dreamy radiance on his features as though
emanating from sacred inward meditation.
They sat down on the veranda ; Wayne
fumbled for his cigar-case, but his unnerved
fingers fell away ; he dared not smoke.
" About about that business matter/' he
ventured feebly ; but the poet raised his plump
" You are my guest," he said graciously.
" While you are my guest nothing shall in-
trude to cloud our happiness."
Perplexed, almost muddled, Wayne strove
in vain to find a reason for the elimination
of the matter that had interrupted his cruise
and brought him to Rose-Cross, the maddest
yachtsman on the Atlantic. Why should Guil-
ford forbid the topic as though its discussion
were painful to Wayne ?
" He always gets the wrong end foremost,
as Briggs said," thought the young man. " I
wonder where the deuce Briggs can be? I'm
no match for this bunch."
His thoughts halted ; he became aware that
the poet was speaking in a rich, resonant voice,
and he listened in an attitude of painful po-
" It's the little things that are most pre-
cious," the poet was saying, and pinched the
air with forefinger and thumb and pursed up
his lips as though to whistle some saccharine
" The little things," he continued, delicately
perforating the atmosphere as though selecting
" Big things go, too/' ventured Wayne.
" No," said the poet ; " no or rather they
do go, in a certain sense, for every little thing
is precious, and therefore little things are big !
big with portent, big in value. Do you fol-
low me, Mr. Wayne?"
Wayne's fascinated eyes were fixed on the
poet. The latter picked out another atom from
the atmosphere and held it up for Mr. Wayne's
inspection ; and while that young man's eyes
protruded the poet rambled on and on until
the melody of his voice became a ceaseless
sound, a vague, sustained monotone, which
seemed to bore into Wayne's brain until his
legs twitched with a furious desire for flight.
When he obtained command of himself the
poet was saying, " It is my hour for with-
drawal. It were insincere and artificial to ask
your indulgence "
He rose to his rotund height.
" You are due to sit in your cage," stam-
mered Wayne, comprehending.
" My den," corrected the poet, saturating
the air with the sweetness of his smile.
Wayne arose. " About that business " he
began desperately; but the poet's soft, heavy
hand hovered in mid-air, and Wayne sat down
so suddenly that when his eyes recovered their
focus the poet had disappeared.
A benumbed resentment struggled within
him for adequate expression; he hitched his
chair about to command a view of the mead-
ow, then sat motionless, hypnotized by the
view. Eight girls, clad in pink blouses and
trousers, golden hair twisted up, decorated
the landscape. Some were kneeling, filling
baskets of woven, scented grasses with wild
strawberries ; some were wading the branches
of the meadow brook, searching for trout with
grass-woven nets ; some picked early peas ;
two were playing a lightning set at tennis.
And in the center of everything that was go-
ing on was Briggs, perfectly at ease, making
himself agreeably at home.
The spectacle of Briggs among the Hama-
dryads appeared to paralyze Wayne.
Then an immense, intense resentment set
lole 2 7
every nerve in him tingling. Briggs, his
friend, his confidential business adviser, his in-
dispensable alter ego, had abandoned him to
be tormented by this fat, saccharine poet
abandoned him while he, Briggs, made him-
self popular with eight of the most amazingly
bewitching maidens mortal man might marvel
on ! The meanness stung Wayne till he
jumped to his feet and strode out into the sun-
shine, menacing eyes fastened on Briggs.
" Now wouldn't that sting you ! " he
breathed fiercely, turning up his trousers and
stepping gingerly across the brook.
Whether or not Briggs saw him coming
and kept sidling away he could not determine ;
he did not wish to shout; he kept passing
pretty girls and taking off his hat, and fol-
lowing Briggs about, but he never seemed to
come any nearer to Briggs ; Briggs always ap-
peared in the middle distance, flitting genially
from girl to girl ; and presently the absurdity
of his performance struck Wayne, and he sat
down on the bank of the brook, too mad to
think. There was a pretty girl picking straw-
berries near-by ; he rose, took off his hat to
her, and sat down again. She was one of
those graceful, clean-limbed, creamy-skinned
creatures described by Briggs; her hair was
twisted up into a heavy, glistening knot, show-
ing the back of a white neck ; her eyes matched
the sky and her lips the berries she occasionally
bit into or dropped to the bottom of her woven
Once or twice she looked up fearlessly at
Wayne as her search for berries brought her
nearer; and Wayne forgot the perfidy of
Briggs in an effort to look politely amiable.
