At Lake O’Calling
Sir Gilbert Parker
Author of “The Right of Way,” “Jordan in a Hard Road,” etc.
THE Young Doctor knew; but it took him a long time to find it out beyond peradventure. He was no longer “young” when he discovered that which made tragedy and comedy in one; yet the world still called him what it had always done since the year Askatoon first saw him—the Young Doctor.
He had been so much of the every-day life of the people that they would have no other doctor, even when his practice outgrew his powers; and so it was that the two other doctors who came to Askatoon were forced to seek partnership with him. Then he became, as it were, the head of a medical trust — Winterton, Shipley & Seaman, physicians, surgeons and accoucheurs, was the style and title of the firm. And because Winterton, the Young Doctor, was, in the world’s eyes, responsible for all that the others did, the people had confidence, while he took half of all the fees.
There were certain folk who would rather have died, however, than employ either of the junior partners in his place; and among these was the little old man Lisbon James, who, with his brownhaired, brown-eyed daughter, lived by Lake o’Calling under Tashalak Hill, five miles from Askatoon.
Tashalak Hill was the beginning of a range reaching away to the north and west, the first link between the prairie and the mountains, which looked toward the Pacific on the one side and Hudson’s Bay on the other. As befitted a physical feature so important, it was beautiful in all seasons—wooded with pines and hemlocks and spruces. At its foot, on the road leading to the Peace River country, a highway after all the ages for thousands of emigrants and adventurers, was Lake o’Calling, so named because of the echo a voice made across it and against the precipitous Tashalak.
SHORTLY after the Young Doctor himself came north, Lisbon James had arrived at the settlement. He had lived there since, at first in poverty, and then in comfort, as the years went on and travellers increased ; for milk and butter and eggs and vegetables were luxuries necessary to all wayfarers, and they had them at a fully adequate price
But neither Lisbon James nor his daughter did the trading. A middle-aged French-Canadian habitant and his wife, who had journeyed West to join their young married daughter, and only arrived after her death, went to live at Lake o’Calling. They became the happy slaves of Lisbon James’ daughter, and thereby slaves to Lisbon James himself. These two were the tireless workers of the little estate, and did all the huckstering; so that few people came in touch with the owner, who lived a secluded life. It was a very healthy life, too, since in many years the Young Doctor had only been called in five times; and then it was always to see the girl who, while wonderfully healthy, was more than once the victim of accidents, the result of fearless adventure.
Since the montent the Young Doctor saw the little girl first, as she lay with a twisted ankle and a dislocated elbow in the log-house by Lake o’Calling, well sheltered behind by great pine trees, he had had a strange, almost uncanny sense of recognition or reminiscence. As the girl grew older, the impression deepened ; and at times it struck him with a hidden force, as though in the dark some one had whispered not loud enough to be heard. He felt a hand tugging at the shutters of his memory; but for years it never got beyond that, try as he would. Once, when Lisbon James opened the door and |eft the room where he was bandaging fancy’s elbow, he had a sudden disturbing summons of memorÿ of suggestion, and it haunted him for a long time afterward—a face turned at a doorway, and looking back with troubled pity, solicitude and sorrow. And when his eyes fell an Nancy’s face smiling through the pain, he had a singular feeling that the whole picture was not new— the face at the doorway, the face on the pillow — yet with confusing differences which only bewildered him. It was as though lightning flashed upon a scene, but with such blinding swiftness that the eyes could not define it Little Libson James was very refined in person for a man in his position, in spite of the roughness of his dress. This must have been because his clothes were kept so clean, for certainly they did not fit well. They hung looselÿ about his spare figure, while the coat sleeves were always too long, and the hat and boots too big. The result was a slouching look. Yet the gray hair, worn longer than most men wore it , and the clean-shaven cheek and chin, gave a delicacy to the brown parchment face, lighted by brown, watchful eyes, which seemed always to have a veil over them, or as though they looked through mfst or cloud. The face needed a beard to give the personality a ruggedness in keeping with the life at Lake o’Calling. .
