A group of dogs, great, magnificent tawny creatures, welcomed the two visitors to the château; and the most powerful door that Bok had ever seen, as securely bolted as that of a cell, told of the inaccessibility of the mistress of the house. Two blue-frocked peasants explained how impossible it was for any one to see their mistress, so Bok asked permission to come in and write her a note.
This was granted; and then, as in the case of Kate Greenaway, Rosa Bonheur herself walked into the hall, in a velvet jacket, dressed, as she always was, in mans attire. A delightful smile lighted the strong face, surmounted by a shock of gray hair, cut short at the back; and from the moment of her first welcome there was no doubt of her cordiality to the few who were fortunate enough to work their way into her presence. It was a wonderful afternoon, spent in the painters studio in the upper part of the château; and Bok carried away with him the promise of Rosa Bonheur to write the story of her life for publication in the magazine.
On his return to London the editor found that Charles Dana Gibson had settled down there for a time. Bok had always wanted Gibson to depict the characters of Dickens; and he felt that this was the opportunity, while the artist was in London and could get the atmosphere for his work. Gibson was as keen for the idea as was Bok, and so the two arranged the series which was subsequently published.
On his way to his steamer to sail for home, Bok visited Ian Maclaren, whose Bonnie Brier Bush stories were then in great vogue, and not only contracted for Doctor Watsons stories of the immediate future, but arranged