“And where could we meet Jack?” asked Jenvie.
“I do not know,” said Grace, “nor is it necessary. I think the broker with whom you dealt in the stocks has authority to settle. That was a little trap set for you. There is not a share of the stock that is not in the company’s office at this moment.”
“I did not mean to rob Jack,” said Hamlin. “I wanted to break his engagement with Rose, hoping he would turn to you.”
“We all understood that from the first,” said Grace, “but we had made entirely different arrangements—arrangements worth two of that—which suited us all around.” And bowing, the young wife left the room.
The three men found, upon visiting the broker, that he had received orders to settle with them on the terms outlined by Grace, and they complied by turning over what money they had and some outside property.
It left them with fair fortunes. But the story got out through Emanuel; their prestige was broken, and they closed up their business within a few days, and disappeared from the business walks of London. Two months later Jenvie died in a moment of apoplexy; the succeeding autumn Hamlin succumbed to typhoid fever, and Stetson sailed away to lose himself in the depths of Australia.
Jordan improved rapidly, and soon began to take long drives to different points of interest. After a month it was one evening proposed that they should all attend the theater. It was agreed to, and it was left to Jordan to decide where to go. Queerly enough, he selected a theater where the opera of “Tannhauser” was to be performed.
“Did you ever attend a grand opera performance, Tom?” asked Sedgwick.
“No,” was the response. “Thet’s ther reason I wanter go.”
He seemed greatly absorbed throughout the performance. The opera was put on with every splendor possible, and the strange man sat almost motionless through the mighty rendition, and was unusually silent all the way home.
Arriving there, Grace said: “Mr. Jordan, give us your idea of the opera.”
“I reckon yo’ might laugh at me ef I should,” said Jordan.
“No, we will not,” said Grace; “for when it comes to that, we are none of us quite up to the comprehension of the mystery of a grand opera—at least, none but Margaret.”
“Well,” said Jordan, “mystery are a good word ter use thar. If yo’ jest occerpy yo’r eyes and ears, yo’ hear mostly only a ocean roar uv singin’, a brayin’ uv trumpets, a clashin’ uv cymbals, a beatin’ uv drums, with ther soft strains uv viols, harps ‘nd flutes, and not much music. Ef yo’ set yo’r mind workin’ ter foller ther myths outer which ther story of the opera war made, then ther tones become voices, ’nd ther music only tells er story. But ef yo’ give yo’r soul a chance, then it’s different. Ther music assumes forms of its own; it materializes, as