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I laughed. “I am not one of the kind of sequence. Neither is my blue flannel blouse. men who get dressing-gowns made for them,” But I have permitted it to occupy such a space said I; “nor slippers, nor any thing of that here because it really led to some of the most sort. I don't remember that either of the arti- important consequences of my lifetime. Mine cles I've mentioned were ever presented to me and one or two others. Wherefore in my story, in my life. I'm too positive a character for as still in my wardrobe, this blouse has a claim that. Mild men, with proper opinions, are the to its own nail. ones to have dressing-gowns. How absurd it About this period I noticed that the manner would be to think of women making Luther a of Dr. Laurence Medlicott very much changed dressing-gown! Or Thomas Carlyle! Or, per- toward me. His acrid temperament and selfhaps most amusing of all, Henry Ward Beecher rearing kept him from being at any time a jovial -in canary, with blue facings!”
person, but he had always preserved a manner Dr. Susan. “I declare your modesty is fas- of quiet cheerfulness in my presence. Now he cinating! Hear now Mr. Remy's sum of the was occasionally absolutely uncivil to me, rewhole matter: Luther, Carlyle, Henry Ward plying curtly to the politest questions, and never Beecher, and Mr. Remy; these four, together vouchsafing to begin any conversation of his with other great, but not so great men, look own accord. And one day, in a manner meant especially ill in dressing-gowns !"
to be humorous, but with a smile so dry and Helen Talfourd. “Oh the saucy, saucy fellow! hard as to show its difficulty, he accosted Miss What can we do to punish him for such effront- Talfourd and myself, who were starting for the ery! Oh, I know! We'll make him a dress- rustic seats at the magnesia spring, withing-gown !"
“Well, what goose-chase are you on now?" “Capital !" exclaimed Dr. Susan, chafing Miss Talfourd answered hurriedly, to prevent her hands together energetically, which was the my doing so caustically, that we were going out nearest approach she ever made to the feminine to study the Flegeljähre of Jean Paul Richter gesture of clapping them. “Capital! We shall together, at the same time showing him the see how Luther would have looked in that gar- book. ment. But it just dawns upon me that I really “Humph!” answered the ascetic Laurence, don't know how to make a dressing-gown.” in a tone more like a growl than human speech.
Helen. “But I do. I'll cut it out and turn “ Better read your Bibles, you fools !" the seams, and you can do as much as you know “Sir," said I, fiercely, "if you ever read that how to. We'll punish him-won't we, dear?" book with any other intent than finding equi
I. “Permit me to ask a commutation of my voques to wrest for the support of your bigotry, sentence to a blouse—a blue flannel blouse, such you would know that Christianity aims at makas they wear in the ateliers of Paris. I have ing you a gentleman, not a beast.” the pattern of one which exactly fitted me there. “Oh, don't-please don't—don't quarrel with It will be less time to do that; and be clement him," said Helen Talfourd, pleadingly, her soft, -reflect what disgrace the dressing-gown would cool hand gently laid on my quick pulse. But bring on my family—what a stigma it would Dr. Laurence strode moodily away before he affix to one so young, just starting in life! No could hear me reply to her. one would have any malice against me again; “Yes, you shall save him from my resentthe dirtiest ragamuffin or the meanest milksop ment as you did one ill-mannered brute before. would like me indiscriminately. In fine, I Another Tobin." should be hopelessly popular with all sorts of “Oh, Mr. Remy, dear Sir, please do not be geese, and my character would be irretriev- so violent. Bear with him." ably good. Compassion, sweet ladies! Spare “Did you hear him say 'fools ?' This is the morning-gown this once- it is not for only the climax of a rudeness I have put up me."
with a little too long already. But it's the last Dr. Susan. “We let you off this once, of our time. I—" sovereign mercy. Your sentence is changed to “Mr. Remy, be patient with him—be pathe blouse."
