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The Old Flute-Player
A Romance of To-day

written by "Rowe, Clarence H. (Clarence Herbert), 1878-1930" took up her new work and could come to it but once a week and M'riar was a comfort to him. An astonishing companionship grew up between the strangely differing pair. To save his ears he taught her something about singing; to save her pride from gibings from the other children in the[137] block (who were irreverent and sometimes made a little fun of Kreutzer) she saw to it that he was always brushed when he went out. Indeed she made him very comfortable. Monday afternoons were what made life worth living, though, to him. On Monday afternoons there was no music at the beer-garden and Mrs. Vanderlyn gave Anna, also, that time to herself so they had these hours together, reunited. Anna's absence from him among strangers was a constant worry and humiliation to him. He reproached himself continually because his poverty had made it necessary. She was at that age, he knew, when maidens learn to love, and she must never learn to love until—until he could go back, with her to his dear Germany, where were such men as he would choose for her. And when would that be safe? Oh, when would that be safe! He wondered if it was not yet time to trust her with the secret which he had concealed[138] from her her whole life long. The temptation was tremendous. Some day she would know why he had lived, must live a fugitive. Must he wait on, for other weary years? He sat immersed in thought of these things, while M'riar worked at making everything as near to neat perfection as her training in the London lodging-house made possible. The old man's thoughts dwelt much upon young Vanderlyn. His Anna would see much of him, ere long, when the young man's western trips were ended. But she must not fall in love with him! It would not do for Anna Kreutzer, daughter of the beer-garden flute-player, to marry an American. But how, without revealing to her what he hid, could he be certain that she understood this? He wondered if it had not been a great mis...

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