by Stephen Crane
MARJORY walked pensively along the hall. In the cool
shadows made by the palms on the window ledge, her face
wore the expression of thoughtful melancholy expected on the
faces of the devotees who pace in cloistered gloom. She halted
before a door at the end of the hall and laid her hand on the
knob. She stood hesitating, her head bowed. It was evident
that this mission was to require great fortitude.
At last she opened the door. " Father," she began at once.
There was disclosed an elderly, narrow-faced man seated at a
large table and surrounded by manuscripts and books. The
sunlight flowing through curtains of Turkey red fell sanguinely
upon the bust of dead-eyed Pericles on the mantle. A little
clock was ticking, hidden somewhere among the countless
leaves of writing, the maps and broad heavy tomes that
swarmed upon the table.
Her father looked up quickly with an ogreish scowl.
Go away! " he cried in a rage. " Go away. Go away. Get out "
" He seemed on the point of arising to eject the visitor. It was
plain to her that he had been interrupted in the writing of one
of his sentences, ponderous, solemn and endless, in which wandered
multitudes of homeless and friendless prepositions, adjectives
looking for a parent, and quarrelling nouns, sentences which no
longer symbolised the languageform of thought but which had about
them a quaint aroma from the dens of long-dead scholars. " Get out,"
snarled the professor.
Father," faltered the girl. Either because his formulated
thought was now completely knocked out of his mind by his
own emphasis in defending it, or because he detected
something of portent in her expression, his manner suddenly
changed, and with a petulant glance at his writing he laid down
his pen and sank back in his chair to listen. " Well, what is it,
my child ? "
The girl took a chair near the window and gazed out upon
the snow-stricken campus, where at the moment a group of
students returning from a class room were festively hurling
snow-balls. " I've got something important to tell you, father,"
but i don't quite know how to say it."
"Something important ? " repeated the professor. He was
not habitually interested in the affairs of his family, but this
proclamation that something important could be connected
with them, filled his mind with a capricious interest. "Well,
what is it, Marjory ? "
She replied calmly: " Rufus Coleman wants to marry me."
"What?" demanded the professor loudly. "Rufus Coleman.
What do you mean? "
The girl glanced furtively at him. She did not seem to be able
to frame a suitable sentence.
As for the professor, he had, like all men both thoughtless
and thoughtful, told himself that one day his daughter would
come to him with a tale of this kind. He had never forgotten that
the little girl was to be a woman, and he had never forgotten
that this tall, lithe creature, the present Marjory, was a woman.
He had been entranced and confident or entranced and
apprehensive according' to the time. A man focussed upon
astronomy, the pig market or social progression, may
nevertheless have a secondary mind which hovers like a spirit
over his dahlia tubers and dreams upon the mystery of their
slow and tender revelations. The professor's secondary mind
had dwelt always with his daughter and watched with a faith
and delight the changing to a woman of a certain fat and
mumbling babe. However, he now saw this machine, this self-
sustaining, self-operative love, which had run with the ease of a
clock, suddenly crumble to ashes and leave the mind of a great
scholar staring at a calamity. " Rufus Coleman," he repeated,
stunned. Here was his daughter, very obviously desirous of
marrying Rufus Coleman. " Marjory," he cried in amazement
and fear, "what possesses, you? Marry Rufus Colman?"
The girl seemed to feel a strong sense of relief at his prompt
recognition of a fact. Being freed from the necessity of making a
flat declaration, she simply hung her head and blushed
impressively. A hush fell upon them. The professor stared long
at his daugh. ter. The shadow of unhappiness deepened upon
his face. " Marjory, Marjory," he murmured at last. He had
tramped heroically upon his panic and devoted his strength to
bringing thought into some kind of attitude toward this terrible
fact. " I am-I am surprised," he began. Fixing her then with a
stern eye, he asked: "Why do you wish to marry this man? You,
with your opportunities of meeting persons of intelligence. And
you want to marry-" His voice grew tragic. "You want to marry
the Sunday editor of the New York Eclipse."
" It is not so very terrible, is it?" said Marjory sullenly.
"Wait a moment; don't talk," cried the professor. He arose
and walked nervously to and fro, his hands flying in the air. He
was very red behind the ears as when in the Classroom some
student offended him. " A gambler, a sporter of fine clothes, an
expert on champagne, a polite loafer, a witness knave who edits
the Sunday edition of a great outrage upon our sensibilities.
You want to marry him, this man? Marjory, you are insane. This
fraud who asserts that his work is intelligent, this fool comes
here to my house and-"
He became aware that his daughter was regarding him coldly.
"I thought we had best have all this part of it over at once," she
He confronted her in a new kind of surprise. The little keen-
eyed professor was at this time imperial, on the verge of a
majestic outburst. " Be still," he said. "Don't be clever with your
father. Don't be a dodger. Or, if you are, don't speak of it to me. I
suppose this fine young man expects to see me personally ? "
" He was coming to-morrow," replied Marjory. She began to
weep. " He was coming to-morrow."
" Um," said the professor. He continued his pacing while
Marjory wept with her head bowed to the arm of the chair. His
brow made the three dark vertical crevices well known to his
students. Some. times he glowered murderously at the
photographs of ancient temples which adorned the walls. "My
poor child," he said once, as he paused near her, " to think I
never knew you were a fool. I have been deluding myself. It has
been my fault as much as it has been yours. I will not readily
The girl raised her face and looked at him. Finally, resolved
to disregard the dishevelment wrought by tears,
she presented a desperate front with her wet
eyes and flushed cheeks. Her hair was disarrayed. "I don't see
why you can call me a fool," she said. The pause before this
sentence had been so portentous of a wild and rebellious
speech that the professor almost laughed now. But still the
father for the first time knew that he was being un-dauntedly
faced by his child in his own library, in the presence Of 372
pages of the book that was to be his masterpiece. At the back
of his mind he felt a great awe as if his own youthful spirit had
come from the past and challenged him with a glance. For a
moment he was almost a defeated man. He dropped into a chair.
" Does your mother know of this " " he asked mournfully.
"Yes," replied the girl. "She knows. She has been trying to
make me give up Rufus."
"Rufus," cried the professor rejuvenated by anger.
"Well, his name is Rufus," said the girl.
"But please don't call him so before me," said the father with
icy dignity. " I do not recognise him as being named Rufus.
That is a contention of yours which does not arouse my
interest. I know him very well as a gambler and a drunkard, and
if incidentally, he is named Rufus, I fail to see any importance
" He is not a gambler and he is not a drunkard," she said.
" Um. He drinks heavily-that is well known. He gambles.
He plays cards for money—more than he
possesses-at least he did when he was in college."
" You said you liked him when he was in college."
" So I did. So I did," answered the professor sharply. " I
often find myself liking that kind of a boy in college. Don't I
know them-those lads with their beer and their poker games in
the dead of the night with a towel hung over the keyhole. Their
habits are often vicious enough, but something remains in them
through it all and they may go away and do great things. This
happens. We know it. It happens with confusing insistence. It
destroys theo- ries. There-there isn't much to say about it. And
sometimes we like this kind of a boy better than we do the-the
others. For my part I know of many a pure, pious and fine-
minded student that I have positively loathed from a personal
point-of-view. But," he added, " this Rufus Coleman, his life in
college and his life since, go to prove how often we get off the
track. There is no gauge of collegiate conduct whatever, until we
can get evidence of the man's work in the world. Your precious
scoundrel's evidence is now all in and he is a failure, or worse."
" You are not habitually so fierce in judging people," said
"I would be if they all wanted to marry my daughter,"
rejoined the professor. " Rather than let that man make love to
you-or even be within a short railway journey of you,
I'll cart you off to Europe this winter and keep you there
until you forget. If you persist in this silly fancy, I shall at once
Marjory had evidently recovered much of her composure.
"Yes, father, new climates are alway's supposed to cure one,"
she remarked with a kind of lightness.
" It isn't so much the old expedient," said the professor
musingly, "as it is that I would be afraid to leave you herewith
no protection against that drinking gambler and gambling
" Father, I have to ask you not to use such terms in speaking
of the man that I shall marry."
There was a silence. To all intents, the professor remained
unmoved. He smote the tips of his fingers thoughtfully
together. " Ye-es," he observed. "That sounds reasonable from
your standpoint." His eyes studied her face in a long and
steady glance. He arose and went into the hall. When he
returned he wore his hat and great coat. He took a book and
some papers from the table and went away.
Marjory walked slowly through the halls and up to her room.
From a window she could see her father making his way across
the campus labouriously against the wind and whirling snow.
She watched it, this little black figure, bent forward, patient,
steadfast. It was an inferior fact that her father was one of the
famous scholars of the generation. To her, he was now a little
old man facing the wintry winds. Recollect. ing herself and
Rufus Coleman she began to weep again, wailing amid the ruins
of her tumbled hopes. Her skies had turned to paper and her
trees were mere bits of green sponge. But amid all this woe
appeared the little black image of her father making its way
against the storm.
IN a high-walled corrider of one of the college buildings, a
crowd of students waited amid jostlings and a loud buzz of talk.
Suddenly a huge pair of doors flew open and a wedge of young
men inserted itself boisterously and deeply into the throng.
There was a great scuffle attended by a general banging of
books upon heads. The two lower classes engaged in herculean
play while members of the two higher classes, standing aloof,
devoted themselves strictly to the encouragement of whichever
party for a moment lost ground or heart. This was in order to
prolong the conflict.
The combat, waged in the desperation of proudest youth,
waxed hot and hotter. The wedge had been instantly smitten
into a kind of block of men. It had crumpled into an irregular
square and on three sides it was now assailed with remarkable
It was a matter of wall meet wall in terrific rushes, during
which lads could feel their very hearts leaving them in the
compress of friends and foes. They on the outskirts upheld the
honour of their classes by squeezing into paper thickness the
lungs of those of their fellows who formed the centre of the
In some way it resembled a panic at a theatre.
The first lance-like attack of the Sophomores had been
formidable, but the Freshmen outnumbering their enemies and
smarting from continual Sophomoric oppression, had swarmed
to the front like drilled collegians and given the arrogant foe the
first serious check of the year. Therefore the tall Gothic
windows which lined one side of the corridor looked down
upon as incomprehensible and enjoyable a tumult as could
mark the steps of advanced education. The Seniors and juniors
cheered themselves ill. Long freed from the joy of such
meetings, their only means for this kind of recreation was to
involve the lower classes, and they had never seen the victims
fall to with such vigour and courage. Bits of printed leaves,
torn note-books, dismantled collars and cravats, all floated to
the floor beneath the feet of the warring hordes. There were no
blows; it was a battle of pressure. It was a deadly pushing
where the leaders on either side often suffered the most cruel
and sickening agony caught thus between phalanxes of
shoulders with friend as well as foe contributing to the pain.
Charge after charge of Freshmen beat upon the now
compact and organised Sophomores. Then, finally, the rock
began to give slow way. A roar came from the Freshmen and
they hurled themselves in a frenzy upon their betters.
To be under the gaze of the juniors and Seniors is
to be in sight of all men, and so the Sophomores at this
important moment laboured with the desperation of the half-
doomed to stem the terrible Freshmen.
In the kind of game, it was the time when bad tempers came
strongly to the front, and in many Sophomores' minds a
thought arose of the incomparable insolence of the Freshmen.
A blow was struck; an infuriated Sophomore had swung an
arm high and smote a Freshman.
Although it had seemed that no greater noise could be made
by the given numbers, the din that succeeded this manifestation
surpassed everything. The juniors and Seniors immediately set
up an angry howl. These veteran classes projected themselves
into the middle of the fight, buffeting everybody with small
thought as to merit. This method of bringing peace was as
militant as a landslide, but they had much trouble before they
could separate the central clump of antagonists into its parts.
A score of Freshmen had cried out: "It was Coke. Coke punched
him. Coke." A dozen of them were tempestuously endeavouring
to register their protest against fisticuffs by means of an
introduction of more fisticuffs.
The upper classmen were swift, harsh and hard. "Come, now,
Freshies, quit it. Get back, get back, d'y'hear?" With a wrench of
muscles they forced themselves in front of Coke, who was
being blindly defended by his classmates from intensely earnest
attacks by outraged Freshmen.
These meetings between the lower classes at the door of a
recitation room were accounted quite comfortable and idle
affairs, and a blow delivered openly and in hatred fractured a
sharply defined rule of conduct. The corridor was in a hubbub.
Many Seniors and Juniors, bursting from old and iron discipline,
wildly clamoured that some Freshman should be given the
privilege of a single encounter with Coke. The Freshmen
themselves were frantic. They besieged the tight and dauntless
circle of men that encompassed Coke. None dared confront the
Seniors openly, but by headlong rushes at auspicious moments
they tried to come to quarters with the rings of dark-browed
Sophomores. It was no longer a festival, a game; it was a riot.
Coke, wild-eyed, pallid with fury, a ribbon of blood on his chin,
swayed in the middle of the mob of his classmates, comrades
who waived the ethics of the blow under the circumstance of
being obliged as a corps to stand against the scorn of the whole
college, as well as against the tremendous assaults of the
Freshmen. Shamed by their own man, but knowing full well the
right time and the wrong time for a palaver of regret and
disavowal, this battalion struggled in the desperation of
despair. Once they were upon the verge of making unholy
campaign against the interfering Seniors. This fiery
impertinence was the measure of their state.
It was a critical moment in the play of the college. Four or
five defeats from the Sophomores during the fall had taught the
Freshmen much. They had learned the comparative
measurements, and they knew now that their prowess was ripe
to enable them to amply revenge what was, according to their
standards, an execrable deed by a man who had not the virtue
to play the rough game, but was obliged to resort to uncommon
methods. In short, the Freshmen were almost out of control, and
the Sophomores debased but defiant, were quite out of control.
The Senior and junior classes which, in American colleges
dictate in these affrays, found their dignity toppling, and in
consequence there was a sudden oncome of the entire force of
upper classmen football players naturally in advance. All
distinctions were dissolved at once in a general fracas. The stiff
and still Gothic windows surveyed a scene of dire carnage.
Suddenly a voice rang brazenly through the tumult. It was
not loud, but it was different. " Gentlemen! Gentlemen!'"
Instantly there was a remarkable number of haltings, abrupt
replacements, quick changes. Prof. Wainwright stood at the
door of his recitation room, looking into the eyes of each
member of the mob of three hundred. "Ssh! " said the mob. "
Ssh! Quit! Stop! It's the Embassador! Stop!" He had once
been minister to Austro-Hungary, and forever now to
the students of the college his name was Embassador. He
stepped into the corridor, and they cleared for him a little
respectful zone of floor. He looked about him coldly. " It seems
quite a general dishevelment. The Sophomores display an
energy in the halls which I do not detect in the class room." A
feeble murmur of appreciation arose from the outskirts of the
throng. While he had been speaking several remote groups of
battling men had been violently signaled and suppressed by
other students. The professor gazed into terraces of faces that
were still inflamed. " I needn't say that I am surprised," he
remarked in the accepted rhetoric of his kind. He added
musingly: " There seems to be a great deal of torn linen. Who is
the young gentleman with blood on his chin?"
The throng moved restlessly. A manful silence, such as
might be in the tombs of stern and honourable knights, fell
upon the shadowed corridor. The subdued rustling had fainted
to nothing. Then out of the crowd Coke, pale and desperate,
" Oh, Mr. Coke," said the professor, "I would be glad if you
would tell the gentlemen they may retire to their dormitories."
He waited while the students passed out to the campus.
The professor returned to his room for some books, and
then began his own march across the snowy
campus. The wind twisted his coat-tails fantastically, and he
was obliged to keep one hand firmly on the top of his hat.
When he arrived home he met his wife in the hall. " Look here,
Mary," he cried. She followed him into the library. " Look here,"
he said. "What is this all about? Marjory tells me she wants to
marry Rufus Coleman."
Mrs. Wainwright was a fat woman who was said to pride
herself upon being very wise and if necessary, sly. In addition
she laughed continually in an inexplicably personal way, which
apparently made everybody who heard her feel offended. Mrs.
"Well," said the professor, bristling, " what do you mean by
that ? "
"Oh, Harris," she replied. " Oh, Harris."
The professor straightened in his chair. " I do not see any
illumination in those remarks, Mary. I understand from
Marjory's manner that she is bent upon marrying Rufus
Coleman. She said you knew of it."
" Why, of course I knew. It was as plain—-"
" Plain !" scoffed the professor. " Plain !"
Why, of course," she cried. "I knew it all along."
There was nothing in her tone which proved that she
admired the event itself. She was evidently carried away by the
triumph of her penetration. " I knew it all along," she added,
The professor looked at her affectionately. "You knew it all
along, then, Mary? Why didn't you tell me, dear ? "
" Because you ought to have known it," she answered
The professor was glaring. Finally he spoke in tones of grim
reproach. "Mary, whenever you happen to know anything,
dear, it seems only a matter of partial recompense that you
should tell me."
The wife had been taught in a terrible school that she should
never invent any inexpensive retorts concerning bookworms
and so she yawed at once. "Really, Harris. Really, I didn't
suppose the affair was serious. You could have knocked me
down with a feather. Of course he has been here very often, but
then Marjory gets a great deal of attention. A great deal of
The professor had been thinking. " Rather than let my girl
marry that scalawag, I'll take you and her to Greece this winter
with the class. Separation. It is a sure cure that has the
sanction of antiquity."
"Well," said Mrs. Wainwright, "you know best, Harris. You
know best." It was a common remark with her, and it probably
meant either approbation or disapprobation if it did not mean
THERE had been a babe with no arms born in one of the
western counties of Massachusetts. In place of upper limbs the
child had growing from its chest a pair of fin-like hands, mere
bits of skin-covered bone. Furthermore, it had only one eye.
This phenomenon lived four days, but the news of the birth
had travelled up this country road and through that village until
it reached the ears of the editor of the Michaelstown Tribune.
He was also a correspondent of the New York Eclipse. On the
third day he appeared at the home of the parents accompanied
by a photographer. While the latter arranged his, instrument,
the correspondent talked to the father and mother, two
coweyed and yellow-faced people who seemed to suffer a
primitive fright of the strangers. Afterwards as the
correspondent and the photographer were climbing into their
buggy, the mother crept furtively down to the gate and asked,
in a foreigner's dialect, if they would send her a copy of the
photograph. The correspondent carelessly indulgent, promised
it. As the buggy swung away, the father came from behind an
apple tree, and the two semi-humans watched it with its burden
of glorious strangers until it rumbled across
the bridge and disappeared. The correspondent was elate; he
told the photographer that the Eclipse would probably pay fifty
dollars for the article and the photograph.
The office of the New York Eclipse was at the top of the immense
building on Broadway. It was a sheer mountain to the heights of
which the interminable thunder of the streets arose faintly. The
Hudson was a broad path of silver in the distance. Its edge was
marked by the tracery of sailing ships' rigging and by the huge
and many-coloured stacks of ocean liners. At the foot of the
cliff lay City Hall Park. It seemed no larger than a quilt. The
grey walks patterned the snow-covering into triangles and ovals
and upon them many tiny people scurried here and there, without
sound, like a fish at the bottom of a pool. It was only the
vehicles that sent high, unmistakable, the deep bass of their
movement. And yet after listening one seemed to hear a singular
murmurous note, a pulsation, as if the crowd made noise by its
mere living, a mellow hum of the eternal strife. Then suddenly
out of the deeps might ring a human voice, a newsboy shout
perhaps, the cry of a faraway jackal at night.
From the level of the ordinary roofs, combined in many
plateaus, dotted with short iron chimneys from which curled
wisps of steam, arose other mountains like the Eclipse
Building. They were great peaks, ornate, glittering with
paint or polish. Northward they subsided to sun-crowned ranges.
From some of the windows of the Eclipse office
dropped the walls of a terrible chasm in the darkness of which
could be seen vague struggling figures. Looking down into this
appalling crevice one discovered only the tops of hats and
knees which in spasmodic jerks seemed to touch the rims of the
hats. The scene represented some weird fight or dance or
carouse. It was not an exhibition of men hurrying along a
It was good to turn one's eyes from that place to the vista of
the city's splendid reaches, with spire and spar shining in the
clear atmosphere and the marvel of the Jersey shore, pearl-
misted or brilliant with detail. From this height the sweep of a
snow-storm was defined and majestic. Even a slight summer
shower, with swords of lurid yellow sunlight piercing its edges
as if warriors were contesting every foot of its advance, was
from the Eclipse office something so
inspiring that the chance pilgrim felt a sense of exultation as if
from this peak he was surveying the worldwide war of the
elements and life. The staff of the Eclipse usually worked
without coats and amid the smoke from pipes.
To one of the editorial chambers came a photograph and an
article from Michaelstown, Massachusetts. A boy placed the
packet and many others upon the desk of a young man who
was standing before a window and
thoughtfully drumming upon the pane. He turned at the
thudding of the packets upon his desk. " Blast you," he
remarked amiably. " Oh, I guess it won't hurt you to work,"
answered the boy, grinning with a comrade's Insolence. Baker,
an assistant editor for the Sunday paper, took scat at his desk
and began the task of examining the packets. His face could not
display any particular interest because he had been at the same
work for nearly a fortnight.
The first long envelope he opened was from a woman.
There was a neat little manuscript accompanied by a letter
which explained that the writer was a widow who was trying to
make her living by her pen and who, further, hoped that the
generosity of the editor of the Eclipse would lead him to give
her article the opportunity which she was sure it deserved. She
hoped that the editor would pay her as well as possible for it, as
she needed the money greatly. She added that her brother was
a reporter on the Little Rock Sentinel and he had declared that
her literary style was excellent.
Baker really did not read this note. His vast experience of a
fortnight had enabled him to detect its kind in two glances. He
unfolded the manuscript, looked at it woodenly and then tossed
it with the letter to the top of his desk, where it lay with the
other corpses. None could think of widows in Arkansas,
ambitious from the praise of the reporter on the Little Rock Sentinel,
waiting for a crown of literary glory and money. In the next
envelope a man using the note-paper of a Boston journal
begged to know if the accompanying article would be
acceptable; if not it was to be kindly returned in the enclosed
stamped envelope. It was a humourous essay on trolley cars.
Adventuring through the odd scraps that were come to the
great mill, Baker paused occasionally to relight his pipe.
As he went through envelope after envelope, the desks
about him gradually were occupied by young men who entered
from the hall with their faces still red from the cold of the
streets. For the most part they bore the unmistakable stamp of
the American college. They had that confident poise which is
easily brought from the athletic field. Moreover, their clothes
were quite in the way of being of the newest fashion. There was
an air of precision about their cravats and linen. But on the
other hand there might be with them some indifferent westerner
who was obliged to resort to irregular means and harangue
startled shop-keepers in order to provide himself with collars of
a strange kind. He was usually very quick and brave of eye and
noted for his inability to perceive a distinction between his own
habit and the habit of others, his western character preserving
itself inviolate amid a confusion of manners.
The men, coming one and one, or two and two, flung
badinage to all corners of the room. Afterward, as they wheeled
from time to time in their chairs, they bitterly insulted each other
with the utmost good-nature, taking unerring aim at faults and
riddling personalities with the quaint and cynical humour of a
newspaper office. Throughout this banter, it was strange to
note how infrequently the men smiled, particularly when
directly engaged in an encounter.
A wide door opened into another apartment where were
many little slanted tables, each under an electric globe with a
green shade. Here a curly-headed scoundrel with a corncob
pipe was hurling paper balls the size of apples at the head of an
industrious man who, under these difficulties, was trying to
draw a picture of an awful wreck with ghastly-faced sailors
frozen in the rigging. Near this pair a lady was challenging a
German artist who resembled Napoleon III. with having been
publicly drunk at a music hall on the previous night. Next to the
great gloomy corridor of this sixteenth floor was a little office
presided over by an austere boy, and here waited in enforced
patience a little dismal band of people who wanted to see the
Baker took a manuscript and after glancing about the room,
walked over to a man at another desk,
Here is something that. I think might do," he said.
The man at the desk read the first two pages. " But where is the
photogragh " " he asked then. "There should be a photograph
with this thing."
" Oh, I forgot," said Baker. He brought from his desk a
photograph of the babe that had been born lacking arms and
one eye. Baker's superior braced a knee against his desk and
settled back to a judicial attitude. He took the photograph and
looked at it impassively. " Yes," he said, after a time, " that's a
pretty good thing. You better show that to Coleman when he
In the little office where the dismal band waited, there had
been a sharp hopeful stir when Rufus Coleman, the Sunday
editor, passed rapidly from door to door and vanished within
the holy precincts. It had evidently been in the minds of some
to accost him then, but his eyes did not turn once in their
direction. It was as if he had not seen them. Many experiences
had taught him that the proper manner of passing through this
office was at a blind gallop.
The dismal band turned then upon the austere office boy.
Some demanded with terrible dignity that he should take in
their cards at once. Others sought to ingratiate themselves by
smiles of tender friendliness. He for his part employed what we
would have called his knowledge of men and women upon the
group, and in consequence blundered and bungled vividly,
freezing with a glance an annoyed and importunate Arctic
explorer who was come to talk of illustrations
for an article that had been lavishly paid for in advance. The
hero might have thought he was again in the northern seas. At
the next moment the boy was treating almost courteously a
German from the cast side who wanted the Eclipse to print a grand full
page advertising description of his invention, a gun which was
supposed to have a range of forty miles and to be able to
penetrate anything with equanimity and joy. The gun, as a
matter of fact, had once been induced to go off when it had
hurled itself passionately upon its back, incidentally breaking
its inventor's leg. The projectile had wandered some four
hundred yards seaward, where it dug a hole in the water which
was really a menace to navigation. Since then there had been
nothing tangible save the inventor, in splints and out of splints,
as the fortunes of science decreed. In short, this office boy
mixed his business in the perfect manner of an underdone lad
dealing with matters too large for him, and throughout he
displayed the pride and assurance of a god.
As Coleman crossed the large office his face still wore the
stern expression which he invariably used to carry him
unmolested through the ranks of the dismal band. As he was
removing his London overcoat he addressed the imperturbable
back of one of his staff, who had a desk against the opposite
wall. " Has Hasskins sent in that drawing of the mine accident
yet? " The man did not lift his head from his work-, but he
answered at once: " No; not yet." Coleman was laying his hat
on a chair. " Well, why hasn't he ? " he demanded. He glanced
toward the door of the room in which the curly-headed
scoundrel with the corncob pipe was still hurling paper balls at
the man who was trying to invent the postures of dead
mariners frozen in the rigging. The office boy came timidly from
his post and informed Coleman of the waiting people. " All
right," said the editor. He dropped into his chair and began to
finger his letters, which had been neatly opened and placed in a
little stack by a boy. Baker came in with the photograph of the
It was publicly believed that the Sunday staff of the Eclipse
must have a kind of aesthetic delight in pictures of this kind,
but Coleman's face betrayed no emotion as he looked at this
specimen. He lit a fresh cigar, tilted his chair and surveyed it
with a cold and stony stare. " Yes, that's all right," he said
slowly. There seemed to be no affectionate relation between
him and this picture. Evidently he was weighing its value as a
morsel to be flung to a ravenous public, whose wolf-like
appetite, could only satisfy itself upon mental entrails,
abominations. As for himself, he seemed to be remote, exterior.
It was a matter of the Eclipse business.
Suddenly Coleman became executive. " Better give
it to Schooner and tell him to make a half-page—-or, no, send
him in here and I'll tell him my idea. How's the article? Any
good? Well, give it to Smith to rewrite."
An artist came from the other room and presented for
inspection his drawing of the seamen dead in the rigging of the
wreck, a company of grizzly and horrible figures, bony-fingered,
shrunken and with awful eyes. " Hum," said Coleman, after a
prolonged study, " that's all right. That's good, Jimmie. But
you'd better work 'em up around the eyes a little more." The
office boy was deploying in the distance, waiting for the
correct moment to present some cards and names.
The artist was cheerfully taking away his corpses when
Coleman hailed him. " Oh, Jim, let me see that thing again, will
you? Now, how about this spar? This don't look right to me."
" It looks right to me," replied the artist, sulkily.
" But, see. It's going to take up half a page. Can't you
change it somehow "
How am I going to change it?" said the other, glowering at
Coleman. " That's the way it ought to be. How am I going to
change it? That's the way it ought to be."
" No, it isn't at all," said Coleman. "You've got a spar
sticking out of the main body of the drawing in a way that will
spoil the look of the whole page."
The artist was a man of remarkable popular reputation and
he was very stubborn and conceited of it, constantly making
himself unbearable with covert, threats that if he was not
delicately placated at all points, he would freight his genius
over to the office of the great opposition journal.
" That's the way it ought to be," he repeated, in a tone at
once sullen and superior. "The spar is all right. I can't rig spars
on ships just to suit you."
" And I can't give up the whole paper to your accursed spars,
either," said Coleman, with animation. " Don't you see you use
about a third of a page with this spar sticking off into space?
Now, you were always so clever, Jimmie, in adapting yourself to
the page. Can't you shorten it, or cut it off, or something? Or,
break it-that's the thing. Make it a broken spar dangling down.
" Yes, I s'pose I could do that," said the artist, mollified by a
thought of the ease with which he could make the change, and
mollified, too, by the brazen tribute to a part of his cleverness.
" Well, do it, then," said the Sunday editor, turning abruptly
away. The artist, with head high, walked majestically back to
the other room. Whereat the curly-headed one immediately
resumed the rain of paper balls upon him. The office boy came
timidly to Coleman and suggested the presence of the people
in the outer office. " Let them wait until I read my
mail," said Coleman. He shuffled the pack of letters
indifferently through his hands. Suddenly he came upon a little
grey envelope. He opened it at once and scanned its contents
with the speed of his craft. Afterward he laid it down before him
on the desk and surveyed it with a cool and musing smile.
"So?" he remarked. " That's the case, is it?"
He presently swung around in his chair, and for a time held
the entire attention of the men at the various desks. He outlined
to them again their various parts in the composition of the next
great Sunday edition. In a few brisk sentences he set a complex
machine in proper motion. His men no longer thrilled with
admiration at the precision with which he grasped each obligation
of the campaign toward a successful edition. They had grown
to accept it as they accepted his hat or his London clothes. At
this time his face was lit with something of the self-contained
enthusiasm of a general. Immediately afterward he arose and
reached for his coat and hat.
The office boy, coming circuitously forward, presented him
with some cards and also with a scrap of paper upon which was
scrawled a long and semicoherent word. " What are these ? "
"They are waiting outside," answered the boy, with
trepidation. It was part of the law that the lion of the ante-room
should cringe like a cold monkey,
more or less, as soon as he was out of his private jungle. "Oh,
Tallerman," cried the Sunday editor, "here's this Arctic man
come to arrange about his illustration. I wish you'd go and talk
it over with him." By chance he picked up the scrap of paper
with its cryptic word. " Oh," he said, scowling at the office boy.
"Pity you can't remember that fellow. If you can't remember
faces any better than that you should be a detective. Get out
now and tell him to go to the devil." The wilted slave turned at
once, but Coleman hailed him. " Hold on. Come to think of it, I
will see this idiot. Send him in," he commanded, grimly.
Coleman lapsed into a dream over the sheet of grey note
paper. Presently, a middle-aged man, a palpable German, came
hesitatingly into the room and bunted among the desks as
unmanageably as a tempest-tossed scow. Finally he was
impatiently towed in the right direction. He came and stood at
Coleman's elbow and waited nervously for the engrossed man
to raise his eyes. It was plain that this interview meant
important things to him. Somehow on his commonplace
countenance was to be found the expression of a dreamer, a
fashioner of great and absurd projects, a fine, tender fool. He
cast hopeful and reverent glances at the man who was deeply
contemplative of the grey note. He evidently believed himself
on the threshold of a triumph of some kind, and he awaited
his fruition with a joy that was only made sharper by
the usual human suspicion of coming events.
Coleman glanced up at last and saw his visitor.
" Oh, it's you, is it ? " he remarked icily, bending upon the
German the stare of a tyrant. "So you've come again, have you? "
He wheeled in his chair until he could fully display a
contemptuous, merciless smile. "Now, Mr.
What's-your-name, you've called here to see me about twenty
times already and at last I am going to say something definite
about your invention." His listener's face, which had worn for a
moment a look of fright and bewilderment, gladdened swiftly to
a gratitude that seemed the edge of an outburst of tears. " Yes,"
continued Coleman, " I am going to say something definite. I am
going to say that it is the most imbecile bit of nonsense that has
come within the range of my large newspaper experience. It is
simply the aberration of a rather remarkable lunatic. It is no good;
it is not worth the price of a cheese sandwich. I understand
that its one feat has been to break your leg; if it ever goes off
again, persuade it to break your neck. And now I want you to
take this nursery rhyme of yours and get out. And don't ever
come here again. Do You understand ? You understand, do you ?"
He arose and bowed in courteous dismissal.
The German was regarding him with the surprise
and horror of a youth shot mortally. He could not
find his tongue for a moment. Ultimately he gasped : "But,
Mister Editor "—Coleman interrupted him tigerishly. " You heard
what I said? Get out." The man bowed his head and went
slowly toward the door.
Coleman placed the little grey note in his breast pocket. He
took his hat and top coat, and evading the dismal band by a
shameless manoeuvre, passed through the halls to the entrance
to the elevator shaft. He heard a movement behind him and saw
that the German was also waiting for the elevator.
Standing in the gloom of the corridor, Coleman felt the
mournful owlish eyes of the German resting upon him. He took
a case from his pocket and elaborately lit a cigarette. Suddenly
there was a flash of light and a cage of bronze, gilt and steel
dropped, magically from above. Coleman yelled: " Down!" A
door flew open. Coleman, followed by the German, stepped
upon the elevator. " Well, Johnnie," he said cheerfully to the
lad who operated this machine, "is business good?" "Yes, sir,
pretty good," answered the boy, grinning. The little cage sank
swiftly; floor after floor seemed to be rising with marvellous
speed; the whole building was winging straight into the sky.
There were soaring lights, figures and the opalescent glow of
ground glass doors marked with black inscriptions. Other lifts
were springing heavenward. All the lofty corridors rang with
cries. " Up! " Down! " " Down! " " Up! " The boy's hand
grasped a lever and his machine obeyed his lightest movement
with sometimes an unbalancing swiftness.
Coleman discoursed briskly to the youthful attendant. Once
he turned and regarded with a quick stare of insolent
annoyance the despairing countenance of the German whose
eyes had never left him. When the elevator arrived at the
ground floor, Coleman departed with the outraged air of a man
who for a time had been compelled to occupy a cell in company
with a harmless spectre.
He walked quickly away. Opposite a corner of the City Hall
he was impelled to look behind him. Through the hordes of
people with cable cars marching like panoplied elephants, he
was able to distinguish the German, motionless and gazing after
him. Coleman laughed. " That's a comic old boy," he said, to
In the grill-room of a Broadway hotel he was obliged to wait
some minutes for the fulfillment of his orders and he spent the
time in reading and studying the little grey note. When his
luncheon was served he ate with an expression of morose
MARJORY paused again at her father's door. After hesitating
in the original way she entered the library. Her father almost
represented an emblematic figure, seated upon a column of
books. " Well," he cried. Then, seeing it was Marjory, he
changed his tone. " Ah, under the circumstances, my dear, I
admit your privilege of interrupting me at any hour of the day.
You have important business with me." His manner was
The girl fingered a book. She turned the leaves in absolute
semblance of a person reading. "Rufus Coleman called."
"Indeed," said the professor.
"And I've come to you, father, before seeing him."
The professor was silent for a time. " Well, Marjory," he said
at last, "what do you want me to say?" He spoke very
deliberately. " I am sure this is a singular situation. Here appears
the man I formally forbid you to marry. I am sure I do not know
what I am to say."
" I wish to see him," said the girl.
"You wish to see him?" enquired the professor. "You wish
to see him " Marjory, I may as well tell you now that with
all the books and plays I've read, I really
don't know how the obdurate father should conduct himself.
He is always pictured as an exceedingly dense gentleman with
white whiskers, who does all the unintelligent things in the
plot. You and I are going to play no drama, are we, Marjory? I
admit that I have white whiskers, and I am an obdurate father. I
am, as you well may say, a very obdurate father. You are not to
marry Rufus Coleman. You understand the rest of the matter.
He is here ; you want to see him. What will you say to him
when you see him? "
" I will say that you refuse to let me marry him, father and-"
She hesitated a moment before she lifted her eyes fully and
formidably to her father's face. " And that I shall marry him
The professor did not cavort when this statement came from
his daughter. He nodded and then passed into a period of
reflection. Finally he asked: "But when? That is the point.
The girl made a sad gesture. "I don't know. I don't know.
Perhaps when you come to know Rufus better-"
" Know him better. Know that rapscallion better? Why, I
know him much better than he knows himself. I know him too
well. Do you think I am talking offhand about this affair? Do
you think I am talking without proper information?"
Marjory made no reply.
"Well," said the professor, "you may see Coleman on
condition that you inform him at once that I forbid your
marriage to him. I don't understand at all how to manage these
situations. I don't know what to do. I suppose I should go
myself and-No, you can't see him, Majory."
Still the girl made no reply. Her head sank forward and she
breathed a trifle heavily.
"Marjory," cried the professor, it is impossible that you
should think so much of this man." He arose and went to his
daughter. " Marjory, many wise children have been guided by
foolish fathers, but we both suspect that no foolish child has
ever been guided by a wise father. Let us change it. I present
myself to you as a wise father. Follow my wishes in this affair
and you will be at least happier than if you marry this wretched
She answered: " He is waiting for me."
The professor turned abruptly from her and dropped into his
chair at the table. He resumed a grip on his pen. " Go," he said,
wearily. " Go. But if you have a remnant of sense, remember
what I have said to you. Go." He waved his hand in a dismissal
that was slightly scornful. " I hoped you would have a minor
conception of what you were doing. It seems a pity." Drooping
in tears, the girl slowly left the room.
Coleman had an idea that he had occupied the chair for
several months. He gazed about at the pictures and the odds
and ends of a drawing-room in an attempt to take an interest in
them. The great garlanded paper shade over the piano lamp
consoled his impatience in a mild degree because he knew that
Marjory had made it. He noted the clusters of cloth violets
which she had pinned upon the yellow paper and he dreamed
over the fact. He was able to endow this shade with certain
qualities of sentiment that caused his stare to become almost a
part of an intimacy, a communion. He looked as if he could
have unburdened his soul to this shade over the piano lamp.
Upon the appearance of Marjory he sprang up and came
forward rapidly. " Dearest," he murmured, stretching out both
hands. She gave him one set of fingers with chilling
convention. She said something which he understood to be "
Good-afternoon." He started as if the woman before him had
suddenly drawn a knife. " Marjory," he cried, "what is the
matter?." They walked together toward a window. The girl
looked at him in polite enquiry. " Why? " she said. " Do I seem
strange ? " There was a moment's silence while he gazed into
her eyes, eyes full of innocence and tranquillity. At last she
tapped her foot upon the floor in expression of mild impatience.
" People do not like to be asked what is the matter
when there is nothing the matter. What do you mean ? "
Coleman's face had gradually hardened. " Well, what is
wrong? " he demanded, abruptly. "What has happened? What
is it, Marjory ? "
She raised her glance in a perfect reality of wonder. "What is
wrong? What has happened? How absurd! Why nothing, of
course." She gazed out of the window. " Look," she added,
brightly, the students are rolling somebody in a drift. Oh,
the poor Man ! "
Coleman, now wearing a bewildered air, made some pretense
of being occupied with the scene. " Yes," he said, ironically.
"Very interesting, indeed."
" Oh," said Marjory, suddenly, " I forgot to tell you. Father
is going to take mother and me to Greece this winter with him
and the class."
Coleman replied at once. " Ah, indeed ? That will be jolly."
"Yes. Won't it be charming?"
" I don't doubt it," he replied. His composure May have
displeased her, for she glanced at him furtively and in a way
that denoted surprise, perhaps.
"Oh, of course," she said, in a glad voice. " It will be more
fun. We expect to nave a fine time. There is such a n ice lot of
boys going Sometimes father
chooses these dreadfully studious ones. But this time he
acts as if he knew precisely how to make up a party."
He reached for her hand and grasped it vise-like. "Marjory," he
breathed, passionately, " don't treat me so. Don't treat me-"
She wrenched her hand from him in regal indignation. " One
or two rings make it uncomfortable for the hand that is grasped
by an angry gentleman." She held her fingers and gazed as if
she expected to find them mere debris. " I am sorry that you are
not interested in the students rolling that man in the snow. It is
the greatest scene our quiet life can afford."
He was regarding her as a judge faces a lying culprit. " I
know," he said, after a pause. " Somebody has been telling you
some stories. You have been hearing something about me."
" Some stories ? " she enquired. " Some stories about you?
What do you mean? Do you mean that I remember stories I may
happen to hear about people? "
There was another pause and then Coleman's face flared red.
He beat his hand violently upon a table. " Good God, Marjory!
Don't make a fool of me. Don't make this kind of a fool of me, at
any rate. Tell me what you mean. Explain-"
She laughed at him. " Explain? Really, your vocabulary is
getting extensive, but it is dreadfully awkward to ask people to
explain when there is nothing to explain."
He glanced at her, " I know as well as you do that your
father is taking you to Greece in order to get rid of me."
" And do people have to go to Greece in order to get rid of
you? " she asked, civilly. " I think you are getting excited."
" Marjory," he began, stormily.
She raised her hand. " Hush," she said, "there is somebody
coming." A bell had rung. A maid entered the room. " Mr.
Coke," she said. Marjory nodded. In the interval of waiting,
Coleman gave the girl a glance that mingled despair with rage
and pride. Then Coke burst with half-tamed rapture into the
room. " Oh, Miss Wainwright," he almost shouted, " I can't tell
you how glad I am. I just heard to-day you were going. Imagine
it. It will be more—oh, how are you Coleman, how are you " "
Marjory welcomed the new-comer with a cordiality that might
not have thrilled Coleman with pleasure. They took chairs that
formed a triangle and one side of it vibrated with talk. Coke and
Marjory engaged in a tumultuous conversation concerning the
prospective trip to Greece. The Sunday editor, as remote as if
the apex of his angle was the top of a hill, could only study the
girl's clear profile. The youthful voices of the two others rang
like bells. He did not scowl at Coke; he merely looked at him as
if be gently disdained his mental calibre. In fact all the talk
seemed to tire him; it was childish; as for him, he apparently found
this babble almost insupportable.
" And, just think of the camel rides we'll have," cried Coke.
" Camel rides," repeated Coleman, dejectedly. " My dear
Finally he arose like an old man climbing from a sick bed.
"Well, I am afraid I must go, Miss Wainwright." Then he said
affectionately to Coke: " Good-bye, old boy. I hope you will
have a good time."
Marjory walked with him to the door. He shook her hand in a
friendly fashion. " Good-bye, Marjory,' he said. " Perhaps it
may happen that I shan't see you again before you start for
Greece and so I had best bid you God-speed—-or whatever the
term is now. You will have a charming time; Greece must be a
delightful place. Really, I envy you, Marjory. And now my dear
child "-his voice grew brotherly, filled with the patronage of
generous fraternal love, " although I may never see you again
let me wish you fifty as happy years as this last one has been
for me." He smiled frankly into her eyes; then dropping her
hand, he went away.
Coke renewed his tempest of talk as Marjory turned toward
him. But after a series of splendid eruptions, whose red fire
illumined all of ancient and modem Greece, he too went away.
The professor was in his. library apparently absorbed in a
book when a tottering pale-faced woman appeared to him and,
in her course toward a couch in a corner of the room, described
almost a semi-circle. She flung herself face downward. A thick
strand of hair swept over her shoulder. " Oh, my heart is
broken! My heart is broken! "
The professor arose, grizzled and thrice-old with pain. He
went to the couch, but he found himself a handless, fetless
man. " My poor child," he said. " My poor child." He remained
listening stupidly to her convulsive sobbing. A ghastly kind of
solemnity came upon the room.
Suddenly the girl lifted herself and swept the strand of hair
away from her face. She looked at the professor with the wide-
open dilated eyes of one who still sleeps. " Father," she said in
a hollow voice, " he don't love me. He don't love me. He don't
love me. at all. You were right, father." She began to laugh.
"Marjory," said the professor, trembling. "Be quiet, child. Be
" But," she said, " I thought he loved me—I was sure of it. But
it don't-don't matter. I—I can't get over it. Women-women, the-
but it don't matter."
" Marjory," said the professor. " Marjory, my poor
She did not heed his appeal, but continued in a dull whisper.
" He was playing with me. He was—was-was flirting with me.
He didn't care when I told him—I told him—
I was going-going away." She turned her face wildly to the
cushions again. Her young shoulders shook as if they might
break. " Wo-men-women-they always——"
By a strange mishap of management the train which bore
Coleman back toward New York was fetched into an obscure
side-track of some lonely region and there compelled to bide a
change of fate. The engine wheezed and sneezed like a paused
fat man. The lamps in the cars pervaded a stuffy odor of smoke
and oil. Coleman examined his case and found only one cigar.
Important brakemen proceeded rapidly along the aisles, and
when they swung open the doors, a polar wind circled the legs
of the passengers. " Well, now, what is all this for? " demanded
Coleman, furiously. " I want to get back to New York."