tient. He has a great deal of trouble to bear. This conversation explains how it happened Oh, if you knew what it was you would forgive that one morning I came into the bath-room him, and put up with almost any thing out of with a resplendent garment of blue flannel upon the merest generosity. I could tell you—but I me, its waist neatly plaited on to a narrow belt talk too much-shall we forget all this and probelow and a broad yoke above; its skirts loose ceed to our Flegeljähre ?" and flowing almost to the knee; its sleeves of “You could tell me, but you will not ? Ah, the ample, airy manner known as gigot. And well I am still too much a stranger to be conwhen the Senator said, “Eh, Remy; very styl. fided in.” ish, upon my word !—where did you get that “I can not tell you now, Mr. Remy-I must comfortable, handsome thing?" there was a not. Sometime I may-perhaps I shall even quiet pleasure in replying, with a view out of have to. But now, be patient with me, Mr. my sinister eye to the occupant of the canary Remy." faced with blue,
There was a painful earnestness, an excite“Oh, the ladies made it for me."
ment in the young girl's mien when she said this, In itself a dressing-gown is not of much con- that went to my very heart. Why was this? Why indeed, and what was she to me except fulfillment of my yesterday's waking apprehenthe friend of a water-cure ? She looked more sions. beautiful in her embarrassment-her hidden Helen Talfourd, weeping so bitterly that the trouble, which must not be uncovered to me- tears fell between her fingers as she tightly than ever before; and the suspense I felt, the pressed them over her eyes, knelt in touching longing to know how, why, for whom, she was girlish helplessness by the side of the settee distressed, fell upon me like the cold shadow of where I reclined. my own calamity. But her eye brightened with “My dear Miss Talfourd !" was all that I an effort, and she threw cheerfulness into her could say in my surprise ; but I raised her up as voice again as she said to me,
gently, yet as strongly as my poor nervous arm “It was on the thirtieth page we left off, at was able, and set her in the corner of the sofa. the end of the second paragraph-shall you or I|Then I smoothed her soft brown hair as gently begin, Meinherr Paul ?”
as if she had been my foster-child-I her nurse Long after midnight I lay awake, the night -and as guilelessly. She drew one hand slowafter this interview, torturing my mind with the ly from her face as if she hardly endured to most painful, for me the most novel questions. have her tearful eyes seen, caught the hand that Not only what grieved Helen Talfourd, but why was soothing her and put it quietly down, saythat also grieved me. Now I would be as un- ing passionately, brokenly, civil to myself as Dr. Medlicott, saying, in solilo- “Do not pet me; do not be brotherly to me; quy, “Pshaw you fool! Shall you forget your I am not a child, I am a woman whom no one one long-cherished aim? Your resolve to fetter knows, no one cares for-oh, oh!" yourself in no way till you were head of the firm Here her heart choked her voice, and I could of Marquette, Consol, and Remy? And you gain no further clew to her distress. Still I are third partner still! Will you hamper your clasped the hand that had put mine down, pressself at the start? Fool!” After which piece ing its soft, long fingers as they trembled conof impertinence to myself I would turn over, vulsively in my touch, but did not draw themshake up the pillow, dispose the quilt, and settle selves away. As I looked on her I could bear myself in the conclusive style of a man who has the suspense of the last two days no longer. arranged every thing unalterably, whom nothing “Oh, my God!" I cried, “I would that you now can possibly prevent from going to sleep. might speak out your whole soul and tell me the After my coming to this decisive spot one sweet, worst, Helen !" sad face ever looked sadly at me out of the This last word I could not speak with that darkness again, and the bastions of resolution fierce pain that spent itself in the rest of the melted away like a phantasm, in the warm, gen- sentence. It seemed like a spell that I was tle breath of a woman, seeming to say close at pronouncing-I said it sweetly, tenderly, peacemy ear,
fully. And she must have observed the differ“ If you but knew. If I could tell you! But ence herself. For my tone seemed first to surbe patient with me."
prise, then to calm her; and looking at me with i passed a miserable night. After two or her sorrowful blue eyes full on mine, and steadied three hours' disturbed sleep I awoke to pass a with a firm resolution, she said, no longer sobmiserable day. Nothing seemed to go right bing: with me.