Presently she straightened up where she was
kneeling in the long grass and stretched her
arms. Then, still kneeling, she gazed curi-
ously at Wayne with all the charm of a
friendly wild thing unafraid.
" Shall we play tennis ? " she asked.
" Certainly," said Wayne, startled.
" Come, then/' she said, picking up her bas-
ket in one hand and extending the other to
He took the fresh, cool fingers, and turned
scarlet. Once his glance sneaked toward
Briggs, but that young man was absorbed in
fishing for brook trout with a net ! Oh, ye
little fishes! with a net!
Wayne's brain seemed to be swarming with
glittering pink-winged thoughts all singing.
He walked on air, holding tightly to the hand
of his goddess, seeing nothing but a blur of
green and sunshine. Then a clean-cut idea
stabbed him like a stiletto : was this Vanessa
or lole? And, to his own astonishment, he
asked her quite naturally.
"lole," she said, laughing. "Why?"
" Thank goodness," he said irrationally.
" But why ? " she persisted curiously.
" Briggs Briggs " he stammered, and got
no further. Perplexed, his goddess walked
on, thoughtful, pure-lidded eyes searching
some reasonable interpretation for the phrase,
" Briggs Briggs." But as Wayne gave her
no aid, she presently dismissed the problem,
and bade him select a tennis bat.
" I do hope you play well," she said. Her
hope was comparatively vain; she batted
Wayne around the court, drove him wildly
from corner to corner, stampeded him with
volleys, lured him with lobs, and finally left
him reeling dizzily about, while she came
around from behind the net, saying, " It's all
because you have no tennis shoes. Come ; we'll
rest under the trees and console ourselves with
Under a group of huge silver beeches a
stone chess-table was set embedded in the
moss ; and lole indolently stretched herself out
on one side, chin on hands, while Wayne
sorted weather-beaten basalt and marble chess-
men which lay in a pile under the tree.
She chatted on without the faintest trace
of self-consciousness the while he arranged
the pieces ; then she began to move. He
took a long time between each move; but
no sooner did he move than, still talking,
she extended her hand and shoved her piece
into place without a fraction of a second's
When she had mated him twice, and he was
still gazing blankly at the mess into which
she had driven his forces, she sat up sideways,
gathering her slim ankles into one hand, and
cast about her for something to do, eyes wan-
dering over the sunny meadow.
" We had horses," she mused ; " we rode
like demons, bareback, until trouble came."
" Oh, not trouble poverty. So our horses
had to go. What shall we do you and I ? "
There was something so subtly sweet, so ex-
quisitely innocent in the coupling of the pro-
nouns that a thrill passed completely through
lole 3 1
Wayne, and probably came out on the other
" I know what I'm going to do," he said,
drawing a note-book and a pencil from his
pocket and beginning to write, holding it so
she could see.
" Do you want me to look over your shoul-
der ? " she asked.
She did; and it affected his penmanship so
that the writing grew wabbly. Still she could
To SAILING MASTER, YACHT THENDARA, BAR
Put boat out of commission. I may be away
all summer. WAYNE.
" How far is it to the station ? " asked
Wayne, turning to look into her eyes.
"Only five miles," she said. "Til walk
with you if you like. Shall I ? "
EALTH," observed the poet,
waving his heavy white hand,
" is a figure of speech, Mr.
Wayne. Only by the process
of elimination can one arrive at the exqui-
site simplicity of poverty care-free poverty.
Even a single penny is a burden the flaw in
the marble, the fly in the amber of perfection.
Cast it away and enter Eden!" And join-
ing thumb and forefinger, he plucked a figura-
tive copper from the atmosphere, tossed it
away, and wiped his fingers on his handker-
" But " began Wayne uneasily.
" Try it," smiled the poet, diffusing sweet-
ness ; " try it. Dismiss all thoughts of money
from your mind."
" I do," said Wayne, somewhat relieved.
" I thought you meant for me to chuck my
securities overboard and eat herbs."
" Not in your case no, not in your case.
/ can do that; I have done it. No, your
sacred mission is simply to forget that you
are wealthy. That is a very precious thought,
Mr. Wayne remain a Croesus and forget it !
Not to eliminate your wealth, but eliminate all
thought of it. Very, very precious."
" Well, I never think about things like that
except at a directors' meeting," blurted out
the young fellow. " Perhaps it's because I've
never had to think about it."
