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WAYSIDE COURTSHIPS

BY HAMLIN GARLAND

AUTHOR OF A SPOIL OF OFFICE, A LITTLE NORSK, ETC.

NEW YORK
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY
M DCCC XCVII

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Copyright, 1897, by
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY

Copyright, 1895, 1896, 1897, by Hamlin Garland

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WAYSIDE COURTSHIPS

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Hamlin Garland's Books.

Uniform edition. Each, 12mo, cloth, $1.25.

Wayside Courtships.
Jason Edwards.
A Spoil of Office.
A Member of the Third House.
A Little Norsk. 16mo. 50 cents.

D. APPLETON & COMPANY, NEW YORK.

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The meeting of true lovers' eyes
Seems wrought of chance; and yet
Perhaps the same grim law abides
Therein as when the dead one lies
Low in the grave, and memory chides,
And with hot tears love's lids are wet.

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CONTENTS.

PAGE

AT THE BEGINNING 1

A PREACHER'S LOVE STORY 5

A MEETING IN THE FOOTHILLS 55

A STOP-OVER AT TYRE 99

AN ALIEN IN THE PINES 171

THE OWNER OF THE MILL FARM 201

OF THOSE WHO SEEK:

I.--THE PRISONED SOUL 223

II.--A SHELTERED ONE 226

III.--A FAIR EXILE 230

IV.--THE PASSING STRANGER 247

BEFORE THE LOW GREEN DOOR 253

UPON IMPULSE 263

THE END OF LOVE IS LOVE OF LOVE 279

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AT THE BEGINNING.

She was in the box; he was far above in the gallery.

He looked down and across and saw her sitting there fair as a flower and
robed like a royal courtesan in flame and snow.

Like a red torch flamed the ruby in her hair. Her shoulders were framed
in her cloak, white as marble warmed with firelight. Her gloved hands
held an opera glass which also glowed with flashing light.

His face grew dark and stern. He looked down at his poor coat and around
at the motley gallery which reeked with the smell of tobacco and liquor.

Students were there--poor like himself, but with great music-loving,
hungry, ambitious souls. Men and women of refinement and indomitable
will sat side by side with drunken loafers who had chanced to stumble up
the stairway.

His eyes went back to her. So sweet and dainty was every thread on her
fair body. No smell of toil, nor touch of care, nor mark of weariness.
Her flesh was ivory, her eyes were jewels, her heart was as clean and
sweet as her eyes. She was perfectly clothed, protected, at ease.

No, not at ease. She seemed restless. Again and again she swept her
glass around the lower balcony.

The man in the gallery knew she was looking for him, and he took a
bitter delight in the distance between them. He waited, calm as a lion
in his power.

The man at her elbow talks on. She does not hear. She is still
looking--a little swifter, a little more anxiously--her red lips ready
to droop in disappointment.

The noise of feet, of falling seats, continues. Boys call shrilly.
Ushers dart hastily to and fro. The soft laughter and hum of talk come
up from below.

She has reached the second balcony. She sweeps it hurriedly. Her
companion raises his eyes to the same balcony and laughs as he speaks.
She colors a little, but smiles as she lifts her eyes to the third
balcony.

Suddenly the glass stops. The color surges up her neck, splashing her
cheeks with red. Her breath stops also for a moment, then returns quick
and strong.

Her smile settles into a curious contraction that is almost painful to
see. His unsmiling eyes are looking somberly, sternly, accusingly into
hers. They are charged with all the bitterness and hate and disappointed
ambition which social injustice and inequality had wrought into his
soul.

She shivered and dropped her glass. Shivered and drew her fleecy, pink
and pale-blue cloak closer about her bare neck.

Her face grew timid, almost appealing, as she turned it upward toward
him like a flower, to be kissed across the height that divided him from
her.

His heart swelled with exultation. His face softened. From the height of
his intellectual pride he bent his head and sent a winged caress
fluttering down upon that flowerlike face.

And then the stealing harmony of the violins began, gliding like mist
above the shuddering, tumultuous, obscure thunder of the drums, and the
man's soul swept across that sea of song with the heart of a lion and
the wings of an eagle.

A tender, musing smile was on the woman's lips.

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WAYSIDE COURTSHIPS

A PREACHER'S LOVE STORY.

I.


The train drew out of the great Van Buren Street depot at 4.30 of a dark
day in late October. A tall young man, with a timid look in his eyes,
was almost the last one to get on, and his pale face wore a worried look
as he dropped into an empty seat and peered out at the squalid buildings
reeling past in the mist.