I absolutely dreaded a relapse—or "I will tell you, what I could not yesterday. rather looked for one--for I hardly dreaded what I It has become best—it has become necessaryfelt too nonchalantly miserable to care much for. for I now have no other friend in this place Dr. Susan was busy as possible upon her rounds whom I can trust—my father is dead, my mo--for some reason or other Helen Talfourd was ther is dead, sister I never had, my nearest not visible after breakfast-time—and I could brother is in India." hardly have entertained them much had they She said these things over considerately, as been with me.
if she were recounting her justifications for comAbout three o'clock in the afternoon I began ing to me with the burden of her confidence. to wonder if the misanthropy that was growing So thoughtful was she ever-so delicate ! upon me might not be owing to sleeplessness. She continued—“But I must tell you in a I could make the experiment of a nap at any few words; I can't command myself to say rate. There was a secluded room at Beech- much. The reason Dr. Medlicott hates you, Wold, meant as a quieter sort of parlor for the the reason he can not bear to have me with you, weaker class of those invalids who still walked, is because he thinks you have more influence but little frequented on account of its looking over me than he. And, the day before yesterupon the court, and being therefore not especial day, he-he paid me the compliment of prolý cheerful. In one corner was a comfortable posing to me for a Western cousin of his--Mr. settee: I stretched myself upon it, and began to Aristodemus Medlicott—and I refused! Mr. surrender gracefully to weariness. Of a sudden Remy, you have been much in the world; would the door opened hurriedly! I started up, my a gentleman-would a man--speak on that submind still in the chaotic beginnings of the earli-ject again after once hearing the word No ?” est sleep, and rubbed my eyes to see if I were “I can only say for myself—Never! never!" not dreaming. For the sight that met them “Mr. Remy, he has done so again to-day! He might well have been an exaggerated dream-1-he found me alone, undefended; almost cornered me in the office; and I will not repeat to it from the softer to the stronger. So much you the language he used to me when I refused had illness wasted me that the circlet clasped again. Oh, Sir-oh, Sir! what shall I do? my arm nearly as high as it did Helen's. Then Dr. Susan calls me ungrateful; she says Dr. I fastened my sleeve, and felt safe, though I Medlicott has been so kind to me that any but a should fall that instant into a simultaneous perfect ingrate would have received his favorite conversation with Laurence Medlicott, Sylverie cousin favorably; and-oh-oh I–I have no Beames, and Mrs. Hamilcar Hall. friend !"
I had been keeping up the line of conduct in “Helen!" At this word, spoken spell-like which this talisman strengthened me for more as before, she looked me wonderingly in the than a week after the incident just related, and eyes; then her look fell, and a strange dream- was succeeding admirably well, when one mornlike uncertainty came over her face as I went ing, as I sat idle in my chamber, vegetating as on: “No friend? Helen, you have God and was prescribed to all of us water-curc patients, me; and only less than God can do I love you!" Dr. Susan's peculiar knock came at my door: a
She caught my hand again and half held me short, sharp, authoritative knock-a knock that off from her, as to look in my face and read a seemed to think itself a man's, with a right to mcaning she could not in my words.
be as brusque and peremptory as possible, and “Love me!" she repeated, in wonder. “What, then to reconsider itself and apologize by a sebetter than Dr. Susan?”
ries of quieter raps imitating a woman's. “Why do you speak in this moment of Dr. “Come!" I cried. Dr. Susan entered. There Susan ? She is nothing to me! You are all was a chair close by me vacant.
I waved my things. Helen! may I be such a friend as this hand toward it and said, “Good-morning-sit to you? If I can, here is the heart that can not down." Dr. Susan, contrary to her invariable leave you-come to it! If I can not-but-0 habit of striding in, saying a few quick words God, I thank thee! Give me strength to keep of question, encouragement, reprimand, what that which thou hast committed unto me, as not, and then striding forth again, actually thou keepest our henceforth one soul!”
