Part 2 out of 13
but, doubtless, you are the best judge of your own affairs."
And that closed the correspondence with the Secretaries.
The gentle Jobson and the polite Parkin had retired from the
correspondence with their air of mild regret and placid resignation
just three days, when young Little found a dirty crumpled letter on
his anvil, written in pencil. It ran thus:
"Turn up or youl wish you had droped it. Youl be made so as youl
never do hands turn agin, an never know what hurt you.
When he had sworn (and, as a Briton, I think he had denied himself
that satisfaction long enough), he caught up a strip of steel with
his pincers, shoved it into the coals, heated it, and, in half a
minute, forged two long steel nails. He then nailed this letter to
his wall, and wrote under it in chalk, "I offer L10 reward to any
one who will show me the coward who wrote this, but was afraid to
sign it. The writing is peculiar, and can easily be identified."
He also took the knife that had been so ostentatiously fixed in his
door, and carried it about him night and day, with a firm resolve to
use it in self-defense, if necessary.
And now the plot thickened: the decent workmen in Cheetham's works
were passive; they said nothing offensive, but had no longer the
inclination, even if they had the power, to interfere and restrain
the lower workmen from venting their envy and malice. Scarcely a
day passed without growls and scowls. But Little went his way
haughtily, and affected not to see, nor hear them.
However, one day, at dinner-time, he happened, unluckily, to be
detained by Bayne in the yard, when the men came out: and two or
three of the roughs took this opportunity and began on him at once,
in the Dash Dialect, of course; they knew no other.
A great burly forger, whose red matted hair was powdered with coal-
dust, and his face bloated with habitual intemperance, planted
himself insolently before Henry, and said, in a very loud voice,
"How many more trade meetings are we to have for one ---- knobstick?"
Henry replied, in a moment, "Is it my fault if your shilly-shallying
committees can't say yes or no to L15? You'd say yes to it,
wouldn't you, sooner than go to bed sober?"
This sally raised a loud laugh at the notorious drunkard's expense,
and checked the storm, as a laugh generally does.
But men were gathering round, and a workman who had heard the raised
voices, and divined the row, ran out of the works, with his apron
full of blades, and his heart full of mischief. It was a grinder of
a certain low type, peculiar to Hillsborough, but quite common
there, where grinders are often the grandchildren of grinders. This
degenerate face was more canine than human; sharp as a hatchet, and
with forehead villainously low; hardly any chin; and--most
characteristic trait of all--the eyes, pale in color, and tiny in
size, appeared to have come close together, to consult, and then to
have run back into the very skull, to get away from the sparks,
which their owner, and his sire, and his grandsire, had been
This greyhound of a grinder flung down a lot of dull bluish blades,
warm from the forge, upon a condemned grindstone that was lying in
the yard; and they tinkled.
"---- me, if I grind cockney blades!" said he.
This challenge fired a sympathetic handle-maker. "Grinders are
right," said he. "We must be a ---- mean lot and all, to handle
his ---- work."
"He has been warned enough; but he heeds noane."
"Hustle him out o' works."
"Nay, hit him o'er th' head and fling him into shore."
With these menacing words, three or four roughs advanced on him,
with wicked eyes; and the respectable workmen stood, like stone
statues, in cold and terrible neutrality; and Henry, looking round,
in great anxiety, found that Bayne had withdrawn.
He ground his teeth, and stepped back to the wall, to have all the
assailants in the front. He was sternly resolute, though very pale,
and, by a natural impulse, put his hand into his side-pocket, to
feel if he had a weapon. The knife was there, the deadly blade with
which his enemies themselves had armed him; and, to those who could
read faces, there was death in the pale cheek and gleaming eye of
this young man, so sorely tried.
At this moment, a burly gentleman walked into the midst of them, as
smartly as Van Amburgh amongst his tigers, and said steadily, "What
is to do now, lads?" It was Cheetham himself, Bayne knew he was in
the office, and had run for him in mortal terror, and sent him to
keep the peace. "They insult me, sir," said Henry; "though I am
always civil to them; and that grinder refuses to grind my blades,
"Is that so? Step out, my lad. Did you refuse to grind those
"Ay," said the greyhound-man sullenly.
"Then put on your coat, and leave my premises this minute."
"He is entitled to a week's warning, Mr. Cheetham," said one of the
decent workmen, respectfully, but resolutely; speaking now for the
"You are mistaken, sir," replied Mr. Cheetham, in exactly the same
tone. (No stranger could have divined the speakers were master and
man.) "He has vitiated his contract by publicly refusing to do his
work. He'll get nothing from me but his wages up to noon this day.
But YOU can have a week's warning, if you want it."
"Nay, sir. I've naught against you, for my part. But they say it
will come to that, if you don't turn Little up."
"Why, what's his fault? Come now; you are a man. Speak up."
"Nay, I've no quarrel with the man. But he isn't straight with the
"That is the secretaries' fault, not mine," said Henry. "They can't
see I've brought a new trade in, that hurts no old trade, and will
spread, and bring money into the town."
"We are not so ---- soft as swallow that," said the bloated smith.
"Thou's just come t' Hillsborough to learn forging, and when thou'st
mastered that, off to London, and take thy ---- trade with thee."
Henry colored to the brow at the inferior workman's vanity and its
concomitant, detraction. But he governed himself, by a mighty
effort, and said, "Oh, that's your grievance now, is it? Mr.
Cheetham--sir--will you ask some respectable grinder to examine
these blades of mine?"
"Certainly. You are right, Little. The man to judge a forger's
work is a grinder, and not another forger. Reynolds, just take a
look at them, will ye?"
A wet grinder of a thoroughly different type and race from the
greyhound, stepped forward. He was thick-set in body, fresh-
colored, and of a square manly countenance. He examined the blades
carefully, and with great interest.
"Well," said Henry, "were they forged by a smith, or a novice that
is come here to learn anvil work?"
Reynolds did not reply to him, nor to Mr. Cheetham: he turned to the
men. "Mates, I'm noane good at lying. Hand that forged these has
naught to learn in Hillsbro', nor any other shop."
"Thank you, Mr. Reynolds," said Henry, in a choking voice. "That is
the first gleam of justice that I--" He could say no more.
"Come, don't you turn soft for a word or two," said Cheetham.
"You'll wear all this out in time. Go to the office. I have
something to say to you."
The something was said. It amounted to this--"Stand by me and I'll
stand by you."
"Well, sir," said Henry, "I think I must leave you if the committees
refuse my offer. It is hard for one man to fight a couple of trades
in such a place as this. But I'm firm in one thing: until those
that govern the unions say 'no' to my offer, I shall go on working,
and the scum of the trades sha'n't frighten me away from my forge."
"That's right; let the blackguards bluster. Bayne tells me you have
had another anonymous."
"Well, look here: you must take care of yourself, outside the works;
but, I'll take care of you inside. Here, Bayne, write a notice
that, if any man molests, intimidates, or affronts Mr. Little, in my
works, I'll take him myself to the town-hall, and get him two months
directly. Have somebody at the gate to put a printed copy of that
into every man's hand as he leaves."
"Thank you, sir!" said Henry, warmly. "But ought not the police to
afford me protection, outside?"
"The police! You might as well go to the beadle. No; change your
lodging, if you think they know it. Don't let them track you home.
Buy a brace of pistols, and, if they catch you in a dark place, and
try to do you, give them a barrel or two before they can strike a
blow. No one of THEM will ever tell the police, not if you shot his
own brother dead at that game. The law is a dead letter here, sir.
You've nothing to expect from it, and nothing to fear."
"Good heavens! Am I in England?"
"In England? No. You are in Hillsborough."
This epigram put Cheetham in good humor with himself, and, when
Henry told him he did not feel quite safe, even in his own forge,
nor in his handling-room, and gave his reasons, "Oh," said cheerful
Cheetham, "that is nothing. Yours is a box-lock; the blackguard
will have hid in the works at night, and taken the lock off, left
his writing, and then screwed the lock on again: that is nothing to
any Hillsborough hand. But I'll soon stop that game. Go you to
Chestnut Street, and get two first-class Bramah locks. There's a
pocket knife forge upstairs, close to your handling-room. I'll send
the pocket-knife hand down-stairs, and you fasten the Bramah locks
on both doors, and keep the keys yourself. See to that now at once:
then your mind will be easy. And I shall be in the works all day
now, and every day: come to me directly, if there is any thing
Henry's forge was cold, by this time; so he struck work, and spent
the afternoon in securing his two rooms with the Bramah locks. He
also took Cheetham's advice in another particular. Instead of
walking home, he took a cab, and got the man to drive rapidly to a
certain alley. There he left the cab, ran down the alley, and
turned a corner, and went home round about. He doubled like a hare,
and dodged like a criminal evading justice.
But the next morning he felt a pleasing sense of security when he
opened his forge-room with the Bramah key, and found no letters nor
threats of any kind had been able to penetrate.
Moreover, all this time you will understand he was visiting
"Woodbine Cottage" twice a week, and carving Grace Carden's bust.
Those delightful hours did much to compensate him for his troubles
in the town, and were even of some service to him in training him to
fence with the trades of Hillsborough: for at "Woodbine Villa" he
had to keep an ardent passion within the strict bounds of reverence,
and in the town he had constantly to curb another passion, wrath,
and keep it within the bounds of prudence. These were kindred
exercises of self-restraint, and taught him self-government beyond
his years. But what he benefited most by, after all, was the direct
and calming effect upon his agitated heart, and irritated nerves,
that preceded, and accompanied, and followed these sweet,
tranquilizing visits. They were soft, solacing, and soothing; they
were periodical and certain, he could count on leaving his cares and
worries, twice every week, at the door of that dear villa; and, when
he took them up again, they were no longer the same; heavenly balm
had been shed over them, and over his boiling blood.
