*F AqnTLTTC' ! )
1 1 m-JJi m 1 .
THE MOUNTAIN GIRL
WHEN THE GATES LIFT
UP THEIR HEADS
He kissed her, and they took their way in silence. FRONTISPIECE.
AUTHOR OF "THE MOUNTAIN GIRL," ETC.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY
M. LEONE BRACKER
LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY
BY LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY.
All rights reserved
Published, January, 1913
Reprinted, January, 1913 (twice)
8. J. PARKHILL A Co., BOSTON, U.S.A.
I. SKIED i
II. A SLIGHT MISUNDERSTANDING 28
III. HEATHERBY'S BOY . , .. , . . .41
IV. "la Nous SOMMES HEUREUX " . ... ... . . 56
V. MIXED EMOTIONS 82
VI. JOYFUL'S LADYE FAIRE 98
VII. IN THE BARN STUDIO 113
VIII. JACK STODDARD'S WOOING 125
IX. JOYFUL'S SECRET 143
X. A MYSTERIOUS ASSAULT 159
XI. CONFLICTING SENTIMENTS 179
XII. THE END OF AN IDYLL 191
XHI. MARK RETURNS TO THE WORLD . . . .208
XIV. A TOUCH OF WORLDLY WISDOM . . . .226
XV. PREMONITIONS FULFILLED ... . . 237
XVI. ENSNARED . . 252
XVII. AFTER THE MANNER OF THE WORLD . . . 264
XVIH. A REBUFF . 280
XIX. RENEWED ASPIRATIONS , 295
XX. JOYFUL FINDS A PROTECTOR 300
XXL A MODERN KNIGHT . . . . . . . 311
XXII. MRS. BING'S BLUNDERS . . .. . -325
XXIII. MRS. RENOLDS DISCOVERS A MYSTERY . . 336
XXIV. A CHANCE MEETING 346
XXV. SUNRISE ON A HILLTOP ") .^ .... 359
XXVI. JOYFUL'S NEW HOME 372
XXVII. OVERTAXED 388
XXVIII. AN AMBITIOUS WOMAN'S HUSBAND . . . 401
XXIX. MARIE VAILE'S RELEASE . ... . . 411
XXX. MRS. RENOLDS SOLVES THE MYSTERY .' .422
XXXI. SURRENDER . . 436
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
He kissed her, and they took their way in
silence . . . . . . Frontispiece
He was rewarded by another glimpse of her face . 17
Jack was close beside her. She could feel his
breath upon her cheek 135
Joyful was moved for the first time to active
responsiveness ...... 269
" What skills it if a bag of stones or gold
About thy neck do drown thee ? Raise thy head ;
Take stars for money, stars not to be told
By any art, yet to be purchased.
None is so wasteful as the scraping dame ;
She loseth three for one, her soul, rest, fame.
Pitch thy behavior low, thy projects high ;
So shall thou humble and magnanimous be :
Sink not in spirit ; who aimeth at the sky
Shoots higher much than he that means a tree.
A grain of glory mixed with humbleness
Cures both a fever and lethargicness."
RARE and sweet are genuine spring days in our austere
New England climate, days when the air breathes of ex-
pectation, and glory to come is half revealed in the touches
of brighter color gleaming through the blue grays of the
budding woodlands. There are mortals who starve for
nature and long with irresistible desire for the woods and
fields for bird songs, and the sound of lapping water
among the stones. Mark Thorn was one of these.
Spring had come tardily and dealt her favors sparingly
this year, and when he went out a bitter wind cut through
2 JOYFUL HEATHERBY
him, as bitter and keen as the disappointment which had
tortured him ever since the last exhibit when his pictures
had been skied and no one had paused before them or given
them a second look, as bitter and keen as the pain which
cut to his very heart when Louise Parsons passed by him
with the words, "Why don't you get to work and really do
He had turned on her in ill-concealed rage covered with
sarcasm which she chose to consider only a flagrant piece
of ill temper. "If I had painted those pictures which are
tucked out of sight in that dark corner, in Paris instead
of here, they would have been hung where those daubs
are that you are pretending to admire now, and you would
be saying, 'Mark, how much you have accomplished !"
"Then why did n't you paint them in Paris ? "
Mark threw out his hands in disgust and turned away,
then turned back. "Can we never be loyal?" he asked.
"Are we always to hail from abroad or go without notice ?
