Part 9 out of 9
about him as couldn't spare him."
"Something is the matter, Jane. What is it?"
Jane lowered her voice mysteriously. "Well, miss, the captain is--in
"Oh, dear, what has happened?"
"Well, the fact is, miss, the captain's--took"
"I cannot understand you. Pray speak intelligibly."
"Captain Kenealy arrested! Oh, Heaven! for what crime?"
"La, miss, no crime at all--leastways not so considered by the gentry.
He is only took in payment of them beautiful reg-mentals. However,
black or red, he is always well put on. I am sure he looks just out of
a band-box; and I got it all out of one of the men as it's a army
tailor, which he wrote again and again, and sent his bill, and the
captain he took no notice; then the tailor he sent him a writ, and the
captain he took no notice; then the tailor he lawed him, but the
captain he kep' on a taking no more notice nor if it was a dog a
barking, and then a putting all them ere barks one after another in a
letter, and sending them by the post; so the end is, the captain is
arrested; and now he behooves to attend a bit to what is a going on
around an about him, as the saying is, and so he is waiting to pay you
his respects before he starts for Bridewell."
"My fatal advice! I ruin all my friends."
"Keep dark," says he; "don't tell a soul except Miss Fountain."
"Where is he? Oh?"
Jane offered to show her that, and took her to the stable yard.
Arriving with a face full of tender pity and concern, Lucy was not a
little surprised to find the victim smoking cigars in the center of
his smoking captors. The men touched their hats, and Captain Kenealy
said: "Isn't it a boa, Miss Fountain? they won't let me do your little
commission. In London they will go anywhere with a fellaa."
"London ye knows," explained the assistant, "but this here is full of
hins and houts, and folyidge."
"Oh, sir," cried Lucy to the best-dressed captor, "surely you will not
be so cruel as to take a gentleman like Captain Kenealy to prison?"
"Very sorry, marm, but we 'ave no hoption: takes 'em every day; don't
"But, sir, as it is only for money, can you not be induced
"Bill, lady's going to pay the debtancosts. Show her the ticket. Debt
eighty pund, costs seven pund eighteen six."
"What! will you liberate him if I pay you eighty-eight pounds?"
"Well, marm, to oblige you we will; won't we, Bill?"
He winked. Bill nodded.
"Then pray stay here a minute, and this shall be arranged to your
entire satisfaction"; and she glided swiftly away, followed by Jane,
"Quite the lady, Bill."
"Kevite. Captn is in luck. Hare ve to be at the vedding, capn?"
"Dem your impudence! I'll cross-buttock yah!"
"Hold your tongue, Bill--queering a gent. Draw it mild, captain.
Debtancosts ain't paid yet. Here they come, though."
Lucy returned swiftly, holding aloft a slip of paper.
"There, sir, that is a check for 90 pounds; it is the same thing as
money, you are doubtless aware." The man took it and inspected it
Very sorry, marm, but can't take it. It's a lady's check."
"What! is it not written properly?"
"Beautiful, marm. But when we takes these beautiful-wrote checks to
the bank, the cry is always, 'No assets.'"
"But Uncle Bazalgette said everybody would give me money for it."
"What! is Mr. Bazalgette your uncle, marm? then you go to him, and get
his check in place of yours, and the captain will be free as the birds
in the hair."
"Oh, thank you, sir," cried Lucy, and the next minute she was in Mr.
Bazalgette's study. "Uncle, don't be angry with me: it is for no
unworthy purpose; only don't ask me; it might mortify another; but
_would_ you give me a check of your own for mine? They will not
Mr. Bazalgette looked grave, and even sad; but he sat quietly down
without a word, and drew her a check, taking hers, which he locked in
his desk. The tears were in Lucy's eyes at his gravity and his
delicacy. "Some day I will tell you," said she. "I have nothing to
reproach myself, indeed--indeed."
"Make the rogue--or jade--give you a receipt," groaned Bazalgette.
"All right, marm, this time. Captain, the world is hall before you
where to chewse. But this is for ninety, marm;" and he put his hand
very slowly into his pocket.
"Do me the favor to keep the rest for your trouble, sir."
"Trouble's a pleasure, marm. It is not often we gets a tip for taking
a gent. Ve are funk shin hairies as is not depreciated, mam, and the
more genteel we takes 'em the rougher they cuts; and the very women no
more like you nor dark to light; but flies at us like ryal Bengal
tigers, through taking of us for the creditors."
"Verehas we hare honly servants of the ke veen;" suggested No. 2,
hashing his mistress's English.
"Stow your gab, Bill, and mizzle. Let the captain thank the lady.
"Oh, my poor friend, what language! and my ill advice threw you into
Captain Kenealy told her, in his brief way, that the circumstance was
one of no import, except in so far as it had impeded his discharge of
his duty to her. He then mounted the pony, which had been waiting for
him more than half an hour.
"But it is five o'clock," said Lucy; "you will be too late for
"Dinner be dem--d," drawled the man of action, and rode off like a
"It is to be, then," said Lucy, and her heart ebbed. It had ebbed and
flowed a good many times in the last hour or two.
Captain Kenealy reappeared in the middle of dinner. Lucy scanned his
face, but it was like the outside of a copy-book, and she was on
thorns. Being too late, he lost his place near her at dinner, and she
could not whisper to him. However, when the ladies retired he opened
the door, and Lucy let fall a word at his feet: "Come up before the
Acting on this order, Kenealy came up, and found Lucy playing sad
tunes softly on the piano and Mrs. Bazalgette absent. She was trying
something on upstairs. He gave Lucy a note from Mrs. Wilson. She
opened it, and the joyful color suffused her cheek, and she held out
her hand to him; but, as she turned her head away mighty prettily at
the same time, she did not see the captain was proffering a second
document, and she was a little surprised when, instead of a warm
grasp, all friendship and no love, a piece of paper was shoved into
her delicate palm. She took it; looked first at Kenealy, then at it,
and was sore puzzled.
The document was in Kenealy's handwriting, and at first Lucy thought
it must be intended as a mere specimen of caligraphy; for not only was
it beautifully written, but in letters of various sizes. There were
three gigantic vowels, I. O. U. There were little wee notifications of
time and place, and other particulars of medium size. The general
result was that Henry Kenealy O'd Lucy Fountain ninety pound for value
received per loan. Lucy caught at the meaning. "But, my dear friend,"
said she, innocently, "you mistake. I did not lend it you; I meant to
give it you. Will you not accept it? Are we not friends?"
"Much oblaiged. Couldn't do it. Dishonable."
"Oh, pray do not let me wound your pride. I know what it is to have
one's pride wounded; call it a loan if you wish. But, dear friend,
what am I to do with this?"
"When you want the money, order your man of business to present it to
me, and, if I don't pay, lock me up, for I shall deserve it."
"I think I understand. This is a memorandum--a sort of reminder."
"Then clearly I am not the person to whom it should be given. No; if
you want to be reminded of this mighty matter, put this in your desk;
if it gets into mine, you will never see it again; I will give you
fair warning. There--hide it--quick--here they come."
