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Youth and the Bright Medusa

The Willa Cather Scholarly Edition

Historical Essay and Explanatory Notes by
Mark J. Madigan
Textual Essay and Editing by
Frederick M. Link
Charles W. Mignon
Kari A. Ronning

University of Nebraska PressLincoln, 2009

Preface

The objective of the Willa Cather Scholarly Edition is to provide to readers—present and future—various kinds of information relevant to Willa Cather's writing, obtained and presented by the highest scholarly standards: a critical text faithful to her intention as she prepared it for the first edition, a historical essay providing relevant biographical and historical facts, explanatory notes identifying allusions and references, a textual commentary tracing the work through its lifetime and describing Cather's involvement with it, and a record of revisions in the text's various editions. This edition is distinctive in the comprehensiveness of its apparatus, especially in its inclusion of extensive explanatory information that illuminates the fiction of a writer who drew so extensively upon actual experience, as well as the full textual information we have come to expect in a modern critical edition. It thus connects activities that are too often separate —literary scholarship and textual editing.

Editing Cather's writing means recognizing that Cather was as fiercely protective of her novels as she was of her private life. She suppressed much of her early writing and dismissed serial publication of later work, discarded manuscripts and proofs, destroyed letters, and included in her will a stipulation against publication of her private papers. Yet the record remains surprisingly full. Manuscripts, typescripts, and proofs of some texts survive with corrections and revisions in Cather's hand; serial publications provide final "draft" versions of texts; correspondence with her editors and publishers helps clarify her intention for a work, and publishers' records detail each book's public life; correspondence with friends and acquaintances provides an intimate view of her writing; published interviews with and speeches by Cather provide a running public commentary on her career; and through their memoirs, recollections, and letters, Cather's contemporaries provide their own commentary on circumstances surrounding her writing.

In assembling pieces of the editorial puzzle, we have been guided by principles and procedures articulated by the Committee on Scholarly Editions of the Modern Language Association. Assembling and comparing texts demonstrated the basic tenet of the textual editor—that only painstaking collations reveal what is actually there. Scholars had assumed, for example, that with the exception of a single correction in spelling, O Pioneers! passed unchanged from the 1913 first edition to the 1937 Autograph Edition. Collations revealed nearly a hundred word changes, thus providing information not only necessary to establish a critical text and to interpret how Cather composed, but also basic to interpreting how her ideas about art changed as she matured.

Cather's revisions and corrections on typescripts and page proofs demonstrate that she brought to her own writing her extensive experience as an editor. Word changes demonstrate her practices in revising; other changes demonstrate that she gave extraordinarily close scrutiny to such matters as capitalization, punctuation, paragraphing, hyphenation, and spacing. Knowledgeable about production, Cather had intentions for her books that extended to their design and manufacture. For example, she specified typography, illustrations, page format, paper stock, ink color, covers, wrappers, and advertising copy.

To an exceptional degree, then, Cather gave to her work the close textual attention that modern editing practices respect, while in other ways she challenged her editors to expand the definition of "corruption" and "authoritative" beyond the text, to include the book's whole format and material existence. Believing that a book's physical form influenced its relationship with a reader, she selected type, paper, and format that invited the reader response she sought. The heavy texture and cream color of paper used for O Pioneers! and My Ántonia, for example, created a sense of warmth and invited a childlike play of imagination, as did these books' large, dark type and wide margins. By the same principle, she expressly rejected the anthology format of assembling texts of numerous novels within the covers of one volume, with tight margins, thin paper, and condensed print.

Given Cather's explicitly stated intentions for her works, printing and publishing decisions that disregard her wishes represent their own form of corruption, and an authoritative edition of Cather must go beyond the sequence of words and punctuation to include other matters: page format, paper stock, typeface, and other features of design. The volumes in the Cather Edition respect those intentions insofar as possible within a series format that includes a comprehensive scholarly apparatus. For example, the Cather Edition has adopted the format of six by nine inches, which Cather approved in Bruce Rogers's elegant work on the 1937 Houghton Mifflin Autograph Edition, to accommodate the various elements of design. While lacking something of the intimacy of the original page, this size permits the use of large, generously leaded type and ample margins—points of style upon which the author was so insistent. In the choice of paper, we have deferred to Cather's declared preference for a warm, cream antique stock.

Today's technology makes it difficult to emulate the qualities of hot-metal typesetting and letterpress printing. In comparison, modern phototypesetting printed by offset lithography tends to look anemic and lacks the tactile quality of type impressed into the page. The version of the Fournier typeface employed in the original edition of Shadows, were it available for phototypesetting, would hardly survive the transition. Instead, we have chosen Linotype Janson Text, a modern rendering of the type used by Rogers. The subtle adjustments of stroke weight in this reworking do much to retain the integrity of earlier metal versions. Therefore, without trying to replicate the design of single works, we seek to represent Cather's general preferences in a design that encompasses many volumes.

In each volume in the Cather Edition, the author's specific intentions for design and printing are set forth in textual commentaries. These essays also describe the history of the texts, identify those that are authoritative, explain the selection of copy-texts or basic texts, justify emendations of the copy-text, and describe patterns of variants. The textual apparatus in each volume—lists of variants, emendations, explanations of emendations, and end-of-line hyphenations—completes the textual story.

Historical essays provide essential information about the genesis, form, and transmission of each book, as well as supply its biographical, historical, and intellectual contexts. Illustrations supplement these essays with photographs, maps, and facsimiles of manuscript, typescript, or typeset pages. Finally, because Cather in her writing drew so extensively upon personal experience and historical detail, explanatory notes are an especially important part of the Cather Edition. By providing a comprehensive identification of her references to flora and fauna, to regional customs and manners, to the classics and the Bible, to popular writing, music, and other arts—as well as relevant cartography and census mate-rial—these notes provide a starting place for scholarship and criticism on subjects long slighted or ignored.

Within this overall standard format, differences occur that are informative in their own right. The straightforward textual history of O Pioneers! and My Ántonia contrasts with the more complicated textual challenges of One of Ours and Sapphira and the Slave Girl; the allusive personal history of the Nebraska novels, so densely woven that My Ántonia seems drawn not merely upon Anna Pavelka but all of Webster County, contrasts with the more public allusions of novels set elsewhere. The Cather Edition reflects the individuality of each work while providing a standard of reference for critical study.

Youth and the Bright Medusa



Coming, Aphrodite!

I

DON HEDGER had lived for four years on the top floor of an old house on the south side of Washington Square, and nobody had ever disturbed him. He occupied one big room with no outside exposure except on the north, where he had built in a many-paned studio window that looked upon a court and upon the roofs and walls of other buildings. His room was very cheerless, since he never got a ray of direct sunlight; the south corners were always in shadow. In one of the corners was a clothes closet, built against the partition, in another a wide divan, serving as a seat by day and a bed by night. In the front corner, the one farther from the window, was a sink, and a table with two gas burners where he sometimes cooked his food. There, too, in the perpetual dusk, was the dog's bed, and often a bone or two for his comfort.

The dog was a Boston bull terrier, and Hedger explained his surly disposition by the fact that he had been bred to the point where it told on his nerves. His name was Caesar III, and he had taken prizes at very exclusive dog shows. When he and his master went out to prowl about University Place or to promenade along West Street, Caesar III was invariably fresh and shining. His pink skin showed through his mottled coat, which glistened as if it had just been rubbed with olive oil, and he wore a brass-studded collar, bought at the smartest saddler's. Hedger, as often as not, was hunched up in an old striped blanket coat, with a shapeless felt hat pulled over his bushy hair, wearing black shoes that had become grey, or brown ones that had become black, and he never put on gloves unless the day was biting cold.

Early in May, Hedger learned that he was to have a new neighbour in the rear apartment—two rooms, one large and one small, that faced the west. His studio was shut off from the larger of these rooms by double doors, which, though they were fairly tight, left him a good deal at the mercy of the occupant. The rooms had been leased, long before he came there, by a trained nurse who considered herself knowing in old furniture. She went to auction sales and bought up mahogany and dirty brass and stored it away here, where she meant to live when she retired from nursing. Meanwhile, she sub-let her rooms, with their precious furniture, to young people who came to New York to "write" or to "paint"—who proposed to live by the sweat of the brow rather than of the hand, and who desired artistic surroundings. When Hedger first moved in, these rooms were occupied by a young man who tried to write plays,—and who kept on trying until a week ago, when the nurse had put him out for unpaid rent.

A few days after the playwright left, Hedger heard an ominous murmur of voices through the bolted double doors: the lady-like intonation of the nurse—doubtless exhibiting her treasures—and another voice, also a woman's, but very different; young, fresh, unguarded, confident. All the same, it would be very annoying to have a woman in there. The only bath-room on the floor was at the top of the stairs in the front hall, and he would always be running into her as he came or went from his bath. He would have to be more careful to see that Caesar didn't leave bones about the hall, too; and she might object when he cooked steak and onions on his gas burner.

As soon as the talking ceased and the women left, he forgot them. He was absorbed in a study of paradise fish at the Aquarium, staring out at people through the glass and green water of their tank. It was a highly gratifying idea; the incommunicability of one stratum of life with another,—though Hedger pretended it was only an experiment in unusual lighting. When he heard trunks knocking against the sides of the narrow hall, then he realized that she was moving in at once. Toward noon, groans and deep gasps and the creaking of ropes, made him aware that a piano was arriving. After the tramp of the movers died away down the stairs, somebody touched off a few scales and chords on the instrument, and then there was peace. Presently he heard her lock her door and go down the hall humming something; going out to lunch, probably. He stuck his brushes in a can of turpentine and put on his hat, not stopping to wash his hands. Caesar was smelling along the crack under the bolted doors; his bony tail stuck out hard as a hickory withe, and the hair was standing up about his elegant collar.

Hedger encouraged him. "Come along, Caesar. You'll soon get used to a new smell."

In the hall stood an enormous trunk, behind the ladder that led to the roof, just opposite Hedger's door. The dog flew at it with a growl of hurt amazement. They went down three flights of stairs and out into the brilliant May afternoon.

Behind the Square, Hedger and his dog descended into a basement oyster house where there were no table cloths on the tables and no handles on the coffee cups, and the floor was covered with sawdust, and Caesar was always welcome,—not that he needed any such precautionary flooring. All the carpets of Persia would have been safe for him. Hedger ordered steak and onions absent-mindedly, not realizing why he had an apprehension that this dish might be less readily at hand hereafter. While he ate, Caesar sat beside his chair, gravely disturbing the sawdust with his tail.

After lunch Hedger strolled about the Square for the dog's health and watched the stages pull out;—that was almost the very last summer of the old horse stages on Fifth Avenue. The fountain had but lately begun operations for the season and was throwing up a mist of rainbow water which now and then blew south and sprayed a bunch of Italian babies that were being supported on the outer rim by older, very little older, brothers and sisters. Plump robins were hopping about on the soil; the grass was newly cut and blindingly green. Looking up the Avenue through the Arch, one could see the young poplars with their bright, sticky leaves, and the Brevoort glistening in its spring coat of paint, and shining horses and carriages,—occasionally an automobile, mis-shapen and sullen, like an ugly threat in a stream of things that were bright and beautiful and alive.

While Caesar and his master were standing by the fountain, a girl approached them, crossing the Square. Hedger noticed her because she wore a lavender cloth suit and carried in her arms a big bunch of fresh lilacs. He saw that she was young and handsome,—beautiful, in fact, with a splendid figure and good action. She, too, paused by the fountain and looked back through the Arch up the Avenue. She smiled rather patronizingly as she looked, and at the same time seemed delighted. Her slowly curving upper lip and half-closed eyes seemed to say: "You're gay, you're exciting, you are quite the right sort of thing; but you're none too fine for me!"

In the moment she tarried, Caesar stealthily approached her and sniffed at the hem of her lavender skirt, then, when she went south like an arrow, he ran back to his master and lifted a face full of emotion and alarm, his lower lip twitching under his sharp white teeth and his hazel eyes pointed with a very definite discovery. He stood thus, motionless, while Hedger watched the lavender girl go up the steps and through the door of the house in which he lived.

"You're right, my boy, it's she! She might be worse looking, you know."

When they mounted to the studio, the new lodger's door, at the back of the hall, was a little ajar, and Hedger caught the warm perfume of lilacs just brought in out of the sun. He was used to the musty smell of the old hall carpet. (The nurse-lessee had once knocked at his studio door and complained that Caesar must be somewhat responsible for the particular flavour of that mustiness, and Hedger had never spoken to her since.) He was used to the old smell, and he preferred it to that of the lilacs, and so did his companion, whose nose was so much more discriminating. Hedger shut his door vehemently, and fell to work.

Most young men who dwell in obscure studios in New York have had a beginning, come out of something, have somewhere a home town, a family, a paternal roof. But Don Hedger had no such background. He was a foundling, and had grown up in a school for homeless boys, where book-learning was a negligible part of the curriculum. When he was sixteen, a Catholic priest took him to Greensburg, Pennsylvania, to keep house for him. The priest did something to fill in the large gaps in the boy's education,—taught him to like "Don Quixote" and "The Golden Legend," and encouraged him to mess with paints and crayons in his room up under the slope of the mansard. When Don wanted to go to New York to study at the Art League, the priest got him a night job as packer in one of the big department stores. Since then, Hedger had taken care of himself; that was his only responsibility. He was singularly unencumbered; had no family duties, no social ties, no obligations toward any one but his landlord. Since he travelled light, he had travelled rather far. He had got over a good deal of the earth's surface, in spite of the fact that he never in his life had more than three hundred dollars ahead at any one time, and he had already outlived a succession of convictions and revelations about his art.

Though he was now but twenty-six years old, he had twice been on the verge of becoming a marketable product; once through some studies of New York streets he did for a magazine, and once through a collection of pastels he brought home from New Mexico, which Remington, then at the height of his popularity, happened to see, and generously tried to push. But on both occasions Hedger decided that this was something he didn't wish to carry further,—simply the old thing over again and got nowhere,—so he took enquiring dealers experiments in a "later manner," that made them put him out of the shop. When he ran short of money, he could always get any amount of commercial work; he was an expert draughtsman and worked with lightning speed. The rest of his time he spent in groping his way from one kind of painting into another, or travelling about without luggage, like a tramp, and he was chiefly occupied with getting rid of ideas he had once thought very fine.

Hedger's circumstances, since he had moved to Washington Square, were affluent compared to anything he had ever known before. He was now able to pay advance rent and turn the key on his studio when he went away for four months at a stretch. It didn't occur to him to wish to be richer than this. To be sure, he did without a great many things other people think necessary, but he didn't miss them, because he had never had them. He belonged to no clubs, visited no houses, had no studio friends, and he ate his dinner alone in some decent little restaurant, even on Christmas and New Year's. For days together he talked to nobody but his dog and the janitress and the lame oysterman.

After he shut the door and settled down to his paradise fish on that first Tuesday in May, Hedger forgot all about his new neighbour. When the light failed, he took Caesar out for a walk. On the way home he did his marketing on West Houston Street, with a one-eyed Italian woman who always cheated him. After he had cooked his beans and scallopini, and drunk half a bottle of Chianti, he put his dishes in the sink and went up on the roof to smoke. He was the only person in the house who ever went to the roof, and he had a secret understanding with the janitress about it. He was to have "the privilege of the roof," as she said, if he opened the heavy trapdoor on sunny days to air out the upper hall, and was watchful to close it when rain threatened. Mrs. Foley was fat and dirty and hated to climb stairs,—besides, the roof was reached by a perpendicular iron ladder, definitely inaccessible to a woman of her bulk, and the iron door at the top of it was too heavy for any but Hedger's strong arm to lift. Hedger was not above medium height, but he practised with weights and dumb-bells, and in the shoulders he was as strong as a gorilla.

So Hedger had the roof to himself. He and Caesar often slept up there on hot nights, rolled in blankets he had brought home from Arizona. He mounted with Caesar under his left arm. The dog had never learned to climb a perpendicular ladder, and never did he feel so much his master's greatness and his own dependence upon him, as when he crept under his arm for this perilous ascent. Up there was even gravel to scratch in, and a dog could do whatever he liked, so long as he did not bark. It was a kind of Heaven, which no one was strong enough to reach but his great, paint-smelling master.

On this blue May night there was a slender, girlish looking young moon in the west, playing with a whole company of silver stars. Now and then one of them darted away from the group and shot off into the gauzy blue with a soft little trail of light, like laughter. Hedger and his dog were delighted when a star did this. They were quite lost in watching the glittering game, when they were suddenly diverted by a sound,—not from the stars, though it was music. It was not the "Prologue" to Pagliacci, which rose ever and anon on hot evenings from an Italian tenement on Thompson Street, with the gasps of the corpulent baritone who got behind it; nor was it the hurdy-gurdy man, who often played at the corner in the balmy twilight. No, this was a woman's voice, singing the tempestuous, over-lapping phrases of Signor Puccini, then comparatively new in the world, but already so popular that even Hedger recognized his unmistakable gusts of breath. He looked about over the roofs; all was blue and still, with the well-built chimneys that were never used now standing up dark and mournful. He moved softly toward the yellow quadrangle where the gas from the hall shone up through the half-lifted trapdoor. Oh yes! It came up through the hole like a strong draught, a big, beautiful voice, and it sounded rather like a professional's. A piano had arrived in the morning, Hedger remembered. This might be a very great nuisance. It would be pleasant enough to listen to, if you could turn it on and off as you wished; but you couldn't. Caesar, with the gas light shining on his collar and his ugly but sensitive face, panted and looked up for information. Hedger put down a reassuring hand.

"I don't know. We can't tell yet. It may not be so bad."

He stayed on the roof until all was still below, and finally descended, with quite a new feeling about his neighbour. Her voice, like her figure, inspired respect,—if one did not choose to call it admiration. Her door was shut, the transom was dark; nothing remained of her but the obtrusive trunk, unrightfully taking up room in the narrow hall.



II

FOR two days Hedger didn't see her. He was painting eight hours a day just then, and only went out to hunt for food. He noticed that she practised scales and exercises for about an hour in the morning; then she locked her door, went humming down the hall, and left him in peace. He heard her getting her coffee ready at about the same time he got his. Earlier still, she passed his room on her way to her bath. In the evening she sometimes sang, but on the whole she didn't bother him. When he was working well he did not notice anything much. The morning paper lay before his door until he reached out for his milk bottle, then he kicked the sheet inside and it lay on the floor until evening. Sometimes he read it and sometimes he did not. He forgot there was anything of importance going on in the world outside of his third floor studio. Nobody had ever taught him that he ought to be interested in other people; in the Pittsburgh steel strike, in the Fresh Air Fund, in the scandal about the Babies' Hospital. A grey wolf, living in a Wyoming canyon, would hardly have been less concerned about these things than was Don Hedger.

One morning he was coming out of the bath-room at the front end of the hall, having just given Caesar his bath and rubbed him into a glow with a heavy towel. Before the door, lying in wait for him, as it were, stood a tall figure in a flowing blue silk dressing gown that fell away from her marble arms. In her hands she carried various accessories of the bath.

"I wish," she said distinctly, standing in his way, "I wish you wouldn't wash your dog in the tub. I never heard of such a thing! I've found his hair in the tub, and I've smelled a doggy smell, and now I've caught you at it. It's an outrage!"

Hedger was badly frightened. She was so tall and positive, and was fairly blazing with beauty and anger. He stood blinking, holding on to his sponge and dog-soap, feeling that he ought to bow very low to her. But what he actually said was:

"Nobody has ever objected before. I always wash the tub,—and, anyhow, he's cleaner than most people."

"Cleaner than me?" her eyebrows went up, her white arms and neck and her fragrant person seemed to scream at him like a band of outraged nymphs. Something flashed through his mind about a man who was turned into a dog, or was pursued by dogs, because he unwittingly intruded upon the bath of beauty.

"No, I didn't mean that," he muttered, turning scarlet under the bluish stubble of his muscular jaws. "But I know he's cleaner than I am."

"That I don't doubt!" Her voice sounded like a soft shivering of crystal, and with a smile of pity she drew the folds of her voluminous blue robe close about her and allowed the wretched man to pass. Even Caesar was frightened; he darted like a streak down the hall, through the door and to his own bed in the corner among the bones.

Hedger stood still in the doorway, listening to indignant sniffs and coughs and a great swishing of water about the sides of the tub. He had washed it; but as he had washed it with Caesar's sponge, it was quite possible that a few bristles remained; the dog was shedding now. The playwright had never objected, nor had the jovial illustrator who occupied the front apartment,—but he, as he admitted, "was usually pie-eyed, when he wasn't in Buffalo." He went home to Buffalo sometimes to rest his nerves.

It had never occurred to Hedger that any one would mind using the tub after Caesar;—but then, he had never seen a beautiful girl caparisoned for the bath before. As soon as he beheld her standing there, he realized the unfitness of it. For that matter, she ought not to step into a tub that any other mortal had bathed in; the illustrator was sloppy and left cigarette ends on the moulding.

All morning as he worked he was gnawed by a spiteful desire to get back at her. It rankled that he had been so vanquished by her disdain. When he heard her locking her door to go out for lunch, he stepped quickly into the hall in his messy painting coat, and addressed her.

"I don't wish to be exigent, Miss,"—he had certain grand words that he used upon occasion—"but if this is your trunk, it's rather in the way here."

"Oh, very well!" she exclaimed carelessly, dropping her keys into her handbag. "I'll have it moved when I can get a man to do it," and she went down the hall with her free, roving stride.

Her name, Hedger discovered from her letters, which the postman left on the table in the lower hall, was Eden Bower.



III

IN the closet that was built against the partition separating his room from Miss Bower's, Hedger kept all his wearing apparel, some of it on hooks and hangers, some of it on the floor. When he opened his closet door now-a-days, little dust-coloured insects flew out on downy wing, and he suspected that a brood of moths were hatching in his winter overcoat. Mrs. Foley, the janitress, told him to bring down all his heavy clothes and she would give them a beating and hang them in the court. The closet was in such disorder that he shunned the encounter, but one hot afternoon he set himself to the task. First he threw out a pile of forgotten laundry and tied it up in a sheet. The bundle stood as high as his middle when he had knotted the corners. Then he got his shoes and overshoes together. When he took his overcoat from its place against the partition, a long ray of yellow light shot across the dark enclosure,—a knot hole, evidently, in the high wainscoting of the west room. He had never noticed it before, and without realizing what he was doing, he stooped and squinted through it.

Yonder, in a pool of sunlight, stood his new neighbour, wholly unclad, doing exercises of some sort before a long gilt mirror. Hedger did not happen to think how unpardonable it was of him to watch her. Nudity was not improper to any one who had worked so much from the figure, and he continued to look, simply because he had never seen a woman's body so beautiful as this one,—positively glorious in action. As she swung her arms and changed from one pivot of motion to another, muscular energy seemed to flow through her from her toes to her finger-tips. The soft flush of exercise and the gold of afternoon sun played over her flesh together, enveloped her in a luminous mist which, as she turned and twisted, made now an arm, now a shoulder, now a thigh, dissolve in pure light and instantly recover its outline with the next gesture. Hedger's fingers curved as if he were holding a crayon; mentally he was doing the whole figure in a single running line, and the charcoal seemed to explode in his hand at the point where the energy of each gesture was discharged into the whirling disc of light, from a foot or shoulder, from the up-thrust chin or the lifted breasts.

He could not have told whether he watched her for six minutes or sixteen. When her gymnastics were over, she paused to catch up a lock of hair that had come down, and examined with solicitude a little reddish mole that grew under her left arm-pit. Then, with her hand on her hip, she walked unconcernedly across the room and disappeared through the door into her bedchamber.

Disappeared—Don Hedger was crouching on his knees, staring at the golden shower which poured in through the west windows, at the lake of gold sleeping on the faded Turkish carpet. The spot was enchanted; a vision out of Alexandria, out of the remote pagan past, had bathed itself there in Helianthine fire.

When he crawled out of his closet, he stood blinking at the grey sheet stuffed with laundry, not knowing what had happened to him. He felt a little sick as he contemplated the bundle. Everything here was different; he hated the disorder of the place, the grey prison light, his old shoes and himself and all his slovenly habits. The black calico curtains that ran on wires over his big window were white with dust. There were three greasy frying pans in the sink, and the sink itself—He felt desperate. He couldn't stand this another minute. He took up an armful of winter clothes and ran down four flights into the basement.

"Mrs. Foley," he began, "I want my room cleaned this afternoon, thoroughly cleaned. Can you get a woman for me right away?"

"Is it company you're having?" the fat, dirty janitress enquired. Mrs. Foley was the widow of a useful Tammany man, and she owned real estate in Flatbush. She was huge and soft as a feather bed. Her face and arms were permanently coated with dust, grained like wood where the sweat had trickled.

"Yes, company. That's it."

"Well, this is a queer time of the day to be asking for a cleaning woman. It's likely I can get you old Lizzie, if she's not drunk. I'll send Willy round to see."

Willy, the son of fourteen, roused from the stupor and stain of his fifth box of cigarettes by the gleam of a quarter, went out. In five minutes he returned with old Lizzie,—she smelling strong of spirits and wearing several jackets which she had put on one over the other, and a number of skirts, long and short, which made her resemble an animated dish-clout. She had, of course, to borrow her equipment from Mrs. Foley, and toiled up the long flights, dragging mop and pail and broom. She told Hedger to be of good cheer, for he had got the right woman for the job, and showed him a great leather strap she wore about her wrist to prevent dislocation of tendons. She swished about the place, scattering dust and splashing soapsuds, while he watched her in nervous despair. He stood over Lizzie and made her scour the sink, directing her roughly, then paid her and got rid of her. Shutting the door on his failure, he hurried off with his dog to lose himself among the stevedores and dock labourers on West Street.

A strange chapter began for Don Hedger. Day after day, at that hour in the afternoon, the hour before his neighbour dressed for dinner, he crouched down in his closet to watch her go through her mysterious exercises. It did not occur to him that his conduct was detestable; there was nothing shy or retreating about this unclad girl,—a bold body, studying itself quite coolly and evidently well pleased with itself, doing all this for a purpose. Hedger scarcely regarded his action as conduct at all; it was something that had happened to him. More than once he went out and tried to stay away for the whole afternoon, but at about five o'clock he was sure to find himself among his old shoes in the dark. The pull of that aperture was stronger than his will,—and he had always considered his will the strongest thing about him. When she threw herself upon the divan and lay resting, he still stared, holding his breath. His nerves were so on edge that a sudden noise made him start and brought out the sweat on his forehead. The dog would come and tug at his sleeve, knowing that something was wrong with his master. If he attempted a mournful whine, those strong hands closed about his throat.

When Hedger came slinking out of his closet, he sat down on the edge of the couch, sat for hours without moving. He was not painting at all now. This thing, whatever it was, drank him up as ideas had sometimes done, and he sank into a stupor of idleness as deep and dark as the stupor of work. He could not understand it; he was no boy, he had worked from models for years, and a woman's body was no mystery to him. Yet now he did nothing but sit and think about one. He slept very little, and with the first light of morning he awoke as completely possessed by this woman as if he had been with her all the night before. The unconscious operations of life went on in him only to perpetuate this excitement. His brain held but one image now—vibrated, burned with it. It was a heathenish feeling; without friendliness, almost without tenderness.

Women had come and gone in Hedger's life. Not having had a mother to begin with, his relations with them, whether amorous or friendly, had been casual. He got on well with janitresses and wash-women, with Indians and with the peasant women of foreign countries. He had friends among the silk-skirt factory girls who came to eat their lunch in Washington Square, and he sometimes took a model for a day in the country. He felt an unreasoning antipathy toward the well-dressed women he saw coming out of big shops, or driving in the Park. If, on his way to the Art Museum, he noticed a pretty girl standing on the steps of one of the houses on upper Fifth Avenue, he frowned at her and went by with his shoulders hunched up as if he were cold. He had never known such girls, or heard them talk, or seen the inside of the houses in which they lived; but he believed them all to be artificial and, in an aesthetic sense, perverted. He saw them enslaved by desire of merchandise and manufactured articles, effective only in making life complicated and insincere and in embroidering it with ugly and meaningless trivialities. They were enough, he thought, to make one almost forget woman as she existed in art, in thought, and in the universe.

He had no desire to know the woman who had, for the time at least, so broken up his life,—no curiosity about her every-day personality. He shunned any revelation of it, and he listened for Miss Bower's coming and going, not to encounter, but to avoid her. He wished that the girl who wore shirt-waists and got letters from Chicago would keep out of his way, that she did not exist. With her he had naught to make. But in a room full of sun, before an old mirror, on a little enchanted rug of sleeping colours, he had seen a woman who emerged naked through a door, and disappeared naked. He thought of that body as never having been clad, or as having worn the stuffs and dyes of all the centuries but his own. And for him she had no geographical associations; unless with Crete, or Alexandria, or Veronese's Venice. She was the immortal conception, the perennial theme.

The first break in Hedger's lethargy occurred one afternoon when two young men came to take Eden Bower out to dine. They went into her music-room, laughed and talked for a few minutes, and then took her away with them. They were gone a long while, but he did not go out for food himself; he waited for them to come back. At last he heard them coming down the hall, gayer and more talkative than when they left. One of them sat down at the piano, and they all began to sing. This Hedger found absolutely unendurable. He snatched up his hat and went running down the stairs. Caesar leaped beside him, hoping that old times were coming back. They had supper in the oysterman's basement and then sat down in front of their own doorway. The moon stood full over the Square, a thing of regal glory; but Hedger did not see the moon; he was looking, murderously, for men. Presently two, wearing straw hats and white trousers and carrying canes, came down the steps from his house. He rose and dogged them across the Square. They were laughing and seemed very much elated about something. As one stopped to light a cigarette, Hedger caught from the other:

"Don't you think she has a beautiful talent?"

His companion threw away his match. "She has a beautiful figure." They both ran to catch the stage.

Hedger went back to his studio. The light was shining from her transom. For the first time he violated her privacy at night, and peered through that fatal aperture. She was sitting, fully dressed, in the window, smoking a cigarette and looking out over the housetops. He watched her until she rose, looked about her with a disdainful, crafty smile, and turned out the light.

The next morning, when Miss Bower went out, Hedger followed her. Her white skirt gleamed ahead of him as she sauntered about the Square. She sat down behind the Garibaldi statue and opened a music book she carried. She turned the leaves carelessly, and several times glanced in his direction. He was on the point of going over to her, when she rose quickly and looked up at the sky. A flock of pigeons had risen from somewhere in the crowded Italian quarter to the south, and were wheeling rapidly up through the morning air, soaring and dropping, scattering and coming together, now grey, now white as silver, as they caught or intercepted the sunlight. She put up her hand to shade her eyes and followed them with a kind of defiant delight in her face.

Hedger came and stood beside her. "You've surely seen them before?"

"Oh, yes," she replied, still looking up. "I see them every day from my windows. They always come home about five o'clock. Where do they live?"

"I don't know. Probably some Italian raises them for the market. They were here long before I came, and I've been here four years."

"In that same gloomy room? Why didn't you take mine when it was vacant?"

"It isn't gloomy. That's the best light for painting."

"Oh, is it? I don't know anything about painting. I'd like to see your pictures sometime. You have such a lot in there. Don't they get dusty, piled up against the wall like that?" "Not very. I'd be glad to show them to you. Is your name really Eden Bower? I've seen your letters on the table."

"Well, it's the name I'm going to sing under. My father's name is Bowers, but my friend Mr. Jones, a Chicago newspaper man who writes about music, told me to drop the 's.' He's crazy about my voice."

Miss Bower didn't usually tell the whole story,—about anything. Her first name, when she lived in Huntington, Illinois, was Edna, but Mr. Jones had persuaded her to change it to one which he felt would be worthy of her future. She was quick to take suggestions, though she told him she "didn't see what was the matter with 'Edna.'"

She explained to Hedger that she was going to Paris to study. She was waiting in New York for Chicago friends who were to take her over, but who had been detained. "Did you study in Paris?" she asked.

"No, I've never been in Paris. But I was in the south of France all last summer, studying with C―. He's the biggest man among the moderns,—at least I think so."

Miss Bower sat down and made room for him on the bench. "Do tell me about it. I expected to be there by this time, and I can't wait to find out what it's like."

Hedger began to relate how he had seen some of this Frenchman's work in an exhibition, and deciding at once that this was the man for him, he had taken a boat for Marseilles the next week, going over steerage. He proceeded at once to the little town on the coast where his painter lived, and presented himself. The man never took pupils, but because Hedger had come so far, he let him stay. Hedger lived at the master's house and every day they went out together to paint, sometimes on the blazing rocks down by the sea. They wrapped themselves in light woollen blankets and didn't feel the heat. Being there and working with C― was being in Paradise, Hedger concluded; he learned more in three months than in all his life before.

Eden Bower laughed. "You're a funny fellow. Didn't you do anything but work? Are the women very beautiful? Did you have awfully good things to eat and drink?"

Hedger said some of the women were fine looking, especially one girl who went about selling fish and lobsters. About the food there was nothing remarkable,—except the ripe figs, he liked those. They drank sour wine, and used goat-butter, which was strong and full of hair, as it was churned in a goat skin.

"But don't they have parties or banquets? Aren't there any fine hotels down there?"

"Yes, but they are all closed in summer, and the country people are poor. It's a beautiful country, though."

"How, beautiful?" she persisted.

"If you want to go in, I'll show you some sketches, and you'll see."

Miss Bower rose. "All right. I won't go to my fencing lesson this morning. Do you fence? Here comes your dog. You can't move but he's after you. He always makes a face at me when I meet him in the hall, and shows his nasty little teeth as if he wanted to bite me."

In the studio Hedger got out his sketches, but to Miss Bower, whose favourite pictures were Christ Before Pilate and a redhaired Magdalen of Henner, these landscapes were not at all beautiful, and they gave her no idea of any country whatsoever. She was careful not to commit herself, however. Her vocal teacher had already convinced her that she had a great deal to learn about many things.

"Why don't we go out to lunch somewhere?" Hedger asked, and began to dust his fingers with a handkerchief—which he got out of sight as swiftly as possible.

"All right, the Brevoort," she said carelessly. "I think that's a good place, and they have good wine. I don't care for cocktails."

Hedger felt his chin uneasily. "I'm afraid I haven't shaved this morning. If you could wait for me in the Square? It won't take me ten minutes."

Left alone, he found a clean collar and handkerchief, brushed his coat and blacked his shoes, and last of all dug up ten dollars from the bottom of an old copper kettle he had brought from Spain. His winter hat was of such a complexion that the Brevoort hall boy winked at the porter as he took it and placed it on the rack in a row of fresh straw ones.



IV

THAT afternoon Eden Bower was lying on the couch in her music-room, her face turned to the window, watching the pigeons. Reclining thus she could see none of the neighbouring roofs, only the sky itself and the birds that crossed and recrossed her field of vision, white as scraps of paper blowing in the wind. She was thinking that she was young and handsome and had had a good lunch, that a very easy-going, light-hearted city lay in the streets below her; and she was wondering why she found this queer painter chap, with his lean, bluish cheeks and heavy black eyebrows, more interesting than the smart young men she met at her teacher's studio.

Eden Bower was, at twenty, very much the same person that we all know her to be at forty, except that she knew a great deal less. But one thing she knew: that she was to be Eden Bower. She was like some one standing before a great show window full of beautiful and costly things, deciding which she will order. She understands that they will not all be delivered immediately, but one by one they will arrive at her door. She already knew some of the many things that were to happen to her; for instance, that the Chicago millionaire who was going to take her abroad with his sister as chaperone, would eventually press his claim in quite another manner. He was the most circumspect of bachelors, afraid of everything obvious, even of women who were too flagrantly handsome. He was a nervous collector of pictures and furniture, a nervous patron of music, and a nervous host; very cautious about his health, and about any course of conduct that might make him ridiculous. But she knew that he would at last throw all his precautions to the winds.

People like Eden Bower are inexplicable. Her father sold farming machinery in Huntington, Illinois, and she had grown up with no acquaintances or experiences outside of that prairie town. Yet from her earliest childhood she had not one conviction or opinion in common with the people about her,the only people she knew. Before she was out of short dresses she had made up her mind that she was going to be an actress, that she would live far away in great cities, that she would be much admired by men and would have everything she wanted. When she was thirteen, and was already singing and reciting for church entertainments, she read in some illustrated magazine a long article about the late Czar of Russia, then just come to the throne or about to come to it. After that, lying in the hammock on the front porch on summer evenings, or sitting through a long sermon in the family pew, she amused herself by trying to make up her mind whether she would or would not be the Czar's mistress when she played in his capital. Now Edna had met this fascinating word only in the novels of Ouida, her hard-worked little mother kept a long row of them in the upstairs storeroom, behind the linen chest. In Huntington, women who bore that relation to men were called by a very different name, and their lot was not an enviable one; of all the shabby and poor, they were the shabbiest. But then, Edna had never lived in Huntington, not even before she began to find books like "Sapho" and "Mademoiselle de Maupin," secretly sold in paper covers throughout Illinois. It was as if she had come into Huntington, into the Bowers family, on one of the trains that puffed over the marshes behind their back fence all day long, and was waiting for another train to take her out.

As she grew older and handsomer, she had many beaux, but these small-town boys didn't interest her. If a lad kissed her when he brought her home from a dance, she was indulgent and she rather liked it. But if he pressed her further, she slipped away from him, laughing. After she began to sing in Chicago, she was consistently discreet. She stayed as a guest in rich people's houses, and she knew that she was being watched like a rabbit in a laboratory. Covered up in bed, with the lights out, she thought her own thoughts, and laughed.

This summer in New York was her first taste of freedom. The Chicago capitalist, after all his arrangements were made for sailing, had been compelled to go to Mexico to look after oil interests. His sister knew an excellent singing master in New York. Why should not a discreet, well-balanced girl like Miss Bower spend the summer there, studying quietly? The capitalist suggested that his sister might enjoy a summer on Long Island; he would rent the Griffith's place for her, with all the servants, and Eden could stay there. But his sister met this proposal with a cold stare. So it fell out, that between selfishness and greed, Eden got a summer all her own,which really did a great deal toward making her an artist and whatever else she was afterward to become. She had time to look about, to watch without being watched; to select diamonds in one window and furs in another, to select shoulders and moustaches in the big hotels where she went to lunch. She had the easy freedom of obscurity and the consciousness of power. She enjoyed both. She was in no hurry.

While Eden Bower watched the pigeons, Don Hedger sat on the other side of the bolted doors, looking into a pool of dark turpentine, at his idle brushes, wondering why a woman could do this to him. He, too, was sure of his future and knew that he was a chosen man. He could not know, of course, that he was merely the first to fall under a fascination which was to be disastrous to a few men and pleasantly stimulating to many thousands. Each of these two young people sensed the future, but not completely. Don Hedger knew that nothing much would ever happen to him. Eden Bower understood that to her a great deal would happen. But she did not guess that her neighbour would have more tempestuous adventures sitting in his dark studio than she would find in all the capitals of Europe, or in all the latitude of conduct she was prepared to permit herself.



V

ONE Sunday morning Eden was crossing the Square with a spruce young man in a white flannel suit and a Panama hat. They had been breakfasting at the Brevoort and he was coaxing her to let him come up to her rooms and sing for an hour.

"No, I've got to write letters. You must run along now. I see a friend of mine over there, and I want to ask him about something before I go up."

"That fellow with the dog? Where did you pick him up?" The young man glanced toward the seat under a sycamore where Hedger was reading the morning paper.

"Oh, he's an old friend from the West," said Eden easily. "I won't introduce you, because he doesn't like people. He's a recluse. Good-bye. I can't be sure about Tuesday. I'll go with you if I have time after my lesson." She nodded, left him, and went over to the seat littered with newspapers. The young man went up the Avenue without looking back.

"Well, what are you going to do today? Shampoo this animal all morning?" Eden enquired teasingly.

Hedger made room for her on the seat. "No, at twelve o'clock I'm going out to Coney Island. One of my models is going up in a balloon this afternoon. I've often promised to go and see her, and now I'm going."

Eden asked if models usually did such stunts. No, Hedger told her, but Molly Welch added to her earnings in that way. "I believe," he added, "she likes the excitement of it. She's got a good deal of spirit. That's why I like to paint her. So many models have flaccid bodies."

"And she hasn't, eh? Is she the one who comes to see you? I can't help hearing her, she talks so loud."

"Yes, she has a rough voice, but she's a fine girl. I don't suppose you'd be interested in going?"

"I don't know," Eden sat tracing patterns on the asphalt with the end of her parasol. "Is it any fun? I got up feeling I'd like to do something different today. It's the first Sunday I've not had to sing in church. I had that engagement for breakfast at the Brevoort, but it wasn't very exciting. That chap can't talk about anything but himself."

Hedger warmed a little. "If you've never been to Coney Island, you ought to go. It's nice to see all the people; tailors and bar-tenders and prize-fighters with their best girls, and all sorts of folks taking a holiday."

Eden looked sidewise at him. So one ought to be interested in people of that kind, ought one? He was certainly a funny fellow. Yet he was never, somehow, tiresome. She had seen a good deal of him lately, but she kept wanting to know him better, to find out what made him different from men like the one she had just left—whether he really was as different as he seemed. "I'll go with you," she said at last, "if you'll leave that at home." She pointed to Caesar's flickering ears with her sunshade.

"But he's half the fun. You'd like to hear him bark at the waves when they come in."

"No, I wouldn't. He's jealous and disagreeable if he sees you talking to any one else. Look at him now."

"Of course, if you make a face at him. He knows what that means, and he makes a worse face. He likes Molly Welch, and she'll be disappointed if I don't bring him."

Eden said decidedly that he couldn't take both of them. So at twelve o'clock when she and Hedger got on the boat at Desbrosses Street, Caesar was lying on his pallet, with a bone.

Eden enjoyed the boat-ride. It was the first time she had been on the water, and she felt as if she were embarking for France. The light warm breeze and the plunge of the waves made her very wide awake, and she liked crowds of any kind. They went to the balcony of a big, noisy restaurant and had a shore dinner, with tall steins of beer. Hedger had got a big advance from his advertising firm since he first lunched with Miss Bower ten days ago, and he was ready for anything.

After dinner they went to the tent behind the bathing beach, where the tops of two balloons bulged out over the canvas. A red-faced man in a linen suit stood in front of the tent, shouting in a hoarse voice and telling the people that if the crowd was good for five dollars more, a beautiful young woman would risk her life for their entertainment. Four little boys in dirty red uniforms ran about taking contributions in their pill-box hats. One of the balloons was bobbing up and down in its tether and people were shoving forward to get nearer the tent.

"Is it dangerous, as he pretends?" Eden asked.

"Molly says it's simple enough if nothing goes wrong with the balloon. Then it would be all over, I suppose."

"Wouldn't you like to go up with her?"

"I? Of course not. I'm not fond of taking foolish risks."

Eden sniffed. "I shouldn't think sensible risks would be very much fun."

Hedger did not answer, for just then every one began to shove the other way and shout, "Look out. There she goes!" and a band of six pieces commenced playing furiously.

As the balloon rose from its tent enclosure, they saw a girl in green tights standing in the basket, holding carelessly to one of the ropes with one hand and with the other waving to the spectators. A long rope trailed behind to keep the balloon from blowing out to sea.

As it soared, the figure in green tights in the basket diminished to a mere spot, and the balloon itself, in the brilliant light, looked like a big silver-grey bat, with its wings folded. When it began to sink, the girl stepped through the hole in the basket to a trapeze that hung below, and gracefully descended through the air, holding to the rod with both hands, keeping her body taut and her feet close together. The crowd, which had grown very large by this time, cheered vociferously. The men took off their hats and waved, little boys shouted, and fat old women, shining with the heat and a beer lunch, murmured admiring comments upon the balloonist's figure. "Beautiful legs, she has!"

"That's so," Hedger whispered. "Not many girls would look well in that position." Then, for some reason, he blushed a slow, dark, painful crimson.

The balloon descended slowly, a little way from the tent, and the red-faced man in the linen suit caught Molly Welch before her feet touched the ground, and pulled her to one side. The band struck up "Blue Bell" by way of welcome, and one of the sweaty pages ran forward and presented the balloonist with a large bouquet of artificial flowers. She smiled and thanked him, and ran back across the sand to the tent.

"Can't we go inside and see her?" Eden asked. "You can explain to the door man. I want to meet her." Edging forward, she herself addressed the man in the linen suit and slipped something from her purse into his hand.

They found Molly seated before a trunk that had a mirror in the lid and a "make-up" outfit spread upon the tray. She was wiping the cold cream and powder from her neck with a discarded chemise.

"Hello, Don," she said cordially. "Brought a friend?"

Eden liked her. She had an easy, friendly manner, and there was something boyish and devil-may-care about her.

"Yes, it's fun. I'm mad about it," she said in reply to Eden's questions. "I always want to let go, when I come down on the bar. You don't feel your weight at all, as you would on a stationary trapeze."

The big drum boomed outside, and the publicity man began shouting to newly arrived boatloads. Miss Welch took a last pull at her cigarette. "Now you'll have to get out, Don. I change for the next act. This time I go up in a black evening dress, and lose the skirt in the basket before I start down."

"Yes, go along," said Eden. "Wait for me outside the door. I'll stay and help her dress."

Hedger waited and waited, while women of every build bumped into him and begged his pardon, and the red pages ran about holding out their caps for coins, and the people ate and perspired and shifted parasols against the sun. When the band began to play a two-step, all the bathers ran up out of the surf to watch the ascent. The second balloon bumped and rose, and the crowd began shouting to the girl in a black evening dress who stood leaning against the ropes and smiling. "It's a new girl," they called. "It ain't the Countess this time. You're a peach, girlie!"

The balloonist acknowledged these compliments, bowing and looking down over the sea of upturned faces,but Hedger was determined she should not see him, and he darted behind the tent-fly. He was suddenly dripping with cold sweat, his mouth was full of the bitter taste of anger and his tongue felt stiff behind his teeth. Molly Welch, in a shirt-waist and a white tam-o'-shanter cap, slipped out from the tent under his arm and laughed up in his face. "She's a crazy one you brought along. She'll get what she wants!"

"Oh, I'll settle with you, all right!" Hedger brought out with difficulty.

"It's not my fault, Donnie. I couldn't do anything with her. She bought me off. What's the matter with you? Are you soft on her? She's safe enough. It's as easy as rolling off a log, if you keep cool." Molly Welch was rather excited herself, and she was chewing gum at a high speed as she stood beside him, looking up at the floating silver cone. "Now watch," she exclaimed suddenly. "She's coming down on the bar. I advised her to cut that out, but you see she does it first-rate. And she got rid of the skirt, too. Those black tights show off her legs very well. She keeps her feet together like I told her, and makes a good line along the back. See the light on those silver slippers,that was a good idea I had. Come along to meet her. Don't be a grouch; she's done it fine!"

Molly tweaked his elbow, and then left him standing like a stump, while she ran down the beach with the crowd.

Though Hedger was sulking, his eye could not help seeing the low blue welter of the sea, the arrested bathers, standing in the surf, their arms and legs stained red by the dropping sun, all shading their eyes and gazing upward at the slowly falling silver star.

Molly Welch and the manager caught Eden under the arms and lifted her aside, a red page dashed up with a bouquet, and the band struck up "Blue Bell." Eden laughed and bowed, took Molly's arm, and ran up the sand in her black tights and silver slippers, dodging the friendly old women, and the gallant sports who wanted to offer their homage on the spot.

When she emerged from the tent, dressed in her own clothes, that part of the beach was almost deserted. She stepped to her companion's side and said carelessly: "Hadn't we better try to catch this boat? I hope you're not sore at me. Really, it was lots of fun."

Hedger looked at his watch. "Yes, we have fifteen minutes to get to the boat," he said politely.

As they walked toward the pier, one of the pages ran up panting. "Lady, you're carrying off the bouquet," he said, aggrievedly.

Eden stopped and looked at the bunch of spotty cotton roses in her hand. "Of course. I want them for a souvenir. You gave them to me yourself."

"I give 'em to you for looks, but you can't take 'em away. They belong to the show."

"Oh, you always use the same bunch?"

"Sure we do. There ain't too much money in this business."

She laughed and tossed them back to him. "Why are you angry?" she asked Hedger. "I wouldn't have done it if I'd been with some fellows, but I thought you were the sort who wouldn't mind. Molly didn't for a minute think you would."

"What possessed you to do such a fool thing?" he asked roughly.

"I don't know. When I saw her coming down, I wanted to try it. It looked exciting. Didn't I hold myself as well as she did?"

Hedger shrugged his shoulders, but in his heart he forgave her.

The return boat was not crowded, though the boats that passed them, going out, were packed to the rails. The sun was setting. Boys and girls sat on the long benches with their arms about each other, singing. Eden felt a strong wish to propitiate her companion, to be alone with him. She had been curiously wrought up by her balloon trip; it was a lark, but not very satisfying unless one came back to something after the flight. She wanted to be admired and adored. Though Eden said nothing, and sat with her arms limp on the rail in front of her, looking languidly at the rising silhouette of the city and the bright path of the sun, Hedger felt a strange drawing near to her. If he but brushed her white skirt with his knee, there was an instant communication between them, such as there had never been before. They did not talk at all, but when they went over the gangplank she took his arm and kept her shoulder close to his. He felt as if they were enveloped in a highly charged atmosphere, an invisible network of subtle, almost painful sensibility. They had somehow taken hold of each other.

An hour later, they were dining in the back garden of a little French hotel on Ninth Street, long since passed away. It was cool and leafy there, and the mosquitoes were not very numerous. A party of South Americans at another table were drinking champagne, and Eden murmured that she thought she would like some, if it were not too expensive. "Perhaps it will make me think I am in the balloon again. That was a very nice feeling. You've forgiven me, haven't you?"

Hedger gave her a quick straight look from under his black eyebrows, and something went over her that was like a chill, except that it was warm and feathery. She drank most of the wine; her companion was indifferent to it. He was talking more to her tonight than he had ever done before. She asked him about a new picture she had seen in his room; a queer thing full of stiff, supplicating female figures. "It's Indian, isn't it?"

"Yes. I call it Rain Spirits, or maybe, Indian Rain. In the Southwest, where I've been a good deal, the Indian traditions make women have to do with the rain-fall. They were supposed to control it, somehow, and to be able to find springs, and make moisture come out of the earth. You see I'm trying to learn to paint what people think and feel; to get away from all that photographic stuff. When I look at you, I don't see what a camera would see, do I?"

"How can I tell?"

"Well, if I should paint you, I could make you understand what I see." For the second time that day Hedger crimsoned unexpectedly, and his eyes fell and steadily contemplated a dish of little radishes. "That particular picture I got from a story a Mexican priest told me; he said he found it in an old manuscript book in a monastery down there, written by some Spanish missionary, who got his stories from the Aztecs. This one he called 'The Forty Lovers of the Queen,' and it was more or less about rain-making."

"Aren't you going to tell it to me?" Eden asked.

Hedger fumbled among the radishes. "I don't know if it's the proper kind of story to tell a girl."

She smiled; "Oh, forget about that! I've been balloon riding today. I like to hear you talk."

Her low voice was flattering. She had seemed like clay in his hands ever since they got on the boat to come home. He leaned back in his chair, forgot his food, and, looking at her intently, began to tell his story, the theme of which he somehow felt was dangerous tonight.

The tale began, he said, somewhere in Ancient Mexico, and concerned the daughter of a king. The birth of this Princess was preceded by unusual portents. Three times her mother dreamed that she was delivered of serpents, which betokened that the child she carried would have power with the rain gods. The serpent was the symbol of water. The Princess grew up dedicated to the gods, and wise men taught her the rain-making mysteries. She was with difficulty restrained from men and was guarded at all times, for it was the law of the Thunder that she be maiden until her marriage. In the years of her adolescence, rain was abundant with her people. The oldest man could not remember such fertility. When the Princess had counted eighteen summers, her father went to drive out a war party that harried his borders on the north and troubled his prosperity. The King destroyed the invaders and brought home many prisoners. Among the prisoners was a young chief, taller than any of his captors, of such strength and ferocity that the King's people came a day's journey to look at him. When the Princess beheld his great stature, and saw that his arms and breast were covered with the figures of wild animals, bitten into the skin and coloured, she begged his life from her father. She desired that he should practise his art upon her, and prick upon her skin the signs of Rain and Lightning and Thunder, and stain the wounds with herb-juices, as they were upon his own body. For many days, upon the roof of the King's house, the Princess submitted herself to the bone needle, and the women with her marveled at her fortitude. But the Princess was without shame before the Captive, and it came about that he threw from him his needles and his stains, and fell upon the Princess to violate her honour; and her women ran down from the roof screaming, to call the guard which stood at the gateway of the King's house, and none stayed to protect their mistress. When the guard came, the Captive was thrown into bonds, and he was gelded, and his tongue was torn out, and he was given for a slave to the Rain Princess.

The country of the Aztecs to the east was tormented by thirst, and their king, hearing much of the rain-making arts of the Princess, sent an embassy to her father, with presents and an offer of marriage. So the Princess went from her father to be the Queen of the Aztecs, and she took with her the Captive, who served her in everything with entire fidelity and slept upon a mat before her door.

The King gave his bride a fortress on the outskirts of the city, whither she retired to entreat the rain gods. This fortress was called the Queen's House, and on the night of the new moon the Queen came to it from the palace. But when the moon waxed and grew toward the round, because the god of Thunder had had his will of her, then the Queen returned to the King. Drouth abated in the country and rain fell abundantly by reason of the Queen's power with the stars.

When the Queen went to her own house she took with her no servant but the Captive, and he slept outside her door and brought her food after she had fasted. The Queen had a jewel of great value, a turquoise that had fallen from the sun, and had the image of the sun upon it. And when she desired a young man whom she had seen in the army or among the slaves, she sent the Captive to him with the jewel, for a sign that he should come to her secretly at the Queen's House upon business concerning the welfare of all. And some, after she had talked with them, she sent away with rewards; and some she took into her chamber and kept them by her for one night or two. Afterward she called the Captive and bade him conduct the youth by the secret way he had come, underneath the chambers of the fortress. But for the going away of the Queen's lovers the Captive took out the bar that was beneath a stone in the floor of the passage, and put in its stead a rush-reed, and the youth stepped upon it and fell through into a cavern that was the bed of an underground river, and whatever was thrown into it was not seen again. In this service nor in any other did the Captive fail the Queen.

But when the Queen sent for the Captain of the Archers, she detained him four days in her chamber, calling often for food and wine, and was greatly content with him. On the fourth day she went to the Captive outside her door and said: "Tomorrow take this man up by the sure way, by which the King comes, and let him live."

In the Queen's door were arrows, purple and white. When she desired the King to come to her publicly, with his guard, she sent him a white arrow; but when she sent the purple, he came secretly, and covered himself with his mantle to be hidden from the stone gods at the gate. On the fifth night that the Queen was with her lover, the Captive took a purple arrow to the King, and the King came secretly and found them together. He killed the Captain with his own hand, but the Queen he brought to public trial. The Captive, when he was put to the question, told on his fingers forty men that he had let through the underground passage into the river. The Captive and the Queen were put to death by fire, both on the same day, and afterward there was scarcity of rain.

Eden Bower sat shivering a little as she listened. Hedger was not trying to please her, she thought, but to antagonize and frighten her by his brutal story. She had often told herself that his lean, big-boned lower jaw was like his bull-dog's, but tonight his face made Caesar's most savage and determined expression seem an affectation. Now she was looking at the man he really was. Nobody's eyes had ever defied her like this. They were searching her and seeing everything; all she had concealed from Huntington, and from the millionaire and his friends, and from the newspaper men. He was testing her, trying her out, and she was more ill at ease than she wished to show.

"That's quite a thrilling story," she said at last, rising and winding her scarf about her throat. "It must be getting late. Almost every one has gone."

They walked down the Avenue like people who have quarrelled, or who wish to get rid of each other. Hedger did not take her arm at the street crossings, and they did not linger in the Square. At her door he tried none of the old devices of the Huntington boys. He stood like a post, having forgotten to take off his hat, gave her a harsh, threatening glance, muttered "goodnight," and shut his own door noisily.

There was no question of sleep for Eden Bower. Her brain was working like a machine that would never stop. After she undressed, she tried to calm her nerves by smoking a cigarette, lying on the divan by the open window. But she grew wider and wider awake, combating the challenge that had flamed all evening in Hedger's eyes. The balloon had been one kind of excitement, the wine another; but the thing that had roused her, as a blow rouses a proud man, was the doubt, the contempt, the sneering hostility with which the painter had looked at her when he told his savage story. Crowds and balloons were all very well, she reflected, but woman's chief adventure is man. With a mind over-active and a sense of life over-strong, she wanted to walk across the roofs in the starlight, to sail over the sea and face at once a world of which she had never been afraid.

Hedger must be asleep; his dog had stopped sniffing under the double doors. Eden put on her wrapper and slippers and stole softly down the hall over the old carpet; one loose board creaked just as she reached the ladder. The trapdoor was open, as always on hot nights. When she stepped out on the roof she drew a long breath and walked across it, looking up at the sky. Her foot touched something soft; she heard a low growl, and on the instant Caesar's sharp little teeth caught her ankle and waited. His breath was like steam on her leg. Nobody had ever intruded upon his roof before, and he panted for the movement or the word that would let him spring his jaw. Instead, Hedger's hand seized his throat.

"Wait a minute. I'll settle with him," he said grimly. He dragged the dog toward the manhole and disappeared. When he came back, he found Eden standing over by the dark chimney, looking away in an offended attitude.

"I caned him unmercifully," he panted. "Of course you didn't hear anything; he never whines when I beat him. He didn't nip you, did he?"

"I don't know whether he broke the skin or not," she answered aggrievedly, still looking off into the west.

"If I were one of your friends in white pants, I'd strike a match to find whether you were hurt, though I know you are not, and then I'd see your ankle, wouldn't I?"

"I suppose so."

He shook his head and stood with his hands in the pockets of his old painting jacket. "I'm not up to such boy-tricks. If you want the place to yourself, I'll clear out. There are plenty of places where I can spend the night, what's left of it. But if you stay here and I stay here" He shrugged his shoulders.

Eden did not stir, and she made no reply. Her head drooped slightly, as if she were considering. But the moment he put his arms about her they began to talk, both at once, as people do in an opera. The instant avowal brought out a flood of trivial admissions. Hedger confessed his crime, was reproached and forgiven, and now Eden knew what it was in his look that she had found so disturbing of late.

Standing against the black chimney, with the sky behind and blue shadows before, they looked like one of Hedger's own paintings of that period; two figures, one white and one dark, and nothing whatever distinguishable about them but that they were male and female. The faces were lost, the contours blurred in shadow, but the figures were a man and a woman, and that was their whole concern and their mysterious beauty,it was the rhythm in which they moved, at last, along the roof and down into the dark hole; he first, drawing her gently after him. She came down very slowly. The excitement and bravado and uncertainty of that long day and night seemed all at once to tell upon her. When his feet were on the carpet and he reached up to lift her down, she twined her arms about his neck as after a long separation, and turned her face to him, and her lips, with their perfume of youth and passion.



One Saturday afternoon Hedger was sitting in the window of Eden's music-room. They had been watching the pigeons come wheeling over the roofs from their unknown feeding grounds.

"Why," said Eden suddenly, "don't we fix those big doors into your studio so they will open? Then, if I want you, I won't have to go through the hall. That illustrator is loafing about a good deal of late."

"I'll open them, if you wish. The bolt is on your side."

"Isn't there one on yours, too?"

"No. I believe a man lived there for years before I came in, and the nurse used to have these rooms herself. Naturally, the lock was on the lady's side."

Eden laughed and began to examine the bolt. "It's all stuck up with paint." Looking about, her eye lighted upon a bronze Buddha which was one of the nurse's treasures. Taking him by his head, she struck the bolt a blow with his squatting posteriors. The two doors creaked, sagged, and swung weakly inward a little way, as if they were too old for such escapades. Eden tossed the heavy idol into a stuffed chair. "That's better," she exclaimed exultantly. "So the bolts are always on the lady's side? What a lot society takes for granted!"

Hedger laughed, sprang up and caught her arms roughly. "Whoever takes you for granted—Did anybody, ever?"

"Everybody does. That's why I'm here. You are the only one who knows anything about me. Now I'll have to dress if we're going out for dinner."

He lingered, keeping his hold on her. "But I won't always be the only one, Eden Bower. I won't be the last."

"No, I suppose not," she said carelessly. "But what does that matter? You are the first."

As a long, despairing whine broke in the warm stillness, they drew apart. Caesar, lying on his bed in the dark corner, had lifted his head at this invasion of sunlight, and realized that the side of his room was broken open, and his whole world shattered by change. There stood his master and this woman, laughing at him! The woman was pulling the long black hair of this mightiest of men, who bowed his head and permitted it.



VI

IN time they quarrelled, of course, and about an abstraction,as young people often do, as mature people almost never do. Eden came in late one afternoon. She had been with some of her musical friends to lunch at Burton Ives' studio, and she began telling Hedger about its splendours. He listened a moment and then threw down his brushes. "I know exactly what it's like," he said impatiently. "A very good department-store conception of a studio. It's one of the show places."

"Well, it's gorgeous, and he said I could bring you to see him. The boys tell me he's awfully kind about giving people a lift, and you might get something out of it."

Hedger started up and pushed his canvas out of the way. "What could I possibly get from Burton Ives? He's almost the worst painter in the world; the stupidest, I mean."

Eden was annoyed. Burton Ives had been very nice to her and had begged her to sit for him. "You must admit that he's a very successful one," she said coldly.

"Of course he is! Anybody can be successful who will do that sort of thing. I wouldn't paint his pictures for all the money in New York."

"Well, I saw a lot of them, and I think they are beautiful."

Hedger bowed stiffly.

"What's the use of being a great painter if nobody knows about you?" Eden went on persuasively. "Why don't you paint the kind of pictures people can understand, and then, after you're successful, do whatever you like?"

"As I look at it," said Hedger brusquely, "I am successful."

Eden glanced about. "Well, I don't see any evidences of it," she said, biting her lip. "He has a Japanese servant and a wine cellar, and keeps a riding horse."

Hedger melted a little. "My dear, I have the most expensive luxury in the world, and I am much more extravagant than Burton Ives, for I work to please nobody but myself."

"You mean you could make money and don't? That you don't try to get a public?"

"Exactly. A public only wants what has been done over and over. I'm painting for painters,who haven't been born."

"What would you do if I brought Mr. Ives down here to see your things?"

"Well, for God's sake, don't! Before he left I'd probably tell him what I thought of him."

Eden rose. "I give you up. You know very well there's only one kind of success that's real."

"Yes, but it's not the kind you mean. So you've been thinking me a scrub painter, who needs a helping hand from some fashionable studio man? What the devil have you had anything to do with me for, then?"

"There's no use talking to you," said Eden walking slowly toward the door. "I've been trying to pull wires for you all afternoon, and this is what it comes to." She had expected that the tidings of a prospective call from the great man would be received very differently, and had been thinking as she came home in the stage how, as with a magic wand, she might gild Hedger's future, float him out of his dark hole on a tide of prosperity, see his name in the papers and his pictures in the windows on Fifth Avenue.

Hedger mechanically snapped the midsummer leash on Caesar's collar and they ran downstairs and hurried through Sullivan Street off toward the river. He wanted to be among rough, honest people, to get down where the big drays bumped over stone paving blocks and the men wore corduroy trowsers and kept their shirts open at the neck. He stopped for a drink in one of the sagging bar-rooms on the water front. He had never in his life been so deeply wounded; he did not know he could be so hurt. He had told this girl all his secrets. On the roof, in these warm, heavy summer nights, with her hands locked in his, he had been able to explain all his misty ideas about an unborn art the world was waiting for; had been able to explain them better than he had ever done to himself. And she had looked away to the chattels of this uptown studio and coveted them for him! To her he was only an unsuccessful Burton Ives.

Then why, as he had put it to her, did she take up with him? Young, beautiful, talented as she was, why had she wasted herself on a scrub? Pity? Hardly; she wasn't sentimental. There was no explaining her. But in this passion that had seemed so fearless and so fated to be, his own position now looked to him ridiculous; a poor dauber without money or fame,it was her caprice to load him with favours. Hedger ground his teeth so loud that his dog, trotting beside him, heard him and looked up.

While they were having supper at the oysterman's, he planned his escape. Whenever he saw her again, everything he had told her, that he should never have told any one, would come back to him; ideas he had never whispered even to the painter whom he worshipped and had gone all the way to France to see. To her they must seem his apology for not having horses and a valet, or merely the puerile boastfulness of a weak man. Yet if she slipped the bolt tonight and came through the doors and said, "Oh, weak man, I belong to you!" what could he do? That was the danger. He would catch the train out to Long Beach tonight, and tomorrow he would go on to the north end of Long Island, where an old friend of his had a summer studio among the sand dunes. He would stay until things came right in his mind. And she could find a smart painter, or take her punishment.

When he went home, Eden's room was dark; she was dining out somewhere. He threw his things into a hold-all he had carried about the world with him, strapped up some colours and canvases, and ran downstairs.



VII

FIVE days later Hedger was a restless passenger on a dirty, crowded Sunday train, coming back to town. Of course he saw now how unreasonable he had been in expecting a Huntington girl to know anything about pictures; here was a whole continent full of people who knew nothing about pictures and he didn't hold it against them. What had such things to do with him and Eden Bower? When he lay out on the dunes, watching the moon come up out of the sea, it had seemed to him that there was no wonder in the world like the wonder of Eden Bower. He was going back to her because she was older than art, because she was the most overwhelming thing that had ever come into his life.

He had written her yesterday, begging her to be at home this evening, telling her that he was contrite, and wretched enough.

Now that he was on his way to her, his stronger feeling unaccountably changed to a mood that was playful and tender. He wanted to share everything with her, even the most trivial things. He wanted to tell her about the people on the train, coming back tired from their holiday with bunches of wilted flowers and dirty daisies; to tell her that the fish-man, to whom she had often sent him for lobsters, was among the passengers, disguised in a silk shirt and a spotted tie, and how his wife looked exactly like a fish, even to her eyes, on which cataracts were forming. He could tell her, too, that he hadn't as much as unstrapped his canvases,that ought to convince her.

In those days passengers from Long Island came into New York by ferry. Hedger had to be quick about getting his dog out of the express car in order to catch the first boat. The East River, and the bridges, and the city to the west, were burning in the conflagration of the sunset; there was that great home-coming reach of evening in the air.

The car changes from Thirty-fourth Street were too many and too perplexing; for the first time in his life Hedger took a hansom cab for Washington Square. Caesar sat bolt upright on the worn leather cushion beside him, and they jogged off, looking down on the rest of the world.

It was twilight when they drove down lower Fifth Avenue into the Square, and through the Arch behind them were the two long rows of pale violet lights that used to bloom so beautifully against the grey stone and asphalt. Here and yonder about the Square hung globes that shed a radiance not unlike the blue mists of evening, emerging softly when daylight died, as the stars emerged in the thin blue sky. Under them the sharp shadows of the trees fell on the cracked pavement and the sleeping grass. The first stars and the first lights were growing silver against the gradual darkening, when Hedger paid his driver and went into the house, which, thank God, was still there! On the hall table lay his letter of yesterday, unopened.

He went upstairs with every sort of fear and every sort of hope clutching at his heart; it was as if tigers were tearing him. Why was there no gas burning in the top hall? He found matches and the gas bracket. He knocked, but got no answer; nobody was there. Before his own door were exactly five bottles of milk, standing in a row. The milk-boy had taken spiteful pleasure in thus reminding him that he forgot to stop his order.

Hedger went down to the basement; it, too, was dark. The janitress was taking her evening airing on the basement steps. She sat waving a palm-leaf fan majestically, her dirty calico dress open at the neck. She told him at once that there had been "changes." Miss Bower's room was to let again, and the piano would go tomorrow. Yes, she left yesterday, she sailed for Europe with friends from Chicago. They arrived on Friday, heralded by many telegrams. Very rich people they were said to be, though the man had refused to pay the nurse a month's rent in lieu of notice,—which would have been only right, as the young lady had agreed to take the rooms until October. Mrs. Foley had observed, too, that he didn't overpay her or Willy for their trouble, and a great deal of trouble they had been put to, certainly. Yes, the young lady was very pleasant, but the nurse said there were rings on the mahogany table where she had put tumblers and wine glasses. It was just as well she was gone. The Chicago man was uppish in his ways, but not much to look at. She supposed he had poor health, for there was nothing to him inside his clothes.

Hedger went slowly up the stairs—never had they seemed so long, or his legs so heavy. The upper floor was emptiness and silence. He unlocked his room, lit the gas, and opened the windows. When he went to put his coat in the closet, he found, hanging among his clothes, a pale, flesh-tinted dressing gown he had liked to see her wear, with a perfume—oh, a perfume that was still Eden Bower! He shut the door behind him and there, in the dark, for a moment he lost his manliness. It was when he held this garment to him that he found a letter in the pocket.

The note was written with a lead pencil, in haste: She was sorry that he was angry, but she still didn't know just what she had done. She had thought Mr. Ives would be useful to him; she guessed he was too proud. She wanted awfully to see him again, but Fate came knocking at her door after he had left her. She believed in Fate. She would never forget him, and she knew he would become the greatest painter in the world. Now she must pack. She hoped he wouldn't mind her leaving the dressing gown; somehow, she could never wear it again.

After Hedger read this, standing under the gas, he went back into the closet and knelt down before the wall; the knot hole had been plugged up with a ball of wet paper,the same blue note-paper on which her letter was written.

He was hard hit. Tonight he had to bear the loneliness of a whole life-time. Knowing himself so well, he could hardly believe that such a thing had ever happened to him, that such a woman had lain happy and contented in his arms. And now it was over. He turned out the light and sat down on his painter's stool before the big window. Caesar, on the floor beside him, rested his head on his master's knee. We must leave Hedger thus, sitting in his tank with his dog, looking up at the stars.



COMING, APHRODITE! This legend, in electric lights over the Lexington Opera House, had long announced the return of Eden Bower to New York after years of spectacular success in Paris. She came at last, under the management of an American opera company, but bringing her own chef d'orchestre.

One bright December afternoon Eden Bower was going down Fifth Avenue in her car, on the way to her broker, in William Street. Her thoughts were entirely upon stocks, Cerro de Pasco, and how much she should buy of it,when she suddenly looked up and realized that she was skirting Washington Square. She had not seen the place since she rolled out of it in an old-fashioned four-wheeler to seek her fortune, eighteen years ago.

"Arrêtez, Alphonse. Attendez-moi," she called, and opened the door before he could reach it. The children who were streaking over the asphalt on roller skates saw a lady in a long fur coat, and short, high-heeled shoes, alight from a French car and pace slowly about the Square, holding her muff to her chin. This spot, at least, had changed very little, she reflected; the same trees, the same fountain, the white arch, and over yonder, Garibaldi, drawing the sword for freedom. There, just opposite her, was the old red brick house.

"Yes, that is the place," she was thinking. "I can smell the carpets now, and the dog,—what was his name? That grubby bath-room at the end of the hall, and that dreadful Hedger—still, there was something about him, you know—" She glanced up and blinked against the sun. From somewhere in the crowded quarter south of the Square a flock of pigeons rose, wheeling quickly upward into the brilliant blue sky. She threw back her head, pressed her muff closer to her chin, and watched them with a smile of amazement and delight. So they still rose, out of all that dirt and noise and squalor, fleet and silvery, just as they used to rise that summer when she was twenty and went up in a balloon on Coney Island!

Alphonse opened the door and tucked her robes about her. All the way down town her mind wandered from Cerro de Pasco, and she kept smiling and looking up at the sky.

When she had finished her business with the broker, she asked him to look in the telephone book for the address of M. Gaston Jules, the picture dealer, and slipped the paper on which he wrote it into her glove. It was five o'clock when she reached the French Galleries, as they were called. On entering she gave the attendant her card, asking him to take it to M. Jules. The dealer appeared very promptly and begged her to come into his private office, where he pushed a great chair toward his desk for her and signalled his secretary to leave the room.

"How good your lighting is in here," she observed, glancing about. "I met you at Simon's studio, didn't I? Oh, no! I never forget anybody who interests me." She threw her muff on his writing table and sank into the deep chair. "I have come to you for some information that's not in my line. Do you know anything about an American painter named Hedger?"

He took the seat opposite her. "Don Hedger? But, certainly! There are some very interesting things of his in an exhibition at V―'s. If you would care to—"

She held up her hand. "No, no. I've no time to go to exhibitions. Is he a man of any importance?"

"Certainly. He is one of the first men among the moderns. That is to say, among the very moderns. He is always coming up with something different. He often exhibits in Paris, you must have seen—"

"No, I tell you I don't go to exhibitions. Has he had great success? That is what I want to know."

M. Jules pulled at his short grey moustache. "But, Madame, there are many kinds of success," he began cautiously.

Madame gave a dry laugh. "Yes, so he used to say. We once quarreled on that issue. And how would you define his particular kind?"

M. Jules grew thoughtful. "He is a great name with all the young men, and he is decidedly an influence in art. But one can't definitely place a man who is original, erratic, and who is changing all the time."

She cut him short. "Is he much talked about at home? In Paris, I mean? Thanks. That's all I want to know." She rose and began buttoning her coat. "One doesn't like to have been an utter fool, even at twenty."

"Mais, non!" M. Jules handed her her muff with a quick, sympathetic glance. He followed her out through the carpeted show-room, now closed to the public and draped in cheesecloth, and put her into her car with words appreciative of the honour she had done him in calling.

