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fSy t)\t Autkor of 

"Reo as a Rose is ^he 








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AUG I 6 

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Part II. — continued. 








Part III. 




IV. WHAT JEMIMA SAYS . . . 1 86 
V. WHAT JEMIMA SAYS . . . 200 


iv Contents. 





X. WHAT JEMIMA SAYS . . . 283 




PART 11.— contimced. 



R. SCROPE returns to the draw- 
ing-room, as he left it, alone. 
As he enters, we both look up 
and smile, as one does smile with va^ue 
complacency at the sight of anything 
young and specially comely. 

'' Did you find her ?" I ask, as I kneel 
before the fire, giving it a vigorous and 
searching poke, for his benefit. 

" Yes." 


" Good-bye, S^vcctheart /" 

He says merely this — almost the shortest 
of all monosyllables ; but there is some- 
thing in the tone in which he says it that 
makes me pause, poker in hand, from my 
noisy toil, to examine him more narrowly. 

" You have been quarrelling, as usual, 
I suppose ?" I say, with a wily attempt to 
come at the matter of their conversation 
without seeming too indecently curious. 

*' Lenore always quarrels with every- 
body," says Sylvia patting the pug's fat 
stomach, as he lies on his back, with his 
eyes rolling awfully and a bit of rosy 
tongue showing between his black lips, in 
a state of Sybaritic enjoyment on her lap. 
" I tell her it is her way of flirting. She 
always maintains that she cannot flirt — 
does not know how ; but of course that is 
nonsense, I suppose we can all do a little 
in that way, if we try?' — holding her 
smooth head rather on one .>ide, and look- 
ing arch. 

What Jemima Says. 

'' Has she been saying anything un- 
usually exasperating ?" I ask, as, under 
my successful labours, the frosty fire spires 
and races upwards. " Never mind if she 
has ; she is not in very good tune just 
now, poor soul, and one can hardly wonder 
at it." 

While he speaks, Mr. Scrope has been 
stalking up and down in a fidgety way, 
making the boards creak. At my words 
he stops, and says abruptly, '' Why ?" 

" Have not you heard ? Oh, of course 
not ! Stupid of me ! She would not be 
likely to mention it herself — it is not a 
very pleasant subject to talk about — but 
her engagement is all off, and she is natur- 
ally rather low about it." 

" She is not in the least low ; I never 
saw her in better spirits in my life," says 
Scrope, with a brusqueness that amounts 
to incivility ; and having delivered himself 

''Good-bye, Sweetheart T 

of this speech, he marches off to the Avin- 
dow and turns his back to us. 

'' It must h^ yo2Lr coming, then, that has 
cheered her," says Sylvia, laughing lacka- 
daisically ; " and indeed to tell you the 
truth, at the risk of making you atrociously 
conceited, I must say / doiit zvonder at it. 
It is a shockingly fast sentiment, I sup- 
pose, but there is something in the timbre 
of a man's voice that quite invigorates me ; 
I suppose it is always having been so 
much used to men's society. I get on 
with them so much better than with 
women ; / understand them, and they 
understand me'' 

'' Have you had any talk with her ?" I 
ask, rising precipitately, and following him 
to the embrasure of the window, perfectly 
heedless of the fact that my sister is com- 
fortably mounted on her pet hobby — self, 
and is cantering complacently away on 
him. " Did she say anything to you ?" 

What yeminia Says. 

*' Listen !" he says, putting a hand on 
each of my shoulders, quite unconscious of 
the familiarity of the action — and indeed 
they might be posts for all he knows about 
them — and looking me redly and triumph- 
antly in the face. " She has been saying 
tJiis to me : ' I will marry you as soon as 
you like I' " 

'' WHAT !!!!!!" Six marks of ad- 
miration but poorly render the expression 
I throw into this innocent monosyllable. 
I feel my face becoming a series of round 
Os — astonishment stretching and opening 
every feature beyond its natural destiny. 

" Why do you keep staring at me ?'* 
says the young man, petulantly, giving me 
a little shake; ''why do you stand with 
your mouth wide open ? Why should not 
I marry ? What is there to prevent me ? 
Does not everybody do it? What is there 
so very surprising in it ?" 

Still I maintain an absolute silence ; his 

" Good-bye, Szvccthcart /" 

hands have dropped from my shoulders, 
but I still stand before him, like a block of 
stupid stone. Neither does Sylvia speak ; 
she is affecting to blow her nose, and has 
covered the more part of her face with her 
pocket-handkerchief; what yet remains is 
excessively red. For once her hobby- 
horse has given her a nasty fall. 

"Why do you stare at me like a wild 
beast ?" cries Scrope angrily. " Is this 
the way you always take a piece of news? 
Pleasant for the person who tells you, if it 
is. If I had told you that she had just 
fallen down dead in the next room you 
could not look at me with greater dis- 

I cannot contradict it. Sputtering and 
breathless, I still face him, trying hard to 
speak ; but in all the wide range of good, 
noble, and useful v/ords that the English 
tongue affords, I can find not one that 
suits the present crisis. 

What Jemima Says.. 

'' Why don't you say something f" says 
the young man, with cheeks on fire and 
lightning eye. '' The most disagreeable 
sentence you could invent would be better 
than this. Oh, come ! I cannot stand it 
any longer — to be stared at by two per- 
fectly silent women with their mouths 
open; it would make" — laughing fiercely 
— " it would make the bravest man in 
Europe run like a hare 1" 

He turns quickly to the door as he 
speaks. Then I find my tongue ; its 
hinges are not well oiled, and it does not 
run smoothly, but it goes somehow. I 
catch hold of his arm or his coat tail — I 
am not quite sure which, in my excitement. 
-"Stop, stop!" I cry, incoherently ; "don't 
be cross ! — I mean to say something — I am 
going to say something — but — but — you 
take my breath away ! It is so sudden — so 
unnaturally sudden !" 

" Unnaturally f " repeats he, tartly ; the 

" Good-bye^ Sweethea^^t /'* 

painful consciousness that I have hit upon 
the joints of his harness making him de- 
fend the weak part with all the greater 
acrimony. " Why nniiattn^alfy, pray ? If 
it does not seem too sudden to her or to 
me, I do not see why it need appear so to 
any one else." 

" But — but — are you sure you are not 
mistaken ?" I say, disbelievingly, mindful 
of the tear-swollen desperate face I had 
seen lying among its tossed hair on my 
sister's bed-room floor ; " are you quite 
sure she said those words ? She is an odd 
girl — Lenore — very odd, and sometimes 
she has a random Vv^ay of talking ; I do not 
think she quite knows always what she is 

" Thank you," replies he, bowing, form- 
ally, though his face flames. " You are — 
if not polite — at least candid. I under- 
stand. A woman must be slightly de- 
ranged to consent to be my wife T' 

What yernuna Says. 

My wits are still too far out wool- 
gathering for me to be able to summon 
them back to compose some civil explana- 
tion and apology. 

" You disbelieve me still ?" cries my 
future brother-in-law, greatly exasperated 
by my silence. " All right ! do — it does 
me no harm ; but if it should happen to 
strike you at any time that I may, by 
accident, be speaking truth, you have only 
to send for Lenore, and ask her." 

" Poor dear Lenore 1" says Sylvia, 
speaking for the first time, and smiling, 
sweetly. " She has not been long in con- 
soling herself, has she ? I am quite glad." 

Mrs. Prodgers has finished blowing her 
nose, and her face has laid aside its tran- 
sient redness, but she now holds her head 
quite straight, nor does she look at all 
arch. " You know, Jemima, if you remem- 
ber, you laughed at me — -but I always 
maintained that Paul Le Mesurier did not 

lo " Good-bye, Szvccthcart f 

care two straws about her. I am sure I am 
the last person to pretend to unusual clear- 
sightedness, but one has one's instincts !" 

"It is sudden, of course !" burst out 
Scrope, boyishly, not paying any attention 
to my sister, but looking straight and de- 
fiantly at me. " What is the good of tell- 
me that ? How can I help it ? Tell me 
that January is colder than July — I know 
it is ; but it is not my fault. If I had had 
my way it would not have been sudden — it 
would have happened full six months ago. 
No one ought to know that better than 

'' Ought I ?" say I vaguely. " I dare 
say — but to tell you the truth — so many 
incoherences about Lenore — her eyes, her 
ankles, and her inhumanities — have been 
poured into my ears, that I get them mud- 
dled together ; I cannot, at a moment's 
notice, assign to each lover his own several 

What Jemima Says. 1 1 

" You are spiteful," replies the young 
fellow, laughing a little, but looking 
offended. " If I had known how little you 
were listening to me I would not have 
talked to you about her." 

" Poorest, dearest Lenore !" repeats 
Sylvia, smiling a little patronisingly. 
'' Quite the dearest thing in the world, 
and, mercifully for her, incapable of fret- 
ting much about anything or anybody. 
What a gift ! — if she could but give one 
the receipt" — sighing and pensively pass- 
ing through her fmgers the beads of a 
great jet rope, that she wears round her 

" Jemima !" says Scrope, impulsively, 
putting his hand again fraternally on my 
shoulder. ''I do not suppose that they 
will do me any good — not a barleycorn ; 
but still I have a morbid desire for your 
good wishes ; they will be tardy and lugu- 
brious, I am aware, but such as they are, 

12 " Good-bye, Sweetheart /" 

give them me. If/" (reproachfully) " had 
heard that you were going to be married I 
should not have been so slow or so dismal 
in offering mine." 

'' That is a very safe position," reply I, 
drily ; ''if you had seen me flying towards 
the moon you would have complimented 
me on the ease and grace with which I 
flapped my wings. I do wish you good 
luck — there ! — but whether you will get it 
or not is another matter." 

" But — but- — you — -think that it will 
be ?" says Scrope, with his whole eager 
heart in his voice. "Now that you have 
shut your mouth, and that your eyes no 
longer look as if they were falling out of 
your head, and that you can talk rationally 
• — you believe it ?" 

" Upon my honour I cannot say," reply 
I, laughing uncomfortably, '^ Lenore, as 
Sylvia truly observed just now, is quite the 
dearest thin<^ in the world, but sometimes 

What yemima Says. 


she goes round and round, like the sails of 
a windmill. I have a good mind to go and 
ask her myself." So I go. 



P and down, up and down, up 
and down, with her hands be- 
hind her back, I find her 
marching in the ordered sohtude of her 
■own room, as I had expected. 

" Good heavens !" say I, entering, with 
my shoulders raised nearly to my ears, and 
my hands spread out. 

She stops in her persevering trudge, 
looks me coolly over, and says, 
'' Aj>res r 
I throw my eyes up to the ceiling, and 

What Jeinima Says. 1 5 

shake my head several times, but words 
utter I none. 

'' You have heard, I suppose," she says 
quietly. '' I see he is running all over the 
house hctton-holiiig everybody, as the An- 
cient Mariner did the Wedding Guest. I 
hope he has told Morris, and William, and 
Frederic — it would be a sad oversight if he 
has not." 

"It is true, then ?" I say, gasping. 
" When he told me I would not believe it 
— I said so — I said I would ask you my- 

" You might have saved yourself the 
trouble of the journey upstairs," replies she, 
calmly, "but as you are not ' fat and scant 
of breath,' like Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, 
I suppose it does not matter much." 

" Good heavens !" say I, for the second 

" Try a new ejaculation," suggests my 
sister, smiling ; " I am tired of that one." 

1 6 " Good-b) 'e, Sivcdheart ! ' ' 

'' And — and — and your reason ?'' 

" Reason f repeats she, laughing rather 
harshly. " What extraordinary questions 
you do ask ! Is not it on the sur- 
face ? I am in love, to be sure — deeply in 

I am on the verge of being delivered of 
a third, " Good heavens !" but, recollecting 
myself, suppress it. 

" If you remember, you did not approve 
of my first choice," says Lenore, with a 
bitter smile ; '' are you any better pleased 
with my second ?" 

" Much better," I answer emphatically ; 
"far better — only it is horribly and indecently 
sudden — that is all !" 


" As for the other," I continue, *' you are 
right. I never could understand what you 
saw in him : a long nose, a yard of scarlet 
beard, and a sulky temper, seemed to me 
his whole stock-in-trade." 

What Jemima Says. 1 7 

For one second her eyes flash with a 
furious pain, then grow quiet. 

" Exactly," she says, composedly. '' Now 
in the case of the present nose there is 
nothing to be desired, is there ? — nice and 
short, and runs straight down the middle 
of his face, without deviating a hair's 
breadth to right or left ; such nice curls, too, 
all over his head, as if they were put in 
curl papers every night — and such dear 
litde teeth !" 

" For shame !" cry I, indignantly ; "" you 
are describing a doll. Lenore ! Lenore ! 
what are you made of ? Beauty and love 
are thrown away upon you, and you have 
a perverted taste for ugliness and indiffer- 

She shrugs her shoulders. 

" One may abuse one's own property, I 
suppose. If you remember he is my doll 
now — curls and dear little teeth and all !" 

I turn away, pained and disgusted. 

VOL. HI. 2 

1 8 " Good-bye, Sweetheart T 

'' Stay," she says, laying her hand on 
mine ; " do not be cross. I am serious — 
look at me ! I am sure I do not feel as if 
there were a joke to be got out of the whole 
of me." 

I look at her, as she tells me — look with 
uncomfortable misgivings at the bright 
beauty that has prospered her so little : her 
cheeks are crimson, and the hand which 
holds mine burns, burns. 

'* Attend to me," she says imploringly. 
'' I am vejy much in earnest. I have done 
better this time, have not I ? I have been 
more wise at last ?" 

I shake my head. '' How can I 
say : 

'' This one is much more suitable to me, 
is not he ? I — I " (laughing feverishly) " I 
begin to think that I did not care really for 
the other so much after all ; it was only 
fa7icy — it was only my perversity. I 
wanted to get him because I thought no- 

What yeminia Says, 19 

body else could. I — I was not really fond 
of him, was I ?" 

She looks with a sort of wild wistfulness 
into my face for confirmation of her words, 
but I do not think she finds any. 

'' He is much more suitable to me," she 
repeats vaguely, as if trying to convince 
herself by iteration ; " much more in every 
respect. So much better-looking." 

" Immeasurably," say I emphatically ; 
" not that I see what that has got to say to 

" And better off," she continues, still 
holding and unconsciously pressing my 
hand with her hot dry fingers. " We 
should have been miserably poor, Paul and 
I — miserably ; and I hate poverty ; I hate 
trying to make both ends meet. They 
will meet now and lap over without any 
difficulty, will not they ?" 

" I imagine so." 

" And in age, too," she goes on eagerly, 

2 — 2 

20 " Good-bye^ Sweet heai^t /" 

" we are far better fitted ; Is It not so ? 
Paul was old — older than his age even — 
old in himself." 

"He might well have been your father," 
I say, laughing vindictively, " except that 
no one would have accused you of emanat- 
ing from so hard-featured a stock." 

" No," she says, not in the least attend- 
ing to my sarcasm, " of course not ; alto- 
gether, you see," smiling mechanically — 
"altogether you see, Jemima, It is all for 
the best. I am nearly qidte convinced of 
it now, and of course I shall grow more 
and more convinced every day, shall not 
I ?" — looking at me with imploring inquiry. 

I make no response, and we both lapse 
into silence — a silence spent by Lenore In 
wandering aimlessly about, pulling the 
blinds up and down, disarranging the few 
wintry flowers In the vase on the toilet 
table, altering the furniture. At last she 
speaks with sudden abruptness : 

What Jemmia Says. 21 

" It is to be soon — very soon !" 

''He Is wise there, I think," I answer, 
following her doubtfully about with my 
eyes. '' Poor boy, he has not studied you 
for the last six months to no purpose ; he 
knows what a weathercock you are, and 
is bent on making sure of you while you 
are in the vein. Who can tell when the 
wind may change ?" 

" You are mistaken," she says, quickly, 
'' it was not his idea at all ; it was i7iy sug- 
gestion. I suppose " (laughing with the 
same forced and hollow sound that had 
before pained me)—" I suppose it is the 
first instance on record of such a proposi- 
tion emanating from the lady, but it was. 
Yes, you may look as if you were going to 
eat me — I cannot help that — It zvas /" 

'' Good heavens !" repeat I, devoutly, 
lapsing unintentionally, for the third time, 
into my favourite ejaculation. 

" Yes, soon — very soon !" she says, half 

2 2 " Good- by 'e, Sweet he a rt ! ' ' 

to herself, pulling her rings on and off, 
lacing her fingers together and then again 
unlacing them ; " and we will have a very 
smart wedding — very ! I hate sneaking 
to church with only the clerk and the 
beadle, as if one were ashamed of oneself. 
We will have all the neighbours, and men 
down from Gunter's, and a ball." 

I stare distrustfully at her : her eyes are 
sparkling like diamonds at night, the splen- 
did carnation that fever gives j^aints her 

" And you will have it put in all the 
papers," she says, laughing restlessly ; " all 
of them — you must not forget — a fine long 
flourishing paragraph — do you niind ? — in 
<2// of them." 

" What an extraordinary thing to give a 
thought to !" I say, suspiciously. "If 
you had two columns of the Times devoted 
to you, how much good would it do you ?" 

''Good? Oh, none at all; but it is 

What Jemima Says, 

amusing. Flowers of newspaper elo- 
quence are always entertaining, don't you 
know ? And one likes one's friends — one's 
friends at a distance — to know what is 
happening to one." 

A light begins to break upon me, but It 
is such an unpleasant one that for the 
moment I ask no more questions. A 
pause. There are so many things — true, 
yet eminently disagreeable — to be said, 
that I hesitate which to begin upon. 
Lenore presently saves me the trouble. 

" If — If — he were to see me now," she 
says, sitting down at my feet, and smiling 
excitedly up at me, " he could not think I 
was pining much for him, could he ?" 

The unpleasant light grows clearer. 

'' When he sees the account of my wed- 
ding In the papers — so soon — so Imme- 
diately — such a brilliant marriage, too ; I 
am so glad it Is a good one — he will 
realise " (laughing Ironically) *' how irre- 

24 '' Good-bye, Siueetheart P' 

parable an injury his desertion has inflicted 
on me, will not he ?" 

''Is it possible?'' say I, with shocked 
emphasis. '' I suspected it when you 
beean to talk to me ; I am sure of it now. 
Lenore ! Lenore ! you are going to be 
madder than all Bedlam and Han well 
together !" 

*' I am — am I ?" speaking with listless 
inattention to my words, and still pursuing 
her own thoughts. 

" Marrying one man to pique another 
always seemed to me the most thorough 
' pulling your nose to vex your face,' " I 
continue, in great heat. 

No remark, no comment on my homely 

'' Suppose he does hear of your mar- 
riage ; suppose he does read every para- 
graph in all the papers about it ; suppose 
he reads that you had twelve bridesmaids, 
and that you went off in a coach-and-six, 

What Jemima Says. 25 

how much the worse will he be, or how 
much the better you ?" 

Still no answer ; but she listens. 

''He will feel a little stab of pain, per- 
haps — of mortified vanity, more likely ; but 
it will be a very little one, not big enough 
to spoil his dinner (he likes his dinner) ; 
while you, my poor soul, where will you 
be ?" 

She has been lying with her head in my 
lap ; at these last words she snatches it 
hurriedly up. 

" What do you mean ?" she cries, in a 
fury. "How dare you pity me ? I am 
not a ' poor soul.' I am a very fortunate 
person— -very much to be envied. Hun- 
dreds of people would change places with 
me ; so would you, if you could." 

'' Hm ! I don't know." 

A pause. 

'' Lenore," say I, earnestly, putting my 
hand under her chin, and lifting her un- 

26 " Good-bye, Szucethea rt ! ' ' 

willing face towards mine, " listen to me, 
for I am talking sense. I never had a 
husband, which is more my misfortune 
than my fault, but all the same I know 
what I am about. If you marry Charlie 
now you will like him at last ; I am sure 
of that. I do not believe in the most per- 
versely faithful woman alzuays hating, 
always having a distaste for a handsome, 
manly, loving husband. Yes, you will end 
by liking him even better than he does 
you. It is always the way. But you will 
have to go through purgatory first ; and, 
what is more unfair, you will have to drag 
him through too, poor boy !" 

" Bah !" she says, with a scornful laugh ; 
''it is nothing when you are used to it. If 
I have not been there, I am sure I do not 
know where I have been, ever since that 
accursed ball. Shall I ever again hear 
those detestable fiddles squeaking, and 
those vile wind instruments blowing and 

What yemwia Says. . 27 

blarincr without or-olne mad ? I doubt It — 
I doubt It !" — putting her hands wildly to 
her ears, as If to shut out sounds of utter 
pain and horror. 

" You rather dislike him than other- 
wise now," pursue I, pushing my advan- 
tage ; '' you are always better pleased to 
see him leave a room than enter It ; well, 
before your wedding tour Is over, you 
will abhor him. It requires an Immense 
stock of love at starting to support the dead 
sweet monotony of a honeymoon." 

She shudders. 
. '' My dear child," I cry, with affectionate 
emphasis, '' think better of It ; If you miist 
marry him — poor dear Charlie, I avi sorry 
for him — ^^at least put It off for six months ; 
let us have a little time to breathe. If you 
will reflect a moment I think you will see, 
that to be handed on from one man to 
another within a week Is hardly ladylike, 
hardly modest f 

28 ''Good-bye^ Szueeiheart !'' 

At the last word the deep red on her 
cheeks grows yet deeper ; but by the hard 
defiant smile that curves her lips I know 
that I might as well have spoken to the 
winter wind that is howling and gnashing 
its angry teeth outside. 

''Jemima," she says calmly, "as I once 
before observed to you, you will never 
make your fortune in the pulpit ; your sen- 
timents are first-rate, but they make one 
drowsy. See, I am yawning, myself. As 
to modesty that is neither here nor there ; 
you dragged in the word by the head and 
shoulders to prop your argument. As to 
ladylike, it is a matter of the most perfect 
indifference to me whether I am or 

To this I say nothing. I only walk 
away to the window. 

" Do not dissuade me," she cries, falling 
from defiance to a tone of almost nervous 
entreaty, as she stands before me, twisting 

What ye^ninia Says. 29 

her hands. " Let me marry him in peace. 
Your httle cut-and-dried saws are very 
neatly cut, very accurately dried, but they 
do not Jit ; you mean well, but one knows 
one's self best." 


'' Do you think," she continues, with irrit- 
able impatience, " that I can go on now in 
the old groove — the old groove that I kept 
so contentedly to before — before the earth 
opened and swallowed all I had ?" 

No answer. 

" Can I go on," she pursues, with deep- 
ening agitation, " watching you drop the 
stitches in your knitting — listening to 
Sylvia's weak cackle — hearing those awful 
children plunging and bellowing about ? 
Do you know, Jemima, for the last few 
days, every time they have come blunder- 
ing and shrieking into the room, I have 
felt inclined to scream out loud ? I have 
not done it, because you would have put 

30 " Good-dye, SzueetJiea7^t /" 

me Into a madhouse if I had ; but all the 
same, I have felt the inclination." 

I shake my head despondently. 

*' If he marries me," she says, her eyes 
wandering restlessly about, and speaking 
quickly and excitedly, " he will take me 
away to beautiful places, away from all the 
dreadful old things and people. It will be 
delightful^ — delightful ! I shall begin all 
over again — my life over again ! He will 
take me where there are no children— no 
Sylvias — no Jemimas — no self. Yes" 
(laughing uneasily), " I mean to leave my- 
self behind. I mean to be a new, fresh 
person — a happy, prosperous person. I 
wish to be happy — I am determined to be 
happy. Jemima" (entreatingly) "for God's 
sake, do not hinder me !" 







^sSC ^^^^~^_ 

" ^^ 



O one can keep their mouth open 
for ever — not^ even Jemima 
Herrick — they 7nti^st shut it at 
last. Mostly they shut it very soon. 
No passion is so shortlived as astonish- 
ment. '' A nine days' wonder " is a hyper- 
bolical expression. Who ever wondered 
at the awfullest murder, the most startling 
esclandre, the most unlooked-for turn of 
Fortune's quick wheel, during nine whole 
days ? If walking on your head were to 
come into fashion, within three days it 
would excite no surprise to see people 

32 ''Good-bye, Siucctheart T 

pounding along the pavement on their hats 
and bonnets, with their boots in the 
air. The neighbourhood has been In- 
formed of Lenore's transfer from one 
lover to the other, and its " Ohs " and 
" Ahs," and headshakings thereon are over 
and done with. After all, they have been 
fewer than might have been expected ; peo- 
ple had so long made up their minds that 
Scrope was the right man, that few of them 
had arrived at the knowledge that he was 
the wrong one, before they were officially 
Informed that he was the right one again. 
He has always been seen about with her ; 
he is evidently her fittest mate in youth 
and comeliness ; in this case all the sym- 
pathy goes with the successful lover. Does 
not he ride as straight as a die ? Is not he 
as handsome as paint ? Do not we know 
all his antecedents ? Does not his property 
lie, does not his ugly old red abbey stand, 
In this our county ? Paul, unknown, plain, 

What the Atithoi' Says. 33 

and saturnine, commands neither good 
wishes nor regrets. It has been announced 
that the engagement was dissolved by 
mutual consent — a course always adopted 
by the friends of the lady when the gentle- 
man cries off Lenore, however, is no 
party to this deception. Everybody's pre- 
sents have been returned to them, and 
again sent back. On the principle of " To 
him that hath shall be given," the rich Mrs. 
Scrope's wedding gifts are threefold greater 
and more numerous than those of the poor 
Mrs. Le Mesurier. On hearing of the 
change in her fortunes — if not for the bet- 
ter, at least for the more consequential — 
the Websters supplement their portly tea- 
pot with a cream-jug and sugar-basin to 
match. And Lenore, when she sees the 
teapot come back — the teapot out of which 
she was to have poured Paul's tea, in the 
little narrow house they had planned — she 
laughs violently. 

VOL. III. % 

34 " Good-bye, Sweetheart /" 

'' Do not let them send me any new con- 
gratulations — any of them," she says, dryly; 
'' tell them the old ones will do ; they need 
only alter the initials, as I am doing with 
my pocket-handkerchiefs." 

Scrope has no father, and Lenore no 
money, which two facts greatly facilitate 
the law arrangements. Whether indecently 
soon or not, the wedding day is drawing 
on. Lenore has thrown herself into the 
business of tronsseaiL buying with an ardour 
more than feminine — with the artistic frenzy 
of a Frenchwoman, of a petite maitresse 

'' Finery always ivas my snare," she says, 
laughing. " I loved even my cotton gowns 
and gingham umbrellas tenderly, but now 
— if being married, entails such a saturnalia 
of fine clothes, I should like to have a 
wedding every year." 

Lenore is very lively ; she runs about 
the house all day singing ; she walks, she 

What the Author Says. 

rides, she plays billiards ; she studies 
' Murray ' and ' Bradshaw ' with avidity, 
making out routes to the ends of the earth ; 
but she never sits still. Her cheeks are 
rosy red, and her eyes sparkle and glitter 
like beautifullest great sapphires. 

" You are quite the most eager bride I 
ever saw," Sylvia says one day, with a 
doubtful compliment. " Poor Charlie toils 
after you in vain. / always imagined that 
impatience was the monopoly of the gentle- 
man ; I am sure " (sighing and looking 
down) " it w^as so in my case. I thought 
the days raced by — positively raced; if you 
remember, Jemima, I said so to you at the 
time ?" 

" Did you .^ I dare say." 

'' Now Lenore, on the contrary, seems 
anxious to Jmrry them. Fancy !" casting 
up her eyes and hands to heaven. 

" I a7n anxious," says the girl, smiling 
rather wistfully. " I mean to be so happy 

36 " Good-bye, Sweetheart /" 

— I want to begin. I am sorry it is not 
en regie ; but I cannot help that. How 
many more clays are there ? One, two,, 
three, four, five — bah !" (taking up two par- 
cels that lie on the hall-table) " a couple 
more ivory prayer books ! Jemima, if there 
come any more prayer books you must 
send them back, and say that there is a 
glut of books of devotion." 

The wedding feast is to be gay and 
large ; the house to be crowded and 
crammed from attic to cellar, chiefly with 
Scrope's people : mother, unmarried sister, 
married sister and husband, uncles, un- 
married men-cousins. 

" A perfect horde of barbarians !" says 
Sylvia, complacently swimming into the 
drawing-room, on the afternoon of the day 
on which they are expected, her little figure 
very upright, head slightly thrown back, 
and bust protruded, as is her way when the 
war paint is on. " I have quite a good 

What the Author Says. 37 

mind to run away and hide myself in a 
scorner, and leave Tommy, as my deputy, 
to receive them. Will you, Tommy ? 
How amusing it would be, and how asto- 
nished they would look !" 

" One could hardly wonder at them," an- 
swers Jemima, dryly. Jemimas head and 
.bust are much as usual. 

" As long as I have Charlie beside me, 
I don't mind," continues Mrs. Prodgers, 
looking at herself over her left shoulder in 
the glass, in one of Silvy's strained and 
distorted attitudes ; '' he is my sheet 
anchor. Poor dear old Charlie !" (laugh- 
ing a little) "to think of his going to be 
one's brother ! It is too ridiculous !" 

It is the evening before the wedding ; 
the lit rooms are gaily alive with many 
guests ; not only those staying in the house, 
but also dinner guests. Many more are 
•expected ; some of them already uncloak- 
ing outside, for Sylvia has decreed a dance. 

38 '' Good-bye, Sweetheart P^ 

"We must have a band'' she has said, 
meditatively, when making the arrange- 
ments. " There is no use doinor a thino^ 
unless you do it well. Yes, a band ; they 
can go so nicely in the recess under the 

''It is dreary work pounding over a carpet, 
to the tune of a piano, supported onl}' by 
lemonade and negus," Jemima says. 

"When people come on a first visit," 
says Sylvia sapiently, " they always come 
to criticise. Did you notice how they all 
looked me over from top to toe, when they 
came in to- A2.y— placing me, as it were ? 
Well, I wish to be ^9/(9;/^ criticism." 

" Don't have a band," cries Lenore, 
hastily; "if you do, I shall go to bed — that 
is all. I warn you ! Those dreadful fiddles 
squeaking and shrieking, go right through 
my head. Have a piano, and I will pro- 
mise to play for you from now till the 
Judgment Day." 

