever she tried to discuss him did not discourage her. "But
if he ever does care for a woman he'll care in the same
tremendous way that he sweeps things before him in his career.
Don't you think so?"
"Yes," said Pauline.
She had now lingered at Saint X two months beyond the time she
originally set. She told herself she had reached the limit of
endurance, that she must fly from the spectacle of Gladys'
growing intimacy with Scarborough; she told Gladys it was
impossible for her longer to neglect the new house in Fifth
Avenue. With an effort she added: "You'd rather stay on here,
"I detest New York," replied Gladys. "And I've never enjoyed
myself in my whole life as I'm enjoying it here."
So she went East alone, went direct to Dawn Hill, their country
place at Manhasset, Long Island, which Dumont never visited. She
invited Leonora Fanshaw down to stand between her thoughts and
herself. Only the society of a human being, one who was
light-hearted and amusing, could tide her back to any sort of
peace in the old life--her books and her dogs, her horseback and
her drawing and her gardening. A life so full of events, so
empty of event. It left her hardly time for proper sleep, yet it
had not a single one of those vivid threads of intense and
continuous interest--and one of them is enough to make bright the
dullest pattern that issues from the Loom.
In her "splendor" her nearest approach to an intimacy had been
She had no illusions about the company she was keeping in the
East. To her these "friends" seemed in no proper sense either
her friends or one another's. Drawn together from all parts of
America, indeed of the world, by the magnetism of millions, they
had known one another not at all or only slightly in the period
of life when thorough friendships are made; even where they had
been associates as children, the association had rarely been of
the kind that creates friendship's democratic intimacy. They had
no common traditions, no real class-feeling, no common
enthusiasms--unless the passion for keeping rich, for getting
richer, for enjoying and displaying riches, could be called
enthusiasm. They were mere intimate acquaintances, making small
pretense of friendship, having small conception of it or desire
for it beyond that surface politeness which enables people whose
selfish interests lie in the same direction to get on comfortably
She divided them into two classes. There were those who, like
herself, kept up great establishments and entertained lavishly
and engaged in the courteous but fierce rivalry of fashionable
ostentation. Then there were those who hung about the courts of
the rich, invited because they filled in the large backgrounds
and contributed conversation or ideas for new amusements,
accepting because they loved the atmosphere of luxury which they
could not afford to create for themselves.
Leonora was undeniably in the latter class. But she was
associated in Pauline's mind with the period before her splendor.
She had been friendly when Dumont was unknown beyond Saint X.
The others sought her--well, for the same reasons of desire for
distraction and dread of boredom which made her welcome them.
But Leonora, she more than half believed, liked her to a certain
extent for herself--"likes me better than I like her." And at
times she was self-reproachful for being thus exceeded in
self-giving. Leonora, for example, told her her most intimate
secrets, some of them far from creditable to her. Pauline told
nothing in return. She sometimes longed for a confidant, or,
rather, for some person who would understand without being told,
some one like Olivia; but her imagination refused to picture
Leonora as that kind of friend. Even more pronounced than her
frankness, and she was frank to her own hurt, was her biting
cynicism--it was undeniably amusing; it did not exactly inspire
distrust, but it put Pauline vaguely on guard. Also, she was
candidly mercenary, and, in some moods, rapaciously envious.
"But no worse," thought Pauline, "than so many of the others
here, once one gets below their surface. Besides, it's in a
good-natured, good-hearted way."
She wished Fanshaw were as rich as Leonora longed for him to be.
She was glad Dumont seemed to be putting him in the way of making
a fortune. He was distasteful to her, because she saw that he
was an ill-tempered sycophant under a pretense of manliness thick
enough to shield him from the unobservant eyes of a world of men
and women greedy of flattery and busy each with himself or
herself. But for Leonora's sake she invited him. And Leonora
was appreciative, was witty, never monotonous or commonplace,
most helpful in getting up entertainments, and good to look
at--always beautifully dressed and as fresh as if just from a
bath; sparkling green eyes, usually with good-humored mockery in
them; hard, smooth, glistening shoulders and arms; lips a crimson
line, at once cold and sensuous.
On a Friday in December Pauline came up from Dawn Hill and, after
two hours at the new house, went to the jeweler's to buy a
wedding present for Aurora Galloway. As she was passing the
counter where the superintendent had his office, his assistant
said: "Beg pardon, Mrs. Dumont. The necklace came in this
morning. Would you like to look at it?"
She paused, not clearly hearing him. He took a box from the safe
behind him and lifted from it a magnificent necklace of graduated
pearls with a huge solitaire diamond clasp. "It's one of the
finest we ever got together," he went on. "But you can see for
yourself." He was flushing in the excitement of his eagerness
to ingratiate himself with such a distinguished customer.
"Beautiful!" said Pauline, taking the necklace as he held it
out to her. "May I ask whom it's for?"
The clerk looked puzzled, then frightened, as the implications of
her obvious ignorance dawned upon him.
"Oh--I--I----" He almost snatched it from her, dropped it into
the box, put on the lid. And he stood with mouth ajar and
"Please give it to me again," said Pauline, coldly. "I had
not finished looking at it."
His uneasy eyes spied the superintendent approaching. He grew
scarlet, then white, and in an agony of terror blurted out:
"Here comes the superintendent. I beg you, Mrs. Dumont, don't
tell him I showed it to you. I've made some sort of a mistake.
You'll ruin me if you speak of it to any one. I never thought it
might be intended as a surprise to you. Indeed, I wasn't
supposed to know anything about it. Maybe I was mistaken----"
His look and voice were so pitiful that Pauline replied
reassuringly: "I understand--I'll say nothing. Please show me
those," and she pointed to a tray of unset rubies in the
And when the superintendent, bowing obsequiously, came up himself
to take charge of this important customer, she was deep in the
rubies which the assistant was showing her with hands that shook
and fingers that blundered.
She did not permit her feelings to appear until she was in her
carriage again and secure from observation. The clerk's theory
she could not entertain for an instant, contradicted as it was by
the facts of eight years. She knew she had surprised Dumont.
She had learned nothing new; but it forced her to stare straight
into the face of that which she had been ignoring, that which she
must continue to ignore if she was to meet the ever heavier and
crueler exactions of the debt she had incurred when she betrayed
her father and mother and herself. At a time when her mind was
filled with bitter contrasts between what was and what might have
been, it brought bluntly to her the precise kind of life she was
leading, the precise kind of surroundings she was tolerating.
"Whom can he be giving such a gift?" she wondered. And she had
an impulse to confide in Leonora to the extent of encouraging her
to hint who it was. "She would certainly know. No doubt
everybody knows, except me."
She called for her, as she had promised, and took her to lunch at
Sherry's. But the impulse to confide died as Leonora talked--of
money, of ways of spending money; of people who had money, and
those who hadn't money; of people who were spending too much
money, of those who weren't spending enough money; of what she
would do if she had money, of what many did to get money. Money,
money, money--it was all of the web and most of the woof of her
talk. Now it ran boldly on the surface of the pattern; now it
was half hid under something about art or books or plays or
schemes for patronizing the poor and undermining their
self-respect--but it was always there.
