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to see if it waited for him there. He was willing that beggars), the pictures that she copied, the languages a new, living experience should prove dearer to him that she studied, and the famous people that she than his dearest memory. And the conclusion of the knew. whole matter was that after years of waiting, if not of | These pictures throbbed and glowed with the wine seeking, he was sure that sympathy so sufficing as that of her youth, and her superabounding temperament, which this memory held he had never found a second yet each year Vida as an individual receded more and time; that hours so full and pure in perfect compan more, till at last the Vida who began to write had ionship as those he once spent in the log-house by vanished out of sight altogether. That she still exthe Pinnacle had never been repeated. What life isted in a developed and modified form was proved by gave of peace and of heart content to other men he these pictures that she painted of external things; but knew not. But he knew that one woman's friendship the outpouring Vida, telling her “darling teacher” was the best that it had given to him.
over and over “how much she loved him,” had utterly The time came when Agnes wrote to him. It was ceased to be. Athel Dane was perfectly cognizant of when she was reunited to the husband of her youth. | the vast distance measured in mental growth and culte She scarcely touched upon the causes of their separa- | ure between the first letters and the last. He was tion, but she dwelt fully upon the joy that made them equally aware that be missed from the later letters one again. It was a proof of the fulness of her something that he found in the first inexpressibly defriendship, that when her joy was at its full her heart | lightful, the love outpouring of an impetuous, uniconwent out without reserve in sympathy and fellowship | scious child. He dimly saw that she was more than to her friend. These communications had never / six years older now than then, yet he could never ceased. With Vida's they formed the volumes in his see her in his thought other than as before, tall for her library that were now personally the dearest to him ; | years and yet a child, in a white frock, with flowing for at the close of each year he had had them bound | hair, great soft eyes, and sweet, ardent, impetuous ways. and set among his choicest treasures. Thus, with the He was not thinking of her now, though in a few ocean between, his life seemed to run parallel with moments, after a long absence, he would meet her. this trinity of life beyond its waves. Even Cyril He was thinking of her mother. He was riding slowly King har written him a characteristic letter, in which through the memory-haunted woods, with a sense of he said that as he found it impossible to be rid of the desired delay, of lingering, as he gathered into his rector of Dufferin, he was fain to endure him and to heart and held fast each golden thread of the past, find out for himself what manner of fellow he was, by ere he lifted his reluctant face to confront the presconfessing his sins and stretching out the only handent. Possibly it was to be better, completer than his he had left to him in fellowship.
beloved past, this present, but he did not believe it. Athel Dane's kindest impulses set slowly and re- | If it were to be, his perverse heart did not want it. luctantly toward the man whose nature he believed Something in the very fibre of his frame shrank from had despoiled the fairest portion of his friend's life, -1 change because it was change. Six years! They had who by selfishness and untruth bad robbed her so touched her lightly he was sure, for had she not writlong of woman's best boon, love and home. He ac. ten him that they had been the happiest years of her knowledged this to himself, and for weeks did not life? She might look the very same that she did when reply. One day it half dawned upon his conscious- | he beheld her last in that room, and yet she and nothness that he felt another, a fainter yet profounder re- / ing there could scem the same, because of that third pul-ion to this man. What was it? Was it that he, presence. Athel Dane, the rector of Dufferin, in his deepest One hour before, he honestly believed that he was heart rebelled against the thought of him because I glad of this third presence, because with it he expected it was he who now possessed the soul that once made to see a light of happiness in her eyes that he had the only human light in his own existence? The mo- | never yet seen there, and now that he was within a ment he was sure that he could not deny to himself few moments’ sight of that happiness, his heart, or this repulsion, he made haste to extinguish it by an some impulse in it, suddenly jumped up in revolt at swering at once in all honesty Cyril King's letter. the bare thought of the cause of that happiness. “If
Agnes' letters were unstudied revelations of other with all my striving I could only make him seem lands, of their inner life and unrecorded memories. worthy of such a measureless good, I – I think I She wrote him of music and its masters, of statues, could rejoice that it is his,” he said in self-defence. pictures, and people ; of grand cathedrals, old libra- ! This blast of swift revolt in no wise indicated the ries, and famous shrines ; but she wrote more, and calm of his habitual mind. For years he had thought with an infinite tenderness of recognition, of unre- of Cyril King, as of course the husband of Agnes corded lives, and of unemblazoned places, rich to her King ; he had sincerely and unselfishly rejoiced in in the memory of some unchronicled soul, or in the her happiness, yet no less now, as he approached presence of some human being who unconsciously the cottage where he had known and worshipped, unmade life fair or heroic.
