Great was the indignation of Monsieur Scherzo, her manager, when next day she told him that after this month she would sing no more in public. He swore, he stormed, he tore his hair, and finding threats were in vain he wept in his excitable fashion, but neither threats nor entreaties moved mademoiselle from her decision. “Bah!” he said, “it is the way with them all, a woman can never be a true artist. Directly she rises to any height she goes off and gets married, ten to one to some idiot, who interferes in all her arrangements, and so her career is spoiled. I did think Mademoiselle Laurentia was above such frivolity. I imagined that, at last, I had discovered a true artist, one to whom her art was everything. No, I am again mistaken, and Mademoiselle Laurentia—why, she is not even going to marry a duke, there might be some sense in that, but only a beggarly artist. Bah! what folly!”
Some six weeks later, one sunny afternoon, there came up the Gulf of St. Lawrence a ship crowded with passengers bound for all quarters of the great Dominion. It had been a backward season, and even so late as the beginning of July great icebergs were still floating down the Gulf, huge, white and glistening in the summer sun, as they floated on to their destruction in the southern seas. However, the good ship “Vancouver” passed safely through the perils of storms and icebergs, and after a fairly prosperous passage of ten days arrived safely at Rimouski. There she paused for a few hours to let off the mails and two passengers.
These two passengers had been the cause of a great deal of gossip and attention on the voyage out, for they were both, in their different spheres, celebrated personages, and known to fame on both sides of the Atlantic. It seemed rather strange that they should land at a little out-of-the-way place like Rimouski.
“Oh!” exclaimed one of the celebrities, a little lady clad in furs. “Oh, Eugene, everything is just the same as it used to be in the old days, and look over there on the pier is M. Bois-le-Duc.”
Yes, there stood the tall, venerable priest, his hair now snowy white, and his shoulders bent under the weight of years. But the good cure was energetic as of old, and his eyes gleamed with excitement as the ship approached. His hands were stretched out in welcome, and a smile of most intense happiness lighted up his handsome features, and, as the travellers stepped from the gangway to the pier, he went quickly forward to greet them, exclaiming, in his bright cheery manner:—
“Eugene, Marie, my children, welcome home, a thousand times welcome. Heaven has indeed been good to me. My heart’s desire is now fulfilled.”
“Our acts our angels are, or good
The fatal shadows that walk by us still.”
Far up on the east coast of Scotland, where the huge breakers of the Atlantic dash in angry tumult against the granite crags of that rugged shore, stands the castle of Dunmorton, a grim historic pile.