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of. What is this place to us more than another, THE WATER'S GECKING.

so we get a living out of the country ? "

“A living! Do you think that your father JOLLY was shelling peas in could n't get a living, any place but here ? ”

the vine-shaded corridor “He came to get what he calls a living. He
that lined the court. In a came to found an estate in lands for his chil-
hammock close by swung dren, in a country where land is cheap, and
Alan, mechanically con- men — like himself, for instance — are dear;
ning his lesson, while his so he told me himself.”
eye roved the blue sky-field Dolly flushed at the sneer and the flippant

above the house-walls, like tone, while she could not deny absolutely the a caged bobolink's.

truth of her brother's words. “You have never said a word, good or bad, “ Very likely; the least of his motives is the about young Norrisson.” It was Alan who one he would put into words. Money-making spoke. “ And that 's what I call affectation; is a thing even you can understand. It is not it stands to reason you must have thought to every one he would talk of the greater thing about him.”

he came for; his chosen work, the nearest to “Oh, yes,” answered Dolly, prudently; the work of the Creator. Think of that valley “and I have thought of the way you chose as it is now, with a great, useless river bolting to introduce him. Whatever put it into your through it, carrying away the water that should head?”

be the wealth of the land; carrying away gold, “Well, I knew you 'd buck at the name of too, and hiding it in the black sands. And Norrisson," Alan retorted, in the country slang such an unkind land! Not a tree for miles, which was supposed to be objectionable to his nor a little stream for the poor cattle to stop sister; " and so I thought I'd present him at at, but they must travel till they reach the a safe distance."

river: and then to think what it would be in Why should you present him ? Do you twenty years with the water upon it! If it 's know him, and did he ask it ?”

glorious to discover new lands, is it less so to “ He knows the family too well for that. I make them, out of old waste places that part did it just to see you stare; and he's off my one State from another, and add nothing but conscience now."

miles of distance? And all that it means to “And on mine; is that what you mean, you is a ' living'!" dear? I don't know why you should feel guilty. “ You need n't sling your blank verse at me. Would papa have us less than civil to a stran- I know what ditches can do ; but where are ger asking his way out of the cañon?” they ? Where is this great canal we have been

“My father is noted, then, for his hospitality a dog's age building ?” to strangers of the name of Norrisson ? " “And what if it were a man's age? Ten

" Hospitality is quite another thing to an- acres of land can support one man, so they say; swering a civil question. What passed between suppose it should take a man his lifetime to you on the bluffs you know best yourself, and turn one hundred acres of desert into homes whether you ’ve stretched your commission as for ten poor men. And here is a great province your father's son."

given over to drought, and your father has “Oh, my father's son! Who cares whose son spent fifteen years on the borders of it, telling I am ? We're always in some confounded atti- the rich men how good it is, and how the peotude. It 's the fault of all proud, poky families ple need it—" like ours; we ought to mix up more, and be “Not he!” Alan struck in. “ He tells them more like other people."

about the dividends." “ You talk of the family as if you had “ How they want it, then. I 'm not claimfounded it.”

ing it 's a charity; but it 's turning time and " I intend to found the American branch of money and knowledge and prophecy to as it: and I shall go easy when my time comes; good use as they can be put.” I shall not tie up to the first thing I take hold “ It 's all very fine, large talk, but we get

1 Copyright, 1892, by Mary Hallock Foote.


i no for'ader. "Poor and poorer we maun be'; ness that clung to her warm forehead, using and the canal is no nearer than it was ten years the back of her hand, her fingers being damp ago. Dreams, let me tell you, are not filling and ruddy with pinching the dewy pea-pods. at the price.