For the first time Leonora jarred upon her fiercely--unendurably.
She listened until the sound grew indistinct, became mingled with
the chatter of that money-flaunting throng. And presently the
chatter seemed to her to be a maddening repetition of one word,
money--the central idea in all the thought and all the action of
these people. "I must get away," she thought, "or I shall cry
out." And she left abruptly, alleging that she must hurry to
catch her train.
Money-mad! her thoughts ran on. The only test of honor--money,
and ability and willingness to spend it. They must have money or
they're nobodies. And if they have money, who cares where it
came from? No one asks where the men get it--why should any one
ask where the women get it?
CHOICE AMONG EVILS.
A few days afterward--it was a Wednesday--Pauline came up to town
early in the afternoon, as she had an appointment with the
dressmaker and was going to the opera in the evening. At the
dressmaker's, while she waited for a fitter to return from the
workroom, she glanced at a newspaper spread upon the table so
that its entire front page was in view. It was filled with an
account of how the Woolens Monopoly had, in that bitter winter,
advanced prices twenty to thirty-five per cent. all along the
line. From the center of the page stared a picture of John
Dumont--its expression peculiarly arrogant and sinister.
She read the head-lines only, then turned from the table. But on
the drive up-town she stopped the carriage at the Savoy and sent
the footman to the news-stand to get the paper. She read the
article through--parts of it several times.
She had Langdon and Honoria Longview at dinner that night; by
indirect questioning she drew him on to confirm the article, to
describe how the Woolens Monopoly was "giving the country an
old-fashioned winter." On the way to the opera she was ashamed
of her ermine wrap enfolding her from the slightest sense of the
icy air. She did not hear the singers, was hardly conscious of
her surroundings. As they left the Metropolitan she threw back
her wrap and sat with her neck bared to the intense cold.
"I say, don't do that!" protested Langdon.
She reluctantly drew the fur about her. But when she had dropped
him and then Honoria and was driving on up the avenue alone, she
bared her shoulders and arms again--"like a silly child," she
said. But it gave her a certain satisfaction, for she felt like
one who has a secret store of food in time of famine and feasts
upon it. And she sat unprotected.
"Is Mr. Dumont in?" she asked the butler as he closed the door
of their palace behind her.
"I think he is, ma'am."
"Please tell him I'd like to see him--in the library."
She had to wait only three or four minutes before he came--in
smoking jacket and slippers. It was long since she had looked at
him so carefully as she did then; and she noted how much grosser
he was, the puffs under his eyes, the lines of cruelty that were
coming out strongly with autocratic power and the custom of
receiving meek obedience. And her heart sank. "Useless," she
said to herself. "Utterly useless!" And the incident of the
necklace and its reminders of all she had suffered from him and
through him came trooping into her mind; and it seemed to her
that she could not speak, could not even remain in the room with
He dropped into a chair before the open fire. "Horribly cold,
She moved uneasily. He slowly lighted a cigar and began to smoke
it, his attitude one of waiting.
"I've been thinking," she began at last--she was looking
reflectively into the fire--"about your great talent for
business and finance. You formed your big combination, and
because you understand everything about wool you employ more men,
you pay higher wages, and you make the goods better than ever,
and at less cost."
"Between a third and a half cheaper," he said. "We employ
thirty thousand more men, and since we settled the last
strike"--a grim smile that would have meant a great deal to her
had she known the history of that strike and how hard he had
fought before he gave in--"we've paid thirty per cent. higher
wages. Yet the profits are--well, you can imagine."
"And you've made millions for yourself and for those in with
"I haven't developed my ideas for nothing."
She paused again. It was several minutes before she went on:
"When a doctor or a man of science or a philosopher makes a
discovery that'll be a benefit to the world"--she looked at him
suddenly, earnest, appealing--"he gives it freely. And he gets
honor and fame. Why shouldn't you do that, John?" She had
forgotten herself in her subject.
He smiled into the fire--hardly a day passed that he did not have
presented to him some scheme for relieving him of the burden of
his riches; here was another, and from such an unexpected
"You could be rich, too. We spend twenty, fifty times as much
as we can possibly enjoy; and you have more than we could
possibly spend. Why shouldn't a man with financial genius be
like men with other kinds of genius? Why should he be the only
one to stay down on the level with dull, money-grubbing, sordid
kinds of people? Why shouldn't he have ideals?"
He made no reply. Indeed, so earnest was she that she did not
give him time, but immediately went on:
"Just think, John! Instead of giving out in these charities and
philanthropies--I never did believe in them--they're bound to be
more or less degrading to the people that take, and when it's so
hard to help a friend with money without harming him, how much
harder it must be to help strangers. Instead of those things,
why not be really great? Just think, John, how the world would
honor you and how you would feel, if you used your genius to make
the necessaries cheap for all these fellow-beings of ours who
have such a hard time getting on. That would be real
superiority--and our life now is so vain, so empty. It's brutal,
"What do you propose?" he asked, curious as always when a new
idea was presented to him. And this was certainly
new--apparently, philanthropy without expense.
"You are master. You can do as you please. Why not put your
great combine on such a basis that it would bring an honest, just
return to you and the others, and would pay the highest possible
wages, and would give the people the benefit of what your genius
for manufacturing and for finance has made possible? I think we
who are so comfortable and never have to think of the necessaries
of life forget how much a few cents here and there mean to most
people. And the things you control mean all the difference
between warmth and cold, between life and death, John!"
As she talked he settled back into his chair, and his face
hardened into its unyielding expression. A preposterous project!
Just like a good, sentimental woman. Not philanthropy without
expense, but philanthropy at the expense both, of his fortune and
of his position as a master. To use his brain and his life for
those ungrateful people who derided his benefactions as either
contributions to "the conscience fund" or as indirect attempts
at public bribery! He could not conceal his impatience--though
he did not venture to put it into words.
"If we--if you and I, John," she hurried on, leaning toward him
in her earnestness, "had something like that to live for, it
might come to be very different with us--and--I'm thinking of
Gardiner most of all. This'll ruin him some day. No one, NO
ONE, can lead this kind of life without being dragged down,
without becoming selfish and sordid and cruel."
"You don't understand," he said curtly, without looking at her.
"I never heard of such--such sentimentalism."
She winced and was silent, sat watching his bold, strong profile.
Presently she said in a changed, strange, strained voice: "What
I asked to see you for was--John, won't you put the prices--at
least where they were at the beginning of this dreadful winter?"
"Oh--I see!" he exclaimed. "You've been listening to the lies
"READING," she said, her eyes flashing at the insult in the
accusation that she had let people attack him to her.
"Well, reading then," he went on, wondering what he had said
that angered her. And he made an elaborate explanation--about
"the necessity of meeting fixed charges" which he himself had
fixed, about "fair share of prosperity," "everything more
expensive," "the country better able to pay," "every one
doing as we are," and so on.
She listened closely; she had not come ignorant of the subject,
and she penetrated his sophistries. When he saw her expression,
saw he had failed to convince her, into, his eyes came the look
she understood well--the look that told her she would only
infuriate him and bruise herself by flinging herself against the
iron of his resolve.
"You must let me attend to my own business," he ended, his tone
good-natured, his eyes hard.
