Albert Ross.

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" Of course it's unpleasant when these
things come into one s own family ; but
you knozv they do happen, and happen
every day. Ton my soul, were not tlie
ones who should cry baby." Page 303.


G. W. Dillingham Co., Publishers.



Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1896, by

In the. office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington.

Thou Shalt Not.




{Cabinet Stzf,)

Sent to any address on receipt of 25 cents

33 West 2i>d Street, New York.



I AM not a moralist, solely. I am a painter of

Given, a man : A man steeped in Pleasure, which
is also called Vice ; breathing in Sin as other men
breathe air and not rinding it disagreeable ; a man to
whom the word Conscience conveys no meaning.
Unveil to that man, at one flash, his Soul. Take him
to a mountain top. Let his gaze rest for a moment
on the barren moor whence he came ; then turn his
startled eyes to the Elysian Fields that lie beyond.
See him tremblingly begin the journey. Paint his
former and his latter self and use all bright colors,
if you can.

That man will have struggles ; he will have back-
ward slips ; he will resolve again and again and break
his resolutions. If he succeeds in wholly freeing
himself from his entanglements he will accomplish a
miracle. But suffer he must. And I have painted a

If Prudery places her skinny hands before her face
and screams ; if roues swear the drawing is incorrect
a ul the shading too severe ; if people who admit that
the world has pitfalls, but have a constitutional hor-
ror of warning signs, say, " It is so dreadful, you
know," I cannot help it.

My scene is painted. It may have demerits, but I
know the portraits are accurate.



THIS book was published eight years ago ; two
hundred thousand copies have been sold ; the original
plates are worn out ; and now we begin again.

Prudery did " place her skinny hands before her face
and scream." She even took my work to a grand jury
and tried to suppress it. But the jury refused to
listen, and the sale still goes on.

I have no apologies to make. As my purpose
becomes better understood I shall be asked for none.

For your kindness to me, my million readers, I
give you a million thanks.


Cambridge, Mass., Sept., 1896.




THE day was dark and gloomy. Across the after-
noon sky the clouds hung like spectral emblems of
mourning. Occasionally, through the heavy air, rain-
drops fell. In the old forge, the sturdy blacksmith
hammered his iron and drove his nails, carrying on
meanwhile a conversation with the handsome, boyish-
looking young man at his side. The latter was dressed
in the latest style, even to kid gloves and patent leath-
ers. His fashionable garb contrasted strongly with
the rough clothing of the farrier, and not less so his
velvety countenance with the grimy visage and sooty
arms of his companion. That they should be on such
evidently familiar terms seemed strange, as two men
more dissimilar it would be difficult to imagine.

" So yer doin' mi'ty well down in York ?" said the
blacksmith, as he paused a moment to put his hand
to the bellows. "Well, Walter, I'm glad on't, an' I
know ye'll believe me when I say it. When ye left
Spring-dale two years ago, I was awful set agin yer
goin', I won't deny it. I've seen so many of our boys


start off fer the city that didn't come to no good, that
I was afraid fer yer. Some on 'em, who left here jest
as pure as you, drifted back arterwards mere wrecks
an' drunkards. Some I could name are doin' time in
the State's prison. It's an allurin' place, is York, an'
I've allus trembled when any one I cared about went
thar. I do care fer you, Walter, an' ye know how I
allus did from the time when I carried ye down here,
a little bit of a baby, an' showed ye the fire thar,
burnin' an' shinin,' jest as it does to-day. It's a great
comfort to see ye back agin, lookin' jest like ye did
when ye left here only a little older, an' a good
deal better dressed.'^

The blacksmith surveyed the young man with an
expression of mingled affection and admiration.
Then he took the red-hot shoe from the glowing
embers, and struck it several times upon the anvil
with his heavy hammer.

" Why, how did you expect me to look ?" laughed
Walter. " You know I never doubted that I should
succeed. My expectations were reasonable. I didn't
think I should become a millionaire, but I deter-
mined not to come back without something to hold
to. All I wanted was a good situation, with a tip-top
salary, and a chance to see a little of life, and that
I've got. I enjoy every second of it. I wouldn't ex-
change two years of New York City for a century in
this humdrum old town. Why, John Dinsmore, it's
really all I can endure to stay out my week's vacation
here, even with Clara and you, it all seems so still
and deathlike."

