and true like herself, and happy. The rest doesn't
count without her, it means nothing to me unless
she takes it and keeps it in trust for me, and shares
it with me." He had both her hands now, and was
pressing them against the flowers in the breast of
the long coat.
" Eleanore," he said, " I tried to tell you once of
the one thing that would bring me back and you
stopped me. Will you stop me now ?"
She tried to look up at him, but she would not
let him see the happiness in her face just then,
and lowered it and gently said, " No, no."
It must have taken him a long time to tell it,
for after he had driven them twice around the
Park the driver of the hansom decided that he
could ask eight dollars at the regular rates, and
might even venture on ten, and the result showed
that as a judge of human nature he was a success.
They were married in May, and Lord Lowes
acted as best man, and his sister sent her warmest
ELEAXOKE CUTLER 129
congratulations and a pair of silver candlesticks
for the dinner-table, which Wainwright thought
were very handsome indeed, but which Miss
Cuyler considered a little showy. Van Bibber
and Travers were ushers, and, indeed, it was Van
Bibber himself who closed the door of the carriage
upon them as they were starting forth after the
wedding. Mrs. Wainwright said something to
her husband, and he laughed and said, "Van,
Mrs. Wainwright says she's much obliged."
"Yes?" said Van Bibber, pleased and eager,
putting his head through the window of the car-
riage. "What for, Mrs. Wainwright the chaf-
ing-dish ? Travers gave half, you know."
And then Mrs. Wainwright said, " No ; not
for the chafing-dish."
And they drove off, laughing.
" Look at 'ern," said Travers, morosely. " They
don't think the wheels are going around, do they ?
They think it is just the earth revolving with them
on top of it, and nobody else. We don't have to
say * please ' to no one, not much ! We can do just
what we jolly well please, and dine when we please
and wherever we please. You say to me, Travers,
let's go to Pastor's to-night, and I say, I won't,
and you say I won't go to the Casino, because I
don't want to, and there you are, and all we have
to do is to agree to go somewhere else."
"I wonder," said Van Bibber, dreamily, as he
watched the carriage disappear down the avenue,
"what brings a man to the proposing point?"
130 ELEANOR E CUTLER
"Some other man," said Travers, promptly.
" Some man he thinks has more to do for the girl
than he likes."
" Who," persisted Van Bibber, innocently, " do
you think was the man in that case ?"
"How should I know?" exclaimed Travers, im-
patiently, waving away such unprofitable dis-
cussion with a sweep of his stick, and coming
down to the serious affairs of life, " What I
want to know is to what theatre we are going
that's what I want to know."
A RECRUIT AT CHRISTMAS
A EECRUIT AT CHEISTMAS
YOUNG Lieutenant Claflin left the Brooklyn
Navy-yard at an early hour, and arrived at
the recruiting-office at ten o'clock. It was the
day before Christmas, and even the Bowery, " the
thieves' highway," had taken on the emblems
and spirit of the season, and the young officer
smiled grimly as he saw a hard-faced proprietor
of a saloon directing the hanging of wreaths and
crosses over the door of his palace and telling 1
the assistant barkeeper to make the red holly
berries " show up " better.
The cheap lodging-houses had trailed the green
over their illuminated transoms, and even on Mott
Street the Chinamen had hung up strings of ever-
green over the doors of the joss-house and the
gambling-house next door. And the tramps and
good-for-nothings, just back from the Island, had
an animated, expectant look, as though something
certainly was going to happen.
Lieutenant Claflin nodded to Corporal Goddard
at the door of the recruiting-office, and startled
that veteran's rigidity, and kept his cotton-gloved
hand at his visor longer than the Regulations
134 A RECRUIT AT CHRISTMAS
required, by saying, " Wish you merry Christ-
mas," as he jumped up the stairs.
The recruiting-office was a dull, blank-looking
place, the view from the windows was riot inspir-
ing, and the sight of the plump and black-eyed
Jewess in front of the pawn-shop across the
street, who was a vision of delight to Corporal
Goddard, had no attractions to the officer upstairs.