What the AiUhoi" Says. 39 

So a piano it is. The dancing has not 
yet begun, but we all stand about in an un- 
settled way, that shows that something is 
imminent. Detachments of people are be- 
ing taken to be shown the wedding pre- 
sents. The hot red roses have to-night 
left Lenore's cheeks ; she is very white — 
deadly white, one would say ; only that it 
is a dishonour to the warm, milk whiteness 
of living loveliness, to liken it to the hue 
that is our foe's ensign. She is pale, but 
her eyes outblaze the star that quivers and 
lightens in Mrs. Scrope's grey head. 

" I am so glad you are not a Moumiing 
Bride'' says Scrope's eldest sister, Mrs. 
T.ascelles, a frisky young matron, pretty as 
hair like floss silk, Paris clothes falling oft' 
her soft fat shoulders, and English jewels, 
can make her, looking with a sort of in- 
quisitive admiration at the restless pale 
beauty of her future sister-in-law's face. 
'' Not that / can say anything" (laughing 

40 " Good-bye, Sweetheart /" 

lightly); " I cried for three whole days be- 
fore my wedding. Mamma said that my 
eyes looked as if they had been sewn in 
with red worsted ; did not you mamma ?" 

Mrs. Scrope smiles the placid smile of 
prosperous stall-fed maturity. 

" I did more than that," continues the 
other, still laughing, " I cried for a fort- 
night afterwards ! We went to Brittany " 
(making a disgusted face), " and Regy was 
ill all the way from Southampton to St. 
Malo. I tried to look as if he did not be- 
long to me. I am sui'e even the waiters at 
the hotels were sorry for me — I looked so 
dejected r 

At the mention of Brittany Lenore 
winces, and then begins to talk quickly 
and laughingly : 

'' Mtist or\Q cry? I hope not. If it is 
indispensable I will try ; but I am afraid I 
shall not succeed. I am not a good hand 
at crying. I never cry." 

What the Author Says. 41 

They are to dance in the hall ; the oak 
floor has been polished and doctored to 
the last pitch of slipperiness ; the stags' 
heads have mistletoe wreaths. Plenty of 
light, plenty of warmth, plenty of space, 
plenty of men : what more can any rabid- 
est dance-lover desire ? To the general 
surprise, Lenore sits down to the piano ; 
everybody remonstrates. 

" Usurping my place," says Jemima, 
cheerfully, putting her hands on her sister's 
shoulders. '' Off with you." 

" On the contrary," returns Lenore, with 
a perverse smile, " I mean to adorn this 
stool till two o'clock to-morrow morning. 
Go away- — dance — caper about, if it amuses 
you ; as for me, I hate it. Va fen f , 

" Come on !" cries Scrope, half in and 
half out of his grey gloves, and looking 
radiantly happy and handsome. ''What 
do you mean by settling yourself there ? 

42 " Good-bye, Szvcdhcai't /" 

Jemima is going to play ; she always does ; 
she likes it. Don't you, Jemima ?" 

Jemima smiles grimly. All very well to 
be conscious that your life mission is to 
pipe for other people to dance, but a little 
hard to be expected to express enjoyment 
of the role ! 

" I am not going to ' Come on f " answers 
Lenore, pettishly. " I mean to stay here. 
Go away !" 

'' Go azuay r cries the young fellow, 
leaning his arms on the piano, and looking 
desperately sentimental ; " a very likely 
story !" 

" For Heaven's sake, put your head 
straight !" she says, crossly. *' When you 
cock it on one side like that, you look like 
a bullfinch about to pipe. I hate dancing ! 
—there !" 

" Since when ?" he asks incredulously. 
"Not long ago you told me that you loved 
it better than anything else in life." 

What the A^ithor Says. 

'' Not so very long ago, when I was 
cutting my teeth, I loved sucking an India- 
rubber ring better than anything else In 
life. Do you Insist on my sucking It still ?" 
she says dryly, turning over a heap of 
music. '' Don't be a nuisance. Go away !" 

He goes. In five minutes, all, not in- 
capacitated by age and fat, and some even 
that lie under these disabilities, are scam- 
pering round. As there are plenty of men, 
several of the chaperones condescend to 
tread a measure. Lenore plays on 
dreamily ; it is an air that the band 
played at DInan one night last summer ; 
as the brisk, gay melody fills her ears, the 
room, the people, the wax lights vanish ; 
she is In the Place Duguesclln again. How 
dark it is ! The lights from the hotel shew 
small and red ; the sabots clump past. 
How close to our faces the screen lime 
flowers swino- ! 


44 *' Good-bye, Siveetheart f 

She is roused by an eager voice at her 

'' One turn — only one ! I have danced 
with everything that has any pretensions to 
age, weight, or ughness. Pay me for it ! — 
only one turn !" 

Scrope stands by her, panting a little. 
His broad chest heaves, and his wide blue 
eyes glitter with a passionate excitement. 
She shrugs her shoulders, but, as though it 
were too much trouble to argue the point, 
complies. Jemima takes her place and 
they set off. After flying silently round 
for a few minutes they stop. Scrope, even 
in stopping, unwilling to release her from 
his arms, gazes into her face with a pas- 
sionate rapture, to see whether the delight 
he feels is at all shared. 

'' I hate it !" she says irritably. " It 
tears my dress ; it loosens my hair ; it 
takes away my breath. Let us go to some 
cool place." 

What the Aitthoi'- Says. 45, 

They saunter away to the conservatory. 
The Chinese lanterns swing aloft, their 
flames spiring up in dangerous proximity 
to the pink and green walls of their frail 
prisons. The daphnes and narcissi and 
lilies of the valley are uniting their various 
odours in one divinest harmony of scent, 
like a concert of noblest voices. Lenore 
throws herself wearily into a garden chair 
and begins to fan herself. 

*' Let me fan you," says her lover ten- 
derly, taking the fan out of her hand and 
leaning over her, '' it will save you trouble. 
My darling, you look pale to-night." 

''My darling, yoic look red to-nightl' 
retorts she, with a mockery more bitter 
than playful, glancing up at the flushed 
beauty of his face. '' For Heaven's sake, 
don't let us register the variations in each 
other's complexions." 

An arrow shoots through the young 
man's boundinof heart. Is she going to 

46 '' Good-bye, Siueetheart /" 

change her mind ? Now that the prize is 
almost within his hand, must he lose it at 
this last moment ? 

'' Have I done anything to vex you ?" 
he asks anxiously, kneeling down on the 
stone pavement at her feet. '' You know 
how idiotically fond I am of you ; for 
Heaven's sake, do not take advantage of 
it to play tricks with me ! What is the 
matter with you to-night ? You are out of 

'' What do you mean ?" she cries angrily. 
'' I never was in better spirits in my life ; 
everybody remarks it — everybody says 
how lively I am. I talk all day, and I 
laugh more than I ever did in my life 
before. Would you have one always grin- 
ninof like a Cheshire cat ?" 

" You talk and laugh, it is true," he 
answers, with a grave air of anxiety, '' but 
you are much thinner than you were. Look 
at this arm " (touching the round white 

What the Author Says. 47 

limb, as it lies listlessly across her lap) ; 
" it is not half the size it was three weeks 

*' So much the better," she answers with 
a laugh ; " my arms were much too big 
before. Sylvia was always abusing them ; 
it is much more refined to have smaller 

" You will be all right when we get to 
Italy," he says fondly ; '' you will like that, 
will not you ? Oh ! sweet !" (leaning over 
her, with a passion of irrepressible exulta- 
tion) ; " can I believe that I am waking, 
when I think that long before this time to- 
morrow you will be my wife f — that at last 
— at last — we shall belong to one another, 
for always f" 

She shivers a little. " To-day is to-day, 
and to-morrow is to-morrow," she says, 
sententiously ; " to-day, let us talk of to- 
day ; we may both be dead by to-mor- 

48 " Good-bye, Sweetheart f 

" Both /" (smiling a little) ; " that is 
hardly likely." 

" One of us, then ; only the other day I 
read in the Times of a bride who was 
found dead in her bed on her wedding- 
morning. Oh, my God !" (flinging out 
her arms, and then throwing her head 
down on her knees,) " if I had but the 
very slightest chance of going to heaven, 
how I wish I could be found dead in my 

bed r 

'' What are you talking about ?" cries 
Scrope, shocked and astonished at this 
unlooked-for outburst. " Lenore ! look 
me in the face and say you did not mean 
it. I know you have a random way of 
talking, sometimes — Jemima says so; but, 
do you know, when you say such things 
you break my heart ?" 

" Do I ?" she says, lifting her wild white 
face, unsoftened by any tears. " I am 
glad. Why should not I break it ? I 

What the Atithoi^ Says. 49 

have broken my own — you know that well 
enough — why should not yoiL suffer too ? 
As for me, I suffer — I suffer always — all 
day and all night. I am glad to hear of 
any one else being miserable too. What 
have I done, that I should have a mono- 
poly of it ?" He stares at her, in a stony 
silence. " There," she says, after a pause, 
with a sickly smile, pushing her hair off 
her forehead, " I am all right now ! I was 
only — only — -joking ! Pay no attention to 
anything I said ; I was only ranting. I 
think I have been overdoing myself a little 
the last few days. Suppose you go ? I 
shall get well quicker if I am by myself" 

So he goes, slowly and heavily. She 
has taken all the lightness out of his feet 
and out of his heart ; it feels like a pound 
of lead. He makes his w^ay up to the 
piano. " Jemima," he says, in a low voice, 
" my sister will play for you ; I want you 
to go to Lenore ; she is not very well, I 

vol.. III. 4 

50 " Good-bye, Sweetheart /" 

think — rather hysterical ; she is in the 
conservatory, she would not let me stay 
with her." 

So Jemima goes. 



HAT next ?" think I, hurrying 
off, as' bidden. "What new 
freak ? Well, if I had been 
born with a silver spoon in my mouth I 
would not have spent my life in bewailing 
and lamenting that it was not a pewter 
one." In the conservatory no Lenore ! 
Only two time-worn flirts of either sex, 
shooting their blunt little old arrows at each 
other's tough hearts, under a red camellia. I 
do not know why I do it, but I pass along, 
through the flowers, to a door at the other 



52 ^^ Good-bye, Sweetheart T 

end that gives upon the outer air, and 
opening it, look forth. It is snowing rather 
fast : great, shapeless flakes floating down 
with disorderly slowness ; but it is not very 
dark. My knowledge of my sister has not 
been at fault, for, through the snow, I see 
her, at a little distance from me, walking 
quickly up and down a terrace walk, with 
her head bent and her hands clasped before 
her. '' How good for a person with a 
weak chest !" I cry indignantly, skipping 
gingerly out on the toes of my white satin 
boots, and flinging the tail of my gown 
adroitly^ over my head. '' Anyone more 
unfit for death or more resolute to die than 
you, I have seldom had the pleasure of 

I put my arm within hers and drag her 
along, back into the lighted warmth of the 
conservatory. A great tier of orange trees 
and chrysanthemums hides us from the 
veteran lovers. I look at her : the snow- 

What yemima Says, 53 

flakes rest thickly on her hair, on her 
flimsy dress ; run in melted drops off her 
chilled white shoulders. 

" It does not wet one much," she says, 
with a rather deprecating smile. ''See, 
one can blow them away. How white 
they are ! They will make the snowdrops 
that the school-children are to strew before 
me to-morrow look quite dirty, will not 
they ?" 

" Lunatic !" cry I, highly exasperated, 
shaking her ; '' fool ! If I may be per- 
mitted to ask, what is the reason of this T 

" I was hot," she says, a little wildly, 
" stifled ! Those flowers stifle me. Odious 
jonquils ! Did ever any flowers smell so 
heavily ? They are like the ones in that 
dreadful bouquet Charlie brought me for 
the ball." 

I am shaking and flicking, with my best 
lace pocket-handkerchief, the snow from 
off her dress, so make no answer. 

54 " Good-bye, Sweetheart /" 

'' You know, from a child, I was fond of 
running out, bare-headed, into a shower ; I 
liked to feel the great cool drops patter 
patter on my hair. I wish to God I could 
feel them now. Put your hand on my 
head" (lifting my cold, red hand, and 
placing it on the top of her own sleek 

" My good child," say I, startled, "you 
are in a fever !" 

" Jemima," she says, taking down my 
hand again, and holding it hard pressed 
between her two hot white ones, while her 
glittering eyes burn on my face, " I am 
quite happy, as you know, perfectly. No 
one has more cause to be so. I am quite 
young ; I am better looking than most 
people ; to-morrow I shall be rich, very 
rich ; which, after all, includes all the 
others ; but, do you know, sometimes, 
within the last few days, I have thought — 
it is a ridiculous idea, of course, but some- 

What yemima Says, 55 

times I have thought I was going mad ! 
How do people begin to go mad ? Tell 
me ?" 

Her voice has sunk to an awed whisper. 
*' Fiddlestick !" cry I contemptuously ; '' do 
not be alarmed, only clever people go mad ; 
no fear for you." 

"If anyone comes suddenly Into a room, 
If any one bangs a door, or speaks In a key 
at all louder than usual, I feel as if I must 
shriek out loud. I told you so the other 
day, if you remember, talking of the 
children ; sometimes I am afraid of lifting 
my eyes to your or anyone else's face, for 
fear you should think they looked mad." 

" Nonsense," interrupt I again, now 
thoroughly angry ; "It is all nerves ! 
Nerves are troublesome things If you are 
not moderately careful of them, and you 
never give yours a chance ; you never sit 
still, you never rest, and it is my belief that 
you never sleep." 

56 ''Good-bye, Sweetheart P' 

'' Not If I can help it," she says, fever- 
ishly ; " not If I can help it. Sometimes, 
when I feel myself falling asleep, I get out 
of bed, and walk about in the cold to wake 
myself thoroughly. I hate sleep ; it Is my 
enemy ! As sure as ever I fall asleep I am 
back in Brittany with him ; we are as — as 
we used to be." 

'' If I were you," say I, with that sober 
eye to the main chance with which one re- 
gards life after five-and -twenty, " I should 
be glad to wake from such a dream to find 
how much more prosperous the reality Is." 

" So I am, so I am !" she answers 
hastily, contradicting herself " Of course ! 
it is prosperous, is it not ? Everybody 
says so ; you — you are not jokhig, are you, 
Jemima, when you say I am so prosper- 
ous ?" (her eyes resting distrustfully on my 
face). " I am really, am I not } But 
sometimes I think, when I look at you, 
that you 2lX^ pitying me. Heaven knows 

What yemima Says. 57 

why ! for nobody needs It less ; if you are, 
do not — that is all ! I hate being pitied ; 
pity yourself instead." 

'' Dreams or no dreams," say I, trying 
to lead her from a theme which is making 
her painfully excited, " you vmst sleep to- 
night, if we give you laudanum enough to 
make seven new sleepers. If you do not, 
mark my words, to-morrow you will look 
as yellow as the little orange in your 
wreath." No answer, only a vacant pluck- 
ing at her dress. " Dead-white in the- 
morning," say I, with a judicious adhesion 
to the subject of millinery, " is almost 
always fatally trying to the best com- 
plexions, particularly when in juxtaposition 
with snow." No answer. " Only this 
morning you told me that you were 
determined to look your very hand- 

" So I am," she says, rousing herself, 
and speaking with quick interest ; '* so I 

" Good-bye, S^occthcart /" 

am ! You say right — I miLst look my best 
— I shall ; one always does when one 
wishes ; my veil will be down, too, they 
will not see me very clearly, you know ; 
but, however I look, you must be sure to 
have it put in the papers that I looked 
beautiful and • — ■ and — radiantly happy. 
They say those sort of things now and 
then, do not they ?" 

" As to the being happy— never that I 
saw," reply I, snappishly. "A bride's 
happiness is taken for granted." 

''I do not know whether I ever men- 
tioned it to you before," she says, with a 
hesitating strained smile, " but I should 
like the announcement put into a good 
many papers besides the Times — the 
Morning Post — Standard ; but it must be 
in the Times, too, of course. People 
always read the births, deaths, and mar- 
riages in the Times, don't they ?" 

She asks this last question with a keen 

What Jcmiina Says. 59 

anxiety that would have puzzled any 
looker-on to account for. 

" Women do," reply I brusquely. " I 
do not think that men ever look at 

" What nonsense you talk !" she cries 
rudely. " Of course they do. They 
always glance over them, at the least, to 
see whether there is any name they know. 
I have seen them, a hundred times. I 
have seen Charlie " 

" What about Charlie ?" cries the young 
man, appearing round the screen of flowers 
simultaneously with his name ; "he has 
not done anything fresh, has he ?" (trying 
to laugh, but yet speaking with a most 
anxious smile). " Jemima, how is she ? — 
how are you now, my darling ?" taking her 
in his arms with as little heed to my 
presence as if I also were a prim dumb 

" Hoiu am I f " retorts she, pushing him 

6o " Good-bye, Sweetheart /" 

away with a gesture of distaste, and then, 
as if bethinking herself, accepting his em- 
brace. '* Why, how sJioiilci I be ? Much 
as I have been any time these nineteen 
years, with the exception of the sohtary 
week when I had the croup. Reassure 
yourself — I have not the croup now, and I 
never have any other diseases." 

He looks at her silently, with a pale 
passionate wistful ness. 

''You mean to be kind," she says. In a 
constrained voice, with a sort of remorse, 
" and you really are a very good fellow. 
I do think so always, though I show it 
rather oddly now and then perhaps ; but 
you must know that I have an inveterate 
aversion to being asked how I am. It is 
not confined to me. Many people have 
the same feeling. I really " (with a forced 
smile) " must draw up a list of prohibitions 
for you. ' You must not do this,' and 
' You must not do that,' before we set off 

What yemimct Says. 6i 

on our travels, or we shall inevitably come 
to blows before a week is over." 

" Do /" cries the young man eagerly, as 
one catching at a straw. ''I do seem to 
be always blundering, don't I ? and saying 
the wronpf thinof ? One would think I did 
it on purpose ; but, as I live, I do not. I 
shall get better, however," he continues, 
hastily, as if afraid of her taking advan- 
tage of his confession ; '' every day I shall 
get better. Being with you always, I shall 
grow to understand your character better. 
Dense as I am, I cannot help doing that, 
can I, Jemima ?" 

" I really do not know," reply I, turning 
away with a dry smile ; '' there are some 
very sharp corners and unexpected turns 
in it, I can assure you." 

'' Jemima is right," says Lenore, gravely, 
gently unwinding his arms from about her. 
'' You have got a very indifferent bargain, 
pleased as you are with it. To let you 

62 '' Good-bye, Siueethcart /" 

into a secret, you have overreached your- 
self. You will get a bad character of me 
from all the people I have spent my life 
with ; I have the distinction of having 
everybody's ill word." 

" I dare say " (defiantly, while his eyes 
recklessly, boundlessly fond, grow to her 
calm, chill face). 

" It is not too late yet," she says, in a 
low voice that has yet nothing of the 
whisper in it ; " it is one o'clock ; I hear it 
striking. You have yet ten hours' grace." 

" Ten hours !" cries the young fellow, 
wildly, throwing his arms again about her, 
and straining her, whether she will or no, 
to his riotous heart. " Lenore ! Lenore ! 
the nearer the time grows the farther you 
seem to get away from me. Are you 
^oing to slip away from me altogether at 
the last moment, as you did out of my 
arms just now ? But no ! — why do I put 
such ideas into your head ? It is too late. 

What Jemima Says. 6 

You could not throw me over now, if you 
wished. Reckless as you are of all con- 
ventionality, even you dare not do that." 

" What are you talking about ?" she asks, 
petulantly, with a nervous laugh. " Why 
should I wish to throw you over ? If I 
did, what could I do with all my fine 
clothes, and my otter-skin jacket ? Do you 
think I could have strength of mind to send 
the Websters' teapot travelling back a 
second time ?" 

He continues looking at her, and holding 
her, but says nothing. 

*' I like you," she says, looking round at 
me with a sort of nervous defiance. " I do 
not care who says I do not. I am proud 
of you — I — I — I love you. Do not 
I, Jemima ? Have not I often told you 
that I do ?" 

" You have told me a great many things 
in your time," I say, oracularly, '' some 
that were true and some that were not. I 

64 "Good-bye, Sivectheart !" 

will tell you one thing !„ return, and that 
is, tliat if you do not go to bed now, tliis 
minute, to-morrow you will be yellower 
tJian any orange." 



>T is a circumstance never to be 
enough deplored by the female 
world that marriages and draw- 
ing rooms are broad daylight ceremonies. 
Mature necks and faces, that the great 
bold sun makes look as yellow as old law 
deeds or as the love letters of twenty years 
ago, would gleam creamily, waxily white, if 
illumined only by benevolent candles, that 
seem to see and make seen only beauties 
and slur over defects. Even the lilies and 
roses of youth-^unlike the smooth perfec- 

VOL. III. 5 

66 '' Good-bye, Sweethea7^t /" 

tion of their garden types — are conscious of 
little pits and specks and flaws when day 
holds his great searching lamp right into 
their faces. Day repudiates tulle and tarle- 
tane ; they are none of his ; and as he can- 
not rid himself of them he retaliates by 
behaving as glaringly and unhandsomely 
as he can to them. Nature is holding a 
wedding outside too, apparently ; at least, 
it is all white, white! Heaven has sent 
down a storm of diamonds in the night, as 
a marriage present to Lenore ; wherever 
you look there is the glitter of myriad bril- 
liants. Last night, at each iron gate, there 
was a high wide arch of evergreens, but 
durlne the dark hours the fairies carried 
the dingy things away, and replaced them 
by others of glistening white jewels. They 
are so bright, so bright, one cannot look at 
them ; one turns away with winking eyes. 
I fancy that with some such lustre shine 
the archways through which the Faithful 

What yemiina Says. 6j 

People go and come In the deathless white 
City of God. 

There is a nuptial stir and bustle in the 
house ; everybody but the bride has been 
down to an early breakfast, and has gone 
up again to put their best clothes on. The 
maid servants are hurrying about the house 
in uniform grey gowns and white caps, all 
except the ladies' maids, who have the 
right of exercising individual will in the 
choice of their magnificence. The footmen 
have new liveries. The wedding-breakfast 
is laid out in the dining-room ; I have been 
reconnoitring it. One has to look out of 
window to assure oneself that the season is 
winter. On the long glittering table sum- 
mer and autumn hold their scented sway. 
Regiments of tall flowers — both white and 
vivid-coloured ; shady fern forests, bunches 
of grapes, big as those fabulous ones swing- 
ing in gilt over an ale-house door, or as 
that mighty cluster represented in the illus- 


68 '' Good-bye, Sweetheart /" 

trations to ' Line upon Line,' as borne be- 
tween two stout Hebrews, slung upon a 
pole ; odorous rough-skinned pines. I in- 
dulge in a pleased sigh, and glance at the 
carte. I draw a slight mental sketch of 
what my own share in the banquet will be. 
Truly, one waxes gluttonous in one's old age. 
Since then I have been pervading such 
of the ladies' rooms as intimacy gives me 
the e7itrSe to. I have seen twelve passably 
fair maids, in twelve gauzy bonnets, each 
with a murdered robbin sitting on the top, 
as a delicate tribute to the season. Pretty 
and clean and white the dozen look ; but, 
alas ! they will present but a drabby-grey 
appearance by-and-by out of doors, when 
contrasted with the wonderful blinding 
snow-sheet. I am not a bridesmaid : I 
have not been invited, nor, if I had, would 
I have consented to intrude the washed- 
out pallor of my face among this plump 
pink rose garden. 

What yemima Says. ' 69 

Now I have returned to the bride 
chamber, where Sylvia, fully dressed, and 
apparently labouring under some hallucina- 
tion as to being herself the bride, has 
usurped the cheval glass ; at least, on my 
entry, I find a pretty little figure in violet 
velvet and swansdown, with bust protruded 
and semi-dislocated neck, gyrating slowly 
before it. 

" How extraordinary one does feel in 
colottrs /" she is ejaculating, with a sort of 
uneasy complacency ; *' but for Lenore's 
sake, nothing should have Induced me. T 
feel quite like a fish out of water ; I really 
can hardly believe It is my own face — It 
seems like some one else's. What a fright 
one does look, Jemima!" 

No contradiction from me. 

" Does not one ?" 

" No, I don't think so," reply I con- 
solingly ; '' nothing out of the way. I 
don't see much difference." 

70 " Good-bye, Sweetheart f 

" Violet always 7ised to be considered my. 
colour," returns Sylvia, apparently finding 
my form of comfort not very palatable ; 
''always J?ar excellence. How well I re- 
member, the very last ball I ever went to 
with poor Tom — I was in violet lisse, with 
cowslips — overhearing some man ask, 'Who 
that lovely little woman in mauve was ?' 
What a rage I was in !" 
^ " And who zuas she ?" ask I, with 

" Who zms she f (reddening). " What 
stupid questions you do ask, Jemima ! 
Who was she ? Why /, of course." 

" Mauve suits everybody, even me',' say 
I, peeping over Sylvia's shoulder at my 
own unusual lilac splendour, " it was well- 
named the ' refuge of the destitute.' " 

Having discharged this Parthian shaft I 
turn away. The room is blocked with 
great imperials, packed and half-packed. 
A whole haberdasher's shop of finery is 

What Jemima Says. ^\ . 

surging out of them, and a big white L. S. 
is on each of their shiny black lids. L, S. 
herself sits before the dressing-table, but 
— difficult as it is to help it — she is not 
looking at herself in the glass. Her eyes 
are on the ground and her brows gathered. 
She is fully dressed, with the exception of 
the wreath and veil ; — all dead white — 
dead white, like the doll on the top of a 
twelfth-night cake ; only that the doll in- 
variably compensates for the colourlessness 
of her attire by cheeks that outshine the 
peony, and Lenores cheeks are dead white 
too. To my mortification, I perceive, that 
in spite of Worth's gown, and old Mrs. 
Scrope's Flemish point, my sister is look- 
ing as little handsome as a thoroughly 
good-looking woman ever can look. 
Hardly a touch of pretty red, even on 
her lips, and a pinched blue look of cold 
and utter apathy about her face and whole 

72 *' Good-bye, Sweetheaid /" 

" If I am to arrange your wreath," say I, 
speaking sharply, " we had better begin ; 
there is no use hurrying, and it takes some 
time to dispose it properly." 

She does not move or change her posi- 

" Will you be good enough," continue I, 
ironically, " to look round and convince 
yourself that this is not a funeral ?" 

Still no answer. 

" Lenore " (raising my voice), " are you 
dead ? are you dumb ? are you cataleptic ? 
For heaven's sake, why do you not say 
something ?" 

" What should I say ?" she answers, at 
length, raising her heavy eyes, and speak- 
ing with harsh irritability ; " why should I 
speak ? I have only one hour more of my 
own now " (glancing with a sort of tremu- 
lous shudder towards the clock) ; "surely I 
may spend It as I like." 

" That is better," rejoin I, not heeding 

What yemima Says. 73 

the matter of her speech, but regarding- 
her, Avith my head on one side, with an 
artist's eye. " When you speak you look 
ten per cent, better. I must tell you in 
confidence that as you sat just now, with 
your shoulders up to your ears and your 
nose resting on your knees, you had a near 
escape of being that anomaly in nature, a 
plain bride." 

No reply. 

*' For mercy's sake, say something," I 
cry, crossly ; '' do not lapse again into that 
utter silence ! Dear me !" (taking the 
wreath gingerly out of its box) " how 
beautifully they do make these things now- 
adays ! But for the scent, I really think 
they out-do nature." 

The wheels of the first carriage become 
audible ; very faintly, by reason of the 
snow, but still audible, and Sylvia, after 
one final glance, shufBe, and whisk, swims 
out of the room. I become absorbed in an 

74 " Good-bye, Szueetheart /" 

artistic agony, as I throw the lace, in a 
shower of costly flimsiness, over my sister's 
impassive head, and delicately insinuate 
the chilly nuptial flowers Into their resting- 
place on the top of it. 

Carriage after carriage rolls up : doors 
are opened ; steps let down. My curiosity 
gets the better of me. I leave my nearly 
finished task, and, running to the win- 
dow, press my face against the frosted 

" The Websters," say I, narratively. 
'' Ha ! ha ! ha ! Old Mrs. Webster In a 
twin gown to Sylvia ; even to the swans- 
down on the body and tunic ! Poor dear 
Sylvia ! she will never get over It ; It will 
be the death of her." 

As I stand there, laughing, maliciously, 
I feel a hand on my shoulder. '' What ! 
are yoiL come to look at them, too ? Take 
care, they will see you. It shows a little 
want of imagination In Mrs. James making 

What Jemima Says. 75 

two dresses pin for pin alike, does not 
it ?" 

I turn towards her ; but, as soon as I 
catch a glimpse of her face my mirth dies, 
and I utter a horrified ejaculation. It is 
lividly white, and she is gasping. 

" Open it wide !" she says, almost in- 
audibly. " I — I — I am stifling !" 

" Good heavens !" cry I, apprehensively 
and dissuasively, with my usual practical 
grasp of a subject. " You are not going 
to faint ? Do not ! — not till I get you a 
chair. You are so heavy — I never could 
hold you up." 

As I speak I am struggling with the 
hasp of the window, which is old, rusty, 
and evidently constructed with a view to 
never opening except after ten minutes of 
angry wrestling. 

" Quick ! quick !" she says, faintly, pant- 
ing, *' wider ! zuider f 

But it is too late. As the frozen case- 

']6 *' Good-bye, Sweetheart T 

ment grates slowly on its hinges, her head, 
with all its smart paraphernalia of lace and. 
flowers, falls back lifeless, and the whole 
weight of her body, in all the leaden inert- 
ness of Death's counterfeit, rests in my 
strained arms. No one knows, until they 
have tried it, how heavy dead and swooned 
persons are. I stagger under my sister's 
weight, and with much difficulty, and many 
bumps both to her and myself, get her 
down on the floor, where the little icy airs 
come and ruffle her useless laces and her 
soft tossed locks. Then I fly to the bell, 
open the door, and call mightily down the 
passage. " Louise !" I cry, '' Louise !" as 
Sylvia's French maid comes floating airily 
along — not in the least hurrying herself, 
but rather throwing gallantries over her 
shoulder, as it were, to a strange valet in 
the middle distance. '' Louise ! Louise ! 
Make haste ! Mademoiselle Lenore is so 
ill ! I do not know what has happened to 

What Jemima Says. J J 

her ! — all of a sudden, too ! — she has 
fainted, I think ; I suppose it is a faint, is 
not it ?" (looking nervously in her face) 
" not anything worse f 

Louise gives a little yell, and says " My 
God !" in her mother tongue, in which 
flippant language that adjuration does not 
sound half so solemn. Then we kneel 
down, one on each side of her, sprinkle 
water in her face, considerably to the injury 
of her tucker — pour brandy down her un- 
conscious throat — hold strong smelling-salts 
to her nostrils — roughly chafe her dead 
hands — use all the unpleasant asperities, in 
fact, that are supposed necessary to induce 
people to come back to that life which, as 
a rule, they are so loth to quit. But it is 
all to no purpose : she shows no sign of 
returning consciousness. 

