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these four days, the second time with a parcel in his hand. And he had liked his looks less the second time than the first. He had also summed up the simple Marco as a youth of spirit when roused, though his nose was a coarse, thick, snub thing, and his eyes were downright Italian, with immense eye; brows to them which suggested much latent power of action. But this was all mere castle-building of a sort, and outside his own especial province. Now, with the Gazzetta before him, he rang his bell in the Via Corta, and in spite of his promise meant to show the news to Maria. He rang again after a time. Perhaps a customer was keeping the girl. And then, with a deferential murmur, the cobbler himself appeared from his workshop in the attic, with his leather apron On. “Oh, never mind,” said Douglas; “it is not so important. I will not disturb you, Signor Bassano.” “My daughter has gone to the church, sigmore,” said the cobbler, pink-eyed as usual, and with a trembling lower lip. Douglas always felt sorry for the man, and his air as of one silently begging for mercy after judicial or other condemnation. He viewed him somewhat as a genius in his own humble way, whose nerves were ridiculously sacrificed to the task of maintaining his fame as an unrivalled mender of boots —a cobbler with ideals. Well, that was something, even though his constitution might be too weak for an easy pursuit of such excellence in the control of leather. But in the act of dismissing the cobbler to his last he changed his mind. “By the way, have you seen this. Signor Bassano?” he asked, pointing to the “Barbarism in Excelsis” column of the paper. “Your goodness wishes me to read it?” questioned the cobbler, fumbling at his spectacles.
“Well, you might like to glance at it,” said Douglas; and, rising, he went to his window and its finger's-breadth view of the Castello in the distance. He lit a cigarette. A street-seller below sang “Beautiful sardines, fresh from the sea!” and proclaimed his beautiful sardines three times thus ere Douglas turned to look at his landlord. Ilıstantly he saw that something was troubling the man. The cobbler's hands were shaking violently, and the paper between them, as if he and it had become palsied. His face was bent over the sheet, and his lower jaw had fallen so that Douglas could see the very positive ruin of his teeth far back. Then, before Douglas could utter a word, the paper slipped to the floor, and the cobbler pressed his palms to his head. “Mother of God!” he wailed, “protect me and my poor little house! Oh, my daughter! What misery! What mis’ — He stopped abruptly, stared at Douglas with his pink-rimmed eyes, and almost regained his composure. “It is nothing, signorino,” he whispered. “The signorino will graciously excuse me?” And, with a very humble bow, he sidled away and shut the door behind him. Douglas heard his irregular footfalls on the staircase, then a shuffling and a thud. And then, hearing other sounds below, and supposing Maria had returned from her devotions, he opened the door and all but collided with a gray-bearded dwarf of a man no higher than his armpits, with large, close-laid ears that deepened the grotesque impression he made. “Oh!” Douglas exclaimed. But with a curt gesture the little man passed him. “I am of the family,” he said gruftly, and went on up to the cobbler's den. Feeling excited, he scarcely knew why, Douglas now took his hat and the paper and descended the stairs, this time to find Maria herself, prayer-book in hand, on the threshold of the house.
"I am going for a little walk," he told greengrocer's countenance. Marco was her. "Your father has a visitor. Per- gritting his white teeth like a dog, and haps it were not uncivil to call him half there was a passionate beetling of a visitor, he is so small. He came in those marked eyebrows of his. without knocking."
"What is it now?” Douglas asked. The girl hastily crossed herself.
• "A man so high, with a white beard?" “A deformed old man, sigorino ?” retorted Marco. she asked in a low voice, with fear in "A man just so high, with a white or her eyes.
gray beard.” “Precisely. But what is the matter?" "Then," said Marco, "may the Evil
Maria Bassano was briefly convulsed One seize bim!" He whisked to the like her father. While she shook, her righta bout. "I go your way now, sigbosom swelled and swelled; and then, nore,” he added. "She will not speak with a sob of breath, she rushed into to me for days, I think. She will weep the house.
and go to church more than ever, and Douglas would have followed her, but I shall be to her as if I were not a live she waved him back.
man. It has been so before. This "Go, caro signore!" she whisperel, Bolla--he has a power over her father with the fear still spoiling her beauty. which it torments her to see. The last “Go away!" She snatched at her ro- time was when the poor Banti met sary, and he left her clinging to the with her end. She was then so ill, sig. beads and rapidly parting them, with more, that-- But why talk of it, eslips that seemed to be struggling pecially when she would not forgive me dumbly in an effort to pray.
if she could hear me? Do not tell her But yet another slight sensation was that you have seen me, signore. She in store for Douglas this day.
has her moods, like other girls. It is Ravelling at the meaning of these nothing worse than that.” extraordinary agitations in Bassano and But Douglas's mind was now keenly his daughter, he marched down the on the alert. street towards the centre of the city, "La Bella Banti, you say?" he asked. and was met by Marco Merano in his "She was of this street, was she not?” workaday blue blouse. He did not The young greengrocer pointed over recognize him until the man lifted his his shoulder. cap, stopped, and spoke.
