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TheProjectGutenbergeBook,Destiny,byCharlesNevilleBuck ThiseBookisfortheuseofanyoneanywhereatnocostandwith almostnorestrictionswhatsoever Youmaycopyit,giveitawayor re-useitunderthetermsoftheProjectGutenbergLicenseincluded withthiseBookoronlineatwww.gutenberg.net Title:Destiny Author:CharlesNevilleBuck ReleaseDate:November23,2005[eBook#17141] Language:English Charactersetencoding:ISO-8859-1 ***STARTOFTHEPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKDESTINY*** E-textpreparedbyDavidGarcia,StacyBrownThellend, andtheProjectGutenbergOnlineDistributedProofreadingTeam (http://www.pgdp.net/) frompageimagesgenerouslymadeavailablebythe KentuckianaDigitalLibrary ImagesoftheoriginalpagesareavailablethroughtheElectronicText CollectionoftheKentuckianaDigitalLibrary See Note: http://kdl.kyvl.org/cgi/t/text/text-idx? c=kyetexts;cc=kyetexts;xc=1&idno=B92-178-30418584&view=toc DESTINY BY CHARLESNEVILLEBUCK AUTHOROF THECALLOFTHECUMBERLANDS,ETC NEWYORK GROSSET&DUNLAP PUBLISHERS Copyright,1916,by W J WATT&COMPANY OTHERBOOKSBY CHARLESNEVILLEBUCK THEKEYTOYESTERDAY THELIGHTEDMATCH THEPORTALOFDREAMS THECALLOFTHECUMBERLANDS THEBATTLECRY THECODEOFTHEMOUNTAINS TableofContents CHAPTERI CHAPTERXVIII CHAPTERII CHAPTERXIX CHAPTERIII CHAPTERXX CHAPTERIV CHAPTERXXI CHAPTERV CHAPTERXXII CHAPTERVI CHAPTERXXIII CHAPTERVII CHAPTERXXIV CHAPTERVIII CHAPTERXXV CHAPTERIX CHAPTERXXVI CHAPTERX CHAPTERXXVII CHAPTERXI CHAPTERXXVIII CHAPTERXII CHAPTERXXIX CHAPTERXIII CHAPTERXXX CHAPTERXIV CHAPTERXXXI CHAPTERXV CHAPTERXXXII CHAPTERXVI CHAPTERXXXIII CHAPTERXVII CHAPTERXXXIV CHAPTERXXXV DESTINY PARTI THELANDOFPROMISE CHAPTERI O UTSIDEthesubtleclarionofautumn'sdyinggloryflamedinthetorchesof themaplesandsmolderedintheburgundyoftheoaks Ittrailedaveilofroseash and mystery along the slopes of the White Mountains, and inside the crumbling school-house the children droned sleepily over their books like prisonersinalethargicmutiny Frosthadbroughtthechestnutsrattlingdownintheopenwoods,andforaging squirrelswerescamperingamongthefallenleaves Broodingatoneofthefrontdesks,sataboy,slenderandundersizedforhis thirteen years The ill-fitting crudity of his neatly patched clothes gave him a certainuniformitywithhisfellows,yetlefthimasunlikethemasallthingselse could conspire to make him The long hair that untrimmed over his face seemedablackemphasisforthecameodelicacyofhisfeatures,lendingthema wannoteofpathos Onhisthintemples,bluishveinstracedthehall-markofan over-sensitive nature, and eyes that were deep pools of somberness gazed out withthedreamer'sunrest Occasionally,heshotafurtivelyterrifiedglanceacrosstheaislewhereanother boy with a mop of red hair, a freckled face and a mouth that seemed overcrowded with teeth, made faces at him and conveyed in eloquent gestures threats of future violence At these menacing pantomimes, the slighter lad trembledunderhisbulgingcoat,andhesatasoneundersentence Hadanymeansofescapeoffereditself,PaulBurtonwouldhaveembracedit withoutthoughtofthehonorsofwar Hehadnowishtostandupontheorderof his going He earnestly desired to go at once But under what semblance of excuse could he cover his retreat? Suddenly his necessity fathered a crafty subterfuge Thebucketofdrinkingwaterstoodnearhisdesk—anditwaswellnigh empty Becoming violently thirsty, he sought permission to carry it to the spring for refilling, and his heart leaped hopefully when the tired-eyed teacher indifferentlynoddedherassent Hemeanttocarrythepailtothespring Heeven meanttofillitforthesakeoftechnicalobedience Later,someoneelsecouldgo outandfetchitback Paul'sobjectwouldbeservedwhenoncehewassafefromthestored-upwrath oftheMarquesskid Ashecarriedtheemptybucketdowntheaisle,hefeltupon himthederisivegazeofapairofblueeyesentirelysurroundedbyfreckles,and