Skip to Content
North Carolina Newspapers

Polk County news and the Tryon bee. (Tryon, Polk Co., N.C.) 1915-1920, March 19, 1920, Image 7

Below is the OCR text representation of this newspaper page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

- . POLit comiTY im7s; TIIYOIT, ITOIlTn CAROLINA - -: " -"V Qnnniii The j MagiiS mm By BOOTH TARIONGTON UIIIIII !!! Wo Company. - ; ' ; - . S f uiinuHmimiiiimmm APTER XX-ontlnui. 13 ' . n itself van be haunted. ils haunted, then some time, ice that was label's room into the small bed- kitchenettes" already ae- Uu . rk si si tn t flpf lefts destiny, mm s.. Wed ami .c . feel tnat swuic , hunc about it a the" passion that filled It Qt the last ingiu moi vjwi6c coent there. sp t- nf the old hiirh- Vrpr reniiuim. - arrogance were su did penance for his deepest night-ami It may be that to some liui'icssiuuuuic, ww- roman in a milucuchc, -,ine out the light, will seem young man Kneeling in mo shaking convulsively, uuu, outstretched: through the latching at tne covers uo. bed. " It niay seem to uer mat , the faint cry. over and over : g, forgive we ! God, - forgive CHAPTER XXI. - fl A L4 it mav De ciaimea ior W his last night in the house ie bad been born was not oc tlth his own disheartening fa- 1 i AG a staj H low ANl tifl ass: Ge jv-ortj pile r tn Penance for His Deepest Sin - That Night' p ith sorrow for what sac- w Pride and youth had de- others. And earlv In the became downstairs and tried 1 Fanny make coffee on the range. ras something I wanted to "ast night, Aunt Fanny,M he '"hy" she stammered! hnt 'what he was going to say, why she had been more nervous. "Hadn't nerhnna ?5S we'd better P-Pt the tho to the little new home ge. Let's" ' gBjpted quietly, though at ti the littio t,uw . unc.1 f Impulse was ,ft tto fit i "Itwas about this new (J.1 Waited to I speak. Tva r8 it over and I've decided. KV0 take aU things V room and use them and r-vr me, and I'm sure lament win v... m . . . it.'"" w Jus wnat you : th Jalti atiof A no ino: -al oj nend subt their a of noNj jaUes ;paic, exas. Re :wee'I) rext r Fed , anted, rall" 3UE title 11 but) torie j lo W j vadf j jininfj the JWththp 0rf. v.,, r . .i.u ueuroom proD- J could 0 CflTYloT c ma some woman f r, ,1 If v. win 11YP an A I Ju. But I've -uoiner arrangement for W1B1 tint irnln ...UL wim you. more of the expenses thao: I would." She stared at him with such a for lorn blankness as he had never seen. Td be paying she said feebly. Td be paying " ' " "Certainly you would. You'd be using more of your money than" "My money !" Fanny's chin drooped upon her thin chest and she laughed miserably. "I've got twenty-eight dol lars. That's alu" ; "You mean until the interest is due again?. . "I mean that's all, Fanny said. "I mean that's all jthere is. Thejjwbn't be any more Interest because there isn't any principaL" "Why you told H She shook her head. iNo. I havent told you anything.!,. Then it was Uncle Georsre. Hp told me you had enough to fall back ! on. Thafs just what he said; fo fall uacs on." . iie saia VOU'a lost more than. you should In the -headlight com pany, but he'd Insisted that you should hold out enough to live on, and you'd very wisely followed his advice." "I know," she said weakly. "I told him so. He didn't know, or else he'd brgorten how much Wilbur's insur ance amounted to, and I oh, It seemed such a sure way to make a real for tune out of a little and I thought ! could do sqmething'for you, George, If you ever came to need It and it all looked so bright I Just thought I'd put It all in. ,1 did every cent except my last interest payment and it's gone. Good Lord ! George began to pace up and down the worn planks of the bare floor." "Why on earth did you wait till now to tell such a thing as thisr - "I couldn't till I had to, she said piteously. It wouldn't do any good not any good on earth." She got out her lace handkerchief and began to cry. , "Nothing does any good, I guess? In this old world 1 Oh, how tired of this old world ! ami I didn't know what to do. I just tried to go ahead and be as practical as I could, and ar range some way for, us to live. Oh, I knew you didnt want me, George! I can see that much! You don't sup pose I want to thrust myself on you. do you? It Isn't very pleasant to beJ thrusting yourself on - a person you know- doesn't 5want you but I knew you oughtn't to be left all alone ' in the world ; It isnt good. I knew your raother'd want me to watch over you and try to have something tike a home for you I knew she'd want