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THE SUNDAY HERALD, SUNDAY. OCTOBER 19. 1S90.
Gcoflroy Dane is sitting at his writing-table,
alone in bis spacious study; bis bead rests upon
bis bands, and an expression of deepest melan
choly darkens his handsome, caroworn face.
In turning over a desk full of old, yellow
letters he has como upon a half-forgotten relic
of happier days a little bunch of lilies of tho
valley, tied with a scrap of white ribbon. Tho
lilies arc lying on tho desk beforo him, and his
eyes grow strangely dim as bo looks at them,
while memories of tho past como pouring faster
and ever faster Into his troubled mind.
How well ho remembers tho day when tho
lilies bloomed fresh and fair and fragrant, em
bedded in their cool, green leaves; tho day when
ho plucked them and carried them home for his
wife his little Doris 1 How pleased 6ho was at
the small attention 1 Even now he smiles as bo
recalls her pleasure. Tho pretty pink color
flushed into her cheeks, and her blue oyes shono
like stars, as she threw her arms round his neck
and kissed him again and again. Ah I What
would he not give to feel thoso kisses now ?
She was always impulsive and childishly nat
ural. She never stopped to consider her words
and actions after tho manner of older and wiser
people; but, then, she was only nineteen, and
innocent as u child of the ways of tho world.
She was nineteen and Geoffrey was thlrty-flve;
tho difference in ago was great, but not so great
as the difference in character.
Geoffrey was old for bis years and bad lived
fast. Already bo had seen and done most
things, and the excitement of what is commonly
called "seeing life" had palled upon him con
siderably, lie was quite ready to settle down
to the uneventful life of a country squire, with
few interests beyond his books I put them first
advisedly his wife, and his estate.
Doris differed from him in every way. For
her life was only just beginning; Us long vista
stretched golden and cloudless beforo her inno
cent eyes. Things that to blm were "tedious
as a twice-told tale" had for her all the fresh
ness and charm of novelty; the hot, impetuous
blood of extreme youth coursed through her
veins and mantled her cheeks; she viewed tho
world through rose-colored spectacles.
Yes, they differed widely in every way, and
lookers-on prophesied from the very first that
the marriage would turn out a failure. How
much better it would have been if Geoffrey had
listened to some of bis well-meaning friends I
But be was too sure of himself and his ability to
mould his own fate, and too fond of his pretty
Doris to notice their timely warnings.
Ho was very fond of her; no man ever loved a
woman more dearly than he loved Doris, and ho
honestly tried to make her a good husband, ac
cording to his lights; but, looking back now on
his past, and judging it by the light of later ex
perience, ho can see that his lights were woe
fully dim. He did not tieat Doris as an equal
and a helpmeet; he denied her that close com
panionship and perfect confidence that are the
right of every true wife; ho looked upon her as
a charming toy wherewith to beguile his leisure
hours, a pretty child to cheer and amuse him
with her innocent prattle when ho could tear
himself away from his beloved books. It was
not right to regard a wife in such a light, as ho
has found to his cost.
For a time things went smoothly enough.
The first six months of their married life were
very happy months for both of them, but after
that their relations began to change. It would
be difficult to say when and how tho change
came In; it stole upon them so gradually at
first that Geoffrey hardly noticed it, but when
their married life was a year old it became pain
fully evident to him. Doris saw it, too. She
used to sit and look at liSr husband with such a
wistful expression in her big blue eyes, and
sometimes she would make an effort to resume
her old playful, affectionate manner toward
him, but somehow her efforts always ended in
failure. At the time he was blind, but he can
seo so clearly now that the fault was his In the
first instance. He frightened and repelled her.
She was an only child, and all her life had been
accustomed to the utmost caro and tenderness;
her father was tho soul of kindness, and most
Indulgent to her, while Geoffrey was grave and
cold, and at times even stern in manner. Fur
thermore, he expected too much of her. Tho
standard by which he judged woman was a very
high one almost impossibly bo. Certainly, his
Ideal woman seldom, If ever, existed out of a
poet's imagination. Doris tried her hardest to
satisfy him and fulfill his expectations, but she
was cast in too slight a mould, her strength was
not equal to the demands upou it; she failed,
aud was bitterly conscious of her failure.
Geoffrey can see It all now clearly enough, but
ho could not see it then.
Well, as I have 6ald before, their relations
underwent a change, and a coolness sprang up
between them slight, It is true, but impassable
as a mighty barrier.
