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List Of Contents | Contents of Their Pilgrimage, by Charles Dudley Warner
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corridor, the spacious office with its long counters and post-office,
when the noon mail was opened and the letters called out.  So many pretty
girls, with pet dogs of all degrees of ugliness (dear little objects of
affection overflowing and otherwise running to waste--one of the most
pathetic sights in this sad world), jaunty suits with a nautical cut,
for boating and rock-climbing, family groups, so much animation and
excitement over the receipt of letters, so much well-bred chaffing and
friendliness, such an air of refinement and "style," but withal so
homelike.  These people were "guests " of the proprietors, who
nevertheless felt a sort of proprietorship themselves in the little
island, and were very much like a company together at sea.  For living on
this island is not unlike being on shipboard at sea, except that this
rock does not heave about in a nauseous way.

Mr. King discovered by the register that the Bensons had been here (of
all places in the world, he thought this would be the ideal one for a few
days with her), and Miss Lamont had a letter from Irene, which she did
not offer to read.

"They didn't stay long," she said, as Mr. King seemed to expect some
information out of the letter, " and they have gone on to Bar Harbor.
I should like to stop here a week; wouldn't you?"

"Ye-e-s," trying to recall the mood he was in before he looked at the
register; "but-but" (thinking of the words "gone on to Bar Harbor")
"it is a place, after all, that you can see in a short time-- go all over
it in half a day."

"But you want to sit about on the rocks, and look at the sea, and dream."

"I can't dream on an island-not on a small island.  It's too cooped up;
you get a feeling of being a prisoner."

"I suppose you wish 'that little isle had wings, and you and I within its
shady--'"

"There's one thing I will not stand, Miss Lamont, and that's Moore.

Come, let's go to Star Island."

The party went in the tug Pinafore, which led a restless, fussy life,
puffing about among these islands, making the circuit of Appledore at
fixed hours, and acting commonly as a ferry.  Star Island is smaller than
Appledore and more barren, but it has the big hotel (and a different
class of guests from those on Appledore), and several monuments of
romantic interest.  There is the ancient stone church, rebuilt some time
in this century; there are some gravestones; there is a monument to
Captain John Smith, the only one existing anywhere to that interesting
adventurer--a triangular shaft, with a long inscription that could not
have been more eulogistic if he had composed it himself.  There is
something pathetic in this lonely monument when we recall Smith's own
touching allusion to this naked rock, on which he probably landed when he
once coasted along this part of New England, as being his sole possession
in the world at the end of his adventurous career:

     "No lot for me but Smith's Isles, which are an array of barren
     rocks, the most overgrown with shrubs and sharpe whins you can
     hardly pass them; without either grasse or wood, but three or foure
     short shrubby old cedars."


Every tourist goes to the south end of Star Island, and climbs down on
the face of the precipice to the "Chair," a niche where a school-teacher
used to sit as long ago as 1848.  She was sitting there one day when a
wave came up and washed her away into the ocean.  She disappeared.  But
she who loses her life shall save it.  That one thoughtless act of hers
did more for her reputation than years of faithful teaching, than all her
beauty, grace, and attractions.  Her "Chair" is a point of pilgrimage.
The tourist looks at it, guesses at its height above the water, regards
the hungry sea with aversion, re-enacts the drama in his imagination,
sits in the chair, has his wife sit in it, has his boy and girl sit in it
together, wonders what the teacher's name was, stops at the hotel and
asks the photograph girl, who does not know, and the proprietor, who says
it's in a book somewhere, and finally learns that it was Underhill, and
straightway forgets it when he leaves the island.

What a delicious place it is, this Appledore, when the elements favor!
The party were lodged in a little cottage, whence they overlooked the
hotel and the little harbor, and could see all the life of the place,
looking over the bank of flowers that draped the rocks of the door-yard.
How charming was the miniature pond, with the children sailing round and
round, and the girls in pretty costumes bathing, and sunlight lying so
warm upon the greenish-gray rocks!  But the night, following the glorious
after-glow, the red sky, all the level sea, and the little harbor
burnished gold, the rocks purple--oh! the night, when the moon came!
Oh, Irene!  Great heavens!  why will this world fall into such a
sentimental fit, when all the sweetness and the light of it are away at
Bar Harbor!