The conductor replied with sarcasm, " Maybe you think I'm
stuck on it " I ain't running the road. I'm running this train, and I
run it according to orders." Amid the dismal comforts of the
waiting cars, Coleman felt all the profound misery of the
rebuffed true lover. He had been sentenced, he thought, to a
penal servitude of the heart, as he watched the dusky, vague
ribbons of smoke come from the lamps and felt to his knees the
cold winds from the brakemen's busy flights. When the train
started with a whistle and a jolt, he was elate as if in his
abjection his beloved's hand had reached to him from the clouds.
When he had arrived in New York, a cab rattled him to an
uptown hotel with speed. In the restaurant he first ordered a
large bottle of champagne. The last of the wine he finished in
sombre mood like an unbroken and defiant man who chews the
straw that litters his prison house. During his dinner he was
continually sending out messenger boys. He was arranging a
poker party. Through a window he watched the beautiful
moving life of upper Broadway at night, with its crowds and
clanging cable cars and its electric signs, mammoth and
glittering, like the jewels of a giantess.
Word was brought to him that the poker players were
arriving. He arose joyfully, leaving his cheese. In the broad hall,
occupied mainly by miscellaneous people and actors, all deep
in leather chairs, he found some of his friends waiting. They
trooped up stairs to Coleman's rooms, where as a preliminary,
Coleman began to hurl books and papers from the table to the
floor. A boy came with drinks. Most of the men, in order to
prepare for the game, removed their coats and cuffs and drew
up the sleeves of their shirts. The electric globes shed a
blinding light upon the table. The sound of clinking chips
arose; the elected banker spun the cards, careless and
Later, during a pause of dealing, Coleman said:
" Billie, what kind of a lad is that young Coke up at Washurst?"
He addressed an old college friend.
" Oh, you mean the Sophomore Coke? " asked the friend.
" Seems a decent sort of a fellow. I don't know. Why? "
"Well, who is he? Where does he come from? What do you
know about him? "
" He's one of those Ohio Cokes-regular thing— father
millionaire-used to be a barber-good old boy -why? "
" Nothin'," said Coleman, looking at his cards. " I know the
lad. I thought he was a good deal of an ass. I wondered who
his people were."
" Oh, his people are all right-in one way. Father owns rolling
mills. Do you raise it, Henry? Well, in order to make vice
abhorrent to the young, I'm obliged to raise back."
" I'll see it," observed Coleman, slowly pushing forward two
blue chips. Afterward he reached behind him and took another
glass of wine.
To the others Coleman seemed to have something bitter
upon his mind. He played poker quietly, steadfastly, and,
without change of eye, following the mathematical religion of
the game. Outside of the play he was savage, almost
" What's the matter with you, Rufus ? " said his old college
friend. " Lost your job? Girl gone back on you? You're a
hell of -a host. We don't get any. thing but insults and drinks."
Late at night Coleman began to lose steadily. In the
meantime he drank glass after glass of wine. Finally he made
reckless bets on a mediocre hand and an opponent followed
him thoughtfully bet by bet, undaunted, calm, absolutely
without emotion. Coleman lost; he hurled down his cards. "
Nobody but a damned fool would have seen that last raise on
anything less than a full hand."
" Steady. Come off. What's wrong with you, Rufus ? " cried
" You're not drunk, are you ? " said his old college friend,
" 'Drunk' ?" repeated Coleman.
" Oh, say," cried a man, " let's play cards. What's all this
gabbling ? "
It was when a grey, dirty light of dawn evaded the thick
curtains and fought on the floor with the feebled electric glow
that Coleman, in the midst of play, lurched his chest heavily
upon the table. Some chips rattled to the floor. " I'll call you,"
he murmured, sleepily.
" Well," replied a man, sternly, " three kings."
The other players with difficulty extracted five cards from
beneath Coleman's pillowed head. " Not a pair! Come, come,
this won't do. Oh, let's stop playing. This is the rottenest game I
ever sat in. Let's go home. Why don't you put him. to bed, Billie?"
When Coleman awoke next morning, he looked back upon
the poker game as something that had transpired in previous
years. He dressed and went down to the grill-room. For his
breakfast he ordered some eggs on toast and a pint of
champagne. A privilege of liberty belonged to a certain Irish
waiter, and this waiter looked at him, grinning. "Maybe you
had a pretty lively time last night, Mr Coleman? "
" Yes, Pat," answered Coleman, " I did. It was all because of
an unrequited affection, Patrick." The man stood near, a napkin
over his arm. Coleman went on impressively. " The ways of the
modern lover are strange. Now, I, Patrick, am a modern lover,
and when, yesterday, the dagger of disappointment was driven
deep into my heart, I immediately played poker as hard as I
could and incidentally got loaded. This is the modern point of
view. I understand on good authority that in old times lovers
used to. languish. That is probably a lie, but at any rate we do
not, in these times, languish to any great extent. We get drunk.
Do you understand, Patrick? "
The waiter was used to a harangue at Coleman's breakfast
time. He placed his hand over his mouth and giggled. "Yessir."
" Of course," continued Coleman, thoughtfully. " It might be
pointed out by uneducated persons that
it is difficult to maintain a high standard of drunkenness for the
adequate length of time, but in the series of experiments which
I am about to make I am sure I can easily prove them to be in
" I am sure, sir," said the waiter, " the young ladies would
not like to be hearing you talk this way."
" Yes; no doubt, no doubt. The young ladies have still quite
medieval ideas. They don't understand. They still prefer lovers
" At any rate, sir, I don't see that your heart is sure
enough broken. You seem to take it very easy. "
" Broken! " cried Coleman. " Easy? Man, my heart is in
fragments. Bring me another small bottle."
Six weeks later, Coleman went to the office of the proprietor
of the Eclipse. Coleman was one of those
smooth-shaven old-young men who wear upon some occasions
a singular air of temperance and purity. At these times, his
features lost their quality of worldly shrewdness and endless
suspicion and bloomed as the face of some innocent boy. It
then would be hard to tell that he had ever encountered even
such a crime as a lie or a cigarette. As he walked into the
proprietor's office he was a perfect semblance of a fine,
inexperienced youth. People usually concluded this change was
due to a Turkish bath or some other expedient of recuperation,
but it was due probably to the power of a physical
" Boss in ? " said Coleman.
" Yeh," said the secretary, jerking his thumb toward an inner
door. In his private office, Sturgeon sat on the edge of the table
dangling one leg and dreamily surveying the wall. As Coleman
entered he looked up quickly. "Rufus," he cried, " you're just
the man I wanted to see. I've got a scheme. A great scheme."
He slid from the table and began to pace briskly to
and fro, his hands deep in his trousers' pockets, his chin sunk
in his collar, his light blue eyes afire with interest. " Now listen.
This is immense. The Eclipse enlists a battalion of men to go to
Cuba and fight the Spaniards under its own flag-the Eclipse flag.
Collect trained officers from here and there-enlist every young
devil we see-drill 'em—best rifles-loads of ammunition-
provisions-staff of doctors and nurses -a couple of dynamite
guns-everything complete best in the world. Now, isn't that
great ? What's the matter with that now ? Eh? Eh? Isn't that
great? It's great, isn't it? Eh? Why, my boy, we'll free-"
Coleman did not seem to ignite. " I have been arrested four
or five times already on fool matters connected with the
newspaper business," he observed, gloomily, " but I've never
yet been hung. I think your scheme is a beauty."
Sturgeon paused in astonishment. " Why, what happens to
be the matter with you ? What are you kicking about ? "
Coleman made a slow gesture. " I'm tired," he answered. " I
need a vacation."
"Vacation!" cried Sturgeon. "Why don't you take one then ? "
" That's what I've come to see you about. I've had a pretty
heavy strain on me for three years now, and I want to get a
" Well, who in thunder has been keeping you from it? It
hasn't been me."
" I know it hasn't been you, but, of course, I wanted the
paper to go and I wanted to have my share in its success, but
now that everything is all right I think I might go away for a
time if you don't mind."
" Mind! " exclaimed Sturgeon falling into his chair and
reaching for his check book. "Where do you want to go? How
long do you want to be gone? How much money do you want ?"
" I don't want very much. And as for where I want to go, I
thought I might like to go to Greece for a while."
Sturgeon had been writing a check. He poised his pen in the
air and began to laugh. " That's a queer place to go for a rest.
Why, the biggest war of modern times—a war that may involve
all Europe-is likely to start there at any moment. You are not
likely to get any rest in Greece."
" I know that," answered Coleman. " I know there is likely to
be a war there. But I think that is exactly what would rest me. I
would like to report the war."
"You are a queer bird," answered Sturgeon deeply fascinated
with this new idea. He had apparently forgotten his vision of a
Cuban volunteer battalion. " War correspondence is about the
most original medium for a rest I ever heard of."
"Oh, it may seem funny, but really, any change will be good
for me now. I've been whacking at this old Sunday edition until
I'm sick of it, and some,. times I wish the Eclipse was in hell."
That's all right," laughed the proprietor of the
Eclipse. " But I still don't see how you 'are going to get any
vacation out of a war that will upset the whole of Europe. But
that's your affair. If you want to become the chief
correspondent in the field in case of any such war, why, of
course, I would be glad to have you. I couldn't get anybody
better. But I don't see where your vacation comes in."
" I'll take care of that," answered Coleman. " When I take a
vacation I want to take it my own way, and I think this will be a
vacation because it will be different -don't you see-different ? "
" No, I don't see any sense in it, but if you think that is the
way that suits you, why, go ahead. How much money do you
want ? "
" I don't want much. just enough to see me through nicely."
Sturgeon scribbled on his check book and then ripped a
check from it. " Here's a thousand dollars. Will that do you to
start with? "
" That's plenty."
"When do you want to start ? "
"Oh," said Sturgeon. " You're in a hurry." This
impetuous manner of exit from business seemed to appeal to
him. " To-morrow," he repeated smiling. In reality he was some
kind of a poet using his millions romantically, spending wildly
on a sentiment that might be with beauty or without beauty,
according to the momentary vacillation. The vaguely-defined
desperation in Coleman's last announcement appeared to
delight him. He grinned and placed the points of his fingers
together stretching out his legs in a careful attitude of
indifference which might even mean disapproval. " To-morrow,"
he murmured teasingly.
" By jiminy," exclaimed Coleman, ignoring the other man's
mood, " I'm sick of the whole business. I've got out a Sunday
paper once a week for three years and I feel absolutely
incapable of getting out another edition. It would be all right if
we were running on ordinary lines, but when each issue is more
or less of an attempt to beat the previous issue, it becomes
rather wearing, you know. If I can't get a vacation now I take
one later in a lunatic asylum."
" Why, I'm not objecting to your having a vacation. I'm
simply marvelling at the kind of vacation you want to take. And
'to-morrow,' too, eh ? "
" Well, it suits me," muttered Coleman, sulkily.
" Well, if it suits you, that's enough. Here's your check. Clear
out now and don't let me see you again until you are
thoroughly rested, even if it takes a year." He arose and stood
smiling. He was mightily pleased with himself. He liked to
perform in this way. He was almost seraphic as he thrust the
check for a thousand dollars toward Coleman.
Then his manner changed abruptly. " Hold on a minute. I
must think a little about this thing if you are going to manage
the correspondence. Of course it will be a long and bloody
"The big chance is that all Europe will be dragged into it. Of
course then you would have to come out of Greece and take up
abetter position-say Vienna."
"No, I wouldn't care to do that," said Coleman positively. "I
just want to take care of the Greek end of it."
" It will be an idiotic way to take a vacation," observed
" Well, it suits me," muttered Coleman again. " I tell you
what it is-" he added suddenly. "I've got some private reasons-
see ? "
Sturgeon was radiant with joy. " Private reasons." He was
charmed by the sombre pain in Coleman's eyes and his own
ability to eject it. "Good. Go now and be blowed. I will cable
final instruction to meet you in London. As soon as you get to
Greece, cable me an account of the situation there and we will
arrange our plans." He began to laugh. " Private reasons. Come
out to dinner with me."
" I can't very well," said Coleman. " If I go tomorrow, I've
got to pack-"
But here the real tyrant appeared, emerging suddenly from
behind the curtain of sentiment, appearing like a red devil in a
pantomine. " You can't ? " snapped Sturgeon. " Nonsense——"
SWEEPING out from between two remote, half-submerged
dunes on which stood slender sentry light. houses, the steamer
began to roll with a gentle insinuating motion. Passengers in
their staterooms saw at rhythmical intervals the spray racing
fleetly past the portholes. The waves grappled hurriedly at the
sides of the great flying steamer and boiled discomfited astern
in a turmoil of green and white. From the tops of the enormous
funnels streamed level masses of smoke which were
immediately torn to nothing by the headlong wind. Meanwhile
as the steamer rushed into the northeast, men in caps and
ulsters comfortably paraded the decks and stewards arranged
deck chairs for the reception of various women who were
coming from their cabins with rugs.
In the smoking room, old voyagers were settling down
comfortably while new voyagers were regarding them with a
diffident respect. Among the passengers Coleman found a
number of people whom he knew, including a wholesale wine
merchant, a Chicago railway magnate and a New York
millionaire. They lived practically in the smoking room.
Necessity drove them from time to time to the salon, or to their
berths. Once indeed the millionaire was absent, from the group
while penning a short note to his wife.
When the Irish coast was sighted Coleman came on deck to
look at it. A tall young woman immediately halted in her walk
until he had stepped up to her. " Well, of all ungallant men,
Rufus Coleman, you are the star," she cried laughing and held
out her hand.
" Awfully sorry, I'm sure," he murmured. " Been playing poker
in the smoking room all voyage. Didn't have a look at the
passenger list until just now. Why didn't you send me word?"
These lies were told so modestly and sincerely that when the
girl flashed her, brilliant eyes full upon their author there was a
mixt of admiration in the indignation.
" Send you a card " I don't believe you can read, else you
would have known I was to sail on this steamer. If I hadn't been
ill until to-day you would have seen me in the salon. I open at
the Folly Theatre next week. Dear ol' Lunnon, y' know."
" Of course, I knew you were going," said Coleman.
"But I thought you were to go later. What do you open in? "
" Fly by Night. Come walk along with me. See those two old
ladies " They've been watching for me like hawks ever since we
left New York. They expected me to flirt with every man on
board. But I've fooled them. I've been just as g-o-o-d. I had to
As the pair moved toward the stern, enormous and
radiant green waves were crashing futilely after the steamer.
Ireland showed a dreary coast line to the north. A wretched
man who had crossed the Atlantic eighty-four times was
declaiming to a group of novices. A venerable banker, bundled
in rugs, was asleep in his deck chair.
" Well, Nora," said Coleman, " I hope you make a hit in
London. You deserve it if anybody does. You've worked hard."
"Worked hard," cried the girl. "I should think so. Eight years
ago I was in the rear row. Now I have the centre of the stage
whenever I want it. I made Chalmers cut out that great scene in
the second act between the queen and Rodolfo. The idea! Did
he think I would stand that ? And just because he was in love
with Clara Trotwood, too."
Coleman was dreamy. " Remember when I was dramatic man
for the Gazette and wrote the first notice ? "
" Indeed, I do," answered the girl affectionately.
" Indeed, I do, Rufus. Ah, that was a great lift. I believe that
was the first thing that had an effect on old Oliver. Before that,
he never would believe that I was any good. Give me your arm,
Rufus. Let's parade before the two old women." Coleman
glanced at her keenly. Her voice had trembled slightly. Her eyes
were lustrous as if she were about to weep.
" Good heavens," he said. " You are the same old
Nora Black. I thought you would be proud and 'aughty by this
" Not to my friends," she murmured., " Not to my friends. I'm
always the same and I never forget. Rufus."
" Never forget what? " asked Coleman.
" If anybody does me a favour I never forget it as long as I
live," she answered fervently.
" Oh, you mustn't be so sentimental, Nora. You remember
that play you bought from little Ben Whipple, just because he
had once sent you some flowers in the old days when you were
poor and happened to bed sick. A sense of gratitude cost you
over eight thousand dollars that time, didn't it? " Coleman
" Oh, it wasn't the flowers at all," she interrupted seriously. "
Of course Ben was always a nice boy, but then his play was
worth a thousand dollars. That's all I gave him. I lost some more
in trying to make it go. But it was too good. That was what was
the matter. It was altogether too good for the public. I felt
awfully sorry for poor little Ben."
"Too good?" sneered Coleman. "Too good? Too
indifferently bad, you mean. My dear girl, you mustn't imagine
that you know a good play. You don't, at all."
She paused abruptly and faced him. This regal, creature
was looking at him so sternly that Coleman
felt awed for a moment as if he, were in the presence of a great
mind. " Do you mean to say that I'm not an artist ? " she asked.
Coleman remained cool. " I've never been decorated for
informing people of their own affairs," he observed, " but I
should say that you were about as much of an artist as I am."
Frowning slightly, she reflected upon this reply. Then, of a
sudden, she laughed. " There is no use in being angry with
you, Rufus. You always were a hopeless scamp. But," she
added, childishly wistful, "have you ever seen Fly by Night?
Don't you think my dance in the second act is artistic? "
" No," said Coleman, " I haven't seen Fly by Night yet, but
of course I know that you are the most beautiful dancer on the
stage. Everybody knows that."
It seemed that her hand tightened on his arm. Her
face was radiant. " There," she exclaimed. " Now
you are forgiven. You are a nice boy, Rufus-some-
When Miss Black went to her cabin, Coleman strolled into
the smoking room. Every man there covertly or openly
surveyed him. He dropped lazily into a chair at a table where
the wine merchant, the Chicago railway king and the New York
millionaire were playing cards. They made a noble pretense of
not being aware of him. On the oil cloth top of the table the
cards were snapped down, turn by turn.
Finally the wine merchant, without lifting his head to-
address a particular person, said: " New conquest."
Hailing a steward Coleman asked for a brandy and soda.
The millionaire said: " He's a sly cuss, anyhow." The railway
man grinned. After an elaborate silence the wine merchant
asked: " Know Miss Black long, Rufus?" Coleman looked
scornfully at his friends. " What's wrong with you there,
fellows, anyhow?" The Chicago man answered airily. " Oh,
nothin'. Nothin', whatever."
At dinner in the crowded salon, Coleman was aware that
more than one passenger glanced first at Nora Black and then
at him, as if connecting them in some train of thought, moved to
it by the narrow horizon of shipboard and by a sense of the
mystery that surrounds the lives of the beauties of the stage.
Near the captain's right hand sat the glowing and splendid
Nora, exhibiting under the gaze of the persistent eyes of many
meanings, a practiced and profound composure that to the
populace was terrfying dignity.
Strolling toward the smoking room after dinner, Coleman met
the New York millionaire, who seemed agitated. He took
Coleman fraternally by the arm. " Say, old man, introduce me,
won't you ? I'm crazy to know her."
"Do you mean Miss Black?" asked Coleman.
" Why, I don't know that I have a right. Of course, you know,
she hasn't been meeting anybody aboard. I'll ask her, though-
" Thanks, old man, thanks. I'd be tickled to death. Come
along and have a drink. When will you ask her? "
" Why, I don't know when I'll see her. To-morrow, I suppose-"
They had not been long in the smoking room, however,
when the deck steward came with a card to Coleman. Upon it
was written: "Come for' a stroll?" Everybody, saw Coleman read
this card and then look up and whisper to the deck steward.
The deck steward bent his head and whispered discreetly in
reply. There was an abrupt pause in the hum of conversation.
The interest was acute.
Coleman leaned carelessly back in his chair, puffing at his
cigar. He mingled calmly in a discussion of the comparative
merits of certain trans-Atlantic lines. After a time he threw away
his cigar and arose. Men nodded. "Didn't I tell you?" His
studiously languid exit was made dramatic by the eagle-eyed
attention of the smoking room.
On deck he found Nora pacing to and fro. "You didn't hurry
yourself," she said, as he joined her. The lights of Queenstown
were twinkling. A warm wind, wet with the moisture of rain-
stricken sod, was coming from the land.
"Why," said Coleman, "we've got all these duffers very much excited."
"Well what do you care? " asked hte girl. "You don't, care do you?"
"No, I don't care. Only it's rather absurd to be
watched all the time." He said this precisely as
if he abhorred being watched in this case.
"Oh by the way," he added. Then he paused for a
moment. "Aw—a friend of mine—not a bad fellow—
he asked me for an introduction. Of course, I
told him I'd ask you."
She made a contemptuous gesture. "Oh, another Willie.
Tell him no. Tell him to go home to his family. Tell
him to run away."
"He isn't a bad fellow. He—" said Coleman diffidently,
"he would probably be at the theatre every night in a box."
"yes, and get drunk and throw a wine bottle on the
stage instead of a bouquet. No," she declared positively,
"I won't see him."
Coleman did not seem to be oppressed by this ultimatum.
"Oh, all right. I promised him—that was all."
"Besides, are you in a great hurry to get rid of me?"
"Rid of you? Nonsense."
They walked in the shadow. "How long are you going to be
in London, Rufus?" asked Nora softly.
"Who? I? Oh, I'm going right off to Greece. First
train. There's going to be a war, you know."
"A war? Why, who is going to fight? The Greeks
and the—the—the what?"
"The Turks. I'm going right over there."
"Why, that's dreadful, Rufus," said the girl, mournfull
and shocked. "You might get hurt or something."
Presently she asked: "And aren't you going to be in
London any time at all?"
"Oh," he answered, puffing out his lips, "I may stop
in Londom for three or four days on my way home. I'm
not sure of it."
"And when will that be?"
"Oh, I can't tell. It may be in three or four months,
or it may be a year from now. When the war stops."
There was a long silence as the walked up and down
the swaying deck.
"Do you know," said Nora at last, "I like you, Rufus Coleman.
I don't know any good reason for it either, unless it is because
you are such a brute. Now, when I was asking you if you were
to be in London you were perfectly detestable. You know I was
"I—detestable?" cried Coleman, feigning amazement.
"Why, what did I say?"
"It isn't so much what you said—" began Nora slowlly.
Then she suddenly changed her manner.
"Oh, well, don't let's talk about it any more. It's
too foolish. Only-you are a disagreeable person sometimes."
In the morning, as the vessel steamed up the Irish channel,
Coleman was on deck, keeping furtive watch on the cabin
stairs. After two hours of waiting, he scribbled a message on a
card and sent it below. He received an answer that Miss Black
had a headache, and felt too ill to come on deck. He went to the
smoking room. The three card-players glanced up, grinning.
"What's the matter?" asked the wine merchant. "You look
angry." As a matter of fact, Coleman had purposely wreathed
his features in a pleasant and satisfied expression, so he was
for a moment furious at the wine merchant.
"Confound the girl," he thought to himself. "She has
succeeded in making all these beggars laugh at me." He mused
that if he had another chance he would show her how
disagreeable or detestable or scampish he was under some
circumstances. He reflected ruefully that the complacence with
which he had accepted the comradeship of the belle of the
voyage might have been somewhat overdone. Perhaps he had got a
little out of proportion. He was annoyed at the stares of the
other men in the smoking room, who seemed now to be reading
his discomfiture. As for Nora Black he thought of her wistfully
and angrily as a superb woman whose company was honour
and joy, a payment for any sacrifices.
" What's the matter? " persisted the wine merchant. " You
Coleman laughed. " Do I?"
At Liverpool, as the steamer was being slowly warped to the
landing stage by some tugs, the passengers crowded the deck
with their hand-bags. Adieus were falling as dead leaves fall
from a great tree. The stewards were handling small hills of
luggage marked with flaming red labels. The ship was firmly
against the dock before Miss Black came from her cabin.
Coleman was at the time gazing shoreward, but his three
particular friends instantly nudged him. "What?" "There she
is?" "Oh, Miss Black?" He composedly walked toward her. It
was impossible to tell whether she saw him coming or whether it
was accident, but at any rate she suddenly turned and moved
toward the stern of the ship. Ten watchful gossips had noted
Coleman's travel in her direction and more than half the
passengers noted his defeat. He wheeled casually and returned
to his three friends. They were colic-stricken with a coarse and
yet silent merriment. Coleman was glad that the voyage was
After the polite business of an English custom house, the
travellers passed out to the waiting train. A nimble little
theatrical agent of some kind, sent from London, dashed
forward to receive Miss Black. He had a first-class compartment
engaged for her and he bundled her and her maid into it in an
exuberance of enthusiasm and admiration.. Coleman passing moodily
along the line of coaches heard Nora's voice hailing him.
" Rufus." There she was, framed in a carriage window,
beautiful and smiling brightly. Every near. by person turned to
contemplate this vision.
" Oh," said Coleman advancing, " I thought I was not going
to get a chance to say good-bye to you." He held out his hand.
She pouted. " Why, there's plenty of room in this
compartment." Seeing that some forty people were transfixed in
observation of her, she moved a short way back. " Come on in
this compartment, Rufus," she said.
"Thanks. I prefer to smoke," said Coleman. He went off
On the way to London, he brooded in his corner on the two
divergent emotions he had experienced when refusing her
invitation. At Euston Station in London, he was directing a
porter, who had his luggage, when he heard Nora speak at his
shoulder. " Well, Rufus, you sulky boy," she said, " I shall be at
the Cecil. If you have time, come and see me."
" Thanks, I'm sure, my dear Nora," answered Coleman
effusively. "But honestly, I'm off for Greece."
A brougham was drawn up near them and the nimble
little agent was waiting. The maid was directing the
establishment of a mass of luggage on and in a four-wheeler
cab. " Well, put me into my carriage, anyhow," said Nora. " You
will have time for that."
Afterward she addressed him from the dark interior.
Now, Rufus, you must come to see me the minute you strike
London again- of She hesitated a moment and then smiling
gorgeously upon him, she said: " Brute! "
As soon as Coleman had planted his belongings in a hotel he
was bowled in a hansom briskly along the smoky Strand,
through a dark city whose walls dripped like the walls of a cave
and whose passages were only illuminated by flaring yellow
and red signs.
Walkley the London correspondent of the Eclipse, whirled
from his chair with a shout of joy and relief -at sight of Coleman.
" Cables," he cried. "Nothin' but cables! All the people in New
York are writing cables to you. The wires groan with them. And
we groan with them too. They come in here in bales. However,
there is no reason why you should read them all. Many are
similar in words and many more are similar in spirit. The sense
of the whole thing is that you get to Greece quickly, taking with
you immense sums of money and enormous powers over
" Well, when does the row begin? "
" The most astute journalists in Europe have been predicting
a general European smash-up every year since 1878," said
Walkley, " and the prophets weep. The English are the only
people who can pull off wars on schedule time, and they have
to do it in odd corners of the globe. I fear the war business is
getting tuckered. There is sorrow in the lodges of the lone wolves,
the war correspondents. However, my boy, don't bury your face in
your blanket. This Greek business looks very promising, very
promising." He then began to proclaim trains and connections.
" Dover, Calais, Paris, Brindisi, Corfu, Patras, Athens. That is
your game. You are supposed to sky-rocket yourself over that
route in the shortest possible time, but you would gain no time
by starting before to-morrow, so you can cool your heels here
in London until then. I wish I was going along."
Coleman returned to his hotel, a knight impatient and savage
at being kept for a time out of the saddle. He went for a late
supper to the grill room and as he was seated there alone, a
party of four or five people came to occupy the table directly
behind him. They talked a great deal even before they arrayed
them. selves at the table, and he at once recognised the voice
of Nora Black. She was queening it, apparently, over a little
band of awed masculine worshippers.
Either by accident or for some curious reason, she took a
chair back to back with Coleman's chair. Her sleeve of fragrant
stuff almost touched his shoulder and he felt appealing to him
seductively a perfume of orris root and violet. He was drinking
bottled stout with his chop; be sat with a face of wood.
" Oh, the little lord ? " Nora was crying to some slave.
"Now, do you know, he won't do at all. He is too awfully
charming. He sits and ruminates for fifteen minutes and then he
pays me a lovely compliment. Then he ruminates for another
fifteen minutes and cooks up another fine thing. It is too
tiresome. Do you know what kind of man. I like? " she asked
softly and confidentially. And here she sank back in her chair
until. Coleman knew from the tingle that her head was but a few
inches from his head. Her, sleeve touched him. He turned more
wooden under the spell of the orris root and violet. Her
courtiers thought it all a graceful pose, but Coleman believed
otherwise. Her voice sank to the liquid, siren note of a
succubus. " Do you know what kind of a man I like? Really
like? I like a man that a woman can't bend in a thousand
different ways in five minutes. He must have some steel in him.
He obliges me to admire him the most when he remains stolid;
stolid to me lures. Ah, that is the only kind of a man who cap
ever break a heart among us women of the world. His stolidity
is not real; no; it is mere art, but it is a highly finished art and
often enough we can't cut through it. Really we can't. And, then
we may actually come to—er—care for the man. Really we may.
Isn't it funny?"
Alt the end Coleman arose and strolled out of the. room,
smoking a cigarette. He did not betray, a sign. Before. the door
clashed softly behind him, Nora laughed a little defiantly, perhaps
a little loudly. It made every man in the grill-room perk up his ears.
As for her courtiers, they were entranced. In her description of the
conquering man, she had easily contrived that each one of
them wondered if she might not mean him. Each man was
perfectly sure that he had plenty of steel in his composition
and that seemed to be a main point.
Coleman delayed for a time in the smoking room and then went
to his own quarters. In reality he was Somewhat puzzled in his
mind by a projection of the beauties of Nora Black upon his
desire for Greece and Marjory, His thoughts formed a duality.
Once he was on the point of sending his card to Nora Black's
parlour, inasmuch as Greece was very distant and he could not
start until the morrow. But he suspected that he was holding
the interest of the actress because of his recent appearance of
impregnable serenity in the presence of her fascinations. If he
now sent his card, it was a form of surrender and he knew her
to be one to take a merciless advantage. He would not make
this tactical mistake. On the contrary he would go to bed and
think of war,
In reality he found it easy to fasten his mind upon the
prospective war. He regarded himself cynically in most
affairs, but he could not be cynical of war, because had he -
seen none of it. His rejuvenated imagination began to thrill to
the roll of battle,
through his thought passing all the lightning in the pictures of
Detaille, de Neuville and Morot; lashed battery horse roaring
over bridges; grand cuirassiers dashing headlong against stolid
invincible red-faced lines of German infantry; furious and
bloody grapplings in the streets of little villages of
northeastern France. There was one thing at least of which he
could still feel the spirit of a debutante. In this matter of war he
was not, too, unlike a young girl embarking upon her first
season of opera. Walkely, the next morning, saw this mood
sitting quaintly upon Coleman and cackled with astonishment
and glee. Coleman's usual manner did not return until he
detected Walkely's appreciation of his state and then he
snubbed him according to the ritual of the Sunday editor of the
New York Eclipse. Parenthetically, it
might be said that if Coleman now recalled Nora Black to his
mind at all, it was only to think of her for a moment with ironical
complacence. He had beaten her.
When the train drew out of the station, Coleman felt himself
thrill. Was ever fate less perverse ? War and love-war and
Marjory-were in conjunction both in Greece-and he could tilt
with one lance at both gods. It was a great fine game to play
and no man was ever so blessed in vacations. He was smiling
continually to himself and sometimes actually on the point of
talking aloud. This was despite the
presence in the compartment of two fellow passengers who
preserved in their uncomfortably rigid, icy and uncompromising
manners many of the more or less ridiculous traditions of the
English first class carriage. Coleman's fine humour betrayed him
once into addressing one of these passengers and the man
responded simply with a wide look of incredulity, as if he
discovered that he was travelling in the same compartment with
a zebu. It turned Coleman suddenly to evil temper and he
wanted to ask the man questions concerning his education and
his present mental condition: and so until the train arrived at
Dover, his ballooning soul was in danger of collapsing. On the
packet crossing the channel, too, he almost returned to the
usual Rufus Coleman since all the world was seasick and he
could not get a cabin in which to hide himself from it. However
he reaped much consolation by ordering a bottle of
champagne and drinking it in sight of the people, which made
them still more seasick. From Calais to Brindisi really nothing
met his disapproval save the speed of the train, the conduct of
some of the passengers, the quality of the food served, the
manners of the guards, the temperature of the carriages, the
prices charged and the length of the journey.
In time he passed as in a vision from wretched Brindisi to
charming Corfu, from Corfu to the little
war-bitten city of Patras and from Patras by rail at the speed of
an ox-cart to Athens.
With a smile of grim content and surrounded in his carriage
with all his beautiful brown luggage, he swept through the
dusty streets of the Greek capital. Even as the vehicle arrived in
a great terraced square in front of the yellow palace, Greek
recruits in garments representing many trades and many
characters were marching up cheering for Greece and the king.
Officers stood upon the little iron chairs in front of the cafes; all
the urchins came running and shouting; ladies waved their
handkerchiefs from the balconies; the whole city was vivified
with a leaping and joyous enthusiasm. The Athenians—as
dragomen or otherwise-had preserved an ardor for their
glorious traditions, and it was as if that in the white dust which
lifted from the plaza and floated across the old-ivory face of the
palace, there were the souls of the capable soldiers of the past.
Coleman was almost intoxicated with it. It seemed to celebrate
his own reasons, his reasons of love and ambition to conquer
When the carriage arrived in front of the Hotel D'Angleterre,
Coleman found the servants of the place with more than one
eye upon the scene in the plaza, but they soon paid heed to the
arrival of a gentleman with such an amount of beautiful leather
luggage, all marked boldly with the initials "R. C." Coleman let
them lead him and follow him and conduct him and
use bad English upon him without noting either
their words, their salaams or their work. His mind had quickly
fixed upon the fact that here was the probable headquarters of
the Wainwright party and, with the rush of his western race
fleeting through his veins, he felt that he would choke and die
if he did not learn of the Wainwrights in the first two minutes. It
was a tragic venture to attempt to make the Levantine mind
understand something off the course, that the new arrival's first
thought was to establish a knowlege of the whereabouts of
some of his friends rather than to swarm helter-skelter into that
part of the hotel for which he was willing to pay rent. In fact he
failed to thus impress them; failed in dark wrath, but,
nevertheless, failed. At last he was simply forced to concede
the travel of files of men up the broad, redcarpeted stair-case,
each man being loaded with Coleman's luggage. The men in the
hotel-bureau were then able to comprehend that the foreign
gentleman might have something else on his mind. They raised
their eye-brows languidly when he spoke of the Wainwright
party in gentle surprise that he had not yet learned that they
were gone some time. They were departed on some excursion.
Where? Oh, really-it was almost laughable, indeed-they didn't
know. Were they sure? Why, yes-it was almost laughable,
indeed -they were quite sure. Where could the gentleman find
out about them ? Well, they-as they had explained-did
not know, but-it was possible-the American
minister might know. Where was he to be found? Oh, that was
very simple. It was well known that the American minister had
apartments in the hotel. Was he in? Ah, that they could not
So Coleman, rejoicing at his final emancipation and with the
grime of travel still upon him, burst in somewhat violently upon
the secretary of the Hon. Thomas M. Gordner of Nebraska, the
United States minister to Greece. From his desk the secretary
arose from behind an accidental bulwark of books and
govermental pamphets. " Yes, certainly. Mr. Gordner is in. If
you would give me your card-"
Directly. Coleman was introduced into another room where a
quiet man who was rolling a cigarette looked him frankly but
carefully in the eye. "The Wainwrights " said the minister
immediately after the question. "Why, I myself am immensely
concerned about them at present. I'm afraid they've gotten
themselves into trouble.'
" Really? " said Coleman.
" Yes. That little professor is ratherer—stubborn; Isn't he ?
He wanted to make an expedition to Nikopolis and I explained
to him all the possibilities of war and begged him to at least not
take his wife and daughter with him."
" Daughter," murmured Coleman, as if in his sleep.
"But that little old man had a head like a stone
and only laughed at me. Of course those villainous young
students were only too delighted at a prospect of war, but it
was a stupid and absurd. thing for the man to take his wife and
daughter there. They are up there now. I can't get a word from
them or get a word to them."
Coleman had been choking. "Where is Nikopolis? " he asked.
The minister gazed suddenly in comprehension of the man
before him. " Nikopolis is in Turkey," he answered gently.
Turkey at that time was believed to be a country of delay,
corruption, turbulence and massacre. It meant everything. More
than a half of the Christians of the world shuddered at the name
of Turkey. Coleman's lips tightened and perhaps blanched, and
his chin moved out strangely, once, twice, thrice. " How can I
get to Nikopolis? " he said.
The minister smiled. " It would take you the better part of
four days if you could get there, but as a matter of fact you
can't get there at the present time. A Greek army and a Turkish
army are looking at each other from the sides of the river at
Arta-the river is there the frontier-and Nikopolis happens to be
on the wrong side. You can't reach them. The forces at Arta will
fight within three days. I know it. Of course I've notified our
legation at Constantinople, but, with Turkish methods of
communication, Nikopolis is about as far from
Constantinople as New York is from Pekin."
Coleman arose. "They've run themselves into a nice mess,"
he said crossly. " Well, I'm a thousand times obliged to you, I'm
The minister opened his eyes a trifle. You are not going to
try to reach them, are you ? "
" Yes," answered Coleman, abstractedly. " I'm going to have a
try at it. Friends of mine, you know-"
At the bureau of the hotel, the correspondent found several
cables awaiting him from the alert office of the New York Eclipse.
One of them read: "State Department gives out bad plight of
Wainwright party lost somewhere; find them. Eclipse." When
Coleman perused the message he began to smile with seraphic
bliss. Could fate have ever been less perverse.
Whereupon he whirled himself in Athens. And it was to the
considerable astonishment of some Athenians. He discovered
and instantly subsidised a young Englishman who, during his
absence at the front, would act as correspondent for the
Eclipse at the capital. He took unto himself a dragoman and
then bought three horses and hired a groom at a speed that
caused a little crowd at the horse dealer's place to come out
upon the pavement and watch this surprising young man ride
back toward his hotel. He had already driven his dragoman into
a curious state of Oriental bewilderment and panic in which he
could only lumber hastily and helplessly here and there, with
his face in the meantime marked with agony. Coleman's own field
equipment had been ordered by cable from New York to London, but
it was necessary to buy much tinned meats, chocolate, coffee,
candles, patent food, brandy, tobaccos, medicine and other
He went to bed that night feeling more placid. The train back
to Patras was to start in the early morning, and he felt the
satisfaction of a man who is at last about to start on his own
great quest. Before he dropped off to slumber, he heard crowds
cheering exultantly in the streets, and the cheering moved him
as it had done in the morning. He felt that the celebration of the
people was really an accompaniment to his primal reason, a
reason of love and ambition to conquer in love-even as in the
theatre, the music accompanies the heroin his progress. He
arose once during the night to study a map of the Balkan
peninsula and get nailed into his mind the exact position of
Nikopolis. It was important.
COLEMAN'S dragoman aroused him in the blue before dawn.
The correspondent arrayed himself in one of his new khaki suits-
riding breeches and a tunic well marked with buttoned pockets-
and accompanied by some of his beautiful brown luggage, they
departed for the station.
The ride to Patras is a terror under ordinary circumstances. It
begins in the early morning and ends in the twilight. To
Coleman, having just come from Patras to Athens, this journey
from Athens to Patras had all the exasperating elements of a
forced recantation. Moreover, he had not come prepared to
view with awe the ancient city of Corinth nor to view with
admiration the limpid beauties of the gulf of that name with its
olive grove shore. He was not stirred by Parnassus, a far-away
snow-field high on the black shoulders of the mountains across
the gulf. No; he wished to go to Nikopolis. He passed over the
graves of an ancient race the gleam of whose mighty minds
shot, hardly dimmed, through the clouding ages. No; he wished
to go to Nikopolis. The train went at a snail's pace, and if
Coleman bad an interest it was in the people who lined the route
and cheered the soldiers on the train. In Coleman s compartment there was a
greasy person who spoke a little English. He explained that he
was a poet, a poet who now wrote of nothing but war. When a
man is in pursuit of his love and success is known to be at least
remote, it often relieves his strain if he is deeply bored from time
The train was really obliged to arrive finally at Patras even if it
was a tortoise, and when this happened, a hotel runner
appeared, who lied for the benefit of the hotel in saying that
there was no boat over to Mesalonghi that night. When, all too
late, Coleman discovered the truth of the matter his wretched
dragoman came in for a period of infamy and suffering.
However, while strolling in the plaza at Patras, amid newsboys
from every side, by rumour and truth, Coleman learned things to
his advantage. A Greek fleet was bombarding Prevasa. Prevasa
was near Nikopolis. The opposing armies at Arta were
engaged, principally in an artillery duel. Arta was on the road from
Nikopolis into Greece. Hearing this news in the sunlit square
made him betray no weakness, but in the darkness of his room
at the hotel, he seemed to behold Marjory encircled by
insurmountable walls of flame. He could look out of his window
into the black night of the north and feel every ounce of a
hideous circumstance. It appalled him; here was no power of
calling up a score of reporters and sending them scampering to
accomplish everything. He even might as well have been without
a tongue as far as it could serve him in goodly speech. He was
alone, confronting the black ominous Turkish north behind which
were the deadly flames; behind the flames was Marjory. It worked
upon him until he felt obliged to call in his dragoman, and then,
seated upon the edge of his bed and waving his pipe eloquently, he
described the plight of some very dear friends who were cut off at
Nikopolis in Epirus. Some of his talk was almost wistful in its wish
for sympathy from his servant, but at the end he bade the dragoman
understand that be, Coleman, was going to their rescue, and he
defiantly asked the hireling if he was prepared to go with him.
But he did not know the Greek nature. In two minutes the
dragoman was weeping tears of enthusiasm, and, for these tears,
Coleman was over-grateful, because he had not been told that
any of the more crude forms of sentiment arouse the common
Greek to the highest pitch, but sometimes, when it comes to
what the Americans call a "show down," when he gets backed
toward his last corner with a solitary privilege of dying for these
sentiments, perhaps he does not always exhibit those talents
which are supposed to be possessed by the bulldog. He often
then, goes into the cafes and take's it out in oration, like
any common Parisian.
In the morning A steamer carried them across the
strait and landed them near Mesalonghi at the foot of the
railroad that leads to Agrinion. At Agrinion Coleman at last
began to feel that he was nearing his goal. There were plenty of
soldiers in the town, who received with delight and applause
this gentleman in the distinguished-looking khaki clothes with
his revolver and his field glasses and his canteen and; his
dragoman. The dragoman lied, of course, and vocifcrated that
the gentleman in the distinguished-looking khaki clothes was
an English soldier of reputation, who had, naturally, come to
help the cross in its fight against, the crescent. He also said
that his master had three superb horses coming from Athens in
charge of a groom, and was undoubtedly going to join the
cavalry. Whereupon the soldiers wished to embrace and kiss
the gentleman in the distinguished-looking khaki clothes.
There was more or less of a scuffle. Coleman would have
taken to kicking and punching, but he found that by a- series of
elusive movements he could dodge the demonstrations of
affection without losing his popularity. Escorted by the
soldiers, citizens, children and dogs, he went to the diligence
which was to take him and others the next stage of the journey.
As the diligence proceeded, Coleman's mind suffered another
little inroad of ill-fate as to the success of his expedition. In the
first place it appeared foolish to expect that this diligence
would ever arrive anywhere. Moreover, the
accommodations were about equal to what one would endure if
one undertook to sleep for a night in a tree. Then there was a
devil-dog, a little black-and-tan terrier in a blanket gorgeous and
belled, whose duty it was to stand on the top of the coach and
bark incessantly to keep the driver fully aroused to the enormity
of his occupation. To have this cur silenced either by
strangulation or ordinary clubbing, Coleman struggled with his
dragoman as Jacob struggled with the angel, but in the first
place, the dragoman was a Greek whose tongue could go quite
drunk, a Greek who became a slave to the heralding and
establishment of one certain fact, or lie, and now he was
engaged in describing to every village and to all the country
side the prowess of the gentleman in the distinguished-looking
khaki clothes. It was the general absurdity of this advance to
the frontier and the fighting, to the crucial place where he was
resolved to make an attempt to rescue his sweetheart ; it was
this ridiculous aspect that caused to come to Coleman a
premonition of failure. No knight ever went out to recover a lost
love in such a diligence and with such a devil-dog, tinkling his
little bells and yelping insanely to keep the driver awake.
After night-fall they arrived at a town on the southern coast
of the Gulf of Arta and the goaded dragoman was-thrust forth
from the little inn into the street to find the first possible means
of getting on to Arta. He returned at last to tremulously say that
there was no single chance of starting for Arta that night. Where
upon he was again thrust into the street with orders, strict orders.
In due time, Coleman spread his rugs upon the floor of his little room
and thought himself almost asleep,. when the dragoman entered
with a really intelligent man who, for some reason, had agreed
to consort with him in the business of getting the stranger off
to Arta. They announced that there was a brigantine about to
sail with a load of soldiers for a little port near Arta, and if
Coleman hurried he could catch it, permission from an officer
having already been obtained. He was up at once, and the
dragoman and the unaccountably intelligent person hastily
gathered his chattels. Stepping out into a black street and
moving to the edge of black water and embarking in a black
boat filled with soldiers whose rifles dimly shone, was as
impressive to Coleman as if, really, it had been the first start. He
had endured many starts, it was true, but the latest one always
touched him as being conclusive.
