the world to think that old furniture need not be
TOMMY AND GRIZEL
kept in the dark corners, and she knew where there
was an oak bedstead that was looked upon as a
disgrace, and where to obtain the dearest cup-
boards, one of them in use as the retiring-chamber
of a rabbit-hutch, and stately clocks made in the
town a hundred years ago, and quaint old-farrant
lamps and cogeys and sand-glasses that apologized
if you looked at them, and yet were as willing to
be loved again as any old lady in a mutch. You
will not buy them easily now, the people will not
chuckle at you when you bid for them now. We
have become so cute in Thrums that when the
fender breaks we think it may have increased in
value, and we preserve any old board lest the worms
have made it artistic. Grizel, however, was in ad-
vance of her time. She could lay her hands on all
she wanted, and she did, but it was for Elspeth's
"And the table-cloths and the towels and the
sheets," said Tommy. " Nothing monstrous in my
letting you give Elspeth them ? "
The linen, you see, was no longer in Grizel's
" I could not help making them," she answered,
"they were so longing to be made. I did not
mean to give them to her. I think I meant to put
them back in the press, but when they were made
it was natural that they should want to have
something to do. So I gave them to Elspeth."
" With how many tears on them ? "
" Not many. But with some kisses."
"All which," says Tommy, "goes to prove that
I have nothing with which to reproach myself I "
" No, I never said that," she told him. " You
have to reproach yourself with wanting me to love
She paused a moment to let him say, if he dared,
that he had not done that, when she would have
replied instantly, "You know you did." He could
have disabused her, but it would have been cruel,
and so on this subject, as ever, he remained silent.
"But that is not what I have been trying to
prove," she continued. " You know as well as I
that the cause of this unhappiness has been â€” what
you call your wings."
He was about to thank her for her delicacy in
avoiding its real name, when she added, " I mean
your sentiment," and he laughed instead.
" I flatter myself that I no longer fly, at all
events," he said. "I know what I am at last,
"It is flattery only," she replied with her old
directness. "This thing you are regarding with a
morbid satisfaction is not you at all."
He groaned. "Which of them all is me,
Grizel ? " he asked gloomily.
" We shall see," she said, " when we have got
the wings off."
TOMMY AND GRIZEL
" They will have to come off a feather at a time."
" That," she declared, " is what I have been
trying to prove."
" It will be a weary task, Grizel."
" I won't weary at it," she said, smiling.
Her cheerfulness was a continual surprise to him.
"You bear up wonderfully well yourself," he some-
times said to her, almost reproachfully, and she
never replied that, perhaps, that was one of her
ways of trying to help him.
She is not so heartbroken, after all, you may be
saying, and I had promised to break her heart.
But, honestly, I don't know how to do it more
thoroughly, and you must remember that we have
not seen her alone yet.
She tried to be very little alone. She helped
David in his work more than ever ; not a person,
for instance, managed to escape the bath because
Grizel's heart was broken. You could never say
that she was alone when her needle was going,
and the linen became sheets and the like, in what
was probably record time. Yet they could have
been sewn more quickly ; for at times the needle
stopped and she did not know it. Once a bed-
ridden old woman, with whom she had been sit-
ting up, lay watching her instead of sleeping, and
finally said : " What makes you sit staring at a
cauld fire, and speaking to yoursel' ? " And there
was a strange day when she had been too long in
the Den. When she started for home she went
in the direction of Double Dykes, her old home,
She could bear everything except doubt. She
had told him so, when he wondered at her calm-
ness; she often said it to herself She could tread
any path, however drearily it stretched before her,
so long as she knew whither it led, but there could
be no more doubt. Oh, he must never again dis-
turb her mind with hope I How clearly she showed
him that, and yet they had perhaps no more than
parted when it seemed impossible to bear for the
next hour the desolation she was sentenced to for
life. She lay quivering and tossing on the hearth-
rug of the parlour, beating it w^ith her fists, rocking
her arms, and calling to him to give her doubt
again, that she might get through the days.
