Macleod of Dare eBook

William Black
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 492 pages of information about Macleod of Dare.

“I should think it would be a little uncomfortable,” she said, demurely.  “I fancy he has taken that engagement till Christmas a little more to heart than he chooses to reveal—­that is natural—­I knew it would be a disappointment; but then, you know, pappy, the temptation was very great, and I had almost promised the Lemuels to do what I could for the piece.  And if I am to give up the stage, wouldn’t it be fine to wind up with a blaze of fireworks to astonish the public?”

“Are you so certain you will astonish the public?” her father said.

“I have the courage to try,” she answered, readily.  “And you are not going to throw cold water on my endeavors, are you, pappy?  Well, as I was saying, it is perhaps natural for Sir Keith Macleod to feel a bit annoyed; and I am afraid if he went travelling with us, we should be continually skating on the edge of a quarrel.  Besides, to tell you the truth, pappy—­with all his kindness and gentleness, there is sometimes about him a sort of intensity that I scarcely like—­it makes me afraid of him.  If it were on the stage, I should say it was a splendid piece of acting—­of the suppressed vehement kind, you know; but really—­during a holiday-time, when one naturally wishes to enjoy the fine weather and gather strength for one’s work—­well, I do think he ought not to come with us, pappy.”

“Very well; you can hint as much without being rude.”

“I was thinking,” said she, “of the Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin who were in that Newcastle company, and who went to Aberdeen.  Do you remember them, pappy?”

“The low comedian, you mean?”

“Yes.  Well, at all events they would be glad to see us.  And so—­don’t you think?—­we could let Macleod understand that we were going to see some friends in the North?  Then he would not think of coming with us.”

“The representation would scarcely be justifiable,” observed Mr. White, with a profound air, “in ordinary circumstances.  But, as you say, it would be neither for his comfort nor for yours that he should go with us.”

“Comfort!” she exclaimed.  “Much comfort I have had since I came here!  Comfort I call quiet, and being let alone.  Another fortnight at this place would give me brain fever—­your life continually in danger either on the sea or by the cliffs—­your feelings supposed to be always up at passion pitch—­it is all a whirl of secret or declared emotions that don’t give you a moment’s rest.  Oh, pappy, won’t it be nice to have a day or two’s quiet in our own home, with Carry and Marie?  And you know Mr. Lemuel will be in town all the summer and winter.  The material for his work he finds within himself.  He doesn’t need to scamper off like the rest of them to hunt out picturesque peasants and studies of waterfalls—­trotting about the country with a note-book in hand—­”

“Gerty, Gerty,” said her father, with a smile, “your notions are unformed on that subject.  What have I told you often?—­that the artist is only a reporter.  Whether he uses the pencil, or the pen, or his own face and voice, to express the highest thoughts and emotions of which he is conscious, he is only a reporter—­a penny-a-liner whose words are written in fire.  And you—­don’t you carry your note-book too?”

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Macleod of Dare from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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