The Associate Hermits by Frank R. Stockton
THE DAWN OF A
CHAPTER IV. A
CHAPTER V. CAMP
CHAPTER VI. CAMP
CHAPTER VII. A
CHAPTER X. A
LADIES' DAY IN
CHAPTER XII. THE
THE ATTENTION OF
THE WORLD GOES
WRONG WITH MR.
CHAPTER XIV. THE
CHAPTER XV. A
NET OF COBWEBS
TO CAGE A LION
CHAPTER XVI. A
MAN WHO FEELS
HIMSELF A MAN
CHAPTER XXI. THE
CHAPTER XXII. A
BREEZE AND A HOT
FINDS OUT THINGS
CHAPTER XXIV. A
CHAPTER XXV. A
CHAPTER XXVI. AN
CHAPTER I. THE DAWN OF A
Mr. and Mrs. Hector Archibald were prosperous and happy dwellers in
a suburb of one of our large towns. Fortune had favored them in many
waysin health and in a good average happiness. They had reached early
middle age, and their daughter Kate, their only child, had grown up to
be a beautiful and good young woman, and was on the point of marrying a
young lawyerRodney Bringhurst by namein every way worthy of her.
Hector Archibald was a little man, with small bright eyes, and hair
slightly touched with gray and very much inclined to curl. His
disposition was lively. He had a strong liking for cheerful
occurrences, and was always willing to do his part in the bringing
about of such events. Novelty had a charm for him. He was not bound by
precedence and tradition, and if he had found himself at a dinner which
began with coffee and ended with oysters on the half-shell, he would
have given the unusual meal a most animated consideration, although he
might have utterly withheld any subsequent approbation. As a general
thing, he revolved in an orbit where one might always be able to find
him, were the proper calculations made. But if any one drew a tangent
for him, and its direction seemed suitable and interesting, he was
perfectly willing to fly off on it.
The disposition of Mrs. Hector Archibald was different. She was born
to be guided by customs, fashions, and forms. She believed it was the
duty of a married woman to make her home happy, and she did it. But she
also believed that in the best domestic circles there were rules and
usages for domestic happiness which would apply to every domestic
condition and contingency. It frequently troubled her, however, to find
that certain customs, forms, or usages of domestic society had changed,
and being of a conservative turn of mind, it was difficult for her to
adapt herself to these changes. But, thoroughly loyal to the idea that
what was done by people she loved and people she respected ought also
to be done by her, she earnestly strove to fit herself to new
conditions, especially when she saw that by not doing so she would be
out of touch with her family and her friends.
Now of course the wedding of their daughter was the only thing in
the world that seemed of real importance to Mr. and Mrs. Archibald, and
for this all preparations and plans had been agreed upon and made with
great good-will and harmony, excepting one thing, and that was the
wedding-trip. Strange to say, the young people did not wish to take a
wedding-trip. They believed that this old-fashioned custom was
unnecessary, troublesome, commonplace, and stupid. In the gardens and
grounds of the Archibald mansion, and in the beautiful surrounding
country, they had loved each other as lovers, and among these scenes
they wished to begin to love each other as a married couple. Why should
such distasteful and unpleasant ingredients as railroad-cars,
steamboats, and hotels be dashed into the pleasing mixture of their new
lives? It had been arranged that for a year or two, at least, they
should live in Kate's dear old home, and why should they not
immediately begin that life there?
Mr. Archibald did not favor this plan, and his wife was strongly
opposed to it. A wedding without a wedding-trip ought not to be thought
During the honey-moon a young couple should live for each other,
with each other, apart from the rest of the world. It is a beautiful
custom, which should not be rudely trampled upon, said Mrs. Archibald.
But although Mrs. Archibald cherished a belief that she ought to
conform her ideas to the domestic customs of the day, her daughter Kate
cherished the belief that the domestic customs of the day ought to
conform themselves to her ideas.
Of course we should like to be alone in the honey-moon, she
exclaimed. We don't object to that; and if there must be a
wedding-journey, you and father can take it and we will stay here. Here
are servants, books, things to eat, and everything our hearts can
desire, and here we would really feel as if we were beginning life as
man and wife. As for you two, you both need a vacation, and nothing
could be more perfectly appropriate and more delightful to everybody
than that you should take our wedding-trip. We don't want it; we will
make it a present to you. Take it and be happy, and leave us here to be
happy. People have done this sort of thing before, so that it is not
absolutely wild and unheard of.
Mr. Archibald welcomed this plan with open arms, and hugged it and
his daughter to his breast. It suited him admirably, and he declared
that all business and engagements of every kind should be set aside,
and that he would be ready to start on the wedding-journey with Mrs.
Archibald the moment the ceremony should be completed.
You will wait until the reception is over, father? said Kate,
Yes, said he, I will wait for that.
This novel proposition sent a chill through every fibre of Mrs.
Archibald's physical organism. At first she did not exactly comprehend
it, but when she did, the chills increased. When she had recovered
herself a little she began to make objections. This was easy enough,
for they crowded into her mind like sheep into a pen; but every
objection, as she brought it forth, was ruthlessly set aside or crushed
to earth by her daughter or her husband, assisted by her expectant
son-in-law, of whom she declared she never would have believed such a
thing had she been told it.
The discussion ended, of course, by Mrs. Archibald agreeing to go on
this absurd wedding-journey. But the good lady's mental troubles were
not over when she had given her consent. As this scheme had been
devised by those dearest to her on earth, and as it was certain, these
dearest persons assured her, to meet with the approbation of all people
of advanced thoughtat least of those whose thought had advanced far
enough to make it worthy of their considerationshe felt that in doing
her part she ought to do it honestly and with her whole heart; and at
her time of life, to act as a proxy for a young bride by taking a
wedding-journey in that young bride's place was a very difficult thing
for Mrs. Archibald to do honestly and with her whole heart. But she
would try to do it. Whatever else happened, her family must be kept
happy, and it should never be said of her that she hung like a
millstone around the combined neck of that family when it was unitedly
climbing towards altitudes of felicity, which, although she was not
able to discern them, must exist, since that fact had been so earnestly
insisted upon by Mr. Archibald, Kate, and Rodney Bringhurst.
Thus was this exceptional hymeneal performance decided upon, and at
eleven o'clock on Wednesday, the 6th of June, the marriage service was
performed. At noon the guests sat down to breakfast, and at two o'clock
that afternoon Mr. and Mrs. Hector Archibald departed on the
wedding-trip, leaving behind Mr. and Mrs. Bringhurst at home with each
other, and not at home to the world.
CHAPTER II. ENTER MARGERY
At four o'clock on the afternoon of June 6th Mr. and Mrs. Hector
Archibald arrived at a family hotel in the capital of their state.
Where they should go from there had not been decided upon. Nothing in
regard to their wedding-journey had been decided upon except that they
were to return to their home on the 6th of July of that year, and not
before. It would have been impossible, with their minds filled with
bridal arrangements, for them to make plans for their journey. But at
this first stopping-place, where they were free from all responsibility
and interruptions, they could, at their leisure, decide where they
should go, how they should go, and what they should do when they got
After the unrest and turmoil of their own home during the past few
weeks, the quiet and repose of this city hotel were delightful. That
evening they went to the theatre, and after the performance they had a
little supper at a restaurant.
People may not think we are a newly married pair, said Mr.
Archibald, as he poured out a glass of wine for his wife, but it is
not impossible that they may see we know how to enjoy ourselves quite
as much as if we were.
The next morning Mr. Archibald procured a number of railroad maps,
time-tables, circulars of steamboat excursions, advertisements of
mountain retreats and sea-side resorts, and he and his wife sat down to
study these, and to decide upon a destination and a route. After an
hour or two of indeterminate examination Mr. Archibald declared himself
a little tired, and proposed that they should take a recess from their
labors and go and call upon their old friends, the Stanley Dearborns.
People on wedding-tours do not make calls, said Mrs. Archibald.
That may be true, said her husband, in ordinary cases, and
although I do not care to announce to everybody the peculiarities of
the expedition which we have undertaken, I do not mind in the least
telling the Stanley Dearborns all about it. Stanley himself would not
appreciate it; he would consider it absurd; but then he is not at home
at this time of day, and Mrs. Dearborn is just the woman to enjoy a
reform movement of this sort. Besides, she is full of ideas about
everything, and she may propose some good place for us to go to.
Mrs. Dearborn was at home, and very glad to see the Archibalds. She
was a woman whose soul was in touch with the higher education of
womenwith female suffrage, the emancipation of the enslaved mind
wherever it might be found, and with progress generally. She was a
member of many societies, belonged to committees without end, wrote
reports and minutes by day and by night, and was one of that
ever-increasing class of good people who continually walk forward in
order that their weight may help the world to turn over.
In spite of her principles and the advanced position of her thought,
Mrs. Dearborn actually leaned back in her chair and laughed heartily
when she learned what sort of a journey the Archibalds were taking. In
this merriment Mr. Archibald joined with great glee.
Ever since I left home, he said, I have wanted to have a chance
for a good laugh at this trip we are taking. It is the most delightful
joke I have ever known.
Mrs. Archibald could not help smiling, but her brow was clouded. If
this expedition is merely a joke, she said, I do not think we should
have undertaken it; but if it is an earnest assertion of our belief
that there should be a change in the customs of society, then I think
we should take it seriously, and I see nothing to laugh at.
My dear Harriet, said Mrs. Dearborn, we can be good and glad at
the same time; and that is what I am, I am sure. What you are doing is
the initiation of one of the most worthy reforms of the day, and if it
should have an effect in breaking up that wretched custom of the bridal
tramp, which is considered so necessary in this country, society should
rise up and call you blessed. But it is funny, for all that. I am sure
that the first woman who dared to go without crinoline was very funny,
and when I heard of a hospital for cats I could not help laughing; but
I believed in it, and worked for it. And now where are you going?
That is what we want to talk to you about, said Mr. Archibald; and
for half an hour they talked about it.
At the end of that time it was decided that the mountains were
better than the sea or than a quiet lowland nook; and Mrs. Dearborn
strongly recommended Sadler's, where she and her husband had spent a
part of a summer a few years before.
We camped out, said she, and had a fine time. You can camp out at
Sadler's more easily and satisfactorily than anywhere else in the
Camping suited Mr. Archibald admirably, and, to his surprise, his
wife said she might like it very well.
If people are going to laugh at us, she said, when they find out
we are on a wedding-journeyand they will be sure to find it out in
some way or otherI think the fewer people we mingle with the better.
I do not think I shall like camping altogether, but I know it is
healthful, and I suppose I ought to get used to it. It would be
dreadfully lonely for just Mr. Archibald and me, but I suppose we can
take some one with us to guide and cook.
My dear Harriet, said Mrs. Dearborn, if you are at Sadler's, you
can go into any sort of camp you please. I will tell you all about
Sadler's. Sadler is a man of progress. His hotel or inn is on the very
edge of the forest country, and away from all the centres of resort. He
calls his place the terminal link of public travel in that direction.
When you leave him you travel privately in any way you like. He has
established what he has named a bureau of camping, and he furnishes his
patrons with any sort of a camp they may desire. If the party is few in
number and of a timid disposition, they can have a camp within shouting
distance of his house. If they are brave and adventurous, he will send
them out into the depths of the forest. If they like water, he locates
them by the shores of a lake. If climbing is their passion, he puts
them at the foot of a mountain. Those who want to hunt can do so, and
those who dislike fire-arms are placed in a camp where the popping of
guns is never heard. He provides tents, guides, provisions, and even
dangers and sensations.
Safety is what I want, interrupted Mrs. Archibald.
And that he furnishes, said the other, for those who desire it.
Sadler is the man for me! cried Mr. Archibald. We will go to him,
look over his list of camps, and select one to suit us.
By-the-way, said Mrs. Dearborn, a thought has struck me. How
would you like to take Margery with you?
Margery! exclaimed Mr. Archibald. That delightful little girl
whom I taught to ride a tricycle when you were visiting us? I would
like it ever so much.
It struck Mrs. Archibald that people on bridal trips did not
generally take children or young girls with them, but it also struck
her that if they were going into camp it might be pleasant and in many
ways advantageous to have some one of her own sex with her; but she had
no time to formulate these advantages in her mind before Mrs. Dearborn
explained in full.
Since Mr. Dearborn and I came home from Sadler's, she said,
Margery has been perfectly wild to go there, and as soon as the leaves
began to bud in the parks she began to talk about it. We saw no
possible chance of her going there, for her father is too busy to leave
home for any length of time this season, and I cannot go to the
mountains this year, for I must visit my sister, who is not well, and
there are three summer conventions that I am obliged to attend. But if
you could take her with you, I do not believe she would trouble you in
the least, and you would give her great pleasure. Moreover, to speak
practically, which I think we always ought to do, it would not be a bad
thing on the score of economy, for things are always proportionately
cheaper for three people in a camp than for two.
A great many advantages of female companionship now began to creep
into Mrs. Archibald's mind: if her husband should take it into his head
to go out and hunt at night by the light of a torch; if there should be
thunder-storms, and he away with the guide; if he should want to go off
and talk to Indians or trappers, and he always did want to go off and
talk to people of every classit would be very pleasant to have even
Margery Dearborn with her. So she consented with great good-will to her
friend's proposition, and Mrs. Dearborn was much pleased and thankful.
Margery is a true creature of impulse, she said; that is really
her predominating characteristic, and she will want to bound to the
ceiling when she hears she is to go to Sadler's. She is not at home
now, but she will be in very soon. You must take luncheon with us.
About a quarter of an hour after that Margery Dearborn came home.
She was very glad indeed to see the Archibalds, whom she remembered as
the kindest of people; and when she heard they were going to take her
to Sadler's, she gave a scream of delight and threw herself upon Mrs.
You are an angel, she cried, an angel of blessedness, my dear
Aunt Harriet! Don't you remember, I used to call you that? Won't you
let me call you so still? And without waiting for an answer, she
rushed to Mr. Archibald, with outstretched hands. Dear Uncle
Archibald, you are just as good as ever, I see. You know, I wouldn't
call you Uncle Hector, because hectoring meant scolding, which never
had anything to do with you. Sadler's! Oh, when do we start?
To-morrow is Saturday, replied Mr. Archibald; we must get
together some things we will need for camp-life, and we can start on
When the visitors were left to themselves for a few moments, Mr.
Archibald said to his wife, Harriet, I am astounded. This girl, who
used to ride bareback and jump over fences, is a young lady now, and a
handsome one, too. She is quite a different person from the girl I
agreed to take with us.
Mr. Archibald, said his wife, you never can remember that in this
world people of all ages grow older. She was fourteen when she was
visiting us, and that was four years ago, so of course she is a young
No, he answered, I don't feel that I am growing any older, and I
don't see that you are, and so I totally forget that proclivity in
other people. But what do you think now? Can we take this young woman
with us to camp? Will she not be a dreadful drag?
My dear, said Mrs. Archibald, I much prefer the young lady to the
girl. I don't want to be the only woman in camp, and the nearer the
other woman is to my age the better.
All right, said Mr. Archibald; if you are satisfied, I am; and,
if she will agree to it, we will add our ages for the time being, and
divide by three, and then we will all stand on a level.
CHAPTER III. SADLER'S
It was in the afternoon of Monday, the 11th of June, when Mr. and
Mrs. Archibald, accompanied by Miss Margery Dearborn, arrived at
Sadler's, and with feelings of relief alighted from the cramped
stage-coach which had brought them eight miles from the railroad
Can this be Sadler's? said Mr. Archibald, in a tone of surprise.
Of course it must be, said his wife, since they brought us here.
It certainly is the place, said Margery, for there is the name
over that door.
How do you feel about it? said Mr. Archibald to his wife.
I feel very well about it, said she. Why shouldn't I?
How do you feel about it? he asked of the younger lady.
Well, she answered, I don't exactly understand it. I had visions
of forests and wilds and tumbling mountain streams and a general air of
primevalism, and I am surprised to see this fine hotel with piazzas,
and croquet-grounds, and tennis-courts, and gravelled walks, and babies
in their carriages, and elderly ladies carrying sun-shades.
But it seems to me that there is a forest behind it, said Mr.
Yes, replied Margery, a little dolefully, it has that to back it
Don't let us stand here at the bottom of the steps talking, said
Mrs. Archibald. I must say I am very agreeably surprised.
In the wide hall which ran through the middle of the hotel, and not
far from the clerk's desk, there sat a large, handsome man, a little
past middle age, who, in a hearty voice, greeted the visitors as they
entered, but without rising from his chair. This was Peter Sadler, the
owner of the hotel, the legal owner of a great deal of the neighboring
country, and the actual ruler of more of said country than could be
easily marked out upon a map or stated in surveyors' terms.
In fact, Peter Sadler, was king of that portion of the vast district
of mountain and forest which could be reached in a day's journey in any
direction. If he had wished to extend his domain to points at a greater
distance than this he would have done so, but so far he was satisfied
with the rights he had asserted. He ruled supreme in that region
because he had lived longer in the vicinity than any other white man,
because he had a powerful will which did not brook opposition, and
because there was no one to oppose him.
[Illustration: 'CAN THIS BE SADLER'S?']
On the arable land which lay outside of the forest, and which really
belonged to him, there were the houses of the men who farmed his
fields, and on the outskirts of the woods were scattered here and there
the cabins of the hunters and guides he employed, and these men knew no
law but his will. Of course the laws of the State covered the district,
but such promulgation and enforcement of these as he might consider
necessary were generally left to Peter Sadler, and as to his own laws,
he was always there to see that these were observed.
His guests submitted themselves to his will, or they left his hotel
very soon. To people of discernment and judgment it was not difficult
to submit to the will of this full-bearded, broad-chested man, who knew
so much better than they did what they ought to do if they wanted to
get all the good out of Sadler's which they were capable of
This man, who sat all day in a big rolling-chair, and who knew
everything that was going on in the hotel, the farm, and the forest
about him, had been a hunter and a guide in his youth, an
Indian-fighter in later years, and when he had been wounded in both
legs, so that it was impossible for him ever to walk again, he came
back to the scenes of his youth and established an inn for sportsmena
poor little house at first, which grew and grew and grew, until it was
the large, well-kept hotel so widely known by his name.
After dinner, at which meal they were waited upon by women, and not
by men in evening-dress as Margery had begun to fear, Mr. Archibald
sought Peter Sadler and made known to him the surprise of his party at
finding themselves in this fine hotel.
What did you expect? asked Peter, eying him from head to foot.
From what we had heard, replied the other, we supposed we should
find some sort of a preparatory camping-ground in the woods, from which
we could go out and have a camp of our own.
That's just what you have found, said Sadler. In this house you
prepare to camp, if you need preparation. If any man, woman, or child
comes here and wants to go out to camp, and I see that they are sickly
or weak or in any way not fit to live in the woods, I don't let them go
one step until they are fit for it. The air and the food and the water
they get here will make them fit, if anything will do it, and if these
three things don't set them up they simply have to go back where they
came from. They can't go into camp from this house. But if they fancy
this hoteland there isn't any reason why anybody shouldn't fancy
itthey can stay here as long as they like, and I'll take care of
them. Now, sir, if you want to go into camp, the first thing for you to
do is to bring your family here and let me take a look at them. I've
seen them, of course, but I haven't made up my mind yet whether they
are the right sort for camp life. As for you, I think you will do.
There isn't much of you, but you look tough.
Mr. Archibald laughed. That's good rough talk, he said, and
smacks more of camp life than anything I have noticed here. I will go
and bring my wife and Miss Dearborn.
There is another reason why I want to see them, said the bluff
Peter. As you are bent on camping, you'll like to choose a camp, and
when anything of that kind is on hand I want to talk to the whole
party. I don't care to settle the business with one of them, and then
have him come back and say that what has been agreed upon don't suit
the others. I want a full meeting or no session.
When Mr. Archibald returned with his wife and Margery, he found
Peter Sadler had rolled his chair up to a large circular table at the
back of the hall, on which was spread a map of the forest. He greeted
the ladies in a loud voice and with a cheery smile.
And so you want to go camping, do you? said he. Sit down and let
us talk it over. I think the young lady is all right. She looks spry
enough, and I expect she could eat pine-cones like a squirrel if she
was hungry and had nothing else. As for you, madam, you don't appear as
if anything in particular was the matter with you, and I should think
you could stand a Number Three camp well enough, and be all the better
for a week or two of it.
What is a Number Three camp? asked Margery, before the astonished
Mrs. Archibald could speak.
Well, said Sadler, it is a camp with a good deal of comfort in
it. Our Number One camps are pretty rough. They are for hunters and
scientific people. We give them game enough in season, and some bare
places where they can make fires and stretch a bit of canvas. That is
all they want, to have a truly good time. That is the best camp of all,
I think. Number Two camps are generally for fishermen. They always want
a chance for pretty good living when they are out in the woods. They
stay in camp in the evenings, and like to sit around and have a good
time. Number Threes are the best camps we put families into, so you
see, madam, I'm rating you pretty high. There's always a log-cabin in
these camps, with cots and straw mattresses and plenty of traps for
cooking. And, more than that, there is a chance for people who don't
tramp or fish to do things, such as walking or boating, according to
circumstances. There's one of our camps has a croquet-ground.
Oh, we don't want that! cried Margery, it would simply ruin every
illusion that is left to me.
Glad to hear that, said Peter. If you want to play croquet, stay
at the hotel; that's what I say. Now, then, here are the camps, and
there's plenty of them to choose from. You've come in a good time, for
the season isn't fairly begun yet. Next month every camp will be full,
with the hotel crowded with people waiting for their turns.
What we want, said Margery, rising and looking over the map, is
the wildest Number Three you have.
Oh, ho! said Peter. Not so fast, miss; perhaps we'll wait and see
what this lady has to say first. If I'm not mistaken, madam, I think
you're inclined the other way, and I don't put people into camps that
they will be wanting to leave after the first rainy day. Now let me
show you what I've got. Here is one, four hours' walk, horses for
women, with a rocky stream through the middle of it.
That is grand! cried Margery. Is it really in the woods?
Now let me do the talking, said Peter. They are all in the woods;
we don't make camps in pasture-fields. Even the Number Sevens, where
the meals are sent to the campers from the hotel, and they have
bath-tubs, are in the woods. Now here is another one, about three miles
west from the one I just showed you, but the same distance from here.
This, you see, is on the shore of a lake, with fishing, boating, and
bathing, if you can stand cold water.
Glorious! cried Margery. That is exactly what we want. A lake
will be simply heavenly!
Everything seems to suit you, miss, said Peter, just as soon as
you hear of it. But suppose we consider more of them before you choose.
Some two miles north of here, in the thickest of the forest, in a
clearing that I made, there is a small camp that strikes the fancy of
some people. There is a little stream there and it has fish in it too,
and it runs through one corner of the log-cabin, so there are seven or
eight feet of the stream inside the house, and on rainy days you can
sit there and fish; and some people like to go to sleep with the
running water gurgling close to them where they can hear it when they
are in bed. Then there's an owl to this camp. The men heard him there
when they were making the clearing, and he's never left the spot. Some
people who were out there said they never felt as much away from the
world as they did listening to that little stream gurgling and that owl
I believe, exclaimed Margery, that in a place like that I could
It would give me the rheumatism and the blues, said Mrs.
Archibald, upon which Peter Sadler exclaimed,
That settles that. Now then, here is another.
Several other camps were considered, but it was the general
conclusion that the one by the lake was the most desirable. It had a
good cabin with three rooms, with plenty of open space, near by, for
the tents of the guides; there was a boat which belonged to the camp,
and in every way it seemed so suitable that Mr. Archibald secured it.
He thought the price was rather high, but as it included guides,
provisions, fishing-tackle, and in fact everything needed, he
considered that although it might cost as much as lodgings in a city
hotel, they would get more good out of it.
Has this camp any name? asked the enthusiastic Margery, in the
course of the conference.
That's about your twenty-seventh question, miss, said Peter, but
it's one I can answer. Yes, it's got a name. It's called Camp Rob.
Oh! ejaculated Margery, in a disappointed tone. What a name!
Yes, said Peter, it isn't much of a name. The first people who
went out there named it that, and it stuck to it, and it's all it's
got. Camps are like horseswe've got to tell them apart, and so we
give them names, and that's Camp Rob.
CHAPTER IV. A CATARACT OF INFORMATION
Peter Sadler would have been glad to have the Archibald party stay
at his hotel for a few days, and Mrs. Archibald would have been
perfectly satisfied to remain there until they were ready to return to
their own house, but her husband and Margery were impatient to be in
the woods, and it was therefore decided to start for the camp the next
day. Peter Sadler was a man of system, and his arrangements were made
promptly and rapidly.
You've got to have a guide, said he, and another man to help him,
and I think I'll give you Phil Matlack. Phil is an old hand at the
business, and if you don't know what you want, he'll tell you. If you
are in Phil's hands, you needn't be afraid anything will happen to you.
Whatever you want, ask him for it, and ten to one he'll have it,
whether it's information or fishhooks. I tell you again, you're lucky
to be here early and get the best of everything. Camp Rob with Phil
Matlack will stand at a premium in three or four weeks from now.
That evening after supper Mr. Archibald lighted a cigar and went out
into the grounds in front of the hotel, where he was presently joined
by his wife.
Where is Margery? asked he.
She is in her room, replied Mrs. Archibald, but she called to me
that she would be down directly.
In about ten minutes down came Margery and floated out upon the
lawn. She was dressed in white, with flowers in her hair, and she was
more charming, Mr. Archibald said, as she approached, than even the
You should not speak in that way of works of nature, said his
Isn't she a work of nature? he asked.
Not altogether, was the wise reply. Why did you dress yourself in
that fashion? she asked Margery. I did not suppose you would bring
such a fine gown, as we started out to go into camp. And even in this
hotel a travelling-suit is good enough for any one.
Oh, I tucked this into one of my bags, replied Margery. I always
like to have something nice to fall back upon. Don't you want to take a
little stroll, Aunt Harriet?
Mr. Archibald leaned back in his garden-chair and slowly puffed his
cigar, and as he puffed he took his eyes from the sunset sky and
watched his wife and Margery.
A little beyond them, as they walked, sat two elderly ladies on a
bench, wearing shawls, and near by stood a girl in a short dress, with
no hat on, and a long plait down her back. A little farther on was a
tennis-court, and four people, apparently young, were playing tennis.
There were two men, and neither of them wore a tennis-suit. One was
attired as a bicyclist, and the other wore ordinary summer clothes. The
young women were dressed in dark-blue flannel and little round hats,
which suggested to Mr. Archibald the deck of a yacht.
Near the hotel was an elderly gentleman walking up and down by
himself, and on the piazza were the rest of the guests he had seen at
the table; not very many of them, for it was early in the season.
Mr. Archibald now turned his eyes again to the sky. It was still
beautiful, although its colors were fading, and after a time he looked
back towards his wife. She was now talking to the two elderly ladies on
the bench, and Margery was engaged in conversation with the girl with
the plait down her back.
When I finish my cigar, thought Mr. Archibald, I will go myself
and take a stroll. And it struck him that he might talk to the old
gentleman, who was still walking up and down in front of the hotel.
After contemplating the tops of some forest trees against the
greenish-yellow of the middle sky, he turned his eyes again towards his
wife, and found that the two elderly ladies had made room for her on
the bench, that the tennis-game had ceased, and that one of the girls
in blue flannel had joined this group and was talking to Margery.
In a few moments all the ladies on the bench rose, and Mrs.
Archibald and one of them walked slowly towards an opening in the
woods. The other lady followed with the little girl, and Margery and
the young woman in blue walked in the same direction, but not in
company with the rest of the party. The two young men, with the other
tennis-player between them, walked over from the tennis-court and
joined the first group, and they all stopped just as they reached the
woods. There they stood and began talking to each other, after which
one of the young men and the young woman approached a large tree, and
he poked with a stick into what was probably a hole near its roots, and
Mr. Archibald supposed that the discussion concerned a snake-hole or a
hornets' nest. Then Margery and the other young woman came up, and they
looked at the hole. Now the whole company walked into the woods and
disappeared. In about ten minutes Mr. Archibald finished his cigar and
was thinking of following his wife and Margery, when the two elderly
ladies and Mrs. Archibald came out into the open and walked towards the
hotel. Then came the little girl, running very fast as she passed the
tree with the hole near its roots. In a few minutes Mrs. Archibald
stopped and looked back towards the woods; then she walked a little way
in that direction, leaving her companions to go to the hotel. Now the
young man in the bicycle suit emerged from the woods, with a girl in
dark-blue flannel on each side of him.
Upon my word! exclaimed Mr. Archibald, and rising to his feet,
advanced towards his wife; but before he reached her, Margery emerged
from the wood road, escorted by the young man in the summer suit.
Upon my word, Mr. Archibald remarked, this time to his wife, that
ward of ours is not given to wasting time.
It seems so, truly, said she, and I think her mother was right
when she called her a creature of impulse. Let us wait here until they
come up. We must all go in; it is getting chilly.
In a few minutes Margery and the young man had reached them.
Thank you very much, said this creature of impulse to her escort.
My uncle and aunt will take care of me now. Aunt Harriet and Uncle
Archibald, this is Mr. Clyde. He saw a great snake go into a hole over
there just before supper-time, and I think we ought all to be very
careful how we pass that way.
I don't think there is very much danger after nightfall, said Mr.
Clyde, who was a pleasant youth with brown hair, and to-morrow I'll
see if I can kill him. It's a bad place for a snake to have a hole,
just where ladies would be apt to take their walks.
I don't think the snake will trouble us much, said Mrs. Archibald,
for we leave to-morrow. Still, it would be a good thing to kill it.
After this there were a few remarks made about snakes, and then Mr.
Clyde bade them good-evening.
How in the world, Margery, said Mrs. Archibald, did you get
acquainted so quickly with that young manand who is he?
Oh, it all happened quite naturally, said she. As we turned to go
out of the woods he was the gentleman nearest to me, and so of course
he came with me. Those two girls are sisters, and their name is
Dodworth. They introduced Mr. Clyde and the other gentleman, Mr.
Raybold, to me. But that was after you had been talking to Mrs.
Dodworth, their mother, who is Mr. Raybold's aunt. The other lady, with
the shawl on, is Mrs. Henderson, andwould you believe it?she's
grandmother to that girl in the short dress! She doesn't begin to look
old enough. The Dodworths don't go into camp at all, but expect to stay
here for two weeks longer, and then they go to the sea-shore. Mrs.
Henderson leaves day after to-morrow.
Mr. Clyde and his friend live in Boston. They are both just
beginning to practise law, though Mr. Clyde says that Mr. Raybold would
rather be an actor, but his family objects. The old gentleman who is
walking up and down in front of the hotel has heart-disease, some
people saybut that is not certain. He stayed here all last summer,
and perhaps he will this year. In two weeks hardly any of the people
now in this hotel will be here. One family is going into camp when the
father and two sons come on to join them, and the rest are going to the
sea-shore, except one lady. You may have noticed herthe one with a
dark-purple dress and a little purple cap. She's a school-teacher, and
she will spend the rest of the summer with her sister in Pennsylvania.
That man Phil Matlack, who is going with us to-morrow, is quite a
character, and I expect I shall like him awfully. They say that about
five years ago he killed a man who made an attack on him in the woods,
but he was never tried for it, nor was anything whatever done to him,
because Mr. Sadler said he was right, and he would not have any
nonsense about it. There are people about here who believe that Phil
Matlack would fight a bear single-handed if it happened to be
necessary. Mr. Sadler would do it himself if he could walk. Nobody
knows how many men he killed when he was fighting Indians; and, would
you believe it? his wife is a plain, little, quiet woman, who lives in
some part of the hotel where nobody ever sees her, because she is
rather bashful and dislikes company.
The other person who is going with us is not very much more than a
boy, though they say he is very strong and a good hunter. His name is
Martin Sanders, and I forgot to say that the old gentleman with the
heart-disease is named Parker.
It's generally thought that Phil Matlack would rather have some one
else than Martin Sanders to go with him, because he says Martin knows
too much. The fact is that Martin is well educated, and could have gone
into some good business, but he was so fond of the woods that he gave
up everything to come out here and learn guiding. You know we were told
that our camp in the woods has three rooms in it? Well, it really has
four, for there was an artist there last year who built a little room
for a studio for rainy days. I expect Mr. Sadler forgot that, or didn't
think it worth counting. There are no snakes at all where we are going
to camp, but two miles farther on there are lots of them.
Over the brink of Niagara, interjected Mr. Archibald, they say
eighteen million cubic feet of water pour every minute. Where on earth,
Margery, did you fill your mind with all that information?
I got it from those two Dodworth girls and Mr. Clyde, said she.
Mr. Raybold told me some things, too, but mostly about his bicycle. He
feels badly about it, because he brought it here, and now he finds
there is no place to use it. I should think he ought to have known that
the primeval forest isn't any place for a bicycle.
Mr. Archibald, said Mrs. Archibald, when they had retired to their
room, I did not agree with you when you wished we could have started
for camp to-day, but now I am quite of your mind.
Tuesday was fine, and preparations were made for the Archibald party
to start for their camp after an early luncheon.
The bluff and hearty Peter took such an interest in everything that
was being done for their comfort, giving special heed to all the
possible requirements of Mrs. Archibald, that the heart of Mr.
Archibald was touched.
I wish, said he to his good-natured host, that you were going
with us. I do not know any one I would rather camp with than you.
If I could do it, replied Peter, I'd like it ever so well. So far
as I have been able to make you out, you are the sort of a man I'd be
willing to run a camp for. What I like about you is that you haven't
any mind of your own. There is nothing I hate worse than to run against
a man with a mind of his own. Of course there have to be such fellows,
but let them keep away from me. There is no room here for more than one
mind, and I have pre-empted the whole section.
Mr. Archibald laughed. Your opinion of me does not sound very
complimentary, he said.
It is complimentary! roared Peter Sadler, striking the table with
his fist. Why, I tell you, sir, I couldn't say anything more
commendable of you if I tried! It shows that you are a man of
common-sense, and that's pretty high praise. Everything I've told you
to do you've done. Everything I've proposed you've agreed to. You see
for yourself that I know what is better for you and your party than you
do, and you stand up like a man and say so. Yes, sir; if a
rolling-chair wasn't as bad for the woods as the bicycle that Boston
chap brought down here, I'd go along with you.
Mr. Archibald had a very sharp sense of the humorous, and in his
enjoyment of a comical situation he liked company. His heart was
stirred to put his expedition in its true light before this man who was
so honest and plain-spoken. Mr. Sadler, said he, if you will take it
as a piece of confidential information, and not intended for the
general ear, I will tell you what sort of a holiday my wife and I are
taking. We are on a wedding-journey. And then he told the story of the
proxy bridal tour.
Peter Sadler threw himself back in his chair and laughed with such
great roars that two hunting-dogs, who were asleep in the hall, sprang
to their feet and dashed out of the back door, their tails between
By the Lord Harry! cried Peter Sadler, you and your wife are a
pair of giants. I don't say anything about that young woman, for I
don't believe it would have made any difference to her whether you were
on a wedding-trip or travelling into the woods to bury a child. I tell
you, sir, you mayn't have a mind that can give out much, but you've got
a mind that can take in the biggest kind of thing, and that is what I
call grand. It is the difference between a canyon and a mountain. There
are lots of good mountains in this world, and mighty few good canyons.
Tom, you Tom, come here!
In answer to the loud call a boy came running up.
Go into my room, said Peter Sadler, and bring out a barrel
bottle, large size, and one of the stone jars with a red seal on it.