“Yes,” he said. “That is where she "You have your thoughts, signore, any lived with her mother as a young girl. one can see,” he said jocosely.
She always retained an affection for "Oh, it's you!" said Douglas. "Yes, the neighborhood. When she wore dia. I have my thoughts, as you say." monds like a princess and drove in her
He would have gone on; but the oth- own carriage, it was still to Bassano er's question, "Is my little girl in the that her boots and little shoes came to house, signore?" checked him.
be repaired. From sympathy with the “Yes," he said. “But-perhaps you friends of her youth, signore." will not be welcome to her at this mo- "Yes?” said Douglas, disguising his ment. It is a guess of mine. There avidity. "And that other, Andrea (uiis a visitor, a small, stunted man with sano? He also lived here?" ears like an elephant's, who has upset “That is true, signore; and"- Marco her. He is with her father; but laughed rather bitterly, as if he resented she--"
the inclination at such a time - "it was He got thus far before he realized the the same with him, signore, as touching intensity of the change in the young his boots. Bassano worked for him as
for the poor Banti. Corpo santo! that is what disquiets me. After the Guisano tragedy I jested with Maria in saying that it was a fatality for her father to mend a man's boots, and she was furious with me. It will be the saine again unless I hold my tongue. Name of a she-dog! And that ugly little Bolla here as before! But I turn off by this street. To the pleasure of seeing you again, signorino!” “One moment,” said I)ouglas. “This Holla, you call him? Do you tell me he is, as it were, a coincidence with these mishaps?” “I do not know, sigmore,” replied the young greengrocer, with the appearance of suspicion now in his eyes. “It is not to be talked about. A riredere!" He strode across the road. Douglas turned to the window of a little wineshop and understood why his heart beat so fast. He read the cardboard slips in the window about the good red wine at twenty, thirty, and forty centesimi the litre, and told himself that at last he had a clue to the mystery of the exploded five. He could see not at all whither the clue positively pointed. He knew only that a voice had cried joyfully within him, and that his whole brain approved the cause for such exultation. For many minutes he gazed absorbedly at these intimations about cheap red wine. The wine-vendor himself showed a head behind them without disturbing him. Even when the man hung up a new card, announcing excellent white wine of Asti at fifty centesimi the litre, side by side with the others, Douglas paid heed neither to it nor the cunning merchant's face. He was groping all the time, like a luan in the dark who knows for a truth that there is something to be found. What should he do? And then he decided that he would take the most obvious of courses. He would wait and follow this deformed imp of a Bolla.
From the wine-shop window he commanded a view of the cobbler's door at the end of the street. He watched zealously for five more minutes, with his back to the advertisements of the good and excellent wine; zealously, yet with dissimulation, smoking and reading to some extent at the same time. Then, whom should he see come round the corner from the Piazza d'Armi but the well-groomed Count Enzio. He just obtained a glimpse of the gentleman's slender form, pinched at the waist, and of the red flower in his button-luole. The next moment the man had entered the house without knocking. To be sure, the door was generally thus open to the turn of a handle; but Douglas had learnt that the conventional thing to do was to knock before entering. Leaving the wine-shop, Douglas returned slowly to his lodging. He had some notion that a general embroilment might ensue in that modest house; and if so, it were perchance some advantage to him to take a hand in it. Nor were his intuitions altogether at fault here also. He found the door open, and the Count, with an inflamed face, on the point of passing towards the pavement. Farther inside was Maria, also red-faced and excited. though with tears on her cheeks. The separation between them was immediate when Douglas appeared. With a sweep of his hat, the elaborateness of which hinted at irony, Masuccio stepped from the house, and, after an unfriendly gaze at I)ouglas, vanished round the corner. The girl rushed from the hall into the little shop to the right; and there, when he 1) resumed to follow her, I)ouglas found her almost doubled on a chair, rocking herself and shedding abundant tears. “My dear child,” he said, “what is it all about? What has happened to distress you?” She did not reply, but wept on. Upon the counter was a neat parcel.
tied with white tape, evideutly, from "That is not all, caro signore," she alits shape, containing a boot.
most screamed, with a fresh flood of "Tell me the trouble, little one." Doug tears, and the terror as before staring las urged, as he looked at the snows through the tears. "There was my poor parting in the girl's black hair. "Has father lying like one dead on the floor he-that fellow-insulted you?"
upstairs. He, that accursed other, She glanced up then with an expres- found him so. I would not help him sion in her tear-charged blue eyes for to his senses at first, when I saw which a romantic artist might have for what purpose that other had come. paid a good price.