" Let me doubt again I " Here was Grizel
starting to beg it of him. More than once she
got half-way to Aaron's house before she could
turn; but she always did turn, with the words un-
spoken; never did Tommy hear her say them,
but always that she was tranquil now. Was it
pride that supported her in the trying hour? Oh,
no, it was not pride. That is an old garment,
which once became Grizel well, but she does not
wear it now ; she takes it out of the closet, per-
haps, at times to look at it. What gave her
strength when he was by was her promise to help
TOMMY AND GRIZEL
him. It was not by asking for leave to dream
herself that she could make him dream the less.
All done for you, Tommy I It might have helped
you to loosen a few of the feathers.
Sometimes she thought it might not be Tommy,
but herself, who was so unlike other people ; that
it was not he who was unable to love, but she who
could not be loved. This idea did not agitate her
as a terrible thing; she could almost welcome it.
But she did not go to him with it. While it
might be but a fancy, that was no way to help a
man who was overfull of them. It was the bare
truth only that she wanted him to see, and so she
made elaborate inquiries into herself, to discover
whether she was quite unlovable. I suppose it
would have been quaint, had she not been quite
so much in earnest. She examined herself in the
long mirror most conscientiously, and with a de-
terminedly open mind, to see whether she was too
ugly for any man to love. Our beautiful Grizel
She had always thought that she was a nice
girl, but was she ? No one had ever loved her,
except the old doctor, and he began when she was
so young that perhaps he had been inveigled into
it, like a father. Even David had not loved her.
Was it because he knew her so well^ What was
it in women that made men love them? She
asked it of David in such a way that he never
knew she was putting him to the question. He
merely thought that he and she were having a
pleasant chat about Elspeth, and, as a result, she
decided that he loved Elspeth because she was so
helpless. His head sat with uncommon pride on
his shoulders while he talked of Elspeth's timidity.
There was a ring of boastfulness in his voice as
he paraded the large number of useful things that
Elspeth could not do. And yet David was a sen-
sible and careful man.
Was it helplessness that man loved in woman,
then ^ It seemed to be Elspeth's helplessness that
had made Tommy such a brother, and how it had
always appealed to Aaron I No woman could be
less helpless than herself, Grizel knew. She thought
back and back, and she could not come to a time
when she was not managing somebody. Women,
she reflected, fall more or less deeply in love with
every baby they see, while men, even the best of
them, can look calmly at other people's babies.
But when the helplessness of the child is in the
woman, then other women are unmoved ; but the
great heart of man is stirred â€” woman is his baby.
She remembered that the language of love is in
two sexes â€” for the woman superlatives, for the
man diminutives. The more she loves the bigger
he grows, but in an ecstasy he could put her in his
pocket. Had not Tommy taught her this ^ His
little one, his child I Perhaps he really had loved
TOMMY AND GRIZEL
her in the days when they both made beUeve that
she was infantile; but soon she had shown with
fatal clearness that she was not. Instead of need-
ing to be taken care of, she had obviously wanted
to take care of him : their positions were reversed.
Perhaps, said Grizel to herself, I should have been
If this was the true explanation, then, though
Tommy, who had tried so hard, could not love
her, he might be able to love â€” what is the phrase *?
â€” a more womanly woman, or, more popular
phrase still, a very woman. Some other woman
might be the right wife for him. She did not
shrink from considering this theory, and she con-
sidered so long that I, for one, cannot smile at her
for deciding ultimately, as she did, that there was
nothing in it.
The strong like to be leaned upon and the weak
to lean, and this irrespective of sex. This was the
solution she woke up with one morning, and it
seemed to explain not only David's and Elspeth's
love, but her own, so clearly that in her desire to
help she put it before Tommy. It implied that
she cared for him because he was weak, and he
drew a very long face.
" You don't know how the feathers hurt as they
come out," he explained.
" But so long as we do get them out ! " she said.
" Every other person who knows me thinks that
strength is my great characteristic," he maintained,
" But when you know it is not," said Grizel.
" You do know, don't you '? " she asked anxiously.
" To know the truth about one's self, that is the
beginning of being strong."
" You seem determined," he retorted, - to pre-
vent my loving you."
" Why â€¢? " she asked.
" You are to make me strong in spite of my-
self, I understand. But, according to your theory,
the strong love the weak only. Are you to grow
weak, Grizel, as I grow strong ? "
She had not thought of that, and she would
have liked to rock her arms. But she was able to
reply: "I am not trying to help you in order to
make you love me ; you know, quite well, that
all that is over and done with. I am trying only
to help you to be what a man should be."