drew the chair I had offered still closer to my
knee and sat down. Then she took me by the VII.-BEING THE STORY OF AN ARMLET. hand and said, “Stick out your tongue." For the first time at Beech-Wold did I now be- I laughed. “No better opening to a concome careful, jealous even, of appearances. Be- versation possible than this, certainly," said I. fore I knew that Helen Talfourd loved me, and “I thought, from the unusual impressiveness could be gladdened or saddened through me, of your manner, you had something more flatthere was no one at Beech-Wold whose opinion tering to my intelligence to talk about than how I would not have laughed at the idea of doing the last pills acted.” any thing to affect. Now I had another happi. “ Tongue looks a good deal better-pulse ness to look after, and I had given my first host- regular.” And then, abandoning the profesage to fortune. I therefore materially altered sional manner, she said to me, in a voice so my course. The only way in which I could womanly and tender that I half started at its prevent Helen Talfourd from being persecuted, unusual sound, “ And do you like to have me now that this intimate, though on both our parts talk to you ?" strictly secret relation had been entered into, “Why, you know that I do; of course!" was to refrain from in any way becoming con- "Not quite of course. You have shunned spicuous myself.
every body for a fortnight, and perhaps it was Helen Talfourd wore a plain gold armlet en- vanity which made me take so large a share of graved with her name. As one day we sat in the slight to myself. But I'm not called vain the room where I first discovered that she loved generally. What is the matter with you? why me, enjoying that rare privilege at such a place do you mope so? It isn't the liver--the tongue as Beech-Wold, solitude for two (a much more shows that; you have something on your mind difficult one to obtain, as lovers living in large - that's what it is! Now don't you love to confamilies understand, than the same article for fide your trouble, when you are in trouble, to one), we talked upon the subject of how to get some one who will do every thing to comfort along among stupid, ignorant, obstinate, dog- you and help you and keep your secret safe? matic, and morbid people.
You ought to tell somebody what ails you. It's A thought struck me-struck us both at the bad for you to brood so.” same time. This bright circle should be my “My dear Susan, I never felt better in my amulet. Better than all rules that we could life. If I had any thing weighing on my mind devise for getting along in this world-rules you should certainly be"-I was going to say which must bend or break with every change in the first,” but remembered that would be a lic, the angle of circumstances-was this band of though polite, and changed it to—“one of the delicate, frail gold; for it would remind the first to know it.” arm that must strike, and protect, and work, to Dr. Susan looked at me intensely with those be gentle for the sake of the arm whose woman's great, searching, blue-gray eyes of hers, still work was to bless, to caress, to enfold. And clasping me by the hand tightly, and throwing with only the words, “Let this be a reminder,” a dramatic earnestness into the posture of her we both unclasped it together, and transferred head and shoulders which, in any one else, would have seemed ridiculous, because an affectation, too fast. What did you think—what did you but, in her, was to a high degree fascinating, say, Dr. Susan ?” and even awing.
Dr. Susan cast upon me a glance of conThen her hold relaxed from my fingers, and tempt which would have withered Mephistophresting one elbow on the back of her chair, she eles Beau Brummel-a writer for the London leaned her brow on her hand, and rubbed it Atheneum—or any other synonym of sneering painfully back and forward on the palm, gazing impudence, and then toned it down into one downward with an abstracted air, while, with much harder to bear, though not at all witherthe toe of her gaiter, she described arcs upon ing—a look of such deep pain, such grieved rethe carpet; then swept them broadly with the proach, that every thing like blague left my sole, or stamped them resolutely, as if she were manner in an instant, and I added : “Forgive tracing in the sand horoscopes which kept ever me, my dear Susan. I treated the matter lightdissatisfying her, and which she obliterated as ly, because I was very sure you had." fast as they were made.
Dr. Susan. “Lightly! That was not the “Susan," said I, gently—“Susan, it is you way to treat it at all-not the way for me to who should tell somebody something.”
treat it. What had I ever done to make that For the first time in my life I saw Dr. Susan man think I could endure him? Or, at any blush. Yes, quite perceptibly; and the feeling rate, more than endure him; for I have, perit gave me to discover I had abashed her was haps, been civil to him, which turns out to have pain - not that half-pleasure which it gives a been too much. And the fellow actually prefman to see the rich carnation tingle into the aced his proposition with some remarks upon cheek of a modest girl, but the feeling that is the subject of long-felt congenialities existing awakened on seeing other men blush, who do it between us.' Should I treat that lightly? No. so unnaturally. Dr. Susan was quite discon- I shouldn't. I didn't. I waited till he had certed.
