Table of Contents

+ Add to Library

Next
Pandora

Pandora

Henry James

Update: 2020-04-22

Chapter 1

  • It has long been the custom of the North German Lloyd steamers, which conve_assengers from Bremen to New York, to anchor for several hours in th_leasant port of Southampton, where their human cargo receives many additions.
  • An intelligent young German, Count Otto Vogelstein, hardly knew a few year_go whether to condemn this custom or approve it. He leaned over the bulwark_f the Donau as the American passengers crossed the plank—the travellers wh_mbark at Southampton are mainly of that nationality—and curiously, indifferently, vaguely, through the smoke of his cigar, saw them absorbed i_he huge capacity of the ship, where he had the agreeable consciousness tha_is own nest was comfortably made. To watch from such a point of vantage th_truggles of those less fortunate than ourselves—of the uninformed, th_nprovided, the belated, the bewildered—is an occupation not devoid o_weetness, and there was nothing to mitigate the complacency with which ou_oung friend gave himself up to it; nothing, that is, save a natura_enevolence which had not yet been extinguished by the consciousness o_fficial greatness. For Count Vogelstein was official, as I think you woul_ave seen from the straightness of his back, the lustre of his light elegan_pectacles, and something discreet and diplomatic in the curve of hi_oustache, which looked as if it might well contribute to the principa_unction, as cynics say, of the lips—the active concealment of thought. He ha_een appointed to the secretaryship of the German legation at Washington an_n these first days of the autumn was about to take possession of his post. H_as a model character for such a purpose—serious civil ceremonious curiou_tiff, stuffed with knowledge and convinced that, as lately rearranged, th_erman Empire places in the most striking light the highest of all th_ossibilities of the greatest of all the peoples. He was quite aware, however, of the claims to economic and other consideration of the United States, an_hat this quarter of the globe offered a vast field for study.
  • The process of inquiry had already begun for him, in spite of his having a_et spoken to none of his fellow-passengers; the case being that Vogelstei_nquired not only with his tongue, but with his eyes—that is with hi_pectacles—with his ears, with his nose, with his palate, with all his sense_nd organs. He was a highly upright young man, whose only fault was that hi_ense of comedy, or of the humour of things, had never been specificall_isengaged from his several other senses. He vaguely felt that somethin_hould be done about this, and in a general manner proposed to do it, for h_as on his way to explore a society abounding in comic aspects. Thi_onsciousness of a missing measure gave him a certain mistrust of what migh_e said of him; and if circumspection is the essence of diplomacy our youn_spirant promised well. His mind contained several millions of facts, packe_oo closely together for the light breeze of the imagination to draw throug_he mass. He was impatient to report himself to his superior in Washington, and the loss of time in an English port could only incommode him, inasmuch a_he study of English institutions was no part of his mission. On the othe_and the day was charming; the blue sea, in Southampton Water, pricked al_ver with light, had no movement but that of its infinite shimmer. Moreover h_as by no means sure that he should be happy in the United States, wher_oubtless he should find himself soon enough disembarked. He knew that thi_as not an important question and that happiness was an unscientific term, such as a man of his education should be ashamed to use even in the silence o_is thoughts. Lost none the less in the inconsiderate crowd and feelin_imself neither in his own country nor in that to which he was in a manne_ccredited, he was reduced to his mere personality; so that during the hour, to save his importance, he cultivated such ground as lay in sight for _udgement of this delay to which the German steamer was subjected in Englis_aters. Mightn't it be proved, facts, figures and documents—or at leas_atch—in hand, considerably greater than the occasion demanded?
  • Count Vogelstein was still young enough in diplomacy to think it necessary t_ave opinions. He had a good many indeed which had been formed withou_ifficulty; they had been received ready-made from a line of ancestors wh_new what they liked. This was of course—and under pressure, being candid, h_ould have admitted it —an unscientific way of furnishing one's mind. Ou_oung man was a stiff conservative, a Junker of Junkers; he thought moder_emocracy a temporary phase and expected to find many arguments against it i_he great Republic. In regard to these things it was a pleasure to him to fee_hat, with his complete training, he had been taught thoroughly to appreciat_he nature of evidence. The ship was heavily laden with German emigrants, whose mission in the United States differed considerably from Count Otto's.
  • They hung over the bulwarks, densely grouped; they leaned forward on thei_lbows for hours, their shoulders kept on a level with their ears; the men i_urred caps, smoking long-bowled pipes, the women with babies hidden i_emarkably ugly shawls. Some were yellow Germans and some were black, and al_ooked greasy and matted with the sea-damp. They were destined to swell stil_urther the huge current of the Western democracy; and Count Vogelstei_oubtless said to himself that they wouldn't improve its quality. Thei_umbers, however, were striking, and I know not what he thought of the natur_f this particular evidence.
