THE FOOLISH VIRGIN
THE FOOLISH VIRGIN
WITH GRATITUDE AND ADMIRATION
CHAPTER II. TEMPTATION
I. A FRIENDLY WARNING
IV. DOUBTS AND FEARS
V. WINGS OF STEEL
VI. BESIDE THE SEA
VII. A VAIN APPEAL
VIII. JIM'S TRIAL
IX. ELLA'S SECRET
X. THE WEDDING
XI. "UNTIL DEATH"
XII. THE LOTOS-EATERS
XIII. THE REAL MAN
XIV. UNWELCOME GUESTS
XV. A LITTLE BLACK BAG
XVI. THE AWAKENING
XVII. THE SURRENDER
XVIII. TO THE NEW GOD
XIX. NANCE'S STOREHOUSE
XXI. THE DEVIL'S DISCIPLE
XXIII. THE DOCTOR
XXIV. THE CALL DIVINE
XXV. THE MOTHER
XXVI. A SOUL IS BORN
XXVII. THE BABY
XXVIII. WHAT IS LOVE?
XXIX. THE NEW MAN
LEADING CHARACTERS OF THE STORY
MARY ADAMS An Old-Fashioned Girl.
JIM ANTHONY A Modern Youth.
JANE ANDERSON An Artist.
ELLA A Scrubwoman.
NANCE OWENS Jim Anthony's Mother.
A DOCTOR Whose Call was Divine.
THE BABY A Mascot.
THE FOOLISH VIRGIN
A FRIENDLY WARNING
Mary Adams you're a fool!"
The single dimple in a smooth red cheek smiled in
"You're repeating yourself Jane----"
"You won't give him one hour's time for just three
"Not a second for one sitting----"
Mary smiled provokingly her white teeth gleaming
in obstinate good humor.
"He's the most distinguished artist in America----"
"I've heard so."
"It would be a liberal education for a girl of your
training to know such a man----"
"I'll omit that course of instruction."
The younger woman was silent a moment and a flush
of anger slowly mounted her temples. The blue eyes
were fixed reproachfully on her friend.
"You really thought that I would pose?"
"I hoped so."
"Alone with a man in his studio for hours?"
Jane Anderson lifted her dark brows.
"Why no I hardly expected that! I'm sure he
would take his easel and palette out into the square in
front of the Plaza Hotel and let you sit on the base of
the Sherman monument. The crowds would cheer and
inspire him--bah! Can't you have a little common-
sense? There are a few brutes among artists as there
are in all professions--even among the superintendents
of your schools. Gordon's a great creative genius. If
you'd try to flirt with him he'd stop his work and
send you home. You'd be as safe in his studio as in
your mother's nursery. I've known him for ten years.
He's the gentlest truest man I've ever met. He's
doing a canvas on which he has set his whole heart."
"He can get professional models."
"For his usual work yes--but this is the head of
the Madonna. He saw you walking with me in the Park
last week and has been to my studio a half-dozen times
begging me to take you to see him. Please Mary dear
do this for my sake. I owe Gordon a debt I can never
pay. He gave me the cue to the work that set me on
my feet. He was big and generous and helpful when I
needed a friend. He asked nothing in return but the
privilege of helping me again if I ever needed it. You
can do me an enormous favor--please."
Mary Adams rose with a gesture of impatience
walked to her window and gazed on the torrent of
humanity pouring through Twenty-third Street from the
beehives of industry that have changed this quarter of
New York so rapidly in the last five years. She turned
suddenly and confronted her friend.
"How could you think that I would stoop to such a
"Yes" she snapped "--pose for an artist! I'd as
soon think of rushing stark naked through Twenty-third
Street at noon!"
The older woman looked at her flushed face
suppressed a sharp answer broke into a fit of laughter
and threw her arms around Mary's neck.
"Honey you're such a hopeless little fool you're
delicious! You know that I love you--don't you?"
The pretty lips quivered.
"Could I possibly ask you to do a thing that would
harm a single brown hair of your head?"
The firm hand of the older girl touched a
rebellious lock with tenderness.
"Of course not from your point of view Jane
dear" the stubborn lips persisted. "But you see it's
not my point of view. You're older than I----"
"Hoity toity Miss! I'm just twenty-eight and
you're twenty-four. Age is not measured by calendars
"I didn't mean that" the girl apologized. "But
you're an artist. You're established and
distinguished. You belong to a different world."
Jane Anderson laid her hand softly on her friend's.
"That's just it dear. I do belong to a different
world--a big new world of whose existence you are not
quite conscious. You are living in the old old world
in which women have groped for thousands of years. I
don't mind confessing that I undertook this job of
getting you to pose for Gordon for a double purpose. I
wished to do something to repay the debt I owe him--but
I wished far more to be of help to you. You're living
in the Dark Ages and it's a dangerous thing for a
pretty girl to live in the Dark Ages and date her
letters from New York to-day----"
"I don't understand you in the least."
"And I'm afraid you never will."
She paused suddenly and changed her tone.
"Tell me now are you happy in your work?"
"I'm earning sixty dollars a month--my position is
"But are you happy in it?"
"I don't expect to teach school all my life" was
the vague answer.
"Exactly. You loathe the sight of a school-room.
You do the task they set you because your father's a
clergyman and can't support his big family. You're
waiting and longing for the day of your deliverance--
isn't it so?"
"And that day of deliverance?"
"Will come when I meet my Fate!"
"You'll meet him too!"