« AnteriorContinuar »
Sir C. Saved you? What are you talking about?
Emily. Well, what do you suppose I should have done if you and Francis hadn't been in the affair and St. John had had his way? Where should I have been? I've got nothing to fall back on. I've been alone for four years now, and every penny I've spent I've had to earn. And till this year I never made a hundred and twenty pounds in a single year. I wasn't brought up to earn, that's why. I'm very conceited, and if you ask me I think I'm a fairly finished sort of article; but I can't do anything that people want doing. You don't know what I've been through. No one knows except me. You don't know what you've saved me from. No! I couldn't have begun that frightful struggle over again, I couldn't have faced it. It's too disgusting, too humiliating-I should have
Sir C. [disturbed]. But look here, Emily
Emily. Yes, I know! to speak like that. It body so uncomfortable.
One oughtn't makes everyNever look at
a danger that's passed! And yet-the first time I saw you here, and I managed to joke about altering frocksNever shall I forget my relief; it was painful how glad I was! I'm always looking back at that. . . And then, to-day, without a moment's warning! Oh, dear! . . And now you say a contract for three years! [Gives a great sigh of relief.] Why, it's heaven; it's simply just Paradise!
Sir C. [going to door r. and opening it]. I say, Kendrick. Just see I'm not disturbed, will you. Put a boy outside my door.
Kendrick [off]. All right! Meeting still on! Sir C. Yes. [He puts red disk up, and then comes back to Emily.] Nower-look here, of course I'm rather peculiar; I can only do things in my own way; but look here-there are one or two things I want to talk to you about. To begin with, do you know why I've never been to a performance at the Prince's when you were in the cast? Emily. No.
Sir C. Well, it was because I didn't want to see you acting in public. [Walks about.]
Sir C. I'm like that, that's all. I knew you were obliged to earn your living, but I couldn't stand seeing you doing it on the stage. You may call it sentimental. I don't know. I'm
just telling you. There's another thing. Do you know why I insisted on you and old woman Cleland being on the Board of Directors?
Emily [shakes her head]. I don't think anybody quite understood that.
Sir C. Well, it was because I thought if you were on the Board I should have good opportunities of seeing you without being forced to make them. I simply added Mrs. Cleland as a cover for you, so that you wouldn't look too conspicuous. What price that for a scheme?
Emily. Now, Charlie, don't go and make me feel awkward.
Sir C. You've got to feel awkward. And so have I. I've told you those two things so that you can't say I'm being sudden. I'm putting the matter before you in a straightforward way. I want you to marry me. Emily.
Sir C. That's what it is. I know I'm peculiar, but I can't help it-I can't say what I want to say. I mean I can't bring myself to say it. Now, for instance, there's that word "love." Curious thing-I can't use it! When I
It's so sudden.
Sir C. Are you? That's all right then. I suppose everybody from the Five Towns is. Well, what do you say? Emily. Sir C. Oh, d-n it all, Emily. That's really a bit too thick, that is! After what I've told you! Are you going to sit there and stick me out that you'd no idea I was above a bit gone on you?
Emily. I-Charlie, you are awful! Sir C. Did the idea ever occur to you that I might ask you to marry me? Or didn't it?
Emily [after a pause]. As questions are being put-when you got up this morning did you intend to propose to me to-day?
Sir C. No. But every morning I say to myself, "One of these days I shall have to do it."
Emily. When did you make your mind up to do it to-day?
Sir C. About five minutes ago.
Sir C. Because of the way you talked. How do I know? Because you made me feel so queer. I couldn't bear for another minute the notion of you worrying yourself to death about a living and the future, while all the time I-I- There are some things
Because I don't.
Emily. Well, why don't you. Sir C. sort of woman for me. What you said just now is true.
Emily. What was that?
Sir C. You're a fairly finished sort of article. You're an intellectual woman. I know I'm not so very intellectual, but it's only intellectual people that interest me all the same. Emily. Charlie, don't call yourself names!
Sir C. You can help me, more than anybody. You've done a good bit for me as it is.
Emily. Why, what have I done? Sir C. It's thanks to you that I'm in this theatre affair. And I like that. It's the kind of thing I'm after. And do you know who gave me the idea of giving a hundred thousand to Oxford? You! The first time you were here!
Emily. Really? Sir C. Certainly.
Emily. I ought to tell Oxford about that.
Sir C. We should have the' finest house in London, you know. I'd back you to do the hospitality business as well as any duke's daughter that was ever born. You'd soon get hold of the right people.
Emily. What do you mean by the right people? Not what they call "society" people? Because if you do!