The buildings grew smaller, and vacant lots appeared stretching away in
flat spaces, broken here and there by ridges of ugly squat little
tenement blocks. Over this landscape vast banners of smoke streamed,
magnified by the misty rain which was driven in from the lake.

At last there came a swell of land clothed on with trees. It was still
light enough to see they were burr oaks, and the young student's heart
thrilled at sight of them. His forehead smoothed out, and his eyes grew
tender with boyish memories.

He was seated thus, with head leaning against the pane, when another
young man came down the aisle from the smoking car and took a seat
beside him with a pleasant word.

He was a handsome young fellow of twenty-three or four. His face was
large and beardless, and he had beautiful teeth. He had a bold and keen
look, in spite of the bang of yellow hair which hung over his forehead.

Some commonplaces passed between them, and then silence fell on each.
The conductor coming through the car, the smooth-faced young fellow put
up a card to be punched, and the student handed up a ticket, simply
saying, "Kesota."

After a decent pause the younger man said "Going to Kesota, are you?"

"Yes."

"So am I. I live there, in fact."

"Do you? Then perhaps you can tell me the name of your County
Superintendent. I'm looking for a school." He smiled frankly. "I'm just
out of Jackson University, and----"

"That so? I'm an Ann Arbor man myself." They took a moment for mutual
warming up. "Yes, I know the Superintendent. Why not come right up to my
boarding place, and to-morrow I'll introduce you? Looking for a school,
eh? What kind of a school?"

"Oh, a village school, or even a country school. It's too late to get a
good place; but I've been sick, and----"

"Yes, the good positions are all snapped up; still, you might by
accident hit on something. I know Mott; he'll do all he can for you. By
the way, my name's Allen."

The young student understood this hint and spoke. "Mine is Stacey."

The younger man mused a few minutes, as if he had forgotten his new
acquaintance. Suddenly he roused up.

"Say, would you take a country school several miles out?"

"I think I would, if nothing better offered."

"Well, out in my neighborhood they're without a teacher. It's six miles
out, and it isn't a lovely neighborhood. However, they will pay fifty
dollars a month; that's ten dollars extra for the scrimmages. They
wanted me to teach this winter--my sister teaches it in summer--but,
great Peter! I can't waste my time teaching school, when I can run up to
Chicago and take a shy at the pit and make a whole term's wages in
thirty minutes."

"I don't understand," said Stacey.

"Wheat Exchange. I've got a lot of friends in the pit, and I can come in
any time on a little deal. I'm no Jim Keene, but I hope to get cash
enough to handle five thousand. I wanted the old gent to start me up in
it, but he said, 'Nix come arouse.' Fact is, I dropped the money he gave
me to go through college with." He smiled at Stacey's disapproving look.
"Yes, indeedy; there's where the jar came into our tender relations. Oh,
I call on the governor--always when I've got a wad. I have fun with
him." He smiled brightly. "Ask him if he don't need a little cash to pay
for hog-killin', or something like that." He laughed again. "No, I
didn't graduate at Ann Arbor. Funny how things go, ain't it? I was on my
way back the third year, when I stopped in to see the pit--it's one o'
the sights of Chicago, you know--and Billy Krans saw me looking over the
rail. I went in, won, and then took a flyer on December. Come a big
slump, and I failed to materialize at school."

"What did you do then?" asked Stacey, to whom this did not seem
humorous.

"I wrote a contrite letter to the governor, stating case, requesting
forgiveness--and money. No go! Couldn't raise neither. I then wrote
casting him off. 'You are no longer father of mine.'" He smiled again
radiantly. "You should have seen me the next time I went home! Plug hat!
Imported suit! Gold watch! Diamond shirt-stud! Cost me $200 to paralyze
the general, but I did it. My glory absolutely turned him white as a
sheet. I knew what he thought, so I said: 'Perfectly legitimate, dad.
The walls of Joliet are not gaping for me.' That about half fetched
him--calling him _dad_, I mean--but he can't get reconciled to my
business. 'Too many ups and downs,' he says. Fact is, he thinks it's
gambling, and I don't argue the case with him. I'm on my way home now to
stay over Sunday."

The train whistled, and Allen looked out into the darkness. "We're
coming to the crossing. Now, I can't go up to the boarding place when
you do, but I'll give you directions, and you tell the landlady I sent
you, and it'll be all right.



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