Away I went to the show, saw the secretary—from a safe distance—and immediately telegraphed: “Have seen the secretary. Hard at work setting matters right. Awfully sorry.” Then I hired a boat, and went fishing for the rest of the day. In the evening I wired: “Beauty must have got changed. Cats now all going home. Found clue and am following up. All right shortly.” But my aunt’s patience had expired. Next morning came a curt note saying she would at once join me, and either rescue Beauty or settle that secretary. How could I ever face those searching spectacles! I fled. From a lonely spot on the wilds of Dartmoor I wired: “Am following clue sharp. Getting close up. Good news next time.” Back came an answer: “Shall be with you to-morrow at noon.” At noon next day, I boarded the mail packet Tongariro, bound from Plymouth to New Zealand.
[Illustration: OFF TO NEW ZEALAND.]
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PEOPLE I HAVE NEVER MET
BY SCOTT RANKIN.
MRS. HUMPHRY WARD.
“You can do nothing by despising the past and its products; you also can do nothing by being too much afraid of them.... Be content to be a new ‘sect,’ ‘conventicle,’ or what not, so long as you feel that you are something, with a life and purpose of its own, in this tangle of a world.”—Robert Elsmere.
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THE IDLERS CLUB
Is Love a Practical Reality or a Pleasing Fiction?
[Sidenote: Mrs. Lynn Linton thinks there is no doubt as to Love’s reality.]
Of the desperate reality of the passion there is no doubt; of the intrinsic value of the thing beloved there may be many. The passion for which men and women have died stands like a tower four-square to all the winds of heaven; but how far that tower has been self-created by fancy, and how much is objectively real, who is the wise man that can determine? What is Love? We know nothing of its source. Sense and sex cannot wholly explain its mystery, else would there be no friendship left among us; and elective affinity is but a dainty carving on the chancel stalls. The loveliness which makes that special person the veritable Rose of the World to us exists but in our imagination. It is no rose that we adore—only at the best a bedeguar, of which the origin is a disagreeable little insect. We believe in the exquisite harmony of those atoms which have arranged themselves to form the thing we love. And we marry our human ideal, expecting the unbroken continuance of that harmony. But the discord comes; colours clash; the jarring note spoils the chord; the idol once accepted as of gold and precious stones, proves to be only common clay, thinly gilt. The diamonds are paste; the pearls are beads of glass filled with shining fishes’