List Of Contents | Contents of The Golden House, by Charles Dudley Warner
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called her beautiful, but then she did not know how she looked sometimes
when her feelings were touched.  It is said that the lamp of love can
illumine into beauty any features of clay through which it shines.  As he
gazed, letting himself drift as in a dream, suddenly a thought shot
through his mind that made him close his eyes, and such a severe priestly
look came upon his face that the little girl, who had never taken her
eyes off him, exclaimed:

"It is worse?"

"No, my dear," he replied, with a reassuring smile; " at least, I hope

But when the doctor, finishing her work, drew a chair into the doorway,
and sat by the foot of his bed, the stern look still remained on his pale
face.  And the doctor, she also was the doctor again, as matter of fact
as in any professional visit.

"You are very kind," he said.

There was a shade of impatience on her face as she replied, "But you must
be a little kind to yourself."

"It doesn't matter."

"But it does matter.  You defeat the very work you want to do.  I'm going
to report you to your order."  And then she added, more lightly, "Don't
you know it is wrong to commit suicide?"

"You don't understand," he replied.  "There is more than one kind of
suicide; you don't believe in the suicide of the soul.  Ah, me!"  And a
shade of pain passed over his face.

She was quick to see this.  "I beg your pardon, Father Damon.  It is none
of my business, but we are all so anxious to have you speedily well

Just then Father Monies returned, and the doctor rose to go.  She took
the little girl by the hand and said, "Come, I was just going round to
see your father.  Good-by.  I shall look in again tomorrow."

"Thank you--thank you a thousand times.  But you have so much to do that
you must not bother about me."

Whether he said this to quiet his own conscience, secretly hoping that he
might see her again on the morrow, perhaps he himself could not have

Late the next afternoon, after an unusually weary round of visits, made
in the extreme heat and in a sort of hopeless faithfulness, Dr. Leigh
reached the tenement in which Father Damon lodged: In all the miserable
scenes of the day it had been in her mind, giving to her work a pleasure
that she did not openly acknowledge even to herself, that she should see

The curtains were down, and there was no response to her knock, except
from a door in the passage opposite.  A woman opened the door wide enough
to show her head and to make it evident that she was not sufficiently
dressed to come out, and said that Father Damon had gone.  He was very
much better, and his friend had taken him up-town.  Dr. Leigh thanked
her, and said she was very glad.

She was so glad that, as she walked away, scarcely heeding her steps or
conscious of the chaffing, chattering crowd, all interest in her work and
in that quarter of the city seemed dead.


It is well that there is pleasure somewhere in the world.  It is possible
for those who have a fresh-air fund of their own to steam away in a
yacht, out of the midsummer ennui and the weary gayety of the land.
It is a costly pleasure, and probably all the more enjoyed on that
account, for if everybody had a yacht there would be no more feeling of
distinction in sailing one than in going to any of the second-rate
resorts on the coast.  There is, to be sure, some ennui in yachting on a
rainy coast, and it might be dull but for the sensation created by
arrivals at watering-places and the telegraphic reports of these

If there was any dullness on the Delancy yacht, means were taken to
dispel it.  While still in the Sound a society was formed for the
suppression of total abstinence, and so successful was this that Point
Judith was passed, in a rain and a high and chopping sea, with a kind of
hilarious enjoyment of the commotion, which is one of the things desired
at sea.  When the party came round to Newport it declared that it had had
a lovely voyage, and inquiry brought out the great general principle,
applicable to most coast navigation for pleasure, that the enjoyable way
to pass Point Judith is not to know you are passing Point Judith.

Except when you land, and even after you have got your sea-legs on, there
is a certain monotony in yachting, unless the weather is very bad, and
unless there are women aboard.  A party of lively women make even the sea
fresh and entertaining.  Otherwise, the game of poker is much what it is
on land, and the constant consulting of charts and reckoning of speed
evince the general desire to get somewhere--that is, to arrive at a
harbor.  In the recollections of this voyage, even in Jack's
recollections of it after he had paid the bills, it seemed that it had
been simply glorious, free from care, generally a physical setting-up
performance, and a lark of enormous magnitude.  And everybody envied the
fortunate sailors.