Now, sir, said he to Mr. Archibald, I am going to give you a bottle
of the very best whiskey that ever a human being took into the woods,
and a jar of smoking-tobacco a great deal too good for any king on any
throne. They belong to my private stock, and I am proud to make them a
present to a man who will take a wedding-trip to save his grown-up
daughter the trouble. As for your wife, there'll be a basket that will
go to her with my compliments, that will show her what I think of her.
By-the-way, sir, have you met Phil Matlack?
No, I have not! exclaimed Mr. Archibald, with animation. I have
heard something about him, and before we start I should like to see the
man who is going to take charge of us in camp.
Well, there he is, just passing the back door. Hello, Phil! come in
When the eminent guide, Phil Matlack, entered the hall, Mr.
Archibald looked at him with some surprise, for he was not the
conventional tall, gaunt, wiry, keen-eyed backwoodsman who had
naturally appeared to his mental vision. This man was of medium height,
a little round-shouldered, dressed in a gray shirt, faded brown
trousers very baggy at the knees, a pair of conspicuous blue woollen
socks, and slippers made of carpet. His short beard and his hair were
touched with gray, and he wore a small jockey cap. With the exception
of his eyes, Mr. Matlack's facial features were large, and the
expression upon them was that of a mild and generally good-natured
tolerance of the world and all that is in it. It may be stated that
this expression, combined with his manner, indicated also a desire on
his part that the world and all that is in it should tolerate him. Mr.
Archibald's first impressions of the man did not formulate themselves
in these terms; he simply thought that the guide was a slipshod sort of
Phil, said Mr. Sadler, here is the gentleman you are going to
take into camp.
Glad to see him, said Matlack; hope he'll like it.
And I want to say to you, Phil, continued Sadler, right before
him, that he is a first-class man for you to have in charge. I don't
believe you ever had a better one. He's a city man, and it's my opinion
he don't know one thing about hunting, fishing, making a camp-fire, or
even digging bait. I don't suppose he ever spent a night outside of a
house, and doesn't know any more about the weather than he does about
planting cabbages. He's just clean, bright, and empty, like a new
peach-basket. What you tell him he'll know, and what you ask him to do
he'll do, and if you want a better man than that to take into camp, you
want too much. That's all I've got to say.
Matlack looked at Peter Sadler and then at Mr. Archibald, who was
leaning back in his chair, his bright eyes twinkling.
How did you find out all that about him? he asked.
Humph! exclaimed Peter Sadler. Don't you suppose I can read a
man's character when I've had a good chance at him? Now how about the
storeshave they all gone on?
They were sent out early this mornin', said Matlack, and we can
start as soon as the folks are ready.
CHAPTER V. CAMP ROB
It was early in the afternoon when the Archibald party took up the
line of march for Camp Rob. The two ladies, supplied by Mrs. Sadler
with coarse riding-skirts, sat each upon a farm-horse, and Mr.
Archibald held the bridle of the one that carried his wife. Matlack and
Martin Sanders, the young man who was to assist him, led the way, while
a led horse, loaded with the personal baggage of the travellers,
brought up the rear.
Their way wound through a forest over a wood road, very rough and
barely wide enough for the passage of a cart. The road was solemn and
still, except where, here and there, an open space allowed the sunlight
to play upon a few scattered wild flowers and brighten the sombre tints
of the undergrowth.
After a ride which seemed a long one to the ladies, who wished they
had attired themselves in walking-costume, the road and the forest
suddenly came to an end, and before them stretched out the waters of a
small lake. Camp Rob was not far from the head of the lake, and for
some distance above and below the forest stood back from the water's
edge. In the shade of a great oak tree there stood a small log-house,
rude enough to look at, but moderately comfortable within, and from
this house to the shore a wide space was cleared of bushes and
The lake was narrow in proportion to its length, which was about two
miles, and on the other side the forest looked like a solid wall of
green reflected in the water beneath. Even Mrs. Archibald, whose aching
back began to have an effect upon her disposition, was delighted with
the beauty of the scene, which delight endured until she had descended
from her horse and entered the log-cabin in which she was to dwell for
It is not necessary to describe the house, nor is it necessary to
dive into the depths of Mrs. Archibald's mind as she gazed about her,
passing silently from room to room of the little house. She was a good
woman, and she had made up her mind that she would not be a millstone
around the necks of her companions. Many people have been happy in
camps, and, indeed, camp-life has become one of the features of our
higher civilization, and this, from what she had heard, must be a camp
above the common. So, think what she might, she determined to make no
open complaint. If it were possible for her to be happy here, she would
As for Margery, no determination was needed in her case. Everything
was better than she had expected to find it. The cabin, with the bark
on almost everything, even the furniture, was just what a house in the
woods ought to be; and when she entered the little studio, which was
nearer allied to the original forest than any other part of the house,
she declared that that must be her room, and that living there she
would feel almost like a dryad in an oak.
You've camped out before? said Phil Matlack to Mr. Archibald, as
he was taking a survey of the scene.
Oh yes, said the other, I've been out a few days at a time with
fishing-parties, but we never had such a fine camp as thisso well
located and such good accommodations.
You are a fisherman, then? said the guide.
Yes. I am very fond of it. I've fished ever since I was a boy, and
know a good deal about bait, in spite of what Mr. Sadler said.
I had an idea of that sort, remarked Phil, but it ain't no use to
contradict Peter. It helps keep up his spirits for him to think he can
read the characters of people just as quick as he can aim a rifle. And
it's a mighty important thing to keep Peter's spirits up. If Peter's
spirits was to go down, things round here would flatten out worse than
a rotten punkin when it's dropped.
It did not take long to establish the new-comers in their woodland
quarters. The tent for the two men, which had arrived in the morning,
was pitched not far from the cabin, and then Matlack and Martin went to
work to prepare supper. The dining-room in pleasant weather was the
small space in front of the house, where there was a table made of a
wide board supported by stakes, with a low and narrow board on each
side, also resting on stakes, and forming seats.
The supper was a better one and better served than any of the party
had expected. The camp outfit included table-cloths, and even napkins.
To-morrow, said Matlack, as he brought a dish of hot and savory
broiled ham, after Mr. Archibald gets to work, we'll have some fish.
Mrs. Archibald had been a little fearful that under these primitive
conditions the two men might expect to sit at the table with them, but
she need have had no such fears. Matlack and Martin cooked and waited
with a skill and deftness which would have surprised any one who did
not reflect that this was as much their business as hunting or
After supper a camp-fire was built at a safe distance from the
house, for although the evening air was but slightly cool, a camp
without a camp-fire would not be a camp. The party ranged themselves
around it, Mrs. Archibald on a rug brought from the cabin, and her
husband and Margery on the ground. Mr. Archibald lighted his pipe, the
fire lighted the trees and the lake, and joy inexpressible lighted the
heart of Margery.
If I could smoke a pipe, said she, and get Mr. Matlack to come
here and tell me how he killed a man, I should be perfectly happy.
That night Mrs. Archibald lay awake on her straw mattress. Absolute
darkness was about her, but through the open window she could see, over
the tops of the trees on the other side of the lake, one little star.
If I could get any comfort out of that little star, thought the
good lady, I would do it; but I can't do it, and there is nothing else
to comfort me.
On the other side of the room, on another straw mattress, she could
hear her husband breathing steadily. Then, upon the bare boards of the
floor, which were but a few inches below her little cot-bed, she
thought she heard the patter of small feet. A squirrel, perhaps, or,
horrible to think of, it might be a rat. She was sure rats would eat
straw beds, and her first impulse was to wake Mr. Archibald; but she
hesitated, he was sleeping so soundly. Still she listened, and now she
became almost certain that what she heard was not the patter of small
feet; it sounded more like something soft which was dragging itself
over the floorpossibly a snake. This idea was simply awful, and she
sat up in bed. Still she did not call Mr. Archibald, for should he
suddenly spring on the floor, he would be in more danger from the snake
than she was.
She listened and she listened, but she heard nothing more, and then
her reason began to assure her that a snake's movements on a bare floor
would be absolutely noiseless; but in a moment all thoughts of serpents
were driven from her head. Outside of the cabin she heard a sound that
could be nothing less than the footsteps of some living creaturea
wild beast, perhaps a panther. The door was shut and fastened, but the
window was open. To call Mr. Archibald and tell him a wild beast was
walking outside the house would be positively wicked. Half-awakened, he
would probably rush out of the door to see what it was. What could she
do? For an instant she thought of lighting a candle and standing it in
the window. She knew that wild beasts were afraid of fire, and she did
not believe that even a panther would dare jump over a lighted candle.
But if she struck a match and got up, she would waken her husband; and,
besides, if the wind, of which she could feel a puff every now and
then, did not blow out the candle, it might blow it over and set fire
to the cabin.
She heard the footsteps no more, and lay down again, but not to
sleep. The wind seemed to be rising, and made a wild, unearthly sound
as it surged through the trees which surrounded and imprisoned her, and
shut her out from the world in which she was born and in which she
ought to live. There was a far-away sound which came to her ears once,
twice, thrice, and which might have been the call of some ghostly bird
or the war-whoop of an Indian. At last she drew the covering over her
head, determined that, so long as she could not see, she would not
A wedding-journey! she said to herself, and the idea, coupled with
the sense of her present grewsome and doleful condition, was so truly
absurd and ridiculous that she could not restrain a melancholy laugh.
What is the matter, my dear? exclaimed Mr. Archibald, suddenly
turning over in his bed. Are you choking? Is the room too close? Shall
I open the door?
No, indeed, she said, for that was a laugh you heard. I couldn't
help laughing at the thought that there should be two such idiots in
the world as you and myself.
It is idiotic, isn't it? said Mr. Archibald. It is gloriously
idiotic, and it will do us both a world of good. It is such a complete
and perfect change that I don't wonder you laugh. Then he laughed
himself, clearly and loudly, and turned over on his side and went to
Mrs. Archibald felt certain that she would not sleep another wink
that night, but she did sleep seven hours and a half, and was awakened
by Margery singing outside her window.
CHAPTER VI. CAMP ROY
No thoughts of idiocy crossed the minds of any of the camping party
during their first breakfast under the great oak-tree. The air, the
sunlight, the rippling waters of the lake, the white clouds in the blue
sky, the great trunks of the trees, the rustling of the leaves, the
songs of the birds, the hum of insects, the brightness of everything,
their wonderful appetitesthe sense of all these things more than
filled their minds.
For the greater part of that day Mr. Archibald fished, sometimes in
a stream which ran into the head of the lake about a quarter of a mile
above the camp, and sometimes on the shores of the lake itself. Margery
sketched; her night in the studio had filled her with dreams of art,
and she had discovered in a corner a portable easel made of hickory
sticks with the bark on, and she had tucked some drawing materials into
one of her bags.
Mrs. Archibald was a little tired with her journey of the day
before, and contented herself with sitting in the shade in pleasant
places, occupied with some needle-work she had brought with her, and
trying to discipline her mind to habits of happiness in camp. This was
not very difficult during the first part of this beautiful day, but
towards the end of the afternoon she began to think less of the joys of
a free life in the heart of nature and more of the pleasure of putting
on her bonnet and going out to make some calls upon her friends. In
this state of mind it pleased her to see Phil Matlack coming towards
Would you like a cup of tea, ma'am? said he.
No, thank you, she answered. It would seem rather odd to have
afternoon tea in the woods, and I really don't care for it.
We can have 'most anything in the woods, ma'am, said Matlack,
that we can have anywhere else, providin' you don't mind what sort of
fashion you have it in. I thought it might be sort of comfortin' to you
to have a cup of tea. I've noticed that in most campin' parties of the
family order there's generally one or two of them that's lonesome the
first day; and the fact is I don't count on anything particular bein'
done on the first day in camp, except when the party is regular hunters
or fishermen. It's just as well for some of them to sit round on the
first day and let things soak into them, provided it isn't rain, and
the next day they will have a more natural feelin' about what they
really want to do. Now I expect you will be off on some sort of a tramp
to-morrow, ma'am, or else be out in the boat; and as for that young
lady, she's not goin' to sketch no more after to-day. She's got young
Martin out in the boat, restin' on his oars, while she's puttin' him
into her picture. She's rubbed him out so often that I expect he'll
fall asleep and tumble overboard, or else drop one of his oars.
Mr. Matlack, said Mrs. Archibald, will you please sit down a
moment? I want to ask you something.
Certainly, ma'am, said he, and forthwith seated himself on a log
near by, picking up a stick as he did so, and beginning to shave the
bark from it with his pocket-knife.
Do you know, said she, if there are panthers in these woods?
Matlack looked up at her quickly. I expect you heard them walkin'
about your cabin last night, said he; and not only panthers, but most
likely a bear or two, and snakes rustlin' in the leaves; and, for all I
know, coons or 'possums climbin' in and out of the window.
Oh, nothing so bad as that, she replied. I only thought
Excuse me, ma'am, he interrupted. I didn't mean that you heard
all those things, but most likely a part of them. Hardly any family
parties goes into camp that some of them don't hear wild beasts the
first night. But they never come no more. Them kind of wild beasts I
call first-nighters, and they're about the worst kind we've got,
because they really do hurt people by scratchin' and clawin' at their
nerves, whereas the real wild beasts in these partsand they're mighty
scarce, and never come near campdon't hurt nobody.
I am glad to hear it, said she. But what on earth can be keeping
Mr. Archibald? When he started out after dinner he said he would be
back very soon.
Oh, he's got the fever, ma'am, said Matlack.
Fever! exclaimed Mrs. Archibald, dropping her work in her lap.
Oh, don't be frightened, said he; it is only the fishin' fever.
It don't hurt anybody; it only keeps the meals waitin'. You see, we are
pretty nigh the first people out this year, and the fish bite lively.
Are you fond of fishin', ma'am?
No, indeed, said she; I dislike it. I think it is cruel and slimy
and generally unpleasant.
I expect you'll spend most of your time in the boat, suggested
Matlack. Your husband rows, don't he?
He doesn't row me, said Mrs. Archibald, with earnestness. I never
go out in a boat except with a regular boatman. I suppose you have a
larger boat than the one that young man is in? I can see it from here,
and it looks very small.
No, ma'am, said Matlack; that's the only one we've got. And now I
guess I'll go see about supper. This has been a lazy day for us, but we
always do calc'late on a lazy day to begin with.
It strikes me, said Matlack to himself, as he walked away, that
this here camp will come to an end pretty soon. The man and the young
woman could stand it for a couple of weeks, but there's nothing here
for the old lady, and it can't be long before she'll have us all out of
the woods again.
You can come in, called Margery, about ten minutes after this
conversation; and young Martin, who had not the least idea of going to
sleep in the boat, dipped his oars in the water and rowed ashore,
pulled the boat up on the beach, and then advanced to the spot where
Margery was preparing to put away her drawing materials.
Would you mind letting me see your sketch? said he.
Oh no, said she; but you'll see it isn't very much like the scene
itself. When I make a drawing from nature I never copy everything I see
just as if I were making a photograph. I suppose you think I ought to
draw the boat just as it is, but I always put something of my own in my
pictures. And that, you see, is a different kind of a boat from the one
you were in. It is something like Venetian boats.
It isn't like anything in this part of the world, that is true,
said the young man, as he held the drawing in his hand; and if it had
been more like a gondola it would not have suited the scene. I think
you have caught the spirit of the landscape very well; but if you don't
object to a little criticism, I should say that the shore over there is
too near the foreground. It seems to me that the picture wants
atmosphere; that would help the distance very much.
Do you draw? asked Margery, in surprise.
I used to be very fond of sketching, said he. I stayed at
Sadler's a good part of the last winter, and when I wasn't out hunting
I made a good many drawings of winter scenes. I would be glad to show
them to you when we go back.
Well, said she, if I had known you were an artist I would not
have asked you to go out there and sit as a model.
Oh, I am not an artist, replied Martin; I only draw, that's all.
But if you make any more water sketches and would like me to put some
ducks or any other kind of wild-fowl in the foreground I will be glad
to do it for you. I have made a specialty of natural-history drawings.
Don't bother yourself about that easel; I'll carry up your things for
About half-way to the cabin Margery suddenly stopped and turned
round towards the young man, who was following her. How did you come
to be a guide? she asked.
He smiled. That's because I was born a naturalist and a sportsman.
I went into business when I finished my education, but I couldn't stand
that, and as I couldn't afford to become a gentleman sportsman, I came
here as a guide. I'm getting a lot of experience in this sort of life,
and when I've saved money enough I'm going on an exploring expedition,
most likely to Central America. That's the kind of life that will suit
And write a book about it? asked Margery.
Most likely, said he.
That night, after supper, Margery remarked: Our two guides are
American citizens, and I don't see why they can't eat at the table with
us instead of waiting until we have finished. We are all free and equal
in the woods.
Margery Dearborn! exclaimed Mrs. Archibald. What are you talking
She was going to say that if there were one straw more needed to
break her back, that straw would be the sight of the two guides sitting
at the table with them, but she restrained herself. She did not want
Mr. Archibald to know anything about the condition of her back.
So long as they don't want to do it, and don't do it, said she,
pray don't let us say anything about it. Let's try to make things as
pleasant as we can.
Mr. Archibald was lighting his pipe, and when he was sure the
tobacco was sufficiently ignited he took the pipe from his mouth and
turned towards his wife.
Harriet, said he, you have been too much alone to-day. I don't
know what I shall do to-morrow; but whatever it is, I am going to take
you with me.
Of course that depends on what it is you do, she answered. But I
will try to do everything I can.
Mr. Archibald heaved a little sigh, which was not noticed by any
one, because it sounded like a puff.
I am afraid, he thought, that this camping business is not going
to last very much longer, and we shall be obliged to make the rest of
our wedding-journey in a different style.
The next morning, when Mr. Archibald went out of his cabin door, he
looked over the lake and saw a bird suddenly swoop down upon the water,
breaking the smooth surface into sparkles of silver, and then rise
again, a little silvery fish glittering in its claws.
Beautifully done! said he. A splendid stroke! And then turning,
he looked up the lake, and not far from the water's edge he saw Margery
walking with Mr. Clyde, while Mr. Raybold followed a little in the
Harriet, he cried, quickly stepping into the cabin again, look
out here! What is the meaning of this?
Mrs. Archibald was dressed, and came out. When she saw the trio
approaching them, she was not so much surprised as was her husband.
I don't know the meaning of anything that happens in these woods,
she said; but if a lot of people have come from the hotel with those
young men I cannot say I am sorry.
Come, said her husband, we must look into this.
In two minutes the Archibalds had met the new-comers, who advanced
with outstretched hands, as if they had been old friends. Mr.
Archibald, not without some mental disquietude at this intrusion upon
the woodland privacy of his party, was about to begin a series of
questions, when he was forestalled by Margery.
Oh, Uncle Archibald and Aunt Harriet! she exclaimed, Mr. Clyde
and Mr. Raybold have come out here to camp. Their camp is right next to
ours, and it is called Camp Roy. You see, some years ago there was a
large camping party came here, and they called the place Camp Rob Roy,
but it was afterwards divided, and one part called Camp Rob and the
other Camp Roy.
Indeed! interrupted Mr. Archibald. Mr. Sadler did not tell us
that ours was only half a camp with only half a name.
I don't suppose he thought of it, said Margery. And the line
between the two camps is just three hundred feet above our cabin. I
don't suppose anybody ever measures it off, but there it is; and Mr.
Clyde and Mr. Raybold have taken Camp Roy, which hasn't any house on
it. They started before daybreak this morning, and brought a tent along
with them, which they have pitched just back of that little peninsula;
and they haven't any guide, because they want to attend to their own
cooking and everything, and the man who brought the tent and other
things has gone back. They are going to live there just like real
backwoodsmen, and they have a boat of their own, which is to be brought
up from the bottom of the lake somewhereI mean from the lower end of
the lake. And, Aunt Harriet, may I speak to you a moment?
With this the young woman drew Mrs. Archibald aside, and in a low
voice asked if she thought it would be out of the way to invite the two
young men to take breakfast with them, as it was not likely they had
all their cooking things in order so early.
Five people sat down to breakfast under the great oak-tree, and it
was a lively meal. Mr. Archibald's mental disquiet, in which were now
apparent some elements of resentment, had not subsided, but the state
of his mind did not show itself in his demeanor, and he could not help
feeling pleased to see that his wife was in better spirits. He had
always known that she liked company.
After breakfast he took Matlack aside. I don't understand this
business, said he. When I hired this camp I supposed we were to have
it to ourselves; but if there are other camps jammed close against it
we may be in the midst of a great public picnic before a week is out.
Oh, that camp over there isn't much of a camp, replied the guide.
The fact is, it is only the tail end of a camp, and I don't suppose
Peter Sadler thought anybody would be likely to take it just now, and
so didn't think it worth while to speak of it. Of course it's jammed up
against this one, as you say; but then the people in one camp haven't
the right to cross the line into another camp if the people in the
other camp don't want them to.
Line! said Mr. Archibald. It is absurd to think of lines in a
place like this. And I have no intention of making myself disagreeable
by ordering people off my premises. But I would like to know if there
is another camp three hundred feet on this side of our cabin, or three
hundred feet back of it.
No, sir, said Matlack, speaking promptly; there isn't another
camp between this and the lower end of the lake. There's a big one
there, and it's taken; but the people aren't coming until next month.
If a larger party had taken Camp Roy, said Mr. Archibald to his
wife a little later, I should not mind it so much. But two young men!
I do not like it.
CHAPTER VII. A STRANGER
It was at the close of a pleasant afternoon four days after the
arrival of the young men at Camp Roy, and Mrs. Archibald was seated on
a camp-stool near the edge of the lake intently fishing. By her side
stood Phil Matlack, who had volunteered to interpose himself between
her and all the disagreeable adjuncts of angling. He put the bait upon
her hook, he told her when her cork was bobbing sufficiently to justify
a jerk, and when she caught a little fish he took it off the hook.
Fishing in this pleasant wise had become very agreeable to the good
lady, and she found pleasures in camp life which she had not
anticipated. Her husband was in a boat some distance out on the lake,
and he was also fishing, but she did not care for that style of sport;
the fish were too big and the boat too small.
A little farther down the lake Martin Sanders sat busily engaged in
putting some water-fowl into the foreground of Margery's sketch. A
critical observer might have noticed that he had also made a number of
changes in said sketch, all of which added greatly to its merits as a
picture of woodland scenery. At a little distance Margery was sitting
at her easel making a sketch of Martin as an artist at work in the
woods. The two young men had gone off with their guns, not perhaps
because they expected to find any legitimate game at that season, but
hoping to secure some ornithological specimens, or to get a shot at
some minor quadrupeds unprotected by law. Another reason for their
expedition could probably have been found in some strong hints given by
Mr. Archibald that it was unwise for them to be hanging around the
camps and taking no advantage of the opportunities for sport offered by
the beautiful weather and the forest.
It was not long before Margery became convinced that the sketch on
which she was working did not resemble her model, nor did it very much
resemble an artist at work in the woods.
It looks a good deal more like a cobbler mending shoes, she said
to herself, and I'll keep it for that. Some day I will put a bench
under him and a shoe in his hand instead of a sketch. With that she
rose, and went to see how Martin was getting on. I think, she said,
those dark ducks improve the picture very much. They throw the other
things back. Then she stopped, went to one side, and gazed out over
the lake. I wonder, she said, if there is really any fun in fishing.
Uncle Archibald has been out in that boat for more than two hours, and
he has fished almost every day since he's been here. I should think he
would get tired of it.
Oh no, said Martin, looking up with animation. If you know how to
fish, and there is good sport, you never get tired of it.
I know how to fish, said Margery, and I do not care about it at
You know how to fish? said Martin. Can you make a cast with a
I never tried that, said she. But I have fished as Aunt Harriet
does, and it is easy as can be.
Oh, said he, you don't know anything about fishing unless you
have fished with a fly. That is the only real sport. It is as exciting
as a battle. If you would let me teach you how to throw a fly, I am
sure you would never find fishing tiresome, and these woods would be
like a new world to you.
Why don't you do it yourself, then? she asked.
Because I am paid to do other things, he replied. We are not sent
here simply to enjoy ourselves, though I must say that I And then he
suddenly stopped. I wish you would let me teach you fly-fishing. I
know you would like it.
Margery looked at the eager face turned towards her, and then she
gazed out over the water.
Perhaps I might like it, she said. But it wouldn't be necessary
for you to take that trouble. Uncle Archibald has two or three times
asked me to go out with him, and of course he would teach me how to
fish as he does. Isn't that somebody calling you?
Yes, said Martin, rising; it's Phil. I suppose it's nearly
As they walked towards the camp, Margery in front, and Martin behind
her carrying the drawing-materials and the easel, Margery suddenly
[Illustration: 'THEY THROW THE OTHER THINGS BACK']
It was very good of you to offer to teach me to fish with flies,
she said, and perhaps, if Uncle Archibald doesn't want to be bothered,
I may get you to show me how to do it.
The young man's face brightened, and he was about to express his
pleasure with considerable warmth; but he checked himself, and merely
remarked that whenever she was ready he would provide a rod and flies
and show her how to use them.
Mrs. Archibald had gone into the cabin, and Margery went up to
Matlack, who was on his way to the little tent in which the camp
cooking was done.
Did Mrs. Archibald tell you, said she, that we have invited Mr.
Clyde and Mr. Raybold to supper to-night?
The guide stopped and smiled. She told me, said he, but I don't
know that it was altogether necessary.
I suppose you mean, said Margery, that they are here so much; but
I don't wonder; they must do awfully poor cooking for themselves. I
don't suppose they will bring anything back that is good to eat.
Not at this time of year, said he, but I shall be satisfied if
they bring themselves home.
What do you mean by that? asked Margery, quickly.
Well, said Matlack, I don't doubt the bicycle fellow will always
come back all right, but I'm afeard about the other one. That bicycle
chap don't know no more about a gun than he does about makin' bread,
and I wouldn't go out huntin' with him for a hundred dollars. He's just
as likely to take a crack at his pardner's head as at anything else
that's movin' in the woods.
That is dreadful! exclaimed Margery.
Yes, it is, returned the guide; and if I had charge of their camp
he wouldn't go out with a gun again. But it will be all right in a day
or two. Peter will settle that.
Mr. Sadler, do you mean? asked Margery. What's he got to do with
He's got everything to do with it, said Matlack. He's got
everything to do with everything in this part of the country. He's got
his laws, and he sees to it that people stand by them. One of his rules
is that people who don't know how to use guns sha'n't shoot in his
But how can he know about the people out here in the woods? asked
I tell you, miss, said Matlack, speaking slowly and decisively,
Peter Sadler's ways of knowing things is like gasthe kind you burn,
I mean. I was a-visitin' once in a city house, and slept in a room on
the top floor, and there was a leak in the pipe in the cellar, and that
gas just went over the whole house, into every room and closet, and
even under the beds, and I've often thought that that was just like
Peter's way of doin' things and knowin' things. You take my word for
it, that bicycle-man won't go out huntin' many more days, even if he
don't shoot his pardner fust.
He won't go to-morrow, thought Margery; and then she said to
Matlack: I think we ought to know Mr. Sadler's rules. Has he any more
Oh, they ain't very many, said Matlack. But there's one I think
of now, and that is that no woman shall go out in a boat by herself on
That is simply horrid! exclaimed Margery. Women can row as well
I don't say they can't, said Matlack. I'm only tellin' you what
Peter's rules are, and that's one of them.
Margery made no reply, but walked away, her head thrown back a
little more than was usual with her.
I've got to keep my eye on her, said Matlack to himself, as he
went to the cabin; she's never been broke to no harness.
* * * * *
Mr. Raybold did not shoot Mr. Clyde, nor did he shoot anything else.
Mr. Clyde did shoot a bird, but it fell into the water at a place where
the shore was very marshy, and it was impossible for him to get it. He
thought it was a heron, or a bittern, or perhaps a fish-hawk, but
whatever it was, both ladies said that it was a great pity to kill it,
as it was not good to eat, and must have been very happy in its life in
the beautiful forest.
It is very cruel to shoot them when they are not strictly game,
said Mr. Clyde, and I don't believe I will do it. If I had the things
to stuff them with, that would be different, but I haven't. I believe
fishing is just as much fun, and more sensible.
I do not! exclaimed Mr. Raybold. I hold that hunting is a manly
art, and that a forester's life is as bold and free to him as it is to
the birds in the air. I believe I have the blood of a hunter in me. My
voice is for the woods.
I expect you will change your voice, thought Margery, when Mr.
Sadler takes your gun away from you. But she did not say so.
Mr. Archibald stood with his hands in his pockets reflecting. He had
hoped that these two young men were inveterate hunters, and that they
would spend their days in long tramps. He did not at all approve of
their fishing. Fishing could be done anywherehere, for instance,
right at this very door.
Supper was over, and the five inhabitants of Camps Rob and Roy had
seated themselves around the fire which Martin had carefully built,
keeping in view a cheery blaze without too much heat. Pipes had been
filled and preparations made for the usual evening smoke and talk, when
a man was seen emerging from the woods at the point where the road
opened into the clearing about the camp. It was still light, for these
hungry campers supped early, and the man could be distinctly seen as he
approached, and it was plain that he was not a messenger from Sadler's.
He was rather a large man, dressed in black, and wearing a felt hat
with a wide, straight brim. Hanging by a strap from his shoulder was a
small leather bag, and in his hand he carried a closed umbrella.
Advancing towards the fire, he took off his hat, bowed, and smiled. He
wore no beard, his face was round and plump, and his smile was
Good-evening, ladies and gentlemen, said he, and his voice was as
pleasant as his smile.
Good-evening, said Mr. Archibald, and then for a moment there was
I presume, said the new-comer, looking about him, that this is a
It is a camp, said Mr. Archibald.
The fact is so obvious, said the man in black, that it was really
unnecessary for me to allude to it. May I ask to be allowed to sit down
for a few moments? I am fatigued.
At this juncture Phil Matlack arrived on the scene. Well, sir,
said he, have you any business with anybody here? Who do you wish to
I have no business, said the other, and
And you are a stranger to everybody here? interrupted Matlack.
Yes, but I hope
Now then, said the guide, quickly, I've got to ask you to move
on. This is one of Peter Sadler's camps, and he has strict rules
against strangers stoppin' in any of them. If you've lost your way,
I'll tell you that this road, if you don't turn to the right or the
left, will take you straight to Sadler's, and there's time enough for
you to get there before dark.
Mr. Matlack, exclaimed Mrs. Archibald, who had risen to her feet,
I want to speak to you! It's a shame, she said, when the guide had
approached her, to send that man away without even giving him a chance
to rest himself. He may be a very respectable person on a walking
I guess he is on a walkin' tour, said Matlack, and I guess he's a
regular tramp, and there's no orders we've got that's stricter than
them against tramps.
Well, I don't care who he is, said Mrs. Archibald, or what your
rules are, but when a perfectly good-mannered man comes to us and asks
simply to be allowed to rest, I don't want him to be driven away as if
he were a stray pig on a lawn. Mr. Archibald, shouldn't he be allowed
to rest a while?
Her husband rose and approached the stranger. Where are you going,
sir? said he.
The man looked at Matlack, at Martin, who stood behind him, and then
at the rest of the company, and after this comprehensive glance he
From present appearances, he said, I think I am going to go.
Mr. Archibald laughed. When do you expect to get there? he asked.
It seems to me, said the other, reflectively, that I am always
going there, and I suppose I shall have to keep on doing it.
Look here, said Mr. Archibald, turning to Matlack, give him some
supper, and let him rest. There will be time enough for him to get to
Sadler's after that. If Sadler has anything to say against it, refer
him to me.
All right, sir, said Matlack, if you say so. I'm no harder on my
fellow-bein's than other people, but rules is rules, and it isn't for
me to break them.
My dear sir, said the stranger to Mr. Archibald, your words are
more grateful to me than the promise of food. I see that you consider
me a tramp, but it is a mistake. I am not a tramp. If you will allow
me, after I have eaten a little suppera meal which I must admit I
greatly needI will explain to you how I happen to be here. And with
a bow he walked towards the table where Matlack and Martin had been
eating their supper.
Do you know what I think he is? said Mr. Clyde, when Mr. Archibald
had resumed his seat and his pipe. I believe he is a wandering actor.
Actors always have smoothly shaven faces, and he looks like one.
Actor! exclaimed Arthur Raybold. That's nonsense. He's not in the
least like an actor. Anybody could see by his tread and his air that
he's never been on the stage. He's more like a travelling salesman. The
next thing he'll do will be to pull out of that bag some samples of
spool thread or patent thimbles.
You are both wrong, said Margeryentirely wrong. I have been
looking at him, and I believe he is a Methodist minister with a dead
horse. They ride circuits, and of course when their horses die they
walk. Just wait a little, and see if I am not right.
They waited a little, and then they waited a little longer, and they
had begun to be tired of waiting before the stranger finished his meal
and approached the fire. His face was brighter, his smile was more
pleasant, and his step had a certain jauntiness in it.
I thank you all, he said, for the very good meal I have just
enjoyed. I am now going to go, but before I start I would like very
muchindeed, I crave it as a favorto place myself before you in my
proper light. May I have permission to do so, madam and sir? he said,
addressing Mrs. and Mr. Archibald, but with a respectful glance at the
others, as if he would not ignore any one of them.
Certainly, said Mrs. Archibald. Sit down and tell us about
The stranger seated himself with alacrity a little back from the
circle, and nearer to the young men than to the Archibald party.
CHAPTER VIII. THE BISHOP'S TALE
The stranger placed his broad-brimmed hat on the ground beside him,
exposing a large round head somewhat bald in front, but not from age,
and the rest of it covered with close-cut brown hair. His black clothes
fitted him very closely, their extreme tightness suggesting that they
had shrunken in the course of wearing, or that he had grown much
plumper since he had come into possession of them; and their general
worn and dull appearance gave considerable distance to the period of
their first possession. But there was nothing worn or dull about the
countenance of the man, upon which was an expression of mellow
geniality which would have been suitably consequent upon a good dinner
with plenty of wine. But his only beverage had been coffee, and in his
clear bright eye there was no trace of any exhilaration, except that
caused by the action of a hearty meal upon a good digestion and an
I am very glad, he said, looking about him at the company, and
then glancing with a friendly air towards the two guides, who stood a
little back of Mr. Archibald, to have this opportunity to explain my
appearance here. In the first place, I must tell you that I am a bishop
whose diocese has been inundated, and who consequently has been obliged
to leave it.
Oh! exclaimed Mr. Archibald; and Margery looked at Mr. Clyde, with
There! You see I was very near to it.
I presume this statement will require some explanation, continued
the man in black, and I will make it presently. I am going to be
exceedingly frank and open in all that I say to you, and as frankness
and openness are so extremely rare in this world, it may be that I
shall obtain favor in your eyes from the fact of my possessing those
unusual qualities. Originally I was a teacher, and for a year or two I
had a very good country school; but my employment at last became so
repugnant to me that I could no longer endure it, and this repugnance
was due entirely to my intense dislike for children.
That is not at all to your credit, observed Mrs. Archibald; and I
do not see how you became a bishop, or why you should have been made
Was your diocese entirely meadow-land? inquired Mr. Archibald.
I am coming to all that, said the stranger, with a smile of polite
consideration towards Mrs. Archibald. I know very well that it is not
at all to my credit to dislike children, but I said I would be honest,
and I am. I do dislike themnot their bodies, but their minds.
Children, considered physically, are often pleasant to the view, and
even interesting as companions, providing their innate juvenility is
undisturbed; but when their personalities are rudely thrown open by a
teacher, and the innate juvenility prematurely exposed to the air, it
is something so clammy, so chilly to the mental marrow, that I shrink
from it as I would shrink from the touch of any cold, clammy thing.
Horrible! exclaimed Mrs. Archibald.
