Page images


[ocr errors]

handkerchief stuck into his over-tall, but another to come back, but I believe she exceedingly limp, white collar. Yet his in- would like to take the ride with you. She quiring spirit still seemed undismayed. He was saying something yesterday about going stopped where John Herrick's nervous black over to see them. I would fetch the doctor pony was tied, peered over the fence, and myself, but I can not leave Ely to-day. He poised his pencil once more above a page.

does not often ride to town for his mail and "Won't you just tell me—" he began. there is no telephone-line, so he is rather diffi

“I have told you already,” said John Her- cult to reach. If you wish to wait for a day rick, “that I have nothing to say. When the or two, I will gladly go to fetch him.” men get rid of their leader and come to me "Oh no," replied Beatrice, "I will go towilling to work again, we will inquire into day if Hester is willing. I feel as though I this matter of the company's finances. But could not wait. And how can I ever thank while they are not in our employ, the com- you for—for everything?" pany's money is none of their business. Un- John Herrick looked at her oddly. til Thorvik leaves Ely and the workmen stop "You have taken up rather a large task,” talking of strikes, things shall stand exactly he said, “taken it, for the most part, upon as they are."

your own shoulders. I want you to know His tone was so final that even Dabney that, as far as is in my power, I am going to Mills realized that this was the end of the help you make a success of it.” interview, and walked on unwillingly in the His shyness had dropped away as suddenly direction Thorvik had gone. John Herrick as it had come upon him, and there was caught Buck, gave the rein to Beatrice, and nothing but the warmest friendliness in his went to untie his own horse, but hesitated smile as he swung into the saddle. a moment before mounting. His manner assumed suddenly a stiff shyness quite unlike

CHAPTER VI his cordiality of a moment before.

THE UPWARD TRAIL “There is one thing more," be began.

I have been away for some days, but I now TURNING Buck's head, Beatrice made all understand from Hester that your aunt, who speed back toward the house. Once she is with you, has been ill. Is that true?paused and looked back to see John Herrick

Yes," assented Beatrice. She was puz- still immovable upon his horse, looking after zled by his change of manner, but she still her. She did not know just what sudden felt that his kindness invited confidence, and impulse made her wheel her pony once more she told him fully of the state of Aunt Anna's and ride back to speak to him. health and how concerned they were about "I don't think you understand," she said her.

breathlessly; "I could n't ever tell you how "I wanted to suggest,” John Herrick went

grateful" on slowly, “that there is a doctor who lives on She could not go on; she was stopped by the other side of Gray Cloud Mountain-a the look on his face as his keen eyes met hers. man who does not practise now, but who has "It is you who can not understand," he been a famous specialist for just such illness. answered, "I-I_" He could help your aunt, I know. He would Perhaps it was because the restless mare come to see her if I asked him, for he has refused to stand a moment longer, perhaps he always been a good friend to me. Would himself had jerked the rein, at least it was you care to consult him?"

true that he also broke off in what he was “Oh, indeed I would! How kind of you, saying, plunged past her, and went, at a how wonderfully good to have thought of it!" headlong gallop, down the road. Someexclaimed Beatrice. She had seen the regu- what puzzled by what had occurred, Beatrice lar doctor of Broken Bow Valley and had went through her own gate and climbed the felt that he could not help them very much. path to the house.

"Oh, it is nothing," John Herrick returned, It did not take many minutes to explain apparently somewhat disturbed by the eager- matters to Nancy and Aunt Anna, to gather ness of her gratitude, "just friendly interest up what she would need for the journey, and in a neighbor." He went on speaking in a to bid them an excited good-by. tone of rather careful indifference. “Dr. “Of course, it is all right for me to go," Minturn and his wife are very fond of my she assured her aunt, in reply to some proHester, and she often rides over to visit tests. "Hester often goes alone, and she them. It takes a whole day to go there and will be there to show me the way.” And she was away down the path before any one had slipped away from the smooth, rocky could frame further remonstrance.

