Part 2 out of 7
excessively that you became quite jealous."
"I don't remember that part of it," she continued. "But let me tell you my
story. Last week the father of the children started for Washington; the
cars ran off the track, and were precipitated down a high embankment, and
he and some others were killed. Since his death it has been discovered that
all his property was heavily mortgaged to old MacTurk, the worst man in the
whole of Savannah; and he has taken possession of the place, and thrown her
and the children into the slave-pen, from which they will be sold to the
highest bidder at a sheriff's sale. Who can say that a similar fate may
never be mine? These things press upon my spirit, and make me so gloomy and
melancholy at times, that I wish it were possible to shun even myself.
Lately, more than ever, have I felt disposed to beg you to break up here,
and move off to some foreign country where there is no such thing as
slavery. I have often thought how delightful it would be for us all to be
living in that beautiful Italy you have so often described to me--or in
France either. You said you liked both those places--why not live in one of
"No, no, Emily; I love America too much to ever think of living anywhere
else. I am much too thorough a democrat ever to swear allegiance to a king.
No, no--that would never do--give me a free country."
"That is just what I say," rejoined Mrs. Garie; "that is exactly what I
want; that is why I should like to get away from here, because this is
_not_ a free country--God knows it is not!"
"Oh, you little traitor! How severely you talk, abusing your native land in
such shocking style, it's really painful to hear you," said Mr. Garie in a
"Oh, love," rejoined she, "don't joke, it's not a subject for jesting. It
is heavier upon my heart than you dream of. Wouldn't you like to live in
the free States? There is nothing particular to keep you here, and only
think how much better it would be for the children: and Garie," she
continued in a lower tone, nestling close to him as she spoke, and drawing
his head towards her, "I think I am going to--" and she whispered some
words in his ear, and as she finished she shook her head, and her long
curls fell down in clusters over her face.
Mr. Garie put the curls aside, and kissing her fondly, asked, "How long
have you known it, dear?"
"Not long, not very long," she replied. "And I have such a yearning that it
should be born a free child. I do want that the first air it breathes
should be that of freedom. It will kill me to have another child born here!
its infant smiles would only be a reproach to me. Oh," continued she, in a
tone of deep feeling, "it is a fearful thing to give birth to an inheritor
of chains;" and she shuddered as she laid her head on her husband's bosom.
Mr. Garie's brow grew thoughtful, and a pause in the conversation ensued.
The sun had long since gone down, and here and there the stars were
beginning to show their twinkling light. The moon, which had meanwhile been
creeping higher and higher in the blue expanse above, now began to shed her
pale, misty beams on the river below, the tiny waves of which broke in
little circlets of silver on the shore almost at their feet.
Mr. Garie was revolving in his mind the conversation he had so recently
held with Mr. Winston respecting the free States. It had been suggested by
him that the children should be sent to the North to be educated, but he
had dismissed the notion, well knowing that the mother would be
heart-broken at the idea of parting with her darlings. Until now, the
thought of going to reside in the North had never been presented for his
consideration. He was a Southerner in almost all his feelings, and had
never had a scruple respecting the ownership of slaves. But now the fact
that he was the master as well as the father of his children, and that
whilst he resided where he did it was out of his power to manumit them;
that in the event of his death they might be seized and sold by his heirs,
whoever they might be, sent a thrill of horror through him. He had known
all this before, but it had never stood out in such bold relief until now.
"What are you thinking of, Garie?" asked his wife, looking up into his
face. "I hope I have not vexed you by what I've said."
"Oh, no, dear, not at all. I was only thinking whether you would be any
happier if I acceded to your wishes and removed to the North. Here you live
in good style--you have a luxurious home, troops of servants to wait upon
you, a carriage at your disposal. In fact, everything for which you express
"I know all that, Garie, and what I am about to say may seem ungrateful,
but believe me, dear, I do not mean it to be so. I had much rather live on
crusts and wear the coarsest clothes, and work night and day to earn them,
than live here in luxury, wearing gilded chains. Carriages and fine
clothes cannot create happiness. I have every physical comfort, and yet my
heart is often heavy--oh, so very heavy; I know I am envied by many for my
fine establishment; yet how joyfully would I give it all up and accept the
meanest living for the children's freedom--and your love."