  • The passengers who came on board at Southampton were not of the greasy class; they were for the most part American families who had been spending th_ummer, or a longer period, in Europe. They had a great deal of luggage, innumerable bags and rugs and hampers and sea-chairs, and were compose_argely of ladies of various ages, a little pale with anticipation, wrappe_lso in striped shawls, though in prettier ones than the nursing mothers o_he steerage, and crowned with very high hats and feathers. They darted to an_ro across the gangway, looking for each other and for their scattere_arcels; they separated and reunited, they exclaimed and declared, they eye_ith dismay the occupants of the forward quarter, who seemed numerous enoug_o sink the vessel, and their voices sounded faint and far as they rose t_ogelstein's ear over the latter's great tarred sides. He noticed that in th_ew contingent there were many young girls, and he remembered what a lady i_resden had once said to him—that America was the country of the Madchen. H_ondered whether he should like that, and reflected that it would be an aspec_o study, like everything else. He had known in Dresden an American family i_hich there were three daughters who used to skate with the officers, and som_f the ladies now coming on board struck him as of that same habit, excep_hat in the Dresden days feathers weren't worn quite so high.
  • At last the ship began to creak and slowly bridge, and the delay a_outhampton came to an end. The gangway was removed and the vessel indulged i_he awkward evolutions that were to detach her from the land. Count Vogelstei_ad finished his cigar, and he spent a long time in walking up and down th_pper deck. The charming English coast passed before him, and he felt this t_e the last of the old world. The American coast also might be pretty—h_ardly knew what one would expect of an American coast; but he was sure i_ould be different. Differences, however, were notoriously half the charm o_ravel, and perhaps even most when they couldn't be expressed in figures, numbers, diagrams or the other merely useful symbols. As yet indeed there wer_ery few among the objects presented to sight on the steamer. Most of hi_ellow-passengers appeared of one and the same persuasion, and that persuasio_he least to be mistaken. They were Jews and commercial to a man. And by thi_ime they had lighted their cigars and put on all manner of seafaring caps, some of them with big ear-lappets which somehow had the effect of bringing ou_heir peculiar facial type. At last the new voyagers began to emerge fro_elow and to look about them, vaguely, with that suspicious expression of fac_lways to be noted in the newly embarked and which, as directed to th_eceding land, resembles that of a person who begins to perceive himself th_ictim of a trick. Earth and ocean, in such glances, are made the subject of _weeping objection, and many travellers, in the general plight, have an air a_nce duped and superior, which seems to say that they could easily go ashor_f they would.
  • It still wanted two hours of dinner, and by the time Vogelstein's long leg_ad measured three or four miles on the deck he was ready to settle himself i_is sea-chair and draw from his pocket a Tauchnitz novel by an American autho_hose pages, he had been assured, would help to prepare him for some of th_ddities. On the back of his chair his name was painted in rather larg_etters, this being a precaution taken at the recommendation of a friend wh_ad told him that on the American steamers the passengers—especially th_adies—thought nothing of pilfering one's little comforts. His friend had eve_inted at the correct reproduction of his coronet. This marked man of th_orld had added that the Americans are greatly impressed by a coronet. I kno_ot whether it was scepticism or modesty, but Count Vogelstein had omitte_very pictured plea for his rank; there were others of which he might hav_ade use. The precious piece of furniture which on the Atlantic voyage i_rusted never to flinch among universal concussions was emblazoned simply wit_is title and name. It happened, however, that the blazonry was huge; the bac_f the chair was covered with enormous German characters. This time there ca_e no doubt: it was modesty that caused the secretary of legation, in placin_imself, to turn this portion of his seat outward, away from the eyes of hi_ompanions—to present it to the balustrade of the deck. The ship was passin_he Needles—the beautiful uttermost point of the Isle of Wight. Certain tal_hite cones of rock rose out of the purple sea; they flushed in the afternoo_ight and their vague rosiness gave them a human expression in face of th_old expanse toward which the prow was turned; they seemed to say farewell, t_e the last note of a peopled world. Vogelstein saw them very comfortably fro_is place and after a while turned his eyes to the other quarter, where th_lements of air and water managed to make between them so comparatively poo_n opposition. Even his American novelist was more amusing than that, and h_repared to return to this author. In the great curve which it described, however, his glance was arrested by the figure of a young lady who had jus_scended to the deck and who paused at the mouth of the companionway.
  • This was not in itself an extraordinary phenomenon; but what attracte_ogelstein's attention was the fact that the young person appeared to hav_ixed her eyes on him. She was slim, brightly dressed, rather pretty; Vogelstein remembered in a moment that he had noticed her among the people o_he wharf at Southampton. She was soon aware he had observed her; whereupo_he began to move along the deck with a step that seemed to indicate a purpos_f approaching him. Vogelstein had time to wonder whether she could be one o_he girls he had known at Dresden; but he presently reflected that they woul_ow be much older than that. It was true they were apt to advance, like thi_ne, straight upon their victim. Yet the present specimen was no longe_ooking at him, and though she passed near him it was now tolerably clear sh_ad come above but to take a general survey. She was a quick handsom_ompetent girl, and she simply wanted to see what one could think of the ship, of the weather, of the appearance of England, from such a position as that; possibly even of one's fellow-passengers. She satisfied herself promptly o_hese points, and then she looked about, while she walked, as if in kee_earch of a missing object; so that Vogelstein finally arrived at a convictio_f her real motive. She passed near him again and this time almost stopped, her eyes bent upon him attentively. He thought her conduct remarkable eve_fter he had gathered that it was not at his face, with its yellow moustache, she was looking, but at the chair on which he was seated. Then those words o_is friend came back to him—the speech about the tendency of the people, especially of the ladies, on the American steamers to take to themselves one'_ittle belongings. Especially the ladies, he might well say; for here was on_ho apparently wished to pull from under him the very chair he was sitting on.
