most freezing glances, '' it deceives me no longer.
From that moment I knew you had a heart, and
I was shamed â€” as noble a heart as ever beat in
woman," he added. He always tended to add
generous bits when he found it coming out well.
" Does the man think I am in love with him ? "
was Lady Disdain's inadequate reply.
" No, no, indeed I " he assured her earnestly.
" I am not so vain as to think that, nor so selfish
as to wish it; but if for a moment you were
" But I was not," said she, stamping her shoe.
His dander began to rise, as they say in the
north ; but he kept grip of politeness.
" If you were moved for a moment. Lady Pip-
pinworth," he went on, in a slightly more deter-
mined voice, â€” "I am far from saying that it w^as
so ; but if "
" But as I was not " she said.
It was no use putting things prettily to her when
she snapped you up in this way.
TOMMY AND GRIZEL
" You know you were," he said reproachfully.
" I assure you," said she, " I don't know what
you are talking about, but apparently it is some-
thing dreadful ; so perhaps one of us ought to go
As he did not take this hint, she opened a tat-
tered Tauchnitz which was lying at her elbow.
They are always lying at your elbow in a Swiss
hotel, with the first pages missing.
Tommy watched her gloomily. "This is un-
worthy of you," he said.
" What is '? "
He was not quite sure, but as he sat there mis-
givings entered his mind and began to gnaw. Was
it all a mistake of his ? Undeniably he did think
too much. After all, had she not been moved ?
His restlessness made her look up. " It must
be a great load off your mind," she said, with
gentle laughter, " to know that your apology was
" It is," Tommy said ; " it is." ('Sdeath !)
She resumed her book.
So this was how one was rewarded for a gener-
ous impulse I He felt very bitter. " So, so," he
said inwardly ; also, " Very well, ve-ry well." Then
he turned upon himself " Serve you right," he
said brutally. " Better stick to your books,
Thomas, for you know nothing about women."
TWO OF THEM
To think for one moment that he had moved her!
That streak of marble moved I He fell to watch-
ing her again, as if she were some troublesome
sentence that needed licking into shape. As she
bent impertinently over her book, she w^as an
insult to man. All Tommy's interest in her
revived. She infuriated him.
'â€¢ Alice," he whispered.
" Do keep quiet till I finish this chapter," she
It brought him at once to the boiling-point.
''- Alice ! " he said fervently.
She had noticed the change in his voice. "Peo-
ple are looking," she said, without moving a
There was some subtle flattery to him in the
warning, but he could not ask for more, for just
then Mrs. Jerry came in. She was cloaked for the
garden, and he had to go with her, sulkily. At the
door she observed that the ground was still wet.
" Are you wearing your goloshes ? " said he,
brightening. " You must get them, Mrs. Jerry ; I
She hesitated. (Her room w^as on the third
floor.) " It is very good of you to be so thoughtful
of me," she said, "but "
" But I have no right to try to take care of you,"
he interposed in a melancholy voice. " It is true.
Let us go."
TOMMY AND GRIZEL
" I sha'n't be two minutes," said Mrs. Jerry, in a
flutter, and went off hastily for her goloshes, while
he looked fondly after her. At the turn of the stair
she glanced back, and his eyes were still begging
her to hurry. It was a gracious memory to her in
the after years, for she never saw him again.
As soon as she was gone he returned to the hall,
and taking from a peg a cloak with a Mother
Goose hood, brought it to Lady Pippmworth, who
had watched her mamma trip upstairs.
*' Did I say I was going out '? " she asked.
" Yes," said Tommy, and she rose to let him put
the elegant thing round her. She was one of those
dangerous women who look their best when you
are helping them to put on their cloaks.
" Now," he instructed her, " pull the hood over
" Is it so cold as that *? " she said, obeying.
" I want you to wear it," he answered. What
he meant was that she never looked quite so im-
pudent as in her hood, and his vanity insisted that
she should be armed to the teeth before they re-
sumed hostilities. The red light was in his eyes
as he drew her into the garden where Grizel lay.