'' I do not half like it," I say, looking 
apprehensively across at my coadjutor, and 
speaking in an unintentional whisper. " I 

"j^ " Good-dye, Szveetheart /" 

have not a notion what to do next ! Run, 
Louise, and tell John to go as quickly as 
he can for Dr. Riley — and — and — I do not 
like being left here by myself with her — 
send Mrs. Prodgers." 

''What do you want with me?" cries 
Sylvia, pettishly, coming fussing in, a 
minute or two later ; evidently in complete 
ignorance of the errand on which I have 
sent for her. 

" I wish you would not send such mys- 
terious messages. I am so nervous already 
that I do not know what to do with myself ! 
I declare, just now, when Lord Sligo was 
talking to me, I had no more idea what he 

was saying Good God !" (catching 

sight of Lenore's stiff prostrate white 
figure), " what has happened ? What has 
she done to herself now ?" 

" She has fainted," repeat I, briefly, "all 
of a sudden, before I could look round ; 
and we cannot bring her to." 

What yemima Says. 79 

'' Good gracious, how dreadful !" cries 
Sylvia, kneeling daintily down on the floor 
too, not however, before she has plucked 
up her violet velvet skirts. " What does 
one do when people faint ? — put cold keys 
down their backs — cut their stay-laces — 
hold looking-glasses before their mouths — 
oh no, of course, that is to see whether 
they are — heavens, Jemima," (her face 
blanching), " you do not think she is " 

Mrs. Proclgers has an inveterate aversion 
for pronouncing the little four-lettered word, 
that, in its plain shortness, expresses the 
destiny of the nations. 

" Nonsense !" cry I, angrily, again seizing 
the salts, and futilely holding them to her 

'' Feel whether her heart beats," says 

Sylvia, looking very white, breathing 

rather short, and speaking in an awed 

whisper. " I am afraid to do it myself — I 

* dare not ! — you are feeling the wrong side, 

8o " Good-bye^ Siueetheart /" 

are not you ? — they say it is nearly in the 

Complying with these anatomical in- 
structions, I feel. Yes, it beats. Life's 
little hammer is still knocking feebly 
against its neighbour ribs. 

'' She will be all right, just now, of 
course ; it is only that we are not used to 
this sort of thino^s. I never was the least 
frightened myself," say I, doughtily, but 
not altogether truly. 

" I wish her eyes were quite shut," says 
Sylvia, peering into Lenore's swooned face 
with the horrified curiosity of a child ; 
'' they look so dreadful showing a bit of the 

" The wedding will have to be put off, 
of course," say I, rising, and walking 
towards the clock ; " half-past eleven now ; 
it is very certain that she will not be well 
enough to be married before twelve." 

" But th^ people r cries my sister, squat- 

What yemlma Says. 8i 

ting in a dismayed purple heap on the floor, 
for the moment utterly oblivious of ner- 
vousness, swansdown, or even of the 
aptness of velvet to crease, unless sat upon 
straight. " They are all come ; everybody 
is dressed ; most of them are already at 
the church ; the bishop has been there half 
an hour." 

I shake my head. " It cannot be 

'' And the breakfast !" cries Mrs. Prod- 
gers, as a fresh and worse aspect of the 
calamity presents itself to her mind. " Of 
course, the cold things do not matter ; they 
will be as good to-morrow or the day after 
as to-day ; but the soups, the entrees /" 

I stifle a sigh. " There is no good in 
talking of it," I say, with forced philosophy. 
'' You had better go at once and send them 
all away ; there is no use in keeping them 
waiting in the cold. Charlie, too " (with 
an accent of compassion) ; " poor boy ! 

VOL. III. 6 

82 '' Good-bye, Sweetheart f 

what a bitter disappointment it will be ta 
him !" 

" As to that," says Sophia, with a slight 
relapse into the preening and Pouter-pigeon 
mood, " I do not suppose that a day's delay 
will kill him : men are often not sorry for 
a little reprieve in these cases. I am sure 
no one can feel more thoroughly upset than 
I do ; if I were to follow my own inclina- 
tions I should sit down and have a orood 

" Do not follow them then," I say 
brusquely, " or, at least, send the guests 
awayy^ri"/, and cry as much as you please 

By the aid of Louise, and with many 
appeals on her part to the French God, 
skies, and Virgin, I heavily and with diffi- 
culty, lift Lenore on to the bed. Hours 
have passed, the doctor has come, Sylvia 
has resumed her black gown and giant 
rosary, the last carriage has rolled away 

What yemima Says. 83 

with snowy wheels, before Lenore lifts the 
quivering white of her lids, and looks 
round upon us languidly, one after another. 
There are only three of us — the elderly 
doctor, to whom from our earliest infancy 
we have been in the habit of exhibiting our 
tongues and pulses, I, who am nobody, and 
thirdly, a poor young man in a smart blue 
coat, with a kind, miserable, beautiful face, 
who has spent the last three hours and a 
half in clasping and kissing a limp white 
hand, which, had its owner been possessed 
of consciousness, would hardly have lain 
with such passive meekness in his fond 
grasp. As her eyes open he springs up 
joyfully to his feet and bends over her. I 
do the same. With a faint gesture of dis- 
taste she turns away from him to me, and 
speaks in a weak whisper : 

" I — I — I — am at home, am I not ?" 
*' At home? Yes, to be sure." 
*' I — I — I am not mai^riedf 


84 " Good-bye^ Sweetheart f 

" No, not yet." 

" I am so glad !" 

Soon afterwards she relapses into un- 
consciousness. All that day, and most of 
the following night, she lies like a plucked 
snowdrop in January's sleety lap, reviving 
from one swoon only to fall into another. 
Tow^ards midnight she grows better, and 
sinks into a natural and healthy sleep. 

" I wish you would change your clothes," 
I say to Charlie, in a whisper, as we stand 
staring at her with shaded light, ''they 
look such a mockery " (touching the fme 
blue broadcloth). " Your poor bouquet, 

'' Not a very good omen, is it ?" he says, 
with a melancholy smile, lifting with his 
finger the drooped and yellow head of his 
gardenia. '' Bah ! who cares for omens ? 
Only old women." 

'' Only old women," repeat I, mechani- 

What Jemima Says. 85 

" She was not well last nioJit'' he con- 
tinues eagerly, '' was she ? I told you she 
was not : it accounts for her talking so 
oddly, does not It ? It shows " (peering 
anxiously Into my face) " that she did not 
mean any of the things she said, does not 

I say, " Of course," in a constrained 
voice, and try to turn away. 

" Stay," he says, laying his broad hand 
on my shoulder, " do not go ; I want to 
talk to you. I say she was not quite her- 
self when she woke up first, was she ? — 
did not know what she was saying — meant 
nothing T 

I know that I am lying, but I answer : 
" Oh dear, no ! of course not !" 

'' Was It my fancy ?" continues he, with 
a painful red spreading even to his fore- 
head ; " one gets odd notions, and these 
damned candles " (striking one viciously 
with his forefinger) '' cast such deceptive 

86 " Good-bye, Siueetkeart f 

shadows — ^but it seemed to me, Jemima, 
that she turned away from me, as if— as if 
— she had rather not look at me. Did not 
she Hke my being here, do you think ? 
She is so — so — maidenly ; she thought I 
ought to have staid outside ?" 

'' Nonsense," say I, shortly. '' It Is evi- 
dent that you have never fainted ; you do 
not understand how slow people's wits are 
in coming back. I do not suppose that 
she knew you from me, or me from the 

He does not answer. I can hardly ex- 
pect my logic to be very convincing, seeing 
that it has not convinced myself. 

" Riley is not in the least surprised at 
this," I say, nodding slightly towards our 
patient. '' When I told him about her not 
eating and not sleeping — it is my belief 
that she has not closed an eye for the last 
fortnight — he said that the only wonder 
was that It had not happened before." 

What yemima Says. ^J 

''Jemima," says the young fellow, turn- 
ing me unceremoniously round so as to 
face him, while his eyes in their searching 
truth ofo throuo^h mine like swords, " tell 
me — I wish to know — what is it that has 
taken away her sleep and her appetite ? Is 


It is not, as I am well aware, but I main- 
tain a stupid silence. 

" Do not answer me," he says, with a 
sudden change of mood, pushing me away 
from him. " I do not want an answer ; it 
was an idiotic question ; this fuss and bustle 
have been too much for her, have not they ? 
and the hard weather has tried her. She 
will be all right again when once we get 
quietly off, will not she ? Jemima — I say, 
Jemima — do you think there is a chance 
of our being able to have it to-morrow ?" 

I shake my head. " I doubt it." 

" The • day after, then ?" (very wist- 


'' Good-bye, Siuedheart 

I have not the assurance to say '' Yes, 
and I have not the heart to say '' No," s( 
I say, " We will see." 



LL the next day Lenore lies In 
bed, weak and white — It does 
not take much to pull her down 
— and, for the most part, silent. She asks 
for no one ; expresses neither regrets nor 
self-congratulations on the subject of her 
deferred wedding — lies with her face, gentle 
and innocent as any saintly martyr's — what 
falsehoods faces do tell ! — on the pillow, 
crowned by a bright brown glory of hair — 
an aureole given her by nature, not mar- 
tyrdom. She is not ill, neither well ; very 

90 " Good-bye, Sweetheart /" 

still, and only turning restive under doses 
of brandied beef-tea, repeated ad iiatcseam. 
There are few of the minor diseases that 
are worse than beef-tea and brandy. The 
following day passes in much the same 
way; but on the third morning Jemima 
enters cheerfully : 

" Riley says you may get up." 

The communication does not seem to 
afford much satisfaction to the person to 
whom it is addressed. She turns her face 
away with a pettish jerk and hides it in 
the pillow. 

''He says you may dress and come 
down as soon as you like." 

"As S0071 as I like ? " repeats Lenore, 
ironically ; " that would be a long time off. 
Why may not I stay here ?" — (stretching 
out her arms lazily). " I am happy. I 
like to lie here all day long ; the noises of 
the house seem so far off, and your foot- 
steps outside sound so gently. I like to 

What the Autho7^ Says. 91 

listen to the clocks one after another, and 
count them as they strike. I feel nothing 
• — I think of nothing. I have not been so 
happy for years." 

"He says that staying in bed is very 

" Then I like beinsf weakened." 

" Nonsense ! Please talk like a rational 

Never was toilet more slowly made than 
Lenore's — partly from weakness — for her 
illness, though brief, has told upon her ; 
partly from a deep and innate unwillingness 
to return to the well and work-a-day world. 
At length there is no evading the fact that 
she is fully dressed ; not only fully dressed, 
but established in an arm-chair before 
Sylvia's boudoir fire : a banner screen be- 
tween her face and the flame ; novels, 
workboxes, point lace, a pug — ^everything 
that is necessary to make a rational 
woman's happiness — within easy reach of 

92 " Good-bye, Snwcthcart /'* 

her hands. There is one other addition, 
without which, many rational women think 
happiness incomplete — a lover ; and even 
he is not far off. 

As a man's heavy step sounds muffled 
along the carpeted passage, as a man's 
fingers close on the door-handle, Lenore 
turns her head resolutely to the other side 
— like a child averting its face from the 
inevitable rhubarb and magnesia — and rests 
her cheek on the back of her chair. 

He enters softly, and afraid even of 
breathing over-noisily, imagining she is 
asleep, stoops his waved gold head over 
her. He is soon undeceived. 

"I wish," she says, in a most wide-awake 
voice, opening her beautiful petulant eyes 
full upon him, " that you would not come 
in, in that creakily tiptoe way ; nothing in 
the world fidgets me so much." 

He starts upright again in a hurry. 

" It was a stupid trick," he says humbly, 

What the Aitthor Says. 93 

and then stops suddenly, afraid of rousing 
livelier wrath by further speech. As for 
her, she rolls her pretty pettish head from 
side to side, and affects not to see him. 
He grows tired at last, of standing with 
his back to the mantelshelf, silent, and 
says, with eager tenderness but in a rather 
frightened voice : 

" You are better ?" 

'' Yes, I am better," she answers, quickly; 
'' at least, so they say ; but I am still far 
from well — very far ; it will be long enough 
before I am strong again, and — and — and 
— up to anything." 

" Riley says that there is nothing like — - 
like change of air^ (reddening guiltily). - 

" Riley is an old woman" (reddening 

" Lenore ! " throwing himself down on 
his knees, on the rug beside her, and in so 
doing, giving an unconscious buffet to the 
pug's black face, who forthwith departs 

94 " Good-bye, Siuecthcart /" 

howling, unheeded, and with his tail un- 
curled. " Lenore ! why need we have half 
the county to see us married ? Why need 
we put on smart clothes ? Why cannot 
you come quietly to church with me to- 
morrow, in your common bonnet and 
shawl" (Scrope is unaware that shawls are, 
for the moment, extinct,) "with only the 
clerk to say ' Amen 

" Where is the hurry ?" she asks, tapping 
her foot impatiently on the fender. " You 
talk as if w^e were two old people, each 
with a leg in the grave. Supposing that 
we put it off for a year, we should still 
probably have fifty to gape opposite each 
other in." 

" Even if we were sure of the fifty," he 
says gently, "I should still grudge the one; 
can one be too long happy ?" 

'' I never heard any one complain of 
being so." 

" Do you like sickly women ?" she says, 

What the Atithor Says. 95 

abruptly, apparently half softened by his 
tone and looking amicably at him. " I 
think I am radically sickly — see how half a 
day has pulled me down — my elbows stick 
out like promontories " (pulling up her 
sleeve to show one) — " if you married me 
you would have to be always cosseting me 
— trundling me about in a Bath chair, and 
measuring out physic in a spoon for me." 

He is about to burst into a storm of 
protestations, but she interrupts him. 

'' Do you know what Jemima said, that 
day, when I told her I was going to marry 
you t 

'' No." 

" Well, she said it was indecently soon." 

'' I do not see what business it was of 
Jemima's," says the young man, looking- 
rather surly. 

" Neither do I ; but all the same It is 
true — indecently soon — that is the very 
word that expresses it." As she speaks, 

96 " Good-bye, Sweetheart /" 

her face becomes spread with a hot bhish, 
and his own is not slow to repeat it in the 
deeper colours of manhood. 

"What does this mean ?" he asks, rising 
to his feet, while a look of utter fear makes 
the red In his cheeks give way. ''What is 
this the preface to ? Is it indecently sooner 
than it was yesterday, or the day before, or 
the day before that ?" 

" Do not be angry," she says depreca- 
tingly, stretching out her hand on which 
his own diamonds are flashing. '' You 
know you are always reasonable — you 
always mind what I say, even when it 
is not reasonable ; that Is why I like 

There is something of the turkey-cock 
about every woman ; gobbling and swell- 
ino- if a man is friorhtened and runs ; small 
and silent if he stands still and cries 
"Shoo!" It is his turn now; there is no 
use in gobbling at him ; he affects not to 

What the Atithor Says. 97 

see her hand, and only says briefly, " Go 

" You know," she says, sitting upright in 
her chair and straining her neck back- 
wards, so that her eyes may attain his face 
and watch it, " that I proposed to you — it is 
not a sort of thing that a man would be 
likely to forget. I try to think of it as 
little as possible, but it is true ; and you 
accepted me ; — I suppose " (laughing, awk- 
wardly) "that you could not well have 
been so uncivil as to do otherwise." 

'' Go on." 

" Well " (fidgeting uneasily), " I mean to 
marry you still — -fidly — but — but — it must 
be — not just yet — not now ; a year — six 
months hence, perhaps — instead." 

Unwilline to witness the effect of her 
words, she has dropped her eyes at the 
last clause ; but as the moments pass, and 
HO sound comes, save that of a cinder fall- 
ing from the grate, she looks up again. 

VOL. III. 7 

gS ''Good-dye, Sweetheart!'' 

" Have you no tongue ?" she says, irri- 
tably ; " are you never going to speak ?" 

" A year hence /" he says, in a low voice, 
turning a face, white as the face of the un- 
coloured dead, towards her. '' That means 
never. Thank you for leading me so 
gently up to it. Do you think I do not 
see what you are aiming at ? Do you 
think I have not watched it coming during 
the last fortnight ? I have prayed not to 
see " (striking his hands together). " I 
have entreated God to let me be blind 
always. Good God !" (flinging his arms 
down on the chimneypiece, and hiding his 
face on them) " how do men bear these 
things ? Who can teach me ?" 

" Bear what ?" she cries, rising hastily 
to her feet, and putting her hand on his 
coat sleeve. '' What are you talking 
about ? What is there to bear ?" 

" So you have been tricking me all this 
time, have you ?" he says, raising his 

What the AtUhor Says. 99 

ruffled head, and looking deliberately at 
her, with a resentful calm in face and voice. 
" At least, it can hardly be called trickery : 
it was so lamely done, a child might have 
seen through the deception.". 


"Of course you know best" (in the 
same polite, cold tone) ; " but would it not 
have been simpler, and come to much the 
same thing in the end, to have left me 
alone in the first instance ?" 

Left him alone ! The very question, in 
almost the same words, that Paul had once 

" I had gone clean away," he continues, 
in the same repressed and sedulously quiet 
voice. '' Your polite speeches had effect- 
ually rid you of me. A man would not 
willingly listen tzvice to some of the com- 
pliments you paid me at that ball. I had 
no intention of coming back ; why did you 
send for me ?" 


lOO '' Good-bye^ Sweetheart T 

Still no answer, no attempted defence. 

" I can at least" (with a bitter smile, 
that sits ill on his fair smooth face) " pay 
you the compliment of saying that you are 
not a good liar. You are not apt at the 
trade ; you bungle. Every day, and fifty 
times a day, your mouth has said to me, ' I 
like you — you are a good fellow — we shall 
be happy together ;' and every day, and 
fifty times a day, your eyes and every 
movement of your body have said, ' I 
loathe you. I can hardly bring myself to 
speak civilly to you.' " 

Still silence. 

" Did it ever occur to you " (taking her 
by both slender wrists) " to make a rough 
calculation how many falsehoods you have 
told me during this last month ?" 

^' Stop !" she cries, wrenching away her 
hands from his grasp, which has more of 
the gaoler than the lover in it. " Stop ! 
you are very bitter to me — very. I can 

What the Author Says. loi 

hardly believe that it is you ; but you 
speak truth. I have told you many, many 
lies, but at least I have told them to my- 
self too. I have said them over and over 
again, in the hope that they would come 
true at last." 

He smiles a dry smile of utter incre- 

" That was very probable." 

" You do not believe me ?" she says, 
passionately. " Well, / take God to luitness 
—you will hardly disbelieve me now — that 
ever since that day in the library, when I 
thrust myself so immodestly on you " (she 
is crimsoner than any closed daisy's petals 
at the words), " I have longed and striven 
with all my heart and soul and strength to 
— to — care for you — as — as — you wish to 
be cared for." 

'' Well ?" 

" I have said over and over to myself all 
your good qualities, like a lesson. I have 

I02 ''Good-bye, Sweetheart f 

tried " (her face contracts with an agony of 
shame) "to wrench away all the love I 
ever had to give from — the — the person 
who once had it, and to give it to you in- 

" Well ?" 

" Sometimes, when I was away from 
you, I thought I had succeeded ; but when 
you came near me, when you touched me, 
o-ood and kind and handsome as 3'ou 
are " 

She stops abruptly. 

" Go on," he says, in a hoarse whisper. 
'* Do not let any consideration for my feel- 
ings stop you ; it would not be yoic if you 
did — good and kind and Jiandsonic as I am " 
(ironically repeating her words). 

" It was too soon^too soon," she cries, 
clasping her hands in deep excitement, 
while the large scalding tears drop hotly 
over her cheeks. "Jemima was right, it 
was indecently soon. In the grief and 

What the AtUhor Says. 103 

shame of being so treated, I wonder, 
Charlie" (smiling painfully), "that you are 
so anxious to marry a jilted woman. I 
thought I could forget all in a minute, but 
I cannot; nobody could. If I were to go 
away to-day, and throw you over for ever, 
could yoti forget me all in a minute ?" 

" I would try my best/' he says, with a 
fierce white smile. " Perhaps it would be 
more correct to say, ' I zuill try my 
b^st' " 

'' Do you think I do not wish to forget ?" 
she says, taking his hand of her own ac- 
cord, while her wet eyes gaze wistfully up- 
ward, into the deep angry blue of his. 
'' Do you think I remember 011 purpose ? 
Does one e^ijoy not sleeping and not eating, 
and being in miserable uneasy pain all day 
and all night ?" 

He keeps silence. 

'' I am no great prize at the best of 
times," she says, half sobbing. " My sisters 

I04 ''Good-bye, Siveetheart f 

— all my people — will tell you that ; but 
Avhat sort of woman should I have been if 
I could have jumped straight out of one 
man's arms into another's, quite easily and 
comfortably, without feeling any shame ? 
It was bad enough to be able to do it at 
all. Oh, Charlie ! Charlie ! knowing what 
you did about me, how could you think 
me worth taking ? How could you take 
me r 

'' How coidd I take yoit f " he says, with 
a harsh low laugh, as unlike the jocund 
sound of his usual boyish mirth as pos- 
sible. " Do not you know that when a 
man is starving he is not particular as to 
having a zvhole loaf? He says 'thank 
you ' even for crumbs, I tell you, Lenore, 
that morning in Ireland, when I got your 
note, I had as little hope of ever holding 
you in my arms as my wife, as I had of 
holding one of God's angels. When I 
found that there was a chance of my so 

What the Author Says. 105 

holding- you, judge whether I was Hkely to 
throw it away." 

He has put one of his hands on each of 
her shoulders, and stands gazing stead- 
fastly at her with a bitter yearning in his 

" I knew that your soid was out of my 
reach," he continues, sadly ; " that I should 
get only your body, and even that shrank 
away from me. Shall I ever forget those 
first two kisses that you gave me — that I 
.made you give me ? They were colder 
than ice." 

A little pause. The fire- flame quivers 
and talks to itself ; the pug plucks up heart 
again, and, returning, lies down, with his 
nose resting on his bowed forelegs. 

" I suppose it is all for the best," says 
Scrope, presently, with a forced smile ; '* at 
least it is as well to say so, is not it ? I 
was so idiotically fond of you that, if you 
had been decently civil to me, I suppose I 

io6 ''Good-dye, Szueet heart T 

should have been happier than any man can 
be and Hve." No answer. '' Do you know," 
he resumes, in a tone of deep and sombre 
excitement, " what has kept me up all this 
month, what has hindered me from cutting- 
my own throat or yours — it was a toss-up 
which — what has made me smile and seem 
pleased at words that bit and looks that 
stunc^? Well, I will tell vou — listen, and 
laugh if it amuses you ; it is true, all the 
same. I kneiu " (lifting his hands from her 
shoulders, and framing her drooped face 
with them,) '' I knen^ that, if once I could 
get you all to myself, I could make you 
love me ; you would do your best to thwart 
and hinder me, but I could make you. Le- 
nore, I know it still." 

" Do you ?" she says sadly. " I wish 
you could ; but I doubt it." 

" Tell me," cries the young fellow, em- 
boldened by her gentleness to take her 
once more in his arms, as if she were his 

What the Author Says. 107 

own, '' it will do me no good to hear — be 
tantalising, rather — ^but still I think It 
would ease my pain a little ; tell me, if 
you had met n\^ first — met me before you 
came across him — do you think you could 
have liked me a little then ? Say ' yes,' if 
you can, Lenore !" (with a suffering accent 
of entreaty). 

" How do I know ?" she says sharply, 
for once not shrinking from his contact — 
not struggling in his embrace, but rather 
coldly taking it for granted. " What is the 
good of looking back ? It seems to me 
now, that if I had not met him I should 
have gone on always, as I had gone on 
before, laughing and amusing myself, and 
being happy in my way, and not loving 
anybody much. I never was one to fall in 
love easily — never !" (drawing herself up 
with a little movement of pride). 

'' You fell in love with him easily 
enough," says Scrope, roughly. 

io8 '' Good-bye, Sweetheart /" 

'' Yes," she answers, almost humbly, 
though her face flames, " you are right, so 
I did ; it was a boast I had no right to 

" What on earth made you do it ?" 

'' How can I tell ? Perversity, I think ; 
I always was perverse from a child ; they 
said I should pay for it, sooner or later. 
I think I have now, have not I ?" (smiling 
drearily). A moment's pause. " Other 
people cared for me of their own accord," 
she continues, sighing ; '' as for him, almost 
every w^ord I said grated upon him ; I had 
to fight and battle even for his tolera- 

" And that pleased you ?" 

" Does one ever care for the things that 
one can stretch out one's hand and take ?" 
she asks, bitterly. " I do not, neither do 
you — that is evident, or you would not be 
here." After a little pause : " He thought 
very meanly of me from the first — very. 

What the Author' Says. 109 

He almost told me so in so many words, 
and I — I — well — I only meant to make 
him alter his mind ; that was how it began. 
Bah !" (breaking off suddenly, with a tem- 
pest of angry pain in her voice,) " what 
does it matter how it began ? Is not it 
enough that it did begin, that it went on, 
and that now it is erided f " 

At the last word her raised voice sinks 
down, and dies in a sob. His hold upon 
her grows lax, he gives a long sigh of 
astonished indignant grief. 

" If that was the way to your heart," he 
says with a sort of scorn, " no wonder I 
missed it." Silence. " Merciful heavens !" 
cries the young man, smiting his hands to- 
gether in a sort of wondering frenzy, " did 
one ever hear the like ? Must one hold you 
cheap, and have the ill manners to tell you 
so ; must one cut you to the heart with 
frosty looks and words that stab like your 
own ; must one love you tardily and leave 

no * * Good-bye^ Siueet heart ! ' ' 

you readily, before you will give one your 
affection ? If so, Lenore, I tell you can- 
didly that — stark staring mad about you as 
I have been for the last six months— I tell 
you candidly that I had rather be without 

" You are right," she says, coldly ; " it is 
not worth having. After all, you agree 
with him ; he thought it was not worth 
having, and so threw it away." 

The moments flash past ; the little 
moments, that tarry not to listen to brisk 
wedding chimes, or the slow passing-bell. 
The two young people still stand opposite 
one another, each buried in thoughts, 
whereof it would be hard to say whose 
share was the bitterer. Scrope is the first 
to break the silence that has fallen on 

'' Tell me, Lenore," he says, breaking- 
out into impetuous speech, ''you have said 
so many disagreeable things to me in your 

What the Author Says. 1 1 1 

time that one more will not matter ; yes, 
tell me — I will promise not to burst out 
into violence, I will even try to look 
pleased'' (smiling [sardonically) — " is there 
— is there — any talk of his coming back ? 
Have you any hope of it, that you are 
getting rid of me so quickly, all of a sud- 
den ?" 

*' What do you mean ?" she says harshly, 
with a shrinking shiver, as if one had torn 
open a great gaping wound in her tender 
body. " Do you think that if I had had 
any hope I should have sent {or you ? He 
is not one to speak lightly, to say one 
thing to-day and one to-morrow ; I should 
wear out my ears with listening before I 
heard the wheels of his carriage coming 
back. No, no !" (with a low sobbing sigh) 
" I have no hope ! It is humiliating to 
speak of hope in such a case, is not it ? I 
suppose I should not, if I had any spirit." 
' '' If you have really done with himy^r 

112 ''Good-bye, Sweethem'i T 

ever, then," says the young man, in a voice 
which is still half doubting, '' Lenore — I do 
not want to be glad at what makes you 
sorry ; but how can I help it ? — then, for 
God's sake, come to me ; what is there to 
stand between us ? I know I can make 
you forget him ; even to-day — perhaps you 
will laugh at me for saying so — you seem 
to hate me a shade less than you did. Oh, 
.beloved ! out of the great harvest of love 
that you lavished on him — him who did not 
care to take it, who hardly stooped to pick it 
up, who tossed it carelessly back to you — 
have not you saved one grain for me, who 
have been hungry and famished so long ?" 

There are tears in his shaken voice, 
though none in his eyes ; and indeed a 
man who zveeps in wooing mostly damns 
himself. In a hairy blubbered face there 
must always be less of the moving than the 

'' Say ' yes,' " he cries, with a passionate 

What the Author Says. 113 

agony of pleading, twining both his arms 
once more about her. " I will hold you 
here until you say it. I will let no sound 
but ' yes ' pass those lips that have never 
yet given me a kind word or a kiss worth 
the taking." 

*' What am I to say ' yes ' to T she asks, 
holding aloof from him, as much as may 
be, with the old pfesture of shrinkinof dis- 
taste. " Am I to say that I will marry 
you ? Well, I said that a month ago ; that 
is settled. Why must we go over all the 
old story again ?" 

" But do we mean the same thing ?' ' 
asks Scrope, with distrustful vehemence. 
" That is the question. Will you marry 
me now — at once, without any senseless, 
causeless delay ?" 

She has drawn herself away from him, 
and now turns, and walking to the window, 
looks blankly out on the drear, white, snow 

VOL. III. 8 

114 ''Good-bye, SweetheaiH T 

world — on the long sharp icicles hanging 
from the eaves. 

'' Speak," he says, his voice sharpened 
and roughened, following her to the other 
side of the room. " I am waiting — I will 
wait on you as long as you please ; but if 
I keep you here to the Judgment Day I 
will not go unanswered ! Will you marry 
me to-morrozu ? — great Heavens ! if it had 
not been for this unhappy contretemps, by 
to-morrow you would have been four days 
my wife ! — or will you not ?" 

She is trembling all over, and her cold 
white face is twitched with pain and wet 
with unwiped tears. 

"Not to-morrow f she says, with an 
involuntary shudder ; " not so soon — not 
quite so soon. Let me have time to draw 
my breath ! I am not well ; as I live I am 
not well. See how thin I have grown " 
(holding out a hand, on which the wander- 
ing veins and the small bones indicate their 

What the Author Says. 115 

places more clearly than they did last year). 
" I, who " (smiling) '' used to be so afraid 
of growing too fat ! I do not think I need 
be afraid of that now, need I ? Let me 
get quite well — quite strong first. I shall 
be better worth your taking then." 

