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The Dust by David Graham Phillips

Part 7 out of 8

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"Because it's easier for me to make money than it
is for you," replied Norman. "If you were in my
position--the position I've been in for months--would
anybody on earth give you three thousand dollars a

Tetlow looked sour. His good nature was rubbing
thin in spots.

"Don't lose your temper," laughed Norman.
"I'm pounding away at you about my superiority,
partly because I've been drinking, but chiefly for your
own good--so that you'll realize I'm right and not mess
things with Galloway."

They went up to Norman's suite. Norman tried to
unlock the door, found it already unlocked. He turned
the knob, threw the door wide for Tetlow to enter first.
Then, over Tetlow's shoulder he saw on the marble-
topped center table Dorothy's hat and jacket, the one
she had worn away, the only one she had. He stared
at them, then at Tetlow. A confused look in the fat,
slow face made him say sharply:

"What does this mean, Tetlow?"

"Not so loud, Fred," said Tetlow, closing the door
into the public hall. "She's in the bedroom--probably
asleep. She's been here since yesterday."

"You brought her back?" demanded Norman.

"She wanted to come. I simply----"

Norman made a silencing gesture. Tetlow's faltering
voice stopped short. Norman stood near the table,
his hands deep in his trousers' pockets, his gaze fixed
upon the hat and jacket. When Tetlow's agitation
could bear the uncertainties of that silence no longer,
he went on:

"Fred, you mustn't forget how young and inexperienced
she is. She's been foolish, but nothing more.
She's as pure as when she came into the world. And
it's the truth that she wanted to come back. I saw it
as soon as I began to talk with her."

"What are you chattering about?" said Norman
fiercely. "Why did you meddle in my affairs? Why
did you bring her back?"

"I knew she needed you," pleaded Tetlow. "Then,
too--I was afraid-- I knew how you acted before,
and I thought you'd not get your gait again until you
had her."

Norman gave a short sardonic laugh. "If you'd
only stop trying to understand me!" he said.

Tetlow was utterly confused. "But, Fred, you
don't realize--not all," he cried imploringly. "She
discovered--she thinks, I believe--that is--she--she
--that probably--that in a few months you'll be
something more than a husband--and she something more
than a wife--that you--that--you and she will be a
father and a mother."

Tetlow's meaning slowly dawned on Norman. He
seated himself in his favorite attitude, legs sprawled,
fingers interlaced behind his head.

"Wasn't I right to bring her back--to tell her she
needn't fear to come?" pleaded Tetlow.

Norman made no reply. After a brief silence he
said: "Well, good night, old man. Come round to
my office any time after ten." He rose and gave
Tetlow his hand. "And arrange for Galloway whenever
you like. Good night."

Tetlow hesitated. "Fred--you'll not be harsh to
her?" he said.

Norman smiled--a satirical smile, yet exquisitely
gentle. "If you ONLY wouldn't try to understand me,
Bill," he said.

When he was alone he sat lost in thought. At last
he rang for a bell boy. And when the boy came, he
said: "That door there"--indicating one in the opposite
wall of the sitting room--"what does it lead

"Another bedroom, sir."

"Unlock it, and tell them at the office I wish that
room added to my suite."

As soon as the additional bedroom was at his dis-
posal, he went in and began to undress. When he had
taken off coat and waistcoat he paused to telephone
to the office a call for eight o'clock. As he finished and
hung up the receiver, a sound from the direction of the
sitting room made him glance in there. On the threshold
of the other bedroom stood his wife. She was in
her nightgown; her hair, done in a single thick braid,
hung down across her bosom. There was in the room
and upon her childish loveliness the strange commingling
of lights and shadows that falls when the electricity
is still on and the early morning light is pushing
in at the windows. They looked at each other in
silence for some time. If she was frightened or in the
least embarrassed she did not show it. She simply
looked at him, while ever so slowly a smile dawned--
a gleam in the eyes, a flutter round the lips, growing
merrier and merrier. He did not smile. He continued
to regard her gravely.

"I heard you and Mr. Tetlow come in," she said.
"Then--you talked so long--I fell asleep again. I
only this minute awakened."

"Well, now you can go to sleep again," said he.

"But I'm not a bit sleepy. What are you doing in
that room ?"

She advanced toward his door. He stood aside.
She peeped in. She was so close to him that her nightgown
brushed the bosom of his shirt. "Another
bedroom!" she exclaimed. "Just like ours."

"I didn't wish to disturb you," said he, calm and

"But you wouldn't have been disturbing me,"
protested she, leaning against the door frame, less than
two feet away and directly facing him.

"I'll stay on here," said he.

She gazed at him with great puzzled eyes. "Aren't
you glad I'm back?" she asked.

"Certainly," said he with a polite smile. "But I
must get some sleep." And he moved away.

"You must let me tell you how I happened to go
and why I came----"

"Please," he interrupted, looking at her with a
piercing though not in the least unfriendly expression
that made her grow suddenly pale and thoughtful. "I
do not wish to hear about it--not now--not ever. Tetlow
told me all that it's necessary for me to know.
You have come to stay, I assume?"

"Yes--if"--her lip quivered--"if you'll let me."

"There can be no question of that," said he with
the same polite gravity he had maintained throughout.

"You want me to leave you alone?"

"Please. I need sleep badly--and I've only three

"You are--angry with me?"

He looked placidly into her lovely, swimming eyes.
"Not in the least."

"But how can you help being? I acted dreadfully."

He smiled gently. "But you are back--and the
incident is closed."

She looked down at the carpet, her fingers playing
with her braid, twisting and untwisting its strands. He
stood waiting to close the door. She said, without
lifting her eyes--said in a quiet, expressionless way, "I
have killed your love?"

"I'll not trouble you any more," evaded he. And
he laid his hand significantly upon the knob.

"I don't understand," she murmured. Then, with
a quick apologetic glance at him, "But I'm very
inconsiderate. You want to sleep. Good night."

"Good night," said he, beginning to close the door.

She impulsively stood close before him, lifted her
small white face, as if for a kiss. "Do you forgive
me?" she asked. "I was foolish. I didn't understand
--till I went back. Then--nothing was the same. And
I knew I wasn't fitted for that life--and didn't really
care for him--and----"

He kissed her on the brow. "Don't agitate yourself,"
said he. "And we will never speak of this again."

She shrank as if he had struck her. Her head
drooped, and her shoulders. When she was clear of
the door, he quietly closed it.


IT was not many minutes after ten when Tetlow
hurried into Norman's office. "Galloway's coming at
eleven!" said he, with an air of triumph.

"So you mulled over what I said and decided that
I was not altogether drunk?"

"I wasn't sure of that," replied Tetlow. "But I
was afraid you'd be offended if I didn't try to get him.
He gave me no trouble at all. As soon as I told him
you'd be glad to see him at your office, he astounded me
by saying he'd come."

"He and I have had dealings," said Norman.
"He understood at once. I always know my way when
I'm dealing with a big man. It's only the little people
that are muddled and complex. I hope you'll not forget
this lesson, Billy."

"I shan't," promised Tetlow.

"We are to be partners," pursued Norman. "We
shall be intimately associated for years. You'll save
me a vast amount of time and energy and yourself a
vast amount of fuming and fretting, if you'll simply
accept what I say, without discussion. When I want
discussion I'll ask your advice."

"I'm afraid you don't think it's worth much," said
Tetlow humbly, "and I guess it isn't."

"On the contrary, invaluable," declared Norman
with flattering emphasis. "Where you lack and I excel
is in decision and action. I'll often get you to tell me
what ought to be done, and then I'll make you do it--
which you'd never dare, by yourself."

At eleven sharp Galloway came, looking as nearly
like a dangerous old eagle as a human being well could.
Rapacious, merciless, tyrannical; a famous philanthropist.
Stingy to pettiness; a giver away of millions.
Rigidly honest, yet absolutely unscrupulous; faithful to
the last letter of his given word, yet so treacherous where
his sly mind could nose out a way to evade the spirit of
his agreements that his name was a synonym for unfaithfulness.
An assiduous and groveling snob, yet so militantly
democratic that, unless his interest compelled,
he would not employ any member of the "best families"
in any important capacity. He seemed a bundle of
contradictions. In fact he was profoundly consistent.
That is to say, he steadily pursued in every thought
and act the gratification of his two passions--wealth
and power. He lost no seen opportunity, however
shameful, to add to his fortune or to amuse himself
with the human race, which he regarded with the
unpitying contempt characteristic of every cold nature
born or risen to success.