The poet sighed so sweetly that the atmos-
phere seemed to drip with the saccharine in-
" I wish," ventured Wayne, " that you
would let me mention the subject of busi-
ness " the poet shook his head indulgently
" just to say that I'm not going to fore-
close." He laid a packet of legal papers in
the poet's hand.
"Hush," smiled Guilford, "this is not
seemly in the house beautiful. . . . What
was it you said, Mr. Wayne ? "
"I? I was going to say that I just wanted
wanted to stay here be your guest, if you'll
let me," he caid honestly. " I was cruising
I didn't understand Briggs Briggs " He
" Yes, Briggs," softly suggested the poet,
spraying the night air with more sweetness.
" Briggs has spoken to you about about
your daughter Vanessa. You see, Briggs is
my closest friend ; his happiness is er im-
portant to me. I want to see Briggs happy;
that's why I want to stay here, just to see
Briggs happy. I I love Briggs. You under-
stand me, don't you, Mr. Guilf ord ? "
The poet breathed a dulcet breath. " Per-
fectly," he murmured. " The contemplation
of Mr. Briggs' happiness eliminates all
thoughts of self within you. By this process
of elimination you arrive at happiness your-
self. Ah, the thought is a very precious one,
my young friend, for by elimination only can
we arrive at perfection. Thank you for the
thought; thank you. You have given me a
very, very precious thought to cherish."
" I I have been here a week," muttered
Wayne. " I thought perhaps my welcome
might be outworn "
" In the house beautiful/' murmured the
poet, rising and waving his heavy white hand
at the open door, " welcome is eternal." He
folded his arms with difficulty, for he was
stout, and one hand clutched the legal papers ;
his head sank. In profound meditation he
wandered away into the shadowy house, leav-
ing Wayne sitting on the veranda rail, eyes
fixed on a white shape dimly seen moving
through the moonlit meadows below. Briggs
sauntered into sight presently, his arms full
" Get me a jug of water, will you ? Vanessa
has been picking these and she sent me back
to fix 'em. Hurry, man ! She is waiting for
me in the garden." Wayne gazed earnestly
at his friend.
" So you have done it, have you, Stuyve ? "
" Done what ? " demanded Briggs, blushing.
" If you mean," he said with dignity, " that
I've asked the sweetest girl on earth to marry
me, I have. And I'm the happiest man on the
footstool, too. Good Heaven, George," he
broke out, " if you knew the meaning of love !
if you could for one second catch a glimpse
of the beauty of her soul ! Why, man of sor-
did clay that I was creature of club and
claret and turtle like you "
" Drop it ! " said Wayne somberly.
" I can't help it, George. We were beasts
and you are yet. But my base clay is trans-
muted, spiritualized ; my soul is awake, travel-
ing, toiling toward the upward heights where
hers sits enthroned. When I think of what I
was, and what you still are "
Wayne rose exasperated :
" Do you think your soul is doing the only
upward hustling ? " he said hotly.
Briggs, clasping his flowers to his breast,
gazed out over them at Wayne.
" You don't mean "
"Yes, I do," said Wayne. "I may be
crazy, but I know something," with which
paradox he turned on his heel and walked
into the moonlit meadow toward that dim,
white form moving through the dusk.
" I wondered," she said, " whether you were
coming," as he stepped through the long, fra-
grant grass to her side.
"You might have wondered if I had not
come," he answered.
" Yes, that is true. This moonlight is too
wonderful to miss/' she added without a trace
" It was for you I came."
" Couldn't you find my sisters ? " she asked
He did not reply. Presently she stumbled
over a hummock, recovered her poise without
comment, and slipped her hand into his with
" Do you know what I have been studying
to-day ? " she asked.
" That curious phycomycetous fungus that
produces resting-spores by the conjugation of
two similar club-shaped hyphse, and in which
conidia also occur. It's fascinating."
After a silence he said :
" What would you think of me if I told you
that I do not comprehend a single word of
what you have just told me ? "
" Don't you ? " she asked, astonished.
" No," he replied, dropping her hand.
