A HEART-SONG OF TO-DAY
A HEART-SONG OF TO-DAY
ANNIE GREGG SAVIGNY
MRS. ANNIE G. SAVIGNY.
A PRETTY WOMAN LAYS A PLOT AND HIRES A GARDENER
A RARE SOCIETY BOUQUET
THE FATES SPIN WITH THREADS OF BLACK
MADAME SHUFFLES THE CARDS
LOVE AND LOVE-MAKING
ORESTES AND PYLADES
MADAME AND HER GARDENER
VAURA IN A MEDLEY
VELVET PAWS CONCEAL CLAWS
ON THE WING
SOARING!--THENCE TO THINGS OF EARTH
OF LIONEL TREVALYON
LIFTING THE VAIL
FOR A FAIR WOMAN FACE
LA BELLE VERNON
THE BLIND GOD TAKES SURE AIM
THE WEB OF DIFFICULTY
SLAIN BY A WOMAN
IN THE SUNBEAMS
A MOUNTAIN IDYL OR AN ALPINE ROMANCE
GRUNDY'S LASH CAUSES HEART-ACHE
HEART-STIRS TO DIVINE MUSIC
THE UNRULY MEMBER IS HEARD
WOMAN AGAINST WOMAN
SOCIETY'S VOTARIES SMILE THOUGH THEY DIE
TREVALYON GONE VAURA KILLS TIME
WARM WORDS BRIDGE CRUEL DISTANCE
HEART TO HEART
KNAVES ARE TRUMPS
WEE WHITE MOUSE WINS A POINT
MADAME IN A FELINE MOOD
TREVALYON THROWS DOWN THE GLOVE
BLACK DELROSE USES EMPHATIC LANGUAGE
AN EXPOSE SOCIETY ON TIP-TOE
"ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE."
WEE DETECTIVE PLAYS A WINNING CARD
BLACK DELROSE AS A MARKSMAN
DISCORD ENDS; HEART'S-EASE AT LAST
* * * * *
A HEART-SONG OF TO-DAY
(DISTURBED BY FIRE FROM THE UNRULY MEMBER.)
A PRETTY WOMAN LAYS A PLOT AND HIRES A GARDENER.
"By Jove! I have missed her; you are a very Circe Mrs. Tompkins."
The speaker one of the handsomest men I have ever seen started to
his feet as a beautiful Italian mantel clock rang in silver chimes the
hour of midnight.
"Sit down again my dear Captain I have not told you all and am a
wilful woman and must have my way. I know whom you have missed" she
said truly for Sir Tilton Everly has informed her out-come her woman
wit to prevent the meeting. "Is she anything to you?"
"No and yes as all women beautiful or fascinating are I love you
"You have large capacities Captain Trevalyon but I must make you
love one woman and only one or I cannot sleep content" and the black
amorous eyes rest on his face.
"Ye gods! a confession" thought Trevalyon. "Awkward for me as I want
Haughton to have the innings; she is good fun and doesn't bore one
but I've missed Vaura again fool I was to come."
"You don't seem curious" continued Mrs. Tompkins rolling a small
table on which was the _debris_ of a _petit_ champagne supper from
"Curious! a prerogative of your sex fair madame though any of your
secrets would be _chic_ enough to tempt a man to encroach" he
answered gaily drawing a chair near his own.
"Especially when 'tis of a woman who lives for him alone" and the
handsome wealthy widow sank into the chair opposite him.
"Yes for an hour for a day and 'tis pleasant so you see I know you
gay butterflys" he said lazily placing a foot-stool under the pretty
feet of his companion.
"Not so" she said slowly and with a new tenderness in her tones.
"Not so; but first I brought you here to tell you your friend Colonel
Haughton made me an offer of marriage this moaning. What say you;
would you regret my fetters and wish me free? It shall be as you say."
Only that Mrs. Tompkins' attention was wholly given to her companion
she would have noticed the heavy curtains opposite her and separating
her boudoir from a small morning-room pushed aside and a pair of
wrathful blazing eyes watching her every movement; had either been
near enough they would have heard a muttered oath at her last words.
"As I wish! 'tis well I am his friend _chere_ madame for there are
not many men would bid you to the altar with another but I say take
him there is not a better fellow in the kingdom and here is my
benediction" and he laughingly lifted her hand to his lips.