His theory of life--and it is the theory that explains
most great financial successes, however they may pretend
or believe--his theory of life was that he did not
need friends because the friends of a strong man weaken
and rob him, but that he did need enemies because he
could grow rich and powerful destroying and despoiling
them. To him friends suggested the birds living in a
tree. They might make the tree more romantic to the
unthinking observer; but they in fact ate its budding
leaves and its fruit and rotted its bough joints with
their filthy nests.

We Americans are probably nearest to children of
any race in civilization. The peculiar conditions of
life--their almost Arcadian simplicity--up to a generation
or so ago, gave us a false training in the study of
human nature. We believe what the good preacher, the
novelist and the poet, all as ignorant of life as nursery
books, tell us about the human heart. We fancy that
in a social system modeled upon the cruel and immoral
system of Nature, success is to the good and kind. Life
is like the pious story in the Sunday-school library;
evil is the exception and to practice the simple virtues
is to tread with sure step the highway to riches and
fame. This sort of ignorance is taught, is proclaimed,
is apparently accepted throughout the world. Literature
and the drama, representing life as it is dreamed
by humanity, life as it perhaps may be some day, create
an impression which defies the plain daily and hourly
mockings of experience. Because weak and petty of-
fenders are often punished, the universe is pictured as
sternly enforcing the criminal codes enacted by priests
or lawyers. But, while all the world half inclines to this
agreeable mendacity about life, only in America of all
civilization is the mendacity accepted as gospel, and
suspicion about it frowned upon as the heresy of
cynicism. So the Galloways prosper and are in high moral
repute. Some day we shall learn that a social system
which is merely a slavish copy of Nature's barbarous
and wasteful sway of the survival of the toughest could
be and ought to be improved upon by the intelligence
of the human race. Some day we shall put Nature in
its proper place as kindergarten teacher, and drop it
from godship and erect enlightened human understanding
instead. But that is a long way off. Meanwhile the
Galloways will reign, and will assure us that they won
their success by the Decalogue and the Golden Rule--
and will be believed by all who seek to assure for
themselves in advance almost certain failure at material
success in the arena of action.

But they will not be believed by men of ambition,
pushing resolutely for power and wealth. So Frederick
Norman knew precisely what he was facing when Galloway's
tall gaunt figure and face of the bird of prey
appeared before him. Galloway had triumphed and was
triumphing not through obedience to the Sunday sermons
and the silly novels, poems, plays, and the nonsense
chattered by the obscure multitudes whom the
mighty few exploit, but through obedience to the
conditions imposed by our social system. If he raised
wages a little, it was in order that he might have
excuse for raising prices a great deal. If he gave away
millions, it was for his fame, and usually to quiet the
scandal over some particularly wicked wholesale robbery.
No, Galloway was not a witness to the might of altruistic
virtue as a means to triumph. Charity and all the
other forms of chicanery by which the many are
defrauded and fooled by the few--those "virtues" he
understood and practiced. But justice--humanity's
ages-long dream that at last seems to glitter as a hope
in the horizon of the future--justice--not legal justice,
nor moral justice, but human justice--that idea would
have seemed to him ridiculous, Utopian, something for
the women and the children and the socialists.

Norman understood Galloway, and Galloway understood
Norman. Galloway, with an old man's garrulity
and a confirmed moral poseur's eagerness about appearances,
began to unfold his virtuous reasons for the
impending break with Burroughs--the industrial and
financial war out of which he expected to come doubly
rich and all but supreme. Midway he stopped.

"You are not listening," said he sharply to the
young man.

Their eyes met. Norman's eyes were twinkling.
"No," said he, "I am waiting."

There was the suggestion of an answering gleam of
sardonic humor in Galloway's cold gray eyes. "Waiting
for what?"

"For you to finish with me as father confessor, to
begin with me as lawyer. Pray don't hurry. My time
is yours." This with a fine air of utmost suavity and

In fact, while Galloway was doddering on and on with
his fake moralities, Norman was thinking of his own
affairs, was wondering at his indifference about Dorothy.
The night before--the few hours before--when he had
dealt with her so calmly, he, even as he talked and
listened and acted, had assumed that the enormous amount
of liquor he had been consuming was in some way
responsible. He had said to himself, "When I am over
this, when I have had sleep and return to the normal, I
shall again be the foolish slave of all these months."
But here he was, sober, having taken only enough
whisky to prevent an abrupt let-down--here he was
viewing her in the same tranquil light. No longer all
his life; no longer even dominant; only a part of life--
and he was by no means certain that she was an important part.

How explain the mystery of the change? Because
she had voluntarily come back, did he feel that she was
no longer baffling but was definitely his? Or had passion
running madly on and on dropped--perhaps not
dead, but almost dead--from sheer exhaustion?--was
it weary of racing and content to saunter and to stroll?
. . . He could not account for the change. He only
knew that he who had been quite mad was now quite
sane. . . . Would he like to be rid of her? Did he
regret that they were tied together? No, curiously
enough. It was high time he got married; she would
do as well as another. She had beauty, youth,
amiability, physical charm for him. There was advantage
in the fact that her inferiority to him, her dependence
on him, would enable him to take as much or as little of
her as he might feel disposed, to treat her as the warrior
must ever treat his entire domestic establishment
from wife down to pet dog or cat or baby. . . . No,
he did not regret Josephine. He could see now disadvantages
greater than her advantages. All of value she
would have brought him he could get for himself, and
she would have been troublesome--exacting, disputing
his sway, demanding full value or more in return for
the love she was giving with such exalted notions of its

"You are married?" Galloway suddenly said,
interrupting his own speech and Norman's thought.

"Yes," said Norman.

"Just married, I believe?"


Young and old, high and low, successful and failed,
we are a race of advice-givers. As for Galloway, he
was not one to neglect that showy form of inexpensive
benevolence. "Have plenty of children," said he.

"And keep your family in the country till they grow
up. Town's no place for women. They go crazy.
Women--and most men--have no initiative. They
think only about whatever's thrust at them. In the
country it'll be their children and domestic things. In
town it'll be getting and spending money."

Norman was struck by this. "I think I'll take your
advice," said he.

"A man's home ought to be a retreat, not an inn.
We are humoring the women too much. They are
forgetting who earns what they spend in exhibiting
themselves. If a woman wants that sort of thing, let her
get out and earn it. Why should she expect it from the
man who has undertaken her support because he wanted
a wife to take care of his house and a mother for his
children? If a woman doesn't like the job, all right.
But if she takes it and accepts its pay, why, she should
do its work."

"Flawless logic," said Norman.

"When I hire a man to work, he doesn't expect to
idle about showing other people how handsome he is in
the clothes my money pays for. Not that marriage is
altogether a business--not at all. But, my dear sir--"
And Galloway brought his cane down with the emphasis
of one speaking from a heart full of bitter experience--
"unless it is a business at bottom, organized and
conducted on sound business principles, there's no
sentiment either. We are human beings--and that means
we are first of all BUSINESS beings, engaged in getting
food, clothing, shelter. No sentiment--NO sentiment,
sir, is worth while that isn't firmly grounded. It's a
house without a foundation. It's a steeple without a
church under it."

Norman looked at the old man with calm penetrating
eyes. "I shall conduct my married life on a sound,
business basis, or not at all," said he.

"We'll see," said Galloway. "That's what I said
forty years ago-- No, I didn't. I had no sense about
such matters then. In my youth the men knew nothing
about the woman question." He smiled grimly. "I
see signs that they are learning."

Then as abruptly as he had left the affairs he was
there to discuss he returned to them. His mind seemed
to have freed itself of all irrelevancy and superfluity, as
a stream often runs from a faucet with much spluttering
and rather muddy at first, then steadies and clears.
Norman gave him the attention one can get only from
a good mind that is interested in the subject and
understands it thoroughly. Such attention not merely
receives the words and ideas as they fall from the mouth
of him who utters them, but also seems to draw them
by a sort of suction faster and in greater abundance.
It was this peculiar ability of giving attention, as much
as any other one quality, that gave Norman's clients
their confidence in him. Galloway, than whom no man
was shrewder judge of men, showed in his gratified eyes
and voice, long before he had finished, how strongly his
conviction of Norman's high ability was confirmed.

