Caesar's Column eBook

Ignatius Donnelly
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 355 pages of information about Caesar's Column.
and had not been born in it, or lived there all your life, as you said, then the rest of your story was probably false also, and the name you bore was assumed.  And for what purpose?  And why did you move into that house the same day we rented it from you?  It looked like a scheme to entrap us; and yet you had always been so kind and good that I could not think evil of you.  Then it occurred to me that I would go and see Peter Bingham, the proprietor of the theater.  I desired, anyhow, to tell him that I thought I would recover my voice, and that I might want another engagement with him after awhile.  When I met him I fancied there was a shade of insolence in his manner.  When I spoke of singing again he laughed, and said he guessed I would never want to go on the boards again.  Why?  I asked.  Then he laughed again, and said “Mr. Phillips would not let me;” and then he began to abuse you, and said you “had forced him to give me fifty dollars a week for my singing when it wasn’t worth ten dollars; but he understood then what it all meant, and that now every one understood it;—­that you had lived in the same house with me for months, and now you had purchased a cage for your bird in the country.”  At first I could not understand what he meant; and when at last I comprehended his meaning and burst into tears, he began to apologize; but I would not listen to him, and hurried home and told everything to papa and mamma.

“‘Now,’ she continued, looking me steadily in the face with her frank, clear eyes, ’we have talked it all over for hours, and we have come to several conclusions.  First, you are not Francis Montgomery, but Arthur Phillips; second, you are not a poor printer, but a rich young gentleman; third, you have done me a great many kindnesses and attributed them to others.  You secured me a large salary from Bingham; you made Mrs. Brederhagan settle an income upon me; you nursed me through all my sickness, with the tenderness of a brother, and you have bought this beautiful place and presented it to papa.  You have done us all nothing but good; and you claimed no credit for it; and we shall all be grateful to you and honor you and pray for you to the end of our lives.  But,’ and here she took my hand as a sister might, ’but we cannot keep this place.  You will yourself see that we cannot.  You a poor printer, we met on terms of equality.  From a rich young gentleman this noble gift would be universally considered as the price of my honor and self-respect.  It is so considered already.  The deed of gift from Mrs. Brederhagan I shall avail myself of until I am able to resume my place on the stage; but here is a deed, signed by my father and mother, for this place, and tomorrow we must leave it.  We may not meet again’- and here the large eyes began to swim in tears—­’but—­but—­I shall never forget your goodness to me.’

“‘Christina,’ I said, ’suppose I had really been Frank Montgomery, the printer, would you have driven me away from you thus?’

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Caesar's Column from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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