She leaned over the book without touching it; “ Yes; you are always keen for the price. then changed her mind, and drew back. You had better go down to the town and get “ Are we beaten?" she asked defiantly. “Do behind a counter, and then you 'll handle the you say it of your own knowledge ?" price of everything, as soon as you part with “ How should I know? I know how the talk it, your time in the bargain.”

goes.” “ There are plenty of our name who have “Oh, the talk! The talk is nothing; 'kintra stood behind counters, before me.”

clatter.'' “ I'm not denying it. There is a canny

chiel Dunsmuir had sunk in his scheme all that in every family, and there is one that sticks in he had put into it, save his children and two the lone minorities, and fights for his dream faithful friends; plain, poor people, staple prothough it may not fill his stomach. That is ducts of the older countries, proved by every our father, bless him! And I love him because form of discipline known to the new. Job Duthe is a mighty dreamer, and a prophet, and a ton was a transplanted New Englander from man of faith in more than his pickle money's the Western Reserve, the last foreman left on worth !"

the work from the sistings of years. Margaret, “ Dolly, his dream will destroy him. Don't his wife, had come to the cañon as nursemaid you know that we are beaten? We have been to Mrs. Dunsmuir's children. After the lady's beaten these ten years. Everybody knows it death there had been unfortunate insinuations, but ourselves. This location is ours only be conveyed in emotional letters — those unconcause no one is ready to take it from us." scious vessels of wrath - from her people in

“ You may say that no one is ready! It's Scotland to Dunsmuir, sore with his grief. not so easy to do a thing as to hinder other These he understood to intimate that his wife people. As for being beaten, I 'll believe it had been sacrificed to his scheme. Later the when I hear it from papa. Alan, lad, what family undertook to show him his duty to his hurts me is: here Mr. Price Norrisson has got children. Dunsmuir declined the interference, his son home from Europe to help him in his and refused to send his babies home; and so schemes, so Margaret says; and where is our the cañon kept them, and Margaret with them. father's son? Casting eyes on the winning side, The cañon was responsible for Margaret's marand crying that we are beaten!”

riage, and Job's further entanglement thereby “My father's son is here, thank you, staked with Dunsmuir’s fortunes: for Margaret would out in the sage-brush,” Alan retorted sulkily; not leave the children; the question was never " and I 'd like to know how much help Philip raised between husband and wife, and every Norrisson could give his father, now, if he 'd year they gave to the cañon life made it harder had my chances and no more.”

to break away. “Bless me! the chances you talk of cost Dunsmuir alone of the household knew its money, and I never yet heard of a son that full indebtedness to the cabin; and he fearlessly called himself injured because his father was accepted the obligation as one who is generous not so rich as some others. If our father can- himself and confident of his ability to straighten not afford to buy us our teaching he can give it the account. Nor is it likely he could escape lis, and more than we seem likely to‘get away from the inbred conviction that it must be a with,' as you say. By the time you are where privilege for persons of Margaret's class to be papa cannot help you, Alan, lad, I think there'll connected in service with persons of his own, be money enough to send you to school.” with or without remuneration. It is a sentiment

** Well, I wish you would n't • Alan, lad' me. that dies hard in the blood of those accustomed It 's well enough for Margaret, who has no- to be served, which many pleasing illusions and thing but the Scotch ; but ladies--"

traditions help to keep alive, even in new coun* Yes; Margaret would smile to hear you talk tries, where it is imported under conditions often of ladies- that nursed you on her knees and curiously the reverse of feudal. taught you to spell the word. It was when you As the master's income was eaten up by the tot beyond Margaret's teaching that you went scheme, sacrifices had to be made, and as a to learn English of the cowboys, I dare say." matter of course it was the women who made

The morning sun was creeping up the wall them, and thought little of it. Since Dolly had of the south corridor; it chased Alan out of the gained her growth she had been dressed in the harnmock to the step by Dolly's side. simplest of her mother's gowns, made over to

Having come to a knotty place in his Ovid, fit her transatlantic slenderness; the grand ones h» was not above asking help of his sister. were locked away, up-stairs, in sweet-scented Dolly brushed back the locks of cobweb fine- towels, and layers and stuffings of tissue-paper,


first labels, went out to seek her father to bid him good-
20! the fall night.
set. It

A soft but mighty wind was blowing under sieel that the bright stars that sparkled in the dark, cloudne'i wore less heavens asif a snapping frost cleared the air.

