Page images
PDF
EPUB

to pay

66

have no time to think of your sketches, for the sake of his art that the trustees except after dinner or on the train, may- would put off building until the young be. And if you don't succeed, you have architect had developed more indepento grab at every little job to earn enough dence and firmness of standard than be office expenses."

had yet shown. Hart's blank face did not commit him “I think I understand a little better to this wisdom.

than I did two years ago what it takes “The only time I ever had any real to succeed here in Chicago,” Hart refun was when I was working for the old marked at last. firm, in New York. God! I did some Wright shot a piercing glance at him pretty good things then. Old man Post

out of his tired eyes. used to trim me down when I got out of

· It means

a good many different sight of the clients, but he let me have kinds of things,” the older man said slowall the

rope he could. And now, - why, ly. “Just as many in architecture as elseit's you who have the fun!”

where. It is n't the firm that is putting “ And you who trim me down!” Hart up the most expensive buildings that is retorted, with a grim little smile. always making the biggest success, by a

“Well, perhaps. I have to keep an long shot.” eye on all you Paris fellows. You come “I suppose not,” Hart admitted. over here well trained, damned well And there the conversation lapsed. trained, we can't do anything like it The older man felt the real impossibility in this country,

but it takes a few of piercing the young architect's manner, years for you to forget that you are n't his imperturbability. in la belle France. And some never get “He does n't like me," he said to over their habit of making everything himself reproachfully. French Renaissance. You are n't flexi For he would have liked to say some ble. Some of you are n't creative -I thing to the younger man out of his twenmean," he said, getting warm on a favor- ty years of experience, something conite topic, "you don't feel the situation cerning the eternal conflict there is in all here. You copy. You try to express the professions between a man's ideals of everything just as you were taught. You his work and the practical possibilities in have got to feel things for yourself, by the world we have about us ; something, thunder!”

too, concerning the necessity of yieldHart kept his immobile face. It did ing to the brute facts of life and yet not not interest him to know what Wright yielding everything. But he had learned thought of the Beaux Arts men. Yet the great truth that talk never saves & he had no intention of falling out with man from his fate, especially that kind Wright, who was one of the leading ar of talk. A man lives up to what there chitects of the country, and whose con is in him, and Jackson Hart would follow nection might be valuable to him.

the rule. “I see you don't care to have me So he dug his bands into the letters preach,” the older man concluded hu on his desk, and said by way of conclumorously. “ And you know your own

sion : business best.”

Perhaps we can throw some things The Powers Jackson educational be- your way. There 's a little job, now.” quest meant that there would be a chance He held up a letter he had just glanced for some one to do a large public build at. “They want me to recommend some ing. Probably the family interests had one to build a clubhouse at Oak Hills. arranged to put this important piece of There is n't much in it. They can't work into Hart's hands. Wright hoped spend but seven thousand dollars. But

I had rather take that than do some They walked slowly, very close toother things !”

gether, neither one anxious to reach the “Thank you," Hart replied with con- misty horizon, where, in a bed of opalsiderable animation. “Of course I want escent gray, lay the beautiful lake. The every chance I can get.”

sunshine and the fruity odors of the He took the letter from Wright's out good earth, the tranquil vistas of bronze stretched hand.

oaks, set the woman brooding on her

nesting time, which was so close at hand. IX.

And the man was thinking likewise, in

his way, of this coming event, anxiously, After the few swift months of spring yet with confidence. The plans for the and summer they were to be married, Graveland, the contractor's big apartlate in the fall.

ment house, were already nearly finished. Above the lake at Forest Park, in a New work must come to the office. broad, open field, Mrs. Phillips's great There were the Rainbows, who had house had already risen. It was judged moved to Shoreham, having made a sudvariously by those who had seen it, but den fortune. And Raymond, the railit altogether pleased the widow; and the road man, on whose good will he counted, architect regarded it — the first work with Mrs. Phillips's assistance. of his manhood -- with complacency and Suddenly the house shot up before pride. Helen had not seen it since the their eyes, big and new in all the rawness walls had passed the first story. Then, of fresh brick and stone. It towered one day late in September, the architect blusteringly above the little oaks, a great and she made the little journey from the red-brick château, with a row of little city, and walked over to the house from round windows in its massive, thick-tiled the Shoreham station, up the lake road. red roof.

It was a still, soft fall day, with all Helen involuntarily stood still and the mild charm of late summer that caught her breath. So this was his ! comes only in this region. The leaves “ Oh!” she murmured. “Is n't it still clung in bronzed masses to the little big, Francis !” oaks ; a stray maple leaf dipped down, “ It's no three-room cottage,” he annow and then, from a gaudy yellow tree, swered, with a little asperity. and sailed like a bird along their path. Then he led her to the front, where There was a benediction in the country, she could get the effect of the two wings, before the dissolution of winter. The the southerly terrace toward the lake, girl's heart was filled with joy.

the sweeping drive, and the classic en“ If we could only live here, Francis !” trance.