They did come, all but Mr. Bazalgette, who was at work in his study.
Mr. Talboys came up to the piano and said gravely, "Miss Fountain, are
you aware of the fate of the lugger--of the boat we went out in?"
Indeed I am. I have sent the poor widow some clothes and a little
"I have only just been informed of it," said Mr. Talboys, "and I feel
under considerable obligations to Mr. Dodd."
"The feeling does you credit."
"Should you meet him, will you do me the honor to express my gratitude
"I would, with pleasure, Mr. Talboys, but there is no chance whatever
of my seeing Mr. Dodd. His sister is staying in Market Street, No. 80,
and if you would call on them or write to them, it would be a
kindness, and I think they would both feel it."
"Humph!" said Talboys, doubtfully. Here a servant stepped up to Miss
Fountain. "Master would be glad to see you in his study, miss."
"I have got something for you, Lucy. I know what it is, so run away
with it, and read it in your own room, for I am busy." He handed her a
long sealed packet. She took it, trembling, and flew to her own room
with it, like a hawk carrying off a little bird to its nest. She broke
the enormous seal and took out the inclosure. It was David Dodd's
commission. He was captain of the _Rajah,_ the new ship of eleven
hundred tons' burden.
While she gazes at it with dilating eye and throbbing heart, I may as
well undeceive the reader. This was not really effected in forty-eight
hours. Bazalgette only pretended that, partly out of fun, partly out
of nobility. Ever since a certain interview in his study with David
Dodd, who was a man after his own heart, he had taken a note, and had
worked for him with "the Company;" for Bazalgette was one of those
rare men who reduce performance to a certainty long before they
promise. His promises were like pie-crust made to be eaten, and eaten
Lucy came out of her room, and at the same moment issued forth from
hers Mrs. Bazalgette in a fine new dress. It was that black
_glace;_ silk, divested of gloom by cheerful accessories, in
which she had threatened to mourn eternally Lucy's watery fate. Fire
flashed from the young lady's eyes at the sight of it. She went down
to her uncle, muttering between her ivory teeth: "All the same--all
the same;" and her heart flowed. The next minute, at sight of Mr.
Bazalgette it ebbed. She came into his room, saying: "Oh, Uncle
Bazalgette, it is not to thank you--that I can never do worthily; it
is to ask another favor. Do, pray, let me spend this evening with you;
let me be where you are. I will be as still as a mouse. See, I have
brought some work; or, if you _would_ but let me help you.
Indeed, uncle, I am not a fool. I am very quick to learn at the
bidding of those I love. Let me write your letters for you, or fold
them up, or direct them, or something--do, pray!"
"Oh, the caprices of young ladies! Well, can you write large and
plain? Not you."
"I can _imitate_ anything or anybody."
"Imitate this hand then. I'll walk and dictate, you sit and write."
"Oh, how nice!"
"Delicious! The first is to--Hetherington. Now, Lucy, this is a
dishonest, ungrateful old rogue, who has made thousands by me, and now
wants to let me into a mine, with nothing in it but water. It would
suck up twenty thousand pounds as easily as that blotting-paper will
suck up our signature."
"Heartless traitor! monster!" cried Lucy.
"Are you ready?"
"Yes," and her eye flashed and the pen was to her a stiletto.
Bazalgette dictated, "My dear Sir--"
"What? to a cheat?"
"Custom, child. I'll have a stamp made. Besides, if we let them see we
see through them, they would play closer and closer--"
"My dear Sir--In answer to yours of date 11th instant, I regret to
say--that circumstances prevent--my closing--with your obliging--and
They wrote eight letters; and Lucy's quick fingers folded up
prospectuses, and her rays brightened the room. When the work was
done, she clung round Mr. Bazalgette and caressed him, and seemed
strangely unwilling to part with him at all; in fact, it was twelve
o'clock, and the drawing-room empty, when they parted.
At one o'clock the whole house was dark except one room, and both
windows of that room blazed with light. And it happened there was a
spectator of this phenomenon. A man stood upon the grass and eyed
those lights as if they were the stars of his destiny.
It was David Dodd. Poor David! he had struck a bargain, and was to
command a coasting vessel, and carry wood from the Thames to our
southern ports. An irresistible impulse brought him to look, before he
sailed, on the place that held the angel who had destroyed his
prospects, and whom he loved as much as ever, though he was too proud
to court a second refusal.
"She watches, too," thought David, "but it is not for me, as I for
At half past one the lights began to dance before his wearied eyes,
and presently David, weakened by his late fever, dozed off and forgot
all his troubles, and slept as sweetly on the grass as he had often
slept on the hard deck, with his head upon a gun.
Luck was against the poor fellow. He had not been unconscious much
more than ten minutes when Lucy's window opened and she looked out;
and he never saw her. Nor did she see him; for, though the moon was
bright, it was not shining on him; he lay within the shadow of a tree.
But Lucy did see something--a light upon the turnpike road about forty
yards from Mr. Bazalgette's gates. She slipped cautiously down, a
band-box in her hand, and, unbolting the door that opened on the
garden, issued out, passed within a few yards of Dodd, and went round
to the front, and finally reached the turnpike road. There she found
Mrs. Wilson, with a light-covered cart and horse, and a lantern. At
sight of her Mrs. Wilson put out the light, and they embraced; then
they spoke in whispers.
"Come, darling, don't tremble; have you got much more?"
"Oh, yes, several things."
"Look at that, now! But, dear heart, I was the same at your age, and
should be now, like enough. Fetch them all, as quick as you like. I am
feared to leave Blackbird, or I'd help you down with 'em."
"Is there nobody with you to take care of us?"
"What do you mean--men folk? Not if I know it."
"You are right. You are wise. Oh, how courageous!" And she went back
for her finery. And certain it is she had more baggage than I should
choose for a forced march.
But all has an end--even a female luggage train; so at last she put
out all her lights and came down, stepping like a fairy, with a large
basket in her hand.
Now it happened that by this time the moon's position was changed, and
only a part of David lay in the shade; his head and shoulders
glittered in broad moonlight; and Lucy, taking her farewell of a house
where she had spent many happy days, cast her eyes all around to bid
good-by, and spied a man lying within a few paces, and looking like a
corpse in the silver sheen. She dropped her basket; her knees knocked
together with fear, and she flew toward Mrs. Wilson. But she did not
go far, for the features, indistinct as they were by distance and pale
light, struck her mind, and she stopped and looked timidly over her
shoulder. The figure never moved. Then, with beating heart, she went
toward him slowly and so stealthily that she would have passed a mouse
without disturbing it, and presently she stood by him and looked down
on him as he lay.