me to do what I tried to do lH Fanny's tears were bitter now, and her voice, hoarse and wet, was tragically sincere. "Oh! nnd now you don't want you waut you want to leave me in the lurch I You w i "Oh, my LordTV He went to her anl lifted her. "For God's sake get up I Come, let's take the coffee into the other room and see what s to be done." ' ; He got her to her feet; she leaned upon him, already somewhat comfort ed, and, with his arm about her, he conducted her to the dining room and. seated her In one of the two kitchen chairs which had been placed at the roueh table. "There ! he said, "get j over it1 Fanny's spirits revived ap-i I preclably; she looked up with a plaln ' tive eagerness. "I had bought all my fall clothes, George," she said;;"and I paid every bill I owed. V I dpn't owe a cent for clothes, .George." "That's good, he said wanlyand he had a moment of physical dizziness that decided him to sit down quickly. For an instant it seemed to him that he was not Fanny's nephewbut mar ried to her.: He passed, his pale hand over his paler forehead. 'Well, let's see where we stand," he said feebly. "Let's see if we can afford this place you've selected." : Fanny continued) brighten, 'tm sure it's the most practical plan we could possibly have worked out, George and It is a comfort to be amoni? nice Deonle. I think we'll both 1 lent Uncle George two hundred ; I gave fifty apiece to old Sam and those two other old darkies that worked for grandfather so long,' and ten to each of the servants here" "And you gave me thirty-six," she said S thoughtfully, "for the first month's rent, in advance .-.--V . . "Did if I'd forgotten. Well, with about a hundred and - sixtv in - bank and our expenses a ' hundred a month, it doesn't seem, as If this new place "Still," she Interrupted, "we" have paid the first month's rent in advance, and It does seern to be the most prac tical 'r . - - .. . - v.-1- rv -r, : ; George rose. "See here. Aunt Fanny," he said decisively. "Ycu stay here and look after the moving. Old Frank doesnt expect me until "afternoon. this first day, but I1T go and see him now." - --- ---' ;;. - -;-..- : - . . It was early, and old Frank. just established at his big, fiat-topped desk, was surprised when his prospec tive assistant and pupil walked In.-He was pleased, as well as surprised, how ever, and rose, offering a cordial old hand. "The real flare!" he said. -The real flare for the law. . That's right I Couldn't wait till afternoon to begin! I'm delighted that you" "I wanted to say " George began, but his patron, cut him off. . "Walt just a minute, my boy. I've prepared a little speech of welcome, and even though -you're five hours ahead of time, I mean to deliver it. First of all., your grandfather was my old war comrade and my best client; for years I prospered through my con nection with his ; business, and his grandson Is welcome in my office and to my best efforts in his behalf. But I want to confess, Georgle, that during your earlier youth I may have had some slight feeling of welL prejudice, not altogether in your favor; but what ever, slight feeling it was. It began to vanish on that afternoon, a good. while ago, when you stood up to your Aunt Amelia Amberson as you did in the Major's library, and talked to her as a man and a gentleman should. I saw then what good stuff was In you and I always wanted to mention It. I think you'll find an honest pleasure now in industry and frugality that wouldn't have come to you in a more frivolous tolaush at nU own embarrassment! suppose Tm about as ignorant of busi ness as anybody in the world,-he said. "But rve heard : they pay . very high wages to people In dangerous trades ; I've always heard they did, and Tm sure It must be true. ' I mean people that , handle touchy chemicals or -high explosives--men in dynamite factories, or who take things of that sort abou the country- in wagons, and shoot oil wells.v I thought Td see if you couldn't tell me .something: more about It, or else " Introduce me -to some one who could, and , then: I thought Td see if I couldn't get something of the kind to do as soon as possible. I wanted to get started today' if I could.".