Part 5 out of 5
"Good afternoon, Mrs. Frost," said the squire, lifting his hat.
"Good afternoon, Squire Haynes. Won't you walk in?"
"Thank you; I will intrude for a few minutes. How do you do?" he
said, nodding to Frank as he entered.
"Pretty well, thank you, sir," said Frank nervously.
The squire, knowing the odium which would attach to the course he
had settled upon, resolved to show the utmost politeness to the
family he was about to injure, and justify his action by the plea
"Take a seat, Squire Haynes," said Mrs. Frost "You'll find this
rocking-chair more comfortable.'
"I am very well seated, thank you. I cannot stop long. I have
merely called on a matter of business."
"About the mortgage?" interrupted Frank, who could keep silence
"Precisely so. I regret to say that I have urgent occasion for
the money, and shall be unable to renew it."
"We have got four hundred dollars," said Mrs. Frost, "which we
are intending to pay."
"I am sorry to say that this will not answer my purpose."
"Why did you not let us know before?" asked Frank abruptly.
"Frank!" said his mother reprovingly.
"It was only this morning that the necessity arose. I have a note
due which must be paid."
"We are not provided with the money, Squire Haynes," said Mrs.
Frost. "if, however, you will wait a few days, we can probably
raise it among our friends."
"I regret to say that this will not do," said the squire, "I
would gladly postpone the matter. The investment has been
satisfactory to me, but necessity knows no law."
Frank was about to burst out with some indignant exclamation, but
his mother, checking him, said: "I think there is little chance
of our being able to pay you to-morrow. May I inquire what course
you propose to take?"
"It will be my painful duty to foreclose the mortgage."
"Squire Haynes," said Frank boldly, "haven't you intended to
foreclose the mortgage all along? Hadn't you decided about it
when I called upon you ten days ago?"
"What do you mean by your impertinence, sir?" demanded the
squire, giving vent to his anger.
"Just what I say. I believe you bear a grudge against my father,
and only put me off the other day in order to prevent my being
able to meet your demands to-morrow. What do you suppose we can
do in less than twenty-four hours?"
"Madam!" said the squire, purple with rage, "do you permit your
son to insult me in this manner?"
"I leave it to your conscience, Squire Haynes, whether his
charges are not deserved. I do not like to think ill of any man,
but your course is very suspicious."
"Madam," said Squire Haynes, now thoroughly enraged, "you are a
woman, and can say what you please; but as for this young rascal,
I'll beat him within an inch of his life if I ever catch him out
of your presence."
"He is under the protection of the laws," said Mrs. Frost
composedly, "which you, being a lawyer, ought to understand."
"I'll have no mercy on you. I'll sell you up root and branch,"
said Squire Haynes, trembling with passion, and smiting the floor
with his cane.
"At all events the house is ours to-day," returned Mrs. Frost,
with dignity, "and I must request you to leave us in quiet
possession of it."
The squire left the house in undignified haste, muttering threats
as he went.
"Good, mother!" exclaimed Frank admiringly. "You turned him out
capitally. But," he added, an expression of dismay stealing over
his face, "what shall we do?"
"We must try to obtain a loan," said Mrs. Frost, "I will go and
see Mr. Sanger, while you go to Mr. Perry. Possibly they may help
us. There is no time to be lost."
An hour afterward Frank and his mother returned, both
disappointed. Mr. Sanger and Mr. Perry both had the will to help
but not the ability. There seemed no hope left save in Mr.
Morton. At six o'clock the stage rolled up to the gate.
"Thank Heaven! Mr. Morton has come!" exclaimed Frank eagerly.
Mr. Morton got out of the stage, and with him a feeble old man,
or such he seemed, whom the young man assisted to alight. They
came up the gravel walk together.
"How do you do, Frank?" he said, with a cheerful smile.
"We are in trouble," said Frank. "Squire Haynes is going to
foreclose the mortgage to-morrow."
"Never mind!" said Mr. Morton. "We will be ready for him. He
can't do either of us any more mischief, Frank. His race is about
A heavy weight seemed lifted from Frank's heart. For the rest of
the day he was in wild spirits. He asked no questions of Mr.
Morton. He felt a firm confidence that all would turn out for the
CHAPTER XXXII. TURNING THE TABLES
The next morning Mr. Morton made inquiries of Frank respecting
the mortgage. Frank explained that a loan of four hundred dollars
would enable him to cancel it.
"That is very easily arranged, then," said Henry Morton.
He opened his pocketbook and drew out four crisp new United
States notes, of one hundred dollars each.