hisowneyesdroopedbeforetheirchallengeandcontempt Theydroopedalsoas hemetthequestioninggazeofhiselderbrother,Ham,whoseseatwasjustatthe door HamhadadisquietingcapacityforreadingPaul'sthoughts,andanequally disquietingscornofcowardice ButPaulclosedthedoorbehindhim,and,inthe freedomoftheouterair,sethislipstowhistlingacasualtune Hecouldneverbe for a moment alone without breaking into some form of music It was his nature'slanguageandhissoul'ssoliloquy Of course tomorrow would bring a reckoning for truancy and a probable renewal of his danger, but tomorrow is after all another day and for this afternoonatleasthefeltsafe ButHamBurton'suncannypowersofdivinationwereatwork,andoutofhis seatheslippedunobserved Throughthedoorheflittedshadow-likeandstrolled alonginthewakeofhisyoungerbrother Downwherethespringcroonedsoftlyoveritsmossyrocksandwhereyoung brook trout darted in phantom flashes, Ham Burton found Paul with his face tight-claspedinhisnervoushands Backthereintheschool-househadbeenonly terror,butoutherewassomethingelse Aspecterofself-contempthadrisento contend with physical trepidation The song of the water and the rustle of the leaves where the breeze harped among the platinum shafts of the birches were pleadingwiththischild-dreamer,andinhismindaconflictsweptbackwardand forward Pauldidnotatonceseehisbrother,andtheolderboystoodoverhimin silence, watching the mental fight; watching until he knew that it was lost and thattimidityhadoverpoweredshame Hisowneyesatfirstheldonlyscornfor such a poltroon attitude, but suddenly there leaped into them a fierce glow of tenderness,whichheasquicklymasked Attheendofhissilentcontemplation hebrusquelydemanded,"Well,Paul,howlongisitgoingtotakeyoutofillthat bucketwithwater?" Theyoungerladstartedviolentlyandstammered Chagrinedtearswelledinto hisdeepeyes,andaflushspreadoverhisthincheeks "Ijust—justgottothinkin',"heexculpatedlamely,"an'Ifogottohurry Listen atthatwatersingin',Ham!"Hisvoicetookonarapteagerness "An'themleaves amongushe,too,livedanddied—becauseHamiltonBurtonturnedhisbackon the lure of the mirage his dreaming eyes had seen Even now when Paul has gone, those chimes, which you put there above our church in memory of him, seemtosingofthethingsforwhichhestood Whentheirnotespealoutonthe Sabbathandgosoftlyacrossthevalley,Iliketoimaginethat,throughthenobler musicwhichimmortalearsmayhear,hestillcatchestheirecho "There,closetogether,standtwomoreheadstones,andbeneaththemsleepthe fatherandtheauntofthesemen ThomasBurton,too,livedoutalifeofstalwart worth Toallmen,hisfearlesscharacterandunshakableintegritywereprecepts He went his way and looked into every eye that met his own In the activities thathavewroughtthesechanges,hewasalwaysthefirstandlasttoworkwith tirelesszeal Whentherailroadcameitwasthroughhisuntiringeffort Heheld the determination with fighting Burton courage that adversity should not drive himfromthelandhisforefathershadconquered "In wondering what things would have befallen all these people had a lad's ambition led them into a different life, I find myself treading paths of doubt Perhapsnobleachievementsmighthaveresulted—butIknowthatinremaining heretheyhavemadeourlandtoblossomandtomeitseemsenough Ican,for somereason,nomorethinkofThomasBurtontransplantedwithouthurtthanI can think of some great patriarch of the forest, which has buffeted storms and hail for decades, being uprooted and planted anew in a trim garden and a differentclime Thenhedied,too— "'AndashetrodthatdaytoGod,sowalkedhefromhisbirth, Insimplenessandgentlenessandhonorandcleanmirth.'" The speaker talked deliberately At times his voice mounted into a sort of oratorical fire At times it fell until his listeners bent forward that they might miss none of his words Now and again he would stop altogether and his eyes would