plunged forward recklessly and tackled the dog
around the body, and they both rolled over and
over together. Then Van Bibber scrambled to
his feet and dashed up the steps and into the
drawing-room just as the people were in line for
dinner, and while the minute-hand stood at a min-
ute to eight o'clock.
" How is this ?" shouted Van Bibber, holding up
one hand and clasping the dog under his other arm.
Miss Arnett flew at the collie and embraced it,
wet as it was, and ruined her gown, and all the
men glanced instinctively at the clock and said :
" You've won, Van."
" But you must be frozen to death," said Miss
Arnett, looking up at him with gratitude in her
" Yes, yes," said Van Bibber, beginning to shiv-
er. " I've had a terrible long walk, and I had to
carry him all the way. If you'll excuse me, I'll
go change my things."
He reappeared again in a suspiciously short
time for one who had to change outright, and the
men admired his endurance and paid up the bet.
" Where did you find him, Van ?" one of them
" Oh, yes," they all chorused. "Where was he?"
" That," said Mr. Van Bibber, " is a thing known
to only two beings, Duncan and myself. Duncan
can't tell, and I won't. If I did, you'd say I was
trying to make myself out clever, and I never boast
about the things I do."
MISS ELEANORE CUYLER had dined alone
with her mother that night, and she was now
sitting in the drawing-room, near the open fire,
with her gloves and fan on the divan beside her,
for she was going out later to a dance.
She was reading a somewhat weighty German
review, and the contrast which the smartness of
her gown presented to the seriousness of her oc-
cupation made her smile slightly as she paused
for a moment to cut the leaves.
And when the bell sounded in the hall she put
the book away from her altogether, and wondered
who it might be.
It might be young Wainwright, with the proof-
sheets of the new story he had promised to let her
see, or flowers for the dance from Bruce-Brice, of
the English Legation at Washington, who for the
time being was practising diplomatic moves in
New York, or some of her working-girls with a
new perplexity for her to unravel, or only one of
the men from the stable to tell her how her hunter
was getting on after his fall. It might be any of
these and more. The possibilities were diverse
96 ELEANORE CUTLER
and all of interest, and she acknowledged this to
herself, with a little sigh of content that it was so.
For she found her pleasure in doing many things,
and in the fact that there were so many. She re-
joiced daily that she was free, and her own mis-
tress in everything ; free to do these many things
denied to other young women, and that she had
the health and position and cleverness to carry
them on and through to success. She did them all,
and equally well and gracefully, whether it was
the rejection of a too ambitious devotee who dared
to want to have her all to himself, or the planning
of a woman's luncheon, or the pushing of a bill to
provide kindergartens in the public schools. But
it was rather a relief when the man opened the
curtains and said, "Mr. "VVainwright," and "Wain-
wright walked quickly towards her, tugging at
" You are very good to see me so late," he said,
speaking as he entered, " but I had to see you to-
night, and I wasn't asked to that dance. I'm go-
ing away," he went on, taking his place by the
fire, with his arm resting on the mantel. He had
a trick of standing there when he had something
of interest to say, and he was tall and well-looking
enough to appear best in that position, and she
was used to it. He was the most frequent of her
" Going away," she repeated, smiling up at him;
"not for long, I hope. Where are you going
ELEANOKE CUYLER 97
" I'm going to London," he said. " They cabled
me this morning. It seems they've taken the play,
and are going to put it on at once." He smiled,
and blushed slightly at her exclamation of pleas-
ure. "Yes, it is rather nice. It seems * Jilted'
was a failure, and they've taken it off, and are
going to put on ' School,' with the old cast, until
they can get my play rehearsed, and they want
me to come over and suggest things."
She stopped him with another little cry of de-
light that was very sweet to him, and full of mo-
" Oh, how glad I am !" she said. " How proud
you must be ! Now, why do you pretend you are
not ? And I suppose Tree and the rest of them
will be in the cast, and all that dreadful American
colony in the stalls, and you will make a speech
and I won't be there to hear it." She rose sud-
denly with a quick, graceful movement, and held
out her hand to him, which he took, laughing and
conscious-looking with pleasure.