When Galloway ended, Norman rapidly and in clear
and simple sentences summarized what Galloway had
said. "That is right?" he asked.

"Precisely," said Galloway admiringly. "What a
gift of clear statement you have, young man!"

"It has won me my place," said Norman. "As to
your campaign, I can tell you now that the legal part of
it can be arranged. That is what the law is for--to
enable a man to do whatever he wants. The penalties
are for those who have the stupidity to try to do things
in an unlawful way."

Galloway laughed. "I had heard that they were
for doing unlawful things."

"Nothing is unlawful," said Norman, "except in

"That's an interesting view of courts of justice."

"But we have no courts of justice. We have only
courts of law."

Galloway threw back his head and laughed till the
tears rolled down his cheeks. "What a gift for clear
statement!" he cried.

Norman beamed appreciation of a compliment so
flattering. But he went back to business. "As I was
saying, you can do what you want to do. You wish
me to show you how. In our modern way of doing
things, the relation of lawyer and client has somewhat
changed. To illustrate by this case, you are the bear
with the taste for honey and the strength to rob the
bees. I am the honey bird--that is, the modern lawyer
--who can show you the way to the hive. Most of the
honey birds--as yet--are content with a very small
share of the honey--whatever the bear happens to be
unable to find room for. But I--" Norman's eyes
danced and his strong mouth curved in a charming smile
--"I am a honey bird with a bear appetite."

Galloway was sitting up stiffly. "I don't quite
follow you, sir," he said.

"Yet I am plain enough. My ability at clear
statement has not deserted me. If I show you the way
through the tangled forest of the law to this hive you
scent--I must be a partner in the honey."

Galloway rose. "Your conceptions of your profession--
and of me, I may say--are not attractive. I
have always been, and am willing and anxious to pay
liberally--more liberally than anyone else--for legal
advice. But my business, sir, is my own."

Norman rose, his expression one of apology and
polite disappointment. "I see I misunderstood your
purpose in coming to me," said he. "Let us take no
more of each other's time."

"And what did you think my object was in coming?"
demanded Galloway.

"To get from me what you realized you could get
nowhere else--which meant, as an old experienced trader
like you must have known, that you were ready to pay
my price. Of course, if you can get elsewhere the
assistance you need, why, you would be most unwise to
come to me."

Galloway moved toward the door. "And you
might have charged practically any fee you wished,"
said he, laughing satirically. "Young man, you are
making the mistake that is ruining this generation.
You wish to get rich all at once. You are not willing to
be patient and to work and to build your fortune solidly
and slowly."

Norman smiled as at a good joke. "What an asset
to you strong men has been the vague hope in the minds
of the masses that each poor devil of them will have his
turn to loot and grow rich. I used to think ignorance
kept the present system going. But I have discovered
that it is that sly, silly, corrupt hope. But, sir, it does
not catch me. I shall not work for you and the other
strong men, and patiently wait my turn that would
never come. My time is NOW."

"You threaten me!" cried Galloway furiously.

"Threaten you?" exclaimed Norman, amazed.

"You think, because I have given you, my lawyer,
my secrets, that you can compel me----"

With an imperious gesture Norman stopped him.
"Good day, sir," he said haughtily. "Your secrets are
safe with me. I am a lawyer, not a financier."

Galloway was disconcerted. "I beg your pardon,
Mr. Norman," he said. "I misunderstood you. I
thought I heard you say in effect that you purposed to
be rich, and that you purposed to compel me to make
you so."

"So I did," replied Norman. "But not by the
methods you financiers are so adept at using. Not by
high-class blackmail and blackjacking. I meant that
my abilities were such that you and your fellow masters
of modern society would be compelled to employ me on
my own terms. A few moments ago you outlined to me
a plan. It may be you can find other lawyers competent
to steer it through the channel of the law. I doubt it.
I may exaggerate my value. But--" He smiled
pleasantly--"I don't think so."

In this modern world of ours there is no more delicate
or more important branch of the art of material success
than learning to play one's own tune on the trumpets of
fame. To those who watch careers intelligently and
critically, and not merely with mouth agape and ears
awag for whatever sounds the winds of credulity bear,
there is keen interest in noting how differently this high
art is practiced by the fame-seekers--how well some
modest heroes disguise themselves before essaying the
trumpet, how timidly some play, how brazenly others.
It is an art of infinite variety. How many there are
who can echo Shakespeare's sad lament, through Hamlet's
lips--"I lack advancement!" Those are they
who have wholly neglected, as did Shakespeare, this
essential part of the art of advancement--Shakespeare,
who lived almost obscure and was all but forgotten for
two centuries after his death.

Norman, frankly seeking mere material success, and
with the colossal egotism that disdains egotism and
shrugs at the danger of being accused of it--Norman
did not hesitate to proclaim his own merits. He
reasoned that he had the wares, that crying them would
attract attention to them, that he whose attention was
attracted, if he were a judge of wares and a seeker of
the best, would see that the Norman wares were indeed
as Norman cried them. At first blush Galloway was
amused by Norman's candid self-esteem. But he had
often heard of Norman's conceit--and in a long and
busy life he had not seen an able man who was unaware
of his ability; any more than he had seen a pretty
woman unaware of her prettiness. So, at second blush,
Galloway was tempted by Norman's calm strong blast
upon his own trumpet to look again at the wares.

"I always have had a high opinion of you, young
man," said he, with laughing eyes. "Almost as high an
opinion as you have of yourself. Think over the legal
side of my plan. When you get your thoughts in order,
let me know--and make me a proposition as to your own
share. Does that satisfy you?"

"It's all I ask," said Norman.

And they parted on the friendliest terms--and
Norman knew that his fortune was assured, if Galloway
lived another nine months. When he was alone, the
sweat burst out upon him and, trembling from head to
foot, he locked his door and flung himself at full length
upon the rug. It was half an hour before the fit of
silent hysterical reaction passed sufficiently to let him
gather strength to rise. He tottered to his desk chair,
and sat with his head buried in his arms upon the desk.
After a while the telephone at his side rang insistently.
He took the receiver in a hand he could not steady.

"Yes?" he called.

"It's Tetlow. How'd you come out?"

"Oh--" He paused to stiffen his throat to attack
the words naturally--"all right. We go ahead."

"With G.?"

"Certainly. But keep quiet. Don't let him know
you've heard, if you see him or he sends for you.
Remember, it's in my hands entirely."

"Trust me." Tetlow's voice, suppressed and jubilant,
suggested a fat, hoarse rooster trying to finish a
crow before a coming stone from a farm boy reaches
him. "It seems natural and easy to you, old man.
But I'm about crazy with joy. I'll come right over."

"No. I'm going home."

"Can't I see you there?"

"No. I've other matters to attend to. Come
about lunch time to-morrow--to the office, here."

"All right," said Tetlow disappointedly, and Norman
rang off.


IN the faces of men who have dominion of whatever
kind over their fellow men--be it the brutal rule of the
prize fighter over his gang or the apparently gentle
sway of the apparently meek bishop over his loving
flock--in the faces of all men of power there is a
dangerous look. They may never lose their tempers.
They may never lift their voices. They may be ever
suave and civil. The dangerous look is there--and the
danger behind it. And the sense of that look and of
its cause has a certain restraining effect upon all but
the hopelessly impudent or solidly dense. Norman was
one of the men without fits of temper. In his moments
of irritation, no one ever felt that a storm of violent
language might be impending. But the danger signal
flaunted from his face. Danger of what? No one could
have said. Most people would have laughed at the idea
that so even tempered a man, pleased with himself and
with the world, could ever be dangerous. Yet everyone
had instinctively respected that danger flag--until

Perhaps it had struck for her--had really not been
there when she looked at him. Perhaps she had been
too inexperienced, perhaps too self-centered, to see it.
Perhaps she had never before seen his face in an hour
of weariness and relaxation--when the true character,
the dominating and essential trait or traits, shows
nakedly upon the surface, making the weak man or woman
look pitiful, the strong man or woman formidable.