He put on his blue jacket, with the black braid
down the front, lighted a cigar, arid wrote letters
on every other than official matters, and forgot
about recruits. He was to have leave of absence
on Christmas, and though the others had de-
nounced him for leaving the mess-table on that
day, they had forgiven him when he explained
that he was going to spend it with his people at
home. The others had homes as far away as San
Francisco and as far inland as Milwaukee, and
some called the big ship of war home ; but Claflin's
people lived up in Connecticut, and he could reach
them in a few hours. He was a very lucky man,
the others said, and he felt very cheerful over it,
and forgot the blank-looking office with its Rules
and Regulations, and colored prints of uniforms,
and models of old war-ships, and tin boxes of offi-
cial documents which were to be filled out and sent
to " the Honorable, the Secretary of the Navy."
Corporal Goddard on the stoop below shifted
from one foot to the other, and chafed his gloved
hands softly together to keep them warm. He
had no time to write letters on unofficial writing-
A EKCRUlT AT CHRISTMAS 135
paper, nor to smoke cigars or read novels with
his feet on a chair, with the choice of looking
out at the queer stream of human life moving by
below the window on the opposite side of the
Bowery. He had to stand straight, which came
easily to him now, and to answer questions and
urge doubtful minds to join the ranks of the gov-
A drunken man gazed at Ogden's colored pict-
ures of the American infantry, cavalry, and ma*
rine uniforms that hung before the door, and
placed an unsteady finger on the cavalry -man's
picture, and said he chose to be one of those*
Corporal Goddard told him severely to be off and
get sober and grow six inches before he thought
of such a thing, and frowned him off the stoop.
Then two boys from the country asked about
the service, and went off very quickly when they
found they would have to remain in it for three
years at least. A great many more stopped in
front of the gay pictures and gazed admiringly
at Corporal Goddard's bright brass buttons and
brilliant complexion, which they innocently at-
tributed to exposure to the sun on long, weary
marches. But no one came to offer himself
in earnest. At one o'clock Lieutenant Claflin
changed his coat and went down-town to lun-
cheon, and came back still more content and in
feeling with the season, and lighted another cigar.
But just as he had settled himself comfortably
he heard Corporal Goddard's step on the stairs
136 A BECBUIT AT CHRISTMAS
and a less determined step behind him. He took
his feet down from the rung of the other chair,
pulled his undress jacket into place, and took up
Corporal Goddard saluted at the door and in-
troduced with a wave of his hand the latest ap-
plicant for Uncle Sam's service. The applicant
was as young as Lieutenant Claflin, and as good-
looking ; but he was dirty and unshaven, and his
eyes were set back in the sockets, and his fingers
twitched at his side. Lieutenant Claflin had
seen many applicants in this stage. He called it
the remorseful stage, and was used to it.
" Name ?" said Lieutenant Claflin, as he pulled
a printed sheet of paper towards him.
The applicant hesitated, then he said,
" Walker John Walker."
The Lieutenant noticed the hesitation, but he
merely remarked to himself, "It's none of my
business," and added, aloud, "Nationality?" and
wrote United States before the applicant an-
The applicant said he was unmarried, was
twenty three years old, and had been born in
New York City. Even Corporal Goddard knew
this last was not so, but it was none of his
business, either. He moved the applicant up
against the wall under the measuring-rod, and
brought it down on his head.
So he measured and weighed the applicant, and
tested his eyesight with printed letters and bits of
A RECRUIT AT CHRISTMAS 137
colored yarn, and the lieutenant kept tally on the
sheet, and bit the end of his pen and watched the
applicant's face. There were a great many appli-
cants, and few were chosen, but none of them had
quite the air about him which this one had. Lieu-
tenant Claflin thought Corporal Goddard was just
a bit too callous in the way he handled the appli-
cant, and too peremptory in his questions; but he
could not tell why Corporal Goddard treated them
all in that way. Then the young officer noticed
that the applicant's white face was flushing, and
that he bit his lips when Corporal Goddard pushed
him towards the weighing-machine as he would
have moved a barrel of flour.
" You'll answer," said Lieutenant Claflin, glanc-
ing at the sheet. " Your average is very good.
All you've got to do now is to sign this, and then
it will be over." But he did not let go of the
sheet in his hand, as he would have done had he
wanted it over. Neither did the applicant move
forward to sign.