Are we never to have any art of our own? Louise, you
ought to know, if you do not, that my pictures are better
"I know they are not bad, Mark, but then they don't
seem to appeal to others, and there must be some reason.
We can't set aside the judgment of critics and the public
as worth nothing. I would rather praise your pictures
than any one's else ; you know that."
"Yes. I know if all the world were praising mine,
you would go down on your knees to them ; that is, if the
world were praising them enough."
Louise lifted her shoulders and her beautiful chin, and
slipping her arm through her stepmother's, led her away.
"Good-bye, Mark. When you are in better humor come
and see me."
Mark turned and sauntered off.
"That's always the way," continued Louise to her
companion. "He resents the least suggestion. Mark
never can understand."
"Why will you and Mark always be disputing? It
certainly is n't a pleasant thing for either of you, and
when all is said, nothing seems to be accomplished."
"What could be accomplished, pray, when he takes it so ?"
"I mean you never tell him just what it is you object to.
Now, what 's the matter with those pictures of his ? Are n't
they as good as the ones you were raving over of that
"He is a Russian, Kate dear."
"Russian's, then. Aren't they? I like his drawing
"I see. You wish me to be more concrete, and I would,
only we have n't time if we go to the Seraha lecture."
"I can't see what you find in that fat Hindoo to go into
raptures over. Really, Louise, do you know, yourself?"
"I wish you could see, Mamma Kate, for your own sake.
My life is so full of the joy of seeking. But I can't make
you see. I must be content with my own happiness in this
"But you are so vague, dear. You don't once say what
this new light is. That 's just the way you talk to Mark
about his pictures."
"You are always wanting to be concrete, when nothing
in this world is, don't you know? The soul must reach
out for itself and find its own path. Mark ought to do the
4 JOYFUL HEATHERBY
same. Just now the rage is for everything foreign. Our
land is so new and crude. If people want foreign things,
why does n't he paint abroad ?"
Louise Parsons' placid way of accepting her own ideas, or
those she chose to adopt for the time being, was infectious.
She dragged her unresisting little stepmother away to the
Seraha lecture without more ado, not even turning her
serene face for another glance at the offending pictures
which had been skied to make room for those of more suc-
cessful artists. "You see, Mamma Kate," she said, draw-
ing that little lady toward her with a caressing movement,
"I perfectly adore Mark. We know he has talent, but I
want to spur him to do something which will make the world
see it, too. We can never be happy if he doesn't succeed.
You know how it would be he would never be satisfied
with himself, and I well I should always feel it also.
He must succeed."
"Yes, dear, I suppose he must," Mrs. Parsons sighed.
Being childless herself, her love for Mark was akin to a
mother's devotion. Her heart overflowed toward her
sister's son with tender craving and solicitude. She loved
her stepdaughter also, and tried to persuade herself that the
beautiful child was all hi all to her, but in a woman's heart
there is always room for a son, with love and to spare. As
time passed she had learned to yield, as an elder sister might,
to the girl's caressing domination, even as one who abdicates
gladly an arduous position.
Mark strode from the gallery, smothering his anger, not
turning to see if they took a second look at his unfortunate
pictures. Had he not painted them for Louise? Every
brush mark had been placed with thought of her, his
hours of toil had counted for him only as they would bring
return in her eyes, and what had he gained ? A shrug,
a cool glance, and a cutting remark ; and, worse than all,
the maddening thought that she, too, was only one of the
crowd whom he was fighting, and would think as they
thought, not as he thought.
He went back to his dismantled studio and gazed indig-
nantly about. All his long, eager winter's work, his very
soul as he thought then laid bare to the public, and
left to their careless, uncomprehending glances, or more
cruel utter neglect.
"Fools," he muttered, moving about his cold, disordered
room. "Fools ! Let them pay their price for crushing out
every atom of American ambition. What can we do?
What can I do ?" Biting his lips with anger and chagrin,
he jerked an old trunk, which bore the marks of many
campaigns, from a corner where its disreputableness had
been hidden by an Oriental fabric and began tossing into
it a few of his belongings. "I'll get out of this. I'll go
where the air, at least, is wholesome," he said.
"Come and see me when you're in better humor." The
words rang in his ears. "I'll be in better humor next fall,
perhaps," he said grimly, "if not I'll wait until I am,
and she may wait too, or else ," he stopped and laughed
unpleasantly, and turning a canvas from the wall, stood
looking down at it, his hands thrust deep in his pockets.
Then the artist began to dominate the man, and the frown
on his face turned into a serious look of contemplation.