- Old Frank gave him a long stare. At first this scrutiny was sharply Incred ulous; then it' was grave; finally it de veloped Into a threat of overwhelming laughter; a forked; vein in his fore head became, more .visible and his eyes seemed about to protrude. . J,--: "-4 C S527Sif b? 5e t,Ue te form o hei own a; 2 TphieB tte 500 Most She came seldom; this -was butthi Prominent Citizens and FamiUes in third time that year. and. when she did ln7ri "r He;had. .George was not mention glanced at it absently, merely noticing ; either by her hostess or by heraelf-ii I , rc uuuuc, ana wanaerea jxiaity - contrived J between the two out of the room, thinkln? at ntYia , lamina rtKAn. .m . . things and feeling no " curiosity about the book. But he.Tiad thouehf of it several tintes since With a faint,- vague measinessrand now when he entered the lobby he walked directly into the parlor; where he had . seen the book. The room was empty, as It always waar on Sunday mornings, and the flamboy ant volume was still upon the table evidently a fixture as a sort of local vuu6ui.uiujcui, ui icuoiiui auu uoaruers. He turned to" the index! ' where the names of the five hundred Most Promi nent Citizens and Families in the His tory of the CityTwere arranged n al phabetical order, and ran his finger down-the column of As: Abbett Ab- But he controlled his Impulse; and, bott, Abrams, Adams, Adams, Adleri jrising, -took up his hat- and overcoat. Akers, ; Albertsmeyer, Alexander, Allen, All right," he said. ' "If you'll prom- j Ise not to get blown . up, I'll go with you to" see if wecan find the job." Then, meaning what he said, but I amazed that he did mean it, he added! "You certainly are the most practical young man I ever met!".. v Ambrose, Ambuhl, Anderson, Andrews, Appenbasch, Archer. Arszman, Ash craft, Austin, Avey. . George's eyes remained for some time fixed on the thin space between the names Allen" and "Ambrose. Then he 'closed the book quietly, and went up to his own. room, agreeing j yon(jer "iu we . cictaivi uwjr. ju me - way, that It was getting to a mighty rasty wet and windy day outside. : .The elevator boy , noticed nothing un usual about him and neither did Fanny, . j j uow uuu it was. s - At-other: times -Lucy's thoughts of George were anything but continuous. ' and weeks w- nt by when he was not;, consciously her mind at all. ,. Her life was a busy one : she had the big house "to keepTip;".she,had a garden to keep up, too,, a .large and beautiful garden ; she represented her father as a director for hrf3 a dozen public char did private charity work of her own, being a proxy mother of several large" families ; and rshe had "danced down," as "she said. groups from eight jor nine classes of new graduates returned from the uni versities, without ' marrying any of themvbut she still danced and still did .not marry. . . , . - Her . father, . observing ihls clrcum- ; stance happily, yet with some hypo critical concern, spoke, of it to her one day as they stood In her garden. "I suppose I'd wut to shoot him," he said, with attempted lightness. But I mustn't be an old pig. I'd build youia beautlfur house close by just over CHAPTER XXII. They found the job. It needed an apprenticeship of only six weeks, dur ing which period George, was to re ceive, fifteen dollars a : week ; after when she came in from church with that he would get twenty-eight. This settled the . apartment question, and Fanny was presently established in a j greater contentment than she had known for a long time. On Sunday mornings Fanny went to Lchurch and George took long walks. He explored the new city, and found it hideous, especially in the early spring, before the leaves of the shade trees were out. One of his Sunday walks, - that her hat nUned,. an hour later. And yet something had happened a thing which, years ago, had been the eager est hopeof many, many good citizens of the town. They had thought of it, lonired for it. honlne- arutplv that thp-w i o k a - ; j miht liv tn sap thi tnv xvhpn It xirnnlrl i-1-" come to pass.' And now it had hap pened at last: Georgle. Minafer had got his come-npance. ' He had got it three times filled and running over. -The city had rolled lover spring, he made into a sour pilgrimage, his heat, burying it under, as it rolled It was a misty morning of belated snow slush, and suited him to a per fection of miserableness, as he stood before the great dripping department store which now occupied the big plot of ground where once had stood both the Amberson hotel and the Amberson opera house. From there he drifted to the old "Amberson block," but this was only a shadow. The old structure had not been replaced, but a cavernous en tryway for trucks had been torn In Its front, and upon the cornice, where the old separate metal letters had spelt "Amberson block," there, was a 40nS bill board sign: "Dobgan Storage." To spare himself, he -went out Na tional avenue and saw the piles of slush-covered wreckage, -where the Mansion and his , mother's house had been, arid . where the Major's ill fated five "new" houses had stood : for career.; xne law is a jeaious mistress fthese were down, too, to make room ana a stern mistress, Dut a over the Major's and buried it under. The city had rolled over the Amber sons and burled them under to the last vestige; and it mattered little that George guessed easily enough that most of the five hundred Most Promi nent had paid something substantial "to defray the cost of steel engraving, etc." the Five Hundred had heaved the final shovelful of soot upon that heap of obscurity wherein the Amber- sons were lost forever from sight and history. '"Quicksilver in a . nest of cracks!" , Georgle-Mlnafer hadgot his come upance, but the people who had so longed for it were not there to see it, and they never knew It. Those who were still living had forgotten all about it and all about him. "No, no ! That would be like" sh ; oegan impulsively ; then i checked her- self. George Amberson's comparison of the Georgian house to the Ambersoa mansion had come Into her mind, and she thought that another new houses built close by for her, would be Ilka the house the Major built for Isabel. "Like what?" "Nothing." She looked serious, and when he reverted to his idea of "some; grudgingly surrendering her up to a suitor, she' invented a legend. "Did you ever hear the Indian name -for that little grove of beech trees on the other side of the house?" sha asked him. "No and you never did either V ha f laughed. " "Don't be so sure I I read a great deal more than I used to getting ready for my bookish" days when m have to do something solid in the eve nings and won't be asked to dance any more, even by the" very youngest boys who think it sia sporting event to the oldest of the older "wose vrm'ii .V . J 1 on1nff i honsA the truth Is we've ee . uu t ----- . - ,ou would, mind-par foeelsp vV lul imagme you, l , . mucn attached tQ KMe,amaZeiaerit: air a'a e en, but iring glance around W sat flit T' then sank a U lP. Aunt Fanny!" tarft ? !? weak. Let me WUv!, An1 as he rplAno been keenlne too much to ourselves for a long while. It isn't good ior people." " , ' " : "I was thinking about the money, Aunt Fanny. The rent Is - thirty-six dollars a month: the dinner is twenty George had stood before him in great and increasing embarrassment; and he was unable to allow the ad dress to proceed to its conclusion. . " "I can't do" it V he burst out. "I can't take her for my mistress." "What?" "I've come to tell you.'Tve got to find something that's quicker. I can't" Old Frank got a little red. "Let's sit down," he said. "What'3 the trouble?" George told him. 7 The old gentleman listened sympa thetically, only murmuring: "Well, welW" from time to time, and nodding acquiescence. "You see she's set her mind on this apartment," George explained. "She's 1 got some old cronies there, and I guess she's been looking forward to- the games of bridge ani the kind of harm less gossip that goes on in such places. Really, it's a life she'd like better than anything else better than that she's lived at home, I really believe. It struck me she's just about got to have It and after all she could hardly have anything less." " : "Thls comes pretty heavily upon me, -you know," said old Frank. "I got her Into that headlight companyand she fooled me about her resources as much as she did your Uncle George. I was never your father's adviser, If you re-, member, and when, the Insurance was turned over to her some other :lawyer arranged it probably your father's. But it comes pretty heavily on me, and I feel a certain responsibility.1' "Not at all. I'm taking the responsi bility." And George smiled with one corner'of his mouth. "TCI tell yoir how t is- sir" He flushed, and, looking out of the streaked and smoky window be side which he was sitting, spoke with difficulty. "I feel as if as if perhaps had one or two pretty important things in my life to make up for. Well, Trfln't. I. can't make them up to to for the great tenement already shaped In unending lines of foundation. He turned away from the devastated site, thinking bitterly that the only Amberson mark still left upon the town was the name of the boulevard Amberson boulevard. But he had reck oned without the city council of thfc new order, and by an unpleasant coin cidence, while the thought was stifl In his mind, his eyes fell upon a metal oblong sign upon the lamp-post at the corner. There were two of these little signs upon the lamp-post, at an obtuse angle to each other, one to give pass- ersby the name " of National avenue, the other to acquaint them with Am berson boulevard. But the one upon which should, .have been stenciled "Amberson boulevard" exhibited the words 'Tenh street." - -t George stared at It hard. Then he walked quickly along the boulevard to the next corner and looked at the little sign there. 