THE RED LIGHT
It was an evening without stars, but fair, suffi-
cient wind to make her Ladyship chng haughtily to
his arm as they turned corners. Many of the
visitors were in the garden, some grouped round a
quartet of gaily attired minstrels, but more sitting
in little arbours or prowling in search of an arbour to
sit in ; the night was so dark that when our two
passed beyond the light of the hotel windows they
could scarce see the shrubs they brushed against;
cigars without faces behind them sauntered past;
several times they thought they had found an un-
occupied arbour at last, when they heard the clink
" I believe the castle dates from the fifteenth
century," Tommy would then say suddenly, though
it was not of castles he had been talking.
With a certain satisfaction he noticed that she per-
mitted him, without comment, to bring in the castle
thus and to drop it the moment the emergency had
passed. But he had little other encouragement.
TOMMY AND GRIZEL
Even when she pressed his arm it was only as an
intimation that the castle was needed.
'' I can't even make her angry," he said wrath-
fuUy to himself.
'' You answer not a word," he said in great
dejection to her.
" I am afraid to speak," she admitted. " I don't
know who may hear."
" Alice," he said eagerly, " what would you say
if you were not afraid to speak ? "
They had stopped, and he thought she trembled
a little on his arm, but he could not be sure. He
thought â€” but he was thinking too much again;
at least. Lady Pippinworth seemed to come to that
conclusion, for with a galling little laugh she moved
on. He saw with amazing clearness that he had
thought sufficiently for one day.
On coming into the garden with her, and for
some time afterwards, he had been studying her
so coolly, watching symptoms rather than words,
that there is nothing to compare the man to but a
doctor who, while he is chatting, has his finger
on your pulse. But he was not so calm now.
Whether o*r not he had stirred the woman, he was
rapidly firing himself
When next he saw her face by the light of a
window^ she at the same instant turned her eyes on
him; it was as if each wanted to know correctly
THE RED LIGHT
how the other had been looking in the darkness,
and the effect was a challenge.
Like one retreating a step, she lowered her eyes.
" I am tired," she said. " I shall go in."
" Let us stroll round once more."
" No, I am going in."
" If you are afraid " he said, with a slight
She took his arm again. " Though it is too bad
of me to keep you out," she said, as they went on,
"for you are shivering. Is it the night air that
makes you shiver?" she asked mockingly.
But she shivered a little herself, as if with a pre-
sentiment that she might be less defiant if he were
less thoughtful. For a month or more she had
burned to teach him a lesson, but there was a time
before that when, had she been sure he was in
earnest, she would have preferred to be the pupil.
Two ladies came out of an arbour w^here they had
been drinking coffee, and sauntered towards the
hotel. It was a tiny building, half concealed in
hops and reached by three steps, and Tommy and
his companion took possession. He groped in the
darkness for a chair for her, and invited her tenderly
to sit down. She said she preferred to stand. She
was by the open window, her fingers drumming on
the sill. Though he could not see her face, he
knew exactly how she was looking.
TOMMY AND GRIZEL
"Sit down," he said, rather masterfully.
"I prefer to stand," she repeated languidly.
He had a passionate desire to take her by the
shoulders, but put his hand on hers instead, and
she permitted it, like one disdainful but helpless.
She said something unimportant about the stillness.
" Is it so still '? " he said in a low voice. " I
seem to hear a great noise. I think it must be the
beating of my heart."
" I fancy that is what it is," she drawled.
" Do you hear it ? "
" Did you ever hear your own heart beat,
Alice ? "
He had both her hands now. " Would you like
to hear it '? "
She pulled away her hands sharply. " Yes," she
replied with defiance.
" But you pulled away your hands first," said he.
He heard her breathe heavily for a moment, but
she said nothing. " Yes," he said, as if she had
spoken, " it is true."
" What is true ? "
"What you are saying to yourself just now â€”
that you hate me."
She beat the floor with her foot.
" How you hate me, Alice I "
" Oh, no."
THE RED LIGHT
" Yes, indeed you do."
" I wonder why," she said, and she trembled a
" I know why." He had come close to her
again. " Shall I tell you why ? "
She said " No," hurriedly.
" I am so glad you say No." He spoke passion-
ately, and yet there was banter in his voice, or so it
seemed to her. " It is because you fear to be told ;
it is because you had hoped that I did not know."
" Tell me why I hate you ! " she cried.
" Tell me first that you do."
" Oh, I do, I do indeed ! " She said the words
in a white heat of hatred.
