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AN IMAGIN ATIV E MAN .

PROLO G U E .

A TA L L thin man of about thi rty eight stood


,
-
,

in a prettily furni shed bedroom one ni ght of early


winter watching a woman who was praying Hi s
,
.

eyes were dark brown bright and restless ; a mous


, ,

tache and a short pointed beard scarcely hi d the


,

li nes of h is mobil e mouth w h i ch smiled rather


,

cyni cally The man was clad in a loose smoking


.

suit held a cigar case in one hand and a silver


,
-
,

candlesti ck in the other ; sli ppers were upon h is


feet and the fourth edi ti on of the Pall Mall Ga
,

ze tte was tucked under h i s arm .

He stood watchi ng and the woman in her white


, ,

ni ghtdress kn elt on whi speri ng her prayers


, ,
The .

re on the hearth i ckered over her small gure


and her dark low bowed head
,
-
.


I wonder why she i s praying Henry Deni
son thought still looki ng at h i s wi fe and draw ing
, ,


h i s brows together i n a sl i ght frown I s it because .

1
2 AN I MAGINA T IVE MAN .

she beli eves in a G od, or because she wi shes to


sound me ! We have been marri ed three m onths
now and we have never threshed out that ve ry
,

vexed questi on reli gi on On the Sundays of ou r


,
.

honeymoon, being in Italy we always went to the


,

most interesting church archi tecturally that we


, ,

could nd, to hear Mass Travellers always go t o


.

hear Mas s, as they go to hear the Opera. But these


are pri vate prayers and they interest me I wonder
,
.


w hat she i s praying about !
He moved a step forward as if to go softly out
,

of the room then paused again


,
.

I wo nder whether she is a Phari see he


thou ght and for a pretence makes long prayers
,
.

Or perhaps she fanci es that I have gone dow nstairs .

She cannot see ; her eyes are blin ded by her hands .

These private prayers are fasci nating E veryt hing .

that is stri ctly pri vate i s fascinati ng O nly when .

one h as made it stri ctly publi c does the bloo m van

i sh from the peach The Bluebeard s chamber of


.

the sou l is after all the only room worth looking


, ,

into. But the worst of it is that one can generally


nd the mean s of entrance t o i t much too easily ,

and often it t urns out to be onl y a barely furni shed

and respectable atti c after allthe so rt of room a

Chri sti an mi stress gi ves to a Chri sti an hous emai d .


I have not qui te got in to E ni d s Bluebeard s ch am

v
AN IMAGINAT IVE MAN .
3

ber yet I wonder if there are headl ess creatu res


.

there bizarre m onum ents of her mental crimes


-
.

Let us hope so .

And he smiled to hi mself wi th the curi ous whim


si cali t y at whi ch many of his ac quai ntances won

dered S ince hi s E ton days Henry Denis on had


.
,

always been d ubbed an odd fellow In mut e mo .

ment s when he w as alone he often thanked the


, ,

U ns een for that To be thought odd by the ordi


.

nary seemed to him a tri bute offered in voluntarily , , ,

by the less to the greater He w as a man who con .

si d e re d it almost cri mi nal t o b e what men call a



thorough good fellow an expressi on whi ch he con
,

si d e re d to m ean an i ngeni ous relate r of i mproper

sto ri es Merci fully however thi s las t ins ul t had


.
, ,

not yet been offered to hi m Someti mes he had .

wai te d for i t wi th dread but it had never come , .

H is personali ty guarded hi m from i t and for this ,

he w as thankful .

Now whil e he w as smili ng his w ife rose from


, ,

her knees wi th a sigh that parted her pretty rosy


, ,

li ps There were tears in her b ig dark eyes


.
, .

Denis on noti ced them at once ; he alway s noti ced


everyt hing at once To do so had become a sort of
.

professi on in hi s c as e W ere these te ars caused by


.

the upli fti ng of her heart !



I thou ght I heard you go out Harry M rs , ,
.
4 AN IMAGINAT IVE MAN .

Deni son sai d ; and a blush stole over the whi teness
of her cheeks She looked very young and very
.
,

li ttle in her elaborately frilled ni ghtdr ess wi th her


,
-
,

long hai r streami ng i n a uffy ood over her shou l


ders . You have been watchi ng me 2
There was just a suspi ci on of pet ul ance in her
tone .


Yes Wh y not ! All i ntelligent people watch
.

those wh om they love Passi on is a pri vate i nquiry


.

agent wi th a staff of detecti ves to dog the mental


,


footsteps of the adored .


I don t know she sai d doubtfully sli pping

, ,

i nto bed where she lay looki ng li ke a dear l i tt le


,

dark child adorably pretty and a ti ny bit frightened


, ,

and puzzled Ought passi on to be so thoughtful


.


I don t thi nk so Detecti ves are always reasoni ng

. .

She glanced at h im wi th a curi ous babyi sh pathos .

You are always reasoni ng Harry I someti mes ,


.

fanc 3,

She paused and hesitated .

Yes dear ,
sai d her husband twi sting h i s ,

cigar case roun d in hi s hand a li ttle i mpati ently


-
.

I sometim es fancy that if you loved me a li ttle


more you woul d reas on about me a li ttle less .

Such an i dea i s in di rect opposi t i on to all my



theori es .

She moved her head restlessly upon the pillow .


AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .
5

She wanted to ask a questi on and yet she was half ,

afrai d .

Deni son saw that in a moment .


A sk he sai d putting the candle he had
,

taken in h is hand down upon the dressi ng table and -


,

si tting in a chai r by the bed You will never go .


to sleep if you don t
.


Well then Harry Iwell you talked about
, , , ,


detecti ves just now .


! C
Y es .


Was there a detecti ve follo w i ng my prayers !

He smiled at her un easy penetrati on ; it pleased


Did you hear h i s footsteps !

I fanci ed I d i d .


D id they alarm you
N ot exactly Bu t Harry I wi sh sometimes
.
,


you were not so dreadfully clever .


Then your wi sh i s grati ed ; I am not .


Oh but you are N ow don t be angry and
,
.
,

,

she drew her arm out from un der the coverlet and ,

lai d her small hand in hi s gently Don t be angry .


wi th me if I say this Sometimes I think things


.

over you know


,
.


Yes ! That soun ds a li ttle vagu e .


I thi nk them over and cleverness seems to me
,


a sort of di sease .
6 AN I MAGI NA T IVE MAN .

Her dark eyes met hi s rather anxi ou sly .

You mean that the stupi d are healthy and that ,

the intelligent ought to be doctored dosed w i th ,

denseness plastered wi th ignorance ! W oul d you


,

put geni us in spli nts Eni d and feed talent wi th the


, ,

water g uel of med ocr ty !
r i i

N ot that of course Harry Still
, ,
.

Still somethi ng ought to be done for the poor


,

si ck thing I am not sure that you are not ri ght


. .

A clever mi nd i s rather lik e a dog wi th the distem


per The worst of it is that the dog may get over
.

the di stemper but the mi nd never qui te gets over


,

it s cleverness It must labour on a prey to a per


.
,

p e t ual malai se .


N ow you are be ng sarcasti c she sai d dr aw
i , ,

ing her hand back into the bed again I dare say .


I am silly .


No ; you are w i ser than you thi nk There i s .

truth in what you say But you must confess


.
,

Eni d that there are not too many dogs goi ng


,

about w ith the di stem per That shoul d be our .


com ortf .


Should it !
Certainly It i s a most consoling reecti on
. .

And another consoli ng reecti on i s that the world


i s fu ll of veterin ary surgeons The silly of soci ety .

act as vets to the brilli ant my dear and if they


.
, ,
AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN . 7

cannot always cure they can at least often kill .


And that is the next best thi ng i sn t i t !

,

E ni d looked rather piteously doubtful He won .

dered whether she d i d so deli berately because she ,

thought it sui ted her or whether the expressi on


,

whi ch often decorated her pretty fac e was not


perhaps due chi ey to the shape of her arched eye
brows Nature is sometimes an arti st agai nst whose
.

han di work our mi nds rebel in vain We may be as.

merry as grigs but if our mouth turns down de


,

ci si ve ly at the corners we can only seem sou rly sin

i ster to the outsi de world .

Having wondered for a moment and deci ded ,

that t he shape of h is wi fe s eyebrows probably ex


pressed correctly her mental condi ti on Deni son ,

changed the conversati on .

Do your prayers make you happy Eni d ! he ,

asked . I have never happened to see you prayi ng


b efore . A nd you got up w i th tears in your eyes
.


Tears often come into my eyes when I am
seri ous Harry They do not mean that I am un
'

.
,

happy!

Perhaps you are li ke the schoolgirl who once
told me that she always cri ed in church She re .

garded it as part and parcel of the religi ou s cere


mony Your tears were not the raindrops of e t i
.


qu e t t e I hope !
,
8 AN IMAG INA T IVE MAN .


N o Harry
,
.


I am glad of that . E ti quette i s one of the
seven devils that afi ct soci ety I will tell y o u the
.

names of the other six on some more reasonable


occasi on But it is near mi dnight now and to
.
,

morrow we start for Egyp t G o to sleep and .

dream that seas are always calm and that the de ,

stroyi ng angel seasi ckness passes over our cabi n


, ,


door G ood ni ght
.
-
.

He bent dow n ki ssed her forehead and went


, ,

softly out of the room leavi ng her puz zled


,
.

When he went softly out of her presence he


nearly always left her puzzled .


Have I found a ri ddle that I shall never

guess ! he asked hi mself two mi nutes later lean

i ng over the lamp to li ght h i s ci gar I doub t i t . .

If only I couldif onl y I could happen upon some


eni gma that would conti nue t o fascinate by continu
ing an enigma Wh y are thi ngs so straight for
.
-

ward ! E ven women are hardly dif cult to read .

S t u dy thei r vaniti es and you can classify them .

Teach them to be jealous and you wi ll teach them


to reveal themselves as they are It i s ti resome . .

Hi s cigar end glowed like a red hot coal now


- -
,

and w ith a pu ff he sank down in hi s easy chai r


, ,
-
.

Cadogan Square was silent Only occasi onally he.


'
AN I MAGINA T I VE MAN . 9

heard a cab turn the corner of Pont Street and ,

rattle up to one of the red houses above whi ch the


stars shone in a clear sky He was able to reect
.

qui te undi sturbed The re twinkled at h im wi th


.

endless geni ality as he stretched h is toes to it and ,

the warm dark roo m with i t s oak panelled walls


, ,
-

and it s many bookcases wrapped hi m and h i s medi


,

t at i ons up cosily
.

He pulled at hi s cigar and h i s restless brown


,

eyes roved over the broad mantelpi ece on whi ch ,

stood i n an unbli nking row the cabinet photographs


of a number of women and of two or three ,

men .


My eni gmas he thought on with a slight
, ,

pursi ng of the li ps that met each other rmly some ,

sai d cyni cally over h is large white teeth My


,
.

eni gmas ! The ri ddle I have puzzled over the ,

acrosti cs I once fanci ed i t i mpossible to solve I .


have guessed them all .

Hi s eyes li ngered on one photograph of a little


dark woman w ith deli cately cut featu res and great -
,

i maginative eyes that peered out beneath black


,

curvi ng brows with the wi stful expressi on of a


plaintive dreamer I t was the photograph of h i s
.

w ife
.


I have marri ed you to guess y ou he sai d to ,


the photograph . That was carrying the pastime
10 AN I MAGINA T IVE MAN .

rather far wasn t i t ! Don t let me gu ess you j u st


,

yet
.

He si ghed .


People prate so mu ch about bei ng able to have

fai th he thought as if it were beautiful They
, ,
.

talk of the pleasure of readi ng a soul like an open


book N0 open book i s worth readin g If only
. .

men and women were more incomprehensible than


they are I have never yet met wi th a human
.

bei ng whom I could not thoroughly understand


after a certai n peri od of study and detecti ve duty .

Yet I have marri ed Eni d That was rash But I . .

d o not qui te understand her yet What a mercy .


that i s Mi sunderstandi ng keeps love ali ve
. .

He struck the ash off h is ci gar wi th medi tati ve


li ttle nger and again ran h i s eyes over the photo
,

graphs .

To thin k that all those people really puzzled


me in thei r timereally gave my mind a lot to do .

I should like to i nvi te them in a bunch to di nner


now and sit as host am ong the ruin s of my Car
, , ,

t h age ; dri nk a health to the mysteri es that are gone


,

and make a neat speech of farewell to vani shed


mi su nderstandi ng It would be amusi ngly origi nal
. .

One would have the table decorated with si mple


dai si es gro w ing in thei r ow n grass and each gu est ,

should be presented wi th a bouqu et of dancing


AN IMAGI N A T IVE MAN .
11

daffodils sy mboli cal of my war dance above the


,
-

graves of my illusi ons I should presi de more in .

sorrow than i n anger and there should not be a ,

si ngle compli cati on either of thought or of emo ,

ti on from one end of dinner to the other


,
.


There woul d be too many women though ,
.

M ost of my enigmas have b een women natu rally ,


.

The noveli sts are preposterously wrong when they


say that every simple minded young female wi th -
,

rosy cheeks and bri ght eyes can hoodwink the most ,

subtle man who was ever born to mi sery ; but wom


en are certainly more complex than men That .

fact accounts for the female preponderance among


my photographs I wonder why I keep them
.

there They have nothi ng to conceal from me


.

no w. I suppose I must try to think of them as


ornaments to look upon them as an anxi ous hostess
,

looks upon the tall grim men who line ball room
,
-

wall s and refuse to dance The, furni sh my li


,
.

b rary to some extent and if they refuse any longer


,

to dance for me it i s because they are af i cted wi th


wooden legs It i s strange how those funn y folks
.
,

whom the world agrees to d u b sageson the same


princi ple perhaps as men name a suburban vi lla
, ,

Myrtle Grove or Primrose Bank w ill have


it that from time immemori al man has always busily


employed all hi s lei su re t ime in beati ng himself to -
12 AN I MAGINA T IVE MAN .

death against the problems and the mysteries of life .

The average man cuts mysteri es as dead as he cuts


an enemy He refuses to see them He looks upon
. .

them as bad fo rm and does not admit them into


,

hi s soci ety Therefore he li kes people as a rul e


.
, ,

and takes li ttle noti ce of the Speechless crowd of


bei ngs in nature and in art who are so si lent and
so full of things hi dden Wh at are they to h im !
.

They cannot dress hi deously and go out into the ,

Park They cannot make fools of themselves and


.

create a scandal They are dumb and often they


.
,

are lovely ; that i s all Yet they have fasci nated me


.

strangely from the rst and although I try to nd


,

man more beautifu l woman more mysteri ous I fai l


, ,

I usually fai l utterly .


Shall I fail w ith E ni d ! Sometimes lately I
have feared so She interested me more si x weeks
.

ago than she does now Yet she i nterests me still


. .

I have studi ed h er among Roman ruins and on ,

V eneti an lagoons ; whi le I have ki ssed her w hen I ,

have quarrelled with her As she slept by my .

si de I have pursu ed her dreams I have waked .

myself deliberately in order to see her wake i n


the mornin g and hear what her rst words .

would be . I have drawn her on at ni ght wi th


arguments and strange statements of anythi ng
, ,

but fact to reveal herself fully to me i n the ex


,
AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN . 13

cit e ment that the dark hours often bring in thei r


trai n .


Yet she i s still to some extent a ri ddle , ,
.


If I coul d know what she prays for I might
know what she i s Our secret desires are our souls
. .

I am afrai d of guessi ng her and yet I am always ,

tryi ng to guess her layin g plots for her poor child !


, ,

seeki ng in the most un derhand ways for the ri ght


clue to her character She evades me wi th a clever .

ness that does her in nite credi t Perhaps she has .

an ins t inct to warn her against fully betraying her


self for she loves me and no doubt she desires to
, ,

keep my love And I beli eve lovi ng women are as


.

full of i nstincts as li fe i s full of bores .


N evertheless I too have an i nst in ct that tell s
, , ,

me some day the soul of Eni d wi ll be lai d qui te bare


to me I shall un derstand her It is only a ques
. .

ti on of time Ah ! what it would be to me to di s


.

cover a being wi th a soul that I cou ld never un der


stand ! How I bored and cold and modern as I
, ,

am could love i t
,
.

For a moment his eyes gli ttered wi th a re of


excitement He got up restlessly threw hi s cigar
.
,

into the r e and turned the stari ng photographs


,

wi th their faces to the wall .

You tire me
he sai d wearily very , ,

much .

2
14 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

He pau sed in front of the ame wi th one foot


resti ng upon the fender edge .


Shall I ever get rid of thi s absur d tendency of
mi ne towards folli es brought about by the worki ngs

of the im aginati on ! he thought I f the world
knew of my desi res of my hi dden sensati ons surely
, ,

it would call me a chil d i nstead of a cyni c a child ,

o r possi bly bei ng a kindly speaki ng world


,
a mad
man Then it would laugh at me As matters
. .

stand i t i s rather inclined to fear me sometim es I t .

thi nks me odd but not in the way in whi ch I am


,

odd Wh y am I really so det ached from people so


.

swiftly moved at moments by inani mate thi ngs by


, , ,

a soun d a scent the patter of a shower among slip


, ,

pery laurel leaves the pose of a gur e in an old pi c


,

tu re ! E ven colours often stri k e me as more sug


ge st i ve than words expressi ng thoughts There i s a .

life in scarlet that many men lack There i s a pas .

si on in deep orange colour that passes the passi on of


a thousand modern women Sometimes I have fan
.

ci e d that I shall fall in love wi th an echo or be ,

enthralled by an orchi d wi th a hi story in it s lustrous ,

spotted petals Sometim es I have dreamed that I


.

shall beat out my life against a stone personali ty ,

that will conjure up fanci es and own no voi ce wi th


,

whi ch to di spel them We lay love s castles in ru i ns


.

wi th our tongu es even wi th our movements wi th


, ,
16
'

AN I MAGINA T IVE MAN .

P .

L OND ON TO I S MAIL IA .

To m orrow we start for Egy pt


- . I
my e verlast ing ri ddle there I wonder !
,

H e smiled to hi m self rather drearily, d went


an

up the carpeted stairs slowly to bed .


CHAPT ER I .

MY wi fe is very sea si ck thank y ou Mr Den


-
, ,

.

i son sai d to an inqui ri ng passenger on the deck of


t h e Peni ns u la/r as the dull gray swell of the Bay
,

sent the shi p swi ngi ng dow n into the depths two
days later She has a wholesome horror of con
.

ve nt i onali t y or fanci es she has ; but she i s obli ged


,

to conform to a general rule on thi s occasion She .

is so normal now that she has actu ally been un orig


inal enough to request the stewardess to have her
throw n overboard without unnecessary delay I .

hear that fteen other ladi es have done the same


since breakfast thi s morning The stewardess must
.

be getting t erribly ennu y e


.

The passenger who was an elderly lady with a


,

pinched face and an asceti c eye looked at Mr ,


.

Henry Deni son wi th a strong di sapproval such as ,

she always dis played when she suspected latent orig


inalit y in anyone . She paused for a moment as if
she medi tated making some able rejoin der but n d ,

ing that nothi ng came readily to her li ps she tu rned ,


17
13 AN IMAGINA T I VE MAN .

on h er low heel and lurched indi gnantly tow ard s


,

th e comp ani on .

She
wi ll tell everybody that I am a brut e ,

thought Deni son to him self as he tu ck ed his ,

ru
g roun d hi m and turned the r st page of his
,

novel .

Wh y w ill people take everything so

s eri ously !
An d then he concentrated hi mself on the sub
t let ies of passi on as eluci dated by the la s t new
,

w oman .

The voyage soon i t t ed by At Gibraltar, Mrs


. .

Deni son had suf ci ently recovered herself to b uy


fans, with re d and yellow bull gh t s taking place -

u pon them , oranges and mats .

At Malta she was as pi teously li vely as ever she


had been in h er lif e As the shi p drew into the
.

harbour and a ock of small green boat s put off to


,

it from their home beneath the shelter of the bat


teri es, she stole her li ttle gloved han d through h er
hu sband s arm and became senti m ental, wi th t h e

,

gentle case that was peculi ar to her She sli pped .

i nto many moods i n the course of a day, d rawing


them on and off as she drew on and off her gloves,
b u t h er ab i ding gentleness of pers onali ty colou red
them all, extrac ted the sali ence from them The
gloves were preci sely the sameonly the bu tto ns
.

were different .
AN I MAGINA T IVE MAN . 19

Henry Deni son was beginning to nd thi s out


wi th a good deal of d e ni t e ne ss .


Harry Mrs Denis on sai d
,
. N 0 w I am well .
,

thi s seems li ke a second honeym oon doesn t it ! ,


How beautiful it all is !



I think Malta very ugly from the sea E n d i ,
.

Do you Harry ! I don t But do you know


,

.
, ,

I think places are nothi ng i n themselves It is only .

what we feel i n them that makes them beautiful or


the reverse My Aunt Fanny declares that Lucerne
.

i s hi deous because her boy was drowned in the lake


,

there you know I feel so happy to day that Malta


,
.
-


looks to me l ke a Parad se
i i .


Rather a rocky one my dear Wh ere would,
.

you li ke to go when we land ! Malta is famous for


three thi ngsit s i mportunate beggars it s nougat , ,

whi ch you buy at the S i ck Man in the Strada ,


Reale and i t s orange gardens of San Antoni o The


,
.

gui de books also make menti on of the Chapel of the


-

Kni ghts .


Oh let us dri ve to the orange gardens Harry
, ,
.

N e ver mind the chapel We saw so many i n Italy


. .

A s they landed she added wi th a romanti c


, ,

accent :

I should li ke to buy a li ttle nougat too dear , ,
.

It was very cold when the Peni ns u la/r stole into


20 AN I MAGINA T IVE MA-N .

the bi tter lak e at I smailia i n the gray of the early


morning The N oah s Ark like vi llage with i t s
.

,

play box trees nestling in the white embrace of t h e


,

desert was scarcely awake but as the great shi p


, ,

slowed down to a pause and the pufng tender ,

bustled out from the lan di ng stage the sky ushed -


,

wi th a rose that gradually deepened to a ery scar


let the barren sands glowed li ke the pavements of
,

heaven and the rst gli mpse of Egyp t that Mr and


,
.

Mrs Deni son cau ght as they hurri ed u p the com


.
,

panion was a vi si on passi onate and effective as the


,

sunri se of joy on sorrow .

Its passi on was qui ckly temp ered by boxes how ,

ever, and a sense of owni ng luggage and being in


danger of losing it cli pped the u tteri ng wi ngs of
fancy and transformed the li ve dove into the clay
,

pigeon .

After breakfasting at the hotel the Deni sons ,

strolled out up the gleami ng white road turned to ,

the right among the date palm s and apri cot trees,
and wandered i n a desu ltory manner towards the
sandy shores of the lake .

It was a most deli ci ou s day hot b u t not yet in , ,

temperately hot clear as it can only be clear i n


,

Egypt at morni ng Roses were owering in the


.

small sand gardens of the Arabs Here and there, .

beneath the trees a pale blue robe glided qui etly


,
AN IMAGINA T I VE MAN .
21

aw av, the b are fee t of it s ow ner no sound


upo n the soft and shifting oor A deli cate and .

drow s v languor s eemed to hang upon the air It .

playe d arou nd the mi nds of the Deni sons wi th a


fairy lightness whi le they walk ed slowly on breath ,

i ng a b alm v swee tnes s that entered as if b v ope n ,

w in dows i nto thei r sou ls


,
.

Mrs Deni on became softly reect ive In all


.
s .

their Italian wanderings sh e had never su ccee ded in


losing the fear of her hus band s cyni c-i m,
s

whi ch she at the same ti me cons i dered G odli ke and


most alarming But then she w as one of those
.
, ,

women who thi nk that a dei ty must have a good


deal of the bogey about and who vagu ely con

fus e Provi dence w i th the personali ty of the scare


crow frighte ni ng hu man sparrows aw av from sin
,

by di nt of an imm ovable ugli ne ss that im pli es illim


ita ble power Her secret fear of her husband h ad
.

spurre d wi thin her the ac t re s ins tinct th at li ves !


)
I
,

altho ugh perhaps d ormant i n eve rv female boso m


, ,

and she h ad alm o st un consc i ou s l y kept hi s c uri osi t y


, ,

about her at bav by the us e of li t tle subtleti es of


in in ce rit y defending her elf again st the scruti ny
s
, s

of his incessant cross exami nati on w i th an abili ty


-

whi ch had fanned the ame of hi s curi ous afecti on


for her She w as ve rv lovely and he h ad not yet
.
,

succee ded in fu lly underst andi ng her N ature h ad .


22 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

gifted her with mysteri ously dark eyes and a pretty


tri ck of vagu eness The beauty and the vagu eness
.

caught Deni son and he appropriated them e ve nt u


,

ally at the altar The beauty appealed certainly to


.

h i s arti sti c sense and to the body whi ch he beli eved


,

hi mself to despi se But i t was the vag ueness whi ch


.

hooked that wayward sh h i s mi nd In i t he ,


.

found a ri ddl e He spent hi s tim e in tryi ng to


.

gu ess it no do ubt because the gue ssing of i t would,


,

as he knew slay what he chose to call hi s affection


,

for Eni d .

Hi s mi stake lay in su pposing there was a riddle



to guess Mrs Deni son s eyes were mu ch deeper
. .

than was her soul She di d not correspond men


.
,

tally to her physi que Many of us do not and


,
.
,

that i s probably why the ugly word hypocri te


ori gi nally came i nto use The face is as often the .

shutter of the soul as the wi ndow and the vi si ble ,

sometimes rudely gives the li e t o the i nvi s i ble .

What was vi sible of Mrs Deni son frequently con .

t radi ct e d what w as i nvi si ble of her b u t the world ,

had no ti me to heed the squabble Mr Deni son . .

had tim e but at present the cotton wool of novelty -

ll ed hi s ears and rendered h im parti ally deaf .

Thi s morning however Mrs Denis on took the


, ,
.

cotton wool out Egypt with it s clear geni ali ty i t s


-
.
,

bri ght softness it s drowsy warmth lai d the actress


, ,
24 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

sult to Nature on such a day and in such a place


-

as thi s We have no busi ness to worry the


.


peace .

He spoke in an unusually gentle voi ce and she ,

noti ced that his expressi on was curi ously happy .

Thi s fact gave her courage tted wi ngs to her ,

mood whi ch now uttered onward less feebly than


,

usual .

They sat down on the sand and let the sun ,

have it s will of them Deni son had no wi sh to .

talk Hi s mind was bathed i n dreams a very u n


.
,

u sual occurrence when he was not alone For the .

keynote of h i s character was an i ntense consci ou s


ness whi ch scarcely ever left h im But Mrs Deni . .

son had no i dea that he was dreami ng or that the ,

silence was magi cal She wanted to talk and b e


.
,

li e ve d that she had somethi ng beauti fully deni te


to say .


Harry she began with a gentle ab ru ptness
, ,


that was rather epilept c there can never be per
i ,

feet love w i thout perfect frankness can there ! ,

Thi s conversati onal plunge acted the part of a


cold douche to the dreams of Deni son They shi v .

ered and vani shed He looked at hi s wi fe in some


.

astoni shment and answered : ,


M any people say so E ni d ,
.


Yes and so i t i s tr u e My father says that
,
.
AN IMAGINA T IVE MA N .
25

the mass of Opini on on any subject is always sure



to be on the ri ght side .


Does he !

That i s su ch a comfort becau se then things
can t go far wrong

I often think of it when .

stupi d people say that England is going to the


dogs .


I am glad the notion comf orts you my dear ,
.

Mrs Deni son felt encouraged


. She thought .


she was encouraged by her husband s words but ,

probably the sunshine w as really the factor that


brought about the feeling She leaned against her .

husband s shoulder and he was unusu al enough to



,

put his arm around her wai st Thi s act i on gave to .

her a terrible self con d ence whi ch usually she


-

lacked She moved serenely on towards her doom


. .


I knew you would agree wi th papa Harry , ,

she innocently remarked leaping at a conclusi on ,

that was founded upon no premi sses He thi nks .


you very clever .

Your father i s full of sound sense E ni d .


,


Yes But I wanted to talk about frank ness
. .

"
Do so dear ,
.


I wanted to sayno don t move I like your ,

,

arm there Harrythat I wi sh our love to be qui te


,

perfect .

And is it not
23 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

N 0 t qui te yet You see perfect love casteth


,
.

out fear and I am a wee b it afrai d of you


, ,


Harry .

He smiled i ndulgently a thi ng he had scarcely ,

ever done i n hi s lif e before I t was a new e xpe ri .

ence to hi m .

Ar e you going to cast you fear away t hi s r


morning ! he sai d .

E ni d was deli ghted .


How qui ck you are at gu essing she re ,

marked wi th happy has te


,
That i s just what I .

want to do I think I am afrai d of you because


.

you don t qui te un derstand me I fancy you are a



.

li t tle puz zled sometimes at things I say and do


, , ,

you know You love me of course but I think


.
, ,

you st u dy me too You are always watchin g and .

observing It has made me a li ttle nervous of you


.
,

afrai d to be quite myself .


A li ght of interest had ashed in to Deni son s
bri ght brown eyes .


You suspi ci ous person he sai d An d so ,


you want me to understand you fully !

Yes Harry dear
,
.

Do you beli eve that is possible ! Do you b e


li eve that any human being can completely un der
stand another !

Oh yes I think I can quite understand you
, ,
.
AN IMAGINAT IVE MAN . 27

Denis on s indulgent smile became once more


am

I glad you feel that condence, he sai d .

Well pu t me into an equally envi able positi on


,

with regard to you It i s not fai r that I should be


.

handi capped in the race for matri m oni al happiness .


I will try Eni d answered, and for the rst
,

tim e she faltered a li ttle It is difcult she .


,

added afte r a moment s pause


,

.

A confessi on of fai th i s always difcult but ,

perhaps less di fcult than a confessi on of failure .

You have understood me from the rst Let me .


understand you at the last .

Bu t now E ni d faltered still more obvi ous ly .

The positi o n seemed to her to have changed in


some su btle w ay and instead of feeling like a
,

happy wi fe on the wayled by her own acum en


t o greater happiness she felt lik e a nervous w i t
,

ness mou nting into the box to gi ve an account of


herself full of dates She began to experi ence Mrs
,
. .

C lu ppins s need of a smelli ng bottle containi ng half


-

a pi nt of salts But her husband d id not act the


.

part of the wo rthy Mrs Bardell He only watched . .

her rather quiz zi cally .


Y ou have given me your heart, he sai d as sh e ,

was silent Gi ve me your soul I as sure y ou I


. .


wi sh to have it .
28 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

I
want you so much to understand me she ,


sai d at length loweri ng her eyes
,
But I don t .


know how to make you .

I am beg nni ng to thi nk that perhaps I do nu


i
d e rst and you Your wi sh to be understood i s a key
.


to unlock the mystery .

She let her pretty head fall upon hi s shoulder ,

and murmured :

E veryone wants to be understood Harry ,
.

E spec ally women he sai d


i But they dress
,
.

their souls up in feathers and owers all the same ,

and follow such strange fashi ons in feeli ng that I


often wonder why the ladi es papers do not devote a

weekly column to the descripti on of the smart shops


at w hi ch customers can buy mo di sh thou ghts and

becoming sensati ons .


I should not read i t dear for I thi nk I am , ,

very simple I have wanted to tell y ou so fora long


.

ti me especially si nce the night you saw me praying


,
.


You wondered what I was prayi ng for .


6
Y es .

Her face ushed as she sai d :



I was praying that you mi ght give u p studying

me and have more ti me left to love me in
,
.

H i s face contracted but she di d not see i t and


, ,

he bent down and ki ssed her .


There i s so l ttle in me to study she said
i ,
.
AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .
29


And so much you to love he answered
in ,
.

From this moment I shall give up studyi ng you ,

E ni d pressed hi s arm
and looked up into hi s
,

face wi th her beautif ul dark eyes M en spoke of.


I thought you were going to say t h e lovera


I wi ll say so, he repli ed .

And he so
di d .

But all the time he felt i ncli ne d to seize Eni d by


h er soft whi te throat and cry :
,

You fe el, why have allowed me to under



stand you !
CHAPT E R II .

TH E afternoon train that runs betw een I smailia


and Cai ro rattled heavi ly throu gh the desert in the
sun The wi ndows of the carriages were closed in
.

order to keep out the sand whi ch nevertheless l


, , ,

t e re d in surreptit i ously and spread i tself in a gritty


,

veil over hats clothes cushi ons woodwork every


, , , ,

thin g .

Mr and Mrs Deni son sat opposite to one an


. .

other Eni d shrouded i n the volu mi nous gau ze


.
,

trappings that the travelling E ngli shwoman so tena


ci ou sly affects was engaged in readi ng one of those
,

Chri stmas numbers whi ch give the li e to the old


carol and make that festive season come not once
, ,

but twi ce a year Denis on lean ed back in hi s cor


.

ner wi th closed eyes, as if asl e ep .

The other occupants of the carri age were a lad y


of thi rty eight or fo rty and a tall boy of abou t
-
,

twenty whose dead whi te face gli tteri ng dark eyes


, , ,

and frightful emaci ati on showed h im to be one of


,

those sad travellers who will not face death at home,


so
32 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

band s opi ni on He was revolving the scene of the



.

morningthe scene by the sand hi lls of the Su ez -

Canal .

So he had made a mi stake He had been taken .

i n wi th an abomin able completeness , snared by N a


ture s drawing of a pai r of eyebrows, N atu re s paint

i ng of a pai r of eyes There was mystery i n the


.

face of hi s wi fe There was depth i n it One wou ld


even have sai d that there was thoughtfulness
. .

sweet vari ety of re ect iveness seldom found in the


,

faces of the masqueraders who dance so fri volously


upon the cr ust that covers the volcano of eternity .

Dark beau ty generally suggests a certain amou nt of


mystery as a sunset sky suggests innity To ju dge
,
.

E ni d by her eyes she might well be i nnite ; b u t to


judge Eni d by her eyes would be to do her a grave
i njusti ce That was the devil of it Her sudden
. .

desi re to be understood had made Deni son aware


that there was practi cally nothing in her to be mis
understood In some women so frank a statement
.

of si mpli city as that made by E ni d would have i m


pli ed a subtlety masked by that very statement .

But i t was unfortunately i mpossi ble for Deni son to


, ,

beli eve that she had been givi ng an im personati on


for h i s benet that morni ng There is a difference
.

between absolute naked N at ure and the most per


feet art of im i tati ona di e re nce discoverable by
AN IMAGI NA T IVE MAN .
33

the acutely observant ; and Deni son knew to h is i n ,

ni te vexati on that hi s w i fe had not been playing a


,

part The tru th had been in her She was not one
. .

of those wo m en who love footli ghtswho dance


wi th sad hearts or play tragedi es w ith merry ones
, .

She was no mimi c of voi ces not her ow n no imper ,

se nator of moods that never sei zed upon her own


sou l
. She was as she had sai d a s imple woman
, , .

And those who deny that any woman can be simple


are wrong There are female simpletons as well as
.

male .

Deni son knew that he had marri ed one As he .


.

sat wi th h i s eyes shut and felt the rough touch of


,

the sand upon h is eyeli ds he realized it fully


, .

Yes he thought ; she i s merely one of those


,

women wi th convi cti ons instead of thoughts b e ,

li efs instead of desi res a country pari sh woman


,

masqueradi ng as a London beauty Her mi nd is .

really gray wool whi ch she i s forever kni tting i nto


,

a pattern to be seen i n every shop And I thought .

her a strange being because her eyes are strange ,

and she has a graceful tri ck of vagueness I dare .

say Joan of Arc was vague too A ti resome mar ,


.

ti al bei ng whose halluci nati ons led to battles I


,
.

have classi ed E ni d at last wi thout further hope of


,

a blessed mi stake Her li ttle vagari es w ill all be


.

painfully plain to me now I shall never hold my .


34 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

breath agai n never h e pe that she will be incompre


,

h e nsible at the eleventh hour The par i sh mi nd .

wi ll always put i t s ugly head above the shallow


"

waters that I have been fool enough to beli eve un


fathomable and stocked wi th strange monsters Of
,
.

course E ni d has her moods lik e all women ; but ,

there w ill always be that awful groun dwork that ,

fatal foundati on upon whi ch I shall feel that I can


,

safely build Yes that i s the devil of it !
.
,

J ust at thi s not very cheerful moment in hi s


reecti ons the voi ce of the dark boy in the opposite
corner i ntru ded itself u pon h is mi nd .

The voi ce sai d I thi nk it s a horribly ugly


,

country and I hate thi s hot sunshi ne in wi nter


,
.

Probably Jirns out hunting now I wonder wh ether



.

there was a meeti ng to day and where it w as Sy -


,
.


well perhaps Hang thi s sand !
,
.

Cessati on of speech was foll owed by an angry


sigh .

Then the mother s voi ce sai d

We shall soon be i n Cair o dear And I know ,


.

you wi ll li ke Mena House They have a lot of .

horses in the stables there ; good ones too Lord , .

Shafton told me so .

Lord Shafton knows a good horse sai d t h e ,

boy more cheerfully


, He s a thorough ni ce fel
.


low .
AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .
35

Deni son felt himself smiling at t h e Bri ti sh de


ducti on It struck him as it had often stru ck h im
.
,

before that he had the mi nd of a foreigner He


, .

never felt more utterly detached than when he was


w ith h i s o w n countrym en For the moment he
.

forgot the simpli city of Eni d in li steni ng to the


rapi d expressi on of a nature new to h im and yet so ,

old and customary The mi nds of B ri ti sh boys


.

always seemed to hi m as much alike as the arti cles


exposed for sale on the si xpenny stall at a vill age
bazaar where you may see ve hund red things all
, ,

slightly different but all obvi ously worth the su m


,

of threepence squ attin g in a brotherhood of cheap


,

ness before the apprai sing eyes of intent bump


kins.

The fact that he had hi s own eyes shut gave the


conversati on to whi ch he li stened a peculiar di s
t i nct ive ne s s
. The voi ce of the boy w as as the voi ce
of all Bri tis h boyhood ; the voi ce of the mother as
the voi ce of all motherhood or so each seemed at
,

rst
.

I wonder when I shall be able to hunt again ,

the boy went on wi th fretful retrospecti on I .

used to have su ch jolly runs wi th the Pyt chley I .


hate to think of anyone ri ding Z o except me ,
.

Nobody will ride her I gave orders that she


.


was never to be mounted till till y ou came back '

.
36 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

In saying the last words the voi ce of the speaker


became suddenly lower .


That s good of you mater the boy sai d al

, , ,

most wi th vi vaci ty Poor old gi rl To think of


. .

her exercis ing in a horse cloth and us out here in -


,

Sahara or whatever they call i t E verything is


, .

deucedly brutal .


You ll get to lik e Egy pt Guy in time , ,
.

N ot I N o fellow li kes hi s pri son and I


.
,

never cared for what people call pi ctu resque places .

They are always places where there s nothi ng

on earth to do I know all about them Gi ve


. .

me a sporti ng country and let arti sts and poets go


,

hang I hate chaps that maunder by the yard and


.
,

coul dn t si t a horse over a b u ll nch to save thei r


son

The tone of his voi ce suggested that he beli eved


hi mself to be engaged in a heated argu ment wi th
somebody The mother changed the subject
. .


You can go to the races she sai d They ,
.

are in December .


Yes that ll be somethi ng to do
,

He paused .
,

then suddenly remarked in a curi ously sinis ter man


,

ner Depend upon my maki ng the tim e a merry


,


one if
,
i t s sho rt
i .

Deni son opened hi s eyes H i s silent compari son .

of thi s boy s mi nd to the sixp enny bazaar arti cles



AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN . 37

seemed to hi m entirely inappropriate And he .

wanted to look at h im again .