Leaning back in the cushions, Eden Bower closed her eyes, and her face, as the street lamps flashed their ugly orange light upon it, became hard and settled, like a plaster cast; so a sail, that has been filled by a strong breeze, behaves when the wind suddenly dies. Tomorrow night the wind would blow again, and this mask would be the golden face of Aphrodite. But a "big" career takes its toll, even with the best of luck.



The Diamond Mine

I

I FIRST became aware that Cressida Garnet was on board when I saw young men with cameras going up to the boat deck. In that exposed spot she was good-naturedly posing for them—amid fluttering lavender scarfs—wearing a most unseaworthy hat, her broad, vigorous face wreathed in smiles. She was too much an American not to believe in publicity. All advertising was good. If it was good for breakfast foods, it was good for prime donne,—especially for a prima donna who would never be any younger and who had just announced her intention of marrying a fourth time.

Only a few days before, when I was lunching with some friends at Sherry's, I had seen Jerome Brown come in with several younger men, looking so pleased and prosperous that I exclaimed upon it.

"His affairs," some one explained, "are looking up. He's going to marry Cressida Garnet. Nobody believed it at first, but since she confirms it he's getting all sorts of credit. That woman's a diamond mine."

If there was ever a man who needed a diamond mine at hand, immediately convenient, it was Jerome Brown. But as an old friend of Cressida Garnet, I was sorry to hear that mining operations were to be begun again.

I had been away from New York and had not seen Cressida for a year; now I paused on the gangplank to note how very like herself she still was, and with what undiminished zeal she went about even the most trifling things that pertained to her profession. From that distance I could recognize her "carrying" smile, and even what, in Columbus, we used to call "the Garnet look."

At the foot of the stairway leading up to the boat deck stood two of the factors in Cressida's destiny. One of them was her sister, Miss Julia; a woman of fifty with a relaxed, mournful face, an ageing skin that browned slowly, like meerschaum, and the unmistakable "look" by which one knew a Garnet. Beside her, pointedly ignoring her, smoking a cigarette while he ran over the passenger list with supercilious almond eyes, stood a youth in a pink shirt and a green plush hat, holding a French bull-dog on the leash. This was Horace, Cressida's only son. He, at any rate, had not the Garnet look. He was rich and ruddy, indolent and insolent, with soft oval cheeks and the blooming complexion of twentytwo. There was the beginning of a silky shadow on his upper lip. He seemed like a ripe fruit grown out of a rich soil; "oriental," his mother called his peculiar lusciousness. His aunt's restless and aggrieved glance kept flicking him from the side, but the two were as motionless as the bouledogue, standing there on his bench legs and surveying his travelling basket with loathing. They were waiting, in constrained immobility, for Cressida to descend and reanimate them, will them to do or to be something. Forward, by the rail, I saw the stooped, eager back for which I was unconsciously looking: Miletus Poppas, the Greek Jew, Cressida's accompanist and shadow. We were all there, I thought with a smile, except Jerome Brown.

The first member of Cressida's party with whom I had speech was Mr. Poppas. When we were two hours out I came upon him in the act of dropping overboard a steamer cushion made of American flags. Cressida never sailed, I think, that one of these vivid comforts of travel did not reach her at the dock. Poppas recognized me just as the striped object left his hand. He was standing with his arm still extended over the rail, his fingers contemptuously sprung back. "Lest we forgedt!" he said with a shrug. "Does Madame Cressida know we are to have the pleasure of your company for this voyage?" He spoke deliberate,—grammatical English—he despised the American rendering of the language—but there was an indescribably foreign quality in his voice,—a something muted; and though he aspirated his "th's" with such conscientious thoroughness, there was always the thud of a "d" in them. Poppas stood before me in a short, tightly buttoned grey coat and cap, exactly the colour of his greyish skin and hair and waxed moustache; a monocle on a very wide black ribbon dangled over his chest. As to his age, I could not offer a conjecture. In the twelve years I had known his thin lupine face behind Cressida's shoulder, it had not changed. I was used to his cold, supercilious manner, to his alarming, deep-set eyes,—very close together, in colour a yellowish green, and always gleaming with something like defeated fury, as if he were actually on the point of having it out with you, or with the world, at last.

I asked him if Cressida had engagements in London.

"Quite so; the Manchester Festival, some concerts at Queen's Hall, and the Opera at Covent Garden; a rather special production of the operas of Mozart. That she can still do quite well,—which is not at all, of course, what we might have expected, and only goes to show that our Madame Cressida is now, as always, a charming exception to rules." Poppas' tone about his client was consistently patronizing, and he was always trying to draw one into a conspiracy of two, based on a mutual understanding of her shortcomings.

I approached him on the one subject I could think of which was more personal than his usefulness to Cressida, and asked him whether he still suffered from facial neuralgia as much as he had done in former years, and whether he was therefore dreading London, where the climate used to be so bad for him.

"And is still," he caught me up. "And is still! For me to go to London is martyrdom, chère Madame. In New York it is bad enough, but in London it is the auto-da-fé, nothing less. My nervous system is exotic in any country washed by the Atlantic ocean, and it shivers like a little hairless dog from Mexico. It never relaxes. I think I have told you about my favourite city in the middle of Asia, la sainte Asie, where the rainfall is absolutely nil, and you are protected on every side by hundreds of metres of warm, dry sand. I was there when I was a child once, and it is still my intention to retire there when I have finished with all this. I would be there now, n-ow-ow," his voice rose querulously, "if Madame Cressida did not imagine that she needs me, and her fancies, you know," he flourished his hands, "one gives in to them. In humouring her caprices you and I have already played some together."

We were approaching Cressida's deck chairs, ranged under the open windows of her stateroom. She was already recumbent, swathed in lavender scarfs and wearing purple orchids—doubtless from Jerome Brown. At her left, Horace had settled down to a French novel, and Julia Garnet, at her right, was complainingly regarding the grey horizon. On seeing me, Cressida struggled under her fur-lined robes and got to her feet,—which was more than Horace or Miss Julia managed to do. Miss Julia, as I could have foretold, was not pleased. All the Garnets had an awkward manner with me. Whether it was that I reminded them of things they wished to forget, or whether they thought I esteemed Cressida too highly and the rest of them too lightly, I do not know; but my appearance upon their scene always put them greatly on their dignity. After Horace had offered me his chair and Miss Julia had said doubtfully that she thought I was looking rather better than when she last saw me, Cressida took my arm and walked me off toward the stern.

"Do you know, Carrie, I half wondered whether I shouldn't find you here, or in London, because you always turn up at critical moments in my life." She pressed my arm confidentially, and I felt that she was once more wrought up to a new purpose. I told her that I had heard some rumour of her engagement.

"It's quite true, and it's all that it should be," she reassured me. "I'll tell you about it later, and you'll see that it's a real solution. They are against me, of course, all except Horace. He has been such a comfort."

Horace's support, such as it was, could always be had in exchange for his mother's signature, I suspected. The pale May day had turned bleak and chilly, and we sat down by an open hatchway which emitted warm air from somewhere below. At this close range I studied Cressida's face, and felt reassured of her unabated vitality; the old force of will was still there, and with it her characteristic optimism, the old hope of a "solution."

"You have been in Columbus lately?" she was saying. "No, you needn't tell me about it," with a sigh. "Why is it, Caroline, that there is so little of my life I would be willing to live over again? So little that I can even think of without depression. Yet I've really not such a bad conscience. It may mean that I still belong to the future more than to the past, do you think?"

My assent was not warm enough to fix her attention, and she went on thoughtfully: "Of course, it was a bleak country and a bleak period. But I've sometimes wondered whether the bleakness may not have been in me, too; for it has certainly followed me. There, that is no way to talk!" She drew herself up from a momentary attitude of dejection. "Sea air always lets me down at first. That's why it's so good for me in the end."

"I think Julia always lets you down, too," I said bluntly. "But perhaps that depression works out in the same way."

Cressida laughed. "Julia is rather more depressing than Georgie, isn't she? But it was Julia's turn. I can't come alone, and they've grown to expect it. They haven't, either of them, much else to expect."

At this point the deck steward approached us with a blue envelope. "A wireless for you, Madame Garnet."

Cressida put out her hand with impatience, thanked him graciously, and with every indication of pleasure tore open the blue envelope. "It's from Jerome Brown," she said with some confusion, as she folded the paper small and tucked it between the buttons of her close-fitting gown, "Something he forgot to tell me. How long shall you be in London? Good; I want you to meet him. We shall probably be married there as soon as my engagements are over." She rose. "Now I must write some letters. Keep two places at your table, so that I can slip away from my party and dine with you sometimes."

I walked with her toward her chair, in which Mr. Poppas was now reclining. He indicated his readiness to rise, but she shook her head and entered the door of her deck suite. As she passed him, his eye went over her with assurance until it rested upon the folded bit of blue paper in her corsage. He must have seen the original rectangle in the steward's hand; having found it again, he dropped back between Horace and Miss Julia, whom I think he disliked no more than he did the rest of the world. He liked Julia quite as well as he liked me, and he liked me quite as well as he liked any of the women to whom he would be fitfully agreeable upon the voyage. Once or twice, during each crossing, he did his best and made himself very charming indeed, to keep his hand in,for the same reason that he kept a dummy keyboard in his stateroom, somewhere down in the bowels of the boat. He practised all the small economies; paid the minimum rate, and never took a deck chair, because, as Horace was usually in the cardroom, he could sit in Horace's.

The three of them lay staring at the swell which was steadily growing heavier. Both men had covered themselves with rugs, after dutifully bundling up Miss Julia. As I walked back and forth on the deck, I was struck by their various degrees of in-expressiveness. Opaque brown eyes, almond-shaped and only half open; wolfish green eyes, close-set and always doing something, with a crooked gleam boring in this direction or in that; watery grey eyes, like the thick edges of broken skylight glass: I would have given a great deal to know what was going on behind each pair of them.

These three were sitting there in a row because they were all woven into the pattern of one large and rather splendid life. Each had a bond, and each had a grievance. If they could have their will, what would they do with the generous, credulous creature who nourished them, I wondered? How deep a humiliation would each egotism exact? They would scarcely have harmed her in fortune or in person (though I think Miss Julia looked forward to the day when Cressida would "break" and could be mourned over),but the fire at which she warmed herself, the little secret hope,the illusion, ridiculous or sublime, which kept her going,that they would have stamped out on the instant, with the whole Garnet pack behind them to make extinction sure. All, except, perhaps, Miletus Poppas. He was a vulture of the vulture race, and he had the beak of one. But I always felt that if ever he had her thus at his mercy, if ever he came upon the softness that was hidden under so much hardness, the warm credulity under a life so dated and scheduled and "reported" and generally exposed,he would hold his hand and spare.

The weather grew steadily rougher. Miss Julia at last plucked Poppas by the sleeve and indicated that she wished to be released from her wrappings. When she disappeared, there seemed to be every reason to hope that she might be off the scene for a while. As Cressida said, if she had not brought Julia, she would have had to bring Georgie, or some other Garnet. Cressida's family was like that of the unpopular Prince of Wales, of whom, when he died, some wag wrote: If it had been his brother, Better him than another. If it had been his sister, No one would have missed her. Miss Julia was dampening enough, but Miss Georgie was aggressive and intrusive. She was out to prove to the world, and more especially to Ohio, that all the Garnets were as like Cressida as two peas. Both sisters were club-women, social service workers, and directors in musical societies, and they were continually travelling up and down the Middle West to preside at meetings or to deliver addresses. They reminded one of two sombre, bumping electrics, rolling about with no visible means of locomotion, always running out of power and lying beached in some inconvenient spot until they received a check or a suggestion from Cressy. I was only too well acquainted with the strained, anxious expression that the sight of their handwriting brought to Cressida's face when she ran over her morning mail at breakfast. She usually put their letters by to read "when she was feeling up to it" and hastened to open others which might possibly contain something gracious or pleasant. Sometimes these family unburdenings lay about unread for several days. Any other letters would have got themselves lost, but these bulky epistles, never properly fitted to their envelopes, seemed immune to mischance and unfailingly disgorged to Cressida long explanations as to why her sisters had to do and to have certain things precisely upon her account and because she was so much a public personage.

The truth was that all the Garnets, and particularly her two sisters, were consumed by an habitual, bilious, unenterprising envy of Cressy. They never forgot that, no matter what she did for them or how far she dragged them about the world with her, she would never take one of them to live with her in her Tenth Street house in New York. They thought that was the thing they most wanted. But what they wanted, in the last analysis, was to be Cressida. For twenty years she had been plunged in struggle; fighting for her life at first, then for a beginning, for growth, and at last for eminence and perfection; fighting in the dark, and afterward in the light,which, with her bad preparation, and with her uninspired youth already behind her, took even more courage. During those twenty years the Garnets had been comfortable and indolent and vastly self-satisfied; and now they expected Cressida to make them equal sharers in the finer rewards of her struggle. When her brother Buchanan told me he thought Cressida ought "to make herself one of them," he stated the converse of what he meant. They coveted the qualities which had made her success, as well as the benefits which came from it. More than her furs or her fame or her fortune, they wanted her personal effectiveness, her brighter glow and stronger will to live.

"Sometimes," I have heard Cressida say, looking up from a bunch of those sloppily written letters, "sometimes I get discouraged."

For several days the rough weather kept Miss Julia cloistered in Cressida's deck suite with the maid, Luisa, who confided to me that the Signorina Garnet was "dificile." After dinner I usually found Cressida unincumbered, as Horace was always in the cardroom and Mr. Poppas either nursed his neuralgia or went through the exercise of making himself interesting to some one of the young women on board. One evening, the third night out, when the sea was comparatively quiet and the sky was full of broken black clouds, silvered by the moon at their ragged edges, Cressida talked to me about Jerome Brown.

I had known each of her former husbands. The first one, Charley Wilton, Horace's father, was my cousin. He was organist in a church in Columbus, and Cressida married him when she was nineteen. He died of tuberculosis two years after Horace was born. Cressida nursed him through a long illness and made the living besides. Her courage during the three years of her first marriage was fine enough to foreshadow her future to any discerning eye, and it had made me feel that she deserved any number of chances at marital happiness. There had, of course, been a particular reason for each subsequent experiment, and a sufficiently alluring promise of success. Her motives, in the case of Jerome Brown, seemed to me more vague and less convincing than those which she had explained to me on former occasions.

"It's nothing hasty," she assured me. "It's been coming on for several years. He has never pushed me, but he was always there—some one to count on. Even when I used to meet him at the Whitings, while I was still singing at the Metropolitan, I always felt that he was different from the others; that if I were in straits of any kind, I could call on him. You can't know what that feeling means to me, Carrie. If you look back, you'll see it's something I've never had."

I admitted that, in so far as I knew, she had never been much addicted to leaning on people.

"I've never had any one to lean on," she said with a short laugh. Then she went on, quite seriously: "Somehow, my relations with people always become business relations in the end. I suppose it's because,except for a sort of professional personality, which I've had to get, just as I've had to get so many other things,I've not very much that's personal to give people. I've had to give too much else. I've had to try too hard for people who wouldn't try at all."

"Which," I put in firmly, "has done them no good, and has robbed the people who really cared about you."

"By making me grubby, you mean?"

"By making you anxious and distracted so much of the time; empty."

She nodded mournfully. "Yes, I know. You used to warn me. Well, there's not one of my brothers and sisters who does not feel that I carried off the family success, just as I might have carried off the family silver, if there'd been any! They take the view that there were just so many prizes in the bag; I reached in and took them, so there were none left for the others. At my age, that's a dismal truth to waken up to." Cressida reached for my hand and held it a moment, as if she needed courage to face the facts in her case. "When one remembers one's first success; how one hoped to go home like a Christmas tree full of presents—How much one learns in a life-time! That year when Horace was a baby and Charley was dying, and I was touring the West with the Williams band, it was my feeling about my own people that made me go on at all. Why I didn't drop myself into one of those muddy rivers, or turn on the gas in one of those dirty hotel rooms, I don't know to this day. At twenty-two you must hope for something more than to be able to bury your husband decently, and what I hoped for was to make my family happy. It was the same afterward in Germany. A young woman must live for human people. Horace wasn't enough. I might have had lovers, of course. I suppose you will say it would have been better if I had."

Though there seemed no need for me to say anything, I murmured that I thought there were more likely to be limits to the rapacity of a lover than to that of a discontented and envious family.

"Well," Cressida gathered herself up, "once I got out from under it all, didn't I? And perhaps, in a milder way, such a release can come again. You were the first person I told when I ran away with Charley, and for a long while you were the only one who knew about Blasius Bouchalka. That time, at least, I shook the Garnets. I wasn't distracted or empty. That time I was all there!"

"Yes," I echoed her, "that time you were all there. It's the greatest possible satisfaction to remember it."

"But even that," she sighed, "was nothing but lawyers and accounts in the end—and a hurt. A hurt that has lasted. I wonder what is the matter with me?"

The matter with Cressida was, that more than any woman I have ever known, she appealed to the acquisitive instinct in men; but this was not easily said, even in the brutal frankness of a long friendship.

We would probably have gone further into the Bouchalka chapter of her life, had not Horace appeared and nervously asked us if we did not wish to take a turn before we went inside. I pleaded indolence, but Cressida rose and disappeared with him. Later I came upon them, standing at the stern above the huddled steerage deck, which was by this time bathed in moonlight, under an almost clear sky. Down there on the silvery floor, little hillocks were scattered about under quilts and shawls; family units, presumably,—male, female, and young. Here and there a black shawl sat alone, nodding. They crouched submissively under the moonlight as if it were a spell. In one of those hillocks a baby was crying, but the sound was faint and thin, a slender protest which aroused no response. Everything was so still that I could hear snatches of the low talk between my friends. Cressida's voice was deep and entreating. She was remonstrating with Horace about his losses at bridge, begging him to keep away from the cardroom.

"But what else is there to do on a trip like this, my Lady?" he expostulated, tossing his spark of a cigarette-end overboard. "What is there, now, to do?"

"Oh, Horace!" she murmured, "how can you be so? If I were twenty-two, and a boy, with some one to back me—"

Horace drew his shoulders together and buttoned his top-coat. "Oh, I've not your energy, Mother dear. We make no secret of that. I am as I am. I didn't ask to be born into this charming world."

To this gallant speech Cressida made no answer. She stood with her hand on the rail and her head bent forward, as if she had lost herself in thought. The ends of her scarf, lifted by the breeze, fluttered upward, almost transparent in the argent light. Presently she turned away,as if she had been alone and were leaving only the night sea behind her,and walked slowly forward; a strong, solitary figure on the white deck, the smoke-like scarf twisting and climbing and falling back upon itself in the light over her head. She reached the door of her stateroom and disappeared. Yes, she was a Garnet, but she was also Cressida; and she had done what she had done.



II

MY first recollections of Cressida Garnet have to do with the Columbus Public Schools; a little girl with sunny brown hair and eager bright eyes, looking anxiously at the teacher and reciting the names and dates of the Presidents: "James Buchanan, 1857–1861; Abraham Lincoln, 1861–1865"; etc. Her family came from North Carolina, and they had that to feel superior about before they had Cressy. The Garnet "look," indeed, though based upon a strong family resemblance, was nothing more than the restless, preoccupied expression of an inflamed sense of importance. The father was a Democrat, in the sense that other men were doctors or lawyers. He scratched up some sort of poor living for his family behind office windows inscribed with the words "Real Estate. Insurance. Investments." But it was his political faith that, in a Republican community, gave him his feeling of eminence and originality. The Garnet children were all in school then, scattered along from the first grade to the ninth. In almost any room of our school building you might chance to enter, you saw the self-conscious little face of one or another of them. They were restrained, uncomfortable children, not frankly boastful, but insinuating, and somehow forever demanding special consideration and holding grudges against teachers and classmates who did not show it them; all but Cressida, who was naturally as sunny and open as a May morning.

It was no wonder that Cressy ran away with young Charley Wilton, who hadn't a shabby thing about him except his health. He was her first music teacher, the choir-master of the church in which she sang. Charley was very handsome; the "romantic" son of an old, impoverished family. He had refused to go into a good business with his uncles and had gone abroad to study music when that was an extravagant and picturesque thing for an Ohio boy to do. His letters home were handed round among the members of his own family and of other families equally conservative. Indeed, Charley and what his mother called "his music" were the romantic expression of a considerable group of people; young cousins and old aunts and quiet-dwelling neighbours, allied by the amity of several generations. Nobody was properly married in our part of Columbus unless Charley Wilton, and no other, played the wedding march. The old ladies of the First Church used to say that he "hovered over the keys like a spirit." At nineteen Cressida was beautiful enough to turn a much harder head than the pale, ethereal one Charley Wilton bent above the organ.

That the chapter which began so gracefully ran on into such a stretch of grim, hard prose, was simply Cressida's relentless bad luck. In her undertakings, in whatever she could lay hold of with her two hands, she was successful; but whatever happened to her was almost sure to be bad. Her family, her husbands, her son, would have crushed any other woman I have ever known. Cressida lived, more than most of us, "for others"; and what she seemed to promote among her beneficiaries was indolence and envy and discord—even dishonesty and turpitude.

Her sisters were fond of saying —at club luncheons—that Cressida had remained "untouched by the breath of scandal," which was not strictly true. There were captious people who objected to her long and close association with Miletus Poppas. Her second husband, Ransome McChord, the foreign representative of the great McChord Harvester Company, whom she married in Germany, had so persistently objected to Poppas that she was eventually forced to choose between them. Any one who knew her well could easily understand why she chose Poppas.

While her actual self was the least changed, the least modified by experience that it would be possible to imagine, there had been, professionally, two Cressida Garnets; the big handsome girl, already a "popular favourite" of the concert stage, who took with her to Germany the raw material of a great voice;—and the accomplished artist who came back. The singer that returned was largely the work of Miletus Poppas. Cressida had at least known what she needed, hunted for it, found it, and held fast to it. After experimenting with a score of teachers and accompanists, she settled down to work her problem out with Poppas. Other coaches came and went—she was always trying new ones—but Poppas survived them all. Cressida was not musically intelligent; she never became so. Who does not remember the countless rehearsals which were necessary before she first sang Isolde in Berlin; the disgust of the conductor, the sullenness of the tenor, the rages of the blonde teufelin, boiling with the impatience of youth and genius, who sang her Brangaena? Everything but her driving power Cressida had to get from the outside.

Poppas was, in his way, quite as incomplete as his pupil. He possessed a great many valuable things for which there is no market; intuitions, discrimination, imagination, a whole twilight world of intentions and shadowy beginnings which were dark to Cressida. I remember that when "Trilby" was published she fell into a fright and said such books ought to be prohibited by law; which gave me an intimation of what their relationship had actually become.

Poppas was indispensable to her. He was like a book in which she had written down more about herself than she could possibly remember—and it was information that she might need at any moment. He was the one person who knew her absolutely and who saw into the bottom of her grief. An artist's saddest secrets are those that have to do with his artistry. Poppas knew all the simple things that were so desperately hard for Cressida, all the difficult things in which she could count on herself; her stupidities and inconsistencies, the chiaroscuro of the voice itself and what could be expected from the mind somewhat mismated with it. He knew where she was sound and where she was mended. With him she could share the depressing knowledge of what a wretchedly faulty thing any productive faculty is.

But if Poppas was necessary to her career, she was his career. By the time Cressida left the Metropolitan Opera Company, Poppas was a rich man. He had always received a retaining fee and a percentage of her salary,—and he was a man of simple habits. Her liberality with Poppas was one of the weapons that Horace and the Garnets used against Cressida, and it was a point in the argument by which they justified to themselves their rapacity. Whatever they didn't get, they told themselves, Poppas would. What they got, therefore, they were only saving from Poppas. The Greek ached a good deal at the general pillage, and Cressida's conciliatory methods with her family made him sarcastic and spiteful. But he had to make terms, somehow, with the Garnets and Horace, and with the husband, if there happened to be one. He sometimes reminded them, when they fell to wrangling, that they must not, after all, overturn the boat under them, and that it would be better to stop just before they drove her wild than just after. As he was the only one among them who understood the sources of her fortune,and they knew it, he was able, when it came to a general set-to, to proclaim sanctuary for the goose that laid the golden eggs.

That Poppas had caused the break between Cressida and McChord was another stick her sisters held over her. They pretended to understand perfectly, and were always explaining what they termed her "separation"; but they let Cressida know that it cast a shadow over her family and took a good deal of living down.

A beautiful soundness of body, a seemingly exhaustless vitality, and a certain "squareness" of character as well as of mind, gave Cressida Garnet earning powers that were exceptional even in her lavishly rewarded profession. Managers chose her over the heads of singers much more gifted, because she was so sane, so conscientious, and above all, because she was so sure. Her efficiency was like a beacon to lightly anchored men, and in the intervals between her marriages she had as many suitors as Penelope. Whatever else they saw in her at first, her competency so impressed and delighted them that they gradually lost sight of everything else. Her sterling character was the subject of her story. Once, as she said, she very nearly escaped her destiny. With Blasius Bouchalka she became almost another woman, but not quite. Her "principles," or his lack of them, drove those two apart in the end. It was of Bouchalka that we talked upon that last voyage I ever made with Cressida Garnet, and not of Jerome Brown. She remembered the Bohemian kindly, and since it was the passage in her life to which she most often reverted, it is the one I shall relate here.



III

LATE one afternoon in the winter of 189—, Cressida and I were walking in Central Park after the first heavy storm of the year. The snow had been falling thickly all the night before, and all day, until about four o'clock. Then the air grew much warmer and the sky cleared. Overhead it was a soft, rainy blue, and to the west a smoky gold. All around the horizon everything became misty and silvery; even the big, brutal buildings looked like pale violet water-colours on a silver ground. Under the elm trees along the Mall the air was purple as wisterias. The sheep-field, toward Broadway, was smooth and white, with a thin gold wash over it. At five o'clock the carriage came for us, but Cressida sent the driver home to the Tenth Street house with the message that she would dine uptown, and that Horace and Mr. Poppas were not to wait for her. As the horses trotted away we turned up the Mall.

"I won't go indoors this evening for any one," Cressida declared. "Not while the sky is like that. Now we will go back to the laurel wood. They are so black, over the snow, that I could cry for joy. I don't know when I've felt so care-free as I feel tonight. Country winter, country stars—they always make me think of Charley Wilton."

She was singing twice a week, sometimes oftener, at the Metropolitan that season, quite at the flood-tide of her powers, and so enmeshed in operatic routine that to be walking in the park at an unaccustomed hour, unattended by one of the men of her entourage, seemed adventurous. As we strolled along the little paths among the snow banks and the bronze laurel bushes, she kept going back to my poor young cousin, dead so long. "Things happen out of season. That's the worst of living. It was untimely for both of us, and yet," she sighed softly, "since he had to die, I'm not sorry. There was one beautifully happy year, though we were so poor, and it gave him—something! It would have been too hard if he'd had to miss everything." (I remember her simplicity, which never changed any more than winter or Ohio change). "Yes," she went on, "I always feel very tenderly about Charley. I believe I'd do the same thing right over again, even knowing all that had to come after. If I were nineteen tonight, I'd rather go sleigh-riding with Charley Wilton than anything else I've ever done."

We walked until the procession of carriages on the driveway, getting people home to dinner, grew thin, and then we went slowly toward the Seventh Avenue gate, still talking of Charley Wilton. We decided to dine at a place not far away, where the only access from the street was a narrow door, like a hole in the wall, between a tobacconist's and a flower shop. Cressida deluded herself into believing that her incognito was more successful in such non-descript places. She was wearing a long sable coat, and a deep fur hat, hung with red cherries, which she had brought from Russia. Her walk had given her a fine colour, and she looked so much a personage that no disguise could have been wholly effective.

The dining-rooms, frescoed with conventional Italian scenes, were built round a court. The orchestra was playing as we entered and selected our table. It was not a bad orchestra, and we were no sooner seated than the first violin began to speak, to assert itself, as if it were suddenly done with mediocrity.

"We have been recognized," Cressida said complacently. "What a good tone he has, quite unusual. What does he look like?" She sat with her back to the musicians.

The violinist was standing, directing his men with his head and with the beak of his violin. He was a tall, gaunt young man, big-boned and rugged, in skin-tight clothes. His high forehead had a kind of luminous pallour, and his hair was jet black and somewhat stringy. His manner was excited and dramatic. At the end of the number he acknowledged the applause, and Cressida looked at him graciously over her shoulder. He swept her with a brilliant glance and bowed again. Then I noticed his red lips and thick black eyebrows.

"He looks as if he were poor or in trouble," Cressida said. "See how short his sleeves are, and how he mops his face as if the least thing upset him. This is a hard winter for musicians."

The violinist rummaged among some music piled on a chair, turning over the sheets with flurried rapidity, as if he were searching for a lost article of which he was in desperate need. Presently he placed some sheets upon the piano and began vehemently to explain something to the pianist. The pianist stared at the music doubtfully—he was a plump old man with a rosy, bald crown, and his shiny linen and neat tie made him look as if he were on his way to a party. The violinist bent over him, suggesting rhythms with his shoulders and running his bony finger up and down the pages. When he stepped back to his place, I noticed that the other players sat at ease, without raising their instruments.

"He is going to try something unusual," I commented. "It looks as if it might be manuscript."

It was something, at all events, that neither of us had heard before, though it was very much in the manner of the later Russian composers who were just beginning to be heard in New York. The young man made a brilliant dash of it, despite a lagging, scrambling accompaniment by the conservative pianist. This time we both applauded him vigorously and again, as he bowed, he swept us with his eye.

The usual repertory of restaurant music followed, varied by a charming bit from Massenet's Manon, then little known in this country. After we paid our check, Cressida took out one of her visiting cards and wrote across the top of it: "We thank you for the unusual music and the pleasure your playing has given us." She folded the card in the middle, and asked the waiter to give it to the director of the orchestra. Pausing at the door, while the porter dashed out to call a cab, we saw, in the wall mirror, a pair of wild black eyes following us quite despairingly from behind the palms at the other end of the room. Cressida observed as we went out that the young man was probably having a hard struggle. "He never got those clothes here, surely. They were probably made by a country tailor in some little town in Austria. He seemed wild enough to grab at anything, and was trying to make himself heard above the dishes, poor fellow. There are so many like him. I wish I could help them all! I didn't quite have the courage to send him money. His smile, when he bowed to us, was not that of one who would take it, do you think?"

"No," I admitted, "it wasn't. He seemed to be pleading for recognition. I don't think it was money he wanted."

A week later I came upon some curious-looking manuscript songs on the piano in Cressida's music-room. The text was in some Slavic tongue with a French translation written underneath. Both the handwriting and the musical script were done in a manner experienced, even distinguished. I was looking at them when Cressida came in.

"Oh, yes!" she exclaimed. "I meant to ask you to try them over. Poppas thinks they are very interesting. They are from that young violinist, you remember, the one we noticed in the restaurant that evening. He sent them with such a nice letter. His name is Blasius Bouchalka (Boú-kal-ka), a Bohemian."

I sat down at the piano and busied myself with the manuscript, while Cressida dashed off necessary notes and wrote checks in a large square checkbook, six to a page. I supposed her immersed in sumptuary preoccupations when she suddenly looked over her shoulder and said, "Yes, that legend, Sárka, is the most interesting. Run it through a few times and I'll try it over with you."

There was another, "Dans les ombres des forêts tristes," which I thought quite as beautiful. They were fine songs; very individual, and each had that spontaneity which makes a song seem inevitable and, once for all, "done." The accompaniments were difficult, but not unnecessarily so; they were free from fatuous ingenuity and fine writing.

"I wish he'd indicated his tempi a little more clearly," I remarked as I finished "Sárka" for the third time. "It matters, because he really has something to say. An orchestral accompaniment would be better, I should think."

"Yes, he sent the orchestral arrangement. Poppas has it. It works out beautifully,so much colour in the instrumentation. The English horn comes in so effectively there," she rose and indicated the passage, "just right with the voice. I've asked him to come next Sunday, so please be here if you can. I want to know what you think of him."

Cressida was always at home to her friends on Sunday afternoon unless she was billed for the evening concert at the Opera House, in which case we were sufficiently advised by the daily press. Bouchalka must have been told to come early, for when I arrived on Sunday, at four, he and Cressida had the music-room quite to themselves and were standing by the piano in earnest conversation. In a few moments they were separated by other early comers, and I led Bouchalka across the hall to the drawing-room. The guests, as they came in, glanced at him curiously. He wore a dark blue suit, soft and rather baggy, with a short coat, and a high double-breasted vest with two rows of buttons coming up to the loops of his black tie. This costume was even more foreign-looking than his skin-tight dress clothes, but it was more becoming. He spoke hurried, elliptical English, and very good French. All his sympathies were French rather than German—the Czechs lean to the one culture or to the other. I found him a fierce, a transfixing talker. His brilliant eyes, his gaunt hands, his white, deeply-lined forehead, all entered into his speech.

I asked him whether he had not recognized Madame Garnet at once when we entered the restaurant that evening more than a week ago.

"Mais, certainement! I hear her twice when she sings in the afternoon, and sometimes at night for the last act. I have a friend who buys a ticket for the first part, and he comes out and gives to me his pass-back check, and I return for the last act. That is convenient if I am broke." He explained the trick with amusement but without embarrassment, as if it were a shift that we might any of us be put to.

I told him that I admired his skill with the violin, but his songs much more.

He threw out his red under-lip and frowned. "Oh, I have no instrument! The violin I play from necessity; the flute, the piano, as it happens. For three years now I write all the time, and it spoils the hand for violin."

When the maid brought him his tea, he took both muffins and cakes and told me that he was very hungry. He had to lunch and dine at the place where he played, and he got very tired of the food. "But since," his black eyebrows nearly met in an acute angle, "but since, before, I eat at a bakery, with the slender brown roach on the pie, I guess I better let alone well enough." He paused to drink his tea; as he tasted one of the cakes his face lit with sudden animation and he gazed across the hall after the maid with the tray—she was now holding it before the aged and ossified 'cellist of the Hempfstangel Quartette. "Des gâteaux," he murmured feelingly, "où est-ce qu'elle peut trouver de tels gâteaux ici à New York?"

I explained to him that Madame Garnet had an accomplished cook who made them,an Austrian, I thought.

He shook his head. "Autrichienne? Je ne pense pas."

Cressida was approaching with the new Spanish soprano, Mme. Bartolas, who was all black velvet and long black feathers, with a lace veil over her rich pallour and even a little black patch on her chin. I beckoned them. "Tell me, Cressida, isn't Ruzenka an Austrian?"

She looked surprised. "No, a Bohemian, though I got her in Vienna." Bouchalka's expression, and the remnant of a cake in his long fingers, gave her the connection. She laughed. "You like them? Of course, they are of your own country. You shall have more of them." She nodded and went away to greet a guest who had just come in.

A few moments later, Horace, then a beautiful lad in Eton clothes, brought another cup of tea and a plate of cakes for Bouchalka. We sat down in a corner, and talked about his songs. He was neither boastful nor deprecatory. He knew exactly in what respects they were excellent. I decided as I watched his face, that he must be under thirty. The deep lines in his forehead probably came there from his habit of frowning densely when he struggled to express himself, and suddenly elevating his coal-black eyebrows when his ideas cleared. His teeth were white, very irregular and interesting. The corrective methods of modern dentistry would have taken away half his good looks. His mouth would have been much less attractive for any re-arranging of those long, narrow, over-crowded teeth. Along with his frown and his way of thrusting out his lip, they contributed, somehow, to the engaging impetuousness of his conversation. As we talked about his songs, his manner changed. Before that he had seemed responsive and easily pleased. Now he grew abstracted, as if I had taken away his pleasant afternoon and wakened him to his miseries. He moved restlessly in his clothes. When I mentioned Puccini, he held his head in his hands. "Why is it they like that always and always? A little, oh yes, very nice. But so much, always the same thing! Why?" He pierced me with the despairing glance which had followed us out of the restaurant.

I asked him whether he had sent any of his songs to the publishers and named one whom I knew to be discriminating. He shrugged his shoulders. "They not want Bohemian songs. They not want my music. Even the street cars will not stop for me here, like for other people. Every time, I wait on the corner until somebody else make a signal to the car, and then it stop,but not for me."

Most people cannot become utterly poor; whatever happens, they can right themselves a little. But one felt that Bouchalka was the sort of person who might actually starve or blow his brains out. Something very important had been left out either of his make-up or of his education; something that we are not accustomed to miss in people.

Gradually the parlour was filled with little groups of friends, and I took Bouchalka back to the music-room where Cressida was surrounded by her guests; feathered women, with large sleeves and hats, young men of no importance, in frock coats, with shining hair, and the smile which is intended to say so many flattering things but which really expresses little more than a desire to get on. The older men were standing about waiting for a word à deux with the hostess. To these people Bouchalka had nothing to say. He stood stiffly at the outer edge of the circle, watching Cressida with intent, impatient eyes, until, under the pretext of showing him a score, she drew him into the alcove at the back end of the long room, where she kept her musical library. The bookcases ran from the floor to the ceiling. There was a table and a reading-lamp, and a window seat looking upon the little walled garden. Two persons could be quite withdrawn there, and yet be a part of the general friendly scene. Cressida took a score from the shelf, and sat down with Bouchalka upon the window seat, the book open between them, though neither of them looked at it again. They fell to talking with great earnestness. At last the Bohemian pulled out a large, yellowing silver watch, held it up before him, and stared at it a moment as if it were an object of horror. He sprang up, bent over Cressida's hand and murmured something, dashed into the hall and out of the front door without waiting for the maid to open it. He had worn no overcoat, apparently. It was then seven o'clock; he would surely be late at his post in the up-town restaurant. I hoped he would have wit enough to take the elevated.

After supper Cressida told me his story. His parents, both poor musicians,—the mother a singer—died while he was yet a baby, and he was left to the care of an arbitrary uncle who resolved to make a priest of him. He was put into a monastery school and kept there. The organist and choir-director, fortunately for Blasius, was an excellent musician, a man who had begun his career brilliantly, but who had met with crushing sorrows and disappointments in the world. He devoted himself to his talented pupil, and was the only teacher the young man ever had. At twenty-one, when he was ready for the novitiate, Blasius felt that the call of life was too strong for him, and he ran away out into a world of which he knew nothing. He tramped southward to Vienna, begging and playing his fiddle from town to town. In Vienna he fell in with a gipsy band which was being recruited for a Paris restaurant and went with them to Paris. He played in cafés and in cheap theatres, did transcribing for a music publisher, tried to get pupils. For four years he was the mouse, and hunger was the cat. She kept him on the jump. When he got work he did not understand why; when he lost a job he did not understand why. During the time when most of us acquire a practical sense, get a half-unconscious knowledge of hard facts and market values, he had been shut away from the world, fed like the pigeons in the bell-tower of his monastery. Bouchalka had now been in New York a year, and for all he knew about it, Cressida said, he might have landed the day before yesterday.

Several weeks went by, and as Bouchalka did not reappear on Tenth Street, Cressida and I went once more to the place where he had played, only to find another violinist leading the orchestra. We summoned the proprietor, a Swiss-Italian, polite and solicitous. He told us the gentleman was not playing there any more,was playing somewhere else, but he had forgotten where. We insisted upon talking to the old pianist, who at last reluctantly admitted that the Bohemian had been dismissed. He had arrived very late one Sunday night three weeks ago, and had hot words with the proprietor. He had been late before, and had been warned. He was a very talented fellow, but wild and not to be depended upon. The old man gave us the address of a French boarding-house on Seventh Avenue where Bouchalka used to room. We drove there at once, but the woman who kept the place said that he had gone away two weeks before, leaving no address, as he never got letters. Another Bohemian, who did engraving on glass, had a room with her, and when he came home perhaps he could tell where Bouchalka was, for they were friends.

It took us several days to run Bouchalka down, but when we did find him Cressida promptly busied herself in his behalf. She sang his "Sárka" with the Metropolitan Opera orchestra at a Sunday night concert, she got him a position with the Symphony Orchestra, and persuaded the conservative Hempfstangel Quartette to play one of his chamber compositions from manuscript. She aroused the interest of a publisher in his work, and introduced him to people who were helpful to him.

By the new year Bouchalka was fairly on his feet. He had proper clothes now, and Cressida's friends found him attractive. He was usually at her house on Sunday afternoons; so usually, indeed, that Poppas began pointedly to absent himself. When other guests arrived, the Bohemian and his patroness were always found at the critical point of discussion,—at the piano, by the fire, in the alcove at the end of the room—both of them interested and animated. He was invariably respectful and admiring, deferring to her in every tone and gesture, and she was perceptibly pleased and flattered,—as if all this were new to her and she were tasting the sweetness of a first success.

One wild day in March Cressida burst tempestuously into my apartment and threw herself down, declaring that she had just come from the most trying rehearsal she had ever lived through. When I tried to question her about it, she replied absently and continued to shiver and crouch by the fire. Suddenly she rose, walked to the window, and stood looking out over the Square, glittering with ice and rain and strewn with the wrecks of umbrellas. When she turned again, she approached me with determination.

"I shall have to ask you to go with me," she said firmly. "That crazy Bouchalka has gone and got a pleurisy or something. It may be pneumonia; there is an epidemic of it just now. I've sent Dr. Brooks to him, but I can never tell anything from what a doctor says. I've got to see Bouchalka and his nurse, and what sort of place he's in. I've been rehearsing all day and I'm singing tomorrow night; I can't have so much on my mind. Can you come with me? It will save time in the end."

I put on my furs, and we went down to Cressida's carriage, waiting below. She gave the driver a number on Seventh Avenue, and then began feeling her throat with the alarmed expression which meant that she was not going to talk. We drove in silence to the address, and by this time it was growing dark. The French landlady was a cordial, comfortable person who took Cressida in at a glance and seemed much impressed. Cressida's incognito was never successful. Her black gown was inconspicuous enough, but over it she wore a dark purple velvet carriage coat, lined with fur and furred at the cuffs and collar. The Frenchwoman's eye ran over it delightedly and scrutinized the veil which only half-concealed the well-known face behind it. She insisted upon conducting us up to the fourth floor herself, running ahead of us and turning up the gas jets in the dark, musty-smelling halls. I suspect that she tarried outside the door after we sent the nurse for her walk.

We found the sick man in a great walnut bed, a relic of the better days which this lodging house must have seen. The grimy red plush carpet, the red velvet chairs with broken springs, the double gilt-framed mirror above the mantel, had all been respectable, substantial contributions to comfort in their time. The fireplace was now empty and grateless, and an ill-smelling gas stove burned in its sooty recess under the cracked marble. The huge arched windows were hung with heavy red curtains, pinned together and lightly stirred by the wind which rattled the loose frames.

I was examining these things while Cressida bent over Bouchalka. Her carriage cloak she threw over the foot of his bed, either from a protective impulse, or because there was no place else to put it. After she had greeted him and seated herself, the sick man reached down and drew the cloak up over him, looking at it with weak, childish pleasure and stroking the velvet with his long fingers. "Couleur de gloire, couleur des reines!" I heard him murmur. He thrust the sleeve under his chin and closed his eyes. His loud, rapid breathing was the only sound in the room. If Cressida brushed back his hair or touched his hand, he looked up long enough to give her a smile of utter adoration, naïve and uninquiring, as if he were smiling at a dream or a miracle.

The nurse was gone for an hour, and we sat quietly, Cressida with her eyes fixed on Bouchalka, and I absorbed in the strange atmosphere of the house, which seemed to seep in under the door and through the walls. Occasionally we heard a call for "de l'eau chaude!" and the heavy trot of a serving woman on the stairs. On the floor below somebody was struggling with Schubert's "Marche Militaire" on a coarse-toned upright piano. Sometimes, when a door was opened, one could hear a parrot screaming, "Voilà, voilà, tonnerre!" The house was built before 1870, as one could tell from windows and mouldings, and the walls were thick. The sounds were not disturbing and Bouchalka was probably used to them.

When the nurse returned and we rose to go, Bouchalka still lay with his cheek on her cloak, and Cressida left it. "It seems to please him," she murmured as we went down the stairs. "I can go home without a wrap. It's not far." I had, of course, to give her my furs, as I was not singing Donna Anna tomorrow evening and she was.

After this I was not surprised by any devout attitude in which I happened to find the Bohemian when I entered Cressida's music-room unannounced, or by any radiance on her face when she rose from the window-seat in the alcove and came down the room to greet me.

Bouchalka was, of course, very often at the Opera now. On almost any night when Cressida sang, one could see his narrow black head—high above the temples and rather constrained behind the ears—peering from some part of the house. I used to wonder what he thought of Cressida as an artist, but probably he did not think seriously at all. A great voice, a handsome woman, a great prestige, all added together made a "great artist," the common synonym for success. Her success, and the material evidences of it, quite blinded him. I could never draw from him anything adequate about Anna Straka, Cressida's Slavic rival, and this perhaps meant that he considered comparison disloyal. All the while that Cressida was singing reliably, and satisfying the management, Straka was singing uncertainly and making history. Her voice was primarily defective, and her immediate vocal method was bad. Cressida was always living up to her contract, delivering the whole order in good condition; while the Slav was sometimes almost voiceless, sometimes inspired. She put you off with a hope, a promise, time after time. But she was quite as likely to put you off with a revelation,—with an interpretation that was inimitable, unrepeatable.

Bouchalka was not a reflective person. He had his own idea of what a great prima donna should be like, and he took it for granted that Mme. Garnet corresponded to his conception. The curious thing was that he managed to impress his idea upon Cressida herself. She began to see herself as he saw her, to try to be like the notion of her that he carried somewhere in that pointed head of his. She was exalted quite beyond herself. Things that had been chilled under the grind came to life in her that winter, with the breath of Bouchalka's adoration. Then, if ever in her life, she heard the bird sing on the branch outside her window; and she wished she were younger, lovelier, freer. She wished there were no Poppas, no Horace, no Garnets. She longed to be only the bewitching creature Bouchalka imagined her.

One April day when we were driving in the Park, Cressida, superb in a green-and-primrose costume hurried over from Paris, turned to me smiling and said: "Do you know, this is the first spring I haven't dreaded. It's the first one I've ever really had. Perhaps people never have more than one, whether it comes early or late." She told me that she was overwhelmingly in love.

Our visit to Bouchalka when he was ill had, of course, been reported, and the men about the Opera House had made of it the only story they have the wit to invent. They could no more change the pattern of that story than the spider could change the design of its web. But being, as she said, "in love" suggested to Cressida only one plan of action; to have the Tenth Street house done over, to put more money into her brothers' business, send Horace to school, raise Poppas' percentage, and then with a clear conscience be married in the Church of the Ascension. She went through this program with her usual thoroughness. She was married in June and sailed immediately with her husband. Poppas was to join them in Vienna in August, when she would begin to work again. From her letters I gathered that all was going well, even beyond her hopes.

When they returned in October, both Cressida and Blasius seemed changed for the better. She was perceptibly freshened and renewed. She attacked her work at once with more vigour and more ease; did not drive herself so relentlessly. A little carelessness became her wonderfully. Bouchalka was less gaunt, and much less flighty and perverse. His frank pleasure in the comfort and order of his wife's establishment was ingratiating, even if it was a little amusing. Cressida had the sewing-room at the top of the house made over into a study for him. When I went up there to see him, I usually found him sitting before the fire or walking about with his hands in his coat pockets, admiring his new possessions. He explained the ingenious arrangement of his study to me a dozen times.

With Cressida's friends and guests, Bouchalka assumed nothing for himself. His deportment amounted to a quiet, unobtrusive appreciation of her and of his good fortune. He was proud to owe his wife so much. Cressida's Sunday afternoons were more popular than ever, since she herself had so much more heart for them. Bouchalka's picturesque presence stimulated her graciousness and charm. One still found them conversing together as eagerly as in the days when they saw each other but seldom. Consequently their guests were never bored. We felt as if the Tenth Street house had a pleasant climate quite its own. In the spring, when the Metropolitan company went on tour, Cressida's husband accompanied her, and afterward they again sailed for Genoa.

During the second winter people began to say that Bouchalka was becoming too thoroughly domesticated, and that since he was growing heavier in body he was less attractive. I noticed his increasing reluctance to stir abroad. Nobody could say that he was "wild" now. He seemed to dread leaving the house, even for an evening. Why should he go out, he said, when he had everything he wanted at home? He published very little. One was given to understand that he was writing an opera. He lived in the Tenth Street house like a tropical plant under glass. Nowhere in New York could he get such cookery as Ruzenka's. Ruzenka ("little Rose") had, like her mistress, bloomed afresh, now that she had a man and a compatriot to cook for. Her invention was tireless, and she took things with a high hand in the kitchen, confident of a perfect appreciation. She was a plump, fair, blue-eyed girl, giggly and easily flattered, with teeth like cream. She was passionately domestic, and her mind was full of homely stories and proverbs and superstitions which she somehow worked into her cookery. She and Bouchalka had between them a whole literature of traditions about sauces and fish and pastry. The cellar was full of the wines he liked, and Ruzenka always knew what wines to serve with the dinner. Blasius' monastery had been famous for good living.

That winter was a very cold one, and I think the even temperature of the house enslaved Bouchalka. "Imagine it," he once said to me when I dropped in during a blinding snowstorm and found him reading before the fire. "To be warm all the time, every day! It is like Aladdin. In Paris I have had weeks together when I was not warm once, when I did not have a bath once, like the cats in the street. The nights were a misery. People have terrible dreams when they are so cold. Here I waken up in the night so warm I do not know what it means. Her door is open, and I turn on my light. I cannot believe in myself until I see that she is there."

I began to think that Bouchalka's wildness had been the desperation which the tamest animals exhibit when they are tortured or terrorized. Naturally luxurious, he had suffered more than most men under the pinch of penury. Those first beautiful compositions, full of the folk-music of his own country, had been wrung out of him by home-sickness and heart-ache. I wondered whether he could compose only under the spur of hunger and loneliness, and whether his talent might not subside with his despair. Some such apprehension must have troubled Cressida, though his gratitude would have been propitiatory to a more exacting task-master. She had always liked to make people happy, and he was the first one who had accepted her bounty without sourness. When he did not accompany her upon her spring tour, Cressida said it was because travelling interfered with composition; but I felt that she was deeply disappointed. Blasius, or Blazˇ ej, as his wife had with difficulty learned to call him, was not showy or extravagant. He hated hotels, even the best of them. Cressida had always fought for the hearthstone and the fireside, and the humour of Destiny is sometimes to give us too much of what we desire. I believe she would have preferred even enthusiasm about other women to his utter oisiveté. It was his old fire, not his docility, that had won her.

During the third season after her marriage Cressida had only twenty-five performances at the Metropolitan, and she was singing out of town a great deal. Her husband did not bestir himself to accompany her, but he attended, very faithfully, to her correspondence and to her business at home. He had no ambitious schemes to increase her fortune, and he carried out her directions exactly. Nevertheless, Cressida faced her concert tours somewhat grimly, and she seldom talked now about their plans for the future.

The crisis in this growing estrangement came about by accident,one of those chance occurrences that affect our lives more than years of ordered effort,and it came in an inverted form of a situation old to comedy. Cressida had been on the road for several weeks; singing in Minneapolis, Cleveland, St. Paul, then up into Canada and back to Boston. From Boston she was to go directly to Chicago, coming down on the five o'clock train and taking the eleven, over the Lake Shore, for the West. By her schedule she would have time to change cars comfortably at the Grand Central station.

On the journey down from Boston she was seized with a great desire to see Blasius. She decided, against her custom, one might say against her principles, to risk a performance with the Chicago orchestra without rehearsal, to stay the night in New York and go west by the afternoon train the next day. She telegraphed Chicago, but she did not telegraph Blasius, because she wished—the old fallacy of affection!—to "surprise" him. She could take it for granted that, at eleven on a cold winter night, he would be in the Tenth Street house and nowhere else in New York. She sent Poppas—paler than usual with accusing scorn—and her trunks on to Chicago, and with only her travelling bag and a sense of being very audacious in her behaviour and still very much in love, she took a cab for Tenth Street.

Since it was her intention to disturb Blasius as little as possible and to delight him as much as possible, she let herself in with her latch-key and went directly to his room. She did not find him there. Indeed, she found him where he should not have been at all. There must have been a trying scene.

Ruzenka was sent away in the morning, and the other two maids as well. By eight o'clock Cressida and Bouchalka had the house to themselves. Nobody had any breakfast. Cressida took the afternoon train to keep her engagement with Theodore Thomas, and to think over the situation. Blasius was left in the Tenth Street house with only the furnace man's wife to look after him. His explanation of his conduct was that he had been drinking too much. His digression, he swore, was casual. It had never occurred before, and he could only appeal to his wife's magnanimity. But it was, on the whole, easier for Cressida to be firm than to be yielding, and she knew herself too well to attempt a readjustment. She had never made shabby compromises, and it was too late for her to begin. When she returned to New York she went to a hotel, and she never saw Bouchalka alone again. Since he admitted her charge, the legal formalities were conducted so quietly that the granting of her divorce was announced in the morning papers before her friends knew that there was the least likelihood of one. Cressida's concert tours had interrupted the hospitalities of the house.

While the lawyers were arranging matters, Bouchalka came to see me. He was remorseful and miserable enough, and I think his perplexity was quite sincere. If there had been an intrigue with a woman of her own class, an infatuation, an affair, he said, he could understand. But anything so venial and accidental—He shook his head slowly back and forth. He assured me that he was not at all himself on that fateful evening, and that when he recovered himself he would have sent Ruzenka away, making proper provision for her, of course. It was an ugly thing, but ugly things sometimes happened in one's life, and one had to put them away and forget them. He could have overlooked any accident that might have occurred when his wife was on the road, with Poppas, for example. I cut him short, and he bent his head to my reproof.

"I know," he said, "such things are different with her. But when have I said that I am noble as she is? Never. But I have appreciated and I have adored. About me, say what you like. But if you say that in this there was any mépris to my wife, that is not true. I have lost all my place here. I came in from the streets; but I understand her, and all the fine things in her, better than any of you here. If that accident had not been, she would have lived happy with me for years. As for me, I have never believed in this happiness. I was not born under a good star. How did it come? By accident. It goes by accident. She tried to give good fortune to an unfortunate man, un misérable; that was her mistake. It cannot be done in this world. The lucky should marry the lucky." Bouchalka stopped and lit a cigarette. He sat sunk in my chair as if he never meant to get up again. His large hands, now so much plumper than when I first knew him, hung limp. When he had consumed his cigarette he turned to me again.

"I, too, have tried. Have I so much as written one note to a lady since she first put out her hand to help me? Some of the artists who sing my compositions have been quite willing to plague my wife a little if I make the least sign. With the Española, for instance, I have had to be very stern, farouche; she is so very playful. I have never given my wife the slightest annoyance of this kind. Since I married her, I have not kissed the cheek of one lady! Then one night I am bored and drink too much champagne and I become a fool. What does it matter? Did my wife marry the fool of me? No, she married me, with my mind and my feelings all here, as I am today. But she is getting a divorce from the fool of me, which she would never see anyhow! The stupidity which excuses me is the thing she will not overlook. Even in her memory of me she will be harsh."

His view of his conduct and its consequences was fatalistic: he was meant to have just so much misery every day of his life; for three years it had been withheld, had been piling up somewhere, underground, overhead; now the accumulation burst over him. He had come to pay his respects to me, he said, to declare his undying gratitude to Madame Garnet, and to bid me farewell. He took up his hat and cane and kissed my hand. I have never seen him since. Cressida made a settlement upon him, but even Poppas, tortured by envy and curiosity, never discovered how much it was. It was very little, she told me. "Pour des gâteaux," she added with a smile that was not unforgiving. She could not bear to think of his being in want when so little could make him comfortable.

He went back to his own village in Bohemia. He wrote her that the old monk, his teacher, was still alive, and that from the windows of his room in the town he could see the pigeons flying forth from and back to the monastery bell-tower all day long. He sent her a song, with his own words, about those pigeons,quite a lovely thing. He was the bell tower, and les colombes were his memories of her.



IV

JEROME BROWN proved, on the whole, the worst of Cressida's husbands, and, with the possible exception of her eldest brother, Buchanan Garnet, he was the most rapacious of the men with whom she had had to do. It was one thing to gratify every wish of a cake-loving fellow like Bouchalka, but quite another to stand behind a financier. And Brown would be a financier or nothing. After her marriage with him, Cressida grew rapidly older. For the first time in her life she wanted to go abroad and live—to get Jerome Brown away from the scene of his unsuccessful but undiscouraged activities. But Brown was not a man who could be amused and kept out of mischief in Continental hotels. He had to be a figure, if only a "mark," in Wall Street. Nothing else would gratify his peculiar vanity. The deeper he went in, the more affectionately he told Cressida that now all her cares and anxieties were over. To try to get related facts out of his optimism was like trying to find framework in a feather bed. All Cressida knew was that she was perpetually "investing" to save investments. When she told me she had put a mortgage on the Tenth Street house, her eyes filled with tears. "Why is it? I have never cared about money, except to make people happy with it, and it has been the curse of my life. It has spoiled all my relations with people. Fortunately," she added irrelevantly, drying her eyes, "Jerome and Poppas get along well." Jerome could have got along with anybody; that is a promoter's business. His warm hand, his flushed face, his bright eye, and his newest funny story,—Poppas had no weapons that could do execution with a man like that.

Though Brown's ventures never came home, there was nothing openly disastrous until the outbreak of the revolution in Mexico jeopardized his interests there. Then Cressida went to England—where she could always raise money from a faithful public—for a winter concert tour. When she sailed, her friends knew that her husband's affairs were in a bad way; but we did not know how bad until after Cressida's death.

Cressida Garnet, as all the world knows, was lost on the Titanic. Poppas and Horace, who had been travelling with her, were sent on a week earlier and came as safely to port as if they had never stepped out of their London hotel. But Cressida had waited for the first trip of the sea monster—she still believed that all advertising was good—and she went down on the road between the old world and the new. She had been ill, and when the collision occurred she was in her stateroom, a modest one somewhere down in the boat, for she was travelling economically. Apparently she never left her cabin. She was not seen on the decks, and none of the survivors brought any word of her.

On Monday, when the wireless messages were coming from the Carpathia with the names of the passengers who had been saved, I went, with so many hundred others, down to the White Star offices. There I saw Cressida's motor, her redoubtable initials on the door, with four men sitting in the limousine. Jerome Brown, stripped of the promoter's joviality and looking flabby and old, sat behind with Buchanan Garnet, who had come on from Ohio. I had not seen him for years. He was now an old man, but he was still conscious of being in the public eye, and sat turning a cigar about in his face with that foolish look of importance which Cressida's achievement had stamped upon all the Garnets. Poppas was in front, with Horace. He was gnawing the finger of his chamois glove as it rested on the top of his cane. His head was sunk, his shoulders drawn together; he looked as old as Jewry. I watched them, wondering whether Cressida would come back to them if she could. After the last names were posted, the four men settled back into the powerful car—one of the best made—and the chauffeur backed off. I saw him dash away the tears from his face with the back of his driving glove. He was an Irish boy, and had been devoted to Cressida.

When the will was read, Henry Gilbert, the lawyer, an old friend of her early youth, and I, were named executors. A nice job we had of it. Most of her large fortune had been converted into stocks that were almost worthless. The marketable property realized only a hundred and fifty thousand dollars. To defeat the bequest of fifty thousand dollars to Poppas, Jerome Brown and her family contested the will. They brought Cressida's letters into court to prove that the will did not represent her intentions, often expressed in writing through many years, to "provide well" for them.

Such letters they were! The writing of a tired, overdriven woman; promising money, sending money herewith, asking for an acknowledgment of the draft sent last month, etc. In the letters to Jerome Brown she begged for information about his affairs and entreated him to go with her to some foreign city where they could live quietly and where she could rest; if they were careful, there would "be enough for all." Neither Brown nor her brothers and sisters had any sense of shame about these letters. It seemed never to occur to them that this golden stream, whether it rushed or whether it trickled, came out of the industry, out of the mortal body of a woman. They regarded her as a natural source of wealth; a copper vein, a diamond mine.

Henry Gilbert is a good lawyer himself, and he employed an able man to defend the will. We determined that in this crisis we would stand by Poppas, believing it would be Cressida's wish. Out of the lot of them, he was the only one who had helped her to make one penny of the money that had brought her so much misery. He was at least more deserving than the others. We saw to it that Poppas got his fifty thousand, and he actually departed, at last, for his city in la sainte Asie, where it never rains and where he will never again have to hold a hot water bottle to his face.

The rest of the property was fought for to a finish. Poppas out of the way, Horace and Brown and the Garnets quarrelled over her personal effects. They went from floor to floor of the Tenth Street house. The will provided that Cressida's jewels and furs and gowns were to go to her sisters. Georgie and Julia wrangled over them down to the last moleskin. They were deeply disappointed that some of the muffs and stoles which they remembered as very large, proved, when exhumed from storage and exhibited beside furs of a modern cut, to be ridiculously scant. A year ago the sisters were still reasoning with each other about pearls and opals and emeralds.

I wrote Poppas some account of these horrors, as during the court proceedings we had become rather better friends than of old. His reply arrived only a few days ago; a photograph of himself upon a camel, under which is written: Traulich und treu ist's nur in der Tiefe: falsch und feig ist was dort oben sich freut!

His reply, and the memories it awakens—memories which have followed Poppas into the middle of Asia, seemingly,—prompted this informal narration.



A Gold Slipper

MARSHALL MCKANN followed his wife and her friend Mrs. Post down the aisle and up the steps to the stage of the Carnegie Music Hall with an illconcealed feeling of grievance. Heaven knew he never went to concerts, and to be mounted upon the stage in this fashion, as if he were a "highbrow" from Sewickley, or some unfortunate with a musical wife, was ludicrous. A man went to concerts when he was courting, while he was a junior partner. When he became a person of substance he stopped that sort of nonsense. His wife, too, was a sensible person, the daughter of an old Pittsburgh family as solid and well-rooted as the McKanns. She would never have bothered him about this concert had not the meddlesome Mrs. Post arrived to pay her a visit. Mrs. Post was an old school friend of Mrs. McKann, and because she lived in Cincinnati she was always keeping up with the world and talking about things in which no one else was interested, music among them. She was an aggressive lady, with weighty opinions, and a deep voice like a jovial bassoon. She had arrived only last night, and at dinner she brought it out that she could on no account miss Kitty Ayrshire's recital; it was, she said, the sort of thing no one could afford to miss.

When McKann went into town in the morning he found that every seat in the music-hall was sold. He telephoned his wife to that effect, and, thinking he had settled the matter, made his reservation on the 11.25 train for New York. He was unable to get a drawing room because this same Kitty Ayrshire had taken the last one. He had not intended going to New York until the following week, but he preferred to be absent during Mrs. Post's incumbency.

In the middle of the morning, when he was deep in his correspondence, his wife called him up to say the enterprising Mrs. Post had telephoned some musical friends in Sewickley and had found that two hundred folding-chairs were to be placed on the stage of the concert-hall, behind the piano, and that they would be on sale at noon. Would he please get seats in the front row? McKann asked if they would not excuse him, since he was going over to New York on the late train, would be tired, and would not have time to dress, etc. No, not at all. It would be foolish for two women to trail up to the stage unattended. Mrs. Post's husband always accompanied her to concerts, and she expected that much attention from her host. He needn't dress, and he could take a taxi from the concert-hall to the East Liberty station.

The outcome of it all was that, though his bag was at the station, here was McKann, in the worst possible humour, facing the large audience to which he was well known, and sitting among a lot of music students and excitable old maids. Only the desperately zealous or the morbidly curious would endure two hours in those wooden chairs, and he sat in the front row of this hectic body, somehow made a party to a transaction for which he had the utmost contempt.

When McKann had been in Paris, Kitty Ayrshire was singing at the Comique, and he wouldn't go to hear her—even there, where one found so little that was better to do. She was too much talked about, too much advertised; always being thrust in an American's face as if she were something to be proud of. Perfumes and petticoats and cutlets were named for her. Some one had pointed Kitty out to him one afternoon when she was driving in the Bois with a French composer —old enough, he judged, to be her father—who was said to be infatuated, carried away by her. McKann was told that this was one of the historic passions of old age. He had looked at her on that occasion, but she was so befrilled and befeathered that he caught nothing but a graceful outline and a small, dark head above a white ostrich boa. He had noted with disgust, however, the stooped shoulders and white imperial of the silk-hatted man beside her, and the senescent line of his back. McKann described to his wife this unpleasing picture only last night, while he was undressing, when he was making every possible effort to avert this concert party. But Bessie only looked superior and said she wished to hear Kitty Ayrshire sing, and that her "private life" was something in which she had no interest.

Well, here he was; hot and uncomfortable, in a chair much too small for him, with a row of blinding footlights glaring in his eyes. Suddenly the door at his right elbow opened. Their seats were at one end of the front row; he had thought they would be less conspicuous there than in the centre, and he had not foreseen that the singer would walk over him every time she came upon the stage. Her velvet train brushed against his trousers as she passed him. The applause which greeted her was neither overwhelming nor prolonged. Her conservative audience did not know exactly how to accept her toilette. They were accustomed to dignified concert gowns, like those which Pittsburgh matrons (in those days!) wore at their daughters' coming-out teas.

Kitty's gown that evening was really quite outrageous—the repartée of a conscienceless Parisian designer who took her hint that she wished something that would be entirely novel in the States. Today, after we have all of us, even in the uttermost provinces, been educated by Bakst and the various Ballets Russes, we would accept such a gown without distrust; but then it was a little disconcerting, even to the well-disposed. It was constructed of a yard or two of green velvet—a reviling, shrieking green which would have made a fright of any woman who had not inextinguishable beauty—and it was made without armholes, a device to which we were then so unaccustomed that it was nothing less than alarming. The velvet skirt split back from a transparent gold-lace petticoat, gold stockings, gold slippers. The narrow train was, apparently, looped to both ankles, and it kept curling about her feet like a serpent's tail, turning up its gold lining as if it were squirming over on its back. It was not, we felt, a costume in which to sing Mozart and Handel and Beethoven.

Kitty sensed the chill in the air, and it amused her. She liked to be thought a brilliant artist by other artists, but by the world at large she liked to be thought a daring creature. She had every reason to believe, from experience and from example, that to shock the great crowd was the surest way to get its money and to make her name a household word. Nobody ever became a household word by being an artist, surely; and you were not a thoroughly paying proposition until your name meant something on the sidewalk and in the barber-shop. Kitty studied her audience with an appraising eye. She liked the stimulus of this disapprobation. As she faced this hard-shelled public she felt keen and interested; she knew that she would give such a recital as cannot often be heard for money. She nodded gaily to the young man at the piano, fell into an attitude of seriousness, and began the group of Beethoven and Mozart songs.

Though McKann would not have admitted it, there were really a great many people in the concert-hall who knew what the prodigal daughter of their country was singing, and how well she was doing it. They thawed gradually under the beauty of her voice and the subtlety of her interpretation. She had sung seldom in concert then, and they had supposed her very dependent upon the accessories of the opera. Clean singing, finished artistry, were not what they expected from her. They began to feel, even, the wayward charm of her personality.

McKann, who stared coldly up at the balconies during her first song, during the second glanced cautiously at the green apparition before him. He was vexed with her for having retained a débutante figure. He comfortably classed all singers—especially operatic singers—as "fat Dutchwomen" or "shifty Sadies," and Kitty would not fit into his clever generalization. She displayed, under his nose, the only kind of figure he considered worth looking at—that of a very young girl, supple and sinuous and quick-silverish; thin, eager shoulders, polished white arms that were nowhere too fat and nowhere too thin. McKann found it agreeable to look at Kitty, but when he saw that the authoritative Mrs. Post, red as a turkey-cock with opinions she was bursting to impart, was studying and appraising the singer through her lorgnette, he gazed indifferently out into the house again. He felt for his watch, but his wife touched him warningly with her elbow—which, he noticed, was not at all like Kitty's.

When Miss Ayrshire finished her first group of songs, her audience expressed its approval positively, but guardedly. She smiled bewitchingly upon the people in front, glanced up at the balconies, and then turned to the company huddled on the stage behind her. After her gay and careless bows, she retreated toward the stage door. As she passed McKann, she again brushed lightly against him, and this time she paused long enough to glance down at him and murmur, "Pardon!"

In the moment her bright, curious eyes rested upon him, McKann seemed to see himself as if she were holding a mirror up before him. He beheld himself a heavy, solid figure, unsuitably clad for the time and place, with a florid, square face, well-visored with good living and sane opinions—an inexpressive countenance. Not a rock face, exactly, but a kind of pressed-brick-and-cement face, a "business" face upon which years and feelings had made no mark—in which cocktails might eventually blast out a few hollows. He had never seen himself so distinctly in his shaving-glass as he did in that instant when Kitty Ayrshire's liquid eye held him, when her bright, inquiring glance roamed over his person. After her prehensile train curled over his boot and she was gone, his wife turned to him and said in the tone of approbation one uses when an infant manifests its groping intelligence, "Very gracious of her, I'm sure!" Mrs. Post nodded oracularly. McKann grunted.

Kitty began her second number, a group of romantic German songs which were altogether more her affair than her first number. When she turned once to acknowledge the applause behind her, she caught McKann in the act of yawning behind his hand—he of course wore no gloves—and he thought she frowned a little. This did not embarrass him; it somehow made him feel important. When she retired after the second part of the program, she again looked him over curiously as she passed, and she took marked precaution that her dress did not touch him. Mrs. Post and his wife again commented upon her consideration.

The final number was made up of modern French songs which Kitty sang enchantingly, and at last her frigid public was thoroughly aroused. While she was coming back again and again to smile and curtsy, McKann whispered to his wife that if there were to be encores he had better make a dash for his train.

"Not at all," put in Mrs. Post. "Kitty is going on the same train. She sings in Faust at the opera tomorrow night, so she'll take no chances."

McKann once more told himself how sorry he felt for Post. At last Miss Ayrshire returned, escorted by her accompanist, and gave the people what she of course knew they wanted: the most popular aria from the French opera of which the title-rôle had become synonymous with her name,—an opera written for her and to her and round about her, by the veteran French composer who adored her,—the last and not the palest flash of his creative fire. This brought her audience all the way. They clamoured for more of it, but she was not to be coerced. She had been unyielding through storms to which this was a summer breeze. She came on once more, shrugged her shoulders, blew them a kiss, and was gone. Her last smile was for that uncomfortable part of her audience seated behind her, and she looked with recognition at McKann and his ladies as she nodded good night to the wooden chairs.

McKann hurried his charges into the foyer by the nearest exit and put them into his motor. Then he went over to the Schenley to have a glass of beer and a rarebit before train-time. He had not, he admitted to himself, been so much bored as he pretended. The minx herself was well enough, but it was absurd in his fellow-townsmen to look owlish and uplifted about her. He had no rooted dislike for pretty women; he even didn't deny that gay girls had their place in the world, but they ought to be kept in their place. He was born a Presbyterian, just as he was born a McKann. He sat in his pew in the First Church every Sunday, and he never missed a presbytery meeting when he was in town. His religion was not very spiritual, certainly, but it was substantial and concrete, made up of good, hard convictions and opinions. It had something to do with citizenship, with whom one ought to marry, with the coal business (in which his own name was powerful), with the Republican party, and with all majorities and established precedents. He was hostile to fads, to enthusiasms, to individualism, to all changes except in mining machinery and in methods of transportation.

His equanimity restored by his lunch at the Schenley, McKann lit a big cigar, got into his taxi, and bowled off through the sleet.

There was not a sound to be heard or a light to be seen. The ice glittered on the pavement and on the naked trees. No restless feet were abroad. At eleven o'clock the rows of small, comfortable houses looked as empty of the troublesome bubble of life as the Allegheny cemetery itself. Suddenly the cab stopped, and McKann thrust his head out of the window. A woman was standing in the middle of the street addressing his driver in a tone of excitement. Over against the curb a lone electric stood despondent in the storm. The young woman, her cloak blowing about her, turned from the driver to McKann himself, speaking rapidly and somewhat incoherently.

"Could you not be so kind as to help us? It is Mees Ayrshire, the singer. The juice is gone out and we cannot move. We must get to the station. Mademoiselle cannot miss the train; she sings tomorrow night in New York. It is very important. Could you not take us to the station at East Liberty?"

McKann opened the door. "That's all right, but you'll have to hurry. It's eleven-ten now. You've only got fifteen minutes to make the train. Tell her to come along."

The maid drew back and looked up at him in amazement. "But, the hand-luggage to carry, and Mademoiselle to walk! The street is like glass!"

McKann threw away his cigar and followed her. He stood silent by the door of the derelict, while the maid explained that she had found help. The driver had gone off somewhere to telephone for a car. Miss Ayrshire seemed not at all apprehensive; she had not doubted that a rescuer would be forthcoming. She moved deliberately; out of a whirl of skirts she thrust one fur-topped shoe—McKann saw the flash of the gold stocking above it—and alighted.

"So kind of you! So fortunate for us!" she murmured. One hand she placed upon his sleeve, and in the other she carried an armful of roses that had been sent up to the concert stage. The petals showered upon the sooty, sleety pavement as she picked her way along. They would be lying there tomorrow morning, and the children in those houses would wonder if there had been a funeral. The maid followed with two leather bags. As soon as he had lifted Kitty into his cab she exclaimed:

"My jewel-case! I have forgotten it. It is on the back seat, please. I am so careless!"

He dashed back, ran his hand along the cushions, and discovered a small leather bag. When he returned he found the maid and the luggage bestowed on the front seat, and a place left for him on the back seat beside Kitty and her flowers.