There were no lights on the brigantine and the men swung
precariously up her sides to the deck which was already
occupied by a babbling multitude. The dragoman judiciously
found a place for his master where during the night the latter
had to move quickly everytime the tiller was shifted to
The craft raised her shadowy sails and swung slowly off into
the deep gloom. Forward, some of the soldiers began to sing
weird minor melodies. Coleman, enveloped in his rugs, -smoked
three or four cigars. He was content and miserable, lying there,
hearing these melodies which defined to him his own affairs.
At dawn they were at the little port. First, in the carmine and
grey tints from a sleepy sun, they could see little mobs of
soldiers working amid boxes of stores. And then from the back
in some dun and green hills sounded a deep-throated thunder
of artillery An officer gave Coleman and his dragoman
positions in one of the first boats, but of course it could not be
done without an almost endless amount of palaver. Eventually
they landed with their traps. Coleman felt through the sole of
his boot his foot upon the shore. He was within striking
But here it was smitten into the head of Coleman's servant to
turn into the most inefficient dragoman, probably in the entire
East. Coleman discerned it immediately, before any blunder
could tell him. He at first thought that it was the voices of the
guns which had made a chilly inside for the man, but when he
reflected upon the incompetency, or childish courier's falsity, at
Patras and his discernible lack of sense from Agrinion onward,
he felt that the fault was elemental in his nature. It was a mere
basic inability to front novel situations which was somehow in the
dragoman; he retreated from everything difficult in a smoke of
gibberish and gesticulation. Coleman glared at him with the hatred that
sometimes ensues when breed meets breed, but he saw that
this man was indeed a golden link in his possible success. This
man connected him with Greece and its language. If he
destroyed him he delayed what was now his main desire in life.
However, this truth did not prevent him from addressing the
man in elegant speech.
The two little men who were induced to carry Coleman's
luggage as far as the Greek camp were really procured by the
correspondent himself, who pantomined vigourously and with
unmistakable vividness. Followed by his dragoman and the two
little men, he strode off along a road which led straight as a
stick to where the guns were at intervals booming. Meanwhile
the dragoman and the two little men talked, talked, talked.-
Coleman was silent, puffing his cigar and reflecting upon the
odd things which happen to chivalry in the modern age.
He knew of many men who would have been astonished if
they could have seen into his mind at that time, and he knew of
many more men who would have laughed if they had the same
privilege of sight. He made no attempt to conceal from himself
that the whole thing was romantic, romantic despite the little
tinkling dog, the decrepit diligence, the palavering
natives, the super-idiotic dragoman. It was fine, It was from
another age and even the actors could not deface the purity of
the picture. However it was true that upon the brigantine the
previous night he had unaccountably wetted all his available
matches. This was momentous, important, cruel truth, but
Coleman, after all, was taking-as well as he could forgeta solemn
and knightly joy of this adventure and there were as many
portraits of his lady envisioning. before him as ever held the
heart of an armour-encased young gentleman of medieval
poetry. If he had been travelling in this region as an ordinary
tourist, he would have been apparent mainly for his lofty
impatience over trifles, but now there was in him a positive
assertion of direction which was undoubtedly one of the
reasons for the despair of the accomplished dragoman.
Before them the country slowly opened and opened, the
straight white road always piercing it like a lanceshaft. Soon
they could see black masses of men marking the green knolls.
The artillery thundered loudly and now vibrated augustly
through the air. Coleman quickened his pace, to the despair of
the little men carrying the traps. They finally came up with one
of these black bodies of men and found it to be composed of a
considerable number of soldiers who were idly watching some
hospital people bury a dead Turk. The dragoman at once dashed
forward to peer through the throng and see the face of the corpse.
Then he came and supplicated Coleman as if he were hawking him to
look at a relic and Coleman moved by a strong, mysterious
impulse, went forward to look at the poor little clay-coloured
body. At that moment a snake ran out from a tuft of grass at his
feet and wriggled wildly over the sod. The dragoman shrieked,
of course, but one of the soldiers put his heel upon the head of
the reptile and it flung itself into the agonising knot of death.
Then the whole crowd powwowed, turning from the dead man
to the dead snake. Coleman signaled his contingent and
proceeded along the road.
This incident, this paragraph, had seemed a strange
introduction to war. The snake, the dead man, the entire sketch,
made him shudder of itself, but more than anything he felt an
uncanny symbolism. It was no doubt a mere occurrence;
nothing but an occurrence; but inasmuch as all the detail of this
daily life associated itself with Marjory, he felt a different
horror. He had thought of the little devil-dog and Marjory in an
interwoven way. Supposing Marjory had been riding in the
diligence with the devil-dog-a-top ? What would she have said ?
Of her fund of expressions, a fund uncountable, which would
she have innocently projected against the background of the
Greek hills? Would it have smitten her nerves badly or would
she have laughed ? And supposing Marjory
could have seen him in his new khaki clothes cursing his
dragoman as he listened to the devil-dog?
And now he interwove his memory of Marjory with a dead
man and with a snake in the throes of the end of life. They
crossed, intersected, tangled, these two thoughts. He perceived
it clearly; the incongruity of it. He academically reflected upon
the mysteries of the human mind, this homeless machine which
lives here and then there and often lives in two or three
opposing places at the same instant. He decided that the
incident of the snake and the dead man had no more meaning
than the greater number of the things which happen to us in our
daily lives. Nevertheless it bore upon him.
On a spread of plain they saw a force drawn up in a long line.
It was a flagrant inky streak on the verdant prairie. From
somewhere near it sounded the timed reverberations of guns.
The brisk walk of the next ten minutes was actually exciting to
Coleman. He could not but reflect that those guns were being
fired with serious purpose at certain human bodies much like
As they drew nearer they saw that the inky streak was
composed of cavalry, the troopers standing at their bridles. The
sunlight flicked, upon their bright weapons. Now the dragoman
developed in one of his extraordinary directions. He announced
forsooth that an intimate friend was a captain of cavalry in this
command. Coleman at first thought. that this was some kind of
mysterious lie, but when he arrived where they could hear the
stamping of hoofs, the clank of weapons, and the murmur of
men, behold, a most dashing young officer gave a shout of joy
and he and the dragoman hurled themselves into a mad
embrace. After this first ecstacy was over, the dragoman
bethought him of his employer, and looking toward Coleman
hastily explained him to the officer. The latter, it appeared, was
very affable indeed. Much had happened. The Greeks and the
Turks had been fighting over a shallow part of the river nearly
opposite this point and the Greeks had driven back the Turks
and succeeded in throwing a bridge of casks and planking
across the stream. It was now the duty and the delight of this
force of cavalry to cross the bridge and, passing, the little force
of covering Greek infantry, to proceed into Turkey until they
came in touch with the enemy.
Coleman's eyes dilated. Was ever fate less perverse ? Partly
in wretched French to the officer and partly in idiomatic English
to the dragoman, he proclaimed his fiery desire to accompany
the expedition. The officer immediately beamed upon him. In
fact, he was delighted. The dragoman had naturally told him
many falsehoods concerning Coleman, incidentally referring to
himself more as a philanthropic guardian and, valuable friend of
the correspondent than as, a plain, unvarnished. dragoman
with an exceedingly good eye for the financial possibilities of
Coleman wanted to ask his servant if there was any chance of
the scout taking them near Nikopolis, but he delayed being
informed upon this point until such time as he could find out,
secretly, for himself. To ask the dragoman would be mere stupid
questioning which would surely make the animal shy. He tried
to be content that fate had given him this early opportunity of
dealing with a Medieval situation with some show of proper
form ; that is to say, armed, a-horse- back, and in danger. Then
he could feel that to the gods of the game he was not laughable,
as when he rode to rescue his love in a diligence with a devil-
dog yelping a-top.
With some flourish, the young captain presented him to the
major who commanded the cavalry. This officer stood with his
legs wide apart, eating the rind of a fresh lemon and talking
betimes to some of his officers. The major also beamed upon
Coleman when the captain explained that the gentleman in the
distinguished-looking khaki clothes wished to accompany the
expedition. He at once said that he would provide two troop
horses for Coleman and the dragoman. Coleman thanked fate
for his behaviour and his satisfaction was not without a vestige
of surprise. At that time he judged it to be a remarkable
amiability of individuals, but in later years he came to believe in
certain laws which he deemed existent solely for the benefit of
war correspondents. In the minds of governments, war offices
and generals they have no function save one of disturbance, but
Coleman deemed it proven that the common men, and many
uncommon men, when they go away to the fighting ground, out
of the sight, out of the hearing of the world known to them, and
are eager to perform feats of war in this new place, they feel an
absolute longing for a spectator. It is indeed the veritable
coronation of this world. There is not too much vanity of the
street in this desire of men to have some disinterested fellows
perceive their deeds. It is merely that a man doing his best in the
middle of a sea of war, longs to have people see him doing his
best. This feeling is often notably serious if, in peace, a man has
done his worst, or part of his worst. Coleman believed that,
above everybody, young, proud and brave subalterns had this
itch, but it existed, truly enough, from lieutenants to colonels.
None wanted to conceal from his left hand that his right hand
was performing a manly and valiant thing, although there might
be times when an application of the principle would be
immensely convenient. The war correspondent arises, then, to
become a sort of a cheap telescope for the people at home;
further still, there have been fights where the eyes of a solitary
man were the eyes of the world; one spectator, whose business
it was to transfer, according to his ability, his visual impressions
to other minds.
Coleman and his servant were conducted to two saddled
troop horses, and beside them, waited decently in the rear of
the ranks. The uniform of the troopers was of plain, dark green
cloth and they were well and sensibly equipped. The mounts,
however, had in no way been picked; there were little horses
and big horses, fat horses and thin horses. They looked the
result of a wild conscription. Coleman noted the faces of the
troopers, and they were calm enough save when a man
betrayed himself by perhaps a disproportionate angry jerk at
the bridle of his restive horse.
The major, artistically drooping his cloak from his left
shoulder and tenderly and musingly fingering his long yellow
moustache, rode slowly to the middle of the line and wheeled
his horse to face his men. A bugle called attention, and then he
addressed them in a loud and rapid speech, which did not seem
to have an end. Coleman imagined that the major was paying
tribute to the Greek tradition of the power of oratory. Again the
trumpet rang out, and this parade front swung off into column
formation. Then Coleman and the dragoman trotted at the tail of
the squadron, restraining with difficulty their horses, who could
not understand their new places in the procession, and worked
feverishly to regain what they considered their positions in life.
The column jangled musically over the sod, passing between
two hills on one of which a Greek light battery was posted. Its
men climbed to the tops of their interenchments to witness the
going of the cavalry. Then the column curved along over ditch
and through hedge to the shallows of the river. Across this
narrow stream was Turkey. Turkey, however, presented
nothing to the eye but a muddy bank with fringes of trees back
of it. It seemed to be a great plain with sparse collections of
foliage marking it, whereas the Greek side, presented in the
main a vista of high, gaunt rocks. Perhaps one of the first
effects of war upon the mind, is a. new recognition and fear of
the circumscribed ability of the eye, making all landscape seem
inscrutable. The cavalry drew up in platoon formation on their
own. bank of the stream and waited. If Coleman had known
anything of war, he would have known, from appearances, that
there was nothing in the immediate vicinity to, cause heart-
jumping, but as a matter of truth he was deeply moved and
wondered what was hidden, what was veiled by those trees.
Moreover, the squadrons resembled art old picture of a body of
horse awaiting Napoleon's order to charge. In the, meantime his
mount fumed at the bit, plunging to get back to the ranks. The
sky was, without a cloud, and the sun rays swept down upon
them. Sometimes Coleman was on the verge of addressing the
dragoman, according to his anxiety, but in the end
he simply told him to go to the river and fill the can- teens.
At last an order came, and the first troop moved with muffled
tumult across the bridge. Coleman and his dragoman followed
the last troop. The horses scrambled up the muddy bank much
as if they were merely breaking out of a pasture, but probably all
the men felt a sudden tightening of their muscles. Coleman, in
his excitement, felt, more than he saw, glossy horse flanks,
green-clothed men chumping in their saddles, banging sabres
and canteens, and carbines slanted in line.
There were some Greek infantry in a trench. They were
heavily overcoated, despite the heat, and some were engaged in
eating loaves of round, thick bread. They called out lustily as
the cavalry passed them. The troopers smiled slowly,
somewhat proudly in response.
Presently there was another halt and Coleman saw the major
trotting busily here and there, while troop commanders rode out
to meet him. Spreading groups of scouts and flankers moved off
and disappeared. Their dashing young officer friend cantered
past them with his troop at his heels. He waved a joyful good-
bye. It was the doings of cavalry in actual service, horsemen
fanning out in all forward directions. There were two troops
held in reserve, and as they jangled ahead at a foot pace,
Coleman and his dragoman followed them.
The dragoman was now moved to erect many reasons for an
immediate return. It was plain that he had no stomach at all for
this business, and that he wished himself safely back on the
other side of the river. Coleman looked at him askance. When
these men talked together Coleman might as well have been a
polar bear for all he understood of it. When he saw the
trepidation of his dragoman, he did not know what it foreboded.
In this situation it was not for him to say that the dragoman's
fears were founded on nothing. And ever the dragoman raised
his reasons for a retreat. Coleman spoke to himself. "I am just a
trifle rattled," he said to his heart, and after he had communed
for a time upon the duty of steadiness, he addressed the
dragoman in cool language. " Now, my persuasive friend, just
quit all that, because business is business, and it may be rather
annoying business, but you will have to go through with it."
Long afterward, when ruminating over the feelings of that
morning, he saw with some astonishment that there was not a
single thing within sound or sight to cause a rational being any
quaking. He was simply riding with some soldiers over a vast
Presently the commanding officer turned in his saddle and
told the dragoman that he was going to ride forward with his
orderly to where he could see the flanking parties and the
scouts, and courteously, with
the manner of a gentleman entertaining two guests, he asked if
the civilians cared to accompany him. The dragoman would not
have passed this question correctly on to Coleman if he had
thought he could have avoided it, but, with both men regarding
him, he considered that a lie probably meant instant detection.
He spoke almost the truth, contenting himself with merely
communicating to Coleman in a subtle way his sense that a ride
forward with the commanding officer and his orderly would be
depressing and dangerous occupation. But Coleman
immediately accepted the invitation mainly because it was the
invitation of the major, and in war it is a brave man who can
refuse the invitation of a commanding officer. The little party of
four trotted away from the reserves, curving in single file about
the water-holes. In time they arrived at where the plain lacked
trees and was one great green lake of grass; grass and scrubs.
On this expanse they could see the Greek horsemen riding, mainly
appearing as little black dots. Far to the left there was a squad
said to be composed of only twenty troopers, but in the
distance their black mass seemed to be a regiment.
As the officer and his guests advanced they came in view of
what one may call the shore of the plain. The rise of ground was
heavily clad with trees, and over the tops of them appeared the
cupola and part of the walls of a large white house, and there
were glimpses of huts near it as if a village was marked. The black
specks seemed to be almost to it. The major galloped forward
and the others followed at his pace. The house grew larger and
larger and they came nearly to the advance scouts who they
could now see were not quite close to the village. There had
been a deception of the eye precisely as occurs at sea. Herds of
unguarded sheep drifted over the plain and little ownerless
horses, still cruelly hobbled, leaped painfully away, frightened,
as if they understood that an anarchy had come upon them. The
party rode until they were very nearly up with the scouts, and
then from low down at the very edge of the plain there came a
long rattling noise which endured as if some kind of grinding
machine had been put in motion. Smoke arose, faintly marking
the position of an intrenchment. Sometimes a swift spitting
could be heard from the air over the party.
It was Coleman's fortune to think at first that the Turks were
not firing in his direction, but as soon as he heard the weird
voices in the air he knew that war was upon him. But it was
plain that the range was almost excessive, plain even to his
ignorance. The major looked at him and laughed; he found no
difficulty in smiling in response. If this was war, it could be
withstood somehow. He could not at this time understand what
a mere trifle was the present incident. He felt upon his cheek a
little breeze which was moving the grass-blades. He had tied his
canteen in a wrong place on the saddle and every time the horse moved
quickly the canteen banged the correspondent, to his annoyance and
distress, forcibly on the knee. He had forgotten about his
dragoman, but happening to look upon that faithful servitor, he
saw him gone white with horror. A bullet at that moment
twanged near his head and the slave to fear ducked in a spasm.
Coleman called the orderly's attention and they both laughed
discreetly. They made no pretension of being heroes, but they
saw plainly that they were better than this man.
Coleman said to him : " How far is it now to Nikopolis ? " The
dragoman replied only, with a look of agonized impatience.
But of course there was no going to Nikopolis that day. The
officer had advanced his men as far as was intended by his
superiors, and presently they were all recalled and trotted back
to the bridge. They crossed it to their old camp.
An important part of Coleman's traps was back with his
Athenian horses and their groom, but with his present
equipment he could at least lie smoking on his blankets and
watch the dragoman prepare food. But he reflected that for that
day he had only attained the simple discovery that the
approach to Nikopolis was surrounded with difficulties.
The same afternoon Coleman and the dragoman rode up to
Arta on their borrowed troop horses. The correspondent first
went to the telegraph office and found there the usual number
of despairing clerks. They were outraged when they found he
was going to send messages and thought it preposterous that
he insisted upon learning if there were any in the office for him.
They had trouble enough with endless official communications
without being hounded about private affairs by a confident
young man in khaki. But Coleman at last unearthed six
cablegrams which collective said that the Eclipse wondered why
they did not hear from him, that Walkley had been relieved from
duty in London and sent to join the army of the
crown prince, that young Point, the artist, had been
shipped to Greece, that if he, Coleman, succeeded in
finding the Wainwright party the paper was prepared
to make a tremendous uproar of a celebration over it
and, finally, the paper wondered twice more why they
did not hear from him.
When Coleman went forth to enquire if anybody knew of the
whereabouts of the Wainwright party he thought first of his
fellow correspondents. He found
most of them in a cafe where was to be had about the only food
in the soldier-laden town. It was a slothful den where even an
ordinary boiled egg could be made unpalatable. Such a common
matter as the salt men watched with greed and suspicion as if
they were always about to grab it from each other. The
proprietor, in a dirty shirt, could always be heard whining,
evidently telling the world that he was being abused, but he had
spirit enough remaining to charge three prices for everything
with an almost Jewish fluency.
The correspondents consoled themselves largely upon black -
bread and the native wines. Also there were certain little oiled
fishes, and some green odds and ends for salads. The
correspondents were practically all Englishmen. Some of them
were veterans of journalism in the Sudan, in India, in South
Africa; and there were others who knew as much of war as they
could learn by sitting at a desk and editing the London stock
reports. Some were on their own hook; some had horses and
dragomen and some had neither the one nor the other; many
knew how to write and a few had it yet to learn. The thing in
common was a spirit of adventure which found pleasure in the
extraordinary business of seeing how men kill each other.
They were talking of an artillery duel which had been fought
the previous day between the Greek batteries above the town
and the Turkish batteries across the river. Coleman
took seat at one of the long tables, and the
astute dragoman got somebody in the street to hold the horses
in order that he might be present at any feasting.
One of the experienced correspondents was remarking that
the fire of the Greek batteries in the engagement had been the
finest artillery practice of the century. He spoke a little loudly,
perhaps, in the wistful hope that some of the Greek officers
would understand enough English to follow his meaning, for it
is always good for a correspondent to admire the prowess on
his own side of the battlefield. After a time Coleman spoke in a
lull, and describing the supposed misfortunes of the
Wainwright party, asked if anyone had news of them. The
correspondents were surprised; they had none of them heard
even of the existence of a Wainwright party. Also none of them
seemed to care exceedingly. The conversation soon changed to
a discussion of the probable result of the general Greek
advance announced for the morrow.
Coleman silently commented that this remarkable appearance
of indifference to the mishap of the Wainwrights, a little party, a
single group, was a better definition of a real condition of war
than that bit of long-range musketry of the morning. He took a
certain despatch out of his pocket and again read it. " Find
Wainwright party at all hazards; much talk here; success
means red fire by ton. Eclipse." It
was an important matter. He could imagine how the American
people, vibrating for years to stories of the cruelty of the Turk,
would tremble-indeed, was now trembling-while the
newspapers howled out the dire possibilities. He saw all the
kinds of people, from those who would read the Wainwright
chapters from day to day as a sort of sensational novel, to
those who would work up a gentle sympathy for the woe of
others around the table in the evenings. He saw bar keepers
and policemen taking a high gallery thrill out of this kind of
romance. He saw even the emotion among American colleges
over the tragedy of a professor and some students. It
certainly was a big affair. Marjory of course was everything in
one way, but that, to the world, was not a big affair. It was the
romance of the Wainwright party in its simplicity that to the
American world was arousing great sensation; one that in the
old days would have made his heart leap like a colt.
Still, when batteries had fought each other savagely, and
horse, foot and guns were now about to make a general
advance, it was difficult, he could see, to stir men to think and
feel out of the present zone of action; to adopt for a time in fact
the thoughts and feelings of the other side of the world. It made
Coleman dejected as he saw clearly that the task was wholly on
his own shoulders.
Of course they were men who when at home
manifested the most gentle and wide-reaching feelings; most of
them could not by any possibility have slapped a kitten merely
for the prank and yet all of them who had seen an unknown
man shot through the head in battle had little more to think of it
than if the man had been a rag-baby. Tender they might be;
poets they might be; but they were all horned with a
provisional, temporary, but absolutely essential callouse which
was formed by their existence amid war with its quality of
making them always think of the sights and sounds concealed
in their own direct future.
They had been simply polite. " Yes ? " said one to Coleman.
"How many people in the party? Are they all Americans? Oh, I
suppose it will be quite right. Your minister in Constantinople
will arrange that easily. Where did you say? At Nikopolis?
Well, we conclude that the Turks will make no stand between
here and Pentepigadia. In that case your Nikopolis will be
uncovered unless the garrison at Prevasa intervenes. That
garrison at Prevasa, by the way, may make a deal of trouble.
" Exactly how far is it to Nikopolis? " asked Coleman.
" Oh, I think it is about thirty kilometers," replied the
others. " There is a good miltary road as soon as you cross the
Louros river. I've got the map of the Austrian general staff.
Would you like to look at it?"
Coleman studied the map, speeding with his eye rapidly to
and fro between Arta and Nikopolis. To him it was merely a
brown lithograph of mystery, but he could study the distances.
He had received a cordial invitation from the com-
mander of the cavalry to go with him for another ride
into Turkey, and he inclined to believe that his project
would be furthered if he stuck close to the cavalry. So
he rode back to the cavalry camp and went
peacefully to sleep on the sod. He awoke in the
morning with chattering teeth to find his dragoman
saying that the major had unaccountably withdrawn
his loan of the two troop horses. Coleman of course
immediately said to himself that the dragoman was
lying a-gain in order to prevent another expedition
into ominous Turkey, but after all if the commander,
of the cavalry had suddenly turned the light of his
favour from the correspondent it was only a proceeding
consistent with the nature which Coleman now
thought he was beginning to discern, a nature which
can never think twice in the same place, a gageous
mind which drifts, dissolves, combines, vanishes with
the ability of an aerial thing until the man of the
north feels that when he clutches it with full knowledge of his
senses he is only the victim of his ardent
imagination. It is the difference in standards, in
creeds, which is the more luminous when men call out that
they are all alike.
So Coleman and his dragoman loaded their traps and moved
out to again invade Turkey. It was not yet clear daylight, but
they felt that they might well start early since they were no
longer mounted men.
On the way to the bridge, the dragoman, although he was
curiously in love with his forty francs a day and his
opportunities, ventured a stout protest, based apparently upon
the fact that after all this foreigner, four days out from Athens
was somewhat at his mercy. " Meester Coleman," he said,
stopping suddenly, " I think we make no good if we go there.
Much better we wait Arta for our horse. Much better. I think
this no good. There is coming one big fight and I think much
better we go stay Arta. Much better."
" Oh, come off," said Coleman. And in clear language he
began to labour with the man. " Look here, now, if you think
you are engaged in steering a bunch of wooden-headed guys
about the Acropolis, my dear partner of my joys and sorrows,
you are extremely mistaken. As a matter of fact you are now the
dragoman of a war correspondent and you were engaged and
are paid to be one. It becomes necessary that you make good.
Make good, do you understand? I'm not out here to be buncoed
by this sort of game." He continued indefinitely in this strain
and at intervals he asked sharply Do you understand ?
Perhaps the dragoman was dumbfounded that the laconic
Coleman could on occasion talk so much, or perhaps he
understood everything and was impressed by the
argumentative power. At any rate he suddenly wilted. He made
a gesture which was a protestation of martyrdom and picking up
his burden proceeded on his way.
When they reached the bridge, they saw strong columns of
Greek infantry, dead black in the dim light, crossing the stream
and slowly deploying on the other shore. It was a bracing sight
to the dragoman, who then went into one of his absurd
babbling moods, in which he would have talked the head off
any man who was not born in a country laved by the childish
Mediterranean. Coleman could not understand what he said to
the soldiers as they passed, but it was evidently all grandiose
Two light batteries had precariously crossed the rickety
bridge during the night, and now this force of several thousand
infantry, with the two batteries, was moving out over the
territory which the cavalry had reconnoitered on the previous
day. The ground being familiar to Coleman, he no longer knew a
tremour, and, regarding his dragoman, he saw that that
invaluable servitor was also in better form. They marched until
they found one of the light batteries unlimbered and aligned on
the lake of grass about a mile from where parts of the white
house appeared above the tree-tops. Here the dragoman talked
with the captain of artillery, a tiny man on an immense horse,
who for some unknown reason told him that this force was going
to raid into Turkey and try to swing around the opposing army's
right flank. He announced, as he showed his teeth in a smile,
that it would be very, very dangerous work. The dragoman
precipitated himself upon Coleman.
" This is much danger. The copten he tell me the trups go
now in back of the Turks. It will be much danger. I think much
better we go Arta wait for horse. Much better." Coleman,
although be believed he despised the dragoman, could not help
but be influenced by his fears. They were, so to speak, in a
room with one window, and only the dragoman looked forth
from the window, so if he said that what he saw outside
frightened him, Coleman was perforce frightened also in a
measure. But when the correspondent raised
his eyes he saw the captain of the battery looking at him, his
teeth still showing in a smile, as if his information, whether true
or false, had been given to convince the foreigner that the
Greeks were a very superior and brave people, notably one little
officer of artillery. He had apparently assumed that Coleman
would balk from venturing with such a force upon an excursion
to trifle with the rear of a hard fighting Ottoman army. He
exceedingly disliked that man, sitting up there on his tall horse
and grinning like a cruel little ape with a secret. In truth,
Coleman was taken back at the outlook, but he could no more refrain
from instantly accepting this half-concealed challenge than he could
have refrained from resenting an ordinary form of insult. His mind was
not at peace, but the small vanities are very large. He was perfectly
aware that he was, being misled into the thing by an odd pride, but
anyhow, it easily might turn out to be a stroke upon the doors of
Nikopolis. He nodded and smiled at the officer in grateful
acknowledgment of his service.
The infantry was moving steadily a-field. Black blocks of men
were trailing in column slowly over the plain. They were not
unlike the backs of dominoes on a green baize table ; they were
so vivid, so startling. The correspondent and his servant
followed them. Eventually they overtook two companies in
command of a captain, who seemed immensely glad to have the
strangers with him. As they marched, the captain spoke through
the dragoman upon the virtues of his men, announcing with
other news the fact that his first sergeant was the bravest man in
A number of columns were moving across the plain parallel to
their line of march, and the whole force seemed to have orders
to halt when they reached a long ditch about four hundred yards
from where the shore of the plain arose to the luxuriant groves
with the cupola of the big white house sticking above them. The
soldiers lay along the ditch, and the bravest man in the world
spread his blanket on the ground for the captain, Coleman and
himself. During a long pause Coleman tried to elucidate the question
of why the Greek soldiers wore heavy overcoats, even in the bitter
heat of midday, but he could only learn that the dews, when they
came, were very destructive to the lungs, Further, he convinced himself
anew that talking through an interpreter to the minds of other
men was as satisfactory as looking at landscape through a
stained glass window.
After a time there was, in front, a stir near where a curious
hedge of dry brambles seemed to outline some sort of a garden
patch. Many of the soldiers exclaimed and raised their guns. But
there seemed to come a general understanding to the line that it
was wrong to fire. Then presently into the open came a dirty
brown figure, and Coleman could see through his glasses that
its head was crowned with a dirty fez which had once been
white. This indicated that the figure was that of one of the
Christian peasants of Epirus. Obedient to the captain, the
sergeant arose and waved invitation. The peasant wavered,
changed his mind, was obviously terror-stricken, regained
confidence and then began to advance circuitously toward
the Greek lines. When he arrived within hailing dis- tance, the
captain, the sergeant, Coleman's dragoman and many of the
soldiers yelled human messages, and a moment later he was
seen to be a poor, yellow-faced stripling with a body which
seemed to have been first twisted by an ill-birth and afterward
maimed by either labour or oppression, these being often
identical in their effects.
His reception of the Greek soldiery was no less fervid than
their welcome of him to their protection. He threw his grimy fez
in the air and croaked out cheers, while tears wet his cheeks.
When he had come upon the right side of the ditch he ran
capering among them and the captain, the sergeant, the
dragoman and a number of soldiers received wild embraces and
kisses. He made a dash at Coleman, but Coleman was now wary
in the game, and retired dexterously behind different groups
with a finished appearance of not noting that the young man
wished to greet him.
Behind the hedge of dry brambles there were more
indications of life, and the peasant stood up and made
beseeching gestures. Soon a whole flock of miserable people
had come out to the Greeks, men, women and children, in crude
and comic smocks, prancing here and there, uproariously
embracing and kissing their deliverers. An old, tearful, toothless
hag flung herself rapturously into the arms of the captain, and
Coleman's brick-and-iron soul was moved to admiration
at the way in which the officer administered a chaste salute
upon the furrowed cheek. The dragoman told the
correspondent that the Turks had run away from the village on
up a valley toward Jannina. Everybody was proud and happy.
A major of infantry came from the rear at this time and asked
the captain in sharp tones who were the two strangers in
civilian attire. When the captain had answered correctly the
major was immediately mollified, and had it announced to the
correspondent that his battalion was going to move
immediately into the village, and that he would be delighted to
have his company.
The major strode at the head of his men with the group of
villagers singing and dancing about him and looking upon him
as if he were a god. Coleman and the dragoman, at the officer's
request, marched one on either side of him, and in this manner
they entered the village. From all sorts of hedges and thickets,
people came creeping out to pass into a delirium of joy. The
major borrowed three little pack horses with rope-bridles, and
thus mounted and followed by the clanking column, they rode
on in triumph.
It was probably more of a true festival than most men
experience even in the longest life time. The major with his
Greek instinct of drama was a splendid personification of poetic
quality; in fact he was himself almost a lyric. From time to time
he glanced back at Coleman with eyes half dimmed with appreciation.
The people gathered flowers, great blossoms of purple and corn colour.
They sprinkled them over the three horsemen and flung them
deliriously under the feet of the little nags. Being now mounted
Coleman had no difficulty in avoiding the embraces of the
peasants, but he felt to the tips of his toes an abandonment to a
kind of pleasure with which he was not at all familiar. Riding
thus amid cries of thanksgiving addressed at him equally with
the others, he felt a burning virtue and quite lost his old self in
an illusion of noble be. nignity. And there continued the
fragrant hail of blossoms.
Miserable little huts straggled along the sides of the village
street as if they were following at the heels of the great white
house of the bey. The column proceeded northward,
announcing laughingly to the glad villagers that they would
never see another Turk. Before them on the road was here and
there a fez from the head of a fled Turkish soldier and they lay
like drops of blood from some wounded leviathan. Ultimately it
grew cloudy. It even rained slightly. In the misty downfall the
column of soldiers in blue was dim as if it were merely a long
trail of low-hung smoke.
They came to the ruins of a church and there the major
halted his battalion. Coleman worried at his dragoman to
learn if the halt was only temporary. It was a long time before
there was answer from the major, for he had drawn up his men in platoons
and was addressing them in a speech as interminable as any that
Coleman had heard in Greece. The officer waved his arms and
roared out evidently the glories of patriotism and soldierly
honour, the glories of their ancient people, and he may have
included any subject in this wonderful speech, for the reason
that he had plenty of time in which to do it. It was impossible to
tell whether the oration was a good one or bad one, because the
men stood in their loose platoons without discernible feelings
as if to them this appeared merely as one of the inevitable
consequences of a campaign, an established rule of warfare.
Coleman ate black bread and chocolate tablets while the
dragoman hovered near the major with the intention of
pouncing upon him for information as soon as his lungs yielded
to the strain upon them.
The dragoman at last returned with a very long verbal
treatise from the major, who apparently had not been as
exhausted after his speech to the men as one would think. The
major had said that he had been ordered to halt here to form a
junction with some of the troops coming direct from Arta, and
that he expected that in the morning the army would be
divided and one wing would chase the retreating Turks on
toward Jannina, while the other wing would advance upon
Prevasa because the enemy had a garrison there which had not
retreated an inch, and, although it was
cut off, it was necessary to send either a force to hold it in its
place or a larger force to go through with the business of
capturing it. Else there would be left in the rear of the left flank
of a Greek advance upon Jannina a body of the enemy which at
any moment might become active. The major said that his
battalion would probably form part of the force to advance
upon Prevasa. Nikopolis was on the road to Prevasa and only
three miles away from it.
Coleman spent a long afternoon in the drizzle Enveloped in
his macintosh he sat on a boulder in the lee of one of the old
walls and moodily smoked cigars and listened to the ceaseless
clatter of tongues. A ray of light penetrated the mind of the
dragoman and he laboured assiduously with wet fuel until he
had accomplished a tin mug of coffee. Bits of cinder floated in
it, but Coleman rejoiced and was kind to the dragoman.
The night was of cruel monotony. Afflicted by the wind and
the darkness, the correspondent sat with nerves keyed high
waiting to hear the pickets open fire on a night attack. He was
so unaccountably sure that there would be a tumult and panic
of this kind at some time of the night that he prevented himself
from getting a reasonable amount of rest. He could hear the
soldiers breathing in sleep all about him. He wished to arouse
them from this slumber which, to his ignorance, seemed stupid.
The quality of mysterious menace in the great gloom and the
silence would have caused him to pray if prayer would have
transported him magically to New York and made him a young
man with no coat playing billiards at his club.
The chill dawn came at last and with a fine elation which ever
follows a dismal night in war; an elation which bounds in the
bosom as soon as day has knocked the shackles from a
trembling mind. Although Coleman had slept but a short time he
was now as fresh as a total abstainer coming from the bath. He
heard the creak of battery wheels; he saw crawling bodies of
infantry moving in the dim light like ghostly processions. He felt
a tremendous virility come with this new hope in the daylight.
He again took satis. faction in his sentimental journey. It was a
shining affair. He was on active service, an active service of the
heart, and he' felt that he was a strong man ready to conquer
difficulty even as the olden heroes conquered difficulty. He
imagined himself in a way like them. He, too, had come out to
fight for love with giants, dragons and witches. He had never
known that he could be so pleased with that kind of a parallel.
The dragoman announced that the major had suddenly lent
their horses to some other people, and after cursing this
versatility of interest, he summoned his henchmen and they
moved out on foot, following the sound of the creaking wheels.
They came in time to a bridge, and on the side of this bridge
was a hard military road which sprang away in two directions,
north and west. Some troops were creeping out the westward
way and the dragoman pointing at them
said: " They going Prevasa. That is road to Nikopolis."
Coleman grinned from ear to car and slapped
his dragoman violently on the shoulder. For a moment he
intended to hand the man a louis of reward, but he changed his
Their traps were in the way of being heavy, but they minded
little since the dragoman was now a victim of the influence of
Coleman's enthusiasm. The road wound along the base of the
mountain range, sheering around the abutments in wide white
curves and then circling into glens where immense trees spread
their shade over it. Some of the great trunks were oppressed
with vines green as garlands, and these vines even ran like
verdant foam over the rocks. Streams of translucent water
showered down from the hills, and made pools in which every
pebble, every eaf of a water plant shone with magic lustre, and if
the bottom of a pool was only of clay, the clay glowed with
sapphire light. The day was fair. The country was part of that
land which turned the minds of its ancient poets toward a more
tender dreaming, so that indeed their nymphs would die, one is
sure, in the cold mythology of the north with its storms amid the
gloom of pine forests. It was all wine to Coleman's spirit. It
enlivened him to think of success with absolute surety. To be
sure one of his boots began soon to rasp his toes, but he gave
it no share of his attention. They passed at a much faster pace
than the troops, and everywhere they met laughter and confidence
and the cry. " On to Prevasa! "
At midday they were at the heels of the advance battalion,
among its stragglers, taking its white dust into their throats and
eyes. The dragoman was waning and he made a number of
attempts to stay Coleman, but no one could have had influence
upon Coleman's steady rush with his eyes always straight to
the front as if thus to symbolize his steadiness of purpose.
Rivulets of sweat marked the dust on his face, and two of his
toes were now paining as if they were being burned off. He was
obliged to concede a privilege of limping, but he would not
At nightfall they halted with the outpost batallion of the
infantry. All the cavalry had in the meantirne come up and they
saw their old friends. There was a village from which the
Christian peasants came and cheered like a trained chorus.
Soldiers were driving a great flock of fat sheep into a corral.
They had belonged to a Turkish bey and they bleated as if they
knew that they were now mere spoils of war. Coleman lay on the
steps of the bey's house smoking with his head on his blanket
roll. Camp fires glowed off in the fields. He was now about four
miles from Nikopolis.
Within the house, the commander of the cavalry was writing
dispatches. Officers clanked up and down the stairs. The
dashing young captain came and said that there would be a general
assault on Prevasa at the dawn of the next day. Afterward the dragoman
descended upon the village and in some way wrenched a little grey horse
from an inhabitant. Its pack saddle was on its back and it would
very handily carry the traps. In this matter the dragoman did not
consider his master; he considered his own sore back.
Coleman ate more bread and chocolate tablets and also some
tinned sardines. He was content with the day's work. He did not
see how he could have improved it. There was only one route by
which the Wainwright party could avoid him, and that was by
going to Prevasa and thence taking ship. But since Prevasa was
blockaded by a Greek fleet, he conceived that event to be
impossible. Hence, he had them hedged on this peninsula and
they must be either at Nikopolis or Prevasa. He would probably
know all early in the morning. He reflected that he was too tired
to care if there might be a night attack and then wrapped in his
blankets he went peacefully to sleep in the grass under a big
tree with the crooning of some soldiers around their fire
blending into his slumber.
And now, although the dragoman had performed a number of
feats of incapacity, he achieved during the one hour of
Coleman's sleeping a blunder which for real finish was simply a
perfection of art. When Coleman, much later, extracted the full
story, it appeared that ringing. events happened during that single
hour of sleep. Ten minutes after he had lain down for a night of
oblivion, the battalion of infantry, which had advanced a little beyond
the village, was recalled and began a hurried night march back on the
way it had so festively come. It was significant enough to appeal
to almost any mind, but the dragoman was able to not
understand it. He remained jabbering to some acquaintances
among the troopers. Coleman had been asleep his hour when the
dashing young captain perceived the dragoman, and completely
horrified by his presence at that place, ran to him and whispered
to him swiftly that the game was to flee, flee, flee. The wing of the
army which had advanced northward upon Jannina had already
been tumbled back by the Turks and all the other wing had been
recalled to the Louros river and there was now nothing practically
between him and his sleeping master and the enemy but a cavalry
picket. The cavalry was immediately going to make a forced
march to the rear. The stricken dragoman could even then see
troopers getting into their saddles. He, rushed to, the, tree, and
in. a panic simply bundled Coleman upon his feet before he was
awake. He stuttered out his tale, and the dazed, correspondent
heard it punctuated by the steady trample of the retiring cavalry.
The dragoman saw a man's face then turn in a flash from an
expression of luxurious drowsiness to an expression of utter
malignancy. However, he was in too much of a hurry to be afraid
of it; he ran off to the little grey horse and frenziedly but
skilfully began to bind the traps upon the packsaddle. He
appeared in a moment tugging at the halter. He could only
say: "Come! Come! Come! Queek! Queek! " They slid hurriedly
down a bank to the road and started to do again that which
they had accomplished with considerable expenditure of
physical power during the day. The hoof beats of the cavalry
had already died away and the mountains shadowed them in
lonely silence. They were the rear guard after the rear guard.
The dragoman muttered hastily his last dire rumours. Five
hundred Circassian cavalry were coming. The mountains were
now infested with the dread Albanian irregulars, Coleman had
thought in his daylight tramp that he had appreciated the noble
distances, but he found that he knew nothing of their nobility
until he tried this night stumbling. And the hoofs of the little
horse made on the hard road more noise than could be made by
men beating with hammers upon brazen cylinders. The
correspondent glanced continually up at the crags. From the
other side he could sometimes hear the metallic clink of water
deep down in a glen. For the first time in his life he seriously
opened the flap of his holster and let his fingers remain on the
handle of his revolver. From just in front of
him he could hear the chattering of the dragoman's teeth which
no attempt at more coolness could seem to prevent. In the
meantime the casual manner of the little grey horse struck
Coleman with maddening vividness. If the blank darkness was
simply filled with ferocious Albanians, the horse did not care a
button; he leisurely put his feet down with a resounding ring.
Coleman whispered hastily to the dragoman. " If they rush us,
jump down the bank, no matter how deep it is. That's our only
chance. And try to keep together."
All they saw of the universe was, in front of them,
a place faintly luminous near their feet, but fading in
six yards to the darkness of a dungeon. This repre-
sented the bright white road of the day time. It had
no end. Coleman had thought that he could tell
from the very feel of the air some of the landmarks of
his daytime journey, but he had now no sense of
location at all. He would not have denied that he
was squirming on his belly like a worm through black
They went on and on. Visions of his past were sweeping
through Coleman's mind precisely as they are said to sweep
through the mind of a drowning person. But he had no regret
for any bad deeds; he regretted merely distant hours of peace
and protection. He was no longer a hero going to rescue his
love. He was a slave making a gasping attempt to escape
from the most incredible tyranny of circumstances. He half
vowed to himself that if the God whom he had in no wise
heeded, would permit him to crawl out of this slavery he would
never again venture a yard toward a danger any greater than
may be incurred from the police of a most proper metropolis. If
his juvenile and uplifting thoughts of other days had
reproached him he would simply have repeated and repeated:
"Adventure be damned."
It became known to them that the horse had to be led. The
debased creature was asserting its right to do as it had been
trained, to follow its customs; it was asserting this right during
a situation which required conduct superior to all training and
custom. It was so grossly conventional that Coleman would
have understood that demoniac form of anger which sometimes
leads men to jab knives into warm bodies. Coleman from
cowardice tried to induce the dragoman to go ahead leading the
horse, and the dragoman from cowardice tried to induce
Coleman to go ahead leading the horse. Coleman of course
had to succumb. The dragoman was only good to walk behind
and tearfully whisper maledictions as he prodded the flanks of
their tranquil beast.
In the absolute black of the frequent forests, Coleman could
not see his feet and he often felt like a man walking forward to
fall at any moment down a thousand yards of chasm. He heard
whispers; he saw skulking figures, and these frights turned out to be the
voice of a little trickle of water or the effects of wind among the
leaves, but they were replaced by the same terrors in slightly
Then the poignant thing interpolated. A volley crashed
ahead of them some half of a mile away and another volley
answered from a still nearer point. Swishing noises which the
correspondent had heard in the air he now know to have been
from the passing of bullets. He and the dragoman came stock
still. They heard three other volleys sounding with the abrupt
clamour of a hail of little stones upon a hollow surface. Coleman
and the dragoman came close together and looked into the
whites of each other's eyes. The ghastly horse at that moment
stretched down his neck and began placidly to pluck the grass
at the roadside. The two men were equally blank with fear and
each seemed to seek in the other some newly rampant manhood
upon which he could lean at this time. Behind them were the
Turks. In front of them was a fight in the darkness. In front it
was mathematic to suppose in fact were also the Turks. They
were barred; enclosed; cut off. The end was come.
Even at that moment they heard from behind them the sound
of slow, stealthy footsteps. They both wheeled instantly,
choking with this additional terror. Coleman saw the dragoman
move swiftly to the side of the road, ready to jump into
whatever abyss happened to be there. Coleman still gripped the halter
as if it were in truth a straw. The stealthy footsteps
were much nearer. Then it was that an insanity came
upon him as if fear had flamed up within him until it
gave him all the magnificent desperation of a madman.
He jerked the grey horse broadside to the approaching
mystery, and grabbing out his revolver
aimed it from the top of his improvised bulwark. He
hailed the darkness.
"Halt. Who's there?" He had expected his voice to sound like
a groan, but instead it happened to sound clear, stern,
commanding, like the voice of a young sentry at an
encampment of volunteers. He did not seem to have any
privilege of selection as to the words. They were born of
He waited then, blanched and hopeless, for death to wing
out of the darkness and strike him down. He heard a voice. The
voice said: " Do you speak English? " For one or two seconds
he could not even understand English, and then the great fact
swelled up and within him. This voice with all its new quavers
was still undoubtedly the voice of Prof. Harrison B.Wainwright
of Washurst College
A CHANGE flashed over Coleman as if it had come from an
electric storage. He had known the professor long, but he had
never before heard a quaver in his voice, and it was this little
quaver that seemed to impel him to supreme disregard of the
dangers which he looked upon as being the final dangers. His
own voice had not quavered.