He did so and was struck by the remarkably


,

vi vi d expressi on upon the thin face whose yellow i sh ,

whiteness was such a keen contrast to the dark eyes


and curly black hai r The whole mask was illum i
.

n at e d by an intense determi nati on that even sli ghtly ,

contorted the ari stocrati c young features and gave ,

evi dence of consi derable even of unusual charac


, ,

ter ; but it was a determi nati on that was altogether


the reverse of high min ded There w as none of the
-
.

elevati on of strength about it only strength s bi zarre ,


br utali ty A concentrati on of mi nd was apparent


.

in the expressi on that was supremely unboyi s h and , ,

consequently to Deni son immedi ately attracting


, ,
.

Briti sh boyhood was not generally lik e this .

The mother was probably cut to the heart She .

wi nced for a moment as an animal win ces from the


,

stroke of a whi p But she was one of the clever


.

women who understand that i n conceahn ent of


pain li es sometimes pain s opi ate Af ter a minute

.

of silence she sai d qui etly :


We shall have to be out here four months at
least Spri ng i n E gyp t is deli ci ous and Cai ro is
.
,

very gay in spring Yes I dare say we shall be


.
,

li vely enough and you w ill see what a really cosmo


,


pol itan soci ety is lik e .
38 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

I di dn t mean that mater the boy sai d sul



, ,


le nly A nd you know i t However it doesn t
.
,


matter what I meant .

And after that he began again to stare out of the


wi ndow i n gloomy silence .

Deni son had gain ed an im pressi on of h i m by


thi s ti me that was very deni te Among the many
.

curi ous problems over whi ch he had pondered in th e


long hours of thought in whi ch alone he felt h i m
self to be really and fully livi ng one often recurred
, ,

partly perhaps because i t was morbi d the problem ,

of what di recti on the average mind would t urn in


when full in sight of deatho f death not imm edi ate ,

and whose approach had not yet draw n all power of


acti on from the body Would the average mind
.

become paralyzed as the rabbi t before the snake


, ,

and merely remain moti onless ! Would it on the ,

contrary proceed qui etly on i t s usual way ! Or


,

woul d it execute a vi olent turn and if so toward s


, , ,

what ! Of co urse Deni son knew it to be generally


,

accepted as a fact that approaching death almost


i nvariably brings with it a strong desi re for the con
solati ons of religi on but he was by temperament
, , ,

averse to recei ving generally ac cepted thi ngs as


facts and he certai nly was di sinclin ed to recei ve thi s
, .

He had gai ned a very denite i mpressi on of what


thi s boy whom he d i d not know was li ke now but
, , ,
40 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .


had never eaten an orange in her husband s presence
before She was ve ry happy that afternoon because
.
,

she beli eved herself at last fully un derstood The .

desert sands looked fert ile to her the camels models


,

of beau ty and grace And when towards sun set


.
, ,

leani ng from the wi ndow she caught sight of the


,

Pyrami ds far away soari ng as i t seemed to her ex


, ,

ci ted imagin ati on to the rose colour of t h e exquis ite


,


sky she pronoun ced them lovely and was aston
, ,

i sh e d when Harry smi led wi th his usual air of


sli ghtly amus ed sarcasm .
CHAPT E R III .

A F EW days later the Deni sons were driving in


an arab e ey ah over the Kasr e l N il bri dge of Cai ro
- -

en rou te to t h e Pyrami ds where they intended to


,

spend the day returni ng in the evening to the Con


,

t inent al Hotel .The sun w as bri ght upon the


crowded ri ver Few clouds had come over from
.

the Suez Canal to spread irritati on through the


hearts of touris ts The usual motley throng poured
.

along the road that skirts the Nile towards the won
d e rful acaci a avenue that leads to the desert strings
of camels with their bou leverse expressi on squatting ,

women on t rottin g donkeys bearded men in turbans


,

walking hand in hand and gravely di scoursing im ,

pudent brown donkey boys full of E astern blandi sh


-

ment The clear air was ali ve wi th voi ces and the
.
,

Denis ons contributed a desultory chatter from thei r


carri age as their coachman ski rmi shed through the
,

mob with a perpet ual shout of O o ah -


I feel li ke Mrs Brown M r Deni son sai d as
.
,
.
,

he glanced about h im Turkeys are so much en


.

41
42 AN IMAGI NA T IVE MAN .

e id em e . sh one could travel w ithout being


I wi

a tourist One s sense of degradati on i s so terri


.

ble But one mi ght as well wi sh to go into soci


.

ety wi thout being bored To vi s it the Pyrami ds .

and the Sphi nx for the rst t im e is as humi li ating


as a new birth wou ld be By the way Ni codemus
.
,

asked very st u pi d questi ons sometim es There are .

obvi ously so many ways of being bo rn again when



one is old .


I thi nk it i s very exciting sai d h i s wi fe ,
.


It i s too much li ke coloured prints Camels .

seem to make everythi ng Bi bli cal And then .


,

E ni d do you not feel a cold terror at approaching


,

one of the wonders of the world ! You go to see


it and take your personali ty w i th you That i s the .

mi stake You try to feel breathless before it and


.
,

kn ow all the ti me you are thi nking that the lun ch


at the hotel is certai n to be bad or that the sun i s ,

in arti sti cally hot .

Oh Harry ! But it is easy to put up a


,


parasol .

A parasol won t shi eld you from the glare of


a really bad lunch my dear I am absolutely ,


.

dread ing the Sph i nx I have heard about i t s de


.

faced majesty for years It s glori ous u gli ness .

w as a ki nd of hous ehold word in my family and ,

hous ehold words make fami ly li fe ungrammati cal .


AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .
43

Hundreds of thous ands of touri sts have been over


come w ith awe by it I feel certain that my nerves
.

wi ll play me a tri ck when I see it and that I shall ,


burst out laughi ng to my eternal dis grace
,
.


In Pu nch it looks wonderful
sai d Mrs ,
.

Deni son .


But i n Pu nch everythi ng looks wonderful
,

he repli ed concealin g a smil e


,
.


I beli eve i t i s lik e a li ve thin g she went on ,


a li ve thing with a secret .


The Sphinx and the ri ddle ! Denis on said .

Concei ve a stone face that suggests Wh y does a ,


mi ller wear a whi te hat !
Oh Harry you wi ll spoil everythin g if you
, ,


go on like that .

It was ippant and unfair We ought to gi ve .

the Sphi nx a chance of duly im pressing us Be .

si des the faceti ous tone of min d should be the


,

peculiar property of the lowest fo rms of hum ani ty .

It degrades it s possessor to a level far below the


beasts of the eld Yes we wi ll do our best to
.
,

enjoy the Sphi nx At any rate we shall not be so


.

bored by i t as the unfort unate creatures who stay


at the Mena Hous e Hotel It is amazin g that any
.

body can deli berately elect to keep house wi th one


of the wonders of the world Apart from the in .

d ecency of the intrusi on the perpetual e ffort to be


,
44 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

up to the mark must be so terri ble N ever ask me .

to stay at the Pyrami ds Eni d I could not talk ,


.


Sphinx for a week .


V ery well Harry ,
.

And then they dr ove out of the acaci a trees i nto .

the elam orou s atmosphere that rustles rou nd the


great Pyrami d .


We will lunch r st and then vi si t the wonder
,

of the world Deni son sai d O ur mi nds will be



,
.

less preoccupi ed after we have fully tested the hotel



cook .

Wh en they came out from lunch in to the sun,


a huge party of personally condu cted touri sts w as -

making for the G reat Pyrami d in a shou ting pro


cessi on and the Deni sons perched upon donkeys,
, ,

and attended by an ostentati ous sui te of exp lanatory


Ar abs followed in i t s wake at an un easy trot
,
.

They dr ew up un der the Pyrami d surveyed it s ,

dusty bu lk comm ented on the daring travellers who


,

were crawli ng up it li ke i es and then rode on ,

towards the Sphi nx .

Henry Deni son was in his most sarcasti c mood .

S i ght seeing always rou sed h im to cyni ci sm He


-
.

declared that great achi evements drew out the dr egs


of human nature and instanced some of the remarks
,

made by the personally conducted tou ri sts beneath


-

the Pyr ami d .


AN I MAGI N A T IVE MAN .
45

E ven a seri ous and myself intelligent man li ke ,


he sai d to hi s wife i s in uenced to the most petty


,

acti ons and remark s by anyt hi ng stu pendou s Do .

y ou know Eni d that all the tim e I w as looking at


, ,

the Pyrami d I was repeating under my breath ,

Thi s i s the hou se that Jack bu ilt It was only


.

by an effort that I prevente d myself from qu oting


the whole imbecili ty by heart D id you hear that .


old lady say It s a comi cal -lookin struct ure
,

Structu re was the word Eni d ; and her husband ,

repli ed Wh at a strange people these E gyptians


,

mu st have been ! I am qui te in the mood to


lau gh at the Sphinx .

Hi s wi fe looked openly shocked .

Please don t Harry she sai d



It would .
, ,

be su ch bad formwouldn t it wi th these Arabs

here You see i t belongs to them in a way and


.
, ,


they mi ght be hu t r .

Ah well we m s n t depreciate thei r property


, ,
u t ,

mu st we ! So thi s as thei r donkeys si dled rou nd


-

the edge of a deep sand basin i s the marvel !



Shall we di smount to respectfully observe i t !
He helped Eni d off her saddle and they stood ,

looki ng in silence In the di s tance confused ex


.

clam ati ons and shouts of laughter rose from the

approaching touri sts But here, for the moment.


,

they were un di stu rbed Deni son had di ssu aded all .

4
46 AN IMA GINA T IVE MAN .

thei r attendant Arabs except two from aecom


, ,

pany ing them beyond the Pyrami d and these were ,

crouchi ng in thei r pale blue robes besi de the medi


t at i ve donkeys too much bored by the Sphi nx even
,

to explain it or point out it s supposed merits


,
.

T ill the t ouris ts arri ved the Deni sons could


,

enjoy a sense of soli tu de They gazed at the .

couchant monster whi ch seemed to take no sort


,

of heed of them Mrs Denis on h ad her gui de


. .

book in her hand and she now began to refer


to it.

The Arabs call i t Aboo el H ol the Father of


- -

,

Terror or Im men she sai d ; but she was inter


ru t e d by her husband
p .


Hush ! he sai d in a low voi ce lay ing h i s hand ,

upon her arm .

She w as silent for a moment wonderi ng The , .

su n was very hot over the sand and she put up her ,

whi te parasol lin ed wi th pale green A li zard ran .

over the base of the monster w i th careless im pu


dence paused for a second or two to enjoy the
,

warmth then di sappeared i nto the shadow Mrs


, . .

Deni son began to d ge t wi th one of her long


gloves She glanced at her hus band
. .

He w as standi ng by her si de apparently ah ,

sorbed in contemplati on She thought he had .

turned very pale .


48 AN IMAGINAT IVE MAN .

Deni son tu rned suddenly round Hi s face was di s .

torted wi th anger With one erce bo u nd he


.

leaped upon the amazed Ar ab struck hi m wi th h is ,

closed st on the si de of the head and rolled him ,

over in the sand The boy sprang up and wi th a


.
, ,

shrill wail of terror and a bu rst of tears tore off in ,

the directi on of the G reat Pyrami d causing con ,

fus i on in the rank s of the approachi ng touri sts into ,

the mi dst of whom he bolted as if pursued by a


demon .

M rs Deni son shrank away from her husband i n


.

absolute fear Hi s exci tement seemed intense


. .

Hi s face was suffu sed wi th u nwonted colour and ,

h i s breath was laboured and i rregul ar while hi s n ,

gers worked as if they were at the boy s throat


.


Harry ! Harry ! she cri ed pi teously on the ,

verge of a ood of tears


What i s it ! Oh ! what
.


i s it !

How dared he ! How dared he ! Deni son
exclai med in a choked voi ce lookin g after the Arab
, ,

who was now evi dently relat in g hi s tale w ith a ,

frenz y of gesture to the camel dri vers and donkey ~


,
-

boys who attended the touri sts .


Wh y Harry he only threw a stone and not
, , ,

at anyone .


E ni d you don t kn ow what you re say in g he
,

,

began and then a change came over hi m He ap


, .
AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .
49

pe are d abruptly to recollect hi mself The ush .

di ed out of hi s face One of hi s habit u al cold


.

smiles hovered on h i s lips I s it the lun ch or the ,


sun or both ! he sa d
,
i . The boy aggravated me .

He interrupted my magni cent medi tati ons onthe


miller and the whi te hat Here he comes in the
.

mi dst of the condemnatory touri sts Well a ve .


,


pi astre pi ece will heal hi s wo unds no doubt ,
.

He felt in hi s pocket produced the coi n and


,

held it out to the boy who was sti ll cryi ng and ex


,

ci t e d l
y gesti culating givi ng a dramati c and vi olent
,

pantomi me of the Englis hman s brutal assault upon

hi s person .

At the sight hi s tears ceased to ow He ven .

t ur e d gi ngerly forward and when he found the


, ,

money actually wi thi n h is grasp became all smiles ,

and a e ct i onat e geni ality Bursting into conversa


.

ti on wi th a vi vaci ty overwhelmi ng he helped Deni ,

son upon hi s donkey and ran along at hi s side ,

entertaining hi m with a thousand energeti c compli


ments and declaring in a shrill voi ce that he loved
,

the ni ce man better than hi s ri ght eye ! hi s only


good one )
.

But Eni d was not so easily soothed .

The outbreak h ad been so i nexpli cable so e n ,

t i rely unli ke her husband that she was st ill in a


,

nervou s utter and di sin clin ed to let the affair rest


,
.
50 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

As they rode on towards the hotel she tri ed to probe


the matter to the bottom .

W at was
h i t dear,!
she asked I t i s no use
your pretendi ng to me that you are feeli ng well I .

am sure the sun has affected your head We ought .


not to have started di rectly after lun cheon .


I am perfectly well E n d I assure you
i , ,
.

N e w Harry you can t de cei ve me


, ,

I under .

stand y ou too thoroughly You are ill and you are


.
,

i i
afra d of tell ng me .

Deni son s calm threatened to be di sturbed



.

Do allow me the luxury of a mood sometimes ,

he sai d
. I am as well as I ever was in my life It .

i s extremely ti resome to have stones w hizzing past


you r head when you are consci enti ously trying to be
orthodox .

He paused ; then, wi th a light laugh and in a ,

less irritable tone he added :


,


But for thi s wretched boy I mi ght for once ,

have done the ri ght thing and trembled before the


,

Sphinx like a tru e Briti sh touri st


, .


Then you do admire it !
How can I tell ! I might have thought it ne ,

although as you say P u n ch has i mproved u pon i t


, , .

Here we are at the hotel ! N ow for backsheesh


and tea
.

As they sat down in two rocki ng chai rs on the


AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN . 51

veranda they noti ced not far from them the woman
,

who wi th her son had travelled wi th them from


, ,

I smai li a to Cai ro She was sitting alone in a bee


.

hi ve chair and Mrs Deni son s femi nin e eyes


,
.

qui ckly gathered the fact that the white gown she
wore became her and that her thi ck strai ght eye
, ,

brows and vi vaci ous eyes were marvellously pi ct u r


esque beneath the shadow of a large whi te hat .

She was readi ng a French novel and occasi onally ,

looked up from it to cast an expectant glance down


the road Mr Deni son too observed her and as
. .
, , , ,

he si pped the tea whi ch had been brought out to


them by a Swi ss boy in a whi te li nen jacket he ,

remarked to Eni d :

Our fellow travellers are keeping house wi th
-

the Sphi nx .


Yes How handsome she i s !
.

Eni d you are not a true wo m an


,
.

Wh y Harry !
,


You can admire your si ster women .

It is only men who think women li ve in a per



p et u al atmosphere of envy .

And only women who think men li ve in a per


p e t u al atmosphere of selshness W h y are the .

sexes so un able to observe each other s vi rtues !

They are lik e colour blind people They see what


-
.

i s not and i gnore what i s They insi st upon i t that


.
52 AN IMAGINA T I V E MAN .

shi ni ng whi te natu res are dul l gray as the im pres ,

si onis t ins is ts that trees are mauve and seas are ,

scarlet N o women are envi ous N o men are


. .


sels h .

Will you have some su gar Harry !


,


N o thank you ,
.

They sat silent for awhi le enjoying the sun ,

shi ne The tea w as very good and their tour of


.
,

ins pecti on had been tiring and inclin ed them to


,

lethargy E ndless comedi es too were being en


.
, ,

acted before thei r eyes comedi es of sight seei ng in -

whi ch half the nati onali ti es of the world seem ed to


play parts The whi te robed Pyrami d Ar abs were
.
-

reaping their harvest from Englis h French Itali ans , , ,

Rus si ans G ermans and scenes of protest in digna


, , ,

ti on fury and fear succeeded each other in rapi d


,

successi on the sun and the sand provi ding a glow


,

in g m i sc en s cnc and the G reat Pyrami d an i mp o s


,

i ng background Occasi onally the babel of demand


.

and expostul ati on w as i nterrupted by a wa i l of


alarm as a sadd le sli pped and a stout lady or elderly
, ,

gentleman b it the dus t , .

The Deni s ons si pped their tea and wat ched , ,

until the sharp gallop of a horse struck through the


uproar The touris t s who were loungin g about in
.

the w i de space before the hotel scuttled for safety ,

and a reckless ri der dashed up hi s ani m whi te ,


AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .
53

wi th foam A s he threw hi mself out of the saddle


.
,

and stu m bled up the steps on to t h e veranda Deni ,

son recogni sed the dark boy who had rous ed hi m to


i nterest in the railway carri age .

The boy made for the place where hi s mother


was sitting ung him self do w n besi de her and b e
, ,

gan to talk exci tedly gesti culat i ng w i th his crop


,
.

His thi n face was vi olently ushed and h i s eyes


shone un naturally She lai d her hand in hi s and
.
,

seemed tryi ng to soothe him and presently she got,

up put her arm through hi s and went wi th h i m


, ,

slowly into the hotel .

One or two men smoking on the veranda ex


changed smiling glances .

Deni son turned to hi s wife and began once more


to talk E vi dently two or three tim es he tri ed to
.

force hi mself to say somethi ng and shi ed away from


it
. That was obvi ous from the unexp ected though ,

adroi t turn he gave to more than one of hi s sen


,

tenoes; begun to express a desir e or an intenti on


that was lost in a comm onplace and ali en n ale , ,
.

At last when thei r arab e e y ah came rorm d to the


,

door and he was paying the b ill to a preternat urally


,

pale Swi ss wai ter who told them that h e spent hi s


,

winters in Egyp t and h is su mmers at Z ermatt ,

Deni son remarked in a casual way that was not free


from a suspi ci on of elaborati on :
54 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .


They serve you very well at thi s hotel, E ni d .

Yes ndeed
sai d hi s wi fe who had enjoyed
,
i , ,

her tea after the sun the sand and the fracas
, ,
.

Do you think what do you say to our paying


a li ttle vis i t here
Do you mean to morrowfor the day again !
N o ; I thought we mi ght stay for a couple of

ni ghts or so .


But we have our rooms at the Continental !
That is easily arranged .

He spok e with a certain amount of pressur e .


We mi ght engage our rooms before we
start he added
,
.

But I thought you parti cularly objected to


stayi ng here Harry ! You sai d I mu st not pre pose
,

i t becaus e of
I was only joki ng That fatal faceti ous tone
.

of min e w as upon me Thi s hotel is charming


. .

Shall I take rooms !

Yes dear if you lik e But


, ,
.

He had vani shed through the doorway before


her sentence was ni shed .

M rs Deni son left alone glanced round in sti n o


.
, ,

ti vely to fin d a reason for thi s new departur e of her


hus band A s she di d so the handsome woman in
.

the b ig whi te hat came slowly out alone and sat , ,

down once more in her beehi ve chai r She sti ll .


CHAPT E R IV .

NEXT day fou nd Mrs Deni s on still puzzled and


.
,

a trie su spi ci ous in stalled at the M en a House


,

Hotel with her husband It w as early in the sea


,
.

son and the hotel was by no means full A few in


,
.

vali d s had already settled there for the w inter, as


w ell as several E ngli sh and Ameri cans who were
resting after thei r long ou rne y ou t before starting ,

u p the Ni le . Deni son took them in with hi s observant



eyes during the rst day and deci ded that he di dn t
,

w ant to know any of them with two excepti ons ,


.

He h ad never loved hi s kin d and never even fol ,

lowed the h urnane fashi on of pretendi ng t o love


them The i nterest that he took in men and women
.

h ad been w as still at rare intervals k een, bu t i t was


, ,

scarcely ki ndly Their foibles attracted h im some


.

ti m es, thei r vi rt u es seldom It amused him to ob


.

s erve them u nder cir cumstances of exci tement, t e r


ror or pain at a cli max of passi on or of despair
, , .

He often sai d

We are only interesting when we are not our
56
AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .
57

selves Wh en we are ourselves we are as G od has


.


made us And G od has made us very dull
. .

The vi rtues of human nature scarcely appealed


to h im at all but human nature s vagari es occasi on
,

ally sti rred him from the languor of cyni ci sm in whi ch


he was plunged He liked people when they lost
.

thei r heads when they became abnormal Anything


,
.

bi zarre attracted h im unn aturally but the biz arre is ,

not a prevaili ng element in modern li fe especi ally ,

i n modern touri st li fe Travelling humani ty reeks


.

of the gui de book Travelling conversati on repeats


-
.

i tself with a parrot li ke persi stence - In Cai ro the .

battle cry i s the bazaars At Mena House the stream


-
.

of talk ows everlastingly arou nd the Pyramid s and


the Ghi zeh Museum The chatter at ta ble d h ote
.

in the great cool room wi th the domed roof and


the latti ces was of Egyp t s detai ls it s temples
,

, ,

tombs and donkey boys it s dancing girls and der


,
-
,

vi sh e s i t s dahabeahs and i t s mummi es


, ,
But who .
,

among all the chatterers felt the solemni ty of the ,

land heard it s hollow echoes li stened to it s whi s per


, ,

ing voi ces of the past saw the shadows that crept
,

across it s sands the ghosts that had their dwelli ngs


,

among it s rui ns .

Deni son would have lik ed to be alone in Egyp t .

S ince soli t ude was impossible he arranged w ith the ,

head wai ter that he and Eni d should b e placed at


58 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

di nner next to the dark boy of the railway jour


ne y and hi s mother In thei r faces he seemed to
.

read un usual sentences sentences that promi sed a ,

serial story whose i nterest might deepen as it pro


,

re sse d He k new i nst in cti vely that they woul d not


g .

bore hi m The boy in mi nd and body was in a


.
, ,

condi ti on of turmoil Hi s shattered health had ob


.

vi ou sly reacted on hi s brai n There w as nothi ng of .

the breezy Bri tis h sani ty whi ch Deni s on w as so ,

weary of about him The shadows in hi s eyes even


,
.
,

the movements of hi s thi n hands of hi s drawn mouth , ,

revealed a curi ous inward excitement that w as d riv


i ng hi m forward at an i ncreasing pace Am i d the .


chatterin g crowd he moved to Deni son s thinki ng , ,

in a detachm ent full of secret horror Yet hi s vi vac .

it y w as in cessant and w ild The im pressi on Deni .

son gain ed of hi m before he spoke to him was of


, ,

spring suddenly sei zed by the hands of autumn ,

covered wi th dry rus tlin g dead leaves but struggling


, , ,

from i t s shroud, and stretchi ng out vi olent hands


after the owers and the pomp of summer The .

ru stle of those dead leaves was ver


y loud in Deni
son s ears He wanted to take them up in hi s hands

.

as the mis er takes up gold pi eces to let them sli p ,

through hi s ngers to feel the dryness of them and


, ,

note the fadi ng mystery of the hues w i th whi ch


they were dyed He wanted to do thi s merely in
.
AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .
59

order to solace for him self the ennu i attendant on


publi c meals in a strange hotel So he arranged .

that Eni d and he shoul d sit cheek by jowl wi th Mrs .

Ai ntree and her son .

At their rst dinner he sat between hi s w ife and


Mrs Aintree Eni d s attentio n was soon engrossed
. .

by one of those born to uri sts who li ve for ever in,

their boxes and talk for ever of different railway


,

stati ons and hotels He heard her skippin g from


.

one count ry to another w ith the laboured agili ty of


anxi ous poli tenessnow in Buenos Ay res now at ,

the lakes of Killarney plun ged in Japan or im


, ,

m erse d in the wi lds of Wales bri dgin g continents ,

wi th a sentence and ci rcli ng the round globe wi th


,

an agitated epigram Then he turned to Mrs Ain


. .

tree hoping for something better than an incorrect


,

summary of all the geographi es ever wri tten .

She congratul ated h im on exchanging the air of


Cai ro for that of the desert .

I feel a different creature si nce I have been



here she sai d
,
There is li ttle to do but so much ,

to breathe The air is lik e champagne and yet even


.
,

the teetotalers approve of it I suppose they try to


.

get as near things forbi dden as they can li ke so ,

many of us .


I s anything forbi dden in the E ast ! Deni son
asked I thought the charm of sinning had van
.
60 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

i sh e dbecause the veto on it was removed I n Lon .

d o n even vi rtu e seems si ni ster b u t out here vi ce is


,

decked in a gay blue robe and an orange coloured -

gi rdl e and dances openly to a pi pe i nstead of cli ng


,


ing to the ski rts of secrecy .


London i s rather li ke Mr S ggi s she an
t i n .
,

sw e re d It preaches i n publi c and dri nks pine


.
,


apple rum in pri vate .


But the world i s begin ning to mark the red
nose and to suspect the bar parlour Yes I am
-
.
,

afrai d London wi ll have to gi ve up it s ostri ch li ke -

attit ude at last Its head has been in the sand long
.

enough and Pari s and Vi enna are beginni ng to


,

sneer at the large vi ew of tai l feathers that cannot


be ignored E ven a ci ty should not keep on telling
.


the same li e for ever .

The A rabs cannot be accused of sameness i n


lying U ntruth is really a ne art with them The
. .

pi tch of perfect i on to whi ch the di rti est donk ey boy -


has brought decei t comm ands my homage .


Beasts ! They re always trying to do you

,

broke in her son W hat would an Engli sh groom


.

thi nk of them

Does an Engl sh groom ever th k at all !
i in

Deni son sai d .

If he i s worth hi s salt he thinks of hi s horses


and h is harness on week days and of h is sweetheart
-
,
AN IMAGI N AT IVE MAN .
61

on S undays sai d Mrs Aintree helping herself to


,

.
,

some boi led Nile sh .


I beli eve in the reverse of that sai d Deni son , ,

not at all because he meant it but merely for the ,

sake of eluci dating h is compani on It is much .

better to think of one s sweetheart all the week


,

and to devote a sho rt Sunday to the grooming of


the tiresome necessary horse and the poli shing of ,

the tiresome necessary harness .


The old doctri ne of the pleasure seeker she -
,

repli ed wi th a certain light im pertinence that was


,

rather invi gorating .

And a jolly good doctrine too put in the boy ,

wi th a sort of angry determi ned eagerness looking


, ,

hard across h is mother at Deni son wi th an exp res


si on that seemed suddenly to claim hi m as a pal .

A sho rt l fe and a merry one that s what I say


i
,

.


But the se called merry life i s often so short
-


that i t i s hardly worth call ng a li fe at all Guy
i , ,

she sai d not in the least as if she were trying to


,

preach at hi m .

The relati ons between them were as Denis on ,

began to note scarcely the usual ones of mother


,

and son She wore a cu ri ous ai r of youth and


.

emanci pati onof youth that w as nevertheless not


youn g because it was happy but rather because it ,

contai ned an ineradi cable elasti city and mi ght even ,

5
62 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

be gri ef stri cken wi thout losing it s tendency to leap


-

i nstead of hobbling The dr eary sobri ety of the for


.

ti es had not settled lik e a mi st over her although


, , ,

she had just passed her thi rty ni n th bi rthday There - .

'

was an acute honh omc c tinged wi th the i nstin cti ve



,

appreci ati on of drama that vi vi e s the mi nd in her ,

personali ty It marked her a deli ghtful woman of


.

the world She had obvi ously not followed the


.

piti able example of so many women who relapse ,

upon maternity as on a feather bed in whi ch they -


,

si nk down until the outli ne of mind i s entirely con


c e ale d by a bulging mass of uff and feathers .

M otherhood in her case was an ornament that she


, ,

w e re wi th a grace not a pair of sli ppers down at heel


,

in whi ch she sh ufed through l i fe In secret she .

might cheri sh i t as a valuable jewel I n publi c she .

h ad the manner of thi nkin g no more of it than she


thought of the earrin gs in her ears or the bracelet ,

u pon her arm A nd thi s pleasant at ti t u de of her


.

mind had not been without it s effect u pon her son .

He di d not fall perpet u ally into the li al pose b e


fore her a pose that is often beauti ful but that may
, ,

become too habitual and li ke any habitu al pose, , ,

i nduce a constrain t that eventually tends towards


cramp He looked upon her apparently as a com
.

pani on rather than as a lady who havin g brought ,

hi m i nto the world was bound to occupy all her


,
64 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

I can tell you thi sthat the roarer shouldn t t ry to

race !

There was a so rt of edge on the tone in whi ch


she spoke the last words that m ade them cut but ,

li ke the surgeon s operating knife not like the



,

assassi n s dagger She added qui etly :



.


And some li ves are merely sho rt because they
are merry They are i llustrati ons of the imbecili ty
.


of sels h ess
n .

She tu rned again towards Deni son .


I often think she sai d that sel shness is
, ,

the vi llage idi ot of the min d s market place It -


.

goes about chuckli ng b u t it s poor si lly tongu e is


,

hangi ng out all the time .


I thi nk the mind s market place is as full of -


vill age i di ots as life is fu ll of mani acs Deni son

repl ed gi ving cyn ci sm the rei n
i ,
i I remember .

once goi ng to hear the musi c in St Paul s Cathe .


dral whi ch i s sai d to be so beautiful I sat besi de


, .

a mani ac who join ed in the anthem at the pi tch of



h i s voi ce .


An d what di d you th ink of the musi c !

I could only hear the mani ac


.


Ah ! she sai d her dark eyes sparklin g that s
, ,

just i t Wh en one goes to a cathedral one must


.


choose one s seat carefully To sit down beside a .

mani ac i s She paus ed .


AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .
65


Yes he sai d wi th a smile
, ,
.


You allow me ! Well then maniacal
, ,
.


I don t know anythi ng about vi llage idi ots

,

cri ed the boy wi th restless impati ence but I know


, ,

I mean to enjoy myself out here .

He again darted at Deni son the strange clai m


ing look that seemed half d e ant ly to ask for sym
,
-
,

pathy .


I suppose we most of us mean to do that ,

said Deni son How are you going to set about


it

I have set about it , you ng Ain tree said wi th ,

a laugh that caused a member of the travelli ng


spinsterhood, who sat i mmedi ately opposite to hi m ,

to express by a sudden look of angry purity her



subtle sense of outrage I have set about i t. .


The grass shan t grow under my feet

.


My dear boy it can t out hereunless you
,


i rrigate the soil sai d hi s mother easily creating a
, ,

di versi on .

And then during the rest of d i nner they talk ed


, , ,

i n a more correct and hotel spi ri t of the nat ural ,

features of the country in whi ch they were .

Wh en the rustle that always attends the ri sing


p from ta ble d h ote sti rred in the great room

u ,

Deni son foun d Guy Ai ntree i mmediately at hi s


side .
66 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

Are you comi ng out on the veranda to


smoke the boy said .

Deni son assented and t urni ng to Enid asked if


, ,

she were goi ng to the publi c drawing room She -


.

went away wi th Mrs Ai ntree who sai d to Guy


.
,

carelessly :

Put on you coat Guy
r ,
.


All ri ght mater ,
he answered going to
, ,

fet ch it .

He came out on to the veranda a moment later ,

hastily buttoning it w i th an air of di sgu st Deni .

son was already ensconced in a rocking chair wi th


a li ghted cigar between hi s li ps Aintree th rew .

himself down at h i s si de .

All thi s wrappi ng up is such an i nfernal nu i


sance he exclaim ed throu gh an angry breath

, ,
.

G etti ng into thi s beastly long thing is lik e get ting


into one s cofn
They ll make a regular Molly of
.


me between them .

The wind i s cold thi s eveni ng Deni son sai d , ,

looki ng up at the amazing b rilli ance of the stars .

Out here i t is su mmer by day and winter by



ni ght .


Cai ro s the pl ace at ni ght Aintree sai d and , ,

again he laughed in the peculi ar manner th at had


so outraged the spinste r at the dinner table -
.

You have just come from there haven t y ou ! ,



AN I MAGIN ATl VE MAN .
67

He li ghted a cigarette .


Yes answered Deni son
,
.


Well thenyou know what I mean Eh
,
.

Deni s on began t o feel bored He feared that .

they were d rifting toward the eternal after dinner -

subjects to the d i scussi on of whi ch male humanity


,

has dedi cated itself since di nners were rst in


vented In this wonderful E astern ni ght of stars
.

it seemed i nappropri ate to talk as one talk s in a


London musi c hall when sur vey ing one of those
-

gli tteri ng ballets that so elevate the min d and upli ft


the heart .

He answered rather dryly ,

I have only been about Cairo by day as yet ,


.

The boy glanced at h i m and nodded hi s head ,

sagely .


Oh I forgot you re marri ed Beg pardon
,

. .


Marriage locks no doors for me sai d Deni ,

son rather langui dly


,
.

Aintree burst i nto a t of coughi ng Wh en .

he recovered from it he exclaimed wi th h i s wild


, ,

est air :

I ll wrench the locks off every door I can ,


before I before I am hun g up
.


You mean before you marry

If you li ke he hesitated ; then he added
in a hard bitter voi ce : N o I don t mean that
, ,

.
68 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

There are other ways of getting hung up b esi des


bei ng marri ed .


C
Yes .


Look here the boy burst out ,
I daresay .

you ll think me a queer sh but I m si ck of keep



,

ing everything to myself ; and anyhow I don t ,


much care what anyone think s of me now I ve .


had nobody to talk to lately but the mater and you ,

can understand thi n gs I m sur e I shall be hung ,



.

up hung up to dry and rot before long They


, , ,
.


pretend I shan t but I kn ow bett er Look here
,
.
,

I m only twenty I haven t had a chance of very
.

much fu n y et man s fun I meanand now I m


,

to be killed off out of the way Wh at would you .

do if you were me
Deni son had half t urned in hi s rocking chai r, -

and taken the cigar from between hi s li ps He .

began to be more i nterested .


What woul d you do the boy repeated lean ,

ing forward and gazi ng at hi s compani on with


hungry dark eyes .

Deni son di d not answer for the moment He .

was not silent because he w as seeking for conven


t i onal words such as elderly men who have been
,

fooli s h and are glad of it thi nk it their duty to ,

address to young men who are going to be fooli sh


and are glad of i t He was merely absorbed in
.
AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .
69

contemplati on of a new phase of life The ph i .

los oph er in h im was putting the mi croscope to h i s


eye preparatory to observi ng the insects struggling
,

in the world of a water drop At last he sai d -


.


Should I w rench the locks off as many doors
as possible You mean that
! C
Ah I ) 7

The word came in a long drawn breath -


.

Deni son returned to hi s cigar .


It is dif cult to say he went on The word
,
.

pleas ure means such very different things to d i f


ferent people But I suppose we all of us at some
.
,

time i n our li ves want to see what the thing called


,


l e s
if i .


Rather sai d Ai ntree and there was a des
, ,

p e rat ion of determinati on in h i s voi ce ; and I w ill


see it Damn it I will
.

.

There was almost a sob soundi ng through the


last words He struck hi s hand dow n sharply on a
.

bell that stood on a li ttle table by him A waiter .

gli ded up .


Brin g me a brandy and soda A stiff one - -
.
,

d y ou hear !

The man hurri ed off to get it .


I don t care what the doctors say about my

wearin g myself out or anyt hin g else I ve got a


,
.

certain ti me to do thin gs in and I ll cram them all ,



70 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

up together D id you know I was going to ri de in


.

the races ! Of course you didn t ; what a fool I -

am !
The waiter put the brandy and soda do wn b e - -

side hi m He to ok a long pull at i t Then he


. .

laughed again .


I m a li ghtwei ght now he sai d looki ng do w n

, ,

over h i s own emaci ation wi th a sort of dreadful


apprai sing glance I ought to wi n Don t y ou
. .

thi nk so !

Deni son roused him self from h i s abstraction of


hard contemplati on .


You ought to stand a good chance .

He consi dered whether he should for once ,

be utterly convent ional quite untru e to hi mself,


,

whether he should ret urn thi s boy s strange con

dence wi th a sober and plati tu di nou s eloquence of


warni ng and rebuke But he coul d not b ri ng him
.

self to say the usual thi ng He scarcely ever coul d


. .

Instead he added :

Then you have been to Cairo at ni ght !

Yes It s worse than London You ought
. .


to go.


I don t know that I care for anything merely


because it is supposed to be evi l sai d Deni son , .

Several virtu es are qui te in teresting .


Ai ntree an

What s the good of vi rt u e !
CHAPT E R V .

MRS D EN IS ON and her husband occupi ed


. ad

joining bedrooms Deni son had engaged them


.
,

and Mrs Deni son had sai d nothing asked for no


.
,

explanati on A reserve of un easiness that di d not


.
,

yet amount to fear had kept her silent ,


.

That ni ght after leaving the veranda at about


,

twelve Deni son went to b id her good ni ght He


,
-
.

came in softly but Eni d was still awake


, .


You have n i shed smoking ! she sai d as he ,

bent dow n to ki ss her .


Yes dear G ood ni ght
,
.
-
.


G ood night dear Harry she answered rather
-
, ,


wi stfully You are sure you feel qui te well !
.

Perfectly Just as the geni al touri st should


.

all breezy hearti ness and contentment Sleep .

well
.

He t u rned out the light and left the room .

Then goi ng to h is o w n room he qui ckly began to


, ,

take off h i s evening sui t and to draw on a ,

gray N orfolk jacket and trousers He pu t on .

72
AN IMAGINAT IVE MAN .
73

boots took a sti ck and came very softly to hi s


, ,

door .


There is no reason why she should know he ,

sai d to himself as he opened i t wi th caution .

He shut the door qui ckly and walked gently


down the corri dor past pairs of boots and shoes
,

resting demurely on the mats The hotel was .

asleep People go to bed early in Egypt A


. .

drowsy Arab in the hall let hi m out and he stood ,

i n the empty veranda i n the d im moonli ght The .

great ru de outli ne of the Pyrami d towered i n front


of hi m black and enormous The acacia trees shi v
,
.
-

ered in the wi nd whi ch was cold and alm ost w in


,

try but exqui si tely pure and clean In the mud


,
.

vi llage that stands back on the green plain at the


,

desert foot the pari ah dogs were howlin g drearily


,

and persi stently N obody was stirri n g


. The .

greedy Bedoui ns in thei r white and blue robes the ,

snarli ng camels that look as if they were fashi oned


,

i n some leather li ke materi al wi th a rough map on


-

it the bedi zened donkeys in thei r nery of beads


,

and tassels the twi sted i mpi sh beggarsall doubt


, ,

less rested recuperating for the morrow s orgi e of


,

gain Long ago the Mena coach had rolled back


.

with it s le ad to Cair o Long ago the Vi ctorias and


.

the landaus lled with amazed and ecstati c travel


,

lers had departed in peace and dust There was a


,
.
7 4: AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

holy silence that glori ed thi ngs and seemed to ,

bri ng back again the lost anti que years


,
.

Deni son turned up the collar of the N orfolk ,

jacket and stepped out i nto the whi te road


,
.

He was strangely moved and could not com ,

ple t e ly analyze the feelings that swept over h i s


mi nd and heart as the desert win d swept over h is
,

body and ki ssed hi s hands and his face There was


, .

an exultati on wi thi n h i m a sense of escape He


, .

thought of hi s wif e sleeping between the trans


parent whi te walls of the mosqui to net and he felt ,

like a pri soner at large As he went through the


.

night up the road along the base of the Great


,

Py rami d out on to the rolli ng u plands of the sand ,

he was communi ng wi th hi mself .

