Beatrice Harraden.

Thirteen all told online

. (page 19 of 23)
Online LibraryBeatrice HarradenThirteen all told → online text (page 19 of 23)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


and added love,



THE WOMAN PAVEMENT ARTIST 237

If Theodora could have known of this change of outlook
in the mind of the being whom she loved best in the world,
she would only too gratefully have ended her deception
and shared the secret with her sister. But though their
spirits were knit together in closest bond, nothing of
this knowledge reached Theodora, probably because she
was so entirely taken up with her adventure and had no
powers left over for scrutiny and observation during
the few hours of her home life. She went confidently
on her way, and ended by living in a fool's paradise of
security.

She even ventured back to her former pastures at the
bottom of the Haymarket, and did such good business
there that she returned and decided to hold on until
some crisis occurred, or the police ordered her off. Nothing
untoward happened ;. the police were most friendly and
indulgent, and the public were interested and generous.
She became quite reckless about her disguise and the
choice of her subjects. She neglected her nose, discarded
geranium pots, robins and bunches of grapes, and went
to work on her own natural lines, reproducing gardens
and sundials, windmills and soft little woodland scenes
to her heart's content.

And one morning she indulged herself by risking a
preaching cross in a lovely little village which had been
dear to Gwen and herself for many years.

But she had no sooner finished it and set it up against
the wall, than she had good reason to regret her rashness.
Immediately after she returned to her camp stool and
began a new picture, Gwen arrived. She stood stock
still before the tell-tale preaching cross.

" Ah, that settles it," Gwen said under her breath.

Aloud she said :

" I know that scene. I know it very well. It's Leth-
bridge, isn't it ? "

Theodora did not look up, but nodded and mumbled :

" Yes."

" Did you copy it from a picture," Gwen persisted,
bent on making the pavement artist speak, " or have
you been to Lethbridge ? "



238 THIRTEEN ALL TOLD

" I have been there, many years ago," faltered Theodora,
in what she hoped was a disguise of voice.

"Yes, Theo," said Gwen quietly, "with me."

Then Theodora looked up helplessly like any other
criminal run to earth.

" I've suspected this for some time past," Gwen said.
" I saw you here once before, Theo, and since then I've
come back repeatedly to make sure, but never found
you again. I've wandered far and wide in other directions
looking for you. And this morning I've been walking
up and down on the opposite side, watching you and
studying your face. A very good disguise, dear, but
your nose gives you away. You couldn't hide your
nose the family pride. And when I saw the Lethbridge
preaching cross, I knew for certain that I had found my
long-lost sister. You know, darling, I never believed
in those budding geniuses in the school. But I will own
that I did believe in the school until I learnt it didn't
exist ! Well, good-bye, Theo. I'll see you back from
Wimbledon at the usual hour. Don't be late."

There was a twinkle in her eye which poor Theodora
in her distress did not see, and a rallying tenderness in
her voice which escaped her in her confusion.

" Gwen, don't go," she pleaded. " Say all you have
to say to me and then forgive me. I did it for the best
indeed I did. Life has been so baffling lately, and I've
been puzzled to death to know what to do. Nothing
seemed to me to matter except to secure our home where
we've been so happy and peaceful. And as for the secrecy
I've hated it. I only went on with it to save your
pride you will believe that, won't you ? "

" You haven't saved my pride," Gwen answered in a
low voice, and with eyes which had suddenly gone dim.
" You've killed it."

" Killed it ? " repeated Theo wonderingly.

" There's nothing left except larger love and deeper
gratitude," Gwen whispered with a radiance on her face
which carried its sure message to Theodora's heart.

" Oh, Gwen," she cried, " I feel years younger al-
ready ! "



THE WOMAN PAVEMENT ARTIST 239

" Come home early from Wimbledon," her sister said,
smiling half teasingly.

Then with an exquisite touch of humour she dropped
some coppers in the bowl, and passed on her way.