consciously, Agnes Darcy, he longed to see her AgVida's letters at first were simply Vida's self. nes Darcy still, her little daughter by her side, both Over-frank, confiding, bursting with alternate loves unchanged, and “no stranger, no alien," as in his hot and hates of all the new forms of life that she encoun- impulse he now called Cyril King, present. No wontered, yet withal always a faithful record of her stud der he rode slowly. Before he entered the repelling ies and progress to her “best beloved teacher." | presence, he was sure that he had no easy task to perThen came a faithful transcript of her school life at form, thus to bring into subjection an alien self, the Geneva, followed afterwards by pictures, rapid, vivid, / law of his emotion making war upon the law of his of what she saw — the moonlit canals and mouldy mind and conscience. “It shall be brought under," palaces of Venice, the marvels of Rome (and to her he said, and his powerful steed moved yet more slowly its most wondrous marvels were its living models and I than before.
According to the manner of novels, Vida, the young other men.' She scarcely thought of them at all. . goddess, should have appeared to him just here in the They pleased her for a moment, perhaps, as they
shadow of the very tree where he once saw Vida the passed before her eyes, but they did not come back little wood-nymph, sitting amid the ferns, weaving again and again to her thought, and at last take up autumn leaves into crosses and crowns. But the later their abode in her mind or heart; she did not quite Vida, sure that in all likelihood the rector of Dufferin know which it was that the rector of Dufferin bad so would ride through the woods that afternoon, was far constantly occupied for at least eight years of her too modest and maidenly to place herself in his way. short life. And she was just true maiden enough to hide herself if it had not been for the thought of him, who out of sight where she, all undreamed-of, could watch | knows? — slie might have cared very much perhaps for his coming and feast her eyes upon him unsecn. for the handsome and talented youth who cared so In the little room that was so many years her mothe much for her in Rome; who wrote her such sonnets, er's, by the window looking out upon the woods, who told her he must die if she did not love him; through the veiling vines, Vida peered for the coming | — and she tried and could not. Why? Because the knight whose clerical hands in her memory and imag niore she tried, the more the rector of Dufferin filled ination were as knightly as chivalric spurs, and who, | all her mind, and made the love-making, sonnet-writpriest though he was, she was sure would appearing youth, and all other men as well, seem in her eyes mounted on a gallant charger.
poor indeed. She had seen many others, among them This Vida, whom we have not seen for more than the very best that the earth could show, yet just the six years, and who is nearly nineteen years old, has the same as when he was the only one she knew, the recform of a young Athene. Few of her country-womentor of Dufferin reigned in her thoughts, the man of all at twenty-five have reached the same majesty of mien, men. without losing the suppleness of girlish outline. She She was “ little Vida” to him still, in spite of her has her father's superb proportions, the rich vitality of bigness and her progress; she was sure of it, from the his temperament, his splendor of coloring, his mass of tone of his letters to her. And as a person he never yellow, waving hair, her mother's tender mouth, and still seemed so distant to ber as now, because with all her her mother's eyes, luminous with intelligence and well-desire to see him she felt a strange fear of meeting ing with the tenderness of a measureless capacity to him. After all he was but a man, and she could not love. What wonder that this face in a hundred glises worship him as when a little girl; she did not love looks down from the art studios of Florence and | him, — oh, surely no! - but it was most strange that he Rome; that the great artist, catching a glimpse of it seemed to be in all her thoughts, that she had no in Paris, dedicated his next marvellous volume to "la | power and no desire for power to put him out. Of belle Américaine ;” that its loveliness, so fraught with course he had not changed; he was a man when she every suggestion of womanly power and tenderness, so went away - a tall, slim, youthful man, more youthful enkindling, so life-giving, so winning, should haunt than when she saw him first, when he looked very still many, who met and responded unwittingly to lonesome and acted very old. those soft, asking eyes, — and then went their ways to Upon all these thoughts broke a sound, - how long hold them as a memory forever.