thanked A November night to look at — the blanched at land, crispness on the blasted grass, the sharp dartle as never of the stars — but the gale blew out of the warm asshed the southwest. Dolly took it full on her bare throat

the winds and welcomed it, and lifted her arms to feel it Hanes. But stroke them where her thin sleeves slipped back. cock coffee at Behind her a great, co-radiant light spread up

mons, with ward from the bluffs, announcing the majesty

- which time of the moon. All the way she went, along Rowen midnight and the pallid drifts of sand, to find her father. He

* Y. electric nights might, and generally did, accept her good-night Tilki - and his pipe kiss mechanically, but he would miss it, she * "igrant, always, of knew, should it fail to come. She found him

w not how to econo. in a little cove, where the shrunken brook came W not young enough down over the stones with a monotonous, vapid

Pacat he could have gone murmur. He lay in a trough of the sand, lisme ve complained. He tening to the mingled tale of waters,“ like a sick SVIH Margaret sternly re- man counting his own pulse,” thought Dolly ;

arments which he had and as she looked she felt a very mother to him. 1. pin Job; he put them "Good night, papa dear," she chanted, while

them in a spirit of manly yet she was a little way off; she knew he never of that is beyond his knowledge, liked to be surprised in his silent fits. Instead Lorraine Wargaret counted the silk of answering, he sat up, opened one wing of here spared him as if they his sand-cloak, and signed to her to sit beside

RY{U's, and his shirts and socks him. tinat was miraculous to Duns- “What is Alan's business down the trail this

loked to trace their history time of night?” he asked her. hoidulis tension of darns. Had it “He went with the newspapers for the men.

hard wear on his clothes Mar- I forgot to give them to Margaret.” sunade her have seen him “howkin' “ Is there any need of his staying so ?” atbilside with the men, than wear

“Oh, they just delight to have him; and it's Din bildt over such toys as he mostly Saturday night.” Pue withal.

“He's keeping them out of their beds. But Walttient the coats that cover them, how should he know, that never did a day's Weddin's heart was yet strong in hope. work in his life, when bedtime comes to a man

zielarning inertia of his life, the long who 's been up since five ?
16.0dp'p'omtment, was beginning to tell " It's not quite altogether Alan's fault, is it,

This temper was giving; he was papa, that he has not enough to do ?” Dolly ad making time; the dry summers bred offered.

utover that wasted his flesh, and Dunsmuir kicked the plaid from his feet. this pulse, and kept him thrashing “ Not enough to do? Where are his books? webuabaddat night; and the river's mount- He has enough to do there, I think. But no; ang burne past his window on the gulch the book of the range is Alan's study, with a Hude the echoes of all the sorrows he had cowboy for his tutor. He'd sooner be able to .

pick up his hat from the ground at a gallop, inwight, as usual, Dolly prepared her fa- than take a stool in the first engineering house Lolnity for his bedtime refreshment. Its place in London." In the corner-table by the cupboard in his “ I did not know there was any such place

Margaret never broke anything, and the waiting for him,” said Dolly, with deep sim

cut glass tumbler Dunsmuir had mixed plicity. mikulely in, the first summer in the cañon, was “ And if there was he is not fit for it. Let

II the one he used. Then she looked into him first do well, or fairly well, at home. Where's i cupboard to see if the Wedgwood biscuit- the responsibility he has been tried with that he rii needed replenishing; screwed down the has n't refused, from fetching the wood for my juntrifle, secured the flapping bamboo office-fire, which he never did faithfully for one

gainst gusts and night insects, and week at a time! No, I will not take shame to

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myself; child or parent, each must dree his fore. About every third year, as far back as ain weird.' The cañon has not hurt my girl.” her young remembrance went, the scheme had

Dunsmuir drew his daughter to him with culminated, and always at this season, which an absent-minded caress. His loquacity sat was also the anniversary of the family's greatstrangely on him, for as a rule he was a silent est sorrow. Dunsmuir's hopes had risen with man in his thoughts. She shrank from being a the floods and waned as the river sank in its party to this discussion of her brother's faults, bed. The strain of these summers had been and after a little she ventured to change the followed by dumb, dogged winters spent besubject.