THE relationship of the two was evident Nancy was very like Lisbon James. There was the same oval face, the same brown eyes—Nancy had no cloud and no mist, but much light and wonder and humor, too—the same long, thin hands with almond-shaped fingers. It was those hands more than aught else which made the observant feel that the little man, who was as skilled at weaving as at butter-making or mowing, had come of well-bred stock from somewhere in the outer world. This, however would cause little surprise in the Far North, where so many flee, to turn their backs upon scenes no longer supportable or people with whom they can no longer live. The North is kind to them. It gives them that which deadens pain and remorse, which obliterates misfortune; in the vast spaces where little gardens of civilization make living and loving the happy wastes; it provides a balm for wounds got in the warfare of the crowded life forsaken by
the emigres. The golden brown harvet fields of summer, the white silence of sunlit winter, the air that drinksllike wine, night and day and all seasons, lpng peace with toil, and hope for the broken spirit.
So it may have been with Lisbon James, thought those who saw the trades of another sphere in the tapering fingers, gnarled by rheumatism and roughened by hard work, yet not native to the koil. The Far North, however, has no past, and all men begin the world when they settle there. Indeed, the time came when Lisbon James was looked upon as a! veteran, as one of the oldest inhabitants, as belonging to the days of the H.l.C.—the Great Company which pegged out civilization in the illimitable plains, atme gateways of vast lakes, and the f;rtls and portages of wild rivers. Eightelm years in the North entitles a man toi an historical position, and history doek not go beyond his advent
SO it was with little Lisborn James, while his daughter flburishedland her fame for beauty spread. She also had renown for intelligence, though phe had never been to school. Whatever she knew —and she knew a great deal—her father had taught her. The husband who took her from this home at Lake of Calling would not find her unqualified. See made many a man who saw her, perhdps only in passing, turn back to look agkin and yet again.
The Young Doctor was one of these; but he did not turn back for' tne same reason as the rest. He was alwaysjsearching for something he could not finid. But at last he found it. j
It happened this way. ¡
It was late summer. The harvèst was 'in, and everywhere, over all theibrown prairie, clouds of dust and chaff arose straight to the heavens, where thelsteamthreshers were sifting the golden grain destined for the far places of thei earth. The nights were cool; but the dass were sunny and radiant, the birds had not yet begtm to fly south, emigrants were still moving westward and northward, and travelers were hurrying east and"west, speculation in their eyes. Many of them halted at Lake o’Calling, going and coming, lying, as it did, in the path bf the great railway being built and tne new Eldorado of settlement in the Peace River country. All kinds of people made pilgrimages past Lake o’Calling. Ose day it W’as an English duke, next day It was a Dakota horse-thief another day it was an adventurer from Europe, and yet again it was a Commissioner of Ponce, or a new Governor-General, and occasionally a bigger man still, a king—a railway king—who came to view the nation-making work which his brain had conraived and other people’s money built at] three and a half per cent profit, while hijs profits were the useful millions notTto be reckoned in percentages. !
Here it was came Calmour, one of the greatest of these full-priced patriots, on a morning when the [world
was as cheerful as it had ever been since the beginning of time. It was not more cheerful than Calmour. He had found that the troubles of construction were less than had been anticipated, and that his new’ railway would cost him less than the estimates by hundreds of thousands of pounds. The feeling of that to him was like the finding of a gold coin in the street to a thirsty lad on circus-day after all his money has been spent. Calmour did not need the hundreds of thousands; he could never use them except to increase his power, since he had neither chick nor child on whom to spend his möney, nor for whom to accumulate the riches of the earth. But he was thirsty for Power, and Power was his gold. Each new railway he built, each land company and lumber bond issue to which he lent his name, helped to increase that power.