since she heard it before, yet how fimiliar it was, — the All these things are as if they had never been, to cracking of the dry boughs under “ Prince Albert's ” her this moment, as she sits peering through the cur- | feet, and then the soft thud of his feet on the velvety taining vines to catch the first glimpse of the rector of sod this side of the woods. It was Prince Albert, the Dufferin. He, and he only, this moment is in her blooded bay whom she used to call her “ heart's demind and heart. She remen bers, as if it were but light;” but who was this man who rode him? Who? yesterday, when he took her little hand and led her Surely he was not the rector of Dufferin! Where was along Dufferin Street back to her mother; as if it the slim, dark, melancholy youth, who had flourished were but resterday, when he found her just within the so long in her memory and imagination ? He looked woods, and she ran before him, a white-frocked herald, very clerical; you would have recognized him as a to announce him to her mother. How of the present priest of the Anglican Church had you met him in it seemed again, those two years of learning, when he Timbuctoo. This stately man upon Prince Albert was her teacher! how fast she learned! what an in- i bore no insienia in the cut of his coat-collar or the centive to study was his smile of approval ! Ilad she shade of his necktie to proclaim his profession. He ever lost sight of its winning, in the last six years' are looked simply a gentleman, — yes, as Vida pressed dent pursuit of knowledge? Consciously and icon her face closer against the vines she saw unmistakably sciously had it not been ever before her — that smile a gentleman of noble mien and striking face, who that he would give her again some day, when she looked the opposite of slim, sickly, or melancholy. came and laid her little hoard of priceless wisdom at “Not an atom provincial," murmured Vida to her. his feet?
self with a vivid blush, for not till that inst:wt was At least, this beloved teacher should be sure that she she aware of the latent fear underlying her dreams had made the very most and best of what God had of her childish idol, that when she came back from given her of time, of opportunity, of power. He the world to the woods and beheld him again, even should say again : “ Well done, little Vida." Alas! to her worshipping eyes he might look - queer.” she was big now. Why had she grown so fearfully? Vida had a constitutional aversion to anything If she could only have stayed small, she might run out • queer.” Her harmonious nature demanded congruity. now to meet him, when she saw him emerge from the “ He — I didn't know that he was handsome. He is woods, just as she used to do. She yearned to seen something better than that, - grand, distinguished. to herself just as she was when a little girl, ind never And lie does not look the least old, though mamma felt afraid of him as she did now. “Oh, why was she says he is thirty-five. Men are not agreeable to me afraid ?” She could not tell. She was not afraid of who look very young, or who are very young; they are
so pretentious. And oh, I want to be sure that I can / The monument beside the woods bears the name look up to a man, and that he is wise. Such a man
Cyril King. . never assumes to be. Is he my dear teacher? and ” —
By this time he was so near her vine lattice she and the little mound beside it marks the spot which could have touched his hand, had she leaned forth.
| received the transplanted dust of his boy. Cyril She drew suddenly back. Her heart gave a great
| King's last days were his best days. He lived six leap as if it were coming out.
peaceful years after his return from Europe. Years «What if he saw nie!” she said ; “it would not which shut him away, it is true, from actual participaseem modest, my peering out. But I am so glad, so
tion in the world's affairs, but left him sufficiently free happy to see him. Be still, my heart; you are worse
from acute suffering to seek and to find a peace that than the old lump in my throat, for I cannot swallow
the world never gives, and to enjoy the pure delights you or hold you down. I am so glad, so glad!”