"And is that all you care for me? Heavens! what different stuff we are
made of you can bid me to another while I could _kill_. Nay don't
start. Yes could kill a woman you might love. And the speaker looked
her words while there was almost a sob in her voice as her bosom
"My dear Mrs. Tompkins you honor me too much; believe me 'tis but a
passing fancy on your part."
"Passing fancy never! Listen; you say you love no woman in especial
wed me; love begets love; I am the wooer I know but you are as
handsome as a god and I have been always one to speak as I feel; yea
and get what I want most days" she added leaning forward and smiling
into his mesmeric eyes. "Come to me" and her heart was in her words.
"Come you are poor in wealth men say I have millions in gold try
and love me and--"
"And--and what next--Kate--by gad a pretty speech allow me to
congratulate you. How do Trevalyon; at your old game of slaughtering
hearts?" The speaker had come from behind the curtains and was the
owner of the wrathful eyes; a heavily built man of medium weight a
bold man with a handsome black beard though the top of his head was
bald. "You were always a good shot Trevalyon when the target was a
heart" he repeated savagely.
"'Twas you who bagged the delicate game if I remember you aright
Delrose" said Trevalyon with the utmost _sang-froid_ as he leaned
backwards and with his right hand fondled his long tawny moustache.
"George Delrose what makes you here? You are Lucifer himself I
believe" said Mrs. Tompkins wrathfully pushing his hand from her
shoulder and starting to her feet.
"I gave strict orders to Peter to admit no one to my presence. I shall
discharge Him and at once."
"Take it easy Kate _I_ have _promoted_ him to _my_ service."
"From gold lo brass is no promotion; he knows not the value of
"Jove! how like they are the same bold handsome style reckless to
the last degree" thought Trevalyon.
"They are both a passport to society! all a man wants to-day! so my
pretty Kate don't look so severe I have one you have the other"
said Delrose audaciously and attempting to take her hand.
"No I won't take your hand go away this moment" and a decided foot
went down "leave Captain Trevalyon and myself to conclude our
"You forget the proprieties Kate and though I like not the fruit
I'll play gooseberry" and seating himself he coolly poured out a
glass of champagne.
"Shall I make my adieux Mrs. Tompkins; it grows late?" said
Trevalyon about to rise from his chair.
"No stay awhile" said his hostess softly for she thought Delrose
might go and she might so act on the feelings of Trevalyon by the
magnets love and gold as to win. In the meantime he thought as he
stroked his moustachs lazily "a dashingly handsome woman pity she
has let that dare-devil Delrose get some hold over her."
Major Delrose drank like a thirsty man then folding his arms glared
defiantly at Kate who returned his gaze while trembling with wrath
her eyes flashing.
"George Delrose you are a coward to force yourself into a woman's
presence. Go this moment! I command you or I shall summon the
household. Are you going?"
"No by the Horse Guards! _I am not_!" and the flush of anger deepened
on his cheek. "I tell you Kate I am not a man to be made a football
of; don't if you have a remnant of pity in your heart drive me mad
by talk of marriage with another."
"And why not pray?" inquired Mrs. Tompkins recklessly the next
instant regretting her foolhardiness and before the eyes of the men
one of whom she had a passion for; the other who had a passion for
herself that she had outlived; and now with quick resolve and latent
meaning knowing the intruder's love for coins continued: "Even did
the Sultan of Turkey fancy me to adorn his harem when I pined for
freedom he would not despise the American eagle done in gold as an
exchange for my liberty."
"Cold glittering metal _versus_ warm loving heart of woman and such
an one as you never!" he answered following her cue and looking her
in the eyes.
"I care not he cannot afford to offend me" thought Mrs. Tompkins
and so only showing a velvet paw making a step towards him her rich
crimson robes of velvet trailing after her now offered her hand.
"Here is my hand George bid me good-night and like a good fellow go
at once and I forgive you."
"Dismiss Trevalyon first I am an older friend than he" he answered
"I shall not; this is my boudoir and thank fate I am my own
"Then by the stars I stir not one inch!"
Both reckless both determined how would it end? and so Trevaylon
thought as he said coolly:
"What is the use of acting like this Delrose? You certainly made your
_entree_ later than I if you are making a point of that; but a
soldier is usually more yielding to woman's wish."