"There, Frank," said he; "that will loosen the hold Squire Haynes
has upon you. I fancy he will find it a little more difficult to
extricate himself from my grasp."
"How can I ever thank you, Mr. Morton?" said Frank, with emotion.
"It gives me great pleasure to have it in my power to be of
service to you, Frank," said his friend kindly.
"We will have a mortgage made out to you," continued Frank.
"Not without my consent, I hope," said Mr. Morton, smiling.
Frank looked puzzled.
"No, Frank," resumed Mr. Morton, "I don't care for any security.
You may give me a simple acknowledgment of indebtedness, and then
pay me at your leisure."
Frank felt with Justice that Mr. Morton was acting very
generously, and he was more than ever drawn to him.
So passed the earlier hours of the forenoon.
About eleven o'clock Squire Haynes was observed approaching the
house. His step was firm and elastic, as if he rejoiced in the
errand he was upon. Again he lifted the knocker, and sounded a
noisy summons. It was in reality a summons to surrender.
The door was opened again by Mrs. Frost, who invited the squire
to enter. He did so, wondering at her apparent composure.
"They can't have raised the money," thought he apprehensively.
"No, I am sure the notice was too short."
Frank was in the room, but Squire Haynes did not deign to notice
him, nor did Frank choose to make advances. Mrs. Frost spoke upon
indifferent subjects, being determined to force Squire Haynes to
broach himself the business that had brought him to the farm.
Finally, clearing his throat, he said: "Well, madam, are you
prepared to cancel the mortgage which I hold upon your husband's
"I hope," said Mrs. Frost, "you will give us time. It is hardly
possible to obtain so large a sum in twenty-four hours."
"They haven't got it," thought the squire exultingly.
"As to that," he said aloud, "you've had several years to get
"Have you no consideration? Remember my husband's absence, and I
am unacquainted with business."
"I have already told you," said the squire hastily, "that I
require the money. I have a note to pay, and----"
"Can you give us a week?"
"No, I must have the money at once."
"And if we cannot pay?"
"I must foreclose."
"Will that give you the money any sooner? I suppose you would
have to advertise the farm for sale before you could realize
anything, and I hardly think that car be accomplished sooner than
a week hence."
"The delay is only a subterfuge on your part," said the squire
hotly. "You would be no better prepared at the end of a week than
you are now."
"No, perhaps not," said Mrs. Frost quietly.
"And yet you ask me to wait," said the squire indignantly. "Once
for all, let me tell you that all entreaties are vain. My mind is
made up to foreclose, and foreclose I will."
"Don't be too sure of that," interrupted Frank, with a triumphant
"Ha, young impudence!" exclaimed the squire, wheeling round.
"Who's to prevent me, I should like to know?"
"I am," said Frank boldly.
The squire fingered his cane nervously. He was very strongly
tempted to lay it on our hero's back. But he reflected that the
power was in his hands, and that he was sure of his revenge.
"You won't gain anything by your impudence," he said loftily. "I
might have got you a place, out of pity to your mother, if you
had behaved differently. I need a boy to do odd jobs about the
house, and I might have offered the place to you."
"Thank you for your kind intentions," said Frank, "but I fear the
care of this farm will prevent my accepting your tempting offer."
"The care of the farm!" repeated the squire angrily. "Do you
think I will delegate it to you?"
"I don't see what you have to do about it," said Frank.
"Then you'll find out," roared the squire. "I shall take
immediate possession, and require you to leave at once."
"Then I suppose we had better pay the mortgage, mother," said
"Pay the mortgage! You can't do it," said the squire exultingly.
"Have you the document with you?" inquired Mrs. Frost.
"Name the amount due on it."
"With interest eight hundred and twenty-four dollars."
"Frank, call in Mr. Morton as a witness."
Mr. Morton entered.
"Now, Frank, you may count out the money."
"What!" stammered the squire, in dismay, "can you pay it."
"Why didn't you tell me so in the first place?" demanded Squire
Haynes, his wrath excited by his bitter disappointment.
"I wished to ascertain whether your course was dictated by
necessity or a desire to annoy and injure us. I can have no
further doubt about it."
There was no help for it. Squire Haynes was compelled to release
his hold upon the Frost Farm, and pocket his money. He had never
been so sorry to receive money before.
This business over, he was about to beat a hurried retreat, when
he was suddenly arrested by a question from Henry Morton.
"Can you spare me a few minutes, Squire Haynes?"
"I am in haste, sir."
"My business is important, and has already been too long
"Too long delayed?"
