that he ought to take life seriously, because his natural
tendency was otherwise. Kendal was an Englishman
with a temperament which multiplied his individuality.
If his father, who was once in the Indian Staff Corps,
had lived, Kendal would probably have gone into the
Indian Staff Corps too. And if his mother, who
was of clerical stock, had not died about the same
time, it is more than likely that she would have persuaded
him to the bar. With his parents the obligation
to be anything in particular seemed to Kendal to have
been removed, however, and he followed his inclination
in the matter instead, which made him an artist.
He would have found life too interesting to confine
his observation of it within the scope of any profession,
but of course he could have chosen none which presents
it with greater fascination. To speak quite baldly
about him, his intelligence and his sympathies had
a wider range than is represented by any one power
of expression, even the catholic brush. He had
the analytical turn of the age, though it had been
denied him to demonstrate what he saw except through
an art which is synthetic. With a more comprehensive
conception of modern tendencies and a subtler descriptive
vocabulary, Kendal might have divided his allegiance
between Lucien and the magazines, and ended a light-handed
fiction-maker of the more refined order of realists.
As it was, he made his studies for his own pleasure,
and if the people he met ministered to him further
than they knew, nothing came of it more than that.
What he liked best to achieve was an intimate knowledge
of his fellow-beings from an outside point of view.
Where intimate knowledge came of intimate association
he found that it usually compromised his independence
of criticism, which in the Quartier Latin was a serious
matter. So he rather cold-bloodedly aimed at
keeping his own personality independent of his observation
of other people’s, and as a rule he succeeded.
That Paris had neither made Kendal nor marred him
may be gathered for the first part from his contentment
to go back to paint in his native land, for the second
from the fact that he had a relation with Elfrida
Bell which at no point verged toward the sentimental.
He would have found it difficult to explain in which
direction it did verge—in fact, he would
have been very much surprised to know that he sustained
any relation at all toward Miss Bell important enough
to repay examination. The red-armed, white-capped
proprietress of a cremerie had effected their
introduction by regretting to them jointly that she
had only one helping of compote de cerises left,
and leaving them to arrange its consumption between
them. And it is safer than it would be in most
similar cases to say that neither Elfrida’s
heavy-lidded beauty nor the smile that gave its instant
attraction to Kendal’s delicately eager face
had much to do with the establishment of their acquaintance,
such as it was. Kendal, though his virtue was
not of the heroic order, would have turned a contemptuous
heel upon any imputation of the sort, and Elfrida
would have stared it calmly out of countenance.