of a perfect home. When he looked upon the radi. Athel Dane had passed to the front of the house,
ant face of the happy Vida, and then at the serene where she knew her father reclined by the open door
or | face by his side, - in whose loving eyes still lingered and her mother sat reading to bim. She heard the
the shade of sorrow gone by, — and sometimes sighed sweet, sudden greetings, the exclamations, the tones
| as he looked, he knew best. of inquiry and delight, which mark every friendly
A deep friendship grew between him and Athel meeting; and at last in deep, rich tones she heard :
Dane. Each found suggestion and help in the com“ Where is our little Vida ?”
prehensive yet opposite mind of the other. But it Presently her mother opened the door of the room was granted to Athel Dane, whose moral nature had in which she sat, and said, “ Come, my darling ; your
so much the ampler growth, to turn the eyes of his teacher wants you."
friend from the glooni of retrospection to the quick, In another moment Athel Dane, looking up, saw in
close vision of the future. His past was a tomb. It the front door of the log-house, standing a head taller
held his failures, bis powers, his sins, his repentance. than the mother by her side, a majestic maiden in
His present held forgiveness, love, help, inspiration; white, her waist bound with a Roman girdle, her amber
| his future, waiting close, held reparation, growth, fruihair caught at the back of her head in shining coils,
tion. her eyes the eyes that had filled his soul so long to
"If I'd only known you in any sort of season, the exclusion of all others. Each seemed to pause
Dane.” he said in his man-of-the-world way, “and had and to gaze mutely upon the other. The child Vida | got all this mystery of living and dying, and living had gone. The woman Vida stood in her place.
again, in a sort of way adjusted duly in my mind by There is a sudden shock of joy as paralyzing as the talking it all over with a fellow like you, I might have most smiting grief. There is a look that is recogni. | taken a fairer and higher start, and have been a bettion, revelation, acquaintance, love. In this as in the ter man. But I grew up a heathen, didn't I, Ag. instant of death, Aihel Dane seemed to see concen
gie?” trated all his past, and all his future. As he moved "You grew up with almost no chance, Cyril dear, on with outstretched hand, he knew that he took into | it is sad to say." his the hand of her for whose coming all his life and I
Athel Dane's eyes rested upon her face with a all his being had waited.
reverential tenderness touched with inquiry. As he rode back through the Tarnstone woods at
“I know what you are wondering over, Dane. It's sunset, he threw up a transfigured face and said : 1 how a man with such a wise who loved him, and whom “ Friendship is friendship. Love is love. Each in 1 he loved, could have got so far astray?” itself is God's good and perfect gist.”
“Yes. That is just what I am wondering over.”
“And you would keep on wondering to the day of Those who visit Tarnstone Pinnacle may see on the doom. You theological chaps, somehow, all seem to side of its Tarn a commodious house. A broad
have been wrapped up in cotton wool all your days to veranda runs around it, commanding a view in four | keep yo:i from soiling. As a class you have a touchdirections. On one side you look out upon waters of me-if-you-dare look. And you feel so almighty fine, the Tarn, as tremulously blue as ever, and up to the I should think you'd be just the ones to snub vour great Pinnacle green above it. On the other vou | wives. You don't, but it's because you've learned gaze away to the Tarnstone woods, to the meadow, , better. But you do know that nine men out of ten to the sparkling spring, and to a marble monument
when they marry feel themselses to be such terrilly whose surmounting cross takes daily the sun's first
moss takes daily the sun's first fine fellows, and invested with such power and authorrays and holds his last. Before you, you look across ity, they would rather lose their souls than to condefields of ciover and of waving grain to grassy hollows,
inver and of wavino orin tỏ orassy hollows. | scend to be shown by their wives how to save them. to bordering woods, and to the mountains beyond,
| As for me, I doubt if I had any at that time. Avoie pushing their purple points up to the clouds.