'Tenth street." , It had begun to rain, but George stood unheeding, staring at the little George had seen Eugene only once since their calamitous encounter. They had -passed on opposite sides of the street, downtown; each had been aware that the other was aware of him, and yet each kept his eyes straight forward, and neither had shown a perceptible alteration of coun tenance. It seemed to George that he felt emanating from the outwardly Im perturbable person of his mother's old friend a hate that was like a hot wind. At his mother's funeral and at the Major's he: had been conscious that Eugene was there : though-he had aft erward no recollection of seeing him, and, while certain of his presence, was uncertain how he knew of It. Fanny had not told him, for she understood George well enough not to speak to him of Eugene or Lucy. Nowadays Fanny almost never saw either of them and seldom thought of them so sly is the way of time with life. She dance with gins Tne name -or tne grove was Loma-Nashah and It means They-Couldn't-Help-It. " "Doesn't sound like It" . ' "Indian names don't There was a bad-Indian chief lived In the grove be fore the white settlers came. He was the worst Indian that ever lived, and his name was it :, was Vendonah. That means 'Itldes-Down-Everything. - 1 ; see," . said Eugene thoughtfully He gave her a quick look and then fixed his eyes upon the end of tha garden path; "Goon." "Vendonah fwas an unspeakabla case," Lucy continued.- "He was so proud that he wore iron shoes, and ha walked over people's faces with them. He was always killing people that ' way, and so at last the tribe decided that it wasn't a good enough excuse for him that he was young and Inex perienced he'd have to go. They took him down to the river, and put him in a canoe, and pushed him out from ; shore; and then they ran along the bank and wouldn't let him land, until at last the current carried the canoe out into the middle, and then on down to the ocean, and he never got back. They didn't want him back, of course and if he'd been able to manage It, they'd have put him In another canoe and shoved him out Into the river again. But still, they didn't elect an other' chief In his place. Other tribea tnougnt tnat was curious, and won- vus pusMUg uuuuie age, m w.u dered about lfc.a lot but finally t, tensities and longings grow thin and came tQ concluslon the beech flatten out, as Fanny herself was thin- f people were afrald a new chIel afC hlch for r C1 matchlDg gainst KCJ. goln leave Ann SnCr h potest- w. . lra to eet eio-f h. Ahm.i ..." a a 8 thiM.. . r th . "-Hix aollflm t. ToKi. - ' to d'hnt two and a half for each: of us and j wnom i would. It's struck me that, i7llr-r U1 ine rent out nav less salary i. 1WJ for all ih Wl0ttWf - ltss than au'the house. ns- You see a.bttt we've got to have some provision for other . food. We : won t ;i nee-i nuj clothes for a year, perhaps "Oh, longer I" she exclaimed, -so you see f " "I see that forty-five and twrty-aax make eighty-one," he said. "At the lowest, we need a' hundred dollars a month and Tm going to make thirty two" I'J y-l-:-tt::-r- 1 thought of that, George," she said confidently, "and I'm sure it will be all right Youll be earning a great deal more than that very soon " '.: .;. "I don't see any prospect of it not till Tm admitted to the bar. and that will be two years, at the earliest "Well, there's the six hundred dol-lars-from the sale Six hundred and twelve dollars li -was.' :;: :'" ,,:'r: "It Isn't six: hundred - and twelve now." said George. "It's about one hundred -and sixty.