But it is enough, signorino: I must nou "Is the door shut, signorino" she talk. This is no house for so gracious whispered.
and kind-hearted a stranger as you, He shut it softly.
signorino. Would to heaven my poor *We are alone," he said.
father could escape from the city! That Then Maria Bassano burst forth. is what I have begged and begged. We "I wish he was dead, signorino," she are of Parma ourselves. There are (ried. “And I wish further that I was our blood-relatives, and there we might in Paradise with my dearest mother. live happy and peaceful lives, with perThis wicked earth! But no-I will not haps Marco, if God willed-if-if things do it. I will be true to my Marco." were otherwise. It is because of it **The ('ount--" suggested Douglas. weakness of mind in my poor father.
“Yes, signorino," she exclaimed, re- But come, I must be courageous and sponsive to his prompting. "He wipe my eyes, signore." threatens that unless I consent to sac- She stood up and jerked her thick rifice myself to him to-morrow he will black plait behind her, tried to smile, make a scandal of me. He is so enam- and used her handkerchief to her face. ored. I did not think he had such a Douglas himself was more perturbed heart of fire. I do not love him-no; but now than she seemed. I have taken his presents, many of "That is right. Courage! courage!" them, and he has twice kissed my lips, he said at a venture. “But you talk and I am a very unfortunate young of the man. Bolla, do you not-him with woman to have let him go so far. He the ears?" desires to carry me away to his country The girl's hands clenched into a tist house by Bologna. Do I say desires? by the side of the Count's parcel, and He insists. And he tells me that, if, her full rosy lips tightened grimly. when he comes for his miserable She drew breath before she replied. boot in the morning-there, behold it "No, signore, I talk not of him. And. by your hand-if I am still obstinate excuse me, but it is the hour when he will find out my poor Marco, Marco comes sometimes." She forced and-and-- Ah! but who shall another smile; without much difficulty say what will then come to us either, thanks to her blessed mercurial all? They will perhaps fight, and I at temperament. “Marco will not like it least shall be disgraced. Signorino, I if he finds you here with me--thus.” hate him worse, I think, than that "He will not come to-day," said Dougother. What a house is this!"
las thoughtlessly. "He was in the "Poor little girl!" murmured Douglas, street just now when that other-stroking the course black hair of her But for charity's sake don't glare at me head by the broad parting. "But, like that." you know, I told you before---"
The girl's temper had taken yet anShe shook off his hand.
other turn. No turkey-cock in Doug
las's experience ever swelled out so indignantly as she under the digestion of this trivial intelligence about her Marco. She seemed to put on inches of stature, and the flashing of her eyes, the scorn and wrath—he had never seen the like on so pretty a young face. She said something first in dialect that Douglas missed. Then out shot her arm as she pointed to the door. “Go, signore! Have the kindness to go from this room. I command it.
Without words!” she cried, as dignified as a stone Juno.
Hat in hand, Douglas obeyed.
“Certainly,” he said, “certainly. I am sorry if I have said anything to annoy you; but, remember, I am your friend.”
“I want no such friend, signore,” she said, her eyes like lamp-lit blue diamonds. “Do me the favor to withdraw.”
(To be concluded.)
THE POWER OF SUGGESTION.
We are living in the midst of a great movement which seems destined to exercise a revolutionary influence on human life. This movement is here fantastic and extravagant, there superstitious and even disgusting, and there, again, scientific, progressive, and healthy. Speaking summarily, it may be said to be a revolt against the materialistic trend which till recent years dominated medical science, a revolt brought about by a more vivid realization of the power of mind over bodily states. It is this fact which lies at the root of “Christian Science,” “Mind Cure," “Faith Cure,” “Metaphysical Healing.” and many other quasi-philosophical, quasi-religious systems of Transatlantic origin. The point to be emphasized is that these more or less elaborate doctrines, partly theological, partly psychological, ought to be kept distinct from the fundamental fact to which they seek to give expression,-the fact, namely, that mind can, and does, affect the fortunes of the body, and that mental influence can be utilized in the scientific treatment of disease. While it is true that “Christian Science,” to take for illustration the most popular of these cults, rests upon a misinterpretation of matter, a kind of ill-understood Berkeleyism, teaches the unreal
ity of sin and sickness, and repudiates academic medicine as an immense illusion, yet the valuable truth which lies behind these irrational notions deserves our recognition, and ought to receive practical application at our hands. The wise man will not be frightened away from any beneficent principle by the bizarre and grotesque shapes with which credulity may have clothed it. Here, indeed, we may recall the Aristotelian maxim, and say that the truth lies midway between two extremes, between a hard, hide-bound materialism, and an airy, ungrounded, unreasoned spiritualism. One of the basic ideas of modern psychology is the mutual influence of mind and body springing out of their profound unity. Any doctrine that contradicts this scientific postulate must be deemed outside the boundaries of right reason. As to the influence of the body upon the mind there is no room for doubt. The witness of everyday life is reinforced by the detailed tests of the psychological laboratory. Mental disease can be traced to brain degeneration: physical injuries create psychical discomfort: mental processes are deeply affected by drugs, such as alcohol, opium, cocaine. morphine, and many others. But it is