How mad E ni d wou ld thi nk me if she kn ew !


How mad everyone wou ld thi nk me ! I suppose I
am really absurd in allowi ng my im agin ati on to
dri ve me as other men and women allow their vi ces
,

to dri ve them If I were creeping out now to com


.

m it a murder or to keep an assignati on wi th a


,

woman all the world woul d be able at least to gu ess


,

at my feeli ngs But to keep an assignati on wi th a


.

stone ! Lunacy in that rank lun acy ! Lun acy


always i n a ri oto us i maginati on that spends itself in
acts rather than i n w ri tten words
AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .
75

He stood sti ll on the sand and listened There .

i s a wonderful li ve silence i n the desert at ni ght .

The vague i mmensi ty that seems to the mi nd the


counterpart of eternity becomes embodi ed under the
strange stars and presses softly round the Bedouin
,

tents the wandering caravan that tracks ami d the


,

billo w ing dust the soli tary hum an who like Deni
, ,

son gi ves hi m self to i t even for a moment The


,
.

desert silence is the most wonderful of all sounds .

He stood and li stened and presently from the


, ,

vi llage in the green plai n the howl of the pariah


,

dogs came to h i m again He started He felt as


. .

if they knew hi s secret and ho w led against h i m .

Then he went on softly in the sand .

What a masquerade my li fe i s and has been ,

always ! I am for ever drenching the re and i t ,

is for ever bursting out agai n My i maginati on i s


.

my vi ce and I hi de it so cauti ously ; yet it creeps


,

through everyt hing I feel and colour s all my sensa


,

ti ons A hungry love of mystery in a man of the


.

world a ravenous desire to be drawn and held at


,

bay at one and the same time by man woman any , , ,

thinghow dare one show it ! One might as well


pretend to cul ture and devour Mrs Radcliffe s .

novels i n one s club reading room And so one


-
.

becomes a cyni c cavi ll ing at everything because


,

one thing must always be repressed The cursed .


76 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

world in wh i ch nobo d y dare go h is own way quite


calmly qui te fearlessly and wi th no puni shment
, ,

comin g upon h im ! N ow I am my real self and I ,

am afrai d because the dogs bark down there in the


vi llage . And if she kn ew E ni d would prate abou t
,

sunstroke and pay two gui neas to a speci ali st for


,

my sake An i mpassi ve being all power all serene


.
, ,

severi ty terri bly detached yet near wi th a watch


, , ,

fulness that never wearies and a sleeplessness that,

never droops to slumber ! M en come to see it from


the ends of the world stay ve min utes staring
, ,

think it strange exclai m at the cleverness of the


,

men who made it and go back to the ends of the


,

world cheerfully sati sed I cannot do that Yes. .

t e rd ay as I stood there wi th E ni d I as ked myself


, , ,

D id men m ake it ! And my soul answered



,

No !

A mad answer but something in me sai d
,

i t all the same An d so I am here ! ! One would


.

thi nk t h e se dogs knew there was somethi ng movi ng


i n the ni ght near them )
I have spent so many
.

hours with li vi ng mysteri es that I have at last un


d erst o od why should I not spend one alone wi th a
,

dead mystery that I can never understand wi th a ,

soul of stone that I can never fathom ! To look


upon that great spi ri t of the sand and the old years

take me away to where I want to be .

H is pulses were qui ckeni ng as he drew near to


AN IMA GINA T IVE MAN .
77

the deep hollow in whi ch the Sphinx reposes In .

h i s eyes there was a ame that would have alarmed


a well bred Londoner
-
.


That is the terror of all art he thought of ,

all art that appeals to us vi tally It catches us by .

'

the hand and translates us but to some heaven so -

vagu e so chaoti c that our eyes are lled w ith tears


, ,

because we are there altho ugh we wo uld be there


,

o r beyond always At pri vate vi ews I have stood


.

before a Burne J ones pi ct ure in a frock coat and a


-
,
-

hat from Scott s and been snatched away unti l my



,

t h re at was full of sobs yet I felt that I was no


,

where had been nowhere And so it i s wi th those


,
.

awful i ndeni te regi ons that mus i c creates for one


, ,

and pee ples w ith beings whose faintest shadows one


can scarcely see A s one li s te ns the horizons melt
.
,

away the perspecti ve enlarges there seems to be a


, ,

ood of light illumi nating


,
nothing It is as if .

windows were thrown Open to a glad great land .

One k nows that it is there One i es to the w in .

dows One leans out and there is nothing O nl y


.
,
.
,

perhaps a voi ce as of a wi nd below a murmur as of


, ,

reapers gatherin g in magi cal harvests a sti r as of ,

the wings of pas sing bi rds an u p b orne scent ,


o

as from hi dden owers nestli ng in some stream ,

haunted hollow far away That is why the eyes of .

people ll wi th tears when they gaze upon or lis ten ,

6
78 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

to what is perfectly beautiful or wonderful and


, ,

what i s not sad There is always the exqui site


.

sens e of an exqui si te di sappoin tment upon the heart .

I felt it yesterday and I must feel it agai n and alone


,
.

He had reached the edge of t he sandy cup now ,

and the huge couchant gure about whi ch he had


laughed i n the carri age only yesterday met h is eyes
once more The clear moonli ght bathed it magic
.

ally The in nity of the desert s olitudes brooded


.

arou nd it And it kept it s watch wi th the in effable


.

calm pati ence that h as never tir ed throu gh so many


thousands of years In the pur e ni ght under the
.
,

penetrating stars i t stared silently across the sands


, , ,

i nto the sleepy spaces of the shadowy night world .

Deni s on stood before it alone .

But he felt that he w as wi th a li ving presence ,

w i th a great en i gma that he could never understand ,

never draw near to .

In thi s ni ght ho ur he could be hi mself could ,

gi ve a rein to the strange i mpulse that so oft en


stir red h i m and that he so often and so ri gorously
,

repressed .

H is li fe was and had always been a starved li fe


, ,
.

He was afrai d of hi mself afrai d to gi ve the rei n to


,

the horses that might gallop to the abyss E ven .

that dark boy i n the hotel w as more courageous


than he .
80 AN IMAGINAT I VE MAN .

But then someti mes as the vi ce drives the saint


, ,

fro m the hermi tage in the rocks to the streets of the


ci ty h is im aginati on ran ri ot and swept hi m unre
, ,

si sting wi th it through fantasi es that men mi ght


,

have called madnesses .

O nce, in a house where he was staying, he had


spent a whole ni ght i n the darkn ess wi th a pi cture ,

that had lai d a spell upon h i m Only to be near to .

it only to know that it was there h ad been enough


, ,

to wake in hi m a joy that he hi mself could not


understand At dawn he h ad stolen softly up the
.

stairs li ke a gui lty thing and fallen u pon his bed,


,

weary wi th emoti on .

Once he had cru shed a vi olin in his arms as one ,

mi ght crus h a woman dri ven by an o ver mastering


,
-

desire to tear forth the mysteri ou s voi ce that


breathed out all the essence of all the divin est joys
and sorrows of the wayward world .


An d then he asked him self, Am I mad ! and ,

w i th a shudder he drew on cyni ci sm , as a man


,

draws on a domi no and danced decorous ly at the


,

masquerade of li fe .

To ni ght the domi no was thro wn asi de the mask


-
,

had fallen to the oor Fur tively he had stolen out


.

to be hi mself where no one could see and wonder .

The Sphi nx lays a spell upon all I t i s too .

strange to leave no i mpressi on upon anybody But .


AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN . 81

to Deni son it had seemed as he stood before it rst


, , ,

i n the bu rning afternoon and near to the clamour


ing touri st s the Somethi ng he had waited for
, ,

wanted all hi s life The im mensi ty of it s gaze the


,
.
,

terrible unrelenting passivi ty of it s attitude drew


, ,

hi m as the hi dden vi ce draws the holy man till he


fall s
.

Had h is wife refu sed to stay at the Mena Hous e ,

Deni son would have forced her to come there .

Thi s watchi ng mystery governed hi m .

He knew that it w as a madness He d i d not .

care Life is so full of madn esses that the world


.
,

strange oi ciat ing pri est lifts on high and solemnly


,

consecrates .

Now he stood in the moonli ght gazing at the ,

blurred face till a deni te lif e seemed to i cker


,

into it s eyes .

He felt that there w as a soul behi nd them and


had been unguessed by men thr ough all these ages
, , ,

a masterful un readable soul profoundly thoughtful


, , ,

profoundly grave sternly elevateda soul that he


,

wanted to worshi p .

He watched the marred majesti c face and wove


, ,

wild legends round about it as the ni ght w e re on .

He even ceased to stand outsi de li ke a detecti ve , ,

and observe hi s own min d s procedure He im


.

m ersed hi mself in the tremendous di gnity that


82 AN IMAGINA TIVE MAN .

seemed to sweep the ages together and put them


asi de as nothing .

And as he gazed ti ll the moonli ght faded and


, ,

the gray tressed dawn sli pped over the sands , a fan
-

t ast i c passi on woke i n hi s heart.

He trembled whil e he acknowledged it as the


,

m adm an may tremble when the rst faint delusi on


sli des into hi s brain and half aware of it s monstrou s
,

absurdi ty he h as yet no strength to drive it out


,
.

With the sun Deni son w as at the door of the


,

hotel.

The pari ah dogs still howled from the village


that was set in the green land beyond the acacia
trees.

They seemed to utter hi s secret to the waking


world .
CHAPT E R VI .

WITH IN the next few days a certai n i ntimacy


sprang up between Deni son and the Ai ntreesan
i ntim acy from whi ch Eni d seemed deliberately to
exclude herself The little w ife having resolved
.
,

that Mrs Aintree was the reason that had draw n


.

her husband to Mena House was inclin ed to hold ,

rather aloof from her not preci sely prompted by


,

jealousy At least Eni d would not adm it such a


.
,

thing even to herself


,
In her own mi nd she
.

thought that Mrs Aintree di d not suit her She


. .

had no leanings towards Bohemi a When in Lon .

don she lik ed to go into what i s called smart soci ety ,

the sort of soci ety that sti ll continues to regard the


talent that manifests itself in brill iant and u nceasing
work as somethin g to be loftily patroni zed or li ght ,

ly wondered at Enid really beli eved that you


.

must be di rty before you could have genius Her .

m other had brought her up in thi s faith and ami d , ,

the sceptici sm of a cyn i cal age she clung to it de ,

vou t ly .Mrs Ai ntree on the contrary was gi fted


.
, ,
83
84 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

with an i ntellect that marched at the double and to ,

a mus i c that continually vari ed I t kept in step .

wi th the rapi d footfalls of the many movements of a


yin g century rushi ng as it seemed wi th a p assi on
, , ,

ate resoluti on upon i t s death N ot born in Bohe .

m ia Mrs Ai ntree had always looked upon it as a


,
.

land created for her to make holi day in much as ,

Englis h Alpine clim bers look upon Switzerland .

When she was tired of the soci ety of N orthampton


shi re squires of hunti ng talk, and what she called
,

m angel wu rzel jokes, she packed her boxes took


-
,

her ti cket and w as soon revelling in the i ntellectual


,

scenery that she loved looking upon the moun tains ,

of effort lis teni ng to the tinkling sheep bells of the


,
-

poets breathing the exqui site atmosphere of ente r


,

pri se and of asserti on that is a toni c to the soul s of


the ardent .

E ni d in stin cti vely felt that she and Mrs Aintree .

woul d not be qui te congeni al compani ons Their .

outlook was different One li ked a narrow path to.

walk in bordered by di s creet rows of well kept


,
-

garden owers and box hedges cut into fashi onable


,

shapes The other desir ed breadth space rolling


.
, ,

downs a tangled wi lderness of struggling plants all


, ,

forci ng them selves upward s to sun and air Eni d .

was pas si onately orthodox Mrs Ai ntree w as pas , .

si onately unorthodox but from temperament not at, ,


AN IMAGINA T I VE MAN .
85

all because she thought it dari ng to be so The .

pi oneer who clears a path through the forest to get



at a ti ger s lair merely in order to wear the tiger s

,

skin at an eveni ng party and be w ri tten about in


,

the papers was an abomination to her She moved


,
.

because there was a d ivi ne restlessness wi thi n her ,

not because she saw her nei ghbours trotting along


and w as afrai d of being left behi nd And her .

restlessness shook hands w i th the restlessness of


Deni son.

He hi mself was surprised to n d that he li ked


his gri p
.

He was in a strange mood of excitement whi ch


he h ad to continually repress At night he mi ght
.

i ndulge it but when the sun rose over the sands the
,

gray hood must be drawn over it the gray mantle


,

wrapped round it The cradle in whi ch h i s m e n


.

strous passi on lay must be rocked softly and a ,

lullaby i nvented to send i t for the time to sleep .

Mrs Ai ntree and her son were the lullaby that


.

Deni son sang by day near the cradle of hi s pas si on .

He plunged himself i nto their li ves wi th a curi ous


desperati on E nid noti ced i t wi th an in creasing
.

un easi ness .

She now began to regret that little scene at


I smaili a on the banks of the bi tter lake She had .

desi red to be un derstood She had w i shed her hus


.
86 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

band to gi ve up studyi ng her and had fanci ed that


,

when he ceased from di ssecti on he would make over


the spare ti me thus gained to love But he seemed .

now farther from her than ever before He no .

longer watched her If she prayed he had no sort


.
,

of curi osity as to the nat ure of the silent peti ti ons


she put up And wi th the death of h i s curi osity
.

had there not come another death !


Eni d shuddered and thru st the question away
from her mind She wou ld not thi nk it But day
. .

by day she saw her husband explori ng the minds of


M rs Ai ntree and her sonroused t o an interest
.

whi ch she could no longer awaken in h im She .

began to hate the M ena House but at r st she di d


,

not say so If she were si tt ing ami d ruins she could


.

not feel qui te alone so long as she had di gni ty for a


compani on Eni d and di gnity were mu ch together
.

at thi s ti me .

The intimacy between Mrs Ai ntree and Deni son


.

had been establi shed with some ab ruptness one


mo rni ng when they were lounging on the veranda .

E ni d was indoors wri t ing a letter to her mother .

She wrote letters to her mother perpetu ally They .

were all about nothing but her mother happened to


,

be the so rt of woman who li kes that sort of letter .

She repli ed from G rosvenor Square in the same


strain whi ch comfort ed Eni d greatly N othingness,
, .
88 AN I MAGINA T IVE MAN .

brought abou t by the prevalence of the u sual sort


of thi ng in li fe There i s a tradi ti onal atti tude of
.

parents towards their children and chi ldren towards ,

their parents and tradi ti onal attit u des are generally


,

ugly and u ngraceful Few mothers know thei r .

sons and the k nowledge that they do not is their


,

cross But i t is their ow n fau lt for being what is


.

called motherly We tell our secrets only to those


.


who we feel have secrets of their ow n
, ,
.

Do you mean that the guilty never conde in



the innocent !
Rather that the knowing never con de in the
i gnorant The i gnorant cann ot u nderstand and
.
,

have a lust for bein g shocked The mother who .


can be shocked w ill be decei ved by her boys .

You are certai nly what Clapham would call



o ginal Deni son sai d as he stru ck a match and lit
ri , ,

a cigar .


Clapham is a giganti c place she ans wered ; ,


I could not name it s boun dari es .


I don t know that anyone coul d I have no

.

children but if I h ad I could never be paternal


,
.

To be properly paternal you mu st have a double


chi n sit in a li brary send for your children and
, ,


have scenes wi th them a most boring professi on
.

Yes and one that woul d bring in a large in


,

come of heartac he But you exaggerate amusi ngly


. .
AN I MAGINA T IVE MAN .
89

Keep the dou ble chin if you like but leave out the
,

scenes And yet it i s that double chin of the mi nd


.

that scares youth My boy has no father Perhaps


. .

that i s one of the reasons why he treats me li ke a



man .


If he had no mother could he treat his father
,


like a woman !
Mrs Ain tree put up her parasol The sun was
. .

getting very hot She shifted her chair a li ttle way


"

back into the shadow Then she sai d .


I don t qui te know why it is but though a

,

woman can be both female and male in mind a man ,

must be either one or the other He never com .

bines the two .


M en are fantasti cally rigid They think it.

In


There is something manly in rigidi ty in the ,

stone characte r You may chi p it you cannot


.
,

pi erce it But that may be the reason why a man


.

can seldom be father and mother I am often con .

si d e re d to be no parent at all to my boy In North .

ampt onshi re we always hunt together and shoot

together I have led hi m over many a st i lin e of


.

country And in return he allows me to follow hi m


.


after all his foxes all
.

Denison glanced at her curi ously .


But you are not in Cairo to day he sai d , .
90 AN IMAGINATIV E MAN .


! C
No .


A nd you sai d just now ,
Guy i s glad, I think .


I sai d he allows me to follow hi m . I do not
wi sh to ri de by hi s si de and be in at the death .

There are family relati ons that create irnp ossib ili
ti es One cann ot ght wi th them One can only
. .

recogni se as few as possible .


I see .


Of course I know she ad ded rather impetu
,


onely that Guy goes into Cairo too often
,
.


Do you te ll h im so !

As seldom as possible When he comes back
.


he describes to me all he h as done .


Y ou are sure !

I am sure .

Deni son di d not speak for a moment He w as .

di stinctly i nterested and found Mrs Ai ntree as he


,
.
,

had anti ci pated a very unus u al woman Then he


,
.

sai d :
If so I can hardly un derstand in what so rt of
,


way you recei ve hi s con dence .


I recei ve it as a comrade .

But c omrades vary in characte r do they not ,


I recei ve i t as a hu man being who does not
shri nk from anyt hing that i s hum an even when I ,

n d it in my own son Mr Deni son I suppose I


. .
,

am talkin g to you rather strangely but why should ,


AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .
91

I not ! Guy has taken an abrupt boyis h fancy to


you, and I can see that you understand how i t is with
h im . Poor boy ! People who talk nonsense would
say that he i s not hi mself now and he is not what ,

he was But how can i t be expected that he should


.

be ! Li fe has suddenly changed for hi m and he has ,


changed wi th i t .


He has changed then !

A year ago he was just a nat ural boy appar ,

ently strong and healthystrong enough and healthy


enough to think li ttle of vi ce The absolutely sou nd
.

body is rather inclined to despi se the vi ci ous It .

sees their innate weakness The really wi cked are


.

always gone at the knees depend upon it


, .

Deni son only smiled sli ghtly She continued .


,

leani ng forward a little under her whi te parasol her ,

great eyes sparkli ng with eagerness beneath thei r


thi ck eyebrows :

He di s regarded vi ce gui ded much more in
,

ways of virt ue by sani ty of body than by religi ous



principle .


I see
Bu t
.

his father d i ed of consumpti on G uy .

caught a chi ll out hunting The di sease of hi s father


.

manifested itself i m medi ately in h im In the sum .

mer he got much better but the autumn taught us


,

both that there was a wei rd we had to dree The

.
92 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .


learnin g of that lesson has twi st ed the boy s whole
nature It has waked u p in him the scoundrel that
.

sleeps in almost every man You have seen that


. .

The whole hotel lm ow s i t t o some extent but the ,

whole hotel does not un derstand the tragedy of my



boy s so ul

.

The tears starte d suddenly into her eyes and she ,

di d not look in the le ast ashamed of them or anxi ous


t o hi de them .


Some of the people here pity me she con ,


t inned and some condemn me They pi ty me for
, .

being as they think, the vi ctim of an openly dis si


,

pated son Or they condemn me for acqui escing as


.
,

they think in what they call his sins against the


,

decalogu e But whi ch of them pi ti es Guy ! Whi ch


.

of them i magines that I am my son s con dante !

I su ppose almost every mother in England would



look upon me as a so rt of mons te r .

The mothers of E ngland have very strange


"
w ays of looki ng at lif e sai d Denis on
,
.


I cannot see thi ngs as they do I only know .

that my boy feels suddenly an awful loneliness of


sou l an awfu l sense of being dragged away from all
,

people and thi ngs And my motherhood makes me


.

determi ned to be close to hi m at any cost If he .

will sin I tell you that I wou ld rather sin wi th him


than allow hi m to feel that
,

that I was li ke so many ,


AN IMAGI N A T IVE MAN .
93

mothers a saint standing far away on the steps of


, ,

an altar praying for hi m perhaps loving h im and


, ,

pity ing hi m but not wi th hi m If we cannot di e


,
.

with the ones we love at least we can go with them


,

ri ght up to death The loneli ness of death itself is


.

li ttle I think ; it is the loneli ness of the li fe just b e


,

fore it that is so appalling My son shall not be .


lonely .

There was a note of strong alm ost u nwomanly , ,

determinati on in her voi ce She looked Deni son .

full in the face then she added


,

Try to understand h im He wi shes you to do .


so It would be a good acti on
. .


I thi nk I do understand h im Deni son sai d , .

He i att empting to pour all the wi ne of li fe i nto


s

one tiny cup What a pity he cannot learn the les


.

son I have learnt that t h e ordinary wi ne of life


, ,

the wi ne all men drink is not wo rth even sip ,


ping .


I sn t it ! she sai d

.

The questi on a li ttle surpri sed Denis on .

You he hesi tated .


A s a woman I have never drunk it I have .


never had the wi sh to dri nk it she sai d i m m e di , ,

ately grasping all he would have sai d and showing ,


nei ther surpri se nor angry di gni ty It has gen .

e rally seemed to me that men are only anxi ous to


94 AN I MAGINA T IVE MAN .

drink the dregs but I supposed that the dregs must


,
i
be pecul arly del ci ous
i .


It h as been a legend to humanity that they are

so and lik e most legen ds it is false
, , ,
.

Guy does not know that and if I tri ed to ,

teac h i t to hi m he would cease to regard me as hi s


comrade and begin to regard me as his mother
,
.

But youvou mi ght try .

To make hi m beli eve in early youth what so


few of us can even beli eve in old age ! It would

be no good .


It might be Because I choose to be the con
.

d ant e of all hi s si nful and i mpur e secrets do not ,

suppose that I am bli nd to the tragedy of this new


way of life of hi s I know hi m absolutely and I
.
,

know that if I began to preachhowever carefully


I might do it in his present condi ti on he would
b e come imm edi ately more hard more re solute in ,

h is cour se th an ever I should not shut sin out of


.

his life ; I should o nl y shu t myself out And that .

I w ill never donever ! Bu t you have li ved and ,

got t ired of i t !


Hor bly t red sai d Denis on
i
r i , .


I wi s h y ou would show to h i m all your fa

tigue she sai d
,
. I cannot because I have none
, .

I love life i ntenselyall the li fe at leas t, that is ,


really ali ve .
96 IMAGINA T IVE

Wh at a The weather seems



to be always ne in Egy pt .

Deni son felt had gi ven


vi ctory
.
CHAPT ER VII .

THrs conversati on between Mrs Aintree and .

Deni son on the veranda eventually led to vari ous


developments ; but just at rst it merely induced
Deni son to resume once more the sli ght in terest in
humanity wh i ch he had fanci ed enti rely dead in
h im. Mrs Ai ntree and her son began to partially
.
.

engross h i s min d during the day To some nat ures .

there i s something very seizing in a di rect appeal .

Mrs Ai ntree had treated Deni son wi th a qui te un


.

exampled frankness and her frankn ess certainly


,

woke hi m out of the cyni cism that was so apt to


put people and their affai rs asi de w ith a smi le or a
sneer He resolved to try to penetrate a li ttle way
.

into Guy s life



The boy had from the rst taken
.

an odd fancy to hi ma fancy qui te unaccountable ,

and springing doubtless partly from the ill


, ,

health that took subtly more hold on him from


, ,

day to day Thi s fancy made Deni son s task rather
.

an easy one .

In the clear starlit evenings wh en the crowd of


, ,
97
98 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

touri sts had melte d away when the G reat Pyrami d ,

had a silence of the stars round it s summi t a silence


of the sands round it s base they often sat smoki ng ,

together the boy closely wrapped up h is throat


, ,

muf ed in si lk handkerchi efs .

One evening Mrs Ai ntree and Eni d joined


_
.

them on the veranda The weather was e xcep .

t i onally warm and ahn ost everyone w as out di s


, ,

cu ssing expediti ons the charges of the donkey boys


,
-
,

the temples the to mbs and the grand tour of the


, ,

Nile The Deni sons and the Aintrees were


.

ered in their rocki ng chai rs round a small table on


-

whi ch stood a tray wi th four tin y cups of thi ck


coffee Guy Ai ntree was looking singularly pale
.

and haggard, and h is cough was troublesome .


I w sh we could go out s oot g jackals he
i h in ,

sai d presently to h i s mother In a week it w ill .

be b ri ght moonli ght Sai d told me there were a


.


k
lot about the desert to wards Sa kara .


Perhaps we wi ll she answered gaily ,
What .

do you say Mr Deni son


,
.


I am a bad shot he repli ed rather dryly , ,
.

But I suppose here if you mi ss your j ackal you


hi t your Py ram i d It woul d be a new sens a
.

ti on to brin g do w n a Pyrami d at say twenty , ,



pac es .


Mi nd you don t pepper the Sphinx by m i s

1 00 AN IMAG I NA T IVE MAN .

She only looked rather piteou sly at h e r hu sband


and began once more to dwell vagu ely on sunstroke .

I t seemed so approp ri ate i n Egypt she thought ter


, ,

ri ble tho u gh it would be .


The Arabs have no so rt of reverence for their

m arvellous monu ments , Mrs Aintree sai d . Th ey .

would thi nk nothing of playing backgammon in a


temple or pitching stones at the Sphi nx
,
.

E nid stared more apprehensively at h er hu sband .


They ou ght to be taught to behave properly,

he said pulling h ard at his cigar


,
.


Who i s to teach them ! M rs Aintree asked

. .

The Engli sh tou rist who scrat ches the inscri ption
J ones on every stone that li es in his way ! I am


i
afra d the task wou ld be a hopeless one .


N eve theless I attempted it the oth er day
r ,

Deni son said I knocked a Vandal down and so


.
,

far I was meri to ri ou s but when he got u p I gave


,

him ve piastres . He had thrown a stone at t h e



Sphinx .

Mrs Ai ntree smiled


. .


Y ou have done an u nfortunate th ing she said ,

lightly. Y ou have create d a precedent E very .

Bedoui n that lives wi ll pelt the Sphinx now in


hopes of pias tres There will be noth ing left of it
.

by the end of the season .

It h as li ved so long that it will d ie hardlike



AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN . 1 01

a government Deni son answered smi ling wi th


, ,

concurrence in her ch aff .

E ni d smi led too cheerfu lly and d is mi ssed all


, ,

thoughts of sunstroke from her mind To night .


-

she was feeling rather happi er than us ual Harry .

had dri ven her into Cairo during the afternoon and ,

had escorte d her roun d the bazaa rs seeming willing ,

to li nger ami d their marvels just as long as she


pleas ed He had bought a num ber of pretty
.

things I ndeed at that moment she w as weari ng


.
,

an exquis itely embro i dered Z ouave that he had


given to her It tted her slight gu re beauti fully
.
,

and thi s fact gave her renewed con dence in h is


affect i onwhy she did not know Perhaps it w as
, .

because she felt serenely that Mrs Ai ntree could .

never have got into it Eni d was seldom logi cal in


.

her mental pro ce sses and moreover the conclusi ons


, , ,

to whi ch she le apt were qui te as often wrong as


right Frequent dis covery of thi s fact however
.
, ,

di d not check her ill ad vi sed agili ty and sh e sti ll


-
,

felt it to be her duty as a pure m inded and true,


-

woman to trust im pli citly in what she called her


,

int ui ti ons To night then her intu iti ons and the
.
-
, , ,

fact that she felt she was looki ng her best led her ,

to a pleasant condence in the abiding strength of


her husband s affecti on She glanced at Mrs Ain

. .

tree and told herself that she had been absurd to


1 02 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

beli eve that Harry could be really interested in a


woman wi th a grown up son Many women fancy
-
.

that it i s impossible to possess a chi ld si x feet hi gh


and charm Guy Ai ntree stood si x feet in h is
.

boots His m easurements reassured Eni d and sit


.
, ,

ting besi de her husband she softly stole her hand


,

in to hi s under the protectin g coffee table .

Deni son was bored by the acti on The course .

the conversati on had taken since dinner h ad greatly


i rri tated h im and the fact that it h ad been able to
,

irri tate him alarmed him He moved usually in a


.

calm that had it s root in contempt and h ad learnt ,

to be alm ost entirely self centred He generally


-
.

di sagreed wi th the remarks of those around him ,

heard thei r statements wi th amusement and their ,

deducti ons wi th deri si on ; but he seldom felt in


clin ed to preach his own gospel and even when he , ,

di d w as easily able to st ie the incli nati on


,
His .

control over him self was so perfect that he could


rely u pon it im pli ci tly Sin ce he h ad come to
.

M ena House however he knew that there were


, ,

moments in whi ch he had great dif cu lty in re


strain ing hi m self from words and acti ons whi ch
would certainly cause surpri se and perhaps alarm to
those about him The li nk s of the chain armour
.

that concealed hi s mind were slightly loosened He .

could only accompli sh by thinki ng that whi ch he


1 04 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

the relati ons of thi s mother and son But at night .

the closi ng of bedroom doors shut them and all


hum ani ty out of hi s li fe and h e gave hi m self up to ,
'

the world of i magin ati on of silence of mystery , ,


.

And now it was suggested calmly that even the


ni ght hours shoul d be taken from him He felt an .

acute resentm ent and the k nowled ge that it was ,

enti rely unreas onable and absur d di d not certain ly


lessen i t Mechani cally he continued to stroke the
.
,

hand of Eni d h ow e ve r and she sat happily serene


,
'

, ,

alternately of her husband and her em


bro i dered Z ouave deli ghted wi th the kin dn ess of the
,

one and the t of the other She w as only ob serv .

ant by acci dent and she very rarely had an acci


,

dent .

M rs Aintree on the other hand was observant


.
, ,

hab itually and qui te naturally N othi ng escaped h er .

noti ce and now Deni son glancing towards her in


, , ,

the semi tw ili ght found her eyes xed upon him full
-
,

of a deep consi derati on She di d not hasti ly wi th .

draw them as he looked u p but she changed thei r ,

expressi on They became im medi ately alert and


.

challenging and she turned the conversati on i nto


,

another channel wi th the consumm ate ease of a


really clever woman But Deni son felt that he h ad .

b een watched and by someone who could not be


,

di verted li ke Eni d by an u nmeaning pressure of


, ,
AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .
1 05

the hand from analysis of h i s moo ds and the possible


causes of them A slight sense of fear overt o ok
.

him for the moment Then he pulled himself to


.

gether bani shed it wi th vigour and becamese


, ,

Eni d thought rapturouslyquite himself again .

But the eveni ng was not to end in perfect amity .

Eni d and Mrs Ai ntree went indoors at ten o clock


.

,

and soon after w ards youn g Aintree also got up .


I want to have a d ri nk he sai d looking at
, ,

Deni son and draw ing h i s brows together in a fro w n .


Come and have one .

Deni son was one of those abnormal men who


never swallow li qui d when they don t want it from
,

a sense of politeness He could not bring him self


.

to see any close conn ecti on between breedin g and


brandy and the sort of good fellowshi p that i s bap
,

t i ze d in unnecessary whi sky and soda brought u p ,

by hand on gin and b itters fostered in the bar and


, ,

made perfect by a deliberate drunk enness seemed ,

to h i m unusually i mbecile .


N o thank you he answered
, ,
I am not .


thi rsty
.

He glanced up at the boy as he spoke and ,

noti ced how haggard and sini ster Guy looked For .

the moment an unusual sense of pity smote h im .


G o to bed he sa d ; you have been doing
,
i

too much .
106 AN IMAGINAT IVE MAN .

Bed ! cri ed Ai ntree dis d ainfully at thi s time


,
"

What do you take me for ! My dear fellow I feel ,

i nclined to begi n now I shan t be ready for bed



.


for another two hours at least Come along . .

He had as sumed suddenly a v i olent vi vaci ty ,

stretched hi s thi n pale li ps in a smile and stuck h is


, ,

hands deep into h is pockets as he sw ung to and fro


on h is toes and heels .


G o to bed Deni s on repeated harshly
,
.

Aintree ceased to smile, paus ed a moment as if


on the poi nt of say ing somethin g vi olent in reply ,

then turn ed round and made his way i nto the hotel .

Deni son was left almost alone There were only


.

two or three other men dotted about smokin g He .

leaned back in hi s chai r and closed his eyes He .

wanted to feel thoroughly the largeness of the ni ght


after the pettiness of the day He wanted to detach
.

hi mself to get away in thought from the tragi c tri vi


,

ali t ies that had swarmed around him ever since he h ad

got up that morni ng T ri vi ali ti es he called them


.
,

silentlyEni d s u nintelli gent devoti on to hi m per



,

pe t u al adori ng m i sunderstan di ng of all he sai d and


d id Mrs Aintree s strange atti tude towards her d y

.
,

ing son Guy Ain tree s mute and lonely despai r


,

,

shudderi ng lik e a beast in the far corner of a cage


whose bars were gi lded Yet in the day tim e these
.
-

tri vi ali ti es still h ad some power to interest him and ,


1 08 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

Mr Deni son where is Guy


.
,
sai d Mrs . A in
tree s voi ce at h is si de

.

Deni son start ed up He had been si tting there


.

abstracted for a long whi le Mi dnight h ad struck . .

Mrs Ai ntree repeated her questi on


. She had .

come out w rapped in a cloak and looking rather


pale .


Guy ! he sai d collecting hi m self w i th an
,


ef fort . He left me soon after y ou went i n .

Probably he is in bed He looked at his watch .

I had no i dea i t was so late he sai d ,


.

N0 he i s not in hi s room An d to night he


,
.
-

i s so ill that I resolved to sink the comrad e in the


mother gi ve hi m good advi ce and pack hi m off to
,

rest Where can he be


.

She spoke in a perfectly calm vo i ce but her ,

eyes were full of excitement and restlessness .


I w ill go and look for hi m Denis on sai d ; I ,


think I can n d hi m eas ily .


He went to the bar, I suppose ! she sai d
simply .


6
Y es .

They passed in together Her bedroom candle .

was burning in the hall ; she took i t up and they ,

walk ed through the long and dark passages in


search of the boy Presently they found hi m ly
.
,

i ng huddl ed on the oor h is face tu rned to the


,
AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN . 1 09

wall Mrs Aintree d i d not say a word ; her ex


. .

pressi on scarcely changed Deni son was watchi ng .

it. She knew that The conditi on of the boy was


.

suf ci ently obvi ous .

When Deni son bent dow n and took hold of hi m ,

he muttered a word or two apparently of angry ,

protest Denis on easily lifted h im u ph e weighed


li ttle
.

and with the assi stance of Mrs Ain tree got


,
.
,

h i m upstai rs to hi s room To reach it they had to


.

pass down the corridor in whi ch the Deni sons bed

rooms were A s they di d so Guy stumbled help


.
,

lessly and Mrs Aintree said suddenly in a sharp


,
.

voi ce

Hold hi m up please ,
.


It is all right Deni son answered
,
.

They walked on slowly and Deni son left the ,

mother and son in the latter s room and returned


,

softly toward hi s own Just as he was openi ng h i s


.

door he heard the voi ce of h is wife calli ng to h im


, ,

and he found that her door was slightly open He .

went to her She was sittin g up in bed wi th a


.

ushed face Her eyes looked strained and stari ng


.
,

and xed themselves on h is wi th a hungry inqui ry .


Harry she said how late you are ! Wh y

, ,

were you going to bed without comi ng in to see


me

I t h ori gh t I should di sturb you he answered ,
.

s
1 10 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

He stood besi de her bed looking parti cularly


cold and grave The last e pi sode of h i s long day
.

had been especi ally di stasteful to hi m and he was ,

not in a mood to speak to anybody He longed .

for loneliness and silence and h is atti tude seemed


,

mutely to express an intense desi re to be


gone .

Something had spurred Eni d s mind into un

wonted acti vi ty and she noti ced thi s


,
.

W hy are you in a hurry she asked twisting ,

the edge of the sheet uneasily between her little


n gers .

Deni son resigned hi mself w ith a deli berateness


,

that was not wi thout a veiled impati ence .


I am in no h ry he sai d sitti ng down besi de
ur
, ,

h is w ife Do you want to talk 3


Her dark eyes again searched h is face rapi dly ,

but for a moment she d id not say anything Then .

she lay do w n turni ng towards h i m and burying


, ,

one us hed cheek in the pillow .


I heard you just now she s ai d ,
.

G oing to my room
N o go ing i nto the next corri dor w i thwith
,

Mrs Ai ntre e
. .

D e ni son shuddered wi th a keen repulsi on He .

guessed i mmedi ately what was comi ng to put an


intolerable nish to a day that he told hi m s elf h ad
1 12 AN IMAGINA T I V E MAN .

ing i t wi de open to the stars and the silences of sky


and desert .

He could have caught the soft wi nd in hi s arms


li ke a chi ld, and fondled it He could have knelt
.

to the stars and worshipped them H e could have


.

prayed to the silences and wi shed for no answer .

But soon the pressur e of the walls of the room


behi nd h imthe imagined pressure became nu
bearable H e went out in to the night dri ven by
.
,

the strange passi on that held hi m in it s grip more


tenaci ous ly each hour that he li ved .
CHAPT E R V III .

Two days afterwards Mrs D e ni son sai d to her .

husband in a surpri se that ve rged on agitati on


,


But I thought we were going up the Nile
Harry by the Pri n ce A bbas
,


When I was in Cai ro ye ste rday I transfe rre d
, ,

our t ickets he answered
,
.

There was a ush of colour in h i s face that was


not natural to h im but h e spoke very qui etly and
, ,

h is manner was serene M rs Deni son sai d nothing


. .

for a moment her expressi ve eye s we re shadowy


,

with tears and her lips trembled piteously


,
.


What wi ll Sir E verard and Lady Taylor think

of us ! she uttered at last They took thei r
.


berth s on purpose to be wi th us .


They will survi ve the di sappointm e nt Eni d ,
.

And they are very dull compani ons Sir Eve rard .

wants me for h is pi cqu e t that i s all


,
.


But we have been he re more than ten days

already she protested wi th trembling obstinacy
,
.

We have seen everyt hing And we never in .

113
1 14 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

tended to come here at all it i s throwi ng all our


plans out .

The ush on Deni son s face deepened and he


,

turned to look out of the wi ndow to hi de the angry


excitement in h is eyes .

I hate layi ng out a tour in E ngland and sti ck ,


ing to i t he sai d
,
Could any proceedi ng be more
.

lim ited ! Before you have seen the places you mean
to vi sit you arrange how long you will spend at
,

each and perhaps you omi t altogether the very ones


,

you would like the best .


But we have been here so long already Mrs ,
.

Deni son rei terated squeezi ng her hands together as


,

if she me di tat e d w ringi ng them shoul d the tragedy


of the conversati on deepen I have been ins i de .

the Py rami d among those awful little bats and I ,

have been carri ed up it and I have seen the Tem ,

ple and the Arab go down t h e hundr ed feet of wall


,


i nto the tomb and the Sphin x till I am tir ed of it
,
.

Deni son suddenly threw open the bedroom w in


dow and leaned ou t maki ng no answer ,
.

H is wi fe afte r standi ng for a moment as if in


,

hesi tati on seemed to come to a portentous resolu


,

ti on She ti ghtened the clasp of her hands straight


.
,

ened her li ttle gure and walked across to the ,

window .


Harry she sai d, I mus t speak out I mus t
,
.
1 16 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .


pi tiful in a pitiless u ni verse i s to lie down on one s
back like a dog and expose one s self defenceless to
,

a beating But Mrs Ai ntree and her son are noth


. .

i ng to me I wi sh to stay on here because I nd


.

the ai r marvellously in vigorating The years are .

dropping from me Many people spend months .


here .

He paused but h i s wife sai d nothing She stood


,
.

wi th the air of one who li stens wi thout agreeing .