Things went from bad to worse, and the
Danes were in a very uucomfortablo position,
when Doris's cousin, Archie St. John, who was
then homo from India on sick leave, camo to
stay with them, He was a good-looking young
fellow, a little Inclined to swagger and put on
"side," but manly, good-hearted, aud generous
to a fault. Geoffrey took a fancy to him, aud
thoy got on very -well together, until he awoke
to the fact that Archie was making hot love to
his wife. Geoffrey was not Inclined to play tho
rule of jealous husband, and at first tho discov
ery only amused him; he stood aside and
watched the little drama with undisturbed
mind, having perfect confldenco in Doris and
her devotion to him, but after a time ho began
to feel anxious and uncomfortable.
He never forgot tho night that it dawned
upon him that there was real dauger for Doris
in her cousin's attentions. Thoy were giving a
small dance In Archie's honor a cozy, informal
gathering of some twenty couple and in tho
course of tho evening, as Geoffroy was leaning
against tho wall watching tho maze of revolving j
couples, ms eyes suddenly fell upon Doris, and
what he read in her face caused him to start and
look again. It was a waltz, and she and Arcblo
were dancing together. She was clasped closely
Jn his arms, so closely that her cheek brushed
his shoulder, and ho was bending over her and
talking very earnestly In a low tone. Geoffrey
could not, of course, hear what ho said, but tho
Intense earnestness of his manner led blm to
uupppso that the subject under discussion was a
tender one, while the rapt look on Doris's facoj
her flushed cheeks and parted lips, and tho
jfeverish excitement that gleamed in herupllfted
eyes startled her husband unpleasantly.
Geoffroy looked and looked again, and as bo
looked tho dovil of jealousy and cold, Implacable
anger sprang slowly Into being In bis heart. In
that moment ho loved hor moro dearly than ho
had over done, and yet ho could have killed her.
That night, a fow minutes afterho had entered
his dressing-room, there was a gentle knock at
tho door, and Doris camo through from her bed
room. She looked very dollcato and fragile, ho
thought, as she paused timidly on tho threshold;
very pretty and childish, too, in her simplo
whtto dressing gown, with her long golden hair
falling over her shoulders.
"May I como In, Geoffroy? sho asked, nerv
ously. "I want to spoalc to you."
"Come In, by all means, If It will give you any
pleasure," ho returned, shortly. "What do you
want? Are you ill?"
His tono was not reassuring It sounded
strangely hard and cold even in bis own ears
and Doris gavo him a timid glanco as sho camo
forward, very slowly and dragglngono foot after
the other, as if sho had hardly strength or energy
to move. Ho looked down at her, as she stood
by his side, and was struck by her extreme pal
lor, and tho feverish glitter In her eyes.
"You are 111," ho exclaimed, hastily. "I am
sure that you are 111."
"No," she said, woaiily, "I am not ill only
"If you are tired, why don't you go to bed?"
ho asked, In an unsympathetic tone.
Sho shook her head.
"I could not sleep without speaking to you.
I must speak to you to-night, Geoffrey."
"Well, speak away," Geoffrey said ungra
ciously. "I am anxious to get to bed, if you arc
Sho came a step nearer, looking up In his face
with her clear, childish eyes.
"Geoffrey," sho said, in a low tone, "we aro
not what we were once to one auother, you
She could hardly have begun worse than by
referring to the strained relations then existing
between them; the reference irritated him un
reasonably. "Good Heavens, no 1" ho exclaimed. "It is
not, however, necessary to remind mo of that
Something in tho words, or in the manner in
which they were uttered, seemed to hurt her,
and she shrank back with a most piteous ex
pression, but 6he 6till strovo to speak bravely.
"Geoffrey," she said, pleadingly, "if you
would be kind and gentle to me this once, only
this once, it would not be so hard to say what is
in my heart."
Now, in thoso days, Geoffrey's disposition was
a peculiarly self-righteous one, and nothing an
noyed him more than for people to imply that
his conduct was not, in all ways and under all
circumstances, exactly what it ought to be.
Doris's words angered him.
"1 amnotaware," he said, stiffly, "thatlhavo
ever treated you otherwise than kindly. Don't
be childish, Doris. What have you to say to
She looked at him with a sort of despair.
