« PreviousContinue »
the paper and looked at John inquiringly disclose my findings; for I must confess, Our friend seemed to be deeply inter- your case staggers me, and I'll have to ested in watching the trees grow in the go to men higher up in the profession for park; but, feeling the doctor's gaze, he light upon the matter.” related the events of the past thirty hours So it came about that the next day saw without reservation.
. . Holden and his faithful man, WilliamDoctor Joe scattered words of doubt in whom he had confided-comfortably and disbelief along the wayside of John's ensconced in quarters safely removed tale, until the narrator, in order that his from the bustle and roar of the city. friend should be convinced beyond pos- To a man of John's habits it was no sible skepticism, turned his eyes squarely great hardship, this spending the days upon him. With a yell Doctor Toe tum- upon the water or along the beach, rebled backward over his chair and turning at night to dine, smoke and retire straightway became a strong believer. early. But the utter loneliness of it, cut
When he had recovered he seated him- off from human companionship-except self, muttering in grieved tones, “If the for William, with whom he could con
“WITH A YELL DOCTOR JOE... STRAIGHTWAY BECAME A STRONG BELIEVER.”
eyes are really windows of the soul, verse, but not look upon—was somewhat yours must be a blooming blast-furnace.” depressing. So, when Doctor Joe ran up
John did not reply. It seemed un- one afternoon to spend the night John necessary.
shut his eyes and literally welcomed him “Strangest case I ever run across,” re- with open arms. marked the doctor, comfortingly. Then, After dinner—at which they sat side after a pause, he asked abruptly, “I be- by side, in order that their glances might lieve you own a comfortable little place not conflict—they adjourned to the situp “the sound,' eh?"
ting room; where, in easy chairs drawn John nodded despondently.
up before the open drift-wood fire, Doctor “Now, a man of your fiery spirit,” con- Joe gave a full and exhaustive diagnosis tinued Doctor Joe, “should have a wider of John's peculiar affliction. scope. With Long Island sound on one “Your case, old man, is one of the hand and a deserted beach on the other, strangest of my whole medical experiI think it would be wise, at just this time, ence, so much so, indeed, that I've inif you took your man and journeyed up terested three of the most prominent men for a bit. I'll run up in a day or so and in their different lines of the profession on the Western Hemisphere. It is their put out from the yacht and watched it opinion that the experiment which has curiously as it made its noisy way in. Its ended so disastrously for you, whether occupants were a lady and gentleman. the results of the chemicals, the exact As the launch approached he recognized proportion of the solution, or the manner, in the gentleman a man of authority in in which they were combined, has caused yachting circles, whom he had met upon a thorough phosphorizing of the retina, several occasions in the city. The young and established a powerful attraction for lady—and John could now see that she light-waves.
was young—was unknown to him. As “Now, light, being to a certain extent his piercing eyes were harmless at long heat, the continued storage of light would range, and it seemed ages since he had naturally tend to produce considerable seen such a vision of loveliness, the lonely caloric. This, under great excitement, man, sheltered from their view by a cluswhether pleasureable or otherwise— ter of weather-beaten spiles—sat and would be still further aggravated by the feasted his eyes, upon her. increase of the temperature of the body The launch 'ran in at the other end of in the same ratio as the increase.” the old dock-out of John's sight, and was
He paused, in order that these technical evidently beached on the sand; while the terms might soak in gradually, then con yachtsman disembarked and walked hurtinued:
riedly away over the knoll. “At the point where this compound Our undiscovered friend sat silently, has become sufficiently heated by light puffing away on his pipe, and for a time saturation to cause activity, atoms are all was peace and quietness. Suddenly thrown off along the line of the sight for he heard exclamations of alarm from the a short distance, causing combustion at solitary occupant of the boat. Rising to the point of focus. You know how a his feet he saw the treacherous little burning-glass works, don't you?"
craft, the beaching of which had eviJohn assented mournfully.
dently not been secure, drifting rapidly "Well, you're a human burning-glass, out into the dangerous fog. so to speak. In fact, you're the only With John's appearance on the beach example of animated fireworks in the the young lady redoubled her vocal efworld.”
forts. As the distance was widening with John groaned dismally.
alarming rapidity he saw that nothing but “We've come to the conclusion," added heroic measures would avail. Off came Doctor Joe, "that a powerful counter shoes and coat and into the ice-cold irritant might relieve you; but we'll have sound he plunged to the rescue. to figure out a way of administering it A s he pushed through the water he without cremating the patient."
lost sight of the drifting boat at interThe intelligence, not being conducive to vals, owing to the oily swell and, during sound slumber, caused our friend to one such interval, his ears were stricken spend another sleepless night. He arose by a piercing scream. He was rapidly early, saw Doctor Joe take his departure overtaking the boat, but at this evidence for town and, with his fire-proof friend, of a new complication, he straightened his pipe, and a downcast heart, started up up in the water. What he saw made him the beach.
put forth all the strength he had. The He had gone a long distance from young lady, in attempting to propel the home before his unpleasant reveries were boat closer to the swimmer, had tripped broken in upon by the rattle of chains, as and gone over the side. a large steam yacht came to anchor. He When John, straining every muscle, could dimly make out her shape through came up with the boat, he found its forthe gray mist which was fast settling mer passenger clinging to the side, undown upon the water as she swung to able to clamber in. With chattering the tide.