I am not sure, observed Margery, that there is not some truth in
that. I had a Sunday-school class for a little while, and although I
can't say there was a clamminess, there waswell, I don't know what
there was, but I gave it up.
I am glad, said the man in black, that my candor is not sinking
me in the estimation of every one present; but even if it did, I am
obliged to tell the truth. I do not know what would have become of me
if I had not had the good-fortune to catch the measles from a family
with whom I was spending Sunday in another town. As soon as the disease
plainly showed itself upon me my school was broken up, and it was never
gathered together again, at least under me.
I must make my story brief, and can only say that not long after
this I found myself in another town, where it became necessary for me
to do something to support myself. This was difficult, for I am an
indefinite man, and definiteness seems necessary to success in any
line. Happening one day to pass a house with open lower windows, I
heard the sound of children's voices speaking in unison, and knowing
that this must be a school, I looked in, compelled entirely by that
curiosity which often urges us to gaze upon human suffering. I found,
however, that this was a kindergarten conducted by a young woman.
Unobserved by scholars or teacher, I watched the proceedings with great
interest, and soon became convinced that kindergartening was a much
less repellent system of tuition than any I had known; but I also
perceived that the methods of the young woman could be greatly
improved. I thought a good deal upon this subject after leaving the
open window. Soon afterwards, becoming acquainted with the young person
in charge of the children, I offered to teach her a much better system
of kindergartening than she was using. My terms were very low, and she
became my scholar. I soon learned that there were other kindergartens
in the town, and some of the teachers of these joined my class.
Moreover, there were young women in the place who were not
kindergartners, but who would like to become such, and these I also
taught, sometimes visiting them at their houses, and sometimes giving
my lessons in a room loaned by one of my patrons. My system became very
popular, because it was founded upon common-sense.
What was your system? asked Mrs. Archibald. I am interested in
My object, he answered, was to make the operation of teaching
interesting to the teacher. It struck me very forcibly that a
continuance of a few years in the present inane performances called
kindergartening would infallibly send to our lunatic asylums a number
of women, more or less young, with more or less depleted intellects.
The various games and exercises I devised were very interesting, and I
am sure I had scholars who never intended to become kindergartners, and
who studied with me solely for their own advantage. It was at this time
that I adopted the clerical dress as being more suitable to my vocation
than any other costume, and some one having called me the bishop, the
name soon became popular, and I was generally known by it.
But what is your real name? asked Mrs. Archibald.
Madam, said the man, you must excuse me if I ask you to recall
your question. I have a good name, and I belong to a very good family,
but there are reasons why I do not at present wish to avow that name.
Some of these reasons are connected with the report that I purposely
visited the family with the measles in order to get rid of my school;
others are connected with the inundation of my diocese, of which I
shall speak; others refer to my present indefinite method of life.
There is reason to suppose that the time is not far distant when my
resumption of my family name will throw no discredit upon it, but that
period has not yet arrived. Do you press your question, madam?
Oh no, said Mrs. Archibald; it really makes no difference; and
out here in the woods a man may call himself a bishop or a cardinal or
anything he likes.
Thank you very much, said he, and I will continue to speak in
figures, and call myself a bishop.
Where I was brought up, interpolated Phil Matlack, still standing
behind Mr. Archibald, I was taught that figures don't lie.
My good sir, said the speaker, with a smile, in mathematics they
don't, in poetry and literature they often do. Well, as I was saying,
my diocese extended itself, my revenues were satisfactory, and I had
begun to believe that I had found my true work in life, when suddenly
there was a misfortune. There arrived in our town three apostles of
kindergarteningtwo of them were women, and one was a man. They had
heard of my system, and had come to investigate it. They did so, with
the result that in an astonishingly short time my diocese was inundated
with a flood of Froebelism which absolutely swept me away. With this
bag, this umbrella, and this costume, which has now become my wardrobe,
I was cast out in all my indefiniteness upon a definite world.
And how did you get here? asked Mrs. Archibald.
I had heard of Sadler and his camps, said he; and in this
beautiful month and in this beautiful weather I thought it would be
well to investigate them. I accordingly went to Mr. Sadler's, where I
arrived yesterday afternoon. I found Mr. Sadler a very definite man,
and, I am sorry to say, that as he immediately defined me as a tramp,
he would listen to no other definition. 'You have no money to pay for
food and lodgings,' said he, 'and you come under my tramp laws. I don't
harbor tramps, but I don't kick them out into the woods to starve. For
labor on this place I pay one dollar and a half a day of ten hours. For
meals to day-laborers I charge fifteen cents each. If you want your
supper, you can go out to that wood-shed and split wood for one hour.'
I was very hungry; I went out into the wood-shed; I split wood for one
hour, and at the end of that time I had a sufficient meal. When I had
finished, Mr. Sadler sent for me. 'Do you want to stay here all night?'
he said. 'I do,' I answered. 'Go, then, and split wood for another
hour.' I did so, and it was almost dark when I had finished. In the
morning I split wood for my breakfast, and when I had finished I went
to Mr. Sadler and asked him how much he would charge for a luncheon
wrapped in a piece of paper. 'Seven and a half cents,' he said. I split
wood for half an hour, and left Sadler's ostensibly to return to the
station by the way I had come; but while I had been at work, I found
from the conversation of some of the people that one of the camps was
occupied, and I also discovered in what direction it lay. Consequently,
after I had passed out of the sight of the definite Peter Sadler, I
changed my course, and took a path through the woods which I was told
would lead to this road, and I came here because I might just as well
pass this way as any other, and because, having set out to investigate
camp life, I wished to do so, and I hope I may be allowed to say that
although I have seen but little of it, I like it very much.
Now, then, said Phil Matlack, walking around the circle and
approaching the stranger, you said, when you first came here, that you
were going to go, and the time has come when you've got to go.
Very well, said the other, looking up with a smile; if I've got
there I'd better stop.
Mr. Archibald and the young men laughed, but Matlack and Martin, who
had now joined him, did not laugh.
You've barely time enough, said the former, to get to Sadler's
before it is pitch-dark, and
Excuse me, said the other, but I am not going back to Sadler's
to-night. I would rather have no bed than split wood for an hour after
dark in order to procure one. I would prefer a couch of dried leaves.
You come along into the road with this young man and me; I want to
talk to you, said Matlack.
Now, Matlack, said Mr. Archibald, don't be cruel.
I am not, said the guide. I am the tenderest-hearted person in
the world; but even if you say so, sir, I can't let a stranger stay all
night in a camp that I've got charge of.
Look here, Matlack, exclaimed Mr. Clyde, you haven't got charge
of our camp!
No, I haven't, said the other.
Well, then, this person can come over and stay with us. We have a
little tent that we brought to put over the cooking-stove, and he can
sleep in that.
Very well, said Matlack; if you take him out of this camp I
haven't anything to saythat is, to-night.
My dear sir, said the stranger, rising, and approaching Mr. Clyde,
I accept your offer with pleasure, and thank you most heartily for it.
If you had proffered me the hospitality of a palace, I could not be
All right, said Clyde; and I suppose it is time for us to be off,
so I will bid you all good-night. Come along, Arthur. Come along,
The face of the last-named individual beamed with delight as he
heard this appellation, and bidding everybody good-night, and thanking
them for the kindness with which he had been treated, he followed the
two young men.
The three walked some little distance towards Camp Roy, and then
Clyde came running back to speak to Margery, who was now standing by
herself watching the young moon descend among the trees. Then Mr.
Raybold also stopped and came back to Margery, upon which the bishop
stopped and waited for them. In about ten minutes he was joined by the
two young men, and the three proceeded to Camp Roy.
There is one thing, Harriet, said Mr. Archibald, which I wish you
would speak to Margery about. I don't want her to get up so early and
go out for a morning walk. I find that those young men are also early
I will speak to her, said Mrs. Archibald; where is she?
Over there, talking to young Martin, said her husband. It isn't
quite dark yet, but I think it is time we were all in bed.
Quite time, said she. Margery tells me that that young guide, who
is a handsome fellow, is going to teach her how to fish with flies. I
wish you would sometimes take her out in the boat with you, Mr.
Archibald; I am sure that you could teach her how to fish.
He smiled. I suppose I could, he said; and I also suppose I could
pull her out of the water the first time she hooked a big fish. It
would be like resting a boat on a pivot to put her into it.
Then you don't take her, said Mrs. Archibald, decisively. And you
can't take her with you up the stream, because, of course, she can't
wade. I don't want her to get tired of camp-life, but
Don't be afraid of the young men, interrupted her husband, with a
laugh; so long as there are three of them there is no danger.
Of course I will not, if you don't wish it, Aunt Harriet, said
Margery, when Mrs. Archibald had spoken to her about the early morning
walks; and I will stay in my room until you call me.
The next morning, when Mrs. Archibald was ready to leave the cabin,
she did call Margery, but received no answer. Then she went to the
little studio-room, and when she opened the door she found its occupant
leaning out of the window talking to Mr. Clyde and Mr. Raybold, who
Good-morning, Aunt Harriet! exclaimed Margery, gayly. Mr. Clyde
has brought me nearly an armful of birch-bark, all thin and smooth. I
am going to make a birch-bark bedspread out of it. I'll cover a sheet
with these pieces, you see, and sew them on. Then I can have autographs
on them, and mottoes, and when I cover myself up with it I shall really
feel like a dryad.
And here is what I have brought, said Mr. Raybold, holding up an
armful of bark.
Oh, thank you very much, said Margery, taking the mass, but not
without dropping a good many of the pieces. Of course it was kind of
him to bring it, she said to Mrs. Archibald, as they left the room
together, but he needn't have bothered himself: I don't want to sleep
under a wood-pile.
CHAPTER IX. MATLACK'S THREE TROUBLES
Have you asked those two young men to breakfast again? inquired
Mr. Archibald, after examining, with a moderate interest, the specimen
of birch-bark which Margery had shown him.
Oh no, indeed, said she, they have had their breakfast. They have
been telling me about it. The bishop got up very early in the morning
and cooked it for them. He's a splendid cook, and he found things in
their hampers that they didn't know they had. They said his coffee was
delicious, and they have left him there in their camp now, washing the
dishes and putting everything in order. And do you think, Uncle
Archibald, that it is going to rain?
I do, said he, for it is sprinkling already.
This proved to be the first bad day since the Archibald party had
gone into camp, and the rain soon began to come down in a steady,
practised way, as if the clouds above were used to that sort of thing
and could easily keep it up all day.
As there was no place under roof to which company could be
conveniently invited, Margery retired to her room and set herself
diligently to work on her birch-bark quilt.
Mrs. Archibald established herself in the division of the cabin
which was intended to be used as a sitting and dining room in bad
weather, and applied herself to some sewing and darning, which had been
reserved for just such a day as this. Mr. Archibald, in a water-proof
suit, tried fishing for half an hour or so, but finding it both
unpleasant and unprofitable, he joined his wife, made himself as
comfortable as possible on two chairs, and began to read aloud one of
the novels they had brought with them.
Mr. Clyde and Mr. Raybold had considerately gone to their own camp
when it began to rain, hoping, however, that the shower would be over
in a short time. But the rain was not a shower, and they spent the
morning on their backs in their tent, talking and smoking. Of course
they could not expect the bishop to depart in the rain, so they had
told him to make himself as comfortable as he could in the little
kitchen tent, and offered him a pipe and a book. The first he declined,
as he never smoked, but the latter he accepted with delight.
After the mid-day dinner Phil Matlack, in a pair of high
hunting-boots and an oil-skin coat, came to Mr. Archibald and said that
as there was nothing he could do that afternoon, he would walk over to
Sadler's and attend to some business he had there.
About the bishop? asked Mr. Archibald.
Partly, said Matlack. I understand the fellow is still over there
with those two young men. I don't suppose they'll send him off in the
rain, and as he isn't in my camp, I can't interfere. But it may rain
for two or three days.
All right, said Mr. Archibald, and if we want anything we'll ask
Just so, said Matlack. If there's anything to do that you don't
want to do yourself, you can get him to do it; but if you want to know
anything you don't know yourself, you'd better wait until I come back.
When Matlack presented himself before Peter Sadler he found that
ponderous individual seated in his rolling-chair near the open door,
enjoying the smell of the rain.
Hello, Phil! he cried. What's wrong at the camp?
The guide left his wet coat and cap on the little piazza outside,
and after carefully wiping his feet, seated himself on a chair near the
There's three things wrong, said he. In the first place, there's
a tramp out there, and it looks to me as if he was a-goin' to stick, if
he can get allowed to do it.
Is he too big for you to bounce? roared Peter. That's a pretty
story to come tell me!
No, he ain't, said the other; but I haven't got the bouncin' of
him. He's not in my camp. The young men have took him in; but I expect
he'll come over with them as soon as it's done rainin', for when that
happens they're bound to come themselves.
Look here, Phil, said Peter, is he dressed in black?
Yes, he is, said the guide.
Mr. Sadler slapped his hand on the arm of his chair. Phil Matlack,
he shouted, that's my favorite tramp. I never had a man here who paid
his bill in work as he did. It was cash down, and good money. Not a
minute of wood-splitting more or less than the market-price for meals
and bed. I'd like to have a tramp like that come along about twice a
week. But I tell you, Phil, he ain't no tramp. Couldn't you see that?
None of them loafers ever worked as he did.
He may not be a tramp, said Matlack, but he's trampin'. What are
you goin' to do about him? Let him stay there?
What's he doin' now? asked Sadler.
He's cookin' for those two young men.
Well, they need some one to do it for them, and they didn't want to
go to the expense of a guide. Let the parson alone for a day or two,
and if he does anything out of the way just you take him by one ear and
Martin take him by the other and bring him to me. I'll attend to him.
What's the next trouble?
That's out of my camp, too, said Matlack, but I'm bound to report
it. The bicycle fellow that you hired a gun to don't know the fust
thing about usin' it, and the next thing you'll hear will be that he's
shot his pardner, who's worth six of him.
Mr. Sadler sat up very straight in his chair and stared at the
guide. Phil Matlack, he shouted, what do you take me for? I hired
that gun to that young man. Don't you suppose I know what I'm about?
That's all right, said Matlack, but the trouble is he don't know
what he's about.
Get away man, said Peter, with a contemptuous sniff, he'll never
hurt anybody. What do you take me for? When he came to me and wanted a
gun, I handed him two or three, so that he might choose one that suited
him, and by the way he handled them I could see that most likely he'd
never handled one before, and so I set him up all right. He's got a
good gun, and all the cartridges he'll be likely to want; and the
cartridges are all like this. They're a new kind I heard of last
winter, and I got a case from Boston last week. I don't see how I ever
managed to run my camps without them. Do you see that shot? said he,
opening one end of a cartridge. Well, take one in your hand and pinch
Phil did so, and it crumbled to dust in his hand.
When that load's fired, said Peter, all the shot will crumble
into dust. It wouldn't do to give raw hands blank-cartridges, because
they'd find that out; but with this kind they might sit all day and
fire at a baby asleep in its cradle and never disturb it, provided the
baby was deaf. And he can't use his pardner's cartridges, for I gave
that fellow a twelve-bore gun and his is a ten-bore.
Phil grinned. Well, then, said he, I suppose I might as well make
my mind easy, but if that bicycle man hunts much he'll get the
conviction borne in on him that he's a dreadful bad shot.
Then he'll give up shooting, which is what is wanted, said Sadler.
What's your third bother?
That young woman has made up her mind to go out in the boat by
herself the very fust time she feels like it, said Matlack; she
didn't say so with her mouth, but she said it with the back of her head
and her shoulders, and I want to know if that rule of yours is going to
hold good this summer. Women is gettin' to do so many things they
didn't use to that I didn't know but what you'd consider they'd got far
enough to take themselves out on the lake, and if you do think so, I
don't want to get myself in hot water with those people and then find
you don't back me up.
If you don't want to get yourself into hot water with me, Phil
Matlack, you'd better get it into your head just as soon as you can
that when I make a rule it's a rule, and I don't want people comin' to
me and talkin' about changes. Women in my camp don't go out in boats by
themselves, and it's easy enough to have that rule kept if you've got
backbone enough to do it. Keep the boat locked to the shore when it
ain't in use, and put the key in your pocket, and if anybody gets it
that 'ain't any right to it, that's your lookout. Now that's the end of
your troubles, I hope. How's things goin' on generally in the camp?
Oh, well enough, said Matlack. I thought at fust the old lady'd
give out in a day or two, but I've taught her parlor-fishin', which
she's took to quite lively, and she's got used to the woods. The boss,
he sticks to fishin', as if it was office-work, and as for the rest of
them, I guess they're all gettin' more and more willin' to stay.
Why? asked Peter.
Well, one of them is a gal and the others isn't, replied Matlack,
that's about the p'int of it.
During Matlack's walk back the skies cleared, and when he reached
the camp he found Mrs. Archibald seated in her chair near the edge of
the lake, a dry board under her feet, and the bishop standing by her,
putting bait on her hook, and taking the fish off of it when any
happened to be there. Out in the boat sat Mr. Archibald, trusting that
some fish might approach the surface in search of insects disabled by
the rain. Farther on, at a place by the water's edge that was clear of
bushes and undergrowth, Martin was giving Miss Dearborn a lesson in
He's a mighty good fisherman, thought Matlack, looking at the
young fellow as he brought his rod back from the water with a long
graceful sweep, and then, with another sweep and an easy inclination of
his body forward, sending the fly far out on the smooth surface of the
lake, although there ain't no need to tell him so; and I don't wonder
she'd rather stand and watch him than try to do it herself.
Walking up and down near the edge of the wood were Messrs. Clyde and
Phil smiled. They don't seem to be happy, he said to himself. I
guess they're hankerin' to take a share in her edication; but if you
don't know nothin' yourself, you can't edicate other people.
Matlack directed his steps towards Mrs. Archibald; but before he
reached her he was met by the bishop, who hurried towards him.
I shall be obliged to surrender my post to you, he said, which
will be greatly to the lady's satisfaction, I imagine, for I must
appear a poor attendant after you.
[Illustration: A LESSON IN FLY-FISHING"]
Goin' to leave us? said Matlack. You look quite spruced up.
The bishop smiled. You allude, I suppose, said he, to the fact
that my hat and clothes are brushed, and that I am freshly shaved and
have on a clean collar. I like to be as neat as I can. This is a
gutta-percha collar, and I can wash it whenever I please with a bit of
damp rag, and it is my custom to shave every day, if I possibly can.
But as to leaving you, I shall not do so this evening. I have promised
those young gentlemen who so kindly invited me to their camp that I
would prepare their supper for them, and I must now go to make the fire
and get things in readiness.
Have they engaged you as cook and general help? asked Matlack.
Oh no, said the bishop, with a smile, they are kind and I am
grateful, that is all.
CHAPTER X. A LADIES' DAY IN CAMP
Two days after the rainy day in camp Mr. Archibald determined to
take the direction of affairs into his own hands, so far as he should
be able. Having no authority over the two young men at Camp Roy, he had
hitherto contented himself with a disapproval of their methods of
employing their time, which he communicated only to his wife. But now
he considered that, as they were spending so much of their time in his
camp and so little in their own, he would take charge of them exactly
as if they belonged to his party. He would put an end, if possible, to
the aimless strolls up and down the beach with Margery, and the long
conversations of which that young woman had grown to be so fond, held
sometimes with both young men, though more frequently with one. If
Clyde and Raybold came into the woods to lounge in the shade and talk
to a girl, they must go to some other camp to do it. But if they really
cared to range the forest, either as sportsmen or lovers of nature, he
would do his best to help them; so this day he organized an expedition
to a low mountain about two miles away, taking Matlack with him as
guide, and inviting the two young men to join him. They had assented
because no good reason for declining had presented itself, and because
Phil Matlack earnestly urged them to come along and let him show them
what a real forest tramp was like. Before his recent talk with Peter
Sadler, Phil would not have dared to go out into the woods in company
with the bicycle man.
The two ladies were perfectly willing to remain in camp under the
charge of Martin, who was capable of defending them against any
possible danger; and as the bishop had agreed to take charge of Camp
Roy during the absence of its occupants, Mr. Archibald planned for a
whole day's tramp, the first he had taken since they went into camp.
When Martin's morning work was done he approached the shady spot
where the two ladies had established themselves, and offered to
continue his lessons in fish-flying if Miss Dearborn so desired. But
Miss Dearborn did not wish to take any lessons to-day. She would rest
and stay with Mrs. Archibald. Even the elder lady did not care to fish
that morning. The day was hot and the shade was grateful.
Martin walked away dissatisfied. In his opinion, there had never
been a day more suitable for angling; this was a day which would be
free from interruptions, either from two young fellows who knew nothing
about real game-fishing, or from Matlack, who always called him away to
do something when he was most interested in his piscatorial pedagogics.
This was a day when he could stand by that lovely girl, give her the
rod, show her how to raise it, wave it, and throw it, and sometimes
even touch her hand as he took it from her or gave it back, watching
her all the time with an admiration and delight which no speckled trout
or gamy black bass had ever yet aroused in him, and all this without
fear that a gentleman out on the lake might possibly be observing them
with the idea that he was more interested in his work than the ordinary
guide might be supposed to be. But luck was against him, and Martin,
who did not in the least consider himself an ordinary guide, walked up
and down in moody reflection, or grimly threw himself upon the ground,
gazing upward at the skynot half so blue as he wasbut never walking
or resting so far away that he could not hear the first cry from her
should snake, bear, dragon-fly, or danger of any kind approach her.
To the ladies, about half an hour later, came the bishop, who, newly
shaved and brushed, wished them good-morning, and offered his services
in any manner which might be desired. If Mrs. Archibald wished to fish
by the side of the lake, he was at her service; but Mrs. Archibald did
not care to fish.
This is a most charming day, said the bishop, removing his hat,
but I suppose it is more charming to me because it is my last day
And so you are really going to go? said Mrs. Archibald, smiling.
I suppose you think I am not likely to get there, said he, but
really I have stayed here long enough, and for several reasons.
Sit down, said Margery, and tell us what they are. There is a
nice little rock with some moss on it.
The bishop promptly accepted the invitation and seated himself. As
he did so, Martin, at a little distance, scowled, folded his arms, and
slightly increased the length of his sentinel-like walk.
Yes, said the bishop, brushing some pine leaves from his
threadbare trousers, during the time that I have accepted the
hospitality of those young gentlemen I feel that I have in a great
measure repaid them for their kindness, but now I see that I shall
become a burden and an expense to them. In the first place, I eat a
great deal more than both of them put together, so that the provisions
they brought with them will be exhausted much sooner than they
expected. I am also of the opinion that they are getting tired of
eating in their own camp, but as I make a point of preparing the meals
at stated hours, of course they feel obliged to partake of them.
By which you mean, I suppose, said Mrs. Archibald, that if they
had not you to cook for them they would be apt to take a good many
meals with us, as they did when they first came, and which would be
cheaper and pleasanter.
I beg, madam, said the bishop, quickly, that you will not think
that they have said anything of the sort. I simply inferred, from
remarks I have heard, that one of them, at least, is very much of the
opinion you have just stated; therefore I feel that I cannot be welcome
much longer in Camp Roy. There is also another reason why I should go
now. I have a business prospect before me.
I am glad to hear that, said Mrs. Archibald. Is it a good one?
I think it is, said the bishop. I have been considering it
earnestly, and the more I fix my mind upon it the greater appear its
advantages. I don't mind in the least telling you what it is. A
gentleman who is acquainted with my family and whom I have met two or
three times, but not recently, possesses a very fine estate some thirty
miles south of this place. He has been in Europe for some time, but is
expected to return to his country mansion about the end of this week.
It is my purpose to offer myself to him in the capacity of private
librarian. I do not think it will be difficult to convince him that I
have many qualifications for the situation.
Has he so many books that he needs a librarian? asked Margery.
No, said the bishop, I have no reason to suppose that he has any
more books than the ordinary country gentleman possesses, but he ought
to have. He has a very large income, and is now engaged in establishing
for his family what is intended to become, in time, an ancestral
mansion. It is obvious to any one of intelligence that such a grand
mansion would not be complete without a well-selected library, and that
such a library could not be selected or arranged by an ordinary man of
affairs. Consequently, unless he has a competent person to perform this
duty for him, his library, for a long time, will be insignificant. When
I shall put the question before him, I have no doubt that he will see
and appreciate the force and value of my statements. Such a position
will suit me admirably. I shall ask but little salary, but it will give
me something far better than moneyan opportunity to select from the
book marts of the whole world the literature in which I delight.
Consequently, you will see that it is highly desirable that I should be
on hand when this gentleman arrives upon his estate.
With a look of gentle pity Mrs. Archibald gazed at the smooth round
face of the bishop, flushed with the delights of anticipation and
brightened by the cheery smile which nearly always accompanied his
remarks. And is that your only prospect? she said. I don't want to
discourage you, but it seems to me that if you had some regular
businessand you are not too old to learn something of the sortit
would be far better for you than trying to obtain the mythical position
you speak of. I see that you are a man of intelligence and education,
and I believe that you would succeed in almost any calling to which you
would apply yourself with earnestness and industry. You must excuse me
for speaking so plainly, but I am much older than you are and I do it
for your good.
Madam, exclaimed the bishop, radiant with grateful emotion, I
thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you have said. I thank
you for your appreciation of me and for the generous motive of your
words, but, to be frank with you, I am not suited to a calling such as
you have mentioned. I have many qualities which I well know would
promote my fortunes were they properly applied, but that application is
difficult, for the reason that my principal mental characteristic is
indefiniteness. When but a little child I was indefinite. Nobody knew
what I was going to do, or how I would turn out; no one has since
known, and no one knows now. In whatever way I have turned my attention
in my endeavors to support myself, I have been obstructed and even
appalled by the definiteness of the ordinary pursuits of life. Now the
making of a private library is in itself an indefinite occupation. It
has not its lines, its rules, its limitations. But do not think, kind
lady, that I shall always depend upon such employment. Should I obtain
it, I should hold it only so long as it would be necessary, and it may
be necessary for but a little while. Do you care to hear of my
permanent prospects? said he, looking from one lady to the other.
Certainly, said Margery, we would like to hear all you have to
Well then, said the bishop, folding his arms and smiling
effusively, but with a gentle curbing of his ordinary cheerfulness, I
will inform you that I have an uncle who is a man of wealth and well on
in years. Unfortunately, or fortunately it may be, this uncle greatly
dislikes me. He objects so strongly to my methods of thought and
action, and even to my physical presence, that he cannot bear to hear
me speak or even to look at me, and the last time I was in his company,
about four years ago, he told me that he would leave me a legacy on
condition that he should never hear from me or see me again. He
promised to make the proper provision in his will immediately, but
declared, and I know he will keep his word, that if he ever received a
letter from me or even saw me or heard my voice he would instantly
strike out that clause. I appreciated and respected his feelings, and
accepted the condition. From that moment I have not written to him, nor
shall I ever write to him, and I shall never go near him so long as he
is alive. As I said, he is of advanced age, and it is impossible that
he can long survive. When his demise takes place my circumstances will,
I believe, be satisfactory.
Did your uncle say how much he would leave you? asked Mrs.
No, madam, returned the other, he did not, but I feel sure that
the sum will be measured by his satisfaction in knowing that his
existence is entirely freed from me.
Really, said Mrs. Archibald, there is nothing about you so
indefinite as your prospects.
And it seems horrible to me, said Margery, to be hoping that some
one may die in order that you may be better off, for, as you want money
so much, you must hope that your uncle will die.
The bishop smiled and rose. And now, said he, I suppose I must go
to prepare the dinner at Camp Roy. There is nobody but myself to eat
it, but I have assumed the duty, and it must be performed.
Good-morning. By your leave, I shall look in upon you again.
Mrs. Archibald had a mind to ask him to stay and dine with them, but
having noticed an unfriendly expression on the face of Martin when his
gloomy walk brought him in her direction, she thought it would not be
wise to do so.
CHAPTER XI. MARGERY TAKES THE OARS
After dinner Mrs. Archibald prepared herself for a nap, the most
delightful thing she could think of during the warm hours of such a
day. Margery, after seeing the elder lady comfortably disposed in the
shady sitting-room of the cabin, went out-of-doors with no doubt in her
mind as to what would be for her the most delightful thing to do. She
would take a row on the lake all by herself.
She went down to the boat, which was partly drawn up on the beach
and fastened to a heavy stake. But when she reached it she was
disgusted to find that the chain was secured to the stake by a padlock.
The oars were in the boat, and she could easily have pushed it into the
water, but she could not set it free without the key to the padlock.
I do believe, she exclaimed, that the will of that horrid Mr.
Sadler is like gas. It goes everywhere, even to the tops of the houses
and under the beds. But she did not give up her intention. She tried
to detach the chain from the boat, but finding this impossible, she
thought of going for Martin. Perhaps he might have a key. This idea,
however, she quickly put aside. If he had a key, and gave it to her,
she might get him into trouble, and, besides, she did not believe that
he would let her go alone, and in any other way she did not wish to go.
Standing with her pretty brows knit, and one heel deep in the soft
ground into which she had stamped it, she heard approaching footsteps,
and turning, saw the bishop. He came forward with a buoyant step.
Is there anything I can do for you, Miss Dearborn? he said. Do
you wish to go out on the lake? Do you want some one to row you?
Yes and no, said Margery. I want to go out in the boat, and I
don't want anybody to row me. But that chain is fastened with an
abominable padlock, and I cannot launch the boat.
One of your guides is here, said he. Perhaps I can get a key from
No, no, said Margery, quickly; he must not know about it. There
is a Sadler law against it, and he is employed by Sadler.
It is very securely fastened, said the bishop, examining the lock
and chain. It is the work of the guide Matlack, I have no doubt. But,
Miss Dearborn, said he, with a bright smile, there is a boat at Camp
Roy. That is not locked, and I can bring it here in twenty minutes.
No, said Margery; I don't want that boat. I've seen it. It is a
clumsy old thing, and, besides, it leaks. I want this one. This is just
the kind of boat I want to row. It is too bad! If I could get off now
there would be nobody to hinder me, for Martin is washing the dinner
dishes, or doing something of that kind, and whenever he does
house-work he always keeps himself out of sight.
The bishop examined the stake. It was a stout little tree trunk
driven deep into the ground and projecting about five feet above the
surface, with the chain so wrapped around it that it was impossible to
force it up or down. Seizing the stake near the top, the bishop began
to push it backward and forward, and being a man of great strength, he
soon loosened it so much that, stooping, he was able to pull it from
Hurrah! exclaimed Margery. It came up just like pulling a tooth.
Yes, said the radiant bishop, the good Matlack may be very
careful about fastening a boat, but I think I have got the better of
him this time; and now I will put the stake, chain and all, in the bow.
That is the best way of disposing of them. Are you sure that you prefer
going alone? I shall be delighted to row you if you wish me to.
Oh no, said Margery; I am just wild to row myself, and I want to
hurry and get off for fear Martin will be coming down here.
Are you sure you understand rowing and the management of a boat?
Oh yes, she replied, I can row; of course I can. I will get in,
and then you can push off the boat.
Allow me, said the bishop. But before he could reach her to help
her, Margery stepped quickly into the boat and was about to seat
If you will take the seat next to the stern, said the bishop,
holding the boat so that it would be steady, I think that will be
better. Then the weight of the stake in the bow will put the boat on an
All right, said Margery, accepting his suggestion and seating
herself. Now just wait until I get the oars into the rowlocks, and
then you can push me off.
Which way do you intend to row? asked the bishop.
Oh, I shall go down towards the lower end of the lake, because that
way there are more bushes along the banks and Martin will be less apt
to see me. If I go the other way I will be in plain sight of the camp,
and he may think he ought to do somethingfire a gun across my bows to
bring me to, maybe, as they do at sea.
Hardly, said the bishop, but let me advise you not to go very far
from the shore, so that if you feel tired you can come in easily, and
if you will allow me I will walk down the shore in the direction in
which you intend to row.
Oh, I am not going to get tired, said she. I could row all day.
It is splendid to be in a boat all by myself and have the whole
management of it. Now please push me off.
With some reluctance, but with a sincere desire to make the young
girl happy, which could not be overcome by prudenceat least by such
prudence as he possessedthe bishop, with a strong, steady push, sent
the boat well out on the surface of the water.
That was beautifully done, Margery called back to him. Now I have
room enough to turn around without any trouble at all.
She turned the boat about with its bow towards the lower end of the
lake, but it was not done without trouble. I have not rowed for a good
while, she said, but I am getting used to the oars already. Now then,
I'm off, and she began to pull with a strength which, had it been
suitably paired with skill, would have made her an excellent amateur
oarswoman. But the place of skill was supplied by enthusiasm and
determination. Once or twice an oar slipped from the rowlock and she
nearly went over backward, and several times one of the blades got
under the water with the flat side up, so that she had difficulty in
getting it out. She raised her oars much too high in the air, but she
counterbalanced this by sinking them very deep into the water. But she
got on, and although her course was somewhat irregular, its general
trend was in the direction desired.
The bishop walked along the bank, keeping as near to the water as he
could. Sometimes masses of shrubbery shut off all view of the lake, and
then there would be an open space where he would stop and watch the
Please keep near the shore, Miss Dearborn, he called, that will
be better, I think, and it is certainly more shady and pleasant than
I know what you mean, cried Margery, pulling away in high
good-humor, you think it is safer near the shore; but I am not going
to row very far this time, and after a little while I may pull the boat
in and rest for a time before starting back, and then she rowed on
with renewed energy.
The next time the bishop was able to hail the boat, it was at a
point where he was obliged to push his way through the bushes in order
to see out upon the lake.
Miss Dearborn, he called, I think you are a great deal too far
from shore, and you must be getting very tired and hot. Your face is
greatly flushed. I will hurry along and see if I can find a good place
for you to stop and cool yourself.
I am all right, cried Margery, resting on her oars. I get along
very well, only the boat doesn't steer properly. I think it is because
of the weight of that stick in the bow. I suppose I cannot get rid of
Oh no! cried the bishop, in alarm; please don't think of it! But
if you touch shore at the first open space, I think I can arrange it
better for you.
Very good, said she; you go ahead and find such a place, and I
will come in.
If you touch shore, said the bishop to himself, you don't go out
again in that boat alone! You don't know how to row at all.
The bishop ran a hundred yards or more before he found a place at
which a boat could be beached. It was not a very good place, but if he
could reach out and seize the bow, that would be enough for him. He was
strong enough to pull that boat over a paved street.
As he looked out over the water he saw that Margery had progressed
considerably since he had seen her last, but she was still farther from
shore than before.
Row straight towards me! he shouted. Here is a fine
landing-place, cool and shady.
She looked around and managed to turn the boat's head in his
direction. Then she rowed hard, pulling and splashing, and evidently a
little tired. She was strong, but this unusual exercise was a trial to
her muscles. Perhaps, too, she felt that the bishop was watching her,
and that made her a little nervous, for she could not help being aware
that she was not handling the oars as well as when she started out.
With a strong pull at her right oar to turn the boat inland, she got
her left oar tangled between the water and the boat, so it seemed to
her, and lost her hold of it. In a moment it was overboard and floating
on the lake.
Leaning over the side of the boat, she made a grasp at the oar, but
it was too far for her to reach it; and then, by a spasmodic movement
of the other oar, the distance was increased.
The bishop's face grew pale. As he looked at her he saw that she was
moving away from the floating oar, and now he understood why she had
progressed so well. There was a considerable current in the lake which
had carried her along, and was now moving the heavy boat much faster
than it moved the oar. What should he tell her to do? If she could put
her single oar out at the stern, she might scull the boat; but he was
sure she did not understand sculling, and to try it she would have to
stand up, and this would be madness.