was religious, and I thought she ought to be because This is the summer home of Athel and Vida Dane, she was a woman. She miglit just as well have inof their children, and of Agnes their mother. Eve- dertaken to convert a turkey gobbler as me. When lyn Dare still flourishes in the log-house beside the I recall how I strutted, and spread myself, and lorded Pinnacle. She is rich enough to afford a bigger and it over her, my only wonder is that she endured me better one, not built of logs; but she declares that she at all. If she had hated me I would have got no “would not take it for a gift," and some way Agnes in more than my deserts.” her heart of hearts is glad that she would not. Her
“Why, Cyril!' room in it remains unchanged, and there are few suma 1 “ It's all true, Aggie. If you only had a touch of mer days when she is at the Pinnacle that she does the flame in you that your daughter inherits from her not enter it, to think her own thoughts alone within its sire, you would have had an ever so much easier closed door.
“Now, papa! please don't speak so. You make will follow after. Athel Dane is no longer the rector me feel as if I wasn't lovable; and I haven't felt a of Dufferin. He has gone forth to wider labors, yet in ball in my throat for ever so long."
the summer Sabbaths he often officiates in the great “ For how long ?”
stone church on the street where his earlier ministry “ Since — last night. It's you always, that vexes is held in proud and loving remembrance. me, papa, never Athel, nor mamma.”
Often in the halcyon mornings, a gayly painted boat, “ That's because we are too much alike. You are laden with a happy family, may be seen gliding through an exception to the rest of mankind in my opinion, the sparkling ripples of the Tarn to the open room of Dane,” Cyril went on. “By nature a man instinctively rock below the Pinnacle. Sometimes it is rowed by a dislikes his mother-in-law. I don't know whether it stalwart man, with a fine, powerful face; sometimes was by grace, or what, but I've always had a suspi- by a woman young, deep-chested, golden-haired, lifecion that you were more than half in love with yours. inspiring as the Olympian Ilera. Glad children sit at I was awfully jealous of you for a long time,” and her feet, and before her her mother, upon whose face Cyril King laughed aloud at the thought.
her large open eyes rest often, with a look of loving and What do you think about it, Vida ? ” asked Athel ineffable content. Upon that mother's dark locks the Dane.
evening gray is falling. Thought, sorrow, love, faith, “I think you cared altogether for mamma for a inspiration, are the exquisite liminers that have touched long, long time, when I was a little girl.”
| her features and suffused her eyes with a beauty inex* You are right. I care no less for her now. Yet pressible, the beauty beyond beauty, the outraying of I am in love with you."
the immortal spirit, which can never be caught and * I should be miserable if you were not," said the imprisoned in speech. young wife, “and I should be miserable if you did / The world hears less of Agnes than it once did. not love mamma.”
At times her thought, like a strain of high, pure music, “ Amen,” said Cyril King. “ You don't feel the penetrates its discords, lifting them for the moment slightest misgiving about it, Dane ? ” after a mo- into harmony. But she who is elected to feed the ment's silence, his mind conting back to the subject holy lamp upon the inmost shrine must ever minister on which it continually dwelt, “ not the slightest mis- less and less in the outer court. Tor live is better giving but that even a fellow like me will have a than to speak. To love in its pure significance is the chance, some chance, to restore his wasted powers, to consummation of being. atone for his misspent days, to grow into a creature | Agnes made the “meanness of opportunity " serve holier and happier through the mercy of God, in the her, lifting it and her selihood together to higher Hereafter?"
| heights. She made sorrow a servitor upon growth His final call came gently and in sleep. They laid and upon holiness. Now with peace unspeakable she his body where he wished, beside the graves of Linda | draws nearer to the final gate that we call death, and and little Cyril; and in the inclosed space, green and sometimes dread, forgetting that it can cast its shadow garnished with the tenderest flowers, there is abun- | upon us but for a moment, as we pass through it, outdant room for the beloved who in God's good time ward, from life unto life.
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