Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

sure to come back. Arthur does not look the least like it. But-(polishes vigorously). I cannot get this boot to look like a gentleman's. I wish I had taken a lesson or two first. I'll get hold of a shoeblack, and make him come for a morning or two. No, he does not look like it. There he comes. (Goes on polishing.)

Enter GER.

Ger. William !
Col. G. (turning). Yes, sir.
Ger. Light the gas. Any one called ?
Col. G. Yes, sir.
Ger. Who?

Col. G. I don't know, sir. (Lighting the gas.)

Ger. You should have asked his name. (Stands before the clay, contemplating it.)

Col. G. I'm sorry I forgot, sir. only an old man from the country-after his daughter, he said.

It was

VOL. II.

H

Ger. Came to offer his daughter, or himself perhaps. (Begins to work at the figure.) Col. G. (watching him stealthily).

He looked a respectable old party—from Lancashire, he said. Ger. I dare say.

You will have many such callers. Take the address. Models, you know.

Col. G. If he calls again, sir?
Ger. Ask him to leave his address, I say.
Col. G. But he told me you knew her.

Ger. Possibly. I had a good many models before I left. But it's of no consequence; I don't want any at present.

Col. G. He seemed in a great way, sirand swore.

I couldn't make him out.
Ger. Ah! hm !

Col. G. He says he saw her come out of the house.

Ger. Has there been any girl here? Have you seen any about?

Col. G. No, sir.

[graphic]

Ger. My aunt had a dressmaker to meet her here the other evening. I have had no model since I came back.

Col. G. The man was in a sad taking about her, sir. I didn't know what to make of it. There seemed some truth-something suspicious.

Ger. Perhaps my aunt can throw some light upon it. (Col. G. lingers.) That will do. (Exit Col. G.) How oddly the man behaves! A sun-stroke in India, perhaps. Or he may have had a knock on the head. I must keep my eye on him. (Stops working, steps backward, and gazes at the Psyche.) She is growing very like some one! Who can it be? She knows she is puzzling me, the beauty! See how she is keeping back a smile! She knows if she lets one smile out, her whole face will follow it through the clay. How strange the half-lights of memory are! You know and you don't know—both at once. Like a bat in the twilight you are

sure of it, and the same moment it is nowhere. Who is my Psyche like ?—The forehead above the eyebrow, and round by the temple ? The half-playful, half-sorrowful curve of the lip? The hope in the lifted eyelid ? There is more there than ever I put there. Some power has been shaping my ends. By heaven, I have it !-Noyes—it is-it is Constance--momently dawning out of the clay! What does this mean? She never gave me a sitting at least, she has not done so for the last ten years—yet here she is—she, and no other! I never thought she was beautiful. When she came with my aunt the other day though, I did fancy I saw a new soul dawning through the lovely face. Here it is—the same soul breaking through the clay of my Psyche !—I will give just one touch to the corner of the mouth. Gives a few touches, then steps back again

and contemplates the figure. Turns away and walks up and down. The

light darkens to slow plaintive music,
which lasts for a minute. Then the
morning begins to dawn, gleaming blue
upon the statues and casts, and reveal-
ing GER. seated before his Psyche,
gazing at her. He rises, and exit.
Enter Col. G. and looks about.

Col. G. I don't know what to make of it! Or rather I'm afraid I do know what to make of it! It looks bad. He's not been in bed all night. But it shows he has some conscience left—and that's a comfort.

Enter Mrs. CLIFFORD, peeping round cautiously.
Col. G. What, Clara ! you

here so early! Mrs. C. Well, you know, brother, you're so fond of mystery!

Col. G. It's very kind of you to come! But we must be very careful; I can't tell when my master may be home.

Mrs. C. Has he been out all night, then ?
Col. G. Oh no; he's just gone.

7

« AnteriorContinuar »