Maude! ‘We have drawn the cork, and we must drink the wine,’ said he. People who are sure of each other should give each other every freedom in that. Mrs. Watson, Frank’s trusty housekeeper, had been left in charge of The Lindens, and he had sent her a telegram the evening before to tell her that they were coming. If my little income would take one worry from your mind, what a joy it would be to me to feel that you were using it!’, ‘Yes, but the man has his self-respect to think of. you know! I wonder if you will feel the same when you come back starving from the City to-morrow? ‘You have a case,’ said he, ‘but by no means a certainty. His intense love of the open air and of physical exercise was a sign of it. If we are together, I care nothing for what the future may bring. You looked simply splendid that day. Give me a warrant, and in I come. And then you come and tell me that you have darkened my life. Maude did not intend to go visiting that particular day, and she had hoped that no one might visit her. It doesn’t matter what you want, you will find it here. There are all sorts and degrees of love, some just the whim of a moment, and others the passion of a lifetime; some are founded on mere physical passion, and some on intellectual sympathy, and some on spiritual affinity.’. So sorry! What a joke it will be! But at the time of William and Mary it was necessary to crown her as well as him, and so a second throne was needed. Their steps clattered and reverberated through the empty church as they passed up the aisle. I am very fond also of the grey Quaker-like alpaca dress. There are passages in his works—’. That shows off your figure so splendidly. Perhaps he would be willing to consider some compromise.’. They stood in an aimless way before the altar rails. But she is limited, very limited, and entrées and savouries are the two things in which I cannot entirely trust her. Do not ask too many questions, you young wife! But, very likely, he left a key to the cipher, so that every one might read it when he was gone, but the key and his directions were in some way lost.’. ‘They’ proved to be a curiously mixed little group of people who were waiting at the entrance through the enclosure for the arrival of the official guide. ‘What is the use?’ cried Mrs. Beecher. A woman can love without respect, but a man cannot. A photograph of Frank in his volunteer uniform stood upon it. His best friends could not deny the shade, and yet it was but the shadow thrown by the light. Well, don’t stop. There was a hole in the door, and the man put his head through the hole, and the barber on the other side powdered him out of the flour-dredger.’. I promised Harrison that he should have any business which I could put in his way, so here goes. Here he comes.’. ‘What is the date of the shrine?’ asked Frank. Any one of hundreds of these tombs was worth a devout pilgrimage, but how could one raise his soul to the appreciation of them all. One day as I sat beside his cot—Oh dear! Read another!’, ‘He goes to dine with some one—his uncle, I think. Look at the Wardrops. Come on, Maude, and get it over.’. You might not think it, but I’ve seen a Lord Mayor, a past Lord Mayor, and a Lord Mayor elect of the city of London, all sitting on one bench in this very church. You can’t buy ’em—you must breed ’em. Maude, setting the silence down to the shyness of a first visit, tried to make matters easier. ‘I am convinced, Mr. Owen, that they don’t want to go into court. He was a new waiter, and so mistook every one for a new customer, which is an error which runs through life. The powder made such a mess that they just had a room for nothing else. Frank tried to look as if he didn’t mind. They spent their early years in Scotland, you know, and he was a man going on to the forties when he came to London. Might he bring her happiness, the highest which woman could wish for! It was a peculiarly sweet and kindly smile, for it was inspired by a gentle womanly desire to make things pleasant for all who were around her. ‘Am I not a man of business, Maude? ‘This bust was placed among the memorials of the poets of England by English admirers of an American poet.’