Love and moonlight, and the soft lapse of the waves and singing?  Yes,
there are girls down by the landing with a banjo, and young men singing
the songs of love, the modern songs of love dashed with college slang.
The banjo suggests a little fastness; and this new generation carries off
its sentiment with some bravado and a mocking tone.  Presently the tug
Pinafore glides up to the landing, the engineer flings open the furnace
door, and the glowing fire illumines the interior, brings out forms and
faces, and deepens the heavy shadows outside.  It is like a cavern scene
in the opera.  A party of ladies in white come down to cross to Star.
Some of these insist upon climbing up to the narrow deck, to sit on the
roof and enjoy the moonlight and the cinders.  Girls like to do these
things, which are more unconventional than hazardous, at watering-places.

What a wonderful effect it is, the masses of rock, water, sky, the night,
all details lost in simple lines and forms!  On the piazza of the cottage
is a group of ladies and gentlemen in poses more or less graceful;
one lady is in a hammock; on one side is the moonlight, on the other come
gleams from the curtained windows touching here and there a white
shoulder, or lighting a lovely head; the vines running up on strings and
half enclosing the piazza make an exquisite tracery against the sky,
and cast delicate shadow patterns on the floor; all the time music
within, the piano, the violin, and the sweet waves of a woman's voice
singing the songs of Schubert, floating out upon the night.  A soft wind
blows out of the west.

The northern part of Appledore Island is an interesting place to wander.
There are no trees, but the plateau is far from barren.  The gray rocks
crop out among bayberry and huckleberry bushes, and the wild rose, very
large and brilliant in color, fairly illuminates the landscape, massing
its great bushes.  Amid the chaotic desert of broken rocks farther south
are little valleys of deep green grass, gay with roses.  On the savage
precipices at the end one may sit in view of an extensive sweep of coast
with a few hills, and bf other rocky islands, sails, and ocean-going
steamers.  Here are many nooks and hidden corners to dream in and make
love in, the soft sea air being favorable to that soft-hearted
occupation.

One could easily get attached to the place, if duty and Irene did not
call elsewhere.  Those who dwell here the year round find most
satisfaction when the summer guests have gone and they are alone with
freaky nature.  "Yes," said the woman in charge of one of the cottages,"
I've lived here the year round for sixteen years, and I like it.  After
we get fixed up comfortable for winter, kill a critter, have pigs, and
make my own sassengers, then there ain't any neighbors comin' in, and
that's what I like."




VII

BAR HARBOR

The attraction of Bar Harbor is in the union of mountain and sea; the
mountains rise in granite majesty right out of the ocean.  The traveler
expects to find a repetition of Mount Athos rising six thousand feet out
of the AEgean.

The Bar-Harborers made a mistake in killing--if they did kill--the
stranger who arrived at this resort from the mainland, and said it would
be an excellent sea-and-mountain place if there were any mountains or any
sea in sight.  Instead, if they had taken him in a row-boat and pulled
him out through the islands, far enough, he would have had a glimpse of
the ocean, and if then he had been taken by the cog-railway seventeen
hundred feet to the top of Green Mountain, he would not only have found
himself on firm, rising ground, but he would have been obliged to confess
that, with his feet upon a solid mountain of granite, he saw innumerable
islands and, at a distance, a considerable quantity of ocean.  He would
have repented his hasty speech.  In two days he would have been a
partisan of the place, and in a week he would have been an owner of real
estate there.

There is undeniably a public opinion in Bar Harbor in favor of it, and
the visitor would better coincide with it.  He is anxiously asked at
every turn how he likes it, and if he does not like it he is an
object of compassion.  Countless numbers of people who do not own a foot
of land there are devotees of the place.  Any number of certificates to
its qualities could be obtained, as to a patent medicine, and they would
all read pretty much alike, after the well-known formula: "The first
bottle I took did, me no good, after the second I was worse, after the
third I improved, after the twelfth I walked fifty miles in one day; and
now I never do without it, I take never less than fifty bottles a year."
So it would be: "At first I felt just as you do, shut-in place, foggy,
stayed only two days.  Only came back again to accompany friends, stayed
a week, foggy, didn't like it.  Can't tell how I happened to come back
again, stayed a month, and I tell you, there is no place like it in
America.  Spend all my summers here."

The genesis of Bar Harbor is curious and instructive.  For many years,
like other settlements on Mount Desert Island; it had been frequented by
people who have more fondness for nature than they have money, and who

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