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looked very superior to any model he had ever painted from; besides, models are generally proud to bring out a long array of names of artists who have found their services valuable.
"I must have your name and address," he said, taking out his note-book. "I might have to write to you."
Alice Hayley, 4 Wolseley Buildings, Canonbury."
"Models and persons who beg in the street always live at the other end of London," thought Drummond. "What artists have you sat to?" he demanded casually, as he was setting his palette afresh. When he looked at Miss Alice Hayley she was blushing to the roots of her hair.
"I will tell you the truth," she said. "I have sat to none; I have never sat to any one but an amateur. 1 want to earn a little money, and I came to you because I liked a picture of yours I once saw in the Grosvenor Gallery - that's all."
This was eminently pleasant to hear, and she was charming to look upon. He placed her with care in the attitude which he had chosen for the treacherous woman who had deserted him, and then with a feeling of extreme hopefulness began to work. She sat much better than he had expected, and for more than an hour he only opened his lips to say, "A little more this way, please," or "Try to keep the position, unless you are too tired." Suddenly, to his surprise, for his thoughts were so entirely given to what he was doing, he found that she was speaking. By an effort he understood that she was telling him that he really did work hard. "Do you never stop to rest? Even you must want rest," she added.
"I scarcely know what I do. I suppose I stop now and then, but I am afraid when I do I am still thinking of my picture. You must rest, though; I am forgetting that. You have been in that position more than an hour. Get up and walk about the room a while."
He spoke with authority; perhaps that was why her lip curled. But what a beautiful mouth she had.
"Artists order their models about!" she said, rising to obey him.
"They must, but I hope they don't do it discourteously. Models who have had no practice do not know how to spare themselves. It will do you good to walk about."
"I suppose you would rather I didn't look at what you are doing,” observed Miss Hayley rather coolly, as she rose from her chair.
"Not till it is farther advanced, if you please."
She strolled about the studio, or rather about such parts of it as did not command a view of his canvas; and he worked on, taking little or no notice of what she was doing, for heart and soul were now wholly given to work. It was not long before he began to wish that she would come back, and he turned to see if she were nearly ready. He had always been supposed to have one of the most artistically arranged studios in London. Miss Hayley, of Canonbury, was standing looking first on one side of it and then on another, with an air of deep commiseration, When she saw that for a moment his attention was withdrawn from his canvas, she exclaimed,
"I had been told that artists' studios were so pretty and comfortable!" "Don't you call this pretty and comfortable?" said he, much nettled.
"Well, no; but perhaps it is. You see I know nothing about such things. You want me to come back to my place?"
She returned, but, being new to sitting, did not resume the original attitude, so he had to place her again. A little before one she suppressed a yawn, and said tentatively,
"You can't both talk and work, can you?"
"Not to-day," he answered. "When I have conquered some of my difficulties I shall be more able."
"Very well," she said, in a semi-discontented manner. "I dare say I can amuse myself with my own thoughts."
She sat for another hour, and then he saw that she had turned very pale.
"You are not used to this kind of work,” he remarked compassionately. "Would you like to go out and get some luncheon? The air might do you good."
"No, I don't want to go out and then have to come back again," she replied promptly. "But don't you want luncheon yourself?"
"Not yet. I don't trouble myself much about luncheon. What I like is a cup of tea."
"Then you may go on with your work, and I will make you some tea and have a cup myself - that is, if you have any teathings."
He was surprised at her coolness, but attracted by the prospect of having some tea without the trouble of making it, so he told her where to find everything, and left her to do what she liked. She first of all carefully inspected two or three bits of embroidery that were in the room, to see
which would make the best table-cover, | not, and it is very important to me to have then set the cups on it, discovered biscuits in the same cupboard as the cups, dusted some Persian plates, and pressed them into her service, and when all was ready said,
"Shall I bring your tea to you, or will you come here?"
"I will come there," he answered, and went to an easy-chair by the fire; and as she gave him his tea he realized that she was the most beautiful girl he had ever
She pitied his evident anxiety, and made haste to say, "I will be here at eleven, but you understand that I must leave at four."
"I understand. When this picture is done I will paint you as Cinderella. Your arrangements are quite Cinderella-like."
"Don't keep me now, I beg; it's after four," she said, making her way quickly to the door.
"But I must. I must pay you." For he had an idea from something that she had said that money was of importance to her.
She took the money without a word, but bent down as it touched her palm - probably to hide the crimson blush which in a moment made even the tips of her ears tingle.
