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Two Ambitions

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The chief and first tendency of ths army, tndividnally and collectively, is to loveall newarrivals. Thesecond and lastingone is to pickthem topieces and to backbitè them. We loved Miss Rohan vrith true Christian spirit whèn she first carne to i the fort. Ifc being the hendquarters of the regiment and we having a band at our dieposal, we gave her a serenade upon the night of her entrance upon j military soil. The style of the serenade i was largely in what our colonel called "Q minor," beiug his way of expressing "ultra olagsic. " The programma had been arranged before we had had the pleasnre of seeing Miss Rohan, and when we realized huw entirely it was unsuited to her style thei-e was no time to change. We called on her in a body the night of the day that she came, which is the delightfully barbarous onstom at military posts, like a lot of savages crowding about a newly arrived runner who brings ncws of the outside world. It is meant well. Most of the inane and annoying things that we do in the social body are meant well, which is their only excuse. Nobody stops tothink that the travel stained wanderer wonld like time to rid herself of the rubbed in coal soot and the alkali powder of the plains; that she would like the first impression to be a favorable one. We sat within the tawdry little parlor while the baud played symphouies and andantes ujider the wiudow, and We watched the drop of new blood in our stagnant veins. It was not blue blood in the least. It was hearty and red and strong, but it was the better appreciated on that account. We were four, the bachelor officers - [ mean in the room - and one of us was undoubtedly doomed to become the prey of this youug person. Which of us heaven had set its mark upon was not then to be guessed. Miss Rohan smiled on all alike. It was a generous smile, which showed two rows of teeth rather heavily upholstered in gold. They suggested that she liad eaten a good deal of taffy ánd pickled limes in her very youthful days. As I see it now, in tlie light of cool reason, she would have made an ideal milkmaid, for she was plump and fair, her nose was crimson from exposure to the Arizona sun, her hair was au undecided blond, and her eyes were blue - real Irish blue; also, seen in the cool light of reason, her gown was more intricate than graceful. She had on a skirt ruflied quite to the waist, a fashion, it seems, among stout women, a very large flounce, if that is the name for it, falling from the shoulder and sleeves, which were simply huge. She was very much laced, too, which may have had something to do with her florid skin. One is pretty apt to notice a woman's feet. Hers were short and broad and cased in red slippers. As for her hands, they were dumpy, and the tips of her iingers were aquare. I learned afterward that her hands were her pride. She would sit on the front porch every morning at guard niounting and manicure them. There was 110 hesitation in her manner nor in her voice - in faot, she spoke loudly and not always quite grammatically. Then I looked at ray three companions. There was Blake, who was tall, fair and fcandsome - the kind of man that women fall head over ears in love with, who stood and looked deep into their eyes as if he read therein the story of his life. He was the son of a New England farmer of the kind called "good, plain people, " and he was about as rnanly and whole souled a fellow as the cavalry held. Then there was Thomas, who was small and trim. He had enough conceit for a nmch bigger man, bnt then conceit is nsually in inverse ratio to a man's proportions. He was of the cavalry, too, and he rode the largest horse in the garrison. As to his ancestors, they were Philadelphians, and, he led one to believe, of good old Quaker stock. Also there was Bayard. Now, he was what any man with his uameshould be - we all kuow the old motto. And he was so blue blooded ! His people were the very best that the United States affords. His mother - stern, refined, high souled old lafdy - was dead and had left to him her diamonds for his future wife. It did not even occur to her that he eould inarry beneath him, so she gave him no deathbed warnings. His father, a tall and stately old general, with huge white mustache and a foudness for good wines, still lived in Washington, where he sat in the war departnient all dayand at the Army and Navy club all night. Now Bayard had not much beauty of feature, but he was well built and refined to the last degree. His am bition was something uubounded. He was regimental adjutant now and could have had almost any detail or appointment he chose to ask for. There was for him one aim--to rise as high as an officer may. He would have graced any rank, too, better than a good many others. For niy.self I need no description, for I was ovit of the race froin the first. We had a Welsh rarebit and some beer bei'ore wo left. Miss Rohan liked beer, but I think she was disappoiuted in the rarebit. She carne upon the porch the next morning to see guard mouuting, and she brought her manicure set with her. If yon can get nsed to it, a woman really looks f ascinating wheu she sits before the worldin broad daylightand "does" her nails, more especially if you happen to be one of eeveral lone bachelors who have not looked