She sank back on the divan, and shook her head
doubtfully at him. " When will you stop ?" she
said. " Don't tell me you mean to be an Admira-
ble Crichton. You are too fine for that."
He looked down at the fire, and said, slowly,
" It is not as if I were trying my hand at an en-
tirely different kind of work. No, I don't think
I did wrong in dramatizing it. The papers all
said, when the book first came out, that it would
make a good play ; and then so many men wrote
98 ELEANORE CUTLER
to me for permission to dramatize it that I thought
I might as well try to do it myself. No, I think
it is in line with my other work. I don't think I
am straying after strange gods."
" You should not," she said, softly. " The old
ones have been so kind to you. But you took me
too seriously," she added.
"I ana afraid sometimes," he answered, "that
you do not know how seriously I do take you."
"Yes, I do," she said, quickly. "And when I
am serious, that is all very well ; but to-night I
only want to laugh. I am very happy, it is such
good news. And after the New York managers
refusing it, too. They will have to take it now,
now that it is a London success."
"Well, it isn't a London success yet," he said,
dryly. "The books went well over there because
the kind of Western things I wrote about met
their ideas of this country cowboys and prairies
and Indian maidens and all that. And so I rather
hope the play will suit them for the same reason."
"And you will go out a great deal, I hope," she
said. " Oh, you will have to ! You will find so
many people to like, almost friends already. They
were talking about you even when I was there,
and I used to shine in reflected glory because I
" Yes, I can fancy it," he said. " But I should
like to see something of them if I have time.
Lowes wants me to stay with them, and I suppose
I will. He would feel hurt if I didn't. He has a
ELEANOEE CUYLEE 99
most absurd idea of what I did for him on the
ranche when he had the fever that time, and ever
since he went back to enjoy his ill-gotten gains
and his title and all that, he has kept writing to
me to come out. Yes, I suppose I will stay with
them. They are in town now."
Miss Cuyler's face was still lit with pleasure at
his good fortune, but her smile was less sponta-
neous than it had been. " That will be very nice.
I quite envy you," she said. "I suppose you
know about his sister?"
"The Honorable Evelyn?" he asked. "Yes; he
used to have a photograph of her, and I saw
some others the other day in a shop-window on
"She is a very nice girl," Miss Cuyler said,
thoughtfully. "I wonder how you two will get
along ?" and then she added, as if with sudden
compunction, "but I am sure you will like her
very much. She is very clever, besides."
" I don't know how a professional beauty will
wear if one sees her every day at breakfast," he
said. "One always associates them with func-
tions and varnishing days and lawn-parties. You
will write to me, will you not ?" he added.
"That sounds," she said, "as though you meant
to be gone such a very long time."
He turned one of the ornaments on he mantel
with his fingers, and looked at it curiously. " It
depends," he said, slowly "it depends on so
many things. No," he went on, looking at her ;
100 ELEANORE CUTLER
"it does not depend on many things; just on
Miss Cuyler looked up at him questioningly,
and then down again very quickly, and reached
meaninglessly for the book beside her. She saw
something in his face and in the rigidity of his
position that made her breathe more rapidly.
She had not been afraid of this from him, be-
cause she had always taken the attitude towards
him of a very dear friend and of one who was
older, not in years, but in experience of the world,
for she had lived abroad while he had gone from
the university to the West, which he had made
his own, in books. They were both very young.
She did not want him to say anything. She
could only answer him in one way, and in a way
that would hurt and give pain to them both. She
had hoped he could remain just as he was, a very
dear friend, with a suggestion sometimes in the
background of his becoming something more.
She was, of course, too experienced to believe in
a long platonic friendship.
Uppermost in her mind was the thought that,
no matter what he urged, she must remember
that she wanted to be free, to live her own life,
to fill her own sphere of usefulness, and she must
not let him tempt her to forget this. She had
next to consider him, and that she must be hard
and keep him from speaking at all ; and this was
very difficult, for she cared for him very dearly.