However that may be, when he walked into the sitting
room, greeted her placidly and kissed her on the
brow, she, glancing uncertainly up at him, saw that
danger signal for the first time. She studied his face,
her own face wearing her expression of the puzzled
child. No, not quite that expression as it always had
been theretofore, but a modified form of it. To any
self-centered, self-absorbed woman--there comes in her
married life, unless she be married to a booby, a time,
an hour, a moment even--for it can be narrowed down
to a point--when she takes her first SEEING look at the
man upon whom she is dependent for protection, whether
spiritual or material, or both. In her egotism and
vanity she has been regarding him as her property.
Suddenly, and usually disagreeably, it has been revealed
to her that she is his property. That hour had come
for Dorothy Norman. And she was looking at her husband,
was wondering who and what he was.

"You've had your lunch?" he said.

"No," replied she.

"You have been out for the air?"


"Why not?"

"You didn't tell me what to do."

He smiled good humoredly. "Oh, you had no

"Yes--a little. But I--" She halted.


"You hadn't told me what to do," she repeated, as
if on mature thought that sentence expressed the whole

He felt in his pockets, found a small roll of bills.
He laid twenty-five dollars on the table. "I'll keep
thirty," he said, "as I shan't have any more till I see
Tetlow to-morrow. Now, fly out and amuse yourself.
I'm going to sleep. Don't wake me till you're ready
for dinner."

And he went into his bedroom and closed the door.
When he awoke, he saw that it was dark outside, and
some note in the din of street noises from far below
made him feel that it was late. He wrapped a bath-
robe round him, opened the door into the sitting room.
It was dark.

"Dorothy!" he called.

"Yes," promptly responded the small quiet voice,
so near that he started back.

"Oh!" he exclaimed, and switched on the light.
"There you are--by the window. What were you doing,
in the dark?"

She was dressed precisely as when he had last seen
her. She was sitting with her hands listless in her lap
and her face a moving and beautiful expression of
melancholy dreams. On the table were the bills--where
he had laid them. "You've been out?" he said.

"No," she replied.

"Why not?"

"I've been--waiting."

"For what?" laughed he.

"For--I don't know," she replied. "Just waiting."

"But there's nothing to wait for."

She looked at him interrogatively. "No--I suppose
not," she said.

He went back into his room and glanced at his watch.
"Eleven o'clock!" he cried. "Why didn't you wake
me? You must be nearly starved."

"Yes, I am hungry," said she.

Her patient, passive resignation irritated him. "I'm
ravenous," he said. "I'll dress--and you dress, too.
We'll go downstairs to supper."

When he reappeared in the sitting room, in a dinner
jacket, she was again seated near the window, hands
listless in her lap and eyes gazing dreamily into vacancy.
But she was now dressed in the black chiffon and the
big black hat. He laughed. "You are prompt and
obedient," said he. "Nothing like hunger to subdue."

A faint flush tinged her lovely skin; the look of the
child that has been struck appeared in her eyes.

He cast about in his mind for the explanation. Did
she think he meant it was need that had brought her
meekly back to him? That was true enough, but he
had not intended to hint it. In high good humor
because he was so delightfully hungry and was about
to get food, he cried: "Do cheer up! There's nothing
to be sad about--nothing."

She lifted her large eyes and gazed at him timidly.
"What are you going to do with me?"

"Take you downstairs and feed you."

"But I mean--afterward?"

"Bring--or send--you up here to go to bed."

"Are you going away?"


"Away from me."

He looked at her with amused eyes. She was
exquisitely lovely; never had he seen her lovelier. It
delighted him to note her charms--the charms that had
enslaved him--not a single charm missing--and to feel
that he was no longer their slave, was his own master

A strange look swept across her uncannily mobile
face--a look of wonder, of awe, of fear, of dread.
"You don't even like me any more," she said in her
colorless way.

"What have I done to make you think I dislike
you?" said he pleasantly.

She gazed down in silence.

"You need have no fear," said he. "You are my
wife. You will be well taken care of, and you will not
be annoyed. What more can I say?"

"Thank you," she murmured.

He winced. She had made him feel like an unpleasant
cross between an alms-giver and a bully. "Now,"
said he, with forced but resolute cheerfulness, "we will
eat, drink and be merry."

On the way down in the elevator he watched her
out of the corner of his eye. When they reached the
hall leading to the supper room he touched her arm
and halted her. "My dear," said he in the pleasant
voice which yet somehow never failed to secure attention
and obedience, "there will be some of my acquaintances
in there at supper. I don't want them to see you
with that whipped dog look. There's no occasion for it."

Her lip trembled. "I'll do my best," said she.

"Let's see you smile," laughed he. "You have
often shown me that you know the woman's trick of
wearing what feelings you choose on the outside. So
don't pretend that you've got to look as if you were
about to be hung for a crime you didn't commit.
There!--that's better."

And indeed to a casual glance she looked the happy
bride trying--not very successfully--to seem used to
her husband and her new status.

"Hold it!" he urged gayly. "I've no fancy for
leading round a lovely martyr in chains. Especially as
you're about as healthy and well placed a person as I
know. And you'll feel as well as you look when you've
had something to eat."

Whether it was obedience or the result of a decision
to drop an unprofitable pose he could not tell, but as
soon as they were seated and she had a bill of fare before
her and was reading it, her expression of happiness lost
its last suggestion of being forced. "Crab meat!" she
said. "I love it!"

"Two portions of crab meat," he said to the waiter
with pad and pencil at attention.

"Oh, I don't want that much," she protested.

"You forget that I am hungry," rejoined he.
"And when I am hungry, the price of food begins to
go up." He addressed himself to the waiter: "After
that a broiled grouse--with plenty of hominy--and
grilled sweet potatoes--and a salad of endive and hot-
house tomatoes--and I know the difference between hot-
house tomatoes and the other kinds. Next--some
cheese--Coullomieres--yes, you have it--I got the
steward to get it--and toasted crackers--the round
kind, not the square--and not the hard ones that
unsettle the teeth--and--what kind of ice, my dear?--or
would you prefer a fresh peach flambee?"

"Yes--I think so," said Dorothy.

"You hear, waiter?--and a bottle of--there's the
head waiter--ask him--he knows the champagne I

As Norman had talked, in the pleasant, insistent
voice, the waiter had roused from the air of mindless,
mechanical sloth characteristic of the New York
waiter--unless and until a fee below his high expectation
is offered. When he said the final "very good,
sir," it was with the accent of real intelligence.

Dorothy was smiling, with the amusement of youth
and inexperience. "What a lot of trouble you took
about it," said she.

He shrugged his shoulders. "Anything worth doing
at all is worth taking trouble about. You will see.
We shall get results. The supper will be the best this
house can put together."

"You can have anything you want in this world,
if you only can pay for it," said she.

"That's what most people think," replied he.
"But the truth is, the paying is only a small part of
the art of getting what one wants."

She glanced nervously at him. "I'm beginning to
realize that I'm dreadfully inexperienced," said she.

"There's nothing discouraging in that," said he.
"Lack of experience can be remedied. But not lack
of judgment. It takes the great gift of judgment to
enable one to profit by mistakes, to decide what is the
real lesson of an experience."

"I'm afraid I haven't any judgment, either,"
confessed she.

"That remains to be seen."

She hesitated--ventured: "What do you think is
my worst fault?"

He shook his head laughingly. "We are going to
have a happy supper."

"Do you think I am very vain?" persisted she.

"Who's been telling you so?"

"Mr. Tetlow. He gave me an awful talking to,
just before I--" She paused at the edge of the
forbidden ground. "He didn't spare me," she went on.
"He said I was a vain, self-centered little fool."

"And what did you say?"

"I was very angry. I told him he had no right
to accuse me of that. I reminded him that he had never
heard me say a word about myself."

"And did he say that the vainest people were just
that way--never speaking of themselves, never thinking
of anything else?"

"Oh, he told you what he said," cried she.

"No," laughed he.

She reddened. "YOU think I'm vain?"

He made a good-humoredly satirical little bow. "I
think you are charming," said he. "It would be a
waste of time to look at or to think of anyone else when
oneself is the most charming and interesting person in
the world. Still--" He put into his face and voice a
suggestion of gravity that caught her utmost attention--
"if one is to get anywhere, is to win consideration
from others--and happiness for oneself--one sim-
ply must do a little thinking about others--occasionally."

