Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
  I. A Lover of Music Henry van Dyke

Section II.

Page 1 of 5

Table Of Contents: The Ruling Passion

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

Jacques dropped into his place and filled it as if it had been made for him. There was something in his disposition that seemed to fit him for just the role that was vacant in the social drama of the settlement. It was not a serious, important, responsible part, like that of a farmer, or a store-keeper, or a professional hunter. It was rather an addition to the regular programme of existence, something unannounced and voluntary, and therefore not weighted with too heavy responsibilities. There was a touch of the transient and uncertain about it. He seemed like a perpetual visitor; and yet he stayed on as steadily as a native, never showing, from the first, the slightest wish or intention to leave the woodland village.

I do not mean that he was an idler. Bytown had not yet arrived at that stage of civilization in which an ornamental element is supported at the public expense.

He worked for his living, and earned it. He was full of a quick, cheerful industry; and there was nothing that needed to be done about Moody's establishment, from the wood-pile to the ice-house, at which he did not bear a hand willingly and well.

"He kin work like a beaver," said Bill Moody, talking the stranger over down at the post-office one day; "but I don't b'lieve he's got much ambition. Jess does his work and takes his wages, and then gits his fiddle out and plays."

We have hundreds more books for your enjoyment. Read them all!

"Tell ye what," said Hose Ransom, who set up for the village philosopher, "he ain't got no 'magination. That's what makes men slack. He don't know what it means to rise in the world; don't care fer anythin' ez much ez he does fer his music. He's jess like a bird; let him have 'nough to eat and a chance to sing, and he's all right. What's he 'magine about a house of his own, and a barn, and sich things?"

Hosea's illustration was suggested by his own experience. He had just put the profits of his last summer's guiding into a new barn, and his imagination was already at work planning an addition to his house in the shape of a kitchen L.

But in spite of his tone of contempt, he had a kindly feeling for the unambitious fiddler. Indeed, this was the attitude of pretty much every one in the community. A few men of the rougher sort had made fun of him at first, and there had been one or two attempts at rude handling. But Jacques was determined to take no offence; and he was so good-humoured, so obliging, so pleasant in his way of whistling and singing about his work, that all unfriendliness soon died out.

He had literally played his way into the affections of the village. The winter seemed to pass more swiftly and merrily than it had done before the violin was there. He was always ready to bring it out, and draw all kinds of music from its strings, as long as any one wanted to listen or to dance.

Page 1 of 5 Previous Chapter   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
The Ruling Passion
Henry van Dyke

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004