of you. She cannot help her prejudices, and —
well — if you were to tell her now what you have
done, without giving me time to overcome them,
she will never forgive you, and there will be an end.
" Portia ! Let my mother come between you and
me? Never. She has not controlled my life in the
past; why should she now?"
The cat lay on the railing, with her forepaws
curled in, sleepily blinking at them. Portia turned
away from her lover and gently stroked pussy's fur,
and laid her flushed cheek against it before she
replied. She could not understand how one so warm-
hearted and impulsive could stand in such relations
to his mother, and it troubled her.
** But she is your mother, and you love her, and
she is so frail. If this would make her miserable,
we never could build up our happiness on such a.
284 When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
"You are an angel, and ordinary mortals cannot
keep up with you. But, Portia, I can't look at this
as you would have me. I tell you no one is going
to be made miserable unless it be you and I, if I
should listen to you. When the summer is over,
if mother is — if you have not succeeded, my beau-
tiful, promise me that no earthly thing or being
shall stand between us. Promise me ! "
*' John, I do love you, oh, I do. Is n't that
enough — till then?"
** Give me the promise too, quick ! " he said,
seizing the hands she impulsively held out to him.
" Some one is coming over the hill yonder, — some
of your precious boarders riding back. Listen.
There is no one on earth who can come between
you and me. You must not think I do not love my
mother, — I do ; but she shall not come between us ;
and as for your own, if you are happy, they will be.
You think they have no one to turn to who w^ould
care for them so lovingly? That is because you
do not half believe in me, Portia. Don't look at
that cloud of dyst; look in my eyes and see how I
lovG you." H^f/t^^^-'^ 'UjU ..y C^O ij
" I believe in you as I believe in my own soul,
John. It is not that. I can give myself to you, but
not them. I must keep right on doing my work —
for a time at least."
" I will not torment your conscience any more,
sweetheart. Go on doing your work in your own
brave way, but, hark, when the summer is over,
before another year is begun, I am going to marry
you, love, in this house where I was born. If
rnother becomes reconciled, well and good; if not,
Marguerite Sets the Fashion 285
she may go to — Cuba, as she usually does, and
leave me to my own way. My will is as strong
as hers, and you are the sweetest woman in the
world, and you are mine. There ! kiss me. You
can't help yourself. They are coming now.
As he rode rapidly away, he saw Clare throw
open the blind of his mother's wide French window,
opening onto the upper gallery of the piazza. She
stepped quietly out, and leaning over the railing
looked down on Portia, standing among the honey-
suckle vines in her simple white dress, and saw her
blow a kiss at him, lifting the bruised hand to her
lips, — the hai;iL-li£-iiad -kissed. He returned the
gentle salute, and then. with a backward glance at
the m^^above rode on. A moment later, the
guests whom they had watched a few minutes before
turning a distant curve, came galloping up the drive,
and Clare re-entered her mistress's room.
*'Who rode away just now?" said Mrs. Marshall.
" Ce votre his, madam.'
"Was he alone?"
The maid lifted her shoulders. "Je suppose,
madam ; he rode le seul." >,^
"Yes, yes. But — he must have waited for some
reason; was there no one below? "
" Oh, oui. Je pense, de mees, que, keeps dis
place, la." * - -.- *"
" The hussy ! Where was she? "
" EUe caress'Te chat, — le pussee." Through the
feminine instinct of helping on a love affair, and
partly through natural kindness of heart, Clare pur-
posed to give only as much information as would
286 When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
satisfy her mistress, and kept her lips discreetly
closed on the rest. Moreover, she felt that John
Marshall fully comprehended the situation and
knew she had been sent to look just when she did,
and she would not be compromised in his eyes.
She would be able to defend herself, should he
speak of it.
** I will go down, Clare ; bring me the loose gown
with the lace. No, not that one ; the white with
black lace. It is too warm for anything else."
Marguerite came bounding into the little sitting-
room bc3'ond and threw herself upon the couch in
her habit. "Oh, it is so warm! " she said, fanning
her flushed face.
** Then why do you ride in such heat? "
" Oh, but we had a glorious time. Mr. Held is
just handsome on horseback. He looks better than
he does off, like Napoleon. If he were only a little
taller, he would be handsome, anyway."