"Shall we be taking you far out of your way?" she asked sweetly. "I haven't an idea where the station is. I'm not even sure about the name. Céline thinks it is East Liberty, but I think it is West Liberty. An odd name, anyway. It is a Bohemian quarter, perhaps? A district where the law relaxes a trifle?"

McKann replied grimly that he didn't think the name referred to that kind of liberty.

"So much the better," sighed Kitty. "I am a Californian; that's the only part of America I know very well, and out there, when we called a place Liberty Hill or Liberty Hollow—well, we meant it. You will excuse me if I'm uncommunicative, won't you? I must not talk in this raw air. My throat is sensitive after a long program." She lay back in her corner and closed her eyes.

When the cab rolled down the incline at East Liberty station, the New York express was whistling in. A porter opened the door. McKann sprang out, gave him a claim check and his Pullman ticket, and told him to get his bag at the check-stand and rush it on that train.

Miss Ayrshire, having gathered up her flowers, put out her hand to take his arm. "Why, it's you!" she exclaimed, as she saw his face in the light. "What a coincidence!" She made no further move to alight, but sat smiling as if she had just seated herself in a drawing-room and were ready for talk and a cup of tea.

McKann caught her arm. "You must hurry, Miss Ayrshire, if you mean to catch that train. It stops here only a moment. Can you run?"

"Can I run!" she laughed."Try me!"

As they raced through the tunnel and up the inside stairway, McKann admitted that he had never before made a dash with feet so quick and sure stepping out beside him. The white-furred boots chased each other like lambs at play, the gold stockings flashed like the spokes of a bicycle wheel in the sun. They reached the door of Miss Ayrshire's stateroom just as the train began to pull out. McKann was ashamed of the way he was panting, for Kitty's breathing was as soft and regular as when she was reclining on the back seat of his taxi. It had somehow run in his head that all these stage women were a poor lot physically—unsound, overfed creatures, like canaries that are kept in a cage and stuffed with song-restorer. He retreated to escape her thanks. "Good night! Pleasant journey! Pleasant dreams!" With a friendly nod in Kitty's direction he closed the door behind him.

He was somewhat surprised to find his own bag, his Pullman ticket in the strap, on the seat just outside Kitty's door. But there was nothing strange about it. He had got the last section left on the train, No. 13, next the drawing-room. Every other berth in the car was made up. He was just starting to look for the porter when the door of the stateroom opened and Kitty Ayrshire came out. She seated herself carelessly in the front seat beside his bag.

"Please talk to me a little," she said coaxingly. "I'm always wakeful after I sing, and I have to hunt some one to talk to. Céline and I get so tired of each other. We can speak very low, and we shall not disturb any one." She crossed her feet and rested her elbow on his Gladstone. Though she still wore her gold slippers and stockings, she did not, he thanked Heaven, have on her concert gown, but a very demure black velvet with some sort of pearl trimming about the neck. "Wasn't it funny," she proceeded, "that it happened to be you who picked me up? I wanted a word with you, anyway."

McKann smiled in a way that meant he wasn't being taken in. "Did you? We are not very old acquaintances."

"No, perhaps not. But you disapproved tonight, and I thought I was singing very well. You are very critical in such matters?"

He had been standing, but now he sat down. "My dear young lady, I am not critical at all. I know nothing about 'such matters.'"

"And care less?" she said for him. "Well, then we know where we are, in so far as that is concerned. What did displease you? My gown, perhaps? It may seem a little outré here, but it's the sort of thing all the imaginative designers abroad are doing. You like the English sort of concert gown better?"

"About gowns," said McKann, "I know even less than about music. If I looked uncomfortable, it was probably because I was uncomfortable. The seats were bad and the lights were annoying."

Kitty looked up with solicitude. "I was sorry they sold those seats. I don't like to make people uncomfortable in any way. Did the lights give you a headache? They are very trying. They burn one's eyes out in the end, I believe." She paused and waved the porter away with a smile as he came toward them. Half-clad Pittsburghers were tramping up and down the aisle, casting sidelong glances at McKann and his companion. "How much better they look with all their clothes on," she murmured. Then, turning directly to McKann again: "I saw you were not well seated, but I felt something quite hostile and personal. You were displeased with me. Doubtless many people are, but I seldom get an opportunity to question them. It would be nice if you took the trouble to tell me why you were displeased."

She spoke frankly, pleasantly, without a shadow of challenge or hauteur. She did not seem to be angling for compliments. McKann settled himself in his seat. He thought he would try her out. She had come for it, and he would let her have it. He found, however, that it was harder to formulate the grounds of his disapproval than he would have supposed. Now that he sat face to face with her, now that she was leaning against his bag, he had no wish to hurt her.

"I'm a hard-headed business man," he said evasively, "and I don't much believe in any of you fluffy-ruffles people. I have a sort of natural distrust of them all, the men more than the women."

She looked thoughtful. "Artists, you mean?" drawing her words slowly. "What is your business?"

"Coal."

"I don't feel any natural distrust of business men, and I know ever so many. I don't know any coal-men, but I think I could become very much interested in coal. Am I larger-minded than you?"

McKann laughed. "I don't think you know when you are interested or when you are not. I don't believe you know what it feels like to be really interested. There is so much fake about your profession. It's an affectation on both sides. I know a great many of the people who went to hear you tonight, and I know that most of them neither know nor care anything about music. They imagine they do, because it's supposed to be the proper thing."

Kitty sat upright and looked interested. She was certainly a lovely creature—the only one of her tribe he had ever seen that he would cross the street to see again. Those were remarkable eyes she had—curious, penetrating, restless, somewhat impudent, but not at all dulled by self-conceit.

"But isn't that so in everything?" she cried. "How many of your clerks are honest because of a fine, individual sense of honour? They are honest because it is the accepted rule of good conduct in business. Do you know"—she looked at him squarely—"I thought you would have something quite definite to say to me; but this is funny-paper stuff, the sort of objection I'd expect from your office-boy."

"Then you don't think it silly for a lot of people to get together and pretend to enjoy something they know nothing about?"

"Of course I think it silly, but that's the way God made audiences. Don't people go to church in exactly the same way? If there were a spiritual-pressure test-machine at the door, I suspect not many of you would get to your pews."

"How do you know I go to church?"

She shrugged her shoulders. "Oh, people with these old, ready-made opinions usually go to church. But you can't evade me like that." She tapped the edge of his seat with the toe of her gold slipper. "You sat there all evening, glaring at me as if you could eat me alive. Now I give you a chance to state your objections, and you merely criticize my audience. What is it? Is it merely that you happen to dislike my personality? In that case, of course, I won't press you."

"No," McKann frowned, "I perhaps dislike your professional personality. As I told you, I have a natural distrust of your variety."

"Natural, I wonder?" Kitty murmured. "I don't see why you should naturally dislike singers any more than I naturally dislike coal-men. I don't classify people by their occupations. Doubtless I should find some coalmen repulsive, and you may find some singers so. But I have reason to believe that, at least, I'm one of the less repellent."

"I don't doubt it," McKann laughed, "and you're a shrewd woman to boot. But you are, all of you, according to my standards, light people. You're brilliant, some of you, but you've no depth."

Kitty seemed to assent, with a dive of her girlish head. "Well, it's a merit in some things to be heavy, and in others to be light. Some things are meant to go deep, and others to go high. Do you want all the women in the world to be profound?"

"You are all," he went on steadily, watching her with indulgence, "fed on hectic emotions. You are pampered. You don't help to carry the burdens of the world. You are self-indulgent and appetent."

"Yes, I am," she assented, with a candour which he did not expect. "Not all artists are, but I am. Why not? If I could once get a convincing statement as to why I should not be self-indulgent, I might change my ways. As for the burdens of the world" Kitty rested her chin on her clasped hands and looked thoughtful. "One should give pleasure to others. My dear sir, granting that the great majority of people can't enjoy anything very keenly, you'll admit that I give pleasure to many more people than you do. One should help others who are less fortunate; at present I am supporting just eight people, besides those I hire. There was never another family in California that had so many cripples and hard-luckers as that into which I had the honour to be born. The only ones who could take care of themselves were ruined by the San Francisco earthquake some time ago. One should make personal sacrifices. I do; I give money and time and effort to talented students. Oh, I give something much more than that!—something that you probably have never given to any one. I give, to the really gifted ones, my wish, my desire, my light, if I have any; and that, Mr. Worldly Wiseman, is like giving one's blood! It's the kind of thing you prudent people never give. That is what was in the box of precious ointment." Kitty threw off her fervour with a slight gesture, as if it were a scarf, and leaned back, tucking her slipper up on the edge of his seat. "If you saw the houses I keep up," she sighed, "and the people I employ, and the motor-cars I run—And, after all, I've only this to do it with." She indicated her slender person, which Marshall could almost have broken in two with his bare hands.

She was, he thought, very much like any other charming woman, except that she was more so. Her familiarity was natural and simple. She was at ease because she was not afraid of him or of herself, or of certain half-clad acquaintances of his who had been wandering up and down the car oftener than was necessary. Well, he was not afraid, either.

Kitty put her arms over her head and sighed again, feeling the smooth part in her black hair. Her head was small—capable of great agitation, like a bird's; or of great resignation, like a nun's. "I can't see why I shouldn't be self-indulgent, when I indulge others. I can't understand your equivocal scheme of ethics. Now I can understand Count Tolstoy's, perfectly. I had a long talk with him once, about his book 'What is Art?' As nearly as I could get it, he believes that we are a race who can exist only by gratifying appetites; the appetites are evil, and the existence they carry on is evil. We were always sad, he says, without knowing why; even in the Stone Age. In some miraculous way a divine ideal was disclosed to us, directly at variance with our appetites. It gave us a new craving, which we could only satisfy by starving all the other hungers in us. Happiness lies in ceasing to be and to cause being, because the thing revealed to us is dearer than any existence our appetites can ever get for us. I can understand that. It's something one often feels in art. It is even the subject of the greatest of all operas, which, because I can never hope to sing it, I love more than all the others." Kitty pulled herself up. "Perhaps you agree with Tolstoy?" she added languidly.

"No; I think he's a crank," said McKann, cheerfully.

"What do you mean by a crank?"

"I mean an extremist."

Kitty laughed. "Weighty word! You'll always have a world full of people who keep to the golden mean. Why bother yourself about me and Tolstoy?"

"I don't, except when you bother me."

"Poor man! It's true this isn't your fault. Still, you did provoke it by glaring at me. Why did you go to the concert?"

"I was dragged."

"I might have known!" she chuckled, and shook her head. "No, you don't give me any good reasons. Your morality seems to me the compromise of cowardice, apologetic and sneaking. When righteousness becomes alive and burning, you hate it as much as you do beauty. You want a little of each in your life, perhaps—adulterated, sterilized, with the sting taken out. It's true enough they are both fearsome things when they get loose in the world; they don't, often."

McKann hated tall talk. "My views on women," he said slowly, "are simple."

"Doubtless," Kitty responded dryly, "but are they consistent? Do you apply them to your stenographers as well as to me? I take it for granted you have unmarried stenographers. Their position, economically, is the same as mine."

McKann studied the toe of her shoe. "With a woman, everything comes back to one thing." His manner was judicial.

She laughed indulgently. "So we are getting down to brass tacks, eh? I have beaten you in argument, and now you are leading trumps." She put her hands behind her head and her lips parted in a half-yawn. "Does everything come back to one thing? I wish I knew! It's more than likely that, under the same conditions, I should have been very like your stenographers—if they are good ones. Whatever I was, I would have been a good one. I think people are very much alike. You are more different than any one I have met for some time, but I know that there are a great many more at home like you. And even you—I believe there is a real creature down under these custom-made prejudices that save you the trouble of thinking. If you and I were shipwrecked on a desert island, I have no doubt that we would come to a simple and natural understanding. I'm neither a coward nor a shirk. You would find, if you had to undertake any enterprise of danger or difficulty with a woman, that there are several qualifications quite as important as the one to which you doubtless refer."

McKann felt nervously for his watch-chain. "Of course," he brought out, "I am not laying down any generalizations" His brows wrinkled.

"Oh, aren't you?" murmured Kitty. "Then I totally misunderstood. But remember"holding up a finger"it is you, not I, who are afraid to pursue this subject further. Now, I'll tell you something." She leaned forward and clasped her slim, white hands about her velvet knee. "I am as much a victim of these ineradicable prejudices as you. Your stenographer seems to you a better sort. Well, she does to me. Just because her life is, presumably, greyer than mine, she seems better. My mind tells me that dulness, and a mediocre order of ability, and poverty, are not in themselves admirable things. Yet in my heart I always feel that the sales-women in shops and the working girls in factories are more meritorious than I. Many of them, with my opportunities, would be more selfish than I am. Some of them, with their own opportunities, are more selfish. Yet I make this sentimental genuflection before the nun and the charwoman. Tell me, haven't you any weakness? Isn't there any foolish natural thing that unbends you a trifle and makes you feel gay?"

"I like to go fishing."

"To see how many fish you can catch?"

"No, I like the woods and the weather. I like to play a fish and work hard for him. I like the pussy-willows and the cold; and the sky, whether it's blue or grey—night coming on, every thing about it."

He spoke devoutly, and Kitty watched him through half-closed eyes. "And you like to feel that there are light-minded girls like me, who only care about the inside of shops and theatres and hotels, eh? You amuse me, you and your fish! But I mustn't keep you any longer. Haven't I given you every opportunity to state your case against me? I thought you would have more to say for yourself. Do you know, I believe it's not a case you have at all, but a grudge. I believe you are envious; that you'd like to be a tenor, and a perfect lady-killer!" She rose, smiling, and paused with her hand on the door of her stateroom. "Anyhow, thank you for a pleasant evening. And, by the way, dream of me tonight, and not of either of those ladies who sat beside you. It does not matter much whom we live with in this world, but it matters a great deal whom we dream of." She noticed his bricky flush. "You are very naïf, after all, but, oh, so cautious! You are naturally afraid of everything new, just as I naturally want to try everything: new people, new religions—new miseries, even. If only there were more new things—If only you were really new! I might learn something. I'm like the Queen of Sheba—I'm not above learning. But you, my friend, would be afraid to try a new shaving soap. It isn't gravitation that holds the world in place; it's the lazy, obese cowardice of the people on it. All the same"—taking his hand and smiling encouragingly—"I'm going to haunt you a little. Adios!"

When Kitty entered her stateroom, Céline, in her dressing-gown, was nodding by the window.

"Mademoiselle found the fat gentleman interesting?" she asked. "It is nearly one."

"Negatively interesting. His kind always say the same thing. If I could find one really intelligent man who held his views, I should adopt them."

"Monsieur did not look like an original," murmured Céline, as she began to take down her lady's hair.



McKann slept heavily, as usual, and the porter had to shake him in the morning. He sat up in his berth, and, after composing his hair with his fingers, began to hunt about for his clothes. As he put up the window-blind some bright object in the little hammock over his bed caught the sunlight and glittered. He stared and picked up a delicately turned gold slipper.

"Minx! hussy!" he ejaculated. "All that tall talk—! Probably got it from some man who hangs about; learned it off like a parrot. Did she poke this in here herself last night, or did she send that sneak-faced Frenchwoman? I like her nerve!" He wondered whether he might have been breathing audibly when the intruder thrust her head between his curtains. He was conscious that he did not look a Prince Charming in his sleep. He dressed as fast as he could, and, when he was ready to go to the wash-room, glared at the slipper. If the porter should start to make up his berth in his absence—He caught the slipper, wrapped it in his pajama jacket, and thrust it into his bag. He escaped from the train without seeing his tormentor again.

Later McKann threw the slipper into the waste-basket in his room at the Knickerbocker, but the chambermaid, seeing that it was new and mateless, thought there must be a mistake, and placed it in his clothes-closet. He found it there when he returned from the theatre that evening. Considerably mellowed by food and drink and cheerful company, he took the slipper in his hand and decided to keep it as a reminder that absurd things could happen to people of the most clocklike deportment. When he got back to Pittsburgh, he stuck it in a lock-box in his vault, safe from prying clerks.



McKann has been ill for five years now, poor fellow! He still goes to the office, because it is the only place that interests him, but his partners do most of the work, and his clerks find him sadly changed—"morbid," they call his state of mind. He has had the pine-trees in his yard cut down because they remind him of cemeteries. On Sundays or holidays, when the office is empty, and he takes his will or his insurance-policies out of his lock-box, he often puts the tarnished gold slipper on his desk and looks at it. Somehow it suggests life to his tired mind, as his pine-trees suggested death—life and youth. When he drops over some day, his executors will be puzzled by the slipper.

As for Kitty Ayrshire, she has played so many jokes, practical and impractical, since then, that she has long ago forgotten the night when she threw away a slipper to be a thorn in the side of a just man.



Scandal

KITYY ASHIRE had a cold, a persistent inflammation of the vocal cords which defied the throat specialist. Week after week her name was posted at the Opera, and week after week it was canceled, and the name of one of her rivals was substituted. For nearly two months she had been deprived of everything she liked, even of the people she liked, and had been shut up until she had come to hate the glass windows between her and the world, and the wintry stretch of the Park they looked out upon. She was losing a great deal of money, and, what was worse, she was losing life; days of which she wanted to make the utmost were slipping by, and nights which wsere to have crowned the days, nights of incalculable possibilities, were being stolen from her by women for whom she had no great affection. At first she had been courageous, but the strain of prolonged uncertainty was telling on her, and her nervous condition did not improve her larynx. Every morning Miles Creedon looked down her throat, only to put her off with evasions, to pronounce improvement that apparently never got her anywhere, to say that tomorrow he might be able to promise something definite.

Her illness, of course, gave rise to rumours—rumours that she had lost her voice, that at some time last summer she must have lost her discretion. Kitty herself was frightened by the way in which this cold hung on. She had had many sharp illnesses in her life, but always, before this, she had rallied quickly. Was she beginning to lose her resiliency? Was she, by any cursed chance, facing a bleak time when she would have to cherish herself ? She protested, as she wandered about her sunny, many-windowed rooms on the tenth floor, that if she was going to have to live frugally, she wouldn't live at all. She wouldn't live on any terms but the very generous ones she had always known. She wasn't going to hoard her vitality. It must be there when she wanted it, be ready for any strain she chose to put upon it, let her play fast and loose with it; and then, if necessary, she would be ill for a while and pay the piper. But be systematically prudent and parsimonious she would not.

When she attempted to deliver all this to Doctor Creedon, he merely put his finger on her lips and said they would discuss these things when she could talk without injuring her throat. He allowed her to see no one except the Director of the Opera, who did not shine in conversation and was not apt to set Kitty going. The Director was a glum fellow, indeed, but during this calamitous time he had tried to be soothing, and he agreed with Creedon that she must not risk a premature appearance. Kitty was tormented by a suspicion that he was secretly backing the little Spanish woman who had sung many of her parts since she had been ill. He furthered the girl's interests because his wife had a very special consideration for her, and Madame had that consideration because—But that was too long and too dreary a story to follow out in one's mind. Kitty felt a tonsilitis disgust for opera-house politics, which, when she was in health, she rather enjoyed, being no mean strategist herself. The worst of being ill was that it made so many things and people look base.

She was always afraid of being disillusioned. She wished to believe that everything for sale in Vanity Fair was worth the advertised price. When she ceased to believe in these delights, she told herself, her pulling power would decline and she would go to pieces. In some way the chill of her disillusionment would quiver through the long, black line which reached from the box-office down to Seventh Avenue on nights when she sang. They shivered there in the rain and cold, all those people, because they loved to believe in her inextinguishable zest. She was no prouder of what she drew in the boxes than she was of that long, oscillating tail; little fellows in thin coats, Italians, Frenchmen, South Americans, Japanese.

When she had been cloistered like a Trappist for six weeks, with nothing from the outside world but notes and flowers and disquieting morning papers, Kitty told Miles Creedon that she could not endure complete isolation any longer.

"I simply cannot live through the evenings. They have become horrors to me. Every night is the last night of a condemned man. I do nothing but cry, and that makes my throat worse."

Miles Creedon, handsomest of his profession, was better looking with some invalids than with others. His athletic figure, his red cheeks, and splendid teeth always had a cheering effect upon this particular patient, who hated anything weak or broken.

"What can I do, my dear? What do you wish? Shall I come and hold your lovely hand from eight to ten? You have only to suggest it."

"Would you do that, even? No, caro mio, I take far too much of your time as it is. For an age now you have been the only man in the world to me, and you have been charming! But the world is big, and I am missing it. Let some one come tonight, some one interesting, but not too interesting. Pierce Tevis, for instance. He is just back from Paris. Tell the nurse I may see him for an hour tonight," Kitty finished pleadingly, and put her fingers on the doctor's sleeve. He looked down at them and smiled whimsically.

Like other people, he was weak to Kitty Ayrshire. He would do for her things that he would do for no one else; would break any engagement, desert a dinner-table, leaving an empty place and an offended hostess, to sit all evening in Kitty's dressing-room, spraying her throat and calming her nerves, using every expedient to get her through a performance. He had studied her voice like a singing master; knew all of its idiosyncracies and the emotional and nervous perturbations which affected it. When it was permissible, sometimes when it was not permissible, he indulged her caprices. On this sunny morning her wan, disconsolate face moved him.

"Yes, you may see Tevis this evening if you will assure me that you will not shed one tear for twenty-four hours. I may depend on your word?" He rose, and stood before the deep couch on which his patient reclined. Her arch look seemed to say, "On what could you depend more?" Creedon smiled, and shook his head. "If I find you worse tomorrow—"

He crossed to the writing-table and began to separate a bunch of tiny flame-coloured rosebuds. "May I?" Selecting one, he sat down on the chair from which he had lately risen, and leaned forward while Kitty pinched the thorns from the stem and arranged the flower in his buttonhole.

"Thank you. I like to wear one of yours. Now I must be off to the hospital. I've a nasty little operation to do this morning. I'm glad it's not you. Shall I telephone Tevis about this evening?"

Kitty hesitated. Her eyes ran rapidly about, seeking a likely pretext. Creedon laughed.

"Oh, I see. You've already asked him to come. You were so sure of me! Two hours in bed after lunch, with all the windows open, remember. Read something diverting, but not exciting; some homely British author; nothing abandonné. And don't make faces at me. Until tomorrow!"

When her charming doctor had disappeared through the doorway, Kitty fell back on her cushions and closed her eyes. Her mocking-bird, excited by the sunlight, was singing in his big gilt cage, and a white lilac-tree that had come that morning was giving out its faint sweetness in the warm room. But Kitty looked paler and wearier than when the doctor was with her. Even with him she rose to her part just a little; couldn't help it. And he took his share of her vivacity and sparkle, like every one else. He believed that his presence was soothing to her. But he admired; and whoever admired, blew on the flame, however lightly.

The mocking-bird was in great form this morning. He had the best bird-voice she had ever heard, and Kitty wished there were some way to note down his improvisations; but his intervals were not expressible in any scale she knew. Parker White had brought him to her, from Ojo Caliente, in New Mexico, where he had been trained in the pine forests by an old Mexican and an ill-tempered, lame master-bird, half thrush, that taught young birds to sing. This morning, in his song there were flashes of silvery Southern springtime; they opened inviting roads of memory. In half an hour he had sung his disconsolate mistress to sleep.

That evening Kitty sat curled up on the deep couch before the fire, awaiting Pierce Tevis. Her costume was folds upon folds of diaphanous white over equally diaphanous rose, with a line of white fur about her neck. Her beautiful arms were bare. Her tiny Chinese slippers were embroidered so richly that they resembled the painted porcelain of old vases. She looked like a sultan's youngest, newest bride; a beautiful little toy-woman, sitting at one end of the long room which composed about her,which, in the soft light, seemed happily arranged for her. There were flowers everywhere: rose-trees; camellia-bushes, red and white; the first forced hyacinths of the season; a feathery mimosa-tree, tall enough to stand under.

The long front of Kitty's study was all windows. At one end was the fireplace, before which she sat. At the other end, back in a lighted alcove, hung a big, warm, sympathetic interior by Lucien Simon,—a group of Kitty's friends having tea in the painter's salon in Paris. The room in the picture was flooded with early lamp-light, and one could feel the grey, chill winter twilight in the Paris streets outside. There stood the cavalier-like old composer, who had done much for Kitty, in his most characteristic attitude, before the hearth. Mme. Simon sat at the tea-table. B——, the historian, and H——, the philologist, stood in animated discussion behind the piano, while Mme. H—— was tying on the bonnet of her lovely little daughter. Marcel Durand, the physicist, sat alone in a corner, his startling black-and-white profile lowered broodingly, his cold hands locked over his sharp knee. A genial, red-bearded sculptor stood over him, about to touch him on the shoulder and waken him from his dream.

This painting made, as it were, another room; so that Kitty's study on Central Park West seemed to open into that charming French interior, into one of the most highly harmonized and richly associated rooms in Paris. There her friends sat or stood about, men distinguished, women at once plain and beautiful, with their furs and bonnets, their clothes that were so distinctly not smart—all held together by the warm lamp-light, by an indescribable atmosphere of graceful and gracious human living.

Pierce Tevis, after he had entered noiselessly and greeted Kitty, stood before her fire and looked over her shoulder at this picture.

"It's nice that you have them there together, now that they are scattered, God knows where, fighting to preserve just that. But your own room, too, is charming," he added at last, taking his eyes from the canvas.

Kitty shrugged her shoulders.

"Bah! I can help to feed the lamp, but I can't supply the dear things it shines upon."

"Well, tonight it shines upon you and me, and we aren't so bad." Tevis stepped forward and took her hand affectionately. "You've been over a rough bit of road. I'm so sorry. It's left you looking very lovely, though. Has it been very hard to get on?"

She brushed his hand gratefully against her cheek and nodded.

"Awfully dismal. Everything had been shut out from me but—gossip. That always gets in. Often I don't mind, but this time I have. People do tell such lies about me."

"Of course we do. That's part of our fun, one of the many pleasures you give us. It only shows how hard up we are for interesting public personages; for a royal family, for romantic fiction, if you will. But I never hear any stories that wound me, and I'm very sensitive about you."

"I'm gossiped about rather more than the others, am I not?"

"I believe! Heaven send that the day when you are not gossiped about is far distant! Do you want to bite off your nose to spite your pretty face? You are the sort of person who makes myths. You can't turn around without making one. That's your singular good luck. A whole staff of publicity men, working day and night, couldn't do for you what you do for yourself. There is an affinity between you and the popular imagination."

"I suppose so," said Kitty, and sighed. "All the same, I'm getting almost as tired of the person I'm supposed to be as of the person I really am. I wish you would invent a new Kitty Ayrshire for me, Pierce. Can't I do something revolutionary? Marry, for instance?"

Tevis rose in alarm.

"Whatever you do, don't try to change your legend. You have now the one that gives the greatest satisfaction to the greatest number of people. Don't disappoint your public. The popular imagination, to which you make such a direct appeal, for some reason wished you to have a son, so it has given you one. I've heard a dozen versions of the story, but it is always a son, never by any chance a daughter. Your public gives you what is best for you. Let well enough alone."

Kitty yawned and dropped back on her cushions.

"He still persists, does he, in spite of never being visible?"

"Oh, but he has been seen by ever so many people. Let me think a moment." He sank into an attitude of meditative ease. "The best description I ever had of him was from a friend of my mother, an elderly woman, thoroughly truthful and matter-of-fact. She has seen him often. He is kept in Russia, in St. Petersburg, that was. He is about eight years old and of marvellous beauty. He is always that in every version. My old friend has seen him being driven in his sledge on the Nevskii Prospekt on winter afternoons; black horses with silver bells and a giant in uniform on the seat beside the driver. He is always attended by this giant, who is responsible to the Grand Duke Paul for the boy. This lady can produce no evidence beyond his beauty and his splendid furs and the fact that all the Americans in Petrograd know he is your son."

Kitty laughed mournfully.

"If the Grand Duke Paul had a son, any old rag of a son, the province of Moscow couldn't contain him! He may, for aught I know, actually pretend to have a son. It would be very like him." She looked at her finger-tips and her rings disapprovingly for a moment. "Do you know, I've been thinking that I would rather like to lay hands on that youngster. I believe he'd be interesting. I'm bored with the world."

Tevis looked up and said quickly:

"Would you like him, really?"

"Of course I should," she said indignantly. "But, then, I like other things, too; and one has to choose. When one has only two or three things to choose from, life is hard; when one has many, it is harder still. No, on the whole, I don't mind that story. It's rather pretty, except for the Grand Duke. But not all of them are pretty."

"Well, none of them are very ugly; at least I never heard but one that troubled me, and that was long ago."

She looked interested.

"That is what I want to know; how do the ugly ones get started? How did that one get going and what was it about? Is it too dreadful to repeat?"

"No, it's not especially dreadful; merely rather shabby. If you really wish to know, and won't be vexed, I can tell you exactly how it got going, for I took the trouble to find out. But it's a long story, and you really had nothing whatever to do with it."

"Then who did have to do with it? Tell me; I should like to know exactly how even one of them originated."

"Will you be comfortable and quiet and not get into a rage, and let me look at you as much as I please?"

Kitty nodded, and Tevis sat watching her indolently while he debated how much of his story he ought not to tell her. Kitty liked being looked at by intelligent persons. She knew exactly how good looking she was; and she knew, too, that, pretty as she was, some of those rather sallow women in the Simon painting had a kind of beauty which she would never have. This knowledge, Tevis was thinking, this important realization, contributed more to her loveliness than any other thing about her; more than her smooth, ivory skin or her changing grey eyes, the delicate forehead above them, or even the dazzling smile, which was gradually becoming too bright and too intentional,out in the world, at least. Here by her own fire she still had for her friends a smile less electric than the one she flashed from stages. She could still be, in short, intime, a quality which few artists keep, which few ever had.

Kitty broke in on her friend's meditations.

"You may smoke. I had rather you did. I hate to deprive people of things they like."

"No, thanks. May I have those chocolates on the teatable? They are quite as bad for me. May you? No, I suppose not." He settled himself by the fire, with the candy beside him, and began in the agreeable voice which always soothed his listener.

"As I said, it was a long while ago, when you first came back to this country and were singing at the Manhattan. I dropped in at the Metropolitan one evening to hear something new they were trying out. It was an off night, no pullers in the cast, and nobody in the boxes but governesses and poor relations. At the end of the first act two people entered one of the boxes in the second tier. The man was Siegmund Stein, the department-store millionaire, and the girl, so the men about me in the omnibus box began to whisper, was Kitty Ayrshire. I didn't know you then, but I was unwilling to believe that you were with Stein. I could not contradict them at that time, however, for the resemblance, if it was merely a resemblance, was absolute, and all the world knew that you were not singing at the Manhattan that night. The girl's hair was dressed just as you then wore yours. Moreover, her head was small and restless like yours, and she had your colouring, your eyes, your chin. She carried herself with the critical indifference one might expect in an artist who had come for a look at a new production that was clearly doomed to failure. She applauded lightly. She made comments to Stein when comments were natural enough. I thought, as I studied her face with the glass, that her nose was a trifle thinner than yours, a prettier nose, my dear Kitty, but stupider and more inflexible. All the same, I was troubled until I saw her laugh,and then I knew she was a counterfeit. I had never seen you laugh, but I knew that you would not laugh like that. It was not boisterous; indeed, it was consciously refined, mirthless, meaningless. In short, it was not the laugh of one whom our friends in there" pointing to the Simon painting"would honour with their affection and admiration."

Kitty rose on her elbow and burst out indignantly:

"So you would really have been hood-winked except for that! You may be sure that no woman, no intelligent woman, would have been. Why do we ever take the trouble to look like anything for any of you? I could count on my four fingers"she held them up and shook them at him"the men I've known who had the least perception of what any woman really looked like, and they were all dressmakers. Even painters"glancing back in the direction of the Simon picture"never get more than one type through their thick heads; they try to make all women look like some wife or mistress. You are all the same; you never see our real faces. What you do see, is some cheap conception of prettiness you got from a coloured supplement when you were adolescents. It's too discouraging. I'd rather take vows and veil my face for ever from such abominable eyes. In the kingdom of the blind any petticoat is a queen." Kitty thumped the cushion with her elbow. "Well, I can't do anything about it. Go on with your story."

"Aren't you furious, Kitty! And I thought I was so shrewd. I've quite forgotten where I was. Anyhow, I was not the only man fooled. After the last curtain I met Villard, the press man of that management, in the lobby, and asked him whether Kitty Ayrshire was in the house. He said he thought so. Stein had telephoned for a box, and said he was bringing one of the artists from the other company. Villard had been too busy about the new production to go to the box, but he was quite sure the woman was Ayrshire, whom he had met in Paris.

"Not long after that I met Dan Leland, a classmate of mine, at the Harvard Club. He's a journalist, and he used to keep such eccentric hours that I had not run across him for a long time. We got to talking about modern French music, and discovered that we both had a very lively interest in Kitty Ayrshire.

"'Could you tell me,' Dan asked abruptly, 'why, with pretty much all the known world to choose her friends from, this young woman should flit about with Siegmund Stein? It prejudices people against her. He's a most objectionable person.'

"'Have you,' I asked, 'seen her with him, yourself?'

"Yes, he had seen her driving with Stein, and some of the men on his paper had seen her dining with him at rather queer places down town. Stein was always hanging about the Manhattan on nights when Kitty sang. I told Dan that I suspected a masquerade. That interested him, and he said he thought he would look into the matter. In short, we both agreed to look into it. Finally, we got the story, though Dan could never use it, could never even hint at it, because Stein carries heavy advertising in his paper.

"To make you see the point, I must give you a little history of Siegmund Stein. Any one who has seen him never forgets him. He is one of the most hideous men in New York, but it's not at all the common sort of ugliness that comes from over-eating and automobiles. He isn't one of the fat horrors. He has one of those rigid, horselike faces that never tell anything; a long nose, flattened as if it had been tied down; a scornful chin; long, white teeth; flat cheeks, yellow as a Mongolian's; tiny, black eyes, with puffy lids and no lashes; dingy, dead-looking hair—looks as if it were glued on.

"Stein came here a beggar from somewhere in Austria. He began by working on the machines in old Rosenthal's garment factory. He became a speeder, a foreman, a salesman; worked his way ahead steadily until the hour when he rented an old dwelling-house on Seventh Avenue and began to make misses' and juniors' coats. I believe he was the first manufacturer to specialize in those particular articles. Dozens of garment manufacturers have come along the same road, but Stein is like none of the rest of them. He is, and always was, a personality. While he was still at the machine, a hideous, underfed little whippersnapper, he was already a youth of many-coloured ambitions, deeply concerned about his dress, his associates, his recreations. He haunted the old Astor Library and the Metropolitan Museum, learned something about pictures and porcelains, took singing lessons, though he had a voice like a crow's. When he sat down to his baked apple and doughnut in a basement lunch-room, he would prop a book up before him and address his food with as much leisure and ceremony as if he were dining at his club. He held himself at a distance from his fellow-workmen and somehow always managed to impress them with his superiority. He had inordinate vanity, and there are many stories about his foppishness. After his first promotion in Rosenthal's factory, he bought a new overcoat. A few days later, one of the men at the machines, which Stein had just quitted, appeared in a coat exactly like it. Stein could not discharge him, but he gave his own coat to a newly arrived Russian boy and got another. He was already magnificent.

"After he began to make headway with misses' and juniors' cloaks, he became a collector—etchings, china, old musical instruments. He had a dancing master, and engaged a beautiful Brazilian widow—she was said to be a secret agent for some South American republic—to teach him Spanish. He cultivated the society of the unknown great; poets, actors, musicians. He entertained them sumptuously, and they regarded him as a deep, mysterious Jew who had the secret of gold, which they had not. His business associates thought him a man of taste and culture, a patron of the arts, a credit to the garment trade.

"One of Stein's many ambitions was to be thought a success with women. He got considerable notoriety in the garment world by his attentions to an emotional actress who is now quite forgotten, but who had her little hour of expectation. Then there was a dancer; then, just after Gorky's visit here, a Russian anarchist woman. After that the coat-makers and shirtwaist-makers began to whisper that Stein's great success was with Kitty Ayrshire.

"It is the hardest thing in the world to disprove such a story, as Dan Leland and I discovered. We managed to worry down the girl's address through a taxi-cab driver who got next to Stein's chauffeur. She had an apartment in a decent-enough house on Waverly Place. Nobody ever came to see her but Stein, her sisters, and a little Italian girl from whom we got the story.

"The counterfeit's name was Ruby Mohr. She worked in a shirtwaist factory, and this Italian girl, Margarita, was her chum. Stein came to the factory when he was hunting for living models for his new department store. He looked the girls over, and picked Ruby out from several hundred. He had her call at his office after business hours, tried her out in cloaks and evening gowns, and offered her a position. She never, however, appeared as a model in the Sixth Avenue store. Her likeness to the newly arrived prima donna suggested to Stein another act in the play he was always putting on. He gave two of her sisters positions as sales-women, but Ruby he established in an apartment on Waverly Place.

"To the outside world Stein became more mysterious in his behaviour than ever. He dropped his Bohemian friends. No more suppers and theatre-parties. Whenever Kitty sang, he was in his box at the Manhattan, usually alone, but not always. Sometimes he took two or three good customers, large buyers from St. Louis or Kansas City. His coat factory is still the biggest earner of his properties. I've seen him there with these buyers, and they carried themselves as if they were being let in on something; took possession of the box with a proprietary air, smiled and applauded and looked wise as if each and every one of them were friends of Kitty Ayrshire. While they buzzed and trained their field-glasses on the prima donna, Stein was impassive and silent. I don't imagine he even told many lies. He is the most insinuating cuss anyhow. He probably dropped his voice or lifted his eyebrows when he invited them, and let their own eager imaginations do the rest. But what tales they took back to their provincial capitals!

"Sometimes, before they left New York, they were lucky enough to see Kitty dining with their clever garment man at some restaurant, her back to the curious crowd, her face half concealed by a veil or a fur collar. Those people are like children; nothing that is true or probable interests them. They want the old, gaudy lies, told always in the same way. Siegmund Stein and Kitty Ayrshire—a story like that, once launched, is repeated unchallenged for years among New York factory sports. In St. Paul, St. Jo, Sioux City, Council Bluffs, there used to be clothing stores where a photograph of Kitty Ayrshire hung in the fitting-room or over the proprietor's desk.

"This girl impersonated you successfully to the lower manufacturing world of New York for two seasons. I doubt if it could have been put across anywhere else in the world except in this city, which pays you so magnificently and believes of you what it likes. Then you went over to the Metropolitan, stopped living in hotels, took this apartment, and began to know people. Stein discontinued his pantomime at the right moment, withdrew his patronage. Ruby, of course, did not go back to shirtwaists. A business friend of Stein's took her over, and she dropped out of sight. Last winter, one cold, snowy night, I saw her once again. She was going into a saloon hotel with a tough-looking young fellow. She had been drinking, she was shabby, and her blue shoes left stains in the slush. But she still looked amazingly, convincingly like a battered, hardened Kitty Ayrshire. As I saw her going up the brass-edged stairs, I said to myself;—"

"Never mind that." Kitty rose quickly, took an impatient step to the hearth, and thrust one shining porcelain slipper out to the fire. "The girl doesn't interest me. There is nothing I can do about her, and of course she never looked like me at all. But what did Stein do without me?"

"Stein? Oh, he chose a new rôle. He married with great magnificence—married a Miss Mandelbaum, a California heiress. Her people have a line of department stores along the Pacific Coast. The Steins now inhabit a great house on Fifth Avenue that used to belong to people of a very different sort. To old New-Yorkers, it's an historic house."

Kitty laughed, and sat down on the end of her couch nearest her guest; sat upright, without cushions.

"I imagine I know more about that house than you do. Let me tell you how I made the sequel to your story.

"It has to do with Peppo Amoretti. You may remember that I brought Peppo to this country, and brought him in, too, the year the war broke out, when it wasn't easy to get boys who hadn't done military service out of Italy. I had taken him to Munich to have some singing lessons. After the war came on we had to get from Munich to Naples in order to sail at all. We were told that we could take only hand luggage on the railways, but I took nine trunks and Peppo. I dressed Peppo in knickerbockers, made him brush his curls down over his ears like doughnuts, and carry a little violin-case. It took us eleven days to reach Naples. I got my trunks through purely by personal persuasion. Once at Naples, I had a frightful time getting Peppo on the boat. I declared him as hand-luggage; he was so travel-worn and so crushed by his absurd appearance that he did not look like much else. One inspector had a sense of humour, and passed him at that, but the other was inflexible. I had to be very dramatic. Peppo was frightened, and there is no fight in him, anyhow.

"'Per me tutto e indifferente, Signorina,' he kept whimpering. 'Why should I go without it? I have lost it.'

"'Which?' I screamed. 'Not the hat-trunk?'

"'No, no; mia voce. It is gone since Ravenna.'

"He thought he had lost his voice somewhere along the way. At last I told the inspector that I couldn't live without Peppo, and that I would throw myself into the bay. I took him into my confidence. Of course, when I found I had to play on that string, I wished I hadn't made the boy such a spectacle. But ridiculous as he was, I managed to make the inspector believe that I had kidnapped him, and that he was indispensable to my happiness. I found that incorruptible official, like most people, willing to aid one so utterly depraved. I could never have got that boy out for any proper, reasonable purpose, such as giving him a job or sending him to school. Well, it's a queer world! But I must cut all that and get to the Steins.

"That first winter Peppo had no chance at the Opera. There was an iron ring about him, and my interest in him only made it all the more difficult. We've become a nest of intrigues down there; worse than the Scala. Peppo had to scratch along just any way. One evening he came to me and said he could get an engagement to sing for the grand rich Steins, but the condition was that I should sing with him. They would pay, oh, anything! And the fact that I had sung a private engagement with him would give him other engagements of the same sort. As you know, I never sing private engagements; but to help the boy along, I consented.

"On the night of the party, Peppo and I went to the house together in a taxi. My car was ailing. At the hour when the music was about to begin, the host and hostess appeared at my dressing-room, up-stairs. Isn't he wonderful? Your description was most inadequate. I never encountered such restrained, frozen, sculptured vanity. My hostess struck me as extremely good natured and jolly, though somewhat intimate in her manner. Her reassuring pats and smiles puzzled me at the time, I remember, when I didn't know that she had anything in particular to be large-minded and charitable about. Her husband made known his willingness to conduct me to the music-room, and we ceremoniously descended a staircase blooming like the hanging-gardens of Babylon. From there I had my first glimpse of the company. They were strange people. The women glittered like Christmas-trees. When we were half-way down the stairs, the buzz of conversation stopped so suddenly that some foolish remark I happened to be making rang out like oratory. Every face was lifted toward us. My host and I completed our descent and went the length of the drawing-room through a silence which somewhat awed me. I couldn't help wishing that one could ever get that kind of attention in a concert-hall. In the music-room Stein insisted upon arranging things for me. I must say that he was neither awkward nor stupid, not so wooden as most rich men who rent singers. I was properly affable. One has, under such circumstances, to be either gracious or pouty. Either you have to stand and sulk, like an old-fashioned German singer who wants the piano moved about for her like a tea-wagon, and the lights turned up and the lights turned down,or you have to be a trifle forced, like a débutante trying to make good. The fixed attention of my audience affected me. I was aware of unusual interest, of a thoroughly enlisted public. When, however, my host at last left me, I felt the tension relax to such an extent that I wondered whether by any chance he, and not I, was the object of so much curiosity. But, at any rate, their cordiality pleased me so well that after Peppo and I had finished our numbers I sang an encore or two, and I stayed through Peppo's performance because I felt that they liked to look at me.

"I had asked not to be presented to people, but Mrs. Stein, of course, brought up a few friends. The throng began closing in upon me, glowing faces bore down from every direction, and I realized that, among people of such unscrupulous cordiality, I must look out for myself. I ran through the drawing-room and fled up the stairway, which was thronged with Old Testament characters. As I passed them, they all looked at me with delighted, cherishing eyes, as if I had at last come back to my native hamlet. At the top of the stairway a young man, who looked like a camel with its hair parted on the side, stopped me, seized my hands and said he must present himself, as he was such an old friend of Siegmund's bachelor days. I said, 'Yes, how interesting!' The atmosphere was somehow so thick and personal that I felt uncomfortable.

"When I reached my dressing-room Mrs. Stein followed me to say that I would, of course, come down to supper, as a special table had been prepared for me. I replied that it was not my custom.

"'But here it is different. With us you must feel perfect freedom. Siegmund will never forgive me if you do not stay. After supper our car will take you home.' She was overpowering. She had the manner of an intimate and indulgent friend of long standing. She seemed to have come to make me a visit. I could only get rid of her by telling her that I must see Peppo at once, if she would be good enough to send him to me. She did not come back, and I began to fear that I would actually be dragged down to supper. It was as if I had been kidnapped. I felt like Gulliver among the giants. These people were all too—well, too much what they were. No chill of manner could hold them off. I was defenceless. I must get away. I ran to the top of the staircase and looked down. There was that fool Peppo, beleaguered by a bevy of fair women. They were simply looting him, and he was grinning like an idiot. I gathered up my train, ran down, and made a dash at him, yanked him out of that circle of rich contours, and dragged him by a limp cuff up the stairs after me. I told him that I must escape from that house at once. If he could get to the telephone, well and good; but if he couldn't get past so many deep-breathing ladies, then he must break out of the front door and hunt me a cab on foot. I felt as if I were about to be immured within a harem.

"He had scarcely dashed off when the host called my name several times outside the door. Then he knocked and walked in, uninvited. I told him that I would be inflexible about supper. He must make my excuses to his charming friends; any pretext he chose. He did not insist. He took up his stand by the fireplace and began to talk; said rather intelligent things. I did not drive him out; it was his own house, and he made himself agreeable. After a time a deputation of his friends came down the hall, somewhat boisterously, to say that supper could not be served until we came down. Stein was still standing by the mantel, I remember. He scattered them, without moving or speaking to them, by a portentous look. There is something hideously forceful about him. He took a very profound leave of me, and said he would order his car at once. In a moment Peppo arrived, splashed to the ankles, and we made our escape together.

"A week later Peppo came to me in a rage, with a paper called The American Gentleman, and showed me a page devoted to three photographs: Mr. and Mrs. Siegmund Stein, lately married in New York City, and Kitty Ayrshire, operatic soprano, who sang at their house-warming. Mrs. Stein and I were grinning our best, looked frantic with delight, and Siegmund frowned inscrutably between us. Poor Peppo wasn't mentioned. Stein has a publicity sense."

Tevis rose.

"And you have enormous publicity value and no discretion. It was just like you to fall for such a plot, Kitty. You'd be sure to."

"What's the use of discretion?" She murmured behind her hand. "If the Steins want to adopt you into their family circle, they'll get you in the end. That's why I don't feel compassionate about your Ruby. She and I are in the same boat. We are both the victims of circumstance, and in New York so many of the circumstances are Steins."



Paul's Case

IT was Paul's afternoon to appear before the faculty of the Pittsburgh High School to account for his various misdemeanours. He had been suspended a week ago, and his father had called at the Principal's office and confessed his perplexity about his son. Paul entered the faculty room suave and smiling. His clothes were a trifle out-grown, and the tan velvet on the collar of his open overcoat was frayed and worn; but for all that there was something of the dandy about him, and he wore an opal pin in his neatly knotted black four-in-hand, and a red carnation in his button-hole. This latter adornment the faculty somehow felt was not properly significant of the contrite spirit befitting a boy under the ban of suspension.

Paul was tall for his age and very thin, with high, cramped shoulders and a narrow chest. His eyes were remarkable for a certain hysterical brilliancy, and he continually used them in a conscious, theatrical sort of way, peculiarly offensive in a boy. The pupils were abnormally large, as though he were addicted to belladonna, but there was a glassy glitter about them which that drug does not produce.

When questioned by the Principal as to why he was there, Paul stated, politely enough, that he wanted to come back to school. This was a lie, but Paul was quite accustomed to lying; found it, indeed, indispensable for overcoming friction. His teachers were asked to state their respective charges against him, which they did with such a rancour and aggrievedness as evinced that this was not a usual case. Disorder and impertinence were among the offences named, yet each of his instructors felt that it was scarcely possible to put into words the real cause of the trouble, which lay in a sort of hysterically defiant manner of the boy's; in the contempt which they all knew he felt for them, and which he seemingly made not the least effort to conceal. Once, when he had been making a synopsis of a paragraph at the blackboard, his English teacher had stepped to his side and attempted to guide his hand. Paul had started back with a shudder and thrust his hands violently behind him. The astonished woman could scarcely have been more hurt and embarrassed had he struck at her. The insult was so involuntary and definitely personal as to be unforgettable. In one way and another, he had made all his teachers, men and women alike, conscious of the same feeling of physical aversion. In one class he habitually sat with his hand shading his eyes; in another he always looked out of the window during the recitation; in another he made a running commentary on the lecture, with humorous intent.

His teachers felt this afternoon that his whole attitude was symbolized by his shrug and his flippantly red carnation flower, and they fell upon him without mercy, his English teacher leading the pack. He stood through it smiling, his pale lips parted over his white teeth. (His lips were continually twitching, and he had a habit of raising his eyebrows that was contemptuous and irritating to the last degree.) Older boys than Paul had broken down and shed tears under that ordeal, but his set smile did not once desert him, and his only sign of discomfort was the nervous trembling of the fingers that toyed with the buttons of his overcoat, and an occasional jerking of the other hand which held his hat. Paul was always smiling, always glancing about him, seeming to feel that people might be watching him and trying to detect something. This conscious expression, since it was as far as possible from boyish mirthfulness, was usually attributed to insolence or "smartness."

As the inquisition proceeded, one of his instructors repeated an impertinent remark of the boy's, and the Principal asked him whether he thought that a courteous speech to make to a woman. Paul shrugged his shoulders slightly and his eyebrows twitched.

"I don't know," he replied. "I didn't mean to be polite or impolite, either. I guess it's a sort of way I have, of saying things regardless."

The Principal asked him whether he didn't think that a way it would be well to get rid of. Paul grinned and said he guessed so. When he was told that he could go, he bowed gracefully and went out. His bow was like a repetition of the scandalous red carnation.

His teachers were in despair, and his drawing master voiced the feeling of them all when he declared there was something about the boy which none of them understood. He added: "I don't really believe that smile of his comes altogether from insolence; there's something sort of haunted about it. The boy is not strong, for one thing. There is something wrong about the fellow."

The drawing master had come to realize that, in looking at Paul, one saw only his white teeth and the forced animation of his eyes. One warm afternoon the boy had gone to sleep at his drawing-board, and his master had noted with amazement what a white, blue-veined face it was; drawn and wrinkled like an old man's about the eyes, the lips twitching even in his sleep.

His teachers left the building dissatisfied and unhappy; humiliated to have felt so vindictive toward a mere boy, to have uttered this feeling in cutting terms, and to have set each other on, as it were, in the grewsome game of intemperate reproach. One of them remembered having seen a miserable street cat set at bay by a ring of tormentors.

As for Paul, he ran down the hill whistling the "Soldier's Chorus" from Faust, looking wildly behind him now and then to see whether some of his teachers were not there to witness his light-heartedness. As it was now late in the afternoon and Paul was on duty that evening as usher at Carnegie Hall, he decided that he would not go home to supper.

When he reached the concert hall the doors were not yet open. It was chilly outside, and he decided to go up into the picture gallery—always deserted at this hour—where there were some of Raffaëlli's gay studies of Paris streets and an airy blue Venetian scene or two that always exhilarated him. He was delighted to find no one in the gallery but the old guard, who sat in the corner, a newspaper on his knee, a black patch over one eye and the other closed. Paul possessed himself of the place and walked confidently up and down, whistling under his breath. After a while he sat down before a blue Rico and lost himself. When he bethought him to look at his watch, it was after seven o'clock, and he rose with a start and ran downstairs, making a face at Augustus Cæsar, peering out from the cast-room, and an evil gesture at the Venus of Milo as he passed her on the stairway.

When Paul reached the ushers' dressing-room half-a-dozen boys were there already, and he began excitedly to tumble into his uniform. It was one of the few that at all approached fitting, and Paul thought it very becoming—though he knew the tight, straight coat accentuated his narrow chest, about which he was exceedingly sensitive. He was always excited while he dressed, twanging all over to the tuning of the strings and the preliminary flourishes of the horns in the music-room; but tonight he seemed quite beside himself, and he teased and plagued the boys until, telling him that he was crazy, they put him down on the floor and sat on him.

Somewhat calmed by his suppression, Paul dashed out to the front of the house to seat the early comers. He was a model usher. Gracious and smiling he ran up and down the aisles. Nothing was too much trouble for him; he carried messages and brought programs as though it were his greatest pleasure in life, and all the people in his section thought him a charming boy, feeling that he remembered and admired them. As the house filled, he grew more and more vivacious and animated, and the colour came to his cheeks and lips. It was very much as though this were a great reception and Paul were the host. Just as the musicians came out to take their places, his English teacher arrived with checks for the seats which a prominent manufacturer had taken for the season. She betrayed some embarrassment when she handed Paul the tickets, and a hauteur which subsequently made her feel very foolish. Paul was startled for a moment, and had the feeling of wanting to put her out; what business had she here among all these fine people and gay colours? He looked her over and decided that she was not appropriately dressed and must be a fool to sit downstairs in such togs. The tickets had probably been sent her out of kindness, he reflected, as he put down a seat for her, and she had about as much right to sit there as he had.

When the symphony began Paul sank into one of the rear seats with a long sigh of relief, and lost himself as he had done before the Rico. It was not that symphonies, as such, meant anything in particular to Paul, but the first sigh of the instruments seemed to free some hilarious spirit within him; something that struggled there like the Genius in the bottle found by the Arab fisherman. He felt a sudden zest of life; the lights danced before his eyes and the concert hall blazed into unimaginable splendour. When the soprano soloist came on, Paul forgot even the nastiness of his teacher's being there, and gave himself up to the peculiar intoxication such personages always had for him. The soloist chanced to be a German woman, by no means in her first youth, and the mother of many children; but she wore a satin gown and a tiara, and she had that indefinable air of achievement, that world-shine upon her, which always blinded Paul to any possible defects.

After a concert was over, Paul was often irritable and wretched until he got to sleep,and tonight he was even more than usually restless. He had the feeling of not being able to let down; of its being impossible to give up this delicious excitement which was the only thing that could be called living at all. During the last number he withdrew and, after hastily changing his clothes in the dressing-room, slipped out to the side door where the singer's carriage stood. Here he began pacing rapidly up and down the walk, waiting to see her come out.

Over yonder the Schenley, in its vacant stretch, loomed big and square through the fine rain, the windows of its twelve stories glowing like those of a lighted card-board house under a Christmas tree. All the actors and singers of any importance stayed there when they were in the city, and a number of the big manufacturers of the place lived there in the winter. Paul had often hung about the hotel, watching the people go in and out, longing to enter and leave school-masters and dull care behind him for ever.

At last the singer came out, accompanied by the conductor, who helped her into her carriage and closed the door with a cordial auf wiedersehen, —which set Paul to wondering whether she were not an old sweetheart of his. Paul followed the carriage over to the hotel, walking so rapidly as not to be far from the entrance when the singer alighted and disappeared behind the swinging glass doors which were opened by a negro in a tall hat and a long coat. In the moment that the door was ajar, it seemed to Paul that he, too, entered. He seemed to feel himself go after her up the steps, into the warm, lighted building, into an exotic, a tropical world of shiny, glistening surfaces and basking ease. He reflected upon the mysterious dishes that were brought into the dining-room, the green bottles in buckets of ice, as he had seen them in the supper-party pictures of the Sunday supplement. A quick gust of wind brought the rain down with sudden vehemence, and Paul was startled to find that he was still outside in the slush of the gravel driveway; that his boots were letting in the water and his scanty overcoat was clinging wet about him; that the lights in front of the concert hall were out, and that the rain was driving in sheets between him and the orange glow of the windows above him. There it was, what he wanted—tangibly before him, like the fairy world of a Christmas pantomime; as the rain beat in his face, Paul wondered whether he were destined always to shiver in the black night outside, looking up at it.

He turned and walked reluctantly toward the car tracks. The end had to come sometime; his father in his night-clothes at the top of the stairs, explanations that did not explain, hastily improvised fictions that were forever tripping him up, his upstairs room and its horrible yellow wallpaper, the creaking bureau with the greasy plush collar-box, and over his painted wooden bed the pictures of George Washington and John Calvin, and the framed motto, "Feed my Lambs," which had been worked in red worsted by his mother, whom Paul could not remember.

Half an hour later, Paul alighted from the Negley Avenue car and went slowly down one of the side streets off the main thoroughfare. It was a highly respectable street, where all the houses were exactly alike, and where business men of moderate means begot and reared large families of children, all of whom went to Sabbath-school and learned the shorter catechism, and were interested in arithmetic; all of whom were as exactly alike as their homes, and of a piece with the monotony in which they lived. Paul never went up Cordelia Street without a shudder of loathing. His home was next the house of the Cumberland minister. He approached it tonight with the nerveless sense of defeat, the hopeless feeling of sinking back forever into ugliness and commonness that he had always had when he came home. The moment he turned into Cordelia Street he felt the waters close above his head. After each of these orgies of living, he experienced all the physical depression which follows a debauch; the loathing of respectable beds, of common food, of a house permeated by kitchen odours; a shuddering repulsion for the flavourless, colourless mass of every-day existence; a morbid desire for cool things and soft lights and fresh flowers.

The nearer he approached the house, the more absolutely unequal Paul felt to the sight of it all; his ugly sleeping chamber; the cold bath-room with the grimy zinc tub, the cracked mirror, the dripping spigots; his father, at the top of the stairs, his hairy legs sticking out from his nightshirt, his feet thrust into carpet slippers. He was so much later than usual that there would certainly be inquiries and reproaches. Paul stopped short before the door. He felt that he could not be accosted by his father tonight; that he could not toss again on that miserable bed. He would not go in. He would tell his father that he had no car fare, and it was raining so hard he had gone home with one of the boys and stayed all night.

Meanwhile, he was wet and cold. He went around to the back of the house and tried one of the basement windows, found it open, raised it cautiously, and scrambled down the cellar wall to the floor. There he stood, holding his breath, terrified by the noise he had made; but the floor above him was silent, and there was no creak on the stairs. He found a soap-box, and carried it over to the soft ring of light that streamed from the furnace door, and sat down. He was horribly afraid of rats, so he did not try to sleep, but sat looking distrustfully at the dark, still terrified lest he might have awakened his father. In such reactions, after one of the experiences which made days and nights out of the dreary blanks of the calendar, when his senses were deadened, Paul's head was always singularly clear. Suppose his father had heard him getting in at the window and had come down and shot him for a burglar? Then, again, suppose his father had come down, pistol in hand, and he had cried out in time to save himself, and his father had been horrified to think how nearly he had killed him? Then, again, suppose a day should come when his father would remember that night, and wish there had been no warning cry to stay his hand? With this last supposition Paul entertained himself until daybreak.

The following Sunday was fine; the sodden November chill was broken by the last flash of autumnal summer. In the morning Paul had to go to church and Sabbath-school as always. On seasonable Sunday afternoons the burghers of Cordelia Street usually sat out on their front "stoops," and talked to their neighbours on the next stoop, or called to those across the street in neighbourly fashion. The men sat placidly on gay cushions placed upon the steps that led down to the sidewalk, while the women, in their Sunday "waists," sat in rockers on the cramped porches, pretending to be greatly at their ease. The children played in the streets; there were so many of them that the place resembled the recreation grounds of a kindergarten. The men on the steps—all in their shirt-sleeves, their vests unbuttoned—sat with their legs well apart, their stomachs comfortably protruding, and talked of the prices of things, or told anecdotes of the sagacity of their various chiefs and overlords. They occasionally looked over the multitude of squabbling children, listened affectionately to their high-pitched, nasal voices, smiling to see their own proclivities reproduced in their offspring, and interspersed their legends of the iron kings with remarks about their sons' progress at school, their grades in arithmetic, and the amounts they had saved in their toy banks.

On this last Sunday of November, Paul sat all the afternoon on the lowest step of his "stoop," staring into the street, while his sisters, in their rockers, were talking to the minister's daughters next door about how many shirt-waists they had made in the last week, and how many waffles some one had eaten at the last church supper. When the weather was warm, and his father was in a particularly jovial frame of mind, the girls made lemonade, which was always brought out in a redglass pitcher, ornamented with forget-me-nots in blue enamel. This the girls thought very fine, and the neighbours joked about the suspicious colour of the pitcher.

Today Paul's father, on the top step, was talking to a young man who shifted a restless baby from knee to knee. He happened to be the young man who was daily held up to Paul as a model, and after whom it was his father's dearest hope that he would pattern. This young man was of a ruddy complexion, with a compressed, red mouth, and faded, near-sighted eyes, over which he wore thick spectacles, with gold bows that curved about his ears. He was clerk to one of the magnates of a great steel corporation, and was looked upon in Cordelia Street as a young man with a future. There was a story that, some five years ago—he was now barely twentysix—he had been a trifle 'dissipated,' but in order to curb his appetites and save the loss of time and strength that a sowing of wild oats might have entailed, he had taken his chief 's advice, oft reiterated to his employés, and at twenty-one had married the first woman whom he could persuade to share his fortunes. She happened to be an angular school-mistress, much older than he, who also wore thick glasses, and who had now borne him four children, all near-sighted, like herself.

The young man was relating how his chief, now cruising in the Mediterranean, kept in touch with all the details of the business, arranging his office hours on his yacht just as though he were at home, and "knocking off work enough to keep two stenographers busy." His father told, in turn, the plan his corporation was considering, of putting in an electric railway plant at Cairo. Paul snapped his teeth; he had an awful apprehension that they might spoil it all before he got there. Yet he rather liked to hear these legends of the iron kings, that were told and retold on Sundays and holidays; these stories of palaces in Venice, yachts on the Mediterranean, and high play at Monte Carlo appealed to his fancy, and he was interested in the triumphs of cash boys who had become famous, though he had no mind for the cash-boy stage.

After supper was over, and he had helped to dry the dishes, Paul nervously asked his father whether he could go to George's to get some help in his geometry, and still more nervously asked for car-fare. This latter request he had to repeat, as his father, on principle, did not like to hear requests for money, whether much or little. He asked Paul whether he could not go to some boy who lived nearer, and told him that he ought not to leave his school work until Sunday; but he gave him the dime. He was not a poor man, but he had a worthy ambition to come up in the world. His only reason for allowing Paul to usher was that he thought a boy ought to be earning a little.

Paul bounded upstairs, scrubbed the greasy odour of the dish-water from his hands with the ill-smelling soap he hated, and then shook over his fingers a few drops of violet water from the bottle he kept hidden in his drawer. He left the house with his geometry conspicuously under his arm, and the moment he got out of Cordelia Street and boarded a downtown car, he shook off the lethargy of two deadening days, and began to live again.

The leading juvenile of the permanent stock company which played at one of the downtown theatres was an acquaintance of Paul's, and the boy had been invited to drop in at the Sunday-night rehearsals whenever he could. For more than a year Paul had spent every available moment loitering about Charley Edwards's dressing-room. He had won a place among Edwards's following not only because the young actor, who could not afford to employ a dresser, often found him useful, but because he recognized in Paul something akin to what churchmen term "vocation."

It was at the theatre and at Carnegie Hall that Paul really lived; the rest was but a sleep and a forgetting. This was Paul's fairy tale, and it had for him all the allurement of a secret love. The moment he inhaled the gassy, painty, dusty odour behind the scenes, he breathed like a prisoner set free, and felt within him the possibility of doing or saying splendid, brilliant things. The moment the cracked orchestra beat out the overture from Martha, or jerked at the serenade from Rigoletto, all stupid and ugly things slid from him, and his senses were deliciously, yet delicately fired.

Perhaps it was because, in Paul's world, the natural nearly always wore the guise of ugliness, that a certain element of artificiality seemed to him necessary in beauty. Perhaps it was because his experience of life elsewhere was so full of Sabbath-school picnics, petty economies, wholesome advice as to how to succeed in life, and the unescapable odours of cooking, that he found this existence so alluring, these smartly-clad men and women so attractive, that he was so moved by these starry apple orchards that bloomed perennially under the lime-light.

It would be difficult to put it strongly enough how convincingly the stage entrance of that theatre was for Paul the actual portal of Romance. Certainly none of the company ever suspected it, least of all Charley Edwards. It was very like the old stories that used to float about London of fabulously rich Jews, who had subterranean halls, with palms, and fountains, and soft lamps and richly apparelled women who never saw the disenchanting light of London day. So, in the midst of that smoke-palled city, enamoured of figures and grimy toil, Paul had his secret temple, his wishing-carpet, his bit of blue-and-white Mediterranean shore bathed in perpetual sunshine.

Several of Paul's teachers had a theory that his imagination had been perverted by garish fiction; but the truth was, he scarcely ever read at all. The books at home were not such as would either tempt or corrupt a youthful mind, and as for reading the novels that some of his friends urged upon him—well, he got what he wanted much more quickly from music; any sort of music, from an orchestra to a barrel organ. He needed only the spark, the indescribable thrill that made his imagination master of his senses, and he could make plots and pictures enough of his own. It was equally true that he was not stage-struck—not, at any rate, in the usual acceptation of that expression. He had no desire to become an actor, any more than he had to become a musician. He felt no necessity to do any of these things; what he wanted was to see, to be in the atmosphere, float on the wave of it, to be carried out, blue league after blue league, away from everything.

After a night behind the scenes, Paul found the school-room more than ever repulsive; the bare floors and naked walls; the prosy men who never wore frock coats, or violets in their buttonholes; the women with their dull gowns, shrill voices, and pitiful seriousness about prepositions that govern the dative. He could not bear to have the other pupils think, for a moment, that he took these people seriously; he must convey to them that he considered it all trivial, and was there only by way of a joke, anyway. He had autograph pictures of all the members of the stock company which he showed his classmates, telling them the most incredible stories of his familiarity with these people, of his acquaintance with the soloists who came to Carnegie Hall, his suppers with them and the flowers he sent them. When these stories lost their effect, and his audience grew listless, he would bid all the boys good-bye, announcing that he was going to travel for a while; going to Naples, to California, to Egypt. Then, next Monday, he would slip back, conscious and nervously smiling; his sister was ill, and he would have to defer his voyage until spring.

Matters went steadily worse with Paul at school. In the itch to let his instructors know how heartily he despised them, and how thoroughly he was appreciated elsewhere, he mentioned once or twice that he had no time to fool with theorems; adding—with a twitch of the eyebrows and a touch of that nervous bravado which so perplexed them—that he was helping the people down at the stock company; they were old friends of his.

The upshot of the matter was, that the Principal went to Paul's father, and Paul was taken out of school and put to work. The manager at Carnegie Hall was told to get another usher in his stead; the doorkeeper at the theatre was warned not to admit him to the house; and Charley Edwards remorsefully promised the boy's father not to see him again.

The members of the stock company were vastly amused when some of Paul's stories reached them—especially the women. They were hard-working women, most of them supporting indolent husbands or brothers, and they laughed rather bitterly at having stirred the boy to such fervid and florid inventions. They agreed with the faculty and with his father, that Paul's was a bad case.


The east-bound train was ploughing through a January snow-storm; the dull dawn was beginning to show grey when the engine whistled a mile out of Newark. Paul started up from the seat where he had lain curled in uneasy slumber, rubbed the breath-misted window glass with his hand, and peered out. The snow was whirling in curling eddies above the white bottom lands, and the drifts lay already deep in the fields and along the fences, while here and there the long dead grass and dried weed stalks protruded black above it. Lights shone from the scattered houses, and a gang of labourers who stood beside the track waved their lanterns.

Paul had slept very little, and he felt grimy and uncomfortable. He had made the all-night journey in a day coach because he was afraid if he took a Pullman he might be seen by some Pittsburgh business man who had noticed him in Denny & Carson's office. When the whistle woke him, he clutched quickly at his breast pocket, glancing about him with an uncertain smile. But the little, clay-bespattered Italians were still sleeping, the slatternly women across the aisle were in open-mouthed oblivion, and even the crumby, crying babies were for the nonce stilled. Paul settled back to struggle with his impatience as best he could.

When he arrived at the Jersey City station, he hurried through his breakfast, manifestly ill at ease and keeping a sharp eye about him. After he reached the Twenty-third Street station, he consulted a cabman, and had himself driven to a men's furnishing establishment which was just opening for the day. He spent upward of two hours there, buying with endless reconsidering and great care. His new street suit he put on in the fitting-room; the frock coat and dress clothes he had bundled into the cab with his new shirts. Then he drove to a hatter's and a shoe house. His next errand was at Tiffany's, where he selected silver-mounted brushes and a scarf-pin. He would not wait to have his silver marked, he said. Lastly, he stopped at a trunk shop on Broadway, and had his purchases packed into various travelling bags.

It was a little after one o'clock when he drove up to the Waldorf, and, after settling with the cabman, went into the office. He registered from Washington; said his mother and father had been abroad, and that he had come down to await the arrival of their steamer. He told his story plausibly and had no trouble, since he offered to pay for them in advance, in engaging his rooms; a sleeping-room, sitting-room and bath.

Not once, but a hundred times Paul had planned this entry into New York. He had gone over every detail of it with Charley Edwards, and in his scrap book at home there were pages of description about New York hotels, cut from the Sunday papers.

When he was shown to his sitting-room on the eighth floor, he saw at a glance that everything was as it should be; there was but one detail in his mental picture that the place did not realize, so he rang for the bell boy and sent him down for flowers. He moved about nervously until the boy returned, putting away his new linen and fingering it delightedly as he did so. When the flowers came, he put them hastily into water, and then tumbled into a hot bath. Presently he came out of his white bath-room, resplendent in his new silk underwear, and playing with the tassels of his red robe. The snow was whirling so fiercely outside his windows that he could scarcely see across the street; but within, the air was deliciously soft and fragrant. He put the violets and jonquils on the tabouret beside the couch, and threw himself down with a long sigh, covering himself with a Roman blanket. He was thoroughly tired; he had been in such haste, he had stood up to such a strain, covered so much ground in the last twenty-four hours, that he wanted to think how it had all come about. Lulled by the sound of the wind, the warm air, and the cool fragrance of the flowers, he sank into deep, drowsy retrospection.

It had been wonderfully simple; when they had shut him out of the theatre and concert hall, when they had taken away his bone, the whole thing was virtually determined. The rest was a mere matter of opportunity. The only thing that at all surprised him was his own courage—for he realized well enough that he had always been tormented by fear, a sort of apprehensive dread that, of late years, as the meshes of the lies he had told closed about him, had been pulling the muscles of his body tighter and tighter. Until now, he could not remember a time when he had not been dreading something. Even when he was a little boy, it was always there—behind him, or before, or on either side. There had always been the shadowed corner, the dark place into which he dared not look, but from which something seemed always to be watching him—and Paul had done things that were not pretty to watch, he knew.

But now he had a curious sense of relief, as though he had at last thrown down the gauntlet to the thing in the corner.

Yet it was but a day since he had been sulking in the traces; but yesterday afternoon that he had been sent to the bank with Denny & Carson's deposit, as usual—but this time he was instructed to leave the book to be balanced. There was above two thousand dollars in checks, and nearly a thousand in the bank notes which he had taken from the book and quietly transferred to his pocket. At the bank he had made out a new deposit slip. His nerves had been steady enough to permit of his returning to the office, where he had finished his work and asked for a full day's holiday tomorrow, Saturday, giving a perfectly reasonable pretext. The bank book, he knew, would not be returned before Monday or Tuesday, and his father would be out of town for the next week. From the time he slipped the bank notes into his pocket until he boarded the night train for New York, he had not known a moment's hesitation.

How astonishingly easy it had all been; here he was, the thing done; and this time there would be no awakening, no figure at the top of the stairs. He watched the snow flakes whirling by his window until he fell asleep.

When he awoke, it was four o'clock in the afternoon. He bounded up with a start; one of his precious days gone already! He spent nearly an hour in dressing, watching every stage of his toilet carefully in the mirror. Everything was quite perfect; he was exactly the kind of boy he had always wanted to be.

When he went downstairs, Paul took a carriage and drove up Fifth Avenue toward the Park. The snow had somewhat abated; carriages and tradesmen's wagons were hurrying soundlessly to and fro in the winter twilight; boys in woollen mufflers were shovelling off the doorsteps; the Avenue stages made fine spots of colour against the white street. Here and there on the corners whole flower gardens blooming behind glass windows, against which the snow flakes stuck and melted; violets, roses, carnations, lilies of the valley—somehow vastly more lovely and alluring that they blossomed thus unnaturally in the snow. The Park itself was a wonderful stage winter-piece.

When he returned, the pause of the twilight had ceased, and the tune of the streets had changed. The snow was falling faster, lights streamed from the hotels that reared their many stories fearlessly up into the storm, defying the raging Atlantic winds. A long, black stream of carriages poured down the Avenue, intersected here and there by other streams, tending horizontally. There were a score of cabs about the entrance of his hotel, and his driver had to wait. Boys in livery were running in and out of the awning stretched across the sidewalk, up and down the red velvet carpet laid from the door to the street. Above, about, within it all, was the rumble and roar, the hurry and toss of thousands of human beings as hot for pleasure as himself, and on every side of him towered the glaring affirmation of the omnipotence of wealth.

The boy set his teeth and drew his shoulders together in a spasm of realization; the plot of all dramas, the text of all romances, the nerve-stuff of all sensations was whirling about him like the snow flakes. He burnt like a faggot in a tempest.

