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eyes laughed up at them as they passed toward Mrs. Whiteoak's chair. Pheasant gripped Piers's coat in icy fingers. She cast an imploring look at Nicholas, who had once given her a doll and remained a kind of god in her eyes ever since, but he only stared down his nose, and crumbled the bit of cake on his saucer. If it had not been for the support of Piers's arm, she felt that she must have sunk to her knees, she trembled so.

'Now,' snarled Grandmother, when she had got them before her, 'are n't you ashamed of yourselves?'

'No,' answered Piers, stoutly. 'We've only done what lots of people do. Got married on the quiet. We knew the whole family would get on their hind feet if we told them, so we kept it to ourselves, that's all.'

'And do you expect' she struck her stick savagely on the floor- 'do you expect that I shall allow you to bring that little bastard here? Do you understand what it means to Meg? Maurice was her fiancé and he got this brat — '

'Mama!' cried Ernest.

'Easy, old lady,' soothed Nicholas. Finch exploded in sudden, hysterical laughter.

Meg raised her voice. 'Don't stop her! It's true.'

'Yes, what was I saying? Don't dare to stop me! This brat this brat - he got her by a slut —'

Piers bent over her, glaring into her fierce old face.

'Stop it!' he shouted. 'Stop it, I say!' Boney was roused into a sudden passion by the hurricane about him. He thrust his beak over Grandmother's shoulder, and, riveting his cruel little eyes on Piers's face, he poured forth a stream of Hindu abuse. 'Shaitan! Shaitan ka bata! Shaitan ka butcka! Piakur! Piakur! Jab kutr!'

This was followed by a cascade of mocking, metallic laughter, while he rocked from side to side on the back of Grandmother's chair.

It was too much for Pheasant. She burst into tears, hiding her face in her hands. But her sobs could not be heard for the cursing of Boney; and Finch, shaking from head to foot, added his hysterical laughter.

Goaded beyond endurance, his sunburnt face crimson with rage, Piers caught the screaming bird by the throat and threw him savagely to the floor, where he lay, as gayly colored as painted fruit, uttering strange coughing sounds.


Grandmother was inarticulate. looked as though she would choke. She tore at her cap and it fell over one ear. Then she grasped her heavy stick. Before anyone could stop her (if indeed they had wished to stop her) she had brought it with a resounding crack on to Piers's head. "Take that,' she shouted, 'miserable boy!'

At the instant that the stick struck Piers's head, the door from the hall was opened and Renny came into the room, followed by Wakefield, who, behind the shelter of his brother, peered timidly yet inquisitively at the family.

All faces turned toward Renny, as though his red head were a sun and they sun-gazing flowers.

"This is a pretty kettle of fish,' he said.

'He's abusing Boney,' wailed Grandmother. 'Poor dear Boney! Oh, the young brute! Flog him, Renny! Give him a sound flogging!'

'No! No!' screamed Pheasant.

Nicholas heaved himself about in his chair, and said: 'He deserved it. He threw the bird on the floor.'

'Pick poor Boney up, Wakefield dear,' said Ernest. 'Pick him up and stroke him.'

Except his mistress, Boney would allow no one but Wakefield to touch him. The child picked him up, stroked him, and set him on his grandmother's shoulder.

Grandmother, in one of her gusts of affection, caught him to her and pressed a kiss on his mouth. 'Little darling,' she exclaimed. 'Gran's darling! Give him a piece of cake, Meg.'

Meg was crying softly behind the teapot. Wakefield went to her, and, receiving no notice, took the largest piece of cake and began to devour it.

Renny had crossed to Piers's side and was staring at his head.

'His ear is bleeding,' he remarked. "You should n't have done that, Granny!'

'He was impudent to her,' said Ernest. Eden cut in: 'Oh, rot! She was abusing him and the girl horribly.'

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'For God's sake, give her some tea,' growled Nicholas. 'Make it hot.'

Ernest carried a cup of tea to her, and straightened her cap.

'More cake,' she demanded. 'Stop your sniveling, Meggie.'

'Grandmother,' said Meg, with melancholy dignity, 'I am not sniveling. And it is n't much wonder if I do shed tears considering the way Piers has acted.'

'I've settled him,' snorted Grandmother. 'Settled him with my stick. Ha!'