She now took the other oar from the rowlock, and was about to rise,
when the bishop shouted to her.
What are you going to do? he cried.
I am going to the stern, she said, to see if I cannot reach that
oar with this one. Perhaps I can pull it in.
For Heaven's sake, don't do that! he cried. Don't stand up, or
the boat will tip, and you will fall overboard.
But what can I do? she called back. I can't row with one oar.
Try rowing a little on one side, and then on the other, said he.
Perhaps you can bring in the boat in that way.
She followed his suggestion, but very awkwardly, and he saw plainly
that she was tired. Instead of approaching the shore, the boat
continued to float down the lake.
Margery turned again. Bishop, she cried, what shall I do? I must
do something, or I can't get ashore at all.
She did not look frightened; there was more of annoyance in her
expression, as if she thought it impertinent in fate to treat her in
this way, and she would not stand it.
If I had thought of the current, said the bishop to himself, I
would never have let her go out alone, and she can't be trusted in that
boat another minute longer. She will do something desperate. So
saying, the bishop took off his hat and threw it on the ground. Then he
unbuttoned his coat and began to take it off, but he suddenly changed
his mind. Even in that wilderness and under these circumstances he must
appear respectable, so he buttoned his coat again, hastily took off his
shoes, and, without hesitating, walked into the water until it was
above his waist, and then calling to Margery that he was coming to her,
he began to swim out into the lake. He did not strike out immediately
for the boat, but directed his course towards the floating oar. Turning
his head frequently towards Margery, he could see that she was sitting
perfectly still, watching him, and so he kept on with a good heart.
The bishop was a powerful swimmer, but he found great difficulty in
making his way through the water, on account of the extreme tightness
of his clothes. It seemed to him that his arms and legs were bandaged
in splints, as if he had been under a surgeon's care; but still he
struck out as well as he could, and in time reached the oar. Pushing
this before him to the boat, Margery took hold of it.
You swim splendidly, said she. You can climb in right here.
But the bishop knew better than that, and worked his way round to
the stern, and after holding on a little while to get his breath, he
managed to clamber into the boat.
Was the water very cold? said she.
On his replying that it was, she said she thought so because he
Now, Miss Dearborn, said he, I have made the stern seat very wet,
but I don't believe you will mind that, and if you will sit here I will
take the oars and row you in.
[Illustration: BUT THE BISHOP KNEW BETTER"]
Oh, I think I can do that myself, said Margery. I am rested now,
and I am ever so much obliged to you for getting my oar for me.
Under almost any circumstances the bishop could smile, and now he
smiled at the ridiculousness of the idea of Margery's rowing that boat
back against the current, and with him in it.
Indeed, said he, I must insist. I shall freeze to death if I
don't warm myself by exercise. So, reaching out his hand, he assisted
Margery to the stern, and seating himself in her place, he took the
oars, which she had drawn in.
I don't see why I could not make the boat go along that way, said
she, as they began to move steadily towards the camp. I believe I
could do it if people would only let me practise by myself; but they
always want to show me how, and I hate to have anybody show me how. It
is funny, she continued, that you seem so very wet all but your
collar. That looks as smooth and nice as if it had just come from the
The bishop laughed. That is because it is gutta-percha, he said,
intended for rough use in camp; but the rest of my habiliments were
not intended for wet weather.
And you have no hat, said she. Doesn't the sun hurt your head?
My head does feel a little warm, said he, but I didn't want to
row back to the place where I left my hat. It was not a good
landing-place, after all. Besides, he said to himself, I never
thought of my hat or my shoes.
CHAPTER XII. THE BISHOP ENGAGES THE
ATTENTION OF THE GUIDES
When the boat touched the shore Margery ran to the cabin to assure
Mrs. Archibald of her safety, if she had been missed.
The bishop was sticking the stake in the hole from which he had
pulled it, when Martin came running to him.
That's a pretty piece of business! cried the young man. If you
wanted to go out in the boat, why didn't you come to me for the key?
You've got no right to pull up the stakes we've driven down. That's the
same thing as stealing the boat. What's the matter? Did you tumble
overboard? You must be a pretty sort of an oarsman! If the ladies want
to go out in the boat, I am here to take them. I'd like you to
As has been said before, the bishop could smile under almost any
circumstances, and he smiled now, but at the same time his brow
wrinkled, which was not common when he smiled.
I am going down to the shore to get my hat and shoes, he said,
and I would like you to come along with me. I can't stand here and
talk to you.
What do you want? said Martin.
Come along and see, said the bishop; that is, if you are not
That was enough, and the young man walked behind him until they
reached the spot where the bishop had taken to the water. Then he
stopped, and explained to Martin all that had happened.
Now, said he, what have you got to say?
Martin, now that he knew that the bishop had plunged into the water
for the sake of the beautiful Margery, was more jealously angry than
when he had supposed he had merely taken her out to row.
I haven't anything to say, he answered, shortly, except that
parsons had better attend to their own business, if they have any, and
let young ladies and boats alone.
Oh, that's all, is it? said the bishop, and with a quick step
forward he clutched the young man's arm with his right hand, while he
seized his belt with the other, and then with a great heave sent him
out into the water fully ten feet from the shore. With a splash like a
dropped anchor Martin disappeared from view, but soon arose, his head
and shoulders above the surface, where he stood for a moment,
spluttering and winking and almost dazed.
The bishop stood on the bank and smiled. Did you fall overboard?
said he. You must be a pretty sort of a boatman!
Without replying, Martin began to wade ashore.
Come on, said the bishop; if you can't get up the bank, I'll help
But Martin needed no help; he scrambled to the bank, shook himself,
and then advanced upon the bishop, fire in his eye and his fist
Stop, young man, said the other. It would not be fair to you if I
did not tell you that I am a boxer and a heavy-weight, and that I threw
you into the water because I didn't want to damage your face and eyes.
You were impertinent, but I am satisfied, and the best thing you can do
is to go and change your clothes before any one sees you in that
plight. You are better off than I am, because I have no clothes with
which to make a change. So saying, he sat down and began to put on his
Martin stood for a moment and looked at the bishop, he thought of
Margery and a possible black eye, and then he walked as fast as he
could to his tent to get some dry clothes. He was very wet, he was very
hot, he was very angry, and what made him more angry than anything else
was a respect for the bishop which was rising in him in spite of all
his efforts to keep it down.
When Mr. Archibald and his party came back to camp late in the
afternoon, Margery, who had already told her story to Mrs. Archibald,
told it to each of the others. Mr. Archibald was greatly moved by the
account of the bishop's bravery. He thoroughly appreciated the danger
to which Margery had been exposed. There were doubtless persons who
could be trusted so sit quietly in a little boat with only one oar, and
to float upon a lake out of sight and sound of human beings until
another boat could be secured and brought to the rescue, but Margery
was not one of these persons. Her greatest danger had been that she was
a child of impulse. He went immediately to Camp Roy to see the bishop
and express his gratitude, for no matter how great the foolish
good-nature of the man had been, his brave rescue of the girl was all
that could be thought of now.
[Illustration: WITH A GREAT HEAVE SENT HIM OUT INTO THE WATER"]
He found the bishop in bed, Mr. Clyde preparing the supper, and Mr.
Raybold in a very bad humor.
It's the best place for me, said the bishop, gayly, from under a
heavy army blanket. My bed is something like the carpets in Queen
Elizabeth's time, and this shelter-tent is not one which can be called
commodious, but I shall stay here until morning, and then I am sure I
shall be none the worse for my dip into the cold lake.
As Mr. Archibald had seen the black garments of the bishop hanging
on a bush as he approached the tent, he was not surprised to find their
owner in bed.
No, said the bishop, when Mr. Archibald had finished what he had
to say, there is nothing to thank me for. It was a stupid thing to
launch a young girl out upon what, by some very natural bit of
carelessness, might have become to her the waters of eternity, and it
was my very commonplace duty to get her out of the danger into which I
had placed her; so this, my dear sir, is really all there is to say
about the matter.
Mr. Archibald differed with him for about ten minutes, and then
returned to his camp.
Phil Matlack was also affected by the account of the rescue, and he
expressed his feelings to Martin.
He pulled up the stake, did he? said Phil. Well, I'll make him
pull up his stakes, and before he goes I've a mind to teach him not to
meddle with other people's affairs.
If I were you, said Martin, I wouldn't try to teach him
You think he is too stupid to learn? said Matlack, getting more
and more angry at the bishop's impertinent and inexcusable conduct.
Well, I've taught stupid people before this.
He's a bigger man than you are, said Martin.
Matlack withdrew the knife from the loaf of bread he was cutting,
and looked at the young man.
Bigger? said he, scornfully. What's that got to do with it? A
load of hay is bigger than a crow-bar, but I guess the crow-bar would
get through the hay without much trouble.
You'd better talk about a load of rocks, said Martin. I don't
think you'd find it easy to get a crow-bar through them.
Matlack looked up inquiringly. Has he been thrashing you? he
No, he hasn't, said Martin, sharply.
You didn't fight him, then?
No, I didn't, was the answer.
Why didn't you? You were here to take charge of this camp and keep
things in order. Why didn't you fight him?
I don't fight that sort of a man, said Martin, with an air which,
if it were not disdainful, was intended to be.
Matlack gazed at him a moment in silence, and then went on cutting
the bread. I don't understand this thing, he said to himself. I must
look into it.
CHAPTER XIII. THE WORLD GOES WRONG
WITH MR. RAYBOLD
The next morning Mr. Archibald started out, very early, on a fishing
expedition by himself. He was an enthusiastic angler, and had not
greatly enjoyed the experience of the day before. He did not object to
shooting if there were any legitimate game to shoot, and he liked to
tramp through the mountain wilds under the guidance of such a man as
Matlack; but to keep company all day with Raybold, who, in the very
heart of nature, talked only of the gossip of the town, and who
punctuated his small talk by intermittent firing at everything which
looked like a bird or suggested the movements of an animal, was not
agreeable to him. Clyde was a better fellow, and Mr. Archibald liked
him, but he was young and abstracted, and the interest which clings
around an abstracted person who is young is often inconsiderable, so he
determined for one day at least to leave Sir Cupid to his own devices,
for he could not spend all his time defending Margery from amatory
dawdle. For this one day he would leave the task to his wife.
That day Mr. Raybold was in a moody mood. Early in the morning he
had walked to Sadler's, his object being to secure from the trunk which
he had left there a suit of ordinary summer clothes. He had come to
think that perhaps his bicycle attire, although very suitable for this
sort of life, failed to make him as attractive in the eyes of youth and
beauty as he might be if clothed in more becoming garments. It was the
middle of the afternoon before he returned, and as he carried a large
package, he went directly to his own camp, and in about half an hour
afterwards he came over to Camp Rob dressed in a light suit, which
improved his general appearance very much.
In his countenance, however, there was no improvement whatever, for
he looked more out of humor than when he had set out, and when he saw
that Mrs. Archibald was sitting alone in the shade, reading, and that
at a considerable distance Harrison Clyde was seated by Margery, giving
her a lesson in drawing upon birch bark, or else taking a lesson from
her, his ill-humor increased.
It is too bad, said he, taking a seat by Mrs. Archibald without
being asked; everything seems to go wrong out here in these woods. It
is an unnatural way to live, anyhow, and I suppose it serves us right.
When I went to Sadler's I found a letter from my sister Corona, who
says she would like me to make arrangements for her to come here and
camp with us for a time. Now that suits me very well indeed. My sister
Corona is a very fine young woman, and I think it would be an excellent
thing to have two young ladies here instead of one.
Yes, said Mrs. Archibald, that might be very pleasant. I should
be glad for Margery to have a companion of her own sex.
I understand precisely, said Raybold, nodding his head
sagaciously; of her own sex. Yes, I see your drift, and I agree with
you absolutely. There is a little too much of that thing over there,
and I don't wonder you are annoyed.
I did not say I was annoyed, said Mrs. Archibald, rather
No, he answered, you did not say so, but I can read between the
lines, even spoken lines. Now when I heard that my sister wanted to
come out here, he continued, at first I did not like it, for I
thought she might be some sort of a restraint upon me; but when I
considered the matter further, I became very much in favor of it, and I
sent a telegram by the stage telling her to come immediately, and that
everything would be ready for her. My sister has a sufficient income of
her own, and she likes to have everything suited to her needs. I am
different. I am a man of the world, and although I do not always care
to conform to circumstances, I can generally make circumstances conform
to me. As Shakespeare says, 'The world is my pottle, and I stir my
spoon.' You must excuse my quoting, but I cannot help it. My life work
is to be upon the stage, and where one's mind is, there will his words
Mr. Raybold was now in a much more pleasant mood than when he came
to sit in the shade with Mrs. Archibald. He was talking; he had found
some one who listened and who had very little to say for herself.
Consequently, he remarked, I ordered from Mr. Sadler the very
best tent that he had. It has two compartments in it, and it is really
as comfortable as a house, and as my sister wrote that she wished a
female attendant, not caring to have her meals cooked by boysa very
flippant expression, by-the-wayI have engaged for her a she-guide.
A what? asked Mrs. Archibald.
A person, said he, who is a guide of the female gender. She was
the wife of a hunter who was accidentally shot, Sadler told me, by a
young man who was with him on a gunning expedition. I told Sadler that
it was reprehensible to allow such fellows to have guns, but he said
that they are not as dangerous now as they used to be. This is because
the guides have learned to beware of them, I suppose. This woman has
lived in the woods and knows all about camp life, and Sadler says there
could not be a better person found to attend a young lady in camp. So I
engaged her, and I must say she charged just as much as if she were a
Why shouldn't she, said Mrs. Archibald, if she is just as good?
To this remark Raybold paid no attention. I will tell you, he
said, confidentially, of course, and I think you have as much reason
to be interested in it as I have, why I came to view with so much favor
my sister's coming here. She is a very attractive young woman, and I
think she cannot fail to interest Clyde, and that, of course, will be
of advantage to your niece.
She is not my niece, you know, said Mrs. Archibald.
Well, said he, it is all the same. 'Let it be a bird wing or a
flower, so it pleases'a quotation which is also Avonianand if Clyde
likes Corona he will let Miss Dearborn alone. That's the sort of man he
And in that case, said Mrs. Archibald, I suppose you would not be
unwilling to provide Margery with company.
Madam, said the young man, leaning forward and fixing his eyes
upon the ground, and then turning them upon her without moving his face
towards her, with me all that is a different matter. I may have
occasion later to speak to you and your husband upon the subject of
In which case, said Mrs. Archibald, quickly, I am sure that my
husband will be very glad to speak to you. But why, may I ask, were you
so disturbed when you came here, just now? You said the world was going
I declare, said he, knitting his brows and clapping one hand on
his knee, I actually forgot! The world wrong? I should say it was
wrong! My sister can't come, and I don't know what to do about it.
Can't come? asked Mrs. Archibald.
Of course not, said he, all his ill-humor having returned. That
fellow, the bishop, is in our camp and in Clyde's bed. Clyde foolishly
gave him his bed because he said the cook-tent was too cramped for a
man to stay in it all day.
Why need he stay? asked Mrs. Archibald. Has he taken cold? Is he
No indeed, said Raybold. If he were sick we might send for a cart
and have him taken to Sadler's, but the trouble is worse than that. His
clothes, in which he foolishly jumped into the water, have shrunken so
much that he cannot get them on, and as he has no others, he is obliged
to stay in bed.
But surely something can be done, said Mrs. Archibald.
No, he interrupted, nothing can be done. The clothes have dried,
and if you could see them as they hang up on the bushes, you would
understand why that man can never get into them again. The material is
entirely unsuitable for out-door life. Clyde proposes that we shall
lend him something, but there are no clothes in this party into which
such a sausage of a man could get himself. So there he is, and there, I
suppose, he will remain indefinitely; and I don't want to bring my
sister to a camp with a permanently occupied hospital bed in it. As
soon as I agreed to Corona's coming I determined to bounce that man,
but now So saying, Mr. Raybold rose, folded his arms, and knit his
brows, and as he did so he glanced towards the spot where Margery and
Clyde had been sitting, and perceived that the latter had departed,
probably to get some more birch bark; and so, with a nod to Mrs.
Archibald, he sauntered away, bending his steps, as it were
accidentally, in the direction of the young lady left alone.
When Mr. Archibald heard, that evening, of the bishop's plight and
Raybold's discomfiture, he was amused, but also glad to know there was
an opportunity for doing something practical for the bishop. He was
beginning to like the man, in spite of his indefiniteness, so he went
to see the bedridden prelate who was neither sick nor clerical, and
with very little trouble induced him to take a few general measurements
of his figure.
It is so good of you, said the delighted recumbent, that I shall
not say a word, but step aside in deference to your conscience, whose
encomiums will far transcend anything I can say. You will pardon me, I
am sure, if I make my measurements liberal. The cost will not be
increased, and to live, move, and breathe in a suit of clothes which is
large enough for me is a joy which I have not known for a long time.
Shoes, did you say, sir? Truly this is generosity supereminent.
Yes, said Mr. Archibald, laughing, and you also shall have a new
hat. I will fit you out completely, and if this helps you to make a new
and a good start in life, I shall be greatly gratified.
Sir, said the bishop, the moisture of genuine gratitude in his
eyes, you are doing, I think, far more good than you can imagine, and
pardon me if I suggest, since you are going to get me a hat, that it be
not of clerical fashion. If everything is to be new, I should like
everything different, and I am certain the cost will be less.
All right, said Mr. Archibald. I will now make a list of what you
need, and I will write to one of my clerks, who will procure
When Mr. Archibald went back to his camp he met Raybold, stalking
moodily. Having been told what had been done for the bishop's relief,
the young man was astonished.
A complete outfit, and for him? I would not have dreamed of it; and
besides, it is of no use; it must be days before the clothes arrive,
and my sister wishes to come immediately.
Do you suppose, exclaimed Mr. Archibald, that I am doing this for
the sake of your sister? I am doing it for the man himself.
When Mr. Archibald told his wife of this little interview they both
If Mr. Raybold's sister, said she, is like him, I do not think we
shall care to have her here; but sisters are often very different from
their brothers. However, the bishop need not prevent her coming. If his
clothes do not arrive before she does, I am sure there could be no
objection to her tent being set up for a time in some of the open space
in our camp, and then we shall become sooner acquainted with her; if
she is a suitable person, I shall be very glad indeed for Margery to
have a companion.
All right, said Mr. Archibald; let her pitch her tent where she
pleases. I am satisfied.
CHAPTER XIV. THE ASSERTION OF
It was a week after her brother had sent her his telegram before
Miss Corona Raybold arrived at Camp Rob, with her tent, her outfit, and
her female guide. Mrs. Archibald had been surprised that she did not
appear sooner, for, considering Mr. Raybold's state of mind, she had
supposed that his sister had wished to come at the earliest possible
But, said Raybold, in explaining the delay, Corona is very
different from me. In my actions 'the thunder's roar doth crowd upon
the lightning's heels,' as William has told us.
Where in Shakespeare is that? asked Mrs. Archibald.
Mr. Raybold bent his brow. For the nonce, said he, I do not
recall the exact position of the lines. And after that he made no more
Avonian quotations to Mrs. Archibald.
The arrival of the young lady was, of course, a very important
event, and even Mr. Archibald rowed in from the lake when he saw her
caravan approaching, herself walking in the lead. She proved to be a
young person of medium height, slight, and dressed in a becoming suit
of dark blue. Her hair and eyes were dark, her features regular and of
a classic cut, and she wore eye-glasses. Her manner was quiet, and at
first she appeared reserved, but she soon showed that if she wished to
speak she could talk very freely. She wore an air of dignified
composure, but was affable, and very attentive to what was said to her.
Altogether she made in a short time an extremely favorable
impression upon Mr. and Mrs. Archibald, and in a very much less time an
extremely unfavorable impression upon Margery.
Miss Raybold greeted everybody pleasantly, even informing Matlack
that she had heard of him as a famous guide, and after thanking Mr. and
Mrs. Archibald for their permission to set up her tent on the outskirts
of their camp, she proceeded to said tent, which was speedily made
ready for her.
Mrs. Perkenpine, her guide, was an energetic woman, and under her
orders the men who brought the baggage bestirred themselves
Just before supper, to which meal the Raybolds and Mr. Clyde had
been invited, the latter came to Mr. Archibald, evidently much troubled
I am positively ashamed to mention it to you, sir, he said, but I
must tell you that Raybold has ordered the men who brought his sister's
tent to bring our tent over here and put it up near her's. I was away
when this was done, and I wish to assure you most earnestly that I had
nothing to do with it. The men have gone, and I don't suppose we can
get it back to-night.
Mr. Archibald opened his eyes very wide. Your friend is certainly a
remarkable young man, said he, but we must not have any bad feeling
in camp, so let everything remain as it is for to-night. I suppose he
wished to be near his sister, but at least he might have asked
I think, said Clyde, that he did not so much care to be near his
sister as he did to be away from the bishop, who is now left alone in
our little shelter-tent.
Mr. Archibald laughed. Well, said he, he will come to no harm,
and we must see that he has some supper.
Oh, I shall attend to that, said Clyde, and to his breakfast
also. And, now I come to think of it, I believe that one reason Raybold
moved our tent over here was to get the benefit of his sister's cook.
The bishop did our cooking, you know, before he took to his bed.
That evening Miss Raybold joined the party around the camp-fire. She
declared that in the open air she did not in the least object to the
use of tobacco, and then she asked Mr. Archibald if his two guides came
to the camp-fire after their work was done.
They do just as they please, was the answer. Sometimes they come
over here and smoke their pipes a little in the background, and
sometimes they go off by themselves. We are very democratic here in
camp, you know.
I like that, said Miss Raybold, and I will have Mrs. Perkenpine
come over when she has arranged the tent for the night. Arthur, will
you go and tell her?
Her brother did not immediately rise to execute this commission. He
hoped that Mr. Clyde would offer to do the service, but the latter did
not improve the opportunity to make himself agreeable to the new-comer,
and Raybold did the errand.
Harrison Clyde was sitting by Margery, and Margery was giving a
little attention to what he said to her and a great deal of attention
to Corona Raybold.
More self-conceit and a better-fitting dress I never saw, thought
Margery; it's loose and easy, and yet it seems to fit perfectly, and I
do believe she thinks she is some sort of an upper angel who has
condescended to come down here just to see what common people are
Corona talked to Mr. Archibald. It was her custom always to talk to
the principal personage of a party.
It gives me pleasure, sir, said she, to meet with you and your
wife. It is so seldom that we find any one She was interrupted by
Mrs. Perkenpine, who stood behind her.
The she-guide was a large woman, apparently taller than Matlack. Her
sunburnt face was partly shaded by a man's straw hat, secured on her
head by strings tied under her chin. She wore a very plain gown, coarse
in texture, and of a light-blue color, which showed that it had been
washed very often. Her voice and her shoes, the latter well displayed
by her short skirt, creaked, but her gray eyes were bright, and moved
about after the manner of searchlights.
Well, said she to Miss Raybold, what do you want?
Corona turned her head and placidly gazed up at her. I simply
wished to let you know that you might join this company here if you
liked. The two men guides are coming, you see.
Mrs. Perkenpine glanced around the group. Is there any hunting
stories to be told? she asked.
Mr. Archibald laughed. I don't know, he said, but perhaps we may
have some. I am sure that Matlack here has hunting stories to tell.
Mrs. Perkenpine shook her head. No, sir, said she; I don't want
none of his stories. I've heard them all mostly two or three times
I dare say you have, said Phil, seating himself on a fallen trunk,
a little back from the fire; but you see, Mrs. Perkenpine, you are so
obstinate about keepin' on livin'. If you'd died when you was younger,
you wouldn't have heard so many of those stories.
There's been times, said she, when you was tellin' the story of
the bear cubs and the condensed milk, when I wished I had died when I
was younger, or else you had.
Perhaps, said Miss Raybold, in a clear, decisive voice, Mr.
Matlack may know hunting stories that will be new to all of us, but
before he begins them I have something which I would like to say.
All right, said Mrs. Perkenpine, seating herself promptly upon the
ground; if you're goin' to talk, I'll stay. I'd like to know what kind
of things you do talk about when you talk.
I was just now remarking, said Miss Corona, that I am very glad
indeed to meet with those who, like Mr. and Mrs. Archibald, are willing
to set their feet upon the modern usages of society (which would crowd
us together in a common herd) and assert their individuality.
Mr. Archibald looked at the speaker inquiringly.
Of course, said she, I refer to the fact that you and Mrs.
Archibald are on a wedding-journey.
At this remark Phil Matlack rose suddenly from the tree-trunk and
Martin dropped his pipe. Mr. Clyde turned his gaze upon Margery, who
thereupon burst out laughing, and then he looked in amazement from Mr.
Archibald to Mrs. Archibald and back again. Mrs. Perkenpine sat up very
straight and leaned forward, her hands upon her knees.
Is it them two sittin' over there? she said, pointing to Margery
and Clyde. Are they on a honey-moon?
No! exclaimed Arthur Raybold, in a loud, sharp voice. What an
absurdity! Corona, what are you talking about?
To this his sister paid no attention whatever. I think, she said,
it was a noble thing to do. An assertion of one's inner self is always
noble, and when I heard of this assertion I wished very much to know
the man and the woman who had so asserted themselves, and this was my
principal reason for determining to come to this camp.
But where on earth, asked Mr. Archibald, did you hear that we
were on a wedding-journey?
I read it in a newspaper, said Corona.
I do declare, exclaimed Mrs. Archibald, everything is in the
newspapers! I did think that we might settle down here and enjoy
ourselves without people talking about our reason for coming!
You don't mean to say, cried Mrs. Perkenpine, now on her feet,
that you two elderly ones is the honey-mooners?
Yes, said Mr. Archibald, looking with amusement on the astonished
faces about him, we truly are.
Well, said the she-guide, seating herself, if I'd stayed an old
maid as long as that, I think I'd stuck it out. But perhaps you was a
No, indeed, cried Mr. Archibald; she was a charming girl when I
married her. But just let me tell you how the matter stands, and he
proceeded to relate the facts of the case. I thought, he said, in
conclusion, turning to Matlack, that perhaps you knew about it, for I
told Mr. Sadler, and I supposed he might have mentioned it to you.
No, sir, said Matlack, relighting his pipe, he knows me better
than that. If he'd called me and said, 'Phil, I want you to take charge
of a couple that's goin' honey-moonin' about twenty-five years after
they married, and a-doin' it for somebody else and not for themselves,'
I'd said to him, 'They're lunatics, and I won't take charge of them.'
And Peter he knows I would have thought that and would have said it,
and so he did not mention the particulars to me. He knows that the only
things that I'm afraid of in this world is lunatics. 'Tisn't only what
they might do to me, but what they might do to themselves, and I won't
I hope, said Mrs. Archibald, that you don't consider us lunatics
now that you have heard why we are here.
Oh no, said the guide; I've found that you're regular
common-sense people, and I don't change my opinions even when I've
heard particulars; but if I'd heard particulars first, it would have
been all up with my takin' charge of you.
And you knew it all the time? said Clyde to Margery, speaking so
that she only could hear.
I knew it, she said, but I didn't think it worth talking about.
Do you know Mr. Raybold's sister? Do you like her?
I have met her, said Clyde; but she is too lofty for me.
What is there lofty about her? said Margery.
Well, said he, she is lofty because she has elevated ideas. She
goes in for reform; and for pretty much all kinds, from what I have
I think she is lofty, remarked Margery, because she is stuck-up.
I don't like her.
It is so seldom, Corona now continued, that we find people who
are willing to assert their individuality, and when they are found I
always want to talk to them. I suppose, Mr. Matlack, that your life is
one long assertion of individuality?
What, ma'am? asked the guide.
I mean, said she, that when you are out alone in the wild forest,
holding in your hand the weapon which decides the question of life or
death for any living creature over whom you may choose to exercise your
jurisdiction, absolutely independent of every social trammel, every
bond of conventionalism, you must feel that you are a predominant whole
and not a mere integral part.
Well, said Matlack, speaking slowly, I may have had them
feelin's, but if I did they must have struck in, and not come out on
the skin, like measles, where I could see 'em.
Corona, said her brother, in a peevish undertone, what is the
good of all that? You're wasting your words on such a man.
His sister turned a mild steady gaze upon him. I don't know any man
but you, she said, on whom I waste my words.
Is assertin' like persistin'? inquired Mrs. Perkenpine at this
The two actions are somewhat alike, said Corona.
Well, then, said the she-guide, I'm in for assertin'. When my
husband was alive there was a good many things I wanted to do, and when
I wanted to do a thing or get a thing I kept on sayin' so; and one day,
after I'd been keepin' on sayin' so a good while, he says to me,
'Jane,' says he, 'it seems to me that you're persistin'.' 'Yes,' says
I, 'I am, and I intend to be.' 'Then you are goin' to keep on insistin'
on persistin'?' says he. 'Yes,' says I; and then says he, 'If you keep
on insistin' on persistin' I'll be thinkin' of 'listin'.' By which he
meant goin' into the army as a regular, and gettin' rid of me; and as I
didn't want to be rid of him, I stopped persistin'; but now I wish I
had persisted, for then he'd 'listed, and most likely would be alive
now, through not bein' shot in the back by a city fool with a gun.
I do not believe, said Mrs. Archibald to her husband, when they
had retired to their cabin, that that young woman is going to be much
of a companion for Margery. I think she will prefer your society to
that of any of the rest of us. It is very plain that she thinks it is
your individuality which has been asserted.
Well, said he, rubbing his spectacles with his handkerchief before
putting them away for the night, don't let her project her
individuality into my sport. That's all I have to say.
CHAPTER XV. A NET OF COBWEBS TO CAGE
I think there's something besides a lunatic that you are afraid
of, said Martin to Matlack the next morning, as they were preparing
What's that? inquired the guide, sharply.
It's that fellow they call the bishop, said Martin. He put a
pretty heavy slur on you. You drove down a stake, and you locked your
boat to it, and you walked away as big as if you were the sheriff of
the county, and here he comes along, and snaps his fingers at you and
your locks, and, as cool as a cucumber, he pulls up the stake and
shoves out on the lake, all alone by herself, a young lady that you are
paid to take care of and protect from danger.
I want you to know, Martin Sanders, said Matlack, that I don't
pitch into a man when he's in his bed, no matter what it is that made
him take to his bed or stay there. But I'll just say to you now, that
when he gets up and shows himself, there'll be the biggest case of
bounce in these parts that you ever saw.
Bounce! said Martin to himself, as he turned away. I have heard
so much of it lately that I'd like to see a little.
Matlack also communed with himself. He's awful anxious to get up a
quarrel between me and the parson, he thought. I wonder if he was too
free with his tongue and did get thrashed. He don't show no signs of
it, except he's so concerned in his mind to see somebody do for the
parson what he ain't able to do himself. But I'll find out about it!
I'll thrash that fellow in black, and before I let him up I'll make him
tell me what he did to Martin. I'd do a good deal to get hold of
something that would take the conceit out of that fellow.
Mr. Arthur Raybold was a deep-minded person, and sometimes it was
difficult for him, with the fathoming apparatus he had on hand, to
discover the very bottom of his mind. Now, far below the surface, his
thoughts revolved. He had come to the conclusion that he would marry
Margery. In the first place, he was greatly attracted by her, and again
he considered it would be a most advantageous union. She was charming
to look upon, and her mind was so uncramped by conventionalities that
it could adapt itself to almost any sphere to which she might direct
it. He expected his life-work to be upon the stage, and what an actress
Miss Dearborn would make if properly educatedas he could educate her!
With this most important purpose in view, why should he waste his time?
The Archibalds could not much longer remain in camp. They had limited
their holiday to a month, and that was more than half gone. He must
The first thing to do was to get Clyde out of the way; then he would
speak to Mr. Archibald and ask for authority to press his suit, and he
would press that suit as few men on earth, he said to himself, would be
able to press it. What girl could deny herself to him when he came to
her clad not only with his own personal attributes, but with the fervor
of a Romeo, the intellectuality of a Hamlet, and the force of an
The Clyde part of the affair seemed very simple; as his party would
of course have their own table Clyde would see his sister at every
meal, and as Corona did not care to talk to him, and must talk to
somebody, she would be compelled to talk to Clyde, and if she talked to
Clyde and looked at him as she always did when she talked to people, he
did not see how he could help being attracted by her, and when once
that sort of thing began the Margery-field would be open to him.
He excused himself that morning for hurriedly leaving the
breakfast-table by saying that he wished to see Mr. Archibald before he
started out fishing.
He found that gentleman talking to Matlack. Can I see you alone,
sir? said Raybold. I have something of importance I wish to say to
Very good, said the other, for I have something I wish to say to
you, and they retired towards the lake.
What is it? inquired Mr. Archibald.
It is this, said Raybold, folding his arms as he spoke. I am a
man of but few words. When I have formed a purpose I call upon my
actions to express it rather than my speech. I will not delay,
therefore, to say to you that I love your ward, and my sole object in
seeking this interview is to ask your permission to pay my addresses to
her. That permission given, I will attend to the rest.
After you have dropped your penny in the slot, remarked Mr.
Archibald. I must say, he continued, that I am rather surprised at
the nature of your communication. I supposed you were going to explain
your somewhat remarkable conduct in bringing your tent into my camp
without asking my permission or even speaking to me about it; but as
what you have said is of so much more importance than that breach of
good manners I will let the latter drop. But why did you ask my
permission to address Miss Dearborn? Why didn't you go and do it just
as you brought your tent here? Did you think that if you had a permit
from me for that sort of sport you could warn off trespassers?
It was something of that kind, said Raybold, although I should
not have put it in that trifling way.
Then I will remark, said Mr. Archibald, that I know nothing of
your matrimonial availability, and I do not want to know anything about
it. My wife and I brought Miss Dearborn here to enjoy herself in the
woods, not to be sought in marriage by strangers. For the present I am
her guardian, and as such I say to you that I forbid you to make her a
proposal of marriage, or, indeed, to pay her any attentions which she
may consider serious. If I see that you do not respect my wishes in
this regard, I shall ask you to consider our acquaintance at an end,
and shall dispense with your visits to this camp. Have I spoken
The knitted brows of Raybold were directed towards the ground. You
have spoken plainly, he said, and I have heard, and with a bow he
As he approached his tent a smile, intended to be bitter, played
about his features.
A net of cobwebs, he muttered, to cage a lion!
The weather had now grown sultry, the afternoon was very hot, and
there was a general desire to lie in the shade and doze. Margery's
plans for a siesta were a little more complicated than those of the
others. She longed to lie in a hammock under great trees, surrounded by
the leafy screens of the woodlands; to gaze at the blue sky through the
loop-holes in the towering branches above her, and to dream of the
mysteries of the forest.
Martin, said she, to the young guide, is there a hammock among
the things we brought with us?
His face brightened. Of course there are hammocks, he said. I
wonder none of you asked about them before.
I never thought of it, said Margery. I haven't had time for
lounging, and as for Aunt Harriet, she would not get into one for five
Where shall I hang it? he asked.
Not anywhere about here. Couldn't you find some nice place in the
woods, not far away, but where I would not be seen, and might have a
little time to myself? If you can, come and tell me quietly where it
I know what she means, said Martin to himself. It's a shame that
she should be annoyed. I can find you just such a place, he said to
Margery. I will hang the hammock there, and I will take care that
nobody else shall know where it is. And away he went, bounding heart
In less than a quarter of an hour he returned. It's all ready, Miss
Dearborn, he said. I think I have found a place you will like. It's
generally very close in the woods on a day like this, but there is a
little bluff back of us, and at the end of it the woods are open, so
that there is a good deal of air there.