shoulders of the heights above. When she rode up to the door of the next Higher still they mounted until they came, house, Hester was not immediately visible, as Hester had foretold, to an impassable but she appeared presently from the kitchen. mass of rock fallen across the trail. The With a disturbed face, she listened to the detour was difficult, up a barren slope covered plan of crossing the mountain together. with stunted bushes, and out on a naked

"I wish I could go," she said, "but old spur whence she could look away at peak beJulia has one of her attacks of rheumatism yond peak, some bleak and dark, some shinand I know I should not leave her. I ing with never-melting snow. She and Buck did n't tell Roddy about it-he seemed to seemed tiny specks of creatures, creeping over have other things troubling him. Won't it the rocky hillside. do to wait a few days until I can go or Roddy "Don't leave the trail.” So Hester had can ride over?

warned, but there could be no harm in climbBeatrice, impatient and disappointed, sat ing a little higher, since she could see so silent in her saddle, thinking. She looked plainly where her pathway began again and down at the long, sun-flooded valley, then up wound crookedly to the narrow passage beat the sharp slopes and the white, winding tween two huge boulders where she and Buck trail calling her to the adventure.

must go through. Above her, caught in a “Why should n't I go alone?” she asked cleft in the great shoulder of the mountain, boldly. "Where you can go, surely Buck was a still, dark lake, its waters held in this and I can go, too.'

cup of the rocks and fed by the melting Hester looked doubtful. “The


is snows of the ice-fields far above. She felt clear enough,” she said, "and not very hard that she must see it closer and urged her going, but you have never ridden it before.' pony forward.

But Beatrice would listen to no objec- It was as still as a polished mirror, deep tions. By the weight of her two years' se- blue and ringed by a dark circle of pines. niority and her natural determination, she While she stood, staring fascinated at the speedily overcame Hester's misgivings. She gleaming surface, a deer came down to drink, made her friend give her full directions, swam leisurely across the far end of the lake, which she felt would be easy enough to and disappeared into the forest. The motion follow.

seemed to break her dream, for she turned “I keep to the line of the stream as far as quickly in the saddle and looked down. She its headwaters, and then go up through a had climbed above the very summit of the cleft between two rocks at the very top of pass for she could see where the trail dipped the pass,” she repeated. “You say the trail downhill again, disappearing in the trees. is fairly plain all the way? Certainly I can “We must hurry," she thought. "I believe follow it."

this is the best way down.” "One of the men said something about Buck moved forward, hesitated, felt for some rocks that had fallen at the very head his footing, and hesitated again. An omiof the stream, and you may have to go around nous sound came to her ears, the rattle of them,” Hester said. “Otherwise it is all sliding stones. The horse slipped, went forplain. Be careful on the slopes of loose stone, ward several yards, apparently with no will and don't leave the trail."

of his own, then stopped and turned his I will be careful,” returned Beatrice. white face to look around at her. She swung "Oh, Hester, what a ride it is going to be!" down from the saddle to lead him, but felt

There was not a mile of the way that dis- the loose shale give way under her feet. appointed her. Up and up she went, through Frantically she caught at the pommel of the forest, across clearings, fording the noisy saddle, but in a moment she and the horse shallows of the stream that was her guide. were both slipping together, while the rattle

“We must be nearly as far as the pass,' of the stones increased into a roar. she thought at last, and stopped to look "Buck!" she cried aloud, "what have I back. Broken Bow Valley had shrunk to a done?” mere creek bed, one among many water- The whole mountain seemed to be moving courses winding beneath. The heavy, dark under her feet; she knew dimly that the sadforest seemed to cling like a blanket to the dle-horn was snatched from her grasp just lower slopes of the mountains, as though it before she plunged forward into darkness.

