**** 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!


by [?]

Seven-an’-Six squeezed the paint out of his brushes, packed up his easel and japanned box, wished the company good-day, and strolled back to his inn. He was sincerely distressed, and regretted a hundred times in the course of that evening that he had parted with the portrait and received its price before Captain Hosken had made that speech. He would (he told himself) have run his knife through the canvas, and gladly forfeited the money. As it was, he lingered long over the supper it procured, and ate heartily.

A mile beyond the town, next morning, Boutigo’s van, in which he was the only passenger, pulled up in front of a roadside cottage. A bundle and a tin box were hoisted up by Boutigo, and a girl climbed in. It was ‘Liza.

“Oh, good morning!” stammered the little painter.

“I’m going to stay with my aunt in Truro, and seek service,” the girl announced, keeping her eye upon him, and her colour down with an effort. “Where are you bound?”

“I? Oh, I travel about, now in one place, next day in another–always moving. It’s the breath of life to me, moving around.”

“That must be nice! I often wonder why men tie themselves up to a wife when they might be free to move about like you, and see the world. What does a man want to tack a wife on to him when he can always carry her image about?” She laughed, without much bitterness.

“But–” began the amiable painter, and checked himself. He had been about to confess that he himself owned a wife and four healthy children. He saw this family about once in two months, and it existed by letting out lodgings in a small unpaintable town. He was sincerely fond of his wife, who made every allowance for his mercurial nature; but it suddenly struck him that her portrait hung in the parlour at home, and had never accompanied him on his travels.

He was silent for a minute or two, and then began to converse on ordinary topics.