She sat staring into the fire for several minutes--from her eyes
looked a will as strong as his. Then she rose and, her voice
lower than before but vibrating, said: "All round us--here in
New York--all over this country--away off in Europe--I can see
them--I can feel them--SUFFERING! As you yourself said, it's
HORRIBLY cold!" She drew herself up and faced him, a light in
her eyes before which he visibly shrank. "Yes, it's YOUR
business. But it shan't be mine or MY boy's!"
And she left the room. In the morning she returned to Dawn Hill
and arranged her affairs so that she would be free to go. Not
since the spring day, nearly nine years before, when she began
that Vergil lesson which ended in a lesson in the pitilessness of
consequences that was not yet finished, had her heart been so
light, so hopeful. In vain she reminded herself that the doing
of this larger duty, so imperative, nevertheless endangered her
father and mother. "They will be proud that I'm doing it," she
"For Gardiner's sake, as well as for mine, they'll be glad I
separated him and myself from this debased life. They will--they
MUST, since it is right!" And already she felt the easing of
the bonds that had never failed to cut deeper into the living
flesh whenever she had ventured to hope that she was at last
growing used to them.
"Free!" she said to herself exultantly. She dared to exult,
but she did not dare to express to herself the hopes, the wild,
incredible hopes, which the very thought of freedom set to
quivering deep down in her, as the first warmth makes the life
toss in its slumber in the planted seed.
On Friday she came up to New York late in the afternoon, and in
the evening went to the opera--for a last look round. As the
lights were lowering for the rise of the curtain on the second
act, Leonora and her husband entered the box. She had forgotten
inviting them. She gave Leonora the chair in front and took the
one behind--Millicent Rowland, whom she herself brought, had the
other front seat. As her chair was midway between the two, she
was seeing across Leonora's shoulders. Presently Dumont came in
and took the chair behind Leonora's and leaned forward, his chin
almost touching the slope of her neck as he talked to her in an
undertone, she greatly amused or pretending to be.
The light from the stage fell across Leonora's bosom, fell upon a
magnificent string of graduated pearls clasped with a huge
solitaire beyond question the string the jeweler's clerk had
blunderingly shown her. And there was Dumont's heavy, coarse
profile outlined against Leonora's cheek and throat, her cynical,
sensuous profile showing just beyond.
Open sprang a hundred doors of memory; into Pauline's mind was
discharged avalanche after avalanche of dreadful thoughts. "No!
No!" she protested. "How infamous to think such things of my
best friend!" But she tried in vain to thrust suspicions,
accusations, proofs, back into the closets. Instead, she sank
under the flood of them--sick and certain.
When the lights went up she said: "I'm feeling badly all at
once. I'm afraid I'll have to take you home, Milly."
"Are you ill, dear?" asked Leonora.
"Oh, no--just faint," she replied, in a voice which she
succeeded in making fairly natural.
"Please don't move. Stay on--you really must."
The other man--Shenstone--helped her and Millicent with their
wraps and accompanied them to their carriage. When she had set
Millicent down she drew a long breath of relief. For the first
time in seven years her course lay straight before her. "I must
be free!" she said. "I must be ENTIRELY free--free before the
whole world--I and my boy."
The next morning, in the midst of her preparations to take the
ten-o'clock limited for the West, her maid brought a note to
her--a copy of a National Woolens Company circular to the trade,
setting forth that "owing to a gratifying easing in the prices
for raw wool, the Company are able to announce and take great
pleasure in announcing a ten per cent. reduction." On the
margin Dumont had scrawled "To go out to-morrow and to be
followed in ten days by fifteen per cent. more. Couldn't resist
your appeal." Thus by the sheer luck that had so often
supplemented his skill and mitigated his mistakes, he had yielded
to her plea just in time to confuse the issue between her and
She read the circular and the scrawl with a sinking heart.
"Nevertheless, I shall go!" she tried to protest. "True, he
won't send out this circular if I do. But what does it matter,
one infamy more or less in him? Besides, he will accomplish his
purpose in some other way of which I shall not know." But this
was only the beginning of the battle. Punishment on punishment
for an act which seemed right at the time had made her morbid,
distrustful of herself. And she could not conquer the dread lest
her longing to be free was blinding her, was luring her on to
fresh calamities, involving all whom she cared for, all who cared
for her. Whichever way she looked she could see only a choice
between wrongs. To stay under the same roof with him or at Dawn
Hill--self-respect put that out of the question. To free
herself--how could she, when it meant sacrificing her parents and
also the thousands shivering under the extortions of his
In the end she chose the course that seemed to combine the least
evil with the most good. She would go to the Eyrie, and the
world and her father and mother would think she was absenting
herself from her husband to attend to the bringing up of her boy.
She would see even less of Scarborough than she saw when she was
last at Saint X.
That afternoon she wrote to Dumont:
Since we had our talk I have found out about Leonora. It is
impossible for me to stay here. I shall go West to-morrow. But
I shall not go to my father's; because of your circular I shall
go to the Eyrie, instead--at least for the present.
Two weeks after she was again settled at the Eyrie, Langdon
appeared in Saint X, alleging business at the National Woolens'
factories there. He accepted her invitation to stay with her,
and devoted himself to Gladys, who took up her flirtation with
him precisely where she had dropped it when they bade each the
other a mock-mournful good-by five months before. They were so
realistic that Pauline came to the satisfying conclusion that her
sister-in-law was either in earnest with Langdon or not in
earnest with anybody. If she had not been avoiding Scarborough,
she would probably have seen Gladys' real game--to use Langdon as
a stalking horse for him.
"No doubt Scarborough, like all men, imagines he's above
jealousy," Gladys had said to herself, casting her keen eyes
over the situation. "But there never was a man who didn't race
better with a pace-maker than on an empty track."
Toward the end of Langdon's first week Pauline's suspicions as to
one of the objects of his winter trip West were confirmed by his
saying quite casually: "Dumont's dropped Fanshaw, and Leonora's
talking of the stage. In fact, she's gone abroad to study."
When he was leaving, after nearly three weeks, he asked her when
she was coming back East.
"Never--I hope," she said, her fingers playing with the
close-cropped curls of her boy standing beside her.
"I fancied so--I fancied so," replied Langdon, his eyes showing
that he understood her and that he knew she understood for whom
he had asked.
"You are going to stay on--at the Eyrie?"
"I think so, unless something--disquieting--occurs. I've not
made up my mind. Fate plays such queer tricks that I've stopped
guessing at to-morrow."
"What was it Miss Dumont's friend, Scarborough, quoted from
Spinoza at Atwater's the other night? `If a stone, on its way
from the sling through the air, could speak, it would say, "How
free I am!'" Is that the way you feel?"
There came into Pauline's eyes a look of pain so intense that he
"We choose a path blindfold," she said, her tone as light as
her look was dark, "and we must go where it goes--there's no
other ever afterward."
"But if it leads down?"
"All the PATHS lead up," she replied with a sad smile. "It's
the precipices that lead down."
Gladys joined them and Langdon said to her:
"Well, good-by, Miss Dumont--don't get married till you see
me." He patted the boy on the shoulder. "Good-by,
Gardiner--remember, we men must always be brave, and gentle with
the ladies. Good-by, Mrs. Dumont--keep away from the precipices.