(To be continued)




[ocr errors]

On a certain day in January, just three hun- baptised Jean. As for Uncle Jean, it may dred years ago, a son was born to Jean Po- be imagined that, flattered as he may have quelin of Paris and his beautiful wife Marie, been, he considered it incumbent upon himthe daughter of Monsieur Louis Cressé, a self to make the suggestion that a nephew retired citizen of comfortable means.

of so important an official as the tapissier et If Monsieur Poquelin was bursting with valet de chambre du roi ought to have plenty pride on this occasion, so likewise was Mon- of names. And so, at his suggestion, or at sieur Cressé. “Now, my little one,” said he the suggestion of some one else, Baptiste to the young mother, with a twinkle in his

was added, and thereafter the boy was called eye, "you may, indeed, rejoice in a son, but Jean-Baptiste Poquelin up to his twentyyou will never know what happiness it is to first year, when, as we shall see by and by, be a grandfather!"

a fourth name came to be taken by him. "No, Papa Cressé," the daughter replied, After the christening party had come out "I am afraid I shall never live to see that of the church of Saint-Eustache, it passed, day!" And they all laughed gaily at Mon- on the right, the spot where, two years later, sieur Cressé's little joke.

the great Cardinal Richelieu built his palace, “I suppose, Papa Poquelin, you are still now known as the Palais Royale, and on the determined to christen him Jean, just to left the palace of the Louvre, and then turned please the little gentleman who moves the into the Rue Saint Honoré, an old street king's furniture from place to place!” said in which the Poquelins lived, one of the Monsieur Cressé.

busiest and most historic in old-time Paris. “He shall be named after his Uncle Jean, Here, two hundred years before, Jeanne yes, Papa Cressé," replied Monsieur Poque- d'Arc had ridden through the old gate which lin, taking no notice of Monsieur Cressé's guarded its entrance. sarcasm.

"Well," said Grandfather Cressé, as the The family looked up to Uncle Jean with

party drew up before the Poquelin's house, more or less veneration, since Uncle Jean "here's one more little monkey for the Maihad, some years before, succeeded to the son des Singes.At this, every one laughed, post of tapissier et valet de chambre du 'roi, for Monsieur Cressé's little joke may be exwhich, in English, might be designated as plained by the fact that the old house in Upholsterer Groom-of-the-Chamber of the which the Poquelins lived was an ancient King, an important and lucrative position. thirteenth-century structure known as the

, Monsieur Poquelin himself was a prosperous "House of the Monkeys" (as Maison des upholsterer, descended of a family of tapis- Singes may be translated), since a great siers of Beauvais, famous for their craftsman- carved oak panel on its façade depicted a ship. To tell the truth, Uncle Jean had not, group of scrambling little monkeys in a tree, at first, paid much attention to his nephew, throwing down cocoanuts on the head of an Jean. Perhaps in this very large family he old monkey at the foot. could not give much attention to any one of As little Jean-Baptiste grew up, Grandthem without neglecting the others. How- father Cressé had many a story of the old ever, now that he was growing old, and now house and of the old street to tell him, for no that his nephew was certainly beginning to one in the neighborhood knew more about be considered the best upholsterer in Paris, old Paris than Grandfather Cressé. Perhaps Uncle Jean began to take more notice of him, he also told his grandson about the monkey and it had been hinted that Monsieur Poque- joke, and certainly young Jean-Baptiste was lin might, in time, come to succeed Uncle as agile in his pranks as any of the carved Jean as the king's upholsterer.

wooden singes on the front of the House of And so it happened, on a day in the the Monkeys. Indeed, he was a husky lad middle of a mild January, 1622, that when and fond of play-more fond of play than of the christening party came forth from the books; but that was not to be wondered at, ancient church of Saint-Eustache,-a church since, in those days, books of interest to still standing,-Baby Poquelin had been children were few enough. So far as