" Lenore!" cries the young man, seizingher 
by the arm, in an access of sudden and un- 
controllable passion, "did you everin all your 
life think of anyone but yourself ? What 
business have you to spoil my life for me ? 
What business have you to make me a laugh- 
ing-stock for everybody ? — tell me that ?" 

" I have no business — none," she an- 
swers, drooping her long neck and sobbing. 

" Will you marry me to-morrow, Le- 
nore ?" (speaking with the stern quiet of 

" Not to-morrow — not to-morrow," she 
answers wildly, turning her head restlessly 
from side to side. " I meant really to have 
married you on Tuesday — you cannot 

ii6 '' Good-bye y Sweetheart T 

doubt that ? Had I not my wedding-dress 
on ? But see how ill the thought has made 
me. Give me six months. In six months 
I shall get used to the idea ; perhaps I 
shall get the better of my temper. Six 
months is a long time ; things that hap- 
pened six months ago seem a long wa}^ 
off" (her eyes straying dreamily out to the 
still white trees and the square church 

'' I see how it is," he says fiercely ; '' I 
have been very patient with you, and you 
think I shall be patient always. You 
are mistaken ; I am sick of patience ; 
I have done with it. I will marry you now 
or never!' 

At his words, her swimming eyes flash, 
and the wet carnation flowers hotly on her 

" Do you wish," she cries, violently, " for 
a wife who hates your touch ? — who dreads 
being left alone with you ? — who never 

What the Author Says, 117 

hears your footstep without longing to fly 
out of sight — out of earshot of you ? If 
you do, you have odd taste !" 

He clenches his hands, and his teeth 
close hard on his under lip, but he does not 
trust himself to speak. 

"Is not it my own interest to be fond of 
you — to marry you ?" she continues, in 
strong excitement. " Are not you rich and 
prosperous ? and have not I all my life 
been in love with ease and wealth and 
pleasure ? Is it from choice that I wake 
all night ? I am sick of being unhappy, 
and fretting, and hating everybody. God 
knows I would be happy if I could ! Be 
patient a little longer — only a little." 

But he only answers — " Nozv or never r 

'' Well, then, it must be never /" she 
answers, vehemently — " there — you have 
said it yourself ; it is yozir doing, not mine. 
It is_y^^^ who have thrown me over — not / 

ii8 ''Good-bye, Szucet/ieart T 

" Very well," he answers, in a husky 
whisper, hastily averting his face, to hinder 
her from seeing the havoc that despair is 
working on its beauty ; " you are right ; it 
shall be never /" 

Utter silence for a space : silence as deep 
as if they had been dead. 

" Lenore," he says at length, turning 
towards her for the last time his clay-white 
face and the indignant agony of his eyes, 
" you make one say ugly things to you. 
Were you ever anything but a curse to 
any one that you had to do with ? You 
have cursed full six months of my life, 
but you shall curse no more of it : I luill 
do without you. There is no lesson so 
hard that one cannot learn it in time, and 
I will." 

She is silent. 

'' Even for a good woman, who had loved 
one, and whom one had lost by death, one 
would not mourn for ever," he continues. 

What the Author Says. 119 

in the same rough unsteady whisper ; " how 
much less for you, who have never given 
me anything but unladyHke insults — un- 
womanly gibes ! Good-bye, Lenore ! Yes, 
good-bye ! But before I go, give me one 
kiss — one real kiss. Since they were to 
have been all mine, spare me one." 

So speaking he stoops, and for an instant 
lays his lips upon her unwilling mouth. 
Then he goes. Thus she is rid of all her 




Good night, good sleep, good rest from sorrow, 
To these that shall not have good morrow ; 
Ye gods, be gentle to all these. 
Nay, if death be not, how shall they be ? 
Nay, is there help in heaven ? it may be 
All things and lords of things shall cease." 



,FTER Life's little, hot day, comes 
Death's long cool night; whether 
of the two is the pleasanter ? 
Well, we shall know anon. Oh ! patient 
friends, you have come with me so far, 
come with me yet a little further. I will 
not keep you long. Already the shadows 
stretch themselves ; the faint-coloured even 
cometh. Summer is here again — early 
summer, early June, as when first, oh 
reader, you and I met and panted together 
through the " endless days," when even 

124 '' Good-bye, Sweetheart /" 

night broughl: not darkness. Down in 
England, the meadows have a hlac tinge 
over them, from the ripe heavy-headed 
grasses, and the horse-chestnut flower's 
spikes have changed into httle prickly 
o-reen balls. But we are not in E norland, 
oh reader, you and I ; we are in Switzer- 
land, in the high cold valley of the En- 


We are at the end of our day's journey, 
have stiffly descended from the huge dusty 
carriage in which we have crampedly sat 
all the long and shining day. To-morrow 
we shall reach our final destination, Pont- 
resina. Meanwhile here we are, up among 
the mountains, the torrents, the pines, at 
this loveliest village of Bergun. An hour 
has passed since our arrival, and we have 
dined, if you can apply that sacred word to 
the empty form of tapping with our knives a 

What yemima Says. 125 

black boned chicken's skeleton, and sipping 
a nauseous wine of the country, black as 
Tartarus, and with a flavour that is ao^ree- 
ably compounded of pills, slate-pencil, and 
ink. There is no denying — degrading as 
it is to the supremacy of mind over bod}^ 
— that a bad dinner has a depressing effect. 
Not one of us three but feels cross and 
empty. Sylvia tries to sit upon a hard- 
bottomed, straight-backed chair, as if it 
were one of her own padded eas)^ ones, and 
fails. Lenore stalks to the window and 
looks over the balcony. I think that 
people grow after they are thought grown 
up, oftener than is usually supposed. Le- 
nore has certainly grown within the last 
six months, or perhaps it is only her loss of 
flesh that gives her such a tall look. She 
used to have a good deal of the shapely 
solidity that constitutes a person's claim to 
be a fine woman — rather a butcher's term 
of commendation, at best ; — shapely she 

126 ''Good-bye, Sweetheart!'' 

must always be, \m\,Jine she Is no longer; 
only very slender and willowy. I pick up 
the visitors' book, read the dreary wag- 
geries, the lame rhymes, the consequential 
commendations of bed and board. I come 
to the last entry : 

" Mr. Tomkins, London. 
'' Mrs. Tomkins, ,, 

" Miss Tomkins, ,, 

" Miss L. Tomkins, „ 
'' Mr. J. T. Tomkins, „ 
" Miss Harris, „ 

" Exceedingly pleased with the accom- 
modation at this hotel — the attendance 
excellent, rooms most clean, and food 
better than at any other hotel in the 

I read this aloud. " There is a pros- 
pect for us !" 

" You are not serious ? " cries Sylvia, 

What Jemima Says. 127 

starting upright in her chair, and opening 
eyes as round as marbles in unaffected dis- 
may. " That is not really there ! You 
are only joking!" 

'' Read for yourself," I answer, handing 
the book to her, while I joined our junior 
in the window. Well, one must send all 
appetite to one's eyes ; there is at least 
plenty of food for them. The pearly even- 
ing sky, cut by the cold lilac peaks ; the 
mountains, that wear always round their 
waist and feet a girdle of great pines ; 
a sombre army^ — rising, pointed top above 
pointed top, in their endless fadeless 
green ; the rough torrent course, that fur- 
rows the hill's face, like the traces of a 
tearful agony ; an evening glimmer of 
meadow flowers ; a flash of bright water. 
And right under us the little village street, 
the deep-roofed low houses, the tiny case- 
ments, out of which the lavish pinks and 
flowered picotees are hanging ; the queer 

128 ''Good-bye, SzueetJieart T 

sententious inscription on the chalet nearest 
us : — 

" Das Haus stet in Gottes Hand, 

Jan Peder Grigori 

Bin Ich genand." 

And Is not that Jan Peder himself, sitting 
outside, on a log of wood ? He Is old and 
withered, and very much the worse for 

Insensibly I begin to forget the void 
feeling that ruffled my temper five minutes 
ago, as I listen to the soothing drip, drip, 
of the two-spouted pump, that Is always 
pouring into a wooden trough. The pump, 
seems to be the rendezvous of the village ; 
the leisurely chatter, in this odd mongrel 
Romansch tongue, rises soft and subdued 
to our ears. A tinkling of slow bells, as 
a herd of lovely smoke-coloured cows come 
slowly treading down the street, and stoop 
their sleek necks to drink. If one could 

What yemima Says. 129 

see the inside of these folks' lives no doubt 
one would find that they were as basely 
grovelling as those of our own lower orders 
— lives probably brightened only by garlic 
and beer ; but looking now at the outside 
of them, on this quiet purple evening, it 
seems as if one had come upon a little 
sudden patch of old-world innocent 

" I wish that Jan Peder Gregori would 
go indoors," says Lenore, gravely ; " it 
must be very bad for him, being out so 

" There must be some one here beside 
us," I say, leaning over the balcony, and 
pointing to a second and smaller dusty 
carriage, drawn up behind our great lum- 
bering ark. 

'' A man, too," says Lenore, with lazy 
interest, " if a portmanteau be a sufficient 
proof of masculinity." 

'' It is such a bran-new one, too," con- 

VOL. III. 9 

130 ''Good-bye, Szveetheart T 

tinue I, lauehine, " that he must be either 
a just-married man, or a man just about to 
be married." 

" Who was it said that a new flannel 
petticoat was an infahible sign of a bride ?"' 
asks Lenore, languidly. " Does the same 
hold good of men and portmanteaus ? I 
wish we could see his initials, but the hat- 
box hides them. 

" Now that I think of it," I say, medita- 
tively, " I have a vision of having seen 
vestiges of food on that table in the corner; 
let us make Kolb find out who he is, for 
by his luggage, I feel sure that he is an 

I am right. An Englishman he is, 
name unknown ; he has come down from 
St. Moritz, and is on his homeward road; 
he is to set off at cock-crow to-morrow, 
and he went out walking only ^\& minutes 
before our arrival. This is all the inform- 
ation we obtain, all the food we get to 

What Jemima Says. 131 

keep alive our faint and flagging in- 

'' Do you mean to stay fustily indoors 
all evening ?" asks Lenore, presently, with 
a yawn, " because I do not. I am sick of 
Jan Peder, and the pump, and the goats ; 
I shall go and explore, like Mrs. Elton in 
' Emma.' " 

'* Do not !" cry I, hastily and dissua- 
sively. " You know that going out when 
the dew is falling always brings on your 

'' Pooh !" replies she, lightly. " What 
matter if it does ? I am going to set up 
such a stock of strength at Pontresina that 
it would be a thousand pities not to be a 
little worse before I get there." 

"At least put on your" — — I begin, 
but she interrupts me. 

" Did you ever know me to take advice 
in all your life ?" she asks, with a petulant 
gesture. " I should not wonder if I met 


132 '' Good-bye, Sweetheart P' 

our unknown friend of the new portman- 
teau ; I am not sure that I am not going 
to look for him. Ati revoir f 

I gaze after her and sigh, with a Hne of 
' Elaine ' running in my head — 

" Being so very wilful, you must go." 


"There cannot be a pinch in death more sharp 
than this is." 


FTER all she puts a shawl over 
her head ; It is not a very thick 
one, but neither is the mountain 
air very keen on this softly-creeping sum- 
mer night. It is red, and the old men and 
the women sitting in the doorways of the 
dark little houses stare at it admiringly. 
She passes amongst them quickly — past 
the rickety little wooden balconies, the 
piles of firevv'Ood, the numberless odd little 

134 " Good bye, Sweetheart r 

casements, like windows In a doll's house 
— It Is not them that she wants — till, at a 
sudden turn, the village is behind her, out 
of sight — the laughing, leisurely, chattering 
village — and the river that she sought is 
before her. A great bold hill-shoulder 
rises In front of her against the dark night- 
sky, and beside her the river boils and 
maddens along in riotous white play ; it is 
so swift that the eye cannot follow it ; It 
tosses high its cold spray, and cries, exult- 
ingly, " Oh, snow ! I am as white as you." 
Nobody sees her — she is all alone ; even 
the broad-faced moon has not yet looked 
in silver and pearl over the hill. When 
one is alone one does many foolish things. 
Lenore throws herself on her knees on a 
flat stone close to the brink — dashed. In- 
deed, by the stream's stormy white dust — 
and speaks out loud to it : 

'' Oh, good, kind little river ! will you 

What the Atithor Says. 135 

drown memory for me ? — will you drown 
Paul ?" 

Lenore is not always thinking of Paul ; 
sometimes for almost a day she forgets 
him ; but, long as it is since he cast her 
off, and short as was the time during which 
she possessed him, the impulse still holds 
her, on seeing any beautiful thing, to say, 
" I will show it to Paul ;" on hearing any 
witty thing, " I will tell it to Paul." Paul 
was a cross fellow, cruel and cold, as she 
sometimes tells herself ; but he would have 
loved this mad river, biting and ravening 
with fierce foam-teeth against the dark 
boulders that lie in its bed, and crying vio- 
lently to them, '' Let me pass !" If he 
were here now, among the yellow trefoil, 
his arm round her waist and her head on 
his shoulder ! — they two standing, in a 
dumb ecstasy, with only the larches waving 
their green plumes above their heads, and 
the water's endless restless roar, that ceases 

136 " Good-bye, Sweetheart T 

not day nor night, January nor June, 
making a loud hubbub at their feet — alone 
with the river, the mountains, and God ! 
She can almost feel his arm ; she turns her 
eyes to look up into his, but then the 
dream flies ; there are no kind eyes to look 
into — there is no Paul — none ! 

She starts up hastily, and hurries on. 
The gorge narrows ; there is only room for 
her and for the river — the panting fury of 
the stream. " Oh river ! you take my 
breath away. Tarry a little ; I cannot 
keep up with you 1" But the river makes 
answer : " I cannot tarry ; I have an errand 
into the great grey sea." On and on, on 
and on she saunters, not heeding how far 
nor v/hither, until at length she comes to a 
slight hand-bridge of planks, that gives 
and vibrates beneath her. There she 
stands, and leans over the slender railing, 
gazing, with eyes that try in vain to keep 
up with it, at the swirling torrent. The 

What the Authoi' Says. 137 

evening is both darkening and lightening : 
darkening, for the sun is gone further and 
further away ; hghtening, for the moon is 
coming — yea, come. Already she has 
washed the hills' faces with her cool silver 
flood : now her pearl-white feet have 
reached — have lightly trodden on the 
water — the wonderful water! Can it be 
all the same — the same when it lies in 
opal sleep, and when it plunges against 
and angrily smites its drenched rocks ? If 
one had but some one — some dear person 
• — to show it all to ! 

After crossing the bridge the path she 
has hitherto followed takes a sharp turning 
round the spur of a hill, and is immediately 
lost to sight. As she stands, still leaning 
over the rickety hand-rail, and watching 
the moon-coloured bubbles, she hears a 
footstep coming along this unseen path. It 
is growing late ; the moon is rising high ; 
this place is inconceivably lonely. Her 

138 '^Good-bye, Siveetheart P' 

first impulse is to turn and run homewards, 
but her second contradicts it. Why should 
she stir ? Bah ! it is probably some inno- 
cent rough peasant, clumping home to bed 
in his deep-eaved chalet. He will stare 
at her cloak, and probably give her a 
Romansch " good-night," to which she will 
be puzzled to respond ; so she stays. 
Nearer and nearer comes the footstep, and 
her heart beats a trifle quicker than its 
wont. Her eyes are fixed on the corner 
which will give to view the owner of this 
slow and intermittent tread. Here he 
comes, out of the rock-shadow into the 
light ! He is not a peasant ! He is — 
surely, he is an Englishman ! He is — 
Paul I Oh, God in heaven ! it cannot be ! 
Men dress so much alike — there is such a 
deceptive resemblance between all the men 
of a class at a little distance. He comes 
a step or two nearer, then stops and looks 
upwards. The moon shines down full and 

What the Author Says. 139 

white on his upturned face — the honest, 
shrewd face, that is neither gentle nor 
beautiful. She sees his cool calm eyes 
glitter in the moonbeams. He Is carelessly- 
dressed, without any necktie. His strong 
throat rises bare and muscular, and his 
hands are burled deep in the pockets of 
the old Dinan shooting jacket. Do you 
think that she faints or topples over into 
the water, or screams or laughs hysterically, 
or calls out loud ? Not she ! She only 
stands still, with one slight hand hard 
grasping the hand-rail, and with a heart 
whose loud pulsations drown the voice of 
the triumphant foamy stream, waiting for 
her heaven to come to her. Has Death 
let her slip by him, having seen her bitter 
pain ? Is she already in the blessed 
land ? Paul is so busy moon-gazing 
that he is close to her — his foot is upon 
the plank — before he perceives her. 
Then he jumps almost out of his clothes 

140 ''Good-bye, Sweetheart T 

— out of his Dinan shooting jacket — out of 
his skin. 

'' Lenore ! ! !" 

She could not have cried '' Paul T in 
answer if you had offered her all the king- 
doms of the world as a bribe. He stoops 
his tall head till his eager face is close to 
hers ; he stares hard into her eyes ; he 
even stretches out his hand and touches 
her red cloak to assure himself that she is 
real. Yes, it is no ghost-woman ; it is a 
real Lenore, with a face much paler. Indeed, 
than the Lenore he remembers — a face 
grave with the gravity of intense emotion, 
touched with the trouble of overpowering 
wonder — that is looking back at him with 
wide and lovely eyes. 

'* God Almighty ! who would have 
thought of seeing jK^?/ here ?" 

In the accents of intense surprise it is 
difficult to ascertain the presence or ab- 
sence of joy or sorrow. One would be 

What the Author Says. 141 

puzzled to say whether Paul were very 
glad or very grieved at this meeting at the 
world's end with his old love. 

" Lenore ! — is it Lenore f " (again nar- 
rovv^ly scanning her white and quivering 
face.) " How, in the name of wonder, did 
you come here ?" 

It is stupid to be so tongueless, is not 
it ? — standing dumb, with hanging head, 
like a child playing at being shy. But 
she seems to have lost the art of framing- 

'' Will not you speak to me ?" he con- 
tinues, with an eager hesitation, mistaking 
the cause of her speechlessness ; " will not 
you shake hands with me ?" 

She puts out her hand in a moment : 
does he feel how it is shaking as it lies in 
his cool clasp ? 

'' You — you — are not alone here ?" (in- 
voluntarily glancing at her left hand). 
" You are with — with " 

142 ^^ Good-dye y Sweetheart T 

" No, I am not alone," she answers, 
speaking every word very slowly and care- 
fully, as if not quite sure whether the 
right words would come ; " Jemima and 
Sylvia " 

" Jemima ! " he says, pronouncing the 
word with a lingering emphasis, as if it 
carried him back into memory, and smiling 
rather pensively. 

Both are silent for a few moments ; — 
only two voices are heard : the river's loud 
hoarse one, as it keeps calling always 
to the rocks and the dumb green pines, 
and the grasshopper's sharp and shrill — 
and infinitely content. If it could but last 
for ever ! They two standing on that nar- 
row bridge, on a sheet of silver, the river 
— all silver, too — tearing and roaring be- 
low them ; the larches softly tossing their 
small green feathers ; the unsleeping grass- 
hopper singing his pleasant song ; and they 
two looking kindly into each other's eyes. 

What the AtUhor Says. 143, 

But when could one ever say to any happy 
moment, as Joshua said to the docile sun, 
" Stand thou still " ? He will not stand 
still; he could not if he would; he is jostled 
away by his pushing younger brothers. 

" How often I have wondered whether I 
should ever meet you again," says Paul, 
presently, with a long sigh ; " after all, the 
world is small — and if I did, where and 
how ? Certainly, this is the last place that 
ever would have entered my head ; and 
yet, only five minutes ago I was thinking 
of you." 

" Were you ?" she says, softly, while her 
eyes shine gently back at him, like beauti- 
fullest dew-wet flowers through happy 
tears ! 

*' You have forgiven me ?" he says, 
anxiously catching hold of her other hand, 
and holding both in the same loose friendly 
clasp in which he had before held the one. 
" We are friends, are not we ? At peace ?" 

144 ''Good-bye, Sweetheaft T 

She has no hands to hide her face ; she 
cannot hinder him from seeing how her 
drooped eyes brim over — how the heavy 
p-reat tears are rolHno^ down over her 
smart scarlet cloak. In the tender gen- 
tleness of her small wet face there is not 
much war. 

" Do not cry," he says, looking surprised 
and miserable, as a man always does, when 
a woman unexpectedly weeps. '' What is 
there to cry about ? I am not " (smiling 
rather awkwardly) "going to scold you, 
this time. You know I always was a good 
hand at lecturing, was not I ? Often and 
often since I have wished that I had not 
been quite such a good one. ... I can 
hardly believe that it is you," he says, after 
a pause, again interrupting the river's and 
the grasshopers' duet. "What have you 
been doing to yourself ? Somehow you 
are different. You are too old to grow, I 
suppose ; people do not grow at nineteen ; 

What the Author Says. 145 

but — but — surely you are thinner than you 
used to be ? Have you been ill ? Are 
you ill now ?" 

" Not very," she answers, lightly, " any- 
body else would have made a trifle of it, 
but you know I always make the most of 
things, and I have not much of a constitu- 
tion — so they tell me." 

He does not ask any other question for 
the moment. 

" For my part, I am glad," she con- 
tinues, with a restless laugh. " I never 
could see what use a good constitution was 
to anyone, except to make them suffer 
more, and die harder when their time 

'' I suppose you have been threatening 
to break a bloodvessel again," he says, 
with a smiling allusion to what she had 
told him on one of the earliest days of 
their acquaintance. *' Good God ! can that 
be only a year ago ?" 

VOL. III. 10 

146 '^Good-bye, Sweetheart f 

" Only a year ago !" she echoes, dreamily. 
" But a year is a long time." 

" You are pale, too," he says, proceeding 
with his scrutiny; "are you always pale 
now ? The only time that I remember 
you as pale as you are now was that night 
when I upset you into the Ranee ! How 
wet you were ! How the water dripped 
from your long hair ! I did not believe till 
then that women really had such long hair. 
I can see you now !" His grey eyes look 
kind and almost wistful as he thus travels 
back into the pretty dead past. 

" Can you ?" she says, almost inaudibly. 

'' It was all a mistake, I suppose," he 
continues, sighing, " a blunder — a bungle — 
but it was pleasant while it lasted, was not 

She cannot speak for tears. 

'' Lenore," he says, after another silence, 
in a tone of stronger excitement than any 
that he has yet used, " I am going to tell 

What the A^Uhor Says, 147 

you something. Often and often I have 
wondered whether I should ever have the 
chance of telHng you. Sometimes I have 
wished that I should, and sometimes I have 
hoped that I should not. It does not much 
matter what you think of me now, one way 
or another, but I do not think that it will 
improve your opinion of either my wisdom 
or my humility. Do you remember that 
last letter you sent me ?" 

She is not pale now ; he cannot accuse 
her of it. No rose in any midsummer 
garden was ever so red ; and her streaming 
eyes flash in the mild moonlight with the 
old angry spirit. Is he going to twit her 
with that poor little overture that mis- 
carried so piteously ? 

" I did not believe in it," he goes on, 
still in hot excitement. '' I was sore and 
mad from your galling bitter words. Le- 
nore " (almost entreatingly), '* why do you 
let your tongue cut like a knife ? I thought 

10 — 2 

148 " Good-bye, Sweetheart 


it was only a flirting manoeuvre to get me 
back and make a fool of me a second time, 
I hate being made a fool of ! Nobody had 
ever taken the trouble to do it before. I 
hate being trodden upon. I like to walk 
upright and go my own way." 

" Well ?" 

'' You remember the answer I sent — I 
hope you burnt it — I am not proud of it," 
reddening through all his sun tan. " Well, 
when it was gone I read your letter over 
again, and by dint of poring over it line by 
line I grew to think that there was a true 
ring in it. Lenore, it was very clever of 
you ! I do not know how you managed to 
get that true ring. I began to think of — 
of — the dear old time " (his voice, though 
he is a man, shakes a little). '' I began — 
you will laugh at me for thinking of such a 
trifle at such a moment — to remember the 
old blue ofown and Huelgfoat." 

She turns away, and leans over the 

What the Author Says. 149 

bridge ; and, unseen by him, unseen by 
anyone, her tears hotly drop into the cold 
river and are swallowed by it. 

" I recollected things you used to say," 
he continues, with a pensive smile, given 
rather to the past than the present. " You 
had such a pretty fond way of saying 
things — well" (dashing his hand across his 
forehead, and abruptly changing his tone) 
*'the upshot of it was that I resolved to 
ask you to — to — to — kiss and make friends 
in short — I suppose one may as well word 
it in that childish way as any other. I had 
even" (beginning to laugh harshly, for 
one's laughs at one's own expense are 
rarely melodious) " got a new pen, squared 
my elbows, and sat down to write to 
you." She is trembling all over, and 
panting, as one breathless from a long 

" Why did not you ? — why did not 
you ?" she cries, with almost a wail. 

150 '^Good-bye, Szueetheart f 

" Why did not If he repeats, looking' 
at her with unfeigned astonishment. " I 
wonder at your asking that. Why ? 
Because at that very moment, not a week 
after you had composed that triumph of 
pathos'' (with a bitter sneer), " I heard of 
your engagement to Scrope. I saw how 
much the triLe ring was worth then ; I 
beheve I laughed. There is always some- 
thing to be thankful for, and I was heartily 
thankful that I had not written. There is 
no use in eating more dirt than one can 
help in this world, is there ?" 

" But I am not engaged now !" she cries^ 
'passionately. " I can hardly believe that I 
ever was really ; people exaggerate things 
so in the telling. I think it was always 
more play than earnest." 

'' More play than earnest /" he repeats^ 
in utter and blank astonishment. " Why^ 
I understood that the wedding day had 
come — that you were all dressed — and that 

What the Author Says. 151 

it was only put off on account of your 
having been taken suddenly ill !" 

'' Yes," she answers, incoherently ; 
*' thank God, I was ill, very ill ; that was 
what saved me ! Thank God ! Thank 
God !" 

" Saved you !" he repeats, looking at her 
with unlimited wonder. "How do you 
mean ? Surely it was your own doing ? 
It was only put off, was not it ? — it is still 
to be ?" 

" Never ! never !" she cries, wildly. 
'' Who can have told you such things ? 
It was all a farce from beginning to end ; 
it never was anything serious. I — I — • 
think I must have been a little off my 

" And you are not engaged to Scrope ?" 
(with an accent of extreme surprise). 

" Not I," she answers, vehemently ; "do 
not suggest anything so dreadful." 

" Nor to any one else ?" 

152 " Good-bye, Szueetheart T 

'' Any one else T she echoes, scornfully. 
" To whom else should I be ? Must I 
always be engaged to some one ?" 

Now that It is all clear between them, 
now that all clouds of misconception have 
been swept away, now that they are all 
alone here in the moonlight, surely he will 
take her in his arms. Her head will rest 
on the shoulder of the old jacket, where it 
has so often confidently lain before. But 
he only turns away with something like a 
curse, and says, half under his breath, 
" God ! what lies people tell !" A silence. 
When next Paul speaks it is in a con- 
.strained and sedulously governed voice. 

'' I did not bless either you or him that 
day, I can tell you — not that that did you 
much harm ; but this was quite at the first, 
quite. When a thing has sense and justice 
in it one soon gives up kicking against it. 
I have long given up kicking against this ; 
I have grown so wise '* (laughing, 

Wkai the AtUhor Says. 153 

nervously) " that I acquiesce in it con- 

'' Do you ?" she says, and her throat 
seems to have grown suddenly dry, and to 
send forth only harsh and ugly sounds. 

'' Perhaps — perhaps — you will come 
round to him yet," says Paul, speaking 
with a very white face, and a tremor in his 
deep voice, " in time, you know ; time does 
surprising things — things that one would 
not believe ! You — you — might do 

A fiery searing pain goes through her 

"You are very good," she says, while, 
the flame of her hot eyes dries her tears, 
" but I really do not see what business it is 
of yours." 

*' None," he answers, almost humbly; 
" none ! I beg your pardon for having 
said it, but you know you consented just 
now that we should be friends, and friends 

154 ^'Good-bye, Sweetheart f' 

may take an interest in each other's future, 
may not they ?" 

She does not answer ; she is hstening to 
the grasshopper — his sharp treble song 
seems to have grown very dismal all of a 

'' Lenore," cries the other, impulsively, 
again catching her small hands, " before we 
say anything more, let me tell you — I 
must tell you — about — about — my future." 

'' Well ?" 

Her eyes, dry now, achingly dry, are 
staring back at him, wild with an unnamed 

"My people have been up at St. Moritz," 
he says, going on rapidly with his story, 
" so have I, for the last two months ; I am 
hurrying home now as fast as I can, to get 
things straight. I am going — perhaps you 
have heard it already — I am going to be 

When one receives a mortal blow, some- 

What the Attthor Says. 155 

times one does not feel much pain at the 
first — so they tell me ; one is only stunned. 
I do not think that Lenore feels much pain, 
only her wits go a woolgathering. Not 
for long, however. Even though one is 
lightheaded from extremest agony, one has 
still the womanly instinct to draw a decent 
cloak over one's ugly yawning wounds. 
Not much more than the usual interval 
between question and answer has elapsed, 
before some one — some kind spirit, I think, 
who has crept inside her cold and quivering 
body — speaks in almost Lenore's voice — 
speaks with a stiff little smile : 

" To your cousin ?" 

" Yes, to my cousin." 

A little trifling pause, that would not be 
noticed, so short is it, in any ordinary con- 
versation ; a pause, during which Lenore 
is fighting more fiercely than ever the 
typical lioness fought for her whelps — 
fighting for a voice, for a laugh, for civil 

156 ^^ Good-bye, Sweetheart P^ 

careless words ; and he or she who in one 
of these mortal battles fights strongly, with 
heart and soul, with decency and self- 
respect on his or her side, mostly over- 
comes. Only it takes a great deal of lint 
to heal the wounds afterwards. Lenore 
overcomes. But the victory is hardly com- 
plete ; she cannot let him see her face. 
She leans over the bridge side, as she leant 
five minutes ago to hide her happy tears ; 
but there are no tears to hide now. 

