in alternate stripes of white and grey. These are worn
faint by weather, and broken by two green doors, over
one of which shall be seen a picture of the Christian's
three Gods, rendered ghostly and dim by time.
Hither at the appointed hour came Teresa, and
walked restlessly up and down the black and white
cobble-stones until night and silence held the village,
and the lights twinkled out and vanished one by one.
Her heart began to sink, and vague, fearful thoughts
made her cold. Then fell a familiar footstep from
above, and such was the stillness that she could hear a
man's iron-shod boots on the pathway among the olives
while yet he walked far away. But it seemed that
Giovanni came quickly and cut off many corners, despite
the fact that no moon lighted night. Soon he appeared
and stood beside Teresa. But he did not make any
effort to caress her, though she opened her arms for
" Wait a minute," he said, and struck a match and
set fire to a taper in a little lantern that he carried.
Then the girl saw that it was not Giovanni, but his
" Don't look so frightened," he said calmly.
"There's fear and hate both in your eyes. And why.'
THE OLD SHRINE 173
What have I done to you in my life but love you as
never a man loved a woman before ? "
" Where is Giovanni ? "
" That's an awkward question, since he implored me
when he went away to keep his destination secret. I've
come from him upon a painful errand, Teresa Mancini ;
but you are a brave, wise girl, and you will need all your
bravery and wisdom now."
" Where is Giovanni Andrea ? "
" He has gone. When last he left you, he had
speech with me, and brought me all his sorrows. You
know that we are one, and love each other with a love
greater than man's love for woman. Therefore he came
to me with his grief, and I counselled him. But he
would not take my counsel. He would do the thing
that his own weak heart desired. So it only remained
for me, as his brother, to come and tell you what he has
done. I must love him still because he is my twin self,
but I shall respect him no more. I shall want to see
him no more. It would be better for him if he had
not been born."
" What is all this to me, Pietro .ā * Where is
Giovanni .-' "
" In Italy. That is all I can tell you. I must keep
his secret. He has changed his mind about you, Teresa,
It is a cruel thing to say in so few words, but many
words will not make it gentle. Giovanni finds that he
cannot marry you. The spirit has moved him with fire
since last he saw you. He means to become a monk,
and lock himself into a monastery, and waste the rest of
his days, and wither away like a frost-bitten flower."
" I do not believe it."
" I could not at first. I argued with him, implored
174 THE FOLK AFIELD
him, knelt to him. Yes, Teresa, I went on my knees
to my brother and begged him with tears. But he was
obstinate. ' Tell her,' said he, ' the thing that I have
done. When last I saw her I was weak, and could not
understand the voices that called me from the woods.
Now I understand them, and shall obey them. I must
give her up, and depart into the cloister and save my
soul alive. As Saul saw the great light, so have I seen
it ; and I must obey and follow. Tell her what I tell
you, Pietro, and bid her forgive me and pray for me.'
Thus he spoke, and I bring his message in his own
" Would he have sent such a message } Do you
not know him better ? You have lied to me."
" I tell you the truth."
"Time will prove that."
"Time proves all things. Only truth laughs at
time. Farewell, Teresa."
Pietro flung his cloak over his shoulder, extinguished
his lantern, and swept away into the darkness.
FROM that hour Giovanni Andrea was seen no more
among men. His brother alone knew the secret
of his departure and the place whither he had gone, but
neither to father nor mother would he divulge it. The
vanished man had expressly directed his brother to tell
none. He had felt called towards a religious life, and
was now performing the novitiate duties in a religious
house. That much Pietro made public, and his parents
wept and believed him. Giovanni's few possessions
were taken by his brother ; another man pulled the saw
through the heart of the timbers aloft ; the nine days'
Only Teresa Mancini knew that her little world was
deceived with a lie ; only her eyes, quickened by love
and nightly grief and fear, marked the demeanour of
Pietro, and saw upon him dark changes that were
hidden from all others.
Three days had passed after Giovanni's great act of
renunciation when Teresa met Pietro again and had
speech with him. She was bringing bread to his parents,
and he marked that she was swollen of eyelid and very
woebegone and miserable. Her voice she could not
trust. She attempted to avoid him, but he came and
walked beside her, took her basket off her head and put
it on his own,
"You are as thin as an anchovy, Teresa. What
has made you so unhappy } "
" You can ask that .-* I am unhappy because my
light is out, and the world is empty for me now there
176 THE FOLK AFIELD
is no Giovanni. I am unhappy because I know not
what has become of him, I would forgive him, and be
patient and face life without him, if I knew that he was
safe and happy about his soul. But there is that in me
that tells me his soul is no longer in his body."
