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Title: A Twentieth Century Idealist
Author: Pettit, Henry
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[Illustration: View from Pinnacle on Roof of Cathedral--the
Delectable Mountains beyond.

  Among the Himalayas. Supposed highest summits on the earth’s
  surface. Elevation, 29,000 feet. From near Sundookphoo, 1885.]


A TWENTIETH CENTURY IDEALIST

by

HENRY PETTIT

   Under the Surface of the Ordinary Life Lie Great Mysteries--
   The Real Part of Man Is in His Ideals


[Illustration: (Colophon)]



The Grafton Press
Publishers      New York

Copyright, 1905,
by
Henry Pettit



                          TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                 AND

                          PLAN OF THE BOOK


      CHAP.                                                        PAGE

                             _PROLOGUE._

        I.  (a) INQUISITIVE ADMIRATION--TWO KINDS                     1

       II.  (b) HOW THE PROFESSOR WAS WON                             7


                            _PART FIRST._

           _At Home in the States. The Physical Dominant._

      III.  ADELE HERSELF                                            17

       IV.  SHE HEARS THE WORDS OF A SONG                            23

        V.  AFTER DARK IN THE PARK--THE DOCTOR                       39

       VI.  AN AVATAR IN THE OCCIDENT                                44

             (a) Conversation with Papa.

             (b) The Theophany of Spring. Adele in the Park.

      VII.  OFF TO ASIA                                              55


                           _PART SECOND._

            _Crossing the Atlantic--Up the Mediterranean.
                        Mentality Dominant._

     VIII.  A STUDIO FOR IMPRESSIONS                                 61

       IX.  A BUDGET OF NEW SCIENCES                                 64

        X.  PALMISTRY POSES AS MENTAL SCIENCE                        71

       XI.  AMATEUR MENTAL SCIENCE                                   76

      XII.  AMATEUR TACTICS--A FRIGHT-FULL CURE                      83

     XIII.  ADELE’S MEDITATIONS                                      89

      XIV.  ANOTHER COMMOTION--RELIGIOUS-CURATIVE                    92

                         What is Perfection?

       XV.  TWO SIMULTANEOUS SOLILOQUIES                            105

      XVI.  COURAGE VERSUS FOOLHARDINESS                            110

     XVII.  TWO RESCUES, AND TWO GIRLS                              115

    XVIII.  A SENSATION VERSUS AN IMPRESSION                        120

      XIX.  GIBRALTAR APPEARS AND DISAPPEARS                        124

       XX.  THE ARTISTIC SENSE. AT CAPRI                            130

      XXI.  AN ARTIST WITH DOUBLE VISION                            135

     XXII.  THE SECRET OF A LIFE                                    144

    XXIII.  OLYMPUS--COURT FESTIVITIES                              149

     XXIV.  THE GODS INTERFERE                                      152

     XXV.  APHRODITE RISES FROM THE SEA                             159

                   Eros-Cupid--The Modern-Antique.

                            _Intermezzo._

     XXVI.  ALLEGRO--THE WORLD’S HIGHWAY                            169

    XXVII.  ANDANTE--THE ROYAL ROUTE                                173

   XXVIII.  THE AFTERGLOW                                           174


                            _PART THIRD._

              _In the Far East. Spirituality Dominant._

     XXIX.  MYSTIFICATION--ILLNESS AND HALLUCINATION                180

      XXX.  CONVALESCENCE AND COMMON SENSE                          188

     XXXI.  OFF TO THE HIMALAYAS                                    196

    XXXII.  THE START UPWARDS                                       200

                 The Himalaya Railway--Fly Express.

   XXXIII.  A GLIMPSE OF THE PRIMITIVE                              214

                       THE HIMALAYA CATHEDRAL.

    XXXIV.  ADELE SEES THE DELECTABLE MOUNTAINS                     217

     XXXV.  THE CATHEDRAL BY THE SUPREME ARCHITECT                  225

    XXXVI.  PROGRESS OF THE BUILDING                                229

   XXXVII.  PRIMATE OF THE CATHEDRAL                                233

                The Message of the Seer--Ex-Cathedra.

                            _Intermezzo._

                       _The Voice in Nature._

  XXXVIII.  CATHEDRAL ORCHESTRA AND ORGAN                          241

                            Divine Solos.

    XXXIX.  ON A PINNACLE IN NATURE                                243

       XL.  A GLIMPSE OF TAOISM                                    253

      XLI.  PROCESSIONAL BEFORE THE VEIL                           262

     XLII.  ON HOLY GROUND                                         269

    XLIII.  SACRIFICE                                              274

     XLIV.  THE EVERYDAY RITUAL                                    282

                 Adele and Paul. A Dandy passes by.

      XLV.  RITUAL OF THE HUMAN RACE                               292



                            ILLUSTRATIONS


                                                                   PAGE

  VIEW FROM PINNACLE ON ROOF OF CATHEDRAL--THE DELECTABLE
  MOUNTAINS BEYOND.

    Among the Himalayas. Supposed highest summits on
    the earth’s surface. Elevation, 29,000 feet. From near
    Sundookphoo, 1885                                    _Frontispiece_

  AS INCENSE ASCENDS--SYMBOLIC, FROM AGES PAST, OF THE
  PRAYERS OF HUMANITY.

    The Kunchingunga Snowy Range. Elevation, 28,156
    feet. Scene from Observatory Hill, Darjeeling                  268



  “Nature herself is an idea of the mind and is never presented to
  the senses. She lies under the veil of appearances, but is herself
  never apparent. To the art of the ideal is lent, or, rather,
  absolutely given, the privilege to grasp the spirit of all, and
  bind it in a corporeal form.”

  “Art has for its object not merely to afford a transient pleasure,
  to excite to a momentary dream of liberty; its aim is to make us
  absolutely free. And this is accomplished by awakening, exercising,
  and perfecting in us a power to remove to an objective distance the
  sensible world (which otherwise only burdens us as rugged matter,
  and presses us down with a brute influence); to transform it into
  the free working of our spirit, and thus acquire a dominion over
  the material by means of ideas. For the very reason also that
  true art requires somewhat of the objective and real, it is not
  satisfied with a show of truth: it rears its ideal edifice on truth
  itself--on the solid and deep foundation of Nature.”

        --From Schiller’s _The Use of the Chorus in Tragedy_.



                    A TWENTIETH CENTURY IDEALIST



                                  I

                       INQUISITIVE ADMIRATION


There certainly is a subtle charm from personal intercourse with
those who seek a comprehensive view of life, and strive to live
according to their own ideals. People who live upon broader lines
than their neighbors are apt to be interesting from that fact alone,
and the charm becomes quite fascinating when these ideals take form
and they practice what they profess. Even if they do not succeed
according to our notions, and fail to grasp until late in life some
of the profound concepts which underlie the manifest workings of the
mind of nature, the effort on their part counts in their favor--their
actions speak louder than words.

The Doctor was in his library when he mused thus. Books upon peculiar
subjects lay around him, some open, others closed; and his eye
fell upon a few articles which had been selected for their special
significance quite as carefully as the books. The Doctor was much
interested in what he called “the hidden meaning of things,” and the
character of his library, with its peculiar contents, showed the fact.

Putting aside his cigar, he looked across the room, as if to give
audible expression to his thoughts, towards a younger man of quite a
different type, an individual whose very presence suggested he had
not ignored athletics while at college, even if the studies had been
exacting.

The Doctor was about to call him by name, when he hesitated, his
deeper interest in the young fellow asserted itself; he concluded to
take a good look at him first, and avoid if possible any error in
approaching the subject he wished to bring up. He already knew him so
well that it did not take long to recall certain facts bearing upon
the situation.

Paul was not as a general thing given to bothering about hidden
meanings. His diving below the surface had been chiefly as a swimmer,
from early boyhood until more recent experience. He possessed a
keener appreciation of surface values and the exhilaration from a
good bath rather than what he might bring up by deep diving. But
being young, energetic, and sincere, his very energy itself was
bound to bring him down to the verge of deeper experience. In fact
as the Doctor looked at him he appeared like unto one standing upon
the rockbound coast of the ocean of life ready to take the plunge,
whenever--he felt like it.

“Take things as they are,” was one of Paul’s favorite expressions.

The Doctor concluded he would, and broke the silence:

“How did you enjoy last evening?”

“Immensely.”

“Thought you would.”

“Yes? Greatly obliged for the introduction,” and Paul continued
examining some illustrations in a periodical apropos of the coming
coronation in England.

The Doctor determined to rivet his attention.

“I admire Adele Cultus greatly, don’t you?”

“No doubt she would look well, wearing a coronet like this--look at
it.”

The Doctor did not look, but continued:

“She certainly has some ideal of her own about life in general, and,
I suspect, about herself in particular.”

“Shouldn’t wonder,” said Paul, laconic.

“But she is thoroughly sincere about it.”

“Possibly, but last night the sincerity was all on my side.”

“How so?”

“Well, I would have danced with her the evening through, if she had
let me--she loves dancing.”

The Doctor’s eyes twinkled: “Don’t you think she is a striking
personality?”

“Striking? Oh, yes! gracefully so, deux-temps spirituelle. I felt the
effect at once.”

“In character?”

Paul smiled. “I call it strikingly practical--no nonsense; she
wouldn’t let me, and that settled it.”

“Of course she had her own way--at a ball,” remarked the Doctor dryly.

“Oh, of course! of course! She certainly would support a coronet
first-rate; it would not be the coronet’s part to support her.”

“No doubt you are right, Paul. I was only asking some test
questions,” and the Doctor subsided, as if he had more to say but
would not venture.

“Test questions? Whom were you testing?” asked Paul.

“Both of you,” said the Doctor.

“Where did you first meet her?” asked Paul, still examining the
periodical.

“Where?--we didn’t meet! I heard her voice through the crack of a
door.”

“H’m!” And Paul put down his book.

“It was while I was convalescent at the hospital after that bicycle
accident. She was a volunteer nurse, and a remarkably good one among
not a few devoted women. You were right about her being practical and
spirituelle, and so was I about her being spiritual.”

Paul took up a cigarette. A cloud of smoke enveloped his head, his
facial expression hid behind the cloud. The Doctor continued:

“You know it takes a fair combination of the practical and spiritual
to make a true nurse?”

Paul agreed mentally, but all the Doctor heard was a voice from
behind the cloud, “she dances like an angel.”

Angelic dancing not being in the Doctor’s repertoire of investigation,
he changed to another point of view.

“While I was convalescent at the hospital it was very amusing to read
hands by palmistry. I read her hand.”

“You held her hand, you mean?”

“Of course.”

“You don’t mean to tell me you read her character by the lines
written in her hand! Nonsense!”

“I did not. I merely noticed the natural tendencies of the individual
as shown by the form of the hand. Her characteristics, not her
character.”

“I don’t believe in it,” remarked Paul, positive.

“You don’t? Well, just swap hands with some other fellow and observe
the consequences.”

Paul laughed. “Excuse me--quite satisfied with my own.”

“Just so,” said the Doctor, “and there is good reason why you feel
the satisfaction; the consequences would be not only absurd, but
positively disastrous.”

Paul began to feel interested as the Doctor forced the practical
issue upon his attention.

“The consequences of any change from the special form of your own
hand would only prove that the other fellow’s hands do not fit your
personality.”

Paul, who really knew much more about persons than personalities,
blew another cloud of smoke towards the ceiling, and listened.

“You know, Nature never makes any mistakes.”

“I hope not, or I’m a goner,” quizzed Paul.

“And personality is really made up of three in one, a trinity of the
physical, mental, and spiritual. You’re a sort of trinity yourself,
my boy. You’ll find it out some day if you don’t swap hands with
some other fellow and spoil your own combination.”

“What did you learn by holding Miss Cultus’ hand?”

The Doctor was a little slow in replying, in fact, choosing which of
the many things he had observed was the particular one to which he
had best call Paul’s attention. Then he spoke:

“She shows marked individuality based upon rather a rare type, yet
a mixed hand; most Americans and Chinese are mixed. You know, pure
types are very rare.”

“You don’t say so?” quizzed Paul; “‘mixed,’ and like the Chinese.
What a wonderful insight for diagnosis palmistry possesses!” The
Doctor continued:

“In the main, her hand manifests the exceeding rare psychic
type,--that is, she loves and seeks the truth for its own sake.”

“There! I told you she was angelic, a practical angel,” interrupted
Paul. The Doctor kept straight on:

“And with this there are other features indicating both the useful
and the philosophic elements in her make-up, very strong, each in its
own relative domain.”

“Extraordinary! truly!” quoth Paul. “The useful must have come to the
front when she was acting nurse, and the philosophic when she told me
we had danced enough for one evening. As to the psychic,--let me see!
the psychic!--well, to be frank, Doctor, I can’t say I have seen that
as yet.”

“Oh, yes, you have,” thought the Doctor, “or you would not be showing
the interest you are taking just now.” This _sub rosa_, and then he
turned the topic once more:

“Where do you suppose she got those traits, so forcible in
combination?”

“Got her hands?” exclaimed Paul the practical. “Inherited them of
course, even the skin-deep profundity of palmistry is not required to
guess a diagnosis for that.”

The Doctor’s eyes again twinkled. “Whom did she inherit them from?”

“Father and mother,--what nonsense to ask!”

“Why not her grandparents?”

“Give it up,” said Paul. “Take things as they are.”

Now, the result of this decidedly mixed but suggestive conversation
was to excite curiosity in both the Doctor and Paul. Not that they
formed a conspiracy to learn about Miss Cultus’ forbears; quite
the contrary. Simply by friction in time they learned something of
the natural causes which had produced her charming personality, so
attractive to all who met her.

That they both had been led to respect and admire her upon short
acquaintance was only too evident,--on the surface. What was not
quite so evident, for neither of them had said so, was that each had
noticed her devotion to her mother, constant, ever thoughtful, as
if to make her appear to the best advantage: as to her father, she
simply idolized him.

Some of the items they learned had best be stated at once, for her
ancestors, in immediate relationship, certainly did cast their
shadows before; and the blending of the shades and shadows later on
in her life, formed a character that was lovely and inspiring.



                                 II

                      HOW THE PROFESSOR WAS WON


Few who knew Mrs. Cultus in after years, when as an active woman of
the world she displayed much tact dominated by kindly consideration
for others, would have suspected the peculiar phases of development
through which she passed in younger days, during the immature period
of youth when the same natural tendencies took different forms, and
were so different in degree. From one point of view the difference
in degree produced a difference in kind--she appeared to be a
different sort of woman. What she did when young was often mistaken
for selfishness alone, whereas the same natural tendency, operating
as reasonable ambition, after finding its true sphere, exerted a far
nobler activity, profoundly different in both degree and kind. Not
a few expressed surprise when her ambition to lead became coupled
with a determination to help others along at the same time. Always
ambitious, and with strong social instincts, she read the book of
life rather than literary productions; but when she did deign to
peruse a popular novel, her criticism punctured the absurdities of
modern snap-shot incongruity. She was never selfish at heart, but
she certainly did have a way of using the world without abusing it,
personally; and her own way of expressing herself.

As to the Professor, her husband, he found himself going to be
married without having fully analyzed the case.

Charming manners and cultivated tastes, largely inherited from
antecedents in the professional walks of life, had led Professor
Cultus to fascinate and charm not a few during his youth and early
manhood,--what more natural! He was slow however to realize that in
so doing he might encounter another, gifted as himself yet of an
entirely different type, complementary; and so it came to pass.

While returning from a congress of anthropologists which met on the
Continent, where there had been much discussion of the _genus homo_
through many stages of development, the Professor was fated to be
himself taught a lesson in anthropology which never after lost its
hold upon him. It gave him much subject for thought, but not exactly
of the kind suitable for a technical paper before the next congress.

He met an individual whose antecedents no doubt did have the same
number of fingers and toes as his own, but whose “thinking matter”
in her brain seemed to operate differently from his own; and whose
experience in life had been very different; one of whose position in
the chain of physiological development he knew much intellectually,
but whose innate appreciation of facts and ability to perform he had
no adequate realizing sense whatever; her avenue to truth, through
heredity, being quite different from his own.

They were fellow passengers upon one of the palatial steamers which
then first appeared upon the North Atlantic, and it took her only the
ten days’ voyage to capture the Professor, his charming manners, his
intellectual efforts and his anthropological researches, all complete.

How did she do it? and what did she propose to do with him after she
got him?

The answer might be given in a single sentence: she met him first
with his own weapons, charming manners and an intellect as bright as
his own; then caught him because he was objectively philosophic and
for pure science, so called, while she was subjectively philosophic
and for pure material results. She was quite as philosophic as he
was,--also knew chalk from cheese when she saw it. The Professor
preferred to analyze the composition before forming an opinion.
While he was analyzing, she so mixed the ingredients in his mental
laboratory that he could no longer differentiate or reason upon the
subject of a marriage at all: and in truth it must be stated, his own
youth was not much inclined that way either. His heart got the better
of his head.

Thus was the youthful Professor actually forced to accept the
situation philosophically. He flattered himself that in time he would
be able to investigate more fully, and make any needed adjustments
later on. She flattered herself that she would be quite equal to any
emergency that might arise, as she proposed not only to push him to
the very front among his contemporaries, but also use his exalted
position to attain her own social ends.

When they first met, both away from home, in mid-ocean, their mental
activities alert, stimulated by what each had experienced abroad, and
little on hand to occupy the time, the conditions were favorable.
Even the menu on board ship was highly seasoned after its kind,
during the day, and after dark the stars twinkled doubly in the
heavens above, and the mysterious depths below, while they looked at
“the Dipper” together.

No sooner did the charmingly vivacious young lady observe the
Professor’s attractive appearance than she made up her mind; and
noticing that he sat at the Captain’s table as one of the selected
few on board, she determined to know him personally.

Professor Cultus in young manhood certainly did look handsome, of
the intellectual type. His dark eyes were noticed by others besides
Miss Carlotta Gains. The prospect of this new acquaintance was quite
enough to cause her to exert herself, so she frankly told Fraulein
Ritter, under whose care she was returning home, that she would like
immensely to have that gentleman presented to her.

Carlotta had been to Berlin, taking lessons in singing under Fraulein
Ritter’s direction and chaperonage; had been under rather strict
surveillance while studying, and had not much enjoyed that particular
phase of a young woman’s student life in Berlin. When once clear of
the Continental proprieties, the American girl began again to assert
herself. Carlotta was certainly fortunate in having such a one as
Fraulein Ritter to consult, for she in turn was quite an authority
in her own branch. Educated at Weimar during the days of Liszt’s
supremacy, Fraulein Ritter had no small reputation afterwards from
her publications relating to music in general and voice culture
in particular. Incidentally she had met not a few of the members
attending the congress,--in fact, Professor Cultus had already
been presented to her in Berlin; so there being nothing to shock
Fraulein’s German sense of propriety in granting Carlotta’s request,
an introduction followed.

“Professor, allow me to present you to my pupil, Miss Carlotta
Gains. Possibly you have heard of her father, Mr. Anthony G. Gains,
of Silverton, Eldorado.” Why Fraulein should have supposed that
any knowledge of Anthony Gains out in Eldorado could possibly have
reached the Professor can only be attributed to the benign influence
of Carlotta’s lucky star, and the other well authenticated fact that
“the world is not so big after all.” As luck would have it, the
Professor had known Mr. Gains fairly well, and not so many years
back, when at the early stage of his career he had been called upon
to give expert testimony in a certain law suit involving technical
information. The Professor had found Mr. Gains a first-rate,
all-round, square-minded American, from his point of view, and Grab
Gains, as his Eldorado friends dubbed him, had much appreciated the
young scientist’s unbiased clear statements as a witness. Being
astute and practical in business, upon gaining the law suit he had
given his expert, on the spot, the biggest fee he had received up
to that time,--not for his testimony--oh, no,--for some other work
which came up incidentally, quite beyond his expenses and regular
charge.

Gains’s business foresight was not devoid of results. The Professor
at once thought he knew much about the antecedents of the young
lady, and expressed himself as delighted to meet the daughter of his
former friend. Of course he referred to the general circumstances
under which they had met, and praised Eldorado as a locality of great
scientific interest.

Miss Carlotta put two and two together, and recalled her father’s
remark that he would never have gained that case if the Professor had
not “talked science so that the jury could understand.” The Professor
seemed pleased to know it. Carlotta at once determined to appreciate
the Professor just as that jury had done; so she immediately
introduced a topic bound to be of interest to him.

“What a success your congress proved to be, Professor.”

“Quite so,--more than we anticipated. But I did not suspect it would
attract your attention.”

“Why not? Fraulein takes all the publications; I intend to read your
paper with special interest,” her ambition leading her more than half
way.

The Professor looked quizzical. “I fear you will find it rather slow
for cursory reading.” Then his responsive manner getting the best of
him he added with considerable effect: “It will give me the greatest
pleasure to make it clear if I can.”

Carlotta took him up at once,--but on a topic she did know something
about as well as he, and stated it after her own fashion.

“I noticed that one of the discussions was about the peculiar
costumes of certain tribes. Now, I never did understand why the
darker races should introduce brilliant colors in dress so much more
naturally and effectively than we do.”

The Professor instantly looked at her own dress and thought it very
effective, in excellent taste. Carlotta continued:

“Now, with us color is often so arbitrary, mere fashion, the
arrangement artificial, and when the thing is unbecoming you feel
just like a martyr;” then, musingly, “but he won’t find that in me.”

Professor Cultus laughingly replied that “he really knew little about
dress”--which was a fib for an anthropologist--but he supposed that
“Dame Fashion was a capricious jade who often made her reputation
by producing whims to meet the demand for something new; she had
certainly been known to introduce what was hideous to many, simply to
cover up the defects of a favorite patron.”

Carlotta at once thought, “Well, there’s nothing hideous about me. I
wonder what he means?”

The Professor once started, went on about the darker races using the
primitive and secondary colors only with such marked effect; that
they really knew little about hues and shades as our civilization
differentiates colors and effects. He was then going on to add
something about color in jewels adding great effect to rich costumes,
when Carlotta gave a little start, drew her wrap about her and said
she felt cold and chilly.

Fraulein at once suggested they should leave the deck for the saloon.
Carlotta acquiesced as if very grateful, and begged the Professor to
excuse her.

Of course he did so promptly, with sympathy excited by fear lest she
might have suffered in consequence of his keeping her standing too
long in a cold wind.

Nothing of the sort. It was the reference made to jewels by the
Professor which had caused her impromptu nervous chill. Could he
possibly have noticed the too many rings she wore and concluded
she might be rather loud in her taste? That must be rectified at
once,--so Carlotta caught a chill on the spot, merely a little
sympathetic chill, but enough to get away and arrange things better
for the next interview. Certainly her tact showed foresight as well
as power to meet an emergency from her point of view.

She knew instinctively the value of sympathy as well as propinquity.
She had gained her first point, an introduction; now for the
second, sympathy: and she was not slow to act,--much quicker than
the Professor dreamed of. She did things first and discussed them
afterwards; that was one of her accomplishments which he often
observed later on.

No sooner in her state-room than Miss Gains snatched off every
ring, all but one, a fine ruby rich in color but not too large;
“rubies never are,” she said, pensive. On this one she looked with
much satisfaction, it would meet her requirements yet not excite
suspicion, the removal of all might do so.

But why the ruby?

Carlotta was astute, like her papa, much more so than the Professor
imagined,--he learned that also later on. What troubled her now
was no new matter, and largely in her own imagination. A biologist
would have told her it was inherited. Being a pronounced blonde
of the florid type, vivacious, fond of excitement, she had often
noticed that her hands became rather rosy in color. So the ardent yet
astute Miss Gains had evolved the brilliant yet practical idea that
the ruby would be “the very thing to throw the other red into the
shade--people will notice the ruby and speak of that.” If she could
not avoid being too rosy, in her own imagination, the ruby should
take the blame.

Carlotta was politic also, like her papa, much more so than the
Professor thought--he found that out also later on. So she retained
the ruby only, and wore a red tocque when next on deck. She would no
doubt have put on her golf jacket if on shore, so determined was she
to make those hands look as refined as possible.

The Professor’s sympathy was now to be encouraged. If the too many
rings were to be kept out of sight, it was far more important to keep
the object of sympathy in sight. Carlotta determined not to get over
that chill too soon,--not to remain so chilly that the state-room was
the only warm place, but just chilly enough to seek convalescence
wrapped up in a becoming garment, resting in an easy chair in some
retired corner, or on deck where the lights illumined others, and not
herself. Just chilly enough to require the little attentions of a
sympathetic friend, whose sympathy she could make warmer as her own
cold chill wore off.

Miss Carlotta was diplomatic, as the Professor also found out.
Once ensconced in that easy chair with the Professor to keep the
chills off, her success was already assured. Her greatest triumph
consisted undoubtedly in that she displayed such a bright intelligent
appreciation of the Professor’s point of view about everything,
anything from chalk and cheese to volcanoes and earthquakes, not
omitting the science of games, especially ping-pong, and the usual
dose of theosophy; and so much policy and diplomacy as to her own
point of view, that to this day the intellectual scientist ascribes
the results primarily to his own ability in courting.

It was in fact a double game of life and chances, the game of all
games, of heart and head, that two can play at. Carlotta won for
life, whereas the Professor began by taking chances. Propinquity at
sea,--floating on the waves from which rose Aphrodite.

Of course it became evident to the Professor that Carlotta was
precisely the person he most desired in life,--so appreciative,
intellectually bright, much knowledge of the world for her age; and
as she had incidentally remarked on one occasion, quite comfortable
as to worldly goods;--although, to be frank, he laid little stress
upon the latter at that time, having much confidence in his own
resources. He was often glad of it, however, later on; it also proved
one of the things he learned subsequently.

Before they left the steamer there was an understanding, and the way
seemed smooth to expect a favorable consideration from Carlotta’s
parental governor. Her mother was no longer living, which accounted
for Carlotta’s being under the care of Fraulein.

As a matter of fact Anthony Gains was not surprised in the least when
his daughter returned engaged to be married, and easily accepted
the situation philosophically; indeed, rather congratulated himself
that she had not been too independent, like some, but deigned to go
through the formalities of making the announcement subject to his
approval.

“Much better to avoid unnecessary fuss,” he said to himself, “and it
gives me a good chance to spare the Professor’s feelings. In case
they had given me the slip, I suppose a rumpus would have been in
order. Carlotta’s sensible,--I know her well,--I’m glad she lived in
the West before going to Europe.” Her father did know her well, much
better really than he who then desired to take the chances. Papa also
remembered with much satisfaction the young scientist who had given
“plain talk to that jury.” He concluded he might be able to give
plain talk to his household if emergency required it. Finally he told
them frankly:

“Having gone through the mill myself, I guess you two can manage your
own business first-rate. I don’t suppose you object if I coöperate.”

As his practical coöperation took effect even before the marriage,
when he settled a handsome sum upon Carlotta, the Professor thought
still more highly of his prospective father-in-law.

Not till all was over, the ceremony an accomplished fact, and the
young people off on another tour apropos of the occasion,--not till
then did Anthony Gains allow himself to whisper in a room where there
was no telephone:

“They’ll be comfortable anyhow. These scientific fellows make so
little they are not extravagant as a class. I guess it will be all
right--God bless ’em.”

       *       *       *       *       *

Such had been an early but important chapter in the experience of
the immediate ancestors of Adele Cultus;--of her whom both the Doctor
and Paul had admired,--Paul because she was practical, the Doctor
because she was spiritual.



                                 III

                            ADELE HERSELF


It is not so much what was said, as who said it and how they said it,
that will convey an adequate impression of the charm exerted by Adele
upon those she met. Of her two dozen desperately intimate friends at
school, each had been known to exclaim, “Why, of course I know her;
isn’t she just too lovely for anything?” and that covered the whole
ground.

When during college days a coterie of Juniors decided to invite
some Seniors to “a tea,”--not “to tea,” for all were excruciatingly
academic at that period, there was a spirited debate as to the
special duties of each girl during the function, but not the
slightest doubt that Adele should head the Reception Committee. “Why,
my dear, she’s just the one for that place. Don’t you see it? We’ll
show them the proper ‘pose.’”

As a matter of fact, Adele did receive; also “poured out” at times;
also introduced some strangers to her own kindred spirits to banish
any feeling of uneasiness; and finally achieved the undoubted triumph
of making two girls friends again, the girls much excited, holding
diametrically opposite opinions upon the momentous question of
Cleopatra’s cruelty to animals.

When she graduated, valedictorian of her class, she made an address
neither too long nor too short, not unlike her gown, precisely
as it should be,--pointedly academic to start with and meet the
case, then somewhat more colloquial, recalling the good times they
all had passed, and concluding with a touching appeal “never to
forget Alma Mater.” The entire class mentally promised they never
would, “nor you either, Adele,” and she was deluged with so many
future-correspondents that the prospect became really alarming.

When she made her début, scarcely an evening passed that some “man”
did not tell her confidentially: “You look lovely to-night, Miss
Cultus;” and when upon a certain full-dress occasion she sat with Mr.
Warder on the stairway, presumably with none but the old stand-up
clock to listen, the first remark she heard was, “Oh, I’m so glad,
Miss Cultus, we can have a chat, alone!” “Alone!” exclaimed Adele.
“Why, certainly, alone in the crowd,”--and as she drew her skirts
aside to allow four other couples and a queue of waiters to pass, her
clear responsive laugh appreciative of the situation, made Mr. Warder
enjoy the public seclusion immensely.

Evidently there was a personal magnetism about Adele which affected
all more or less, and many whose own characteristics were totally
unlike hers.

At a glance anyone would have noticed her light hair flowing free,
yet under control, tinged with sunlight, the sunlight of youth;
hers was a fair complexion like her mother’s, yet with her father’s
lustrous eyes. She was a blonde with dark eyes; once seen, a picture
in the mind’s eye.

Her father’s facial expression played over her countenance,
manifesting that responsive personal interest which drew many to
her. Her mother, as we already know, could express that responsive
attitude also, and exercise the personal influence when she chose,
but with Adele it was spontaneous, perfectly natural, and her smile
sincere, ingenuous, rather than ingenious, one of the most precious
and potent gifts a woman can possess.

And some of her other gifts by heredity were also very evident, but
modified. Dame Nature had been exceedingly kind, and given her as it
were only those elements which intensified the better traits of the
previous generations. Her active mind reminded one of her father’s
intellectual ability in science, but it was so modified by her
mother’s more comprehensive susceptibility and impressionability in
many directions, her worldly wisdom and promptness, that in Adele
it took a different turn from either one of the parents. Her social
instincts could not be suppressed, but fundamentally they tended
towards an appreciation and insight of the humanities and ethical
subjects rather than the material interests one might look for in
the granddaughter of Anthony Gains, or the intellectual abstractions
which might have come from the Professor’s mode of thought.

Before graduating, some one asked her what she proposed to do after
leaving college, for all felt a brilliant career was open. Adele was
rather reserved in answering this question, and generally replied
that there was so much which ought to be done in the world, no
doubt she would be very busy. But to her mother she confided on
one occasion her innermost thought, she “would like to work in the
slums.” This so horrified Mamma that Adele’s name was entered upon
the fashionable Assembly list for the coming season without delay, as
an antidote in case of emergency, although somewhat premature as to
time.

It would never do to oppose Adele. She was already unaccustomed
to that sort of management, and would assert herself even if she
regretted it afterwards. A compromise was in order. She did not go
to work in the slums, and did attend fashionable functions with her
mother, but after serious conversation with her father on the subject
of the practice of medicine by women, and her own observations of
the constant demand for trained nurses who would not upset the whole
household, she concluded to look into that matter herself, and
volunteered to serve in the hospital during war times.

“I must do something to help along; and nobody need know, unless I
choose.” It was while thus serving that the Doctor and Paul had first
met her, when the Doctor was a patient after his bicycle accident in
a miniature cyclone. It was in the hospital that Doctor Wise had
first read her hand, and made a note of it as approaching the psychic
type more clearly than any other he had then met.

From the Doctor’s point of view Adele’s hand was indeed suggestive,
but not so purely psychical as to intimate mysticism to excess.
It was rather that of a vivid idealist than a moody mystic,--too
much intellectuality in the upper part, as well as assertion in the
thumb and clearness in the head-line, not to influence and modify
the natural tendency and scope as shown by the general form. It
was not the hand of one whose vague aspirations after the good but
unattainable would lead to extremes either in the activities of
communism or socialistic vagaries, nor in the opposite direction
towards the passive life of an ascetic. Either one would have soon
disgusted Adele. It was the hand of one who endeavored to be logical,
and did have common sense; yet in the exuberance of feeling sometimes
put her hero upon a pedestal only to find the pedestal had a crack
in it and the hero was in danger. As to the hero himself, he was
never affected; she remained true to her hero, no sawdust in him; but
she certainly did put him quietly aside on the shelf when she found
herself beyond his point of view. She simply put him on the shelf
to “think it out for himself,” as she had done for herself,--and in
consequence had more would-be heroes following in her train, striving
to catch up, than is generally found in the domain of hero worship.

Youth has its sway. Adele was most delightfully enthusiastic at
times, often bent upon what she called “having a good time.” Then
she was a picture worthy of Fortuny’s art in a sunny Spanish patio;
but in quieter moments as introspective as one of Millais’ peasants;
rather over-confident in her own resources, having really not met as
yet any opposition worthy of the name, unless perhaps a weak patient
who refused to take medicine. Then she took a sip herself, and told
him “Now you’ve got to take it,” and he did,--because her actions
spoke louder even than her words.

Her father had several times told her to read the world as if it were
a book, and she had heard her mother refer to certain society leaders
who acted a part that did not suit their own style. She determined
to know and read all passers-by, from cooks with a sauce-pan to
princesses with a crooked coronet, including Tom, Dick and Harry
of course; and she found it so highly interesting, that when about
eighteen she thought she might--yes--she might, in time,--write a
novel herself; in fact she did write the title page, and the chapter
on “Direful Conflict,” in which the sauce-pan and coronet almost came
to blows. Whether to make that chapter the beginning of her novel or
the ending, proved the poser, so it too was put upon the shelf with
the heroes.

The most interesting thing to people is people themselves. Adele’s
maternal instincts told her this very soon.

Things are of real value about in proportion to the effort they cost.
Her instincts from her father suggested this, but she did not believe
it at first. It might be, but was not pleasant to think of. She knew
well enough that all that glitters is not gold, but sometimes thought
that glitter might be when it wasn’t. When she found herself deceived
in this respect her conclusions took a pronounced feminine form of
expression. “Mother! I don’t think so very much of Mr. Upham they all
talk about. He tries to show off--absurdly condescending, and talks
as if he knew more about it than anybody else. Nobody really thinks
of what he says, only of him. I think him a bore.”

“Well, don’t let him know it, my dear,” promptly answered Mrs.
Cultus. “One has to become accustomed to trifles. I generally look
the other way and avoid them.”

“I’m not going through the world on stilts, anyhow,” laughed Adele.

“No, my dear, I trust not, nor on a bicycle either; neither is
becoming.”

Adele watched her father whenever they went out together, with
almost precocious interest. She wished to discover how he made
himself so agreeable to others and finally concluded that “Father’s
manners are perfection.” She followed her father’s advice quite as
naturally as she did her mother’s, the wisdom of which often appealed
to her also; but in spite of her affection for both, she soon began
to perceive there was something much more subtle in life than worldly
wisdom. Things seen were by no means so potent as some other things
unseen. She would use the world, but not let it use her. “I shall
soon be used up myself” was the way she expressed it after having had
rather too much of a good time.

Without actually formulating the pros and cons in her own mind, she
really decided not to attempt any part unless she could do justice to
it under the stimulus of her own approval.

Things seen, and never ignored, were already becoming subservient to
things unseen.

Such was Adele as a girl, and during the few years when her college
experience was prime factor in her life.



                                 IV

                   ADELE HEARS THE WORDS OF A SONG


There was just enough of chilly winter left to make the springtime
fascinating and a wood fire still acceptable in the cozy library
where Doctor Wise and his younger friend Paul Warder sat together
expecting guests. They occupied bachelor apartments in common. A
delicious aroma from wood logs permeated the atmosphere.

There was music also, for the eye as well as the ear. The firelight
played in crescendo and diminuendo, with now and again marked rhythm
and very peculiar accents. The sound of wheels reverberated clearly
in the cool night air and ceased opposite the portal. An expectant
waiting, but no response, no frou-frou from silken skirts passing
along the hallway as anticipated. Instead, Benson,--Benson the
butler, his countenance a foot long.

“Some one, sir!”

“I presume so.”

“Some one, with his--his trunk.”

“His trunk!” The Doctor lowered the bridge of his nose, and peered at
Benson over his eye-glasses.

“Yes, sir! a big one.”

“What’s that for? What will he do with it? What will we do with it?”

“Show him up, Benson,” said Paul, promptly; “trunk and all.”

Paul’s eyes twinkled as he vanished through the doorway.

“Never heard of such a thing,” mused the Doctor, “bringing a trunk
to a musicale. Must be some mistake! Benson! I say, Benson! Show him
next door.”

“Not yet I hope,” and amid shouts of laughter in rushed two
fellows,--Paul bringing Henri Semple--“Harry”--of all their musical
friends the one most welcome and opportune.

The Doctor was delighted, and gave him a good squeeze--no time for
much else.

“Benson! put Mr. Semple’s trunk in his own room, you know the one I
mean; and now, Harry, if you don’t get inside that trunk quickly as
possible the state of the country will not be safe, an invasion is
threatened at any minute. Put on your regimentals at once, and help
us out.”

Semple, who understood the Doctor’s lingo from many years back, took
in the situation at a glance. He had hardly time to laugh about the
Doctor’s being “the same old chappie as ever,” when he was literally
thrust towards the stairway, to follow the trunk, and put on his
evening clothes.

The episode had been one of Paul’s agreeable surprises so often had
in store for the Doctor.

Semple’s name had appeared upon the passenger list of an ocean flyer
just arrived. Paul sought him by telephone, caught him, and insisted
upon his coming. Semple, already in traveler’s shape, had “hustled”
to reach his old friends. The time was short, but Harry in true
American fashion had “got there”--that was all, with the regimentals
ready to be put on.

It is not necessary to produce the bachelor’s visiting list and
mark off all those who honored the occasion with their presence.
Paul always made it a point to have plenty of men on hand at his
entertainments; whether at chit-chat-musicale or conversational game
of whist, all went off with a rush. Those who took their pleasure
more seriously were furnished excellent opportunity in the library,
while the conversational music-racket progressed in the parlor.

The trio, Doctor, Paul and Semple, were already standing in line,
like three serenaders in white waistcoats, when Mrs. Maxwell was
ushered in. She had kindly consented to act as matron, knowing all so
well; in fact had entertained both Paul and Semple at her picturesque
cottage, “The Kedge.” Her vivacious presence at once brought with
it a breezy atmosphere from the romantic coast of Maine, where “The
Kedge” stood perched like a barnacle upon a boulder, and the winds
wafted white spray falling like a lace mantle upon dahlias and
nasturtiums at her feet.

And with her Miss Dorothy, her niece, whose charming letters the
winter previous from Ischl had given vivid pictures of experience
abroad, Vienna life, and Egyptian mysteries known only to herself and
the Sphinx.

A dozen or more soon followed. Conversation already at its height
when Professor and Mrs. Cultus entered, also their daughter Adele
whom the Doctor had before met under such peculiar circumstances
at the hospital. Adele looked radiant, having brought with her an
intimate friend, Miss Winchester, for whom she had requested an
invitation. The Doctor greeted them with both hands, for he had
already detected the devotion which had sprung up between these two
girls. They seemed a host in themselves wherever they went. He made
Miss Winchester feel at home at once, and she accepted the situation
promptly; she had the happy faculty of doing that sort of thing.
The Doctor enjoyed her frankness. She was like, yet very unlike
Adele; no doubt much in common between them, yet of a very different
temperament. The inquisitive Doctor perceived this at a glance.
“Must read her hand,” he cogitated, for his interest in Adele made
him curious to know more of the one to whom Adele seemed especially
devoted.

Others dropped in later, the rooms became well filled. The guests
sought easy chairs, Paul taking special pains to see that Mrs. Cultus
was comfortably settled. Mrs. Cultus in turn had made up her mind to
hear Paul sing with the Doctor as accompanist. She had heard that
they performed “stunts,” whatever they might prove to be, and now
was her opportunity; also, she wished the stunts just as soon as
possible. “Keep it up,” said Mrs. Cultus, _sotto voce_.

Of course Paul could not refuse point blank, but he must be permitted
to do so in his own way, for none knew better than he and the Doctor
that their music together was of such a peculiar nature that unless
led up to judiciously the effect would be utterly ruined. In fact
there was nothing in it but “the spirit of the thing,” and little
technique whatever except to meet the demand of this spirit of the
thing. They had never had either time or inclination to cultivate
and keep technique-on-tap,--a thing to be turned on and off like a
fountain before an admiring public. Nevertheless, the little they
could do gave a deal of pleasure to those not already hypnotized
by digital gymnastics, or become satiated from eating too much
candy-music.

Unfortunately, Mrs. Cultus’ ideas about leading up to anything in
the domain of music had been originally formed upon her experience
when leading in the german, and in spite of her short but higher
experience in Germany, her natural propensities often prevailed. As
to any preparation of the mind and ear for the reception of given
musical sounds and kindred forms of artistic and poetic expression,
she was lamentably wanting, in fact her tactics often little better
than a box of tacks to irritate the acuter sensibilities of those to
whom she appealed with so much apparent appreciation. Mrs. Cultus
never listened for the tone-color, simply because she could not
constitutionally; she really could not, it was not in her to hear
what she could hear.

The music commenced, and Mrs. Cultus waited for the stunts. Henri
Semple opened with some of Brahms’ Hungarian Dances, charmingly
vivacious and contagious, also played in some duets with the Doctor
on Creole and Florida negro themes. Racial and national dance music
seemed not a bad overture to harmonize with the gay spirits already
in vogue, yet lead on to something else. Herr Krantz then favored
the company with some German songs; he appreciated the value of
continuity, yet did not ignore the power of contrast. Herr Krantz
was an artist; his first song in rather quick tempo with a dramatic
climax, his second full of suppressed emotion; each most artistic
in effect. All enjoyed his robust tenor voice, also his admirable
interpretation of the sentiment of what he sang. Mrs. Cultus and the
Doctor led in the applause; Mrs. Cultus because she detected that the
whole thing was as it ought to be, especially the dramatic climax of
the first song, and the tears suggested when the second song died
away. Mrs. Cultus was much given to applauding when songs died away
in tears, she wished the singer to understand that he died with good
effect. The Doctor admired all artistic productions and renditions
of any kind; even a good performance on a jew’s-harp or a xylophone
was appreciated by him from the standpoint of art as art. If it did
not manifest the sacred fire of the soul above all else, it was to be
enjoyed and applauded nevertheless, as truth for its own sake, if not
the highest form of truth through musical expression. He had heard
mocking-birds sing like nightingales, yet they were not the veritable
rossignole; he had long since learned that perfect technique was
not the only way of expression, since the sacred fire burst through
all bounds and made terrible mistakes (technical), yet was truth
enduring, truth soaring towards immortality and enduring as memory
endures.

Paul in the meantime had induced Miss Winchester to follow Herr
Krantz; and since his German artistic rendition had excited her
imagination, her fingers fairly twitched with desire to respond,
ready to the interpretation of what she felt. She knew she could play
well because in the mood, delicious sensation.

Miss Winchester’s talent for melodic expression was decidedly of the
romantic school. Her idol was Schumann, and at times Tschaikowsky,
but never when in their morbid humor, then she shut up their
compositions and left them to be morbid alone, not with her. Fact is,
Miss Winchester’s versatility and intellectual vivacious activity
were so pronounced that she could render many original or rare wild
fanciful “_morceaux_,” provided they were vivacious and embodied with
personal experience, or what one might call the racial or national
rhythm of those people who did sing and dance naturally. She and
her brother were both extremely gifted in this respect, and to hear
them play together was not unlike attempting to enjoy two glasses of
champagne at the same time.

Miss Winchester was soon leading the whole company through some
Mexican danzas with a spontaneous abandon perfectly delightful; then
some half-Spanish or old-time Creole reminiscences, very dansante in
their time and place, and yet with a peculiar strain of languor which
pictured the sunny southern clime in one of its most characteristic
moods. Also one of her brother’s waltzes which quite lifted the
hearer off his feet, very difficult to interpret as she did; simply
because not being a singing waltz, neither of the kind that draws
the feet downwards towards the floor in tempo strict and strong, but
quite the contrary lifts the dancer up, carries him beyond, without
fatigue, borne upon the wings of time into the realm of graceful
motion.

Mrs. Cultus could not quite make out whether this strange rhapsodical
style of waltzing was quite up to the standard of the occasion.
It certainly was rather effective, but not as she ever remembered
hearing it in the german. “’Twas impossible to count two or three to
such a thing as that and keep up with it;” therefore suspicious. So
the politic Mrs. Cultus hid behind her jewelled lorgnette, looking
alternately at the performer and the audience before making up her
mind.

The susceptible Doctor was quite fascinated, translated, as he
entered into the spirit of the thing. He thought of scenes in
Delibes’ ballets, of Sylvia and Coppelia, also of the wonderful grace
of Beaugrand upon Walpurgis night when she first appears enveloped by
a cloud descending upon the stage, the cloud disappearing, the dancer
wafted forward to whirl amid a maze of fascinating melody.

Adele and Paul also could not resist the temptation to “try it in
the hall,” but soon gave that up; Adele expecting to sing herself,
therefore careful of her voice, and Paul because the fascination
was quite sufficient without the dancing just then. They were again
caught sitting on the stairs under the benign countenance of “Fanny,”
the old family clock, who ticked on solemnly as if accustomed
to witness waltzing and flirtations, in past times as well as
to-night,--this when the Doctor put in an appearance to ask Adele to
sing.

Adele was an enchanting personification of youthful enjoyment when
Paul led her into the room, her dark eyes lustrous and full of fire,
yet but little conscious of self when she at once dropped Paul’s arm
to rush up to Miss Winchester and thank her for the treat she had
given them. “I never heard you play better in my life, my dear! Oh,
how I wish I could do it!” and then, feeling her own position, became
more subdued in manner as she approached the piano. Henri Semple had
kindly offered to accompany her--they had often sung together as she
called it, so felt in unity at once. Only a word was necessary to
Henri, “Please go straight on, if I should trip I’ll catch up again.”
Henri smiled and began the introduction.

Adele first sang a rather pretentious florid aria. Her mother had
insisted upon this, evidently thinking that all should be informed
at once that her daughter had been educated under the best masters,
as she herself had been under Fraulein Ritter. Adele complied with
her mother’s request, even if she herself had different notions as
to the result. Mrs. Cultus had “dropped her music” soon after the
bills had been paid for her education, and never picked it up again
except in nursery rhymes for Adele. Those nursery songs had won
their way to Adele’s heart, she sometimes sang them yet, but their
greatest triumph had been to excite within her a desire to really
sing herself. She now proposed to hold on and not drop what she had
striven for, to make her voice the means towards expression of higher
things, feelings which words could not always express. As to the
florid aria to commence with, “Oh, yes! it would do to try the voice
and bring out the notes, but the real thing must not be expected
until later.”

Her innermost thoughts were quite in this vein when enthusiastic
applause greeted her singing. She had sung well. Herr Krantz
complimented her, evidently sincere, so she took his appreciation
sincerely, but soon turned to Mr. Semple to select something more
to her own taste. She chose a composition with which she was very
familiar, one of her special favorites, and passed it to Henri.

Semple glanced it over, and being himself of kindred spirit with
her own at once detected certain signs,--how it had been well used
but carefully handled, certain passages marked, some private marks,
evidently her own.

“Miss Cultus, don’t you play this accompaniment yourself?”

“Oh, yes!”

“I thought so--let me resign!”

“Don’t you know it?--it’s not difficult.”

“So I see, but I’m sure none could play it exactly as you would feel
it.”

Adele knew this to be true; no one could really accompany the songs
she really loved so completely to her own satisfaction as herself,
that was the way she had learned to love them.

“You won’t be offended if I do?”

Semple responded at once and stood beside her, but he felt intensely
curious to know exactly why, since she was so different from many,
she desired to do so with this particular piece,--the accompaniment
did not appear to be especially exacting, so he asked her about the
peculiarities of the composition.

“I like to be near the composer, near as I can,” was all she said in
reply, and without further ado seated herself at the instrument.

Some noticing her movement were disappointed, others delighted; the
latter were those who loved music which came from the heart,--the
former those who admired what came from the head.

The Doctor asked her father if she preferred to accompany herself.
“Only at times,” said the Professor, and he appeared rather serious
himself when he observed the mood she was in. It would probably
be Adele at her best, but by no means likely to command the most
general appreciation. Then he told the Doctor: “She knows that head
and heart must work together as one if any true emotion is to come
with the music, and she thinks this is such a subtle matter in her
own case that she must become as near like the composer himself as
she possibly can to render the music as he originally conceived and
felt it. She insists that every good song is fundamentally emotional,
the spirit dominating the art. To get close to this spirit in the
piece, to become the composer and try to re-create the piece, is what
she is after. One soul and mind, the voice soul and the artistic
accompaniment; both had come originally from one creative source, the
composer, whose whole being must have throbbed with one emotion when
he wrote the piece if worth anything. Those who would really feel the
same emotion must try to be like him and follow him in spirit and in
truth. She wishes to reproduce the intimate sympathetic blending of
voice and accompaniment which the composer had felt when he wrote the
song.”

“How intensely she must feel!” said the Doctor, pensive, and
turned to listen, giving attention to the singer to recognize her
personality as creator for the time being of the song,--the singer
giving new life, a renaissance or resurrection to the song.

What Adele sang was a melody by Gounod with simple chords in the
accompaniment, the piano filling in like a second voice when her own
was not prominent. The second voice sang with her, that is, to her
and for her, and the two blended as one, a veritable duet of heart
and head as one. The piano gave the atmosphere in which the melody
lived, moved and had its being, and the melody itself was the voice
of a living soul singing in truth and purity.

To sing it as she did required intense mental effort, herself under
admirable control;--the dominating emotional spirit within. It was
the divine art, the purity in the art, hence divine in origin. Art
dominated by the Spirit of Truth that is Holy, in Music. Music as
Truth, for a religious fervor lay deep within the song. It was
the overflow of her own feelings which others heard and felt, yet
she sang as if no one was present,--none,--herself alone,--Adele
an Idyl. As she continued, the melody seemed to gain in spiritual
significance, so pure, so true, so simply lovely, the good, true and
beautiful, as one, a trinity of inner experience, and thus possessing
a high spiritual significance. All who heard, associated with her
voice their own best thoughts. They “became one” with her,--and
while she thus led them towards higher and better things, the melody
soared upon the wings of a dove, rising as if nearing the celestial
choir. It did not diminish, grow less, nor die away, but passed from
hearing; it was heard, and then it was not heard, gone--gone to live
among the melodies of immortality, for the truth in her music had
made it an immortal song--none could ever forget, neither her, her
song, nor how she sang it.

“How angelic!” whispered those who heard her.

“She is an angel,” said her mother, who knew her best.

The Doctor mused; he was still thinking some time after the
song ceased. There was to him a feeling of both exhaustion and
exaltation,--the human and the divine in his own personality.

As to Paul,--the emotion was rather strong for him, rather too
much just then, the complications of feeling decidedly confusing,
especially as he would be called upon to sing next. He felt perfectly
limp. “What on earth can I do, after an angel has carried the whole
crowd into the upper regions!”

The suppressed applause which followed Adele’s sacred song had hardly
ceased, the hum of appreciation still heard, and Adele herself about
to ask Henri Semple for the bouquet of American Beauties which he
held for her, when she caught the eye of Paul and gave him a slight
inclination of the head to approach.

Paul had been asked to sing next. She knew it,--she also knew the
style of his music, that it could not possibly sound to advantage
immediately after her own success. She also knew Paul’s sensibility,
yet desire to oblige. In the kindness of her heart, now so sensitive
from the holy spirit in music which had prompted her singing, she
wished in some way to aid Paul to bridge over the dilemma into which
her mother’s lack of appreciation of the personal element in music
threatened to lead him, for it was Mrs. Cultus who had insisted upon
his singing as soon as Adele finished.

May it not also be said that Adele herself was about to take another
step forward in her musical career? namely, by a very practical
appreciation of the vast domain of melodic expression,--in other
words the comprehensiveness of “the art of putting things” and the
wonderful difference in methods and means by which spiritual effects
may be produced. She knew that Paul’s voice did appeal to mankind, at
least to some, quite as positively as her own; he also was sensitive
about it, but his emotional feeling was so different from her own.
She wished to be altruistic, and assure Paul fair treatment.

Paul joined her. “I never heard you sing better.”

“I’m glad you were here,--I felt like it,--Gounod is a great friend
of mine.”

“I wish I had a friend on hand.”

“How so?”

“To sing for me, my voice is scared to death.”

“It doesn’t sound that way, but I know what you mean.”

“’Pon honor!--the crudity of it! and then to be asked to sing after
you.”

“Never mind that, think of the music, and forget yourself.”

“What! forget the music and think of myself!” He had hardly uttered
the thought upside down before it seemed to suggest something to him.
He said nothing, however, for a moment, and then seemed to brace up,
and began talking about other things, until Mrs. Cultus approached.

Adele knew, or rather thought she knew, that if her mother pressed
him too hard in his present mood she might receive a refusal in
return, a polite apology for not singing. Much to her surprise,
Paul consented with considerable cordiality, saying he would do his
best gladly; but there was a twinkle in his eye which he could not
disguise as he said it. Adele wondered what the twinkle meant. Mamma
felt sure he would do “stunts.”

What had influenced Paul so suddenly? The twisted words giving a new
association of ideas had suggested yet another motive for singing.
“Forget the music, and think of you, Adele.” He had thought of a
songlet which did just that sort of thing--he would try it.

Why had Adele failed to appreciate the twinkle? Simply because she
did not then know him well enough to recognize one of the strongest
elements in his character, namely, a certain sure reserve power which
men of his type are apt to possess, and manifest in positions of this
sort with marked individuality in form of expression. Paul was just
such a man.