turn to the blue skies, and when they did a devout and intense light glowed in their pupils His hearers were simple and easily touched and an occasionalsobcamefromthewomen "IsaidthatHamiltonBurtondiedyoung,"heresumed "Hediedalmostaboy with a boy's youthful heart beating in his bosom If he could so bring out of desolationalandlikethis,whileyethewashardlyamaninyears,whocansay that his dream of power was all a dream? If he who never left these hills and never saw the world beyond save as he saw it in the exaltation of his flaming imagination, could such things, what man can say that with maturity and opportunity he might not have become a Cæsar? But the feet of these people nevertrodbeyondthenearerwaysofasimplelife HamiltonBurtonburnedto gooutandtrytheeagle'swingsofhislife Hehadwontheacquiescenceofhis family He did not go None of them went They lived here and died here and theyfoughtdiscontent,andtomymindtheywereconquerorsoftheearth." Oncemoretherewasapauseandafteritcameotherwords "Isupposethattheyalldreamed Afterthestressofthathurricaneofpowerful personality,withwhichtheboyhadwonthemtohisheart'sdesire,thesepeople could never have again lived their simple lives without dreams coming—and doubts Tosay,'Godknows best,'meanttorepress thedisturbingthoughtsthat musthaveoftenarisen "Inthesehillsboysbecomemen,andoneboybecamesomethingmore This wasafamilyofbeautifulanddevotedlove ThebrotherswerewhatGodmeant brotherstobe,friendswhoseheartswerelinked Foreverymemberofthislittle groupofoneblood,alltheothersfeltamightybondofaffection Andherethey stayed." The four words might have been the text, and through the talk it ran with the insistence of a refrain, until it sank into the brain of every man and everywomanwholistened "Here they stayed, and if each one of them thought often of what may have beengivenupbythatdecision,nooneofthemsaidso "PerhapsPaul,withthegoldenpatternofhisdreams,mayoftenhavemused uponwhattheouterworldcouldhavegivenhim Perhapshethoughtofhimself as swaying audiences with his fingers on the keys and dreamed of lips that parted and eyes that grew misty—because they listened to the voices he could send pealing to their hearts But he stayed here and the audiences that sat spellboundwerethoselittleneighborhoodaudiences,whostoodalongwayoff fromafullunderstandingofhissoul'setherealwebandwoof "Perhaps Thomas Burton, whose hands were calloused with toil, sometimes permittedhimselftothink,attheendofhisday'slabors,oftheeaseandcomfort whichmighthavecometohim,hadhisson'sgreatambitionactuallydrawnhim intomightybattlesandvictoriesinsteadofonlybeckoninghim "Perhapsthewoman,whomusthavefeltthatherchildrenwerenotordinary children,mayhaveshedatearattimes,becauseshewasdeniedthetriumphof beholding their triumph But they stayed—and if their peaceful lives were troubled with misgivings, at least they knew that this was certain and that doubtful—and that, while they might miss much of achievement, they also missedmuchofperil,fornonecansaywhatajourneymeansalonganuntried road Whoknowswhatanepictheirlivesmighthavespelled—orwhattragedy? Buttheystayed "Andnowwearegatheredtodohomagebythegraveofthewomanwhose quiet life ran its course with theirs—the woman who bore these children and taught them, at her knee, those lessons which made them benefactors—and althoughwestandinthepresenceofdeath,itseemstomethatwestand,too,in the presence and the glory of that life which is above death—and we stand on hallowedground." He ended, and about him was the solemnity of simple hearts, stirred and responsive,andoverhimwastheserenityofJune,andthewarmthoftheearth pregnantwithfruitfulness When it was over, the crowd scattered to their vehicles and the wheels clatteredoverthemetaledroads,butintheburialground,whenalltherestwere gone,twofigurestarried