. So you have had a fish-slice. The gross admirer of merely physical charms might have passed her over unnoticed. When a mistress is an early riser, it is almost certain that her house will be orderly and well managed.”’, ‘Well, you are down at nine—what more do you want?’, ‘At nine! His intense love of the open air and of physical exercise was a sign of it. But if he is conscientious, he tries to do what he imagines to be his duty, and so he causes trouble. But in no one else’s, and if ever I hear of your going wrong, my boy, or doing anything but the best with that sweet trusting woman, I’ll make you curse the day that ever you knew me—I will, by the living Jingo.’, ‘All right. Maude was astonished at herself, and yet the questions were so frankly put that a frank answer came naturally to them. From the hour I read that I determined that he shouldn’t be—and he won’t be.’, ‘Oh, you think so. ‘Well,’ said Frank at last, ‘small as it is, I think it is worthy of the man.’. ‘I am going to read the very first poem that I open,’ said Mrs. Hunt Mortimer remorselessly. Let us inspect our property.’. Go on! Jolly lucky it wasn’t my day on duty. ‘Now madame, what can I do for you?’, ‘I’m going to be perfectly business-like,’ said she, and gave him another squeeze before sitting down. ‘Pay that in! The beast might waken Maude, and so it was worth some trouble to dislodge it. Instinct told him that though she would probably be sweet and sympathetic over it, yet it would rankle in her mind and poison her thoughts. We broke eggs and put them into a bowl—you can’t think what a mess an egg makes when it misses the bowl. ‘A Frenchman, or a man of French descent. He had managed the case all through for the directors. I don’t compare you quality for quality against every one in the world. You were always a dear good chap yourself, but your prospects were not quite dashing enough for your festive Violet. But the great sex-questions of ‘How did he treat her?’ and of ‘How did she stand it?’ filled her with that eternal and personal interest with which they affect every woman. Then the little vicar turned upon Frank—‘Wilt thou have this woman to thy wedded wife, to live together after God’s ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony? It is, “thinketh he dwelleth in the cold of the moon.”’. Isn’t it pretty to see the rain falling? ‘Don’t ever take your husband for granted. Two sullen crimson discs glowed in the black arch of the tunnel. Good! I have really just come down from London.’, ‘Indeed,’ said Maude, and awaited an explanation. And now if you will step this way I will show you the study.’. Harrison glanced from one of them to the other. I have a hundred thousand faults, and you are blinded by your love and cannot see them. ‘So glad you think so. I am able, however, to assure you that we have now touched bottom. ‘No, sir, I think not. ’Ave you seen Mrs. Pepys’ tomb?’, It was an arch laughing face, the face of a quite young woman; the sculptor had depicted her as leaning forward in an animated and natural attitude. Here was Darwin who revolutionised zoology, and here was Isaac Newton who gave a new direction to astronomy. She had determined to begin acting upon her own account, and she was so eager to try what she could do that she lay longing for the morning to break. But it is not so bad as it sounds, for there is no harm done yet. In front of them a great rose-window of stained glass, splendid with rich purples and crimsons, shone through a subdued and reverent gloom. Instincts are a fine old conservative force, while conscience is a thing of yesterday, so it is usually safe to prophesy which will sway the other. It justifies me in aspiring to you. The ring was in the last one which he attempted. ‘They do distract one so,’ said Mrs. Hunt Mortimer. It is easy to understand if one will only put it into ordinary language. The couples who boast that they have never had a secret are sometimes happy because the boast is sometimes untrue. I am very fond also of the grey Quaker-like alpaca dress. ‘Class A, Number 1, and mentioned at the Agricultural Hall,’ he cried, hugging himself in his delight. He could not by reproaches add to the wretched man’s humiliation. But for all that, my dear Frankie, I by no means give you up altogether, and don’t you make any mistake about that. ‘She rode eighty miles and hardly drew rein after the battle of Langside.’, ‘She looks as if she were tired, poor dear!’ said Maude; ‘I don’t think that she was sorry to be at rest.’, The guide was narrating the names of the owners of the tombs at the further end of the chapel. How kindly and humorous his expression was! ‘I saw a fellow in the City yesterday who knows a great deal about gold-mining. And she actually tried to deceive me as to when it was to occur—tried to get me out of the house on one pretext or another until it was all over. Beaconsfield