With him it had been Adele’s first song, the florid aria to show off
her voice, which had made the passing impression, not the second; in
fact, the train of thought first excited had continued on through
Adele’s second song, blinding him to a certain extent,--so that
although he did hear the beautiful finale when her voice passed from
hearing, he was preoccupied; he heard it only as another instance of
her highly cultivated technique, nothing more. Its real spiritual
significance had been lost upon him because his mind was preoccupied
in another direction. Having ears he had not heard, yet being what
he was, he had; consequently his impressions of her performance
were complicated. He had appreciated her cultivated voice as fully,
probably, as any in the room, but also remembered how at the hospital
some time before she had sung much less ambitious music which excited
even greater sympathy, bringing tears rather than applause. He did
not wish Adele to lose her charm in that respect, and now, in his
present frame of mind, feared lest she might do so. In fact, being
somewhat askew in his own mind, yet rather sensitive about her, he
jumped to the conclusion that she might give up the old simplicity of
real power in order to electrify society by flights of vocalization.
Thus the spirituality of a sincere, practical man did not differ
fundamentally from that of another with greater æsthetic and artistic
development, but the manifestation of it took an entirely different
form.

Evidently Paul was quite as much interested in Adele’s success as
she was in his,--but how different the motive and varied the form
of expressing the emotion. Paul determined to give her some sort of
a hint as to how he felt, and in a way she alone would recognize.
If he had been older, no doubt he would have told her so direct,
but youth is fonder of playing games in which self-reliance takes a
prominent part. He made up his mind to sing anyhow, and quick as a
flash the thought had come to him, “her effect was through the music,
not the words, why not forget the music and think of the words?--try
it with a style and with a purpose so different from hers that no
comparison can possibly be in order?” He would force attention to
the words rather than the music, and compel the audience to listen
for the sake of the words. As to sentiment! His eyes twinkled as he
thought of it; the audience could interpret that, each after his own
fashion,--as for him, he would forget the music and think of Adele.

Paul went to the piano, telling Adele not to listen, as it was only
some verses from “_Life_” which the Doctor had set to music. This was
quite enough to excite Adele’s curiosity, and made her more attentive
even than the others.

Paul’s voice was a rich baritone with but little cultivation, and
fresh as nature had given it to him, with some few rich masculine
notes as soft as velvet. When he felt intensely, yet kept himself
under control, and the song brought into play those particular notes,
Paul could make even a society reporter listen with sincerity. His
articulation being clear, the listeners heard the words without
effort, and the music became a harmonious medium of communication.

Much to his satisfaction he felt this mood coming over him. The
Doctor, too, knew by his manner that Paul would be at his best, so
played the accompaniment to sustain the voice, yet allow expression
absolutely free with Paul,--a condition of things only possible to
those who have personal sympathy as well as melodic instinct.

Each line of the song told its own tale;--the sentiment, not the
cultivation of the voice nor accompaniment, attracted attention;--a
few gestures gave the proper emphasis.

                       “She is so fair,
                          And yet to me
                        She is unfair
                          As she can be.

                       “Were she less fair,
                          I should be free;
                        Or less unfair,
                          Her slave I’d be.

                       “Fair, or unfair--
                          Ah! woe is me;
                        So ill I fare--
                          Farewell to thee!”

The effect was peculiar. Some caught what they thought were puns in
the words, and called for a repetition to catch them better; others
said the fellow was a fool to give up the girl so soon,--she was not
really so unfair as she appeared to him. Society amused itself hugely
over the absurd situation.

Adele turned to the Doctor. “I don’t care for that song.”

“No! Why?”

“The girl was misunderstood.”

“How strange! I didn’t see it that way at all,” said the Doctor.

“What did you see?”

“The young lady did not appreciate her admirer.”

“What is it called?” asked Adele.

“A Paradox.”

Paul overheard them and noticed an introspective expression on
Adele’s countenance. Was she trying to recall the words? He would
make sure of them, so in response to the encore repeated after this
fashion:

               “Thou art so fair, and yet to me
                Thou art unfair as thou canst be.

               “Wert thou less fair, I should be free;
                Or less unfair, thy slave I’d be.

               “Fair, or unfair--Ah! woe is me;
                So ill I fare,--farewell to thee.”

And as he sang, the peculiar twinkle in his eyes again appeared.
To the hearers it seemed very appropriate to the song, part of the
spirit of the thing. Paul was more interested as to how it would
affect Adele.

Adele was more confused than ever. Did he, or did he not, intend
anything? She hardly knew how she ought to address him the next
minute. It would be foolish to lay any stress upon such a song,
merely a _play upon words_ at best; yet her womanly instinct told her
it might mean a great deal. She had no time, however, to think much
about it, and did not care much anyhow, so tried to put the matter
quite aside.

“What absurd words!--not so bad either ... but he certainly made them
tell,” and she looked around the room as if to notice what others
thought.

People were still discussing the Paradox.

“The impression seems to last,” said she.

The Doctor caught her final word.

“What lasts, Miss Adele?”

A twinkle in her eye this time.

“Paul’s song,--wasn’t it amusing?” and they both laughed heartily.

“The supper is served,” whispered a waiter to the Doctor, and shortly
after Adele was seen entering the supper-room on the Doctor’s arm.
Paul escorted Miss Winchester.



                                  V

                       AFTER DARK IN THE PARK


After the guests had departed the Doctor decided he would fill his
lungs with fresh air by a short stroll in the park before retiring.
Thus to saunter was a favorite experience with him after an evening
spent in close quarters. He could be alone, yet not alone,--in the
world, yet not of it.

“These breathing places are delicious,” he mused, “good for all, day
or night; to the poor a blessed change from close and narrow homes,
and to the wealthy if they only knew it, from their over-heated
rooms. Fresh air in the lungs and a good quaff of pure water are the
most healthy somnorifics I know. Thank Heaven, this park furnishes
such luxuries to all.” This as he took a seat near a fountain which
overflowed conveniently for the thirsty wayfarer.

The trees overhead were coming into new leaf, and the grass plots
newly trimmed,--the resurrection of spring evidently near at hand.
Arc lights from a distance shone through, giving a silvery lustre to
the undersides of the new foliage, and a radiant glow which permeated
the long vista.

He looked above into the azure,--it was a starlit night; also towards
the horizon, down one of the wide avenues which intersected at the
park. Upon a public building in the distance some statuary above the
cornice stood distinct in outline against the sky, but from time to
time the figures were obscured by clouds of smoke or steam enveloping
as in a luminous mist. The figures came and went as if they
themselves were endowed with movement. He watched the smoke-mist,
tracing to its source,--a press establishment,--the newspaper workers
busy while the public slept. He hoped that to-morrow’s issue might
bring news of something better than the smoke of war, mists of
politics, and the vile conflicts of the debased side of humanity. Why
not accentuate the good in the world instead of the evil? Such would
be the way of truth in life, to overcome the evil with the good. But
he did not feel very sanguine that to-morrow’s issue would be of
that sort,--certainly not so long as the use and abuse of head-lines
purposely to mislead the public for the sake of cash obtained.

He then looked more carefully at the fountain. It was a gift to the
city from a dear friend of both himself and Paul, their old friend
John Burlington, whose philanthropy took many practical forms for
the benefit of the public. He skirted the park on his way out, and
noticed a barber shop across the street in which a few days previous
he had been shaved. Why that particular shop? Because therein he had
been shaved by a young woman, of whom in justice it must be said she
did it remarkably well. “Woman’s sphere is rapidly increasing,” he
mused, “but in such matters, at what a terrible risk and sacrifice of
womanly reserve; a gain in wages and publicity, a loss of refinement
and the other feminine attributes. Is not woman’s head-gear
sufficiently complicated already to furnish employment to experts of
her own sex without attempting to scrape a man’s chin? Certainly the
latter was a risky business for a woman to attempt on short notice.”

There was a hotel on the corner. He stopped to purchase a cigar,
but it was too late. Too late for that, but not too late for others
passing in and out. A couple passed through an inconspicuous entrance
with a peculiar dim lantern in the vestibule near by, and soon
disappeared. They appeared to be sneaking in, yet perfectly familiar
with the premises.

A gay crowd of young people on bicycles passed by; it seemed
unusually late to see so many out. As they wheeled off, talking in
high spirits, there was naught, however, to distinguish them from a
party of industrious young workers who had been kept indoors during
the day, and whose youth demanded outdoor exercise, even if it had to
be taken after dark.

“Where are their parents? still snoozing?” queried the Doctor,--“a
ride after midnight may lead to a ‘skip by the light of the moon,’
but that’s none of my business,” and the bachelor doctor wended his
way back towards his own domicile.

He was just about to enter when he spied a slight, agile figure, an
elderly lady dressed in black, approaching and motioning to detain
him. He could not mistake that light airy step, the nervous activity,
the characteristic gestures. It must surely be she whose activity in
good works he had known so long and well, yet he little expected to
see her alone in the public street at that hour.

He ran down to meet her, took her arm under his and begged her to
come in.

“I can’t, my dear, positively I can’t,” in a voice sweet and
cheerful, as if she wished it but was too busy.

“Well, let me escort you home, then,” insisted the Doctor.

“No, my dear, not necessary at all, not a bit. I never have any
difficulty at night. I wouldn’t take you on any account. I’ve been to
the----” and she hesitated.

“Well, what can I do for you, Aunt Mary?”

She smiled as if the name was most welcome,--patted the Doctor on the
back, called him one of “her boys,” and stopped a minute to chat.

But who was Aunt Mary?

One of those excellent, self-sacrificing Christian women, loving and
lovable, whose whole life was devoted to helping and encouraging
those in distress. Her vocation especially among the worthy poor,
where her heart was ever willing, and her activity constant in their
behalf; striving to bring hope and efficient aid to those who were
struggling against adversity, kindness where it was most needed,
affection where it was seldom met. Among many friends she had a small
coterie of gentlemen whom she called her boys. To these she appealed
in emergencies, and was sure to receive without further inquiry,
simply because “Aunt Mary wanted it.” As sometimes the case with
Christian women of her active, sympathetic, sanguine type, she had
been led to join a few others in the work of redemption conducted
under the auspices of the Midnight Mission. Aunt Mary was returning
from the Mission when she caught sight of the Doctor, her heart
full to overflowing about some hopeful cases among the unfortunate
outcasts she had met. Like an Angel of Mercy she had been spending
her evening talking with purity of thought and action to some,
and waiting for others who might wander in from the streets. She
had been holding out her arms to welcome, to give shelter in the
Home--Christ-like--“Come unto Me, all ye that are weary and heavy
laden, and I will give you rest.”

As the Doctor left Aunt Mary at the door of her own modest home, his
thoughts reverted irresistibly to his evening’s experience considered
as a whole.

The lights and shadows of city life, the contrasts, the changes that
a day may bring forth. Then of the countless fields of work for truth
as each one sees it in his own environment. Surely the Christ life
was the most beautiful and helpful of all.

He recalled how Adele Cultus had once experienced an ardent desire to
work in the slums and been prevented by circumstances, yet continued
to progress in her own sphere. He thought he detected a spiritual
similarity between her and Aunt Mary, yet to outward view there was
little to suggest such comparison; yet again there was, for the
elderly sympathy for others might have once in youth taken a youthful
form of expression,--and the present youthful girl who began by
sympathy for others might yet attain to her ideals.

Then his thoughts wandered off in quite another direction. The
fresh foliage in the park had forcibly reminded him of the coming
season for travel, the time had arrived to make final arrangements
for a contemplated trip abroad. Paul and he had so decided during
the winter, and already engaged state-rooms. They had often spent
summers in England and on the Continent, and this time looked forward
to a longer absence than usual,--a visit to Greece, and possibly to
the Far East. The Doctor had longed to stand upon a pinnacle of the
Himalayas, having then about as much idea of what a pinnacle in that
region might prove to be, as many possess of the veritable north pole.

His thoughts were certainly vague, yet again quite definite after
their kind. When he turned in to bed and began to enter the domain
of Travellers’ Hope, he thought he saw Aunt Mary attending meeting
in Exeter Hall, London, and Adele Cultus playing golf with the
divinities on Olympus. He was hoping Adele would win, when--he forgot
to notice whether she did or not.



                                 VI

         AN AVATAR IN THE OCCIDENT--THE THEOPHANY OF SPRING


The advent of spring brought with it the spirit of locomotion to many
others besides the Doctor and Paul,--it generally does to a sane
mind in a healthy body. With the resurrection of new life comes the
exuberant desire to live in the open, more freely, and have one’s
being in action, to exercise “thought, being and joy” to the fullest
extent.

To none was this more forcibly true than to Adele Cultus, whose whole
being responded when the sun shone forth and the birds sang. This
condition of things had been greatly strengthened in her limited
experience thus far, by a conversation she once had with her father,
when she sought his advice in connection with teaching a class in
Sunday-School. It was soon after she graduated, and although she was
by no means ignorant of academic phraseology in regard to certain
matters, she was not satisfied; she wanted a simpler, useful way
of expressing facts involving doctrine, and had asked her father a
direct question which might have proved a poser to some parents, but
certainly not to Professor Cultus, who earnestly desired that his
daughter should be spared the mental strife in his own experience
over moral and ethical questions involving discussion which really
did not help towards better living. The Professor detected that
she wished to talk with him seriously; so he drew her towards him,
made her sit upon his knee that she might feel near him in love and
affection,--comfortably at home while her spirit sought the truth.

“Well, my daughter, what can Father do to help you? Any college
conundrums? Life is full of conundrums, you know!”

Adele smiled. “Oh, yes, I suppose so. But what I want is a simple
answer--my class must understand, and think about it afterwards.”

“Perhaps you know the answer yourself, already,” said the Professor,
“and only wish to quiz me.”

Adele shifted her position on his knee, as if uneasy. “Why, of course
I know; I suppose everybody knows,--but I want to be helped. Knowing
is not enough. What is sin, anyhow? I know it’s detestable, but I
can’t help it. That’s about all I do know, really.”

The Professor drew a breath of relief. Adele saw her father’s eyes
brighten, and instantly felt that he would help her.

“Not such a poser as you think,” said the Professor, with marvelous
cheerfulness, considering the topic, “although an immense amount has
been written about it which certainly is confusing.” Adele, noticing
that to him it certainly was not so gloomy as she had expected, at
once felt at ease also.

“I don’t care what has been written about it to confuse,--what is it?
Some speak of a particular sin first committed by Adam and Eve, and
we have inherited it from them. Well, Father dear, I don’t believe I
inherited sin from you, even if I do have it myself. God in Heaven
is Love,--I can’t believe such a thing of Him. Every baby I look at
tells me it isn’t sinful. Why, they stretch out their little hands to
you to take ’em in your arms.”

Her father appeared rather more solemn in aspect than before;
experiencing a peculiar paternal sensation of mysterious
responsibility. He let Adele continue.

“Others,” said she, “speak as if it were a condition we each have to
experience for some reason or other. That seems reasonable, because
we do. But it’s very confusing to teach, or even to talk of to
any one else, even if we all do have the experience. What is it,
anyhow?” and she looked at her father straight in the eyes.

A strong, impressive, additional experience, which was inspiring for
both of them, resulted; and Adele afterwards looked back upon it as
one of life’s turning points, if not a veritable crisis.

Truth paternal, as if direct from “Our Father,” rose instantly
within the innermost consciousness of Professor Cultus, father of
his beloved daughter sitting on his knee, seeking the truth where
she believed it could be found. He knew intuitively what sort of
definition could alone satisfy Adele at that time in her life. He
must speak the pure helpful truth in sincerity, just as he saw it
himself, no more, no less:--and this being the case, the Holy Spirit
of Truth in Life gave him power of utterance. He answered promptly.
Adele never forgot his words, or to be more precise, the wonderful
concept as to facts in nature which his words instilled within her
own personality. The thoughts engendered became a part of her being,
and produced a purer atmosphere for body, mind and heart.

“Adele, my darling, think of life this way. Truth is like the
light, the light you see with your physical eyes;--and light is as
righteousness. Sin, as you know, your conscience tells you so, is
the absence of righteousness; and this precisely as darkness is the
absence of light. Christ, the historic Jesus of Nazareth, is well
known, to those who know Him personally, and therefore most competent
to judge, as the Light of the World in regard to spiritual life.
It was He, among all the founders of the great historic religions,
who really, truly, brought that spiritual life and immortality
into the brighter light we now enjoy. His personality, as the very
source of this light which enlightens, grows clearer and more
potent as the history of the world progresses; His personality the
most enlightening influence ever known in human experience and the
progress of civilizations. He was a thoroughly truthful, righteous
man, actuated by love for humanity; whose life, words, deeds and
sufferings for truth’s sake, embodied the truth, and nothing but the
truth. And now, Adele, with these thoughts about the Light of the
World one can understand better, and more light will shine upon your
inquiry.

“If one does not live in the good light of righteousness and seek the
very brightest and best he can get, then such a person will certainly
be more or less in the dark,--the darkness of sin. Of course this
condition of living away from the light given us will result in
violations of the divine laws in nature, a breaking of the divine
rule of duty which is to seek the light of truth, not darkness.
Adele, your conscience will tell you the truth, therefore always turn
from darkness towards light. Go out into the world somewhere when
you can’t see clearly in your mind, and look upwards, the spiritual
light will soon come to you, my darling; but be sure to look upwards,
always upwards, beyond yourself,--toward the Light of the World.”

“I never did like cloudy days,” mused Adele,--and then audibly, to
encourage her father to continue--“I think I know what you mean,
Father; please go on.”

“Let me tell you a great secret,” said her father, drawing her still
closer. He loved her as the apple of his eye, and was intensely
desirous that she should be spared those unnecessary troubles in
this life from which he himself had suffered. “Let me tell you a
great secret, Adele, one of the most practical mysteries in nature,
because able to banish many worries from your own heart-life. Don’t
bother, my dear, about overcoming sin, or sins, simply turn from them
when they seem near by, moving out into the light, any light you
can find,--and the darkness will flee away. Do you understand, my
daughter? All sin, but only when they deliberately choose to seek and
stay in the dark; all sin, just as we all walk in the dark sometimes,
but it is useless to fight in the dark except to get out of it;
therefore turn at once toward the light so that you may see what you
can see, the better the light the more clearly you will see;--this
is a fact in nature both as to physical and spiritual sight, a great
secret in nature, hid from many ‘who love darkness.’ Go out into the
sunlight whenever you can, so warm and beautiful, and the darkness
of sin will flee away,--you will see truth clearer and brighter than
ever before.”

“Father, I begin to see a little already,” and she kissed him.

Her natural tendencies were to look upwards and enjoy things. The
Professor’s little sermon on Light as Righteousness appealed to
her strongly as the truth; and what he had hoped for, namely, that
sin, as such, should be put in the dark background so that her mind
would not dwell upon it at all, was for once an actual experience in
her life. This practical experience was what she most needed then
and there. Her father had helped her to look upwards towards the
Light of the World, and when she did, she saw no sin nor darkness
whatsoever. This was indeed a secret worth knowing to live by. It not
only gave her a chance for practical application in her class which
she immediately decided to put in practice, but it generated a train
of thought which she applied many times in later experience. On the
very next Sunday she took her own way to bring the matter home to
her class, several members of which would have been much improved by
a judicious use of soap and water. She touched upon this somewhat
delicate subject by simply suggesting that if any one wished to
know what sin was, he could easily find out by looking at his dirty
hands in the bright sunshine,--the sin spots could then be easily
seen. “Your inside is just like your outside,” said she, “both want
watching and washing _in a good light_ to find those dirty sin spots,
and get rid of them.” The class understood her perfectly; the boys
especially, the girls, too, each after his own kind.

As to the train of thought generated within herself, that also took
form, and in a way to strengthen her ideals of what good thoughts
should be. She retired to bed that blessed night after her father
had told her about the Light of the World and of always looking
upwards, with no fear of sin whatever. It is something to be turned
from, like many other kinds of dirt in nature, only one had to look
upwards in order to avoid it because it soiled the mind as well as
the body. There was a lovely picture of the Christ Child in the arms
of His Mother, hanging over her writing-desk in her room. As she
looked upwards, it appeared bathed in sunlight, and the Baby was so
very fresh and clean.

And when the morning rays came into her bedroom, Adele whispered to
herself, “Oh, there’s the dawn! the light is coming! The roseate
first, and then the golden rays! How beautiful! The Angels of Light!
coming to drive away darkness--and sin.” She cherished this symbolism
her father had given her, throughout her whole life; and from that
day sunrise meant much more to Adele than to many who had none to
tell them how the beauties and mysteries of nature are really blended
together as one. All may see the facts and be helped, if they will
only look upwards towards the Light of the World.

It was not surprising, therefore, at the present period of her
career, when the advent of spring approached, that Adele enjoyed the
prospect exceedingly. Incidentally she had heard of several who were
going abroad that season, among them the Doctor and Paul. “Oh, how I
wish I were going! The very thought is exhilarating; what would the
realization be! If----”

She went to the window and looked upwards. “What a lovely day!--I
think I will take a stroll in the park,” and she picked up a little
book which the Doctor had loaned her. “I’ll take this with me and
read it; it’s something about Oriental theophanies, whatever that
may be. I’ll just read it and imagine I’m out in the Orient. If one
cannot go, the next best thing is to imagine one is there,--with a
book.”

She was dressing to go out when her thoughts took another flight.
“People talk about waiting for things to turn up, they always say
circumstances don’t suit just now, and then collapse. Of course they
collapse,--I should if always waiting--I am sure I should. I couldn’t
stand it. Why not hurry up the circumstances? Mother often makes the
circumstances, and then people fall in; I’ve seen her do it fifty
times. Oh, how I wish I could go abroad!”--then taking her book she
set out for a stroll.

Adele in the park, how different from the Doctor, the circumstances
altogether different. Not at night and alone, but when the sunlight
gave brilliancy and she was liable at any moment to meet some one she
knew.

There was, however, a quiet nook where she hoped to be able to
read undisturbed, an inconspicuous seat partially surrounded by a
cultivated thicket of shrubbery. This seemed to suit her present
mood, and she was soon engrossed in the little book so full of the
Oriental way of looking at things, figures of speech in which the
forces of nature were personified, and the most ordinary facts
described in language which might lead plain people to imagine
supernatural operations in nature. It was not so easy as she
imagined, however, to keep her mind in focus. Of course she had to
nod to several of the girls as they passed by, and with one eye
still following them she observed how the birds were ruining a newly
planted flower bed, nipping off the young shoots and gobbling up
the seed which should be left to sprout later. Of course that had
to be stopped,--she must frighten off the birds to save the plants.
Returning to her book, she noticed some manuscript leaves inserted.
They were in the Doctor’s handwriting and so palpably intended to
be read with the text in order to elucidate further the author’s
ideas, that Adele had no hesitation whatever in reading them, and
became absorbed at once. They seemed like what her father had told
her, only in another form. The Doctor had used Western phraseology
to convey Oriental imagery and ideas,--to show how Oriental imagery
may still be forcible to Western sense,--how the truth was in all, to
be perceived by each after his own fashion. Of course the Doctor’s
effort was crude, and well showed how such ideas may lose force when
separated from the civilization which had originally called them
forth; but of this Adele had no realizing sense. They spoke to her
so that she could understand. She did not criticise, but sought the
truth no matter how crude the effort,--thereby manifesting the prime
element essential in all true criticism, namely, sympathy with the
author. What she read was entitled:


                      THE THEOPHANY OF SPRING.

In the Domain of Nature, during early Spring, one sees the Spirit of
New Life as an avatar, a coming of the Deity, or manifestation of the
Mind in Nature, down to earth--to produce a resurrection of thought,
being, joy, from an apparent death and past.

To rescue mankind from destruction, the Spirit form is clothed with
Hope as with a garment, hope in tangible manifestation, an admirable
exhibition of an abstract idea, a law in nature, in concrete
fulfilment,--obedience.

Clothed in delicate, lace-like foliage and young blossoms, the
verdant coloring of many shades, the Presence of the Spirit is
manifest. As movement tells of the wind, so do the youthful forms
tell of refinement, modesty, purity. How exquisite the affinity, the
relationship to the azure blue, the heavens above from which new
life must come with light, warmth, and nourishment; and with the
fleecy clouds floating in the vast expanse, white, the blending of
all colors; marking the heavenly route by which the Spirit had passed
in coming down to Mother Earth. Sparkling gems, the gift from April
showers, decked her hopeful garments; not after man’s arrangement;
there was a method in the natural spirit-art which embodied both the
good and the true with the beautiful. Wherever the brilliant points
could accentuate a graceful fold, or enlighten the mind, or give
nourishment, produce good results in any way, as moisture gives life
and sustentation, there were the sparkling gems upon the Theophany of
New Life.

As one gazes with holy admiration at this theophany of truth in
renewed manifestation, and watches the changing effects, the action
of the Spirit of New Life becomes apparent; the adaptation of the
new growth to progress becomes a living experience, the facts become
vital in significance to help others to live beautifully and truly.
The pure white light from the azure sky, the composite of all colors,
differentiates itself when touching the new growth and youthful
forms. Topaz flowers, and garlands of ruby blossoms, rich golden
stamens set in sapphire corollas, the royal purple, bloomed upon the
garments of Hope, turquoise opaque tints and alexandrite changing
hues took proper place as life took time.

The New Life advances, treading the way all plants and men should
follow--must follow. The always true, always good, always beautiful,
in motion or effect. And at times the theophany is seen in effects
too dazzling for mortal eye to gaze upon with sight in nakedness--the
naked eye cannot see and live. From behind the cumuli of clouds such
radiant outbursts of effulgent splendor that a transfiguration of
the Presence itself seems imminent, a veritable foresight of what
the pure in heart above can see and live,--a glimpse of what is
implied by the immanence of the Creator of all life. It is then that
scintillations of brilliancy shine forth from every gem, from every
good thought, from every beautiful action, responsive to Him who
created them. It is then that the truth is visible to the naked eye
so that man can see upon the earth that for which he prays, “as it is
in heaven.” It is then that the Spirit of New Life becomes enveloped
as with a halo around her own presence, and vision is blinded by the
increasing effulgence of the truthful atmospheric effects.

Man closes his eyes, his vision is too weak, too limited in power
and scope, to behold that which is actually before his eyesight. And
while his sight is sealed by the very glory of the fact itself, and
his mental vision strives to retain permanently that which he has
been permitted to witness, then the Spirit speaks, speaks into the
heart-life of those who have sought by striving to learn how to hear
as well as to see. It is then when the eye is closed, yet all in
the presence of New Life, that the avatar, theophany, renaissance,
resurrection of truth in springtime, speaks the pure word of the Mind
of Nature, the Creator Father,--the still small voice is heard.

Softly as a murmur it comes from all directions. To him whose life
work is in one field it is a voice profound and comprehensive in
nature, and he calls it the music of the spheres. To another, it
seems as tender, loving and true as parental affection in its
holiest moments, and this one takes his children into the fields and
wood to see and hear. It pervades all life, this Voice of Thought,
Being, Joy, in the resurrection of New Life. It is heard in the
bird-notes from every bush as the little songsters sing to their
mates, rejoicing in renewed virility and hope of cozy nests amid
the youthful foliage; it is the voice of renewed youth speaking
unto itself, yet not itself, but through itself into those whom it
had created, preserved, saved,--a simple, child-like voice, asking
questions.

Man pauses to listen. What are the questions asked in the early
childhood of springtime?

Oh, how pure, sincere! Transparent, clear! How loving the motive and
desire which prompts the children of men when close to nature to look
up wistfully for an answer.

“Whence comes this Spirit of New Life?”

And lo! the inner voice:

“All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made
that was made.”

And lo! again the voice:

“In Him was Life, and the Life was the Light of Men.”

And lo! yet again the voice--for the third time,--the voice of a man
to his brother man:

“I am the Resurrection and the Life. Come unto Me.”

Adele heard this inner voice,--the Trinity in Nature operative,
speaking to her, to her personally.

She closed the book, pressing it against her heart, and wended her
way homeward, absorbed in thought, verily as one in the world, yet
now above it, spiritually.

Her father had spoken to her of the Light of the World, as
Intelligence and Righteousness. He who is the Light of the World had
said to her, spiritually:

“I am the Resurrection and the Life.”

She had sought the sunshine, and heard the Voice;--the Voice of the
Trinity in the springtime of her youth.

Not until next morning did the practical application of what Adele
had heard take hold upon her as something demanding prompt attention.
The concept once accepted, at once acted like a seed-word, producing
new life, and the beautiful blossoms of a new intelligence appeared.
She herself became a part of this springtime resurrection. Being what
she was, youthful, intelligent, sincere, it of course took form,
naturally, in connection with that phase of life and activity which
was uppermost in her own environment at the time,--but the motive now
much more heartfelt and spiritual.

She had longed to go abroad, and often said so, merely, however, for
the hope of enjoyment, now the desire was to see and learn more of
humanity at large for a given purpose; and especially that region,
the Orient, from which such thoughts, so practical yet spiritual,
had originally come. She wanted a broader knowledge of the world and
of the great religions; of the Light of the World as a universal
spiritual as well as physical experience, and this, simply in order
to live better, truer, and to help others.

“I must go!--really must,” she whispered, “even if I have to make the
circumstances.”

        “_Oh, ye who may survive me when the spring returns,
            Remember how I loved its loveliness._”



                                 VII

                             OFF TO ASIA


It was at the Club, only a few days later, where the Doctor met
Professor Cultus. The usual preliminaries of greeting had hardly
passed from hearing before the Professor seemed unusually anxious
to know certain details about the Far East, details about modes of
travel and such things,--in fact, asked so many questions quite
unlike his usual mode of conversation, that the Doctor pricked up
his ears with delight, evidently having some suspicions, and finally
asked the direct question: “Why don’t you go and see for yourself?”

Professor Cultus laughed, and then frankly acknowledged the
situation: “Mrs. Cultus and Adele are so bent on seeing the Orient
before it becomes civilized, as they evidently expect, that I have
no peace. Mrs. Cultus is reading ‘O. K.’ between the lines of ‘The
Incarnation of Krishna Mulvaney,’ as if one ought to throw some light
upon the other. She says she wants to make the acquaintance of some
of those Khidmatgars and Maharajas while they yet stand upon their
native heath. I’ve told her they don’t wear kilts like MacGregor,
but ’twas no use. She immediately wished to know what they did wear.
I suppose I’m in for it. They’ve been talking the matter over at
intervals all winter, but now! now! O now! we have it from thin soup
to thick coffee.”

“Better give in,” said the Doctor, laughing heartily.

“Well, just between us, I have;--but I haven’t told them so, not as
yet. I rather take to the notion myself since I can see my way to
get off, but I don’t quite understand the _modus operandi_--how one
man can manage civilized women in a land where women don’t generally
count for much. Did you say the Taj could now be seen without an
elephant ride? That’s the sort of thing I must know beforehand; two
civilized women on one wild beast might demoralize the beast.”

The bare possibility of having the Cultus party in the East at the
same time with themselves, sent Paul to call upon Adele as quickly
as he could pick up his hat and rush out. These two young members
put their heads together and practically settled all details, both
possible and impossible, before the older members of the party could
well realize what they were talking about. Youth forever! American
style! Action! Action! Action! with occasional application of the
brake.

Mrs. Cultus was greatly in favor of having four in their own party.

“_Une partie carree_ is always so much more workable when
travelling,” she said, “and besides, Adele ought to have some one
nearer her own age. I don’t intend to follow Adele into every dirty
native haunt she may take a notion to visit. Now if we can only
find some one of the modern Investigating-Civil Club, or of the
Literary-Reformation Reportorial Society, we shall be in clover all
through the tour; we can report progress in print whenever we wish,
and have a book ready as soon as we return.”

“But, Mother, you are too grasping,” exclaimed Adele, “only a
literary corps can assimilate the whole thing.”

“No! Not quite!” said Mrs. Cultus. “We need only report our own
progress, not the rotation-progress-of-the-earth. Now that I come to
think of it, perhaps I’d better do the reporting myself. The society
column generally puts in what I send them,--and then I’m sure of what
is said. Oh! I have an idea! It’s a companion for you, Adele, that
troubles me! Now I come to think of it, whom would you like?” But
before any one could reply, Mrs. Cultus continued:

“Why, Miss Winchester, of course! Now if she can be persuaded,--Adele,
you know how to coax her,--that will be the very thing.” Professor
Cultus made no objection, and the delighted Adele took it up as if the
persuasion of Miss Winchester were a foregone conclusion.

Adele and Paul found Miss Winchester in her own study, her
writing-table littered with odds and ends, apparently, really notes
such as literary workers are apt to jot down when a passing thought
or phrase seems worth keeping; loose slips of paper and packages
held by gum bands, pieces pinched at the ends with mysterious folds,
also things tucked away under blotters where she couldn’t find them,
and so forth. The Persuasion Committee, Adele Chairman, entered,--a
gale of wind among the papers. Action first and the ideas picked up
afterwards. Rapturous greeting between the girl chums;--then Adele
exclaimed, “Oh! Frank! If you love me do consent to come with us.”

“Caramels or Gibraltars? Which is it this time?” laughed Miss
Winchester.

“Please put on your bonnet and come,” gushed Paul, manly mindful of
the importance of such things.

“O Frank! We’re just wild to have you.”

“Well, please become sane again, take a seat;--no, not on that box,
it’s precious!”

Adele dashed her hat and gloves on the writing-table, utterly
regardless of pens, ink, papers or blotters. “Now, my dear, no
nonsense,--do say yes.”

“My dear Adele, I do love you very much, but I haven’t the faintest
idea what you’re talking about.”

Adele produced a printed list of routes for travellers. “There!”
Miss Winchester noticed an illustration of the Sphynx on the cover.
“I never made her acquaintance,” said she, and a comical expression
played over her features as she tried to divine what Adele expected
the Sphynx to tell.

Adele took it up at once. “You never met the Sphynx! Why, that’s
just it! Now’s our chance,--don’t you see?” And the Committee started
in, one hundred and twenty words to the minute, to explain matters.

Miss Winchester, somewhat confused by the rapidity of Adele’s jumps
from place to place in mental travelling, but as responsively elastic
as either of the others, took several turns in her office-chair while
the others were chatting; but when they landed her among the Himalaya
mountains as part of the journey, she gasped for utterance:

“Bless me! You take my breath away.”

“Never mind! Catch it again. Oh, do please! Please do! and come
along!”

“But you must give me time to think,” and Miss Winchester began
cogitating how she would turn an apparent impossibility into an
assured fact.

“Oh, don’t think too much,” exclaimed Adele, when the result of
thinking looked precarious. “Just do it,--why, don’t you see? The
opportunity of our lives! We shall learn so much.”

Now it so happened, the circumstances being favorable, that Adele’s
last appeal touched upon a matter in Miss Winchester’s past
experience, and excited a far more potent incentive to join the party
than any amount of contagious enthusiasm could ever have accomplished.

Miss Winchester had not long before published a successful novel
based upon results of travel, including character sketches, the
result of careful observation amid episodes of ordinary life. She
had given it the whimsical title of “Upside Down.” Now what could
possibly be more opportune than to follow this with others,--say on
“Downside Up,” or, better still, “Outside and Inside”? And where
could more be found of circumstantial interest than in the Orient?
Who knows!--it might lead to still another, “Turned Inside Out,”
for the East undoubtedly had many examples of that sort of thing.
Being already a member of the literary craft, the opportunity was
altogether too good to be lost, every nerve must be strained to
reach the other side. It goes without saying that the Chairman of
the Persuasion Committee was caught dancing an impromptu tarantelle
when Miss Winchester finally told them it might, possibly might, be
arranged.

“Oh, then it’s settled positively,” exclaimed Adele; “for if you
hesitate you’re lost.”

Paul thought Adele a little witch as she danced with glee, all the
time encouraging her friend. He remembered how Adele had bewitched
himself also not long before, when she was in quite another mood.
Paul laughed outright, but could not keep his eyes from noticing her
every movement.

As to Miss Winchester, she took hold of the problem with a vim
characteristic of some of the characters of her own creation; she
tackled at once the ubiquitous problem known to all men on both
sides of the globe as, “How to make both ends meet,” and of course
solved it satisfactorily. Some few of the craft-literary, and in some
degree all women of whatever persuasion, usually do. So Adele was
right,--that settled it. Miss Winchester finally saw her way clear,
and joined their party.

It would have been difficult to find a more congenial and vivacious
group than Professor and Mrs. Cultus, Miss Winchester and Adele,
with their friends the Doctor and Paul, as they met in the salon
of the steamer on the eve of departure. Henri Semple, who looked
forward to meeting them later on the other side, led the party of
chosen friends who came to see them off, and while trying to aid the
Doctor and Paul with their hand-baggage, kept dodging Mr. Hammond,
one of those antipathetic, ghostly individuals who throw cold water
upon such occasions. Mrs. Maxwell sent her butler with an exquisite
kedge anchor in rose-buds for Adele, “in case you have no wireless
telegraph when wrecked, my dear.”

Amid friends, and flowers sent in kind remembrance, with many kind
messages “bon voyage,” there was, nevertheless, just a touch of
regret when some one asked Adele how she liked leaving America. She
had thus far thought of it as leaving home. Now home was “America”
in reference to where she was going,--her first sensation of the
broadening effects of travel.

A few moments later all were on deck in gay spirits, Miss Winchester
striving to avoid an impolite kodak-fiend in search of celebrities,
who was taking snap-shots from the bridge; but she only succeeded in
getting herself into a most unconventional attitude, almost doubled
up with laughter, strongly suggestive in a finished picture that
some one had the _mal de mer_ already. “One ought never to judge by
appearances,” remarked the Doctor, as he attempted to shield Miss
Winchester from the kodak.

The bell sounded, only passengers were permitted to remain longer
on board. The Doctor was saying “I trust we meet again” to one of
his trunks, when Semple hurried down the gang-plank waving back “au
revoir”; a gamin on the dock instantly echoed back what sounded like
“moo-swore, take moo-swore.” Adele waved her handkerchief to Semple,
and a Frenchman near by took off his hat, smiling as if the salute
were intended for him.

The steamer swung out from the wharf and glided into midstream; amid
cheers, and adieus waved in many directions, and kisses thrown to
loved ones left behind. America and home, now one and the same, began
to recede. They were actually on their way to the Far East.



                                VIII

                      A STUDIO FOR IMPRESSIONS


The voyage across the Atlantic from New York to the Gibraltar
proved a constant series of sapphire days. Skies light azure often
cloudless, the ocean a richer shade with enough wind to curl the
sea-foam into delicate lace-like patterns. When the billows rose
into the domain of direct sunlight, myriads of brilliant points
scintillated like sparkling gems decorating the wave crests,--the
sea-foam not unlike flossy embroidery or ruffles of lace upon silk of
blue.

Adele’s first experience of things as they are in the great motion
constant, onward, ever forward, in the very being of the boundless
deep; also her first impressions of the ways and means amid a
cosmopolitan crowd on board an ocean-flyer. Nature and humanity, each
in constant movement, the former with majesty and potency profound,
the latter on the grand rush, often to obtain something to eat.

Towards sunset she stood with the Doctor watching the crimson disk
grow less and less in brilliancy, and finally through a veil of
luminous atmosphere disappear in the mysterious beyond.

They spoke little, as if under some fascination. The varied
movements in the sky and unstable water-foundation were indeed
somewhat hypnotic in effect, but a psychologist would have been
puzzled to detect the outcome of their meditations. While they
gazed, a passing breeze crossed the surface immediately before them,
changing the delicate traceries in nature’s handiwork. The Doctor
at once responded, for the complications appealed to him, and most
naturally he spoke in terms of his own previous experience of similar
impressions.

“Those changes in the wave curves are not unlike harmonic
modulations, and I can actually hear the difference.” Adele seemed
surprised.

“Yes,” continued the Doctor, “the slow, dignified progression is
certainly symphonic in character, yet the infinite variety in less
melodic forms piles up little by little until the greater movement is
itself influenced. How wonderful, majestic, yet exceedingly subtle,
and always refined! It is certainly sound-color or color as sound,
and the drawing of the design--well, ’pon my soul, the drawing is
too quick for me. I can’t see how it is done, it flits from me, is
gone, living only in memory, not unlike the technical element in the
rendition of music. But the sound-color, the real harmony. Ah! that I
hear in my mind’s ear and see in my mind’s eye for long afterwards.”
Adele, much younger than the Doctor, was also working out her own
impressions according to previous experience, the experience of youth.

“Oh, yes! I see what you see,--very artistic,--you can talk about it
in that style if you choose, but----” and she seemed in doubt how to
describe what she really felt. The Doctor waited till she was ready.

“It’s so awfully real! It’s alive!”

“H’m!”

“Yes, a great real picture, that which I like in pictures.”

“No doubt an original,” remarked the Doctor, smiling. “The original
of many marines.”

Adele called attention to the magnificent contour lines which
themselves swayed to and fro over the curved surface.

“Don’t you see, it’s alive; the whole thing moves, it’s so true; and
you and I with it, we’re all going. Isn’t that just glorious!”

“Oh!” exclaimed the Doctor, “in Him we live and move and have our
being,--that’s what you mean?”

“Just so,” and she paused before continuing: “He was the Artist, and
it is a living picture, a real one, just ready to be painted.”

It was the apparent living earth, the breathing of the deep sea which
had impressed Adele, the suppressed emotion of the planet, ever
existing, ever apparent to those who had eyes to see and ears to hear
for observation; and this over the whole vast expanse.

“Of course,” whispered Adele, “a living picture, by so great an
Artist, must be sublimely artistic.”

“True,” mused the Doctor, “the greater will include the less,--a
masterpiece, an original, to lead the artistic sense onward and
upward.”

       *       *       *       *       *

But there were few on board who gave even a passing thought to this
physical breathing of the earth, nor to the invisible moisture
ascending by evaporation. The majority thought no more of it than
they did of their own individual breathing; they took it as a matter
of course, no more, no less. They had, however, other impressions,
quite as mundane, and equally apparent. Some sought impressions from
watching card-sharpers in the smoking-room; others by listening
to fluent talkers who really abused good natural endowments by
promiscuous discussion of any and every subject that came up; men who
did not hesitate an instant to suggest what they considered to be
improvements upon nature. The conceit of some seemed indeed colossal,
especially when they, too, waved their arms about, forming contour
lines over curved ideas, to carry their impressions far beyond the
briny deep. Even such, however, were really small harmless game
compared to what Mrs. Cultus soon encountered.



                                 IX

                      A BUDGET OF NEW SCIENCES


Previous to leaving home Mrs. Cultus had flattered herself she
was taking the Professor abroad to obtain rest from his arduous
scientific pursuits--alas! only to find herself at once in a very
vortex of new sciences and arts, so-called. Authorities discussed
Ping Pong as an art, also skittles, and the nomenclature of golf
was quite enough in matter of differentiations to establish it as a
science. Then there were new methods in the practice of medicine.
Thoughts warranted to cure were for sale under the title of Mental
Science;--and even a religious science, said to be popular and quite
new to the orthodox Science of Religions. All were on board and much
in evidence.

None of these things would have much troubled the Professor, but to
Mrs. Cultus they afforded a glorious opportunity to pick up odd bits
of information. She herself was certainly not suffering from fatigue
from the perusal of scientific publications, so when the book of
experience opened a chapter new to her, written by folk who prided
themselves upon the especial efficacy of their own mental efforts,
why, that appealed as the sort of science and art quite in her line
rather than the Professor’s. Having no lack of worldly wisdom in her
own mentality she at once took her stand. With regard to any new
phase of religious science, so-called, she would be very inquisitive,
not opinionated, much less dogmatic; but as to any mental racket,
scientific or otherwise, she thought she might venture further. In
fact ought to have some opinion of her own, being entitled to it,
_ex-officio_, as a Professor’s spouse. Such was Mrs. Cultus’ point of
view.

Matters were soon brought to a focus. She overheard repeated remarks
about patients who had been healed simply by receiving new mental
impressions easily obtained, generally by correspondence, fixed
charge, five dollars for epistolary impression. Some one who had
been victimized had told her of a bushel-basket full of impressions
shipped by mail each day from a single office.

“There must be some good ones in the lot,” thought Mrs. Cultus. “We
must investigate a little.”

Then she heard of others cured by thought-transference, either
with or without faith,--and finally of cures which tax credulity
to extreme limits of sanity, namely, by the persuasive efficacy of
belief, even in spite of the Creator Father’s natural laws to the
contrary, as if natural laws were inadequate to suit the Creator’s
purpose. Surely enough this to excite Mrs. Cultus’ curiosity. “What’s
the use of travelling unless you take things in, without being taken
in yourself?”--and she determined to caution her daughter. “Adele,
my dear, when your father and I first crossed the ocean together,
some time since, before you appeared, the ship’s company contained
many pilgrims from a sacred shrine, very sacred and very profitable.
We then heard much about cures. If I mistake not I have yet a bottle
of the sacred water from that European shrine, stowed away in our
medicine closet, warranted to be very efficacious to the faithful.”

“Did you ever test its efficacy?” asked Adele.

“Well, to be frank, I never saw it used except just previous to
funerals, which struck me as rather late in the day. It certainly
acted like a sedative upon those who administered it, but that’s
another matter. What I was going to remark is, that to-day the tide
of curative waters seems to flow all the other way. America does the
quick-cure business whether the patient is faithful or not.”

“Well, that’s certainly great gain for the medicine,” remarked Miss
Winchester. Mrs. Cultus continued:

“Yes, indeed; one might have guessed Americans would introduce
improvements in the system. I always did believe in practical
science, practical metaphysics they call it now, and all that sort of
thing, specially when the thing looks a little mysterious to begin
with,--it clears out the system.”

“Whose system? What system?” wondered Miss Winchester, “the
medicine’s or the patient’s?” but she said nothing, and smiled
inwardly as Mrs. Cultus continued her drolling.

“But tell me, are the new medicines proprietary, patented, or merely
bottles for sale, duly authenticated like the old bottles? I wonder
if it would be safe to put some of this new wine, beg pardon,
curative water, into the old bottles?”

“Oh, dear no!” exclaimed Miss Winchester, promptly. “All medicines
are quite out of date. All you have to do is to think you think, pay
the price, and there you are--cured. I was cured myself.”

“Why, bless me, child! of what?”

“Nothing serious--merely of my former impression.”

“What was your impression of an impressionist, Frank?” said Adele,
laughing. “I don’t believe all of them are quacks, certainly not
until I first hear what they have to say.”

       *       *       *       *       *

Now Miss Winchester, being of the literary craft, indulged in methods
not unlike those practiced by the Doctor in connection with his
palmistry pranks. They both were much given to observing individuals
whose outward appearance suggested a personality from whom they could
learn something. Studying types, the Doctor called it; studying human
nature, Miss Winchester considered it. All was grist that came to
their mill, good, bad, and even the indifferent, cranks and amiables
included. It so happened that in the course of her study of human
nature Miss Winchester had encountered a pronounced specimen of the
genus Professoress, said to occupy the chair of Thought-Cure in a
would-be Sanitorium-University. This had been some time ago. What
was her surprise now to find said Professoress on board, occupying
a deck-chair among the innocents abroad. Not wishing to claim any
acquaintance (having already written her up in an article upon “The
Inside Cure”) unless forced to do so, she had avoided a meeting. It
had been this same individual of whom she had thought when telling
Mrs. Cultus of her own cure; and as luck would have it, there the
healer appeared,--on deck, in a chair, quite near them when Adele
innocently asked for an impression of an impressionist.

Not wishing, however, to disclose this coincidence until she could
lead up to it after her own fashion, Miss Winchester kept one eye
upon the occupant of the chair, and the other upon Professor Cultus,
and yet answered Adele at the same time; all of which goes to show
that she herself was somewhat of an expert in impressions, and
in leading others up to them; observing others while not herself
perceived. When she was ready she replied:

“No, Adele, I do not believe they are all quacks; but I do believe in
nerves and hysterics. There is such a thing as self-deception;--the
little tin-Solomon within the most of us does sometimes assert
himself;--you know the saying, ‘Everybody’s crazy except you and me,
and you’re a little off!’ I certainly believe in nerves and hysteria.”

“What has that got to do with it?” asked Mrs. Cultus, curious.

“May I refer to the Professor?” quoth Miss Winchester, blandly.

Professor Cultus thus unwillingly drawn in, gave some points simply
as the quickest way to get rid of the talking. “There is a class of
disease known as hysteria, nervous, yet involving no recognizable
anatomical hurt, wound or injury. The nervous system plays a
very important part in the problem, and nerves, you know, affect
mentality.”

“No doubt of it, my dear,” interrupted Mrs. Cultus; “a pinch always
makes me start up as nervous as a witch, and I never could talk sense
during an electric storm. I feel nervous now just to think of it.”

The Professor continued: “To meddle unadvisedly with the nervous
system is dangerous; yet with shrewd sense based upon clinical
observation it is possible to perfect cures.”

“Not without some smelling salts,” chimed in Mrs. Cultus, laughing.
“But bless me! are these new doctors experts like that?”

“Specialists in the shrewd-sense department,” remarked Miss
Winchester. “Please go on, Professor Cultus.”

“When mental science encounters cases of hysteria, it is quite
possible a cure may be accomplished now and then, but from the
standpoint of what you would call orthodox treatment, mental
derangement of any kind requires most careful consideration and
perhaps prolonged treatment in the full light of scientific research.
To attempt such practice irregularly is to court the consequences of
ignorance, or perhaps worse, really to injure the patient.”

“Oh, I understand it perfectly!” exclaimed Mrs. Cultus. “I might be
accidentally cured by irregular treatment, but would not stay cured.
My dear, I prefer to be orthodox. Adele, where are my salts? Look in
that bag, please,--I haven’t used them for some time.”

“Nonsense, Mother! You’re cured already and don’t want any salting,
the sea air is quite enough;--nor do I believe that all mental
scientists have the hysterics, I mean their patients haven’t.”

“No, indeed!” said the sprightly Frank Winchester; “it is those who
are cured who had the hysterics or something equivalent; and the
practitioners who now have the shrewd sense and cash perquisite,--I
know from experience.”

“What! Oh, my!” exclaimed Adele, “you have the hysterics! Frank, I
should never have accused you of such accomplishments,” then, as if
musing: “Isn’t it strange that when you begin to describe an ache, so
many others soon find they have the same thing. Mild case I suppose,
Frank?”

Miss Winchester enjoyed immensely this little rap; but having been
caught concluded to make the next sensational remark more specific.

“I’m thankful to say, in my case there was no hysterics;--but I
did visit a mental science center, where ‘vibrations’ were said to
radiate marvellously. I went there on strictly professional business,
to hunt up a case, and on arriving was received by--by----”

The speaker came to a sudden halt, her eyes fixed upon a remarkable
individual, the Professoress, now standing by the deck-rail,
overlooking the sea;--a short, very stout personage under a
broad-brimmed hat decorated with enough feathers to have plumed a
male ostrich in the month of January. Her attendant, a tall, slender
man with long neck, sharp eyes, and gold eye-glasses. Fortunately the
couple stood far enough away to be out of hearing, or Miss Winchester
would not have continued:

“Speak of angels! there she is herself! She of the winged thoughts!
the redoubtable Angelica Thorn, popularly known as ‘Madame,’ the
honorary title conferred exclusively by the Sanitorium-University.
You may not believe it, but that impressive angel with wings in her
hat and honorary degree on her own University register, is gifted
with a marvellous power of radiating thoughts,--her words fly up but
thoughts remain below, credited with realizing thousands of dollars
per annum by giving and taking mental impressions, sent and received
by the bushel-basket full, all by mail.” Mrs. Cultus put up her
lorgnette to see if any ships were passing in that direction--then
whispered:

“You surely don’t mean that person with flowing tresses and all
those waving plumes? She’s Milesian Frinch, not Parisian French. You
can’t deceive me. And what is she here for?”

Mrs. Thorn had taken off her hat; the tall, slim attendant held it;
while she, resting both elbows on the rail, and her chin on her
wrists, gazed out o’er the mighty deep.

“The pose is certainly cherubic,” remarked Mrs. Cultus, cynical.

“No doubt she is radiating now,” remarked Frank Winchester. Adele
noticed her hair parted on one side, and plastered flat over the
temples, also wavy ringlets round her neck.

The Doctor, who thus far had not taken any part in this
impressionistic séance, no sooner observed her hands exposed to
display an unusual assortment of rings glistening in the sunlight,
than he concluded his turn for investigation had arrived. Possibly
here palmistry might be in order,--and diamond cut diamond. There
might be some real sport in it. Before the others noticed, he
sauntered off towards the couple. Little did he then realize the
consequences.



                                  X

                  PALMISTRY POSES AS MENTAL SCIENCE


It was not difficult for the Doctor to obtain an interview, and
this without really introducing himself, simply by some casual
remark suggested by the surroundings. He soon succeeded in directing
conversation away from the immediate vicinity and called attention
to objects at a distance, of course interjecting the highly
original remark that distance lends enchantment. Mrs. Thorn at once
appreciated the enchantment part of the proceedings, and pointed
with her forefinger at certain objects as not being exactly what
they seemed,--thereby illustrating what was really more important
for the Doctor to find out, namely, that she had no real objection
from refinement of feeling to specify given objects by pointing
at them. If she did appreciate enchantment, so-called, she was
certainly very practical in its application. From the Doctor’s
point of view this was simply “delicious” on her part, and made him
more blandly-persuasive-appreciative than ever. Within five minutes
more he had Mrs. Thorn and her attendant both pointing at various
features, clouds, waves, ripples, a passing ship, the capstan and
the captain’s signals, anything, in fact, that would cause them to
use their hands; even soiled spots on the hand-rail and some very
sticky tar on a rope he made them avoid touching by withdrawing their
hands, any movement, in fact, that would show both the form and
action of their hands in connection with the spoken words,--the hands
suiting the action to the word (thoughts). Mrs. Thorn was, in fact,
betraying herself by every word and action, and the expert Doctor
reading “the natural tendencies of the individuals” as if an open
book.

The Cultus group privately watched these proceedings. Paul and
Adele, with heads rather close together, having their own fun, Paul
imitating the Doctor, and interjecting the platitudes-of-humbuggery
he had often heard the Doctor use before in similar palmistry cases.

“You are a person with strong social instincts,” remarked Paul, wise
as an owl.

“Yes! not a hermit,--thanks!” said Adele.

“Very popular. Lot of fellows might fall in--h’m!--admiration of you.”

“Thanks again, but don’t look at me, watch the Doctor.”

The Doctor was peering into Mrs. Thorn’s hand, which she held out to
him with evident satisfaction. Of course Paul seized Adele’s hand
while watching.