"You won't help me," she said, dully; "then
I must do it all myself. Oh ! how hard you
"Pray spare me the catalogue of my short
comings," be cried, icily; "they arc numerous,
no doubt, but scarcely interesting at this time
of night. Please say what you have to say
quickly; I am getting sleepy, and late hours do
not agree with you."
Doris averted her eyes from her husband's
and began to play nervously with some long
loops of white ribbon that fell from cno side of
"It is about Archie," she said, in a low tone.
"Ah!" Geoffrey's tone was studiously calm,
aud ho showed none of the excitement that he
felt. "And what have you to say about
"Before I met you," sho said, winding tho
ribbon round and round her Angers, "when I
was very young, Archie fell In love with me."
She paused and looked up at Geoffrey. Ho
met her appealing oyes coldly.
"Really?" he said, "that is not very interest
ing to me."
"Ho asked me to marry him," 6ho went on,
with an effort.
"Really?" Geoffrey said again, "that is not
very Interesting either, Doris."
"She flushed scarlet, then turned whito as
death, and began to tremble all over.
"It is no good," sho cried in a despairing
tone. "Oh, it is no good at all. You are so
hard, and you don't understand."
The misery on her whito face might have
touched a heart of 6tono, but It only angered
Geoffrey; ho hated to see her tremble and cower
"I understand perfectly," ho said, coldly;
"you need say no more. These tender reminis
cences have no charm for mo. You can hardly
expect mo to sit up all night listening to tales
of your old lovers. Good-night."
He turned away, but sho did not move.
"Do you mean that I am to go ?" sho asked.
"You refuso to listen to me, then ? Geoffroy,
If you refuse you may bo sorry some day. Will
you bear mo out?"
Her persistence increased his anger. Ho turned
and faced her.
"Doris," ho said sternly, "let us understand
one another once for all. I understand you per
fectly. I know as much as you can tell mo, I
know as well as you do that your cousiu makes
love to you, and that you allow him to do so.
By tho by, that is a nico thing to know of one's
wife, is it not?"
Sho shivered, and stretched out her hands Im
ploringly. "Geoffrey l"6ho cried. "Geoffroy! Oh! speak
kindly to mo, for Heavcu's sake !"
Ho did not heed her wild cry.
"You need uot troublo to confide In mo," ho
went on; "it is quite unnecessary, for I am not
easily blinded. You must understand that I do
not interfere In this affair; you may take your
own course; I leave you entirely to yourself."
Sho was trembling so violently that sho could
hardly stand; her arms were still outstretched.
"I came to ask for help," sho gasped In a
brolam voico; "it is not much."
"Doris," Geoffrey interrupted, "listen to mo.
I will glvo you no help, and I decline to hear au
other word on tho subject. If you are not strong
enough to stand alone you are no wife of mine."
There camo a time later In his life when Geof
frey would have given all that ho possessed to
bo able to recall thoso words, but In vain; words
once uttered can never be unsaid or recalled.
Sho looked at him for a moment with a look
that ho could nover forget, but sho uttered no
word of reproach or complaint,
"I understand," sho said in a low tone. "I I
am rather stupid, but I understand. I am going
to bed now. Plcaso forgive mo for troubling.
Geoffroy watched her movo slowly away Into
her room, and then ho shut and locked tho door.
Tho noxt day Arcblo St. John loft tho bouse, but
ho did not go far away; ho only returned to his
own home, which was about three miles distant.
Geoffroy did not sco him again, but knew that
ho aud Doris managed to meet overy day.
Ono ovenlng about a week after tho conversa
tion recorded above Geoffrey was sitting In tho
library, reading and smoking his after-dinner
clear, when the door was suddenly flung open
and Doris rushed In and throw herself at his feet.
"Geoffroy 1" 6ho cried, looking up In his face
with tho wild, imploring gaze of a hunted nni
mal, "Geoffrey I"
Ho laid down his book with an Instinctive feel
ing that ho was approaching a crisis in his life.
"Yes," he said; "what Is it ?"
"You must listen to mo now," sho went on;
"I am listening," ho said, speaking qulto
calmly, although ho was almost as much excited
as sho was.
Her oyes held his in a strange aud fascinated
"I have come to make ono last appeal to you,"
sho said. "If you will not heed It tho conse
quences bo upon your own head."
"And upon yours," ho added.