  • He was afraid she would ask him for it, so he pretended to read, systematically avoiding her eye. He was conscious she hovered near him, an_as moreover curious to see what she would do. It seemed to him strange tha_uch a nice-looking girl—for her appearance was really charming—shoul_ndeavour by arts so flagrant to work upon the quiet dignity of a secretary o_egation. At last it stood out that she was trying to look round a corner, a_t were—trying to see what was written on the back of his chair. "She wants t_ind out my name; she wants to see who I am!" This reflexion passed throug_is mind and caused him to raise his eyes. They rested on her own— which fo_n appreciable moment she didn't withdraw. The latter were brilliant an_xpressive, and surmounted a delicate aquiline nose, which, though pretty, wa_erhaps just a trifle too hawk-like. It was the oddest coincidence in th_orld; the story Vogelstein had taken up treated of a flighty forward littl_merican girl who plants herself in front of a young man in the garden of a_otel. Wasn't the conduct of this young lady a testimony to the truthfulnes_f the tale, and wasn't Vogelstein himself in the position of the young man i_he garden? That young man—though with more, in such connexions in general, t_o upon—ended by addressing himself to his aggressor, as she might be called, and after a very short hesitation Vogelstein followed his example. "If sh_ants to know who I am she's welcome," he said to himself; and he got out o_he chair, seized it by the back and, turning it round, exhibited th_uperscription to the girl. She coloured slightly, but smiled and read hi_ame, while Vogelstein raised his hat.
  • "I'm much obliged to you. That's all right," she remarked as if the discover_ad made her very happy.
  • It affected him indeed as all right that he should be Count Otto Vogelstein; this appeared even rather a flippant mode of disposing of the fact. By way o_ejoinder he asked her if she desired of him the surrender of his seat.
  • "I'm much obliged to you; of course not. I thought you had one of our chairs, and I didn't like to ask you. It looks exactly like one of ours; not so muc_ow as when you sit in it. Please sit down again. I don't want to trouble you.
  • We've lost one of ours, and I've been looking for it everywhere. They look s_uch alike; you can't tell till you see the back. Of course I see there wil_e no mistake about yours," the young lady went on with a smile of which th_erenity matched her other abundance. "But we've got such a small name—you ca_carcely see it," she added with the same friendly intention. "Our name's jus_ay—you mightn't think it WAS a name, might you? if we didn't make the most o_t. If you see that on anything, I'd be so obliged if you'd tell me. It isn'_or myself, it's for my mother; she's so dependent on her chair, and that on_'m looking for pulls out so beautifully. Now that you sit down again and hid_he lower part it does look just like ours. Well, it must be somewhere. Yo_ust excuse me; I wouldn't disturb you."
  • This was a long and even confidential speech for a young woman, presumabl_nmarried, to make to a perfect stranger; but Miss Day acquitted herself of i_ith perfect simplicity and self-possession. She held up her head and steppe_way, and Vogelstein could see that the foot she pressed upon the clean smoot_eck was slender and shapely. He watched her disappear through the trap b_hich she had ascended, and he felt more than ever like the young man in hi_merican tale. The girl in the present case was older and not so pretty, as h_ould easily judge, for the image of her smiling eyes and speaking lips stil_overed before him. He went back to his book with the feeling that it woul_ive him some information about her. This was rather illogical, but i_ndicated a certain amount of curiosity on the part of Count Vogelstein. Th_irl in the book had a mother, it appeared, and so had this young lady; th_ormer had also a brother, and he now remembered that he had noticed a youn_an on the wharf—a young man in a high hat and a white overcoat—who seeme_nited to Miss Day by this natural tie. And there was some one else too, as h_radually recollected, an older man, also in a high hat, but in a blac_vercoat—in black altogether—who completed the group and who was presumabl_he head of the family. These reflexions would indicate that Count Vogelstei_ead his volume of Tauchnitz rather interruptedly. Moreover they represente_ut the loosest economy of consciousness; for wasn't he to be afloat in a_blong box for ten days with such people, and could it be doubted he shoul_ee at least enough of them?
  • It may as well be written without delay that he saw a great deal of them. _ave sketched in some detail the conditions in which he made the acquaintanc_f Miss Day, because the event had a certain importance for this fair squar_euton; but I must pass briefly over the incidents that immediately followe_t. He wondered what it was open to him, after such an introduction, to do i_elation to her, and he determined he would push through his American tale an_iscover what the hero did. But he satisfied himself in a very short time tha_iss Day had nothing in common with the heroine of that work save certai_igns of habitat and climate—and save, further, the fact that the male se_asn't terrible to her. The local stamp sharply, as he gathered, impresse_pon her he estimated indeed rather in a borrowed than in a natural light, fo_f she was native to a small town in the interior of the American continen_ne of their fellow-passengers, a lady from New York with whom he had a goo_eal of conversation, pronounced her "atrociously" provincial. How the lad_rrived at this certitude didn't appear, for Vogelstein observed that she hel_o communication with the girl. It was true she gave it the support of he_aying down that certain Americans could tell immediately who other American_ere, leaving him to judge whether or no she herself belonged to the critica_r only to the criticised half of the nation. Mrs. Dangerfield was a handsom_onfidential insinuating woman, with whom Vogelstein felt his talk take a ver_ide range indeed. She convinced him rather effectually that even in a grea_emocracy there are human differences, and that American life was full o_ocial distinctions, of delicate shades, which foreigners often lack th_ntelligence to perceive. Did he suppose every one knew every one else in th_iggest country in the world, and that one wasn't as free to choose one'_ompany there as in the most monarchical and most exclusive societies? Sh_aughed such delusions to scorn as Vogelstein tucked her beautiful furre_overlet—they reclined together a great deal in their elongated chairs—wel_ver her feet. How free an American lady was to choose her company sh_bundantly proved by not knowing any one on the steamer but Count Otto.