Mavick actually did enjoy it, for he had that brooding sort of nature,
that self-satisfied attitude, that is able to appropriate to its own uses
whatever comes.  And being an unemotional and very tolerable sailor,
he was able to be as cynical at sea as on land, and as much of an oracle,
in his wholly unobtrusive way.  The perfect personal poise of Mavick,
which gave him an air of patronizing the ocean, and his lightly held
skeptical view of life, made his company as full of flavor on ship as it
was on shore.  He didn't know anything more about the weather than the
Weather Bureau knows, yet the helmsman of the yacht used to consult him
about the appearances of the sky and a change of wind with a confidence
in his opinion that he gave to no one else on board.  And Mavick never
forfeited this respect by being too positive.  It was so with everything;
he evidently knew a great deal more than he cared to tell.  It is
pleasing to notice how much credit such men as Mavick obtain in the world
by circumspect reticence and a knowing manner.  Jack, blundering along in
his free-hearted, emotional way, and never concealing his opinion, was
really right twice where Mavick was right once, but he never had the
least credit for wisdom.

It was late in August that the Delancy yacht steamed into the splendid
Bar Harbor, making its way slowly through one of the rare fogs which are
sometimes seen by people who do not own real estate there.  Even before
they could see an island those on board felt the combination of mountain
and sea air that makes this favored place at once a tonic and a sedative
to the fashionable world.

The party were expected at Bar Harbor.  It had been announced that the
yacht was on its way, and some of the projected gayeties were awaiting
its coming, for the society reenforcement of the half-dozen men on board
was not to be despised.  The news went speedily round that Captain
Delancy's flag was flying at the anchorage off the landing.

Among the first to welcome them as they landed and strolled up to the
hotel was Major Fairfax.

"Oh yes," he said; " we are all here--that is, all who know where they
ought to be at the right moment."

To the new-comers the scene was animated.  The exotic shops sparkled with
cheap specialties; landaus, pony-phaetons, and elaborate buckboards
dashed through the streets; aquatic and law-tennis costumes abounded.
If there was not much rowing and lawn-tennis, there was a great deal of
becoming morning dressing for these sports, and in all the rather aimless
idleness there was an air of determined enjoyment.  Even here it was
evident that there was a surplus of women.  These lovers of nature, in
the summer season, who had retired to this wild place to be free from the
importunities of society, betrayed, Mavick thought, the common instinct
of curiosity over the new arrival, and he was glad to take it as an
evidence that they loved not nature less but man more.  Jack tripped up
this ungallant speech by remarking that if Mavick was in this mood he did
not know why he came ashore.  And Van Dam said that sooner or later all
men went ashore.  This thin sort of talk was perhaps pardonable after the
weariness of a sea voyage, but the Major promptly said it wouldn't do.
And the Major seemed to be in charge of the place.

"No epigrams are permitted.  We are here to enjoy ourselves.  I'm ordered
to bring the whole crew of you to tea at the Tavish cottage."

"Anybody else there?" asked Jack, carelessly.

"Well, it's the most curious coincidence, but Mrs. Henderson arrived last
night; Henderson has gone to Missouri."

"Yes, he wrote me to look out for his wife on this coast," said Mavick.

"You kept mighty still about it," said Jack.

"So did you," retorted Mavick.

"It is very curious," the Major explained, "how fashionable intelligence
runs along this coast, apparently independent of the telegraph; everybody
knows where everybody else is."

The Tavish cottage was a summer palace of the present fashion, but there
was one good thing about it: it had no tower, nor any make-believe
balconies hung on the outside like bird-cages.  The rooms were spacious,
and had big fireplaces, and ample piazzas all round, so that the sun
could be courted or the wind be avoided at all hours of the day.  It was,
in short, not a house for retirement and privacy, but for entertainment.
It was furnished luxuriously but gayly, and with its rugs and portieres
and divans it reminded Mavick of an Oriental marquee.  Miss Tavish called
it her tepee, an evolution of the aboriginal dwelling.  She liked to
entertain, and she never appeared to better advantage than when her house
was full, and something was going on continually-lively breakfasts and
dinners, dances, theatricals, or the usual flowing in and out of callers
and guests, chattering groups, and flirtatious couples.  It was her idea
of repose from the winter's gayety, and in it she sustained the role of
the non-fatigueable society girl.  It is a performance that many working-
girls regard with amazement.

There was quite a flutter in the cottage, as there always is when those
who know each other well meet under new circumstances after a short

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