Her eyes lowered. A faint color tinged her cheeks.

"The reason most of us are so uncomfortable--
downright unhappy most of the time--is that we never
really take our thoughts off our precious fascinating
selves. The result is that some day we find that the
liking--and friendship--and love--of those around us
has limits--and we are left severely alone. Of course,
if one has a great deal of money, one can buy excellent
imitations of liking and friendship and even love--I
ought to say, especially love----"

The color flamed in her face.

"But," he went on, "if one is in modest circumstances
or poor, one has to take care."

"Or dependent," she said, with one of those unexpected
flashes of subtle intelligence that so complicated
the study of her character. He had been talking to
amuse himself rather than with any idea of her
understanding. Her sudden bright color and her two
words--"or dependent"--roused him to see that she
thought he was deliberately giving her a savage
lecture from the cover of general remarks. "With the
vanity of the typical woman," he said to himself, "she
always imagines SHE is the subject of everyone's thought
and talk."

"Or dependent," said he to her, easily. "I wasn't
thinking of you, but yours IS a case in point. Come,
now--nothing to look blue about! Here's something
to eat. No, it's for the next table."

"You won't let me explain," she protested, between
the prudence of reproach and the candor of anger.

"There's nothing to explain," replied he. "Don't
bother about the mistakes of yesterday. Remember
them--yes. If one has a good memory, to forget is
impossible--not to say unwise. But there ought to
be no more heat or sting in the memory of past mistakes
than in the memory of last year's mosquito bites."

The first course of the supper arrived. Her
nervousness vanished, and he got far away from the
neighborhood of the subjects that, even in remotest hint,
could not but agitate her. And as the food and the
wine asserted their pacific and beatific sway, she and
he steadily moved into better and better humor with
each other. Her beauty grew until it had him thinking
that never, not in the most spiritual feminine conceptions
of the classic painters, had he seen a loveliness
more ethereal. Her skin was so exquisite, the coloring
of her hair and eyes and of her lips was so delicately
fine that it gave her the fragility of things bordering
upon the supernal--of rare exotics, of sunset and
moonbeam effects. No, he had been under no spell of
illusion as to her beauty. It was a reality--the more
fascinating because it waxed and waned not with
regularity of period but capriciously.

He began to look round furtively, to see what effect
this wife of his was producing on others. These last
few months, through prudence as much as through
pride, he had been cultivating the habit of ignoring his
surroundings; he would not invite cold salutations or
obvious avoidance of speaking. He now discovered
many of his former associates--and his vanity dilated
as he noted how intensely they were interested in his

Some men of ability have that purest form of egotism
which makes one profoundly content with himself,
genuinely indifferent to the approval or the disapproval
of others. Norman's vanity had a certain amount
of alloy. He genuinely disdained his fellow-men--their
timidity, their hypocrisy, their servility, their limited
range of ideas. He was indifferent to the verge of
insensibility as to their adverse criticism. But at the
same time it was necessary to his happiness that he get
from them evidences of their admiration and envy.
With that amusing hypocrisy which tinges all human
nature, he concealed from himself the satisfaction, the
joy even, he got out of the showy side of his position.
And no feature of his infatuation for Dorothy
surprised him so much as the way it rode rough shod and
reckless over his snobbishness.

With the fading of infatuation had come many
reflections upon the practical aspects of what he had
done. It pleased him with himself to find that, in this
first test, he had not the least regret, but on the con-
trary a genuine pride in the courageous independence
he had shown--another and strong support to his
conviction of his superiority to his fellow-men. He might
be somewhat snobbish--who was not?--who else in his
New York was less than supersaturated with snobbishness?
But snobbishness, the determining quality in the
natures of all the women and most of the men he knew,
had shown itself one of the incidental qualities in his
own nature. After all, reflected he, it took a man, a
good deal of a man, to do what he had done, and not
to regret it, even in the hour of disillusionment. And
it must be said for this egotistic self-approval of his
that like all his judgments there was sound merit of
truth in it. The vanity of the nincompoop is ridiculous.
The vanity of the man of ability is amusing and no
doubt due to a defective point of view upon the proportions
of the universe; but it is not without excuse, and
those who laugh might do well to discriminate even as
they guffaw.

Looking discreetly about, Norman was suddenly
confronted by the face of Josephine Burroughs, only
two tables away.

Until their eyes squarely met he did not know she
was there, or even in America. Before he could make a
beginning of glancing away, she gave him her sweetest
smile and her friendliest bow. And Dorothy, looking
to see to whom he was speaking, was astonished to
receive the same radiance of cordiality. Norman was
pleased at the way his wife dealt with the situation.
She returned both bow and smile in her own quiet,
slightly reserved way of gentle dignity.

"Who was that, speaking?" asked she.

"Miss Burroughs. You must remember her."

He noted it as characteristic that she said, quite
sincerely: "Oh, so it is. I didn't remember her. That
is the girl you were engaged to."

"Yes--`the nice girl uptown,' " said he.

"I didn't like her," said Dorothy, with evident
small interest in the subject. "She was vain."

"You mean you didn't like her way of being vain,"
suggested Norman. "Everyone is vain; so, if we disliked
for vanity we should dislike everyone."

"Yes, it was her way. And just now she spoke to
us both, as if she were doing us a favor."

"Gracious, it's called," said he. "What of it? It
does us no harm and gives her about the only happiness
she's got."

Norman, without seeming to do so, noted the rest
of the Burroughs party. At Josephine's right sat a
handsome young foreigner, and it took small experience
of the world to discover that he was paying court to
her, and that she was pleased and flattered. Norman
asked the waiter who he was, and learned that he came
from the waiter's own province of France, was the Duc
de Valdome. At first glance Norman had thought him
distinguished. Afterward he discriminated. There are
several kinds or degrees of distinction. There is
distinction of race, of class, of family, of dress, of person.
As Frenchman, as aristocrat, as a scion of the ancient
family of Valdome, as a specimen of tailoring and valeting,
Miss Burroughs's young man was distinguished.
But in his own proper person he was rather insignificant.
The others at the table were Americans. Following Miss
Burroughs's cue, they sought an opportunity to speak
friendlily to Norman--and he gave it them. His
acknowledgment of those effusive salutations was polite
but restrained.

"They are friends of yours?" said Dorothy.

"They were," said he. "And they may be again--
when they are friends of OURS."

"I'm not very good at making friends," she warned
him. "I don't like many people." This time her
unconscious and profound egotism pleased him. Evidently
it did not occur to her that she should be eager
to be friends with those people on any terms, that the
only question was whether they would receive her.

She asked: "Why was Miss--Miss Burroughs so

"Why shouldn't she be?"

"But I thought you threw her over."

He winced at this crude way of putting it. "On
the contrary, she threw me over."

Dorothy laughed incredulously. "I know better.
Mr. Tetlow told me."

"She threw me over," repeated he coldly. "Tetlow
was repeating malicious and ignorant gossip."

Dorothy laughed again--it was her second glass of
champagne. "You say that because it's the honorable
thing to say. But I know."

"I say it because it's true," said he.

He spoke quietly, but if she had drunk many more
than two glasses of an unaccustomed and heady liquor
she would have felt his intonation. She paled and
shrank and her slim white fingers fluttered nervously
at the collar of her dress. "I was only joking," she

He laughed good-naturedly. "Don't look as if I
had given you a whipping," said he. "Surely you're
not afraid of me."

She glanced shyly at him, a smile dancing in her
eyes and upon her lips. "Yes," she said. And after a
pause she added: "I didn't used to be. But that was
because I didn't know you--or much of anything."
The smile irradiated her whole face. "You used to be
afraid of me. But you aren't, any more."

"No," said he, looking straight at her. "No, I'm

"I always told you you were mistaken in what you
thought of me. I really don't amount to much. A man
as serious and as important as you are couldn't--
couldn't care about me."

"It's true you don't amount to much, as yet," said
he. "And if you never do amount to much, you'd be no
less than most women and most men. But I've an idea
--at times--that you COULD amount to something."