What was the Doctor examining with such apparent interest? In general
terms, a short fleshy hand, soft, with thin skin, and ruddy color
easily suppressed or caused under pressure. Fingers only slightly
tapering, with tips of the well known “useful” curve when viewed from
the under side, yet curiously suggestive of the spatulate when seen
from the back. Thumb well proportioned and turning back spontaneously
with considerable self-assertion. But most noticeable of all, where
the roots of the fingers joined the palm, materialism developed to an
exceptional degree, almost of the “elementary” type. A combination
more curious than rare, designating certain womanly instincts likely
to operate by methods presumably masculine in character. It was not
easy to formulate a specific diagnosis until after hearing such a
person converse on subjects about which she had had an interested
experience, for no mortal could reasonably conjecture, not even she
herself, how things would go eventually. Certainly a woman of the
world with strong emotions, no doubt loquacious at times, yet a very
clear head when it came to action; and material results never lost
sight of. Strange to say, however, the hands themselves were soon
forgotten, attention being drawn to their adornment. The woman had an
inordinate passion for precious gems. Mrs. Thorn wore upon each hand
exquisite rings, superb stones set in excellent taste, but rather a
mixture when displayed together. The usual solitaires, also set with
sapphires of peculiar peacock hue; a changeable alexandrite, and
a ruby amid emeralds as leaves, evidently some color-scheme taken
direct from nature; not a topaz nor white sapphire among the lot, and
evidently the wearer knew cat’s-eyes from Norwegian opals, even if
others did not. Even these, however, were secondary to a fire-opal
of true Indian iridescence. A cleft-opal, that mysterious gem so
suggestive to mystics in all climes. The light came from within the
stone, through an irregular cleft, the exterior still rough;--by no
means a conspicuous ornament, but when the eye upon close examination
penetrated the cleft, the mysterious interior was ablaze with
variegated colors. It was this fire-opal the Doctor was examining
when Adele caught him holding the impressionist hand. The Cultus
group saw little more of the Doctor until after-dinner-promenade on
deck; he was occupied with Mrs. Thorn. Then Miss Winchester at once
applied at the bureau of information.

“What are the probabilities, Doctor Wise? mystic, or merely
gymnastic? One must never judge by appearances, of course, but----”
and Miss Winchester gave a little cough to suggest her impression.

“Oh, a very interesting case,--very intelligent and thoroughly
practical. She talks mysticism like a California theosophist, but
acts like a cool-headed politician. Her thoughts are about mysticism
in its useful aspects; her words mystical because a good business
method for her; and her acts businesslike, very, from the mystical
point of view. How do you like that for a type?”

“Evidently interesting to talk to,--also good to keep clear of, in
business,” thought Miss Winchester.

“So that’s what you palm-cranks call a mixed type!” exclaimed Mrs.
Cultus. “I call her variegated.”

“Oh, of course she is bound to be contradictory, in appearance at
least, at odd times,” said the Doctor. “Moody as a mystic, dogmatic
as a sectarian theologian, and will take risks like a Wall Street
speculator. She is made that way, she is constitutionally so. Oh,
yes, she is a bundle of mystical impressions held together by very
clear ideas of what she wants, also has fearless business methods
to obtain it. The seeming contradiction is more apparent than real,
however.”

“How about those rings?” quizzed Adele, when Paul’s back was turned.

“Well, only one thing worth remembering. She wears her largest upon
her forefinger, the most conspicuous position possible, a sure sign
of--but let that pass.”

“No, Doctor! no passing allowed in this game--just tell me, but
please don’t tell Paul, or I shall never hear the end, no matter what
it is;” and she put her arm in the Doctor’s, drawing him off for a
deck promenade.

“Well, my dear, if you must know, the woman can’t help advertising
herself,--a most unrefined quality in woman, to my notion. Men, you
know, no matter how much they may do it themselves, generally detest
that sort of thing in women. That’s one way in which her feminine
instinct for appreciation takes a somewhat masculine form in action.
I could only find it out surely by conversation with her. Now I
expect to hear of her some day as President of the International
Impressionists’ Mental-Mystic Board of Trade. She will make a good
thing of it and possibly then disappear, mystically.”

Adele shuddered. The Doctor felt the motion on his arm. Evidently
that sort of talk was antipathetic to Adele.

After a little while she asked quietly:

“Does she presume to practice when travelling?”

“I should not be surprised if she were at it now. She told me there
was a patient on board whom she knew she could cure, whether he had
faith or not.” Adele twitched again.

“That sort of thing ought to be counteracted in some way. I’ve not
served in a hospital without learning at least that much. But here!
Oh, what can we do?”



                                 XI

                       AMATEUR MENTAL SCIENCE


Many on board had noticed an invalid who took his airing in a rolling
chair. It seemed very natural that he should appear melancholy at
times, for he was said to be partially helpless, in fact paralyzed
on one side. This was the unfortunate Mr. Onset, whom Mrs. Thorn
desired to treat according to the impressionistic methods of the
Mental-Mystic University-Sanitorium.

How it came to be rumored that she had obtained his consent and that
he was already acting under her direction is really of little moment,
for the fact soon became evident,--Mr. Onset himself willingly
alluded to it. He explained that after trying many regular physicians
he was about to visit certain baths on the Continent when he
incidentally met Mrs. Thorn, and was only too glad to avail himself,
in passing, of any hopeful aid; especially since “the method required
no medicines which might interfere with subsequent treatment at the
Spa, and demanded no faith,”--of the latter commodity he had little
left to give to any system whatsoever. Mr. Onset was certainly trying
conscientiously to be frank with himself.

The next thing known was that Mrs. Thorn had held a good orthodox
business-mystic interview properly to diagnose the case; and had
given the patient some published articles to read, the wording of
which was most dexterously adapted to excite curiosity for--what
next; and later on some manuscript letters to be perused when
alone, the lights turned low so that no one else could read them by
looking over his shoulder, nor find out how he kept them next the
fifth-rib-covering of his heart. These latter letters must be made
mysterious, simply because they communicated to the patient the
mystical line of thought he was to follow while the Commandant of the
Thought Center sat in her state-room meditating.

“Oh! I know exactly how it works!” exclaimed Mrs. Cultus.

“How? What?” asked Miss Winchester, laughing.

“Why, lying in your state-room bunk, meditating. I know the whole
business, so does the steward. He brings me champagne in one hand and
porridge-mush in the other. He reads my thoughts perfectly.”

What the printed matter given to Mr. Onset contained was soon known
all over the ship,--an excellent advertisement; what the written
pages contained Onset kept to himself, as if the subject-matter was
rather too personal for discussion in either the men’s or women’s
smoking departments.

Mutual meditations continued, however; mental impressions were
presumably radiating, the vibrations presumably acting in a
marvellous manner, having been promised to take a straight course
direct from the state-room bunk to Mr. Onset’s legs and none other,
which certainly was a vast improvement upon the expansion method of
wireless telegraphy in communicating thoughts. And this even if the
paralysis did remain as evident as before.

Yet curious to relate, these mysterious vibrations certainly
did expand with most positive effects upon others; Mrs. Cultus
continually on the lookout for substantial results, Frank Winchester
jotting down absurd notes as they flew by, Paul continually vibrating
between Adele and what she wanted. This until Adele asked if there
was any book in the library upon “Practical Metaphysics.” Then Paul
flunked, and sat down beside her. As to the Doctor----

One morning he and the Professor inquired of the patient how he was
progressing:

“Slowly,” said Mr. Onset. “I still have little hope, but I certainly
caught a new idea.”

Onset’s voice was unquestionably melancholy, from his own point of
view,--but not of that peculiar timbre, nor in any degree involved,
as might reasonably be expected from a partially helpless paralytic.

“There is something strange about that fellow,” remarked the Doctor.

“I think so myself, but have not defined it as yet,” added the
Professor.

“Did you ever observe a man paralyzed on the right side who could
speak as he does, to say nothing of his power to talk and converse
connectedly and with ease?”

Their conversation naturally became more technical than is desirable
in this record, but it may be remarked that Professor Cultus’ mode
of thought displayed an insight into the nature of mental processes
in general, from the standpoint of the modern psychology; whereas
the Doctor accentuated certain facts he had observed in Mr. Onset in
particular. The Professor, very careful in what he stated and very
cautious as to conclusions; the Doctor intensely appreciative, and
ultra sanguine as to results. The Professor much better informed
as to how details of anatomy were supposed to work; the Doctor
understanding how they actually had worked in cases he had observed.
They were, each of them, truth-seeking;--the Professor exceptionally
explicit as to the anatomy, nerves, nerve-centers; especially clear
as to “a veritable nerve-center having a strange domination over the
memory of articulating words.” The Doctor insisted that Onset ought
to manifest phenomena different from what he did if he suffered from
veritable paralysis. Both being sure that paralysis of the right
side of the body is undoubtedly connected by the nervous system with
the left side of the brain; the careful Professor would not commit
himself further as to Onset’s case; the sanguine Doctor did so at
once:

“Onset is paralyzed on the right side. The organs of speech in his
case are not affected, yet if speech should be affected, and is not,
what becomes of the paralysis?”

A twinkle in the Doctor’s eye as he said this was noticed by the
Professor.

“You seem to have discovered something,” said the Professor, smiling.

Another twinkle in the Doctor’s eye. “Rather! I think it must be
another opportunity for the palmistry humbug. Mrs. Thorn and he are
a pair, complementary, positive and negative. He a good subject, for
her, perhaps a medium and all that sort of thing.”

“Go tell it to the marines on board,” said the Professor, laughing,
as the Doctor hurried off to find Onset.

Onset’s hands amused the Doctor greatly. He found vitality much
stronger than he had expected, but much less vivid characteristics of
health:--color thin, action weak; texture smooth, fingers pointed;
palm hollow and much crossed; groups of little lines on certain
mounts (versatility); a fine development of a certain part of the
hand (imagination, Mount Luna); thumb lacking in force of will, just
the opposite to Mrs. Thorn; in fact, a number of details which in
combination might be read several ways, but invariably showing marked
susceptibility to fleeting impressions, mental-sensitiveness,--an
active mind yet unstable characteristics, a liability to vagaries of
some sort;--the natural tendencies of the individual also suggested
in certain directions,--but let that pass.

Yes. Onset’s hands were amusing. The Doctor would not assert that the
man was actually hipped then and there, but there was ample chance
that he should be if circumstances led that way, the conditions
favorable. He was just such a patient as Mrs. Thorn might succeed in
curing. And then came the gist of the whole situation:

If Mrs. Thorn, why not anyone else? provided a counter-impression was
given, vivid and forcible enough to convince the patient _in spite of
himself_.

That afternoon found the Doctor, Miss Winchester, Adele and Paul,
putting their heads together, mysteriously cogitating; evidently a
plot on hand to give Mr. Onset another new idea.

“It can do no harm and may do the poor fellow some good,” whispered
the optimistic Doctor. “Adele, your father will find it out soon
enough himself, so we needn’t bother him just yet. In case of a
rumpus the Professor will be just the one to fall back upon. He told
me to go to the marines; we’ll make him our guardian angel,--our
marine.”

Adele, laughing, wondered how angelic her father would appear acting
as a marine.

“Remember!” whispered the Doctor, “all at your stations when the
invalid is brought down to his state-room to retire at nine o’clock
this evening,--now don’t forget. You see we’ve got to catch an idea
before it gets away from us,--quick work;” and the chief conspirator
bustled off to find Onset.

“There’s nothing like having a patient toned up previous to an
operation,” said the Doctor, musing. “If we can succeed in directing
the mind previously, and put him in a proper mood to receive the
impression, the work will be well under way before he himself
is aware of it. Mrs. Thorn seems quite an adept at preliminary
work,--correct, but the preliminaries may reasonably include a
counter-irritant. If we can produce premonitory suggestions leading
up to an idea, the impression will have a better chance to operate,
the idea to cure in its own way.”

“How are you this afternoon, Mr. Onset?” and he took a seat near the
invalid.

“Not much encouraged. No doubt Mrs. Thorn is thinking the thing out
in her room;--can’t say I feel any worse, and that may be her doings;
but really this arm and leg are still so helpless that possibly when
I retire to-night I ought to remain in my berth to give her a better
chance.”

“Not if I know it,” thought the Doctor; then audibly, “Would you
oblige me by attempting to stand up, if only on one foot, and allow
me to support your weak side,--just for the effort?”

“It’s no use, my dear sir, not the slightest; I can’t move, for the
life of me. I only wish I could.”

“Then let me roll your chair for a turn or two,” and without waiting
for a reply he gently moved Onset to a place where both could observe
some steam issuing from an aperture.

“What complicated machinery!” remarked the Doctor. “This ship must
be a network of pipes, steam here at the side, and also from the top
of the funnel, no doubt both connected with the boilers--boilers
and live steam, live boilers and steam everywhere! Fortunately,
explosions seldom occur.”

“What terrible things accidents must be,” quoth Onset, evidently
interested and nervous; “terrible when one is helpless.”

“Sometimes not fatal,” quoth the dismal-cheerful Doctor; “it
frequently depends upon one’s own exertions at the critical moment.
I was myself once in a collision of passenger trains, our car turned
upside down--thrown twenty feet. I lit head-foremost in one of those
overhead parcel baskets which had been above my seat and was now
below. Fortunately, I was able to pick himself up by the seat of
another fellow’s breeches, and scrambled out through a window. If I
hadn’t scrambled out that window I should certainly have been burnt
alive!”

“Heavens!” exclaimed Onset, “there’s not even a window on this ship
downstairs to crawl through. I should never get my leg through a
port-hole, and probably be caught head out and legs in. Do you think
there’s any danger, Doctor?”

“Well, there’s a good deal of live steam under high pressure about
here; I really don’t know much about steam-fitters’ work, but if it
were plumbing I should certainly say, yes. Thank fortune, it is not
plumbing, Mr. Onset.”

“But it is steam-fitting,” quoth Onset, now becoming positive, his
mental process very inconsequent, as with many of his type. “Now,
Doctor, I’d like to ask you just one question, seriously you know,
strictly private. I ought not to ask it but I really must, under the
circumstances. Mrs. Thorn has told me considerable about vibrations;
now any fool can see that vibrations are not good for steam pipes,
yet here we are. Now tell me frankly, do you think Mrs. Thorn’s
meditations can affect or be affected by all this around us. She told
me, most positively, that her meditations vibrating to me must not
leak out---- Oh I wish she would accelerate a little if any good is
to come of it.”

The Doctor at once made a plunge for his handkerchief, and blew his
nose, enough to create more vibrations; then,

“Well, Mr. Onset, your perspicacity is remarkable; I never met anyone
who detected possibilities, aye, even probabilities, more quickly
than you do.” Onset felt flattered, the Doctor gave him time to pat
himself on the back, and then,

“But there’s nothing like having one’s mind prepared for emergencies.
If anything should happen, why, just call on me, Mr. Onset. Fact is,
I’m now so accustomed to accidents both mental and physical that when
not killed in the first crash I generally pull through.”

“Thanks awfully, I certainly shall. Doctor, my man James is good
enough in ordinary emergencies, but I doubt his use in accidents.
James! Jamie! here, Jimmy! take me back where I won’t see this steam,
the odor and its suggestions are both unpleasant. Good-bye, Doctor, I
must now take a rest.”

Onset’s organs of speech were certainly all right, but his mental
apparatus decidedly leaky, and something the matter with his legs.

“I trust the preliminary tonic may not lose its effect before nine P.
M.,” mused the Doctor as he went to report to the other conspirators.



                                 XII

                  AMATEUR TACTICS--A FRIGHTFUL CURE


Dinner served, the conspirators enjoyed a promenade on deck, keeping
an eye upon Mr. Onset and Mrs. Thorn as they sat conversing. No doubt
vibrations were at work, the most approved methods of the wonderful
Mystic Department of the Sanitorium Universitasque making some sort
of an impression; because, as Mrs. Thorn remarked afterwards, “Mr.
Onset was already oscillating between the old and the new, and
whenever that condition arose she felt sure that the preliminary
tendencies of the occult influences towards a cure were already
taking effect.” Mrs. Thorn could be quite as perspicacious as the
Doctor when she chose, her theories decidedly new as well as lucid,
in fact unique.

At last James appeared, to take the patient to his state-room; this
was the signal for the Doctor’s party to fly to their stations. The
rolling chair was brought to one of the narrow gangways leading
directly to Mr. Onset’s quarters below; the passage entered through a
door at the top, the short flight of steps down closed by partitions
on either side. The chief conspirator noticed that when James went
off with the patient Professor Cultus was engaged in conversation
with Mrs. Thorn; evidently one of those curious coincidences most
opportune, which occult influences often exert in favor of the
one conspired against. “Good!” exclaimed the Doctor. “I now know
where our marine-angel is to be found when I want him; now for an
impression less occult.”

When James reached the head of the gangway, there stood the Doctor,
apparently by accident; and of course he offered to assist in
carrying the invalid down the steps. Onset appeared more helpless
than usual when, the Doctor supporting his shoulders and James his
feet, the trio began to descend. If ever a subject for treatment had
weak legs, it was Onset at that moment.

All progressed favorably until they reached the bottom, and were
about to make the turn into the state-room passage; “Look out for
that awkward corner, James.”

“All right, sir! Keep his head up, I’ll take his feet round first.”

“Go ahead!” exclaimed the Doctor. (The signal.)

No sooner said than a brilliant flash of light burst forth, a little
way ahead down the passage, accompanied by a hissing noise not unlike
an explosion.

Onset gave a start. “What’s that? Look there! Oh, Lord!” replied
to by shrieks from female voices, and a cloud of white smoke with
pungent odor. In an instant the passage seemed filled with frightened
voices and smoke.

It was merely some of Paul’s photographic flash-light powder,
accompanied by very realistic exclamations in consequence, but in
such close quarters it seemed much more serious.

“God help us!” cried Jimmy, dropping Onset’s legs and turning
around to discover what had happened. Through the smoke he saw
Paul violently beating back flames which came from one of the
cross-passages.

It was only Miss Winchester and Adele, invisible behind the angle,
holding at arm’s length some burning paper upon a plate, but quite
enough for faithful James. Seizing Onset by the ankles he would
probably have dragged him on deck feet foremost if the Doctor had not
ordered him in sharp tones:

“Keep your head, man! Don’t yell! I’ll attend to this! Go find
Professor Cultus near the head of the gangway, quick! Don’t yell!
It’s bad enough as it is!”

The last remark settled Jimmy; he vanished up the steps, and Onset
groaned at the thought of being caught helpless below decks.

“Now,” said the Doctor, quickly turning to the patient, “we’ve got to
hustle--it looks like an explosion, near by!--before a panic seizes
the passengers.” Poor Onset, in the narrow passage lit by the flames,
seized the Doctor with a grip of terrible fright, his well arm
jerking the Doctor as if he had a spasm. “For God’s sake, don’t leave
me!”

“I don’t intend to, I’ll stick by you,” said the arch conspirator,
“but you must make an effort, too,” and he lifted the fellow upon his
feet.

At this instant, down the steps came Professor Cultus and, by another
prearranged “coincidence” to which he was not a party, the door above
closed behind him.

Darkness indeed. The place might prove a veritable death-trap,
surely, so thought Onset.

“What mischief are you up to?” exclaimed the Professor, serious in
tone, but his countenance (which none could see) somewhat suspicious
if not humorous.

“Lend a hand!” cried the Doctor, and then in a whisper, “I’m trying
to get an idea into this chap’s legs---- Sh!”

Professor Cultus took hold of Onset’s opposite shoulder, and together
they turned him around, moved him in an upright position towards the
steps. He seemed indeed helpless, but his eye was now fixed toward
that gangway, the way to escape. To get there and escape was the
only thought potent in his mind. The Doctor turned and again nodded
to Paul. Off went another flash-explosion, more pungent smoke, the
sort of choking fumes that scare you off. This time nearer, the vivid
light and more excited screams seemed hardly ten feet away.

Onset gave a plunge with his well leg, and would certainly have
fallen flat but for his strong support.

“Now for it, Onset,” urged the Doctor, lifting the limp limb,
assisting to put it on the next step. Professor Cultus nodded and
took the weight.

“Now for another step!” urged the Doctor. Onset put his well leg up
by his own effort, but when the Doctor helped the other to follow he
noticed a change for the better, the paralyzed limb was not quite
such a non-active member as before. Onset’s fright and desire to
escape were getting their hold on him in spite of himself, his legs
asserting and maintaining themselves without his realizing the fact
that paralyzed legs should not be able to behave that way.

The critical moment was approaching, the crucial test, the final
effort to force Onset to put forth his whole strength spontaneously
as for his life. The closed door above made the passage still darker
at the top, the smoke from behind made the atmosphere more oppressive
each moment. “Only three more steps,” exclaimed the Doctor, “to burst
through that door or be suffocated.” Onset heard this. The Doctor
pressed his elbow against Professor Cultus to signal he was now
ready. The Professor gradually lessened his support, and then quietly
let go, slipping behind him to catch the man if he fell.

Nothing of the kind occurred. Onset was so frantically determined to
get out that he stood supported on one side only without realizing
the fact, both legs commencing to work together. Almost alone he
managed to force himself higher. Seizing the auspicious moment the
Doctor gave Paul the final signal. Flash! hiss-s-s-s-s! red lights,
jumping shadows; cries, more jumps; something yellow--ghastly! “Rush
for your life!” Onset and the infernal regions close behind him, at
the foot of the steps!

Paul had prolonged the agony by some red-burning powder from one
of the ship’s signal lights. Miss Winchester waving a sheet of
yellow glass from Paul’s photographic lantern before her portable
flames--great effect! Screams certainly diabolical; one could hear
the wild laughter amid the cries. At such close quarters none could
stand the racket a moment longer. Professor Cultus, in the thick of
the fumes, was the first to protest. “Open that door! open I tell
you, we’ll be smothered!” which was a fact. Onset in a spasm of
despair, “Let me out! Let me out!” Miss Winchester, also spasmodic,
“I’m getting roasted--fried!” Adele, “I _am_ roasted!”

Onset never knew the exact moment when the Doctor left him standing
alone; all he realized was the bursting open of the door, the flood
of electric light--it seemed like daylight--and the Doctor above
offering his hand to assist, the hand not quite within reach, an
effort necessary to reach it; all depended upon the invalid’s own
effort.

Without a thought but to escape, Onset started up those remaining
steps as one flying for his life, forgetful of weak legs, paralysis,
or any other incumbrance. Actuated by the mental and spiritual
impulse towards self-preservation he plunged through the opening out
upon the deck. Thoroughly scared by a vivid realization of things as
they were, his previous hysteria which had clouded the mind vanished
before a more potent impression which cleared his mental atmosphere,
vanquished by a forced acceptance of the actual facts--he was not
paralyzed.

The Doctor steadied him an instant; only a moment of assistance was
necessary, until he realized himself standing without support. Dazed
and frightened, choking from the fumes, while those who followed made
an uproar of coughs and laughter, the poor fellow could not take in
the situation at a glance. No one seemed excited, however, about any
explosion; all interest seemed centered in himself, congratulations
from everybody, Mrs. Cultus in particular.

“Why, Mr. Onset! I’m delighted to see you looking so well” (social
fib; Onset looked like an escaped lunatic), “and able to walk”
(conversational stretch), “cured” (perhaps), “and quite like yourself
again” (since when?).

Not until Onset heard these highly appropriate congratulations did
the whole situation dawn upon him. Yes, he had escaped by his own
unaided efforts at the last, and of course it was too ridiculously
evident to be denied that he was then and there standing alone. The
very thought was paralyzing to the former impression that he could
not stand. And behold the power of a new lively idea, affecting
matter as well as mind--instead of melancholy Onset and an old scared
impression, behold Onset smiling in spite of himself. Everybody
thought he was going to make a speech. He did.

“Ho there, Jimmy! James, where are you?--Jim!”

Now, James had been in a terrible quandary during all the latter
part of these proceedings. After Professor Cultus had descended, at
his request, James had been confronted by Mrs. Cultus, who calmly
moved her seat directly in front of the passageway and with apparent
carelessness closed the door. She had moved not an inch until just
in time for the Doctor to make his exit, followed by the demoralized
Onset. It was Mrs. Cultus who had amused herself by giving her
impressions as to the vibrating Jimmy, keeping him there until the
proper time came. The valet was as much surprised as the master when
he saw the melancholy Onset rise to the surface in a cloud of smoke
and then favor the company with a smile. He received a further new
impression when Onset remarked:

“We’ll clear the deck, Jimmy; I go it alone.”

       *       *       *       *       *

Would Onset remain cured? Could a man so unstable in legs, mode of
thought, and possibly character, remain steadfast? Adele was the
first to ask herself this question.



                                XIII

                         ADELE’S MEDITATIONS


Nothing succeeds like success. The Doctor’s party had broken so many
of the ship’s rules, by igniting flash-powder and burning paper below
decks, that a lively time was expected when they were called upon to
explain matters. No real harm had, however, been done to the vessel;
no more than if they had taken a flash-light picture after dark. A
few good fees to the stewards and a draft of fresh air through the
passage soon cleared the atmosphere. When the officers put in an
appearance to make an examination, merely the fragrance from some
pastilles which Miss Winchester thoughtfully used to overcome the
odor from charred paper was noticeable, and every one was talking
about the paralytic who had rushed up the gangway in a state of
terror.

Onset’s cure became the general topic of conversation on board, and
forty people had forty differences of opinion as to what had happened
and the propriety of such proceedings. Adele had taken only a minor
part, but after it was over came a reaction which made her very
thoughtful:

“Onset must be very weak, weak in mind as well as body; something
must be wanting in his make-up. I don’t believe that any one with
real strength of character could be cured exactly as he was; and
what’s more, I don’t believe he is cured.”

Then she mused more comprehensively, and being a well-educated girl
at once sought for the most notable example she could recall of the
antithesis of this weakness. Her thoughts had been much on serious
matters since her meditations in the Park and her previous talk with
her Father. “What is it this man lacks?--strength of character, force
of character? What is that?

“Well, it strikes me most impressively in one particular
personality--historical; and in Him so strong that you feel this
strength to-day precisely as if He were yet alive. He told the weak
to take up their beds and walk, and they obeyed--really weak legs
walked. There was something wonderful about such a character and the
cures He made. He certainly had a force which never failed, and the
patients were permanently better through and through, mental as well
as physical--a deepening of the whole character. He seems to me the
only perfect practitioner of healing ever known, and the first great
Psychologist, and although living so long ago is modern yet. He seems
like one who had then conquered even Science itself.”

Adele then sought the opposition to her own view, her college
training having taught her to reason in that way.

“I never heard any one say that the Historic Christ lacked in force
of character. Let me think! Yes, I did, too--once; and curiously
enough it was a Jewish Rabbi disparaging the greatest historic
character of the chosen people. He insisted that Christ was
‘deluded,’ and deluded forsooth in direct consequence of His own good
thoughts and actions. Now, how could a Personality setting the most
notable example of force and power be deluded like an ordinary man or
self-constituted critic? As to the ancient golden rule, known so well
to Confucius in Chinese form, and the Lord’s Prayer, also possibly
known in some form to the Rabbi Hillel in Hebrew fashion previously,
were they not each shown by Christ Himself in a manner far more
potent to all men, each after his kind?--I might say acceptable
to all creation in a way never dreamed of by either Confucius or
Hillel. Don’t tell me that such a character could be deluded. If such
was the case, then truth itself in character is a delusion, and
expediency takes its place. All sciences and religions know better,
all creation knows better, all except the few who delude themselves
in order to bolster up a previous impression as to character to which
they feel committed. Don’t tell me that the greatest Hebrew who ever
lived, great because He developed force and strength of character in
civilizations strong unto this day, was deluded! That is illogical
and unsound, intellect misused, the twaddle of criticism.”

Thus Adele, the young modern educated girl, free to think of truth
as she saw it, decided this question for herself, and put the result
of her meditations away in her mental storehouse, little realizing
how soon she would have occasion to congratulate herself upon having
crystallized her views on this weighty subject.

“I’m glad,” she said inwardly, “I’m glad Christianity is founded
upon Christ’s personality still alive, His own words and deeds still
active, and not upon what other people, ancient or modern, say about
Him.”

       *       *       *       *       *

Adele went to join her mother, and found Mrs. Thorn already in
evidence. The latter had indeed found her curative vibrations
somewhat counteracted by events due to others also meditating more
actively than she. And Mrs. Thorn showed much worldly wisdom and tact
in saying very little about it; simply remarking that “Mr. Onset was
already in a fair way to recovery when the accident happened. Indeed,
Mrs. Cultus, I feel quite confident I should have cured him with much
less fuss about it.”

This latter remark was made as they sat in the same vicinity on deck
enjoying the air, the day following. Much to their surprise some one
answered promptly:

“I’m sure I should.”



                                 XIV

                ANOTHER COMMOTION--RELIGIOUS-CURATIVE

    “Will that you won’t be sick, and you won’t be,” quoth a volunteer
  adviser.

    “It’s my will itself that is sick,” replied a real sufferer.


“I’m sure I should.”

Mrs. Cultus turned quickly, to find the speaker, a placid-looking
person, sitting near, presumably a lady, yet who had evidently
been eavesdropping. A person of matronly aspect, whose voice and
expression suggested a desire to tell others something that might
be of benefit to them. Not at all one whose appearance suggested
mysticism in any degree; on the contrary rather ingenuous,
consequently a surprise to all present when she launched at them the
following dogmatic statements:

“The practice of healing, of course I mean metaphysical healing, is
based upon certain ethical and religious principles, because we know
that mind holds utter control over matter.”

Mrs. Cultus, at first taken aback, then much amused, replied
promptly: “Mind over matter! well, I should hope so. But it strikes
me mind often controls matter better than it controls itself--h’m!”
and Mrs. Cultus gave a little cough, as if the very idea had produced
“something-the-matter” in her own anatomy.

Miss Winchester whispered to Adele: “My dear, we have found
another--metaphysical specimen this time. The ship is full of them.”

“No more cures for me,” retorted Adele. “That magnesium powder is not
out of my head yet--I mean my hair.”

“Never mind that, dear. Your head will save your hair; beg pardon, I
mean your heels.”

“Well,” thought Adele, laughing, “even if this individual is another
new-science-expert, she can’t possibly be of the loud, vociferous
variety.” Adele judged by the placid manner and quiet voice,
insinuating even when making such positive and surprising assertions.
She had yet to learn how extremes sometimes meet in the same
personality. The Doctor could have told her that the woman’s hands
showed a most ardent temperament, and that in some types suppressed
zeal could assume the appearance of placidity personified.

Mrs. Thorn regarded the matronly lady with especial interest, because
new mental impressions of any kind, from any source, might at any
time be of use to her. Her smile was bland, mild, courtesy itself,
with just a humorous tinge for business with it, as she leaned
forward to catch every word. Some new point in the game might be
played at any moment. This when the placid matron remarked: “No
medicines are now needed, no such disturbances as we have had on
board. The true method by which mind may overcome all disease in
suffering humanity we have now learned.”

“You don’t say so!” exclaimed Mrs. Cultus. “No medicines? What a
blessing! But what takes their place, massage, or change of climate?
We’re trying the latter.”

The placid lady, as she soon informed them, was Mrs. Geyser, of
Wyoming, claiming to be an expert in the modern field of _popular_
metaphysics. Miss Winchester, who knew what popularity implied,
interrupted, “Oh, tell us, Mrs. Geyser, Wyoming is noted, is it not,
as a locality where the natural ebullitions produced by physical
forces are very remarkable?”

“Assuredly; in the volcanic region of our Park we have many instances
of nature’s activity, in the boiling springs and water volcanoes,
mud----”

“Baths and smothered combustion?” interrupted Frank Winchester. Mrs.
Geyser paid no attention, except to intensify her previous statement.

“I’m quite accustomed to such sights. Nature often looks so quiet
and harmless, yet the ebullitions you speak of take effect when not
expected.”

“Anybody scalded?” asked Miss Winchester. Mrs. Geyser began to
suspect that she was being chaffed.

“Gushers by nature, don’t you think so, Mrs. Geyser?”

Mrs. Geyser could not question this undoubted fact. How could she?
Her own ebullitions of thought were already seething. She couldn’t
get a word in edgewise without interruptions. How could any one
preach practical metaphysics, metaphysics with interruptions? The
conditions were most unfavorable. She determined, however, not to be
balked in a good cause. No! not by a flippant damsel, anyhow, with
her unseemly intrusions. So she fired off one of her big statements
to back up what she considered to be practical metaphysics.

“You know, I presume, that we preach the gospel or good news
according to doctrine found in the Bible and stated in the tenets of
religious Science.”

Mrs. Cultus remarked that she hoped her knowledge of the Bible was
sufficient, but, really, she knew little about the tenets. “What are
tenets, anyhow?”

“One of our tenets reads this way,” and Mrs. Geyser assumed a tone of
voice most serious, as if she were uttering a revelation of mystery
never before vouchsafed to ordinary mortals. “We acknowledge the way
of salvation to be the power of truth over all error, sin, sickness
and death, and the resurrection of human faith and understanding
to seize the great possibilities, yes, possibilities, and living
energies of divine life.”

Mrs. Cultus drew a long breath. “Oh, dear, tenets are awful things;
so complicated! May I ask what becomes of the simplicity of the
gospel?”

Adele became very attentive while Mrs. Geyser was speaking. There was
something in it which appealed to her as very true, yet that word
“possibilities,” it was so easy to stretch it into the impossible and
unreasonable.

“Please give us a simple tenet,” asked Mrs. Cultus, now the placid
speaker.

“There is nothing easier, it’s as easy as reading a book. We have
keys of our own--you must use our keys--our own book to both science
and health.”

Frank Winchester gave a start, as if struck by an idea. “Keys! those
everlasting keys! There must be two sets!”

“Three, my dear, three! I remember them well,” said Mrs. Cultus, her
memory also startled into activity. “I knew St. Peter by reputation
only, but Louis also had keys. I remember Louis XVI of France very
well, when I was at school. He was a locksmith also, and made
Bourbon keys for the government. Poor man! he lost both his keys
and his head. Why, Mrs. Geyser, I’m astonished! Don’t you know the
religious-government-locksmith-business is entirely obsolete?”

“In both science and religion,” mused Adele, while her mother still
kept the floor.

“Why, St. Peter himself said his keys were worn out. He told the
whole world he couldn’t lock the door on those Philippine friars,
when they had been caught interfering with the Government.”

“Don’t mix politics and religion with metaphysics!” exclaimed Adele,
greatly amused, but beginning to feel interested in the serio-comic
discussion. “Please don’t--it’s bad form.”

“I won’t, daughter. I was only thinking, thinking how astute St.
Peter was to find it out before The Hague conference told him so.
I rather liked that in Peter, because Paul generally showed more
intellect in the long run. Peter probably was the better manager, but
I suspect Paul had more--more--Oh, what shall I call it?”

“Metaphysics?” suggested Frank Winchester, struggling to conceal
intense amusement.

Mrs. Geyser, in the meantime, was not the sort of person to remain
“sat upon,” as she thought, “in this outrageous manner.” Her own
mental ebullitions began to demand utterance, but she managed to
suppress external evidence. Nevertheless the cause she represented
must be defended. Yes; in spite of Paul, Apollos, Cephas, Mrs. Cephas
and Miss Cephas, the truth must prevail. She must witness to show how
it could and would. She must tell how the greatest thing on earth
should be applied as medicine. Sincerity called for strenuosity, the
fundamental element in “our religion” must be made known, preached,
and she did so, thusly:

“The maintenance of health and cure of disease occupy a large space
in the religious faith of our society. Love is the greatest thing
on earth, the fundamental thing with us. Love conquers all things,
headache and neuralgia, backache and lumbago, all included, annual
and perennial, the whole list, non-chronic and chronic. To apply
religion scientifically we first fix truth and love steadfastly in
the patient’s thoughts and explain what religious science is, but not
too soon, not until the patient is prepared for it;” and then Mrs.
Geyser continued to elucidate her method, incidentally remarking that
medicine was never needed, not even for babies, not even in the mild
form of a preparatory mixture. Frank Winchester recalled to memory
the recent preparatory mental dose given by the Doctor to Mr. Onset,
but said nothing. Adele, recently graduated, could not avoid asking
the question:

“Have you a diploma?”

A very dignified attitude struck Mrs. Geyser in the small of
her back when Adele innocently propounded this touchy question.
She straightened up to reply. “Our diplomas are attested by the
supernatural powers we exert. I deny that natural causes can account
for our proceedings, I mean our results.”

“It looks just that way,” remarked Mrs. Cultus, while Mrs. Geyser
continued:

“But to comply with the laws of the land and render unto Cæsar
the things that are his I did take a course at our Metaphysical
College--twelve half-days’ instruction at three hundred dollars
for the course. Ample, I assure you, to satisfy any materialistic
law-maker, and quite as expensive as many other colleges.” After
this incidental announcement Mrs. Geyser seemed ready to resume the
practice of her profession as teacher, but Adele, by this time, did
not seem inclined to let it be done so easily. Evidently a climax was
approaching in Adele’s own mind as to the duty of graduates.

“I notice, Mrs. Geyser, that you lay great stress upon cures.”

“Yes, they bear witness to the truth in our religious-science.”

“Do you keep any account of failures?”

“None whatever.”

“Then you notice what suits you and ignore the rest. Is that truth in
science?”

“Failures do not depend upon phenomena or cases.”

“Then upon what?” inquired Adele, intensely interested.

“Failures depend upon the Divine Word.”

A pause--Adele as one astounded at what she considered the fearful
abuse of both thoughts and words in Mrs. Geyser’s statements.

No doubt Mrs. G. imagined she was protecting her faith and religion
by this placing of blame for failure upon the Spirit of Truth in the
Divine Word, as if Truth itself could ever be a delusion, a fallacy,
a failure; but, unfortunately, or fortunately perhaps, Adele Cultus
grasped the fuller import of such assertions--so abusive of facts in
nature scientific and philosophical, so diametrically in opposition,
or else ignoring Christ’s especial teaching by word and work. Such
was Adele’s point of view.

To Adele this was utterly illogical, antagonistic to truth as
she saw it. Such an atrocious conception from one who had just
been talking about love, the greatest thing on earth, struck
through Adele like an electric shock, and, as usual with her, the
spiritual dominant. She was also outwardly calm, but mentally that
violent tension which comes with strenuous effort to find the
truest utterance. The horrible words again sounded in her ears:
“Failures--depend--upon----”

“Mrs. Geyser, to the Divine Word let us appeal. The record states
that our Saviour did depend upon the phenomena to sustain his claims,
‘Believe me for the very works’ sake,’ and He never failed. When
science, some day, progresses to the standpoint of our Saviour’s
knowledge and practice we too may understand the application of
natural laws as He did. What is the so-called supernatural? Merely
that which science has not yet explained: miracles to-day are not
miracles to-morrow.”

All attention was now focused upon Adele, her eyes flashing as they
often had done when tackling a difficult problem at college. Her
mentality was concentrated. Mrs. Cultus thought she “looked like
Portia” when she continued:

“Our Heavenly Father wrote the Divine Word in all things. Science and
religion must agree. They have the same Author.”

Now if Adele had only stopped at this point and by silence let the
truth further speak for itself in the heart, much of what followed
would have been avoided. But youth is impulsive in method and often
abuses strenuosity by becoming indiscreet. Her youth led her to
jump at a conclusion embodying personal reference, which of course
broke away from the direct route to assurance of faith by spiritual
discernment of actual facts. The bane of both science and religion
came nearer wrecking the truthful impression already germinated in
Mrs. Geyser’s consciousness.

“You are a religious thaumaturgist, Mrs. Geyser--a dealer in
wonder-work. Your results are not real miracles, because you have
failures and abuse truthful words. Having failures when you attempt
to heal, you can’t possibly be apostles of the truly ordained
religious and scientific type.”

Quick as a flash, Mrs. Geyser spoke the historic truth:

“Christ’s Apostles did have failures. Your remarks have no force.”

Adele also quick as a flash:

“Precisely so! which shows the real difference between them and Him.
In every instance when they did fail He called them a faithless and
perverse generation. Do you know why, Mrs. Geyser?”

Mrs. Geyser refused to reply.

“Because they neglected well known means, considered scientific in
those days, and so recognized yet by reasonable people. The Apostles
neglected to employ prayer and fasting, that is to say, proper mental
and physical treatment. They had not adequately examined the case
themselves, conscientiously nor in a prayerful spirit, nor given the
proper medicine already known to be useful in such cases. Our Saviour
always applied common sense to his physical and spiritual healing and
had no failures.” Then she added mentally, “He does it yet.”

Mrs. Geyser had never before heard the historic Christ spoken of as a
physician of the regular school, which eventually resulted in modern
practice. She had always thought of Him as an Oriental Healer with no
pretence to manifesting cures by reasonable specific methods, such
as have since been learned by the Holy Spirit of Truth in medicine,
psychology, and the science of religion; by the Spirit which is Holy,
which Christ promised He would send. She had often said that the
Scriptures gave no direct interpretation of the scientific basis for
demonstrating until the new key was discovered. In fact, Mrs. Geyser
was herself very mediæval in her notions of what Christ’s personality
stands for as enlightenment, the Holy Spirit of Truth in all things,
the Light of the World.

Therefore what Adele asserted made little real impression other
than antagonism, not as yet, not until Adele, more roused than ever,
continued:

“No record of failures is shirking responsibility, and personal
responsibility is one of the truest things in any religion worthy of
the name. Denial of dependence upon phenomena is a false position,
totally unlike our Saviour. It is a pseudo-Christianity, and it is
rank pseudo-science to quote in the same breath only those phenomena
which you think will suit your purpose.” She was going on to add
“preposterous abuse of the Divine Word,” when her mother beckoned
her to be less extreme and impulsive. Her youth therefore satisfied
itself by turning the personal allusions half-way round towards
herself: “I think your position is preposterous, Mrs. Geyser, and
your science an imposition upon the public.”

Adele regretted her words almost as soon as uttered, but too late; an
eruption imminent, it must come.

Mrs. Geyser, the mystic, had been in a suppressed condition, but
the mental-effervescence was approaching nearer and nearer to
the surface. Personalities which she often applied to others she
could not stand when turned towards herself--they acted still more
potently; in effect not unlike that of soap-suds upon the water
volcanoes of her native region, temporary suppression followed by
ebullitions worse than usual. She could no longer sit still, so she
rose to her feet, without fear but with much trembling, and gave vent
to a torrent of expostulations, hurling her words at Adele as if to
deluge her with facts.

“You don’t pretend to say there have been no cures by faith?”

“I do not,” said Adele firmly, “but----”

“But what, young miss? Can you deny facts in life? Facts! facts as
well authenticated as the New Testament itself!”

“I neither deny facts in nature nor the testimony of honest
witnesses, but----”

“Cures which the Founder of Christianity promised His followers they
should perform!” cried the Geyser, still more excited.

Adele’s indignation at this became irresistible, neither could she
stand it; and the result?

A remarkable thing yet perfectly natural, phenomenon well known to
both religion and science, a sudden intense appreciation that “the
letter killeth but the Spirit giveth life,” affecting her whole
personality, physical, mental, spiritual.

Adele’s ideal became realized in her own person.

The psychological influence of that which is Holy became manifest.

She became, as it were, the personification of that which she
believed to be true. Sober enthusiasm and convictions, both
scientific and religious, came to her rescue.

She spoke, but with a revulsion in manner, quietly, slowly, each
sentence distinct, and her words were the truth in soberness, moral
courage and reason at its best, the Holy Spirit over all:

“Pardon me, Mrs. Geyser. I am really very sorry I offended you.”
Then, after a little pause, “I can’t express all that I feel and
would like to say; but it seems to me our Saviour was always
reasonable. He never did imply what is unreasonable, no matter what
marvels and mysteries He may have revealed to enlighten further.
It seems to me nature has ever since witnessed to His wonderful
obedience to her laws and His profound knowledge of the Divine Word
wherever written in nature, physical or spiritual. He came not to
destroy but to fulfil laws in nature, and this in spite of all that
has ever been said of Him to the contrary.”

All were now absorbed, blending their own spiritual experience with
hers as Adele continued:

“Now in religion the claims you make demand a marvellous thing in
nature, a marvel indeed, quite unreasonable to expect in the brighter
light of known truths,” and she rested her eyes calmly on Mrs.
Geyser, she too having become quieter under the better influences at
work.

“A marvel, indeed, Mrs. Geyser, no less than the actual presence of a
perfect human being.”

Mrs. Geyser repeated the words, musing self-consciously, “A perfect
human being!”

“Yes, indeed,” continued Adele. “Taking things as they are, as the
truth in science has already taught us, the performance of cures by
the means you attempt would demand perfection in both knowledge and
technic--one who knows and one who does to perfection--a perfect man.
Of course I must mean perfect in reason, reasonably perfect as nature
manifests truth, at the period when the man lives.”

“What do you mean by perfection?” asked Mrs. Geyser, evidently
sincere. “I don’t quite understand what you mean by that sort of
high-flown talk.” This was only too true, for Mrs. Geyser, with all
her pretence to metaphysics, had never formulated a definition of
that word “perfection;” she knew little and perceived less in that
very mode of thought to which she made claim as an expert.

Adele’s youthful eyes certainly did show a human-nature-twinkle when
thus called upon to define what should have been elementary to Mrs.
Geyser if an expert; and so very important to remember when “perfect
cures” were claimed in spite of the known imperfections of all other
systems of treatment. Adele never appreciated her college training
more than when she found that she could use the knowledge thus
obtained in reasoning with Mrs. Geyser.

“Well, in metaphysics as well as other studies, perfection is
something like this: it is not only ‘finished in every part,
completed,’ but much more, it is ‘whole, entire, existing in the
widest extent, and in the highest degree--in spiritual relations
_divine_ in character and quality.’ You surely believe this, Mrs.
Geyser!”

Mrs. Geyser made a heroic mental effort to grasp this statement and
answer the question; Adele tried to help her, anxious to share the
very best of her own mental conclusions, her own spirit dominated by
the Spirit that is Holy, to help others and not antagonize.

“Now to me the two words, perfection and divinity, are precisely the
same in significance in relation to our present discussion, and they
both touch the very highest point in reason, the acme of reason. We
cannot go higher than that, can we, Mrs. Geyser?”

Mrs. Geyser acknowledged it was “pretty well up.”

Adele, properly gauging the calibre of her patient by this remark,
repeated the idea:

“No, I can think of nothing higher than perfection and what it
implies. No, not in physics, metaphysics, nor religion. Can you, Mrs.
Geyser?”

The listener seemed somewhat confused, but sincerely anxious to
learn. Adele continued:

“Religion and Philosophy both teach me that Divinity alone manifests
Perfection to the extent your claims call for. No doubt you have
examined into the matter thoroughly, Mrs. Geyser. May I ask what your
key says on the subject?”

The matronly Mrs. Geyser, ever self-conscious, yet trying to be
sincere, immediately directed her thoughts inwardly, to a sort of
self-examination which her system was apt to call for in such cases;
a system of self-examination very peculiar in its operation, as if
trying to detect how-much-of-perfection she had within herself to
be depended upon to influence or exert the Supreme Power to perfect
cures. If anybody ever did try to work out her own salvation (cure
herself) by means of complicated theories distorting good intentions,
it was this earnest woman, misguided by a mist of words applied to
the veritable mysteries in nature, a mystical abuse of the unseen
truths so well recognized by all truth-seekers as mysterious. Thou
canst not tell whence it cometh nor whither it goeth. Mrs. Geyser
seemed worried, but in no way daunted; rather troubled because she
could not state her own case as she thought it should be stated. Very
like a matron indeed, with an enormous bunch of keys at her side, not
one of which would fit.

Adele, also uneasy lest she had not shown that kindness and
consideration in manner and tone for one older than herself, which
the case called for--a case in which the Perfect Spirit alone, the
Holy Spirit of Truth in Love, can do the “perfect work.”

Adele felt this deeply. “What shall I do now? Talk on? No; no more
talk. I hate this rumpus, hate it! but must do something. Never again
will I be caught in such a discussion and controversy. Never! but I
must do something. Poor soul, she can’t even see what she can see.
I wish I could see for her,” and Adele cast her eyes about, as if
looking for inspiration in the surrounding objects.

A book lay upon Miss Winchester’s lap. She had been using it at the
piano in the salon. The title caught Adele’s eye. “Songs Without
Words,” the musical association with the title she well knew, but
now, what?

Her active mind, trained to work by association of ideas, and her
spiritual faculties longing to determine what to do then and there,
the two worked together. If the beautiful art of music she loved so
well could speak without words through the ear, why, surely there
must be a way to speak by--by----

She left her chair, crossed over to where Mrs. Geyser sat, and held
out a friendly hand, her attitude the reverse of antagonistic, her
eyes speaking the meekness which is always followed by the promised
reward. There was no mistake as to the words uttered by those lovely
eyes, they asked first for peace, peace first, then hope, then
charity, showing that meekness which inherits the earth. Herself
illumined by that wonderful light that never was by sea or land, but
sometimes is reflected on the human face.



                                 XV

                    TWO SIMULTANEOUS SOLILOQUIES


The countenance of Mrs. Cultus after this trying scene was a study in
itself. She was attempting to understand her own daughter. Worldly
wisdom was well developed in Mrs. Cultus, and it was fortunate for
Adele that her mother had suppressed dangerous personalities early
in the interview, else the result would have been permanently bad
instead of what it proved to be. Much of what Adele said Mrs. Cultus
had fully appreciated, but not all; not when her daughter began
talking of what constituted perfection, and the consequences. Then
worldly wisdom failed, and the mother regarded her daughter with
amazement.

“The child! What does she know of metaphysics? Yet she talked as
if she knew all about it as well as she knows her own classmates.
She must have studied both religion and science at college. I don’t
wonder they made her valedictorian of her class, to get in the last
word. She is just like her father, intellectual, and I certainly
was with her when she became angry with that woman for not giving
medicine to sick babies. Extraordinary, isn’t it, how some people
can crowd out their natural instincts for an idea--it is not safe
to live, not with such notions. What new-fangled medical schools
without medicine are being propagated! Here are two new ones on board
this ship--even in mid-ocean there’s no getting rid of them. Well,
I’m rejoiced that Adele has not been educated out of her natural
instincts. It is so much safer to be orthodox about such things, and
take medicine; and these fads, why, never bother with fads except
for amusement. Now that telepathic reading we had one night at home
was almost as good as the other evening with hypnotics, both were so
diverting. But, oh! deliver me from these new sciences. Now I mustn’t
forget; I must tell Adele how much I admired her standing up for
old-fashioned medicine and orthodoxy in religion.”

Thus soliloquized Mrs. Cultus in her state-room, while a door,
slamming every ten seconds in the passageway, somewhat interfered
with the continuity of her thoughts.

There was yet another of the party whose estimation of Adele rose
immensely. Paul Warder had overheard the discussion; it gave him an
insight as to Adele’s character which he would have been a long time
discovering, and he felt strengthened himself by the thoughts she had
expressed. Paul was not given to ostentation in religious matters any
more than Adele herself, nor did he feel quite able to discuss such
things even if opportunity offered. He was not so constituted, either
by heredity or education. His antecedents had been of good Quaker
stock, his own affiliations with churchmen, his daily associations
with Doctor Wise, from whom he had heard views almost to the verge of
heterodoxy.

Paul kept his own counsel and, like Adele, preferred to show by
acts rather than words what his principles were. He and Adele were
physically and mentally different, but spiritually not at all unlike.
Without appreciating it themselves at this time they already embodied
that potent yet mysterious combination in nature which affords the
most solid, durable foundation for true friendship, the secure and
real basis upon which marriage should stand. To hear Adele speak her
mind freely, as she did, was a new experience to Paul, an insight
which from its very nature forced him to think about her. It was
one of these incidents in his own life he could never forget, never
forget her nor what she had said.

Paul’s vernacular when he soliloquized was not so Emersonian as
it might have been; if it lacked anything it certainly was even a
suspicion of transcendentalism. No; Paul had a vernacular of his own,
equally characteristic and, from his own point of view, even more
forcible. He still retained some of his college idioms when talking
aloud to the bed-post, and there was in them a peculiar virility.
When he found himself alone after this new experience his youth
effervesced in this style:

“By Jove, what a girl! No nonsense there! And she was right, too; O.
K. every time. How she did pick out the flaws in that queer woman’s
racket. I could see that it was absurd myself, but I never could
have spotted the thing as Adele did and then finally smoothed things
down so well. She must be an awfully good girl. I wonder if a man
can ever be as good as a woman. And these college girls get on to
things we fellows never grasp by the right end, and then they put
them in practice, too. I detest women preachers, but, hang it! I
believe Adele Cultus could preach first-rate if she wished. I hope
she won’t get into the habit, but it is a deuced good thing to be
able to say exactly what you really think when occasion arises. By
Jove, she is a stunner! Take care, old boy, and don’t fall in love
with a strong-minded girl, whatever you do. I never heard her talk so
before, and if it had not been for the provocation given her by that
crank and the preposterous statements she made about all-metaphysics
and no-medicine Adele would never have been roused. No, it was not
that either which aroused her--it was the abuse of the serious words
and what Adele saw differently that roused her. No, that was not
uncalled-for interference, but a regular spontaneous stand-up for
the truth as she saw it. But she must have gone over it somehow
beforehand, in her mind. We fellows always have to peg over such
things, or get the exact words from books, so we can be sure of our
ground. I expect she has a good verbal memory; I wish I had. Science,
religion, and metaphysics all mixed up in the same breath. I believe
she’s right, metaphysics and religion do go together in brain work,
but it’s very dangerous ground for weak minds. Great Scott! when a
bright girl does use her intellect how attractive she can be, and a
fellow can’t help seeing and feeling how lovely she is.”

Why should Paul have been so moved? He had just learned something
well worth knowing of a truly good woman whose intellect worked
comprehensively, not in grooves; one who really knew more than he
did on certain lines, and had the courage of her convictions, the
convictions being precisely what he himself most highly approved,
instinctively and by education. His youth did the rest.

He was attracted to her, as he said, and even more than he thought,
but he was not enamored of her--the masculine desire for possession
had not yet asserted itself; he was being unconsciously led, however,
in that direction. Nature’s preparatory course was on a much higher
plane than was the human style of preparation given by the Doctor to
Mr. Onset. Paul felt beginning to blossom within him such an honest
regard, such a profound admiration for Adele, for her sincerity and
the truth in her, that he was led to “believe in her,” trusted her
perfectly, and was ready to defend her in all things. But he did not
love her in the complete sense of the term under natural laws: the
“for better or for worse” in the supreme sense had not yet made its
appeal, nor had either of them yet seen Aphrodite rising from the sea.

What was Paul’s condition from a purely philosophical standpoint?
He had acquired through Adele’s force of character that which was
far better, the permeating sacred spirit in which all true affection
must rest if it is to endure. Paul was as true in type as Adele. Her
mentality had conquered by manifesting her spirit from within, he
had obtained a firm intellectual belief based upon certain phenomena
in nature. Would the realizing sense of the need of each other
follow? If so, what direction, what line would it take--physical or
spiritual, downwards or upwards, for better or for worse? The blossom
might fall blighted before the perfect fruit was formed.

As a matter of fact they themselves were absorbed simply in the
beauty of the flower as it unclosed, with little thought of else than
the enjoyable present.