Piers said, in a hard voice: 'Now, look here, I'm going to get out. Pheasant and I don't have to stop here. We only came to see what sort of reception we'd get. Now we know, and we're going.'

'Just listen to him, Renny!' said Meg. 'He's lost all his affection for us, and it seems only yesterday that he was a little boy like Wake.'

'Heaven knows whom Wakefield will take up with,' said Nicholas. "The family's running to seed.'

'Will you have some tea, Renny?' asked Meg.

'No, thanks. Give the girl some. She's awfully upset.'

'I don't want tea!' cried Pheasant, looking wildly at the hostile faces about her. 'I want to go away! Piers, please, please, take me away!' She sank into a wide, stuffed chair, drew up her knees, covered her face with her hands, and sobbed loudly. Meg spoke, with cold yet furious chagrin. 'If only he could send you home, and have done with you! But here you are, bound fast to him. You'd never rest till you'd got him - bound fast. I know your kind.' Nicholas put in: 'They don't wait till they're out of pinafores that kind.' Eden cried: 'Oh, for God's sake!' But Piers's furious voice drowned him out: 'Not another word about her! I won't stand another word!'


Grandmother screamed: 'You'll stand another crack on the head, you young whelp!' Crumbs of cake clung to the hairs on her chin. Wake regarded them, fascinated. Then he blew on them, trying to blow them off.

Finch uttered hysterical croaking sounds. 'Wakefield, don't do that,' ordered Uncle Ernest, or you'll get your head slapped! Mama, wipe your chin.'

Meg said: "To think of the years I've kept aloof from the Vaughans! I've never spoken to Maurice since that terrible time. None of them have set foot in this house. And now his daughter — that child — the cause of all my unhappiness - brought here to live as Piers's wife!'

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Piers retorted: 'Don't worry, Meg. We're not going to stay.'

"The disgrace is here forever,' she returned bitterly, 'if you go to the other end of the earth.' Her head rested on her hand, supported by her short plump arm. Her sweetly curved lips were drawn in at the corners, in an expression of stubborn finality. 'You've finished things. I was terribly hurt at the very beginning of my life. I've tried to forget. Your bringing this girl here has renewed all the hurt. Shamed me, crushed me. I thought you loved me, Piers

'Oh, Lord, can't a man love his sister and another too?' exclaimed Piers, regarding her intently, with scarlet face, cut to the heart, for he loved her.

'No one who loved his sister could love the daughter of the man who had been so faithless to her.'

'And besides,' put in Nicholas, 'you promised Renny you'd give the girl up.'

'Oh, oh,' cried Pheasant, sitting up in her chair. 'Did you promise that, Piers?' 'No, I did n't.'

Nicholas roared: 'Yes, you did! Renny told me you did!'

'I never promised. Be just, now, Renny! I never promised, did I?'

'No,' said Renny. 'He did n't promise. I told him to cut it out. I said there'd be trouble -'

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that kind-devil's cake. I want devil's cake!' She took the cake that Ernest brought her, bit off a large piece, and snortled through it: 'I hit the young whelp a good crack on the head!'

'Yes, Mama,' said Ernest. Then he inquired patiently, 'Must you take such large bites?'

'I drew the blood!' she cried, ignoring his question, and taking a still larger bite. 'I made the lad smart for his folly!'

'You ought to be ashamed, Gran,' said Eden, and the family began to argue noisily as to whether she had done well or ill.

Renny stood looking from one excited face to another, feeling irritated by their noise, their ineffectuality, yet, in spite of all, bathed in an immense satisfaction. This was his family. His tribe. He was head of his family. Chieftain of his tribe. He took a very primitive, direct, and simple pleasure in lording it over them, caring for them, being badgered, harried, and importuned by them. They were all of them dependent on him except Gran, and she was dependent, too, for she would have died away from Jalna. And, besides the fact that he provided for them, he had the inherent quality of the chieftain. They expected him to lay down the law; they harried him till he did. He turned his lean red face from one to the other of them now, and prepared to lay down the law.

The heat of the room was stifling; the fire was scarcely needed, yet now, with sudden fever, it leaped and crackled on the hearth. Boney, having recovered from Piers's rough handling, was crying in a head-splitting voice, 'Cake! Cake! Devil cake!'

'For God's sake, somebody give him cake,' said Renny.