" Men are selfish about their souls. There is no
religion so selfish as yours. Christianity is only a form
of fear ; and it makes more cowards than any other sort
of fear. He put his soul before your happiness, and
still you can love him } "
" He would never have gone out of my life with
only a message sent through another. No ā not if an
angel had beckoned him. He is dead."
" Dead to us. Dead to this world, but alive to the
next ; so we will be charitable and hope, Teresa. If he
had loved, he would have laughed at damnation in the
next world so long as he had you in this."
" If he is in heaven, it is so far well for him. But
who sent him there, Pietro ? It is not allowed to send
men to heaven ā only to tell them the way."
The other smiled.
"You ask dangerous questions. I am glad I do
not think as you do. I, at least, believe my own
senses and my own brother's voice. I did what a man
might to turn him from his purpose. I ā who loved
you with a fire hotter than his monkish heart could hold
for a woman ā pleaded for you, and implored him to
play a man's part and come to you and take you to
wife. But this pestilent fit was on him. Some cursed
black snake stung his ear from the pulpit. And now
the poison works, and he lives in a chrysalis of stone
and turns slowly into a monk."
" I do not believe it ! "
THE OLD SHRINE 177
" Perhaps you will some day. A time may come
when you will meet him ā with his head shaved and
his feet bare ā walking in russet or grey. But he won't
look at you then. Monks dare not meet a woman's
eye. They go cursed. They have defied Nature's self."
" I cannot walk with you and hear these things,
Pietro. Give me my basket, and leave me alone."
" At least you must know that he has vanished out
of your life for ever, Teresa ? "
" I do not know that. There is still a God who
"Pray for sense. You told me once that it was
idle to say what might have happened to you if there
had been no Giovanni. Now there is no Giovanni, and
it is not idle to think about your future."
" Are you mad, Pietro ? "
" If love could drive a man mad I should be, Teresa.
But I am sane enough. Love does for me what prayer
can do for you ā it makes me patient. I can wait. But
I shall never change."
She did not answer ; then, full of sudden emotion
and an active loathing, turned abruptly, left him to
carry her bread to his mother, and ran swiftly down the
path that she had slowly climbed.
Teresa hurried homeward, and only stayed her
speed on the piazza before the church. She waited to
regain her breath, then entered the holy place and sought
her favourite altar of Rosa Mystica. A picture of the
Mother and Child, set in golden rays, smiled down from
between two great gilt vases. These vessels contained
bunches of paper roses that had once been red and
white, but were now faded into a prevailing tone of
178 THE FOLK AFIELD
Here Teresa knelt, poured out woman's prayers, and
called for a miracle.
" In daylight, or in dreams, let it come to me, that
I may not die of grief," she prayed. " Oh, kind and
loving Mother of God, heed a heart that is broken, and
answer me and tell me whether he lives or does not
live. Mary Mother, hear a woman, for the sake of thy
blessed Son ! "
TIME passed, and men said that Giovanni had not
taken himself into the cloister alone. Two other
persons were diminished and changed by his departure,
Pietro fell upon gloom ; a shadow of darkness dogged
his heels and took the place of his sunny brother. He
grew more and more taciturn, and more prone to seek
solitude and shun his fellows ; while Teresa became so
sad and careworn that the problem of which of the
Andrea twins she had loved was now fully answered.
Twice, at intervals, Pietro asked her to marry him,
and twice she refused. But he fancied that some hesi-
tation marked her second answer, and still hoped. A
third time they met, and a third time he implored her
that, if she desired to see him live, she would become
" It cannot be," the girl answered. " How do I
know that I am free to marry you .'' Is it not true that
I am promised to your brother } If I live a hundred
years and he does not come, I am still promised to
" I have told you where he is."
" You have not. You have told me only that he is
to be a monk ; and I have told you that I will never
believe it from mouth of man or angel but Giovanni's
own. When he has come to me and stood by me and
said, ' I have given you up ; you are free,' then I am
free ā not sooner."
" If he wrote to you ? "
180 THE FOLK AFIELD
" He cannot write."