It brought him much of everything save the things that matter. In these he was poor enough. He wondered often at the starved feeling that was in his heart, when he could lay his hands on money which could buy him whatever his eye fancied—almost. Yet he had more than most rich men to satisfy him. He had a love of pictures and rare books, and documents and poetry, and armor and ancient jewels; and his house in Montreal was full of thorn. In this, he was a rara a in* in the new country he was revealing in part to the world. He had more temperament than is usual to men of his trade, and he loved a tag of poetry and a useful aphorism. He had the machinery for the making of happiness; he had those gifts which make for enjoyment And yet at sixty he had not found content, and was not even peaceful. He must ever be moving, ever going from one thing to another. People said it was a pity that he had no family, and that he would not marry. There were widows many who had deftly placed themselves in his way; there were ladies who would willingly have got rid of their own husbands to go to him; and there were very young unmarried women, scarce out of their ’teens, who would have seen no wintry chill in his frosted head. But he went on his way, stopping only for a moment where the willing hearts were; taking a little, as he always did where there was something to be got, and giving naught in return. He had that supreme selfishness which belongs to the money-maker. Kings and princes and statesmen and soldiers and admirals all give service freely—give, as a rule, a thousand times more than they ever get. But the money-master sees only himself, feels only the desires of self. Still, one way or another, he pays for all he gets in the end. '
Calmour had his gloomy moments, his hours of angry satiety and boredom, when he cried: “Is this all?” But they were not chronic.
AS he came to Tashalak Hill this beautiful September morning, he was not in a mood of gloom, and his eye drank in the prospect with an artist’s eye. It was a soothing luxury to have, as other men had, the pleasure of controlling fortunes and owning great railways, and yet to possess the gift of enjoying art and nature which they did not possess. Reining in his horse and waving back his retainers, he had a feeling of exultation as he looked out upon Lake o’Calling with its tiny islands dotting the surface.
He drank in as a reveler drains his
glass, eagerly, greedily, and saw a scene for the brush of Daubigny. For a moment, the whole world seemed to belong to him. He filled it. He was master of it. The sense of control was in his eyes, the consciousness of it in his mind. Away to the right, on the shore of the lake, lay a large log-house, which had been added to till it was an unpretentious mansion; in. a clearing beyond the house were two or three cows and a horse, and chickens scampered about a doorway of a second tiny log-house flanking the larger house. It was just sunrise; the sun had not yet absorbed the dew, and this sylvan world sparkled.
The house held his eyes. How homelike and kind it was, how set apart from the world! It suddenly brought to his mind another house, not of logs, but the lower part of great timbers, and the upper part of weatherbeaten boards—a house with big dormer windows, a wide verandah on the south side, and a stoop on the other, where he sat of an evening how long ago, how long! His eyes were now seeing beyond Lake o’Calling to the old Manor House down in Quebec, which he had frequented in the days when he was as yet unknowm, a farmer's son, driving upward from obscurity and poverty to competence, or rather to oppor-, tunity; for all that he made was spent in negotiating opportunity. He lived to-day on two thousand dollars a year, as though he were going to be worth two hundred thousand a year to-morrow. v
There, in the old Manor House, he had married, on just such a morning as this, brilliant, buoyant, eloquent of energy. He recalled the drive through the parish, his girl-wife at his side, as proud and happy as could be; for it had never occurred to him then to marry for money. He was too big for that, or too confident and self-centered. He knew even then that he could make all the money he wanted, and he meant to make it. He had told his girl-wife so, as they drove, with the happy, singing procession behind them on their wedding journey.