And as she looked at him lying there, so pale, so uncomplaining, so
placid, under her windows, this silent proof of love, and the thought
of the raging sea this helpless form had steered her through, and all
he had suffered as well as acted for her, made her bosom heave, and
stirred all that was woman within her. He loved her still, then, or
why was he here? And then the thought that she had done something for
him too warmed her heart still more toward him. And there was nothing
for her to repel now, for he lay motionless; there was nothing for her
to escape--he did not pursue her; nothing to negative--he did not
propose anything to her. Her instinct of defense had nothing to lay
hold of; so, womanlike, she had a strong impulse to wake him and be
kind to him--as kind as she could be without committing herself. But,
on the other hand, there was shy, trembling, virgin modesty, and shame
that he should detect her making a midnight evasion, and fear of
letting him think she loved him.
While she stood thus, with something drawing her on and something
drawing her back, and palpitating in every fiber, Mrs. Wilson's voice
was heard in low but anxious tones calling her. A feather turned the
balanced scale. She must go. Fate had decided for her. She was called.
Then the sprites of mischief tempted her to let David know she _had
been_ near him. She longed to put his commission into his pocket;
but that was impossible. It was at the very bottom of her box. She
took out her tablets, wrote the word "Adieu," tore out half the leaf,
and, bending over David, attached the little bit of paper by a pin to
the tail of his coat. If he had been ever so much awake he could not
have felt her doing it; for her hand touching him, and the white paper
settling on his coat, was all done as lights a spot of down on still
water from the bending neck of a swan.
"No, dear Mrs. Wilson, we must not go yet. I will hold the horse, and
you must go back for me for something."
"I'm agreeable. What is it? Why, what is up? How you do pant!"
"I have made a discovery. There is a gentleman lying asleep there on
the wet grass."
"Lackadaisy! why, you don't say so."
"It is a friend; and he will catch his death."
"Why, of course he will. He will have had a drop too much, Miss Lucy.
I'll wake him, and we will take him along home with us."
"Oh, not for the world, nurse. I would not have him see what I am
doing, oh, not for all the world!"
"Where is he?"
"In there, under the great tree."
"Well, you get into the cart, miss, and hold the reins"; and Mrs.
Wilson went into the grounds and soon found David.
She put her hand on his shoulder, and he awoke directly, and looked
surprised at Mrs. Wilson.
"Are you better, sir?" said the good woman. "Why, if it isn't the
handsome gentleman that was so kind to me! Now do ee go in, sir--do ee
go in. You will catch your death o' cold." She made sure he was
staying at the house.
David looked up at Lucy's windows. "Yes, I will go home, Mrs. Wilson;
there is nothing to stay for now"; and he accompanied her to the cart.
But Mrs. Wilson remembered Lucy's desire not to be seen; so she said
very loud, "I'm sure it's very lucky me and _my niece_ happened
to be coming home so late, and see you lying there. Well, one good
turn deserves another. Come and see me at my farm; you go through the
village of Harrowden, and anybody there will tell you where Dame
Wilson do live. I _would_ ask you to-night, but--" she hesitated,
and Lucy let down her veil.
"No, thank you, not now; my sister will be fretting as it is.
Good-morning"; and his steps were heard retreating as Mrs. Wilson
mounted the cart.
"Well, I should have liked to have taken him home and warmed him a
bit," said the good woman to Lucy; "it is enough to give him the
rheumatics for life. However, he is not the first honest man as has
had a drop too much, and taken 's rest without a feather-bed. Alack,
miss, why, you are all of a tremble! What ails _you?_ I'm a fool
to ask. Ah! well, you'll soon be at home, and naught to vex you. That
is right; have a good cry, do. Ay, ay, _'tis_ hard to be forced
to leave our nest. But all places are bright where love abides; and
there's honest hearts both here and there, and the same sky above us
wherever we wander, and the God of the fatherless above that; and
better a peaceful cottage than a palace full of strife." And with many
such homely sayings the rustic consoled her nursling on their little
journey, not quite in vain.
NEXT morning the house was in an uproar. Servants ran to and fro, and
the fish-pond was dragged at Mr. Fountain's request. But on these
occasions everybody claims a right to speak, and Jane came into the
breakfast-room and said: "If you please, mum, Miss Lucy isn't in the
pond, for she have taken a good part of her clothes, and all her
This piece of common sense convinced everybody on the spot except Mrs.
Bazalgette. That lady, if she had decided on "making a hole in the
water," would have sat on the bank first, and clapped on all her
jewels, and all her richest dresses, one on the top of another.
Finally, Mr. Bazalgette, who wore a somber air, and had not said a
word, requested everybody to mind their own business. "I have a
communication from Lucy," said he, "and I do not at present disapprove
the step she has taken."
All eyes turned with astonishment toward him, and the next moment all
voices opened on him like a pack of hounds. But he declined to give
them any further information. Between ourselves he had none to give.
The little note Lucy left on his table merely begged him to be under
no anxiety, and prayed him to suspend his judgment of her conduct till
he should know the whole case. It was his strong good sense which led
him to pretend he was in the whole secret. By this means he
substituted mystery for scandal, and contrived that the girl's folly
might not be irreparable.
At the same time he was deeply indignant with her, and, above all,
with her hypocrisy in clinging round him and kissing him the very
night she meditated flight from his house.
"I must find the girl out and get her back;" said he, and directly
after breakfast he collected his myrmidons and set them to discover
The outward frame-work of the holy alliance remained standing, but
within it was dissolving fast. Each of the allies was even now
thinking how to find Lucy and make a separate peace. During the
flutter which now subsided, one person had done nothing but eat
pigeon-pie. It was Kenealy, captain of horse.
Now eating pigeon-pie is not in itself a suspicious act, but ladies
are so sharp. Mrs. Bazalgette said to herself, "This creature alone is
not a bit surprised (for Bazalgette is fibbing); why is this creature
not surprised? humph! Captain Kenealy," said she, in honeyed tones,
"what would you advise us to do?"
"Advertaize," drawled the captain, as cool as a cucumber.
"Advertise? What! publish her name?"
"No, no names. I'll tell you;" and he proceeded to drawl out very
slowly, from memory, the following advertisement. N. B.--The captain
was a great reader of advertisements, and of little else.
"If L. F. will retarn--to her afflicted--relatives--she shall be
received with open aams. And shall be forgotten and forgiven--and
reunaited affection shall solace every wound."
"That is the style. It always brings 'em back--dayvilish good
paie--have some moa."
Mr. Fountain and Mrs. Bazalgette raised an outcry against the
captain's advice, and, when the table was calm again, Mrs. Bazalgette
surprised them all by fixing her eyes on Kenealy, and saying quietly,
"You know where she is." She added more excitedly: "Now don't deny it.
On your honor, sir, have you no idea where my niece is?"
"Upon my honah, I have an idea."
"Then tell me."
"I'd rayther not."
"Perhaps you would prefer to tell me in private?"
"No; prefer not to tell at all."
Then the whole table opened on him, and appealed to his manly feeling,
his sense of hospitality, his humanity--to gratify their curiosity.
Kenealy stretched himself out from the waist downward, and delivered
himself thus, with a double infusion of his drawl:--
"See yah all dem--d first."