" After you have signed this," said the young
officer, keeping his eyes down on the paper before
him, " you will have become a servant of the
United States; you w r ill sit in that other room
until the office is' closed for to-day, and then you
will be led over to the Navy-yard and put into a
uniform, and from that time on for three years
you will have a number, the same number as the
one on your musket. You and the musket will
both belong to the government. You will clean
138 A RECRUIT AT CHRISTMAS
and load the musket, and fight with it if God ever
gives us the chance ; and the government will feed
you and keep you clean, and fight with you if
The lieutenant looked up at the corporal and
said, "You can go, Goddard," and the corporal
turned on his heel and walked downstairs, wonder-
" You may spend the three years," continued
the officer, still without looking at the applicant,
" which are the best years of a young man's life,
on the sea, visiting foreign ports, or you may
spend it marching up and down the Brooklyn
Navy-yard and cleaning brass-work. There are
some men who are meant to clean brass-work and
to march up and down in front of a stone arsenal,
and who are fitted for nothing else. But to every
man is given something which should tell him that
he is put here to make the best of himself. Every
man has that, even the men who are only fit to
clean brass rods ; but some men kill it, or try to
kill it, in different ways, generally by rum. And
they are as generally successful, if they keep the
process up long enough. The government, of
which I am a very humble representative, is al-
ways glad to get good men to serve her, but it
seems to me (and I may be wrong, and I'm quite
sure that I am speaking contrary to Regulations)
that some of her men can serve her better in
other ways than swabbing down decks. ISTow, you
know yourself best. It may be that you are just
A RECRUIT AT CHRISTMAS 139
the sort of man to stand up and salute the ladies
when they come on board to see the ship, and to
watch them from for'ard as they walk about with
the officers. You won't be allowed to speak to
them ; you will be number 329 or 328, and what-
ever benefits a good woman can give a man will
be shut off from you, more or less, for three
"And, on the other hand, it may be that there
are some good women who could keep you on
shore, and help you to do something more with
yourself than to carry a musket. And, again, it
may be that if you stayed on shore you would
drink yourself more or less comfortably to death,
and break somebody's heart. I can't tell. But if
I were not a commissioned officer of the United
States, and a thing of Rules and Regulations who
can dance and wear a uniform, and a youth gen-
erally unfit to pose as an example, I would advise
you not to sign this, but to go home and brace up
and leave whiskey alone.
" Now, what shall we do ?" said the young
lieutenant, smiling ; " shall we tear this up, or
will you sign it ?"
The applicant's lips were twitching as well as
his hands now, and he rubbed his cuff over his
face and smiled back.
" I'm much obliged to you," he said, nervously.
" That sounds a rather flat thing to say, I know,
but if you knew all I meant by it, though, it
would mean enough. I've made a damned fool of
140 A BECBU1T AT CHRISTMAS
myself in this city, but nothing worse. And it
was a choice of the navy, where they'd keep me
straight, or going to the devil my own way. But
it won't be my own way now, thanks to you. I
don't know how you saw how it was so quickly ;
but, you see, I have got a home back in Connecti-
cut, and women that can help me there, and I'll go
back to them and ask them to let me start in again
where I was when I went away."
"That's good," said the young officer, cheer-
fully ; " that's the way to talk. Tell me where
you live in Connecticut, and I'll lend you the car-
fare to get there. I'll expect it back with interest,
you know," he said, laughing.
" Thank you," said the rejected applicant.
" It's not so far but that I can walk, and I don't
think you'd believe in me if I took money."
" Ob, yes, I would," said the lieutenant. " How
much do you want ?"
" Thank you, but I'd rather walk," said the
other. " I can get there easily enough by to-mor-
row. I'll be a nice Christmas present, won't I ?"
he added, grimly.
" You'll do," said the young officer. " I fancy
you'll be about as welcome a one as they'll get."
He held out his hand and the other shook it, and
walked out with his shoulders as stiff as those of
Then he came back and looked into the room
shyly. " I say," he said, hesitatingly. The lieu-
tenant ran his hand down into his pocket.
A RECRUIT AT CHRISTMAS 141
" You've changed your mind ?" he asked, eagerly.
" That's good. How much will you want ?"