-.; s Fanny showed a momentary aismujr. t nnidn't. I mleht be a little decent to somebody else, perhaps If I could manage it I I never have been particu larly decent to poor old Aunt Fanny. "Oh 1 don't know : I shouldn't say that. A little youiuiui iw" doubt if she's minded so much. It Wma to me she's had a fainy com fortable life up to now if she was disposed to take it that way.. v But' up to now is , the Important thing." George said. "Now is now and you see I can't wait two years to be admitted to the bar and begin to practice. Tve got to start m at aum thing else that pays from .the start, and that's what Tve come ,to you about I have an idea, you see. "Well I'm glad of that!" said old Frank, victtVW thing just at this minute r from the start .0 - M : -I only know of one thing. ; myself. ' What is ltr - 1 1 ' ":"A -George flushed again, but manased an ni nlng and flattening out; and she was settling down contentedly to her apart-ment-house Intimacies.. The city was so big, now, that peo ple disappeared into it unnoticed, and the- disappearance of Fanny and'her nephew . was . not exceptional. People no longer knew their neighbors as a matter of course ; one lived for years next door to . strangers that sharpest of all the changes sincethe old days r and a friend would lose sight of a friend for a year, and not know It One May day George thought he had a glimpse of. Lucy. He was . not cer tain, but he was sufficiently disturbed, In spite of -his uncertainty. A promo tion In his work now frequently took him out of town for a week, or longer, and It was upon his return from one of these absences that he had the strange might turn out to be a bad Indian, too and wear iron shoes like Vendonah. But they were wrong, because the real reason was that the tribe had led such an exciting life under Vendonah that they couldn't settle down to anything tamerLHe was awful, but he alwaya kept things happening terrible things, of course. They hated him. but they weren't able to discover any other warrior that , they wanted to make chief in his place. They couldn't help feeling that, way." .,- "I see," said Eugene. "So that's why they named the place They-Couldn't-Help-It!-" ..' ' "It must have been. "And so you're going to stay here in youf garden," he said musingly. "You think it's better to keep on walking these sunshiny ' gravel paths between Them! O sign. "D them P ne said finally, and, turning up his ' coat collar, plodded back through the soggy streets toward "home." ': 'V ' : ; The utilitarian impudence of the city authorities put a thought into his mind. A week earlier he had happened to stroll into the - large' parlor of the apartment house, finding it empty, and on the centertable be noticed a large, red-bound, gilt-edged book, newly printed, bearing the titla: : ; ''A Ciic experience. He had walked home from ; your flower beds, and growing to look the station, and as. he. turned the cor-! nte a pensive carden lady In a Vle- ner which brought him in sight ,ot the apartment house entrance, though two blocks distant from it, he saw a charm ing little figure "come out get into a shiny landaulet automobile, and drive away. Even at that distance : no one could have any doubt that the little figure was charming ; and the height .the quickness and decision of motion, even the swift gesture of a white glove toward ' the chauffeur all were char acteristic of Lucy. George was instant ly subjected to a shock of indefinable nature, yet definitely a shock : he did not know what hefelt but he knew that he.felt . He went on slowly, his knees shaky. - V ; - v- - But he found Fanny not at home ; she had been but all afternoon; and there- was no record ' of ; any caller and Jie began to wonder then to doubt if the ' small lady he had seen In the distance was Lucy. It- might as well have been, he; said to himself since anyonewbo. looked like her could give hima Jolt like that!" : ' Lucy had not left a card. She never left one when she called on Fanny; though she did not give her reasons a torian engraving." " "I suppose Tm like the tribe that lived here, papa. I had too much un pleasant excitement It was unpleas ant but it was excitement , I don't want any more; in fact I don't want anything but you."- " "You don't V He looked at her keen lyand she laughed and shook bet head ; but he seemed perplexed, rather doubtful. "What was the name of the grove?" he asked. -The Indian name, I mean. : ' . "Mola-Haha . ' "No, it wasn't ; that wasnt the name you said. - - "Tve forgotten."- ' ; "I see you have," he said, hi look of perplexity remaining. "Perhaps you remember the chiefs name better." She -"nook herTiead again. "I dont V (TO BE COffTIKUED.) s Her Shoef Hurt Her Feet ' , ir a general thing, a-liwr? yoo a weman hobbling alon? the street' .-h aa agonized expre :;:v it is a st i iitt yi got .more fooi tlan : - ma be Paying rWhv. how

North Carolina Newspapers is powered by Chronam.

Digital North Carolina