“ All the year?” he queried doubt “ I know I shall grow to like it, Franfully.

cis,” the girl said loyally.

6 It must be “ Yes, always. Even the worst days very pretty inside, with those lovely I should not feel lonely. I shall never French windows; and the brick court is feel lonely again, anyway."

attractive, too." As he drew her hand close to his She felt that she was hurting her breast, he said contentedly, with a large lover in his tenderest spot, and she tried view of their future :

anxiously to find better words, to show “ Perhaps we can before long. But him that it was only her ignorance which land is very dear. Then you have to limited her appreciation. They strolled keep horses and servants, if you want to about among the refuse heaps of the live in the country.”

builders, viewing the place at every angle. “ Oh! I did n't think of all that.” Just as they were about to enter the

66

The young

house, there came from the Shoreham this, and the general good luck of being road the puffing of an automobile, and able to show these people over the house presently Mrs. Phillips arrived in a large he had made. After the first floor had touring car, with some people who had been exhausted, the party drifted upbeen lunching with her at the Shoreham stairs in detachments. Helen could hear Club. They came up to the house, talk- her lover's pleasant voice as he led the ing and joking in a flutter of good-na- way from suite to suite above. The tured comment. The architect recog. voices finally centred in Mrs. Phillips's nized the burly form of Colonel Ray bathroom, where the sunken marble bath, mond. He was speaking:

the walls of colored marble, caused much Well, Louise, you will have to take joking and laughter. us all in next season. I did n't know Can

you

tell me where Mrs. Phillips you were putting up a hotel like this.” is ?” a voice sounded from the door.

“ Hotel! It is a perfect palace !” ex Helen turned with a start. claimed a short, plump woman who was girl who asked the question was dressed following close behind. “I hope you in a riding habit. Outside on the drive are going to have a pergola. They're a small party of people were standing so nice. Every country house has a per with their horses. The girl spoke somegola nowadays."

what peremptorily, but before Helen had “ Why not an English garden and a time to reply, she added : yew hedge ? ” added a man who had on “ Are n't you Miss Spellman? I am the red coat of the Hunt Club. “I hope Venetia Phillips." you have got your stabling up to this, Then the two smiled at each other in Mrs. Phillips."

the way of women who feel that they Then they recognized the architect and may be friends. “I was off with my Helen. Mrs. Phillips introduced them to uncle the day you dined with mamma,” her friends, and they all went inside to she continued, "so I missed seeing you. make a tour of the rooms. The painters, Is n't this a great - barn, I was going who were rubbing the woodwork, looked to say." She laughed and caught hercuriously at the invading party; then, self. “I did n't remember! We have with winks among themselves, turned in- just been out with the hounds, the first differently to their tasks. The visitors It's too early to have a real hunt burst into ripples of applause over the yet.

Do

you ride ?hall with its two lofty stone fireplaces, They sat down on the great staircase the long drawing-room that occupied the and were at once absorbed in each other. south wing of the house, the octagonal In the meantime the party of visitors had breakfast room and the dining-room in returned from the upper story by the the other wing. The architect led them rear stairs, and were penetrating the mysabout, explaining the different effects he teries of the service quarters. Hart was had tried to get. He did it modestly, showing them proudly all the little detouching lightly on architectural points vices for which American architecture is with a well-bred assumption that the vis- famous, — the interior telephone service, itors knew all about such things. The the laundry shoots, the electric dumbplump little woman followed close at his waiters, the electric driers. These de heels, drinking in all that he said. Helen vices aroused Colonel Raymond's adwondered who she might be, until, in an

miration. When the others came back eddy of their progress, Hart found a to the hall he took the architect aside chance to whisper to her, “ It 's Mrs. and discussed driers earnestly. From Rainbow; she's thinking of building.” that they got to the heating system, which

He seemed very much excited about necessitated a visit to the basement.

run.

as

Mrs. Phillips took this occasion to say Helen laughed, and the two held hands to Helen :

for a moment, while the man in the red “ You can be proud of your young man,

coat talked with the architect. Miss Spellman. He's done a very suc When they had all gone, Jackson cessful piece of work. Every one likes it turned to Helen, a happy smile of triIt's all his, too,” she added generously. umph on his face.

Helen found nothing to say in reply. “ It seemed to take!' The widow was not an easy person for There had not been one word of comher to talk to. On that other occasion ment on the house itself, on the building when they had met, in Mrs. Phillips's a home for generations of people. city house, the two women had looked But Hart did not seem to notice that. into each other's eyes, and both had re He was flushed with the exhilaration of mained cold. The meeting had not been approval. all that the architect had hoped for it. “Yes,” Helen answered, throwing all

So this time Mrs. Phillips examined the animation she could into the words ; the younger woman critically, saying to “I think they all liked it.” herself, “She's a cold piece. She won't She was silent, with many vague imhold him long!”

pressions from the little incident of the At last the party gathered itself to- afternoon. There had been revealed to gether and left. The big touring car her a new side of her lover, a worldly puffed up to the door, and the visitors side, which accorded with his alert air, climbed in, making little final comments his well-trimmed mustache, and careful of a flattering nature, to please the archi- attention to dress.