When he spoke, he spoke in a low tone, it was the voice of
the master of the situation. He could hear his dupes fluttering
there in the darkness. " Yes," he said, " I speak English. There
is some danger. Stay where you are and make no noise." He
was as cool as an iced drink. To be sure the circumstances had
in no wise changed as to his personal danger, but beyond the
important fact that there were now others to endure it with him,
he seemed able to forget it in a strange, unauthorized sense of
victory. It came from the professor's quavers.
Meanwhile he had forgotten the dragoman, but he recalled
him in time to bid him wait. Then, as well concealed as a monk
hiding in his cowl, he tip-toed back into a group of people who
knew him intimately.
He discerned two women mounted on little horses and about
them were dim men. He could hear them breathing hard. " It is
all right" he began smoothly. "You only need to be very careful—-"
Suddenly out of the blackness projected a half
phosphorescent face. It was the face of the little professor. He
stammered. " We-we-do you really speak English? " Coleman in
his feeling of superb triumph could almost have laughed. His
nerves were as steady as hemp, but he was in haste and his
haste allowed him to administer rebuke to his old professor.
" Didn't you hear me ? " he hissed through his tightening lips.
" They are fighting just ahead of us on the road and if you want
to save yourselves don't waste time."
Another face loomed faintly like a mask painted in dark grey.
It belonged to Coke, and it was a mask figured in profound
stupefaction. The lips opened and tensely breathed out the
name: " Coleman." Instantly the correspondent felt about him
that kind of a tumult which tries to suppress itself. He knew that
it was the most theatric moment of his life. He glanced quickly
toward the two figures on horseback. He believed that one was
making foolish gesticulation while the other sat rigid and silent.
This latter one he knew to be Marjory. He was content that she
did not move. Only a woman who was glad he had come but did
not care for him would have moved. This applied directly to
what he thought he knew of Marjory's nature.
There was confusion among the students, but Coleman
suppressed it as in such situation might a centurion. " S-s-steady! "
He seized the arm of the professor and drew him
forcibly close. " The condition is this," he whispered rapidly.
"We are in a fix with this fight on up the road. I was sent after
you, but I can't get you into the Greek lines to-night. Mrs.Wainwright
and Marjory must dismount and I and
my man will take the horses on and hide them. All
the rest of you must go up about a hundred feet into
the woods and hide. When I come back, I'll hail you
and you answer low." The professor was like pulp in
his grasp. He choked out the word "Coleman" in
agony and wonder, but he obeyed with a palpable
gratitude. Coleman sprang to the side of the shadowy
figure of Marjory. " Come," he said authoritatively.
She laid in his palm a little icy cold hand and dropped
from her horse. He had an impulse to cling to the
small fingers, but he loosened them immediately, im-
parting to his manner, as well as the darkness per-
mitted him, a kind of casual politeness as if he were
too intent upon the business in hand. He bunched
the crowd and pushed them into the wood. Then he
and the dragoman took the horses a hundred yards
onward and tethered them. No one would care if
they were stolen; the great point was to get them
where their noise would have no power of revealing the whole
party. There had been no further firing.
After he had tied the little grey horse to a tree he
unroped his luggage and carried the most of it back
to the point where the others had left the road. He
called out cautiously and received a sibilant answer.
He and the dragoman bunted among the trees until
they came to where a forlorn company was seated
awaiting them lifting their faces like frogs out of a
pond. His first question did not give them any
assurance. He said at once: "Are any of you
armed?" Unanimously they lowly breathed: "No."
He searched them out one by one and finally sank
down by the professor. He kept sort of a hypnotic
handcuff upon the dragoman, because he foresaw that
this man was really going to be the key to the best
means of escape. To a large neutral party wandering
between hostile lines there was technically no danger,
but actually there was a great deal. Both armies had
too many irregulars, lawless hillsmen come out to
fight in their own way, and if they were encountered
in the dead of night on such hazardous ground the
Greek hillsmen with their white cross on a blue field
would be precisely as dangerous as the blood-hungry
Albanians. Coleman knew that the rational way was
to reach the Greek lines, and he had no intention of
reaching the Greek lines without a tongue, and the
only tongue was in the mouth of the dragoman. He
was correct in thinking that the professor's deep knowledge of
the ancient language would give him small clue to the speech
of the modern Greek.
As he settled himself by the professor the band of students,
eight in number pushed their faces close.
He did not see any reason for speaking. There were thirty
seconds of deep silence in which he felt that all were bending to
hearken to his words of counsel The professor huskily broke
the stillness. Well * * * what are we to do now? "
Coleman was decisive, indeed absolute. "We'll stay here until
daylight unless you care to get shot."
" All right," answered the professor. He turned and made a
useless remark to his flock. " Stay here."
Coleman asked civilly, " Have you had anything to eat?
Have you got anything to wrap around you ? "
" We have absolutely nothing," answered the professor. "
Our servants ran away and * * and then we left everything
behind us * * and I've never been in such a position in my life."
Coleman moved softly in the darkness and unbuckled some
of his traps. On his knee he broke the hard cakes of bread and
with his fingers he broke the little tablets of chocolate. These
he distributed to his people. And at this time he felt fully the
appreciation of the conduct of the eight American college
students They had not yet said a word-with the
exception of the bewildered exclamation from Coke. They all
knew him well. In any circumstance of life which as far as he
truly believed, they had yet encountered, they would have
been privileged to accost him in every form of their remarkable
vocabulary. They were as new to this game as, would have
been eight newly-caught Apache Indians if such were set to
run the elevators in the Tract Society Building. He could see
their eyes gazing at him anxiously and he could hear their deep-
drawn breaths. But they said no word. He knew that they were
looking upon him as their leader, almost as their saviour, and he
knew also that they were going to follow him without a murmur
in the conviction that he knew ten-fold more than they knew. It
occurred to him that his position was ludicrously false, but,
anyhow, he was glad. Surely it would be a very easy thing to
lead them to safety in the morning and he foresaw the credit
which would come to him. He concluded that it was beneath his
dignity as preserver to vouchsafe them many words. His
business was to be the cold, masterful, enigmatic man. It might
be said that these reflections were only half-thoughts in his
mind. Meanwhile a section of his intellect was flying hither and
thither, speculating upon the Circassian cavalry and the
Albanian guerillas and even the Greek outposts.
He unbuckled his blanket roll and taking one blanket placed
it about the shoulders of the shadow which was
Mrs.Wainwright. The shadow protested incoherently,. hut he
muttered "Oh that's all right." Then he took his other blanket
and went to the shadow which was
Marjory. It was something like putting a wrap about the
shoulders of a statue. He was base enough to linger in the
hopes that he could detect some slight trembling but as far as
lie knew she was of stone. His macintosh he folded around the
body of the professor amid quite senile protest, so senile that
the professor seemed suddenly proven to him as an old, old man, a fact
which had never occurred to Washurst or her children. Then he went
to the dragoman and pre-empted half of his blankets, The
dragoman grunted but Coleman It would not do to have this dragoman
develop a luxurious temperament when eight American college
students were, without speech, shivering in the cold night.
Coleman really begun to ruminate upon his glory, but he
found that he could not do this well without Smoking, so he
crept away some distance from this fireless, encampment, and
bending his face to the ground at the foot of a tree he struck a
match and lit a cigar. His retun to the others would have been
somewhat in the manner of coolness as displayed on the stage
if he had not been prevented by the necessity of making no
noise. He saw regarding him as before the dimly visible eyes of
the eight students and Marjory and her father and mother.
Then he whispered the conventional words. " Go to sleep if you can.
You'll need your strength in the morning. I and this man here will keep
watch." Three of the college students of course crawled up to
him and each said: " I'll keep watch, old man."
" No. We'll keep watch. You people try to sleep."
He deemed that it might be better to yield the dragoman his
blanket, and So he got up and leaned against a tree, holding his
hand to cover the brilliant point of his cigar. He knew perfectly
well that none of them could sleep. But he stood there
somewhat like a sentry without the attitude, but with all the
effect of responsibility.
He had no doubt but what escape to civilisation would be
easy, but anyhow his heroism should be preserved. He was the
rescuer. His thoughts of Marjory were somewhat in a puzzle.
The meeting had placed him in such a position that he had
expected a lot of condescension on his own part. Instead she
had exhibited about as much recognition of him as would a
stone fountain on his grandfather's place in Connecticut. This
in his opinion was not the way to greet the knight who had
come to the rescue of his lady. He had not expected it so to
happen. In fact from Athens to this place he had engaged
himself with imagery of possible meetings. He was vexed,
certainly, but, far beyond that, he knew a deeper adminiration
for this girl. To him she represented the sex, and so the
sex as embodied in her seemed a mystery to be feared. He
wondered if safety came on the morrow he would not surrender
to this feminine invulnerability. She had not done anything that
he had expected of her and so inasmuch as he loved her he
loved her more. It was bewitching. He half considered himself a
fool. But at any rate he thought resentfully she should be
thankful to him for having rendered her a great service.
However, when he came to consider this proposition he knew
that on a basis of absolute manly endeavour he had rendered
her little or no service.
The night was long.
COLEMAN suddenly found himself looking upon his pallid
dragoman. He saw that he had been asleep crouched at the foot
of the tree. Without any exchange of speech at all he knew
there had been alarming noises. Then shots sounded from
nearby. Some were from rifles aimed in that direction and some
were from rifles opposed to them. This was distinguishable to
the experienced man, but all that Coleman knew was that the
conditions of danger were now triplicated. Unconsciously he
stretched his hands in supplication over his charges. "Don't
move! Don't move! And keep close to the ground!" All heeded
him but Marjory. She still sat straight. He himself was on his
feet, but he now knew the sound of bullets, and he knew that
no bullets had spun through the trees. He could not see her
distinctly, but it was known to him in some way that she was
mutinous. He leaned toward her and spoke as harshly as
possible. "Marjory, get down! " She wavered for a moment as if
resolved to defy him. As he turned again to peer in the direction
of the firing it went through his mind that she must love him
very much indeed. He was assured of it.
It must have been some small outpour between nervous
pickets and eager hillsmen, for it ended in a moment. The party
waited in abasement for what seemed to them a time, and the
blue dawn began, to laggardly shift the night as they waited.
The dawn itself seemed prodigiously long in arriving at
anything like discernible landscape. When this was
consummated, Coleman, in somewhat the manner of the father
of a church, dealt bits of chocolate out to the others. He had
already taken the precaution to confer with the dragoman, so he
said : " Well, come ahead. We'll make a try for it." They arose at
his bidding and followed him to the road. It was the same broad,
white road, only that the white was in the dawning something
like the grey of a veil. It took some courage to venture upon this
thoroughfare, but Coleman stepped out-after looking quickly in
both directions. The party tramped to where the horses had
been left, and there they were found without change of a rope.
Coleman rejoiced to see that his dragoman now followed him in
the way of a good lieutenant. They both dashed in among the
trees and had the horses out into the road in a twinkle. When
Coleman turned to direct that utterly subservient, group he
knew that his face was drawn from hardship and anxiety, but he
saw everywhere the same style of face with the exception of the
face of Marjory, who looked simply of lovely marble. He
noted with a curious satisfaction, as if the thing was a tribute to
himself, that his macintosh was over the professor's shoulder,
that Marjory and her mother were each carrying a blanket, and
that, the corps of students had dutifully brought all the traps
which his dragoman had forgotten. It was grand.
He addressed them to say: " Now, approaching outposts is
very dangerous business at this time in the morning. So my
man, who can talk both Greek and Turkish, will go ahead forty
yards, and I will follow somewhere between him and you. Try
not to crowd forward."
He directed the ladies upon their horses and placed the
professor upon the little grey nag. Then they took up their line
of march. The dragoman had looked somewhat dubiously upon
this plan of having him go forty yards in advance, but he had
the utmost confidence in this new Coleman, whom yesterday he
had not known. Besides, he himself was a very gallant man
indeed, and it befitted him to take the post of danger before the
eyes of all these foreigners. In his new position he was as
proud and unreasonable as a rooster. He was continually
turning his head to scowl back at them, when only the clank of
hoofs was sounding. An impenetrable mist lay on the valley
and the hill-tops were shrouded. As for the people, they were
like mice. Coleman paid no attention to the Wainwright party,
but walked steadily along near the dragoman.
Perhaps the whole thing was a trifle absurd, but to a great
percentage, of the party it was terrible. For instance, those
eight boys, fresh from a school, could in no wise gauge the
dimensions. And if this was true of the students, it was more
distinctly true of Marjory and her mother. As for the professor,
he seemed Weighted to the earth by his love and his
Suddenly the dragoman wheeled and made demoniac signs.
Coleman half-turned to survey the main body, and then paid
his attention swiftly to the front. The white road sped to the top
of a hill where it seemed to make a rotund swing into oblivion.
The top of the curve was framed in foliage, and therein was a
horseman. He had his carbine slanted on his thigh, and his
bridle-reins taut. Upon sight of them he immediately wheeled
and galloped down the other slope and vanished.
The dragoman was throwing wild gestures into the air. As
Coleman looked back at the Wainwright party he saw plainly
that to an ordinary eye they might easily appear as a strong
advance of troops. The peculiar light would emphasize such
theory. The dragoman ran to him jubilantly, but he contained
now a form of intelligence which caused him to whisper; " That
was one Greek. That was one Greek-what do you call—sentree? "
Coleman addressed the others. He said: "It's all right. Come
ahead. That was a Greek picket. There is only one trouble now,
and that is to approach them easy-do you see-easy."
His obedient charges came forward at his word. When they
arrived at the top of this rise they saw nothing. Coleman was
very uncertain. He was not sure that this picket had not carried
with him a general alarm, and in that case there would soon
occur a certain amount of shooting. However, as far as he
understood the business, there was no way but forward.
Inasmuch as he did not indicate to the Wainwright party that he
wished them to do differently, they followed on doggedly after
him and the dragoman. He knew now that the dragoman's heart
had for the tenth time turned to dog-biscuit, so he kept abreast
of him. And soon together they walked into a cavalry outpost,
commanded by no less a person than the dashing young
captain, who came laughing out to meet them.
Suddenly losing all colour of war, the condition was now
such as might occur in a drawing room. Coleman felt the
importance of establishing highly conventional relations
between the captain and the Wainwright party. To compass
this he first seized his dragoman, and the dragoman,
enlightened immediately, spun a series of lies which must have
led the captain to believe that the entire heart of the American
republic had been taken out of that western continent and
transported to Greece. Coleman was proud of the captain, The
latter immediately went and bowed in the manner of the French
school and asked everybody to have a cup of coffee, although
acceptation would have proved his ruin and disgrace. Coleman
refused in the name of courtesy. He called his party forward,
and now they proceeded merely as one crowd. Marjory had
dismounted in the meantime.
The moment was come. Coleman felt it. The first rush was
from the students. Immediately he was buried in a thrashing
mob of them. "Good boy! Good boy! Great man! Oh, isn't he a
peach? How did he do it? He came in strong at the finish ! Good
boy, Coleman!" Through this mist of glowing youthful
congratulatioin he saw the professor standing at the outskirts
with direct formal thanks already moving on his lips, while near
him his wife wept joyfully. Marjory was evidently enduring
some inscrutable emotion.
After all, it did penetrate his mind that it was indecent to
accept all this wild gratitude, but there was built within him no
intention of positively declaring himself lacking in all credit, or
at least, lacking in all credit in the way their praises defined it.
In truth he had assisted them, but he had been at the time
largely engaged in assisting himself, and their coming had been
more of a boon to his loneliness than an addition to his care.
However, he soon had no difficulty in
making his conscience appropriate every line in these hymns
sung in his honour. The students, curiously wise of men,
thought his conduct quite perfect. " Oh, say, come off ! " he
protested. " Why, I didn't do anything. You fellows are crazy.
You would have gotten in all right by yourselves. Don't act like
As soon as the professor had opportunity he came to
Coleman. He was a changed little man, and his extraordinary
bewilderment showed in his face. It was the disillusion and
amazement of a stubborn mind that had gone implacably in its
one direction and found in the end that the direction was all
wrong, and that really a certain mental machine had not been
infallible. Coleman remembered what the American minister in
Athens had described of his protests against the starting of the
professor's party on this journey, and of the complete refusal of
the professor to recognise any value in the advice. And here
now was the consequent defeat. It was mirrored in the
professor's astonished eyes. Coleman went directly to his dazed
old teacher. " Well, you're out of it now, professor," he said
warmly. " I congratulate you on your escape, sir." The
professor looked at him, helpless to express himself, but the
correspondent was at that time suddenly enveloped in the
hysterical gratitude of Mrs. Wainwright, who hurled herself
upon him with extravagant manifestations. Coleman played his
part with skill. To both the professor and Mrs. Wainwright his
manner was a combination of modestly filial affection and a
pretentious disavowal of his having done anything at all. It
seemed to charm everybody but Marjory. It irritated him to see
that she was apparently incapable of acknowledging that he was a
He was actually compelled to go to her and offer
congratulations upon her escape, as he had congratulated the
If his manner to her parents had been filial, his manner to her
was parental. " Well, Marjory," he said kindly, "you have been
in considerable danger. I suppose you're glad to be through
with it." She at that time made no reply, but by her casual turn
he knew that he was expected to walk along by her side. The
others knew it, too, and the rest of the party left them free to
walk side by side in the rear.
" This is a beautiful country here-abouts if one gets a good
chance to see it," he remarked. Then he added: "But I suppose
you had a view of it when you were going out to Nikopolis? "
She answered in muffled tones. "Yes, we thought it very
Did you note those streams from the mountains " That
seemed to me the purest water I'd ever seen, but I bet it would
make one ill to drink it. There is, you know, a prominent
German chemist who has almost proven
that really pure water is practical poison to the human
"Yes ? " she said.
There was a period of silence, during which he was perfectly
comfortable because he knew that she was ill at ease. If the
silence was awkward, she was suffering from it. As for himself,
he had no inclination to break it. His position was, as far as the
entire Wainwright party was concerned, a place where he could
afford to wait. She turned to him at last. "Of course, I know
how much you have done for us, and I want you to feel that we
all appreciate it deeply-deeply." There was discernible to the ear
a certain note of desperation.
" Oh, not at all," he said generously. " Not at all. I didn't do
anything. It was quite an accident. Don't let that trouble you
for a moment."
"Well, of course you would say that," she said more
steadily. " But I-we-we know how good and how-brave it was
in you to come for us, and I—we must never forget it."
As a matter of fact," replied Coleman, with an appearance
of ingenuous candor, " I was sent out here by the Eclipse to
find you people, and of course I worked rather hard to reach
you, but the final meeting was purely accidental and does not
redound to my credit in the least."
As he had anticipated, Marjory shot him a little glance of
disbelief. " Of course you would say that," she repeated with
gloomy but flattering conviction.
" Oh, if I had been a great hero," he said smiling, "no doubt
I would have kept up this same manner which now sets so well
upon me, but I am telling you the truth when I say that I had no
part in your rescue at all."
She became slightly indignant. " Oh, if you care to tell us
constantly that you were of no service to us, I don't see what
we can do but continue to declare that you were."
Suddenly he felt vulgar. He spoke to her this time with real
meaning. " I beg of 'you never to mention it again. That will be
the best way."
But to this she would not accede. "No, we will often want to
speak of it."
He replied "How do you like Greece? Don't you think that
some of these ruins are rather out of shape in the popular
mind? Now, for my part, I would rather look at a good strong
finish at a horserace than to see ten thousand Parthenons in a
She was immediately in the position of defending him from
himself. "You would rather see no such thing. You shouldn't
talk in that utterly trivial way. I like the Parthenon, of course,
but I can't think of it now because my head. is too full of my
escape from where I was so-so frightened."
Coleman grinned. " Were you really frightened?"
" Naturally," she answered. " I suppose I was more
frightened for mother and father, but I was frightened enough
for myself. It was not-not a nice thing."
"No, it wasn't," said Coleman. "I could hardly believe my
senses, when the minister at Athens told me that, you all had
ventured into such a trap, and there is no doubt but what you
can be glad that you are well out of it."
She seemed to have some struggle with herself and then
she deliberately said: "Thanks to you."
Coleman embarked on what he intended to make a series of
high-minded protests. " Not at all-" but at that moment the
dragoman whirled back from the van-guard with a great
collection of the difficulties which had been gathering upon
him. Coleman was obliged to resign Marjory and again take up
the active leadership. He disposed of the dragoman's
difficulties mainly by declaring that they were not difficulties at
all. He had learned that this was the way to deal with dragomen.
The fog had already lifted from the valley and, as they
passed along the wooded mountain-side the fragrance of
leaves and earth came to them. Ahead, along the hooded road,
they could see the blue clad figures of Greek infantrymen.
Finally they passed an encampment of a battalion whose line
was at a right angle to the highway. A hundred yards in advance was the
bridge across the Louros river. And there a battery of artillery
was encamped. The dragoman became involved in all sorts of
discussions with other Greeks, but Coleman stuck to his elbow
and stifled all aimless oration. The Wainwright party waited for
them in the rear in an observant but patient group.
Across a plain, the hills directly behind Arta loomed up
showing the straight yellow scar of a modern entrenchment. To
the north of Arta were some grey mountains with a dimly
marked road winding to the summit. On one side of this road
were two shadows. It took a moment for the eye to find these
shadows, but when this was accomplished it was plain that
they were men. The captain of the battery explained to the
dragoman that he did not know that they were not also Turks.
In which case the road to Arta was a dangerous path. It was no
good news to Coleman. He waited a moment in order to gain
composure and then walked back to the Wainwright party.
They must have known at once from his peculiar gravity that all
was not well. Five of the students and the professor
immediately asked: "What is it?"
He had at first some old-fashioned idea of concealing the ill
tidings from the ladies, but he perceived what flagrant nonsense
this would be in circumstances in which all were fairly likely to
incur equal dangers, and at any rate he did not see his way clear
to allow their imagination to run riot over a situation which might not
turn out to be too bad. He said slowly: " You see those
mountains over there? Well, troops have been seen there and
the captain of this battery thinks they are Turks. If they are
Turks the road to Arta is distinctly-er-unsafe."
This new blow first affected the Wainwright party as being
too much to endure. " They thought they had gone through
enough. This was a general sentiment. Afterward the emotion
took colour according to the individual character. One student
laughed and said: " Well, I see our finish."
Another student piped out: " How do they know they are
Turks? What makes them think they are Turks "
Another student expressed himself with a sigh. "This is a
long way from the Bowery."
The professor said nothing but looked annihilated; Mrs.
Wainwright wept profoundly; Marjory looked expectantly
As for the correspondent he was adamantine and reliable
and stern, for he had not the slightest idea that those men on
the distant hill were Turks at all.
"OH," said a student, " this game ought to quit. I feel like
thirty cents. We didn't come out here to be pursued about the
country by these Turks. Why don't they stop it ?"
Coleman was remarking: "Really, the only sensible thing to
do now is to have breakfast. There is no use in worrying
ourselves silly over this thing until we've got to."
They spread the blankets on the ground and sat about a
feast of bread, water cress and tinned beef. Coleman was the
real host, but he contrived to make the professor appear as that
honourable person. They ate, casting their eyes from time to
time at the distant mountain with its two shadows. People
began to fly down the road from Jannina, peasants hurriedly
driving little flocks, women and children on donkeys and little
horses which they clubbed unceasingly. One man rode at a
gallop, shrieking and flailing his arms in the air. They were all
Christian peasants of Turkey, but they were in flight now
because they did not wish to be at home if the Turk was going
to return and reap revenge for his mortification. The
Wainwright party looked at Coleman in abrupt questioning.
"Oh, it's all right," he said, easily. "They are always taking on
Suddenly the dragoman gave a shout and dashed up the
road to the scene of a melee where a little ratfaced groom was
vociferously defending three horses from some Greek officers,
who as vociferously were stating their right to requisition them.
Coleman ran after his dragoman. There was a sickening pow-wow,
but in the end Coleman, straight and easy in the saddle,
came cantering back on a superb open-mouthed snorting bay
horse. He did not mind if the half-wild animal plunged crazily. It
was part of his role. "They were trying to steal my horses," he
explained. He leaped to the ground, and holding the horse by
the bridle, he addressed his admiring companions. " The groom-
the man who has charge of the horses -says that he thinks that
the people on the mountain-side are Turks, but I don't see how
that is possible. You see-" he pointed wisely-" that road leads
directly south to Arta, and it is hardly possible that the Greek
army would come over here and leave that approach to Arta
utterly unguarded. It would be too foolish. They must have left
some men to cover it, and that is certainly what those troops
are. If you are all ready and willing, I don't see anything to do
but make a good, stout-hearted dash for Arta. It would be no
more dangerous than to sit here."
The professor was at last able to make his formal
speech. " Mr. Coleman," he said distinctly, "we place ourselves
entirely in your hands." It was some. how pitiful. This man who,
for years and years had reigned in a little college town almost
as a monarch, passing judgment with the air of one who words
the law, dealing criticism upon the universe as one to whom all
things are plain, publicly disdaining defeat as one to whom all
things are easy-this man was now veritably appealing to
Coleman to save his wife, his daughter and himself, and really
declared himself de. pendent for safety upon the ingenuity and
courage of the correspondent.
The attitude of the students was utterly indifferent. They did
not consider themselves helpless at all. they were evidently
quite ready to withstand anything but they looked frankly up to
Coleman as their intelligent leader. If they suffered any, their
only expression of it was in the simple grim slang of their
" I wish I was at Coney Island."
" This is not so bad as trigonometry, but it's worse than
playing billiards for the beers."
And Coke said privately to Coleman: " Say, what in hell are
these two damn peoples fighting for, anyhow? "
When he saw that all opinions were in favour of following
him loyally, Coleman was impelled to feel a responsibility. He
was now no errant rescuer, but a properly elected leader
of fellow beings in distress. While one
of the students held his horse, he took the dragoman for
another consultation with the captain of the battery. The officer
was sitting on a large stone, with his eyes fixed into his field
glasses. When again questioned he could give no satisfaction
as to the identity of the troops on the distant mountain. He
merely shrugged his shoulders and said that if they were Greeks
it was very good, but if they were Turks it was very bad. He
seemed more occupied in trying to impress the correspondent
that it was a matter of soldierly indifference to himself.
Coleman, after loathing him sufficiently in silence, returned to
the others and said: " Well, we'll chance it."
They looked to him to arrange the caravan. Speaking to the
men of the party he said: " Of course, any one of you is
welcome to my horse if you can ride it, but-if you're not too
tired-I think I had myself better ride, so that I can go ahead at
His manner was so fine as he said this that the students
seemed fairly to worship him. Of course it had been most
improbable that any of them could have ridden that volcanic
animal even if one of them had tried it.
He saw Mrs. Wainwright and Marjory upon the backs of
their two little natives, and hoisted the professor into the
saddle of the groom's horse, leaving instructions with the
servant to lead the animal always and carefully. He and the dragoman
then mounted at the head of the procession, and amid curious
questionings from the soldiery they crossed the bridge and
started on the trail to Arta. The rear was brought up by the
little grey horse with the luggage, led by one student and flogged
Coleman, checking with difficulty the battling disposition of
his horse, was very uneasy in his mind because the last words
of the captain of the battery had made him feel that perhaps on
this ride he would be placed in a position where only the best
courage would count, and he did not see his way clear to
feeling very confident about his conduct in such a case.
Looking back upon the caravan, he saw it as a most unwieldy
thing, not even capable of running away. He hurried it with
sudden, sharp contemptuous phrases.
On the. march there incidentally flashed upon him a new
truth. More than half of that student band were deeply in love
with Marjory. Of course, when he had been distant from her he
had had an eternal jealous reflection to that effect. It was natural
that he should have thought of the intimate camping relations
between Marjory and these young students with a great deal of
bitterness, grinding his teeth when picturing their opportunities
to make Marjory fall in love with some one of them. He had
raged particularly about Coke, whose father had millions of
dollars. But he had forgotten all these jealousies in the general
splendour of his exploits. Now, when he saw the truth, it
seemed. to bring him back to his common life and he saw himself suddenly
as not being frantically superior in any way to those other
young men. The more closely he looked at this
last fact, the more convinced he was of its truth. He seemed to
see that he had been impropererly elated over
his services to the Wainwrights, and that, in
the end, the girl might fancy a man because the man had done
her no service at all. He saw his proud position lower itself to
be a pawn in the game. Looking back over the students, he
wondered which one Marjory might love. This hideous
Nikopolis had given eight men chance to win her. His scorn and
his malice quite centered upon Coke, for he could never
forget that the man's father had millions of dollars. The
unfortunate Coke chose that moment to address him
querulously : "Look here, Coleman, can't you tell us how far it is
to Arta ? "
"Coke," said Coleman, " I don't suppose you take me for a
tourist agency, but if you can only try to distinguish between
me and a map with the scale of miles printed in the lower left-
hand corner, you will not contribute so much to the sufferings
of the party which you now adorn."
The students within hearing guffawed and Coke retired, in
The march was not rapid. Coleman almost wore
out his arms holding in check his impetuous horse. Often the
caravan floundered through mud, while at the same time a hot,
yellow dust came from the north.
They were perhaps half way to Arta when Coleman decided
that a rest and luncheon were the things to be considered. He
halted his troop then in the shade of some great trees, and
privately he bade his dragoman prepare the best feast which
could come out of those saddle-bags fresh from Athens. The
result was rather gorgeous in the eyes of the poor wanderers.
First of all there were three knives, three forks, three spoons,
three tin cups and three tin plaies, which the entire party of
twelve used on a most amiable socialistic principle. There were
crisp, salty biscuits and olives, for which they speared in the
bottle. There was potted turkey, and potted ham, and potted
tongue, all tasting precisely alike. There were sardines and the
ordinary tinned beef, disguised sometimes with onions, carrots
and potatoes. Out of the saddle-bags came pepper and salt and
even mustard. The dragoman made coffee over a little fire of
sticks that blazed with a white light. The whole thing was
prodigal, but any philanthropist would have approved of it if he
could have seen the way in which the eight students laid into
the spread. When there came a polite remonstrance-notably from
Mrs. Wainwright-Coleman merely pointed to a large bundle
strapped back of the groom's saddle. During the coffee he was
considering how best to get the students one by one out of the sight of
the Wainwrights where he could give them good drinks of
There was an agitation on the road toward Arta. Some people
were coming on horses. He paid small heed until he heard a
thump of pausing hoofs near him, and a musical voice say: "Rufus! "
He looked up quickly, and then all present saw his eyes
really bulge. There on a fat and glossy horse sat Nora Black,
dressed in probably one of the most correct riding habits which
had ever been seen in the East. She was smiling a radiant smile,
which held the eight students simpty spell-bound. They would
have recognised her if it had not been for this apparitional
coming in the wilds of southeastern Europe. Behind her were
her people-some servants and an old lady on a very little pony.
" Well, Rufus? " she said.
Coleman made the mistake of hesitating. For a fraction of a
moment he had acted as if he were embarrassed, and was only
going to nod and say: " How d'do ?"
He arose and came forward too late. She was looking at him
with a menacing glance which meant difficulties for him if he
was not skilful. Keen as an eagle, she swept her glance over the
face and figure of Marjory. Without. further introduction, the
girls seemed to understand that they were enemies.
Despite his feeling of awkwardness, Coleman's mind
was mainly occupied by pure astonishment. "Nora Black? " he
said, as if even then he could not believe his senses. " How in
the world did you get down here ?
She was not too amiable, evidently, over his reception, and
she seemed to know perfectly that it was in her power to make
him feel extremely unpleasant. " Oh, it's not so far," she
answered. " I don't see where you come in to ask me what I'm
doing here. What are you doing here? " She lifted her eyes and
shot the half of a glance at Marjory. Into her last question she
had interjected a spirit of ownership in which he saw future
woe. It turned him cowardly. " Why, you know I was sent up
here by the paper to rescue the Wainwright party, and I've got
them. I'm taking them to Arta. But why are you here?"
" I am here," she said, giving him the most defiant of
glances, " principally to look for you."
Even the horse she rode betrayed an intention of abiding
upon that spot forever. She had made her communication with
Coleman appear to the Wainwright party as a sort of tender
Coleman looked at her with a steely eye. "Nora, you can
certainly be a devil when you choose."
" Why don't you present me to your friends? Mis,; Nora
Black, special correspondent of the New York Daylighi, if
you please. I belong to your opposition. I am your rival, Rufus,
and I draw a bigger salary-see? Funny looking gang, that.
Who is the old Johnnie in the white wig?"
"Er-where you goin'-you can't "-blundered Coleman
miserably "Aw-the army is in retreat and you must go back to-
don't you see?"
"Is it?" she agked. After a pause she added coolly: "Then I
shall go back to Arta with you and your precious Wainwrights."
GIVING Coleman another glance of subtle menace Nora
repeated: "Why don't you present me to your friends? "
Coleman had been swiftly searching the whole world for a way
clear of this unhappiness, but he knew at last that he could only
die at his guns. " Why, certainly," he said quickly, " if you
wish it." He sauntered easily back to the luncheon blanket.
"This is Miss Black of the New York Daylight and she says
that those people on the mountain are Greeks." The students
were gaping at him, and Marjory and her father sat in the same
silence. But to the relief of Coleman and to the high edification
of the students, Mrs. Wainwright cried out: " Why, is she an
American woman? " And seeing Coleman's nod of assent she
rustled to her feet and advanced hastily upon the complacent
horsewoman. " I'm delighted to see you. Who would think of
seeing an American woman way over here. Have you been here
long? Are you going on further? Oh, we've had such a dreadful
time." Coleman remained long enough to hear Nora say: "
Thank you very much, but I shan't dismount. I am going to ride
back to Arta presently."
Then he heard Mrs. Wainwright cry: " Oh, are you indeed ?
Why we, too, are going at once to Arta. We can all go
together." Coleman fled then to the bosom of the students, who
all looked at him with eyes of cynical penetration. He cast a
glance at Marjory more than fearing a glare which denoted an
implacable resolution never to forgive this thing. On the
contrary he had never seen her so content and serene. "You
have allowed your coffee to get chilled," she said
considerately. "Won't you have the man warm you some more?"
"Thanks, no," he answered with gratitude.
Nora, changing her mind, had dismounted and was coming
with Mrs. Wainwright. That worthy lady had long had a fund of
information and anecdote the sound of which neither her
husband nor her daughter would endure for a moment. Of
course the rascally students were out of the question. Here,
then, was really the first ear amiably and cheerfully open, and
she was talking at what the students called her "thirty knot
"Lost everything. Absolutely everything. Neither of us have
even a brush and comb, or a cake of soap, or enough hairpins
to hold up our hair. I'm going to take Marjory's away from her
and let her braid her hair down her back. You can imagine how
dreadful it is—-"
From time to time the cool voice of Nora sounded
without effort through this clamour. " Oh, it will be no trouble
at all. I have more than enough of everything. We can divide
Coleman broke somewhat imperiously into this feminine chat.
"Well, we must be moving, you know, " and his voice started
the men into activity. When the traps were all packed again on
the horse Coleman looked back surprised to see the three
women engaged in the most friendly discussion. The combined
parties now made a very respectable squadron. Coleman rode
off at its head without glancing behind at all. He knew that they
were following from the soft pounding of the horses hoofs on
the sod and from the mellow hum of human voices.
For a long time he did not think to look upon himself as
anything but a man much injured by circumstances. Among his
friends he could count numbers who had lived long lives
without having this peculiar class of misfortune come to them.
In fact it was so unusual a misfortune that men of the world had
not found it necessary to pass from mind to mind a perfec t
formula for dealing with it. But he soon began to consider
himself an extraordinarily lucky person inasmuch as Nora Black
had come upon him with her saddle bags packed with
inflammable substances, so to speak, and there had been as yet
only enough fire to boil coffee for luncheon. He laughed
tenderly when he thought of the innocence of Mrs.
Wainwright, but his face and back flushed with heat when lie
thought of the canniness of the eight American college students.
He heard a horse cantering up on his left side and looking he
saw Nora Black. She was beaming with satisfaction and good
nature. " Well, Rufus," she cried flippantly, " how goes it with
the gallant rescuer? You've made a hit, my boy. You are the
success of the season."
Coleman reflected upon the probable result of a direct appeal
to Nora. He knew of course that such appeals were usually idle,
but he did not consider Nora an ordinary person. His decision
was to venture it. He drew his horse close to hers. " Nora," he
said, " do you know that you are raising the very devil? "
She lifted her finely penciled eyebrows and looked at him
with the baby-stare. " How ? " she enquired.
" You know well enough," he gritted out wrathfully.
"Raising the very devil?" she asked. " How do you mean?"
She was palpably interested for his answer. She waited for his
reply for an interval, and then she asked him outright. " Rufus
Coleman do you mean that I am not a respectable woman ? "
In reality he had meant nothing of the kind, but this direct
throttling of a great question stupefied him utterly, for he saw
now that she' would probably never understand him in the
least and that she would
at any rate always pretend not to understand him and that the
more he said the more harm he manufactured. She studied him
over carefully and then wheeled her horse towards the rear with
some parting remarks. " I suppose you should attend more
strictly to your own affairs, Rufus. Instead of raising the devil I
am lending hairpins. I have seen you insult people, but I have
never seen you insult anyone quite for the whim of the thing.
Go soak your head."
Not considering it advisable to then indulge in such
immersion Coleman rode moodily onward. The hot dust
continued to sting the cheeks of the travellers and in some
places great clouds of dead leaves roared in circles about them.
All of the Wainwright party were utterly fagged. Coleman felt
his skin crackle and his throat seemed to be coated with the
white dust. He worried his dragoman as to the distance to Arta
until the dragoman lied to the point where he always declared
that Arta was only off some hundreds of yards.
At their places in the procession Mrs. Wainwright and
Marjory were animatedly talking to Nora and the old lady on
the little pony. They had at first suffered great amazement at the
voluntary presence of the old lady, but she was there really
because she knew no better. Her colossal ignorance took the
form, mainly, of a most obstreperous patriotism, and indeed she
always acted in a foreign country as if she were the
special commissioner of the President, or perhaps as a
special commissioner could not act at all. She was
very aggressive, and when any of the travelling
arrangements in Europe did not suit her ideas she was
won't to shrilly exclaim: " Well ! New York is good
enough for me." Nora, morbidly afraid that her ex-
pense bill to the Daylight would not be large enough,
had dragged her bodily off to Greece as her companion,
friend and protection. At Arta they had heard of the
grand success of the Greek army. The Turks had not
stood for a moment before that gallant and terrible
advance; no; they had scampered howling with fear
into the north. Jannina would fall-well, Jannina
would fall as soon as the Greeks arrived. There was
no doubt of it. The correspondent and her friend,
deluded and hurried by the light-hearted confidence
of the Greeks in Arta, had hastened out then on a
regular tourist's excursion to see Jannina after its
capture. Nora concealed from her friend the fact
that the editor of the Daylight particularly wished
her to see a battle so that she might write an article
on actual warfare from a woman's point of view.
With her name as a queen of comic opera, such an
article from her pen would be a burning, sensation.
Coleman had been the first to point out to Nora that instead
of going on a picnic to Jannina, she had better run back to
Arta. When the old lady heard that they had not been entirely
safe, she was furious with Nora. "The idea!" she exclaimed to
Mrs. Wainwright. "They might have caught us! They might have
caught us ! "
" Well," said Mrs. Wainwright. " I verily believe they would
have caught us if it had not been for Mr. Coleman."
" Is he the gentleman on the fine horse?"
" Yes; that's him. Oh, he has been sim-plee splendid. I
confess I was a little bit-er-surprised. He was in college under
my husband. I don't know that we thought very great things of
him, but if ever a man won golden opinions he has done so from
" Oh, that must be the Coleman who is such a great friend of
"Yes?" said Mrs. Wainwright insidiously. "Is he? I didn't
know. Of course he knows so many people." Her mind had been
suddenly illumined by the old lady and she thought
extravagantly of the arrival of Nora upon the scene. She
remained all sweetness to the old lady. "Did you know he was
here? Did you expect to meet him? I seemed such a delightful
coincidence." In truth she was being subterraneously clever.
" Oh, no; I don't think so. I didn't hear Nora mention it. Of
course she would have told me. You know, our coming to
Greece was such a surprise. Nora had an engagement in
London at the Folly Theatre in Fly by Night, but the manager
was insufferable, oh, insufferable. So, of course, Nora wouldn't
stand it a minute, and then these newspaper people came along and
asked her to go to Greece for them and she accepted. I am sure I
never expected to find us-aw-fleeing from the Turks or I
shouldn't have Come."
" Mrs. Wainwright was gasping. " You don't mean that she is—
she is Nora Black, the actress."
" Of course she is," said the old lady jubilantly.
" Why, how strange," choked Mrs. Wainwrignt. Nothing she
knew of Nora could account for her stupefaction and grief.
What happened glaringly to her was the duplicity of man.
Coleman was a ribald deceiver. He must have known and yet he
had pretended throughout that the meeting was a pure accident
She turned with a nervous impulse to sympathist with her
daughter, but despite the lovely tranquillity of the girl's face
there was something about her which forbade the mother to
meddle. Anyhow Mrs. Wainwright was sorry that she had told
nice things of Coleman's behaviour, so she said to the old lady:
" Young men of these times get a false age so quickly. We
have always thought it a great pity, about Mr. Coleman."
"Why, how so ? " asked the old lady.
"Oh, really nothing. Only, to us he seemed rather —er-
prematurely experienced or something of that kind.
The old lady did not catch the meaning of the phrase.
She seemed surprised. " Why, I've never seen any full-grown
person in this world who got experience any too
quick for his own good."
At the tail of the procession there was talk between the
two students who had in charge the little grey horse-one
to lead and one to flog. " Billie," said one, " it now
becomes necessary to lose this hobby into the hands of
some of the other fellows. Whereby we will gain
opportunity to pay homage to the great Nora. Why, you
egregious thick-head, this is the chance of a life-time. I'm
damned if I'm going to tow this beast of burden much
" You wouldn't stand a show," said Billie
pessimistically. " Look at Coleman."
" That's all right. Do you mean to say that you prefer to
continue towing pack horses in the presence of this queen
of song and the dance just because you think Coleman can
throw out his chest a little more than you. Not so. Think
of your bright and sparkling youth. There's Coke and
Pete Tounley near Marjory. We'll call 'em." Whereupon
he set up a cry. " Say, you people, we're not getting a,
salary for this. Supposin' you try for a time. It'll do you
good." When the two addressed bad halted to await the
arrival of the little grey horse, they took on glum
expressions. " You look like poisoned pups," said the
student who led the horse. " Too strong for
light work. Grab onto the halter, now, Peter, and tow.
We are going ahead to talk to Nora Black."
" Good time you'll have," answered Peter Tounley.
" Coleman is cuttin' up scandalous. You won't stand a
" What do you think of him ? " said Coke. " Seems
curious, all 'round. Do you suppose he knew she would
show up? It was nervy to—"
" Nervy to what? " asked Billie.
"Well," said Coke, " seems to me he is playing both
ends against the middle. I don't know anything about
Nora Black, but-"
The three other students expressed themselves with
conviction and in chorus. " Coleman's all right."
" Well, anyhow," continued Coke, " I don't see my way
free to admiring him introducing Nora Black to the
" He didn't," said the others, still in chorus.
" Queer game," said Peter Tounley. " He seems to
know her pretty well."
" Pretty damn well," said Billie.
"Anyhow he's a brick," said Peter Tounley. "We
mustn't forget that. Lo, I begin to feel that our Rufus is a
fly guy of many different kinds. Any play that he is in
commands my respect. He won't be hit by a chimney in
the daytime, for unto him has come much wisdom, I
don't think I'll worry."
"Is he stuck on Nora Black, do you know?" asked Billie.
" One thing is plain," replied Coke. " She has got him
somehow by the short hair and she intends him to holler
murder. Anybody can see that."
" Well, he won't holler murder," said one of them with
conviction. " I'll bet you he won't. He'll hammer the war-post
and beat the tom-tom until he drops, but he won't holler
" Old Mother Wainwright will be in his wool presently,"
quoth Peter Tounley musingly, " I could see it coming in her
eye. Somebody has given his snap away, or something."
" Aw, he had no snap," said Billie. " Couldn't you see how
rattled he was? He would have given a lac if dear Nora hadn't
"Of course," the others assented. "He was rattled."
" Looks queer. And nasty," said Coke.
" Nora herself had an axe ready for him."
They began to laugh. " If she had had an umbrella she
would have basted him over the head with it. Oh, my! He was
" Nevertheless," said Peter Tounley, " I refuse to worry over
our Rufus. When he can't take care of himself the rest of us
want to hunt cover. He is a fly guy-"
Coleman in the meantime had become aware that
the light of Mrs. Wainwright's countenance was turned from
him. The party stopped at a well, and when he offered her a
drink from his cup he thought she accepted it with scant
thanks. Marjory was still gracious, always gracious, but this did
not reassure him, because he felt there was much unfathomable
deception in it. When he turned to seek consolation in the
manner of the professor he found him as before, stunned with
surprise, and the only idea he had was to be as tractable as a
When he returned to the head of the column, Nora again
cantered forward to join him. " Well, me gay Lochinvar," she
cried, " and has your disposition improved? "
" You are very fresh," he said.