NOW, as his mind’s eye saw this picture, a heaviness seemed to settle on his spirit like a pall, and all the land grew dark. This bright prospect before him seemed to fade, and a cloud of discontent gathered over it. After all, howbarren and sordid and meaningless it all was! In the Manor House from which he took his bride, there was great happiness long ago. Now the place was gone to alien hands, and all who had loved his girl-wife had disappeared. Some had been taken by death, while some had gone where he never saw them more; and if they had their will, he would never see them more. For that which had driven his girl-wife to her grave, had been his own passion and heartlessness. He had wakened to life’s opportunities for pleasure when he had made his first fortune; and his natural, if undeveloped, capacities for luxury and indulgence had been in-, flamed by a woman of brilliant parts and abandoned character. On her account, he had neglected the girl-wife, who had loved him through the seven years of their married life with a devotion which he did not realize, so used are men of his kind to getting all and giving little. The two children his wife had borne and lost, he had missed; but the present thing was most to him always. And so it was he soon forgot them, and even ceased to look
for others to come, carried away as h* was at first slowly, almost wonderinglv only half-understanding, and then win a rush, by the woman through whom h» had lost his wife. It was all forgottei. by the world long ago; but many at, honest mind was grieved and scandalized when his wife, shocked beyond endurara •• by the sudden knowledge that another woman shared, or altogether held, hiheart—she thought it was his heart; for. from first to last, she was like a child, simple and single-minded and unworldly —left him suddenly, and herself went away where he could not find her. He never found her. All he found, when at last he traced her, having himself been shocked into a realization of the true posi tion, and left the fly-away who had used, demoralized and bled him, was a grave whereon was carved only her maiden name, and no more, except the words which long rang in his ears: “Blessed are the pure in. heart, for they shall see God!”
THE last time he ever saw her. she was standing at the window of their home looking after him with a smile. That was the day she had meant, to tell him what, in spite of his late coldness, she felt might make his arms more eager to embrace her; and she had gatherer! up a handful of things and had left him for ever, as it proved; for she died within six months of that day in a distant corner of Gaspe by the sea.
He had never married since. He had no child, and all his fortune would go to a favorite nephew who had proved his capacity as an organizer and pioneer Rupert Calmour by name. Sometimes the futility of his prodigious labors rushed upon him. ’stole the strength from his bones. All he was doing, and all he had. was for himself alone; for this nephew of his could not take the place of wife and children. But in all the years since his wife’s flight and her death, he had never been able to stretch out his hand and put another woman in her place. Composed, and even callous, as many thought him. his wife’s death had been a tragedy to him; and, as the years went by, it grew not less; but more, in his mind and imagination. A thousand times in his sleep he had dreamed of her. and always, either as he last saw her at the window of their home, or as she looked when she reached up an arm that bright morning when her first-born came, and drew his head down to her breast where a babe lay in the hollow of her other arm. After those dreams, he was generally savage in his financial dealings. Anger at himself found its way into his dealings with the world, and the world was not happier because of this mis-direction of remorse As he looked at the great log-house be side the lake, that anry remorse came welling up in him again; and the futility of all he had done emerged once more with its monotonous mockery. What good even the mastery of the world, if there was not some one waiting behind the casement. watching for your return, to say: “Well done;” and to lead you into the inner sanctuary of home. What good!
Before the angry remorse could master him now. however, there stole through him the sweetness of this scene of con tent and peace. Again the thought of that May morning long ago, when Suzon raised her face to take his kiss and called him husband for the first time, crept into
his heart; and his eyes swam with the fulness of the soul, which was in him more than in most men. His genius, his temperament made him powerful ; but he paid the price for it. For, when he suffered, he suffered as one bound in chains and cast into the fire.
His head dropped on to his breast, and he sat on his horse among the trees like a leader who had seen his army desert him in the face of the enemy.
The minutes passed, like years it seemed to the man alone with his tortured soul; and then he was sharply aroused by a shrill cry from the lake in front of him. He drove his horse forward clear of the trees, and saw, not five hundred feet away, two white arms thrust up in the blue water, and a face shrouded with hair sinking beneath the surface.
IN an instant, he was off his horse. With lightning swiftness, he discarded his hat, boots, coat and wdistcoat; and, from the high bank where he was, plunged out and down with the skill of the expert swimmer—he had been that ever since he was a child. He disappeared beneath the water; but in a second rose again, r and struck out with powerful strokes to where the two white arms were still showing, though the head was almost submerged.
Behind him on the bank, voices shouted encouragement to him, the voices of his nephew, Rupert Calmour, and the engineer traveling with them. They were launching one of the collapsible boats which had been brought with the expedition.