"Not often Trevalyon when her wish is the will of a rival" he
"The fancy of a woman _a present_" thought Trevalyon. "But I must end
this for he won't. I am in no mood for trifling I have again missed
seeing Vaura. Mrs. Tompkins is charming in a _tete-a-tete_ but with
the _entree_ of a soldier on the war-path" and stepping towards his
hostess he said gallantly: "So fair a foe dear Mrs. Tompkins
surrounded by soldiers is unfair; I beat a retreat. May I carry a
comforting message to the gentleman who called upon you this morning?"
and the blue mesmeric eyes rested on her face as he bent his handsome
Saxon head for her reply.
Her dark eyes met his in a pleading way but she read no weakness
there and thought as she gave him her hand:
"A man with an unsatisfied longing for another woman is difficult to
subdue but if George had not intruded himself I should not have let
him go till I had brought him to my feet but I shall be revenged on
him and win my love yet" and her hand lingered in his while she
"You may he is your friend; you will be much with us."
"Thank you for the two-fold kindness. Now gladly shall I be your
Mercury. Good-night" and lifting her hand to his lips he was gone.
"Then you really mean to wed Colonel Haughton?" enquired Delrose in
"Come and sit beside me Kate; you sat beside that other man. Gad! I
feel like shooting the follow."
"Mere bravado; gentlemen only meet their equals."
"Don't take that tone with me Kate or by heaven he shall suffer."
"Good-night Major Delrose" she said mockingly. "I leave your
presence _sans ceremonie_ as you entered mine."
And with the gas-light lighting up red-robes jewels coal-black
tresses and a smile all cruel she was about to leave him.
"Stay Kate I command you. How will it be when I set the London world
on their ear over your parentage daughter of a nobody your gold
from the Cosmopolitan Laundry."
"It would be then a Haughton's turn to leave _sans ceremonie_; make up
friends Kate" and his face softened and going over he led her
though unwillingly to a seat beside his own.
"What a bore a persistent lover with a long memory is" thought Kate.
"But I cannot afford to quarrel with him."
"You are not serious Kate. You will never sever the tie that binds
And bold man though he was his voice trembled as leaning forward he
strove to read the inmost thoughts of the woman who has played with
his affections at will.
"You said you loved me once Kate but I fear your heart had no part
in the matter my devotion amused you my bold wooing was a novelty
the soldier in me was a change after the King of Laundry?"
"How dare you name the source of my wealth and to me!" she said
"Because my dear I know your weak point; and even though I anger
you anything to turn your thoughts to myself; you must admit Kate
that it is hard lines for me; marry me dear and I am your slave my
love for you will never change; it is as fierce and passionate as
And leaning forward his hands on her knees he strove in vain to
"While mine has changed" she said coldly; "love would indeed be a
tyrant could we not roam at will."
And a vision of mesmeric eyes with a smile sweet as a woman's came to
her. At her words Delrose buried his face in her hands and groaned
heavily as though his heart would break. Then looking up into her
face he said in thick tones.
"Have you no pity for me?"
"None you have crossed my path you have clouded my sky."
Had she pity for him fool that he was to ask. Has the owner of
the favourite at Goodwood pity for the jockey who swoons in a
death-sickness causing the next to come in a head's length? Has the
eagle pity for the young mother's wail for her babe as he carried it
aloft to feed the young? No she told herself she had spoiled him
allowing him the _entree_ to her presence for the past seven or eight
years at will. She cared for him too for his bold fierce passionate
nature that is--in a way if only he would not insist on monopoly
but she would be willing to barter one clasp of the hand one look
from the eyes of gay genial handsome fascinating Captain Trevalyon
for the total banishment of her bold wooer.
"I have crossed your path clouded your sky and is this all the
comfort you give me for years of devotion?" he said slowly and in a
broken voice. "Crossed your path because my love lives while yours
for me is dead; crossed your path clouded your sky because I am
constant and wish to have you for my wife; wish to keep you in my
arms. Lincoln Tompkins never knew; our world never knew; crossed your
path? By the stars Kate I will not give you up!" And there is a
sudden fierceness in his tones while his breath comes hard and fast.
"Crossed your path? 'tis Trevalyon who has again crossed mine. Gad!
how I hate him." And he set his teeth. "To think too that with your