Little Wake snatched up a piece of cake and held it toward Boney, but just as the parrot was at the point of taking it he jerked it away. With flaming temper, Boney tried three times, and failed to snatch the morsel. He flapped his wings and uttered a screech that set the blood pounding in the ears of those in the room.

It was too much for Finch. He doubled up on his footstool, laughing hysterically; the footstool slipped (or did Eden's foot push it?) and he was sent sprawling on the floor.

Grandmother seized her cane and struggled to get to her feet.

'Let me at them!' she screamed.

'Boys! Boys!' cried Meggie, melting into sudden laughter. This was the sort of thing she loved. Rough-house' among the boys, and she sitting solidly, comfortably in her chair, looking on.

She laughed, but in an instant she was lachrymose again, and averted her eyes from the figure of Finch stretched on the floor.

Renny was bending over him. He administered three hard thumps on the boy's bony, untidy person and said: 'Now get up and behave yourself.'

Finch got up, red in the face, and skulked to a corner. Nicholas turned heavily in his chair and regarded Piers.

'As for you,' he said, 'you ought to be flayed alive for what you've done to Meggie.'

'Never mind,' Piers returned. 'I'm getting out.'

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Meg looked at him scornfully. 'You'd have to go a long way to get away from scandal I mean, to make your absence really a help to me to all of us.' Piers retorted: 'Oh, we'll go far enough to please you. We'll go to the States, perhaps.' The 'perhaps' was mumbled on a hesitating note. His own voice announcing that he would go to a foreign country, far from Jalna, and the land he had helped to grow things on, the horses, his brothers, had an appalling sound.

'What does he say?' asked Grandmother, roused from one of her sudden dozes. Boney had perched on her shoulder and cuddled his head against her long, flat cheek. 'What's the boy say?'

Ernest answered: 'He says he'll go to the States.'

"The States! A Whiteoak go to the States! A Whiteoak a Yankee! No, no, no. It would kill me. He must n't go! Shameshame on you, Meggie, to drive the poor boy to the States! You ought to be ashamed of yourself! Oh, those Yankees! First they take Eden's book and now they want Piers himself. Oh, don't let him go!' She burst into loud sobs.

Renny's voice was raised, but without excitement.

'Piers is not going away - anywhere.

He's going to stay right here. So is Pheasant. The girl and he are married. I presume they've lived together. There's no reason on earth why she should n't make him a good wife -'

Meg interrupted: 'Maurice has never forgiven me for refusing to marry him. He has made this match between his daughter and Piers to punish me. He's done it. I know he's done it.'

Piers turned to her. 'Maurice has known nothing about it.'

'How can you know what schemes were in his head?' replied Meg. 'He's simply been waiting his chance to thrust his brat into Jalna.'

Piers exclaimed: 'Good God, Meggie! I did n't know you had such a wicked tongue!'

'No back chat, please!' rejoined his sister. Renny's voice, with a vibration from the chest which the family knew foreboded an outburst if he were opposed, broke in:

'I have been talking the affair over with Maurice this afternoon. He is as upset about it as we are. As for his planning the marriage to avenge himself on you, Meg, that is ridiculous! Give the man credit for a little decency a little sense why, your affair with him was twenty years ago! Do you think he's been brooding over it ever since? And he was through the War, too! He's had a few things to think of besides your cruelty, Meggie!'

He smiled at her. He knew how to take her. And she liked to have her 'cruelty' referred to. Her beautifully shaped lips curved a little, and she said, with almost girlish petulance: 'What's the matter with him, then? Everyone agrees that there's something wrong with him.'

here, and I want my tea, terribly. Will you pour it out, Meggie?'

Silence followed his words, broken only by the snapping of the fire and Grandmother's peaceful, bubbling snores. Nicholas took out his pipe and began to fill it from his pouch. Sasha leaped from the mantelpiece to Ernest's shoulder and began loudly to purr, as though in opposition to Grandmother's snores. Wakefield opened the door of a cabinet filled with curios from India, with which he was not allowed to play, and stuck his head inside. 'Darling, don't,' said Meg, gently.

Renny, the chieftain, had spoken. He had said that Piers was not to be cast out from the tribe, and the tribe had listened and accepted his words as wisdom. All the more readily because not one of them wanted to see Piers cast out, even though they must accept with him an unwelcome addition to the family. Not even Meg. In truth, Renny was more often the organ of the family than its head. They knew beforehand what he would say in a crisis, and they excited, harried, and goaded him till he said it with great passion. Then, with apparent good grace, they succumbed to his will.