She strengthened her determination by thinking
ELEANORE CUYLER 101
of his going away, and of how glad she would be
when, he had goae that she had committed her-
self to nothing. This absence would be a test for
both of them ; it could not have been better had
it been arranged on purpose. She had ideas of
what she could best do for those around her, and
she must not be controlled and curbed, no matter
how strongly she might think she wished it. She
must not give way to the temptation of the mo-
ment, or to a passing mood. And then there were
other men. She had their photographs on her
dressing-table, and liked each for some qualities
the others did not possess in such a degree ; but
she liked them all because no one of them had
the right to say "must" or even "you might"
to her, and she fancied that the moment she gave
one of them this right she would hate him cord-
ially, and would fly to the others for sympathy ;
and she was not a young woman who thought
that matrimony meant freedom to fly to any one
but her husband for that. But this one of the
men was a little the worst ; he made it harder
for her to be quite herself. She noticed that
when she was with him she talked more about
her feelings than with the other men, with whom
she was satisfied to discuss the play, or what girl
they wanted to take into dinner. She had touches
of remorse after these confidences to Wainwright,
and wrote him brisk, friendly notes the next
morning, in which the words "your friend" were
always sure to appear, either markedly at the be-
102 ELEANORE CUTLER
ginning or at the end, or tucked away in the mid-
dle. She thought by this to unravel the web she
might have woven the day before. But she had
apparently failed. She stood up suddenly from
pure nervousness, and crossed the room as though
she meant to go to the piano, which was a very
unfortunate move, as she seldom played, and
never for him. She sat down before it, never-
theless, rather hopelessly, and crossed her hands
in front of her. He had turned, and followed
her with his eyes ; they were very bright and
eager, and her own faltered as she looked at
"You do not show much interest in the one
thing that will bring me back," he said. He
spoke reproachfully and yet a little haughtily, as
though he had already half suspected she had
guessed what he meant to say.
"Ah, you cannot tell how long you will be
there," she said, lightly. " You will like it much
more than you think. I " she stopped hopelessly,
and glanced, without meaning to do so, at the
clock-face on the mantel beside him.
"Oh," he said, with quick misunderstanding,
" I beg your pardon, I am keeping you. I forgot
how late it was, and you are going out." He
came towards her as though he meant to go. She
stood up and made a quick, impatient gesture
with her hands. He was making it very hard for
" Fancy !" she said. " You know I want to talk
ELEANOEE CUYLER 103
to you ; what does the dance matter ? Why are
you so, unlike yourself ?" she went on, gently.
"And it is our last night, too."
The tone of her words seemed to reassure him,
for he came nearer and rested his eloow beside
her on the piano and said, " Then you are sorry
that I am going ?"
It was very hard to be unyielding to him when
he spoke and looked as he did then ; but she re-
peated to herself, " He will be gone to-morrow,
and then I shall be so thankful that I did not bind
myself that I am still free. He will be gone, and
I shall be so glad. It will only be a minute now
before he goes, and if I am strong I will rejoice
at leisure." So she looked up at him without a
sign of the effort it cost her, frankly and openly,
and said, "Sorry ? Of course I am sorry. One
does not have so many friends that one can spare
them for long, even to have them grow famous.
I think it is very selfish of you to go, for you are
famous enough already."
As he looked at her and heard her words run-
ning on smoothly and meaninglessly, he knew
that it was quite useless to speak, and he grew
suddenly colder, and sick, and furious at once with
a confused anger and bitterness. And then, for he
was quite young, so young that he thought it was
the manly thing to do to carry his grief off lightly
instead of rather being proud of his love, how-
ever she might hold it, he drew himself up and
began pulling carefully at his glove.
104 ELEANORE CUYLER
"Yes," he said, slowly, "I fancy the change
will be very pleasant." He was not thinking of
his words or of how thoughtless they must sound.
He was only anxious to get away without show-
ing how deeply he was hurt. If he had not done
this ; if he had let her see how miserable he was,
and that plays and books and such things were
nothing to him now, and that she was just all
there was in the whole world to him, it might
have ended differently. But he was untried, and
young. So he buttoned the left glove with care-
ful scrutiny and said, "They always start those
boats at such absurd hours ; the tides never seem
to suit one ; you have to go on board without
breakfast, or else stay on board the night before,
and that's so unpleasant. Well, I hope you will
enjoy the dance, and tell them I was very much
hurt that I wasn't asked."
