IN THE GARDEN

The sight of Annie, arrayed in a freshly-ironed white dress and sitting
in the carriage behind Peter, gave Rachel a disagreeable shock.

“Mr. Hart thought very likely you’d come on the Express, and he sent me
along for the drive,” and Annie moved her starched flounces that Rachel
might sit beside her. “Was it hot in the city?”

“Yes, very.”

“And did you go to the marble works to see the new machine? Alexander
said that he had asked you.”

“Yes, I went there; but it was Saturday and they had closed down.”

“Oh–then nothing came of your visit?”

Rachel shivered.

“All the same,” the other continued, “it’s very remarkable, that
machine; and the best of it is, though I don’t suppose you’ll think so,
Alexander is entitled to all he makes on it and he’s going to make a
good deal. You see, it’s this way,” she explained, “Mr. Watson, Mr.
Hart–none of the Company, in fact, took a bit of stock in that
marble-cutting scheme when Alexander outlined it for them. They said:
‘There’s nothing in it; you go ahead with the organ attachment, don’t
let anything come before that; and work out the marble-cutting machine
on the side and you’re welcome to all you make on it.’ And Alexander
worked out the whole thing and even made the big model on three Sundays
and the Fourth of July, which came on Monday. Those four days were
sufficient, and it’s proved a triumph–really a great triumph. But I
suppose he’s told you. He said he was going to; and I thought it would
be all right, for I knew you’d be on Alexander’s side and would see
that what he’s done is perfectly fair.”

Rachel nodded. “Perfectly fair,” she murmured.

She had been asking herself while they had been driving along, what
Annie’s mode of escape was. Now she knew. “It’s the accumulation of
things,” she told herself. “Annie thinks if Emil can earn enough money
so that they can have _things_, she’ll be more than she is now.”

“If they pay him as much as they promised to, those Italians up there,”
Annie continued, “I don’t see why we shouldn’t have a little cottage in
the fall on the outskirts of the city somewhere, and Alexander could go
in to his work.”

“Didn’t I say so?” Rachel thought; and she was delighted at her own
astuteness.

The carriage lamps were lighted and by the aid of these and the shining
of the full moon, she could see her companion distinctly even to the
tiny freckles that covered the bridge of her nose. Freckles and all,
however, Annie was looking undeniably pretty in a fresh and innocent,
if somewhat meaningless, way. Annie’s emotions were those of a child,
Rachel told herself, trying to lighten her burden of self-reproach and
shame.

They arrived at the gate of Gray Arches which was cut through an
evergreen hedge and guarded by two large ornamental lamps, that, being
rusty and out of order, were never lighted. The carriage rolled over
the sand of the avenue, past some large bushes of rhododendron and
arrived before the steps of the glass-enclosed porch. Simon hastened
out of the house and helped them to alight.

“So you caught the Express all right?” he cried; then added, in an
undertone as he took Rachel’s arm, “I sent her to meet you, because I
knew she’d enjoy the drive. St. Ives is in the city to-day and I asked
her to dine with us.”

A few moments later Rachel stood at the window of her room.

Below in the garden Annie was standing beside Simon. He had picked up
a pebble from the path. “Do you know,” she heard him say in the tone
he always assumed when communicating information, “I’ve noticed that a
great many of these pebbles are of the amethyst variety.”

“It’s curious,” she thought, approaching the washstand, “what Simon
sees in Annie. He can’t do enough for her, apparently. She’s over
here all the time now.”

She began drawing off her rings, but the wedding ring resisted and she
was obliged to hold the finger under a faucet. Her face assumed a
moody, desperate expression. The world had shrunk to the round of her
wedding ring.

She plunged her face into the cold water. What should she put on?
Emil had called her beautiful. Was it true that she was beautiful?
She put on a light dress trimmed with insertions of real lace, a dress
much too elaborate for the occasion, and went downstairs.

In the dining room the party was awaiting her, and Simon had lit the
wax candles in the large candelabra in honour of Annie’s presence. In
the shifting radiance which is a peculiarity of candle light, Rachel’s
beauty shone forth triumphantly. Annie in her freshly-starched frock,
with her smooth blond little head and her unimaginative glance, looked
like a daisy of the kind that grows by the thousand in the fields,
beside some rare flower that had opened its petals to their extreme
limit. There was no mystery in Annie; but Rachel was all mystery, all
passion, all fire. Something unusual escaped from the glances she
lifted, and from those she half-concealed. Shadows teased the corners
of her mouth and sank into the slight hollow at the base of her throat.
Light bathed her brow. Something that was at once the “joy of her
soul” and the grief of her soul trembled from between her parted lips.

