The wild olive

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TheProjectGutenbergEBookofTheWildOlive,byBasilKing ThiseBookisfortheuseofanyoneanywhereatnocostandwith almostnorestrictionswhatsoever Youmaycopyit,giveitawayor re-useitunderthetermsoftheProjectGutenbergLicenseincluded withthiseBookoronlineatwww.gutenberg.net Title:TheWildOlive Author:BasilKing ReleaseDate:August18,2004[EBook#13212] Language:English ***STARTOFTHISPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKTHEWILDOLIVE*** ProducedbyDistributedProofreaders "Thereareahundredmenbeatingthemountaintofindyou" "Thereareahundredmenbeatingthemountaintofindyou" THEWILDOLIVE ANOVEL BYTHEAUTHOROF THEINNERSHRINE [BASILKING] ILLUSTRATEDBY LUCIUSHITCHCOCK NEWYORK GROSSET&DUNLAP PUBLISHERS PUBLISHEDBYARRANGEMENTWITHHARPER&BROTHERS Copyright,1910,byHarper&Brothers AllRightsReserved PublishedMay,1910 PrintedintheUnitedStatesofAmerica PARTI FORD I Findinghimselfinthelevelwood-road,whoseopenaisledrewalong, straightstreakacrossthesky,stillluminouswiththelate-lingering Adirondacktwilight,thetallyoungfugitive,hatless,coatless,and barefooted,pausedaminuteforreflection Ashepaused,helistened;but alldistinctivenessofsoundwaslostintheplayofthewind,uphilland downdale,throughchasmandovercrag,inthoseuncountedleaguesof forest Itwasonlyasummerwind,softandfromthesouth;butits murmurhadthesweepoftheeternalbreath,while,whenitwaxedin power,itroseliketheswellofsomegreatcosmicorgan Throughthe pinesandintheunderbrushitwhisperedandcrackledandcrashed,with avarietyofeffectstrangelybewilderingtotheyoungman'scity-nurtured senses Therewereminuteswhenhefeltthatnotonlythefourcountry constableswhomhehadescapedwereabouttoburstuponhim,butthat weirdarmiesofgnomeswerereadytotramplehimdown Outoftheconfusionofwood-noises,inwhichhisunpractisedearcould distinguishnothing,hewaitedforarepetitionoftheshotswhichafew hoursagohadbeentheprotestofhisguards;but,nonecoming,hesped onagain Heweighedthedangerofrunningintheopenagainstthe opportunitiesforspeed,anddecidedinfavorofthelatter Hitherto,in accordancewithawoodcraftinventedtomeettheemergency,and entirelyhisown,hehadavoidedanythinginthenatureofaroadora pathway,inordertotakeadvantageofthetracklessnesswhichformed hisobviousprotection;butnowhejudgedthemomentcomeforputting actualspacebetweenhispursuersandhimself Hownear,orhowfar behindhim,theymightbehecouldnotguess Ifhehadcoveredground, theywouldhavecoveredittoo,sincetheyweremenborntothe mountains,whilehehadbeenbredintowns Hishopelayinthe possibilitythatinthiswildernesshemightbelosttotheirken,asamote islostintheair—thoughhebuiltsomethingonthechancethat,in sympathywiththefeelinginhisfavorpervadingthesimplerpopulationof theregion,theyhadgivennegativeconnivancetohisescape These thoughts,farfromstimulatingafalseconfidence,urgedhimtogreater speed Andyet,evenashefled,hehadaconsciousnessofabandoning something—perhapsofdesertingsomething—whichbroughtastrainof regretintothisminuteofdesperateexcitement Withouthavinghadtime tocountthecostorreckontheresult,hefelthewasgivingupthefight He,orhiscounselforhim,hadcontestedthegroundwithallthe resourcefulingenuityknowntotheAmericanlegalpractitioner Hewas toldthat,inspiteoftheseemingfinalityofwhathadhappenedthat morning,therewerestillloopholesthroughwhichthedefencemightbe