Ludovic Heffner

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Older, former concert violinist fallen on harder times from the forgotten 1908 novel Three of a Kind: the story of an old musician, a newsboy and a cocker dog by Richard Burton (1861-1940), who isn't any of the famous people with the same name you're thinking of.

Ludovic turns to the trombone and adopts an orphaned newsboy named Phil.

Ludovic was a North German, a native of Cassel. Music he had drunk in as a boy in that pretty little Hessian city, where his father had been a bandmaster: music was as much a part of him as bread and beer. Not to follow the same profession had never even occurred to his mind. Caught in the great stream of immigration which seemed to sing a song of hope to the hosts of the elder lands, he had come, long years before, to America, a young man with a happy knack at the fiddle, an honest open face under his wavy hair and, deep down in his heart, the desire to become rich and famed; but not for himself he wished it, ach, no that he might send for Hilda, to join him in the great new splendid country and be his bride.

He was getting on for old now, and Hilda had never come; he did not even know her fate; yet he was not unhappy. Music had been a faithful mistress, and his life, inconspicuous though it might be, brought him his full share of cheer and comfort. Only it was as if the original spring of action had been broken; the native resiliency was there still, but the motive for doing that had been killed, long, long ago.

In those more prosperous times, he had been a member of a distinguished symphony orchestra, whose standing set a seal of ability on all its personnel; it was a place to which his talents naturally called him. He made no murmur that of late years his fate had turned dingier and brought him employment at the humbler playhouses. It was no diminution of skill nor dimming of ideals that had wrought the change : a disagreement with his old leader over a technical point of interpretation ; an unnecessary sticking to his side of the argument and dismissal, that was all. The essential trouble was that Ludovic was what is called unambitious; he who feeds on dreams is often careless as to his daily meat. He had even at times, under pressure, become a member of an itinerant street band, and in that capacity breathed a certain dignity into a trombone, nor been unhappy in such endeavor.

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