He knelt before it, scrutinizing every line, and touched it
here and there to see if it was dry, whistling softly. If
Louise had seen him, would she still have been cold ? Was
6 JOYFUL HEATHERBY
it her face, or was it his idealized conception of her? He
was glad he had not sent it with the others to be slighted
and forgotten. What would she have said if he had ? He
turned it to the wall at last, and went on with his packing.
An hour later he was seated in a local train, his color box
and valise strapped together at his feet, speeding out of the
city. He had canceled several engagements and written
his aunt he would not dine with her that evening. Whither
he went he did not care, anywhere to be away from
people. The day had been cold, lowering, and raw. The
air had the fishy smell of the sea, yet through it all, and
through his misery, he heard the call of the spring. Nature
would be more kind, more human than men and women.
She would take him to her bosom and steep his soul in the
wine of life. Perhaps, sometime, he would be able to work
again seriously, but now he must rest, and dream, and
When a man, starting out in the enthusiasm of youth,
has toiled and hoped on into the earnestness of manhood,
patiently, perseveringly seeking to maintain his ideals
in spite of all that the world offers in exchange therefor,
and finds at last he has brought up against a blank wall of
indifference, what is he to do but take the antidote for his
suffering that nature benignly gives to lie awhile on her
breast, bathe in her streams, listen to her bird songs and
the voice of her woods, revivify himself with her pure breezes,
and let his soul become once more enlightened by God's
sunlight streaming over all ? Mark Thorn, vaguely feeling
this instinctive longing for the natural cure for his hurt,
sought it out, even as a vine trails its length toward its
natural support, or a flower seeks the sun.
As the train rumbled on, Mark leaned back in his seat,
with his hat pulled over his eyes, and thought of the years
he had spent in fitting himself to paint the pictures which
had been lost sight of by the throng. Why had he done it ?
What had urged him on, and held him to his early ideals ?
He felt the satisfaction of a man who is conscious, in spite of
failure, that he has been true to a lofty purpose, and not
moved merely by a sordid ambition. He had chosen to be
a creator, and a dreamer of dreams; what then, was the
world at fault that it refused to worship at his feet ? Was
that the guerdon for which he worked, after all his high
sentiments ? It was well, then, that he had failed to reach
it. A fillip for the world ! If he could only make a living,
that was all he asked of it ; and he would paint as he pleased,
cling to his ideals, create for the love of his art, and be happy.
Ah but there was Louise ! Must he win the world to win
He moved restlessly in his seat, and scanned the land-
scape absently as he whirled by. Now and then he caught
a glimpse of the sea, and as the train sped northward, the
hills grew higher, and the spring seemed more advanced
in the sheltered hollows. Two countrymen in the seat
behind him talked of their own and their neighbor's affairs,
and he caught scraps of their conversation.
" Willoughby Junction "
"Yes, pretty good, I should think. Heatherby, he 's made
extry good hauls this spring, 'nd Boston market 's always
"Heatherby 's always lucky. He 's born to it presume
to say 't he fished when he was a baby."
"The' say he still keeps th' boat; well he 'd ought to."
8 JOYFUL HEATHERBY
"Woodbury Center 's pickin' up a little, too. The' tell
me the 's a new store there."
"Yes, but 'twon't grow much. Nothin' to make it -
no factories, not even on th' line of the road."
"They might make something out o' their marshlands,
if they 'd only put a little money into draining of 'em."
The conductor passed, and Mark asked him for the nearest
station to Woodbury Center. A place with no railroad to
it, and no factories near it, and marshlands and woodlands
and sea within reach, that was the place to which he wished
to go. "Anywhere," he said to himself, "where civilization
had not blundered into improvements."
"Woodbury Center? It's off the line of the road, but I
guess you can get there if you try. It 's not far from
So Mark had his luggage put off at the Junction, and was
left standing on the platform, the only mortal in sight.
The clouds had lifted, and the sun shone warmly. He sat
on his box and whistled, and whittled a pine stick, and
waited. Presently a small boy, with answering whistle,
came along trundling a wheelbarrow, and informed him that
when people wanted to go to Woodbury Center, his "pa"
took them over in his spring wagon, but that "pa" was away
now taking a lady and her trunk to the next town. So Mark
set out across country on foot, in the direction indicated by
the boy, carrying his hand bag and easel, and leaving his
heavier luggage in the care of the little humpbacked agent
whom he found in the station.