Foramomenttheministeralsostayedafterthecrowdhadleft Hewentover tothegirlandspokesoftly,withahandlaidtenderlyonhershoulder "Mydaughter,"hesaidsimply,"you,too,haveconquered Everywomanhas somethingofrestlessyearninginhereyesatsometime Toawomanwithgreat charmandbeautytheworldsingsasirensong Isawthisthinginyoureyes— andsoul Isawitcomeandgo—andIknewthatyouhadwonyourfight,and wonthroughtolife'ssweetestbenison Youhavelove Theselivesareended,but yoursisbeginning."Thenhe,too,turnedaway,andonlythegirlandyoungman wereleft Mary'sbeautifuleyeswerebrightwithtears,and,asshestoodthereslimand straight,hercompanioncamecloseandhisarmslippedabouther Foramoment she seemed unconscious of his presence, then she turned and her eyes looked steadfastlyintohis,andastheylookedtheysmiledthroughtheirmistiness "Mary"—the man's voice was earnest and very tender—"Mary, I know that nowyou'rethinkingaboutotherthingsandthey'reverysacredthings Besides, my heart is overflowing and words don't give it enough power of expression SinceIfellinlovewithyoulifehasbeenallpoetrytome—butnotapoetryof words Youarethinkingofthem—"Hepausedandhissobereyestookinthe headstones,lingeringforamomentonthisnewestgraveuponwhichtheflowers were banked They were fine eyes, for in them dwelt an intrinsic honesty and courage,and,thoughitwasamomentofdeepgravity,thelittlewrinklesthatran out from them were assurances that they were often laughing eyes This man seemedtofitintothepictureofthehillswiththeappropriatenessofthenativeborn Inhisfree-flungshouldersandbroadchestwasthehealthoftheopen,but ononefingerheworeaheavilycarvedringfromwhichglowedthecoollightof a large emerald, and in his scarf was a black pearl, which hardly seemed characteristicofnativewear Thenhewenton: "But, afterall, Mary,theylivedgoodlivesand died gooddeaths,and—"he hesitated, then said slowly—"and, after all, it's June, and you and I are young Can'titalwaysbeJuneforus,dear?" Abirdfromagreatoaklifteditsvoice Itwasahappybirdandwouldtolerate no sadness It caroled to its mate and to the sky and through her tears Mary Burtonsmiledandthegorgeousvividnessofherfacewasilluminated "Whilewe'vegoteachother,"shesaid,"IguessitcanbeJune." Suddenlysheputoutherslender,butstrong,younghandsandcaughthistwo arms,andstoodtherelookingathim "Once,dear,"shesaid,"whenIwasaverylittlegirl,Iusedtodreamofgoing out and seeing all the wonderful things beyond those hills I used to dream of havingrichmenandtitledmencometomeandmakelove Iusedtocrybecause I thought I was ugly—and then I met you by the roadside—and you were my fairyprince—butIdidn'tguessyouweregoingtobemyown—foralways." JeffersonEdwardessmiledandintohiseyescameaferventglow "Icanseeyounow,"hesaid,"asyoustoodthatfirstdayIeversawyou,when I told you that your beauty would be the beauty of gorgeousness—when I warned you that the only thing you need ever fear was—the loss of your simplicity Thewoodswereflamingatyourback,butyourlovelinessoutblazed theircolor,andthenyouwereathinlittlegirl—atriflechippendaleinplan." Inspiteofhersadnessasmilecametoherlips "And you were fighting your fight for life—with only an even chance Suppose—"sheshuddered—"supposeyouhadlostit!" "Ihadtoomuchtolivefor,"heassuredher "Icouldn'tloseit Youandyour hillsgavemelifeandadream,andyouandyourhillslaidtheirclaimuponme HowcouldIlose?" "I'velainawakeatnight,"saidMaryBurton,asherlonglashesdroopedwith theconfessionofherheart "I'velainawakeatnightwonderingif—nowthatyou don'thavetostay—ifyourownworldwon'tcallyouback—awayfromme I've thought of all it holds for you—and how little these mountains hold I've wonderedifyourheartdidn'tacheforforeignlandsandwonderfulcities—and all those things If it does, dear—" she paused and said very seriously—"you mustn't let me keep you here I belong here, but you—" The words fell into a faintnoteanddiedawayunfinished "Howlittlethesehillsholdforme,"heexclaimedinadismayedvoice,"when theyholdyou!"Thenhelaughedandtoldherashiseyesdweltsteadfastlyand withworshiponherface,"Ibelongherenolessthanyou Thishasbeentheland ofmysalvationandofmylove Formeitisenough Ihavetradedtheunrestof cities for the tranquillity of the hills and the clamor of unhappy streets for the echoesofthewoods,andthewoodssingofyouasthestreetscouldneversing I havetradedatasplendidprofit,dear." "Andyouwon'ttireofit—andofme?" "Iwishlifecouldbelongenoughtogivemeafairtestofthat,"hesmiled,and thenheaddedinaseriousvoice,"Itisinthecitiesthatmenandwomengrow tired Itisunderartificethatthesoulwearies ThatlifeIknew,andleftwiththe bitternessofexile—butthatwaslongago WhenIgointoitnow,itshallbeonly forthejoyofcomingbackhereagain—ofcominghome." The girl looked up into his face, and the breeze fluttered a tendril of curl againsthertemple "Youwerethefirstpersonwhoevercalledmepretty."Throughthesadnessof her face came a glimmer of shy merriment "You said I was—as beautiful as starlightonwater." "Mary,Mary!"Thelovercaughtherslenderfigureinhisstrongarmsandheld hersoclosethatherbreathcamefragrantlyagainsthistannedcheek "Youareas beautifulasstarlightonwater,andtomeyou'remorebeautiful You'rethesun andmoonandstarsandmusic—you'reeverythingthat'sfineandsplendid!" "Foryoursake,"shesaidshyly,"IwishIweremuchmorebeautiful." Even the near shadow of death cannot banish the god of love Mary Burton feltthearmsofthemanshelovedabouther,andhereyesasshelookedintohis faceunmaskedtheirsecretsuntilhecouldreadhersoulanditsmessage Forthe momenttheyhadforgottenallelse Then,quiteabruptly,herexpressionchanged andbecamerapt,almostfrightened Slowlyshestraightenedupandherpupilsdilatedasthoughtheywereseeing something invisible to other eyes Her lips parted and she drew away from his grasp and stood gazing ahead Then she brushed one arm across her forehead WithinstantalarmEdwardescaughthershoulders "Whatisit?"hedemanded "Isanythingwrong?" Sheshookherheadandspokewonderinglywithafar-away,detachedsortof utterance "Idon'tknowwhatitwas—IguessIwasalittlefaint."Butshestill stoodwithanawedandbewilderedfixityuponherfaceandafteralittlewhile, heaskedslowly: "Didyoueverseemtoseeandhearsomethingasthoughithadcomeoutofa differentlife;asthoughyouwerelivingitoveragain?" Hesmiledandshookhishead "I'veoftenheardofsuchthings,"hereassured Shehadbeennursinghermotherthroughalongillness;perhaps,hethought,the strainhadlefthernervous "Itwasasrealasifithadtrulyhappened,"sheassuredhimassheputupboth handsandpressedherfingersagainsthertemples "Youwerestandingthere— rightwhereyouarestandingnow,andyousmiled—likeyousmiledatmethat dayintheroad Therewerelittlewrinklesaroundyoureyes." "Thatisallrealenough,"helaughed "Iwasandamdoingallthosethings." "Yes,Iknow,but—"Oncemoresheshookherheadandhervoicecarriedthe detached tone of a trance-like vagueness—"but somehow it was all different Youwereyou—andIwasI—andyetwewereinanotherlife wedidn'tseem tobelonghere andthereseemedtobesometerribledangerhangingoverus." "Didweseemtotalk?"heaskedher "Yes."Thegirl'swordscameverylowbutwithatenseemphasis "Yousaid, 'Maybe there's some land beyond the stars where every mistake we make here canberemedied wherewecantakeupourmarredlivesandlivethemafresh as we have dreamed them Perhaps in that other world we can go back to the turningoftheroadwherewelostourwaysandchoosetheotherpath.'Yousaid thatandthenafteramomentyousmiledagain." "It'sstrange,"saidtheyoungman Heunconsciouslytookoffhishat,baring the curly hair over the tanned face He was very wholesome and honest and strong,andthegirl'seyeslightedintoasmileofprideandlove "Yes,"shesaid "Itwasyouandme—insomeotherlife Idon'tknowwhatit means—butsomehowitseemsto—toguaranteeeverything." They turned and walked together to the last buggy