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man had been at the head of her father's creatures in an

time:2023-11-29 10:32:02 author:hot read:837次

Once she turned after she had gone slowly twenty yards down the path. The hermit had begun to twist the lid off his can, but he hid it again under his sacking robe. He could see her great eyes shining sadly through the twilight; but he stood inflexible in the doorway of his shack and made no sign.

man had been at the head of her father's creatures in an

Just as the moon rose on Thursday evening the hermit was seized by the world-madness.

man had been at the head of her father's creatures in an

Up from the inn, fainter than the horns of elf-land, came now and then a few bars of music played by the casino band. The Hudson was broadened by the night into an illimitable sea--those lights, dimly seen on its opposite shore, were not beacons for prosaic trolley- lines, but low-set stars millions of miles away. The waters in front of the inn were gay with fireflies--or were they motor-boats, smelling of gasoline and oil? Once the hermit had known these things and had sported with Amaryllis in the shade of the red-and-white-striped awnings. But for ten years he had turned a heedless ear to these far- off echoes of a frivolous world. But to-night there was something wrong.

man had been at the head of her father's creatures in an

The casino band was playing a waltz--a waltz. What a fool he had been to tear deliberately ten years of his life from the calendar of existence for one who had given him up for the false joys that wealth- -"tum ti tum ti tum ti"--how did that waltz go? But those years had not been sacrificed--had they not brought him the star and pearl of all the world, the youngest and beautifulest of-- "But do not come on Thursday evening," she had insisted. Perhaps by now she would be moving slowly and gracefully to the strains of that waltz, held closely by West-Pointers or city commuters, while he, who had read in her eyes things that had recompensed him for ten lost years of life, moped like some wild animal in its mountain den. Why should--"

"Damn it," said the hermit, suddenly, "I'll do it!"

He threw down his Marcus Aurelius and threw off his gunny-sack toga. he dragged a dust-covered trunk from a corner of the cave, and with difficulty wrenched open its lid.

Candles he had in plenty, and the cave was soon aglow. Clothes--ten years old in cut--scissors, razors, hats, shoes, all his discarded attire and belongings, were dragged ruthlessly from their renunciatory rest and strewn about in painful disorder.

A pair of scissors soon reduced his beard sufficiently for the dulled razors to perform approximately their office. Cutting his own hair was beyond the hermit's skill. So he only combed and brushed it backward as smoothly as he could. Charity forbids us to consider the heartburnings and exertions of one so long removed from haberdashery and society.


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