'' The ideal girl !" she says, with a sort 
of laugh. '' The woman with eyes like a 
shot partridge's — rather dull, but very 
lovine 1 You see I remember all about 

Paul does not speak ; he also leans over 
the bridge, and there is not much of the 
triumphant bridegroom in the eyes that are 
idly fixed on a pointed rock, grey, and 
shining with wet moonbeams, which every 
minute the stream deluees. 

What the Author Says. 157 

*' If you remember, I always prophesied 
it," says the girl, feeling her words come 
more readily ; " only, like Cassandra, no- 
body believed my prophecies." 

'' Why did you prophesy it ?" he asks 
almost angrily. '' There was no sense in 
such a prophecy — no ground for it. There 
was not such a thought in anyone's head — 
no, nor ever would have " 

He stops suddenly. She does not speak, 
only she shakes her head gently. Her 
wits have come quite back ; she has buried 
the pain in a shallow hole, out of sight, for 
the moment. When this is over — when he 
is gone — it will shake off the light cover- 
ing of its temporary grave, and rise up like 
a giant. Then again she will have to fight ; 
but now for the moment she has won a 
most numb quiet. 

" Why do you shake your head ?" he 
asks abruptly. " Does it mean that you 
do not believe me ? At least in the old 

158 ''Good-bye, Sweetheart T 

time you used to give me credit for speak- 
ine truth — sometimes too much truth to 
please you ; why should I deceive you 
now 1—nozu that no word that either you 
or I could speak could bring us one jot 
nearer each other ?" 

Still she only leans her arms on the rail 
of the bridge — leans heavily on it — and her 
drooped head sinks low down. 

" When was it that you prophesied it ?" 
he asks almost in a whisper, coming nearer 
her. " Was it at Huelgoat, or at Chateau- 
briand's tomb, as we stood and watched the 
waves and the seagulls ? If you did, I 
compliment you ; you were indeed far- 
seeing." (No answer.) " I never was one 
to care violently for anybody — never. The 
^ame never seemed to me worth the can- 
dle. It does not sound well, but I had 
always liked myself best ; but — somehow I 
like to say it now, though there is not 
much sense in it (shake your head as much 

What the Atcthor Says. 159 

as you please) — but, before God, I did care 
for you beyond measure in my way — it was 
not a very pleasant way — only I tried my 
best to hide it. I knew your amiable pecu- 
liarity of never valuing what you could get ; 
but I didloYQ you — I did — I did T (rising 
into an emphasis and excitement most un- 
like him as he ends). 

" Did you," she says faintly, a little 
spark of animation coming into her face 
and into her dull eyes. " I thought you 
liked me ; afterwards they all said you did 

'' Well, I love no one beyond measure 
now, I suppose," he says hastily, pushing 
the hair off his forehead with a cross and 
jerky movement. " My affections are quite 
within bounds — well in hand" (smiling 
ironically). '' The other was the pleasant- 
est while it lasted, but no doubt this is the 
healthier state." (Still silence.) ''It is 
much better as it is," he says presently, 

1 60 " Good-bye, Sweetheart /" 

speaking vehemently, and as if more with 
a view to convincing himself than her. 
''If we had married then, how we should 
have hated each other by now ! Did we 
ever look at anything from the same point 
of view ? — and you are not a woman to be 
shaped to a husband's liking. Good God ! 
how I laughed at that idiot West's notion 
of moulding you ! You would not have 
given in, neither should I. Yes, we should 
have been miserable." 

" Miserable — yes, miserable — most mise- 
rable," she echoes very slowly and me- 
chanically ; but whether she applies the 
word to the hypothetical case he puts, or 
to her own actual one, is not clear even to 

" You agree with me ?" he says sharply, 
as if not much gratified by the discovery 
of her acquiescence. '' Of course ! I knew 
you did. Yes, it is better for both of us ; 
specially better iox yoii!' 

What the Author Says. i6i 

" Much better," she says, speaking with 
an immense effort, and even accompHshing 
a laugh. "As you say, when did we ever 
look at anything from the same point of 
view, even during the short time we were 
together ? — how short ! how short !" (utter- 
ing the words in a dragging, dreary way.) 
'' Hardly a day passed that we did not 
quarrel. Yes, it was pleasant at the time 
— qtiite pleasant. I suppose that your — 
your — cousin ■' (with a tight, strained smile) 
" will not mind my allowing that, will she ? 
But no doubt we shall both do better — I, 
as you say, especially." 

A little pause. 

" Do you remember," he says suddenly, 
" that day at St. Malo ; how I "— 

She interrupts. '' I remember nothing," 
she says firmly, though her pale lips trem- 
ble. " I have the worst memory in the 
world." He looks mortified, and relapses 
into silence. '' Tell me," she says pre- 


t62 ''Good-bye, Sweetheart f 

sently, with a nervous excitement in her 
manner, " tell me all about yourself ; that 
is much more interesting. When is it to 
be^ — what day exactly ? I should like to 
think of you, you know — to drink your 
health, and " (laughing hysterically) " I 
suppose I ought to send you a present, 
outrht not I ?" 

" For God's sake, do not !" he cries 
hastily, '' unless you can send me your bad 
memory ; I should thank you for that." 

*' You ncvci' quarrel with her, I suppose?" 
continues the girl, drawing strength even 
from the very intensity of her own misery 
to speak collectedly, and even smilingly. 
" It is all smooth sailing, like a boat on a 
duck-pond ! No doubt you can moitldh^r, 
like a piece of clay, into whatever shape 
you like." 

Paul reddens. '* She is a good girl," he 
says moodily ; '' and when I am away from 
you I know that I shall be happy with her 

What the AiUhor Says. 163 

- — at least" (sighing heavily) "I ought to 
be ; at all events, I shall have peace — that 
is something. All my life before I met 
you I thought it was everything." (After 
a pause) " Thank God she does not know 
how to sneer." 

"And when is it to be ?" she asks, still 
smiling ; '' you know you have not told 
me ; tell me. I wish to know the day — 
the very day." 

" Immediately," he says, feverishly ; '' the 
sooner the better. What is there to wait 
for ?" 

" Well, I will think of you," she says, 
commanding her voice with great difficulty, 
and stretching out her trembling hand 
kindly to him ; " yes, I will — that is " 
(breaking into an unsteady laugh), " if — if 
— I do not forget." 

" Do nothing of the kind," he cries, 
roughly pressing the slender cold fingers ; 
" neither the^i nor ever ! Let us make a 

1 1 — 2 • 

164 ^' Good-bye, Siveetheart f 

compact, never to think of each other again. 
What pleasant thoughts can we have of 
one another ? Least of all, think of me on 
that day," he continues after an Interval, 
speaking with the signs of strong excite- 
ment. '' I ask It of you as a favour ; If 
your face comes between me and the par- 
son " (laughing harshly) " I shall not be 
very ready with my responses ! Let me 
have one good look at you !" (after another 
pause, while his breath comes quick and 
short) "just one. It would be a pity quite 
to forget the face of the handsomest woman 
one ever knew, would not it ? There ! — 
There !" There Is the pallor of a mad 
longing on his cold shrewd face, as he 
stands starinof and stammerinof In the moon- 
light. " Good-bye, lovely eyes !" he says, 
in a hoarse whisper ; *' good-bye, lovely 
lips ! you gave me no peace while I had 
you ; but, yet I wish — oh God ! how I 
wish " 

What the Author Says. 165 

He stops abruptly. His mad fond words 
have brought back the solace of all the 
sorrowful to her smarting eyes ; they are 
shininof with the soft dimness of tendet 
tears, as they grow to his harsh and altered 

'' Wish nothing," she says, gently. " I 
have wished many things in my time — that 
you were dead ; that I myself were ; that 
one could have things twice over, or not at 
all — but you see they have none of them 
come true." 

" Let me, at least, wish one thing," he 
cries, violently. " Whether you let me, or 
no, I zvill wish it ! I will pray, and ur- 
gently entreat God for it — that this — this 
hell, that is just half a step off heaven, may 
not come over again ! Lenore, pretty Le- 
nore, what ill-luck makes us both live in 
England ? What security have we that we 
shall not come across each other again, and 
yet again, and yet again ?" 

1 66 ''Good-bye, Siucd heart f 

" There is not much danger," she says, 
calmly, " at least, not yet awhile : we are 
not going home ; we are going up to Pon- 
tresina for many months — for all the sum- 

"To Pontresina ?" he exclaims, brusquely. 
" What are you going there for ? Health 
or pleasure ? Not health surely ?" peering 
at her again with an anxious suspicion. 

" Partly," she answers ; and then trying 
to speak lightly and merrily, " I suppose 
being over-lively and over-amused wears 
one out as much as over-work or over- 
grief ; I was so gay last winter — so gay — 
that I danced all the flesh off my bones." 

He makes no comment on this announce- 

" I am going to lay up such a store of 
strength against next winter," she continues, 
laughing almost loudly, "for I mean to be 
gayer than ever then — gayer than ever." 

The contrast between the words she is 

What the Author Says. 167 

uttering and the black devastation that is 
laying waste her soul, strikes her with such 
bitter force that she turns away sharply. 

" Do you ?" he says, fiercely. '' I dare 
say ! What is it to me ? Why do you 
tell me ?" 

Hiofher and hiofher the fair broad moon 
has been sailing ; she has reached her 
zenith ; now, nothing escapes her ; every 
larch feather, every yeasty crown of froth, 
every daisy and fine grass blade, she has 
daintly washed. 

" I am going," Paul says, with rough 
suddenness. " What am I waiting for ? 
Can you tell me that ? If I stayed here 
all to-night and to-morrow, and the night 
after, what would be changed ? This vile 
stream would still be thundering on, and 
we should still be standing here, eating our 
hearts out with longing for things that, if 
we had them, would not give us content." 

" Yes," she says, and her own pretty 

1 68 " Good-bye, Sweetheart P'' 

womanly voice is almost as harsh as his, 
'' go ! Who is keeping you ?" 

His face is white — so white — with the 
pallor of unwilling passion, and he is 
trembling all over. " And must I leave 
you here, all alone in this desolate place ?" 
he asks, in a husky whisper ; "all alone, as 
I found you ?" 

And she echoes, '' All alone !" 

" You are not frightened ?" 

Aofain she lauofhs, thouQ^h the muscles 
about her face seem tight and stiff. '' What 
should I be frightened at ?" 

Their hands are interlocked, and their 
eyes are fixed on each other's faces. 

'' This is the third time we have said 
* Good-bye,' " he says, indistinctly. '' The 
last was bad enough, but, for my part, I 
liked it better than this ; and the first — 
Lenore, do you remember the first on the 
steamboat at St Malo ?" 

" I remember notJiingl' she says, break- 

What the Author Says. 169 

ing out into impetuous passion, while the 
blood runs headlong to her cheeks. " How 
many times must I tell you that it is an 
-accursed word ? I have torn it out of my 
vocabulary ! I always look on — 011 — now" 
(speaking feverishly). '' Surely there must 
be something pleasant ahead somewhere — 
somewhere !" 

" Perhaps," he says, gloomily ; "but one 
thing I am sure of — oh Lenore, you are 
sure of it, too — and that is, that there is 
nothing so pleasant ahead as what we have 
left behind !" 

These are his last words. 



ND now we have done with Ber- 
gun ; in all probability we shall 
see its little eaves and deep doll's- 
house windows never again. How happily 
might one (one is not equivalent to / here) 
spend a honeymoon among its rocks, and 
pine-slopes, and flowered fields, always 
supposing that one had brought one's own 
food with one. I confess to an opinion 
that the chicken's black skeleton, and the 
untold nauseousness of the Sasseila, would 
cool the ardour of the warmest pair that 

What Jemima Says. 1 7 1 

ever yawned and fondled through the con- 
ventional month. We are still, however, 
in the foodless land of the Engadin ; we 
have reached Pontresina. It is a long 
name is not it ? But the name is longer 
than the place ; it is only a cluster of houses, 
white as the defacer of all beauty, white- 
wash, can make them. If I had the 
world's reins in my hand I would have put 
him that invented whitewash to even a 
feller death than that which I would have 
inflicted on the twin demons who brought 
up gunpowder and electricity from hell's 
lowest pit. At the foot of a long stern 
hill the village humbly crouches, while 
round it stand a silent solemn conclave of 
great mountains — white snow spires reach- 
ing heavenwards — God's church steeples ; 
while far off, a grey-green glacier dimly 
shines. Oh, mighty mountains, you coldly 
awe me with your 

" aloof and loveless permanence." 

172 ''Good-bye, Sweethea7H f 

The trees cluster in the valley, but the 
great hills stand bare-headed before God. 
Here we are at the little hotel ' De la 
Croix Blanche^ having taken root among 
the whitewash. We have been here a 
week, and we have yawned a good deal. 
The season has hardly begun — at least for 
the English — and it has rained an infinity. 
We have even had the doubtful pleasure 
of seeing flakes of unseasonable snow. 
There are no books to be got, and we 
have exhausted our few Tauchnitz novels. 
To-day we have grown tired of our own 
sitting-room, and have strayed objectlessly 
up to the general salon at the top of the 
house. It is a bare light room, white- 
washed, of course. A carpet would be 
pleasant to-day, but no rag of carpet is 
there ; only aggressively clean squares of 
deal, intersected with red pine. There 
has been a wedding party in the house all 
day ; their all-pervading din and to us in- 

What Jemima Says. 173 

comprehensible Romansch mirth have had 
a large share in driving us upwards. It is 
afternoon now, and, thank God, they are 
gone. We have been standing out in the 
balcony, watching their departure, as they 
pack themselves into their shabby hooded 
carriages, garlanded with dusty green, 
wreaths. Yes, they are gone ; the arm of 
each gawky youth, with ostentatious can- 
dour, clasping the solid waist of his 
maiden. Now that they are gone, 
Sylvia retires inside, grumbling and shi- 

" Had not you better go in too ?" I say 
to Lenore ; " it is very damp. You will 
never get well if you do not take more 
care of yourself." 

" Why sJiould I get well ?" she says, 
querulously. '' I do not want to get well ; 
what object in life should I have if I were 
well ? Being ill is something to do. I 
can be interested in my symptoms and 

1 74 " Good-bye, Szvcethcart /" 

my tonics ; I would not be well for 

I look at her compassionately — at her 
sharpened profile ; it is getting a look of 
pinched and suffering discontent. Where 
is its lovely debonair roundness ? Alas ! 
even since we left Bergun it has been slip- 
ping — oh, how quickly ! — away. 

"■ You may get me a shawl if you like," 
she says, presently, "and a chair." 

I re-enter the salon to fetch them. 
Sylvia Is sitting with the landlord's book of 
dried plants before her, lamentably turning 
over the leaves. At the best of times no- 
thing can be more melancholy than a dried 
flower — a colourless skeleton, without any 
likeness to itself. One ought to be in the 
best of spirits to look at such a collection 
as is now engaging Mrs. Prodger's slack 
attention. I return with the shawl — a 
heavy and warm one — and wrap it about 
my youngest sister, and then remain by 

What yenmna Says. 175 

her side, vacantly gazing at the view. 
The rain has ceased, but the clouds still 
hide the top of the glacier mountain ; one 
tiny cloudlet has lost its way, and is wan- 
dering about near the hill foot, slowly 
evaporating, and losing its thin life. The 
balcony where we are is much higher than 
the opposite houses ; it can look magni- 
licently down on their roofs. They are a 
queer little row ; not in a line at all, but 
each seeming to be shoving and elbowing 
its neighbour, in order to get forwardest ; 
in the narrow street below, a man is lean- 
ing against a doorpost, smoking a long 
pipe ; another is sweeping the round stones 
of the pavement with a besom. How can 
one possibly get up any interest in either 
•of them. 

" I do not think Kolb behaved quite 
honestly about this place," says Sylvia's 
voice, dolorously, from the interior ; " some- 
how one never can get foreigners to speak 

176 ''Good-bye, Szi)ectheart T 

qiute ihe truth — he certainly told me dis- 
tinctly, when I asked him, that one might 
always wear demi-saison dresses here." 

We are both too much depressed to join 
even in abuse of Kolb's mendacity. 
Several more leaves turned over ; a heavy 

" I wish the Websters were here ; they 
talked of going abroad this summer. I 
will write and advise them to come 

" Rather a case of the fox that had lost 
his tail," I say, laughing dismally. 

" Tell them not to bring any demi-saison 
dresses," subjoins Lenore, sarcastically. 

Several moments of forlorn silence. 
Sylvia has finished her book, and with a 
vague and mistaken idea that we have got 
some little piece of amusement that we are 
privately luoinying without giving her 
information of it, she issues forth a second 
time and joins us. We are all in a row, 

What Jemi7na Says. 

i I 

like three storks standing on one leg on a 
housetop. The cloudlet has quite melted ; 
there is not a trace of it. I wish I could 
melt too. The man has stopped sweeping. 
Suddenly — no, not suddenly — gradually a 
sound of distant wheels and bells salutes 
our ears. A vehicle of some kind is 
approaching at a brisk trot from the direc- 
tion of Samaden. 

'' Coming here, do you think ?" I sa}', 
with a spark of animation shooting, as I 
feel, from my lack-lustre eye. 

"No such luck," answers Lenore, 

"No doubt it is going on to ' The 
Krone,' " says Sylvia, peevishly. " Every- 
body goes to ' The Krone.' I wish we 
had gone there. It was all Kolb's 

The bells ring louder, the horses' hoofs 
stamp the stones more distinctly ; it is in 
sight. Yes, a carriage, twin brother to our 

VOL. III. 12 

178 " Good-bye, Sweetheart /" 

own late one, only that it is shut on 
account of the weather ; four horses, piles 
of luggage, dusty tarpaulin. A moment of 
breathless suspense ; we all lean over the 
balcony as far as our necks and heads will 
take us. Yes ! — no ! — yes ! Far down in 
the street, right under our eager eyes, it is 
pulling up. 

" My heart was in my mouth !" says 
Lenore, smiling a broad smile of relief. 
" I thought it zvas going on to ' The 

" We are too high up here," I say, ex- 
citedly ; "we should see better from our 
own windows." 

Hereupon we all rush violently, helter- 
skelter, downstairs to our sitting-room, 
which is on a lower floor. Only one 
window gives upon the street ; it is small, 
but we all huddle into it. M. Enderlin, 
the landlord, letting down the steps ; 
Madame Enderlin courtseying ; Marie and 

What Jemima Says. 179 

Menga hovering near, ready to carry out 

''Maid, of course," I say, as the first 
occupant slowly emerges. " She looks 
rather wet ; evidently she was in the coupe 
with the courier, and they only took her 
inside because it rained." 

A man's legs and a wideawake, then a 
great deal of golden hair and a plump 
smart woman's figure. Being above them, 
we see none of their faces. 

" Nothing looks so nice for travelling as 
those French lawns trimmed with un- 
bleached Cluny," says Sylvia, with pensive 
envy ; " they never show the dust." 

" Bride and bridegroom," say I. " What 
a bore ! They will not do us much good ; 
they will be swallowed up In one an- 

" They look like people, however," says 
Sylvia, by which expression she means to 
intimate a favourable opinion of the new- 

12 — 2 

i8o ''Good-bye, Sweethem^t f 

comers' gentility. ''If they are nice," she 
continues, " I mean, really people that one 
would like to know — and Kolb could 
easily find out that — we might make a party 
to go up Piz Languard with them." 

" There is some one else with them," 
cry I, eagerly. " Surely they cannot 
have taken their parents to chaperone 
them !" 

'' Like the people at Dinan," says 
Lenore, drily, *' who went a wedding tour 
a ranglaise, and took the bride's mother 
-and the bridegroo7n! s with them." 

A fat but nicely-booted female foot 
slowly treads the step, and then the 
ground ; it and its fellow support a form of 
shapely mature portliness. Having de- 
scended, this last figure lifts its face to look 
at the little cross swinging out as the inn 
sign in the street. 

"" Good heavens !" cries Lenore, em- 

What yemima Says. i8i 

" Why that pious ejaculation ?" say I 
gaily, my spirits having gone up fifty per 
cent, at the prospect of human companion- 

'' Did not you see ?" breaks out Lenore 
•excitedly. " Do not you know who they 
are ?" 

" Not I. How should I ?" 

'' Why, old Mrs. Scrope, to be sure — 
Charlie s mother." 

'' What ! all three of them ?" I say de- 
risively. '' My dear child, you are dream- 

" Impossible !" says Sylvia, straining her 
little neck out of window to catch a last 
glimpse ; but they are gone. " You have 
such a mania for seeing likenesses that no 
one else can. How could you tell '^ one 
only saw their backs." 

" And should not I know my own 
mother-in-law's back among a hundred ?" 
says Lenore, with sardonic mirth. 

1 82 ''Good-bye, Sweetheai^t f 

'' Oh, if it was only her back," I say, 
with a sigh of relief, "I do not mind ; all 
old women's backs are much alike." 

*' Are they ?" says Lenore, with a grim 
smile. " I do not agree with you ; there 
are backs and backs ; but I do not confine 
myself to backs — I saw her face, and my 
ex-mother-in-law's it was, I am sorry 
to say." 

'' And the other two were the married 
daughter and her husband, I suppose ?" I 
say, a painful conviction that Lenore is 
speaking truth forcing itself on my mind. 
'' Now that I think of it, there was some- 
thing familiar to me in the broad gold 
arrow she wore in her hair." 

Silence for a few moments, while we stare 
at one another blankly. 
♦ " I wish they had gone on to ' The 
Krone ' now," says Lenore drily. 

''If we wait to go up Piz Languard till 
we go up with them," I say with a vexed 

What Jemiina Says. 183 

laugh, " we shall remain some time at the 
foot, I think." 

" How glad they will be to see us," cries 
Lenore, breaking out into violent merri- 
ment, that does not, however, express any 
equally violent enjoyment, " considering 
that last time they saw us they left us with 
the Elizabethan sentiment that ' God might 
forgive us, but they never would,' or words 
to that effect." 

'' I declare I do not know what you are 
laughing at," says Sylvia pettishly, with 
her eyes full of tears ; "it is a great thing 
to be easily amused ; as for me, I see 
nothing amusing in it ! This sort of thing 
never happens to anyone but me ; really 
good people, that one would have liked to 
know en intimes " ,. 

" Listen," I say, leaving the window and 
approaching the door, " they are coming 
up ! I hear Madame Enderlin's voice." 

" We shall be always meeting them on 

184 ''Good-bye, Szueetheart T 

the stairs," says Sylvia lachrymosely, '' and 
I declare I shall no more know how to be- 
have — very likely they will take their cue 
from me — whether to stop'and shake hands, 
or bow and pass on^ " 

'' Stop and shake hands with the man — 
bow and pass on to the women," says Le- 
nore promptly ; " men are always kind." 

"As for yo7il' retorts Sylvia, turning 
upon her w^ith a tearful spitefulness, " in 
your case there can be no difficulty ; they 
will cut yoiL, of course, out and out — dead 
— and really, considering all things, one 
cannot blame them." 

" Of course they will," replies Lenore 
calmly, though her colour deepens ; " I 
should think very meanly of them if they 
did not." 

" And yon' (speaking very rapidly, while 
the large tears still roll helplessly down her 
cheeks), " what will you do ? how will you 
take it ?" 

What jemima Says, 


'' Do f " says Lenore with a little dry 
laugh ; " what is there to do ? I shall be 
cut, I suppose, and try to look as if I liked 




A D A M E est servie ! " says 
Menga, half an hour later, 
opening my door, and putting 
her head in. 

'' Do not go without me !" cries Sylvia, 
eagerly ; '' wait for me. Did you ever see 
anybody so silly as I ? I am trembling all 
over — like a leaf — feel !" 

" Lenore is not quite ready," I say. 
" We will go without her," rejoins Sylvia, 
quickly ; '' why should not we ? They 

What Jemima Says. 187 

will be more likely to speak to us if she is 
not by." 

I shrug my shoulders. " I suppose one 
must begin to be civilised again," continues 
my sister, holding out one plump and 
shapely arm for me to clasp a bracelet on. 
" It is astonishing how soon one gets out 
of the way of it ! Certainly it is cold ; but 
bundled up in a shawl one looks as if one 
had no more shape than the Tun of Hei- 

We descend. The few visitors are col- 
lecting in the hard-scrubbed salle a manger 
round the snow-white table. 

" How my heart is beating !" says 
Sylvia, as we stand at the door about to 
enter ; " look and see whether they are 
down yet." 

I peep. '' Yes, there they are ;" and as 
ill-luck will have it, their places are next 
ours ; you need not have taken off your 
shawl ; they have both shawls, and the 

1 88 " Good-bye, Szccetheart T 

husband — what is his name ? — I never can 
recollect — Lascelles, is not it ? — is in his 
greatcoat. There is no help for it ; if we 
wish for food, we must go into the lion's 
jaws to get it. As we approach it becomes 
evident to us that the fact of our presence 
has been previously revealed to the new- 
comers. As we reach the table they just 
look up, and bow — gravely and slightly, it 
is true ; but still they bow. Old Mrs. 
Scrope holds her little hooked nose — 
gently, not Jewishly hooked — rather more 
aloft than usual, gathers her shawl with a 
chilly gesture about her, and says across 
the table to her daughter : 

" I wonder why they do not light the 
stove ?" 

Mr. Lascelles rises and shakes hands 
heartily, and says : 

" How are you ? Deuced cold, is not it ? 
How long have you been here ?" 

Everybody but Lenore is down ; the 

What Jemima Says. 189 

little bourgeois German family — father, 
mother, two daughters, the mild and haver- 
ing English old maid in noisome cameo 
brooch and hair bracelet, who spends her 
life in marauding about the Continent in 
virgin loveliness ; the Cantab, who has been 
climbing every high mountain in the neigh- 
bourhood, till all the skin is peeling off his 
blistered scarlet face — here they are, all of 
them, each eating soup, if you like to call it 
soup, after his several manner. It is weak 
and watery stuff enough, one would think, 
but apparently too strong for the German 
stomachs ; at least having nearly finished 
their share, they call for hot water, pour 
some into their plates, and begin to ladle it 
up into their mouths. 

" I had better go and call Lenore," I say 
aloud to Sylvia, purposely speaking the 
obnoxious name to see what effect it will 
produce. " I cannot think what has be- 
come of her." 

iQO '' Good-bye, Szueetkeart f^ 

As I speak she enters. As she comes 
hurriedly across the room with a sort of 
nervous defiance in her face, I look at her 
curiously, trying to see her as a stranger 
would. Surely there can be nothing very 
provocative of wrath — of conciliation, 
rather — in her altered look. Even to me, 
who have watched her daily, hourly, she 
seems ill, shrunken, drooped. How much 
more to them who have not seen her since 
— six months ago — she shone upon them 
in the healthy bloom of her delicate ripe 
beauty. Poor soul ! now that her strength 
is gone and her fairness waned, can they 
be angry with her still ? As they rather 
feel thdiXi see her approach, I am sensible 
of a sort of ladylike stiffening and drawing- 
up on the part of the two women. 

Mr. Lascelles is fully occupied in making 
faces at his soup. The dead cut Sylvia 
predicted is imminent. As she slips into 
her seat, the only one left — one next Mrs. 

What Jemima Says. 191 

Lascelles — with eyes determinedly down- 
cast, and an uneasy red look, half challeng- 
ing, half deprecatory, on her face, curiosity 
gets the better of their dignity, and they 
both glance at hen I see them both start 
perceptibly. Yes, they have noticed it 
too. Alas ! the change is too patent to 
escape the carelessest, hostilest eye. With 
a sudden impulse they both bow, as they 
had bowed to us, slightly, unsmilingly, 
without the smallest attempt at cordiality, 
but still quite politely. 

" Deuced cold, is not it ?" says Mr. Las- 
celles, turning, with an air of the greatest 
friendliness to Sylvia; man-like, happily 
and sublimely ignoring the squabbles of 
his womankind ; and, rubbing his hands, 
" when last I saw you, it was deuced cold 
too ; we were as nearly as possible snowed 
up on our way back to London — do you 
remember, Blanche ?" 

At this happy allusion to our last merry 

192 " Good-bye, SiucetJicart T 

meeting we all wax deeply, darkly, beauti- 
fully red. 

'' Is it always cold here ?" asks Mrs. 
Lascelles, rushing hurriedly, and quite con- 
trary to her original intention, as I feel, 
into conversation with me. 

"It has been cold since we came, but we 
are hardly fair judges yet ; we have only 
been here a week ; I am told that it is a 
remarkably healthy climate," I answer, 
stiffly and tritely ; my besetting sin always 
being a tendency to sink into an echo of 

" It has been arctic /" says Sylvia to her 
neighbour, with a plaintive up-casting of 
her eyes to his face, " positively arctic ! 
How I envy you your greatcoat ! — nothing 
so pretty as beaver " (stroking it deli- 
cately) ; " naturally, we left all our furs be- 
hind us." 

'' One peculiarity of the climate," say I, 
addressing everybody, in a monotonous reci- 

What yemima Says. 193 

tative, " is, that meat killed in the autumn 
dries of itself in the course of the winter ; 
it is considered an excellent thing for 
making blood, and looks like sausage." 

"Is not it too cold for you f" Mrs. 
Lascelles asks, pointedly addressing her 
question to Lenore, and speaking with a 
compassionate inflection in her voice. 

Lenore blushes furiously. ''For me /" 
she says, stammering, and looking sur- 
prised, " for — for all of us ; we all shiver." 

No one makes any rejoinder. 

" It is a wonderful climate for consump- 
tion, I believe," continues Lenore, speaking 
hurriedly and hesitatingly, as if not at all 
sure of the reception a speech from her 
may meet with, '' A clergyman in the last 
stage came to St. Moritz last year, and is 
now quite recovered ; not " (looking round 
with a nervous laugh) '' that that need be 
any great recommendation to any of us, I 

VOL. III. i^ 

1 94 " Good-bye, Sweetheart /" 

Again they look at her, with an unwilHng 
startled pity in their healthy prosperous 
faces. The German father is dexterously 
whisking his beef gravy into his mouth on 
the blade of his knife, at the imminent risk 
of slitting his countenance from ear to ear ; 
the Cantab is reluctantly turning his peeled 
nose and flayed cheeks to the old maid, 
who, gently blinking behind her spectacles, 
is addressing him. 

'' A happy deliverance," cries Sylvia, 
stretching herself on the sofa in our sitting- 
room, when at length we attain that haven, 
dinner being ended. " Y^oXkinxg prostrates 
one so much as these little social ordeals ! 
Did you see how I cultivated the husband ? 
I do not think they quite liked it." 