Before she could prevent him he had raised her
hand to his lips.
" Dear Alice I " he said.
" Why is it ? " she demanded.
" Listen ! " he said. " Listen to your heart,
Alice ; it is beating now. It is telling you why.
Does it need an interpreter ? It is saying you
hate me because you think I don't love you."
" Don't you *? " she asked fiercely.
" No," Tommy said.
Her hands were tearing each other, and she
could not trust herself to speak. She sat down
deadly pale in the chair he had offered her.
"No man ever loved you," he said, leaning over
her with his hand on the back of the chair. "You
TOMMY AND GRIZEL
are smiling at that, I know; but it is true, Lady
Disdain. They may have vowed to blow their
brains out, and seldom did it ; they may have let you
walk over them, and they may have become your
fetch-and-carry, for you w^ere always able to drive
them crazy ; but love does not bring men so low.
They tried hard to love you, and it was not that
they could not love ; it was that you were un-
lovable. That is a terrible thing to a woman.
You think you let them try to love you, that you
might make them your slaves when they suc-
ceeded ; but you made them your slaves because
they failed. It is a power given to your cold and
selfish nature in place of the capacity for being
able to be loved, with which women not a hun-
dredth part as beautiful as you are dow^ered, and
you have a raging desire, Alice, to exercise it over
me as over the others ; but you can't."
Had he seen her face then, it might have warned
him to take care; but he heard her words only,
and they were not at all in keeping with her
" I see I can't," was what she cried, almost in a
" It is all true, Alice, is it not?"
"I suppose so. I don't know; I don't care."
She swung round in her chair and caught his
sleeve. Her hands clung to it. " Say you love
me now," she said. " I cannot live without your
THE RED LIGHT
love after this. What shall I do to make you
love me ? Tell me, and I will do it."
He could not stop himself, for he mistrusted her
" I will not be your slave," he said, through his
teeth. " You shall be mine."
" Yes, yes."
" You shall submit to me in everything. If I
say 'come,' you shall come to wheresoever it may
be ; and if I say ' stay,' and leave you for ever, you
" Very well," she said eagerly. She would have
her revenge when he was her slave.
" You can continue to be the haughty Lady Dis-
dain to others, but you shall be only obedient little
Alice to me."
" Very well." She drew his arm towards her and
pressed her lips upon it. "And for that you will
love me a little, won't you ? You will love me
at last, won't you ? " she entreated.
He was a masterful man up to a certain point
only. Her humility now tapped him in a new
place, and before he knew what he was about he
began to run pity.
" To humiliate you so, Alice I I am a dastard.
I am not such a dastard as you think me. I
wanted to know that you would be willing to do
all these things, but I would never have let you do
TOiMMY AND GRIZEL
" I am willing to do them."
" No, no." It was he who had her hands now.
" It was brutal, but I did it for you, Alice â€” for
you. Don't you see I was doing it only to make
a woman of you "^ You were always adorable,
but in a coat of mail that would let love neither in
nor out. I have been hammering at it to break
it only and free my glorious Alice. We had to
fight, and one of us had to give in. You would
have flung me away if I had yielded â€” I had to
win to save you."
" Now I am lost indeed," he was saying to him-
self, even as it came rushing out of him, and what
appalled him most was that worse had probably
still to come. He was astride two horses, and both
were at the gallop. He flung out his arms as if
seeking for something to check him.
As he did so she had started to her feet, listen-
ing. It seemed to her that there was someone
He flung out his arms for help, and they fell
upon Lady Pippinworth and went round her. He
drew her to him. She could hear no breathing
now but his.
" Alice, I love you, for you are love itself; it is
you I have been chasing since first love rose like a
bird at my feet; I never had a passing fancy for
any other woman ; I always knew that somewhere
in the world there must be you, and sometime this
THE RED LIGHT
starless night and you for me. You were hidden
behind walls of ice ; no man had passed them ; I
broke them down and love leaped to love, and you
lie here, my beautiful, love in the arms of its lover."
He was in a frenzy of passion now; he meant
every word of it; and her intention was to turn
upon him presently and mock him, this man with
whom she had been playing. Oh, the jeering
things she had to say I But she could not say
them yet; she would give her fool another mo-
ment â€” so she thought, but she was giving it to
herself; and as she delayed she was in danger of
melting in his arms.
