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The St. Louis Republic. [volume] (St. Louis, Mo.) 1888-1919, August 27, 1905, SUNDAY MAGAZINE, Image 45

Image and text provided by State Historical Society of Missouri; Columbia, MO

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84020274/1905-08-27/ed-1/seq-45/

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THK sun beat down from
the hard summer sky '.:jHin
the Spanish town v. inch
lay huddled lietuecn the river
:itil tin' hill Spire and pinnacle
shone white as alabaster in the
lear tierce air. Km cpt for a red
sailed barge creeping t:: against
sluggish stream, there m:i
4 - -
- L - -1 -
W I -
tin i;n of human action; the
distant tinkle of a 1h.-11 as one of
the henl inoVel ne.i-ily on the
slopes alone awoke the midday
tlcn.-e. Ami little James lbr
jurian. -eatel on a convenient
he.iji of stones near the crest of
the ridge, stared so fiercely fro::i
under his big hat at the an. ient
r'f- atnl lay river, and away
to the northward where the
great hills rose in a band of
shimmering purple, that his t-yis
might reasonably have 1-ccii c.--cctcd
to make :n ttiality of a
catthword ami drop out of his
From the artistic stand'mint.
Hornnnaii was essentially dis
appointing. That weedy lit
tle ugiire in its knickcrl nicker
suit, crowned ly a broad
brimmed pith helmet suggested
i heap trippers, funks tow.s. red-l-omjd
guide-l-ooks ami a total
lack of sympathy in the ro-
Yet though llorniman was
the manager of the West Ken
sington brain h ol a large tirm
of Loudon drapers, ami moreover in jos-.essi,iji ,,f
considerable business ability, though he w.i upm a
heap tour, though a gmde-lo.k blushed unseen
in his left-hand co.it po. kct. he v.. is even then
pcoj.lmg the old town with f.tstili.m knights ami
laie-ej!oiI beauties peeping from behind their fans.
y: ' as if Il.ui Outvote h.l never pranced into the
lists lo l.uigh the make-believe out of Spanish t hiv
alrv I"-r eleven months in the ear llorniman
conducted himself with a decorum that gave jt-rtett
s.i'i tatttoii to his hre. tors, in the tweitth. which
Was his holiday, he dreamed ilreams.
Anil up the ro.nl. though llorniman never sus-pe-ctcd
it not cc:i v.hiti he s.tw hmt. Romance
t.iUle Walking
The tra. k from the town was steep, and he
v. atiheil the stranger toiling toward him with the
jibs. .-it ion in another's disvomiort inseparable from
the ...nteuted spirit. He was a big. s;,,ut man.
and he stopped now and again to wipe his tort head
Willi a large red handkert hiet. When at last he
reat heil the summit he waited panting the while
he regarded llorniman seated on the stones by the
"A warm da v.
The Begis&s&iirag as&cS Indlisn of a
Weedy Little Draper's Chivalry
Collaborator with Sir A. Conan Doyle on "The Hound of the Bashervilles"
Illustrations by Wladyslaw T. Benda
Little Mr. Horninian Sli
Fiercvlx from Under
Hi Biff Hat
uggi-sted llorniman. WhethtT
the stranger tKitltTstotHl him or not. he felt he must
il. the polite thing.
"An Knglishm.in. as I live!" cvtlaimed the stout
man. staring at Horuimau ,i if he was some rare
and turiotis treature. '"And win re may oti have
sprung tnun?"
Huruiman. w.irme.1 bv the sound r: his own lan
JTUage Tuade haste to explain Ills p.-ition as a tourist
who had strayed from the tustom.irv tr.uk of his
km.! The stot:t man li-tetied attentively, nodding
cutnstances: but it wouldn't lie fair."
"Of that I am the best judge."
The stranger got to his feet, ami
grasping Homimati's hand shook it
with a sudden resolution. "You're,
a white man. by thunder!" he saiil.
"Sit down and hear all almut it.
"A mining engineer, that's what
1 am." he liegan. "ami Rutherford
is my name. William Horatio Ruth
erford. I've licen up ami down this
blasted country for twelve years and
more, making fortunes for other
ieople in London to spend. That's
enough almut me. anyway.
"Po you see that tall chimney
leyond the town, to your right at
the foot of the ridge?" Well, that's
the Madrono mine a !irst.la- in
vestment i years ago. and a warm
one still. There's not a bit of the
plant al-ove or leIov ground that 1
didn't see fixed.
"While 1 was settin? up the ma
chinery and kin king "tomorrow
out of the vocabulary of a couple
nl hundred idle greasers. I took a
lodging in the town. On the lloor alnive me was
a brandy-soaked old scamp, a Major he had ln-cn
in the Tarlist wars, who lived with his niece, a
little kid of ten. The old man used to keep her
hard at work all day while he loung.-d around the
cafes and played the gentleman. Hardly a night
but I heard him stumbling and cursing on the
stairs. 1 used to get pretty mad. thinking of the
jN.r kid who was waiting up for him. Once or
titiie I spike to her. but though she knew I meant
it kmdH she was too proud or too shy to let me
help her.
"One summer evening the Major came reeling
home earlier than usual, almut eight o!ok it
was. and presently 1 heard the girl sing out from
the tio-.r a'.iove. As I stood hesitating what to do.
there was a patter of feet mi the stairs ami in ran
the kid. white and trembling. The old man came
tlattering at her heels. He had a sti.-k in his hand,