And if you should want to come back to us you'll have no trouble
in finding us. We're a lot of slow old rotters, and we'll be
just where you left us--yawning, and shying at new people and at
all new ideas except about clothes, and gossiping about each
other." And he was in the auto and off for the station.
TWO AND THE BARRIER.
Scarborough often rode with Gladys and Pauline, sometimes with
Gladys alone. One afternoon in August he came expecting to go
out with both. But Gladys was not well that day. She had
examined her pale face and deeply circled eyes in her glass; she
had counseled with her maid--a discreetly and soothingly frank
French woman. Too late to telephone him, she had overruled her
longing to see him and had decided that at what she hoped was his
"critical stage" it would be wiser not to show herself to him
thus even in her most becoming tea-gown, which compelled the eyes
of the beholder to a fascinating game of hide and seek with her
neck and arms and the lines of her figure.
"And Mrs. Dumont?" inquired Scarborough of the servant who
brought Gladys' message and note.
"She's out walking, sir."
Scarborough rode away, taking the long drive through the grounds
of the Eyrie, as it would save him a mile of dusty and not
well-shaded highway. A few hundred yards and he was passing the
sloping meadows that lay golden bronze in the sun, beyond the
narrow fringe of wood skirting and shielding the drive. The
grass and clover had been cut. Part of it was spread where it
had fallen, part had been raked into little hillocks ready for
the wagons. At the edge of one of these hillocks far down the
slope he saw the tail of a pale blue skirt, a white parasol cast
upon the stubble beside it. He reined in his horse, hesitated,
dismounted, tied his bridle round a sapling. He strode across
the field toward the hillock that had betrayed its secret to him.
"Do I interrupt?" he called when he was still far enough away
not to be taking her by surprise.
There was no answer. He paused, debating whether to call again
or to turn back.
But soon she was rising--the lower part of her tall narrow figure
hid by the hillock, the upper part revealing to him the strong
stamp of that vivid individuality of hers which separated her at
once from no matter what company. She had on a big garden hat,
trimmed just a little with summer flowers, a blouse of some soft
white material, with even softer lace on the shoulders and in the
long, loose sleeves. She gave a friendly nod and glance in his
direction, and said: "Oh, no--not at all. I'm glad to have
help in enjoying this."
She was looking out toward the mists of the horizon hills. The
heat of the day had passed; the woods, the hillocks of hay were
casting long shadows on the pale-bronze fields. A breeze had
sprung up and was lifting from the dried and drying grass and
clover a keen, sweet, intoxicating perfume--like the odor which
classic zephyrs used to shake from the flowing hair of woodland
He stood beside her without speaking, looking intently at her.
It was the first time he had been alone with her since the
afternoon at Battle Field when she confessed her marriage and he
"Bandit was lame," she said when it seemed necessary to say
She rode a thoroughbred, Bandit, who would let no one else mount
him; whenever she got a new saddle she herself had to help put it
on, so alert was he for schemes to entrap him to some other's
service. He obeyed her in the haughty, nervous way
characteristic of thoroughbreds--obeyed because he felt that she
was without fear, and because she had the firm but gentle hand
that does not fret a horse yet does not let him think for an
instant that he is or can be free. Then, too, he had his share
of the universal, fundamental vanity we should probably find
swelling the oyster did we but know how to interpret it; and he
must have appreciated what an altogether harmonious spectacle it
was when he swept along with his mistress upon his back as light
and free as a Valkyr.
"I was sorry to miss the ride," Pauline went on after another
pause--to her, riding was the keenest of the many physical
delights that are for those who have vigorous and courageous
bodies and sensitive nerves. Whenever it was possible she fought
out her battles with herself on horseback, usually finding
herself able there to drown mental distress in the surge of
As he still did not speak she looked at him--and could not look
away. She had not seen that expression since their final hour
together at Battle Field, though in these few last months she had
been remembering it so exactly, had been wondering, doubting
whether she could not bring it to his face again, had been
forbidding herself to long to see it. And there it was,
unchanged like all the inflexible purposes that made his
character and his career. And back to her came, as it had come
many and many a time in those years, the story he had told her of
his father and mother, of his father's love for his mother--how
it had enfolded her from the harshness and peril of pioneer life,
had enfolded her in age no less than in youth, had gone down into
and through the Valley of the Shadow with her, had not left her
even at the gates of Death, but had taken him on with her into
the Beyond. And Pauline trembled, an enormous joy thrilling
through and through her.
"Don't!" she said uncertainly. "Don't look at me like that,
"You were crying," he said abruptly. He stood before her,
obviously one who had conquered the respect of the world in fair,
open battle, and has the courage that is for those only who have
tested their strength and know it will not fail them. And the
sight of him, the look of him, filled her not with the mere
belief, but with the absolute conviction that no malign power in
all the world or in the mystery round the world could come past
him to her to harass or harm her. The doubts, the sense of
desolation that had so agitated her a few minutes before now
seemed trivial, weak, unworthy.
She lowered her eyes--she had thought he would not observe the
slight traces of the tears she had carefully wiped away. She
clasped her hands meekly and looked--and felt--like a guilty
child. The coldness, the haughtiness were gone from her face.
"Yes," she said shyly. "Yes--I--I--" She lifted her
eyes--her tears had made them as soft and luminous as the eyes of
a child just awake from a long, untroubled sleep. "But--you
must not ask me. It's nothing that can be helped. Besides, it
seems nothing--now." She forced a faint smile. "If you knew
what a comfort it is to cry you'd try it."
"I have," he replied. Then after a pause he added: "Once."
Something in his tone--she did not venture to look at him
again--made her catch her breath. She instantly and
instinctively knew when that "once" was. "I don't care to try
it again, thank you," he went on. "But it made me able to
understand what sort of comfort you were getting. For--YOU don't
The katydids were clamoring drowsily in the tops of the
sycamores. From out of sight beyond the orchard came the
monotonous, musical whir of a reaper. A quail whistled his pert,
hopeful, careless "Bob White!" from the rail fence edging the
wheat field. A bumblebee grumbled among a cluster of swaying
clover blossoms which the mower had spared. And the breeze
tossed up and rolled over the meadow, over the senses of the
young man and the young woman, great billows of that perfume
which is the combined essence of all nature's love philters.
Pauline sank on the hay, and Scarborough stretched himself on the
ground at her feet. "For a long time it's been getting darker
and darker for me," she began, in the tone of one who is talking
of some past sorrow which casts a retreating shadow over present
joy to make it the brighter by contrast. "To-day--this
afternoon it seemed as if the light were just about to go
out--for good and all. And I came here. I found myself lying on
the ground--on the bosom of this old cruel--kind mother of ours.
And--" She did not finish--he would know the rest. Besides,
what did it matter--now?
He said: "If only there were some way in which I could help."
"It isn't the people who appear at the crises of one's life,
like the hero on the stage, that really help. I'm afraid the
crises, the real crises of real life, must always be met alone."
"Alone," he said in an undertone. The sky was blue
now--cloudless blue; but in that word alone he could hear the
rumble of storms below the horizon, storms past, storms to come.