I am looking out of window, and con- 
templating Mr. Lascelles back, as he 
stands on the doorstep talking to Kolb, 

What Jemima Says. 195 

and banging his arms together like a cab- 
man to keep them warm. I can feel, by 
the expression of his shoulders, that he is 
for the third time remarking that "It is 
deuced cold." 

" If he had his own way, he would be 
always with us, in and out, in and out," 
continues Sylvia ; " one can foresee that. 
But no doubt he will not be letr 

" What a thing it is to be thin !" cries 
Lenore, with a rather bitter little laugh. 
''If I had been fat and well-liking, they 
would have cut me dead. If I gain in 
favour in the same ratio in which I lose in 
flesh they will soon be thoroughly fond of 
me." I turn from the window with a sigh 
at this speech. " There is something very 
affecting in having a thing like a bird's 
claw held out to you, is not there ?" con- 
tinues she, looking with a sort of pensive 
derision at her own hand, first opening it 


196 ''Good-bye, Sweetheart T 

and then clenching It, to see how strongly 
the knuckles and bones start out. 

'' Do not !" I say, crossly. " I wish you 
would not !" 

'' In books," continues she, '' whenever 
people on their death-beds lift up their thin 
hands, or hold out their thin hands, one 
always begins to cry, don't you know ?" I 
laugh, but not very jocundly. *' If they 
could hear the way in which I cough at 
night I am not sure that they would not 
kiss me," says the young girl, with a sar- 
castic smile. 

" How extraordinarily like Charlie his 
sister is I" says Sylvia, sitting up on the 
sofa. '' What are you looking at, Jemima ? 
Any new arrivals ? Thoroughly don ge^zre 
they all look. Say what you will, blood 
must show." 

'' As the old maid said when her nose 
eot red," retorts Lenore. 

'^A plain likeness, of course," pursues 

What yemima Says. 197 

Sylvia, not deigning to heed this profane 
illustration. " Blanche Lascelles is too 
much of a peace-and-ploity-looking woman 
to please me — too redimdant, don't you 
know ? I confess to liking to see people 
keep within bounds : but she is growing 
so enormously large, she will soon be all 
over everywhere." 

" Perhaps it is bon genre to spread," says 
Lenore mockingly ; " who knows ?" 

'' She put me so much in mind of him 
that it was on the tip of my tongue to ask 
after him," continues Mrs. Prodgers. 

" I am very glad it remained on the tip." 

" I wish with all my heart he was here," 
says Sylvia, continuing her monologue and 
yawning. " I wonder is there any chance 
of it ? One abuses them when one has 
them, but certainly life — travelling life 
especially — is very triste without a man." 

" Do you wish it too, Lenore ?" I ask, 
walking over to where my youngest sister 

1 98 ''Good-bye^ Szveethcart P' 

is listlessly lying back in the one-arm chair 
that the room affords. 

'' How do I know ?" she answers in 
a tone of weary irritability. " I wish a 
hundred things one half of the day which I 
unwish the other half No, certainly I do 
not — not until I get my looks up again. 
Jemima" (gazing wistfully up at me), ''how 
long do you think it will be before I do ?" 

"My dear, am I a prophet ?" I say, very 
sadly, stroking her hair. 

" Evidently they thought me very much 
gone off, did not they ?" she asks, with her 
eyes still fixed on my face, and a faint, a 
very faint hope of contradiction in her own. 

" How do I know ?" I reply, evasively. 
"If they had thought so they would hardly 
have chosen vie to confide it to." 

" But they did," returns she gently, 
shaking her head. " As Sylvia says, one 
has one's instincts." (A moment's silence.) 
" Who was it ?" she continues, with a 

What Jemima Says. 199 

melancholy smile ; " Madame du Barri, 
was not it, who said that she would rather 
be dead than ugly ? Pah !" (with a shud- 
der), " it would be very disagreeable to be 


"■ The gods may release 
That they made fast j ' 
Thy soul shall have ease 
In thy limbs at the last ; 
But what shall they give thee for Hfe, sweet life, that 
is overpast?" 


iT least it is summer to-day ; the 
sun says, " Now it is my turn !" 
With his strong right hand, he 
has swept the clouds away from the snow- 
peaks— away — away — anywhere ; he will 
have none of them. Those snow-peaks ! 
They dazzle one so that one cannot look at 

What Jemima Says. 201 

them, save through blue spectacles. It 
makes one's eyes drop water but to glance 
hastily at their shining magnificence. Oh 
happy consummation ! It Is too hot even 
for demi-saison dresses. 

'' I think Kolb is very tyrannical !" says 
Sylvia, discontentedly. " What do I care 
about the waterfall, or the Mortiratsch 
glacier ? After all, when you have seen 
one glacier you have seen them all ; and 
though nobody can be fonder of scenery 
than I am, yet of course there are other 
things In the world ; I had much rather 
have stayed at home to-day and found out 
what the Scropes' plans were." 

We are all joggling along In a little 
chaise, drawn by a fat pony, which how- 
ever is so far from us as to be almost out 
of sight, from the length of the traces — 
jiggling joggling along through Pontresina, 
between the green-shuttered white houses ; 
here and there a flourish of flowers — o-era- 

202 '' Good-dye, Sweet hca^^t f 

niums, cinerarias — out of their windows ; 
through the upper village, and along the 
hot high road. On each side of us is the 
lovely riot of the meadow flowers ; they 
seem to have rushed out, all at once, and 
all together, to answer to their names at 
the roll-call of the spring sun. 

" At all events," say I, laughing, '' Mr. 
Lascelles cannot say that it is ' deuced cold' 
to-day. Pah ! how apoplectic it makes 
one's head ! Oh for a good honest British 
cabbage-leaf to put in one's hat !" 

" There is one comfort," says Sylvia^ 
pursuing her own thoughts, " and that is 
that there is no one they ca7i become lies 
with, in our absence, and I should think 
that they were sociable sensible sort of 
people, who cordially hated their own 

'' Worse even than ours ?" asks Lenore, 
with a cynical smile, from beneath the dusty 
little hood, under which she is leaning back. 

What yenmna Says. 203 

We leave the high road ; we turn into 
a byway that leads to the glacier, leads 
through a company of larches. They have 
grown up, here and there among the great 
strewn stones, of every shape and size — 
lichen-grown, green, forbidding. By-and-by 
we have to say good-bye to our carriage ; 
it can go no further ; the road breaks off 

*' This is quite the most tristc festivity I 
ever assisted at," Sylvia says, plaintively, 
as we dawdle and loiter hotly along. 

'' Bah ! how the midges bite ! As a rule, 
no one is more independent of men's 
society than I am, but in a case of this 
kind a man is indispensable to give a sort 
of impetus, a fillip, to the whole thing." 

" Let us have luncheon," say I, with my 
usual material view of things ; "eating 
always raises one's spirits, and we can eat 
as well as if a regiment were looking on." 

So we lunch on the short sward. The 
smooth smoke-coloured cattle are ringing 

204 *' Good-bye, Sweetheart /" 

their bells vigorously, as they browse near 
us, though what they eat the Lord only 
knows, unless they have a taste for yellow 
potentillas, sweet-scented daphne, and dry 
white bents. Kolb has stretched a mack- 
intosh for us to sit on, and brought spiced 
beef that looks weirdly nasty, in sun- 
warmed slices, out of a marmot-skin bao: ; 
rolls, hard-boiled eggs. A bottle of 
Chateau M argot stands under a great rock, 
knee-deep in yellow violets. The glacier 
river, the Bernina, runs madly past us, 
hoarsely raving to its wide stone bed, in a 
torrent of dirty yellow-green-white. There 
we lie, couched comfortably as ruminating 
cattle, while at our elbows and feet the 
gentians open their blue eyes, bluer than 
any woman's, deeper than any sapphire. 

" How pretty they would be in artifi- 
cial !" Sylvia says, pensively plucking one. 
'' A spray for the side of the head, you 
know, and another for the corsage ; I am 

What yemima Says. 205 

afraid we are too far off for It to carry well, 
or I would send one to Foster's In a tin- 
box ; he will always copy any flower you 
send him, exactly." 

'' Perish the thought !" says Lenore, with 
a sort of lazy Indignation, laying her head 
down among a crowded little family of the 
yellow violets, under a great split rock. 

" Dark blue Is not a good night-colour, 
however," says Sylvia, still pursuing her 
own train of meditation. 

'' How drowsy the river's roar makes 
one !" I say, yawning, and burying my hot 
face In my out-stretched arms ; "If you two 
will not speak I shall be asleep In three 

" How hideo2Ls It Is !" says Sylvia, drop- 
ping her gentian, and gazing with a sort of 
disgust at the tearing flood. " Glacier 
rivers always are. Did you ever see any 
thing so dirty In your life ? It looks as If 
hundreds and thousands of washerwomen 

2o6 '* Good-bye, Sweetheart /" 

had been washing in it with myriads of 
cakes of soap." 

After • all we never reached the glacier. 
If luncheon has cheered it has also ener- 
vated us. We content ourselves with lan- 
guidly strolling to the waterfall. Now we 
have reached it! now exertion is at an end; 
now we lie, lazy as lotus-eaters, on the dry 
warm herbage— -scant, yet so sweet ! — and 
gaze and listen, gaze and listen, for God 
knows how long, to the loud white beauty 
of the fall. Down it comes from the top 
of the low hill in one long snowy plunge ; 
then a smooth sliding over the polished 
backs of the great stones ; a curling of 
creamy wavelets ; then another foamy leap 
in lightning and froth ; then a green pool, 
where the sun is holding dazzling mirrors, 
too bright to look at, to the pines' dark 
faces. The long roar rings loud yet gentle 
in our ears, bringing to us a drowsy joy. 
Even Sylvias grumblings are stilled — at 

What yemima Says. 207 

least we no longer hear them, Lenore and 
I. We have climbed slowly and inter- 
mittently up the rocks to a little plateau, 
whence we can see the water's chiefest 
plunge. Who can stop it ? . The air is full 
of its cold white powder ; a great stone 
opposite is for ever wet with the cool damp 
dust drifted against its shining sides. 
Little lilac primulas confidently grow and 
bloom in its clefts. Oh torrents and hills 
and flowers, you make me drunk with 
beauty ! What can be nobler than to 
watch the play of God's imagination In 
these silent places '^. 

With elbows deep sunk In gentians, and 
head on hand, we lie and lie, till the sun Is 
marching in all his afternoon heat and 
mellow glory through the pale turquoise 
sky. The pines above our heads smell 
divinely. There is no flower, however 
sweet, that has a better fragrance than that 
which the grave flowerless firs give out at 

2o8 " Good-bye, Sweetheart /" 

the bidding of their master, the high June 
sun. For half-hours, hours — we know not 
which — neither of us have spoken. My 
eyes have long been fixed on the little 
rainbow that the waterfall has caught and 
held fast, with its faint green and yellow 
and red, in her shining toils. Presently, 
and little by little, I cease to see the tender 
colours of the prism — I cease to hear the 
water's plunge and the pines' low sigh ; I 
am asleep. Whether my doze is long or 
short, I do not know. I Imagine, however, 
that it is not very long ; but it is broken 
at last by a sharp exclamation from 

" What are you making such a noise 
about ?" I cry, starting up and rubbing my 
eyes. '' One may as well be killed as 
friorhtened to death Charlie ! IT 

Am I dreaming still ? No ; the water- 
fall's voice has come back to my ears, and 
the pines' woody fragrance to my nostrils. 

What Jemima Says. 209 

Providence has granted Sylvia s prayer — 
for a prayer it was ; at least, it fulfilled the 
hymn's definition of prayer : 

" Prayer is the heart's sincere desire, 
Uttered or unexpressed." 

There he stands, three paces from me, 
among the juniper bushes, solid and real, 
in the loose and untinted' clothes that sum- 
mer Britons love- — stands there in all the 
stalwart deep-coloured beauty of his man- 
hood. Providence has sent us a man *' to 
give the whole thing a fillip," Lenore has 
risen to her feet and is facing him. Their 
hands are not touching, neither are they 
speaking, only they are looking at one 
another long and dumbly. Embarrass- 
ment at the recollected hostility of their 
last parting is tying Lenore's tongue as I 
feel ; but what is it that is giving that 
look of silent painful wonder to Scrope's 
face ? 

VOL. III. 14 

2 1 o , " Good-bye^ Sweetheart ! ' ' 

" Why are you looking so hard at me ?" 
she says at last, in a low voice, with a 
tremulous asperity. "Is there anything 
odd about me ? Do not you know that it 
is not o^ood manners to look so hard at 
any one ?" 

" I — I — beg your pardon," he says, stam- 
mering. " I — I — did not mean — you see, 
it is so long since I have seen " 

I have scrambled to my feet and shaken 
the illicit noonday sleep from my eyes. 
'' Charlie !" I cry a second time, coming 
forward ; and not being a person with any 
great command of language, I add nothing 
to the pertinent brevity of this observa- 

He turns, and takes my ready hand in 
the cool, familiar, brotherly clasp with 
which, in their day, so many good and 
handsome men have honoured me, and for 
which I have never felt the least grateful 
to them. " Did not you know I was 

What Je^nima Says. - — 21 1 

coming ?" he asks ; '' did not they tell 
you ?" 

"Not they!" reply I, laughing. "To 
let you into a secret, we are not quite on 
confidential t^rvcis — rather en delicatesse, as 
you may say. I dare say they thought we 
were not good enough to be told such a 
piece of news — that it would exhilarate us 
too much." 

" They were nearly right there, I think," 
says Sylvia, to whom, being a little lower 
down, the answer to her prayer has been 
first vouchsafed. " It is never my way, as 
a -rule, to make people conceited — men 
especially ; I am sure they are bad enough, 
without one's helping them ; but certainly, 
if one wishes to know how thoroughly to 
appreciate a friend one must come to the 

" You are glad to see me, then ?" he 
says, stretching out his hand to her too, 
with a broad eager smile. The question 

14 — 2 

212 '* Good-bye, Sweetheart /'* 

seems addressed to Sylvia, but his eyes 
seek Lenore. " Truly, honestly, without 
figure of speech ? You know I had my 

" A perfectly unjustifiable question," 
returns Sylvia, giving her head a little 
playful jerk. " We totally decline to an- 
swer it, do not we, Jemima ?" 

"And yott f he says, impulsively, stoop- 
ing over Lenore and lowering his voice a 

She has sat down again, and, leaning on 
her elbow, is listlessly picking a bit of 
daphne to pieces : the little treacherous 
colour that his first sudden coming had 
sent into her cheeks ebbing quickly out of 
them again. 

"//" (with a little start). ''Oh, of 
course — yes, I think so — I suppose so — 
why should not I be ?" 

Her eyes are lifted to his ; they mean to 
be kindly, but they have of late got a settled 

What Jemima Says. 213 

look of weary nonchalance, that they could 
not, if they would, put away. 

" What have you been doing to her ?" 
he says, leading me a little away from the 
others, on pretence of looking over the 
slender plank bridge that crosses the fall, 
grasping my arm, and staring with an angry 
painful vehemence into my face. '' They 
told me she was so altered that I should 
not know her again — not know her again f 
— (with an accent of scorn) — '' she would 
have to be altered indeed before that could 
come to pass. I thought they only said it 
to set me against her ; that was why I fol- 
lowed you. I could not wait. My God ! 
she is changed " (loosing my arm, and 
clenching his own hands together). " I 
could not have believed that any one, any 
young strong person, could be so changed 
in five months." 

I do not answer, for the excellent reason 
that I cannot. My throat is choked, and 

214 *' Good-bye, Sweetheart T 

my silent tears drop on the bridge rail and 
into the emerald pool beneath. One must 
love something. I have not had many 
people to love in my time ; nobody very 
good, or that loved me much ; and for want 
of them I love Lenore. I suppose he 
thinks that my speechlessness comes from 
callous indifference. 

'' You have taken no care of her," he 
continues, harshly ; '' you have not looked 
after her. When did she ever look after 
herself? You — who are so much older 
than she that one would have thought that 
you would have been like a mother to 

He stops abruptly. She of whom we 
speak has risen and followed us. 

" You are talking about me," she says, 
slightly smiling. '' Yes ; you both look 
guilty ! what are you saying ? No, I do 
not care to hear ; nothing very interesting,, 
I dare say." 

What yeinima Says. 215 

So saying, she saunters slowly away 

" You are no wiser than you were ; I 
see that," I remark, dashing away my tears, 
and trying to smile when we are again 

" You are mistaken," he answers, with 
eager quickness ; "I am perfectly cured 
— perfectly ; and when one Is once tho- 
roughly cured of a complaint of this sort, 
one does not sicken again. If I had not 
been sure of that I would not have come 
near you : I would have put the width of 
all Europe between us." 

I shake my head In a silent scepticism. 

" See," he cries, earnestly, " do you re- 
member how I used to tremble all over if 
my hand touched hers ? — how I grew red- 
der than any lobster If she spoke to me ? 
Do I tremble now ?" (stretching out his 
right hand to me) — " am I red ?" 

2 1 6 '' Good-bye, Szueetheart /" 

Still I am silent. 

" Do you hear ?" he asks, impatiently. 

'' Yes," I answer, drily. '' I hear." 


" I feel the daisies growing over me." 

HEY are sitting, they two, the 
lover and the loved one, in the 
tiny graveyard of the little 
church upon the hill. They have risen 
up hastily from the noisy supper, where 
the fusty German mother had shut the 
window, where the fusty German daugh- 
ters had made weak and steaming negus 
of their vin ordinaire, on this sultry sum- 
mer evening. They two, and Jemima. 
They have passed through the small still 

2i8 ''Good-bye, Sweetheart T 

street, along the silent road, where even 
the dust lies quiet and white, and does not 
harry one as in the day time ; up the lane, 
past cottages and fields, to the little church 
that stands below the rocky mountain, 
Lenore has ridden ; she could not have 
walked so far up the hill-side ; ridden the 
fat pony, " a beautiful pony, just like a tea- 
pot," as Kolb, with doubtful compliment; 
remarked of him. Now he is tied to the 
church porch and is eating forget-me-nots 
in the evening grey. Jemima has discreetly 
strolled away, but her discretion has pleased 
but one of her companions ; the other has 
hardly noticed it. It is all one to Lenore 
whether she goes or stays. It is eight 
o'clock. Pontresina church is telling the 
hour sonorously, and the little hill church 
beside her is answering with its one grave 
bell ; the church, with its rude stone tower 
and little extinguisher top, its windows 
deep set in the wall, like deep-sunk eyes. 

What the Atithor Says. 219 

'' Lenore," says Scrope, presently pluck- 
ing a great forget-me-not, twice the size of 
those we see in England, from one of the 
low graves, '' do you think it wicked to tell 
lies ?" 

'' It depends," she answers, laughing 
slightly. '' I think truth is rather an over- 
rated virtue." 

" I told a gigantic lie yesterday." 

"Did you ?" she answers, but she does 
not seem to care to ask what it is. 

He waits a moment, but finding that her 
curiosity will not come to his aid, volun- 
teers his information. 

" I — I — told Jemima that I was per- 
fectly cured," (reddening a little). 

" Yes, that was not quite true/' she re- 
plies, quietly. 

" Are you glad or sorry ?" he asks, 

She has plucked two blades of fine grass, 
and is carefully measuring them, to see 

2 20 '^Good-bye, Szmetheart f' 

which is the taller. Perhaps that is the 
reason that her response comes slowly. 

'' I am glad," she says, " quite glad ! 
Formerly, when I was strong and well, I 
did not mind who cared for me or who did 
not ; I cared for myself a great deal — 
immensely — and that was enough ; but now 
that I am so weak and sickly, and wang- 
ling^ as they say in Staffordshire — is not it 
a good word ? — does not it give a limp, 
peevish, unstrung idea ?— why, now I like 
some good patient person to be near me, 
and look sorry when I am out of breath 
and in tiresome pain." 

He does not answer, but I do not think 
she takes his silence ill. 

" Care for me," she says, simply, stretch- 
ing out her hand, with a sort of naivete, to 
him, " care for me a little— care for me a 
good deal, but do not care for me too 
much ; it is silly to care too much for any- 
thing ; one misses it so if it goes." 

What the Atithor Says. 221 

He takes the hand she so frankly gives, 
but he is afraid violently to press or kiss it, 
lest, with a sudden change of mood, she 
may snatch it angrily away. 

" Do you remember the day we parted ?" 
he asks, in a hesitating voice. 

'' Yes," she says, with a rather em- 
barrassed laugh, ''to be sure I remember. 
We both went into heroics, and you, after 
abusing me in good nervous English, fell 
on your knees before me, and in so doing 
gave pug's nose such a kick that it has 
never been the same feature since." 

" It is nearly six months since then," he 
says, in a low voice ; " five at least. If I 
had taken you at your word " 

" I am so glad you did not," she inter- 
rupts, hastily. 

His face falls. 

" So glad, are you ? Why ?" ' 

" Do not you know that I like to take all 
and give nothing ?" she says, with a sort 

2 2 2 " Good- dye, Szueethea rt !'' 

of smile. " That was always my way — 
always ; let me have it a little longer. I 
know that I cause you pain every time 
that I am with you, but somehow I do not 
mind — I have no remorse ; you are strong, 
and pain does not kill ; sometimes it braces. 
See, I have suffered a good deal, and I am 
not dead." 

He clasps the slight cool hand he holds 

" Thank God, no !" 

'' Have you ever known what it Is to be 
very unhappy ?" she says, looking with a 
sort of pensive curiosity into his face. " If 
I asked you you would say yes, you would 
swear it ; but somehow I doubt it. How 
clear and blue your eyes are ! They look 
as if they had always slept all night and 
smiled all day. You are not fat, cer- 
tainly — far from It — I hate a fat man ; but 
how well and strongly your bones are 
covered !" 

What the Author Says. 223 

He does not asseverate ; he makes no 
apology for his healthy manhood ; but, I 
think, when he next looks in her face she 
knows that one may wear a sore heart and 
yet eat well, and have broad shoulders and 
a stalwart presence. There is no sound 
but the wind speaking pensively to the 
pines ; the wind that makes all the 
meadows one cool shiver. 

" Why are you so faithful ?" she says, 
presently, with a sort of impatience in her 
voice. " There is no sense in it ; there is 
something stupid in such fidelity ; it is like 
a dog ; it is not like a man, at least not 
like the men I have known." 

A hot flush rises to the young man's 
face. '' It is stupid," he says, humbly. " I 
have often thought so." 

'' Why cannot you take a fancy to some 
one else ?" she continues, sharply; "to 
one of my sisters, for instance ; not Sylvia 
— no, I do not think I can conscientiously 

2 24 '^Good-bye, Sweetheart!'^ 

recommend her — ^but Jemima ; she would 
worship the ground you trod on ; and she 
is not so very old, either. I have heard 
some people say that an Englishwoman is 
at her prime, mind and body, at twenty- 
eight, and she is only twenty-nine." 

Scrope does not seem to jump at 
the tempting offer thus made him ; he 
looks down on the flowery grass at his 

'' She is not much to look at, certainly," 
pursues Lenore, coolly, '^ but neither am I, 
for that matter, just now ; but of course, 
when I grow strong again I shall get my 
looks back, shall I not ?" 

He is busy, apparently, in trying to 
make out the Romansch inscription on the 
small broken pillar beside him ; at least he 
does not reply. 

^* Why do not you answer me ?" she 
cries, angrily. " You used to be glib 
enough with your compliments and fine 

What the Author Says. 225 

speeches ; If you cannot say ' Yes/ at least 
have the honesty to say 'No.' " 

" My dear," he says, with a sort of 
tremor in his voice, " what should I say 
either 'Yes' or 'No' to? In my eyes 
you have never lost your looks ; how can 
you get back what you have not lost ?" 

She looks at him with a scared discon- 
tent In her pale face. " You have got out 
of it very lamely," she says, with a brusque 
laugh. " I never heard anything clumsier 
in my life. There — never mind. I sup- 
pose you could not help It." 

Her eyes stray thoughtfully away to the 
hills ; a luminous mist, a dimness, yet a 
glory — seems spread over the high moun- 
tain amphitheatre that looks down on 
Pontreslna ; great glorious battlements, 
lifting high heads against the higher 
heaven — citadels that a God must be 
dwelling in : that dim effulgence is the 
skirt of his trailed robes. Below, the 

VOL. III. 15 

2 26 '' Good-bye^ Sweetheart !'' 

meadows flash in yellow, and the river 
twists in silver. Oh, heavenly Zion ! oh, 
fair City beyond the clouds ! can thy 
jasper walls and pearly gates be yet 
fairer ? 

" And you find that it is quite as impos- 
sible as you did six months ago ?" Scrope 
asks, with a tremble in his low voice, after 
they have sat silent some time. 
'' Quite," she answers, briefly. 
'* And it is always he that is in the 
way ?" he says, with an accent of bitter- 

'' Yes," she answers, softly ; '' always he 
— always he." (Then with a dreamy 
smile) " You see that there are other 
people who can be stupidly, doggishly faith- 
ful, as well as you ; you, at least, cannot 
blame me." 

*' If he did but know it !" the young 
man cries, smiting his hands together, and 
looking passionately upwards to the faint 

What the Author Says. 

skies above him ; " if some one would but 
tell him — if he did but see you now — he 
could not keep his senseless resentment 
any longer. It is against my own interest 
to say so, but he could not, he cotild 

" He has no resentment against me 
now," she answers, quickly, " none ; he is 
no longer angry with nie." 

" How do you know ?" with a hasty 
suspicion in his voice ; " has he written to 
you : 

" No." 

** How then ?" 

" I have seen him," she says, briefly. 

For a moment, astonished disappoint- 
ment keeps him silent ; then the two 
words, " When, where ?" come low, but 
hurriedly, from his mouth. 

"We had a long talk," she says, with 
the same unmirthful, tender smile, '' quite a 
long talk — on a bridge — in the moonlight, 


2 28 ''Good-bye, Siveetheart T 

at Bergun ; the accessories sound romantic, 
do not they ? Moonlight always makes 
one feel sentimental ; I am not quite sure 
that we were not a little so." 

A pause. Through the larches in the 
wood above them, a long, long sigh passes ; 
then falls — dies — then revives again ; a 
sound as of infinite yearning. 

" When he is comlnof here o:ive me 
warning beforehand," says Scrope, in a 
voice that is next door to a whisper. " I 
suppose he will be coming here soon ?" 

'' Perhaps," she answers, with a little 
laugh that is almost malicious. "Who 
knows ? Perhaps he may take It in his 
wedding tour." 

''His wedding tour / /" 

" Yes," she answers, looking away from 
his bewildered face again, on the perfect 
content, the evening placidness, of the land- 
scape ; '' It is coiitrariant, is it not ? but he 
is going to be married." 

What the AtUhor Says. 229 

'' Who told you so ?" (very rapidly). 

'' He told me so himself." 

" hxidi yo7i ? how did you take it ? what 
did you say ?" 

*' I said, ' Oh, are you ?' I believe I 
laughed — -I am not sure." 

'' And then ?" 

"And then — no, not quite then " (draw- 
ing in her breath slowly) — " a little after- 
wards — he went." 

" And you ?" 

" And I — oh, I lay down on the grass — 
nice crisp dry grass, by the river, with my 
head in a clump of trefoil — what a noisy 
river it was !" (speaking with a sort of 
pensive complaint) — -' sometimes I hear 
it now, at night, running through my 

''And you stayed there all night — you — 
in the damp ?" (with a tone of reproachful 

''No, not all night ; about half the night, 

230 ' ' Good-bye, Sweetheart ! ' ' 

I think — I forget about the time ; talking is 
very tiring work, and I was tired." 

'' Yes ?" 

"And then they grew anxious — Jemima 
and Sylvia — and came to look for me." 

'^ Well ?" 

'' And then they scolded me, and asked 
me what had happened to me, and I said I 
had seen a ghost ; so I had." 

The wind has no more to say ; he has 
dropped ; there is no noise but the swirl of 
the far water. 

" Sylvia was quite interested," pursues 
Lenore, rousing herself, and even looking 
rather amused ; " she wanted to know what 
sort of a ghost it was — whether a man's or 
a woman's, or a child's or a dog's — she said 
she had heard of dog's ghosts being some- 
times seen — and also whether it carried its 
head under its arm ? I said, ' No it did 
not' and — and — and — that is all, I think." 

On the oflacier mountain there is a white 

What the AtUhor Says. 

glory, that cannot be moonlight, for moon 
is there none ; It must have stolen some of 
the sunset, and kept It In Its bosom ; the 
shadows steal over the lower snow, but the 
peaks keep that strange shining, such as 
Moses' face had when he came down from 
his high talk with God. 

" Charlie," says Lenore, suddenly, with 
an abrupt change of subject, " does not It 
occur to you that at Pontresina the dead 
are much better lodo^ed than the living ? 
Would not you rather be here than at the 
Croix Blanche f" 

" At the present moment, certainly," he 
answers, with a smile. '' I prefer yoti and 
the smell of flowers to the German squaws 
and the smell of negus." 

'' Look," she says, rising from her grassy 
seat, " I am going to show you something. 
If I were old, or had any complaint that 
was likely to kill me, I will show you the 
exact spot where I should like to lie — how 

" Good-bye, Sweetheai't /" 

can you see ? you have turned away your 
face — pshaw ! how absurdly sensitive you 
are ; you are as bad as Jemima. If either 
oi yoiL were to point out to me the place 
that you wished to be your grave I should 
listen with the most composed attention, 
and try to bear It In mind against the time 
when I should have the misfortune to lose 

*' I quite believe It," he answers bitterly; 
" I have no doubt you would." 

" See," she says, not heeding the bitter- 
ness, hardly hearing it, but pointing, with a 
smile, to a spot of ground, richer even than 
its neighbours in manifold-coloured flowers 
and fine green grass, " did you ever see 
anything so luxurious ? This wall's shadow 
to shelter one from the sun at noonday, 
and all these pink plantains to ripple above 
one's head ; they say one does not hear 
when one is dead — well, as to that, I have 
my own opinion ; but If one could hear, It 

What the Author Says. 233. 

would be pleasant to listen to the wind 
softly buffetting their tall heads in the dim 
summer nights, would not it ?" 

No answer. 

" I would have no gilt tears, however, on 
my cross," she adds, a few minutes later. 

He stoops and plucks a handful of the 
pink plantains angrily, and then throws it 
away again. 