She was tired with her morning's work, and as soon as he had taken his cup from her was glad to sit down in an attitude of her own choosing, sipping her tea with evident enjoyment, and languidly basking in the warmth of the fire and the pleasant sense of having at last leave to rest from her labors. He tried to talk a little, but "Eleven sharp!" he called after her, she did not seem disposed to do so now; for he was inexpressibly anxious to make so he left her in peace, and felt as if there the most of this heaven-sent opportunity. were no limit to the fine pictures that he At eleven she came. He was already could paint if this girl were always at hand waiting. She put into his hand two beauto sit to him, for her every attitude sug-tiful Oriental china cups and saucers, and gested one.
"If you want any more sitting from me to-day, I had better go back to my place," she observed at last, "for I must be home by five, and it will take an hour to
Why need you be back by five?" "I must. There are reasons. and she blushed instead of finishing her
"It won't take a whole hour to go to Canonbury."
"Yes, it will."
He looked at his picture and he looked at her, and saw that she ought to have a longer rest.
"I will come now," she said, misinterpreting his glance, "as I have to leave at four."
So she sat and he worked, and few were the words said by either. He was deeply conscious of her beauty and of the charm that there was about her, but did not want to talk, and she seemed equally glad to be silent. He worked so hard that he was quite unconscious of the flight of time, but at four o'clock she rose and said,
"I am going."
"It has soon come to an end," said he, rising; "but you have sat well. I can't tell you how glad I am you came. I was in despair about that picture and everything else, and your coming has made all easy. You will be here exactly at eleven, I hope. I must beg you to be punctual. I shall have no picture this year if you are
went away to take off her hat and jacket. "What are these cups for?" he asked when she returned.
"For you,” she answered. "Your plates
are pretty Persian plates are but your
cups are ugly, and one of them runs out a little, so I have brought you these."
"But these are splendid! You surely haven't bought them?"
If she had, she must have spent thrice as much as he had given her the day before. He could not let her give him so handsome a present, and attempted to say so.
"I didn't buy them. We have ever so many more at home - these are for you, if you will accept them," and she tried to close the subject by seating herself on her throne like a queen.
"If you have more than you want,” he said, thinking of her poverty, "and would like to part with any of them, I could easily dispose of them for you. I have friends who would give a good deal for cups like these."
"Oh, no, no!" she exclaimed vehemently. My father-no, my mother— that is to say, none of us would ever part with them! We couldn't!"
"Then you must not give me these. I really
Oh, these are mine! I can do what I like with them, and have done it. Don't let us talk."
Whether she was offended at not having been allowed to talk the day before, or
whether she really did wish to be silent, "I can't be happy until you give me a
solemn promise to come."
"I am not at all half-hearted. Of course I'll come; but I am so late. I must go!” For a moment he was still uncomfortable, but when she had gone a few steps more on her downward way she looked back, and there was something in her face which not only set his mind at rest, but made his brain spin.
Monday morning came, eleven o'clock struck, and in an instant he was on the alert to hear a step that was ever welcome in his ears, and a low knock, which would be followed by the sight of a face which was continually in his thoughts. He felt his heart beating.
he knew not, but all that day the burden of her conversation was, "Don't let us talk!" She was kindness itself so far as sitting was concerned, refused to rest, carefully kept her position, and quietly and noiselessly again prepared his tea, but she would enter into no conversation that lasted more than a minute or two. Again he paid her; again she blushed, and once more he entreated her to be punctual. But she was always punctual as clockwork, and every morning appeared, looking as fresh as if she had walked in from the next room without any tedious or disagreeable journey by 'bus or rail. Fourteen days of hard painting from a model exactly suited to his purpose had advanced his Five minutes passed. She had never picture to a state in which even he could been five minutes behind her time before. see success of all kinds vividly fore- Ten passed, and fifteen. He laid down shadowed. His spirits were high, his his palette, and began to pace the studio. heart light, he was a changed man. As Had something happened or had his susfor Alice Hayley, he could scarcely imag-picions of Saturday been well-founded, ine his studio without her. All her little and she had never meant to come? He airs of assurance and petulance were gone; she was now gentle, unselfish, and thoughtful, and she had rescued him from despair.
Good-bye," he said on Saturday - it was the fourteenth day of her sitting. "Monday morning, at eleven. I won't say be punctual, for you are always here to the minute."
"If I were to fail for once?" she said doubtfully.
"Is there any chance of it?" he exclaimed, in great excitement and anxiety. "Oh, no! I was only asking," she replied carelessly; and yet she stood as if trying to read his face, and unable to go away without saying more.