The blacksmith placed the crescent upon one of the
hoofs of the pony which he was shoeing, and drove
the nails home carefully, clinching each as he pro-
ceeded. He had surveyed Walter's eager face with
an uneasy expression as the young man talked.
There was something in Dinsmore's calm blue eyes


which seemed to go far away beyond the object upon
which they rested. When his work was finished he
came and sat down near his companion and resumed
the conversation.

" Yer sister has read me a good deal out o' yer let-
ters, Walter, and I noticed that they seemed to be
full of a man named Greyburn. Ye've devoted pages
to praisin' him, an' tellin' what a friend he's been to
ye. An' yet I don't quite understand it. Tell it all
over agin, jest as it happened."

" You may well say friend," cried Walter, with en-
thusiasm. " All my success is due to his kindness.
If I hadn't met Hector Greyburn the day I entered
New York, my whole life would have been entirely
changed. Who else would have exerted themselves
for a penniless stranger ? Who else would have bade
me make his house my home, and introduced me to
his circle of acquaintances as though I was the richest
young man in America ? John Dinsmore, you should
know Mr. Greyburn. He is one man in a million !"

u It was on the train that you met him, wa'n't it ?"
asked Dinsmore, not seeming wholly to share his
young friend's enthusiasm.

" On my way to the city yes. The merest chance
in the world. He happened to get aboard at a way
station, and took a seat with me. In five minutes he
knew that I was going to New York, a perfect
stranger, to seek my fortune. He was so frank with
me. 'Have you any money?' 'Very little,' said I.
' Any friends in town ?' ' Not one.' ' Any situation
in view ?' ' Not a situation.' ' Your age ?' ' Seven-
teen.' That settled it. I must go to his house till I
could find a suitable place. Of course I didn't refuse.
Wasn't that a chance for a boy to meet with just on
the threshold of the city ?"

It was pleasant to witness the sparkle in the lad's
eyes, and the glow which came into his face as he re-


called this story for the benefit of his friend. The
blacksmith warmed a little toward him as he pro-

" But didn't ye think he might be a confidence man,
or suthin' o" that sort ?" he asked, gazing with affec-
tionate regard at the beaming face of the other.

" Ridiculous !" laughed Walter. " I had only fif-
teen dollars in the world, and all my clothes and bag-
gage wouldn't have brought as much more. Confi-
dence men look for better game than I was then, let
me tell you. You would only have looked at him once to
throw away all doubt. Let me describe him. He
was about thirty years of age, and the handsomest
man I ever saw. His eyes were darkish gray, and
when he smiled, it was as if the first touch of the
morning sun lit up his face. His hair was of a beau-
tiful shade of brown. His skin was as fair as a girl's,
and in his cheeks the warm, red blood of health showed
freely. In height he was a little above the aver-
age. Proportioned like a statue, he carried himself
with a grace which seemed entirely natural. He was
well dressed. His jewelry was rich but not flashy.
Everything about him seemed to say, ' Here you will
find true metal.' Suspect him ? It would have been
impossible !"

Walter paused a minute, and looked out of the
great door, to note that the clouds were clearing
away and that the shower was evidently ended.

"When we reached the station," he pursued, "Mr.
Greyburn took a carriage and we drove to his house
on Madison Avenue. He said nothing as we rode
through the streets, seeing probably that my eyes
were riveted on the unaccustomed sights we passed.
Everything seemed wonderful. The great buildings,
the immense number of people in the streets, the
noise and jar of business. 1 was in perfect amaze-


ment before I entered his house. And once inside,
I was carried away completely."

" Carried away ?" echoed the listener.

" Yes, carried away. Not spirited off through the air,
but simply dazed with wonder. As we went up the
high steps the door was opened for us without any
knock or ring, and when we reached the hall oh ! I
can't describe it ! I am seeing it now as I saw it then.
It seemed to me a veritable palace of Aladdin !
There were the most elegant carpets, furniture, chan-
deliers, statuary and pictures, and by no means the
least of all, one of the prettiest girls I had ever seen,
closing the door after us. In all this splendor Mr.
Greyburn was as much at ease as we are in this old
shop. He turned to the girl and said, ' Annie, this is
Mr. Walter Campbell. Consider him a guest of the
house as long as he desires to remain.' I was over-
powered and stammered something, I don't know
what. It's a mercy I didn't swoon away."