"But, Emily, granted we should remove to the North, you would find
annoyances there as well as here. There is a great deal of prejudice
existing there against people of colour, which, often exposes them to great
"Yes, dear, I know all that; I should expect that. But then on the other
hand, remember what George said respecting the coloured people themselves;
what a pleasant social circle they form, and how intelligent many of them
are! Oh, Garie, how I have longed for friends!--we have visitors now and
then, but none that I can call friends. The gentlemen who come to see you
occasionally are polite to me, but, under existing circumstances, I feel
that they cannot entertain for me the respect I think I deserve. I know
they look down upon and despise me because I'm a coloured woman. Then there
would be another advantage; I should have some female society--here I have
none. The white ladies of the neighbourhood will not associate with me,
although I am better educated, thanks to your care, than many of them, so
it is only on rare occasions, when I can coax some of our more cultivated
coloured acquaintances from Savannah to pay us a short visit, that I have
any female society, and no woman can be happy without it. I have no
parents, nor yet have you. We have nothing we greatly love to leave
behind--no strong ties to break, and in consequence would be subjected to
no great grief at leaving. If I only could persuade you to go!" said she,
"Well, Emily," replied he, in an undecided manner, "I'll think about it. I
love you so well, that I believe I should be willing to make any sacrifice
for your happiness. But it is getting damp and chilly, and you know," said
he, smiling, "you must be more than usually careful of yourself now."
The next evening, and many more besides, were spent in discussing the
proposed change. Many objections to it were stated, weighed carefully, and
finally set aside. Winston was written to and consulted, and though he
expressed some surprise at the proposal, gave it his decided approval. He
advised, at the same time, that the estate should not be sold, but be
placed in the hands of some trustworthy person, to be managed in Mr.
Garie's absence. Under the care of a first-rate overseer, it would not only
yield a handsome income, but should they be dissatisfied with their
Northern home, they would have the old place still in reserve; and with the
knowledge that they had this to fall back upon, they could try their
experiment of living in the North with their minds less harassed than they
otherwise would be respecting the result.
As Mr. Garie reflected more and more on the probable beneficial results of
the project, his original disinclination to it diminished, until he finally
determined on running the risk; and he felt fully rewarded for this
concession to his wife's wishes when he saw her recover all her wonted
serenity and sprightliness.
They were soon in all the bustle and confusion consequent on preparing for
a long journey. When Mr. Garie's determination to remove became known,
great consternation prevailed on the plantation, and dismal forebodings
were entertained by the slaves as to the result upon themselves.
Divers were the lamentations heard on all sides, when they were positively
convinced that "massa was gwine away for true;" but they were somewhat
pacified, when they learned that no one was to be sold, and that the place
would not change hands. For Mr. Garie was a very kind master, and his
slaves were as happy as slaves can be under any circumstances. Not much
less was the surprise which the contemplated change excited in the
neighbourhood, and it was commented on pretty freely by his acquaintances.
One of them--to whom he had in conversation partially opened his mind, and
explained that his intended removal grew out of anxiety respecting the
children, and his own desire that they might be where they could enjoy the
advantages of schools, &c.--sneered almost to his face at what he termed
his crack-brained notions; and subsequently, in relating to another person
the conversation he had had with Mr. Garie, spoke of him as "a soft-headed
fool, led by the nose by a yaller wench. Why can't he act," he said, "like
other men who happen to have half-white children--breed them up for the
market, and sell them?" and he might have added, "as I do," for he was well
known to have so acted by two or three of his own tawny offspring.
