Imatges de pÓgina
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"I don't know," he said ; “I am not pre- while May became like some pale spirit pared to declare. But I am not sure that hovering on the threshold of this dwelling the wisest plan for the future master of which had been her own, and kept aloof Tobereevil would not be to get rid of the by the demons that had driven her out. whole thing, and leave the curse and the It had taken three strange months to woods to rot or flourish as they please.” bring things to this point, and one bleak

May grew pale, but she answered readily, day in March Katherine took a fancy to before Katherine had time to speak. walk out by herself, away from Monas

Well, there will be time enough to terlea, and towards the Woods of Tobedecide when the right moment comes.

In reevil. It was a gray morning, with a the meanwhile, is it not time that this cold and scathing wind, but Katherine meeting should break up ?”

was healthy and strong, and clad so as to And the meeting did break up. Kathe- defy the bitter weather. She rine had achieved triumph enough to last wrapped up in furs, and carried a gay hat her for one night, and went singing down and feathers upon

her head. As she the cloisters to her chamber. She sang walked along the road people curtsied to her light song while she unbound her her, and looked after her, for her beauty golden hair and put off her jewels, and her shone dazzlingly in the chill of the colourlaces, and her gown of glittering silk. And less day. she fell asleep, smiling, and dreamt that

It seemed to amuse her to be out thus May was weeping at her door, but she alone, and on an errand of her own, for she would not let her in. Yet May was not laughed pleasantly to herself as she went weeping; only lying awake in pain, with along. She sometimes looked behind her, wide - open eyes, and fiercely - throbbing but she did not stop at all till she had heart; for tears could not save Paul, how come to the entrance of the Tobereevil ever strength and courage might.

Woods. Then she stood still and gazed All the courage was needed, and needed at them. Katherine Archbold had not the get more urgently as days and weeks went least share of superstition or of poetry in on. The change in Paul became more her nature, yet her mind as she gazed at marked, and Katherine's subtle power the trees was filled with the recollection gathered closer round him, while her of the story of their origin. But she had cunning boldness kept him further out of no shudder for the cruelty of the wholethe reach of May's wholesome influence. sale murder that had driven their roots into Her conversation ran upon money and the soil. She was not troubled about freezpower, upon the folly of a man's not en- ing mothers and babes, and famished men. joying whatever he could touch, upon the She thought only of the success of these uselessness of so-called benevolent en- strong woods which had so forced their roots deavours to do good to one's fellow- into the sad reluctant land, covering many creatures, and every hour Paul showed a a mile with their mighty limbs. She had more restless impatience to possess the in- a vast admiration for anything that had heritance which the miser had promised triumphed, and she gloried in the triumph should be his. His temper was altered; of the trees. every flickering shadow had become a Having gazed her fill at them, she dived sombre cloud, every gleam of his old good in amongst them, walking over the meek humour appeared only under the guise of primroses, and never seeing the young a feverish hilarity. Katherine amused violets. She plunged into the thickets, him with stories of the gay world where and amused herself by forcing her way people did what they pleased without through the underwood, fighting with trouble about duty, and in perfect freedom stubborn branches that barred her way, from the thraldom of what stupid people delighted when she could break them and call conscience. She showed him that life trample them under foot. The trees in such a dreary corner of the world as thrust her back, but she had her way, this was no better than that of the mole in in spite of them, conveying herself into the earth, that gaiety, and excitement, and certain of their fastnesses, where human luxury were the only things that made ex- footstep seldom made its way. She found istence worth having. And when Kathe- a pillared chamber of gloom, where the sun rine talked she drove out the devil of could never shine, and by the gradual gloom that tormented his soul; but only spread of whose impenetrable roof the that when she had ceased seven others faithful light of the stars had been one by might enter in and take possession of it: one put out. Perpetual darkness reigned


in this spot, and there was also a ceaseless bound to get my will whosomederer lends sound of disturbance, for the roar of sway

me a hand.” ing miles of wood surged above and below "Come,” said Katherine, “this is interest. in continual thunder. Even the mildest airs ing. My dear wise woman, I thank you of heaven seemed to have secret stings, for your compliments, and I am delighted which goaded the Tobereevil Woods un- to make your acquaintance.