He saw that he had wounded her vanity, that her
protestations of humility were precisely what he had
suspected. He laughed at her: "I see you thought I'd
contradict you. But I can't afford to be so amiable
now. And the first thing you've got to get rid of is
the part of your vanity that prevents you from growing.
Vanity of belief in one's possibilities is fine. No
one gets anywhere without it. But vanity of belief in
one's present perfection--no one but a god could afford
that luxury."

Observing her closely he was amused--and pleased
--to note that she was struggling to compose herself to
endure his candors as a necessary part of the duties and
obligations she had taken on herself when she gave up
and returned to him.

"What YOU thought of ME used to be the important
thing in our relations," he went on, in his way of raillery
that took all or nearly all the sting out of what he said,
but none of its strength. "Now, the important thing
is what I think of you. You are much younger than
I, especially in experience. You are going to school to
life with me as teacher. You'll dislike the teacher for
the severity of the school. That isn't just, but it's
natural--perhaps inevitable. And please--my dear--
when you are bitterest over what YOU have to put up
with from ME--don't forget what _I_ have to put up with
from YOU."

She was fighting bravely against angry tears. As
for him, he had suddenly become indifferent to what
the people around them might be thinking. With all
his old arrogance come back in full flood, he was feeling
that he would live his own life in his own way and that
those who didn't approve--yes, including Dorothy--
might do as they saw fit. She said:

"I don't blame you for regretting that you didn't
marry Miss Burroughs."

"But I don't regret it," replied he. "On the
contrary, I'm glad."

She glanced hopefully at him. But the hopeful
expression faded as he went on:

"Whether or not I made a mistake in marrying you,
I certainly had an escape from disaster when she
decided she preferred a foreigner and a title. There's a
good sensible reason why so many girls of her class--
more and more all the time--marry abroad. They are
not fit to be the wives of hard-working American
husbands. In fact I've about reached the conclusion that
of the girls growing up nowdays very few in any class
are fit to be American wives. They're not big enough.
They're too coarse and crude in their tastes. They're
only fit for the shallow, showy sort of thing--and the
European aristocracy is their hope--and their place."

Her small face had a fascinating expression of a

{illust. caption = "At Josephine s right sat a handsome young

child trying to understand things far beyond its depth.
He was interested in his own thoughts, however, and
went on--for, if he had been in the habit of stopping
when his hearers failed to understand, or when they
misunderstood, either he would have been silent most
of the time in company or his conversation would have
been as petty and narrow and devoid of originality or
imagination as is the mentality of most human beings
--as is the talk and reading that impress them as
interesting--and profound!

"The American man of the more ambitious sort,"
he went on, "either has to live practically if not
physically apart from his wife or else has to educate some
not too difficult woman to be his wife."

She understood that. "You are really going to
educate me?" she said, with an arch smile. Now that
Norman had her attention, now that she was centering
upon him instead of upon herself, she was interested
in him, and in what he said, whether she understood
it or not, whether it pleased her vanity or wounded
it. The intellects of women work to an unsuspected
extent only through the sex charm. Their appreciations
of books, of art, of men are dependant, often in
the most curious indirect ways, upon the fact that
the author, the artist, the politician or what not is
betrousered. Thus, Dorothy was patient, respectful,
attentive, was not offended by Norman's didactic
way of giving her the lessons in life. Her smile was
happy as well as coquettish, as she asked him to educate her.

He returned her smile. "That depends," answered

"You're not sure I'm worth the trouble?"

"You may put it that way, if you like. But I'd
say, rather, I'm not sure I can spare the time--and
you're not sure you care to fit yourself for the place."

"Oh, but I do!" cried she.

"We'll see--in a few weeks or months," replied he.

The Burroughs party were rising. Josephine had
choice of two ways to the door. She chose the one
that took her past Norman and his bride. She
advanced, beaming. Norman rose, took her extended
hand. Said she:

"So glad to see you." Then, turning the radiant
smile upon Dorothy, "And is this your wife? Is this
the pretty little typewriter girl?"

Dorothy nodded--a charming, ingenuous bend of
the head. Norman felt a thrill of pride in her, so
beautifully unconscious of the treacherous attempt at insult.
It particularly delighted him that she had not made
the mistake of rising to return Josephine's greeting but
had remained seated. Surely this wife of his had the
right instincts that never fail to cause right manners.
For Josephine's benefit, he gazed down at Dorothy with
the proudest, fondest eyes. "Yes--this is she," said
he. "Can you blame me?"

Josephine paled and winced visibly, as if the blow
she had aimed at him had, after glancing off harmlessly,
returned to crush her. She touched Dorothy's proffered
hand, murmured a few stammering phrases of vague
compliment, rejoined her friends. Said Dorothy, when
she and Norman were settled again:

"I shall never like her. Nor she me."

"But you do like this cheese? Waiter, another
bottle of that same."

"Why did she put you in such a good humor?"
inquired his wife.

"It wasn't she. It was you!" replied he. But he
refused to explain.


GALLOWAY accepted Norman's terms. He would
probably have accepted terms far less easy. But Norman
as yet knew with the thoroughness which must
precede intelligent plan and action only the legal side
of financial operations; he had been as indifferent to
the commercial side as a pilot to the value of the cargo
in the ship he engages to steer clear of shoals and rocks.
So with the prudence of the sagacious man's audacities
he contented himself with a share of this first venture
that would simply make a comfortable foundation for
the fortune he purposed to build. As the venture could
not fail outright, even should Galloway die, he rented
a largish place at Hempstead, with the privilege of
purchase, and installed his wife and himself with a dozen
servants and a housekeeper.

"This housekeeper, this Mrs. Lowell," said he to
Dorothy, "is a good enough person as housekeepers
go. But you will have to look sharply after her."

Dorothy seemed to fade and shrink within herself,
which was her way of confessing lack of courage and
fitness to face a situation: "I don't know anything
about those things," she confessed.

"I understand perfectly," said he. "But you
learned something at the place in Jersey City--quite
enough for the start. Really, all you need to know
just now is whether the place is clean or not, and
whether the food comes on the table in proper condition.
The rest you'll pick up gradually."

"I hope so," said she, looking doubtful and helpless;
these new magnitudes were appalling, especially
now that she was beginning to get a point of view upon

"At any rate, don't bother me for these few next
months," said he. "I'm going to be very busy--shall
leave early in the morning and not be back until near
dinner time--if I come at all. No, you'll not be
annoyed by me. You'll be absolute mistress of your time."

She tried to look as if this contented her. But he
could not have failed to see how dissatisfied and
disquieted she really was. He had the best of reasons for
thinking that she was living under the same roof with
him only because she preferred the roof he could provide
to such a one as she could provide for herself whether
by her own earnings or by marrying a man more to her
liking personally. Yet here she was, piqued and
depressed because of his indifference--because he was not
thrusting upon her gallantries she would tolerate only
through prudence!

"You will be lonely at times, I'm afraid," said he.
"But I can't provide friends or even acquaintances for
you for several months--until my affairs are in better
order and my sister and her husband come back from

"Oh, I shan't be lonely," cried she. "I've never
cared for people."

"You've your books, and your music--and riding
--and shopping trips to town--and the house and
grounds to look after."

"Yes--and my dreams," said she hopefully, her
eyes suggesting the dusky star depths.

"Oh--the dreams. You'll have little time for them,"
said he drily. "And little inclination, I imagine, as
you wake up to the sense of how much there is to be
learned. Dreaming is the pastime of people who haven't
the intelligence or the energy to accomplish anything.
If you wish to please me--and you do--don't you?"

"Yes," she murmured. She forced her rebellious
lips to the laconic assent. She drooped the lids over
her rebellious eyes, lest he should detect her wounded
feelings and her resentment.

"I assumed so," said he, with a secret smile.
"Well, if you wish to please me, you'll give your time
to practical things--things that'll make you more
interesting and make us both more comfortable. It was
all very well to dream, while you had little to do and
small opportunity. But now-- Try to cut it out."