                                 XVI

                    COURAGE VERSUS FOOLHARDINESS


While yet thinking about Adele, Paul stood near the stern of the
vessel, overlooking the foamy roadway produced by the constantly
revolving propeller; he noticed the rapid progress made by the ship
which bore him onwards. Looking outwards his thoughts at first turned
hopefully towards the future--towards the region to which they were
going; but soon, very soon, that which was before his very eyes drew
his mind towards the past, suggested by the boiling wake extending in
imagination clear back to the land they had quitted. Yet as a matter
of fact it was neither the past nor the future that was just then
most urgent with a crucial test for him; he was about to realize that
the present is always more urgent and important than either.

Paul stood musing about this luminous pathway which led back to their
native land, their home, yet each moment took him farther away from
such associations, to meet strangers from whom in the very nature of
things he could not expect such spontaneous sympathy as with his own
countrymen.

Phosphorescence shone upon the troubled waters, marking the wake
of the ship for some distance. The sky clear, and in the sheen of
the moonlight details of the white-crested waves could easily be
defined. It was one of those glorious evenings when the seascape
appears artistically perfect, but cold and unsympathetic. Moonbeams
are not inherently sympathetic, they have no warmth, they come not
direct from that source of heat and life which gives the vital energy
to all material things. But to imagination and in idealization
moonbeams may excite or allay fear, and they often give a clearer
vision of what sympathy really is, namely, hope and succor when most
needed. Nature is always kind if we have the spiritual discernment to
appreciate her, but variable according to her own methods.

Paul had but little of the red-hot-heroic in his physical make-up,
nor was he especially romantic, but he did have something a great
deal better. As often with those of his type, his sound mind in
healthy body was supplemented by a keen sense of duty. Moonbeams and
romanticism he could joke about, but underneath the jokes he had most
decided opinions that a fellow ought to help others when necessity
arose, and also his own ideas as to what was practical and what was
foolhardy.

While still musing he could not avoid admiring the scene, and
spontaneously associating it with one he knew could enjoy it; the
picture was complete, ready to be admired. “I think Adele would enjoy
it, she ought to see it. The ship is not going too rapidly, so the
noise of the propeller amounts to little. I’ll go and find her,”
and he turned to seek her whose pleasure was now more to him than
heretofore.

Hurrying away, he had taken but a few steps before his attention was
arrested by a commotion forward. There were voices, then the rapid
patter and scuffling of feet on the deck, then a sharp cry, a cry the
most soul-stirring a landsman can hear when in mid-ocean:

“Man overboard!”

“Which side?” exclaimed Paul, spontaneous.

“Port, sir!”

This caused such a complete revolution in Paul’s emotion that for
an instant he was confused. Like many a landsman, with little fear
of the water itself, yet with little or no practice at sea, the
simplest nautical phrase was apt to convey confused ideas. He could
not on the instant remember whether he should look forward or aft
(as in a theatre) to determine port from starboard on board ship,
and as usual rushed over to the wrong side. The light was bad, the
moon shone the wrong way to see clearly, he rushed back again, leaned
over the hand rail and thought he saw something bobbing about on the
water, but was not sure--only an instant, then could distinguish the
waving arms of some one struggling. The figure was yet ahead, but
approaching, not quite near yet, but about to pass as he looked on.

The situation was painfully dramatic, but from the deck as Paul saw
it not so perilous if actions were prompt.

“Where are those life preservers?” and with pocket-knife he cut
one loose and threw it overboard, then a second, and some smaller
cork-floats. Why several? He did not stop to think, for another cry,
this time from the deep, reached his ear, the cry of a drowning
man. It came sharp on the night air, like a personal appeal, and so
sounded to Paul--a personal appeal, for none could have now heard it
as clearly as he.

This was more than Paul could stand without making instant response.
Two more rips of the knife blade, this time on his own shoe-strings,
off went the shoes, then coat and waistcoat.

He answered with his college call, “All right, old fellow!” then
sprang on the hand rail and plunged headlong into the ocean, a clear
dive from the deck outwards, to find the drowning man.

None but a deck hand caught a glimpse of the youthful figure
springing into space, of course too late for him to interfere. “Two
overboard!” cried the sailor promptly, then giving vent to his own
reflections, “Some blasted fool who wants to do the thing hisself!”
mumbling as he went forward to report.

Increased excitement, passengers calling for help.

“Where was the other man?” exclaimed several voices among a group
coming aft to the new center of interest. “Where?”

“There, ma’am!” said the deck hand, pointing; “he left his boots.”

“Poor fellow!” exclaimed Miss Winchester. “Oh, Adele, what a legacy!
Just think of it, boots!”

The crowd rushed to look at the boots. They were held up for
inspection. Frank Winchester no sooner turned her eyes upon them than
she rushed forward, recognized the coat and waistcoat, and stood
aghast.

“It’s Paul!”

Adele did not move, she seemed turned to stone.

Her eyes were fixed, looking straight ahead, trying to pierce the
shadowy deep, the boundless expanse. The ocean seemed enormous,
terrible, and, oh, so cold, heartless, consuming! “What! There? Lost!”

But she was quiet only for an instant, then seizing any loose
articles she could find threw them overboard, and with strong emotion
invited others to do the same. “Anything that will float--will float!
It may reach them; it may, it must!” and the passengers followed her
example.

More life preservers, several deck stools and steamer chairs then
followed overboard before the enraged boatswain could interfere to
stop their useless efforts.

“Don’t you see we’re b’arin’ round?” growled the old salt. “The
boats’ll pick ’em up. There’s no sea on now.”

“I truly hope so,” breathed Adele.

“They’ve got plenty of floats already,” said the sailor.

“How do you know?” demanded Miss Winchester, nettled at the fellow’s
brusque manner.

“Well, he’s got plenty anyway. Look here!” and it was indeed a great
relief to see the dangling ends of those cut ropes, cut by Paul only
a few minutes before, not insignificant items, for they told of
presence of mind and foresight instead of reckless venture.

A lull followed, while the vessel began to turn in its course.
Several boats were made ready to be lowered into the water.

“Adele,” said Miss Winchester, striving to grasp the situation,
“Adele, I knew he could swim, all right, but, really, really I did
not take him for that sort of man.”

“H’m!”

“He’s very brave, Adele.”

“Perhaps you don’t understand him as well as I do,” and Adele’s voice
betrayed a greater intensity of feeling than she had intended. Then,
as if catching herself before too late, she added in a very different
tone, and casting her eyes towards the center of the ship, where the
officer of the deck was giving directions:

“Frank, he’ll not be left--not if I can help it. Just wait a minute.”

Each had done what she could thus far.



                                XVII

                     TWO RESCUES--AND TWO GIRLS


The turning of the steamer appeared to take an interminable time,
especially to the only two members of the Cultus party who knew that
Paul was overboard. The passengers watched the great curve of foam
left behind as the huge monster crept around in its course. Then
whispers were heard, irrepressible, nervous whispers from people who
could not keep still, and who jerked their hands up and down as if
they themselves were in a dilemma.

“We’ll never find ’em, never! We’re only getting further off! Will
she never turn round? We’re miles away now! Why don’t they steer
straight for where they are?”

“I wish I had my hands on that wheel, I’d yank her around in a
jiffy.” This critic was judging by a cruise he had made in a cat-boat
on Barnegat Bay.

“I hope they’ve got them preservers hitched up high,” quoth a kind,
thoughtful old dame, wearing a knitted hood and shawl crosswise.
“It’s awful important not to be top-heavy in the sea, nor to swallow
too much water; it’s awful salt, you know”--this kind suggestion the
result of experience in a surf bath at Atlantic City.

The boatswain’s whiskers surrounded a capacious grin as he listened
to this sagacious advice, while at the same time he was watching the
great semicircle of foam change to a horseshoe curve, the two ends
converging toward a point in the open. He took a shy glance towards
the bridge, observing what was going on there, and then called out:

“Keep a lookout for’ard! Who’s got the best eyes?”

All strained their necks to catch a glimpse ahead.

The vessel had by this time veered and was ploughing back in a direct
course. Suddenly a beam of light shot out from above the bridge,
illuminating far ahead, penetrating the moonlight, making objects on
the surface distinctly visible.

“The search light! The search light!” and a burst of cheers went
forth loud enough to be heard a long distance.

“Give ’em another, boatswain!” exclaimed the Barnegat critic.

“Those fellows ain’t deaf, give ’em another, boatswain!” This from
the thoughtful hood and shawl.

The old salt looked disgusted, for he had not taken part in this
demonstration, but the advisory committee took it up at once,
cheering again and again, as if the rescue depended upon the noise
they made.

Adele put her arm in Frank Winchester’s and drew her away towards one
of the life boats amidship. The boat was already manned, waiting to
be lowered at the right time.

Professor Cultus and the Doctor were standing near these boats, when
Adele touched the latter on the shoulder.

He turned quickly, something in her manner impressed him, and he drew
her aside.

“Please go in that boat, Doctor Wise.”

“What, you want _me_ to go?”

“Yes, by all means.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Oh, but you will, if you’ll only go.”

“But there’s no reason for my going.”

“Yes, there is. Don’t ask me, but go, please, you really ought to go.”

“Ought, ought to?” repeated the Doctor curious, very thoughtful.

Now Doctor Wise had already learned that the first man overboard
was Mr. Onset, the very man he had frightened by his amateur mental
science treatment. Could the hysteria have returned in some new
form? Was it no cure after all? Could the man have attempted suicide?
If so, didn’t he himself have some personal responsibility from
tampering with such a case? He should have left it for regular
treatment. A successful cure would probably have brought no such
adverse consequences as this; but if unsuccessful who would be to
blame? At any rate he was now identified with Onset on board that
ship and could not remain passive in such an emergency, even if the
ship’s crew could do the work better.

Such thoughts rushed through the Doctor’s mind when Adele told him he
ought to go with the rescue party, as he supposed, to help Onset.

An executive officer was superintending the boat close by, when
Doctor Wise approached and asked nervously:

“Where is the physician of the ship?”

“With the next boat ahead.”

“Then I should like to go with this one.”

“Contrary to all rules,” said the officer, sharply.

Adele overheard this and before Doctor Wise decided what to do she
had the executive officer by the sleeve, holding on firmly.

He politely but forcibly told her to let go and keep cool, but she
would not, not until she drew herself near enough to whisper in his
ear. If he could have seen her eyes he would have listened even more
quickly than he did, but she made her voice speak from her heart.

Those close by only heard the first words, “Doctor Wise will be of
the greatest use, he----” the rest in an undertone.

Several of the self-constituted advisory critics at once volunteered
the opinion that two doctors were not too many for two men overboard.
The title “Doctor” carried its own weight and the rush of events
prevented any questions.

Miss Winchester meanwhile had worked her way through the crowd to
the side of the vessel and was straining every nerve to discover the
whereabouts of the two men struggling in the water. No doubt they
had been sighted already by the officers on the bridge, because the
speed of the vessel had been slackened and the search light kept
in a definite direction, but Frank wanted to see them with her own
eyes, alive and kicking, if possible, especially the kicking, to
make sure they were alive. She thought she saw them, then knew she
did not; she put up her hands to look through the fingers curved to
form binoculars, but this was no better. Then eagerly looking around
she spied a pair of glasses in the hands of a lady. “Oh, excuse me,
just a minute!” and without waiting for a response, took the glasses
without ceremony. Mrs. Thorn let her keep the glasses, but watched
her excited fingers attempting to focus them in the dim light.

The speed was now so much less that boats could be lowered, ready
to be let adrift at a moment’s notice. Miss Winchester saw the
Doctor in the second boat, then noticed a small white spot in the
distance upon the surface of the sea, and while struggling to focus
those “obstinate glasses” on the white spot only made matters worse.
Annoyed, clumsy just when most anxious and impatient, she pressed
her lips together to steady her usually strong nerves, almost biting
the end of her tongue, and lo! the glasses were all right, and into
vision sprang the white spot, a life preserver supporting some one
waving a handkerchief; one end of it was in his teeth and the other
corner was held at full length, not at all unlike a flag of truce or
a “peace-flag” amid all the commotion and excitement.

“Oh, Adele, I see them! He doesn’t seem to mind it in the least.”

“Both?” asked Adele, eagerly.

“Yes! no! yes!--I can’t make out what he’s got. Yes, two! I think so.”

“They’re both there, ma’am,” said a sailor, respectfully. “The
Captain gave orders for each boat to bring a man. He’s seen ’em ’way
back.”

The boats were cast off; they rose and fell upon the undulations
of the mighty deep, now more impressive than when traversed at the
more rapid speed. The tiny boats ascended to the summits of the
white-crested waves and then were hidden in the deep valleys of the
dark sea. Paul, fluttering his little white flag, rose and fell with
them. They approached each other with the movements of a stately
minuet upon the ocean. The fixed lights in the heavens above and the
creeping search light of man below illumined the scene.

When Doctor Wise recognized Paul it gave him an icy chill down
the middle of his back. It will never be known which was really
experiencing the worst chill at the instant, the Doctor or Paul.
However, the Doctor managed to shake himself back into a normal
condition, then stood up in the boat and motioned with a peculiar
movement, knowing Paul would recognize one of their private signals.
Paul did recognize it and gave the reply. The Doctor then felt in his
hip pocket for his whiskey flask--it was all right--and then waited
until the boat was near enough to throw a line; Paul seized it.

The rescued Mr. Warder was found floating in a circular life
preserver as serenely as a duck in a pond. He held Onset tightly with
one arm, while Onset clung to him with both, though safe enough if he
could but have realized it. There was nothing tragic whatever about
either of them, except Onset’s state of mind, which he showed by his
convulsed clasp of Paul.

Paul had taken a great risk, from the popular point of view, but in
so doing had trusted to the good faith of others to aid him and had
not been deceived. Without formulating these facts in his own mind
on the instant, he had acted nevertheless upon the presumption that
the science of navigation was able to meet such a case, and he had
faith in human nature when embodied in sincere men. He had trusted
the truth, and that had made him free to act for the best, as he saw
it; and all this spontaneously, because he had the courage of such
convictions ingrained in his character.



                                XVIII

                  A SENSATION VERSUS AN IMPRESSION


“Why did you do it?” asked the Doctor, as they rowed back to the ship.

“He called me.”

“Who? Onset?”

“Yes. There was no real danger, only some risk.”

“The deuce there wasn’t,” rather surprised at Paul’s nonchalance.

“I knew you would pick me up. Onset floated, but was nearly a goner
when I reached him.”

“What possessed the fellow?”

“I don’t know. He was scared wild when I first saw him, beating his
arms about in every direction. That’s what kept him from sinking,
even if his head went under at times. Got any more whiskey?”

Paul had been in the water only about half an hour, no longer than
during many a previous dip in the surf, but the nervous tension had
been severe.

The Doctor took hold of his hands and found the finger tips were
merely cold, not blue, and as usual the form and vitality of the hand
showed every element of power to give many a good grip yet.

“Ah!” thought the Doctor, “your type can put forth the strenuous
effort if your spirit calls for it, and it does sometimes draw upon
the physical too much; the best swimmers are for this cause sometimes
drowned. Don’t do it again, my boy. When the reaction comes you
require stimulants even more than at the time of exertion,” and he
again gave Paul the flask.

Mr. Onset was similarly cared for in the other boat. When the two
crews came together near the steamer Doctor Wise inquired of the
physician in charge what Onset had to say for himself.

“He says he became giddy and fell over. I don’t believe him.”

“H’m,” mused the Doctor, “weak head and hysterical legs--what will he
do next?”

Once on board again and the steamer well on her course, the incident
produced quite a little sensation, a surface ripple, but very little
serious impression.

Paul, in spite of himself, had to gratify curiosity and explain
details--how he first caught one of the floating deck stools (“the
one I threw over,” said the benign countenance with the woollen
hood), then swam towards where he thought Onset might be, and saw his
head against the sheen on the water, and then kept his eye on the
head while swimming; how it did not seem a long swim, but a little
slow after finding a life preserver to tow along; how he managed to
get the floats under Onset, after first boxing his ears to keep him
quiet, and then ducked into the life preserver himself, “and there we
were until the steamer turned head on and the search light became so
blinding that I could not see what I could see.”

“Oh, you good boy!” again exclaimed the beaming hooded countenance,
who had evidently been reading one of Mr. Frank Stockton’s stories.
“Do tell us, is it true, as Miss Frank says, that you wore black
stockings to keep off sharks?”

“Trousers, this time, madame--trousers! I really didn’t have time to
change.”

       *       *       *       *       *

“All’s well that ends well,” but with Adele it was not the end, much
more the real beginning.

The part she had taken in connection with the case of Onset’s
hysteria, her mental activity during the discussion with Mrs. Geyser
and the spiritual experience she had just encountered in learning
Paul’s decided force of character, made the young woman live and
breathe intensely. Her whole being had been brought into play. She
developed more during that eventful week of their life in mid-ocean
than she might have done in a whole year on land. Not that aught
of her past was lost or ignored, but it was made effective and she
herself made more completely alive. She was now indeed amid the
turmoils of life, where she found herself taking an active part.

The strange and varied motives which actuated many, also the lofty
aspirations and the power to act, seemed very similar to her own
ideals, far more so than she had expected. This took away some of
her own youthful conceit, but gave her a much deeper and stronger
appreciation of things as a whole.

Naturally a strong conviction arose within her that two individuals
with different characteristics, yet harmonious in purpose, must be
able to work better together than alone. She had always felt rather
independent as to any methods she chose to adopt, but now she felt
herself confronted by a whole series of things she could not do, no
matter how good the motive. Paul, for instance, being a man, had done
just what she would have liked to do, but could not, being a woman.
She felt quite able to have done it--oh, yes; she could dive and swim
and keep it up; but somehow, for her to have jumped overboard--well,
don’t do it--foolishness--ridiculous. But Paul could--no foolishness,
nothing ridiculous; in fact, a praiseworthy act, a reasonable risk,
approved by his conscience at the time and eventually strengthening
his character. She began to obtain a realizing sense of the
complementary equivalent in human nature.

Unavoidably Paul rose higher in her estimation. Twice he had shown
himself her equal, perhaps even her superior, not mentally, but
somehow in a forcible manner which taxed her spirit as well as
her intellect to comprehend. He had once proved how her own vocal
accomplishments, so much more highly developed than his, could be in
spirit most potent when made subsidiary to the words and sentiment of
a song; now he had shown that actions are more convincing than words
themselves in spiritual significance. She no longer thought of Paul
as like other men, two-sided, one side good and the other--well, not
so good; but rather as good all round, a really good man. Being an
idealist, she put Paul on a pedestal and took a good look at him.
Certainly he was very sensible and brave, also fascinating, now that
she saw him in a good light.

This was the state of affairs when the crossing of the Atlantic ended
by their entering the Straits of Gibraltar.



                                 XIX

                  GIBRALTAR APPEARS AND DISAPPEARS


It may seem superfluous to observe that the military spirit dominated
every other at “The Gib,” but the ladies of the Cultus party had
little idea how forcibly it would affect them until they were behind
the guns.

Four regiments were quartered at the station--brilliant uniforms
in all directions. Regulation scarlet most in vogue; also “the
sporty Rifles,” parti-colored like paroquets, green predominating;
also Scotch Highlanders in white and flesh tints of nature. Bands
and bag-pipes, fifers and drum corps perambulated the narrow
streets--action, color, martial music in the air--the spirit of the
place exhilarating at first and its activity contagious.

“Look at those red-breasts, and, oh, dear, how very perky!” exclaimed
Miss Winchester, as Tommy Atkins and a group of his chums went
by--Tommy had winked at her when passing.

“Come, Paul, fall in! Keep step! We’ll take that battery just ahead.”

“Look before you leap!” cried Adele, laughing.

“Oh, that’s only a military mote in your eye,” laughed Miss
Winchester, “soldiers don’t mind a small matter like that----” and
she drew the young people off along the crooked street which led
to the hotel, Convent (headquarters), Park and Alameda beyond,
Professor and Mrs. Cultus following in a carriage. As they looked
upward the Rock frowned upon them from a great height, and O’Hara’s
Tower appeared near as the bird flies, but a fatiguing ascent for
those on foot. At the Signal House flags were fluttering, and with
a glass one could distinguish “wig-wagging” in the direction of the
Mediterranean, possibly to an approaching steamer many miles distant,
on the way from that Far East which they all hoped soon to reach.

Life at “The Gib” not forming an integral part of this narrative,
it is enough to recall that during their stop-over between steamers
they were fortunate in assisting at a battle upon the neutral-ground,
after which they attended a ball at the “Convent.” Our interest
just now is to note how well Mrs. Cultus improved her opportunity,
especially after visiting Tangiers.

When at home Mrs. Cultus was a busy member in several clubs,
all fashionably active in good works. She had a pigeonhole
for each particular style of club letter paper, with headings
artistically engraved. Among them, “Politely Civil Club,” “Amateurs’
Topographical,” “Domestic Relief Association,” “Cat Home,” and “Old
Man’s Depository.” Mrs. Cultus doted on cats and variety in good
works, and was determined to prove all things and hold fast to that
which is good. In a spasm of zeal previous to her departure she had
faithfully promised to report from abroad such of her observations
“obtained by travel on the spot,” as might be interesting in
connection with the club work at home. It goes without saying that
both Gibraltar and Tangiers each proved to be a bonanza to Mrs.
Cultus, and she very wisely determined to get rid of the troublesome
business at once.

“I know I can write something better than that communication about
‘Tobogganing in St. Petersburg,’ and as to the one on ‘Seesawing in
Alaska,’ it was a very trivial production. In civil matters it’s
quite as important to know what not to do as what to do, and I
certainly do see here on ‘The Gib’ many things highly instructive to
Uncle Sam in connection with our new colonies. Now, let me see! Let
me arrange my thoughts before writing them out.

“Why, I feel quite an embarrassment of riches” (she repeated it in
French): “Gibraltar! certainly the most cosmopolitan region we have
yet reached, a perfect conglomeration of diversified interests,
and yet they are not at loggerheads; military, also millinery,
costumes very important; not so much commercial as confidential;
financial, with four kinds of currency; national yet international,
geographically considered; diplomatic, aromatic, and ethical; all
substantial problems working in harmony--not a gun fired to keep the
peace, only for salutes.”

Mrs. Cultus’ finished production proved to be in a style
quite unique, what might be called demi-semi-official or
colloquial-realistic, with “side tags” to inform the Club in what
direction the region might be further “explored.” Of course her full
text became part of the archives of the Society, but her opening and
closing sentences were in this case so brilliant that the world at
large should really have the benefit of their luminosity. No expert
in the modern school of English composition had greater appreciation
than Mrs. Cultus of the real value of an opening sentence to attract
attention in the right direction. What she fired off at the Amateurs’
Topographical thus began:

“We are supposed to be in Europe, en route from America to Asia; as
a matter of fact we are in Africa, just across the way. I write from
the Café Maure, in order to get the flavor of the place.” With her
literary feet thus planted on four continents at once, why, of course
the Club knew precisely where she stood, and obtained a glimpse of
the habits and customs of the population, also of Mrs. Cultus in
particular. Her closing sentence was also a masterpiece, this time
of imagery and charming retrospection, all carefully led up to by a
vivid description of the Zok or market place; introducing a group
of snake-charmers at work charming, fascinating to watch, especially
fascinating when the charmers, accompanied by tom-toms and a sana
(tambourine), appeared to eat the snakes.

“It was diabolical,” wrote Mrs. Cultus; “I fled, and called the
others to escape fascination also. We had enough of the Zok and
snakes. Unfortunately, camels were in our way. I had nothing but my
parasol to keep the beasts off. No doubt they too had been fascinated
by the snakes, for a hubbub arose which completely demoralized the
dromedaries. A camel with both humps up and rear legs in the air
and his front legs helping him to scream is calculated to make one
leave his vicinity unceremoniously. We did, we made our exit--_sans
ceremonie_--as I have the profound honor of now doing at the end of
this report.”

And the Society sent her a note of appreciation later on for the
sincere observation and vivid realism displayed in her graphic
report--_noblesse oblige_.

But in the meantime, while the report was on its way home, Mrs.
Cultus, when thinking it over, seemed not quite sure as to its
effect, in fact rather worried.

“I know,” said she, “that my style embodies that happy medium between
dignity and frivolity which is sure to take at the Club, but, oh,
just suppose somebody has described Tangiers before!”

Miss Winchester overheard this terrible conjecture with the keen
interest of a real member of the literary craft, and naturally came
to the rescue of Mrs. Cultus, who was yet a novice.

“Tangiers!--sung about before? Not more frequently than some other
good songs.”

“What song are you talking about, Frank? I sang no song.”

“‘Thou art like unto a flower, O Tangiers! so pure, so white,’ et
cetera. A Morocco rose by any other name will always smell as sweet.”

“Anyhow, it’s Oriental,” quoth Mrs. Cultus, “and that’s what I’m
after just at present.”

Oriental--yes; they had been fascinated by their first glimpse of the
Orient and its surfeit of varied impressions. From this time forward
Adele was continually looking Eastward with great and increasing
eagerness. The shores of the Mediterranean had yet in store for
her some experiences quite as forcible as those of the Atlantic
mid-ocean, but she knew it not. No doubt this had something to do
with her present mood when they came to leave Gibraltar, and she
stood with Paul and the Doctor upon deck, watching the disappearance
of the Rock.

The steamer took a southerly course when leaving port, heading
for the African shore, then bore off towards the Orient, which
was the real goal of their voyage. When passing Europa Point the
impregnable Rock, with terraced fortifications, loomed up in gigantic
proportions; seen edgewise, its decreased width added to the apparent
height. Lofty and massive, it was indeed a Pillar of Hercules at the
Gateway of the Inland Sea.

The steamer passed into more open waters, the Rock rising higher and
higher, as if determined to assert its majesty, no longer a pillar
but a column of Victory, a strong and mighty outpost of Europe,
an advance guard of that domain which lay behind, a bulwark of
defence, a salient point for attack, a formidable diplomatic menace
to the nomads of Africa--“Thus far shalt thou go and no farther.”
And they sailed onwards, out upon the blue expanse of sea and sky;
the landscape receded from view and different objects sank in turn
beneath the horizon. The graceful curves of the Iberian coast faded
away in the background, the mainland of Europe but a thin line in the
distance; the gateway of the Straits soon followed, and the Atlantic,
highway to America and home, was lost to sight. There was naught left
in what they saw to suggest America.

As the ship sailed on, the sunlight pouring upon the sands of Africa
produced a hazy, luminous, rose-tinted mist o’er the Land of the
Moors, the mountains of Morocco blended away amid the fleecy clouds
in the azure of distance.

And they gazed until the sombre outline of the Rock alone remained,
an isolated dot upon the waters. A fisherman’s craft scudded across
the open, the Rock was hidden behind a sail. A sea gull flitted along
the horizon, the Rock was no larger than a bird. The human eye grew
weak in the effort to retain its whereabouts. Could it yet be seen?
Yes, it is there--a mere speck in space! No, ’tis gone! Gibraltar had
disappeared.

Adele, standing between the Doctor and Paul, clinging to the arms of
her good friends, looked dreamily upon the vacancy. In thoughtful
silence this vivid experience in life had become but a thing of the
past.



                                 XX

                         THE ARTISTIC SENSE

                  What is the long and short of it?
                  Art is long, life is short.


After a short tour through Italy, they had reached the Vesuvian Bay.
As Mrs. Cultus expressed it, “Heretofore we have been visiting lakes
and crypts, ruins and picture galleries, and now at last have met
a volcano. It’s really beautiful, I assure you, quite as artistic
as in pictures, and set in a frame of landscape which I don’t
wonder artists love to paint. I feel just that way myself. Oh, it
is so exquisite with these sloping shores! and in the distance that
beautiful Island of Capri.”

Capri, the haunt of so many emperors in art as well as in government.
Capri, favorite of the imagination, one of the enchanted isles,
legendary locality, with its rustic stone ladder to ascend
heavenward. Capricious Capri, with its grotto in blue, whereas
ordinary mortals would be satisfied with grottoes in green.
Picturesque Capri, with rocky foreground, no middle distance
whatever, and several Paradises in the background. Mythological
Capri, ever under the watchful eye of Minerva of the Promontory.
Sportive Capri, with quails on toast, and woodcocks twice a year.
Historic Capri, famous to the antiquary and modern economist;
infamous, but only in days gone by.

All this appeared very mysterious on the morning that the Doctor
looked from Capo da Monti over the Bay of Naples. The island,
enveloped in light mist, hung, as it were, in mid-air between sea and
sky. Adele and Paul were with him.

“Hazy atmosphere,” remarked the Doctor.

“I see violet tints,” remarked Adele. “I love violets.”

“It looks as if the island had no weight,” said Paul; “it might be
blown away by the wind.”

“One of those atmospheric effects,” continued the Doctor, “which
some artists portray with great success because much is left to the
imagination.”

“Then the other fellow imagines what he likes best; safe, sure plan
that; it just suits me,” said Paul. “All the pictures I had in my
room at college had a ‘go’ in them, and I imagined what was coming.”

“Happy the artist who has the art of suggestion. It is a rare gift;
inborn, I think--the power to make others complete the picture by
reading their own best thoughts into it.”

“Some seem to care very little about what they say,” remarked Adele.
“I never could understand why they paint a woman looking at herself
in a glass; one’s back hair should not be the most conspicuous thing
in the picture; and as to those extraordinary soap-bubble-cherubs,
they don’t appeal to me, no matter how well they are painted.”

“What sort do you like?” asked Paul the innocent.

“Why, dancing, of course--dancing on one’s knee--that’s the place
they would enjoy it most, stretching out their arms in play, not
catching flies. Those fly-catching cherubs are just as bad as the
bubblers.”

“How much you’re like your mother at times,” thought the Doctor while
laughing; then audibly: “You’re right, Adele; art never is very high
unless it reaches for something better than catching flies--fleeting
impressions.”

“Then from your point of view,” said Paul, “the technical part and
the science _per se_ may appeal to the physical and mental only; but
if you want a picture to be thought about afterwards, the subject
must speak to the spiritual sense.”

“Well, rather!” exclaimed the Doctor, now getting somewhat excited;
“and more than that, many a well executed work of art has been
utterly forgotten simply because the subject had better be forgotten.
Some artists have actually killed their pictures before they first
touched brush to canvas.”

Adele appeared to agree to this, but said nothing. Paul was not so
loftily mystical in his appreciation.

“Perhaps they belong to the ‘yellow’ school?”

“And have the jaundice themselves?” quoth the Doctor, warming up;
“perhaps, for a bad subject is apt to have bad influence. No picture
worthy the title of masterpiece endures as such unless it possesses
the spiritual element and excites spiritual perception of the right
kind. In the final analysis, the higher spiritual element is the
salvation of any artistic production. Woe betide the artist who
belittles his art by what might be called aspiration towards the low,
and thinks to justify it by a perfect technique! That is a false
position for a true man; for there is but one art--the Art Divine,
which cannot be debased by unworthy association.”

“Of course you mean Music,” said Paul, smiling. “Now you’re off on
your hobby; every man thinks his own hobby the best--his art divine.
You’re just like ’em all, Doc! Look out! don’t measure everything by
your own pocket-rule.” The Doctor paid no attention.

“In other arts than Music,” said he, “the physical association is so
intimate and permanent that the artist has increased responsibility
in consequence.”

“Then greater achievement when he does succeed,” interrupted Adele.

“Possibly, but not probably,” said the Doctor. “I only referred to
music because it furnishes an ideal standard by which to judge of
the unlimited power (of course divine, if unlimited) which may be
exercised through the artistic sense. For instance, Mozart’s ability
to excite pure spiritual aspirations towards the good and true by
means of the beautiful in melodic phrase, was, and is (for he is
immortal), so great that those who yield themselves to his art are
often led to forget even the debased Don Juan (miserable subject),
and have pure emotions and beautiful visions suggested by the melodic
beauty of the music. One might almost say Mozart’s inspired art
awakens the dormant Angel who sleeps within the nature of every man.
You know what we find stated in Rau’s ‘Tone King’ about him?”

Adele drew close to listen.

“Mozart, when on the border land, when his lovely spirit so melodious
in expression could see upwards even more clearly than around and
about him, said something like this:

“‘All work is divine, and raises man above earth. We all love
earthly things, but there are higher delights than these. I, too,
know something of this higher joy of creating. The faculties God has
given me render me happy; but I feel that these powers within me are
capable of fuller development in eternity. To think that my power of
producing something great and fine could cease just when it begins
to rise to the full consciousness of all that might be accomplished,
would be to doubt the perfection of Divine Wisdom--perhaps my whole
being may be absorbed in one flow of immortal harmony, for the
musical spheres within one cannot perish.’”

After a pause, the Doctor asked, with much feeling:

“I suppose you know what all this means?”

“Tell us,” whispered Adele.

“It means that all true art in this life springs from Love Divine,
and aids in bringing life and immortality to light.”

As the Doctor said this the sound of a simple, plaintive melody came
floating upward toward the crest of the hill on which they stood.
Paul went forward to see whence it came.

“Some peasants in the next field; one is singing, another playing a
pipe, before a shrine.”

“Ah!” exclaimed the Doctor; “not the first time that shepherds
abiding in a field have heard music with a spiritual significance.”

“And neither a Mozart nor very fine art,” remarked Paul.

Adele stood musing, then added, in a subdued voice:

“Yes; it is yet bringing Life and Immortality to Light.”



                                 XXI

                    AN ARTIST WITH DOUBLE VISION


They were again overlooking the Vesuvian Bay, Capri still in the
distance, but more distinct, not unlike a phantom appearing and
disappearing as the mist passed by. The intermediate space was much
clearer, more light, better definition, as photographers say.

“Paul,” began the Doctor, “you remember George Le Roy, the artist we
met at Tarpon Bayou, Florida? He is now at Capri.”

“Good!” exclaimed Paul. “A genius if ever there was one. He takes me
a walk out into the country whenever I look at his pictures.”

“‘Art is his religion,’ so he says,” quoth the Doctor. “His palette
and his Bible tell the same story, or something like that.”

“I can’t tell exactly why I like his pictures,” said Paul, “but I do.”

“His pictures speak,” said the Doctor; “they echo the Mind of Nature,
the Voice, yet he never copies a tree or a cloud. You hear something
said to you, yet not a word spoken. Now, Paul, that’s quite as high a
flight for the artist as one is apt to find in figure painting.”

“Oh, I can’t agree with you there. The human form requires far
greater ability to portray; one must depict action, and emotions,
too--in fact, a better draughtsman is required.”

The Doctor took him up.

“No doubt greater accuracy in detail, correct eye for form, knowledge
of anatomy to make the figure plastic, and intense feeling to give
power to convey to others the idea of emotions; but when it comes to
_exciting emotions_ the landscape artist has a field bountiful with
opportunity for spiritual insight and significance--as a matter of
fact, figures themselves need not be ignored, but made accessory.”

“The world and his wife don’t value landscapes as highly as you
do,” remarked Paul, cogitating. “Who ever sees all that in a
landscape?--why, the average man wouldn’t like it if he did see it.”
This somewhat nettled the Doctor.

“The average man! that pretentious individual who always thinks of
himself as Lord of Creation--let him keep on thinking of his physique
and physical comforts. I enjoy good landscapes for the very reason
that they lift one above all that; they respond to something better,
and that settles it for me. I enjoy having inspiring landscapes
always where I can see them; there are precious few faces of which
I can say the same thing.” Then he added, as if mindful of one in
particular: “Some faces never respond; I take to the woods to get rid
of ’em, as I often leave a portrait for a landscape.”

The Doctor was getting roused. Paul detected it and concluded to
laugh the matter off.

“Why not take your piano with you, Doctor--to the woods?”

“I would if I could. Gottschalk did; and others to-day, like him in
that respect, do seek fresh thoughts and sounds direct from Nature.
Saint-Saëns does; he told me so during some talks we had when out
in far east Ceylon; and he is the most notable living expert in
different forms of musical composition, ranging from complicated
rhythmic conceits to serious harmonies well nigh sublime. As to
Edvard Grieg, I caught him in the very act, entranced by Nature’s
strange moods and melodies amid the waterfalls of his beloved
Norway. And Beethoven! ah! there is the real test! Beethoven’s most
profound utterances are but the unadulterated deep sounds and chords
from Nature, both felt and heard when others thought him deaf. His
experience was in the woods of Austria, and if we do not hear now,
elsewhere, when he yet speaks, we do not really comprehend Beethoven,
how he transmuted into another form that which exists in Nature.
Blessed be his name! for he did it that we, too, might hear. And we
call that Art.”

“Well, there’s one advantage about a piano in the woods,” teased Paul.

“What’s that?”

“You’ll be more comfortable, and possibly less moist than the other
fellow.”

“What other fellow?”

“The one who sat on a wet cloud pecking at a harp--ask Widow Bedot.”

Evidently Paul was trying to escape a serious discussion. Fortunately
for both, Adele came to the rescue. She perceived that men of such
different temperaments could seldom see anything from the same
point of view unless it was the result of a similar or simultaneous
experience, and that with Paul the personality of the artist should
go far to promote a thorough appreciation of his work.

“It strikes me,” said Adele, “neither of you knows all that may be
said on that subject.”

“H’m!” ejaculated the Doctor, looking out of the corner of his eye.

“Or else you’re not thinking about the same thing.”

“Give it up,” laughed Paul. “I was with the Widow on that cloud.”

“Then, isn’t it just possible, a wee bit possible, that a landscape
artist himself, Mr. Le Roy, for instance, should know more about such
things than either of us?”

“All right; we’ll visit him,” said the Doctor; “take a run over to
Capri for the sake of our--artistic health.”

“You mean your credit as a critic,” thought Adele.

       *       *       *       *       *

The venerable artist, nearly seventy years of age, gave them a
cordial welcome, his sharp eyes sparkling behind his old-fashioned
spectacles; a man of medium height, with evidently no thought to
throw away on mere matter of dress. His light-colored soft hat
covered a mass of touzled hair, with a few streaks of gray; his beard
was sparse on the cheeks and luxuriant on the chin.

The Doctor looked with interest at his thin hands and his hectic
cheeks; then noticed his forcible action as he walked and talked.
Outward signs of a highly nervous, impulsive temperament were very
pronounced.

“He looks more like an impractical, enthusiastic mystic than ever,”
pondered the Doctor; “even more so than when I met him years
ago--no doubt Italy suits him as he ages in spiritual discernment.
He certainly can give very powerful impressions when he paints,
and to all sorts and conditions of men; how remarkable, yet quite
reasonable, that a man so frail as he should produce such effects of
power. I suppose it is the intensity of his visions which makes him
great. I wonder how Paul the practical will size him up?”

The artist was talking to Paul about fresh air and the delightful
life at Capri.

“Then you paint in the open?” asked Paul.

“Well, yes, and no. Of course, one must go out, but not necessarily
far--all is near at hand. The _paysage intime_, as it was called
at Barbizon, is here, too, as we also found it in Florida. There’s
a sort of unity in nature, and in it we live and move and have our
being. It is a vast thing, that unity, but it is close to us also.
The landscape picture may convey a comprehensive impression very
large, out of proportion to its actual subject. Art, you know, is but
part of the universal-plan, and like both science and religion, must
drop into its appropriate place.”

Paul seemed interested, also somewhat amused. “Fresh air certainly
does surround everything, and no doubt there is a universal-plan
in nature; but why mix up art, fresh air and the universal-plan
in that way?” Paul wondered how a fellow who could paint such
practical pictures, so true to life, should talk so vaguely. “He’s
a high-flyer. I like his fresh air and his pictures better than his
queer sentiments.”

Now, what Doctor Wise especially desired to learn was, not what other
people thought of Mr. Le Roy, but how he himself satisfied his own
keen, analytical sense. How Le Roy worked, not in mere allegorical
figure, but, going directly to nature, discovered and conveyed
something worth portraying. For it was well known in art circles that
Le Roy had slowly gathered together his own theories as to nature
and what nature could give him, and of the Immortality of Art. The
conversation, therefore, took that turn.

“Every artist,” said Le Roy, “has his own feeling, and if he develops
it, may be a great artist in his way; yet, the other schools, the
men with other methods and ideas, may not recognize the merit in his
work.”

“Can this matter of feeling be explained in words?” asked Adele.

“I think so, having made a thorough and complete theory of it. I am
now seventy years of age, and the whole study of my life has been
to find out what it is that is in myself--what is this thing we
call Life--and how does it operate. The idea has become clearer and
clearer; and as we see that the Creator never makes any two things
alike, nor any two men alike, therefore every man has a different
impression of what he sees, and that impression constitutes feeling,
so every man has a different feeling.”

The Doctor’s face lighted up as he eagerly drank in these words. Here
was the “unlimited,” the very thing he had heard so much about--the
unlimited with a vengeance. He knew that varied mentality and
temperament among musicians who were artists often produced discord,
but here was a successful artist of ripest maturity who insisted that
no two artists were ever alike--all received different impressions,
all had different feelings. Evidently everything or anything
might be expected from an artist. “Hurrah for the typical artistic
capacity and temperament; feelings of endless variety and scope,
hence unlimited.” Such was the Doctor’s interpretation--the way it
impressed him.

Le Roy continued:

“As to sitting at the feet of nature for inspiration, that came to my
mind in the beginning of my career. I went instinctively to her, and
drawn by a sympathetic feeling, I put something on canvas. It was not
always a correct portrayal of the scene, but only something more or
less like what I had in mind. Other artists and certain Philistines
would see it and exclaim, “Yes! there is a certain charm about it.
Did you paint it outside?--because if you did, you could not have
seen this, that and the other.”

“Of course I could not deny it, and thought I ought to improve
my method. Being young, I then took it for granted that we saw
physically, and with the physical eye only. What I had to learn was
that a true artist has two sets of eyes: the one physical, the other
spiritual.”

Adele began to be uneasy lest the Doctor should at once claim three
pairs of eyes, physical, mental, and spiritual, one of his own
theories about such things, so she appealed to the artist as quickly
as possible.

“What did you do about it, Mr. Le Roy?”

“At first I tried to paint what I thought I saw, calling memory to
supply the missing details.”

“And the result?”

“The picture had no charm whatever; there was nothing beautiful about
it. I asked myself why it is that when I try to do my duty and paint
faithfully I achieve so little, but when I care little for so-called
faithful duty and accuracy I get something more or less admirable.”

“Oh!” exclaimed the Doctor, “I presume the first pair of eyes is
always imitative, that is to say, photographic, and copies; the
second, artistic or spiritual--but how about the third pair, the
intermediate?”

“Whose?” asked Le Roy.

“The highly intellectual critic’s, self-constituted.”

“Oh, the critic! He always sees more than I do,” laughed Le Roy. “Let
him pass; what I wish to tell you is this:

“Little by little I began to find out that my feeling was governed by
a principle, and I needed to find out the law under which it would
act--the law of the unit, that is, of impression; although I did not
then understand it as such.”

Paul thought this a rather big undertaking, to discover any law which
would apply to all feelings, no two alike. Le Roy continued:

“Landscape is a constant repetition of the same thing under different
forms and in a different feeling. When we go outdoors our minds are
underloaded in some, overloaded in others--we don’t know where to
go to work. We can only achieve something if we have an ambition so
powerful as to forget ourselves and grasp whatever nature may give
from any source; that is to say, one must be up in the science of his
art. To be able to draw what you feel, you must first of all be able
to draw what you see. There can be no true color without true form.
In other words, to create an impression you must have both knowledge
and technique to do so.”

This statement pleased the Doctor immensely, a clear recognition of
the great philosophic truth that in the nature of things science
and art are both essential under the law of impression in order to
produce the best work. Now, what could the artist say about the
higher spiritual element?

The reply came: “If a man could be as God when he is painting outside
(perfection, thought the Doctor), then it would be easy enough; but,
as he cannot, he must fall back on science. It is not possible for us
to establish a measuring point in art--not in a broad, general sense.
Even the early masters of the Renaissance were not always perfect in
technique; they sought sympathy, not applause; and their results
will always remain pre-eminent and authoritative in the domain of
impression.” Le Roy seemed strong in his convictions about this, and
followed up his thoughts with a still more comprehensive statement:
“The worst of it is that all thinkers are apt to become dogmatic, and
every dogma fails because it does not give us the other side.”

“Then it restricts the truth to one point of view?” inquired the
Doctor.

“Yes--and the same applies to all things, to religion as well as to
art. A man who thinks must find a third element besides the science
of his art for his standpoint of reason. There is a Trinity operative
in regard to this.”

All the party now strained every nerve to catch the words as they
fell from the great artist’s lips.

“At one time I took up the science of geometry because I
considered it the only abstract truth; the diversion of the arc of
consciousness, and so on. No one can conceive the mental struggles
and torments I endured before I could master the whole thing. I knew
the principle was true, but in practice it seemed contradictory. I
had constantly to violate my principles to get in my feeling.”

“Purely intellectual effort,” thought the Doctor, “must ever fail, in
the very nature of things.” Le Roy continued:

“I used this mathematical mode of thought as my third, together with
natural science and the art, to form the stable tripod-standpoint of
reason. I found it enabled me to keep the understanding under perfect
control, except----”

“Except when?” interrupted the Doctor, nervously. “Was not pure
mathematics always invariably sufficient to attain stability and
confidence?”

“Except when I overworked myself, then I was mentally tired, _my
spirit not satisfied_--I got wobbly, like any one else.”

“Now what do you do?” asked Adele, in thorough sympathy, her lovely
black eyes, full of intelligence, meeting those of the venerable
philosopher in art.

“What do I do, my child? What do I do?”

“Therein lies the secret of my life.”



                                XXII

                        THE SECRET OF A LIFE


All waited reverently until the venerable artist was ready to
explain. They watched him take off his spectacles and polish them,
so that his physical sight might aid his mental vision, and his
spiritual insight assert its potency. He stepped across his studio
toward one of his superb paintings--a landscape in which a wealth of
rich coloring streamed forth from behind dark, luxuriant foliage.
At first sight “the related masses of color rather than the linear
extensions” was what appealed to the beholder, as if, as a work of
art, it was not intended to instruct or edify, but to awaken an
emotion. Le Roy stood with one hand held forth toward the picture;
his other, as the Doctor noticed, rested naturally, unostentatiously,
upon a sacred volume lying upon a table at his left, as if he wished
to feel in physical touch with that book while he spoke.

“You ask me what I do in the final resort--what I do when both
science and art grow weak and unstable.

“I retire to be alone, take only certain books with me, and write,
applying the principles I have already experienced as true in art
to the purest of all forms of reasoning, theology--religious truths
scientifically stated. Speaking of and with God in nature is the
saving, the salvation of my art. The impressions I then receive
are what you see in my pictures and ask me to explain. That is the
feeling you recognize and the sentiment you appreciate. You see
and appreciate precisely in accordance with your own experience
in personal religion, no more, no less. You are part of the truth
in unity just as I am; we all have the soul for the beautiful, the
beautiful soul within us. One Father breathed into each man when
he became a living soul in beauty of mind and spirit. In a way, I
worship through my paintings.

“I know I have always had this power; all of us, when at our best,
know we have it in some degree, creative or responsive--but I did not
always understand the principles which govern it. Science now assures
me it is the truth. The unit law of impression, you now see, demands
the three in one, Science, Art, and Communion with the Holy Spirit of
Truth, God in nature.

“People ask me why I keep on painting, old as I am, and I answer:
Simply because of a constraining force from beyond me, from without,
something which lifts me higher and higher toward finding the very
best forms of truthful expression. Of course this development must
depend in a measure on physical strength and individual endowment. I
am obliged to watch myself that I do not overwork, and when I grow
weary of painting then I open the Book--the Source of Wisdom. This
gives me the only point of view, except the artistic, which interests
me--in fact, art and religion are very closely connected.”

Le Roy ceased speaking and stood thoughtfully before his wonderful
picture--verily his masterpiece, in that it rose to a height of
spiritual suggestion he had not before attained, and by means the
best he knew. His eyes were fixed upon it, and he seemed to become
oblivious to his surroundings.

Adele drew near, the Doctor and Paul close behind her; the grouping
itself was suggestive. The artist-philosopher, mystic and artistic;
the inquisitive Doctor, sincere and at times metaphysical; the
practical Paul, true and observing; and Adele, an idealist--all
dominated by a landscape utterly devoid of figures.

A pure landscape. The beholder stood upon a moderate elevation, a
grove of trees on his left, the branches covering the upper part
of the canvas. Looking forward, a valley; a village nestled below,
telling of happy homes and playgrounds, and near by the parish
church, where the belfry chimes could almost be heard. Through
openings in the grove and in the broader expanse were cultivated
fields, and faintly outlined was a winding stream meandering off
toward the horizon; the course of the stream broken by woodlands and
far distant bluffs, the bluffs lessening to a point in mid-distance,
where the stream for a time was concealed behind the foliage on its
banks. As observed by the physical eye trained to seek many lines and
complicated perspective it was truly a very simple, modern subject,
embodying little more than elementary drawing. But what had this
great artist seen by spiritual insight dominating his art? What
impression had the Spirit that is Holy, the Creator with whom he
had spoken when alone, revealed to him? What had “the candle of the
Lord,” within himself, illumined?

An early morning, the atmosphere clear and transparent, with fleecy
clouds pure and chaste, late draperies of the flying night, so
delicately refined in form and shade, with light and shadow, that
with the birth of a new day the resurrection from the dawn became
brilliant with color. Every cloud and celestial vista, every
hillside, undulation, meadow, stream, stone, branch, leaf and
leaflet gave its own responsive reflection of the Brightness of
the Coming. Each diversified form was alive with the inspiration
caught and expressed by tints and hues in the harmony of colors. So
brilliant were some of the combinations nature had called for, that
the artistic sense demanded that they should be partly hidden behind
the darker foliage. A vision of this world as it is, yet looking
towards something more beautiful, heavenward. Earth idealized by
the artist’s dream, to a reality too lavish for the credulity of
ordinary experience. None, unless with the artist (he had seen with
the eyes of the Spirit as well as of Science and of Art), would have
credited the glorious impression so simple a landscape could give;
therefore the sombre contrast had been introduced. The artistic
sense had controlled the flight of imagination, and deeper shadows
told each beholder to look within and complete the scenes from his
own experience. Let us approach more closely, and go with the artist
nearer to the inner recesses of the heart of nature.

Among the shadows what had the Spirit suggested? “The place whereon
thou standest is Holy Ground.”

The beholders are upon an elevation, and close at hand in the subdued
light a group of trees, modestly conspicuous among others in the
grove. Vines encircle and climb their trunks, and blossoms glorify
the branches on either side. The central vine is more luxuriant than
the others, and its flowers, tinged with a roseate glow, much akin to
flesh tints in nature.

The vine and its branches are waving in the wind; they take graceful
forms and scatter blossoms at the beholders’ feet. To every lover of
nature and weary one who seeks repose it is a vision of beauty and
rest now, and a promise of rest to come.

The artist seemed especially fond of this feature in his work; his
eyes repeatedly reverted from the glorious coloring he had given to
the sky and the heavens above, to this notable detail in shadow.

“May I ask what flower you intend to suggest?” said Adele.

“A passion vine. It climbs aloft among the ordinary forest
trees; some life-plants grow at its feet; the Rose of Sharon is
in bloom among the shrubs, and I leave to your imagination the
lilies-of-the-valley in the grass beneath. One of my impressions when
alone was, that a cross might have once stood in such a place in the
years gone by, when the mount was bare and bleak; since then nature
has shown her constant kindness, for she abhors the void of bleakness
and barrenness in such a place, and has covered the mount with
lovely foliage. But the vision, the sight and the site of the cross
remain; you may find the suggestion here--it upholds the vine and the
branches, and the flowers are cradled in its arms.

“The cross is conceived as in bloom; and to me all the beauty is
greatly enhanced by one precious significance--the same light in
nature which so brilliantly illumines the celestial cloud vistas also
gives the roseate tint to the flowers upon the cross.”

       *       *       *       *       *

“That is ‘a creation’--by the artist,” meditated Adele.

“Through nature, looking upward,” remarked Paul, pensive.

“The crucifixion itself is marvellously beautiful,” said the Doctor,
“when portrayed in landscape without a figure upon the scene. How
great is genius in art, if it is endowed with a gift for spiritual
impressions.”

Adele put her arm in Paul’s as they walked along, pondering over what
they had seen. “The Cross in bloom, illumined by the Light of the
World. The Divine in Art has both sought and spoken the Word.” She
thought of how the artist had searched the Book of Wisdom; and she
recalled what had long since been written therein about such Words
spoken in nature and in history: “They are they which testify of Me.”



                                XXIII

                     OLYMPUS--COURT FESTIVITIES


Sailing down the Adriatic, the Ionian Isles finally rose above the
bosom of the sea; before them lay modern Greece, with its landscape
and atmosphere still populated with the legendary divinities of
ancient times. Mrs. Cultus adjusted her eye-glasses to catch first
glimpse of Olympus, evidently under the impression that the Mountain
of the Gods towered over Greece much as Fuji Yama does over Japan.
She found it did, but not precisely as she had anticipated.

As to Adele and Paul, they were becoming more susceptible to
impressions subtle, if not mystical, than ever before. Being in the
region of the old-time divinities the influence of those deities at
the Court of Olympus, whose especial duty was to direct love affairs,
began to be felt. So potent was this influence that the lovers became
intensely absorbed in watching for Aphrodite, lest she might rise
from the sea at any turn of the tide. They had heard how, in modern
times, she often arose at other points than Cyprus.

As the vessel proceeded southward, a new Olympus was constantly
discovered and pointed out. This was great sport to Miss Winchester;
such an accommodating guide-book mountain she had not before
encountered.

“How many mountain resorts does our present Zeus keep up?” asked she
of the Captain, a jolly sailor.

“Oh, wherever you see storm clouds around the highlands, there’s some
fun going on.”

“Any court festivities, any Apollo bands or musical sands to
entertain Court circles?”

“Apollo is not popular at this season--since rag-time came in, the
lyrique and doggerel have gone out--the old accompaniment was too
sleepy.”

“But I must hear Orpheus on a lute, or Pan give a toot.”

“Orpheus played last at a ball game,” said the Captain.

“Too dulcet?”

“Not enough wood wind and brassy; the boys said too lugubrious. They
came to play ball, not to shed tears.”

“And poor Orpheus?”

“Went off with an organ grinder; now his name only appears on Club
letter paper and headings for concert programmes. He manages to get
into print, but he never plays.”

“How discouraging to art and musicians! Alas! alas! But apropos of
games, what is the popular athletic sport now-a-days around Olympus?”

“Chasing quinine pills--a caddy holds the pills. You take the pills
and then chase ’em ‘over the hills and far away.’”

“For the health, I presume?”