There was a mute but ri gid di sbeli ef i n her attitude


and in her exp ressi on Deni son di d not fail to ob .

serve it .

You do not beli eve me he sai d .


I am not qui te a fool Harry she answered , ,

although sometimes lately you have thought me



so N o ; I do not beli eve you
. .

He laughed li ghtly w i thout anger .

To be so downright i s a meri t whi ch I appre



ci ate he sai d
,
You m ight gi ve your sex a lesson .


N evertheless you are wrong ,
.

Suddenly Mrs Deni son bu rst i nto vi olent tears


. .

She sat down in an armchai r and sobbedterrible ,

long draw n sobs that convulsed her pretty slight


-
, ,

gu re She had made her li ttle effort at dignied


.

and acute composure but i t had been too m uch for ,

her The previ ous tensi on rendered the breakdo w n


.

the more pi teously complete She was a sorry .


AN IMAGINAT IVE M AN . 1 17

spectacle of di sordered jealousy as she sat there


with the tears rolling over her soft cheeks .

Deni son was by her si de qui etly in a moment ,

tryi ng rather coldly to soothe her This gri ef of


, ,
.

hers bitter though i t obvi ous ly was seemed so far


, ,

away from hi m almost as if he saw in a dream


, , ,

some woman weeping in another world .


Eni d thi s is ri di culous he sai d
,
Jealousy,
.

i s always u nd igni e d but when i t i s founded on ai r


,

it i s preposterous Don t cry You have nothing


. .

t o cry about I am as much yours to day as I ever


.
-


was .

Still sobbing and in a shattered manner


, ,

Mrs Deni son convulsi vely ejaculated one sen


.

tence
Then where were you the other night 3
Deni son changed colour slightly He had not .

been prepared for thi s .

What do you mean he asked When 2 .

After you left m e on the ni ght when I heard


you talk ing to Mrs Ai ntree in the corri dor and
.
,

told you I had heard I went to your room I was


, .

very unhappy I thought pe rhaps I had been nu


.

reasonable and unki nd I felt I could not sleep .

until I had spoken to you agai n You were not .

i n your room I wai te d the re till half past one


.
-


o clock You di d not return Then I lay down on
. .
1 18 AN I MAGINA T IVE M AN .

my bed wi th the door open lis tening An d after


, ,
.
,

a long whi le I fell asleep


,
.

She sobbed agai n .

Her husband looked at her in si lence .


Well came from her unevenly at last .


I was out walki ng Deni s on sai d meeting her
, ,

eyes steadi ly .


Walki ng ! In the mi ddle of the night !


Yes .

Alone !

After a moment of apparent hesitati on he an


sw e re d :

! ui te .

Mrs Deni son put up her handkerchi ef to her


.

eyes and dabbed them forlo rnly .


It i s very odd she sai d ,
.


I suppose I have the right to enjoy the moon

light and the stillness if I w i sh her husband went ,

on with a denite calm that seemed rather strained


,
.


Oh yes ,
.

H e paused as if exp ecting some more exp li cit


,

comment on his explanati on but nothi ng came ,


.

The sobs were subsidi ng That was all He . .

t u rned to go but j us t as he re ached the door M rs


,
.

Deni son suddenly put do w n her soaked h andk e r


chi ef and sai d in a more even voi ce and wi th a less ,

seiz ed demeanour :
1 20 AN IMA GINA T IVE M AN .

plu nged deep down in m i sunderstanding She .

looked upon surfaces of things and was mi sled ,

about all that dwell in depths When Deni son had


.

told her the truth about h i s ni ght e rrand he had , ,

ah n ost i nsti ncti vely trusted i n her in sti ncti ve m i s


,

appre hensi on her insti ncti ve stupidi ty To tell the


,
.

truth was to be thought a li ar So he had not hesi


.

t at e d
. And even now he was not seri ously alarmed
because of what hi s wife might say or think Her .

cloud of suspi ci on concealed hi s real mental move


ments h i s excursi ons of the heart Those might be
, .

undertaken wi th safety in the night created by her


unfoun ded jealousy the thi ck dark ness of her fool
,

i sh sorrow about a chi m aera E ni d herself had


.

given into h i s hands the weapon of defence with


whi ch he could guard against her di scovery of the
truth Wh y then was he afraid !
.
, ,

Because he reali zed thoroughly for the r st time


the upheaval in h i s own heart By the outward .

he was enabled to measure accurately the i nward .

Eni d had gi ven h im i nformati on about hi mself that


previ ously he lacked He began to know now
.

thoroughly how it was with hi m and he was greatly ,

moved .

He went i nto h is bedroom locked the d oor and


, ,

sat dow n The broad sunshine of a typi cally ne


.

E gyp ti an afternoon rolled i n upon h i m and lled


AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .
1 21

the room with dancing waves of light H is face .

looked gray in that envi ronment of glory Fro m .

below rose the shrill cri es of the Pyramid Arabs ,

loudly clai ming thei r booty of arri vi ng travellers ,

the grating snarl of bored camels force d to rece ive


thei r li vi ng loads the brayi ng of donk eys and t h e
,

no isy chatter of French Engli sh and Ameri can, ,

voi ces barterin g and bargaini ng refus i ng and con


, ,

se nting A pi ercing cry occasi onally arose from an


.

unaccustomed camel ri der whose ne rves were not ,

equal to her dari ng and thi s wail was i nvari ably


,

succeeded by a shout of joyous laughter proceedi ng ,

from the lowe r level of donkey back and e m anat -


,

i ng fro m more cauti ous fri ends rejoi cing in her dis !

tr e ss
.

D e ni son li stened drearily H e fe lt so far away .

fro m it all and so much afrai d because of that


,
.

These sounds of normal exi stence recurring day


by day as regularly as the sun rose and the moon
, ,

drew the ti des of the sea were such a mere and ,

in appropri ate accompani ment to h is low breath e d -

song of li fe But i t was not so wi th others An d


. .

therein lurked a sense of fear If he was abnormal .


,

was he not perhaps m ad ! How many other m e n


, ,

and women consci ous of vital root and branch dif


, ,
- -

ference between themselves and all those they thi nk


they know have asked themselves that que sti on !
,
1 22 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

Hi s real i nterest centred not in the plai n obvi ous ,

facts and denite accompli shments of life but in


, ,

the suggesti ons vague and i nexpli cable gi ven to


, ,

hi m by the i nani mate creatures of t h e world by ,

that great soci e ty of breathless bei ngs whom man


think s hi mself above and whom he sometimes hi m
,

self creates .

They touched h i m as men seldom d id The y .

uplifte d h i m as no lovi ng woman no faithful fri end


,

had ever uplifted hi m They hastened to the bi rth


.

thoughts desi res yearnings that seemed to i ndi cate


, ,

the dawni ng i n hi m of a soul the b irth of a strange


,

greatness For thei r enforced and immense reti


.

cence their everlasting and deli ci ous reserve never


, ,

to be broken through nor brushed away prevented ,

the complete knowledge that destroys imaginati on ,

and too often destroys wi th i t love


, , .

Deni son knew that he was not natural G en .

e rall
y however any abnormal feelings that from
, ,

time to time attacked h i m were not long sojourners ,

did not become pai nfully deni te or concentrate ,

themselves and tend towards produci ng any con


t i nu ous seri es of acts .

But now i t was different H is i nherent tend


.

ency always kno w n of by h i m someti mes gi ven


, ,

the rei n for a moment generally held stri ctly


,

in check had suddenly turned the tables upon


,
1 24: AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

it . O ver and over again he had had to keep guard


over hi s tongu e when vi sitors in the hotel di scussed
that si lent personality spoke of it s rough ugl iness
, ,

of i t s wounds de alt by time and by man Over .

and over agai n h is i r ritati on had deepened i nto an


excitem e nt that threatened to become ungovern
able Once even he had nearly struck h is wi fe
.
, ,

that eveni ng on the veranda for a chance word of,

contemptuous comment .

And then li ke a lover he was beginni ng to


, ,

grow uneas y du ring all the hours he was forced to


spend removed from the bei ng he worshi pped so
vain ly so madly When E ni d pottered round the
,
.

Cai ro bazaars buying a scent bottle made of a


,
-

hollowed amethyst here bargaining over a length


,

of Persi an embroi dery there spending hour after ,

hour am id wonders that recalled the Arabi an Nights ,

Deni son endured pain that became almost physi cal .

An d as they drove home in the after glow of the -

E astern eveni ng down the long strai ght road bor ,

dered by the murmu ri ng acaci a tr e es h is heart w as -


,

sti rred by a rapture of eagerness the exp ressi on of ,

w hi ch he only curbed by a vi olent effo rt As the .

green of the culti vated plain melted i nto the ste


rili t
y of the desert and peering si deways past the
, ,

d usky coachm an he caught a gli mpse of the neutral


,

tinted sands beyond the sp ringing vegetati on he ,


AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN . 1 25

pressed hi s hands together and a sigh burst from


,

hi s li ps H i s longing was so near reali zation


. .

When h i s wif e spoke of leavi ng the hotel and ,

of thei r settled journey up the Nile he unde rstood


,

parti ally the vi olence of hi s crazy passi on of the


imagin ati on ; and that day in Cai ro he stole off
, ,

alone and transferred their ti ckets to a much late r


date He felt in that mome nt that he would have
.

fallen to vi olence rather than leave the hotel and


the desert holl ow in whi ch the wondrous bein g
crouched And now thi s scene wi th hi s wife in
.
,

whi ch he learnt that she w as at le ast consci ously


endeavouring to get upon the track of hi s secret ,

brought hi m to a full sense of hi s true condi ti on ,

and of the way in whi ch it must be regarded by the


world .

He leaned h i s head upon hi s hands and he ,

asked himself how it would end For he was no


.

longer completely master in the house of hi s soul .

The strange love of that whi ch cannot arti culately


express i tself whi ch had caused him to worship
,

certain owe rs to dream for days about a pi cture


, ,

to go hi s way haunte d by the m e mory of a statue ,

had sei z ed upon hi m lik e some steadfas t wi ld b e ast .

Could he combat it ! Could he wrench hi s soul


away from the teeth and claws !
He sat there alone and asked him self the ques ~
9
1 26 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

ti on and he answered that he couldbut not at


,

once He must give way a li ttle longer wander a


.
,

little fur ther down the paths of fantasy For a few .

days or a few weeks E ni d must endureignorant


, ,

ly the presence of that mi ghty rival hew n in stone .

But if she learn e d hi s se cret she would beli eve h im ,

mad the vi ctim of some terrible delusi on of the


,

brain She wo ul d sum mon doctors would r us h to


.
,

her friends The story of h i s passion woul d be


.

carri ed on the wings of rumour far and wi de over


the world He shuddered at the thought shuddered
.
,

in the glare of the sun Hi s beautiful reverent .


,

adorati on so full of awe so pregnant wi th worship


, , ,

so mysti cal necessarily so untainted by i mpuri ty


, ,

would be a theme for more than wonderfor pity ,

for the ri di cul e even of the children who beli eve i n


the fai ri es At all costs the secret must be kept
.
,

and Eni d had unconsci ously po inted out a way of


safety Mrs Ai ntree and her son should be hi s
. .

passi on s shelter He would m ake hi mself indi s



.

pens able to Guy whose illness of min d and body ,

became more apparent day by day .

Deni son h ad no desi re to i n i ct unnecessary pain


upon E ni d Her only fault was stupidi ty whi ch i s
.
, ,

after all the cardi nal sin of creation It would be


,
.

cruel and grossly in sulting to Mrs Ain tree to ad .


,

mi t or encourage Eni d s su sp i ci ons of an in t ri gue


.
CHAPT E R I X .

F ROM th i s time Deni son became more deliberate ,

more gu ard e d act ing hi s part in a dr ama wi th a


,

careful attenti on to nu amces an observati on of light


,

and shade that at least di d credi t to h i s cunning


,
.

The assumpti on of a di f cult role pleased h is i ntel

lect and di s tracted hi s mi nd Insensibly almost he.


, ,

sli d into greater happiness He was playi ng with .


the re of two women s intui ti ons and it was ne ce s ,

sary to be very carefu l lest the ame should touch


h im. E ni d s intu i ti ons were generally wrong i t is

,

t rue but Mrs Ain tree backed up hers wi th an


,
.

acuteness of observati on that was not to be t ri ed


w i th . Like S i ster Anne she stood in a watch
,

tower and afar off percei ved the comin g of an emo


,

ti on in to a heart the ri ding of a fe eling in to a mind


,
.

She loved and st udi ed men and women as Deni son ,

hate d and st udi e d them but love assi sts penetrati on


,

qui te as much as hate sometimes Deni son un der .

stood and feared her humani ty Fo rtunately how .


,

ever she was much occupi ed wi th her son He was


, .

128
AN I MAGINA T IVE MAN . 1 29

the central gure in every picture she looked at .

Deni son could only be a shadow in the background .

He meant to be a subtle shadow ever on t h e alert ,


.

If he must be a vi cti m to the di storti on of hi s own


soul at least the sacrice must remai n unsuspected
,
.

N o smoke should ri se fro m the altar no ame ,

should gleam to the eyes of any watcher And so .


,

against a background of stone the drama of esh


,

and blood of puls ing hearts and unqui et minds b e


, ,

gan to play itself out .

Sometim es Deni son looki ng upon that back


,

ground thought of it as typ i cal What life has not


,
.

it s background of stone G u y Ain tree s was death


,

E ni d s hi s i ndifference hi s

,
And the same
strange moti ve power prompted each to beat against
the rock uselessly and more dangerously than any
,

sea that i s thrown back from the cliff clouding the ,

ai r wi th spray What creeping punily agitated


.
,
-

ants they wereants in the sandhills at the foot of


a great mystery ! He laughed bi tterly looki ng at ,

him self and at them from the di stance of h i s in


humani ty noting the i ncessant activi ty that le d to
,

so li ttle result the perpetual impati ence that could


,

never lead pati ence captive the stri ving and strug
,

gling that merely lled the atmosphere with a faint


dust throw n in the face of the great sun shine And .

sometimes he asked himself whether the great sun


1 30 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

shin e was not ty pi cal too whether it had not a ,

mystery and a meanin g But that was only in hi s


.

less natural moments when i mpulse fai nted, and he


,

was like the average man in the street rather than


lik e him self You cannot beat yourself against sun
.

shine and so you i gnore it as you ignore an enemy


, ,

who i s too weak to ght or a fri end who is too in


,

different even to grasp your hand .

That at least was Denis on s atti tu de o f mind

just then towards the perpetual glory that lay mo


not onou sly upon hi m Its presence was often fan
.

t ast i cally i napprop ri ate Feeli ng called for dark


.

ness, and N ature wi th an uny i eldi ng prodi gality,


,

bestowed li ght In brilli ant light the ants toiled


.

ceaselessly But there was always the background


.

of stone That rested Deni son as the cool touch o f


.
,

marble re sts the hot han d of a worker Its immo .

bili t y was profoundly peaceful He grew to love .

the un yi eldi ng to worshi p the incapaci ty for re


,

treat, pursued by no human being M en and .

women are perpetuall y way giving up, at ,

the Surely every act of generosity


, ,

or of timi dity degrades the donor To sati sfy i s to


, .

change desire i nto deli ght to transform an ardour ,

i nto a peace To Denis on peace wi th plenty a con


.
,

di ti on of th ings much desi red of the majority ,

s eemed as vulgar as a ci ty feast decorated with hun


1 32 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

demand large totals or even hope for them Her ,


.

mother in G rosvenor Square was also ari thmeti cal


, , ,

and also easily sati s ed A plump and quite stupi d .

husband had be en a suf ci ent joy to her for ve


and twenty years She worshi pped hi s double chi n
-
. .

It was a pillar of cloud to her by day a pillar of ,

re by ni ght leadin g her always to lands owi ng


,

wi th milk and honey Soci ety adm ired her wor .

shi p and called her an adm irable woman


,
.

Deni son felt now often that had he a double , ,

chi n Eni d woul d have been prepared to worshi p it


,
.

The knowledge could only i rri tate h im But it was .

h i s duty and hi s safety to give h i s wife plenty of


, ,

units to add up on her slate So Eni d learned to .

play golf went to tea parti es in Cai ro shopped in


,
-
,

cessantly was encouraged to lunch at the Gh e sireh


,

Palace to ri de in the desert Deni son dro w ned


,
.

her in detai ls w i th a dext eri ty and ingenui ty that


kept h im in nitely bored and i rri tated It was the .

pri ce he had to pay for h i s strange moments of hap


pin e ss A nd Eni d accepted the details wi th an ap
.

parent mild voracity watching her husband all the ,

tim e .

M rs Ai ntree at odd moments h ad begun to


.
, ,

watch h im too Deni son knew that well and


.
,

dreaded her eyes far more than those of hi s wi fe .

She had at rst sight grasped the fact that he was


, ,
AN IMAGINAT IVE M AN . 1 33

an ori gi nal man set apart by some ci rcumstance of


,

mi nd rather than of body from h is fe llowmen but


, ,

she had not yet deci ded fully what that c ir cum
stance was At r st she i dly wondered scarcely
.
,

cari ng de nitely to k now Deni son was only an .

acquaintance encountered in a land in whi ch to be


,

very deni te very practi cal seemed alm ost a sin


, ,

against nature But her acquaintanceship w ith hi m


.

deepened rapi dly into fri endshi p more especi ally ,

after the mi dnight scene between husband and wi fe .

She was drawn to Denis on by h e r boy s ini ti ati ve ;

he to her by hi s desir e to u se t h e Aintrees as a cloak


to cover hi s one sided i ntrigue with a li feless per
-

sonalit y . But there was another foun dati on for


their fri endshi p for each must un de r any ci rcum
, ,

stances have had some in terest for t h e other


, .

Deni son had not yet taught himself to walk eu


t i re ly in another worlda world of sil e nt bei ngs ,

dumbly exp r e ssi ve He made excur si ons thither


. .

He told him self that really he dwelt there pe rp e t u


ally but an original woman could still gi ve hi m mo
,

ments of forgetfuln ess moments even of eage rness


, .

The detecti ve walk ed sti ll in changi ng di sgui ses , ,

through h i s nat ure watching summing up tracin g


, , ,

out clues drawi ng deducti ons


, His i ntercourse .

wi th Mrs Ai ntree might be only a game to wi le


.

away an hour Y e t now and then he lost him self


.
1 34 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

in the game and more than an hour gli ded by b e


,

fore he marked i t s i ght An d the n he sneered at .

hi m self qui e tly or w ondered at him self as a Phari


, ,

see m ight have wondered if by acci dent he had , ,

smi tten hi s breast and forgetfully own ed himself a


, , ,

sinn er.

Mrs Ai n tree foun d Deni son in creasingly ori gi


.

nal as she knew h im better but the mai n fact of the ,

man eluded her perpetually and she was aware of ,

i t and puzzled by it
,
She beli eved ardently that
.

every nature is based upon a mai n fact some per ,

vad ing vi rt ue or some pervadi ng sin the key note of


, ,

the Sym phony the key colour of the Kalei doscope


,
.

Wh at was Deni son s ! She cou ld not tell H e


.

chose to hi de it Only sometimes he was inju d i


.

ci ons in this that he allowed it to be seen that he


,

was hi ding i t She could hear the rustle of the


.

covering cast over the mystery the creaki ng of the ,

cupboard door as i t was shut upon the skeleton .

Then h e r eyes rested on hi m for a mom e nt with


a qui ck curi osity and he un derstood the sensat i ons
,

of the undetected crimin al who intri gues to keep ,

possessi on of that agony the fear of detecti on But ,


.

the curi osity of Mrs Ai ntree as to the secret of .

Deni son s nature was only occasi onal as hi s in terest



,

in her ew strongly at moments and often uttered ,

feebly to the ground She was main ly concentrated


.
1 36 AN IMA GINA T IVE M AN .

legaci es Tendenci es are sow n in the seasons of


.

childhood by those engaged in the mysteri ous pro



cess called bringing up
Poor boy ! H e had
.

pro bably never had a chance .

Guy Aintree s lack of a chance w as much d is


cussed in the sun on the veranda on the golf li nks


,
-
,

and in the avenue of acacias and Mrs Ain tree


,
.

became consci ous that she was hardly an m i eu w


wi th those around her She only wondered as she
.
,

had wondered at i ntervals all her li fe why people ,

are so fond of brutali ty of feeli ng so devote d to ,

vi olence of thought Perhaps it was because civi l


.

i zat i on deni ed to them vi olence of acti on The .

butcher i s sometimes a mi ld man compared with


the passi onate vegetarian However thei r vi olence
.
,

meant li ttle to her It only led h e rto put them


.

asi de and perhaps concentrated her more upon


,

Deni son than might otherwi se have been the case .

Wi th Eni d she beli eved herself to be good fri ends .

E ni d had bo rrowed her sun spectacles and had ,

recommended her to a Persi an merchant who sold


cheap turquoi ses in the bazaars Such advances .

meant much from such a nature They talked .

together about the monotony of the Egypti an


weather qui te nat urally and pleasantly and Eni d ,

had even once spoken of her mother in Grosvenor


Square Her effo rts after Christi an chari ty were
.
AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN . 1 37

meritori ous Mrs Aintree merely thought that


. .

E ni d was slightly more subtle than the other women


in the hotel or that Deni son had gi ven her a hi nt
,

as to why matters stood as they d id between mother


and son .

E ni d was really actuated by two opposing mo


t i ves
~a desire to make the best of thin gs and a
,

desi re to gauge the attracti ve powe rs of Mrs .

Ain tree The li ttle wi fe had her m oments of vi o


.

lent and chi ldi sh jealousy but they were only mo


,

ments She was not a ve ry vai n woman Still she


. .
,

could not help feelin g that she was very pre tty
each time she glanced at Mrs Ain tree That a . .

face whose origi nal smooth contours had been


roughened by thought might possibly be more
beautiful to some m e n than a deli cately ni shed
mask all dimples and dain ty colour di d not
, ,

occur to E ni d for a moment In personal attrae


.

ti ons Mrs Aintree could not compete wi th her


. .

But E ni d had read in books of e manati ons from the


mi nd of strange nameless fascinati ons that some
, ,

women send out from th e m as the spider sends out


threads Such women can spin a web that ne ver
.

parts w i th a once caught vi cti m Was Mrs Ai ntree


. .

one of these ! Eni d gazed at her in the sunshi ne


on the veranda and tri ed to feel certai n one way or
,

the other But the sun seemed to get i n the way


.
1 38 AN IMAGIN AT IVE M AN .

li ke a broad golden creature all sparkle and sh i m,

m er It was impossible to be cert ain


. .

One afternoon t h e two wo m en d rove in to C airo


together lunched at Sh eph e ard s and went after
,

,

wards to see and hear the howling dervi shes Gu y .

Ai ntree had gone out riding early in the m or ning ,

sayi ng carelessly that he m ight turn up if he found


hi mself in that di recti on Deni son remained at
.

M ena House He declared that he had impo rtant


.

letters to wri te to England The two women left .

h i m cutti ng quill pens i n a determ ined manner A s .

thei r arab ee y ah rattled along the straight road the


tassel on the fe z of the brown coachman dancing
merrily in response t o the energeti c movements of
hi s he ad as he threw hoarse O o ahs to right and -

left of him Mrs Aintree sai d :


,
.

Yo u r husband seems to have a sort of horror



of si ght seeing
.

E ni d si ghed softly spread ing her parasol to


,

the sun .


Yes Ha rry i s not like other people And
. .


he never even pretends to be like them .


Your voi ce sou nds regretful Mrs Denison ,
. .

Would you wi sh h i m to be i mi tati ve and of set ,


purpose !

Oh no sai d Enid, wi th a plainti ve loyalty
, .


H e i s right and they are wrong
,
I am sure of .
1 40 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .


necessi ti es of h i s natu re and he doesn t care whether
,

they are necessiti es to other people or not .


But he doesn t always know what he w ants,

E ni d remarked rather ab ru ptly A sudden i dea of


,
.
.

being adroit, even crafty seized her She would


,
.

soun d her compani on She stole a glance at Mrs


. .


Aintree s dark and speaking face and eager ashing ,

eyes and went on : He changes h i s m ind very cu


,


ri ou sl
y sometimes .

U su rps the prerogative of women



Yes When we rst came to Egypt he could
.


not bear the i dea of staying at Mena House .


Really !


I t was because of the Sphi nx .

M rs Ai ntree looked deci dedly puzzled


. .


Harry felt he should hate the Sphinx bec au se
i t is one of the wonders of the world I w as quite .

afrai d he would be rude to the Arabs about it


.


A nd now he does not hate it
E nid looked u p sharply but M rs Ai ntree s face
,
.

wore an expressi on of serene unco nsci ousness .


I don t know I have never asked h im

. i nt .

he i s very fond of Mena House ve ry fond I le .


cannot bear the noti on of leavi ng it .

A nd agai n Eni d ran her eyes over h e r c e mpan


i on s fac e and agai n sh e w as baf ed

,
N0 signs of .

gu ilt sta rt e d to the v iew .


AN IMA G INAT IVE M AN .
1 41


What is the great att racti on to hi m !
said
Mrs Aintree
. .

I wonder, Eni d answered .

Or perhaps your hu sband does not seek for


great attracti ons in li fe and so i s content to li ve for
,

a whi le in the suns hi ne like the liz ards who nd the ,

warm stone a paradis e .


I don t think Harry is at all li ke a li zard

,

E ni d sai d deci dedly .

Mrs Ai ntree could not resis t the conclusi on that


.

her sense of hum our w as u ndeveloped .

After luncheon as they drove through u nn


,

i sh e d looki ng roads towards the mosque of the d e r


-

vish e s E ni d made one more ti m i d excursi on i nto


,

artfulness .

You are clever at re ad ing characte r I suppose , ,

M rs Ai ntree
. she began .

I don t k now that I am Probably the average



.

palmi st could beat me at it Wh y do you ask !


.

Eni d fenced the questi on At least she thought .

she w as fencing i t when she repli e d



It i s very easy to make mi stakes about people ,

especi ally about men Men say much more than .


the y mean .

Some menyes Others mean more than the y.

say and do more than they mean They are the


,
.

spe ci es who act the part of re and sword to the in


10
1 42 AN I MAGI N A T IVE MAN .

nocent villages in the plains of Soci ety G reat men


.


are those who do what they mean no more
.

Her reply threw Eni d into a confusi on and ,

checked all conti nui ty in her mental proceedi ngs .

Her intenti on had been to cunn ingly convey an i m


pressi on that Harry was a man about whom it was
easy to make mi stakes that a poli te sense of hi s d u
,

ti es towards soci ety often kept hi m dancingmet


aph ori call agai nst h i s will that he practis ed an
y ,

as sumpti on of interest in the affair s of those around

hi m whi ch he was very far from really feeli ng


,
In .

fact Eni d had set out to sli p into M rs Aintree s


,
.

mind the i dea that Harry was not to be t rusted ex ,

cept of course by hi s wif e But she could not get


, ,
.

any further and Mrs Ain tree was obli ged to won
,
.

der what she had been going to say and what was
,

the cause of the pretty silence that now overtook her .

So they dr ove on towards the mosque The .

approach to it i s very di ngy and di rty and the dust


,

created by the carri ages precedin g thei rs billowed


round them in waves that nearly choked them At .

last they t urned in to the open space before the build


ing whose walls and cupola suggested a hu ge mud
,

pi e fashi oned by gi ants and set to bake in the sun


, , .

The tr0 0 ps of beggars promptly fell upon them ,

dogs ran between their feet lthy hands grasped


,

thei r go w ns and a huge ape of threatening aspect


,
1 44 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

seldom heed preferri ng to pay charlatans to gull us


,

at ten and si xp ence an hour


- -
.

M rs Ain tree stopped Eni d in th e court yard and


.
,

w i th deft hand s put her to rights whil e the poor


, , ,

pretty child brokenl y inveighed agai nst the mal


treatment she supposed herself to have undergone .

Instincti vely she clung for a moment to the older


woman I t was only for a moment Then she re
. .

covered herself and they ente red the oval buil di ng


,

wi th it s whi te stone walls and hi gh arched roof


pi erced w ith latti ces A few people were there
.
,

and gladl y droppi ng the chairs they had carri ed


,

wi th them they sat down beyond the ci rcle of mats


,

and waited .
CHAPT ER X .

D ENI SON congratulated hi ms elf on the depart ure


of h is wi fe and Mrs Ai ntree The shining hours
. .

of the day we re hi s now hi s very own A s the


,
.

arab e e ah rattled away down the li ttle hill and di s


y
appeared into the shadows of the acacias the qui ll ,

pen was thr ow n asi de and fell upon the oor .

Those i mportant letters woul d certainly never


reach England England ! The very name meant
.

nothi ng to hi m as he glanced out of the window


,

across the hot whi te road to the hun ched and hooded
gures of the Arabs lurking at the base of the Great
Pyrami da mi sty i sland hi dden in the dark wi nter
of an angry cloud arched sea hi dden from the sun
-
,

shi ne hi dden from this bright sky thi s ardent li v


, , ,

ing warmth .

Wh at h ad he to do with it ! He leaned from


h is wi ndow and pi ct ured it with the sea birds -

screami ng from the storm wrack with the black


-
,

and whi te waves roaring on the rocks The sound .

of rain beating on a thousand wi ndow panes of


1 45
1 46 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

di ngy town houses sang in hi s ears The lu ri d .

glare of torches ght ing the fogs leapt to h is eyes .

And then he stretched hi s hands out as if he would ,

grasp the sunshi ne and shake it through hi s ngers


l ike golden sovereigns and he asked hi mself if
,

there was any E ngland at all It seemed i mpos .

sible .

Beneath hi m in the ro ad the camels were lyi ng


, ,

doubled up wearily regardi ng the desert wi th thei r


,

heavy i nvali d s eyes The donkeys stood together



.

in pati ent coteri es stri ving in vain to free thei r


,

heads from the ti ghtened reins that forced them to


look spi rited and alert In pale blue and whi te.

groups camel dri vers donk ey boys and the vendors


,
-
,
-
,

of images and spu ri ous coin s and curi osit ies chat

,

t e re d of women and of money as apparently they

w ill chatter so long as Egy pt las ts The dry thin .


,

ai r stood still in the sun Deni son thought of it as


.

a brow n scorched sentinel erect at his post Was


,
.

there in deed an England ! Surely not .

He took h is terai hat and hi s umbrella and went


out into the morn i ng The Ar abs kn ew him now
.

and h ad ceas ed to worry hi m reservi ng thei r ,

swarthy blandi s hm ents for the strangers from Cair o ,

on whom they fell lik e hordes of wolves ghting ,

wi th thei r closest fri e nds wi th thei r relati ons t u s


, ,

sli ng even wi th thei r fathers and grandfathers for


1 48 AN I MAGINA T IVE M AN .

faded and the dances were over Only the omni


,
.

buses passed in scarlet and green processi ons and ,

the rain began to dri p from a gray sky A horse .

fell do w n and a poli ceman wi th a surly exclama


, ,

ti on pinned it s head in the gutter A pi ano organ


,
.
-

played Masc agni s Intermezz o



Deni s on sighed .

and bought an eveni ng paper in whi ch he read of a ,

great re in Putney and of a murder in a back


,

street near D rury Lane .

N ow he was in the desert and the wei rd musi c ,

of Davi d sounded once more in his ears He .

wandered among those strange looki ng hillocks that -

some h ow suggest un nished buildi ng operati ons and ,

descended into the narrow clefts of sand from ,

whi ch all vi e w i s blotted out in whi ch only silence


,

and suns hi ne dwell His progress was an aimless


.

one of hesitant footsteps Sometimes he stood sti ll


.

for awhil e In one of the sand valleys he sat down


.

and basked in the warmth lik e a human li zard,


empty of thought as an anirnal that is completely at
one wi th the earth and the scheme of creati on .

But wandering in half circles that dimi ni shed per


,
-

pet u ally he drew gradually near to the Sphinx


, ,

u nti l the b ack of the mi ghty stone head rose out of

the sand to hi s eyes Then he stood still agai n


.
,

gazing silently There was a monstrous di gni ty in


.

that ugly shape a di gni ty so overpoweri ng as to be


,
AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .
1 49

si ni ster serenely sinister as are all supreme mani


, ,

fest at i ons of will D e ni son s thought ew to Frank



.

e nst e in and h i s li ve mons ter Wh y had he breathed .

into hi s creature the useless gift of whi ch men are

so fond whi ch they cli ng to wi th exultati on and


, ,

part from with cowardly murmurings and wi th


tears
The truest greatness lay in the creation of an
enormous and powerful silenc e a sile nce that may ,

be felt that embraces and soothes and i s rest to all ,

unqui et souls .

He drew nearer treadi ng very softly i n t h e ,

sand as men tread when death is in a hous e or a


, ,

great sorrow or fear .

And the si nister power of the presence seemed


to i ncrease with each forward step sucki ng him in ,

to w ards it as a ti de sucks in a tw ig H is eyes gre w


,
.

bright and eager and the breath uttered in h is


,

throat This solitary proce ssion was a march to a


.

glory to an ultim ate reali z ati on full of all sat isfac


,

ti on But as he reached the Sphinx the vi le uproar


.

of touri sts fell upon his ears exci tedly screaming to ,

one another fro m thei r donk eys laughi ng peal upon , ,

peal ch ai ng the radi ant donkey boys at the pi tch


,
-

of vulgar voi ces .

Denison turned hastily and ed and in a mo , ,

ment h is mind was shaken and changed The joy


, .
1 50 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

in h i s soli tude left h im and a sarcasti c determina ,

tion took it s place He would be as the other .

people as Eni d as Mrs Aintree There were om


, ,
. .

nib u ses and di rty boys and res and murders i n


, , ,

E gyp t as in E ngland That mob of touri sts per


,
. ;

soni e d them all The mind that sou ght romances


.
,

dances and dreams in the dayli ght was the mi nd of


, ,

a fool .

He hastened to the h otel and ordered a carri age .


To the M osque of the Howli ng Dervi shes !
he cri ed feeling a gri m sati sfacti on as he sai d the
,

words .

If he could not have the extreme of silence he


would at least have the extreme of sound a noi se ,

not enti rely unmeani ng not entirely purposeless ,


.

The rattli ng of the arab ee y ah pleased hi m in h i s


present mood He carri ed on a shouted conversa
.

ti on wi th the merry dri ver whose bro w n throat ,

w as wrapped in a shawl wi th uttering edges

broken i nto a fringe A s they neared the bri dge .


,

and the crowd of nati ves was ti nctured with a


throng of sight seers pouri ng towards the Pyra
-

mi ds he amused him self by scanni ng the people


,

and noting their humours .

The gravi ty of the Turks p e rched behind grand ,

Russi an horses seemed as great an assum ption as


,

t h e wild unseemly gai e ty of four po rtentously fat


,
1 52 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

reached hi m from wi thin The proceedings had .

just begu n but he di d not know that A hi gh


,
.
,

hoarse voi ce peculi arly pi ercing in quali ty was


, ,

i ntoning thr ough the sile nce words that conveyed


nothing to Deni son and yet affected h im as he stood
there The intervals taken by thi s voi ce seemed
.

in ni t esirnally small shrunken to less than the ,

semi tones of our scale Fallin g dow nwards by


the se diminuti ve steps the voi ce paused snarlin g , , ,

at last then mounted or rather scraped it s passage


, , ,

up again to a shri ll and pi ercing note d ri ven ,

through the nose wi th i ntense force A pause fol .

lowed and then a deep thi ck growlfourfold it


, , ,

seemed to Deni son The growl di ed away in a .

ragged mutter and the solo vo i ce began again


, ,

louder than before .

Deni son s mind was in an Itali an church at


Rome lis teni ng to Mass sai d by an angry pri est


,

ghting wi th a bad cold A shrouded man at the .

door touched hi s shoul der and pointed telli ng hi m ,

to enter An d he did so walki ng gently and carry


.
,

ing hi s chai r The oval chamber contained a semi


.

cir cle of stari n g travellers broken here and there by ,

an empty space Wi thin upon a oor of mats


.
, ,

knelt ve or si x robed gures swayi ng gently back ,

wards and forwards wi th an a b solute regulari ty of


moti on that immedi ately fascin ated the eyes In .
AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .
1 53

si de the circle was the man of the crying voi ce an ,

old sheikh w ith pi ercin g dark eyes and whi tened


hair Two others stood near him
. .

Wi thout looki ng round for hi s wife and E ni d ,

D e ni son sat hi s chair down and gave hi mself up to


the strange ceremony lost in stantly in the passi on
,

of the gazer The voi ce affected hi s nerves inti


.

mate ly as intim ately as if it had gli ded a rough


,

hand over hi s bare body N ow and then the other


.

voi ces broke in with the snort ing growl that seemed
to come from some wi ld ani mal forced to utterance
,

by a erce imperati ve im puls e Gradually more


,
.

dervi shes slunk in furti vely from the courtyard and


dropped on their knees i mm edi ately falling into
,

the swayi ng moti on that w as now becoming slightly ,

almost impercept ibly more pronounced The long


,
.

hair of some of them sli pped from beneath thei r


turbans and hung upon thei r lean shoulders One .

man put up a hand and tore the coverin g from his


head as if it s weight were unbearable An d still .

the hi gh voi ce screamed it s way up and dow n the


scale till it was li ke a small sharp k nife hacking
at Deni son s brain Once or tw i ce he caught h im

.

se lf shaking his head and moving hi s hands as if to


drag the little knife away The swayi ng gures.

communi cated to h i m a de si re of monotonous move


ment that i mpe lled h im to i mitate them He re .
1 54 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

si sted Bu t presently it was as if someone took


.

hold of hi m by the shoul ders and sli ghtly pushed


hi m to and fro He glanced at s ome touri s ts near
.

h i m but they were si tt ing upon their chai rs appar


,

ently qui te unmoved One of them was smili ng


.

with an expressi on of calm superi ority Another .

put his hand into h i s wai stcoat and looked at h is


watch The third, an elderly lady in a large black
.

bonnet gli steni ng wi th bugles, and owers that


,

mi ght have b een made of spar, fumbled in a pocket


at the back of her gown pulled out a handkerchi ef
, ,

and sonorously and rep eat edly blew her nose .

Deni son looked away and i nstinctively shrugged h is


shoulders Now a small exqui sitely made man
.
, ,

clad i n a straight lemon coloured robe that almost


,
-

touched the ground stole into the circle wi th ex


,

tended arms, and began slowly to spin round He .

remai ned precisely on the same spot If his feet .

had been s et in a plate they would not once have


left it The der vishes of whom there were by thi s
.
,

ti m e fully forty, stood up and a strange excitement


,

seemed gradually but surely overtaki ng them .

They stole glances at one another glance s si nister , ,

furt i ve and biz arre as if each man were conveyi ng


,

some warni ng or watc hword to his neighbour The .

howls that broke from th ei r li ps at regular i ntervals


came with increasing force to Deni son s ears
.
1 56 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

the whi te walls and the latti ces through whi ch ,

peered at intervals the dark eyes of veiled fac es .

And the man in the lemon colour ed robe spinning -


,

wi th a veloci ty that rendered hi m merely a ash of

pale uncertain colour on the surface of soun d was


, ,

an emblem of the fretful spi nnin g globe whi rli ng


, ,

through space everlastingly environed by everlast ,

i ng uproar .The nasal voi ce of the old sheikh still


strove to be heard screami ng up and down that
,

ali en scale but it was drown ed as much Deni son


, ,

foun d hi mself fancyi ng by the passi onate moti ons


,

of the dervishes as by their mani acal shouts And .

he swam in the uproar as a bather sw i m s in the sea ,

rest i ng hi s body grandly on the yi elding vehi cle


that supports hi m ri si ng and di ppi ng sinking b e ~
, ,

low the surface i nto the depths and darti ng upward


to shake the ri pples from h is hai r H e could have .

shouted too at the pi tch of his voi ce and i magin ed


, , ,

that he di d so In reali ty he remai ned absolutely


.

tense and still as a man just mesmeri z ed to whom


, ,

no suggesti on has been made .