André could not take his eyes from her; and, as he looked, an
immeasurable anguish mingled with his delight.

“I must catch the train in the morning, Rachel,” Simon remarked as they
rose from the table, “a note from Theresa says Father is ailing.
Nothing serious, I infer, but I shall spend the day in town to-morrow,
lunch with him, and then I shall know all I wish. Watch a man when
he’s taking his food and you can judge fairly of his condition.”

Rachel cast a scornful glance at her husband. Everything he said
to-night annoyed her. But his next words made her ashamed.

“I wish I could bring Father out here,” he added, “but the doctor is
against it and perhaps he’s right.”

She turned impulsively with some idea of making amends for her
thoughts. But when Simon, as they were leaving the dining room,
inclined his head toward hers, she sprang aside, giving him a strange
look in the face.

Of course she must tell him everything; but not to-night–to-night, she
thought, he seemed particularly contented. He had gone now to get his
hat. The clouds on the previous day had not emptied themselves. Now
they once more drove through the heavens, though the moon, at present,
shone victoriously. As Annie feared for her starched dress, Simon was
going to take her home at once.

When the door had closed upon them, Rachel went into the front room.
André was sitting before one of the long windows, the casement of which
lay back against the wall. In one of the upper panes of glass,
swimming through a bank of wild clouds, the moon was reflected. It was
as if the moon were in the room. The heat had increased; lightning
played along the sky, and in the garden, the shrubbery, half shrouded
in a silvery mist, was motionless.

“Play something for me, André,” Rachel said; and going to the window,
she stood with her hands clasped behind her neck. How get through this
evening–how get through her entire life?

“I thought out a piece after you left Pemoquod. I will play that for
you.” And passing to the mantel, André took down his fiddle. “I call
it your piece,” he added softly.

But Rachel, her eyes on the gleaming garden, did not hear him.

Presently, a mournful and plaintive air, like the voice of a child
giving way to grief, began to float through the room. It was
instinctive playing, devoid of skill in the technical sense; none the
less the sound of the strings was wistful, heart-rending. And suddenly
the song gained in force and rang out powerfully; the crude,
passionate, beseeching melody flowed from under the nervous,
swift-moving bow, and such tenderness and devotion mingled with its
flowing, such piercingly-sweet supplication, that Rachel, laying her
face on her arm, supported herself against the casement.

And André, his dark head bent, his cheek pressed to the violin,
conscious that she was there before him in her rich dress, played like
one in an ecstasy. His body swayed, tears stood on his pale cheeks,
but his eyes were closed.

At last, unable to endure the constantly recurring love _motif_, which
was sweeter than the moon, more fathomless than the white moon drowned
in space, Rachel fled through the long window. With a fierce movement
she lifted her arms above her head; then, as if broken, rested her face
against a tree. Rising from the ground beneath her feet, floating
between the branches of the mist-hung trees, thrilling through all the
spaces of the still and waiting garden, ran the fire of that exquisite
melody, sounded those strains of pure and youthful love.

Presently a flowering shrub moved slightly. Some branches that
overhung a path stirred; then everything was motionless.

She raised her head, her whole frame quivering like a tightly drawn bow.

Out of the shadows, running rather than walking, Emil was advancing.

With one movement she sprang to him and, uttering a low cry, he caught
her.

Each on the lips of the other, their souls were drowned in oblivion;
for if he kissed her, she as openly kissed him; and if her cheeks were
drenched with tears, they certainly were not all of her own shedding.
Tempestuous, tragic emotion overflowed the hearts of both. In the
delicious anguish of their embrace, the memory of life with its pitiful
conventions dropped from them. Loyalty was an empty word, pity a name.

Their clinging arms its walls, their shining eyes its stars, they stood
apart in a universe new-made.

And from the old, old sky the moon that watches over this paltry world
of man with his misery and his bliss,–the moon looked down on them.
Changing her position on her cloudbank, like a head lolling lazily on a
pillow, the moon bestowed on the pair of bewildered children the same
glance of remote indulgence she recently had bestowed on the lovers in
the Garden of Eden. She threw her brightness over their clasping arms
and eloquent faces, and with her radiance mischievously deepened the
glamour of that supreme moment in their infinitesimal lives. Then
sinking amid the down of her pillow, she temporarily disappeared.