When Paul came down to dinner, the music of the orchestra floated up the elevator shaft to greet him. As he stepped into the thronged corridor, he sank back into one of the chairs against the wall to get his breath. The lights, the chatter, the perfumes, the bewildering medley of colour—he had, for a moment, the feeling of not being able to stand it. But only for a moment; these were his own people, he told himself. He went slowly about the corridors, through the writing-rooms, smoking-rooms, reception-rooms, as though he were exploring the chambers of an enchanted palace, built and peopled for him alone.

When he reached the dining-room he sat down at a table near a window. The flowers, the white linen, the many-coloured wine glasses, the gay toilettes of the women, the low popping of corks, the undulating repetitions of the "Blue Danube" from the orchestra, all flooded Paul's dream with bewildering radiance. When the roseate tinge of his champagne was added—that cold, precious, bubbling stuff that creamed and foamed in his glass—Paul wondered that there were honest men in the world at all. This was what all the world was fighting for, he reflected; this was what all the struggle was about. He doubted the reality of his past. Had he ever known a place called Cordelia Street, a place where fagged looking business men boarded the early car? Mere rivets in a machine they seemed to Paul,—sickening men, with combings of children's hair always hanging to their coats, and the smell of cooking in their clothes. Cordelia Street—Ah, that belonged to another time and country! Had he not always been thus, had he not sat here night after night, from as far back as he could remember, looking pensively over just such shimmering textures, and slowly twirling the stem of a glass like this one between his thumb and middle finger? He rather thought he had.

He was not in the least abashed or lonely. He had no especial desire to meet or to know any of these people; all he demanded was the right to look on and conjecture, to watch the pageant. The mere stage properties were all he contended for. Nor was he lonely later in the evening, in his loge at the Opera. He was entirely rid of his nervous misgivings, of his forced aggressiveness, of the imperative desire to show himself different from his surroundings. He felt now that his surroundings explained him. Nobody questioned the purple; he had only to wear it passively. He had only to glance down at his dress coat to reassure himself that here it would be impossible for anyone to humiliate him.

He found it hard to leave his beautiful sitting-room to go to bed that night, and sat long watching the raging storm from his turret window. When he went to sleep, it was with the lights turned on in his bedroom; partly because of his old timidity, and partly so that, if he should wake in the night, there would be no wretched moment of doubt, no horrible suspicion of yellow wallpaper, or of Washington and Calvin above his bed.

On Sunday morning the city was practically snowbound. Paul breakfasted late, and in the afternoon he fell in with a wild San Francisco boy, a freshman at Yale, who said he had run down for a "little flyer" over Sunday. The young man offered to show Paul the night side of the town, and the two boys went off together after dinner, not returning to the hotel until seven o'clock the next morning. They had started out in the confiding warmth of a champagne friendship, but their parting in the elevator was singularly cool. The freshman pulled himself together to make his train, and Paul went to bed. He awoke at two o'clock in the afternoon, very thirsty and dizzy, and rang for ice-water, coffee, and the Pittsburgh papers.

On the part of the hotel management, Paul excited no suspicion. There was this to be said for him, that he wore his spoils with dignity and in no way made himself conspicuous. His chief greediness lay in his ears and eyes, and his excesses were not offensive ones. His dearest pleasures were the grey winter twilights in his sitting-room; his quiet enjoyment of his flowers, his clothes, his wide divan, his cigarette and his sense of power. He could not remember a time when he had felt so at peace with himself. The mere release from the necessity of petty lying, lying every day and every day, restored his self-respect. He had never lied for pleasure, even at school; but to make himself noticed and admired, to assert his difference from other Cordelia Street boys; and he felt a good deal more manly, more honest, even, now that he had no need for boastful pretensions, now that he could, as his actor friends used to say, "dress the part." It was characteristic that remorse did not occur to him. His golden days went by without a shadow, and he made each as perfect as he could.

On the eighth day after his arrival in New York, he found the whole affair exploited in the Pittsburgh papers, exploited with a wealth of detail which indicated that local news of a sensational nature was at a low ebb. The firm of Denny & Carson announced that the boy's father had refunded the full amount of his theft, and that they had no intention of prosecuting. The Cumberland minister had been interviewed, and expressed his hope of yet reclaiming the motherless lad, and Paul's Sabbathschool teacher declared that she would spare no effort to that end. The rumour had reached Pittsburgh that the boy had been seen in a New York hotel, and his father had gone East to find him and bring him home.

Paul had just come in to dress for dinner; he sank into a chair, weak in the knees, and clasped his head in his hands. It was to be worse than jail, even; the tepid waters of Cordelia Street were to close over him finally and forever. The grey monotony stretched before him in hopeless, unrelieved years; Sabbath-school, Young People's Meeting, the yellow-papered room, the damp dish-towels; it all rushed back upon him with sickening vividness. He had the old feeling that the orchestra had suddenly stopped, the sinking sensation that the play was over. The sweat broke out on his face, and he sprang to his feet, looked about him with his white, conscious smile, and winked at himself in the mirror. With something of the childish belief in miracles with which he had so often gone to class, all his lessons unlearned, Paul dressed and dashed whistling down the corridor to the elevator.

He had no sooner entered the dining-room and caught the measure of the music, than his remembrance was lightened by his old elastic power of claiming the moment, mounting with it, and finding it all-sufficient. The glare and glitter about him, the mere scenic accessories had again, and for the last time, their old potency. He would show himself that he was game, he would finish the thing splendidly. He doubted, more than ever, the existence of Cordelia Street, and for the first time he drank his wine recklessly. Was he not, after all, one of these fortunate beings? Was he not still himself, and in his own place? He drummed a nervous accompaniment to the music and looked about him, telling himself over and over that it had paid.

He reflected drowsily, to the swell of the violin and the chill sweetness of his wine, that he might have done it more wisely. He might have caught an outbound steamer and been well out of their clutches before now. But the other side of the world had seemed too far away and too uncertain then; he could not have waited for it; his need had been too sharp. If he had to choose over again, he would do the same thing tomorrow. He looked affectionately about the dining-room, now gilded with a soft mist. Ah, it had paid indeed!

Paul was awakened next morning by a painful throbbing in his head and feet. He had thrown himself across the bed without undressing, and had slept with his shoes on. His limbs and hands were lead heavy, and his tongue and throat were parched. There came upon him one of those fateful attacks of clear-headedness that never occurred except when he was physically exhausted and his nerves hung loose. He lay still and closed his eyes and let the tide of realities wash over him.

His father was in New York; "stopping at some joint or other," he told himself. The memory of successive summers on the front stoop fell upon him like a weight of black water. He had not a hundred dollars left; and he knew now, more than ever, that money was everything, the wall that stood between all he loathed and all he wanted. The thing was winding itself up; he had thought of that on his first glorious day in New York, and had even provided a way to snap the thread. It lay on his dressing-table now; he had got it out last night when he came blindly up from dinner,but the shiny metal hurt his eyes, and he disliked the look of it, anyway.

He rose and moved about with a painful effort, succumbing now and again to attacks of nausea. It was the old depression exaggerated; all the world had become Cordelia Street. Yet somehow he was not afraid of anything, was absolutely calm; perhaps because he had looked into the dark corner at last, and knew. It was bad enough, what he saw there; but somehow not so bad as his long fear of it had been. He saw everything clearly now. He had a feeling that he had made the best of it, that he had lived the sort of life he was meant to live, and for half an hour he sat staring at the revolver. But he told himself that was not the way, so he went downstairs and took a cab to the ferry.

When Paul arrived at Newark, he got off the train and took another cab, directing the driver to follow the Pennsylvania tracks out of the town. The snow lay heavy on the roadways and had drifted deep in the open fields. Only here and there the dead grass or dried weed stalks projected, singularly black, above it. Once well into the country, Paul dismissed the carriage and walked, floundering along the tracks, his mind a medley of irrelevant things. He seemed to hold in his brain an actual picture of everything he had seen that morning. He remembered every feature of both his drivers, the toothless old woman from whom he had bought the red flowers in his coat, the agent from whom he had got his ticket, and all of his fellow-passengers on the ferry. His mind, unable to cope with vital matters near at hand, worked feverishly and deftly at sorting and grouping these images. They made for him a part of the ugliness of the world, of the ache in his head, and the bitter burning on his tongue. He stooped and put a handful of snow into his mouth as he walked, but that, too, seemed hot. When he reached a little hillside, where the tracks ran through a cut some twenty feet below him, he stopped and sat down.

The carnations in his coat were drooping with the cold, he noticed; all their red glory over. It occurred to him that all the flowers he had seen in the show windows that first night must have gone the same way, long before this. It was only one splendid breath they had, in spite of their brave mockery at the winter outside the glass. It was a losing game in the end, it seemed, this revolt against the homilies by which the world is run. Paul took one of the blossoms carefully from his coat and scooped a little hole in the snow, where he covered it up. Then he dozed a while, from his weak condition, seeming insensible to the cold.

The sound of an approaching train woke him, and he started to his feet, remembering only his resolution, and afraid lest he should be too late. He stood watching the approaching locomotive, his teeth chattering, his lips drawn away from them in a frightened smile; once or twice he glanced nervously sidewise, as though he were being watched. When the right moment came, he jumped. As he fell, the folly of his haste occurred to him with merciless clearness, the vastness of what he had left undone. There flashed through his brain, clearer than ever before, the blue of Adriatic water, the yellow of Algerian sands.

He felt something strike his chest,his body was being thrown swiftly through the air, on and on, immeasurably far and fast, while his limbs gently relaxed. Then, because the picture-making mechanism was crushed, the disturbing visions flashed into black, and Paul dropped back into the immense design of things.



A Wagner Matinée

I RECEIVED one morning a letter, written in pale ink on glassy, blue-lined note-paper, and bearing the postmark of a little Nebraska village. This communication, worn and rubbed, looking as if it had been carried for some days in a coat pocket that was none too clean, was from my uncle Howard, and informed me that his wife had been left a small legacy by a bachelor relative, and that it would be necessary for her to go to Boston to attend to the settling of the estate. He requested me to meet her at the station and render her whatever services might be necessary. On examining the date indicated as that of her arrival, I found it to be no later than tomorrow. He had characteristically delayed writing until, had I been away from home for a day, I must have missed my aunt altogether.

The name of my Aunt Georgiana opened before me a gulf of recollection so wide and deep that, as the letter dropped from my hand, I felt suddenly a stranger to all the present conditions of my existence, wholly ill at ease and out of place amid the familiar surroundings of my study. I became, in short, the gangling farmer-boy my aunt had known, scourged with chilblains and bashfulness, my hands cracked and sore from the cornhusking. I sat again before her parlour organ, fumbling the scales with my stiff, red fingers, while she, beside me, made canvas mittens for the huskers.

The next morning, after preparing my landlady for a visitor, I set out for the station. When the train arrived I had some difficulty in finding my aunt. She was the last of the passengers to alight, and it was not until I got her into the carriage that she seemed really to recognize me. She had come all the way in a day coach; her linen duster had become black with soot and her black bonnet grey with dust during the journey. When we arrived at my boarding-house the landlady put her to bed at once and I did not see her again until the next morning.

Whatever shock Mrs. Springer experienced at my aunt's appearance, she considerately concealed. As for myself, I saw my aunt's battered figure with that feeling of awe and respect with which we behold explorers who have left their ears and fingers north of Franz Josef Land, or their health somewhere along the Upper Congo. My Aunt Georgiana had been a music teacher at the Boston Conservatory, somewhere back in the latter sixties. One summer, while visiting in the little village among the Green Mountains where her ancestors had dwelt for generations, she had kindled the callow fancy of my uncle, Howard Carpenter, then an idle, shiftless boy of twenty-one. When she returned to her duties in Boston, Howard followed her, and the upshot of this infatuation was that she eloped with him, eluding the reproaches of her family and the criticism of her friends by going with him to the Nebraska frontier. Carpenter, who, of course, had no money, took up a homestead in Red Willow County, fifty miles from the railroad. There they had measured off their land themselves, driving across the prairie in a wagon, to the wheel of which they had tied a red cotton handkerchief, and counting its revolutions. They built a dug-out in the red hillside, one of those cave dwellings whose inmates so often reverted to primitive conditions. Their water they got from the lagoons where the buffalo drank, and their slender stock of provisions was always at the mercy of bands of roving Indians. For thirty years my aunt had not been farther than fifty miles from the homestead.

I owed to this woman most of the good that ever came my way in my boyhood, and had a reverential affection for her. During the years when I was riding herd for my uncle, my aunt, after cooking the three meals—the first of which was ready at six o'clock in the morning—and putting the six children to bed, would often stand until midnight at her ironing-board, with me at the kitchen table beside her, hearing me recite Latin declensions and conjugations, gently shaking me when my drowsy head sank down over a page of irregular verbs. It was to her, at her ironing or mending, that I read my first Shakspere, and her old text-book on mythology was the first that ever came into my empty hands. She taught me my scales and exercises on the little parlour organ which her husband had bought her after fifteen years during which she had not so much as seen a musical instrument. She would sit beside me by the hour, darning and counting, while I struggled with the "Joyous Farmer." She seldom talked to me about music, and I understood why. Once when I had been doggedly beating out some easy passages from an old score of Euryanthe I had found among her music books, she came up to me and, putting her hands over my eyes, gently drew my head back upon her shoulder, saying tremulously, "Don't love it so well, Clark, or it may be taken from you."

When my aunt appeared on the morning after her arrival in Boston, she was still in a semi-somnambulant state. She seemed not to realize that she was in the city where she had spent her youth, the place longed for hungrily half a life-time. She had been so wretchedly train-sick throughout the journey that she had no recollection of anything but her discomfort, and, to all intents and purposes, there were but a few hours of nightmare between the farm in Red Willow County and my study on Newbury Street. I had planned a little pleasure for her that afternoon, to repay her for some of the glorious moments she had given me when we used to milk together in the straw-thatched cowshed and she, because I was more than usually tired, or because her husband had spoken sharply to me, would tell me of the splendid performance of the Huguenots she had seen in Paris, in her youth.

At two o'clock the Symphony Orchestra was to give a Wagner program, and I intended to take my aunt; though, as I conversed with her, I grew doubtful about her enjoyment of it. I suggested our visiting the Conservatory and the Common before lunch, but she seemed altogether too timid to wish to venture out. She questioned me absently about various changes in the city, but she was chiefly concerned that she had forgotten to leave instructions about feeding half-skimmed milk to a certain weakling calf, "old Maggie's calf, you know, Clark," she explained, evidently having forgotten how long I had been away. She was further troubled because she had neglected to tell her daughter about the freshly-opened kit of mackerel in the cellar, which would spoil if it were not used directly.

I asked her whether she had ever heard any of the Wagnerian operas, and found that she had not, though she was perfectly familiar with their respective situations, and had once possessed the piano score of The Flying Dutchman. I began to think it would be best to get her back to Red Willow County without waking her, and regretted having suggested the concert.

From the time we entered the concert hall, however, she was a trifle less passive and inert, and for the first time seemed to perceive her surroundings. I had felt some trepidation lest she might become aware of her queer, country clothes, or might experience some painful embarrassment at stepping suddenly into the world to which she had been dead for a quarter of a century. But, again, I found how superficially I had judged her. She sat looking about her with eyes as impersonal, almost as stony, as those with which the granite Rameses in a museum watches the froth and fret that ebbs and flows about his pedestal. I have seen this same aloofness in old miners who drift into the Brown Hotel at Denver, their pockets full of bullion, their linen soiled, their haggard faces unshaven; standing in the thronged corridors as solitary as though they were still in a frozen camp on the Yukon.

The matinée audience was made up chiefly of women. One lost the contour of faces and figures, indeed any effect of line whatever, and there was only the colour of bodices past counting, the shimmer of fabrics soft and firm, silky and sheer; red, mauve, pink, blue, lilac, purple, écru, rose, yellow, cream, and white, all the colours that an impressionist finds in a sunlit landscape, with here and there the dead shadow of a frock coat. My Aunt Georgiana regarded them as though they had been so many daubs of tube-paint on a palette.

When the musicians came out and took their places, she gave a little stir of anticipation, and looked with quickening interest down over the rail at that invariable grouping, perhaps the first wholly familiar thing that had greeted her eye since she had left old Maggie and her weakling calf. I could feel how all those details sank into her soul, for I had not forgotten how they had sunk into mine when I came fresh from ploughing forever and forever between green aisles of corn, where, as in a treadmill, one might walk from daybreak to dusk without perceiving a shadow of change. The clean profiles of the musicians, the gloss of their linen, the dull black of their coats, the beloved shapes of the instruments, the patches of yellow light on the smooth, varnished bellies of the 'cellos and the bass viols in the rear, the restless, wind-tossed forest of fiddle necks and bows—I recalled how, in the first orchestra I ever heard, those long bow-strokes seemed to draw the heart out of me, as a conjurer's stick reels out yards of paper ribbon from a hat.

The first number was the Tannhäuser overture. When the horns drew out the first strain of the "Pilgrims' Chorus," Aunt Georgiana clutched my coat sleeve. Then it was I first realized that for her this broke a silence of thirty years. With the battle between the two motives, with the frenzy of the Venusberg theme and its ripping of strings, there came to me an overwhelming sense of the waste and wear we are so powerless to combat; and I saw again the tall, naked house on the prairie, black and grim as a wooden fortress; the black pond where I had learned to swim, its margin pitted with sun-dried cattle tracks; the rain-gullied clay banks about the naked house, the four dwarf ash seedlings where the dish-cloths were always hung to dry before the kitchen door. The world there was the flat world of the ancients; to the east, a cornfield that stretched to daybreak; to the west, a corral that reached to sunset; between, the conquests of peace, dearer-bought than those of war.

The overture closed, my aunt released my coat sleeve, but she said nothing. She sat staring dully at the orchestra. What, I wondered, did she get from it? She had been a good pianist in her day, I knew, and her musical education had been broader than that of most music teachers of a quarter of a century ago. She had often told me of Mozart's operas and Meyerbeer's, and I could remember hearing her sing, years ago, certain melodies of Verdi. When I had fallen ill with a fever in her house she used to sit by my cot in the evening—when the cool, night wind blew in through the faded mosquito netting tacked over the window and I lay watching a certain bright star that burned red above the cornfield—and sing "Home to our mountains, O, let us return!" in a way fit to break the heart of a Vermont boy near dead of homesickness already.

I watched her closely through the prelude to Tristan and Isolde, trying vainly to conjecture what that seething turmoil of strings and winds might mean to her, but she sat mutely staring at the violin bows that drove obliquely downward, like the pelting streaks of rain in a summer shower. Had this music any message for her? Had she enough left to at all comprehend this power which had kindled the world since she had left it? I was in a fever of curiosity, but Aunt Georgiana sat silent upon her peak in Darien. She preserved this utter immobility throughout the number from The Flying Dutchman, though her fingers worked mechanically upon her black dress, as if, of themselves, they were recalling the piano score they had once played. Poor hands! They had been stretched and twisted into mere tentacles to hold and lift and knead with;—on one of them a thin, worn band that had once been a wedding ring. As I pressed and gently quieted one of those groping hands, I remembered with quivering eyelids their services for me in other days.

Soon after the tenor began the "Prize Song," I heard a quick-drawn breath and turned to my aunt. Her eyes were closed, but the tears were glistening on her cheeks, and I think, in a moment more, they were in my eyes as well. It never really died, then—the soul which can suffer so excruciatingly and so interminably; it withers to the outward eye only; like that strange moss which can lie on a dusty shelf half a century and yet, if placed in water, grows green again. She wept so throughout the development and elaboration of the melody.

During the intermission before the second half, I questioned my aunt and found that the "Prize Song" was not new to her. Some years before there had drifted to the farm in Red Willow County a young German, a tramp cow-puncher, who had sung in the chorus at Bayreuth when he was a boy, along with the other peasant boys and girls. Of a Sunday morning he used to sit on his gingham-sheeted bed in the hands' bedroom which opened off the kitchen, cleaning the leather of his boots and saddle, singing the "Prize Song," while my aunt went about her work in the kitchen. She had hovered over him until she had prevailed upon him to join the country church, though his sole fitness for this step, in so far as I could gather, lay in his boyish face and his possession of this divine melody. Shortly afterward, he had gone to town on the Fourth of July, been drunk for several days, lost his money at a faro table, ridden a saddled Texas steer on a bet, and disappeared with a fractured collar-bone. All this my aunt told me huskily, wanderingly, as though she were talking in the weak lapses of illness.

"Well, we have come to better things than the old Trovatore at any rate, Aunt Georgie?" I queried, with a well-meant effort at jocularity.

Her lip quivered and she hastily put her handkerchief up to her mouth. From behind it she murmured, "And you have been hearing this ever since you left me, Clark?" Her question was the gentlest and saddest of reproaches.

The second half of the program consisted of four numbers from the Ring, and closed with Siegfried's funeral march. My aunt wept quietly, but almost continuously, as a shallow vessel overflows in a rain-storm. From time to time her dim eyes looked up at the lights, burning softly under their dull glass globes.

The deluge of sound poured on and on; I never knew what she found in the shining current of it; I never knew how far it bore her, or past what happy islands. From the trembling of her face I could well believe that before the last number she had been carried out where the myriad graves are, into the grey, nameless burying grounds of the sea; or into some world of death vaster yet, where, from the beginning of the world, hope has lain down with hope and dream with dream and, renouncing, slept.

The concert was over; the people filed out of the hall chattering and laughing, glad to relax and find the living level again, but my kinswoman made no effort to rise. The harpist slipped the green felt cover over his instrument; the flute-players shook the water from their mouthpieces; the men of the orchestra went out one by one, leaving the stage to the chairs and music stands, empty as a winter cornfield.

I spoke to my aunt. She burst into tears and sobbed pleadingly. "I don't want to go, Clark, I don't want to go!"

I understood. For her, just outside the concert hall, lay the black pond with the cattle-tracked bluffs; the tall, unpainted house, with weather-curled boards, naked as a tower; the crook-backed ash seedlings where the dish-cloths hung to dry; the gaunt, moulting turkeys picking up refuse about the kitchen door.



The Sculptor's Funeral

A GROUP group of the townspeople stood on the station siding of a little Kansas town, awaiting the coming of the night train, which was already twenty minutes overdue. The snow had fallen thick over everything; in the pale starlight the line of bluffs across the wide, white meadows south of the town made soft, smoke-coloured curves against the clear sky. The men on the siding stood first on one foot and then on the other, their hands thrust deep into their trousers pockets, their overcoats open, their shoulders screwed up with the cold; and they glanced from time to time toward the southeast, where the railroad track wound along the river shore. They conversed in low tones and moved about restlessly, seeming uncertain as to what was expected of them. There was but one of the company who looked as if he knew exactly why he was there, and he kept conspicuously apart; walking to the far end of the platform, returning to the station door, then pacing up the track again, his chin sunk in the high collar of his overcoat, his burly shoulders drooping forward, his gait heavy and dogged. Presently he was approached by a tall, spare, grizzled man clad in a faded Grand Army suit, who shuffled out from the group and advanced with a certain deference, craning his neck forward until his back made the angle of a jack-knife three-quarters open.

"I reckon she's a-goin' to be pretty late agin tonight, Jim," he remarked in a squeaky falsetto. "S'pose it's the snow?"

"I don't know," responded the other man with a shade of annoyance, speaking from out an astonishing cataract of red beard that grew fiercely and thickly in all directions.

The spare man shifted the quill toothpick he was chewing to the other side of his mouth. "It ain't likely that anybody from the East will come with the corpse, I s'pose," he went on reflectively.

"I don't know," responded the other, more curtly than before.

"It's too bad he didn't belong to some lodge or other. I like an order funeral myself. They seem more appropriate for people of some repytation," the spare man continued, with an ingratiating concession in his shrill voice, as he carefully placed his toothpick in his vest pocket. He always carried the flag at the G. A. R. funerals in the town.

The heavy man turned on his heel, without replying, and walked up the siding. The spare man rejoined the uneasy group. "Jim's ez full ez a tick, ez ushel," he commented commiseratingly.

Just then a distant whistle sounded, and there was a shuffling of feet on the platform. A number of lanky boys, of all ages, appeared as suddenly and slimily as eels wakened by the crack of thunder; some came from the waiting-room, where they had been warming themselves by the red stove, or half asleep on the slat benches; others uncoiled themselves from baggage trucks or slid out of express wagons. Two clambered down from the driver's seat of a hearse that stood backed up against the siding. They straightened their stooping shoulders and lifted their heads, and a flash of momentary animation kindled their dull eyes at that cold, vibrant scream, the world-wide call for men. It stirred them like the note of a trumpet; just as it had often stirred the man who was coming home tonight, in his boyhood.

The night express shot, red as a rocket, from out the eastward marsh lands and wound along the river shore under the long lines of shivering poplars that sentinelled the meadows, the escaping steam hanging in grey masses against the pale sky and blotting out the Milky Way. In a moment the red glare from the head-light streamed up the snow-covered track before the siding and glittered on the wet, black rails. The burly man with the dishevelled red beard walked swiftly up the platform toward the approaching train, uncovering his head as he went. The group of men behind him hesitated, glanced questioningly at one another, and awkwardly followed his example. The train stopped, and the crowd shuffled up to the express car just as the door was thrown open, the man in the G. A. R. suit thrusting his head forward with curiosity. The express messenger appeared in the doorway, accompanied by a young man in a long ulster and travelling cap.

"Are Mr. Merrick's friends here?" inquired the young man.

The group on the platform swayed uneasily. Philip Phelps, the banker, responded with dignity: "We have come to take charge of the body. Mr. Merrick's father is very feeble and can't be about."

"Send the agent out here," growled the express messenger, "and tell the operator to lend a hand."

The coffin was got out of its rough-box and down on the snowy platform. The townspeople drew back enough to make room for it and then formed a close semicircle about it, looking curiously at the palm leaf which lay across the black cover. No one said anything. The baggage man stood by his truck, waiting to get at the trunks. The engine panted heavily, and the fireman dodged in and out among the wheels with his yellow torch and long oil-can, snapping the spindle boxes. The young Bostonian, one of the dead sculptor's pupils who had come with the body, looked about him helplessly. He turned to the banker, the only one of that black, uneasy, stoop-shouldered group who seemed enough of an individual to be addressed.

"None of Mr. Merrick's brothers are here?" he asked uncertainly.

The man with the red beard for the first time stepped up and joined the others. "No, they have not come yet; the family is scattered. The body will be taken directly to the house." He stooped and took hold of one of the handles of the coffin.

"Take the long hill road up, Thompson, it will be easier on the horses," called the liveryman as the undertaker snapped the door of the hearse and prepared to mount to the driver's seat.

Laird, the red-bearded lawyer, turned again to the stranger: "We didn't know whether there would be any one with him or not," he explained. "It's a long walk, so you'd better go up in the hack." He pointed to a single battered conveyance, but the young man replied stiffly: "Thank you, but I think I will go up with the hearse. If you don't object," turning to the undertaker, "I'll ride with you."

They clambered up over the wheels and drove off in the starlight up the long, white hill toward the town. The lamps in the still village were shining from under the low, snow-burdened roofs; and beyond, on every side, the plains reached out into emptiness, peaceful and wide as the soft sky itself, and wrapped in a tangible, white silence.

When the hearse backed up to a wooden sidewalk before a naked, weather-beaten frame house, the same composite, ill-defined group that had stood upon the station siding was huddled about the gate. The front yard was an icy swamp, and a couple of warped planks, extending from the sidewalk to the door, made a sort of rickety footbridge. The gate hung on one hinge, and was opened wide with difficulty. Steavens, the young stranger, noticed that something black was tied to the knob of the front door.

The grating sound made by the casket, as it was drawn from the hearse, was answered by a scream from the house; the front door was wrenched open, and a tall, corpulent woman rushed out bareheaded into the snow and flung herself upon the coffin, shrieking: "My boy, my boy! And this is how you've come home to me!"

As Steavens turned away and closed his eyes with a shudder of unutterable repulsion, another woman, also tall, but flat and angular, dressed entirely in black, darted out of the house and caught Mrs. Merrick by the shoulders, crying sharply: "Come, come, Mother; you mustn't go on like this!" Her tone changed to one of obsequious solemnity as she turned to the banker: "The parlour is ready, Mr. Phelps."

The bearers carried the coffin along the narrow boards, while the undertaker ran ahead with the coffin-rests. They bore it into a large, unheated room that smelled of dampness and disuse and furniture polish, and set it down under a hanging lamp ornamented with jingling glass prisms and before a "Rogers group" of John Alden and Priscilla, wreathed with smilax. Henry Steavens stared about him with the sickening conviction that there had been a mistake, and that he had somehow arrived at the wrong destination. He looked at the clover-green Brussels, the fat plush upholstery, among the hand-painted china placques and panels and vases, for some mark of identification,for something that might once conceivably have belonged to Harvey Merrick. It was not until he recognized his friend in the crayon portrait of a little boy in kilts and curls, hanging above the piano, that he felt willing to let any of these people approach the coffin.

"Take the lid off, Mr. Thompson; let me see my boy's face," wailed the elder woman between her sobs. This time Steavens looked fearfully, almost beseechingly into her face, red and swollen under its masses of strong, black, shiny hair. He flushed, dropped his eyes, and then, almost incredulously, looked again. There was a kind of power about her face—a kind of brutal handsomeness, even; but it was scarred and furrowed by violence, and so coloured and coarsened by fiercer passions that grief seemed never to have laid a gentle finger there. The long nose was distended and knobbed at the end, and there were deep lines on either side of it; her heavy, black brows almost met across her forehead, her teeth were large and square, and set far apart—teeth that could tear. She filled the room; the men were obliterated, seemed tossed about like twigs in an angry water, and even Steavens felt himself being drawn into the whirlpool.

The daughter—the tall, raw-boned woman in crêpe, with a mourning comb in her hair which curiously lengthened her long face—sat stiffly upon the sofa, her hands, conspicuous for their large knuckles, folded in her lap, her mouth and eyes drawn down, solemnly awaiting the opening of the coffin. Near the door stood a mulatto woman, evidently a servant in the house, with a timid bearing and an emaciated face pitifully sad and gentle. She was weeping silently, the corner of her calico apron lifted to her eyes, occasionally suppressing a long, quivering sob. Steavens walked over and stood beside her.

Feeble steps were heard on the stairs, and an old man, tall and frail, odorous of pipe smoke, with shaggy, unkept grey hair and a dingy beard, tobacco-stained about the mouth, entered uncertainly. He went slowly up to the coffin and stood rolling a blue cotton handkerchief between his hands, seeming so pained and embarrassed by his wife's orgy of grief that he had no consciousness of anything else.

"There, there, Annie, dear, don't take on so," he quavered timidly, putting out a shaking hand and awkwardly patting her elbow. She turned and sank upon his shoulder with such violence that he tottered a little. He did not even glance toward the coffin, but continued to look at her with a dull, frightened, appealing expression, as a spaniel looks at the whip. His sunken cheeks slowly reddened and burned with miserable shame. When his wife rushed from the room, her daughter strode after her with set lips. The servant stole up to the coffin, bent over it for a moment, and then slipped away to the kitchen, leaving Steavens, the lawyer, and the father to themselves. The old man stood looking down at his dead son's face. The sculptor's splendid head seemed even more noble in its rigid stillness than in life. The dark hair had crept down upon the wide forehead; the face seemed strangely long, but in it there was not that repose we expect to find in the faces of the dead. The brows were so drawn that there were two deep lines above the beaked nose, and the chin was thrust forward defiantly. It was as though the strain of life had been so sharp and bitter that death could not at once relax the tension and smooth the countenance into perfect peace—as though he were still guarding something precious, which might even yet be wrested from him.

The old man's lips were working under his stained beard. He turned to the lawyer with timid deference: "Phelps and the rest are comin' back to set up with Harve, ain't they?" he asked. "Thank 'ee, Jim, thank 'ee." He brushed the hair back gently from his son's forehead. "He was a good boy, Jim; always a good boy. He was ez gentle ez a child and the kindest of 'em all—only we didn't none of us ever onderstand him." The tears trickled slowly down his beard and dropped upon the sculptor's coat.

"Martin, Martin! Oh, Martin! come here," his wife wailed from the top of the stairs. The old man started timorously: "Yes, Annie, I'm coming." He turned away, hesitated, stood for a moment in miserable indecision; then reached back and patted the dead man's hair softly, and stumbled from the room.

"Poor old man, I didn't think he had any tears left. Seems as if his eyes would have gone dry long ago. At his age nothing cuts very deep," remarked the lawyer.

Something in his tone made Steavens glance up. While the mother had been in the room, the young man had scarcely seen any one else; but now, from the moment he first glanced into Jim Laird's florid face and blood-shot eyes, he knew that he had found what he had been heartsick at not finding before—the feeling, the understanding, that must exist in some one, even here.

The man was red as his beard, with features swollen and blurred by dissipation, and a hot, blazing blue eye. His face was strained—that of a man who is controlling himself with difficulty—and he kept plucking at his beard with a sort of fierce resentment. Steavens, sitting by the window, watched him turn down the glaring lamp, still its jangling pendants with an angry gesture, and then stand with his hands locked behind him, staring down into the master's face. He could not help wondering what link there had been between the porcelain vessel and so sooty a lump of potter's clay.

From the kitchen an uproar was sounding; when the dining-room door opened, the import of it was clear. The mother was abusing the maid for having forgotten to make the dressing for the chicken salad which had been prepared for the watchers. Steavens had never heard anything in the least like it; it was injured, emotional, dramatic abuse, unique and masterly in its excruciating cruelty, as violent and unrestrained as had been her grief of twenty minutes before. With a shudder of disgust the lawyer went into the dining-room and closed the door into the kitchen.

"Poor Roxy's getting it now," he remarked when he came back. "The Merricks took her out of the poor-house years ago; and if her loyalty would let her, I guess the poor old thing could tell tales that would curdle your blood. She's the mulatto woman who was standing in here a while ago, with her apron to her eyes. The old woman is a fury; there never was anybody like her. She made Harvey's life a hell for him when he lived at home; he was so sick ashamed of it. I never could see how he kept himself sweet."

"He was wonderful," said Steavens slowly, "wonderful; but until tonight I have never known how wonderful."

"That is the eternal wonder of it, anyway; that it can come even from such a dung heap as this," the lawyer cried, with a sweeping gesture which seemed to indicate much more than the four walls within which they stood.

"I think I'll see whether I can get a little air. The room is so close I am beginning to feel rather faint," murmured Steavens, struggling with one of the windows. The sash was stuck, however, and would not yield, so he sat down dejectedly and began pulling at his collar. The lawyer came over, loosened the sash with one blow of his red fist and sent the window up a few inches. Steavens thanked him, but the nausea which had been gradually climbing into his throat for the last half hour left him with but one desire—a desperate feeling that he must get away from this place with what was left of Harvey Merrick. Oh, he comprehended well enough now the quiet bitterness of the smile that he had seen so often on his master's lips!

Once when Merrick returned from a visit home, he brought with him a singularly feeling and suggestive bas-relief of a thin, faded old woman, sitting and sewing something pinned to her knee; while a full-lipped, fullblooded little urchin, his trousers held up by a single gallows, stood beside her, impatiently twitching her gown to call her attention to a butterfly he had caught. Steavens, impressed by the tender and delicate modelling of the thin, tired face, had asked him if it were his mother. He remembered the dull flush that had burned up in the sculptor's face.

The lawyer was sitting in a rocking-chair beside the coffin, his head thrown back and his eyes closed. Steavens looked at him earnestly, puzzled at the line of the chin, and wondering why a man should conceal a feature of such distinction under that disfiguring shock of beard. Suddenly, as though he felt the young sculptor's keen glance, Jim Laird opened his eyes.

"Was he always a good deal of an oyster?" he asked abruptly. "He was terribly shy as a boy."

"Yes, he was an oyster, since you put it so," rejoined Steavens. "Although he could be very fond of people, he always gave one the impression of being detached. He disliked violent emotion; he was reflective, and rather distrustful of himself—except, of course, as regarded his work. He was sure enough there. He distrusted men pretty thoroughly and women even more, yet somehow without believing ill of them. He was determined, indeed, to believe the best; but he seemed afraid to investigate."

"A burnt dog dreads the fire," said the lawyer grimly, and closed his eyes.

Steavens went on and on, reconstructing that whole miserable boyhood. All this raw, biting ugliness had been the portion of the man whose mind was to become an exhaustless gallery of beautiful impressions—so sensitive that the mere shadow of a poplar leaf flickering against a sunny wall would be etched and held there for ever. Surely, if ever a man had the magic word in his finger-tips, it was Merrick. Whatever he touched, he revealed its holiest secret; liberated it from enchantment and restored it to its pristine loveliness. Upon whatever he had come in contact with, he had left a beautiful record of the experience—a sort of ethereal signature; a scent, a sound, a colour that was his own.

Steavens understood now the real tragedy of his master's life; neither love nor wine, as many had conjectured; but a blow which had fallen earlier and cut deeper than anything else could have done—a shame not his, and yet so unescapably his, to hide in his heart from his very boyhood. And without—the frontier warfare; the yearning of a boy, cast ashore upon a desert of newness and ugliness and sordidness, for all that is chastened and old, and noble with traditions.

At eleven o'clock the tall, flat woman in black announced that the watchers were arriving, and asked them to "step into the dining-room."

As Steavens rose, the lawyer said dryly: "You go on—it'll be a good experience for you. I'm not equal to that crowd tonight; I've had twenty years of them." As Steavens closed the door after him he glanced back at the lawyer, sitting by the coffin in the dim light, with his chin resting on his hand.

The same misty group that had stood before the door of the express car shuffled into the dining-room. In the light of the kerosene lamp they separated and became individuals. The minister, a pale, feeble-looking man with white hair and blond chin-whiskers, took his seat beside a small side table and placed his Bible upon it. The Grand Army man sat down behind the stove and tilted his chair back comfortably against the wall, fishing his quill toothpick from his waistcoat pocket. The two bankers, Phelps and Elder, sat off in a corner behind the dinner-table, where they could finish their discussion of the new usury law and its effect on chattel security loans. The real estate agent, an old man with a smiling, hypocritical face, soon joined them. The coal and lumber dealer and the cattle shipper sat on opposite sides of the hard-coal burner, their feet on the nickel-work. Steavens took a book from his pocket and began to read. The talk around him ranged through various topics of local interest while the house was quieting down. When it was clear that the members of the family were in bed, the Grand Army man hitched his shoulders and, untangling his long legs, caught his heels on the rounds of his chair.

"S'pose there'll be a will, Phelps?" he queried in his weak falsetto.

The banker laughed disagreeably, and began trimming his nails with a pearl-handled pocket-knife.

"There'll scarcely be any need for one, will there?" he queried in his turn.

The restless Grand Army man shifted his position again, getting his knees still nearer his chin. "Why, the ole man says Harve's done right well lately," he chirped.

The other banker spoke up. "I reckon he means by that Harve ain't asked him to mortgage any more farms lately, so as he could go on with his education."

"Seems like my mind don't reach back to a time when Harve wasn't bein' edycated," tittered the Grand Army man.

There was a general chuckle. The minister took out his handkerchief and blew his nose sonorously. Banker Phelps closed his knife with a snap. "It's too bad the old man's sons didn't turn out better," he remarked with reflective authority. "They never hung together. He spent money enough on Harve to stock a dozen cattlefarms, and he might as well have poured it into Sand Creek. If Harve had stayed at home and helped nurse what little they had, and gone into stock on the old man's bottom farm, they might all have been well fixed. But the old man had to trust everything to tenants and was cheated right and left."

"Harve never could have handled stock none," interposed the cattleman. "He hadn't it in him to be sharp. Do you remember when he bought Sander's mules for eight-year olds, when everybody in town knew that Sander's father-in-law give 'em to his wife for a wedding present eighteen years before, an' they was full-grown mules then?"

The company laughed discreetly, and the Grand Army man rubbed his knees with a spasm of childish delight.

"Harve never was much account for anything practical, and he shore was never fond of work," began the coal and lumber dealer. "I mind the last time he was home; the day he left, when the old man was out to the barn helpin' his hand hitch up to take Harve to the train, and Cal Moots was patchin' up the fence; Harve, he come out on the step and sings out, in his lady-like voice: 'Cal Moots, Cal Moots! please come cord my trunk.'"

"That's Harve for you," approved the Grand Army man. "I kin hear him howlin' yet, when he was a big feller in long pants and his mother used to whale him with a rawhide in the barn for lettin' the cows git foundered in the cornfield when he was drivin' 'em home from pasture. He killed a cow of mine that-a-way onct—a pure Jersey and the best milker I had, an' the ole man had to put up for her. Harve, he was watchin' the sun set acrost the marshes when the anamile got away."

"Where the old man made his mistake was in sending the boy East to school," said Phelps, stroking his goatee and speaking in a deliberate, judicial tone. "There was where he got his head full of nonsense. What Harve needed, of all people, was a course in some first-class Kansas City business college."

The letters were swimming before Steavens's eyes. Was it possible that these men did not understand, that the palm on the coffin meant nothing to them? The very name of their town would have remained for ever buried in the postal guide had it not been now and again mentioned in the world in connection with Harvey Merrick's. He remembered what his master had said to him on the day of his death, after the congestion of both lungs had shut off any probability of recovery, and the sculptor had asked his pupil to send his body home. "It's not a pleasant place to be lying while the world is moving and doing and bettering," he had said with a feeble smile, "but it rather seems as though we ought to go back to the place we came from, in the end. The townspeople will come in for a look at me; and after they have had their say, I shan't have much to fear from the judgment of God!"

The cattleman took up the comment. "Forty's young for a Merrick to cash in; they usually hang on pretty well. Probably he helped it along with whisky."

"His mother's people were not long lived, and Harvey never had a robust constitution," said the minister mildly. He would have liked to say more. He had been the boy's Sunday-school teacher, and had been fond of him; but he felt that he was not in a position to speak. His own sons had turned out badly, and it was not a year since one of them had made his last trip home in the express car, shot in a gambling-house in the Black Hills.

"Nevertheless, there is no disputin' that Harve frequently looked upon the wine when it was red, also variegated, and it shore made an oncommon fool of him," moralized the cattleman.

Just then the door leading into the parlour rattled loudly and every one started involuntarily, looking relieved when only Jim Laird came out. The Grand Army man ducked his head when he saw the spark in his blue, blood-shot eye. They were all afraid of Jim; he was a drunkard, but he could twist the law to suit his client's needs as no other man in all western Kansas could do, and there were many who tried. The lawyer closed the door behind him, leaned back against it and folded his arms, cocking his head a little to one side. When he assumed this attitude in the court-room, ears were always pricked up, as it usually foretold a flood of withering sarcasm.

"I've been with you gentlemen before," he began in a dry, even tone, "when you've sat by the coffins of boys born and raised in this town; and, if I remember rightly, you were never any too well satisfied when you checked them up. What's the matter, anyhow? Why is it that reputable young men are as scarce as millionaires in Sand City? It might almost seem to a stranger that there was some way something the matter with your progressive town. Why did Reuben Sayer, the brightest young lawyer you ever turned out, after he had come home from the university as straight as a die, take to drinking and forge a check and shoot himself? Why did Bill Merrit's son die of the shakes in a saloon in Omaha? Why was Mr. Thomas's son, here, shot in a gambling-house? Why did young Adams burn his mill to beat the insurance companies and go to the pen?"

The lawyer paused and unfolded his arms, laying one clenched fist quietly on the table. "I'll tell you why. Because you drummed nothing but money and knavery into their ears from the time they wore knickerbockers; because you carped away at them as you've been carping here tonight, holding our friends Phelps and Elder up to them for their models, as our grandfathers held up George Washington and John Adams. But the boys were young, and raw at the business you put them to, and how could they match coppers with such artists as Phelps and Elder? You wanted them to be successful rascals; they were only unsuccessful ones—that's all the difference. There was only one boy ever raised in this borderland between ruffianism and civilization who didn't come to grief, and you hated Harvey Merrick more for winning out than you hated all the other boys who got under the wheels. Lord, Lord, how you did hate him! Phelps, here, is fond of saying that he could buy and sell us all out any time he's a mind to; but he knew Harve wouldn't have given a tinker's damn for his bank and all his cattle-farms put together; and a lack of appreciation, that way, goes hard with Phelps.

"Old Nimrod thinks Harve drank too much; and this from such as Nimrod and me!

"Brother Elder says Harve was too free with the old man's money—fell short in filial consideration, maybe. Well, we can all remember the very tone in which brother Elder swore his own father was a liar, in the county court; and we all know that the old man came out of that partnership with his son as bare as a sheared lamb. But maybe I'm getting personal, and I'd better be driving ahead at what I want to say."

The lawyer paused a moment, squared his heavy shoulders, and went on: "Harvey Merrick and I went to school together, back East. We were dead in earnest, and we wanted you all to be proud of us some day. We meant to be great men. Even I, and I haven't lost my sense of humour, gentlemen, I meant to be a great man. I came back here to practise, and I found you didn't in the least want me to be a great man. You wanted me to be a shrewd lawyer—oh, yes! Our veteran here wanted me to get him an increase of pension, because he had dyspepsia; Phelps wanted a new county survey that would put the widow Wilson's little bottom farm inside his south line; Elder wanted to lend money at 5 per cent. a month, and get it collected; and Stark here wanted to wheedle old women up in Vermont into investing their annuities in real-estate mortgages that are not worth the paper they are written on. Oh, you needed me hard enough, and you'll go on needing me!

"Well, I came back here and became the damned shyster you wanted me to be. You pretend to have some sort of respect for me; and yet you'll stand up and throw mud at Harvey Merrick, whose soul you couldn't dirty and whose hands you couldn't tie. Oh, you're a discriminating lot of Christians! There have been times when the sight of Harvey's name in some Eastern paper has made me hang my head like a whipped dog; and, again, times when I liked to think of him off there in the world, away from all this hog-wallow, climbing the big, clean up-grade he'd set for himself.

"And we? Now that we've fought and lied and sweated and stolen, and hated as only the disappointed strugglers in a bitter, dead little Western town know how to do, what have we got to show for it? Harvey Merrick wouldn't have given one sunset over your marshes for all you've got put together, and you know it. It's not for me to say why, in the inscrutable wisdom of God, a genius should ever have been called from this place of hatred and bitter waters; but I want this Boston man to know that the drivel he's been hearing here tonight is the only tribute any truly great man could have from such a lot of sick, sidetracked, burnt-dog, land-poor sharks as the here-present financiers of Sand City—upon which town may God have mercy!"

The lawyer thrust out his hand to Steavens as he passed him, caught up his overcoat in the hall, and had left the house before the Grand Army man had had time to lift his ducked head and crane his long neck about at his fellows.

Next day Jim Laird was drunk and unable to attend the funeral services. Steavens called twice at his office, but was compelled to start East without seeing him. He had a presentiment that he would hear from him again, and left his address on the lawyer's table; but if Laird found it, he never acknowledged it. The thing in him that Harvey Merrick had loved must have gone under ground with Harvey Merrick's coffin; for it never spoke again, and Jim got the cold he died of driving across the Colorado mountains to defend one of Phelps's sons who had got into trouble out there by cutting government timber.



"'A Death in the Desert'"

EVERETT HILGARDE was conscious that the man in the seat across the aisle was looking at him intently. He was a large, florid man, wore a conspicuous diamond solitaire upon his third finger, and Everett judged him to be a travelling salesman of some sort. He had the air of an adaptable fellow who had been about the world and who could keep cool and clean under almost any circumstances.

The "High Line Flyer," as this train was derisively called among railroad men, was jerking along through the hot afternoon over the monotonous country between Holdrege and Cheyenne. Besides the blond man and himself the only occupants of the car were two dusty, bedraggled-looking girls who had been to the Exposition at Chicago, and who were earnestly discussing the cost of their first trip out of Colorado. The four uncomfortable passengers were covered with a sediment of fine, yellow dust which clung to their hair and eyebrows like gold powder. It blew up in clouds from the bleak, lifeless country through which they passed, until they were one colour with the sage-brush and sand-hills. The grey and yellow desert was varied only by occasional ruins of deserted towns, and the little red boxes of station-houses, where the spindling trees and sickly vines in the blue-grass yards made little green reserves fenced off in that confusing wilderness of sand.

As the slanting rays of the sun beat in stronger and stronger through the car-windows, the blond gentleman asked the ladies' permission to remove his coat, and sat in his lavender striped shirt-sleeves, with a black silk handkerchief tucked about his collar. He had seemed interested in Everett since they had boarded the train at Holdrege; kept glancing at him curiously and then looking reflectively out of the window, as though he were trying to recall something. But wherever Everett went, some one was almost sure to look at him with that curious interest, and it had ceased to embarrass or annoy him. Presently the stranger, seeming satisfied with his observation, leaned back in his seat, half closed his eyes, and began softly to whistle the "Spring Song" from Proserpine, the cantata that a dozen years before had made its young composer famous in a night. Everett had heard that air on guitars in Old Mexico, on mandolins at college glees, on cottage organs in New England hamlets, and only two weeks ago he had heard it played on sleigh-bells at a variety theatre in Denver. There was literally no way of escaping his brother's precocity. Adriance could live on the other side of the Atlantic, where his youthful indiscretions were forgotten in his mature achievements, but his brother had never been able to outrun Proserpine,and here he found it again, in the Colorado sand-hills. Not that Everett was exactly ashamed of Proserpine; only a man of genius could have written it, but it was the sort of thing that a man of genius outgrows as soon as he can.

Everett unbent a trifle, and smiled at his neighbour across the aisle. Immediately the large man rose and coming over dropped into the seat facing Hilgarde, extending his card.

"Dusty ride, isn't it? I don't mind it myself; I'm used to it. Born and bred in de briar patch, like Br'er Rabbit. I've been trying to place you for a long time; I think I must have met you before."

"Thank you," said Everett, taking the card; "my name is Hilgarde. You've probably met my brother, Adriance; people often mistake me for him."

The travelling-man brought his hand down upon his knee with such vehemence that the solitaire blazed.

"So I was right after all, and if you're not Adriance Hilgarde you're his double. I thought I couldn't be mistaken. Seen him? Well, I guess! I never missed one of his recitals at the Auditorium, and he played the piano score of Proserpine through to us once at the Chicago Press Club. I used to be on the Commercial there before I began to travel for the publishing department of the concern. So you're Hilgarde's brother, and here I've run into you at the jumping-off place. Sounds like a newspaper yarn, doesn't it?"

The travelling-man laughed and offering Everett a cigar plied him with questions on the only subject that people ever seemed to care to talk to him about. At length the salesman and the two girls alighted at a Colorado way station, and Everett went on to Cheyenne alone.

The train pulled into Cheyenne at nine o'clock, late by a matter of four hours or so; but no one seemed particularly concerned at its tardiness except the station agent, who grumbled at being kept in the office over time on a summer night. When Everett alighted from the train he walked down the platform and stopped at the track crossing, uncertain as to what direction he should take to reach a hotel. A phaeton stood near the crossing and a woman held the reins. She was dressed in white, and her figure was clearly silhouetted against the cushions, though it was too dark to see her face. Everett had scarcely noticed her, when the switch-engine came puffing up from the opposite direction, and the head-light threw a strong glare of light on his face. The woman in the phaeton uttered a low cry and dropped the reins. Everett started forward and caught the horse's head, but the animal only lifted its ears and whisked its tail in impatient surprise. The woman sat perfectly still, her head sunk between her shoulders and her handkerchief pressed to her face. Another woman came out of the depot and hurried toward the phaeton, crying, "Katharine, dear, what is the matter?"

Everett hesitated a moment in painful embarrassment, then lifted his hat and passed on. He was accustomed to sudden recognitions in the most impossible places, especially from women.

While he was breakfasting the next morning, the head waiter leaned over his chair to murmur that there was a gentleman waiting to see him in the parlour. Everett finished his coffee, and went in the direction indicated, where he found his visitor restlessly pacing the floor. His whole manner betrayed a high degree of agitation, though his physique was not that of a man whose nerves lie near the surface. He was something below medium height, square-shouldered and solidly built. His thick, closely cut hair was beginning to show grey about the ears, and his bronzed face was heavily lined. His square brown hands were locked behind him, and he held his shoulders like a man conscious of responsibilities, yet, as he turned to greet Everett, there was an incongruous diffidence in his address.

"Good-morning, Mr. Hilgarde," he said, extending his hand; "I found your name on the hotel register. My name is Gaylord. I'm afraid my sister startled you at the station last night, and I've come around to explain."

"Ah! the young lady in the phaeton? I'm sure I didn't know whether I had anything to do with her alarm or not. If I did, it is I who owe an apology."

The man coloured a little under the dark brown of his face.

"Oh, it's nothing you could help, sir, I fully understand that. You see, my sister used to be a pupil of your brother's, and it seems you favour him; when the switch-engine threw a light on your face, it startled her."

Everett wheeled about in his chair. "Oh! Katharine Gaylord! Is it possible! Why, I used to know her when I was a boy. What on earth—"

"Is she doing here?" Gaylord grimly filled out the pause. "You've got at the heart of the matter. You know my sister had been in bad health for a long time?"

"No. The last I knew of her she was singing in London. My brother and I correspond infrequently, and seldom get beyond family matters. I am deeply sorry to hear this."

The lines in Charley Gaylord's brow relaxed a little.

"What I'm trying to say, Mr. Hilgarde, is that she wants to see you. She's set on it. We live several miles out of town, but my rig's below, and I can take you out any time you can go."

"At once, then. I'll get my hat and be with you in a moment."

When he came downstairs Everett found a cart at the door, and Charley Gaylord drew a long sigh of relief as he gathered up the reins and settled back into his own element.

"I think I'd better tell you something about my sister before you see her, and I don't know just where to begin. She travelled in Europe with your brother and his wife, and sang at a lot of his concerts; but I don't know just how much you know about her."

"Very little, except that my brother always thought her the most gifted of his pupils. When I knew her she was very young and very beautiful, and quite turned my head for a while."

Everett saw that Gaylord's mind was entirely taken up by his grief. "That's the whole thing," he went on, flicking his horses with the whip.

"She was a great woman, as you say, and she didn't come of a great family. She had to fight her own way from the first. She got to Chicago, and then to New York, and then to Europe, and got a taste for it all; and now she's dying here like a rat in a hole, out of her own world, and she can't fall back into ours. We've grown apart, some way—miles and miles apart—and I'm afraid she's fearfully unhappy."

"It's a tragic story you're telling me, Gaylord," said Everett. They were well out into the country now, spinning along over the dusty plains of red grass, with the ragged blue outline of the mountains before them.

"Tragic!" cried Gaylord, starting up in his seat, "my God, nobody will ever know how tragic! It's a tragedy I live with and eat with and sleep with, until I've lost my grip on everything. You see she had made a good bit of money, but she spent it all going to health resorts. It's her lungs. I've got money enough to send her anywhere, but the doctors all say it's no use. She hasn't the ghost of a chance. It's just getting through the days now. I had no notion she was half so bad before she came to me. She just wrote that she was run down. Now that she's here, I think she'd be happier anywhere under the sun, but she won't leave. She says it's easier to let go of life here. There was a time when I was a brakeman with a run out of Bird City, Iowa, and she was a little thing I could carry on my shoulder, when I could get her everything on earth she wanted, and she hadn't a wish my $80 a month didn't cover; and now, when I've got a little property together, I can't buy her a night's sleep!"

Everett saw that, whatever Charley Gaylord's present status in the world might be, he had brought the brakeman's heart up the ladder with him.

The reins slackened in Gaylord's hand as they drew up before a showily painted house with many gables and a round tower. "Here we are," he said, turning to Everett, "and I guess we understand each other."

They were met at the door by a thin, colourless woman, whom Gaylord introduced as "My sister, Maggie." She asked her brother to show Mr. Hilgarde into the music-room, where Katharine would join him.

When Everett entered the music-room he gave a little start of surprise, feeling that he had stepped from the glaring Wyoming sunlight into some New York studio that he had always known. He looked incredulously out of the window at the grey plain that ended in the great upheaval of the Rockies.

The haunting air of familiarity perplexed him. Suddenly his eye fell upon a large photograph of his brother above the piano. Then it all became clear enough: this was veritably his brother's room. If it were not an exact copy of one of the many studios that Adriance had fitted up in various parts of the world, wearying of them and leaving almost before the renovator's varnish had dried, it was at least in the same tone. In every detail Adriance's taste was so manifest that the room seemed to exhale his personality.

Among the photographs on the wall there was one of Katharine Gaylord, taken in the days when Everett had known her, and when the flash of her eye or the flutter of her skirt was enough to set his boyish heart in a tumult. Even now, he stood before the portrait with a certain degree of embarrassment. It was the face of a woman already old in her first youth, a trifle hard, and it told of what her brother had called her fight. The camaraderie of her frank, confident eyes was qualified by the deep lines about her mouth and the curve of the lips, which was both sad and cynical. Certainly she had more good-will than confidence toward the world. The chief charm of the woman, as Everett had known her, lay in her superb figure and in her eyes, which possessed a warm, life-giving quality like the sunlight; eyes which glowed with a perpetual salutat to the world.

Everett was still standing before the picture, his hands behind him and his head inclined, when he heard the door open. A tall woman advanced toward him, holding out her hand. As she started to speak she coughed slightly, then, laughing, said, in a low, rich voice, a trifle husky: "You see I make the traditional Camille entrance. How good of you to come, Mr. Hilgarde."

Everett was acutely conscious that while addressing him she was not looking at him at all, and, as he assured her of his pleasure in coming, he was glad to have an opportunity to collect himself. He had not reckoned upon the ravages of a long illness. The long, loose folds of her white gown had been especially designed to conceal the sharp outlines of her body, but the stamp of her disease was there; simple and ugly and obtrusive, a pitiless fact that could not be disguised or evaded. The splendid shoulders were stooped, there was a swaying unevenness in her gait, her arms seemed disproportionately long, and her hands were transparently white, and cold to the touch. The changes in her face were less obvious; the proud carriage of the head, the warm, clear eyes, even the delicate flush of colour in her cheeks, all defiantly remained, though they were all in a lower key—older, sadder, softer.

She sat down upon the divan and began nervously to arrange the pillows. "Of course I'm ill, and I look it, but you must be quite frank and sensible about that and get used to it at once, for we've no time to lose. And if I'm a trifle irritable you won't mind?—for I'm more than usually nervous."

"Don't bother with me this morning, if you are tired," urged Everett. "I can come quite as well tomorrow."

"Gracious, no!" she protested, with a flash of that quick, keen humour that he remembered as a part of her. "It's solitude that I'm tired to death of—solitude and the wrong kind of people. You see, the minister called on me this morning. He happened to be riding by on his bicycle and felt it his duty to stop. The funniest feature of his conversation is that he is always excusing my own profession to me. But how we are losing time! Do tell me about New York; Charley says you're just on from there. How does it look and taste and smell just now? I think a whiff of the Jersey ferry would be as flagons of cod-liver oil to me. Are the trees still green in Madison Square, or have they grown brown and dusty? Does the chaste Diana still keep her vows through all the exasperating changes of weather? Who has your brother's old studio now, and what misguided aspirants practise their scales in the rookeries about Carnegie Hall? What do people go to see at the theatres, and what do they eat and drink in the world nowadays? Oh, let me die in Harlem!" She was interrupted by a violent attack of coughing, and Everett, embarrassed by her discomfort, plunged into gossip about the professional people he had met in town during the summer, and the musical outlook for the winter. He was diagramming with his pencil some new mechanical device to be used at the Metropolitan in the production of the Rheingold, when he became conscious that she was looking at him intently, and that he was talking to the four walls.

Katharine was lying back among the pillows, watching him through half-closed eyes, as a painter looks at a picture. He finished his explanation vaguely enough and put the pencil back in his pocket. As he did so, she said, quietly: "How wonderfully like Adriance you are!"

He laughed, looking up at her with a touch of pride in his eyes that made them seem quite boyish. "Yes, isn't it absurd? It's almost as awkward as looking like Napoleon—But, after all, there are some advantages. It has made some of his friends like me, and I hope it will make you."

Katharine gave him a quick, meaning glance from under her lashes. "Oh, it did that long ago. What a haughty, reserved youth you were then, and how you used to stare at people, and then blush and look cross. Do you remember that night you took me home from a rehearsal, and scarcely spoke a word to me?"

"It was the silence of admiration," protested Everett, "very crude and boyish, but certainly sincere. Perhaps you suspected something of the sort?"

"I believe I suspected a pose; the one that boys often affect with singers. But it rather surprised me in you, for you must have seen a good deal of your brother's pupils." Everett shook his head. "I saw my brother's pupils come and go. Sometimes I was called on to play accompaniments, or to fill out a vacancy at a rehearsal, or to order a carriage for an infuriated soprano who had thrown up her part. But they never spent any time on me, unless it was to notice the resemblance you speak of."

"Yes," observed Katharine, thoughtfully, "I noticed it then, too; but it has grown as you have grown older. That is rather strange, when you have lived such different lives. It's not merely an ordinary family likeness of features, you know, but the suggestion of the other man's personality in your face—like an air transposed to another key. But I'm not attempting to define it; it's beyond me; something altogether unusual and a trifle—well, uncanny," she finished, laughing.

Everett sat looking out under the red window-blind which was raised just a little. As it swung back and forth in the wind it revealed the glaring panorama of the desert—a blinding stretch of yellow, flat as the sea in dead calm, splotched here and there with deep purple shadows; and, beyond, the ragged blue outline of the mountains and the peaks of snow, white as the white clouds. "I remember, when I was a child I used to be very sensitive about it. I don't think it exactly displeased me, or that I would have had it otherwise, but it seemed like a birthmark, or something not to be lightly spoken of. It came into even my relations with my mother. Ad went abroad to study when he was very young, and mother was all broken up over it. She did her whole duty by each of us, but it was generally understood among us that she'd have made burnt-offerings of us all for him any day. I was a little fellow then, and when she sat alone on the porch on summer evenings, she used sometimes to call me to her and turn my face up in the light that streamed out through the shutters and kiss me, and then I always knew she was thinking of Adriance."

"Poor little chap," said Katharine, in her husky voice. "How fond people have always been of Adriance! Tell me the latest news of him. I haven't heard, except through the press, for a year or more. He was in Algiers then, in the valley of the Chelif, riding horseback, and he had quite made up his mind to adopt the Mahometan faith and become an Arab. How many countries and faiths has he adopted, I wonder?"

"Oh, that's Adriance," chuckled Everett. "He is himself barely long enough to write checks and be measured for his clothes. I didn't hear from him while he was an Arab; I missed that."

"He was writing an Algerian suite for the piano then; it must be in the publisher's hands by this time. I have been too ill to answer his letter, and have lost touch with him."

Everett drew an envelope from his pocket. "This came a month ago. Read it at your leisure."

"Thanks. I shall keep it as a hostage. Now I want you to play for me. Whatever you like; but if there is anything new in the world, in mercy let me hear it."

He sat down at the piano, and Katharine sat near him, absorbed in his remarkable physical likeness to his brother, and trying to discover in just what it consisted. He was of a larger build than Adriance, and much heavier. His face was of the same oval mould, but it was grey, and darkened about the mouth by continual shaving. His eyes were of the same inconstant April colour, but they were reflective and rather dull; while Adriance's were always points of high light, and always meaning another thing than the thing they meant yesterday. It was hard to see why this earnest man should so continually suggest that lyric, youthful face, as gay as his was grave. For Adriance, though he was ten years the elder, and though his hair was streaked with silver, had the face of a boy of twenty, so mobile that it told his thoughts before he could put them into words. A contralto, famous for the extravagance of her vocal methods and of her affections, once said that the shepherd-boys who sang in the Vale of Tempe must certainly have looked like young Hilgarde.



Everett sat smoking on the veranda of the Inter-Ocean House that night, the victim of mournful recollections. His infatuation for Katharine Gaylord, visionary as it was, had been the most serious of his boyish love-affairs. The fact that it was all so done and dead and far behind him, and that the woman had lived her life out since then, gave him an oppressive sense of age and loss.

He remembered how bitter and morose he had grown during his stay at his brother's studio when Katharine Gaylord was working there, and how he had wounded Adriance on the night of his last concert in New York. He had sat there in the box—while his brother and Katharine were called back again and again, and the flowers went up over the footlights until they were stacked half as high as the piano—brooding in his sullen boy's heart upon the pride those two felt in each other's work—spurring each other to their best and beautifully contending in song. The footlights had seemed a hard, glittering line drawn sharply between their life and his. He walked back to his hotel alone, and sat in his window staring out on Madison Square until long after midnight, resolved to beat no more at doors that he could never enter.



Everett's week in Cheyenne stretched to three, and he saw no prospect of release except through the thing he dreaded. The bright, windy days of the Wyoming autumn passed swiftly. Letters and telegrams came urging him to hasten his trip to the coast, but he resolutely postponed his business engagements. The mornings he spent on one of Charley Gaylord's ponies, or fishing in the mountains. In the afternoon he was usually at his post of duty. Destiny, he reflected, seems to have very positive notions about the sort of parts we are fitted to play. The scene changes and the compensation varies, but in the end we usually find that we have played the same class of business from first to last. Everett had been a stop-gap all his life. He remembered going through a looking-glass labyrinth when he was a boy, and trying gallery after gallery, only at every turn to bump his nose against his own face—which, indeed, was not his own, but his brother's. No matter what his mission, east or west, by land or sea, he was sure to find himself employed in his brother's business, one of the tributary lives which helped to swell the shining current of Adriance Hilgarde's. It was not the first time that his duty had been to comfort, as best he could, one of the broken things his brother's imperious speed had cast aside and forgotten. He made no attempt to analyse the situation or to state it in exact terms; but he accepted it as a commission from his brother to help this woman to die. Day by day he felt her need for him grow more acute and positive; and day by day he felt that in his peculiar relation to her, his own individuality played a smaller part. His power to minister to her comfort lay solely in his link with his brother's life. He knew that she sat by him always watching for some trick of gesture, some familiar play of expression, some illusion of light and shadow, in which he should seem wholly Adriance. He knew that she lived upon this, and that in the exhaustion which followed this turmoil of her dying senses, she slept deep and sweet, and dreamed of youth and art and days in a certain old Florentine garden, and not of bitterness and death.

A few days after his first meeting with Katharine Gaylord, he had cabled his brother to write her. He merely said that she was mortally ill; he could depend on Adriance to say the right thing—that was a part of his gift. Adriance always said not only the right thing, but the opportune, graceful, exquisite thing. He caught the lyric essence of the moment, the poetic suggestion of every situation. Moreover, he usually did the right thing,—except, when he did very cruel things—bent upon making people happy when their existence touched his, just as he insisted that his material environment should be beautiful; lavishing upon those near him all the warmth and radiance of his rich nature, all the homage of the poet and troubadour, and, when they were no longer near, forgetting—for that also was a part of Adriance's gift.

Three weeks after Everett had sent his cable, when he made his daily call at the gaily painted ranch-house, he found Katharine laughing like a girl. "Have you ever thought," she said, as he entered the music-room, "how much these séances of ours are like Heine's 'Florentine Nights,' except that I don't give you an opportunity to monopolize the conversation?" She held his hand longer than usual as she greeted him. "You are the kindest man living, the kindest," she added, softly.

Everett's grey face coloured faintly as he drew his hand away, for he felt that this time she was looking at him, and not at a whimsical caricature of his brother.

She drew a letter with a foreign postmark from between the leaves of a book and held it out, smiling. "You got him to write it. Don't say you didn't, for it came direct, you see, and the last address I gave him was a place in Florida. This deed shall be remembered of you when I am with the just in Paradise. But one thing you did not ask him to do, for you didn't know about it. He has sent me his latest work, the new sonata, and you are to play it for me directly. But first for the letter; I think you would better read it aloud to me."

Everett sat down in a low chair facing the window-seat in which she reclined with a barricade of pillows behind her. He opened the letter, his lashes half-veiling his kind eyes, and saw to his satisfaction that it was a long one; wonderfully tactful and tender, even for Adriance, who was tender with his valet and his stable-boy, with his old gondolier and the beggar-women who prayed to the saints for him.

The letter was from Granada, written in the Alhambra, as he sat by the fountain of the Patio di Lindaraxa. The air was heavy with the warm fragrance of the South and full of the sound of splashing, running water, as it had been in a certain old garden in Florence, long ago. The sky was one great turquoise, heated until it glowed. The wonderful Moorish arches threw graceful blue shadows all about him. He had sketched an outline of them on the margin of his note-paper. The letter was full of confidences about his work, and delicate allusions to their old happy days of study and comradeship.

As Everett folded it he felt that Adriance had divined the thing needed and had risen to it in his own wonderful way. The letter was consistently egotistical, and seemed to him even a trifle patronizing, yet it was just what she had wanted. A strong realization of his brother's charm and intensity and power came over him; he felt the breath of that whirlwind of flame in which Adriance passed, consuming all in his path, and himself even more resolutely than he consumed others. Then he looked down at this white, burnt-out brand that lay before him.

"Like him, isn't it?" she said, quietly. "I think I can scarcely answer his letter, but when you see him next you can do that for me. I want you to tell him many things for me, yet they can all be summed up in this: I want him to grow wholly into his best and greatest self, even at the cost of what is half his charm to you and me. Do you understand me?"

"I know perfectly well what you mean," answered Everett, thoughtfully. "And yet it's difficult to prescribe for those fellows; so little makes, so little mars."

Katharine raised herself upon her elbow, and her face flushed with feverish earnestness. "Ah, but it is the waste of himself that I mean; his lashing himself out on stupid and uncomprehending people until they take him at their own estimate."

"Come, come," expostulated Everett, now alarmed at her excitement. "Where is the new sonata? Let him speak for himself."

He sat down at the piano and began playing the first movement, which was indeed the voice of Adriance, his proper speech. The sonata was the most ambitious work he had done up to that time, and marked the transition from his early lyric vein to a deeper and nobler style. Everett played intelligently and with that sympathetic comprehension which seems peculiar to a certain lovable class of men who never accomplish anything in particular. When he had finished he turned to Katharine.

"How he has grown!" she cried. "What the three last years have done for him! He used to write only the tragedies of passion; but this is the tragedy of effort and failure, the thing Keats called hell. This is my tragedy, as I lie here, listening to the feet of the runners as they pass me —ah, God! the swift feet of the runners!"

She turned her face away and covered it with her hands. Everett crossed over to her and knelt beside her. In all the days he had known her she had never before, beyond an occasional ironical jest, given voice to the bitterness of her own defeat. Her courage had become a point of pride with him.

"Don't do it," he gasped. "I can't stand it, I really can't, I feel it too much."

When she turned her face back to him there was a ghost of the old, brave, cynical smile on it, more bitter than the tears she could not shed. "No, I won't; I will save that for the night, when I have no better company. Run over that theme at the beginning again, will you? It was running in his head when we were in Venice years ago, and he used to drum it on his glass at the dinner-table. He had just begun to work it out when the late autumn came on, and he decided to go to Florence for the winter. He lost touch with his idea, I suppose, during his illness. Do you remember those frightful days? All the people who have loved him are not strong enough to save him from himself! When I got word from Florence that he had been ill, I was singing at Monte Carlo. His wife was hurrying to him from Paris, but I reached him first. I arrived at dusk, in a terrific storm. They had taken an old palace there for the winter, and I found him in the library—a long, dark room full of old Latin books and heavy furniture and bronzes. He was sitting by a wood fire at one end of the room, looking, oh, so worn and pale!—as he always does when he is ill, you know. Ah, it is so good that you do know! Even his red smoking-jacket lent no colour to his face. His first words were not to tell me how ill he had been, but that that morning he had been well enough to put the last strokes to the score of his 'Souvenirs d' Automne,' and he was as I most like to remember him; calm and happy, and tired with that heavenly tiredness that comes after a good work done at last. Outside, the rain poured down in torrents, and the wind moaned and sobbed in the garden and about the walls of that desolated old palace. How that night comes back to me! There were no lights in the room, only the wood fire. It glowed on the black walls and floor like the reflection of purgatorial flame. Beyond us it scarcely penetrated the gloom at all. Adriance sat staring at the fire with the weariness of all his life in his eyes, and of all the other lives that must aspire and suffer to make up one such life as his. Somehow the wind with all its world-pain had got into the room, and the cold rain was in our eyes, and the wave came up in both of us at once—that awful vague, universal pain, that cold fear of life and death and God and hope—and we were like two clinging together on a spar in mid-ocean after the shipwreck of everything. Then we heard the front door open with a great gust of wind that shook even the walls, and the servants came running with lights, announcing that Madame had returned, 'and in the book we read no more that night.'"

She gave the old line with a certain bitter humour, and with the hard, bright smile in which of old she had wrapped her weakness as in a glittering garment. That ironical smile, worn through so many years, had gradually changed the lines of her face, and when she looked in the mirror she saw not herself, but the scathing critic, the amused observer and satirist of herself.

Everett dropped his head upon his hand. "How much you have cared!" he said.

"Ah, yes, I cared," she replied, closing her eyes. "You can't imagine what a comfort it is to have you know how I cared, what a relief it is to be able to tell it to some one."

Everett continued to look helplessly at the floor. "I was not sure how much you wanted me to know," he said.

"Oh, I intended you should know from the first time I looked into your face, when you came that day with Charley. You are so like him, that it is almost like telling him himself. At least, I feel now that he will know some day, and then I will be quite sacred from his compassion."

"And has he never known at all?" asked Everett, in a thick voice.

"Oh! never at all in the way that you mean. Of course, he is accustomed to looking into the eyes of women and finding love there; when he doesn't find it there he thinks he must have been guilty of some discourtesy. He has a genuine fondness for every woman who is not stupid or gloomy, or old or preternaturally ugly. I shared with the rest; shared the smiles and the gallantries and the droll little sermons. It was quite like a Sunday-school picnic; we wore our best clothes and a smile and took our turns. It was his kindness that was hardest."