“Of course; the discus has gone out, but this later game makes more
discussion than the discus ever did. Golf goes first-rate in Greek
costume. You ought to see it. Scotchmen outdone.”

“How about ‘events’--athletic events?”

“Oh, events always occur in the Stadium.”

“Bless me, how exciting! But it sounds very stationary.”

“The victor generally does feel puffed up,” said the Captain. “During
the last Olympiad a local divinity came down (from up the country)
and accumulated such centrifugal force in running that he flew off to
Thermopylæ or Marathon, some outside place or other, caught hold of
the post there, swung himself round and slid into the Stadium in fine
style.”

“What honors did he receive--laurel or oak wreath?”

“Think it was fig leaves,” remarked the sailor Captain, “but I am
not sure. At any rate he was a hero. The town gave him free entrance
to all the beer saloons for life, a new pair of sandals with wings
and honors galore.”

“How appreciative! Discriminating public!”

“Sure! His name was engraved in the most honorable place possible.”

“How was that?”

“At the foot of the list of victors from B. C. 1776, or thereabouts,
to A. D. 1896. He can no doubt stand the honor, but I doubt about the
beer.”

“May I ask his name?”

“Name--his name--let me see, what was his name? It escapes me just at
present. I’ll ask the steward some time, he’s up in such things,” and
the Captain went off to superintend the passage of his vessel through
the narrow channel between the islands and the mainland.

“There’s modern fame!” thought Miss Winchester. “After winning an
Olympiad, to be labeled No. 3672, approx., name forgotten and soon
marked ‘Unknown.’”



                                XXIV

                         THE GODS INTERFERE


While in the vicinity of Olympus it was, of course, quite natural
for the gods to take an interest in Adele and Paul at this critical
period in their affairs. They had heard of Adele as an Idyl--and
assumed her to be an interesting, romantic and possibly poetic little
creature, and in their old-time way of looking at things were far
from imagining what a modern American Idyl might have become.

Mrs. Cultus in turn also had her own ideal. “Those Grecian gods,”
said she, “are so frightfully anthro-popo--something, I forget the
exact word, but it means meddlesome men. If I had my way we would
leave this place at once. Who is Aphrodite, anyhow? I thought Venus
was the most popular at Olympus. Oh, dear, my Greek is awfully rusty.
I wish I had a copy of Took’s--good old Took’s Pantheon was full of
such things.”

Now, unfortunately for Mrs. Cultus, her flippant words flew upwards.
They were heard in Olympus by the great Aphrodite herself, ever one
of the most influential of the Twelve Court Divinities. Hearing
herself referred to in this trivial manner she determined to prove
to this modern woman her potency, and that too by hastening events
before madame and daughter could escape from her realm. The campaign
opened at once.

Aphrodite whispered in Adele’s ear to be sure to make herself
attractive to Paul, especially in personal appearance, for he was
acutely sensitive to certain impressions just at that time.

Adele’s natural instincts would no doubt have taught her that much,
but as she was under the brow of Olympus it is better to call natural
instincts and some other forces in nature by their proper names.

At any rate Adele was thus affected, using every natural womanly
effort to make herself agreeable, and Paul responded with a keen
sense of appreciation. If Adele expressed a desire to stroll on deck,
Paul cleared the deck to give plenty of room; if she wished to rest
after a promenade he hurried to bring two chairs, one in either hand;
if she said the night was dark, he said “ebony;” and if she expressed
admiration for the heavenly moonlight he was ready to agree they were
together in a Paradise.

Things would have worked admirably if some of the deities other than
Aphrodite and some busybodies who hang around Courts and courting
in general had not further interfered. Juno the Jealous and Diana
the Golf-player, both Roman divinities visiting Zeus and his consort
Hera, conceived the idea that the course-links in the game Adele and
Paul were playing were entirely too smooth for real life, and it was
astonishing how many of the lesser dignitaries with their relations
came to the same conclusion. Complications at once arose, since all
were in the secret.

Juno promptly stirred up Boreas, whose special domain was a little
farther round the coast in the Ægean Sea, inciting him to blow great
guns which reverberated from shore to shore across the billows. This
in turn ruffled up Neptune, and in consequence there was a tremendous
commotion in the roadstead where the steamer lay. Neptune’s venerable
locks shone like white-caps in all directions at once.

As to Adele, she admired the sea in commotion and Paul agreed it was
“the most magnificent spectacle.” Adele thought she could stand the
movement, in fact did at first, until the united efforts of Boreas
and Neptune acting simultaneously produced a very peculiar motion of
the vessel, and a diversity of feelings so complicated within herself
that she naturally took to her state-room on short notice. Paul at
once pronounced the weather “beastly,” and the previous magnificence
took flight on the wings of the wind.

Now, with all these divinities conspiring against her, Adele’s
resemblance to her mother was certainly brought into prominence as
never before, and all the romance of her nature seemed to vanish.

Adele in her state-room: “It is a physical impossibility to look
well, much less be agreeable, when things are tossing about in this
frightful way. Where’s my trunk?” and as she reached down to open it,
the trunk slid across the room. Alas, too late! When she raised her
head a new sensation.

“Oh, what’s that? Oh, dear, what a peculiar pain! Call the steward,
somebody. Steward, steward!”

Enter steward. “Yes, ma’am.”

“I’m miserable, steward.”

“Yes, ma’am, take tea and toast and a little porridge.”

Adele, sharply: “Go for Miss Winchester at once, steward. Tell her
I’m--I’m----”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Enter Miss Winchester. “Awful sorry you feel so upset, Adele. What
can I do for you?”

“I never felt so collapsed in my life,” moaned the sufferer. “Now,
tell me, Frank, shall I really die of this or not? Really, I couldn’t
stand a joke!” Miss Winchester smiled when she perceived this
universal symptom.

“No joke? Not even an antique in Greece, good yet? You know what
Ulysses said when he passed this way: ‘You fear you will, then fear
you won’t, and don’t’; that’s what he thought, I’m sure.”

“Frank Winchester, you’re positively heartless! You make me feel like
throwing both you and Ulysses through that port-hole. Oh, dear, dear!
How badly I do feel!”

Miss Winchester did what she could to quiet matters. “No, Adele, you
certainly won’t die on purpose, not just yet.”

“Oh, Frank, what an awful thing to say, when you know it’s really so
critical;” then musing as if of unutterable things, “what will Paul
think of me?”

Now Paul, as luck would have it, was constitutionally opposed to
seasickness even in the roughest weather; and as for Adele she had
never before been so badly affected. “Owing to too much ‘Egyptian
Delight’ and dates,” said Miss Winchester, feeling her pulse.

Paul thought the trouble would prove merely a trivial matter on
Adele’s part. If he had suspected how miserable she really felt
he would have acted differently, but being a veritable tease at
times, he sent her, by Miss Winchester, the following verses from a
newspaper clipping “for consolation.”

Frank proceeded to console Adele by reading these newspaper verses:


                                  I

             “In the steamer, oh, my darling!
                When the fog horns shriek and blow,
              And the footsteps of the stewards
                Softly come and softly go;
              When the passengers are moaning
                With a deep and heartfelt woe,
              Will you think of me and love me
                As you did a week ago?

                                 II

             “In the cabin, oh, my darling!
                Think not bitterly of me,
              Tho’ I rushed away and left you
                In the middle of our tea;
              I was seized with sudden longing,
                Wished to gaze upon the sea,
              It was best to leave you thus, dear,
                Best for you and best for me.”

“In the gloaming,” said Frank, and finished with a deep sigh. Adele
looked unutterable things. “Best keep Paul out of my presence--to
send me such stuff, and just now, too!” The vessel gave an awful
lurch, and a tumbler broke in falling. “Oh, Frank, I feel those
terrible twists again! Is that awful propeller still at it?--it feels
just that way.”

“It will soon untwist, dear--don’t mind; think of the consolation in
those lovely verses.”

“I shall never speak to him again!” said Adele--“never!”

“Oh, yes, you will, and before the moon sets.” Miss Winchester was
thinking of other lovers’ quarrels in her experience.

“Moon!” exclaimed Adele. “If this continues there’ll be no moon and I
will be a lunatic. I have a thunder-gust headache.”

Frank bathed her temples with cologne.

“Oh, how delicious that is! It’s so kind of you, Frank. The Doctor
would say your hand is sympathetic; I think it’s you, Frank. How much
better I should feel if this ship would only keep still one minute,
just one minute, half a minute, quarter of a----”

“That’s right, dear, go to sleep,” and Miss Winchester kissed her on
the forehead as she slept.

And while she slept, one should remember the season when these events
occurred--during the early autumn, the period when summer changes and
a purer radiancy obtains in nature. The compensations of age in the
year supplied the “unthought-of deficiencies of an ardent past.”

Luna, the Italian goddess, was also visiting Olympus at this time.
She was behind a cloud during the pranks of Boreas and Neptune, but
overheard the conversation between Adele and Miss Winchester, and her
appeal to Adele that the lovers’ quarrel should be settled before
she sank beneath the horizon touched her pride as a goddess. Luna
was generally considered cold and purely philosophic and at times
artistic in relation to lovers, but when in her march across the
heavens her pride and power were touched or called in question, she
could see very clearly and influence coming events with great force.
In fact all the tides in mundane revolutions were affected by Luna.

Being a great personal friend of Aphrodite, the two goddesses put
their heads together and approached Zeus. The very sight of two such
exquisitely beautiful creatures of his own creation, embodying both
philosophy and love in league towards one accomplishment, proved
eminently effective. Their anthropomorphous paternal progenitor, as
usual, listened to their request and granted it, his reason for so
doing being markedly paternal in its character. In order to keep
peace in the family while strangers were looking on, Zeus directed
Neptune to cease his uproarious behavior, and sent Zephyr to take
the place of Boreas. Zephyr, well known as the mildest and gentlest
of the sylvan deities, was only too glad of the opportunity to take
his family for an outing at the seaside. He and the little Zephyrs
played with ripples on the waves like children enjoying themselves on
the beach, while Mrs. Zephyr waved the tree branches to and fro when
fanning herself in a hammock beneath. Thus, while Boreas scudded off
with the heavy clouds from above, the Zephyr family wafted in gentle
and delicious breezes below.

Luna looked down, smiling at intervals between clouds, at the result
of her visit to Zeus, and her open countenance, often mistaken for
that of a man, assumed the likeness of a cameo goddess.

While this went on Paul, on deck, was watching the heavens clearing
after the storm, the breaking away of the clouds, the falling of the
wind, the quieting of the sea. Through rifts in the sombre sky he
caught glimpses of a silvery glow in the mysterious depths, the glow
became a radiancy, and darker clouds hurried by in troops, their
places taken by delicate draperies, gauze-like, upon which the
silvery light played in form of a halo.

This celestial scenery riveted Paul’s attention. As the last
shadow-cloud passed away the gauze-like draperies also receded from
view, as a veil withdrawn from before a beautiful face.

Luna of Italy--Queen of the Night--shone forth.

Paul, keenly susceptible and appreciative, became absorbed in
admiration, but such his mood at this time that never before had he
been so affected by the moon’s glory.

“Our harvest moon at home,” thought he, “the merrymaking moon for
lads and lassies, so they say. I like it better for yachting; no, I
don’t, either;--the cozy twosing moon when one feels like confiding
after the day’s work is done. Yes, I feel just that way--in some one
we love best: Yes, I think so, too. The moon which settles things
before the winter comes on--the moon--the--confound it! that moon
knows entirely too much! let me think for myself.” He imagined he
heard a whisper putting his secret longings into words, and telling
him he ought not to live alone--that is to say, not enjoying this
moon alone--no! And off he started, as if something very urgent
suggested itself.

It was Aphrodite who had whispered to him.



                                 XXV

                    APHRODITE RISES FROM THE SEA


In the meantime the quieting of the sea had produced a most
beneficial effect upon Adele. Thanks to the kind ministrations of
her mother and Miss Winchester, the thunder-gust headache had passed
away as suddenly as it came. The steward entered again to open the
port-holes in her state-room; a delicious breeze, soft and balmy,
entered, most refreshing.

“How quickly the storm has passed,” said Adele to her mother.

“Yes, my child, and you had better leave this stuffy state-room as
quickly as possible. I feel sure you will recover as soon as you
breathe the invigorating air.”

“I had a whiff just now.”

“These coast storms are very fussy while they last,” said Mamma, “but
I suppose ’twill be like all those along the Riviera; we often had
superb nights following terrible gusts. You had better get up, Adele.”

“Do you think it safe to venture?”

“Not the slightest risk, not the slightest. I’ll ask your father to
have the chair ready; you can take his arm at first.”

The soft, balmy air was again wafted in through the port, and passed
with healing touch over Adele’s cheek.

“How delicious that is,” and she repeated the line:

                   “Soft as downy zephyrs are.”

Why Adele used the word zephyrs instead of pillows, Zeus only
knows;--it must have been Zeus, not Aphrodite, for the latter seldom
troubled herself about either zephyrs or garments; and yet the
association of ideas aroused in the mind of her mother by Adele’s
talking about zephyrs was most potent in results.

“That reminds me, Adele, I have a zephyr-shawl that is just the very
thing. I’ll go and get it,” and off she hurried.

In the passage outside she met Paul, also in haste, and they stumbled
over one another.

“I’m after a shawl for Adele; she ought to be on deck.”

“Ah! just what I think,” said Paul, enchanted to find matters already
so favorable.

“Her father will bring her up.”

“I shall be delighted; let me.”

“No, thanks very much; but, no, it’s not at all necessary,” probably
thinking of her daughter’s appearance. “But you may arrange her chair
in some protected place.”

“Better than ever,” thought Paul. “I’ll find it; a first-class
protection, to suit us all round.”

When Mrs. Cultus put the shawl around her daughter’s shoulders and
mentioned incidentally that Paul was arranging things for her on
deck, Adele had a violent revulsion of feeling. Still thinking of
those trashy verses Paul had sent her, she felt little disposition
to meet him; then noticed again how stuffy was the air of the
state-room; then her mother insisted.

“But those verses, mother!”

“Never mind poetry,” said Mrs. Cultus, laughing. “Think of what
you’ve done in that line yourself. You’re just like me. I did it,”
and her mother shook all over with amusement.

“What are you laughing at?”--Adele serious.

“Why, my dear, you’ve been singing verses about ‘doves’ and ‘loves,’
and ‘toujours’ and ‘amours’ ever since you began singing lessons. If
I believed half of what you’ve sung in public, I would not know what
to think. Never mind poetry, verses don’t count. Now go on deck.”

“It was half Frank’s fault, anyhow,” mused Adele, “to read me such
stuff when I felt so wretched. Never mind, I’ll have a good crow to
pick with Paul when I get him alone.”

Aphrodite also laughed--one of her most bewitching ripples of
laughter--when she overheard Adele’s last conclusion, and promptly
sent for her accomplished son, Eros.

Eros was a youngster, at least in appearance, but very precocious.
Like his father, the ancient Hermes (Mercury), he was very quick in
his movements, and affected considerable style in his undress, for
a divinity. He even appeared wearing a collar, with the very latest
style of neck-tie, a cordon of blue ribbon over his shoulder instead
of a belt around his waist; which fact often troubled artists and
“fotographers” when they took his “picture.” Being thus ultra, he
carried at times a torch, then again bow and arrows, in lieu of a
walking stick; and sometimes put the name “Cupid” on his visiting
cards, because he said it sounded “cute.” The modern divinities
elsewhere, as well as at Olympus, were much divided in their opinions
about this Eros-Cupid, “modern-antique.” Some said he was a good
boy; others, the most mischievous little urchin that was to be found
sporting around the Mount of the Gods; some contended that the
mischief he wrought showed him to be a charming little elf with his
mother’s dimples and ripples of laughter. Later, some foreigners
dubbed him Puck, but he was never so designated at Olympus, never,
not even by his mother; only by those who never ate apples, the
apples of discord, nor sported with him in the Gardens of Hesperides.

Cupid, himself, however, when among the Romans generally followed
their example and called her Venus, which he never did in Greece.
The Greeks would have been shocked; they were artistic and saw
nothing improper, even under the electric lightning-lights of
Olympus; the Romans merely commonplace, practical, useful. It was
rumored, however, that the pair of them, Aphrodite and Eros, did work
together, as Venus and Cupid even in Greece, on the sly as it were,
when Juno was off with her swans, and Diana gone out fishing; beg
pardon, it was hunting in those days, fishing came in later.

On this occasion Eros appeared in due time, obedient to his mother’s
call. But, marvellous to relate, in appearance quite different from
what Aphrodite had expected. He became visible in his most ancient
Greek garb, his aspect the Beauty of Youth. He bore a flaming torch
which Zeus had given him, the torch with which he had been armed from
the beginning of human experience, the torch which was lighted in the
Garden of Eden. The most youth-full as well as ancient of all the
divinities approached. From remote ages he had been known to exist in
some form, not only as an epiphany or an apparition of youthful life
and beauty, but more than this, far more: the personification of the
principle of union among the disunited elements of the world, drawn
together by that “enthusiastic congeniality of spirit” which is the
basis of all true love; potent among human kind as the power which
operates for that sincere friendship which continues and develops,
ever ascending through the domain of mutual respect and regard, into
the glorious realm of devotion, self-sacrifice. This, the purity of
union among human kind, the purity of marriage, the birth of souls,
the realm of Immortal Youth.

Such was the unexpected aspect of Eros when he first appeared; and
such the significance of his presence.

Being a divinity, in the old Greek sense of the term, that is to say,
a personification of the natural forces and instincts and passions,
he could not appear reasonably in other garb or aspect at this time,
when active in relation to the affairs of such a one as Adele Cultus,
an Idyl, an ideal girl.

Upon Adele, in modern times, the same forces of nature were still
operative as they had ever been since the beginning. Adele, too,
possessed the divine spark or flame, within her, as given by her
Creator Father, and she was both lovely and lovable. Paul adored her
for her beauty of character, and her youthful form as _he_ saw it;
and her devotion to the truth as they _both_ saw it; the true union,
earthly, heavenly, eternal.

Alas, that such a divinity or personification, this original, ancient
Eros, should ever have been dethroned by others less spiritual than
Adele; dethroned, aye, dragged down from the lofty pedestal, the rock
of ages; and his torch of flame become but an urn of ashes to be
scattered by every vagrant wind; he, himself, in time, represented
as a thoughtless wayward child, often as a wanton sporting with bows
and arrows as if at play; and forcing himself where no true affection
exists, not even regard. His unhappy victims deluded, and wandering
in a region of shadows where the light ever grows more dim; alas!
forever failing to enter the realm of Immortal Youth, the realm
illumined by the unfailing radiance of true love.

Yet such are the vicissitudes involving changes and irregularities in
mortal experience, especially in connection with the materialistic
tendencies of modern times, that the original aspect of Eros has
suffered, as with many other similar conceptions. His aspect only,
not the natural forces which he personified; hence, in relation
to Adele, the truth in Eros remained untouched, whereas, his
interview with Aphrodite in this case certainly did illustrate the
deterioration which had overtaken the region of Olympus since so many
of the old divinities have fallen from their pedestals.

The Eros of the ancient Greeks could no longer retain his lofty
attitude and position amid modern requirements, and his behavior in
this instance certainly did demonstrate the deterioration. He became,
in aspect only, by various stages, the versatile modern imp, Cupid,
the Cupid now so often represented as blindfolded, or even blind; and
with or without wings when used for decorative purposes. In fact, he
might easily be mistaken for an all-day-vaudeville performer, or a
cherub brought up upon the latest cereal, so little is left of the
original mythological divinity.

As before noted, Eros responded promptly to his mother’s call, his
appearance as it had been in the beginning.

Aphrodite was struck with amazement, it had been so long since she
had seen him in that guise. It recalled to her the early Grecian
period, soon after she herself had risen, born by the forces of
nature from the foam of the sea at Cyprus; of the time when Eros
(Amor) and the Graces were ever in her train, and she herself the
deity of reproduction and love; of the time when the myrtle, the
rose, and the apple were especially sacred to her, and the dove, the
swan and certain other animals were symbolic of her activities. And
she looked upon him with affection.

“Eros! Oh, Eros! my lovely boy! son of my youth!” and her voice
failed. Overwhelmed by surging memories, some time elapsed before she
could again speak.

“How long, Eros! how long since thou camest to me as now?”

Eros knelt before her as if to receive her blessing.

Verily, no Phidias, or Praxiteles, among the ancients, could have
worshiped by means of the sacred art of their day, and found a better
subject to crystallize in form for the good of future generations,
than this, an Olympian Madonna, a son at his mother’s knee. Maternal
love and the responsive trust and veneration of Youth.

The nearer approach of Eros naturally brought his torch in closer
proximity. Its brilliancy became dazzling, in fact blinding to eyes
long since unused to its power.

Aphrodite, conscious only of the physical inconvenience, placed her
hand before her face as if to shade the eyes. This was enough for
Eros, he placed his torch upon a tripod at greater distance, where
it remained, so near and yet so far; so subtle are the adverse
influences when the physical becomes dominant over the spiritual.

And instantly the natural consequence:

Eros separated from his torch was no longer the same. He had entered
the shadows; his aspect at once changed. His form, still exquisite to
behold, was like sculptured marble, faultless in outline, yet without
the flesh tint, the warmth of color; complete except the illuminating
flame which Zeus had given him.

Aphrodite still gazed with admiration, but, alas! strange to say, his
aspect having become more familiar to present conditions and himself
speechless, she also said nothing; and Eros continued to manifest the
beauty of form alone.

And again the natural consequence:

Aphrodite had called him for a purpose, and must talk with him; must
cause the exquisite form to manifest life, the statue must respond.
And she called him anew:

“Eros! Oh, Eros! why not speak? Come to me from amid those shadows!
Eros! answer!”

Alas, no response.

And again she called him.

He was but a stone.

And again, for the third time.

No response possible.

       *       *       *       *       *

Yet while she waited, a profound and thrilling change did take
place, both in form and expression. Not that Eros spake, but his
form manifested a movement or evolution towards another phase of his
nature. So impressive had he been as a statue of divine suggestion,
that many a Greek would have placed him within the precincts of a
sacred temple as most appropriate locality for his abode. Once there,
his heavenly youth would serve to uplift the hearts of all who beheld
him. Once so conceived, any religion might have felt enriched from
an artistic point of view, to possess him among the treasures of
the sacred enclosure, as a symbol of the countless babes within the
heavenly realm; for “of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

And so Eros now appeared, as a mediæval cherub, a concomitant to
a sacred picture. His religious aspect still apparent, but now as
accessory; and often represented only as “head and wings,” gazing
upwards.

And still he was silent; significant, but silent.

To Aphrodite he seemed as one fading away from her forever, to be
lost amid enveloping clouds; possibly to be appropriated by other
worshipers than those who frequented Olympus. And such would have
been the case if the torch of Zeus, ever radiant, so near and yet so
far, had not still cast some light upon the scene. To Aphrodite, Eros
was still hers, of her, and from her, by whatever name he might be
addressed; and who more potent than she to call him by any name she
chose, any endearing term that sprang from her heart?

“Eros, my own! Eros, my darling! My cherub! surely you wish not to
offend me, and rest gazing at others. Cupid! speak!”

She had called him by his later and modern name; and again the
natural consequence, the final change. Of course he spoke. Being what
he was as Cupid in modern conception, he could not do otherwise, he
could not avoid conversation. Also, his youthful wings commenced to
flutter; and his beauty, never lost since the beginning, made him,
from the worldly point of view, adorable.

But, alas! not as Eros, simply the modern fascinating Cupid. Sad,
also! no longer the Aphrodite of early times, but the Roman Venus
still in vogue; Venus who at once asserted herself by giving orders
to her attendant Cherub. The Cherub carried his bow and arrows, and
the torch of Zeus grew very dim as Venus spake:

“Cupid! you certainly are clever! but you gave me such a shock! I
thought you never would wake up, or speak to me again!”

The Cherub fluttered about her person not unlike a butterfly to
fascinate by graceful movement; the poetry of motion, an admirable
motif for decoration; activity, new sensations; no more, no less.

“Cupid! if ever that occurs again, you will be caught and imprisoned,
imprisoned within a picture gallery, and there you will remain. Zeus
help you! Naughty boy!”

The beautiful winged youth, the spritely Cupid, at once answered:

“I’ll girdle the earth in forty minutes. Catch me, who catch can.”

Venus smiled. Some would have thought this smile “bewitching,” others
could have called her expression “a cynical smile.” But it soon faded
away, and in no degree prevented her proceeding at once to the object
of their interview.

“Cupid! there is going to be an engagement.”

“Ah! then the fight comes later on,” remarked the precocious Sprite.

“Are you ready?”

“Always ready,” and as if to suit the action to the word, he
fluttered in graceful curves, and finally, _en passant_, kissed her
upon the cheek.

“Good. I see you are! You may amuse yourself with bow and arrows when
the time comes.”

“May I respectfully inquire when this momentous engagement is to
transpire?”

“When you see me----”

“Do what, my Lady Venus?”

“Rise from the sea, and give the usual signal.”

The confab ended for the present. Lady Venus and Cupid understood
each other perfectly.

       *       *       *       *       *

A moonlit night and zephyrs wafted in; an easy chair, and no one
looking on. Two in shadow, gazing upon legendary Greece; talking
mythology such as they alone could understand; feeling fluctuations
of quite another kind.

A convalescent lassie, and a sympathizing lad, old friends for at
least a year, it seemed as if from childhood. A timely aid, and a
grateful maid; compliments in words, and nature’s complementary. A
man’s stout heart, and a woman’s tender sympathy, sincerity and truth.

The conditions were favorable.

What else?

A secret, a secret to all but Cupid who stood behind a celestial-rose
bush on the heights nearby, his bow and arrows ready. An event not to
be seen by the binoculars of newsy gossips, nor even perceived by the
mental eyes of inquisitives. All is left to the spiritual discernment
of those who have loved.

What actually occurred during that heavenly evening when they drifted
upon the bosom of the Adriatic, when the stars shone brightly or
when cloud-draperies hid some endearing charm, can only fully be
known to two (and the divinities), these two nature’s lovely, lovable
and loved. But sure it is, before the evening closed, Aphrodite
again arose from the sea, a Vision of Loveliness. Gliding by in her
graceful shell, floating amid foam on the crest of a wave, illumined
by a divine radiance, she threw a kiss of affection, the signal. And
from behind the celestial-rose bush sped Love’s Arrow, borne upon
the wings of the unseen. As this sweet messenger enters the hearts
of those ready to respond, so it was welcomed by Adele and Paul,
reclining beneath the brow of Olympus.



                                XXVI

                         INTERMEZZO--ALLEGRO


Oh, that voyage! From the brow of Olympus, across the Mediterranean,
down the Roseate Sea, the two lovers journeyed. As they skirted the
shore, never did delicate tints upon a sapphire surface give back
more heavenly reflections! Those sunny days, under double awnings,
when none dared look at a thermometer lest he himself should melt
away. Those first-magnitude starlit nights when sleeping on deck,
with glimpses of others passing like spooks in the dark; and in the
distance, on “P. and O.” boats, the invisible friends known to be
there.

The last glimpse of Boreas was in a storm brewing off in the
direction of the Ægean Sea. Some thought they saw him in
propria-persona, gesticulating upon the high cliffs of Candia as the
vessel sailed by in the teeth of the wind, but this individual proved
to be merely a Turkish brigand, one of the gang which infested that
region.

But are not all such minor incidents already recorded in the
chronicles of the Cultus family for publication in future
genealogical records? How at Alexandria the Doctor took little
interest in the modern city upon the island of Pharos, but much
interest in the Ancient Library with no books left! How, since said
Library was destroyed some time ago, Paul and Adele managed to
reconstruct a brand new temple with lamps, incense, and priests--all
complete, to say nothing of singing birds, and vestal virgins each
carrying a sieve instead of a lamp! How Miss Winchester met the Four
Hundred élite of Alexandria at the base of Pompey’s Pillar, and was
kodaked by Paul with the four hundred gamins at her feet, asking for
backsheesh; this historic picture labeled, “Hypatia Addressing the
Multitude. A. D. MDCCCLXXXXIX.” How Mrs. Cultus took in the situation
from a barouche, positively refusing to set foot on the sward of
a country famous for asps and beetles; and also how Mrs. Cultus
announced that Cleopatra’s relish for pearls was in good taste, only
it carried her too far. How the unfortunate noseless Sphynx turned
up her nose, as usual, at all innocents abroad; and how Mrs. Cultus,
when entering the memorial bridal chamber of Cheops, slipped upon
the inclined staircase which leads thereto, and fell into the arms
of a modern bridegroom--a young sheik. How the Professor stood upon
the apex of Cheops and took notes, alternate notes upon lichens
which grew there, and upon Memphis where it once was. Is it not also
recorded among the archives of modern Egypt how, during the period of
occupation of Shepherd’s, cards were left in due form upon Pharaoh’s
mummy in the Boulak Museum; and how Mrs. Cultus received in turn a
scarab, and some little scarabei, of Manchester manufacture, taken
from the left pocket of Pharaoh’s forty-second cousin, after reposing
there since A. D. 1492 (some said from 4000 B. C.)--a slight token
of regard from the Pharonic dynasty to the latest Republic on earth?
Was it not recorded also at the time, in the society column of the
“Pyramid Times,” that “Miss Pearline Cultus and Mr. Adolph Warder
were last seen behind an umbrella on the top of the Pyramid with
their feet hanging over the top step?” probably the most conspicuous
perch on the globe for two lovers.

And above all, was it not also jotted down in the private
memoranda of both Paul and Adele, when passing Mocha and Perim
and Aden, in and out of the gloaming, that the voyage was perfect
bliss, the coffee--nectar fit for the gods, and the coals of
Perim--black diamonds? As to Aden, the much-abused Aden, said
to be separated only by a thin sheet of Manila paper from the
infernal-region-frying-pan--such assertions proved absolutely false.
Aden was a Paradise of fruit and flowers, its reservoir like Lake
Tahoe, and its inhabitants--white-robed angels with Chinese features,
flying hither and thither in phantom jinrikishas. Was it not here at
Aden that Paul had the innocent audacity to open that delicious but
appalling fruit, the dorian, chopping it with a hatchet under their
very noses, only to hurl both dorian and hatchet into the sea for
the delectation of fishes whose noses were equal to the occasion?
And finally, did not the whole party, except Mrs. Cultus, visit
Mother Eve at Djeddah, and find her the most attenuated specimen
of humanity, both physically and historically, that anyone could
imagine, at least forty feet long, aged six millenniums (some say
eight or nine; possibly seven times seven, or thereabouts), with her
toes turned up about two feet? And did they not make the astonishing
discovery which Mrs. Cultus at once reported to the Politely Civil
Archæological Society, that our own Mother Eve was really very dark
in complexion; in fact, quite a fast black (since local tradition
said so, and tradition was invariably exact, if not too exact)?--a
case of proving too much; which wonderful discovery made them all
wonder and debate if they themselves, being white at present, might
not possibly be changed backwards, and revert to original color and
type before entering Mahomet’s Paradise.

       *       *       *       *       *

Youth! Oh, Youth! how many are thy pleasures and privileges, and
thou dost not realize it. Thine the period when all things are
interesting, new sensations at every turn, and little responsibility
to interfere with whims. Go to the circus, go globe-trotting in
an automobile, and take part in the show. Oh, Youth! thine is the
blessed time of freedom, although thou mayst not think so. Thou wilt,
no doubt, hear much good advice, but follow thine own inclinations,
and enjoy the happy privilege of changing thy mind on short notice.
Mrs. Cultus was no longer youthful, but she held on to the privileges
just the same.

“I always change my mind, Frank, when it suits me. I fully intended
to call upon Eva at Djeddah, certainly the first lady in the land,
even if she were only Mahomet’s wife, and not our mutual ancestress;
but, Frank, when it turned out so midsummer hot, with such a brazen
sky, I gave it up. Why, Frank Winchester, I wouldn’t appear in
the condition you were, in that bedraggled gown and hat and felt
slippers--no! not if I really wished to call. That’s wisdom, my
dear; take an elder’s advice. Never hesitate to change your mind,
especially when it suits you.”



                                XXVII

                         INTERMEZZO--ANDANTE

                         _The Royal Route._


_O Science!_ How true thou art! How true thou strivest to be! Yet,
what is not claimed in thy name, when few are the golden gems picked
up upon the limited shore of this single world! We learn of thee,
O Science! through thee! by thee! but ever when we ask of thee the
Bread of Life, thou givest us a stone; and when we ask for a fish,
thou givest us a serpent. From the beginning it has been so. Know
thyself, O Science! thy finite place. Learn even as a little child
sitting at the feet of Infinite Knowledge.

_O Philosophy!_ How noble thou art, to seek the truth in all things
as they are; ignoring nothing in nature, in any province of thought,
word or deed--in Science or Religion. But thou revealest nothing.
Thy intellect is finite--not infinite; thy standpoint mortal--not
immortal. Thou art god-like--but not God.

_O Religion!_ Thou Voice of the Mind of Nature! of Our
Almighty-Father, Creator; accepting all of Truth in Science and
Philosophy; yet, ever speaking of a higher and better life, here and
hereafter. How many untruths have been spoken in Thy name, even spoken
as _ex cathedra_, taking Thy name in vain; yet, verily none can escape
Thee, Thyself, O Thou Holy Spirit of Truth in Love, in the heart of
Humanity--Immanuel, God with us!



                               XXVIII

                            THE AFTERGLOW


Again the shores had vanished, this time Europe left behind, and the
Orient lifting before them. It was after the sun had plunged beneath
the waves, and the distance was illumined with the afterglow; when
the Parsee matrons had retired to rest, publicly, upon the saloon
floors, and some mysterious figures re-entered to recline on deck
in awkward pose, with crooked necks against chairs and skylights,
that Paul and Adele also glided forward, past captain and capstan,
to their favorite spot. Only the prow of the vessel when it mounted
the billows, and a spooky lanthorn aloft, hung in space between them
and the constellations. Together they gazed forwards and upwards,
listening to the thoughts of the stilly night.

“Fond memories for other days,” remarked Adele.

Paul looked round to discover the object supposed to suggest
memories, and then concluded his chair was not quite close enough to
hers.

“There it is,” said she, looking toward the constellation of the
Southern Cross, resplendent in the heavens. “I never shall forget it.”

“Beautiful, each star a gem, all gems; but----”

“I cannot conceive anything more suggestive or more appropriate in
the heavens than that cross,” said Adele.

“I am yet inclined to think that perhaps Orion is still more
magnificent.”

“Don’t let’s make comparisons, Paul. I don’t feel in the mood just
now; that only spoils our present enjoyment.”

“All right; take things as they are,” and Paul looked again at the
constellation.

“See those four stars, Adele; they would make an exquisite pin. Would
you like one in that form?”

“Pin! Please don’t think I care only for trinkets, and at such a
time as this! Please don’t, it only belittles everything;” her voice
betraying a slight trace of emotion.

Paul vowed inwardly that he would acquiesce in everything she said,
so in duty bound endeavored to be philosophic himself.

“There’s nothing like being natural, even when it feels unnatural.”

Adele laughed outright.

“My dear Paul, philosophy never did sit well on you; please don’t.”
Paul felt somewhat subdued, and immediately changed the subject.

“What was it you said you wished to ask me?”

“Oh, yes, about being inquisitive. We’re all getting so horribly
inquisitive that I’ve had a curious experience. I really don’t know
what I think.”

It was Paul’s turn to laugh. “Oh, that comes from thinking too much.
Give it up; we’ve got something else on hand just now; don’t let’s
think.”

This idea seemed to impress Adele rather favorably in her present
mood, but she could not resist the temptation to continue.

“Paul, I really feel that I must exert my will--yes, I must will that
I won’t--no! I mustn’t won’t anything, that is not what I mean. I
can’t untangle my thoughts while talking. Paul, try to help me; you
do the talking.”

“I know exactly what’s the matter with you, Adele; what Frank
Winchester would call your ‘thinking apparatus’ is a little weary,
and I have a sure cure--put it here;” his shoulder being very
convenient. “Now we can talk without thinking or think without
talking; just as you please.”

Adele felt safer, and her mind much less disturbed.

“I’m so very inquisitive,” said she.

“That’s perfectly natural,” acquiesced Paul, who was himself feeling
quite comfortable; “most women, I mean most people, are.”

“Doctor Wise is,” said Adele. “I like to hear him talk.”

“Oh, that’s the way the wind blows, is it?” exclaimed Paul. “I knew
you would tell me sooner or later. I know the Doctor like a book.
He’s the best friend I have in the world; but I’ll tell you something
about him.”

“I don’t wish to know unless it’s good,” said Adele, then paused an
instant; “but I think he can trust both of us.”

“Oh, yes, but the Doctor’s this way; now I tell you this in
confidence. He often forgets how old he is, and thinks we are about
the same age.”

“I don’t see anything very confidential in that; besides, I rather
like these middle-aged old fellows who must wear glasses and won’t
wear ‘specs;’ they keep their youth.”

“You surely don’t like frisky old boys?” laughed Paul.

“Nonsense! People may live many years and yet not be aged. The
Doctor’s not frisky.”

“Nor very slow, either,” laughed Paul. “Only he will persist in
looking backward, and above one’s head, and sometimes inside of one,
while you and I always look forward; don’t we, Adele?”

“Why, of course.”

“Well, then, when we reach his age, we may find some satisfaction
in the other thing, but just at present I don’t feel like it. The
Doctor mixes me up, too, sometimes; even when I understand his words
perfectly. It’s the after-effects.”

“‘After-effects’ is good,” said Adele. “I’ve felt ’em myself,
lately--in my state-room; but even before that, when they talked in
the Sunday-school about Jebusites and Perizites, the most mixed-up
crowd I ever met; almost as bad as those so-called scientists we met
on the Atlantic. Now, I really care more about Porto Rico and the
Philippine Islanders than any of those ancient or modern mixtures;
and to return to what I started with, don’t you think the Doctor
attempts to explain too much?”

“Well, yes--and no. Of course there are some things no fellow can
find out, but the Doctor is not really trying to discover; he merely
tries to arrange after his own fashion what he already has read and
experienced. He really sees much more than most of us, and he told me
he had discovered that fact written in the palm of his own hand.”

“I see he has you well in hand,” said Adele, thoughtlessly.

Paul winced.

Adele felt a slight shiver, and was sorry she had so spoken.

“He has helped me greatly,” said Paul, reminiscent of the Doctor’s
friendship. “I never met a man who tried more to give his friends
something worth thinking and talking about instead of twaddle and
bosh.”

“And that’s just where my trouble comes in,” said Adele. “I don’t
care for twaddle and bosh, but isn’t there such a thing as too much
thinking; I mean too much thinking about too many things? I’ve a
great notion to do something radical.”

“Gracious! You a Radical? What do you propose to do?”

“Change my mind.”

“Don’t do that; it’s too radical! Change your method, or your
climate; but for heaven’s sake leave your mind alone.” And Paul’s
sudden outburst of laughter attracted attention from the night
watchman, who came forward to see if anything was wanted.

“Nothing. Thanks!” answered Paul.

“Oh, yes, there is,” continued Adele; “something must be done. I
cannot undertake to keep up with all that’s going on above, below,
outside, inside and underneath. I used to think so at college, but
now it’s fatiguing. It’s not safe to live with all creation coming
down on you at every turn.”

“I never thought Atlas a happy man,” interjected Paul.

“He gives me the backache to look at him,” said Adele; “and I’ve a
notion not even to listen to philosophers or, in fact, any talk that
involves so many ifs and buts in one’s own mind. Others may enjoy
that game; I don’t. I told Father I detested ‘exceptions’ to rules
when at school, and now it’s worse. I’m getting to think that most
people had best leave such things alone in real life. What do you
think about it?”

Paul felt a thrill of satisfaction run through him as Adele allowed
herself to run on, giving vent to her feelings; and she also felt a
pressure of endearment which thrilled also.

“My dearest,” said he, “that’s the wisest thing you ever thought out
in your life. You’re the most level-headed girl I ever met in all
my days.” He spoke as if both he and she were quite as old as the
Doctor. Then, wishing to be very profound, Paul tried to be eloquent.

“Adele! do you know what you have done?--the most--h’m!--the most
satisfactory thing I could have wished for in life.”

“Nothing radical, I trust, or I probably shall regret it;” her voice
fading away towards the last in secret amusement.

“God knows! The Lord only knows how much trouble it will save
us--after we’re settled.”

“Don’t swear, my dear, don’t swear! I’ve been thinking about it for
some time. It’s the kind of philosophy I really believe in.”

“So do I,” said Paul, his voice betraying strong feeling.

“Not to bother with ’osophies or sophistries, anthropologies or any
other apologies,” said Adele. “I want to live a free, open life--a
life in the open.”

“Take things as they are.”

“Yes, and people as we find them--try to do them good.”

A pause followed.

Paul was striving to grasp within his own consciousness what an
admirable girl Adele was, and how happy he ought to be with such a
true woman for his wife; but such thoughts only confused him. All he
could do was to whisper, more to himself than to her, the old, old
words, “How I do love you, love you with all my heart!”

She heard him, and her heart responded.

“Do you know what _you_ have done?” asked Adele softly, intertwining
her fingers in his. The sympathetic touch, the currents of emotion,
vitality and supreme strength entered his very soul.

“Given me,” said she, “for my very own that which I most crave.”

He bowed his head in reverence, and could not lift so much as his
eyes towards heaven.

“Oh, Paul, do you know what that means? Faith in one to love and
trust.”

He made a movement as if trying to speak, but she grasped his hand
anew, and pressed it.

They did not speak, only thought, and loved each other.

The Southern Cross shone resplendent in the heavens above.

           “Let Nature be your teacher;
              Sweet is the love which Nature brings;
            Our meddling intellect
              Misshapes the beauteous form of things.
            We murder to dissect--
                Enough of Science and of Art;
              Close up those barren leaves;
                Come forth and bring with you a heart
              That watches and receives.”

                                    --WORDSWORTH.



                                XXIX

                      ILLNESS AND HALLUCINATION


At last they had reached the Far East--a new world densely populated
with darker races, dark forms clothed in white or multi-colored
garments; many with little clothing at all. The faces intelligent,
the profiles often more clear-cut and refined than their own. People
who told them frankly that their physiognomy showed “pink faces with
green eyes”--quite a revelation, since they had never before seen
themselves as others see them, from that point of view.

It was at Bombay Mrs. Cultus first encountered the prolific
assortment of “boys,” Khidmatgars and Jadoo Wallahs, punka boys,
and boys from Goa. It did not take her long to grasp the situation,
simply because she purposely kept her own personal assortment
constantly on “the grand jump.” “I must find out what each fellow
can do, but won’t; and what he can’t do, but will. As Paul would
say, ‘This caste-business and somebody else’s business is most
distracting.’”

As to the Jadoo Wallahs and their famous tricks, Mrs. Cultus had set
her heart upon detecting the manner of growth of that celebrated
mango-tree, and in consequence had an experience.

The magician went through his whole performance as it is usually
given, and was about to take up his bush and walk, when Mrs. Cultus
at once exclaimed: “Not so quick, please! You say it grew in ten
minutes; that mango bush?”

“You saw it, Mem Sahib,” said the magician respectfully.

“Then there’s a humbug in that tree,” remarked Mrs. Cultus blandly.

The Wallah seemed a little thrown off his guard.

“Show us the roots! the roots!” demanded Mrs. Cultus, as if giving
orders.

“Pardon, pardon, Mem Sahib! I thought you said a bug was in the
tree;” and instantly the magician’s acting became superb; his whole
attitude changed. One might have supposed he considered it most
unreasonable to ask to see the roots of a tree. Possibly, this one
had roots, but then they might be so small you could not see them.
Who knows what really was there under ground? He didn’t; but he could
take the risk of digging to discover.

Considering the little pile of earth was only six inches high and
stood upon a cemented pavement, Mrs. Cultus told him to “go to work
and dig them up.” And then came the surprise for her; a surprise
which caused her never to forget that she had been in India.

The Jadoo Wallah, taking the bush by the stem near the ground with
one hand, loosened it carefully from the earth. In lifting it into
the air, a half-opened seed, still attached below ground, and the
tendrils of new roots appeared. As the small clods of earth fell
away from these roots, the whole bush from topmost leaf to lowest
root-tendril, was exposed to view at full length. Tremendous applause
followed. Mrs. Cultus was thoroughly nonplussed, mystified; but not
too much to find her purse and pay the Wallah well for his skill and
preparation.

“Those roots,” whispered Adele, “made me feel uncanny when the little
clods of earth fell from them.”

“Bits of string, soiled with moist earth, make very good roots when
seen from a distance,” remarked the Doctor, laughing. “Even better
imitations than the tendrils and flowers in your hat, my dear.”

Thus, during their very first glimpses of India, they realized they
were encountering an intelligent people, a branch of their own Aryan
race, but of dark complexion, and given over to skilful mystification.

Before reaching Calcutta, the physical exertions of the tourists had
been considerable. Mrs. Cultus in particular, owing to her natural
antipathy to a warm climate, seemed to suffer more than any, and
in consequence became seriously ill. One cannot say suddenly ill,
as often the case, although her perambulations at Benares, and
in the vicinity of Patna to visit the Buddha’s bo-tree, had been
quite enough to produce serious results. Her strong nerves and
her persistent determination not to be a burden to others unless
physically incapacitated, carried her through until Calcutta was
reached. Upon their arrival she would have broken down at once
if Western “grit” and feminine curiosity had not again asserted
themselves. She would not give up; not at least until she had
obtained her own impression of the Bengalese capital and Government
House, to be able to talk about them afterwards at home. Then she did
succumb, half-purposely as it were, really when she had left it until
too late.

“If I must take my turn at collapsing, this is a much better place
than some of the bungalows where we were forced to bunk. I might as
well give in and have done with it. Adele, my dear, I really do feel
wretched.” This, when she was already so feeble as to be unable to
stand.

The daughter of Anthony “Grab” Gains, of Colorado, had both grit and
worldly wisdom by inheritance, but she had little suspicion then
that these characteristics could be so forcibly demonstrated, even
while the spiritual element was in the ascendant. This spiritual
element had not before been especially evident--in fact, it had lain
dormant, making her appear one-sided, and often unappreciative of
much that interested her daughter as well as her husband and Doctor
Wise. The Calcutta physician soon pronounced her case important if
not serious, due to over-exposure in regions where malaria of various
kinds should have been guarded against. Evidently few precautions had
been taken; malarial germs of some sort had entered her system; what
particular fever would result could only be determined after further
observation and certain tests. This much the physician told the
Professor.

Mrs. Cultus, who could interpret every change of expression in her
husband’s countenance, and could read his thoughts in such matters
much more quickly than he suspected, took in the exact situation a
few minutes after the physician left her, when her husband entered
and began to potter around her room, anxious, but striving to appear
just the opposite. She noticed him, a little later, take up a bottle
of medicine, tasting it as if he wished to make sure as to its
contents. After he had gone out, she said to Adele:

“My daughter, your father is such a dear man. Do you know what he
did?--tasted that medicine himself first, just to satisfy himself it
was all right for me. Now just suppose it had been poison?”

Adele looked tenderly at her mother, fearing lest the fever had
already begun to affect her brain, and was causing absurd notions.
This proved to be the case. Mrs. Cultus became more and more flighty,
complaining: “My head feels so light; it seems to be sailing off like
a balloon.” Then, again, speaking in disconnected phrases, her ideas
all mixed and inconsequent. Adele concluded she did not always say
what she meant to say, and therefore did not give the impression she
intended to convey.

All of which, being quite natural, was not surprising; only when at
intervals among her absurd vagaries the patient startled them all by
some exceptionally sane remark, indicating a very level head, indeed.
It was then that Adele felt confused, and hardly knew what to do; she
did not understand the case.

Drawing affection led her to put her arm around her mother’s neck, to
place her cheek next hers, and to cherish her. The invalid did not
even whisper in reply, but her tacit acceptance seemed to indicate
that she knew it was her daughter near, very near, and felt her
touch--that was enough. Fevered imagination was thus often soothed by
the reality of love.

“Nothing does mother so much good as to love her; it’s better than
medicine,” said Adele. “It’s very curious how quickly her mind
becomes quiet when I don’t say a word, only let her know with
caresses _how we all love her_.”

When Adele made this remark to the Doctor, he could only reiterate
what Adele and her mother had already told each other by sympathetic
touch. “Yes, the greatest thing on earth is love, the beginning and
ending of the greatest good; and it is indeed a notable fact in
sacred history that Christ made more cures by the instrumentality of
touch, bloodless operations so to speak, than in any other way; in
fact, Christ conquered Science and soared away beyond.”

This assertion seemed to impress Adele most seriously; then her mind
turned towards some particular incident in her own experience.

“I made several cures myself when I was nursing in the hospital. I
cured one of the physicians, a young man, a mere boy.”

“How, may I ask?” The Doctor was very inquisitive.

“Put my first finger on his lips--he knew instantly what I said--‘You
had better not talk so much.’”

“Was he indeed cured?”

“Yes, instantly. He had been rather verdant before, but after his
cure he turned a lovely pea-green. Doctor, physicians ought to look
into this touchy-method; there’s more psychology than medicine in
it--that’s why it cures.”

“What a queer girl you are,” thought the Doctor, serious himself; and
then recalled what she had just said about her mother, “we all love
her,” not “how I love her,” but “how we all love her”; assuming that
her own affection for her mother must be common to all the party.

The Doctor cogitated over this: “I can understand mother’s love,
and its response in all human kind; filial love, brother’s love,
sisterly affection, and much that is implied thereby, they are innate
in all races; but when it comes to thinking and speaking and acting
as if all others are sharing our affection for the one we love in
particular, as Adele assumed, then I think a still nobler spirit
exists, something borne in from without must have been granted
her. She seems even unnaturally good. Here am I looking for this
something-worth-knowing as manifested by races at large to-day, and
I hear much in India about the brotherhood-of-man; yet, right here
under my eyes appears a girl manifesting it in her experience, as if
she knew more about it and its differentiations, truly, than any of
us. Now one might say that each individual loves his own parents,
or ought to; and certainly here in Asia what they call ancestral
veneration does obtain without necessarily much ardent love; but all
that is a very different thing from seeing the very best of one’s
self in others, and acknowledging it--feeling that one is but an
exponent of the good in all, yet without conceit. That appeals to me
as the work of the Holy Spirit in man; one may say unnatural, because
more than natural; and that is to be born again--spiritual rebirth.”

The illness of Mrs. Cultus soon manifested another phase. No matter
how incongruous her delusions or hallucinations might be, her own
character, the principle of her own individuality, always dominated;
the energy which lies deeper than even the manifestation of life,
on which the identity of man and his existence and the continuance
of his existence depend, was never inactive; the principle of
individuality which determines both the form of character and the
physical frame, as well as the connection between them, was never
violated. It was Carlotta Gains Cultus _herself_; from her came the
thoughts. They were not words put into her mind by suggestions from
others.

One of her delusions was that she had lost all her money, her
fortune, and was now in a foreign land among many strangers to whom
she might be obliged to appeal, in case family necessities forced
them to work for their living. From her point of view this was the
direst calamity conceivable. She expressed herself, however, with
that peculiar tact which showed how all the characteristics she had
inherited from her father were rooted and grounded in her very being.
She was talking to Miss Winchester:

“Frank, do you think the people over here would like it if the
Professor should lecture before them? Would he draw good houses?”

Miss Winchester smiled, but knowing full well that Mrs. Cultus could
not be easily deceived, and would not be satisfied by anything
indefinite, answered as if serious:

“Of course, he’d draw, once or twice, on account of his reputation;
but I doubt about keeping it up.”

“Why not, Frank?”

“India’s a complicated place, you know; only Jadoo Wallahs and
balloon ascensions draw intelligent people--h’m!--native crowds don’t
count any more than middle-of-the-road people do at home; now and
again a polo or cricket match, even the theatres are at a discount.”

“Couldn’t we try the Bishop and his set?”

“Certainly; if for charitable purposes.”

“Oh, dear! dear!” said the patient dolefully, “not yet charity, not
yet.” Then in a low, troubled voice: “I suppose Adele and I must do
something, ourselves. What can we do? I feel so helpless, so weak!”
Another expedient soon suggested itself. It was sad to see her thus
frantically trying to think to some purpose; finally the effort was
successful.

“Frank, do they play whist over here?” and then realizing that the
object must be clearly understood: “I could give lessons myself, but
dear Adele, my precious darling! it would be too much for her, she
never took to whist.” The poor woman seemed so serious, the situation
was really pathetic.



                                 XXX

                   CONVALESCENCE AND COMMON SENSE


These periods of hallucination, mingled with very practical
considerations, continued for some days, until the fever ran its
course. Fortunately it is not within the scope of this story to note
the progress of physical ailments; it is more timely to note the
effects upon the mental and the spiritual life of an excellent woman
ever true to herself and to others, even during hallucinations. It
was fortunate also that Mrs. Cultus herself relieved her attendants
of any uncertainty in the matter.

She had just passed through a period of exceptionally vivid
impressions of disaster, when one of those flashes of clearer
perception, before referred to, came to her rescue; whether merely
a reaction from her previous weak condition, or because she was so
thoroughly frightened by what she had conceived as possible, need not
now be discussed. That she did brighten up marvelously and manifest
then and there a permanent change for the better, was a fact. And
again it was Miss Winchester who was with her.

“Frank,” said Mrs. Cultus composedly, and with an air of finality,
“I’ve made up my mind; I’m determined.”

“You don’t say so--good!--about what?”

“To get well, that’s the first thing. I can’t stand this being a care
to others.”

“You are better, I’m sure; much better.”

“Not much as yet, but I can see it. I will be.”

Miss Winchester gave a little start. “See it? see what?” fearing lest
the patient was again off at a tangent after more disasters. But Mrs.
Cultus, having obtained a mental grip upon herself, would not let go,
even if she still felt weak physically.

“Tell me what you see,” said Miss Winchester gently, taking her by
the hand, and continuing to wave the fan she held.

“Oh, Frank! what a terrible thing it would be to be caught in such a
predicament, and unprepared!”

“How, my dear?”

“I’ve been imagining all sorts of things--these Indian beds are not
the best sort for me, I fear; I’ve been imagining--nonsense, of
course, for us--but just think how awful it would be to lose one’s
means of support! be forced to work for a living! and then not be
able to succeed; I mean when the real thing does happen.”

“The world is full of cases like that.”

“Yes, I knew that before; but now I have actually felt it, just as if
it were true in our own case. I was sort of luny all the time, even
when my head floated off like a balloon. I thought it was serious,
and I suffered as much as if it had really been true. Why, poor
Adele--it would have killed me to see her in such hard circumstances.
Adele would have--let me think--I’m wrong! Adele would not have----”

A strange expression came over her countenance, as if something
ineffably joyous and precious was just revealed to her. She closed
her eyes, and evidently was seeing the image of her daughter in a new
light.