THE LITTLE GREY HOME IN THE WEST "

MADAME TERESA ARNECLIFFE, a famous
soprano, had been singing in Aberdeen, and on
her way down from the north she broke her journey
at Glasgow, for the purpose of visiting an old friend of
her mother, who lay dying. She put up at the leading
hotel, and contrary to her custom, took her dinner in
the public dining-room, at a small table near one of the
windows which looked out on to the street.

A barrel-organ was being played, much to her annoy-
ance. She turned in her imperious way to the waiter.

" Have that noise stopped," she said. " Give the man
a couple of shillings to go away."

But as she was fumbling for the money, the organ
suddenly struck up with ' The Little, Grey Home in the
West:

Instinctively the waiter smiled at her, and she smiled
in return.

" Very familiar music that," she said good-humouredly.
" No, don't send the man away, waiter, but give him the
two shillings."

But he did not dash off to do her bidding. Instead,
he stood listening to the tune which called up memories
of training camps, rest stations at the front, hospitals in
France and at home. Battlefield scenes rose before him.
Emotions, quiescent for many months, bestirred them-
selves afresh. In that brief moment the ex-Service man
passed through the gamut of remembrance, and only
recovered touch with the realities of the present when
someone brushed past him rather roughly and roused him
to the consciousness of being a waiter in an hotel, and no
16 241



242 THIRTEEN ALL TOLD

longer Pte. A. Jefferson, 47th (2nd London), three times
wounded, at Festubert, Vimy and Ypres.

He pulled himself together, flushed a little, as if embar-
rassed at having forgotten his duty of attending to the
wishes of his client, and was about to murmur some sort
of apology, when he saw that she was unaware of his
continued presence. Her eyes were closed. She was drum-
ming gently with her fingers on the table. Very tensely
sympathetic looked her countenance.

She was thinking of the thousands of men to whom and
with whom she ha I sung that song in the training camps
and hospitals at home, in France, in the hospitals at the
bases, in rest stations behind the firing line and farther.

Up and down the country she had travelled in England ;
and in France she had penetrated as far to the firing line
as the military authorities would permit, chiefly as far
as Poperinghe, Bailleul, Locre and St. Omer.

From the moment that war had been declared, she had
consecrated her gifts to the amusement of the men, and
thought herself blessed indeed in having something of defi-
nite service to contribute to the common cause. She threw
aside all her imperiousness, all her spoilt ways, to which a
prima donna, forgetful of her high calling, often succumbs,
and rose up a workaday human being once more.

" To pretend to nurse, when I haven't a notion about
illness, would be absurd," she had said. " But I can sing
for the men. Wherever I am wanted, I will go any
distance."

When she first expounded this idea to a Brass Hat, he
smiled indulgently.

" Dearest lady," he said, as if dismissing the playful
idea.

" But don't you realise," she urged, " that the boys
will need to be amused ? They will need entertainment
when they are training, need it when they are resting,
need it in hospital when they are suffering and recovering."

The Brass Hat shrugged his shoulders. If she had not
been a celebrity, he would have been downright rude ;
but as she was herself, one of the best-known singers in the
world, with a voice of finest, purest calibre, and a fame



" THE LITTLE GREY HOME IN THE WEST " 243

which attracted vast audiences wherever she went, he
had to content himself with polite discouragement only.

But in the end she conquered, and was one of the first
to sing at the concerts organised by a famous and devoted
actress for the troops in France. On that occasion and
afterwards, at all times and in all places, the men had
asked for ' The Little Grey Home in the West.' They
would never let her off until she had sung that song, and
they had joined in the chorus : for it was her. invariable
habit to step forward and say :

" Chorus, gentlemen."