"The real helpers," she went on, "are those who strengthen us
day by day, hour by hour. And when no physical presence would do
any good, when no outside aid is possible--they--it's like
finding a wall at one's back when one's in dread of being
surrounded. I suppose you don't realize how much it means to--to
how many people--to watch a man who goes straight and strong on
his way--without blustering, without trampling anybody, without
taking any mean advantage. You don't mind my saying these
She felt the look which she did not venture to face as he
answered: "I needed to hear them to-day. For it seemed to me
that I, too, had got to the limit of my strength."
"But you hadn't." She said this confidently.
"No--I suppose not. I've thought so before; but somehow I've
always managed to gather myself together. This time it was the
work of years apparently undone--hopelessly undone. They"--she
understood that "they" meant the leaders of the two corrupt
rings whose rule of the state his power with the people
menaced--"they have bought away some of my best men--bought them
with those `favors' that are so much more disreputable than money
because they're respectable. Then they came to me"--he laughed
unpleasantly--"and took me up into a high mountain and showed me
all the kingdoms of the earth, as it were. I could be governor,
senator, they said, could probably have the nomination for
president even,--not if I would fall down and worship them, but
if I would let them alone. I could accomplish nearly all that
I've worked so long to accomplish if I would only concede a few
things to them. I could be almost free. ALMOST--that is, not
free at all."
She said: "And they knew you no better than that!"
"Now," he continued, "it looks as if I'll have to build all
"I think not," she replied. "If they weren't still afraid of
you they'd never have come to you. But what does it matter? YOU
don't fight for victory, you fight for the fight's sake. And
so"--she looked at him proudly--"you can't lose."
"Thank you. Thank you," he said in a low voice.
She sighed. "How I envy you! You LIVE. I can simply be alive.
Sometimes I feel as if I were sitting in a railway station
waiting to begin my journey--waiting for a train that's
late--nobody knows how late. Simply alive--that's all."
"That's a great deal," he said. He was looking round at the
sky, at the horizon, at the fields far and near, at her. "A
great deal," he repeated.
"You feel that, too?" She smiled. "I suppose I should live on
through anything and everything, because, away down under the
surface, where even the worst storms can't reach, there's always
a sort of tremendous joy--the sense of being alive--just alive."
She drew a long breath. "Often when I've been--anything but
happy--a little while ago, for instance--I suddenly have a
feeling of ecstasy. I say to myself: Yes, I'm unhappy, but--I'm
He made a sudden impulsive movement toward her, then restrained
himself, pressed his lips together and fell back on his elbow.
"I suppose I ought to be ashamed of myself,' she added.
"You mustn't say that." He was sitting up, was speaking with
all his energy. "All that you were telling me a while ago to
encourage me applies to you, too--and more--more. You DO live.
You ARE what you long to be. That ideal you're always trying to
grasp--don't you know why you can't grasp it, Pauline? Because
it's your own self, your own image reflected as in a mirror."
He broke off abruptly, acutely conscious that he was leaning far
over the barrier between them. There was a distant shout, from
vigorous, boyish lungs. Gardiner, mad with the joy of healthy
seven, came running and jumping across the field to land with a
leap astride the hillock, scattering wisps of hay over his mother
and Scarborough. Pauline turned without getting up, caught her
boy by the arms and with mock violence shook and thrust him deep
down into the damaged hillock. She seemed to be making an outlet
for some happiness too great to be contained. He laughed and
shouted and struggled, pushed and pulled her. Her hat fell off,
her hair loosened and the sun showered gold of many shades upon
it. She released him and stood up, straightening and smoothing
her hair and breathing quickly, the color high in her cheeks.
Scarborough was already standing, watching her with an expression
of great cheerfulness.
"Good-by," he now said. "The caravan"--his tone was
half-jesting, half-serious--"has been spending the heat and dust
of the day on the oasis. It makes night journeys only. It must
"Night journeys only," repeated Pauline. "That sounds
"But there are the stars--and the moon."
She laughed. "And other oases ahead. Good-by--and thank you!"
The boy, close to his mother and facing Scarborough, was looking
from her to him and back again--curiously, it almost seemed
suspiciously. Both noticed it; both flushed slightly.
Scarborough shook hands with her, bowed to the little boy with a
formality and constraint that might have seemed ludicrous to an
onlooker. He went toward his horse; Gardiner and his mother took
the course at right angles across the field in the direction in
which the towers of the Eyrie could be seen above the tree-tops.
Suddenly the boy said, as if it were the conclusion of a long
internal argument: "I like Mr. Scarborough."
"Why not?" asked his mother, amused.
"I--I don't know," replied the boy. "Anyhow, I like him. I
wish he'd come and stay with us and Aunt Gladys."
Gladys! The reminder made her uncomfortable, made her feel that
she ought to be remorseful. But she hastened on to defend
herself. What reason had she to believe that Gladys cared for
him, except as she always cared for difficult conquest? Hadn't
Gladys again and again gone out of her way to explain that she
wasn't in love with him? Hadn't she said, only two days before:
"I don't believe I could fall in love with any man. Certainly I
couldn't unless he had made it very clear to me that he was in
love with me."
Pauline had latterly been suspecting that these elaborations of
superfluous protestation were Gladys' efforts to curtain herself.
Now she dwelt upon them with eager pleasure, and assured and
reassured herself that she had been supersensitive and that
Gladys had really been frank and truthful with her.
ON THE FARM.
On his way down the bluffs to town Scarborough felt as calm and
peaceful as that tranquil evening. He had a sense of the end of
a long strain of which he had until then been unconscious. "NOW
I can go away and rest," he said to himself. And at sundown he
set out for his farm.
He arrived at ten o'clock, by moonlight, amid a baying of dogs so
energetic that it roused every living thing in the barnyard to
protest in a peevish chorus of clucking and grunting and quacking
"What on airth!" exclaimed Mrs. Gabbard, his farmer's wife,
standing at the back door, in calico skirt and big shawl. When
she saw who it was, her irritated voice changed to welcome.
"Why, howdy, Mr. Scarborough! I thought it was old John Lovel
among the chickens or at the granary. I might 'a' knowed he
wouldn't come in the full of the moon and no clouds."
"Go straight back to bed, Mrs. Gabbard, and don't mind me,"
said Scarborough. "I looked after my horse and don't want
anything to eat. Where's Eph?"
"Can't you hear?" asked Mrs. Gabbard, dryly. And in the pause
a lusty snore penetrated. "When anything out of the way
happens, I get up and nose around to see whether it's worth while
to wake him."
Scarborough laughed. "I've come for a few days--to get some
exercise," he said. "But don't wake me with the others
to-morrow morning. I'm away behind on sleep and dead tired."
He went to bed--the rooms up-stairs in front were reserved for
him and were always ready. His brain was apparently as busy and
as determined not to rest as on the worst of his many bad nights
during the past four months. But the thoughts were vastly
different; and soon those millions of monotonous murmurings from
brook and field and forest were soothing his senses. He slept
soundly, with that complete relaxing of every nerve and muscle
which does not come until the mind wholly yields up its despotic
control and itself plunges into slumber unfathomable.