At noon on the same day, by the interference of Mrs. Bazalgette, the
British army was swelled with Kenealy, captain of horse.
The whole day passed, and Lucy's retreat was not yet discovered. But
more than one hunter was hemming her in.
The next day, being the second after her elopement with her nurse, at
eleven in the forenoon, Lucy and Mrs. Wilson sat in the little parlor
working. Mrs. Wilson had seen the poultry fed, the butter churned, and
the pudding safe in the pot, and her mind was at ease for a good hour
to come, so she sat quiet and peaceful. Lucy, too, was at peace. Her
eye was clear; and her color coming back; she was not bursting with
happiness, for there was a sweet pensiveness mixed with her sweet
tranquillity; but she looked every now and then smiling from her work
up at Mrs. Wilson, and the dame kept looking at her with a motherly
joy caused by her bare presence on that hearth. Lucy basked in these
maternal glances. At last she said: "Nurse."
"If you had never done anything for me, still I should know you loved
"Should ye, now?"
"Oh yes; there is the look in your eye that I used to long to see in
my poor aunt's, but it never came."
"Well, Miss Lucy, I can't help it. To think it is really you setting
there by my fire! I do feel like a cat with one kitten. You should
check me glaring you out o' countenance like that."
"Check you? I could not bear to lose one glance of that honest tender
eye. I would not exchange one for all the flatteries of the world. I
am so happy here, so tranquil, under my nurse's wing."
With this declaration came a little sigh.
Mrs. Wilson caught it. "Is there nothing wanting, dear?"
"Well, I do keep wishing for one thing."
"What is that?"
"Oh, I can't help my thoughts."
"But you can help keeping them from me, nurse."
"Well, my dear, I am like a mother; I watch every word of yours and
every look; and it is my belief you deceive yourself a bit: many a
young maid has done that. I do judge there is a young man that is more
to you than you think for."
"Who on earth is that, nurse? " asked Lucy, coloring.
"The handsome young gentleman."
"Oh, they are all handsome--all my pests."
"The one I found under your window, Miss Lucy; he wasn't in liquor; so
what was he there for? and you know you were not at your ease till you
had made me go and wake him, and send him home; and you were all of a
tremble. I'm a widdy now, and can speak my mind to men-folk all one as
women-folk; but I've been a maid, and I can mind how I was in those
days. Liking did use to whisper me to do so and so; Shyness up and
said, 'La! not for all the world; what'll he think?'"
"Oh, nurse, do you believe me capable of loving one who does not love
"No. Who said he doesn't love you? What was he there for? I stick to
"Now, nurse, dear, be reasonable; if Mr. Dodd loved me, would he go to
sleep in my presence?"
"Eh! Miss Lucy, the poor soul was maybe asleep before you left your
"It is all the same. He slept while I stood close to him ever so long.
Slept while I-- If I loved anybody as these gentlemen pretend they
love us, should I sleep while the being I adored was close to me?"
"You are too hard upon him. 'The spirit is willing but the flesh is
weak.' Why, miss, we do read of Eutychus, how he snoozed off setting
under Paul himself--up in a windy--and down a-tumbled. But parson says
it wasn't that he didn't love religion, or why should Paul make it his
business to bring him to life again, 'stead of letting un lie for a
warning to the sleepy-headed ones. ''Twas a wearied body, not a heart
cold to God,' says our parson."
"Now, nurse, I take you at your word. If Eutychus had been Eutycha,
and in love with St. Paul, Eutycha would never have gone to sleep,
though St. Paul preached all day and all night; and if Dorcas had
preached instead of St. Paul, and Eutychus been in love with her, he
would never have gone to sleep, and you know it."
At this home-thrust Mrs. Wilson was staggered, but the next moment her
sense of discomfiture gave way to a broad expression of triumph at her
"Eh! Miss Lucy," cried she, showing a broadside of great white teeth
in a rustic chuckle, "but ye've got a tongue in your head. Ye've sewed
up my stocking, and 'tisn't many of them can do that." Lucy followed
up her advantage.
"And, nurse, even when he was wide awake and stood by the cart, no
inward sentiment warned him of my presence; a sure sign he did not
love me. Though I have never experienced love, I have read of it, and
know all about it." [_Jus-tice des Femmes!_]
"Well, Miss Lucy, have it your own way; after all, if he loves you he
will find you out."
"Of course he would, and you will see he will do nothing of the kind."
"Then I wish I knew where he was; I would pull him in at my door by
the scruf of the neck."
"And then I should jump out at the window. Come, try on your new cap,
nurse, that I have made for you, and let us talk about anything you
like except gentlemen. Gentlemen are a sore subject with me. Gentlemen
have been my ruin."
"La, Miss Lucy!"
"I assure you they have; why, have they not set my uncle's heart
against me, and my aunt's, and robbed me of the affection I once had
for both? I believe gentlemen to be the pests of society; and oh! the
delight of being here in this calm retreat, where love dwells, and no
gentleman can find me. Ah! ah! Oh! What is that?"
For a heavy blow descended on the door. "That is Jenny's
_knock,"_ said Mrs. Wilson; dryly. "Come in, Jenny." The servant,
thus invited, burst the door open as savagely as she had struck it,
and announced with a knowing grin, "A GENTLEMAN--_for Miss
DAVID and Eve sat together at their little breakfast, and pressed each
other to eat; but neither could eat. David's night excursion had
filled Eve with new misgivings. It was the act of a madman; and we
know the fears that beset her on that head, and their ground. He had
come home shivering, and she had forced him to keep his bed all that
day. He was not well now, and bodily weakness, added to his other
afflictions, bore his spirit down, though nothing could cow it.
"When are you to sail?" inquired Eve, sick-like.
"In three days. Cargo won't be on board before."
"A coasting vessel?"
"A man can do his duty in a coaster as well as a merchantman or a
frigate." But he sighed.
"Would to God you had never seen her!"
"Don't blame her--blame me. I had good advice from my little sister,
but I was willful. Never mind, Eve, I needn't to blush for loving her;
she is worthy of it all."
"Well, think so, David, if you can." And Eve, thoroughly depressed,
relapsed into silence. The postman's rap was heard, and soon after a
long inclosure was placed in Eve's hand.
Poor little Eve did not receive many letters; and, sad as she was, she
opened this with some interest; but how shall I paint its effect? She
kept uttering shrieks of joy, one after another, at each sentence. And
when she had shrieked with joy many times, she ran with the large
paper round to David. "You are captain of the _Rajah!_ ah! the
new ship! ah! eleven hundred tons! Oh, David! Oh, my heart! Oh! oh!
oh!" and the poor little thing clasped her arms round her brother's
neck, and kissed him again and again, and cried and sobbed for joy.
All men, and most women, go through life without once knowing what it
is to cry for joy, and it is a comfort to think that Eve's pure and
deep affection brought her such a moment as this in return for much
trouble and sorrow. David, stout-hearted as he was, was shaken as the
sea and the wind had never yet shaken him. He turned red and white
alternately, and trembled. "Captain of the _Rajah!_ It is too
good--it is too good! I have done nothing _for it";_ and he was
Eve was devouring the inclosure. "It is her doing," she cried; "it is
all her doing."