"They will teach him."
" It is not enough. I must hear him give me up
with his own lips."
" If he was dead you could not hear him."
" If he died loving me, I shall live loving him.
There is another world."
" But no marrying there."
" No need to marry there. Souls melt through
each other, like the light melts through the deep sea."
"You will never marry me, Teresa?"
" Never, Pietro ā never."
"You are signing my death-warrant, Teresa,"
" Not I, but yourself, Pietro. Do not blame me.
I cannot change."
" Some day you will know what love means."
" I know very well, Pietro."
" My love, Teresa .? "
" Your love is mad and cruel, or you could not offer
" It will scorch me up, not you. But first you shall
know how great it is. You would like to see Giovanni
" I have prayed that prayer till the Mother's ears
must weary of it."
" Think before you speak. Think what changes
time brings. You are sure .'' "
"Alive or dead, I pray that I may know ā and see."
" Shall I tell you where he is ? "
" I would bless your name for ever, Pietro."
" Not far off, after all."
"Not far off.?"
" Within a walk of your home."
THE OLD SHRINE 181
" Hiding ? "
" He is hidden."
"Tell me ā tell me, dear, kind Pietro."
" But what shall I get ? I must have my reward.
Will you marry me if I tell you where you shall find
" Never ! never that ! "
" Will you kiss me, then ā one kiss on my lips .-' It
is not much to ask."
"Yes, if he will let me."
" He will make no objection."
" May it be to-night, Pietro ? I cannot live long
now unless I see him. I cannot eat or sleep or pray
again until we have met."
" You will forgive him } "
" There will be nothing to forgive. He has had
good reasons for keeping away and preserving this
"The best of reasons."
" To-night, then ? "
" I doubt the night. It is a difficult, dark way,
with many a turn and twist where you might break
your neck. Hidden deep in the west face of the
mountain is an old ruined shrine, Teresa."
" The shrine ! I know it well, Pietro. Giovanni
and I have said our prayers there a thousand times."
He started and grew dark.
" You know it ! We swore never to tell the secret
to any living soul but ourselves."
" I was part of himself He never told anybody
" Nevertheless, he lied to me when he told you.
But he is there."
182 THE FOLK AFIELD
" Like a hermit ? "
" He is there. To-night, then, since you are so
hungry for him. And I will come too ā for my re-
" I can never reward you, Pietro. But ā but what
will Giovanni say ? Will he forgive you for telling me
his secret .'* Will he be angry with me for forcing my-
self upon him .-' "
"You can ask that ā you, who talked so loudly of
his love .'' "
" I am weak. No, he will not be angry with me.
He may be sad that I have come. But he will not be
" He will be neither sad nor angry, sorry nor
" Is he no longer a man, then, Pietro } "
" He is no longer a man, Teresa."
"A monk is still a man, Pietro."
" He was a liar to tell you where the shrine lay.
We swore to keep the secret between ourselves."
" It was there that I saw him for the last time."
" No ; not yet. But you will see him for the last
TRUE to her word, Teresa Mancini neither ate nor
prayed again until she had visited the old shrine.
Night came, and she slipped from the house at the rising
of the moon.
Up through the whisper of the olives she climbed,
where light showered through their foliage like rain, and
the twisted, crooked stems of them stood beside the
way, and flung shadows across the staring interspaces of
Teresa hastened, and her breath made tiny puffs of
silver fog as it exhaled into the nightly air. Already
the thing to happen seemed foreshadowed. A strange
emotion sat at her heart. The night was full of
whisperings and forebodings and promises. But dread,
not joy, gripped her. She went in fear, and to the girl,
fearless of natural things as a bird or lizard, this new
and painful tremor at her heart was terrible to feel.
" I am empty," she said, to cheer herself. " I
should have eaten. And I am frightened too ; there-
fore I should have prayed also. But it is too late now.
I told Pietro that I would pray no more until I saw my
She pictured him sequestered here with God. She
imagined those voices that wander from their tenements
in heaven and haunt earth had directed him to abandon
love. Instead, he would enter upon an existence of
high purpose to be crowned by noble achievement.
184 THE FOLK AFIELD
She fancied that perhaps Giovanni was to be a prophet
presently, and emerge, and wander hither and thither,
and wake souls to love of Christ.