The change of the air with dawn slowly wakened him. It was only
a little after five, but he felt refreshed. He got himself into
farm working clothes and went down to the summer dining-room--a
shed against the back of the house with three of its walls
latticed. In the adjoining kitchen Mrs. Gabbard and her
daughters, Sally and Bertha, were washing the breakfast
dishes--Gabbard and his two sons and the three "hands" had just
started for the meadows with the hay wagons.
"Good morning," said Scarborough, looking in on the three
They stopped work and smiled at him, and the girls dried their
hands and shook hands with him--all with an absolute absence of
embarrassment that, to one familiar with the awkward shyness of
country people, would have told almost the whole story of
Scarborough's character. "I'll get you some breakfast in the
dining-room," said Mrs. Gabbard.
"No--just a little--on the corner of the table out here,"
Mrs. Gabbard and Sally bustled about while he stood in the
doorway of the shed, looking out into the yard and watching the
hens make their careful early morning tour of the inclosure to
glean whatever might be there before scattering for the day's
excursions and depredations. He had not long to wait and he did
not linger over what was served.
"You've et in a manner nothing," complained Mrs. Gabbard.
"I haven't earned an appetite yet," he replied. "Just wait
till this evening."
As soon as he was out of view he gave a great shout and started
to run. "What folly to bother with, a foolish, trouble-breeding
thinking apparatus in a world like this!" he thought, as the
tremendous currents of vitality surged through him. And he
vaulted a six-rail fence and ran on. Down the hollow drenched
with dew, across the brook which was really wide enough to be
called a creek, up the steep slope of the opposite hill at a
slower pace, and he was at the edge of the meadows. The sun was
clear of the horizon now, and the two wagons, piled high with hay
and "poled down" to keep the loads steady, were about to move
off to the barn.
"Bring back a fork for me, Bill!" he called to the driver of
the nearer wagon--Bill was standing on the lofty top of his load,
which projected forward and rear so far that, forward, the horses
were half canopied. Against Bill's return he borrowed Gabbard's
fork and helped complete the other wagon, the sweat streaming
from his face as his broad shoulders swung down with the empty
fork and up with a great mat of hay.
They worked alternately in the fields and at the barns until
half-past eleven. Then they went into the shade at the edge of
the meadow and had their dinner.
"My old woman," said Gabbard, "says that two set-down meals a
day in harvest time's as many as she'll stand for. So we have
dinner out here in good weather, and to the barn when it rains."
The talk was of weather prospects, of probable tonnage to the
acre, of the outlook for the corn, of the health and family
expectations of the mares and the cows and the pigs. It died
away gradually as one man after another stretched out upon his
back with a bunch of hay for an odorous pillow and his
broad-brimmed straw hat for a light-shade. Scarborough was the
fourth man to yield; as he dozed off his hat was hiding that
smile of boundless content which comes only to him who stretches
his well body upon grass or soft stubble and feels the vigor of
the earth steal up and through him. "Why don't I do this
oftener?" Scarborough was saying to himself. "I must--and I
shall, now that my mind's more at ease."
A long afternoon of the toil that tires and vexes not, and at
sundown he was glad to ride home on top of the last wagon instead
of walking as he had intended. The supper-table was ready--was
spread in the dining-shed. They washed their hands and sunburnt
arms and soused their heads in cold water from the well, and sat,
Scarborough at one end, Gabbard at the other, the strapping sons
and the "hands" down either side. The whole meal was before
them--huge platters of fried chicken, great dishes full of beans
and corn and potatoes; plates piled high with hot corn bread,
other plates of "salt-rising"; Mrs. Gabbard's miraculous apple
pies, and honey for which the plundered flowers might still be
mourning. Yesterday it would have seemed to Scarborough dinner
enough for a regiment. To-day--he thought he could probably eat
it all, and wished that he might try. To drink, there were
coffee and cider and two kinds of milk. He tried the buttermilk
and kept on with it.
"You must 'a' had a busy summer," said Gabbard. "This is the
first time you've been with us."
"Yes," Scarborough replied. "I did hope to get here for the
threshing, but I couldn't."
The threshing set them all off--it had been a record year;
thirty-eight bushels to the acre on the average, twenty-seven on
the hillsides which Gabbard had hesitated whether to "put in"
or not. An hour after supper Scarborough could no longer hold
his eyes open. "Wake me with the others," he said to Mrs.
Gabbard, who was making up the "salt-rising" yeast for the
morrow's baking. "I'll have breakfast when they do."
"I reckon you've earned it," said Mrs. Gabbard. "Eph says you
laid it over 'em all to-day."
"Well, I guess I at least earned my supper," replied
Scarborough. "And I guess I ate it."
"You didn't do so bad, considerin'," Mrs. Gabbard admitted.
"Nothin' like livin' in town to take appetite away."
"That isn't all it takes away," said Scarborough, going on to
his own part of the house without explaining his remark. When
his head touched the pillow his brain instantly stopped the
machinery. He needed no croonings or dronings from the fields to
soothe him. "Not an idea in my head all day," he said to
himself with drowsy delight.
Four days of this, and on the fifth came the outside world in the
form of Burdick, chairman of the county committee of his party in
the county in which his farm lay. They sat on the fence under
the big maple, out of earshot of the others.
"Larkin's come out for John Frankfort for the nomination for
governor," said Burdick.
Scarborough smiled. "Even Larkin couldn't get it for
Frankfort--he's too notorious."
"He don't want to get it for him," replied Burdick. "His real
man's Judge Graney."
Scarborough stopped fanning himself with his wide-brimmed straw.
Judge Graney was the most adroit and dangerous of John Dumont's
tools. He had given invaluable aid from the bench at several of
the National Woolens Company's most critical moments. Yet he had
retained and increased his popularity and his reputation by
deciding against his secret master with a brave show of virtue
when he knew the higher courts must reverse him. For several
years Scarborough had been looking forward to the inevitable open
conflict between the forces of honesty in his party and the
forces of the machine as ruled by the half-dozen big corporations
who also ruled the machine of the opposition party. He had known
that the contest must come, and that he must take part in it; and
he had been getting ready. But he had not wished to give battle
until he was strong enough to give a battle which, even if he
lost it, would not strengthen the hold of the corruptionists.
After he rejected Larkin's dazzling offers, conditioned upon his
aloofness rather than frank subservience, he had thought the
whole situation over, and, as he hinted to Pauline, had realized
how apparently hopeless a fight against the machine would be just
then, with the people prosperous and therefore quiescent. And he
had decided to stand aside for the time. He now saw that
reluctance to attack Dumont had been at least a factor in this
decision; and he also saw that he could not delay, as he had
hoped. There was no escape--either he must let his work of years
be undermined and destroyed or he must give battle with all his
strength and skill. He remembered what Pauline had said: "You
"No, one can't lose in this sort of fight," he thought.
"Either WE win or there'll be no victory." He sprang from the
fence to the ground. "Let's go to the house," he said to
"What you going to do?" asked Burdick, as they walked toward
the gate, where his horse and buggy were hitched.
"Fight, of course," said Scarborough. "Fight Larkin and his
gang in the open. I'll get ex-Governor Bowen to let us use his
name and canvass the state for him."