She laughed loud enough to be heard the full length of the
caravan. It was a beautiful laugh, but full of insolence and
confidence. He flashed his eyes malignantly upon her, but then
she only laughed more. She could see that he wished to
strangle her. " What a disposition ! " she said. " What a
disposition ! You are not. nearly so nice as your friends. Now,
they are charming, but you-Rufus, I wish you would get that
temper mended. Dear Rufus, do it to please me. You know you
like to please me. Don't you now, dear? "
He finally laughed. " Confound you, Nora. I would like to kill
But at his laugh she was all sunshine. It was as if she.
had been trying to taunt him into good humour with her.
"Aw, now, Rufus, don't be angry. I'll be good, Rufus.
Really, I will. Listen. I want to tell you something. Do you
know what I did? Well, you know, I never was cut out for
this business, and, back there, when you told me about the
Turks being near and all that sort of thing, I was
frightened almost to death. Really, I was. So, when
nobody was looking, I sneaked two or three little drinks
out of my flask. Two or three little drinks-"
" GOOD God!" said Coleman. "You don't Mean-"
Nora smiled rosily at him. " Oh, I'm all right," she
answered. " Don't worry about your Aunt Nora, my
precious boy. Not for a minute."
Coleman was horrified. " But you are not going to-you
are not going to-"
"Not at all, me son. Not at all," she answered.
I'm not going to prance. I'm going to be as nice as pie,
and just ride quietly along here with dear little Rufus.
Only * * you know what I can do when I get started, so
you had better be a very good boy. I might take it into my
head to say some things, you know."
Bound hand and foot at his stake, he could not even
chant his defiant torture song. It might precipitate— in fact,
he was sure it would precipitate the grand smash. But to
the very core of his soul, he for the time hated Nora
Black. He did not dare to remind her that he would
revenge himself; he dared only to dream of this revenge,
but it fairly made his thoughts flame, and deep in his
throat he was swearing an inflexible persecution of Nora
Black. The old expression of his sex came to him,
" Oh, if she were only a man ! " she had
been a man, he would have fallen upon her tooth and nail. Her
motives for all this impressed him not at all; she was simply a
witch who bound him helpless with the pwer of her femininity,
and made him eat cinders. He was so sure that his face betrayed
him that he did not dare let her see it. " Well, what are you going
to do about it ? " he asked, over his shoulder.
" 0-o-oh," she drawled, impudently. "Nothing." He could see
that she was determined not to be confessed. " I may do this or
I may do that. It all depends upon your behaviour, my dear
As they rode on, he deliberated as to the best means of
dealing with this condition. Suddenly he resolved to go with
the whole tale direct to Marjory, and to this end he half wheeled
his horse. He would reiterate that he loved her and then explain-
explain ! He groaned when he came to the word, and ceased
The cavalcade reached at last the bank of the Aracthus river,
with its lemon groves and lush grass. A battery wheeled before
them over the ancient bridge -a flight of short, broad cobbled
steps up as far as the centre of the stream and a similar flight
down to the other bank. The returning aplomb of the travellers
was well illustrated by the professor, who, upon sighting this
bridge, murmured : " Byzantine."
This was the first indication that he had still within him a power
to resume the normal.
The steep and narrow street was crowded with soldiers; the
smoky little coffee shops were a-babble with people discussing
the news from the front. None seemed to heed the remarkable
procession that wended its way to the cable office. Here
Coleman resolutely took precedence. He knew that there was
no good in expecting intelligence out of the chaotic clerks, but
he managed to get upon the wires this message :
" Eclipse, New York: Got Wainwright party; all well. Coleman."
The students had struggled to send messages to their people
in America, but they had only succeeded in deepening the
tragic boredom of the clerks.
When Coleman returned to the street he thought that he had
seldom looked upon a more moving spectacle than the
Wainwright party presented at that moment. Most of the
students were seated in a row, dejectedly, upon the kerb. The
professor and Mrs. Wainwright looked like two old pictures,
which, after an existence in a considerate gloom, had been
brought out in their tawdriness to the clear light. Hot white dust
covered everybody, and from out the grimy faces the eyes
blinked, red-fringed with sleeplessness. Desolation sat upon all,
save Marjory. She possessed some marvellous power of
looking always fresh. This quality had indeed impressed the old
lady on the little pony until she had said to Nora Black: "That
girl would look well anywhere." Nora Black had not been amiable
in her reply.
Coleman called the professor and the dragoman for a durbar.
The dragoman said: "Well, I can get one carriage, and we can
" Carriage be blowed! " said Coleman. " What these people
need is rest, sleep. You must find a place at once. These people
can't remain in the street." He spoke in anger, as if he had
previously told the dragoman and the latter had been
inattentive. The man immediately departed.
Coleman remarked that there was no course but to remain in
the street until his dragoman had found them a habitation. It
was a mournful waiting. The students sat on the kerb. Once
they whispered to Coleman, suggesting a drink, but he told
them that he knew only one cafe, the entrance of which would
be in plain sight of the rest of the party. The ladies talked
together in a group of four. Nora Black was bursting with the
fact that her servant had hired rooms in Arta on their outcoming
journey, and she wished Mrs. Wainwright and Marjory to come
to them, at least for a time, but she dared not risk a refusal, and
she felt something in Mrs. Wainwright's manner which led her
to be certain that such would be the answer to her invitation.
Coleman and the professor strolled slowly up and down the
" Well, my work is over, sir," said Coleman. " My paper told
me to find you, and, through no virtue of my own, I found you.
I am very glad of it. I don't know of anything in my life that has
given me greater pleasure."
The professor was himself again in so far as he had lost all
manner of dependence. But still he could not yet be bumptious.
" Mr. Coleman," he said, "I am placed under life-long obligation
to you. * * * I am not thinking of myself so much. * * * My wife
and daughter—-" His gratitude was so genuine that he could not
finish its expression.
" Oh, don't speak of it," said Coleman. " I really didn't do
anything at all."
The dragoman finally returned and led them all to a house
which he had rented for gold. In the great, bare, upper chamber
the students dropped wearily to the floor, while the woman of
the house took the Wainwrights to a more secluded apartment.,
As the door closed on them, Coleman turned like a flash.
" Have a drink," he said. The students arose around him like
the wave of a flood. "You bet." In the absence of changes of
clothing, ordinary food, the possibility of a bath, and in the
presence of great weariness and dust, Coleman's whisky
seemed to them a glistening luxury. Afterward they laid down
as if to sleep, but in reality they were too dirty and
too fagged to sleep. They simply lay murmuring Peter Tounley
even developed a small fever.
It was at this time that Coleman. suddenly discovered his
acute interest in the progressive troubles of his affair of the
heart had placed the business of his newspaper in the rear of
his mind. The greater part of the next hour he spent in getting
off to New York that dispatch which created so much excitement
for him later. Afterward he was free to reflect moodily upon the
ability of Nora Black to distress him. She, with her retinue, had
disappeared toward her own rooms. At dusk he went into the
street, and was edified to see Nora's dragoman dodging along in
his wake. He thought that this was simply another manifestation
of Nora's interest in his movements, and so he turned a corner,
and there pausing, waited until the dragoman spun around
directly into his arms. But it seemed that the man had a note to
deliver, and this was only his Oriental way of doing it.
The note read: " Come and dine with me to-night." It was, not
a request. It was peremptory. "All right," he said, scowling at
He did not go at once, for he wished to reflect for a time and
find if he could not evolve some weapons of his own. It seemed
to him that all the others were liberally supplied with weapons.
A clear, cold night had come upon the earth when he
signified to the lurking dragoman that he was in
readiness to depart with him to Nora's abode. They passed
finally into a dark court-yard, up a winding staircase, across an
embowered balcony, and Coleman entered alone a room where
there were lights.
His, feet were scarcely over the threshold before he
had concluded that the tigress was now going to try
some velvet purring. He noted that the arts of the
stage had not been thought too cheaply obvious for
use. Nora sat facing the door. A bit of yellow silk
had been twisted about the crude shape of the lamp,
and it made the play of light, amber-like, shadowy and
yet perfectly clear, the light which women love. She
was arrayed in a puzzling gown of that kind of Gre-
cian silk which is so docile that one can pull yards of
it through a ring. It was of the colour of new straw.
Her chin was leaned pensively upon her palm and the
light fell on a pearly rounded forearm. She was
looking at him with a pair of famous eyes, azure, per-
haps-certainly purple at times-and it may be, black
at odd moments-a pair of eyes that had made many
an honest man's heart jump if he thought they were
looking at him. It was a vision, yes, but Coleman's
cynical knowledge of drama overpowered his sense of
its beauty. He broke out brutally, in the phrases of
the American street. "Your dragoman is a rubber-neck.
If he keeps darking me I will simply have to
kick the stuffing out of him."
She was alone in the room. Her old lady had been
instructed to have a headache and send apologies. She was not
disturbed by Coleman's words. "Sit down, Rufus, and have a
cigarette, and don't be cross, because I won't stand it."
He obeyed her glumly. She had placed his chair where not a
charm of her could be lost upon an observant man. Evidently
she did not purpose to allow him to irritate her away from her
original plan. Purring was now her method, and none of his
insolence could achieve a growl from the tigress. She arose,
saying softly: "You look tired, almost ill, poor boy. I will give
you some brandy. I have almost everything that I could think to
make those Daylight people buy." With a sweep of her hand
she indicated the astonishing opulence of the possessions in
different parts of the room.
As she stood over him with the brandy there came through
the smoke of his cigarette the perfume of orris-root and violet.
A servant began to arrange the little cold dinner on a camp
table, and Coleman saw with an enthusiasm which he could not
fully master, four quart bottles of a notable brand of champagne
placed in a rank on the floor.
At dinner Nora was sisterly. She watched him, waited upon
him, treated him to an affectionate inti. macy for which he knew
a thousand men who would have hated him. The champagne
Slowly he melted. By the time that the boy came with little
cups of Turkish coffee he was at least amiable. Nora talked
dreamily. " The dragoman says this room used to be part of the
harem long ago." She shot him a watchful glance, as if she had
expected the fact to affect him. "Seems curious, doesn't it? A
harem. Fancy that." He smoked one cigar and then discarded
tobacco, for the perfume of orris-root and violet was making
him meditate. Nora talked on in a low voice. She knew that,
through half-closed lids, he was looking at her in steady
speculation. She knew that she was conquering, but no
movement of hers betrayed an elation. With the most exquisite
art she aided his contemplation, baring to him, for instance,
the glories of a statuesque neck, doing it all with the manner of
a splendid and fabulous virgin who knew not that there was
such a thing as shame. Her stockings were of black silk.
Coleman presently answered her only in monosyllable,
making small distinction between yes and no. He simply sat
watching her with eyes in which there were two little covetous
He was thinking, "To go to the devil-to go to the devil-to go
to the devil with this girl is not a bad fate-not a bad fate-not a
" Come out on the balcony," cooed Nora. "There are
some funny old storks on top of some chimneys near here
and they clatter like mad all day and night."
They moved together out to the balcony, but Nora
retreated with a little cry when she felt the coldness of the
night. She said that she would get a cloak. Coleman was
not unlike a man in a dream. He walked to the rail of the
balcony where a great vine climbed toward the roof. He
noted that it was dotted with. blossoms, which in the deep
purple of the Oriental night were coloured in strange
shades of maroon. This truth penetrated his abstraction
until when Nora came she found him staring at them as if
their colour was a revelation which affected him vitally.
She moved to his side without sound and he first knew of
her presence from the damning fragrance. She spoke just
above her breath. "It's a beautiful evening."
" Yes," he answered. She was at his shoulder. If he
moved two inches he must come in contact. They
remained in silence leaning upon the rail.
Finally he began to mutter some commonplaces which
meant nothing particularly, but into his tone as he mouthed
them was the note of a forlorn and passionate lover. Then
as if by accident he traversed the two inches and his
shoulder was against the soft and yet firm shoulder of
Nora Black. There was something in his throat at this
time which changed his voice into a mere choking noise.
She did not move. He could see her eyes glowing
innocently out of the pallour which the darkness gave to
her face. If he was touching her, she did not seem to
"I am awfully tired," said Coleman, thickly. "I think I
will go home and turn in."
" You must be, poor boy," said Nora tenderly.
"Wouldn't you like a little more of that champagne?"
" Well, I don't mind another glass."
She left him again and his galloping thought pounded to
the old refrain. " To go to the devil-to go to the devil-to go
to the devil with this girl is not a bad fate-not a bad fate-
not a bad fate." When she returned he drank his glass of
champagne. Then he mumbled: " You must be cold. Let
me put your cape around you better. It won't do to catch
cold here, you know."
She made a sweet pretence of rendering herself to his
care. " Oh, thanks * * * I am not really cold * * * There
Of course all his manipulation of the cloak had been a fervid
caress, and although her acting up to this point had remained in
the role of the splendid and fabulous virgin she now turned her
liquid eyes to his with a look that expressed knowledge, triumph
and delight. She was sure of her victory. And she said:
"Sweetheart * * * don't you think I am as nice as Marjory ?" The
impulse had been airily confident.
It was as if the silken cords had been parted by the sweep of
a sword. Coleman's face had instantly stiffened and he looked
like a man suddenly recalled to the ways of light. It may easily
have been that in a moment he would have lapsed again to his
luxurious dreaming. But in his face the girl had read a fatal
character to her blunder and her resentment against him took
precedence of any other emotion. She wheeled abruptly from
him and said with great contempt: " Rufus, you had better go
home. You're tired and sleepy, and more or less drunk."
He knew that the grand tumble of all their little embowered
incident could be neither stayed or mended. "Yes," he
answered, sulkily, "I think so too." They shook hands huffily
and he went away.
When he arrived among the students he found that they had
appropriated everything of his which would conduce to their
comfort. He was furious over it. But to his bitter speeches they
replied in jibes.
"Rufus is himself again. Admire his angelic disposition. See
him smile. Gentle soul."
A sleepy voice said from a comer: " I know what pinches
" What ? " asked several.
"He's been to see Nora and she flung him out bodily."
" Yes?" sneered Coleman. "At times I seem to
see in you, Coke, the fermentation of some primeval
form of sensation, as if it were possible for you to de-
velop a mind in two or three thousand years, and then
at other times you appear * * * much as you are
As soon as they had well measured Coleman's temper all of
the students save Coke kept their mouths tightly closed. Coke
either did not understand or his mood was too vindictive for
silence. " Well, I know you got a throw-down all right," he
"And how would you know when I got a throw down? You
pimply, milk-fed sophomore."
The others perked up their ears in mirthful appreciation of
" Of course," continued Coleman, " no one would protest
against your continued existence, Coke, unless you insist on
recalling yourself violently to people's attention in this way.
The mere fact of your living would not usually be offensive to
people if you weren't eternally turning a sort of calcium
light on your prehensile attributes."
Coke was suddenly angry, angry much like a peasant, and his
anger first evinced itself in a mere sputtering and spluttering.
Finally he got out a rather long speech, full of grumbling noises,
but he was understood by all to declare that his prehensile
attributes had not led him to cart a notorious woman about the
world with him. When they quickly looked at Coleman they saw
that he was livid. " You-"
But, of course, there immediately arose all sorts of protesting
cries from the seven non-combatants. Coleman, as he took two
strides toward Coke's corner, looked fully able to break him
across his knee, but for this Coke did not seem to care at all. He
was on his feet with a challenge in his eye. Upon each cheek
burned a sudden hectic spot. The others were clamouring, "Oh,
say, this won't do. Quit it. Oh, we mustn't have a fight. He didn't
mean it, Coleman." Peter Tounley pressed Coke to the wall
saying: " You damned young jackass, be quiet."
They were in the midst of these. festivities when a door
opened and disclosed the professor. He might. have been
coming into the middle of a row in one of the corridors of the
college at home only this time he carried a candle. His speech,
however, was a Washurst speech : " Gentlemen, gentlemen,
what does this mean ? " All seemed to expect Coleman to make
the answer. He was suddenly very cool. "Nothing, professor," he
said, " only that this-only that Coke has insulted me. I suppose
that it was only the irresponsibility of a boy, and I beg that you
will not trouble over it."
" Mr. Coke," said the professor, indignantly, " what have
you to say to this? " Evidently he could not clearly see Coke,
and he peered around his candle at where the virtuous Peter
Tounley was expostulating with the young man. The figures of
all the excited group moving in the candle light caused vast and
uncouth shadows to have conflicts in the end of the room.
Peter Tounley's task was not light, and beyond that he had
the conviction that his struggle with Coke was making him also
to appear as a rowdy. This conviction was proven to be true by
a sudden thunder from the old professor, " Mr. Tounley, desist ! "
In wrath he desisted and Coke flung himself forward. He
paid less attention to the professor than if the latter had been a
jack-rabbit. " You say I insulted you? he shouted crazily in
"Well * * * I meant to, do you see ? "
Coleman was glacial and lofty beyond everything.
"I am glad to have you admit the truth of what I have said."
Coke was, still suffocating with his peasant rage, which
would not allow him to meet the clear, calm
expressions of Coleman. "Yes * * * I insulted you * * * I insulted
you because what I said was correct * * my prehensile attributes
* * yes but I have never——"
He was interrupted by a chorus from the other students.
"Oh, no, that won't do. Don't say that. Don't repeat that, Coke."
Coleman remembered the weak bewilderment of
the little professor in hours that had not long passed,
and it was with something of an impersonal satisfac-
tion that he said to himself: " The old boy's got his
war-paint on again." The professor had stepped
sharply up to Coke and looked at him with eyes that
seemed to throw out flame and heat. There was a
moment's pause, and then the old scholar spoke, bit-
ing his words as if they were each a short section of
steel wire. " Mr. Coke, your behaviour will end your
college career abruptly and in gloom, I promise you.
You have been drinking."
Coke, his head simply floating in a sea of universal defiance,
at once blurted out: " Yes, sir."
"You have been drinking?" cried the professor, ferociously.
"Retire to your-retire to your——retire—-" And then in a voice of
thunder he shouted: "Retire."
Whereupon seven hoodlum students waited a decent
moment, then shrieked with laughter. But the old
professor would have none of their nonsense. He quelled them
all with force and finish.
Coleman now spoke a few words." Professor, I
can't tell you how sorry I am that I should be
concerned in any such riot as this, and since we are
doomed to be bound so closely into each other's
society I offer myself without reservation as being
willing to repair the damage as well as may be, done. I
don t see how I can forget at once that Coke's conduct
was insolently unwarranted, but * * * if he has anything
to sayof a nature that might heal the
breach I would be willing to to meet
him in the openest manner." As he made these re-
marks Coleman's dignity was something grand, and,
Morever, there was now upon his face that curious
look of temperance and purity which had been noted
in New York as a singular physical characteristic. If
he. was guilty of anything in this affair at all-in fact,
if he had ever at any time been guilty of anything-
no mark had come to stain that bloom of innocence.
The professor nodded in the fullest appreciation and
sympathy. " Of course * * * really there is no other
sleeping placeI suppose it would be better-"
Then he again attacked Coke. "Young man, you
have chosen an unfortunate moment to fill us with a
suspicion that you may not be a gentleman. For the
time there is nothing to be done with you." He addressed
the other students. " There is nothing for
me to do, young gentleman, but to leave Mr. Coke in your care.
Good-night, sirs. Good-night, Coleman." He left the room with
When Coke was bade to " Retire " he had, of course, simply
retreated fuming to a corner of the room where he remained
looking with yellow eyes like an animal from a cave. When the
others were able to see through the haze of mental confusion
they found that Coleman was with deliberation taking off his
boots. " Afterward, when he removed his waist-coat, he took
great care to wind his large gold watch.
The students, much subdued, lay again in their
places, and when there was any talking it was of an
extremely local nature, referring principally to the
floor As being unsuitable for beds and also referring
from time to time to a real or an alleged selfishness
on the part of some one of the recumbent men. Soon
there was only the sound of heavy breathing.
When the professor had returned to what he called the
Wainwright part of the house he was greeted instantly with the
question: "What was it?" His wife and daughter were up in
alarm. "What was it " they repeated, wildly.
He was peevish. " Oh, nothing, nothing. But that young
Coke is a regular ruffian. He had gotten him. self into some
tremendous uproar with Coleman. When I arrived he seemed
actually trying to assault him. Revolting! He had been drinking.
Coleman's behaviour, I must say, was splendid. Recognised at once the
delicacy of my position-he not being a student. If I had found
him in the wrong it would have been simpler than finding him in
the right. Confound that rascal of a Coke." Then, as he began a
partial disrobing, he treated them to grunted scrap of information.
" Coke was quite insane * * * I feared that I couldn't
control him * * * Coleman was like ice * * * and as much as I
have seen to admire in him during the last few days, this quiet
beat it all. If he had not recognised my helplessness as far as he
was concerned the whole thing might have been a most
miserable business. He is a very fine young man." The
dissenting voice to this last tribute was the voice of Mrs.
Wainwright. She said: " Well, Coleman drinks, too-everybody
" I know," responded the professor, rather bashfully, but I
am confident that he had not touched a drop." Marjory said
The earlier artillery battles had frightened most of the
furniture out of the houses of Arta, and there was left in this
room only a few old red cushions, and the Wainwrights were
camping upon the floor. Marjory was enwrapped in Coleman's
macintosh, and while the professor and his wife maintained
some low talk of the recent incident she in silence had turned
her cheek into the yellow velvet collar of the coat. She felt
something against her bosom, and putting her hand
carefully into the top pocket of the coat she found three cigars.
These she took in the darkness and laid aside, telling herself to
remember their position in the morning. She had no doubt that
Coleman: would rejoice over them, before he could get back to,
Athens where there were other good cigars.
THE ladies of the Wainwright party had not complained
at all when deprived of even such civilised advantages as a
shelter and a knife and fork and soap and water, but Mrs.
Wainwright complained bitterly amid the half-civilisation of
Arta. She could see here no excuse for the absence of several
hundred things which she had always regarded as essential to
life. She began at 8.30 A. M. to make both the professor and
Marjory woeful with an endless dissertation upon the beds in
the hotel at Athens. Of course she had not regarded them at
the time as being exceptional beds * * * that was quite true, *
* * but then one really never knew what one was really missing
until one really missed it * * * She would never have thought
that she would come to consider those Athenian beds as
excellent * * * but experience is a great teacher * * * makes-
one reflect upon the people who year in and year out have no
beds at all, poor things. * * * Well, it made one glad if one did
have a good bed, even if it was at the time on the other side of
the world. If she ever reached it she did not know what could
ever induce her to leave it again. * * * She would never be
"'Induced!'" snarled the professor. The word represented to
him a practiced feminine misusage of truth, and at such his
white warlock always arose. "" Induced!' Out of four American
women I have seen lately, you seem to be the only one who
would say that you had endured this thing because you had
been 'induced' by others to come over here. How absurd!"
Mrs. Wainwright fixed her husband with a steely eye. She
saw opportunity for a shattering retort. " You don't mean,
Harrison, to include Marjory and I in the same breath with
those two women? "
The professor saw no danger ahead for himself. He merely
answered: " I had no thought either way. It did not seem
" Well, it is important," snapped Mrs. Wainwright.
" Do you know that you are speaking in the same breath of
Marjory and Nora Black, the actress? "
" No," said the professor. " Is that so ? " He was astonished,
but he was not aghast at all. "Do you mean to say that is Nora
Black, the comic opera star ? "
" That's exactly who she is," said Mrs. Wainwright,
dramatically. " And I consider that-I consider that Rufus
Coleman has done no less than-misled us."
This last declaration seemed to have no effect upon the
professor's pure astonishment, but Marjory looked at her
mother suddenly. However, she said no word,
exhibiting again that strange and, inscrutable countenance
which masked even the tiniest of her maidenly emotions.
Mrs. Wainwright was triumphant, and she immediately set
about celebrating her victory. " Men never see those things,"
she said to her husband. " Men never see those things. You
would have gone on forever without finding out that your-your-
hospitality was, being abused by that Rufus Coleman."
The professor woke up." Hospitality ?" he said,
indignantly. " Hospitality ? I have not had any
hospitality to be abused. Why don't you talk sense?
It is not that, but-it might-" He hesitated and
then spoke slowly. " It might be very awkward. Of
course one never knows anything definite about such
people, but I suppose * * * Anyhow, it was strange
in Coleman to allow her to meet us. "
"It Was all a pre-arranged plan," announced the
triumphant Mrs. Wainwright. " She came here on putpose
to meet Rufus Coleman, and he knew it, and I should not
wonder if they had not the exact spot picked out where
they were going to meet."
"I can hardly believe that," said the professor, in distress.
"I can, hardly believe that. It does, not seem to me that
" Oh yes. Your dear Rufus Coleman," cried Mrs.
Wainwright. " You think he is very fine now. But
I can remember when you didn't think—-"
And the parents turned together an abashed look at their
daughter. The professor actually flushed with shame. It seemed
to him that he had just committed an atrocity upon the heart of
his child. The instinct of each of them was to go to her and
console her in their arms. She noted it immediately, and seemed
to fear it. She spoke in a clear and even voice. " I don't think,
father, that you should distress me by supposing that I am
concerned at all if Mr. Coleman cares to get Nora Black over
" Not at all," stuttered the professor. " I—-"
Mrs. Wainwright's consternation turned suddenly to, anger.
" He is a scapegrace. A rascal. A— a—"
" Oh," said Marjory, coolly, " I don't see why it isn't his own
affair. He didn't really present her to you, mother, you
remember? She seemed quite to force her way at first, and then
you-you did the rest. It should be very easy to avoid her, now
that we are out of the wilderness. And then it becomes a private
matter of Mr. Coleman's. For my part, I rather liked her. I don't
see such a dreadful calamity."
"Marjory!" screamed her mother. "How dreadful. Liked her!
Don't let me hear you say such shocking things."
" I fail to see anything shocking," answered Marjory,
The professor was looking helplessly from his
daughter to his wife, and from his wife to his daughter,
like a man who was convinced that his troubles
would never end. This new catastrophe created a
different kind of difficulty, but he considered that the
difficulties were as robust as had been the preceding
ones. He put on his hat and went out of the room.
He felt an impossibility of saying anything to
Coleman, but he felt that he must look upon him. He
must look upon this man and try to know from his
manner the measure of guilt. And incidentally he
longed for the machinery of a finished society which
prevents its parts from clashing, prevents it with its
great series of I law upon law, easily operative but
relentless. Here he felt as a man flung into the jungle
with his wife and daughter,
where they could become the victims of any sort of savagery.
His thought referred once more to what he considered the invaluable
services of Coleman, and as he observed them in conjunction
with the present accusation, he was simply dazed. It was then
possible that one man could play two such divergent parts. He
had not learned this at Washurst. But no; the world was not
such a bed of putrefaction. He would not believe it; he would
not believe it.
After adventures which require great nervous en. durance, it
is only upon the second or third night that the common man
sleeps hard. The students had expected to slumber like dogs on
the first night after their trials. but none slept long, And few
Coleman was the first man to arise. When he left the room
the students were just beginning to blink. He took his
dragoman among the shops and he bought there all the little
odds and ends which might go to make up the best breakfast in
Arta. If he had had news of certain talk he probably would not
have been buying breakfast for eleven people. Instead, he
would have been buying breakfast for one. During his absence
the students arose and performed their frugal toilets.
Considerable attention was paid to Coke by the others. " He
made a monkey of you," said Peter Tounley with unction. " He
twisted you until you looked like a wet, grey rag. You had
better leave this wise guy alone."
It was not the night nor was it meditation that had taught
Coke anything, but he seemed to have learned something from
the mere lapse of time. In appearance he was subdued, but he
managed to make a temporary jauntiness as he said : " Oh, I
" Well, you ought to know," said he who was called Billie.
"You ought to know. You made an egregious snark of
yourself. Indeed, you sometimes resembled a boojum. Anyhow,
you were a plain chump. You exploded your face about
something of which you knew nothing, and I'm damned if I
believe you'd make even a good retriever."
"You're a half-bred water-spaniel," blurted Peter Tounley.
"And," he added, musingly, "that is a pretty low animal."
Coke was argumentative. "Why am I? " he asked, turning his
head from side to side. " I don't see where I was so wrong."
" Oh, dances, balloons, picnics, parades and ascensions,"
they retorted, profanely. " You swam voluntarily into water that
was too deep for you. Swim out. Get dry. Here's a towel."
Coke, smitten in the face with a wet cloth rolled into a ball,
grabbed it and flung it futilely at a well-dodging
companion " No," he cried, " I don't see it. Now look here. I
don't see why we shouldn't all resent this Nora Black
One student said: "Well, what's the matter with Nora B lack,
Another student said "I don't see how you've been issued
any license to say things about Nora Black."
Another student said dubiously: " Well, he knows her well."
And then three or four spoke at once. " He was very badly
rattled when she appeared upon the scene."
Peter Tounley asked: "Well, which of you people know
anything wrong about Nora Black? "
There was a pause, and then Coke said: " Oh, of course-I
He who was called Billie then addressed his com- panions.
" It wouldn't be right to repeat any old lie about Nora Black, and
by the same token it wouldn't be right to see old Mother
Wainwright chummin' with her. There is no wisdom in going
further than that. Old Mother Wainwright don't know that her
fair companion of yesterday is the famous comic opera star. For
my part, I believe that Coleman is simply afraid to tell her. I
don't think he wished to see Nora Black yesterday any more
than he wished to see the devil. The discussion, as I
understand itconcerned itself only with what Coleman had to
do with the thing, and yesterday anybody could see that he
was in a panic."
They heard a step on the stair, and directly Coleman entered,
followed by his dragoman. They were laden with the raw
material for breakfast. The correspondent looked keenly among
the students, for it was plain that they had been talking of him.
It, filled him with rage, and for a stifling moment he could not
think why he failed to immediately decamp in chagrin and leave
eleven orphans to whatever fate. their general incompetence
might lead them. It struck him as a deep shame that even then
he and his paid man were carrying in the breakfast. He wanted
to fling it all on the floor and walk out. Then he remembered
Marjory. She was the reason. She was the reason for
But he could not repress certain, of his thoughts. "Say, you
people," he said, icily, " you had better soon learn to hustle for
yourselves. I may be a dragoman, and a butler, and a cook, and
a housemaid, but I'm blowed if I'm a wet nurse." In reality, he
had taken the most generous pleasure in working for the others
before their eyes had even been opened from sleep, but it was
now all turned to wormwood. It is certain that even this could
not have deviated this executive man from labour and
management. because these were his life. But he felt that he was
about to walk out of the room, consigning them all to Hades.
His glance of angry, reproach fastened itself mainly upon Peter
Tounley, because he knew that of all, Peter was the most
Peter, Tounley was abashed by this glance. So you've
brought us something to eat, old man. That is tremendously
nice of you-we-appreciate it like everything."
Coleman was mollified by Peter's tone. Peter had had that
emotion which is equivalent to a sense of guilt, although in
reality he was speckless. Two or three of the other students
bobbed up to a sense of the situation. They ran to Coleman,
and with polite cries took his provisions from him. One dropped
a bunch of lettuce on the floor, and others reproached him with
scholastic curses. Coke was seated near the window, half
militant, half conciliatory. It was
impossible for him to keep up a manner of deadly enmity while
Coleman was bringing in his breakfast. He would have much
preferred that Coleman had not brought in his breakfast. He
would have much preferred to have foregone breakfast
altogether. He would have much preferred anything. There
seemed to be a conspiracy of circumstance to put him in the
wrong and make him appear as a ridiculous young peasant. He
was the victim of a benefaction, and he hated Coleman harder
now than at any previous time. He saw that if he stalked out
and took his breakfast alone in a cafe, the others would
consider him still more of an outsider. Coleman had expressed
himself like a man of the world and a gentleman, and Coke was
convinced that he was a superior man of the world and a
superior gentleman, but that he simply had not had words to
express his position at the proper time. Coleman was glib.
Therefore, Coke had been the victim of an attitude as well as of
a benefaction. And so he deeply hated Coleman.
The others were talking cheerfully. "What the deuce are
these, Coleman ? Sausages? Oh, my. And look at these
burlesque fishes. Say, these Greeks don't care what they eat.
Them thar things am sardines in the crude state. No ? Great
God, look at those things. Look. What? Yes, they are.
Radishes. Greek synonym for radishes."
The professor entered. " Oh," he said apologetically,
as if he were intruding in a boudoir. All his serious desire
to probe Coleman to the bottom ended in embarrassment.
Mayhap it was not a law of feeling, but it happened at any rate.
" He had come in a puzzled frame of mind, even an accusative
frame of mind, and almost immediately he found himself suffer.
ing like a culprit before his judge. It is a phenomenon of what
we call guilt and innocence.
" Coleman welcomed him cordially. " Well, professor,
good-morning. I've rounded up some things that at least may be
" You are very good " very considerate, Mr. Coleman,"
answered the professor, hastily. " I'am sure we are much
indebted to you." He had scanned the correspondent's face,
land it had been so devoid of guile that he was fearful that his
suspicion, a base suspicion, of this noble soul would be
detected. " No, no, we can never thank you enough."
Some of the students began to caper with a sort of decorous
hilarity before their teacher. " Look at the sausage, professor.
Did you ever see such sausage " Isn't it salubrious " And see
these other things, sir. Aren't they curious " I shouldn't wonder
if they were alive. Turnips, sir? No, sir. I think they are
Pharisees. I have seen a Pharisee look like a pelican, but I have
never seen a Pharisee look like a turnip, so I think these turnips
must be Pharisees, sir, Yes, they may be walrus. We're not sure.
Anyhow, their angles are geometrically all wrong. Peter, look out."
Some green stuff was flung across the room. The professor laughed;
Coleman laughed. Despite Coke, dark-browed, sulking. and yet
desirous of reinstating himself, the room had waxed warm with
the old college feeling, the feeling of lads who seemed never to
treat anything respectfully and yet at the same time managed to
treat the real things with respect. The professor himself
contributed to their wild carouse over the strange Greek viands.
It was a vivacious moment common to this class in times of
relaxation, and it was understood perfectly.
Coke arose. " I don't see that I have any friends here," he
said, hoarsely, " and in consequence I don't see why I should
All looked at him. At the same moment Mrs. Wainwright and
Marjory entered the room.
"Good-morning," said Mrs. Wainwright jovially to the
students and then she stared at Coleman as if he were a sweep
at a wedding.
" Good-morning," said Marjory.
Coleman and the students made reply. " Good-morning.
Good-morning. Good-morning. Good-morning—"
It was curious to see this greeting, this common phrase, this
bit of old ware, this antique, come upon a dramatic scene and
pulverise it. Nothing remained but a ridiculous dust. Coke,
glowering, with his lips still trembling from heroic speech, was
an angry clown, a pantaloon in rage. Nothing was to be done to
keep him from looking like an ass. He, strode toward the door
mumbling about a walk before breakfast.
Mrs. Wainwright beamed upon him. " Why, Mr. Coke, not
before breakfast ? You surely won't have time." It was grim
punishment. He appeared to go blind, and he fairly staggered
out of the door mumbling again, mumbling thanks or apologies
or explanations. About the mouth of Coleman played a sinister
smile. The professor cast. upon his wife a glance expressing
weariness. It was as if he said " There you go again. You
can't keep your foot out of it." She understood the glance,
and so she asked blankly: "Why, What's the matter? Oh."
Her belated mind grasped that it waw an aftermath of the
quarrel of Coleman and Coke. Marjory looked as if she
was distressed in the belief that her mother had been
stupid. Coleman was outwardly serene. It was Peter
Tounley who finally laughed a cheery, healthy laugh and they
all looked at him with gratitude as if his sudden mirth had been
a real statement or recon- ciliation and consequent peace.
The dragoman and others disported themselves until a
breakfast was laid upon the floor. The adventurers squatted
upon the floor. They made a large company. The professor and
Coleman discussed the means of getting to Athens. Peter
Tounley sat next to Marjory. " Peter," she said, privately, " what
was all this trouble between Coleman and Coke ? "
Peter answered blandly: " Oh, nothing at Nothing at all."
" Well, but—" she persisted, " what was the cause of it?"
He looked at her quaintly. He was not one of those in love
with her, but be was interested in the affair. " Don't you know
? " he asked.
She understood from his manner that she had been some
kind of an issue in the quarrel. " No," she answered, hastily. " I
"Oh, I don't mean that," said Peter. "I only meant —I only
meant—oh, well, it was nothing-really."
" It must have been about something," continued Marjory.
She continued, because Peter had denied that she was
concerned in it. " Whose fault ? "
"I really don't know. It was all rather confusing," lied Peter,
Coleman and the professor decided to accept a plan of the
correspondent's dragoman to start soon on the first stage of
the journey to Athens. The dragoman had said that he had
found two large carriages rentable.
Coke, the outcast, walked alone in the narrow streets. The
flight of the crown prince's army from Larissa had just been
announced in Arta, but Coke was probably the most
woebegone object on the Greek peninsula.
He encountered a strange sight on the streets. A woman
garbed in the style for walking of an afternoon on upper
Broadway was approaching him through a mass of kilted
mountaineers and soldiers in soiled overcoats. Of course he
recognised Nora Black.
In his conviction that everybody in the world was at this
time considering him a mere worm, he was sure that she would
not heed him. Beyond that he had been presented to her notice
in but a transient and cursory fashion. But contrary to his
conviction, she turned a radiant smile upon him. " Oh," she
said, brusquely, " you are one of the students. Good
morning." In her manner was all the confidence of an old
warrior, a veteran, who addresses the universe with assurance
because of his past battles.
Coke grinned at this strange greeting. " Yes, Miss Black," he
answered, " I am one of the students."
She did not seem to quite know how to formulate her next
speech. " Er-I suppose you're going to Athens at once " You
must be glad after your horrid experiences."
" I believe they are going to start for Athens today," said
Nora was all attention. "'They ?'" she repeated.
"Aren't you going with them? "
" Well," he said, " * * Well—-"
She saw of course that there had been some kind of trouble.
She laughed. " You look as if somebody had kicked you down
stairs," she said, candidly. She at once assumed an intimate
manner toward him which was like a temporary motherhood. "
Come, walk with me and tell me all about it." There was in her
tone a most artistic suggestion that whatever had happened
she was on his side. He was not loath. The street was full of
soldiers whose tongues clattered so loudly that the two
foreigners might have been wandering in a great cave of the
winds. " Well, what was the row about ? " asked Nora. " And
who was in it? "
It would have been no solace to Coke to pour out
his tale even if it had been a story that he could have told Nora.
He was not stopped by the fact that he had gotten himself in
the quarrel because he had insulted the name of the girt at his
side. He did not think of it at that time. The whole thing was
now extremely vague in outline to him and he only had a dull
feeling of misery and loneliness. He wanted her to cheer him.
Nora laughed again. " Why, you're a regular little kid. Do
you mean to say you've come out here sulking alone because
of some nursery quarrel? " He was ruffled by her manner. It did
not contain the cheering he required. " Oh, I don't know that I'm
such a regular little kid," he said, sullenly. " The quarrel was
not a nursery quarrel."
"Why don't you challenge him to a duel? " asked Nora,
suddenly. She was watching him closely.
" Who?" said Coke.
" Coleman, you stupid," answered Nora.
They stared at each other, Coke paying her first the tribute
of astonishment and then the tribute of admiration. "Why,
how did you guess that?" he demanded.
" Oh," said Nora., " I've known Rufus Coleman for years,
and he is always rowing with people."
"That is just it," cried Coke eagerly. "That is just it.
I fairly hate the man. Almost all of the other fellows
will stand his abuse, but it riles me, I tell
you. I think he is a beast. And, of course, if you seriously
meant what you said about challenging him to a duel—I
mean if there is any sense in that sort of thing-I would
challenge Coleman. I swear I would. I think he's a great
bluffer, anyhow. Shouldn't wonder if he would back out.
Really, I shouldn't.
Nora smiled humourously at a house on her side of the
narrow way. "I wouldn't wonder if he did either " she
answered. After a time she said " Well, do you mean to
say that you have definitely shaken them? Aren't you
going back to Athens with them or anything? "
" I-I don't see how I can," he said, morosely.
" Oh," she said. She reflected for a time. At last she
turned to him archly and asked: "Some words over a
Coke looked at her blankly. He suddenly remembered
the horrible facts. " No-no-not over a lady."
" My dear boy, you are a liar," said Nora, freely. "You
are a little unskilful liar. It was some words over a lady,
and the lady's name is Marjory Wainwright."
Coke felt as though he had suddenly been let out of a
cell, but he continued a mechanical denial. "No, no * * It
wasn't truly * * upon my word * * "
"Nonsense," said Nora. " I know better. Don't you
think you can fool me, you little cub. I know
you're in love with Marjory Wainwright, and you think
Coleman is your rival. What a blockhead you are. Can't
you understand that people see these things?"
" Well-" stammered Coke.
"Nonsense," said Nora again. "Don't try to fool
me, you may as well understand that it's useless. I
am too wise."
" Well-" stammered Coke.
" Go ahead," urged Nora. " Tell me about it. Have it
He began with great importance and solemnity. "Now,
to tell you the truth * * that is why I hate him * * I hate him
like anything. * * I can't see why everybody admires him so.
I don't see anything to him myself. I don't believe he's got
any more principle than a wolf. I wouldn't trust him with
two dollars. Why, I know stories about him that would
make your hair curl. When I think of a girl like Marjory— "
His speech had become a torrent. But here Nora
raised her hand. " Oh! Oh! Oh! That will do. That will do.
Don't lose your senses. I don't see why this girl Marjory
is any too good. She is no chicken, I'll bet. Don't let
yourself get fooled with that sort of thing."
Coke was unaware of his incautious expressions. He
floundered on. while Nora looked at him as if she
wanted to wring his neck. " No-she's too fine and
too good-for him or anybody like him-she's too
fine and too good-"
" Aw, rats," interrupted Nora, furiously. "You
make me tired."
Coke had a wooden-headed conviction that he must
make Nora understand Marjory's infinite superiority
to all others of her sex, and so he passed into a
pariegyric, each word of which was a hot coal to the girl
addressed. Nothing would stop him, apparently. He
even made the most stupid repetitions. Nora finally
stamped her foot formidably. "Will you stop?
Will you stop ? " she said through her clenched teeth.
" Do you think I want to listen to your everlasting
twaddle about her? Why, she's-she's no better than
other people, you ignorant little mamma's boy. She's
no better than other people, you swab! "
Coke looked at her with the eyes of a fish. He did
not understand. "But she is better than other
people," he persisted.
Nora seemed to decide suddenly that there would
be no accomplishment in flying desperately against
this rock-walled conviction. " Oh, well," she said,
with marvellous good nature, " perhaps you are right,
numbskull. But, look here; do you think she cares
In his heart, his jealous heart, he believed that
Marjory loved Coleman, but he reiterated eternally to
himself that it was not true. As for speaking it to,
another, that was out of the question. " No," he
said, stoutly, " she doesn't care a snap for him." If
he had admitted it, it would have seemed to him that.
he was somehow advancing Coleman's chances.
"'Oh, she doesn't, eh ?" said Nora enigmatically.
"She doesn't?" He studied her face with an abrupt,
miserable suspicion, but he repeated doggedly: " No,
"Ahem," replied Nora. " Why, she's set her cap
for him all right. She's after him for certain. It's as
plain as day. Can't you see that, stupidity ?"
"No," he said hoarsely.
"You are a fool," said Nora. " It isn't Coleman
that's after her. It is she that is after Coleman."
Coke was mulish. " No such thing. Coleman's
crazy about her. Everybody has known it ever
since he was in college. You ask any of the other
Nora was now very serious, almost doleful. She
remained still for a time, casting at Coke little glances
of hatred. " I don't see my way clear to ask any of
the other fellows," she said at last, with considerable
bitterness. " I'm not in the habit of conducting such
Coke felt now that he disliked her, and he read
plainly her dislike of him. If they were the two
villains of the play, they were not having fun together
at all. Each had some kind of a deep knowledge that
their aspirations, far from colliding, were of such
character that the success of one would mean at least
assistance to the other, but neither could see how to
confess if. Pethapt it was from shame, perhaps it
was because Nora thought Coke to have little wit ;
perhaps it was because Coke thought Nora to have
little conscience. Their talk was mainly rudderless.
From time to time Nora had an inspiration to come
boldly at the point, but this inspiration was commonly
defeated by, some extraordinary manifestation of
Coke's incapacity. To her mind, then, it seemed like
a proposition to ally herself to a butcher-boy in a
matter purely sentimental. She Wondered indignantly
how she was going to conspire With this lad,
who puffed out his infantile cheeks in order to conceitedly
demonstrate that he did not understand the
game at all. She hated Marjory for it. Evidently it
was only the weaklings who fell in love with that girl.