Renny dropped into a chair with his cup of tea and a piece of bread and butter. His face was redder than usual, but he looked with deep satisfaction at the group about him.

He had quelled the family riot. They depended on him, from savage old Gran down to delicate little Wake. They depended on him to lead them. He looked at Pheasant, sitting upright in the big chair, her eyes swollen from crying, but eating her tea like a good child. She was one of them now. His own. Their eyes met, and she gave a little watery, pleading smile. Renny grinned at her encouragingly.

Rags had come in and Meg was ordering a fresh pot of tea.

'Oh, well, I don't think there is very much wrong with Maurice, but if there is, and you are responsible, you should n't be too hard on him, or on this child, either. I told Piers that if he went on meeting her there'd be trouble, and there has been, This was the Whiteoak family as it was has n't there? Lots of it. But I'm not going when Alayne Archer came into their midst to drive him away from Jalna. I want him from New York. (To be continued)


The correspondence of Governor Smith and Mr. Marshall conducted in this magazine is an incident not unlikely to become historic. Owing to the unauthorized publication of Governor Smith's reply by a newspaper in defiance of our copyright, it was felt to be in the national interest that the publication of the May Atlantic be hastened and the release of the article to the press be made a week earlier than was intended. In this unique instance it proved impracticable to mail subscribers' copies before the news-stand edition was on sale. We are glad to make this public explanation and again to affirm our consistent policy of serving subscribers first.

Rabindranath Tagore, the Hindu poet and philosopher, is still the very active head of his school in Santiniketan which he founded over a quarter of a century ago. Famous for his prose and poetry in both English and his native tongue, Bengali, Dr. Tagore in 1913 was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. In these days of sober reports it is a joy to know that there are Innocents Abroad who, like C. Lester Walker, an American business man in Manchuria, are able to tell when the joke is on them. Robert Lynd's definition of the bounds of decency comes pat at a time when a Boston official is banning fifty-seven varieties of books and the New York courts have sentenced the actors and producers of condemned plays. ¶If ever a man had to curb the deviltry of inanimate objects, it was Captain K. C. McIntosh of the United States Navy. ¶More than imagination has gone into the making of A. Cecil Edwards's stories. Thirteen years' residence in Persia provided the author with a rare understanding of the East. One hundred and sixteen years ago John Adams was writing thus to his friend, Professor Waterhouse:

H. [Hamilton] and Burr, in point of Ambition were equal. In Principle equal. In Talents different. H. Superior in Litterary Talents: B. in military. H. a Nevis Adventurer, B. descended from the earliest, most learned Pious and virtuous of our American Nation, and buoyed up by Prejudices of half the Nation. He found himself thwarted, persecuted, calumniated by a wandering Stranger. The deep Malice of H. against Bur, and his indefatigable Exertions to defame him are little known. I knew So much of it for a Course of Years, that I wondered a Duel had not

taken Place Seven Years before it did. I could have produced Such a Duel at any Moment for Seven Years. I kept the Secrets Sacred and inviolable: and have kept them to this day.

This letter, which forms part of the earlier correspondence published in the May Atlantic, and the present selections were discovered a few months ago in a strong box where they have lain through the generations.

"I hope you will like my silver-icy reindeer,' writes Fannie Stearns Gifford; 'he was a real dream, and I have a fondness for him. I saw him leap high towards the sunrise over October Mountain and woke almost ready to look with Teresina for his hoof marks in the snow.' ¶A frequent contributor to our pages, Sir W. Beach Thomas is an English naturalist who roves the countryside in the interest of birds and beasts. One of our most eminent philosophers, Alfred North Whitehead has brought his benign influence from Cambridge. England, to Cambridge, New England. Fellow and late Senior Lecturer at Trinity College, Dr. Whitehead is now Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University. Margaret Higginson Barney is the daughter of Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson, whose friendship and encouragement were the precious means of drawing Emily Dickinson from out her mystical seclusion. Their friendship for they seldom met — was bound by the correspondence of over twenty years. ¶A member of the Atlantic's staff and a contributor of essays and poems, Theodore Morrison loves a long walk

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