One Saturday he heard, by a side-wind, that the Unions at a general
meeting had debated his case, and there had been some violent
speeches, and no decision come to; but the majority adverse to him.
This discouraged him sadly, and his yearning heart turned all the
more toward his haven of rest, and the hours, few but blissful, that
About 11 o'clock, that same day, the postman brought him a letter,
so vilely addressed, that it had been taken to two or three places,
on speculation, before it reached its destination.
Little saw at once it was another anonymous communication. But he
was getting callous to these missives, and he even took it with a
certain degree of satisfaction. "Well done, Bramah! Obliged to
send their venom by post now." This was the feeling uppermost in
his mind. In short, he opened the letter with as much contempt as
But he had no sooner read the foul scrawl, than his heart died
"Thou's sharp but not sharp enow. We know where thou goes courting
up hill. Window is all glass and ripe for a Peter shall blow the
house tatums. There's the stuff in Hillsbro and the men that have
done others so, and will do her job as wells thine. Powders a good
servant but a bad master.
"ONE WHO MEANS DOING WHAT HE SAYS."
At this diabolical threat, young Little leaned sick and broken over
the handle of his bellows.
Then he got up, and went to Mr. Cheetham, and said, patiently, "Sir,
I am sorry to say I must leave you this very day."
"Don't say that, Little, don't say that."
"Oh it is with a heavy heart, sir; and I shall always remember your
kindness. But a man knows when he is beat. And I'm beat now." He
hung his head in silence awhile. Then he said, in a faint voice,
"This is what has done it, sir," and handed him the letter.
Mr. Cheetham examined it, and said, "I am not surprised at your
being taken aback by this. But it's nothing new to us; we have all
been threatened in this form. Why, the very last time I fought the
trades, my wife was threatened I should be brought home on a
shutter, with my intestines sweeping the ground. That was the
purport, only it was put vernacular and stronger. And they reminded
me that the old gal's clothes (that is Mrs. Cheetham: she is only
twenty-six, and the prettiest lass in Coventry, and has a row of
ivories that would do your heart good: now these Hillsborough hags
haven't got a set of front teeth among 'em, young or old). Well,
they told me the old gal's clothes could easily be spoiled, and her
doll's face and all, with a penn'orth of vitriol."
"But it was all brag. These things are threatened fifty times, for
once they are done."
"I shall not risk it. My own skin, if you like. But not hers:
never, Mr. Cheetham: oh, never; never!"
"Well, but," said Mr. Cheetham, "she is in no danger so long as you
keep away from her. They might fling one of their petards in at the
window, if you were there; but otherwise, never, in this world. No,
no, Little, they are not so bad as that. They have blown up a whole
household, to get at the obnoxious party; but they always make sure
he is there first."
Bayne was appealed to, and confirmed this; and, with great
difficulty, they prevailed on Little to remain with them, until the
Unions should decide; and to discontinue his visits to the house on
the hill in the meantime. I need hardly say they had no idea the
house on the hill was "Woodbine Villa."
He left them, and, sick at heart, turned away from Heath Hill, and
strolled out of the lower part of the town, and wandered almost at
random, and sad as death.
He soon left the main road, and crossed a stile; it took him by the
side of a babbling brook, and at the edge of a picturesque wood.
Ever and anon he came to a water-wheel, and above the water-wheel a
dam made originally by art, but now looking like a sweet little
lake. They were beautiful places; the wheels and their attendant
works were old and rugged, but picturesque and countrified; and the
little lakes behind, fringed by the master-grinder's garden, were
strangely peaceful and pretty. Here the vulgar labor of the
grindstone was made beautiful and incredibly poetic.
"Ah!" thought poor Little, "how happy a workman must be that plies
his trade here in the fresh air. And how unfortunate I am to be
tied to a power-wheel, in that filthy town, instead of being here,
where Nature turns the wheel, and the birds chirp at hand, and the
scene and the air are all purity and peace."
One place of the kind was particularly charming. The dam was larger
than most, and sloping grass on one side, cropped short by the
grinder's sheep: on the other his strip of garden: and bushes and
flowers hung over the edge and glassed themselves in the clear
water. Below the wheel, and at one side, was the master-grinder's
cottage, covered with creepers.
But Henry's mind was in no state to enjoy these beauties. He envied
them; and, at last, they oppressed him, and he turned his back on
them, and wandered, disconsolate, home.
He sat down on a stool by his mother, and laid his beating temples
on her knees.
"What is it, my darling?" said she softly.
"Well, mother, for one thing, the Unions are against me, and I see I
shall have to leave Hillsborough, soon or late."
"Never mind, dear; happiness does not depend upon the place we live
in; and oh, Henry, whatever you do, never quarrel with those
terrible grinders and people. The world is wide. Let us go back to
London; the sooner the better. I have long seen there was something
worrying you. But Saturday and Monday--they used to be your bright
"It will come to that, I suppose," said Henry, evading her last
observation. "Yes," said he, wearily, "it will come to that." And
he sighed so piteously that she forbore to press him. She had not
the heart to cross-examine her suffering child.
That evening, mother and son sat silent by the fire: Henry had his
own sad and bitter thoughts; and Mrs. Little was now brooding over
the words Henry had spoken in the afternoon; and presently her
maternal anxieties found a copious vent. She related to him, one
after another, all the outrages that had been perpetrated in
Hillsborough, while he was a child, and had been, each in its turn,
the town talk.
It was a subject on which, if her son had been older, and more
experienced in her sex, he would have closed her mouth promptly, she
being a woman whose own nerves had received so frightful a shock by
the manner of her husband's death. But, inadvertently, he let her
run on, till she told him how a poor grinder had been carried home
to his wife, blinded and scorched with gunpowder, and another had
been taken home, all bleeding, to his mother, so beaten and bruised
with life-preservers, that he had laid between life and death for
nine days, and never uttered one word all that time, in reply to all
her prayers and tears.
Now Mrs. Little began these horrible narratives with a forced and
unnatural calmness; but, by the time she got to the last; she had
worked herself up to a paroxysm of sympathy with other wretched
women in Hillsborough, and trembled all over, like one in an ague,
for herself: and at last stretched out her shaking hands, and
screamed to him, "Oh, Harry, Harry, have pity on your miserable
mother! Think what these eyes of mine have seen--bleeding at my
feet--there--there--I see it now"--(her eyes dilated terribly at the
word)--"oh, promise me, for pity's sake, that these--same--eyes--
shall never see YOU brought and laid down bleeding like HIM!" With
this she went into violent hysterics, and frightened her son more
than all the ruffians in the town had ever frightened him.
She was a long time in this pitiable condition, and he nursed her:
but at last her convulsion ceased, and her head rested on her son's
shoulder in a pitiable languor.
Henry was always a good son: but he never loved his mother so
tenderly as he did this night. His heart yearned over this poor
panting soul, so stately in form, yet so weak, so womanly, and
lovable; his playmate in childhood; his sweet preceptor in boyhood;
the best friend and most unselfish lover he had, or could ever hope
to have, on earth; dear to him by her long life of loving sacrifice,
and sacred by that their great calamity, which had fallen so much
heavier on her than on him.
He soothed her, he fondled her, he kneeled at her feet, and promised
her most faithfully he would never be brought home to her bruised or
bleeding. No; if the Unions rejected his offer he would go back to
London with her at once.
And so, thrust from Hillsborough by the trades, and by his fears for
Miss Carden, and also drawn from it by his mother's terrors, he felt
himself a feather on the stream of Destiny; and left off struggling:
beaten, heart-sick, and benumbed, he let the current carry him like
any other dead thing that drifts.
He still plied the hammer, but in a dead-alive way.
He wrote a few cold lines to Mr. Jobson, to say that he thought it
was time for a plain answer to be given to a business proposal.
But, as he had no great hope the reply would be favorable, he
awaited it in a state bordering on apathy. And so passed a
And all this time she, for whose sake he denied himself the joy and
consolation of her company, though his heart ached and pined for it,
had hard thoughts of him, and vented them too to Jael Dence.
The young are so hasty in all their judgments.
While matters were in this condition, Henry found, one morning, two
fresh panes of glass broken in his window.
In these hardware works the windows seldom or never open: air is
procured in all the rooms by the primitive method of breaking a pane
here and a pane there; and the general effect is as unsightly as a
human mouth where teeth and holes alternate. The incident therefore
was nothing, if it had occurred in any other room; but it was not a
thing to pass over in this room, secured by a Bramah lock, the key
of which was in Henry's pocket: the panes must have been broken from
the outside. It occurred to him directly that a stone had been
thrown in with another threatening scrawl.
But, casting his eye all round, he saw nothing of the kind about.
Then, for a moment, a graver suspicion crossed his mind: might not
some detonating substance of a nature to explode when trodden upon,
have been flung in? Hillsborough excelled in deviltries of this
Henry thought of his mother, and would not treat the matter lightly
or unsuspiciously. He stood still till he had lighted a lucifer
match, and examined the floor of his room. Nothing.
He lighted a candle, and examined all the premises. Nothing.
But, when he brought his candle to the window, he made a discovery:
the window had two vertical iron uprights, about three-quarters of
an inch in circumference: and one of these revealed to his quick eye
a bright horizontal line. It had been sawed with a fine saw.
Apparently an attempt had been made to enter his room from outside.
The next question was, had that attempt succeeded.
He tried the bar; it was not quite cut through.
He locked the forge up directly, and went to his handling room.
There he remained till Mr. Cheetham entered the works; then he went
to him, and begged him to visit his forge.