You thought ceasingly into motion and sound. The dark- you had something good, and you find you ness and confusion were very awful in this have something naughty ; so you become solitary dungeon which the trees had made quite friendly and tell me your secrets. for themselves. It seemed like a meeting. Nothing could please me more. It gives me place for evil spirits. Katherine approved intense pleasure to meet with people who of it, and, in order to enjoy herself, took intend to have their will. And who is your her seat on a fallen trunk over which she boy Con—and what is he to Simon ?" had stumbled.

She knew the story well, but chose to


“He's my sister's own son, an' Simon's KATHERINE had not been long in this nephew," she said. “An' I've swore an cath uncomfortable spot when she heard a sound on my knees that he shall be master o' which, fearless as she was, caused her a Tobeerevil. There was a will that 73 momentary shock. To hear a footstep in nearly signed whin Paul Finiston he est such a place was startling. Yet there was in an' turned us ont o doors. I've been a crackling of the underwood to be de- years starvin' yonder wid the black-beetles tected through, or rather on the surface of, an' the rats; an' I'm bound to have of the roar of the woods. Her eyes, being reward. I'll get back to his kitchen, art now used to the darkness, distinguished the I'll put my boy into Paul's shoes. I've outline of a woman's form, which was grop- been begging on the hills, but it's little 17 ing its way amongst the bushes. Presently think o' that when I've the money-bagsin m a scream from the new-comer announced clutches, an' I'm come this ways through the fear at the glimmer of Miss Archbold's woods in hopes o' meetin' somethin

' wickers white furs. The figure fell and cowered that 'd help me. There do be devils an on the ground, and Katherine amused her- bad spirits always livin' in the threes-In self for some minutes with the terror of not afraid o' them if they'd give me a bas' this unknown and silly wretch. Then she But I'm mortial feared o' the angels, for touched the prostrate body with the toe of they might keep me from my will. her little boot.

Katherine looked at the creature with “Get up quickly,” she said, “whoever admiration. Where in all the land conid

she meet with anything so congenial as The creature, an old woman, revived at this hag, who had thus avowed a purpose the human voice, and gathered herself which had made them enemies at once? grotesquely into a sitting posture. They For I,” thought Katherine, " have do could see each other now, however dimly. termined that Paul Finiston shall be master Katherine looked like some beautiful fairy, of Tobereevil, and I am resolved to have who had chosen for no good end to pay a my will. And this creature is also be visit to this spot ; the other like some witch upon forcing fate, so that her Con skil in her familiar haunt. For the old woman take his place. Yet we shall be frieuds was ugly, and she was weird. In short, in spite of this little difference.". she was Tibbie.

My dear soul," said she, “ sit down on “I know ye now!" she cried, “I know this stump and tell me all about it. Iam Ye're Sir John Archbold's anxious to hear your plans.

What do you daughter from beyant the mountain. Many mean to do in order to ruin Paul Finiston a time I have heard o' the beauty o' yer “I would not tell you,” said Tibbre face, an' the hardness o' yer heart. I know only that I know you are hard-hearted ye by yer hair, for though my eyes is not If I thought you soft an' good, I woulda? good, I can see the glint o't. I took ye open my lips to ye, not if ye prayed me i for an angel, an' I'm not good company for yer knees. For Paul Finiston's the surt the angels—not till my boy Con's some that women likes." way settled to his property. When Simon “But he is a fool,” said Katherine, gives him his

rights, then I'll set my mind impostor, and a beggar, who must be to goodness; but people can't get their wills turned by the shoulders out of the country; wid the grace o' God about them. An' I'm Tibbie crowed, and clapped her hands

you may be !"

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I ing away.

with delight. “Oh, musha!” she cried; where it'll be found. I'll get somebody to you have the purty tongue in your head." pluck it for me that'll not know the harm.