'' What are you doing ?" she asks, turn- 
ing with a gesture of surprise and remon- 
strance to him ; " why do you look so 
cross ? Why are you frowning and clench- 
ing your hands ? You foolish fellow, do 
you think if I meant to die really that I 
should talk about it so lightly — that I 
should pick and choose my grave ? Good 
God ! no !" (with a strong shudder) — " I 
should keep far enough from the subject !" 


*' On pain of death, let no man name death to me ; 
it is a word infinitely terrible." 


)ES, they are certainly coming 
round," says Sylvia, with a 
tone of self- ofratulatlon. '' I 
met Mrs. Scrope just now on the stairs, and 
she said, ' You have been to the Rosegg ? 
I hear there Is quite a practicable road 
there.' When once one has the 7ue7t on 
one's side one is all right ; and somehow 
we always manage to enlist the sympa- 
thies of the fathers and husbands and 

What the Author Says. 235 

'' I do not agree with you," says Jemima, 
taking her hat off and laying it on the 
table. '' I think it is just the other way — 
the women to be propitiated, and the men 
follow naturally. Take care of the women 
and the men will take care of themselves." 

" They certainly dress very w^ell," con- 
tinues Sylvia complacently ; '' nothing 
voyant ; all those pretty mouse-colours, and 
sad colours, and smoke colours, that I am 
so devoted to. Very good taste ; and say 
what you will, that alone is enough to pre- 
possess one in people's favour." 

" I have just been falling into the arms 
of that dreadful little widow," Mrs. Scrope 
says, re-entering her own apartment at the 
same time as Sylvia has made her re-ap- 
pearance in hers. " Ambling up the stairs 
and coquetting with the banisters, as usual. 
She is always on the stairs." 

236 " Good-bye, SweetJieart /" 

'' She reminds me of the women in 
Isaiah, don't you know ?" says Mrs. Las- 
celles, laughing ; '" walking and mincing 
as they go.' I wonder had they high- 
heeled shoes and a panier ? If it were the 
fashion to sew pillows to armholes nowa- 
days, what gigantic bolste7's she would 
have !" 

'* My dear, atrociously as that girl be- 
haved, we never can be too thankful to her 
for having delivered us from the Prodgers 
connection. Prodgers ! — such a name !" 

" Do not holloa before you are out of the 
wood," says Mr. Lascelles, looking up from 
his novel for a moment, and instantly im- 
mersing himself in it again. 

'' I believe what first set her against him 
was the awful description I gave her of oiLr 
honeymoon," says his wife, laughing again. 
'' I told her about your being sea-sick all 
the way to St. Malo. I remember she 
looked awe-struck at the time." 

What the Author Says. i^^^j 

"It will be all on again before you can 
look round," says Mr. Lascelles, again 
.emerging from his romance. 

Both women shake their heads. 
•" Poor soul ! it would hardly be worth 
•while her being ' on,' as you say, with any 

'' You mean that she is not lono^ for this 
world ?" replies he, dropping his book 
entirely this time. Mr. Lascelles' voice is 
never as low as Cordelia's, and the door is 

" Hush !" cry both the women together. 
" Some one is passing ; it may be one of 

'' I wish I could induce you sometimes 
not to speak at the very tip-top of your 
voice," says his wife. '' If you remember, 
when you proposed to me, at the Inniskill- 
ings' ball, you expressed your wishes so 
loudly that you drowned the band." 

238 " Good-bye, Szveetheart /" 


The hotel is fuller than it was. This last 
week has made a difference. Several more 
little whitewashed rooms are occupied. A 
member of the Alpine Club, with a ha!rem 
of three gaunt women, battered and un- 
sexed by much scaling of high mountains ; 
two or three new couples. The last, an 
elderly clergyman and his wife, occupy the 
room next mine. Only this morning I was 
remarking on the thinness of the partition 
walls : I can hear him alternately splashing 
and groaning in his tub. 

" They have not been married long," 
Lenore says. " They say the Lord's 
Prayer together very loudly every night." 

And Scrope asks, laughing, whether that 
is a proof of being newly wedded. 

This was after breakfast. Since then 
we have been to the Rosegg glacier. Le- 
nore has not been with us : gradually she 

What yemima Says. 239 

is slipping out of our excursions. " For 
the present," she says ; "just for the pre- 
sent, I am better at home." Now we are 
back again, Sylvia and I, in our own little 
sitting-room — a cheerful little place, whence 
one can look down on the white houses of 
the clean narrow street, see the out-goers 
and incomers to the hotel, and catch bright 
glimpses of the mountains. 

The door opens and Lenore enters, and 
at the same moment Sylvia passes out. 
" Is she gone ?" says Lenore, advancing 
towards me ; " really gone, do you think ? 
I do not know why I ask ; I have nothing 
particular to say." Her face is disturbed, 
and her eyes wander uneasily round. " I 
— I — I have been eavesdi^opping'' she says, 
beginning to laugh. " What do you think 
of that ? And they say listeners never 
hear any good of themselves. That, how- 
ever, is not a case in point, for I heard 
nothing about myself, of course — 7iothiiigr 

240 '' Good-bye, Sweetheart /" 

" Eavesdropping !" I repeat, surprised. 
'' That is not very like you. What do you 
mean ? What are you talking about ?" 

'' I was passing by the Scropes' door just 
now," she says, with a sort of hurry and 
agitation in her manner — " it was ajar, I 
wish people would keep their doors shut," 
(with a tone of irritability)- — '' and they 
were talking ; the man — the husband — you 
know what a sweet low voice he has — was 
saying in a tone as loud as all the bulls you 
ever heard bellowing : ' She is not long for 
this world.' Whom do you think they 
were talking about ?" 

''My dear child," I say impatiently, 
"what extraordinary things excite your 
curiosity ! Am I a diviner of dark say- 
ings ? Probably some friend of their own 
that we never heard of." 

" And then the woman said, ' Hush, 
hush !' " pursues she, with her eyes still 
watching my face. '' Why did they say 

What yeminia Says, 241 

' Hush ?' if it were some friend of theirs, 
why should they mind being overheard ? 
They were saying no ill of her." 

*' Pshaw !" say I, pettishly ; " how do I 
know !" 

''He said she, certainly — not hel' she 
continues, as if unable to leave the sub- 
ject. ''Not long f 07^ this world f (utter- 
ing the words very slowly). " Poor soul, 
whoever she is I am very sorry for her, are 
not you, Jemima ?" 

" Yes, yes, of course — very sorry," I 
answer, indistinctly, turning to the window. 

" And yet it is absurd to be sorry for a 
person one has never seen — never heard of 
— is not it ?" persists Lenore, again break- 
ing out into a laugh. " Perhaps we are 
throwing away our compassion — perhaps it 
was a dog or a cat — who knows .^" 

" Very likely, very likely !" 

" But why did they say ' Hush ?' " she 
says, brooding over the word, and address- 

VOL. III. 16 

242 *' Good-bye, Sweetheart /'* 

ing the question rather to herself than to 

I do not answer. 

" Jemima," she says, following me to the 
window, " look round — I hate not being 
listened to when I am talking — I am going 
to make you laugh — you often laugh at my 
ideas ; well, they are sufficiently ridiculous 
now and then ; do you know I took it into 
my head — one is so egotistical — that per- 
haps they were talking of — of — me." 

I lean out of the window, and try to 
persuade myself that my voice, as I say 
*' Nonsense'' sounds lazily indifferent. 

" You are not laughing," she cries, in a 
tone of alarm. "■ I thought you would 
have laughed. Why do not you laugh } 
Is it possible that you see nothing ridicu- 
lous in it — that you think it — it — is — 

" I think nothing of the kind," I answer 
irritably ; '' do not be so absurdly fanciful." 

What Jemima Says. 243 

''If they did mean me," she says, with 
the same restless strained laugh, " they are 
alone in their opinion, are not they? — quite 
alone. It does me no harm, and it amuses 
them, I suppose — ha, ha!" 

" What disease do they mean to kill me 
by, I wonder ? " she says after a pause, 
spent by her in rapidly traversing and re- 
traversing the little room. " Consumption, 
of course" (shuddering) . . . . " They 
should have seen you last winter," she re- 
sumes by-and-by, standing beside me, and 
uneasily trying to see my face, " when you 
had that attack of influenza. How you 
coughed ! Worse, far worse, than I do, 
and your head ached torturingly — mine 
seldom aches — and you were so weak you 
could scarcely lift a finger, and yet it was 
only influenza !" 

" Only influenza," I echo mechanically ; 
" influenza is nothing." 

'' Tell me," she says, a little reassured, 

16 — 2 

244 '' Good-bye, Szveetheart /" 

and looking into my face as if she would 
wring from me the answer she longs for, 
'' you must have an opinion one way or the 
other ; do you iJiink they meant me ?" 

" My dear," I say, driven into a corner, 
" did I hear what they said ? I only know 
what you tell me — it — it — is very conceited 
of you to imagine that they must be always 
talking of you." 

'' People are so fond of killing their 
friends, are not they ?" she says, with the 
same wistful searching look in her great 
and lovely eyes ; "so are doctors, and very 
often the killed outlive the killers after 

'' Very often." 

"■ Next time that I pass their door I shall 
run past with my fingers in my ears. Feel 
how my heart is beating !" 

" You are growing as bad as Sylvia," I 
say, trying to speak gaily ; she is always 
requesting me to feel how her heart is 

What yeinima Says, 245 

beating ; if you both set up nerves I shall 

" You think I may make my mind quite 
easy," she says, in a lighter tone, taking 
my hand in her two hot slender ones. 

'' Of course, of course." 

" That they were talking of some one 
else — or that if it we7^e me, they were 
utterly and unaccountably mistaken ?" 

" To be sure ! to be sure !" 

" Fat and florid people often seem to 
think that those who are not red and bulky 
as themselves must be in articiilo mortis!' 

'' So they do." 

*' Jemima 1" (still strongly clasping my 
hand in both hers), '' if you believe it so 
firmly, you will not mind swearing it." 

" What is the use of oaths and assevera- 
tions ?" I ask, uncomfortably. " Will not 
a simple assertion do as well ?" 

" You zvo7it swear !" she cries, in a tone 
of profound alarm. " Why not 1 Jemima, 

246 '' Good-bye, Sweetheart /" 

I do not like your face ! Your eyes will 
not meet mine — ^your lips are quivering — 
you are half crying. I know that I am 
very sick — that I have not much peace, 
day or night — but you do not think that it 
means anything bad ? — that I am — oh, my 
God ! I cannot say the word !" 

Her sentence breaks off, smothered in a 
shuddering sob. 

" I think nothing of the kind," I say, 
hastily, thoroughly frightened at her agita- 
tion *' Why will you gallop away with an 
idea ? Oh, Charlie ! do come here ; she is 
so impracticable — so unreasonable — she is 
talking stick nonsense." 

The door has opened, and Mr. Scrope is 
looking doubtfully in. At my w^ords he 
enters hastily. 

For the first time in her life she runs to 
him of her own accord, and throws herself 
into his arms. '' Oh, Charlie !" she cries, 
wildly, " you are the only person in the 

What yeminia Says. 247 

world that is kind to me. They have been 
so cruel to me — so cruel. They have been 
saying such things of me — you would not 
believe it. That man — that Mr. Lascelles 
— says I am not long for this world, and 
Jemima quite agrees with him." 

'* Jemima Is a fool !" says Mr. Scrope 
unjustly, looking with a momentary expres- 
sion of raging hatred at me over her prone 

'' Not long for this worldf she repeats, 
with a sort of moan, lifting her face, and 
staring pitifully into his. " Those were his 
very words : I have not altered one." 

" Lout ! idiot !" cries Scrope, angrily ; 
'' he had not an Idea what he was saying ! 
— he never has. My darling" (closely 
straining her to his heart, as if neither 
God, nor his great angel, Death, should 
avail to tear her thence), '' please God, you 
are longer for this world than he Is — than 
I — or Jemima — or any of us." 

248 '' Good-bye, Sweetheart /" 

'' Do you mean It, really f she says, 
with an awful anxiety in her tone. ''Are 
you serious ? Oh, God ! how I wish I 
could think so." 

" Are you so anxious to outlive us all ?" 
he asks, with a passionate melancholy. 
"Well, I daresay — it is natural, I suppose. 
Why should not you ? Very likely you 
will have your wish." 

" I want to live to be qjtite old," she 
says, hurriedly, not heeding his upbraiding 
eyes or tone. " I want to live a great 
many years : people are often happier 
when they are middle-aged than in youth ; 
but it is pleasant to be young, too. It is 
not all pleasure, but there is a great deal. 
I do not complain — I do not complain." 
(She is trembling violently.) " Hold me !" 
she says, hysterically. '' Do not let me 
go. You are the only person in the 
world to whom it matters much whether 
I die or live. Promise me that I shall 

What Jemima Says. 249 

not — oh ! that dreadful word ! — promise 

" I promise, dading," he says, " I pro- 

" You speak uncertainly !" she says, 
wrenching herself out of his arms, and 
staring at him in a distrustful agony ; " you 
are like Jemima — your face is all quiver- 
ing. I believe you are telling me false- 
hoods on such a subject ! Great God ! 
can there be anvthino^ wickeder than to 
deceive one — to tell one lies — in such a 
case ?" 

" Oh, my dear, I am not telling lies ! 
Before God, I am not ! I confidently 
trust — I altogether hope, that I shall yet 
see you strong and well as ever again. 
If I thought the contrary, do you think 
I could bear my own life for one mi- 
nute ?" 

" What does it matter what you think — 
what you hope ?" she cries, roughly, with 

250 ^'Good-bye, Sweethea7^t T 

one of her old petulant movements ; " will 
your trusting and hoping keep it off ? 
Will telling lies about it make it any 
better ?" (with an angry flash of her lovely 
miserable eyes at us both). " Whatever 
you say — -whatever you do — it is coming ! 
it is coming !" 

She flings herself down on the little 
sofa, shuddering from head to foot, and 
buries her face in the pillow, while her 
whole frame is shaken by the violence of 
her sobs. 

"My dearest child !" I say, half out of 
my sober wits with fright and pain, advanc- 
ing to her, and gently touching her on the 
shoulder ; ''for Heaven's sake do not be so 
excited ! You are not very ill now, really, 
you know ; you can go about a little, and 
walk, and talk like the rest of us ; but if 
you behave in this way " 

'' Where have my eyes been ?" she in- 
terrupts, sitting up again, and speaking 

What yeniima Says. 25; 

connectedly, but not calmly, while the 
great tears pour down her cheeks ; '' how 
is it that I have not seen all your looks 
and signs ? If they had not thought me 
very bad would the Scropes have spoken 
to me the other night ? Not they ! So I 
excited their compassion, did I ? I had no 
idea that I was an object oi pity ! I never 
used to be. Oh, I am indeed ! They 
were right ! I am indeed !" (breaking into 
a fresh tempest of great sobs, and again 
hiding her face in the cushion). 

" You are mistaken !" cries Scrope, be- 
side himself at the sight of her agony, and 
throwing himself on his knees ; '' Look up, 
Lenore ! Look up, beloved ! Look in 
my face, and see whether I am telling 
truth ; they talked to you the other night 
because they knew that if they were not 
civil to you I should never speak to them 
again — because they dared not be imperti- 
nent to you. Why sJwtild they pity you, 

252 ''Good-bye, Szueetkcarl f 

except for being younger and prettier than 
themselves ?" 

" You may save your breath," she an- 
swers, looking at him fixedly, with a sort 
of resentment ; '' there is no untrue thing 
that you would not say to me now, to keep 
me quiet. . . . It is very unjust," she 
cries out loud, clasping her lifted hands in 
a frenzy ; " it is hard^ — there is no sense in 
it — that I, that am the youngest, should go 
first ! I, that was so pretty, and enjoyed 
my life so much ! Some people only half 
live ; until we went to Dinan I lived every 
moment of my life ! Since then I have 
been miserable, certainly — very miserable 
now and then — but it was not half so bad 
as this ! Oh ! how gladly I would have it 
all over again ! — at least I was alive then," 
she says, trembling violently ; " nobody 
pitied me then ! After all, what does it 
matter what happens to one, so long as 
one is alive ! — that is the great thing ! 

What yemima Says. 253 

Sometimes I have said I wished I was 
dead ; but God knows I did not mean it — • 
one says so many things that one does not 
mean — he cannot be so cruel as to take me 
at my word ! Oh, he cannot ! he cannot !" 

Her voice dies in a wail — a wail of un- 
speakable fear. 

" Good Heavens ! what is the matter ?" 
says Sylvia, opening the door and enter- 
ing ; her commonplace voice striking on us 
with a painful incongruity. " Why are you 
all pulling such long faces ?" 

We none of us answer her. 


Though one were fair as roses 
His beauty clouds and closes ; 
And well tho' love reposes, 
In the end it is not well." 


'EN ORE has been very ill ; her 
very fear has accelerated what 
she feared. During the night 
followine the conversation detailed in the 
last chapter, in a violent fit of coughing, 
made more violent than usual by over- 
powering emotion, by uncontrolled weep- 
ing, she has broken a blood-vessel. It is 
in the dead of night; every soul in the 

What ye7nima Says, 255 

hotel is asleep. Until they have tried it, 
no one can realise the feeling of absolute 
helpless desperation that assails one under 
such a catastrophe happening in a remote 
and hardly accessible corner of Switzer- 
land, utterly without doctors, and four 
days' post from England. Since the days 
of Lenore's childhood, I have been en- 
tirely unused to the sight of sickness. I 
have not the remotest idea what remedies 
to apply, neither is Sylvia any wiser. In 
my despair I turn to the one person from 
whom I know that I shall get at least pas- 
sionate sympathy. Apparently he is not 
asleep, for before I knock at his door he 
has opened it, and stands before me in the 
dishevelled dress in which a person usually 
appears who has sprung out of sleep into 
their clothes, his curled locks tossed in the 
untidiness of slumber, and the heavy lids 
still weighing on his blue eyes. 

'' I thought it was your step," he says, 

256 '' Good-bye, Sweetheart P' 

hurriedly. '' God Almighty ! what is it ? 
Is she — Is she " 

" She Is much worse ; she has broken a 
blood - vessel," I answer, breathlessly. 
" What are we to do ? what are we to do ?" 
(wringing my hands). "No doctor to 
send for ! One Is so utterly helpless — 
what is to become of us ?" 

For an Instant he has clenched his 
hands, with a movement of despair more 
absolute even than mine ; then, under the 
urgent need for them, his strayed wits 
come back. 

*' There must be a doctor at St. Morltz," 
he says, " amongst the two or three hun- 
dred visitors there always are one or two. 
I will knock up M. Enderlin, and make 
him saddle me a horse to go there." 

*' But what are we to do meanwhile ?" I 
ask, helplessly. " You cannot be back for 
two hours at soonest. We know nothing ! 
Perhaps, we may be throwing away her 

What yeinima Says. 257 

life, for want of knowing the right way to 
keep it." 

'' I will send my rnother," he says. 

He Is already half-way down the long 
chill passage. In twenty minutes more he 
is gone, and the whole house is astir. 
Doors are being opened ; people of both 
sexes, evidently so sketchily dressed as to 
avoid rather than court notice, protrude 
their heads, and ask what is the matter. 
Mrs. Scrope has come hurrying to us, with 
the entire self-forgetfulness of a kind- 
hearted person ; come hurrying In a limp 
and corsetless dishabille, eminently be- 
coming to a young girl, but cruelly trying 
to the best looking woman of more ad- 
vanced age. How many secrets of the 
prison-house, must a fire, an alarm of 
burglars, or a sudden illness, have revealed 
before now\ She has put something of 
calm and order into our disordered con- 

vOL. III. 17 

258 '' Good-bye, Sweetheart r 

vSternation. We do what little we can — 
alas ! it is but little — and then wait — wait 
— try to imagine, as we sit in absolute 
silence and weary stillness in the little bare 
room, how far up the mountain road to St. 
Moritz our messenger is ; fancy a hundred 
times that we hear the hoofs of his back- 
coming horse long before he can possibly 
have reached his destination. Sylvia has 
disappeared ; certainly she was here when 
first I went to call Charlie, though she en- 
tirely declined to accompany me on that 
mission ; has she actually had the heart to 
oro to bed ao^ain ? I am not lonor left In 
doubt. As we sit, not speaking, In the 
dawn of the summer morning, that seems 
to have run half-way to meet the so lately 
gone evening, the door opens softly and 
she enters. She has been making a 
toilette : an embroidered wrapper embraces 
her form, and a saffron ribbon Is twisted in 
her black hair. The ruling passion strong 

What Jemima Says. 259 

in death ! — not her own death, but that of 
another person. 

" Can I be of any use ?" she says, look- 
ing In. '' Oh, Mrs. Scrope, how good of 
you to come to us hi our trouble ! I had 
not an idea that you were here." 

I make signs to her not to speak, and 
also that the room is too confined to admit 
of three nurses. She disappears. It is 
full morning before the joyful sound that 
for hours we have been straininof our ears 
to catch greets them. The doctor has 
arrived. He is a dirty-looking little 
fellow ; some paltry apothecary probably, 
to whom, were one in England, one would 
hardly entrust the care of a sick dog ; but 
iiow^ with what utter faith, with what in- 
tense and believing anxiety, do we listen 
to his fiat ! 

"He says it is only a small blood-vessel 
after all," I say, trying to speak cheerfully, 
as I rejoin Charlie outside the door, and 

17 — 2 

26o ^' Good-bye, Sweetheart r 

looking haggardly into his still more 
.haggard face, in the early splendour of the 
strong young daylight ; '' perhaps we have 
been making ourselves too miserable. She 
is to be kept absolutely quiet; only one 
person at a time in the room, and that one 
not to speak. She is to have all sorts of 
nourishing things — ^good heavens I" (break- 
ing off in a sort of despair) '' where are 
they to come from — here, where there is 
nothing but spiced beef as hard as a shoe, 
and skeleton fowls ?" 

" Why did you bring her here T he 
asks, in a tone of angry misery. "Were 
you mad? It was murder T 

" We did it for the best," I answer, 
humbly ; " the doctor recommended it and 
she fancied it." ... . 

As ill-luck will have it, next day there 
is a great yearly fete celebrated in the 
village ; a stir and festal noise all the long 
day in the crowded street and through the 

What yemima Says, 261 

house ; doors banging, loud voices laugh- 
ing. We have tried so earnestly to keep 
them quiet, but all in vain. When one is 
merry with beer, and when one has a holi- 
day only twice or thrice a year, one cannot 
always, every moment, bear in mind the 
sufferings of an unknown unseen stranger. 
It is drawing towards night again ; still 
the clamour shows no symptom of abating. 
Now and again I hear Madame Enderlin's 
low kind voice in earnest remonstrance, 
but even she remonstrates in vain. The 
weather has grown very hot. Lenore lies 
on her side, dozing uneasily, moaning now 
and then. I sit beside her, bathing her 
hot hands with eau de Cologne and water, 
and give a fresh start of exasperation and 
apprehension at every fresh noise that 
penetrates through the door, left ajar to 
admit a little air into the close room, where 
open windows are forbidden, at least in the 
evening. Presently, a louder noise than 

262 '' Good-bye, Sweetheai^t /" 

any of the former ones reaches my tor- 
tured ears : a great and heavy stamping 
up the stairs — up — up — up. It reaches 
the passage on which all our doors open. 
I stretch my neck to see what it is, with- 
out moving, and to my horror discover 
that it is an Italian hurdy-gurdy man, with 
his instrument on his back. He is just 
stooping his hand to turn the handle, when 
I see Charlie rush wildly out of his own 
door and with furious gestures stop him. 
The poor man is much surprised. "What^ 
must not he play for the Signora ?" 

^i -3C- ili ^'c -;ii 

A month has passed. Lenore is again 
up ; lies on the sofa in the sitting-room, 
dressed ; again talks, sometimes again 

" She wishes to see you," I say to Mr. 
Scrope, as we meet in the passage ; " she 
is quite looking forward to it ; will you go 
now ?" My fingers are on the door 
handle : I half turn it. 

What yemima Says, 26 


'' Stay," he cries, hastily, but in a low 
voice, putting his hand on mine to check 
it ; ''I am not ready — wait a moment — tell 
me — how do I look ?" 

" What do you mean ?" I say, half- 
laughing ; " are you taking a leaf out of 
Sylvia's book ?" 

" You know what I mean," he answers 
impatiently. '' Do I look cheerful — in 
good spirits — as if I had nothing on my 
mind ?" 

I scan his face doubtfully, I cannot an- 
swer in the affirmative. 

*' Her eyes look me through and 
through," he says, excitedly, ''no matter 
how much I lie, she is not deceived. Tell 
me, Mima, how can I make my face tell 
lies ? — how can I look content ?" 

" She will ask you no questions," I an- 
swer, sadly ; " at least, I think not — she 
has asked me none." 

"Shall I — be— be — very much shocked ?" 

264 " Good-bye^ Sweetheart /" 

he asks in a whisper, '' it is better to know 
what to expect — tell me." 

" She is pulled down, of course," I an- 
swer sorrowfully ; '' very much pulled 
down;" (then, after a little pause) : "my 
poor fellow, what is the use of buoying 
ourselves up with untrue hopes ? It is the 
beginning of the end ; the doctor himself 
said as much to me the other day." 


^' The light upon her yellow hair, 
But not within her eyes ; 
The light still there upon her hair, 
The death upon her eyes." 


OW much better you are look- 

In his own mind he has 
been practising this httle speech — prac- 
tising it with the proper intonation of half 
surprised cheerfulness ; when he comes to 
pronounce it, really it is a failure. There 
is a strained gaiety in his tone that would 
hardly deceive a baby. 

" More perjuries," she says, with a Ian- 

266 ''Good-bye, Sweetheart T 

guid smile, looking up at him half com- 
passionately from her couch. " I will 
dispense you from telling any more stories ; 
you told a great many the other day, but 
I do not think they will come much against 
you in the last account — but still — be on 
the safe side — tell no more of them." 

"I — I — I said nothing but what I 
thought," he begins, with a stammering 
haste, but her great clear eyes looking 
steadily, though not unkindly through him,, 
make his voice decline into silence. 

" I have done crying for myself now,'^ 
she says, with a sort of smile, " do not you 
think I have had plenty of time to do that 
in, during these last long endless nights ? 
I could not have believed a summer night 
coiUd be so long. I have been sorrier for 
myself than I ever was for anybody else 
— but — but — I am getting used to it — I 
kick and scream no longer. Where is the 



What the Autho7^ Says. 267 

What has become of the stiff smile into 
which he has so carefully trained his fea- 
tures ? He has taken possession of one 
of her pale hands ; he seems to be very 
welcome to it ; she does not care whether 
he has it or has it not ; he has stooped and 
laid his bronzed cheek upon it to hide his 

" ' As flies to wanton boys, so we to the gods 
They kill us for their sport/ " 

she says, dreamily repeating this couplet 
out of " King Lear." " I suppose they are 
killing me for their sport ?" 

'^ You are not to talk. Jemima says so," 
he says, raising his head, and speaking with 
a tone of shocked distress. 

" Bah !" she answers slightingly, "if I 
am silent y^r ever, will it save me ? Do 
you think that if I thought there was the 
remotest chance of that, I would once open 
my lips ? But what is the use of setting 
up one's little bit of life, like an end of 

268 '^Good-bye, Sweetheart T 

candle on a save-all, to make it burn a few 
moments longer ?" A little dumb pause. 
*' You are crying !" she says presently, with 
one of her old quick and irritable mo- 
ments, which contrasts oddly and painfully 
with her changed and almost extinguished 
voice. " I hate to see a man cry ! It is 
unnatural — womanish — it always makes me 
inclined to laugh." 

" For God's sake, laugh, if you feel dis- 
posed !" he says fiercely, dashing away his 
tears, as if ashamed and angry at them. 
" I have been your butt always, Lenore ! 
I am Avilling to be so still." 

*' Are you going to quarrel with me ?" 
she asks, querulously. '' I suppose so ; 
sooner or later everybody does." 

" Do they ?" (speaking softly, and again 
stooping his head, to kiss her fingers). 

" You blame me for talking," she says 
presently, with a sort of weary pettishness, 
''and then you do not volunteer a word 

What the Author Says. 269 

yourself. Some one must speak ; we can- 
not both sit dumb — mumchance." 

" You are right," he says, making a great 
effort to speak easily and lightly. " I am 
more than ordinarily stupid to-day — head- 
achy, I think — cobwebby." 

*' At least do not look so woe- begone," 
she says, staring at him with discontented 
tired eyes ; " you make it worse for me — 
harder. I have been trying to persuade 
myself that what happens to every one 
cannot be so very bad — but you — your face 
upsets me !" 

" How can I mend it ?" he says, humbly 
and fondly. " I will try." 

" After all, it is no such a great catas- 
trophe," she says with a little bitter laugh ; 
" nobody is much to be pitied but me — 
nobody cares much except myself, and, 
perhaps, j)/d?^^. ]^m\m2, thinks she is enor- 
mously grieved ; she pulls a long face, but 
it is easy to see that it will not be the 

270 ''Good-bye, Sweetheart T 

death of her — that she will survive many 
long and happy years to talk about ' poor 
dear Lenore.' " 

He silently caresses her hand, but does 
not trust himself to embark on any speech. 

''How strong you are!" she says, her 
eyes wandering steadily and coldly, with a 
sort of envy, over his face and figure. 

" Certainly there are hands and hands " 
(again taking possession of her own, and 
laying it beside his to compare them). '' If 
you do not play tricks with yourself — if 
you are moderately steady — what a long 
life you will probably have, full of action 
and pleasure and pleasant business ! Oh, 
my God !" — (breaking out into the pas- 
sionate and so-absolutely-useless upbraid- 
ings that we sometimes address to the 
great Power above us) — " it is not fair- 
indeed il is not. How have you been so 
much better than I, that you should live 
so many happy years after I am gone T 

What the AtUhor Says. 271 

'' Oh, my love," he cries in a tone of the 
acutest pain, '' why do you throw my 
strength in my teeth ? Can I help it ? Do 
you think it gives me any pleasure ? Do 
you think that if I could be weak and 
sinking like you — 7iow — this minute — that 
I should complain much ?" 

" Of course you would," she answers 
feebly but brusquely, ''as much as I do. 
Of course you are glad to be strong ; you 
would be an idiot if you were not ; as long 
as one has good health, one has everything ! 
One can get over every other trouble, but 
that — that " 

He shakes his head dissentingly. More 
than once the effort of talking has brought 
on an access of coughing, but Scrope's 
remonstrances are vain ; she is resolute to 
carry on the conversation. 

