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string, and a small bladder. The blad-|I am without luggage,” laughed the der was the key of the apparatus. girl. The wounded alligator rushed into the And then she opened the piano, and water and tried to hide himself, but struck a few notes. There was somewherever he went the tell-tale bladder thing caressing in the way in which showed his position. It is essential she touched the keys ; whoever she that the water should not be very deep, was, she knew how to make sweet say about six feet. The position of music; sad music, too, full of that the alligator being thus known, he is undefinable longing, like the holding then jobbed with spears and pointed out of one's arms to one's friends in bamboos until his life is weary, and at the hopeless distance. last one of the shikarees chops off bis The lady bending over the fire looked head with his Burmese dao or axe, and up at the little girl, and forgot that she there is an end. The use of the blad- bad brought neither friends nor luggage der is suggestive of the ligger, which with her. She hesitated for one mois so well known in the Norfolk Broads, ment, and then she took the childish and when you are trying to haul a face between her hands and kissed it. twenty-pound jack into your boat, " Thank you, dear, for your music,” please remember that the bite of his she said gently. sharp teeth is hardly less formidable " The piano is terribly out of tune," than an alligator's.
said the little girl suddenly, and she C. T. BUCKLAND, ran out of the room and came back Late Bengal Civil Service. carrying her knapsack.
“What are you going to do ?” asked her companion.
“ I am going to tune the piano,” the From Blackwood's Magazine. little girl said ; and she took a tuning
hammer out of her knapsack, and It was about four in the afternoon began her work in real earnest. She when a young girl came into the salon evidently knew what she was about, of the little hotel at C. in Switzerland, and pegged away at the notes as though and drew her chair up to the fire. her whole life depended on the result.
"You are soaked through,” said an The lady by the fire was lost in elderly lady, who was herself trying to amazement. Who could she
be ? get roasted.
“You ought to lose no Without luggage and without friends, time in changing your clothes.” and with a tuning-hammer !
“I have not anything to change,” Meanwhile one of the gentlemen had said the young girl, laughing. "Oh, I strolled into the salon ; but hearing the shall soon be dry!”
sound of tuning, and being in secret “ Have you lost all your luggage ? ” possession of nerves, he fled, saying, asked the lady sympathetically.
"The tuner, by Jove ! ” No," said the young girl, “I had A few minutes afterwards Miss none to lose.” And she smiled a little Blake, whose nerves were no secret mischievously, as though she knew by possession, hastened into the salon, ivstinct that her companion's sympathy and in her usual imperious fashion dewould at once degenerate into suspi- manded instaut silence. cion.
“I have just done,” said the little “I don't mean to say that I have not girl. “The piano was so terribly out à knapsack,” she added considerately. of tune, I could not resist the tempta"I have walked a long distance - in tion." fact from Z."
Miss Blake, who never listened to “And where did you leave your what any one said, took it for granted companions ? ? asked the lady, with a that the little girl was the tuner, for touch' of forgiveness in her voice. whom M. le Propriétaire had promised “I am without companions, just as I to send; and having bestowed on her
A BIRD OF PASSAGE.
a condescending nod, passed out into “ It has been confoundedly annoying the garden, where she told some of the having it out of tune,” he said. “I've visitors that tbe piano had been tuned had to give up singing altogether. But at last, and that the tuner was a young what a strange profession you have woman of rather eccentric appearance. chosen ! Very unusual, isn't it?” “Really it is quite abominable how “Wliy, surely not,” she answereil, thrust themselves into every amused.