In an incredibly short time, he covered the space between the shore and the drowning girl, Nancy James, who had been seized with cramp while taking her morning plunge. As Calmour neared the girl, Lisbon James himself appeared on the shore in front of the log-mansion, crying out helplessly.
Calmour reached the girl in time.
In apother moment she would have been gone forever. He got an arm around her, and as she clasped her arms around his neck over his shoulders, he struck out for the shore when Rupert Calmour and another were paddling swiftly in the emergency boat.
His own face was scarcely clear of the water, and he labored heavily; for he was sixty, the water was icy cold, and the girl was no sylph or flowerstem. It seemed to him that he could never reach the boat coming to him; and yet, somehow, the girl’s arms around his neck summoned up every inch of energy and resource in him.
With a sudden realization that his strength was going that it could not last, he made call on all his vital forces for a supreme effort, for the last spurt which might save them both. The thought did not occur to him that he could save himself without the girl. It seemed to him that the one reason why they should not both sink was that the girl should be saved. He had, behind all, a great heart which had never been given a real chance, which had loved self too well—a force lacking power, because it was so little used. Yet, here it was proving its natural worth at last The strain on #very nerve and muscle was immeasurable; but in the
very moment when he felt he could hold out no longer, the boat reached them, and the girl was lifted away from him, though her hands were so tightly clasped around his neck that Rupert Calmour’s strong fingers could only loose them by a powerful effort In Calmour’s exhaustion there was something strange in the feeling possessing him, that he wished the arms to remain where they were. They had been like the child’s helplessness clinging to the man’s strength ; and it was so long since the arms of the young had been round him, so many centuries ago!
As they lifted her away from him, conscious and murmuring something, partly of gratitude and partly a response to the anxious shouts of Lisbon James ort> the shore by the log-mansion, Calmour saw her face for the first time, the brown eyes under the broad forehead, the oval face, the pointed chin, the lips curving so delicately yet so strongly, and the straight aquiline nose—-like his own. He gave a cry that rang out across the lake, a cry of amazement, of shock, of joy so intense that it was like pain.
"Suzon!-Suzon!" he cried wildly; then his hands slipped from the s4de of the boat, and he slid down into t4~e depths like a stone. I
Without an instant's hesitati~n, Rupert Calmour plunged beneath the $urface, a looped rope in his hands.
`.F' WO hours aftePward, th~ Young L Doctor arrived at Lisbo4 James' house. They had restored C4mour to consciousness; but he did no n4ore than look into the face of Lisbon J4nes, and then sink back into uncons4iousness. They worked with him for a tim~ longer; and at length his eyes opened atain, and fell once more on Lisbon James. I
A look of stark confusion, 4most of fear, came into his drenched 64. -
"Who are you-who is she?" h4 gasped. Lisbon James stooped and w~iisper.d in his ear. He suddenly raised himself with a cry of joy.
Continued on page 67
At Lake O’Calling
Continued from page 29
"Suzon!” he said, and fell back and was -till —forever.
AS he entered, the Young Doctor gave one glance at the body of Christopher Calmour, the vanished money-master. Then, with a kindly pressure of the hand of the bereaved nephew, whose grief was not forced, though he was heir to all the dead man’s wealth, he passed into the room where Nancy James lay.
He found the girl in a high fever, and breathing hard. He touched the burning skin of her face, felt her pulse, and proj c-eeded to undo the soft night-dress which showed so white against the flushed face j and burning neck.
“Is it pneumonia?” Lisbon James asked, standing at the other side of the bed. with a Ÿace tragic in its rigid calm.
The Young Doctor nodded. He bared the girl’s bosom, and drew the linen down, so that he could put the stethoscope to her side. As he laid his ear to it, his eyes saw something which made him start, a birth-mark like a star upon the hot, red flesh, showing almost white, like a lilyof-the-valley on crimson silk.
He raised himself slowly, and met the eyes of Lisbon James. They tried to look at him steadily; but presently they faltered, and a look of appealing came into them.