“Rachel, what did you mean by leaving me the way you did this
afternoon?” Emil whispered, pausing long enough between his kisses to
hold back her head, while he looked down into her eyes with his own
which were fierce and wet; “Didn’t you know it would be useless?”

His words roused her from the spell that had enwrapped her. Freeing
herself with violence, she turned on him. The crimson had dropped from
her cheek like the colours from a mast head.

“Emil, leave me!”

His eyes glowed with a peculiar brilliance:

“Leave you, my own? I’ll never leave you! and you’ll never leave me
again; that couldn’t happen more than once!”

And as she looked at him, she understood that he could conceive of
nothing strong enough to deter him from following the dictates of his
pagan and powerful nature.

“Go away, Emil,” she said dully, “if you have any love for me–any pity
even.” Her brows drew together with hopeless obstinacy. She turned.

With one stride he was beside her and had caught her hand. “Listen to
me, love,” he cried, and a curious mingling of command, entreaty and
supplication trembled in the words, “to-morrow is Sunday, there is a
train in the afternoon at six; I’ll wait for you in that little grove
near the station. Do you understand?”

“No;” and she stared back at him, all in a blaze.

“Oh, yes you do,” he said gently; “I mean that we’ll go off
somewhere–far, far away. We’ll have a cottage on a beach, something
like this one here; and we’ll have a boat. And there’ll be nothing to
come between us any more. All that is past. We’ll forget it, as if it
had never been, and we’ll live for each other. And perhaps, later, if
you are willing,” he pursued, carried away by his visions, “we’ll have
Mother join us; for you’ll take to Mother, Rachel, and she’ll take to
you. Then, how I will work! I’ll astonish you; I’ll astonish the
world. I’ll make you a proud and happy woman, but it will all be owing
to you.”

“But Simon–Annie–what of them?” she broke in upon him hastily, for
she feared this last argument more than she feared death.

“Well, what of them?” he interrogated, purposely misinterpreting her.
“To be sure, Annie scarcely lets me out of her sight these days,” he
added thoughtfully. “She understands about as much as a humming-bird
how such a chap as I has to do his work, and she’s eternally standing
at my elbow and egging me on. It will be a little difficult to slip
away. However, I’ll tell her that I’m obliged to see those fellows in
the Bronx,–which is quite true,” he finished with a brightening smile.
“And then another thing that will make my getting away easy, Annie
takes a nap now every afternoon, so it can be readily arranged. We’ll
simply walk away from this, Rachel–we’ll leave it all.”

She heard in these words the declaration of one who refuses to be
fettered by life; who, instead of being hampered by its conventions,
rises superior to them. The simplicity of the point of view transfixed
her.

Ordinarily Emil would have been swift to note and follow up the
advantage he had gained; but, as he looked upon Rachel, the quality of
her resistance struck him for the first time; thereupon that primitive
something which in him took the place of conscience stirred ever so
slightly. For a brief instant he saw the line of conduct he was
tracing so blithely for the pair of them, in a novel and uncomfortable
light. A burning emotion rose from the depths of his soul, and in its
wake it carried new and troubling questions. He waved his arms
vehemently as if to drive this brood of questions from him. But the
new emotion persisted, and seemed to fill his breast.

“I don’t pretend to know much about any question of right or wrong,” he
murmured, all at once humble; “but it seems to me, love such as ours is
beyond all that. As for Annie,” he went on, his confidence in himself
restored, “she won’t be sorry to be rid of me when she gets over the
first surprise. Her parents are forever urging her to come home, and
you remember she did leave me a while ago. Ours was a daft marriage if
there ever was one,” he continued, “for two unliker people were never
yoked together. And the life she’ll lead with her parents will suit
Annie far better. Poor kitten,” he commented with unwonted softness,
“she was never made for hardships, and we’ll be doing her no wrong.
The thing I’m striving after means less than nothing to Annie, and
there’s where you are different, Rachel. You’ll be patient till I do
succeed; but I’ll not keep you waiting long, sweet, for your presence
will brace me so that I can’t fail. Then take your husband,” he
pursued, with a steady glance under her lids, “is he a fit mate for
you? Ask yourself? No, no, my own, my darling, we are the fit mates!”

Strongly, in spite of her swift denying, even with sobs, he drew her to
his breast.