**John was in asking for you. He seemed sur-
prised that I should allow you to go off in this way
with any one you happen to pick up at a boarding-
house. Why don't you go with him ever, these
** Why don't I? How can I? He is so taken up
with his old hotel. He would better look after him-
self a little, I think." She bit her lip and glanced
quickly at her aunt and then at the maid, who was
standing behind her gently brushing the long gray
hair, still plentifully sprinkled with black. Clare,
answering the glance, lightly touched her closed lips
with her finger. Ah, quick-tempered little Mar-
guerite ! she had sent a shaft she had not intended.
Marguerite Sets the Fashion 287
** Look after himself? What do you mean?"
said Mrs. Marshall, sharply.
** I mean what I say. He need n't be looking
after me and criticising me. He acts just as he did
in Europe, tormenting me almost to death with his
superior ways. If that hotel and two or three hun-
dred workmen aren't enough for him to attend to
here, I would like to know. Oh, that makes me
think — we are going to have a lot of fun. The
dining-room there is all finished and cleared, and John
has sent for music, — good music, you know, — and
we are to have a dance to-morrow night. Just our-
selves, and a few of the nice, real old families around
here.. Mr. Chaplain knows them all, so he invites
them, you know. He and John are giving it them-
selves, only Miss Van Ostade is to send over the
refreshments. She gets her supplies from some big
place somewhere. She is a perfect angel."
" Very charming, certainly, but that is her business,
*' You are so cold, aunt. I say she is lovely."
"Very true; it is her business to be so. Think
what she must make out of us."
'* Oh, hum ! I can't, for the life of me, see why
she should be so different from everybody else
just because she keeps boarders. Anyway, her
business will be gone as soon as the new hotel is
" Oh, no. There are plenty of stupid people who
would rather come to a place of this kind."
** But you don't take any interest in the dance,
aunt. I tell you, it will be swell. Let's see: there
are forty boarders here, and there will be at least as
288 When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
many more from outside; John says there will be
about a hundred people there, the swellest kind of
" And some who are not so swell."
" Oh, of course. Mr. Held has asked me for the
first dance and the last, so you see — "
** I see. All graver interests must stand aside
Jnow, for a while, for Mr. Held."
"Certainly, for a while, you know."
^. J " Marguerite, are you never going to be in
*' Yes, aunt. I am very serious now. I am going
to teach him a valuable lesson."
** One of these days you will find you have made
f a grave mistake. Marguerite. I — "
" Oh, aunt, don't preach. I like scolding better.
You look so handsome when you scold, — as if you
could thrust a stiletto into your lover's heart, and so
^ forth. I think I will write a novel, aunt, just to put
"^ you in it. You would make a splendid — "
'* Marguerite, don't chatter. You look so warm
in that habit ; take it off and put on a thin dress."
She sprang up and kissed her aunt. " Much
better advice than you were going to give, aunt dear,
and I will take it. I won't wear this habit any more
V when I ride ; I will wear a gingham dress and a
^S black sunbonnet, as the natives do around here."
- " Oh, mademoiselle, je proteste," exclaimed Clare,
J holding up both hands.
I ^f " That is right, Clare ; you look well when you are
I '^ v^.. *' Mais, j'implore ! Votre beautiful light blue
:s~ ^ ginkham, vis ze lace, ze ribonne, I can never put her
Marguerite Sets the Fashion 289
on you more, ven you haf gone on le cheval wis ze
** Not that one ; don't be troubled. I am going to
get a plaid gingham at Mr. Hackett's general store,
and you may make it up for me. That and a great
white apron and a black sunbonnet, — that is the
fashion here in America, Clare. You know you like
to be in the fashion."
" Oui, mademoiselle, mais je n'aime pas this
Marguerite was as good as her word, and Clare,
amid mock tears and protestations, fashioned the
dress with her deft fingers, which her young mistress
wore with bewitching grace on all her mountain
excursions for the rest of the season. Indeed, her
example was followed by all the women boarders
who dared risk their charms in such a costume ; and
Mr. Hackett was obliged to lay in a new stock of
gingham to supply the native trade.
N^OTHING was talked of but the prospective
dance at the lunch tables that day.
" Your daughter will be overtired if she has the
refreshments to look after, in addition to all she has
to care for here," said a pleasant old lady to Mrs.