She could say that to him, but to herself'?
Was she prepared to make a man of him at the
cost of his possible love '? This faced her when
she was alone with her passionate nature, and she
fought it, and with her fists clenched she cried :
" Yes, yes, yes I "
Do we know all that Grizel had to fight '?
There were times when Tommy's mind wandered
to excuses for himself; he knew what men were,
and he shuddered to think of the might have been.
TOMMY AND GRIZEL
had a girl who could love as Grizel did loved
such a man as her father. He thanked his Maker,
did Tommy, that he, who was made as those other
men, had avoided raising passions in her. 1 won-
der how he was so sure. Do we know all that
Grizel had to fight '?
They spoke much during those days of the
coming parting, and she always said that she could
bear it if she saw him go away more of a man than
he had come.
" Then anything I have suffered or may suffer,"
she told him, ''will have been done to help you,
and perhaps in time that will make me proud of
my poor little love-story. It would be rather piti-
ful, would it not, if I have gone through so much
for no end at all *? "
She spoke, he said, almost reproachfully, as
if she thought he might go away on his wings,
" We can't be sure," she murmured, she was so
eager to make him w^atchful.
" Yes," he said, humbly but firmly, '' I may be
a scoundrel, Grizel, I am a scoundrel, but one
thing you may be sure of, I am done with senti-
ment." But even as he said it, even as he felt
that he could tear himself asunder for being untrue
to Grizel, a bird was singing at his heart because
he was free again, free to go out into the world
and play as if it were but a larger den. Ah, if
only Tommy could always have remained a boy !
Elspeth's marriage day came round, and I should
like to linger in it, and show you Elspeth in her
wedding-gown, and Tommy standing behind to
catch her if she fainted, and Ailie weeping, and
Aaron Latta rubbing his gleeful hands, and a
smiling bridesmaid who had once thought she
might be a bride. But that was a day in Elspeth's
story, not in Tommy's and Grizel's. Only one in-
cident in their story crept into that happy day.
There were speeches at the feast, and the Rev.
Mr. Dishart referred to Tommy in the kindliest
way, called him " my young friend," quoted (inac-
curately) from his book, and expressed an opinion,
formed, he might say, when Mr. Sandys was a lad
at school (cheers), that he had a career before him.
Tommy bore it well, all except the quotation,
which he was burning to correct, but sighed to find
that it had set the dominies on his left talking about
precocity. " To produce such a graybeard of a
book at two and twenty, Mr. Sandys," said Cathro,
" is amazing. It partakes, sir, of the nature of the
miraculous ; it 's onchancey, by which we mean a
deviation from the normal." And so on. To es-
cape this kind of flattery (he had so often heard it
said by ladies, who could say it so much better),
Tommy turned to his neighbours on the right.
Oddly enough, they also were discussing devia-
TOMMY AND GRIZEL
tions from the normal. On the table was a plant
in full flower, and Ailie, who had lent it, was ex-
pressing surprise that it should bloom so late in the
"So early in its life, I should rather say," the
doctor remarked after examining it. " It is a
young plant, and in the ordinary course would not
have come to flower before next year. But it is
afraid that it will never see next year. It is one of
those poor little plants that bloom prematurely
because they are diseased."
Tommy was a little startled. He had often
marvelled over his own precocity, but never guessed
that this might be the explanation why he was in
flower at twenty-two. " Is that a scientific fact?"
" It is a law of nature," the doctor replied
gravely, and if anything more was said on the sub-
ject our Tommy did not hear it. What did he
hear? He was a child again, in miserable lodg-
ings, and it was sometime in the long middle of
the night, and what he heard from his bed was his
mother coughing away her life in hers. There
was an angry knock, knock, knock, from some-
where near, and he crept out of bed to tell his
mother that the people through the wall were com-
plaining because she would not die more quietly ;
but when he reached her bed it was not his mother
he saw lying there, but himself, aged twenty-four
or thereabouts. For Tommy had inherited his
mother's cough ; he had known it every winter,
but he remembered it as if for the first time
Did he hear anything else ? I think he heard
his wings sHpping to the floor.