"Who do you think? I am in the air! I am in heaven! Bless her--oh,
God, bless her for this. Never speak against cold-blooded folk before
me; they have twice the principle of us hot ones: I always said so.
She is a good creature; she is a true friend; and you accused her of
"That I never did."
"You did--_Rajah_--he! he! oh!--and I defended her. Here, take
and read that: is that a commission or not? Now you be quiet, and let
us see what she says. No, I can't; I cannot keep the tears out of my
eyes. Do take and read it, David; I'm blind."
David took the letter, kissed it, and read it out to Eve, and she kept
crowing and shedding tears all the time.
"DEAR MISS DODD--I admire too much your true affection for your
brother to be indifferent to your good opinion. Think of me as
leniently as you can. Perhaps it gives me as much pleasure to be able
to forward you the inclosed as the receipt of it, I hope, may give
"It would, I think, be more wise, and certainly more generous, not to
let Mr. Dodd think he owes in any degree to me that which, if the
world were just, would surely have been his long ago. Only, some few
months hence, when it can do him no harm, I could wish him not to
think his friend Lucy was ungrateful, or even cold in his service, who
saved her life, and once honored her with so warm an esteem. But all
this I confide to your discretion and your justice. Dear Miss Dodd,
those who give pain to others do not escape it themselves, nor is it
just they should. My insensibility to the merit of persons of the
other sex has provoked my relatives; they have punished me for
declining Mr. Dodd's inferiors with a bitterness Mr. Dodd, with far
more cause, never showed me; so you see at each turn I am reminded of
"The result is, I am separated from my friends, and am living all
alone with my dear old nurse, at her farmhouse.
"Since, then, I am unhappy, and you are generous, you will, I think,
forgive me all the pain I have caused you, and will let me, in bidding
you adieu, subscribe myself,
"It is the letter of a sweet girl, David, with a noble heart; and she
has taken a noble revenge of me for what I said to her the other day,
and made her cry, like a little brute as I am. Why, how glum you
"Eve," said David, "do you think I will accept this from her without
"Of course you will. Don't be too greedy, David. Leave the girl in
peace; she has shown you what she will do and what she won't. One such
friend as this is worth a hundred lovers. Give me her dear little
While Eve was persuing it, David went out, but soon returned, with his
best coat on, and his hat in his hand. Eve asked in some surprise
where he was going in such a hurry.
"Well, David, now I come to read her letter quietly, it is a woman's
letter all over; you may read it which way you like. What need had she
to tell me she has just refused offers? And then she tells me she is
all alone. That sounds like a hint. The company of a friend might he
agreeable. Brush your coat first, at any rate; there's something white
on it; it is a paper; it is pinned on. Come here. Why, what is this?
It is written on. 'Adieu.'" And Eve opened her eyes and mouth as well.
She asked him when he wore the coat last.
"The day before yesterday."
"Were you in company of any girls?"
"But this is written by a girl, and it is pinned on by a girl; see how
it is quilted in!! that's proof positive. Oh! oh! oh! look here. Look
at these two 'Adieus'--the one in the letter and this; they are the
same--precisely the same. What, in Heaven's name, is the meaning of
this? Were you in her company that night?"
"Will you swear that?"
"No, I can't swear it, because I was asleep a part of the time; but
waking in her company I was not."
"It is her writing, and she pinned it on you."
"How can that be, Eve?"
"I don't know; I am sure she did, though. Look at this 'Adieu' and
that; you'll never get it out of my head but what one hand wrote them
both. You are so green, a girl would come behind you and pin it on
you, and you never feel her."
While saying these words, Eve slyly repinned it on him without his
feeling or knowing anything about it.
David was impatient to be gone, but she held him a minute to advise
"Tell her she must and shall. Don't take a denial. If you are
cowardly, she will be bold; but if you are bold and resolute, she will
knuckle down. Mind that; and don't go about it with such a face as
that, as long as my arm. If she says 'No,' you have got the ship to
comfort you. Oh! I am so happy!"
"No, Eve," said David, "if she won't give me herself, I'll never take
her ship. I'd die a foretopman sooner;" and, with these parting words,
he renewed all his sister's anxiety. She sat down sorrowfully, and the
horrible idea gained on her that there was mania in David's love for
DAVID had one advantage over others that were now hunting Lucy. Mrs.
Wilson had unwittingly given him pretty plain directions how to find
her farmhouse; and as Eve, in the exercise of her discretion, or
indiscretion, had shown David Lucy's letter, he had only to ride to
Harrowden and inquire. But, on the other hand, his competitors were a
few miles nearer the game, and had a day's start.
David got a horse and galloped to Harrowden, fed him at the inn, and
asked where Mrs. Wilson's farm was. The waiter, a female, did not
know, but would inquire. Meantime David asked for two sheets of paper,
and wrote a few lines on each; then folded them both (in those days
envelopes were not), but did not seal them. Mrs. Wilson's farm turned
out to be only two miles from Harrowden, and the road easy to find. He
was soon there; gave his horse to one of the farm-boys, and went into
the kitchen and asked if Miss Fountain lived there. This question
threw him into the hands of Jenny, who invited him to follow her, and,
unlike your powdered and noiseless lackey, pounded the door with her
fist, kicked it open with her foot, and announced him with that
thunderbolt of language which fell so inopportunely on Lucy's
The look Mrs. Wilson cast on Lucy was droll enough; but when David's
square shoulders and handsome face filled up the doorway, a second
look followed that spoke folios.
Lucy rose, and with heightened color, but admirable self-possession,
welcomed David like a valued friend.
Mrs. Wilson's greeting was broad and hearty; and, very soon after she
had made him sit down, she bounced up, crying: "You will stay dinner
now you be come, and I must see as they don't starve you." So saying,
out she went; but, looking back at the door, was transfixed by an
arrow of reproach from her nursling's eye.
Lucy's reception of David, kind as it was, was not encouraging to one
coming on David's errand, for there was the wrong shade of amity in
In times past it would have cooled David with misgivings, but now he
did not give himself time to be discouraged; he came to make a last
desperate effort, and he made it at once.
"Miss Lucy, I have got the _Rajah,_ thanks to you."
"Thanks to me, Mr. Dodd? Thanks to your own high character and merit."
"No, Miss Lucy, you know better, and I know better, and there is your
own sweet handwriting to prove it."
"Miss Dodd has showed you my letter?"
"How could she help it?"
"What a pity! how injudicious!"
"The truth is like the light; why keep it out? Yes; what I have worked
for, and battled the weather so many years, and been sober and
prudent, and a hard student at every idle hour--that has come to me in
one moment from your dear hand."
"It is a shame."
"Bless you, Miss Lucy," cried David, not noting the remark.