*' The ladies have very kindly offered to assist, and
Miss Wells will be over this afternoon. They will
divide the duties among them."
At Portia's table the matter of refreshments was
being discussed sotto voce, until Mrs. Barry's clear
tones struck an anxious chord with the words, " No
celery ! but what are we to do for salad? "
"Why can't we get some? You get it, Miss Van
Ostade ; we had it yesterday," chimed in Miss
" Mine is gone, and we have no time to order
more," replied Portia, in a low voice ; and the con-
versation dropped to its former undertone.
" Oh, I see."
** Well, then, what's to be done?"
" Substitute something else."
" Oh, no. We must have salad, and we must have
celery," said Mrs. Barry.
"We will think about it and contrive," said Portia.
" Certainly we should have it."
As they passed out, to gather on the piazza,
Hanford Clark stepped to Portia's side.
''Can I help you?" he asked. ** I knew a man
who used to raise it, only he lives over at the
" Yes," said Mr. Ridgeway ; " a man by the name
of Homer raises it, but it would mean a ride of fully
twenty-four miles, there and back. We might send
a boy, unless the horse is needed here, Portia."
Marguerite came and slipped her arm about
Portia's waist. "What is it?" she said.
" It is what is n't," said Portia, giving a caressing
touch to Marguerite's hair. " We are speaking
of what we shall regale ourselves withal, at the
dance to-morrow night. There is no celery for the
" Scour the mountains. Send couriers in all
directions to hunt for celery," said Mr. Held.
" That is grandfather's suggestion."
'' There is an English gardener stranded over at
the Gap," said Hanford.
" That is the place to go, then," said Mr. Betts.
" We might make up a party, and ride over. How
far is it?"
" Twelve miles or near it," said Hanford. " I will
go if you wish. Miss Van Ostade ; I shall not be at the
station for the rest of the day."
" You must not spend all your leisure doing
errands for me, you have so little."
'* Oh, but this is for all, and if I had company on
the trip — "
Marguerite was as well aware of the quick glance
he sent in her direction as if she had seen it. Mr.
292 When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
Held was talking to her, and she was looking in his
face. Hanford did not hear what he was saying,
but his own face darkened, and he turned away as
he heard her reply.
" Yes, we had an awfully good time, but I had a
lecture from aunt when we got home for going with
you this morning, so I dare not try it so soon again ;
anyway, I am tired, and it is hot."
" Then may I ask what you are intending to do
the rest of the day?" Mr. Held still spoke in an
'• Oh, I don't know. I usually do what I don't
expect to do, so if I could tell you, you would be
none the wiser."
Hanford moved away to avoid overhearing further,
and accosted Mrs. Barry, who sat under a network
of vines, embroidering and chatting with Mrs. Van
Ostade. " I don't know that I blame them," she was
saying. " Mrs. Wells tells me the rising generation
are an utterly irresponsible class, — absolutely good
** Portia has managed to find a use for some of
them. Of course they needed training," said the
** Ah, but that is Portia, not the rising generation.
She could make sticks and stones rise up and do
her bidding. But you know they all will steal."
" I suppose they came up with the notion that
everything they could la)^ hands on was theirs, and
that their masters' goods were their own, by right of
their working without pay."
" May I join you? " said Hanford, seating himself
on the piazza railing.
We shall be delighted," said Mrs. Van Ostade.
" Draw up that large chair. You are not comfort-
" I am very happy here," he said, in polite fiction,
for he was at that moment most miserable, as Mar-
guerite chattered and laughed with the young artist,
who was preparing to work on a sketch of her head,
begun the day before, while the other guests looked
" Of course he is," said Mrs, Barry. ** Men are
always most happy when they are uncomfortable.
Why do you ask him to take an easy-chair when he
is so pleasantly uncomfortable where he is? "
Hanford laughed. '* I am very well off here, and
in no mood for an easy-chair. You are right."
*' We were talking of the negro nuisance, so to
speak. I think they are the curse of the South."
" As they have always been," he responded.
" A unique opinion for a Northern woman to hold."