"Don't; you'll make me hate him," groaned Everett.

Katharine laughed and began to play nervously with her fan. "It wasn't in the slightest degree his fault; that is the most grotesque part of it. Why, it had really begun before I ever met him. I fought my way to him, and I drank my doom greedily enough."

Everett rose and stood hesitating. "I think I must go. You ought to be quiet, and I don't think I can hear any more just now."

She put out her hand and took his playfully. "You've put in three weeks at this sort of thing, haven't you? Well, it ought to square accounts for a much worse life than yours will ever be."

He knelt beside her, saying, brokenly: "I stayed because I wanted to be with you, that's all. I have never cared about other women since I knew you in New York when I was a lad. You are a part of my destiny, and I could not leave you if I would."

She put her hands on his shoulders and shook her head. "No, no; don't tell me that. I have seen enough tragedy. It was only a boy's fancy, and your divine pity and my utter pitiableness have recalled it for a moment. One does not love the dying, dear friend. Now go, and you will come again tomorrow, as long as there are tomorrows." She took his hand with a smile that was both courage and despair, and full of infinite loyalty and tenderness, as she said softly: For ever and for ever, farewell, Cassius; If we do meet again, why, we shall smile; If not, why then, this parting was well made." The courage in her eyes was like the clear light of a star to him as he went out.

On the night of Adriance Hilgarde's opening concert in Paris, Everett sat by the bed in the ranch-house in Wyoming, watching over the last battle that we have with the flesh before we are done with it and free of it for ever. At times it seemed that the serene soul of her must have left already and found some refuge from the storm, and only the tenacious animal life were left to do battle with death. She laboured under a delusion at once pitiful and merciful, thinking that she was in the Pullman on her way to New York, going back to her life and her work. When she roused from her stupor, it was only to ask the porter to waken her half an hour out of Jersey City, or to remonstrate about the delays and the roughness of the road. At midnight Everett and the nurse were left alone with her. Poor Charley Gaylord had lain down on a couch outside the door. Everett sat looking at the sputtering night-lamp until it made his eyes ache. His head dropped forward, and he sank into heavy, distressful slumber. He was dreaming of Adriance's concert in Paris, and of Adriance, the troubadour. He heard the applause and he saw the flowers going up over the footlights until they were stacked half as high as the piano, and the petals fell and scattered, making crimson splotches on the floor. Down this crimson pathway came Adriance with his youthful step, leading his singer by the hand; a dark woman this time, with Spanish eyes.

The nurse touched him on the shoulder, he started and awoke. She screened the lamp with her hand. Everett saw that Katharine was awake and conscious, and struggling a little. He lifted her gently on his arm and began to fan her. She looked into his face with eyes that seemed never to have wept or doubted. "Ah, dear Adriance, dear, dear!" she whispered.

Everett went to call her brother, but when they came back the madness of art was over for Katharine.

Two days later Everett was pacing the station siding, waiting for the west-bound train. Charley Gaylord walked beside him, but the two men had nothing to say to each other. Everett's bags were piled on the truck, and his step was hurried and his eyes were full of impatience, as he gazed again and again up the track, watching for the train. Gaylord's impatience was not less than his own; these two, who had grown so close, had now become painful and impossible to each other, and longed for the wrench of farewell.

As the train pulled in, Everett wrung Gaylord's hand among the crowd of alighting passengers. The people of a German opera company, en route for the coast, rushed by them in frantic haste to snatch their breakfast during the stop. Everett heard an exclamation, and a stout woman rushed up to him, glowing with joyful surprise and caught his coat-sleeve with her tightly gloved hands.

"Herr Gott, Adriance, lieber Freund," she cried.

Everett lifted his hat, blushing. "Pardon me, ma-dame, I see that you have mistaken me for Adriance Hilgarde. I am his brother." Turning from the crestfallen singer he hurried into the car.



THE END

Acknowledgements

THE textual editing of Youth and the Bright Medusa is unique in the Cather Edition in that the collations of the various editions of the texts and the conflations were compiled electronically through the work of Judy Boss, Department of English, University of Nebraska–Omaha.

Mark Kamrath (University of Central Florida) brought his expertise and keen eye to his inspection of our materials on behalf of the Committee on Scholarly Editions.

Mark J. Madigan is grateful for generous grants from Nazareth College of Rochester, which assisted in preparing the historical essay and explanatory notes for this edition. He thanks the following individuals for their help: Amy Ahearn; Martine Armand; Timothy Bintrim, who has generously shared information from his researches; Judy Boss; Jennifer Burr; Connie Gallagher and the Special Collections staff at the University of Vermont's Bailey/Howe Library; Richard Harris; Sr. Marion Hoctor, ssj ; Charles Johanningsmeier; Amanda Kuhnel; Charles Mignon; John J. Murphy; Ralph H. Orth; Natalie Palermo; Francoise Palleau-Papin; Thomas G. Roberts; Ann Romines; Kari A. Ronning; Rebecca Roorda; Susan J. Rosowski; Steve Ryan; Betty G. Shields; Robert Thacker; Timothy Thibodeau; Suzanne Tiranno; and Maria Rosaria Vitti-Alexander.

In the early stages of the preparation of the Willa Cather Scholarly Edition, consultations with several people were especially helpful to the editors. In Willa Cather: A Bibliography (Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1982), Joan Crane provided an authoritative starting place for the identification and assembly of basic materials, then in correspondence was unfailingly generous with her expertise. The late Fredson Bowers (University of Virginia) advised us about the steps necessary to organize the project. David J. Nordloh (Indiana University) provided advice as we established policies and procedures and wrote our editorial manual. As editor of the Lewis and Clark journals, Gary Moulton (University of Nebraska–Lincoln) generously provided expertise and encouragement. Conversations with Richard Rust (University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill) were helpful in refining procedures concerning variants.

We appreciate the assistance of Kay Walters, Mary Ellen Ducey, and Carmella Orosco, of Archives and Special Collections, University of Nebraska–Lincoln; Dr. Steven P. Ryan, former director of the Willa Cather Pioneer Memorial and Educational Foundation, Red Cloud; Ann Billesbach, first at the Cather Historical Center, Red Cloud, and later at the Nebraska State Historical Society, Lincoln. And we wish to acknowledge our indebtedness to the late Mildred R. Bennett, whose work as founder and president of the Willa Cather Pioneer Memorial and Educational Foundation ensured that Cather-related materials in Webster County would be preserved and whose knowledge guided us through those materials.

We are grateful to the staffs of Love Library, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, particularly those in Archives and Special Collections and in Interlibrary Loan; the Heritage Room, Bennett Martin Public Library, Lincoln; the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin; the Houghton Library, Harvard University; and the Nebraska State Historical Society.

Many people and institutions have kindly made illustrations available for this volume. We wish to thank particularly Dr. Mary Ray Weddle and the late Helen Cather Southwick, who generously gave their collections of family photographs and other materials to the Archives of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. The Carnegie Library, Pittsburgh; the Library of Congress; the Lilly Library, Indiana University; the New York Historical Society; the Sewickley Valley Historical Society; and the Special Collections Department, University of Virginia Library, made materials from their archives available to us. Timothy Bintrim, Harriett Delay, Richard Harris, and Kari A. Ronning contributed pictures from their collections.

For their administrative support at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln we thank Gerry Meisels, John G. Peters, and Brian L. Foster, successively deans of the College of Arts and Sciences; Richard Hoffmann, dean of Arts and Sciences; John Yost, formerly vice-chancellor for research; and John R. Wunder, former director of the Center for Great Plains Studies. We are especially grateful to Stephen Hilliard, Linda Ray Pratt, and Joy Ritchie, who as chairs of the Department of English provided both departmental support and personal encouragement for the Cather Edition.

For funding during the initial year of the project we are grateful to the Woods Charitable Fund. For research grants during subsequent years we thank the Nebraska Council for the Humanities; the Research Council, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, the University of Nebraska Foundation, and the Department of English, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. We deeply appreciate the generous gift from the late Mr. and Mrs. William Campbell in support of the Cather Edition.

The preparation of this volume was made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, an independent federal agency.

Historical Apparatus

Historical Essay

Willa Cather's career as a fiction writer began and ended with short stories. By the time Youth and the Bright Medusa was published in 1920, at the midpoint of her career, Cather was a known entity in the world of letters, though not so well known as she would have liked. The collection is a signal work in her career, for, as the first to be published by them, it set the course of her long association with the publishing house of Alfred A. Knopf, an association that brought her financial security and the freedom to write what pleased her. Youth and the Bright Medusa is unique in Cather's oeuvre in that she drew four of its stories from her first published collection, The Troll Garden (1905); these were written early in her career, when her creative work had to be scheduled around other, more lucrative pursuits, such as fulltime journalism and, later, high school teaching. Cather revised these stories and grouped them with four stories that had appeared more recently in magazines. She arranged the volume with the latest story first ("Coming, Aphrodite!"), followed by three stories written in 1916 ("The Diamond Mine," "A Gold Slipper," "Scandal"), and then the four stories from The Troll Garden ("Paul's Case," "A Wagner Matinée," "The Sculptor's Funeral," "'A Death in the Desert'").

Publishing short stories in magazines gave Cather access to a national audience and an opportunity to build a literary reputation. After she won the 1923 Pulitzer Prize for One of Ours, her first Knopf-published novel, her "chariot [began] to roll," as Knopf once put it ("Miss Cather" 208), and as her need for income from magazines declined, so, too, did her writing of short fiction (Woodress 279). After completing "Coming, Aphrodite!" in 1920, she did not write another short story for four years and only eight more altogether before her death in 1947. But while her output was slim during this period, her commitment to the short story form should not be doubted, for among those eight tales were some of the best things she ever wrote, such as "Neighbor Rosicky" and "Old Mrs. Harris." The last work Cather finished was a short story, "The Best Years" (1945), more than five decades after her first published story, "Peter," appeared in a Boston magazine in 1892.



Sources and Prototypes: The Troll Garden Stories

In "Paul's Case," Cather writes of a wishing carpet that can take the protagonist wherever he wants to go (216). The Troll Garden stories that Cather revised for Youth and the Bright Medusa may well have been Cather's own wishing carpet, for they were likely among those that brought her to the door of publisher Samuel S. McClure on 1 May 1903. She walked into his New York office a high school English teacher and part-time writer. She left feeling that a clear route to the top of the literary world was laid out before her.

The circumstances leading to Cather's auspicious meeting with McClure had their roots in Nebraska, the state to which her family had moved from Virginia in 1883, when she was nine years old. Cather spent her girlhood and adolescent years on the prairie and in Red Cloud. In Lincoln she was educated at the state university, from which she graduated in 1895, and gained experience as a journalist at the Nebraska State Journal and the Lincoln Courier. She arrived in Pittsburgh in June 1896 to take an editorial position at the Home Monthly magazine. This was followed by a job writing for the Pittsburgh Leader, beginning in August 1897. She began teaching in the spring of 1901, a career change prompted in large part by a desire for more time to work on her own prose and poetry, which she had been struggling to write all along.

At the same time that Cather was teaching her classes in Pittsburgh, H. H. McClure, head of the McClure newspaper syndicate and cousin of S. S. McClure, was in Lincoln looking for new writers. It was Cather's former editor at the Nebraska State Journal, Will Owen Jones, who recommended her to McClure. He, in turn, gave her name to his cousin in New York, who promptly wrote to her asking to see some of her work. She sent a packet of stories, but was pessimistic. She had sent stories to McClure's Magazine before, only to have them rejected. When Cather received an unexpected telegram from McClure inviting her to an interview at his office, she wasted no time in accepting (Woodress 170–71).

In a 7 May 1903 letter, Cather told Jones what had occurred during the meeting. She said that McClure had promised to publish everything she wrote. He had even called his manuscript readers into the office and held them accountable for rejecting Cather's stories in the past. A few days later, Dorothy Canfield Fisher wrote to a French friend that she had just seen Willa, who was ecstatic because the best publisher in New York had accepted a book of her short stories and would publish all of her work. If she kept her health, her literary fortune was made, Fisher wrote, and now everything Willa had hoped for was realized. It was the end of long waiting and periods of discouragement (Fisher to Céline Sibut, 11 May 1903). Fisher, a writer herself, knew Cather's struggle well. The two first met in 1891 at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, where Cather was a student and Fisher's father was chancellor. They maintained a warm friendship after leaving Nebraska, corresponding frequently and visiting each other as the demands of education and work brought them to different locales.

By the time Cather met McClure, "'A Death in the Desert'" had already been published (without the single quotation marks in the title) in the January 1903 Scribner's. The asyet-unpublished "Paul's Case," "A Wagner Matinée," and "The Sculptor's Funeral" were also probably in the packet sent to him. In a 29 March 1903 letter to Fisher, Cather wrote that she was revising a cycle of stories that included a case of an artistic personality lacking talent, a musical study, and a sculptor. Cather had written all of these stories while living in the home of Isabelle McClung, whom she had met in the dressing room of a mutual friend, actress Lizzie Hudson Collier, in the spring of 1899. Isabelle was a twenty-oneyear-old socialite with an interest in the world of art. She belonged to a respected, affluent Pittsburgh family, the most prominent member of which was its patriarch, Judge Samuel A. McClung. Two years after Isabelle and Cather met, their friendship had grown so close that Isabelle invited the writer to leave her boarding-house and move into the McClung's large home in the fashionable Squirrel Hill section of the city. Cather lived in her own third-floor room (with a separate room for writing) in the household for the rest of her stay in Pittsburgh.

Cather's biographers generally agree that her relationship with Isabelle was the most passionate of her life. Cather herself said after McClung's death in October 1938 that she was the person for whom Cather had written all her work (Woodress 139). The Troll Garden and The Song of the Lark are dedicated to her. In 1925, Cather inscribed a Borzoi Pocket Books copy of Youth and the Bright Medusa "To Isabelle, a little book for travel, with my love, Willa" (Horowitz 7). In what may have been an allusion to Judge McClung's stern nature and presbyterianism, Cather wrote to Fisher in February or March 1904 about the trying and complicated circumstances under which she lived and the restraint that she had to exercise in her daily life with the McClungs. On balance, though, she counted those five years among the happiest of her life. She wrote to Aunt Franc on Christmas Day 1915 that she felt more secure in the McClung house, where she was staying for the last time, than anywhere else (Woodress 276).



Two of the Troll Garden stories revised for Youth and the Bright Medusa, "'A Death in the Desert'" and "Paul's Case," have strong Pittsburgh connections. The title of the former is borrowed from a Robert Browning poem about the death of John the Apostle, but the story was inspired by composer and pianist Ethelbert Woodbridge Nevin, who was born in Edgeworth, a suburb northwest of Pittsburgh, in 1862. He is the prototype for Adriance Hilgarde. Nevin began playing and composing music as a child, pursued a musical education in Europe, and gave a triumphant homecoming concert at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Hall on 12 January 1898, which Cather attended. His family owned the Pittsburgh Leader, for which Cather wrote. The circumstances of their meeting are not definitely known, but the introduction probably took place at the home of John and Margaret Slack, Edgeworth neighbors of Nevin's, in January or early February 1898. Cather regularly attended the Slacks' parties and concerts; it was most likely on one such occasion that she met Nevin (Byrne 27–28). She wrote of their first conversation in the 5 February Lincoln Courier: The first hour was taken up with talks of his life abroad; of his home in Florence, his concerts in Paris, Berlin, Vienna; of the scores of unpublished compositions, some of which will be brought out this year; of his summer up along the Tuscan hills when he shipped a grand piano up to Montepiano and wrote most of Maggio in Tuscana in the donkey stable he used for a music room; of all that free and glorious life of production and art. And he who told me of these triumphs, of these ecstasies of creation was a smiling boy perched upon the arm of a leather reading chair. (World and Parish 536) Nevin's early songs were based on English and German texts and show the influence of German romanticism. Later pieces were written in a lighter vein. His work for both voice and piano was noted for its lyricism. When Cather met him he was well known as the composer of "The Rosary" and "Narcissus" and was the first true artist she could count among her friends (Woodress 132). The three years that she knew him proved to be the last of his life; he died of a stroke on 17 February 1901 at the age of thirty-eight. To his widow, Anne Paul Nevin, Cather sent a telegram the next day saying that she felt all of the music on earth had left with him (Howard 341). Cather and Nevin's friendship was short but intense. She wrote poems ("Sleep, Minstrel, Sleep," "Arcadian Winter," "Song") and newspaper columns in praise of him. In an obituary for the Nebraska State Journal (24 March 1901), she reported that his song "La Lune Blanche" (1900) bore her initials in its dedication (World and Parish 640).

Although Cather usually resisted efforts to identify her characters with prototypes, in a reply to a reader's query (Cather to Partingtons, 23 June 1921) she allowed that those who saw traces of the musician in the character might be correct. The parallels between passages from the story and Cather's 5 February 1898 article in the Lincoln Courier, first pointed out by Kathleen D. Byrne and Richard C. Snyder (27), show Nevin's influence on the character and even suggest that Cather had the newspaper piece at hand when she wrote the story after Nevin's death: Barely two-and-thirty in fact, with the face of a boy of twenty. I have never seen a face that mirrored every shade of thought, every fleeting mood so quickly and vividly, and I have never seen a face so exuberantly gloriously young. The shepherd boys who piped in the Vale of Tempe centuries agone might have looked like that, or Virgil's Menalcas, when he left his flock beneath the spreading beech trees and came joyous to the contest of song.Lincoln Courier, 5 February 1898 For Adriance, though he was ten years the elder, and though his hair was streaked with silver, had the face of a boy of twenty, so mobile that it told his thoughts before he could put them into words. A contralto, famous for the extravagance of her vocal methods and of her affections, once said that the shepherd-boys who sang in the Vale of Tempe must certainly have looked like young Hilgarde."'A Death in the Desert,'" 289 The roses kept going up over the footlights until they were stacked half as high as the piano and the applause did not cease, and so with a disdainful shrug and a sigh he sat down and, contemptuously enough, he played it.Lincoln Courier, 5 February 1898 He had sat there in the box—while his brother and Katherine were called back again and again, and the flowers went up over the footlights until they were stacked half as high as the piano."'A Death in the Desert,'" 289 Further evidence of the lasting impression Nevin made upon Cather can be seen in "Uncle Valentine," written more than twenty years after "'A Death in the Desert.'" It was the first story she had written since the publication of Youth and the Bright Medusa. The protagonist, Valentine Ramsay, is modeled after Nevin.

Everett Hilgarde, brother of the famous composer in "'A Death in the Desert,'" was loosely based on Arthur Finley Nevin (1871–1943), the youngest of Ethelbert's five brothers. Arthur, a pianist, conductor, and composer, was best known for his opera Poia (1910). The work is based on his research into the music of the Blackfoot Indians, with whom he lived in Montana in the summers of 1903 and 1904. Theodore Roosevelt invited him to present an illustrated lecture with excerpts from the opera at the White House in 1907. Three years later, Poia became the first American work to be performed at the Berlin Royal Opera. In 1918, Arthur guestconducted the Chicago Opera when it presented his opera A Daughter of the Forest (Rice and Shields). Ethelbert's letters show that he took interest in his younger brother's career, offering sympathetic criticism and advice (Howard 126–29). In later years, Arthur taught at the University of Kansas and conducted orchestras at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, and Memphis, Tennessee. He settled in Sewickley, a Pittsburgh suburb neighboring Edgeworth, in 1926 (Rice and Shields). Cather profiled Arthur Nevin in "Some Pittsburgh Composers" in the December 1899 Home Monthly. She wrote, "His music is entirely his own, so individual in matter and manner, so full of color and feeling . . . he has already proven that he is following a high calling of his own, and not his brother's example" (7).

The setting of "'A Death in the Desert'" in and around Cheyenne, Wyoming, owes not to the Nevins but rather to Cather's visits there in 1898 and 1901, shortly before she wrote the story. She went to see her brother Douglass, who worked in the office of the Burlington Railroad. In the story, Everett Hilgarde's train route is the same as the one Cather took from Red Cloud to Cheyenne in 1898 (Troll Garden xxi).



For the Pittsburgh settings of "Paul's Case," Cather again drew from personal experience. She had taught in a high school like the one in the story; had lived in East Liberty, a petit bourgeois neighborhood like the one despised by Paul; and had attended concerts at Carnegie Hall, where her protagonist works as an usher. In 1943 Cather identified two sources for the story. One was a student in her Latin class at Central High School, who, like the protagonist, was nervous and unattractive and bragged about having friends among the actors of a local stock company (Woodress 174). The other source was her own initial reaction to New York City. Her detailed descriptions of midtown Manhattan and the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in particular were inspired by her visits to the city, which dated to February 1898. Another account of Cather's sources is attributed to her Pittsburgh friend George Seibel, who recalled that she told him Paul was based on two of her high school students (205).

Cather may well have incorporated elements of her students' habits and personalities into her protagonist. For much of the plot of "Paul's Case," however, she drew upon accounts of a Pittsburgh robbery, recovered only with research for this edition. The real-life event figured so clearly in Cather's story that her Pittsburgh readers would have recognized it there, if a July 1905 Bookman review of The Troll Garden is any indication of their response. The anonymous reviewer noted the robbery as a source, though with factual errors that have been perpetuated by Cather biographers and critics. An examination of the newspaper articles—apparently the first since their original publication—not only corrects the record but establishes that the case provided Cather with the pivotal action of her story. Furthermore, a photograph of the young thief, which was published in the newspapers, suggests that Cather may have modeled her character's physical appearance after him.

From 17 November to 24 November 1902, the robbery of the Denny Estate by two youths from the Hazelwood section of Pittsburgh, James J. Wilson and his cousin Harold Orr, was a major story in the city's press. Wilson, the nineteen-yearold son of a prominent Methodist Episcopal minister, Corwin V. Wilson, was a clerk in the Fourth Avenue office where the Denny real estate was managed. On 4 November he stole between fifteen hundred and two thousand dollars from the Denny office safe. There were two versions of how the robbery was executed. Some reports stated that Wilson, who knew the combination of the safe, went with Orr to the closed office at night and took the money. They then left for Chicago by train ("Erring Youths Will Come Home," "Hazelwood Youths Lived a Fast Pace"). Other articles claimed that Wilson pocketed several rolls of bills during the workday when the safe was open and no one was watching. Shortly after the noon hour, he met Orr, who was a high school student, and the two left for Chicago. This was the version to which he confessed. The theft was soon discovered, and when Wilson did not return from lunch he was suspected ("Boy Robbers Are Captured," "Prosecution Was Dropped"). Police and private detectives were quickly put on his trail.

Upon arriving in Chicago, Wilson and Orr bought expensive new clothes, watches, and diamond rings ("Erring Boys Return"). They stayed for a week in one of the city's most luxurious hotels and lived in high style. As one newspaper reported, "Millionaires could not have spent their money with more reckless extravagance. They occupied the best apartments, rode in stylish turnouts, patronized aristocratic dining rooms and saw all the sights of the great city" ("Hazelwood Youths Lived a Fast Pace"). When the youths began to fear that the authorities were closing in on them, they left Chicago for Milwaukee. Arrested there on 17 November, they revealed that they had been planning to flee to San Francisco with the five hundred dollars that remained of the stolen money.

Wilson and Orr returned to Pittsburgh repentant, and their fathers promised their good behavior in the future. As the Denny Estate was reimbursed for the loss, charges against Wilson and Orr were dropped on 24 November. In its final article about the theft, the Pittsburgh Leader reported on Wilson's motive. According to the newspaper, he had "a longing to know how it would feel to have enough money to have just a good a time as any boy would care about having" ("Prosecution Was Dropped"). An accompanying photograph was most likely the one police circulated while searching for Wilson. In the posed portrait, he appears to be thin, narrow-chested, and dressed in formal attire, including a neatly knotted tie. In these regards his appearance matches that of his fictional counterpart in the opening scene of "Paul's Case."

That Cather read these newspaper articles and used them as a source is made clear by the similarities between the Denny robbery case and "Paul's Case." In the story, Paul goes to New York, not Chicago, but his desire to indulge himself is comparable to the "longing" of his real-life counterpart Wilson. Furthermore, several of his actions parallel those of Wilson and Orr. In New York, Paul hires a cab, buys new clothes and jewelry, registers at the city's most exclusive hotel, and takes his meals in an elegant dining room, just as Wilson and Orr did in Chicago. Although Paul does not make plans to go to San Francisco, as did Wilson and Orr, the city does play a part in the story, as the protagonist meets a "wild San Francisco boy" with whom he partakes of New York's nightlife (227). As Paul's escapade comes to an end, the fictional Cumberland minister, like Wilson's minister father, expresses his hope to "reclaim" the errant boy (229). Finally, Paul's father refunds Denny & Carson's missing money, as did Wilson's and Orr's fathers, ensuring the dismissal of criminal charges. Unlike Wilson and Orr, Cather's protagonist would rather commit suicide than return to Pittsburgh, but the connection between the Denny case and the story is nonetheless unmistakable.

In addition to identifying source material, the newspaper reportage of the Denny case from 17 to 24 November 1902 establishes the earliest possible composition date for "Paul's Case." Evidence that Cather was still working on the story in the spring of 1903 is contained in a letter to Fisher (29 March 1903) in which Cather complained that the story needed to be revised because she had not digested the material and the writing had been done hastily. Given that she added the completion date of 1904 to the story in the Autograph Edition of her collected works, it is likely that she sent a version of it to McClure in April 1903 and revised it the next year before it was published in McClure's Magazine in May 1905.



Cather wrote "A Wagner Matinée" before she had ever been to Boston, where the story is set. To establish the place, she includes landmarks such as Newbury Street, the Boston Common, and the Boston Conservatory. The true settings, however, are not so much the New England city as a Nebraska farm and a concert hall. Cather knew these places very well. The homestead where the narrator, Clark, once lived is based on that of William and Caroline Cather, the author's paternal grandparents. Located twelve miles northwest of Red Cloud, it was later described in more forgiving terms in My Ántonia (Woodress 40). When Willa Cather and her family arrived in Nebraska in April 1883, they moved into the farmhouse and lived there for nearly two years.

By the time Cather wrote "A Wagner Matinée," she was as well acquainted with concert halls as she was with pioneer homesteads. Her passion for opera had brought her not only to Pittsburgh's Carnegie Hall but also to the leading venues in Chicago and New York City. She saw Wagnerian opera for the first time in the spring of 1897, when Walter Damrosch brought his Metropolitan Opera company to Pittsburgh's Alvin Theatre to perform Lohengrin and Tannhäuser. Her reviews of the concerts appeared in the Pittsburgh Leader on 4 and 6 March (World and Parish 400–404). Wagner's music became one of the great enthusiasms of Cather's life and a subject she returned to often in her reviews and fiction.

For Aunt Georgiana Carpenter, Cather used her aunt Frances Cather (1846–1922), whom she called Aunt Franc, as a model. Born in Boston, Frances Smith moved with her family to New Hampshire and later Vermont. She studied music and graduated from Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. While teaching school in Winchester, Virginia, she met George P. Cather; they were married on 26 June 1873. That September they left the Shenandoah Valley for the West, settling in December in Webster County, Nebraska, where they lived the rest of their lives. In "A Wagner Matinée," Cather described how the prototypes established their property lines: "they had measured off their land themselves, driving across the prairie in a wagon, to the wheel of which they had tied a red cotton handkerchief, and counting its revolutions" (237). Despite the demands of the farm, Frances Cather maintained an active cultural and intellectual life, organizing literary and musical programs for her neighbors. Willa Cather once declared that her aunt "distributed more manna in the wilderness than anyone else" (Bennett, World of Willa Cather 14).

Some of Cather's family and friends felt insulted by her thinly veiled characterization of the "pathetic and grotesque" Aunt Georgiana and the harsh depiction of pioneer life in the Troll Garden version of "A Wagner Matinée" (94). In a 1904 letter to Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Cather wrote that her story had made her Nebraska compatriots, including Will Owen Jones, as angry as yellow jackets. Defiant, Cather promised to write another story that would make them even madder. In a 6 March 1904 letter to Jones, who had criticized her in the Nebraska State Journal (27 February 1904), Cather refuted his charges and said she intended "A Wagner Matinée" to be a tribute to pioneer women like her aunt. She claimed she got the idea for the story when she read a letter by a farm woman in Nebraska and later that same day attended a matinee performance of Wagner's music. In revising the story for Youth and the Bright Medusa, however, Cather not only cut the phrase "pathetic and grotesque" but tempered her portrait of Aunt Georgiana in many other ways as well. (For a discussion of these revisions, see the Textual Essay.)



"The Sculptor's Funeral" opens with a train station scene that was inscribed in one of Cather's poems, "The Night Express." According to Woodress (167), she drew upon her memory of seeing the body of a Red Cloud man returned to his hometown in a Burlington baggage car in 1901. For Harvey Merrick, the sculptor whose body is returned to Sand City, Kansas, in the story, though, Cather drew upon a Pittsburgh-born prototype, artist Charles Stanley Reinhart (Bennett, "Willa Cather in Pittsburgh" 71). After working in the offices of steel and railroad companies, Reinhart studied art in Paris and Munich in his early twenties. After returning to the United States, he won notice as an illustrator for Harper's Weekly and other publications. He is one of the artists credited for launching the golden age of American illustration in the 1870s. His paintings and drawings were acclaimed in the United States and Europe, most notably at the Salon in Paris, which mounted a major exhibition of his work in 1887. In 1891 more than 150 of his drawings were shown at the Art Institute of Chicago. His most famous painting, Washed Ashore, won awards at the Salon in 1887 and the Paris Exhibition in 1889 (March 482). It depicts a drowned man cast unto the sands by the sea. Lying on his back in a cruciform position, he is surrounded by French villagers and a gendarme recording the facts of the matter in his notebook. Of the painting, Henry James wrote, "Excellently composed but not artificial, deeply touching but not sentimental, large, close, and sober, this important work gives the full measure of Mr. Reinhart's great talent" (472). In "The Sculptor's Funeral," Cather may have alluded to the painting's title when she wrote that Merrick had been "cast ashore upon a desert of newness and ugliness and sordidness" as a boy (262). Reinhart died of Bright's disease in New York City on 30 August 1896 at the age of fifty-two and was brought back to his hometown for burial. His wife, Emilie Varet, had died the previous year. He was survived by a son and two daughters.

What seems to have intrigued and disturbed Cather most about Reinhart was the discrepancy between his fame in the world and his reputation in Pittsburgh. In a eulogy published under the pseudonym of Lawrence Brenton in the Home Monthly, Cather wrote that "Whatever artistic value the town had in those days, we may be sure that Stanley Reinhart appreciated it" (16). The lack of appreciation for the nativeson artist became clear to her at his burial. In a 23 October 1897 column for the Lincoln Courier, occasioned by the installation of Reinhart's gravestone, Cather wrote of his burial the previous year, "A number of great artists and literary men and several great editors came down from New York with his body, but his death was not even known in Pittsburgh." The comment she heard "a hundred times" about his death was, "Reinhart dead? Oh yes; his brother is a fellow of some means I guess. Stanley never amounted to much." Cather concluded, "I never knew the emptiness of fame until I went to that great man's funeral. I never knew how entirely one must live and die alone until that day when they brought Stanley Reinhart home" (World and Parish 510–12).

Other than Harvey Merrick in his casket, the character who holds the stage the longest in "The Sculptor's Funeral" is the alcoholic lawyer Jim Laird. Cather undoubtedly invested some of her own feelings about small-town hypocrisy in Merrick's scornful defender (O'Brien 306), but the actual prototype was a lawyer by the same name. Born on 20 June 1849 in Fowlerville, New York, James S. Laird (1849–89) was a Union army veteran (promoted to major at sixteen), a Hastings, Nebraska, attorney educated at the University of Michigan, a member of the U.S. Congress, and purportedly a heavy drinker. He died in Hastings on 17 August 1889 following a breakdown during a congressional campaign (March 415). There is no evidence that he and Cather ever met, but as a congressman he was a well-known figure in southern Nebraska. Moreover, two articles about Laird in Nebraska newspapers describe him in terms that mark a resemblance to the character in "The Sculptor's Funeral." Upon Laird's death, the Omaha Republican commented: He had to an extraordinary degree that peculiar quality known as personal magnetism. His mind was a rich one and his command of striking metaphor was unusual. He was a brilliant speaker and his conversational charm was exceedingly great. His influence over those with whom he came in contact was immediate and strong. Naturally aggressive, he was a frank and manly fighter, a forgiving enemy and a loyal friend. ("Peace at Last") A few days later, a tribute to Laird in the Webster County Argus read: Enemies charge that he was allied with the corporations. He used the corporations as we use their roadways and engines for his convenience. It would be interesting to see the man whom the corporations had selected to direct and manage Jim Laird. Such a man could not be directed by friend or foe. He himself sat in the engineer's cab. . . . [His frailties] were all of them frailties of a large, uncorrupted, if unrestrained nature. Such as they were, there was no hypocritical hiding of them. He indulged himself in no canting justification or insincere pretence of reform. ("Laird Laid to Rest")



"The Diamond Mine," "A Gold Slipper," and "Scandal"

In 1906 Cather joined the staff of McClure's, starting as a writer and rising to managing editor before leaving the magazine in 1912 to pursue her creative writing full-time. Her first novel, Alexander's Bridge, came out that year and O Pioneers! the next. By this time, Cather was a sophisticated New Yorker and an author of increasing renown. Her passion for opera, fueled by regular patronage of the Metropolitan, had developed to the extent that her next novel, The Song of the Lark (1915), was based on the life of prima donna Olive Fremstad. Cather's interest in divas was by no means exhausted by the writing of the book, for in the year following its publication she composed three short stories about opera singers.

While Cather's interest in singers remained constant, the winter of 1915–16 was marked by climactic events in her personal life (Woodress 276). When she left Pittsburgh for New York to work for S. S. McClure in the spring of 1906, she anguished over separating from Isabelle McClung. In the following decade the two women corresponded, visited each other, and vacationed together. Cather maintained a resilient connection to Pittsburgh and the McClung family, but that began to change on 12 November 1915, when she received news of the death of Samuel A. McClung. By early 1916 the McClung house, her former home and safe haven, was sold. These were certainly painful events, but what cut closest to Cather's heart was Isabelle's marriage to concert violinist Jan Hambourg on 3 April 1916. That Cather was still profoundly attached to McClung became evident when she heard the unexpected news of her engagement to Hambourg. Cather's friends described her as being initially shocked and later despondent. According to Elizabeth Sergeant, "All her natural exuberance drained away" when she discussed the subject (150). In a letter to Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Cather lamented that Pittsburgh was fading out of her life. It was a terrible loss and kept her from starting her next book, which she had firmly in mind (Cather to Fisher, 15 March [1916]). In time, she not only accepted McClung and Hambourg's marriage but embraced them as a couple. She even dedicated A Lost Lady and The Professor's House to Jan Hambourg. Nonetheless, the months following the ceremony were filled with regret over the loss of her closest companion and, moreover, anxiety about the changes occurring in her life (Woodress 277).

In the midst of this hard winter and spring, during which she was unable to start writing her next novel, My Ántonia, Cather wrote two stories, one of which was "The Diamond Mine." After ten years of living in New York, she was able to use the city convincingly as a backdrop for the story. Multiple trips to Europe provided the material for the opening scene on a transatlantic ocean liner. For the protagonist she turned to Wagnerian soprano Lillian Nordica, whom she had seen for the first time in 1893 in Lincoln in Cavalleria Rusticana. She followed Nordica's career closely and wrote a profile of her that appeared in the Nebraska State Journal on 13 December 1896 (World and Parish 381–84). Cather's "An Open Letter to Nordica" was published in the Lincoln Courier on 16 December 1899 (World and Parish 642–46). She summed up her admiration for the singer thus: American prima donnas of the future will look back upon your memory with pride and gratitude. You seem to me to embody all that is best in American womanhood. I think if anywhere on the continent, among the thousands of strange faces that pass one, I chanced to see yours, I should joyfully know under what sky to place it. About you there seems always something suggestive of a new hope in the world, not to be encountered in Europe; something altogether wholesome and invigorating like the clean smell of the pine woods, mingled with the fresh sea breezes. (646) Born Lillian B. Norton in Farmington, Maine, on 12 December 1857, Nordica was easily recognizable as the prototype for Cressida Garnet. Like Garnet, she had been extra-ordinarily successful, married three times, and her will had been contested in acrimonious court proceedings. Nordica began her professional career with Patrick Gilmore's popular band but longed to become an opera singer. In Paris she left Gilmore to take acting and language lessons. Her next stop was Milan, where her true operatic training began (Dizikes 298). She debuted there in 1879 as Donna Elvira in Mozart's Don Giovanni. In 1894 she became the first American to sing a major role at Bayreuth as Elsa in Wagner's Lohengrin, and thereafter she concentrated on Wagnerian parts. As a performer she was known for her taste, intellect, and controlled vocal style (Dizikes 306). She sang Isolde in her last performance at the Metropolitan Opera on 8 December 1909. In the winter of 1913 she set out on a world farewell tour. En route from Australia to Java she became ill and was hospitalized at Thursday Island. Three months later she was taken to Batavia, Java, where she died on 10 May 1914.

Nordica's first husband, Frederick Allen Gower (1852–85), bore little resemblance to the fictional Garnet's first husband, Charley Wilton, a church organist who dies of tuberculosis. Gower was a second cousin of Nordica's. While a newspaper reporter in Providence, Rhode Island, he covered a lecture by Alexander Graham Bell in 1877 and became Bell's business manager soon after. Gower went on to form his own telephone companies in England and France and made a fortune (Glackens 97–99). He was a shrewd business executive, but had no appreciation for the arts. Nonetheless, he married Nordica in Paris on 22 January 1883. Nordica's biographer Ira Glackens has characterized their marriage as one devoid of sympathy (103). In early 1885 Nordica petitioned the courts for a separation. The point became moot, though, as Gower, whose interest had turned to aeronautics, died in an attempted solo balloon flight across the English Channel on 18 July 1885.

Nordica's next two husbands, Zoltan Doehme (1864–1932) and George Washington Young (1864–1926), provided Cather with prototypes for their fictional counterparts, Blasius Bouchalka and Jerome Brown. Doehme had been an ironworker before he was "discovered" as a singer (March 215). He met Nordica at a charity concert in London in 1891. Glackens has written of their first encounter, "At the end of the Marlborough House concert he conducted Lillian to her carriage, instead of Melba [the concert organizer] whom he should have taken; it was scarcely the best of manners. But Lillian knew none of this. All she knew was that Zoltan Do[eh]me was good to look upon. She very soon decided that she was in love" (150). They were married on 26 May 1896 in Indianapolis. Like the fictional character, Doehme was championed by his famous wife, who initially promoted his career. He stopped singing professionally following their marriage, however, and became a parasitic figure. Their divorce was prompted by his infidelity, probably with French soprano Emma Calve or her maid. Doehme fought to have the divorce decree that had been awarded to Nordica set aside, but it was made final, despite his threats of murder and suicide, in February 1904 (March 215).

Nordica's third husband, George Washington Young, first caught her attention by sending her a necklace of emeralds after a concert in San Francisco (Glackens 239). A multimillionaire financier, he had started as a bank clerk in Jersey City, New Jersey, at nineteen and within ten years was a bank president. He became rich by investing money that his first wife had inherited (March 96–97). When he met Nordica, he was not yet divorced. Glackens has written of Nordica's attraction to Young: Here again was the kind of man that Mme. Nordica fatally admired. . . . He made an elegant appearance and had a fine white mustache; he knew all about stocks and bonds, a subject which had always fascinated Mme. Nordica, and he was a director of a score of corporations. . . . It must have been a delicious treat to be on the receiving end at last, after having been milked left and right for so many years. Lillian told her family that George Young was the great love of her life. Like herself he had risen from obscurity to dazzling success, and he seemed eminently congenial: but he was successful in acquiring a fortune for its own sake. Lillian Nordica's success sprang from her art. (239) They were married on 29 July 1909 in London. A year later, Nordica wrote a will in which she left everything to Young. Just before her death in 1914, though, she wrote another will in which she bequeathed her entire estate to her three surviving sisters, claiming she had given Young $400,000 just after their marriage and owed him nothing. When Young sued to have the second will rescinded, the court proceedings were highly publicized. The sisters prevailed, and Young was left with nothing but Nordica's ashes (March 97).

The prototype for Miletus Poppas, Garnet's accompanist, was Ernest Romayne Simmons (d. 1954), Nordica's business manager and piano accompanist. Before working for Nordica, he had been an actor whose credits included a fortyweek run in a theatrical version of George du Maurier's novel Trilby (1894), which is mentioned later in the story (101). Simmons was recommended to Nordica by William Steinway in 1899 and stayed with her until her death fifteen years later. For the next forty years he worked for J. J. Shubert as a dance director, casting director, and production assistant. He died in his late eighties in New York ("Shubert Ex-Aide Dies"). Glackens has written that Simmons became "artistically indispensable to Nordica. Though she was obliged to put up with his quirks and vagaries, which he soon took little trouble to conceal, his presence was forever bearable because it promoted her one consuming passion, song" (209).



Cather wrote her next two stories in the West. In mid-June 1916 she set out by train from New York bound for Taos, New Mexico, and Lander, Wyoming, to visit her brother Roscoe, who lived there with his family. Her first stop was in Denver, where she stayed at the Brown Palace Hotel (see "A Wagner Matinée" 240) and composed "Scandal" (Woodress 281–82). After visiting Taos and her brother in Wyoming, Cather moved on to Red Cloud, where she arrived by the end of August. In addition to seeing family and friends, she hoped to undertake a sustained period of writing before returning to New York in November. By the time she got back to her Greenwich Village apartment on Thanksgiving Day, she had written "A Gold Slipper" (Woodress 282, 284). That Pittsburgh was still very much on her mind is apparent from the story's primary setting and the character Marshall McKann, who was probably based on Samuel A. McClung.

"A Gold Slipper" and "Scandal" feature the same protagonist, singer Kitty Ayrshire (Connie in the magazine version of "Scandal"). Whereas the prototype for Cressida Garnet is plainly Nordica, a single model for Ayrshire is difficult to identify. March has argued that Sibyl Sanderson was the soprano upon whom the character was based (38–39). Woodress has written that the character's name and biography link her to Mary Garden, but her personality is closer to that of Geraldine Farrar (282). What is most likely is that Ayrshire is a composite of the three.

A Californian like her fictional counterpart, Sibyl Sanderson was born in Sacramento on 7 December 1865. At twentyone she began to study voice in Paris with Jules Massenet (1842–1912). She debuted under the name Ada Palmer in the title role of his opera Manon in 1888. The composer became so enamored of Sanderson's beauty and three-octave voice that he wrote the operas Esclarmonde and Thaïs for her. She sang in the debut of the former at the Opéra Comique on 15 May 1889 and the latter at the Paris Opera on 16 March 1894. Cather's story implies that the "veteran" composer's affection for Ayrshire extends beyond professional boundaries. The same rumors about Sanderson and Massenet were widespread. Farrar, for one, has written that "the musical world knew of their long and tender attachment" (63). Camille Saint-Saëns also wrote an opera, Phryne (1893), for Sanderson. As one critic has put it, her "specialty was captivating French composers" (Dizikes 327). Apparently, they were not the only ones captivated. In the same manner that Ayrshire is linked to the Grand Duke Paul in "Scandal" (179–80), Sanderson was widely believed to have had an affair with Czar Nicholas II of Russia (March 39). Turnbull has described the force of her personal charm thus: "[She] had great, melting brown eyes, an engaging manner, a warm individuality and such vibrancy that holding her hand gave anyone who made her acquaintance the feeling that her heart's blood was dashing through its veins" (12).

Sanderson's greatest professional asset was her elegant and commanding stage presence (Turnbull 13). Although she was revered in Europe, Sanderson never achieved the same acclaim in the United States, where audiences found her voice lacking in power and warmth. Cather's primary interest seems to have been Sanderson's life outside the concert hall. In a 7 July 1895 Nebraska State Journal article, she made clear that she was among those unconvinced by Sanderson's vocal skills: "Last winter Sybil [sic] Sanderson, the fair Californian whose voice and acting and general ensemble drove Paris wild . . . came back to astonish her native land. She did astonish us—by her complete and unqualified failure. She did not sing more than half a dozen times in America, and then she was always in bad voice. . . . The rest of the time she was busy making excuses to her managers as to why she could not sing" (World and Parish 642).

By the mid-1890s Sanderson's career was in premature decline, and her last years were marked by a struggle with alcoholism (Turnbull 36). In 1903 she was engaged to Count Paul Tolstoi, a cousin of the novelist. They planned to marry in the summer, but on 15 May 1903 Sanderson died of pneumonia at the age of thirty-eight. Among those attending her funeral were Massenet and Saint-Saëns.

Mary Garden was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, on 20 February 1874. She moved with her family to the United States eight years later and was raised in Massachusetts and Chicago. While studying in Paris she met Sanderson, who befriended her and helped further her career. Garden, too, became a Parisian favorite; Claude Debussy, for one, admired her greatly. She sang the role of Mélisande in his opera Pelléas et Mélisande at the Opéra Comique in its debut on 30 April 1902. From the time Debussy first rehearsed the part with Garden, he was enthralled by her interpretation of the character. The composer wrote in her copy of the score, "In the future others may sing Mélisande, but you alone will remain the woman and the artist I had hardly dared hope for" (Dizikes 327–28). Garden's American debut was in the title role of Thaïs at the Manhattan Opera on 25 November 1907. Critics agreed that her acting was superb, and the New York Times commented upon her "sinuous" body (Dizikes 329), using the same adjective with which Cather would later describe Ayrshire in "A Gold Slipper" (146). She sang Camille with the Chicago Civic Opera Company in her last performance on 6 February 1931 in Boston.

Garden's biographer Michael T. R. B. Turnbull has written that Cather also used the singer as a source for "Scandal," in which she "drew obliquely on Garden's supposed double-life of sexual experimentation which had gained wide currency in America" (142). Garden, like the protagonist of Cather's story, was rumored to have had a child out of wedlock (Turnbull 68). She was also said to have been romantically involved with a Russian prince in Paris who was worth five million dollars (Turnbull 63). Four years after writing "A Gold Slipper" and "Scandal," Cather would use Garden as a prototype again in "Coming, Aphrodite!"

Like Sanderson and Garden, Geraldine Farrar was noted for her beauty and developed her soprano voice in Europe before singing in the United States. Born in Melrose, Massachusetts, on 28 February 1882, she studied in Berlin and debuted there on 15 October 1901 at the age of eighteen as Marguerite in Gounod's Faust (Nash 21). She made her American debut at the Metropolitan Opera in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette on 26 November 1906. She soon became a leading member of the company, in which she sang some thirty roles in the next thirty years. Farrar had a French maid, like Ayrshire, and was rumored to have had a romantic affair with a foreign dignitary, Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Germany (Dizikes 402). According to Farrar, "Ridiculous gossip and shameful observations ripened into the screaming headlines of scandal" (47).

Even though Farrar possessed a beautiful voice, she was best known for her acting, which she considered to be of primary importance in operatic performance (Nash 1). She became a cultural phenomenon in the United States, inspiring devoted female fans (known as "Gerryflappers") to follow her from performance to performance. As opera historian John Dizikes has written, she "represented nonconformity, rebellion against authority. Her realistic acting reflected greater sexual frankness, heightened by her lithe sexual appeal" (403). Farrar gave her final performance on 22 April 1922 at the Metropolitan in the title role of Leoncavallo's Zaza. She also acted in several silent films in the late teens and early twenties. In "Three American Singers," Cather wrote of Farrar, "One often feels, in listening to her, that she finds the Opera a splendid game, in which not only she and the tenor and the orchestra, but the whole audience, take part; that she is enjoying every moment of it, and making things come her way every moment" (41). After Farrar read Cather's laudatory profile of her in the December 1913 McClure's, the singer and writer became friends (Woodress 256). Farrar died in Ridgefield, Connecticut, on 11 March 1967.



"Coming, Aphrodite!"

By early 1917 Cather was sufficiently recovered from the personal travails of the previous year to begin work on her next novel. Published in September 1918, My Ántonia was the greatest critical success of her career to that point. H. L. Mencken called it "one of the best [novels] that any American has ever done" (Woodress 301). But Cather was not content to rest upon her laurels; by late 1918 she was writing One of Ours, which would win the Pulitzer Prize in 1923. In a 7 January 1920 letter to her editor, Ferris Greenslet, she said she had given herself a Christmas present by taking a break from the long book and writing a fifteen-thousand-word story. This was "Coming, Aphrodite!"

Working with Greenslet appears to have been one of the few things Cather liked about Houghton Mifflin. The author and editor not only respected each other as professionals but were also friends. It was Greenslet who argued that Houghton Mifflin should publish Cather's first novel, Alexander's Bridge, which it did in 1912 (Brown 159). Cather's displeasure with the publishing company began shortly after The Song of the Lark came out in 1915. Houghton Mifflin had billed her an exorbitant amount for corrections in proof, she wrote Greenslet (Woodress 274). When My Ántonia was published three years later, Cather again complained to Greenslet about charges for corrections and claimed that Houghton Mifflin was not adequately advertising her work. Nor was she happy with the way her novels had been designed, bound, and illustrated (Cather to Greenslet, 19 May [1919]). Despite her dissatisfaction, she proposed a new book to Greenslet in early September 1918. It would be a collection of short stories about musicians and singers, ready the next spring. The tone would be light. It would begin with "The Diamond Mine," followed by "A Gold Slipper" and three or four other stories not yet written (Cather to Greenslet, 6 September [1918]). Greenslet responded that wartime rationing of paper had limited the number of titles Houghton Mifflin could bring out each year. Because of this, the firm could publish only those books with the potential for large sales. If Cather would send him the stories, he would render a decision by the end of the year (Greenslet to Cather, 16 September 1918). In December he wrote that he would rather have a novel set in Pittsburgh or New York, which would sell better than the proposed volume of short fiction (Greenslet to Cather, 3 December 1918).

At the same time that Cather felt she was being treated unfairly by Houghton Mifflin and getting an ambivalent response to her proposed short story collection, three New York publishers were declaring their interest in her next work. One of them was most likely Alfred Knopf, whom Cather held up to Greenslet as an example of a publisher with strong advertising skills (Cather to Greenslet, 19 May [1919]). How Knopf won Cather as an author is a story told in multiple versions. Journalist Fanny Butcher has recalled that Cather was so impressed by his attendance at matinee performances at the Metropolitan Opera that she decided he should be her publisher (366). Cather has written that she had followed his career since 1916, when he published W. H. Hudson's best-selling novel Green Mansions. She particularly liked the appearance of Knopf's early Borzoi books. When she made her first visit to his office in the Candler building on West Forty-second Street, she was taken by the attention he was giving to the binding of a book he was about to publish. Knopf was in the midst of examining samples of Chinese blue binding cloth to be used for a book of poems translated from Chinese. He had gone to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to get exactly the right shade of blue. Cather left thinking that she would like to be associated with any publisher who would take such pains with a book ("Portrait" 11–12). Within a year she would be impressed by the attention Knopf paid to the production of one of her own books, Youth and the Bright Medusa. In a 6 February 1922 letter to the book's designer, Claude Bragdon, Knopf remarked that Cather had been "pleased... enormously" with its binding.

Cather's love of music and interest in book bindings may well have entered into her decision to change publishers, but her belief that Knopf would further her career in ways that Houghton Mifflin would not was central. Knopf believed in aggressive advertising, the power of reviews in selling books, and promoting his authors for long-term success (Woodress 307). Knopf also believed in Cather. His admiration for her work dated to the fall of 1918, when he read My Ántonia. The recently published book "opened a new world" for him and led him to read her three previous novels ("Publishing Willa Cather" 1). When he offered to republish The Troll Garden in late 1919, even though the plates had been destroyed two years earlier, she accepted.

A few days after Christmas 1919, Cather wrote to Greenslet that Knopf wanted to bring out The Troll Garden in the early spring of 1920. She offered to delay its reissue until six to eight weeks following the publication of Claude (her working title for One of Ours) if Greenslet so desired (Cather to Greenslet, 28 December 1919). Greenslet responded that if Claude was published in late autumn, there would be no harm in publishing The Troll Garden in the spring, as long as it was clearly advertised as a reprint. If Claude was ready for publication in late spring or summer, though, he would request that The Troll Garden be deferred until autumn. He added, "In any event, I think it ought to be clearly understood between us, in fairness to us, that if the Troll Garden is published before Claude, that Claude when published should be published by H.M. Co." (Greenslet to Cather, 30 December 1919). Greenslet's fears were soon realized. Rather than merely reprinting the 1905 volume, as Knopf proposed, Cather packaged "The Diamond Mine," "A Gold Slipper," "Scandal," and the recently written "Coming, Aphrodite!" with the four selected stories from The Troll Garden to form a new collection. In 1973, Knopf recalled how Cather gave him One of Ours as well: On February 1, 1920, we made a contract with Willa Cather for Youth and the Bright Medusa. Later I told her that I had done something unusual when I accepted a collection of short stories without asking for any commitment to us of her future work. She replied that while she felt obliged to give her next book, a novel, to Houghton Mifflin, I would certainly become her publisher after that. But she never went back to the Boston house. One evening at a party at our home she took me into our bedroom and handed me a letter to read. It was from Ferris Greenslet, the partner and senior editor at Houghton Mifflin with whom she dealt, and it acknowledged a letter from her in which she told him she had decided to come over to us. ("Miss Cather" 206) The letter that Cather showed Knopf was dated 14 January 1921. Two days earlier, she had informed Greenslet that she was leaving Houghton Mifflin. The break was not with him but with his publicity department, she explained. And even though Knopf would publish Claude, she still wanted to call Houghton Mifflin her publisher. Perhaps her next effort would be the Pittsburgh novel that Greenslet had long coveted, and she would give it to him, Cather wrote (Cather to Greenslet, 12 January 1921).

Any hope that Greenslet might have held out for Cather's return never materialized. Knopf was her publisher for the rest of her life. The importance of Cather's association with him did not escape Edith Lewis, who has judged that "Next to writing her novels, Cather's choice of Alfred Knopf as her publisher influenced her career . . . more than any action she ever took" (115). Knopf not only produced and promoted her work to the high standards he promised but also allowed her the artistic freedom she desired. Even if Cather's Don Hedger had not come to her imagination yet, the artistic ideals he espoused in "Coming, Aphrodite!" were clearly on her mind in 1919 when she wrote "On the Art of Fiction." In that essay, published in Knopf 's The Borzoi 1920, she championed the artist who searched for "something for which there is no market, new and untried, where the values are intrinsic and have nothing to do with standardized values" (8). As Susan J. Rosowski and Kari A. Ronning have argued, with Knopf as her publisher, Cather was able to pursue those same values, free of pressure to satisfy a mass market (A Lost Lady 185).



In "Coming, Aphrodite!" Cather turned her attention and imagination once more to Mary Garden, upon whom the character Eden Bower is based. Like Bower, Garden took singing lessons in Chicago and later studied in Paris with the support of a wealthy Chicago patron. She debuted in Paris as a midperformance replacement for the lead in Gustave Charpentier's Louise on 13 April 1900 and gave her first performance in the United States in Thaïs (see the discussion of Kitty Ayrshire above). The connection to Bower was strengthened by the fact that Garden sang the title role in Camille Erlanger's opera Aphrodite in its American debut with the Chicago Opera Company at the Lexington Opera House in New York on 27 February 1920.

Cather may have drawn from a literary source for the voyeuristic element of "Coming, Aphrodite!" As Richard Harris has pointed out, the plot of Henri Barbusse's novel The Inferno (1918) is similar in that the narrator, a Paris bank clerk, closely observes his neighbors through a crack in the wall that separates their apartments (Harris 111). In the conclusion, the narrator is stunned to overhear a famous novelist reveal the premise of his latest work: "A man pierces a hole in the wall of a boarding-house room, and watches what is going on in the next room" (236). Although, as Harris notes, The Inferno and "Coming, Aphrodite!" move in different directions from this common starting point, it is possible that Cather read Barbusse, who was considered a significant French writer in the early twentieth century, and absorbed the plot device from him (Harris 113).

Cather had lived in New York for almost fifteen years, longer than she had lived anywhere else, by the time she wrote "Coming, Aphrodite!" The city depicted in her most richly detailed urban story is the one she came to know upon her arrival in 1906. Washington Square with its Fountain, Arch, and Garibaldi statue, University Place, Little Italy, Central Park, the Brevoort Hotel, New York Aquarium, Fifth Avenue stagecoaches, Art Students League, Babies Hospital, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Metropolitan Opera, Lexington Opera House, Flatbush, Coney Island, Long Island ferries, and the East River are all present in her homage to a bygone New York of gaslight and hansom cabs. Cather's source for the story's main setting is also easily identifiable. The building where Hedger and Bower live is modeled after 60 South Washington Square, where Cather had a studio apartment, her first residence in the city. Edith Lewis, who shared living space with Cather for nearly forty years beginning in 1908, lived on the floor below. Painters, singers, writers, and other artists of the sort mentioned in "Coming, Aphrodite!" also populated the red brick building, which was situated across the park from a row of more elegant and expensive residences to the north. By the time the apartment house was demolished in 1947—the year of Cather's death—Frank Norris, Theodore Dreiser, Stephen Crane, and John Dos Passos had lived there too. It became known as the "House of Genius" (March 545).

Embedded in Cather's New York story is one of the Southwest: "The Forty Lovers of the Queen" tale that Don Hedger tells Eden Bower after their excursion to Coney Island. Cather acknowledged that she may have first encountered the narrative in William H. Prescott's History of the Conquest of Mexico, but she maintained it was through the oral tradition that it really came alive for her (Woodress 7). In the spring of 1912 she made her first trip to the Southwest and visited her brother Douglass at Winslow, Arizona. The experience was revelatory; Douglass introduced her to people and places that she wove into her fiction for years after. Among the people Cather met was Julio, a Mexican friend of her brother's. He told her the story of "The Forty Lovers of the Queen." She was so impressed by the story that she vowed to write her own version when she went Mexico (Sergeant 91). She never did go there, but she used the story as an inset narrative almost eight years later in "Coming, Aphrodite!"



Magazine Publications

"'A Death in the Desert'" was not only the first of the Youth and the Bright Medusa stories to be published but also Cather's first in a major national magazine, appearing in Scribner's in January 1903 without the quotation marks in the title. "A Wagner Matinée" was placed in Everybody's magazine in February 1904. "The Sculptor's Funeral" marked Cather's debut in McClure's. Editor Witter Bynner has claimed that she became angry when he cut a substantial portion of the story for publication in the January 1905 issue (Bynner 159). According to Virginia Faulkner (595), Cather herself cut passages from "Paul's Case" (subtitled "A Study in Temperament" in the magazine version) to fit the available space in the same magazine in May 1905.

"The Diamond Mine" was the last of Cather's stories to be published in McClure's and her first to be sold by literary agent Paul Reynolds. Cather thought the story would be difficult to sell to a magazine because it was long and based on the life of an easily recognizable celebrity, opera singer Lillian Nordica (Woodress 278). She was right. It was first turned down by Century magazine and then the Smart Set, the publishers of which feared that George Young, the prototype for the character Jerome Brown, would bring a libel suit against them if they published the story. In a 15 June 1916 memorandum, Reynolds noted that Cather's usual price for a story was five hundred dollars. Although she would be glad to get that amount, he would try for six hundred. On 21 June he was pleased to inform her that he had gotten the higher figure from McClure's. Two months later, Cather asked for a chance to correct the proofs, but Reynolds told her it was too late. McClure's needed them back within three days, and Cather was in Taos, New Mexico (Reynolds to Cather, 15 August 1916). "The Diamond Mine" was published in the October 1916 issue. Cather told Reynolds she was happy with the way it looked in the magazine, but still wished she could have edited it one more time (Cather to Reynolds, 25 September 1916).

Reynolds also handled the sales of "A Gold Slipper" and "Scandal." The first went to Harper's for five hundred dollars; it appeared in the January 1917 issue (Reynolds to Cather, 6 November 1916). In a 30 December 1916 letter to her sister Elsie, Cather wrote that she needed the money from "A Gold Slipper" to help keep up with the wartime inflation rate (Woodress 282). Once again, she asked Reynolds if she could revise the story after it was sold. Writing from Red Cloud, she lamented that her mother was ill; she had been preoccupied and the story was written carelessly, especially the first part. In closing, she promised to send Reynolds another Kitty Ayrshire tale soon (Cather to Reynolds, 9 November 1916). Reynolds responded with regret that Harper's wanted to publish the story at once. Edith Lewis could read the proofs in New York, but there was no time for revision (Reynolds to Cather, 13 November 1916). "Scandal," the next Ayrshire story, was rejected by fifteen magazines before it was purchased by the Century (Reynolds to Cather, 19 September 1917). Cather was unenthusiastic about the tale. It was sloppy and written for the money, she wrote Greenslet (Cather to Greenslet, 28 July [1919]).

"Coming, Aphrodite!" appeared in George Jean Nathan and H. L. Mencken's Smart Set in August 1920 under the title "Coming, Eden Bower!" Cather had first attempted to sell the story herself with no success and then gave Reynolds permission to try. She told him she wanted the money for an upcoming trip to France (Cather to Reynolds, [16 March 1920]). Because of its close association with opera singer Mary Garden and its sexually suggestive passages, several magazines rejected it in fear of a libel suit and censors such as the Society for the Suppression of Vice (Woodress 315). The first mention of Nathan's interest in the story appeared in a 2 April 1920 letter from Reynolds to Cather. Nathan, too, worried that the story was potentially libelous. Cather later agreed to make revisions (including the new title) for him that were intended to quell possible controversy over the tale. Reynolds was able to get Cather's usual price of five hundred dollars for the expurgated version under the new title (Reynolds to Cather, 22 April 1920).



Publication and Early Reception

The copyright for Youth and the Bright Medusa was secured on 15 September 1920. A Knopf advertisement in the 25 September Publisher's Weekly called the volume "already published" (see illustration 4), and it was listed in that publication's weekly record on 3 October. Its first printing of 3,500 copies sold for $2.25 each (Crane 81). On the title page, Cather distinguished the book from every other she had written. There, she identified herself as an author by the name Willa Cather for the first time, dropping Sibert, the middle name she had adopted two decades earlier (Uncle Valentine xvii).

Cather was far from the United States when Youth and the Bright Medusa came out, and by then her attention was focused on her next book, One of Ours. In July 1920 she had become ill during a trip through the south of France with Isabelle and Jan Hambourg. She recuperated in the Mediterranean fishing village of Cavalière in August and September. During that six-week period, she worked on One of Ours and was joined by Edith Lewis. The two later traveled to Paris and sailed for New York at the beginning of November (Woodress 311).

By the time Cather returned, Youth and the Bright Medusa was on its way to becoming a popular and critical success. The collection earned her more money in its first six months than My Ántonia did in its first year (Woodress 310). In a 23 December 1920 letter to Ferris Greenslet, she wrote that Youth and the Bright Medusa had sold out of its first printing and that a second printing of 3,500 copies would be issued that day, which she thought were impressive figures for a book of short stories. The second printing actually consisted of 1,000 copies, but her assessment of Youth and the Bright Medusa's considerable commercial appeal was nonetheless valid. In a 21 January 1921 letter, a little more than a week after Cather informed Greenslet of her decision to leave Houghton Mifflin for Knopf, she told him she had just received a royalty statement from her new publisher: by the end of 1920, 3,385 copies of Youth and the Bright Medusa had been sold and her royalty amounted to over $1,180. A third printing of 500 copies was issued in April 1921 and a fourth printing of 750 copies in June. In July she wrote to Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant that the book was selling very well (Cather to Sergeant, 6 July [1921]). The first English edition was published by William Heinemann in August 1921 (Crane 88). In all, the first American edition ran to seven regular trade edition printings (8,000 total copies) (Crane 81–83). Two Borzoi Pocket Book printings, one of 1,500 copies in April 1925 and another of the same number in March 1929, reflected the popularity of Youth and the Bright Medusa. A signed limited edition of thirty-five copies, the first such edition of Cather's work, attested to Knopf's willingness to spend money and care on her books.



Reviews

Cather once said that only two of her books, A Lost Lady and Youth and the Bright Medusa, had ever received good reviews (Knopf, "Publishing Then and Now" 563–64). The critical response to Youth and the Bright Medusa was almost universally positive, with "Coming, Aphrodite!" most often singled out for praise. Cather received high marks for the prose style and formal technique exhibited in the newer stories and for the revisions made to those from The Troll Garden; many critics commented on what the book jacket copy called "The theme on which all the stories more or less loosely hang—youth's adventure with the many colored Medusa of art" (see illustration 5). Given Cather's well-documented participation in the shaping of her literary reputation, it is reasonable to assume that she at least saw advance proof of that book jacket text, or wrote it herself. The biographical sketch on the jacket shows further evidence of Cather's hand in shaping her literary reputation. It begins, "Willa Cather wrote her

first short story some fifteen years ago. It was published in McClure's, having been accepted by correspondence with the author, who was in the West" (see illustration 5). The story referred to is presumably "The Sculptor's Funeral," her first McClure's publication, which appeared in January 1905.

The first known review of Youth and the Bright Medusa, an anonymous piece in the Nation, began memorably: "Miss Willa Cather has worked at herself and her art. Today the product is finished and represents the triumph of mind over Nebraska" (25 September 1920). The reviewer found a vein of social criticism in Cather's tales and noted that she recognized America's philistinism, unlike one of her contemporaries from the Midwest, William Allen White. "The theme of her stories is the life of art, specifically of music. Or, rather, it is the life of art as contrast, criticism, symbol, refuge, as the one imaginable escape for an American from ugliness to beauty, from bondage to freedom," the critic wrote.



The first known New York review, previously undocumented in Cather criticism, appeared in the daily Globe and Commercial Advertiser (2 October 1920). There, N. P. Dawson asserted that he had "never been surer of Miss Cather's foremost place among American fiction writers" than after reading Youth and the Bright Medusa. "No recent collection of stories can be compared with 'Youth and the Bright Medusa'—an excellent title—either in interest or the perfection of the storytelling technique," he continued. "A Wagner Matinée" was the only weak story in the collection, according to Dawson, for it struck a "sentimental" and therefore "false" note. A day later, Edmund Lester Pearson reviewed Youth and the Bright Medusa in the New York Times Book Review and lauded "Coming, Aphrodite!" "If Willa Cather had written nothing except 'Coming, Aphrodite!'. . . there could be no doubt of her right to rank beside the greatest creative artists of the day," he began. "The Diamond Mine" was also complimented for its "illuminating phrases and flashes of bold, imaginative insight." The earlier stories, with the exception of "The Sculptor's Funeral," were not so fine as the first two in the collection, he judged, but would still make any writer proud. "Youth and the Bright Medusa is decidedly a literary event which no lover of the best fiction will want to miss," Pearson concluded (3 October 1920). That same month, Blanche Colton Williams suggested in the Bookman that Cather's prima donnas—Eden Bower, Cressida Garnet, and Kitty Ayrshire—were so well drawn that they suggested "the hand of the biographer." She accurately predicted that they would "set speculation alert for prototypes" (October 1920).

That Youth and the Bright Medusa was available in England by October 1920 is evident from a two-sentence notice in that month's Times Literary Supplement. The reviewer noted that Cather's plots were laid in an "artistic, musical, and theatrical atmosphere" and written with "picturesque skill and keen sense of dramatic effect" (14 October 1920). As Margaret Anne O'Connor has noted, Cather's marginalia on review clippings show that she closely followed the British response to her work (xviii). In the November issue of the World Tomorrow, Cather was praised for having made an impact beyond the United States. The anonymous critic commended "Coming, Aphrodite!" and "The Diamond Mine" for their well-constructed plots and called the shorter stories "nicely polished" examples of the genre. Cather, the reviewer opined, "is one of a small group of American authors who are producing literature of a high type and adding to the literary laurels of America in Europe." A notice in the Freeman also cast Cather as a distinctly American author, but from a perspective closer to that of the Nation review. The Freeman critic, identified as E. A. B., wrote: A whole literature is growing up which is nothing less than a prolonged narrative of the plight of the artist, of the individual, in a civilization which has never contemplated such phenomena and has so little use for them that it can actually destroy them out of pure kindness. In Miss Cather's new book this conflict is the theme, and it might just as well have been titled America and the Bright Medusa were it not for the exigencies of a work of fiction, which could not be handicapped with a title suitable for a volume of essays. (1 December 1920) Cather's achievement was chiefly in illustrating "the adventures of the Medusa of art in the wilderness of successful Americanism."

H. L. Mencken's comment on Youth and the Bright Medusa appeared in the December 1920 Smart Set, the same magazine in which "Coming, Eden Bower!" had been published four months earlier. Mencken had championed Cather's early novels, and his assessment of her second collection of stories was no less enthusiastic. "One finds in every line of her writing a sure-footed and civilized culture," he wrote. The early stories were in his estimation "excellent," yet Cather had learned a great deal since they were written. Her grasp of characterization was firmer, her prose more graceful, and, above all else, she was more adept at "the delicate and difficult art of evoking feelings." "Coming, Aphrodite!" and "Scandal" were the best stories in the collection, and the author's last novel, My Ántonia, was "the finest thing of its sort ever done in America," wrote Mencken in closing. On the Nebraska home front, an Omaha Bee review by M. H. Doorly, reprinted in the Bladen Enterprise, struck a similar chord: "To those who have read Willa Cather's My Ántonia these new stories of hers will require no further introduction, and all Nebraskans, through pride in the growing fame of one who was formerly of this state and who is an alumnus of the University of Nebraska should feel an especial interest in her late[st] book" (28 January 1921). In the Double Dealer, Flo Field also concurred with Mencken: [I]n this delighting volume, there are no tricks of trade, nor concession to any sort of dear Reader. Life flows beneath the eye, unhurried in telling, with every closeness of detail and vision of perspective. . . . One is scarcely surprised that her slender output—very slender as compared to our foremost and most joyous magazine contributors—is this result of a year or so to a book. Mr. Mencken rightly finds this the most encouraging hope for American letters in general. (February 1921) Amidst the praise, a few reviewers expressed mild reservations about Youth and the Bright Medusa. An anonymous critic for Booklist warned that Cather's "ruthless, almost cynical, unmasking of sometimes ugly truths will repel some readers" (December 1920). Likewise, an unidentified reviewer in the February 1921 Dial concluded that "a coldness, a minimizing of the emotional element, even in an emotional situation... will disappoint and baffle the public which seeks the story—only the story." In London's Athenæum (31 December 1920), Orlo Williams criticized Cather's "rough and dowdy" prose style and found the newer stories to be the weakest of the collection. Conversely, in the New Republic (19 January 1921), Francis Hackett quoted the lead sentences to each of the volume's stories to illustrate that the later ones were "clearly more expert." While all of the openings showed Cather's "remarkable magazine craft," they also demonstrated her "limitation." The most exciting kind of literature met the reader "burning bright," like Blake's tiger, Hackett argued, and this was not the kind of genius one found in Cather. Two years later, John Middleton Murry, the editor of the Athenæum and husband of Katherine Mansfield (whose own stories Cather later praised in her essay "Katherine Mansfield"), responded alike in a dual review of Youth and the Bright Medusa and One of Ours. He was impressed by both works and thought that "Coming, Aphrodite!" was "one of the best short stories written in America in the last few years" (14 April 1923). His praise for Cather was qualified, however, as he concluded, "though she will never let me down, I doubt very much whether she will ever carry me away."

A review that held personal significance for Cather was written by her friend Dorothy Canfield Fisher for the Yale Review ( June 1921). Twenty-six years earlier, Cather and Fisher had shared a byline for "The Fear That Walks by Noonday," a short story published in the University of Nebraska yearbook Sombrero (Crane 167). In the opening sentence of her review, Fisher declared, "There is no writer in whose excellence Americans feel a warmer, prouder pleasure than we all feel in the success of Willa Cather." A young writer needed only to compare the latest version of "'A Death in the Desert'" to the 1903 Scribner's text to learn how to profitably revise a story, she continued. "The whole story of Cather's development" was evident in the comparison. Even so, "Coming, Aphrodite!" was the best story in the volume, followed by "The Diamond Mine," according to Fisher.

Fisher's review of Youth and the Bright Medusa presented an opportunity for Cather to write to her (Woodress 318). In a 21 March 1921 letter, she thanked Fisher for the review. She was especially pleased because Fisher's recommendation would mean a great deal to her readers in Red Cloud, who trusted Fisher's judgment. Cather added that, as a fellow writer, Fisher knew the difficult road one had to travel to achieve any degree of artistic success. A lot of life was used up chasing bright Medusas, she concluded. On 8 April, Cather wrote to her again, asking if they might see each other during one of Fisher's trips to New York. She apologized for her part in "The Profile" contretemps by quoting a line from "The Diamond Mine." In the story, Blasius Bouchalka says the person who betrayed his wife was "the fool of me" (132). Cather told Fisher she felt just like Bouchalka and asked if they might reconcile. The twenty-two extant letters that Cather wrote to Fisher by the end of the next year prove that the answer was affirmative.