Mr. Cheetham came directly, and examined the place carefully.
He negatived, at once, the notion that any Hillsborough hand had
been unable to saw through a bar of that moderate thickness. "No,"
said he, "they were disturbed, or else some other idea struck them
all of a sudden; or else they hadn't given themselves time, and are
coming again to-morrow. I hope they are. By six o'clock to-night,
I'll have a common wooden shutter hung with six good hinges on each
side, easy to open at the center; only, across the center, I'll fix
a Waterloo cracker inside."
"A Waterloo cracker!"
"Ay, but such a one as you never saw. I shall make it myself. It
shall be only four inches long, but as broad as my hand, and enough
detonating powder in it to blow the shutter fifty feet into the air:
and if there should be one of Jobson's lads behind the shutter at
the time, why he'll learn flying, and naught to pay for wings."
"Why, sir, you are planning the man's death!"
"And what is HE planning? Light your forge, and leave the job to
me. I'm Hillsborough too, and they've put my blood up at last."
While Henry lighted his forge, Mr. Cheetham whipped out a rule, and
measured the window exactly. This done, he went down the stairs,
and crossed the yard to go to his office.
But, before he could enter it, a horrible thing occurred in the room
he had just left; so horrible, it made him, brave as he was, turn
and scream like a woman.
Some miscreant, by a simple but ingenious means, which afterward
transpired, had mixed a quantity of gunpowder with the smithy-slack
or fine cinders of Henry's forge. The moment the forge was hot, the
powder ignited with a tremendous thud, a huge mass of flame rushed
out, driving the coals with it, like shot from a gun; Henry,
scorched, blackened, and blinded, was swept, as by a flaming wind,
against the opposite wall; then, yelling, and stark mad with fright
(for nothing drives men out of their wits like an explosion in a
narrow space), he sprang at the window, head foremost, and with such
velocity that the sawed iron snapped like a stick of barley-sugar,
and out he went head foremost; and this it was made Cheetham scream,
to see him head downward, and the paving-stones below.
But the aperture was narrow: his body flew through, but his tight
arm went round the unbroken upright, and caught it in the bend of
Then Cheetham roared, "Hold on, Little! Hold on, I tell you!"
The scared brain of a man accustomed to obey received the command
almost without the mind; and the grinders and forgers, running
wildly into the yard, saw the obnoxious workman, black as a cinder
from head to foot, bleeding at the face from broken glass, hanging
up there by one hand, moaning with terror, and looking down with
dilating eye, while thick white smoke rushed curling out, as if his
body was burning. Death by suffocation was at his back, and broken
bones awaited him below.
At sight of this human cinder, hanging by one hand between two
deaths, every sentiment but humanity vanished from the ruggedest
bosom, and the skilled workmen set themselves to save their
unpopular comrade with admirable quickness and judgment: two new
wheel-bands, that had just come into the works, were caught up in a
moment, and four workmen ran with them and got below the suspended
figure: they then turned back to back, and, getting the bands over
their shoulders, pulled hard against each other. This was necessary
to straighten the bands: they weighed half a hundred weight each.
Others stood at the center of the bands, and directed Little where
to drop, and stood ready to catch him should he bound off them.
But now matters took an unexpected turn. Little, to all appearance,
was blind and deaf. He hung there, moaning, and glaring, and his
one sinewy arm supported his muscular but light frame almost
incredibly. He was out of his senses, or nearly.
"Let thyself come, lad," cried a workman, "we are all right to catch
He made no answer, but hung there glaring and moaning.
"The man will drop noane, till he swouns," said another, watching
"Then get you closer to the wall, men," cried Cheetham, in great
anxiety. "He'll come like a stone, when he does come." This
injunction was given none too soon; the men had hardly shifted their
positions, when Little's hand opened, and he came down like lead,
with his hands all abroad, and his body straight; but his knees were
slightly bent, and he caught the bands just below the knee, and
bounded off them into the air, like a cricket-ball. But many hands
grabbed at him, and the grinder Reynolds caught him by the shoulder,
and they rolled on the ground together, very little the worse for
that tumble. "Well done! well done!" cried Cheetham. "Let him lie,
lads, he is best there for a while; and run for a doctor, one of
"Ay, run for Jack Doubleface," cried several voices at once.
"Now, make a circle, and give him air, men." Then they all stood in
a circle, and eyed the blackened and quivering figure with pity and
sympathy, while the canopy of white smoke bellied overhead. Nor
were those humane sentiments silent; and the rough seemed to be even
more overcome than the others: no brains were required to pity this
poor fellow now; and so strong an appeal to their hearts, through
their senses, roused their good impulses and rare sensibilities.
Oh, it was strange to hear good and kindly sentiments come out in
the Dash dialect.
"It's a ---- shame!"
"There lies a good workman done for by some ---- thief, that wasn't
fit to blow his bellows, ---- him!"
"Say he WAS a cockney, he was always ---- civil."
"And life's as sweet to him as to any man in Hillsborough."
"Hold your ---- tongue, he's coming to."
Henry did recover his wits enough to speak; and what do you think
was his first word?
He clasped his hands together, and said,--"MY MOTHER! OH, DON'T LET
This simple cry went through many a rough heart; a loud gulp or two
were heard soon after, and more than one hard and coaly cheek was
channeled by sudden tears. But now a burly figure came rolling in;
they drew back and silenced each other.--"The Doctor!" This was the
remarkable person they called Jack Doubleface. Nature had stuck a
philosophic head, with finely-cut features, and a mouth brimful of
finesse, on to a corpulent and ungraceful body, that yawed from side
to side as he walked.
The man of art opened with two words. He looked up at the white
cloud, which was now floating away; sniffed the air, and said,
"Gunpowder!" Then he looked down at Little, and said, "Ah!" half
dryly, half sadly. Indeed several sentences of meaning condensed
themselves into that simple interjection. At this moment, some men,
whom curiosity had drawn to Henry's forge, came back to say the
forge had been blown up, and "the bellows torn limb from jacket, and
the room strewed with ashes."
The doctor laid a podgy hand on the prisoner's wrist: the touch was
light, though the fingers were thick and heavy. The pulse, which
had been very low, was now galloping and bounding frightfully.
"Fetch him a glass of brandy-and-water," said Dr. Amboyne. (There
were still doctors in Hillsborough, though not in London, who would
have had him bled on the spot.)
"Now, then, a surgeon! Which of you lads operates on the eye, in
A lanky file-cutter took a step forward. "I am the one that takes
the motes out of their eyes."
"Then be good enough to show me his eye."
The file-cutter put out a hand with fingers prodigiously long and
thin, and deftly parted both Little's eyelids with his finger and
thumb, so as to show the whole eye.
"Hum!" said the doctor, and shook his head.
He then patted the sufferer all over, and the result of that
examination was satisfactory. Then came the brandy-and-water; and
while Henry's teeth were clattering at the glass and he was trying
to sip the liquid, Dr. Amboyne suddenly lifted his head, and took a
keen survey of the countenances round him. He saw the general
expression of pity on the rugged faces. He also observed one rough
fellow who wore a strange wild look: the man seemed puzzled, scared,
confused like one half awakened from some hideous dream. This was
the grinder who had come into the works in place of the hand
Cheetham had discharged for refusing to grind cockney blades.
"Hum!" said Dr. Amboyne, and appeared to be going into a brown
But he shook that off, and said briskly, "Now, then, what was his
crime? Did he owe some mutual aid society six-and-four-pence?"
"That's right," said Reynolds, sullenly, "throw every thing on the
Union. If we knew who it was, he'd lie by the side of this one in
less than a minute, and, happen, not get up again so soon." A growl
of assent confirmed the speaker's words. Cheetham interposed and
drew Amboyne aside, and began to tell him who the man was and what
the dispute; but Amboyne cut the latter explanation short. "What,"
said he, "is this the carver whose work I saw up at Mr. Carden's?"
"This is the very man, no doubt."
"Why, he's a sculptor: Praxiteles in wood. A fine choice they have
made for their gunpowder, a workman that did honor to the town."
A faint flush of gratified pride colored the ghastly cheek a moment.
"Doctor, shall I live to finish the bust?" said Henry, piteously.
"That and hundreds more, if you obey me. The fact is, Mr. Cheetham,
this young man is not hurt, but his nerves have received a severe
shock; and the sooner he is out of this place the better. Ah, there
is my brougham at the gate. Come, put him into it, and I'll take
him to the infirmary."
"No," said Little, "I won't go there; my mother would hear of it."
"Oh, then your mother is not to know?"
"Not for all the world! She has had trouble enough. I'll just wash
my face and buy a clean shirt, and she'll never know what has
happened. It would kill her. Oh, yes, it would kill her!"
The doctor eyed him with warm approval. "You are a fine young
fellow. I'll see you safe through this, and help you throw dust in
your mother's eyes. If you go to her with that scratched face, we
are lost. Come, get into my carriage, and home with me."
"Mayn't I wash my face first? And look at my shirt: as black as a
"Wash your face, by all means: but you can button your coat over
The coat was soon brought, and so was a pail of water and a piece of
yellow soap. Little dashed his head and face into the bucket, and
soon inked all the water. The explosion had filled his hair with
black dust, and grimed his face and neck like a sweep's. This
ablution made him clean, but did not bring back his ruddy color. He
looked pale and scratched.
The men helped him officiously into the carriage, though he could
have walked very well alone.
Henry asked leave to buy a clean shirt. The doctor said he would
lend him one at home.
While Henry was putting it on Dr. Amboyne ordered his dog-cart
instead of his brougham, and mixed some medicines. And soon Henry
found himself seated in the dog-cart, with a warm cloak over him,
and whisking over the stones of Hillsborough.