Miss Winchester kept on fanning her gently, hoping she would soon
fall asleep.

But Mrs. Cultus’ spiritual discernment had been quickened; and with
it came the real, true conquest over both physical weakness and
mental vagaries. Her eyes opened again, they were clearer than
ever; her voice had a new depth, and was certainly more sympathetic
than before the fever began--it manifested the spiritually melodious
quality in essence.

“What about Adele?” asked Miss Winchester tenderly.

“Oh! I love her so much! She is so much to me; I cannot tell you how
much.”

“We all love her,” said Miss Winchester, innocently repeating the
very words Adele had used when speaking of her mother.

“Yes, I know that, too; no one knows it better than I; but I now see
something about her I never saw before so clearly.”

“Tell me what it is.”

“Frank!--a mystery! Adele _is_ prepared. She is ready for anything
that may happen. None of us need ever fear for Adele, I’m sure of
that; and I can see that she acts as she does because she feels
prepared. I must tell you about her; it is a mystery, yet at the same
time the most practical thing.”

All the positive elements in Mrs. Cultus now seemed focused on the
conviction that Adele was “prepared,” as she called it, for anything,
any emergency.

“She has many to look to,” said Miss Winchester, “more than most
girls.”

“Yes, but I’m not thinking of that. I mean her own strength,
something within herself, something I suppose all girls could have if
they were like Adele. I’m beginning now to understand that--beginning
to understand a little of how she acts and why she does as she does.
Adele could endure and overcome adversity; she enjoys pleasure, more
than any of us; she lives what she believes, and is not afraid of
anything. Do you notice it, Frank, Adele is never afraid?”

Miss Winchester felt a little incredulous, but she said nothing. Mrs.
Cultus continued:

“I never before so well understood Adele, although I am her mother.
At times she talks like a chatterbox, but she never says anything
unkind about people. Perhaps I shouldn’t say ‘never,’ for she did
once give a regular scolding to a rascally brute who was abusing his
horse--a dumb creature that couldn’t retaliate. Adele did speak for
the dumb brute, but that was an exceptional case, and she did right
to interfere.”

“She has my full approval,” remarked Miss Winchester. Mrs. Cultus
continued:

“Then she is interested in all babies--would you believe it?--of any
color. ‘Cherubs’ she calls them if she thinks it will stop their
crying. I heard her one day call a cherub, ‘Cupid,’ and kiss him.
Bless me, I saw nothing attractive in that particular child. She says
she likes babies just as God made them, of any color. Now, Frank, I
call that practical religion, and Adele turns from nothing; she is
interested in all humanity.”

“No doubt of it,” said Miss Winchester thoughtfully, as if recalling
an instance known to her personally.

Mrs. Cultus continued: “But when it comes to talkative religion,
Adele is more conservative, says little or nothing--only acts
naturally what she feels. And the strangest thing of all is----” and
Adele’s mother paused an instant as if she ought to be careful about
what she wished to say.

“What?” asked Miss Winchester, closely attentive.

“Why, she is always so sure, so perfectly sure in her own mind, as if
under the influence of some invisible power--something mystical, you
see, but very practical, too. I never heard her say much about it but
once--you remember when she spoke to that Geyser Science woman on the
Atlantic steamer?--and then she certainly did express herself like a
girl much older, very precocious, to my notion. Do you know what I
think, Frank?”

“No, I can’t imagine.”

“Well, Adele was talking about Christ, and she was perfectly
fearless; you remember how He talked, when only a youth, to the
Doctors in the Temple?”

It was difficult for Miss Winchester to accept this comparison; and
seeing her hesitate, Mrs. Cultus tried to express herself in better
form:

“It seems to me Adele had the same spirit, and that’s what I feel.
Now you remember that Geyser Doctor, who at first appeared so placid,
and talked about what she really knew so little; and then ended
by exploding her ideas? Frank, I shall never forget her, or the
explosion, and its effect on Adele. It was the first, last, and only
time I ever saw Adele in a religious discussion, and I never expect
to see her so caught again; in fact, she told me she would never
indulge again, not if she knew it in time.”

Miss Winchester nodded in remembrance, and was much surprised that
Mrs. Cultus should be able to display so much of her old-time
vigor, when lately she was so weak. “Her spirit is stronger than
ever,” thought Miss Winchester. Another pause, and then Mrs. Cultus
continued:

“I shall never forget that scene, because the child talked as if she
knew personally Him in whom she believed; as if the One in whom she
believed was being misquoted, if not actually slandered, and all that
sort of thing.”

Miss Winchester listened more attentively than ever.

“My dear, the child was right. I can see it all now. A sort of holy
jealousy, because she was averse to hearing anything so misleading
attributed to Him in whom she believed. Now, for a girl to feel that
way means a great deal, a very great deal--it means everything. Adele
was far more than interested; she felt intensely all she said. How
did she do it? Why did she do it? Had the Holy Spirit spoken in her
heart? Frank, that is a mystery! Nobody, I trust, can deceive me
about such things, and I can see so much more than ever now, and in a
new light. Now, I know God is Love, because He gave me Adele, and I
try to love Him for it; and just between us, you and me, myself, it
is going to be very hard for me to give her up, even to Paul.”

Miss Winchester would not have interrupted Mrs. Cultus on any account
as she was thus opening her own heart freely, fearlessly. There was a
beauty in these revelations fundamentally holy.

“One of the strange things,” continued Adele’s mother, “is how
nothing has been changed with Adele since she became engaged to Paul;
just the reverse, her feelings seem even more intense; and her love
for Paul influences her for good in every way.”

Miss Winchester, not wishing to intrude in these family matters,
made an effort to change the subject; but it was of no use. Mrs.
Cultus was too much interested in her daughter’s future to talk of
anything else; while her natural tact was too vigilant to admit of
any indiscretion.

“Adele and Paul,” said she, “with all their nonsense and lovers’
pranks, get more out of their fun than any young people I ever saw.
I’ve watched ’em often. Adele does not give up a thing worth seeing,
and she goes into unspeakable places with her Father and Paul. They
tell me not to worry about her, for she is always equal to any
emergency. I wasn’t so fearless when I was a girl. But Adele is
different. I shouldn’t be surprised if she did get into trouble some
time.”

“Of course she may--that’s where the fun comes in,” said Miss
Winchester, less serious.

Adele’s mother looked up in alarm. “What are you laughing at, Frank?
Has she already been getting into scrapes?”

“Oh, no scrape, but I saw her on her dignity in a little scene at
Benares.”

“What was it?”

“We were in one of the temples, and a young Brahmin approached
her when she was a little distance from us and alone. He was a
good-looking young fellow, and he seemed to know it. What he said I
don’t know, and what she saw wrong in him I can only conjecture, but
the few glances she gave him put him in a different frame of mind. He
certainly changed his manner and bearing as if forced to recognize
some superiority in her. One doesn’t often see that sort of thing in
young Brahmins, or their elders either. Only too often that caste
seems to arrogate to itself a special license to do as it pleases.”

“There! I told you she was never afraid!” exclaimed Mrs. Cultus.
“Adele changed that fellow’s mind by a glance--and a Brahmin at that;
overcome by the use of his own weapons. No, she is fearless. Whatever
she does, she’s never afraid. Very mysterious, yet so much common
sense to make it effective. It is as if--as if--oh, how shall I
express what I want to say in a few words? as if--the truth had made
her free.”

“Why, she must be a veritable Christian Psychologist,” said Miss
Winchester, seriously.

“There is no doubt of it,” answered Adele’s mother, confidently.
“Adele believes in the Greatest Psychologist that ever lived.”

No more was said, and Mrs. Cultus pondered over these things in her
heart. The exertion of talking had fatigued her, in spite of the
increased spiritual strength which had been born of her suffering.
While looking at some flowers which Paul had brought into her room,
their beauty seemed to lift her soul beyond them. Was it into the
region of her own youth, or of Adele’s youth?--or more beautiful
still, the realm of Perpetual Youth? Sleep came nigh.

She noticed that Paul’s flowers were buds just ready to bloom.
There was among them a lily, not a lily of the valley but of the
Annunciation; an Easter lily, double emblem of new life--new life
here, and resurrection into the New Life of Perpetual Youth. It was
the same sort of lily that she remembered seeing in a sacred picture
representing an Angel’s Visit.

As Nature’s Comforter, restful slumber, closed her eyelids in blessed
peace, she seemed to behold herself in the act of giving this lily
to Paul. Miss Winchester heard the whispering as she dozed off:

“Take it, Paul; it is a priceless treasure. This bud in blooming will
sweeten all your life. Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like
one of these.”

Certainly an unexpected conclusion to be reached by the worldly-minded
Mrs. Cultus; but practical, as truth itself is both mystical and
practical. How different the hallucinations during illness and bodily
weakness, from the spiritual experience, the visions of truth which
really conquer physical weakness and rise into the Realm of Perpetual
Youth!

“Verily, a double blessing she gave them,” said Miss
Winchester--“youth here, youth perpetual.”



                                XXXI

                        OFF TO THE HIMALAYAS


During the convalescence of Mrs. Cultus the physicians recommended
that she be taken to a more salubrious climate, a higher altitude;
and suggested Darjeeling in North Bengal near the borders of Sikhim
as an admirable sanitarium. Adele was delegated to suggest it to her
mother. She entered the sick-room in great glee, drawing Paul in with
her.

“Little Mother, we’ve all been ordered off; Paul and I have already
thought of flying upwards to the Himalayas, and now we all must go.”

“What’s that you say about flying away? Who’s ordered it? I didn’t.”

“The physicians,” said Paul much amused. “We need to take the usual
Oriental prescription for foreigners--Vamoose the ranchibus; get out!”

“Do Hindoos prescribe in Latin? What does it mean?”

“To be taken instantly,” said Miss Winchester, laughing, “and all
take the same dose.”

“Where did you say we are to go? Up where?” persisted Mrs. Cultus,
now beginning to enter into the spirit of the thing.

“To the mountains,” said Adele joyfully, “up to Sikhim.”

“Sic ’em!” and Mrs. Cultus’ eyes twinkled. “Is it a hunting scheme
for Paul and the Doctor? Are there dogs up there?”

Evidently mental alertness had returned to the invalid. Adele thought
so, and nodded to Paul:

“Come, boys! get your guns, and call the dogs--I mean your tickets
for the trip; I’ll attend to the rest.”

Paul vanished to make arrangements for the journey.

       *       *       *       *       *

Never did a more interested and hilarious party start northward
towards Kunchingunga; towards the foot-hills of Sikhim, between
Nepaul and Bhootan. From the crest of these foot-hills they hoped
to see the Himalaya range stretching east and west, like unto a
barrier insurmountable, towering aloft into thin air which no man
could breathe and yet live; terra firma supporting glaciers a mile in
vertical height; _terra incognita_, for no man had yet been able to
tread thereon. Region of the seen, yet unseen, because unlivable to
mortals as at present constituted.

No other portion of their tour gave better opportunity to bring out
individual traits of character than this; for nature herself was to
be met in many moods. Professor Cultus suggested that each member of
the party should select a specialty for personal observation.

Miss Winchester jumped at this idea, like a reporter for a woman’s
home journal. She selected the varied ejaculations of the natives;
“grunts,” as she called them.

“Every race seems to grunt differently, and every idol swears
differently. I suppose prayers are diverse also, but the grunts will
be enough for me. We shall have hot-weather sighs, and cold-weather
shivers; torrid zone lassitude and temperate zone platitude; Hindoo
shuffles and Mongolian shrugs, each accompanied by its appropriate
ejaculation or grunt. It is astonishing how much grunting is heard.
Asia is like a Florida razor-back settlement on a large scale.
I shall be kept quite busy; and no doubt myself become quite
accomplished.” Miss Winchester was evidently in high feather, finding
her surroundings inspiring from a literary point of view.

“The Himalayas will suit your purpose admirably,” remarked the Doctor.

“How so?”

“You may write a dialect story on your way--all grunts, and nothing
else.”

Paul thought the subject of the rapid changes from one kind of
vegetation to another would suit him as a specialty. “There ought
to be enough variety in ferns, palms, and natural shrubbery, to say
nothing of tea, quinine and poppies (opium) to excite or soothe as
we require doses.” Paul was evidently hoping to obtain some plants
for his Florida Garden, his winter home, between Pelican Lodge and
the salt waves. There the Pelicans were omnivorous birds, not being
restricted to ordinary pelican diet.

Adele said she expected to be engaged chiefly in “looking up.”

“Not guide-books, I hope?” quizzed Miss Winchester.

“Only when I lie down, to take a siesta; they will serve as a
sedative.”

“Whatever you do,” said Mrs. Cultus, ever practical and worldly-wise,
“be sure to jot down notes. You remember my report on Tangiers to our
Politely Civil League? Memoranda came in splendidly then; I’ve just
received a note of thanks for my ‘communications.’”

“You mean your ‘proceedings,’ my dear,” grunted the Professor.

Miss Winchester at once made mental note of the Professor’s
mode of ejaculation, as indicative of the Occidental grunt in
contradistinction to the Asiatic.

“Miss Cultus is correct,” interrupted the Doctor, champion inquisitor
and note-jotter of the party. “No brain could remember, much less
assimilate, all that we are going to see, without taking notes.”

At this point they were interrupted by the call to take their places
in the railway carriage at Calcutta, for their first four hours by
rail to Damookdea on the Ganges.



                                XXXII

                          THE START UPWARDS


En route from Calcutta, many villages were situated amid luxuriant
bamboos, palms and grasses, where the Bengali cultivators of the soil
worked hard for a portion of the year, and then during the heated
term put in their time loafing, bathing in puddles, and raising
children; some of the children looked as if so raised--in puddles.
Life was known to ebb and flow spasmodically in that region, at times
receding to the very verge of famine, only to return and overflow the
country with abundance. Life was like a candle burning at both ends
in days of plenty, to be followed by total darkness, where skeletons
groped, wailing and gnashing their teeth.

The foliage was luxuriant, and of rapid growth; but not calculated
to endure much strife with wind and storm. Very beautiful, however,
were some of the compensations in nature: when the graceful banana
leaves were blighted by the adverse forces, and fell limp, black,
and apparently useless; in the very act of dying they fell over the
clusters of fruit below, thus protecting their offspring after they
themselves had returned to dust, in some cases cremated by the sun,
ashes to ashes. Many human beings had no doubt sacrificed themselves
in the same way, involving physical and nervous prostration,
since Vishnu was the real preserver, and they were Vishnubs. A
mysterious parallel. Altruism, to a certain degree, exists between
plant life and humanity; and one often hears the natives speak of
the transmigration of souls. Numerous birds of brilliant plumage
flitted about, and rows of paroquets sat on the telegraph wires; as
the natives said, reading and reporting the messages. Did not the
monkeys show great wisdom and skill in constructing bridges of their
own bodies for Krishna to escape by passing over? Surely birds must
know something if monkeys were so wise. So also reasoned the natives,
with variations, each man after his own kind.

Miss Winchester in time took down a number of the native ejaculations
apropos of these things; and Mrs. Cultus, of course, reported all
such facts to her special committee of the “Pet-Monkey Section” of
the “Kindness to Animal League.”

“I did not know that Asia was so kind to animals,” said she. The
Doctor laughed: “I fear it is a sort of ‘touch-me-not, taste-me-not’
kindness.” “More absurd proceedings,” thought the Professor. Adele
did not laugh; on the contrary she was as usual much interested in
children, and these people seemed to her to be in the childhood
period of the human race. “They believe it all,” said Adele, “and so
did I when I was in the nursery; my dolly always talked, and monkeys
scared us both.”

The river Ganges was crossed at Damookdea, in the darkness, on the
steamer “Vampire.” Torchlights upon the distant shore showed the
river to be nearly a mile wide, the further sides rising to form
low bluffs. A huge sand-bar lay opposite the primitive wharf, and
had to be circumnavigated; which was made difficult by the strong
current and the tortuous eddies whirling in many directions. They saw
fishing-smacks etched against the sky, with their lights bobbing up
and down; the nets were carried on enormous bamboo frames which shone
against the lights like spider webs. The prows and sterns of the
boats were pointed and rose high in peculiar curves. The same boats,
seen afterwards in daylight, propelled by a single boatman, whose
form showed against the blue waves, were quite as picturesque as the
gondolas at Venice.

Then all night on the train, crossing the plains, and in the morning
Silliguri, the station at the track’s end, apparently.

Paul proceeded to reconnoitre among the crowds who gathered about
and under the railway sheds. There were officials, indigo planters,
race-course frequenters, Anglo-Saxons and Germans, among the much
more numerous dark-skinned natives.

The preponderance of white garments showed the district to be yet on
the comparatively low-level, but a glance northward told a different
story; woodlands rising in billows of foliage.

Paul beckoned to the party to hasten; his expression an amused
interrogation point.

“The railway has shrunk; prepare to shrink, or you will not be
comfortable in your new quarters;” and he escorted them to the
miniature Himalaya train which stood at the end of the shed ready to
ascend skyward.

Miss Winchester at once dubbed it “The Fly Express.”

Mrs. Cultus, looking over the top of one of the cars and then bending
down to see inside, exclaimed: “Are we really to go up in--that
thing? It’s a big toy, for little children.”

Miss Winchester at once crawled in; then peeping out like a bird in a
cage: “I have already shrunk--it feels quite cozy.”

Adele did not much relish such close quarters, and asked: “Can’t we
ride on top?”

Only the first-class coaches were inclosed; the second-class had low
partitions; the third-class had seats in rows, open on all sides,
covered overhead not unlike American trolleys in summer. The width
of the train accommodated only three abreast, without any aisle;
the car wheels were about eighteen inches high; the car floor, into
which the wheels were set, was only a little over a foot above the
ground. Sitting within, one could easily touch the ground with an
umbrella. The engine appeared like a toy in dimensions, but it was
very powerful; like a strong healthy boy who could successfully pull
or push, but not very effective for sprinting.

“I like that engine,” said Paul, “he’s chunky, but tough; I guess
we’ll get there all right.”

The luggage was carried on platform trucks, covered with tarpaulins;
and this whole remarkable cortége was capable of advancing at the
reckless speed of eight miles an hour.

Some French tourists at once took places in “the first,” hereby
assuming the usual American prerogative to pay more and receive
less than was due. Mrs. Cultus entered the same apartment, as she
required protection on account of her health and some one constantly
in attendance. Thus cooped up, Mrs. Cultus, Miss Winchester, and
the Frenchmen, made a coterie of their own; Mrs. Cultus somewhat
uneasy lest the movement of the train might deposit a Frenchman in
her lap at any moment. The ladies, intensely curious, thrust their
heads through the little windows, like children on an excursion; the
Professor called, “Look out!”

Mrs. Cultus quickly drew in her head.

A Frenchman instantly asked, most politely in manner:

“What have you, Madame? Monsieur said, ‘Look out!’”

“But he meant just the opposite,” quoth Mrs. Cultus.

“Hein! what a diabolical language!”

Miss Winchester here made a double addition to her collection. Adele,
since her mother was comfortably settled, began looking around to
locate herself; she espied a place just suited to her ideas, at the
rear of the train, on the last trolley truck. She and Paul perched
themselves on a good square trunk, and were not visible to those in
front when the Flyer showed symptoms of flying. This resulted in the
Professor and Doctor Wise being greatly puzzled to know “what had
become of those children.”

The whistle gave a Himalaya shriek, and the foremost coaches
commenced to joggle before the “children” were discovered. In the
hurry there was nothing for the dignified elders to do but to
scramble on, as best they could, the same truck with Adele and Paul.

Thus this inquisitive-exploration party commenced their ascent of
the famous Himalayas with a detachment of inquisitives at each end
of the train. Hilarious? who could help being so on the Fly Express,
rushing through the exhilarating air direct from the Himalayas, at
eight miles an hour? when none would wish a moment curtailed; there
was so much to be seen, sitting there on a trunk and looking in the
direction of Kunchingunga!

Adele adjusted some robes taken from her strapped luggage, in an
effort to make her father more comfortable. It was fortunate she
had done so, for the joggle-train began a frightful series of
alternate jerks and bumps. Doctor Wise described its construction
as “articulated,” especially adapted to requirements of the line.
When on a level each car took its own gait, the equipment loosely
hung together to facilitate running around sharp curves; a comical
rattling arrangement more ludicrous than agreeable, until it was
stretched out in making the ascent. Adele seized Paul and her father
alternately in convulsive efforts to hold on.

“I think I’d better get inside the trunk,” she gasped, when a
tremendous lurch threatened to tilt over the whole combination.

It was the last lurch, however, for the train had now struck the
high grade of one foot in twenty-eight, and at certain points one in
twenty-two. It drew itself out to full length, the strong-boy engine
sturdily dragging the apparatus after him.

From the start the lift was perceptible.

Silliguri lies at an elevation of less than five hundred feet above
the sea. Ghoom Station, the summit of the line, is only thirty-six
miles distant, at an elevation approximating seven thousand feet
higher. That this difference should be surmounted in one short
stretch of road was, in its day, a marvel of engineering skill. The
Himalaya spur-hills upon the southern side are often thus abrupt,
hence the topographical difficulties to be overcome by the miniature
railway. The line followed the old cart-road built by the English
Government some eighty years previous, crossing and recrossing,
oscillating from one side to the other to gain distance. Doctor Wise
could not help expressing admiration for those early engineers who
had originally penetrated this region, and had located the cart-road
where the native trails were little better than the trails of wild
animals; and for their later brothers in the same profession whose
skill had adapted rails and motive power to such peculiar conditions.

Adele said she felt herself ascending the mountain “squirrel fashion,
by zigzags, and the longest way round was the shortest way up.”

The train, after a short run through the thick woods, crept out
upon a knoll, and before them opened upwards a superb vista; seen
through a ravine it expanded heavenward; and they caught sight of
a mountain-spur jutting out against the sky, far above them in the
cloud region. It was indented; they could plainly see the dent with
their glasses--it looked as if a roadway might pass through. The
point stood boldly out in space, with clouds beyond; the main range
hidden from view, the impression conveyed was that this promontory
might be near their destination.

“Can that be the summit?” exclaimed Adele; and an answer came to her
in rather an interesting fashion.

While they had been joggling along, a party of civil engineers
connected with the railway, waiting to take the train, had noticed a
pretty girl sitting upon the rear truck, evidently in for a frolic,
and at once concluded it was a good location for themselves also.
They had boarded the truck, and were sitting upon the lower part
quite ready for any innocents abroad, reportorial or globe trotting,
when Adele noticed the railway cut far up on the mountain-side; of
course they volunteered the necessary information:

“Oh, that’s only chilly Kurseong, where passengers begin to sneeze,”
answered the civil engineer.

Adele, also responsive, gave an appreciative mock sneeze at once,
adding she “needed a little practice after being so long down on the
plains.”

“Others take tea for colds,” responded the civil engineer. “Kurseong
tea is, you know, tip-top.”

“Then it is the summit?” quizzed Paul.

“No, only halfway up, when you reach that point; the real summit will
appear as far aloft as that does now.”

“Oh!” said the Doctor, “then, as the Florida ‘crackers’ would say, we
are just ‘two sights’ from the real summit.”

“They measure by sights there, do they?” remarked the Professor. “In
Switzerland they measure by hours; and down in Calcutta I noticed
Hindoos who measured time by the numbers of pipes they could smoke.”

Adele gazed in amazement. It seemed hardly credible that this lofty
point, over one thousand feet higher than the famous view-point on
the Gemmi Pass in the Alps, should be only halfway up, that the
foot-hills of the Himalayas covered with verdure were as lofty as
Mont Blanc covered with snow fields and glaciers. All the party began
to realize the grand scale upon which the Himalayas are built.

“So much for low latitude and high snow-line,” remarked the
Professor. “Now look out for changes in vegetation, races and
costumes;” all of which soon became apparent.

These southern slopes being protected by the high range beyond, and
the low latitude in which they are situated, make it possible to
reproduce the vegetation of all the zones within an incredibly short
distance. The Doctor remarked: “It is as if we were traveling, in
the short distance of about forty miles, from Cuba to Canada.” The
effect as if the earth’s surface had been tilted upwards, so that to
ascend the mountain spurs was really to travel towards the Frigid
Zone; and that the north-pole must be up above them instead of being
in its supposed proper place, the middle of the north. This state of
things, so unusual to Adele, made a vivid impression upon her as they
advanced upwards.

The marshy lands and thatched houses of the type to be found on the
plains, enclosed by fences of matting hung upon bamboo poles, with
mud-puddles for public bathing--all these began to disappear. There
were fewer clumps of tall grasses twenty feet in height with tufted
heads, and of plume like pampas; the mighty bamboo, and the giant
cactus ever grotesque, always on the defensive, even while bearing
down vegetation mightier than itself--these were left below. Soon
there were less fruits, wild mulberries, pomegranates, dates, figs,
lady-finger bananas of delicious strawberry flavor. These became
less and less frequent, although there were still to be seen some of
the five varieties of figs and twelve varieties of bamboos. These
continued with them to an elevation of one thousand feet. What they
now began to admire was the profusion of roses and the luxuriant
boughanvillia with rich dark-red blossoms, much richer and darker
even than in Florida, more akin to that in the Bermudas, or at Hong
Kong. But even these souvenirs of the South passed from view as the
panorama continued to move; semi-tropical luxuriance constantly
giving place to stronger growths. Wild orange, also peaches and
lemons, were seen among the bananas. Banyans with pendant branch
roots spreading the parent growth through the forest; cotton-wood
trees built with buttress-roots, as the Doctor remembered seeing
them at Nassau; and wormwood twelve feet high. Ferns in profusion,
graceful as ever, some of them old friends of the Alleghanies; for
the ferns are the most inveterate gad-abouts, constantly visiting
poor relations in almost every zone and climate.

Here and there were now to be seen terrestrial orchids, vigorous
specimens, holding their own amid the foliage of their adopted
parents, pines, oaks and other hardwood trees--a curious combination.
Persistent bamboos of hardier varieties still obtained; they
flourished along the water courses at the foot-hills, and swept their
graceful curves over adjacent knolls. Such slender growths, although
tough and strong, became too attenuated to support themselves in an
upright position; their immense copious fountains of foliage took
not only curves of ascent like the cocoanut, palmetto, and superb
talipot, but also the return curves of leafy spray ruffling the
surface of the little streams.

Then there were glens and shady hollows decorated with lichens and
pendulous mosses; trailing growths of verdure of countless kinds,
carpets of tiny ferns--some mysterious growths of sombre reds
with vitreous lustre, as well as greens so delicate that they hid
themselves from the direct rays of the sun; not to mention horrible
nettles and poison vines; terrors to thin-skinned visitors, but as
little regarded by the natives as were the leeches in the swamps, and
the pestiferous insects in the jungles. Bad plants, which the natives
said had been bad people in some previous incarnation; hence had been
incarnated backwards and downwards, not forwards and upwards.

Adele much appreciated these flights of fancy among the natives;
they seemed so much like nursery stories when she was in the nursery
herself. She was on the lookout to kodak each new scene, and at times
almost in despair.

“I might as well acknowledge that the Himalayas, like Niagara, cannot
be crowded into a small picture, but some of those crazy cacti I
really must catch; there now is something already posing to be
taken--let me catch him;” and she balanced herself on the top of the
trunk to photograph a large tree festooned with vines suggesting the
doleful tree decorations in some of the cemeteries at home, only more
luxuriant.

“How artistically tearful! How festive-funereal!” exclaimed Miss
Winchester, now with them, having changed places with the Professor
who had gone to Mrs. Cultus.

“That’s where you’re a little off,” said the civil engineer quizzer.
“The botanists would probably call it ‘leguminosa’--have some?”

“Thanks, awfully,” said Miss Winchester with English style and
intonation. “Himalaya vegetables may prove more inviting than that
one looks, but please don’t risk your precious neck to pick them off
the vines.”

The English engineer said that he did not propose to die before
reaching the Sanitarium, which remark seemed to strike the Doctor
as “not bad, for a colonial living in a warm climate.” So Adele
settled the matter by kodaking the whole party overshadowed by the
artistically-tearful funereal-festive vegetable-vine.

Near this locality the track indulged in numerous twists and turns,
squirming like a huge snake encircling the mountain spur. The train
slid out to the verge of a precipice, and then backed off, just
before the crash came.

“What a narrow escape!” exclaimed Mrs. Cultus, “I felt as if well
shaken, and was about to be taken. I hope to goodness they won’t do
it again”--but they did.

They were now rounding a projecting knoll, before passing through a
short cut; they then crept under a bridge which, curious to relate,
they crossed over hardly a minute later. These engineering gymnastics
were utterly preposterous to our explorers.

“Has the train lost its way?” laughed Adele. “Where are we? What
next?”

“If I don’t fly off like a bird,” said Miss Winchester, “I expect to
enter the bowels of the earth and be a gnome; that will surely be my
next incarnation.”

“I prefer the bird,” remarked Adele.

“Which? parrot or peacock? India’s choice. Considering altitude and
climate, I think a gnome will suit me. What will you be, Paul?”

“Oh, leave things as they are.”

“But you’ve got to be something if in India,” persisted Miss
Winchester.

“Rats!” exclaimed Paul, “as lief as anything else--what nonsense you
are talking!”

“There’s method in this railway madness,” suggested the civil
engineer; and he showed them some rough sketches he had hurriedly
made illustrating the series of loops and zigzags the line had
followed between Tindharia and Gumti. “How is that for horseshoe
curves, mule-shoes, and other adaptations to the requirements of the
road--‘feats of engineering’ we call them.” The Englishman was trying
to be facetious.

The lines he had drawn were curious. Paul said they reminded him of
the marks left upon the surface of ice by an expert-fancy skater.
Miss Winchester said she could use them for an embroidery pattern,
the art of embroidery being one of her favorite occupations. The
Doctor said they reminded him of a fly travelling over an orange
to find out what it was like. Adele said they reminded her of
exactly what they represented, only now she had a bird’s-eye view
looking down on the whole thing. “I understand it now, but until I
saw this drawing I did feel all twisted up.” Curious, indeed, was
the association of ideas, each traveller finding suggested by the
engineer’s drawing his own tastes, or the memory of some previous
experience.

Still higher up, say between four and six thousand feet, the
Americans felt really quite at home in the woods; no matter what part
of the Middle or Northern States they might have come from there were
glimpses to remind them of home; not unlike the loftier parts of the
Alleghany range as seen from Blowing Rock, or Cloudland in the Land
of the Sky (North and South Carolina), also glimpses suggesting the
magnificent distant scenery of Colorado, and even of the Northwest
Rockies; but in every case with much greater luxuriance of foliage,
and a realizing sense that they were only on the foot-hills, the
first steps leading to the Celestial region, still away up and beyond.

Adele searched in her pocket and brought forth her little
Stars-and-Stripes badge, and pinned it on her left shoulder. It took
very little to make Adele show her colors, and just here where the
woods were full of oaks, hemlocks, maples and many other trees which
reminded her of home, she concluded this was the proper time to bring
out the pocket edition of Old Glory.

The Englishman wondered why she selected that particular time to
do such a thing; it seemed such a superfluous proceeding. He would
have scorned the idea if he had known that she associated oaks with
America in particular. As it was he could not suppress his curiosity.

“May I ask why you show your colors?”

“Because here I feel quite at home.”

“Oh, you Americans think the States take in all creation, don’t you?”

“Well, pretty much; but this is the Queen’s Empire--we admire the
Queen immensely, she’s a home-body; and personally I quite envy her.”

“No doubt she would appreciate your appreciation,” remarked the
Englishman, again touching the facetious. “May I ask why you envy
her?”

“We are going into the expansion business ourselves: the Queen knows
all about it.”

“Once you are in, you’ll wish you were out.”

“You made a success; why shouldn’t we? Of course we’ll add some
improvements.”

The Englishman laughed heartily. “What do you call success?”

“Making people feel at home,” said Adele.

“And the improvements--some new ’ism or religion, I suppose?”

“Every man to his own religion,” said Adele; “it’s the same as with
one’s own home. Religion ought to suit one’s nature as your home
suits your life.”

“These people have a great variety of religion,” remarked the
Englishman.

“There seems to be no lack,” said Adele, “but really I don’t know
yet. I can’t say that I have really worshiped with them, according to
their ritual here in their own homes.”

“Well, I wish you joy, but really I don’t understand fully yet as to
your idea of home here. I don’t feel at home; we all go back to our
homes--Merry England.”

“That’s not what I mean,” said Adele; “this region is the most
extraordinary home-country I ever saw, even more so than our own
mixed-up country, and that’s saying a great deal.”

“I don’t understand yet,” said the Briton.

“Why, it’s this way, I feel perfectly at home in these woods; the
Hindoos were just as much at home a few miles back; the place seems
to suit all sorts and conditions of different civilizations, not
one civilization only; and the Queen lets them live at home here in
peace.”

“They fight like cats and dogs,” said the engineer promptly. “We have
the devil’s own time to keep the home, as you call it, quiet.”

“It must be the children that cut up so,” laughed Adele. “Every home
is supposed to have its nursery--the world no doubt has; people often
call Asia the cradle of the human race. This seems to me to be like
God’s nursery.”

“And England’s the nurse!” shouted the Briton.

“Yes, that’s about it.”

“Well, here comes another baby, fresh from the woods, to be taken
into the nursery. What do you think of this precious babe? I hand her
over to you.”

What Adele saw for the first time was a large, stout Mongolian woman,
broad-visaged with slanting eyes, very dirty and unkempt, accompanied
by two men of similar mien, neither of whom appeared so masculine
as the precious babe herself. These had wandered down from the upper
regions--the first glimpse to Adele of the next race they were to
encounter.

“Babes in the woods,” remarked the Englishman.

Adele concluded not to call this one a cherub.



                               XXXIII

                     A GLIMPSE OF THE PRIMITIVE


The miniature Fly Express having crept over the summit now slid down
on the other side for a few miles, into Darjeeling. The mountain
resort, though upon such high ground, was surrounded by still
loftier elevations; a veritable Sanitorium protected on all sides.
It contained more buildings of a public nature than the inquisitive
Cultus explorers had expected to find; the Sanitorium and bazaar were
surrounded by many substantially built structures, generally upon
picturesque sites, schools, a convent, villas, bungalows, and here
and there native shanties in unexpected nooks and corners. There
were valleys within valleys, and hills upon hills; and domiciles
were scattered broadcast over the landscape. No time was consumed,
however, in gazing around them when they first arrived. The station
and bazaar nearby were lively with Nepaulese, Bhootans, Lepchas,
members of the hill tribes of Sikhim, inhabitants of the Darjeeling
Terai, with a much smaller contingent of English who seemed to be
there to keep the rest in order.

The tiny train had hardly come to a stand-still before a Bhootan
woman, a fine specimen physically and decidedly noisy in manner,
thrust her broad Mongolian visage, with its high cheek bones and
slanting eyes, into the little car window where sat Mrs. Cultus. If
a demon had suddenly appeared at close quarters and offered to rub
noses with Mrs. C. the effect could not have been more startling.
The Mongolian, talking and gesticulating and holding a strap in
her hand, made it plain to them that she wished to carry their
luggage--she was a woman-porter.

Mrs. Cultus, not ordinarily disconcerted by sudden apparitions,
was this time fairly taken aback. Aside from the novelty of a
woman-porter, her repulsive appearance was disconcerting; the
broad cheeks smeared with red pigment and distorted with grimaces
seemed to Mrs. Cultus at first glance as more than grotesque, even
appalling. Drawing herself up with dignity she gave a piercing look,
as if in defiance, only to discover that the Bhootanesque wild grin
was intended for a polite smile, and the smile was that of a young
girl trying to be serviceable and obliging. Mrs. Cultus burst out
laughing, which the Bhootan girl of course mistook for a cordial
acceptance of her offered assistance; and forthwith through the
window she seized all such loose articles as lay within reach, piling
them in a heap on the platform previous to depositing them in her
strap which she placed over her forehead and let fall in a loop down
her back. Several articles had already disappeared out of the window
before Mrs. Cultus grasped the misunderstanding of her own laughter;
but when she found the woman was actually doing the heavy work of a
porter, and for her personally, Mrs. Cultus’ American ideas about
woman’s sphere and woman’s work asserted themselves. As a member of
the Ethical-Social Culturist’s-Reversal Association, she must become
an impromptu missionary to enter her protest, and even set things
right.

“I can’t allow it!” she exclaimed, shaking her head. “Get me a man! a
man! why, it’s outrageous! You’re only a young girl!” and Mrs. Cultus
turned to look for the Professor who had already gone in search of a
man.

The Bhootan damsel grinned once more, as if astonished, then spoke
her mind not unlike the historic waiter who “roared it.” “No
man!--don’t want a man! I take! I take all! easy!” and proceeded
to show how easily she could take all by lifting a huge bundle of
travelling rugs, rezais, nearly as bulky as herself, putting them in
the loop of her strap as foundation piece, the smaller heavy things
on top, and gave a good grunt of satisfaction when the weight settled
on her forehead; and then--smiled again.

Mrs. Cultus, equally practical, at once changed her mind; she
concluded it was utterly useless to waste sympathy upon a damsel so
eminently qualified to take care of herself; especially since the
woman-porter had her own ideas of woman’s sphere, and did not intend
to permit any man to take away her trade. If Miss Winchester had been
near at the time no doubt she would have been much impressed by the
Bhootan grunt of satisfaction for the privilege of carrying luggage;
for verily it was a notable addition to her collection.

Such was Mrs. Cultus’ first interview with a specimen of womankind
from the immense area of Central Asia, where woman’s rights were
already granted after their fashion, and woman’s work performed with
a vengeance. Mrs. Cultus little realized that there, in the crowd
around her, were not only women-porters, but Thibetan mothers to whom
polyandry was no new thing, being in fact a custom of their district.
Women who had several husbands because they were the proper things to
have; and felt themselves quite equal to do man’s work and a little
more, besides. Mrs. Cultus learned this and other items, when a few
days later she noticed a pair of rough sandal-boots standing at the
door of a hut occupied by a polyandrist household. She was informed
that these were equivalent to a notice left outside by one of the
husbands that he was on the premises, therefore for the present
the others had best keep away. Mrs. Cultus learned, too, that the
several husbands were often brothers, hence the household was a more
united family than if it were otherwise. Mrs. Cultus was obtaining
a realizing sense of relationships among some of the primitives yet
upon the earth, and she soon concluded that the more primitive the
people the less she personally cared to visit them socially.



                                XXXIV

                 ADELE SEES THE DELECTABLE MOUNTAINS

          “_On the mountains is freedom! The breath of decay
            Never sullies the fresh-flowing air._”

                                                --SCHILLER.


The next day the whole party were domiciled in a little stone
structure one-story high, hung like an eyrie upon a cliff. The
site overlooked great depths, and their domicile much like a tiny
doll’s house perched upon a mantelpiece. Above and beyond were
insurmountable heights, and only a narrow pony-path separated this
little dwelling from the forest-clad valleys thousands of feet below.
Within a few steps a remarkable view-point, a promontory jutting out
in mid-air; and before them rose “The Five Points of Eternal Snow.”

Kunchingunga was no “Jungfrau,” but a matron, with her children and
grandchildren clustered around her imperial throne.

Adele wandered off alone, and stood upon the promontory, looking
forward. On a level with her eye and apparently not far off, soared
a giant bird, poised in space, he being thousands of feet above
the earth beneath him. Adele waved her handkerchief to attract his
attention; the majestic areonaut merely changed the angle of his
wings to bring his eye into better position, and refused to approach.
A chilly current of air came over the crest of the mountain;
Adele drew her wrap about her, and in so doing lost hold upon her
kerchief--it floated off on the breeze. It was no sooner free from
her hand, than the expert bird sweeping round in majestic curves upon
the wings of the wind, picked it up in mid-air, and soon disappeared
amid the foliage of the forest. This wild denizen of the woods, who
could sustain himself at a perilous height in space, apparently had
an instinctive fear of man, even of a young girl, yet no fear of
man’s inanimate production, the handkerchief; and his penetrating eye
had evidently grasped the situation from the distance of half a mile.
Such was the clearness of the atmosphere, and such the acute vision
of the bird.

Adele admired his quickness of sight, his natural cleverness, and
his wild knowledge of the world, as he sailed away with what she had
held in her hand an instant before. “I don’t mind the loss,” said
she, “but I do dislike extremely to have things snatched away, first
by the wind and then by that eagle. What the Doctor calls ‘the wild
forces’ in nature, surely do require taming.”

She looked across the valley. The lower ranges rose above a belt of
haze, the mountains above did not appear to rest upon any solid base,
and the summits of eternal snows appeared as if in another world--a
world where corruption had put on incorruption, the world of purity
and whiteness. Seen through the rarefied air above, the apparent
nearness of such stupendous masses, solid and firm yet resting upon
an ethereal base, somewhat appalled Adele; and she drew her wrap
closer about her as her eyes wandered from peak to peak extending in
endless length on either side, yet all above and beyond the reach of
man. She knew them to be the backbone of a continent, which (when
seen from certain elevations, at the end of the rainy season when
the southeast monsoon ceases to blow) was visible over an expanse of
two hundred miles. She knew this range of peaks must be miles away
as the bird flies, yet so wide was the angle between the horizon and
those celestial summits, and so great the difference between her
own level and that of the Eternal Pure Whiteness, that she felt
their presence near, and herself in the presence of the sublime in
nature. Her natural eye told her this, and gave her a new physical
sensation which was exhilarating, uplifting and inspiring. And with
this inspiration came a new incentive to spiritual perception, a
tremendous stimulant to idealize. It was, indeed, what she saw--a
Celestial Vision.

She caught her breath as she gazed afar; and a sense of wonder, aye,
of adoration, welled up from within, and a comprehending love for
the beautiful and for the sublime. These emotions, like a powerful
impulse heavenward, filled her whole being, and words came--breathed
rather than spoken--towards the One who ever dwells in nature, ever
listens, and always hears. Forgetting self, unconscious that she was
actually praying, she yet prayed. Such is the compelling force of the
sublime in nature.

“Our Father who art!--art in Heaven!--Father in Heaven! where all is
beautiful!

“And what is this? Oh, how beautiful! just where our Father has built
His mansions. Look! those snows and glaciers reflect His Glory! I can
see it! That blue canopy overhead, and those forests below, are like
the Earth-Beautiful He made for us, and there is the roseate light of
a Holy Place. God is there! Yes! I know it--I feel it! He is here,
too! Yes! surely. He is here! How holy is this place!”

Then assured of the nearness of her Father Creator, she tried to
grasp some idea of the meaning of His Presence to her; and unto her
was granted a glimpse of the very highest possible conception of the
facts visible in nature, of things as they are, for the study of both
science and religion.

She stood in the presence of the loftiest mountains upon the globe;
and what were they? What was this earth at her feet?--the world and
all that is therein!

“The Lord is in His Holy Temple! The Lord! and His Temple! Holy! both
Holy--God and His Temple. I can see that, too! He made it, and all
that is therein. He said it was ‘good,’--it is--it must be Holy! It
is His own.”

The word “Temple,” and what it implied, impressed itself upon
her mind, as if it revealed some tremendous fact in nature which
before she had not fully realized. She gazed right and left, up the
cross-valleys, and into the forest depths; then finally towards the
Celestial Summits bathed in that roseate light which symbolized
so much to her personally since her earlier experience when her
attention had been called to it by her earthly father. What before
she had really seen but dimly, yet strong enough to be a constant
aid to enlightenment, now became a living reality. It was verily a
temple; and anew she began to idealize her surroundings.

“It is a Cathedral! this whole region! a mighty Cathedral! God’s own,
built by Him here in these mountains, the Himalaya Cathedral!--the
greatest upon Earth!” And while possessed by this vivid thought,
there came a still small voice, as if from a sub-intelligence,
whispering: “His service is here, His ritual.” She heard this but
faintly; then, rejoicing in her idealization, she went straight on to
picture the Cathedral.

“Look! there is the Nave, this great valley! and there is the crypt
beneath, that sombre forest far below! There is plenty of room in
that Nave for the congregation--free seats everywhere. I can see
it filled with all sorts of people. There! there is some one now,
in that tea-garden under those tree ferns, a party of them looking
towards the blue sky. They wish to know what the weather is going to
be like, wish to know what God intends it to be, for they are looking
upwards; perhaps that is their way of worshiping! who knows?

“And there is the Transept! there is more than one, those valleys;
they reach to the end of the earth. How curious that so many of these
valleys lead directly up to the front, not so ‘crosswise’ as in other
churches. I never saw a Cathedral so well arranged for approaching
and hearing. Ah! there’s a Chapel in that transept! it looks more
like a hut! some one within is burning incense--it comes out of the
chimney! Well, we’ll call it incense, and that home is a chapel.”

And while she mused, a little group of natives crossed an open field
and entered a clump of trees surrounded by shrubbery, a thicket.
“Some other sort of worship,” she thought. “I wonder what they are
going to do? I’ll wait and see.”

Numerous parties on ponies passed along the mountain roads, ascending
and descending from different levels. “Why, this Cathedral has most
extensive galleries, and how many real workers all on the move! Well,
I rather like a gallery at times; one can sit up there and not feel
too conspicuous, only worship.”

Then she noticed that the majority on ponies were going in one
direction--northward. “Why are they going that way, I wonder?--why
not towards the East as so many do in Cathedrals? No, I forgot;
the Moslems turn towards Mecca no matter in what direction they
may be from it; but here it is different. These people seem to be
approaching and observing their ritual in a different manner and in
a different direction. Everything here seems to draw one’s attention
northward,” and she mused about this for some time, then:

“The pole star itself is hidden behind that mountain; we are too far
south to see it, but I heard Father say it was in that direction.
Yes, I remember it was very low in the heavens when I last saw
it sparkling there. It is there now, always behind the crest of
Kunchingunga. Even if these worshipers cannot see it, they see
Kunchingunga, their Holy Mountain, pointing the same way--northward.
Now, what does this mean?” and she mused again, but this time only
for an instant.

“Oh! I can see why! I understand it!” she exclaimed. “In other
directions, stars, as well as lesser things on earth, seem ever
moving, revolving, changing; Kunchingunga and the North Star seem
never to change. The North Star is towards the centre, all revolve
around that fixed point; it is marvellous what a magnificent Clock
there is to this Cathedral--the Great Clock in the Heavens, the Clock
of Ages, ever revolving around the permanent fixed centre. But then
again God is the only Permanent, Unchangeable; and to Him a thousand
years are as one day--the Clock says so. Why, of course, in His
Cathedral one must look northward; it is like looking towards Him,
towards something fixed, that does not change. Oh, I shall always
think of this Cathedral with Kunchingunga, its Great Clock, and the
hidden star,” and she quoted from Bryant’s “Hymn to the North Star”:

         “And thou dost see them rise,
            Star of the pole! and thou dost see them set.
          Alone in thy cold skies
            Thou keepest thy old unmoving station yet.”

“Yes, I understand it; in this Cathedral the worshiper should look
towards the north, towards the visible centre as Nature and Science
have made it appear to us. To consult that Clock one must look
straight ahead, towards the Only One who is from the ever-existent
past to the everlasting future--the Ancient of Days.”

This thought naturally led to her next and final impression on this
memorable day in her spiritual life, alone with the sublime in nature.

“Where is it?” she thought. “Where should I look to find it? the Holy
of Holies in this Cathedral,” and again she turned northward.

“That Celestial region!--it is very near it, yet not exactly of it.
There! I can see the Choir, and almost hear the angels singing, but
I cannot approach nearer--not yet. Oh! those Celestial summits!--the
Delectable Mountains! Look! Oh, look!”

Now as a matter of fact in Adele’s history, a kind Providence did
see fit to respond to her yearnings to appreciate this marvelous
scenery. As to all who seek the beautiful, sublime and holy in nature
she saw what she did see, and through it she perceived the invisible;
through things seen she was in the presence of the unseen.

The sun’s rays falling upon the snow-fields and glaciers on the
higher elevations were reflected upwards and on either side with
intense brilliancy--prismatic colors of exquisite delicacy were
diffused over the whole landscape; these and the various hues and
shades bathed the whole of nature visible with a glory that could be
seen. The human eye was satisfied, the artistic sense enraptured, and
the holy spirit in man at rest in peace.

No “dim religious light” had this Cathedral, but a Glory, sublime,
sacred; the Creator’s own handiwork, which man’s artistic efforts may
often suggest but can never equal.

To Adele in her frame of mind, it was a veritable Shekinah.

“The Holy of Holies! white and glistening! It is too bright! too
bright for me! I cannot see--the altar,--too bright!” and she covered
her eyes. “Weak humanity cannot look upon His Face, and live.”

Not long after a voice was heard--a melodious voice, a young and
cultivated voice, singing; one who strove to make her art holy--a
means to spiritual ends; for it is in the spirit that is the real
growth. It was Adele--Adele worshiping after her own fashion. She
had prayed in her Cathedral, and now she lifted her voice in praise;
the melody rose heavenward to mingle with the music she had heard
spiritually--the Celestial Choir. She sang with her whole soul:

                   “Angels ever bright and fair,
                    Take, oh, take me----”

None on earth heard her, so far as she knew.

None, indeed, but a poor unfortunate human being clothed in rags who
sat at the door of her hut under the brow of the hill. Being out of
sight, and dull of hearing, and a Taoist priestess withal, this poor
soul, sincere and true in _her_ faith, told her followers she had
heard the Good Spirits talking in the air above her.

“In a strange language,” she said, “but clear and sweet. I knew it
was the Good Spirits--and I called: ‘Buddha! Buddha! O Sakya! take me
from existence! O Sakya Muni!’”

He who ever listens, heard them both.



                                XXXV

             HIMALAYA CATHEDRAL BY THE SUPREME ARCHITECT


Adele’s idealization was correct. The inquisitive explorers found
themselves face to face with nature in one of the Creator’s own
Temples, where the good and true and the beautiful were embodied in a
place made for worship by the Creator. A Cathedral whose architecture
was appropriate and soul-stirring (æsthetic) even unto sublimity; and
beyond man’s capacity to appreciate fully. A Cathedral whose vaulting
was the heavens above, its floor the earth beneath, and its religious
life as profound as the depths under the earth. And as the sequel
proved, our travelers were also to find all types of worship there,
existing even unto this day in this Temple of the Lord; from the
early sacrifice to the latest enlightenment--the Divine Light of the
World.

“Why so? Why all this? Upon what ground scientific, philosophical,
moral and religious? Freedom obtained--Life in the open--the open
life--physically, intellectually, spiritually. The Truth as each man
saw it was able to make him free.”

The sense of the beautiful, the artistic sense, first asserted itself
in this particular group of Nineteenth Century inquisitives. They
were accustomed to temples made with hands in which art had striven
to express the truth; here in this scene they found it rising through
all gradations of beauty, and realized that in nature we have the
mother source of truth and beauty in architecture. Of course, they
first noticed and criticised as seeing with the eyes of their own
civilization. What did they see? Lines as studied, yet free, as
in any masterpiece of Greece or basilica of early Christianity,
as full of aspiration, arching heavenward, as any Gothic work of
later day. And not only this; they soon recognized other forms,
outlines marked in character as a Hindoo Temple or Burmese Pagoda,
peculiar as a Chinese Tower or Japanese Torii--pure and chaste as the
Moslem Taj Mahal. They were astounded at the many forms, originally
obtained direct from nature or suggested by natural forms, which had
been subsequently conventionalized by art. Evidently all sorts and
conditions of men had at one time or another sat at the feet of the
Supreme Architect.

Then they observed more critically.

The growth stood upon basal lines, founded upon the earth itself,
plain areas; then massive foundation rocks; terraces to suit the
location; knolls to accentuate the demands of perspective; spurs
to act as buttresses and bind together the rising masses; hills to
invite one to ascend higher; mountains towering towards the realm
of the unseen. The work suggesting solidity, firmness, and all the
essentials for majesty dominating heavenward. The elementary design
simple in form, simple in combination, simple even as a Chaldean or
Egyptian monumental pyramid, Tomb, Library or Portal; as straight and
as true as a Persepolis House of Prayer; as flat and as positive, and
yet as significant and as symbolic as any Parsee devotee of old, or
a Mason from the days of Solomon, would have chosen to signify Basic
Truth in Religion or Simple Life in Morality--the simplicity of the
Gospel of Architecture.

A palpable fact began to manifest itself, namely: that man never
did learn anything worth knowing unless he came to nature to see
and perceive, to observe how the lilies of the field were arrayed,
and how the mountains towered heavenward to Our Father who Art, to
Him who is Art--the Way, the Truth, the Beautiful; and this was not
only visible to the eye, but the Cathedral was resonant--it spoke.
There was heard the very Voice of the Creator Architect, the Mind of
Nature; and the sound thereof echoed to the ends of the Earth. The
great instruction had been given, learned practically, and practiced.

The motifs and details, conceived for application in working out the
design, had come direct from the original source, the Artist-Mind of
the Almighty, whose prolific unlimited power of artistic expression
manifested knowledge of all form and substance; and this was
impressed upon the beholder and heard by him, an unobtrusive still
small voice whispering from that Spirit which had conceived it. Such
manifestations in nature were exquisite to both eye and ear; one
did not feel disposed to be loquacious about it, but only note and
apply what had been done by the Trinity of Usefulness, Beauty and
Adaptability. The Voice had said, “Follow me,” and men had tried to
do so.

The style chosen was that which in time became the Parent of all
styles subsequently born--born through man’s observance of natural
forms, his environment, his mental endowments, and his intellectual
appreciation; his virility to produce artistic work. The Supreme
Architect had been unceasingly painstaking and exact; in human
parlance, He had been sensitive, conscientious, profuse yet never
wasteful of His virile powers; in fact, to the last degree jealous
for what He knew to be the truth in art. Being the One who knows, He
knew how, and would not otherwise. He would have naught unless it
were equally good, true and beautiful, the three combined in one--a
Trinity of Truth, like Himself, Himself in His Work.

The doctrine of the Trinity pervaded this Cathedral, as ever with
truth physical, intellectual, spiritual.

To Professor Cultus and the Doctor after noting these things, it
seemed really to imply much more; namely, as if the truth, the whole
truth, and nothing but the truth, could only be expressed in terms of
Three in One.

“I love to think of it,” said Adele, “it’s so helpful.”

Thus appeared the Himalaya Cathedral to these Nineteenth Century
inquisitives. A place of worship--not the Lord’s barn, but his
Temple, His Holy Dwelling Place, adequate, artistic and pure; worthy
of humanity endowed by Heaven with the power to worship in Spirit and
in Truth; worthy of its Master Architect.