That is charming, said Margery, and with a book in her hand she
They were each so interested in the hammock business that they
walked side by side, instead of one following the other, as had been
their custom heretofore.
Oh, this is a delightful place! cried Margery. I can lie here and
look down into the very heart of the woods; it is a solitude like
Robinson Crusoe's island.
I am glad you like it, said Martin. I thought you would. I have
put up the hammock strongly, so that you need not be afraid of it; but
if there is any other way you want it I can change it. There is not a
thing here that can hurt you, and if a little snake should happen along
it would be glad to get away from you if you give it a chance. But if
you should be frightened or should want anything you have only to call
for me. I shall hear you, for I shall be out in the open just at the
edge of the woods.
Thank you very much, said Margery; nothing could be nicer than
this, and you did it so quickly.
He smiled with pleasure as he answered that he could have done it
more quickly if it had been necessary; and then he retired slowly, that
she might call him back if she thought of anything she wanted.
Margery lay in the hammock, gazing out over the edge of the bluff
into the heart of the woods; her closed book was in her hand, and the
gentle breeze that shook the leaves around her and disturbed the loose
curls about her face was laden with a moist spiciness which made her
believe it had been wandering through some fragrant foliage of a kind
unknown to her, far away in the depths of the forest, where she could
not walk on account of the rocks, the great bushes, and the tall ferns.
It was lovely to lie and watch the leafy boughs, which seemed as if
they were waving their handkerchiefs to the breeze as it passed.
I don't believe, she said to herself, as she cast her eyes upward
towards an open space above her, that if I were that little white
cloud and could float over the whole world and drop down on any spot I
chose that I could drop into a lovelier place than this. Then she
brought her gaze again to earth, and her mind went out between the
shadowy trunks which stretched away and away and away towards the
mysteries of the forest, which must always be mysteries to her because
it was impossible for her to get to them and solve themthat is, if
she remained awake. But if Master Morpheus should happen by, she might
yet know everythingfor there are no mysteries which cannot be solved
Master Morpheus came, but with him came also Arthur Raybold; not by
the little pathway that approached from the direction of the lake, but
parting the bushes as if he had been exploring. When she heard
footsteps behind her, Margery looked up quickly.
Mr. Raybold! she exclaimed. How on earth did you happen here?
I did not happen, said he, wiping his brow with his handkerchief.
I have been looking for you, and I have had tough work of it. I saw
you go into the woods, and I went in also, although some distance below
here, and I have had a hard and tiresome job working my way up to you;
but I have found you. I knew I should, for I had bent my mind to the
Well, I wish you hadn't, said Margery, in a vexed tone. I came
here to be alone and take a nap, and I wish you would find some other
nice place and go and take a nap yourself.
He smiled deeply. That would not answer my purpose at all, said
he. Napping is far from my desires.
But I don't care anything about your desires, said Margery, in a
tone which showed she was truly vexed, I have pre-empted this place,
and I want it to myself. I was just falling into a most delightful doze
when you came, and I don't think you have any right to come here and
The sense of right, Miss Dearborn, said he, comes from the heart,
and we do not have to ask other people what it is. My heart has given
me the right to come here, and here I am.
And what in the name of common-sense are you here for? said
Margery. Speaking about your heart makes me think you came here to
make love to me. Is that it?
It is, said he, and I wish you to hear me.
Mr. Raybold, said she, her eyes as bright, he thought, as if they
had belonged to his sister when she was urging some of her favorite
views upon a company, I won't listen to one word of such stuff. This
is no place for love-making, and I won't have it. If you want to make
love to me you can wait until I go home, and then you can come and
speak to my mother about it, and when you have spoken to her you can
speak to me, but I won't listen to it here. Not one word!
Thus did the indignant craftiness of Margery express itself. It's a
good deal better, she thought, than telling him no, and having him
keep on begging and begging.
Miss Dearborn, said Raybold, what I have to say cannot be
postponed. The words within me must be spoken, and I came here to speak
With a sudden supple twist Margery turned herself, hammock and all,
and stood on her feet on the ground. Martin! she cried, at the top of
Raybold stepped back astonished. What is this? he exclaimed. Am I
Before he had time to complete his sentence Martin Sanders sprang
into the scene.
What is it? he exclaimed, with a glare at Raybold, as if he
suspected why he had been called.
Martin, said Margery, with a good deal of sharpness in her voice,
I want you to take down this hammock and carry it away. I can't stay
here any longer. I thought that at least one quiet place out-of-doors
could be found where I would not be disturbed, but it seems there is no
such place. Perhaps you can hang the hammock somewhere near our cabin.
Martin's face grew very red. I think, said he, that you ought not
to be obliged to go away because you have been disturbed. Whoever
disturbed you should go away, and not you.
Now Mr. Raybold's face also grew red. There has been enough of
this! he exclaimed. Guide, you can go where you came from. You are
not wanted here. If Miss Dearborn wishes her hammock taken down, I will
do it. Then turning to Margery, he continued: You do not know what it
is I have to say to you. If you do not hear me now, you will regret it
all your life. Send this man away.
I would very much like to send a man away if I knew how to do it,
Do it? cried Martin. Oh, Miss Dearborn, if you want it done, ask
me to do it for you!
You! shouted Raybold, making two steps towards the young guide;
then he stopped, for Margery stood in front of him.
I have never seen two men fight, said she, and I don't say I
wouldn't like it, just once; but you would have to have on
boxing-gloves; I couldn't stand a fight with plain hands, so you
needn't think of it. Martin, take down the hammock just as quickly as
you can. And if you want to stay here, Mr. Raybold, you can stay, but
if you want to talk, you can talk to the trees.
Martin heaved a sigh of disappointment, and proceeded to unfasten
the hammock from the trees to which it had been tied. For a moment
Raybold looked as if he were about to interfere, but there was
something in the feverish agility of the young guide which made his
close proximity as undesirable as that of a package of dynamite.
Margery turned to leave the place, but suddenly stopped. She would
wait until Martin was ready to go with her. She would not leave those
two young men alone.
Raybold was very angry. He knew well that such a chance for a
private interview was not likely to occur again, and he would not give
up. He approached the young girl.
Margery, he said, if you
Martin, she cried to the guide, who was now ready to go, put down
that hammock and come here. Now, sir, she said, turning to Raybold,
let me hear you call me Margery again!
She waited for about a half a minute, but she was not called by
name. Then she and Martin went away. She had nearly reached the cabin
before she spoke, and then she turned to the young man and said:
Martin, you needn't trouble yourself about putting up that hammock
now; I don't want to lie in it. I'm going into the house. I am very
much obliged to you for the way you stood by me.
Stood by you! he exclaimed, in a low voice, which seemed
struggling in the grasp of something which might or might not be
stronger than itself. You don't know how glad I am to stand by you,
and how I would always
Thank you, said Margery; thank you very much, and she walked
away towards the cabin.
Oh, dear! she sighed, as she opened the door and went in.
CHAPTER XVI. A MAN WHO FEELS HIMSELF
Towards the end of the afternoon, when the air had grown cooler, Mr.
Archibald proposed a boating expedition to the lower end of the lake.
His boat was large enough for Matlack, the three ladies, and himself,
and if the two young men wished to follow, they had a boat of their
When first asked to join the boating party Miss Corona Raybold
hesitated; she did not care very much about boating; but when she found
that if she stayed in camp she would have no one to talk to, she
accepted the invitation.
Mr. Archibald took the oars nearest the stern, while Matlack seated
himself forward, and this arrangement suited Miss Corona exactly.
The boat kept down the middle of the lake, greatly aided by the
current, and Corona talked steadily to Mr. Archibald. Mrs. Archibald,
who always wanted to do what was right, and who did not like to be left
out of any conversation on important subjects, made now and then a
remark, and whenever she spoke Corona turned to her and listened with
the kindest attention, but the moment the elder lady had finished, the
other resumed her own thread of observation without the slightest
allusion to what she had just heard.
As for Mr. Archibald, he seldom said a word. He listened, sometimes
his eyes twinkled, and he pulled easily and steadily. Doubtless he had
a good many ideas, but none of them was expressed. As for Margery, she
leaned back in the stern, and thought that, after all, she liked Miss
Raybold better than she did her brother, for the young lady did not
speak one word to her, nor did she appear to regard her in any way.
But how on earth, thought Margery, she can float over this
beautiful water and under this lovely sky, with the grandeur of the
forest all about her, and yet pay not the slightest attention to
anything she sees, but keep steadily talking about her own affairs and
the society she belongs to, I cannot imagine. She might as well live in
a cellar and have pamphlets and reformers shoved down to her through
Messrs. Clyde and Raybold accompanied the larger boat in their own
skiff. It was an unwieldy craft, with but one pair of oars, and as the
two young men were not accustomed to rowing together, and as Mr.
Raybold was not accustomed to rowing at all and did not like it, Mr.
Clyde pulled the boat. But, do what he could, it was impossible for him
to get near the other boat. Matlack, who was not obliged to listen to
Miss Corona, kept his eye upon the following skiff, and seemed to fear
a collision if the two boats came close together, for if Clyde pulled
hard he pulled harder. Arthur Raybold was not satisfied.
I thought you were a better oarsman, he said to the other; but
now I suppose we shall not come near them until we land.
But the Archibald party did not land. Under the guidance of Matlack
they swept slowly around the lower end of the lake; they looked over
the big untenanted camp-ground there; they stopped for a moment to gaze
into the rift in the forest through which ran the stream which
connected this lake with another beyond it, and then they rowed
homeward, keeping close to the farther shore, so as to avoid the
strength of the current.
Clyde, who had not reached the end of the lake, now turned and
determined to follow the tactics of the other boat and keep close to
the shore, but on the side nearest to the camp. This exasperated
What are you trying to do? he said. If you keep in the middle we
may get near them, and why should we be on one side of the lake and
they on the other?
I want to get back as soon as they do, said Clyde, and I don't
want to pull against the current.
Stop! said Raybold. If you are tired, let me have the oars.
Harrison Clyde looked for a minute at his companion, and then
deliberately changed the course of the boat and rowed straight towards
the shore, paying no attention whatever to the excited remonstrances of
Raybold. He beached the boat at a rather poor landing-place among some
bushes, and then, jumping out, he made her fast.
What do you mean? cried Raybold, as he scrambled on shore. Is she
leaking more than she did? What is the matter?
She is not leaking more than usual, said the other, but I am not
going to pull against that current with you growling in the stern. I am
going to walk back to camp.
In consequence of this resolution the two young men reached Camp Rob
about the same time that the Archibald boat touched shore, and at least
an hour before they would have arrived had they remained in their boat.
The party was met by Mrs. Perkenpine, bearing letters and
newspapers. A man had arrived from Sadler's in their absence, and he
had brought the mail. Nearly every one had letters; there was even
something for Martin. Standing where they had landed, seated on bits of
rock, on the grass, or on camp-chairs, all read their letters.
While thus engaged a gentleman approached the party from the
direction of Camp Roy. He was tall, well built, handsomely dressed in a
suit of light-brown tweed, and carried himself with a buoyant
uprightness. A neat straw hat with a broad ribbon shaded his
smooth-shaven face, which sparkled with cordial good-humor. A blue
cravat was tied tastefully under a broad white collar, and in his hand
he carried a hickory walking-stick, cut in the woods, but good enough
for a city sidewalk. Margery was the first to raise her eyes at the
sound of the quickly approaching footsteps.
Goodness gracious! she exclaimed, and then everybody looked up.
For a moment the new-comer was gazed upon in silence. From what
gigantic bandbox could this well-dressed stranger have dropped? Then,
with a loud laugh, Mr. Archibald cried, The bishop!
No wonder there had not been instant recognition. The loose,
easy-fitting clothes gave no hint of redundant plumpness; no soiled
shovel-hat cast a shadow over the smiling face, and a glittering shirt
front banished all thought of gutta-percha.
Madam, exclaimed the bishop, raising his hat and stepping quickly
towards Mrs. Archibald, I cannot express the pleasure I feel in
meeting you again. And as for you, sir, holding out his hand to Mr.
Archibald, I have no words in which to convey my feelings. Look upon a
man, sir, who feels himself a man, and then remember from what you
raised him. I can say no more now, but I can never forget what you have
done, and as he spoke he pressed Mr. Archibald's hand with an honest
fervor, which distorted for a moment the features of that gentleman.
From one to the other of the party the bishop glanced, as he said,
How glad, how unutterably glad, I am to be again among you! Turning
his eyes towards Miss Raybold, he stopped. That young lady had put down
the letter she was reading, and was gazing at him through her
spectacles with calm intensity. This lady, said the bishop, turning
towards Raybold, is your sister, I presume? May I have the honor?
Raybold looked at him without speaking. Here was an example of the
silly absurdity of throwing pearls before swine. He had never wanted to
have anything to do with the fellow when he was in the gutter, and he
wanted nothing to do with him now.
With a little flush on her face Mrs. Archibald rose.
Miss Raybold, she said, let me present to youand she hesitated
for a momentthe gentleman we call the bishop. I think you have heard
us speak of him.
Yes, said Miss Raybold, rising, with a charming smile on her
handsome face, and extending her hand, I have heard of him, and I am
very glad to meet him.
I have also heard of you, said the bishop, as he stood smiling
beside Corona's camp-chair, and I have regretted that I have been the
innocent means of preventing you for a time from occupying your
Oh, do not mention that, said Corona, sweetly. I walked over
there yesterday, and I think it is a great deal pleasanter here, so you
have really done me a favor. I am particularly glad to see you,
because, from the little I have heard said about you, I think you must
agree with some of my cherished opinions. For one thing, I am quite
certain you favor the assertion of individuality; your actions prove
Really, said the bishop, seating himself near her, I have not
given much thought to the subject; but I suppose I have asserted my
individuality. If I have, however, I have done it indefinitely.
Everybody about me having some definite purpose in life, and I having
none, I am, in a negative way, a distinctive individual. It is a pity I
am so different from other people, but
No, it is not a pity, interrupted Corona, the color coming into
her cheeks and a brighter light into her eyes. Our individuality is a
sacred responsibility. It is given to us for us to protect and
encourageI may say, to revere. It is a trust for which we should be
called to account by ourselves, and we shall be false and disloyal to
ourselves if we cannot show that we have done everything in our power
for the establishment and recognition of our individuality.
It delights me to hear you speak in that way, exclaimed the
bishop. It encourages and cheers me. We are what we are; and if we can
be more fully what we are than we have been, then we are more truly
ourselves than before.
And what can be nobler, cried Corona, than to be, in the most
distinctive sense of the term, ourselves?
Mr. and Mrs. Archibald walked together towards their cabin.
I want to be neighborly and hospitable, said he, but it seems to
me that, now that the way is clear for Miss Raybold to move her tent to
her own camp and set up house-keeping there, we should not be called
upon to entertain her, and, if we want to enjoy ourselves in our own
way, we can do it without thinking of her.
We shall certainly not do it, said his wife, if we do think of
her. I am very much disappointed in her. She is not a companion at all
for Margery; she never speaks to her; and, on the other hand, I should
think you would wish she would never speak to you.
Well, said her husband, that feeling did grow upon me somewhat
this afternoon. Up to a certain point she is amusing.
Here he was interrupted by Mrs. Perkenpine, who planted herself
I s'pose you think I didn't do right, she said, 'cause, when that
big bundle came it had your name on it; but I knew it was clothes, and
that they was for that man in our camp, and so I took them to him
myself. I heard Phil say that the sooner that man was up and dressed,
the better it would be for all parties; and as Martin had gone off, and
there wasn't nobody to take his clothes to him, I took them to him, and
that's the long and short of it.
I wondered how he got them, said Mr. Archibald, but I am glad you
carried them to him. Then, speaking to his wife, he added, It may be
a good thing that I gave him a chance to assert his individuality.
CHAPTER XVII. MRS. PERKENPINE
ASSERTS HER INDIVIDUALITY
About half an hour after the beginning of the conversation between
the bishop and Miss Corona, Mrs. Perkenpine came to the latter and
informed her that supper was ready, and three times after that first
announcement did she repeat the information. At last the bishop rose
and said he would not keep Miss Raybold from her meal.
Will you not join us? she asked. I shall be glad to have you do
The bishop hesitated for a moment, and then he accompanied Corona.
As Mrs. Perkenpine turned from the camp cooking-stove, a
long-handled pan, well filled with slices of hot meat, in her hand, she
stood for a moment amazed. Slowly approaching the little table outside
of the tent were the bishop and Miss Raybold, and glancing beyond them
towards the lake, she saw Clyde and Raybold, to whom she had yelled
that supper was ready, the one with his arms folded, gazing out over
the water, and the other strolling backward and forward, as if he had
thought of going to his supper, but had not quite made up his mind to
Mrs. Perkenpine's face grew red. They are waitin' for a chance to
speak to that Archibald gal, she thought. Well, let them wait. And
she's bringing him! She needn't s'pose I don't know him. I've seen him
splittin' wood at Sadler's, and I don't cook for sech. So saying, she
strode to some bushes a little back of the stove, and dashed the panful
of meat behind them. Then she returned, and seizing the steaming
coffee-pot, she poured its contents on the ground. Then she took up a
smaller pan, containing some fried potatoes, hot and savory, and these
she threw after the meat.
The bishop and Corona now reached the table and seated themselves.
Mrs. Perkenpine, her face as hard and immovable as the trunk of an oak,
approached, and placed before them some slices of cold bread, some
butter, and two glasses of water.
Still earnestly talking, her eyes sometimes dimmed with tears of
excitement as she descanted upon her favorite theories, Corona began to
eat what was before her. She buttered a slice of bread, and if the
bishop chanced to say anything she ate some of it. She drank some
water, and she talked and talked and talked. She did not know what she
was eating. It might have been a Lord Mayor's dinner or a beggar's
crust; her mind took no cognizance of such an unimportant matter. As
for her companion, he knew very well what he was eating, and as he
gazed about him, and saw that there were no signs of anything more, his
heart sank lower and lower; but he ate slice after slice of bread, for
he was hungry, and he hoped that when the two young men came to the
table they would call for more substantial food.
But long before they arrived Corona finished her meal and rose.
Now that we have had our supper, she said, let us go where we
shall not be annoyed by the smell of food, and continue our
Is it possible, thought the bishop, that she can be annoyed by
the smell of hot meat, potatoes, and coffee? I suppose the delicious
odor comes from the other supper-table. Heavens! Why wasn't I asked
There was a dreadful storm when Raybold and Clyde came to the table;
but Mrs. Perkenpine remained hard and immovable through it all.
Your sister and that tramp has been here, said she, and this is
all there is left. If you keep your hogs in your house, you can't
expect to count on your victuals.
Some more coffee was made, and that, with bread, composed the young
When Arthur Raybold had finished his meal, he walked to the spot
where Corona and the bishop were conversing, and stood there silently.
He was afraid to interrupt his sister by speaking to her, but he
thought that his presence might have an effect upon her companion. It
did have an effect, for the bishop seized the opportunity created by
the arrival of a third party, excused himself, and departed at the
first break in Corona's flow of words.
I wish, Arthur, she said, that when you see I am engaged in a
conversation, you would wait at least a reasonable time before
A reasonable time! said Raybold, with a laugh. I like that! But I
came here to interrupt your conversation. Do you know who that fellow
is you were talking to? He's a common, good-for-nothing tramp. He goes
round splitting wood for his meals. Clyde and I kept him here to cook
our meals because we had no servant, and he's been in bed for days
because he had no clothes to wear. Now you are treating him as if he
were a gentleman, and you actually brought him to our table, where,
like the half-starved cur that he is, he has eaten up everything fit to
eat that we were to have for our supper.
He did not eat all of it, said Corona, for I ate some myself; and
if he is the good-for-nothing tramp and the other things you call him,
I wish I could meet with more such tramps. I tell you, Arthur, that if
you were to spend the next five years in reading and studying, you
could not get into your mind one-tenth of the serious information, the
power to reason intelligently upon your perceptions, the ability to
collate, compare, and refer to their individual causes the
Oh, bosh! said her brother. What I want to know is, are you going
to make friends with that man and invite him to our table?
I shall invite him if I see fit, said she. He is an extremely
Well, answered he, if you do I shall have a separate table, and
he walked away.
As soon as he had left Corona, the bishop repaired to the
Archibalds' cooking-tent, where he saw Matlack at work.
I have come, he said, with a pleasant smile, to ask a very great
favor. Would it be convenient for you to give me something to eat?
Anything in the way of meat, hot or cold, and some tea or coffee, as I
see there is a pot still steaming on your stove. I have had an unlucky
experience. You know I have been preparing my own meals at the other
camp, but to-day, when Mrs. Perkenpine brought me my clothes, she
carried away with her all the provisions that had been left there. I
supped, it is true, with Miss Raybold, but her appetite is so delicate
and her fare so extremely simple that I confidentially acknowledge that
I am half starved.
During these remarks Matlack had stood quietly gazing at the bishop.
Do you see that pile of logs and branches there? said he; that's the
firewood that's got to be cut for to-morrow, which is Sunday, when we
don't want to be cuttin' wood; and if you'll go to work and cut it into
pieces to fit this stove, I'll give you your supper. You can go to the
other camp and sleep where you have been sleepin', if you want to, and
in the mornin' I'll give you your breakfast. I 'ain't got no right to
give you Mr. Archibald's victuals, but what you eat I'll pay for out of
my own pocket, considerin' that you'll do my work. Then to-morrow I'll
give you just one hour after you've finished your breakfast to get out
of this camp altogether, entirely out of my sight. I tried to have you
sent away before, but other people took you up, and so I said no more;
but now things are different. When a man pulls up what I've drove down,
and sets loose what I've locked up, and the same as snaps his fingers
in my face when I'm attendin' to my business, then I don't let that man
stay in my camp.
Excuse me, said the bishop, but in case I should not go away
within the time specified, what would be your course?
In a few brief remarks, inelegant but expressive, the guide outlined
his intentions of taking measures which would utterly eliminate the
physical energy of the other.
I haven't taken no advantage of you, he said, I haven't come down
on you when you hadn't no clothes to go away in; and now that you've
got good clothes, I don't want to spile them if I can help it; but
they're not goin' to save youmind my words. What I've said I'll stick
Mr. Matlack, said the bishop, I consider that you are entirely
correct in all your positions. As to that unfortunate affair of the
boat, I had intended coming to you and apologizing most sincerely for
my share in it. It was an act of great foolishness, but that does not
in the least excuse me. I apologize now, and beg that you will believe
that I truly regret having interfered with your arrangements.
That won't do! exclaimed the guide. When a man as much as snaps
his fingers in my face, it's no use for him to come and apologize.
That's not what I want.
Nevertheless, said the bishop, you will pardon me if I insist
upon expressing my regrets. I do that for my own sake as well as yours;
but we will drop that subject. When you ask me to cut wood to pay for
my meals, you are entirely right, and I honor your sound opinion upon
this subject. I will cut the wood and earn my meals, but there is one
amendment to your plan which I would like to propose. To-morrow is
Sunday; for that reason we should endeavor to make the day as quiet and
peaceable as possible, and we should avoid everything which may be
difficult of explanation or calculated to bring about an unpleasant
difference of opinion among other members of the party. Therefore, will
you postpone the time at which you will definitely urge my departure
until Monday morning?
Well, said Matlack, now I come to think of it, it might be well
not to kick up a row on Sunday, and I will put it off until Monday
morning; but mind, there's no nonsense about me. What I say I mean, and
on Monday morning you march of your own accord, or I'll attend to the
Very good, said the bishop; thank you very much. To-morrow I will
consider your invitation to leave this place, and if you will come to
Camp Roy about half-past six on Monday morning I will then give you my
decision. Will that hour suit you?
All right, said Matlack, you might as well make it a business
matter. It's going to be business on my side, I'd have you know.
Goodvery good, said the bishop, and now let me get at that
So saying, he put down his cane, took off his hat, his coat, his
waistcoat, his collar, and his cravat and his cuffs; he rolled up his
sleeves, he turned up the bottoms of his trousers, and then taking an
axe, he set to work.
In a few minutes Martin arrived on the scene. What's up now? said
He's cuttin' wood for his meals, replied Matlack.
I thought you were going to bounce him as soon as he got up?
That's put off until Monday morning, said Matlack. Then he
marches. I've settled that.
Did he agree? asked Martin.
'Tain't necessary for him to agree; he'll find that out Monday
Martin stood and looked at the bishop as he worked.
I wish you would get him to cut wood every day, said he. By
George, how he makes that axe fly!
When the bishop finished his work he drove his axe-head deep into a
stump, washed his hands and his face, resumed the clothing he had laid
aside, and then sat down to supper. There was nothing stingy about
Matlack, and the wood-chopper made a meal which amply compensated him
for the deficiencies of the Perkenpine repast.
When he had finished he hurried to the spot where the party was in
the habit of assembling around the camp-fire. He found there some
feebly burning logs, and Mr. Clyde, who sat alone, smoking his pipe.
What is the matter? asked the bishop. Where are all our friends?
[Illustration: 'WHERE ARE ALL OUR FRIENDS?']
I suppose they are all in bed, said Clyde, with the bedclothes
pulled over their headsthat is, except one, and I suspect she is
talking in her sleep. They were all here as usual, and Mr. Archibald
thought he would break the spell by telling a fishing story. He told me
he was going to try to speak against time; but it wasn't of any use.
She just slid into the middle of his remarks as a duck slides into the
water, and then she began an oration. I really believe she did not know
that any one else was talking.
That may have been the case, said the bishop; she has a wonderful
power of self-concentration.
Very true, said Clyde, and this time she concentrated herself so
much upon herself that the rest of us got away, one by one, and when
all the others had gone she went. Then, when I found she really had
gone, I came back. By-the-way, bishop, he continued, there is
something I would like to do, and I want you to help me.
Name it, said the other.
I am getting tired of the way the Raybolds are trespassing on the
good-nature of the Archibalds, and, whatever they do, I don't intend to
let them make me trespass any longer. I haven't anything to do with
Miss Raybold, but the other tent belongs as much to me as it does to
her brother, and I am going to take it back to our own camp. And what
is more, I am going to have my meals there. I don't want that
wooden-headed Mrs. Perkenpine to cook for me.
How would you like me to do it? asked the bishop, quickly.
That would be fine, said Clyde. I will help, and we will set up
house-keeping there again, and if Raybold doesn't choose to come and
live in his own camp he can go wherever he pleases. I am not going to
have him manage things for me. Don't you think that you and I can carry
that tent over?
With ease! exclaimed the bishop. When do you want to moveMonday
Yes, said Clyde, after breakfast.
CHAPTER XVIII. THE HERMITS ASSOCIATE
During the next day no one in camp had reason to complain of Corona
Raybold. She did not seem inclined to talk to anybody, but spent the
most of her time alone. She wrote a little and reflected a great deal,
sometimes walking, sometimes seated in the shade, gazing far beyond the
When the evening fire was lighted, her mood changed so that one
might have supposed that another fire had been lighted somewhere in the
interior of her mental organism. Her fine eyes glistened, her cheeks
gently reddened, and her whole body became animated with an energy
created by warm emotions.
I have something I wish to say to you all, she exclaimed, as she
reached the fire. Where is Arthur? Will somebody please call him? And
I would like to see both the guides. It is something very important
that I have to say. Mrs. Perkenpine will be here in a moment; I asked
her to come. If Mr. Matlack is not quite ready, can he not postpone
what he is doing? I am sure you will all be interested in what I have
to say, and I do not want to begin until every one is here.
Mr. Archibald saw that she was very much in earnest, and so he sent
for the guides, and Clyde went to call Raybold.
In a few minutes Clyde returned and told Corona that her brother had
said he did not care to attend services that evening.
Where is he? asked Miss Raybold.
He is sitting over there looking out upon the lake, replied Clyde.
I will be back almost immediately, said she to Mr. Archibald, and
in the mean time please let everybody assemble.
Arthur Raybold was in no mood to attend services of any sort. He had
spent nearly the whole day trying to get a chance to speak to Margery,
but never could he find her alone.
If I can once put the matter plainly to her, he said to himself,
she will quickly perceive what it is that I offer her; and when she
clearly sees that, I will undertake to make her accept it. She is only
a woman, and can no more withstand me than a mound of sand built by a
baby's hand could withstand the rolling wave.
At this moment Corona arrived and told him that she wanted him at
the camp-fire. He was only a man, and could no more withstand her than
a mound of sand built by a baby's hand could withstand the rolling
When everybody in the camp had gathered around the fire, Corona, her
eye-glasses illumined by the light of her soul, gazed around the circle
and began to speak.
My dear friends, she said, I have been thinking a great deal
to-day upon a very important subject, and I have come to the conclusion
that we who form this little company have before us one of the grandest
opportunities ever afforded a group of human beings. We are here, apart
from our ordinary circumstances and avocations, free from all the
trammels and demands of society, alone with nature and ourselves. In
our ordinary lives, surrounded by our ordinary circumstances, we cannot
be truly ourselves; each of us is but part of a whole, and very often
an entirely unharmonious part. It is very seldom that we are able to do
the things we wish to do in the manner and at times and places when it
would best suit our natures. Try as we may to be true to ourselves, it
is seldom possible; we are swept away in a current of conventionality.
It may be one kind of conventionality for some of us and another kind
for others, but we are borne on by it all the same. Sometimes a person
like myself or Mr. Archibald clings to some rock or point upon the
bank, and for a little while is free from the coercion of
circumstances, but this cannot be for long, and we are soon swept with
the rest into the ocean of conglomerate commonplace.
That's when we die! remarked Mrs. Perkenpine, who sat reverently
No, said the speaker, it happens while we are alive. But now,
she continued, we have a chance, as I said before, to shake ourselves
free from our enthralment. For a little while each one of us may assert
his or her individuality. We are a varied and representative party; we
come from different walks of life; we are men, women, and looking at
Margery, she was about to say children, but she changed her expression
to young people. I think you will all understand what I mean. When
we are at our homes we do things because other people want us to do
them, and not because we want to do them. A family sits down to a meal,
and some of them like what is on the table, some do not; some of them
would have preferred to eat an hour before, some of them would prefer
to eat an hour later; but they all take their meals at the same time
and eat the same things because it is the custom to do so.
I mention a meal simply as an instance, but the slavery of custom
extends into every branch of our lives. We get up, we go to bed, we
read, we work, we play, just as other people do these things, and not
as we ourselves would do them if we planned our own lives. Now we have
a chance, all of us, to be ourselves! Each of us may say, 'I am myself,
one!' Think of that, my friends, each one! Each of us a unit,
responsible only to his or her unity, if I may so express it.
Do you mean that I am that? inquired Mrs. Perkenpine.
Oh yes, replied Corona.
Is Phil Matlack one?
All right, said the female guide; if he is one, I don't mind.
Now what I propose is this, said Corona: I understand that the
stay in this camp will continue for about a week longer, and I
earnestly urge upon you that for this time we shall each one of us
assert our individuality. Let us be what we are, show ourselves what we
are, and let each other see what we are.
It would not be safe nor pleasant to allow everybody to do that,
said Mr. Archibald. He was more interested in Miss Raybold's present
discourse than he had been in any other he had heard her deliver.
Of course, said she, it would not do to propose such a thing to
the criminal classes or to people of evil inclinations, but I have
carefully considered the whole subject as it relates to us, and I think
we are a party singularly well calculated to become the exponent of the
distinctiveness of our several existences.
That gits me, said Matlack.
I am afraid, said the speaker, gazing kindly at him, that I do
not always express myself plainly to the general comprehension, but
what I mean is this: that during the time we stay here, let each one of
us do exactly what he or she wants to do, without considering other
people at all, except, of course, that we must not do anything which
would interfere with any of the others doing what they please. For
instanceand I assure you I have thought over this matter in all its
detailsif any of us were inclined to swear or behave disorderly,
which I am sure could not be the case, he or she would not do so
because he or she would feel that, being responsible to himself or
herself, that responsibility would prevent him or her from doing that
which would interfere with the pleasure or comfort of his or her
I think, said Mrs. Archibald, somewhat severely, that our duty to
our fellow-beings is far more important than our selfish consideration
But reflect, cried Corona, how much consideration we give to our
fellow-beings, and how little to ourselves as ourselves, each one. Can
we not, for the sake of knowing ourselves and honoring ourselves, give
ourselves to ourselves for a little while? The rest of our lives may
then be given to others and the world.
I hardly believe, said Mr. Archibald, that all of us clearly
understand your meaning, but it seems to me that you would like each
one of us to become, for a time, a hermit. I do not know of any other
class of persons who so thoroughly assert their individuality.
You are right! exclaimed Corona. A hermit does it. A hermit is
more truly himself than any other man. He may dwell in a cave and eat
water-cresses, he may live on top of a tall pillar, or he may make his
habitation in a barrel! If a hermit should so choose, he might furnish
a cave with Eastern rugs and bric-à-brac. If he liked that sort of
thing, he would be himself. Yes, I would have all of us, in the truest
sense of the word, hermits, each a hermit; but we need not dwell apart.
Some of us would certainly wish to assert our individuality by not
dwelling apart from others.
We might, then, said Mr. Archibald, become a company of associate
Exactly! cried Corona, stretching out her hands. That is the very
wordassociate hermits. My dear friends, from to-morrow morning, until
we leave here, let us be associate hermits. Let us live for ourselves,
be true to ourselves. After all, if we think of it seriously, ourselves
are all that we have in this world. Everything else may be taken from
us, but no one can take from me, myself, or from any one of you,
The bishop now rose. He as well as the others had listened
attentively to everything that had been said; even Arthur Raybold had
shown a great deal of interest in his sister's remarks.
You mean, said the bishop, that while we stay here each one of us
shall act exactly as we think we ought to act if we were not influenced
by the opinions and examples of others around us, and thus we shall
have an opportunity to find out for ourselves and show others exactly
what we are.
That is it, said Corona, you have stated it very well.
Well, then, said the bishop, I move that for the time stated we
individually assert our individuality.
Second the motion, said Mr. Archibald.
All in favor of this motion please say 'Aye,' said Corona. Now
let everybody vote, and I hope you will all say 'Aye,' and if any one
does not understand, I will be happy to explain.
I want to know, said Phil Matlack, rising, if one man asserts
what you call his individ'ality in such a way that it runs up agin
another man's, and that second man ain't inclined to stand it, if
Oh, I assure you, interrupted the bishop, that that will be all
right. I understand you perfectly, and the individualities will all run
along together without interfering with each other, and if one happens
to get in the way of another it will be gently moved aside.
Gently! said Matlack, somewhat satirically. Well, all right, it
will be moved aside. I am satisfied, if the rest are.
Now all in favor say 'Aye,' said Corona.
They all said Aye, except Mrs. Perkenpine, who said Me.
CHAPTER XIX. MARGERY'S BREAKFAST
Very early the next morning Margery pushed wide open the window of
her studio chamber. The sash was a large one, and opened outward on
hinges. She looked out upon the dewy foliage, she inhaled the fragrance
of the moist morning air, she listened to the song of some early birds,
and then, being dressed for the day, she got on a chair, stepped on the
window-sill, and jumped out. She walked quietly round the cabin and
went out towards the lake. She had never seen the woods so early in the
day. All the space between the earth and the sky seemed filled with an
intoxicating coolness. She took off her hat and carried it in her hand;
the sun was not yet high enough to make it necessary to put anything
between him and her.
This is what I am, said Margery to herself as she stepped blithely
on. I never knew before what I am. I am really a dryad under
Presently, to her amazement and his amazement, she saw Martin. She
went towards him.
Oh, Martin, she said, are you up so early?
He smiled. This is not early for me, he answered.
And Mr. Matlack, is he up?
Oh yes, he is up, and gone off to attend to some business.