Lucy blushed, and the water stood in her eyes. She murmured softly:
"You should not say Miss Lucy; it is not customary. You should say
Lucy, or Miss Fountain."
This _apropos_ remark by way of a female diversion.
"Then let me say Lucy to-day, for perhaps I shall never say that, or
anything that is sweet to say again. Lucy, you know what I came for?"
"Oh, yes, to receive my congratulations."
"More than that, a great deal--to ask you to go halves in the
Lucy's eyebrows demanded an explanation.
"She is worth two thousand a year to her commander; and that is too
much for a bachelor."
Lucy colored and smiled. "Why, it is only just enough for bachelors to
"It is too much for me alone under the circumstances," said David,
gravely; and there was a little silence.
"Lucy, I love you. With you the _Rajah_ would be a godsend. She
will help me keep you in the company you have been used to, and were
made to brighten and adorn; but. without you I cannot take her from
your hand, and, to speak plain, I won't."
"Oh, Mr. Dodd!"
"No, Lucy; before I knew you, to command a ship was the height of my
ambition--her quarter-deck my Heaven on earth; and this is a clipper,
I own it; I saw her in the docks. But you have taught me to look
higher. Share my ship and my heart with me, and certainly the ship
will be my child, and all the dearer to me that she came to us from
her I love. But don't say to me, 'Me you shan't have; you are not good
enough for that; but there is a ship for you in my place.' I wouldn't
accept a star out of the firmament on those terms."
"How unreasonable! On the contrary you should say, 'I am doubly
fortunate: I escape a foolish, weak companion for life, and I have a
beautiful ship.' But friendship such as mine for you was never
appreciated; I do you injustice; you only talk like that to tease me
and make me unhappy."
"Oh, Lucy, Lucy, did you ever know me--"
"There, now, forgive me; and own you are not in earnest."
"This will show you," said David, sadly; and he took out two letters
from his bosom. "Here are two letters to the secretary. In one I
accept the ship with thanks, and offer to superintend her when her
rigging is being set up; and in this one I decline her altogether,
with my humble and sincere thanks."
"Oh yes, you are very humble, sir," said Lucy. "Now--dear
friend--listen to reason. You have others--"
"Excuse my interrupting you, but it is a rule with me never to reason
about right and wrong; I notice that whoever does that ends by
choosing wrong. I don't go to my head to find out my duty, I go to my
heart; and what little manhood there is in me all cries out against me
compounding with the woman I love, and taking a ship instead of her."
"How unkind you are! It is not as if I was under no obligations to
you. Is not my life worth a ship? an angel like me?"
"I can't see it so. It was a greater pleasure to me to save your life,
as you call it, than it could be to you. I can't let that into the
account. A woman is a woman, but a man is a man; and I will be under
no obligation to you but one."
"Don't you be angry; I'll love you and bless you all the same. But I
am a man, and a man I'll die, whether I die captain of a ship or of a
foretop. Poor Eve!"
"See how power tries people, and brings out their true character.
Since you commanded the _Rajah_ you are all changed. You used to
be submissive; now you must have your own way entirely. You will fling
my poor ship in my face unless I give you--but this is really using
force--yes, Mr. Dodd, this is using force. Somebody has told you that
my sex yield when downright compulsion is used. It is true; and the
more ungenerous to apply it;" and she melted into a few placid tears.
David did not know this sign of yielding in a woman, and he groaned at
the sight and hung his head.
"Advise me what I had better do."
To this singular proposal, David, listening to the ill advice of the
fiend Generosity, groaned out, "Why should you be tormented and made
"Nothing can change me; I advise you to cut it short."
"Oh, do you? very well. Why did you say 'poor Eve'?"
"Ah, poor thing! she cried for joy when she read your letter, but when
I go back she will cry for grief;" and his voice faltered.
"I will cut this short, Mr. Dodd; give me that paper."
"The wicked one, where you refuse my _Rajah_."
"You are no gentleman, sir, if you refuse a lady. Give it me this
instant," cried Lucy, so haughtily and imperiously that David did not
know her, and gave her the letter with a half-cowed air.
She took it, and with both her supple white hands tore it with
insulting precision exactly in half. "There, sir and there, sir"
(exactly in four); "and there" (in eight, with malicious. exactness);
"and there"; and, though it seemed impossible to effect another
separation, yet the taper fingers and a resolute will reduced it to
tiny bits. She then made a gesture to throw them in the fire, but
thought better of it and held them.
David looked on, almost amused at this zealous demolition of a thing
he could so easily replace. He said, part sadly, part doggedly, part
apologetically, "I can write another."
"But you will not. Oh, Mr. Dodd, don't you see?!"
He looked up at her eagerly. To his surprise, her haughty eagle look
had gone, and she seemed a pitying goddess, all tenderness and
benignity; only her mantling, burning cheek showed her to be woman.
She faltered, in answer to his wild, eager look. "Was I ever so rude
before? What right have I to tear your letter unless I--"
The characteristic full stop, and, above all, the heaving bosom, the
melting eye, and the red cheek, were enough even for poor simple
David. Heaven seemed to open on him. His burning kisses fell on the
sweet hands that had torn his death-warrant. No resistance. She
blushed higher, but smiled. His powerful arm curled round her. She
looked a little scared, but not much. He kissed her sweet cheek: the
blush spread to her very forehead at that, but no resistance. As the
winged and rapid bird, if her feathers be but touched with a speck of
bird-lime, loses all power of flight, so it seemed as if that one
kiss, the first a stranger had ever pressed on Lucy's virgin cheek,
paralyzed her eel-like and evasive powers; under it her whole supple
frame seemed to yield as David drew her closer and closer to him, till
she hid her forehead and wet eyelashes on his shoulder, and murmured:
"How could I let _you_ be unhappy?!"
Neither spoke for a while. Each felt the other's heart beat; and David
drank that ecstasy of silent, delirious bliss which comes to great
hearts once in a life.
Had he not earned it?
By some mighty instinct Mrs. Wilson knew when to come in. She came to
the door just one minute after Lucy had capitulated, and, turning the
handle, but without opening the door, bawled some fresh directions to
Jenny: this was to enable Lucy to smooth her ruffled feathers, if
necessary, and look Agnes. But Lucy's actual contact with that honest
heart seemed to have made a change in her; instead of doing Agnes, she
confronted (after a fashion of her own) the situation she had so long
"Oh, nurse!" she cried, and wreathed her arms round her.
"Don't cry, my lamb! I can guess."
"Cry? Oh no; I would not pay him so poor a compliment. It was to say,
'Dear nurse, you must love Mr. Dodd as well as me now.'"
The dame received this indirect intelligence with hearty delight.
"That won't cost me much trouble," said she. "He is the one I'd have
picked out of all England for my nursling. When a young man is kind to
an old woman, it is a good sign; but la! his face is enough for me:
who ever saw guile in such a face as that. Aren't ye hungry by this
time? Dinner will be ready in about a minute."
"Nurse, can I speak to you a word?"
It was to inquire whether she would invite Miss Dodd.