                                XXXVI

                      PROGRESS OF THE BUILDING


Professor Cultus and the Doctor had many talks concerning the
progress of this Himalaya Cathedral during construction, its
“evolution,” as they expressed it; and geological records were found
safely deposited for those who know how to read rocks. It appeared
that the design had been originally conceived and sketched by the
hand of the Master, and then worked out, or developed according to
forms suitable to all climes, from the tropical in the valleys below
to the arctic amid glaciers and domes of eternal snow. Pupils of the
Master had embodied His ideas; His own assistants and workmen, the
forces of Nature; born, brought up, educated in His own industrial
and artistic schools; where His own master mind, masterful technique,
and masterly spirit dominated--the Trinity of Mind, Matter, and
Spirit.

There had never been a period during the work when the real progress
had been arrested, nor had the original purpose of design ever been
changed by alterations, extras, or further information on the subject.

In the beginning He had conceived it; the work commenced; it grew; it
continues. In itself manifesting a clear distinct purpose, namely;
a place in which to live, learn, and worship; thereby manifesting
the Trinity existent and operative, in action, action, action; three
as one. Within and without its needs and decorations have ever been
growing and progressing, as the world grows older and the worshipers
grow wiser. The purpose pointed clearly towards what the intellect
of man designated as “perfection;” and of what the Holy Spirit in man
dreamed of as “The Perfect Day.”

At various periods in time poor humanity standing aside like helpless
children, had seen great commotions on the premises, apparent
catastrophes, and seeming opposition to things as they should be.
Humanity had actually seen the lightning “strike” and demolish; and
there was marvelous unity in co-operation of labor when the lightning
did strike. Nevertheless the real status of things was not thereby
changed. Man imagined that the edifice itself would fall, and the
world come to an end; a mass of débris to be blown away, much like
nebulous mist or a comet’s tail is scattered and disappears in space.
Man had seen such things with his “field-glasses;” similarly man
presumed to know. He really knew just so much of the building and
its eternal purpose as the present stage of progress permitted--no
more, no less. Of many things he could be but a spectator; and when
he manufactured his glasses for greater depths of penetration, he
reduced his scope (field), and less and less grew the light upon his
lens.

Thus far there had been no real catastrophe; it was merely the taking
down of scaffolding amid a cloud of dust and rubbish. The scaffolding
removed, the Temple stood behind safe and erect; its beauty more
apparent than ever before. A new façade had been brought to light
for the admiration of all who cultivated their inborn capacity for
appreciation; both worshipers and non-worshipers alike.

It was during the crises of scaffold-demolishing, when there was
much talk of what would happen when the world dissolved, that absurd
disputes had arisen among the crowd of lookers-on. Non-worshipers, in
their conceit, offered criticisms, although in fact they knew only
“the little” that is vouchsafed to all mankind. Theological fanatics
asserted themselves, saying with intensity:

“You have neglected your opportunities, and now it’s too late. You’ll
be condemned.”

To which came, of course, the practical responsive application:

“Be condemned!--yourself!” Hence the sobriquet, “condemned,” popular
in application to this day as a verb of intensity.

Such dogmatic assertions and petty recriminations were really absurd
in this presence; disputes embodying mere words; since naught is
condemned in nature where each day’s work is pronounced “good,” and
where “there is no condemnation” to those who seek the Truth and
follow in it; and where the Divine Voice of a man to his brother man
has pronounced the dictum: “For this cause came I, the Truth, into
this world, to save it.”

This Himalaya Cathedral stood in a region where the rain-fall
was appalling. It was more sudden and more terrific than occurs
elsewhere. Torrents, apparently devastating, passed that way,
carrying all loose impedimenta before them, gathering fresh strength
by momentum as they rushed headlong into the depths. Humanity stood
aghast, wiseacres felt confident that nothing could withstand the
force of these downpours. Having observed similar phenomena on a
smaller scale, therefore these reasoners concluded it must, must
forebode the worst, annihilation.

It was then that the voice in nature, resonant through the Cathedral,
actually laughed them to scorn for their blindness.

From the beginning nature had abhorred the idea of annihilation,
and would never permit a vacuum where she had built so beautiful
a Temple. Truth destroys not, but fulfils; it is not destructive,
but constructive. Annihilation, a vacuum, is an abstract conception
without a concrete embodiment even in physics; and less still where
the Mind of Nature and the Spirit that is Holy dominate.

The phenomena of apparent devastation in this Cathedral were but
changes or transmutations of the forces employed by the Great Master
Builder. A change from lightning to rain was simply a change of
workmen, from those of one trade to those of another, neither more
nor less; only the removal of that which had done its work, and
now would interfere with the progress of the building, the Temple,
its greater usefulness and its greater beauty. The torrents which
seemed to devastate were in fact cleansing, purging, sweeping
henceforth the accumulation within and around which had served
its purpose, and in that form was no longer needed. Acting under
natural laws, as recognized in geology, biology, natural history
and botany, the Divine Administration had cleaned and purified that
region. Cleanliness being a feature of godliness, even the odor
of the unkempt, the unwashed, and the unclean, must be scrubbed
out--the Cathedral to remain holy must be kept fresh, clean and pure;
befitting those who would be pure, and thus able to pray and to
praise.

And again was the Voice Divine of a man to his brother man heard
resonant through the Cathedral arches:

“I came not to destroy, but to fulfil. Wash and be clean! Cleanse
your hearts, and not your garments only.”



                               XXXVII

                PRIMATE OF THE CATHEDRAL--EX CATHEDRA


It was during one of these cleansing periods, in years gone by, when
the terrific rain-fall scoured out the useless and hideous from this
Himalaya Cathedral, that a company of poor native Lepchas stood upon
the hill-side watching. Comparatively safe in their own position they
witnessed and heard the forces of nature at work.

Among them was one whom they accounted as a wise man, a Seer, who saw
more in nature than most people can see; a prophet who had foresight
founded on close observation of facts. Some of his neighbors would
have designated him a Lama, others would have called him a Buddha,
and some, more distant still, would have said a Medicine Man. Yet,
all listened to his words of wisdom, repeating them, until they
became in time the folk-lore of the land.

This Seer, who was so clear-sighted, stood for much, both
historically and ecclesiastically; also in Wisdom Literature.

He, and no one else, was the venerable and venerated Primate of
this Cathedral where a thousand years are as one day and one day as
a thousand years. As Primate-Leader he received many visitations
from distinguished ecclesiastics, men with other titles; notably a
primitive nature-worshiper named Abel, whose parents, according to
one form of record, were quasi-divinities in the Garden of Eden;
and another named Tenno, himself also, according to another form of
record, a semi-divinity, his mother a Goddess--father of a dynasty
ruling upon earth to this day, the Mikado. There were also Holy
Rishis of the Vedic Period with their descendants, Brahmins, Chief
Yogis; also Buddhas, Grand Lamas, and Superior Men; Priests after
the order of many things; Priests from Adab, “the oldest city in the
world,” founded in the misty years of the fifth millennium B. C.;
Priests of Bel at Nippur, 3800 B. C.; Priests of the Sun God from
Sippar (Biblical Sepharain), 3750 B. C.; Priests from Lagash, the
Sumerian Priest (King Gudea) who reigned 2800 B. C., fully 500 years
before the days of Abraham; Priests from Assyria, 860 B. C.; Priests
of the North and of the South, of the Highlands and of the Lowlands,
and of the “Unknown,” after the order of Melchisedek. Also Priests
of Isis, from Egypt; and the Great Priest of Ormuzd, Zoroaster,
through whom the brightest light as to conscience over intellect
enlightened the world for one thousand years--representing millions
upon millions of worshipers born from the womb of ancient time. Also
Wise Men of the East, Apostles, Elders, Deacons, Metropolitans, Popes
and Archbishops; Archdeacons, Priests, and Fathers; Rectors, Pastors
Emeritus, Ministers of the Word of God, Preachers of the Gospel of
Salvation; and Evangelists who brought both the Word and the Bread of
Life; of latter day experience; all filling offices acknowledged to
be sacred, and some using words which sounded almost profane.

While he, the Himalaya Seer, was often clothed in rags, and fed upon
the flesh of wild beasts, and upon edible locusts and excellent
wild honey, and his loud ringing voice was as one crying in the
wilderness, the others often officiated in robes of state. While he
carried a staff in his hand, and had little change of raiment, they
often bore relics they considered sacred, rings through their noses,
and even iron bars thrust through their cheeks, and others bore a
gilded shepherd’s crook so weighty in importance that it proved an
incumbrance even unto themselves. While he, in hot weather, wore but
a cloth about his loins, and a band across his forehead to absorb the
sweat of his brow, bowing his head in reverence and fear when he saw
the manifestations of Energy in the Supreme Force in nature; another
manifested the life of asceticism and callousness to both heat and
cold; another brought lotus leaves and meditated, trying to think
of nothing at all--of absorption into nature; another brought the
Sacred Fire and preached the higher light which did enlighten for a
millennium of years: “O Ormuzd, Fountain of Light! thy Light is in
all that shines;” another brought his artistic image and preached
justification by faith in Ameda. Another brought his crude and
immoral images, yet preached justification by faith in Krishna, and
the enfranchisement of women; and another, a fearless man, a married
priest as God had made them so from the beginning, who preached
justification by faith in Him who had said, “I am the Light of the
World; believest thou this? follow Me.”

And when he, the Seer, cried with a loud voice: “Repent! I say unto
thee, Repent!” the others also preached as they had ability; using
diverse institutions and rituals according to the spiritual needs
of the times and places. Thus it was these who embodied the diverse
manifestations of the Spirit that is Holy; their experience in
history proving that intellectual effort only stimulates the craving
of the soul, whereas religious consciousness is never satisfied
except by spiritual growth.

Thus, there were many, very many, sincere preachers who appeared and
labored conscientiously, each after his own belief, and officiated
in this Cathedral, Nature’s own Temple; some proselyting, others
not--only trusting to natural growth. And while all “took up
collections,” yet, strange to say, one only possessed the ancient
veritable title of Seer, the one in primitive costume, with primitive
sincerity; the Venerable Primate who lived in the open “without money
and no scrip,” and thus preserved his loud sonorous voice in nature;
he who lived very close to his Creator-God, the Creator and Father
of all.

What did this Seer see?

Standing in the presence of the storm, none realized his own
helplessness more devoutly than this poor Himalaya Seer himself,
following in the footsteps of his own primitive ancestry since the
beginning of man’s appearance as a religious animal upon earth; hence
known, in consequence, as a nature-worshiper. Calling his group of
followers about him he spake to them as if in a trance, as if he
saw what they could not see: the Evil Spirits, or spirits for evil,
flying hither and thither over the land. While in this trance-like
condition of religious rapture, he spoke of the wind, the rain, and
the lightning as antagonistic personalities. He gesticulated, as
if he saw them as such, wild and irresistible, in indiscriminate
conflict with things as they are. Being himself human he could not
conceive personality as otherwise than subject to human influences;
therefore he called upon his fellow-worshipers to send up some sweet
odor, to propitiate, to offer a sacrifice, to attract attention to
something good and not evil--aye, to crowd out the evil by the good.

The people obeyed him. Then and there arose the good influence, and
lo! a marvelous change took place in the heart-life of each primitive
worshiper. The evil spirits in the storm ceased their warfare and
dispersed--the tempest ceased, nature smiled, each heart was filled
with peace. “Peace, be still! I say unto thee, peace, be still! My
peace I give unto thee.”

When in due course of nature the heavens had again cleared, the Seer
spake anew; but not now from a trance. He had no trances after it
cleared off, and he stood in the bright sunlight of nature. No! He
was as other men--no more, no less--in all ages. What he now saw was
also different, and the tenor of his voice had changed.

He announced a message to be delivered.

His followers fell upon their faces before him.

He kept them waiting; in fact, being no longer in physical fear
himself he began to lack his primitive simplicity. The sight of
others bowing with their faces to the earth before _him_ was not
unpleasant. Weak human nature asserted itself; he posed, after his
fashion. He kept the people waiting; and he flattered himself that
this was due to his office as Seer, as if the office made the man,
and not man the office.

The people waited; they had long since learned to wait, and to wait
upon others. The Seer then raised his hands heavenward and spake;
a message so ancient that its form now sounds archaic, from before
Abraham, from Job, from primitive man; a poet of the Vedas of the
South, or a historian of the Northern Sagas, might have said it each
after his own fashion; it is recorded in the Holy Bible, the truth
from the beginning.


                      THE MESSAGE OF THE SEER.

  “The God of thy fathers hath sent me.”

  The people respected the speaker--messenger--apostle--the one sent.

  “I know that my Bondsman, my Redeemer, liveth.”

  The people were glad there was some one to call upon in time of
  trouble.

  “Thou shalt not be afraid of destruction when it cometh, at
  destruction and famine thou shalt laugh. The Almighty shall deliver
  thee in six troubles; yea! in seven there shall no evil touch thee;
  therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty. Thou
  shalt be hid from the scourge, even the scourge of the tongue; it
  shall not come nigh thee. I know that my Redeemer-Bondsman liveth!
  and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.”

Such was the message, god-like, short and to the point; natural,
personal, spiritual; the Trinity in Speech.

The first message of Truth Immortal signaled from the Fortress of the
Primitive in nature; signaled from the “hills whence cometh our Help.”

This thrilling message was heard around the world, in all religions
in some mysterious form or degree. A divine utterance, original, it
has continued to resound through all the ages. It was the beginning
of Hope, the assurance of Help, from “Our Father who art”--art “ever
present.”

The primitive populace wondered at the wisdom of their Seer; his
strange words which spoke of the God of their fathers, as if He
would help them and would save them from destruction. They then, at
first, thought little of that historical significance of the message
which referred to His coming to the earth at a “latter day,” perhaps
after they themselves had departed; they were interested only in the
present. They wanted Him now; why would He not come at once?

The Seer satisfied them, explaining by application of the message
sent to them each individually. He did it in his own way. The Seer
had seen according to his capacity then and there; he continued to
preach as he had ability.

“The Good Spirit is here. I heard Him above the wind and storm. I saw
Him when He took me to the seventh-heaven where I did see more than
I do now. But He is here!--the thunderings and lightnings were the
noise of His horn (trumpet), and the light of His Countenance?--the
dust you saw was the mountain smoking under Him.”

The people trembled with dread of what their Seer had seen.

“I saw the Evil Spirits driven before Him, as the torrent drives the
wild beasts from the forest; and when He made a scourge of small
cords He drove them from his Temple as sheep and oxen are driven.
Some had disguised themselves as those who sold doves--they fled at
His approach. Deceivers offered Him money, to tempt--He overthrew
their tables, tore their shams (hypocrisy) to shreds, and banished
them from His sight. And they cried: Peace! peace! and there was no
peace.”

The populace thought of demons let loose, and of a “hell upon earth.”
The Seer instantly thrust home his vivid thoughts:

“You, yourselves, saw how He cleared the sky! You, yourselves, know
how His rains and storms cleaned out the dirt and sickness. You saw
it! You saw it yourselves! You sent up the sweet odor! You made the
sacrifice! See how you were answered, your prayers answered.”

And a great shout went up: “We did! We saw it! a miracle! when the
sun shone again.”

And then the Seer closed with a statement so terrible, that none in
reason, among them, could doubt the truth depicted:

“These are they--these evil ones--who fell into deserted graves;
graves that men walk over them and are not aware of them.”

The hearers shivered with abhorrence--the direful thought! deserted
graves! terrible consequence of disrespect to ancestors, frightful
neglect of ancestral veneration, abhorrent disrespect to that source
from which they had received their being, as the Great Good Spirit
had granted them life.

Thus ended the Seer’s message, and his own application of it. Such
was the imagery he used, such the emotion he endeavored to portray
and to excite. And yet, with all his flights, from the Divine
Message to the human application, this Primitive Primate of Nature’s
Cathedral had been profound. He had touched upon the three great
facts in things as they are, and reasonably shall be:

“Dependence, Right Living, Eternal Security.”

Or, to employ another category of later date in Asia:

“Thought, Being, Joy.” (Hindoo formula for Brahm.)

Or another, philosophic:

“Science, Morality, Religion.”

Or as Christianity teaches:

“Faith, Hope, Love.”

And when seen as “The Light of the World”:

  “The Almighty, the Saviour, the Holy Spirit of Truth, Immanuel.”

       *       *       *       *       *

            “The Soul of Man is the candle of the Lord.”

                                    --PHILLIPS BROOKS.



                               XXXVIII

                   INTERMEZZO--THE VOICE IN NATURE

                   Cathedral Orchestra and Organ.
                   Chorus, with Divine Solos.

      O Man! Blessed is thine inquisitiveness--to learn and to know:
            Cursed is thine inquisition of others.
      O Man! Blessed is thy longing--to look upwards and beyond:
            Cursed is thy willingness to sink downwards;
            Where vice brings vileness in its train.
      O Man! Blessed is thine altruism--to help others:
            Cursed is thy selfishness, to bury thy talent of help.

      Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness--for
          they shall be filled.
      Blessed are they who seek the Truth--for they shall know.
      Blessed are they who follow the Way--for they shall attain.
      Seek and ye shall find. Knock!--it shall be opened.
                    I have the words--
                    The Words of Eternal Life.

      Arise! O Soul! I say to thee, Come forth!
                    The Truth hath made thee free.
      Arise! O Soul! and stretch thy wings;
                    Thy better portion seek.
      Arise! and soar! towards greater things,
                    Enlightenment--and Peace.
          Peace and Rest--Rest in Peace.
          I am the Resurrection--and the Life.


This triple comprehensive chorus from nature, with its Divine Solos,
was heard by both Professor Cultus and the Doctor with profound
feeling and a deep sense of responsibility. They had never heard an
inner voice (solo) blending with sounds in nature (chorus) quite like
this. And a veritable intermezzo in their experience, a recitative
of the wonderful harmonious truths in nature accompanying the pure
melody of Christ’s words; and corroborated by others who knew Him,
personally. All so true when sung in concert of harmony and rhythm;
the sacred music of this sphere.

It seemed as if the Voices sang of truth ever present, ever active,
with men at work or a man at rest. All who entered the Door of Truth
in experience had the Words of Eternal Life spoken unto them; and the
words implied action, greater light, intelligence, and peace; rest
from trouble, in an immortal active existence--a life immortal:

“Activity for all our powers, and power for all our activities.”[1]

       *       *       *       *       *

Such was the deep impression made in the Himalaya Cathedral upon the
elder members of the party. Being elderly they saw things that way.
How about the younger members? Youth does not see things in nature as
elders do; youth has much to learn yet; and old heads rarely grow on
young shoulders.

Adele had insisted upon going to a greater height up the mountains.
She longed to reach some high summit. She wished to lose nothing of
the lofty that could be reached; and neither Paul nor the Doctor
failed to second her motion.



                                XXXIX

                       ON A PINNACLE IN NATURE


From the time that this region of the Himalayas first impressed
itself as a Cathedral upon the mind of Adele, an idealist, she
invariably spoke of the various natural beauties of the locality as
parts of the Grand Edifice.

“This Cathedral has magnificent proportions. I must explore it, and
go all over it, from crypt to dome, visit the baptistry, and, as the
Doctor says, ‘mount upon a pinnacle;’” then musingly: “I should like
to attend a service.”

“All right,” said Doctor Wise, the liberal, “we can have a service of
some sort, even if we are obliged to read prayers ourselves.”

“It would be better to have the natives officiate--one of the local
bishops,” said Adele.

“He would not have Apostolic succession,” said Paul, of Non-conformist
proclivities.

“Apostolic, nevertheless,” remarked Professor Cultus, who habitually
looked at things from a literary point of view. “He would consider
himself sent by some one--that makes him apostolic. He would
have been ‘called’ to preach, or to write, or to do something,
fundamentally apostolic, if he is a true man.”

“I should like to see a primitive cassock or stole,” said Miss
Winchester, who was inclined to ritualism, “and a real old-time monk
with his beads and a rope around his waist.”

“You shall,” said the Doctor, “and we will investigate to see whether
the clergy face towards the East.”

“Not here,” said Adele promptly; “they would not if they knew.”

“Why not?” exclaimed Miss Winchester.

“Because they must look up.”

“Oh, of course.”

“Northward, I mean--up north.”

“What has that got to do with it?”

“It’s towards the centre of things--the pole star in the heavens.”

“Dear me!” said Miss Winchester, “you’re so ‘broad’, you’ll flatten
out, become thin. I don’t like my bread buttered too thin; but tell
me, Adele, why here, in this place?”

“This Cathedral is so constructed.”

Miss Winchester said she had not before observed it in that light.

“Which way shall we start?” inquired Paul.

“For a good view, down the nave,” said Adele. “Let’s ask a verger to
show us around.”

The verger presented himself in the person of a Bhootan peasant
astride of a Manchu pony, and leading others saddled for members of
the party.

“I’m not accustomed to attending church on horseback,” remarked Miss
Winchester. “But I rather like the idea.”

“Our ancestors did; often two on the same pony,” laughed Paul.
“That’s why I like it; heredity, I suppose.”

“It strikes me it was a case of go-as-you-please with our primitive
ancestors,” said the Doctor, jovial. “That’s why we all like it.”

“If you mean liberty in worship,” whispered Adele, “that’s why it
suits me.”

“That’s about it,” thought the Doctor.

This was as they ascended Mt. Senshal towards Tiger Head. The valley
below was filled with cloud-billows which the cool morning air still
kept intact, the atmosphere above more clear and transparent. As they
and the sun rose higher and higher the cloud-billows became vapor,
and the mist twirled amid the foliage of the forest, or was dissolved
and disappeared in the general atmosphere.

The Bhootan verger took them to a lofty crest from which they could
look down the vista of the valley, and before them the nave of the
Cathedral. Verdant hills lifted their heads on either side, making
a sky-line as lofty as many in the Alps; yet here they were merely
spurs of the mighty range beyond.

A pause. Adele stood gazing through the Nave; and there was the
congregation, a world-full, at her feet.

Some one suggested to Paul that he ask her to sing. The request
seemed injudicious just then and there, but some people have no sixth
sense. Paul drew up his pony near hers while she was still absorbed
in the prospect. It certainly was inopportune, but he ventured:

“If my voice would carry, I should try to sing. How do you feel about
it, Adele?”

She shook her head.

“No? you don’t feel like singing! That’s not like you!”

“I like it too much, that’s why.”

“Oh, is that it?”

“Not here--I could not.”

“Where?”

“Perhaps--perhaps in the choir, when they have service.”

Evidently she had her own ideas about sentiments appropriate in
this Cathedral. There was a place and time for all things. This was
not the time nor place to make herself prominent, not even with the
divine art; rather the time for meditation upon the infinite grandeur
of the scene.

And the verger took them to other points of view, even as far as
Tongloo (altitude 10,000 feet), and Sunkukphoo (altitude 12,000
feet), consuming several days for these journeys. Over hill and dale
they went, from the Forest Bungalow mounting to Goom Rock; passing
by the pools (porkri) on to the Manay Bhunjun (temple); up zigzags to
a way-station hut. They passed through bamboo groves, and were off
and on their ponies as the route became too steep for riding. The
view at Tongloo was comprehensive and superb. Then they continued on
by descending, before surmounting another range; past waterfalls,
towards the base of Pionothumna Hills (S. E.); to rise again rapidly
by endless zigzags, seventeen at one time alone, towards the Kala
Porkri, a loftier point than they had yet reached; then more zigzags,
much puffing and blowing, through pines; then across the country, the
open upon a high level; and finally up and up, terrific pull, higher
and higher, by what Adele called the Himalaya Ladder, as extended as
Jacob’s, twenty-five zigzags in succession, a steep climb and hard
work, requiring an extra pair of wings, and double-bellows lungs--to
the summit at Sunkukphoo.

“Out on the roof!” exclaimed Miss Winchester.

“Among the flying buttresses,” thought the Professor.

“On a pinnacle of the Temple!” exclaimed the Doctor.

“All the world beneath us,” said Paul in admiration.

“All but those Delectable Mountains,” thought Adele, glancing at
once towards the snowy peaks which still towered above them at an
elevation of some twenty-nine thousand feet.

They stood in the presence of mountains five and a half miles high,
with comparatively little intervening; in the presence of some of
the highest summits upon the globe, and themselves literally on a
pinnacle.[2]

The sublimity of the Himalayas, now enhanced by greater proximity of
the beholder, presented a more pictorial effect than heretofore: the
grouping of the Trio of Mountains a composition from the Artistic
Mind of Nature; an inspiration full of aspiration, for the earth
itself seemed inspired by a desire to ascend. Such was the first
impression.

Attention was at once focused upon the Three Eternal Peaks, rather
than the extended Snowy Range which on either side disappeared in the
dim distance; and the forms and arrangement of the landscape seemed
almost ideal. Imagination might have conjured up such a tableau, but
its realization and potency in spiritual influences would hardly have
been expected as reasonable--the constant ascension of jagged glacial
ever-pointing summits (material substance) towards the Celestial
unseen realm of azure blue. Yet, there it was--an actuality--fixing
itself in the mind’s eye and on the physical retina, to be remembered
ever afterwards.

In the centre rose the Majesty of the Mountains, the Majestic Father
Peak, clad in Nature’s robes of State Existence; simple in outline,
exquisite in texture, the dignified sweep of lines and folds,
draperies and half-hidden illusive forms seemingly mysterious which
characterized the vestments of Nature’s Royal Presence--robes of
state flowing from the heavens above to the earth beneath.

Through the crystal atmosphere one could distinguish Celestial
Valleys, and ravines set amid rugged crags and mountain “needles” of
stone attenuated to an extent greater than any Cathedral spire ever
constructed by man: and in and about the deeper recesses were local
mists and hazy atmosphere, as if to hinder or prevent too inquisitive
curiosity as to the hidden depths within. Curious and admirable
indeed was this seemingly mysterious element in Nature; yet, verily
not so, not mysterious, but only secrets yet to be explored and
divulged by scientific research.

Although the tourists had thus ascended heavenward somewhat
differently from Jacob’s angels with wings, rather upon winged
ponies following the legendary hero upon his white horse; yet when
they arrived, the after-effects were quite according to ordinary
experience.

Miss Winchester was the first to illustrate her human nature under
such conditions. The altitude affected her peculiarly, not as it did
the others.

“No wonder,” said she, “that some people are tempted to jump off when
they find themselves on high places!--the exhilaration is intense.
There is a fascination in the depth, it draws one; it makes me feel
as if I could sail off in space, like the birds.”

“Be careful,” thought the Doctor, moving near her to steady her
nerves, if necessary.

“It is as if I should spread my arms--and leap!” cried she. “I could
sail on the air like the eagle; there is no thought of danger.”

“No danger! no danger!” instantly shouted the Bhootan pony driver,
noticing her actions which spoke quite as loud as her words. “No
danger! my horses are sure-footed. No danger with me! The Good
Spirits take care of all I bring, and will not let them dash their
foot against the stones;” and he continued to praise his sure-footed
ponies as able to carry anyone with safety. Miss Winchester concluded
to dismount, nevertheless, and the Doctor assisted her.

Adele began to feel nervous; the atmosphere being rarefied, and she
more sensitive than the others, it told upon her physically, and at
the same time affected her spiritually. She was glad that Paul kept
his pony next hers.

“What is it? are you tired?” asked Paul, noting her pallor.

“No! it’s so really high; we’re so high I don’t feel easy--it’s not
natural; it takes my breath away.”

“Oh, then you feel the effect of the thin air; open your mouth wide
and get the air on both sides of your ear-drums. The pressure will
then be even; you’ll feel better.” Adele did so and felt more at ease.

“How resourceful you are, Paul--so practical; that pressure was
becoming too much for me--I felt faint.” Then after looking around
for some time and observing other things, she remarked with
considerable energy, yet serious:

“These pinnacle views are too much!”

“What is it now?” asked Paul.

“Why--look before you--those are mountains beneath us, yet they look
flat.”

“Yes, they do.”

“They are neither picturesque nor artistic, when you look down upon
them.”

“Then don’t look at them, my dear! Look at me.”

Adele smiled, but continued in her mood.

“Paul! from above, those mountains are not true to nature, they are
not mountains at all.”

“From your point of view, no.”

“From here, the world is all out of drawing, it does not give you a
true idea of itself.”

“It certainly doesn’t look very round,” remarked Paul; “it’s rather
concave, with the horizon as high up as we are.”

“No, the idea is not true,” continued Adele; “seen from here, one
might think our journey had been over a flat country--easy to walk
over--but you know it wasn’t.”

Paul laughed. “No, it wasn’t, my saddle tells me so--it was a hard
road to travel. But the view! that’s all right; Adele, it is the
grandest we have seen. I never expect to see anything finer.”

“It’s too grand for me--it overwhelms.”

“How, Adele?”

“I’m deceived, in so many ways; deceived as to distance and heights,
and I can’t tell what I’m looking at. There now--over there, is a
large bare place, I suppose, but it looks like a small field; and
just the reverse, there is a clump of foliage, it may be a jungle
with tigers, although from here it looks so harmless.”

“Oh, but you must use your common sense and gumption, and not be
misled by experiences.”

“Indeed! Well, what do you call that?”

“Where?”

“That thing over there--what is it?” pointing with her whip.

Paul looked. Far away an irregular cloud-like something stood out
clearly as if raised above the surface of the earth; it gleamed or
glistened faintly in the distance, but being irregular in form,
light in color, and doubtless lifted up because it appeared so, Paul
pronounced it to be a cloud drifting between the lower hills.

“No, Mr. Common Sense with gumption, it is a lake--the pony man just
told me so; the reflection makes it stand up above the forest. I
don’t think much of common sense that mistakes a mud-puddle for a
cloud, do you?”

“Then we won’t photograph it, for cloud effects,” said Paul, feeling
less sure of himself.

“Paul, these high places give a sort of false perspective. I don’t
know how to describe it, but it takes too much common sense to get
correct impressions. I don’t like to be deceived, especially about
things so intensely interesting; or when I’m doing my best to see,
and I don’t see the real thing in return.”

“Well, keep your head level; if I had been on the lower level I
wouldn’t have been mistaken about that lake.”

“That’s just it,” said Adele. “No ifs are allowed on pinnacles,” and
on the instant her pony gave a lurch which threatened to unseat her.
She pulled him up sharply, and in so doing was thrown forward, into
a most uncomfortable position, on the pommel of her saddle. Bracing
up she tugged at the reins, drawing them tighter than was necessary,
which only made the animal more restive. Paul patted the beast on the
neck, and held him until the guide approached.

The Bhootanese came up, swearing outrageously in his native lingo;
declaring that the very devil was in the beast. He had bragged about
his sure-footed ponies, but had not mentioned that they, too, when
in unaccustomed places and particularly on elevations where the
air was thin, were apt to become restless, and were then given to
shyings and backings and misbehaviors quite foreign to them when
on a lower level. The pony was anxious to get down and return
home; the beast knew what was best for him. His Bhootanese master,
enraged at the animal for behaving so, swore until the air was full
of Himalaya imps, Bhootanese blue-devils, Nepaulese demons, and a
varied assortment of ejaculatory grunts, both human and equine, all
summoned for the occasion. Even in Occidental parlance it might be
said that the Devil and his imps had been summoned to meet there on
the pinnacle.

Fortunately this assortment of demon-devils were of native
production; therefore not recognizable by the rest of the party;
although not unknown to the ponies, who soon quieted down.

Miss Winchester, completely surrounded by the ejaculations, of course
secured a choice assortment for literary purposes; she and the demons
seemed to have it all their own way for the time being.

Adele was so preoccupied with keeping her seat in the saddle that
she was conscious of neither imps nor sounds, but after peace was
restored she turned to Paul:

“That man swore, didn’t he?”

“Yes, like a trooper.”

“Well, tell him the Bad Spirit will catch him if he does that sort of
thing.”

“Then, perhaps, he’ll set the Old Boy on us.”

“I would like to see what the Bhootanese Old Boy is like, if he
doesn’t scare my pony.”

“What would you do if you’d see him?”

“Tell him to keep his eye on his servant here--this mule! But we’ll
have no more trouble now, this pony only needs watching.”

“You held on first-rate.”

“Yes, but I didn’t come up here to watch a mule; I came for something
better.”

“Let me rub his nose,” said Paul, leaning over, making friends with
the pony.

Adele, who was indeed rather shaken up and agitated by the incident,
continued to feel nervous. She finally spoke:

“Would you like to know, Paul, how this really makes me feel--this
being so high up in the world?”

“Yes; I’d like to know how being elevated above the level of ordinary
experience affects you.”

“Well! sitting on a pinnacle, as the Doctor calls it, is a fraud.”

“You really think so!”

“Yes, it is deluding; it demands more than I can manage; it takes
entirely too much time trying to hold on.”

“What do you propose to do about it?”

“Why, get down--to our own level--soon as possible.”

There had come into their experience one phase of the great Asiatic
lesson to humanity, namely; to be content in the position, humble or
exalted, to which they had been born. The things seen had actually
embodied things unseen.



                                 XL

                         A GLIMPSE OF TAOISM


After the exhilarating ascent and sudden descent from Sunkukphoo,
Adele expressed a desire to see the valleys. “We’ve been on the roof
garden, amid the flying buttresses; let us visit the cloisters, and
see the crypt.”

The Bhootan verger led the way along the pony-path in front of
their Peek-o’-Tip-Bungalow, to the left--the descent was rapid. The
mountains closed in upon them. Rhododendrons as lofty as oaks shaded
them from the outer world. A strikingly beautiful region of another
type, where blossoms fringed the trees against the azure blue;
and what was still more beautiful, there were bouquets of scarlet
appearing against the snow-fields and glaciers.

“What striking contrasts!” exclaimed Paul, “yet the effect is not
overdone; it’s quite natural.”

“Nothing seems overdone in this Cathedral,” said Adele, not dreaming
what she was about to encounter. Miss Winchester helped her out. “I
must make a sketch of these wonderful contrasts; it will suggest a
superb color-scheme for an embroidered altar cloth. I wish I knew one
of the monks or ecclesiastics in charge here; we could ask him to
show us the vestments in the Sacristy.”

Miss Winchester’s wish for a monk was soon gratified. A turn in
the road brought them face to face with a Taoist Temple; a row of
so-called young monks sat upon the ground before the door. The
Lamas wore masks, as well as parti-colored garments, and they
carried long, slender bell trumpets, which they kindly tooted to
the accompaniment of cracked drums. The colors of their vestments
and costume in general were æsthetic as a patchwork quilt from the
revolutionary period of Sally Ross--only far more ancient.

Mrs. Cultus and Miss Winchester, both Colonial Dames, were at once
sentimentally affected by the color schemes and the designs of these
very old historical vestments. It was impossible to be “moved” by
their artistic excellence, so their historical value became at once
more important to notice. As to the masks, they were supposed to
represent demons, being in design diabolical, no doubt very true to
the life; and the trumpets shrill.

Adele and the Doctor had little appreciation for the crude colors, or
the terrific din. The latter, finding himself an unwilling listener
to a “Rhapsodie Lamanesque” on drums, searched for something to stuff
in his ears to soften the sound; he would have been willing to put
his fist in the bell of the leading trumpet, but such things were
inopportune. The effect was startling in the extreme; so very abrupt
after the exquisite tone-color contrasts they had just been admiring.
In fact, even their Manchu ponies halted, and wagged their ears to
shake off the sound. Adele’s animal turned one ear backward and the
other forward in astonishment.

Adele gave a new twist to the old line: “Where every prospect pleases
and only the music is vile.”

Miss Winchester’s churchly expectations received a severe shock, for
in this Cathedral monks were grotesque; but still they were monks,
although the ideal peaceful life of a monk did not appear.

Curiosity got the better of Paul; he was off his pony and confabbing
with the Lamas before the others had recovered from their amazement.
A Lama took off his mask to allow his own voice to be heard more
distinctly. He was a young fellow and rather good-looking, although
shaven with a tonsure; and quite as healthy in appearance as many a
monk who advocated asceticism. In fact, he seemed to be enjoying the
racket and also the masquerade. They were all of them, the Lamas, not
unlike a party of children playing at “theatre” in a nursery.

“Come,” said Paul, “we are invited to enter--it is one of your
chapels, Adele.”

The Taoist Temple was an unpretentious, one-storied structure, of
small dimensions, with projecting eaves. To the heathen inquisitives
who accepted this invitation, it proved to be a curio shop without
and within. Under the eaves were set vertically, into the front and
side walls, cylinders about two feet high and a foot in diameter
each, a double row, each cylinder held in position by a vertical
spindle through the middle. The double rows extended around these
three sides of the building.

The Chief Lama entered by the central door, the foreign heathen
following him. Passing around the interior, he gave each cylinder
a smart spank with the flat of his hand, causing it to revolve
rapidly on its vertical spindle. In a moment all were in motion, and
the whole house buzzing. The cylinders were reeling off prayers by
machinery at a rapid rate; and the Lama, holding his simple rosary
made of beans, stood ready to accelerate any particular cylinder
which lagged behind.

There could be no doubt as to the exact intention, the sincerity
and consequent efficacy of such prayers, simply because the proper
wording for a prayer was printed upon a slip of paper carefully
wrapped around the spindle inside the cylinder. Even if one’s
thoughts did wander, the printed matter did not--the machine did
the rest. All the worshipers had to do was to obey orders to attend
service, and whirl the machine; the Lamas would take care of these
wheels both inside and out, and would also give any stranger within
their gates a little wheel for hand use, to take home with him, if he
chose to pay for it.

Mrs. Cultus, who was still far from strong, no sooner entered the
Temple than she found herself surrounded by buzzing wheels on three
sides of the room; the fourth side occupied by what she called a
“cabinet of curios.” So many rotary prayers, whirling simultaneously,
were very confusing, especially as some of the wheels prayed in one
direction and some others in just the opposite. Mrs. Cultus soon
grasped the situation, however.

“I must have one. They are the most convenient things I ever saw. I
did not know these Taoists had such Yankee notions in this line.”

An innocent (_sic_) Lama promptly offered to sell her a small wheel,
which, upon her return, she discovered had been especially adapted
to heathen requirements. The thoughtful Lama had removed some of
his own prayers and had substituted items for which he knew the
Christians were constantly praying. He had inserted slips cut from
advertisements in the bazaar.

“Wanted, to rent--a bungalow! Wanted, bachelor’s quarters with good
drainage! Wanted, a good ayah (nurse);” and he had also kindly left
those petitions which all humanity should offer, of course:

“Wanted, a baby; boy preferred. Girls need not apply.”

It was lucky that Mrs. Cultus did not discover the tenor of these new
prayers until later, or she might have felt constrained to preach
a heathen sermon herself to the innocent Lamas in that chapel. At
this time, however, she held the wheel in her hand, twirling it,
innocently praying (according to the service interpretation) for what
would have surprised her greatly had her prayers been answered.

The Lama felt well pleased. The heathens were doing as they were
told. In time they would make good Taoists.

Miss Winchester also took much interest in this service, but with a
tinge of the missionary spirit which had escaped Mrs. Cultus.

“It is curious, isn’t it?” said she. “I feel like spinning round
and round, myself--not alone, like those dancing dervishes we saw
at Cairo; I want a partner. But I can’t decide which wheel to
choose--curious, isn’t it?”

“I would not have believed it,” said Adele, “if I had not seen it.
It affects my eyes in exactly the same way that my ears are affected
when a congregation repeat the same words over and over again without
thinking what they are saying.”

“It is very monotonous,” said Paul. “I suppose the Lamas use wheels
to save talking--possibly to save preaching; it does save the sermon,
yet brings people to church.”

“It must amuse them, too,” said Adele; “they are only children, you
know.”

“But grown-up children,” remarked the Doctor.

“Yes, and that reminds me; I’ve heard before of folk condemned for
much speaking without thinking, and for sounding trumpets in the
synagogue and streets; we’ve certainly found it here by the roadside.”

The scene thus far had been antipathetic to Adele, to both her
artistic and to her religious sense; still her sympathy for the poor
Taoists was excited. The real missionary spirit arose within her;
but what could she do? It seemed preposterous to attempt or to say
anything just then; she turned toward Doctor Wise.

The Doctor was standing near a very old woman who had just entered, a
poor creature in rags and tatters, her face smeared with dried blood
and other red pigments, a veritable hag in outer appearance, bowed
down with hard work and suffering. Even the Lamas made way for her,
however, for she was known to be a very devout old creature, who
spent much time in the Temple, who almost lived there; in fact, she
was a sort of priestess among them, the very priestess who had heard
Adele singing on the heights above her, and had said it was the Good
Spirits talking in the air.

The poor old soul had come to her customary holy place, and was
now evidently surprised to find it invaded by such a coterie of
strangers. Her attitude of intense curiosity soon changed to an
obsequious inclination of the body--the poor creature was doing her
very best to meet the case, to welcome them to her temple.

Adele felt drawn to her because she was so hideous to behold--so
sure is it that extremes will meet if truth is in each. Both being
sincere, each after her own fashion, the poor Taoist quickly
appreciated when one of her own sex came nearer to her; and an
experience altogether truthful followed.

The eyes of the priestess surveyed Adele from hat to shoes; and
womanly instinct once gratified, her eyes brightened. Adele smiled
responsively; utterly forgetful that she herself was indeed
beautiful, her heart went straight forward in visible sympathy with
the poor creature before her.

The light in those old Taoist eyes became still brighter--it was
wonderful this time--with that Asiatic fire which characterizes the
religious enthusiast. An idea had evidently struck the priestess;
what was it?

Turning from Adele she hobbled across the room, each step an effort,
to where stood an enormous prayer-wheel over six feet high, the most
important wheel in the Temple. Squatting on the floor beside it, she
fumbled under it as if trying to find something.

It was Adele’s turn to be curious.

The priestess, now fired by religious zeal, drew from underneath an
iron bar bent at one end, not unlike a heavy poker. She adjusted it
underneath to a crank on the wheel, and began tugging and struggling.

Paul exclaimed at once: “She’s trying to start that immense machine!”

“It looks so,” said Adele quietly.

“To pray with that is hard work.”

“She is not conscious of the effort.”

“Well, I should be.”

“I never knew before what it meant,” said Adele.

“What?”

“Why, to pray with all your strength--don’t you see?”

“Yes.”

“She has a motive to give her strength; I see it in her eyes.”

“Possibly! but don’t tell me you can detect motives in people’s eyes.”

“I can; she is a woman, you are not.”

“I give it up,” said Paul. “You have the advantage of me in feminine
insight; what is her motive?”

“To pray for us,” said Adele seriously. “I feel sure of it; the good
old soul, she looks it and acts it; she’s going to pray.”

“By machinery?”

“It is for us, I tell you, Paul; I don’t care if she doesn’t say a
word; she’s doing it for us!--don’t you see her?”

“Oh!”

“Watch, and pray yourself, and you will see.”

Paul watched, but he couldn’t pray, not just then, so he whispered:
“Taoists and Buddhists don’t pray, anyhow--they only mutter.”

“Well, no matter, nor mutter either,” said Adele. “It’s the way they
get at it. She is not beautiful, but she has something better--she
can----”

“Use machinery,” muttered Paul, the incorrigible. “No, Adele, she is
not handsome----”

“No, but she is good and true, poor old woman. If I had to make the
choice, I would rather have her prayerful spirit than even beauty.”

Paul looked at the lovely girl to whom he was betrothed, and thought
her an enthusiast quite equal to the old woman; then upon second
thought:

“Adele!”

“Well?”

“I suppose you are right, but I’m glad you don’t look like her.”

While they watched, the poor priestess was still tugging at her
wheel; she had but little strength and it was so heavy. None of her
people offered to help.

Adele’s interest increased, until a glow came into her eyes also;
seizing Paul by the arm, she whispered:

“It’s--it’s too much for her, Paul; see! she cannot move it. You must
help--no, I;” and the next instant Adele was beside the Taoist on the
floor; each helping the other to turn the wheel, each trying to pray
according to her own previous experience. Adele said afterwards it
took about all the strength she had.

Between them, the wheel began to turn slowly, very slowly; the dead
weight, the inertia, the figurative indifference to be overcome was
typical of mundane matters generally, forming a heavy impediment to
be overcome in spiritual relationship. But the wheel did move, the
momentum increased, it gained force, and was soon revolving at a
good rate of speed by the sole effort of the poor, weak, but sincere
Taoist.

Adele slipped aside, and stood listening to the low musical hum of
the large machine instead of the sharp buzzing of the smaller wheels
she had heard before. Her musical ear at once noticed the profound
difference in the tone; it sounded solemn--aye, sweet and peaceful;
if continued it would be a veritable lullaby dominated by spiritual
significance; it would be truly musical, spiritual music; all the
greater harmonies condensed in one solemn tone; a single spiritual
tone. The greatest orchestra of man could do no more.

Could it be possible that this wild priestess was also affected by
the sacred solemn sound? Do even the crude forms of religion have
such subtle distinctions of feeling? Do they not, as well as we,
hear the solemn sounds in nature? Why not? Nature’s tones are full
of significance. And who would “know” this better than those who
worship in the forest where the trees bow their heads and the leaves
rustle; or by the stream where zephyrs blow and the birds warble; or
before the majestic mountains when the rushing mighty wind blows its
diapason, and the avalanche gives the basal note at the end? Such
are the nocturnes, the largos, aye, the symphonic sounds in nature.
Does not a “nature-worshiper” hear them? They have been from the
beginning, are now, and ever shall be.

Strange, oh, passing strange, the low tone of this mighty wheel now
sounded much like nature’s tones in harmony with one at her devotions.

“I have heard the Taoist organ,” thought Adele, “its sacred solemn
sound.”

But for this solemn music, there was silence in the Temple while the
Taoist muttered.

So long as the strangers remained in that Cathedral chapel the huge
wheel continued to revolve--emblem of perpetual prayer--praying
without ceasing. The priestess who thus prayed had much to say--to
repeat--being old, and with little time left in which to say her
prayers. She kept on, oblivious to all surroundings, absorbed in
contemplation of the unseen; for with all humanity there is nothing
so real as the unseen. She kept on oblivious to all the outer world
who might be gazing with curiosity; she remained crouched on the
floor of the Temple, simply muttering, over and over again, some
mystic phrase or the name of Buddha, which none of the strangers
could understand.

When the party left she was still praying after her fashion. As they
mounted their ponies and journeyed out into the great world, she
was still meditating on the best she knew, as the Good Spirit had
taught her. As they descended the ravine, Adele could still hear the
hum of the wheels; and above all the low solemn tone was profoundly
significant. It now came to her from above, through the tree-tops; it
blended with the rustling of the leaves, and was lost in the sough of
the forest.



                                 XLI

                    PROCESSIONAL BEFORE THE VEIL


Atmospheric changes were varied and rapid in the vicinity of the
Himalaya “Five Peaks of Eternal Snow.” Clear days were by no means
constant around Darjeeling. There were periods when “the view
towards the chancel,” as Adele called it, was obstructed; days when
the clouds hung low, even resting upon the forests in the ravines
beneath. Yet the forms of the trees were not always hid, they
appeared as darker lines of delicate tracery against the lighter
background.

At such times Adele idealized with much refinement of vision. “Those
trees are the rood-screen; I can see through into the chancel when
it is clear; but to-day the chancel is misty, the clouds hang like a
veil. It is astonishing how much is hidden by fog and mist in nature;
that veil hides a great deal.”

The Doctor also was very appreciative of such atmospheric changes,
since they often resulted in superb effects, cloud scenery, sunbursts
never to be forgotten for their magnificence.

It thus happened while they were all assembled on a Saturday evening
discussing projects for the morrow, that Adele and the Doctor each
felt the impulse to rise early on the same morning to watch some of
the atmospheric changes which made beautiful the dawn.

The Doctor remembered having seen remarkable effects at Banff in the
Rockies; and Adele recalled having met Tartarin de Tarascon on the
Righi pretty early in the morning; no doubt there might be some
greater things than these to be found among the Himalayas. Why it
was, that only these two of the party should have been so moved,
and upon the same particular morning, and without saying anything
about it previously, the Doctor could never quite understand; unless
on the general principle that if people will follow their natural
inclinations to see the best in life they need not be surprised
to find others doing the same thing at the same time. When they
discussed it subsequently, Adele accounted for it in her own way.

“I so often dislike to make the necessary effort. That sort of effort
is very trying, when to see something extra which I know can be seen
I must force myself. Getting up early, for instance; I don’t like
getting up early as a general thing, but I just forced myself to do
so on that morning.”

Thus it happened to be the first day of the week very early in the
morning that she and the Doctor found themselves abroad when it was
yet somewhat dark. Adele was the first to appear upon the scene; she
was standing in the road opposite Peek-o’-Tip when the Doctor came
out of the bungalow. Neither one was in the mood for conversation,
and the morning air was fresh. After the first agreeable surprise
Adele put her arm in his and they moved off together briskly. She
was in sympathy with him also, as with Paul, but the mutual feeling
manifested itself very differently. The cloud hung low.

“The sun will drink up the mist,” remarked the Doctor in peasant
parlance.

“I hope so, but I never can tell. Let us go to Observatory Hill;
that’s the best place.” She seemed to take it as a matter of course
that they each had the same object in view.

“Your Cathedral is gloomy,” said the Doctor, looking around.

“One can’t see the chancel.”

“No.”

“It’s the veil,” said Adele, thoughtful.

“What did you say?”

“The cloud-curtains, the veil of the Temple is down.”

After walking some distance they entered a grove; of course it became
still darker because they entered the grove. What they did not notice
was that the clouds, instead of dispersing, were becoming more dense.
They only remembered that the path led upwards towards higher ground
in the open.

At one point on the way Adele stopped, and looked into a dark glen
where she said she heard running water. The Doctor pushed aside
bushes that stood in the way, and they were sprinkled by the moisture
that had condensed on the bushes. If there had been more light they
would have seen the diamond drops upon the scarlet blossoms; but
these were hidden in the shadows at the mouth of the glen.

Before them was an exquisite cascade falling over rocks; coming down
the mountain it was tossed upon either side of a heavy stone which
had been rolled there in past ages by natural forces, and now stood
with white foam enveloping its rugged sides.

This unexpected gem of natural scenery compelled them to halt and
admire.

“What a surprise, how beautiful!” exclaimed Adele.

“Yes, even in this dull light.”

“The water looks like delicate cambric.”

“Why, so it does--draped round the stone; the rocks are sombre and
solemn. You know it is said that some animals, wild and savage, like
to find such places as this to nestle down and take their last long
sleep.”

“I think I know why, too,” said Adele.

“Ah!”

“It is the music of the waterfall perhaps, and the movement too. The
water is so much alive, it’s living water.”

“All life seeks life,” said the Doctor. “Some sort of companionship;
even a hermit likes the life in his glen. It’s not uncheerful here,
after all, is it--even if it seems gloomy?”

“No, listen; the waterfall is singing. I could catch the rhythm, and
perhaps a cadence, in a short time if I were to try; it seems to say
something.”

“What does it say, to you?”

“Oh, ’tis ‘the water of life repeating,’” said Adele, quoting one of
her favorite lines. “I cannot tell you exactly what it says in words,
but the music in it is hopeful; I love to listen to it.”

“So do I,” said the Doctor. “Would you like a drink?”

“Indeed, I would; just for remembrance, to say we have been here
together. Let us take a drink in remembrance.”

They both drank from a cup made of leaves--both of the same cup--“the
water of life,” as Adele called it; and as they drank a bird flew
down from its nest, perched itself on a rock near the cascade above
them, and drank also; a little bird with a red breast. They did not
see the bird, emblem of suffering unto death for others, and only
took a drop or two themselves, for verily the realities of life made
the glen damp and cold, yet the thought symbolized by the bird was
ever with them and the moment precious.

“I should like to drink that water always,” said Adele.

“Always is a long time.”

“Well, I did not mean exactly that--until----”

The Doctor waited.

“Well, if I must tell you, until the resurrection.”

“I trust we may,” said he solemnly.

They understood each other perfectly, and after a pause, while the
robin sang a morning hymn, they continued their walk.

Drops of rain began to fall upon the tree-tops. Adele and the Doctor
caught the sound.

“Only a little condensation,” said he, “a draught of cooler air has
passed over. We will be out of it in a few minutes.”

Adele felt chilly, but would not say so. She drew her hooded-wrap
about her, and felt quite safe with the Doctor.

“A Lepcha shanty is just beyond here,” said he, “if it comes to the
worst we can find shelter.”

“And plenty of dirt,” thought Adele. “No doubt, lots of insects,
especially on a damp day.”

The patter of rain increased, a very wet drop fell upon her cheek,
several big drops struck the Doctor full in the face. Having no
umbrellas they hurried along instinctively, then broke into a
trot--then ran to escape as best they could. When crossing an open
space between the woods and the hut the rain fell in torrents.

“You will be drenched through and through,” said the Doctor.

“I don’t mind it at all. It’s only on the outside, anyhow, and I’m
warmly clad; still it’s a little chilly--let’s hurry,” and off
she started, the Doctor after her, on a bee-line for the shelter.
Panting, they rushed up to the shanty.

The hut was almost full--full of Lepchas--men, women and children,
unkempt specimens of humanity whose clothes when once on seemed
seldom to be taken off until they fell off. The Lepchas had also
taken refuge from the storm, and were all wet and bedraggled, like
themselves.

“A sweet party, truly!” thought the Doctor, and so it was. Poor
natives lying round like drowned rats--the Americans in exterior
appeared not much better; all but Adele’s cheeks which glowed after
the exercise of running.

She pulled back her hood, and a ripple of smiles played over her
countenance--the Lepchas laughed too. Then as if they were all
friends together, she asked: “Can you take us in--take us in?” and
began shaking the rain from her garments at the outer stone. It must
have been her cheerful manner that induced one of the women to make
room next herself on a seat; the Lepcha men were more stolid, but all
began to move when the strangers entered.

The Doctor soon detected a goat in the shanty--there was no doubt
about it--and concluded to escape as soon as possible. But there
they were--caught; caught as in a net of circumstances. Little did
he or Adele know to what the circumstances would lead, but he said
afterwards that it reminded him of St. Paul’s experience at Joppa
with a sheet-net full of common things, four-footed beasts and fowls,
unclean things in general; which later on proved not so unclean as he
had at first thought; only in this case Adele and he were inside the
net with the rest.

Some of the Lepchas knew a few words of English, but the more ancient
universal language of signs and grunts proved to be more useful.
Adele patted a chicken, and a Lepcha damsel patted the young goat,
a kid. Both chicken and kid seemed of special value to the natives.
Adele could not conjecture the reason. When the rain ceased and
they all stepped outside she was further enlightened. Neither the
wet Lepchas nor the bedraggled Christians desired to remain in that
stuffy hut, both hurried to seek the fresh air and to reach the open;
the whole crowd in fact, kid and chicken included. And out they
scrambled, pell-mell, with a unanimity of action as natural as it
was prompt. The natives formed a little group in the open, looking
around to satisfy themselves that the clouds were dispersing. Through
rifts in the mist near them came the clearer morning light, to all,
from whatever part of the earth they had come, a foretaste of the
brightest of days.

