The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903, July 10, 1897, Page 4, Image 4

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

AM rr ady at last, Nelson. Have
I kept- you very long'" asked
Mis. Nelson Mackenzio as the
came hurriedlv down the stairs. "I'm
sorry but 1 just had one misfortune af
ter another in dressing."
"You don't look it," replied her hus
band, as he glanced up at her admir
ingly. "Do you like it? O, thank jou! lam
never quite cure about this shade of
green, it's so treacherous. I have had
such a time. The children would not
stay in the nursery aud poor Elsie has
lost her 'Alice in Wonderland' and
wai's without ceasing because nurse
cannot repeat the 'Walrus and the Car
psnter' off hand."
"I Bhould thing cveryose about this
bouse could do that. I know the who's
fool book like the catechism," said Mac
kenzie as he drew on his coat
"Is the carriage there?"
Mackenzie didn't answer. He knew
that Harriet knew psrfectly well that
the carriage had been waiting for half
an hour.
"I hope we shan't be late," remarked
Harriet as they drove away. "But it's
just like Kato to select the moEt diffi
cult hour in the day and recognize no
obstacles to our appearing. She admits
of no obstacles either for herself or oth
er people. You've never met her except
formally, have you? We Baw a great
deal of each other years ago. I took a
few vocal lessons from her father and
was for a time the object of her super
abundant enthusiasm. If there i3 any
thing in the world that has nojt at some'
time baen its object I don't know it.
One must always take her with a grain
of allowance. But even her character
istic impractibility doe s not excuie her
for intiting bu3y people at four o'clock
in the afternoon."
"I suppose it's the only hour at which
the prodigies exhibit."
"Now don't speak disrespectfully, Nel
Eon. They really are very wonderful
children. I fancy Kats is working them
to death, that's her way. But I don't
think I ever heaid two joung voices of
such promise. They sang at Christ
Church that Sunday you didn't go, and
I was quite overcome with astonish
ment. They have had the best instruc
tion. It's wonderful to think of mere
children hoving such method. As a rule
juvenile exhibitions merely appeal to
tha maternal element in one, but when
I heard them! quite forgot that thy
were children. I astu re you they quite
deserve to be taken seriously."
"All the same I shouldn't like to be
exhibiting my children about like
"Poor Nelson! there's not much danger
. of your ever being tempted. It's ex
tremely unlikely that poor Billy or Elsie
will ever startle the world. Really, do
you know when I heard those Masssy
children and thought of all they have
done, of all they may do, I envied them
myselfb To youth everything is possible
when anything at all is possible."
Harriett sighed and Mackenzie fancied
he detected a note of disappointment in
her voice. He had suspected before
that Harriett was disappointed in her
children. They suited him well enough,
but Harriet was different.
If Harriet Norton had taken up mis.
sionary work in the Cannibal Islands
her friends could" not have been more
surprised than when she married Nel
son Mackenzie. They had slated her
for a very different career. As a girl
she possessed unusual talent. After
taking sundry honors at the New Eog-
Mothm? 25 per cent discount on all
toys' ad duldreas' clothing. Armstrong
land conservatory, she had studied
music abroad. It had been rumored
that Leschetizky was about to launch
her on a concert tour as a piano virtuoso,
when she had suddenly loturned to
America and married the one among all
her admirers who seemed particularly un
suited to her. Mackenzie was a young
pbjsician, a thoroughly practical, me
thodical Scotchman, rather stout, with
a tendency to baldness, and with a pro
pensity for blowing the cornet. This
latter fact alone was ceitainly enough to
disqualify him for becoming the hus
band of a pianiste. When it reached
Les:hethky 'sears that Miss Norton had
married a cornet-playing doctor, be "re
corded one lost soul more," and her
her na tie never jassed bis lips again.
Evei her former rivals fo'.t that they
could now afford to Ls generous, and
with one accord sent their congratula
tions to herself and husband "whom
they had beard wa3 also a musician."
Harriet received these neat sarcasms
with great amusement. She hed known
when she married him that Mackenzie
plnyed the cornet, that he even played
"Promise Me;" but she considered it one
of the most innocent diversions in which
a man could indulge But Harriet had
not married him to inaugurate a ro
mance or to develop ouo. She had seen
romances enough abroad and knew by
heat t that fatal fifth act of marriages
between artists. She was sometimes
glad that there was not a romantic
fiber in Mackenzie's substantial frame.
She had married him because for Eome
inexplicable rejsan she had alwajs been
fond of him, and since her marriage Bhe
bad never been disappointed or dis
illusioned in him. He was not a bril
liant man, and his chief m.rits were
those of character virtues not always
fascinating, but they wear well in a hus
band and are generally abeut the eafest
things to be married to.
So, in Mackenzie's phraseology, they
had "pulled well enough together." Of
course Mrs. Mackenzie had her moments
of rebellion against the monotony of the
domestic routine, and felt occasional
stirriags of the old restlessness for
achievement and the old thirst of the
spirit. But knowing to what unspiritual
things this soul-thirst had led women
aforetime, she resolved to live the com
mon life at least commonly well.
But her married life had held one
very bitter diEappointmant, Ler chil
dren. Someway she bad never doubted
that her children would be like her. She
had settled upon innumerable Lrtietic
careers for them. Of course they would
both have her talent for music, probably
of a much liner sort than her own, and
the boy would do all the great things
that she bad not done. She knew well
enough that if the cruelly exacting life
of art is cot wholly denied a woman, it is
offered to her at a terrible price. She
had not chosen t pay it. But with the
boy it would be different. He should
leal'z: all the dreams that once stirred
in th bieatt on which he slept.