entirely finished, and then, said I, 'Mr. Beames, “What makes you think so ?" said she, hur- Dr. Laurence Medlicott is your physician; Mrs. riedly—"what makes you think so? Any one Hamilcar Hall is your nurse; you have, therewould feel flurried at being looked at as you fore, every body to look after your ease whom look at me. That's all; there's nothing to tell you could desire; and that is all you would be -oh, nothing !"
likely to seek for or understand in a wife. If I “Susan,” said I, in a parental manner, “you ever have such a thing as a husband, it must be doubtless have been thinking that all those emo- some one who can at least think for himself. tions which you usually keep in such reserve And now I must go and call on the feeble peohave not peeped out-have gone on in perfect ple I have to take care of.' With which I clearsolitude-since you came in here. But you're ed out as fast as possible.” mistaken--yes, Susan, the room of an intimate 1. “Pretty hard on him, Susan, pretty hard. friend is an untoward place to go to be alone in. You should never feel as if a man were to blame Now, frankly, to imitate your kindness, what for loving you. He could not help it, I suppose, troubles you ?"
poor Beames! and then, besides, he might have Dr. Susan took me by the hand again, and, had some indistinct idea that he was not all he though her face was still all aglow, she looked would wish to be, and that he could help himthrough the hot mist'that blushing sheds around self up to his best state by your assisting strength. one resolutely as if she would brave out her You might make a very different man of him, shamefacedness right into my eyes; and, with Susan.” her usually so direct tongue stammering like a “Would you like to have me accept Mr. little child's, she began :
Beames?" "I'm very, very glad you have forced me to “No, Susan, I would not choose him for do it. I came here on purpose to tell you some- you, certainly; but then it is none of my busithing, and after I got here it seemed as if I found ness to choose for you at all, you know.” I couldn't-I didn't know how to set at work “ Paul Remy, you are as cold as ice.” about it. I can trust you; I must trust you; She said this not angrily, but mournfully, and I want to trust you. I feel unable to wait an- shivered while she spoke, as if the ice were a other moment to tell you what I wouldn't tell physical fact perceived by her. Then, still lookany one else in the world—what, perhaps, a wo- ing at me earnestly, she began chafing my wrist man ought never to tell at all to her dearest under the opened sleeve, as if she would warm friend. You will not feel that I'm doing any me in that way, and save me from quite freezthing which will make me mean in your eyes ?" ing both myself and her to death.
“ You could not do that thing, Susan." With the motion of her hand the talisman
“I will tell you, then. I have just had a slipped gradually down from above. Its smooth proposal of marriage from Sylverie Beames! gold circle made no noise, of course, no sensaDon't be ashamed of me because I'm a woman tion either, so absorbed was I in the strango he likes. There! what do you think of that?" movings of soul whose outer ripple and furrow
“Think of it! Give me time to think-a I witnessed on that memorable face before me; month or two, for instance. Why, I'm dumb- and before I knew it slid down against Dr. Sufounded. But hold on. The modern way of san's very hand. thinking of a thing is by its success.
I may be
For a moment she gave me a blank stare, as one who perceives what may be a strange co- public to all Beech-Wold—before our appointincidence without realizing that it can possibly ed time. be any thing else. And then Dr. Susan caught It had been the intention of Helen and mymy hand with a fierce eagerness like the poun- self to wait until I became quite well enough to cing of a hawk, and held it up to the window. leave Beech-Wold. We would then go away The light fell full on the chasing of the armlet, together-returning to New York—and be marand there she read, her lips moving in the inau- ried. If Dr. Susan would accompany us, she dible pronunciation of the words, clearly, plain- should go too; but that was all of Beech-Wold ly, “Helen Talfourd.”