The troubled expression had come back to the
blacksmith's blue eyes.

" Was this young lady his his daughter ?" he asked,

" Daughter ? Certainly not," laughed Walter.
" He's not a married man. She was only his door-
opener ; one of the servants. He told me afterwards
he got her to match the tints in the frescoing. Such a
man, John ! Nothing too good- for him ! But up in
the second story we encountered another vision of
beauty. ' Nettie,' said he, ' this is Mr. Walter,' and all
the rest of it over again. Up another flight we went,
and there was another, more and more attractive, and
over the introduction he went again. Then he
showed me into my room, which was the finest cham-
ber I had ever seen. My trunk was brought up by a
colored porter, after which Mr. Greyburn said he
would leave me to myself for an hour, when he would


call me for dinner. It took me most of that hour to
collect my scattered senses, but I finally changed my
dress and got ready. Punctual to the time he called
me, and we went down to the dining-room. Oh !
that dining-room ! John Dinsmore, I shall never live
long enough to forget how its splendors burst upon
my vision. Nor can I ever forget the dinner, nor the
beautiful lady who came in and sat with us at table
a lady, John, who threw all the others into the
shade as the full moon does the smallest star of the
evening. I can't describe it, I can't describe her, I
can't describe anything. It all seemed more like a
dream than reality."

"This last lady," said the blacksmith, very slowly,
and looking on the ground as he spoke, " who was
she ?"

" Why, just his housekeeper," crjed Walter, burst-
ing into spasmodic laughter. " Was there ever such
a man ? An houri at the door, seraphs on each land-
ing, and an angel to preside over them all. The din-
ner was perfect, everything you could think of, but
my appetite was gone. One can eat any day, but to
go at one step from earth to paradise is not a thing-
that happens any too often to a poor fellow like me."

A breath, which was almost a sigh, escaped John
Dinsmore's lips.

" This Mr. Greyburn must be very wealthy," he
said, more as if to hide what else he had in mind than
for any value in the thought itself.

" Of course," assented the other. " A man couldn't
maintain a place like that on a dollar a day. How
did he get it ? I don't know. Inherited it, probably.
Most of these rich men do ; or else they make a
lucky speculation and blunder into a fortune at once.
All I know is that he is in no business, and his hands
are as soft and white as a child's. Everybody speaks
of his hands, Why, mine aren't very ugly, but his


are to mine like light to darkness. I could look at
his hands by the hour, John. You can wager they
never did much work, or they wouldn't look like

The blacksmith's blue eyes rested for a second on
his own coarse and grimy members, and the mental
comparison with the picture which young Campbell
had drawn was not pleasing. Then he steadied him-
self a little for the question he had been for some
minutes trying to propound.

" Does your sister know all about this ?"

" Clara ? Why, certainly. That is, she knows all
the main parts of it. Of course I didn't expatiate on
the beauty of the pretty women. You know what
strict ideas she has of propriety, and she mightn't
think it looked just right to have so many of them
there in a sort of Bachelor's Hall, you know. For my
part I can't see why a handsome girl is any worse
than a homely one. If Mr. Grey burn fancies filling
his handsome house with handsome servants, and can
afford to do it, it's not my business. Clara is the
dearest creature in the world, and I love her as much
as a brother could, but she's a little old-fashioned in
some things. Now, isn't she, John ?"

It was curious to watch the apologetic tone which
ran through the young man's defense of his New
York friend. His final appeal to the blacksmith went
unanswered for some moments.

"Walter," said Dinsmore, at last, " ye've got the
best little woman in this world for a sister, an' her
ideas of right an' wrong are safe fer ye to f oiler. Old-
fashioned they may be, but so is the earth we live in.
That sky up thar is old-fashioned. The God who
made it and the heavens beyond it arc gittin' old-
fashioned, too ; but we'll try and believe in 'em a
while longer fer all that."