Sir C. [stamping his foot]. No, no! Of course I don't. I mean intellectual people, and the johnnies that write for the reviews, and two or three chaps in the Cabinet. I could keep you off the rotters, because I know 'em already. Emily. It's all too dazzling, Charlie. Sir C. Not a bit. I used to think that millionaires must be different from other people. But I'm a millionaire, and I'm just the same as I always was. As far as dazzle goes, there's nothing in it, I may as well tell you that. Well- -?
Emily. I can't give you an answer
Sir C. You look as if you were. Emily. Well, good morning. goes to door, back, and opens it. Boy is seen standing there. Then she shuts the door and returns to Sir C.]
Emily. I- [Sir C., after gazing at her, suddenly seizes her and kisses her-a long kiss.]
Emily. I suppose I did know all the time.
Sir C. What are you crying for? Emily [inconsequently and weakly]. This kind of thing must be awfully bad for the heart.
Emily. The Garter?
Sir C. The restaurant where we generally lunch. He wanted to warn me to go somewhere else. He says St. John is quite calmed down now, but the sight of me might rouse him again. Like Francis, isn't it?
Emily. I forgot to tell you that no one must on any account know for at least three months.
Sir C. All serene. But why?
Emily. I can't do with it seeming too sudden-after the scene this morning, and with Henrietta here, too! Besides, when it's known, we shall have to go down at once to Bursley, to see your mother. You may depend on
The English Review.
(To be continued.)
THE ATTAINMENT OF THE NORTH POLE.
During the past week great attention has been given to the announcement on September 1 that Dr. F. A. Cook had returned from north polar regions, having reached the North Pole on April 21, 1908. The interest excited by this statement has since been increased by message, dated September 6, received a New York from Commander Peary,
reporting that he reached the pole on April 6, 1909.
Commander Peary departed for the north from Sydney, Cape Breton, on July 17, 1908, his intention being to proceed by the Smith Sound route to his winter quarters on the northern shore of Grant Land. He hoped to start for the pole with fully-loaded sledges
from the "Big head" he encountered in the Polar Ocean in 1906, to the north of Grant Land, in about latitude 84° N. The last information concerning him indicated that in the middle of August last year his ship, the Rooserelt, was continuing her voyage northwards from Etah, the expedition's base of supplies on Smith's Sound. took sounding apparatus with him with the intention of obtaining a line . of soundings from Grant Land to the pole. When he left last year he stated that, should he reach the pole, news of his success might be expected between August 15 and September 15, and the message received on September 6 has justified his expectations.
It is difficult yet to arrive at a satisfactory opinion as to the value of the observations from which the explorers conclude that they reached the North Pole, but as both Dr. Cook and Commander Peary are responsible travellers, it must be assumed that they realize the difficulty of determining the position of the pole, and took the necessary precautions to establish the validity of their claims. We have no right to doubt their statements, but the publication of the observations at an early date is greatly to be desired, so that the matter can be placed beyond question. In the case of Commander Peary, his previous work in Arctic regions is so well known that geographers have accepted his announcement without hesitation, and a congratulatory message has been sent to him by the Royal Geographical Society.
On the occasion of his previous expedition in 1906, he approached to within two hundred miles of the pole, and there was every reason to anticipate that this year he would reach the pole itself. His plans were known, and his long experience of Arctic conditions justified confidence in their successful accomplishment. There has, however, been much discussion upon
Dr. Cook's journey and achievement, and as he claims to have reached the North Pole nearly a year before Commander Peary, it is of interest to give a few particulars relating to him and his expedition.
Dr. Cook is an American medical man, with varied experience of exploring work in both the Arctic and Antarctic regions. He served as surgeon on Commander Peary's second expedition to West Greenland in 1891, and was a member of the Belgian Antarctic expedition under Commander De Gerlache, which spent the Antarctic winter of 1898 drifting about on board the Belgica in the ice-covered seas to the southwest of Graham Land. Both in 1903 and 1906 Dr. Cook conducted expeditions to Alaska, with the object of achieving the ascent of Mount McKinley, 20,390 feet high, the loftiest mountain on the North American Continent, and after repeated failures reported that he had succeeded in reaching the summit. Two years ago it was announced that he was desirous of organizing an expedition to the South Pole, and it came as a surprise to most people to learn in the autumn of 1907 that he was encamped at Etah, on the northwest coast of Greenland, and proposed to make a "dash" for the North Pole.
Briefly, Dr. Cook's story is that he left his base at Etah on February 19 of last year, accompanied only by a force of Eskimos, and dogs for pulling the sledges. The route varied slightly from that adopted by Commander Peary. Dr. Cook struck westwards across Smith Sound to Ellesmere Land, and continued westwards across that island to Nansen Sound, which separates Ellesmere Land from Axel Heiberg Land, one of the new lands discovered by the Sverdrup expedition on board the Fram in 1898-1902. From Cape Hubbard, the northernmost point of Axel Heiberg Land, Dr. Cook pushed