How do you mean to do it ?” asked For I tell ye that I am bound to get my Katherine. “Don't be afraid to tell me, for will." there is no one within miles of us. Shall Katherine stood looking on, while the old you give him a taste of nightshade, or a creature thus bemoaned herself. little hemlock-tea ?”

There, now,” she said, presently, “ do “ No," said Tibbie, doubtfully, as if the not cry any more. I have a mandrake idea had not startled her, but was familiar myself, and I will give it to you. It will

to her mind. “I have thought o' that, an' be no loss to me, for I have everything I | thought o't, an' I'll thry another way. I'll want. I like meeting with difficulties, for

do it by a charm. An' that's what brought I have power within myself to break them
me here to-day. There's roots that does down. If you like to have the mandrake,
be growin' in divils' places like this, an' if | I will give it to you."
ye can catch them, an' keep them, ye may “Like it !” cried Tibbie. “Is it would
do anything ye like.”

I like it, she says ? Oh, wirra, wirra !
“ Roots !” said Katherine. “ And what isn't her ladyship gone mad ? Like to
do with them?"

have the mandrake! Like to get my will !
* Some needs wan doin', an' some an- An' they said ye were hard-hearted. Then
other," said Tibbie. “The best of all is a it's soft-hearted ye are, an' I was a fool to
mandhrake, for that's a divil in itsel'. It be talkin' to ye. Give away yer luck to
looks like a little man, and ye hang it up wan like me! If I had it I'd see ye die
in a corner, where it can see ye walkin' afore I'd give it to ye.”
about. So long as you threat it well "Oh, very well," said Katherine, turn-
it'll bring ye the luck o' the world.

course, if


don't want go sarchin' through every bad place in the it, I can give it to some one else.” woods, and on the mountains, turnin' up the Tibbie uttered a cry.

She fell on the stones, and glowerin' under the bushes, ground, and laid hold of Katherine's gown. hopin' to find a mandhrake that'll do my "Ladyship, ladyship!” she said. “I will. If I can find him, oh, honey! won't meant no harm. It's on'y amazed I was, I make my own o' the miser? I'll make an' I ax yer honour's pardon. Give me the keys dance out o' his pockets, and up the mandhrake, an' ye may put yer foot the money-bags dance out o' the holes on me, an' walk on me. I'll do anythin' he has hid them in, an' the goold jump out in the world for ye when I have a divil to o' the bags into Tibbie's pockets. I'll do my will

. Ladyship, ladyship, give me

, make him burn the will that has Paul in it, the mandhrake !" an' write ont another that'll put Con in his " There, then,” said Katherine, "I proplace. I'll have all my own way; an' the mise that you shall have it; and if ever I ould villain may break his heart and die should want anything of you I expect you

widout me needin' to lift a hand against to be friendly. Stay, there is one thing 1 !! him.”

should like to see the house of Tobereevil. Capital,” cried Katherine; “but where Bring me there, now, and


shall have will you find the mandrake ? Are you the mandrake to-morrow. I don't want to sure that it grows in this country at all ? see the miser; only his den.” And suppose it does, don't you know that Well,” said Tibbie, who had now got to suit your purpose it must spring from a on her feet, and recovered her self-possesmurderer’s grave ? Then, even when it is sion, “if you can creep, an' hould yer found, there is danger in getting possession tongue, an' if yer shoes don't squeak, I'll of it. It screams when its root is torn take ye through the place. There's little from the earth, and the shriek kills the worth seein' for a lady like yersel', but person who plucks it."

come wid me if you like it. On y don't Tibbie's face fell as she listened. “You're blame Tibbie if Simon finds


out. larnder nor me,” she said.