H ad thi s orgi e of soun d ceased at thi s moment ,

Deni son would surely have remembered it wi th a


passi onate exultat ion But it was prolonged b e
.

yond the limi ts of h is mood and the sensitive ,

nerves shudde red from deli ght into ir ri tati on And .

as he gradually lost h i s pleasure in the ceremony ,


AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN . 1 57

the ceremony approached nearer and nearer to it s


climax E very detai l of it was monotonou sly ao
.

ce nt u at e d
. The old sh e i kh s voi ce grew more nasal

and pi ercing the clash of the cym bals the thund e r


, ,

of the tomtoms more perpetual The half ci rcle


,
.
-

of devotees parti ally veiled in ying hai r gave


, ,

themselves up to the very madness of mot i on The .

m an in the lemon robe whi rled almost to the point


of i nvi si bility and the ai r seeme d to swell wi th
,

noi se like a bladder that i s lled with gas till i t


bursts What had been passion became brutali ty
. .

An anger took hold on Deni son a gradual hatred ,

of thi s frightful tempest of sound a gradual hatred ,

of all sound Often something abnormal some


.
,

thing exaggerated le ads u s by i t s extravagance to


,

hat e the normal the un e xaggerated seed f rom


,

whi ch the u nnatural ower has blossomed under


the fosteri ng care of over cu lti vati on So now thi s
-
.

exaggerati on of sound led Deni son to hate the very


i dea of utterance to hate i t till the perspirati on
,

burst out upon h is face and he was carri ed away


,

by an i ntensity of useless rage Si lence silence .


,

that was the only blessi ng And these madmen .

prosecuted thei r franti c devoti ons in the land of


that great silence ! And travellers came to li st en
and to enjoy Wh at a sacri lege ! What a sacri
.

lege ! It w as a crime he thought a c ri me agai nst


, ,

11
1 58 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

the spi ri t of the desert the spiri t of the great


,

spaces that are the very homes of sil ence But the .

uproar increased steadily unvaryi ngly until he felt


, ,

as i f he must take some acti on do something to ,

stop what he so hated and de spi sed Me chani cally .

he stretched out his arm thre ateni ngly It was .

seiz ed by the elbow He turned abruptly recalled


.
,

to himself in a moment Mrs Ai ntree stood at his


. .

si de Her hand was upon h i s arm Her eyes were


. .

looki ng stea di ly into h is .

Will you come wi th us ! she sai d



We are .


going .

There w as a watchful expressi on on her face ,

such as Deni son remembered to have observed on


the faces of the keepers in a lunati c as ylum he had
once visited It had seemed to hi m then to render
.

all the men ali ke as all men look ali ke in an audi ence
,

shaken by some simultaneous e moti on .

Will you come she whi spered again Your .


wife is waiting outsi de She is fri ghtened
. .

Without a word he followed her in to the court


yard E nid w as there in a state bordering on hys
.

teri a Her pretty face was ushing and h e r li ps


.

were trembling When she saw her husband she


.

caught hold of hi m w ith ner vous violence .


Oh Harry do take me away ! she sai d I
, ,

.

am deafened and terried ! Oh they are all m ad ,


C HAPT E R XI .

T HAT evening soon aft er the tabl J Mw w as


,
e-

ni shed , the boy was brought home to the hotel by


an English stranger, pale, brui sed, almo st u ncon
s ci ou s wi th fatigue and inju ry The D eni son s and
.

M rs Aintree were sitting on the verand a when the


.

carriage drove up and in a moment they knew that


,

s omethi ng was wrong The boy essayed to get out,


.

but fell back on the cushi ons and the stranger, a ,

tall , stalwart Yorks hireman fairly gathered him into


,

h i s arm s and li fted hi m up the step s E ven h is .

mother could not restrain an exclamati on when she


s aw hi m, and for the moment D enis on beli eved that
he was dyi ng He w as carri ed at once to b ed , and
.

atte nded by the resi dent doctor, while the York


shi reman, havi ng gruly to ld h is tale , departe d in
much reli ef to Cairo The boy h ad stumbled, drunk,
.

i nto the mosque and had seiz ed hold of one o f the


,

dervi shes, who franti c with exci tement, promptly


,

attacked h im wi th the fury of a wild animal When .

he was rescued by the bystanders he was bleeding


1 60
AN I MA GI N ATI VE MA X .
161

from a wound in th e h ead and w a un consc i ou ; ,


s s

but on exami nat i on i t w as di sc overe d th at no se ri


, ,

ou s i njury h ad bee n d one to him Hi debauch .


s
,

howeve r foll ow ed by the sh ac k comple t el y pros


, ,

t rat ed hi m for t h e t im e and he w as ke pt in h i


s .

roo m
Thi s acc i de nt put an end to one of his d ear est

c
ra e m
to ri de .

B u t t hi s c den t
a ci h ad oth er e ec t s . F rom t h e
mome nt when sh e saw him half ti psy and ,

s till st ain ed w i t h blood i nto the hote l Eni d co n , ,

ce i ve d a vi olent di s lik e of whi ch sh e neit he r


tri e d nor wish ed to comb at Many w omen are at .

the ir bes t in hours of so rrow of t raged y of d egra ,


.

dat i on They can be nd in a passi on of pit y t o t h e


.

cre at ure whi ch i lyi ng in t h e dus t But t here are


s .

others w h o sh ri nk ins ti nct ively fro m the mud


the roads of lif e and can only w aIk happily over,

smoo th shaven law ns -


and bask in t h e sun shi ne ,
.

Th e care of t h e woun ded se e ms t o th em a lo w and

the bod y ,
p
t h e di ssi ati ns o of th e min d , co me to t he m

in to a roo m during a part y


draw i ng -
.

Eni d was one of th ese women . Sh e h ad se e n


1 62 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

Guy Ai ntree , blood dri ed upon his face strug


w i th ,

gling from the lthy embrace of drink In her .

gentle way sh e hat e d h i m from that moment The .

very thought of h im was odi ous to her .

T hi s hatred broke Deni son s chi ef weapon of

de fence i n h is hand Wh en he spoke to Eni d of


.

the boy s condi ti on of the sorrows that stood round



,

h i s youth lik e enemi es she answered that he had


,

brought them upon hi m %lf and was unworthy of ,

any sym pathy .


I hate to think of him Harry she sai d one , ,

day . When is he coming down again



In a day or two I suppose Deni son answered
, ,

coldly .

She turned suddenly upon h im wi th an appeal .


Can t we go before then ! she asked

We .

have become so i nti mate wi th these people I shall .

have to t alk to h i m to s i t i
w th h
,
i m Ah !
She .

shuddered wi th di sgust And he will always be


horri ble to me now I shall always see t h c t h e
.
g

dreadful blood on h is face and he is so awful ly ill .

I have never been accustomed to invali ds Harry ,

d e ar mamma thought the si ght of them so danger



ous t o a young gi rl s i maginati on

.


Imagin ati on ! Deni son in terrupte d sarcasti c
ally . Do you lay claim to the possessi on of that
monster Eni d ,
1 64 AN IM AGINAT IVE MAN .

and sym pathy of the female sex This lack of .

Chri sti an chari ty in Eni d more especi ally vexed


h i m si nce it struck a blow at h i s own happiness .

Had she been normal as he chose to name it h i s


,

posi ti on would have been rendered addi tionally


secure by thi s last and most notable escapade of
Guy Ai ntree s I t would have roused in Eni dit

.

should have rou sed he told t elfa si sterly feel


,

ing prompting her t o generous desi res to help and


,

console Mrs Ain tree


. .

But then too the charac ter of the other woman


, ,

fought against hi m She w as so self reli ant so


.
-
,

c al m in di i cirlt ie s Sh e demanded so li ttle of any


.

one in her sorrow Had she been a trembling .


,

shri nki ng creature she might have more easily


,

claw ed Eni d s pity Why was she in a sense so



.

m as culi ne
The opposi tes in the two womenEni d s feeble

ness Mrs Ai ntree s strength barred Deni son s


,
.

path o f safety Had the one been stronger the


.
,
'
other weaker the present conjuncti on of ci rcum
,

stances must have drawn them together Mrs . .

Ai ntree must have come to Eni d for sym pathy ;


E ni d must have been roused to a protecti ve chi val
r
y ; and Deni s on would have won wi thout effort,
wi thout questi on the ri ght to stay in thi s pl ac e that
,

so strangely held hi s soul .


AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN . 1 65

How monstrous the pett y ghting details of ,

different natu res seemed to h im in his great sel sh


ness ! Here under hi s eyes was a minute repro
, ,

ducti on of the mi ghty ci vil war that lls all li fe


with silent battle four nature s in a state of vi olent
revolt
,

Guy Aintree battli ng furi ously against in


evi table de ath himself inclin ed to thru st a poni ard
,

into the throat of li fe and these two women the


, ,

one feebly attacking the othe r strong in defence a


, ,

deant gure bravely hand in


,
hand with sorrow -
.

For the scandal of Guy s last escapade had

rous ed the proper feeling of the hotel i nmates to


boili ng poi nt and it was obvi ous that when the nu
-
,

fort unate invali d reappeared he was to be shunn ed ,


.

H is conduct was naturally regarded as shameful


, , ,

and the very cause of i t hi s illn ess rendere d i t the


, ,

more reprehensible in the eyes of all To be well .

and wi cked is not right of course but there is , ,

somethi ng youthful alm ost healthy about it V ig


, ,
.

our sowi ng wild oats wi th a strong hand and a


,

swingi ng ste p can be tolerated eve n e xcuse d But


, ,
.

to be ill and wi cke d ! All Mena House crie d out


again st it all Me na Hous e that i s to say except , ,

certain men of the class that acce pts vi ce at any


ti me more ch e e rfully than vir tue These thought .

the whole affai r a charming joke and longed for ,

fresh developments scenting fun as the properly


, ,
1 66 AN I MAGINA T IVE M AN .

constituted dog scents offal Meanwhile the chi ef


.
,

culpri t being for the time i nvi sible h i s mother was ,

forced to bear the b runt of the hotel s ri ghteous

wrath Young girls looked at her under their eye


.

li ds as if she were mysteri ously improper for own


,

i ng such a son Elderly ladi es stared at her and


.

thought of heredi ty if she took a glass of s i n ordi


n ai re at dinner .

Deni son almost found ti me to pi ty her But .

she presented a serene front to Puri tani sm smi led ,

at mi sconcepti on and brushed mali gnant comment


,

from her mind as easi ly as you brush a crumb from


a tablecloth When Guy did at length reappear he
.

looked more haggard than ever There was a sud .

den hush in the great di ning room as he walked -

slowly in to lunch Pretty girls lowered their


.

eyes mothers seemed to expand li ke hens coveri ng


a brood from peril The air trembled deli cately
.

w ith condemnat on and Eni d drew in her under lip


i

-
.
,

Denni s noti ced the li ttle silent scene wi th a con


tempt that h e d i d not try to conceal H e hated .

these people not so much from thei r ill bred d e m


,
-

o nst rat i on of vi rtue as for thei r enti re lack of i m


,

a i nat i on
g . N ot one of them un derstood or even ,

trie d to un d erstand the boy s desolati on N ot one


,

.

of them sank into h i s mind for a moment looked ,

at thi ng s wi th h i s ti red and morose eyes A nd .


1 68 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

of the si ck room N ow as he sat wi th her in the


-
.
,

veranda or stroll ed wi th h e r upon the golf li nk s a


,
-
,

convi cti on dawn ed in h i s mind that she began to re


gard h im wi th a curi ous i ntentness mingled so it , ,

seemed to h im w ith a certai n veiled u neasiness


,
.

Only so self consci ous a man as him self could have


-

marked it and at rst he was doubtful of it incli ned


, ,

to laugh at a voi ce falsely crying Wolf ! wi thi n


h i s suspi ci ous mi nd But wi th each fresh hour of


.

i ntercourse he grew more sure that the voi ce uttered


a warni ng to be regarded He strove at rst in .
,

vain to track the stream of her new manner w i th


,

hi m to a source Was it far away or near ! The


.
,

stream was narrow and owed surreptiti ously yet


, ,

he began to hear it s di stinct and continuous murmur ,

to li sten and to wonder He became watchful too .


, ,

and a constraint sprang up between them .

When two people walk together each pati ently ,

i ntent upon analysi s of the other in tercourse stum ,

bles rather weari ly on it s way The theatre requ i res .

i t s performers as well as it s audi ence Mrs Ai ntree . .

and Deni son were both seated r mly in the stalls


wai ting each for the other to draw u p the curtain .

So no curtai n was drawn up and the stalls held im ,

pati ence but impati ence far too well bred to stamp
,
-

a foot or murmu r a remonstrance Deni son felt


,
.

certain that some i njudi ci ous acti on on h i s part w as


AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN . 1 69

to blame for the presence of thi s audi ence expectant


of h i s performance but he could not at rst recall it
,
.

He looked backward on the short stretch of road


they had travelled together and he saw no mile stone
,
.

Hi s mistake lay in searchi ng the di stance instead of


the foreground But he found the clue or rather
.
, , ,

Mrs Ai ntree gave it to hi m one morni ng on the


.
,

links .

They were not playing so nibli cks putte rs and


, , ,

the other instruments that seem to have been handed


dow n to us from the tim es of the Jab b erw ock d i d ,

not encumber the ir freedom or interfere with thei r ,

enjoyment of the cloudless and radi ant weather .

U nder thei r whi te um brellas they sat as usual i n the , ,

stalls silently expectant At some di stance fro m


,
.

them Eni d and Guy Aintree drove or putted oine d ,

i n a game the former u nwillin g the latte r tense wi th


, ,

the determi nati on to wi n Mrs Aint ree wi thdrew


. .

her eyes from thei r sunlit backs with an expre ssi on


that seemed to demand the accompani ment of a
si gh She di d no t sigh however but only sai d to
.
, ,

Deni son :

He is so devoted to all games and spo rts The .

draw ing of a badger a run across a stiff li ne of


,

country a day in the stubble are perfect happiness


, ,

to h im I am afrai d your wife wi ll not get much


.

conversati on out of h im I know he w ill be too in


.
1 70 AN IMAGINA T IVE M A N .

tent on beati ng h e r to bind up her wounds with



words .

S il ence hurts no one Deni son sai d speaking


, ,

h is thought and un cons ci ously half out of that stall


,

in whi ch he had been si tting I wis h there was a


.


li ttle more of i t in the world .


Surely there i s plenty in Egypt ! I
never un derstood how wonderfu l silence can be
un til I took my rst expedi ti on into the des

e rt .

With a donkey boy -

N o ; I was on horseback me . Gu y was wi th

We rode for milesit was near Abb aseey ah and


.

saw nothi ng but the sand and once some movi ng


, , ,


Bedouins on the hori zon .


One ought to ri de quite alone to know what
the desert really h as t o say These East e rns li ve in
.

the mi d st of the great silence and thei r only object


,

is to kill that whi ch they ought to cheris h I have .

never been so in hate wi th noi se as in thi s land of



deserts .

He spoke wi th a certai n gatheri ng i rri tat ion .

She was still in the stalls and thought she saw the
,

curtain move and a certain hopeful are of the foot


,

li ghts .


They do talk a good deal she sai d li ghtly , .

They are destructi vely talkati ve But they are .


1 72 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

You noti ced the effect the effect that hi deous



uproar had upon my nerves !
He reali z ed what he had not reali z e d before
that Mrs Ai ntree and Eni d had, of cours e been
. ,

present in the mosque durin g the whole perfo rm


ance U ntil Mrs Ai ntree s hand touched his arm
. .

he had never thought of them The strange scene .

before his eyes, the strange musi c in hi s ears, had


entirely taken possessi on of him And since that .

moment he h ad tried to put the mo s que, and the


horror of sound t hat it contai ned, out of hi s mi nd
altogether .

Where were you and my wife ! he asked


,

regardi ng her intently .


Precis ely opposite to you she repli ed ,
.

The curtain had been rung up N ow she hoped .

for the performance .

D eni s on sat for some ti me in silence ; he per


fe ct ly understood now what had caused the slight
change in M rs Ai nt ree s manner toward s hi m
.

.

She had had an Opportu ni ty of watchi ng and ana


ly zi ng him when he had been enti rely unconsci ous
of her presence enti rely self absorbed Hi s reserve
,
-
.

curled up, as a sea anemone curls up when an in


t rusive nger touches i t i n i t s pool He wondered .

what he h ad looke d li ke how much o f hi s real self


,

he had childi shly shown whi le she sat observi ng


,
AN IMAGl NATIV E M AN .
1 73

hi m across those turbule nt fanati cs The detecti ve .

heard the footfalls that dogged h is dow n the street ,

and stopped to look behin d him He was followed .

by a woman Should he ask her what she wanted !


.


I di d not see you he sai d rather lamely
,
.


Nor di d Mrs Denison not fce you Mrs Ai n
.

,
.


tree sai d She was intent on the dervi shes ; they
.


frightened her horribly I think ,
.



At rst they pleased me Deni son said fee l , ,

ing a strong de si re that she should expre ss some


opini onallow hi m to ha ve some i dea how hi s nu
consci ousness had affected her There was a con .

si d e rab le exci tement and even anger in h i s mind


, ,

he hated to be observed closely in such ci rcu m


stances He almost hated the woman who had
.

observed hi m There was a look of keen uneasy


.
,


suspi ci on upon his face At rst they pleased .

me There was somethi ng grand in the fury of


.


sound .


But I conf ess they got on my nerves at last ,

he added lik e one asking a qu e sti on


,
.

She sai d nothi ng He wi shed that sh e would


.

speak .


You noti ced that of course ! he added at ,

last
.


Yes she sai d ; then she glanced down and
, ,

12
1 74 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

pushed the pointed toe of her boot i nto the grass


hesitatingly M r Deni son I think I qui te un der
. .
,

stand now the strong attracti on you have for Guy ,

she sai d .


What do you mean ! Deni son asked in some
astoni shment .


I began to understand it that day in the
mosque You are vexed at my havi ng seen you ;
.

I know that I could not help i t ; you planted


.


yourself ri ght in front of me .

She glanced at him wi th a smile half depre


e at in
g .

V ery few people can see what i s ri ght in front



of thei r eyes he sai d
,
.


Am I to be blamed for not bei ng one of
them

Hardly
C
.

You soun d a little doubtful Bu t as I have .

sai dI un derstand now the inuence you have or ,


at leas t could have over Guy ,
.

Wh ence does it sprin g Mrs Aintree ! From


,
.

what seed in my character do you im agine the



ower to have grown !
The questi on was di stin ctly de ant so deant ,

that she might almost have been justi ed in resent


ing it But she seemed absorbed and answered
.
,

gravely and di rectly


1 76 AN IMAG INA T IVE MAN .

He sai d nothing about Eni d s fate Woul d she



.

peri sh by re ! Mrs Ai ntree, womanlike, won


.

dered She only sai d wi th obvi ous warmth :


.
,


Thank you .

Wh en they returned to the hot el Deni son was,

cons ci ous of a cert ain novel sens e of happiness .

He laughed at hi m self as he analyz ed it and kn ew ,

that after all he was only a hum an chi ld a sort of


, , ,

b ig boy baby enough to be gl ad that he was even


,

parti ally understood Perhaps from that morning


.

on the links Eni d had sli ghtly more cause for her
jealousy than ever before .
CHAPT ER X II .

THE moon made Egyp t a white fai ry land In .

C airo the mi narets poin ted lik e silver nger s to the


sky The Nile was a broad path of glory on whi ch
.

the shadowy boats lay in magi cal ot illas beneath


the great wall of the Gh esireh Palace gardens, and
beyond t h e river the road to the desert was an en
chanted avenue on whi ch the weird forms of the
,

sentinel acacias moved as if in some mysteri ous and


sini ster dance executin g silently strange gures in
,

vented by their danci ng master the breeze All


-
, .

along the river bank the Arabs were chatteri ng


-
,

si nging sad an d almost tuneless songs as they ,

smoked their cigarett es laughing playing li ke chil


, ,

dren, heedl ess of the silver mystery of the ri ver .

And the pari ah dogs in the plai n beyond the acaci a


trees howled unceasingly with the unrelenting pe r
,

sistence of machi nes made vocal .

Sometimes Deni son as he lis tened to them, told


,

himself that their senses were more highly devel


oped than those of th e i r human masters ; that,
17 7
1 78 AN IMA GINA T IVE M AN .

perched upon the hard mud walls of the houses they ,

could see a thousand tenants of the ni ght i nvi si ble ,

to the eyes of men walki ng spi rits crouchi ng de


, ,

mons of moonlight or of darkn ess cloud nymphs ,

and star fai ri es perhaps the horri ble m ont h s that


,

come by ni ght to whi sp e r in the ears of men sug


gesti ons of nameless cri mes to be done only in the
darkness On the walls the dogs stand hour after
.

hour staring into the ni ght world and b ow ling wi th


,

a terrible insi stence as if to call attenti on to some


,

thin g that is happeni ng near them in the spaces of


the gloom What i s i t that they see ! What i s it
.

that they hear ! Some bizarre wi ckedn ess of the


ni ght
Beyond the acacia trees lay an ocean wi th b il
-

lows of silver wi th shadows in the hollow bosoms


,

of it s wavesa silent ocean that held i tself under


moon and stars in a holy calm moti onless grave, , ,

serene When the breez e travelled softly over it no


.

responsi ve movement came from the wave crests .

Wh en the breeze paused to whi sper or sing to it no


deep voi ce answered ascendi ng from hi dden plac es
,

drowsily hoarse and weary with mystery The


, .

desert i s more silent than a painted sea more serene ,

than the lake that li es in a mirage by phantom for


ests and ghostly law ns Its silence and i t s mystery
.

press upon the heart li ke some soft w ei ght, even as


1 80 AN IMAGINA T I VE M AN .

li stened to hi m Deni son almost exp ected that he


would fade away i nto darkness .

What are you staring at !


sai d the boy .

Anythi ng wrong
N sai d Deni son wi th an effort ; and smili ng
,

to him self bi tterly at the irony of the questi on and



h i s reply
. N othi ng .


You re comi ng aren t you ! It wi ll be the
,

dence of a lark even if we don t get one of those


,

prowli ng beasts .


Yes Deni s on answered
,
I wi ll come .

There was something about Guy that compelled


h i m strangely despite h i s i n difference to human
,

sufferi ng and human sympathy E ver since he had .

recogni sed the resemblance between the boy s posi

ti on and hi s own he had set h im apart from the


,

rest of the world The fact that Ai ntree lik e h im


.
,

self was in a perpet ual condi ti on of revolt li nked


, ,

them together i n hi s mi nd eveni t sometimes ,

seemedin h i s heart So now he yi elded to the


.

boy s obvi ous exp ectati on although it fough t wi th



,

h i s o wn fe eli ngs . Ai ntree welcomed thi s wonderful


moonli ght merely because i t helped h im to see
somethi ng that he coul d ki ll Hi s dark eyes were .

gleaming wi th a passi onate si ck eagerness He was ,


.

on the eve of an expedi ti on that would help h im for


a moment to forget would deafen hi s ears so that
,
AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN . 1 81

they could not hear the horri ble soft unceasing , ,

march whose gri m musi c was stealthily coming


upon h im lik e the band of a destroying army with
, ,

far off drums and trumpets to wake frightened foes


-

by ni ght The gradual crescendo of that march


.

kept Aintree awake wri thing in h i s bed from mi d


night till dawn Each ni ght he he ard it louder and
.
,

the sweat burst out upon h is face and he clenched ,

h i s thin hands in the sheets m utterin g curses under


,

his breath .

Only sometimes fe ar and horror utterly over


came hi m when t h e chi ll of the dawn penetrated
,

in to h i s room and rested li ke a veil over the bed


, , ,

and he prayed for a moment But through the .

fragmentary words of the prayer came the steady


steps treadi ng to the musi c and the peti ti on ended
,

in an oath To ni ght he woul d be free from the


.
-

crowd of phantoms that thronged and hustled each


other round hi s bed Acti vi ty woul d drug h i s ter
.

rorthe terror that he was too proud boy li ke to ,


-
,

speak of to anyone even to hi s mothe r A feveri sh


wi ld joy took possessi on of him
.
,

sadde r surely ,

than any gri ef .

He pulled out h i s watch eagerly .


G o and get your gun he cri ed to Deni son , .

Oh here s the mater


,

Mrs Ai ntree came out upon the veranda


.
1 82 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

dressed for the expedi ti on in a short tailor made -

gown a small soft hat and a close t t ing jacket


, ,
-

wi th a belt round the wai st She wore strong .

gloves with gaun tl e ts A small ask hung at her


.

belt Behin d her in evening dress and wrapped in


.
,

a cloak uffy wi th white fur was Eni d ,


.

She went up to her husband .

You are not going Harry she sai d


,
.


Yes he repli ed
,
.


But you don t care for shooti ng

.

J ackals are not partri dges Eni d The moon ,


.

li t desert i s not a stubble I care for shooting .


here .


I wi ll come too sh e sai d suddenly
, ,
I will .

go in and change my dress .

But her husband d i d not acqui esce On the .

contrary he sai d deci sively


,


I advi se you not to E ni d You know the ,
.

very i dea of a gun goi ng off fri ghtens you to death .

I shall n e ver forget your agony in the thi rd act of


Carmen at Naples You w ill only be m i s er
,

.


able .


I would rather come .


And a ni ght exp edi ti on will be too much for
you )2

Wh y It i s not too much for M rs Ai ntree


. .

Deni son cas t a glance at the latter who was ,


1 84 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

protest Only when he came out again she w hi s


.

pere d to him :

I shall not be able to sleep till you come back .

He ki ssed her telling her that she must sleep


, ,

and then went down the steps and across the open
space in front of the hotel to the road where the
donkeys were standi ng .

E ni d watched h im and the Ain trees They .

mounted Mrs Aintree glanced back and waved


. .


her hand The donkey boys screamed Oo ah
.
- -

There was a noi se of galloping feet on the hard


road and in the moonl ight the li ttle cavalcade
,

looking li ke ink ed paper gures mo vi ng over a


-

whi te tableclothpas sed swiftly across the moon


washed space between the hotel and the G reat Pyr
ami d Then the silent desert took them and Eni d,
.
,

standi ng on the veranda saw only th e shivering ,

acaci a trees and the bleak form of the Pyrami d


-
,

heard only the b ow li ng of the pari ah dogs She .

stared at the trees u ntil she too shi vered Then she .

gathered her cloak over her whi te shoulders sat ,

down in a low chair and remai ned m oti onless ,


.

Tears w ere steali ng over her face She h ad never .

before felt so lonely and deserted as she di d


to night And as she sat she thought of her
-
.

mother co mfortably ensconced in the di gni ed com


fort of G rosvenor Square able to glance from the ,
AN IMAGINATIVE M AN .
1 85

curtained wi ndows and rest her eyes upon the re


sp e ct ab le raili ngs that hedge the Square garden ,

able to hear the r m tread of the poli ceman on h is


beat and the comfor t ing roll of the wanderi ng
,

hansom on i t s way towards Oxford Street or Pi cca


dilly Poor Eni d ! thi s foreign land dro w ned in
.
,

the moonthi s country of wi de sands and stone


mysteries seemed hateful to her now desolate sin
, , ,

i ster full of sombre inuences and weary deeds


,
.

There was somethi ng in it that she want e d to strug


gle agains t but could not combat something that,

had come we i rdly through the night li ke the E rl ,

K ing to steal the thi ng she loved from her


,
For .
,

though her woman s mi nd found the enemy in Mrs



.

Aintreeat least in lonel y moments such as these


,

she felt somehow that Egypt was responsible for


her mi sery She d id not denitely tell herself that
.

plac e i nuences people but she saw Mrs Ai ntree


,
.

and her husband d raw n together by a shadowy pale


hand boneless phantom lik e ri si ng from a mi sty
, ,
-
,

space and from a silence t h e pale hand of the


b

desert the desert that was embodi ed and moved


w i th them th rough the moonli ght while she sat

alone watchi ng the shi veri ng acacia trees


,
-
.

Deni son thanked heaven for thi s i n all the


desert there seemed to be never a jackal that night .
1 86 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

Sai d was in despai r He confounded him self in


.

E astern apology and explanati on His gest ures b e


.


came increasingly dr amati c as Guy Ai ntree s face
was seen to grow more and more grim under the
moon He related a thousand tales of jackals He
. .

even spoke of one great and wonderful ni ght when


he had hi dden behi nd a rock near the dead body of
a camel and had seen a huge gray wolf steal out of
,

the shadows of the desert to be shot in the midst


,

of it s hi deous meal Insi stently he claimed to be


.

beli eved swearing by h is ri ght eye and menti oni ng


, ,

freely the name of Allah Guy Ai ntree only asked


.

hi m where the devil the jackals were hi ding He .

had not come out expectant of wolves Sai d could .

only accentuate h is despair as the ni ght drew on .

He could not accompli sh the i mpossi ble They .

rode and paused They were led to lik ely places


. .

Once a shadow crossed the moonlight Ai ntree .

rais ed h i s gun r ed and stretched it dead in the


, ,

sand E xultantly Sai d hastened forward h is robe


.
,

oating gracefully out behi nd hi s heels But hi s .

tri umph was qui ckly changed to mourni ng The .

lean body of a wanderi ng d og was thei r o nly bag .

Ai ntree was i ncli ned to curse and to swear but ,

hi s mother made li ght of thei r di sappoin tment ,

ch a e d h im and sai d they would come out an


,

other night and have better luck The boy .


1 88 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

mi ngle wi th the dust of the desert lter down into ,

the sand and di sperse till no two parti cles remained


,

together That would be to become one wi th Na


.

ture and to become one with Nature would be to


,

li ve at last .

But Guy insi sted on sy mpathy and he strove to ,

gi ve i t .

V ery provoking he sai d ; we can only do



,

the usual tiresome thi nghope for better luck next


,

t im !

The donkeys heads were turned towards home



,

and the li ttle beasts carefully pi cked their way ove r


the rough ground and the perpetual small hi lls and
hollows whi ch give to the desert it s aspect of rolling
waves Guy rode on in front wi th Sai d Their
. .

voi ces sounded noi sily in the night one angrily ,

argui ng and scolding the other blatant in protesta


,

ti on and false promi ses and predi cti ons Instin ct .

i vely Deni son pulled in h i s donkey to a slower pace .

He met Mrs Ai ntree s eyes They looked weary


.

.

and more u nhappy than usual abstracted too She ,


.

was li stenin g to the louder of the two voi ces and ,

Deni son noti ced how li ned her face was and that ,

there were gray streaks here and there in her boldly


done hai r A s h i s donkey obedi ent to the rein
.
, ,

hung back she woke out of her pain ful reveri e and
,

looked at him and then forward to the black gures


,
AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .
1 89

that cut the moonlight in front She too tugged .


, ,

at her beast s hard mouth



.


Yes let them get on she sai d in a low vo i ce ,
.


A nd she sighed If I could help him to b e
.


happy she added
,
If I could he lp h im to do
.

the greatest thi ng in all the world .


You mean !

To subm t i .

I sometim es think that only the feeble can


learn that lesson .

Would i t not be truer to sayonl y the


strong !

Pri ests would say so .


Pr ests often speak the truth
i .


Only one thing speaks the truth Deni son ,

sai d in a low voi ce .


What i s that
The thing that never speaks at all Ph i .

losoph y ethi cs reli gi on divinity puri tyyou can


, , , ,


n d them all in silence .

She looked at h im with a strange qui ckeni ng


inte re st The voi ces of Guy and of Sai d had di ed

away and the desert pu rged of them resu med it s


, , ,

eni gmati c peace .


But you do not also n d submi ssi on in si
lenc e she asked .

Submi ssi on m ay b e one of the world s greatest

13
1 90 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

sins he said
,
for i t gi ves the rei n to tormentors .

It makes slavery cruelty all wrong easy and effort


, , ,

less I do not n d submi ssi on in si lence There is


. .

nothi ng conquere d in that whi ch makes no sound .

N o statue or pi ctu re or scene submi ts i tself You


, , ,
.

may chi p it pai nt i t out destroy i t wi th a town or


, ,

a railway and i t merely pas ses away It is no


,
.

longer th e re I t becomes a memory at once and


.
,

h as all the tender beauty of a memory for ever .

But when a man or an anim al subm its he i s just as ,

he was wi th only an ad ded ugli ness a servi li ty in


, ,

h i s demeanour or a muzzle over h is mouthsome


,


thin g about h im to rouse contempt .


U nl ess he submi ts to G od she sai d ,
.

Possi bly that submi ssi on may seem beautiful !

but it must of course be cro wn ed by a religi ous


If you lack that
, ,

beli ef . and many people


lack it there can be no beautiful submi ssi on for

you .

Then life is one long battle



Or one long in di fference .


i
I wonder wh ch t is to you ! she sai d nurs
i
ingly and rather as if she were expressing a thought
,

that had often been present in her mi nd .

It does not matter much he answered rather ,

bi tterly Few thi ngs do really matter that men


.

excite themselves about Ind eed excitement about .


,
1 92 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

it . Hi s mind was vi gorously at work, and served


to obscure h is sense of sight The rei n hung loose
.

ly on h is donkey s neck and even once when the



, ,

beast stumbled he did not ti ghten it


,
.


I suppose all mi stakes are natural he sai d ,

at length We are put in to thi s world to make


.

them We begin as babi es when we beli eve the


.
,

back garden to be the world and the nursery ni ght


,

li ght to b e the moon We continue as men and


.

women when we think love can sati sfy and peace ,

be at tain ed by personal e ffort and accompli shment


in one directi on or another W h o knows whether
.

we are not maki ng the greatest mi stake of all when


we dream in old age of the mi nd not necessarily
,

of the bodythat death will be release and the ,



grave rest ! And what do our m i stakes teach us !

Mi ne have tau ght me a good deal sai d Mrs ,
.

Aintre e .


An d m in e have taught me one th i ng .

What i s that
They have taught me that arti culate hum anity
is the greatest m i stake in all the uni verse .


Your asserti on i s sweepi ng .

They have taught me that everythi ng in the


scheme of the world is on a hi gher pl ane than man ,

even that man hi mself can create can gi ve birth to


,

things i nni tely above him .


AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .
1 93


How so
To musi c that is of heaven To silenc e s th at .


are beyond all mus i c .

Sh e looked at hi m rather qu e sti onin gly .

I
he sai d and there
w ill show one to you , ,

was a thrill of feeling in hi s vo i ce .

During thei r conversati on they had cover e d


much groun d in the sand Now the y were already .

n e aring the Mena House Having re ached the top .

of a little hill they co ul d see a good di stance before


,

them and Sai d and Guy we re vi sible in the moon


,

light ri di ng at a slow pace towards the G re at


,

Py rami d .

You are not i n a hurry to b e hom e D e ni son


aske d .


N o she answere d
,
.


Then let us make a d tou r .

He turned hi s donk e y to the ri ght and she fol ,

lowed They rode in sile nce towards the Sphinx


. .

At r st Mrs Ai ntree had no i dea what object h e r


.

compani on had in vi ew and was most completely


,

puzzled What could be out there in the desolati on


.

of the desert ! She marvelled sil e ntly un til the y ,

we re qui te close to the sandy b e d of the Sphi nx .

Then it ashed upon her She glanced at her com .

pani on His expressi on was now s upremely un con


.

sci ous and she found herself think ing I beli eve
, ,
1 94 AN IMA GINAT IVE M AN .

he has forgotten that he i s not alone She h ad no



.

w is h to dis t urb h i m and so they sai d noth ing u ntil


,

they pull ed up the donkeys in t h e sand before the


gre at mystery .

Wh en Egyp t li es under the moon in w inter ,

noct u rnal expedi ti ons to the Sphinx are quite the


fashi on Shoutin g parti es of touri stsscreami ng as
.

only youth and cockn eydom can scream on ne


nightsrace over the sands to as the gui de books
,
-

say vi ew it And it i s accus tomed to gaz e down


,
.

on men and women rowdy wi th dining fri volous


, ,

with w ine and cigarett es, i di oti c un der the bale ful
spell of a new e xp eri ence such as conduces so gen
e rall
y to the loss of heads The practi cal joke at
.

s uch tim es comes into i t s proper ki ngdom and the ,

ni ght i s kept awake by a sh ri ll and gi ggli ng vivaci

t y that seems pecu li ar to those engaged in globe

trott in g .

To ni ght the stone face wat ched a man and a


-

woman, who returned it s giganti c gaze in silence ,

with a gr avi ty borderin g u pon awe N o laughter .

broke from them no banal comm ents ai mi ngwith


,

a te rri ble inaccurac yat the hum orous .

When Mrs Aintree and Deni son dre w up thei r


.

donkeys the latte r sim ply looked at h is compani on


,

to in di cate that he here proved hi s recent argument


to be true .
1 96 AN IM AGINA T IVE MAN .

be so i mpressive as to seem lik e a danger ! If I


had not spoken then I must have cri ed ou
That
is the condi ti on to whi ch in cessant cackle
has reduced us a he r e pli ed sardoni cally .

He might have sai d more but at thi s moment ,

voi ces becam e audi ble and Guy Ai ntree and Sai d
,

came up at a hand gallop .

Guy im medi ately bu rst out in his most reckless


manner :
Wh at the deuce are you two star gazing for ! -

Sai d guessed you would be here paying homage to ,


this ugly old beas t of a Sphi nx .

A sudden wild noti on seeme d to strike hi m ,


and
he shouted to a boy who was carryi ng h i s gun :
Here youHas san or whatever you r name is
, ,

give me the gun !


He s eiz ed it ; cri ed :

If I can t pot a I ll m ak e a b ag of some


thi ng and aimed at the Sphi nx
, .

As he pulled the trigger a hand knocked the gun


up There w as a report Ai nt re e t urned angrily
. .

in his saddl e .

What the devi l do you mean by that Deni son ,

he e xclairne d U pon my word


.

Denis on lai d hi s hand on the boy s arm but not


,


It i s no u se to re small shot at a stone, he
AN IM AGINA T IVE M AN .
1 97

sai d and no fun either Let us be getting back


,
.


now .

Guy met hi s eyes and somethi ng in their ex


,

pressi on soothed h i s sudden anger .


Well it was only for a lark h e sai d
,

,
.


know that .


Of course Come on
. .

When they reached the Mena House Mrs Ain .

tree went up to b e d wondering .

Deni son was so strangely unlike other m e n that


she almost began to fear h i m Or d id she fear for
.

h im
Perh aps sh e hardly knew .
CHAPT ER X III .

D ENI sON repente d his curi ous falling away from


his accus tomed path of reti cence regretted it di rect
ly he was alone . He took hi mself rather bitterly to
task for an ac cess of emoti onal weaknessso he
called it such as he was rarely betrayed into Boys .

gi ve out their hearts under the spell of moonli ght .

That is only nat ural But that a reserved man should


.

twaddle about all hi s i nmost feelin gs t o a compara


t ive stranger, merely because the ni ght w as fai r and
bland was a degradati on As h is bedroom door shut
,
.

upon him and he saw the mosquito net the jugs and
,
-
,

basins, his coats hangin g on the hooks his boots ,

standing in a row all the li ttle detail s that recall

the stale fac t that no man can be a hero to his valet


or to hi mselfthe spell of the m agi cal night lost its
power over D eni son .

Romance ed on swi fte st wing and he un dressed


,

wi th the soli d convi cti on present in hi s m in d that h e


had made a fool of him self All that w as so exqui
.

sit el sensi ti ve in hi m curled up and hi s nerves


y ,
1 98
2 00 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .


Well what am ,
ked Deni son more I to do !
as ,

hail fellow well


-
met than usual in order to cover
-
,

the dis comf ort he felt on meeting Mrs Ai ntree s .

observant eyes .


You ve got to make a ni ght of it in Cai ro

.

My dear fellow
N ow no preachi ng I suppose you thi nk you
,
.


mus t play the sai nt before the mate r You don t .


kn ow her .