Then the man himself, loving and passionate, re-
turned to memory, and she knew at the bottom of her
heart that he could never have left her thus. The
shadow of this new terror thereupon returned tenfold,
so that her legs shook under her as she trembled and
fluttered onwards by the steep path to the shrine.
At last she came beside the sacred place, and the
moon shone high now, and flooded the wilderness and
lighted the great sea below so that it gleamed like a
sheet of peaceful fire. A sail swam into the distant
ribbon of light and passed ; something rustled at
Teresa's hand, then was still ; dreamlike, unreal, woven
of light and mist, alive with phantom things that
watched unseen, night spread round her. In front rose
the old shrine, and where the fragments of broken glass
still stuck in the lamp, moonlight glittered as though
diamonds were hanging there.
Out of the dreamlike shadows and vague presences
that seemed to float within them, came fresh fear, and
set Teresa's heart throbbing painfully in her little bosom.
She fought against it, then her frightened eyes were
caught and called to a strange sight close at hand.
From a thicket beside the old shrine, rising like an
appeal to heaven in this lonely wilderness of earth,
there stretched a long white arm. Out of the black,
night-hidden masses of arbutus and mastic, it pointed to
the stars. Beneath it a head and bust, white as marble,
rose motionless, and the uplifted arm gleamed in the
moonlight as never flesh gleamed yet.
Drawn by some strange force stronger than fear,
THE OLD SHRINE 185
Teresa advanced until her eyes met those of the white
form rising out of the thicket. Then she started indeed,
and found herself deep in an immediate wonder and
mystery ; for the girl recognised this unearthly, frozen
thing, and knew that it was the saint from the old shrine.
Here the figure stood between her and its ancient niche,
and first Teresa fell on her knees as at a miracle, and
then she rose, with native strength of mind, to go for-
ward and solve this terror.
The white thing that blessed aforetime now seemed
to warn her. Teresa hesitated in the path, then she
took heart to hear her own voice, and cried aloud :
" Giovanni ! Giovanni ! Come to me ; make me
brave again. I am frightened."
No sound or voice answered her, and she made a
courageous effort, and passed the white arm and white
face, where they rose against darkness.
At last Teresa stood before the shrine, and fell on
her knees there and lifted her face to the niche.
Then the chill of death fell upon her ; her eyes
rolled up, and horror and agony too great to bear
stormed her heart and brain.
The niche was not empty. The deep tabernacle of
the shrine was occupied. Behind the grating, staring
straight at the moon that silvered its mortality was a
human face ; and Teresa saw Giovanni Andrea, and
knew that he was dead. She screamed horribly, fell
forward, and fainted.
When the girl recovered consciousness Pietro's arms
were round her, and his voice murmured in her ear.
" So love that is crossed runs headlong into death,
Teresa. There are the scarlet berries still that you laid
on the shrine. I left him there and took the poor,
186 THE FOLK AFIELD
powerless saint out. She has not had an airing for a
long time, but now she shall go back ; and since you
have seen Giovanni, it is enough. We will put him
under the earth. He is quite willing."
The girl made no answer, but struggled to escape.
" Be just," he said. " Remember your promise. I
have kept my word. Now you must keep yours."
He held her close, though she fought frantically.
" Scream as you like. Only these two statues ā one
stone, one clay ā will hear you. I killed him. What
could I do .ā * There was no other way to get nearer to
you. Not a sure way to win to you ā time has proved
that ; yet the last hope. Well, you do not love
me. Even now you will not wed me, Teresa .? Is it
not so > "
" That God should suffer this ! Let me go, or I
shall die in your hands ā foul, deformed wretch out of
hell that you are ! "
" I will let you go. But the payment first ā kisses,
kisses ! You would poison me with them if you could.
But you are sweet and pure, and fresh as the night air.
Look at him ! He is jealous to see you on my lap.
Will he come down and blast me with fire out of his
empty eye-holes if I kiss you ? No, no ; he will not
come down until I help him. He is not interested. If
he had a soul, it would be here now, fighting for you.
See ā feel ā how hot my kisses are ! His never bit into
your heart and brain like that. Do you know why they
scorch so .'' Because they are life ā my life going out at
my lips. There ā rich payment ; but you kept not your
word, and kissed me. Now go and be a good girl, and
try to make this sink they call the world so much the
sweeter for your passing through it. But love no
THE OLD SHRINE 187
more ; breed no men. They are all mad, like me, at
He set her free, and she turned to fly, but he
caught her again and uttered a warning :
" Not that way, else you will help to scent the wild
violets. See ! "
He showed her a grave, into which Teresa must have
fallen had she gone further.