  • He could see for himself that Mr. and Mrs. Day had not at all her grand air.
  • They were fat plain serious people who sat side by side on the deck for hour_nd looked straight before them. Mrs. Day had a white face, large cheeks an_mall eyes: her forehead was surrounded with a multitude of little tight blac_urls; her lips moved as if she had always a lozenge in her mouth. She wor_ntwined about her head an article which Mrs. Dangerfield spoke of as a
  • "nuby," a knitted pink scarf concealing her hair, encircling her neck an_aving among its convolutions a hole for her perfectly expressionless face.
  • Her hands were folded on her stomach, and in her still, swathed figure he_ittle bead-like eyes, which occasionally changed their direction, alon_epresented life. Her husband had a stiff grey beard on his chin and a bar_pacious upper lip, to which constant shaving had imparted a hard glaze. Hi_yebrows were thick and his nostrils wide, and when he was uncovered, in th_aloon, it was visible that his grizzled hair was dense and perpendicular. H_ight have looked rather grim and truculent hadn't it been for the mil_amiliar accommodating gaze with which his large light-coloured pupils—th_eisurely eyes of a silent man—appeared to consider surrounding objects. H_as evidently more friendly than fierce, but he was more diffident tha_riendly. He liked to have you in sight, but wouldn't have pretended t_nderstand you much or to classify you, and would have been sorry it shoul_ut you under an obligation. He and his wife spoke sometimes, but seldo_alked, and there was something vague and patient in them, as if they ha_ecome victims of a wrought spell. The spell however was of no sinister cast; it was the fascination of prosperity, the confidence of security, whic_ometimes makes people arrogant, but which had had such a different effect o_his simple satisfied pair, in whom further development of every kind appeare_o have been happily arrested.
  • Mrs. Dangerfield made it known to Count Otto that every morning afte_reakfast, the hour at which he wrote his journal in his cabin, the old coupl_ere guided upstairs and installed in their customary corner by Pandora. Thi_he had learned to be the name of their elder daughter, and she was immensel_mused by her discovery. "Pandora"—that was in the highest degree typical; i_laced them in the social scale if other evidence had been wanting; you coul_ell that a girl was from the interior, the mysterious interior about whic_ogelstein's imagination was now quite excited, when she had such a name a_hat. This young lady managed the whole family, even a little the smal_eflounced sister, who, with bold pretty innocent eyes, a torrent of fai_ilky hair, a crimson fez, such as is worn by male Turks, very much askew o_op of it, and a way of galloping and straddling about the ship in any compan_he could pick up—she had long thin legs, very short skirts and stockings o_very tint— was going home, in elegant French clothes, to resume a_nterrupted education. Pandora overlooked and directed her relatives; Vogelstein could see this for himself, could see she was very active an_ecided, that she had in a high degree the sentiment of responsibility, settling on the spot most of the questions that could come up for a famil_rom the interior.
  • The voyage was remarkably fine, and day after day it was possible to sit ther_nder the salt sky and feel one's self rounding the great curves of the globe.
  • The long deck made a white spot in the sharp black circle of the ocean and i_he intense sea-light, while the shadow of the smoke-streamers trembled on th_amiliar floor, the shoes of fellow-passengers, distinctive now, and in som_ases irritating, passed and repassed, accompanied, in the air so tremendously
  • "open," that rendered all voices weak and most remarks rather flat, b_ragments of opinion on the run of the ship. Vogelstein by this time ha_inished his little American story and now definitely judged that Pandora Da_as not at all like the heroine. She was of quite another type; much mor_erious and strenuous, and not at all keen, as he had supposed, about makin_he acquaintance of gentlemen. Her speaking to him that first afternoon ha_een, he was bound to believe, an incident without importance for herself; i_pite of her having followed it up the next day by the remark, thrown at hi_s she passed, with a smile that was almost fraternal: "It's all right, sir!
  • I've found that old chair." After this she hadn't spoken to him again and ha_carcely looked at him. She read a great deal, and almost always French books, in fresh yellow paper; not the lighter forms of that literature, but a volum_f Sainte-Beuve, of Renan or at the most, in the way of dissipation, of Alfre_e Musset. She took frequent exercise and almost always walked alone, apparently not having made many friends on the ship and being without th_esource of her parents, who, as has been related, never budged out of th_osy corner in which she planted them for the day.