Mrs Ai nt ree looked at Deni son and her glance


.
,


seemed to say Don t refuse hi m ,
In reality she

.

sai d lightly Mr Denis on h as no need to play ei ther


,
.

saint or sin ner E very tourist exp lores Cairo at one


.

t im e or another Probably you know the dirty city


.

by heart she ad ded to Deni son



,
.


I know the mosqu e s he ans w ered smiling , ,

rather cyni cally .


I ll show you somethi ng worth fty mosques !


cri ed Guy Look here !
.


He whis pered some words into Denis on s ear .

M rs Ai ntree appeared not to noti ce ; she occu


.

pi ed herself in movi ng her chair a li ttle fu rt her b ack


so as to be l e ss in t he sun Deni son forced hi mself .

t o laugh in the proper i mproper mann er of the


, ,

seas oned man of the world at Guy s communi cation ,



,

and the boy thus encouraged whispered some yet


, ,

more ardent details i nto h is ear .


AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .
20 1


Ah ,
old chap ! the boy cri ed I see you re ,

game You ll come !


.


6
I w ill .

G u y gave a shout .


I knew you we re a well plucked one he ex -

claim ed We ll dri ve in early dine at Sh e ph eard s


.

,

,

and then do the tow n I ll put you up to eve ry .



,

thi ng in no time I .

A vi ole nt t of cough ing checked h is chatte r .

He sank down into a chair and put hi s hand to h is


si de.

It hurts you sai d h is mother .

Like the very devil !


The cough tore hi m again He struggled with .

it
. Deni son had the feeli ng of watching a combat .

When it was over Guy lay back for a moment,


.

The sweat stood on h i s thi n face and hi s li ps worked .

There was a screami ng terror in h i s eyes as if h i s ,

mind were piteously calli ng for h elp Then he shut .

them moved to the acti on by a vague fee li ng that


,

the y told too much Deni son saw Mrs Ai ntree . .

clasp one hand on her dress The nge rs clutched .

and tore the materi al but the ex p ressi on of her face


,

d i d not alter She appeared calm and tranquil


. .

Guy opene d h i s eyes again and sat up .


That s all settled he sai d making an effort

, ,

to re sume h is former vivacity .


202 AN I MAGINA T IVE M AN .


Wh y not put for a day or two ! h is
it of
f


mother asked carelessly It seems a pi ty to cram.

all your expedi ti ons up together You were out .

)
3

The b oy turned on her almost ercely .


N o mother ; I ll not put anythi ng off h e
,

,

sai d . Last night w as an infernal fai lure To .

ni ght we ll make u p for it We shall nd plenty of



.


j ackals to ni ght
- .

He bur st in to a peal o f laughter Denis on .

echoed it wi th deli berati on plunging hi mself into ,

imi tati on of the men he ha ted M rs Aintree should . .

forget hi s sent iment, forget that she h ad ever thought


hi m strange, unli ke the rest o f the male world He .

woul d be t o her as all the other m e n she knew


eager t o run li ke a dog in the gutter eager to ex ,

re every dun g
'

p lo heap that can be found in a city .

E ven Guy w as rather surprise d at the ardour with


whi ch hi s scheme was bac ked up .


I di dn t k now what a rare old sportsman you

were he ejacul ate d, as they went in to lunch
,
.


You re the ri ght sort to go round the to wn with,
and no mistake They needn t sit up for us to
.

ni ght need they ! Ha, ha !


,

An d agai n Deni s on echoed hi s laughter .

T h at eveni ng towards sunset hour, the t w o


,

women stood on the veranda to see them off As .


204 AN I MAGINA T IVE MAN .

whose meani ng she cou ld not grasp to trumpery


facts that she coul d Her efforts after penetrati on
.

were i ndeed a groping in the dark N o wonder .

that she often brui sed herself by comi ng in to con


tact w i th those strange foreign bodi es whi ch inh abit
obscuri ty .

As their carri age drove away from M ena House,


Denis on and Ai ntree relapsed in to silence Thei r .

farewells had been rather noi sy not wholly free from


,

a forced hi lari ty Deni son undoubtedly had as


.

sumed a gai ety whi ch he was very far f rom feeling .

He had acted for Mrs Ai n tree s benet the pi ti ful


.


role of a man of the world in tent on hav i ng a spree .

N ow he leaned back and wondered whether he had


not played hi s part wi th a noti ceable awkwardness .


It sui ted hi m so badly D i d she guess that ! Guy s
.

silence was ow ing to another caus e His vivacity was .

always t ful Hi s excitement ebbed and owed and


.
,

he w as a prey to the most vi olent extremes De .

pressi on sat always at h i s elbow and when he was ,

physi call y tired he could not attempt to combat it .

Just now he gave hi mself up to react i on and lay ,

back pale and haggard hi s hollow dark eyes xed


, ,

h i s thi n hands lying loosely i n h i s lap shaken by ,

every j e rk of the carri age .

D e ni son eternally self consci ous presently b e


,
-
,
AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .
20 5

gan to be in tensely aware of thi s sombre si lence


that drove wi th them It s in appropri ateness ti ckled
.

h is mi n d Two men en rou te to wild di ssi pati on in


.

an E astern city unwatched by marching poli cem e n


,

or sober respectable ci tiz ens emanci pated the one , ,

from hi s mother the other from h i s wi fe ; the ir


,

attit u de should be expectant radi antly receptive , .

Anti cipati on should perch behind the trotting


horses A demon hope should be the i r chari otee r
. .

Male cond e nces should ow from one to the other .

Stori es and jokes should trip from their tongues


gaini ng body and complexi on as they neared Cairo .

But thi s gri m silence in whi ch they sat musing ,

grave and weary from di fferi ng causes w as a silence ,

to make a sad philosopher break into lau ghter .

Thei r mi dnight progress must be attended with


more gai ety else the dark eyed East erns would
,
-

surely spit upon them for unworthy travellers ,

scorn them for unnatural humans Denis on re .

solve d that later h e wou ld force himself de liber


, ,

ately into the correct mood N othing should be .

wanting of gai ety or of im b e cili ty He would .

posture to the pi pes coax the chocolate coloured


,
-

dancing gi rls chaff the fat elderly hotel keepers


-
, ,
-
,

smiling w i th eyes li ke sloes and wagging the i r


monstrous earrings of gold The dragomans should .

think h i m a ne lord man The blue rob e d beggars


.
-

14
2 06 AN IMAGINA T I VE M AN .

should welcome h i m to thei r sini ster city of the


ni ght as a guest who could appreciate i t s sord i d
wonders For once he would crush the cyni c in
.

h is soul he would break up the seat of the scorn


,

ful and play the merry Andrew under the stars in


,

t h e narrow crowded streets A nd he would forget


.

for the ti me the gre at desert soul that held it self


sternly apart from all the grov lli ng deli gh ts of the
e

world and of ni ght the soul that heard not the


beating of the tomtoms nor the cry of the pipes
, ,

nor the crash of the cymbals ; that heeded not the


nude vagari es of Circassi an or Besh are en of mai den ,

from Nubi a or cocotte from France He would for .

get t h e beautiful si lence and plunge hi mself i nto the


,

putri d waves of turmoil and of uproar There was .

a dance of death whose mazes he must tread N ow .

to tread them w ith the pert moti on of the dancing


master the s li di ng bow the si de step the necessary
, , ,

gri mace ! He lash ed h is mood toward the sh


m arket . Alr eady beneath th e acaci as he saw the
, ,

naked girls wi nding sinuous arms and stamping


bare feet brow n serpents of the Ni le coili ng round
,

t h e wi ll i ng travellers i n thei r gari sh homes beyond

the at roofs of ramshackle houses Already the .

wail of the musi c that i s full of an anti que gray ,

tressed age shado wy with dead faces of embalmed


,

ki ngs shri ll wi th agoni es of forgott en hearts wan


, ,
2 08 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

famous veranda at S h eph eard s no longer silent


,

but laughin g at nothi ng in parti cular and chatter ,

ing loud ly i n a way to attract no cu ri ous at tenti on


,
.

Thei r previ ou s gri m silence must have been much


more noti ceable ; but they ki cked it away from
them for the eveni ng as the shouti ng soldi ers
,

ki cked the football Deni son foun d him self in


.

evi tably d raw ing the compari son as he entered the


hall of the hotel in whi ch groups of people were
,

gathered in evenin g dress recounting the ad ven ,

tures of the day and keepin g an attenti ve ear for


,

the summons to di nner .

Deni son and Ai ntree had a round table to them


selves in the restaurant and the champagne owed
,

freely The boy w as deliberately screwi ng hi mself


.

up to b e rowdy Hi s lassit ude needed a sharp


.

toni c and he di d not spare the medi cine the ob


,

s e u i ou s wai ter was ever read y to pour out for hi m


q .

By the t ime dessert was placed upon the table there


was a stai n of colour in hi s thin cheeks and hi s ,

conversati on was getting loud enough to attract the


attenti on of people si tting at the neighbouri ng
tables Deni son was not sorry to draw hi m i nto
.

the hall They sat down on a sofa close to the


.

door li t thei r ci garet tes and sipped thei r coffee


, .

G uy looked at hi s watch .


We can go soon he sai d

,

The fun of the
.
AN IMAGINATI VE M AN .
20 9

fai r begins early I wonder if any of these fellows


.

are going
He looked vaguely roun d over the vari ous men
'

standi ng about near them Some of the m we re .

ofcers in uniform There were a good many .

Ameri cans and several Engli sh boys One of the


,
.

latter was a mi ddy .


We might make up a party Ai ntree added , ,

and gi ve the beastly Arabs something to remem


ber Shall I ask that mi ddy to come wi th us
.


Bet ter not sai d D e ni s on
,
L e t h im get hi s .

head broken on hi s own account if he wants to I .


vote we start .

Ai ntree burst out laughi ng .

You re in a dence of a hurry old chap he



,

sai d . Ah I was never taken in wi th all your


,

godly ai rs You silent qui et chaps are always the


.
,


worst in t h e long run -
.

He lai d one of hi s thin hands on Deni son s

shoulder Deni son had an inch nati on to strike hi m


.

and to weep for hi m at one and t h e same ti m e .

Again h e thought of the pi ctures pain ted upon the


bri dge of Lucerne of the skeleton passing through
,

all the sce ne s of life crouching at t h e altar rattlin g


, ,

moneybags in the market place ste aling a e shle ss -


,

arm round danci ng women ki ssing vanity with dry ,

li ps Thi s boy was a fantast i c compani on for a


.
210 AN I MAGINA T IVE M AN .

ni ght tour of pleasure Deni son wi s hed t o go on i t


.

alone wi th hi m Such an expedi ti on would at least


.

have a peculi ar avour of it s own A combinat i on .

of the tomb and the ball room seemed in store for -

them A li vely mi ddy woul d reduce thei r progress


.

to a comm onplace level Guy was at least not com .

m onplace .

Deni son got up a fresh cigarette


,
.


N ow to n d a dragoman, he sai d .


Leave that to me ! exclai med Guy darting ,

out into the street .

He returned in t wo or three mi nutes .

I ve form d our man he sai d exci tedly Let s



,
.

sti ck on our coats and be off I feel up to anything .


to ni ght
- .

When they came out on to the veranda the ,

moon was low in the sky and the street was ah nost ,

sile nt At the foot of the steps a few brown gures


.

closely w rapped up thei r he ads swath e d in shawls


, ,

were standi ngthe less ari stocrat i c dragomans who


are w illing to conduct travellers on noct urnal e xpe
di t i ons .

M any of the regular gui des, who throng the


pavements before t h e hotels in the dayt ime cannot ,

be in duced by any offers of money to go at ni ght


wi th vi si tors to the low quarters of the ci ty They .

will go on their o wn account to pay homage to their


212 AN IM A GINA T IVE M AN .

bulging m as s out of all proporti on to hi s body The .

whi p w as cracked ; t h e mechani cal O o ah w as -

shouted The li ghts of S h e ph e ard s di ed in the


.

ni ght They d rove away from all remembrance of


.

Europe into the Arabi an ni ghts into a strange city


,

of wi cked wonders of fas cinating and hateful sights


,

and soun ds of an almost vis i onary quain tness a city


, ,

that was a fai ryland or a ni ghtmare as the mi nd


, ,

chose to take it The horses trotted softly The


. .

changing li ghts that pi erce the night among abodes


of men ashed over the grotesque gures on the

box The moon rose slowly on thi s new rake s
.

progress of Deni son and the pale boy whose eyes ,

glowed with a sombre re as the great European


shops and the big respectable vill as were left b e
hi nd and the streets grew narrower and darker
,
.

The entrance to the E astern Inferno was at hand .

Guy gri pped Deni s on s arm


.

N ow for larks he sai d in h is clouded voi ce ,

broken by a t of coughing brought on by the ni ght


CHAPT ER X IV .

TH E Eastern Infe rno i s not a vacant place by


day but by ni ght it swarms wi th happy lost souls
, ,

clad in garments of every hue the mind can think


of It i s an Inferno of tortuous tiny streets ah nost
.
,

too small to contain a carri age of small woode n ,

houses that look as in secure as card castles of ,

stran ge interi ors of di m i ckering li ghts and ever


, , ,

lasti ng hubbub Moveme nt shi fts through it as


.

through an ant hi ll V i ce permeates it as dust per


-
.

m e at e s a house long deserted Chil dre n sprout in.

it s gutters as the green grass in t h e sil ent hi ghways


of an abandoned ci ty where Tim e alone keeps
,

watch and the gli ding hours shi ve r wi th the wi nds


, ,

through skeleton buildings and weary crumblin g ,

churches But here are no churches and no pri e sts


. .

Here the deadly sinso ne or two of them at l e ast


s tand un abashed upon the housetops or move
,

merrily through the streets claimi ng attenti on and ,

regard In the s h market of Cairo the s h are


.
-

many and que er inde e d Had the di sci ples cast


.

2 13
214 AN I M A GINA TIV E MAN .

thei r net in to thi s sea they woul d not have toiled


all ni ght and taken nothi ng .

The arab eey ah in whi ch Deni son and Ain tree


were seated turned to the ri ght and ah nost in stantly
,

si lence and respectabili ty were left be hi nd M ovin g . .

forward at a walking pace the horses threaded ,

streets that were merely narrow and lthy alleys irr ,

c re asingly thronged wi th people as they proceeded .

All the world seemed to be in the hi ghway ,

and all the world was conversing at the pitch of it s


vo i ce .T h rongs of the lowest nati ves barefoot , ,

clad only in utteri ng blue robes li ke loose ni ght


go w ns clustered roun d the carri age screami ng for
, ,

backsheesh and th rusting di rt y brow n hands for


,

ward to recei ve the expecte d pi astre .

Some youths less nois y but equally im portunate


, , ,

clung to the hood of the arab e ey ah and murmured


informati on i nto Deni son s ears telling h im in

,

broken E ngli sh of si ght s to be seen in thi s city of


deadly ni ght of marvellous dances that were a show
,

as Punch and Judy i s a show in Engli sh to w ns


of vi cti ms for ever bound to the altars of pleasure .

And the m ont h s that whi spered smiled sweetly as


they told the tales of this V ani ty Fair ; and the
dark crafty eyes studi ed the faces of the Englis h
,

men to see when thei r hearts were sti rred when the ,

mention of some as yet unseen gai ety roused them


21 6 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

of human passi ons and human desi res stand openly


at every street co rner proclai m ing i tself gaily, smi l
,

i ng secrecy away and bowi ng reti cence out of the


,

soci al scheme .

Wh en he cast hi s eyes beyond the h uman wall


that envi roned the carr iage so close ly he caught
gli mpses of men not of thi s quarter lik e hi mself in
, ,

search of sensati ons Two Syri an Jews wi th ow


.
,

i ng ringl e ts paused before a ramshackle tenement


,

from whi ch waili ng sounds of musi c i ssued and ,

consul ted gravely together One of them took .

some money from his loose pockets counted it over ,

solemnly and seemed t o hesitate Then a slow .

smile br oke over hi s face and was re ected in that


of his compani on They turned and entered the
.

house The game was worth the candle even to a


.
,

Jew A li ttle further on a young G reek very


.
,

drun k was ghtin g wi th an E ngli sh soldi er in u ni


form in the mi dst of a scu ii ng mob of Arabs
,
.

The Greek was getti ng the worst of i t His eyes .

streamed wi th blood Two danci ng girls watched .


-

the con i ct wi th a smile so xed that it mi ght have


been pai nted on their faces Oaths burst from the .

li ps of the soldi er as he battered h is vi ctim wi th


scarlet s ts .

Ai ntree sprang upon the seat to observe the e u


counter better and laughed hoarsely wi th a forced
,
AN IMAGINAT IVE M AN .
21 7

merriment Th e carriage jerked and he was nearly


.


thr own down but some of the Arabs arms were
,

round hi m in a moment He shook them angrily .

off and yelled to the coachman to drive more care


,

fully Then he broke again into a vi olent t of


.

coughing whi ch made h is narrow chest heave under


h is overcoat .

Some Albani ans stood asi de to let the carriage


go by They were smoking ci garett es and held
.
,

thei r stiff whi te ski rts in wi th thei r slim hands One .

of them xed h i s enormous eyes on Deni son and ,

gravely bent in salutati on as they passe d N ow a .

great Bedoui n in a rose coloured robe pushed h i s


,
-
,

way to the arab e ey ah by mai n force and begged ,

Deni son to leave the carri age and accompany hi m


to a house near by where he promis e d to show him
,

wonderful si ghts The whi te teeth glitt e re d in the


.

man s black b e ard He had a noble head li ke a



.
,

patriarch and t h e gaze of a wi ld hero But he


,
.

S poke only of his wares and Deni son s li ps curled



.
,

The carri age turned a corner and nearly ,

knocked down some sem i nude Bi ch ari s veritable -


,

savages who scre amed and le aped wavi ng their


, ,

bare arms franti cally and twi rli ng like dervi shes .

And now they reached the dancing quarter and ,

the ni ght was ali ve wi th musi c As pi ct ures oat .

before the eyes in a whi rling zoetrope li ghted inte ,


2 18 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

riors gli ded by in endless successi on Thes e small .

w i ndowless hous es had no desi re to conceal anythi ng

that to ok place withi n them and every passer-by ,

co ul d see the li fe they held .

I n one a lamp threw a shaft of radi ance


over the blue g reen shutters and li t up a group of
,

Turks squatting over a game of b ackgammon for


whi ch gi rls tossed the di ce They played in a veil
.

of smoke ri sing from huge b ubble bubbles The -


.

i rl s ran to the door as the arab eey ah went by, and


g
the Turks remons trating dragged them back to
, ,

resume the di ce -thro wi ng


All the i nteri ors now revealed girls
.

girls of
every colour and complexi on in every att it ude and
,

dress Fai r Circassi ans their long soft hair glitter


.
,

i ng wi th s equ ins thei r pale dream like eyes down


, ,
-

cas t in a deli berate i nno ce nce that was not wi thout


i ts attracti on sto od before the i r doors , qui etly
,

recepti ve of any atte nti ons bestowed upon them .

Guy called to them over the heads of the Arab s,


and thei r rosy li ps curved i n gentle smile s .

I n a bi gger house than most of the others D eni


son gai ned a back vi ew of a Fantas i a that slid ,

across his eyes t o a sound of plai nt ive pi pes and soft


cymbals that seemed t o have been muted A big .

bare room a long d i van at the far end on whi ch


,

wi th curved legs the players squatted, four po st ur


2 20 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

colours as a great garden contains i n the tim e of


owers shi fting shi fting by as beads shift on a
, , ,

brevi aryall these thin gs w rapped a veil about


Deni son s brain sent hi m far away He had a

,
.

se nse of moving through a noi sy d ream in whi ch ,

voi ces called to h im whi ch he could not answer ,

hands clutched h im whi ch he could not repulse de ,

lights were offered h i m whi ch he h ad no power


ei ther to accept or t o refuse It was a maze with .

no clue a pri smati c hell in whi ch all the d emons


,

smi led and seemed to rejoi ce But i t was never .

t h ele ss an uttermost hell The mouths ever w hi s


.

pering at hi s side told hi m that In every sentence .

they spoke he heard rei terated agai n and agai n


Thi s i s hell Thi s i s hell
The word s shone in letters of re over each
gaping door They wai led in the pi pes and shi v
.
,

ered thr ough the clash of the cym bals They were .

i nscri bed even upon the luminous arch of the sky .

Women smi led them Chil dren li sped them The


. .

b ell of a dream vague whis peri n g heavi ng with


, , ,

bodi es of the lost hummi ng wi th thei r cri es thei r


, ,

laughter thei r i mplori ng the i r te ars E ven the


, ,
.

thin whi te face of Guy was a long way off a sin


, ,

i ster mask hollow and hungry wi th sorrow and the


,

i mpat i ent desires of life That too , w as a face of ,

hell.
AN IMAGI N A T IVE M AN .
22 1

Two Moori sh girls sprang toward the arab e ey ah


with fantas ti c gest u res Their sinuous forms were
.

thi nly clad in spangled mus lin gli tteri n g wi th gold


butteri es Their tin y waists were cir cled wi th
.

sashes of pale blue silk that owed down almost to


their li ttle feet Whi te and red paint plaste red
.

their smili ng cheeks and li ps and above thei r im ,

pudent eyes the eyebrows we re darkened to a coal


black and pi cked out in a curi ous pat tern that came
,

to a point at the nose They held their arms .

straight up on each si de of their heads till their


gold bracelets gleamed in the li ght that shot from
the houses behind them and wriggling thei r bodi es
, , ,

they broke into a monotonous chant stamping thei r ,

toes in the gutter and revolving slowly always w i th


, ,

the same smil e of blatant sereni ty and encourageme nt .

Spinning mi dges they were cir cling fre t q y ,

over the oozing marshes of the E ast in sects that


knew only the marshes saw only t h e slim e from
,

whi ch they rose for a moment to whi ch they glad ly ,

sank agai n The crowd swall owed the m up But


. .

Guy watched their tee to tum movements with - -

straini ng eyes and parted dry li ps t ill t h e gold


, ,

butteri es the blue sashes the bracelets the nod


, , ,

di ng heads were indi stingui shable adri ft far off in


, ,

thi s sea of humani ty He jerked round on his seat


.

and looked at Deni son .

15
22 2 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .


Isn t it grand !

he said thi ckly, running hi s
tongue across h is li ps .

Deni son nodded He felt as if he could not


.

speak N ow they came i nt o a square in the mi dst


.

of whi ch w as a foun tain A num ber of Engli sh .

and E gyp ti an soldi ers were here takin g part in an ,

u ncouth dance wi th gi rls and wi th one another .

The pi pes and t h e to mto ms gave the rhythm, and


they hopped and plunged fell on the ground, ,

rolled swore, and ln cke d i nvolved in a ti psy good


'

, ,

fellowshi p bowed mutually beneath the yoke of


,

melody Their faces glis tened with drink Thei r


. .

mouth s shouted and gri nned Their legs executed .

the mo st barbari an anti cs and the vi vi d scarlet of


,

the uniforms wandered through a maz e of colours


and fabri c s as a lei t mot f wanders through an
J

opera Some soldi ers watched them from the supe


.

ri or height s of donkey back Man y of these were


-
.

boys fresh from England staring w i th round rus


,

t i c eyes u pon a sc ene whi ch struck them st upi d .

The donkey-boys explai ned and encouraged unt il


th ey swun g off their bedi z ened beas ts, and one by
one plunged into the whirl at rst shyly but soon , ,

wi th an aban d on in whi ch all t races of self -con


sci ousness were swi ftly lost Young Ai ntree s eyes
.

shone wi th exci tement H is qui veri ng nerves re


.

sp ond ed to every wail of weary musi c jumped to


,
224 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

Ai ntree
s eyes gli ttered feveri shly

.


To the Hotel de Londr es he repli ed ,
.

That does not sound very E astern We seem .

to have left the world of hotels the world of ,

modern life and dri ven into a different age and


,

uni verse .


Ah you don t know i t old chap ! It s all
,

,

right is n t it Hassan ! Hassan goes there often


,

,


enough .

Hassan laughed and covered hi s face more


closely w i th hi s shawl, making a pretence of shame
face dn e ss .


There s preci ous li ttle that s E uropean about


i,
t Guy cont nued hus ly
i ki N othi ng but the .

name ; and it s no more a real hotel than you are



.

It s a dancing house You ll see Hu lloh ! there s


-
.

.

M ohammed ! M ohammed you di rty beast I ve , ,


brought a gentleman to see your show All the .

dances on hand to ni ght eh -


,

M ohammed a tall si ni ster youth with only one


, ,

eye muttered an eager af rmati ve and kept along


, ,

wi th them talkin g perpetually to Deni son across


,

Ai ntree and descri bing in fantasti c language the


,

glo ri es of the house to whi ch they were bound It .

seemed that he was a decoy who prowled the streets ,

at ni ght to lure sight seers to thi s so called hotel in - -


,

whi ch Guy had already more than once been a


AN I MAGINAT IVE M AN .
2 25

visitor He was an unsmili ng lthy creature and


.
, ,

hi s one eye sparkled wi th intense greed and cun


ning Deni son made no response to h is remarks
.
,

and indeed could not gather very much meaning


, ,

from the m as he spoke with excessi ve rapi di ty


,

and a t fu lly correct pronunci ati on gesti culatin g ,

solemnly wi th hi s large and dirty coffee coloured -

hands They drew up at length in a mis erably dark


.

and evi l lookin g alley in whi ch some pariah dogs


-
,

were routin g and smelli ng and their dragoman ,

sprang off the box The one eyed Mohammed


.
-

pushed open the door of a tall house and in , ,

vi t e d them to ente r .

Once through the door they were under an ,

archway and crossin g a dark and foul sme lling


,
-

courtyard they began to mou nt some ri ckety stairs


, ,

ove r whi ch a di m lamp procure d by Mohammed ,

from some secret nook thre w an occasi onal gleam


,

of light Guy thrust hi s arm through D e ni son s


.

,

and leane d heavil y upon hi m as they asce nded ,

breathi ng hard He was evi dently exhausted de


.
,

S pi te hi s feveri sh exci tement Anoth e r door was .

push e d open at the top of the stai rs and they ,

emerged upon the at roof of a house bounded on ,

one side by a hi gher bui lding whose door and whose ,

one li ghted wi ndow gave upon t h e roof Here th e y .

paused for a moment whi le Mohammed pattered,


226 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

on h isbare feet to the door and rapped on it wi th


h i s open palm G uy wi thdrew hi s arm from Deni
.

son s and the latter glanced up at the serenely cl e ar



,

sky that presi ded over Cairo It was full of in .

t e nsely bri ght stars The roun d moon cl imbed in


.

i t reluctantly a ci rcle of burni shed silver throwi ng


, ,

a consummate radi ance over the square of roof and ,

whitening the dull yellow glare that stole from the



wi ndows of the Hotel de Londres A s Deni son .

watched i t s effo rt less majesty hi s thought ski m med,

along the sky lik e a swallow beyond the city b e , ,

yond the Nile and the green plain and the mud vil
lage till i t s wings were stretched over the desert
,

and the desert s de ity He felt the sweet silence



.
,

the swe et detachment as if he knelt for a moment,

before an altar and gave up h is crowding sorro w s


,

to G od The shri eki ng of the pi pes in the town


.

b e low w as the reverend murmur of the organ


prompting prayers And was there not a scent of
.

aspiri ng incense i n the air


But Guy s laboured breathi ng stopped broken

,

by hi s impati ent weary voi ce , .


Wh y the di ckens don t they answer ! he

cri ed to M ohammed whose summ ons had b een i n


,

vain and he darted unsteadi ly across the roof and


, ,

banged wi th both hi s clenched sts upon the


door .
228 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

the other The rst in whi ch the door was set


.
, ,

startled Deni son I t was so cheaply French There


. .

was nothing of the E ast about it Round the walls .

ran wi de couches covered wi th yellow rep on whi ch ,

sat at in tervals plump cushi ons vei led in di ngy


white anti macassars A gaudy carpet on whi ch red
.
,

roses sprawled and twi ned conventi onally round


vases was spread over the mi ddle of the oor
, .

Looking glasses in gaudy gilt frames were let into


-

the walls on all four si des of the room more than ,

doubli ng it s size to t h e eye A strong odour of .

attar of rose s hung upon the close air and a gilt ,

clock ti cked noi sily under a glass case On a marble .

slab beneath one of the mi rrors were ranged a num


ber of cards of the hotel and two or three photo
,

graphs The room openi ng out of thi s apartment


.

on the ri ght was furni shed that on the left a bare


,

dark place wi thout furni ture but tted wi th a di van


,

at the far end and a prayer carpet .

Denis on threw himself down on one of the rep


covered couches and li t another cigarette The .

peeping chil dren had been driven into the inner


room and could be heard shrilly gi ggli ng beh i nd
,

the door Guy Mohammed the dragoman and


.
, , ,

the negress stood in the mi ddle of the room hag


,

ghug loudly about money V ery softly the far.

dis tant wail of the pi p e s stole i n from the dancing


AN IMAGINAT IVE M AN . 22 9

quarter below and a ray of ethereal moonlight


,

penetrated thr ough the partially-curtained window ,

and lay across the gari sh carpet M ohammed had .

set down h is lamp in the bedroom but a couple of ,

candles ared on each si de of the gilt clock The .

que sti on of terms seemed to be a very vexed one ,

and Denis on took no part in it s di scussi on H e lay .

back and recei ved into hi s soul a complex im pres


si on of the scene and the si tuati on, compounded of
many thi ngs The gilt clock the mirrors the w av
.
, ,

ering candles the yellow rep t h e red carpet the


, , ,

dirty an timacassars the ray of moonlight on the


,

oor they made the stag e setti ng The arguing


,
.

and protesting quartette in the mi ddle of the room


were the east .

Guy Ai ntree pale as i vory thin haggard wi th


, , , ,

emaciated features, shadowy, excite d eyes talk ing ,

noi sily in sentences frequently interrupted by t s of


coughing that shook h is body The tall and sinis te r
.

M ohammed in hi s pale blue robe staring gre e dily ,

wi th hi s one eye Hassan in hi s brown dress and


.

orange girdle hi s head big w ith shawls The bulg


, .

i ng black negress noddi ng shoutin g and gesti eu lat


, ,

ing lifting her ringed hands to heaven shakin g her


, ,

great head till the sequins that hung from her tur
ban jirrgle d And the orch est ra played an overture
.

through which the ascending ke en of the pipes


2 30 AN IMAG INA T IVE MAN .

struck sadly the hi dden children giggled in snatch e s


,

while there was ever t h e groun d bass of arg uing


vo i ces wrangli ng on and on about the toll of Hell
,
.

The scent of the attar of roses too was like the , ,

sound of a struck note upon some instrume nt .

It s e emed to D e ni son that it vi brated upon h i s


ear completin g a horri ble and y e t i nte resting dis
, ,

cord on whi ch followed no resoluti on He thou ght


,
.

i t was l ike the great di scord of h fe Would a .

sweet and sati sfyi ng resoluti on follo w upon that !


Weari ly he longed to know It seemed to h im that
.

merely silence profound and deep would b e enough


, ,

silence prolonging itself as the desert prolongs


,

i tself i nto qui veri ng di stance s on every si de melt ,

ing to soft horiz ons k i ssed by clear ski es For a .

moment an absurd feelin g surged up in hi s heart


that he was a man wi th a gospel to preachthe
gospel of the musi c of silence The four mouthing .

faces in the mi ddle of the room were grotesquely


hi deous It was the utte rance of soun d that drew
.

devi ls lines on them



In repose each of them
.

must ha ve had some di gnity But who cared for .

repose
Deni son had a wi s h to hush these voi ces to still ,

the laughter of t h e furti ve children to go down ,

i nto the merry making city to break the pi pes that


-
,

wailed i ncessantly on and on and hush the stamp ,


2 32 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

and a cigarette M ohammed drew fro m a cor


lit .

ne r a large tomtom and a thi n yellow pi pe h i s one


, ,

eye grave wi th greed Guy ung him self down by


.

Denison .

That damned old woman i s the bi ggest do in


Cairo ! he exclaimed angril y

There s no get
.

ti ng roun d her We shall have to pay an extra


.

half qui d for every blessed dance we see She .

makes a ni ce fortune out of it all N ow Sally that .


, ,


won t wash as a Nubian mai den elaborately at

, ,

tired in many colours appeared You know what


,
.


we want .

The negress gave a fat smi rk and pretended to ,

b e coy in vi olent pantomime But Guy took no .

noti ce .

You won t have a penn y ti ll you gi ve us the



real th g he c ed
in ,
ri Make haste about it
. Go .


along ! he added to the Nubian girl w h o stood ,

waitin g in a sort of mi s chi e vously submis si ve pose .

We won t have all that



.

His thi n wavi ng hand unsteadily i ndi cated her


ne ry of musl in trousers b ri ght sash and e m b roi d
, ,

ered velvet jacket Mohammed sprang up and


.

pushed her rough ly i nto the irm er room Then h e .

ret urned and squatting besi de Hassan took up the


, ,

pi p e ,
the tomtom to the grinning dragoman .

A pplyi ng hi s mouth to the pi pe Moham med drew ,


AN IMAG IN ATIV E M AN .
2 38

from it a weary shri ek and Hassan began to beat ,

the tomtom loudly and monotonously Sound e u .

t e re d thi s room that m i ght have been i n Pari s li ke


, ,

a harsh person and lled it with a presence unut


,

t e rab ly odi ous to Deni son H e longed to stop h is .

ears or to tear the in struments of h is torture from


,

the hands of those grotesque squatting gure s on


the yellow sofas Guy leaned up against h im
. .

The boy was trembli ng with an excitement created


in h is frail body by the bar bari c and almost tune ,

less y e t intensely suggesti ve musi c


, .


You ve never see n these E astern dances he
sai d hoarsely .


No never D e ni son repli ed , .


Then you re in for a good thing and don t you

,

forget I said so You ll thank me for all thi s to


.


morrow morning .

His heavy eyes rested on Deni son half in quiring -

ly half d eant ly
,
-
.

You don t look very keen about i t he sai d



,

rather suspi ci ously Aren t you game afte r all .



,

Deni son s mind shrank away at the words at the



,

slang of the expressi on still more at t h e slang of feel ,

ing that prompted i t But he nodde d and assumed .


,

almost mechani cally an attitude of anti ci pati on , ,

leani ng fo rward h is hands on h is knees h i s eyes


, ,

di rected towards the door of the bedroom in whi ch ,


2 34 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

the no i se of giggling and murmuring in creased mo


ment by moment .

Th e boy was sati sed He was too much excited


.

to be un comfortably obse rvant He began to hum .

to the m u sic and to move hi s feet tapping the hi de ,

ous roses of the carpet in ti me to the thud and


jangle of the tomtom From ti me to ti m e h e shouted
.

to the negress to m ake haste and paused i mpati ently


, .

The pallor of h i s face seemed setting towards a curi


ous duskin ess of hue such as may be seen sometimes
,

in a whi te plate lmed over wi th dust H is mouth .

blew clouds of cigarette smoke into the ai r On and .

on the pi pes shri eked Mohammed was ind efat i


.

gable H is lean brown ngers moved up and down on


.

the li ttle holes His sinis ter face was slightly blown
.

out as he poured breath i nto the yellow tu be And .

now at last the bedr oo m door Opened wi de and the ,

urgi ng vo i ce of the mother superi or became audible .

G uy sat up on the couch and the Nubian girl


,

gli ded in followed by two compani ons Her nery


,
.

was gone wi th her trousers and her costume con


, ,

si sted of a thin spangled robe bracelets rings and , , ,

beads A s she stood before them moti onless for an


.

i nstant she looked lik e a statu e a statue wi th wi cked

eyes full of expressi on of allurement She was not


, .

more than si xteen years old but in those eyes sat the
,

sins of centu ri es laughing at thei r own blackness


, .
2 36 AN IMAGINA T I VE M AN .

the carpet to stamp at each beat of the tomtom on


, ,

whi ch Hassan spent a glad energy The gilt clock .

d i d not ti ck wi th a more perfect regulari ty than


those si x fe et upon the woven roses Deni son was .

consci ous of a certain fascin ati on that began to gri p


him .N o that he showed that he felt i t for Guy ,

nudged hi m suddenly and smi led noddi ng a sati s


, ,

e d head at the dancers .

Rippers ! cam e from h i m in a whi sper and he ,

tapped hi s hand on Denison s kn e e in time to the

musi c .

An abandonment began to be apparent in every


body in the room It swept over them all The
. .

mi rrors reected it creating by their throw n back


,

reecti ons an apparent crowd of dancers and lo c kers


ona multi t ude of wei rd whi te gur es sinuous ,

arms smili ng evil faces bodi es bendi ng forward in


, ,

atti tude s of eager attenti on Tomtoms were beaten


.

i n these mi rrors pi pes were played and Deni son h ad


, ,

a fancy that the soun d was multipli ed many tim es in


volume by t h e shi n ing sheets of glas s The noi se .

that crowded h is cars could not come from the efforts


of those two men full in h i s vi ew Thi ngs seemed .

beaten an d blown behind h is head all around hi m as , ,

happens in the darkness of a spiri tualis ti c s ance .

The air was heavy wi th noi se thi ck wi th a veri table,

t umult The dancers swayed more wi dely Thei r


. .
AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN . 237

arms moved faster but always wi th the same monot


,

onc us regularity It seemed to Deni son that the ex


.

pressions on the ir faces became in creasin gly eager .

They began to wri ggle their li mbs to revolve to , ,

ch asser slowly and w ith a smooth and glidi ng step

along the carpet from point to point The eyes of .

Guy were bent upon them Hi s li ps parted slowly


.
,

and a sigh came from them A sli ght patch of ugly


.

red glowed angrily as an active wound in each of h is


cheeks.

But Deni s on di d not not i ce this He took no .

heed either of the continual ow of conversati on


poured upon h im by the radi ant and pu ing negress ,

who was now assumi ng ge ni al and motherly ai rs as ,

she pointed out the speci al beauti es of the varyi ng


movements A spell of monotonous musi c and mo
.

not onou s moti on was upon hi m Certain monotoni es


.

buil d up by slow but sure degrees an extraordinary


, ,

seducti on Like a mason plasteri ng a stone they


.
,

smoothly plaster the senses producing an effect aki n


,

to unconsci ousness The monotony of an easy goi ng


.
-

sea swi ms over a man who li es by it in the sun The .

m onotony of a star so w n night washes round the


-

dreamer who leans out from a w in dow So thi s .

double monotony of sound and moti on ran ove r


Deni s on and drew h im do w n into a world dense an d
luminous as a world under sea ever movi ng eve r, ,

16
2 38 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

m oani ng, yet curi ously at re st Long ago and far .

away everyt hi ng se emed even these beatin gs and ,

melodi es in h is ears even these w illo w y and wander


,

ing dance s in hi s eyes Long ago and far away full.


,

of a faded and p asse wi ckedness and almost in ,

ni t el sad Tears stole i nto hi s eyes and si ghs


y .

uttered upon hi s li ps A s gures wi nd through a .

weary land seekin g dis tant water springs these -


,

naked girls wound on and on before hi m There .

w as a dust about them that sl i ghtly veiled their

forms gi vi ng to them a di m and shadowy beauty a


, ,

ghostly grace How di stant they were at last oat


.
,

ing i mages i n the ai r scarcely reli eved agai nst a ,

b ackground of clouds oating oat ingfading , ,

A hot hand was lai d on hi s and grasped it ti ght


ly damp and clinging
,
Hot breath fanned his face
. .

The spell was broken As when a wi ndow i s ung .

up on a marchin g band the blare of the trumpets


ru shes in the whi s tle of the pi pe and the patter of
,

the tomtom seemed to rush upon Deni s on s senses

w ith h is ab rupt ret ur n to complete consci ousness of

all ab out hi m The dancers were close to him and


.
,

he w as able to note the utter abandonm ent of their


vi olent movements All pretence of languor was
.

thro w n asi de A complete vi gour i nformed them


. .

Denis on turning looked at Guy whose thin


, , ,
CHAPT E R XV .

