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A... Study Of Joy And Pain

A... Study Of Joy And Pain image
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g By Everett Holbrook Ö ö Copyright, 1901, by X Charles B. Etherington X öocooööoööööoöoööööööoööoo THE night city editor had told me ttiat if I would go to VIani's I might see somebody married and somebody killed, and he had been called away for consultation with the chief before he could xplain this statement. So I stroUed up to the restaurant dear to the hearts of Bohemians without having any definite idea about what was likely to occur there. Viani's bospitable door is in the front of a house so srnall that one would not expeet to find space within for ten people to sit down to dinner, but the shanty proves to be only the vestibule to a series of rooms scattered through the jumble of buildings in the middle of the bloek. These had been taken into the establishment in the years of VI . ani's advancing """ ___ , " prosperity. The I ."■""■ ! different levcls I jSï of the floors lSjC were the steps V$U. by which he (jTfT&L had risen and "r n y which he W=lfl had long kBown w i he must go N. !jf down, though Q f only within a j {= few months had LZl any suspicion of A-s hisfinanclal j_y . embarrassrnent s' s. been whispered through the Charley White was quarter. leaningr against the in tne yttJe bar by the door I observed an inconspieuous person dressed in dark clothês whom I had often met at pólice headquarters. He goes by the name of Charley White, though he is a son of Italy. I knew him for an amiable fellow and an able detective, and I at once perceived a connection. between his presence and the tragic suggestion of the night city editor. In response to a question from me White admitted that his presence was official rather than social. "I'm looking for young Viani," said he. "Nephew of our friend," said I, indieating the proprietor of the establishment, who appeared at that moment at the door of the large dining room in the rear. "Nieola claims some sort of relation ship with old Viani," replied White, "but I doubt if __ - there really is -Z" - C -S any. He has f KV (f lived here off JLvL Jf and on for some I íWmS 1 years. He's I Vx-I Tí J ways been in Crlv?") ) love with Marta, jArVA Viani's VsTVy ter, but he V ƒ er had a chance V I [ Ij there. She was 1 I jp willing to be a f cousin to him, 1 but no more. U He'sahot bloodS ed, half crazy -He passes for the Chap, and I've handsornest man In heard that he the Quarter." was going to make trouble." "Why, what'a the matter with him?" I inquired. "It Isn't Marta that's married today." "Xo," said White. "The bride is Nina Carusi; but this fellow Romano- the bridegroom- used to be engaged to Marta. Romano is no good except to look at, and a man in my business can't even say that much for him, but he passes for the handsomest man in the quarter, and many's the girl that has gone foolish about him. Marta Viani was one of them, and when Romano broke the engagement last summer she nearly died. "You see. Romano, like a good many others, thought that Viani was ricii, and it has always been his theory that he was too handsome to work. Il o wanted to live at Viani's for nothinic the rest of bla -1L Jays, but wli : ' R ""Vv it suddenly deJkéf veloped that VIJTA Á an' was ruined fjvï VtV aDd miSht uot YJK p be alle to Uve & il bere himself [ (l . Romano shifted I) jS his affections to WV I, ( N' ia Carusi, JCLJ K w wk nas a ' Vvr-o-') vi" money 'n bor y"M - ■ I own name. v "Nicola Viani, r the young fel-' v jr low, has been out of towu for The poor child was awlnle and bas shockingly changed. jugt gQt baQk He has taken it Into his head that Marta is dying of a broken heart and that Romano is responsible. Tlierefore Nicola has declarod a ■ vendetta, anrl Romano is scared- as he has a right to be, I don't mind telling you." "But why did they cdme liere for their wedding spread:" 1 asked. "The arracgeilients were maiie before Nicola turueil up. 