on the face of a young woman for s:x months. After gnard mbmnting she went for a riele with BlakO and Bayard, She sat her norse splendidly, althoogh she did hold the mns in 'both hands, bnt that was a habit fOie had picked up froni ridiug hard mouthed oart borses, she sweeti ly explained. B!ule and Bayard took lunchcon with hor. We sat by and , bet on the outcome In honor of the young lady's arrival we had a hop that night. It was quite an affair - 20 couplesin all, some of the best people from the neighboring railroad town having driven over. We pronipfly diseovered that Miss Rohan could not dance - at least her way was not our way. She went around in a circle, which was enough to make even a soldit r'a head swim; but. theu, she took it so cheerfnlly and sweetly when she stepped on our patent loather pumps ; and infonned us so honestly that she "guessed she never had been much at dancin" that we were ouly too anxious j to assure her that she was a perfect I fairy. In course of time she cain to believe it. She had one habit which was delightful. It was so old fashioned and quaint. She said "Yea'm" and "No!iu, " "Yessir" and "Nosir, " always. Captain Grant said it was like a servant girl. But, then, he had jnst been on leave and was engagtid to au eastern girl. We thought she was very good company, and so did the garrison children. They took a violent fancy to her. She played tag and prisoner's base with them, she climbed fences and wood piles, she sat on the top of the barns, and she rode barebacked horses around the post. And, then, she was such a thoroughly good hearted girl, generous to the last degree, and such a cook! For a long time Bayard and Blake flivided the honors. Miss Rohan and fate suiiled on both equally. Bnt Miss Rohan was a girl with considerable natural tendency to aim high. Moreover, her married sister had an eye to the main chance. If there was one thing more than auother that she hoped for, it was to see the girl Kate Bayard. Here is the casestated plainly: Giveu a lieutenaufc of 26, who is born with a fondness for feminine society, who has not had any of it for at least a year - that is, not any young feminine society; given also two women, one of them married and determined, the other un married and not unattractive. It needs uo great wisdom to see the natural outcome. Had Bayard just then had one redeeming, womauly influence, had he broken away for a month and gone back among his equals, or had one of his equals come to him, he would have been saved. As it was, he was left alone with his ambitiou and this girl. He feil in love. Therefore he lost hia reasoning powers; otherwise he would have been bound tosee that thiswoman and ambition could not both be in his life. He feil in love, and he married her then and there. She wore the diamonds of the stately old mother as she sat on the porch at guard mounting with her manicure set. The first intimation we had of the way the wind blew in that family was when the young Mrs. Bayard sat one day on the frout steps and read a oopy of "Don't, " which she told us that "my husband" had bought for her. She wag very much pleased with the gift and took much pleasure in reading it. We noticed after that that she was most careful about breaking, biting and cutting her bread at dinner, breakfast and luncheon, but "Don't" evidently did not include any roference to manicure sets. I think Bayard told her about them, though, after a time, for she ceased making her appearance in public with it, but she bit her nails nervously. I went away on leave about this time. When I carne back, there was a little Bayard, which promised to look very like its mamma. There had been a great quarrel as to the naming of the child. There were a good many quarrels now anyway. Mrs. Bayard had liked the name of Kathleen - she said it was her mother's name, and, for my part, it seemed that it was very musical and pretty - bnt the father was determined upon Beatrice, with the accent on the second syllable. The child was baptized Kathleen. When I had gone east on my leave, Bayard had begged me to give my attention and what personal influence I had to his promotion as captain and coinmissary at Washington. He wanted it even worse thau he did a foreign attacheship. I saw the turn affairs had taken - that madam was growiug stouter, ugly and untidy; that she neglected even the manicure set for the very noisy and unprepossessing baby; that poor Bayard's spiek and span clothing and appearance were a thing of the past; that he looked worn and did not seem to feel at ease among his brother officers. So I carried to him some encouraging news with regard to his erstwhile desired appoiutment. I told him that I knew it to be a sure thing; that tho enviable post in Washington would soon behis; that ere long he would be again in his native air. An uneasy look came iuto his brown eyes. He shrank back as his wife and tho baby came into the room. For an instant his glance rested on them. "Thank you, old fellow, " he said. "I think I shall be content to pass the rest of my life on the froutier, 'f ar from the madding crowd, ' you know, " he added, with a choking laugh. Poor Bayard! And this w-as the end. But I knew he was right, and I went away, leaving him with hia future and with his wife. - Gwendolen Overton in San Francisco Argonaut.


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News