harbor in which the girls took part, drives in buckboards which they organized--indeed, the canoe and the buckboard were in constant demand. In all this there was a pleasing freedom--of course under proper chaperonage. And such delightful chaperons as they were, their business being to promote and not to hinder the intercourse of the sexes! This activity, this desire to row and walk and drive and to become acquainted, was all due to the air. It has a peculiar quality. Even the skeptic has to admit this. It composes his nerves to sleep, it stimulates to unwonted exertion. The fanatics of the place declare that the fogs are not damp as at other resorts on the coast. Fashion can make even a fog dry. But the air is delicious. In this latitude, and by reason of the hills, the atmosphere is pure and elastic and stimulating, and it is softened by the presence of the sea. This union gives a charming effect. It is better than the Maine Law. The air being like wine, one does not need stimulants. If one is addicted to them and is afraid to trust the air, he is put to the trouble of sneaking into masked places, and becoming a party to petty subterfuges for evading the law. And the wretched man adds to the misdemeanor of this evasion the moral crime of consuming bad liquor. "Everybody" was at Bar Harbor, or would be there in course of the season. Mrs. Cortlandt was there, and Mrs. Pendragon of New Orleans, one of the most brilliant, amiable, and charming of women. I remember her as far back as the seventies. A young man like Mr. King, if he could be called young, could not have a safer and more sympathetic social adviser. Why are not all handsome women cordial, good-tempered, and well-bred! And there were the Ashleys--clever mother and three daughters, au-fait girls, racy and witty talkers; I forget whether they were last from Paris, Washington, or San Francisco. Family motto: "Don't be dull." All the Van Dams from New York, and the Sleiderheifers and Mulligrubs of New Jersey, were there for the season, some of them in cottages. These families are intimate, even connected by marriage, with the Bayardiers of South Carolina and the Lontoons of Louisiana. The girls are handsome, dashing women, without much information, but rattling talkers, and so exclusive! and the young men, with a Piccadilly air, fancy that they belong to the "Prince of Wales set," you know. There is a good deal of monarchical simplicity in our heterogeneous society. Mrs. Cortlandt was quite in her element here as director-general of expeditions and promoter of social activity. "I have been expecting you," she was kind enough to say to Mr. King the morning after his arrival. "Kitty Van Sanford spied you last night, and exclaimed, 'There, now, is a real reinforcement!" You see that you are mortgaged already." "It's very kind of you to expect me. Is there anybody else here I know?" "Several hundreds, I should say. If you cannot find friends here, you are a subject for an orphan-asylum. And you have not seen anybody?" "Well, I was late at breakfast." "And you have not looked on the register?" "Yes, I did run my eye over the register." "And you are standing right before me and trying to look as if you did not know that Irene Benson is in the house. I didn't think, Mr. King, it had gone that far-indeed I didn't. You know I'm in a manner responsible for it. And I heard all about you at Newport. She's a heart of gold, that girl." "Did she--did Miss Benson say anything about Newport?" "No. Why?" "Oh, I didn't know but she might have mentioned how she liked it." "I don't think she liked it as much as her mother did. Mrs. Benson talks of nothing else. Irene said nothing special to me. I don't know what she may have said to Mr. Meigs," this wily woman added, in the most natural manner. "Who is Mr. Meigs?" "Mr. Alfred Meigs, Boston. He is a rich widower, about forty--the most fascinating age for a widower, you know. I think he is conceited, but he is really a most entertaining man; has traveled all over the world-- Egypt, Persia--lived in Japan, prides himself a little on never having been in Colorado or Florida." "What does he do?" "Do? He drives Miss Benson to Otter Cliffs, and out on the Cornice Road, about seven days in the week, and gets up sailing-parties and all that in the intervals." "I mean his occupation." "Isn't that occupation enough? Well, he has a library and a little archaeological museum, and prints monographs on art now and then. If he were a New-Yorker, you know, he would have a yacht instead of a library. There they are now." A carriage with a pair of spirited horses stood at the bottom of the steps on the entrance side. Mrs. Cortlandt and King turned the corner of the piazza and walked that way. On the back seat were Mrs. Benson and Mrs. Simpkins. The gentleman holding the reins was just helping Irene to the high seat in front. Mr. King was running down the long flight of steps. Mrs. Benson saw him, bowed most cordially, and called his