He asked Ailie to give him the plant, and he
kept it in his room very lovingly, though he for-
got to water it. He sat for long periods looking
at it, and his thoughts were very deep, bu^" all he
actually said aloud was, " There are two of us."
Aaron sometimes saw them together, and thought
they were an odd pair, and perhaps they were.
Tommy did not tell Grizel of the tragedy that
was hanging over him. He was determined to
save her that pain. He knew that most men in
his position would have told her, and was glad to
find that he could keep it so gallantly to himself
She was brave ; perhaps some day she would dis-
cover that he had been brave also. When she
talked of wings now, what he seemed to see was a
green grave. His eyes were moist, but he held his
head high. All this helped him.
Ah, well, but the world must jog along though
you and I be damned. Elspeth was happily mar-
ried, and there came the day when Tommy and
Grizel must say good-bye. He was returning to
London. His luggage was already in Corp's bar-
row, all but the insignificant part of it, which yet
TOMMY AND GRIZEL
made a bulky package in its author's pocket, for it
was his new manuscript, for which he would have
fought a regiment, yes, and beaten them. Little
cared Tommy what became of the rest of his lug-
gage so long as that palpitating package was
" And little you care," Grizel said, in a moment
of sudden bitterness, " whom you leave behind, so
long as you take it with you."
He forgave her with a sad smile. She did not
know, you see, that this manuscript might be his
And it was the only bitter thing she said. Even
when he looked very sorry for her, she took ad-
vantage of his emotion to help him only. "Don't
be too sorry for me," she said calmly ; " remember,
rather, that there is one episode in a woman's life
to which she must always cling in memory,
whether it was a pride to her or a shame, and
that it rests with you to make mine proud or
In other words, he was to get rid of his wings.
How she harped on that I
He wanted to kiss her on the brow, but she
would not have it. He was about to do it, not to
gratify any selfish desire, but of a beautiful im-
pulse that if anything happened she would have
this to remember as the last of him. But she drew
back almost angrily. Positively, she was putting
it down to sentiment, and he forgave her even
But she kissed the manuscript. " Wish it luck,"
he had begged of her ; " you were always so fond
of babies, and this is my baby." So Grizel kissed
Tommy's baby, and then she turned away her face.
MR. T. SANDYS HAS RETURNED TO TOWN
It is disquieting to reflect that we have devoted so
much paper (this is the third shilling's worth) to
telling what a real biographer would almost cer-
tainly have summed up in a few pages. " Caring
nothing for glory, engrossed in his work alone, Mr.
Sandys, soon after the publication of the ' Letters,'
sought the peace of his mother's native village, and
there, alike undisturbing and undisturbed, he gave
his life, as ever, to laborious days and quiet con-
templation. The one vital fact in these six
months of lofty endeavour is that he was making
progress with the new book. Fishing and other
distractions were occasionally indulged in, but
merely that he might rise fresher next morning to
a book which absorbed," etc.
One can see exactly how it should be done, it
has been done so often before. And there is a deal
to be said for this method. His book was what he
had been at during nearly the whole of that time ;
comparatively speaking, the fishing and " other dis-
tractions" (a neat phrase) had got an occasional hour
T. SANDYS HAS RETURNED
only. But while we admire, we can't do it in that
way. We seem fated to go on taking it for granted
that you know the " vital facts " about Tommy,
and devoting our attention to the things that the
real biographer leaves out.
Tommy arrived in London with little more than
ten pounds in his pockets. All the rest he had
spent on Elspeth.
He looked for furnished chambers in a fashion-
able quarter, and they were much too expensive.
But the young lady who showed them to him
asked if it was the Mr. Sandys, and he at once took
the rooms. Her mother subsequently said that she
understood he wrote books, and would he deposit
five pounds ?
Such are the ups and downs of the literary
The book, of course, was " Unrequited Love,"
and the true story of how it was not given to the
world by his first publishers has never been told.
They had the chance, but they weighed the manu-
script in their hands as if it were butter, and said it
was very small.
" If you knew how much time I have spent in
making it smaller," replied Tommy, haughtily.