  • Her brother was always in the smoking-room, where Vogelstein observed him, i_ery tight clothes, his neck encircled with a collar like a palisade. He had _harp little face, which was not disagreeable; he smoked enormous cigars an_egan his drinking early in the day: but his appearance gave no sign of thes_xcesses. As regards euchre and poker and the other distractions of the plac_e was guilty of none. He evidently understood such games in perfection, fo_e used to watch the players, and even at moments impartially advise them; bu_ogelstein never saw the cards in his hand. He was referred to as regard_isputed points, and his opinion carried the day. He took little part in th_onversation, usually much relaxed, that prevailed in the smoking-room, bu_rom time to time he made, in his soft flat youthful voice, a remark whic_very one paused to listen to and which was greeted with roars of laughter.
  • Vogelstein, well as he knew English, could rarely catch the joke; but he coul_ee at least that these must be choice specimens of that American humou_dmired and practised by a whole continent and yet to be rendered accessibl_o a trained diplomatist, clearly, but by some special and incalculabl_evelation. The young man, in his way, was very remarkable, for, as Vogelstei_eard some one say once after the laughter had subsided, he was only nineteen.
  • If his sister didn't resemble the dreadful little girl in the tale alread_entioned, there was for Vogelstein at least an analogy between young Mr. Da_nd a certain small brother—a candy-loving Madison, Hamilton or Jefferson—wh_as, in the Tauchnitz volume, attributed to that unfortunate maid. This wa_hat the little Madison would have grown up to at nineteen, and th_mprovement was greater than might have been expected.
  • The days were long, but the voyage was short, and it had almost come to an en_efore Count Otto yielded to an attraction peculiar in its nature and finall_rresistible, and, in spite of Mrs. Dangerfield's emphatic warning, sough_ccasion for a little continuous talk with Miss Pandora. To mention that thi_mpulse took effect without mentioning sundry other of his current impression_ith which it had nothing to do is perhaps to violate proportion and give _alse idea; but to pass it by would be still more unjust. The Germans, as w_now, are a transcendental people, and there was at last an irresistibl_ppeal for Vogelstein in this quick bright silent girl who could smile an_urn vocal in an instant, who imparted a rare originality to the filia_haracter, and whose profile was delicate as she bent it over a volume whic_he cut as she read, or presented it in musing attitudes, at the side of th_hip, to the horizon they had left behind. But he felt it to be a pity, a_egards a possible acquaintance with her, that her parents should be heav_ittle burghers, that her brother should not correspond to his conception of _oung man of the upper class, and that her sister should be a Daisy Miller e_erbe. Repeatedly admonished by Mrs. Dangerfield, the young diplomatist wa_oubly careful as to the relations he might form at the beginning of hi_ojourn in the United States. That lady reminded him, and he had himself mad_he observation in other capitals, that the first year, and even the second, is the time for prudence. One was ignorant of proportions and values; one wa_xposed to mistakes and thankful for attention, and one might give one's sel_way to people who would afterwards be as a millstone round one's neck: Mrs.
  • Dangerfield struck and sustained that note, which resounded in the young man'_magination. She assured him that if he didn't "look out" he would b_ommitting himself to some American girl with an impossible family. I_merica, when one committed one's self, there was nothing to do but march t_he altar, and what should he say for instance to finding himself a nea_elation of Mr. and Mrs. P. W. Day?—since such were the initials inscribed o_he back of the two chairs of that couple. Count Otto felt the peril, for h_ould immediately think of a dozen men he knew who had married American girls.
  • There appeared now to be a constant danger of marrying the American girl; i_as something one had to reckon with, like the railway, the telegraph, th_iscovery of dynamite, the Chassepot rifle, the Socialistic spirit: it was on_f the complications of modern life.
  • It would doubtless be too much to say that he feared being carried away by _assion for a young woman who was not strikingly beautiful and with whom h_ad talked, in all, but ten minutes. But, as we recognise, he went so far a_o wish that the human belongings of a person whose high spirit appeared t_ave no taint either of fastness, as they said in England, or of subversiv_pinion, and whose mouth had charming lines, should not be a little mor_istinguished. There was an effect of drollery in her behaviour to thes_ubjects of her zeal, whom she seemed to regard as a care, but not as a_nterest; it was as if they had been entrusted to her honour and she ha_ngaged to convey them safe to a certain point; she was detached an_nadvertent, and then suddenly remembered, repented and came back to tuck the_nto their blankets, to alter the position of her mother's umbrella, to tel_hem something about the run of the ship. These little offices were usuall_erformed deftly, rapidly, with the minimum of words, and when their daughte_rew near them Mr. and Mrs. Day closed their eyes after the fashion of a pai_f household dogs who expect to be scratched.
  • One morning she brought up the Captain of the ship to present to them; sh_ppeared to have a private and independent acquaintance with this officer, an_he introduction to her parents had the air of a sudden happy thought. I_asn't so much an introduction as an exhibition, as if she were saying to him:
  • "This is what they look like; see how comfortable I make them. Aren't the_ather queer and rather dear little people? But they leave me perfectly free.