“ It seems to me that every profession,” she remarked in her mas- other woman has taken to it. The culine voice. “It is so unfeminine so wonder to me is that anyone ever unseemly."
scores a success. Nowadays, however, There was nothing of the feminine no one could amass a huge fortune out. about Miss Blake; her horse-cloth of it.” dress, her waistcoat and high collar, “No one, indeed l " replied Oswald? and her billy-cock hat were of the mas- Everard, laughing. 66 What on earth culine genus; even her nerves could made you take to it?" not be called feminine, since we learn " It took to me,” she said simply.. from two or three doctors (taken off “ It wrapt me round with enthusiasm... their guard) that nerves are neither I could think of nothing else. I vowell' feminine nor masculine, but common. that I would rise to the top of my pro
“I should like to see this tuner,” fession. I worked day and night. But said one of the tennis-players, leaning it means incessant toil for years if one against a tree.
wants to make any headway.”. “ Here she comes,” said Miss Blake, "Good gracious! I thought it was as the little girl was seen sauntering merely a matter of a few months,” he into the garden.
said, smiling at the little girl. The men put up their eye-glasses, "A few months ! " she repeated and saw a little lady with a childish scornfully. “You are speaking the face and soft. brown hair, of strictly language of an amateur. No; one has feminine appearance and bearing to work faithfully year after year ; to The goat came towards her and began grasp the possibilities and pass on to nibbling at her frock. She seemed to greater possibilities. You imagine: understand the manner of goats, aud what it must feel like to touch the played with him to his heart's content. notes, and know that you are keeping: One of the tennis-players, Oswald the listeners spellbound ; that you are Everard by name, strolled down to the taking them into a fairyland of sound, bank where she was having her frolic. where petty personality is lost in vague Good-afternoon,” he said, raising longing and regret.”!
" I hope the goat is not worry- “I confess I had not thought of it in ing you.
Poor little fellow! This is that way,” he said humbly. “I have bis last day of play. He is to be killed only regarded it as a necessary everyto-morrow for table d'hôte."
day evil; and to be quite honest with " What shame !" she said. you, I fail to see now how it can inspire “ Fancy to be killed, and then grum- enthusiasm. I wish I could see," he bled at !”
added, looking up at the engaging little “ That is precisely what we do here," figure before him. he said, laughing. "We grumble at “Never mind,” she said, laughing at everything we eat.
And I own to be- his distress ; “I forgive you. And ing one of the grumpiest, – though the after all, you are not the only person lady in the horse-cloth dress yonder who looks upon it as a necessary evil. follows close upon my heels.”
My poor old guardian abominated it. “ She was the lady who was annoyed He made many sacrifices to come ani at me because I tuned the piano," the listen to me. He knew I liked to see little girl said. “Still it had to be his kind old face, and that the presence done.
It was plainly my duty. I of a real friend inspired me with conseemed to have come for that purpose.” | fidence.”
“I should not have thought it was house. But there is no escape from nervous work,” he answered.
these fiends; I believe they are swarm“But surely you spoke of singing. ing about in the air like so many Are you not nervous when you sing?” bacteria. And how, in the name of “Sometimes," he replied rather goodness, you
should deliberately stiffly. “But that is slightly differ- choose to be one of them, and should
(He was very proud of his sing- be so enthusiastic over your work, puzing, and made a great fuss about it.) zles me beyond all words. Don't say “ Your profession, as I remarked be- that you carry a black bag, and present fore, is
unavoidable nuisance. cards which have to be filled up at the When I think what I have suffered most inconvenient time ; don't from the gentlemen of your profession, He stopped suldenly, for the little I only wonder that I have any brains girl was convulsed with laughter. She Neft. But I ain uncourteous."
laughed until the tears rolled down her No, no,” she said. “Let me hear cheeks; and then she dried her eyes about your sufferings.”
and laughed again. Whenever I have specially wanted “Excuse me,” she said, “I can't to be quiet,” he said, and then he help myself ; it's so funny.' glanced at her childish little face, and “It may be funny to you,” he said, he hesitated. “It seems so rude of laughing in spite of himself; “but it me,” he added. He was the soul of is not funny to me.” courtesy, although he was an amateur “Of course it isn't,” she replied, tenor singer.
making a desperate effort to be serious. “Please tell me,” the little girl said, “ Well, tell me something more about in her winning way.