And through the garden, André’s song of love struck on their ears. It
wrapped them round like the voice of their own passion. It increased
perceptibly in volume as though the player were drawing near. Then,
its strains which leapt on a sudden to those of triumph, ceased:–there
came a crash.

Rachel struggled to escape, and she did escape. She retraced the few
steps of the path, she entered the house through the long window.
Something flashed past her and disappeared in the shrubbery. On the
sill she stumbled over a dark object which gave out a faint discordant
sound. It was André’s violin with its strings still vibrating.

Some hours later Rachel sat at a window of her room with her forehead
resting on her hands. The clouds by this time covered the face of the
moon; and the darkness was enlivened by patches and scars of lightning,
as though the heavens were being laid open with a fiery whip. Rain
fell. A fine spray of moisture penetrated the ragged awning. Rachel
never stirred.

A dull lethargy had descended on her. She no longer thought of Emil or
of her husband. She had but one sensation–the inevitable had
happened. The fury of the storm brought her a sense of relief. At
moments she felt herself being carried forward by a dark irresistible
current. None the less her determination, like an anchor, held. She
never faltered in her resolution to leave Gray Arches; she even heard
herself explaining the matter to Simon and she saw his face. His
fingers trembled through his hair, his jaw fell, all the blood receded
from his cheek. “But why disturb him?” she thought; “why should he be
made to suffer?” No, plainly, she must invent some pretext for
leaving, then go at once. She must not see Emil again.

Without realizing it, Rachel dropped at last into a troubled sleep,
from which she was aroused by a rap on the door.

“Oh, has he gone?” she cried, starting to her feet, and she pushed back
the hair from her face. “Has Simon gone?”

The very possibility that her husband already had started for the city,
in view of her resolution, seemed to her a tragedy.

Emily, after a short, sharp inspection of her, laid a pile of
freshly-ironed linen on a chair.

“Yes,” she answered, “he knocked at your door, but you gave no sign and
he didn’t like to disturb you. Peter was slow harnessing and Mr. Hart
was afraid he wouldn’t make the train, but he must have made it or he’d
be back by now. It is after eight o’clock.”

Rachel sank into her chair with huddled knees. She looked as if she
never intended to move again.

Emily took her wrist. “Wouldn’t you like your coffee here?”

Rachel looked up at her stupidly.

Emily repeated the question; she even broke into scolding as she
brought a loose gown to the other and insisted on her removing her
dress. But once outside the door, Emily extended both hands as if
appealing to a protective Providence. “A nice state of things!” she
muttered, with an expression of mingled pain, indignation and perfect
comprehension.

But when she appeared with the breakfast tray a few moments later she
was as stern of aspect as before. After shaking out a table-cloth, she
placed the tray on a little stand at Rachel’s elbow.

But Rachel turned away. With her head propped on her two hands, she
stared in front of her; and nothing Emily could say served to draw her
from this state.

That morning the little toy-maker could not work as usual. A tiny
parachute was very nearly ruined by an ill-directed movement of the
shears; and a piece of green satin for the aeronaut’s coat was utterly
spoiled by tears, which she scorned to notice, falling upon it. She
was so upset that more than once the utensils of her craft rolled on
the floor while her hands dropped to her knees. To herself Emily
fiercely denied any attraction in Emil and she praised staunchly every
one of Simon Hart’s qualities.

About one o’clock Rachel, after refusing luncheon, left the house for a
walk; and Emily, having satisfied herself that the other went to the
beach, lay down on her bed. “Let her tire herself out; it is the best
thing she can do,” Emily murmured, and dropped asleep, with a tear
standing in a furrow under one eye.

The caretaker, who served in the capacity of cook, in company with her
husband and the other servants, was spending the day with friends and
would not return until late; even Peter, the coachman, was away for the
afternoon. Meanwhile, in this house far removed from the city, the
stillness which is peculiar to the Sabbath, deepened.

Rachel walked the beach. She sat down, but immediately rose again.
Not only her own life, but all the life about her seemed suspended.

Emil was on his way to the station now; in her mind she could see him
swinging along the road: so robust and naïve was his egotism, he would
never question for a moment that she would come. At the thought of his
disappointment, she began sobbing with her handkerchief to her lips.
All sorts of dark thoughts rose indistinctly from the depths of her
soul. Simon, save for one failing, was hopelessly free of faults; he
was almost perfect. Scarcely aware of what was passing in her mind,
she began picturing what would happen in case of his death. But there
was Annie. However, Annie could obtain a divorce; she could return, as
Emil had said, to her parents. Rachel arranged every detail of the
situation; but these scarcely articulate plans, these involuntary
dreams, were accompanied by a physical sensation of shame–revulsion.

