The Algona Republican from Algona, Iowa on January 29, 1896 · Page 7
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The Algona Republican from Algona, Iowa · Page 7

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Algona, Iowa
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Wednesday, January 29, 1896
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f , 071. 4895, by J. 13. LlpplftdoH Cn.1 L A VACATION VAOAHlTt "Whatever brought you to Tregar< then, Mr, Ringbrand ? It seems to me to be the last place itt the world where an author could hope to find material." "Who has been accusing me of any SUch intention, Mrs. Ludlow?" "Why, an accusation isn't necessary; everyone knows that when an author can be induced to exchange the literary atmosphere of his respected Boston, or his beloved New York, for the prosaic surroundings of a dingy little coal- mining Village in the Tennessee mountains, there must be a stronger motive than a mere sightseer's curiosity." "Perhaps you are right. And yet 1 ,'th'ink you are a little severe; if one were seeking inspiration, what could be more upli f ting than that?"—waving hi& hand with a comprehensive gesture toward the moonlit picture of valley and mountain framed by the pillars of the, veranda. "But I assure you, as I said a moment ago, I couldn't give a sensible reason for coming here—inasmuch as I did not know that you were hibernating in Tregarthen. I'm not sure which was the more surprised when , l ,\Ve met this morning, Ludlow or my- , t Self. I had lost track of you years ago." '.", ,, "But we hadn't of you—thanks to the ^magazines. And that brings me back; f , what can you find worth studying \ here?" '' -, Ringbrand laughed. "You positively, refuse to be diverted, don't you ? Per- itvhaps I couldn't find anything, but from **' "ie little I've seen of place and people should say there was a perfect mine story-telling material if one would the trouble to develop it." "I can't see where you would find it." "That's because you live here; you're ^uiiable to get the perspectiye of un? familiarity on , the quaintness of the i.. f — JrL..*.! — «« ^'4-1* n Itnn ii-4--*T «-P -fit/* 0nAti A'»»tf or''the beauty of the .scenery 4Tfie'sthings'that are curious and inter- estingyto a newcomer are commonplace •' ••• way short of genius only in—un,,you haven't told me it" wasn't coffee, Indeed, new that you mention it, I remember having made a note of it with the intention of asking the landlord to define it for me." "I don't know What we've been thinking of, to let you stay there at all," interposed Ludlow, "If you'll excuse us for a few minutes, my dear, We'll just step down and get Ring- brand's luggage to-hlght—I suppose you travel in a grip, don't you, Hugh?" "Yes, or at least in two of them; they're not^heavy, though." Two days earlier, while his train was stopping at Chilwanee Junction to transfer passengers to the Harmony Valley branch, Hugh Ringbrand had seen a girl descend from the through train and cross the platform to the accommodation. She was strikingly beautiful, after a type quite unfamiliar to the student; and the passing glimpse he had of her face made him wish that he might study it at leisure. It suddenly occurred to him that there was nothing in his purposeless plans to prevent it; and he hastily transferred him- eelf tmd his belongings to a seat in the "other train, whence he could continue his, observations. The study pnce begun, the beauty of her face grew upon him, pushing him swiftly to the conclusion that nothing short of acquaintance would enable him to complete his character-sketch; and, hot being a commercial traveler,' the simpler method of obtaining the desired degree of intimacy, did not suggest itself. On the contrary, he ,co'uld think of no better expedient than to leave the train at the young lady's destination, trusting to the chapter of accidents for further help. The absurdity of this hastily-approved a design appealed to his sense of humor when the conductor asked for his fare and he was unable to tell the oiHcial where he wanted to go. , "I have no ticket," he said, "but I will pay to the end of the line. How much, is it?" "To Kingville, sah?,': "Yes, that's the place—Kingville. It's singular hojv these names escape one, isn't it?" - /,' ' r -• i 'SOh, I dunhp," replied, the-man v "I uf't# J d£ 1WB&' ftJ*s eah. ...