carriedon InthespaceofafewhoursFatehadofferedhimthechoice betweentwocourses,neitherofthemfertileinpromisesofsuccess The onewaslongandtedious,withapossibilityofultimatejustification;the othershortandspeedy,withtheacceptedimputationofguilt Hehad chosenthelatter—instinctivelyandonthespurofthemoment;andwhile hemighthaverepeatedatleisurethedecisionhehadmadeinhaste,he knewevennowthathewasleavingthewaysandmeansofprovinghis innocencebehindhim Theperceptioncame,notastheresultofa processofthought,butasaregretful,scarcelydetectedsensation Hehaddashedatfirstintothebrokencountry,hillyratherthan mountainous,whichfromtheshoresofLakeChamplaingradually gathersstrength,asitrollsinland,totossupthecrestsofthe Adirondacks Here,buryinghimselfinthewoods,heskirtedtheunkempt farms,whosecottagelights,justbeginningtoburn,servedhimassignals tokeepfartheroff Whenforcedtocrossoneofthesterilefields,he crawledlow,blottinghimselfoutamongthebowlders Attimesapatchof tall,tasselledIndiancorn,interlacedwithwanderingpumpkinvines,gave himcover,tillheregainedtheshelterofthevastAppalachianmotherforestwhich,afterclimbingCumberlands,Alleghanies,Catskills,and Adirondacks,hereclambersdown,inlongreachesofashandmaple, juniperandpine,towardthelowlandsofthenorth Asfarashehadyetbeenabletoformulateaplanofflight,itwastoseek hissafetyamongthehills Thenecessityoftheinstantwasdrivinghim towardtheopencountryandthelake,buthehopedtodoublesoonupon histracks,findinghiswaybacktothelumbercamps,whosefriendly spiritingfrombunk-housetobunk-housewouldbafflepursuit Oncehe hadgainedevenafewhours'security,hewouldbeabletosomeextent affectationofbanterbehindwhichheconcealedhabituallyhisrealself, andbywhichhemosteasilydeceivedher "Verywell,"shelaughed;"I'mquitereadytoairit;onlyIdon'tknowjust howit'stobedone." "Supposeyouweretotellmewhathappened,inyourownlanguage?" "IfMr Fordhastoldyoualready,asIimaginehehas,Idon'tseethatmy languagecanbeverydifferentfromhis Allthesame,I'lltry,sinceyou wantmeto." "Justso." Duringthefewminutesshetooktocollectherthoughtshecouldsee sweepoverherfeaturesoneofthoseswift,lightchanges—asdelicateas therippleofsummerwindonwater—whichtransformedherinaninstant fromthewomanoftheworldtotheforestmaid,thespiritofthe indigenous Themysteryofthenomadicageswasinhereyesagainas shebeganhernarrative,wistfully,andreminiscently "Yousee,I'dbeenthinkingagooddealofmyfatherandmother Ihadn't knownaboutthemverylong,andIlivedwiththeirmemory TheMother Superiorhadtoldmeafewthings—allsheknew,Isuppose—beforeIleft theconventatQuebec;andMr andMrs Wayne—especiallyMrs Wayne —hadaddedtherest ThatwasthechiefreasonwhyIwantedthestudio —sothatIcouldgetawayfromthehouse,whichwassooppressiveto me,and—soitseemedtome—livewiththem,withnothingbutthewoods andthehillsandtheskyaboutme Icouldbeveryhappythen—painting thingeIfanciedtheymighthavedone,andpinningthemuponthewall I daresayitwasfoolish,but——" "Itwasverynatural Goon." "AndthencameupallthisexcitementaboutNorrieFord Formonthsthe wholeregiontalkedofnothingelse Nearlyeveryonebelievedhehad shothisuncle,but,exceptinthevillages,thesympathywithhimwas tremendous Somepeople—especiallythehotel-keepersandthosewho dependedonthetouristtravel—wereforlawandorder;butotherssaid thatoldChrisFordhadgotnomorethanhedeserved Thatwastheway theyusedtotalk Mr