**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!


A Vision Of The Fountain
by [?]

For a wild moment he recurred to his first idea of diving and swimming at all hazards to the bank, but the conviction that now his slightest movement must be detected held him motionless. He must save her the mortification of knowing she was sketching a living man, if he died for it. She sketched rapidly but fixedly and absorbedly, evidently forgetting all else in her work. From time to time she held out her sketch before her to compare it with her subject. Yet the seconds seemed minutes and the minutes hours. Suddenly, to his great relief, a distant voice was heard calling “Lottie.” It was a woman’s voice; by its accent it also seemed to him an American one.

The young girl made a slight movement of impatience, but did not look up, and her pencil moved still more rapidly. Again the voice called, this time nearer. The young girl’s pencil fairly flew over the paper, as, still without looking up, she lifted a pretty voice and answered back, “Y-e-e-s!”

It struck him that her accent was also that of a compatriot.

“Where on earth are you?” continued the first voice, which now appeared to come from the other side of the willows on the path by which the young girl had approached. “Here, aunty,” replied the girl, closing her sketch-book with a snap and starting to her feet.

A stout woman, fashionably dressed, made her appearance from the willow path.

“What have you been doing all this while?” she said querulously. “Not sketching, I hope,” she added, with a suspicious glance at the book. “You know your professor expressly forbade you to do so in your holidays.”

The young girl shrugged her shoulders. “I’ve been looking at the fountains,” she replied evasively.

“And horrid looking pagan things they are, too,” said the elder woman, turning from them disgustedly, without vouchsafing a second glance. “Come. If we expect to do the abbey, we must hurry up, or we won’t catch the train. Your uncle is waiting for us at the top of the garden.”

And, to Potter’s intense relief, she grasped the young girl’s arm and hurried her away, their figures the next moment vanishing in the tangled shrubbery.

Potter lost no time in plunging with his cramped limbs into the water and regaining the other side. Here he quickly half dried himself with some sun-warmed leaves and baked mosses, hurried on his clothes, and hastened off in the opposite direction to the path taken by them, yet with such circuitous skill and speed that he reached the great gateway without encountering anybody. A brisk walk brought him to the station in time to catch a stopping train, and in half an hour he was speeding miles away from Domesday Park and his half-forgotten episode.


Meantime the two ladies continued on their way to the abbey. “I don’t see why I mayn’t sketch things I see about me,” said the young lady impatiently. “Of course, I understand that I must go through the rudimentary drudgery of my art and study from casts, and learn perspective, and all that; but I can’t see what’s the difference between working in a stuffy studio over a hand or arm that I know is only a STUDY, and sketching a full or half length in the open air with the wonderful illusion of light and shade and distance–and grouping and combining them all–that one knows and feels makes a picture. The real picture one makes is already in one’s self.”

“For goodness’ sake, Lottie, don’t go on again with your usual absurdities. Since you are bent on being an artist, and your Popper has consented and put you under the most expensive master in Paris, the least you can do is to follow the rules. And I dare say he only wanted you to ‘sink the shop’ in company. It’s such horrid bad form for you artistic people to be always dragging out your sketch-books. What would you say if your Popper came over here, and began to examine every lady’s dress in society to see what material it was, just because he was a big dry-goods dealer in America?”