tween the study and the “quarter-deck," as the What does Margaret mean when she talks children called the long, windy portico facing of your saving their homestead ? How saved the river, where their father walked out his

moods alone. Every day he would tramp down " I never saved their land. Good faith! It's to the cabin to “count the force," as he said ; little they've ever saved through me.” “ the force” consisting of Job and three men

"Well, you did something. It was something more. By spring he would come out of himabout taxes, by Margaret's way of it.”

self, white and worn; sort his garden-seeds, * Taxes, to be sure. Why, Job missed his trim his rosebushes, and drive a little harder reckoning, somehow, and the taxes went by with the lessons, a sign by which the children default. They've a curious, inconsequent way, knew when there was an inward rising to be here, of collecting them. The claim was ad- quelled. Debarred of his own work the man vertised in process of law, but Job did not see loved to see things move where he had power the newspaper. I happened by as the land was to make them. It was fortunate for Dolly that being cried at the court-house steps, and paid Alan balked at his lessons ;, she would have the tax, as any man would. They could have gone far beyond her strength to please her redeemed it afterward, had they been posted father; but she hung back not to exhibit too on the law; and I should have seen to that. great a distance between Alan and herself. Margaret's gratitude is the simplest thing about when it was dead low water with Dunsmuir's her."

hopes there was never a word said about the * It would seem she likes to think you saved scheme, and Margaret was as tender to him as it; she has it over and over. Latterly she is to a sick man under the doctor's sentence. always harping."

“At last !” he breathed, with the sigh of one “And do you know why? To spare your who feels the screws relax. He turned his face pride, should you come to know they are trust- toward the notch in the cañon wall, where the ing me for the best part of their wages, since light of the west looked in : two years. I have paid them as I could, a litde from time to time to keep the pot boiling,

“ Yes; hope may with my strong desire keep

pace, and they have scraped a little off their ranch,

And I be undeluded, unbetrayed." one way and another. But there 's where it is; Margaret will not have us beholden, so she “I dread to hear you speak it,” pleaded makes out there 's a debt on their side to off- Dolly. “If the door is open at last, let us set what we owe them.

creep through softly, and not boast we are “ It need not hurt you to know it now," free. I am afraid — ” Dunsmuir added gently, seeing that Dolly was Her father turned to look at her. “Ah!" more troubled even than she was touched by she cried, “ listen to that!” the ingenuity of Margaret's devotion. “These

The climbing waters broke with a crash on sore matters will soon be straightened. We'll the bar; the current, racing down, hurled them all get our pay before long. It's a pity, though, bodily through the sounding strait. Out of the since you speak of land, that Job took up his darkness and clamor came a small, cold, mockdesert section four years ago this summer, ing laugh, distinctly syllabled, but repeated on when, as I thought, the scheme was ripe. one note devoid of human expression. It was I ne land is forfeit now; nobody has touched like a cold touch laid upon the spine. it, but it will be covered with filings as soon as “Come, come, you hear the water clapping word gets out the canal is to go through. It in the breach. You 'll hear it any night when was by my advice he used his right. It is a the river is up, and the wind carries this way. fortune lost. And I dare say they never speak Do you think it is the kelpie? We are after of it, even to each other. They 're honest, none of her secrets." worthy folk. I'd like to see them get the “ But I hate it. Whatever it is, I wish it worth of their waiting. But what comes to would hush." one comes to all."