hitched against the stone wallunderthewildappletrees Afterawhileshedemanded—"Afteryougotwell—whydidyoustayhere?" andaspromptlyasanechocamehisanswer— "Becauseyoustayed." Themoonwasupearlythatnightanditfloodedthemountainswithagloryof silver mists The shoulders of the peaks stood out in blue barriers, strong, abiding, beautiful In the valleys it was all a nocturne of dove grays and dreamlike softness The stars, too, shone down in a million splinters of happy light,buttheradianceofthemoonpaledthem The vines which covered the walls of the Burton house out their lacy tendrilsandthroughthewindowscamethesoftglowoflamplight Therewasnothingdrearyorpoverty-strickenabouttheoldfarm-housenow From its front, where every shutter, by day, shone in the healthy trim of fresh paint,tothegateupontheroadwentrowsofflowers,noddingtheirbrightheads above the waving grass The barns at the back stood substantial and in repair, and now out beyond the road, Lake Forsaken mirrored the stars and broke in lightwhenafishleapedunderthemoon MaryBurtonandherloverwalkeddowntothegate,andhesaidsimply: "Now, dear, there is nothing more to hold you here If you still long to see beyondthesky-line,Icantakeyouwhereveryouwanttogo." Butshewheeledandlaidahandinprotestonhisarm "No!"sheexclaimedtensely "No,thisiswhereIbelong."Afteramomentshe went on "Life holds enough for me here This is home to me I don't want anythingelse." "I am glad It's what I hoped to hear you say," he responded "I don't think somehowIcouldbeashappyanywhereelse,buttheworld'sabigplaceandyou —youhavetherighttothebestitholds—anywhere." "Once,dear,youknow,"shetoldhimgravely,"wethreshedthatoutandwe had almost made up our minds to leave here We were almost whipped—and Hamhadhisdreams Hewantedtogo outandtrylife inabiggerworld—and yourecognizedhispower Iwanteditall,too—butwestayed Idon'tknowwhat wouldhavehappenedifwehadn't,butIdoknow—"shelookedupintohisface andsmiled;intohereyescamearegalserenity—"IdoknowthatIdon'thaveto gooutandhuntforlife—lifehascometome,andI'mhappy." Themancaughthertohimandsheclaspedherhandsbehindhishead Before themwasJuneandstarlightandyouthandlife—andlove Hebenthisheadand pressedhislipstohersandfeltherheartbeatagainsthisown InthemirrorofLakeForsaken,backofher,gleamedthesplinteredlightofa thousandstars,andinhisheartgleamedamillion "Asbeautifulasstarlightonwater,"hewhispered ***ENDOFTHEPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKDESTINY*** *******Thisfileshouldbenamed17141-h.txtor17141-h.zip******* Thisandallassociatedfilesofvariousformatswillbefoundin: http://www.gutenberg.org/1/7/1/4/17141 Updated editions will replace the previous one the old editions will be renamed Creatingtheworksfrompublicdomainprinteditionsmeansthatnooneowns aUnitedStatescopyrightintheseworks,sotheFoundation(andyou!)cancopy and distribute it in the United States without permission and without paying copyrightroyalties Specialrules,setforthintheGeneralTermsofUsepartof this license, apply to copying and distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works to protect the PROJECT 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"Outtherebeyondthempiled-uprocksandGod-forsakenfields,"swepton the other,"there'sarealworldwhere the tidesaretidesofgold,an'formetheyare... CHAPTERXXXV DESTINY PARTI THE LANDOFPROMISE CHAPTERI O UTSIDE the subtleclarionofautumn'sdyinggloryflamedin the torchesof the maplesandsmolderedin the burgundyof the oaks Ittrailedaveilofroseash... bakeshop;soNapoleonmayhavedreamedbefore the worldhadheardhisname The younger lad dreamed as the hasheesh-eater, for the vague and iridescent gloryofvisioning,but the elderdreamedotherwise,inprefacetoachievement The teacherroseatlengthtodismiss the classes,andas the childrenpiledout
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