Burdick shook his head sadly.
"It ain't politics," he said. "You'll split the party; then
the party'll turn and split you." And later, as they were
separating, Scarborough to drive to Saint X, Burdick to go back
to Marshaltown, he said: "I'll help all I can in a quiet way.
But--I hope you've got your cyclone cellar dug."
Scarborough laughed. "I haven't been digging a cyclone cellar.
I've been trying to manufacture a cyclone."
There were thirty-three clear days before the meeting of the
convention. He wasted not an hour of them on the manufacturing
towns; he went to the country--to the farmers and the villagers,
the men who lived each man in his own house, on his own soil from
which he earned his own living. Up and down and across the state
he went, speaking, organizing, planning, inspiring--he and the
coterie of young men who looked up to him as their leader and
followed him in this desperate assault as courageously as if
victory were assured.
Not long before the convention he paused at ex-Judge Bowen's
country place and spent two hours with him in his great, quiet,
"Isn't it inspiring," Scarborough said, "to see so many young
men in arms for a principle?"
The old man slowly shook his magnificent white head and smiled at
the young man. "Principles without leaders go begging," he
replied. "Men rally to the standard only when the right voice
calls. The right voice at the right time." He laid his hand on
Scarborough's shoulder with affection and pride. "If the moment
should come for you to think of it, do not forget that the leader
is the principle, and that in this fight the leader is not I--but
PAULINE GOES INTO POLITICS.
Larkin decided that the state convention should be held at Saint
X because his machine was most perfect there. The National
Woolens Company, the Consolidated Pipe and Wire Company and the
Indiana Oil and Gas Corporation--the three principal political
corporations in the state--had their main plants there and were
in complete political control. While Larkin had no fear of the
Scarborough movement, regarding it as a sentimental outburst in
the rank and file of the party that would die away when its
fomenter had been "read out of the party" at the convention by
the regular organization, still he had been in the game too long
to take unnecessary chances. He felt that it would be wise to
have the delegates assemble where all the surroundings would be
favorable and where his ablest and confidential men could do
their work in peace and quiet.
The convention was to, meet on the last Thursday in September.
On the preceding Monday morning, Culver--Dumont's small, thin,
stealthy private secretary--arrived at Saint X and, after making
an appointment with Merriweather for half-past twelve, went out
to the Eyrie to go through a lot of accumulated domestic business
with Mrs. Dumont. When she in a most formal and unencouraging
manner invited him to stop there, he eagerly accepted. "Thank
you so much," he said effusively. "To be perfectly frank, I've
been tempted to invite myself. I have some valuables with me
that I don't feel at all easy about. If I should be robbed, it
would be a very serious matter. Would it be asking too much of
you to ask you to put a package in your jewel safe?"
"I'll be glad to do it for you," replied Pauline. "There's
plenty of room--the safe's almost empty and it's ridiculously
"My package isn't small," said Culver. "And on my mind it
weighs tons." He reached into his large bag--at sight of it
Pauline had wondered why he had brought such a bag up from the
hotel when his papers for her inspection were so few. He lifted
out an oblong, bulky package.
"If you'll just touch that button," said she, "James will come
and show you how to get to the safe."
Culver hesitated nervously. Finally he said: "I'm making a
nuisance of myself, Mrs. Dumont, but would you mind going to the
safe with me? I'd much rather none of the servants knew about
Pauline smiled and bade him follow her. They went to her private
sitting-room and she showed him the safe, in a small closet built
into the lower part of the book-case. "You have the
combination?" asked Culver, as he put the package away.
"I see that you don't lock this door often."
"How fortunate you spoke of it!" said she.
"The combination is on a bit of paper in one of the little
Culver found it in the first drawer he opened, and handed it to
her without looking at it.
"You mustn't let me know it," said he. "I'll just fix the
time lock so that it won't interfere." And when he had done so,
he closed the safe. As he left, he said, "I shall only bother
you to let me sleep in the house. I'll be very busy all day each
day I'm here." When she thought he had gone he returned to add:
"Perhaps I'd better explain to you that there's forty-five
thousand dollars in cash in the package. That's why I was so
anxious for no one to know."
"I'll say nothing about it," Pauline assured him.
Larkin came down from Indianapolis the next day and registered at
the Palace Hotel. As soon as he could escape from the
politicians and newspaper correspondents in the hotel office, he
went by a devious route to a room on the floor below his own and,
knocking, was admitted to Culver and Merriweather. He nodded to
Dumont's political agent, then said to Culver: "You've got the
"Yes," Culver answered, in his best imitation of the tone of
the man of large affairs. "In twenties, fifties and hundreds."
"I hope, mighty few hundreds," said Larkin. "The boys are
kind o' shy about changing hundred-dollar bills. It seems to
attract attention to them." He had large, dreamy, almost
sentimental, brown eyes that absurdly misrepresented his
character, or, at least, his dominant characteristics. His long,
slightly bent nose and sharp chin and thin, tight mouth were more
"How do things look, Joe?" asked Merriweather.
"Yes, Mr. Dumont asked me to telegraph him after I'd talked with
you," said Culver. "Has Scarborough made much headway?"
"I must say, he's raised a darn sight more hell than I thought
he would," Larkin answered.
"The people seem to be in a nasty mood about corruption. Darn
their fool souls, as if they wouldn't be in the rottenest kind of
a fix, with no property and no jobs, if we didn't keep the
ignorant vote under control and head off such firebrands as this
"Got any figgers?" demanded Merriweather, who had listened to
this tirade with an expression suggesting cynicism. He thought,
and he knew Joe Larkin thought, politics a mere game of
chance--you won or you didn't win; and principles and oratory and
likes and dislikes and resentments were so much "hot air." If
the "oil can" had been with Scarborough, Merriweather would
have served him as cheerfully and as loyally as--well, as would
Joe Larkin in those circumstances.
Larkin wrenched a big bunch of letters and papers from the sagged
inside pocket of his slouchy sack coat; after some fumbling and
sorting, he paused upon the back of a dirty envelope.
"Here's how the convention stands, to a man," he said. "Sure,
two hundred and sixty-seven-by `sure' I mean the fellows we own
outright. Safe, two hundred and forty-five-by `safe' I mean
those that'll stand by the organization, thick and thin.
Insurgents, two hundred and ninety-five--those are the chaps
that've gone clean crazy with Scarborough. Doubtful, three
hundred and eighty-six-some of 'em can be bought; most of 'em are
waiting to see which way the cat jumps, so as to jump with her."
"Then we've got five hundred and twelve, and it takes five
hundred and ninety-seven to elect," said Merriweather, the
instant the last word was out of Larkin's mouth. Merriweather
was a mite of a man, could hardly have weighed more than a
hundred pounds, had a bulging forehead, was bald and gray at the
temples, eyes brown as walnut juice and quick and keen as a
rat-terrier's. His expression was the gambler's--calm, watchful,
indifferent, pallid, as from years of nights under the gas-light
in close, hot rooms, with the cards sliding from the faro box
hour after hour.
"Eighty-five short--that's right," assented Larkin. Then, with
a look at Culver: "And some of 'em'll come mighty high."