“Leave that to me,” said Katherine, “ I'm tellin' me the thruth?”

not afraid of Simon." “Certainly, the truth," said Katherine. Tibbie clasped her hands and rocked

Tibbie lifted up her voice and howled herself with delight. “ That's the manwith disappointment. “Everythin's agin dhrake,” she muttered. “There's nobody me,” she said, rocking herself dismally. can gainsay her wid the mandhrake undher “ But I'm not goin' to be baffled. I'll her thumb"; an to-morrow it'll be Tibbie's.” cross the says if ye'll tell me the counthry So these new friends set to work to

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extricate themselves from the prison of ants of the scene are comprehensively detrees in which they had taken pains to scribed as les choristes. In this way the immure themselves. They groped, and pedigree of the "super" gains something pushed, and fought, until they made their of nobility, and may, perhaps, be traced way out into the more open woods where back to the chorus of the antique drama, a air and moisture were found plentiful body charged with most momentous duties, enough, and where the young vegetation with symbolic mysteries of dance and song, was varied and magnificent, the delicate removed from the perils and catastrophes and wholesome growing mingled with the of the play, yet required in regard to these rank and poisonous. Ivy trailed from to guide and interpret the sympathies of high branches of trees, making beautiful the spectators. In its modern application, traps for

unwary feet. Grass was long and however, this generic term has its subdicoarse, being nourished with the giant visions, and includes les choristes proper, ferns by creeping sources of the evil well who boast musical attainments, and are of the legend. Streaks of fiery scarlet obedient to the rule of a chef d'attaque, or shining out here and there from the gloom head chorister; les accessoires, performers of greenery, and blackish atmosphere of rot- permitted speech of a brief kind, who can ting thickets, announced the brazen beauty be intrusted upon occasion with such of the night-shade. Upon this Kathe- simple functions as opening a door, placing rine pounced, making herself a deathly a chair, or delivering a letter, and who corand brilliant nosegay as she went along; respond in many respects with our actors a poisonous sheaf of burning berries for a of utility ; les figurants, the subordinate centre, some stalks of hemlock, some little dancers led by a coryphée; and lastly, les brown half-rotted nutleaves with blots of comparses, who closely resemble our superyellow and crimson, some black slender numeraries, and are engaged in more twigs; the whole surrounded by a lace- or less numbers, ac

according to the exiwork of skeleton oak-leaves. She would gencies of the representation. Of these have nothing fresh, nothing of the spring, aids to performance les comparses only her whim being to make a nosegay out of enjoy no regular salaries, are not formally deadliness and decay.



permanent members of the establishment, but are paid simply for

appearing-seventy-five centimes for the THE “SUPER.”

night and fifty centimes for each rehearsal

or upon some such modest scale of remu. The theatrical supernumerary-or the neration. This classification would appear "super," as he is familiarly called—is a man to afford opportunities to ambition. Here who in his time certainly plays many parts, are steps in the ladder, and merit should and yet obtains applause in none. His exits be able to ascend. It is understood, howand his entrances, his debut and his disap- ever, that as a rule les comparses do not pearance, alike escape criticism and record. rise. They are the serfs of the stage, who His name is not printed in the playbills, never obtain manumission. They are as and is for ever unknown to his audience. conscripts, from whose knapsacks the fieldEven the persons he is supposed to repre- marshal's baton is almost invariably sent upon the stage always remain anony- omitted. They become veterans, but their

Both as a living and fictitious length of service receives no favourable creature he is denied individuality, and has recognition. Comparses they live and comto be considered collectively, massed with parses they die, or disappear, not appaothers, and inseparable from his companion rently discontented with their doom, how. figures. He is not so much an actor, as Meantime the figurant cherishes part of the decorations, the animated fur- sanguine hopes that he may one day rise niture, so to say, of the stage. Neverthe- to a prominent position in the ballet, or less, supers” have their importance and that he may become an accessoire; and the value. For how could the drama exist accessoire looks forward fervently to rankwithout its background groups: its sol. ing in the future among the regular actors diers, citizens, peasants, courtiers, nobles, or artistes of the theatre, with the right of guests, and attendants of all kinds ?. These entering its grand foyer, or superior greengive prominence, support, and effect to the room. Until then he must confine himleading characters of the theatre; and these self and his aspirations to the petit foyer supers.