Continuing Reputation

Beyond the first edition, the life of Youth and the Bright Medusa has been extended in a variety of ways. A second edition was published by Houghton Mifflin in volume six of the Autograph Edition of Cather's collected works in 1937. All of the stories were revised, "A Wagner Matinée" most substantially. "'A Death in the Desert'" was dropped altogether. In a 15 October 1936 letter to critic Edward Wagenknecht, Cather derided the story. Its naïveté held a certain appeal, but it was a poor effort on the whole, the author wrote (Woodress 180). She polished the rest of the stories in Youth and the Bright Medusa for the Autograph Edition, attending mainly to accidentals and stylistic matters. These were her final revisions. The first edition was reset and new plates were made for a third edition published in 1945, two years before Cather's death, but there is no evidence of authorial revision (Troll Garden 135). These plates have been used for all subsequent reprintings, the last of which was issued by Random House (which had purchased Knopf ) as a Vintage paperback in 1975 (Crane 87). Knopf has recalled how it was decided to publish Cather's work in paperback, something she forbade during her lifetime: By the end of the sixties it was clear that Miss Cather's sales were declining and that the young were no longer reading her as we felt they should. The prices of hardbound novels had gone up by leaps and bounds, and those that were not available in paperback were not used in classes. I explained the situation to Miss Lewis.... She quickly saw the point of our belief that it was greatly to the benefit of her friend's memory that the best of our Cather books should be brought out in paperback form, and soon we published six of them in the very distinguished series we had founded many years earlier, Vintage Books. ("Miss Cather" 224) Foreign-language editions and a cinematic adaptation of "Paul's Case" have contributed to the reputation-building, and anthologization has played an important role in perpetuating Youth and the Bright Medusa's legacy. Cather was careful about allowing her stories to be reprinted in anthologies. In the early 1940s, for instance, she withdrew permission for "The Sculptor's Funeral" because she thought it had been overused and was not one of her best stories (Woodress 176). She refused all offers to include her fiction in anthologies intended for school use, based on the belief that students who were forced to read her work would grow up hating it (Knopf, "Miss Cather" 211, 218). Ironically, nearly all of the major literature anthologies intended for classroom use now contain at least one story by Cather, with "Paul's Case" being the most popular selection. As they have come into the public domain, other stories in Youth and the Bright Medusa have begun to appear in anthologies as well.

Two years after its publication, Sinclair Lewis called Youth and the Bright Medusa a "golden book"(32). Nearly forty years after reading the collection, Katherine Anne Porter wrote that the tales therein lived with "morning freshness" in her memory (1). Indeed, Youth and the Bright Medusa contains some of Cather's most enduring short stories—"Paul's Case," "A Wagner Matinée," "The Sculptor's Funeral," and "Coming, Aphrodite!" chief among them. These stories have introduced many readers to the author's work. Their lasting reputation suggests that they are created of the same whole as Cather's novels, upon which her status as one of the twentieth century's great writers now primarily rests. After all, Cather's first novel in her own voice, O Pioneers!, resulted when two stories ("Alexandra" and "The White Mulberry Tree") came together; My Ántonia is replete with inset narratives, including one based on her first published story, "Peter"; "Tom Outland's Story" is the centerpiece of The Professor's House; My Mortal Enemy is somewhere between a novel and a story; and in calling Death Comes for the Archbishop a "narrative" ("On Death" 12), she acknowledged a principle that undergirds both the story and the novel. Cather the novelist never really left the story behind.



Notes

 1. Presumably, this included a novel set in Pittsburgh that Cather had been working on since 1901. In an early 1904 letter to Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Cather worried that McClure's would lose patience if she did not deliver the manuscript soon. Cather abandoned the work in 1906, and it was never published (Woodress 182). For further details of Cather and McClure's relationship, see Robert Thacker's introduction (v–xvii) to the Bison Books edition of The Autobiography of S. S. McClure, a work Cather ghostwrote in 1914. (Go back.)
 2. E. K. Brown wrote that McClung offered Cather "a warm friendship that was devoted to providing her with an environment helpful to creative writing" (73). James Woodress has written of their "great love that lasted a lifetime" (139). Sharon O'Brien, too, has referred to their "enduring love" (241) and contended that Isabelle "satisfied her friend's yearnings for closeness and intimacy" (236). Hermione Lee has called their relationship "long, intimate, and emotional" (58). (Go back.)
 3. Kathleen Byrne has argued that the students were Paul and Louis Johns. For a discussion of possible connections between the students and Cather's protagonist, see Byrne and Snyder 65. (Go back.)
 4. This review is reprinted in Bohlke 4–5 and O'Connor 29. (Go back.)
 5. The Denny Estate consisted of western Pennsylvania lands divided among the descendants of Ebenezer Denny, who became the first mayor of Pittsburgh in 1816, and Revolutionary War general James O'Hara. The Denny and O'Hara fortunes were united when Ebenezer's son Harmar married James's daughter Elizabeth. The Carson family was also related to the O'Haras by marriage. Thus, the Denny & Carson's of Cather's story refers to different branches of the same fortune. (Go back.)
 6. Earlier, Paul had announced to his classmates that he was going to visit California (218), a destination Cather changed from Venice in revision for Youth and the Bright Medusa. Bintrim and Madigan have speculated that she may have been recalling Wilson and Orr's planned trip to San Francisco (114–15). (Go back.)
 7. Cather arrived in Boston for the first time in January 1907 to work on a biography of Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy for McClure's (Woodress 193). (Go back.)
 8. Cather also wrote an admiring profile of Aunt Franc in the June 1897 Home Monthly (World and Parish 349–53). (Go back.)
 9. Bennett reports that a visit Aunt Franc made "back East" after the last of her five children was born may have been another source for the story (World of Willa Cather 14). (Go back.)
 10. As Frederick M. Link has noted, the dedication to A Lost Lady was dropped from the nineteenth printing of the first edition in 1952 and does not appear in subsequent printings (A Lost Lady 316). (Go back.)
 11. The other story was "The Bookkeeper's Wife," which was not collected in book form during Cather's lifetime. It is reprinted in Uncle Valentine and Other Stories: Willa Cather's Uncollected Short Fiction, 1915–1929, ed. Bernice Slote, pp. 85–97. (Go back.)
 12. This was Arthur Waley's Translations from the Chinese (New York: Knopf, 1919). (Go back.)
 13. In 1915, for instance, she rewrote Houghton Mifflin's advertising copy for The Song of the Lark and provided a biographical sketch for an advertising booklet produced by the firm (Woodress 274; Crane 314). By 1920 she had elicited a promise from Ferris Greenslet that she would be shown advance proofs of Houghton Mifflin's advertising copy for her books (Cather to Greenslet, 7 January 1920). In 1926 she wrote another biographical piece for a pamphlet published by Knopf and an advertisement for My Mortal Enemy (Crane 315; Knopf, "Miss Cather" 209). Knopf recalled: She watched our copy and objected when she found it, as she sometimes did, "uninteresting." Then as likely as not she would sketch out and send us the sort of advertisement that she felt did her work justice. In the case of Death Comes for the Archbishop she supplied the text for the wrapper and we printed exactly what she gave us. She said, wisely, that a jacket should tell readers what they want to know—something about how and why the book was written, for that, she said, is what strangers usually write authors letters about. ("Publishing Then and Now" 562) (Go back.)
 14. The biographical sketch also claims, "It was in Italy curiously enough, that she wrote her first story about the prairie country of the West" (see illustration 5). Biographical and bibliographical evidence suggests that this story was "The Enchanted Bluff." Cather made her first trip to Italy in April 1908 and stayed through July (Woodress 198–99). "The Enchanted Bluff " was her first story with a western setting published after the trip. It appeared in Harper's in April 1909. (Go back.)
 15. Ironically, The Troll Garden, the same book from which half of Youth and the Bright Medusa's stories were drawn, had caused a serious breach in Cather and Fisher's friendship more than fifteen years earlier. Cather had wanted to include "The Profile," a story that featured a character with a grotesque facial scar, in the volume. The character was based on a friend of Fisher's. When she and other friends of the prototype intervened to prevent publication of the story, a long period of silence between Cather and Fisher followed. For discussions of this controversial story, see Madigan, "Willa Cather and Dorothy Canfield Fisher: Rift, Reconciliation, and One of Ours," "Regarding Willa Cather's 'The Profile' and Evelyn Osborne," and "Edith Lewis, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, and the Scars of 'The Profile.'" (Go back.)
 16. Cather made an exception when she allowed her work to be published in Armed Forces Editions during World War II (Woodress 500). (Go back.)
 17. The collection has been translated into German and Polish, and individual stories have also been translated into Arabic, French, Japanese, Portuguese, and Russian (Crane 323–42). Although Cather strongly opposed cinematic adaptation of her work and forbade it in her will, soon after "Paul's Case" entered the public domain it was made into a film for pbs television. Aired in the American Short Story series, the film was directed by Lamont Johnson and featured Eric Roberts as Paul (Crane 353). (Go back.)
 18. For a record of the anthologies in which Cather's stories appeared, see Crane 239–49. (Go back.)
 19. "'A Death in the Desert,'" for example, is included in The Oxford Book of American Short Stories (New York: Oxford UP, 1992) edited by Joyce Carol Oates; and "Coming, Aphrodite!" is included in The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Vol. 2, 4th Ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001). All of the stories in Youth and the Bright Medusa are included in Cather: Stories, Poems, and Other Writings (1992), a volume in the Library of America series published by Literary Classics of the United States. In this collection, the stories that originally appeared in The Troll Garden are reprinted in the 1905 version. (Go back.)


Works Cited

Barbusse, Henri. The Inferno. Trans. Edward J. O'Brien. New York: Boni and Liveright, 1918.
Bennett, Mildred R. "Willa Cather in Pittsburgh." Prairie Schooner 33 (Spring 1965): 64–76.
Bennett, Mildred R. The World of Willa Cather. 1951. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1961.
Bintrim, Timothy, and Mark J. Madigan. "From Larceny to Suicide: The Denny Case and 'Paul's Case.'" Violence, the Arts, and Willa Cather. Ed. Joseph R. Urgo and Merrill Maguire Skaggs. Madison, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2007. 109–23.
Bohlke, L. Brent, ed. Willa Cather in Person. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1986.
"Boy Robbers Are Captured." Pittsburgh Press 18 Nov. 1902: 4.
Brown, E. K. Completed by Leon Edel. Willa Cather: A Critical Biography. New York: Knopf, 1953.
Butcher, Fanny. Many Lives—One Love. New York: Harper, 1972.
Bynner, Witter. "Autobiography in the Shape of a Book Review."Prose Pieces: The Works of Witter Bynner. Ed. James Kraft. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1979. 158–67.
Byrne, Kathleen D., and Richard C. Snyder. Chrysalis: Willa Cather in Pittsburgh, 1896–1906. Pittsburgh: Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, 1980.
Cather, Willa. The Autobiography of S. S. McClure. Ed. Robert Thacker. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1997.
Cather, Willa. "The Bookkeeper's Wife." Century May 1916: 51–52, 54–56, 58–59.
Cather, Willa. "Charles Stanley Reinhart." Home Monthly Oct. 1896: 16–17.
Cather, Willa. "Katherine Mansfield." Not Under Forty. New York: Knopf, 1936. 123–47.
Cather, Willa. Letters to Dorothy Canfield Fisher. Fisher Collection. Bailey/Howe Library, University of Vermont, Burlington.
Cather, Willa. Letters to Ferris Greenslet. Houghton Mifflin Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge.
Cather, Willa. Letters to Will Owen Jones. University of Virginia, Alderman Library, Charlottesville.
Cather, Willa. Letters to Paul R. Reynolds. Reynolds Collection, Butler Library, Columbia University, New York.
Cather, Willa. Letter to Mr. and Mrs. Partington. 23 June 1921. Newberry Library, Chicago.
Cather, Willa. Letter to Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant. Department of Literary and Historical Manuscripts, Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.
Cather, Willa. A Lost Lady. Willa Cather Scholarly Edition. Historical Essay by Susan J. Rosowski with Kari A. Ronning. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1997.
Cather, Willa. "On Death Comes for the Archbishop." Commonweal 27 Nov. 1927: 713. Reprinted in Willa Cather on Writing: Critical Studies on Writing as an Art. New York: Knopf, 1949. 3–13.
Cather, Willa. "On the Art of Fiction." The Borzoi 1920. New York: Knopf, 1920. 7–8. Reprinted in Willa Cather on Writing: Critical Studies on Writing as an Art, 101–4. New York: Knopf, 1949.
Cather, Willa. "Portrait of the Publisher as a Young Man." Alfred A. Knopf: Quarter Century. New York: Plimpton, 1940. 9–26.
Cather, Willa. "Some Pittsburgh Composers." Home Monthly Dec. 1899: 6–7.
Cather, Willa. "Three American Singers." McClure's Dec. 1913: 33–48.
Cather, Willa. The Troll Garden. Ed. James Woodress. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1983.
Cather, Willa. Uncle Valentine and Other Stories: Willa Cather's Uncollected Short Fiction, 1915–1929. Ed. Bernice Slote. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1972.
Cather, Willa. The World and the Parish: Willa Cather's Articles, Essays, and Reviews, 1893–1902. Ed. William M. Curtin. 2 vols. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1970.
Cather, Willa. Youth and the Bright Medusa. New York: Knopf, 1920.
Crane, Joan. Willa Cather: A Bibliography. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1982.
Dawson, N. P. "The New Books." Globe and Commercial Advertiser 2 Oct. 1920: 8.
Dizikes, John. Opera in America: A Cultural History. New Haven: Yale UP, 1993.
Doorly, M. H. Rev. of Youth and the Bright Medusa. Bladen Enterprise 28 Jan. 1921: 1.
E. A. B. Rev. of Youth and the Bright Medusa. Freeman 1 Dec. 1920: 286.
"Erring Boys Return." Pittsburgh Leader 20 Nov. 1902: 8.
"Erring Youths Will Come Home." Pittsburgh Chronicle-Telegraph 18 Nov. 1902: 7.
Farrar, Geraldine. Such Sweet Compulsion. 1938. Freeport, N.Y.: Books for Libraries P, 1970.
Field, Flo. Rev. of Youth and the Bright Medusa. Double Dealer Feb. 1921: 73–74.
Fisher, Dorothy Canfield. Letter to Céline Sibut. 11 May 1903. Fisher Collection. Bailey/Howe Library, University of Vermont, Burlington.
Fisher, Dorothy Canfield. Rev. of Youth and the Bright Medusa. Yale Review 10 (June 1921): 670–71.
Glackens, Ira. Yankee Diva: Lillian Nordica and the Golden Days of Opera. New York: Coleridge P, 1963.
Hackett, Francis. Rev. of Youth and the Bright Medusa. New Republic 19 Jan. 1921: 233–34.
Harris, Richard. "Barbusse's L'enfer: A Source for 'Coming, Aphrodite!' and 'The Novel Démeublé.'" Cather Studies: Willa Cather as Cultural Icon 7 (2007): 106–18.
"Hazelwood Youths Lived a Fast Pace." Pittsburgh Leader 18 Nov. 1902: 9.
Horowitz, Glenn. Willa Cather: The Russell D. Gatzke Collection. Catalogue 17. New York, n.d.
Howard, John Tasker. Ethelbert Nevin. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1935.
James, Henry. "Charles S. Reinhart." Harper's Weekly 14 June 1890: 471–72.
Knopf, Alfred A. Letter to Claude Bragdon. 6 Feb. 1922. Alfred A. Knopf Papers, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas, Austin.
Knopf, Alfred. "Miss Cather." The Art of Willa Cather. Ed. Bernice Slote and Virginia Faulkner. Lincoln: Department of English, U of Nebraska P, 1974. 205–24.
Knopf, Alfred. "Publishing Then and Now: 1912–1964." Bulletin of the New York Public Library Nov. 1964: 555–73.
Knopf, Alfred. "Publishing Willa Cather." Miracles of Perception: The Art of Willa Cather. Charlottesville: Alderman Library, 1980. 1–4.
"Laird Laid to Rest." Webster County Argus 22 Aug. 1889: 1.
Lee, Hermione. Willa Cather: Double Lives. New York: Vintage, 1991.
Lewis, Edith. Willa Cather Living. New York: Knopf, 1953.
Lewis, Sinclair. "A Hamlet of the Plains." Willa Cather and Her Critics. Ed. James Schroeter. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1967.
Madigan, Mark J. "Edith Lewis, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, and the Scars of 'The Profile.'" Willa Cather: New Facts, New Glimpses, Revisions. Ed. John J. Murphy and Merrill Maguire Skaggs. Madison, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2008. 252–59.
Madigan, Mark J. "Regarding Cather's 'The Profile' and Evelyn Osborne." Willa Cather Newsletter and Review 44 (Spring 2000): 1–5.
Madigan, Mark J. "Willa Cather and Dorothy Canfield Fisher: Rift, Reconciliation, and One of Ours." Cather Studies 1 (1990): 115–29.
March, John. A Reader's Guide to the Fiction of Willa Cather. Ed. Marilyn Arnold with Debra Lynn Thornton. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood P, 1993.
Mencken, H. L. Rev. of Youth and the Bright Medusa. Smart Set Dec. 1920: 139–40.
Murry, J. Middleton. Rev. of Youth and the Bright Medusa. The Nation and the Athenæum 14 Apr. 1921: 54, 56.
Nash, Elizabeth. Always First Class: The Career of Geraldine Farrar. Washington, D.C.: University Press of America, 1981.
O'Brien, Sharon. Willa Cather: The Emerging Voice. New York: Oxford UP, 1987.
O'Connor, Margaret Anne, ed. Willa Cather: The Contemporary Reviews. London: Cambridge UP, 2001.
"Peace at Last." Omaha Republican 18 Aug. 1889: 4.
Pearson, Edmund Lester. Rev. of Youth and the Bright Medusa. New York Times Book Review 3 Oct. 1920: 24.
Porter, Katherine Anne. "The Calm, Pure Art of Willa Cather."New York Times Book Review 25 Sept. 1949: 1.
"Prosecution Was Dropped." Pittsburgh Leader 24 Nov. 1902: 4.
Rev. of The Troll Garden. Bookman July 1905: 456–57.
Rev. of Youth and the Bright Medusa. Booklist Dec. 1920: 115.
Rev. of Youth and the Bright Medusa. Dial Feb. 1921: 230.
Rev. of Youth and the Bright Medusa. Nation 25 Sept. 1920: 352–53.
Rev. of Youth and the Bright Medusa. Times Literary Supplement 14 Oct. 1920: 670.
Rev. of Youth and the Bright Medusa. World Tomorrow Nov. 1920: 351.
Reynolds, Paul R. Letters to Willa Cather. Reynolds Collection, Butler Library, Columbia University, New York.
Rice, Chris, and B. G. Shields. Booklet. From Edgeworth Hills: Piano Music of Ethelbert and Arthur Nevin. By Donna Amato. Altarus Records, n.d.
Seibel, George. "Miss Willa Cather from Nebraska." New Colophon Sept. 1949: 195–207.
Sergeant, Elizabeth Shepley. Willa Cather: A Memoir. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1953.
"Shubert Ex-Aide Dies." New York Times 8 Mar. 1954: 27. Turnbull, Michael T. R. B. Mary Garden. Portland, Ore.: Amadeus P, 1997.
Williams, Blanche Colton. Rev. of Youth and the Bright Medusa.Bookman Oct. 1920: 169–70.
Williams, Orlo. Rev. of Youth and the Bright Medusa. Athenæum 31 Dec. 1920: 890.
Woodress, James. Willa Cather: A Literary Life. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1987.




Illustrations

Willa Cather's passport photograph.Illustration 1Willa Cather's passport photograph, 1920, the year Youth and the Bright Medusa was published. Courtesy of Phillip L. and Helen Cather Southwick Collection, Archives and Special Collections, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries. Photo of Isabelle McClung Hambourg and Jan Hambourg aboard the ss Tunisian, c. 1922.Illustration 2Isabelle McClung Hambourg and Jan Hambourg aboard the ss Tunisian, c. 1922. Courtesy of Phillip L. and Helen Cather Southwick Collection, Archives and Special Collections, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries. Facsimile of a page from the first draft of "Coming, Aphrodite!"Illustration 3Facsimile of a page from the first draft of "Coming, Aphrodite!" used as a frontispiece for the Authograph Edition (1939). Courtesy of Phillip L. and Helen Cather Southwick Collection, Archives and Special Collections, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries. Advertisement for Youth and the Bright Medusa.Illustration 4Advertisement for Youth and the Bright Medusa in Publisher's Weekly (25 Septemer 1920). Dust jacket for Youth and the Bright Medusa.Illustration 5Dust jacket for Youth and the Bright Medusa. Courtesy of Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library. Photo of S. S. Mclure.Illustration 6S. S. Mclure, publisher of many of Cather's stories in his McClure's Magazine and of Cather's first short story collection, The Troll Garden (1905). Courtesy of Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington. Photo of the Washington Memorial Arch and Washington Square.Illustration 7The Washington Memorial Arch and Washington Square, postcard dated 1908. Cather's first home in New York was in Washington Square, and it is part of the setting for "Coming, Aphrodite!" Courtesy of Kari Ronning. Photo of the interior of the New York Aquarium.Illustration 8Interior of the New York Aquarium, which appears in "Coming, Aphrodite!"; from Guide to the Nature Treasures of New York City (New York: Scribner's, 1917). Photo of the exterior of the New York Aquarium.Illustration 9Exterior of the New York Aquarium, from King's Photographic Views of New York (Boston: King, 1896). Photo of Dreamland amusement park, Coney Island, New York.Illustration 10Dreamland amusement park, Coney Island, New York, which figures prominently in "Coming, Aphrodite!" in 1904. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. "Blue Bell" song sheet cover.Illustration 11"Blue Bell" song sheet cover. This song is played in "Coming, Aphrodite!" at Coney Island when Molly Welch and then Eden Bower return to the ground after each performs on a trapeze suspended from a hot-air balloon. Courtesy of Chiard Harris. Photo of Lillian Nordica.Illustration 12Lillian Nordica, a prototype for Cressida Garnet, as Isolde in Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, from Gustav Kobbé's The Complete Opera Book (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1919). Photo of Sibyl Sanderson.Illustration 13Sibyl Sanderson, one of the prototypes for Kitty Ayrshire, 1895. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. Photo of Geraldine Farrar.Illustration 14Geraldine Farrar, one of the prototypes for Kitty Ayrshire of "A Gold Slipper" and "Scandal," in 1915, the year before Cather wrote the stories. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. Photo of Mary Garden.Illustration 15Mary Garden, a prototype for Kitty Ayrshire and Eden Bower, in the title role of Massenet's Thaïs, a role she created in New York in 1907, from Henry Edward Krehbiel's Chapters of Opera (New York: Henry Holt, 1909). Photo of The Metropolitan Opera House, New York, c. 1890.Illustration 16The Metropolitan Opera House, New York, c. 1890. This is where Cressida Garnet and Kitty Ayrshire sing. Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Photograph Collection. Photo of James J. Wilson.Illustration 17James J. Wilson, who planned and executed the robbery of the Denny Estate, which was an important source for "Paul's Case." Pittsburgh Leader, 18 November 1902 (p. 9). Photo of Carnegie Music Hall, Pittsburgh, c. 1900.Illustration 18Carnegie Music Hall, Pittsburgh, c. 1900, is featured in "A Gold Slipper" and "Paul's Case." Courtesy of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reporduction or usage prohibited. Photo of Waldorf-Astoria Hotel from the northeast, at Thirty-fourth Street and Fifth Avenue, 1898.Illustration 19Waldorf-Astoria Hotel from the northeast, at Thirty-fourth Street and Fifth Avenue, 1898. Paul stays here in "Paul's Case." Courtesy of the Collection of The New York Historical Society, negative #44372. Photo of the gravestone of Charles Stanley Reinhart.Illustration 20Gravestone of Charles Stanley Reinhart, the prototype for Harvey Merrick in "The Sculptor's Funeral." Courtesy of Timothy Bintrim. John Rogers, Why Don't You Speak for Yourself, John? 1885.Illustration 21John Rogers, Why Don't You Speak for Yourself, John? 1885. This popular Rogers group, showing John Alden and Priscilla Mullins, appears in the Merrick home in "The Sculptor's Funeral"; this piece was in the parlor of Cather's childhood home in Red Cloud. Photograph by Harriet Yost Zade, courtesy of the Red Cloud Chief. Photo of Frances Smith Cather (Cather's Aunt Franc).Illustration 22Frances Smith Cather (Cather's Aunt Franc), a prototype for Aunt Georgiana in "A Wagner Matinée," 1920. Courtesy of the George Cather Ray Collection, Archives and Special Collections, University of Nebraskan-Lincoln Libraries. Photo of The Inter-Ocean Hotel in Cheyenne, Wyoming.Illustration 23The Inter-Ocean Hotel in Cheyenne, Wyoming (with porch, on the right), where Everett Hilgarde stays in "A Death in the Desert," c. 1907. Courtesy of Kari Ronning. Photo of Ethelbert Nevin.Illustration 24Ethelbert Nevin, a prototype for Adriance Hilgarde, c. 1900. Courtesy of the Sewickley Valley Historical Society, Sewickley, Pennsylvania. Photo of Arthur Nevin.Illustration 25Arthur Nevin, a prototype for Everett Hilgarde, 1904. Courtesy of the Sewickley Valley Historical Society, Sewickley, Pennsylvania.

Explanatory Notes

THE explanatory notes are designed to assist the reader in understanding the text by providing information on persons, places, historical events, literary allusions, and specialized terminology (regional, occupational, religious, etc.) that is not readily available elsewhere, such as in a standard desk dictionary or one-volume encyclopedic reference.

Among the sources consulted in preparing these notes, several proved to be especially useful for tracing character prototypes and connections between the short fiction and Cather's biography, especially John March and Marilyn Arnold's A Reader's Companion to the Fiction of Willa Cather and James Woodress's Willa Cather: A Literary Life. Kathleen D. Byrne and Richard C. Snyder's Chrysalis: Willa Cather in Pittsburgh, 1896–1906 was a very useful source of information on Cather's years in Pittsburgh. Information on Cather's journalism is based primarily on The World and the Parish: Willa Cather's Articles and Reviews, 1893–1902, edited by William M. Curtin. Other sources provided indispensable information in their specific subject areas. Many of the notes on New York City are based on information in The Encyclopedia of New York City, edited by Kenneth T. Jackson, and Sanna Feirstein's Naming New York. Polly Duryea's dissertation, "Paintings and Drawings in Willa Cather's Prose: A Catalogue Raisonné" (University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 1993), was consulted for information on the visual arts in the stories. On opera topics, John Dizikes's Opera in America: A Cultural History, Irving Kolodin's The Metropolitan Opera, 1883–1966, S. H. Rous's The Victrola Book of the Opera, and Pitts Sanborn's The Metropolitan Book of the Opera were particularly valuable. The American Horticultural Society A–Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants and The Encyclopedia of North American Trees were useful sources in their subject areas, as were Mary Garden and Louis Biancolli's Mary Garden's Story, Ira Glackens's Yankee Diva: Lillian Nordica and the Golden Days of Opera, John Tasker Howard's Ethelbert Nevin, Vance Thompson's The Life of Ethelbert Nevin from His Letters and His Wife's Memories, and Michael T. R. B. Turnbull's Mary Garden.

Note topics have been cross-referenced when they occur in different stories; note topics that occur multiple times within the same story are not cross-referenced. Generally, cross-references to other Cather works are limited to those published before Youth and the Bright Medusa.

"Coming, Aphrodite!"

 1. Medusa: In Greek mythology, Medusa was the only mortal of the three Gorgons, daughters of Ceto and Phorcys, who lived in Libya. Originally a beautiful maiden, she was changed into a winged monster by Athena for violating one of her temples with Poseidon. Medusa's hair was transformed into a tangle of serpents, and whoever looked upon her face was turned into stone. She was decapitated by Perseus, who gave her head to Athena. From Medusa's body, Pegasus and Chrysaor, the children of Poseidon, emerged full-grown. (Go back.)
 2. "We must not look at Goblin Men . . . thirsty roots?": The epigraph is from Christina Rossetti's "The Goblin Market" (1862), which Cather called a "perfect poem" in the Nebraska State Journal (13 January 1895). In Cather's first short story collection, The Troll Garden (1905), which included "Paul's Case," "A Wagner Matinée," "The Sculptor's Funeral," and "'A Death in the Desert,'" the following quotation from Charles Kingsley's "The Forest Children" (1864) preceded the Rossetti epigraph: "Fancy to yourself a great Troll-garden, such as our forefathers dreamed of often fifteen hundred years ago;a fairy place, with a fairy garden; and all around the primaeval wood." (Go back.)
 3. Aphrodite: The title alludes to both the Greek goddess of love and beauty and also the opera Aphrodite by Camille Erlanger with a libretto based on the novel by Pierre Louys, which debuted at the Opéra Comique (see note for 141 on "Comique") in Paris on 27 March 1906. Scottish American soprano Mary Garden, the prototype for Eden Bower, sang the title role in its debut and in its first performance in the United States with the Chicago Opera Company at the Lexington Theatre in New York on 27 February 1920. The magazine version of the story published in the Smart Set (Aug. 920: 3–25) was titled "Coming, Eden Bower!"; it did not refer to Aphrodite, because the magazine's editors feared censors such as the Society for the Suppression of Vice. In her introduction to Uncle Valentine and Other Stories, editor Bernice Slote notes that Louys's novel was also presented as a pageant in New York, which opened on 1 December 1919 (xxii). (Go back.)
 4. Don Hedger: No prototype has been identified. (Go back.)
 5. old house on the south side of Washington Square: The model for this building is 60 South Washington Square in Greenwich Village, where Cather lived in a studio apartment from 1906 to 1908. See the Historical Essay for further information on this building. (Go back.)
 6. Boston bull terrier: This is a small dog of a breed that originated in New England as a cross between a bull terrier and a bulldog. Alice Hall Petry suggests in her 1986 essay "Caesar and the Artist in Willa Cather's 'Coming, Aphrodite!'" that Mary E. Wilkins Freeman's story "A New England Nun" may have provided Cather with the inspiration for Hedger's dog Caesar III. The protagonist of Freeman's tale also has a dog named Caesar, and the relationship between the pet and its owner is similar in some regards to that of Hedger and his dog. Cather's affection for dogs dated to her childhood. In one of her earliest pieces of juvenilia, she argued that dogs are "noble" animals, superior in many ways to cats. (Go back.)
 7. University Place: Extending northeast from the corner of Washington Square to East Fourteenth Street, University Place is named after New York University, which is located at its southern end in Greenwich Village. The university's first building was erected there in 1837. (Go back.)
 8. West Street: West Street extends from the Battery to Little West Street along the west bank of the Hudson River. (Go back.)
 9. paradise fish: Macropodus opercularis, commonly known as the paradise fish, is brightly colored and lives in fresh water. (Go back.)
 10. Aquarium: From 1896 to 1941 the New York Aquarium was located in the Castle Garden building in Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan and was one of the city's premier tourist attractions. It was reputed to be the world's largest aquarium; its 122 wall tanks and 7 large pools were home to 8,000 creatures. (Go back.)
 11. basement oyster house: In Greek mythology, Aphrodite is said to have emerged from the sea on an oyster shell. Oysters were a popular food, featured at many restaurants, like hamburgers and pizza were later in the twentieth century. (Go back.)
 12. horse stages: Beginning in 1886, a horse-drawn stagecoach line was operated on Fifth Avenue. The stages started southward on the avenue at Eighty-ninth Street and continued on South Fifth Avenue to the Bleecker Street elevated train station. They were painted red and yellow with the words "Central Park" and "Fifth Avenue" in blue. Their side panels featured landscape scenes by noted artists. The stages ceased operation on 30 July 1907. (Go back.)
 13. fountain: The Central Fountain in Washington Square lies directly behind Washington Arch. (Go back.)
 14. Arch: Located at the southern terminus of Fifth Avenue in Washington Square, Washington Arch commemorates the 100th anniversary of the inauguration of the nation's first president. The first arch, constructed of wood and plaster, was erected by the architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White in 1889. It was so popular that $128,000 was raised by subscription to replace it with a permanent one, which was constructed of marble and dedicated on 30 April 1895. It stands forty-seven feet high and spans thirty feet. (Go back.)
 15. poplars: The genus Populus includes at least thirty-five species of trees. Those native to North America are divided into three main groups: aspens, cottonwoods, and balsam poplars. Their leaves are heart-shaped. The latter two have resinous buds. See note for 203 under "blue Rico." (Go back.)
 16. Brevoort: Located at 11 Fifth Avenue and Eighth Street, the 113room Brevoort hotel opened in 1854 and was noted for its cosmopolitan and artistic clientele at the turn of the twentieth century. Theodore Drieser, Eugene O'Neill, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Lincoln Steffens were among those who stayed there. Its café was one of Cather's favorites. (Go back.)
 17. lilacs: The common lilac (Syringa vulgaris) is a tall garden shrub or small tree native to southeastern Europe and grown in temperate regions throughout the world. There are several hundred named varieties with fragrant single or double flowers, mostly in shades of purple, blue, red, and white. (Go back.)
 18. Greensburg, Pennsylvania: This town is located thirty-one miles southeast of Pittsburgh. (Go back.)
 19. "Don Quixote": In the novel (1605) by Miguel de Cervantes, the hero undertakes a quest to correct all of the world's injustices. After many adventures, he becomes disillusioned and returns to his home province in Spain. (Go back.)
 20. "The Golden Legend": The dramatic poem (1851) by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is set in the Middle Ages and based on the Faust legend (see note for 147 under "Faust") about a man who sells his soul to the Devil in return for wealth and power. "The Golden Legend" is the second section of Longfellow's Christus trilogy. (Go back.)
 21. Art League: This probably alludes to the Art Students League of New York, an independent art school founded by members of the National Academy of Design. Located at 215 West Fifty-seventh Street, it is supported by student tuition, has no required curriculum, and is open to students of any age. At the turn of the century, the school enrolled approximately one thousand students. (Go back.)
 22. Remington: American artist Frederic S. Remington (1861–1909) is best known for his naturalistic paintings and bronze sculptures depicting scenes of the American West. He was educated at the Art Students League. (Go back.)
 23. West Houston Street: Extending from the East River to the Hudson River, this street crosses through Little Italy south of Washington Square in the Lower East Side of New York. This northern section of Little Italy came to be populated mostly by Genoans, Calabrians, Neapolitans, and Sicilians. It is named for William Houstoun (the final "u" was dropped over time), a Georgian well known in the city in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. (Go back.)
 24. Mrs. Foley: No prototype has been identified. (Go back.)
 25. "Prologue" to Pagliacci: Pagliacci (Strolling Players, 1892) is an opera with libretto by Ruggiero Leoncavallo. In the prologue, the baritone clown Tonio sings an aria explaining that the opera is based on the real lives of strolling musicians who play at village fairs in Italy. (Go back.)
 26. Thompson Street: Extending from Washington Square southwest to Sixth Avenue, this street is in Little Italy. It is named for Revolutionary War brigadier general William Thompson. (Go back.)
 27. hurdy-gurdy: A type of barrel organ, this musical instrument has a wooden cylinder or barrel equipped with brass staples or pins. It is played by turning a crank which causes the barrel to revolve. The pins are then raised and pallets open to allow wind into the organ's pipes. These instruments range from simple street organs (hurdy-gurdies) to large machines that sound like full orchestras. Barrel organs are believed to date to the sixteenth century. (Go back.)
 28. Puccini: Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924) was an Italian composer of operas noted for their strong emotion and theatricality, including La Bohème (1896), Tosca (1900), and Madama Butterfly (1904). (Go back.)
 29. Pittsburgh steel strike: Of the many strikes in the Pittsburgh steel mills, the one alluded to is probably that of 1901, in which the unions were unsuccessful in their attempt to organize the industry. Cather wrote of an 1892 strike in an article about Henry Clay Frick, chairperson and manager of the Carnegie Steel Company, which appeared in the Nebraska State Journal on 10 January 1897. (Go back.)
 30. Fresh Air Fund: Formed in June 1877 by Willard Parsons, this charitable organization provides money for poor New York children to spend two weeks outside the city each summer. (Go back.)
 31. scandal about the Babies' Hospital: Founded in 1887, the Babies Hospital of the City of New York at 657 Lexington Avenue provided care for babies less than two years old. No scandal has been identified. (Go back.)
 32. a man who was turned into a dog, or was pursued by dogs: In the Metamorphoses (number 3, lines 155–252), Ovid writes of Actaeon, who sees the goddess Diana bathing and is turned into a stag as punishment. He is then chased and killed by his own dogs. See note for 286 under "Diana." (Go back.)
 33. pie-eyed: A slang adjective meaning drunk. (Go back.)
 34. Eden Bower: See the Historical Essay for an account of Mary Garden, the prototype for Eden Bower. The name for Cather's character may have been drawn from Dante Gabriel Rossetti's poem about the biblical story of Adam and Eve, "Eden Bower" (1870): "It was Lilith the wife of Adam: / (Eden bower's in flower.) / Not a drop of her blood was human, / But she was made like a soft sweet woman" (Slote, introduction xix). In The Song of the Lark (1915), Thea Kronborg's voice teacher is named Madison Bowers. Eden Bower's first name also echoes that of Enid Royce, the principal female character in One of Ours, the novel Cather was writing when she composed "Coming, Aphrodite!" (Go back.)
 35. he stooped and squinted through it: In "Barbusse's L'enfer: A Source for 'Coming, Aphrodite!' and 'The Novel Demeuble,'" Richard Harris argues that a scene involving a knothole and voyeurism in Barbusse's novel The Inferno gave Cather the idea for this scene. The Inferno was originally published in French as L'enfer in 1908 and translated into English in 1918. (Go back.)
 36. golden shower . . . lake of gold: The allusion is to Danae, who was a daughter of Acrisius, King of Argos, and Aganippe in Greek mythology. When Acrisius, who wanted a son, consulted the oracle, he was told that he would have none and that his daughter's son would cause his death. To prevent the fulfillment of the prophecy, Acrisius imprisoned Danae in an underground chamber. Zeus, however, was able to visit her in the form of a shower of gold. She later bore him a son, Perseus. (Go back.)
 37. Turkish carpet: Turkish rugs made after the sixteenth century follow either Persian designs or those of native traditions. The former display cloud bands and wispy, tapering leaves against a background of pale rose and blue and emerald green. Turkish patterns are broad and static with rich, harmonious colors. Central star medallions in gold, yellow, and dark blue on a field of deep red is a typical design. (Go back.)
 38. Alexandria: Home of the Alexandrian Library and Museum, Alexandria was once the greatest city of the ancient world. Cleopatra VII, queen of Egypt (51–30 BC), and Julius Caesar became lovers there. (Go back.)
 39. Helianthine fire: The reference is to the fires of the Greek sun god, Helios. (Go back.)
 40. Tammany man: The Tammany political organization (also known as Tammany Hall) was founded in New York as the Society of Tammany in 1789 and became the executive committee of the Democratic Party in the city. The group took its name from Tammanend, a Delaware chief. By the first half of the nineteenth century, Tammany became known for supporting the causes of immigrants, Catholics, and the working class. It sponsored progressive labor legislation and fought censorship but was plagued by graft and scandals, including those associated with "Boss" William M. Tweed in the 1870s. Cather edited two articles ("The Daughters of the Poor" by George Kibbe Turner and "The Tammanyizing of a Civilization" by S. S. McClure) in the November 1909 McClure's that linked Tammany politicians to organized prostitution. Tammany lasted into the mid-1940s. (Go back.)
 41. Flatbush: This neighborhood in the middle of Brooklyn was a fashionable area at the beginning of the twentieth century. (Go back.)
 42. old Lizzie: No prototype has been identified. (Go back.)
 43. Willy: No prototype has been identified. (Go back.)
 44. Park: Central Park is the largest and most important public park in Manhattan and the fifth-largest park in all of New York City. Designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux, it officially opened in 1876. The 845-acre rectangular park features a wide variety of terrain and vegetation; fifty-eight miles of footpaths and six and a half miles of roadways traverse it. Also in Central Park are the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a zoo, a castle, an ice-skating rink, three small lakes, an open-air theater, a bandshell, athletic playing fields, and playgrounds. Its borders are Fifty-ninth Street, 110th Street, Fifth Avenue, and Eighth Avenue. (Go back.)
 45. Art Museum: The Metropolitan Museum of Art is in Central Park facing Fifth Avenue between Eightieth and Eighty-fourth streets. Incorporated in 1870, it is the largest museum in the United States and has especially strong holdings in American, Islamic, and European medieval art. (Go back.)
 46. houses on upper Fifth Avenue: One of the world's most famous commercial streets, upper Fifth Avenue was once lined by expensive houses. Shops began to supplant these homes after the Civil War. (Go back.)
 47. shirt-waists: These tailored women's shirts, usually of cotton or linen, were made to be worn with a separate (non-matching) skirt. They were especially popular as casual or working clothes from 1890 to 1910. (Go back.)
 48. Crete: As the discoveries of Arthur Evans at Knossos revealed at the turn of the twentieth century, one of the characteristic figures representing Crete is that of the bare-breasted earth-goddess or priestess, sometimes holding snakes. (Go back.)
 49. Veronese's Venice: Italian artist Paolo Veronese (1528–88) worked primarily in Venice and is noted for his paintings of that city. His most famous work is The Feast in the House of Levi (1573). Cather made her only visit to Venice in 1935. (Go back.)
 50. Garibaldi statue: A bronze statue of Italian patriot and soldier Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807–82) by Giovanni Turini was erected in Washington Square in 1888. It is situated east of the park's Central Fountain and is slightly larger than life-size. (Go back.)
 51. Italian quarter: Italian immigrants began to settle in the Lower East Side neighborhood that came to be known as Little Italy in the 1850s. It grew to encompass an area bounded by Houston Street and Canal Street on the north and south and the Bowery and Greenwich Village to the east and west. In addition to its restaurants, Little Italy is known for its churches, street festivals, and Italian-language daily newspaper. (Go back.)
 52. Mr. Jones: No prototype has been identified. (Go back.)
 53. Huntington, Illinois: There is no Huntington in the recorded history of Illinois. Cather called Eden's hometown Livingston twice later in the story; this Illinois town is located 30 miles northeast of St. Louis. (Go back.)
 54. studying with C―: The model for Hedger's master was probably Paul Cézanne (1839–1906), a post-impressionist painter who was especially admired by young artists for his innovative techniques. Although Cézanne is usually associated with Aix-en-Provence, where he was born and lived for many years, he also painted at L'Estaque, on the southern coast of France near Marseille. He painted several views of L'Estaque in the early 1880s. (Go back.)
 55. Christ Before Pilate: Hieronymous Bosch, Rembrandt, Tintoretto, and Titian are among the major artists who have painted works bearing this title. In the June 1897 Home Monthly, Cather wrote a paragraph-length notice about the deteriorating mental health of a lesserknown Hungarian artist, Mikhail Munkacsy, who also painted this scene. She referred to him there as "the painter of the world-renowned picture 'Christ before Pilate.'" (Go back.)
 56. Henner: Jean-Jacques Henner (1829–1905) was a French painter famous for his Magdalens and other red-haired nudes, which were formulaic in composition and widely popular. Cather may have seen his The Magdalen at the Tomb of Our Savior (1880), which was exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from 1891 to 1929. The painting, typical of Henner's Magdalens, depicts a nearly nude red-haired woman kneeling in blue-green drapery. (Go back.)
 57. Chicago millionaire: Mary Garden's vocal training in France was sponsored by Florence Mayer, whose husband, David, was a partner in the Chicago dry goods firm of Schlesinger and Mayer. (Go back.)
 58. late Czar of Russia: Czar Nicholas II began his reign in May 1896. He was executed following the Russian Revolution in 1918. Since Eden was thirteen when the czar had just come to power (or was about to) and is twenty when she meets Hedger, the story takes place circa 1903. (Go back.)
 59. Ouida: Ouida was the nom de plume of Marie Louise de la Ramée, an English novelist. Cather enjoyed her romantic novels as a child, but later dismissed them as sentimental. Of Ouida's popular novel Under Two Flags (1867), she wrote in the Lincoln Courier (23 November 1895), "the book contains the rudiments of a great style, and it also contains some of the most drivelling nonsense and mawkish sentimentality and contemptible feminine weakness to be found anywhere." She commented on Ouida again in a 17 June 1899 column in the Pittsburgh Leader. (Go back.)
 60. "Sapho" and "Mademoiselle de Maupin": These French novels were written by Alphonse Daudet in 1884 and Théophile Gautier in 1835, respectively. The former, set in Paris, portrays the decline of Jean Gaussin, a young man from Avignon, who becomes involved with a Parisian artist's model, Fanny Legrand. The latter centers on the amorous adventures of the bisexual heroine after whom the work is titled. Both novels had notorious reputations. Cather owned a copy of Sapho in college and praised it in letters to Mariel Gere (16 July 1891, 2 January 1896). She reviewed a stage version of what she called Daudet's "greatest novel" in the 9 January 1900 Pittsburgh Leader. (Go back.)
 61. Griffith's place: No prototype has been identified. (Go back.)
 62. Panama hat: This soft straw hat was made of the leaves of the jipijapa plant in Ecuador, Peru, and Columbia. The original hat had an optimo crown—a crest top that made it easier to fold. Its place of origin was mistakenly attributed to Panama, perhaps owing to its popularity among workers building the Panama Canal. (Go back.)
 63. sycamore: These ornamental deciduous trees (Platanus occidentalis) have smooth limbs from which light-colored bark peels in irregular plates to expose a white underlayer. The tree is also characterized by a tall trunk, broad lobed leaves, and hanging seed balls. Sycamores range in height from 75 to 150 feet and grow throughout the central and eastern United States. (Go back.)
 64. Coney Island: Coney Island is a neighborhood in southwestern Brooklyn. Following the Civil War, development in Coney Island increased and the oceanside area became popular with the masses for its public beaches, food concessions, race tracks, boxing rings, and dance halls. Three enclosed amusement parks (Steeplechase Park, Luna Park, and Dreamland), offering mechanical rides and other attractions, opened between 1897 and 1904. The average daily attendance at Luna Park in 1904 was ninety thousand. (Go back.)
 65. Molly Welch: No prototype has been identified. (Go back.)
 66. boat at Desbrosses Street: In summers from 1881 to 1933 the Iron Steamboat Company of New Jersey operated side-wheeler boats to Coney Island from Desbrosses Street, which extends east from the Hudson River to Hudson Street in the Lower West Side. It is named for merchant Elias DesBrosses. (Go back.)
 67. pill-box hats: This small, round flat-topped hat with straight sides first became fashionable for women in the 1860s. It subsequently became part of bellboys' uniforms. The hat is named for its resemblance to the metal boxes in which pills were once sold. (Go back.)
 68. "Blue Bell": "Blue Bell" was a popular march (1904) with music by Dolly and Theodore F. Morse and lyrics by Edward Madden. The lyrics tell of a soldier who must leave his "sweetheart" Blue Bell to go off to war. The song has a romantic first verse and an alternative tragic second verse. (Go back.)
 69. two-step: This ballroom dance is a step-close-step, first with one foot, then the other in 2/4 or 4/4 time. Partners either face each other or are positioned side by side. The two-step is said to have been inspired by John Philip Sousa's "Washington Post March" (1891). (Go back.)
 70. second balloon: In "Willa Cather's 'Coming, Aphrodite!,' the 'Divine' Sarah Bernhardt and the Quest for Artistic Success" (unpublished), Evelyn Funda argues that Eden Bower's balloon ride is modeled after a similar stunt involving actress Sarah Bernhardt, whom Cather revered, during the 1878 Paris Exhibition. After observing patrons taking rides in a tethered balloon, Bernhardt arranged her own untethered trip over the city. Her ascent was viewed by a large crowd that included her manager from the French Theater, who was enraged by her risk-taking. Bernhardt wrote a children's book about the flight, In the Clouds, Impressions of a Chair (Dans les Nuages, Impressions d'une Chaise, 1878), which Cather reviewed in the Nebraska State Journal (14 July 1895). She referred to Bernhardt's ride as her "crowning flight of egotism." (Go back.)
 71. tam-o'-shanter: This is a soft round cap, usually made of wool and with a stiff headband and pompom on top. It is named for the title character of Scottish poet and songwriter Robert Burns's narrative poem of 1790. (Go back.)
 72. French hotel on Ninth Street: The prototype is the Griffou, a small hotel with a restaurant on West Ninth Street, where Cather briefly resided upon her arrival in New York City in the spring of 1906. (Go back.)
 73. Spanish missionary: The early Spanish missionary Bernardino de Sahagún (1499–1590) was the probable model. As John March notes, Sahagún worked for seven years with Aztecs in Mexico to compile a volume of their history which was completed in 1569 (722–23). It was translated into Spanish in 1829 as Historia General de las Cosas de Nueva Espana. (Go back.)
 74. 'The Forty Lovers of the Queen': In a 15 June 1912 letter to Elizabeth Sergeant, Cather wrote that this story had been told to her by Julio, a Mexican friend of her brother Douglass, while she was visiting the latter at Winslow, Arizona, in 1912. A similar legend of an Aztec queen is recounted by Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl in Historia de la nacion Chichimeca. In her 1999 essay " 'A Handful of Uncut Turquoise': Willa Cather and the Matter of Mexico," Evelyn Haller notes that a translation appears in the appendix (pt. 2, no. 4) to William H. Prescott's History of the Conquest of Mexico, volume 2 (1904). Cather told Sergeant that she may have read this version before she heard Julio's story, but his was more vivid. In The Song of the Lark, Ray Kennedy is said to have "pondered upon Prescott's histories" (51). (Go back.)
 75. Burton Ives: Cather may be invoking the name of artist James Merritt Ives (1824–95), partner of Nathaniel Currier in the lithography firm of Currier and Ives. Currier started the business in New York in 1834 and made Ives his partner in 1857. They published hand-colored, inexpensive prints depicting a range of subjects including current events, landscapes, and domestic life. The pictures remained popular until the end of the century, when they were eclipsed in public favor by machine-colored prints and photographs. After the deaths of the founders, the firm was run by their sons until 1907. (Go back.)
 76. Sullivan Street: Extending southwest from Washington Square to Canal Street, this street traverses Little Italy. It is named for Revolutionary War brigadier general John Sullivan. (Go back.)
 77. Long Beach: This is an oceanside town in southwestern Long Island. (Go back.)
 78. passengers from Long Island came into New York by ferry: Coming by train from Long Island to Brooklyn, passengers boarded one of several ferries to reach Manhattan. (Go back.)
 79. East River: This river flows between the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Queens. (Go back.)
 80. Thirty-fourth Street: This street runs east and west between the East River and Hudson River. (Go back.)
 81. hansom cab: This two-wheeled closed carriage for two passengers was horse-drawn. Passengers entered from the front, and the driver sat high at the back of the cab. The carriage was named after J. A. Hansom (1803–82), the English architect who designed it. (Go back.)
 82. pale violet lights: Cather refers to gaslight manufactured from coal, which was used to illuminate streets and public places such as parks in New York City at the beginning of the twentieth century. An "ugly orange light" is cast by electric streetlights in the last paragraph of the story, which takes place eighteen years later. (Go back.)
 83. Lexington Opera House: Among the largest (2,600 capacity) and most ornate theaters in New York, the Lexington Avenue Opera House (later known as the Lexington Theatre) was located at Lexington Avenue and Fifty-first Street. Opera was featured there until 1910, when owner Oscar Hammerstein I signed a $1.2 million agreement with the Metropolitan Opera Company that prohibited him from producing opera in the United States for ten years. See note for 182 under "the Manhattan." (Go back.)
 84. chef d'orchestre: French: conductor. (Go back.)
 85. William Street: William Street runs north and south from Exchange Place to Beekman Street in the financial district of Manhattan. It is named for prominent landowner William Beeckman. (Go back.)
 86. Cerro de Pasco: Cerro de Pasco is a mining town in the highlands of central Peru. It was one of the world's chief sources of silver in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The town later became known for its copper, gold, lead, zinc, and bismuth mines. At the time of the story, shares of the mining company named after the town were made available to investors. (Go back.)
 87. "Arrêtez, Alphonse. Attendez-moi.": French: "Stop, Alphonse. Wait for me." (Go back.)
 88. Gaston Jules: No prototype has been identified. (Go back.)
 89. French Galleries: No prototype has been identified. (Go back.)
 90. Simon's studio: Lucien Simon (1861–1945) was a French realist painter and illustrator. He was noted for painting landscapes of Brittany and interiors depicting family and friends in group compositions. One of his interiors hangs in Kitty Ayrshire's apartment in "Scandal." See note for 176 under "interior by Lucien Simon." (Go back.)
 91. exhibition at V―'s: Cather may be invoking the name of art dealer Ambroise Vollard (1867–1939), who presented the first oneman exhibition of Cézanne's paintings in Paris in 1895. (Go back.)
 92. orange light: See note for 66 under "pale violet lights." (Go back.)


"The Diamond Mine"

 93. Cressida Garnet: See the Historical Essay for an account of Lillian Nordica, the prototype for Cressida Garnet. (Go back.)
 94. prime donne: A prima donna is the singer of the principal female role of an opera, as distinguished from the primo uomo, the leading male singer, and the seconda donna, the second female singer. The term dates to the beginning of opera in the seventeenth century. The self-contradiction of admitting two prime donnas into an opera became common soon after. (Go back.)
 95. Sherry's: Louis Sherry (1856–1926) opened his first restaurant at 662 Sixth Avenue in 1881. In 1890 he bought the Goelet mansion at Fifth Avenue and Thirty-seventh Street and moved his fashionable establishment there. In addition to the restaurant, the building contained ballrooms and a confectionery shop. On 10 October 1898, Sherry moved the restaurant a final time to a twelve-story building designed by Stanford White at the southwest corner of Fifth Avenue and Forth-fourth Street. The ground floor housed the main dining room and men's café; a ballroom and private party rooms were located upstairs; above them were residential apartments. Sherry's was renowned as the site of lavish private parties, including William Dean Howells's seventy-fifth birthday dinner, which Cather attended on 2 March 1912. Isabelle McClung and Jan Hambourg's wedding reception, which Cather attended, was also held there (see note for 77 under "Miletus Poppas"). The restaurant closed on 17 May 1919. (Go back.)
 96. Jerome Brown: See the Historical Essay for an account of George Washington Young, the prototype for Jerome Brown. (Go back.)
 97. Columbus: Located in central Ohio, Columbus is the capital of the state. Cather became acquainted with the city while visiting her friend Dorothy Canfield Fisher, who lived there from 1895 to 1899. (Go back.)
 98. Miss Julia: Lillian Nordica had four older sisters: Imogene, Ione, Annie, and Wilhelmina. Another sister named Lillian died at the age of two before the singer was born. Ione and Annie occasionally accompanied Lillian on her concert tours. (Go back.)
 99. meerschaum: Tobacco pipes made of this white mineral brown with use. (Go back.)
 100. French bull-dog: A mix of the toy English bulldog and other breeds, the French bulldog is distinguished by its flat skull, pointed ears, and muscular, compact body. See note for 3 under "Boston bull terrier." (Go back.)
 101. Horace: No prototype has been identified. Lillian Nordica had no children. (Go back.)
 102. Miletus Poppas: The character is partly based on Ernest Romayne Simmons (d. 1954), who was Nordica's business manager and piano accompanist. Poppas's characterization may also have been influenced by violinist Jan Hambourg, who married Cather's close friend Isabelle McClung (see note for 139 under "Marshall McKann") on 3 April 1916, a few months before the story was written. See the Historical Essay for accounts of these prototypes. (Go back.)
 103. "Lest we forgedt!": "Lest we forget—lest we forget!" is the refrain to Rudyard Kipling's poem "Recessional." Written in 1897, the year of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, the poem beseeches God to support and have mercy on the British Empire. Cather met Kipling soon after her arrival in Pittsburgh in 1896. She reviewed his work favorably in the Home Monthly (December 1897) and Pittsburgh Leader (18 February 1899). (Go back.)
 104. Manchester Festival: This was probably one of the annual Hallé concerts founded in Manchester, England, in 1849. (Go back.)
 105. Queen's Hall: Queen's Hall, which opened in 1893 on Longham Place, was London's premier venue for classical music. In 1941 it was struck by a bomb and destroyed. (Go back.)
 106. Opera at Covent Garden: Situated in a London square that was once the kitchen garden of the Westminster monks, the Covent Garden Theater on Bow Street was England's primary site for opera. The first theater there was opened in 1732. Nordica performed at Covent Garden regularly from 1887 to 1893. (Go back.)
 107. operas of Mozart: The best-known operas of Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–91) are The Marriage of Figaro (1786), Don Giovanni (1787), and The Magic Flute (1791). Among the roles Nordica sang at Covent Garden was Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni. See note for 119 under "Donna Anna." (Go back.)
 108. facial neuralgia: This is trigeminal neuralgia, which is commonly known as tic douloureux. The disorder is characterized by stabbing pain along the course of a nerve or its branches. It may be triggered by a variety of environmental factors, including cold temperatures. (Go back.)
 109. chère Madame: French: dear Madam. (Go back.)
 110. auto-da-fé: Portuguese: act of faith. This was an elaborate civilreligious sentencing ceremony during the Inquisition; in the public execution of these sentences, heretics were burned at the stake. (Go back.)
 111. la sainte Asie: French: holy Asia. (Go back.)
 112. orchids: These flowering plants belong to the family Orchidacae that composes the order Orchidales. There are hundreds of genera and tens of thousands of species. Many hybrids have been developed for the commercial flower trade. A perennial, the orchid thrives in tropical regions. Its flowers, which vary widely in color and shape, are borne either singly or in clusters on an erect stem. (Go back.)
 113. Carrie: Cather may be using the name of Carrie Miner Sherwood, her friend since her childhood in Red Cloud. Cather dedicated My Ántonia, which she began writing shortly after "The Diamond Mine," to Carrie and her sister Irene. (Go back.)
 114. never took a deck chair: The charge for the use of a deck chair on a transatlantic voyage via passenger liner at this time was about a dollar. (Go back.)
 115. Georgie: Another of Cressida's sisters. See note for 76 under "Miss Julia." (Go back.)
 116. Prince of Wales: This is Frederick Louis (1707–51), who argued publicly with his father, George II, over the amount of his allowance, was banned from the court, and worked to bring about the downfall of Prime Minister Robert Walpole in 1742. (Go back.)
 117. If it had been his brother... missed her: In the Library of America's Cather: Stories, Poems, and Other Writings (1018), editor Sharon O'Brien notes that the elegy Cather refers to is found in the appendix to Horace Walpole's Memoirs of the Reign of King George the Second, vol. 1 (1822). It reads: Here lies Fred, Who was alive, and is dead; Had it been his father, I had much rather: Had it been his brother, Still better than another; Had it been his sister, No one would have missed her; Had it been the whole generation, Still better for the nation; But since 'tis only Fred, Who was alive, and is dead,— There's no more to be said. Cather quoted the lines in "Victoria's Ancestors: The House of Hanover," which appeared in the June 1897 Home Monthly. (Go back.)
 118. electrics: By the end of the nineteenth century, electric automobiles were being produced by more than a dozen American companies. Body styles were modeled after those of horse-drawn buggies and carriages. Most of the vehicles could travel at speeds of up to fourteen miles per hour and cover twenty-five to thirty miles before requiring a recharge. In 1899, standard electric vehicle types ranged in price from $750 for a runabout to $5,000 for a brougham. (Go back.)
 119. Tenth Street: From Greenwich Avenue (renamed Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive) this street extends west to the Hudson River in lower Manhattan. Lillian Nordica lived at 8 West Ninth Street beginning in 1910. (Go back.)
 120. Buchanan: No prototype has been identified. (Go back.)
 121. Charley Wilton: No prototype has been identified. See the Historical Essay for an account of Frederick Allen Gower, Nordica's first husband. (Go back.)
 122. tuberculosis: Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by several species of Mycobacterium, collectively known as the tubercle bacillus. When M. tuberculosis bacilli affect the lungs, the case is called pulmonary tuberculosis. Most human tuberculosis is acquired as a result of inhaling tubercle bacilli, which are usually spread by the coughing and sneezing of infected persons. Symptoms include lack of energy, weight loss, persistent cough, and deterioration of general health. Tuberculosis was the leading cause of death in all age groups in the Western world from the eighteenth to the early twentieth century, when a vaccine and drug therapies were developed. Cather's family was plagued by pulmonary tuberculosis. All four of her paternal grandfather William's brothers died of it, as did three of his daughters. In 1883, Willa Cather's family moved from the purportedly unhealthy, humid climate of Virginia's Shenandoah Valley to the drier air of the Nebraska plains (Woodress 33). (Go back.)
 123. the Whitings: This may be a case of name borrowing. May Whiting, a fellow student of Cather's at the University of Nebraska, married Theodore Westermann, whose family Cather came to know while she was a college student in Lincoln. The Erlich family in One of Ours was based on the Westermanns. May and Theodore lived in New York during the period when Cather wrote "The Diamond Mine." (Go back.)
 124. Metropolitan: The company of the Metropolitan Opera Association in New York gave its first performance (Charles Gounod's Faust) on 22 October 1883. It soon established a reputation as the leading opera company in the United States and drew worldrenowned artists to its stage. Until 1966 its home was the Metropolitan Opera House on Broadway between Thirty-ninth and Fortieth streets. Cather was a devoted patron of the Metropolitan, attending hundreds of performances there during the forty years she lived in New York. (Go back.)
 125. Williams band: The prototype is Patrick S. Gilmore, leader of a popular band in which Lillian Nordica first earned notice while touring the United States and Europe as a soloist in 1879. (Go back.)
 126. Blasius Bouchalka: See the Historical Essay for an account of Zoltan Doehme, the prototype for Blasius Bouchalka. (Go back.)
 127. I am as I am: This may be an echo of the Hebrew God's self identification, "I am that I am" (Exodus 3:14). (Go back.)
 128. Democrat: At the time of Garnet's childhood in the late 1870s and early 1880s, the Republicans were the dominant political party and had come to be identified as the party of big business. The Democratic Party was popular in southern states, including North Carolina, Garnet's father's home state. (Go back.)
 129. First Church: This is the First Presbyterian Church in Columbus, on Bryden Road at Ohio Avenue. It was dedicated in 1894. (Go back.)
 130. Ransome McChord . . . McChord Harvester Company: The name echoes that of the McCormick Harvesting Company, founded by Cyrus McCormick (1809–84) in the 1840s. In 1902 it merged with other companies to form the International Harvester Company. Harold F. McCormick, Cyrus's son, was a patron of the Chicago Opera and became the first president of the Chicago Opera Association in 1909. His wife, Edith, was the youngest daughter of John D. Rockefeller. Following their separation in 1917, Harold began a widely publicized affair with Polish soprano Gana Walska. (Go back.)
 131. Isolde: In Richard Wagner's three-act opera with libretto Tristan und Isolde (1857–59), Isolde is an Irish princess who falls in love with Tristan, a Cornish knight who killed her fiancé. See note for 243 under "prelude to Tristan and Isolde." (Go back.)
 132. teufelin: a female devil (German). (Go back.)
 133. Brangaena: Brangaena is Isolde's attendant, and she provides Tristan and Isolde with an elixir that causes them to fall in love. Thea Kronborg sings this role in The Song of the Lark. (Go back.)
 134. "Trilby": In the novel (1894) by George du Maurier, the title character, an artist's model, becomes a great singer while hypnotized by her manager, Svengali. When Svengali dies, she loses her voice and dies soon after. In this passage, Garnet's dependence upon Poppas is compared to Trilby's dependence upon Svengali. In the Nebraska State Journal (28 October 1894), Cather praised the book. In response to a negative review of the novel by one of her English professors at the University of Nebraska, she defended it in the same newspaper (23 December 1894). Cather's eulogy of du Maurier was published in the November 1896 Home Monthly. (Go back.)
 135. goose that laid the golden eggs: In one of Aesop's fables, a farmer owns a goose that lays a golden egg each day. When the farmer kills the goose to get all of the gold at once, he finds there is none. (Go back.)
 136. Penelope: In Homer's Odyssey, Penelope is the wife of Odysseus. During their twenty-year separation, she is sought after by many men but remains faithful to her husband. (Go back.)
 137. Bohemian: Bohemia is a name applied by outsiders to the land where Czech people live; an independent kingdom in the Middle Ages, the land was absorbed by the Austro-Hungarian Empire. There was a resurgent Czech nationalistic movement in the late nineteenth century, but independence was not achieved until after World War I and the breakup of the Hapsburg Empire. (Go back.)
 138. Central Park: See note for 25 under "Park." (Go back.)
 139. elm trees: The deciduous American elm (Ulmus americana) of eastern North America has dark gray ridged bark and elliptical leaves and grows to 120 feet tall. Valued as an ornamental shade tree, many elm species in the United States were killed by Dutch elm disease, a fungus that entered the country in 1930 in a shipment of wood from France. By 1970 it had killed 77 million trees, and elms in any concentration had become a rarity. (Go back.)
 140. Mall: The grand walkway between the pond and the lake in the middle of Central Park is known as the Mall. (Go back.)
 141. wisterias: Wisteria is a genus of twining, woody vines of the pea family (Fabaceae). Native to Asia and North America, they are widely cultivated for their blue, purple, red, or white flowers, which grow in large, drooping clusters. (Go back.)
 142. sheep-field, toward Broadway: The fifteen-acre area now known as the Green in the south end of Central Park between Sixty-sixth and Sixty-ninth streets was once the grazing place of a flock of Southdown sheep. A building was erected to house the sheep in 1870; since 1934 it has been the site of the Tavern on the Green restaurant. Broadway, one of New York's oldest and longest (thirteen miles) streets, extends from lower Manhattan to the North Bronx. It is the only diagonal thoroughfare in Manhattan's street system. (Go back.)
 143. laurel: These evergreen shrubs and small trees of the genus Laurus were native to the Mediterranean region but are now grown in other parts of the world. Laurel grows from twenty to sixty feet tall, has leathery oval leaves and small yellowish or greenish-white flowers, and bears berry fruit. Another possibility may be the American mountain laurel, Kalmia latifolia, a spring-flowering broad-leaf evergreen shrub. (Go back.)
 144. Seventh Avenue gate: From Houston Street, Seventh Avenue extends north to Central Park at Fifty-ninth Street, and then from 110th Street to 154th Street at the Harlem River. The entrance to the park at Seventh Avenue is named the Artisans' Gate. (Go back.)
 145. deep fur hat, hung with red cherries: This is probably a fur toque, a deep-crowned brimless hat popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The simple cylindrical shape made it suitable for fur. The large toques of the early twentieth century sometimes had an inner structure that rested on the wearer's hair, so that the visible hat seemed to hover around the wearer's head. Fruits and berries were popular decorations for hats at this time. Nordica sang with the Imperial Opera at St. Petersburg, Russia, for the 1880 and 1881 seasons. (Go back.)
 146. later Russian composers who were just beginning to be heard in New York: These may have included Aleksandr Borodin, Modest Mussorgsky, and Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov. (Go back.)
 147. Massenet's Manon: Jules Massenet (1842–1912) is the French composer of the opera Manon based on Manon Lescaut by Antoine François Prévost d'Exiles. The title character is a reckless country woman who elopes to Paris with a handsome cavalier. She is, however, soon wooed away by a wealthy nobleman. Manon is later reunited with her husband, who turns to gambling to provide her with the luxuries she desires. Tragic complications develop before a repentant Manon pleads for forgiveness while dying in her husband's arms in the final scene. The opera's first production was at the Opéra Comique, Paris, on 19 January 1884. Its first production in the United States was at the Academy of Music, New York, on 23 December 1885. (Go back.)
 148. visiting cards: Visiting cards or "calling cards" engraved with a person's name were important throughout the nineteenth century and into the twentieth. Women's cards were almost square; men's were smaller and more rectangular. A woman gave her card to the servant who opened the door so the woman of the house would know who was "calling"; the card could take the place of the actual person in calls of ceremony. Such cards were also enclosed with gifts or flowers. An entire area of etiquette was devoted to the use of such cards, on which brief messages could be written. (Go back.)
 149. ̌Sárka: In a Bohemian legend, Sárka leads a band of female warriors in an attack on an army of the king's soldiers led by Ctirad. Sárka and her maidens execute a clever plot and kill all of the king's men in a valley. The valley, outside of Prague, takes its name from her. The third of Bedrich Smetana's symphonic poems in Má Vlast, ̌Sárka (first performed in 1877) is based on the legend, as is Zdeňek Fibich's opera (1897) in Czech. Cather may have been interested in this legend because of her acquaintance with Sárka Hrbková, professor of Slavonic languages and literatures at the University of Nebraska from 1908 to 1919. (Go back.)
 150. "Dans les ombres des forêts tristes": French: "In the shadows of sad forests." (Go back.)
 151. Opera house: See note for 88 under "Metropolitan." (Go back.)
 152. "Mais, certainement!": French: "But, certainly!" (Go back.)
 153. "Des gâteaux... où est-ce qu'elle peut trouver de tels gâteaux ici à New York?": French: "Such cakes... where is she able to find cakes like these here in New York?" (Go back.)
 154. "Autrichienne? Je ne pense pas.": French: "An Austrian woman? I don't think so." (Go back.)
 155. Mme. Bartolas: There was no notable Spanish soprano singing with the Metropolitan Opera at the time of this scene in the 1890s. Lucrezia Bori (1887–1960) sang with the company at the time Cather wrote the story in 1916. See note for 171 under "Spanish woman." (Go back.)
 156. Eton clothes: The outfit customarily worn at Eton College from the 1820s to World War I included a short, black jacket, long pants, and a top hat. Located in Eton, Berkshire, the college is one of the largest and most prestigious public schools in England. (Go back.)
 157. Puccini: See note for 13 under "Puccini." (Go back.)
 158. frock coats: These garments worn for formal occasions were favored by professional men such as ministers and doctors in the late nineteenth century. The coats, with a seam at the waist, reached the knee and were buttoned high on the chest. (Go back.)
 159. à deux: French: a one-to-one conversation. (Go back.)
 160. elevated: Trains that ran on elevated tracks, New York's first mode of rapid transit, operated in the city from 1868 to 1956. (Go back.)
 161. "Couleur de gloire, couleur des reines!": French: "Color of glory, color of queens!" (Go back.)
 162. "de l'eau chaude!": French: "some hot water!" (Go back.)
 163. Schubert's "Marche Militaire": The "Marche Militaire" in D (op. 51, no. 1) of Austrian composer Franz Schubert (1797–1828) is the most often played of his piano duets Trois Marches Militaires (c. 1822). (Go back.)
 164. "Voilà, voilà, tonnerre!": This is a rude French expression that literally means, "There, there, thunder!" (Go back.)
 165. Donna Anna: In Mozart's opera Don Giovanni (1787), Donna Anna, daughter of Commandant Don Pedro, seeks to avenge her father's murder by the title character. (Go back.)
 166. Anna Straka: Polish coloratura Marcella Sembrich (1858–1935) was the best-known Slavic singer during Nordica's tenure with the Metropolitan Opera. She performed at the Metropolitan during its first season in 1883, became a member of the company in 1898, and gave her farewell performance in 1909, the same year as Nordica's. (Go back.)
 167. Church of the Ascension: This Episcopal Church is located at the corner of Tenth Street and Fifth Avenue, across the street from the Grosvenor Hotel at 35 Fifth Avenue, where Cather lived from 1927 to 1932. According to Edith Lewis, it was Cather's favorite church in New York, at which she regularly attended vesper services. Cather was, Lewis writes, particularly fond of John LaFarge's fresco over the altar depicting the Ascension of Jesus (151). The Church of the Ascension, designed by Richard Upjohn, was erected in 1840 and was the first church built on Fifth Avenue. (Go back.)
 168. oisiveté: French: idleness. (Go back.)
 169. Lake Shore: The Lake Shore Michigan Southern Railway line was formed in 1869. It was owned by Cornelius Vanderbilt, who united the railroad with the New York Central to connect major east coast cities to Chicago. (Go back.)
 170. Grand Central station: Grand Central Depot, built by Cornelius Vanderbilt, opened at Fourth Avenue and Forty-second Street in 1872. It was expanded in 1889 and renamed Grand Central Terminal. The large main concourse opened in 1913. (Go back.)
 171. Theodore Thomas: Christian Frederick Theodore Thomas (1835–1905) conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1891 to 1905. Cather heard Antonín Dvǒrák's symphony From the New World (Op. 95, 1893) played by the Chicago orchestra in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1894. When Thea Kronborg first hears Dvǒrák's work in The Song of the Lark (1915), Thomas conducts the orchestra. (Go back.)
 172. mépris: French: contempt or scorn. (Go back.)
 173. un misérable: French: a destitute man. (Go back.)
 174. farouche: French: unsociable. (Go back.)
 175. "Pour des gâteaux": French: "For some cakes." (Go back.)
 176. les colombes: French: the pigeons. (Go back.)
 177. revolution in Mexico: Efforts to overthrow dictator Porfirio Díaz, who became the president of Mexico in 1886, began in 1910. He was deposed and Francisco Madero was elected president in 1911. (Go back.)
 178. Titanic: In the most infamous shipping disaster ever, the rms Titanic left Southampton, England, on Sunday night, 14 April 1912, bound for New York on its first voyage. It struck an iceberg and sank off Cape Race, Newfoundland, early the next morning. More than two-thirds of the 2,224 people on board the steamship, owned by the White Star Line, died. (Go back.)
 179. Carpathia: This British ocean liner reached the site of the Titanic disaster shortly after the ship sank. The Cunard-owned Carpathia took 705 survivors to New York, arriving on 18 April 1912. (Go back.)
 180. White Star offices: The New York offices of the English steamship line were located on the first floor of a seventeen-story building at 11 Broadway when the Titanic sank in the early morning on Monday, 15 April 1912. The White Star Line did not admit that the ship had gone down until 7:00 that night. A crowd of relatives and friends of those on board quickly formed outside the company's offices. (Go back.)
 181. Henry Gilbert: No prototype has been identified. (Go back.)
 182. Traulich und treu... sich freut!: In The Wagnerian Romances (1925), for which Cather wrote a preface, Gertrude Hall's translation from the German reads, "Only in the pleasant water-depths is truth; false and cowardly are those making merry up there!" (68). These are the last four lines of Richard Wagner's Das Rheingold (1852–54), the first opera of the Ring cycle. They are sung by the Rhine maidens, whose gold has been stolen from the bottom of the Rhine River. (Go back.)