All this had been done so rapidly and unhesitatingly that Henry,
injured and shaken as he was, had yielded passive obedience. But
now he began to demur a little. "But where are we going, sir?" he
"To change the air and the scene. I'll be frank with you--you are
man enough to bear the truth--you have received a shock that will
very likely bring on brain-fever, unless you get some sleep tonight.
But you would not sleep in Hillsborough. You'd wake a dozen times
in the night, trembling like an aspen leaf, and fancying you were
blown up again."
"Yes, but my mother, sir! If I don't go home at seven o'clock,
she'll find me out."
"If you went crazy wouldn't she find you out? Come, my young
friend, trust to my experience, and to the interest this attempt to
murder you, and your narrow escape, have inspired in me. When I
have landed you in the Temple of Health, and just wasted a little
advice on a pig-headed patient in the neighborhood (he is the squire
of the place), I'll drive back to Hillsborough, and tell your mother
some story or other: you and I will concoct that together as we go."
At this Henry was all obedience, and indeed thanked him, with the
tears in his eyes, for his kindness to a poor stranger.
Dr. Amboyne smiled. "If you were not a stranger, you would know
that saving cutlers' lives is my hobby, and one in which I am
steadily resisted and defeated, especially by the cutlers
themselves: why, I look upon you as a most considerate and obliging
young man for indulging me in this way. If you had been a
Hillsborough hand, you would insist upon a brain-fever, and a trip
to the lunatic asylum, just to vex me, and hinder me of my hobby."
Henry stared. This was too eccentric for him to take it all in at
once. "What!" said Dr. Amboyne, observing his amazement, "Did you
never hear of Dr. Doubleface?"
"Never hear of the corpulent lunatic, who goes about the city
chanting, like a cuckoo, 'Put yourself in his place--put yourself in
her place--in their place?'
"No, sir, I never did."
"Then such is fame. Well, never mind that just now; there's a time
for every thing. Please observe that ruined house: the ancient
family to whom it belongs are a remarkable example of the
vicissitude of human affairs." He then told him the curious ups and
downs of that family, which, at two distant periods, had held vast
possessions in the county; but were now represented by the shell of
one manor house, and its dovecote, the size of a modern villa. Next
he showed him an obscure battlefield, and told him that story, and
who were the parties engaged; and so on. Every mile furnished its
legend, and Dr. Amboyne related them all so graphically that the
patient's mind was literally stolen away from himself. At last,
after a rapid drive of eleven miles through the pure invigorating
air, they made a sudden turn, and entered a pleasant and singularly
rural village: they drew up at a rustic farmhouse, clad with ivy;
and Dr. Amboyne said, "This is the temple: here you can sleep as
safe from gunpowder as a field-marshal born."
The farmer's daughter came out, and beamed pleasure at sight of the
doctor: he got down, and told her the case, privately, and gave her
precise instructions. She often interrupted the narrative with
"Lawkadaisies," and other rural interjections, and simple
exclamations of pity. She promised faithful compliance with his
He then beckoned Henry in, and said, "This picture of health was a
patient of mine once, as you are now; there's encouragement for you.
I put you under her charge. Get a letter written to your mother,
and I'll come back for it in half an hour. You had a headache, and
were feverish, so you consulted a doctor. He advised immediate rest
and change of air, and he drove you at once to this village. Write
you that, and leave the rest to me. We doctors are dissembling
dogs. We have still something to learn in curing diseases; but at
making light of them to the dying, and other branches of amiable
mendacity, we are masters.
As soon as he was gone, the comely young hostess began on her
patient. "Dear heart, sir, was it really you as was blowed up with
"Indeed it was, and not many hours ago. It seems like a dream."
"Well, now, who'd think that, to look at you? Why, you are none the
worse for, by a scratch or two, and dear heart, I've seen a young
chap bring as bad home, from courting, in these parts; and wed the
lass as marked him--within the year."
"Oh, it is not the scratches; but feel my hand, how it trembles.
And it used to be as firm as a rock; for I never drink."
"So it do, I declare. Why, you do tremble all over; and no wonder,
poor soul. Come you in this minut, and sit down a bit by the fire,
while I go and make the room ready for you."
But, as soon as he was seated by the fire, the current began to flow
again. "Well, I never liked Hillsborough folk much--poor, mean-
visaged tykes they be--but now I do hate 'em. What, blow up a
decent young man like you, and a well-favored, and hair like jet,
and eyes in your head like sloes! But that's their ground of spite,
I warrant me; the nasty, ugly, dirty dogs. Well, you may just snap
your fingers at 'em all now. They don't come out so far as this;
and, if they did, stouter men grows in this village than any in
Hillsborough: and I've only to hold up my finger, for as little as I
be, and they'd all be well ducked in father's horsepond, and then
flogged home again with a good cart-whip well laid on. And, another
thing, whatever we do, Squire, he will make it good in law: he is
gentle, and we are simple; but our folk and his has stood by each
other this hundred year and more. But, la, I run on so, and you was
to write a letter again the doctor came back. I'll fetch you some
paper this minut."
She brought him writing materials, and stood by him with this
apology, "If 'twas to your sweetheart I'd be off. But 'tis to your
mother." (With a side glance), "She have been a handsome woman in
her day, I'll go bail."
"She is as beautiful as ever in my eyes," said Henry, tenderly.
"And, oh, heaven! give me the sense to write to her without
"Then I won't hinder you no more with my chat," said his hostess,
with kindly good humor, and slipped away upstairs. She lighted a
great wood fire in the bedroom, and laid the bed and the blankets
all round it, and opened the window, and took the homespun linen
sheets out of a press, and made the room very tidy. Then she went
down again, and the moment Henry saw her, he said "I feel your
kindness, miss, but I don't know your name, nor where in the world I
am." His hostess smiled. "That is no secret. I'm Martha Dence--at
your service: and this is Cairnhope town."
"Cairnhope!" cried Henry, and started back, so that his wooden chair
made a loud creak upon the stones of the farmer's kitchen.
Martha Dence stared, but said nothing; for almost at that moment the
doctor returned, all in a hurry, for the letter.
Henry begged him to look at it, and see if it would do.
The doctor read it. "Hum!" said he, "it is a very pretty, filial
letter, and increases my interest in you; give me your hand: there.
Well, it won't do: too shaky. If your mother once sees this, I may
talk till doomsday, she'll not believe a word. You must put off
writing till to-morrow night. Now give me her address, for I really
must get home."
"She lives on the second floor, No. 13 Chettle Street."
"Sir, if you ask for the lady that lodges on the second floor, you
will be sure to see her."
Dr. Amboyne looked a little surprised, and not very well pleased, at
what seemed a want of confidence. But he was a man singularly
cautious and candid in forming his judgments; so he forbore all
comment, and delivered his final instructions. "Here is a bottle
containing only a few drops of faba Ignatii in water, it is an
innocent medicine, and has sometimes a magical effect in soothing
the mind and nerves. A table-spoonful three times a day. And THIS
is a sedative, which you can take if you find yourself quite unable
to sleep. But I wouldn't have recourse to it unnecessarily; for
these sedatives are uncertain in their operation; and, when a man is
turned upside down, as you have been, they sometimes excite. Have a
faint light in your bedroom. Tie a cord to the bell-rope, and hold
it in your hand all night. Fix your mind on that cord, and keep
thinking, 'This is to remind me that I am eleven miles from
Hillsborough, in a peaceful village, safe from all harm.' To-
morrow, walk up to the top of Cairnhope Peak, and inhale the
glorious breeze, and look over four counties. Write to your mother
at night, and, meantime, I'll do my best to relieve her anxiety.
Memory sometimes acts like an old flint-gun: it hangs fire, yet ends
by going off. While Dr. Amboyne was driving home, the swarthy, but
handsome, features of the workman he had befriended seemed to enter
his mind more deeply than during the hurry, and be said to himself,
"Jet black hair; great black eyes; and olive skin; they are rare in
these parts; and, somehow, they remind me a little of HER."
Then his mind went back, in a moment, over many years, to the days
when he was stalwart, but not unwieldy, and loved a dark but
peerless beauty, loved her deeply, and told his love, and was
esteemed and pitied, but another was beloved.
And so sad, yet absorbing, was the retrospect of his love, his
sorrow, and her own unhappy lot, that it blotted out of his mind,
for a time, the very youth whose features and complexion had
launched him into the past.
But the moment his horse's feet rang on the stones, this burly
philosopher shook off the past, and set himself to recover lost
time. He drove rapidly to several patients, and, at six o'clock,
was at 13 Chettle Street, and asked for the lady on the second
floor, "Yes, sir: she is at home," was the reply. "But I don't
know; she lives very retired. She hasn't received any visits since
they came. However, they rent the whole floor, and the sitting-room
Dr. Amboyne mounted the stair and knocked at the door. A soft and
mellow voice bade him enter. He went in, and a tall lady in black,
with plain linen collar and wristbands, rose to receive him. They
confronted each other. Time and trouble had left their trace, but
there were the glorious eyes, and jet black hair, and the face, worn
and pensive, but still beautiful. It was the woman he had loved,
the only one.
"Mrs. Little!" said he, in an indescribable tone.
For a few moments he forgot the task he had undertaken; and could
only express his astonishment and pleasure at seeing her once more.
Then he remembered why he was there; and the office he had
undertaken so lightly alarmed him now.
His first instinct was to gain time. Accordingly, he began to chide
her gently for having resided in the town and concealed it from him;
then, seeing her confused and uncomfortable at that reproach, and in
the mood to be relieved by any change of topic, he glided off, with
no little address, as follows:--"Observe the consequences: here have
I been most despotically rusticating a youth who turns out to be
"My son! is there any thing the matter with my son? Oh, Dr. Amboyne!"