"Don't jest about anything so appall ingly serious!” he said. “I have left all that the life of the picture depends on to the very last, to be done calmly, and deliberately, when it is perfectly dry. I intend to begin with this on Monday, and if you were to fail you would ruin the picture and me too."
"You see, I know so little about pictures," she said nervously, and then, with downcast eyes, began to go.
"Stop, stop! You are sure to come on Monday?" cried Drummond, pursuing her outside.
"Of course I am; but I am dreadfully late-do let me go!" He made no further resistance, but watched her as she hurried away, looking very crestfallen and sad.
"You seem extremely half-hearted about it, after all," he called after her.
tried to paint and regard this as a mere accident, but when twelve struck he found he was doing his picture more harm than good, and stopped work. At one he could bear it no longer, and went to the main street, where he hailed a hansom and ordered the driver to go with all speed to 4 Wolseley Buildings, Canonbury. What a long way it was, and how rapidly the aspect of everything changed for the worse as he rattled through the streets eastward. And he was seated comfortably in a hansom, while she, poor girl, had to dispute inches with stout men and women in omnibuses, or choke down below in "the bowels of the harmless earth." "And yet how sweet and fresh she always looks after the struggle," he thought.
"Wolseley Buildings, Canonbury,” asked the driver, with a manner that seemed to wish to convey that such low places were not to his taste. He was directed to a long, dull street bearing that name. "Heaven grant that No. 4 be at this end," said Drummond, but though his prayer was heard, and he reached No. 4 in another minute, no Alice Hayley lived there, or had ever been heard of in the neighborhood. He tried every house with a 4 in its number, but all in vain. He asked at the post-office and many of the shops, but learnt naught, save this - that he had been painting a girl who, for reasons of her own, had given him a false address.
He had a sudden visitation of hope as he reascended the stairs to his studio, for it flashed on his mind that he had been an
idiot to go off to Canonbury in search of a | of my daughter, who, after all, is the permodel who had probably been for some son I am most anxious should look well. time sitting by his fire wondering where As soon as I hear that you accept this It was impossible that any one commission I will, if your terms are such who had been so attentive, so docile, so as we can agree to, confer with her about ready to fall in with every wish that he it, and make an appointment for you to expressed, could fail him thus so cruelly. see and sketch her. Until then I shall say Doubtless she was there and he would nothing to her, for at such a time she has find her. He opened the door, picturing naturally more than enough already to to himself the attitude in which he would see and settle about. The bridesmaids, of discover her. His breath came fast, he course, you can do at your leisure, for they was daring to enjoy beforehand the deli- all live in London, and you can have the cious change to happiness and peace. dresses to paint from, so your task will be His studio was empty of all but the pic-easy. By book post you will receive with tured presence of one who had filled it to Overflowing with everything that was want ing to his life and art. She was gone, and he felt that it was forever. He took the picture and placed it once more with its face to the wall - he gathered together his hopes and ambitions, and hid them away far from him- would there ever be a time when either hope or ambition would dwell with him again?
this letter, or soon after it, cabinet photographs of the principal parties concerned. I have marked that of my son-in-law (that is to be) 'bridegroom,' and that of my daughter, 'bride. I do it for your convenience only, so I hope and trust it will not be unlucky. The bridesmaids' photographs are also marked. Let me have a favorable answer if you please, together with lowest terms. I am arranging this, but the bridegroom (that is to be) is paying for it. We are persons of condition, but poor, and could not readily afford it, but we delight in the idea of this picture, so don't refuse, and be as easy in your terms as you can, and we faithfully promise to do our best to secure you more commissions of this kind—indeed, of any and every kind. Yours faithfully, Emmeline Tancarville Sympson."
"Good heavens!" exclaimed Drummond, and without a moment's delay wrote an emphatically worded refusal.
An hour later the postman brought him a large packet of cabinet-sized photographs, which were so insecurely packed that it was a wonder they had reached him at all. He was packing them afresh when he was seized with curiosity to see whether Mrs. Tancarville Sympson" came out as badly in a photograph as she did in a letter. The first he saw was that of the bridegroom (that was to be). He certainly was a fine, manly-looking fellow. The next was one of Alice Hayley.
