« ZurückWeiter »
as a matter of fact, no life can be really un- leave them ?” asked Alfred, who began to eventful. Every day brings its incidents, think he had got into rather queer company. and, though we know it not, any one of “Because I don't want to. The private them, even the most commonplace, may be character of the men and their management of big with fate. What, for instance, can be the paper are nothing to me. I do my duty, more ordinary than going to bed and getting and that is really all I have to care about; up, admiring a landscape or watching a sun- and then Geneva is an uncommonly nice place. set, yet we must all, sooner or later, go to I like the life here; and there are other bed and get up for the last time, and take reasons. our last view of earth and sky. A casual in- At this point the young fellow blushed a troduction to a stranger may lead to serious little, and Balmaine thought of Ida von consequences, and a chance meeting in a Schmidt; so, by way of changing the subject, railway carriage form a turping-point in a he made an inquiry touching the circulation man's destiny.
of the Helvetic News. But though Balmaine settled down to “You asked me that once before, I think,” steady work, and the days went on un- said Delane drily. marked by any startling event, his life at “So I did, and got no answer,” said Alfred, Geneva was decidedly interesting. If there smiling. “ Is it a mystery ?” had been nothing else he would have found “Very much so. To be frank, I don't amusing occupation for his leisure in study- know what it is, and don't want to know." ing the characters of the people he met, and “Why?" watching the little intrigues and comedies “So that I may be under no temptation to that were always going on about him. At tell lies. That is what old Bevis does." the office there was jealousy between up- “ Does he tell lies then ?” stairs and down, for the clerks were allowed “He does not profess to do. I mean he to canvass for advertisements, and paid a does not know and won't be told anything commission of twenty-five per cent. on all about the circulation. When anybody asks they obtained ; the sub-editors were not, him he says, in his loftiest manner: *That and this was a sore grievance with Miln- is not in my department, my dear sir, and thorpe and Delane. Gibson was both able the circulation varies so much, according to and shrewd; but, as Alfred soon found out, the season, that I should not like to risk he liked to take things very easy, and make- telling an untruth by going into details; but believe that he worked desperately hard. I can assure you with the utmost confidence Delane, who was full of energy, did more that it is large and influential.' He calls that real work in a day than the chief did in a diplomacy. week. “He did not do much before you “And there are people,” said Alfred, “who came," the sub one day observed to Bal- say there is very little difference between maine, “now he does next to nothing." diplomacy and artistic lying: This was quite true. There ere at least
He made no further inquiry about the cir. three days a week on which Gibson did not culation of the paper. write a line for the paper—did nothing, in Milnthorpe was rather an enigma. He fact, but answer a few letters and look over did his work, chiefly translating, slowly, but a few proofs.
well, had very little to say, and seemed de“Between ourselves," went on Delane, "I pressed, and nobody knew where he lived. don't think it was very 'cute of him to let Delane thought he did not like to expose his you come at all; there really isn't work for poverty by associating with his equals, for he more than three, and being by far the best could not be persuaded to enter a café, and paid of the lot, if there should be a change, never smoked unless somebody gave him a he is the most likely to have to go. At any cigar. rate I should think so.”
Besides his office work, which he did not “How much has he ?"
find very arduous, Alfred wrought a good deal “Three hundred and fifty francs a week.” | at home. He did a series of letters for the “Fourteen pounds."
American editor—to whom Harman so kindly " Yes; nearly twice as much as you, me, introduced him, a certain Dr. Pilgrim, a tall, and Milnthorpe get, all put together. Isn't spare man, with a white choker, a soft voice, it a shame? I have no respect either for and an unctuous manner-of the Pitsburgh Leyland or Mayo: they are unmitigated Patriot. The Patriot, as the doctor informed ruffians, both of them."
him, was a semi-religious, high-toned first“ If they are such a bad lot why don't you class paper, circulating among first-class fami
lies. He wanted some articles on the graver mised them further effusions from his brilaspects of Swiss life, on the religious views liant pen. Alfred sent a copy of the paper of the people, the character of their Pro- to Cora, whom it greatly delighted; it was, testantism, and, above all, on the Old Catholic moreover, seen by many people at Calder, movement. At the same time the letters, and made the subject of a few complimentary though weighty with facts, were to be lively remarks in the Mercury. in style. For as the doctor rightly observed, Another agreeable incident was the receipt if newspaper articles be not readable they of a letter from Artful and Higginbottom, are of very little use, and to be readable inquiring if he still thought he should be they must be lively. When he asked Alfred able "to find a clue to the mystery that if he thought he could write him a few such enveloped the fate of the unfortunate Mr. letters as those he had described, say four or Philip Hardy and his daughter," and offerfive, the young fellow modestly replied that ing, on the part of the trustees, " to defray he thought he could, and would do his best. any reasonable charge to which he might be As for remuneration, the editor of this put in prosecuting the investigation which he serious, semi-religious paper remarked, with had so kindly promised to make.” This meant one of his sweetest smiles, that first-class that they would pay his travelling expenses,
. journals like the Patriot paid twenty dollars so he should now be able, when he got a an article irrespective of length, “which we holiday, to make the journey across the Alps don't want, for everybody knows that it is from which he hoped so much. easier to pad out than to boil down.”