name. Irene, turning quickly, also bowed--he thought there was a flush on her face. The gentleman, in the act of starting the horses, raised his hat. King was delighted to notice that he was bald. He had a round head, snugly-trimmed beard slightly dashed with gray, was short and a trifle stout--King thought dumpy. "I suppose women like that kind of man," he said to Mrs. Cortlandt when the carriage was out of sight. Why not? He has perfect manners; he knows the world--that is a great point, I can tell you, in the imagination of a girl; he is rich; and he is no end obliging." "How long has he been here?" "Several days. They happened to come up from the Isles of Shoals together. He is somehow related to the Simpkinses. There! I've wasted time enough on you. I must go and see Mrs. Pendragon about a watermelon party to Jordan Pond. You'll see, I'll arrange something." King had no idea what a watermelon party was, but he was pleased to think that it was just the sort of thing that Mr. Meigs would shine in. He said to himself that he hated dilettante snobs. His bitter reflections were interrupted by the appearance of Miss Lamont and the artist, and with them Mr. Benson. The men shook hands with downright heartiness. Here is a genuine man, King was thinking. "Yes. We are still at it," he said, with his humorous air of resignation. "I tell my wife that I'm beginning to understand how old Christian felt going through Vanity Fair. We ought to be pretty near the Heavenly Gates by this time. I reckoned she thought they opened into Newport. She said I ought to be ashamed to ridicule the Bible. I had to have my joke. It's queer how different the world looks to women." "And how does it look to men?" asked Miss Lamont. "Well, my dear young lady, it looks like a good deal of fuss, and tolerably large bills." "But what does it matter about the bills if you enjoy yourself?" "That's just it. Folks work harder to enjoy themselves than at anything else I know. Half of them spend more money than they can afford to, and keep under the harrow all the time, just because they see others spend money." "I saw your wife and daughter driving away just now," said King, shifting the conversation to a more interesting topic. "Yes. They have gone to take a ride over what they call here the Cornneechy. It's a pretty enough road along the bay, but Irene says it's about as much like the road in Europe they name it from as Green Mountain is like Mount Blanck. Our folks seem possessed to stick a foreign name on to everything. And the road round through the scrub to Eagle Lake they call Norway. If Norway is like that, it's pretty short of timber. If there hadn't been so much lumbering here, I should like it better. There is hardly a decent pine-tree left. Mr. Meigs--they have gone riding with Mr. Meigs--says the Maine government ought to have a Maine law that amounts to something--one that will protect the forests, and start up some trees on the coast." "Is Mr. Meigs in the lumber business?" asked King. "Only for scenery, I guess. He is great on scenery. He's a Boston man. I tell the women that he is what I call a bric-er-brac man. But you come to set right down with him, away from women, and he talks just as sensible as anybody. He is shrewd enough. It beats all how men are with men and with women." Mr. Benson was capable of going on in this way all day. But the artist proposed a walk up to Newport, and Mr. King getting Mrs. Pendragon to accompany them, the party set out. It is a very agreeable climb up Newport, and not difficult; but if the sun is out, one feels, after scrambling over the rocks and walking home by the dusty road, like taking a long pull at a cup of shandygaff. The mountain is a solid mass of granite, bare on top, and commands a noble view of islands and ocean, of the gorge separating it from Green Mountain, and of that respectable hill. For this reason, because it is some two or three hundred feet lower than Green Mountain, and includes that scarred eminence in its view, it is the most picturesque and pleasing elevation on the island. It also has the recommendation of being nearer to the sea than its sister mountain. On the south side, by a long slope, it comes nearly to the water, and the longing that the visitor to Bar Harbor has to see the ocean is moderately gratified. The prospect is at once noble and poetic. Mrs. Pendragon informed Mr. King that he and Miss Lamont and Mr. Forbes were included in the watermelon party that was to start that afternoon at five o'clock. The plan was for the party to go in buckboards to Eagle Lake, cross that in the steamer, scramble on foot over the "carry" to Jordan Pond, take row-boats to the foot of that, and find at a farmhouse there the watermelons and other refreshments, which would be sent by the shorter road, and then all return by moonlight in the buckboards. This plan was carried out. Mrs. Cortlandt, Mrs. Pendragon, and Mrs.
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