It is painful to an American girl of any class to
find that she has to earn her position as wife. The
current theory, a tradition from an early and woman-
revering day, is that the girl has done her share and
more when she has consented to the suit of the ardent
male and has intrusted her priceless charms to his
exclusive keeping. According to that same theory, it is
the husband who must earn his position--must continue
to earn it. He is a humble creature, honored by the
presence of a wonderful being, a cross between a queen
and a goddess. He cannot do enough to show his
gratitude. Perhaps--but only perhaps--had Norman
married Josephine Burroughs, he might have assented,
after a fashion, to this idea of the relations of the man
and the woman. No doubt, had he remained under the
spell of Dorothy's mystery and beauty, he would have
felt and acted the slave he had made of himself at the
outset. But in the circumstances he was looking at
their prospective life together with sane eyes. And
so she had, in addition to all her other reasons for
heartache, a sense that she, the goddess-queen, the
American woman, with the birthright of dominion over
the male, was being cheated, humbled, degraded.

At first he saw that this sense of being wronged
made it impossible for her to do anything at all toward
educating herself for her position. But time brought
about the change he had hoped for. A few weeks, and
she began to cheer up, almost in spite of herself. What
was the use in sulking or sighing or in self-pitying,
when it brought only unhappiness to oneself? The
coarse and brutal male in the case was either unaware
or indifferent. There was no one and no place to fly
to--unless she wished to be much worse off than her
darkest mood of self-pity represented her to her
sorrowing self. The housekeeper, Mrs. Lowell, was a
"broken down gentlewoman" who had been chastened
by misfortune into a wholesome state of practical good
sense about the relative values of the real and the
romantic. Mrs. Lowell diagnosed the case of the young
wife--as Norman had shrewdly guessed she would--
and was soon adroitly showing her the many advantages
of her lot. Before they had been three months at
Hempstead, Dorothy had discovered that she, in fact,
was without a single ground for serious complaint. She
had a husband who was generous about money, and left
her as absolutely alone as if he were mere occasional
visitor at the house. She had her living--and such a
living!--she had plenty of interesting occupation--she
had not a single sordid care--and perfect health.

The dreams, too-- It was curious about those
dreams. She would now have found it an intolerable
bore to sit with hands idle in her lap and eyes upon
vacancy, watching the dim, luminous shadows flit aimlessly
by. Yet that was the way she used to pass hours--entire
days. She used to fight off sleep at night the longer to
enjoy her one source of pure happiness. There was
no doubt about it, the fire of romance was burning low,
and she was becoming commonplace, practical, resigned.
Well, why not? Was not life over for her?--that is,
the life a girl's fancy longs for. In place of hope of
romance, there was an uneasy feeling of a necessity of
pleasing this husband of hers--of making him comfortable.
What would befall her if she neglected trying
to please him or if she, for all her trying, failed? She
did not look far in that direction. Her uneasiness
remained indefinite--yet definite enough to keep her
working from waking until bedtime. And she dropped
into the habit of watching his face with the same
anxiety with which a farmer watches the weather. When
he happened one day to make a careless, absent-minded
remark in disapproval of something in the domestic
arrangements, she was thrown into such a nervous flutter
that he observed it.

"What is it?" he asked.

"Nothing--nothing," replied she in the hurried
tone of one who is trying hastily to cover his thoughts.

He reflected, understood, burst into a fit of hearty
laughter. "So, you are trying to make a bogey of

She colored, protested faintly.

"Don't you know I'm about the least tyrannical,
least exacting person in the world?"

"You've been very patient with me," said she.

"Now--now," cried he in a tone of raillery, "you
might as well drop that. Don't you know there's no
reason for being afraid of me?"

"Yes, I KNOW it," replied she. "But I FEEL afraid,
just the same. I can't help it."

It was impossible for him to appreciate the effect
of his personality upon others--how, without his trying
or even wishing, it made them dread a purely imaginary
displeasure and its absurdly imaginary consequences.
But this confession of hers was not the first time he had
heard of the effect of potential and latent danger he
had upon those associated with him. And, as it was
most useful, he was not sorry that he had it. He made
no further attempt to convince her that he was harmless.
He knew that he was harmless where she was concerned.
Was it not just as well that she should not know
it, when vaguely dreading him was producing excellent
results? As with a Christian the fear of the Lord
was the beginning of wisdom, so with a wife the fear
of her husband was the beginning of wisdom. In striving
to please him, to fit herself for the position of wife,
she was using up the time she would otherwise have
spent in making herself miserable with self-pity--that
supreme curse of the idle both male and female, that
most prolific of the breeders of unhappy wives. Yes,
wives were unhappy not because their husbands neglected
them, for busy people have no time to note
whether they are neglected or not, but because they
gave their own worthless, negligent, incapable selves
too much attention.

One evening, she, wearing the look of the timid but
resolute intruder, came into his room while he was
dressing for dinner and hung about with an air no man
of his experience could fail to understand.

"Something wrong about the house?" said he
finally. "Need more money?"

"No--nothing," she replied, with a slight flush.
He saw that she was mustering all her courage for
some grand effort. He waited, only mildly curious, as
his mind was busy with some new business he and Tetlow
had undertaken. Presently she stood squarely before
him, her hands behind her back and her face up-
turned. "Won't you kiss me?" she said.

"Sure!" said he. And he kissed her on the cheek
and resumed operations with his military brushes.

"I didn't mean that--that kind of a kiss," said she

He paused with a quick characteristic turn of the
head, looked keenly at her, resumed his brushing. A
quizzical smile played over his face. "Oh, I see," said
he. "You've been thinking about duty. And you've
decided to do yours. . . . Eh?"

"I think-- It seems to me-- I don't think--" she
stammered, then said desperately, "I've not been acting
right by you. I want to--to do better."

"That's good," said he briskly, with a nod of
approval--and never a glance in her direction. "You
think you'll let me have a kiss now and then--eh? All
right, my dear."

"Oh, you WON'T understand me!" she cried, ready
to weep with vexation.

"You mean I won't misunderstand you," replied
he amiably, as he set about fixing his tie. "You've
been mulling things over in your mind. You've decided
I'm secretly pining for you. You've resolved to be
good and kind and dutiful--generous--to feed old dog
Tray a few crumbs now and then. . . . That's nice and
sweet of you--" He paused until the crisis in tying
was passed--"very nice and sweet of you--but--
There's nothing in it. All I ask of you for myself is
to see that I'm comfortable--that Mrs. Lowell and the
servants treat me right. If I don't like anything, I'll
speak out--never fear."

"But--Fred--I want to be your wife--I really
do," she pleaded.

He turned on her, and his eyes seemed to pierce
into the chamber of her thoughts. "Drop it, my dear,"
he said quietly. "Neither of us is in love with the
other. So there's not the slightest reason for pretending.
If I ever want to be free of you, I'll tell you so.
If you ever want to get rid of me, all you have to do
is to ask--and it'll be arranged. Meanwhile, let's enjoy

His good humor, obviously unfeigned, would have
completely discouraged a more experienced woman,
though as vain as Dorothy and with as much ground
as he had given her for self-confidence where he was
concerned. But Dorothy was depressed rather than
profoundly discouraged. A few moments and she
found courage to plead: "But you used to care for
me. Don't I attract you any more?"

"You say that quite pathetically," said he, in good-
humored amusement. "I'm willing to do anything
within reason for your happiness. But really--just
to please your vanity I can't make myself over again
into the fool I used to be about you. You'd hate it
yourself. Why, then, this pathetic air?"

"I feel so useless--and as if I were shirking," she
persisted. "And if you did care for me, it wouldn't
offend me now as it used to. I've grown much wiser--
more sensible. I understand things--and I look at
them differently. And--I always did LIKE you."

"Even when you despised me?" mocked he. It
irritated him a little vividly to recall what a consummate
fool he had made of himself for her, even though
he had every reason to be content with the event of his

"A girl always thinks she despises a man when she
can do as she pleases with him," replied she. "As Mr.
Tetlow said, I was a fool."

"_I_ was the fool," said he. "Where did that man
of mine lay the handkerchief?"

"I, too," cried she, eagerly. "You were foolish to
bother about a little silly like me. But, oh, what a FOOL
I was not to realize----"

"You're not trying to tell me you're in love with
me?" said he sharply.

"Oh, no--no, indeed," she protested in haste,
alarmed by his overwhelming manner. "I'm not trying
to deceive you in any way."

"Never do," said he. "It's the one thing I can't

"But I thought--it seemed to me--" she persisted,
"that perhaps if we tried to--to care for each other,
we'd maybe get to--to caring--more or less. Don't
you think so?"