The Young Doctor gazed at Lisbon James, yet not altogether seeing. He was beholding a scene of twenty years ago—a woman’s face turned at a doorway, a woman’s face on a pillow, a child lying beside the figure on the bed.
For a moment he was lost in contemplation of that scene, far and away behind Lisbon James, so far behind; then he pulled himself together with a sharp determination, and gave attention to the girl to whom Lake o’Calling, which she loved so well, had been unkind this day.
When he had done what was imperative, and had prepared her medicine, arranged her treatment, and swiftly made a record-sheet of the case for the wall behind the bed, leaving the old French woman servant to look after her, he went into a little room adjoining, where Lisbon James was preparing with unusual deftness for a man, the needed fomentations.
LISBON JAMES did not look up as he entered; but conscious of his presence, bent over the work in hand jrith increased attention.
He sat down opposite the table where Lisbon James was busy. His eyes travelled over the slip, loosely-garbed figure, and a quizzical smile flickered for a moment at his lips.
“This is a long way from Gaspe,“ he
Lisbon James started, but did not meet
“I was in Gaspe twenty-two years ago,” the Young Doctor added. “I had my first important case in Gaspe.”
There was no response; only a slow flush fading to an excessive whiteness in Lisbon James’ face, showed that his words told.
“It was a beautiful, wild spot. I had just come across the sea from Ireland, to start life after my graduation. I had worked hard, and I was idling where the
fishing was good—in Gaspe. Ah, it was a beautiful, wild, lonely spot! The nearest doctor besides myself was thirty miles away. . That was how I had my first case there on the hill above the little fishing village on the St. Lawrence. You remember!”
The work stopped. Lisbon James raised fascinated, yet fearful, eyes to his.
“What do I remember?” he asked, as though trying to gain time.
“As I said, my first case—when that beautiful girl in there, was born.”
Lisbon James shook back his grey hair, and wiped the perspiration from his brow, with trembling hand.
“Will she live; tell me, will she live?” he asked in agony.
“I hope so,” answered the Young Doctor. “She has everything in her favor; youth, strength , a desire to live, and^i mother’s care!”
Lisbon James’ face was waxen in its whiteness now.
“She has no mother,” she said almost sharply. -
“You wished me to say father’s care?” he remarked.
There was a moment’s hush, and then Lisbon James sank into a chair, leaned thin, trembling arms on the table and said painfully: “She has no father.”
“Lisbon James is not her father then?”
“Lisbon James’ body shook in agitation. Twenty-two years of self-suppression, and of all other things, were shaking the thin figure now, as a reed is shaken by the wind.
Lisbon James raised a face with a new look in it, a look as of a sudden determination and confidence. “I can trust you, as I trusted, as we trusted you, then in Gaspe,” the low, trailing voice said, “Her father lies dead in-the next room.”
Now, the Young Doctor started. “Her father—in the néxt room!” he exclaimed.
LISBON LIAMES made a gesture of assent, J‘üe died saving her life, that is sometbfngSihe knew and was glad. ‘Suzon,’ he caMed but, as he died. When he saw her facefirst at the boat, that was the name he called out before he sank.” “Shock, ácting on an overstrained heart —yes. Suzon, she was—?”
“Suzon was Nancy’s mother, was Christopher Calmour’s wife. Nancy is the image of Suzon. Oh, never were two people more alike!”
“He knew, you think?”
“He knew at the last—I told him.”
“And yoû are a woman, Suzon’s sister,” he responded reflectively.
“I was with’ her when you—when Nancy was born in Gaspe.”
“Yes, your face always haunted me out here, disturbed my memory,” he remarked. “Why did you do it?”
“He had so ill-used Suzon; there was another woman. One day proofs of it all came to her; there is always someone to betray, either for a price, or out of revenge. She left him at once, and at last went to Gaspe. There, as you know, Nancy was born, and there Suzon died a short time after.”
“I did not know that,” the Young Doctor rejoined uneasily.