"He must have been out of sorts, you know, or he would not have
consulted me," replied the doctor, affecting candor.
"Consult! Why, what has happened? He was quite well when he left
me this morning."
"I doubt that. He complained of headache and fever. But I soon
found his MIND was worried. A misunderstanding with the trades! I
was very much pleased with his face and manner; my carriage was at
the door; his pulse was high, but there was nothing that country air
and quiet will not restore. So I just drove him away, and landed
him in a farm-house."
Mrs. Little's brow flushed at this. She was angry. But, in a
nature so gentle as hers, anger soon gave way. She turned a glance
of tearful and eloquent reproach on Dr. Amboyne. "The first time we
have ever been separated since he was born," said she, with a sigh.
Dr. Amboyne's preconceived plan broke down that moment. He said,
"Take my carriage, and drive to him. Better do that than torment
"Where is he?" asked the widow, brightening up at the proposal.
At this word, Mrs. Little's face betrayed a series of emotions:
first confusion, then astonishment, and at last a sort of
superstitious alarm. "At Cairnhope?" she faltered at last, "My son
"Pray do not torment yourself with fancies," said the doctor. "All
this is the merest accident--the simplest thing in the world. I
cured Patty Dence of diphtheria, when it decimated the village. She
and her family are grateful; the air of Cairnhope has a magic effect
on people who live in smoke, and Martha and Jael let me send them
out an invalid now and then to be reinvigorated. I took this young
man there, not knowing who he was. Go to him, if you like. But,
frankly, as his physician, I would rather you did not. Never do a
wise thing by halves. He ought to be entirely separated from all
his cares, even from yourself (who are doubtless one of them), for
five or six days. He needs no other medicine but that and the fine
air of Cairnhope."
"Then somebody must see him every day, and tell me. Oh! Dr. Amboyne,
this is the beginning: what will the end be? I am miserable."
"My man shall ride there every day, and see him, and bring you back
a letter from him."
"Your man!" said Mrs. Little, a little haughtily.
Dr. Amboyne met her glance. "If there was any ground for alarm,
should I not go myself every day?" said he, gravely, and even
"Forgive me," said the widow, and gave him her hand with a sweet and
The main difficulty was now got over; and Dr. Amboyne was careful
not to say too much, for he knew that his tongue moved among
As Dr. Amboyne descended the stairs, the landlady held a door ajar,
and peeped at him, according to a custom of such delicate-minded
females as can neither restrain their curiosity nor indulge it
openly. Dr. Amboyne beckoned to her, and asked for a private
interview. This was promptly accorded.
"Would ten guineas be of any service to you, madam?"
"Eh, dear, that it would, sir. Why, my rent is just coming due."
Under these circumstances, the bargain was soon struck. Not a
syllable about the explosion at Cheetham's was to reach the second
floor lodger's ears, and no Hillsborough journal was to mount the
stairs until the young man's return. If inquired for, they were to
be reported all sold out, and a London journal purchased instead.
Having secured a keen and watchful ally in this good woman, who, to
do her justice, showed a hearty determination to earn her ten
guineas, Dr. Amboyne returned home, his own philosophic pulse
beating faster than it had done for some years.
He had left Mrs. Little grateful, and, apparently, in good spirits;
but, ere he had been gone an hour, the bare separation from her son
overpowered her, and a host of vague misgivings tortured her, and
she slept but little that night. By noon next day she was
thoroughly miserable; but Dr. Amboyne's man rode up to the door in
the afternoon with a cheerful line from Henry.
"All right, dear mother. Better already. Letter by post.
She detained the man, and made up a packet of things for Cairnhope,
and gave him five shillings to be sure and take them.
This was followed by a correspondence, a portion of which will
suffice to eke out the narrative.
"DEAREST MOTHER,--I slept ill last night, and got up aching from
head to foot, as if I had been well hided. But they sent me to the
top of Cairnhope Peak, and, what with the keen air and the glorious
view, I came home and ate like a hog. That pleased Martha Dence,
and she kept putting me slices off her own plate, till I had to cry
quarter. As soon as I have addressed this letter, I'm off to bed,
for it is all I can do not to fall asleep sitting.
"I am safe to be all right to-morrow, so pray don't fret. I am,
dear mother," etc., etc.
"DEAREST MOTHER,--I hope you are not fretting about me. Dr. Amboyne
promised to stop all that. But do write, and say you are not
fretting and fancying all manner of things at my cutting away so
suddenly. It was the doctor's doing. And, mother, I shall not stay
long away from you, for I slept twelve hours at a stretch last
night, and now I'm another man. But really, I think the air of that
Cairnhope Peak would cure a fellow at his last gasp.
"Thank you for the linen, and the brushes, and things. But you are
not the sort to forget anything a fellow might want," etc.
"No, my darling son. Be in no hurry to leave Cairnhope. Of course,
love, I was alarmed at first; for I know doctors make the best of
every thing; and then the first parting!--that is always a sorrowful
thing. But, now you are there, I beg you will stay till you are
quite recovered. Your letters are a delight, and one I could not
have, and you as well, you know.
"Since you are at Cairnhope--how strange that seems--pray go and see
the old church, where your forefathers are buried. There are
curious inscriptions, and some brasses nobody could decipher when I
was a girl; but perhaps you might, you are so clever. Your
grandfather's monument is in the chancel: I want you to see it. Am
I getting very old, that my heart turns back to these scenes of my
"P.S.--Who is this Martha Dence?"
"DEAR MOTHER,--Martha Dence is the farmer's daughter I lodge with.
She is not so pretty as her sister Jael that is with Miss Carden;
but she is a comely girl, and as good as gold, and bespoke by the
butcher. And her putting slices from her plate to mine is a village
custom, I find.
"Mother, the people here are wonderfully good and simple. First of
all, there's farmer Dence, with his high bald head, like a patriarch
of old; and he sits and beams with benevolence, but does not talk
much. But he lets me see I can stay with him six years, if I
choose. Then, there's Martha, hospitality itself, and ready to fly
at my enemies like a mastiff. She is a little hot in the temper,
feathers up in a moment; but, at a soft word, they go down again as
quick. Then, there's the village blacksmith. I call him 'The
gentle giant.' He is a tremendous fellow in height, and size, and
sinew; but such a kind, sweet-tempered chap. He could knock down an
ox, yet he wouldn't harm a fly. I am his idol: I sauntered in to
his smithy, and forged him one or two knives; and of course he had
never seen the hammer used with that nicety; but instead of hating
me, as the bad forgers in Hillsborough do, he regularly worships me,
and comes blushing up to the farm-house after hours, to ask after me
and get a word with me. He is the best whistler in the parish, and
sometimes we march down the village at night, arm-in-arm, whistling
a duet. This charms the natives so that we could take the whole
village out at our heels, and put them down in another parish. But
the droll thing is, they will not take me for what I am. My gentle
giant would say 'Sir' till I pretended to be affronted; the women
and girls will bob me courtesies, and the men and white headed boys
will take off their hats and pull their front hair to me. If a
skilled workman wants to burst with vanity, let him settle in
"Martha Dence and I have had words, and what do you think it was
about? I happened to let out my opinion of Mr. Raby. Mother, it
was like setting a match to a barrel of gunpowder. She turned as
red as fire, and said, 'Who be you that speaks against Raby to
"I tried to pacify her, but it was no use. 'Don't speak to me,'
said she. 'I thought better of you. You and I are out.' I bowed
before the storm, and, to give her time to cool, I obeyed your
wishes, and walked to Cairnhope old church. What a curious place!
But I could not get in; and, on my return, I found Mr. Raby keeps
the key. Now, you can't do a thing here, or say a word, but what it
is known all over the village. So Martha Dence meets me at the
door, and says, very stiffly, she thought I might have told her I
wanted to see the old church. I pulled a long, penitent face, and
said, 'Yes; but unfortunately, I was out of her good books, and had
orders not to speak to her.' 'Nay,' says she, 'life is too short
for long quarrels. You are a stranger, and knew no better.' Then
she told me to wait five minutes while she put on her bonnet, as she
calls it. Well, I waited the five and-forty minutes, and she put on
her bonnet, and so many other smart things, that we couldn't
possibly walk straight up to the old church. We had to go round by
the butcher's shop, and order half a pound of suet; no less. 'And
bring it yourself, this evening,' said I, 'or it might get lost on
the road.' Says the butcher, 'Well, sir, that is the first piece of
friendly advice any good Christian has bestowed--' But I heard no
more, owing to Martha chasing me out of the shop.
"To reach the old church we had to pass the old ruffian's door.
Martha went in; I sauntered on, and she soon came after me, with the
key in her hand. 'But,' said she, 'he told me if my name hadn't
been Dence he wouldn't trust me with it, though I went on my bended
"We opened the church-door, and I spent an hour inside, examining
and copying inscriptions for you. But, when I came to take up a
loose brass, to try and decipher it, Martha came screaming at me,
'Oh, put it down! put it down! I pledged my word to Squire you
should not touch them brasses.' What could I do, mother? The poor
girl was in an agony. This old ruffian has, somehow, bewitched her,
and her father too, into a sort of superstitious devotion that I
can't help respecting, unreasonable as it is. So I dropped the
brass, and took to reflecting. And I give you my thoughts.
"What a pity and a shame that a building of this size should lie
idle! If it was mine I would carefully remove all the monuments,
and the dead bones, et cetera, to the new church, and turn this old
building into a factory, or a set of granaries, or something useful.