Well, really! exclaimed Margery. I thought I was the first one
out in the world to-day. And now, Martin, don't you want to do
something for me? I did not think it would happen, but I am really
dreadfully hungry, and couldn't you give me my breakfast now, by
myself, before anybody else? I am not particular what I haveanything
that is easy to get ready will doand I would like it down at the very
edge of the lake.
You shall have it! exclaimed Martin, eagerly. I will get it ready
for you very soon, and will bring it to you. I know you like bread and
butter and jam, and there is some cold meat, and I will boil you an egg
and make some coffee.
That will be lovely, said Margery, and I will go down by the lake
and wait. I do believe, she said to herself as she hurried away, that
this hermit business is the only sensible thing that ever came into the
head of that classic statue with the glass fronts.
Very soon Martin appeared with a rug, which he said she would want
if she were going to sit on the ground; and then he ran away, but soon
came back with the breakfast. Margery was surprised to see how
tastefully it was served.
You could not have done it better, she said, if you had been
ashe was about to say waiter, but as she gazed at the bright,
handsome face of the young man she felt that it would hurt his feelings
to use such a word, so she suddenly changed it to woman.
If it is done well, he said, it is not because I am like a woman,
but because you are one.
What does that mean? thought Margery; but she did not stop to
consider. Thank you very much, she said. Here is where I am going to
eat, and nobody will disturb me.
Do you wish anything else? he asked.
No, said she. I have everything I want; you know I take only one
cup of coffee.
He did know it; he knew everything she took, and as he felt that
there was no excuse for him to stay there any longer, he slowly walked
The place Margery had chosen was a nice little nook for a nice
little hermit. It was a bit of low beach, very narrow, and flanked on
the shore side by a row of bushes, which soon turned and grew down to
the water's edge, thus completely cutting off one end of the beach. At
the other end the distance between the shrubbery and the water was but
a few feet, so that Margery could eat her breakfast without being
disturbed by the rest of the world.
Reclining on the rug with the little tray on the ground before her,
and some green leaves and a few pale wild flowers peeping over the edge
of it to see what she had for breakfast, Margery gave herself up to the
enjoyment of life.
Each, one, she said aloud; I am one, and beautiful nature is
another. Just two of us, and each, one. Go away, sir, she said to a
big buzzing creature with transparent wings, you are another, but you
Arthur Raybold was perhaps the member of the party who was the best
satisfied to be himself. He had vowed, as he left the camp-fire the
night before, that his sister had at last evolved an idea which had
some value. Be himself? He should think so! He firmly believed that he
was the only person in the camp capable of truly acting his own part in
Clyde had told him that on this morning he was going to move the
tent over to their own camp, and though he had objected very forcibly,
he found that Clyde was not to be moved, and that the tent would be. In
an angry mood he had been the first one of the Associated Hermits to
assert his individuality. He made up his mind that he would not leave
the immediate atmosphere of Margery. He would revolve about her in his
waking hours and in his dreams, and in the latter case he would revolve
in a hammock hung between two trees not far from his sister's tent; and
as he was not one who delayed the execution of his plans, he had put up
the hammock that night, although his tent was still in Camp Rob. He had
not slept very well, because he was not used to repose in a hammock;
and he had risen early, for, though wrapped in a blanket, he had found
himself a little chilly.
Starting out for a brisk walk to warm himself, he had not gone far
before he thought he heard something which sounded like the clicking of
knife and fork and dish. He stopped, listened, and then approached the
source of the sounds, and soon stood at the open end of Margery's
little beach. For a few moments she did not know he was there, so
engrossed was her mind with the far-away shadows on the lake, and with
the piece of bread and jam she held in her hand.
Oh, happy Fates! he exclaimed. How have ye befriended me! Could I
have believed such rare fortune was in store for me?
At the sound of his voice Margery turned her head and started, and
in the same instant she was on her feet.
Margery, he said, without approaching her, but extending his arms
so that one hand touched the bushes and the other reached over the
water, I have you a gentle prisoner. I consider this the most
fortunate hour of my whole existence. All I ask of you is to listen to
me for ten minutes, and then I will cease to stand guard at the
entrance to your little haven, and although you will be free to go
where you please, I know you will not go away from me.
Margery's face was on fire. She was so angry she could scarcely
speak, but she managed to bring some words to her lips to express her
condition of mind.
Mr. Raybold, she cried, if I ever hear any more of that horrid
trash from you I will speak to Mr. Archibald, and have him drive you
out of this camp. I haven't spoken to him before because I thought it
would make trouble and interfere with people who have not done anything
but what is perfectly right, but this is the last time I am going to
let you off, and I would like you to remember that. Now go away this
instant, or else step aside and let me pass.
Raybold did not change his position, but with a smile of indulgent
condescension he remarked:
Now, then, you are angry; but I don't mind that, and I am quite
sure you do not mean it. You see, you have never heard all that I have
to say to you. When I have fully spoken to you, then I have no fear
He had not finished his sentence, when Margery dashed into the
water, utterly regardless of her clothes, and before the astonished
intruder could advance towards her she had rushed past him, and had run
up on dry land a yard or two behind him. The water on the shelving
beach was not more than a foot deep, but her mad bounds made a
splashing and a spattering of spray as if a live shark bad been dropped
into the shallow water. In a moment she had left the beach and was face
to face with Martin, pale with fright.
I thought you had tumbled in! he cried. What on earth is the
She had no breath to answer, but she turned her head towards the
lake, and as Martin looked that way he saw Raybold advancing from
behind the bushes. It required no appreciable time for the young guide
to understand the situation. His whole form quivered, his hands
involuntarily clinched, his brows knitted, and he made one quick step
forward; but only one, for Margery seized him by the wrist. Without
knowing what he was doing, he struggled to free himself from her, but
she was strong and held him fast.
I must go to my tent, she gasped. I am all wet. Now promise me
that you will not say a thing or do a thing until I see you again.
For a moment he seemed undecided, and then he ceased his efforts to
get away, and said, I promise.
Margery dropped his arm and hurried towards the cabin, hoping
earnestly that the Archibalds were not yet up.
This is a gay and lively beginning for a hermit, she thought, as
she made her way around the house, and I don't see how on earth I am
ever going to get through that window again. There is nothing to stand
on. I did not expect to go back until they were all up.
But when she reached the window there was a stout wooden stool
placed below it.
Martin did that, she thought, while I was at my breakfast. He
knew I must have come through the window, and might want to go back
that way. Oh dear! she sighed. But I am sure I can't help it. And
so, mounting from the stool to the window-sill, she entered her room.
Having given his promise, Martin turned his back upon the sombre
young man, who, with folded arms and clouded brow, was stalking towards
the tents at the other end of the camp.
If I look at him, said Martin, it may be that I could not keep my
It was about half an hour afterwards, when Martin, still excited and
still pale, was getting ready for the general breakfast, forgetting
entirely that he was a hermit, and that some of the other hermits might
have peculiar ideas about their morning meal, that Phil Matlack arrived
on the scene. Martin was very much engrossed in his own thoughts, but
he could not repress an inquiring interest in his companion.
Well, said he, did you bounce him?
Matlack made no answer, but began to cut out the top of a tin can.
I say, repeated Martin, did you bounce him, or did he go without
Without turning towards the younger man, Matlack remarked: I was
mistaken. That ain't fat; it's muscle.
You don't mean to say, exclaimed Martin, in astonishment, that he
bounced you out of that camp!
I don't mean to say nothin', was the reply, except what I do say;
and what I say is that that ain't fat; it's muscle. When I make a
mistake I don't mind standin' up and sayin' so.
Martin could not understand the situation. He knew Matlack to be a
man of great courage and strength, and one who, if he should engage in
a personal conflict, would not give up until he had done his very best.
But the guide's appearance gave no signs of any struggle. His clothes
were in their usual order, and his countenance was quiet and composed.
Look here, cried Martin, how did you find out all that about the
Matlack turned on him with a grim smile. Didn't you tell me that
day you was talkin' to me about the boat that he was a tough sort of a
Yes, I did, said the other.
Well, said Matlack, how did you find that out?
Martin laughed. I shouldn't wonder, he said, if we were about
square. Well, if you will tell me how you found it out, I will tell you
how I did.
Go ahead, said the other.
The long and short of my business with him, said Martin, was
this: I went with him down to the lake, and there I gave him a piece of
my mind; and when I had finished, he turned on me and grabbed me with
his two hands and chucked me out into the water, just as if I had been
a bag of bad meal that he wanted to get rid of. When I got out I was
going to fight him, but he advised me not to, and when I took a look at
him and remembered the feel of the swing he gave me, I took his advice.
Now what did he do to you?
He didn't do nothin', said Matlack. When I got to the little tent
he sleeps in, there he was sittin' in front of it, as smilin' as a
basket of chips, and he bade me good-mornin' as if I had been a tenant
comin' to pay him his rent; and then he said that before we went on
with the business between us, there was some things he would like to
show me, and he had 'em all ready. So he steps off to a place a little
behind the tent, and there was three great bowlders, whopping big
stones, which he said he had brought out of the woods. I could hardly
believe him, but there they was. 'You don't mean,' says I, 'that you
are goin' to fight with stones; because, if you are, you ought to give
me a chance to get some,' and I thought to myself that I would pick up
rocks that could be heaved. 'Oh no,' says he, with one of them smiles
of his'oh no; I just want to open our conference with a little
gymnastic exhibition.' And so sayin', he rolled up his
shirt-sleeveshe hadn't no coat onand he picked up one of them rocks
with both hands, and then he gave it a swing with one hand, like you
swing a ten-pin ball, and he sent that rock about thirty feet.
It nearly took my breath away, for if I had to move such a stone
I'd want a wheelbarrow. Then he took another of the rocks and hurled it
right on top of the first one, and it came down so hard that it split
itself in half. And then he took up the third one, which was the
biggest, and threw it nearly as far, but it didn't hit the others.
'Now, Mr. Matlack,' says he, 'this is the first part of my little
programme. I have only one or two more things, and I don't want to keep
you long.' Then he went and got a hickory sapling that he'd cut down.
It was just the trunk part of it, and must have been at least three
inches thick. He put the middle of it at the back of his neck, and then
he took hold of the two ends with his hands and pulled forward, and, by
George! he broke that stick right in half!
Then says he, 'Would you mind steppin' down to the lake?' I didn't
mind, and went with him, and when we got down to the water there was
their boat drawed up on the shore and pretty nigh full of water. 'Mr.
Clyde brought this boat back the other day,' says he, 'from a place
where he left it some distance down the lake, and I wonder he didn't
sink before he got here. We must try and calk up some of the open
seams; but first we've got to get the water out of her.' So sayin', he
squatted down on the ground in front of the boat and took hold of it,
one hand on one side of the bow and one on the other, and then he gave
a big twist, and just turned the boat clean over, water and all, so
that it lay with its bottom up, and the water running down into the
lake like a little deluge.
'That ought to have been done long ago,' says he, 'and I'll come
down after a while and calk it before the sun gets on it.' Then he
walked back to camp as spry as a robin, and then says he, 'Mr. Matlack,
my little exhibition is over, and so we'll go ahead with the business
you proposed.' I looked around, and says I: 'Do you find that little
tent you sleep in comfortable? It seems to me as if your feet must
stick out of it.' 'They do,' says he, 'and I sometimes throw a blanket
over them to keep them dry. But we are goin' to make different
arrangements here. Mr. Clyde and I will bring down his tent after
breakfast, and if Mr. Raybold doesn't choose to occupy it, Mr. Clyde
says I may share it with him. At any rate, I've engaged to attend to
the cookin' and to things in general in this camp durin' the rest of
the time we stay here.'
'And so Mr. Clyde is tired of trespassin', is he?' says I. 'Yes, he
is,' says he; 'he's a high-minded young fellow, and doesn't fancy that
sort of thing. Mr. Raybold slept last night in a hammock, and if that
suits him, he may keep it up.' 'If I was you,' says I, 'if he does come
back to the camp, I'd make him sleep in that little tent. It would fit
him better than it does you.' 'Oh no,' says he, 'I don't want to make
no trouble. I'm willin' to sleep anywhere. I'm used to roughin' it, and
I could make myself comfortable in any tent I ever saw.' 'Well,' says
I, 'that was a very pretty exhibition you gave me, and I am much
obliged to you, but I must be goin' over to my camp to help get
breakfast.' 'If you see Mr. Clyde,' says he, 'will you kindly tell him
that I will come over and help him with his tent in about an hour?' To
which I said I would, and I left. Now then, hurry up. Them hermits will
want their breakfasts.
CHAPTER XX. MARTIN ASSERTS HIS
Good-morning, said Mr. Clyde, as he approached Mr. and Mrs.
Archibald, seated opposite each other at their breakfast-table. So you
still eat together? Don't ask me to join you; I have had my breakfast.
Yes, said Mr. Archibald, we did think that, as we were hermits,
we ought to eat in some separate, out-of-the-way fashion; but we could
not think of any, and as we were both hungry and liked the same things,
we concluded to postpone the assertion of our individualities.
And Miss Dearborn? asked Clyde.
Oh, she had her breakfast long ago, so she told us, said Mrs.
Archibald. I suppose she took some bread and jam, for I do not know
what else she could have had.
As for me, said Clyde, I thought I would do something of the
sort. I like an early breakfast, and so I turned out, more than an hour
ago and went to look up Mrs. Perkenpine; and I might as well say, sir,
that I am now looking for the bishop to come and help me carry our tent
back to our own camp, where he is going to cook for us. I never wanted
to be a trespasser on your premises, and I don't intend to be such any
That's the right feeling, said Mr. Archibald; although, in fact,
it doesn't make any difference to us whether your party camps here or
not. At first I thought it would, but I find it does not.
By which he means, said Mrs. Archibald, that if you want to go
away he is perfectly willing to have you stay, but if you don't want to
go away he doesn't like it, and would have you move.
Clyde laughed. I haven't anything to say for the others, he
answered, but as long as I have a camp of my own I think I ought to
But how about Mrs. Perkenpine? asked Mrs. Archibald. Did you find
her willing to wait on you, one at a time?
Not exactly, said Clyde. I discovered her, by her kitchen tent,
hard at work eating her own breakfast. I must have looked surprised,
for she lost no time in telling me that she was a hermit, and was
living for one person at a timeherself firstand that she was mighty
glad to get a chance to have her breakfast before anybody else, for she
was always hungry and hated waiting. I looked at the table, and saw
that she had the breakfast ready for the whole party; so I said, 'I am
a hermit too, and I am living for myself, and so I am going to sit down
and eat.' 'Squat,' said she, and down I sat; and I had the best meal of
her cooking that I have yet tasted. I told her so, and she said she
shouldn't wonder. 'Because,' said she, 'I cooked this breakfast for
myselfme, oneand as I wasn't thinkin' what other people 'd like, I
got things a little more tasty than common, I guess.'
And what does she expect Miss Raybold and her brother to do? asked
When she had finished she got up, Clyde answered, and went away,
merely remarking that the victuals were there, and when the others were
ready for them they might come and get them.
I hope, said Mr. Archibald, that Matlack will not fancy that sort
of a hermit life. But as for me, I am greatly taken with the scheme. I
think I shall like it. Is Miss Raybold about yet?
I see nothing of her, said Clyde, looking over towards her tent.
Good, said Mr. Archibald, rising. Harriet, if you want me, I
shall be in my cave.
And where is that? she asked.
Oh, I can't say exactly where it will be, he answered, but if you
will go down to the shore of the lake and blow four times on the
dinner-horn I'll come to you, cave and all. I can easily pull it over
You forget, said Mrs. Archibald, with a smile, that we are
No, I do not, said her husband, I remember it, and that is the
reason I am off before Miss Raybold emerges upon the scene.
I do not know, said Mrs. Archibald to Clyde, exactly how I am
going to assert myself to-day, but I shall do it one way or the other;
I am not going to be left out in the cold.
Clyde smiled, but he had no suggestion to offer; his mind was filled
with the conjecture as to what sort of a hermit life Margery was going
to lead, and if she had already begun it. But just then the bishop came
up, and together they went to carry the tent back to Camp Roy.
It was at least an hour afterwards, and Mrs. Archibald was
comfortably seated in the shade darning stockings, with an open book in
her lap. Sometimes she would read a little in the book and then she
would make some long and careful stitches in the stocking, and then she
would look about her as if she greatly enjoyed combining her work and
her recreation in such a lovely place on such a lovely summer morning.
During one of these periods of observation she perceived Corona Raybold
Good-morning, said the elder lady. Is this your first
Yes, said Corona, with a gentle smile. When I woke this morning I
found myself to be an individual who liked to lie in bed and gaze out
through an open fold in my tent upon the world beyond, and so I lay and
dozed and gazed, until I felt like getting up, and then I got up, and
you cannot imagine how bright and happy I felt as I thought of what I
had been doing. For one morning at least I had been true to myself,
without regard to other people or what they might think about it.
To-morrow, if I feel like it, I shall rise at dawn, and go out and look
at the stars struggling with Aurora. Whatever my personal instincts
happen to be, I shall be loyal to them. Now how do you propose to
assert your individuality?
Unfortunately, said Mrs. Archibald, I cannot do that exactly as I
would like to. If we had not promised my daughter and her husband that
we would stay away for a month, I should go directly home and
superintend my jelly-making and fruit-preserving; but as I cannot do
that, I have determined to act out my own self here. I shall darn
stockings and sew or read, and try to make myself comfortable and
happy, just as I would if I were sitting on my broad piazza, at home.
Good! said Corona. I think it likely that you will be more true
to yourself than any of us. Doubtless you were born to be the head of a
domestic household, and if you followed your own inclination you would
be that if you were adrift with your family on a raft in the middle of
the ocean. Now I am going away to see what further suggestions my
nature has to offer me. What is Mr. Archibald doing?
Mrs. Archibald smiled. She knew what Corona's nature would suggest
if she met a man who could talk, or rather, listen. Oh, his nature has
prompted him to hie away to the haunts of game, and to stay there until
he is half starved.
Miss Raybold heaved a little sigh. I see very few persons about
here, she saidonly the two guides, in fact.
Yes, said Mrs. Archibald, the bishop has gone to help Mr. Clyde
with his tent.
Corona moved slowly away, and as she walked her nature suggested
that she would better eat something, so she repaired to the scene of
Mrs. Perkenpine's ordinary operations. There she found that good woman
stretched flat on her back on the ground, fast asleep. Her face and
body were shaded by some overhanging branches, but her great feet were
illumined and gilded by the blazing sun. On a camp table near by were
the remains of the breakfast. It had been there for two or three hours.
Arthur Raybold had taken what he wanted and had gone, and before
composing herself for her nap Mrs. Perkenpine had thrown over it a
piece of mosquito-netting.
Corona smiled. Their natures are coming out beautifully, she said.
It really does me good to see how admirably the scheme is unfolding
itself. She sat down and ate what she could find to her taste, but it
was not much. I shall send for some fruit and some biscuit and some
other little things, she thought, that I can keep in my tent and eat
when I please. That will suit me much better than the ordinary meals.
Then, without awakening Mrs. Perkenpine, she strolled away, directing
her steps towards Camp Roy.
When Margery had gone to her room, and had changed her wet clothes,
she was thoroughly miserable. For some time she sat on the side of her
little cot, unwilling to go out, on account of a nervous fear that she
might meet Mr. Raybold. Of course, if he should again speak to her as
he had done, she would immediately appeal to Mr. Archibald, but she did
not want to do this, for she had a very strong desire not to make any
trouble or divisions in the camp; so she lay down to think over the
matter, and in less than two minutes she was asleep. Mrs. Archibald had
come to call her to breakfast, but upon being told that she had been up
ever so long, and had had her breakfast, she left the girl to her nap.
I shall sleep here, thought Margery, until they have all gone to
do whatever it is they want to do, and then perhaps I may have a little
When she awoke it was nearly eleven o'clock, and she went
immediately to her little side window, from which she could see the
lake and a good deal of the camp-ground. The first thing which met her
reconnoitering gaze was a small boat some distance out on the lake. Its
oars were revolving slowly, something like a pair of wheels with one
paddle each, and it was occupied by one person. This person was Arthur
Raybold, who had found the bishop calking the boat, and as soon as this
work was finished, had moodily declared that he would take a row in
her. He had not yet had a chance to row a boat which was in a decent
condition. He wanted to be alone with his aspirations. He thought it
would be scarcely wise to attempt to speak to Margery again that
morning; he would give her time for her anger to cool. She was only a
woman, and he knew women!
It's that Raybold, said Margery. He knows no more about rowing
than a cat, and he's floating sideways down the lake. Good! Now I can
go out and hope to be let alone. I don't know when he will ever get
that boat back again. Perhaps never.
She was not a wicked girl, and she did not desire that the awkward
rower might never get back; but still she did not have that dread of an
accident which might have come over her had the occupant of the boat
been a brother or any one she cared very much about. She took a novel,
of which, during her whole stay in camp, she had read perhaps ten
pages, and left the cabin, this time by the door.
How does your individuality treat you? asked Mrs. Archibald, as
Margery approached her.
Oh, horribly, so far, was the answer; but I think it is going to
do better. I shall find some nice place where I can read and be
undisturbed. I can think of nothing pleasanter such a morning as this.
I am very much mistaken in your nature, thought Mrs. Archibald,
if that is the sort of thing that suits you.
Martin, said Margery, not in the least surprised that she should
meet the young guide within the next three minutes, do you know of
some really nice secluded spot where I can sit and read, and not be
bothered? I don't mean that place where you hung the hammock. I don't
want to go there again.
Martin was pale, and his voice trembled as he spoke. Miss
Dearborn, said he, I think it is a wicked and a burning shame that
you should be forced to look for a hiding-place where you may hope to
rest undisturbed if that scoundrel in the boat out there should happen
to fancy to come ashore. But you needn't do it. There is no necessity
for it. Go where you please, sit where you please, and do what you
please, and I will see to it that you are not disturbed.
Oh, no, no! exclaimed Margery. That would never do. I know very
well that you could keep him away from me, and I am quite sure that you
would be glad to do it, but there mustn't be anything of that kind. He
is Miss Raybold's brother andand in a way one of our camping party,
and I don't want any disturbances or quarrels.
Martin's breast heaved, and he breathed heavily. I have no doubt
you are right, he saidof course you are. But I can tell you this:
if I see that fellow troubling you again I'll kill him, or
Martin! Martin! exclaimed Margery. What do you mean? What makes
you talk in this way?
What makes me? he exclaimed, as if it were impossible to restrain
his words. My heart makes me, my soul makes me. I
Your heart? Your soul? interrupted Margery. I don't understand.
For a moment he looked at the astonished girl in silence, and then
he said: Miss Dearborn, it's of no use for me to try to hide what I
feel. If I hadn't got so angry I might have been able to keep quiet,
but I can't do it now. If that man thinks he loves you, his love is
like a grain of sand compared to mine.
Yours? cried Margery.
Yes, said Martin, his face pallid and his eyes sparkling, mine.
You may think it is an insult for me to talk this way, but love is
love, and it will spring up where it pleases; and besides, I am not the
common sort of a fellow you may think I am. After saying what I have
said, I am bound to say more. I belong to a good family, and am college
bred. I am poor, and I love nature. I am working to make money to
travel and become a naturalist. I prefer this sort of work because it
takes me into the heart of nature. I am not ashamed of what I am, I am
not ashamed of my work, and my object in life is a nobler one, I think,
than the practice of the law, or a great many other things like it.
Margery stood and looked at him with wide-open eyes. Do you mean to
say, she said, that you want to marry me? It would take years and
years for you to become naturalist enough to support a wife.
I have made no plans, he said, quickly, I have no purpose. I did
not intend to tell you now that I love you, but since I have said that,
I will say also that with you to fight for there could be no doubt
about my success. I should be bound to succeed. It would be impossible
for me to fail. As for the years, I would wait, no matter how many they
He spoke with such hot earnestness that Margery involuntarily drew
herself a little away from him. At this the flush went out of his face.
Oh, Miss Dearborn, he exclaimed, don't think that I am like that
man out there! Don't think that I will persecute you if you don't wish
to hear me; that I will follow you about and make your life miserable.
If you say to me that you do not wish to see me again, you will never
see me again. Say what you please, and you will find that I am a
She could see that now. She felt sure that if she told him she did
not wish ever to see him again he would never appear before her. But
what would he do? She was not in the least afraid of him, but his
fierce earnestness frightened her, not for herself, but for him.
Suddenly a thought struck her.
Martin, said she, I don't doubt in the least that what you have
said to me about yourself is true. You are as good as other people,
although you do happen now to be a guide, and perhaps after a while you
may be very well off; but for all that you are a guide, and you are in
Mr. Sadler's employment, and Mr. Sadler's rights and powers are just
like gas escaping from a pipe: they are everywhere from cellar to
garret, so to speak, and you couldn't escape them. It would be a bad,
bad thing for you, Martin, if he were to hear that you make
propositions of the kind you have made to the ladies that he pays you
to take out into the woods to guide and to protect.
Martin was on the point of a violent expostulation, but she stopped
Now I know what you are going to say, she exclaimed, but it isn't
of any use. You are in his employment, and you are bound to honor and
to respect him; that is the way a guide can show himself to be a
But suppose, said Martin, quickly, that he, knowing my family as
he does, should think I had done wisely in speaking to you.
A cloud came over her brow. It annoyed her that he should thus parry
Well, you can ask him, she said, abruptly; and if he doesn't
object, you can go to see my mother, when she gets home, and ask her.
And here comes Mr. Matlack. I think he has been calling you. Now don't
say another word, unless it is about fish.
But Matlack did not come; he stopped and called, and Martin went to
Margery walked languidly towards the woods and sat down on the
projecting root of a large tree. Then leaning back against the trunk,
It is a perfectly dreadful thing to be a girl, she said; but I am
glad I did not speak to him as I did to Mr. Raybold. I believe he would
have jumped into the lake.
CHAPTER XXI. THE INDIVIDUALITY OF
Martin, said Matlack, sharply, before the young man had reached
him, it seems to me that you think that you have been engaged here as
lady's-maid, but there's other things to do besides teaching young
women about trees and fishes. If you think, continued Matlack, when
the two had reached the woodland kitchen, that your bein' a hermit is
goin' to let you throw all the work on me, you're mistaken. There's a
lot of potatoes that's got to be peeled for dinner.
Without a word Martin sat down on the ground with a pan of potatoes
in front of him and began to work. Had he been a proud crusader setting
forth to fight the Saracens his blood could not have coursed with
greater warmth and force, his soul could not have more truly spurned
the earth and all the common things upon it. What he had said to
Margery had made him feel ennobled. If Raybold had that instant
appeared before him with some jeering insult, Martin would have
pardoned him with lofty scorn; and yet he peeled potatoes, and did it
well. But his thoughts were not upon his work; they were upon the
future which, if he proved himself to be the man he thought himself to
be, might open before him. When he had finished the potatoes he put the
pan upon a table and stood near by, deep in thought.
Yes, said he to himself, I should go now. After what I have said
to her I cannot stay here and live this life before her. I would wait
on her with bended knee at every step, but with love for her in my soul
I cannot wash dishes for other people. I have spoken, and now I must
act; and the quicker the better. If all goes well I may be here again,
but I shall not come back as a guide. Then a thought of Raybold
crossed his mind, but he put it aside. Even if he stayed here he could
not protect her, for she had shown that she did not wish him to do it
in the only way he could do it, and he felt sure, too, that any further
annoyance would result in an appeal to Mr. Archibald.
Well, said Matlack, sharply, what's the matter with you? Don't
you intend to move?
Yes, said Martin, turning quickly, I do intend to move. I am
going to leave this camp just as soon as I can pack my things.
And where in the name of thunder are you goin' to?
I'm going to Sadler's, said Martin.
On my own business, was the reply.
Matlack looked at him for a moment suspiciously. Have you got any
complaints to make of me? he said.
No, said Martin, promptly, not one; but I have affairs on hand
which will take me off immediately.
Before dinner? asked Matlack.
Yes, said the other, before dinner; now.
Go ahead then, said Matlack, putting some sticks of wood into the
stove; and tell Sadler that if he don't send me somebody before
supper-time to help about this camp, he'll see me. I'll be hanged, he
said to himself, as he closed the door of the stove, if this isn't
hermitism with a vengeance. I wonder who'll be the next one to cut and
run; most likely it will be Mrs. Perkenpine.
Early in the afternoon, warm and dusty, Martin presented himself
before Peter Sadler, who was smoking his pipe on the little shaded
piazza at the back of the house.
Oh, ho! said Peter. How in the name of common-sense did you
happen to turn up at this minute? This is about as queer a thing as
I've known of lately. What did you come for? Sit down.
Mr. Sadler, said Martin, I have come here on most important
Lake dry? asked Peter.
It is a matter, said Martin, which concerns myself; and if all
the lakes in the world were dry, I would not be able to think about
them, so full is my soul of one thing.
By the Lord Harry, said Peter, let's have it, quick!
In a straightforward manner, but with an ardent vehemence which he
could not repress, Martin stated his business with Peter Sadler. He
told him how he loved Margery, what he had said to her, and what she
had said to him.
And now, said the young man, I have come to ask your permission
to address her; but whether you give it or not I shall go to her mother
and speak to her. I know her address, and I intend to do everything in
an honorable way.
Peter Sadler put down his pipe and looked steadfastly at the young
man. I wish to Heaven, said he, that there was a war goin' on! I'd
write a letter to the commander-in-chief and let you take it to him,
and I'd tell him you was the bravest man between Hudson Bay and
Patagonia. By George! I can't understand it! I can't understand how you
could have the cheek, the unutterable brass, to come here and ask
meme, Peter Sadlerto let you court one of the ladies in a
campin'-party of mine. And, what's more, I can't understand how I can
sit here and hear you tell me that tale without picking up a chair and
knocking you down with it.
Mr. Sadler, said Martin, rising, I have spoken to you fairly and
squarely, and if that's all you've got to say, I will go.
Sit down! roared Peter, bringing his hand upon the table as if he
would drive it's legs through the floor. Sit down, and listen to what
I have to say to you. It's the strangest thing that ever happened to me
that I am not more angry with you than I am; but I can't understand it,
and I pass it by. Now that you are seated again, I will make some
remarks on my side. Do you see that? said he, picking up a letter on
the table. Do you see who it is addressed to?
To me! exclaimed Martin, in surprise.
Yes, it's to you, said Peter, and I wrote it, and I intended to
send it by Bill Hammond this afternoon. That's the reason I was
surprised when I saw you here. But I'm not goin' to give it to you; I'd
rather tell you what's in it, now you are here. Before I knew you were
the abject ninnyhammer that you have just told me you are I had a good
opinion of you, and thought that you were cut out to make a first-class
traveller and explorerthe sort of a fellow who could lead a surveying
expedition through the wilderness, or work up new countries and find
out what they are made of and what's in them. Only yesterday I heard of
a chance that ought to make you jump, and this morning I wrote to you
about it. A friend of mine, who's roughed it with me for many a day, is
goin' to take an expedition down into New Mexico in the interests of a
railroad and minin' company. They want to know everything about the
countrythe game, fish, trees, and plants, as well as the
mineralsand it struck me that if you are not just the kind of man
they want you could make yourself so in a very short time. They'd pay
you well enough, and you'd have a chance to dip into natural history,
and all that sort of thing, that you had no reason to expect for a
dozen years to come, if it ever came. If such a chance had been offered
to me at your age I wouldn't have changed lots with a king. All you've
got to do is to pack up and be off. The party starts from New York in
just three days; I'll give you a letter to Joe Hendricks, and that'll
be all you want. He knows me well enough to take you without a word. If
you haven't got money enough saved to fit yourself out for the trip
I'll lend you some, and you can pay me back when they pay you. You can
take the train this afternoon and maybe you can see Hendricks to-night.
So pack up what you want and leave what you don't want, and I'll take
care of it. I'll write to Hendricks now.
Many times did the face of Martin flush and pale as he listened. A
vision of Paradise had been opened before him, but he felt that he must
shut his eyes.
Mr. Sadler, he said, you are very kind. You offer me a great
thinga thing which two weeks ago I should have accepted in the
twinkling of an eye, and would have thanked you for all the rest of my
life; but I cannot take it now. With all my heart I love a woman; I
have told her so, and I am now going on the path she told me to take. I
cannot turn aside from that for any prospects in the world.
Peter Sadler's face grew red, and then it grew black, and then it
turned red again, and finally resumed its ordinary brown.
Martin Sanders, said he, speaking quietly, but with one hand
fastened upon the arm of his chair with a grasp which a horse could not
have loosened, if you are cowardly enough and small enough and paltry
enough to go to a girl who is living in peace and comfort and ask her
to marry you, when you know perfectly well that for years to come you
could not give her a decent roof over her head, and that if her family
wanted her to live like a Christian they would have to give her the
money to do it with; and if you are fool enough not to know that when
she sent you first to me and then to her mother she was tryin' to get
rid of you without hurtin' your feelin's, why, then, I want you to get
out of my sight, and the quicker the better. But if you are not so low
down as that, go to your room and pack up your bag. The coach will
start for the train at three o'clock, and it is now nearly half-past
two; that will just give me time to write to Hendricks. Go!
Martin rose. Whatever happened afterwards, he must go now. It seemed
to him as if the whole world had suddenly grown colder; as if he had
been floating in a fog and had neared an iceberg. Could it be possible
that she had spoken, as she had spoken, simply to get rid of him? He
could not believe it. No one with such honest eyes could speak in that
way; and yet he did not know what to believe.
In any case, he would go away in the coach. He had spoken to Sadler,
and now, whether he spoke to any one else or not, the sooner he left
When he came to take the coach, Peter Sadler, who had rolled himself
to the front of the house, handed him the letter he had written.
I believe you are made of the right kind of stuff, he said,
although you've got a little mouldy by bein' lazy out there in the
woods, but you're all right now; and what you've got to do is to go
ahead with a will, and, take my word for it, you'll come out on top. Do
you want any money? No? Very well, then, goodbye. You needn't trouble
yourself to write to me, I'll hear about you from Hendricks; and I'd
rather know what he thinks about you than what you think about
How little you know, thought Martin, as he entered the coach,
what I am or what I think about myself. As if my purpose could be
changed by words of yours! And he smiled a smile which would have done
justice to Arthur Raybold. The chill had gone out of him; he was warm
On the train he read the letter to Hendricks which Peter Sadler had
given to him unsealed. It was a long letter, and he read it twice. Then
he sat and gazed out of the window at the flying scenery for nearly
half an hour, after which he read the letter again. Then he folded it
up and put it into his pocket.
If she had given me the slightest reason to hope, he said to
himself, how easy it would be to tear this letter into scraps.
Now an idea came into his mind. If he could see her mother quickly,
and if she should ignore his honorable intentions and refuse to give
him the opportunity to prove that he was worthy of a thought from her
and her daughter, then it might not be too late to fall back on Peter
Sadler's letter. But he shook his head; that would be dishonorable and
unworthy of him.
He shut his eyes; he could not bear to look at the brightness of the
world outside the window of the car. Under his closed lids there came
to him visions, sometimes of Margery and sometimes of the forests of
New Mexico. Sometimes the visions were wavering, uncertain, and
transitory, and again they were strong and vividso plain to him that
he could almost hear the leaves rustle as some wild creature turned a
startled look upon him.
That night he delivered his letter to Mr. Hendricks.
CHAPTER XXII. A TRANQUILLIZING
BREEZE AND A HOT WIND
After Martin had left her, Margery sat on the root of the tree until
Mr. Clyde came up and said he had been wondering what had become of
I have been wondering that, myself, she said. At least, I have
been wondering what is going to become of me.
Don't you intend to be a hermit? said he.