and his Krret eyts v. ere red with passion and the
drink that was on him.
says he.
'but this
spoke in
'1 atlogie for this intrusion, sefior.'
pping himself against the door-jist;
w s-
m time to tune. Wh n the narrative
led. the stranger, to Hornmtan's great
; ri-- sa; .low:; suddenly "-n the bank and
5 1 i-d his :'.ue into his hands His attitude might
e s re.i as a model l'C ol cse despair.
M d.-.tr sir." said llorniman. jumping to his
' '-.x dear sir. what on earth is the matter5"
fang that you tan iure'" the stout man
! ' just let me alone, tan't vm;"
ptrhaps I mi.'ht be of some help," urged
.n "P1 o Kghsh"ic:i throv ii together in
. !' ign country must stand sljouhUr to shoulder."
The other looked v.i, his , iiiv'.. scarlet with
t :-. -tit -:i "Thev ve got me beat, curse "cm!" he
sj bi",-ed. "IVxir giri. ;nr hfle Kid'"
All the romatue m Itormmati s thirty inches of
this- throbbed at the words " Please tell tr.e the
s r " he said. :io without dignity "I: a l.idv
has ! e-n wronged, you ia:i count upon my assist-
I i
stoundrel oi a thud is my
Spanish: but I had the
lingo pretty well by this
"Tio baik to vour
lit!. said I. " back.
and think shame on your
gray hatrs!'
"He got hold of him
self at that, ami stiiod
1 linking and staring as if
my meaning was be
yond him.
" Is it your puqxiso to
insult me. sefwr" said he.
""It's as -oti please."
I told him.
""You will light1" he
askel. tieri e and sudden.
"The little kid tried
out at his words and
tame running in 1-eiwccn
r.s. Hut the old 1 rule
let out with his cane,
i at. lung her on the side
of the head and towltng
her over like a sn,t rab
bit I jtitnj-eil for hi'ii.
grabbed the sti. k and
tracked it .. ross my
"'You had befer go.
i e no rig ut t.i
.J tht - : r.
n t tler.v :' s ,k tt
fi.. '
If." I s.,id "or I
:id I ! T.is. hi.
ir- ' There w
I si..,!'.e..
muri-Jcr :n
h f' '- l
2 . - - ' ' : v'
f "I " J Jrm.
"Th.it Mr" - ;" "!''
his face, and his hands were working to lnr at my
throat. But whatever he had in his mind, he wasn't
fool enough to try it.
""So my Isalicl has a new guardian' he said.
Polite he was now. but with his lips twitching.
A netv guardian indeed the idea is not ilisj!eaing
to me. I present her to you. senor. with my most
profound compliments. May the saints bless you!
1 wish you got Mi-evening."
"He gave a great laugh, snapped his lingers in
my face and stum;cd out into the passage. I heard
him go tip to his room; but a few minutes later he
came stumbling down the stairs and passed out
into the street. From my window I could see him
strutting along with a bag in his hand. As he
turned the corner, under the oil lamp. I caught the
sound of a desolate little sob at mvelltiw.
ihccr up. fc.al.cl. said 1. He'll tome back to
morrow, and if he doesn't, why
"She stood watching me as 1 hesitated over the
idea. 'What then, senor: "
""You must leave that tome, my dear.' I said."
Rutherford paused, mopping his fate with his
handkerchief in great agitation. Presently lie
pulled a leather case from his jHH-ket. extracted a
photograph and passed it over to llorniman.
"That's her." he said.
It was the -lortrait of a girl, in age some seventeen
years. Large melancholy ryes looked out from a
faie of gentle 1-eauty. She might have sat to
Yelas-iuez. a worthy Madonna.
"And when was this taken?" asked llorniman.
"Might months ago."
The stmit man waited; but as llorniman was
plainly embarrassed he proceeded with his tale.
"The old landlady ti-ik charge of ,-r that night;
and next morning I woke with a lompassjon for
the j-oor little kid all altnit my bcaM Precious
fond of children I always was. and what with my
loneliness and what with the pretty ways she had,
she couldn't have seemed dearer if she'd been my
very own. As for the old Major. I swore he wouldn't
take her. not if he came ba. k with all the jiilice
in the town l-chim! him. Hut in that matter I'd no
cause lor trouble. I never set eyes on him again.
"So things went mi. She lived with the laml
1 idy and had the run of my room. She was the
g.iod fairy of the nursery looks to me. A few
"lowers, a washed curtain, dusted shelves and my
clothes all patched and mended nm much, you
say. but to me it changed the old place like the tap
of a wand 1 never came
back from the mine without
something for the kid, and
to see her standing there
shy. with big round eyes,
while I pulled out a bit of
riblion or a handkerchief
or some tomfoolery Lord.
I can't bear to talk aUnit
"It was the landlady
that did it A mighty
strict plate is Spain, ami
I believe the old woman,
to give her proper iredit.
was anioits for the kid's
future. Anyhow, she found
out that Bella had an aunt
in Madrid, ami wriie o't,
tilling her the facts So
one morning th.-re i.itiie a
r.otarv with a s!i,-af i-f in
t ructions and a bagful of
lotrphments to the kitu!
Hnglisli! t.m but I knew
at once that the game was
plavi-d One thing I had
to be thankful for When
they ; Lit el her at a con
vent in the town thev gav.e
me permission to s,,. her
oine a fortnight
We! the vears went bv
faster than what I'm tell-

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