'This is the swell reataurant, you Unow, and, besides, Xina Carusi wouldn't losi? tlie chance of making Marta Ceel gore. There's likely to be trouble, my friend. for Xicola n business. And the worst of it is that I can't fiud out what's become of him. He wasn't at the church. He must be lying around liere somewhere." "So the wedding bas already taken place?" said I. And White replied that it had and that the bridal party was due to arrive at any moment. I asked him why he had not kept Romauo in view, and he answered that he was sure that Nicola was hanging around the restaurant and that the trouble, if there should be any, would be there. "I think I hear the carriages," he said. "FU take a look outside." During this couversation we had stepped into a little room on the right of the bar. No one else had been present, but as White passed out and I stood looking after him a door opened behind me. I T turnod and saw Marta Viani. Ez-IK Marta was a m pretty sirl ígj whom I reniem X l ered for ber (R ( ig ark eves j I and plump red II cheeks. I had ( not been at Vi ani's in some ƒ months, though _ J formerly an haV 7 bitue, and so had not seen Marta. The poor child was shockHe looked wicked If ]ngiy cuanged. ever a man did. j tWnk ghe mug{ have lost twenty pounds in weight, and the color had quite gone out of her cheeks. As I looked at her I feit a strong desire to take Nicola's business out of his hands, though my method of adniinistering justice would have been more erude than his and without the touch of finality. It is singular how deeply we sympathize with a girl in such cireumstances when she really ought to be congratulated. Marta leaned against the wall of the room at the point which would be least consplcuous frorn without. Evidently she wished to see the bridal procession pass into the banquet hall and not herself, be seen. There was the voiceless pain of a duinb animal in her eyes, the suffering that always moves me quickest to anger. So long as ,an afflicted creature can talk and does talk I can keep cool; bút poor Marta was beyond speech. Suddenly I saw at the back of the room. where the door througb which Marta had come stood ajar, the s. face of her y ËyS. sin, Nicola. He _ Vm lookod wieked if )T rUAV} ever a man did. CTvl v rjh Marta seemed I p4Ot W I unaware of his V SwTÏT J presence. She M w J T was looking H l _ yond me, %A nfvíj Ing for a sight L,] l of the rascal, W pté VI U Romano. rj - 'ö, I pretended v y' not to uotice -- Nicola and glanced out In -cainceou bridal to the bar, hoping to see White, but he must have been on the sidewalk, whence came tho noise of the arrival of the bridal party. A dozen young men and women came boisterously into the bar and ranged themselves along the sides of the room, with their faces turned toward the door. Around the entrance to the large dining room quite a crowd had gathered. The doublé doors were open, and by craning my neck I could see the long table spread for the feast. My position was far from comfortable. I had a very definite idea that Nicola Viani inteuded to attack Romano at the moment when that happy man should pass the door by which I was standing. In that event I should have to stop him, and, though he was not physically formidable, I knew what he would have In his hand. I had not the moral courage to ask help of any one, so I stood there like a dummy, try'ng to look behind and before at the same time. In came the bridal conple. Romano in a frock coat with a colored shirt under it; a red tie glaring flercely s" ( f==== under his chin, j 'iraj and a big rose 6 t$i! of anotller relJ I A&írSSíí ornamenting his ( AXC buttonhole. He l K wf .viDn bad a tal1 bat in -ïï Y' his left hand, 1 P? - il -- - f and the bride j y h I hung upon his y I 1_ I i'lght arm. 1 V f (La'u observed that li lOj ] his hair and t Jj j mustache were J l curled in the Vv best style of the " ' tonsorial art. On my return I met Withal, he was a iani handsome creature, and I could hardly wonder that the girls adored him. As to the bride, I regretted to observe that she was in all details of dress as different from her race as possible. Her face was rather pretty, and she had a natural grace, but she had spoiled all by making of herself a bad copy of an American. So they passed by amid cheers, and Nicola remainod quiet by the door. Apparently his desire for vengeance had exhausted itself in conversation. I began to despise him, for he had before his eyes the sight of Marta, who would have fallen but for the wall behind her and whose hands were clasped upon her breast as if there were a knife in her beart I went out to the Street to teil White about NIcoIh, but failed