He held out his hand quite steadily. "I will
write you if you will let me," he went on, " and
send you word where I am as soon as I know."
She took his hand and said, " Good-by, and I
hope it will be a grand success : I know it will.
And come back soon; and, yes, do write to me.
I hope you will have a very pleasant voyage."
He had reached the door and stopped uncer-
tainly at the curtains. " Thank you," he said ;
and " Oh," he added, politely, " will you say
good-by to your mother for me, please ?"
She nodded her head and smiled and said,
" Yes ; I will not forget. Good-by."
ELEANORE CUYLEB 105
She did not move until she heard the door close
upon him, and then she turned towards the
window as though she could still follow him
through the closed blinds, and then she walked
over to the divan and picked up her fan and
gloves and remained looking down at them in
her hand. The room seemed very empty. She
glanced at the place where he had stood and at
the darkened windows again, and sank down very
slowly against the cushions of the divan, and
pressed her hands against her cheeks.
She did not hear the rustle of her mother's
dress as she came down the stairs and parted the
"Are you ready, Eleanore?" she said, briskly.
" Tell me, how does this lace look? I think there
is entirely too much of it."
It was a month after this, simultaneously with
the announcements by cable of the instant suc-
cess in London of "A Western Idyl," that Miss
Cuyler retired from the world she knew, and
disappeared into darkest New York by the way
of Rivington Street. She had discovered one
morning that she was not ill nor run down nor
overtaxed, but just mentally tired of all things,
and that what she needed was change of air and
environment, and unselfish work for the good of
others, and less thought of herself. Her mother's
physician suggested to her, after a secret and
hasty interview with Mrs. Cuyler, that change of
106 ELEANOEE CUYLER
air was good, but that the air of Rivington Street
was not of the best ; and her friends, both men
and women, assured her that they appreciated
her much more than the people of the east side
possibly could do, and that they were much more
worthy of her consideration, and in a fair way of
improvement yet if she would only continue to
shine upon and before them. But she was deter-
mined in her purpose, and regarded the College
Settlement as the one opening and refuge for
the energies which had too long been given to
the arrangement of paper chases across country,
and the routine of society, and dilettante interest
in kindergartens. Life had become for her real
and earnest, and she rejected Bruce-Brice of the
British Legation with the sad and hopeless kind-
ness of one who almost contemplates taking the
veil, and to whom the things of this world out-
side of tenements are hollow and unprofitable.
She found a cruel disappointment at first, for the
women of the College Settlement had rules and
ideas of their own, and had seen enthusiasts like
herself come into Rivington Street before, and
depart again. She had thought she would nurse
the sick and visit the prisoners on the Island, and
bring cleanliness and hope into miserable lives,
but she found that this was the work of women
tried in the service, who understood it, and who
made her first serve her apprenticeship by read-
ing the German Bible to old women whose eyes
were dim, but who were as hopelessly clean and
"'ARE YOU READY, ELEANORS?' SHE ASKED, BRISKLY. 1
ELEANOKE CUYLER 107
quite as self-respecting in their way as herself.
The heroism and the self-sacrifice of a Father
Damien or a Florence Nightingale were not for
her ; older and wiser young women saw to that
work with a quiet matter-of-fact cheerfulness
and a common-sense that bewildered her. And
they treated her kindly, but indulgently, as an
outsider. It took her some time to understand
this, and she did not confess to herself without
a struggle that she was disappointed in her own
usefulness ; but she brought herself to confess it
to her friends " uptown," when she visited that
delightful country from which she was self-exiled.
She went there occasionally for an afternoon's
rest or to a luncheon or a particularly attractive
dinner, but she always returned to the Settlement
at night, and this threw an additional interest
about her to her friends an interest of which she
was ashamed, for she knew how little she was
really doing, and that her sacrifice was one of
discomfort merely. The good she did now, it was
humiliating to acknowledge, was in no way pro-
portionate to that which her influence had wrought
among people of her own class.