While Mark Thorn was pursuing his way toward Wood-
bury Center, guided now and then by a passing farmer to
a shorter cut through woodland or meadow, Mary Elizabeth
Drew stood in the doorway of her ancient, rambling home,
speeding two departing guests with gentle words of courtesy.
Her mother spoke also, from the inner room where she re-
clined in an invalid's chair.
"Don't hurry away, Mrs. Somers; stay and have supper
"Yes, so do," said Mary Elizabeth.
"Oh, my! We can't stay another minute Ma
you know we're going to have company to tea. Good-
bye," said Jane Somers, the tall, loose-jointed daughter,
with a hurried flutter, gathering up the back of her skirt,
which dragged heavily from her well drawn in waist.
"Well, good-bye," said her small, wiry, bustling mother,
and the two walked quickly away down the garden path,
bordered by Elizabeth's spring posies.
Mrs. Drew took a long breath, and closed her eyes, folding
her hands in her lap with Quaker quietude.
"They tired thee, mother."
"No Oh no. Are they gone ? "
"They are just untying the horse."
"Thee must go out in the air, daughter. Thy voice
sounds weary. Thee needs the air."
"Yes, mother, after a minute. Shall Katy bring thee a
cup of tea?"
"No I will sleep a little."
Mary Elizabeth stood for a moment in the doorway,
watching the carriage top sway and dip, as it slowly sank
from sight in the descent to the village; then she moved
down the flower-bordered path like a queen, while bright
io JOYFUL HEATHERBY
tulips nodded and touched the hem of her gown as she
passed. She stooped and lifted a white one the wind had
broken, shook it a little to remove the sand from its pure
cup, and propped it up with a forked twig, and then stood
looking down at it with a troubled expression on her face.
On either side of the path tall white lilacs shook their snowy
tassels above her head.
"We are hypocrites, the best of us," she said, at last.
"We smile and say things we don't mean. Her voice
sounded like a wasp buzzing. Why should she talk to me
of Joyful Heatherby and Nathanael?" A wave of color
swept over her white throat, deepening as it rose to the halo
of red gold about her forehead. She pulled a handful of
the brittle lilac leaves and crushed them in her fingers,
scattering them over the path as she walked on. Then she
stood leaning on the little green gate, looking up and down
the quiet country road. Not far away a red cow stood
sleepily, chewing her cud, and three tall poplars, lank and
still, cast slender shadows across the way. In the distance
a small figure, laden with a basket and an armful of pink
crab-apple blossoms, emerged from the strip of woodland,
and climbing a low stone wall, came toward her. The child's
slight form leaned and swayed with the weight of the basket,
and her straight gown clung to her lithe limbs as she hurried
on. As Elizabeth watched her, the look of anxiety in her
eyes deepened. "What is she doing out so late, and her
grandmother ill?" she thought. "I can't understand why
Mrs. Somers thought it necessary to tell me, or what she
thought I had to do with it. Nathanael may choose where
he pleases I love the child myself, why should n't he ? "
Then she swung the gate open and walked down the path.
"Joyful Heatherby, where have you been? Let me take
that great basket."
"No no. It 's not heavy. Stoop down so I may kiss
you, my arms are so full."
"What have your arms being full to do with kissing me,
"I would hug you with them, of course. You haven't
been over for so long grandmother said Mrs. Drew must
be having a spell, that you did n't come."
"No, but I would have come surely, if I had known your
grandmother was ill."
"She hasn't been sick what made you think so?"
Again the shade passed over Elizabeth's face. Her manner
with the child was that of an older sister. " Mrs. Somers told
me. I wondered at your leaving her alone in this way."
Joyful laughed, and then suddenly grew grave. "I think
Mrs. Somers is a very funny woman. When anything
happens you would rather she should not know, she always
seems to come round and then she seems to know,
even if you put her off. I told her a week ago it was
grandmother had a headache. Grandfather was out with
his boat, and you know how grandmother is when he 's
gone too long well, Mrs. Somers had to come around
asking that very day." The child was like a sad spring fay
who had found a trouble in its little life, as she stood there
with her arms full of blossoms, gazing up into Elizabeth's
face with large, sorrowful eyes. "Would you be afraid that
way every time he goes? He comes back all right. He
always does, but she sits in her room and makes it dark,
and moans and moans, and rocks back and forth, and never
eats anything until he comes to her."
12 JOYFUL HEATHERBY
"No, I would n't. But don't think about it, dear. You
can't help it."