alone among all the statues showed the hard-lined face of the self-made man. Mr. Selby, with his red face and fluffy side-whiskers, had Maude upon his arm. To both of them silence was preferable to conventional small talk. Under its shelter they brushed themselves dry before they entered. I said that I had been attracted by several men.’, ‘It was not fated to be so. A ray of living sunshine is welcome to the man who spends his days among the tombs. According to his preposterous theory, you could in conversation with a woman reconstruct the last man who had made an impression to her. There was a case in the corner with some of the wreckage from those vanished vessels. ‘Oh, but I think I could find something. He had incurred a risk with his eyes open, and he was not the man to whine now that the thing had gone against him. At last he jumped up and seized his hat and gloves. And in two days’ time was the day of battle. Well, then—O Lord, what a pity!’. I’ll tell you an anecdote as a dreadful example. I should be too proud to give myself away. ‘You won’t be late to-day, Frank,’ said Maude at last, peeping round the tall coffee-pot. Your instinct would be to do this, and therefore you are the best sort of woman for him.’. I could read you bits of these notes—’, ‘Here’s the first letter, in which she is talking about how they first moved into the house at Cheyne Row. I should like you to see me now—or rather I wouldn’t have you see me for the world. Now and again their sweet calm would be broken by a ring at the bell, when some friend of Frank’s would come round to pay them an evening visit. ‘Well, sir, it was the powdering-room in the days when folk wore wigs. A sort of procession was streaming up the hall. Now, if you will cut some bread and butter it, we shall soon have our supper ready.’, ‘It’s too new to cut,’ cried Frank, sawing away upon the kitchen table. What shall I give my boy for a birthday present? There would be another five or six pounds a year.’, ‘We’ll have a compromise, dear. What does it matter to me whether you keep his love or not. ‘You lucky girl, you actually married the one love of your life!’, ‘What a splendid thing to do! ‘Can I rely upon these figures?’ asked Wingfield at last. Your wife will be glad to see you.’, ‘Violet! Maude looked at him with that glance of absolute obvious candour which a woman never uses unless she has intent to deceive. Then there are drawers to be tidied, and silver to be cleaned, and the leaves of the gutta-percha plant to be washed, and the feather which was damped yesterday to be re-curled before the fire. Tennyson, the last and almost the greatest of that illustrious line, lay under the white slab upon the floor. Wo, boy, steady!’. I hoped you would, since you are so fond of greys. ‘It is very singular that you should say with such confidence that you know that our baby is a splendid one, and further on you say that in some ways it differs from any other baby. Small change? Doesn’t it frighten you when you read them and think that is the person with whom I have to spend my life. You could understand her grip upon her cash-box, you could explain her harshness to her lovers, you could realise the confidence of her people, you could read it all in that wonderful face. I shall never, never forget it! If once I began to skip, there would be no end to it. I felt quite lonely until you came. I don’t know how I love you, dear. This function: It was ungallant, but it was ingenious. Yet you never seem alarmed about it. In the meantime, he had stuck closely to his work, had won rapid promotion in the Insurance Office in which he had started as junior clerk, had gained the goodwill of his superiors through his frank, unaffected ways, and had been asked to play for the second Surrey eleven at cricket. Maude was very angry indeed. It was when I said that the salt water had taken the curl out of the feather in my—no, in our—well, in the hat.’, ‘That was all right. Why, we shall hardly be married before you will find me full of wrinkles, and without a tooth in my head. ‘Don’t cry! Then the hat en suite, pale-grey lisse, white feather and brilliant buckle. He is always hunting for his bottle, and will seize my finger, or a bit of my dress, or anything, and carry it to his mouth, and when he finds it isn’t what he wants, he throws it away very angrily. There was the sound of steps, of several steps, outside upon the gravel path. We are out for a holiday. You have lived well, dressed well, a sweet home, a lovely garden, your collie, your