She shook herself free of the sorry brood and looked about her. Had
she been there an hour, two hours, five minutes? She did not know.
Presently a vesper bell from a distant village sounded intermittently
above the plashing of the waves. With her hand pressed to her heart,
she listened. Then she sped to the house.

In the hallway the old-fashioned clock marked a quarter past five.
Three quarters of an hour more! There was still time to meet Emil!
And she pictured him waiting for her in the grove near the station,
impatiently scanning the road. Reaching her room, she flung herself
into a chair and clung to its arms to prevent herself from answering
the summons. Dumb, breathless, distraught, with her head hanging on
her breast, she listened to the measured ticking of the clock which
reached her from the hall. She could still restrain her body, but she
could not control her mind.

“To-day decides my fate; either I go with Emil now, or I remain with
Simon forever. To-day decides my fate.”

She seemed to have a fondness for the phrase for she said it over and
over.

“If I remain with Simon, all will go on as before; but if I go with
Emil–”

She closed her eyes. The walls of the room dropped away and she saw a
landscape. Sedge grass bordered the road to the station. In it she
sank repeatedly and its brown waves washed over her head. But ever
before her was Emil. Infinitely multiplied, he smiled at her from the
leaves, the grass, the dust. The faces resolved themselves into one
face. He drew near; she was penetrated by his presence. All the love
in her, all the joy of which she was capable, was revealed. She
clasped her hands about his neck, she laid her face on his breast, and
the past with its futile struggles, its anguish, like a bad dream,
receded from her.

Then she recognized the sunlight striking through the white shades of
the room. It was tracing the usual pattern on the floor and glistening
indolently on the brass knobs of the dressing-table.

With a cry she started to her feet. Maddened, she began to heap some
articles into a dressing-bag. She was turning from her bureau to the
bag when John Smith’s letter, which she had not yet read, caught her
eye. It was propped against the frame of the mirror. She put out a
hand.

With his closely-written pages which she passed over, there was a
little yellow note directed to her mother in a feeble scrawl. Leaning
against the embrasure of the window, Rachel unfolded the note almost
against her will. But the more she endeavoured to fix her attention
upon it, the more confused she became.

“My dear Lavina: I ought not to have left you–”

She stared at the words, which trailed off into an illegible run of
characters; and the note with its message for another heart, stilled
now these twenty years, slipped from her fingers.

Outside the sunlight danced on the multitudinous leaves and shimmered
on the gravel path. Except for the sound of the sea all was silence.
A passing breeze fluttered the paper at her feet and the room was
filled with the subtle exhalation of that old regret.

She was on her knees. She still saw Emil, heard his voice; and as if
grasping something, she opened her arms and carried them back against
her heart while her whole frame trembled.

Then the miracle held her spell-bound:

_She had been saved from the irretrievable step; she had been plucked
back from the rock’s edge_.

Slowly, slowly the dry heart-flames subsided. As mists rose from the
ground in summer after the heat and fever of the day, so something pure
as childhood, sweet as the aspirations of early youth, rose from the
depths of her soul. All the treachery, all the longing of purely
selfish love was annihilated. It was one of those crises when the
heart sets wide its doors; when the emotion that was personal becomes
universal.

The shrubbery was alive with insects, murmuring gently; and amid the
foliage of the trees, the birds were preparing to go to roost. They
had reached those wistful days in late summer, which by the sea fade
away in evenings of gold and rose, which fade away into the sea itself.
A little wind set all the leaves astir. As she looked toward the sea,
a wonderful serenity seemed to fall upon her from that radiant sunset
sky, seemed to light on her like a benediction from the dying day.

She turned her eyes in the direction of the gardener’s cottage. Owing
to a row of large trees and an intervening wall, barely more than its
red pointed roof was visible. Buried in greenery, bathed in the calm
light, it had, at this distance, an ethereal, unreal aspect, like a
cottage seen in a picture. About it nothing stirred. But, as she
looked, a trail of smoke appeared above a rear gable. This doubled
angrily upon itself, then spread out in the still air like a fan. It
became in an instant an all-enveloping sable mass crossed by licking
tongues of red. In the midst of the sweet country, the cottage in
utter silence was being destroyed, its burning but emphasizing the
surrounding peace.