"Where are you going to do business with them?" inquired
"Right here in this room, where I've done it many's the time
before," replied Larkin. "To-morrow night Conkey Sedgwick and
my boy Tom'll begin steerin' 'em in one at a time about eight
"Then I'll turn the money over to you at seven to-morrow
night," said Culver. "I've got it in a safe place."
"Not one of the banks, I hope," said Merriweather.
"We noted your suggestions on that point, and on all the
others," Culver answered with gracious condescension. "That's
why I brought cash in small denominations and didn't go near
anybody with it."
Larkin rose. "I've got to get to work. See you here to-morrow
night at seven, Mr. Culver--seven sharp. I guess it'll be Judge
Graney on the third ballot. On the first ballot the
organization'll vote solid for Graney, and my fellows'll vote for
John Frankfort. On the second ballot half my Frankfort crowd'll
switch over to Graney. On the third I'll put the rest of 'em
over, and that'll be enough to elect--probably the Scarborough
crowd'll see it's no use and let us make it unanimous. The
losers are always hot for harmony."
"That sounds well," said Merriweather--his was a voice that
left his hearers doubtful whether he meant what his words said or
Culver looked with secret admiration from one man to the other,
and continued to think of them and to admire, after they had
gone. He felt important, sitting in and by proxy directing the
councils of these powerful men, these holders and manipulators of
the secret strings whereto were attached puppet peoples and
puppet politicians. Seven years behind the scenes with Dumont's
most private affairs had given him a thoroughgoing contempt for
the mass of mankind. Did he not sit beside the master, at the
innermost wheels, deep at the very heart of the intricate
mechanism? Did not that position make him a sort of master, at
any rate far superior to the princeliest puppet?
At five the next afternoon--the afternoon of the day before the
convention--he was at the Eyrie, and sent a servant to say to
Mrs. Dumont that he would like to see her. She came down to him
in the library.
"I'm only troubling you for a moment," he said.
"I'll relieve you of my package."
"Very well," said Pauline. "I haven't thought of it since day
before yesterday. I'll bring it down to you."
She left him in the library and went up the stairs--she had been
reading everything that was published about the coming
convention, and the evident surprise of all the politicians at
the strength Scarborough was mustering for ex-Governor Bowen had
put her in high good humor. She cautioned herself that he could
not carry the convention; but his showing was a moral
victory--and what a superb personal triumph! With everything
against him--money and the machine and the skilful confusing of
the issues by his crafty opponents--he had rallied about him
almost all that was really intelligent in his party; and he had
demonstrated that he had on his side a mass of the voters large
out of all proportion to the number of delegates he had wrested
away from the machine--nearly three hundred, when everybody had
supposed the machine would retain all but a handful.
Money! Her lips curled scornfully--out here, in her own home,
among these simple people, the brutal power of money was master
just as in New York, among a people crazed by the passion for
luxury and display.
She was kneeling before the safe, was working the combination,
paper in hand. The knob clicked as the rings fell into place;
she turned the bolt and swung the door open. She reached into
the safe. Suddenly she drew her hand back and sat up on the
floor, looking at the package. "Why, it's for use in the
convention!" she exclaimed.
She did not move for several minutes; when she did, it was to
examine the time lock, to reset it, to close the door and bolt it
and throw the lock off the combination. Then she rose and slowly
descended to the library. As she reappeared, empty-handed,
Culver started violently and scrutinized her face. Its
expression put him in a panic. "Mrs. Dumont!" he exclaimed
"Has it been stolen?"
She shook her head. "No," she said. "It's there."
Trembling from weakness in the reaction, he leaned against the
table, wiping his sweating brow with sweating hands.
"But," she went on, "it must stay there."
He looked open-mouthed at her.
"You have brought the money out here for use in the
convention," she went on with perfect calmness. "You have
tried to make me a partner in that vile business. And--I refuse
to play the part assigned me. I shall keep the money until the
convention is over."
He looked round like a terror-stricken drowning man, about to
sink for the last time.
"I'm ruined! I'm ruined!" he almost screamed.
"No," she said, still calm. "You will not be ruined, though
you deserve to be. But I understand why you have become callous
to the commonplace decencies of life, and I shall see to it that
no harm comes to you."
"Mr. Dumont will--DESTROY me! You don't realize, Mrs. Dumont.
Vast property interests are at stake on the result of this
convention--that's our cause. And you are imperiling it!"
"Imperiling a cause that needs lies and bribes to save it?" she
said ironically. "Please calm yourself, Mr. Culver. You
certainly can't be blamed for putting your money in a safe place.
I take the responsibility for the rest. And when you tell Mr.
Dumont exactly what happened, you will not be blamed or injured
in any way."
"I shall telegraph him at once," he warned her.
"Certainly," said Pauline. "He might blame you severely for
failing to do that."
He paused in his pacing up and down the room. He flung his arms
toward her, his eyes blazing.
"I WILL have it!" he exclaimed. "Do you hear me, I WILL!
I'll bring men from down-town and have the safe blown open. The
money is not yours--it is----"
She advanced to the bell.
"Another word, Mr. Culver, and I'll have the servants show you
the door. Yours is a strange courage--to dare to speak thus to
me when your head should be hanging in shame for trying to make
such base use of me and my courtesy and friendliness."
His arms dropped, and he lowered his head.
"I beg your pardon," he said humbly. "I'm not myself. I
think I'm going insane. PITY me!"
Pauline looked at him sadly. "I wish I had the right to.
But--I SYMPATHIZE, and I'm sorry--so sorry--to have to do this."
A pause, then--"Good afternoon, Mr. Culver." And she moved
toward the door. At the threshold she turned. "I must say one
thing further--THE CONVENTION MUST NOT BE PUT OFF. If it is
adjourned to-morrow without making nominations, I shall
understand that you are getting the money elsewhere. And--I
shall be compelled to put such facts as I know in the possession
of--of those you came to injure." And she was gone.
Culver went to Merriweather's office and sent out for him and
Larkin. When they arrived he shut the doors and told them what
had happened--and in his manner there was not left a trace of the
New Yorker and ambassador condescending to westerners and
underlings. Larkin cursed; Merriweather gave no outward sign.
Presently Merriweather said: "Larkin, you must adjourn the
convention over to-morrow. Culver can go to Chicago and get back
with the money by to-morrow night."
"No use," groaned Culver. And he told them the last part of
his talk with Mrs. Dumont.
"She thought of that!" said Merriweather, and he looked the
impartial admiration of the connoisseur of cleverness.
"But she'd never carry out her threat--never in the world!"
"If you had seen her when she said it, and if you'd known her as
long as I have, you wouldn't say that," replied Culver. "We
must try to get the money here, right away--at the banks."
"All shut," said Merriweather "I wonder how much cash there is
at the Woolens and the Oil and Steel offices? We must get
together as much as we can--quietly." And he rapidly outlined a
program that put all three at work within fifteen minutes. They
met again at seven. Culver had twenty-six hundred dollars,
Larkin thirty-one hundred, Merriweather, who had kept for himself
the most difficult task, had only twelve hundred.
"Sixty-nine hundred," said Merriweather, eying the heap, of
paper in packages and silver in bags.