Mr. Achilles eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 158 pages of information about Mr. Achilles.

Then his eye fell upon it—­the music roll that had slipped quietly to the floor when her eager hand had lifted itself to touch the butterfly, opening and closing his great wings in the fig-box.  He crossed to it and lifted it almost reverently, brushing a breath of dust from its leather sides....  He bent closer to it, staring at a little silver plate that swung from the strap.  He carried it to the window, rubbing it on the worn black sleeve, and bending closer, studying the deep-cut letters.  Then he lifted his head.  A quick sigh floated from him.  Miss Elizabeth Harris, 108 Lake Shore Drive.  He knew the place quite well—­facing the lake, where the water boomed against the great break-water.  He would take it to her—­to-morrow—­the next day—­next week, perhaps....  He wrapped it carefully away and laid it in a drawer to wait.  She had asked him to come.

V

THE GREEK PROFESSOR LAUGHS

To Mrs. Philip Harris, in the big house looking out across the lake, the passing days brought grateful reassurance....  Betty was safe—­Miss Stone was well again—­and the man had not come....  She breathed more freely as she thought of it.  The child had told her that she had asked him.  But she had forgotten to give him her address; and it would not do to be mixed up with a person like that—­free to come and go as he liked.  He was no doubt a worthy man.  But Betty was only a child, and too easily enamoured of people she liked.  It was strange how deep an impression the man’s words had made on her.  Athens and Greece filled her waking moments.  Statues and temples—­photographs and books of travel loaded the school-room shelves.  The house reeked with Greek learning.  Poor Miss Stone found herself drifting into archaeology; and an exhaustive study of Greek literature, Greek life, Greek art filled her days.  The theory of Betty Harris’s education had been elaborately worked out by specialists from earliest babyhood.  Certain studies, rigidly prescribed, were to be followed whether she liked them or not—­but outside these lines, subjects were to be taken up when she showed an interest in them.  There could be no question that the time for the study of Greek history and Greek civilisation had come.  Miss Stone laboured early and late.  Instruction from the university down the lake was pressed into service....  But out of it all the child seemed, by some kind of precious alchemy, to extract only the best, the vital heart of it.

The instructor in Greek marvelled a little.  “She is only a child,” he reported to the head of the department, “and the family are American of the newest type—­you know, the Philip Harrises?”

The professor nodded.  “I know—­hide and hoof a generation back.”

The instructor assented.  “But the child is uncanny.  She knows more about Greek than—­”

“Than I do, I suppose.”  The professor smiled indulgently.  “She wouldn’t have to know much for that.”

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Project Gutenberg
Mr. Achilles from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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