The rejected applicant flushed. " No, not that,"
he said. "I just came back to say wish you a
A PATRON OF ART
A PATKON OF AET
YOUNG Carstairs and his wife had a studio
at Fifty-seventh Street and Sixth Avenue,
where Carstairs painted pictures and Mrs. Car-
stairs mended stockings and wrote letters home
to her people in Vermont. Young Carstairs had
had a picture in the Salon, and was getting one
ready for the Academy, which he hoped to have
accepted if he lived long enough to finish it. They
were very poor. Not so poor that there was any
thought of Carstairs starving to death, but there
was at least a possibility that he would not be
able to finish his picture in the studio, for which
he could not pay the rent. He was very young
and had no business to marry; but she was willing,
and her people had an idea it would come out all
right. They had only three hundred dollars left,
and it was mid-winter.
Carstairs went out to sketch Broadway at One
Hundred and Fifty-ninth Street, where it is more
of a country road than anything else, and his
hands almost froze while he was getting down
the black lines of the bare trees, and the deep,
irregular ruts in the road, where the mud showed
146 A PATRON OF AKT
through the snow. He intended to put a yellow
sky behind this, and a house with smoke coming
out of the chimney, and with red light shining
through the window, and call it Winter.
A horse and buggy stopped just back of him,
and he was conscious from the shadows on the
snow that the driver was looking down from his
Carstairs paid no attention to his spectator.
He was used to working with Park policemen and
nursery-maids looking over his shoulder and mak-
ing audible criticisms or giggling hysterically. So
he sketched on and became unconscious of the shad-
ow falling on the snow in front of him; and when
he looked up about a quarter of an hour later and
noticed that the shadow was still there, he smiled
at the tribute such mute attention paid his work.
When the sketch was finished he leaned back and
closed one eye, and moved his head from side to
side and surveyed it critically. Then he heard a
voice over his shoulder say, in sympathetic tones,
"Purty good, isn't it?" He turned and smiled
at his critic, and found him to be a fat, red-faced
old gentleman, wrapped in a great fur coat with
fur driving-gloves and fur cap.
" You didn't mind my watching you, did you ?"
asked the old gentleman.
Carstairs said no, he did not mind. The other
said that it must be rather cold drawing in such
weather, and Carstairs said yes, it was ; but that
you couldn't get winter and snow in June.
A PATRON OF ART 147
"Exactly," said the driver; "you've got to take
it as it comes. How are you going back ?"
Carstairs said he would walk to One Hundred
and Fifty-fifth Street and take the elevated.
" You'd better get in here," said the older man.
" Do you know anything about trotting ?" Car-
stairs got in, and showed that he did know some-
thing about trotting by his comments on the mare
in front of him. This seemed to please the old
gentleman, and he beamed on Carstairs approv-
ingly. He asked him a great many questions
about his work, and told him that he owned sev-
eral good pictures himself, but admitted that it
was at his wife's and daughter's suggestion that
he had purchased them. " They made me get 'em
when we were in Paris," he said, " and they cost
a lot of money, and a heap more before I got 'em
through the Custom-house." He mentioned the
names of the artists who had painted them, and
asked Carstairs if he had ever heard of them, and
Carstairs said yes, that he knew of them all, and
had studied under some of them.
" They're purty high up, I guess," suggested the
" Oh, yes," Carstairs answered, lending himself
to the other's point of view, "you needn't be
afraid of ever losing on your investment. Those
pictures will be worth more every year."
This seemed to strike the older man as a very
sensible way to take his gallery, and he said, when
they had reached the studio, that he would like
148 A PATRON OF ART
to see more of Mr. Carstairs and to look at his
pictures. His name, he said, was Cole. Carstairs
smilingly asked him if he was any relation to the
railroad king, of whom the papers spoke as King
Cole, and was somewhat embarrassed when the old
gentleman replied, gravely, that he was that King
Cole himself. Carstairs had a humorous desire to
imprison him in his studio and keep him for ran-
som. Some one held the horse, and the two men
went up to the sixth floor and into Carstairs's
studio, where they discovered pretty Mrs. Car-
stairs in the act of sewing a new collar-hand on
one of her husband's old shirts. She went on at this
while the railroad king, who seemed a very simple,
kindly old gentleman, wandered around the studio
and turned over the pictures, but made no com-
ment. It had been a very cold drive, and Carstairs
felt chilled, so he took the hot water his wife had
for her tea and some Scotch whiskey and a bit of
lemon, and filled a glass with it for his guest and
for himself. Mrs. Carstairs rose and put some
sugar in King Cole's glass and stirred it for him,
and tasted it out of the spoon and coughed, which
made the old gentleman laugh. Then he lighted
a cigar, and sat back in a big arm-chair and asked
many questions, until, before they knew it, the
young people h<ad told him a great deal about
themselves almost everything except that they
were poor. He could never guess that, they
thought, because the studio was so handsomely
furnished and in such a proper neighborhood. It
A PATRON OF ART 149
was late in the afternoon, and quite dark, when
their guest departed, without having made any
comment on the paintings he had seen, and cer-
tainly without expressing any desire to purchase
Mrs. Carstairs said, when her husband told her
who their guest had been, that they ought to have
held a pistol to his head and made him make out
a few checks for them while they had him about.