He had been very tect, who had charmed them all. He much at home with all these people; was assiduous to the very end, laughing while she had felt more or less out of at Mrs. Rainbow's joke about the marble her element. He knew how to talk to tub, which she repeated for the benefit them, how to please them, just as he of those who had not been upstairs. knew how to build a house after their

After Hart had helped her to mount taste for luxury and display. He could the steps of the car, she leaned over and talk hunters or motor cars or bridge gave him her hand.

whist, as the occasion demanded. He “ So glad to have met you, Mr. Hart,” was one of them in instinct ! she said with plump impressiveness. “I She cast a timid look at the great am sure if we build, we 'll have to come façade above them, over which the cold to you. It's just lovely, everything." shadows of the autumn evening were fast

“I shall have to give that away to stealing, leaving it still more hard and Rainbow," the colonel joked. “There's new and raw. She was glad it was not nothing so bad to eat up money as a good to be her fate to live there in all its architect.”

grandeur and stiff luxury. Then he shook hands cordially with The architect had to speak to the suHart, lit a cigarette, and swung himself perintendent of the building, and Helen to the seat beside Mrs. Phillips. After sat down on the stone balustrade of the the car had started, the riders mounted. terrace to wait. The painters were leavHart belped Venetia Phillips to her seat, ing their job, putting on their coats as and slipped in a word about the hunt. they hurried from the house. They But the girl leaned over on the other scarcely cast a glance her way as they side toward Helen, with a sudden en- passed, disappearing into the road, fleeing thusiasm.

from the luxurious abode and the silent “ When you are married, can't I see woods, which were not theirs, to the vila lot of you 1 ?"

lage and the city This great Amer

sures.

66

ican château was so different from what thinking it might be the very thing for she had always dreamed her lover would us to do. There's such a lot of building build, this caravansary for the rich, this in these places now. Mrs. Phillips has toy where they could hide themselves in asked me several times why I did n't aristocratic seclusion and take their plea- move out here the shore. Just before

And the thought stole into her she left she asked me if I did n't want mind that he liked it, this existence of to build a lodge for her and take it for the rich and prosperous, their sports a year or so. Of course that's a joke. and their luxuries, and would want to But I know she's bought a lot of proearn with his life their pleasures, their perty on the bluff here, and might be housing, their automobiles, and hunters. willing to let me have a small bit on reaIt was all strange to her experience, to sonable terms. She's been so friendly her dreams!

all along!" From the second floor there came the He was still in the flush of his triumph, sound of voices :

and talked rapidly of all that opened out “I tells

you,
Muster Hart, you got to

before his fervent ambition. Suddenly rip the whoal dam piping out from roof he took note of ber mood and said sharpto basement if you wants to have a good ly, “ Nell, you don't like her.” yob of it. I tole

you
that
way

back six Why do you say that?” she exweeks ago. It ware n't specified right claimed, surprised in her inner thoughts. from the beginning."

“I don't really know.” “I'll speak to Rollings about it to “Why, it's plain enough. You don't morrow and see what can be done.” talk to her. You are so cold! And the

“ That is what you say every time,” same way with Mrs. Rainbow.” the Swede growled.

“O Francis ! I did n't mean to be “ See here, Anderson ! Who's run cold. Ought I to like them if you are ning this job ?"

to do work for them ?” The girl strolled away from the voices The architect laughed at her simplitoward the bluff, where she could see the city. gray bosom of the lake. The twilight "Rich people always puzzle me," she trees, the waveless lake soothed her: continued apologetically. “They always they were real, her world. The house have, except uncle Powers, and you never back there, the men and women of it, thought of him as rich! I don't feel as were shadows on the marge.

if I knew what they liked. They are so “ Nell!” her lover called.

much preoccupied with their own affairs. “ Coming, Francis."

That other time when I met Mrs. Phil. When he came up to her she rested lips she was so much worried over the her head on his shoulder, looking at him breakfast room and the underbutler's with vague longing, desiring to keep him pantry! What is an underbutler's panfrom something not clearly defined in try, Francis ? " her own mind.

This raillery over the needs of the “We must hurry to get that train. rich seemed almost anarchistic to the When we live out here we 'll have to architect. They walked to the station sport a motor car, won't we?” he said silently in the gathering darkness. But buoyantly.

after a time, on the train, he returned to She answered slowly, “I don't know the events of the afternoon. that I should want to live just here, after “She can do anything she likes with all.”

Raymond. It would be a big stroke to Why, I thought you were crazy get that C. R. & N. business!” about the country! And I've been Helen made no reply to this observa

66

« PreviousContinue »