teeth she resigned herself to our friend's Lighting a fresh pipeful he sat down guidance, and he, through his fuller upon the string-piece of a dismantled knowledge of such things, climbed in wreck of a boat-landing and looked out from the opposite side, and proceeded to upon the scene. He saw a small launch rescue her in proper fashion,
Until now, John had found no chance words and turned his back upon herclosely to inspect his companion's face; ostensibly to study the situation. Under and now that it was given to him, sud- the impression that his actions were denly realized that he dared not. With prompted by his great modesty, she downcast eyes, in response to her gasping seized the opportunity to wring her dripthankfulness, he dropped a few brief ping skirts; while he scanned the boat, with his now sparkling eyes, for some and the bow, but two baptisms of water means of extricating themselves from and one of flame within half an hour had their dilemma.
shaken her nerve somewhat. John's inThe launch had by this time drifted juries were found to be more serious; out so far that they were considerably his face and hands badly burned, which nearer the yacht than the shore. Its necessitated a liberal application of sweetclose proximity, together with the satu- oil and many bandages. A doctor was rated condition and evident distress of waiting to examine his eyes when he had the young lady, induced John to make fully recovered his senses. that their point of destination.
At this reference to optical matters, Being totally ignorant of the workings John groaned inwardly. He thought of a gasoline engine, he felt that when that possibly, he could put his finger upon he made his initial attempt to start one the cause of the latest sensation but, he would rather be alone—which shows needless to state, kept the information that Holden was a man of considerable to himself. wisdom. His close scrutiny of the boat But when at last the bandage was refor the sculling oar, which he was cer- moved from our friend's eyes, the fear tain should be there, was rewarded, how- that he might be blind overcame all else. ever, by finding it snugly stowed under a Regardless of possible consequences, he side seat. Bracing himself in the waist gazed squarely upon the face of his beauof the boat he bent to the manifold duties tiful rescuer, who was anxiously awaitof motive-power, pilot and deck-hand. ing the test. His heart gave a great
As they slowly drew near the yacht throb. He could see. And a moment John's good fairy, which had been having later that organ which is supposed to be its innings, must have engaged in a the seat of the emotions gave a second struggle with the bad, in which the good and much greater leap. She did not went to the wall; for his eyes were irre- shrink from him. He closed his eyes sistibly drawn to the circular opening in again and opened them directly. She the side of what looked like a reservoir, smiled. He attempted to respond; but located in the bow. He wondered as to feeling his face crack under the operaits contents; and his curiosity was almost tion, restrained himself. He turned to instantly satisfied. To John it seemed the other two interested spectators. They, that the whole front end of the boat too, stood fast under his gaze. These came up in a rush of flame, roar, and three seemed non-combustible; and his fragments, striking him all over at once heart beat with exceeding great joy. For —and he knew no more.
the first time, since the memorable cause When our unfortunate friend returned of his troubles he looked upon human to consciousness it slowly dawned upon faces, unblemished by those hideous his dazed mind—through the bandages brown spots which had been so persistthat swathed his blistered face and ently before his eyes. hands—that he was still living under a When the bandages were replaced, republican form of government. Then John—with a vision of his fair rescuer he learned that he had indeed come in his mind—turned his face toward the through flood and fire. The destruction wall and thanked a merciful Providence. of the launch had been witnessed by the And one morning, as the month of yachtsmen, who had been watching the roses approached, Dr. Joe McGregor, peculiar actions of her crew, through the calling upon his quondam patient, armist. When the explosion had occurred rived just after a certain brougham dethey had dropped a boat, hastened to the parted from the Holden home, and recogscene and found John's companion hold- nized the girl and the older man it coning his apparently lifeless body upon a tained. And when, a moment later, he fragment of the wreck, to which she her- climbed the steps and heard Holden himself clung desperately. No time was lost self within, merrily whistling a justly in getting them aboard the yacht.
popular and celebrated march from WagThe young lady had not been injured ner's Lohengrin, he laughed fairly aloud by the explosion, thanks to John's broad as if something not displeasing and thorframe being interposed between herself oughly entertaining had happened.
Precious Stones at Home
By Mrs. W. E. Burke
THE 'discovery of a new the brush-covered foothills are found in
gem is a matter of in- brilliant array gems of great beauty and terest not only to the value. The beryl, bright as the sun; finder himself and to hyacinth, dazzling in its sheen ; topaz, in scientists, but to peo- many exquisite shades, and tourmalines ple generally as well, in a suite of colors that can be claimed and to San Diego by no other gem. Occasionally a sapCounty, California, be- phire, or a ruby with flame-like colors is longs the distinction found.
and honor of having But kunsite—the precious kunsite! It produced a stone, new and beautiful. is a gem which has but one rival, the This county has of late years con- diamond. In some ways indeed kunsite tributed a goodly share of precious out-diamonds the diamond. Kunsite is and semi-precious stones to the col- distinctively a San Diego stone. Allection of gems which the world already though tourmaline, hyacinth, beryl and knew of and prized. It would seem that topaz are found here in brilliant perfecNature in a capricious mood had chosen tion, these gems are also found in other the cañons of the coast range which parts of the world, but kunsite has been traverse the central portion of the county found only in San Diego County. as a hiding place for the most treasured The original discovery of kunsite was jewels. Here in the rugged recesses of made by two Basque Frenchmen, Ber