The bell in the fog -- The striding place -- The dead and the countess -- The greatest good of the greatest number -- A monarch of a small survey -- The tragedy of a snob -- Crowned with one crest -- Death and the woman -- A prologue (to an unwritten play) -- Talbot of Ursula.
which he could retreat unhaunted by the child's presence. He took long tramps, avoiding the river with a sensation next to panic. It was two days before he got back to his table, and then he had made up his mind to let the boy live. To kill him off, too, was more than his augmented stock of human nature could endure. After all, the lad's death had been purely accidental, wanton. It was just that he should live--with one of the author's inimitable suggestions of future greatness; but, at the end, the parting was almost as bitter as the other. Orth knew then how men feel when their sons go forth to encounter the world and ask no more of the old companionship.
The author's boxes were packed. He sent the manuscript to his publisher an hour after it was finished--he could not have given it a final reading to have saved it from failure--directed his secretary to examine the proof under a microscope, and left the next morning for Homburg. There, in inmost circles, he forgot his children. He visited in several