"Yes, it has waited twelve years."
"I don't understand you, sir," said the squire.
"Perhaps I can assist you. You know me as Henry Morton. That is
not my real name."
"An alias!" sneered the squire in a significant tone.
"Yes, I had my reasons," returned the young man, unmoved.
"I have no doubt of it."
Henry Morton smiled, but did not otherwise notice the unpleasant
"My real name is Richard Waring."
Squire Haynes started violently and scrutinized the young man
closely through his spectacles. His vague suspicions were
"Do you wish to know my business with you?"
The squire muttered something inaudible.
"I demand the restitution of the large sum of money entrusted to
you by my father, just before his departure to the West Indies--a
sum of which you have been the wrongful possessor for twelve
"Do you mean to insult me?" exclaimed the squire, bold in the
assurance that the sole evidence of his fraud was undiscovered.
"Unless you comply with my demand I shall proceed against you
legally, and you are enough of a lawyer to understand the
punishment meted out to that description of felony."
"Pooh, pooh! Your threats won't avail you," said the squire
contemptuously. "Your plan is a very clumsy one. Let me suggest
to you, young man, that threats for the purpose of extorting
money are actionable."
"Do you doubt my identity?"
"You may very probably be the person you claim to be, but that
won't save you."
"Very well. You have conceded one point."
He walked quietly to the door of the adjoining room, opened it,
and in a distinct voice called "James Travers."
At the sound of this name Squire Haynes sank into a chair, ashy
A man, not over forty, but with seamed face, hair nearly white,
and a form evidently broken with ill health, slowly entered.
Squire Haynes beheld him with dismay.
"You see before you, Squire Haynes, a man whose silence has been
your safeguard for the last twelve years. His lips are now
unsealed. James Travers, tell us what you know of the trust
reposed in this man by my father,"
"No, no," said the squire hurriedly. "It--it is enough. I will
"You have done wisely," said Richard Waring. (We must give him
his true name.) "When will you be ready to meet me upon this
"To-morrow," muttered the squire.
He left the house with the air of one who has been crushed by a
The pride of the haughty had been laid low, and retribution, long
deferred, had come at last.
Numerous and hearty were the congratulations which Mr. Morton--I
mean Mr. Waring--received upon his new accession of property.
"I do not care so much for that," he said, "but my father's word
has been vindicated. My mind is now at peace."
There was more than one happy heart at the farm that night. Mr.
Waring had accomplished the great object of his life; and as for
Frank and his mother, they felt that the black cloud which had
menaced their happiness had been removed, and henceforth there
seemed prosperous days in store. To cap the climax of their
happiness, the afternoon mail brought a letter from Mr. Frost, in
which he imparted the intelligence that he had been promoted to a
"Mother," said Frank, "you must be very dignified now, You are an
CHAPTER XXXIII. CONCLUSION
The restitution which Squire Haynes was compelled to make
stripped him of more than half his property. His mortification
and chagrin was so great that he determined to remove from
Rossville. He gave no intimation where he was going, but it is
understood that he is now living in the vicinity of Philadelphia,
in a much more modest way than at Rossville.
To anticipate matters a little, it may be said that John was
recently examined for college, but failed so signally that he
will not again make the attempt. He has shown a disposition to be
extravagant, which, unless curbed, will help him run through his
father's diminished property at a rapid rate whenever it shall
come into his possession.
The squire's handsome house in Rossville was purchased by Henry
Morton--I must still be allowed to call him thus, though not his
real name. He has not yet taken up his residence there, but there
is reason to believe that ere long there will be a Mrs. Morton to
keep him company therein.
Not long since, as he and Frank lay stretched out beneath a
thick-branching oak in the front yard at the farm, Mr. Morton
turned to our hero and said, "Are you meaning to go to college
when your father comes home, Frank?"
"I have always looked forward to it," he said, "but lately I have
been thinking that I shall have to give up the idea."
"Because it is so expensive that my father cannot, in justice to
his other children, support me through a four years' course.
Besides, you know, Mr. Morton, we are four hundred dollars in
"Should you like very much to go to college, Frank?"
"Better than anything else in the world."
"Then you shall go."
Frank looked up in surprise.
"Don't you understand me?" said Mr. Morton.
"I mean that I will defray your expenses through college."
Frank could hardly believe his ears.
"You would spend so much money on me!" he exclaimed
incredulously. "Why, it will cost a thousand dollars."
"Very well, I can afford it," said Mr. Morton. "But perhaps you
object to the plan."