And now as she sat drumming on the table, visions rose
before her. She saw the worn, tired men at the Front.
She saw them in new khaki, old khaki, hospital blue. She
saw the bandaged heads and limbs, and the boys who had
lost an arm or a leg or both and the blind. She was
overwhelmed once more with the realisation of what these
brave and heroically enduring men had passed through,
for her sake, the sake of all. Their voices reached her.
Every emotion which had ever beset her when she heard
their voices singing with her, especially in hospital, now
assailed her with the poignancy of memory. In those
brief moments she lived those war years over again, and
was one with those men in their tiredness, their sufferings
and their amazing cheerfulness. Almost she rose and
said :

" Chorus, gentlemen."

When the waiter came back, he had learnt who she was.
He was one of the thousands who had heard her, sung with
her, been comforted by her music and refreshed by her
inspiring presence. Here was his chance of thanking her,
and he took it : for in the early days after the war, barriers
were still levelled to the ground, and everyone was reachable
without preliminaries.

He roused her from her reverie by placing her soup before
her and pouring it out. And then he said quite simply :

" Madame, you used to come and sing to us in the war.

I've so often heard you. Once in hospital in London when

you came I had an awful hump until you sang. And

once in Poperinghe I was sort of done in and broken

17



244 THIRTEEN ALL TOLD

up with three of my chums killed by my side at Messines,
and had lost heart until you sang. And there were
other times. I want to thank you."

Her face lit up.

" And how am I going to thank you for all you did ? "
she said.

She held out her hand to him, and he took it with a dig-
nity which was entirely unconscious. He and she were
once again part and parcel of the great united army of the
British Empire who had worked, suffered, fought, cared,
despaired, hoped, triumphed together, upholding each
other in the dark hours.

Later in the evening some friends called in to see Madame
Arnecliffe. They were on their way to a large Labour
meeting which was to take place in the Assembly Rooms.
They suggested that if she were not too tired she should
go with them.

" It is sure to be interesting and exciting," they
said. " Probably very turbulent, as there is a great
deal of anger and indignation with the Government,
and things are in a very queer state here. The
men are not only irritated with the Government, and their
employers, but also with their own leaders and with each
other. One group of men against the other, no one group
studying any interests except its own. In fact, they are
all horrid to each other no kindness or charitable dis-
position of mind anywhere. But the meeting will be
deeply interesting and instructive, too. Come along,
Teresa. We'll see that you don't get too much hustled.
And it will do you good to leave the realms of song and
see what is going on at this] moment in the workaday
world. You might just as well come as sit alone in this
boring hotel. At least you won't be bored at the Assembly
Rooms."

They were old friends, knew and loved her, and had the
right to tease her.

" Jolly good thing for you to drop being a platform prin-
cess for once, and form part of a perspiring crowd," they
added.



" THE LITTLE GREY HOME IN THE WEST " 245

She entered into the spirit of the thing, and allowed
herself to be dashed off to the hall, which they found
already packed. The atmosphere was highly charged with
the electric currents of anger, opposition, hostility, rivalry
and discontent. The men were angry with their trade
union leaders. Engineers, joiners, riveters, moulders,
blacksmiths, hand-platers, dockers, and indeed, repre-
sentatives of all trades and callings on the Clyde were
at loggerheads with each other. All were furious with
the Government, and impatient with the findings of
Government Commissions ; and the whole assembly was
united in its deadly hostility towards Capitalism. Pacifists,
Bolsheviks, Imperialists, and Internationalists, Socialists,
Liberals, Conservatives all shades and opinions in
politics and economics were to be found in that vast gather-
ing of many thousands.

The chairman and speakers took their places on the
platform. But he had scarcely finished the opening sen-
tences of his address, when the trouble began. Interrup-
tions came from all directions. At first he took no notice
of them, but proceeded calmly as if he were talking to a
sympathetic and an attentive audience. And perhaps, if
he could have continued to keep his temper, he might have
conquered the territory and held it in trust successfully
for the speakers who were to come after him.

But James Overbury was by nature irritable and impati-
ent : from a psychological point of view, entirely unfit to be
a chairman at any meeting likely to be turbulent. He
called :

" Turn those men out."

