The Master-Knot of Human Fate

Ellis Meredith
The Master-Knot of Human Fate, by Ellis

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Title: The Master-Knot of Human Fate
Author: Ellis Meredith

Release Date: February 17, 2007 [eBook #20615]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
E-text prepared by V. L. Simpson and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team ( from digital material generously made available by Internet Archive/American Libraries (

Note: Images of the original pages are available through Internet Archive/American Libraries. See


Up from Earth's Centre through the Seventh Gate I rose, and on the Throne of Saturn sate, And many a Knot unravel'd by the Road; But not the Master-knot of Human Fate.

Boston Little, Brown, and Company 1901 Copyright, 1901, By Little, Brown, and Company. All rights reserved. University Press John Wilson and Son Cambridge, U. S. A.
Up from Earth's Centre through the Seventh Gate I rose, and on the Throne of Saturn sate, And many a Knot unravel'd by the Road; But not the Master-knot of Human Fate.
* * * * *
Ah Love! could you and I with Him conspire To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire, Would not we shatter it to bits--and then Re-mould it nearer to the Heart's Desire!


To-night God knows what things shall tide, The Earth is racked and faint-- Expectant, sleepless, open-eyed; And we, who from the Earth were made. Thrill with our Mother's pain.
Along one of the most precipitous of the many Rocky Mountain trails a man and a woman climbed slowly one spring morning. The air was cold, and farther up the mountains little patches of snow lay here and there in the hollows. Two or three miles below them nestled one of the most famous pleasure resorts of the entire region. Three or four times as distant lay the nearest town of any importance. Over the plain and through the clear atmosphere it looked like a bird's-eye-view map rather than an actual town. Far away to the left, gorgeous in coloring and grotesque in outline, could be seen the odd figures of many strangely piled rocks.
The two pedestrians stopped now and then to rest and look away over the matchless scene and take in its wonderful beauty. The woman was tall and slender, with a superb carriage. Even on that steep ascent she moved with the grace and freedom of one who has entire command of her body. She was well gowned also for such an excursion. Her short, green cloth skirt did not impede her movements, and high, stout shoes gave her firm footing. She had removed her jacket, and in her bright pink silk blouse and abbreviated petticoat, with the glow of the morning on her usually pale face, she looked almost girlish; but her face was not that of girlhood. It was without lines, and the heavy masses of her golden-brown hair were quite unstreaked with silver; but her white forehead was serene with the calmness that follows overcoming, and her dark gray eyes saw the world shorn of its illusions. In her there were, or had been, unrealized capacities for life in all its height and depth and breadth. In studying her one became vaguely aware that, having missed these things, she had found a fourth dimension which supplied the loss.
Her companion was younger by several years, and so much taller that she seemed almost small in comparison. In his eyes there danced and shone the light of truth and courage and hope, and he walked with the buoyancy of joy and youth. Israfil, Antinous, Apollo,--he might have stood as the model for any of them, or for a fit representation of the words of the wise man, "Rejoice, oh, young man, in thy youth, and let thine heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart."
The relation between the two was problematic. Certainly there was no question of love on either side. Equally certainly there existed between them a rare and exquisite camaraderie, a perfect comprehension that often made words superfluous. A look sufficed.
They toiled up the steep, narrow path until they reached a wide trail, a carriage road that had been laid out and abandoned. It swept around the mountain-side, miles above the little city on the plain, and terminated suddenly at an immense gateway of stone. Here the mountain had been torn asunder, and two palisades of gray-green rock rose grim and terrible for hundreds of feet, while between them, dashing over boulders and
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