It is as great a sin to waste bricks and mortar as it is bread,"
"MY DEAR HARRY,--Your dear sprightly letters delight me, and
reconcile me to the separation; for I see that your health is
improving every day, by your gayety; and this makes me happy, though
I can not quite be gay.
"Your last letter was very amusing, yet, somehow, it set me
thinking, long and sadly; and some gentle remarks from Dr. Amboyne
(he called yesterday) have also turned my mind the same way. Time
has softened the terrible blow that estranged my brother and myself,
and I begin to ask myself, was my own conduct perfect? was my
brother's quite without excuse? I may have seen but one side, and
been too hasty in judging him. At all events, I would have you, who
are a man, think for yourself, and not rush into too harsh a view of
that unhappy quarrel. Dearest, family quarrels are family
misfortunes: why should they go down to another generation? You
frighten me, when you wonder that Nathan and his family (I had
forgotten his name was Dence) are attached to Mr. Raby. Why, with
all his faults, my brother is a chivalrous, high-minded gentleman;
his word is his bond, and he never deserts a friend, however humble;
and I have heard our dear father say that, for many generations,
uncommon acts of kindness had passed between that family of yeomen
and the knights and squires of Raby.
"And now, dear, I am going to be very foolish. But, if these Dences
are as great favorites with him as they were with my father, she
could easily get you into the house some day, when he is out
hunting; and I do want you to see one thing more before you come
back from Cairnhope--your mother's picture. It hangs, or used to
hang, in the great dining-room, nearly opposite the fire-place.
"I blush at my childishness, but I SHOULD like my child to see what
his mother was when she brought him into the world, that sad world
in which he has been her only joy and consolation.
P. S.--What an idea! Turn that dear old church into a factory! But
you are a young man of the day. And a wonderful day it is; I can
not quite keep up with it."
"DEAR MOTHER,--I have been there. Mr. Raby is a borough magistrate,
as well as a county justice; and was in Hillsborough all day to-day.
Martha Dence took me to Raby Hall, and her name was a passport.
When I got to the door, I felt as if something pulled me, and said,
'It's an enemy's house; don't go in.' I wish I had obeyed the
warning; but I did not.
"Well, I have seen your portrait. It is lovely, it surpasses any
woman I ever saw. And it must have been your image, for it is very
like you now, only in the bloom of your youth.
"And now, dear mother, having done something for you, quite against
my own judgment, and my feelings too, please do something for me.
Promise me never to mention Mr. Raby's name to me again, by letter,
or by word of mouth either. He is not a gentleman: he is not a man;
he is a mean, spiteful, cowardly cur. I'll keep out of his way, if
I can; but if he gets in mine, I shall give him a devilish good
hiding, then and there, and I'll tell HIM the reason why; and I will
not tell YOU.
"Dear mother, I did intend to stay till Saturday, but, after this, I
shall come back to you to-morrow. My own sweet dove of a mammy; who
but a beast could hurt or affront you?
"So no more letters from your dutiful and affectionate son,
Next day young Little took leave of his friends in Cairnhope, with a
promise to come over some Sunday, and see them all. He borrowed a
hooked stick of his devotee, the blacksmith, and walked off with his
little bundle over his shoulder, in high health and spirits, and
ripe for any thing.
Some successful men are so stout-hearted, their minds seem never to
flinch. Others are elastic; they give way, and appear crushed; but,
let the immediate pressure be removed, they fly back again, and
their enemy finds he has not gained an inch. Henry's was of this
sort; and, as he swung along through the clear brisk air, the world
seemed his football once more.
This same morning Jael Dence was to go to Cairnhope, at her own
She packed her box, and corded it, and brought it down herself, and
put it in the passage, and the carrier was to call for it at one.
As for herself, four miles of omnibus, and the other seven on foot,
was child's play to her, whose body was as lusty and active as her
heart was tender and clinging.
She came in to the drawing-room, with her bonnet and shawl on, and
the tear in her eye, to bid Miss Carden good-bye. Two male friends
would have parted in five minutes; but this pair were a wonderful
time separating, and still there was always something to say, that
kept Grace detaining, or Jael lingering; and, when she had been
going, going, going, for more than half an hour, all of a sudden she
cried, out, "Oh! There he is!" and flushed all over.
"Who?" asked Grace, eagerly.
"The dark young man. He is at the door now, miss. And me going
away," she faltered.
"Well then, why go till he has paid his visit? Sit down. You
needn't take off your bonnet."
Miss Carden then settled herself, took up her work, and prepared to
receive her preceptor as he deserved, an intention she conveyed to
Jael by a glance, just as Henry entered blooming with exercise and
the keen air, and looking extremely handsome and happy.
His reception was a chilling bow from Miss Carden, and from Jael a
cheek blushing with pleasure at the bare sight of him, but an
earnest look of mild reproach. It seemed cruel of him to stay away
so long, and then come just as she was going.
This reception surprised Henry, and disappointed him; however he
constrained himself, and said politely, but rather coldly, that
some unpleasant circumstances had kept him away; but he hoped now to
keep his time better.
"Oh, pray consult your own convenience entirely," said Miss Carden.
"Come when you have nothing better to do; that is the
"I should be always coming, at that rate."
Grace took no notice. "Would you like to see how I look with my one
eyebrow?" said she. "Jael, please fetch it."
While Jael was gone for the bust, Henry took a humbler tone, and in
a low voice began to excuse his absence; and I think he would have
told the real truth, if he had been encouraged a little; but he was
met with a cold and withering assurance that it was a matter of no
consequence. Henry thought this unfair, and, knowing in his own
heart it was ungrateful, he rebelled. He bit his lip, sat down as
gloomy as the grave, and resumed his work, silent and sullen.
As for Jael, she brought in the bust, and then sat down with her
bonnet on, quaking; for she felt sure that, in such a dismal dearth
of conversation, Miss Carden would be certain to turn round very
soon, and say, "Well, Jael, you can go now."
But this Quaker's meeting was interrupted by a doctor looking in to
prescribe for Miss Carden's cold. The said cold was imperceptible
to vulgar eyes, but Grace had detected it, and had written to her
friend, Dr. Amboyne, to come and make it as imperceptible to herself
as to the spectator.
In rolled the doctor, and was not a little startled at sight of
"Hallo!" cried be. "What, cured already? Cairnhope forever!" He
then proceeded to feel his pulse instead of Miss Carden's, and
inspect his eye, at which Grace Carden stared.
"What, is he unwell?"
"Why, a man does not get blown up with gunpowder without some little
disturbance of the system."
"Blown up with gunpowder! What DO you mean?"
"What, have you not heard about it? Don't you read the newspapers?"
"Merciful powers! But has he not told you?"
"No; he tells us nothing."
"Then I'll tell you, it is of no use your making faces at me. There
is no earthly reason why she should be kept in the dark. These
Hillsborough trades want to drive this young man out of town: why--
is too long and intricate for you to follow. He resists this
tyranny, gently, but firmly."
"I'd resist it furiously," said Grace.
"The consequence is, they wrote him several threatening letters;
and, at last, some caitiff put gunpowder into his forge; it
exploded, and blew him out of a second-floor window."
"Oh! oh!" screamed Grace Carden and Jael; and by one womanly impulse
they both put their hands before their faces, as if to shut out the
"What is that for?" said the doctor. "You see he is all right now.
But, I promise you, he cut a very different figure when I saw him
directly afterward; he was scorched as black as a coal--"
"Oh, doctor, don't; pray don't. Oh, sir, why did you not tell me?"
"And his face bleeding," continued the merciless doctor.
"Oh dear! oh dear!" And the sweet eyes were turned, all swimming in
water upon Henry, with a look of angelic pity.
"His nerves were terribly shaken, but there were no bones broken. I
said to myself, 'He must sleep or go mad, and he will not sleep in
the town that has blown him up.' I just drove the patient off to
peace and pure air, and confided him to one of the best creatures in
Jael uttered an exclamation of wonder, which drew attention to her
and her glowing cheeks.
"Oh yes, Miss Jael," said Henry, "I was going to tell you. I have
been a fortnight with your people, and, if I live a hundred years, I
shall not forget their goodness to me. God bless them."
"'Twas the least they could do," said Jael, softly.
"What a pity you are going out. I should have liked to talk to you
about your father, and Martha, and George the blacksmith. Doctor,
who would live in a town after Cairnhope?"
Jael's fingers trembled at her bonnet-strings, and, turning a look
of piteous supplication on Grace, she faltered out, "If you please,
miss, might I stay over to-day?"
"Of course. And then he will tell you all about your people, and
that will do just as well as you going to see them; and better."
Off came Jael's bonnet with wonderful celerity.
"Get the whole story out of him," said Dr. Amboyne. "It is well
worth your attention. As for me, I must go as soon as I have
prescribed for you. What is the matter?"
"The matter is that there's nothing the matter; prescribe for that.
And that I'm a goose--prescribe for that--and don't read the
newspapers; prescribe for that."
"Well, then, I prescribe the Hillsborough Liberal. It has drawn a
strong picture of this outrage, and shown its teeth to the Trades.
And, if I might advise a lady of your age and experience, I would
say, in future always read the newspapers. They are, compared with
books, what machinery is compared with hand-labor. But, in this one
instance, go to the fountain-head, and ask Mr. Henry Little there,
to tell you his own tragedy, with all the ins and outs."
"Ah! if he would," said Grace, turning her eyes on Henry. "But he
is not so communicative to poor us. Is he, Jael?"
"He never even told us his name. Did he, Jael?"
"No, miss. He is very close."
"Open him then," said the doctor. "Come, come, there are a pair of
you; and evidently disposed to act in concert; if you can not turn a
man inside out, I disown you; you are a discredit to your sex." He
then shook hands with all three of them, and rolled away.