these tuners." 6. Well," he said, gathering himself Not another word,” he said galtogether, “it is the one subject on lantly. “I am ashamed of myself as it 'which I can be eloquent. Ever since is. Come to the end of the garden, I can reniember, I have been worried and let me show you the view down and tortured by those rascals. I have into the valley." tried in every way to escape from She had conquered her fit of merrithem, but there is a cruel fate working ment, but her face wore a settled look against me. Yes ; I believe that all of mischief, and she was evidently the the tuners in the universe are in possessor of some secret. joke. She league against me, and have marked seemed in capital health and spirits, me out for their special prey.”
and had so much to say that was bright “ All the what ?" asked the little and interesting, that Oswald Everard girl, with a jerk in her voice.
found himself becoming reconciled to “ All the tuners, of course,” he re- the whole race of tuners. He was plied, rather snappishly. I know amazed to learn that she had walked all that we cannot do without them ; but, the way from Z, and quite alone too. good heavens! they have no tact, no Oh, I don't think anything of consideration, no mercy. Whenever that,” she said ; “I had a splendid I've wanted to write or read quietly, time, and I caught four rare butterflies. that fatal knock has come at the door, I would not have missed those for anyand I've known by instinct that all thing. As for the going about by my. chance of peace was over. Whenever self, that is a second nature. Besides, I've been giving a luncheon-party, the I do not belong to any one. That has tuuer has arrived, with his abominable its advantages, and I suppose its disblack bag, and his abominable card, advantages; but at present I have only which has to be signed at once. On discovered the advantages. The disone occasion I was just proposing to a advantages will discover themselves !" girl in her father's library, when the “I believe you are what the novels tuner struck up in the drawing-room. call an advanced young woman,” he I left off suddenly, and fled from the said. Perhaps you give lectures on
woman's suffrage or something of that at that moment the table d'hôte bell sort ? "
rang. “I have very often mounted the The little girl hastened to the bureau platform,” she answered. “ In fact, I and spoke rapidly in German to the am never so happy as when addressing cashier. ap immense audience. A most unfeni- "Ach, Fräulein !” he said. ipine thing to do, isn't it? What are not really serious ?” would the lady yonder in the horse- Yes, I am,” she said. “I don't cloth dress and billy-cock hat say ? want them to know my name. It will Don't you think you ought to go and only worry me. Say I am the young help her to drive away the goat ? She lady who tuned the piano." looks so frightened. She interests me She had scarcely given these direcdeeply. I wonder whether she has tions and mounted to her room when written an essay on the · Feminine in Oswald Everard, who was unusually Woman.' I should like to read it; it interested in his mysterious companwould do me so much good.”
ion, came to the bureau and asked for * You are at least a true woman,” he the name of the little lady. said, laughing, “for I see you can be “ Es ist das Fräulein welches das spiteful. The tuning has not driven Piano gestimmt hat,” answered the that away.”
man, returning with unusual quickness Ah, I had forgotten about the tun- to his account-book. ing,” she answered brightly ; “but DOW you remind me,
I have been seized No one spoke to the little girl at by a great idea.”
table d'hôte ; but for all that, she en". Wou't you tell it to me?” he joyed her dinner, and gave her serious asked.
attention to all the courses. Being “No,” she answered. “I keep my thus solidly occupied, she had not great ideas for myself, and work them much leisure to bestow on the out in secret. And tbis is oue partic-sation of the other guests. Nor was it ularly amusing. What fun I shall specially original; it treated of the have ! »
shortcomings of the chef, the tasteless“ But why keep the fun to your- ness of the soup, the toughness of the self ? " he said. “We all want to be beef, and all the many failings which amused here ; we all want to be stirred go to complete a mountain-hotel dinup; a little fun would be a charity.”