Waynewasonthesideoflawandorder,too— naturally—tillthetrialcameon;andthenhebegan——" "Iknowallaboutthat Goon." "Myownsympathywaswiththemaninprison Iusedtodreamabout him IrememberedwhatMrs Waynehadtoldmemymotherhaddone formyfather Iwasproudofthat ThoughIknewonlyvaguelywhatit was,IwassureitwaswhatIshouldhavedone,too Sowhentherewas talkofbreakingintothejailandhelpingNorrietoescape,Iusedtothink howeasilyIcouldkeepanyonehiddeninmystudio Idon'tmeanI thoughtofitasapracticalthing;itwasjustadream." "Butadreamthatcametrue." "Yes;itcametrue Itwaswonderful ItwasthedayMr Waynesentenced him Iknewwhathewassuffering—Mr Wayne,Imean Wewereall suffering;evenMrs Wayne,whoinhergentlewaywasgenerallyso hard SomepeoplethoughtMr Wayneneedn'thavedoneit;andI supposeitwasjusthisconscientiousness—becausehehadsucha horrorofthething—thatdrovehimontoit Hethoughthemustn'tshirk hisduty Butthatnightatthehousewasawful Wedressedfordinner, andtriedtoactasifnothingfrightfulhadhappened—butitwasasifthe hangmanwassittingwithusatthetable AtlastIcouldn'tendureit I wentoutintothegarden—yourememberitwasoneofthosegardens withclippedyews Outthere,intheair,IstoppedthinkingofMr Wayne andhisdistresstothinkofNorrieFord Itseemedtomeasif,insome strangeway,hebelongedtome—thatIoughttodosomething—asmy motherhaddoneformyfather Andthen—allofasudden—Isawhim creepin." "Howdidyouknowitwashe?" "Ithoughtitmustbe,thoughIwasonlysureofitwhenIwasonthe terraceandsawhisface Hecreptalongandcreptalong—Oh,sucha forlorn,hopeless,outcastfigure!Myheartachedatthesightofhim I didn'tknowwhathemeanttodo,andatfirstIhadnointentionof attemptinganything Itwasbydegreesthatmyownthoughtaboutthe studiocamebacktome Bythattimehewasontheverandaofthe house,andIwasafraidhemeanttokillMr Wayne Iwentafterhim I thoughtIwouldenticehimawayandhidehim Buttheminuteheheard myfootstepheleapedintothehouse ThenextIsaw,hewastalkingto Mr andMrs Wayne—andsomethingtoldmehewouldn'thurtthem After thatIwatchedmychancetillhelookedoutward,andthenIbeckonedto him That'showithappened." "Andthen?" "Afterthateverythingwaseasy Hemusthavetoldyou Ikepthiminthe studioforthreeweeks,andbroughthimfood—andclothingofmy father's Itseemedtomethatmyfatherwasdoingeverything—notI That'swhatmadeitsosimple Iknowmyfatherwouldhavewantedme todoit Iwasonlytheagentincarryingouthiswill." "That'sonewayoflookingatit,"Conquestsaid,grimly "It'stheonlywayI'veeverlookedatit;theonlywayIevershall." "Itwasaromanticsituation,"heobserved,whenshehadgivenhimthe outlinesoftherestofthestory "Iwonderyoudidn'tfallinlovewithhim." Hesmoothedthecolorlesslineofhismustache,asthoughconcealinga smile Hehadrecapturedtheteasingtonehelikedtoemploytowardher, thoughitsnervoussharpnesswouldhavebetrayedhimhadshe suspectedhisrealthoughts Whileshesaidnothinginresponse,thetilt ofherheadwasthatwhichheassociatedwithhermoodsofindignation orpride "Perhapsyoudid,"hepersisted Then,assheremainedsilent,"Did you?" Sheresolvedonaboldstep—theaudacityofthatperfectcandorshehad alwaystakenasaguide "Idon'tknowthatonecouldcallitthat,"shesaid,quietly Hedrewaquickinwardbreath,clinchinghisteeth,butkeepinghisfixed smile "Butyoudon'tknowthatonecouldn't." "Ican'tdefinewhatIfeltatall." "Itwasjustenough,"hepursued,inhisbanteringtone,"tokeepyou— lookingforhimback—asyoutoldme—thatday." Sheliftedhereyesinaswiftglanceofreproach "Itwasthat—then." "Butit'smore—now Isn'tit?" Shemethimsquarely "Idon'tthinkyou'veanyrighttoask." Helaughedaloud,somewhatshrilly "That'sgood! consideringwe'retobemanandwife." "We'retobemanandwifeonaverydistinctunderstandingtowhichI'm perfectlyloyal Imeantobeloyaltoitalways—andtoyou Ishallgive youeverythingyoueveraskedfor Iftherearesomethings—onethingin particular—outofmypowertogiveyou,I'vesaidsofromthefirst,and you'vetoldmeyoucoulddowithoutthem IfwhatIcan'tgiveyouI've giventosomeoneelse—because—because—Icouldn'thelpit—that's mysecret,andIclaimtherighttoguardit." Theyfacedoneanotheracrossthetablepiledwithornatesilver Hehad notlosthissmile "You'vethemeritofbeingclear,"washisonlycomment "Youforcemetobeclear,"shedeclared,withheightenedcolor,"anda littleangry Whenyouaskedmetobeyourwife—longago—Itoldyou therewerecertainconditionsIcouldneverfulfil—andyouwaivedthem OnthatgroundI'mreadytomeetallyourwishes,andmakeyouagood wifetotheutmostofmypower I'meagertodoit—becauseIhonorand respectyouaswomendon'talwayshonorandrespecttheverymenthey love I'vetoldNorrieFord,andIrepeatittoyou,thatafterseeinghimgo freeandrestoredtohisplaceamongmen,themostardentdesireofmy lifeistomakeyouhappy I'mperfectlytrue;I'mperfectlysincere What morecanyouaskofme?" Helookedathersearchingly,whilehethoughthardandrapidly Hecould notcomplainthatthebarswereupandtheblindsdrawnanylonger On thecontrary,shehadlethimseeintotherecessesofherlifewithaclarity thatstartledhim,aspuretruthstartlesoften Ashesatmusing,his pretenceatcynicismfellfromhim,togetherwithsomethingofhis furbishedairofyouth Shesawhimgrowgraver,grayer,older,underher veryeyes,andwasmovedwithcompunction—withcompassion Her facestillaglowandherhandsclaspedinherlap,sheleanedtohim acrossthetable,speakingintherich,lowvoicethatalwaysthrilledhim "WhatIfeelforyouis somethingsomuchlike love thatyouwould neverhaveknownthedifference ifyouhadn'twrungitfromme." Thoughhetoyedaimlesslywithsomesmallsilverobjectonthetableand didnotlookup,herwordssentatremorthroughhisframe TheWise Manwithinhimwasveryeloquent,repeatingagainandagainthe sentencesheherselfhadusedaminuteortwoago:Whatmorecouldhe askofher?Whatmorecouldheaskofher,indeed,afterthisassurance rightoutoftheearnestnessandhonestyofherpureheart?Itwas enoughtosatisfymenwithfargreaterclaimsthanhehadeverputforth, andfarmorepretensionthanhehadeverdreamedofcherishing The WiseMansuppliedhimwithtwoorthreephrasesofreply—neatlittle phrases,thatwouldhaveboundherforever,andyetsavedhisselfesteem Heturnedthemoverinhismindandonhistongue,tryingtoadd atouchofglamourwhilehekeptthemterse HecouldfeeltheWiseMan fidgetingimpatiently,justashecouldfeelherflaming,expectanteyes uponhim;andstillhetoyedwiththesmallsilverobjectaimlessly, consciousofacertainbitterjoyinhissoul'ssuspense Hehadnotyet lookedup,norpolishedtheWiseMan'sphrasestohistaste,whena footmanthrewthedooropen,andNorrieFordhimselfwalkedin ThemeetingwassavedfromawkwardnesschieflybyFord'sownlackof embarrassment Ashecrossedtheroomandshookhands,firstwith Miriam,thenwithConquest,therewasasubduedelationinhismanner andglancethatreducedsmallconsiderationstonothing "No;Iwon'tsitdown,"heexplained,hurriedly,andnotwithout excitement,"becauseIonlylookedinforaminute I'vegotacabwaiting formeoutside Thefactis,Iranintosaygood-bye." "Good-bye?"Miriamquestioned "Notforlong,Ihope I'moff—togivemyselfup." "Butwhyto-night?"Conquestasked "What'stherush?" "OnlythatIwanttogetmywordinfirst They'vegottheireyeonme I thoughtityesterday,andIknowitto-day IwantthemtoseethatI'mnot afraidofthem,andsoI'maskingtheirhospitalityforto-night I'vegotmy baginthecab,andeverythingship-shape Icouldn'tdoitwithoutcoming roundforalastwordwithyou,oldman;andIwasgoingtoseeyou afterward,MissStrange ButsinceI'vefoundyouhere——" "Youwon'thaveto,"shefinished,brightly "I'mgladtobeabletosave yourtime I'mconfidentwe'renotlosingyouforlong;andasIknow you'reeager,IcanonlywishyouGod-speed,andbegladtoseeyougo" Sheheldoutherhand,frankly,strongly,asonewhohasnofear "Now,"sheadded,turningtoConquest,"I'llaskyoutoseemetomy motor IshallleaveyouandMrFordtogether,asIknowyoumusthave somelastdetailtoarrange." Fordprotested,butshegatheredupherglovesandfurs,andbothmen accompaniedhertothestreet Itwasanautumnevening,drizzlinganddark UpanddownFifthAvenue thewetpavementsreflectedtheelectriclampslikeblurredmirrors There werefewpassengersonfoot,butanoccasionalmotorwhizzedweirdly outofthedarkandintoit Itwasbecausetherewerenootherpeopleto beseenthattwomenstandingintherainattractedtheattentionofthe threewhodescendedConquest'sstepstogether "Theretheyare,"Fordsaid,jerkily "ByGeorge!they'vegotaheadofme." InstinctivelyMiriamclutchedhisarm,whileoneofthetwostrangers cameforwardapologetically "You'reMr JohnNorrieFord,ain'tyou?" "Iam." "I'mverysorry,sir,butI'vegotawarrantforyourarrest." "That'sallright,"Fordsaid,cheerily "Iwasonmywaytoyou,anyhow You'llfindmybaginthecab,andeverythingready We'lldrive,ifit'sall thesametoyou." "Yes,sir Surething,sir." Themandroppedbackafewpacescourteously,whileFordturnedtohis friends Hisairwasbuoyant Miriam,too,reflectedtheradianceofher visionofhistriumph Conquestalone,lookingsmallandwhiteand shrivelledintherain,showedcareandfear "Idon'tthinkthere'sanythingspecialtosay,"Fordremarked,withthe awkwardnessofasimplenatureatanemotionalcrisis "I'mnotverygood atthanks MissStrangeknowsthatalready Butit'sallinhere"—he tappedhisbreast,withacharacteristicgesture—"verysacred,very strong." "Weknowthat,"Conquestsaid,unsteadily,withanembarrassmentlike Ford'sown "Well,then—good-bye." "Good-bye." Withalongpressureofthehandtoeach,heturnedtowardhiscab Of thetwostrangers,onetookhisplacebesidethedriveronthebox,while theotherheldthedooropenforFordtoenter Hisfootwasalreadyon thestepwhenMiriamcried,"Wait!" Heturnedtowardherassheglidedacrossthewetpavement "Good-bye,good-bye,"shewhisperedagain;anddrawingdownhisface tohers,shekissedhim,asshehadkissedhimoncebefore,besidethe watersofChamplain Asshedrewbackfromhim,Ford'scountenanceworetheupliftedlookof aknightwhohasreceivedtheconsecrationtohisquest Eventhetwo strangersbowedtheirheads,asthoughtheyhadwitnessedthebestowal ofasacrament ToMiriamherselfitwasthesealsetonapastthatcould neverbereopened Shefeltthedefinitenesswithwhichitwasended,as sheheard,onherwaybacktoConquest'sside,thedoorslammed,while thecablumberedaway ItseemedtoherthatConquestshrankfromher assheapproachedhim "You'llcometo-morrow?Ishallbehomeaboutfive." Conquesthadputherintohermotor,drawntherugsabouther,and closedthedoor Ashedidso,shenoticedsomethingslowandbrokenin hismovements Leaningfromtheopenwindow,sheheldoutherhand, buthebarelytouchedit "No,"hesaid,hoarsely,"Ishallnotcometo-morrow." "Then,thenextday." "No,northenextday." "Well,whenyoucan Ifyouletmeknow,Ishallstayin,wheneveritmay be." "Youneedn'tstayin I'mnotcominganymore." "Oh,don'tsaythat Don'tsaythat,"shepleaded "Youhurtme." "Ican'tcome,Miriam Don'tyousee?Isn'titplainenough?Ican'tcome I thoughtIcould ItriedtothinkIcouldholdyou—inspiteofeverything ButIcan't Ican't." "Youcanholdme—ifIstay Iwanttostay Youmustn'tletmego Iwant youtobehappy Youdeserveit You'vedonesomuchforme—andhim." Itwasthestressshelaidonthelastword—asuggestionofsomething triumphantandenrapturedbeyondrestraint—thatmadehimboundback tothecentreofthepavement "Goon,Laporte,"hesaidtothechauffeur,inasharpvoice "Miss Strangeisready." "No,no,"Miriamcried,stretchingbothhandstowardhim "I'mnotready Keepme Iwanttostay." "Goon!"hecried,sternly,asthechauffeurhesitated "MissStrangeis quiteready Shemustgo." Standingbythecurb,hewatchedthemotorglideoffintothemisty, lamplitdarkness Hewaswatchingitstill,asitovertookthecarriagein whichNorrieFordhadjustdrivenaway Asthetwovehiclespassed abreastoutofhisrangeofvision,heknewtheywerebearingFordand MiriamsidebysideintoLife EndoftheProjectGutenbergEBookofTheWildOlive,byBasilKing ***ENDOFTHISPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKTHEWILDOLIVE*** *****Thisfileshouldbenamed13212-h.htmor13212-h.zip***** Thisandallassociatedfilesofvariousformatswillbefoundin: http://www.gutenberg.net/1/3/2/1/13212/ ProducedbyDistributedProofreaders Updatededitionswillreplacethepreviousone theoldeditions willberenamed Creatingtheworksfrompublicdomainprinteditionsmeansthatno oneownsaUnitedStatescopyrightintheseworks,sotheFoundation (andyou!)cancopyanddistributeitintheUnitedStateswithout permissionandwithoutpayingcopyrightroyalties Specialrules, setforthintheGeneralTermsofUsepartofthislicense,applyto copyinganddistributingProjectGutenberg-tmelectronicworksto 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Gutenberg-tmeBookswithonlyaloosenetworkofvolunteersupport ProjectGutenberg-tmeBooksareoftencreatedfromseveralprinted editions,allofwhichareconfirmedasPublicDomainintheU.S unlessacopyrightnoticeisincluded Thus,wedonotnecessarily keepeBooksincompliancewithanyparticularpaperedition MostpeoplestartatourWebsitewhichhasthemainPGsearchfacility: http://www.gutenberg.net ThisWebsiteincludesinformationaboutProjectGutenberg-tm, includinghowtomakedonationstotheProjectGutenbergLiterary ArchiveFoundation,howtohelpproduceourneweBooks,andhowto subscribetoouremailnewslettertohearaboutneweBooks ... ***STARTOFTHISPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOK THE WILD OLIVE *** ProducedbyDistributedProofreaders "Thereareahundredmenbeating the mountaintofindyou" "Thereareahundredmenbeating the mountaintofindyou" THE WILD OLIVE. .. fromsomechanceoutlookheventuredtoglancebackwardandsaw the pinnacleofWindyMountainor the domeof the Pilotstraightbehindhim Therelay the naturalretreatsof the lynx, the bear,and the outlawlike himself;and,ashefledfartherfromthem,itwaswith the samefrenzied... Withonefootrestingon the turfand the otherraisedto the firststepof the terrace,ashestoodwithfoldedarms,Fordwatched the littlescene, inwhich the childrenclosedtheirbook,pushedbacktheirchairs,and
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