“ We will cry it hush, come high water anDolly listened, but without the expected en- other year. When the rise river heads into a thusiasm. She had heard such prophecies be- lake, and leans its breast against the scarp of

VOL. XLIV.- 28.

the dam, you will hear no more of the water's her, and kissed her hard. Dolly laughed, with gecking. The kelpie 'll be closed out, and so the tears in her eyes. They went up the hill will the wearifu' crew of cacklers that cry together, she with her arm under her father's, • Crank!' and · Dreamer !' when a man is do- trying to keep step with his long, unheeding ing his best, and mostly failing at it. There, we stride. On the crest the wind caught them. will not speak of it. The worst of a long, slow Dunsmuir opened his plaid and folded Dolly fight is the bitterness it breeds."

in it; the rowdy blast strained it tight. At the His thoughts must have crowded hard upon study door he took her by the pinioned arms him, for he checked himself, like one who feels and lifted her over the sill, setting her down that he has spoken overmuch. He took his again with a mighty hug. He was gay as a daughter's hand and passed it gently over his boy. Dolly trembled for him, he seemed so face; from the steep forehead over the bony exaltedly, perilously secure. brow and sunken eyelid, down the cheek and “ Well, what is it?” he asked presently, seeover his mouth, breathing its softness as one ing that she hung about his room, looking as inhales the cool virtue of a rose.

if she had something still on her mind. “As Tears gathered in Dolly's eyes. She made well out with it now as any time.” no secret of wiping them away. She loosened “Would you mind showing me the letter? the beads that clung to her warm neck and I 'd like so much to see the very words.” choked her.

Dunsmuir smiled in the negative. “I have " Why do you cry, Dolly? I should be glad no right to show you a letter which relates to to see you take good news more simply. It other people's business," he said. “And you comes late for some of us, but not for you and would not understand the half of it. One thing Alan. Can you not believe it ?”

I may tell you; there will be no expert exam" I believe it, father, but I do not see it nor ination of the scheme. They have looked up feel it yet.”

my record, and are satisfied that I am compe" That is quite natural. Well, shall we go tent to pronounce on it, and that nothing will up now ? See, the moon has swung out like be misrepresented.” a great ship from port; her course lies clear “ You will like to work for those people!” before her. God knows I am thankful this said Dolly, beaming. “ And has no one ever work is to be finished. I have been cruelly come to look at the scheme?” hampered in it."

“Several people; before you could remem“ I knew it was for the work,” said Dolly, ber, perhaps.” proudly. “ Some have said it was for a great “Why was it nothing came of those visits ? " fortune you have stayed here so long."

“Oye of little faith! Generally speaking, * Eh, you

think your father should be above a sinister little cloud has appeared, no bigger such toys as fortune-seeking? Well, there you than a man's hand, the hand of Price Norare grandly mistaken. I am no philanthropist, risson — may the Lord find better work for and I am a man that needs money. But what him than meddling with me! I have said I matters a reason here or there ?- romance it would never forgive him till he stood out of as you will. The man himself is his own best my sunlight. But these are not matters for you reason for what he does; and when the thing to take to bed with you. Remember, there succeeds, all can see why he was bent on do- comes a time when the best word is the word ing it.”

to hold by.” " And if it fail?”

Betwixt happiness and doubt Dolly lay awake “ There is no such word, my dear. Good long, and heard Alan's feet, about eleven work can wait; it never fails.”

o'clock, pounding on the sod past her bedroom Dolly sighed tremulously. “I wish you would window. At the same moment, from over the tell me why you have waited all these years. gulch, came Modoc's short, excited neigh — It could not have been just for money.” his call to Alan when his blood was up. It was

" Why have I waited ? ” he mused, with not likely that Alan had been all this while head erect and dreamy eye. " He that sees us at the cabin, thought Dolly; the conviction as we are, our prideful mistakes and pitiful vic- startled her that he had been racing over the tories, kens why, and at what cost."

hills on Modoc, reckless of his father's express “ May I ask you just this ? " the girl per- conditions. Alan tried one and another of the sisted; " would you have kept on just the rear doors; all were closed for the night. He same had you known — "

then went around the house, quietly, to the front “ Ask me nothing! I gave up thinking years door; Dolly heard her father's voice in sharp ago. I put my hand to the plow; the share cut tones of challenge and inquiry, followed by deep, the furrow was long, and we are nearing Alan's low, sullen replies. the end of it. May God prosper the harvest !” She sat up in bed and rocked herself to and

He took her by the shoulders, and shook fro, in misery for them both.

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