She shook her head. I don't think it is possible, she answered.
There is no one who is better satisfied to be alone, and who can make
herself happier all by herself, and who, in all sorts of ways, can get
along better without other people than I can, and yet other people are
continually interfering with me, and I cannot get away from them.
Clyde smiled. That is a pretty plain hint, he said. I suppose I
might as well take it, and go off to some hermitage of my own.
Oh, nonsense! said Margery. Don't be so awfully quick in coming
to conclusions. I do feel worried and troubled and bothered, and I want
some one to talk to; not about things which worry me, of course, but
about common, ordinary things, that will make me forget.
A slight shade came over the face of Mr. Clyde, and he seated
himself on the ground near Margery. It is a shame, said he, that you
should be worried. What is it in this peaceable, beautiful forest
Did you ever hear of a paradise without snakes? she asked. The
very beauty of it makes them come here.
I have never yet known any paradise at all, he replied. But can't
you tell me what it is that troubles you?
Margery looked at him with her clear, large eyes. I'll tell you,
she said, if you will promise not to do a single thing without my
I promise that, said Clyde, eagerly.
I am troubled by people making love to me.
People! exclaimed Clyde, with a puzzled air.
Yes, said she. Your cousin is one of them.
I might have supposed that; but who on earth can be the other one?
That is Martin, said Margery.
For a moment Mr. Clyde did not seem to understand, and then he
exclaimed: You don't mean the young man who cuts wood and helps
Yes, I do, she answered. And you need not shut your jaw hard and
grit your teeth that way. That is exactly what he did when he found out
about Mr. Raybold. It is of no use to get angry, for you can't do
anything without my permission; and, besides, I tell you that if I were
condemned by a court to be made love to, I would much rather have
Martin make it than Mr. Raybold. Martin is a good deal more than a
guide; he has a good education, and would not be here if it were not
for his love of nature. He is going to make nature his object in life,
and there is something noble in that; a great deal better than trying
to strut about on the stage.
And those two have really been making love to you? asked Clyde.
Yes, really, she answered. You never saw people more in earnest
in all your life. As for Mr. Raybold, he was as earnest as a cat after
a bird. He made me furiously angry. Martin was different. He is just as
earnest, but he is more of a gentleman; and when I told him what I
wanted him to do, he said he would do it. But there is no use in
telling your cousin what I want him to do. He is determined to
persecute me and make me miserable, and there is no way of stopping it,
except by making a quarrel between him and Uncle Archibald. It is a
shame! she went on, Who could have thought that two people would have
turned up to disturb me in this way.
Margery, said Mr. Clyde, and although he called her by her
Christian name she took no notice of it, you think you have too many
lovers: but you are mistaken. You have not enough; you ought to have
She looked at him inquiringly.
Yes, he said, quickly, and I want to be the third.
And so make matters three times as bad as they were at first? she
Not at all, said he. When you have chosen one of them, he could
easily keep away the two others.
Do you mean, said Margery, that if I were to agree to have three,
and then, if I were to ask you to do it, you would go away quietly with
one of the others and leave me in peace with the third one?
Mr. Clyde half smiled, but instantly grew serious again, and a flush
came on his face. Margery, said he, I cannot bear trifling any more
about this. No matter what anybody has said to you, whether it is any
one in this camp or any one out of it, there is not a man in this world
Oh, Mr. Clyde, interrupted Margery, you must not sit there and
speak to me in such an excited way. If any one should see us they would
think we were quarrelling. Let us go down to the lake; the air from the
water is cool and soothing.
Together they walked from under the shade of the tree, and so wended
their way that it brought them to a mass of shrubbery which edged the
water a little distance down the lake. On the other side of this
shrubbery was a pretty bank, which they had seen before.
It always tranquillizes me, said Margery, as they stood side by
side on the bank, to look out over the water. Doesn't it have that
effect on you?
No! exclaimed Clyde. It does not tranquillize me a bit. Nothing
could tranquillize me at a moment like this. Margery, I want you to
know that I love you. I did not intend to tell you so soon, but what
you have said makes it necessary. I have loved you ever since I met you
at Peter Sadler's, and, no matter what you say about it, I shall love
you to the end of my life.
Even if I should send you away with one of the others?
Yes; no matter what you did.
That would be wrong, she said.
It doesn't matter. Right or wrong, I'd do it.
Margery gave him a glance from which it would have been impossible
to eliminate all signs of admiration. And if I were to arrange it
otherwise, she said, would you undertake to keep the others away?
There was no answer to this question, but in a minute afterwards
Clyde exclaimed: Do you think any one would dare to come near you if
they saw you now?
Hardly, said Margery, raising her head from his shoulder and
looking up into his sparkling eyes. Really, Harrison, you ought not to
speak in such a loud voice. If Aunt Harriet were to hear you she might
dare to come.
Margery was late to dinner, although the horn was blown three times.
Much to the surprise of his wife, Mr. Archibald returned to camp
about an hour before dinner.
How is this? she exclaimed. Wasn't the fishing good?
I have had a disagreeable experience, he said, and I will tell
you about it. I was fishing in a little cove some distance down the
lake and having good sport, when I heard a thumping, and looking around
I saw Raybold in a boat rowing towards me. I suppose he thought he was
rowing, but he was really floating with the current; but as he neared
me he suddenly pulled his boat towards me with such recklessness that I
was afraid he would run into me. I considered his rowing into the cove
to be a piece of bad manners, for of course it would spoil my fishing,
but I had no idea he actually intended to lay alongside of me. This he
did, however, and so awkwardly that his boat struck mine with such
force that it half tipped it over. Then he lay hold of my gunwale, and
said he had something to say to me.
I was as angry as if a man in the street had knocked my hat down
over my eyes and said that he did so in order to call my attention to a
subscription paper. But this indignation was nothing to what I felt
when the fellow began to speak. I cannot repeat his words, but he
stated his object at once, and said that as this was a good opportunity
to speak to me alone, he wished to ask me to remove what he called the
utterly useless embargo which I had placed upon him in regard to
Margery. He said it was useless because he could not be expected to
give up his hopes and his plans simply because I objected to them; and
he went on to say that if I understood him fully, and if Margery
understood him, he did not believe that either of us would object. And
then he actually asked me to use my influence with her to make her
listen to him. From what he said, I am sure he has been speaking to
her. I did not let him finish, but turned and blazed at him in words as
strong as would come to me. I ordered him never to speak to me again or
show himself in my camp, and told him that if he did either of these
things he would do them at his peril; and then, for fear he might say
something which would make me lose control of myself, I jerked up my
anchor and rowed away from him. I didn't feel like fishing any more,
and so I came back.
His behavior is shameful, said Mrs. Archibald. And what is more,
it is ridiculous, for Margery would not look at him. What sort of a man
does he think you are, to suppose that you would give your permission
to any one, no matter who he might be, to offer marriage to a young
lady in your charge? But what are you going to do about it? I think it
very likely he will come to this camp, and he may speak to you.
In that case I shall have him driven out, said Mr. Archibald, as
if he were a drunken vagabond. Personally I shall have nothing to do
with him, but I shall order my guides to eject him.
I hope that may not be necessary, said his wife. It would make
bad feeling, and deeply wound his sister, for it would be the same
thing as putting her out. She talks too much, to be sure, but she is a
lady, and has treated us all very courteously. I wish we could get
through the rest of our stay here without any disturbance or bad
I wish so too, with all my heart, said her husband. And the only
thing necessary to that end is that that ass Raybold shall keep out of
It was about two o'clock that afternoon, and Mrs. Archibald, under
her tree, her basket of stockings all darned and her novel at its
culminating point of interest, was the only visible occupant of Camp
Rob, when Corona Raybold came walking towards her, an obvious purpose
in her handsome face, which was somewhat flushed by exercise.
I do not think, she said, as soon as she was near enough for Mrs.
Archibald to hear her, that the true purpose and intention of our plan
is properly understood by all of the party. I think, after some
explanation, everything will go well, but I have been endeavoring for
the last half-hour to find Mrs. Perkenpine, and have utterly failed. I
am very hungry, but I can discover nothing to eat. All our stores
appear to be absolutely raw, or in some intermediate state of crudity.
I intend to order some provisions in cans or boxes which will be at all
times available, but I have not done so yet, and so I have come over to
speak to you about the matter. Did your guides prepare your dinner as
Oh yes, said Mrs. Archibald. A hermit life seems to make no
difference with Mr. Matlack. We become associates at meal-times, but,
as you see, we have separated again.
I must instil into Mrs. Perkenpine's mind, said Corona, that, in
order thoroughly to act out her own nature, she must cook and do other
things of a domestic character. Of course she will do those things in
her own way; that is to be expected; but she must do them. It is
impossible to imagine a woman of her class whose soul is not set more
or less upon domestic affairs. I will instance Mr. Matlack. His nature
belongs to the woods and the out-of-door world, and that nature prompts
him to cook what he shoots.
Mrs. Archibald laughed. I think his nature is a very good one, she
said, and I will go with you to find him and see if he cannot give you
a luncheon, if not a dinner.
Thank you very much, said Corona; but indeed I do not wish to
trouble you. I will go to him myself. You are very kind, but it is not
in the least degree necessary for you to accompany me. A cup of tea and
some little trifle is all I shall ask him for.
For a moment Mrs. Archibald hesitated, and then she said, As we are
hermits, I suppose we must not keep together any more than we can help,
and so I will let you go alone.
Corona found Phil Matlack by his kitchen tent, busily engaged in
rubbing the inside of a large kettle. He was not in a good humor. The
departure of Martin had thrown all the work of his camp upon him, and
now the appearance of a person from another camp requesting to be fed
aroused him to absolute anger. He did not scold, for it would have been
impossible to look at that beautiful and imperturbable face and say
hard words to it. He did not refuse the cup of tea or the
bread-and-butter for which he was asked, and he even added some cold
meat; but he indignantly made up his mind that he would stand no more
of this nonsense, and that if necessary he would go to Sadler and throw
up the job. He had not engaged to cook for three camps.
[Illustration: 'HAVEN'T TRIED IT']
Miss Raybold did not appear to notice his state of mind, and ate
heartily. She thought it was fortunate that he happened to have the
kettle on the stove, and she asked him how he liked the hermit
lifethe living for himself alone.
Haven't tried it, he answered, curtly.
I understand, said Corona, you have had to live too much for
other people; but it is too soon to expect our plan to run smoothly. In
a short time, however, we shall be better able to know our own natures
and show them to others.
Oh, I can do that, said he; and I am goin' to, precious soon.
I have no doubt of it, she answered. And now can you tell me
where Mr. Archibald has gone? I did not see him this morning, and there
are some matters I wish to speak to him about.
No, miss, said Matlack, promptly, I don't know where he is. He's
a real hermit. He's off by himself, most likely miles away.
Corona reflected. Mr.the bishop? Have you seen him? He may be
The guide grinned grimly. He had seen the man of musclenot
fatconversing that morning with Corona, and an hour afterwards he had
seen him, not in the same place, but in the same companionship, and it
gave him a certain pleasure to know that the man who could heave rocks
and break young trees could not relieve himself from the thralls of the
lady of the flowing speech.
The bishop? said he. Don't you know where he went to?
He left me, she answered, because he was obliged to go to prepare
dinner for my brother and Mr. Clyde; but he is not in Camp Roy now, for
I went there to look for Mrs. Perkenpine.
Well, said the wicked Matlack, pointing to the spot where, not
long before, Margery had found a tranquillizing breeze, I saw him
going along with a book a little while ago, and I think he went down to
the shore, just beyond that clump of bushes over there. He seems to be
a man who likes readin', which isn't a bad thing for a hermit.
Thank you, said Miss Raybold, rising. I do not care for anything
more. You are very kind, and I am quite sure I shall not have to
trouble you again. To-morrow everything will be running smoothly.
Matlack looked at her as she quietly walked away. She's a pretty
sort of a hermit, he said to himself. If she really had to live by
herself she'd cut out a wooden man and talk to it all day. It won't be
long before she accidentally stumbles over that big fellow with his
CHAPTER XXIII. MRS. PERKENPINE FINDS
OUT THINGS ABOUT HERSELF
The mind of the guide was comforted and relieved that he had got the
better of the bishop in one way, although he could not do it in
another. But he did not relinquish his purpose of putting an end to the
nonsense which made him do the work of other people, and as soon as he
had set his kitchen in order he started out to find Mrs. Perkenpine. A
certain amount of nonsense from the people in camp might have to be
endured, but nonsense from Mrs. Perkenpine was something about which
Peter Sadler would have a word to say.
Matlack was a good hunter. He could follow all sorts of
tracksrabbit tracks, bird tracks, deer tracks, and the tracks of big
ungainly shoesand in less than half an hour he had reached a cluster
of moss-covered rocks lying some distance back in the woods, and
approached by the bed of a now dry stream. Sitting on one of these
rocks, her back against a tree, her straw hat lying beside her, and her
dishevelled hair hanging about her shoulders, was Mrs. Perkenpine,
reading a newspaper. At the sound of his footsteps she looked up.
Well, I'll be bound! she said. If I'd crawl into a fox-hole I
expect you'd come and sniff in after me.
Matlack stood and looked at her for a moment. He could not help
smiling at the uncomfortable manner in which she was trying to make
herself comfortable on those rough rocks.
I'll tell you what it is, Mrs. Perkenpine, he said, you'll get
yourself into the worst kind of a hole if you go off this way, leavin'
everything at sixes and sevens behind you.
It's my nater, said she. I'm findin' it out and gittin' it ready
to show to other people. You're the fust one that's seed it. How do you
I don't like it at all, said the guide, and I have just come to
tell you that if you don't go back to your tent and cook supper
to-night and attend to your business, I'll walk over to Sadler's, and
tell Peter to send some one in your place. I'm goin' over there anyway,
if he don't send a man to take Martin's place.
Peter Sadler! ejaculated Mrs. Perkenpine, letting her tumbled
newspaper fall into her lap. He's a man that knows his own nater, and
lets other people see it. He lives his own life, if anybody does. He's
individdle down to the heels, and just look at him! He's the same as a
king. I tell you, Phil Matlack, that the more I knows myself, just me,
the more I'm tickled. It seems like scootin' round in the woods,
findin' all sorts of funny hoppin' things and flowers that you never
seed before. Why, it 'ain't been a whole day since I begun knowin'
myself, and I've found out lots. I used to think that I liked to cook
and clean up, but I don't; I hate it.
Matlack smiled, and taking out his pipe, he lighted it and sat down
on a rock.
I do believe, he said, that you are the most out and out hermit
of the whole lot; but it won't do, and if you don't get over your
objections to cookin' you'll have to walk out of these woods
Mrs. Perkenpine sat and looked at her companion a few moments
without giving any apparent heed to his remarks.
Of course, said she, it isn't only findin' out what you be
yourself, but it's lettin' other people see what you be. If you didn't
do that it would be like a pot a-b'ilin' out in the middle of a
prairie, with nobody nearer nor a hundred miles.
It would be the same as if it hadn't b'iled, remarked Matlack.
That's jest it, said she, and so I ain't sorry you come along,
Phil, so's I can tell you some things I've found out about myself. One
of them is that I like to lie flat on my back and look up at the leaves
of the trees and think about them.
What do you think? asked Matlack.
I don't think nothin', said she. Just as soon as I begin to look
at them wrigglin' in the wind, and I am beginnin' to wonder what it is
I think about them, I go slam bang to sleep, and when I wake up and try
to think again what it is I think, off I go again. But I like it. If I
don't know what it is I think, I ought to know that I don't know it.
That's what I call bein' really and truly a hermick.
What else did you find out? inquired Matlack.
I found out, she answered, with animation, that I admire to read
anecdotes. I didn't know I cared a pin for anecdotes until I took to
hermickin'. Now here's this paper; it came 'round the cheese, and it's
got a good many anecdotes scattered about in it. Let me read one of
them to you. It's about a man who made his will and afterwards was
a-drivin' a horse along a road, and the horse got skeered and ran over
his executor, who was takin' a walk. Then he sung out, 'Oh, bless my
soul!' says he. But I'll read you the rest if I can find it.
Never mind about the anecdote, said Matlack, who knew very well
that it would take Mrs. Perkenpine half an hour to spell out twenty
lines in a newspaper. What I want to know is if you found out anything
about yourself that's likely to give you a boost in the direction of
that cookin'-stove of yourn.
Mrs. Perkenpine was a woman whose remarks did not depend upon the
remarks of others. Phil Matlack, said she, gazing fixedly at his
pipe, if I had a man I'd let him smoke just as much as he pleased and
just where he pleased. He could smoke afore he got up, and he could
smoke at his meals, and he could smoke after he went to bed, and, if he
fancied that sort of thing, he could smoke at family prayers; it
wouldn't make no difference to me, and I wouldn't say a word to him
agin' it. If that was his individdlety, I'd say viddle.
And how about everything else? asked Matlack. Would you tell him
to cook his own victuals and mend his clothes accordin' to his own
No, sir, said she, striking with her expansive hand the newspaper
in her lapno, sir. I'd get up early in the mornin', and cook and
wash and bake and scour. I'd skin the things he shot, and clean his
fish, and dig bait if he wanted it. I'd tramp into the woods after him,
and carry the gun and the victuals and fishin'-poles, and I'd set traps
and row a boat and build fires, and let him go along and work out his
own nater smokin' or in any other way he was born to. That's the
biggest thing I've found out about myself. I never knowed, until I
began, this mornin', explorin' of my own nater, what a powerful hard
thing it is, when I'm thinkin' of my own individdlety, to keep somebody
else's individdlety from poppin' up in front of it, and so says I to
myself, 'If I can think of both them individdleties at the same time it
will suit me fust-rate.' And when you come along I thought I'd let you
know what sort of a nater I've got, for it ain't likely you'd ever find
it out for yourself. And now that we're in that business
Hello! cried Matlack, springing to his feet. There is somebody
callin' me. Who's there? he shouted, stepping out into the bed of the
A call was now heard, and in a few moments the bishop appeared some
Mr. Matlack, he said, there's a man at your camp inquiring for
you. He came from Sadler's, and I've been looking high and low for
A man from Sadler's, said Matlack, turning to Mrs. Perkenpine,
and I must be off to see him. Remember what I told you about the
supper. And so saying, he walked rapidly away.
Out in the open Matlack found the bishop. Obliged to you for
lookin' me up, he said, it's a pity to give you so much trouble.
Oh, don't mention it! exclaimed the bishop. You cannot
understand, perhaps, not knowing the circumstances, but I assure you I
never was more obliged to any one than to that man who wants to see you
and couldn't find you. There was no one else to look for you, and I
simply had to go.
You are not goin' to walk back to camp? inquired Matlack.
No, replied the bishop, now that I am here, I think I will go up
the lake and try to find a very secluded spot in the shade and take a
The guide smiled as he walked away. Don't understand! said he.
You've got the boot on the wrong leg.
Arrived at his tent, Matlack found Bill Hammond, a young man in
Sadler's service, who informed him that that burly individual had sent
Martin away in the stage-coach, and had ordered him to come and take
All right, said Matlack. I guess you're as good as he was, and so
you can settle down to work. By-the-way, do you know that we are all
Hermits? said the other. What's that?
Why, hermits, said Matlack, is individ'als who get up early in
the mornin' and attend to their own business just as hard as they can,
without lookin' to the right or left, until it's time to go to bed.
The young man looked at him in some surprise. There's nothing so
very uncommon in that, said he.
No, replied the guide, perhaps there ain't. But as you might hear
them talkin' about hermits here, I thought I'd tell you just what sort
of things they are.
CHAPTER XXIV. A DISSOLVING AUDIENCE
When a strange young man assisted Matlack at the supper-table that
evening, Mr. Archibald asked what had become of Martin.
Peter Sadler has sent him away, answered the guide. I don't know
where he sent him or what he sent him for. But he's a young man who's
above this sort of business, and so I suppose he's gone off to take up
something that's more elevated.
I am sorry, said Mrs. Archibald, for I liked him.
Mr. Archibald smiled. This business of insisting upon our own
individualities, he said, seems to have worked very promptly in his
case. I suppose he found out he was fitted for something better than a
guide, and immediately went off to get that better thing.
That's about the size of it, said Matlack.
Margery said nothing. Her heart sank. She could not help feeling
that what she had said to the young man had been the cause of his
sudden departure. Could he have done such a thing, she thought, as
really to go and ask Mr. Sadler, and, having found he did not mind,
could he have gone to see her mother? Her appetite for her supper
departed, and she soon rose and strolled away, and as she strolled the
thought came again to her that it was a truly dreadful thing to be a
Having received no orders to the contrary, Matlack, with his new
assistant, built and lighted the camp-fire. Some of the hermits took
this as a matter of course, and some were a little surprised, but one
by one they approached; the evening air was beginning to be cool, and
the vicinity of the fire was undoubtedly the pleasantest place in camp.
Soon they were all assembled but one, and Mrs. Archibald breathed freer
when she found that Arthur Raybold was not there.
I am delighted, said Corona, as soon as she took her usual seat,
which was a camp-chair, to see you all gather about the fire. I was
afraid that some of you might think that because we are hermits we must
keep away from each other all the time. But we must remember that we
are associate hermits, and so should come together occasionally. I was
going to say something to the effect that some of us may have
misunderstood the true manner and intent of the assertions of our
individualities, but I do not now believe that this is necessary.
Do you mean by all that, said Mrs. Perkenpine, that I cooked the
Yes, said Miss Raybold, turning upon her guide with a pleasant
smile, that is what I referred to.
Well, said Mrs. Perkenpine, I was told that if I didn't cook I'd
be bounced. It isn't my individdlety to cook for outsiders, but it
isn't my individdlety to be bounced, nuther, so I cooked. Is that bein'
You have it, cried Mr. Archibald, you've not only found out what
you are, but what you have to be. Your knowledge of yourself is
perfect. And now, he continued, isn't there somebody who can tell us
a story? When we are sitting around a camp-fire, there is nothing
better than stories. Bishop, I dare say you have heard a good many in
the course of your life. Don't you feel like giving us one?
I think, said Corona, that by the aid of stories it is possible
to get a very good idea of ourselves. For instance, if some one were to
tell a good historical story, and any one of us should find himself or
herself greatly interested in it, then that person might discover, on
subsequent reflection, some phase of his or her intellect which he or
she might not have before noticed. On the other hand, if it should be a
love story, and some of us could not bear to hear it, then we might
also find out something about ourselves of which we had been ignorant.
But I really think that, before making any tests of this sort, we
should continue the discussion of what is at present the main object of
our livesself-knowledge and self-assertion. In other words, the
emancipation of the individual. As I have said before, and as we all
know, there never was a better opportunity offered a group of people of
mature minds to subject themselves, free of outside influences, to a
thorough mental inquisition, and then to exhibit the results of their
self-examinations to appreciative companions. This last is very
important. If we do not announce to others what we are, it is of
scarcely any use to be anything. I mean this, of course, in a limited
Harriet, said Mr. Archibald, abruptly, do you remember where I
left my pipe? I do not like this cigar.
On the shelf by the door of the cabin, she replied. I saw it as I
Her husband immediately rose and left the fire. Corona paused in her
discourse to wait until Mr. Archibald came back; but then, as if she
did not wish to lose the floor, she turned towards the bishop, who sat
at a little distance from her, and addressed herself to him, with the
idea of making some collateral remarks on what she had already said, in
order to fill up the time until Mr. Archibald should return.
Mrs. Archibald thought that her husband had been a little uncivil;
but almost immediately after he had gone, she, too, jumped up, and,
without making any excuse whatever, hurried after him.
The reason for this sudden movement was that Mrs. Archibald had seen
some one approaching from the direction of Camp Roy. She instantly
recognized this person as Arthur Raybold, and felt sure that, unwilling
to stay longer by himself, he was coming to the camp-fire, and if her
husband should see him, she knew there would be trouble. What sort of
trouble or how far it might extend she did not try to imagine.
Hector, she said, as soon as she was near enough for him to hear
her, don't go after the pipe; let us take a moonlight walk along the
shore. I believe it is full moon to-night, and we have not had a walk
of that sort for ever so long.
Very good, said her husband, turning to her. I shall be
delighted. I don't care for the pipe, and the cigar would have been
good enough if it had not been for the sermon. That would spoil any
pleasure. I can't stand that young woman, Harriet; I positively
Well, then, let us walk away and forget her, said his wife. I
don't wonder she annoys you.
If it were only the young woman, thought Mrs. Archibald, as the
two strolled away beneath the light of the moon, we might manage it.
But her brother!
At the next indication of a pause in Corona's discourse the bishop
suddenly stood on his feet. I wonder, he said, if there is anything
the matter with Mrs. Archibald? I will step over to her cabin to see.
Indeed! said Corona, rising with great promptness, I hope it is
nothing serious. I will go with you.
Margery was not a rude girl, but she could not help a little laugh,
which she subdued as much as possible; Mr. Clyde, who was sitting near
her, laughed also.
There is nothing on earth the matter with Aunt Harriet, said
Margery. They didn't go into the cabin; I saw them walking away down
How would you like to walk that way? he asked. I think their
example is a very good one.
It is capital, said Margery, jumping up, and let's get away
quickly before she comes back.
They hurried away, but they did not extend their walk down the lake
shore even as far as Mr. and Mrs. Archibald had already gone. When they
came to the bit of beach behind the clump of trees where the bishop had
retired that afternoon to read, they stopped and sat down to watch the
moonlight on the water.
Matlack and Mrs. Perkenpine were now the only persons at the
camp-fire, for Bill Hammond, as was his custom, had promptly gone to
bed as soon as his work was done. If Arthur Raybold had intended to
come to the camp-fire, he had changed his mind, for he now stood near
his sister's tent, apparently awaiting the approach of Corona and the
bishop, who had not found the Archibalds, and who were now walking
together in what might have been supposed, by people who did not know
the lady, to be an earnest dialogue.
Mr. Matlack was seated on his log, and he smoked, while Mrs.
Perkenpine sat on the ground, her head thrown back and her arms hugging
Phil, said she, that there moon looks to me like an oyster with a
candle behind it, and as smooth and slippery as if I could jest swallow
it down. You may think it is queer for me to think such things as that,
Phil, but since I've come to know myself jest as I am, me, I've found
Mrs. Perkenpine, said Matlack, knocking the ashes out of his pipe,
there's a good many things besides moons that I can't swallow, and if
it's all the same to you, I'll go to bed.
Well, she exclaimed, looking after him, his individdlety is the
snapshortest I ever did see! I don't believe he wants to know hisself.
If he did, I'm dead sure I could help him. He never goes out to run a
camp without somebody to help him, and yet he's so everlastin' blind he
can't see the very best person there is to help him, and she a-plumpin'
herself square in front of him every time she gits a chance. With that
reflection she rose and walked away.
I tell you, Harriet, said Mr. Archibald, when he and his wife had
returned from their walk and were about to enter the cabin, something
must be done to enable us to spend the rest of our time here in peace.
This is our camp, and we want it for ourselves. If a good companionable
fellow like the bishop or that young Clyde happens along, it is all
very well, but we do not want all sorts of people forcing themselves
upon us, and I will not submit to it.
Of course we ought not to do that, said she, but I hope that
whatever you do, it will be something as pleasant as possible.
I will try to avoid any unpleasantness, said he, and I hope I may
do so, butBy-the-way, where is Margery?
I think she must be in bed, said Mrs. Archibald; then stepping
inside, she called, Margery, are you there?
Yes, Aunt Harriet, replied Margery, I am here.
She must have found it dreadfully stupid, poor girl! said Mr.
The lights were all out in the Archibalds' cabin, and still Miss
Raybold and the bishop walked up and down the open space at the farther
end of the camp.
Corona! exclaimed her brother, suddenly appearing before them, I
have told you over and over again that I wish to speak to you. Are you
never going to stop that everlasting preaching and give me a chance to
talk to you?
Arthur! she exclaimed, sharply, I wish you would not interrupt me
in this way. I had just begun to say
Oh, my dear Miss Raybold, cried the bishop, do not let me prevent
you from speaking to your brother. Indeed, it is growing late, and I
will not trespass longer on your time. Good-night, and with a bow he
Now just see what you have done! said Corona, her eye-glasses
brighter than the moon.
Well, it is time he was going, said her brother. I have something
very important to say to you. I want your good offices in an affair
more worthy of your thoughts than anything else at this moment.
Whatever it is, she said, turning away from him, I do not want to
hear it nownot a word of it. You have displeased me, Arthur, and I am
going to my tent.
CHAPTER XXV. A MOONLIGHT INTERVIEW
Mrs. Archibald retired to her cabin, but she did not feel in the
least like going to bed. Her husband had long been asleep in his cot,
and she still sat by the side of the little window looking out upon the
moon-lighted scene; but the beauty of the night, if she noticed it at
all, gave her no pleasure. Her mind was harassed and troubled by many
things, chief among which was her husband's unfinished sentence in
which he had said that he would try to avoid any unpleasantness, but at
the same time had intimated that if the unpleasant thing were forced
upon him he was ready to meet it.
Now, reason as she would, Mrs. Archibald could not banish from her
mind the belief that Arthur Raybold would come to their camp some time
during the next day. In fact, not having heard otherwise, she supposed
he had come to the camp-fire that night. She was filled with anger and
contempt for the young man who was determined to force himself on their
party in this outrageous manner, and considered it shameful that their
peaceful life in these woods had been so wickedly disturbed. No wonder
she did not want to sleep; no wonder she sat at the window thinking and
Presently she saw some one walking over the open space towards the
cabin, and she could not fail to recognize the figure with the long
stride, the folded arms, and the bowed head. He passed the window and
then he turned and repassed it, then he turned and walked by again,
this time a little nearer than before.
This is too much! said Mrs. Archibald. The next thing he will be
tapping at her window. I will go out and speak my mind to him.
Opening the door very softly, and without even stopping to throw a
shawl over her head and shoulders, Mrs. Archibald stepped outside into
the night. Raybold was now at a little distance from the cabin, in the
direction of Camp Roy, and was just about to turn when she hurried up
Mr. Raybold, she said, speaking low and rapidly, if you possessed
a spark of gentlemanly feeling you would be ashamed to come into this
camp when you have been ordered out of it. My husband has told you he
does not want you here, and now I tell you that I do not want you here.
It pains me to be obliged to speak to any one in this manner, but it is
plain that no other sort of speech will affect you. Now, sir, I know
your object, and I will not have you wandering up and down here in
front of our cabin. I wish you to go to your own camp, and that
Raybold stood and listened to her without a word until she had
finished, and then he said:
Madam, there has been a good deal of talk about knowing ourselves
and showing ourselves to others. Now I know myself very well indeed,
and I will show myself to you by saying that when my heart is
interested I obey no orders, I pay no attention to mandates of any
sort. Until I can say what I have to say I will watch and I will wait,
but I shall not draw back.
For the first time in fifteen years Mrs. Archibald lost her temper.
She turned pale with anger. You contemptible scoundrel! Go! Leave this
He stood with arms folded and smiled at her, saying nothing. She
trembled, she was so angry. But what could she do? If she called Mr.
Archibald, or if he should be awakened by any outcry, she feared there
would be bloodshed, and if she went to call Matlack, Mr. Archibald
would be sure to be awakened. But at this moment some one stepped up
quickly behind Raybold, and with a hand upon his shoulder, partly
turned him around.
I think, said the bishop, that I heard this lady tell you to go.
If so, go.
I did say it, said Mrs. Archibald, hurriedly. Please be as quiet
as you can, but make him go.
Do you hear what Mrs. Archibald says? asked the bishop, sternly.
Do you mean to threaten me? asked Raybold.
The bishop stepped close to him. Will you go of your own accord,
he asked, or do you wish me to take you away?
He spoke quietly, but with an earnestness that impressed itself upon
Raybold, who made a quick step backward. He felt a natural repugnance,
especially in the presence of a lady, to be taken away by this big man,
who, in the moonlight, seemed to be bigger than ever.
I will speak to you, said he, when there are no ladies present.
And with this he retired.
I am so much obliged to you, said Mrs. Archibald. It was a
wonderful piece of good fortune that you should have come at this
The bishop smiled. I am delighted that I happened here, he said.
I heard so much talking this evening that I thought I would
tranquillize my mind by a quiet walk by myself before I went to bed,
and so I happened to see you and Raybold. Of course I had no idea of
intruding upon you, but when I saw you stretch out your arm and say
'Go!' I thought it was time for me to come.
I feel bound to say to you, said Mrs. Archibald, that that
impertinent fellow is persisting in his attentions to Miss Dearborn,
and that Mr. Archibald and I will not have it.
I imagined that the discussion was on that subject, said the
bishop, for Mr. Clyde has intimated to me that Raybold has been making
himself disagreeable to the young lady.
I do not know what we are going to do, said Mrs. Archibald,
reflectively; there seems to be no way of making an impression upon
him. He is like his sisterhe will have his own way.
Yes, said the bishop, with a sigh, he is like his sister. But
then, one might thrash him, but what can be done with her? I tell you,
Mrs. Archibald, he said, turning to her, earnestly, it is getting to
be unbearable. The whole evening, ever since you left the camp-fire,
she has been talking to me on the subject of mental assimilationthat
is, the treatment of our ideas and thoughts as if they were articles of
foodintellectual soda biscuit, or plum pudding, for instancein
order to find out whether our minds can digest these things and produce
from them the mental chyme and chyle necessary to our intellectual
development. The discourse was fortunately broken off for to-night, but
there is more of it for to-morrow. I really cannot stand it.
I wouldn't stand it, said Mrs. Archibald. Can't you simply go
away and leave her when she begins in that way?
The bishop shook his head. No, he said, that is impossible. When
those beautiful eyes are fixed upon me I cannot go away. They charm me
and they hold me. Unless there is an interruption, I must stay and
listen. The only safety for me is to fly from this camp. At last, he
said, smiling a little sadly, I am going to go. I did not want to do
this until your camp broke up, but I must.
And you are really going to-morrow? she asked.
Yes, he said. I have positively decided upon that.
I am sorry to hear it, she said. Good-night.
When Mrs. Archibald entered her cabin she found her husband sleeping
soundly, and she again sat down by the window. There was no such thing
as sleep for her; her mind was more tossed and troubled than it had
been before she went out. The fact that the bishop was going away made
the matter worse, for just as she had found out that he was willing to
help her, and that he might be able to keep Raybold away from them
without actual violencefor she saw that the young boaster was afraid
of himhe had told her he must leave, and in her heart she did not
blame him. With great fear and anxiety she looked forward to the
It was about two o'clock when Mrs. Archibald suddenly arose from her
seat by the window and lighted a candle. Then she pulled down the
shades of the windows, front and back, after which she went to her
husband's cot and put her hand upon his shoulder.
Hector, said she, wake up.
In a moment Mr. Archibald was staring at her. What is the matter?
he exclaimed. Are you sick?
No, said she, but I have something very important to say to you.
I want you to get up and go away with me, and take Margery.
Mr. Archibald sat up in bed. He was now in full possession of his
senses. What! said he, elope? And where to?
Yes, said she, that is exactly what I mean, and we will go to
Sadler's first, and then home.
Do you mean now? said he.
Yesthat is, as soon as it is light, she replied.
Are you positively sure you are awake, Harriet? asked Mr.
Awake! she said. I have not been asleep to-night. Don't you see I
am dressed? And she drew a chair to the bedside and sat down. I know
more about what is going on than you do, Hector, she said, and I tell
you if we stay any longer in this camp, there is going to be great
trouble. That young Raybold pays no attention to what you said about
keeping away from us. He comes here, when he pleases, and he says he
intends to come. I asked you to take a walk with me this evening
because I saw him coming to the camp-fire and I knew that you would
resent it. To-night I saw him walking up and down in front of our
cabin, and I believe he intended to try to speak to Margery. I went out
to him myself, and he was positively insulting. If the bishop had not
happened to come up, I believe he would have stayed here and defied me.