" Billionaires don't drop in like that every day,"
said she. " I really don't think we appreciated our
They were very much surprised a few days later
when the railroad king rang at the door, and
begged to be allowed to come in and get warm,
and to have another glass of hot Scotch. He did
this very often, and they got to like him very
much. He said he did not care for his club, and
his room at home was too strongly suggestive of
the shop, on account of the big things he had
thought over there, but that their studio was so
bright and warm; and they reminded him, he said,
of the days when he was first married, before he
was rich. They tried to imagine what he was like
when he was first married, and failed utterly. Mrs.
Carstairs was quite sure he was not at all like her
There was a youth who came to call on the
Misses Cole, who had a great deal of money, and
who was a dilettante in art. He had had a studio
150 A. PATRON OF ART
in Paris, where he had spent the last two years,
and he wanted one, so he said at dinner one day,
in New York.
Old Mr. Cole was seated but one place away
from him, and was wondering when the courses
would stop and he could get upstairs. He did
not care for the dinners his wife gave, but she
always made him come to them. He never could
remember whether the roast came before or after
the bird, and he was trying to guess how much
longer it would be before he would be allowed
to go, when he overheard the young man at his
daughter's side speaking.
"The only studio in the building that I would
care to have," said the young man, " is occupied
at present. A young fellow named Carstairs has
it, but he is going to give it up next week, when I
will move in. He has not been successful in get-
ting rid of his pictures, and he and his wife are
going back to Vermont to live. I feel rather sorry
for the chap, for he is really very clever and only
needs a start. It is almost impossible for a young
artist to get on here, I imagine, unless he knows
people, or unless some one who is known buys his
" Yes," said Miss Cole, politely. " Didn't you
say you met the Whelen girls before you left
Paris ? Were they really such a success at Hom-
Mr. Cole did not eat any more dinner, but sat
thoughtfully until he was allowed to go. Then
A PATRON OF ART 151
he went out into the hall, and put on his overcoat
The Carstairses were dismantling the studio.
They had been at it all day, and they were very
tired. It seemed so much harder work to take
the things down and pack them away than it did
to unpack them and put them up in appropriate
corners and where they would show to the best
The studio looked very bare indeed, for the
rugs and altar cloths and old curtains had been
stripped from the walls, and the pictures and arms
and plaques lay scattered all over the floor. It
was only a week before Christmas, and it seemed a
most inappropriate time to evict one's self. " And
it's hardest," said Carstairs, as he rolled up a great
Daghestan rug and sat on it, "to go back and
own up that you're a failure."
"A what !" cried young Mrs. Carstairs, indig-
nantly. " Aren't you ashamed of yourself ? You're
not a failure. It's the New-Yorkers who don't
know what's good when it's shown them. They'll
buy all those nasty French pictures because they're
expensive and showy, and they can't understand
what's true and good. They're not educated up
to it, and they won't be for fifty years yet."
" Fifty years is a long time to wait," said her
husband, resignedly, "but if necessary we can
give them that much time. And we were to have
gone abroad, and taken dinner at Bignon's, and
had a studio in Montmartre."
152 A PATRON OF ART.
" Well, you needn't talk about that just now,"
said Mrs. Carstairs, as she shook out an old shawl.
" It's not cheerful."
There came a knock at the door, and the rail-
road king walked in, covered with snow. " Good-
ness me !" exclaimed King Cole, " what are you
They told him they were going back to Ver-
mont to spend Christmas and the rest of the
"You might have let me know you were go-
ing," said the king. " I had something most im-
portant to say to you, and you almost gave me
He seated himself very comfortably and light-