She wondered, vaguely distressed; and he
went on presently : " As a plain matter of fact,
I don't know much. It's an astonishing dis-
covery for me, but it's a fact that I am not
your mental, physical, or spiritual equal. In
sheer, brute strength perhaps I am, and I am
none too certain of that, either. But, and I
say it to my shame, I can not follow you ; I
am inferior in education, in culture, in fine
instinct, in mental development. You chatter
in a dozen languages to your sisters : my
French appals a Paris cabman ; you play any
instrument I ever heard of : the guitar is my
limit, the fandango my repertoire. As for
alert intelligence, artistic comprehension, abil-
ity to appreciate, I can not make the running
with you ; I am outclassed hopelessly. Now,
if this is all true and I have spoken the
wretched truth what can a man like me have
to say for himself ? "
Her head was bent, her fair face was
in shadow. She strayed on a little way,
then, finding herself alone, turned and looked
back at him where he stood. For a mo-
ment they remained motionless, looking at
one another, then, as on some sweet impulse,
she came back hastily and looked into his
" I do not feel as you do/' she said ; " you
are very good company. I am not all you
say; I know very little. Listen. It it dis-
tresses me to have you think I hold you
lightly. Truly we are not apart."
" There is but one thing that can join us."
"What is that?"
Her pure gaze did not falter nor her eyes
droop. Curiously regarding him, she seemed
immersed in the solution of the problem as
he had solved it.
" Do you love me ? " she asked.
" With all my soul such as it is, with all
my heart, with every thought, every instinct,
every breath I draw."
She considered him with fearless eyes ; the
beauty of them was all he could endure.
" You love me ? " she repeated.
He bent his head, incapable of speech.
" You wish me to love you ? "
He looked at her, utterly unable to move
" How do you wish me to love you ? "
He opened his arms; she stepped forward,
close to him.
Then their lips met.
" Oh," she said faintly, " I did not know
it it was so sweet."
And as her head fell back on his arm about
her neck she looked up at him full of wonder
at this new knowledge he had taught her,
marvelous, unsuspected, divine in its simplic-
ity. Then the first delicate blush that ever
mounted her face spread, tinting throat and
forehead ; she drew his face down to her own.
The poet paced the dim veranda, arms
folded, head bent. But his glance was side-
ways and full of intelligence as it included
two vague figures coming slowly back
through the moon-drenched meadow.
" By elimination we arrive at perfection,"
he mused ; " and perfection is success. There
remain six more," he added irrelevantly, " but
they're young yet. Patience, subtle patience
and attention to the little things." He
pinched a morsel of air out of the darkness,
examined it and released it.
"The little things," he repeated; "that is
a very precious thought. ... I believe the
sea air may agree with me now and then."
And he wandered off into his " den " and
unlocked a drawer in his desk, and took out
a bundle of legal papers, and tore them slowly,
carefully, into very small pieces.
HE double wedding at the Church
of Sainte Cicindella was pretty
and sufficiently fashionable to in-
convenience traffic on Fifth Ave-
nue. Partly from loyalty, partly from curios-
ity, the clans of Wayne and Briggs, with their
offshoots and social adherents, attended; and
they saw Briggs and Wayne on their best be-
havior, attended by Sudbury Grey and Win-
sted Forest; and they saw two bridal visions
of loveliness, attended by six additional sister
visions as bridesmaids ; and they saw the poet,
agitated with the holy emotions of a father,
now almost unmanned, now rallying, spraying
the hushed air with sweetness. They saw
clergymen and a bishop, and the splendor of
stained glass through which ushers tiptoed.
And they heard the subdued rustling of skirts
and the silken stir, and the great organ
breathing over Eden, and a single artistically-
modulated sob from the poet. A good many
other things they heard and saw, especially
those of the two clans who were bidden to
the breakfast at Wayne's big and splendid
house on the southwest corner of Seventy-
ninth Street and Madison Avenue.
For here they were piped to breakfast by
the boatswain of Wayne's big seagoing yacht,
the Thendara on which brides and grooms
were presently to embark for Cairo via the
Azores and speeches were said and tears shed
into goblets glimmering with vintages worth
And in due time two broughams, drawn by
dancing horses, with the azure ribbons aflutter
from the head-stalls, bore away two very beau-
tiful and excited brides and two determined,
but entirely rattled, grooms. And after that
several relays of parents fraternized with the
poet and six daughters, and the clans of
Briggs and of Wayne said a number of agree-
able things to anybody who cared to listen ;
and as everybody did listen, there was a great
deal of talk more talk in a minute than the
sisters of lole had heard in all their several
limited and innocently natural existences. So
it confused them, not with its quality, but its
profusion ; and the champagne made their
cheeks feel as though the soft peachy skin
fitted too tight, and a number of persistent
musical instruments were being tuned in their
little ears ; and, not yet thoroughly habituated
to any garments except pink sunbonnets and
pajamas, their straight fronts felt too tight,
and the tops of their stockings pulled, and
they balanced badly on their high heels, and
Aphrodite and Cybele, being too snugly laced,
retired to rid themselves of their first corsets.