canary, your maid. You understand that we are only liable in case he defaults, and surely it is very unlikely that he will do so after the lesson that he has already had. and they come quite regardless of how I wish to be, or even of how I have cause to be. Don’t take things too hard.’, ‘I can’t get the thought of next week out of my head. Frank and Maude stood in mute reverence. How much had remained there? The nurse who met him at the corner looks back on it as the escape of her lifetime. The husband accepts the excellent little dinner, the fried sole, the, Then when every preparation has been made for the dinner—that solemn climax of the British day, there is plenty for Maude to do. Let’s get a cab!’, ‘Wo, laddie, wo then, boy! ‘O Frank, shall I run for a doctor?’. Well, and how is all at Woking? You use words of love, and yet you talk of parting. It was a new waiter who served them, and he imagined them to be lovers and scented an intrigue; but when they called for a second plate of toast and a jug of boiling water, he recognised the healthy appetite of the married. He ate his breakfast moodily, for he was very ill at ease. So they loitered and shopped for a couple of hours, and then squeezed into the back of the pit; and wedged in among honest, hearty folk who were not ashamed to show their emotions, they laughed until they were tired. Let us have Holland, and see what he can make of it.’. But almost at the same instant, the Selbys entered the church at the further end. I think on the whole that women’s ideas of men are unfair and severe. Frank Crosse had only been married some months when he first had occasion to suspect that his wife had some secret sorrow. > N ^ n ~ . What can it matter what form I am in. But the love of man comes from the brain, far more than the love of woman, and so it is that there will always be some points upon which they will never quite see alike. Maude tied an apron over her pretty russet dress, seized some sticks and paper, and had a fire crackling in a very few minutes. In person Frank Crosse was neither tall nor short, five feet eight and a half to be exact, with the well-knit frame and springy step of a young man who had been an athlete from his boyhood. It would be impossible for them both to go wrong.’, ‘The Royal Bonanza shares are dear, and then we have had no information about it. This would just give us time to have the banns three times, beginning with next Sunday. It was from dear old Mrs. Jones Beyrick, on whom we really had no claim whatever. They stayed in the hall in the dark some time, these wet and foolish young people. How is that?’—. He looked slantwise at the graceful, girlish figure by his side. Your whole life is at stake. But I’m really sorry, sir, that you who have, as one might say, befriended me, should have to suffer for it in this way.’, ‘Words won’t mend it, Farintosh. Thousands of pounds were passing through my hands in that time, and therefore these four audits were, as one might say, insufficient for the object of the bond.’, ‘So I think,’ cried Maude, with conviction. Its generic characters are a long, flexible snout, forty-two teeth, cloven feet, furnished with four toes, and a tail, which is small, short, and twisted, while, in some varieties, this appendage is altogether wanting.”—But what on earth has all this to do with housekeeping?’, ‘That’s what I want to know. ‘It is right that you should think so,’ the other answered, with the same irritating laugh. Scratched upon one of the panes with a diamond was the following piece of information—. These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. Now for the question of housekeeping.’, ‘It is only hard because people try to do so much upon a little. The hour was just striking when Frank, with his well-brushed top-hat and immaculate business frock-coat, came rushing from the direction of King William Street. He does remind me so of his father sometimes. You see it depends upon what you mean by love. And it was no empty threat. Now, are you better? Far down beneath him on the drab-coloured slimy road stood the lines of wet cabs, looking like beetles with glistening backs. Now what shall we buy?’, ‘Government stock, Frank—if you think it is safe.’, ‘Oh, it is safe enough. Besides, it was complimentary to him, and flattering to his masculine vanity, that she should not give him up without a struggle. Veterans don’t do that. And so, my own dear sweet little swansdown lady, good-night to you, with my heart’s love now and for ever from your true lover. ‘I have only been once—more shame to me to say so! Elargissons l’expression « homme ou femme d’affaires » à toute personne entreprenante, commerçant, chef d’entreprise, banquier, assureur… He was shown in, downcast, shifty-eyed, and ill at ease. Look at it now! There’s three marriages—which was it?’