" What does the world look hke to you, my
darling? You are in it for the first time. You
were born but a moment ago. It is dark, that
you may not be blinded before you have used your
eyes. These are your eyes, dear eyes that do not
yet know their purpose ; they are for looking at
me, little Alice, and mine are for looking into
yours. I cannot see you ; I have never seen the
face of my love â€” oh, my love, come into the light
that I may see your face."
They did not move. Her head had fallen on
his shoulder. She was to give it but a moment,
and then But the moment had passed and
still her hair pressed his cheek. Her eyes were
closed. He seemed to have found the way to woo
her. Neither of them spoke. Suddenly they
TOMMY AND GRIZEL
jumped apart. Lady Pippinworth stole to the
door. They held their breath and Hstened.
It was not so loud now, but it was distinctly
heard. It had been heavy breathing, and now she
was trying to check it and half succeeding â€” but
at the cost of little cries. They both knew it
was a woman, and that she was in the arbour, on the
other side of the little table. She must have been
there when they came in.
"Who is that?"
There was no answer to him save the checked
breathing and another broken cry. She moved,
and it helped him to see vaguely the outlmes of a
girl who seemed to be drawing back from him in
terror. He thought she was crouching now in the
" Come away," he said. But Lady Pippinworth
would not let him go. They must know who this
woman was. He remembered that a match-stand
usually lay on the tables of those arbours, and
groped until he found one.
" Who are you ? "
He struck a match. They were those French
matches that play an infernal interlude before be-
ginning to burn. While he waited he knew that
she was begging him, with her hands and with
cries that were too little to be words, not to turn
its light on her. But he did.
Then she ceased to cower. The girlish dignity
THE RED LIGHT
that had been hers so long came running back to
her. As she faced him there was even a crooked
smile upon her face.
" I woke up," she said, as if the words had no
meaning to herself, but might have some to him.
The match burned out before he spoke, but his
face was terrible. "Grizell" he said, appalled;
and then, as if the discovery was as awful to her as
to him, she uttered a cry of horror and sped out
into the night. He called her name again, and
sprang after her ; but the hand of another woman
"Who is this girl?" Lady Pippinworth de-
manded fiercely; but he did not answer. He
recoiled from her with a shudder that she was not
likely to forget, and hurried on. All that night he
searched for Grizel in vain.
THE LITTLE GODS DESERT HIM
And all next day he searched like a man whose
eyes would never close again. She had not passed
the night in any inn or village house of St. Gian ;
of that he made certain by inquiries from door to
door. None of the guides had seen her, though
they are astir so late and so early, patiently waiting
at the hotel doors to be hired, that there seems to be
no night for them â€” darkness only, that blots them
out for a time as they stand waiting. At all
hours there is in St. Gian the tinkle of bells, the
clatter of hoofs, the crack of a whip, dust in retreat ;
but no coachman brought him news. The streets
were thronged with other coachmen on foot looking
into every face in quest of some person who wanted
to return to the lowlands, but none had looked into
Within five minutes of the hotel she might have
been on any of half a dozen roads. He wandered
or rushed along them all for a space, and came
back. One of them was short and ended in the
lake. All through that long and beautiful day this
THE LITTLE GODS DESERT HLM
miserable man found himself coming back to the
road that ended in the lake.
There were moments when he cried to himself
that it was an apparition he had seen and heard.
He had avoided his friends all day ; of the English-
speaking people in St. Gian one only knew why he
was distraught, and she was the last he wished to
speak to ; but more than once he nearly sought her
to say, " Partner in my shame, what did you see '?
what did you hear ? " In the afternoon he had a
letter from Elspeth telling him how she was enjoy-
ing her holiday by the sea, and mentioning that
David was at that moment writing to Grizel in
Thrums. But was it, then, all a dream ^ he cried,
nearly convinced for the first time, and he went
into the arbour saying determinedly that it was a
dream; and in the arbour, standing primly in a
corner, was Grizel's umbrella. He knew that
umbrella so well ! He remembered once being
by while she replaced one of its ribs so deftly that
he seemed to be looking on at a surgical operation.