'* I know, but I hold it all the same. There are
two sides to the question, and I am sure Mr. Barry
will agree with me when he comes down. I don't
blame people of the South for their feeling towards
'' You don't think it possible for them to be
educated into responsible members of society,
" They would have to be educated a thousand
years before I would be willing to admit them to my
'' And then you would be rather old for society,"
said Portia, who had joined them and stood by her
mother's chair. " Mamma deary, here is your
294 When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
tonic. I found it by your plate. You forgot it
Mrs. Van Ostade took the tiny glass, and the look
she gave her daughter was pathetic in its tenderness.
Portia stooped and kissed her lightly on the cheek,
and touched the fine gray hair, and arranged the
lace at her neck. " I must pet mamma now and
then," she said with a slight flush, as she caught
Hanford's eyes fixed on her with smiling regard.
" I think we are all inclined to envy you the
privilege," he said gallantly. " And now," he
glanced at his watch, ** would you like me to drive
over to the Gap for you, or are they going to make
up a party, as Mr. Betts proposed ? "
** No, no one else is going; but it is a shame to
let you drive away over there, just at a venture, this
** It will give me the greatest pleasure. I will
" If you go now, you will be back for dinner, will
you not ? "
*' I may possibly wait until the cool of the even-
ing before I drive home."
" It will be far pleasanter," said Mrs. Van Ostade.
'* Good-bye, then, until to-night. By the way,
what have you on for this evening?"
" Nothing much," said Portia.
" Indeed, we are to picnic over there on the lawn
where the trees with the seats are, and the negroes
are to give us a concert," said Mrs. Barry.
'* I didn't think Mr. Clark would care for that."
" I always enjoy your httle impromptu events, and
I most certainly will return in time."
As he approached the group near the artist,
Marguerite looked up, and his eyes met hers with a
grave look. He said nothing, and scarcely glanced
at the sketch as he passed.
** He need n't be so cross," she thought. ** I don't
care. He may snub me all he likes, but he sha'n't
rule me, I will do what I please." She pouted,
and for an instant forgot artist, sketch, the guests
who clustered around, and even her own important
part. She was with Hanford again in the coolness
and shadows as she was on that first evening. " I
don't care," she said to herself, but she did care.
" Ah, I am losing likeness, I fear," said the artist,
impatiently. *' Or her expression has all changed.
Miss McLourie, will you have the kindness to —
there, that is better. The expression you wore a
moment ago, please. The shade of a smile, and
the lips slightly parted — "
" Mr. Held thinks, evidently, that my expressions
are Paris made, to put off and on like my hats.
Thank you, sir. Very complimentary, surely."
** Now — no. Miss McLourie. That really is too
bad. Just tip your head a little, please. Ah ! I
had such a beautiful pose here."
"Such a beautiful pose, Miss McLourie; pray
don't spoil it," chimed in Miss Keller.
"Are you nearly through? I am so warm and
All were too intent to heed her little complaint,
so, flushed and a trifle impatient, she tipped her
pretty head and sat still. Presently she rose.
"You surely will spare me for a moment; I am
going for a fan. This heat is intolerable; " and
296 When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
before the gentlemen had time to beg her pardon
for their thoughtlessness, she was gone.
Mr. Held hurriedly dashed in a little background
and drapery during her absence. In the long hall
she met Hanford with a glass of water. " I heard
you say you were thirsty after I passed, a moment
ago," he said.
" I was dying for a glass of water, and they did n't
one of them care. Thank you."
" Naturally they forget everything when they
have you before them with the privilege of dissect-
ing your loveliness."
" It is n't nice of you to put it so."
"No, it isn't nice, I know; but — Marguerite,
don't run away from me — I only want a word ;
come back again."
" I am going for my fan," she said, tapping im-
patiently on the step with her foot and leaning over
the railing; ''speak to me here."
" I am going over to Pine Gap in the light rig.
Will you go? It will be cooler in an hour, and
delightful. Must I go alone?" He mounted the
stair with his long legs three steps at a time, and
stood beside her.
'* Why, no, not necessarily; you can ask some one
else; I have promised this sitting now."
" Marguerite." She looked at him with a defiant
flash in her eyes. " Give me a privilege now and
then. I am keeping my promise, am I not?"
** You have immense privileges. No one dare
say what you said to me a moment since; and as
for keeping your promise, you either ignore me
entirely or look at me as if — as if — " she paused.