Mr. Garie, at the suggestion of Winston, wrote to Mr. Walters, to procure
them a small, but neat and comfortable house, in Philadelphia; which, when
procured, he was to commit to the care of Mr. and Mrs. Ellis, who were to
have it furnished and made ready to receive him and his family on their
arrival, as Mr. Garie desired to save his wife as much as possible, from
the care and anxiety attendant upon the arrangement of a new residence.
One most important matter, and on which depended the comfort and happiness
of his people, was the selection of a proper overseer. On its becoming
known that he required such a functionary, numbers of individuals who
aspired to that dignified and honourable office applied forthwith; and as
it was also known that the master was to be absent, and that, in
consequence, the party having it under his entire control, could cut and
slash without being interfered with, the value of the situation was greatly
enhanced. It had also another irresistible attraction, the absence of the
master would enable the overseer to engage in the customary picking and
stealing operations, with less chance of detection.
In consequence of all these advantages, there was no want of applicants.
Great bony New England men, traitors to the air they first breathed, came
anxiously forward to secure the prize. Mean, weasen-faced, poor white
Georgians, who were able to show testimonials of their having produced
large crops with a small number of hands, and who could tell to a fraction
how long a slave could be worked on a given quantity of corn, also put in
their claims for consideration. Short, thick-set men, with fierce faces,
who gloried in the fact that they had at various times killed refractory
negroes, also presented themselves to undergo the necessary examination.
Mr. Garie sickened as he contemplated the motley mass of humanity that
presented itself with such eagerness for the attainment of so degrading an
office; and as he listened to their vulgar boastings and brutal language,
he blushed to think that such men were his countrymen.
Never until now had he had occasion for an overseer. He was not ambitious
of being known to produce the largest crop to the acre, and his hands had
never been driven to that shocking extent, so common with his neighbours.
He had been his own manager, assisted by an old negro, called Ephraim--most
generally known as Eph, and to him had been entrusted the task of
immediately superintending the hands engaged in the cultivation of the
estate. This old man was a great favourite with the children, and Clarence,
who used to accompany him on his pony over the estate, regarded him as the
most wonderful and accomplished coloured gentleman in existence.
Eph was in a state of great perturbation at the anticipated change, and he
earnestly sought to be permitted to accompany them to the North. Mr. Garie
was, however, obliged to refuse his request, as he said, that it was
impossible that the place could get on without him.
An overseer being at last procured, whose appearance and manners betokened
a better heart than that of any who had yet applied for the situation, and
who was also highly-recommended for skill and honesty; nothing now remained
to prevent Mr. Garie's early departure.
One evening Mr. Ellis was reading the newspaper, and Mrs. Ellis and the
girls were busily engaged in sewing, when who should come in but Mr.
Walters, who had entered without ceremony at the front door, which had been
left open owing to the unusual heat of the weather.
"Here you all are, hard at work," exclaimed he, in his usual hearty manner,
accepting at the same time the chair offered to him by Esther.
"Come, now," continued he, "lay aside your work and newspapers, for I have
great news to communicate."
"Indeed, what is it?--what can it be?" cried the three females, almost in a
breath; "do let us hear it!"
"Oh," said Mr. Walters, in a provokingly slow tone, "I don't think I'll
tell you to-night; it may injure your rest; it will keep till to-morrow."
"Now, that is always the way with Mr. Walters," said Caddy, pettishly; "he
always rouses one's curiosity, and then refuses to gratify it;--he is so
"I'll tell you this much," said he, looking slily at Caddy, "it is
connected with a gentleman who had the misfortune to be taken for a beggar,
and who was beaten over the head in consequence by a young lady of my
"Now, father has been telling you that," exclaimed Caddy, looking confused,
"and I don't thank him for it either; I hear of that everywhere I go--even
the Burtons know of it."