Coleman was an exception, but then, Coleman was
misled, by extraordinary artifices. She meditatecf for
a moment if she should tell Coke to go home and not
bother her. What at last decided the question was
his unhappiness. Shd clung to this unhappiness for
its value as it stood alone, and because its reason for
existence was related to her own unhappiness. " You
Say you are not going back toAthens with your party.
I don't suppose you're going to stay here. I'm going
back to Athens to-day. I came up here to see a
battle, but it doesn't seem that there are to be any
more battles., The fighting will now all be on the
other side of'the mountains." Apparent she had
learned in some haphazard way that the Greek
peninsula was divided by a spine of almost inaccessible
mountains, and the war was thus split into two
simultaneous campaigns. The Arta campaign was known
to be ended. "If you want to go back to Athens
without consorting with your friends, you had better go
back with me. I can take you in my carriage as far
as the beginning of the railroad. Don't you worry.
You've got money enough, haven't you ? The pro-
fessor isn't keeping your money ?"
"Yes," he said slowly, "I've got money enough."
He was apparently dubious over the proposal.
In their abstracted walk they had arrived in front of
the house occupied by Coleman and the Wainwright
party. Two carriages, forlorn in dusty age, stood be-
fore the door. Men were carrying out new leather
luggage and flinging it into the traps amid a great
deal of talk which seemed to refer to nothing. Nora
and Coke stood looking at the scene without either
thinking of the importance of running away, when
out tumbled seven students, followed immediately but
in more decorous fashion by the Wainwrights and
Some student set up a whoop. " Oh, there he is.
There's Coke. Hey, Coke, where you been? Here
he is, professor."
For a moment after the hoodlum had subsided, the
two camps stared at each other in silence.
NORA and Coke were an odd looking pair at the
time. They stood indeed as if rooted to the spot,
staring vacuously, like two villagers, at the surprising
travellers. It was not an eternity before the practiced
girl of the stage recovered her poise, but to the end of
the incident the green youth looked like a culprit and
a fool. Mrs. Wainwright's glower of offensive
incredulity was a masterpiece. Marjory nodded
pleasantly; the professor nodded. The seven students
clambered boisterously into the forward carriage
making it clang with noise like a rook's nest. They
shouted to Coke. " Come on; all aboard; come on,
Coke; - we're off. Hey, there, Cokey, hurry up."
The professor, as soon as he had seated himself on
the forward seat of' the second carriage, turned in
Coke's general direction and asked formally: " Mr.
Coke, you are coming with us ? " He felt seemingly
much in doubt as to the propriety of abandoning the
headstrong young man, and this doubt was not at all
decreased by Coke's appearance with Nora Black. As
far as he could tell, any assertion of authority on his
part would end only in a scene in which Coke would
probably insult him with some gross violation of
collegiate conduct. As at first the young man made
no reply, the professor after waiting spoke again.
"You understand, Mr. Coke, that if you separate
yourself from the party you encounter my strongest
disapproval, and if I did not feel responsible to the
college and your father for your safe journey to New
York I-I don't know but what I would have you ex-
pelled by cable if that were possible."
Although Coke had been silent, and Nora Black had
had the appearance of being silent, in reality she had
lowered her chin and whispered sideways and swiftly.
She had said: " Now, here's your time. Decide
quickly, and don't look such a wooden Indian."
Coke pulled himself together with a visible effort,
and spoke to the professor from an inspiration in
which he had no faith. " I understand my duties to
you, sir, perfectly. I also understand my duty to the
college. But I fail to see where either of these
obligations require me to accept the introduction of
objectionable people into the party. If I owe a duty to
the college and to you, I don't owe any to Coleman,
and, as I understand it, Coleman was not in the
original plan of this expedition. If such had been the
case, I would not have been here. I can't tell what
the college may see fit to do, but as for my father I
I have no doubt of how he will view it."
The first one to be electrified by the speech was
Coke himself. He saw with a kind of sub-conscious
amazement this volley of bird-shot take effect upon
the face of the old professor. The face of Marjory
flushed crimson as if her mind had sprung to a fear
that if Coke could develop ability in this singular
fashion he might succeed in humiliating her father in
the street in the presence of the seven students, her
mother, Coleman and-herself. She had felt the bird-
shot sting her father.
When Coke had launched forth, Coleman with his
legs stretched far apart had just struck a match on
the wall of the house and was about to light a cigar.
His groom was leading up his horse. He saw the
value of Coke's argument more appreciatively and
sooner perhaps than did Coke. The match dropped
from his fingers, and in the white sunshine and still
air it burnt on the pavement orange coloured and
with langour. Coleman held his cigar with all five
fingers-in a manner out of all the laws of smoking.
He turned toward Coke. There was danger in the
moment, but then in a flash it came upon him that
his role was not of squabbling with Coke, far less of
punching him. On the contrary, he was to act the
part of a cool and instructed man who refused to be
waylaid into foolishness by the outcries of this
pouting youngster and who placed himself in complete
deference to the wishes of the professor. Before the
professor had time to embark upon any reply to Coke,
Coleman was at the side of the carriage and, with a
fine assumption of distress, was saying: "Professor,
I could very easily ride back to Agrinion alone. It
would be all right. I don't want to-"
To his surprise the professor waved at him to be
silent as if he were a mere child. The old man's face
was set with the resolution of exactly what hewas
going to say to Coke. He began in measured tone,
speaking with feeling, but with no trace of anger.
" Mr. Coke, it has probably escaped your attention
that Mr. Coleman, at what I consider a great deal of
peril to himself, came out to rescue this party-you
and others-and although he studiously disclaims all
merit in his finding us and bringing us in, I do not
regard it in that way, and I am surprised that any
member of this party should conduct himself in
this manner toward a man who has been most
devotedly and generously at our service." It was
at this time that the professor raised himself and
shook his finger at Coke, his voice now ringing with
scorn. In such moments words came to him and
formed themselves into sentences almost too rapidly
for him to speak them. " You are one of the most
remarkable products of our civilisation which I have
yet come upon. What do you mean, sir? Where
are your senses? Do you think that all this pulling
and pucking is manhood? I will tell you what I will
do with you. I thought I brought out eight students
to Greece, but when I find that I brought out, seven
students and—er—an—ourang-outang—don't get
angry, sir—I don't care for your anger—I say when I
discover this I am naturally puzzled for a moment. I
will leave you to the judgment of your peers. Young
Of the seven heads of the forward carriage none
had to be turned. All had been turned since the
beginning of the talk. If the professor's speech had
been delivered in one of the class-rooms of
Washurst they would have glowed with delight over the
butchery of Coke, but they felt its portentous aspect.
Butchery here in Greece thousands of miles from
home presented to them more of the emphasis of
downright death and destruction. The professor
called out " Young gentlemen, I have done all that I
can do without using force, which, much to my regret,
is impracticable. If you will persuade your fellow
student to accompany you I think our consciences
will be the better for not having left a weak minded
brother alone among the by-paths."
The valuable aggregation of intelligence and refine-
ment which decorated the interior of the first carriage
did not hesitate over answering this appeal. In fact,
his fellow students had worried among themselves
over Coke, and their desire to see him come out of his
troubles in fair condition was intensified by the fact
that they had lately concentrated much thought upon
him. There was a somewhat comic pretense of
speaking so that only Coke could hear. Their chorus was
law sung. " Oh, cheese it, Coke. Let up on your-self,
you blind ass. Wait till you get to Athens and
then go and act like a monkey. All this is no
The advice which came from the carriage was all in
one direction, and there was so much of it that the
hum of voices sounded like a wind blowing through a
Coke spun suddenly and said something to Nora
Black. Nora laughed rather loudly, and then the two
turned squarely and the Wainwright party contemplated
what were surely at that time the two most insolent
backs in the world.
The professor looked as if he might be going to
have a fit. Mrs. Wainwright lifted her eyes toward
heaven, and flinging out her trembling hands, cried:
" Oh, what an outrage. What an outrage! That
minx-" The concensus of opinion in the first carriage
was perfectly expressed by Peter Tounley, who
with a deep drawn breath, said : " Well, I'm damned! "
Marjory had moaned and lowered her head as from a
sense of complete personal shame. Coleman lit his
cigar and mounted his horse. " Well, I suppose there
is nothing for it but to be off, professor? " His tone
was full of regret, with sort of poetic regret. For a
moment the professor looked at him blankly, and then
gradually recovered part of his usual manner. " Yes,"
he said sadly, " there is nothing for it but to go on."
At a word from the dragoman, the two impatient
drivers spoke gutturally to their horses and the car-
riages whirled out of Arta. Coleman, his dragoman
and the groom trotted in the dust from the wheels of
the Wainwright carriage. The correspondent always
found his reflective faculties improved by the constant
pounding of a horse on the trot, and he was not sorry
to have now a period for reflection, as well as this
artificial stimulant. As he viewed the game he had in his
hand about all the cards that were valuable. In fact,
he considered that the only ace against him was Mrs.
Wainwright. He had always regarded her as a stupid
person, concealing herself behind a mass of trivialities
which were all conventional, but he thought now that
the more stupid she was and the more conventional in
her triviality the more she approached to being the
very ace of trumps itself. She was just the sort of a
card that would come upon the table mid the neat
play of experts and by some inexplicable arrangement
of circumstance, lose a whole game for the wrong man.
After Mrs. Wainwright he worried over the students.
He believed them to be reasonable enough;
in fact, he honoured them distinctly in regard to their
powers of reason, but he knew that people generally
hated a row. It, put them off their balance, made
them sweat over a lot of pros and cons, and prevented
them from thinking for a time at least only of themselves.
Then they came to resent the principals in a
row. Of course the principal, who was thought to be
in the wrong, was the most rescnted, but Coleman be-
lieved that, after all, people always came to resent the
other principal, or at least be impatient and suspicious
of him. If he was a correct person, why was
he in a row at all? The principal who had been in
the right often brought this impatience and suspicion
upon himself, no doubt, by never letting the matter
end, continuing to yawp about his virtuous suffering,
and not allowing people to return to the steady
contemplation of their own affairs. As a precautionary
measure he decided to say nothing at all about the
late trouble, unless some one addressed him upon it.
Even then he would be serenely laconic. He felt that
he must be popular with the seven students. In the
first place, it was nice that in the presence of Marjory
they should like him, and in the second place he
feared to displease them as a body because he believed
that he had some dignity. Hoodlums are seldom
dangerous to other hoodlums, but if they catch
pomposity alone in the field, pomposity is their prey.
They tear him to mere bloody ribbons, amid heartless
shrieks. When Coleman put himself on the same
basis with the students, he could cope with them
easily, but he did not want the wild pack after him
when Marjory could see the chase. And so be rea-
soned that his best attitude was to be one of rather
On the hard military road the hoofs of the horses
made such clatter that it was practically impossible to
hold talk between the carriages and the horsemen
without all parties bellowing. The professor, how-
ever, strove to overcome the difficulties. He was
apparently undergoing a great amiability toward
Coleman. Frequently he turned with a bright face, and
pointing to some object in the landscape, obviously
tried to convey something entertaining to Coleman's
mind. Coleman could see his lips mouth the words.
He always nodded cheerily in answer and yelled.
The road ultimately became that straight lance-handle
which Coleman-it seemed as if many years had
passed-had traversed with his dragoman and the
funny little carriers. He was fixing in his mind a
possible story to the Wainwrights about the snake and
his first dead Turk. But suddenly the carriages left
this road and began a circuit of the Gulf of Arta,
winding about an endless series of promontories. The
journey developed into an excess of dust whirling from
a road, which half circled the waist of cape after cape.
All dramatics were lost in the rumble of wheels and
in the click of hoofs. They passed a little soldier
leading a prisoner by a string. They passed more
frightened peasants, who seemed resolved to flee down
into the very boots of Greece. And people looked at
them with scowls, envying them their speed. At the
little town from which Coleman embarked at one stage
of the upward journey, they found crowds in the
streets. There was no longer any laughter, any confidence,
any vim. All the spirit of the visible Greek
nation seemed to have been knocked out of it in two
blows. But still they talked and never ceased talking.
Coleman noticed that the most curious changes had
come upon them since his journey to the frontier.
They no longer approved of foreigners. They seemed
to blame the travellers for something which had
transpired in the past few days. It was not that they
really blamed the travellers for the nation's calamity:
It was simply that their minds were half stunned by
the news of defeats, and, not thinking for a moment to
blame themselves, or even not thinking to attribute
the defeats to mere numbers and skill, they were
savagely eager to fasten it upon something near enough
at hand for the operation of vengeance.
Coleman perceived that the dragoman, all his former
plumage gone, was whining and snivelling as he argued
to a dark-browed crowd that was running beside the
cavalcade. The groom, who always had been a
miraculously laconic man, was suddenly launched forth
garrulously. The, drivers, from their high seats, palavered
like mad men, driving with oat hand and gesturing
with the other, explaining evidently their own great
Coleman saw that there was trouble, but he only sat
more stiffly in his saddle. The eternal gabble moved
him to despise the situation. At any rate, the travellers
would soon be out of this town and on to a more
However he saw the driver of the first carriage sud-
denly pull up boforg a little blackened coffee shop and
inn. The dragman spurred forward and began wild
expostulation. The second carriage pulled close behind
the other. The crowd, murmuring like a Roman mob in
Nero's time, closed around them.
COLEMAN pushed his horse coolly through to the
dragoman;s side. " What is it ? " he demanded. The
dragoman was broken-voiced. " These peoples, they
say you are Germans, all Germans, and they are
angry," he wailed. " I can do nossing-nossing."
" Well, tell these men to drive on," said Coleman,
"tell them theymust drive on."
" They will not drive on," wailed the dragoman,
still more loudly. " I can do nossing. They say here
is place for feed the horse. It is the custom and they
will note drive on."
" Make them drive on."
" They will note," shrieked the agonised servitor.
Coleman looked from the men waving their arms
and chattering on the box-seats to the men of the
crowd who also waved their arms and chattered. In
this throng far to the rear of the fighting armies there
did not seem to be a single man who was not
ablebodied, who had not been free to enlist as a soldier.
They were of that scurvy behind-the-rear-guard which
every nation has in degree proportionate to its worth.
The manhood of Greece had gone to the frontier,
leaving at home this rabble of talkers, most of whom
were armed with rifles for mere pretention. Coleman
loathed them to the end of his soul. He thought
them a lot of infants who would like to prove their
courage upon eleven innocent travellers, all but
unarmed, and in this fact he was quick to see a great
danger to the Wainwright party. One could deal
with soldiers; soldiers would have been ashamed to
bait helpless people ; but this rabble-
The fighting blood of the correspondent began to
boil, and he really longed for the privilege to run
amuck through the multitude. But a look at the
Wainwrights kept him in his senses. The professor
had turned pale as a dead man. He sat very stiff and
still while his wife clung to him, hysterically beseeching
him to do something, do something, although
what he was to do she could not have even imagined.
Coleman took the dilemma by its beard. He
dismounted from his horse into the depths of the crowd
and addressed the Wainwrights. " I suppose we had
better go into this place and have some coffee while
the men feed their horses. There is no use in trying
to make them go on." His manner was fairly
casual, but they looked at him in glazed horror. " It
is the only thing to do. This crowd is not nearly so
bad as they think they are. But we've got to look as
if we felt confident." He himself had no confidence
with this angry buzz in his ears, but be felt certain
that the only correct move was to get everybody as
quickly as possible within the shelter of the inn. It
might not be much of a shelter for them, but it was
better than the carriages in the street.
The professor and Mrs. Wainwright seemed to be
considering their carriage as a castle, and they looked
as if their terror had made them physically incapable
of leaving it. Coleman stood waiting. Behind him
the clapper-tongued crowd was moving ominously.
Marjory arose and stepped calmly down to him.
He thrilled to the end of every nerve. It was as if
she had said: " I don't think there is great danger,
but if there is great danger, why * * here I am *
ready * with you." It conceded everything,
admitted everything. It was a surrender without a
blush, and it was only possible in the shadow of the
crisis when they did not know what the next
moments might contain for them. As he took her
hand and she stepped past him he whispered swiftly
and fiercely in her ear, " I love you." She did not
look up, but he felt that in this quick incident they
had claimed each other, accepted each other with a
far deeper meaning and understanding than could be
possible in a mere drawing-room. She laid her hand
on his arm, and with the strength of four men he
twisted his horse into the making of furious prancing
side-steps toward the door of the inn, clanking side-
steps which mowed a wide lane through the crowd for
Marjory, his Marjory. He was as haughty as a new
German lieutenant, and although he held the fuming
horse with only his left hand, he seemed perfectly
capable of hurling the animal over a house without
calling into service the arm which was devoted to
It was not an exhibition of coolness such as wins
applause on the stage when the hero placidly lights a
cigarette before the mob which is clamouring for his
death. It was, on the contrary, an exhibition of
downright classic disdain, a disdain which with the
highest arrogance declared itself in every glance of his
eye into the faces about him. " Very good * *
attack me if you like * * there is nothing to prevent
it * * you mongrels." Every step of his progress
was made a renewed insult to them. The very air
was charged with what this lone man was thinking
of this threatening crowd.
His audacity was invincible. They actually made
way for it as quickly as children would flee from a
ghost. The horse, dancing; with ringing steps, with
his glistening neck arched toward the iron hand at his
bit, this powerful, quivering animal was a regular
engine of destruction, and they gave room until Coleman
halted him -at an exclamation from Marjory.
" My mother and father." But they were coming
close behind and Coleman resumed this contemptuous
journey to the door of the inn. The groom, with his
new-born tongue, was clattering there to the populace.
Coleman gave him the horse and passed after the
Wainwrights into the public room of the inn. He
was smiling. What simpletons!
A new actor suddenly appeared in the person of the
keeper of the inn. He too had a rifle and a prodigious
belt of cartridges, but it was plain at once that he had
elected to be a friend of the worried travellers. A
large part of the crowd were thinking it necessary to
enter the inn and pow-wow more. But the innkeeper
stayed at the door with the dragoman, and together
they vociferously held back the tide. The spirit of
the mob had subsided to a more reasonable feeling.
They no longer wished to tear the strangers limb from
limb on the suspicion that they were Germans. They
now were frantic to talk as if some inexorable law
had kept them silent for ten years and this was the
very moment of their release. Whereas, their simul-
taneous and interpolating orations had throughout
made noise much like a coal-breaker.
Coleman led the Wainwrights to a table in a far
part of the room. They took chairs as if he had com-
manded them. " What an outrage," he said jubilantly.
" The apes." He was keeping more than half an eye
upon the door, because he knew that the quick coming
of the students was important.
Then suddenly the storm broke in wrath. Something
had happened in the street. The jabbering crowd at
the door had turned and were hurrying upon some
central tumult. The dragoman screamed to Coleman.
Coleman jumped and grabbed the dragoman. " Tell
this man to take them somewhere up stairs," he cried,
indicating the Wainwrights with a sweep of his arm.
The innkeeper seemed to understand sooner than the
dragoman, and he nodded eagerly. The professor was
crying: "What is it, Mr. Coleman? What is it ? "
An instant later, the correspondent was out in the
street, buffeting toward a scuffle. Of course it was
the students. It appeared, afterward, that those
seven young men, with their feelings much ruffled,
had been making the best of their way toward the
door of the inn, when a large man in the crowd, during
a speech which was surely most offensive, had laid
an arresting hand on the shoulder of Peter Tounley.
Whereupon the excellent Peter Tounley had hit the
large man on the jaw in such a swift and skilful manner
that the large man had gone spinning through a
group of his countrymen to the hard earth, where he
lay holding his face together and howling. Instantly,
of course, there had been a riot. It might well be
said that even then the affair could have ended in a lot
of talking, but in the first place the students did not
talk modern Greek, and in the second place they were
now past all thought of talking. They regarded this
affair seriously as a fight, and now that they at last
were in it, they were in it for every pint of blood in
their bodies. Such a pack of famished wolves had
never before been let loose upon men armed with
They all had been expecting the row, and when
Peter Tounley had found it expedient to knock over
the man, they had counted it a signal: their arms
immediately begun to swing out as if they had been
wound up. It was at this time that Coleman swam
brutally through the Greeks and joined his countrymen.
He was more frightened than any of those novices.
When he saw Peter Tounley overthrow a dreadful
looking brigand whose belt was full of knives, and who
-crashed to the ground amid a clang of cartridges, he
was appalled by the utter simplicity with which the
lads were treating the crisis. It was to them no com-
mon scrimmage at Washurst, of course, but it flashed
through Coleman's mind that they had not the
slightegt sense of the size of the thing. He expected
every instant to see the flash of knives or to hear the
deafening intonation of a rifle fired against hst ear. It
seemed to him miraculous that the tragedy was so long
In the meantirne he was in the affray. He jilted
one man under the chin with his elbow in a way that
reeled him off from Peter Tounley's back; a little person
in thecked clothes he smote between the eyes; he
recieved a gun-butt emphatically on the aide of the
neck; he felt hands tearing at him; he kicked the pins
out from under three men in rapid succession. He
was always yelling. " Try to get to the inn, boys, try
to get to the inn. Look out, Peter. Take care for his
knife, Peter—" Suddenly he whipped a rifle out of
the hands of a man and swung it, whistling. He had
gone stark mad with the others.
The boy Billy, drunk from some blows and bleeding,
was already. staggering toward the inn over the clearage
which the wild Coleman made with the clubbed
rifle. Tho others follewed as well as they might while
beating off a discouraged enemy. The remarkable
innkeeper had barred his windows with strong wood
shutters. He held the door by the crack for them, and
they stumbled one by on through the portal. Coleman
did not know why they were not all dead, nor did
he understand the intrepid and generous behaviour of
the innkeeper, but at any rate he felt that the
fighting was suspended, and he wanted to see Marjory.
The innkeeper was, doing a great pantomime in the
middle of the darkened room, pointing to the outer
door and then aiming his rifle at it to explain his
intention of defending them at all costs. Some of the
students moved to a billiard table and spread them-
selves wearily upon it. Others sank down where they
stood. Outside the crowd was beginning to roar.
Coleman's groom crept out from under the little
Coffee bar and comically saluted his master. The
dragoman was not present. Coleman felt that he
must see Marjory, and he made signs to the innkeeper.
The latter understood quickly, and motioned that
Coleman should follow him. They passed together
through a dark hall and up a darker stairway, where
after Coleman stepped out into a sun-lit room, saying
loudly: "Oh, it's all right. It's all over. Don't worry."
Three wild people were instantly upon him. " Oh,
what was it? What did happen? Is anybody hurt?
Oh, tell us, quick!" It seemed at the time that it
was an avalanche of three of them, and it was not
until later that he recognised that Mrs. Wainwright had
tumbled the largest number of questions upon him.
As for Marjory, she had said nothing until the time
when she cried: " Oh-he is bleeding-he is bleeding.
Oh, come, quick!" She fairly dragged him out of
one room into another room, where there was a jug of
water. She wet her handkerchief and softly smote
his wounds. "Bruises," she said, piteously, tearfully.
" Bruises. Oh, dear! How they must hurt you.'
The handkerchief was soon stained crimson.
When Coleman spoke his voice quavered. " It isn't
anything. Really, it isn't anything." He had not
known of these wonderful wounds, but he almost
choked in the joy of Marjory's ministry and her half
coherent exclamations. This proud and beautiful
girl, this superlative creature, was reddening her
handkerchief with his blood, and no word of his could
have prevented her from thus attending him. He
could hear the professor and Mrs. Wainwright fussing
near him, trying to be of use. He would have liked
to have been able to order them out of the room.
Marjory's cool fingers on his face and neck had conjured
within him a vision at an intimacy tnat was even
sweeter than anything which he had imagined, and he
longed to pour out to her the bubbling, impassioned
speech which came to his lips. But, always doddering
behind him, were the two old people, strenuous to be
of help to him.
Suddenly a door opened and a youth appeared,
simply red with blood. It was Peter Tounley. His
first remark was cheerful. "Well, I don't suppose
those people will be any too quick to look for more
Coleman felt a swift pang because he had forgotten
to announce the dilapidated state of all the students.
He had been so submerged by Marjory's tenderness
that all else had been drowned from his mind. His
heart beat quickly as he waited for Marjory to leave
him and rush to Peter Tounley.
But she did nothing of the sort. " Oh, Peter," she
cried in distress, and then she turned back to Coleman.
It was the professor and Mrs. Wainwright who, at last
finding a field for their kindly ambitions, flung them.
selves upon Tounley and carried him off to another
place. Peter was removed, crying: " Oh, now, look
here, professor, I'm not dying or anything of the sort
Coleman and Marjory were left alone. He suddenly
and forcibly took one of her hands and the blood
stained hankerchief dropped to the floor.
From below they could hear the thunder of weapons
and fits upon the door of the inn amid a great
clamour of. tongues. Sometimes there arose the
argumtntative howl of the innkeeper. Above this roar,
Coleman's quick words sounded in Marjory's ear.
" I've got to go. I've got to go back to the boys, but
-I love you."
" Yes go, go," she whispered hastily. " You should
be there, but-come back."
He held her close to him. " But you are mine, remember,"
he said fiercely and sternly. " You are
mine-forever-As I am yours-remember."
Her eyes half closed. She made intensely solemn
answer. "Yes." He released her and vphs gone.
In the glooming coffee room of the inn he found
the students, the dragoman, the groom and the innkeeper
armed with a motley collection of weapons which
ranged from the rifle of the innkeeper to the table leg
in the hands of PeterTounley. The last named young
student of archeology was in a position of temporary
leadefship and holding a great pow-bow with the
innkeeper through the medium of peircing outcries by
the dragoman. Coleman had not yet undestood why
none of them had been either stabbed or shot in the
fight in the steeet, but it seemed to him now that
affairs were leading toward a crisis of tragedy. He
thought of the possibilities of having the dragoman go
to an upper window and harangue the people, but he
saw no chance of success in such a plan. He saw that
the crowd would merely howl at the dragoman while
the dragoman howled at the crowd. He then asked
if there was any other exit from the inn by which
they could secretly escape. He learned that the door
into the coffee room was the only door which pierced
the four great walls. All he could then do was to
find out from the innkeeper how much of a siege the
place could stand, and to this the innkeeper answered
volubly and with smiles that this hostelry would easily
endure until the mercurial temper of the crowd had
darted off in a new direction. It may be curious to
note here that all of Peter Tounley's impassioned
communication with the innkeeper had been devoted
to an endeavour to learn what in the devil was the
matter with these people, as a man about to be bitten
by poisonous snakes should, first of all, furiously
insist upon learning their exact species before deciding
upon either his route, if he intended to run away, or
his weapon if he intended to fight them.
The innkeeper was evidently convinced that this
house would withstand the rage of the populace, and
he was such an unaccountably gallant little chap that
Coleman trusted entirely to his word. His only fear
or suspicion was an occasional one as to the purity of
the dragoman's translation.
Suddenly there was half a silence on the mob without
the door. It is inconceivable that it could become
altogether silent, but it was as near to a rational
stillness of tongues as it was able. Then there was a
loud knocking by a single fist and a new voice began
to spin Greek, a voice that was somewhat like the
rattle of pebbles in a tin box. Then a startling voice
called out in English. " Are you in there, Rufus? "
Answers came from every English speaking person
in the room in one great outburst. "Yes."
" Well, let us in," called Nora Black. " It is all
right. We've got an officer with us."
" Open the door," said Coleman with speed. The
little innkeeper labouriously unfastened the great bars,
and when the door finally opened there appeared on
the threshold Nora Black with Coke and an officer of
infantry, Nora's little old companion, and Nora's
" We saw your carriage in the street," cried the
queen of comic opera as she swept into the room.
She was beaming with delight. " What is all the row,
anyway? O-o-oh, look at that student's nose. Who
hit him? And look at Rufus. What have you boys
Her little Greek officer of infantry had stopped the
mob from flowing into the room. Coleman looked
toward the door at times with some anxiety. Nora,
noting it, waved her hand in careless reassurance;
" Oh, it's, all right. Don't worry about them any
more. He is perfectly devoted to me. He would
die there on the threshold if I told him it would
please me. Speaks splendid French. I found him
limping along the road and gave him a lift. And now
do hurry up and tell me exactly what happened."
They all told what had happened, while Nora and
Coke listened agape. Coke, by the way, had quite
floated back to his old position with the students. It
had been easy in the stress of excitement and wonder.
Nobody had any titne to think of the excessively remote
incidents of the early morning. All minor interests
were lost in the marvel of the present situation.
"Who landed you in the eye, Billie?" asked the
awed Coke. " That was a bad one."
" Oh, I don't know," said Billie. " You really
couldn't tell who hit you, you know. It was a football
rush. They had guns and knives, but they didn't use
'em. I don't know why Jinks! I'm getting pretty
stiff. My face feels as if it were made of tin. Did
they give you people a row, too ? "
" No; only talk. That little officer managed them.
Out-talked them, I suppose. Hear him buzz, now."
The Wainwrights came down stairs. Nora Black
went confidently forward to meet them. "You've
added one more to your list of rescuers," She cried,
with her glowing, triumphant smile. "Miss Black of
the New York Daylight-at your service. How in
the world do you manage to get yourselves into such
dreadful Scrapes? You are the most remarkable people.
You need a guardian. Why, you might have all
been killed. How exciting it must seem to be regularly
of your party." She had shaken cordiaily one of
Mrs. Wainwright's hands without that lady indicating
assent to the proceeding but Mrs. Wainwright had
not felt repulsion. In fact she had had no emotion
springing directly from it. Here again the marvel of
the situation came to deny Mrs. Wainwright the right
to resume a state of mind which had been so painfully
interesting to her a few hours earlier.
The professor, Coleman and all the students were
talking together. Coke had addressed Coleman civilly
and Coleman had made a civil reply. Peace was upon
Nora slipped her arm lovingly through Marjbry's
arm. "That Rufus! Oh, that Rufus," she cried joyously.
" I'll give him a good scolding as soon as I
see him alone. I might have foreseen that he would
get you all into trouble. The old stupid ! "
Marjory did not appear to resent anything. " Oh, I
don't think it was Mr. Coleman's fault at ail," she an-
swered calmly. "I think it was more the fault of
Peter Tounley, poor boy."
" Well, I'd be glad to believe it, I'd be glad to believe it,"
said Nora. "I want Rufus to keep out of
that sort of thing, but he is so hot-headed and foolish."
If she had pointed out her proprietary stamp on Coleman's
cheek she could not have conveyed what she
wanted with more clearness.
" Oh," said the impassive Marjory, " I don't think
you need have any doubt as to whose fault it was, if
there were any of our boys at fault. Mr. Coleman
was inside when the fighting commenced, and only ran
out to help the boys. He had just brought us safely
through the mob, and, far from being hot-headed and
foolish, he was utterly cool in manner, impressively
cool, I thought. I am glad to be able to reassure you
on these points, for I see that they worry you."
".Yes, they do worry me," said Nora, densely.
They worry me night and day when he is away from
" Oh," responded Marjory, " I have never thought
of Mr. Coleman as a man that one would worry about
much. We consider him very self-reliant, able to take
care of himself under almost any conditions, but then,
of course, we do not know him at all in the way that
you know him. I should think that you would find
that he came off rather better than you expected from
most of his difficulties. But then, of course, as. I said,
you know him so much better than we do." Her
easy indifference was a tacit dismissal of Coleman as
Nora, now thoroughly alert, glanced keenly into the
other girl's face, but it was inscrutable. The actress
had intended to go careering through a whole circle
of daring illusions to an intimacy with,Coleman, but
here, before she had really developed her attack,
Marjory, with a few conventional and indifferent
sentences, almost expressive of boredom, had made
the subject of Coleman impossible. An effect was left
upon Nora's mind that Marjory had been extremely
polite in listening to much nervous talk about a person
in whom she had no interest.
The actress was dazed. She did not know how it
had all been done. Where was the head of this thing?
And where Was the tail? A fog had mysteriously
come upon all her brilliant prospects of seeing Marjory
Wainwright suffer, and this fog was the product of
a kind of magic with which she was not familiar.
She could not think how to fight it. After being
simply dubious throughout a long pause, she in the
end went into a great rage. She glared furiously at
Marjory, dropped her arm as if it had burned her and
moved down upon Coleman. She must have reflected
that at any rate she could make him wriggle. When
she was come near to him, she called out: "Rufus!"
In her tone was all the old insolent statement of
ownership. Coleman might have been a poodle. She
knew how to call his same in a way that was anything
less than a public scandal. On this occasion everybody
looked at him and then went silent, as people
awaiting the startling denouement of a drama.
" Rufus! " She was baring his shoulder to show the
fieur-de-lis of the criminal. The students gaped.
Coleman's temper was, if one may be allowed to
speak in that way, broken loose inside of him. He
could hardly beeathe; he felt that his body was about
to explode into a thousand fragments. He simply
snarled out " What? " Almost at once he saw that
she had at last goaded him into making a serious
tactical mistake. It must be admitted that it is only
when the relations between a man and a woman are
the relations of wedlock, or at least an intimate
resemblance to it, that the man snarls out " What? " to
the woman. Mere lovers say " I beg your pardon ? "
It is only Cupid's finished product that spits like a
cat. Nora Black had called him like a wife, and he
had answered like a husband. For his cause, his
manner could not possibly have been worse. He saw
the professor stare at him in surprise and alarm, and
felt the excitement of the eight students. These
latter were diabolic in the celerity with which they
picked out meanings. It was as plain to them as if
Nora Black had said: " He is my property."
Coleman would have given his nose to have been
able to recall that single reverberating word. But he
saw that the scene was spelling downfall for him, and
he went still more blind and desperate of it. His
despair made him burn to make matters Worse. He
did not want to improve anything at all. " What?"
he demanded. " What do ye' want?"
Nora was sweetly reproachful. " I left my jacket
in the carriage, and I want you to get it for me."
" Well, get it for yourself, do you see? Get it for
Now it is plainly to be seen that no one of the
people listening there had ever heard a man speak
thus to a woman who was not his wife. Whenever
they had heard that form of spirited repartee it had
come from the lips of a husband. Coleman's rude
speech was to their ears a flat announcement of an
extraordinary intimacy between Nora Black and the
correspondent. Any other interpretation would not
have occurred to them. It was so palpable that it
greatly distressed them with its arrogance and
boldness. The professor had blushed. The very
milkiest word in his mind at the time was the word
Nora Black had won a great battle. It was her
Agincourt. She had beaten the clever Coleman in a
way that had left little of him but rags. However,
she could have lost it all again if she had shown her
feeling of elation. At Coleman's rudeness her manner
indicated a mixture of sadness and embarrassment.
Her suffering was so plain to the eye that Peter
Tounley was instantly moved. " Can't I get your
jacket for you, Miss Black? " he asked hastily, and at
her grateful nod he was off at once.
Coleman was resolved to improve nothing. His
overthrow seemed to him to be so complete that he
could not in any way mend it without a sacrifice of his
dearest prides. He turned away from them all and
walked to an isolated corner of the room. He would
abide no longer with them. He had been made an
outcast by Nora Black, and he intended to be an
outcast. Therc was no sense in attempting to stem this
extraordinary deluge. It was better to acquiesce.
Then suddenly he was angry with Marjory. He
did not exactly see why he was angry at Marjory,
but he was angry at her nevertheless. He thought
of how he could revenge himself upon her. He
decided to take horse with his groom and dragoman and
proceed forthwith on the road, leaving the jumble as
it stood. This would pain Marjory, anyhow, he
hoped. She would feel it deeply, he hoped.
Acting upon this plan, he went to the professor.
Well, of course you are all right now, professor, and
if you don't mind, I would like to leave you-go on
ahead. I've got a considerable pressure of business
on my mind, and I think I should hurry on to Athens,
if you don't mind."
The professor did not seem to know what to say.
" Of course, if you wish it-sorry, I'm sure-of course
it is as you please-but you have been such a power
in our favour-it seems too bad to lose you-but-if
you wish it-if you insist-"
" Oh, yes, I quite insist," said Coleman, calmly. "I
quite insist. Make your mind easy on that score,
professor. I insist."
"Well, Mr. Coleman," stammered the old man.
" Well, it seems a great pity to lose you-you have
been such a power in our favour-"
"Oh, you are now only eight hours from the rail-
way. It is very easy. You would not need my as-
sistance, even if it were a benefit!
" But-" said the professor.
Coleman's dragoman came to him then and said:
"There is one man here who says you made to take
one rifle in the fight and was break his head. He
was say he wants sunthing for you was break his
head. He says hurt."
"How much does he want?" asked Coleman, im-
The dragoman wrestled then evidently with a desire
to protect this mine from outside fingers. "I-I think
two gold piece plenty."
"Take them," said Coleman. It seemed to him
preposterous that this idiot with a broken head
should interpolate upon his tragedy. " Afterward
you and the groom get the three horses and we will
start for Athens at once."
"For Athens? At once? " said Marjory's voice
in his ear.
"Om," said Coleman, " I was thinking of starting."
"Why? " asked Marjory, unconcernedly.
Coleman shot her a quick glance. " I believe my
period of usefulness is quite ended," he said. with just
a small betrayal of bitter feeling.
" It is certainly true that you have had a remark-
able period of usefulness to us," said Marjory with a
slow smile, "but if it is ended, you should not run
away from us."
Coleman looked at her to see what she could mean.
From many women, these words would have been
equal, under the circumstances, to a command to stay,
but he felt that none might know what impulses
moved the mind behind that beautiful mask. In his
misery he thought to hurt her into an expression of
feeling by a rough speech. " I'm so in love with Nora
Black, you know, that I have to be very careful of
" Oh," said Marjory, never thought of that. I
should think you would have to be careful of yourself."
She did not seem moved in any way. Coleman
despaired of finding her weak spot. She was a'damantine,
this girl. He searched his mind for something
to say which would be still more gross than his last
outbreak, but when he felt that he was about to hit
upon it, the professor interrupted with an agitated
speech to Marjory. "You had better go to your
mother, my child, and see that you are all ready to
leave here as soon as the carriages come up."
"We have absolutely nothing to make ready," said
Marjory, laughing. " But I'll go and see if mother
needs anything before we start that I can get for her."
She went away without bidding good-bye to Coleman.
The sole maddening impression to him was that the
matter of his going had not been of sufficient importance
to remain longer than a moment upon her mind.
At the same time he decided that he would go, irretrievably go.
Even then the dragoman entered the room. " We
will pack everything -upon the horse?"
Peter Tounley came afterward. " You are not going to bolt ? "
" Yes, I'm off," answered Coleman recovering him-
self for Peter's benefit. " See you in Athens, probably."
Presently the dragoman announced the readiness of
the horses. Coleman shook hands with the students
and the Professor amid cries of surprise and polite
regret. "What? Going, oldman? Really? What
for ? Oh, wait for us. We're off in a few minutes.
Sorry as the devil, old boy, to' see you go." He
accepted their protestations with a somewhat sour
face. He knew perfectly well that they were thinking
of his departure as something that related to Nora
Black. At the last, he bowed to the ladies as a
collection. Marjory's answering bow was affable; the
bow of Mrs. Wainwright spoke a resentment for some-
thing; and Nora's bow was triumphant mockery. As
he swung into the saddle an idea struck him with over
whelming force. The idea was that he was a fool.
He was a colossal imbecile. He touched the spur to
his horse and the animal leaped superbly, making the
Greeks hasten for safety in all directions. He was off ;
he could no more return to retract his devious idiocy
than he could make his horse fly to Athens. What
was done was done. He could not mend it. And he
felt like a man that had broken his own heart;
perversely, childishly, stupidly broken his own heart.
He was sure that Marjory was lost to him. No
man could be degraded so publicly and resent it so
crudely and still retain a Marjory. In his abasement
from his defeat at the hands of Nora Black he had
performed every imaginable block-headish act and had
finally climaxed it all by a departure which left the
tongue of Nora to speak unmolested into the ear of
Marjory. Nora's victory had been a serious blow to
his fortunes, but it had not been so serious as his own
subsequent folly. He had generously muddled his
own affairs until he could read nothing out of them
He was in the mood for hatred. He hated many
people. Nora Black was the principal item, but he
did not hesitate to detest the professor, Mrs. Wain-
wright, Coke and all the students. As for Marjory,
he would revenge himself upon her. She had done
nothing that he defined clearly but, at any rate, he
would take revenge for it. As much as was possible,
he would make her suffer. He would convince her
that he was a tremendous and inexorable person.
But it came upon his mind that he was powerless in
all ways. If he hated many people they probably
would not be even interested in his emotion and, as
for his revenge upon Marjory, it was beyond his
strength. He was nothing but the complaining victim
of Nora Black and himself.
He felt that he would never again see Marjory, and
while feeling it he began to plan his attitude when
next they met. He would be very cold and reserved.
At Agrinion he found that there would be no train
until the next daybreak. The dragoman was excessively
annoyed over it, but Coleman did not scold at
all. As a matter of fact his heart had given a great
joyus bound. He could not now prevent his being
overtaken. They were only a few leagues away, and
while he was waiting for the train they would easily
cover the distance. If anybody expressed surprise at
seeing him he could exhibit the logical reasons.
If there had been a train starting at once he would
have taken it. His pride would have put up with no
subterfuge. If the Wainwrights overtook him it was
because he could not help it. But he was delighted
that he could not help it. There had been an inter-
position by some specially beneficent fate. He felt
like whistling. He spent the early half of the night
in blissful smoke, striding the room which the dragoman
had found for him. His head was full of plans
and detached impressive scenes in which he figured
before Marjory. The simple fact that there was no
train away from Agrinion until the next daybreak had
wrought a stupendous change in his outlook. He
unhesitatingly considered it an omen of a good future.
He was up before the darkness even contained presage
of coming light, but near the railway station was
a little hut where coffee was being served to several
prospective travellers who had come even earlier to
the rendezvous. There was no evidence of the Wainwrights.
Coleman sat in the hut and listened for the rumble
of wheels. He was suddenly appalled that the Wainwrights
were going to miss the train. Perhaps they
had decided against travelling during the night. Perbaps
this thing, and perhaps that thing. The morning
was very cold. Closely muffled in his cloak, he went
to the door and stared at where the road was whiten-
ing out of night. At the station stood a little spectral
train, and the engine at intervals emitted a long, piercing
scream which informed the echoing land that, in
all probability, it was going to start after a time for
the south. The Greeks in the coffee room were, of
At last Coleman did hear the sound of hoofs and
wheels. The three carriages swept up in grand procession.
The first was laden with students ; in the
second was the professor, the Greek officer, Nora
Black's old lady and other persons, all looking marvellously
unimportant and shelved. It was the third
carriage at which Coleman stared. At first be
thought the dim light deceived his vision, but in a
moment he knew that his first leaping conception of
the arrangement of the people in this vehicle had
been perfectly correct. Nora Black and Mrs. Wainwright
sat side by side on the back seat, while facing
them were Coke and Marjory.
They looked cold but intimate.
The oddity of the grouping stupefied Coleman. It
was anarchy, naked and unashamed. He could not
imagine how such changes could have been consummated
in the short time he had been away from them,
but he laid it all to some startling necromancy on the
part of Nora Black, some wondrous play which had
captured them all because of its surpassing skill and
because they were, in the main, rather gullible people.
He was wrong. The magic had been wrought
by the unaided foolishness of Mrs. Wainwfight. As
soon as Nora Black had succeeded in creating an
effect of intimacy and dependence between herself
and Coleman, the professor had flatly stated to his
wife that the presence of Nora Black in the party, in
the inn, in the world, was a thiag that did not meet
his approval in any way. She should be abolished.
As for Coleman, he would not defend him. He preferred
not to talk to him. It made him sad. Coleman at
least had been very indiscreet, very indiscreet.
It was a great pity. But as for this blatant woman,
the sooner they rid themselves of her, the sooner he
would feel that all the world was not evil.
Whereupon Mrs. Wainwright had changed front
with the speed of light and attacked with horse, foot
and guns. She failed to see, she had declared, where
this poor, lone girt was in great fault. Of course it
was probable that she had listened to this snaky.
tongued Rufus Coleman, but that was ever the mistake
that women made. Oh, certainly ; the professor
would like to let Rufus Coleman off scot-free. That
was the way with men. They defended each other in
all cases. If wrong were done it was the woman who
suffered. Now, since this poor girl was alone far off
here in Greece, Mrs. Wainwright announced that she
had such full sense of her duty to her sex that her
conscience would not allow her to scorn and desert a
sister, even if that sister was, approximately, the victim
of a creature like Rufus Coleman. Perhaps the
poor thing loved this wretched man, although it was
hard to imagine any woman giving her heart to such.
The professor had then asked with considerable
spirit for the proofs upon which Mrs. Wainwright
named Coleman a monster, and had made a wry face
over her completely conventional reply. He had told
her categorically his opinion of her erudition in such
But Mrs. Wainwright was not to be deterred from
an exciting espousal of the cause of her sex. Upon
the instant that the professor strenuously opposed her
she becamean apostle, an enlightened, uplifted apostle
to the world on the wrongs of her sex. She had
come down with this thing as if it were a disease.
Nothing could stop her. Her husband, her daughter,
all influences in other directions, had been overturned
with a roar, and the first thing fully clear to the professor's
mind had been that his wife was riding affably
in the carriage with Nora Black.
Coleman aroused when he heard one of the students
cry out: " Why, there is Rufus Coleman's dragoman.
He must be here." A moment later they thronged
upon him. " Hi, old man, caught you again! Where
did you break to? Glad to catch you, old boy. How
are you making it? Where's your horse?"