„ dish* yef8 wft.tj Sah/' "Got & t«*d hbifet here, imr-1, quired ttingbfattd, as they toil- rl steep hillside. ' "Right feina't good hot.-I, < .! sail; t'ahk yo', sah* Hit's do Oin'l-al Jftcksoh yoosted to m ' he's gwine td Washin'ton. i» Ringbfand had hot befn loi In east Tennessee to knov i hostelry within ioo ntilf> crossing of the Clinch m< similar claim, but the com him as being a quaint one, and it occurred to him that the uiicieut hogfo Was probably ah old resident and therefore acquainted With most of thi» fntai- lies in the neighborhood. "l)id you see Miss--—Miss—Montague get off the train just how, nuolei"' he inquired, ;«&&^"aW^QK3aStfcQSR : 3SaB£'"5' > ? L "' v «•"" ' * " ' ' i tf y«tt M* tf^Hfcg i ' " •CTJftfMW t tttfnftfct tt *f Htet a* <\ iajt s-hen •> !ta.' f uoi .jit -vt-ry the i.tue a '.-Melt kit shwf my •a circumstance to thffi/ !'<'« Idve at fitfet Sight, but this is 'the in stantaneous photography kind. Why ydtl couldn't have got more than a fliBipsc of her as they passed Us!" •'•j__ wc __that is to say—I've seen her before," Stammered Ringbrand. "Oho! how 1 begin to understand; that's what brought you to Tregarthen. 1 thought Helen's prophetic SoUl didn't Mislead her. Well, tell me the rest of it} I've got your fate in my hands, and you might as well make an ally of me at nonchalantly, hazarding a _ n , guess at the name in the hope that his guide would correct him. "Who, me? No, sahj tlutuk yo', sah. I doesn't know any lady o' dat name, sah, Didn't See ho lady git oft de train $ ho, salt." s That grappling hook having come Up empty, Ringbrand Was compelled to await further developments; and as he smoked his after-supper cigar in the dingy little office of the hotel, he tried to convince himself that the present adventure was only another example of the persistent obstinacy with which he had pursued other quests in the study of his art. The effort may have been wholly successful, but the conclusion did not enable him to banish the picture of the girl's face, which haunted him even after he had gone to sleep amid the dismal furnishings of Gen. Jackson's room. The following morning he was fortunate enough to stumble upon Ludlow, Helen ttrdldw fttd Mm tfce gifl ol hef 6eiH( ^ncl She ha"d thrown away the chancM 6f matrimonial pre^ f ermeht which e'ome Mtufttily to ptetty giHs for the Sake of the struggling young mining tenglneef, whose first opening had condemned the young couple to social exile. There was a touch of pathos in hef enthusiasm, aftd Ludlow answered it With an affectionate Smile. "You are a born match-maker, Helen; it's a pity you couldn't have a Wider field. to Wi<* it* ttott jrfc, tile start. Ringbrand told his email story frank'- ly< concluding with a plea for secrecy. "I'd rather yoU Wouldn't tell even Mrs. •Ludlow," he added. "It's such a piece of ridiculous absurdity in its present Stage, you know.*' "I'll promise not to tell her of my OWn accord,'* assented Ludlow, "but that isn't saying much. It's only fair to Warn you that she'll get it out of me sooner or later. Best thing you can do If* to get the affair into presehtablo shape as sooh as possible', then you Won't mind." "Presentable shape!" groaned Rittg- branri "and I haven't even had an introduction! LudloW, I believe 1 left toy wits behind me when I came away from New York. I haven't been wholly accountable since I crossed the Ohio river." "Oh, I don't know about that," rejoined Ludlow, reflectively. "You might have gone farther and fared a good deal worse; Hester Latimer's well worth any man's winning—only I'll tell you beforehand that she has all of her father's prejudices, magnified by the emotional nature of an impulsive young woman." "What sort of prejudices?" "Southern, mostly; pride of race and loyalty to section, with a lingering trace of bitterness as a result of the war. But there are compensating virtues that will warm the very cockles of your heart; such open-handed hospitality as you never dreamed of; a loyalty to kith and kin and friends that takes you right back to the days of chivalry; and another pleasant thing about them is that they reverse our social mle, and take a man for what he appears to be until he proves himself unworthy." They walked along in silence for awhile, and then Ringbrand said: "I don't know but I overstated it a moment ago, after all. My first