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    "Why, isn't So-and-So above suspicion?" I asked. "I wouldn't say he was and I wouldn't say he wasn't. But, just between you and me, I'd think twice about taking any advice he gave me. They tell me you've let the contract for some work to Dash & Space?"

      The change in Mr. Royall frightened her. All the bloodseemed to leave his veins and against his swarthypallor the deep lines in his face looked black.

    Meanwhile Harry, on his return to the store, had reported the accident, and submitted to a close cross-examination on the part of the storekeeper.

    Chapter 12

    Not so many, he thought, if all were told, and why should he hope to be different? Yet surely this was a new feeling, a worthy one, at last. It was not for her charming person that he loved her; not because of her beauty and her gaiety only; but because he had seen in her something that gave a promise of completion to his own nature, the something that would satisfy not only his senses but his empty heart.

    I have one word to say upon the subject of profound writers, who are grown very numerous of late, and I know very well the judicious world is resolved to list me in that number. I conceive, therefore, as to the business of being profound, that it is with writers as with wells. A person with good eyes can see to the bottom of the deepest, provided any water be there; and that often when there is nothing in the world at the bottom besides dryness and dirt, though it be but a yard and half under ground, it shall pass, however, for wondrous deep, upon no wiser a reason than because it is wondrous dark.

    “I know how that is; so does Philip Feltram.”

    Mrs. Gilbert was very indignant, and she spoke warmly.

    “Oh, Rheatia!” He dismissed Rheatia as though that overgrown neighbor of his were not worth mentioning. “In Rheatia you will ’ear many tales. The only bandit I know of in these mountains is Fakat Zol, the Black Ghost. You may ’ave ’eard of ’im?”

    The earth is 2,400 miles round, and 800 through—at least I think so, but perhaps it’s the other way.—DICKY.

    “Well, I declare to goodness it does illuminate the old place!” says Gus; but the fact was, that there was a gas-lamp opposite our window, and I believe that was the reason why we could see pretty well. At least in my bedroom, to which I was obliged to go without a candle, and of which the window looked out on a dead wall, I could not see a wink, in spite of the Hoggarty diamond, and was obliged to grope about in the dark for a pincushion which Somebody gave me (I don’t mind owning it was Mary Smith), and in which I stuck it for the night. But, somehow, I did not sleep much for thinking of it, and woke very early in the morning; and, if the truth must be told, stuck it in my night-gown, like a fool, and admired myself very much in the glass.

    "Yes, sir; he came in from a walk five minutes since."

    “I saw Species and Shapes; I heard the Spirit of all things; I beheld the revolt of the Evil Ones; I listened to the words of the Good. Seven devils came, and seven archangels descended from on high. The archangels stood apart and looked on through veils. The devils were close by; they shone, they acted. Mammon came on his pearly shell in the shape of a beautiful naked woman; her snowy body dazzled the eye, no human form ever equalled it; and he said, ‘I am Pleasure; thou shalt possess me!’ Lucifer, prince of serpents, was there in sovereign robes; his Manhood was glorious as the beauty of an angel, and he said, ‘Humanity shall be at thy feet!’ The Queen of misers — she who gives back naught that she has ever received — the Sea, came wrapped in her virent mantle; she opened her bosom, she showed her gems, she brought forth her treasures and offered them; waves of sapphire and of emerald came at her bidding; her hidden wonders stirred, they rose to the surface of her breast, they spoke; the rarest pearl of Ocean spread its iridescent wings and gave voice to its marine melodies, saying, ‘Twin daughter of suffering, we are sisters! await me; let us go together; all I need is to become a Woman.’ The Bird with the wings of an eagle and the paws of a lion, the head of a woman and the body of a horse, the Animal, fell down before her and licked her feet, and promised seven hundred years of plenty to her best-beloved daughter. Then came the most formidable of all, the Child, weeping at her knees, and saying, ‘Wilt thou leave me, feeble and suffering as I am? oh, my mother, stay!’ and he played with her, and shed languor on the air, and the Heavens themselves had pity for his wail. The Virgin of pure song brought forth her choirs to relax the soul. The Kings of the East came with their slaves, their armies, and their women; the Wounded asked her for succor, the Sorrowful stretched forth their hands: ‘Do not leave us! do not leave us!’ they cried. I, too, I cried, ‘Do not leave us! we adore thee! stay!’ Flowers, bursting from the seed, bathed her in their fragrance which uttered, ‘Stay!’ The giant Enakim came forth from Jupiter, leading Gold and its friends and all the Spirits of the Astral Regions which are joined with him, and they said, ‘We are thine for seven hundred years.’ At last came Death on his pale horse, crying, ‘I will obey thee!’ One and all fell prostrate before her. Could you but have seen them! They covered as it were a vast plain, and they cried aloud to her, ‘We have nurtured thee, thou art our child; do not abandon us!’ At length Life issued from her Ruby Waters, and said, ‘I will not leave thee!’ then, finding Seraphita silent, she flamed upon her as the sun, crying out, ‘I am light!’ ‘The light is there!’ cried Seraphita, pointing to the clouds where stood the archangels; but she was wearied out; Desire had wrung her nerves, she could only cry, ‘My God! my God!’ Ah! many an Angelic Spirit, scaling the mountain and nigh to the summit, has set his foot upon a rolling stone which plunged him back into the abyss! All these lost Spirits adored her constancy; they stood around her — a choir without a song — weeping and whispering, ‘Courage!’ At last she conquered; Desire — let loose upon her in every Shape and every Species — was vanquished. She stood in prayer, and when at last her eyes were lifted she saw the feet of Angels circling in the Heavens.”

    Or—another wonder intervenes. Would letters and arts have ever developed under a matriarchy? Probably yes. Perhaps even to a greater extent than has been the case during the long centuries of patriarchal rule that have followed the possible once-upon-a-time primitive matriarchates of antiquity. For even recognizing that the creative faculty—artistic and inventive—is the heritage of man rather than of woman, has it not, within historic times, in civilized countries, been ever under queen rulership that letters and art have flourished? Perhaps an unrecognized, sublimated form of sex-instinct—or so a certain school of psycho-analysts would argue—that has spurred masculine creative genius to its highest point; as it spurred, apparently, the venturous spirit of the great explorers, certainly of the Elizabethan age; and as, in a later age in England, it spurred those who dreamed of world conquest in the name of the “Great Good Queen.” Has personal idolatry rendered to a king ever equalled that rendered to a queen, whether by soldier or poet, artist or farm-labourer? The sex instinct here, as in other fields, has played its part, and in this particular field usually for good rather than for[206] evil. Perhaps no more Sapphos would have arisen under the rule of women than of men; but it seems not improbable that more men poets might have arisen, worthily and lustily to sing the praises of queens.

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