"Perhaps," was his careless reply. He added,
"But I, for one, am well content with things as they
are. I confess I don't look back with any satisfaction
on those months when I was making an ass of myself
about you. I was ruining my career. Now I'm happy,
and everything is going fine in my business. No
experiments, if you please." He shook his head, looking
at her with smiling raillery. "It might turn out that
I'd care for you in the same crazy way again, and that
you didn't like it. Again you might get excited about
me and I'd remain calm about you. That would give
me a handsome revenge, but I'm not looking for revenge."

He finished his toilet, she standing quiet and
thoughtful in an attitude of unconscious grace.

"No, my dear," resumed he, as he prepared to
descend for dinner, "let's have a peaceful, cheerful mar-
ried life, with no crazy excitements. Let's hang on to
what we've got, and take no unnecessary risks." He
patted her on the shoulder. "Isn't that sensible?"

She looked at him with serious, appealing eyes.
"You are SURE you aren't unhappy?"

It was amusing to him--though he concealed it--
to see how tenaciously her feminine egotism held to the
idea that she was the important person. And, when
women of experience thus deluded themselves, it was
not at all strange that this girl should be unable to
grasp the essential truth as to the relations of men and
women--that, while a woman who makes her sex her
profession must give to a man, to some man, a dominant
place in her life, a man need give a woman--at
least, any one woman--little or no place. But he
would not wantonly wound her harmless vanity. "Don't
worry about me, please," said he in the kindest,
friendliest way. "I am telling you the truth."

And they descended to the dining room. Usually
he was preoccupied and she did most of the talking--
not a difficult matter for her, as she was one of those
who by nature have much to say, who talk on and on,
giving lively, pleasant recitals of commonplace daily
happenings. That evening it was her turn to be
abstracted, or, at least, silent. He talked volubly,
torrentially, like a man of teeming mind in the highest
spirits. And he was in high spirits. The Galloway
enterprise had developed into a huge success; also, it
did not lessen his sense of the pleasantness of life to
have learned that his wife was feeling about as well
disposed toward him as he cared to have her feel, had
come round to that state of mind which he, as a practical
man, wise in the art of life, regarded as ideal for
a wife.

A successful man, with a quiet and comfortable
home, well enough looked after by an agreeable wife,
exceeding good to look at and interested only in her
home and her husband--what more could a man ask?

What more could a man ask? Only one thing more
--a baby. The months soon passed and that rounding
out of the home side of his life was consummated with
no mishap. The baby was a girl, which contented him
and delighted Dorothy. He wished it to be named after
her, she preferred his sister's name--Ursula. It was
Ursula who decided the question. "She looks like you,
Fred," she declared, after an earnest scanning of the
wierd little face. "Why not call her Frederica?"

Norman thought this clumsy, but Dorothy instantly
assented--and the baby was duly christened Frederica.

Perhaps it was because he was having less pressing
business in town, but whatever the reason, he began to
stay at home more--surprisingly more. And, being at
home, he naturally fell into the habit of fussing with the
baby, he having the temperament that compels a man to
be always at something, and the baby being convenient
and in the nature of a curiosity. Ursula, who was
stopping in the house, did not try to conceal her amazement
at this extraordinary development of her brother's

Said she: "I never before knew you to take the
slightest interest in a child."

Said he: "I never before saw a child worth taking
the slightest interest in."

"Oh, well," said Ursula, "it won't last. You'll
soon grow tired of your plaything."

"Perhaps you're right," said Norman. "I hope
you're wrong." He reflected, added: "In fact, I'm
almost certain you're wrong. I'm too selfish to let myself
lose such a pleasure. If you had observed my life
closely, you'd have discovered that I have never given up
a single thing I found a source of pleasure. That is
good sense. That is why the superior sort of men and
women retain something of the boy and the girl all their
lives. I still like a lot of the games I played as a boy.
For some years I've had no chance to indulge in them.
I'll be glad when Rica is old enough to give me the chance

She was much amused. "Who'd have suspected
that YOU were a born father !"

"Not I, for one," confessed he. "We never know
what there is in us until circumstances bring it out."

"A devoted father and a doting husband," pursued
Ursula. "I must say I rather sympathize with you as
a doting husband. Of course, I, a woman, can't see her
as you do. I can't imagine a man--especially a man
of your sort--going stark mad about a mere woman.
But, as women go, I'll admit she is a good specimen.
Not the marvel of intelligence and complex character
you imagine, but still a good specimen. And physically--"
She laughed-- "THAT'S what caught you.
That's what holds you--and will hold you as long as it

"Was there ever a woman who didn't think that?--
and didn't like to think it, though I believe many of them
make strong pretense at scorning the physical." Fred
was regarding his sister with a quizzical expression.
"You approve of her?" he said.

"More than I'd have thought possible. And after
I've taken her about in the world a while she'll be perfect."

"No doubt," said Norman. "But, alas, she'll never
be perfect. For, you're not going to take her about."

"So she says when I talk of it to her," replied
Ursula. "But I know you'll insist. You needn't be uneasy
as to how she'll be received."

"I'm not," said Norman dryly.

"You've got back all you lost--and more. How
we Americans do worship success!"

"Don't suggest to Dorothy anything further about
society," said Norman. "I've no time or taste for it,
and I don't wish to be annoyed by intrusions into my

"But you'll not be satisfied always with just her,"
urged his sister. "Besides, you've got a position to

Norman's smile was cynically patient. "I want my
home and I want my career," said he. "And I don't
want any society nonsense. I had the good luck to
marry a woman who knows and cares nothing about it.
I don't purpose to give up the greatest advantage of
my marriage."

Ursula was astounded. She knew the meaning of
his various tones and manners, and his way of rejecting
her plans for Dorothy--and, incidentally, for her own
amusement--convinced her that he was through and
through in earnest. "It will be dreadfully lonesome
for her, Fred," she pleaded.

"We'll wait till that trouble faces us," replied he,
not a bit impressed. "And don't forget--not a word
of temptation to her from you." This with an expression
that warned her how well he knew her indirect ways
of accomplishing what she could not gain directly.

"Oh, I shan't interfere," said she in a tone that
made it a binding promise. "But you can't expect me
to sympathize with your plans for an old-fashioned
domestic life."

"Certainly not," said Norman. "You don't
understand. Women of your sort never do. That's why
you're not fit to be the wives of men worth while. A
serious man and a society woman can't possibly hit it
off together. For a serious man the outside world is a
place to work, and home is a place to rest. For a society
woman, the world is a place to idle and home is a work
shop, an entertainment factory. It's impossible to
reconcile those two opposite ideas."

She saw his point at once, and it appealed to her
intelligence. And she had his own faculty for never
permitting prejudice to influence judgment. She said in a
dubious tone, "Do you think Dorothy will sympathize
with your scheme?"

"I'm sure I don't know," replied he.

"If she doesn't--" Ursula halted there.

Her brother shrugged his shoulders. "If she proves
to be the wrong sort of woman for me, she'll go her way
and I mine."

"Why, I thought you loved her!"

"What have I said that leads you to change your
mind?" said he.

"A man does not take the high hand with the woman
he adores."

"So?" said Norman tranquilly.

"Well," said his puzzled sister by way of conclusion,
"if you persist in being the autocrat----"

"Autocrat?--I?" laughed he. "Am I trying to
compel her to do anything she doesn't wish to do?
Didn't I say she would be free to go if she were dissatis-
fied with me and my plan--if she didn't adopt it gladly
as her own plan, also?"

"But you know very well she's dependent upon you,

"Is that my fault? Does a man force a woman to
become dependent? And just because she is dependent,
should he therefore yield to her and let her make of his
life a waste and a folly?"

"You're far too clever for me to argue with.
Anyhow, as I was saying, if you persist in what I call

"When a woman cries tyranny, it means she's furious
because she is not getting HER autocratic way."

"Maybe so," admitted Ursula cheerfully. "At
any rate, if you persist--unless she loves you utterly,
your life will be miserable."

"She may make her own life miserable, but not
mine," replied he. "If I were the ordinary man--
counting himself lucky to have induced any woman to
marry him--afraid if he lost his woman he'd not be able
to get another--able to give his woman only an indifferent

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