The remaining four, Lissa, now eighteen;
Dione, fifteen; Philodice, fourteen, and Chlo-
rippe, thirteen, found the missing Pleiads in
the great library, joyously donning their rose-
silk lounging pajamas, while two parlor maids
brought ices from the wrecked feast below.
So they, too, flung from them crinkling
silk and diaphanous lace, high-heel shoon and
the delicate body-harness never fashioned for
free-limbed dryads of the Rose-Cross wilds;
and they kept the electric signals going for
ices and fruits and pitchers brimming with
clear cold water ; and they sat there in a circle
like a thicket of fluttering pale-pink roses, un-
til below the last guest had sped out into the
unknown wastes of Gotham, and the poet's
heavy step was on the stair.
The poet was agitated and like a humble
bicolored quadruped of the Rose-Cross wilds,
which, when agitated, sprays the air so the
poet, laboring obesely under his emotion,
smiled with a sweetness so intolerable that
the air seemed to be squirted full of saccharin-
ity to the point of plethoric saturation.
" My lambs," he murmured, fat hands
clasped and dropped before him as straight
as his rounded abdomen would permit ; " my
babes ! "
" Do you think," suggested Aphrodite, busy
with her ice, " that we are going to enjoy this
winter in Mr. Wayne's house?"
" Enjoyment," breathed the poet in an over-
whelming gush of sweetness, " is not in
houses; it is in one's soul. What is wealth?
Everything! Therefore it is of no value.
What is poverty? Nothing! And, as it is
the little things that are the most precious,
so nothing, which is less than the very least,
is precious beyond price. Thank you for lis-
tening; thank you for understanding. Bless
And he wandered away, almost asphyxiated
with his emotions.
u I mean to have a gay winter if I can
ever get used to being laced in and pulled over
by those dreadful garters/' observed Aphro-
dite, stretching her smooth young limbs in
" I suppose there would be trouble if we
wore our country clothes on Broadway,
wouldn't there?" asked Lissa wistfully.
Chlorippe, aged thirteen, kicked off her san-
dals and stretched her pretty snowy feet:
" They were never in the world made to fit
into high-heeled shoes," she declared pen-
sively, widening her little rosy toes.
" But we might as well get used to all these
things," sighed Philodice, rolling over among
the cushions, a bunch of hothouse grapes sus-
pended above her pink mouth. She ate one,
looked at Dione, and yawned.
" I'm going to practise wearing 'em an hour
a day," said Aphrodite, "because I mean to
go to the theater. It's worth the effort. Be-
sides, if we just sit here in the house all day
asking each other Greek riddles, we will never
see anybody until lole and Vanessa come back
from their honeymoon and give teas and din-
ners for all sorts of interesting young men."
" Oh, the attractive young men I have seen
in these few days in New York ! " exclaimed
Lissa. " Would you believe it, the first day
I walked out with George Wayne and lole, I
was perfectly bewildered and enchanted to see
so many delightful-looking men. And by and
by lole missed me, and George came back and
found me standing entranced on the corner of
Fifth Avenue ; and I said, " Please don't dis-
turb me, George, because I am only standing
here to enjoy the sight of so many agreeable-
looking men. But he acted so queerly about
it." She ended with a little sigh. "How-
ever, I love George, of course, even if he does
bore me. I wonder where they are now the
bridal pairs ? "
" I wonder," mused Philodice, " whether
they have any children by this time ? "
"Not yet," explained Aphrodite. "But
they'll probably have some when they return.
I understand it takes a good many weeks to
" To find new children," nodded Chlorippe
confidently. " I suppose they've hidden the
cunning little things somewhere on the yacht,
and it's like hunt the thimble and lots and lots
of fun." And she distributed six oranges.
Lissa was not so certain of that, but, dis-
cussing the idea with Cybele, and arriving at
no conclusion, devoted herself to the large
juicy orange with more satisfaction, conscious
that the winter's outlook was bright for them
all and full of the charming mystery of an-
ticipations so glittering yet so general that she
could form not even the haziest ideas of their
wonderful promise. And so, sucking the sun-