" I have digged it. It was some whim that left it
empty. Strange thoughts and fancies haunt me now
by night and day. Think if I had known this place
was familiar to you ! Now depart ; take your last look
at him. Before the moon has set he will be at rest
with his mother, the Earth. Men only sleep peacefully
in her bed."
Then he loosed her, and she fled madly from him,
and did not stay her steps until she had left the woods
and was within ear-shot of human dwellings.
At dawn Teresa Mancini guided Alessandro Andrea,
with other men, amid the steeps and precipices until
they stood beside the old shrine.
"You have dreamed this horror," said the father of
the twins. " See ! the saint stands in her niche and
blesses us. All is peace here."
But the girl showed them where a grave yawned,
and rosemary and fruiting myrtles grew to the edge
There lay the brothers together, for Pietro had
started on the long journey also.
IN great splendour of sunshine lay a Jaffa orange-
orchard. The light, winnowed through glittering
foliage, played in splash and streak and sudden flame
among purple shadows ; the oval fruit made a twinkle
of red gold on bending boughs ; and beneath the trees
all the tangled grass was gemmed with crimson and
violet anemones, with oxalis of lemon hue, with the
wild arums of Syria, in colour a chrysoprase stained with
rose. The buzz of steel scissors, like stridulation of
gigantic crickets, filled the air ; ladders stood against
many of the laden trees ; and, aloft, Syrian and Ethi-
opian made gorgeous colour. Their brilliant vesture
gleamed, and their weapons flashed among the oranges.
Women, with whining songs, bore the fruit away, where
growing pyramids and pools of gold occupied the busy
hands of sorters and packers. About this evergreen
nest of sunshine rose tall cypresses, like sentinels
guarding treasure, and, upon the hill above them,
stretched the silver-grey of olives, glimmered red-tiled
habitations and rose the minaret of a little mosque.
The Judean hills caressed this scene, and a white road
that led to Jerusalem faded away into remote haze
of sunshine and azure distance.
190 THE FOLK AFIELD
Ben Hassan, the fruit-grower, moved amongst his
people, inciting them to activity. He was a stout but
comely Syrian, placed by his father's early death in a
position of opulence and some power while yet only
five-and-twenty ; but he walked after the precepts of
Mohammed, did justly according to his lights, and had
many friends. He plucked a lemon as he went, broke
it, and wiped his forehead and hands with the juice.
Presently he stopped under a tree where a man
stood and gazed towards the north with idle eyes.
" You work not, Jamr Shadid," he said sharply.
The other, recalled to reality, started and nearly
dropped his scissors on his master's head.
" Pardon. I was in the spirit, Ben Hassan."
" I pay you not to dream but work," said the
orange-grower, and anger lighted his face. " Imagine
neither that your wild thoughts are hidden from me
nor your madness covered up. Be advised and concern
yourself no more with Nuzhat, the daughter of Abu
Luluah, lest harm fall upon thee, for I have seen and
loved her. ' Delight ' is the meaning of her name ; and
my delight she will be, not thine."
" Why are you so greedy, Ben Hassan } You have
money and women and lands, olive-presses and camels,
much cattle, and this Syrian gold gleaming here under
my hands, that turns to English gold in good season
ā is it not enough .? "
" What is that to thee, dog ? "
Jamr Shadid, ' the Live Coal,' as his Syrian friends
in Jaffa called him, was in reality an Armenian. But
he accepted the name, and no man knew his real
He was a small, wiry person, with a clean chin and
bright eyes. He wore shoes upon his feet, and had
some regard for his apparel. Even his turban was
dandified. But he lived from hand to mouth, and
haunted the dark places of Jaffa. None knew any good
of him, save that he could sing magically and sway
women with a power that is not always given to the
best of men,
" Peace, and earn your wages," said Ben Hassan.
" No more of this."
" Know you the story of him who stole the poor
man's ewe lamb .-' "
" This to me ! Descend and depart ! " stuttered
the master, while Jamr Shadid from the altitude of the
orange-tree looked down upon him.
" To be bearded by an infidel beggar upon my own
earth ! Go out from before me ere I forget my
strength ! "
His great red face blazed, and the fez above it shook.