" Sent the horses on to, Athens," said Coleman.
He had not yet recovered his composure, and he was
glad to find available this commonplace return to their
exuberant greetings and questions. " Sent them on to
Athens with the groom."
In the mean time the engine of the little train was
screaming to heaven that its intention of starting was
most serious. The diligencia careered to the station
platform and unburdened. Coleman had had his
dragoman place his luggage in a little first-class carriage
and he defiantly entered it and closed the door.
He had a sudden return to the old sense of downfall,
and with it came the original rebellious desires. However,
he hoped that somebody would intrude upon
It was Peter Tounley. The student flung open the
door and then yelled to the distance : " Here's an
empty one." He clattered into the compartment.
" Hello, Coleman! Didn't know you were in here! "
At his heels came Nora Black, Coke and Marjory.
" Oh! " they said, when they saw the occupant of the
carriage. " Oh ! " Coleman was furious. He could
have distributed some of his traps in a way to create
more room, but he did not move.
THERE was a demonstration of the unequalled facilities
of a European railway carriage for rendering
unpleasant things almost intolerable. These people
could find no way to alleviate the poignancy of their
position. Coleman did not know where to look.
Every personal mannerism becomes accentuated in a
European railway carriage. If you glance at a man,
your glance defines itself as a stare. If you carefully
look at nothing, you create for yourself a resemblance
to all wooden-headed things. A newspaper is, then, in
the nature of a preservative, and Coleman longed for
It was this abominable railway carriage which
exacted the first display of agitation from Marjory.
She flushed rosily, and her eyes wavered over the
cornpartment. Nora Black laughed in a way that
was a shock to the nerves. Coke seemed very angry,
indeed, and Peter Tounley was in pitiful distress.
Everything was acutely, painfully vivid, bald, painted
as glaringly as a grocer's new wagon. It fulfilled
those traditions which the artists deplore when they
use their pet phrase on a picture, "It hurts." The
damnable power of accentuation of the European
railway carriage seemed, to Coleman's amazed mind,
to be redoubled and redoubled.
It was Peter Tounley who seemed to be in the greatest
agony. He looked at the correspondent beseechingly
and said: "It's a very cold morning, Coleman."
This was an actual appeal in the name of humanity.
Coleman came squarely. to the front and even
grinned a little at poor Peter Tounley's misery.
"Yes, it is a cold morning, Peter. I should say it to
one of the coldest mornings in my recollection."
Peter Tounley had not intended a typical American
emphasis on the polar conditions which obtained
in the compartment at this time, but Coleman had
given the word this meaning. Spontaneously every
body smiled, and at once the tension was relieved.
But of course the satanic powers of the railway carriage
could not be altogether set at naught. Of course
it fell to the lot of Coke to get the seat directly in
front of Coleman, and thus, face to face, they were
doomed to stare at each other.
Peter Tounley was inspired to begin conventional
babble, in which he took great care to make an appear.
ance of talking to all in the carriage. " Funny thing
I never knew these mornings in Greece were so cold.
I thought the climate here was quite tropical. It
must have been inconvenient in the ancient times,
when, I am told, people didn't wear near so many-
er-clothes. Really, I don't see how they stood it.
For my part, I would like nothing so much as a buffalo
robe. I suppose when those great sculptors were doing
their masterpieces, they had to wear gloves.
Ever think of that? Funny, isn't it? Aren't you
cold, Marjory ? I am. jingo! Imagine the Spartans
in ulsters, going out to meet an enemy in cape-overcoats,
and being desired by their mothers to return
with their ulsters or wrapped in them."
It was rather hard work for Peter Tounley. Both
Marjory and Coleman tried to display an interest in
his labours, and they laughed not at what he said, but
because they believed it assisted him. The little train,
meanwhile, wandered up a great green slope, and the
day rapidly coloured the land.
At first Nora Black did not display a militant mood,
but as time passed Coleman saw clearly that she was
considering the advisability of a new attack. She had
Coleman and Marjory in conjunction and where they
were unable to escape from her. The opportunities
were great. To Coleman, she seemed to be gloating
over the possibilities of making more mischief. She
was looking at him speculatively, as if considering the
best place to hit him first. Presently she drawled :
" Rufus, I wish you would fix my rug about me a little
better." Coleman saw that this was a beginning.
Peter Tounley sprang to his feet with speed and en-
thusiasm. " Oh, let me do it for you." He had her
well muffled in the rug before she could protest, even
if a protest had been rational. The young man had
no idea of defending Coleman. He had no knowledge
of the necessity for it. It had been merely the exercise
of his habit of amiability, his chronic desire to
see everybody comfortable. His passion in this direction
was well known in Washurst, where the students
had borrowed a phrase from the photographers in order
to describe him fully in a nickname. They called
him " Look-pleasant Tounley." This did not in any
way antagonise his perfect willingness to fight on
occasions with a singular desperation, which usually
has a small stool in every mind where good nature has
" Oh, thank you very much, Mr. Tounley," said
Nora Black, without gratitude. " Rufus is always so
lax in these matters."
"I don't know how you know it," said Coleman
boldly, and he looked her fearlessly in the eye. The
battle had begun.
" Oh," responded Nora, airily, " I have had opportunity
enough to know it, I should think, by this
" No," said Coleman, " since I have never paid you
particular and direct attention, you cannot possibly
know what I am lax in and what I am not lax in. I
would be obliged to be of service at any time, Nora,
but surely you do not consider that you have a right
to my services superior to any other right."
Nora Black simply went mad, but fortunately part
of her madness was in the form of speechlessness.
Otherwise there might have been heard something
approaching to billingsgate.
Marjory and Peter Tounley turned first hot and then
cold, and looked as if they wanted to fly away; and
even Coke, penned helplessly in with this unpleasant
incident, seemed to have a sudden attack of distress.
The only frigid person was Coleman. He had made
his declaration of independence, and he saw with glee
that the victory was complete. Nora Black might
storm and rage, but he had announced his position in
an unconventional blunt way which nobody in the
carriage could fail to understand. He felt somewhat
like smiling with confidence and defiance in Nora's
face, but he still had the fear for Marjory.
Unexpectedly, the fight was all out of Nora Black.
She had the fury of a woman scorned, but evidently
she had perceived that all was over and lost. The
remainder of her wrath dispensed itself in glares which
Coleman withstood with great composure.
A strained silence fell upon the group which lasted
until they arrived at the little port of Mesalonghi,
whence they were to take ship for Patras. Coleman
found himself wondering why he had not gone flatly
at the great question at a much earlier period, indeed
at the first moment when the great question began to
make life exciting for him. He thought that if he
had charged Nora's guns in the beginning they would
have turned out to be the same incapable artillery.
Instead of that he had run away and continued to run
away until he was actually cornered and made to fight,
and his easy victory had defined him as a person
who had, earlier, indulged in much stupidity and
Everything had worked out so simply, his terrors
had been dispelled so easily, that he probably was led
to overestimate his success. And it occurred suddenly
to him. He foresaw a fine occasion to talk privately
to Marjory when all had boarded the steamer for
Patras and he resolved to make use of it. This he
believed would end the strife and conclusively laurel
The train finally drew up on a little stone pier and
some boatmen began to scream like gulls. The
steamer lay at anchor in the placid blue cove. The
embarkation was chaotic in the Oriental fashion and
there was the customary misery which was only relieved
when the travellers had set foot on the deck of
the steamer. Coleman did not devote any premature
attention to finding Marjory, but when the steamer
was fairly out on the calm waters of the Gulf of Corinth,
he saw her pacing to and fro with Peter Tounley.
At first he lurked in the distance waiting for an opportunity,
but ultimately he decided to make his own
opportunity. He approached them. "Marjory,would
you let me speak to you alone for a few moments?
You won't mind, will you, Peter? "
" Oh, no, certainly not," said Peter Tounley.
"Of course. It is not some dreadful revelation, is
it? " said Marjory, bantering him coolly.
" No," answered Coleman, abstractedly. He was
thinking of what he was going to say. Peter Tounley
vanished around the corner of a deck-house and Marjory
and Coleman began to pace to and fro even as
Marjory and Peter Tounley had done. Coleman had
thought to speak his mind frankly and once for all, and
on the train he had invented many clear expressions
of his feeling. It did not appear that he had forgotten
them. It seemed, more, that they had become entangled
in his mind in such a way that he could not
unravel the end of his discourse.
In the pause, Marjory began to speak in admiration
of the scenery. " I never imagined that Greece was so
full of mountains. One reads so much of the Attic
Plains, but aren't these mountains royal? They look
so rugged and cold, whereas the bay is absolutely as
blue as the old descriptions of a summer sea."
" I wanted to speak to you about Nora Black," said
"Nora Black? Why?" said Marjory, lifting her eye-
You know well enough," said Coleman, in a head.
long fashion. " You must know, you must have seen
it. She knows I care for you and she wants to stop it.
And she has no right to-to interfere. She is a fiend,
a perfect fiend. She is trying to make you feel that I
care for her."
" And don't you care for her ? " asked Marjory.
"No," said Coleman, vehemently. " I don't care
for her at all."
" Very well," answered Marjory, simply. " I believe
you." She managed to give the words the effect of a
mere announcement that she believed him and it was
in no way plain that she was glad or that she esteemed
the matter as being of consequence.
He scowled at her in dark resentment. " You mean
by that, I suppose, that you don't believe me ? "
" Oh," answered Marjory, wearily, " I believe you.
I said so. Don't talk about it any more."
"Then," said Coleman, slowly, " you mean that you
do not care whether I'm telling the truth or not?"
" Why, of course I care," she said. " Lying is not
He did not know, apparently, exactly how to deal
with her manner, which was actually so pliable that-it
was marble, if one may speak in that way. He looked
ruefully at the sea. He had expected a far easier
time. " Well-" he began.
" Really," interrupted Marjory, " this is something
which I do not care to discuss. I would rather you
would not speak to me at all about it. It seems too
-too-bad. I can readily give you my word that I
believe you, but I would prefer you not to try to talk
to me about it or-anything of that sort. Mother!"
Mrs. Wainwright was hovering anxiously in the
vicinity, and she now bore down rapidly upon the
pair. "You are very nearly to Patras," she said
reproachfully to her daughter, as if the fact had some
fault of Marjory's concealed in it. She in no way ac-
knowledged the presence of Coleman.
" Oh, are we ? " cried Marjory.
"Yes," said Mrs. Wainwright. " We are."
She stood waiting as if she expected Marjory to in-
stantly quit Coleman. The girl wavered a moment
and then followed her mother. " Good-bye." she said.
"I hope we may see you again in Athens." It was a
command to him to travel alone with his servant on
the long railway journey from Patras to Athens. It
was a dismissal of a casual acquaintance given so
graciously that it stung him to the depths of his pride.
He bowed his adieu and his thanks. When the yelling
boatmen came again, he and his man proceeded
to the shore in an early boat without looking in any
way after the welfare of the others.
At the train, the party split into three sections.
Coleman and his man had one compartment, Nora
Black and her squad had another, and the Wainwrights
and students occupied two more.
The little officer was still in tow of Nora Black.
He was very enthusiastic. In French she directed
him to remain silent, but he did not appear to understand.
" You tell him," she then said to her dragoman,
" to sit in a corner and not to speak until I tell
him to, or I won't have him in here." She seemed
anxious to unburden herself to the old lady companion.
" Do you know," she said, " that girl has a
nerve like steel. I tried to break it there in that inn,
but I couldn't budge her. If I am going to have her
beaten I must prove myself to be a very, very artful
" Why did you try to break her nerve ? " asked the
old lady, yawning. "Why do you want to have her
beaten ? "
" Because I do, old stupid," answered Nora. " You
should have heard the things I said to her."
" About Coleman. Can't you understand anything
" And why should you say anything about Coleman
to her?" queried the old lady, still hopelessly befogged.
" Because," cried Nora, darting a look of wrath at
her companion, " I want to prevent that marriage."
She had been betrayed into this avowal by the singularly
opaque mind of the old lady. The latter at once
sat erect. - " Oh, ho," she said, as if a ray of light had
been let into her head. " Oh, ho. So that's it, is it ? "
"Yes, that's it, rejoined Nora, shortly.
The old lady was amazed into a long period of
meditation. At last she spoke depressingly. " Well,
how are you going to prevent it? Those things can't
be done in these days at all. If they care for each
Nora burst out furiously. "Don't venture opinions
until you know what you are talking about, please.
They don't care for each other, do you see? She
cares for him, but he don't give a snap of his fingers
" But," cried the bewildered lady, " if he don't care
for her, there will be nothing to prevent. If he don't
care for her, he won't ask her to marry him, and so
there won't be anything to prevent."
Nora made a broad gesture of impatience. " Oh,
can't you get anything through your head ? Haven't
you seen that the girl has been the only young
woman in that whole party lost up there in the mountains,
and that naturally more than half of the men
still think they are in love with her? That's what it
is. Can't you see ? It always happens that way.
Then Coleman comes along and makes a fool of himself
with the others."
The old lady spoke up brightly as if at last feeling
able to contribute something intelligent to the talk.
" Oh, then, he does care for her."
Nora's eyes looked as if their glance might shrivel
the old lady's hair. "Don't I keep telling you that
it is no such thing ? Can't you understand? It is
all glamour! Fascination! Way up there in the
wilderness! Only one even passable woman in sight."
" I don't say that I am so very keen," said the old
lady, somewhat offended, "but I fail to see where I
could improve when first you tell me he don't care
for her, and then you tell me that he does care for
" Glamour,' ' Fascination,'" quoted Nora. " Don't
you understand the meaning of the words ? "
" Well," asked the other, didn't he know her, then,
before he came over here ?"
Nora was silent for a time, while a gloom upon her
face deepened. It had struck her that the theories
for which she protested so energetically might not be
of such great value. Spoken aloud, they had a sudden
new flimsiness. Perhaps she had reiterated to herself
that Coleman was the victim of glamour only because
she wished it to be true. One theory, however, re-
mained unshaken. Marjory was an artful rninx, with
no truth in her.
She presently felt the necessity of replying to the
question of her companion. " Oh," she said, care-
lessly, " I suppose they were acquainted-in a way."
The old lady was giving the best of her mind to
the subject. " If that's the case-" she observed,
musingly, " if that's the case, you can't tell what is
The talk had so slackened that Nora's unfortunate
Greek admirer felt that here was a good opportunity
to present himself again to the notice of the actress.
The means was a smile and a French sentence, but
his reception would have frightened a man in armour.
His face blanched with horror at the storm, he had
invoked, and he dropped limply back as if some one
had shot him. "You tell this little snipe to let me
alone! " cried Nora, to the dragoman. " If he dares
to come around me with any more of those Parisian
dude speeches, I-I don't know what I'll do! I
won't have it, I say." The impression upon the
dragoman was hardly less in effect. He looked with
bulging eyes at Nora, and then began to stammer at
the officer. The latter's voice could sometimes be
heard in awed whispers for the more elaborate explanation
of some detail of the tragedy. Afterward, he
remained meek and silent in his corner, barely more
than a shadow, like the proverbial husband of imperious
"Well," said the old lady, after a long and thoughtful
pause, " I don't know, I'm sure, but it seems to me
that if Rufus Coleman really cares for that girl, there
isn't much use in trying to stop him from getting her.
He isn't that kind of a man."
" For heaven's sake, will you stop assuming that he
does care for her ? " demanded Nora, breathlessly.
"And I don't see," continued the old lady, "what
you want to prevent him for, anyhow."
" I FEEL in this radiant atmosphere that there could
be no such thing as war-men striving together in
black and passionate hatred." The professor's words
were for the benefit of his wife and daughter. ,He
was viewing the sky-blue waters of the Gulf of Corinth
with its background of mountains that in the sunshine
were touched here and there with a copperish glare.
The train was slowly sweeping along the southern
shore. " It is strange to think of those men fighting
up there in the north. And it is strange to think
that we ourselves are but just returning from it."
" I cannot begin to realise it yet," said Mrs. Wain-
wright, in a high voice.
" Quite so," responded the professor, reflectively.
"I do not suppose any of us will realise it fully
for some time. It is altogether too odd, too very
"To think of it!" cried Mrs. WainWright. "To
think of it! Supposing those dreadful Albanians or
those awful men from the Greek mountains had
caught us! Why, years from now I'll wake up in the
night and think of it! "
The professor mused. " Strange that we cannot
feel it strongly now. My logic tells me to be aghast
that we ever got into such a place, but my nerves at
present refuse to thrill. I am very much afraid that
this singular apathy of ours has led us to be unjust to
Here Mrs. Wainwright objected. " Poor Coleman!
I don't see why you call him poor Coleman.
" Well," answered the professor, slowly, " I am in
doubt about our behaviour. It-"
" Oh," cried the wife, gleefully," in doubt about
our behaviour! I'm in doubt about his behaviour."
" So, then, you do have a doubt. of his behaviour?"
" Oh, no," responded Mrs. Wainwright, hastily,
" not about its badness. What I meant to say was
that in the face of his outrageous conduct with that-
that woman, it is curious that you should worry
about our behaviour. It surprises me, Harrison."
The professor was wagging his head sadly. " I
don't know I don't know It seems hard to
judge * * I hesitate to-"
Mrs. Wainwright treated this attitude with disdain.
" It is not hard to judge," she scoffed, " and I fail to
see why you have any reason for hesitation at all.
Here he brings this woman— "
The professor got angry. "Nonsense! Nonsense!
I do not believe that he brought her. If I ever saw a
spectacle of a woman bringing herself, it was then.
You keep chanting that thing like an outright
"Well," retorted Mrs. Wainwright, bridling, "I
suppose you imagine that you understand such
things, Men usually think that, but I want to tell
you that you seem to me utterly blind."
" Blind or not, do stop the everlasting reiteration of
Mrs. Wainwright passed into an offended silence,
and the professor, also silent, looked with a gradually
dwindling indignation at the scenery.
Night was suggested in the sky before the train
was near to Athens. " My trunks," sighed Mrs.
Wainwright. " How glad I will be to get back to my
trunks! Oh, the dust! Oh, the misery ! Do find
out when we will get there, Harrison. Maybe the
train is late."
But, at last, they arrived in Athens, amid a darkness
which was confusing, and, after no more than the
common amount of trouble, they procured carriages
and were taken to the hotel. Mrs. Wainwright's
impulses now dominated the others in the family.
She had one passion after another. The majority of
the servants in the hotel pretended that they spoke
English, but, in three minutes, she drove them distracted
with the abundance and violence of her requests.
It came to pass that in the excitement the
old couple quite forgot Marjory. It was not until
Mrs. Wainwright, then feeling splendidly, was dressed
for dinner, that she thought to open Marjory's door
and go to render a usual motherly supervision of the
There was no light: there did not seem to be any-
body in the room. " Marjory ! " called the mother, in
alarm. She listened for a moment and then ran
hastily out again. " Harrison ! " she cried. " I can't
find Marjory!" The professor had been tying his
cravat. He let the loose ends fly. "What?" he
ejaculated, opening his mouth wide. Then they both
rushed into Marjory's room. "Marjory!" beseeched
the old man in a voice which would have invoked the
The answer was from the bed. "Yes?" It was
low, weary, tearful. It was not like Marjory. It was
dangerously the voice of a hcart-broken woman.
They hurried forward with outcries. "Why, Marjory!
Are you ill, child? How long have you been lying in
the dark? Why didn't you call us? Are you ill?"
" No," answered this changed voice, " I am not ill.
I only thought I'd rest for a time. Don't bother."
The professor hastily lit the gas and then father
and mother turned hurriedly to the bed. In the first
of the illumination they saw that tears were flowing
unchecked down Marjory's face.
The effect.of this grief upon the professor was, in
part, an effect of fear. He seemed afraid to touch it,
to go near it. He could, evidently, only remain in
the outskirts, a horrified spectator. The mother, how.
ever, flung her arms about her daughter. " Oh, Marjory! "
She, too, was weeping.
The girl turned her face to the pillow and held out
a hand of protest. " Don't, mother! Don't !"
"Oh, Marjory! Oh, Marjory!"
" Don't, mother. Please go away. Please go
away. Don't speak at all, I beg of you."
" Oh, Marjory! Oh, Marjory!"
" Don't." The girl lifted a face which appalled
them. It had something entirely new in it. " Please
go away, mother. I will speak to father, but I won't
-I can't-I can't be pitied."
Mrs. Wainwright looked at her husband. " Yes,"
said the old man, trembling. "Go! " She threw up
her hands in a sorrowing gesture that was not without
its suggestion that her exclusion would be a mistake.
She left the room.
The professor dropped on his knees at the bedside
and took one of Marjory's hands. His voice dropped
to its tenderest note. "Well, my Marjory?"
She had turned her face again to the pillow. At
last she answered in muffled tones, " You know."
Thereafter came a long silence full of sharpened
pain. It was Marjory who spoke first. "I have
saved my pride, daddy, but-I have-lost-everything
—else." Even her sudden resumption of the old epithet
of her childhood was an additional misery to the
old man. He still said no word. He knelt, gripping
her fingers and staring at the wall.
" Yes, I have lost~everything-else."
The father gave a low groan. He was thinking
deeply, bitterly. Since one was only a human being,
how was one going to protect beloved hearts assailed
with sinister fury from the inexplicable zenith? In
this tragedy he felt as helpless as an old grey ape.
He did not see a possible weapon with which he could
defend his child from the calamity which was upon
her. There was no wall, no shield which could turn
this sorrow from the heart of his child. If one of his
hands loss could have spared her, there would have
been a sacrifice of his hand, but he was potent for
nothing. He could only groan and stare at the wall.
He reviewed the past half in fear that he would suddenly
come upon his error which was now the cause
of Marjory's tears. He dwelt long upon the fact that
in Washurst he had refused his consent to Marjory's
marriage with Coleman, but even now he could not
say that his judgment was not correct. It was simply
that the doom of woman's woe was upon Marjory,
this ancient woe of the silent tongue and the governed
will, and he could only kneel at the bedside and stare
at the wall.
Marjory raised her voice in a laugh. " Did I betray
myself? Did I become the maiden all forlorn ? Did
I giggle to show people that I did not care? No-I
did not-I did not. And it was such a long time,
daddy! Oh, such a long time! I thought we would
never get here. I thought I would never get where I
could be alone like this, where I could-cry-if I
wanted to. I am not much of - a crier, am I, daddy?
But this time-this-time-"
She suddenly drew herself over near to her father
and looked at him. " Oh, daddy, I want to tell you
one thing. just one simple little thing." She waited
then, and while she waited her father's head went
lower and lower. " Of course, you know-I told you
once. I love him! I love him! Yes, probably he is
a rascal, but, do you know, I don't think I would
mind if he was a-an assassin. This morning I sent
him away, but, daddy, he didn't want to go at all.
I know he didn't. This Nora Black is nothing to him.
I know she is not. I am sure of it. Yes-I am sure
of it. * * * I never expected to talk this way to any
living creature, but-you are so good, daddy.
Dear old daddy—-"
She ceased, for she saw that her father was praying.
The sight brought to her a new outburst of sobbing,
for her sorrow now had dignity and solemnity from
thebowed white head of her old father, and she felt
that her heart was dying amid the pomp of the church.
It was the last rites being performed at the death-bed.
Into her ears came some imagining of the low melan.
choly chant of monks in a gloom.
Finally her father arose. He kissed her on the
brow. " Try to sleep, dear," he said. He turned out
the gas and left the room. His thought was full of
But if his thought was full of chastened emotion, it
received some degree of shock when he arrived in the
presence of Mrs. Wainwright. " Well, what is all this
about ? " she demanded, irascibly. " Do you mean to
say that Marjory is breaking her heart over that man
Coleman ? It is all your fault-" She was apparently still
ruffled over her exclusion.
When the professor interrupted her he did not
speak with his accustomed spirit, but from something
novel in his manner she recognised a danger signal.
" Please do not burst out at it in that way."
"Then it Is true?" she asked. Her voice was a
mere awed whisper.
" It is true," answered the professor.
"Well," she said, after reflection, "I knew it. I
alway's knew it. If you hadn't been so blind! You
turned like a weather-cock in your opinions of Coleman.
You never could keep your opinion about him
for more than an hour. Nobody could imagine what
you might think next. And now you see the result
of it! I warned you! I told you what this Coleman
was, and if Marjory is suffering now, you have only
yourself to blame for it. I warned you! "
" If it is my fault," said the professor, drearily, " I
hope God may forgive me, for here is a great wrong
to my daughter."
Well, if you had done as I told you-" she began.
Here the professor revolted. " Oh, now, do not be-
gin on that," he snarled, peevishly. Do not begin
" Anyhow," said Mrs. Wainwright, it is time that
we should be going down to dinner. Is Marjory com-
" No, she is not," answered the professor, " and I
do not know as I shall go myself."
" But you must go. Think how it would look!
All the students down there dining without us, and
cutting up capers! You must come."
" Yes," he said, dubiously, " but who will look after
Marjory ? "
" She wants to be left alone," announced Mrs.
Wainwright, as if she was the particular herald of this
news. " She wants to be left alone."
" Well, I suppose we may as well go down."
Before they went, the professor tiptoed into his
daughter's room. In the darkness he could only see
her waxen face on the pillow, and her two eyes gazing
fixedly at the ceiling. He did not speak, but immedi.
ately withdrew, closing the door noiselessly behind
IF the professor and Mrs. Wainwright had descended
sooner to a lower floor of the hotel, they
would have found reigning there a form of anarchy.
The students were in a smoking room which was also
an entrance hall to the dining room, and because there
was in the middle of this apartment a fountain containing
gold fish, they had been moved to license and
sin. They had all been tubbed and polished and
brushed and dressed until they were exuberantly beyond
themselves. The proprietor of the hotel brought
in his dignity and showed it to them, but they minded
it no more than if he had been only a common man.
He drew himself to his height and looked gravely
at them and they jovially said: " Hello, Whiskers."
American college students are notorious in their country
for their inclination to scoff at robed and crowned
authority, and, far from being awed by the dignity of
the hotel-keeper, they were delighted with it. It was
something with which to sport. With immeasurable
impudence, they copied his attitude, and, standing before
him, made comic speeches, always alluding with
blinding vividness to his beard. His exit disappointed
them. He had not remained long under fire. They
felt that they could have interested themselves with
him an entire evening. " Come back, Whiskers! Oh,
come back! " Out in the main hall he made a ges.
ture of despair to some of his gaping minions and then
fled to seclusion.
A formidable majority then decided that Coke was
a gold fish, and that therefore his proper place was in
the fountain. They carried him to it while he strug.
gled madly. This quiet room with its crimson rugs
and gilded mirrors seemed suddenly to have become
an important apartment in hell. There being as yet
no traffic in the dining room, the waiters were all at
liberty to come to the open doors, where they stood
as men turned to stone. To them, it was no less than
Coke, standing with one foot on the floor and the
other on the bottom of the shallow fountain, blas-
phemed his comrades in a low tone, but with inten-
tion. He was certainly desirous of lifting his foot out
of the water, but it seemed that all movement to that
end would have to wait until he had successfully ex-
pressed his opinions. In the meantime, there was
heard slow footsteps and the rustle of skirts, and then
some people entered the smoking room on their way
to dine. Coke took his foot hastily out of the fountain.
The faces of the men of the arriving party went
blank, and they turned their cold and pebbly eyes
straight to the front, while the ladies, after little ex.
pressions of alarm, looked As if they wanted to run.
In fact, the whole crowd rather bolted from this ex-
" There, now," said Coke bitterly to his companions.
"You see? We looked like little schoolboys-"
" Oh, never mind, old man," said Peter Tounley.
"We'll forgive you, although you did embarrass us.
But, above everything, don't drip. Whatever you do,
The students took this question of dripping and
played upon it until they would have made quite insane
anybody but another student. They worked it
into all manner of forms, and hacked and haggled at
Coke until he was driven to his room to seek other
apparel. " Be sure and change both legs," they told
him. " Remember you can't change one leg without
changing both legs."
After Coke's departure, the United States minister
entered the room, and instantly they were subdued.
It was not his lofty station-that affected them. There
are probably few stations that would have at all af-
fectedthem. They became subdued because they un-
feignedly liked the United States minister. They,
were suddenly a group of well-bred, correctly attired
young men who had not put Coke's foot in the fountain.
Nor had they desecrated the majesty of the
"Well, I am delighted," said the minister, laughing
as he shook hands with them all. " I was not sure I
would ever see you again. You are not to be trusted,
and, good boys as you are, I'll be glad to see you once
and forever over the boundary of my jurisdiction.
Leave Greece, you vagabonds. However, I am truly
delighted to see you all safe."
" Thank you, sir," they said.
" How in the world did you get out of it? You
must be remarkable chaps. I thought you were in a
hopeless position. I wired and cabled everywhere I
could, but I could find out nothing."
" A correspondent," said Peter Tounley. " I don't
know if you have met him. His name is Coleman.
He found us."
" Coleman ? " asked the minister, quickly.
" Yes, sir. He found us and brought us out safely."
" Well, glory be to Coleman," exclaimed the min-
ister, after a long sigh of surprise. " Glory be to Cole-
man! I never thought he could do it."
The students were alert immediately. "Why, did
you know about it, sir? Did he tell you he was coming
after us ? "
"Of course. He came tome here in Athens. and
asked where you were. I told him you were in a
peck of trouble. He acted quietly and somewhat
queerly,. and said that he would try to look you up.
He said you were friends of his. I warned him
against trying it. Yes, I said it was impossible, I
had no idea that he would really carry the thing out.
But didn't he tell you anything about this himself?"
" No, sir ' " answered Peter Tounley. " He never
said much about it. I think he usually contended
that it was mainly an accident."
" It was no accident," said the minister, sharply.
"When a man starts out to do a thing and does it,
you can't say it is an accident."
" I didn't say so, sir," said Peter Tounley diffidently.
" Quite true, quite true ! You didn't, but-this
Coleman must be a man! "
" We think so, sir," said be who was called Billie.
" He certainly brought us through in style."
" But how did he manage it? " cried the minister,
keenly interested. " How did he do it ? "
" It is hard to say, sir. But he did it. He met us
in the dead of night out near Nikopolis-"
"Yes, sir. And he hid us in a forest while a fight
was going on, and then in the morning he brought us
inside the Greek lines. Oh, there is a lot to tell-"
Whereupon they told it, or as much as they could
of it. In the end, the minister said: " Well, where are
the professor and Mrs. Wainwright ? I want you all
to dine with me to-night. I am dining in the public
room, but you won't mind that after Epirus."
" They should be down now, sir," answered a Student.
People were now coming rapidly to dinner and presently
the professor and Mrs. Wainwright appeared.
The old man looked haggard and white. He accepted
the minister's warm greeting with a strained pathetic
smile. " Thank you. We are glad to return safely."
Once at dinner the minister launched immediately
into the subject of Coleman. " He must be altogether
a most remarkable man. When he told me, very
quietly, that he was going to try to rescue you, I
frankly warned him against any such attempt. I
thought he would merely add one more to a party of
suffering people. But the. boys tell- me that he did
actually rescue you."
"Yes, he did," said the professor. " It was a very
gallant performance, and we are very grateful."
"Of course," spoke Mrs. Wainwright, "we might
have rescued ourselves. We were on the right road,
and all we had to do was to keep going on."
" Yes, but I understand-" said the minister. " I
understand he took you into a wood to protect you
from that fight, and generally protected you from all,
kinds of trouble. It seems wonderful to me, not so
much because it was done as because it was done by
the man who, some time ago, calmy announced to me
that he was going to do it. Extraordinary."
"Of course," said Mrs. Wainwright. " Oh, of
"And where is he now? " asked the minister suddenly.
"Has he now left you to the mercies of civilisation ? "
There was a moment's curious stillness, and then
Mrs. Wainwright used that high voice which-the
students believed-could only come to her when she
was about to say something peculiarly destructive to
the sensibilities. " Oh, of course, Mr. Coleman rendered
us a great service, but in his private character
he is not a man whom we exactly care to associate
" Indeed" said the minister staring. Then he
hastily addressed the students. " Well, isn't this a
comic war? Did you ever imagine war could be like
this ? " The professor remained looking at his wife
with an air of stupefaction, as if she had opened up to
him visions of imbecility of which he had not even
dreamed. The students loyally began to chatter at
the minister. " Yes, sir, it is a queer war. After all
their bragging, it is funny to hear that they are running
away with such agility. We thought, of course,
of the old Greek wars."
Later, the minister asked them all to his rooms for
coffee and cigarettes, but the professor and Mrs.
Wainwright apologetically retired to their own quarters.
The minister and the students made clouds of smoke,
through which sang the eloquent descriptions of late
The minister had spent days of listening to questions
from the State Department at Washington as to
the whereabouts of the Wainwright party. "I suppose
you know that you,are very prominent people in, the
United States just now ? Your pictures must have
been in all the papers, and there must have been
columns printed about you. My life here was made
almost insupportable by your friends, who consist, I
should think, of about half the population of the
country. Of course they laid regular siege to the de.
partment. I am angry at Coleman for only one thing.
When he cabled the news of your rescue to his news.
paper from Arta, he should have also wired me, if only
to relieve my failing mind. My first news of your
escape was from Washington-think of that."
"Coleman had us all on his hands at Arta," said
Peter Tounley. " He was a fairly busy man."
" I suppose so," said the minister. " By the way,"
he asked bluntly, "what is wrong with him? What
did Mrs. Wainwright mean? "
They were silent for a time, but it seemed plain to
him that it was not evidence that his question had
demoralised them. They seemed to be deliberating
upon the form of answer. Ultimately Peter Tounley
coughed behind his hand. " You see, sir," he began,
" there is-well, there is a woman in the case. Not
that anybody would care to speak of it excepting to
you. But that is what is the cause of things, and then,
you see, Mrs. Wainwright is-well-" He hesitated
a moment and then completed his sentence in the
ingenuous profanity of his age and condition. " She is
rather an extraordinary old bird."
" But who is the woman ?
"Why, it is Nora Blaick, the actress."
"Oh," cried the minister, enlightened. " Her
Why, I saw her here. She was very beautiful, but she
seemed harmless enough. She was somewhat-er-
confident, perhaps, but she did not alarm me. She
called upon me, and I confess I-why, she seemed
" She's sweet on little Rufus. That's the point,"
said an oracular voice.
" Oh," cried the host, suddenly. " I remember. She
asked me where he was. She said she had heard he
was in Greece, and I told her he had gone knight-
erranting off after you people. I remember now. I
suppose she posted after him up to Arta, eh ? "
" That's it. And so she asked you where he was?
" Why, that old flamingo-Mrs. Wainwright insists
that it was a rendezvous."
Every one exchanged glances and laughed a little.
" And did you see any actual fighting ? " asked the
" No. We only beard it-"
Afterward, as they were trooping up to their rooms,
Peter Tounley spoke musingly. " Well, it looks to me
now as if Old Mother Wainwright was just a bad-minded
" Oh, I don't know. How is one going to tell what
the truth is ? "
" At any rate, we are sure now that Coleman had
nothing to do with Nora's debut in Epirus."
They had talked much of Coleman, but in their tones
there always had been a note of indifference or
carelessness. This matter, which to some people was as
vital and fundamental as existence, remained to others
who knew of it only a harmless detail of life, with no
terrible powers, and its significance had faded greatly
when had ended the close associat.ions of the late adventure.
After dinner the professor had gone directly to his
daughter's room. Apparently she had not moved.
He knelt by the bedside again and took one of her
hands. She was not weeping. She looked at him
and smiled through the darkness. " Daddy, I would
like to die," she said. " I think-yes-I would like to
For a long time the old man was silent, but he arose
at last with a definite abruptness and said hoarsely
" Wait! "
Mrs. Wainwright was standing before her mirror
with her elbows thrust out at angles above her head,
while her fingers moved in a disarrangement of 'her
hair. In the glass she saw a reflection of her husband
coming from Marjory's room, and his face was set
with some kind of alarming purpose. She turned to
watch him actually, but he walked toward the door
into the corridor and did not in any wise heed her.
" Harrison! " she called. " Where are you going? "
He turned a troubled face upon her, and, as if she
had hailed him in his sleep, he vacantly said:
"What ? "
"Where are you going?" she demanded with increasing
He dropped heavily into a chair. "Going?" he
She was angry. "Yes! Going? Where are you
"I am going-" he answered, "I am going to
see Rufus Coleman."
Mrs. Wainwright gave voice to a muffled scream.
" Not about Marjory ? "
"Yes," he said, "about Marjory."
It was now Mrs. Wainwright's turn to look at her
husband with an air of stupefaction as if he had
opened up to her visions of imbecility of which she
had not even dreamed. " About Marjory!" she
gurgled. Then suddenly her wrath flamed out.
"Well, upon my word, Harrison Wainwright, you
are, of all men in the world, the most silly and stupid.
You are absolutely beyond belief. Of all projects!
And what do you think Marjory would have to say of
it if she knew it ? I suppose you think she would like
it ? Why, I tell you she would keep her right hand
in the fire until it was burned off before she would
allow you to do such a thing."
" She must never know it," responded the professor,
in dull misery.
" Then think of yourself! Think of the shame of
it! The shame of it ! "
The professor raised his eyes for an ironical glance
at his wife. " Oh I have thought of the shame
" And you'll accomplish nothing," cried Mrs. Wain-
wright. " You'll accomplish nothing. He'll only
laugh at you."
" If he laughs at me, he will laugh at nothing but a
poor, weak, unworldly old man. It is my duty to go."
Mrs. Wainwright opened her mouth as if she was
about to shriek. After choking a moment she said:
" Your duty? Your duty to go and bend the knee to
that man? Yourduty?"
"'It is my duty to go,"' he repeated humbly. "If
I can find even one chance for my daughter's happi-
ness in a personal sacrifice. He can do no more than
he can do no more than make me a little sadder."
His wife evidently understood his humility as a
tribute to her arguments and a clear indication that
she had fatally undermined his original intention.
" Oh, he would have made you sadder," she quoth
grimly. "No fear! Why, it was the most insane
idea I ever heard of."
The professor arose wearily. " Well, I must be
going to this work. It is a thing to have ended
quickly." There was something almost biblical in his
" Harrison! " burst out his wife in amazed lamenta-
tion. You are not really going to do it? Not
" I am going to do it," he answered.
" Well, there! " ejaculated Mrs. Wainwright to the
heavens. She was, so to speak, prostrate. " Well,
As the professor passed out of the door she cried
beseechingly but futilely after him. " Harrison." In
a mechanical way she turned then back to the mirror
and resumed the disarrangement of her hair. She ad-
dressed her image. " Well, of all stupid creatures
under the sun, men are the very worst! " And her
image said this to her even as she informed it, and afterward
they stared at each other in a profound and
tragic reception and acceptance of this great truth.
Presently she began to consider the advisability of
going to Marjdry with the whole story. Really, Harrison
must not be allowed to go on blundering until
the whole world heard that Marjory was trying to
break her heart over that common scamp of a Coleman.
It seemed to be about time for her, Mrs. Wainwright,
to come into the situation and mend matters.
WHEN the professor arrived before Coleman's door,
he paused a moment and looked at it. Previously,
he could not have imagined that a simple door would
ever so affect him. Every line of it seemed to express
cold superiority and disdain. It was only the door of
a former student, one of his old boys, whom, as the
need arrived, he had whipped with his satire in the
class rooms at Washurst until the mental blood had
come, and all without a conception of his ultimately
arriving before the door of this boy in the attitude of
a supplicant. Hewould not say it; Coleman probably
would not say it; but-they would both know it. A
single thought of it, made him feel like running away.
He would never dare to knock on that door. It would
be too monstrous. And even as he decided that he
was afraid to knock, he knocked.
Coleman's voice said; "Come in." The professor
opened the door. The correspondent, without a coat,
was seated at a paper-littered table. Near his elbow,
upon another table, was a tray from which he had evidently
dined and also a brandy bottle with several
recumbent bottles of soda. Although he had so lately
arrived at the hotel he had contrived to diffuse his
traps over the room in an organised disarray which
represented a long and careless occupation if it did
not represent t'le scene of a scuffle. His pipe was in
After a first murmur of surprise, he arose and
reached in some haste for his coat. " Come in, professor,
come in," he cried, wriggling deeper into his
jacket as he held out his hand. He had laid aside his
pipe and had also been very successful in flinging a
newspaper so that it hid the brandy and soda. This
act was a feat of deference to the professor's well
"Won't you sit down, sir ? " said Coleman cordially.
His quick glance of surprise had been immediately
suppressed and his manner was now as if the pro-
fessor's call was a common matter.
" Thank you, Mr. Coleman, I-yes, I will sit down,".
replied the old man. His hand shook as he laid it on
the back of the chair and steadied himself down into
it. " Thank you!" -
Coleman looked at him with a great deal of ex-
" Mr. Coleman ! "
He halted then and passed his hand over his face.
His eyes did not seem to rest once upon Coleman,
but they occupied themselves in furtive and frightened
glances over the room. Coleman could make neither
head nor tail of the affair. He would not have believed
any man's statement that the professor could
act in such an extraordinary fashion. " Yes, sir," he
said again suggestively. The simple strategy resulted
in a silence that was actually awkward. Coleman, despite
his bewilderment, hastened into a preserving
gossip. " I've had a great many cables waiting for
me for heaven knows- how long and others have been
arriving in flocks to-night. You have no idea of the
row in America, professor. Why, everybody must
have gone wild over the lost sheep. My paper has
cabled some things that are evidently for you. For
instance, here is one that says a new puzzle-game
called Find the Wainwright Party has had a big success.
Think of that, would you." Coleman grinned
at the professor. " Find the Wainwright Party, a
The professor had seemed grateful for Coleman's
tangent off into matters of a light vein. " Yes?" he
said, almost eagerly. " Are they selling a game really
" Yes, really," replied Coleman. " And of course
you know that-er-well, all the Sunday papers would
of course have big illustrated articles-full pages-
with your photographs and general private histories
pertaining mostly to things which are none of their
" Yes, I suppose they would do that," admitted the
professor. " But I dare say it may not be as bad as
" Very like not," said Coleman. " I put it to you
forcibly so that in the future the blow will not be too
cruel. They are often a weird lot."
" Perhaps they can't find anything very bad about
" Oh, no. And besides the whole episode will probably
be forgotten by the time you return to the United States."
They talked onin this way slowly, strainedly, until
they each found that the situation would soon become
insupportable. The professor had come for a distinct
purpose and Coleman knew it; they could not sit
there lying at each other forever. Yet when he saw
the pain deepening in the professor's eyes, the correspondent
again ordered up his trivialities. " Funny
thing. My paper has been congratulating me, you
know, sir, in a wholesale fashion, and I think-I feel
sure-that they have been exploiting my name all
over the country as the Heroic Rescuer. There is no
sense in trying to stop them, because they don't care
whether it is true or not true. All they want is the
privilege of howling out that their correspondent rescued
you, and they would take that privilege without
in any ways worrying if I refused my consent. You
see, sir? I wouldn't like you to feel that I was such a
strident idiot as I doubtless am appearing now before
" No," said the professor absently. It was plain
that he had been a very slack listener. " I-Mr. Coleman-"
"Yes, sir," answered Coleman promptly and gently.
It was obviously only a recognition of the futility
of further dallying that was driving the old man on-
ward. He knew, of course, that if he was resolved to
take this step, a longer delay would simply make it
harder for him. The correspondent, leaning forward,
was watching him almost breathlessly.
" Mr. Coleman, I understand-or at least I am led
to believe-that you-at one time, proposed marriage
to my daughter? "
The faltering words did not sound as if either man
had aught to do with them. They were an expression
by the tragic muse herself. Coleman's jaw fell and he
looked glassily at the professor. He said: "Yes!"
But already his blood was leaping as his mind flashed
everywhere in speculation.
" I refused my consent to that marriage," said the
old man more easily. " I do not know if the matter
has remained important to you, but at any rate, I-I
retract my refusal."
Suddenly the blank expression left Coleman's face
and he smiled with sudden intelligence, as if informa-
tion of what the professor had been saying had just
reached him. In this smile there was a sudden be.
trayal, too, of something keen and bitter which had
lain hidden in the man's mind. He arose and made a
step towards the professor and held out his hand.
"Sir, I thank yod from the bottom of my heart!"
And they both seemed to note with surprise that
Coleman's voice had broken.
The professor had arisen to receive Coleman's hand.
His nerve was now of iron and he was very formal.
" I judge from your tone that I have not made a mis-
take-somcthing which I feared."
Coleman did not seem to mind the professor's formality.
" Don't fear anything. Won't you sit down
again? Will you have a cigar. * * No, I couldn't
tell you how glad I am. How glad I am. I feel like
a fool. It—"
But the professor fixed him with an Arctic eye and
bluntly said: " You love her ? "
The question steadied Coleman at once. He
looked undauntedly straight into the professor's face.
He simply said: " I love her! "
" You love her ? " repeated the professor.
" I love her," repeated Coleman.
After some seconds of pregnant silence, the
professor arose. " Well, if she cares to give her life to
you I will allow it, but I must say that I do not consider
you nearly good enough. Good-night." He
smiled faintly as he held out his hand.