“It was no one’s fault. Wrhen you left her, she was doing well; but she caught a chill, and died. Before she went she made me promise never to let him know there was a child, or to let him have it; and I kept my promise to Suzon.”
“Why did you dress as a man?”
“It was the way to be sure. As her father, a widower, there could be no suspicion of any kind. It was my way—it was my way,” she said protestingly. “And it was right. No one ever knew it all the years untit to-day when he saw her. She was so like Suzon; that was how he knew.”
“But his property—he is worth millions—is hers by right.”
“He has left it all to his nephew in there, his brother’s son.”
“But it must go to her. All must be made known.”
“I gave my promise to Suzon,” she urged stubbornly.
“The girl must have her say. The dead will not control the living. If her mother were alive, she would say so. The child has a right to know her father, her own father.”
“I was as good as any father to her. I . . . .”
“Nonsense! The girl has a right to choose. Father and daughter are father and daughter, and you had no right, you have no right, to stand between. She must have what is her oWn."
“Through the courts of law . .
she shuddered. “It was so long ago, and they are dead,* and the shame of it all is buried, and—ah, what good can it do! We are happy here ; we are so happy, she and I.”
Seeing the need of it, the Young Doctor dealt almost sharply with her.
“Did you think you could keep her at Tashalak Hill forever? Did you never think that a man might come—like that one in there—his nephew?”
Their eyes met and stayed, and into hers came a new thing that startled her.
“You are right. Ob, of course, you are right, if that might be!” she said. And if it was he, that would put it all right, would it not? Then nothing need be known, then . . . .”
She paused, overwhelmed.
She smiled. Hôw strange were a woman’s moods and reasonings, even when she had played the man so long!
‘A es, that would be the best way out,” she said.
“Father! Father!” came a cry, a little painful cry from the next room.
As she moved swiftly to the door of the next room, Lisbon James looked doubtfully, confusedly, down at the clothes she wore, then at the Young Doctor.
He interpreted her look. “You must keep it up,” he said.
•• A T the Railhead, wherever that may ***■ be, or whatever railway I am building when I die, and if there is more than one, then the railway last begun . . .”
So read the will of the money-master, Calmour, concerning his burial. And so, west of Tashalak Hill fifty miles, he was laid away, at the last milestone of his great project, as it were. A cairn of stones marked the place till such a time as a fitting monument could be erected, and the will provided for that—a tall shaft of pure white marble, with nothing thereon save the name of the money-master who had, in doing service for himself and his ambitions, done great service to the State. His nephew, Rupert Calmour, heir to the millions, was the chief mourner, and carefully directed and su«pervised all that was done. The cavalcade that left the log mansion at Tashalak Hill classing Lake o’Calling on
rafts hastily made, was in keeping with the romantic spirit underlying the character of the man that had in part paid his debt to Suzon Caron. Also, he had, in some part, paid his debt to the daughter whose life he had given again, as it were, a new birth to the world. In some part, too, he had paid a heavy debt to the Soul of Things, whose gift he had abused, whose secrets he had profaned.
“What are your plans now?” asked the Young Doctor of Rupert Calmour, when they met at Tashalak Hill after the last duty had been paid to the ashes of the money-master.
“I’fn staying here till I know the danger is over. It’s what he would have wished, I know” responded Calmour.
“I’m certain it’s what he would have wished!” returned the Young Doctor, meaningly.
The blue eyes swept suddenly to meet the Young Doctor’s look. They were full of inquiry, of resolute inquiry. Character had its abode in the depths of that blue sea of intelligence and feeling.
“She is like my aunt, as I remember her when a child. It was that that made him cry ‘Suzon’ when he saw her face, I suppose. Is it a chance resemblance, oris—is there a mystery? .... Do you know? Who is she? Who is her father, Lisbon James? Where did she come from? He also is like my aunt, as I remember her.”
“Nature reproduces herself more often than we think,” replied the Young Doctor, “and I have no doubt there was some startling resemblance; but mystery or no mystery, there’s no need for any unveiling now. He is gone, and if there was a mys tery he carried it with him.”