*' Go on, please ; how do I look? "
** You contrive in some way to make me feel
guilty, as if I had been stealing, or — "
He smiled. " I never meant to arraign you for
a little thief, though you have stolen from me. I
don't want it back, only something more pre-
cious instead. There, don't run; I am keeping
my promise, and I ask for nothing but this drive
and a dance to-morrow night. Give me two, the
first and the last. You grant that much to
" But those two are both promised."
His face darkened. " And you won't drive with
*' I can't. I am keeping Mr. Held waiting as it
is. My loveliness is to be still further dissected by
a crowd of boarders ; there will be nothing left of
it by the time you return. There, that is too bad !
Don't frown." She darted on up the dingy old
stairway, a dream in a cloud of sheer white and
rose-colored ribbons, pausing only at the top to
look down out of the obscurity and shoot one more
little arrow into his poor foolish heart. ** I am
glad to be free, and do just as I please. Farewell,"
and she was gone like a bird escaped from the
snare. An impulse of tenderness seized her the
next moment, and she tiptoed back to the stairway
and looked down; but he was gone. "Well, I
don't care," she said once more to herself, but she
did care. Ah, if he had known how much !
She hurried to her room, snatched up an antique
fan, and flew back to her seat on the piazza, where
she was welcomed by a chorus of voices. A few
298 When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
minutes later she saw Hanford Clark drive away,
but he did not look up.
Sketching was not mere pastime with Mr. Anton
Helvetius Held. He had travelled much, and
studied hard, was an indefatigable worker, and
mightily ambitious. It was his dream to make his
mark in the world both at home and abroad. The
interest of the moment was of small consequence
to him, and the remarks of extravagant praise
bestowed on him now, as he worked, touched him
not at all, except as they revealed to him some
defect or weakness, when he grasped at the hint
(given him mostly in ignorance), eagerly profiting
thereby. For this reason he gladly displayed his
sketches, gaining thus a reputation for extreme
affability, and would sit smilingly by, listening to
the comments of even the least artistic, if perchance
some hint might be dropped which he could seize
and work out later. Alert, humorous, and quietly
receptive, he yet lacked the one element to secure
success, — the power to perceive through spiritual
insight. Too self-centred to allow his soul to
reach toward and come in touch with other souls,
he lost the divine impetus which might have made
He would have left Patterson a month ago, but
that the place was suddenly imbued with new
interest for him by the arrival of Mrs. Marshall and
her ward. He would paint the beautiful brunette,
and in three days' time had so far ingratiated him-
self with Aunt Isabel that he might have had the
privilege of painting her portrait also. Marguerite's
piquancy peculiarly attracted him, and ere two
weeks had passed, seeing her daily, chatting, riding,
driving, or walking with her, never alone with her,
yet always in her company, and flirting with her in
the evening and all the time, he had come to believe
himself seriously in love. To-day, as he worked
on, touching the delicate lines of chin and throat
and cheek, he felt for the first time in his thirty
years of existence the subtile, baffling power of the
" Something eludes me here," he ejaculated, "yet
these lines are certainly correct."
" Why, Mr. Held, they are perfect," exclaimed
Miss Keller, who had begun to pay decided court
to that gentleman.
Marguerite laughed. " Don't you wish I were a
mountain, or a heap of green stones with the moss
on them? Mr. Held paints stones to perfection.
You see, they never think nor care for anything, so
he does not have to paint what he cannot see."
" Miss Van Ostade," he said, seeing her in the
doorway, '' you have not seen this for some time,
and can tell the better for that. Are we losing
likeness here? "
Portia felt hurried, but came smilingly across to
the interested group. *' I am no artist, Mr. Held."
She stopped and hesitated before the drawing. *' It
seems — "
*' Don't speak until you have taken time to look
at it, pray. Now, why is it unlike?"
** I would not call it unlike. It seems very
" That is what I tell him, very correct," echoed
300 When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
Portia brought her head down to a level with
the artist's, to see his model from his point of
view. " Yes, it is certainly like, but — "
** Ah, there it is, but something eludes me."
** What is it, do you think, that eludes you?"
she asked, looking gravely in Mr. Held's face.
With the sure instinct of her own seeing soul, she
knew why he failed, yet felt powerless to help him,
unless she could awaken in him the insight by
which spirit recognizes spirit. *' I presume the
mere intellectual perception of outward things goes
but a little way in art," she went on gently; " that