to Und hiui ai'ter cofliideraMe searcU. On my return I met Vi-ini. who told me that I should find a seat reserved for me in the banquet hall. Wheu I ectered, I observed immediately and with surprise that Romano was not there. The cha ir by the bride'4 have feit aggrieved. It was to most o. tlji'in oüly a tiolse in the ears, but they had been accustoraed to it. The Mount Holly would not havo been itself without music, and by the saiue token some of the habitúes would have been uneasy lf the din o( conversation had been less or the waiters had ceased to rattle the platea, I saw indeed a few of the guests who were really enjoying the niusie, but they were not doing it lu a way that a musician could ünderstnncí. Flnally Heinrich caught my eye, and I could perceive at once that he was both surprised and pleased. Surely he played at me during the remainder of the piece, and I fancied that nis execution sensibly improved. I had not told my companions about Heinrich, but when the music ceased I proeeeded to do so. It is only fair to sa y that the otliers at my table had been as inattentive as the generality of tbc Mount Holly's guests, but we all listened when Heinrich rose again to lead his little band. This time it was not with him the customary forlorn hope. He showed the evidences of an nplifted heart They played a serenade of Titl's which has long been dear to ine, and 1 am bound to say that I have seldom heard it so well rendered. Our party had plaoned to '.. but we were all so thoroughly pieased that the act had the full flavor of spontaneity. Dozens i d us joined in the hand , and as most of them had not e ■ tieard 's n te they foreed ar at of niPi-t . i :er of V.iv Mount Uoüy loo :■. ■■! out to see v-.1i.-it was tho matter, and I had a glimpse of h:m standing In .rr.y round eyed with astonishirent. As for Heinrich. he wus gerenely ecstatic. His eyes shone, he gained two inehes in stature, and when he turned after the seeond rendltlon of tbe serenade to thank his subordínales for their aid in winning this triumpb I saw him wiping away tears witb, the handkerehief that. liad been folded agaiiist the end of bis fiddle. "This is very nice to see," said the lady who sat at my right, "but I suspect tbat it will be the ruin of your friend. He will want this always and will never havo it again." When the noxt ])iece was finished. we were getting ready to go and forgot to applaud. I thoagllt of it too late anú looked at Heinnch. To my surprise, he seemed even better pleased thaii before. It must have been about two weeks later that I met him one forenoon upon the steps of the doctor's house. He was obvlously inuch iinproved in health. At sight of me he started and then ilushed with pleasure as I greeted him by dame and thanked him for the Titl serenade. "You gave us the Crst applause we had had," he said. "1 was a'.most defepalrlng, though I told no one. The doctor even goos so far as to say that it was affecting my health, and indeed the artist needs some little encourageuient. Is it not soV" As I was trying to frame a reply he contiuued: "Bút if he does not get it tliat is his fault. It is because he does not attain the proper standard. I was begiuning to lose sight of that truth. I said to myself, 'The conditions are not favor' able- the noise and all that.' It is ruinous to get that idea. One can always succeed if he will deserve it. "I think it was your attentive attitude that inspired us. We played the serenade wel!. We won applause. We have had none since, but we are perfectly satisfled. When we merit it, we shall get it, and if it takes us ten years we shall work on contentedly. "Do you know, I was almost afraid on that evening that you were going to applaud the second piece, which we murdered. It had been insufflciently rehearsed. We do it better now. If you had applauded, it would havespoiled all. But. no, you were too good a musician, for of course it was you wb. led the audience. There is always some critical spirit to do that. I am not always fortúnate enough to catch his eye. but be is thore. I shall never doubt that "Goodtiy." i i rily. "I hope you wil] soou como to tbe .Mount Holly agaln," I Ued, saying tnat I would. But 1 shall not dare. I migUt applaud in the wrong place and kill the artistic faith which it was my gieat good luck to reTlve in Heinrich's breast.