“But she is left, she and her father.’’
“If Lisbon James has anything to say. he will no doubt say it.”
“When Lisbon James whispered some thing to my uncle, he gave a cry, started up. and then fell back dead,” persisted the new money-master.
“I think we must let it stand at that." responded the Young Doctor.
“They might be relatives,” urged Ru pert Calmour.
“That Could make little difference to them, I understand,” rejoined the Young Doctor. “He left everything in one quarter, is it not so?”
“If she-^-if they—were relatives, .1 would see justice done,” he answered firmly.
'p HE Young Doctor smiled to himself.
There was a chuckle in his throat. The new money-master could not keep his eyes off 4he log-mansion, and his feet were impatient to move in that direction.
It was impossible that the mystery might yet remain a mystery, and still that justice should be done! The Young Doctor led the way toward the house, and, as he went* he realized that there had come to Rupert Calmour, as there had come to himself a few years before, the conviction which makes the first glance the eternal commitment of the heart—love at first sight and for always.
“Then you’ll be staying yet awhile?" asked the Young Doctor, as they neared the house. “You’ll not need to go at once?
I suppose that business calls, and . .
“What’s the good of what I’ve got. if I’m the slave of others! Let them wait,” grumbled the new money-master.
“It sounds like insolence; but it’s power, simply power,” reflected the Young
I Doctor. But aloud he said: “Well, in
I this life there’s always slavery even to j the biggest, if not in one direction then j in another!”
The new money-master was so eager to i get inside the log-mansion that he did i pot realize the ironical, underlying sug gestion; but the Young Doctor nodded secretly and confidently to Lisbon Jame*, i as he entered the house.
THAT evening at sunset, when the world was all as beautiful as the I prayer of a child, and the sunset was a sea ! of gold and roses and violets, Rupert Calmour, with the Young Doctor, was admitted to the bedside of the girl whoso life he had helped to save.
“You’ll be going East soon,” said Nancy timidly at last to Rupert Calmour.
“Oh, no, not soon!” he answered. "I shall wait till you are on your feet—oat of the wood altogether.”
“You’ll be here quite a long time,” she remarked demurely, as her native humor i bubbled up; and she turned her face from the roses in the sky to inspect very carefully the pink roses in the paper on the wall.
“My uncle would have wished it so,” he ventured lamely.
“He saved my life; I shall never forget it,” she responded earnestly and gratefully and with tears in her eyes; and then the native humor would have its way. “Stay for your uncle’s sake,” she added, looking him straight in the eyes; and h«. blushed like a school-girl, this new moneyj master of thirty.
At that instant the Young Doctor left ! the room, choking back his laughter.
‘This is too much for me,” he said to Lis ; bon James with a grin. “It is going as ! you wish, all right.”
Now Lisbon James blushed too. Since the Young Doctor had come to know her : sex, she had been all womanalmost all j hysterical woman.
“What is to become of me?” she asked presently.
“Wait for the wedding and then do as you like,” said the second match-maker “She is to be told all, is she not"” j asked Lisbon James.
! “Yes, when it doesn’t matter which is to ; have the millions,” responded the Young. Doctor, sagely. „
“Go in and see,’’ he »answered, with a gesture to the other room, and smiled broadly again. -
“Was it all a mistake—all Tdid all these years?” Lisbon James asked ruefully.
“If I knew that. I’d know what Allah knows,” answered the Young Doctor.
“I only did what Suzon wished,” the other persisted weakly.
“Perhaps Suzon saw further than we can,” rejoined the Young Doctor.
LISBON JAMES took a bowl mied
with everlasting flowers, and j moved almost awkwardly toward the other room. In man’s clothes, she was very j self-conscious now. She turned at the i door, and looked back at him in embarrassment.
There came again to the Young Doctor's vision the room at Gaspe by the sea, where Nancy Calmour was born.
“Life isn’t a puzzle after all,” he said to himself, when he was left alone. “It's a law at work.”