Everything seemed propitious, and the Balmaine, after thanking Dr. Pilgrim "very rupture of his engagement with Lizzie Hardy, much," went home rejoicing, and feeling which took place about this time, left him almost as if he had a hundred dollars (five almost without a care. Although the affair letters at twenty a-piece) in his pocket. He had once caused him so much concern, he gave several days to reading up the subjects could hardly think of it now without laughsuggested and making inquiries, and a fort- ing at his simplicity in attributing to a night afterwards forwarded his first letter foolish flirtation the character of a solemn to the high-toned Patriot. Nor did his good betrothal. Shortly after his arrival at Gefortune end here. No American journalist neva he had received from his sweetheart a could possibly pass through Geneva without long letter, to which he replied in due course, calling at the editorial offices of the News, to but not being able to make passionate prolook over the files and have a talk with the testations of love he contented himself with staff
. Some of these gentlemen made them- descriptions of the country and the people, selves very much at home, and seemed to and of his own doings and experiences. To consider the sub-editors' room a public lounge this, rather to his satisfaction, there came no and their waste-paper baskets public spittoons. answer; and then there ensued a long silence Others were very nice fellows indeed, and which Alfred, whose too tender conscience one of them, the representative of a Boston began to suggest that he was treating the daily, Sunday, and bi-weekly, invited Alfred girl badly, was the first to break by a second (one of whose articles in the Helvetic had letter in the style of the first. Lizzie replied attracted his attention) to contribute an occa- in a missive which she meant to be freezing sional letter "on any darned subject he and dignified, but which (after his first surliked," and assured him that he wrote well prise) Balmaine found intensely amusing. enough for the London Times, " or any other She could not imagine, she said, what in. sanguinary paper.”
duced him to write to her in the way he had With these two strings to his bow Alfred done. It had never occurred to her to concame to the conclusion that it was not neces- sider the innocent familiarities which at one sary to make any offerings to English papers time she had allowed him as implying an for the present; they might be refused; it engagement, even if their relative positions would be better to send his communications had not rendered such a thing impossible, where they were sure of acceptance. The and she desired that the correspondence reception of his first letter by the Pitsburgh might cease with the present communication. Patriot was extremely gratifying. The act- “Innocent familiarities ! our relative posiing editor (Dr. Pilgrim not having yet reached tions ! by Jove, that's good," soliloquised home) bespoke for it the particular attention Balmaine, and though he was glad to be set of his readers, described the writer as one of free, it was some alloy to his satisfaction the most rising and successful of the younger that Saintly Sam's daughter had so comgeneration of English journalists, and pro- pletely befooled him.
When he informed Cora what had come to unfrosted with white, he looked younger than pass, she congratulated him warmly on what his years. He was dressed with great neat
. she called his escape. “I always thought Miss ness, wore the badge of some military order, Hardy was a flirt,” she said, “and as you are and, as Balmaine subsequently heard, had a no longer here to flirt with her she has right to call himself “Chevalier." probably found a swain who can. The next This gentleman was Colonel Bevis, and time you are engaged, I hope it will be with Mayo, after introducing them to each other, somebody worthy of your love and my mentioned that the Colonel wanted a special friendship; but for Heaven's sake do not article written, and asked Alfred to take his venture on such a step until you are rich instructions and put it into shape for the enough to keep a wife."
“It is about Rothenkirschen, Mr. BalCHAPTER XXI.- -COLONEL BEVIS.
maine," said the Colonel very graciously, So soon as Balmaine had got fairly into the new place in the Oberland, you know. harness Gibson took his holiday. He had They have found some dirty water, built a worked so hard during the previous twelve- Kursaal and several hotels, and want to atmonth, he said, that a period of relaxation tract English and American visitors. I have was absolutely necessary for his health. Be- taken a very good advertisement from them fore going away he gave precise instructions on condition that we reciprocate by doing about the editing of the paper. All the a little reclame, and give a special article leaders were to be written by Alfred, and about the place. And I can personally testify none were to touch on English politics. With that it is most charmingly situated-on that this exception, he was to have full scope. score you can hardly exaggerate--and several “And if you are ever pressed for time or do highly respectable doctors are ready to take not see your way to a subject,” added the oath that the mineral waters are good for chief, “ you can always get one of the least every ill that flesh is heir to. You will find read of English or American papers. The all the facts in this newspaper cutting-you Saturday Sentinel, for instance, is a capital read German, of course—and a few observapaper to quarry from. Its sub-leaders are tions of my own in this paper. Do you think often very good, and there are always one or you can shape these materials into a readable two that by running through with a wet pen article ? I shall be very much obliged if you you can make to look as if they were written can, because I promised the people, you purposely for the Helvetic.”