"How good you are to me!" said Frank, impulsively seizing his
friend's hand. "What have I done to deserve so much kindness?"
"You have done your duty, Frank, at the sacrifice of your
inclinations. I think you ought to be rewarded. God has bestowed
upon me more than I need. I think he intends that I shall become
his almoner. If you desire to express your gratitude, you can
best do it by improving the advantages which will be opened to
Frank hastened to his mother to communicate his brilliant
prospects. Her joy was scarcely less than his.
"Do not forget, Frank," she said, "who it is that has raised up
this friend for you. Give Him the thanks."
There was another whose heart was gladdened when this welcome
news reached him in his tent beside the Rappahannock. He felt
that while he was doing his duty in the field, God was taking
better care of his family than he could have done if he remained
Before closing this chronicle I must satisfy the curiosity of my
readers upon a few points in which they may feel interested.
The Rossville Guards are still in existence, "and Frank is still
their captain. They have already done escort duty on several
occasions, and once they visited Boston, and marched up State
Street with a precision of step which would have done no
discredit to veteran soldiers.
Dick Bumstead's reformation proved to be a permanent one. He is
Frank's most intimate friend, and with his assistance is laboring
to remedy the defects of his early education. He has plenty of
ability, and, now that he has turned over a new leaf, I have no
hesitation in predicting for him a useful and honorable career.
Old Mrs. Payson has left Rossville, much to the delight of her
grandson Sam, who never could get along with his grandmother. She
still wears for best the "bunnit" presented her by Cynthy Ann,
which, notwithstanding its mishap, seems likely to last her to
the end of her natural life. She still has a weakness for hot
gingerbread and mince pie, and, though she is turned of seventy,
would walk a mile any afternoon with such an inducement.
Should any of my readers at any time visit the small town of
Sparta, and encounter in the street a little old lady dressed in
a brown cloak and hood, and firmly grasping in her right hand a
faded blue cotton umbrella, they may feel quite certain that they
are in the presence of Mrs. Mehitabel Payson, relict of Jeremiah
Little Pomp has improved very much both in his studies and his
behavior. He now attends school regularly, and is quite as far
advanced as most boys of his age. Though he is not entirely cured
of his mischievous propensities, he behaves "pretty well,
considering," and is a great deal of company to old Chloe, to
whom he reads stories in books lent him by Frank and others.
Chloe is amazingly proud of Pomp, whom she regards as a perfect
prodigy of talent.
"Lor' bress you, missus," she remarked to Mrs. Frost one day, "he
reads jest as fast as I can talk. He's an awful smart boy, dat
"Why don't you let him teach you to read, Chloe?"
"Oh, Lor', missus, I couldn't learn, nohow. I ain't got no
gumption. I don't know noffin'."
"Why couldn't you learn as well as Pomp?"
"Dat ar boy's a gen'us, missus. His fader was a mighty smart
niggar, and Pomp's took arter him."
Chloe's conviction of her own inferiority and Pomp's superior
ability seemed so rooted that Mrs. Frost finally gave up her
persuasions. Meanwhile, as Chloe is in good health and has
abundance of work, she has no difficulty in earning a comfortable
subsistence for herself and Pomp. As soon as Pomp is old enough,
Frank will employ him upon the farm.
While I am writing these lines intelligence has just been
received from Frank's substitute at the seat of war. He has just
been promoted to a captaincy. In communicating this he adds: "You
may tell Frank that I am now his equal in rank, though his
commission bears an earlier date. I suppose, therefore, I must
content myself with being Captain Frost, Jr. I shall be very glad
when the necessities of the country will permit me to lay aside
the insignia of rank and, returning to Rossville, subside into
plain Henry Frost again. If you ask me when this is to be, I can
only say that it depends on the length of our struggle. I am
enlisted for the war, and I mean to see it through! Till that
time Frank must content himself with acting as my substitute at
home. I am so well pleased with his management of the farm that I
am convinced it is doing as well as if I were at home to
superintend it in person. Express to Mr. Waring my gratitude for
the generous proposal he has made to Frank. I feel that words are
inadequate to express the extent of our obligations to him."
Some years have passed since the above letter was written. The
war is happily over, and Captain Frost has returned home with an
honorable record of service. Released from duty at home, Frank
has exchanged the farm for the college hall, and he is now
approaching graduation, one of the foremost scholars in his
class. He bids fair to carry out the promise of his boyhood, and
in the more varied and prolonged campaign which manhood opens
before him we have reason to believe that he will display equal
fidelity and gain an equal success.