  • Oh I can assure you of that. Besides, you must see it for yourself." Mr. an_rs. Day looked up at the high functionary who thus unbent to them with ver_ittle change of countenance; then looked at each other in the same way. H_aluted, he inclined himself a moment; but Pandora shook her head, she seeme_o be answering for them; she made little gestures as if in explanation to th_ood Captain of some of their peculiarities, as for instance that he needn'_xpect them to speak. They closed their eyes at last; she appeared to have _ind of mesmeric influence on them, and Miss Day walked away with th_mportant friend, who treated her with evident consideration, bowing very low, for all his importance, when the two presently after separated. Vogelstei_ould see she was capable of making an impression; and the moral of our littl_atter is that in spite of Mrs. Dangerfield, in spite of the resolutions o_is prudence, in spite of the limits of such acquaintance as he ha_omentarily made with her, in spite of Mr. and Mrs. Day and the young man i_he smoking-room, she had fixed his attention.
  • It was in the course of the evening after the scene with the Captain that h_oined her, awkwardly, abruptly, irresistibly, on the deck, where she wa_acing to and fro alone, the hour being auspiciously mild and the star_emarkably fine. There were scattered talkers and smokers and couples, unrecognisable, that moved quickly through the gloom. The vessel dipped wit_ong regular pulsations; vague and spectral under the low stars, its swayin_innacles spotted here and there with lights, it seemed to rush through th_arkness faster than by day. Count Otto had come up to walk, and as the gir_rushed past him he distinguished Pandora's face—with Mrs. Dangerfield h_lways spoke of her as Pandora—under the veil worn to protect it from the sea- damp. He stopped, turned, hurried after her, threw away his cigar—then aske_er if she would do him the honour to accept his arm. She declined his arm bu_ccepted his company, and he allowed her to enjoy it for an hour. They had _reat deal of talk, and he was to remember afterwards some of the things sh_ad said. There was now a certainty of the ship's getting into dock the nex_orning but one, and this prospect afforded an obvious topic. Some of Mis_ay's expressions struck him as singular, but of course, as he was aware, hi_nowledge of English was not nice enough to give him a perfect measure.
  • "I'm not in a hurry to arrive; I'm very happy here," she said. "I'm afraid _hall have such a time putting my people through."
  • "Putting them through?"
  • "Through the Custom-House. We've made so many purchases. Well, I've written t_ friend to come down, and perhaps he can help us. He's very well acquainte_ith the head. Once I'm chalked I don't care. I feel like a kind of blackboar_y this time anyway. We found them awful in Germany."
  • Count Otto wondered if the friend she had written to were her lover and i_hey had plighted their troth, especially when she alluded to him again as
  • "that gentleman who's coming down." He asked her about her travels, he_mpressions, whether she had been long in Europe and what she liked best, an_he put it to him that they had gone abroad, she and her family, for a littl_resh experience. Though he found her very intelligent he suspected she gav_his as a reason because he was a German and she had heard the Germans wer_ich in culture. He wondered what form of culture Mr. and Mrs. Day had brough_ack from Italy, Greece and Palestine—they had travelled for two years an_een everywhere—especially when their daughter said: "I wanted father an_other to see the best things. I kept them three hours on the Acropolis. _uess they won't forget that!" Perhaps it was of Phidias and Pericles the_ere thinking, Vogelstein reflected, as they sat ruminating in their rugs.
  • Pandora remarked also that she wanted to show her little sister everythin_hile she was comparatively unformed ("comparatively!" he mutely gasped); remarkable sights made so much more impression when the mind was fresh: sh_ad read something of that sort somewhere in Goethe. She had wanted to com_erself when she was her sister's age; but her father was in business then an_hey couldn't leave Utica. The young man thought of the little sister friskin_ver the Parthenon and the Mount of Olives and sharing for two years, th_ears of the school-room, this extraordinary pilgrimage of her parents; h_ondered whether Goethe's dictum had been justified in this case. He aske_andora if Utica were the seat of her family, if it were an important o_ypical place, if it would be an interesting city for him, as a stranger, t_ee. His companion replied frankly that this was a big question, but adde_hat all the same she would ask him to "come and visit us at our home" if i_eren't that they should probably soon leave it.
  • "Ah, you're going to live elsewhere?" Vogelstein asked, as if that fact to_ould be typical.
  • "Well, I'm working for New York. I flatter myself I've loosened them whil_e've been away," the girl went on. "They won't find in Utica the same charm; that was my idea. I want a big place, and of course Utica—!" She broke off a_efore a complex statement.
  • "I suppose Utica is inferior—?" Vogelstein seemed to see his way to suggest.
  • "Well no, I guess I can't have you call Utica inferior. It isn'_upreme—that's what's the matter with it, and I hate anything middling," sai_andora Day. She gave a light dry laugh, tossing back her head a little as sh_ade this declaration. And looking at her askance in the dusk, as she trod th_eck that vaguely swayed, he recognised something in her air and port tha_atched such a pronouncement.
  • "What's her social position?" he inquired of Mrs. Dangerfield the next day. "_an't make it out at all—it's so contradictory. She strikes me as having muc_ultivation and much spirit. Her appearance, too, is very neat. Yet he_arents are complete little burghers. That's easily seen."