"And upon mine," sho repeated flrmly. Then
her tono changed again to one of wildest en
treaty. "You will listen to me, Geoffroy !" sho
pleaded. "Oh 1 say that you will listen and help
"I am willing to listen," Geoffrey returned
slowly, "but I can't promise to help you."
"If you refuse," sho said breathlessly, "if you
refuse but no, hard as you are, you will not,
you cannot, refuse mo now. Listen, Geoffrey;
I have just met Archie."
"Yes," ho 6ald, as she paused; "is that all?"
"No, no, you know it is not all. Geoffrey, you
must take mo away."
"Away?" bo repeated.
"Yes, away from blm. I would not ask you
if I were not forced to, but things are getting
beyond me. I can't help myself, and you must
A dark red flush glowed sullenly beneath Geof
frey's dark skin.
"Upou my word." ho exclaimed, "vmi n cot-
ting me a nice task. I wonder you dare talk to
me in such a way."
"There is nothing that I would not dare to
night," Doris cried. "I am not afraid of you
now; I havo got past that. You are my husband,
you are bound in honor to care for mo and pro
tect me, and I demand that you take mo away."
He looked at her steadily.
"And what if I refuso your demand?"
Again tho bunted look flashed into her eyes.
"Then," she said, "then but wo need not
think of that, because you will not refuse."
At that juncture Geoffrey's temper got the bet
ter of him. Few men could havo looked into
that poor child's white, miserable face and re
fused her tho help that sho craved, but ho did.
His heart was so full of sullen, unreasoning an
ger at tho knowledge that she could entertain a
single thought of another man that there was no
room In It for pity or consideration.
"I do refuse," ho cried; "l refuse distinctly.
I tell you now, as I havo told you before, that if
you have not strength to stand alone you are no
wife of mine. You aro too weak, too slight for
Sho winced at his words and shrank back as if
he had struck her, but a moment later she roso
to her feet and faced him bravely.
"You will be sorry for those words some
day," she said, in a low, vibrating tone, that
thrilled him unpleasantly. "Oh ! yes, you will
be sorry. Your eyes aro blinded now, but some
day you will see clearly. I know that I am
weak, but is not that all tho greater reason for
you, my husband, to help and protect me ? I
do not wish to reproach you; no doubt you havo
acted up to your standard, but if you had ex
pected less and given moro, If you had spoken
kindly to me, and helped me when I needed
help, things would never havo eome to this.
Some women, no doubt, can stand alono, but
they arc cast in a very dlffereut mould. If I
were not hero I do not think you would mi6s
mo much; our lives are so soparato and distinct,
3'ou nover seem to require my sympathy or ad
vice; there is no companionship betweeu us In
short, I am not necessary to you. Love is not
necessary to your life, but It is to mine. I can
not llvo without it." Sho paused for a moment,
still looking up at him. "I think you loved me
once," she went on, in a softer tono, "and some
day, when you remember that love, you will bo
sorry that you did not listen to my appeal. I
am going now, and you need not bo afraid that
I shall ever trouble you in this way again. I
havo made my last appeal aud failed." Sho
moved slowly toward tho door, swaying as sho
walked. On tho threshold sho turned and
looked back at him. "Good-night, Geoffroy,"
sho 6aid, and then sho went,
Geoffrey never 6aw her again.
That night sho took tho last, most desperate
step of all. Tho next day ho learned tbat6ho
and Arcblo had fled together.
That is all there Is no moro to tell,
Many years have rolled by now since Geoffrey
hoard tho tidings of Doris's death, and ho muses
hero to-night, a lonely, gray-haired man, without
hope, or love, or interest in life. Ho is tempted
to wish that ho had not found tho lilies, and yet
he knows that it is good sometimes to review tho
Of the future he does not think all fs misty
and vague; he eaunot penetrate the veil, and ho
Is thankful that ho cannot. There is only ono
point on which ho feels sure, and that is that
when tho accusing angel reads out from tho
Book of Lifo the record of his wife's sin it Is
ho, and uot Doris, who will havo to rise up and
answer for It.
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WEEK OF OCTOBER, 20. SIX NIGHTS ONLY.
MATINEES WEDNESDAY and SATURDAY.
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Cast by Col. Sinn's Brooklyn Park Theatre Co.
Magnificent Scenery. Bcantif al Stage Settings.
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Tho play is an entertaining ono. and well
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Only One Week.
THIS SPLENDID PLAY.
EW NATIONAL TIIEATKE.
Monday, October 20, 1890.
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