"Jael," said Miss Carden, "oblige me by ringing the bell."
A servant entered.
"Not at home to any human creature," said the young lady.
The servant retired.
"And, if they see me at the window, all the worse--for THEM. Now,
Henry complied, and told the whole story, with the exception of the
threat to his sweetheart; and passed two delightful hours. Who is
so devoid of egotism as not to like to tell his own adventures to
sympathizing beauty? He told it in detail, and even read them
portions of the threatening letters; and, as he told it, their
lovely eyes seemed on fire; and they were red, and pale, by turns.
He told it, like a man, with dignity, and sobriety, and never used
an epithet. It was Miss Carden who supplied the "Monsters!"
"Villains!" "Cowards!" "Wretches!" at due intervals. And once she
started from her seat, and said she could not bear it. "I see
through it all," she cried. "That Jobson is a hypocrite; and he is
at the bottom of it all. I hate him; and Parkin worse. As for the
assassin, I hope God, who saw him, will punish him. What I want to
do is to kill Jobson and Parkin, one after another; kill them--kill
them--kill them--I'll tell papa."
As for Jael, she could not speak her mind, but she panted heavily,
and her fingers worked convulsively, and clutched themselves very
tight at last.
When he had done his narrative, he said sadly, "I despise these
fellows as much as you do; but they are too many for me. I am
obliged to leave Hillsborough."
"What, let the wretches drive you away? I would never do that--if I
was a man."
"What would you do, then?" asked Henry, his eye sparkling.
"Do? Why fight them; and beat them; and kill them, it is not as if
they were brave men. They are only cunning cowards. I'd meet
cunning with cunning. I'd outwit them somehow. I'd change my
lodging every week, and live at little inns and places. I'd lock up
every thing I used, as well as the rooms. I'd consult wiser heads,
the editor of the Liberal, and the Head of the police. I'd carry
fire-arms, and have a bodyguard, night and day; but they should
never say they had frightened me out of Hillsborough--if I was a
"You are all right," cried Henry. "I'll do all you advise me, and I
won't be driven out of this place. I love it. I'll live in it or
I'll die in it. I'll never leave it."
This was almost the last word that passed this delightful afternoon,
when the sense of her own past injustice, the thrilling nature of
the story told by the very sufferer, and, above all, the presence
and the undisguised emotion of another sympathizing woman, thawed
Grace Carden's reserve, warmed her courage, and carried her, quite
unconsciously, over certain conventional bounds, which had,
hitherto, been strictly observed in her intercourse with this young
Henry himself felt that this day was an era in his love. When he
left the door, he seemed to tread on air. He walked to the first
cab-stand, took a conveyance to his mother's door, and soon he was
locked in her arms.
She had been fretting for hours at his delay; but she never let him
know it. The whole place was full of preparations for his comfort,
and certain delicacies he liked were laid out on a little side
board, and the tea-things set, including the silver teapot, used now
on high occasions only.
She had a thousand questions to ask, and he to answer. And, while
he ate, the poor woman leaned back, and enjoyed seeing him eat; and,
while he talked, her fine eyes beamed with maternal joy. She
reveled deliciously in his health, his beauty, and his safe return
to her; and thought, with gentle complacency, they would soon return
to London together.
In the morning, she got out a large, light box, and said. "Harry,
dear, I suppose I may as well begin to pack up. You know I take
longer than you do."
Henry blushed. "Pack up?" said he, hesitatingly. "We are not going
"Not going away, love? Why you agreed to leave, on account of those
"Oh, I was ill, and nervous, and out of spirits; but the air of
Cairnhope has made a man of me. I shall stay here, and make our
"But the air of Cairnhope has not made you friends with the unions."
She seemed to reflect a moment, then asked him at what time he had
"Ah! And whom did you visit before you came to me?"
"You question me like a child, mother."
"Forgive me, dear. I will answer my own question. You called on
some one who gave you bad advice."
"Oh, did I?"
"On some woman."
"Say, a lady"
"What does it matter to me?" cried Mrs. Little, wildly. "They are
all my enemies. And this one is yours. It is a woman, who is not
your mother, for she thinks more of herself than of you."
Henry had now to choose between his mother's advice, and Miss
Carden's commands; and this made him rather sullen and irritable.
He was glad to get out of his mother's house, and went direct to the
works. Bayne welcomed him warmly, and, after some friendly
congratulations and inquiries, pulled out two files of journals, and
told him he had promised to introduce him to the editor of the
Liberal. He then begged Henry to wait in the office, and read the
files--he would not be gone many minutes.
The Constitutional gave a dry narrative of the outrage, and mourned
the frequency of such incidents.
The Liberal gave a dramatic narrative, and said the miscreant must
have lowered himself by a rope from the parapet, and passed the
powder inside without entering. "He periled his life to perpetrate
this crime; and he also risked penal servitude for ten years. That
he was not deterred by the double risk, proves the influence of some
powerful motive; and that motive must have been either a personal
feud of a very virulent kind, or else trade fanaticism. From this
alternative there is no escape."
Next day, both journals recorded a trade-meeting at "The Rising
Sun." Delegates from the Edge-Tool Forgers' Union, and the Edge-
Tool Handlers' Union, and some other representatives of Hillsborough
Unions, were present, and passed a resolution repudiating, with
disgust, the outrage that had been recently committed, and directed
their secretaries to offer a reward of twenty pounds, the same to be
paid to any person who would give such information as should lead to
the discovery of the culprit.
On this the Constitutional commented as follows:--"Although we never
for a moment suspected these respectable Unions of conniving at this
enormity, yet it is satisfactory to find them not merely passive
spectators, but exerting their energy, and spending their money, in
a praiseworthy endeavor to discover and punish the offenders."
Henry laid down the paper, and his heart felt very warm to Jobson
and Parkin. "Come," said he, "I am glad of that. They are not half
a bad sort, those two, after all."
Then he took up the Liberal, and being young and generous, felt
disgusted at its comment:
"This appears to be creditable to the two Unions in question. But,
unfortunately, long experience proves that these small rewards never
lead to any discovery. They fail so invariably, that the Unions do
not risk a shilling by proffering them. In dramatic entertainments
the tragedy is followed by a farce: and so it is with these
sanguinary crimes in Hillsborough; they are always followed by a
repudiation, and offers of a trumpery reward quite disproportionate
to the offense, and the only result of the farce is to divert
attention from the true line of inquiry as to who enacted the
tragedy. The mind craves novelty, and perhaps these delegates will
indulge that desire by informing us for once, what was the personal
and Corsican feud which led--as they would have us believe--to this
outrage; and will, at the same time, explain to us why these
outrages with gunpowder have never, either in this or in any
preceding case, attacked any but non-union men."
When Henry had read thus far, the writer of the leader entered the
room with Mr. Bayne.
A gentleman not above the middle height, but with a remarkable
chest, both broad and deep; yet he was not unwieldy, like Dr.
Amboyne, but clean-built, and symmetrical. An agreeable face, with
one remarkable feature, a mouth full of iron resolution, and a
slight humorous dimple at the corners.
He shook hands with Henry, and said, "I wish to ask you a question
or two, in the way of business: but first let me express my
sympathy, as a man, and my detestation of the ruffians that have so
nearly victimized you."
This was very hearty, and Henry thanked him with some emotion.
"But, sir," said he, "if I am to reply to your questions, you must
promise me you will never publish my name."
"It is on account of his mother," whispered Bayne.
"Yes, sir. It was her misfortune to lose my father by a violent
death, and of course you may imagine--"
"Say no more," said Mr. Holdfast: "your name shall not appear. And--
let me see--does your mother know you work here?"
"Yes, she does."
"Then we had better keep Cheetham's name out as well."
"Oh, thank you, sir, thank you. Now I'll answer any questions you
"Well, then, I hear this outrage was preceded by several letters.
Could I see them?"
"Certainly. I carry mine always in my pocket, for fear my poor
mother should see them: and, Mr. Bayne, you have got Cheetham's."
In another minute the whole correspondence was on the table, and Mr.
Holdfast laid it out in order, like a map, and went through it,
taking notes. "What a comedy," said he. "All but the denouement.
Now, Mr. Bayne, can any other manufacturers show me a correspondence
of this kind?"
"Is there one that can't? There isn't a power-wheel, or a water-
wheel, within eight miles of Hillsborough, that can't show you just
such a correspondence as this; and rattening, or worse, at the tail
Mr. Holdfast's eye sparkled like a diamond. "I'll make the round,"
said he. "And, Mr. Little, perhaps you will be kind enough to go
with me, and let me question you, on the road. I have no sub-
editor; no staff; I carry the whole journal on my head. Every day
is a hard race between Time and me, and not a minute to spare."
Mr. Cheetham was expected at the works this afternoon: so Henry, on
leaving Mr. Holdfast, returned to them, and found him there with
Bayne, looking, disconsolately, over a dozen orders for carving-
"Glad to see you again, my lad," said Cheetham. "Why, you look all
"I'm none the worse, sir."
"Come to take your balance and leave me?" This was said half
plaintively, half crossly.
"If you wish it, sir."
"Not I. How is it to be?"
"Well, sir, I say to you what you said to me the other day, Stick to
me, and I'll stick to you."
"I'll stick to you."
Bayne held up his hands piteously to them both.
"What sir?" faltered he, turning to Cheetham. "after all your
experience!" then to Henry, "What, fight the Trades, after the
lesson they have given you?"
"I'll fight them all the more for that," said Henry, grinding his
teeth; "fight them till all is blue."
"So will I. That for the Trades!"
"Heaven help you both!" groaned Bayne, and looked the picture of
"You promised me shutters, with a detonator, sir."