  • "Oh, social position," and Mrs. Dangerfield nodded two or three time_ortentously. "What big expressions you use! Do you think everybody in th_orld has a social position? That's reserved for an infinitely small majorit_f mankind. You can't have a social position at Utica any more than you ca_ave an opera-box. Pandora hasn't got one; where, if you please, should sh_ave got it? Poor girl, it isn't fair of you to make her the subject of suc_uestions as that."
  • "Well," said Vogelstein, "if she's of the lower class it seems to m_ery—very—" And he paused a moment, as he often paused in speaking English, looking for his word.
  • "Very what, dear Count?"
  • "Very significant, very representative."
  • "Oh dear, she isn't of the lower class," Mrs. Dangerfield returned with a_rritated sense of wasted wisdom. She liked to explain her country, but tha_omehow always required two persons.
  • "What is she then?"
  • "Well, I'm bound to admit that since I was at home last she's a novelty. _irl like that with such people—it IS a new type."
  • "I like novelties"—and Count Otto smiled with an air of considerabl_esolution. He couldn't however be satisfied with a demonstration that onl_egged the question; and when they disembarked in New York he felt, even ami_he confusion of the wharf and the heaps of disembowelled baggage, a certai_cuteness of regret at the idea that Pandora and her family were about t_anish into the unknown. He had a consolation however: it was apparent tha_or some reason or other—illness or absence from town—the gentleman to who_he had written had not, as she said, come down. Vogelstein was glad—h_ouldn't have told you why—that this sympathetic person had failed her; eve_hough without him Pandora had to engage single-handed with the United State_ustom-House. Our young man's first impression of the Western world wa_eceived on the landing-place of the German steamers at Jersey City—a hug_ooden shed covering a wooden wharf which resounded under the feet, an expans_alisaded with rough-hewn piles that leaned this way and that, and bestrew_ith masses of heterogeneous luggage. At one end; toward the town, was a ro_f tall painted palings, behind which he could distinguish a press of hackney- coachmen, who brandished their whips and awaited their victims, while thei_oices rose, incessant, with a sharp strange sound, a challenge at once fierc_nd familiar. The whole place, behind the fence, appeared to bristle an_esound. Out there was America, Count Otto said to himself, and he looke_oward it with a sense that he should have to muster resolution. On the whar_eople were rushing about amid their trunks, pulling their things together, trying to unite their scattered parcels. They were heated and angry, or els_uite bewildered and discouraged. The few that had succeeded in collectin_heir battered boxes had an air of flushed indifference to the efforts o_heir neighbours, not even looking at people with whom they had been fondl_ntimate on the steamer. A detachment of the officers of the Customs was i_ttendance, and energetic passengers were engaged in attempts to drag the_oward their luggage or to drag heavy pieces toward them. These functionarie_ere good-natured and taciturn, except when occasionally they remarked to _assenger whose open trunk stared up at them, eloquent, imploring, that the_ere afraid the voyage had been "rather glassy." They had a friendly leisurel_peculative way of discharging their duty, and if they perceived a victim'_ame written on the portmanteau they addressed him by it in a tone of ol_cquaintance. Vogelstein found however that if they were familiar they weren'_ndiscreet. He had heard that in America all public functionaries were th_ame, that there wasn't a different tenue, as they said in France, fo_ifferent positions, and he wondered whether at Washington the President an_inisters, whom he expected to see—to HAVE to see—a good deal of, would b_ike that.
  • He was diverted from these speculations by the sight of Mr. and Mrs. Da_eated side by side upon a trunk and encompassed apparently by th_ccumulations of their tour. Their faces expressed more consciousness o_urrounding objects than he had hitherto recognised, and there was an air o_lacid expansion in the mysterious couple which suggested that thi_onsciousness was agreeable. Mr. and Mrs. Day were, as they would have said, real glad to get back. At a little distance, on the edge of the dock, ou_bserver remarked their son, who had found a place where, between the sides o_wo big ships, he could see the ferry-boats pass; the large pyramidal low- laden ferry-boats of American waters. He stood there, patient and considering, with his small neat foot on a coil of rope, his back to everything that ha_een disembarked, his neck elongated in its polished cylinder, while th_ragrance of his big cigar mingled with the odour of the rotting piles, an_is little sister, beside him, hugged a huge post and tried to see how far sh_ould crane over the water without falling in. Vogelstein's servant was off i_earch of an examiner; Count Otto himself had got his things together and wa_aiting to be released, fully expecting that for a person of his importanc_he ceremony would be brief.
  • Before it began he said a word to young Mr. Day, raising his hat at the sam_ime to the little girl, whom he had not yet greeted and who dodged his salut_y swinging herself boldly outward to the dangerous side of the pier. She wa_ndeed still unformed, but was evidently as light as a feather.
  • "I see you're kept waiting like me. It's very tiresome," Count Otto said.
  • The young American answered without looking behind him. "As soon as we'r_tarted we'll go all right. My sister has written to a gentleman to com_own."
  • "I've looked for Miss Day to bid her good-bye," Vogelstein went on; "but _on't see her."
  • "I guess she has gone to meet that gentleman; he's a great friend of hers."
  • "I guess he's her lover!" the little girl broke out. "She was always writin_o him in Europe."
  • Her brother puffed his cigar in silence a moment. "That was only for this.
  • I'll tell on you, sis," he presently added.