impulse when I saw Miss Latimer was merely a strong desire to study the type; it's unusual, and she is uncommonly beautiful. Just where the artistic sense merged into the erotic, I can't tell; : I .d.pn't know enough of the symptoms to be able to diagnose my own case." ^Ludlow laughed heartily: "That's'a damaging admission for a story-writer. Why, you fellows are supposed to be l<ut if 1 were you* I shouldn't interfere too much in the present Case; they are not children, and the difficulties you apprehend will hot be the common misunderstanding of a pair of foolish young lovers." "What Will they be, Tom ?" "They'll be much more serious, I imagine. You know Hester, perhaps better than I do; She is the incarnation of the southern ideal—impetuous, self- willed, high-strung and impulsive, with a temperament that will be antagonistic at many points to the more thoughtful tutu of mind of our story-writer. And as fof Ringbrand, he must be greatly changed from the man I used to know at the university if he can't make himself believe that Hester Latimer embodies his ideal." The wife's laugh had a ripple of derision in it. "That shows how ridicu- b pleasant evtry-tla.? "Then f'!T hot tib it. I . pleasant f.eqUaihlaftet's are ttof tiful in Tregttf theft thntt>iie •"to experiment with them* ft the sake of restoring a chertenftl Having obtaineYl a foothold (d Laurels," Ringbrarid made gootf his opportunities', an'd as tlestef to know him better slie began to f of|1vt»,, f I him for breaking the idol, A» wdlopf $g( had foretold, thfcre was no ISmiitOWHJfe colonel's hospitality; and from 'stfWN'-| ing up to the plateau atirregfllaf 5Hte|£"' : vals after supper, llingbrahd sOdti MB', into the habit of spending the great** \ number of his afternoons at the 1 home 1 8f ^ the Latimefs, attd Hester soon fdUfl'J t herself looking forward to his visit fiS , to something Without which the d&# ;• woxild be incomplete. ; One afternoon, when he had been itT'v vited to come at a certain hour, .he; ' found Hester in riding-habit and hat*., and the'colonel's boy leading two Sad* • died horses up and down before , the?^ veranda steps. "I'm going to carry you hors6bacK>~ riding, Mr. Ringbrand," she said, run*- ning down the steps to meet him. He looked askance at the two tho*"-" oughbreds, and tried to summon the* i -,-«, n lous you men can be when you apply your ponderous methods of logic to things you don't understand," she-said. "The very things you call obstacles are the best reasons in the world why there should be no difficulties. Don't you see they are perfect opposites?" "Perhaps you arc right; but it doesn't look reasonable. And then, besides, there is the feud." "I don't see how a foolish quarrel between the colonel and his neighbors can have anything to do with Hugh and Hester." "I do. If Ringbrand marries into the family, he'll have to shoulder his share of the fight; and, as I remarked n moment ago, he'll have to be changed very much from the man lused to know if he consents to assume any such responsibilities." { Mrs. Ludlow laughed again. "You'll see," she said, "he'll do anything that's necessary." f II. , courage to say that he knew less than nothing about horsemanship. "I'irt ' afraid you'll find me a sorry cavalier*. Miss Hester," he remonstrated, "Oh, Pluto is gentle; anybody ca» ride him," she rejoined, gathering her- skirt and standing beside her ,horseV "Will you give me a hand please?" Having, in his stories, had frequents ' occasion to describe the dexterous manner in which a gentleman assists a lady to mount, Ringbrand knew precisely • what was required of him; but, unfortunately, the ability to portray dexterity in virile English docs not necessarily. ;r imply its possession by the artist. Hfe 5 ' took his place rather awkwardly besidd* ] Hester and made a step of his hand,./; holding it so high that she hesitated.