But he made him go.
Now that you know this, Hector, it is very certain that there will
be trouble between you and that young man, and I do not want that. And,
besides that, there is his sister; she is as determined to preach as he
is to speak to Margery. The bishop says he can't stand her any longer,
and he is going away to-morrow, and that will make it all the worse for
usespecially for you, Hector. I cannot endure this state of things;
it has made me so nervous I cannot get to sleep, and, besides, it is
not right for us to keep Margery where she must be continually guarded
from such a man. Now it may seem foolish to run away, but I have
thought over the matter for hours and hours, and it is the only thing
to do; and what is more, it is very easy to do. If we announce that we
are going, we will all go, and the chief cause of quarrels and danger
will go with us. I know you, Hector; you will not stand his
It will be daylight between three and four o'clock, and we three
can start out quietly and have a pleasant walk to Sadler's. It is only
four miles, and we can take our time. We need not carry anything with
us but what we choose to put in our pockets. We can pack our bags and
leave them here, and Mr. Sadler will send for them. When we get there
we can go to bed if we like, and have time enough for a good sleep
before breakfast, and then we can take the morning stage and leave this
place and everybody in it. Now please don't be hasty and tell me all
this is foolish. Remember, if you stay here you have a quarrel on your
hands, and I shall have hours of misery until that quarrel is settled;
and no matter how it is settled, things will be disagreeable
Harriet, said Mr. Archibald, suddenly twisting himself so that he
sat on the side of the bed, your idea is a most admirable one. It
suits me exactly. Let us run away. It is impossible for us to do
anything better than that. Have you told Margery?
No, she answered, but I will go to her at once.
Be quick and quiet, then, said her husband, who had now entered
fully into the spirit of the adventure; nobody must hear us. I will
dress, and then we will pack.
Margery, said Mrs. Archibald, after three times shaking the
sleeping girl, you must get up. Your uncle and I are going away, and
you must go with us.
Margery turned her great eyes on Mrs. Archibald, but asked no
Yes, said Mrs. Archibald, we cannot stay in this camp any longer,
on account of Mr. Raybold and various other things. Matters have come
to a crisis, and we must go, and more than that, we must slip away so
that the others may not go with us.
When? asked Margery, now speaking for the first time.
As soon as it is daylight.
So soon as that? said the girl, a shadow on her brow which was
very plain in the light of the candle which Mrs. Archibald had brought
with her. Surely not before breakfast?
Margery, said Mrs. Archibald, a little sharply, you do not seem
to understandyou are not awake; we must start as soon as it is light.
But we cannot discuss it now. We are going, and you must go with us.
You must get up and pack your things in your bag, which we shall send
Suddenly a light came into Margery's eyes and she sat up. All
right, said she, I will be ready as soon as you are. It will be jolly
to run away, especially so early in the morning, and with that she
jumped out of bed.
CHAPTER XXVI. AN ELOPEMENT
A little more than an hour after Mrs. Archibald had made known her
project to her husband the three inhabitants of the cabin stole softly
out into the delicate light of the early dawn.
Mr. Archibald had thought of leaving a note for Matlack, but his
wife had dissuaded him. She was afraid that the wrong person might get
hold of it.
When we are safely at Sadler's, she said, we can send for our
bags, with a note to Matlack. It will not matter then who knows. She
had a firm belief in the power of the burly keeper of the inn to
prevent trouble on his premises.
With careful but rapid steps the little party passed along the open
portion of the camp, keeping as far as possible from the tent wherein
reposed Corona and Mrs. Perkenpine, and soon reached the entrance of
the wood road. Here it was not quite so light as in the open, but still
they could make their way without much trouble, and after a few
minutes' walking they felt perfectly safe from observation, and
slackening their pace, they sauntered along at their ease.
The experience was a novel one to all of them; even Mr. Archibald
had never been in the woods so early in the morning. In fact, under
these great trees it could scarcely be said to be morning. The young
light which made its uncertain way through the foliage was barely
strong enough to cast a shadow, and although these woodland wanderers
knew that it was a roadway in which they were walking, that great trees
stood on each side of them, with branches reaching out over their
heads, and that there were bushes and vines and here and there a
moss-covered rock or a fallen tree, they saw these things not clearly
and distinctly, but as through a veil. But there was nothing uncertain
about the air they breathed; full of the moist aroma of the woods, it
was altogether different from the noonday odors of the forest.
Stronger and stronger grew the morning light, and more and more
clearly perceptible became the greens, the browns, and the grays about
them. Now the birds began to chatter and chirp, and squirrels ran along
the branches of the trees, while a young rabbit bounced out from some
bushes and went bounding along the road. This early morning life was
something they had not seen in their camp, for it was all over before
they began their day. There was a spring by the roadside, which they
had noticed when they had come that way before, and when they reached
it they sat down and ate some biscuit which Mrs. Archibald had brought
with her, and drank cool water from Mr. Archibald's folding pocket-cup.
The loveliness of the scene, the novelty of the experience, the
feeling that they were getting away from unpleasant circumstances, and
in a perfectly original and independent fashion, gave them all high
spirits. Even Mrs. Archibald, whose sleepless night might have been
supposed to interfere with this morning walk, declared herself as fresh
as a lark, and stated that she knew now why a lark or any other thing
that got up early in the morning should be fresh.
They had not left the spring far behind them when they heard a
rustling in the woods to the right of the road, and the next moment
there sprang out into the open, not fifty feet in front of them, a
full-grown red deer. They were so startled by this apparition that they
all stopped as if the beautiful creature had been a lion in their path.
For an instant it turned its great brown eyes upon them, and then with
two bounds it plunged into the underbrush on the other side of the
road. Mrs. Archibald and Margery had never before seen a deer in the
The young girl clapped her hands. It all reminds me of my first
night at the opera! she cried.
Two or three times they rested, and they never walked rapidly, so it
was after five o'clock when the little party emerged into the open
country and approached the inn. Not a soul was visible about the
premises, but as they knew that some one soon would be stirring, they
seated themselves in three arm-chairs on the wide piazza to rest and
Peter Sadler was an early riser, and when the front hall door was
open he appeared thereat, rolling his wheeled chair out upon the piazza
with a bumpthough not with very much of a bump, for the house was
built to suit him and his chair. But he did not take his usual morning
roll upon the piazza, for, turning his head, he beheld a gentleman and
two ladies fast asleep in three great wicker chairs.
Upon my soul! he exclaimed. If they ain't the Camp Robbers! At
this exclamation they all awoke.
Ten minutes after that the tale had been told, and if the right arm
of Mr. Sadler's chair had not been strong and heavy it would have been
shivered into splinters.
As usual, cried the stalwart Peter, the wrong people ran away. If
I had seen that bicycle man and his party come running out of the
woods, I should have been much better satisfied, and I should have
thought you had more spirit in you, sir, than I gave you credit for.
Oh, you mistake my husband altogether! cried Mrs. Archibald. The
trouble with him is that he has too much spirit, and that is the reason
I brought him away.
And there is another thing, exclaimed Margery. You should not say
Mr. Raybold and his party. He was the only one of them who behaved
That is true, said Mrs. Archibald. His sister is somewhat
obtrusive, but she is a lady, gentle and polite, and it would have been
very painful to her and as painful to us had it been necessary forcibly
to eject her brother from our camp. It was to avoid all this that we
Eloped, interjected Mr. Archibald.
[Illustration: 'IF THEY AIN'T THE CAMP ROBBERS!']
The good Peter laughed. Perhaps you are right, said he. But I
shall have a word with that bicycle fellow when he comes this way. You
are an original party, if there ever was one. First you go on somebody
else's wedding-journey, and then you elope in the middle of the night,
and now the best thing you can do is to go to bed. You can have a good
sleep and a nine-o'clock breakfast, and I do not see why you should
leave here for two or three days.
Oh, we must go this morning, said Mrs. Archibald, quickly. We
must go. We really cannot wait until any of those people come here. It
makes me nervous to think about it.
Very good, then, said Peter. The coach starts for the train at
Mrs. Archibald was a systematic woman, and was in the habit of
rising at half-past seven, and when that hour arrived she awoke as if
she had been asleep all night. Going to the window to see what sort of
a day it was, which was also her custom, she looked out upon the lawn
in front of the house, and her jaw dropped and her eyes opened. There
she beheld Margery and Mr. Clyde strolling along in close converse. For
a moment she was utterly stupefied.
What can this mean? she thought. How could they have missed us so
soon? We are seldom out of our cabin before eight o'clock. I cannot
comprehend it! And then a thought came to her which made her face grow
pale. Is it possible, she said to herself, that any of the others
have come? I must go immediately and find out.
In ten minutes she had dressed and quietly left the room.
When Margery saw Mrs. Archibald descending the piazza, steps, she
left Mr. Clyde and came running to meet her.
I expect you are surprised to see me here, she said, but I
intended to tell you and Uncle Archibald as soon as you came down. You
see, I did not at all want to go away and not let Mr. Clyde know what
had become of me, and so, after I had packed my bag, I wrote a little
note to him and put it in a biscuit-box under a stone not far from my
window, which we had arranged for a post-office, just the day before.
A post-office! cried Mrs. Archibald.
Yes, said Margery. Of course there wasn't any need for oneat
least we did not suppose there would bebut we thought it would be
nice; for, you must know, we are engaged.
What! cried Mrs. Archibald. Engaged? Impossible! What are you
Yes, said Margery, we are really engaged, and it was absolutely
necessary. Under ordinary circumstances this would not have happened so
soon, but as things were it could not be delayed. Mr. Clyde thought the
matter over very carefully, and he decided that the only way to keep me
from being annoyed and frightened by Mr. Raybold was for him to have
the right to defend me. If he told Mr. Raybold I was engaged to him,
that of course would put an end to the young man's attentions. We were
engaged only yesterday, so we haven't had any time to tell anybody, but
we intended to do it to-day, beginning with you and Uncle Archibald.
Harrison came over early to the post-office, hoping to find some sort
of a note, and he was wonderfully astonished when he read what was in
the one I put there. I told him not to say anything to anybody, and he
didn't, but he started off for Sadler's immediately, and came almost on
a run, he says, he was so afraid I might go away before he saw me.
Margery, exclaimed the elder lady, tears coming into her eyes as
she spoke, I am grieved and shocked beyond expression. What can I say
to my husband? What can I say to your mother? From the bottom of my
heart I wish we had not brought you with us; but how could I dream that
all this trouble would come of it?
It is indeed a very great pity, said Margery, that Mr. Clyde and
I could not have been engaged before we went into camp; then Mr.
Raybold would have had no reason to bother me, and I should have had no
trouble with Martin.
Martin! cried Mrs. Archibald. What of him?
Oh, he was in love with me too, replied the young girl, and we
had talks about it, and I sent him away. He was really a young man far
above his station, and was doing the things he did simply because he
wanted to study nature; but of course I could not consider him at all.
And that was the reason he left us! exclaimed Mrs. Archibald.
Upon my word, it is amazing!
Yes, said Margery; and don't you see, Aunt Harriet, how many
reasons there were why Mr. Clyde and I should settle things definitely
and become engaged? Now there need be no further trouble with anybody.
Distressed as she was, Mrs. Archibald could not refrain from
smiling. No further trouble! she said. I think you would better wait
until Mr. Archibald and your mother have heard this story before you
Mr. Archibald was dressing for breakfast when his wife told him of
Margery's engagement, and the announcement caused him to twirl around
so suddenly that he came very near breaking a looking-glass with his
hair-brush. He made a dash for his coat. I will see him, he said, and
his eyes sparkled in a way which indicated that they could discover a
malefactor without the aid of spectacles.
Stop! said his wife, standing in his way. Don't go to them when
you are angry. We have just got out of trouble, and don't let us jump
into it again. If they are really and truly engagedand I am sure they
arewe have no authority to break it off, and the less you say the
better. What we must do is to take her immediately to her mother, and
let her settle the matter as best she can. If she knows her daughter as
well as I do, I am sure she will acquit us of all blame.
Mr. Archibald was very indignant and said a great deal, but his wife
was firm in her counsel to avoid any hard words or bad feeling in a
matter over which they had now no control.
Well, said he, at last, I will pass over the whole affair to Mrs.
Dearborn, but I hope I may eat my breakfast without seeing them.
Whatever happens, I need a good meal.
When Mr. Archibald came out of the breakfast-room, his mind
considerably composed by hot rolls and coffee, he met Margery in the
Dear Uncle Archibald, she exclaimed, I have been waiting and
waiting for you. I hope you are not angry. Please be as kind to us as
you can, and remember, it was just the same with us as it was with you
and Aunt Harriet. You would not have run away from the camp in the
middle of the night if you could have helped it, and we should not have
been engaged so suddenly if we could have helped it. But we all had to
do what we did on account of the conduct of others, and as it is
settled now, I think we ought all to try to be as happy as we can, and
forget our troubles. Here is Harrison, and he and I both pray from the
bottom of our hearts that you will shake hands with him. I know you
always liked him, for you have said so. And now we are both going to
mother to tell her all about it.
Both? said Mr. Archibald.
Yes, said Margery; we must go together, otherwise mother would
know nothing about him, and I should be talking to no purpose. But we
are going to do everything frankly and openly and go straight to her,
and put our happiness in her hands.
Mr. Archibald looked at her steadfastly. Such ingenuousness, he
said, presently, is overpowering. Mr. Clyde, how do you do? Do you
think it is going to be a fine day?
The young man smiled. I think it is going to be a fine lifetime,
The party was gathered together on the piazza, ready to take the
coach. The baggage had arrived from the camp in a cart; but Phil
Matlack had not come with it, as he remained to take down his tent and
settle affairs generally. They were all sorry not to see him again, for
he had proved himself a good man and a good guide; but when grown-up
married people elope before daybreak something must be expected to go
wrong. Hearty and substantial remembrances were left for him, and kind
words of farewell for the bishop, and even for Miss Corona when she
Peter Sadler was loath to part with his guests. You are more
interesting now than ever you were, he said, and I want to hear all
about that hermit business; you've just barely mentioned it.
My dear sir, said Mr. Archibald, with a solemn visage, sooner or
later Miss Corona Raybold will present herself at this inn on her way
home. If you want to know anything about her plan to assist human
beings to assert their individualities, it will only be necessary to
mention the fact to her.
Good-bye, then, said Peter, shaking hands with Mr. and Mrs.
Archibald. I don't know what out-of-the-way thing you two will do
next, but, whatever it is, I hope it will bring you here.
CHAPTER XXVII. MRS. PERKENPINE
DELIGHTS THE BISHOP
It was the bishop who first appreciated the fact that a certain air
of loneliness had descended upon the shore of the lake. He had prepared
breakfast at his camp, but as Mr. Clyde did not make his appearance he
went to Camp Rob to look for him. There he saw Matlack and his
assistant busy in their kitchen tent, and Mrs. Perkenpine was also
engaged in culinary matters. He had left Arthur Raybold asleep at Camp
Roy, but of the ladies and gentleman who were usually visible at the
breakfast-hour at Camp Rob he saw no signs, and he approached Mrs.
Perkenpine to inquire for Clyde. At his question the sturdy woman
turned and smiled. It was a queer smile, reminding the bishop of the
opening and shutting of a farm gate.
He's a one-er, said she. Do you suppose he could ketch a rabbit,
no matter how fast he ran?
Come, now, said the bishop, he wasn't trying to do that?
He was either doin' that, or else he was runnin' away. I seed him
early this mornin'I wasn't up, but I was lookin' roundand I thought
from the way he was actin' that he'd set a rabbit-trap and was goin' to
see if he'd caught anything, and pretty soon I seed him runnin' like
Sam Hill, as if his rabbit had got away from him. But perhaps it wasn't
that, and maybe somebody skeered him. Anyway, he's clean gone.
The bishop stood and reflected; the affair looked serious. Clyde was
a practical, sensible fellowand he was gone. Why did he go?
Have you seen any of the Archibalds yet? he asked.
No, said she; I guess they're not up yet, though it's late for
them. My young woman ain't up nuther, but it ain't late for her.
The bishop walked slowly towards the cabin and regarded it
earnestly. After a few minutes inspection he stepped up to the door and
knocked. Then he knocked again and again, and hearing nothing from
within he became alarmed, and ran to Matlack.
Hello! he cried. Something has happened to your people, or they
have gone away. Come to the cabin, quick!
In less than a minute Matlack, the bishop, and Bill Hammond were at
the cabin, and the unfastened door was opened wide. No one was in the
house, that was plain enough, but on the floor were four bags packed
Matlack looked about him, and then he laughed. All right, said he;
there ain't no need of worryin' ourselves. They haven't left a thing
of theirs about, everything's packed up and ready to be sent for. When
people do that, you may be sure nothing's happened to them. They've
gone off, and I bet it's to get rid of that young woman's preachin'.
But I don't blame them; I don't wonder they couldn't stand it.
The bishop made no reply. Remembering his recent conversation with
Mrs. Archibald, he believed that, if they had quietly gone away, there
was a better reason for it than Miss Raybold's fluency of expression.
It was possible that something might have happened after he had retired
from the scene the night before, for when he went to sleep Raybold was
still walking up and down in the moonlight.
His mind was greatly disturbed. They were gone, and he was left.
What are you going to do? he asked Matlack.
Nothin' just now, said the guide. If they don't send for their
things pretty soon, I'll go over to Sadler's and find out what's the
matter. But they're all right. Look how careful them bags is strapped
The bishop left the cabin and walked thoughtfully away in the
direction of Camp Roy. In two minutes he had made up his mind: he would
eat his breakfasthe could not travel upon an empty stomachand then
he would depart. That was imperative.
When he reached the camp he found that Raybold had risen and was
pouring out for himself a bowl of coffee. Seeing the bishop approach,
the young man's face grew dark, as might have been expected from the
events of the night before, and he hurriedly placed some articles of
food upon a plate, and was about leaving the stove when the bishop
reached him. Raybold turned with a frown, and what was meant to be a
I shall bide my time, said he, and with his coffee and his plate
he retired to a distance.
The bishop smiled but made no answer, and sat down and ate his meal
in peace; then he prepared to depart. He had nothing but a little bag,
and it did not take long to put in order the simple culinary department
of the camp. When all was done he stood for some minutes thinking.
There was a path through the woods which led to the road, so that he
might go on to Sadler's without the knowledge of any one at Camp Rob,
but he felt that he ought to see Matlack and tell him that he was
going. If anything went wrong at Camp Roy he did not wish to be held
responsible for it. Mr. Archibald could afford to go away without
saying anything about it, but he could not, and, besides, if he should
happen to see Miss Raybold it would be far more gentlemanly to tell her
that he was going and to bid her goodbye, than to slip off through the
woods like a tramp. He would go, that he was determined upon; but he
would go like a man.
When he reached Camp Rob the first person he saw was Miss Raybold,
standing near her tent with a roll of paper in her hand. The moment she
perceived him she walked rapidly towards him.
Good-morning, she said. Did you know that the Archibalds had
gone? I never was so amazed in all my life. I was eating my breakfast
when a man and a cart drove up to their cabin, and Mrs. Perkenpine,
running to see what this meant, soon came back and told me that the
family of three had departed in the night, and had sent this cart for
their baggage. I think this was a very uncivil proceeding, and I do not
in the least understand it. Can you imagine any reason for this
extremely uncourteous action?
The bishop could imagine reasons, but he did not care to state them.
It may be, he said, with a smile, that they discovered that their
natures demanded hotel beds instead of camp cots, and that they
immediately departed in obedience to the mandates of their
But in so doing, said Miss Raybold, they violated the principles
of association. Our scheme included mutual confidence as well as
self-investigation and assertion. I must admit that Mr. Archibald
disappointed me. I think he misunderstood my project. By holding one's
self entirely aloof from humanity one encourages self-ignorance. But
perhaps our party was somewhat too largethe elements too many and
inharmoniousand I see no reason why we who remain should relinquish
our purpose. I believe it will be easier for us to become truly
ourselves than when our number was greater, and so I propose that we
make no change whatever in our plans; that we live on, for the time
agreed upon, exactly as if the Archibalds were here. And now, if you
have a few minutes to spare, I would like to read you something I wrote
this morning before I left my tent. I was awake during the night, and
thought for a long time upon the subject of mental assimilation, the
discussion of which we did not finish last evening, and this morning,
while my thoughts were fresh, I put them upon paper, and now I would
like to read them to you. Isn't there some shady place where we might
sit down? There are two camp-chairs; will you kindly place them under
The bishop sighed, but he went for the chairs. It would be too hard
for him to tell her he was going to leave the camp, and he would not
try to do it. He would slip off as soon as he had a chance, and leave a
note for her. She would not perhaps like that, but it was the best he
The reading of the paper occupied at least half an hour, and when it
was finished, and Corona had begun to make some remarks on a portion of
it which she had not fully elaborated, Mrs. Perkenpine approached, and
stood before her.
Well, miss, said she, I'm off.
Miss Raybold fixed her eye-glasses upon her. What do you mean? she
I'm goin' back to Sadler's, she replied. Phil's goin', and I'm
goin'. He's jest told me that the cart's comin' back for the kitchen
fixin's and his things, and him and Bill Hammond is goin' to Sadler's
with it; and if he goes, I goes.
This speech had a very different effect upon its two hearers. Corona
was as nearly angry as her self-contained nature would permit; but,
although he did not allow his feelings to betray him, the bishop was
delighted. Now they must all go, and that suited him exactly.
It is a positive and absolute breach of contract! exclaimed Miss
Raybold. You agreed to remain in my service during my stay in camp,
and you have no right to go away now, no matter who else may depart.
Mrs. Perkenpine grinned. That sort of thing was all very well a
week ago, said she, but it won't work now. I've been goin' to school
to myself pretty steady, and I've kept myself in a good deal, too, for
not knowin' my lessons, and I've drummed into me a pretty good idea of
what I be, and I can tell you I'm not a woman as stays here when Phil
Matlack's gone. I'm not a bit scary, but I never stayed in camp yet
with all greenhorns but me. When I find myself in that sort of a mess,
it's my nater to get out of it. Phil says he's goin' to start the fust
thing this afternoon, and that's the time I'm goin', and so, if you
would like to go, you can send word by that man in the cart to have you
and your things sent for, and we can all clear out together.
Positively, exclaimed Corona, turning to the bishop, this is the
most high-handed proceeding I ever heard of!
That's 'xactly what I think, said Mrs. Perkenpine; it most takes
my breath away to think how high-handed I am. Before I knowed myself I
couldn't have been that way to save my skin. There didn't use to be any
individdlety about me. You might take a quart of huckleberries and ask
yourself what it was particular 'bout any one of them
huckleberries'xceptin' it might be green, and it's a long time since
I was that wayand you'd know jest as much about that huckleberry as I
knowed about myself. Now it's different. It's just the same as if there
was only one huckleberry in a quart box, and it ain't no trouble to see
all around that.
I think, Miss Raybold, said the bishop, that this good woman has
prosecuted her psychical researches with more effect than any of us.
Bosh! exclaimed Miss Raybold. Do you really think I must leave
this camp at the dictation of that person?
'Scuse me, said Mrs. Perkenpine, but I'm goin' to scratch things
together for movin'. We'll have dinner here, and then we'll pack up and
be off as soon as the carts come. That's what Phil says he's goin' to
With a satisfied mind and internal gratitude to Mrs. Perkenpine, who
had made everything easy for him, the bishop endeavored to make Corona
feel that, as her departure from the camp was inevitable, it would be
well not to disturb her mind too much about it. But it was of no use
trying to console the lady.
It is too bad, she said; it is humiliating. Here I believed that
I was truly myself; that I was an independent entity; that I was free
to assert my individual nature and to obey its impulses, and now I find
that I am nothing but the slave of a female guide. Actually I must obey
her, and I must conform to her!
It is true, said the bishop, musingly, that although we may
discover ourselves, and be greatly pleased with the prospect of what we
see, we may not be permitted to enter into its enjoyment, and must
content ourselves with looking over the fence and longing for what we
Corona faintly smiled. When we have climbed high enough to see over
that fence, she said, it becomes our duty to break it down.
When I was in England, said the bishop, I saw a fencean oak
fencewhich they told me had stood for four hundred years. It looked
awfully tough, and it now reminds me of some of the manners and customs
When you were in England, said Corona, did you visit Newnham
He never had. But she told him that she had been there for two
years. And now, she continued, there may be time enough before I
must pack up my effects to finish what I was going to say to you about
CHAPTER XXVIII. THE HERMITS CONTINUE
TO FAVOR ASSOCIATION
When the Archibald party reached the capital city of their State,
the four of them took a carriage and drove immediately to the Dearborn
residence. Margery had insisted that Mr. Clyde should go with them, so
that he and she should present themselves together before her parents.
In no other way did she believe that the subject could be properly
presented. The Archibalds did not object to this plan; in fact, under
the circumstances, they were in favor of it. During the journey young
Clyde had produced a very favorable impression upon them. They had
always liked him well enough, and now that they examined his character
more critically, they could not fail to see that he was a kind-hearted,
gentlemanly young man, intelligent and well educated, and, according to
private information from Margery, his family was of the best.
Arrived at the Dearborn door, they found the house in the possession
of one female servant, who informed them that Mr. Dearborn was in
Canada, on a fishing expedition; that Mrs. Dearborn had gone to attend
some sort of a congress at Saratoga, and that she did not expect to be
at home until the following Friday, three days after, which was the day
on which she had expected her daughter to be brought back to her. This
was disheartening, and the four stood upon the steps irresolute.
Margery ought to go to her mother, but neither of the Archibalds wished
to go to Saratoga, nor could they despatch thither the prematurely
I know what we must do, said Mrs. Archibald, we must go home.
But, my dear, said her husband, we agreed to stay away for a
month, and the month is not yet up.
It doesn't matter, said she. Kate and her husband will take us in
for the few days left. When we explain all that we have gone through,
she will not be hard-hearted enough to make us go to a hotel until
Friday; Margery can come with us.
Margery turned upon Mrs. Archibald a pair of eyes filled with
I know what you want, said Mrs. Archibald. No, he can go to a
hotel in the town; and I shall write to your mother to come to us as
soon as she returns; then you two can present yourselves together
according to your plans. There is no use talking about it, Hector; it
is the only thing we can do.
We shall break our word to the newly married, said her husband.
Isn't there a State law against that?
When we made that arrangement, said his wife, going down the
steps, we did not know our individual selves; now we do, and the case
is different. Kate will understand all that when I explain it to her.
They drove back to the station, and took a train for home.
Mr. and Mrs. Bringhurst were sitting in the cool library about nine
o'clock that evening; he was reading while she was listening, and they
were greatly astonished when they heard a carriage drive up to the
front door. During their domestic honey-moon they had received no
visitors, and they looked at each other and wondered.
It is a mistake, said he; but don't trouble yourself. Mary has
not gone to bed, and she will hear the bell.
But there was no bell; the door was opened, and in came father and
mother, followed by a strange young couple.
It is wonderful! exclaimed Kate, when at last everybody had been
embraced or introduced. A dozen times during the last week have we
talked about the delight it would give us if our father and mother
could be here to be entertained a little while as our guests in our own
housefor you gave it to us for a month, you know. But we refrained
from sending you an invitation because we did not want to cut off your
holiday. And now you are here! The good fairies could not have arranged
the matter better.
When all the tales had been told; when the assertion of
individuality and the plans of hermit association had been described
and discussed, and the young Bringhursts had told how they, too,
without knowing it, had been associate hermits, devoting their time not
to the discovery of their own natures, but of the nature of each other,
and how perfectly satisfied they had been with the results, it was very
late, and young Clyde was not allowed to go out into the darkness to
find a hotel.
It was on Thursday afternoon that Mrs. Dearborn arrived at the
Archibalds' house. The letter she had received had made her feel that
she could not wait until the end of the congress.
Now, mother, said Margery, when the two were alone together, you
have seen him and you have talked to him, and Uncle Hector has told you
how he went to the office of Glassborough &Clyde and found he was
really their nephew, and all about him and his family; and you have
been told precisely why it was necessary that we should engage
ourselves so abruptly on account of the violent nature of Mr. Raybold
and the trouble he might cause, not only to us, but to dear Aunt
Harriet and Uncle Archibald. And now we come just like two of your own
children and put the whole matter entirely into your hands and leave
you to decide, out of your own heart, exactly when and where we shall
be married, and all about it. Then, when father comes home, you can
tell him just what you have decided to do. You are our parents, and we
leave it to you.
What in the world, said Mrs. Dearborn, an hour later, when she was
talking to the two married ladies of the household, can one do with a
girl like that? I do not believe dynamite would blow them apart; and if
I thought it would I should not know how to manage it.
No, said Mrs. Archibald, I am afraid the explosion would be as
bad for you as it would be for them.
Don't try it, said Mrs. Kate. I take a great interest in that
budding bit of felicity; I consider it an outgrowth of our own marriage
and honey-moon. When we sent out that wild couple, my father and
mother, on a wedding-tour, we did not dream that they would bring back
to us a pair of lovers, who never would have been lovers if it had not
been for us, and who are now ready for a wedding-tour on their own
account, as soon as circumstances may permit. And so, feeling a little
right and privilege in the matter, I am going to ask you, Mrs.
Dearborn, to let them be married here whenever the wedding-day shall
come, and let them start out from this house on their marriage career.
Now don't you think that would be a fine plan? I am sure your daughter
will like it, when she remembers what she owes us; and if Mr. Clyde
objects I will undertake to make him change his mind.
When the plan was proposed in full counsel, it was found that there
would be no need for the exercise of Mrs. Kate's powers of persuasion.
* * * * *
About ten days after Mrs. Dearborn and Margery had returned to their
home, and Clyde had followed, to move like a satellite in an orbit
determined by Mrs. Dearborn, Mr. Archibald was surprised, but also very
much pleased, to receive a visit from the bishop.
I could not refrain, said that expansive individual, from coming
to you as soon as circumstances would allow, and, while expressing to
you the great obligations under which you have placed me, to confide to
you my plans and my prospects. You have been so good to me that I
believe you will be pleased to know of the life work to which I have
determined to devote myself.
I am glad to hear, said the other, that you have made plans, but
you owe nothing to me.
Excuse me, said the bishop, but I do. This suit of clothes, sir,
is the foundation of my fortunes.
And well earned, said Mr. Archibald. But we will say no more
about that. Have you secured a position? Tell me about yourself.
I have a position, said the bishop. But would you prefer that I
tell you of that first, or begin at the beginning and briefly relate to
you what has happened since I saw you last?
Oh, begin at the beginning, by all means, said Mr. Archibald. I
was sorry to be obliged to leave you all so unceremoniously, and I
greatly desire to know what happened after we left.
Very good, then, said the bishop, I will give you our history in
as few words as I can. On the afternoon after your departure we all
went to Sadler'sthat is, Miss Raybold and myself and the three
guides; for Raybold, when he heard that Miss Dearborn and Mr. Clyde had
gone, immediately left for Sadler's, hoping, I think, to find you all
there. From what I heard, I think he and Peter Sadler must have had
words. At any rate, he discovered that his case was hopeless, and he
had himself driven to the station in a carriage, not choosing to wait
until our arrival. I have since heard that he has determined to
relinquish the law and devote himself to the dramatic arts.
For some reason or other, Peter Sadler was very glad to see me, and
congratulated me heartily on the favorable change in my appearance. He
called me his favorite tramp, and invited me to stop at his hotel for a
time, but I consented to stay a few days only, for I felt I must go to
see the gentleman to whom I wished to engage myself as librarian before
my new clothes had lost their freshness. Miss Raybold arranged to stay
at Sadler's for a week. She liked the place, and as she had planned to
remain away from home for a fortnight, she did not wish to return
before the time fixed upon. There were a good many people at Sadler's,
but none of them seemed to interest her. She decidedly preferred to
talk to Sadler or to me; but although Peter is a jolly fellow, and had
some lively conversations with her, he does not seem to care for
protracted mental intercourse, and it became so plain to me that she
depended upon me, in so large a degree, for companionship and
intellectual stimulus, that I did not leave as soon as I intended. It
was on Wednesday, in fact, that I steeled my heart and told her that I
must positively depart early the following morning, or I could not
expect to reach my destination before the end of the week. It was that
evening, however, that we became engaged to be married.
What? cried Mr. Archibald. Did you dare to propose yourself to
that classic being?
No, replied the other, I cannot, with exactness, say that I did.
It would be difficult, indeed, for me to describe the manner in which
we arrived at this most satisfactory conclusion. Miss Raybold is a
mistress of expression, and, without moving a hair's-breadth beyond the
lines of maidenly reserve which always environ her, she made me aware,
not only that I desired to propose marriage to her, but that it would
be well for me to do so. There were objections to this course, which,
as an honest man, I could not refrain from laying before her, and with
my proposition I stated these objections, but they were overruled to my
entire satisfaction, and she consented to become Mrs. Bishop.
Mrs. Bishop? said the other, inquiringly.
Oh yes; Bishop is my nameHenry C. Bishop. It was this name which
suggested the title which was playfully given to me. Before our compact
was made I had told Miss Raybold all about my family. She did not ask
me to do so, but I knew she desired the information, for I had learned
to read those beautiful eyes.
But, said Mr. Archibald, how about your position? Did you get the
place as librarian?
No, said the other, I did not ask for it. The question of my
vocation has been settled most admirably. There never was a human being
more frank, more straightforward and pertinent than Miss Raybold. She
knows what she wants, and she makes her plans to get it. With regard to
means she is sufficiently endowed, but the life work to which she has
devoted herself is far more than she can ever accomplish alone. She
needs the constant assistance of a sympathetic and appreciative nature,
and that, I am happy to say, I am able to give to her; and were I to
devote myself to any other calling which would interfere with that
assistance, I should be doing her a positive wrong. Therefore, should I
state it in definite words, I should say that I am to become my wife's
private secretary. That is my position, and it suits me admirably; and
I may add that Corona assures me that she is thoroughly well pleased.
We are to be married in the fall, and I hope it will not be long before
we shall have the pleasure of meeting again our former companions of
the hermit camp.
By-the-way, said Mr. Archibald, as his visitor was about to leave,
tell me something of Matlack. I had a great liking for our guide.
All that I can tell you is this, said Mr. Bishop, smiling: Not
long after we arrived at Sadler's, he went to Peter and asked him if he
intended to send out a camping party to any considerable distance. It
so happened that a couple of gentlemen were going to a point on the
very limits of Sadler's jurisdiction, and with them Matlack petitioned
to go, although another guide had been appointed. I made inquiries, and
found that, for some reason, probably connected with the persistencies
of the female sex, Matlack had become a sort of Daniel Boone and wanted
to go away as far as possible from his kind.
I hope, said Mr. Archibald, that our example has not made a real
hermit of him. Good-bye. I am very sorry that Mrs. Archibald is not at
home; but in both our names I wish you and your future wife the best of
Father, exclaimed Mrs. Kate, when she heard of this interview,
now you must grant me one more favor! Here is another pair of lovers
who owe everything to our honey-moon and your wedding-tour. We ought to
know them, for we made them what they are. So let us invite them here,
and let them be married from this house. I do not believe Miss Raybold
has a proper home of her own; and, in any case, the only way they can
pay us what they owe us is to give us the pleasure of seeing them
Mr. Archibald rose to his feet. No, madam! said he. I am willing,
to a certain extent, to make this house a source of hymeneal felicity,
but I draw the line at the bishop. I do not intend that my home shall
become a matrimonial factory!