  • But the younger Miss Day gave no heed to his menace; she addressed hersel_nly, though with all freedom, to Vogelstein. "This is New York; I like i_etter than Utica."
  • He had no time to reply, for his servant had arrived with one of th_ispensers of fortune; but as he turned away he wondered, in the light of th_hild's preference, about the towns of the interior. He was naturally exemp_rom the common doom. The officer who took him in hand, and who had a larg_traw hat and a diamond breastpin, was quite a man of the world, and in repl_o the Count's formal declarations only said, "Well, I guess it's all right; _uess I'll just pass you," distributing chalk-marks as if they had been s_any love-pats. The servant had done some superfluous unlocking an_nbuckling, and while he closed the pieces the officer stood there wiping hi_orehead and conversing with Vogelstein. "First visit to our country, sir?—quite alone—no ladies? Of course the ladies are what we're most after."
  • It was in this manner he expressed himself, while the young diplomatis_ondered what he was waiting for and whether he ought to slip something int_is palm. But this representative of order left our friend only a moment i_uspense; he presently turned away with the remark quite paternally uttered, that he hoped the Count would make quite a stay; upon which the young man sa_ow wrong he should have been to offer a tip. It was simply the America_anner, which had a finish of its own after all. Vogelstein's servant ha_ecured a porter with a truck, and he was about to leave the place when he sa_andora Day dart out of the crowd and address herself with much eagerness t_he functionary who had just liberated him. She had an open letter in her han_hich she gave him to read and over which he cast his eyes, thoughtfull_troking his beard. Then she led him away to where her parents sat on thei_uggage. Count Otto sent off his servant with the porter and followed Pandora, to whom he really wished to address a word of farewell. The last thing the_ad said to each other on the ship was that they should meet again on shore.
  • It seemed improbable however that the meeting would occur anywhere but jus_ere on the dock; inasmuch as Pandora was decidedly not in society, wher_ogelstein would be of course, and as, if Utica—he had her sharp littl_ister's word for it—was worse than what was about him there, he'd be hange_f he'd go to Utica. He overtook Pandora quickly; she was in the act o_ntroducing the representative of order to her parents, quite in the sam_anner in which she had introduced the Captain of the ship. Mr. and Mrs. Da_ot up and shook hands with him and they evidently all prepared to have _ittle talk. "I should like to introduce you to my brother and sister," h_eard the girl say, and he saw her look about for these appendages. He caugh_er eye as she did so, and advanced with his hand outstretched, reflecting th_hile that evidently the Americans, whom he had always heard described a_ilent and practical, rejoiced to extravagance in the social graces. The_awdled and chattered like so many Neapolitans.
  • "Good-bye, Count Vogelstein," said Pandora, who was a little flushed with he_arious exertions but didn't look the worse for it. "I hope you'll have _plendid time and appreciate our country."
  • "I hope you'll get through all right," Vogelstein answered, smiling an_eeling himself already more idiomatic.
  • "That gentleman's sick that I wrote to," she rejoined; "isn't it too bad? Bu_e sent me down a letter to a friend of his—one of the examiners—and I gues_e won't have any trouble. Mr. Lansing, let me make you acquainted with Coun_ogelstein," she went on, presenting to her fellow-passenger the wearer of th_traw hat and the breastpin, who shook hands with the young German as if h_ad never seen him before. Vogelstein's heart rose for an instant to hi_hroat; he thanked his stars he hadn't offered a tip to the friend of _entleman who had often been mentioned to him and who had also been describe_y a member of Pandora's family as Pandora's lover.
  • "It's a case of ladies this time," Mr. Lansing remarked to him with a smil_hich seemed to confess surreptitiously, and as if neither party could b_ager, to recognition.
  • "Well, Mr. Bellamy says you'll do anything for HIM," Pandora said, smilin_ery sweetly at Mr. Lansing. "We haven't got much; we've been gone only tw_ears."
  • Mr. Lansing scratched his head a little behind, with a movement that sent hi_traw hat forward in the direction of his nose. "I don't know as I'd d_nything for him that I wouldn't do for you," he responded with an equa_eniality. "I guess you'd better open that one"—and he gave a littl_ffectionate kick to one of the trunks.
  • "Oh mother, isn't he lovely? It's only your sea-things," Pandora cried, stooping over the coffer with the key in her hand.
  • "I don't know as I like showing them," Mrs. Day modestly murmured.
  • Vogelstein made his German salutation to the company in general, and t_andora he offered an audible good-bye, which she returned in a brigh_riendly voice, but without looking round as she fumbled at the lock of he_runk.
  • "We'll try another, if you like," said Mr. Lansing good-humouredly.
  • "Oh no it has got to be this one! Good-bye, Count Vogelstein. I hope you'l_udge us correctly!"
  • The young man went his way and passed the barrier of the dock. Here he was me_y his English valet with a face of consternation which led him to ask if _ab weren't forthcoming.
  • "They call 'em 'acks 'ere, sir," said the man, "and they're beyond everything.
  • He wants thirty shillings to take you to the inn."
  • Vogelstein hesitated a moment. "Couldn't you find a German?"
  • "By the way he talks he IS a German said the man; and in a moment Count Ott_egan his career in America by discussing the tariff of hackney-coaches in th_anguage of the fatherland.