The old doctor had given it to her, and that was
why she would not let it grow old before she was
old herself Tommy opened it now with trembling
hands and looked at the little bits of Grizel on it :
the beautiful stitching with which she had coaxed
the slits to close again; the one patch, so artful
that she had clapped her hands over it. And he
fell on his knees and kissed these little bits of
TOMMY AND GRIZEL
Grizel, and called her " beloved," and cried to his
gods to give him one more chance.
" I woke up." It was all that she had said. It
was Grizel's excuse for inconveniencing him. She
had said it apologetically and as if she did not
quite know how she came to be there herself. There
was no look of reproach on her face while the match
burned; there had been a pitiful smile, as if she
was begging him not to be very angry with
her; and then when he said her name she gave that
little cry as if she had recognized herself, and stole
away. He lived that moment over and over
again, and she never seemed to be horror-stricken
until he cried "Grizel I" when her recognition of her-
self made her scream.. It was as if she had wakened
up, dazed by the terrible things that were being
said, and then, by the light of that one word
" Grizel," suddenly knew who had been listening
Did he know anything more ? He pressed his
hands harshly on his temples and thought. He
knew that she was soaking wet, that she had prob-
ably sought the arbour for protection from the rain,
and that, if so, she had been there for at least four
hours. She had wakened up. She must have fallen
asleep, knocked down by fatigue. What fatigue
it must have been to make Grizel lie there for
hours he could guess, and he beat his brow in
anguish. But why she had come he could not
THE LITTLE GODS DESERT HIM
guess, "Oh, miserable man, to seek tor reasons," he
cried passionately to himself, "when it is Grizel â€”
Grizel herself â€” you should be seeking for I "
He walked and ran the round of the lake, and
it was not on the bank that his staring eyes were
At last he came for a moment upon her track.
The people of an inn six miles from St. Gian
remembered being asked yesterday by an English
miss, walking alone, how far she was from Bad-
Platten. She was wearing something brown, and
her boots were white with dust, and these people
had never seen a lady look so tired before ; when
she stood still she had to lean against the wall.
They said she had red-hot eyes.
Tomm_y was in an einspanner now, the merry
conveyance of the country and more intoxicating
than its wines, and he drove back through St.
Gian to Bad-Platten, where again he heard from
Grizel, though he did not find her. What he
found was her telegram from London: " I am com-
ing. Grizel." Why had she come '? why had she
sent that telegram ? what had taken her to Lon-
don? He was not losing time when he asked
himself distractedly these questions, for he was
again in his gay carriage and driving hack to the
wayside inn. He spent the night there, afraid to
go farther lest he should pass her in the darkness ;
for he had decided that, if alive, she was on this
TOMMY AND GRIZEL
road. That she had walked all those forty miles
uphill seemed certain, and apparently the best he
could hope was that she was walking back. She
had probably no money to enable her to take the
diligence. Perhaps she had no money with which
to buy food. It might be that while he lay toss-
ing in bed she was somewhere near, dying for want
of a franc.
He was off by morning light, and several times
that day he heard of her, twice from people who
had seen her pass both going and coming, and he
knew it must be she when they said she rocked
her arms as she walked. Oh, he knew why she
rocked her arms! Once he thought he had found
her. He heard of an English lady who was lying
ill in the house of a sawmiller, whose dog (we
know the dogs of these regions, but not the people)
had found her prostrate in the w^ood, some distance
from the highroad. Leaving his einspanner in a
village. Tommy climbed down the mountain-side
to this little house, which he was long in dis-
covering. It was by the side of a roaring river,
and he arrived only an hour too late. The lady
had certainly been Grizel ; but she was gone. The
sawyer's wife described to him how her husband
had brought her in, and how she seemed so tired
and bewildered that she fell asleep while they were
questioning her. She held her hands over her ears
to shut out the noise of the river, which seemed to
THE LITTLE GODS DESERT HIM
terrify her. So far as they could understand, she
told them that she was running away from the
river. She had been sleeping there for three hours,
and was still asleep when the good woman went
off to meet her husband ; but when they returned
she was gone.
He searched the wood for miles around, crying
her name. The sawyer and some of his fellow-
workers left the trees they were stripping of bark
to help him, and for hours the wood rang with
" Grizel, Grizel ! " All the mountains round took
up the cry; but there never came an answer. This