"She loves her brother very dearly, and it is cruel to separate them.
Mr. Dodd will be nearly always here now, will he not?"
"You may take your davy of that."
In a very few minutes a note was written, and Mrs. Wilson's eldest
son, a handsome young farmer, started in the covered cart with his
mother's orders "to bring the young lady willy-nilly."
The holy allies both openly scouted Kenealy's advice, and both slyly
stepped down into the town and acted on it. Mr. Fountain then returned
to Font Abbey. Their two advertisements appeared side by side, and
After dinner Mrs. Wilson sent Lucy and David out to take a walk. At
the gate they met with a little interruption; a carriage drove up; the
coachman touched his hat, and Mrs. Bazalgette put her head out of the
"I came to take you back, love."
"Thank you, aunt; but it is not worth while now."
"Ah!" said Mrs. Bazalgette, casting a venomous look on David; "I am
too late, am I? Poor girl!"
Lucy soothed her aunt with the information that she was much happier
now than she had been for a long time past. For this was a
"May I have a word in private with my niece?" inquired Mrs.
Bazalgette, bitterly, of David.
"Why not?" said David stoutly; but his heart turned sick as he
retired. Lucy saw the look of anxiety.
"Lucy," said Mrs. Bazalgette, "you left me because you are averse to
matrimony, and I urged you to it; of course, with those sentiments,
you have no idea of marrying that man there. I don't suspect you of
such hypocrisy, and therefore I say come home with me, and you shall
marry nobody; your inclination shall be free as air."
"Aunt," said Lucy, demurely, "why didn't you come yesterday? I always
said those who love me best would find me first, and you let Mr. Dodd
come first. I am so sorry!"
"Then your pretended aversion to marriage was all hypocrisy, was it?"
Lucy informed her that marriage was a contract, and the contracting
parties two, and no more--the bride and bridegroom; and that to sign a
contract without reading it is silly, and meaning not to keep it is
wicked. "So," said she, "I read the contract over in the prayer-book
this morning, for fear of accidents."
My reader may, perhaps, be amused at this admission; but Mrs.
Bazalgette was disgusted, and inquired, "What stuff is the girl
"It is called common sense. Well, I find the contract is one I can
carry out with Mr. Dodd, and with nobody else. I can love him a
little, can honor him a great deal, and obey him entirely. I begin
now. There he is; and if you feel you cannot show him the courtesy of
making him one in our conversation, permit me to retire and relieve
"Mighty fine; and if you don't instantly leave him and come home, you
shall never enter my house again."
"Unless sickness or trouble should visit your house, and then you will
send for me, and I shall come."
Mrs. Bazalgette (to the coachman).-- "Home!"
Lucy made her a polite obeisance, to keep up appearances before the
servants and the farm-people, who were gaping. She, whose breeding was
inferior, flounced into a corner without returning it. The carriage
David inquired with great anxiety whether something had not been said
to vex her.
"Not in the least," replied Lucy, calmly. "Little things and little
people can no longer vex me. I have great duties to think of and a
great heart to share them with me. Let us walk toward Harrowden; we
may perhaps meet a friend."
Sure enough, just on this side Harrowden they met the covered cart,
and Eve in it, radiant with unexpected delight. The engaged ones--for
such they had become in those two miles--mounted the cart, and the two
men sat in front, and Eve and Lucy intertwined at the back, and opened
their hearts to each other.
Eve. And you have taken the paper off again?
Lucy. What paper? It was no longer applicable.
I HAVE already noticed that Lucy, after capitulation, laid down her
arms gracefully and sensibly. When she was asked to name a very early
day for the wedding, she opposed no childish delay to David's
happiness, for the _Rajah_ was to sail in six weeks and separate
them. So the license was got, and the wedding-day came; and all Lucy's
previous study of the contract did not prevent her from being deeply
affected by the solemn words that joined her to David in holy
She bore up, though, stoutly; for her sense of propriety and courtesy
forbade her to cloud a festivity. But, when the post-chaise came to
convey bride and bridegroom on their little tour, and she had to leave
Mrs. Wilson and Eve for a whole week, the tears would not be denied;
and, to show how perilous a road matrimony is, these two risked a
misunderstanding on their wedding-day, thus: Lucy, all alone in the
post-chaise with David, dissolved--a perfect Niobe--gushing at short
intervals. Sometimes a faint explanation gurgled out with the tears:
"Poor Eve! her dear little face was working so not to cry. Oh! oh! I
should not have minded so much if she had cried right out." Then,
again, it was "Poor Mrs. Wilson! I was only a week with her, for all
her love. I have made a c--at's p--paw of her--oh!"
Then, again, "Uncle Bazalgette has never noticed us; he thinks me a
h--h--ypocrite." But quite as often they flowed without any
Now if David had been a poetaster, he would have said: "Why these
tears? she has got me. Am I not more than an equivalent to these puny
considerations?" and all this salt water would have burned into his
vanity like liquid caustic. If he had been a poet, he would have said:
"Alas! I make her unhappy whom I hoped to make happy"; and with this
he would have been sad, and so prolonged her sadness, and perhaps
ended by sulking. But David had two good things--a kind heart and a
skin not too thin: and such are the men that make women happy, in
spite of their weak nerves and craven spirits.
He gave her time; soothed her kindly; but did not check her weakness
At last my Lady Chesterfield said to him, penitently, "This is a poor
compliment to you, Mr. Dodd"; and then Niobized again, partly, I
believe, with regret that she was behaving so discourteously.
"It is very natural," said David, kindly, "but we shall soon see them
all again, you know."
Presently she looked in his radiant face, with wet eyes, but a
half-smile. "You amaze me; you don't seem the least terrified at what
we have done."
"Not a bit," cried David, like a cheerful horn: "I have been in worse
peril than this, and so have you. Our troubles are all over; I see
nothing but happiness ahead." He then drew a sunny picture of their
future life, to all which she listened demurely; and, in short, he
treated her little feminine distress as the summer sun treats a mist
that tries to vie with it. He soon dried her up, and when they reached
their journey's end she was as bright as himself.
THEY had been married a week. A slight change, but quite distinct to
an observer of her sex, bloomed in Lucy's face and manner. A new
beauty was in her face--the blossom of wifehood. Her eyes, though not
less modest, were less timid than before; and now they often met
David's full, and seemed to sip affection at them. When he came near
her, her lovely frame showed itself conscious of his approach. His
queen, though he did not know it, was his vassal. They sat at table at
a little inn, twenty miles from Harrowden, for they were on their
return to Mrs. Wilson. Lucy went to the window while David settled the
bill. At the window it is probable she had her own thoughts, for she
glided up behind David, and, fanning his hair with her cool, honeyed
breath, she said, in the tone of a humble inquirer seeking historical
or antiquarian information, "I want to ask you a question, David: are
you happy _too?"_
David answered promptly, but inarticulately; so his reply is lost to
posterity. Conjecture alone survives.