The stewards made dashes at the interrupters who were
springing up everywhere. Resistance grew ; and soon
free fights were occurring in many parts of the hall. The
chairman concluded his speech abruptly, and called on
one of his colleagues to try the force of his personality : for
he was a favourite amongst all sections of the industrial
world. He made a valiant attempt, but was shouted
down ; and an ugly rush was started for the platform. The
organ came to the rescue and pealed forth suddenly to drown
the din.



246 THIRTEEN ALL TOLD

It was then that an inspiration seized Madame Arne-
cliffe, who was deeply interested in and stirred by
the tumult. Her principal thought as she sat amongst
the audience was, that she was surrounded by the men
who had fought in the war, hundreds of whom she
must probably have faced when she sang to them at
home and in France. How would it be if she faced them
now ? Could she weld them into harmony by the power
of their memories, by the sound of her voice, by the force of
her caring ? For she did care. She had cared for them in
war-time, and she cared for them in peace-time, and admired
them with all her heart. Their courage, their endurance,
their heroism, their cheerfulness, had eaten deep into her
soul. She had learnt, from intercourse with them, lessons
which she could never forget. She had learnt from the
living how to live, from the suffering how to suffer, from
the dying how to die. She saw them once more in their
new khaki, in their soiled and war-worn khaki, in their
hospital blue. rThey became again her war audience whom
she had been wont to hold enthralled.

Could she enthrall them now?

The minute that the thought was born in her brain, she
acted. She fled from her seat, made her way somehow
through the excited groups, reached the door leading from
the hall to the rear, found out the stairs to the organ loft,
and dashed in to the astonished organist.

"Quick, quick!" she cried; "Modulate into * The
Little Grey Home in the West.' You know it, don't
you ? ' The Little Grey Home in the West.' Quick,
quick, I'm Madame Teresa Arnecliffe. I'm going to sing
that song to the men. You know it, of course you re-
member how it goes ? "

He glanced at her, bewildered by her sudden appearance
and demand, but his mind wrenched itself from ' Pomp
and Circumstance,' which he was thundering out, and
tried to focus on what she wanted.

" ' The Little Grey Home in the West ' ? ' The Little
Grey Home in the West ' ? " he repeated vaguely.

" Yes, yes," she said excitedly, " don't you know it ?
Don't you remember it ? "



" THE LITTLE GREY HOME IN THE WEST ' 247

She hummed it.

His face told her that he knew, and before she had left
him, he was finding his way by skilful modulation to the
tune which he, too, had heard countless times during
the long years of war.

Then she bombarded the platform, reached the chairman,
announced herself and her intention, and faced the vast
assembly. It was the work of a brief moment. She had
taken the platform by surprise ; and there was a pause in
the onslaught of the stormers and a suspense amongst
the audience.

She stepped forward. Her voice rang out clear and
sweet.

' The Little Grey Home in the West,' " she announced.
" And chorus, gentlemen, as usual, when the time comes."

She began.

" By gum," said one of the men, " it's Arnecliffe. I
heard her at Poperinghe."

And the news was flashed like lightning from bench to
bench.

" I heard her at Salisbury," said another.

" I heard her in hospital at Etaples," said another.

" So did I," said another, " and afterwards at Endell
Street."

" I heard her at Locre," said another.

" I heard her at St. Pol," said another.

!< I heard her at Bailleul," said another.

" I heard her at Rouen," said another.

Their memories were stirred, as she knew they would
be ; and as the well-known words and music fell on their
ears, there was a hush which spread like a healing balm.

Visions rose before them of the scenes they had witnessed,
the dangers they had escaped, and the horrors and agonies
they had passed through. Once again they lived through
the turmoil and the tragedy ; once again they took the
enemies' trenches, and saw their comrades fall. Once again
they lay in hospital, suffering, recovering, their hearts full of
thankfulness to be at peace, tended, cared for, far removed
from the rack and grimness of the terrible battle zone.
Once again they felt the thrill of unison engendered by



248 THIRTEEN ALL TOLD

a common danger, a common suffering, common reverses
and common triumphs.