And what made it very hard was that wher-
ever she went they seemed to talk of him. Now
it would be a girl just from the other side who
had met him on the terrace of the Lower House,
" where he seemed to know every one," and
another had driven with him to Ascot, where he
had held the reins, and had shown them what
108 ELEANORE CUTLER
a man who had guided a mail-coach one whole
winter over the mountains for a living could do
with a coach for pleasure. And many of the men
bad met him at the clubs and at house parties in
the country, and they declared with enthusiastic
envy that he was no end of a success. Her Eng-
lish friends all wrote of him, and wanted to know
all manner of little things concerning him, and
hinted that they understood they were very great
friends. The papers seemed to be always having
him doing something, and there was apparently
no one else in London who could so properly re-
spond to the toasts of America at all the public
dinners. She had had letters from him herself
of course bright, clever ones that suggested what
a wonderfully full and happy life his was, but
with no reference to his return. He was living
with his young friend Lord Lowes, and went ev-
erywhere with him and his people ; and then as
a final touch, which she had already anticipated,
people began to speak of him and the Honorable
Evelyn. What could be more natural? they said.
He had saved her brother's life while out West
half a dozen times at least, from all accounts ;
and he was rich, and well-looking, and well-born,
and rapidly becoming famous.
A young married woman announced it at a girls'
luncheon. She had it from her friend the Mar-
chioness of Pelby, who was Evelyn's first-cousin.
So far, only the family had been told ; but all
London knew it, and it was said that Lord Lowes
ELEANOBE CUTLER 109
was very much pleased. One of the girls at the
table said you never could tell about those things ;
she had no doubt the Marchioness of Pelby was
an authority, but she would wait until she got
their wedding-cards before she believed it. For
some reason this girl did not look at Miss Cuyler,
and Miss Cuyler felt grateful to her, and thought
she was a nice, bright little thing ; and then an-
other girl said it was only turn about. The Eng-
lishmen had taken all the attractive American
girls, and it was only fair that the English girls
should get some of the nice American men. This
girl was an old friend of Eleanore's ; but she was
surprised at her making such a speech, and won-
dered why she had not noticed in her before sim-
ilar exhibitions of bad taste. She walked back
to Rivington Street from the luncheon ; compos-
ing the letter she would write to him, congratu-
lating him on his engagement. She composed
several. Some of them were very short and
cheery, and others rather longer and full of rem-
iniscences. She wondered with sudden fierce bit-
terness how he could so soon forget certain walks
and afternoons they had spent together ; and the
last note, which she composed in bed, was a very
sad and scornful one, and so pathetic as a work
of composition that she cried a little over it, and
went to sleep full of indignation that she had cried.
She told herself the next morning that she had
cried because she was frankly sorry to lose the
companionship of so old and good a friend, and
110 ELEANORE CUYLER
because now that she had been given much more
important work to do, she was naturally saddened
by the life she saw around her, and weakened by
the foul air of the courts and streets, and the
dreary environments of the tenements. As for
him, she was happy in his happiness ; and she
pictured how some day, when he proudly brought
his young bride to this country to show her to his
friends, he would ask after her. And they would
say : " Who ! Eleanore Cuyler ? Why, don't you
know ? While you were on your honeymoon she
was in the slums, where she took typhoid fever
nursing a child, and died !" Or else some day,
when she had grown into a beautiful sweet-faced
old lady, with white hair, his wife would die, and
he would return to her, never having been very
happy with his first wife, but having nobly hidden
from her and from the world his true feelings.
He would find her working among the poor, and
would ask her forgiveness, and she could not quite
determine whether she would forgive him or not.
These pictures comforted her even while they sad-
dened her, and she went about her work, feeling
that it was now her life's work, and that she was
in reality an old, old woman. The rest, she was
sure, was but a weary waiting for the end.
It was about six months after this, in the early
spring, while Miss Cuyler was still in Rivington
Street, that young Van Bibber invited his friend
Travers to dine with him, and go on later to the
ELEANOKE CUYLER 111
People's Theatre, on the Bowery, where Irving
Willis, the Boy Actor, was playing " Nick of the
Woods." Travers despatched a hasty and joyous
note in reply to this to the effect that he would be
on hand. He then went off with a man to try a
horse at a riding academy, and easily and promptly
forgot all about it. He did remember, as he was