" Why, how sober you are !" said the younger man,


rising from where he sat, with some uneasiness in his
demeanor. " I didn't mean to offend you, John.
You know there's nothing in the world would make
me do that intentionally. I love Clara better than any
one else loves her or ever will, and that's why I didn't
write her anything that I thought she would dislike
to hear.- If I had supposed you would take it in this
way I wouldn't have told you, either. Come ! You
don't hold it against me, John, do you ?"

The far-away look had come into Dinsmore's eyes
again. He hardly heard what Walter was saying.
The young man repeated his last words :

"You don't lay it up against me, John ?"

" No, no ! my boy," replied the blacksmith, heart-
ily. " I lay up nothin' agin ye, an' I hope agin no
man. But, Walter, yer father was as good a man as
ever lived ; yer mother was a good woman ; an' now
that you an' Miss Clara are all that's left, ye owe
something to the memories of them who gave ye
birth. She is jest what her mother was, pure an
sweet as the air of the brightest summer mornin'.
Be careful, Walter, be very careful that nothin' comes
over ye to make ye else than like her."

" Why, John, you are eloquent ! I never heard you
speak like that before."

The unlettered man had indeed found expressions
such as had never before passed his lips. It was as if
he had uttered a prayer and a benediction.

There were fifteen years difference in their ages,
and Walter could not recall the time when Dinsmore's
forge was not there, and Dinsmore himself striking
the iron and pulling the handle of the old bellows.
When big enough to go to his first school he used to
stop at the old forge door, to see with a child's de-
light the sparks flying from the anvil and hear the
merry cling-clang of the horseshoes. As a boy the
blacksmith's shop had always been his resort when-


ever he had any trouble on his mind, and it had
never failed to be lifted there. Who knew so well as
John how to set the snares, to fix the traps, to find the
irst wild berries ? Who could make better whistles
iu of willow or rig such a cross-bow ?

Tne sky was now entirely clear again, and the

ening sun sent his radiance like burnished gold
v T er the little forge and in at the open doorway.
As Walter ceased speaking a presence entered the
shop which brought hardly less brightness with it.
Clara Campbell had guessed that her brother would
go straight to his old friend, and was not surprised
when she found them together. The little maiden was
indeed " as pure and sweet as the air of the brightest
summer morning." Two years younger than Wal-
ter, she had that womanly way about her which
comes so often to girls thrown at an early age upon
their own resources. Looking not a day older than
her seventeen years, she had the air of a woman of
twenty. It was easy to tell the relation which she
and Walter bore to each other. Had it not been, the
radiant smile with which she met his glance, would
have shown to any observer that he was very dear to
her indeed.

" Good evening, Mr. Dinsmore," she said, giving
her hand in a perfectly unconstrained manner to the
blacksmith. "Walter ran away from me before I
had hardly looked at him, and I knew he would go
straight to your forge. Well, how does he look ?
Has he not grown ! I really fear I am almost too
proud of him !"

Dinsmore dusted a chair and offered it to the girl,
who took it with a pleasant "Thank you." The ad-
dition to the group seemed to have a momentary
effect upon his speech, for he only smiled assent to
her words.

"To be sure I've grown," said the brother, looking


with a smile into his sister's eyes. "Did you think I
was always going to be a little armful of a thing like
you ? New York is the place to grow. I shall be as
big as John in two years more. Clara always did ad-
mire tall, strong men, John. Muscle and brawn are
favorites with you ; eh, sister ?"

" I do like to see men strong and well," assented
Clara. " It seems the right of their sex to be strong.
But I do not despise the weaker ones. God does not
make us all alike, and surely He knows what is best."

The blue eyes of the tall and brawny blacksmith
brightened during Walter's speech and fell a little at
the close of Clara's.

" If you want to see a perfect specimen of manly
beauty," said Walter, " you ought to meet my friend
Greyburn. I've been telling John about him. He is
built like an Apollo, and they say he has the strength
of a Hercules. His hand is daintier to look at than
yours, Clara, and his grasp is like well, like John's
here when he chooses to put forth his will."

" He has been very kind to you," said Clara.

" Indeed he has. I wasn't in the city a week, you
know, before he got me a clerkship at the City Hall
at one thousand dollars a year. In three months that
was raised to fifteen hundred dollars, and in a year to
two thousand dollars, with prospect of an increase in
the near future. When I think it all over it seems
like a fairy tale."