Fourteen months afterwards Drummond received this letter: "Dear Sir, My second daughter is to be married in the beginning of next week to Sir Edward Cleeve at St. George's, Hanover Square. Her husband (that is to be) has just confided to me that he has all along had a great wish to have a picture of the wedding ceremony, and has felt sure that you could paint one which would give satisfaction. Somehow or other he has never let me know of this wish until to-day. He thinks that it is now too late to make arrangements, and does not like to write to you, and wants to give up the idea, but I do not like it given up, so I told him that I would write to you in a nice, delicate, and apologetic way-women are much better at letters of that kind than men - and ask if you would do it, and what your terms would be, and what facilities you would require. My son-in-law (that is to be) is a fine, aristocratic-looking man, and my daughter extremely handsome the bridesmaids, who all of them belong to the best families, are mostly good-looking, and when they are not you can easily make them so, remembering, of course, that on the most important occasion of her life, the bride has a right to expect to be made to look best. My son-in-law (that is to be) | thinks that this may be a subject you will to be." not care for, but I beg you will be so kind as to put such feelings aside, and willingly express my regret that you have not been consulted about it sooner. You will still be able to take some preliminary sketches
"Alice Hayley!" he exclaimed in amazement. "Is it possible that she is going to be one of the bridesmaids? I shall find her, then, at last!" But when he turned to the back of the photograph he read in Mrs. Tancarville Sympson's free and flowing hand, "The bride that is
The shock was so great that there was a moment when Drummond did not see clearly. He looked at the well-remembered face he thought of his ruined picture and baffled hopes; he tore up the note of
An answer soon came. "The bride (that is to be)," wrote Mrs. Tancarville Sympson, who still seemed to fear that this almost too-good-to-be-hoped-for marriage would be broken off if she tempted fate by writing "bride" boldly, "refuses to sit before her marriage. She is much too tired with preparations,' she says, 'to look well and do herself justice,' and, therefore, if she did sit the picture would be just as little like her real self as any imperfectly caught likeness you might take would be. Her face will be hidden by a thick lace veil,' she says, and that is true, for she is going to wear beautiful lace -the gift of the bride's mother' will be said in the papers, but that won't be true, for I have other girls to think of. I am afraid, however, as she seems so determined not to sit between you and me and the postman, I believe she rather dislikes the idea of the commemorative picture, and feels that there is a certain ostentation about it we shall just have to let her have her own way. She says, indeed, that every moment of the time is filled up with all kinds of appointments. We will not give up the picture. Sir Edward's heart is still set on it, and so is mine, and I must have it. I think if you come to the church, and then on to the house for the breakfast and reception afterwards, you, with your genius assure you I have heard it called genius will have ample opportunities of studying her in her wedding. dress, and you can have it sent to your studio afterwards. Don't press for a sitting she really has so little time that it would be cruel to urge her. P.S.—I have just been to her room again to ask if you might not come, and I assure you I was sorry for her. She begged me to give up the picture, told me I was unkind to ask
her to do more when she was worked to death already, and wound up by bursting into tears. I let her think I would give it up. I did not say you would go to the church, or anything. Come to the church as arranged, and then to the house."
Drummond went to the church and saw a veiled bride float past him and stand faltering by the bridegroom's side at the altar. He heard the words that were said; the promises she made. She was a girl who, to his knowledge, was little bound by promises. When she came from the vestry her face was by no means hiddenher veil was flung back, and she looked radiant. There was a certain insolence in such radiant happiness when she had brought such darkness and disappointment on him.
He hurried away to George Street. When he entered the drawing-room every one was shaking hands with and kissing her. He did not approach-let those shake hands with her who could do it without a heartache. He went to a remote corner and pretended to be looking at a drawing.
Presently Mrs. Tancarville Sympson came. "Oh, Mr. Drummond," she exclaimed reproachfully, "I didn't expect to find you in this corner! I thought you would have your picture in your mind and be looking!"
"There is such a crowd. It is so difficult—" he began; he scarcely knew what he was saying, he felt this so much more than he had feared.
"Oh, I know there's a crowd I quite understand that it's not convenient, but you are under an engagement to do this picture, and ought to be anxious to make it a good one, and be studying the bride."
Drummond looked full of embarrassment and despair. She thought it was despair of using his chances properly, and said, "I'll tell you what I'll do for you. Lady Cleeve will have to go to change her dress almost directly. She can't go upstairs the ordinary way, it is so crowded. She will escape by a door on the opposite corner of the room. You shall stand there and see her come up and pass through. You can look at her without speaking she wouldn't like you to speak. You don't seem to understand me. Come, I will take you there."
She took his arm and led him to the door. Some one had told her that men of genius were idiots in the affairs of common life, and she saw that it was true he was capable of drifting away from his