Never did Mme. Arnecliffe sing more beautifully, not
even in her moment of greatest triumph in opera or on
concert platform ; for she was thinking all the time :

" They must be made to know afresh that we are all
one, as we were in the war. I must and will take them
back to the days when everything else was in abeyance
save our united determination to endure together and
win through together."

And because she cared so passionately, her message
was borne on the wings of her glorious voice. One by one
the men's faces softened as pictures of the past formed
themselves afresh and memories claimed their minds : and a
few of the most sensitive amongst them succumbed at
once and joined in the chorus at the end of the first verse,
whilst others remained silent, grim and sullen.

She sang on, nothing daunted by thoir scanty co-operation.

But the second time, more responded, and each time
fresh groups in different parts of the hall were caught
by her influence, and added their voices to the ever -increas-
ing volume of sound, some of the men looking half -sheepish
and ashamed, others shrugging their shoulders, yet singing
for all that, and others with a glad expression on their
countenances as if they had freed themselves from dark-
ness and saw light. At the end of the last verse she
stepped forward in her old way they knew so well, raised
her hand and said :

" Chorus, gentlemen, all of you everyone."

The whole audience sang with lusty throats. And it was
one of the most turbulent amongst the engineers who
sprang up excitedly and shouted :

" Chorus again, boys, and then three cheers for Arne-
cliffe."

She slipped away, disappearing before they realised she
had gone. They yelled and thundered for her ; and when
she came back to the platform she did not bow or smirk
or receive their homage as a personal tribute to her own
gifts. She had soared far above the personal, and she
stretched out her arms in a grave and fine entreaty, as



< THE LITTLE GREY HOME IN THE WEST " 249

if including all present. If her action had been translated
into words, those words would have been :

" We are all one we must remain as one, my brothers."

The proceedings were resumed and the meeting passed
off quietly.



Printed in Great Britain by

Butler & Tanner

Frame and London



A SELECTION OF BOOKS

PUBLISHED BY METHUEN

AND CO. LTD. LONDON

36 ESSEX STREET

W.C.2



CONTENTS



PAGE

General Literature ... a

Ancient Cities . . . , 12

Antiquary's Books ... xa

Arden Shakespeare ... 13

Classics of Art .... 13

'Complete' Series ... 14

Connoisseur's Library . . 14

Handbooks of English Church

History 15

Handbooks of Theology . . 15

Health Series .... 15

' Home Life ' Series ... 15

Leaders of Religion . . 16

Library of Devotion . . 16

Little Books on Art . . 17

Little Guides .... 17

Little Library .... 18

Little Quarto Shakespeare . 19



FAGK

Miniature Library ... 19

New Library of Medicine . 19

New Library of Music . . 70

Oxford Biographies ... 20

Nine Plays .... 20

Sport Series .... 20

States of Italy .... 20

Westminster Commentaries . 20

'Young' Series. . . . 21

Cheap Library . . . . ai

Books for Travellers . . 22

Some Books on Art. . . a?

Some Books on Italy . . 23

Fiction 24

Books tor Boys and Girls . 28

Cheap Novels .... 29

QRC and Threepenny Novels. 31



A SELECTION OF

MESSRS. METHUEN'S
PUBLICATIONS



IN this Catalogue the order is according to authors.

Colonial Editions are published of all Messrs. METHOEN'S Novels issued
at a price above 4$. net. and similar editions are published of some works of
General Literature. Colonial Editions are only for circulation in the British
Colonies and India.

All books marked net are not subject to discount, and cannot be bought
at less than the published price. Books not marked net are subject to the
discount which the bookseller allows.