But suddenly, so it seemed to the " Very well, since you wish it, you little girl, this time-honored talk passed shall be stirred up,” she answered ; into another phase ; she heard the “ but you must give me time to work word music mentioned, and she became out my great idea. I do not hurry at once interested to learn what these about things, not even about my pro- people had to say on a subject which fessional duties. For I have a strong was dearer to her than any other. feeling that it is vulgar to be always “For my own part,” said a sternamassing riches! As I have neither a looking old man, “I have no words 10 husband nor a brother to support, I describe what a gracious comfort music bave chosen less wealth and more lei- has been to me all my life. It is the sure to enjoy all the loveliness of life ! noblest language which man may unSo you see I take my time about every- derstand and speak. And I sometimes thing. And to-morrow I shall catch think that those who know it, or know butterflies at my leisure, and lie something of it, are able at rare moamongst the dear old pines, and work ments to find an answer to life's per
plexing problems." “I shall catch butterflies," said her The little girl looked up from her companion.
6 And I too shall lie plate. Robert Browning's words rose amongst the dear old pines.'
to her lips, but she did not give them “ Just as you please,” she said ; and utterance :
at my great idea.”
the ear ;
God has a few of us whom he whispers in heard her at New York, Leipsic, Lon
don, Berlin, and eveu Chicago.” The rest may reason, and welcome ; 'tis we
The little girl stirred uneasily in her musicians know.
chair. “I have lived through a long life,”
“I don't think Miss Flowerdew has said another elderly man, " and have ever been to Chicago,” she said. therefore had my share of trouble ;
a dead ' silence. The the grief of being obliged to give up admirer of Miss Thyra Flowerdew music was the grief which held me looked much annoyed, and lwiddled longest, or which perhaps has never his watch-chain. He had meant to left me.
I still crave for the gracious say Philadelphia, but he did not think pleasure of touching once more the it necessary to own to his mistake. strings of a violoncello, and hearing “What impertinence !” said one of the dear, tender voice singing and the ladies to Miss Blake.
66 What can throbbing and answering even to such she know about it? Is she not the poor skill as mine. I still yearn to take young person who tuned the piano ?” my part in concerted music, and be “ Perhaps she tunes Miss Thyra one of those privileged to play Beetho- Flowerdew's piano," suggested Miss ven's string quartettes. But that will Blake, in a loud whisper. bave to be in another incarnation, I “ You are right, madam," said the think."
little girl quietly.
66 I have often tuned He glanced at his shrunken arm, and Miss Flowerdew's piano.” then, as though ashamed of this allu- There was another embarrassing sision to his own personal infirmity, he lence; and then a lovely old lady, added hastily :
whom every one reverenced, came to “But when the first pang of such a the rescue. pain is over, there remains the comfort “I think her playing is simply suof being a listener. At first one does perb,” she said. “ Nothing that I not think it a comfort ; but as time ever hear satisfies me so entirely. She goes on, there is no resisting its magic has all the tenderness of an angel's influence. And Lowell said rightly, touch." that one of God's charities is mu- “ Listening to her,” said the major, sic.'
who had now recovered from his an“I did not know you were musical. noyance at being interrupted, Mr. Keith,” said an English lady. becomes unconscious of her presence, “ You have never before spoken of for she is the music itself. And that is niusic."
It is but seldom nov
owadays that “Perhaps not, madam," he we are allowed to forget the personality swered. 56 Ove does not often speak of of the player. And yet her personality what one cares for most of all. But is an unusual one ; having once seen when I am in London, I rarely miss her, it would not be easy to forget her. hearing our best players.”
I should recognize her anywhere.” At this point others joined in, and As he spoke, he glanced at the little the various merits of eminent pianists tuner, and could not help admiring were warmly discussed.
her dignified composure under circum" What a wonderful name that little stances which might have been disEnglish lady has made for herself !” tressing to any one ; and when she rose said the major, who was considered an with the others, he followed her, and authority on all subjects. “I would go said stiffly : anywhere to hear Miss Thyra Flower- “I regret that I was the indirect dew. We all ought to be very proud cause of putting you in an awkward of her. She has taken even the Ger- position.” man musical world by storm, and they “It is really of no consequence,” she say her recitals at Paris have been said brightly. “If you think I was imbrilliantly successful. I myself have' pertinent, I ask your forgiveness. I