" Good-night, sir," said Coleman. " And I can't
tell, you, now-"
Mrs. Wainwright, in her room was languishing in a
chair and applying to her brow a handkerch-ief wet
with cologne water. She, kept her feverish glarice
upon the door. Remembering well the manner of her
husband when he went out she could hardly identify
him when he came in. Serenity, composure, even
self-satisfaction, was written upon him. He, paid no
attention to her, but going to a chair sat down with
a groan of contentment.
" Well ? " cried Mrs. Wainwright, starting up.
" Well ? "
" Well-what ? " he asked.
She waved her hand impatiently. " Harrison,
don't be absurd. You know perfectly well what I
mean. It is a pity you couldn't think of the anxiety
I have been in." She was going to weep.
"Oh, I'll tell you after awhile," he said stretching
out his legs with the complacency of a rich merchant
after a successful day.
"No! Tell me now," she implored him. "Can't
you see I've worried myself nearly to death?" She
was not going to weep, she was going to wax angry.
"Well, to tell the truth," said the professor with
considerable pomposity, " I've arranged it. Didn't
think I could do it at first, but it turned out "
"I Arranged it,"' wailed Mrs. Wainwright. " Arranged what? "
It here seemed to strike the professor suddenly
that he was not such a flaming example for
diplomatists as he might have imagined. " Arranged," he
stammered. " Arranged ."
" Arranged what? "
" Why, I fixed-I fixed it up."
" Fixed what up? "
"It-it-" began the professor. Then he swelled
with indignation. " Why, can't you understand anything
at all? I-I fixed it."
" Fixed what? "
" Fixed it. Fixed it with Coleman."
" Fixed what with Coleman?
The professor's wrath now took control of him.
"Thunder and lightenin' ! You seem to jump at the
conclusion that I've made some horrible mistake. For
goodness' sake, give me credit for a particle of sense."
" What did you do? " she asked in a sepulchral voice.
" Well," said the professor, in a burning defiance,
" I'll tell you what I did. I went to Coleman and
told him that once-as he of course knew-I had re-
fused his marriage with my daughter, but that now—-"
" Grrr," said Mrs. Wainwright.
" But that now-" continued the professor,
" I retracted that refusal."
" Mercy on us! " cried Mrs. Wainwright, throwing
herself back in the chair. " Mercy on us! What
fools men are!"
" Now, wait a minute-"
But Mrs. Wainwright began to croon: " Oh, if
Marjory should hear of this! Oh, if she should hear
of it! just let her. Hear-"
" But she must not," cried the professor, tigerishly.
just you dare! " And the woman saw before her a
man whose eyes were lit with a flame which almost
expressed a temporary hatred.
The professor had left Coleman so abruptly that
the correspondent found himself murmuring half.
coherent gratitude to the closed door of his room.
Amazement soon began to be mastered by exultation.
He flung himself upon the brandy and soda and nego-
tiated a strong glass. Pacing. the room with nervous
steps, he caught a vision of himself in a tall mirror.
He halted before it. " Well, well," he said. " Rufus,
you're a grand man. There is not your equal anywhere.
You are a great, bold, strong player, fit to sit
down to a game with the -best."
A moment later it struck him that he had appropriated
too much. If the professor had paid him a visit
and made a wonderful announcement, he, Coleman,
had not been the engine of it. And then he enunciated
clearly something in his mind which, even in a
vague form, had been responsible for much of his early
elation. Marjory herself had compassed this thing.
With shame he rejected a first wild and preposterous
idea that she had sent her father to him. He reflected
that a man who for an instant could conceive
such a thing was a natural-born idiot. With an equal
feeling, he rejected also an idea that she could have
known anything of her father's purpose. If she had
known of his purpose, there would have been no visit.
What, then, was the cause? Coleman soon decided
that the professor had witnessed some demonstration
of Marjory's emotion which had been sufficiently
severe in its character to force him to the extraordinary
visit. But then this also was wild and preposterous.
That coldly beautiful goddess would not
have given a demonstration of emotion over Rufus
Coleman sufficiently alarming to have forced her
father on such an errand. That was impossible. No,
he was wrong; Marjory even indirectly, could not be
connected with the visit. As he arrived at this decision,
the enthusiasm passed out of him and he wore
a doleful, monkish face.
"Well, what, then, was the cause?" After eliminating
Marjory from the discussion waging in his
mind, he found it hard to hit upon anything rational.
The only remaining theory was to the effect that the
professor, having a very high sense of the correspond.
ent's help in the escape of the Wainwright party, had
decided that the only way to express his gratitude
was to revoke a certain decision which he now could
see had been unfair. The retort to this theory seemed
to be that if the professor had had such a fine conception
of the services rendered by Coleman, he had had
ample time to display his appreciation on the road to
Arta and on the road down from Arta. There was
no necessity for his waiting until their arrival in Athens.
It was impossible to concede that the professor's
emotion could be anew one; if he had it now, he
must have had it in far stronger measure directly
after he had been hauled out of danger.
So, it may be seen that after Coleman had eliminated
Marjory from the discussion that was waging in his
mind, he had practically succeeded in eliminating the
professor as well. This, he thought, mournfully, was
eliminating with a vengeance. If he dissolved all the
factors he could hardly proceed.
The mind of a lover moves in a circle, or at least on
a more circular course than other minds, some of
which at times even seem to move almost in a straight
line. Presently, Coleman was at the point where he
bad started, and he did not pause until he reached
that theory which asserted that the professor had
been inspired to his visit by some sight or knowledge
of Marjory in distress. Of course, Coleman was wistfully
desirous of proving to himself the truth of this
The palpable agitation of the professor during the
interview seemed to support it. If he had come on
a mere journey of conscience, he would have hardly
appeared as a white and trembling old, man. But
then, said Coleman, he himself probably exaggerated
this idea of the professor's appearance. It might have
been that he was only sour and distressed over the
performance of a very disagreeable duty.
The correspondent paced his room and smoked.
Sometimes he halted at the little table where was the
brandy and soda. He thought so hard that sometimes
it seemed that Marjory had been to him to propose
marriage, and at other times it seemed that there had
been no visit from any one at all.
A desire to talk to somebody was upon him. He
strolled down stairs and into the smoking and reading
rooms, hoping to see a man he knew, even if it were
Coke. But the only occupants were two strangers,
furiously debating the war. Passing the minister's
room, Coleman saw that there was a light within, and
he could not forbear knocking. He was bidden to
enter, and opened the door upon the minister, care-
fully reading his Spectator fresh from London.
He looked up and seemed very glad. "How are
you?" he cried. "I was tremendously anxious to
see you, do you know! I looked for you to dine
with me to-night, but you were not down?"
"No ; I had a great deal of work."
" Over the Wainwright affair? By the way, I want
you to accept my personal thanks for that work. In
a week more I would have gone demented and spent
the rest of my life in some kind of a cage, shaking
the bars and howling out State Department messages
about the Wainwrights. You see, in my territory
there are no missionaries to get into trouble, and I
was living a life of undisturbed and innocent calm,
ridiculing the sentiments of men from Smyrna and
other interesting towns who maintained that the
diplomatic service was exciting. However, when the
Wainwright party got lost, my life at once became
active. I was all but helpless, too; which was the
worst of it. I suppose Terry at Constantinople must
have got grandly stirred up, also. Pity he can't see
you to thank you for saving him from probably going
mad. By the way," he added, while looking
keenly at Coleman, " the Wainwrights don't seem to
be smothering you with gratitude? "
" Oh, as much as I deserve-sometimes more,"
answered Coleman. " My exploit was more or less of
a fake, you know. I was between the lines by accident,
or through the efforts of that blockhead of a
dragoman. I didn't intend it. And then, in the
night, when we were waiting in the road because of a
fight, they almost bunked into us. That's all."
"They tell it better," said the minister, severely.
" Especially the youngsters."
"Those kids got into a high old fight at a town up
there beyond Agrinion. Tell you about that, did
they? I thought not. Clever kids. You have noted
that there are signs of a few bruises and scratches?"
" Yes, but I didn't ask-"
" Well, they are from the fight. It seems the people
took us for Germans, and there was an awful palaver,
which ended in a proper and handsome shindig. It
raised the town, I tell you."
The minister sighed in mock despair. " Take these
people home, will you ? Or at any rate, conduct
them out of the field of my responsibility. Now,
they would like Italy immensely, I am sure."
Coleman laughed, and they smoked for a time.
" That's a charming girl-Miss Wainwright," said the
minister, musingly. "And what a beauty! It does
my exiled eyes good to see her. I suppose all those
youngsters are madly in love with her ? I don't see
how they could help it."
" Yes," said Coleman, glumly. " More than half of
The minister seemed struck with a sudden thought.
" You ought to try to win that splendid prize yourself.
The rescuer ! Perseus! What more fitting? "
Coleman answered calmly: "Well * * * I think
I'll take your advice."
THE next morning Coleman awoke with a sign of a
resolute decision on his face, as if it had been a
development of his sleep. He would see Marjory as soon
as possible, see her despite any barbed-wire entanglements
which might be placed in the way by her
mother, whom he regarded as his strenuous enemy.
And he would ask Marjory's hand in the presence of
all Athens if it became necessary.
He sat a long time at his breakfast in order to see
the Wainwrights enter the dining room, and as he was
about to surrender to the will of time, they came in,
the professor placid and self-satisfied, Mrs. Wainwright
worried and injured and Marjory cool, beautiful,
serene. If there had been any kind of a storm there
was no trace of it on the white brow of the girl.
Coleman studied her closely but furtively while his
mind spun around his circle of speculation.
Finally he noted the waiter who was observing him
with a pained air as if it was on the tip of his tongue
to ask this guest if he was going to remain at breakfast
forever. Coleman passed out to the reading
room where upon the table a multitude of great red
guide books were crushing the fragile magazines of
London and Paris. On the walls were various
depressing maps with the name of a tourist agency
luridly upon them, and there were also some pictures
of hotels with their rates-in francs-printed beneath.
The room was cold, dark, empty, with the trail of the
tourist upon it.
Coleman went to the picture of a hotel in Corfu
and stared at it precisely as if he was interested. He
was standing before it when he heard Marjory's voice
just without the door. "All right! I'll wait." He
did not move for the reason that the hunter moves
not when the unsuspecting deer approaches his hiding
place. She entered rather quickly and was well
toward the centre of the room before she perceived
Coleman. " Oh," she said and stopped. Then she
spoke the immortal sentence, a sentence which,
curiously enough is common to the drama, to the
novel, and to life. " I thought no one was here."
She looked as if she was going to retreat, but it would
have been hard to make such retreat graceful, and
probably for this reason she stood her ground.
Coleman immediately moved to a point between
her and the door. "You are not going to run away
from me, Marjory Wainwright," he cried, angrily.
" You at least owe it to me to tell me definitely that
you don't love me-that you can't love me-"
She did not face him with all of her old spirit, but
she faced him, and in her answer there was the old
Marjory. " A most common question. Do you ask
all your feminine acquaintances that? "
"I mean-" he said. "I mean that I love you
"Yesterday-no. To-day-yes. To-morrow-who
knows. Really, you ought to take some steps to
know your own mind."
" Know my own mind," he retorted in a burst of in-
dignation. "You mean you ought to take steps to
know your own mind."
" My own mind! You-" Then she halted in
acute confusion and all her face went pink. She had
been far quicker than the man to define the scene.
She lowered her head. Let me past, please-"
But Coleman sturdily blocked the way and even
took one of her struggling hands. "Marjory-"
And then his brain must have roared with a thousand
quick sentences for they came tumbling out, one
over the other. * * Her resistance to the grip of his
fingers grew somewhat feeble. Once she raised her
eyes in a quick glance at him. * * Then suddenly
she wilted. She surrendered, she confessed without
words. " Oh, Marjory, thank God, thank God-"
Peter Tounley made a dramatic entrance on the
gallop. He stopped, petrified. "Whoo!" he cried.
"My stars! " He turned and fled. But Coleman
called after him in a low voice, intense with agitation.
" Come back here, you young scoundrel! Come baok
here I "
Peter returned, looking very sheepish. " I hadn't
the slightest idea you-"
" Never mind that now. But look here, if you tell
a single soul-particularly those other young
" I won't, Coleman. Honest, I won't." He was
far more embarrassed than Coleman and almost equally
so with Marjory. He was like a horse tugging at a
tether. "I won't, Coleman! Honest!"
" Well, all right, then." Peter escaped.
The professor and his wife were in their sitting room
writing letters. The cablegrams had all been answered,
but as the professor intended to prolong his
journey homeward into a month of Paris and London,
there remained the arduous duty of telling their
friends at length exactly what had happened. There
was considerable of the lore of olden Greece in the
professor's descriptions of their escape, and in those
of Mrs. Wainwright there was much about the lack of
hair-pins and soap.
Their heads were lowered over their writing when
the door into the corridor opened and shut quickly,
and upon looking up they saw in the room a radiant
girl, a new Marjory. She dropped to her knees by
her father's chair and reached her arms to his neck.
" Oh, daddy! I'm happy I I'm so happy! "
" Why-what-" began the professor stupidly.
" Oh, I am so happy, daddy!
Of course he could not be long in making his conclusion.
The one who could give such joy to Marjory
was the one who, last night, gave her such grief.
The professor was only a moment in understanding.
He laid his hand tenderly upon her head " Bless my
soul," he murmured. "And so-and so-he-"
At the personal pronoun, Mrs. Wainwright lum-
bered frantically to her feet. " What ? " she shouted.
Coleman ? "
" Yes," answered Marjory. " Coleman." As she
spoke the name her eyes were shot with soft yet
tropic flashes of light.
Mrs. Wainwright dropped suddenly back into her
The professor was stroking his daughter's hair and
although for a time after Mrs. Wainwright's outbreak
there was little said, the old man and the girl seemed
in gentle communion, she making him feel her happiness,
he making her feel his appreciation. Providentially
Mrs. Wainwright had been so stunned by the
first blow that she was evidently rendered incapable of
" And are you sure you will be happy with him?
asked her father gently.
" All my life long," she answered.
" I am glad! I am glad! " said the father, but even
as he spoke a great sadness came to blend with his
joy. The hour when he was to give this beautiful
and beloved life into the keeping of another had been
heralded by the god of the sexes, the ruthless god
that devotes itself to the tearing of children from the
parental arms and casting them amid the mysteries of
an irretrievable wedlock. The thought filled him
But in the dewy eyes of the girl there was no question.
The world to her was a land of glowing promise.
" I am glad," repeated the professor.
The girl arose from her knees. " I must go away
and-think all about it," she said, smiling. When
the door of her room closed upon her, the mother
arose in majesty.
" Harrison Wainwright," she declaimed, "you are
not going to allow this monstrous thing! "
The professor was aroused from a reverie by these
words. "What monstrous thing ? " he growled.
" Why, this between Coleman and Marjory."
" Yes," he answered boldly.
" Harrison! That man who-"
The professor crashed his hand down on the table.
"Mary! I will not hear another word of it! "
" Well," said Mrs. Wainwright, sullen and ominous,
" time will tell! Time will tell!"
When Coleman bad turned from the fleeing Peter
Tounley again to Marjory, he found her making the
preliminary movements of a flight. "What's the
matter? " he demanded anxiously.
" Oh, it's too dreadful"
" Nonsense," lie retorted stoutly. " Only Peter
Tounley! He don't count. What of that ? "
' Oh, dear! " She pressed her palm to a burning
cheek. She gave him a star-like, beseeching glance.
Let me go now-please."
" Well," he answered, somewhat affronted, " if you
At the door she turned to look at him, and this
glance expressed in its elusive way a score of things
which she had not yet been able to speak. It explained
that she was loth to leave him, that she asked
forgiveness for leaving him, that even for a short absence
she wished to take his image in her eyes, that
he must not bully her, that there was something now
in her heart which frightened her, that she loved him,
that she was happy—-
When she had gone, Coleman went to the rooms of
the American minister. A Greek was there who
talked wildly as he waved his cigarette. Coleman
waited in well-concealed impatience for the dvapora-
tion of this man. Once the minister, regarding the
correspondent hurriedly, interpolated a comment.
" You look very cheerful ? "
" Yes," answered Coleman, " I've been taking your
" Oh, ho ! " said the minister.
The Greek with the cigarette jawed endlessly.
Coleman began to marvel at the enduring good man-
ners of the minister, who continued to nod and nod in
polite appreciation of the Greek's harangue, which,
Coleman firmly believed, had no point of interest
whatever. But at last the man, after an effusive farewell,
went his way.
" Now," said the minister, wheeling in his chair
tell me all about it."
Coleman arose, and thrusting his hands deep in his
trousers' pockets, began to pace the room with long
strides. He, said nothing, but kept his eyes on the
" Can I have a drink ? " he asked, abruptly pausing.
" What would you like? " asked the minister, benevolently,
as he touched the bell.
" A brandy and soda. I'd like it very much. You
see," he said, as he resumed his walk, " I have no kind
of right to burden you with my affairs, but, to tell the
truth, if I don't get this news off my mind and into
somebody's ear, I'll die. It's this-I asked Marjory
Wainwright to marry me, and-she accepted, and-
" Well, I am very glad," cried the minister, arising
and giving his hand. "And as for burdening me with
your affairs, no one has a better right, you know,
since you released me from the persecution of Washington
and the friends of the Wainwrights. May good
luck follow you both forever. You, in my opinion,
are a very, very fortunate man. And, for her part
she has not done too badly."
Seeing that it was important that Coleman should
have his spirits pacified in part, the minister continued:
" Now, I have got to write an official letter, so you
just walk up and down here and use up this surplus
steam. Else you'll explode."
But Coleman was not to be detained. Now that he
had informed the minister, he must rush off some.
where, anywhere, and do-he knew not what.
All right," said the minister, laughing. " You
have a wilder head than I thought. But look here,"
he called, as Coleman was making for the door. " Am
I to keep this news a secret? "
Coleman with his hand on the knob, turned im.
pressively. He spoke with deliberation. " As far as
I am concerned, I would be glad to see a man paint it
in red letters, eight feet high, on the front of the king's
The minister, left alone, wrote steadily and did not
even look up when Peter Tounley and two others
entered, in response to his cry of permission. How
ever, he presently found time to speak over his
shoulder to them. "Hear the news?"
"No, sir," they answered.
" Well, be good boys, now, and read the papers and
look at pictures until I finish this letter. Then I will tell you."
They surveyed him keenly. They evidently
judged that the news was worth hearing, but, obediently,
they said nothing. Ultimately the minister
affixed a rapid signature to the letter, and turning,
looked at the students with a smile.
" Haven't heard the news, eh ?"
"Well, Marjory Wainwright is engaged to marry
The minister was amazed to see the effect of this
announcement upon the three students. He had expected
the crows and cackles of rather absurd
merriment with which unbearded youth often greets,
such news. But there was no crow or cackle. One
young man blushed scarlet and looked guiltily at the
floor. With a great effort he muttered: " Shes too
good for him." Another student had turned ghastly
pate and was staring. It was Peter Tounley who relieved
the minister's mind, for upon that young man's
face was a broad jack-o-lantern grin, and the minister
saw that, at any rate, he had not made a complete
Peter Tounley said triumphantly: "I knew it ! "
The minister was anxious over the havoc he had
wrought with the two other students, but slowly the
colour abated in one face and grew in the other. To
give them opportunity, the minister talked busily to
Peter Tounley. "And how did you know it, you
young scamp ?"
Peter was jubilant. " Oh, -I knew it! I knew it I
I am very clever."
The student who had blushed now addressed the
minister in a slightly strained voice. " Are you positive
that it is true, Mr. Gordner?,"
" I had it on the best authority," replied the minister gravely.
The student who had turned pale said: " Oh, it's
true, of course."
" Well," said crudely the one who had blushed,
she's a great sight too good for Coleman or anybody
like him. That's all I've got to say."
" Oh, Coleman is a good fellow," said Peter Tounley,
reproachfully. " You've no right to say that-exactly.
You don't know where you'd. be now if it were not for
The, response was, first, an angry gesture. " Oh,
don't keep everlasting rubbing that in. For heaven's
sake, let up. - Supposing I don't. know where I'd be
now if,it were not for Rufus Coleman? What of it?
For the rest of my life have I got to—"
The minister saw. that this was the embittered speech
of a really defeated youth, so, to save scenes, he gently
ejected the trio. " There, there, now ! Run along
home like good boys. I'll be busy until luncheon.
And I -dare say you won't find Coleman such a bad
In the corridor, one of the students said offensively
to Peter Tounley : " Say, how in hell did you find
out all this so early ? "
Peter's reply was amiable in tone. " You are a
damned bleating little kid and you made a holy show
of yourself before Mr. Gordner. There's where you
stand. Didn't you see that he turned us out because
he didn't know but what you were going to blubber
or something. - you are a sucking pig, and if you
want to know how I find out things go ask the Delphic
Oracle, you blind ass."
" You better look out or you may get a punch in
"You take one punch in the general direction of
my eye, me son," said -Peter cheerfully, " and I'll
distribute your remains, over this hotel in a way that will
cause your, friends years of trouble to collect you.
Instead of anticipating an attack upon my eye, you
had much better be engaged in improving your mind,
which is at present not a fit machine to cope with exciting
situations. There's Coke! Hello, Coke, hear
the news? Well, Marjory Wainwright and Rufus
Coleman , are engaged.. Straight ? Certainly ! Go
ask the minister."
Coke did not take Peter's word. "Is that so ? " he
asked the others.
" So the minister told us," they answered, and then
these two, who seemed so unhappy, watched Coke's
face to see if they could not find surprised misery
there. But Coke coolly said: " Well, then, I suppose
It soon became evident that the students did not
care for each other's society. Peter Tounley was
probably an exception, but the others seemed to long
for quiet corners. They were distrusting each other,
and, in a boyish way, they were even capable of maligant
things. Their excuses for separation were badly
"I-I think I'll go for a walk."
" I'm going up stairs to read."
" Well, so long, old man.' " So long." There was
no heart to it.
Peter Tounley went to Coleman's door, where he
knocked with noisy hilarity. " Come in I " The correspondent
apparently had just come from the street,
for his hat was on his head and a light top-coat was on
his back. He was searching hurriedly through some,
papers. " Hello, you young devil What are you
doing here ?
Peter's entrance was a somewhat elaborate comedy
which Coleman watched in icy silence. Peter after a
long,and impudent pantomime halted abruptly and
fixing Coleman with his eye demanded: "Well?"
"Well-what?." said Coleman, bristling a trifle.
" Is it true ?"
" Is what true ?"
" Is it true? " Peter was extremely solemn.
" Say, me bucko," said Coleman suddenly, " if
you've. come up here to twist the beard of the patriarch,
don't you think you are running a chance? "
"All right. I'll be good," said Peter, and he sat on
the bed. " But-is it true?
" Is what true? "
" What the whole hotel is saying."
] "I haven't heard the hotel making any remarks
lately. Been talking to the other buildings, I sup-
"Well, I want to tell you that everybody knows
that you and Marjory have done gone and got
yourselves engaged," said Peter bluntly.
"And well? " asked Coleman imperturbably.
" Oh, nothing," replied Peter, waving his hand.
" Only-I thought it might interest you."
Coleman was silent for some time. He fingered his
papers. At last he burst out joyously. "And so
they know it already, do they? Well-damn them-
let them know it. But you didn't tell them yourself ? "
" I ! " quoth Peter wrathfully. " No! The minister told us."
Then Coleman was again silent for a time and Peter
Tounley sat on the. bed reflectively looking at the
ceiling. " Funny thing, Marjory 'way over here in
Greece, and then you happening over here the way
" It isn't funny at all."
" Why isn't it ? "
" Because," said Coleman impressively,, " that is
why I came to Greece. It was all planned. See?"
"Whirroo," exclaimed Peter. "This here is
" No magic at all." Coleman displayed some complacence.
" No magic at all. just pure, plain—
whatever you choose to call it."
" Holy smoke," said Peter, admiring the situation.
"Why, this is plum romance, Coleman. I'm blowed
if it isn't."
Coleman was grinning with delight. He took a
fresh cigar and his bright eyes looked at Peter through
the smoke., "Seems like it, don't it? Yes. Regular
romance. Have a drink, my boy, just to celebrate
my good luck. And be patient if I talk a great deal
of my-my-future. My head spins with it." He
arose to pace the room flinging out bis arms in a great
gesture. " God! When I think yesterday was not
like to-day I wonder how I stood it." There was a
knock at the door and a waiter left a note in Coleman's hand
"Dear Ruf us:-We are going for a drive this afternoon
at three, and mother wishes you to come, if you.
care to. I too wish it, if you care to. Yours,
With a radiant face, Coleman gave the note a little
crackling flourish in the air. " Oh, you don't know
what life is, kid."
" S-steady the Blues," said Peter Tounley seriously.
You'll lose your head if you don't watch out."
" Not I" cried Coleman with irritation. " But a
man must turn loose some times, mustn't he?"
When the four, students had separated in the corri-
dor, Coke had posted at once to Nora Black's sitting
room. His entrance was somewhat precipitate, but
he cooled down almost at once, for he reflected that
he was not bearing good news. He ended by perching
in awkward fashion on the brink of his chair and
fumbling his hat uneasily. Nora floated to him in a
cloud of a white dressing gown. She gave him
a plump hand. "Well, youngman? "she said, with a
glowing smile. She took a chair, and the stuff of her
gown fell in curves over the arms of it.,
Coke looked hot and bothered, as if he could have
more than half wanted to retract his visit. " I-aw-
we haven't seen much of you lately," he began, sparing.
He had expected to tell his news at once.
No," said Nora, languidly. " I have been resting
after that horrible journey-that horrible journey.
Dear, dear! Nothing,will ever induce me to leave
London, New York and Paris. I am at home there.
But here I Why, it is worse than living in Brooklyn.
And that journey into the wilds! No. no; not for
" I suppose we'll all be glad to get home," said
At the moment a waiter entered the room and began
to lay the table for luncheon. He kept open the
door to the corridor, and he had the luncheon at a
point just outside the door. His excursions to the
trays were flying ones, so that, as far as Coke's purpose
was concerned, the waiter was always in the
room. Moreover, Coke was obliged, naturally, to depart
at once. He had bungled everything.
As he arose he whispered hastily: " Does this
waiter understand English ? "
"Yes," answered Nora. "Why?"
"Because I have something to tell you-important."
"What is it? " whispered Nora, eagerly.
He leaned toward her and replied: " Marjory
Wainwright and Coleman are engaged."
To his unfeigned astonishment, Nora Black burst
into peals of silvery laughter, " Oh, indeed? And
so this is your tragic story, poor, innocent lambkin?
And what did you expect? That I would faint?" -
" I thought-I don't know-" murmured Coke in
Nora became suddenly business-like. " But how do
you know? Are you sure? Who told you? Anyhow,
stay to luncheon. Do-like a good boy. Oh,
Coke dropped again into his chair. He studied her
in some wonder. " I thought you'd be surprised,"
he said, ingenuously.
" Oh, you did, did you ? Well, you see I'm not.
And now tell me all about it."
"There's really nothing to tell but the plain fact.
Some of the boys dropped in at the minister's
rooms a little while ago, and, he told them of it.
Well, how did he know?
"I am sure I can't tell you. Got it first hand, I
suppose. He likes Coleman, and Coleman is always
hanging up there."
" Oh, perhaps Coleman was lying," said Nora
easily. Then suddenly her face brightened and she
spoke with animation. " Oh, I haven't told you how
my little Greek officer has turned out. Have I?
No? Well, it is simply lovely. Do you know, he belongs
to one of the best families in Athens? Hedoes.
And they're rich-rich as can be. My courier tells
me that the marble palace where they live is enough
to blind you, and that if titles hadn't gone out of
style-or something-here in Greece, my little officer
would be a prince! Think of that! The courier
didn't know it until we got to Athens, and the little
officer-the prince-gave me his card, of course. One
of the oldest, noblest and richest families in Greece.
Think of that! There I thought he was only a
bothersome little officer who came in handy at times,
and there he turns out to be a prince. I could hardly
keep myself from rushing right off to find him and
apologise to him for the way I treated him. It was
awful! And-" added the fair Nora, pensively, "if
he does meet me in Paris, I'll make him wear that
title down to a shred, you can bet. What's the good
of having a title unless you make it work?"
COKE did not stay to luncheon with Nora Black.
He went away saying to himself either that girl
don't care a straw for Coleman or she has got a heart
absolutely of flint, or she is the greatest actress on
earth or-there is some other reason."
At his departure, Nora turned and called into an
adjoining room. " Maude I " The voice of her companion
and friend answered her peevishly. " What ?"
"Don't bother me. I'm reading."
" Well, anyhow, luncheon is ready, so you will have
to stir your precious self," responded Nora. " You're
" I don't want any luncheon. Don't bother me.
I've got a headache."
" Well, if you don't come out, you'll miss the news.
That's all I've got to say."
There was a rustle in the adjoining room, and
immediately the companion appeared, seeming much
annoyed but curious. " Well, what is it ? "
" Rufus Coleman is engaged to be married to that
Wainwright girl, after all."
" Well I declare! " ejaculated the little old lady.
" Well I declare." She meditated for a moment,
and then continued in a tone of satisfaction. " I told
you that you couldn't stop that man Coleman if he
had feally made up his mind to-"
" You're a fool," said Nora, pleasantly.
" Why? " said the old lady.
Because you are. Don't talk to me about it. I
want to think of Marco."
" 'Marco,'" quoted the old lady startled.
"The prince. The prince. Can't you understand?
I mean the prince."
" ' Marco!'" again quoted the old lady, under her
" Yes, 'Marco,'" cried Nora, belligerently. " 'Marco,'
Do you object to the name? What's the matter with
" Well," rejoined the other, nodding her head wisely,
"he may be a prince, but I've always heard that
these continental titles are no good in comparison to
the English titles."
"Yes, but who told you so, eh? " demanded Nora,
noisily. She herself answered the question. " The
" Anyhow, that little marquis who tagged after you
in London is a much bigger man in every way, I'll
bet, than this little prince of yours."
" But-good heavens-he didn't mean it. Why, he
was only one of the regular rounders. But Marco, he
is serious I He means it. He'd go through fire and
water for me and be glad of the chance."
" Well," proclaimed the old lady, " if you are not
the strangest woman in the world, I'd like to know!
Here I thought-"
"What did you think?" demanded Nora, suspisciously.
" I thought that Coleman—-"
"Bosh!" interrupted, the graceful Nora. "I tell
you what, Maude; you'd better try to think as little
as possible. It will suit your style of beauty better.
And above all, don't think of my affairs. I myself
am taking pains not to think of them. It's easier."
Mrs. Wainwright, with no spirit of intention what.
ever, had sit about readjusting her opinions. It is
certain that she was unconscious of any evolution. If
some one had said to her that she was surrendering to
the inevitable, she would have been immediately on
her guard, and would have opposed forever all suggestions
of a match between Marjory and Coleman. On
the other hand, if some one had said to her that her
daughter was going to marry a human serpent, and
that there were people in Athens who would be glad
to explain his treacherous character, she would have
haughtily scorned the tale-bearing and would have
gone with more haste into the professor's way of
thinking. In fact, she was in process of undermining
herself., and the work could have been. retarded or
advanced by any irresponsible, gossipy tongue.
The professor, from the depths of his experience
with her, arranged a course of conduct. " If I just
leave her to herself she will come around all right,
but if I go 'striking while the iron is hot,' or any of
those things, I'll bungle it surely."
As they were making ready to go down to luncheon,
Mrs. Wainwright made her speech which first indicated
a changing mind. " Well, what will be, will be,"
she murmured with a prolonged sigh of resignation.
" What will be, will be. Girls are very headstrong in
these days, and there is nothing much to be done with
them. They go their own roads. It wasn't so in my
girlhood. - We were obliged to pay attention to our
" I did not notice that you paid much attention to
your mother's wishes when you married me," remarked
the professor. " In fact, I thought-"
" That was another thing," retorted Mrs. Wainwright
with severity. " You were a steady young man
who had taken the highest honours all through your
college course, and my mother's sole objection was
that we were too hasty. She thought we -ought to
wait until you had a penny to bless yourself with,
and I can see now where she was quite right."
" Well, you married me, anyhow," said the professor,
Mrs. Wainwright allowed her husband's retort to
pass over her thoughtful mood. " They say * * they
say Rufus Coleman makes as much as fifteen thousand
dollars a year. That's more than three times your income
* * I don't know. * * It all depends on whether
they try to save or not. His manner of life is, no
doubt, very luxurious. I don't suppose he knows
how to economise at all. That kind of a man usually
doesn't. And then, in the newspaper world positions
are so very precarious. Men may have valuable positions
one minute and be penniless in the street the
next minute. It isn't as if he had any real income,
and of course he has no real ability. If he was suddenly
thrown out of his position, goodness knows what
would become of him. Still stillfifteen thousand
dollars a year is a big incomewhile it lasts. I
suppose he is very extravagant. That kind of a man
usually is. And I wouldn't be surprised if he was
heavily in debt; very heavily in debt. Still * * if
Marjory has set her heart there is nothing to be done,
I suppose. It wouldn't have happened if you had
been as wise as you thought you were. * * I suppose
he thinks I have been very rude to him. Well, some
times I wasn't nearly so rude as I felt like being.
Feeling as I did, I could hardly be very amiable. * *
Of course this drive this afternoon was all your affair
and Marjory's. But, of course, I shall be nice to him."
" And what of all this Nora Black business? " asked
the professor, with, a display of valour, but really with
" She is a hussy," responded Mrs. Wainwright with
energy. " Her conversation in the carriage on the
way down to Agrinion sickened me! "
" I really believe that her plan was simply to break
everything off between Marjory and Coleman," said
the professor, " and I don't believe she had any-grounds
for all that appearance of owning Coleman and the
rest of it."
" Of course she didn't" assented Mrs. Wainwright.
The vicious thing! "
" On the other hand," said the professor, " there
might be some truth in it."
" I don't think so," said Mrs. Wainwright seriously.
I don't believe a word of it."
" You do not mean to say that you think Coleman
a model man ? " demanded the professor.
"Not at all! Not at all!" she hastily answered.
" But * * one doesn't look for model men these days."
"'Who told you he made fifteen thousand a year?
asked the professor.
"It was Peter Tounley this morning. We were
talking upstairs after breakfast, and he remarked that
he if could make fifteen thousand, a year: like Coleman,
he'd-I've forgotten what-some fanciful thing."
" I doubt if it is true," muttered the old man wagging his head.
"Of course it's true," said his wife emphatically.
" Peter Tounley says everybody knows it."
Well * anyhow * money is not everything."
But it's a. great deal, you know well enough. You
know you are always speaking of poverty as an evil,
as a grand resultant, a collaboration of many lesser
evils. Well, then?
" But," began the professor meekly, when I say
that I mean-"
" Well, money is money and poverty is poverty,"
interrupted his wife. " You don't have to be very
learned to know that."
"I do not say that Coleman has not a very nice
thing of it, but I must say it is hard to think of his
getting any such sum, as you mention."
" Isn't he known as the most brilliant journalist in
New York?" she demanded harshly.
" Y-yes, as long as it lasts, but then one never
knows when he will be out in the street penniless.
Of course he has no particular ability which would
be marketable if he suddenly lost his present employment.
Of course it is not as if he was a really talented young man.
He might not be able to make his way at all in any new direction."
" I don't know about that," said Mrs. Wainwright
in reflective protestation. " I don't know about that.
I think he would."
" I thought you said a moment ago-" The professor
spoke with an air of puzzled hesitancy. "I
thought you said a moment ago that he wouldn't succeed
in anything but journalism."
Mrs. Wainwright swam over the situation with a
fine tranquility. " Well-I-I," she answered musingly,
"if I did say that, I didn't mean it exactly."
" No, I suppose not," spoke the professor, and de-
spite the necessity for caution he could not keep out
of his voice a faint note of annoyance.
" Of course," continued the wife, " Rufus Coleman
is known everywhere as a brilliant man, a very brilliant
man, and he even might do well in-in politics or
something of that sort."
" I have a very poor opinion of that kind of a mind
which does well in American politics," said the pro-
fessor, speaking as a collegian, " but I suppose there
may be something in it."
" Well, at any rate," decided Mrs. Wainwright.
" At any rate-"
At that moment, Marjory attired for luncheon and
the drive entered from her room, and Mrs. Wainwright
checked the expression of her important conclusion.
Neither father or mother had ever seen her so glowing
with triumphant beauty, a beauty which would
carry the mind of a spectator far above physical
appreciation into that realm of poetry where creatures
of light move and are beautiful because they cannot
know pain or a burden. It carried tears to the old
father's eyes. He took her hands. " Don't be too
happy, my child, don't be too happy," he admonished
her tremulously. " It makes me afraid-it makes me
IT seems strange that the one who was the most
hilarious over the engagement of Marjory and Cole-
man should be Coleman's dragoman who was indeed
in a state bordering on transport. It is not known
how he learned the glad tidings, but it is certain that
he learned them before luncheon. He told all the
visible employes of the hotel and allowed them to
know that the betrothal really had been his handi-work
He had arranged it. He did not make quite
clear how he had performed this feat, but at least he
was perfectly frank in acknowledging it.
When some of the students came down to luncheon,
they saw him but could not decide what ailed him.
He was in the main corridor of the hotel, grinning
from ear to ear, and when he perceived the students
he made signs to intimate that they possessed in com-
mon a joyous secret. " What's the matter with that
idiot?" asked Coke morosely. " Looks as if his
wheels were going around too fast."
Peter Tounley walked close to him and scanned
him imperturbably, but with care. " What's up,
Phidias ? " The man made no articulate reply. He
continued to grin and gesture. "Pain in oo tummy?
Mother dead? Caught the cholera? Found out
that you've swallowed a pair of hammered brass and
irons in your beer? Say, who are you, anyhow? "
But he could not shake this invincible glee, so he
The dragoman's rapture reached its zenith when
Coleman lent him to the professor and he was
commissioned to bring a carriage for four people to the
door at three o'clock. He himself was to sit on
the box and tell the driver what was required of
him. He dashed off, his hat in his hand, his hair flying,
puffing, important beyond everything, and apparently
babbling his mission to half the people he met
on the street. In most countries he would have
landed speedily in jail, but among a people who exist
on a basis of'jibbering, his violent gabble aroused no
suspicions as to his sanity. However, he stirred
several livery stables to their depths and set men running
here and there wildly and for the most part
At fifteen minutes to three o'clock, a carriage with
its horses on a gallop tore around the corner and up
to the . front of the hotel, where it halted with the
pomp and excitement of a fire engine. The dragoman
jumped down from his seat beside the driver and
scrambled hurriedly into the hoiel, in the gloom of
which hemet a serene stillness which was punctuated
only by the leisurely tinkle of silver and glass in the
dining room. For a moment the dragoman seemed
really astounded out of specch. Then he plunged
into the manager's room. Was it conceivable that
Monsieur Coleman was still at luncheon? Yes; in
fact, it was true. But the carriage, was at the door!
The carriage was at the door! The manager,
undisturbed, asked for what hour Monsieur Coleman had
been pleased to order a carriage. Three o'clock !
Three o'clock? The manager pointed calmly at the
clock. Very well. It was now only thirteen minutes
of three o'clock. Monsieur Coleman doubtless would
appear at three. Until that hour the manager would
not disturb Monsieur Coleman. The dragoman
clutched both his hands in his hair and cast a look of
agony to the ceiling. Great God! Had he accomplished
the herculean task of getting a carriage for
four people to the door of the hotel in time for a drive
at three o'clock, only to meet with this stoniness, this
inhumanity? Ah, it was unendurable? He begged
the manager; he implored him. But at every word.
the manager seemed to grow more indifferent, more
callous. He pointed with a wooden finger at the
clock-face. In reality, it is thus, that Greek meets
Professor Wainwright and Coleman strolled together
out of the dining room. The dragoman rushed ecstatically
upon the correspondent. " Oh, Meester Coleman!
The carge is ready !"
"Well, all right," said Coleman, knocking ashes
from his cigar. "Don't be in a hurry. I suppose
we'll be ready, presently." The man was in despair.
The departure of the Wainwrights and Coleman on
this ordinary drive was of a somewhat dramatic and
public nature, No one seemed to know how to prevent
its being so. In the first place, the attendants
thronged out en masse for a reason which was plain
at the time only to Coleman's dragoman. And, rather
in the background, lurked the interested students.
The professor was surprised and nervous. Coleman
was rigid and angry. Marjory was flushed and some
what hurried, and Mrs. Wainwright was as proud as
an old turkey-hen.
As the carriage rolled away, Peter Tounley turned
to his companions and said: " Now, that's official!
That is the official announcement! Did you see Old
Mother Wainwright? Oh, my eye, wasn't she puffed
up ! Say, what in hell do you suppose all these jay
hawking bell-boys poured out to the kerb for? Go
back to your cages, my good people-"
As soon as the carriage wheeled into another
street, its occupants exchanged easier smiles, and
they must have confessed in some subtle way of
glances that now at last they were upon their own
mission, a mission undefined but earnest to them all.
Coleman had a glad feeling of being let into the family,
or becoming one of them
The professor looked sideways at him and smiled
gently. " You know, I thought of driving you to
some ruins, but Marjory would not have it. She flatly
objected to any more ruins. So I thought we would
drive down to New Phalerum."
Coleman nodded and smiled as if he were immensely
pleased, but of course New Phalerum was to him no
more nor-less than Vladivostok or Khartoum.
Neither place nor distance had interest for him.
They swept along a shaded avenue where the dust lay
thick on the leaves; they passed cafes where crowds
were angrily shouting over the news in the little papers;
they passed a hospital before which wounded
men, white with bandages, were taking the sun; then
came soon to the and valley flanked by gaunt naked
mountains, which would lead them to the sea. Sometimes
to accentuate the dry nakedness of this valley,
there would be a patch of grass upon which poppies
burned crimson spots. The dust writhed out from
under the wheels of the carriage; in the distance the
sea appeared, a blue half-disc set between shoulders of
barren land. It would be common to say that Coleman
was oblivious to all about him but Marjory. On
the contrary, the parched land, the isolated flame of
poppies, the cool air from the sea, all were keenly
known to him, and they had developed an extraordinary
power of blending sympathetically into his
mood. Meanwhile the professor talked a great deal.
And as a somewhat exhilarating detail, Coleman perceived
that Ms. Wainwright was beaming upon him.
At New Phalerum-a small collection of pale square
villas-they left the carriage and strolled, by the sea.
The waves were snarling together like wolves amid
the honeycomb rocks and from where the blue plane
sprang level to the horizon, came a strong cold breeze,
the kind of a breeze which moves an exulting man or
a parson to take off his hat and let his locks flutter
and tug back from his brow.
The professor and Mrs. Wainwright were left to
Marjory and Coleman did not speak for a time. It
might have been that they did not quite know where
to make a beginning. At last Marjory asked:
"What has become of your splendid horse?"
"Oh, I've told the dragoman to have him sold as
soon as he arrives," said Coleman absently.
" Oh. I'm sorry * * I liked that horse."
"Well, he was a fine-" Then he, too, interrupted
himself, for he saw plainly that they had not
come to this place to talk about a horse. Thereat he
made speech of matters which at least did not afford
as many opportunities for coherency as would the
horse. Marjory, it can't be true * * * Is it true,
dearest * * I can hardly believe it. -I-"
" Oh, I know I'm not nearly good enough for you."
" Good enough for me, dear?
" They all told me so, and they were right ! Why,
even the American minister said it. Everybody thinks
"Why, aren 't they wretches To think of them
saying such a thing! As if-as if anybody could be
" Do you know-" She paused and looked at
him with a certain timid challenge. " I don't know
why I feel it, but-sometimes I feel that I've been
I've been flung at your head."
He opened his mouth in astonishment. " Flung at
She held up her finger. "And if I thought you
could ever believe it ! "
" Is a girl flung at a man's head when her father
carries her thousands of miles away and the man
follows her all these miles, and at last-"
" Her eyes were shining. "And you really came to
Greece-on purpose to-to-"
" Confess you knew it all the time! Confess!"
The answer was muffled. " Well, sometimes I
thought you did, and at other times I thought you-
In a secluded cove, in which the sea-maids once had
played, no doubt, Marjory and Coleman sat in silence.
He was below her, and if he looked at her he had to
turn his glance obliquely upward. She was staring at
the sea with woman's mystic gaze, a gaze which men
at once reverence and fear since it seems to look into
the deep, simple heart of nature, and men begin to feel
that their petty wisdoms are futile to control these
strange spirits, as wayward as nature and as pure as
nature, wild as the play of waves, sometimes as unalterable
as the mountain amid the winds; and to
measure them, man must perforce use a mathematical
He wished that she would lay her hand upon his
hair. He would be happy then. If she would only,
of her own will, touch his hair lightly with her
fingers-if she would do it with an unconscious air it
would be even better. It would show him that she
was thinking of him, even when she did not know she
was thinking of him.
Perhaps he dared lay his head softly against her knee.
Did he dare?
As his head touched her knee, she did not move.
She seemed to be still gazing at the sea. Presently
idly caressing fingers played in his hair near the
forehead. He looked up suddenly lifting his arms.
He breathed out a cry which was laden with a kind of
diffident ferocity. " I haven't kissed you yet-"