One disappointment awaited Lucy at Mrs. Wilson's. There were several
letters for both David and her, but none from Mr. Bazalgette. She knew
by that she had lost his respect. She could not blame him, for she saw
how like disingenuousness and hypocrisy her conduct must look to him.
"I must trust to time and opportunity," she said, with a sigh. She
proposed to David to read all her letters, and she would read all his.
He thought this a droll idea; but nothing that identified him with his
royal vassal came amiss. The first letter of Lucy's that David opened
was from Mr. Talboys.
"DEAR MADAM--I have heard of your marriage with Mr. Dodd, and desire
to offer both you and him my cordial congratulations.
"I feel under considerable obligation to Mr. Dodd; and, should my
house ever have a mistress, I hope she will be able to tempt you both
to renew our acquaintance under my roof, and so give me once more that
opportunity I have too little improved of showing you both the sincere
respect and gratitude with which I am,
"Your very faithful servant,
Lucy was delighted with this note. "Who says it was nothing to have
been born a gentleman?"
The second letter was from Reginald No. 2; and, if I only give the
reader a fragment of it, I still expect his gratitude, all one as if I
had disinterred a fragment of Orpheus or Tiresias.
It is very ungust of you to go and
Mary other peeple wen you
Promised me. but it is mr. dod.
So i dont so much mind i like
Mr. dod. he is a duc. and they all
Say i am too litle and jane says
Sailors always end by been
Drouned so it is only put off.
But you reely must keep your
Promise to me. wen i am biger
And mr. Dod is drouned. my
Here a white hand drew the pleasing composition out of David's hand,
and dropped it on the floor; two piteous, tearful eyes were bent on
him, and a white arm went tenderly round his neck to save him from the
At this sight Eve pounced on the horrid scroll, and hurled it, with
general acclamation, into the flames.
Thus that sweet infant revenged himself, and, like Sampson, hit
hardest of all at parting--in tears and flame vanished from written
fiction, and, I conclude, went back to Gavarni.
There was a letter from Mr. Fountain--all fire and fury. She was never
to write or speak to him any more. He was now looking out for a youth
of good family to adopt and to make a Fontaine of by act of
Parliament, etc., etc. A fusillade of written thunderbolts.
There was another from Mrs. Bazalgette, written with cream--of tartar
and oil--of vitriol. She forgave her niece and wished her every
happiness it was possible for a young person to enjoy who had deceived
her relations and married beneath her. She felt pity rather than
anger; and there was no reason why Mr. and Mrs. Dodd should not visit
her house, as far as she was concerned; but Mr. Bazalgette was a man
of very stern rectitude, and, as she could not make sure that he would
treat them with common courtesy after what had passed, she thought a
temporary separation might be the better course for all parties.
I may as well take this opportunity of saying that these two egotists
carried out the promise of their respective letters. Mr. Fountain
blustered for a year or two, and then showed manifest signs of
Mrs. Bazalgette kept cool, and wrote, in oils, twice a year to Mrs.
"ET GARDAIT TOUT DOUCEMENT UNE HAINE IRRECONCILIABLE."
Lucy had to answer these letters. In signing one of them, she took a
look at her new signature and smiled. "What a dear, quaint little name
mine is!" said she. "Lucy Dodd;" and she kissed the signature.
A Month after Marriage.
The Dodds took a house in London and Eve came up to them. David was
nearly all day superintending the ship, but spent the whole evening
with his wife at home. Zeal always produces irritation. The servant
that is anxious for his employer's interest is sure to get into a
passion or two with the deadness, indifference and heartless injustice
of the genuine hireling. So David was often irritated and worried, and
in hot water, while superintending the _Rajah,_ but the moment he
saw his own door, away he threw it all, and came into the house like a
jocund sunbeam. Nothing wins a woman more than this, provided she is
already inclined in the man's favor. As the hour that brought David
approached, Lucy's spirits and Eve's used both to rise by
anticipation, and that anticipation his hearty, genial temper never
One day Lucy came to David for information. "David, there is a
singular change in me. It is since we came to London. I used to be a
placid girl; now I am a fidget."
"I don't see it, love."
"No; how should you, dear? It always goes away when you come. Now
listen. When five o'clock comes near, I turn hot and restless, and can
hardly keep from the window; and if you are five minutes after your
time, I really cannot keep from the window; and my nerves _se
crispent,_ and I cannot sit still. It is very foolish. What does it
mean? Can you tell me?"
"Of course I can. I am just the same when people are unpunctual. It is
inexcusable, and nothing is so vexing. I ought to be--"
"Oh David, what nonsense! it is not that. Could I ever be vexed with
"Well, then, there is Eve; we'll ask her."
"If you dare, sir!" and Mrs. Dodd was carnation.
Four years after the above events
Two ladies were gossiping.
1st Lady. "What I like about Mrs. Dodd is that she is so truthful."
2d Lady. "Oh, is she?"
1st Lady. "Yes, she is indeed. Certainly she is not a woman that
blurts out unpleasant things without any necessity; she is kind and
considerate in word and deed, but she is always true. She has got an
eye that meets you like a little lion's eye, and a tongue without
guile. I do love Mrs. Dodd dearly."
Two Qui his were talking in Leadenhall Street.
1st Qui hi. "Well, so you are going out again."
2d Qui hi. "Yes; they have offered me a commissionership. I must make
another lac for the children."
1st Qui hi. "When do you sail?"
2d Qui hi. "By the first good ship. I should like a good ship."
1st Qui hi. "Well, then, you had better go out with Gentleman Dodd."
2d Qui hi. "Gentleman Dodd? I should prefer Sailor Dodd. I don't want
to founder off the Cape."
1st Qui hi. "Oh, but this is a first-rate sailor, and a first-rate
2d Qui hi. "Then why do you call him 'Gentleman Dodd'?"
1st Qui hi. "Oh, because he is so polite. He won't stand an oath
within hearing of his quarter-deck, and is particularly kind and
courteous to the passengers, especially to the ladies. His ship is
2d Qui hi. "Is it? Then I'll go out with 'Gentleman Dodd.'"
TO MY MALE READERS.
I SEE with some surprise that there still linger in the field of
letters writers who think that, in fiction, when a personage speaks
with an air of conviction, the sentiments must be the author's own.
(When two of his personages give each other the lie, which represents
the author? both?)
I must ask you to shun this error; for instance, do not go and take
Eve Dodd's opinion of my heroine, or Mrs. Bazalgette's, for mine.
Miss Dodd, in particular, however epigrammatic she may appear, is
shallow: her criticism _peche par la base._ She talks too much as
if young girls were in the habit of looking into their own minds, like
little metaphysicians, and knowing all that goes on there; but, on the
contrary, this is just what women in general don't do, and young women
No male will quite understand Lucy Fountain who does not take
"instinct" and "self-deception" into the account. But with those two
dews and your own intelligence, you cannot fail to unravel her, and
will, I hope, thank me in your hearts for leaving you something to
study, and not clogging my sluggish narrative with a mass of comment