"A Gold Slipper"

 183. Marshall McKann: A prototype for the stern, conservative protagonist may have been Scotch Presbyterian judge Samuel A. McClung (1845–1915), father of Isabelle McClung, Cather's close friend (see note for 77 under "Miletus Poppas"). Cather lived in the McClung household in Pittsburgh from 1901 to 1906. In Willa Cather Living, Edith Lewis writes that he was "very conservative in his tastes" (52). (Go back.)
 184. Carnegie Music Hall: The Carnegie Institute and Library, a Renaissance-style building that houses a music hall, library, halls of architecture and sculpture, museum of natural history, and art galleries, was given to the city of Pittsburgh by Andrew Carnegie (1835–1919). It was completed in 1895. Cather visited this building during her years in Pittsburgh from 1896 to 1906. (Go back.)
 185. Sewickley: This is a Pittsburgh suburb Cather visited as a journalist for the Pittsburgh Leader and to see her friend composer Ethelbert Nevin (see note for 277 under "Adriance"), who resided there. (Go back.)
 186. Mrs. Post: No prototype has been identified. (Go back.)
 187. Mrs. McKann: No prototype has been identified. (Go back.)
 188. Kitty Ayrshire: See the Historical Essay for accounts of Geraldine Farrar, Mary Garden, and Sibyl Sanderson, the prototypes for Kitty Ayrshire. (Go back.)
 189. drawing room: On a train car, this is a private compartment for two or three passengers. (Go back.)
 190. East Liberty Station: The Pennsylvania Central train station in the East Liberty section of Pittsburgh is on Hamilton Street. Cather lived and worked in this area from 1896 to 1901. (Go back.)
 191. Comique: The Opéra Comique on place Boieldieu was a showplace for light opera. It dates from the early eighteenth century; the present theater opened in 1889. (Go back.)
 192. Perfumes and petticoats and cutlets were named for her: There is no evidence of these items being named after any of the prototypes for Ayrshire, but the names of opera singers did enter the lexicon of popular cuisine. Peach melba and melba toast, for example, owe their names to Australian soprano Nellie Melba. Chicken nordica, likewise, was named for Lillian Nordica, as was chicken tetrazzini for Luisa Tetrazzini. (Go back.)
 193. the Bois: The Bois de Boulogne, a wooded park in Paris, was fashionable for riders. Sibyl Sanderson, a prototype for Kitty Ayrshire, had an apartment at No. 1 bis, avenue Bois de Boulogne. (Go back.)
 194. French composer: This is Jules Massenet. See note for 105 under "Massenet's Manon." (Go back.)
 195. imperial: An imperial is a small, pointed beard on the chin; the rest of the jaw is smooth-shaven. (Go back.)
 196. conscienceless Parisian designer: This probably alludes to Paul Poiret (1879–1944), who worked for Doucet and Worth before opening his own house in 1904. At the height of his renown, from 1904 to 1914, he introduced narrow skirts and trains and exotic colors into women's fashion. (Go back.)
 197. Bakst . . . Ballets Russes: Léon Bakst (1866–1924) was a Russian painter and set designer noted for his stage settings and costumes for Sergey Diaghilev's Russian Ballet, which began touring in the United States in the early twentieth century. Bakst's flamboyant costumes were copied by Parisian fashion designers and became popular among upper-class women. Cather chose him to paint her portrait, which was commissioned and funded by her Nebraska readers, after she won the Pulitzer Prize in 1923. The painting hangs in the Omaha Public Library. (Go back.)
 198. "shifty Sadies": "Shiftie" was a slang term for an unreliable woman. (Go back.)
 199. romantic German songs: Johannes Brahms, Robert Schumann, and Richard Strauss were German romantic song composers. Their romantic songs emphasized mood, emotion, and uniqueness of expression; they were often inspired by nonmusical sources such as literature and paintings. (Go back.)
 200. modern French songs: Ernest Chausson, Claude Debussy, Henri Duparc, and Gabriel Fauré were among the leading composers of nineteenth-century French song. Maurice Ravel was a noted composer of French songs in the early twentieth century. (Go back.)
 201. Faust: Faust (1859) is an opera by French composer Charles Gounod based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's drama of the same name. See note for 9 under "The Golden Legend." (Go back.)
 202. opera written for her and to her and round about her: The opera is Thaïs (1894), which French composer Jules Massenet (see note for 105 under "Massenet's Manon") wrote for Sibyl Sanderson. (Go back.)
 203. Schenley: This fashionable hotel at Fifth Avenue and Bigelow Boulevard in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh was built in 1898. As a journalist for the Pittsburgh Leader, Cather interviewed prominent visitors to the city at the Schenley. (Go back.)
 204. Presbyterian: This is a Protestant denomination rooted in the principles of the Reformed faith as articulated in John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536) (see note for 208 under "John Calvin"). Emphasizing biblical preaching and strict moral discipline as the cornerstones of a model society, Presbyterian theology accepts the universal Christian teachings on original sin and eternal life. American Presbyterianism stresses simplicity; liturgical prayers, choral singing, and clerical vestments are absent from its services. Representatives elected by local congregations or larger presbyteries hold ecclesiastical authority. The officers who administer Presbyterian churches are deacons, elders, and ministers. In the Nebraska State Journal, Cather wrote, "Now all Pittsburgh is divided into two parts, Presbyteria and Bohemia, and the former is the much larger and more influential kingdom of the two" (10 January 1897). In her journalism Cather often criticized Pittsburgh's Presbyterians for being narrow-minded, rigid, and materialistic. (Go back.)
 205. First Church: This Presbyterian church was located at 320 Sixth Avenue in Pittsburgh. (Go back.)
 206. Allegheny cemetery: The Allegheny Cemetery is located between Penn Avenue and Butler Street in the Garfield section of Pittsburgh. Cather visited the cemetery in October 1896 to witness the funeral of Charles Stanley Reinhart, a Pittsburgh painter who was the prototype for sculptor Harvey Merrick in "The Sculptor's Funeral." Her column describing the event appeared in the Lincoln Courier on 23 October 1897. See note for 249 on "The Sculptor." (Go back.)
 207. a lone electric: See note for 85 under "electrics." (Go back.)
 208. Céline: Cather may be borrowing the name of Céline Sibut, in whose family pension she stayed during her first visit to Paris in 1902. Sibut was a close friend of Dorothy Canfield Fisher, who arranged for Cather's lodging in Paris. (Go back.)
 209. Pullman: George Pullman (1831–97) manufactured special railroad passenger cars, such as sleeping cars and dining cars, and leased them to railroad lines. In the sleeper, for which he was best known, the seats for daytime travel were converted to upper and lower sleeping berths. By the late nineteenth century the Pullman Palace Car Company was the world's leading maker of railroad cars. (Go back.)
 210. stateroom: This private compartment on a train was usually for one person. The seat could be converted into a bed. (Go back.)
 211. Gladstone: This small, rectangular traveling bag (often of leather) was hinged at the bottom to open flat into two compartments of equal size. It was named for British prime minister William E. Gladstone (1809–98). (Go back.)
 212. outré: French: excessive, extravagant. (Go back.)
 213. San Francisco earthquake: A catastrophic earthquake equivalent to 7.8 on the Richter scale struck San Francisco on 18 April 1906. More than three thousand people were killed, and damages were estimated at $500 million as a result of the earthquake and ensuing fire. (Go back.)
 214. Mr. Worldly Wiseman: This character in John Bunyan's allegory Pilgrim's Progress (1678) tempts Christian, a pilgrim on his way from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City. Pilgrim's Progress was one of Cather's favorite childhood books. In her introduction to Daniel Defoe's Roxana, or the Fortunate Mistress (1924) she wrote that Pilgrim's Progress has "scenes of the most satisfying kind; where little is said but much is felt and communicated" (79). (Go back.)
 215. precious ointment: The allusion is to Matthew 26:6–13, where Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus, anoints Jesus with a precious ointment. (Go back.)
 216. Count Tolstoy's . . . 'What is Art?': The works of Russian novelist Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (1828–1910) include War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1875–77). Tolstoy wrote What Is Art? (1898) following his religious conversion and renunciation of his art and material possessions. He therein argues against art produced for a cultural elite in favor of accessible works that have a moral dimension. In a posthumously published fragment, "Light on Adobe Walls," Cather wrote, "Art is too terribly human to be very 'great' perhaps. Some very great artists have outgrown art, the men were bigger than the game. Tolstoi did, and Leonardo did" (125). (Go back.)
 217. pussy-willows: These are male willow trees of the species Salix discolor having large, cylindrical, silky catkins. The catkins are formed before the leaves sprout and are considered a sign of spring. Willows are native to northern temperate areas and valued for ornament, shade, and erosion control. (Go back.)
 218. Queen of Sheba: According to 1 Kings 10 and 2 Chronicles 9, Balkis, Queen of Sheba in southwestern Arabia, visited King Solomon at his court to test his wisdom by asking him to solve several riddles. (Go back.)
 219. Knickerbocker: The fifteen-story Hotel Knickerbocker in New York City was located at the southeast corner of West Forty-second Street and Broadway. It opened in 1906 and became known for its publicly displayed works of art. Enrico Caruso, George M. Cohen, and D. W. Griffith were among its famous residents. (Go back.)


"Scandal"

 220. Kitty Ayrshire: See note for 140 under "Kitty Ayrshire." (Go back.)
 221. Opera: The Metropolitan Opera Company. See note for 88 under "Metropolitan." (Go back.)
 222. Park: Central Park in New York City. See note for 25 under "Park." (Go back.)
 223. Miles Creedon: No prototype has been identified. (Go back.)
 224. the Director: The director of the Metropolitan Opera from 1908 to 1935 was Giulio Gatti-Casazza (1869–1940). (Go back.)
 225. Spanish woman: The prototype is lyric soprano Lucrezia Bori (1887–1960), the most notable Spanish singer of the Metropolitan Opera Company at the time of the story. Her debut in the company was on 11 November 1912 in Manon. See note for 110 under "Mme. Bartolas." (Go back.)
 226. Vanity Fair: In Paul Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress (see note for 159 under "Mr. Worldly Wiseman"), Vanity Fair is a city of material delights. The reference here is more likely to the magazine first published in 1913 as Dress and Vanity Fair. Renamed Vanity Fair in 1914, it focused on cultural affairs and the arts. The magazine's advertisers included upscale retailers such as Tiffany, Bonwit Teller, and Brooks Brothers. High-priced items such as silverware, jewelry, furs, fine clothing, home furnishings, and automobiles were advertised in its pages. Publication of the magazine ceased in 1936 and resumed in 1983. (Go back.)
 227. from the box-office down to Seventh Avenue: The line of people in the story would have begun at the box office in the middle of the block between Thirty-ninth and Fortieth streets on Broadway, extended south to Thirty-ninth, and then west to Seventh Avenue. (Go back.)
 228. Trappist: This is the popular name for the Cistercians of the Strict Observance, a Roman Catholic order of monks who take a vow of silence. (Go back.)
 229. caro mio: Italian: my dear. (Go back.)
 230. Pierce Tevis: No prototype has been identified. (Go back.)
 231. abandonné: This French word literally means "abandoned." "Decadent" is closer to the intended meaning here. (Go back.)
 232. mocking-bird: This robin-sized, long-tailed gray bird (Mimus polyglottos) is known for imitating other birds' songs in the wild. (Go back.)
 233. lilac-tree: See note for 8 under "lilacs." (Go back.)
 234. Parker White: No prototype has been identified. (Go back.)
 235. Ojo Caliente: Located fifty miles north of Santa Fe in north-central New Mexico, this town is known for its hot mineral springs. (Go back.)
 236. rose-trees: Rose is the common name for a family of flowering plants with more than one hundred genera and three thousand species, many of which are valued for their fruit and ornamental beauty. Plants of the rose order include trees, shrubs, and perennial herbs. Tree roses grow on a single stem, so they look like miniature trees, and are often grown in pots, especially in colder parts of the country. (Go back.)
 237. camellia-bushes: Camellia is a genus of about eighty species of East Asian evergreen shrubs and trees. The common camellia (C. japonica) is best known, especially for its double varieties, which have overlapping petals; the blossoms range in color from white to pink to red. The tree has glossy green oval leaves and can reach a height of thirty feet. In Willa Cather: The Emerging Voice, Sharon O'Brien notes that Cather liked to write with camellias nearby (353). (Go back.)
 238. hyacinths: Native to the Mediterranean region and tropical Africa, these ornamental plants are cultivated all over the world. The common garden hyacinth is derived from Hyacinthus orientalis. Its fragrant flowers, borne in a cluster at the top of leafless stems, are usually blue but may be pink, white, or other colors in cultivated plants; the leaves are long and sword-shaped. Hyacinth bulbs can be forced to bloom indoors when they are placed in sunlight after being kept in a cool, dark place for several weeks. (Go back.)
 239. mimosa-tree: The mimosa tree (Albizia julibrissin, of the subfamily Mimosoideae), native to tropical and subtropical areas, is cultivated for its attractive bipinnate foliage and round, fuzzy-looking fragrant pink flowers. (Go back.)
 240. interior by Lucien Simon: The prototype has not been identified. Simon's painting An Evening in a Studio, which depicts a similar scene, was listed in the 1905 Carnegie International Exhibition Catalogue. It was awarded Medal of the First Class and then purchased by the Carnegie Institute. See note for 72 under "Simon's studio." (Go back.)
 241. old composer: This is Jules Massenet. See notes for 105 and 147 under "Massenet's Manon." (Go back.)
 242. Mme. Simon: Jeanne Dauchez Simon was a watercolor painter of portraits and figures. She married Lucien Simon in 1890. (Go back.)
 243. B——, the historian: This is most likely Émile Bourgeois (1857–1934), a professor of history at the Sorbonne, in the University of Paris. (Go back.)
 244. H——, the philologist: The person portrayed is probably Edmond Huguet (1863–1948), a specialist in sixteenthand seventeenthcentury French philology at the Sorbonne. (Go back.)
 245. Mme. H——: This is probably the wife of Edmond Huguet. (Go back.)
 246. Marcel Durand, the physicist: This may be Antoine Henri Becquerel (1852–1909), who won the 1903 Nobel Prize in physics for discovering radioactivity. (Go back.)
 247. red-bearded sculptor: The most likely prototype is René-François-Auguste Rodin (1840–1917), who had red hair and a red beard. (Go back.)
 248. Central Park West: This street along the western border of Central Park (see note for 25 under "Park") extends from Columbus Circle to Cathedral Parkway. A row of exclusive apartment buildings faces the park on Central Park West (Eighth Avenue) from 59th to 110th streets. (Go back.)
 249. St. Petersburg: The port city of St. Petersburg in northwestern Russia was named after its founder, Czar Peter the Great. Once the capital of the Russian empire, it was renamed Petrograd after the outbreak of World War I in 1914. (Go back.)
 250. Nevskii Prospekt: The Nevsky Prospect was the longest and busiest street in St. Petersburg. (Go back.)
 251. Grand Duke Paul: The first son of Alexander II, Paul (1860–1919) was known for his good looks and charm. Twice married and banished from Russia, he was executed by the Bolsheviks upon his return. Sibyl Sanderson was rumored to have had an affair with Russian czar Nicholas II, Geraldine Farrar with the German crown prince Friedrich Wilhelm. (Go back.)
 252. the Manhattan: The Manhattan Opera House, located on West Thirty-fourth Street between Broadway and Seventh Avenue, was built in 1906 and owned by Oscar Hammerstein I. Its programs of popular French and Italian operas appealed to the middle class and offered strong competition to the Metropolitan Opera until 1910, when Hammerstein signed a lucrative agreement to stop presenting opera in the United States. See note for 70 under "Lexington Opera House." (Go back.)
 253. Siegmund Stein: For an account of how Jan Hambourg may have contributed to the negative portraits of this character and Miletus Poppas of "The Diamond Mine," see note for 77 under "Miletus Poppas"; see also the Historical Essay. (Go back.)
 254. Villard: Cather may be borrowing the name of journalist and author Oswald Garrison Villard (1872–1949), publisher and editor of the New York Evening Post (1897–1918) and owner, publisher, and editor of the Nation (1918–32). He published Cather's essay "Nebraska: the End of the First Cycle" in the 5 September 1923 issue (236–38). Villard's family name was originally Hilgard; he was a relative of Emma Hilgard Tyndale Westermann and her brother Dr. Julius Hilgard Tyndale. Cather used the name Hilgarde for Everett and Adriance in "'A Death in the Desert.'" See note for 275 under "Everett Hilgarde." (Go back.)
 255. Dan Leland: No prototype has been identified. (Go back.)
 256. Harvard Club: A society of Harvard University graduates, the Harvard Club was formed in 1865. The club rented quarters at 11 West Twenty-second Street before moving into its own building at 27 West Forty-fourth Street, which was constructed in phases from 1893 to 1915. The building houses a library and reading rooms, dining rooms, and squash courts. (Go back.)
 257. Rosenthal's garment factory: Thomas' Register of American Manufacturers lists four New York City companies by this name that produced men's and women's clothing in 1915: Rosenthal Clothing Company, H. Rosenthal and Son, H. B. Rosenthal and Company, and I. H. Rosenthal. (Go back.)
 258. speeder: A speeder notches up the pace of work in a factory so that co-workers have to increase their speed also. (Go back.)
 259. Seventh Avenue: See note for 103 under "Seventh Avenue gate." (Go back.)
 260. Astor Library: The Astor Library, which opened in 1854 on the east side of Lafayette Place (renamed Astor Place), was John Jacob Astor's memorial to the first president of the United States, George Washington. When Astor died in 1848 he was purported to be the richest man in the world. He left the money and land for the library to the city. It was the first privately endowed, independent free public reference library in the country. The Astor Library became part of the New York Public Library in 1895 and was moved to its current location at Forty-second Street and Fifth Avenue in 1899. (Go back.)
 261. Metropolitan Museum: See note for 25 under "Art Museum." (Go back.)
 262. Gorky's visit: Russian author Maxim Gorky (1868–1936) came to the United States to raise money for the Russian freedom movement after the unsuccessful 1905 revolution. His departure after less than a year was hastened by questions about the marital status of the traveling companion whom he claimed was his wife. (Go back.)
 263. shirtwaist-makers: See note for 25 under "shirt-waists." (Go back.)
 264. Waverly Place: Named for Scottish author Sir Walter Scott's 1814 first novel, Waverley (the second "e" was dropped in the street name), this is West Seventh Street, which extends from Washington Square to Broadway. The name was changed from Factory Street shortly after Scott's death in 1832. (Go back.)
 265. Ruby Mohr: No prototype has been identified. (Go back.)
 266. Sixth Avenue: This avenue begins at Canal Street and extends north to Central Park South. It is now known as the Avenue of the Americas. (Go back.)
 267. prima donna: See note for 75 under "prima donne." (Go back.)
 268. St. Jo: Saint Joseph is a city on the Missouri River in northwestern Missouri. (Go back.)
 269. Miss Mandelbaum: No prototype has been identified. (Go back.)
 270. Fifth Avenue: See note for 25 under "houses on upper Fifth Avenue." (Go back.)
 271. Peppo Amoretti: No prototype has been identified. (Go back.)
 272. 'Per me tutto e indifferente, Signorina': Italian: "For me, nothing matters, Miss." (Go back.)
 273. the Scala: La Scala (Teatro alla Scala), the best-known opera house in the world, is located in Milan, Italy. After an earlier building burned down, the present one was built in 1776 by Empress Maria Theresa of Austria. (Go back.)
 274. hanging-gardens of Babylon: The terraces of these gardens, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, were filled with trees, plants, and flowers. (Go back.)
 275. Gulliver among the giants: In the second part of Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels (1726), Gulliver is sent to Brobdingnag, a land of giants. (Go back.)
 276. The American Gentleman: The American Fashion Company of New York published a newspaper by this name. (Go back.)


"Paul's Case"

 277. Paul: See the Historical Essay for an account of the prototypes for Paul. (Go back.)
 278. four-in-hand: This necktie is made with a slipknot; the ends are left hanging and overlapping. At the time of the story, knotted ties such as the four-in-hand and bow tie were surpassing the traditional string tie in fashion. (Go back.)
 279. carnation: This herbaceous plant (Dianthus caryophyllus) is native to the Mediterranean region. It is cultivated for its fringe-petaled flowers, which are used in floral arrangements, corsages, and boutonnieres. The carnation was once used in Europe as a treatment for fever. (Go back.)
 280. belladonna: A Eurasian plant, Atropa belladonna has purplish-red, bell-shaped flowers and small, black poisonous berries. The leaves and roots of belladonna, which contain atropine, have a druglike effect when ingested. It owes its common name to its effect of dilating pupils, which makes eyes look larger and darker. (Go back.)
 281. "Soldier's Chorus" from Faust: In the Chorus (act 4, scene 3) of Charles Gounod's opera Faust (see note for 147 under "Faust"), soldiers sing of their victories and joy at returning home. (Go back.)
 282. Carnegie Hall: See note for 139 under "Carnegie Music Hall." (Go back.)
 283. Raffaelli's gay studies of Paris streets: Jean-François Raffaëlli (1850–1924) was a French painter known for his Parisian scenes. In 1897 the Carnegie Institute acquired his Boulevard des Italiens, Paris, which depicts a woman holding an umbrella in a crowded street; his Parisian Girl is listed in the 1901 Carnegie International Exhibition Catalogue. (Go back.)
 284. blue Rico: Paintings of Venice by Spanish artist Martin Rico y Ortega (1833–1908) often feature a blue sky. In " 'The Legends of the Iron Kings': Cather's 'Paul's Case' as a Response to Andrew Carnegie's Cultural Work," Mary J. Elliott has noted that Cather may have seen his painting On the Canal, which W. N. Frew loaned to the museum for the Carnegie Institute's dedication in 1895. Cather saw his San Trovaso, Venice, which was purchased by the Institute in 1897. Cather reviewed his painting in the Library (21 April 1900) and the Lincoln Courier (10 August 1901). In the former, she wrote, "Among these graver performances, one comes upon a bit of Venice done by gay Master Rico, San Trovaso, on a sunny morning. A very blue sky, a silvery canal, white and red houses, bridges and gay gondolas, and in the foreground the dear Lombard poplar, the gayest and saddest of trees, rustling green and silver in the sunlight." A similar picture hangs in Cather's first home in Red Cloud, Nebraska. (Go back.)
 285. Augustus Cæsar: Augustus Caesar (63 bc –14 ad ) was the first emperor of Rome. When Cather wrote the story between 1901 and 1903, the Carnegie Institute owned two plaster statues of him made from originals in the Louvre and Vatican Museum. (Go back.)
 286. Venus of Milo: This is a copy of the statue of the goddess Venus, the original of which dates from the second to first century bc . It was found on the Greek island of Milo in 1820 and was given to King Louis XVIII in 1821. It now resides in the Louvre. (Go back.)
 287. Genius in the bottle found by the Arab fisherman: "The Fisherman and the Demon" story in The Arabian Nights Entertainments, also known as A Thousand and One Nights, is the source. In the story, a poor fisherman finds a brass bottle containing an evil Jinni. Upon release, the Jinni says he will kill the fisherman, but the latter devises a scheme wherein the Jinni will help him gain money and power. In Arabian literature, Jinnis are demons representing malevolent natural forces. In English, the Genie or Genius, a nature spirit of fire and air, is sometimes confused with them. The 264 tales of The Arabian Nights Entertainments are told by the Princess Scheherezade, who is condemned to die by her husband, King Shahriyar of India, if her stories fail to amuse him. She tells him a new story each night, delaying the conclusion until the following night. By the time Scheherezade tells her final tale on the 1,001st night, her husband no longer wants to kill her. Gathered over several centuries from India, Persia, and Arabia, the tales first appeared in the West (translated into French) in the early eighteenth century. Cather read The Arabian Nights as a child and recommended it in the May 1897 Home Monthly. (Go back.)
 288. soprano soloist: The prototype is probably Austrian-Czech contralto Ernestine Schumann-Heink (1861–1936), a singer Cather admired and knew personally. She heard Schumann-Heink sing Wagnerian opera in Pittsburgh in 1899 and reviewed her performance in the Lincoln Courier (10 June 1899). Like the singer in the story, she had many (six) children. (Go back.)
 289. Schenley: See note for 148 under "Schenley." (Go back.)
 290. yellow wallpaper: Cather may be alluding to Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" (1892), in which the psychologically troubled protagonist becomes obsessed with her bedroom wallpaper. (Go back.)
 291. collar-box: Starched collars worn with men's shirts and women's shirt-waists were stored in a round box with a post in the center. (Go back.)
 292. John Calvin: This French theologian of Protestantism (1509–64) wrote Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536), one of the most influential texts in the Reformed, Presbyterian, Congregational, Baptist, and Unitarian churches. In Calvinist thought, only an "elect" few are predestined to salvation. His Reformed Protestantism is characterized by austerity, strict morality, and attendance of church services. See note for 148 under "Presbyterian." (Go back.)
 293. "Feed my Lambs": In John 21:15, Jesus asks Simon Peter if he loves him. In response to Simon Peter's affirmative answer, Jesus tells him to provide his followers with spiritual nourishment by saying, "Feed my lambs." (Go back.)
 294. Negley Avenue: In the East Liberty (see note for 141 under "East Liberty Station") section of Pittsburgh, this street extends from 5600 Pennsylvania Avenue to Highland Park. (Go back.)
 295. shorter catechism: In religious training, a catechism is a manual of Christian doctrine. Martin Luther's Small Catechism (1529) is the standard text used by Lutheran churches. (Go back.)
 296. Cordelia Street: In Chrysalis: Willa Cather in Pittsburgh, 1896–1906, Byrne and Snyder theorize that the name of this fictitious street may have been suggested by that of Aurelia Street, which was within a block of Shady Avenue where Cather worked at the Home Monthly. (Go back.)
 297. Cumberland minister: The Reverend J. R. Henry was the pastor of First Cumberland Presbyterian Church during Cather's Pittsburgh years. Her correspondence with him establishes their cordial relationship, as Timothy Bintrim has uncovered. The independent Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized in 1810 following the dissolution of the Cumberland presbytery by the Synod of Kentucky. Byrne notes that First Cumberland Presbyterian Church, established in 1898, was at the corner of Shady and Aurelia (83–84). See note for 148 under "First Church." (Go back.)
 298. "waists": This is a general term for what is now known as a blouse. A shirtwaist is a particular variety, distinguished by style and fabric (see note for 25 under "shirt-waists"). The Sunday waists referred to here would have been these women's dressiest style. (Go back.)
 299. the plan . . . electric railway plant at Cairo: No prototype has been identified, but the company referred to is probably the Westinghouse Company, founded by George Westinghouse in Pittsburgh in 1886 (Elliott 5). In 1891 it introduced the single-reduction railway motor, which made electric traction commercially viable. It also developed the first practical electric locomotive. The Westinghouse Company was selling electrical machinery worldwide by the turn of the century. The first railroad in Africa, built in 1855, ran between Cairo and Alexandria. In 1904, shortly after the composition of "Paul's Case," a railroad linking Cairo and Port Said was completed. (Go back.)
 300. high play at Monte Carlo: In January 1902 American newspapers reported that Charles M. Schwab, president of the U.S. Steel Corporation, was wagering large sums on roulette in the casino at Monte Carlo. Schwab admitted that he had gambled at Monte Carlo but that the amounts of his bets had been greatly exaggerated. His judgment and fitness to head U.S. Steel were called into question, but he was able to quell the controversy upon his return to the United States. (Go back.)
 301. cash boys: The principal duty of these low-level office employees was to run errands. The triumphs of cash boys who became famous may allude to Horatio Alger's novel The Cash Boy (1900). (Go back.)
 302. violet water: This toilet water was scented by its namesake, a favorite flower of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. (Go back.)
 303. leading juvenile: In a manuscript reprinted in Willa Cather Remem bered (ed. Sharon Hoover), Fred Otte Jr. (whom John March identifies as the prototype for Fred Ottenburg in The Song of the Lark [552]) recalls that while he was an English student of Cather's, she suggested that he attend the Sunday dress rehearsals of the Harry Davis Stock Company at the Fifth Avenue theater. Otte writes: "It was there I met such well known professionals as Lizzie Hudson Collier, Henriette Crossman [sic], Marian Ballou, the ingenue and Tommy Meighan, then painting scenery, shifting canvas, playing juveniles, but later to become a star of the silent films" (45). Thomas ("Tommy") Meighan (1879–1936), the probable prototype for "the leading juvenile" Charley Edwards, was one of the most popular silent film actors from 1916 to 1927. Following a brief retirement, he made a return to the screen in the sound era, including a starring role with a young Jackie Cooper in Peck's Bad Boy (1934), before succumbing to cancer. According to a New York Times obituary, Meighan began his career as "a $35-a-week juvenile in a Pittsburgh stock company headed by Henrietta Crosman" (9 July 1936). (Go back.)
 304. permanent stock company . . . the downtown theatres: The prototype was probably the New Grand Opera Stock Company, which played in Pittsburgh when Cather arrived in 1896. Cather became a friend of its leading actress, Lizzie Hudson Collier. There were eight major theaters in Pittsburgh during Cather's years in the city from 1896 to 1906: the Academy of Music, the Alvin, the Avenue, the Bijou, the Duquesne, the East End, the Grand Opera House, and the Nixon. (Go back.)
 305. a sleep and a forgetting: In part 5 of "Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood" (1807), William Wordsworth writes, "Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting" (line 59). Charles Mignon discusses the allusion in "The Context of a Wordsworth Allusion in Cather's 'Paul's Case'" (unpublished). (Go back.)
 306. Martha: Friedrich von Flotow (1812–83) wrote this romantic opera (1847) with libretto by Friedrich Wilhelm Reise; the overture contains several of its most recognizable melodies. The work is based on Lady Henriette, ou la Servante de Greenwich, a ballet-pantomime by Jules-Henry Vernoy de Saint-Georges. In the opera, Lady Harriet Durham attends a fair dressed as a maid named Martha and meets a farmer, Lionel. After Martha returns to court and resumes her true identity, Lionel learns that he is the son of the Earl of Derby. In the final scene, the two lovers recognize each other and embrace, pledging to remain together. (Go back.)
 307. "Rigoletto": This opera (1851) is by Giuseppe Verdi. The libretto is based on Le Roi s'amuse (1832), a novel by Victor Hugo about the disreputable Duke of Mantua (based on Francis I), who is aided in his crimes by his hunchback jester, Rigoletto. (Go back.)
 308. wishing carpet: Prominent in the Koran and in tales such as The Arabian Nights Entertainments, the wishing carpet takes the person who sits on it wherever he or she wants to go. (Go back.)
 309. barrel organ: See note for 13 under "hurdy-gurdy." (Go back.)
 310. frock coats: See note for 112 under "frock coats." (Go back.)
 311. Newark: Newark, New Jersey, is located five miles west of lower Manhattan across the Hudson River. (Go back.)
 312. day coach: In these train cars, seats were arranged on each side of a central aisle. To save money, passengers on long trips sometimes tried to sleep on the reclining seats during the night. (Go back.)
 313. Pullman: See note for 152. (Go back.)
 314. Denny & Carson's: See the Historical Essay for an account of the Denny Estate robbery, upon which Cather based this section of the story. (Go back.)
 315. Jersey City station: Train passengers were brought across the Hudson River to Manhattan by ferry from this station in New Jersey. (Go back.)
 316. Twenty-third Street station: This was a large terminal for the Hoboken Ferry, which operated between New York City and Fourteenth Street in Hoboken, New Jersey. (Go back.)
 317. Tiffany's: Founded in 1837, the jewelry store bearing the name of cofounder (with John B. Young) Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812–1902) was located at Fifteenth Street and Union Square at the time of the story. It was moved to the corner of Thirty-seventh Street and Fifth Avenue in 1905. (Go back.)
 318. Broadway: See note for 101 under "sheep-field, toward Broadway." (Go back.)
 319. Waldorf: The Waldorf-Astoria on Fifth Avenue between Thirtythird and Thirty-fourth streets was one of the most luxurious hotels in the world. The eleven-story Waldorf section, built by William Waldorf Astor on the site of his father's mansion, was opened in 1893; the sixteen-story Astor section, built by William's cousin John Jacob Astor IV on the site of his mother's mansion, was completed in 1897. The two buildings functioned as an opulent thirteen-hundred-room unit. The hotel was demolished in 1929 to allow for the construction of the Empire State Building. See note for 186 under "Astor Library." (Go back.)
 320. violets: This flowering plant has blossoms that grow on a slender stalk and range in color from white to purple. Its leaves are thick and heart-shaped. Natural species, of which there are more than five hundred, bloom in early spring and grow throughout the world. There are hundreds of types of hybrids. Violets belong to the family Violaceae and are in the genus Viola. (Go back.)
 321. jonquils: Narcissus jonquilla is native to warmer parts of the eastern hemisphere and is usually one of the first plants to bloom in spring. Jonquils have one or two yellow flowers with short coronas per plant; their long, swordlike leaves grow upward from a bulbous root. Cather preferred to write with flowers around her and jonquils were among her favorites, as Sharon O'Brien has noted (Emerging Voice 353). (Go back.)
 322. tabouret: French: footstool; in the United States, a small table or plant stand. (Go back.)
 323. Roman blanket: These colorful peasant blankets were made of homespun and worn over the shoulder to protect against the elements. (Go back.)
 324. Park: See note for 25 under "Park." (Go back.)
 325. Avenue stages: See note for 7 under "horse stages." (Go back.)
 326. roses: See note for 176 under "rose-trees." (Go back.)
 327. lilies of the valley: This fragrant perennial herb (Convallaria majalis) is native to Eurasia and eastern North America. It has white, downturned bell-shaped flowers that are borne in a cluster on one side of a leafless stalk. Two glossy leaves are found at the base of the plant; the fruit is a red berry. (Go back.)
 328. "Blue Danube": This popular waltz ("Ander schönen, blauen Donau," 1867), named for the Danube, the most important river of central Europe, is opus 314 of Austrian composer Johann Strauss II. (Go back.)
 329. Ah, that belonged to another time and country!: The source may be Christopher Marlowe's Jew of Malta (1633), in which Barabas responds thus to Friar Barnardine's charge that he has committed fornication: "But that was in another country, and besides the wench is dead" (4.1.40–43). (Go back.)
 330. Opera: See note for 88 under "Metropolitan." (Go back.)
 331. the purple: In The Humanization of Willa Cather, Erik Ingvar Thurin notes that Cather used the royal color purple in her journalism to refer to the decline of Rome (134–35). Here, the allusion is to the purple worn by the Roman emperors. (Go back.)
 332. Young People's Meeting: This is probably a reference to the Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor, which in 1881 became the first interdenominational youth ministry. The Christian Endeavor urged young people to devote themselves to active service in the name of God. (Go back.)


"A Wagner Matinée"

 333. Wagner: German composer Richard Wagner (1813–83) is one of the most important figures in the history of opera. His innovative, emotionally charged works are noted for their romanticism, sensuality, and powerful vocal parts. Cather reviewed Walter Damrosch's Metropolitan Opera productions of Wagner's Lohengrin and Tannhäuser, which she saw at Pittsburgh's Alvin Theatre, in the Pittsburgh Leader (4 and 6 March 1897) and Nebraska State Journal (14 March 1897). Her enthusiastic comments were echoed in her reviews three years later when the company returned to Pittsburgh with a Wagner program. See notes for 97 under "Isolde" and for 137. (Go back.)
 334. uncle Howard . . . Aunt Georgiana: See the Historical Essay for an account of Cather's uncle George P. Cather (1847–1938) and aunt Frances Cather (née Smith, 1846–1922), the prototypes for Uncle Howard and Aunt Georgiana. The name Howard was also the family name of Cather's great-grandmother Ann, who married James Cather. Cather's great-uncle Clark had a son named Howard, who lived in Red Cloud during Cather's childhood. The name of the Boston visitor Aunt Georgiana and the Boston art student Steavens in "The Sculptor's Funeral" may have been derived from that of a Cather family friend and onetime Webster County resident, Georgia Stevens, who subsequently moved to Boston. Cather's letters to Stevens's sister, addressed as Mrs. Stowell, date to the late 1880s. By 1928, Mrs. (Helen) Stowell, too, had moved to Boston, and in a letter of that year Cather wrote that she hoped to see her the next time she was in that city. (Go back.)
 335. day coach: See note for 220 under "day coach." (Go back.)
 336. Franz Josef Land: These Russian islands lie northeast of Svalbard in the Arctic Ocean. (Go back.)
 337. Boston Conservatory: The Boston Conservatory of Music was founded in 1867 and was soon regarded as one of the nation's best music schools. (Go back.)
 338. Green Mountains: The Green Mountains are in the state of Vermont. (Go back.)
 339. Red Willow County: This 716-square-mile rectangular county, organized in 1873, is in the great plains of south-central Nebraska. The Cathers lived in Webster County, which lies eighty miles to the east. Cather's first use of the name in her fiction occurs "Tommy, the Unsentimental" (1896). (Go back.)
 340. driving across the prairie . . . a red cotton handkerchief: Cather's uncle George P. Cather used this once-common method of measurement upon arriving in Nebraska in 1873. After determining the circumference of the back wheel, he drove a wagon while his wife, Frances, sat in the back and counted the revolutions made by a red rag tied to it. In this manner they were able to determine the distance traveled and establish property lines. (Go back.)
 341. dug-out: These primitive homes were usually dug out of the bank of a draw or ravine. The back and side walls were cut into the bank, plastered and whitewashed inside; muslin was often used to cover the earthen ceiling. Plains settlers often lived in dugouts before moving into more comfortable sod or frame houses. (Go back.)
 342. "Joyous Farmer": "Frölicher Landmann" is opus 68, no. 10 of the German composer Robert Schumann. (Go back.)
 343. Euryanthe: This three-act opera (1823) by Carl Maria von Weber (1786–1826) with libretto by Helmina von Chézy is based on L'His toire de Gérard de Nevers et de la belle et vertueuse Euryanthe, sa mie, a thirteenth-century French romance. The chivalric tale is set at the court of King Louis VI, where Lysiart and Eglantine unsuccessfully plot to break up Adolar's marriage to Euryanthe in an effort to usurp his lands. (Go back.)
 344. Clark: This was the first name of one of Cather's great-uncles, a son of James Cather and Ann Howard. Willa Cather's great-uncle John Cather also had a son named Clark W., who farmed land near the G. P. Cather and William Cather homesteads in Catherton; presumably Willa Cather would have known him while her family was living in the country. Cather's brother Roscoe changed his middle name from Boak to Clark. (Go back.)
 345. Newbury Street: In Boston, this street extends west from Arlington Street at the Public Gardens to Brookline Avenue. (Go back.)
 346. the Huguenots: Les Huguénots is a five-act opera by Italian composer Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791–1864) with libretto by Austin-Eugène Scribe and Émile Deschamps. It debuted at the Paris Opera on 29 February 1836. The plot centers on the efforts of Marguerite de Valois to reconcile the differences between Catholics and Protestants by arranging the marriage of Raoul de Nangis, a wealthy Huguenot, and Valentine, the daughter of Count de St. Bris, governor of the Louvre, during the summer of 1572. The plan leads to a tragic outcome. (Go back.)
 347. the Common: The Boston Common is a large park in the center of the city. (Go back.)
 348. The Flying Dutchman: The Flying Dutchman (Der fliegende Holländer, 1843) is a three-act opera with libretto by Richard Wagner. It is based on an European legend about a captain who is condemned to sail a course around the Cape of Good Hope forever. (Go back.)
 349. concert hall: The home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Hall was opened on 15 October 1900. (Go back.)
 350. Rameses: Twelve kings of ancient Egypt were named Rameses. (Go back.)
 351. Brown Hotel: The luxurious H. C. Brown Palace Hotel in Denver, Colorado, was completed in 1892 at a cost of over $1 million. Cather stayed at the hotel in June 1916 on her way to the Southwest and wrote "Scandal" there. In The Song of the Lark, Dr. Howard Archie stays at this hotel (390). (Go back.)
 352. Yukon: Deposits of gold discovered on the 1,979-mile-long Yukon River in Canada and Alaska first brought miners to the region in 1869. Another gold rush occurred in 1896, when a large deposit was discovered at Bonanza Creek, a headwater of one of the Yukon's tributaries, the Klondike River. (Go back.)
 353. frock coat: See note for 112 under "frock coats." (Go back.)
 354. Tannhäuser. . . "Pilgrim's Chorus": In this three-act opera (1845) with libretto by Richard Wagner, the title character, a knight and minstrel, is involved in a tragic love triangle with Elisabeth and the goddess Venus, who presides over her court in a cave in the Venusberg hill. Tannhäuser partakes of the sensual delights therein for one year. The overture begins with the pilgrim's song, which is succeeded by the sensual Venusberg theme. The overture closes with a return to the joyful harmony of the pilgrim's chorus. (Go back.)
 355. tall, naked house: According to James Woodress, the view from the Carpenters' farmhouse is based on Cather's recollection of her grandfather Cather's farmhouse, located twelve miles northwest of Red Cloud, where Cather and her family lived upon their arrival in Nebraska in 1883 (40–41). (Go back.)
 356. dwarf ash: The true dwarf ash tree, also known as the singleleaf ash (Fraxinus anomala Torr.), is found in the mountains of the western United States and grows to a height of fifteen feet. It is possible that these may be the tall, more common white ash (F. americana) or green ash (F. pennsylvanica), dwarfed by the harsh conditions of the plains. (Go back.)
 357. Mozart's operas: See note for 78 under "operas of Mozart. (Go back.)
 358. Meyerbeer: See note for 239 under "the Huguenots." (Go back.)
 359. Verdi: Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901) was an Italian composer of twenty-six operas, including Rigoletto (1851), La traviata (1853), and Aida (1870). See note for 215–16 under "Rigoletto. (Go back.)
 360. "Home to our mountains, O, let us return!": This duet is sung by Azucena, a Biscayan gypsy, and Manrico, a young Biscayan chieftain and troubadour, who is awaiting execution in act 4, scene 2 of Giuseppe Verdi's opera Il trovatore (The Troubador, 1853). (Go back.)
 361. prelude to Tristan and Isolde: Of the prelude to this opera by Richard Wagner, George F. Upton has written, "The vorspiel to the drama is based upon a single motive, which is worked up with consummate skill into various melodic forms. . . . It might well be termed the motive of restless, irresistible passion" (301). See note for 97 under "Isolde." (Go back.)
 362. peak in Darien: In the sixteenth century, the Isthmus of Darien (now Panama) was a launching point for explorers. Cather alludes to the ending of John Keats's (see note for 298 under "tragedy of effort") sonnet "On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer": "Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes / He star'd at the Pacific—and all his men / Look'd at each other with a wild surmise— / Silent, upon a peak in Darien" (309). Keats was one of Cather's favorite poets; among her prized possessions was a bust of him that she inherited from Annie Fields. (Go back.)
 363. "Prize Song": In the conclusion (act 3, scene 1) of Richard Wagner's opera Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1862–67), the lead character, Walther, sings the "Prize Song" ("Das Preislied") at a song contest in hope of being admitted to the Masters Guild and winning the hand of his love, Eva. (Go back.)
 364. that strange moss: Resurrection moss (Selaginella sp.), a desert plant that grows in flat rosettes a foot across, has pine-needle-like stem extensions. When dry, it curls up, turns brown, and goes into a dormancy that can last for years; when watered, it can turn green again in hours. (Go back.)
 365. a young German, a tramp cow-puncher: No prototype has been identified. (Go back.)
 366. chorus at Bayreuth: Following their marriage in 1870, Richard Wagner and his second wife, Cosima, settled in the Bavarian town of Bayreuth and founded their own theater, which quickly became a musical mecca. Der Ring des Nibelungen was first produced there in 1876. (Go back.)
 367. faro table: Faro was one of the most popular gambling games in the United States in the nineteenth century. The faro table contains a layout of thirteen spade cards and a dealing box in which to place a shuffled and cut deck of regular cards, face up. Any number of players can play against the house; players place chips on cards to bet they will win and place coppers on cards to bet they will lose. The top card (called "soda") is discarded; the next card loses—the house pays those who bet the card of this denomination would lose. The third card is exposed, and it wins. All bets are paid before the next round begins, continuing until there are only three cards left in the box. The house pays 4–1 to those who name the correct order of the last three cards. (Go back.)
 368. Trovatore: Clark is suggesting that Wagner's music represents an advance on old standbys like Giuseppe Verdi's Il trovatore (The Troubador, 1853). (Go back.)
 369. Ring. . . Siegfried's funeral march: Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen (1876) is a four-part opera cycle, the plots of which are based on mythological stories in the Niebelungenlied. Siegfried's "funeral march" ("Siegfrieds Tod") occurs in act 3, scene 2 of Die Götterdämmerung. (Go back.)


"The Sculptor's Funeral"

 370. The Sculptor's: See the Historical Essay for an account of Charles Stanley Reinhart, the prototype for the sculptor. (Go back.)
 371. little Kansas town: Sand City is based on Red Cloud, Nebraska, where Cather lived from 1884 to 1890. Located in Webster County, just north of the Kansas border, its population was about twelve hundred when Cather arrived. The depot in the opening scene is closely modeled after one that was one mile south of Red Cloud on the Burlington and Missouri Railroad line from Kansas City to Denver. A similar train station scene is found in Cather's poem "The Night Express." Its origin may be traced to Cather's memory of Amos Cowden, who died at Superior, Nebraska, on 2 August 1901; his body was brought to Red Cloud in a Burlington baggage car (Woodress 167). The "line of bluffs across the wide, white meadows south of the town" (248), the river, and the "long, white hill" (252) up to the town are features of the Red Cloud area as well. (Go back.)
 372. Grand Army suit . . . . G. A. R.: The Grand Army of the Republic, founded in 1866, was a society for Union Army veterans of the Civil War. The G.A.R. uniform varied from state to state; it often included the insignia of the organization on buttons, caps, and badges. (Go back.)
 373. Jim: See the Historical Essay for an account of James Laird, the prototype for Jim Laird. (Go back.)
 374. poplars: See note for 7 under "poplars." (Go back.)
 375. ulster: This is a long, heavy, loose wool overcoat. It was originally made of an Irish frieze and named after Ulster, Ireland. (Go back.)
 376. Philip Phelps: No prototype has been identified. (Go back.)
 377. palm leaf: The use of the palm leaf as a symbol of distinguished achievement dates from ancient times when victorious Roman gladiators were awarded a branch of a palm tree. James Woodress notes that Merrick may be an officier d'académie of France, a holder of the palmes académiques for excellence in instruction in sculpture (Troll Garden 125). (Go back.)
 378. young Bostonian, one of the dead sculptor's pupils: The prototype for Henry Steavens is probably Gustave Leiser, a Pittsburgh artist who studied with Reinhart in Munich. In a 3 October 1897 Lincoln Courier article about Reinhart, Cather wrote that Leiser "never wearies of talking of him" and that "Of [Reinhart's] heroic labors in Germany and Paris, the unremitting toil by which he made up for the neglected years of his youth, I will not attempt to tell, it takes my friend Leiser to do that." (Go back.)
 379. hack: Short for the English term "hackney carriage," a hack was hired by ordinary people for important occasions such as weddings and funerals. (Go back.)
 380. Steavens: See note for 235 under "uncle Howard . . . Aunt Georgiana." (Go back.)
 381. something black was tied to the knob of the front door: In Twentieth Century Etiquette (1900), Annie Randall White writes: "Black crepe tied with white ribbon is placed on the bell knot to indicate that the dread visitor 'death' has entered the house and taken a middle aged person. Black ribbon in place of white signifies that a mature person has passed away" (322). Other etiquette guides recommend all black for men and married women. (Go back.)
 382. "Rogers group" of John Alden and Priscilla: American sculptor John Rogers (1829–1904) was well known for his pieces depicting persons in a group, plaster casts of which were mass-produced. He made a total of eighty such sculptures. Harvey Merrick's coffin is placed before a Rogers group titled Why Don't You Speak for Yourself, John? (incised along the base), which represents a scene from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's book-length poem, The Courtship of Miles Standish (1858). The sculpture shows Priscilla sitting at a spinning wheel; John Alden, leaning on a chair, is urging her to marry Miles Standish, though he loves her himself. The piece was patented on 10 February 1885, priced at twenty dollars, and measured twenty-two inches high and seventeen and one-half inches across the base. In the Nebraska State Journal (11 February 1894), Cather commented on The Maid of Plymouth, an opera based on The Courtship of Miles Standish, "there seems to be a peculiar fatality about the story of Miles Standish. He doesn't seem to work up well in prose or verse. Probably Mr. Longfellow killed him thoroughly some years ago, along with English hexameter." (Go back.)
 383. smilax: This is a genus of plants in the family Smilacaceae, consisting of almost three hundred species of woody or herbaceous vines, more commonly known as greenbrier or catbrier. Smilax often has prickly stems, broad leaves, and white or yellow-green flowers. Its fruit is a red or bluish-black berry. (Go back.)
 384. Brussels: In the nineteenth century, wide sections of inexpensive Brussels carpets were sewn together to make wall-to-wall carpeting. Named for the city in which they originated, the carpets were machine woven in the United States by 1850. (Go back.)
 385. crayon portrait of a little boy in kilts and curls: This is most likely a colored photographic portrait, a commercially produced work, not one by an artist. The boy's kilts follows the example of Queen Victoria, who dressed her sons in Scottish costume when they were young. A boy's hair might not be cut until he was old enough to wear pants, or even later, as with little lord Fauntleroy. All this speaks to the Merricks' pretentiousness. (Go back.)
 386. mourning comb: At the time of the story, these celluloid or tortoise shell combs, measuring approximately four inches wide by four inches high, were worn at wakes and funerals in the prairie states. Two holes were punched through the comb so that a veil could be held in place. (Go back.)
 387. mulatto woman: For this character, Cather may have drawn upon childhood memories of the African American servants employed in her parents' Virginia home. She may also be alluding to Mark Twain's Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894), in which a biracial slave-maid (one-sixteenth African descent) named Roxana (Roxy) is a central character. Cather reviewed a dramatization of Twain's novel for the Pittsburgh Leader on 9 February 1897. Other possible sources for the character's name include Roxanne in Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac (1897) and Roxana in Daniel Defoe's Roxana, or the Fortunate Mistress (1724). Cather reviewed a production of the former for the Pittsburgh Leader on 21 March 1899 and wrote an introduction to the Borzoi Classics edition of the latter in 1924. (Go back.)
 388. as a spaniel looks at the whip: As a form of entertainment in the nineteenth century, pet dogs were harnessed to small carts in which children rode. The child was sometimes equipped with a toy whip constructed of a wooden stick and string. (Go back.)
 389. poor-house: The county poor-house was the primary welfare agency in the United States in the nineteenth century. In rural areas like the one in the story, it was located on a farm, often called the poorfarm, so that residents could raise their own food. The poor-house was meant to provide a livable place for those who were unable to work and had no one to support them. It also provided refuge for the able-bodied destitute. The intent was to offer shelter but to make conditions difficult enough that no one would want to stay. (Go back.)
 390. "A burnt dog dreads the fire": This is a variation of a proverb first recorded in English in 1670: "The burnt child dreads the fire." (Go back.)
 391. poplar leaf: See note for 7 under "poplars." (Go back.)
 392. new usury law and its effect on chattel security loans: Usury is the act or practice of lending money at an exorbitant or illegal rate of interest. Chattel security loans are made on goods, not real estate; in a town like Sand City's real-life counterpart, Red Cloud, this usually meant loans on cattle and other livestock—a risky business because of disease and weather, and so they commanded high interest. At the time of the story, it was not a general custom to pay off a mortgage in smaller sums over time. The entire mortgage was to be paid at a specified time, and thus the interest mounted on the entire sum each month. (Go back.)
 393. congestion of both lungs: See note for 88 under "tuberculosis." (Go back.)
 394. Black Hills: The Black Hills lie in southwestern South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming, largely within the Black Hills National Forest. Gold was discovered in the Black Hills in 1874, triggering a rapid influx of prospectors. By 1877 the region's Homestake Mine was the largest gold mine in the United States. Cather vacationed in the Black Hills in August 1898. (Go back.)
 395. looked upon the wine when it was red: The allusion is to Proverbs 23:31–32: "Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder." (Go back.)
 396. young Adams burn his mill: This may be an allusion to William Seward Garber, son of Nebraska governor Silas Garber (prototype for Captain Daniel Forrester in A Lost Lady), who in 1896 was rumored to have set fire to a power plant at his mill dam near Red Cloud to collect the insurance payment. He was not convicted. (Go back.)
 397. tinker's damn: According to the Oxford English Dictionary, this phrase refers to a thing not worth "a tinker's curse, cuss, or damn." The "reputed addiction of tinkers to profane swearing" was commonly understood in its original usage. (Go back.)


"'A Death in the Desert'"

 398. "'A Death in the Desert'": The title is from a 688-line poem in blank verse by Robert Browning, which was first published in Dramatis Personae (1864). In the form of a dramatic monologue, the poem records the final hours of John the Apostle, who is attended by four disciples and a boy in his chamber in a Middle Eastern desert rock. In the invented scene, John presents a defense of his faith. Cather studied Browning in a year-long course at the University of Nebraska. (Go back.)
 399. Everett Hilgarde: See the Historical Essay for an account of Arthur Finley Nevin, the prototype for Everett Hilgarde. (Go back.)
 400. country between Holdrege and Cheyenne: According to James Woodress, Cather's travelers are following the route that she and her brother Douglass took from Red Cloud to Cheyenne in 1898, which involved changing trains at Holdrege, Nebraska, from the Burlington main line, which went to Denver, to a branch line that went into Cheyenne via Sterling, Colorado (Troll Garden 126). Cather's brother worked in the Cheyenne office of the Burlington Railroad. She visited him there when he took the job in 1898 and again in 1901, shortly before writing the story. (Go back.)
 401. Exposition at Chicago: The World's Columbian Exposition was held in Chicago from May through October 1893 to commemorate (one year late) the four hundredth anniversary of Christopher Columbus's landing in America. The greatest tourist attraction in American history, it drew 27 million visitors from around the world. (Go back.)
 402. sage-brush: The common sagebrush (Artemsia tridentata) is a shrub native to the plains and mountains of western North America. It is usually between three and six feet high with small, silvery gray wedge-shaped foliage. (Go back.)
 403. blue-grass: Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) was brought to the United States from Europe in the late seventeenth century. It grows best under cool, moist conditions; the heat and aridity of Nebraska summers can cause it to go dormant. Bluegrass is grown for both lawn and pasture. (Go back.)
 404. "Spring Song" from Proserpine: Although Ethelbert Nevin's "One Spring Morning" (1888) has been called "Spring Song," the model is his best-known composition, "Narcissus," from the Water Scenes suite. Nevin biographer Vance Thompson writes: "He was in Europe when the 'Water Scenes' were published. They gave him an immense popularity, owing chiefly to 'Narcissus' which was thrummed and whistled half round the world" (117). Cather's profile of Nevin, "The Man Who Wrote Narcissus," appeared in the November 1900 Ladies Home Journal. Of the song, she wrote, "It is played in Cairo as well as in Paris and New York, and a returned Klondiker told me that he heard it played on a mouth-harp in Dawson City by a miner with his frozen feet in bandages." Proserpine (Persephone in Greek mythology) is the daughter of Ceres ( goddess of agriculture, fertility, and marriage) and wife of Pluto ( god of the underworld) in Roman mythology. In spring and summer, when she is above ground, the earth's flora blooms and thrives. When she is with her husband in the underworld in fall and winter, plant life dies. (Go back.)
 405. cottage organs: This is a term applied to various types of reed organ, a keyboard instrument in which free-standing reeds produce tones when acted upon by currents of air. Especially popular in the late nineteenth century, they were intended for domestic use and often decorated with ornamental accessories such as lampstands and mirrors. (Go back.)
 406. Adriance: See the Historical Essay for an account of Ethelbert Nevin, the prototype for Adriance Hilgarde. Cather may have gotten Adriance's name from that of Nevin's friend Harris Adriance, whom he met in Berlin in 1886. Adriance was one of Nevin's groomsmen at his wedding in 1888. Hilgard was the family name of the mother of Cather's Nebraska friend Emma Westermann. See note for 184. (Go back.)
 407. Br'er Rabbit: In the Uncle Remus dialect stories of Joel Chandler Harris, Brer Rabbit uses his intelligence and guile to fool other animal characters who might harm him. In the conclusion of "How Mr. Rabbit Was Too Sharp for Mr. Fox" in Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings (1880), he gets Brer Fox to throw him into a briar patch and then taunts him by saying, "Bred en bawn in a brier patch, Brer Fox—bred en bawn in a brier patch!" (J. C. Harris 64). (Go back.)
 408. Auditorium: The Auditorium Building in Chicago was designed by Louis Sullivan; it opened in 1889 as a hotel, office building, and four-thousand-seat opera house that was known for its excellent acoustics. (Go back.)
 409. Chicago Press Club: The Press Club of Chicago, an organization for people in newspaper or literary work, was founded in 1880. Among its functions was the presentation of musical entertainments. (Go back.)
 410. Commercial: The Daily Commercial Report and Market Review was published in Chicago from 1866 to 1876. (Go back.)
 411. way station: This is a station between major stops on a railway line. (Go back.)
 412. phaeton: This light four-wheeled vehicle was horse-drawn. It had front and back seats and, usually, a folding top. (Go back.)
 413. switch-engine: These locomotives are used in train yards to transfer freight or passenger cars from one train to another. (Go back.)
 414. Katharine Gaylord: In "Willa Cather Reports Chautauqua, 1894," Bernice Slote suggests that the character's name echoes that of contralto Katherine Fisk, who sang in concerts with Ethelbert Nevin in 1900. (Go back.)
 415. red grass: These are big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii ) and little bluestem (Andropogon scoparius) grasses, which are common to western prairies. They turn a reddish color in the fall after the first frost. (Go back.)
 416. Bird City, Iowa: There is no Bird City in Iowa. Bird City, Kansas, is in the northwest corner of the state, fifteen miles south of the Nebraska border. (Go back.)
 417. Maggie: No prototype has been identified. (Go back.)
 418. salutat: Latin: a wish of good health. (Go back.)
 419. Camille entrance: La Dame aux camélias is a novel (1848) by Alexandre Dumas (fils). In the novel and drama, which was one of Cather's favorites, the heroine, Marguerite, is dying of tuberculosis and coughs throughout. One of Cather's first theater reviews (Nebraska State Journal, 23 November 1893) was of a performance of Camille starring Clara Morris as Marguerite at the Lansing Theatre in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Go back.)
 420. Jersey ferry: At the time of the story in the late nineteenth century, ferries owned by railroad lines carried passengers from Jersey City, New Jersey, to Manhattan. See note for 220 under "Jersey City station." (Go back.)
 421. Madison Square: Madison Square Park opened in 1847 and is named for James Madison, the fourth president of the United States. Located on the east side of Manhattan, its boundaries are Twentythird Street, Twenty-sixth Street, Fifth Avenue, and Madison Avenue. The area around the park was home to fashionable restaurants, hotels, and brownstone mansions at the turn of the century. (Go back.)
 422. Diana: In October 1891 an eighteen-foot-high gilded copper statue of the Roman moon goddess Diana (see note for 16) by American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens was mounted on the tower of the Madison Square Garden arena, which occupied a site bounded by Madison and Fourth avenues and Twenty-sixth and Twenty-seventh from 1890 to 1925. Gaudens later judged the Diana to be too tall and replaced it with a thirteen-foot version in 1894. Both versions were designed with drapery intended to make them revolve in the wind, but gusts tore the clothing away. Despite being criticized for nudity, Diana became one of New York's most popular landmarks and was the first sculpture to be artificially illuminated. (Go back.)
 423. Carnegie Hall: The six-story Neo-Italian Renaissance-style concert hall at Fifty-seventh Street and Seventh Avenue in New York opened on 5 May 1891. The building is named after industrialist Andrew Carnegie, who paid its $1 million construction cost. (Go back.)
 424. Harlem: This neighborhood in northern Manhattan was established in 1658 by the Dutch governor Peter Stuyvesant as the village of Nieuw Harlem. By the 1880s it was one of the city's most desirable residential districts. Harlem is bounded to the north by the Harlem River, to the east by Fifth Avenue, to the south by 110th Street (Central Park North), and to the west by Morningside and St. Nicholas avenues. Its main commercial thoroughfare is 125th Street, which runs east and west across the neighborhood. (Go back.)
 425. Metropolitan: The Metropolitan Opera House. See note for 88 under "Metropolitan." (Go back.)
 426. Rheingold: See notes for 137 and for 235 under "Wagner." (Go back.)
 427. Algiers: Nevin spent three weeks in Algiers in February 1894. The capital and largest city of Algeria, it is home to several theaters and a major opera house; these were built by the French, who captured Algiers in 1830 and retained control until 1962. (Go back.)
 428. valley of the Chelif: The Chelif River passes through Algeria but not Algiers. (Go back.)
 429. A contralto: This probably refers to contralto Katherine Fisk, who had an extraordinarily strong voice. (Go back.)
 430. Vale of Tempe: The Vale of Tempe in Thessaly, Greece, was sacred to the god Apollo. In classical poetry, the "Vale of Tempe" referred to any valley with romantic scenery, often including singing shepherds. See the Historical Essay for Cather's description of Ethelbert Nevin comparing him to these shepherds. (Go back.)
 431. Inter-Ocean House: This large hotel on the northwest corner of Sixteenth Street and Capitol Avenue in Cheyenne, Wyoming, opened on 15 September 1876. It was built and managed by Barney L. Ford, formerly a runaway slave, and hosted the city's most distinguished visitors. The hotel was destroyed by fire in 1916. (Go back.)
 432. flowers went up over the footlights: In a Lincoln Courier review of Nevin's concert at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Hall on 12 January 1898, Cather described the audience's reaction to his music: "The roses kept going up over the footlights until they were stacked half as high as the piano and the applause did not cease." (Go back.)
 433. Heine's 'Florentine Nights': In this collection of tales ("Florentinische Nächte," 1837) by German lyric poet Heinrich Heine (1797–1856), Maximillian tells his life's adventures to Maria, who is dying of tuberculosis. The work was published in the third volume of Heine's Der Salon (4 vols., 1834–40). Cather was introduced to Heine's writing in the 1890s by George Seibel, a Pittsburgh friend. (Go back.)
 434. Granada . . . Alhambra . . . fountain of the Patio di Lindaraxa: The Alhambra is a Moorish fortress palace in Granada, Spain, the Islamic architecture of which dates from the thirteenth century. The Patio is a court in which there is a seventeenth-century fountain surrounded by orange trees. (Go back.)
 435. so little makes, so little mars: This may allude to Iago's words to Roderigo in Othello (5.1.4): "It makes us or it mars us." (Go back.)
 436. tragedy of effort and failure, the thing Keats called hell: In the preface to Endymion (1818), English poet John Keats (1795–1821) (see note for 244 under "peak in Darien") writes, "This may be speaking too presumptuously, and may deserve a punishment: but no feeling man will be forward to inflict it: he will leave me alone, with the conviction that there is not a fiercer hell than the failure of a great object" (33). (Go back.)
 437. ah, God! the swift feet of the runners!: James Woodress cites Lucretius's phrase in De rerum natura as a possible source: "the swift runners who pass over the lamp of life" (Troll Garden 126). John March cites A. E. Housman's poem "To an Athlete Dying Young": "Now you will not swell the rout / Of lads that wore their honours out / Runners whom renown outran / And the name died before the man" (262). (Go back.)
 438. Venice: Nevin lived in Venice in the summer of 1896. (Go back.)
 439. Florence: Nevin lived in Florence in early 1895 with his wife, Anne(née Paul), and their children, Dorothy and Paul. (Go back.)
 440. 'Souvenirs d'Automne': Nevin's piece for voice, violin, and piano, "Chanson d'Automne" (published posthumously, 1914), is based on Paul Verlaine's poem of the same title. (Go back.)
 441. 'and in the book we read no more that night': In Italian poet Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, Inferno, Francesca says, "Quel giorno più non vi leggemmo avante" ("In it that day we read no more," canto 5, line 138). She speaks of the time Paolo kissed her while they were reading about Lancelot and Guinevere. (Go back.)
 442. "For ever and for ever, farewell, Cassius . . . was well made.": In Shakespeare's Julius Caesar (5.1.117–19), these are Brutus's parting words to Cassius. (Go back.)
 443. Pullman: See note for 152. (Go back.)
 444. Jersey City: See note for 220 under "Jersey City station." (Go back.)
 445. "Herr Gott, Adriance, lieber Freund": German: "God, Adriance, dear friend." (Go back.)


Works Cited

The American Horticultural Society A–Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. New York: DK Publishing, 1977.
Bintrim, Timothy. "The Landscape of Power: A New Historical Reading of Willa Cather's Pittsburgh Decade, 1896–1906." Diss. Duquesne U, 2001.
Byrne, Kathleen D., and Richard C. Snyder. Chrysalis: Willa Cather in Pittsburgh, 1896–1906. Pittsburgh: Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, 1980.
Cather, Willa. Introduction. 1924. The Fortunate Mistress by Daniel Defoe. Reprinted in Willa Cather on Writing: Critical Studies on Writing as an Art. New York: Knopf, 1949. 75–88.
Cather, Willa. Letters to Mariel Gere. Willa Cather Pioneer Memorial, Red Cloud, Nebraska.
Cather, Willa. Letter to Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant. 15 June 1912. Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.
Cather, Willa. Letters to Mrs. Stowell. Willa Cather Pioneer Memorial, Red Cloud, Nebraska.
Cather, Willa. "Light on Adobe Walls." Willa Cather on Writing: Critical Studies on Writing as an Art. New York: Knopf, 1949. 123–26.
Cather, Willa. A Lost Lady. Willa Cather Scholarly Edition. Historical Essay by Susan J. Rosowski with Kari A. Ronning. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1997.
Cather, Willa. The Song of the Lark. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1915.
Cather, Willa. The Troll Garden. Ed. James Woodress. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1983.
Cather, Willa. Uncle Valentine and Other Stories: Willa Cather's Uncollected Short Fiction, 1915–1929. Ed. Bernice Slote. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1972.
Cather, Willa. The World and the Parish: Willa Cather's Articles, Essays, and Reviews, 1893–1902. Ed. William M. Curtin. 2 vols. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1970.
Cather, Willa. Youth and the Bright Medusa. New York: Knopf, 1920.
Dizikes, John. Opera in America: A Cultural History. New Haven: Yale UP, 1993.
Duryea, Polly. "Paintings and Drawings in Willa Cather's Prose: A Catalogue Raisonné." Diss. U of Nebraska–Lincoln, 1993.
Elliott, Mary J. "'The Legends of the Iron Kings': Cather's 'Paul's Case' as a Response to Andrew Carnegie's Cultural Work." Unpublished.
The Encyclopedia of New York City. Ed. Kenneth T. Jackson. New Haven: Yale UP, 1995.
The Encyclopedia of North American Trees. Buffalo: Firefly, 2000. Feirstein, Sanna. Naming New York. New York: New York UP, 2001.
Funda, Evelyn. "Willa Cather's 'Coming, Aphrodite!,' the 'Divine' Sarah Bernhardt and the Quest for Artistic Success." Unpublished.
Garden, Mary, and Louis Biancolli. Mary Garden's Story. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1951.
Glackens, Ira. Yankee Diva: Lillian Nordica and the Golden Days of Opera. New York: Coleridge P, 1963.
Haller, Evelyn. "'A Handful of Uncut Turquoise': Willa Cather and the Matter of Mexico." 1999. Unpublished.
Harris, Joel Chandler. Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings. 1880. New York: Penguin Classics, 1923.
Harris, Richard. "Barbusse's L'enfer: A Source for 'Coming, Aphrodite!' and 'The Novel Démeublé.'" Cather Studies: Willa Cather as Cultural Icon 7 (2007): 106–18.
Heine, Heinrich. Florentine Nights. London: Methuen, 1927. Hoover, Sharon, ed. Willa Cather Remembered. Comp. L. Brent Bohlke and Sharon Hoover. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 2002.
Housman, A. E. The Collected Poems of A. E. Housman. New York: Holt, 1940.
Howard, John Tasker. Ethelbert Nevin. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1935.
Keats, John. The Poetical Works of John Keats. With a Life. Ann Arbor: Scholarly Publishing Office, U of Michigan University Library, 2005.
Kipling, Rudyard. Poems. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1922.
Kolodin, Irving. The Metropolitan Opera, 1883–1966. New York: Knopf, 1966.
Lewis, Edith. Willa Cather Living. New York: Knopf, 1953.
March, John. A Reader's Companion to the Fiction of Willa Cather. Ed. Marilyn Arnold with Debra Lynn Thornton. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood P, 1993.
Mignon, Charles W. "The Context of a Wordsworth Allusion in Cather's 'Paul's Case.' " Unpublished.
O'Brien, Sharon, ed. Cather: Stories, Poems, and Other Writings. New York: Library of America, 1992.
O'Brien, Shardon, ed. Willa Cather: The Emerging Voice. New York: Oxford UP, 1987
Petry, Alice Hall. "Caesar and the Artist in Willa Cather's 'Coming, Aphrodite!' " Studies in Short Fiction 23 (1986): 307–14.
Rossetti, Dante Gabriel. Poems. 1870. Boston: Roberts, 1883.
Rous, S. H. The Victrola Book of the Opera. Camden, N.J.: Victor Talking Machine Co., 1917.
Sanborn, Pitts. The Metropolitan Book of the Opera. Garden City, N.J.: Garden City Publishing, 1942.
Slote, Bernice. Introduction. Uncle Valentine and Other Stories: Willa Cather's Uncollected Short Fiction, 1915–1929. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1973. ix–xxx.
Slote, Bernice. "Willa Cather Reports Chautauqua, 1894." Prairie Schooner 43 (Spring 1969): 117–28.
Thomas' Register of American Manufacturers. New York: Thomas, 2002.
Thompson, Vance. The Life of Ethelbert Nevin from His Letters and His Wife's Memories. Boston: Boston Music Co., 1913.
Thurin, Erik Ingvar. The Humanization of Willa Cather: Classicism in an American Classic. Lund, Sweden: Lund UP, 1990.
Turnbull, Michael T. R. B. Mary Garden. Portland: Amadeus P, 1997.
Upton, George F. The Standard Operas: Their Plots, Their Music, and Their Composers. 1885, 1896. Chicago: McClurg, 1903.
White, Annie Randall. Twentieth Century Etiquette. 1900.
Woodress, James. Willa Cather: A Literary Life. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1987.
Wordsworth, William. Poems. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1982.




Textual Apparatus

Textual Essay

THIS ninth volume of the Cather Scholarly Edition presents a critical text of Willa Cather's tenth book and her second volume of short fiction, Youth and the Bright Medusa.1 The book contains eight stories previously published in popular magazines, four of which had already appeared in her first volume of short fiction, The Troll Garden, in April 1905.2 No manuscripts, typescripts, or proof versions of these stories have been located; a facsimile of a manuscript page of "Coming, Aphrodite!" was printed as a frontispiece in the French translation of the story and the Autograph Edition of the book.

Alfred Knopf published the first edition in book form on 15 September 1920, and Heinemann, using sheets of the U.S. fourth printing, published the first British edition in August 1921.3 The second American edition of this work was volume six in the Autograph Edition of the author's collected works published by Houghton Mifflin in 1937; this edition omitted "'A Death in the Desert.'" Knopf published a third edition in 1945, from which all subsequent printings were made, including the Vintage paperback editions. Copy-text for Youth and the Bright Medusa is a copy of the first printing of the first edition, emended to reflect the author's involvement with her text at that time.

The editors have continued to follow the guiding practices of the Modern Language Association's Committee for Scholarly Editions in preparing this volume for publication.4 Our procedure begins with a bibliographical survey of the history of the text and a collection of materials relevant to any problems this history presents. Particularly, we make a calendar of extant texts, collect and examine examples of all known texts produced in Cather's lifetime, and identify the forms that might be authorial (those that involved or might have involved Cather's participation or intervention).5 We then collate these authorial forms against a base text serving as a standard of collation.

In the case of Youth and the Bright Medusa, a textual editor made machine collations using a computer, producing one scanned version and one keyed version of each of the stories in the collection to minimize the potential error in text entry.6 The editor then referred to the printed text from which these versions were made for corrections; typographical, spelling, and usage errors thus found were marked.7 The resulting files were therefore not exclusively machine-generated, but were subject to human oversight and correction; when this proofed and corrected file was opened in a text editor program, the editor reviewed the text for further changes.8

The next task was to keyboard the generated text into the text editor, during which process the tags for font, diacritics, indented paragraphs, and indented quotations were added.9 Then, a comparison of these two separately produced versions of the file (scanned and keyed) tested the accuracy of the files against each other, any differences being resolved by reference to the printed text. Finally, two windows were used to open two copies of a file simultaneously, deleting from each file the text that was precisely the same. Thus, only the variants were left, marked by page and line number.