^ "Just a little bit lower, if you please,"^ j she said, demurely, and his last shred'off.;, self-possession took flight as he com-".,plied. Since Miss Latimer way Kay-^m thing but ethereal, the first atfempti/j^l i-,™vir« TIT a Vmlrl imtl covered him witljs';V( v < r ma$f'EYerybddy / g9es ( ,tp Europe arid i''tlre;resorts in'summer; and I wanted o<*getr'away from the crowd; if you lease,l ypu may call that a reason for iy'coming south. My ticket ran out ! $tV]NashviUe, but the quiet of your ''^--.vrliful capital city didn't compensate ,the 'unspeakable heat, so I took to .hi'yoad again, with'Asheville for a destination." all beautifully clear and up to a certain point, Mr. Mlingbrand. Now, if you will only tell |jme ;,what possessed you to leave your iffcpjnfbrtable parlor car to,'come away '•pjl|er,e pri a coal train, I'll be satisfied." ' ^he'-'shadoW' on the veranda prevent- .e lady from seeing the look of .em- that'flitted across the face " Cyar* yo' bacsaeo up to de hotel, sahP" who was an old .friend and, one of his college 'classmates. The faceting af- $p, visitor, 'and his hesitation in re- fiymg was' fortunately covered by the of ; his host, "Sit dpwn here, said;- "Mrs, Ludlow has .J rO. 41V'* C *VY V******* vtrain; of icmpty, — r ... , ------- ,—•--- •( .- - ing!a single passenger coach; 'and onit>s slow progress up the .valley Ringbrand had ample opportunity to analyze his subject so far as' simple observation wou}d serve him. Before they reached Tregarthen he had a fair mental picture of the oval face, light jd by'eyes of- a dusky Ime, rarely ,~-.. m the Anglo- Saxon types; and he had even gone so far as to try to transfer it from his mental camera -to a leaf of his note book. The pencil-picture was fairly good, from a technical point of view, but i when he 'saw how the black-and- white suggestion failed to give even a hint of the transparency of her complexion, or,of the changeful expression that' came an'd ( , went oh her face as she turned the f leave,S',of her book,- before 4t up, and dropped 'the fragments out pl'the windpw, V The botok Suggested an idea, .and he, jro* up and walked down ' , . aisle, catching 'the title in passing} « 'St. Elmo,' » housed ; "that's healthy , but it's no in(Ji<?atfon of character;' I ' somehow'' quite unable simple -inquiries which would have solved it. ' He reasoned that Ludlow Would misunderstand his motives; that, he would be accused of falling in love with a pretty face; that if it would bo indelicate to question strangers 'about the girl's identity, it would be impertinence to ask his friend. So it happened that two days slipped by without bringing' him any nearer to the object of his visit to Tregarthen, and he was beginning to hold himself in derision, when a lucky chance brought him the opportunity for which he was waiting. It was on the day following his installation at Ludlow's, and he was returning from a visit to the furnace with his host. They stepped aside at a narrow place in the hill side road to let a buggy pass. Ringbrand lifted his hat in deference to his friend's salutation to , the 'occupants of the vehicle, and nearly let }t fall when he realized that he was face to face with the i object of his search 1 , •• r »'W h o are they?",, he asked, 'as soon as ,they had driven on, , < / ^'That's QOl. Latinier and his flaugh- ' " e L)o "B the able to analyze the tender passion in all its,'stages, from start to finish, and here you can't apply the first tests of your art to your own case! I shouldn't write, any more love-tales, if I were I "If/fancy 1 , it's" another case" of the sick' doctor, Tom. 'You know a -physician never trusts himself to treat his own malady." Ringbrand was decidedly preoccupied, at the supped table that evening, and ,'Mrs. Ludlow did not fail to rally him unmercifully. So many of the sharp .thrusts found the joints in his armor that he pleaded the need of exercise when they left the table, and went out "for an evening stroll. When he was out of earshot, Mrs. Ludlow prompt^ ly attacked her husband. "What is the matter with Mr. Ring- brand this, evening?" she inquired. "Nothing that I know of," replied Ludlow, dropping into a veranda chair and burying himself, ostrichrlike, in the n'ewspaper. "But I know there is," insisted the lady,-' "He is distrait and embarrassed, and he seems to be afraid I'll find out something. Where have you been today?";, , '' ' "Nowhere, except down to the furnace," ' . > MrsJ" Lu41ow rocked gently in, her chair,!,'-patching the figure of Ring- , brand 1 - appear and disappear in the wind ings 9* the rbad'leadinjpr to ( the summit ;A LOVER ON ItOBSEBACK. It is curious to observe how easily the strands of repetition become twined into the strong yarn' of habit, and how, almost of« its own 'volition, the thread thus twisted weaves itself into the