" I can't comprehend," said his sister, with a shake
of her head, " how you can possibly be worth such a
sum to anybody. My little brother earning two
thousand dollars a year, while I can only get four
hundred dollars for teaching thirty or forty children.
You will certainly become rich and retire before

" Rich !" ejaculated Walter. " That's a very differ-
ent thing, my dear. It costs a pile to live in the city,


and a fellow must go around some, you know. I
haven't saved a dollar yet, except what I sent to help
you pay the mortgage off the homestead. When I
get my salary raised again I mean to put by just so
much every month, but I don't see how I can do it
now. Living is very expensive, and there are so
many things to get. Wh) 7 , Mr. Greyburn insisted on
lending me five hundred dollars to start with, as he
said I needed that amount to fix myself up so that I
could go to work at all. He said in the kindest way
that my dress might look a little countryfied to the
other clerks. It was a mighty good act of him. I
couldn't have borne to be made fun of, you know, and
I might have got into trouble."

Clara stared at him with wide-open eyes, but there
was more astonishment than chiding in her ex-

" Of course you couldn't save anything until you had
paid Mr. Greyburn his loan," she said, extenuatingly.

" But, to tell the truth, I've not paid it," said
Walter, coloring just a little as he saw his sister's
eyes open wider yet. " He told me not to mind it ;
that he was in no hurry whatever. So I gave him
my note, and it hasn't seemed to come handy to take
it up."

Clara's eyes encountered those of the blacksmith,
and each read in the other the same sentiment. Dins-
more found his voice.

" Ye ought to pay that note, Walter, if ye'll excuse
me for sayin' so. You an' yer sister have managed
to get the mortgage off o' the old house. It was only
two hundred and fifty dollars, but it troubled her, an'
she looked like a new creature the day the debt was
discharged. There were those of us who would 'a' paid
it any moment, but she wouldn't hear to that. This
note o' yourn ain't her affair, in one sense, but I know


she won't feel easy till it's paid. Ain't I right, Miss

"John is right, brother," replied the girl. "You
earn your own money, and are doing well, and I am
very proud of you, but that note should not stand a
day longer than you can help. I have a hundred dol-
lars laid away that I will be glad to let you have
toward the amount. Promise me that you will not
leave it unattended to."

" Oh, very well," said Walter. " If you care about it,
I will. It will put me out a little to do it this year,
but let it be as you say. As to your money, Clara, of
course I wouldn't touch that. My salary is large
enough for my own debts. No," as the girl started to
open her lips, " I should not think of it, so please
don't ask me again."

Whatever further protestations the sister might
have made were cut short by the sound of rapidly
approaching wheels, and the quick, sharp steps of a
horse coming at speed. A moment later the driver
pulled up his animal at the forge door and leaped
lightly to the ground.

Walter Campbell sprang from his seat and caught
the hand of the new comer.

" Mr. Greyburn ! is it possible ? Where did you
come from ? I supposed you were in the city."

Greyburn smiled pleasantly into the face of his im-
petuous young friend, and was about to reply, when
he caught sight of Miss Clara, who had risen at the
approach of the stranger and was preparing to de-
part. His broad hat of Panama straw was immedi-
ately lifted from his head, and he made a profound
obeisance as the girl stepped from the doorway.
His manner was courtly, but with no trace of any-
thing offensive. It seemed like involuntary homage
paid to beauty.


" Clara," said Walter. She paused and looked up.
" Mr. Greyburn my sister."

He did not attempt to touch her hand, which, with
country politeness, she half offered him.

" I am delighted," he said, " to meet any relation of
a young man whom I esteem so highly as I do your
brother. I was taking a drive through this part of
the State, and learning accidentally that he had gone
to his native town on a vacation, I directed the steps
of my horse thither. The creature cast a shoe a
little ways back, and I stopped here to get the dam-
age repaired. I had no idea that I should meet him,
and certainly not that I should have this additional

Miss Clara listened to this speech with quiet atten-
tion. Dinsmore leaned heavily on one of his ham-
mers, which he seemed to have picked up in a mo-
ment of abstraction, looking from the girl's face to
Greyburn's and back again, as if he would read their
inmost thoughts. Walter looked at Greyburn and

Online LibraryAlbert RossThou shalt not (new series) → online text (page 1 of 26)