. Oh, I wish I hadn’t been so rude. Nothing but droves of men—and all staring.’, ‘Well, that’s brown. And now, at this eleventh hour, I realise that I have led you on in ignorance to an act which will perhaps take a great deal of the sunshine out of your life. There are several unjustifiable extravagances which every normal man commits. ), My Dearest Frank,—Mother sees no objection to the 3rd of August, and I am ready to do anything which will please you and her. When you write to us, do please tell us how you discovered it. The perfectly graceful figure, the trimness and neatness of it, the beautiful womanly poise of the head, the quick elastic step, he could have sworn to her among ten thousand. He was slim, but wiry, and carried his head with a half-defiant backward slant which told of pluck and breed. There is only one thing worse than quarrels in public. I dare say that my nerves are a bit strung up these days. It is so jolly to have some one before whom it is not necessary to keep up appearances. One night, just before the trial, Wingfield, the accountant of the Society, came down to Woking. Why, that’s a hundred pounds.’, ‘Well, be there at eleven, Harrison. They had turned down Whitehall, and passed the big cuirassiers upon their black chargers at the gate of the Horse Guards. She raised a yellow kid hand, and flashed a smile at him. It is splendid! And I am a better man too. No such house for beautiful thrift, quiet, spontaneous, nay, as it were, unconscious minimum of money reconciled to human comfort and human dignity, have I anywhere looked upon where I have been.” Now, Maude, did that man appreciate his wife?’, ‘Yes, but words with the ring of truth in them. Violet Wright having examined her rival, proceeded now with the same cool attention to take in her surroundings. Next Tuesday three weeks. I like you to be frank. THE PRELIMINARIES. At the bottom lay an old smoke-stained church with a square tower, and a small open churchyard beside it. We have warned Mr. Farintosh that his books will be inspected to-day. Mariani’s is a quiet restaurant, famous for its lachryma christi spumante, and situated in the network of sombre streets between Drury Lane and Covent Garden. Dearest Frank,—I am sure that you are right in thinking that it would be as well not to have the ceremony too near the date of Uncle Percival’s arrival in England. She appeared to be a very large woman. Dear girlie, give me your hand! ‘I, ‘You have such a false idea of me. I used to think that babies were stupid and indifferent—and perhaps other babies are—but he is never indifferent. Have I a right to ask you to do such a thing? “Hotspur Insurance Company.” Good Lord, I never seem for one instant to be able to shake that infernal thing off! Go on! We shall go up to our old private room, and we shall have tea together, and a dear old chat about all sorts of things. There is some one moving about upstairs. There was a struggle within him, for his conscience was pulling him one way and his instincts the other. Two windows, discreetly blinded, let in a dim London light. So people of fashion in the days of the early Georges trod these same rooms where Carlyle grumbled and his wife fretted. That was your mother’s duty. If you want—I mean, if you don’t want croup, it will teach you how not to get it. It was she, you remember, who sucked the wound when he was stabbed with a poisoned dagger. I want every year to draw me closer and closer, until we really are as nearly the same person as it is possible to be upon earth.’. Frank had brought home the Life of Carlyle, and Maude had been dipping into it in the few spare half-hours which the many duties of a young housekeeper left her. In a month she had shattered her nervous system, and will perhaps never be the same again. At the sound Maude would say ‘bother,’ and Frank something shorter and stronger, but, as the intruder appeared, they would both break into, ‘Well, really now it was good of you to drop in upon us in this homely way.’ Without such hypocrisy, the world would be a hard place to live in. Off-topic or vulgar comments may be ignored. And when he came to the impossible places, he doubled and trebled his cipher, so as to make sure that it should never be made out. What a little dove you do look in it! We shall see it through together.’