The madmen asked if he could not add a few
chapters, whereupon, with a shudder, he tucked
baby under his wing and flew away. That is how
Goldie & Goldie got the book.
TOMMY AND GRIZEL
For one who had left London a glittering star,
it was wonderful how little he brightened it by re-
turning. At the club they did not know that he
had been away. In society they seemed to have
forgotten to expect him back.
He had an eye for them â€” with a touch of red
in it; but he bided his time. It was one of the
terrible things about Tommy that he could bide
his time. Pym was the only person he called upon.
He took Pym out to dinner and conducted him
home again. His kindness to Pym, the delicacy
with which he pretended not to see that poor old
Pym was degraded and done for â€” they would
have been pretty even in a woman, and we treat
Tommy unfairly in passing them by with a bow.
Pym had the manuscript to read, and you may
be as sure he kept sober that night as that Tommy
lay awake. For when literature had to be judged,
who could be so grim a critic as this usually
lenient toper ^ He could forgive much, could
Pym. You had run away without paying your
rent, was it*? Well, well, come in and have a
drink. Broken your wife's heart, have you ? Poor
chap, but you will soon get over it. But if it was
a split infinitive, " Go to the devil, sir."
" Into a cocked hat," was the verdict of Pym,
meaning thereby that thus did Tommy's second
work beat his first. Tommy broke down and
T. SANDYS HAS RETURNED
Presently Pym waxed sentimental and confided
to Tommy that he, too, had once loved in vain.
The sad case of those who love in vain, you re-
member, is the subject of the book. The saddest
of autobiographies, it has been called.
An odd thing, this, I think. Tearing home (for
the more he was engrossed in mind the quicker he
walked). Tommy was not revelling in Pym's
praise ; he was neither blanching nor smiling at
the thought that he of all people had written as
one who was unloved ; he was not wondering what
Grizel would say to it ; he had even forgotten to
sigh over his own coming dissolution (indeed, about
this time the flower-pot began to fade from his
memory). What made him cut his way so excit-
edly through the streets was this : Pym had ques-
tioned his use of the word " untimely " in chapter
eight. And Tommy had always been uneasy about
He glared at every person he passed, and ran
into perambulators. He rushed past his cham-
bers like one who no longer had a home. He was
in the park now, and did not even notice that the
Row was empty, that mighty round a deserted
circus; management, riders, clowns, all the per-
formers gone on their provincial tour, or nearly all,
for a lady on horseback sees him, remembers to
some extent who he is, and gives chase. It is our
dear Mrs. Jerry.
TOMMY AND GRIZEL
" You wretch," she said, " to compel me to pur-
sue you I Nothing could have induced me to do
anything so unwomanly except that you are the
only man in town."
She shook her whip so prettily at him that it
was as seductive as a smile. It was also a way of
gaining time while she tried to remember what it
was he was famous for.
" I believe you don't know me ! " she said, with
a little shriek, for Tommy had looked bewildered.
"That would be too mortifying. Please pretend
you do I "
Her look of appeal, the way in which she put
her plump little hands together, as if about to say
her prayers, brought it all back to Tommy. The
one thing he was not certain of was whether he had
proposed to her.
It was the one thing of which she was certain.
"You think I can forget so soon," he replied
reproachfully, but carefully.
" Then tell me my name," said she ; she thought
it might lead to his mentioning his own.
" I don't know what it is now. It was Mrs.
" It is Mrs. Jerry still."
" Then you did not marry him, after all *? "
No wild joy had surged to his face, but when she
answered yes, he nodded his head with gentle
melancholy three times. He had not the smallest
T. SANDYS HAS RETURNED
desire to deceive the lady; he was simply an actor
who had got his cue and liked his part.
" But my friends still call me Mrs. Jerry," she
said softly. " I suppose it suits me somehow."
" You will always be Mrs. Jerry to me," he
replied huskily. Ah, those meetings with old
" If you minded so much," Mrs. Jerry said, a lit-
tle tremulously (she had the softest heart, though
her memory was a trifle defective), " you might
have discovered whether I had married him or not."
" Was there no reason why I should not seek to
discover it ? " Tommy asked with tremendous
irony, but not knowing in the least what he meant.
It confused Mrs. Jerry. They always confused