"Sometimes I wish he would sell the old boat, but then,
poor grandfather, he would die if he could n't go on the sea
once in a while; and anyway, we need the money."
Elizabeth looked at the girl with eyes grown luminously
soft and loving. "Yes, dear, I know," she said gently.
The caressing look brought its quick response. "You 're
my 'Ladye Faire,' and I love you, I love you," Joyful cried.
Then she threw her flowers on the ground and knelt beside
them, bending over the basket. "Look in here, look. I
have fern, and Jacks, and bluebells, and cress grand-
mother loves it and these yellow flowers they hang
their heads as if they were afraid to look up and this vine
they all grow in deep, deep shade under a great rock
over by Blue Marsh Creek. They are for my wild bed in
the corner by the porch, where the sun never shines. I can
dig there all I wish grandmother won't care, and I can
have it look like spring all the time."
"I'm afraid they won't do well there, child. Everything
needs a little sun, you know."
"Oh, well, I can try," said Joyful, brightly. Then,
straightening herself, she looked again into Elizabeth's
eyes. "Why do you always call me child ? I was seventeen
last week, and grandmother says I am a woman now, and
must 'put away childish things.'"
"I was thinking something of that kind as you came up,"
said Elizabeth, looking away where the sky blazed with gold.
The girl's face flushed. "I 'm almost as tall as you are.
My chin comes up to your shoulder."
"Yes, Joy, but do you think you ought to go wandering
away off like this, alone ? To Blue Marsh Creek ? Why,
that's four miles."
"I know, but grandmother sent me out. She said I
looked peaked. Of course she did n't know I was going so
far neither did I."
"I only meant for your own sake, dear. Let me take this
heavy basket, and you come in and rest. Then, after I 've
looked after mother, I '11 go part way with you. It will be
too late for you to go alone."
"No no, Ladye Faire. I 'm not tired. I met up with
Nathanael a long piece back he was in his father's field
that joins the Thorntons ; he came across to give me a mes-
sage for grandfather, and carried it all the way to your piece
of woodland. I can't. It 's so late now, grandmother will
They had reached the gate, and Elizabeth, turning
quickly, opened it. "Good night, then," she said. "Tell
Mrs. Heatherby I '11 be over in a day or two. Good night."
"Good night, Ladye Faire," called the little maid, hurry-
ing away. The great basket dangled against her, and her
gown, torn in one or two places, swung to and fro, as she
walked. Her sunbonnet hung by the strings from her neck,
and her plentiful brown hair was knotted high on the crown,
leaving only a stray lock or two to be blown back by the
breeze. Her dress touched the hepaticas and violets grow-
ing in the crevices of the stone wall, and set them nodding
and gossiping together as she passed.
It was a mile from Mrs. Drew's house to the little inlet
of the ocean where Joyful lived. All the distance was
covered by primeval forest growth, undevastated by the
hand of man since first it came into the possession of the
i 4 JOYFUL HEATHERBY
Drew family, in the early settlement of the country, except
where a wagon way had been cut through to what was
called Heatherby's Point, which was in reality no point at
all, only a sheltered cove, where the tides rolled gently up
the sand toward the green woods, and back again, day after
day, and where the waves never were high, even in the
This patch of forest, with its dense shadows and many
logs, its one purling stream, which she could leap across,
its bright sunny spots, and low hills sloping toward the brook,
was as dear to her as the little yellow cottage at the end,
with its few acres of cleared land, which was her home. She
knew where the first trailing arbutus was to be found in the
spring, where the chestnuts lay thickest in the fall, where
the flying squirrels had their nests, and the owls their holes
where they sat and made their doleful cries with the
whippoorwills in the soft summer evenings. She would
have risen at midnight and walked among those trees with
as little fear as she would have had in crossing her grand-
The sun had dropped below the edge of the horizon when
she turned from the main road into the lane through the
woods, lightly treading the soft grass. Suddenly a pleasant
voice arrested her hurried steps.
"Will you kindly tell me how far I am from Woodbury
Glancing quickly in the direction from which the voice
came, her eyes met those of a stranger, who stood regarding
her intently, as he had been for some moments, unknown
"It's about two miles, I think," she replied, and would
have moved on, when he spoke again, a little wearily, glancing
at some traps by his side a gun, a contrivance combining
camp stool, umbrella, and easel in one slightly cumbrous
affair, and a small valise and color box strapped together.