"Ay, but you objected."
"That was before they blew me up."
"Just so. Shutters shall be hung to-morrow; and the detonators I'll
"Thank you, sir. Would you mind engaging a watchman?"
Hum? Not--if you will share the expense."
"I'll pay one-third."
"Why should I pay two thirds? It is not like shutters and Bramah
locks: they are property. However, he'll be good against rattening;
and you have lost a fortnight, and there are a good many orders.
Give me a good day's work, and we won't quarrel over the watchman."
He then inquired, rather nervously, whether there was anything more.
"No, sir: we are agreed. And I'll give you good work, and full
The die was cast, and now he must go home and face his mother. For
the first time this many years he was half afraid to go near her.
He dreaded remonstrances and tears: tears that he could not dry;
remonstrances that would worry him, but could not shake him.
This young man, who had just screwed his physical courage up to defy
the redoubtable Unions had a fit of moral cowardice, and was so
reluctant to encounter the gentlest woman in England, that he dined
at a chop-house, and then sauntered into a music hall, and did not
get home till past ten, meaning to say a few kind, hurried words,
then yawn, and slip to bed.
But, meantime, Mrs. Little's mind had not been idle. She had long
divined a young rival in her son's heart, and many a little pang of
jealousy had traversed her own. This morning, with a quickness
which may seem remarkable to those who have not observed the
watchful keenness of maternal love, she had seen that her rival had
worked upon Henry to resign his declared intention of leaving
Hillsborough. Then she felt her way, and, in a moment, she had
found the younger woman was the stronger.
She assumed as a matter of course, that this girl was in love with
Henry (who would not be in love with him?), and had hung, weeping,
round his neck, when he called from Cairnhope to bid her farewell,
and had made him promise to stay. This was the mother's theory;
wrong, but rational.
Then came the question, What should she do? Fight against youth and
nature? Fight, unlikely to succeed, sure to irritate and disturb.
Risk any of that rare affection and confidence her son had always
While her thoughts ran this way, seven o'clock came, and no Henry.
Eight o'clock, and no Henry. "Ah!" thought the mother, "that one
word of mine has had this effect already."
She prepared an exquisite little supper. She made her own toilet
with particular care; and, when all was ready, she sat down and
comforted herself by reading his letters, and comparing his love
with the cavalier behavior of so many sons in this island, the most
unfilial country in Europe.
At half past ten Henry came up the stairs, not with the usual light
elastic tread, but with slow, hesitating foot. Her quick ear caught
that too, and her gentle bosom yearned. What, had she frightened
him? He opened the door, and she rose to receive him all smiles.
"You are rather late, dear," she said; "but all the better. It has
given me an excuse for reading your dear letters all over again; and
I have a thousand questions to ask you about Cairnhope. But sit
down first, and have your supper."
Henry brightened up, and ate a good supper, and his mother plied him
with questions, all about Cairnhope.
Here was an unexpected relief. Henry took a superficial view of all
this. Sharp young men of twenty-four understand a great many
things; but they can't quite measure their mothers yet.
Henry was selfishly pleased, but not ungrateful, and they passed a
pleasant and affectionate time: and, as for leaving Hillsborough,
the topic was avoided by tacit consent.
Next morning, after this easy victory, Henry took a cab and got to
"Woodbine Villa" by a circuitous route. His heart beat high as he
entered the room where Grace was seated. After the extraordinary
warmth and familiarity she had shown him at the last interview, he
took for granted he had made a lasting progress in her regard.
But she received him with a cold and distant manner, that quite
benumbed him. Grace Carden's face and manner were so much more
expressive than other people's, that you would never mistake or
doubt the mood she was in; and this morning she was freezing.
The fact is, Miss Carden had been tormenting herself: and when
beauty suffers, it is very apt to make others suffer as well.
"I am glad you are come, Mr. Little," said she, "for I have been
taking myself to task ever since, and I blame myself very much for
some things I said. In the first place, it was not for me" (here
the fair speaker colored up to the temples) "to interfere in your
affairs at all: and then, if I must take such a liberty, I ought to
have advised you sensibly, and for your good. I have been asking
people, and they all tell me it is madness for one person to fight
against these Unions. Everybody gets crushed. So now let me hope
you will carry out your wise intention, and leave Hillsborough; and
then my conscience will be at ease."
Every word fell like an icicle on her hearer's heart. To please
this cold, changeful creature, he had settled to defy the
unchangeable Unions, and had been ready to resist his mother, and
slight her immortal and unchanging love.
"You don't answer me, sir!" said Miss Carden, with an air of lofty
"I answered you yesterday," said he sullenly. "A man can't chop and
change like a weathercock."
"But it is not changing, it's only going back to your own intention.
You know you were going to leave Hillsborough, before I talked all
that nonsense. Your story had set me on fire, and that's my only
excuse. Well, now, the same person takes the liberty to give you
wise and considerate advice, instead of hot, and hasty, romantic
nonsense. Which ought you to respect most--folly or reason--from
the same lips?"
Henry seemed to reflect. "That sounds reasonable," said he: "but,
when you advised me not to show the white feather, you spoke your
heart; now, you are only talking from your head. Then, your
beautiful eyes flashed fire, and your soul was in your words: who
could resist them? And you spoke to me like a friend; now you speak
to me like an enemy."
"Oh, Mr. Little, that is ridiculous."
"You do, though. And I'm sure I don't know why."
"Nor I. Perhaps because I am cross with myself; certainly not with
"I am glad of that. Well, then, the long and the short is, you
showed me you thought it cowardly to fly from the Trades. You
wouldn't, said you, if you were a man. Well, I'm a man; and I'll do
as you would do in my place. I'll not throw my life away, I'll meet
craft with craft, and force with force; but fly I never will. I'll
fight while I've a leg to stand on."
With these words he began to work on the bust, in a quiet dogged way
that was, nevertheless, sufficiently expressive.
Grace looked at him silently for half a minute, and then rose from
"Then," said she, "I must go for somebody of more authority than I
am." She sailed out of the room.
Henry asked Jael who she was gone for.
"It will be her papa," said Jael.
"As if I care for what he says."
"I wouldn't show HER that, if I was you," said Jael, quietly, but
with a good deal of weight.
"You are right," said Henry. "You are a good girl. I don't know
which is the best, you or Martha. I say, I promised to go to
Cairnhope some Sunday, and see them all. Shall I drive you over?"
"And bring me back at night?"
"If you like. I must come back."
"I'll ask Miss Carden."
The words were quiet and composed, but the blushing face beamed with
unreasonable happiness; and Grace, who entered at that moment with
her father, was quite struck with its eloquence; she half started,
but took no further notice just then. "There, papa," said she,
"this is Mr. Little."
Mr. Carden was a tall gentleman, with somewhat iron features, but a
fine head of gray hair; rather an imposing personage; not the least
pompous though; quite a man of the world, and took a business view
of everything, matrimony, of course, included.
"Oh, this is Mr. Little, is it, whose work we all admire so much?"
"And whose adventure has made so much noise?"
"By-the-bye, there is an article to-day on you: have you seen it?
No? But you should see it; it is very smart. My dear" (to Jael),
"will you go to my study, and bring the Liberal here?"
"Yes, but meantime, I want you to advise him not to subject himself
to more gunpowder and things, but to leave the town; that is all the
"And that," said Henry, with a sly, deferential tone, "is a good
deal to demand in a free country, is it not, sir?"
"Indeed it is. Ah, here comes the Liberal. Somebody read the
article to us, while he works. I want to see how he does it."
Curiosity overpowered Grace's impatience, for a moment, and she read
the notice out with undisguised interest.
"'THE LAST OUTRAGE.
"'In our first remarks upon this matter, we merely laid down an
alternative which admits of no dispute; and, abstaining from idle
conjectures, undertook to collect evidence. We have now had an
interview with the victim of that abominable outrage. Mr.---- is
one of those superior workmen who embellish that class for a few
years, but invariably rise above it, and leave it' (there--Mr.
Little!)--'He has informed us that he is a stranger in Hillsborough,
lives retired, never sits down in a public-house, and has not a
single enemy in Hillsborough, great or small. He says that his life
was saved by his fellow-workmen, and that as he lay scorched--'(Oh,
"Well, go on, Grace."
"It is all very well to say go on, papa--'scorched and bleeding on
the ground and unable to distinguish faces' (poor, poor Mr. Little!)
'he heard, on all sides of him, expressions of rugged sympathy and
sobs, and tears, from rough, but--manly fellows, who--'(oh! oh!
Grace could not go on for whimpering, and Jael cried, for company.
Henry left off carving, and turned away his head, touched to the
heart by this sweet and sudden sympathy.
"How badly you read," said Mr. Carden, and took the journal from
her. He read in a loud business-like monotone, that, like some
blessed balm, dried every tear. "'Manly fellows who never shed a
tear before: this disposed of one alternative, and narrowed the
inquiry. It was not a personal feud; therefore it was a Trade
outrage, or it was nothing. We now took evidence bearing on the
inquiry thus narrowed; and we found the assault had been preceded by
a great many letters, all of them breathing the spirit of Unionism,
and none of them intimating a private wrong. These letters, taken
in connection, are a literary curiosity; and we find there is
scarcely a manufacturer in the place who has not endured a similar
correspondence, and violence at the end of it. This curious chapter
of the human mind really deserves a separate heading, and we
introduce it to our readers as
"THE LITERATURE OF OUTRAGE."
"'First of all comes a letter to the master intimating that he is
doing something objectionable to some one of the many Unions that go
to make a single implement of hardware. This letter has three
features. It is signed with a real name. It is polite. It is
"'If disregarded, it is speedily followed by another. No. 2 is