know.” Alfred modestly replied that he thought Alfred answered that he would do his best, he would rather trust to his own unaided re- and asked the Colonel if he would like to sources; and when Gibson returned from his see a proof of the article in order to make holiday-making he congratulated the young sure that it was quite to his mind. The fellow handsomely on the diligence and ability Colonel said, “Very much,” and asked Alwith which he had discharged his duties. fred to be good enough to send the proof to Another success scored to Alfred was the re- him at the Hotel de la Grande Bretagne, production of one of his articles by a Lon- where he should be visible at five P.M. don paper. Delane said this was a feather It was the first time Balmaine had done in his cap. Mayo came specially into the any puffing, and he hoped the description of editor's-room to inquire by whom it had been Rothenkirschen, given in the German paper, written, and said a few gracious words to was true, for in that case the earthly paradise Balmaine on the occasion; for incidents like was only about a hundred miles from Geneva. this were not alone flattering to the amour The magnificent scenery, the fine climate, propre of all connected with the Helvetic News, and the mountain air alone made the place they made the paper more widely known, worth a visit, while the charming grounds of and so helped canvassers in their quest for the Kursaal, morning music, daily excursions, advertisements.
evening concerts, and congenial society renOn entering the sub-editors' room one morn- dered life in that favoured spot beyond expresing, Alfred was informed that Mr. Mayo sion delightful, and by drinking plentifully of wanted to see him down-stairs. In the mana- the waters you might live for ever and never gers' room was a fine soldierly looking man, be ill. Alfred did not say quite all this, neither whose age might be from forty-four to fifty, did he set forth all the maladies for which a but by reason of the uprightness of his car- sojourn at Rothenkirschen was recommended riage, the freshness of his complexion, and as a specific; nevertheless he produced a really the lightness of his hair and moustache as yet | brilliant article, and one that could hardly
fail to prove satisfactory to all concerned. valuable. I shall have to apply to you As he wanted to cultivate Bevis's acquaint again. Will that appear to-morrow? ance he took the proof to him instead of Certainly,” said Alfred, putting the proof sending it.
in his pocket, and making as if he meant to go. “ Thank you very much, Mr. Balmaine,” | “ Must you go already ?” said the Colonel, said the Colonel
, whom he found smoking a taking his hand. “I know you are a busy cigarette in the corridor of the Bretagne; man, but if you can stay and have dinner “it is very kind of you to take so much | with me I shall be very glad. It will be trouble, and you add to the favour by being ready in half an hour, and I will release you so prompt. Promptitude in the eyes of an as soon afterwards as you like.” old soldier is a high quality. This will do Alfred accepted the invitation; it was very well-very well indeed. In the whole what he wanted, and he did not find it
' of Switzerland there is no spot on which difficult to lead the conversation to the nature has showered so many blessings as subject of the Colonel's adventurous lifc, the valley and village of Rothenkirschen. on which he was as loquacious as veterans Whilst its great altitude insures the purity are wont to be, yet at the same time very of its invigorating air, the huge mass of entertaining. mountains to the north and east shelters it from every inclement wind, and renders the CHAP. XXII. BALMAINE LEARNS SOMETHING. climate as balmy and enjoyable as that of the COLONEL BEVIS continued his reminisland in which it seemed always afternoon. cences at great length, but after he had run The thermal establishment is begirt with fra- on for some time Balmaine took advantage grant fir-trees, and the gleaming glacier-born of a pause to inquire how he had become river, which rushes in tumultuous route past connected with the Italian revolutionary its walls, flows between fair gardens and green movement. meadows into the Kirschen lake, a mile far- “Easily enough," was the answer; "after ther on.' Really, Mr. Balmaine, nothing the Crimean war was over, I wanted somecould be better. I do not see how anybody thing to do, chance took me to Italy, and can help going to Rothenkirschen after read there I became acquainted with the chiefs of ing this description, and, better still, it will the party. They employed me in various be sure to bring us another advertisement. capacities. I took service with Garibaldi, There is only one thing wanting."