The natives gathered together, a little company, their leader
carrying the kid, a boy following with the fowl, others straggling by
twos and threes, yet now all of sober countenance.

Adele and the Doctor looked after them; there was evidently some
purpose in the manner of those natives as they proceeded up the hill
towards its crest, to the very place of observation they themselves
had selected for the best view, and where they were going when
they had been arrested by the shower. More than mere curiosity,
a fellow-feeling, now suggested that they all go together; so,
regardless of their wet and soiled garments, Adele and the Doctor
soon found themselves willingly tramping up that hill along with
the ragged natives. The leader looked askance at first, but when
he noticed Adele beside one of his women, and the Doctor with his
men, he made the best of it, accepted the situation, and kept ahead
carrying the kid.

The path wound upwards, the ascent growing more steep. None could see
far ahead when the processional commenced. Not until their march was
well under way, not until the very last stage of the climb, not until
near approach to the place they sought, not in fact until their own
forms arose above the near foreground, did they witness the Glory in
nature which was, and is, and is to be.

And as they surmounted the crest of the hill, so did the Celestial
scenery beyond become visible to their mortal eyes, rising before
them a sublime transformation scene--an ascension of truth beautiful
in nature.

To Adele and the Doctor, a veritable transfiguration of the earth as
they might imagine it glorified on the morning of a Resurrection.

The mighty summits, the eternal peaks, on this first day of the week,
shone forth in the purer atmosphere of greater altitude, magnificent
in proportions as a work in Creation, impressive in their glorious
grandeur, refulgent as with the sacred glow of a physical rebirth.

The clouds were moving aside, as a curtain is withdrawn; and from the
depths below, the valley and ravine, from forest and waterfall, rose
the mist. That which covers, screens, or conceals in nature, like
the fog, was passing away; that which is more permanent, ascending
heavenward to form clouds; ascending as incense ascends; incense
symbolic from ages past of the prayers of humanity.

The Holy of Holies of the Himalaya Cathedral was open before them.

The Veil of the Temple had been rent in twain.

[Illustration: As Incense Ascends--Symbolic, from Ages Past, of the
Prayers of Humanity.

The Kunchingunga Snowy Range. Elevation, 28,156 feet.

Scene from Observatory Hill, Darjeeling.]



                                XLII

                           ON HOLY GROUND


As the impressive scene unfolded, the Cathedral becoming more
sublimely beautiful each moment, Adele watched the wonderful play
of light--the refulgence. She was also profoundly impressed by the
magnificent proportions of the picture then being illuminated before
her very eyes by the Creator; and felt the breath of life come and go
with emotion.

“It is the Glorious Beauty of Holiness,” she murmured, and then, kept
silence before Him.

Now, next to Adele stood the native woman; and before them both
was unrolled the same scene. To this Himalaya worshiper, Lepcha,
Bhootanese, Nepaulese, Thibetan, or whatever tribe she might have
been born, the effect was not the same as upon Adele. Familiarity
with such sunrises in the mountains had dulled what little
appreciation she might ever have had; but her religion had told her
something which Adele did not know. From untold generations her
people had been taught to regard that place as sacred. She had been
brought there as a child, and now she was leading her own children
there; and told the little ones: “The place whereon thou standest is
holy ground.” She had also her own ideas as to why it was sacred; and
that very morning had come to the holy ground to show the children
why it was holy; but Adele knew nothing of all this.

Worldly wisdom might have judged this woman and Adele to be in no
way alike, yet, here in this presence, where the holiness of beauty
and the beauty of holiness were both in evidence, there was really a
fundamental similarity.

Adele drew near the Doctor; he, too, had been keeping silent in the
Holy Place.

“The Veil has been taken away,” said she.

“H’m, yes.”

“It is the most impressive sight I ever beheld.”

“Why so?”

“It is as a chancel should be.”

“Of course, the most beautiful portion of a cathedral.”

“Beauty is not all, I feel more than I see; the beauty is sacred
here; the sacred feeling comes first, and then--oh, it is so
beautiful!”

“It must be a Holy Place if it affects you that way.”

“Yes, a place for prayer, it seems natural to pray here; here one
thinks upwards, and looks upwards.”

“Then the effect is spiritual as well as artistic.”

“Oh, don’t analyze! I don’t wish to reason at all,” said Adele. “For
me it’s perfect. I’m satisfied. Just let me rest here, let me go and
sit down, _and be a part of it_.”

She seated herself at the foot of a tree.

It would have been sacrilege to disturb her at that moment--a
violation of sacred things in her experience. So, on the instant,
thought the Doctor.

After a little reflection, the Doctor said to himself that this was
not the time for Adele to “loaf and invite her soul.” He feared lest
she was carrying her idealization entirely too far. Even the best in
the world, if carried to excess, leads one into danger; and spiritual
excesses are especially dangerous, either to youth or old age.

To sit at the feet of Nature, to admire and enjoy the Creator’s
work, was one thing; to be so absorbed in Nature’s moods, and to
become such a slave to emotion that all else is forgotten, would
be quite another thing. Adele seemed to have forgotten the Lepchas,
and himself, and even her own self; and to be totally absorbed in
adoration of the scenery.

The Doctor had many times seen pious worshipers in certain phases of
Hindooism, Buddhism, and Christianity, indulge in that sort of thing;
but never in Shintoism or any really old form of faith which brought
one close to nature, through nature’s activities and manifestations
unidealized; where nature spoke for herself and mankind was silent
before her. He suspected this excess of idealization, this becoming
“a part of it,” as Adele had wished for, might become really a
weakness in her character, and might lead her into danger. Such a
frame of mind would certainly be fascinating to Adele, she was so
made, she was constitutionally an idealist; but certainly it was not
mentally healthful in relation to her duty to others; not a thing
to be rooted out, but to be controlled lest the result should prove
injurious.

The Doctor determined to break in upon her mood in some way. He
recalled her last remark, that she was perfectly satisfied with her
Cathedral, and only wished to rest and be a part of it.

“Adele, you said this Cathedral was complete.”

“It is to me.”

“Not if it is a cathedral as usually understood.”

“What do you mean?”

“You have idealized what we now see as the chancel?”

“Certainly, the place where the service is conducted.”

“May I ask what is the central feature in the service to which you
and I are accustomed?”

“To administer; no doubt.”

“To administer; certainly--but what?”

She thought very seriously, trying to find suitable words. She was
not accustomed to this sort of stand-up-and-deliver catechism; but
finally she spoke:

“Some might say to administer the sacrifice; but I do not see how
this can be possible. It is not a fact in nature; I cannot consider
it true.”

“May I ask, why not?”

“You can never kill the truth; and Christ is not dead, but living;
they are the same no matter how you think about it--Christ and the
Truth.”

“But Truth was sacrificed in Him.”

“Never!” she cried. “That is an impossibility in nature. It only
seems sacrificed; it never really is.”

“But He was sacrificed.”

“His great sacrifice of Himself for Truth’s sake was really His whole
life work, and it was Perfection,” said Adele.

“His life, as well as His death,” acquiesced the Doctor, solemnly.

“Yes, a perfect work.”

“Well then, Adele, no other _idealized sacrifice_ in administering
could make the service more complete, nor the atonement more adequate
than it is.”

The atonement!

Yes. The at-one-ment--the Saving of the World--the Salvation of
Mankind by the Truth.

       *       *       *       *       *

And as they conversed thus, upon the Lepcha Holy Ground, the Doctor
concluded that Adele’s meditations had not led her astray; but he
felt constrained to say something further which had been on his mind
from the first.

“Adele, with us the ministration is usually at the chancel rail.”

“Yes, or what corresponds to it.”

“Where from?”

“The altar; why do you ask?”

“Have you seen any altar in this Cathedral?”

Adele looked around in different directions, continually reverting
to the chancel region she had idealized, as if it ought to be there.
Surely there must be an altar in nature, or something she could
idealize as such; for so many religions professed to have altars,
from the earliest times down to the present day. She began to fear
lest her imagery as to the Cathedral had failed her in a vital point.
Once before she had thought she could discover some form or shape in
the higher altitudes which might suggest an altar; in every case the
light had been so dazzling, or what she tried to see was so vague,
that her ideal had never been satisfied in its most vital need; and
now with the chancel itself open, the veil rent, she saw nothing to
suggest an altar. Where was it? Had it been there? If so, then what
had become of it--the altar?



                                XLIII

                              SACRIFICE


Adele was still sitting at the foot of the tree; some said it was a
bo-tree; others did not have knowledge enough to tell what kind of a
tree it was. She did not think of this at all, as she sat dreaming
upon the magnificent spectacle before her. In her mind she was
seeking for an answer to the Doctor’s inquiry; then her eyes, while
searching for some object which might be idealized in some degree
as an altar, were drawn to the immediate foreground, away from the
chancel, to something in her own vicinity, quite near herself.

Upon the same knoll, a short distance from her, boughs of foliage
were festooned with cords and ropes upon which hung hundreds of
small pieces of bright-colored muslin cut fantastically; also pieces
of white textile, the size of a large napkin, covered with printed
or crudely stamped characters in the native language. Hanging in
garlands from bough to bough, fluttering in the wind among the
leaves, they were about as effective as yacht signals strung out for
decoration. Signals they were, indeed, but of quite another kind;
the fluttering prayer-signals of the poor Lepchas, or Bhootanese,
or Thibetans, arranged in a semi-circle around their sacred place.
Wafted heavenward by the breeze, such signals were presented as
acceptable to the Good Spirits, and were considered to bear upwards
the supplications of poor humanity. They were the symbols of prayer
used by the same worshipers in whose hut Adele and the Doctor had
found a welcome shelter from the storm.

At first sight Adele thought: “How very crude and tawdry!” A second
glance told her the decorations symbolized something, and she felt
more sympathetic. The bright colors and the printed texts on white
were certainly newer, fresher, and cleaner than the garments of the
Lepchas themselves; they must have been selected, and they had cost
something; only a few annas perhaps, or possibly some widow’s mite.

“Yes, the effect is cheerful; a happy one,” thought Adele. “One
doesn’t feel despondent when looking at them.” How could it be
otherwise when each praying-signal fluttered a message of thanks,
or propitiation?--all of them in remembrance of the Good Spirits.
And then she thought she detected among them a familiar arrangement
of colors; what!--could it be possible? Yes, an old faded-out,
partly-torn specimen of “Old Glory,” hardly recognizable, but yet
there, for the sake of its being a new arrangement of colors,
probably its true significance utterly unknown. This moved Adele
intensely, giving her a curious new emotion, blending her patriotic
feeling with the sacred things of others. Finally she concluded
that all the signals were really artistic from the Lepcha point
of view, for she noticed an expression of much satisfaction pass
over the countenances of the natives when they found their sacred
prayer-colors were still so bravely fluttering after the storm; still
in motion where the Spirit of the Air could easily see and hear. The
poor woman with whom Adele had walked up pointed to some as if they
were her own private signals, but as Adele did not manifest much
outward enthusiasm about them, a sad expression came over the face
of the nature-worshiper. She seemed to realize that she ought not
to expect these strangers to understand her feelings. Perhaps the
strangers would scorn such things--old pieces of muslin picked up in
the bazaar; they could afford yards and yards of it if they chose.
So the poor woman turned away disappointed, to seek sympathy among
her own kindred who could better understand how such things were
acceptable to the Good Spirit.

It was profoundly interesting to see those two at this time, so near
in body, and yet so far apart in religious interpretations; yet
each upon what was to her “holy ground.” Such are the mysterious
operations of the Spirit of Religion in Nature.

Adele was just beginning to realize the varied conflicting elements
in her surroundings when she and the Doctor heard voices behind
them--a weird chant--a primitive monotonous crooning, but wild--the
natives’ hymn. Around a thicket the people had gathered, singing
this invocation. Adele and the Doctor drew near, and both of them
being musical they involuntarily attempted to catch the higher notes
and to join in; but it proved to be too much for them in every way,
especially to Adele’s cultivated ear. The very simplicity of the
strange sounds, all spirit and no art, made it difficult to detect
any method, only variations of monotonous notes and cries; sometimes
rhythm, but no trace of melody, at least to civilized ears. It was
painfully monotonous; aye, there was pain indeed in that native chant
of invocation. No grand aria of the art divine, nor “wail of the
orchestra” in modern times, had more pain to the spirit in man, than
that primitive wail. All that Adele and the Doctor could do was to
feel for them, yet not be of them.

The thicket was formed by underbrush which had sprung up around some
taller trees. There was an open space inside, with several rocks and
stones which had evidently been brought there by the worshipers. One
rock larger than the rest stood on one side, the others scattered
with apparent lack of method. The entrance was wide, so that all near
at hand could witness what was going on within the circle. And while
the weird song continued outside, the people drew nearer and nearer;
the solemn moment arrived for the Leader and his Helper to enter this
thicket--the Lepcha Holy of Holies--and stand before their altar.

As Abraham of old, in mature manhood, Leader of “the Chosen People”
among races, did enter a thicket and there offer a sacrifice well
pleasing to the Lord: so did this poor native at the end of the
Nineteenth Century, enter his Holy Place, a thicket in the Creator’s
Cathedral of the Himalayas; and there did offer a sacrifice well
pleasing to the Good Spirit to whom a thousand years are as one day,
and one day as a thousand years.

The first offering was the fowl; and as the dying spasms of the bird
scattered blood upon the stones, and upon the primitive priest, and
upon others who stood near enough, the wild chant rose above the
sound of flapping wings, and with the final throes of death mingled
the wails of the worshipers.

To Adele, whose experience in killing of any kind was limited, the
sight of life-blood flowing was most painful, even obnoxious. When a
little girl in the country during her school-day vacations, she had
always avoided seeing the fowls killed; not only because it destroyed
her appetite for them afterwards, but because she felt a most
positive and acute sympathy for the fowls. In later years, if anyone
had called such proceedings “a sacrifice,” she would have been much
surprised. On this occasion, face to face with it, her sympathy was
strong enough to give her a sympathetic pain in the back of her own
neck when the fowl was stabbed, pierced unto death.

When Adele was in the hospital acting as volunteer nurse, her
experience had been to assist in curing, not in the surgical
department; and if such had been the case, she would not have
remained there a day. Now, when she found herself a quasi-participant
in these Lepcha proceedings, eye-witness of a bloody wounded fowl
flapping about, the situation was positively repulsive; and very
difficult to sympathize with, even when she knew the act to be a
feature in religious worship. She looked up at the Doctor.

Doctor Wise was absorbed in studying the movements of the priest.

The Lepcha stood over the kid, with his knife drawn ready to take its
innocent life.

Adele caught sight of him in that attitude, and gave a shudder. She
knew she could not endure to witness the next act. Naught could have
induced her to turn spiritually from the poor nature-worshipers at
such a moment, yet she could not accept their primitive methods as
other than downright cruelty to-day. The sharp glittering knife, the
rough stone, the priest’s stolid expression; and above all else, the
unsuspecting little kid, so docile, as if among friends. Verily, the
trustful eyes of the little animal seemed to speak the very words:
“Ye are my friends, while I am yet with you.”

Adele buried her face upon the Doctor’s shoulder, and only heard
without seeing the sacrifice which followed.

And behold! one of the most natural yet mysterious of all the
phenomena in nature at once followed: Adele, embodying in her own
personality the progress made in appreciation of religious ritual
upon earth since primitive times, while spared the terror of realism,
was more deeply affected than by realism itself; the things done
had greater scope and power, the spiritual impression was far
more profound and lasting than the effect of any spectacle which
had actually been witnessed, and this in the very nature of truth
progressive. The mind is greater than the eye, the Spirit of Truth is
greater than the mind, the real growth is not in the intellect but
in the spirit; aye, “the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
Knowledge is power, but the spirit giveth immortality.”

Adele heard the cry of pain, the cry of life departing. It was only
that of an animal, an innocent kid, but it and its innocence stood in
lieu of many human beings. She heard the chant of the natives calling
aloud, heavenward! above the cries of the innocent sacrifice; the
people seemed themselves to be suffering. They were, yet they were
not; not physically, yet their cries sounded as if the knife might be
entering their very vitals. No realism apparent to mortal eyes could
have been so powerful to affect them spiritually--the noblest, the
divine in their personality; not unless nature itself had witnessed
by taking part; not unless the veil of the Himalaya Temple had
closed again, or “the sun had been darkened over all the earth,” or
some such occurrence had transpired to direct attention to an event
affecting humanity at large.

Then the strangest part of this primitive ritual followed; enduring
in its action, and lasting in memory. An event implying mystery
took place, a seeming mystery was suggested, a philosophic truth
inculcated. How so by such a primitive uneducated people, yet able
to embody what to this day dominates the profoundest concepts of
philosophic man?

With the passing of the life by sacrifice, the life from the shed
blood as it curdled and sank into the ground, went also the moans
and dirges of those for whom the sacrifice had been made. The Lepcha
voices changed in quality, manifesting great gain in force of
conviction, rose higher and higher, and finally gave vent to cries of
exultation, aspiration, exaltation--they chanted a triumph: a victory
leading them onwards and upwards towards something beyond in the
direction of the Eternal Summits magnificent before their very eyes.
It was as if they saw the truth in their faith no longer militant and
sacrificing, but triumphant in the Celestial Realm.

Strange, yet a natural consequence of the truth as they saw it: as
the life of the kid departed by the blood of sacrifice returning into
the earth among the grass of the field from which it had come and
upon which it had fed, there arose a new life--a resurrection from
the depths of misery and woe; a new song--a triumphal song--a song of
the Saved Ones. The native choristers seemed possessed with renewed
hope and vitality; and acting under these influences they found the
burden of their song changed to suit a new condition which they
certainly discerned.

In the case of these Himalaya nature-worshipers, this ordinary
killing of a beast for food, as practiced by their ancestors from
time immemorial, had been used by the Mind of Nature, the Creator
Father, to teach a philosophic truth through the religious sense;
the full significance of which was not learned by humanity until
millenniums after those primitive ancestors had found it to be a fact
in nature.

Truly, this ancient ritual was profound in significance; it had been
so from the beginning.

Adele next heard the priest speaking aloud in a clear exulting tone;
it sounded as if he were addressing a multitude. She would have
given much to have comprehended fully what he said, but it was lost
to her; his words passed into the distance over the tree-tops, into
space, off towards the Celestial region where the Good Spirit would
both hear and understand. Then ensued an interval of suspense; all
she heard was the sound of broken twigs and a slight tapping. It was
the worshipers attaching some feathers of the fowl and small pieces
of raw flesh of the kid to the trees. The feathers were to flutter
in the wind as more signals to the Spirits of the Air. The hair of
the goat was to be blown by the breeze as more prayers or symbols of
propitiation, ever active before the Good Spirits.

After the ceremony was finished, the primitive procession started
upon its recessional, wended its way down the hillside, to enter
again their huts, and feast upon the burnt offering--cooked.

Adele looked up. The Ancient Service, in vogue from the beginning in
the development of religious consciousness in man, and held to-day
in the Himalaya Cathedral, was finished. The altar had not been in
the chancel, but as of old, in the outer court of the Temple, in
the world at large. The daily sacrifice could be made by any man
in his own daily life--it was a part of the ritual of day-by-day
devotion--the sacrifice of things seen to attain spiritually to
things unseen. The altar might be in any man’s hearth or home, in his
heart or soul-life.

Adele had been present at a primitive realistic ceremony, but she
had not been able to witness it with her bodily eyes, so great was
the progress of truth in life “since the days of sacrifice.” She
understood now why the Creator had led humanity to abjure and abolish
actual burnt sacrifices, substituting the spiritual experience, in
remembrance.

Adele and the Doctor entered the thicket where the service had been
held. They noticed how the life-blood had already sunk into the
ground and been absorbed and become a part of it, “earth to earth.”
If they had visited the Lepcha huts, they would have found “ashes
to ashes.” They noticed also how the recently added signals, the
feathers and the hair of the innocent kid, were fluttering with the
other color-signals; these latter new ones in remembrance of the
day’s service. And as they looked around they heard the Lepchas still
off in the distance, singing. They had plenty of fresh food now, and
a joyful spirit within. They sang as man often sings, when at his
daily work, at home, in his shop, or in the field.

What more philosophically true in man’s religious development, from
before Abraham, from primitive man, from the beginning so far as
humanity knows about itself? The Spirit of Truth in ancient man had
ever testified to the shedding of innocent life-blood instead of
the sacrifice of self, or personal surrender, as the visible sign
of propitiation, or of at-one-ment, the atonement. A tangible sign,
symbolic, which could not in the very nature of things be understood
in fuller significance until mankind was ready for the comprehension
of the unseen, the spiritual sacrifice or atonement, until
civilizations had sufficiently developed to comprehend spiritually
what had always transpired naturally. The revelation culminating
in the voluntary sacrifice of Him who said: “I am the Truth, the
Life”--the Saviour of mankind.

Verily the Ancient Ritual was worthy of the Cathedral built by the
Mind of Nature--our Creator-Father.



                                XLIV

                         THE EVERYDAY RITUAL


Adele and Paul spent much time together wandering about exploring
the Cathedral. Adele said she heard sermons in stones, and voices in
running brooks, and all that sort of thing. Paul hurled stones down
precipices, and said he didn’t care much for sermons, anyway. Adele
laughed when he stopped her at a spring in the woods and insisted
upon her tasting the water when he himself enjoyed it freely.

“It goes all through me,” said Paul. “Delicious, the best mountain
spring I ever found.”

“Of course it goes all through you; such pure cold water exhilarates
as if giving a new life.”

“Oh, if you put it that way--why, of course. I know what you mean;
but what is life, anyway? No fellow can find out; nobody knows much
about it.”

“Well I do, and I intend to enjoy it,” and she filled her lungs with
the mountain air, which gave her such buoyancy that she took off her
hat, and shook back her hair to be en rapport with her own ideal.

“That’s all right, while you feel like it.” To Paul she looked like
the personification of New Life for him; and he came near kissing her
to assure himself she was not a wood-nymph who might vanish in a tree.

“People are not so stupid as you think,” said Adele.

“Well, what do they really know?” asked Paul, his double-self amused
to hear a girl assume that she knew more of life than he, a man.

Their attention was distracted for a moment.

On the road close by they heard the tramp of feet approaching, and
they were near enough to speak if it proved to be anyone they knew. A
dandy, a variety of palanquin, was passing, and inside was a woman of
the English Colony. The livery of her bearers was rather conspicuous,
being yellow with blue trimmings, yet not in bad taste for that
region. The toilet of the beauty inside the dandy was decidedly
“chic,” and the pose between the curtains drawn aside was certainly
most captivating. Many had said of her: “Thy bright smile haunts me
still.”

Paul recognized the occupant at a glance; to Adele she was a
stranger. Paul had met her accidentally and incidentally; and upon
so slight an acquaintance had received an invitation to join a
card-party at her apartments. The invitation had been sent him before
the soi-disant widow knew that Paul was there a member of a family
party, or she would have known it was useless to waste a thought on
him.

Not being a man who played cards for money, and for some other
reasons, Paul had sent a polite regret; after acknowledging to
himself with a laugh that he had been innocently caught by that sort
of thing once before, and didn’t intend to be again. But the fellows
persisted that he was “a fool not to go and see the fun,” as the fair
creature was only one of many birds of passage stranded in India, and
“devilish amusing” when sitting at the head of her own table.

Paul preferred not to sit at that sort of a table; and when this
dashing woman of the world, a notable representative of her set, thus
appeared on the public road in her dandy state-conveyance, so very
near Adele, he instinctively stepped between them; and became so much
engrossed with Adele’s wraps and her comfort, getting her things
all mixed up when no attention was necessary, that the fair one had
passed without receiving the slightest sign of recognition from
either of them.

Paul flattered himself he had disguised the situation fairly well,
and so he had from a man’s point of view, but not from a woman’s.
Adele at once spoke up:

“Don’t you know that lady, Paul? Why didn’t you speak to her?”

Paul turned aside after his fashion, to avoid meeting Adele’s eyes,
but promptly answered:

“Yes, slightly--very slightly.”

“Then why not speak to her? A gentleman never cuts a lady; never.”

“No, of course,” remarked Paul. “It’s the lady’s prerogative to do
the snubbing; some women seem to think men enjoy being snubbed.”

“A well-bred woman always protects herself,” said Adele briskly. “If
I had been in that dandy, and you had turned your back on me, that
would not have been the end of it.”

Paul laughed, incredulous.

“No, Paul, I should not permit any acquaintance to treat me so
cavalierly. I should demand an explanation.”

“My dear Adele, no one would ever treat you that way,” said Paul,
rather surprised at her vehemence. “That sort of thing is not apt to
happen to you.”

“No, I suppose not, but I should resent it if it did. Now tell me,
Paul, frankly, why did you avoid speaking to that lady?”

Paul pulled himself together as best he could and tried to explain.

“Adele, you saw her yourself; you had a good look at her, did you
not?”

“Yes, I glanced at her, slightly--very slightly;” using inadvertently
Paul’s own words, which still rung in her ears.

“I think you must have seen her better than I did, for I did not look
at her at all. I was looking at you.”

“Well, perhaps I did.”

“Then we both know her slightly--very slightly.”

“Paul, don’t be evasive; I don’t like it. You were introduced, I was
not.”

“Well to be frank, Adele, I was introduced; yet I wasn’t.”

“Explain!”

“She introduced herself, and that’s not woman’s prerogative.”

“It might be, under some circumstances,” said Adele with some
asperity. “I know what you mean, however; go on.”

“I thought she held herself very cheap,” said Paul. “I never could
recognize, as a friend, one who undervalued herself.”

“Oh, dear, I never would have thought it! was she that sort of
person?” exclaimed Adele. “She didn’t look at all commonplace, not
with that stylish turn-out and liveried bearers.”

Paul laughed again; he couldn’t help it.

“I don’t see anything funny,” said Adele, as they moved towards an
old stump, took a seat under the trees, and sat looking forward
between the crimson rhododendrons, towards the Celestial scenery
beyond.

“Adele, unfortunately she didn’t pay for the style herself,” remarked
Paul, sub rosa; then correcting himself: “Yes, she did, too!--no! she
didn’t, either!--oh, bosh! you know what I mean.”

This only made Adele more pointedly inquisitive.

“What are you talking about? Who did? her husband, I suppose.”

“No, luckily she has none.”

“Paul, you’re outrageous to say that; who did?”

“I don’t know. I only know what a cruel, unkind world says.”

“I’m sure you do know; tell me.”

“You’re extremely inquisitive, Adele--excruciatingly so; you’re just
as bad as Elsa.”

“Who’s Elsa?”

“In Lohengrin, but never mind her or him; if you must know now, if
you insist about this woman, why, then--some other fellow, or other’s
husband, has paid for it,” said Paul reluctantly.

Adele was confused, and her manner showed it. She felt uneasy, and
her words told on what account. “Oh, Paul, that is terrible--poor
woman--poor soul!” and Adele turned her head away to avoid Paul’s
eyes--her heart sensitive--pained at the thought of the poor soul.

Paul drew Adele to him and placed her head on his shoulder.

“Now, my darling, you do know why I could not recognize that woman.”

“Why you came between us?” whispered Adele.

“Yes. I couldn’t help it.”

“To shield me--you felt that way?”

“H’m--but it isn’t necessary to say so.”

“I understand--only do it,” and she took the hand of him who thus
loved her, in her own, and pressed it to her, her heart going out to
him in tenderness.

A thrill of blissful content passed through Paul’s innermost being.
He knew her in whom he had believed; and she had faith and trust in
her protector for life. They were truly happy.

The dandy had passed--gone forever--a mere episode in their
experience.

Their lives were thus becoming as one.

“I shall never forget our walks in this Cathedral,” said Adele.

“I hope not,” said Paul, laconic, and not nearly so enthusiastic as
Adele had anticipated.

“You hope not? Why, what on earth is to prevent our remembering?”

At this point Paul’s natural tendency to tease a little got the
better of him; but Adele also by this time had had enough experience
to recognize his moods, and to meet him on his own ground.

“I should like to clinch it,” said he, “so that we couldn’t forget.”

“I’ll remind you if I see your memory weakening,” said Adele.

Paul’s countenance exhibited that sort of smile usually described as
capacious. “I should like something to happen before we left,” and he
looked doubtfully at her. Being a man of normal growth, the masculine
desire for actual possession of his future wife had grown upon Paul
recently in a marked degree; and the incidents of that particular day
led him to speak out. He felt sure Adele would be sincere with him in
response.

Adele as natural as he was, woman’s instinct told her to be cautious,
in fact shy; and her intellect suggested that she act upon what she
had just heard Paul say about people who undervalued themselves. Of
course, Adele suspected at once what Paul hoped would happen; but she
took her own way to make him ask for it.

“What’s going to happen?” said Adele, leading him on. “I mean what do
you hope for?”

“It’s just this way; let me tell you.”

“I’m listening.”

“You call this a Cathedral, don’t you? I think it a first-rate place,
myself.”

“Admirable for a short sojourn.”

“And more, it’s very suitable for something special--something for us
two.”

“Not to live in; it’s too breezy.”

“I don’t mind a breeze, if it don’t result in something worse--a
squall.”

“Squalls! I don’t permit squalls,” said Adele.

“No, nor I, either; especially when another fellow tells you squarely
to ‘forever after hold your peace.’”

Adele did not quite enjoy this turn in the conversation, so changed
it a little.

“But you missed seeing the Lepcha ritual; you should see how the
natives make their sacrifices.”

“Sacrifices? God forbid, my dear. No! it’s all gain for us here;
please don’t even think of sacrificing anything.”

“Then we can attend some other ritual,” said Adele; which remark was
so very much of an acknowledgment on her part that Paul imagined she
would consent at once.

“All right!” said he. “There is a Church of England curate in the
village--I’m not particular.”

“Also Taoist monks with masks and wheels. I’m not so very particular
myself about the form,” quizzed Adele.

“Don’t keep me on the rack, my dear; just tell me which you prefer.”

“Well, the Taoist ritual is the most spectacular, the Lepcha the most
thrilling, and the Church of England the most serious--probably, but
I have my doubts.”

“I never was more serious in my life,” said Paul. “The English will
do; that is, if it suits you?”

“Me! suits me!” she exclaimed, but her expression told him well
enough his allusions were clearly understood.

“Yes, of course, you have the final say.”

“To decide what? It was you who spoke about something you hoped would
happen before we left. You haven’t told me what it is, have you?”

“But you guessed it at once, Adele, I’m sure; and better than I can
tell you. Would not this be an ideal place for our marriage? Just
arrange it to suit yourself.”

Adele turned her face away--a little embarrassed, rather confused.

“Oh, don’t be in such a hurry, Paul. I really must think.”

“I am not, my dear. I’ve thought of it for a week,” said the ardent
lover.

“A week! you don’t call that much time to decide for life!” Adele was
now as serious as her lover was ardent.

“I decided at Olympus--oh, months ago,” said Paul, a little nervous.
“Didn’t you?”

“Yes, but this is like a surprise, after all, when it comes to the
actual. I must have some time. Oh, Paul, you’re so--impatient; just
like a boy.”

“Why shouldn’t I be? I feel as if we were really married that evening
when under the brow of Olympus”--and in one sense this was true; Paul
had felt so, conscientiously, as to the bond between them.

“Do you? I don’t,” said Adele.

“Why you must have thought so,” said Paul, very inconsiderate in his
ardor.

Adele thought him too harsh to her, at such a time; and her manner
showed how uncomfortable he had made her feel.

It took Paul some little time to quiet his own ardor, and appreciate
things from her point of view; finally he succeeded.

“Adele, I suppose it is sudden; I had a wrong notion, an idea that
the suddenness was only read about in novels of impulse, written to
pass the time quickly. I know differently now; you see I never did it
before. Forgive me now, Adele; I never dreamed of hurting you in any
way--it is too serious.” Paul’s ardor had only taken another form.

“Yes, this is real life; sudden and serious,” said Adele, “more
serious than when we were at Olympus.”

“Tell me why you think so?”

“A betrothal is truth in words; marriage is truth in deeds.”

Paul put his arm around her and told her again how he felt and
thought and wished to act for the very best, for both of them. His
manner changed, however. It was less ardent and more devout. He
held her hand as if it were very precious to him, that to touch
her was a sacred privilege. Never before had she a realizing sense
so intense, of that manly virtue, which she then recognized in her
future husband; and for the first time she noticed he used a new
expression. His words were forcible, indeed.

“Adele, I love you with all my soul and strength.” Then he bowed his
head as if overcome.

From that moment Adele knew he was her husband both in spirit and
in truth. It was a complete answer to her prayers for Paul’s good,
when she had prayed in spirit and in truth for him; the natural
consequence of her prayers, her belief in Paul, and her sincerity
towards him. She might have reasonably called him her husband
in her own mind, in the presence of the Holy Spirit of truth in
nature and in religion; but she did not. If Paul had died suddenly,
however, before their marriage, she no doubt would have done so--in
spirit--and it would have been the truth.

       *       *       *       *       *

A pause, yet not a rest. Thoughts active, although neither could
speak. There was nothing more Paul could say. He had spoken the whole
truth, in love--an ineffable divine experience. Youth’s foretaste of
“Love divine, all love excelling.”

Adele was meditating as never before. Her thoughts flew as a bird
flies hither and thither, from possibilities to other probabilities,
future plans, future joys; flew outwards, then inwards, as a bird
among the branches of the Tree of Life; seeking to know the good
from the evil, the best from the better; wishing to pluck fruit
from the Tree of Life, and yet preserve the integrity of her own
conscious-self, her conscientious-self, as to what she ought to do.

Conscience flew to her mother to throw her arms around her mother’s
neck and find sympathy, while mother’s love told the truth in
maternal affection into her daughter’s ear; conscience flew to her
father for consent and advice, to sit on his knee once more, and
look in his face, and press his cheek, and run her fingers through
his hair, and be caressed as “father’s little girl.” The thought of
separation from loved ones, in any degree, what might it mean?--a
leap in the dark?

No, not into the dark. She could see that, positively, in Paul’s
character: then what?--a rising upwards, an ascension into the
brighter light of a new life.

Nature indeed took its course, and with the experience came the
comforting voice speaking in nature where the Tree of Life grows.

She looked towards the chancel of her Cathedral; and how exquisitely
beautiful was the scene! The place was decorated as for a wedding;
and she saw spiritually, “as in a dream,” Paul standing at the
chancel rail, waiting for her to come to him.

That was enough--the dream became real.

She looked up, to speak to Paul; putting her arm on his shoulder
their faces met. Like as a bird, which had flown from branch to
branch in the springtime of existence, returns to build a nest of its
own among the beautiful foliage of life, so she returned in spirit
and in truth to him who loved her and was willing to give himself for
her.

Only a word was uttered:

“I am ready; I will go with you, Paul;” and in her own thoughts, “I
am yours.”



                                 XLV

                      RITUAL OF THE HUMAN RACE


Thus it came to pass that Adele and Paul were to be married in the
most majestic and impressive Cathedral upon earth. Under the canopy
of heaven, in a domicile as well as edifice, constructed by the
forces of nature from designs by the Supreme Architect, their own
Father-Creator; married in a sacred place, purposed expressly for
the Creator’s own service, and their own use; where all the rituals
testified in ways practical yet mysterious to the Way of Truth in
Life.

If they had chosen the ritual of the nature-worshipers they would
have found themselves in harmony with the most ancient of all, from
the beginning; and the most widespread upon the surface of the earth
as historically known.

If they had chosen that of the Taoists considered as a peculiar phase
of Buddhism, they would have found themselves in harmony with the
most numerous, including both gnostic and agnostic, and the most
devoted to expediency as the goal of existence, where the knowledge
of human nature took the most practical forms of application to be
found upon the globe to-day. They would have had the majority with
them.

They chose neither; for truth progressive had taught them to ignore
naught in their own past experience, nor in the experience of others;
and to seek “the greater things than these” which enlightenment is
ever revealing through religion, philosophy and science.

The Christian ritual of the marriage ceremony as it was then
performed in the open air, differed greatly from that of the
Lepchas, in that it was not held in a thicket partly screened, as
if it were a quasi-secret to be seen darkly by both natural eye and
spiritual sense: nor like the Taoist, in which are prayers in endless
repetition, perfunctory effort as if by machinery, prayer wheels and
decorations of the curio order. The Christian ritual as given in this
Cathedral under the auspices of the Creator himself, ignored none of
these; but showed that the truth had made men free, freedom in the
individual, freedom by co-operation--for in union there is strength
and propagation, proselyting truth.

Strange to say, it was only those who officiated in strait-laced
garments of the local form of ecclesiasticism who appeared awkward,
stiff and unnatural in manner, and uneasy in mind when they found
themselves administering in the open before a public which had thus
become free in spirit.

The wedding took place upon a grassy hill-side, a beautiful location
where natural flowers bloomed, and crimson rhododendrons hung in
bouquets and garlands overhead, framing in the Peaks of Eternal
Whiteness (purity); a marvelous symbolic landscape, symbolizing that
humanity must pass through and under the crimson of suffering in
order to attain the pure whiteness beyond.

The wedding took place where the Celestial scenery was ever before
them; fleecy clouds hanging like wedding draperies in the azure blue
around the Cathedral spires--the spires rising heavenwards, ever
pointing upward.

But at this particular time it was not so much these everyday
manifestations of natural facts in this Cathedral which impressed
those who officiated, as the astonishing cosmopolitan aspect of the
crowd which came to see and be seen. Representatives of all sorts and
conditions, racial and religious, which the region contained, engaged
in various occupations, yet all now actuated by the same spirit, to
share and rejoice in the happiness of others. Many among the crowd
of witnesses had gone through the marriage ceremony themselves;
others looked forward with rejoicing to the time when they would.
Some, a limited number chiefly from the Latin races, spoke of it as
of very serious “sacramental” character; but the enormous majority
did not; and very many did not know what such a word meant; yet
every individual present knew it was a “holy” condition to live in,
for mortals. To all, the tenor of it was to induce mankind to be
happier, to gain strength by co-operation in personal experience; an
experience never to be forgotten in this case, for natural methods in
religious ceremonial were about to take their course, and make it the
most interesting wedding any of the guests had ever attended.

The first impulse of those asked to officiate was to robe themselves,
each to put on his own official cassock, stole, or academical gown.
Lo! there was no robing room--positively no place suitable, not
even an enclosure to screen a change of garments; all must be done
in the open before God and man. If the officiating prelate had not
brought his vestments in a grip-sack he would have had difficulty
in assuming, as custom required, his usual official aspect. One
unfortunate who laid great stress upon his official garb, his robes
of office, found himself exposing a very soiled undergarment, much
less decent, really, than the occasion required. Never was mortal man
more ashamed of his personal underwear than this unfortunate who had
previously been covered in public by outer sacerdotal garments.

Another, profiting by his experience, sought a little briar bush he
had discovered at the last minute, behind which to robe himself; and
ere he had assumed his wedding garments, the bridegroom came.

Paul approached, and stood waiting for his bride. He was dressed
as often before when freedom of life and thought had characterized
his actions; in fact, very nearly as when he won his bride and told
her of his love. He and Adele had chosen to commence their future
life by identifying it with the very freest and happiest of past
experiences; hence Paul wore a spotless suit of white flannels, with
an inner white waistcoat for the occasion; his necktie of light
blue, which suited his complexion admirably. Verily new garments in
one sense, but such as preserved his own sense of freedom just when
he wanted it most. Some cigars had peeped out of one of his pockets
just before he came forward, but the Doctor concealed them at the
last moment. The lapels of his coat were thrown back upon his breast;
his athletic frame was vigorous and active, and his countenance was
sincere and truthful; his dark hair natural in its folds, and his
eyes more forcible, energetic, intense than ever before.

“I want you just as you are,” Adele had said to him, “without one
plea, not dressed up for an occasion;” and the healthy groom came so,
fresh, and clean, and free--a true man.

Other lovers of nature present said he was “a splendid fellow--he
looks it! Any girl ought to be proud of him”--the truth. He was
indeed much more a veritable nobleman in appearance than when clothed
in black.

He waited for Adele.

The bride, “arrayed in fine linen pure and white,” wore orange
blossoms because symbolic among her people, the emblems festooning
the bridal veil upon her shoulders. Her forehead was uncovered;
and naught in her hair but a spray of blossoms held by a diamond
cross--Paul’s gift. The cross glowed and sparkled in the sunlight,
not unlike a flame. Some of the natives called it a “tongue of fire.”
It was so, a flame of affection from Paul to herself. Her blonde hair
like her mother’s, and intellectual dark eyes from her father, gave
an alluring and mysterious beauty; a combination which appealed to
the Orientals as angelic, and to many others as fascinating; human,
yet spiritual.

Adele at first looked upwards, but not in assumption--it was her
natural attitude when moving freely without fear; then bowed her
head as in the presence of God whom she loved, and because she was
with her beloved in human experience.

Upon her father’s arm she came forward, leaning in submission to
him from whom she had received her life (_bios_); and embraced her
mother, kissing her with arms around her neck, before the Creator
and men, in token of that mother’s love she had received, namely her
creation and preservation in this life; which she considered were
divine attributes, divine gifts to be bequeathed to her own hereafter.

To Paul she seemed as one looking towards the Celestial regions from
which she must have come, and to which he felt sure she was destined
some day. And the Orientals present looked on rapturously, and some
drew in their breath between their teeth with admiration and respect;
their manner of doing this seemed to say that they wished to imbibe
some of the happiness which her presence near them suggested. Another
voiced the sentiment of all mankind: “She is too lovely to live, she
will be taken;” but on the instant a twig in the grass caught the
skirt of her gown, and as she felt inclined to pause and loosen it,
the Doctor stooped to detach it, and the bride passed on.

Her father’s dignified presence, markedly paternal, was also
suggestive--of what research after higher knowledge in systems may
accomplish when Christianity is recognized as the great incentive to
knowledge and ultimate unity. Truth was the one goal in Professor
Cultus’ scientific investigations; but he was not one to accept
mere knowledge as adequate. _He must have the truth also._ His
intellectual head stood upon his finely proportioned shoulders,
witness to the honesty and thoroughness of truth as he saw it; an
honest man--God’s noblest work.

Mrs. Cultus, Carlotta Gains Cultus, the bride’s mother, was by
heredity a positive character, practical, active and worldly-wise.
She was the embodiment of that womanly knowledge of the science
of social intercourse, the ethics of society; one, who after
encountering men and things, learns to appreciate them at their
real value--a value not set by fashion, but by the true commonsense
standards. Mrs. Cultus was one not always properly appreciated by
others, but ever active on principle whether appreciated or not; not
solely in intellectual lines of various heterogeneous clubs, but
also in the humanities when the appeal to her seemed reasonable,
and therefore natural. Mrs. Cultus had learned through severe
illness certain truths in life which appealed to her personally
with practical force and significance; an avenue to conviction very
different from that of her husband. Her presence now manifested that
other dignity of truth and worldly wisdom which did not repel, but
attracted all who really knew her, for confidence, aid and affection;
her husband and daughter most of all, for they knew her best. Being a
mother who had suffered, she had learned to feel a mother-tenderness
for all--that divine affection for humanity ever characteristic of
Him who took even little babes in His arms and blessed them. So did
Mrs. Cultus, in this way, now strive to follow Him. Devoid of either
hypocrisy or guile, she was ever “true to the life”--her natural life
as God had made her.

And the bride’s friend, the friend of her own age; Adele and “Frank”
Winchester, intimates; the one with whom her youthful thoughts and
pranks had been unrestrained and free. It was this friend who had
arrayed her in fine linen, pure and white, for her bridal, and by
working faithfully, almost without ceasing, had embellished her
wedding garment with an exquisite vine embroidered in white floss
silk, encircling her bosom, trailing down to the hem. Affection
and artistic skill guiding the willing fingers had produced this
simple vine and branches. The art of loving simply, yet constantly,
entwining truly, was in that vine, for there had been neither time
nor place for elaboration; yet the vine was finished in season, and
decked the bride at her wedding. It was a secret between these
chums, how the worker had added clandestinely a small bunch of thorns
embroidered in among the folds near the hem of her garment, where
Adele could tread upon them if she chose. “Merely to remind you, my
dear,” said Frank, laughing, “what a thorn in the flesh I’ve often
been; these are the last--all future thorns are for Paul.” Adele
cherished those precious thorns as if they were jewels; she would not
have trod on them--no! no more than she would have wished her friend
a pathway of thorns.

And the Doctor, the inquisitive, sincere Doctor Wise--he asked no
further questions when he stood aside as the groom’s best man; no
questions about things in the heavens above and the earth beneath,
nor even about the spirits of just men made perfect, here or anywhere
else. The Doctor would have much enjoyed wearing knickerbockers as
when he went outing with Paul, particularly so since Paul appeared
in white flannels, and if need be he could be ready for tennis or
cricket as soon as the ceremony was over; but propriety forbade.
Proprieties were apt to be a wee bit inconvenient from the Doctor’s
point of view; and just at present he was more nervous than the
groom, nervous to get the thing over and have done with it. Such was
the Doctor as he appeared on the surface; fundamentally he was the
very personification of congratulation and joy. He knew that nature
had taken the true course with these two, both so endeared to him.
He rejoiced in being able to witness and appreciate so much that was
good in nature and in co-operation. He was supremely happy too, but
from yet another cause in nature; that the Creator in kindness had
thus made him, a very ordinary man, able to see so much clearly, and
yet not himself be lost in the mysterious maelstrom of life.

The ladies gave the Doctor precious little opportunity to do anything
whatever on an occasion when bachelors-on-the-shelf do not count;
but he did search the country from Calcutta to Nepaul to obtain some
flowers which he knew were desired by Adele, the bridal bouquet.
A very simple one after all, white rose-buds amid cultivated
heliotrope. It seemed at one time as if every sort of flower and
shrub flourished in the Himalaya region except what he wanted. He
had parties hunting heliotrope as if it might grow on berry bushes;
and when from a lofty tree mistletoe was brought him by mistake,
he nearly sent the bearer to the foot of a precipice. But he got
it. It was finally obtained, near by in a private conservatory,
much to his relief and Adele’s delight. The bouquet held attached
an exquisite lace handkerchief passed through a ring; the ring was
set with a sapphire of purest quality, that peculiar shade in depth
and delicacy which in the Orient is supposed to characterize the
plumage of the Bird of Immortality. This gem, ever constant day or
night, responsive to every ray of light, symbolized the true blue
of precious worth--truth in purity and love. This was the Doctor’s
gift. Adele had heard him speak of such a stone and its significance
among sapphires of so many colors. She read his very thoughts as she
pressed his hand when accepting this significant and beautiful gift.
The fragrance of the flowers direct from nature; the handkerchief a
work of art; and the gem a true blue symbol--all brought memories of
their search after something worth knowing in many fields. Never did
Adele appear more idyllic, poetic, aye, pastoral in the higher sense,
than at this moment; and the Doctor blessed her--in spirit.

Thus, when Paul advanced to meet his bride, they stood among their
own; the bridal party among their own race and nationality, together
with cousins from their Mother Country, England--their faces radiant
with hope and pleasure. A choral of mixed voices, volunteers from the
Christian Colony, sang the processional; and the anthem was heard
upon earth as it ascended heavenward. This near a chancel rail of
natural growths, the line suggested by a carpet of wild flowers with
cultivated beauties placed at intervals. And there were tree-ferns
and palms, fountains of foliage at either end; the freshness of the
fountains springing from the centre of the plant, its life within,
not from near the exterior bark. Adele had expressed a desire for
these plants with their heart-life in the centre; also because their
significance was simple in nature, their natural beauty artistic,
and their natural meaning too exalted and widespread to be affected
seriously by passing fashions or fads. And the crimson rhododendrons
decorated the background, while before them the Delectable Mountains
and the azure blue.

The ceremony was first directed towards the world at large, for each
individual to learn, mark, and spiritually digest that which this
couple manifested of truth in humanity. It was a solemn period, while
the people gave heed, each reading his or her personal experience
into that of the new couple; to each (such was the condition in
nature), from his individual point of view. As a matter of fact Adele
felt as if the minister was speaking of some other than herself, and
Paul felt as if all eyes must be turned on Adele.

Then the Servant of God turned towards this man and woman who would
be one; a sacred moment when he pronounced them husband and wife.
They knelt together, her hand in his--their first united prayer to
“Our Father who art,” for this, from Him, unto themselves--as also
One.

And when they arose, and together turned to face the world, behold
a cloud of witnesses, out in the nave of the Cathedral, a multitude
upon the hill-slopes and skirting the forests, every vantage ground
occupied by natives drawn hither by the world-wide desire to see “a
bride adorned for her husband;” actuated by countless motives which
primitive and natural curiosity suggested; curious to see what the
dominant people, English or Americans, would do when worshiping
in the outer air like themselves; curious to see what a Christian
marriage was like. Would it be gay and festive like their own?
what sort of a dress would be worn by the bride? and would all her
belongings and presents be carried along the road so that all could
see that she was rich? and would there be a real feast? Thus many
had been attracted by very practical reasons which they considered
suitable to the occasion.

And who were these in bright array after their fashion? a little
group not far from the bride herself. As if they had been especially
invited, they stood before some bamboo wands, decorated for a
gala-day; not before a thicket as once before, but with their bright
signals in the open, the prayer-signals floating in the wind to
attract the Good Spirits of the air.

And who were these in yellow robes? with trumpets and bowls in their
hands, and outlandish masks pendant from their girdles; yet cheerful
faces withal, and wearing fillets and earrings of turquoise and coral
taken from the “curio-case” in their Temple. And one poor decrepit
native priestess with her good old prayer-wheel and bean rosary,
twirling the wheel and rattling the beans regardless of all else; one
who knew her wheel and rosary were good, because they were very old,
like herself--she had used them from childhood. Who were they?

Because they were not arrayed in modern dress, some thought them
intruders, sheep of another fold gotten astray. Many thought so, all
except Paul and the Doctor who knew what Adele herself had done;
how she had gone out into the highways and hedges to compel them to
come in and take their place near her. They were surely entitled as
members of the congregation of the original Primate of the Cathedral,
these poor Lepchas now Adele’s friends, to a place very far front.
And the gay Taoists, also her Himalaya friends, whom she had met,
and with whom she had worshiped in their own chapel, learning to be
with them and of them, in spirit. Although crude and tawdry now,
these Taoists, they were the professed followers of Laotze, a highly
spiritual man who had given to the world one of the most abstruse,
recondite, metaphysical forms of religion ever known to humanity.
“Oh, what a fall was there!” thought Adele as she saw the Taoists
of to-day; but she invited them just the same, she wished them to be
with her now on an occasion she considered sacred.

And more surprising still, in this region:

Who were those two men, splendid examples of physical manhood, men
of darker complexions? They had been engaged in distributing corsage
bouquets and boutonnières among the bridal party, and they now stood
side by side as the bride passed by. They saluted her, in a polite
manner and with a style quite their own, and the bride recognized
with sincere satisfaction their presence. Who were they? Verily
of the race she knew best, next her own. Originally from Nubia in
Africa, where their near ancestors had worshiped in the forests, they
were now, already, by the will of the Creator, full citizens of her
own beloved land. Adele had found them in the bazaar, where they had
drifted in from God-knows-where in “God’s Own Country;” but to Adele
they represented the colored people of her own United States. They
were men who had shed their life-blood for the cause of Truth in
Freedom, and the Truth had made them free. They were true men as God
had made them such, in His own way, but young in the experience of
civilization. They were now educating themselves by knowledge of the
world for greater things to come; educating themselves with an energy
and rapidity never before excelled by any race. Adele had determined
to help them along; for woe betide anyone who dares ignore or impede
the way of the Almighty in nature, where the progress of the race is
in unity with the progress of religion itself. She said afterwards,
that there was no feature more home-like among the incidents
connected with her wedding, than to have these Freedmen from “God’s
Own Country,” from home, to distribute the cultivated flowers of
civilization which they themselves, that very morning, had helped to
collect, to arrange, and to give to others.

Thus to some few of the native witnesses to this wedding, to some
few whom Adele had met personally, she became known as “The Lady of
Loving-Kindness;” and no doubt they would in time, some of them, have
erected a shrine to her memory, for they well remembered her beauty
and the Flaming Cross Light which sparkled upon her forehead. And
still later their descendants would have bowed down to an image of
her, saying they did not worship the image, but the Loving-Kindness
which she represented.

As a matter of fact, to the majority of the Orientals actually
present, but to whom she was not known personally, strangers to her,
the effect was very different. To them the bride was now as one
separated from them more than before: this because she had become
subject to the will of her husband, and must hereafter walk behind
him, not beside him, when she went abroad; and in time must present
him with a son, or else perhaps it was better she herself had never
been born. Such were the actual facts with regard to some of the
witnesses. Yet, how natural, yet unnatural, are such conceptions;
natural to man in the primitive or childhood period of his spiritual
life, yet truly unnatural when taught otherwise by more matured
civilizations, when mankind has become enlightened further by the
brighter spiritual Light of the World.

To Paul and Adele, now as one, it was just the reverse. They stood
side by side, with their religious consciousness turned to One whose
bride was the Church Spiritual, of whom all nations of the earth are
blessed.

As the bridal party returned homewards through this throng of
sympathetic spectators, it was as if all had been invited to this
Marriage Feast.

The Spirit and the Bride had said, “Come.”



                             FOOTNOTES:

[1] Phillips Brooks.

[2] See frontispiece. A view from near Sundookphoo.



      *      *      *      *      *      *



Transcriber’s note:

  Inconsistencies in hyphenation such as “hill-side”/“hillside”
  have been maintained.

  Minor punctuation and spelling errors have been silently corrected
  and, except for those changes noted below, all misspellings in the
  text, especially in dialogue, and inconsistent or archaic usage,
  have been retained.

  Page 26: “Semple opened with some of Brahams’” changed to “Semple
  opened with some of Brahms’”.

  Page 73: “fire-opal of true Indian irridescence” changed to
  “fire-opal of true Indian iridescence”.

  Page 108: “had the courage of her convicions” changed to “had the
  courage of her convictions”.

  Page 117: “consequences as this; but if unsucessful” changed to
  “consequences as this; but if unsuccessful”.

  Page 163: “the true union, earthly, heavenly, etrenal” changed to
  “the true union, earthly, heavenly, eternal”.

  Page 226: “and all the essentials for majesty domnating” changed to
  “and all the essentials for majesty dominating”.

  Page 275: “fluttered a message of thanks, or propitation” changed
  to “fluttered a message of thanks, or propitiation”.





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