The prices in this Catalogue are liable to alteration without previous notice.

Messrs. METHUEN'S books are kept in stock by all good booksellers. If
there is any difficulty in seeing copies, Messrs. Methuen will be very glad to
have early information, and specimen copies of any books will be sent on
receipt of the published price plus postage for net books, and of the published
price for ordinary books.

This Catalogue contains only a selection of the more important books
published by Messrs. Methuen. A complete catalogue of their pu Locations
may be obtained on application.



Andrewes (Lancelot). PRECES PRI-
VATAE. Translated and edited, with
Notes, by F. E. BRIGHTMAN. Cr. Boo.
js. 6d. net.

Ariitotle. THE ETHICS. Edited, with
an Introduction and Notes, by JOHN
BURNET. Demy Bvo. 15*. net.

Atkinson (T. D.). ENGLISH ARCHI-
TECTURE. Illustrated. Fourth Edition.
Fcap. Bvo. 6s. net.

A GLOSSARY OF TERMS USED IN
ENGLISH ARCHITECTURE. Illus-
trated. Second Edition. Fcap. Bvo. 6*. net.

Atterldge (JL H.). FAMOUS LAND
FIGHTS. Illustrated. Cr. Bvo. 7 s. t>d.

net.

Baggally (W. Wortley). TELEPATHY :

GENUINE AND FRAUDULENT. Cr. Bvo.
3*. 6d. net.

Bain (F. W.). A DIGIT OF THE MOON:

A HINDOO LOVE STORY. Twelfth Edition.

Fcap. Bvo. S.T. net.
THE DESCENT OF THE SUN : A CYCLE

OF BIRTH. Seventh. Edition. Fcap. Bvo.

$s. net.
A HEIFER OF THE DAWN. Ninth

Edition. Fcap. Bvo. $s. net.
IN THE GREAT GOD'S HAIR. Sixth

Edition. Fcap. Bvo. y. net.



A DRAUGHT OF THE BLUE. Sixth
Edition, Fcap. Bvo. 5*. net.

AN ESSENCE OF THE DUSK. Fourth
Edition. Fcap. Boo. $s. net.

AN INCARNATION OF THE SNOW.
Fourth Edition. Fcap. Bvo. 55. net.

A MINE OF FAULTS. Fourth Edition.
Fcap. Bvo. sj. net.

THE ASHES OF A GOD. Second Edition.
Fcap. Bvo. ss. net.

BUBBLES OF THE FOAM. Second
Edition. Fcap. tfe. 7 s. 6d. net. Also
Fcap. Bvo. sj. net.

A SYRUP OF THE BEES. Fcap. <to.

^s. 6d. net. Also Fcap. Bvo. 5*. net.
THE LIVERY OF EVE. Second Edition.

Fcap 4*0. js. 6d. net. Also Fcap Bvo.

5J. net.

AN ECHO OF THE SPHERES. Rescued
from Oblivion by F. W. BAIN. Wide Demy
Bvo. i or. 6d. net.

Baifour (Graham). THE LIFE OF
ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON. Fif-
teenth Edition. In one Volume. Cr. Bvo.
Buckram, js. 6d. net.

Baring (Hon. Maurice). LANDMARKS
IN RUSSIAN LITERATURE. Third
Edition. Cr. Bvo. 7*. 6d. net.

THE RUSSIAN PEOPLE. Second
Edition. Dtnty Bvo. 15$. net.



GENERAL LlTERATURS



A YEAR IN RUSSIA. Cr. few. is. 6at.
tut.

Baring-Gould (S.). THE TRAGEDY OF

THE C/ESARS: A STUDY OF THE
CHARACTERS OF THE CSAKS OF THE
JULIAN AND CLAUDIAN HOUSES. Illus-
trated. Seventh Editon. Royal boo. 15*.
net.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 19 21 22 23

Online LibraryBeatrice HarradenThirteen all told → online text (page 19 of 23)