The collations record substantive and accidental variations among the authorial texts. From these we produced a conflation listing all substantive and accidental changes in all relevant editions. Analysis of these collations and their conflation permitted us to choose a copy-text and to prepare a critical text (i.e., an emended copy-text), to prepare an emendations list identifying changes the present editors have made to the copy-text, and to make a table of rejected substantives, which provided a partial history of the text as contained in its various authorial forms. In separate procedures, we made a list of end-line hyphenated compounds in the first edition and resolved them as one word, two words, or as hyphenated compounds; at page-proof stage, we made another list for end-line hyphenated compounds appearing in this edition, together with their resolution.10

Since the Historical Essay discusses in some detail circumstances surrounding the composition of Youth and the Bright Medusa, this essay will focus on the background of its publication, the printing history of the collection, and the history of the changes made in the texts of each story, treating the stories in their order of appearance in the 1920 first edition. Finally, we will present a rationale for the choice of copy-text for this collection, along with a statement of the policy under which emendations have been introduced into it. The reader will note that page and line references in the essay are to the text of the Cather Edition.11



Publishing Background

The history of Youth and the Bright Medusa as a collection begins with short stories published in a variety of magazines early in the twentieth century: "'A Death in the Desert'" in Scribner's in January 1903; "A Wagner Matinée" in Everybody's Magazine in February 1904; "The Sculptor's Funeral" in McClure's in January 1905; and "Paul's Case" in McClure's in May 1905. These stories, revised and interspersed with three others that had not been previously published, were collected in Cather's first book of short fiction, The Troll Garden (April 1905).12

Cather described her plans for The Troll Garden in a letter to Dorothy Canfield early in 1903.13 The volume—she already had a title and epigraph chosen—would consist of nine stories: two about painters, one about an actor, one about a sculptor, one about a musician, one about music, one about a writer, one a case study of an artistic temperament, and one about a woman called Fulvia. She had already decided that a story called "Pilgrim Joy" would have to be discarded and replaced, and that "Paul's Case" would need revision. She also urged Dorothy and her mother, Mrs. Canfield, to read the Phaedra story (Cather to Dorothy Canfield, 29 March 1903). In addition to "'A Death in the Desert,'" which had just been published in January (the musician story?), Cather had already written "Paul's Case" (the story of an artistic temperament without talent) and "The Marriage of Phaedra" (possibly one of the two projected painter stories). And she had probably at least drafted "A Wagner Matinée" (the musical study), "The Sculptor's Funeral," and "Flavia and Her Artists" (Fulvia). The second painter story may have been "The Profile," published in the June 1907 McClure's. In response to a request from Dorothy Canfield to withdraw the story, Cather wrote that the book was already in type and that removing the story would mean canceling the whole volume (Cather to Canfield, n.d. [c. 5 January 1905]). Nonetheless, it was removed. The story about an actor has not survived, or may not have been written; none of Cather's known early stories fits this description. It is possible that the story about the writer may have originally been "The Treasure of Far Island" (New England Magazine, October 1902), about a playwright returning to his midwestern hometown. If so, it was discarded. Another story about musicians, "The Garden Lodge," the only story that does not seem to have had its inception by early 1903, was added. Seven stories, rather than the nine projected, appeared in The Troll Garden as published.

The impetus for this planning may have been a letter from S. S. McClure, publisher of the immensely popular McClure's Magazine. Will Owen Jones, Cather's friend and former editor at the Nebraska State Journal, had commended her work to McClure's brother, H. H. McClure, head of the McClure syndicate, who had stopped in Lincoln on a talent-scouting trip. S. S. McClure invited her to submit her work to him for possible magazine and book publication (he also headed the publishing house of McClure, Phillips). Cather had had stories rejected by McClure's in the past, so she was not very sanguine about the prospects, but she sent some stories in April, whereupon the excited McClure called her to New York and offered to publish or place all her stories and to publish them in a book (Woodress 170–71; Cather to Jones, 7 May 1903).

Cather probably completed work on the stories in mid-1903 in anticipation of an early 1904 printing date.14 In March she told Will Owen Jones that The Troll Garden would not be out until fall (Cather to Jones, 6 March 1904). Publication was postponed, perhaps delayed still further by the withdrawal of "The Profile," and the book finally appeared in April 1905. The size of the edition is not known; when the McClure, Phillips firm was dissolved and taken over by Doubleday, Page in 1906, the book was reissued under their imprint (Crane 17–18).

Ten years later, Cather, by then the increasingly respected author of Alexander's Bridge (1912), O Pioneers! (1913), and The Song of the Lark (1915), wrote Ferris Greenslet, her editor at Houghton Mifflin, to ask if the firm would be interested in a collection of three or four long short stories (Cather to Greenslet, 1 October [1916]). Greenslet answered carefully that they would publish such a collection rather than have her go elsewhere, but to try to sell more than five or six thousand copies would hurt the sales of the next novel (Greenslet to Cather, fragment undated [1916]). Cather did not, apparently, pursue this, but asked instead for advice on whether to buy the plates of The Troll Garden from Doubleday (Cather to Greenslet, 23 October [1916]). Greenslet said Houghton Mifflin would take it over if it were a novel, but he didn't think even so good a collection of stories could be profitable. He thought the book had played its part and that it would be better to let the Cather collectors search for it and pay high prices for it (Greenslet to Cather, 27 October [1916]).

The year 1916 marks the year Cather signed on with the New York agent Paul R. Reynolds, whom she knew from her work as an editor at McClure's.15 The following year, Cather told Greenslet that Century would like to publish some of her recent stories under the title Office Wives, unless Houghton Mifflin objected (Cather to Greenslet, 18 October 1917); Greenslet replied that his firm would be glad to handle the book (Greenslet to Cather, 19 October 1917), but nothing ever came of this project. Again, in 1918, Cather suggested a collection of stories of musicians, using recently published stories such as "The Diamond Mine" (Cather to Greenslet, 6 September 1918). Greenslet replied that paper rationing and wartime conditions dictated that the firm should publish books likely to have large sales, but that she could send the stories to him (Greenslet to Cather, 16 September 1918). When the war ended, Greenslet asked for the stories again (Greenslet to Cather, 20 November 1918), but Cather, by now immersed in what would become One of Ours, wrote that she was no longer interested in a book of short stories (Cather to Greenslet, 2 December 1918). Greenslet replied that he would not pretend to be disappointed at this news (Greenslet to Cather, 3 December 1918).

The next step in the publishing history of Youth and the Bright Medusa came in 1919, when Cather, increasingly dissatisfied with Houghton Mifflin,16 agreed to let Knopf do a new edition of The Troll Garden, though she was still planning to have Houghton Mifflin publish "Claude"as she was then calling One of Ours (Cather to Greenslet, 28 December 1919). There is no record of the process by which The Troll Garden became Youth and the Bright Medusa, but in the same letter to Greenslet mentioned above Cather indicated that the collection was to have a discriminating preface by an interested person and would be out in early spring; presumably she was not planning extensive changes at that point. She took a break from "Claude" to write "Coming, Aphrodite!," which she finished early in 1920 (Cather to Greenslet, 7 January 1920). She also took the time to go through the earlier volume, discarding three of the stories and revising the other four. She then added and revised four recent stories: "The Diamond Mine," published in the October 1916 McClure's; "A Gold Slipper," published in the January 1917 Harper's; "Scandal," published in the August 1919 Century; and "Coming, Aphrodite!" published in the August 1920 Smart Set (under the title "Coming, Eden Bower!")17. This story she placed at the beginning of the new volume, following it with the three stories mentioned above, which were in turn followed by the four older stories from The Troll Garden in a new order: "Paul's Case," "A Wagner Matinée," and "The Sculptor's Funeral"; "'A Death in the Desert,'" which had been at the center of The Troll Garden, was now placed last.18 By mid-March much of this revision must have been done; it is likely that the manuscript of the collection was given to Knopf sometime before Cather left for Europe in May, for she mentions the new title and the fact that she would be abroad when the book would be published in the fall (Cather to Fanny Butcher, 19 March 1920).



Printing History

Although the eight stories collected in Youth and the Bright Medusa span nearly twenty years of Cather's career as a writer, the printing history of the collection is relatively straightforward. There were three American editions and one British 3,500 copies and a limited issue of thirty-five copies signed by the author. There were seven printings of the first edition and two printings of the Borzoi Pocket Books issues, which Knopf did not count among the printings of the regular edition.

Knopf issued the book twice in his inexpensive Borzoi Pocket Books line: first as no. 29 in the series in April 1925 (3,000 copies), then later as no. 30 in the series in March 1929 (1,000 copies).

The second edition of Youth and the Bright Medusa appeared as volume six in the Autograph Edition of Cather's work, published by Houghton Mifflin in 1937.19 To prepare for this new edition, Cather agreed to review her books to make changes. Although her holographic revisions have not been found, we can reconstruct her procedures from correspondence: she made corrections in the margins of pages, with a list of all her changes pasted on the front free endpaper of each volume (Cather to Greenslet, 8 September [1936]). Most strikingly, she withdrew the last story, "'A Death in the Desert'" (a dramatic example of Tanselle's idea of a vertical revision, which reflects "an altered active intention in the work as a whole" ["Editorial Problem" 193]).20 Although she had published other stories that had not been collected as yet, she left the volume with seven stories. The Autograph Edition was printed in a first issue of 970 copies—the number of subscribers—in 1937. The second issue, part of the Library Edition (a less expensive set), was published in June 1940 and was printed from the same plates, with minor typographical changes. In 1973 a facsimile of the Autograph Edition, comprising two hundred copies, was published in Kyoto, Japan.

The third edition, reset and printed from new plates, was published in October 1945. (Knopf also reset its editions of Death Comes for the Archbishop and Shadows on the Rock that same year.) There is no record of Cather's involvement with any of these reset editions. None of the substantive revisions made for the Autograph Edition text was carried over to this new Knopf edition except the spelling change from "Buddah" to Buddha" (which produces state c of the text). The plates of this edition have been used for subsequent printings, including those of the Vintage Books paperback issues beginning in 1975, which were produced by photo-offset.

The first British "edition" was that published by Heinemann in August 1921. Heinemann bound the 780 copies of the sheets of the Knopf fourth printing ( June 1921) and substituted its own title page.



Changes in the Text

Each story is now discussed in turn, in the order in which it appears in Youth and the Bright Medusa (1920). Substantive variants among the authorial texts are first discussed, then accidentals and typographical variants. For "Coming, Aphrodite!" "The Diamond Mine," "A Gold Slipper," and "Scandal" there are three texts for each story: a magazine text, the text in Youth and the Bright Medusa (1920), and the text in the Autograph Edition, volume six (1937). For "Paul's Case," "A Wagner Matinée," and "The Sculptor's Funeral" there are four texts: a magazine text and the texts in The Troll Garden (1905), Youth and the Bright Medusa, and the Autograph Edition. For "'A Death in the Desert'" there are three texts: a magazine text and the texts in The Troll Garden (TG ) and Youth and the Bright Medusa (YBM); this story was not included in volume six of the Autograph Edition (A).

There are thus twenty-seven texts for the eight stories, separately printed in magazine or in book form. McGann's idea of reading fields is useful here: what he calls "literary signifiers" are different from "bibliographical signifiers," his main illustration being the difference between Blake's illustrated Jerusalem and Erdman's unillustrated edition of the poem. That is, each appearance of Cather's stories in print produced, in the way of literary and bibliographical signifiers, a unique field for reading and interpreting the narrative.21 And each text of a story was in part socially determined, negotiated between author and publishers; house style22 in each case was applied to the texts with Cather's tacit approval, but without her giving up opportunities for proofing or revision at the stage of book publication.

The accidental variants (and in most cases the typographical variants) in the Autograph texts of the stories are not separately discussed. They fall into typical categories—commas added or deleted, "today" and its relatives hyphenated or not, the "ou" spelling for words like "color" substituted for the "o" spelling, and so on. There is internal evidence that house or edition style accounts for many of these variants; the same variants appear in other texts of the Autograph Edition with remarkable consistency. However, in the absence of manuscripts, typescripts, or other evidence, it is impossible in many cases to distinguish authorial variants from those to which Cather may have given blanket approval or those that resulted from the work of a copy editor or from house style.

"COMING, APHRODITE!"

There are more than three hundred variants between the early authorial versions of this story: the magazine text in Smart Set (August 1920) and the text of the first book edition of Youth and the Bright Medusa (Knopf, September 1920). Of these, nearly a third are substantives, almost half are accidentals, and about a fifth are typographical.23

The substantive variants include changes typical of Cather's practice. Many make her diction more precise: "women" for the magazine text's "woman" at 5.21, "study" for "picture" at 5.22, "then at the height of his popularity" for "then a great man in American art" at 10.16, "peered" for "looked" at 27.11, "I want to" for "I must" at 38.7, "pretends" for "says" at 41.17, and "story to tell a girl" for "story" at 49.26. Rarely, Cather changes an image: "gazing upward at the slowly falling silver star" for "looking shoreward while the great bird settled down" at 26.2–3. At 21.20 the magazine text's "frying pans" becomes "greasy frying pans"; at 24.3, "came" becomes "came slinking"; at 30.16–17, "very strong" goat-butter becomes goat-butter "strong and full of hair, as it was churned in a goat skin."

The most important and extensive difference, however, is that between the version she used for the Knopf edition and the bowdlerizing evident in the magazine text.24 James Woodress's succinct discussion of the story (312–16) clearly explains the pernicious influence of Anthony Comstock's Society for the Suppression of Vice; Harper's, the Metropolitan, and Century had declined to publish it, and George Jean Nathan at Smart Set took it only when Cather agreed to change the title to "Coming, Eden Bower!" and to bowdlerize the language. The correspondence of Paul R. Reynolds with Cather confirms these facts, and as Woodress reports (316), it took a meeting between Cather and Nathan to make the story acceptable. Cather's willingness to make the substantive changes to the text of "Coming, Aphrodite!" to be published in August, provides convincing evidence of her need for money for the upcoming trip to Europe. She knew that the original version, which she preferred, was the one to be published in September by Knopf.

The substantive variants between these two versions of the story are most clearly shown in tabular form, with the magazine reading given first:

20.2Clad in a pink chiffon cloudwholly unclad
20.4–6 A woman in negligée was not an improper object to a man who had worked so much from modelsNudity was not improper to any one who had worked so much from the figure
20.12–13herher flesh
20.15shoulder,shoulder, now a thigh
20.21–22lightlight, from a foot or shoul-der, from the up-thrust chin or the lifted breasts
21.1–2down;down, and examined with solicitude a little reddish mole that grew under her left arm-pit.
23.10–13this girl—and these gymnastics had clearly a public purpose, were a part of her preparation for the stage.this unclad girl,—a bold body, studying itself quite coolly and evidently well please with itself, doing all this for a purpose.
24.10–18and the beauty of women had disturbed him little more than any other form of beauty. Yet now his brain held but one image—vibrated, burned with it.and a woman’s body was no mystery to him. Yet now he did nothing but sit and think about one. He slept very little, and with the first light of morning he woke as completely possessed by this woman as if he had been with her all the night before. The unconscious operations of life went on in him only to perpetuate his excitement. His brain held but one image now vibrated, burned with it. It was a heathenish feeling; without friendliness, almost without tenderness.
26.1–5woman emerge and give herself up to the primit{i}ve poetry ofwoman who emerged naked through a door, and disappeared naked. He thought of that body as never having been clad be maiden
50.18be sobe maiden
52.10–11round.round, because the god of Thunder had had his will of her,
52.19admireddesired
53.12–14days,days in her chamber,
53.23–24When the Queen thus detained the CaptainOn the fifth night that the Queen was with her lover,

The first group of these variants, as the reader will note, refers to the text describing Hedger's looking from his closet knothole at Eden doing her exercises, and also to his tumultuous feelings about her. The second group comes in the "Aztec" tale Hedger tells Eden later in the story. A later passage (YBM 58.8–59.26) is not present in the magazine text; the passage reports the scene in which the connecting doors between their rooms are opened, their discussion of an uncertain future, and a vivid description of Hedger's dog's reaction to the opening of the doors. The magazine text, without this passage, romanticizes the lovers' affair by deemphasizing its impermanence.

A few variants replace the magazine's language with more forthright choices: "smell" for "aroma" at 6.18 and "sweat" for "perspiration" at 22.6. Some indication of the damage the changes and omissions in the Smart Set text do to the story can be seen in one of the last examples; the magazine's sentence at 64.1–4 ends with "man," omitting a telling passage restored in YBM: "Yet if she slipped the bolt tonight and came through the doors and said, 'Oh, weak man, I belong to you!' what could he do? That was the danger."

The substantive variants between YBM and the 1937 Autograph Edition text are few and minor. At 22.12, a "box" of cigarettes becomes a "package." At 41.14, "on" replaces "in." At 51.1, "captors," becomes "captors, and." The best example of an authorial variant in a is the change at 73.24 from "street lamps" to "new street lamps"; such a change does not seem editorial.

Of the nearly two hundred accidental variants between the magazine text and that of YBM, more than 60 percent involve punctuation, more than 20 percent involve word division, about 9 percent involve spelling or accent, and fewer than 7 percent involve capitalization. Commas are added, and less commonly deleted, as is common practice in Cather texts. "Gray" becomes "grey" throughout, and the comma plus dash replaces both the comma and the dash in most cases. At 7.13, "Avenue" replaces "avenue," a typical capitalization in YBM. "Any one" and similar compounds are presented as one word in the magazine text but as two words in YBM. Some 130 accidental variants between the texts of YBM and a fall also into the usual categories.

Such accidentals as the comma-dash combination, of which Cather seems particularly fond, are probably authorial. Although design and typographical changes between texts are neither substantive nor accidental, they can affect meaning. We record them in "Rejected Substantives" when they do, and record all examples of one kind of typographical change—that involving the addition or deletion of a paragraph indentation—because such a change tends to affect the prose rhythm of a passage even though it may have been made merely to break a page visually. In the case of "Coming, Aphrodite!" there are some eighty typographical variants between the magazine text and that of YBM, well over half of them affecting paragraphing. Between K1 and A there are almost fifty variants of this sort, some 70 percent of them involving paragraphing.



"THE DIAMOND MINE"

There are some four hundred variants between the magazine text of "The Diamond Mine" and the text in the first book edition of Youth and the Bright Medusa. Of these, almost half are substantives, some 40 percent are accidentals, and almost 10 percent are typographical. Unlike those in "Coming, Aphrodite!" the substantive variants here are difficult to categorize. More than 40 percent of them involve no more than one or two words, and in them one sees Cather making characteristic changes: sharpening a word or phrase, clarifying reference, and making minor alterations in diction. Examples include "swathed in" for "protected by" at 80.3, "locomotion" for "motion" at 85.22, "pushed" for "urged" at 88.21, "muddy" for "dirty" at 90.11, "twenty-two" for "your age" at 90.13, "Cressida" for "her" at 98.13–14, and "comers" for "arrivals" at 108.6.

However, more than a third of the substantive variants are much longer; they involve more than ten words, and often as many as twenty or more. These longer variants are almost always additions to the magazine text, and they are retained with no more than small changes in the Autograph Edition text. The passages sometimes fill out a characterization or further describe a conversation or a setting; there is no obvious pattern, although more added passages appear in the first half of the story than in the second.25 Cather may have had to stay within a certain number of words when she prepared (or had prepared) the typescript that went to McClure's, even though it was advertised on the first page of the story as "Another of McClure's Big Little Novels." If so, she restored or revised to fill in a substantial amount of text when she prepared the story for Youth and the Bright Medusa. A few examples will show the pattern (magazine text first):

75.17–19Garnet, and IGarnet, I was sorry to hear that mining operations were to be begun again. ¶ I
83.7–17world.world. He liked Julia quite as well as he liked me, and he liked me quite as well as he liked any of the women to whom he would be fitfully agreeable upon the voyage. Once or twice, during each crossing, he did his best and made himself very charming indeed, to keep his hand in,—for the same reason that he kept a dummy keyboard in his stateroom, somewhere down in the bowels of the boat. He practiced all the small economies; paid the minimum rate, and never took a deck chair, because, as Horace was usually in the cardroom, he could sit in Horace’s.
89.9–13end.end. I suppose it’s because, —except for a sort of professional personality, which I’ve had to get, just as I’ve had to get so many other things, —I’ve not very much that’s personal to give people. I’ve had to give too much else.
102.21–23after."after. If I were nineteen tonight I’d rather go sleigh-riding with Charlie Wilton than anything else I’ve ever done.

The accidental variants fall into familiar patterns. More than half of them add or delete a comma; YBM usually inserts a comma before a dash—some 30 percent of punctuation variants are accounted for by this change. Spelling variants include "grey" for the magazine's "gray" and the addition of the British "u" in words like "color." McClure's uses an apostrophe plus "s" in possessives; K1 uses the apostrophe only. The compounds "passenger-list" (76.19) and "social-service" are hyphenated in the magazine text but presented as two words in YBM. On the other hand, the magazine text reads "card-room," but YBM has "cardroom" (87.21). One of the important accidental changes occurred in the third printing of the first edition at 132.26, where commas were deleted in the sentence "The stupidity which, excuse me, is the thing she will not overlook." After deleting the commas, the compositor apparently neglected to make noun and verb agree by also changing "excuse" to "excuses." This called for an emendation.

Typographical variants are infrequent in the case of "The Diamond Mine." A few paragraphing changes, a few changes of font, and some variance in the presence or absence or number of blank lines to indicate pauses in the text—these add up to no more than forty variants in all.

Of the fewer than two hundred variants between the YBM text of the story and that of A, fewer than 10 percent involve substantives. These typically involve only a few words: "generally" for YBM's "usually" at 87.20, "go on" for "go" at 90.10, "Wilton" for "Wilton, and no other," at 95.23, "but that" for "else" at 100.11–12. Cather's hand is evident in all of them—they are not the sort of changes an editor or compositor would make.



"A GOLD SLIPPER"

Of the more than one hundred variants between the Harper's text of this story ( January 1917) and that of YBM, nearly half are substantives, some 45 percent are accidentals, and some 7 percent are typographical. Of the substantives, almost 90 percent involve no more than five words, and only two variants are longer than ten words. This is, of course, a much shorter story than the first two in the volume, but the percentages indicate much less revision between the magazine version and that in YBM.

Typical substantive variants (YBM reading given first) include "no one could" for "one couldn't" (140.4), "He" for "McCann" (141.24), "sensed" for "felt" (143.21), "worth looking at" for "worth having it all" (145.7), and "commented" for "remarked" at 147.5. More substantial variants may be listed, with the magazine reading given first:

142.7had told his wife aboutdescribed to his wife
144.7–8There was some zest about getting through to a hardshelled public. SheAs she faced this hardshelled public she
147.7–8had her way with her frigid publicher frigid public was thoroughly aroused.
151.5–7[omitted]The driver had gone off somewhere to telephone for a car
154.11doing, and somebody has to be a missionary and spread the new ideadoing.
One can see that some pruning took place in YBM but also that some text was added. Cather obviously revised, but she did not make wholesale changes to the text of the story.

The accidental variants are mostly in punctuation and spelling, each category counting for some 40 percent of the total. K1 is more heavily punctuated than the magazine text. In YBM, "Pittsburgh" is spelled with a final "h," "center" becomes "centre," "programme" becomes "program," the "u" is added to words like "clamored," and "today," "tonight," and "tomorrow" are unhyphenated. There are also a few typographical changes; for example, in YBM, Harper's 'Faust' is italicized at 14.13.

We note no more than eighty variants between the YBM text and that of A. Of these, more than 20 percent are substantive, and most involve few words: "La Bohème" for Faust at 147.13, "A" before "Pleasant journey!" at 153.1–2, "care still less" for "care less" at 154.7, "me or" for "me and" at 161.6, and "sometimes" for "often" at 167.11 are typical examples. There is no reason to doubt that these are Cather's changes.



"SCANDAL"

Like "A Gold Slipper," "Scandal" is a relatively short piece. Of the more than one hundred variants between the text of the story in Century (August 1919) and that in YBM, not counting the global name change from "Connie" to "Kitty," about one-third are substantive, well over half are accidental, and fewer than ten are typographical. Again as in "A Gold Slipper," the substantive variants typically involve no more than a word or two; only four involve more than four or five words. Many represent minor adjustments: YBM changes "and" to "and he" (171.4), "looked like" to "resembled" (175.23), "lion-like" to "cavalier-like" (176.14–15), reliable" to "truthful" (179.20), "Moscow" to "Petrograd" (180.5–6), "Connie" to "She" (181.1), "heady" to "dazzling" (181.25), and "Cutter" to Leland" (185.1). The longer variants include (magazine reading first):

187.7vanity, and the care of his homely person took a great deal of his time. Therevanity, and there
193.18him; the barcarole from 'Hoffman’ and a duet from 'Pagliacci.’him.
194.3vanity. It’s not childish, like an artist’s vanity; it’s a sort of grim, inflexible purpose.vanity.
All these changes prune the magazine text.

Again, the accidental variants between Century and YBM are typical. More than half involve changes in punctuation, often the addition or deletion of commas: YBM is more heavily pointed. YBM capitalizes "opera" at 169.4 and "director" at 171.1 and changes "o" to "ou" in words like "rumor." "Today" and its relatives are one word in K1, hyphenated in Century.

Of the dozen substantive variants between the text of YBM and that of A, most involve only a few words: the A text adds "It was the wet, raw winter of 1915." after "upon." at 169.10; a reduces "St. Petersburg, that was" to "St. Petersburg" at 179.21–22, changes "Petrograd" to "St. Petersburg" at 180.5–6, and changes "candy" to "box of sweets" at 182.12. The changes are surely Cather's, but they are not extensive.



"PAUL'S CASE"

This story is the first of four stories in YBM previously published in 1905 in The Troll Garden. In that collection, the story ended the volume; in Youth and the Bright Medusa it comes fifth. There are four texts to consider rather than three: the version published in McClure's Magazine in May 1905, the one published in The Troll Garden in April 1905, the one in Knopf 's Youth and the Bright Medusa in 1920, and that of the Autograph Edition, volume six, 1937. That the story was published in book form prior to its magazine appearance is most unusual and supports the idea that Cather was interested in the periodical publication of her works not just for publicity but also for the remuneration.26

There are more than one hundred substantive variants among the McClure's Magazine text (MM), the Troll Garden text, and the text in Youth and the Bright Medusa. More than 80 percent of these involve no more than three words; almost 70 percent involve no more than one word. Of the longer variants, about half add to the YBM text and the rest delete material from the earlier texts, usually MM. In some thirty cases the reading was changed between the MM text and that of TG; in some eighty cases it was changed between TG and YBM. In a handful of cases the three texts all differ, but in most of these the variants come between TG and YBM within passages omitted in MM. In the table that follows we show typical examples:

MMTGK1
201.15baptism of fire[=MM]Ordeal
203.5–7[omitted]Some of them remembered having seen a miserable street cat set at bay by a ring of tormentors.One of them remembered having seen a miserable street cat set at bay by a ring of tormentors.
205.20–21relief.[=MM]relief, and lost himself as he had done before the Rico.
208.8pantomime, but mocking spirits stood guard at the doors, and indigent[=MM]pantomime;
219.9indigent[=MM]indolent

Of the some two hundred accidental variants in the three texts, almost half involve punctuation changes and some fifty involve word division and spelling. Commas are added, deleted, or changed to dashes or semicolons. Words like "odor" in MM are spelled "odour." "To-night" and its relatives are spelled with a hyphen in MM and TG, but without in K1; "Pittsburg" receives that final "H" in K1.MM and TG have "principal"; K1 has "Principal." These changes are typical. There are a handful of typographical changes as well, mostly in paragraphing.

There are comparatively few variants between the earlier texts of "Paul's Case" and that of the Autograph Edition—fewer than one hundred. Of the variants between YBM and A, only seven are substantive: "looking" for YBM's "looking wildly" at 203.9, "in Pittsburgh" for "in the city" at 207.3, "autographed" for "autograph" at 213.3, "tall" for "long" at 219.22, "time" for "nonce" at 220.11, "which" for "that" at 222.21, and "their" for "all their" at 233.22. "pittsburgh , 1904" is also added at the end of the a text.

An analysis of the variants suggests that, although the TG text of April 1905 appeared first, it is a later and more advanced text than MM, published in May 1905. Where TG adds material (e.g., at 201.2–6 or 203.15–204.5), that material is usually retained in YBM; where TG deletes or revises material present in MM (as at 203.14 and 206.3–4), YBM also deletes it or shows the revision. If the MM text were later than that of TG, one would expect MM rather than TG to agree with YBM in these cases. It is also clear from a study of the variants in a that Cather's attention to this volume was perfunctory; she was clearly responsible for the handful of substantive variants, but probably not for the accidentals.



"A WAGNER MATINÉE"

"A Wagner Matinée" was first published in Everybody's Magazine in February 1904. It was republished as the sixth story in The Troll Garden (1905); in Youth and the Bright Medusa (1920); and in the Autograph Edition, volume six (1937). All editions show substantive, accidental, and typographical variants.

Of the more than 130 substantive variants among the four texts, well over half occur between the magazine text and that of TG and are retained in YBM and a . Two-thirds of these involve no more than a word or two, and fewer than ten involve more than five words. For example, at 235.8, "had become" is changed to "would be"; at 237.17, "usually" is changed to "so often"; and at 241.2, "unshorn" becomes "unshaven." Most of the longer variants condense the magazine reading:

236.12–13carriage she looked not unlike one of those charred, smoked bodies that firemen lift from the débris of a burned building.carriage that she seemed really to recognize me.
243.24her? Did or did not a new planet swim into her ken? Wagner had been a sealed book to Americans before the sixties.her?

Two dozen of these variants first appear in YBM; the relatively small number of them suggests what one would expect to find—that Cather revised the magazine text more thoroughly before its first appearance in book form than she did the TG text before its appearance in YBM. In these examples, the magazine text agrees with that of TG and is given first. Again, many of these variants in YBM condense the earlier texts:

235.16Georgiana called up not alone her own figure, at once pathetic and grotesque, butGeorgiana
236.4–5corn-husking. I felt the knuckles of my thumb tentatively, as though they were raw again.corn-husking
239.19it. Indeed, for her sake, I could only wish her taste for such things quite dead, and the long struggle mercifully ended at last. Iit. I

In another dozen or so cases, the magazine and TG texts differ slightly, but a more substantial cut appears in YBM: at 237.4–5 the magazine text reads "of the most idle and shiftless of all the village lads, and had conceived for this Howard Carpenter one of those absurd and extravagant passions which a handsome country boy of twenty-one sometimes inspires in a plain, angular, spectacled woman of thirty." The TG text deletes "absurd and" and "plain," while YBM condenses to "of my uncle, Howard Carpenter, then an idle, shiftless boy of twenty-one."

Of the remaining substantive variants, a few show the magazine text agreeing with YBM against the TG reading; many of these readings reveal typographical errors in TG. In a small number of cases, all texts are different (at 241.4–5 and 246.2–6, e.g.), and in another few the variant reading appears only in a ("town" for "village" at 235.3, "late" for "latter" at 236.25–237.1). On the whole, the pattern of variants is consistent: Cather mostly made changes in wording, made most of them between the magazine text and TG, fewer between TG and YBM, and fewer still between YBM and A.

The substantive variants between YBM and A are interesting. Cather made one or two changes in the first half of the story but more than a dozen in the second half. She cut the reference at 242.16–17 to "an overwhelming sense of the waste and wear we are so powerless to combat." At 243.4 she lightened "staring dully" to "quietly looking," and she cut the allusion to Keats at 244.2–3. At 244.11–12 she pared "remembered with quivering eyelids" to "remembered"; at 244.21–22 she dropped the sentence about Georgiana's weeping during the "Prize Song." Another cut at 245.15–16 eliminated "as though she were talking in the weak lapses of illness"; these and the revisions of 246.2–6 and 246.25–247.1 make Georgiana a less weak and pitiful character in the a text. These changes and some of the changes between TG and YBM may have resulted from criticism from Cather's acquaintances in Red Cloud of her presentation of Georgiana, who was taken for Cather's aunt Frances ("Aunt Franc"), and from the reaction of Will Owen Jones, editor of the Nebraska State Journal, who felt that the story cast Nebraska in an unfavorable light.27 Cather even went so far as to respond to a review he wrote of the story as published in Everybody's Magazine, reassuring him that she had no spiteful intentions toward the state, thinking that everyone had admitted that the pioneer days were desolate and that her tribute to the courage of those uncomplaining women who weathered them was respectful. Her revisions may have sprung from the same defensive impulse (Cather to Jones, 6 March 1904).

Some one hundred accidental variants occur among the four texts. About half of these involve punctuation, often the addition or deletion of a comma in TG or YBM. Between the magazine text and TG, the "British" "ou" replaces "o" in words like "parlour." There are very few capitalization variants, and just over a dozen typographical variants.



"THE SCULPTOR'S FUNERAL"

This story appeared first in MM in January 1905, in TG in March 1905, in YBM in 1920, and in A in 1937. There are some two hundred variants among the four texts, well over a third of them substantive. Accidental variants account for nearly 60 percent; the rest are typographical.

Of the substantive variants, more than thirty appear between TG and YBM; about half that many first appear in TG. This reverses the pattern evident in "A Wagner Matinée." The variants fall into familiar groups; most involve no more than two or three words, and nearly all have to do with diction rather than structure or characterization. The following are typical examples, arranged in three groups:

Varients between MM and TG

262.8of red beardof beard
264.10took a seatsat down
272.25had foundhad had

Variants between TG and TBM

251.2shuffled back toRejoined
260.18her for demonstrative piety and ingenious crueltyher.
263.1–2tastes were refined beyond the limits of the reasonable—whose mind was anmind was to become an

Variants between YBM and A

253.5strangerBostonian
254.21casketCoffin
257.12orgy of griefbehaviour
261.14–16Merrick. Oh, he comprehended well enough now the quiet bitterness of the smile that he had seen so often on his master’s lips!Merrick.

In a few cases, Cather revises a passage in three of the texts (251.18–19). At 263.7–11, for example, MM reads "secret; liberated from enchantment and restored it to its pristine loveliness, like the Arabian prince who fought the enchantress, spell for spell." TG keeps this, except for the comma after "enchantress"; YBM, however, expands it to "secret; liberated it from enchantment and restored it to its pristine loveliness. Upon whatever he had come in contact with, he had left a beautiful record of the experience—a sort of ethereal signature; a scent, a sound, a colour that was his own." Later, Cather must have felt this was too much; in a she reduces the whole passage to "secret."

About half of the accidental variants among the four texts involve punctuation, often the addition or deletion of a comma. The changes are familiar: MM's "gray" becomes "grey" in TG and thereafter, and "inquired" becomes "enquired" and "any one" becomes "anyone" in A. "To-night" and its relatives are undivided in YBM but hyphenated in the other three texts; words like "disheveled" in the magazine text have the "l" doubled in the later texts. There are a handful of typographical variants, the most important involving paragraphing.



"'A DEATH IN THE DESERT'"

This story was not included in the Autograph Edition of Youth and the Bright Medusa, so there are only three texts to be considered: that in Scribner's ( January 1903), in TG (1905), and in YBM (1920). In TG the story comes fifth; in YBM it ends the volume. A glance at the conflation reveals that the pattern of variants for the story differs in some respects from that of the others in the volume. The fullest text is that in Scribner's. The TG text is shorter by more than a thousand words, and the YBM text is shorter than TG by more than eighteen hundred words.

Moreover, the differences are mostly the result of successive cuts rather than substantial revision. Of some 235 variants, not counting the global name change from "Windemere" to "Everett," slightly over half involve fewer than six words, a relatively low percentage. The rest, however, involve substantial cuts (in more than thirty cases, more than twenty-five words) either in TG or YBM. Three examples will suffice:

Scribner'sTGYBM
276.6yards were kept alive only by con-tinual hypodermic injections of water from the tank where the engines were watered,yards made[=TG]
285.20touch as waterflowers. Her chest, that full, proud singer’s chest, that had swelled like the bellows of an organ when she took her high notes, was fallen and flat.touch.[=TG]
299.18palace. There was a concert piano in the room, and he played that prelude of Chopin’s with the ceaseless pelting of rain-drops in the bass. He wrote it, you know, when George Sand carried him off to Majorca and shut him up in a damp grotto in the hill-side, and it rained forever and ever, and he had only goat’s milk to drink. Adriance had been to Majorca, you know, and had slept in their grotto.palace.[=TG]

A study of the deletions and revisions show Cather's great skill as an editor; James Woodress is surely right in suggesting that the arguments for a lean prose style that would be presented in Cather's 1922 essay "The Novel Démeublé" influenced the revisions. We cite one example of the relatively small number of cases where a substantial cut was made in TG and another in YBM:

Scribner'sTGYBM
290.20consisted. Winder-mere was not even a handsome man, and everyone admitted that his brother was. Katharine told herself that it was very much as though a sculptor’s finished work had been rudely copied in wood.consisted. She told herself that it was very much as though a sculptor’s work had been rudely copied in wood.consisted.

There are comparatively few accidental variants among the three texts of the story, and they are typical: commas are added or changed to semicolons, "grey" is changed to "gray" and "color" to "colour," "someone" in the magazine text becomes two words in the other two texts, and so on. There are also a handful of typographical changes, two of them involving paragraphing.

The stories included in Youth and the Bright Medusa show several interesting patterns of variants. In "Coming, Aphrodite!" the magazine text is substantively quite different from the later texts, thanks to the influence of Comstock and his followers. In "The Diamond Mine" the variants suggest that the magazine text was cut and the cuts restored in later versions. The variants in "The Gold Slipper," "Scandal," "Paul's Case," and "The Sculptor's Funeral" are of a kind evident in many of the texts of Cather's novels—no special patterns, but a constant adjustment of details and diction. In "A Wagner Matinée" the changes to the magazine text reconceive aspects of Georgiana's character and, to some extent, soften the description of her Nebraska environment. Finally, in "'A Death in the Desert,'" the effect of Cather's mature style, in contrast to the more elaborated and "aesthetic" style of the magazine text, is clearly apparent.



The Choice of Copy-Text

The copy-text for this edition is a copy of the first printing of the first U.S. edition of the eight stories in book form, published on 15 September 1920 by Alfred A. Knopf under the title Youth and the Bright Medusa (K1). Collation of all the potentially relevant texts shows that thirteen of them reveal evidence of Cather's hand and are therefore authorial: those of the four magazine versions of stories appearing in The Troll Garden; The Troll Garden text itself; those of the four additional magazine versions of the newer stories appearing in Youth and the Bright Medusa; those of K1.i, K1.iii, and K2.i; and those included in the Autograph Edition. All other texts published during Cather's lifetime were either reprints, separate issues of K1, or derive from K1 without evidence of authorial intervention.

Although the magazine versions of the stories are authorial, they do not represent the intention of the author at the time of the first publication of this collection in book form nearly as well, either in substantives or accidentals, as does K1. Cather is known to have taken strong interest in the book versions of her works, both in accidentals and substantives, and to have shown rather less interest in the magazine versions. There is no evidence that Cather herself read proof for the magazine versions of these stories.28 The many differences between the magazine and book versions also weaken the magazine versions' claim as copy-text. The space constraints of magazine publication may have called for cuts; the material restored (or added) significantly enhance the stories. The substantial passages in the texts of "Coming, Aphrodite!" "Paul's Case," and "A Wagner Matinée" that do not appear in the magazine versions of the stories more specifically suggest the authority of K1. In the case of "Coming, Aphrodite!" even the title had to be changed at the editors' insistence. Cather's agreement to practice Comstockian restraint and her willingness to make changes for the magazine show that she cared relatively little for this version and supports the argument against using magazine versions as copy-text.

As no pre-publication manuscripts or typescripts have been found of stories in Youth and the Bright Medusa or of the book as a collection, K1 is closest to Cather's practice in the matter of establishing the accidentals for the collection. Furthermore, the nonlinguistic features (what McGann calls "bibliographical signifiers") of the magazine versions of all her stories—particularly their division into columns with text surrounded by commercial advertisements—reflect intentions quite contrary to those realized in K1. Had Cather regarded the magazine versions of the stories as realizing her final intention for them, she would have sent either an edited copy of the magazine versions or a copy of the typescript used as setting copy by the magazines to Knopf to use as setting copy for the book. We have no evidence to suggest that she did either. Rather, in accordance with her regular practice, she apparently sent a later and newly revised typescript for book publication.

The many substantive changes Cather made in several of her stories testify further to the importance she placed upon the book version of her works. Some long passages in the K1 text of "Coming, Aphrodite!" did not appear in the Smart Set version and were presumably cut from the final copy sent to the magazine (Reynolds to Cather, 9 April 1920) but retained for the book. The restored or revised passages prepared for this story in K1 are certainly authorial and add measurably to the development of the story's characters.29 Conversely, the many cuts in the two successive book versions of "'A Death in the Desert'" also show Cather's deep engagement with the story.

The decision to cut "'A Death in the Desert'" completely from the Autograph version, coming as it does more than fifteen years after the publication of the Knopf version, is a strong reason not to use a as copy-text. Cather had carefully revised and arranged the eight stories; with this story gone, the book as a unit is significantly changed. At least some of the substantive changes in the remaining stories, given their minor nature, may have been made primarily so that the publishers could advertise A as a revised edition. Many of the changes in accidentals as well were the result of house style for the Autograph Edition as a whole, rather than Cather's conscious decision for each story. For these reasons we use a copy of the first printing of K1 as copy-text.



Emendation and Related Matters

We have emended the copy-text of Youth and Bright Medusa under the following five circumstances: first, to provide the proper forms (spelling and accents) for words and phrases in foreign languages; second, to change marks of punctuation when other examples indicate that a particular reading is anomalous—a slip or a rare exception to Cather's prevailing practice; third, to resolve certain inconsistencies in spelling, capitalization, italicization, or word division, on the basis of Cather's prevailing practice, especially when differences appear frequently or in close proximity; fourth, to correct misspellings; and fifth, to correct a substantive error when a particular reading is a slip or a rare exception. We do not emend to "improve" Cather's wording or grammar, to modernize her diction or usage or use of accidentals, to impose consistency where there is no evidence that consistency was desired (see Parker 10–13), or to correct errors she did not address (except when a simple factual error can be corrected without further revising the text).

The emendations accepted into the copy-text by the present editors include ninety-three accidental changes and five substantive changes. Among the accidental changes are thirty-one changes in spelling and accent, twenty-six in word division, seventeen in capitalization, twelve in punctuation,30 and seven in typography (italics, broken typeface). The Notes on Emendations explain our choices when the rationale is not obvious. The Table of Rejected Substantives records all substantive variants (except those accepted as emendations) between the copy-text and the texts of the other authorial versions—namely, the magazine texts of the eight stories, the Troll Garden text, and the text of the Autograph Edition. Variants from the Heinemann and the Knopf third editions are not included because we do not consider these editions authorial.

In a copy of The Troll Garden presented to Alice Edith D. Goudy and now in the University of Virginia–Charlottesville libraries, Cather made nine holograph changes to this TG text.31 The first, to the text of "The Garden Lodge," is not relevant here (not present in K1), but it showed Cather canceling part of a sentence at TG 109.7–9. The other eight were to the text of "'A Death in the Desert.'" Two of the changes were not considered because the K1 text deleted the relevant material, namely, from "am concerned" to "am more concerned" at 120.2, and "bad. He" for "bad. His English never offends me, and he" at 128.15–16. The remaining six were as follows: "and by the" for "and the" at 114.7; "which" for "that" at 124.9; "shall" for "will" at 149.6; the cancellation of the first sentence on 150.1–2 ("I have pretty well used my life up at standing punishment"), inserting close quotes after "hardest"; "believe" for "think" at 150.12; and "upon" for "on" at 153.7. Because these readings are not present in Youth and the Bright Medusa, and because they belong to an earlier and quite special (and personalized) conception of The Troll Garden, we do not include them as emendations.

The correct use of foreign languages (orthography and accent) was especially important to Cather, as we know from her letter to R. L. Scaife at Houghton Mifflin (12 May [1915]), as was her desire to see these foreign words set in italics. We have followed her wishes in this text with emendations such as "Raffaëlli" for "Raffaelli" (203.18) and "Marche Militaire" for "Marche Militaire" (119.6). A more unusual request in this letter was that the names of operatic roles be italicized, and we have followed her wishes in this collection with "Isolde" and "Brangaena" at 90.17 and 90.20 and with "Donna Anna" at 119.18. However, a reference to Gulliver as a character was changed from italics to roman font.

For consistency with Cather's practice, several typographical changes were deemed necessary: we use italics for titles of operas (Pagliacci ) and double quotation marks for titles of songs ("Pilgrim's Chorus") and novels and stories ("Sapho"). We have also resolved some inconsistencies in the hyphenation of frequently occurring compounds ("music-room"), as well as those involving two-word compounds that modify nouns, as in "supper party pictures" emended to "supper-party pictures" (in order to remove an ambiguity in reference). Using as our guide Cather's regular practice in descriptions following direct address (as in 73.14–15: "know." She), we have in three cases (38.10, 81.25, and 287.2) substituted uppercase for lowercase letters.

Cather, in her letter to Scaife, asked the proofreader to check her use of foreign languages, in particular, with great care. We infer from these instructions that she was aware not only that the press had its rules of typography to follow but that a copy editor could help her attain the correctness and consistency in the accidentals of her text that she sought.32 Tanselle writes that it is "the intention of the author to have particular words and marks of punctuation constitute his text and the intention that such a text carry a particular meaning or meanings" ("Editorial Problem" 182–83).33 The letter to Scaife shows that Cather considered it important enough to request the publisher's help in accomplishing her intention. The emendations in this edition are made to carry out these intentions where the first edition failed.

Emendations to substantives are few and are explained in the Notes on Emendations. Some anomalies that were not emended are worth mentioning. At 28.24 "Bowers" appears to have been Eden's father's original name, changed by her to "Bower." Accordingly, in the phrase "Bowers family" (35.17) we declined to emend to "Bower." We declined to emend "in-expressiveness" at 83.22; normally, according to usage reported in Webster, there would be no hyphenation here, but we took Cather's construction as a form of emphasis. We retained "employés" as an acceptable version of "employees" at 213.12, and at 255.20 we let stand "placques" as a variant of "plaques." We have also declined to spell out abbreviations in the cases of "M." (71.25, 72.4, 73.3, 73.9, and 73.17), "Mme." (110.5, 120.25, 176.16–17, and 176.19), and "Dr." (116.25). Desiring to retain the flavor of Cather's style, we have emended conservatively.

Records of Cather's direct involvement in the design and production of her works have led us to take special care in the presentation of them.34 We are particularly concerned with compositor error. By agreement with the University of Nebraska Press, we undertake proofreading in stages to meet the Committee on Scholarly Editions guidelines, which call for at least four readings. Insofar as is feasible within the series format of a scholarly edition, the editors have cooperated with the designer to create a volume that reflects Cather's known wishes for the presentation of her works.





Notes

1. Youth and the Bright Medusa included "Coming, Aphrodite!" "The Diamond Mine," "A Gold Slipper," "Scandal," "Paul's Case," "A Wagner Matinée," "The Sculptor's Funeral," and "'A Death in the Desert.'" (Go back.)
2. The Troll Garden included "Flavia and Her Artists," "The Sculptor's Funeral," "The Garden Lodge," "'A Death in the Desert,'" "The Marriage of Phaedra," "A Wagner Matinée," and "Paul's Case." (Go back.)
3. For more details on the reason for anglicized punctuation and spelling in American editions, see James L. West III's introduction to Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise. See also his "The Chace Act and Anglo-American Relations." (Go back.)
4. We have consulted W. W. Greg's "The Rationale of Copy-Text," Fredson Bowers's "Current Theories of Copy-Text, with an Illustration from Dryden," and G. Thomas Tanselle's "Greg's Theory of Copy-Text and the Editing of American Literature," as well as Herschel Parker's "Regularizing Accidentals: The Latest Form of Infidelity" and chapter 3, "The Socialization of Texts," in Jerome McGann's The Textual Condition. (Go back.)
5. Professor Link checked the conflation produced by Professor Boss against the standard of collation, consulting the copies listed below, which were used in preparing this edition (UNL = Love Library, University of Nebraska, Lincoln; UNLS = Special Collections, Love Library, University of Nebraska, Lincoln; LPLH = Heritage Room Collection, Lincoln Public Library, Lincoln). (Go back.)
6. The scanned version was made on a hp4c flatbed scanner; the keyed version was made using an OCR Pro 100 software program. During scanning, two windows are open in the OCR program: one is the image of the text, and the other is that text of that image translated by the program into characters so that corrections to the text can be made immediately. (Go back.)
7. At this step tags were also added for italic, bold, and diacritics by using the iso Latin-1 tagset. The editor also verified paragraphing against the printed text; inconsistencies already marked were also checked against the printed text. (Go back.)
8. These OCR files in the scanned version typically check out at 98–100 percent accuracy, depending of the quality of wear or damage in the original typesetting. (Go back.)
9. The program used for keying the text was TextPad 32, a shareware editor, a program including a line-by-line function ("diff ") that has none of the "automatic aids" that silently alter a text. (Go back.)
10. The Cather Edition has established or confirmed the forms of possible hyphenated compounds. To resolve end-line hyphenations we have applied the following criteria in descending order: (1) if one or more instances of the same form occurred elsewhere in the first edition of Youth and the Bright Medusa, we resolved according to the prevailing practice; (2) if one or more examples of similar words occurred elsewhere in the first edition of Youth and the Bright Medusa, we resolved by analogy; (3) if one or more examples of the same word or of similar words occurred in the first editions of Cather's works chronologically close to Youth and the Bright Medusa (namely, My Ántonia and One of Ours), we resolved by example or by analogy; and (4) in the absence of the above-described criteria, we followed commonsense combinations of the following considerations: (a) possible or likely morphemic forms; (b) one or more examples of the same word or similar words in the Autograph Edition of Youth and the Bright Medusa; (c) Webster's New International Dictionary (1909); (d) The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (1971); and (e) hyphenation of two-word compounds when used as adjectives. For the background of these practices see Tanselle, "Some Principles for Editorial Apparatus," section v, "List of Ambiguous Line-End Hyphenation," 75–81. (Go back.)
11. In the preparation of this essay and its apparatus, several editors participated: Professor Boss provided the computer versions of the text leading to the conflations for each story and wrote a short introductory draft. Based on Professor Judy Boss's work, Professor Link checked the conflation, wrote the section on the history of the changes in the text of each story, produced the Table of Rejected Substantives, and contributed to the list of Emendations. Professor Mignon took these materials and wrote successive drafts of the Textual Essay, Emendations, and Notes. Assistant Editor Ronning wrote the section on Printing History and the note on copies used, vetted all the drafts of both textual editors, and contributed to the production of the Emendations and Notes. Professor Rosowski, then General Editor, reviewed all the work at its various stages. (Go back.)
12. Well before Cather's time, authors had to deal with the problem of how to recycle their works. As Charvat says, "when a literary artist is also a professional writer, he cannot solve the problems of the one function without reference to the other" (3). Cather observed in a letter to Norman Foerster that the distance between excellent writing and good writing that had commercial value (because of its uniqueness and individuality) was the longest distance in the world. There were many reasons why bad writing should have commercial value, but only one reason good writing should have it: personal experience that could matter (Cather to Foerster, 20 July 1910). (Go back.)
13. The sources for these and other letters to which we refer are provided in the Works Cited; for brief paraphrases of their contents, see Stout's Calendar. (Go back.)
14. In 1903 she began work on a novel set in Pittsburgh, but it has not survived. Woodress says that Cather set it aside as too good to throw away but not good enough to continue (182). She told Dorothy Canfield in November 1903 that she had written about 40,000 words, and said in February 1904 that she hoped to have a finished manuscript for Dorothy to read (Cather to Canfield, Friday [27 November 1903] and [February 1904?]). (Go back.)
15. Reynolds may have learned something from Longfellow's professional approach to the marketplace. As New York's first major literary agent, Reynolds not only placed Cather's stories and novels with magazines but also tried to offer them in England (Reynolds to Cather, 28 March 1930). Her correspondence with Reynolds should make it possible to study her finances in more depth than has been possible up to now (Go back.)
16. For Cather's involvement in the production of My Ántonia and for her growing dissatisfaction with Houghton Mifflin, see the Textual Essay for that volume, 483–94, and Cather's 19 May 1919 letter to Greenslet, in which she complained about the bill for proof corrections for My Ántonia, the advertising of her books, and sending out enough review copies. (Go back.)
17. The story of Cather's efforts to publish this story may be found in the correspondence between Cather and Reynolds in March and April 1920, and it is described by Woodress (315–16). It is important to realize that, when publishing stories or novels in magazines that later appeared in book form, Cather's practice was to send one copy of the work to the magazine and to retain another to prepare for the book publication. From the collations, we can see that Cather made her revisions for Nathan on one copy of the story and, retaining another copy, prepared it for Knopf. (Go back.)
18. Each of the stories in this new volume had its subsequent printing history; for the details of reprints for each story see Crane: "Coming, Aphrodite!" 248, "The Diamond Mine" 247, "A Gold Slipper" 247, "Scandal" 247, "Paul's Case" 245, "A Wagner Matinée" 243, "The Sculptor's Funeral" 244, and "'A Death in the Desert'" 243. (Go back.)
19. Scribner's had wanted to publish a subscription edition of Cather's work as early as 1932, but Houghton Mifflin, understandably, would not release the four novels it had earlier published (Lewis 180–81; Greenslet to Cather, 1 July 1933; Knopf, Memoirs). When Houghton Mifflin itself took up this idea, Cather worked with Ferris Greenslet, her editor there, and after some discussion about design and typeface (see Cather to Greenslet, 18 December 1936, and Greenslet to Cather, 21 December 1936) she agreed to the edition. (Go back.)
20. In "The Editorial Problem of Final Authorial Intention," Tanselle distinguishes between two kinds of revision: "horizontal," which intensifies, refines, or otherwise improves the work as then conceived; and "vertical," "which aims at altering the purpose, direction, or character of a work, thus attempting to make a different sort of work out of it." A horizontal revision "alters the work in degree but not in kind"; a vertical revision reflects "an altered active intention in the work as a whole" (193). (Go back.)
21. See McGann (56) for this discussion of Blake's Jerusalem. For applications of McGann's idea see the textual essays for A Lost Lady (326–27, 334–35), Death Comes for the Archbishop (531, 555), and the forthcoming My Mortal Enemy, as well as Charles Mignon's "Cather's Copy of Death Comes for the Archbishop" and his "Willa Cather's Archbishop: The Legible Forms of Spirituality". (Go back.)
22. In describing Fitzgerald's experience with Scribner's, James West shows that some American publishers (including Knopf ) "imposed some consistency by using an anglicized house style," adding a layer of anglicized punctuation and spelling" (xlviii) because, "under U.S. international copyright law, it was to Scribners' advantage always to use modified British spelling. The Chace Act of 1891 and its amendments specified that for a book to be copyrighted in the United States, it had to have been typeset, printed, and bound there" (xlix). There being no protectionist clause in England, books typeset and manufactured in the United States automatically qualified for copyright in England. Therefore, American firms made sure that their texts "looked sufficiently 'British' to satisfy the audience on the other side of the Atlantic" (xlix). (Go back.)
23. Numbers and percentages depend on how one counts variants. A single paragraph may include half a dozen substantive differences and several accidental ones; we record the passage as one variant if the entire passage is added to or deleted from one or the other of the texts examined. In general, percentages are more reliable, but they are not ordinarily presented as exact; for specific information, one must consult the Table of Rejected Substantives at the end of the volume. (Go back.)
24. In an enthusiastic letter to Greenslet early in 1920, Cather reported she had just finished a fine fifteen-thousand-word story that had turned out very well; it had opened up a vein of unmined material, like a big account in a bank, upon which she could draw heavily whenever she wished (Cather to Greenslet, 7 January 1920). (Go back.)
25. When Cather wrote to Reynolds in September 1916 saying that she was glad to see "The Diamond Mine" in McClure's, she mentioned in retrospect that they should have let her cut the story as she had "My Little Sister." She thought the cut versions were more successful (Cather to Reynolds, 25 September [1916?]). But four years later, in revising for the collection, she took a more expansive view of revision. (Go back.)
26. Cather used the money she made from the periodical publication of her works not only for the typing support she needed as well as for funds for travel, but also to bring aid to her friends at moments of need. See Woodress 437. (Go back.)
27. See the introduction to James Woodress's edition of The Troll Garden (Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1983) for a fuller discussion of this point and of other aspects of the stories in this collection. (Go back.)
28. Cather did wish to revise "A Gold Slipper" and "The Diamond Mind" after they were sold (Cather to Reynolds, 25 September [1916?]). Reynolds attached a letter to Edith Lewis to the proofs of "Scandal" asking her to run through them and make any corrections necessary (Century Magazine to Cather, 26 June 1919; Reynolds to Lewis, 26 June 1919). (Go back.)
29. See the Nebraska State Journal interview of 2 November 1921 for Cather's description of the steps she took in the process of composition (Bohlke 41). She began with a handwritten draft corrected by hand and then wrote her next draft by typewriter. She then retyped the previous draft. At this point she sometimes reshaped material by combining versions by pasting or pinning in new material; in a later phase of this reshaping Cather sometimes retyped a whole manuscript or added material to a copy of a typescript sent to a magazine for book publication. After a professional typist produced a new version, Cather, sometimes with Lewis, provided a copy editor's level of reading, making corrections, providing additional revisions (usually stylistic refinements), and specifying formatting and other production details. When a typescript was sent to a magazine for publication, Cather retained a copy on which to make further revisions for book publication. She rarely read magazine galleys, but for books she read both galleys and page proof. For a more detailed description, see Charles W. Mignon's "Willa Cather's Process of Composing" and the Textual Essay for the forthcoming Cather Scholarly Edition of Sapphira and the Slave Girl (2009). (Go back.)
30. The category of punctuation includes commas, semicolons, colons, dashes and parentheses, hyphens, apostrophes, quotation marks, brackets both square and angled, slashes, periods, question marks, and exclamation points. (Go back.)
31. On the half-title page under the title, Cather wrote, "To Mrs. G. K. Goudy in memory of the happy days when she and Mr. Goudy so generously helped and cared for me. Willa Sibert Cather New York, April 12th 1907." (Go back.)
32. In a typed letter to Norman Holmes Pearson, Cather states that she wishes to see a corrected text (Cather to Pearson, 23 October 1937): describing her practice in preparing the Autograph Edition, she writes that she made all the corrections on the margins of pages and that she did not read proofs when the book was reset. Documentary evidence confirms that Cather sent Greenslet corrected copies of Shadows on the Rock, One of Ours, and The Professor's House (Greenslet to Cather, 15 September 1936) as well as for The Song of the Lark (Cather Greenslet, 8 May 1939). But when her changes were extensive she did read proof and revise proof. Referring to Death Comes for the Archbishop, she reports that the changes were not extensive—mainly changes of words and punctuation—and that the new text was certainly better than the original one, which contained, she claims, a number of typographical errors. As a professional writer concerned with the production of her books, Cather often brought her skills as an editor to the task of working with her publishers to achieve the best possible text. (Go back.)
33. The Cather Scholarly Edition of One of Ours spelled out abbreviations, but did so according to Cather's prevailing practice in that novel; in this novel the prevailing practice is the reverse. (Go back.)
34.

The University of Nebraska Press sets the text and apparatus directly into page proofs for the following readings: (1) The Press conducts the first proofing, sending two copies of their corrected version to the editors of the Cather Edition for (2) a team collation, in which the newly set text is read against the copy-text as emended and the set apparatus is read against the typescript printer's copy. The editors then make (3) a solo hand collation of the same materials. The Cather Edition staff replaces page and line numbers in the apparatus, keying references to the reset type of the copy-text; it checks the compounds of the word-division List A against the reset text to ensure accurate resolutions, and lists and resolves the end-line hyphenated compounds of the reset text for List B. The Cather editors collate their sets of corrected proofs on the Press's master copy, which is then sent to the compositor for correction.

When the compositor returns the corrected text and apparatus, the Cather editors make (4) a team collation of these materials, correct any errors in page and line numbers, check that the corrections have been made, and revise the word-division List B as necessary. After making these corrections, the Press undertakes (5) a proofreading to compare the newly reset pages to the corrected proofs to ensure that no text has been dropped and reads the lines that have been corrected.

(Go back.)


Works Cited

Bohlke, L. Brent, ed. Willa Cather in Person: Interviews, Speeches, and Letters. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1986.
Bowers, Fredson. "Current Theories of Copy-Text, with an Illustration from Dryden." Modern Philology 48 (1950–51): 12–20.
Cather, Willa. Alexander's Bridge. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1912.
Cather, Willa. "Coming, Eden Bower!" Smart Set Aug. 1920: 3–25.
Cather, Willa. Death Comes for the Archbishop. New York: Knopf, 1927.
Cather, Willa. "'A Death in the Desert.'" Scribner's Jan. 1903: 109–21.
Cather, Willa. "The Diamond Mine." McClure's Oct. 1916: 7–11, 66–70.
Cather, Willa. "A Gold Slipper." Harper's Jan. 1917: 166–74.
Cather, Willa. Letter to Fanny Butcher. 19 Mar. 1920. Newberry Library, Chicago.
Cather, Willa. Letters to Dorothy Canfield. Bailey-Howe Library, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vt.
Cather, Willa. Letter to Norman Foerster. 20 July 1910. Love Library, U of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Cather, Willa. Letters to Ferris Greenslet. Houghton Mifflin Collection. Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
Cather, Willa. Letters to Will Owen Jones. Alderman Library, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.
Cather, Willa. Letter to R. L. Scaife. 12 May [1915]. Houghton Mifflin Collection. Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
Cather, Willa. "The Novel Démeublé." New Republic 12 Apr. 1922: 5–6. Reprinted in Not Under Forty (New York: Knopf, 1936) and Willa Cather on Writing: Critical Studies on Writing as an Art (New York: Knopf, 1953).
Cather, Willa. O Pioneers! Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1913.
Cather, Willa. "Paul's Case." McClure's May 1905: 74–83.
Cather, Willa. "The Profile." McClure's June 1907: 135–40.
Cather, Willa. "Scandal." Century Aug. 1919: 433–45.
Cather, Willa. "The Sculptor's Funeral." McClure's Jan. 1905: 329–36.
Cather, Willa. Shadows on the Rock. New York: Knopf, 1931.
Cather, Willa. Song of the Lark. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1915.
Cather, Willa. "The Treasure of Far Island." New England Magazine Oct. 1902: 234–49.
Cather, Willa. The Troll Garden. New York: McClure Phillips, 1905.
Cather, Willa. "A Wagner Matinée." Everybody's Magazine Feb. 1904: 325–28.
Cather, Willa. Youth and the Bright Medusa. New York: Knopf, 1920.
Cather, Willa. Youth and the Bright Medusa. Autograph Edition, Vol. 6. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1937.
Charvat, William. The Profession of Authorship in America, 1800–1870. New York: Columbia UP, 1992.
Crane, Joan. Willa Cather: A Bibliography. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1982.
Greenslet, Ferris. Letters to Willa Cather. Houghton Mifflin Collection. Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. Greg, W. W. "The Rationale of Copy-Text." Studies in Bibliography 3 (1950–51): 19–36.
Knopf, Alfred A. Typescript memoirs. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center. University of Texas at Austin.
Lewis, Edith. Willa Cather Living. New York: Knopf, 1953.
McGann, Jerome. The Textual Condition. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1991.
Mignon, Charles. "Willa Cather's Copy of Death Comes for the Archbishop." Cather Studies 4 (1999): 172–86.
Mignon, Charles. "Willa Cather's Process of Composition." Resources for American Literary Study 29 (2004): 165–84.
Mignon, Charles. "Willa Cather's Archbishop: The Legible Forms of Spirituality." Willa Cather and the Culture of Belief. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young UP, 2002. 139–66.
Parker, Herschel. "Regularizing Accidentals: The Latest Form of Infidelity." Proof 3 (1973): 1–20.
Reynolds, Paul R. Letters to Willa Cather. Butler Library. Columbia University, New York.
Reynolds, Paul R. Letter to Edith Lewis. 26 June 1919. Butler Library. Columbia University, New York.
Stout, Janis P. A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 2002.
Tanselle, G. Thomas. "The Editorial Problem of Final Authorial Intention." Studies in Bibliography 29 (1976): 167–211.
Tanselle, G. Thomas. "Greg's Theory of Copy-Text and the Editing of American Literature." Studies in Bibliography 28 (1975): 167–231.
Tanselle, G. Thomas. "Some Principles for Editorial Apparatus." Studies in Bibli ography 25 (1972): 41–88.
West, James L., III. "The Chace Act and Anglo-American Relations." Studies in Bibliography 45 (1992): 303–11.
West, James L., III. Introduction. This Side of Paradise, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. New York: Cambridge UP, 1995. xlvii–li.
Woodress, James. Willa Cather: A Literary Life. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1987.




Emendations

THE following list records all substantive and accidental changes introduced into the copy-text, the first trade printing of Youth and the Bright Medusa (Alfred A. Knopf, 1920). The reading of the present edition appears to the left of the bracket; to the right we record the source of that reading, followed by variants in other authorial texts. All emendations are made on the authority of the present editors; although our reading may agree with the reading of another text, the decision is not made on that basis alone. The abbreviation CE indicates editorial emendations not found in any of the authorial texts. We use {om} to indicate the absence of a passage in a text, and a slash to mark rare end-line hyphenations ("supper-/party"). The basis for our emendations in specific cases is discussed in the Notes on Emendations; an asterisk preceding the page/line number indicates that an entry is discussed there. Page and line numbers refer to the Cather Edition text, unless otherwise indicated.

We refer to the following texts:

  1. CA. "Coming, Eden Bower!" [magazine title of "Coming, Aphrodite!"] Smart Set Aug. 1920: 3–25.
  2. DM. "The Diamond Mine." McClure's Oct. 1916: 7–11, 66–70.
  3. GS. "A Gold Slipper." Harper's Jan. 1917: 166–74.
  4. SC. "Scandal." Century Aug. 1919: 433–45.
  5. PC. "Paul's Case." McClure's May 1905: 74–83.
  6. WM. "A Wagner Matinée." Everybody's Feb. 1904: 325–28.
  7. SF. "The Sculptor's Funeral." McClure's Jan. 1905: 329–36.
  8. DD. "'A Death in the Desert.'" Scribner's Jan. 1903: 109–21.
  9. TG. The Troll Garden. New York: McClure, Phillips, 1905.
  10. K1. Youth and the Bright Medusa, first edition, first printing, trade issue, New York: Knopf, 1920, and all subsequent printings unless otherwise indicated.
  11. K1.iii. Youth and the Bright Medusa, third printing, New York: Knopf, 1921.
  12. A. Youth and the Bright Medusa, Autograph Edition, vol. 6, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1937.
  13. K2.i. Youth and the Bright Medusa, second edition, first printing, New York: Knopf, 1945.
"Coming, Aphrodite!" "The Diamond Mine" "A Gold Slipper" "Scandal" "Paul's Case" "A Wagner Matinée" "The Sculptor's Funeral" "'A Death in the Desert'"

Notes on Emendations

13.10 Pagliacci] We italicize the title of Leoncavallo's opera here and Massenet's Manon at 105.10, following Cather's practice in this and other texts. (Go back.)
26.11 music-room] The hyphenated form appears in eight instances in K1: 108.3, 112.9, 119.22, 194.10, 194.21, 283.18, 283.19, and 294.23. We have emended three other instances that appear as two words to the hyphenated form (33.2, 58.9, and 106.9–10) by majority rule. See note 10 for the Textual Essay for the criteria used in resolving end-line hyphenations. (Go back.)
40.20 Street] Cather's usual practice is to capitalize street names, as in "Tenth Street" and "Cordelia Street"; we have emended accordingly. (Go back.)
54.17 Huntington] Eden's hometown was identified as Huntington at 29.3, 34.14, 35.10, and 65.4. (Go back.)
77.3-4 flicking] We correct "flecking" to "flicking" here and at 282.2. Cather often enjoyed archaic or obsolete forms; but in this case "flecking" means to spot, streak, stripe, variegate, or dapple, whereas "flicking" means flutter or flit—more appropriate for the aunt's "restless glance." In this case the variants are not indifferent, and "flecking" seems obviously incorrect. (Go back.)
85.4 a while] We have emended to the reading as a nominal form, also adopting it at 218.11. (Go back.)
107.1 Sárka] In a letter to Scaife, Cather expressed a wish not only to have the correct form of foreign words but also that they be presented in italics (see the Works Cited for the Textual Essay); her wishes have been followed here and at 107.12 and 115.17. In addition to correcting the accent here, we put single quotes around 'Sárka' at 107.12 and 115.17 because it is clear from the context that it is a song mentioned within direct address. At 107.1, however, we declined to emend with single quotes because there is some ambiguity about Cressida's reference: she may be referring to the legend as she looks at the title of the song. (Go back.)
129.14 mépris] Bouchalka says he meant no disrespect (mépris) to his wife; K1's méprise means mistake or misapprehension. (Go back.)
130.18 excuses] "The stupidity which, excuse me, is the thing she will not overlook." The first and second printings have commas to set off "excuse me"; the third printing removes the commas, presumably with Cather's approval because it is unlikely a compositor would have made such a change on his own authority. But while carrying out this change, either Cather or the compositor forgot to revise "excuse" to the plural "excuses." Bouchalka's speech patterns in the story are slightly unusual, but are generally grammatical, and this error would not be characteristic, even of a Bohemian speaking English. The "stupidity" is, finally, Bouchalka's: the fool of him has jeopardized the sober one she married. He thinks being a fool excuses him, yet he knows Cressida cannot overlook his foolish behavior. (Go back.)
137.10 treu] Because K1's Treu is not a noun, we reduce it to lowercase; we retain the capital in Traulich as the first word of the quotation. (Go back.)
143.6 Bakst] Lev Samoylovich Rosenberg, called Leon Bakst (1866–1924), was a Russian scene designer and painter. (Go back.)
152.19 stateroom] This compound appears as one word at 80.2, 83.13, 93.4, and 134.2 and as an end-line hyphenation at 164.16. It is hyphenated in the copy-text, here and at 153.10, 164.16, and 165.8. We emend here on the basis of Cather's practice in a and One of Ours (1922). (Go back.)
207.23 supper-party] This word is hyphenated in PC, appears as two words in TG and K1, and as an end-line hyphenation (supper-/party) in a (indicating that Cather or the compositor saw it as either one word or as a hyphenation). The editors have adopted the hyphenated form as an adjectival compound, here and elsewhere, as in the phrase "brassstudded collar." (Go back.)
220.24 silver-mounted] See note for 207.23. (Go back.)
223.11 deposit,] The first three printings of the first edition show worn typeface in the mark of punctuation after the word "deposit" where the tail of a comma has disappeared. We adopt the TG and a reading because the spacing in the first printing between "deposit" and the next word ("as") does not allow for the PC reading "deposits". (Go back.)


Table of Rejected Substantives

This list records the substantive and quasi-substantive variants between the copy-text (K1.i) and (a) the texts of the magazine versions of the stories included in Youth and the Bright Medusa (YBM), (b) the texts of the stories included in both The Troll Garden (TG) and Youth and the Bright Medusa, and (c) the texts included in the Autograph Edition of YBM (A) that have not been adopted in the text of the present edition. The reading of the Cather Edition text appears to the left of the bracket; to the right appear the variant readings and their sources. We separate variant readings by semicolons. If a text is not cited, it agrees with K1.i. Page and line numbers, unless otherwise noted, refer to this edition. Ellipsis dots indicate an omission made for the sake of brevity; unless otherwise indicated, they are not part of the text. Braces enclose editorial interpolations. Accidental variants within substantive variants are ignored. Typographical variants are included only if they are quasi-substantive—that is, they have some effect on meaning (e.g., differences in paragraphing).

We refer to the following texts:

  1. CA. "Coming, Eden Bower!" [magazine title of "Coming, Aphrodite!"] Smart Set Aug. 1920: 3–25.
  2. DM. "The Diamond Mine." McClure's Oct. 1916: 7–11, 66–70.
  3. GS. "A Gold Slipper." Harper's Jan. 1917: 166–74.
  4. S. "Scandal." Century Aug. 1919: 433–45.
  5. PC. "Paul's Case." McClure's May 1905: 74–83.
  6. WM. "A Wagner Matinée." Everybody's Feb. 1904: 325–28.
  7. SF. "The Sculptor's Funeral." McClure's Jan. 1905: 329–36.
  8. DD. "'A Death in the Desert.'" Scribner's Jan. 1903: 109–21.
  9. TG. The Troll Garden. New York: McClure, Phillips, 1905.
  10. K1.I. Youth and the Bright Medusa, first edition, first printing, trade issue, New York: Knopf, 1920.
  11. A. Youth and the Bright Medusa, Autograph Edition, vol. 6, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1937.
"Coming, Aphrodite! "The Diamond Mine" "A Gold Slipper" "Scandal" "Paul's Case" "A Wagner Matinée "The Sculptor's Funeral" "'A Death in the Desert'"

Word Division

List A records compounds or possible compounds hyphenated at the ends of lines in the copy-text and resolved as one word or as a hyphenated compound in the text. See the Textual Essay for a discussion of the criteria for resolving these forms. List B contains the end-line hyphenations that are to be retained in quotations from the present edition; in compounds of more than two words, a slash shows the line break. Note that hyphenated words that obviously resolve as one word ("com-/pound," e.g.) are not included in either list. In Youth and the Bright Medusa, words like "everyone," "anybody," and "everywhere" are usually set as one word.

LIST A LIST B