Rachel’s feet scarcely touched the stairs. She was out of doors and
crossing the lawn without realizing her own movements. As she ran, she
cried for help. But she recollected that all the servants were away.
André had not been seen since the evening before; and, except for Emily
Short asleep in a distant wing, the place was deserted. She had gone
but a few steps when a cry of horror burst from her. _Annie_! Where
was Annie? When not engaged in hanging about Emil while he worked, she
was in the habit of visiting at the big house. But that day Rachel had
not seen her. Then she recollected Emil’s words about his wife’s habit
of taking a nap in the afternoon.

“Annie!–wake up!–Fire!”

Rachel’s cries were confused. She was breathless, almost falling; but
despite this excitement, the wonderful sense of peace that had come to
her remained in her heart like a dove in its nest.

She stumbled once as she crossed the lawn, and once her dress caught on
a branch. She wrenched it free. Beyond the wall the longer, coarser
grass impeded her steps and the rays of the setting sun, glancing
across the grass, seemed coming to meet her.

“Fire! Annie, fire!” she called.

She was near enough to the cottage now to make out that its windows and
doors were closed. She sprang up the path and the hot breath of flames
struck into her face. She tried the door, it was locked; and she
divined what had happened. Annie had feared to go to sleep with the
cottage open; when Emil had started for the station, she had locked
herself in.

In a frenzy, Rachel beat upon the door with her flattened palms. The
vine over her head was fluttering in a keen breeze and all its leaves
were curling. She wrenched open the nearest blind and the slat already
smoking, scorched her hands. This house of old and seasoned timbers
was burning like paper. She climbed over the sill.

Face down, with the skirt of her dress drawn over her head and across
her mouth, she groped her way to the chamber. She felt along the bed;
it was empty. Then out into the living room where the organ stood,
with lurid flashes playing over its keys, she stumbled. And there,
lying across the threshold, was something that yielded to her touch yet
resisted it. Gathering Annie in her arms, folding her in a spread
which she tore from a table, Rachel groped her way back to the window.
The walls of the cottage seemed drawing together like the fingers of a
hand about to close; but she scarcely felt the intense heat, was
scarcely aware of the suffocating smoke, because of that emotion which
was more than joy as it was more than peace.

As she half-dragged, half-carried her insensible burden to the window,
she felt the joy of that Freedom of which she had ever dreamed.

Annie’s head fell back lifeless, and her arms hung inert; but a slight
shiver ran through her body, when, with a supreme effort, Rachel lifted
her to the sill. For an instant she balanced her burden there; then,
not knowing what she did, blinded by the smoke, the flames that all at
once darted out upon her from every direction, she thrust the body
through the window.

She had a sense that it was received–that someone, in a frantic dear
and well-known voice, called her name. She tried to follow, to
struggle into the sweet air, where beyond the smoke and the flames, she
knew the leaves were still dancing. But something heavy, inflexible,
struck her head.

She fell back into the darkness.

Some minutes before the flames made their appearance above the
surrounding trees, a sombre scene took place on a slight rise of ground
at the rear of the cottage.

As Ding Dong, carrying a pail of milk he had secured at a neighbouring
farm, sauntered unsuspecting toward his master’s dwelling, he felt
himself seized from behind by the waist and shoulders; his arms
grasped, bent, wrenched, his feet thrust from under him. Dumfounded,
he sprawled on the ground with fingers of steel at his throat. Athwart
a reddish haze he saw the livid countenance and bloodshot eyes of the
young man who had made his appearance at Gray Arches a day or two
before.

With writhings and twistings, Ding Dong tried to wrap his assailant in
sinewy arms, to close with him, to crush him in a mighty embrace; the
other fought with the strength of desperation.

Finally, pinning Ding Dong to the earth, André flung a look toward the
cottage. The flames were now mounting above the trees. A savage joy
distorted his face.

He laughed.

At the same instant Ding Dong, hurled him aside. Seeing the flames,
the fellow started for the cottage with André after him, but he had
gone but a short distance, when he halted and lifted his arm.

A mournful procession was slowly crossing the open field in the light
of the waning day and André, rigid, his head advanced, caught the
flutter of a familiar dress, saw a deathlike face.

The locked doors and windows had deceived him. Believing the cottage
deserted, he had sought to destroy the organ which, in his blindness,
he thought recommended the inventor to Rachel’s favour; and he had
destroyed instead the object of his own devotion–his own love.

The flames leaping into the sky revealed all the impotence of that act
of jealousy and revenge.