know, the Bible and Plutarch's "Lives" were "Then," said Jean-Baptiste quite earthe only books in the Poquelin household. nestly, “I should like to have the mantle of However, Grandfather Cressé's stories were old Räol fall on me.” Grandfather Cressé as entertaining as any book that boys of to laughed heartily at that, for old Räol was day have given them to read, and Jean- Jean-Baptiste's favorite of the strolling Baptiste enjoyed them intensely. And then players he had seen that autumn. this was a particularly exciting time in Paris Presently Jean-Baptiste asked, "What and throughout all France. Cardinal Riche- will Father do with Uncle Jean's mantle, lieu had recently come into power as the Grandfather?" chief minister of state to the king, Louis "Well," answered Grandfather Cressé, XIII, and in Jean-Baptiste's seventh year with a smile, “it looks to me as though he occurred the famous siege of La Rochelle, intended sometime to share it with you." the celebrated Huguenot city. Paris and And he proceeded to explain to Jean-Baptiste France of this time was the period of the that it was the tapissier valet's duty to see tale of “The Three Musketeers," which many that the furniture in the king's apartments of you may have read.

was always in condition and properly placed, "These are curious times," said Grand- here a chair and there a chair, wherever the father Cressé; “perilous times,” he added, king might be likely to wish to sit; a table, "and exciting." But probably the most too, at hand in case he wished to write; a exciting things, as far as Jean-Baptiste was stool for his feet, as the floors in those days concerned, were the visits with his grand- were cold, since there were no furnaces or father to the shows given by troupes of radiators; and finally a comfortable bed in strolling players, mountebanks, and show- which the king could rest. “And then, men with marionettes in the neighborhood added Grandfather Cressé, "whenever the of the Halles de la Foire, not far from the king takes a journey, his tapissier valet old church where Jean-Baptiste had been must go along to see that everything is in christened. In fact, Grandfather Cressé was order; and he must lose no time about it, for an inveterate playgoer, and his young grand- kings can't be kept standing—it does n't son probably rejoiced in the fact.

agree with them!” One day there came the news that Uncle It must be admitted that young JeanJean, who had gone on a visit to Beauvais, Baptiste was very shrewd for his years for he had been stricken with apoplexy and had said, “Well, it sounds like a lot of work, this breathed his last. When his will came to be shoving the furniture around; I don't think read, it was found that Monsieur Poquelin I want any of Uncle Jean's mantle.” had not been forgotten and that to him was One holiday morning not long after this, to descend the much coveted office of Uphol- Monsieur Cressé found Jean-Baptiste and a sterer Groom-of-the-Chamber to the King. group of boys his own age at play in the

“Poor Uncle Jean!" sighed Monsieur garden of the Maison des Singes. Poquelin; "and after all I am to be tapissier "Hei! Grandfather!" called Jean-Baptiste, et valet de chambre du roi. It is gratifying." “come and be our audience! We are going

"Well, Papa Poquelin,” said Monsieur to give a play!" Cressé, himself highly gratified at the good "Well, well, my young grandson,” said luck of his daughter's husband, “surely on no Grandfather Cressé, “and what is your play more deserving shoulders could have fallen going to be?" the mantle of your Uncle Jean."

“I shall call it 'The Mantle of my Uncle,''. Papa Poquelin bowed solemnly in acknowl- Jean-Baptiste replied. “François here is to edgment, and little Jean-Baptiste, who had be the king; Pierre is to be the cardinal; this been standing by listening, spoke up. "What is the apartment of the king, who has just kind of a mantle did Uncle Jean have, Grand- arrived from Paris on a journey here; and this father?" Monsieur Cressé laughed and ex- is the furniture. Now when I get tired movplained to his grandson that in early times ing it about, I am to discover how foolish it a mantle, or cloak, was so valuable a pos- is shoving the king's footstools all around the session, that the person to whom it descend- room when I might be having lots more fun ed was considered lucky indeed to have it doing something else, instead of having to be left to him, and so when any good fortune, the tapissier valet all the time, and so I hand such as inheriting an office from another, my mantle to Gervais, like this-I play came to one, it was said that the mantle of he is my nephew. Now François comes in, the other had fallen upon him.

and because he is the king, he is very angry


« PreviousContinue »