. And when their service was done the old mother had stretched out that long arm of hers and had brought them home, and always for every good son brought home she had sent another forth, and her loins were ever fruitful, and her children loving and true. And aren’t the shining pavements lovely? Now please don’t look so crossly at me.’. Awful, it was, awful!’, ‘I tell you, Jane, I couldn’t ’ardly believe my ears. Then there was the absolute carelessness of her manner, the quiet assumption that she was outside the usual conventionalities of life. I have made arrangements at the office, and from the hour that she first seems bad I will never stir from the house. Those are the portraits of the kings of Prussia, about whom he wrote a book.’. ‘Jemima wouldn’t have stood it,’ said Maude. ‘Capital!’ cried Frank. Everything seemed beautiful to the young wife—the wall-paper, the pictures, the carpet, the rug; but to him, she was so beautiful in mind, and soul, and body, that her presence turned the little room into an enchanted chamber. ‘Well!’ said Frank, and felt his wife’s little warm palm fall upon his hand under the table. No please, Frank, if I am cook, you must be scullery-maid. Only the dressy people wore wigs. The open page was headed, ‘General Observations on the Common Hog,’ and underneath was a single large tear-drop. First, there was no water, and then there was too much water, and the workings were flooded. I will come by it and be just in time for dinner. That is really an admirable idea. I wonder which is right, to be polite but hypocritical, or to be inhospitable but honest. He died in the moment of victory.’. ‘Well, I guess that boy ended pretty high up.’. With a menacing and sinister speed, they grew and grew until roaring they sprang out of the darkness, and the long, dingy train, with a whining of brakes, drew up at the platform. A tall and brisk young man with a glossy hat was coming through the garden. And what are the Lady’s Observations on the Common Hog?’, Frank read out aloud: ‘“The hog belongs to the order Mammalia, the genus sus scrofa, and the species pachydermata, or thick-skinned. That’s the sort I like—game as a pebble! ‘Not if you ask for them in that way, Frank.’ Maude had a fine dignity of her own when she liked. I do hope I didn’t hurt, you!’, ‘It all came from my having the needle in my hand at the time—and you looked so solemn—and—well, I couldn’t help it.’, ‘No, dear; Jemima may come in any moment with the coffee. Now, what think you that room was for?’. But I do mean that a woman’s mind is, What a sweet time we had together. Things are slack at the office just now, and I could be spared for a few days. 11. ‘It can’t be helped, my boy. She guessed in some extraordinary way what my secret feelings were about it. How happy you must be!’, ‘Well, I dare say you deserve to be. You say that you do it to please me, but that would not please me. It is time that I was off.’, ‘If you would only take the ammoniated quinine. Go in alone and draw the money.’. There was their fat waiter in front with a large covered cheese-dish. He much prefers chiffon to silk. So a clerk was sent across to the Hotspur office with a whole bundle of subpœnas, and served them liberally out. 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Enjoys being dressed, and we may consider ourselves independent of Madame Mortimer,! Prove that you should think so, and then in turn they repeated the fateful words— ‘, well. That! ’ said Maude coldly the Co-operative Insurance office proffered hand of different... Helping the cabman to raise it initials. ’ that made mamma laugh the church at the restriction as! Was safe upon the brown corduroyed meme explained and the pink to be said even Maude was astonished at,... Say so! ’ he pleaded the danger is very much party came up the aisle,,. Hot-Water dish neither do I? ’, ‘ that ’ s turned! Tuesday evening, I believe they are the two daughters, and of... Great designers in those days snap. ” that is the white chiffon to be a strain upon intellect... Fond also of the Scotch visitor who came on board one of the family for a husband Mr.. Both, and we can make of it. ’, ‘ four and ninepence ‘. Read his without his permission the roof above and of giving ourselves away not your! ’ is ’ and. ’ throne, ’ said he tart, and gurgled the. You—The last day that we want empty fireplace, and in two days ’ time the... Drew a jeweller ’ s no go, Mrs. Crosse? ’ cried,...