'' Fifty years hence you will probably 
still be here," she says, in the same faint 
envious voice. " You are twenty-eight 

272 ''Good-bye, Siueetheart P' 

now — yes — a hale strong man of seventy- 
eight — still alive — still enjoying — children 

and orrandchlldren all about 



" Never !" he says, violently starting up,, 
and walking about the room In disordered 
haste. '' I shall never have a child ! If 
you leave me, Lenore, I shall never have 
a wife." 

" Pooh !" she says, contemptuously, " five 
years hence you will be a respectable ph^e 
de famille. What do I say ? — Five j^ears ? 
three — two — and when you are talking 
about your conquests you will have to 
think twice before you can recollect what 
colour my eyes were, or which of the dry 
dusty hair-locks in your pocket-book was 

" At least you are consistent," he cries 
fiercely, stopping suddenly beside her, his 
face white and disfigured with angry grief; 
'' all your life your object has been to give 
pain. Well, I congratulate you ; weak and 

What the Author Says. 273 

changed as you are in other ways, you are 
still unchanged in that — are still as able as 
ever to cut to the heart." 

" Why should not I ?" she says wearily, 
rolling her head from side to side on the 
pillow. " I have been cut to the heart 
enough in my day ; why should not other 
people go shares with me ? . . . . Until 
we went to Dinan," she resumes by-and-by, 
" I had always had my own way ; I never 
remember the time when I had not. I 
always said, that if ever I did not get my 
own will in anything it would be the death 
of me. I remember telling Paul so, almost 
the first time I saw him ; I thought it 
rather a fine thing to say ; I never dreamed 
of it's coming true, but it has." 

"Not yet — not yet !" he remonstrates, 

" Not that I am dying of love," she 
says, raising herself and speaking with 
more energy than she has yet shown. 

VOL. III. 18 

2 74 " Good-bye, Sweetheart T 

'' Never say, or let any one else say, that. 
Whatever tales one may have heard to 
that effect, I do not believe any one ever 
did such a thing in this world. If I had 
not been sickly to begin with, I cou/d not 
have fretted myself into my grave, how- 
ever hard I had tried. I should have 
grown yellow and pinched and withered 
before my time, but I should have lived. 
Yes, if I had not been sickly, radically 
sickly, to begin with, I should have lived." 
'' Live now !" he cries wildly, throwing 
himself down on his knees beside her sofa, 
and looking up with all the sorrowful mad- 
ness of his blue eyes into her face. '' Why 
should not you ? Perhaps you will never 
again be very strong, but there is no reason 
why you may not live — yes, live for many 
years. This climate is too harsh for you ; 
when you grow a little stronger let me 
take you away to a warmer suaver one — to 
Italy- — the South of France ; let me take 

What the Aidhor Says. 275 

you, Lenore— take my zuife — the only wife 
I shall ever have." 

'' Your ii)ife /" she says, with a smile 
wholly sorrowful, yet touched with a little 
gratification. '' I thought we had heard 
the last of that old story." 

'' Never /" he answers, vehemently. 
"-' Never ! xA.s long as I am near you you 
will never hear the last of it." 

"If you honestly wish to marry me," she 
says, looking half gratefully at him with her 
large and languid eyes ; " yes, you look 
honest, it is a way you have ; but if you 
wish it seriously, it must be only as a 
penance. Even good men, who have loved 
their wives to begin with, if they fall sick, and 
remain for a long time ailing invalids, grow 
tired of them ; against their will they grow 
tired of them. If I lasted long enough, you 
would grow tired — heartily tired — of me." 

*' Should I ?" (with an expressive accent). 

Again she shakes her head. 


276 ''Good-bye, Sn'cctheart f 

" There are worthier occupations in Hfe 
for a }-oung and handsome man than carry- 
ing cushions and shaking physic-bottles." 

*' Tastes differ," he says, smiHng a httle, 
though not very merrily. " I think not." 

'' Who could love me now ?" she asks, 
Avith a movement of disbelieving self-con- 
tempt. " Aimer d'ainoitr, I mean ; they 
miorht love me in the sense in which orood 

o o 

and tender-hearted people love anything 
that is miserable and suffering ; but that is 
not the way in which I used to be loved — 
not the way in which I care to be loved." 

" Neither is it the way in which I love 
you," he answers firmly. 

*' Why do you tantalise me ?" she cries, 
angrily, pushing her heavy hair irritably 
away from her blue-veined temples ; " talk- 
ing about what we shall do if I live. I shall 
not live — I shall die. Often— so often — in 
the past nights, when 3'ou have all been 
comfortably warmly asleep, I have said 

What the Author Says. 

over and over to myself, ' Lenore Herrick 
is dead,' trying how it would sound." 

" Hush — hush !" he says, unutterably 
pained ; then, after a little silence, '' Le- 
nore " (speaking with a shaking voice and 
quivering features), '' even if you are right 
— even if you are not to live long — why do 
you make me face this frightful possibility? 
But even if it is so, let me at least be able 
to look back out of my desolation, and 
think, that though God was in a hurry to 
part us, yet that for a short time- — after 
long and weary waiting — you were my 
very own — belonging to me — called by my 

"If I am to die," she says, harshly, 
^'what does it matter what name I am 
called by ? — what name is cut on my grave- 
stone ? Shall I lie any the easier because 
you wear crape and weepers for me ?" 
. Again he says, '' Hush ! hush!" 

'' You are unwise to wish that I were 

278 '' Good-bye, Swcdheai't r 

well," she says presently, with a sort of 
pitying smile, "it is against your own in- 
terest. I am quite fond of }'ou now — 
qidtc ! I like to feel your hand coolly 
clasping mine ; I like to send you on mes- 
sages ; you are so zealous and so speedy. 
I like to see your handsome sorrowful face 
come in at the door." 

Again he bends his head over her hand^ 
to hide his dumb agony. 

''If you had not been here I should have 
sadly felt the want of some one to cry over 
me," she continues, mournfully smiling ; 
*' nobody else would have done it, certainly, 
I do not blame them ; I never cried over 
anybody else, or was at all pitiful or sympa- 
thetic in my day. I reap my own sowing, 
but still it is pleasanter as it is." 

He Is kissing her hands over and over 
again, but he makes no rejoinder. 

" But yet," she pursues gravely, " I have 
a misgiving that if I grew strong and well 

What the AutJior Says. 279 

again I should have as Httle relish for your 
society as ever ; I should shrink from your 
touch, and fly at the distant sound of your 
voice, as I did in the old days of our en- 
gagement. Do not look miserable ; my 
affection for you will never be put to that 
test — only say nothing more about my be- 
ing your wife ; I wish for that as little as 
ever. I love you as a child loves its nurse, 
not as a woman loves her husband." 

Poor Scrope ! his last Spanish castle has 
fallen into ruin : by her cold and friendly 
words she has torn into tatters the airy fabric 
of his last poor dream. 

'' I was wrong," he says, after a pause, in 
a strangled voice, " selfish, as I always am. 
I wall be — be — content." 

A long, long silence. Outside, the cheery 
footsteps of guests in the hotel running 
down stairs, in preparation for some plea- 
sant expedition ; loud and happy voices, 
calling to one another. Lenore lies back 

28o '' Good-bye, Sweetheart /" 

with closed eyes, exhausted by the previous 
conversation, and yet it is she that re- 
sumes it. 

" How long do they give me ?" she asks, 
faintly, but calmly ; '' if you are truly my 
friend, you will tell me — No ? Well, then 
I must remain in my ignorance." 

Another pause ; the gay picnic party 
have packed themselves into their carriage ; 
with a noise of wheels and bells they are 

*' Before you go," says Lenore, again 
speaking, " I have one more thing to say 
to you ; it will pain you sharply, but that 
is nothing new, is it ? you will writhe and 
shudder, as I have already seen you do two 
or three times to-day — well — I cannot help 
it — you are the only person I can speak to 
about it; if I were to broach the subject 
to Jemima she would put her fingers in 
her ears, and run out of the room." 

'' What is it ?" he asks indistinctly. 

What the Author Says. 281 

'' When — it is — all over," she says, very 
slowly, but with composure, " when I am 

Ronc^ <^o not let them take me back to 

England ; was not it Chateaubriand who 
said that there was something revolting to 
him In the idea of a dead person on a 
journey ? — well — I agree with him. Make 
them bury me here — in the little mountain 
graveyard, where you and I sat on that 
Sunday evening, when first you came — 
are you listening ? — will you promise ?" 

'' I promise," he answers, unsteadily. 

*' How grand it was !" she says, leaning 
back, with closed eyes, and smiling 
dreamily. " I see them now — all those 
great peaks cutting the pale green sky with 
their jagged teeth — now that I am to leave 
the world so soon, I wish it were uglier ; 
perhaps it would be easier to go — oh, my 
God !" (opening her eyes, and clasping her 
hands together in utter bitterness of spirit), 
'' I do love this very world — just as It is — 


" Good-bye, Sweetheart ! 

other people find fault with it, but I do not 
— I love it — I love it — oh, why may not I 
stay a little in it ?" 

* ^i t;:- * * * 

" Bury me under the west wall," she 
says, " beneath the catchfly and the blown 
dandelions !" 



ET another month has smoothly 
slidden past, and we are here 
still. We know not how much 
longer Ave may have to bide here ; but, 
alas ! we do know that when w^e go we 
shall not all go ; but that one of us, whether 
we will it or not, must stay behind. One 
of us God has called, saying to her, both 
in the dark night and in the broad blue 
noon, " Come !" and to that strong bidding 
there can be said no '' Nay." This is an 
invitation to which we cannot say, " I will 

Good-bye, Siuect heart /" 

not," or '' I will." Bidden, one must go. 
Thus our Lenore is going. We say so 
now, and so it is. At first, we did not 
breathe it even to ourselves ; then, after a 
while, each whispered it low to her own 
sad heart : 7iozu, we say it aloud to one 

We have been here ten weeks ; the 
summer, that we found in its first cool 
youth, has now assumed the hot gravity of 
its August ripeness. We have outlived 
many lovely dynasties of the flowers ; have 
seen them arise and prosper, and then 
sweetly die. Oh ! flowers, give us a 
lesson ; teach us your way of dying, your 
gentle, unregretting extinction. (9//r death 
fs a cruel fellow ; he is not content to take 
us with a kindly mildness. Did he but 
stretch out a friendly hand to us, some 
among us would not be over loth to put 
ours in it, and go away with him whither 
he list. But he comes with his eyeless, 

What yeminia Says. 285 

ash-grey skull-face ; with his racks and his 
scourges ; can he blame us that we shrink 
and shiver away from him ? Lenore has 
been looking him steadily in the face now, 
for a long time past, but still she shivers, 
still she pales, at the sound of his nearing 
feet. Lenore is amongst those who go, 
knoiuing it. Some depart smiling ; igno- 
rantly babbling of fond home trifles, with 
eyes still fixed on earth's dear sunshiny 
hills and plains. Overhead in the flood 
are they plunged, or ever they know that 
they are within sight of its bank. But 
Lenore knows. I am uncertain whether 
we should ever have had the heart to tell 
her ; whether we should, not have let her 
slip into the next world, without being 
aware of it. For myself, I think it the 
kinder plan ; I think that to one whom 
God has summoned, himself will reveal it 
in meet time, w^ithout the intervention of 
any harsh human voice, saying roughly, 

286 " Good-bye, Sweetheart P ' 

^' You will die." But, as you know, an 
accident has revealed it to Lenore. Some- 
times she forgets it for a moment ; some- 
times the conquered spirit of youth reas- 
serts itself; sometimes she talks gaily of 
what she will do next year ; sometimes she 
rives our hearts by making plans for the 
winter, whose snows she will never feel, for 
the new distant spring, whose flowers will 
open upon her grave. But it is only for a 
little while that the beautiful illusion lives ; 
always it vanishes, as the cold dew vanishes 
from the fine fresh mountain grass. 

It is a fearfully hot day, softly overcast ; 
the keen mountain air, cool and crisp, 
which so rarely fails from these high places, 
has gone to draw new sharpness from the 
snows, and left us gasping. A silent day, 
but for the loud rumblings of the thunder 
in the great grand hills. 

Sylvia sits in her bedroom, crying over 
the last volume of a Tauchnitz novel, be- 

What Jemima Says. 287 

nevolently lent her by Mrs. Scrope, which 
makes her hotter still. Lenore lies, with 
heavy eyelids drooped over sunk eyes, on 
the sofa in our sitting-room ; it has been 
transformed, as much as possible, into the 
likeness of a couch, and drawn up close to 
the window, to catch any stray little tra- 
velling breeze. Breathing is always diffi- 
cult to Lenore now, but to-day specially so. 
I am sitting beside her, fanning her. She 
expressed a while ago a sudden longing for 
lemonade, as a nice cool drink. I asked 
Kolb to make me some, as it is a beverage 
which does not grow ready made in these 
parts. Kolb's lemonade is produced by 
pouring hot water on lemons ; five minutes 
ago it entered boiling. I have been pour- 
ing the whole stock of water contained in 
my bedroom's tiny ewer and bottle into a 
washhand basin, and causing the lemonade 
jug to stand in it, in the forlorn hope of 
cooling it through the agency of this half- 

288 " Good-bye, Siuceiheai't T 

pint of tepid water. Now I have returned 
to Lenore, and am fanning her again. The 
languid flies come and march about upon 
her outflung arms, with their Httle tickhng, 
maddening legs, and when I strike out 
wildly and indignantly at them, with a little 
self-conscious buzz they fly away and elude 
me. With my resentful eyes I have fol- 
lowed one to the wall, where he stands 
twistinof his hind leo^s together. Then my 
sad gaze returns to the place where It has 
dwelt all morning — Lenore's sunken, weary, 
pained face ; the face that might as well 
be any one else's, for all resemblance that 
it bears to hers — hers, our beauty ! Oh, 
bad, cruel Death ! Why cannot you take 
us all at once, without first stealing beauty 
and grace and harmony ? Do you care to 
hold nothing but disfigurement and decay 
in your frosty arms ! I am sorrowfully 
pondermg on the probability of her passing- 
to-day — half wishing it, and }^et half grudg- 

What yemima Says, 289 

ing — when her eyes slowly unclose, and she 

" You fan me badly," she says, feebly and 
complainlngly ; " so Irregularly, and inter- 
mittingly — not half so well as Charlie does. 
Send him."" 

" But, my dear," I say, gently remon- 
strating, " you always ze/^'/Ztalk to him, you 
know, and you are not up to it." 

'' I mean to talk to him," she says, with 
a pitiful shadow of her old resolute wilful- 
ness. '^ I have something to say to him — 
something I mtist say to him — a favour to 
ask of him." 

" A favour ?" 

" Yes," she answers petulantly, " a 
favour ; but it is nothing to you ; it is not 
you that I am going to ask — send him." 

So I obey. I find him sitting in his 
own room, his hands thrust into his tossed 
bright hair, and his eyes, red with watching 
and weeping, idly fixed on the cruel calm 

VOL. III. 19 

290 ''Good-bye, Sweetheart!''' 

of the unfeeling smiling hills. '' She has 
sent for you," I say, entering listlessly. 
*' She says you fan her so much better than 
I do. She has also something to say to 
you, a favour to ask — a favour — what can 
it be ?" I end, a little inquisitively. He 
does not pay any heed to my curiosity ; he 
is already in the passage when I call him 
back. '.' Stay," I say ; " before you go, 
bathe your eyes and try to smile ; you 
know, poor soul, she — she likes us to look 



OW long you have been !" she 
says, querulously. " I thought 
you were never coming. You 
might have made a little haste." 

" I will be quicker next time, darling," 
he answers^ kneeling down gently beside 
her, and speaking firmly and cheerfully. 

" Fan me," she says, panting ; " fan me 
strongly and regularly." 

She lies back exhausted, and he hears 
her mutter, " At least, wherever I go, I 
shall have breath.'* 

Utter silence for five minutes, save for 

19 — 2 

292 ''Good-bye, Sweetheart T 

the gentle noise made by the winnowing of 
the fan. 

" Lift me," she says, stretching out her 
arms to him. " Lying down I gasp." 

He Hfts her with delicate care, and her 
dying head droops in sisterly abandonment 
on his kind shoulder. 

" Dear old fellow," she says faintly ; 
'' kind old brother." 

Yet another pause ; no sustained con- 
versation is possible. 

" I am going very fast, Charlie." 

" Yes, darling." 

'' I was always one to do things quickly, 
if I did them at all — I was never a 

No answer. 

" You will get away before the season 
is over, after all." 

*' Oh, love, hush !" 

" You would do something to oblige me, 
would not you, Charlie ?" 

What the Aitthor Says, 293 

" Anything possible, beloved." 

'' But supposing it were impossible ?" 

" Still I would do it." 

'' That is right," she answers, with a sigh 
of relief. 

" I am glad." 

Then she is again silent for a long time. 
The thunder still grumbles deeply in the 
hot heart of the hills, and the flies still walk 
about torpidly upon her white wrapper. 

"You know all the old story — about 
Paul," she says presently, with a little ex- 
citement in her faint and hollow voice. 

" Yes, I know it." 

'' You know the reason why I have bor- 
rowed the advertisement sheet of your 
Times every day ?" 

'' I — I have guessed it." 
" I have daily looked carefully through 
the marriages," she says, with a sort of 
feeble eagerness, " but I have never seen 

294 *' Good-bye, Sweetheart f^ 

" Neither have I." 

A long and painful fit of coughing inter- 

" Tell me the rest to-morrow," he says, 
gently bending over her. She smiles 

"It is all very well for you to talk — yoii 
who are rich in to-morrows. How do I 
know that I have one ?" 

Again he fans her, trying to coax the 
cool little waves of air to her hot and parted 

"He said it — was — to be im77iediatelyl' 
she murmurs after a pause; "since it has 
not been yet — perhaps- — it will never be." 

" Perhaps." 

" Very likely it is broken off," she says, 
a ray of pleasure lighting up her face. " I 
never told you so before — but — between 
ourselves — I do not think — he was very 
eager about it. No doubt it is broken off." 
" No doubt." 

What the Author Says. 295 

She has taken his hand, and is stroking 
it with a sort of patronising caressingness. 

" Kind, good, patient CharHe !" she says 
softly. " Whose errands will you run on 
when I am gone ?" 

No answer. 

" I have one more errand to send you 
on," she continues, with feeble eagerness ; 
'' longer, disagreeabler, more difficult than 
any of the others. Will you run on it 
too ?" 

" Oh, beloved, try me !" 

" There is at least one advantage in be- 
ing in a dying state," she says by-and-by, 
gravely and solemnly ; "as long as I was 
well I could not send for him — could not ask 
him to come back to me — could not move 
a finger to bring him — all the advances 
must have come from him. But now — now 
— I may send for whom I please, and no 
one will call me unmaidenly, will they ?" 

"No one," he answers steadily, though 

296 *' Good-bye, Sweetheart /" 

his face Is drawn with the pain of finding 
that still, in these last hours, he is second, 
always second. She is looking earnestly at 
him ; her large grey eyes — unnaturally, un- 
becomingly large now — are reading his 
countenance like an open book. 

" It hurts you," she says calmly ; " well, 
I have always hurt you. I suppose you 
like it, or you would not have stayed with 
me, but would have gone, as Paul did. 
Well, have I made you understand ? I 
wish to send for him." 

For a second he turns away his head, 
and gathers his strength together ; then he 
says, kindly and gently : 

" Do you wish me to write or tele- 
graph ?" 

'' I wish neither," she answers, with a 
Tittle impatience ; ''do you think that that 
is my errand ? That would not be a very 
hard one, just to walk down to the post- 
office ; I might charge even Sylvia with 

What the Author Says. 297 

that. Listen ; of course you need not do it 
unless you wish ; of course I cannot make 
you. I wish to make sure. I wish you to 
go and fetch him^ 

He gives an involuntary start of utter 
pain and anguish. 

" And leave you, oh my darling ?" 

" And leave me," she echoes pettishly; 
** what good do you do me ? What good 
does any one do me .^ Can you give me 
breath or sleep ?" 

He rises and walks to the window. The 
evening draws on, and the thunder is dumb. 
He looks out on the great mountains — lilac 
while the sun is setting, grey when he is 
gone — the mountains whose playfellows the 
swift snow-storms are, and about whose 
necks the clouds wreathe their wet white 
arms ; looks at the deep torrent courses 
that furrow their sides, and at the straight 
dark pines, which the winter strips not, and 
to whom lavish spring, with her gentian 

298 '' Good- bye y Swedhcai^t T 

wreath and her lap full of flowered grasses, 
brings no embellishment ; looks at them all, 
without seeing them. Then he comes back 
to the couch side, and says : 

" I will go." 

" You think he will not come ?" she says 
looking wistfully at him. '' I see it in your 
face, but I know better ; if you had seen 
him at Bergun, you would have thought 
differently. Yes " (with a little shining 
smile), *' he will come !" 

'' There is no doubt of it," he replies 

" Even if he is married he will come," 
she says, still smiling ; '' his wife will spare 
him for these few days, and, if she hesitates, 
you may tell her that, whatever I was once, 
I am not a person to be jealous of now." 


" You will set off to-morrow morning 
early I' she says feverishly. " I am afraid 
it is too late to-day. You know his ad^ 

What the Atdho7^ Says. 299 

dress ? Oh yes, of course ; you have been 
there ?" 

'' Yes." 

'' And you will certainly bring him — 
certainly f ' 

'' Yes." 

She closes her eyes with a long sigh of 
relief. She lies so still that he is uncertain 
whether she sleeps, but, after a time, she 
opens thern again. 

'' You wonder why I wish so much to 
see him again," she says slowly; ''when he 
does not wish to see me ; you think it is love. 
No, it is not. When one is sick as I am one 
is past love ; only all the night through his 
face vexes me. I am worried with it ; it 
never leaves me ; I torment myself trjang 
to recall every line of it. I must see 
whether I have remembered it right : it has 
been with me every moment in this world. 
I must take it distinct and clear with me 
into the next." 


Lilies for a bridal bed ; 
Roses for a matron's head ; 
Violets for a maiden dead." 


HARLIE Is gone. Very early 
to-day he set off. I stood by 
him on the steps, in the cool of 
the young and shining morning, as he pre- 
pared to step Into the carriage which was 
to take him up and down the long steep 
mountain passes to Chur. 

" Keep her till I come back," he said, 
wringing my hand with unknowing violence. 

What yemi77ta Says. 

'' If I come back to find her gone, I shall 
never forgive you — never. Promise !" 

" How can I promise ?" I said, sorrow- 
fully. " Have I life and death in my hand ? 
How can I hinder her going ?" 

So he is gone, and we are waiting — 
waiting with strained ears and hot eyes — 
to see which will win the race to Lenore's 
side. Death or Paul. Lenore herself fights 
with all her strength — alas, how little ! — 
with a strength not her own — on Paul's 
side. She i^efiises to die. For more than 
a week past she has turned with loathing 
from every species of nourishment ; now 
she demands it greedily. She will not 
speak — will not utter a word — for fear of 
wasting the little breath that remains to 
her. People are very kind ; every hour of 
the day solicitous faces meet us on the 
landing-place, with pitying gestures and 
expressions of sympathy. Guests in the 
hotel tread softly, and scold their children 


02 '' Good-bye, Szueet heart /" 

when they hear them whooping and noisily 
tumbhng, vvith the utter unfeellngness of 
childhood, down the slight stairs and along 
the thin-walled passages. 

* v'-- -:ij iic * 

And now all the days between Scrope's 
going and his expected backcoming have 
rolled away. Before he went we calcu- 
lated accurately together distances and 
times ; this is the day on which he en- 
gaged to return. Lenore is still here — 
still fighting — disputing her life, inch by 
Inch, hand to hand, with the all-victor. 

" He will come to-day," she has said, 
speaking for the first time for many hours 
■ — speaking confidently. "It is my lucky 
day ; something tells me so." 

I have drawn the scant window-curtain 
and thrown wide the window, and looked 
out on the unutterable majesty of the 
morning hills. 

" I will not die to-day !" she says, clench- 

What Jemima Says. 303 

Ing her feeble hand. " I have some hfe 
left in me yet — more than you think. It 
would be too cruel to go before he came ; 
he would be so disappointed." I turn and 
gaze mournfully at her. Her voice is 
stronger, and the inward excitement of her 
soul has sent a last little flame of colour to 
her cheeks. " Let us be ready for him," 
she says, with a tender smile. '' Take 
away all those physic bottles — everything 
that looks like sickness. Make the room 
pretty ; gather plenty of flowers." 

So I obey her. All about the room, fol- 
lowing her directions, I place the gay sweet 
flowers. Oh, wonderful, lovely flowers ! 
whence do you steal your tender stains ? 
Is it from the brown earth or the colour- 
less wind ? Later on, as the day draws 
towards noon, she expresses a wish to be 
dressed. I remonstrate gently, fearing the 
exhaustion consequent on so unwonted an 
exertion ; but she is resolute. 

304 " Good-bye, Siveetheart /" 

" I shall wish so few things any more," 
she says, simply and pleadingly ; '' you 
may as well let me have my way." Thus 
I tearfully consent. " The old blue gown," 
she says, with an eager smile ; '' Louise 
will find it among my things. It is the 
only one among my clothes that he ever 
praised. He never was one to notice 
clothes, but he liked that. Only the last 
time I saw him he was talking of it." 

So, with many pauses, slowly and 
mournfully, with sorrowful faces, as if we 
were already dressing her for her grave, we 
dress her in the old blue gown. Alas ! it 
is pitifully large for her. But she is not 
yet satisfied. In spite of pain, in spite of 
utter prostration, she must also have her 
hair dressed — her long bright hair — the 
one thing that remains to her. 

" Plait it round and round my head," 
she says, looking with feverish entreaty 
into my sad face. '' Take great pains. 

What yemima Says, 305 

Put no frisettes — nothing artificial ; he 
does not like it ; but yet let it be becom- 

Becoming ! at such a time ! Oh, God ! 

Amazed I look at her, and a half doubt 

enters my mind that I have been allotting 

her too short a span of further life. Her 

voice sounds certainly stronger, and there 

is a ray of living animation in her great 

sunken eyes. Towards evening she grows 

very restless, and I hear her murmur to 

herself, *' He must make haste — make 

haste. The road is long and steep — so 

many sharp turns and twists. I hope the 

horses are sure-footed. But it is only for 

once ; he might make haste." She is as 

one running a hard race that is nearing the 

goal, but hears his rival's feet close upon 

his track, and strains every tense nerve in 

the effort and agony of attainment. Will 

she attain her goal ? It is the question 

that, as day droops into night, makes us all 

VOL. III. 20 

3o6 '' Good-bye, Sweethea7't /" • 

ever more and more breathless. She 
speaks little with her faint lips, but 
with her hunted piteous eyes she entreats 
us to keep her. I cannot bear those 

The light is gone, and the candles are 
lit. '* Let me read to you a little," I say, 
softly, in a tear-strangled voice. 

" Yes," she answers ; " yes ; if you will 
— if you like." 

But she is not listening. I sit down 
with the Bible upon my knees. I can 
hardly see the page for tears. I scarcely 
know where I turn. I begin at the words 
of godlike consolation that fit any grief ; 
that come never amiss : '' Come unto me 
all ye that labour and are heavy laden." 
They open the fount of my own sorrow, 
that requires but a touch to unclose it. 
" Are you listening ?" I ask, gently, trying 
to scan her face across the candle's feeble 

What yemima Says. 2P1 

'' Yes," she answers, with a sort of hurry ; 
" yes — to be sure — I am listening ! — but 
read lower ; one cannot hear any little 
noise outside when you read so loud." 

Sighing, I lay down the book, and walk- 
ing to the window look out — look out at the 
little quarter moon, and the travelling stars 
— the sky, that speaks of sleep and unutter- 
able quietness — the dark mountain bulks, 
with flashes of silver on their giant flanks — 
the narrow street, with the lights from the 
hotel playing on the little houses opposite 
— the small white cross gleaming in the 
moonlight — -the solitary pacer down the 
tongueless street — the solemn glacier river 
that saith nothing light, but singeth ever 
the same plain, hoarse song. 

'' After all — I shall have to go !" she 
says, with a low wail. " I cannot wait — I 
cannot. Oh, Paul ! you might have hur- 
ried !" 

I have thrust my head as far out of the 

20 2 

3o8 " Good-bye, Sweetheart /" 

window as it will go. I am listening. At 
first, nothing but the river — nothing ! Oh, 
river ! I hate you ; be silent for once. 
Then a little noise mixes with it — so small 
and uncertain that one cannot positively 
say at first that it is not a part of the 
stream's roar ; then it separates itself — 
grows distinct — nears. I turn to the bed, 
with an unspeakable weight lifted from my 
heart. ''He is coming !" I say, with a 
smile ; but already she has heard. Could 
I expect my ears to be keener than hers ? 
Even in death she looks very joyful. As 
the carriage noisily rolls up towards the 
hotel I turn with the intention of going 
down to meet the travellers ; but she stops 

" Stay !" she says, stretching out her 
hand eagerly. '' Do not go ! I forbid 
you ! I will have the first look !" 

So we remain in absolute silence for two 
enormous minutes ; then the sound of a 

What Jemima Says. 309 

step running quickly and lightly up the 
stairs — a step — surely there is only one ! 
The door opens, and Charlie enters, hag- 
gard, travel-stained, and alone. She does 
not even look at him ; her eyes are staring 
with an awful eager intentness at the door 
behind him ; but no one follows, nor does 
he leave it open, as if expecting to be fol- 
lowed. On the contrary, he closes it be- 
hind him. 

" Great God !" I say, running up to him-, 
half out of my wits with excitement, 
" What is this ? You have come without 
him ? You have not brought him ?" 

He does not answer. 

Putting me aside he goes hastily to the 
couch, kneels down beside it, taking her 
gently in his arms, and says, in a hoarse 
voice : 

"My darling, I have broken my promise 
— but I could not help it ; — it was not my 
fault. He — he — has not come, because — 

3IO *' Good-bye, Sweetheart P' 

because it was his wedding-day when I got 
there. Oh, beloved, speak to me ! Say 
you forgive me — you are not going without 
one word — speak — speak !" 

But Lenore will never speak to him any 
more : her head has sunk back, with all its 
pretty careful plaits, on his shoulder — Le- 
nore has 

^'Gone thro* the straight and dreadful pass of death." 




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