that should not be left behind us at once and Again the earthquake for one quick moment forever. shook her face, and, with a fire flashing from But this arrangement was destined to be her eyes that almost burned my own, she utter- overthrown. I came down stairs one morning. ed only a stifled “Oh!” dashed my hand from Helen Talfourd was not at the gymnasium when her as if it had been a snake, and with two the bell for before - breakfast exercises stopped strides was out of the door.
ringing. At the table her chair was vacant
the chair opposite me, and whose occupancy was VIII._FEARS AND FIGHTINGS.
much of the time almost my whole reason for Perhaps I should have gone immediately to coming to that great, uninviting, sterile exHelen Talfourd with the recital of this last in- panse of soiled table-cloth, brown-bread, and terview between Dr. Susan and myself. She grits, at all. At morning-prayers in the chapel would have been able to read to me the riddle thereafter her clear, sweet, true soprano was which my man-dullness could not make out. unheard in the chorus of voices that sang plaintI could imagine no reason in the world why ive" Caswell;" and I could not bear the susDr. Susan should have acted as she did, unless pense any longer. I must find what the matter it was that she was displeased with Helen for was. In one of the halls I passed the good old loving me-now that the circlet had disclosed Peggy, an indefatigable, kind bath-woman conto her that secret - instead of accepting Dr. nected with the institution, and slipping a piece Medlicott's cousin, whose warm friend and ad- of money into her hand bade her go quite on the vocate she, Dr. Susan, was understood to be. sly to Miss Talfourd's room, see how she wasBut her behavior certainly seemed very exag- without letting any one else know that I had gerated, considering that its source.
sent her-and return to me as soon as possible Still I did not tell all this to Helen, nor any Peggy shuffled away, and I stood waiting of it, because I knew that if I had guessed right- meanwhile. Much quicker than I expected she ly, her knowledge of Dr. Susan's conduct would came back to me. There was a sympathetic only be an additional useless mortification to gloom overspreading her honest face, and she her, and it would be time enough to relate to fumbled with the corner of her apron, after the her all the particulars of this chapter if any fashion of her class when they would fain dichange in Dr. Susan's bearing toward her ren- vert the attention of their hearts from the disadered such a recital necessary for the better reg- greeable thing which their logic commands them ulation of her own actions.
Day after day went by, and there was no new “Very well, Peggy; that's right to come so cloud on Helen's brow-nothing save the tireless quick; now, out with it!-how is Miss Talpersecution of Dr. Medlicott, to trouble her. That fourd ?” person did a thousand of those little, mean things "An' it breaks the heart of me, Misther constantly by which very good people annoy Remy; but I wint to the door of the young leddy, those who are so wicked as to differ from them. as ye tould me, an' I knocked, an' knocked, an' All this on the part of Laurence was quite bear-knocked three times, an' thin Dr. Laurence able, however, even laughable, in the light of came to the door. What d'ye want, Peggy ?' those sweet love - lookings and communings says he. “An' it's afther knowin' how Miss which kind Heaven occasionally gave Helen Talfourd is this mornin' that I'm come, Sir,' and me timely solitude for, and which were as says I; 'an', if you plase, I'd like to come in patches of blue sky in the sulphurous fog that an' see the young leddy.' “You can't do it,' says made perennial gloom at Beech-Wold.
Dr. Laurence; "she's sick with the typhus, and As Helen said nothing to me of any difference hasn't known any body since she was taken ill, toward her on the part of her hostess (for it will eleven o'clock last night.'" be remembered that she was a guest of Dr. Su- I dashed past the old woman, and went up san’s, not a patient at the Cure), and as I could the stairs that led to Helen Talfourd's story with perceive no change of conduct myself, I almost as swift a lightness as a wind-blown feather. I let the occurrence in my room slip, traceless, seemed more to be carried than to move myself. out of my mind. I saw less of Dr. Susan ms- I was mad with fears. Good God! must she self--but so I did of every body save Helen; be taken from me now, and after all we had and when I met the former there was no time, come through for each other? had there been will, for more than the short I stood at the door of my beloved, and I could word we exchanged.
hear within the muffled voices of the nurses and At last my relation to the woman whom I the doctors, Dr. Laurence and Dr. Susan. I loved had to be disclosed — had to become broke into their consultation with a rap that was