THE memory of that ni ght scene in Cairo


haunted D eni son He coul d not by any means
.

bani sh it , and he grew to regard hi s ghost curi ously


a s a moni tor, a phantom wi th a lesson to teach,
who s e continual presence was a sign to hi m of all
he had not even yet learnt By day and night the
.

pipes wailed softly in h is ears the tomtoms beat


,

upon his brain The dancin g girls in endless lines


.

of half nude gures woun d on and on before hi s


inward eyes . Their smi ling faces followed hi m .

Their brow n hands beckoned to hi m They were .

as charml ess si rens singing to hi m H e would not .

come to anchor yet he coul d not s et sail, and leave


,

them to thei r w i nds and wate rs His mi nd held.

him near them and desi re an d will revolted in vain


,
.

That eveni ng in the dancing quarter grew more


hateful to him each hour At night he continu ally
.

recalled every detai l of it from thei r entry behin d


,

the t rotting horses into the musi cal thoroughfares


to thei r bizarre exi t surroun ded by confu sion, t u
,
AN IMAGIN ATI VE M AN . 241

mult curi osity and fear He saw the blood ow


,
.

down over the yellow sofa and mi ngle wi th the red


roses He saw the unconsci ous dancers set their
.

feet in it and gaze down startled He heard thei r


,
.

shri ll cri es as their brow n arms fell to their si des


, ,

and they looked like statues upon the whi te boy


from whom the li fe seemed ebbing The huge ne .

gress rolled off the couch swearin g and the musi ,

ei aus dropped thei r instru ments Over the oor


.

the tomtom ci rcled jangli ng harshly as if it strove


,

to ee with mutterings from the dre ary tableau .

And still the blood owed on Someone moved at


.

last A key was t urned twi ce in a lock and the


.

door was opened upon the moon A s they rai sed .

Guy and carri ed him out upon t h e at roof they


se emed to traverse a sheet of shini ng silver and
.
,

the whole world below them w as musi cal in the


ni ght .

Then foll owed the stealthy descent in darkness


dow n the uneven stairs ; and as the y plunged below
Deni son looked b ack Beyond t h e roof by the
.
,

open door of the Hotel de Londres bathed in the ,

radi ance of the moon the three gi rls cowered to


,

watch the processi on of their customers Th e .

smi les had ebbed away from their li ps and eyes ,

and awe gave to them the aspects of young ch il

dre n fri ghtened as by a boge y A strange inno


, .
2 42 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

cence had settled over them at thi s moment,


so Deni son thought .They were afrai d, and
they were puried or was it the moon that
,

washed the lust and evil from thei r slim beauty


)
,

the devili sh allur ement from their att it ude, and


shrouded them wi th a fair whi tenes s despite them
selves !
Stumbli ng down the ste ps the li ttle proce ssi on
crossed the courtyard slowly and emerged into the
street The arabe ey ah wai te d before the archway
. .

On the box sat the co ac hman smoki ng in the mi dst


,

of the swarmi ng hi ve of nat ives taking li ttle heed


,

of the imm orali ti es that simmered roun d him, or


bubbled up in the tiny streets on every side as
wat er bubbles in a pot set on the re As Guy .


w as carri ed out the cigarette fell from the man s

gradually openi ng lips and hi s chocolat e -coloure d


,

face wrinkled i tse lf in a perplexed concern Peo .

ple owed upon them clamouri ng for backsheesh


, ,

cryi ng of wi ckednesses to be seen for money, b e


s e e chin
g the beautiful st rangers to ente r thei r
houses of shame, to yi eld to their blandi shments of
lust .

Bu t when they saw the drooping gure li fted


i nto the carri age blood stai n e d and acci d they
,
-
,

gathered nearer in a sudden staring silence Some .

of the women touched i t and cri ed out They


, .
2 44 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

th e Infe rno drove wi th


Deni son and haunted ,
h im
now on the verge of the desert .

After thr ee days in a Cai ro Hotel Guy had ,

been brought back to M ena Hou se b ut the freedom ,

to sin had le ft him wi th the power He coul d no .

longer stru ggle after vi ce lest he should never


know i t or y at the throat of folly in the effort
,

to ki ss her lips Physi cal di sabili ti es controlled


.

hi m perpetually no bi rd ti ed to it s perch dragged


at i t s chai n more uselessly than he a captive in the ,

shi ne posed before the approachin g darkness .

He was i ntensely weak and when he came down , ,

could only rest on the veranda sunk deep in hi s ,

chai r watchi ng wi th hateful eyes the panorama of


,

tou ri st lif e unfolded each day at the base of the


Pyrami d Hi s mother seldom left h im She
. .

never showed pro minently that she consi dered hi m


an invali d and min i stered to him wi th an assumed
,

carelessness te rri bly sedul ous in her heart G ai ety


,
.

always informed her There was life in her con


.

versat i on the sparkle of champagne in her manner


, .

A ll the p e ople at M ena House agreed that she was


heartless They sought for the mute d strings that
.

play appropri ate musi c to soothe the faili ng ene r


gi es of si ckness Hearing a soun d tri ppi ng as ga
.

vot t e s they shuddered and reco iled


, The whisper .
AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .
245


an unnatural mother ran round the corri dors
and t h e great cool rooms It was nothing to them
.

that the i r natural mother would have been a sword


to Guy s wound instead of a bandage and that Mrs

,
.

Ai ntree kn ew thi s They were expectant of cer


.

tain proceedings under certain ci rcumstances D is .

appointed in their exp ectati ons they sou ght the


,

aceu st onre d refuge of scandal and talk e d blatant y


,
l

of proper fe eling and of the most dece nt and reg


ular attit ude in whi ch death should be anti ci pated
by all around the dyi ng .

Eni d di d not add h e r voi ce to the symphony of


detracti on but she secretly thought Mrs Aintree a
,
.

pers on outsi de the pale of propri ety and was eager


,

to be away from her She di d not unde rstand and


.
,

so in h e r heart she condemned But inde ed she


.
, ,

condemn ed but weakly wi th rai sed e ye brows for


, ,

she was mainly intent u pon the coil of her own


dome sti c life For the moment she had reconciled
.

herself to the now invari able sensati on that she was


separated by leagues from Harry Wh at exactly .

set the m thus apart she could not certainly tell In .

guesses she named Mrs Ai ntree as the cause and


.
,

jealousy sometimes amed hotly wi thin her Y e t .

sometime s she doubt e d He seemed even to her


.

graceful stupi dity to move in a world apart fri nge d ,

only by the people and thi ngs who should naturally


2 46 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

have inhabited the same uni verse wi th him have ,

helped to form it s centre it s core That an in ,


.

creasi ng abstracti on and moodi ness settled over h i m


w as ob vi ous M rs Ai ntree foun d time to observe
. .

i t and seek for the caus e secretly


,
But she was .

too closely bound i n one place by h e r son s si de to

divin e it
.

In truth Deni son was sei zed by a strange feeling


of desperati on dating denitely from the night in
,

Cairo whi ch had ended so pitifully It haunted .

hi m until it became xed in h is mi ndnot as a


detached scene cut out of life but as a faithful if , ,

comparatively m inute reproducti on of life as it w as


, ,

and must always be .

The lights of the sh market the obscene cri es


-
,

and acti ons the incessant tumult set to the wail and
,

the clatte r of a musi c barbari c and pain ful were ,

the li ghts the obscene cri es and acti ons the tum ult
, ,

and the waili ng notes of life Whi le he li ved must .

he ever dri ve on and on through crowded and nar


row streets of sensati on watch the monotonous i n
,

t e ri o rs shi ft by repulse the i nti mate phantoms that


,

poured forth upon hi m cryi ng thei r sordi d delights


,

and claimi ng hi m as thei r natural and inevitable


compani on ! Could he not escape enti rely as he ,

escaped occasi onally when by ni ght he watched


,

wi th the great being wh om he had learned to love


248 AN IM AGINA T IVE M AN .

centred i ntensely self consci ous and ever braci ng


,
-
,

hi m self to be on guard .

It seemed to hi m that by a word an expressi on ,

of face by a movement the t urn of a phrase he


, , ,

might betray his fan tas ti c secret E very passing .

touri st appeared to regard hi m curi ously E very .

servant in the hotel wore to hi m the demeanour , ,

of one watchi ng He seldom spoke now wi thout a


.

preternatu ral deli berati on He weighed each re


.

mark before he made it and consi dered all the di f


,

fere nt effects it might concei vably have on any mi nd


as an expressi on of his o w n mi nd A nd somet imes .

he longed for the glori ous impotence that was the


everlas tin g dower of the being he worshi pped wi th a
fanati cal adorati on of the brain and even now of , , ,

the senses The glory of silence took hold upon hi m


.

until he coul d have blasphemously cursed the hi dden


Power who has gi ven speech to man as one of h is
hi ghest gifts .

At ni ght afte r his ret urn from that desert hol


,
-

low where he had kept so many vi gils as he lay ,

awake hour after hour he traced out all the possi ble
,

agoni es all the dire tragedi es all the broken fri end
, ,

shi ps shattered affect i ons petri ed fai ths that cri ed


, , ,

aloud against the capacity for words possessed by


the hum an creati on until in hi s unnatur al condi ti on
, ,

of mi nd he beli eved all the evi ls that creep li ke a


,
AN IMAGI N AT IVE M AN . 2 49

cancer over humanity to be due to the power of ex


pressi on in it s hi ghest form .

Tears rose to hi s eyes as he thought of the holy


silence of owers that can never di spel the romances
that gather ro u nd them by an unstu di ed utterance ,

of the m u si c of the journeying win d that speaks


without speaking and suggests with it s voi ce a
,

thousand tales that it i s by a sweet ordi nance never


, ,

permitted to tell He dwelt upon the exquis ite cahn


.

of the greatest tri umphs of art the solemn pati ence,

of pi ctures the tender magi c of the voi celess statue


, ,

that can only look it s life only shadow forth it s


,

character in purity of lin e or feeling of attitude .

He dream e d on the silence of the saints in old di m


wi ndows of cathedrals watchin g generat ions of wor
,

shi ppers bending breathlessly at their prayers and ,

going forth chattering into the sunshi ne to slay thei r


peace of the soul with words The myst i c commun .

i on of tree wi th tree of twi li ght wi th darkness of


, ,

land wi th sea sti rred hi m to a passi onate rapture of


,

despair Wordless natur e he sat upon an altar at


.

whi ch man could only si lently worshi p Wordless .

art owed the nest essence of it s divin ity to t h e


splendi d lack whi ch was i t s greatest possessi on He .

loved silence and silence was embodi e d was made


, ,

a person in that couchant li on of the sands stretched


, ,

in the i mmens e cah n of the desert surrounded by ,


2 50 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

the sile nce of dead ages i gnoring the har sh clamour


,

of present passing life He adored the majesti c


,
.

peace of that blurred face I ts gaze gave t o him all


.

he desir ed He blessed i t s speechlessness each day


.
,

and drow ned hi mself in i t s embracing soundlessness


each ni ght It spoke to h is heart thr ough it s huge
.

r e pressi on it s im mense and gorgeously tragi c in capa


,

b ili t y M en would call hi m m ad


. He di d not care . .

They were madmad w ith the devil s musi c of

words mad with their puny contempt of peace mad


, ,

i n that they brushed as i de silence as careless passing, ,

feet brus hed as i de the dewdrops from the grasses


that wo ul d keep them .

There was the traged y of an un recogni sed insan


i t y in all the doi ngs of men He and h is great corn
.

pani on knew it and were silent .

He dwelt upon thi s idea of the beauty of silence ,

until by perpetual turning over and over in his


,

m ind it co mpacted i tself i nto a soli d m ani a Si


, .

lence became in hi s heart a curi ous reli gi on In the .

noi sy day he longed w i th an unutt erable yearning


for the no i seless night Whenever he spoke he felt
.

as if he were com mi tting a strange sin against the


d e sert spiri t that had never lift e d up a vo i ce that ,

had never degraded i tself to the utterance of the


slightest sound through thousands upon thousands
of years .E ach word was a falling away from a
2 52 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

Harry you are very silent lately A re you


,
.

ti red of talki ng to me
Her e alou sy found it s sustenance in every li ttle
thing now that her suspi ci ons were thoroughly
,

aroused .


P ople talk too much he repli ed evasi vely and
e
,

u neasily for he still had the desire and i ntenti on to


,

act normally though it was growi ng weaker day


,

by day .

I think good conversati on i s one of the great



est pleasures in the world she sai d looki ng at, ,

him w istfully .

He made no answer .

He was as usual tryi ng to think of some cogent


, ,

reason for the conti nuance of their stay at the Mena


House Hotel but no reason presented i tself and the
, ,

day xed for thei r departur e was now very near .

A s he watched hi s wife s mai d layi ng her dresses in


the long trunks calmly and wi th the metho di cal


,

preci si on of the accompli shed packer he pressed hi s ,

li ps together and tri ed to think to i nvent some plan


,
.

They wou l d not go That was certain But


. .

how could he make an excuse for prolonging thei r


already long vi sit at the eleventh hour
If Eni d were to fall ill
He was standing by the wi ndow of her bedroom
when thi s thought occurred to him Eni d was .
AN I MAGINA T IVE M AN . 25 3

taking some pretty things that she had bought in


the bazaars out of a drawer and wrapping them
carefully in paper preparatory to burying them in a
portmanteau Deni son glanced at her furti vely
. .

Her soft cheeks glo w ed wi th the deli cate clear


rose of health He contin ued to gaze at her under
.

h is eyeli ds till she looked up She leaned back


.

from the portmanteau wi th her hands still fu ll of


things .

Wh y do you look at me so oddly, Harry !


she asked . Is there anythi ng w rong w ith my
gown
And she threw a feminine criti cal glance over
the front of it dra wing in her rounded ch in and
,

peering downwards .

He shook his head wi thout speakin g and thi s ,

acti on wakened an expressi on of fear in h is wife s

eyes. The perpet ual and enduri ng silence that


seemed to be gathering around him was beginni ng
to seri ously alarm and sadden her She fanci ed i n
.
,

her jealousy that she mi ght be gradually becoming


,

hateful to hi m that he could not bring hi mself to


,

address her wi thout an effort She di d not noti ce


.

that he spoke to nobody unless he was forced to ;


that even Mrs Ai ntree s occasi onal conversati on
.

drew but li ttle response from h im .

E ni d di d not say anyt hing ho w e ve r she only


, ,

17
2 54 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

bent over the portmanteau again and began rustling ,

the paper as she put in h e r packages .

Deni son abruptly left the room Just outsi de .

the door he met Mrs Ai ntre e Her face looked . .

whi te and drawn and her li ps t vvi t ch e d wi th an


,

obvi ous ne rvousness that was painful to see ,

especi ally in one us ually so cah n and apparently


cheerful .


I was just comi ng to nd you
she said to ,

D eni son .


Yes ! he answered rather abruptly .

He longed to be alone In soli t ude he hoped to


.

devi se some plan that would delay their departure


for the Nile .


Guy is much worse thi s mornin g she said , ,

maki ng an e ffort to keep her voi ce nat ural and


steady The hemorrhage came on agai n last

.

night Dr Vane says Dr Vane


. .
) .
3

Words failed on her lips She only looked at .

him . He read in her dilated eyes what they would


have been .

I am very so rry .

He spoke gravely as if he meant it but he was


,

cons ci ous that h i s mind was too self centred to be -

swayed by any circumstance that d i d not di rectly


concern hi s desi res for the future .


Will you go to h i m for a few mi nutes M rs .
2 56 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

hands were clenched outsi de the coun terpane while ,

he strove to talk .

Deni son lookin g at them saw them the hands


, ,

of one already dead and pas t from recollecti on and ,

a sens e of envy overtook hi m All that he longed .

for thi s boy would soon possessat least i t seemed ,

that it would be so S ilence detachment from the


.
,

prancing folli es and pitiful di stractin g voi ces, li ber


,

ati on from the cage in whi ch hum ani ty st ead ily re


volves emulating the squi rrel He sat on by the
,
.

bed Alm ost unconsci ously he had ceased fro m


.

talkin g Guy lay back breathin g rather heavily


. .

The silence lasted a long whi le Deni son s eyes .


were bent wi th a keen scrutin y upon thi s vani shing


gur e dw in dli n g d o w n to death i n the hot sunshin e
,

of Egypt dwin dli ng down to darkn ess in the radi ant


,

light and he w as ho rribly envi ous and jealous and


, ,

curi ous too He seemed to him self observant of a


,
.

d eparture from a weary land in whi ch he w as forced


to remain Guy s condi ti on w as sur ely a blessed
.

one A dreadful foolis h irnpu lse came upon h im


.
,

to lay hi s hand li ghtly on those clenched hands


pressed upon the counterpane and say I congrat , ,

ul at e you !

He act ually stretched hi s hand out .


Wh at is it ! Guy asked

You are go .

ing
AN IMAGI N AT IVE M AN . 25 7

D enis on leaned over and looked at him in the


eyes .

Wh y are you so desperate he sai d ,


wi th

cruel scrutin y What are you afrai d of


.

The boy stared back at hi m .


Wh o sai d I was afraid ! he sai d in the tone

,

of a schoolboy sum moni ng all hi s pluck


,
.


You are afrai d Deni son sai d
,
.

NoI tell you no ; and if I am what of ,


Don t you know !

The boy s dry lips began to work and utter


tragi cal ly .


You beast ! you devil ! he mutt ered choking ,

down a sob He lifted up his hands as if to stri ke


.

Deni son . What do you mean he gasped, a


piteous apprehensi on dawni ng over h im as he lay .

A cruel pleasure i n the sit uat i on took hold of


Deni son .

Wh y are you afrai d of dyi ng he sai d coldly .

G uy trembled all over till the bed sh oc k in the


sunshi ne .

What rot are you talkin g ! Wh at the devi l



are you gas sing about ! he whi spered ercely .

The fury of terror in hi s eyes fascinated Deni


son as he leant on the bed .


You are dyi ng he sai d ,
.

The boy cri e d out wi th an oath denying it , .


258 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

Denis on only smiled I t seemed t o hi m such a


.

queer comedy thi s struggle agai nst the beautiful


,
.

He bent still lower and put hi s hands on the boy s


,

thin sharp shoulders pressing them there


, ,
.


I envy you he sai d slowly
,
. You are get

ting out of i t all .

As he stared down at Guy the boy uttered a


shudderi ng cry and broke into a passi on of helpless ,

childi sh tears
.
2 60 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

do w n besi de her I thought I should have been


,

very sorry at your going to morrow - .


You mean that you are not ! he asked .

How can I be now


! What have y en been
doi ng to G uy

I have done nothi ng I scarcely understand
.


you .

I cannot understand Thi s evening he told


me that that h e
.

hated youyou whom he al


ways sought Why i s it .

Denis on was li ghting a cigarette A tiny glow .

of li vi ng re illuminated hi s face He exti ngui shed .

the match dropped it to t h e groun d and set h i s foot


,

upon it .


I think it is because I depart e d from custom
wi th h im the other day and told him truth People .


can seldom bear that .


Wh at truth then !
,


Can you bear it ei ther ! he asked .


Yes she answered qui e tly
,
.


I thi n k so I told hi m that I envi ed him b e
.


cause he was dyi ng .

Mrs Aintree di d not sp e ak for a moment Her


. .

eyes looked out to the di m and broo d ing ni ght .


That s truth I do envy h im
i . .


He i s dyi ng I know it the mother sai d
.
, ,

t lrou t any d i splay of feel ing any tr e mor or sigh


, .
AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .
26 1

Perhaps he might have li ved i fifah why does ,

boy nature love so the kn owledge of evi l ! What


has Guy s horrible life here brought to h im ! I

have done wrong in not being as other mothe rs per


haps in not protesting
,
e xerci sing authorityand

et I shal l never know If I had to li ve the days


y .


over again could I act differently !

It would have been useless if you had Hu .

man battle again st hum an nature in another is an



absurd forlorn hope .

No no ; but I loved too dearly to ght I


,
.


have been terri bly weak .


Love makes for weakness in us often .

It must be a w rong sort of love then I su p , ,


pose.

An d to act strongly or to speak out one s ,


mi nd i s a sowi ng of dragon s teeth to rai se one up


ene mi es Guy hates me because I was myse lf I


. .

told h im what I really felt You would hate me if.

y ou knew me or you would merely fear me as Guy


, ,

fears death I have always found it so sin ce I have


.

thought at all or observed at all Th e rst law we


,
.

should lay to heart when we begin to li ve is thi s


never be natural Only the unnat ural are trusted
.
,

onl y the fals e are loved .

He spoke bitterly She shook her head


. .


You don t beli e ve what you are sayi ng she

,
2 62 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

sai d . You are bein g false Guy does not hate .

you because you told him the truth only but b e ,

caus e by doing so you made hi m horri bly afraid


, ,
.

If I could only gi ve hi m courage



He will not need it long .


Reli gi on i s such a grand armour in whi ch to
meet deat she continued Wh y do so few men .

don it

We have an instinct that gui des us to suffer
ing and teaches us to avoi d all that will bani sh or
allay it We throw ourselves upon the bayonets
. .

We li ve as if we fanci ed ourselves eternal and the ,

i nevi table astoni shes us far more than the unex

pect e d I do not pretend to understand why


.

it i s se I do not pretend to understand my


self But at least I shall never learn to fear
.
, ,

death .

And yet you are a coward .

7 )
g
Because you fear li fe .

Deni son di d not answer .


i
That s not natural she said , .


It seems to me as natural as the other .

She was silent When they parted she sai d


.

To morrow it wi ll be good bye


- -
.

She noti ced that he only repeated h i s good night -

wi thout allusi on to her remark .


26 4 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

Deni son s voi ce in a sleepy heavy tone answered


, , ,

What i s it Come in
.

The Arab entered and found h im in bed evi ,

d e nt ly just wakened up and rubbing hi s eyes vague


ly. When he learned of h i s wife s escapade, he

got up i mmedi ately and went to her People had .

ret urned to their rooms by thi s time Mrs Deni . .

son s mai d was bathi ng her ankle and Deni son



, ,

si tting down by the b e d exclaimed ,


What has happened ! Were you walking in
your sleep E ni d ! What i s all thi s ! You are
,

hurt

Yes my ankle ! But Harry why d i d you
, , ,

scream for help


He gaz ed at her w ith extreme surpri se .


Are you dream ng i i
he sa d I was asleep .


sound asleep .


But I heard you she persi sted
,
You woke .

me That i s why I rushed out and hurt myself


. .

You called agai n and agai n just outsi de my door



and other people heard cri es .

They must have heard yours then Dear ,


.

child you have had the ni ghtmare


,
.

He bent over her foot .


A re you i n great pa n ! he asked wi th an
i
unusual tenderness .


Y es It i s sprained I shall have to see the
. .
AN IMAGINATIV E MAN . 265

doctor I suppose to morrow Oh, and to morrow


, ,
- .
-


we are going .


If you can travel Denis on sai d doubtfully ,
.

A sudden strange look came into hi s wife s face


.

She ushed deeply stared at h i m with a hard al


, ,

most hungry vi olence then glanc e d at the mai d , ,

who conti nued m echani cally to di p the sponge in


the basin and squeeze the water out over her m is
tress s foot

.

She opened her li ps as if to speak then closed ,

them again At last lyi ng back on the pillow she


.
, ,

said qui etly and in a low voi ce



I will be well enough .

We shall see repli ed her husband casting



, ,

another glance of keen compas sion upon her .

Th e doctor s verdi ct impressed upon Mrs D e ni



.

son the absolute necessity of keeping quiet for at


least a week and wi th a burst of chil dis h tears she
, , ,

ung herself back on the sofa as he left the room .

She was bitterly jealous now and a horrible sus ,

pi cion had forced itself into her min d Sh e b e .

li e ve d that her husband had descended to a base


and b rutal tri ck in order to prolong thei r stay at
the hotel She felt certain of it Hi s ruse of the
. .

previ ous ni ght had succeeded to perfecti on He .

might have maimed her He di d not care so long .

as she was a pri soner and he was free to di sappear


26 6 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

wi th Mrs Ai ntree to the golf links in the plain or


.
-

to the wastes of the desert She buri ed her li ttle .

dark head i n the cushi ons and sobbed as if her heart


would break The pai n in her ank le w as acute
.
,

but that was as nothi ng to the agony in her mind .

There was somethi ng so appalli ngly cold blooded so -


,

calmly sini ster about the transacti on of the ni ght ;


and the theatri cal demonstrati on of sympathyso
she called it to herselfthat followed it s complete
success She shuddered She was daz ed How
. . .

i nfatu ated w i th passi on her husband must be to


change so radi cally so suddenly in natu re She
, , .

sobbed and sobbed her very heart out For it must .

be passi on and Mrs Aintree must be the object of


, .

it Looking round in search of a reason for Deni


son s conduct Eni d could see but one
.


,
thi s mother
of a dy ing son It was t rue that her suspi ci ons
.

roused so long before h ad not found very much to


feed upon When Deni son and Mrs Ai ntree were
.

togetherand Eni d watched theme ven her anx


.

i ous eyes detected little that was lover li ke in their -

behavi our But there had been moments there


.
,

had been in ci d ents whi ch assi sted her to arrive at a


,

convi cti on that her ne w acti ve jealousy was well


founded Deni son s detected abse nce fro m h is
.

room at ni ght hi s presence wi th Mrs Ai ntree in


,
.

the corri dor long after the other h ad vani shed on


,
2 68 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

vi sed i t and carri ed it out He knew it to be a


.

clu msy school boy plot a sort of booby trap a


-
, ,

dastardly contemptible acti on He di d not care


,
. .

It w as a chance and it succeeded All he did care .

about was to gai n ti me to stave off the moment of


,

depart ure He could not go on the morrow He


. .

could not leave the mystery he loved The con .

trolli ng power that all sane persons possess and that ,

constantly holds them back from a thousand folli es


folli es born in their mi nds to d i e there without
attaini ng the adult stage from whi ch immedi ate ac
ti on results had deserted him He was powerless to .

di rect hi s course powerless to stay the stealthy ood


,

of desire that had for days for weeks been creep


, ,

ing up and up over hi s senses until brain heart and


, , ,

soul were drown ed in it s tu rbulent waters All his


,
.

reasoni ng power w as now devoted to one Object s

the devi si ng of fresh plans to prolong hi s stay near


the Sphi nx The acci dent that had happened to
.

E ni d would only keep her a pri soner for a week .

The doctor had sai d so What was to be done then


.

He did not acti vely consi der for the practi cal was
,

at all ti mes unattracti ve to hi s mind and more ,

especi ally so in hi s present condi ti on And he was .

a haun ted man haunted by a memory that conti nu


,

ally recurredthe memory of the night progress


through Cai ro whi ch had ended in Guy Ai ntree s
,

AN IMAGINATIVE M AN . 269

ghastly t of illness The wearily dancing horrors


.

of li fe m oved to the pipes that wailed in the danc


in g quart er The lighted interi ors repeating them
.

selve s as the carri age met them in it s onward prog


,

ress imi tated by vi rtu e of thei r sameness the


, , ,

interi ors each man peeps into as he wanders do w n


the years An d from each Deni s on told him self
.
, ,

come dancing gi rls ali ke in allurement in greed i n


-
, , ,

i mpotence to grant any lastin g 0 y painted and


, ,

tired tri cked out in a j in gli ng n e ry that removed


, , , ,

l e aves behi nd i t a degraded nudi ty .

Always a pessimi st by temperament always a ,

consti t uti onal cy ni c as another man may be a con


,

st it u t i onal consumpti ve Deni son seemed in Egyp t


,

to have reached the end of his tether the limi ts of ,

hi s powers of pas si ve end urance Hi s declarat i on .

of envy of Guy was not a pose It was tragically .

real For Guy was going do w n into silence was


.
,

passi ng out of the dancing quarter away from the ,

posturing gures and the min or musi c Deni son .

t h ou gh t t h at by hi s death the boy would attai n to a


, ,

strange proximi ty wi th the great silence whi ch sym


b oli ze d all that was opposed to the folli es hum an
beings loved and fought for Guy who cared .
,

nothing and feared everythi ng li ke a chil d who


fears the darkness was selected by the hi dden
,

Power who dri ves the chari ot Of li fe and time as


18
2 70 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

the chosen captive of death and Deni son was con ,

t e mpt u ou sly passed over and left hati ng all that ,

Guy loved Those who want to di e li ve The de


. .

sire defeats it s accompli shment Deni son brooded .

on all thi s whi le Eni d lay in her bed or on the sofa , ,

im agi ning him w rapped up in the vulgar concerns


of a passi onate in trigue And Mrs Aintree min
. .

i st e re d to her dyi ng son who was a prey to name


,

less terrors but strove to mask his mental agony


,

w i th an assum pti on of deance that was inni tely

patheti c .

And beyond this play of emoti on p assions de , ,

sp ai rs beyond thi s desi re for death this lon ing for


, g ,

lif e lay the cah n image hew n by men yet greater


, ,

than men watching far Off things ; waiting for un


,
-

i magined events aloof in a strength that d rew the


,

homage of the wondering world, and heeded it not

Despite th e turmo il of her mind E ni d s health ,


improved The foot w as better ; the swelling b e


.

gan to subsi de Roses glowed once more in the


.

soft ch ecks that h ad been so pale Deni son watched .

thi s return to convalescence wi th a benumbing


horror He seldom spoke now and h ad ceased to
.
,

exercis e a contin ual watchfuln ess over h is mann er .

M ore than one new arri val at the hotel began to


272 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

imagined only a general mental condi ti on whi ch


had been gradually approaching perhaps through ,

many years whi ch founded itself upon took i t s ris e


, ,

from many causes some of them alm ost inconceiv


, ,

ably m inute .

Speech began to seem to Deni son now a sort of


deli berate crime a sin against that mi ghty creati on
,

of dumbness on whi ch he waited by night and day


as a slave waits on t he bi ddi ng of h i s master For .

in the glare of the E gyp ti an su n he was at this time


perpet ually to be seen moving about over the sands
with an elaborately desultory air and slow ho ver , ,

ing footsteps The Arabs knowi ng that he was


.
,

staying at Mena Hous e ceased to worry him re


, ,

s ervi ng their attenti ons for the yi ng touri s ts who


came to the Pyrami ds on the wing poi sed them ,

s elves an hour or two under their shad ows and ,

itt e d away before eveni ng fell Wh en a ock of


.

sight seers appeared uttering gui de books and full


-
,
-

of quest i ons Deni son strolled on as if taking a qui et


,

walk On their depart ure in a cloud of sand he


.
,

stealthi ly retur ned and resumed hi s wanderi ng near


the being who enthralled hi m .

It was a strange mani a that had hold upon


h im but no one sus pected it
,
Eni d s fears ran in
.

another di recti on Deni son only pai d occasi onal


.

and bri ef vis its to the room that was her pri son .
AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN . 273

D uring h is long absences she was racked w ith ah

surd suspi ci ons Sometimes she medi tated dari ng


.

all things summoning her courage and appealing


,

boldly to Mrs Ai ntree But E ni d s courage re


. .

fused to come at her call She procrastinated fee.

bly and ended by gi ving herself up to silent, lonely


,

weepi ng An d h er husband s extraordinary silences


.

whe n he d id come to see her alarmed and puzzled


her She could not accoun t for them and began to
.
,

tremble and wonder if the y had thei r root in a


,

grow ing hatred of Deni son for herself When he .

sat by her she scarcely dar ed to speak to h im or ,

e ven to look at h im When he came he brought


.

fear wi th hi m .

As the seven days sli pped by a ghastly pallor


ov rspread D e nis on s face and a hungry anxiety
e

,

was born and increase d in hi s eyes He hated Eni d .

more and more as he observed her gradual complete


retu rn to her normal conditi on of health He per .

mi tt e d her to x the day of thei r departure and she ,

never noti ced the furtive glance of i mmeasurable


anger that he cast at her from under hi s drooping
eyeli ds as she d id so Despite h is perpetual brood
.

ing over the matter he had not been able to hi t


,

upon another plan for postponing the tragedy of


h is fare well with the desert spi ri t he madly wor
shi pped .
2 74 AN IM AGINA T IVE MAN .

An d so the last eveni ng fell upon h im and ,

found h im un pr e pared perplexed E ni d was well


,
.

e nough to come down She din ed wi th hi m at the


.

small table he had taken possessi on of and now , ,

when she saw him once more wi th other people


n e ar hi m and could compare on the spot his de
, , ,

me anou r wi th the i rs she was forci bly struck by the


,

un natur al stony gravi ty of i t and by the dead pal


, ,

lor of hi s face .

She had put on her pretti est gow n to do honour


to the occas i on whi ch ought surely to be a li ttle
festival So she h ad hum bly thought as her maid
.
,

decked out her dainty sli ght gure and arranged


her beautiful hair The invali d who comes down
.

for the rst tim e is full of a pleas ant human sense


Of trium ph .

E ni d had smi led to the reecti on in her mirror


a sweet gentle gi rl in whi te wi th wi stful eyes
,

that wanted to be welcomed But there w as no .

smi le in h e r eye s as she join ed her husband in the


di ning room
- One glance at h i m bani shed any
.

trembli ng hope of peace She suddenly felt h orri .

bly u nsafe wi th hi m Duri ng her days of re treat


.

she had ami d all her e alou si e s stri ven persistently


to kill one the worst
, ,

of her suspi ci ons She h ad .

e ven grasped at and held a certai n stren th of mi nd


g
to assist h e r in the attempt She would not allow .
276 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

hold it back from th e performance o f some vi olent


acti on.

As they left t h e di ni ng room aft e r dinner, Mrs


-
.

Ain tree w as passing through the hall She stopped .

to speak to them , but E ni d hurri ed away wi th a


sort Of fri ghtened rudeness The other woman was
.

too obvi ously preoccupi ed to noti ce or resent it .

Deni son stood coldly to li s te n t o h er .

Guy is much worse she sai d It is possible



.
,


that h e that he will not li ve through the ni ght .

Weary and abstracted in her gri ef though she


w as , she noti ced an expressi on of anger cross D eni

son s face What coul d possibly be the cause of it !
.

H e stood staring at her without speaking At last .

h e sai d wi th apparent effort :



And he wi shes t o l ve !
i
A smile hovered on hi s lips, and he turned away

She had scarcely di sappeared, before Eni d came


from the publ i c drawi ng room -
.


Good night Harry sh e sai d nervously ; I
-
, ,


am ti red ; I shall go to bed .

He nodded Eni d sat down when she reached


. .

her bedroom and burst into tears Terror over .

maste red her What could be the matter ! Had


.

she become utt erly hateful to her husband ! She


b egan to look forward t o their Nile tri p wi th appre
AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN . 2 77

h e nsion, ins tead Of


with joy Before she got i nto .

bed w i th a whi te face she crept to her door and


, ,

locked it She was afrai dhorribly afrai d


. .

Meanwhi le Denison was on the verand a of the


hotel alone He had walked out mechani cally wi th
.

hi s cigar case in hi s han d followi ng the example of


-
,

several men who were chatting and ch ai ng gaily


, ,

emulating each other in the relati on of tales sui table


to the sacred and holy after dinner hour These - .

gathered together in a group bending dis creetly ,

forward lest their war of w i t and w is dom shoul d


,

be heard afar Deni son sat down at as great a


.

di stance from them as possible He still held .

hi s cigar case but he forgot to smoke


-
,
He .

was preparing hi mself for an ordeal for a ,

part ing.

It was no longer a season of moonli ght The .

night was di m though full of stars and the wi nd


, ,

was warm and gentle and impregnated wi th the,

fragrance of the green Nile land It whis pered .

and si ghed in the sentinel acaci a trees that stretched -

away i n ri gid lines from the verge of the desert


'

towards the minarets of Cai ro It soun ded in the .

leaves li ke the vo ice of one weeping Denis on ,

thought He li stened to it breathlessly trying to


.
,

thi nk a human despair into it s vague and furtive


2 78 AN IMAGINA T IVE MAN .

utterance that rose and di ed waveri ngly as if sup ,

pressi ng itself in fear Of an un sympatheti c li stener .

M echani cally he sat there until he seemed thor


oughly and closely at one wi th the night wi th it s ,

ethereal half li ght it s myste ry it s suggesti ve du mb


, ,

ness H is head was bent low and hi s eyes gazed


.
,

straight before him to the whi te road that wound to


the great Py ramid Hi s mi nd sank gradually into
.

one of those waking dreams that overtake the


thoughtful or the unh appy in moments of deep si
lence in the warmth of a tender twili ght, in the
,

shadow of the cahn darkness .

A ri ddle ! H is whole lif e was that and so was


,

the most comm onplace li fe of the most comm on


place man His lif e was only in it s many phases
.
, ,

a repeti ti onwi th some slight alterati ons perhaps


o f a thous and other li ves that had run their
,

course ; been li ghted by an unseen hand and ex


t i ngui sh e d when their faint illum
,

inati on was no
longer necessary to the world Deni son was sud
.

d enly seiz ed by a erce u nreasoni ng anger as he


dwelt upon thi s thought of repetiti on that had come
to h im To merely reproduce in min d and in deeds
.

the m in ds and deeds of dead people to vary in no


,

respect from the previ ous procedure of thous ands ,

to tread the same path as they had trodden and ,

cease to tread it as they h ad ceasedthi s angered


2 80 AN IMA GINA T IV E M AN .

pri vacy of the night Walking on w i th an e ven .

step he qui ckly came out upon the arid stoney


,

ground on whi ch the G reat Pyrami d stands and as ,

he d id so a new win d met hi m abruptly a wind ,

pur e keen i nte nsely d ry the w ind of the wastes


, , ,

that wanders to and fro over the monotonous sands


for ever .

It seemed to accompany hi m as he walked to ,

whi sper that it knew his silent i ntenti on to y on ,

before him and gi ve not i ce of h is comi ng His .

footsteps sti rring the loose small stones creat ed a


, ,

thi n grating nois e in the si lence .

He hated them for that He desir ed ut t er soun d .

lessness .

In the di stance the pari ah dogs barked monoto


nou sly on the hard mud walls of the village in the

plain If someone woul d only st rangle their howl


. :

ing voi ces i n their lean thr oats !


Dow n there outsi de the hotel he thought
, , ,

those men are still in the veranda t elli ng their


stori es each one trying to emulate the other to be a
, ,

li ttle more coarse to i ntroduce a stronger strain of


,

wi tless i mpropri ety into hi s narrat ive An d insi de .

the house the women are gathered whi spering the ,

latest hotel scandal and being occasi onally inte r


,

ru t e d
p by the squalling of some inept modern ,

ballad And so i t h as gon e on night after ni ght


.
AN IMAGINA T I VE MAN .
2 81

for years and wi ll go on for years to come Wh at


,
.

must the beautiful silent things think of us And


we can enjoy our monotony of li fe we can nd
worth and even excitement in it How strange ! .

We are greatest after all when we are sleeping


, ,

.

Hewalked on furti vely un til he neared the hol


low in whi ch the Sphi nx crouches It was early in
.

the night and once or twi ce he saw in the darkness


,

the gli ding form Of a robed Arab st e ah ng away i nto


the vague shadows like a ghost seen in a dream
,
.

And at length he paused as the sand sank abruptly


,

down before him and the di m outli ne of the huge


, ,

weary gure that the night only parti ally revealed


, ,

met hi s eyes .

TO morrow he was going away from thi s mighty


-

S pirit of power and of silence i nto the noi se and the

recurrent chatter of the world .

Could he go
His brows contracted above hi s morose eyes .

His feat u res were gray and d rawn like the features
of a dyi ng man I n hi s heart there was a ke e ner
.

agony than the agony of a lover parting fro m the


woman whose breathing form and mobile expres ,

sive face he worshi ps Yet no tears came to h i s


.

eyes There was a solemni ty in hi s min d that kept


.

them back Tears are for those that speak not for
.
,

those that are sile nt .