fabric of human life. . When Mrs. ,Ludlow introduced Hugh Ringbrand at "The Laurels," Hester Latimer's, first am-. pressions of the .young author were rather unpleasant than otherwise. She suid] to herself, after Mrs. Ludlow had departed with her guest, that'he wafc too "stifE and conventional; that he seemed ill at ease; that he was too well-bred to be congenial. , Though she did not in the least suspect it, the source of , her dissatisfaction lay in the fac£Uhafshe*had been prepared to lionf ize him because he was an author, and. it was a trifle disappointing to be forced to the conclusion that he was, after all, only a man, like other men, differing from other gentlemen of her acquaintance in no remarkable degree, and 'wearing none of the insignia and regalia of the, Ancient and Honorable Guild of Story- Tellers. When she visited Mrs, Ludlow the following day, some mention of this disappointment came out in the conversation, and the self-elected, ambassadress laughed joyously at the tentaf tive suggestion of the girl, ' « "Why, my dear Hester, did you expect' to find him wearing a uniform, with a coat of arms and a 'pen trenchant for a crest?" she inquired. ' •' •"If—no, not exactly that, of course ;_ but I did expect to find hini differing (somehow, from other gentlemen." 1 "Inwiiatway?" , i •' ,v "Oh, in',lots of 'ways.. I have a little collection of idols—like most other peo* pje, 1 1 suppose— an4 one of theni hasj a separate niche arid ie labeled /an author.', 'He has smashed tha^j one beyond tbe'hoye of repair," , ' ' .' /''What a ridiculous idea! Poor Hugh! he'd he broken-hear^d if he knew how padly he h'a,a failed to realize yow ' ' ' broke his hold and covered him ...... ^ confusion; putting his strength into-';^| the next, he lifted *so "vigorously; that^^ nothing but Hester's ready agility savetP ^j v,ai. 4W.TO -friiii-no- rmt. nf t.hp. saddle On tlwj-N' *if! equanimity, ing laugh. ,,"»7 »fj Ringbrand straightened up and wipepT, 1 'the perspiration from his face: "I beg' 1 your pardon—indeed I do; I told you IM was but an indifferent horseman," he. 1 . 1 ! apologized. -^ '' ^ "Please don't mention it," slie sa|cT,,^ as soon as she .could spealc. "Itjs av^fc^ fully mean in me to laugh, but I cquldn?t£|fJ nelp it.' I shall have'an immense respec£||f? for your strength after this." > ! ' n V'r*£/f« Ringbrand ,tooki Pluto's bridle^fmmHsl the grinning boy and tried to -r • object to approaches from the side. He did not realize his mistalce \ra-~ til he had,one foot in the stirrup,ancK was hopping about ^breathlessly in ^or' desperate endeavor to make Pluto st«ua3| still long enough to enable him to sprin into the saddle; but with'the knowl^ edge came a sudden access of obstinacy,.^ and he determined to succeed if it' tooK* the remainder of the afternoon. was convulsed with laughter, was some moments .-befpre' she find breath 'to suggest that Pluto, i unaccustomed to receiving his i form the off side'. , , "I—know—it isn^t — gasped Ringbrand, making violent S^l forts to k.eep near thep]unging"a^^ftl|||l "but—I—-usually—do j it—this, way.^r'if'Ml Just then his foot stirrup, and Pluto's e; iry proachful protests ceaaed.'/^^ JU^ fitea cavalier mopped his steaiwinfr: again, and beekoneiJ'^'^ 1 - *"~ x '^ "Just hold hinv'ia.'.secuji.y.,, he said,'and, backing L aw3y-j run, he vaulted into % the astonished char^ei 'happening. ("JJravo! eli , certainly , Where did'youilearn to vsu^Mr b.randr'n^ '"->.;:'• ;" ! v%v^i ' 90nfe,ssional for the tot a! li r was', just .upon the v » pure,fabricatipn suppose every ypun'g Svbinan reads Miss ' ' ' She's 'reading 'iptt§ljigently 1 ' replied, Lud)ow ' though? any one: can »,see. a doesn't look' ! fts a if . Bhtf 4 ; be ffi! ^ studies, there's" a 'gpo'd chance ^for you,, husband, had tim* to re* ' ..The cplpnei's.an old*]ti me southern, gen,- lax bJs yigijance'm the interest of the newsp$p,SF» and, hey nest question caught Wp off W0,gwwd, - .• «'WftattAjp'y°u supppse, he's going- the woTOtaMa <!w 0 this There it is again, yp^s§e ' of the. School-that are'.ftlways 1 attempting tp'-ppr.trayan§ «»V • » e '^'? the: opportunity ,p,f ypwv, " i to , ' uni a f chair..> **Let's see. reMy,fpr,» ^^m^sm^A9st L&:ii*ijll^«+?Mi*a''liilV 1 ,v;U^^^if^t1 ^xm-iwx ,4inind:%K- (.5 ' . _ * * _ ^ 'i ¥ 1 V J.* V* . hS .

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