set apart for the use of players of his class. Upon the French stage the minor assist- Thus it is told of a certain accessoire of



are the

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the Porte St. Martin, in years past, who here much concerned. They are not fairly had won a scarcely appreciable measure of to be classed among supers,” and they fame for his adroitness in handing letters pertain almost exclusively to the lyric or coffee-cups upon a salver, and even for stage. It is to be noted, however, that the propriety with which he announced, in they are in some sort evidence of the con

the part of a footman, the guests and visi- nexion that once existed between the Church I tors of a drama-such as “Monsieur le and the Theatre; the ecclesiastical and the

Viscomte de St. Remy!” or “Madame la laical drama. At any rate, the chorus Marquise de Roncourt!”– that he applied singers often undertake divided duties in to his manager for an increase of his salary this respect, and accept engagements both on account of the special value of his ser- at the cathedral and the opera-house. And vices. “I do not expect,” he frankly said, sometimes it has happened that the dis"immediately to receive twenty-five thou- charge of their dual obligations has involved sand francs, as Monsieur Frédéric Lemaitre them in serious difficulties. Thus, some years does; no, not yet; although I bear in since, there is said to have been a Christmind that Monsieur Lemaitre began his mas spectacle in preparation at the operacareer with fighting broad-sword combats house in Paris. The entertainment was in Madame Saqui's circus; but my present of a long and elaborate kind, and for its salary is but six hundred francs a year, perfect production numberless rehearsals, and a slight increase

early and late, dress and undress, were im"Monsieur Fombonne,” interrupted the peratively necessary. Now the chorus of manager, “I acknowledge the justice of the opera also represented the choir of your application. I admire and esteem you. Notre Dame. It was a season of the You are one of the most useful members year for which the Church has appointed of my company. I well know your worth ; many celebrations. The singers were incesno one better."

santly running to and fro between the operaMonsieur Fombonne, glowing with plea- house and Notre Dame. Often they had sure, bowed in his best manner.

not a moment to spare, and punctuality in "I may venture to hope then

attending their appointments was scarcely “By all means, Monsieur Fombonne. possible, while the trouble of so frequently Hope sustains us under all our afflictions. changing their costumes was extremely irkAlways hope. For my part hope is the some to them. On one occasion a dress only thing left me. Business is wretched. rehearsal at the theatre, which commenced The treasury is empty. I cannot possibly at a very late hour, after the conclusion raise your salary. But you are an artist, of the ordinary performance of the evening, and therefore above pecuniary conside- was so protracted that the time for the rations. I do not-I cannot-offer you early service at the cathedral was rapidly money. But I can gratify a laudable am- approaching: The chorus appeared as bition. Hitherto you have ranked only as an demons at the opera, and wore the tightaccessoire; from this time forward you are fitting scaly dresses which time out of an actor. I give you the right of enter- mind have been invested upon the stage ing the grand foyer. You are permitted to with diabolical attributes.

What were call Monsieur Lemaitre mon camarade ; to they to do? Was there time to undress tutoyer Mademoiselle Theodorine. I am and dress again ? Scarcely. Besides, was

, sure, Monsieur Fombonne, that you will it worth the trouble ? It was very dark; thoroughly appreciate the distinction I have bitterly cold; there was not a soul to be conferred upon you.”

seen in the streets; all Paris was abed and Monsieur Fombonne was delighted. He asleep. Moreover, the door of the sacristy was subsequently to discover, however, that would be ready open to receive them, and some disadvantages attended his new dig- their white stoles would be immediately nity; that the medal he had won had its obtainable. Well, the story goes that these reverse. The accessoires and figurants of desperate singers, accoutred as they were, the theatre always received their salaries on ran as fast as they could to Notre Dame, the first day of each month. The artistes veiled their satanic dresses beneath the were not paid until the sixth or seventh day. snowy surplices of the choir, and accomMonsieur Fombonne had to live upon credit plished their sacred duties without any for a week as the price of his new pri- discovery of the impropriety of their convileges. His gain was shadowy; his loss duct. It is true they encountered in their substantial.

course a patrol of the civic guard; but With the choristes proper we are not the representatives of law and order, form

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