282 AN IMAGINA T IVE MA N .

Away there in the hotel Eni d shut close in a , ,

narrow room shrouded i n a whi te cage w i th yi eld


,

ing wall s was sleepin g


,
In a few hours she would
.

wake would sprin g up eagerly would immerse her


, ,

self in the fus sy pleasures of departure They .

woul d dri ve in to Cair o through the crowd of scream


ing Egypti ans hustli ng among the laden camels the
, ,

marchi ng E ngli sh soldi ers the gay ri ders bound


,

for the race course The wealthy Turks perched i n


-
.
,

Vi ctori as behind their magni cent Rus sian horses ,

woul d dash by them The beggars would dart i m


.

p ortu nat ely at thei r si de clamouri ng for money At .

the corner, by the caf as you turn over the bri dge
, ,

the groups of b rightly clad Sars would be standing


di scussing the demerits of thei r masters On the .

broad ri ver the swarming boats would jostle each


other black w ith people herded together like cattle
,
.

The bugles would yell from the barracks of the


army of occupati on Ami d a clas h of arms and a
.

clatter of galloping horses the Khedi ve would dri ve


past from Kou bb eh Cook s touri sts woul d be mak
.

ing in crowds for the landing stage on the waste -

round beh i nd the B ri t i sh Agency The s u nsh ine


g .

of the morning would be full of uproar .

Could he go
An d then a erce unreas oning anger against
,

Guy took hold of h im He hated him because he


.
2 84 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

sym pathy from someone some reci proci ty however


, ,

slight Wh y not in animate creati on also !


.

Was not thi s great spi rit Of the sands and the
Old years stri vi ng to w hi sper to h im it s secret

Could he leave it to face the vacancy of the comi ng


ages ! Was he not part of it at one with it in ,

mind and so become one of the li m bs of it s soul !


,

He shuddered He feared lest it would nd a


.

voi ce and so lower itself to the level of arti culate


,

thi ngs .

But as he li stened the faint sound of the breath


,

ing ceased .

The pari ah dogs barked .

There was no other nois e in the ni ght .

S ilence ! He wi shed to i mmerse him self in th e


S ilence of the bei ng he loved .

He could not leave it on the morrow .

Suddenly he stole down the steep side of the


hollow wi th a qui ckeni ng step He rushed through .

the darkness and in Silence he dashed hi mself with


, , , ,

arms stretched out as if in an embrace agai nst the


, ,

mighty rock that h as d e ed the perpetual int angible


embrace of the gli di ng ages .
CHAPT ER XV II .

T H AT night Eni d could not sleep She was too .

sad and too frightened Al l sense of stability had


.

left her She lay tre mbling and wondering nu m


.
,

b e rle s s melancholy thoughts and suspi ci ons stealin g


through h e r mind .

She li stened steadfastly for h e r husband s foot

steps as mi dnight drew near It passed and they .


,

d i d not come Then agai n jealousy rushed to the


.

front Where was he ! She longed to know One


. .

O clock struck and two Still Eni d tosse d wearily



.
,

about on her pillows coming gradually to a resolu


,

ti on unusually bold and deci si ve Presently she got .

up and began with an odd deliberati on to d ress ,

carefully She stood in front of the glass and ar


.

ranged her hai r She d id not permi t herself to


.

hurry At last every de tail of her toilet was com


.

ple t e
. She might have been goi ng do w n to break
fast in the sunshi ne ; but outsi de all was dark and ,

wi thin the house all was Silent Pressing her lips .

together she took up her candle and opened her


,

door The corri dor was black and empty


. .

19 28 5
2 86 AN IMAGINA T IVE M AN .

She went to her husband s bedroom turned the


,

handle of hi s door and entered She knew he would .

not be there yet she glanced ro u nd vacantly wi th a


, ,

crushi ng sense of mis ery on n di ng the room de ,

sert e d the bed untouched


,
In that b ri ef moment of .

hesi tati on she deci ded what Sh e w as going to do .

E merging i nto the corri dor again she traversed it , ,

t u rned to the left down another long pas sage and ,

presently stopped before the roo m occupi ed by Mrs .

Aintree . She struck on the door twi ce wi thout


gaining an ans wer Then Sh e kn ocked louder On
. .

thi s the door of the next room on the ri ght Opened


and Mrs Aintree stood i n the aperture in a loose
.

dressing go w n lookin g white and weary A d im


-
,
.

li ght shone at her back an d a gaspin g sound of dif ,

cult breathi ng seemed to ll the li t Space The two .

women faced one another .

W hat i s i t !
Mrs Ai ntree whi spered . .


Wh ere is my husband ! Eni d whi spered back

.

An exp ressi on of astoni shment came into the


other woman s eyes
.

Wh y do you come here to ask ! she sai d still



'

in a suppressed voi ce and wi th a half abstrac ted air


,
-

of lis tenin g to the labo u red breathi ng behi nd her .


H e is wi th y ou Eni d whis pered pas si onate ly
,
.

I know i t .

Mrs Ai ntree di d not even look angry She sim


. .
D. A PPL ETO N C O S PU BL I C A TI O NS
.

.

H E G O D S , S OME MOR TAL S , AN D L ORD


WI CK EN II A M . By JO H N O L IV ER H O BBES . Wi t h Po rtr ai t .

1 2 mo . Cl tho ,

uth o r o f S o m e Em o tio ns and a Mo ral p res e nt s in th is b oo k h e r


Th e a

m o s t a mbiti o u s w o rk S h e h as w ritte n no t a s tudy no co ll cti o n o f e p i


.
, , r a e

gr m s but a c o m p le t e no ve l i n w h ic h s h e h as go n d e p r and furth e r th an


a ,
e e e
i n ny p re vi o u s e say
a H e r brill ia ncy o f t h o u gh t a nd s ty l is famili ar but
. . e ,

h e ad m ire rs w ll nd a ne w fo rc e i n t h e s u s t ai ne d p w r w it h w h ic h s h e h as
r r o e

d ra w n so m e r e m arka ble ch a ra ct e rs and w o rke d o t an imp ress i ve t h e m e u .

O G
M YR TL E A N D PEA Z By S R C RO C K E T I

. . . .

U ni fo rm
t Lil S b
wi h t I 2 mo
Th e Clo th S L SO ac un onn e

. . , .

T h e i dy llic ch a rm o f T h e L il a c S u nb o nne t re app ea rs i n t h i s fas ci na ti ng


p icture of t h e qu a i nt h um o r t h e s t e r n c o nvi cti o n and t h e p as i ng s h ad o w s ,


s

o f S c o t ti s h life Mr C r o cke tt h as made h i s p l ace and re ad e rs nee d no i ntro


,

. .
,
d ucti on t o h is w o rk .

N TH E F I RE OF T H E F OR G E A Ro m anc e .

o f O ld N u r e m b e r g B y G EO R G E ER
B S a ut r
h o o f Cl p tr
.e o a a
"
, ,

Egy p t ian Pri nce ss l


"
I mo .

An , e t c. In 2 vo s.

r m c tr
D r. Eb e rs s ne w o an e rt r d r m di
ans p o s the ea e to e aeva N e e g, l ur mb r
and d ict lif
ep s im ri l fr cit
e in t h e pe a eec c
y a t t h e o mm e n e m e n o f t h e H ap s
~ t
bu r y ty
g d nas l it i i ictu r
It s pages g o w w h v v d p
. es o f t h e O en a s of ld d y
c i lry
h va ,
c r ct r
and i t s k i t bl k
h a a e s are n gh s , n o es , m o n s , n u ns , a a e ns , f ir m id
t ci m rc t
i an
and t h e p a r e t t l y m till l d t
h an s w h os e s a e h o es s en he p es e ir ictur qu
c r ur mb r
ha m to th e N e e g o f t o -d ay .

Ml A j ES T Y
a e t d
rzm o .
b y A T EIXEIR A
Cl th
.

.
A N ow ! . By L O U IS C O U PERU S T rans
D E MATTO S and ER N EST D O W SO N
.

o , $ r oo . .

N o no ve li t w h m w
s o e c an c lla to mi nd h v r giv n t h as e e e e wo rld uch m t r s a as e

pi f r y l p rtr itur u u p ru triki ng r m n c t itl d M j ty


L o is C o

e ce o o a o a e as e s s s o a e en e a es .

Ph ilad e lp h i a Reco rd
c N
.

A ve ry p ow e rful and cl e ve rly w ritt r en o man e .



ew Yo r k Ti m es .

M In it
A S T ER AN D
Cl t h 7 5 c nt
I mo . o

im p licit y f rc nd d ir ct n th i n w w rk
s s o
,

e, a
e
MA N
s.

e e ss
. By C o u nt L EO T O L S T O Y

s e o cti o n by T o l s t o y
of
.

w ill t k ah i gh r nk m ng h i
e a h rt r t l
a Th r i a o s s o e a es . e e s no i n i s t e nce u p o n a
s

m r l bu t t h imp r i n l ft b y t h t l i n n t h l
o a , e ess o e e a e s o e e ess p r o fo u nd .

H E Z EI T r
T G EI S T . By L . D O U G AL L , au t h o of

Me rm ai d
Th e B e gga r s All e t c ,
"
I mo Cl o th 7 5 c e n t s ,

. . , .

Mi s s D o u gall h as w ritte n a ch armi ng and th o u gh tful s t o ry i n T h e Z e it


G e is t w h ich w ill not b e fo rgo tt e n by t h e r ead e r It s s u gge s ti o ns are o f p e .

cu li at i nte re s t at a ti m e w h e n t h e s ubj cts to uch e d u p o n are i n s o m any mm d s e .

N e w Y o rk : D . A PPLE T O N CO .,
72 F i fth Avenue .
D . APPL ET O N C O S . PU BL I C AT I O NS .

O U N D THE [BE D L AMP


R auth o r f T h e White C omp ny
o a
.

,

By A C O N A N D O Y L E,
T h e Ad
.

v e nt ure s of She r
l ck H l m
o T h R f ge s
o et c es ,
"
e e u e ,
"
. I zm o . Cl th o ,

Th e p tr d r "
Re d L am , t h e a e -ma k , as w e e , of t h e En s oun r a o ne s it r gli h c t y pr ctiti r

c c tr l p i t th dr
o f e , is t h e en a o n of ese am a s o es o f o e s s o na e T e e are no tic t ri pr f i l lif hr .

rg
s c c re Ls for t h e s u r
e o n, a nd , a s u g e o n ms e as w e as a no e s , t h e au o h as hi lf ll v li t th r
d t rti tic
m a e a mo s a s tiv
u s e o f t h e mo es and s r n s o f a on e ea e t o h im in a e d pi g cti r v l d l
of w hich tr
h e is t h e mas e .
A v l m f b i ght cl v r k tch r y f f ct nd f nci dic l
rk L d 2 m D ily N
o u e o r e e s e e s, a n a ra o a s a a e s of me a
lf f t h gi ft d th r b tw
,
"
nt m m
I

i e, and co a s so e o e e au o s es o . on a ew s .

S U MMER M W
A FL A SH OF
F O R D au th o r o f
, L o v e L e tt e rs
.

of a
By
Worl d ly Wom an
rs . . K .

,
"
C L IF
Au nt
Anne ,

e t c. 1 2 m0 . Clo th ,

ry ll w ritt n nd inter ting tl limpid nd p r fr


wa tr e
Th e
,
s o
t
a nd 15 s o a
is w e
rti ti c lly d n th t i t nly
s a
e
o e
a
a is o
es , t h e s y e is
a s e on c d th ght th t n tic it
ou a
a
o
u e as
es .
"

S
h
es
an

H E [I L A C S U N B ONN E T A l low S t ory . . By


S R . . C RO C K ETT tho f
Th S ti ckit Mi ni s t
,
"
au r o e e r,

Th e
Rai d e rs Cl th

,t IZ n e c. r o. o ,

l v t ry p r nd impl on f t h ld f hi n d w h l m n hiny k ind


A o - as o e
w ith p r
e s o u e a s e, e o e o o es o e , su s
mi nd d nd h rt d h r nd h r i w h i m r l y g d nd b ti
, ,

a u e e sou - ea e e o, a a e o ne o s e e a oo a e au

nd if ny th r l v t ry h lf w t h b n w ri tt n thi y r it h
,

f lw m an o a e
N w Y k T m
u o a a e o e s o so s ee as ee s ea as
cpd
es a e us .
"
e or
'

z es .

A EL CH O . B y t h e H o n EMI L Y L A W L ES S , . au t h o r
of Gran i a,
"
H u rri s h ,
"
e t c. I zm o . Clo th ,

p r d x f lit r ry g ni

A a a It
:
o o e a e us. is no t a i t ry nd y t h m r f th t d
h s o a e as o e o e s u
f hi t ry in it m r f t h tr l ch r ct r and f t th n ny hi t r c l m n
,

o s o n tm o e o e ue a na a a e a e, a a s o i a o o
gr ph w kn w I t i n t n v l m r th n ny n v l
,
"
a e o . s o a o e ,
a nd y t f m t e as c a es us o e a a o e .

L o u do n Sp ect a to r .

H E LAND OF THE S U ZV Vis t a s Mexzt anas .


'

By C H R I I
ST AN REID au th o r o f
Th e L a nd o f t h e S k y
"
A , ,

C ome dy o f Elo pe me nt . e t c I llu s t rat e d I zmo Cloth


"
. . . ,

In t h i p i ct r
s tra v l romanc t h e au t h o r of T h e L nd o f t h e S ky
u es q ue e e a

ta kes h e ch aract e r fro m N e w O rl ns t o fas ci n t ing Me x ica n ci t i e s li ke


r s ea a

G an aju a t o Z acat e cas Agu as C ali e nt


u G uad l aj a r and f cc s e t h e C i ty es , a a, ! ur

o f M e xic o W h at t h e y s a nd w h at t h y d o a e d es cr ibed in a vivamous


, ,

. ee e r

s ty l w h i ch r e nde rs t h e b o ok m os t v al uab l e t o t h o se w h o w i s h an i nt e r es t ng
e i

Me xica n tr av l b oo k u n nc mb r e d w ith d e t a il s w h i l e t h e s to r y as a s tory


e - e u e ,

s u s ta ins t h e hi gh r e p u t a t i o n o f th is t al e nt e d au t h or .

N ew York : D APPL ET O N
. C C .. 7 2 F f i th Avenu e .
D . APPLET O N C O S PU BL I C AT I O N S .
.

N O V EL S BY H AL L C AI N E .

HE MAN XzII AZV mo


T C lo t h ,
. 1 2 .

comp r bl nly t H w th rn S c rl t L tt r
t ry f marv lo dr m tic int n ity and in its thic l m ni ng h fare

A s o o e us a a e s ,
I!
e a ea as a
B t n B

a a e o o n a o e s a e e e . os o eac o .

A w rk f p w r w hich is n th r t n dd d t o th e fo nd t i n f nd ring f m
i y arly add ing

o o o e a o e s o e a e u a o o e u a
to w h i ch M r C i
"
P bl Opi ni n
'

. a ne s e . u zc o .


A w nd rf lly tr ng t dy f ch r ct r ;
o e u ow f l n ly i of th
s ol mn s u o a a e a er u a a s s ose e e e
w h ch g t m k tr ngth nd w kness a man w hi ch t rc w far
.

i p th o o a e u e s e a ea 0 are a e e ar
W th i n t h m br t ; co nt nding gains t ch th e r it w r t h n t r i hi
,
i e sa e e as e a ea o . as e e, e o e o a se
to f m nd p w r t h
a e a th r t dr g h im d w n t o d gradati n nd h m N v r i
o e , e o e o a o e o a s a e. e e
th wh l
e r ng f li t r t r h v w
o e a n th tr ggl b tw n t h
e o e a u e a e e se e e s u e e ee e se
pr m cy v r t h m n mo r p w rf lly m r al is it c lly d lin t d th n M r L in
p ct r t t
su e a o e e a e o e u , ore e a e ea e a . a
"
i B t n H me y
u es . n l os o o ou r a .

TM Roma nce
H E D EEMS TER . A o f I sle o
a n. I amo . Cloth ,

H all Cai ne has


lr ady giv n a e e us some v ry tr ng nd fi n w rk nd Th
e s o a e o .a

De m t r e
t ry o f n
s e lp w r
'
is a s o u us ua o e C rt in p s g nd ch pt r h v
e a a sa es a a e s a e a

trt r:
.

m t n ly dram ti c g
e se p nd h ld th a ra fas cin t d re ad r w ith f rc r r ly excit
now d y n l e
s a o e a e e a o e a e e


,
a a7 7 C iti
s I i a u e 1 r c.

On f th tr ng t n vel w hich
e o e s o es o s has a pp r d in m ny
ea e a a d ay .
"
S au F ra n

F as na e s ci t th e m ind lik e th e g th i ng
a er and b r ti ng
u s of a s orm.
"
t l llus lra lt


L ond o n N e w s .

D rv ese es to be r anke d am on g th e r e ma rk ble a no e s vl of the d ay .
"
C/ncag
'

HE B O N D MA N . N ew e d it io n. 1 2 mo . C lo t h

Th e w e th is t ry h ch r d nd to ch d m b t I am co n
lc o me g iv en to s o as ee e a u e e, u
sc io th t t w in re ce pti on w rm ch bo k m t h v h d r d r w h
us a o a so a su a o us a e a ea e s
bro ght t it m ch as th y t k w y
u o
,
as I h v c ll d my t ry g m re l
u e oo a a
,
a e a e s o a sa a, e
bc it f ll w t h pic m th d nd I m t n t clai m f i t t ny p i nt t h w ight
.

e a use o o s e e e o a us o or a a o e e
f hi t ry blig ti n t t h w rld of f ct B t it m tt rs n
,
re p n nlity
s o s i o s o o r se r ous o a o s o e o a . u a e o
t o m w h t I c l nd r m y c ll Th B nd m n if th y w ill h n r m by r di ng it i )
,

e a e a e s a a e o a e o o e ea

p n h rt d pi it n d w ith t h fr mi nd w ith w hich th y c nt nt r d 0


,

th o e e -
ea e s r a e ee e are o e to ea
nd f h i ght s w ith t h T r ll I" m t / e
"
G tt re tr a o s P f e o . ro z re ace .

AP T N D A V Y S H OA E YMO ON A Mam
C

.

Ya m . 1 2 mo Pap e r 50 c e n ts ; cl o th .
. ,

d p rt r by thi th r U nlik h i p vi w rk thi littl t l i


A ne w e a u e s au o e s re ous o s, s e a e t
d rn t h I t i no
.

alm t w h lly h m r
os w ith h w v roc rr nt f p h u o ous , o e e a u e o at os un e ea s

i gh M r H ll Caine w o ld b n f t h e xc pti n
.

al w th t n th r can cc ed q lly w ll in t g dy nd in c m dy b t it l ok
, ,

a s a a au o su e e ua e ra e a o e , u o :
"
as tl ou . L nd n L i t
a y u e o e o e e o s. o o e ra r

I t i pl s eas an tt o t
m e e th e au th r o of Th e D ee ms tr e in a b ightly h r u mo rous Iit tlt
t ry lik thi
s o e s. I t h ow
Ph il d
s s t h e sa me o b rv ti
se a on of Ma nx ch r ct r a a e and mu on ch
rti ti c ki ll
,
"
th m e sa e a s s . a t lf lzi a Ti m es .

N ew Yo rk : D . APPL ET O N CO ., F f i th Av e nu e .
APPL ETO N C O S PU BL I C ATI O NS

D . . .

G I L B ERT PA RK ER S B ES T B O O K S

.


Mr Park e r h as b e e n d m o r e th n nc nd i n q u rt
n am e e rs of
LO N D O N L ITER A RY WO R L D
. a o e, a a

re p u t e t h e c o mi ng man

. .
,

Too 7 7 65 2 7 o
f M o S w ord .

Pape r 50 , ce nt s l ; c ot h ,

P h i la d elph i a B u llet i n .
Mr . Pa rk e r h e re a dd s to a re p u ta ti on already w ide and anew ,

dm e o ns trate s h is po w e r of p ict o ri al p o rtraya l a nd o f s tr o ng d ramatic


s itu a tio n and climax .

P Ti mes .
'

zt t s b u rg

Th e ta l e ld s t h e re ade r s i nte re s t fro m rs t t o l as t fo r it is full


ho
'
,

of re and S p irit ab o u nd i ng i n i nci d e nt and m a rke d b y go o d c h a r a c


, ,

t e r d aw ng r i .
"

Paper 50 , c e nt s ; c ot h ,l
h e Cr i t i c .
T
t r t
In e es , p h , o e , it f rc and ch rmMr Park e r s ne w s t o ry p os a .

s e s ses all h ese a tes qu liti A l m o t b r e o f s y n t h e tica l d e c o r ti n


. s a a o ,

r r
h is pa ag ap h s are s ng tirri b e c u s t h e y a e r l \V re d at tim s
a e r ea e a e

r t m as t e rs o f rom anc e breat h l ss l y


.

r
as w e h ave ead t h e g e a e .

A d ve n zs e r .
'

B

os t on

G ilb e rt Pa rke r write s a s trong nove l but th u s fa th i s , r is h is m as


t e rp ie ce . It i s one of t h g a t nove l s o f t h e y ear
e re .

Fle xib le c l o t h , 75 c e nt s .
k o N a t i on .
T
b ook w h ich no one w ill b e s ti s ed t o p u t

A a d ow n u ntil th e e nd
h as b e e n m att e r of ce rt ai nt y and ass ur an ce

H o me y o u r mz l
B os t o n .


A s or t y o f re m arkabl e i nt e res t ,
or igi nality ,
a nd i ngen uit y o f co n
s tructi on .

o nd on D a i ly N e w s .
L
T h e p e sa o f h s o m an e w ru l t i r
e p ay h o se w h o c
a e fo r ne w ill r t c r
and o gi na ri l ty
p e s o f h a a e , and w h o are s s ep c r ct r
e to the as na u c tibl f ci
ti
on o f a fr
e s h a nd v go o s s e
"
i r u tyl .

N e w Y o rk : D A PP ET O N
. L CO .
, 72 F i fth Ave n u e .
D . APPL ETO N C O S PU BL I C ATI O NS .

.

M AN Y
[1 VVEN TI OZVS B y RU D Y A RD KIPL IN G .
C o n t ai ni ng fo u rt e e n s t o rie s se ve ral of w h ich are no w pub
m e , and
,
.

lish e d fo r t h e rs t ti t wo poe ms . 1 2 111 0 , 42 7 page s .


Cl t h o ,

r d r tur fr

Th e e a e ns g it c icti t t
o m it s p a e s w h th e ut r
o nv o n ha ut h e a h o h as no s pe
i t d rr ti i ility t l r i tr
i or t o -d ay in an ma e na a ve a nd v r
bility l ct
of sy e H e e ma ns mas e o f a p ow e l

.
'

ic c t r i r c
n w h h none o f h is o n e m po ar e s a pp o a h h im th e a c u tl
t o se e o u t of o n e ss
it l ic cr t
l e ta ils t h e fe w v a o ne s w h h i d ictur
ea e t h e n s h e p e i H e k now s h o w , W t h a .

r c r ct r t l
ph as e o r a w a rd t o make y o u s e e h is " h a a e s as h e s e es h e m , to ma ke y ou fe e
full i g dr tic itu ti
,

-N e w Yor k 7 rzoz me.


'

the me an n o f a ama s a o n.

M ny Inv nti n w ill c nrm M K i p li ng r p ut ti n


a W w uld cit
e o s
'
o r.

s e a o . e o e
with p l ur nt nc fr m l m t v ry p g nd xtr ct i ncid nst fr m lm t
e as e se e es o a os e e a e, a e a e o a os
ev ry t ry
e B t t w h t nd !
s o H r i t h c m pl t t b k th t M Ki p ling h
. u oy t a e e e s e o e es oo a r. as e
giv n in w rkm n hi p th w igh ti t nd m t h um n in br dth f vi w
e us o a s e e es a os a e ea o e .
"

Ma ll G zet t e
,

Pa ll a .

M K i pli ng s
r.
'
pow e r s as a s o t ry t ll r - e e are e vi d ntly n t di mi ni h ing W d vis e
e o s e a

e veryb dy t buy M o v t o an yI n en ti o ns ,nd



a o p r t by
o m f t h b t nt rt i nm ntso e o e es e e a e
th t m d rn cti n h t
a o N w Y k S
e o as o o
'

e r.
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e or u n.

M ny Inv nti n w ill b w lc m d w h r v r t h Engli h l ngu g i p k n


a e o s e e o e e e e e s a a e s s o e .

Ev ry n f th t ri b r h i mp i t f m t r w h c j ur p i ncid nt
e o e o e s o es ea s t e r n o a as e o on es u e
as if by m gic d w h p rtr y c h r ct r c n ry nd f li g w ith n
a an w h ic h in o o a s a a e s e e a ee n a e as e
nly xc d d by t h b ld n f f rc
, , ,

t tt ti n f t h r d r
" -
o e ee B t n Gl b e e o ess o o e. os o o e.

Th b k w ill g t nd h ld th cl
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e oo Am i n e a o e os e s a en o o e ea e . er ca
Boo ks e lle r .

udy rd K ip li ng p l c i t h w rld f l tt r i u iqu H it quit l f


Mr . R a

s a e n e o o e e s s n e. e s s e a oo
and l n th i nc mp r bl nd ini mita bl m t r f t h xqui it ly n t f h rt
a o e, e o a a e a e as e o e e s e e ar o s o
t ry w riting M R b rt L ui S t v n h p rh p w ritt n v l t l w h ich
s o . r. o e o s e e ns o as e a s e se era a es
m tch t h n f M K i p li ng w r k but t h b t f M K ip ling t l m tch l
' '
a e ru o r. s o e es o r. s a es are a e ss ,
nd h i l t t c ll cti n M ny Inv nti n c nt i n v r l uch
,
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a s a es o e o , a e o s, o a s se e a s .

Press .

lt
Ofy in cti n t h w rk f K ipli n n b e co mp r d t nly th
a e e s sa s o e o o ca a e o o ree
Bl c r L r
km o St v m rv k t h f V ill on in t h
' '
a D n e s o na N w oo e, e e ns o n s a e ou s s e c o e e
Ar bi n N igh t H rdy It i p r b bly
'
nd T h m

f t h D U b vill

a a T s, a o as a s ess o e r er es . s o a
w m g t th i xtr m c r th t M ny l nv n t i n i u nd ubt dly M K ip ling b t '

b k Cl g P t
o o s e e e a e a a e o s s o e r. s es
"

oo . zz
c a o os .

fM K i p li ng tyl i t w ll kn w n t Am ric n ders t o quir i ntr ducti n



r. s s e s oo e o o e a rea re e o o

m r t h n r p y p ru l f t h m ll
but i t n c rc ly b mi t y th r i n t t ry in th i c ll ct i n th t d n t
,
ca s a e e a ss o sa e e s o a s o s o e o a oe s o

B lt m Am
' '

o e a e a n a e sa o e a . a z o re e rze a .

A a w ri t r f h rt t ri
s Rudy rd K i p li ng ie g niu H h h d imit t
o s o s o es a s a e s. e as a a ors ,
but th y h v n t b n ucc ful in di mmi ng t h lu t r f h i ch i v m nt by n
e a e o ee s ess e s e o s a e e e s co
t t M ny Inv nti i t h titl A nd t h y i v nti t ir ly igi
tli g by th ir b ld n nd f rc

ras . a e o ns s e e. e are n e o ns en e or

n l in i ncid nt i ng ni u in p l t nd t
"
a e , e R l t
o s o , a s ar n e o ess a o e. oe ze s e r

cl v r h i ! Th i m u t l w y b t h r t th ugh t n r d i ng uch a
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H ow
t t
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c ll cti n f K ipli g t ri
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o o f th m t c n umm t rt C m
n
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s s o es. e e s ar ar o e os o s a e sa . o

p r d w ith th i t ri f brigh t t y u ng Wri t b m c mm np l c "


a e th s, e s o es o o ur es o ers ec o e o o a e.
N e w Yo r k E va ng eli s t .

i ng t h gr u p
T ak wh l it m y b id th t t h x cuti n is p ot hi b t
e o as a o e, a e sa a e e e o u s es

in h p t w h le t w th r k tch urp i r u nd d tr ngth nd v w d n f .

im gi ti n nyth i ng l h h d n
t e as ,
i o or ee s e es s as s n o e s e a l e ss o
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a na o H tf d C
a t e se e as o e. ar or ou ra n .

F ift n m r

xtr rdi n ry k tc h w ith ut ting f n t ion li m it w uld
ee o e e ao a s e es o a e. o se sa a s o

dr
b h rd t fi nd Ev ry n h n nd i vi du lity f i t w n w h ic h {asa nat
, ,
e a o . th o e o e as a I a o s o es
I ea e B t n Ti m . os o es .

N e w Y ork : D . APP ETON L CC .. 72 F ift h Ave nu e .


D . APPL ETO N C O S PU BLIC ATIO NS
.

.

B oo xs BY MRS E V ER AR D
. C o r ns ! SARA JEAN N ETI E
'
D U NCAN ).

H E S TO R Y OF S ON N Y S AHI B . Illu strate d .

1 2 mo . Cl o th ,

Th s i littl r
e o man e o f c y uth ful h r i m w ill fa cin t ld r and y ung r r ad
o e o s s a e o e o e e e rs
i
al ke. I t is a s to ry of th e Indi n Mut i ny nd th y r w h ich i mm di t ly f llo wed
a a e ea s e a e o .

/ E RN O N 5 Wit h
l AUN T m any Illustrations

. .

I zm o . Cl o th ,

One o f t h e b t nd brigh t s t s to ri of th e p riod Cl g Ev ni ng P t


es a e es e .
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ea
u o e os .

t id nd r li ti c i mp r i n f c rt i n p h f li f in Indi
Wi th o ut i ndulging n m ny h earty l ug h
A mo s viv a ea s nd n e ss o o e a as es o e a, a o o ne
can r ad h
e er V iv mo s ch r ni cl
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os to n

D A U G H TER OF T O-D A Y . A N ove l . I am o .

Cl o th ,


i
Th s ne ve is l tr ng nd i ou p i c f w 0 l n r< e of a ki nd th t i g tting t
B t n C i
a s o a se r s e e o o a s e oo
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a e i n t h e se a s o e sa ra es s . os o ou r er.

A Jew and c pital t ry full of qui t h pp y t uc h
a s 0 , e ,
a o e s of u r
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Pl ulad el i ia
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'

S OC I A L D E PA R T U R E : H ow Ortb odoeza a nd I
'

I Ve n t Rou nd t h e lVor/d b
y Ou rselves W i th I I I Ill u s t r at io ns .

b y F H T O WN S END. I Zmo Pap e r 7 5 c ent s ; cl o t h


. . . , ,

d ubt d w h th r th r b k und th r ugh ly ui g


from
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nd .
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A b igh r r
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,

uis Re u blic .
p
rri r , r e entir ly ch
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N A MERI C A N GI RL I N L ON D ON . With 80
I ll u s tra ti o ns b y F H T O W N SEN D . . . 1 2 mo. Pap e r 7 5 , cen s t ;
c o l th ,

ig tly b ok
S o s pr h a o as th i s , on lif e in L ond on as o b rv d by
se e an Amer ican , h as
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e e o e ee e . B u lle ti n.

H E S I MPL E A D VEN T U RE S OF A MEM


S A H I E. \Vi th 3 7 I ll t r t i
us a o ns by F . H . T O WN S EN D . 1 2 m o.

Cl t h o ,

lik tr v ling w i h ut l vi ng n
It is e rmch ir t r d it Mi D unc n h
a e t o ea o e s
'
a a o ea s s a as

thed c ip tiv nd n ti v gift in l rg m ur nd h b ing vividly before


es r e a ar
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the tr t c n t h int i r t h b wi ld ringly qu r n tiv th g y n s of th


s ee s e es e er o s, e e e ee a es , e a e e e
Engli h c l ny
,
"
s o o T l g ph . e e ra .

N e w Y o rk : D. APPL E T O N C0 .
, 72 F i fth Ave nue .
APPL ET O N C O S PU BL I C AT I O N S

D . . .

U RN E Y I N O THER WORLD S A Ra
A
.
.

mam a of t lze F u t u re . By JO H N JAC O B AS T O R . With 9 fu ~ ll


page I ll u t ti s ra o ns b y D an Be a r d . I Zmo. Clo th ,

A i t r t ing nd cl v rly d vi d b k
n n e es N l ck f i m gi n ti n
a e e e se oo . o a o a a o .

Sh w o killf l nd w id
sa s cq int nc w ith ci nti c f ct N w Y ! H ld
u a e a ua a e s e a s.
"
e or : e ra .

Th th r p c l t cl v rly d d ri gly n th ci nti c dv nc f th rth


e au o s e u a es e e an a n o e s e a a e o e ea ,

and h r v l in t h
e phy ic l l x ri n c f J pit r ; b t h l l t hi i m gi n ti n
e e s e s a u u a e o u e u e a so e s s a a o

t mv l thr e gh piri t l r l m nd vid ntly d light in my tic p c l ti n q it


ou s ua ea s, a e e e s s s e u a o u e as

m ch in ci nt i c i nv tig ti n If h i f ll w r f J l V rn h h t f rg t
ph r
u as s e es a o . e s a o o e o u es e e, e as no o o .

t n l t o t dy th phil
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e a so s u N w Y k T ib n e os o e s. e or r u e.

A b

tif l x mpl f typ gr phic l t nd t h b km k r kill '
e au u e a e T o o a a ar a e oo a e s s o

ppr ci t t h tory n m t r d it N w Y k C m m i l A d v ti
.


a e a e e s o e us ea . e or o er c a er s er .

Th d t

f th e v nt n r t d in thi b k i pp d t b
a e o e e D e Th s ar a e s oo s su o se o e 2000 A. . e

inh bit nt f N rth Am ric h v incr d m ighti ly in n mb r nd p w r nd


a a s o o e a a e e ase u e s a o e a

kn w l dg
o It i
e g e.f m rv l ci nti c tt inm nt F lying m chi n h v
s an a e o a e o us s e a a e s. a es a e

l ng b n in c mm n
o ee nd n lly n w p w r i di c v r d c ll d
o o u s e,
p gy a a a e o e s s o e e a e

a er ,

th r v r f gr vit it n by w hich p pl bl t y f int p c in ny dirc



e e e se o a a o , eo e are a e o o o s a e a e

ti n nd t w h t p d th y pl
o , a a N w Y k S n
a s ee e e as e .
"
e or u .

Th ci nti c r m nc by J hn J c b A t r i m r th n lik ly t c r d i
e s e o a e o a o s o s o e a e o se u e a s

tinct p p l cc
o nd chi v w id pr d v g b th
u ar s u m i ng nd i nt r t
e ss , a a e e es ea o ue o as an a us a e es

es ting t ry nd th ghtf l d v r t pr ph y m f t h t i mph w hich ci nc


s o , a a ou u en e a o o o es so e o e r u s s e e

i d tin d t w in by t h y r
s es e Th b k h
o b w ritt n w ith p rpe ndea 200 0 . e oo as een e a u os e , a

th t high r
a a th n t h m r pi ni g f highly im gi n ti v y r M r A t r h
e o ne a e e e s n n o a a a e a n. . s o as

b n ng g d p n t h b k f v r tw y r n d h br ght t b r p n it
ee e a e u o e oo or o e o ea s, a as ou o ea u o a

gr t d l f h rd w rk i t h w y f ci nti c r rch f w hich h h b n v ry f nd


v r inc h nt r d H rv rd I t i dm ir bly ill t r t d by D n B rd
ea ea o a o n e a o s e e se a , o e as ee e o

e e s e e e e e M l d
a a . s a a us a e a ea .
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az
'

an

E xp r es s .

Mr
t r h hi m lf l m t ll t h q liti im gin bl f m king t h ci nc f
. As o as se a os a e ua es a a e or a e s e e o

as tr n my p p l r H kn w t h l rn d m p f t h tr l g r H kn w t h
o o o u a . e o s e ea e a s o e as o o e s. e o s e

w rk f C p rnic
o o H h m d c lc l ti n
o e nd b rv ti n H i nth i tic
us . e as a e a u a o s a o se a o s. e s e u s as

p ct c l r d n t f ight n h im N w Y k Ti m
,

a nd th e s e a u a oe s o r e . e or es .

T h w rk wi ll r mi d t h r d r v ry m ch f j l
e o V rn in it g n r l pl n f
e n e ea e e u o u es e e s e e a a o

us ing ci nti c f ct d p c l t i n
s e k l t n n w hich t
a h ng t h r m ntic
s an s e u a o as a s e e o o o a e o a

a dv nt r f t h c ntr l g r w h h v ll t h d ri ng ing ity d l ck f M r


e u es o e e a u es , o a e a e a e nu an u o .

V rn hr Mr A t r hi t ry t p int t w h t in h i pini n ci nc m y

Cl i g Int -O
e e s e oes . . s o u se s s o o o ou a s o o s e e a

b xp ct d t cc mpli h I t i r m nc w ith p rp
e e e e o a o s . s a o a e a u ose .
"
z ca o er cea n .

T h r m nc c na t in m ny n w nd trik i g d v l pm nt f t h p ibiliti
e o a e o s a e a s n e e o e s o e oss es

of ci nc h r ft r t b
s e xpl r d b t t h v l m i i t n ly i nt r ti ng b th
e e ea e o e e o e , u e o u e s n e se e es , o as a

pr d ct f im gin ti n nd n ill tr ti n f th ing ni rigin l pplic t i n i


ci nc
o u o a nd a o a a us a o o e e ou s a o a a a o o

s e R / t e. H ld oc t es er e ra .

N ew York : D APPLET O N
. CO ., 72 F f i th A v e nu e .
D . APPL ET O N C O S PU BL I C AT I O N S .

.

AD A C A MB RI D G E/S N OV EL S .

F I D EL I S
im t d nd l w y i t r ti g t ri e f Ad C mb idg h v
Th e an a e
.

a
I am o Pap e r 5 0
a a s
.

n e es n
,

s o s o
c e nt s

a
;
a
c lo t h ,

r e a e ob t aine
w ll m ri t d p p l rity m r p cts Fi d l m t mb i t i r
"
a e -
e I e o h u a n so e es e e ls Is er os a ou s wo k
nd it i f pr dict f i t m rked cc m ng r d r f wh l
.

a s sa e to e or a a su es s a o ea e s o o esome an
e n t rt i ni g c t i n
e a n o .

Y G U A R D IA N I z mo . Pap e r , 5 0 c e nt s ; c lo t h


t ry w hich w ill fr m r t t l t nli t th ymp th i f t h r d r by i
A s o o s o as e s e s a es o e ea e
Si mpl i city f tyl nd fr h g n i n f lin g
o s Th th r i t t t h d lm
e a
,

es e u e ee
,

e au o s au u

a e e ez
ti n f ch r ct r B t n T n j t
.
,
"

Ch
o o a a e . os o ra s cr z .

ll th t th m t rd n t r m nc r d r c ld d i
"
Th d en m nt i e o e s a a e os a e o a e ea e ou e sr e .
m g o E ve ni ng y ou rna l.

H E THREE MISS K IN GS . I amo . Pap e r , 5


cen s t ; c o l th , $I oo .
.


An e xc di gly tr ng n v l I t i n A t li n t ry t ming w ith
ee n s o o e . s a u s ra a s o ee a c rt ie a
c l mn f m ti l p w r th t nd xpr i in c ntin l t w f livi n
,

a
th ght
ou
es s o
a nd
e

fe e lm g.
o o na
"
B o
os t o n
e a
Ti m es .
s e e ss o n a o ua ou o o

t r t ld w ith gr t b illi ncy t h ch r ct r nd ci ty k tching i v


T h e s o y is o ea r a e a a e a so e s e s e
ch r i hi l d lightf l i ncid nt nd h ppy rpri b nd I t i t ripl l v
,
a m ng, w e e u e s a a su s es a ou . s a e o e
t ry p r in t n nd f v ry high lit r ry m rit
s o , u e o e, a o e e a e

.

O T AL L IN VA L /V . I amo . Pap e r, 5 0 c e nt s

l th
c o ,


A wo rthy c mp ni on t o th e b t of t h e th r f r m r '
e ffo rt s , a nd in so me re
D
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