She bad awaited impatiently the time
when his little fingers were strong
enough to strike the keys. But although
he had heard music from the time he
could hear at all, the child displayed
neither interest nor aptitude for it. In
Tain his papa tooted familiar airs to him
on the cornet; sometimes he recognized
them and sometimes he did not. It was
just the same with the little girl. The
poor child could never eing the simplest
nursery air correctly. They were both
healthy, lively children, unusually
Attention, wheelmen! 25 per cent dis
count on all furnishing goods, which in
cludes sweaters and golf hose. Armstrong
Clothing Co.
- - SALE
To avoid breakage in moving our immense
stock to our new location, 1109 O Street. Wo
will make special prices on our entire line for
the next twenty days. We have many bar
gains to offer you. Do not fail to call.
truthful and well CDnduutoJ, but thor
oughly commonplace. Harriet could not
resign nerself to this, sho could not un
derstand it. There ws always a nots
of envy in her voice when she spoke of
the wonderful Massey children, whose
names were on every one's lips. It
seemed just as though Kate Massey
bad got what she should have had her
self. When the Mackenzie arrived at tbo
Massey's door Mrs. Massay rushed past
the servant and met them herself.
"I'm so glad you've come Harriet,
dear. We were just about to begin and
I didn't want you to miss Adrienne's
first nuinb;r. It's the waltz song from
Romeo et Juliette; she had special drill
on that from Madame Marchesi you
know, and in London they considered it
one of her best. 1 know this is a difficult
hour, but they have to eing after dinner
and 1 don't want to tax them too much.
Poor dears! there are to masy demands
on their time, and strength that I some
times feel like fleeing to the North Pole
with them. To the left, up stairs, Mr.
Mackenzie. Harriet, you know the
way.'' And their animated hostess dashed
off in search of more worlds to conquer.
Mrs. Massey's manner was always that
of a conqueror fresh from the fray. She
demanded of every one absolute capitu
lation and absolute surrender to the ob
ject of her particular enthusiasm, what
ever that happened to be at the mo
ment. Usually it was her wonderful
When the Mackenzies descended,
Kate met them with a warning gesture
and usheied them into the music room
where the other guests were seated
silently and expectantly. When they
were seated she herself sank into a chair
with an air of rapt and breathless an
ticipation. The accompanist took her seat and a
very pale, languid little girl came for
ward and stood beside the piano. She
looked to be about fourteen but was un
usually small for her age. She was a
singularly frail child with apparently al.
most no physical reserve power, and
Btood with a slight natural stoop which
she quickly corrected as she caught her
mother's eye. Her great dark eyes
seemed even larger than they were by
reason of the dark circles under them.
She clasped her hands and waited until
the brief prelude was over. She seemed
not at all nervous, but very weary. Even
the spirited measures of that most viva
cious of arias could not wholly dispel
the listlessness from those eyes that
were so sad for a child's face. As to the
Vita every dollar purchase a very fine
lithograph is given away at Riggs Phar
macy, H460 street.
merit or even the "wonder" of her sing
ing, there was no doubt. Even the un
musical Mackenzie, who could not de
scribe her voice in technical language,
knew that this voice wbb marvellous
from the throat of a child. -The volume
of a maturo singer was of course not
there, but her tones were pure and
limpid and wonderfully correct. The
thing that most suiprised him was what
his wife called the "method"' of tho
child's Eingicg. Gounod's waltz aria is
not an easy one, and the child must
have been perfectly taught. It seemed
to him, though, ttiafthe little dash of
gaiety she threw into it had been taught
her, too, and that this child herself had
never known what it was to be gay.
"0 Kate, how I envy you!" sighed
Harriet in a burst of admiration too sin
cere to be concealed.
Her hostess smiled triumphantly; she
expected everyone to envy her, took
that for granted. As Mackenzie saw
the little figure glide between the por
tieres, he was not quits so sure that he
eavied Massey.
Massey was a practical man of busi
ness like himself, who sesm'd rather
overcome by the surprising talent of his
children. He always stood a little apart
ficm the musical citcle which surround
ed them, even in bis own house, and
when his wife took them abroad for in
struction he stayed at boms and sup
plied the funds. His natural reserve
grew more marked as the years went by
and he seemed so obliterated even at his
own fireside that McKenzie sometimes
fancied he regretted having given prodi
gies t3 the world.
Mrs. Massey turned to Harriet in an
excited whispor: "Herman will only
sing the 'Serenade.' He selected that
because it eaves bis voice. Tho duet
they will sing after dinner is very try
ing, it's the parting scone from Julietto,
the one they will sing in concert next
Tho boy was tha elder of the two; not
bo thin as his sister perhaps, but still
pitifully fragile, with an unusually large
head, all forehead, and those same dark,
tired eyes. He sang the German words
of that matchless serenade of Schu
bert's, so familiar, yet bo perennially
new and strange; so old, yet bo immort
ally young. It was a voico like those one
sometimes hears in the boy choirs of the
great cathedrals of the old world, a voice
that, untrained, would have been alto
rather than tenor; clear, Bwect, and vi
brant, with an indefinable echo of mel
ancholy. He was less limited by hia
physique than his Bister, and it seemed
impossible that such strong, sustained
tones could como from that fragile body.
All hats and caps at 25 per cent discount.
Armstrong Clothing Co .