and fought through the campaign of 1860." " And that is"
“ You were one of the famous thousand of “The name of the resident physician, Dr. Marsala, then ?” Schlachtermann. Don't you
could “Yes," said the Colonel drily, lighting bring it in somehow? It would please him another cigarette, "I was one of the thousand immensely, and make the advertisement quite of Marsala ; the Chief made me a Colonel, sure ; and he is really a clever fellow. He and on one occasion I commanded a brigade." gave me a prescription that has quite cured “You mean Garibaldi ; what a fine fellow my sciatica—'pon my word he did.”
he is !” exclaimed Balmaine enthusiastically. “How would this do ?” said Alfred, tak- | “And you were really a friend of his, Colonel ?” ing out his pencil. “Put it in after ‘patients,' “I had that honour,” replied the Colonel, you know. The sentence will now read thus : rather coolly, “and I think I was * The invaluable qualities of the mineral friendly to him than he was to me." waters have been proved, as well by chemical “Do you mean that he did not treat you analysis as by the testimony of hundreds of well ? no, that is impossible.” patients, who, under the skilful treatment of “I do mean it. If it had not been for me Dr. Schlachtermann, one of the most eminent he would have lost one of the most imporof Swiss bath physicians, have recovered tant battles of the campaign. I landed in health and strength, even when recovery had Naples in command of reinforcements from been deemed hopeless,' &c., &c.”
Sicily. My instructions were to hasten to “ Just the thing, Mr. Balmaine, just the the front as quickly as possible, an engagething. You understand exactly what I want. ment being momentarily expected. But we A few articles like that will increase our were short of supplies, and quite without advertisements by twenty thousand francs.money. My men wanted shoes, bread, I have often suggested to Mayo that he and powder. To requisition the inhabishould have somebody on the staff with a tants would have been the worst possible knowledge of German, and able to write an policy; it might have turned them against attractive article. Your help will be in- us. What was I to do? I had, fortunately,
the reputation of being a rich Englishman, is the Philip Hardy I want to find, or, at
inquiries. They want to have proof of his
And I that he did so little for his followers. He told have heard so much about the case, that I the King that he wanted nothing for himself, would like, as a matter of personal feeling, yet he might easily have stipulated something and for the gratification of a legitimate curifor us—either moderate pensions or positions osity, to discover a clue to the mystery!” in the Italian army. As it was, we were
“I think I understand. But what about just turned adrift with next to nothing. I the little girl ? I remember seeing her at fought in every battle, and was twice Pallanza, and a pretty little thing she was. ” wounded, yet ail they gave me was, the “She has disappeared too !” Order of the Iron Crown, and about five “By disappearing, you mean that nothing pounds a year! And here I am, an old sol- has been heard of her ?” dier, one of the thousand of Marsala, drum- "Exactly; nothing has been heard of her ming for advertisements.”
since old Mr. Hardy's death, ten years And you drum as well as you fight, I ago!” believe, Colonel Bevis. People say you are “ And for more than that time Philip the best canvasser in Europe, and that is Hardy has been out of my mind. So many something to be proud of. You must have things happen nowadays, that out of sight met a great many people in your wanderings is literally out of mind. Yet, now, when I
- did you ever meet in Italy, or elsewhere, think of it, I have an indistinct recollection an Englishman of the name of Hardy?” of hearing that something had happened to
“Hardy, Hardy!” said the Colonel Hardy—or was it that he had gone thoughtfully. “As you say, I have met very England, he and his daughter ?" many people in my life, so many, that a Balmaine shook his head. name may easily slip my memory. Still, “They never came to England !” my memory is very good. Hardy, Hardy! “You don't know that they never started Do you mean Philip Hardy ?”
though. As for that, I don't know either. But “Yes, I mean Philip Hardy!” answered I know a man who can give you the inforBalmaine eagerly; he felt as if he were on mation if anybody can !” the track of a discovery.
“ And that is “Did you know him ?"
“Andrea Martino. He kept the Hotel 'No, but I am very anxious to find out Martino at Locarno, but that was only a something about him, and if you can help blind. His house was really a rendezvous me I shall feel greatly obliged !”
for revolutionists, and after 1866 he gave it “He was engaged in the revolutionary up. But he knew everybody engaged in the movement, wasn't he ?”
revolutionary movement, and if anything “Yes, and disappeared about ten years happened to any of us he was sure to hear of
it. Yes, I am certain that Martino could “ Did he ?” said Bevis absently. "Yes, tell you what became of Hardy.” I knew Philip Hardy; and, though I did “Can you give me his address, Colonel ?” not meet him often, I liked him well. He “Unfortunately, I cannot. I have not married an Italian wife and had a little girl, seen him for two or three years. I met him I think!”
accidentally at Naples, but though I did not "That is just the man!” exclaimed Alfred ask him where he was living, I know he excitedly.
is not living there. I can get to know,
" It is, it is. The Philip Hardy you know somebody, I suppose.”