Mr. Walters now looked round the room, as though he missed some one, and
finally exclaimed, "Where is Charlie? I thought I missed somebody--where is
"We have put him out to live at Mrs. Thomas's," answered Mrs. Ellis,
hesitatingly, for she knew Mr. Walters' feelings respecting the common
practice of sending little coloured boys to service. "It is a very good
place for him," continued she--"a most excellent place."
"That is too bad," rejoined Mr. Walters--"too bad; it is a shame to make a
servant of a bright clever boy like that. Why, Ellis, man, how came you to
consent to his going? The boy should be at school. It really does seem to
me that you people who have good and smart boys take the very course to
ruin them. The worst thing you can do with a boy of his age is to put him
at service. Once get a boy into the habit of working for a stipend, and,
depend upon it, when he arrives at manhood, he will think that if he can
secure so much a month for the rest of his life he will be perfectly happy.
How would you like him to be a subservient old numskull, like that old
Robberts of theirs?"
Here Esther interrupted Mr. Walters by saying, "I am very glad to hear you
express yourself in that manner, Mr. Walters--very glad. Charlie is such a
bright, active little fellow; I hate to have him living there as a servant.
And he dislikes it, too, as much as any one can. I do wish mother would
take him away."
"Hush, Esther," said her mother, sharply; "your mother lived at service,
and no one ever thought the worse of her for it."
Esther looked abashed, and did not attempt to say anything farther.
"Now, look here, Ellen," said Mr. Walters. (He called her Ellen, for he had
been long intimate with the family.) "If you can't get on without the boy's
earning something, why don't you do as white women and men do? Do you ever
find them sending their boys out as servants? No; they rather give them a
stock of matches, blacking, newspapers, or apples, and start them out to
sell them. What is the result? The boy that learns to sell matches soon
learns to sell other things; he learns to make bargains; he becomes a small
trader, then a merchant, then a millionaire. Did you ever hear of any one
who had made a fortune at service? Where would I or Ellis have been had we
been hired out all our lives at so much a month? It begets a feeling of
dependence to place a boy in such a situation; and, rely upon it, if he
stays there long, it will spoil him for anything better all his days."
Mrs. Ellis was here compelled to add, by way of justifying herself, that it
was not their intention to let him remain there permanently; his father
only having given his consent for him to serve during the vacation.
"Well, don't let him stay there longer, I pray you," continued Walters. "A
great many white people think that we are only fit for servants, and I must
confess we do much to strengthen the opinion by permitting our children to
occupy such situations when we are not in circumstances to compel us to do
so. Mrs. Thomas may tell you that they respect their old servant Robberts
as much as they do your husband; but they don't, nevertheless--I don't
believe a word of it. It is impossible to have the same respect for the man
who cleans your boots, that you have for the man who plans and builds your
"Oh, well, Walters," here interposed Mr. Ellis, "I don't intend the boy to
remain there, so don't get yourself into an unnecessary state of excitement
about it. Let us hear what this great news is that you have brought."
"Oh, I had almost forgotten it," laughingly replied Walters, at the same
time fumbling in his pocket for a letter, which he at length produced.
"Here," he continued, opening it, "is a letter I have received from a Mr.
Garie, enclosing another from our friend Winston. This Mr. Garie writes me
that he is coming to the North to settle, and desires me to procure them a
house; and he says also that he has so far presumed upon an early
acquaintance of his wife with Mrs. Ellis as to request that she will attend
to the furnishing of it. You are to purchase all that is necessary to make
them comfortable, and I am to foot the bills."
"What, you don't mean Emily Winston's husband?" said the astonished Mrs.
"I can't say whose husband it is, but from Winston's letter," replied Mr.
Walters, "I suppose he is the person alluded to."
"That is news," continued Mrs. Ellis. "Only think, she was a little mite of
a thing when I first knew her, and now she is a woman and the mother of two
children. How time does fly. I must be getting quite old," concluded she,
with a sigh.
"Nonsense, Ellen," remarked Mr. Ellis, "you look surprisingly young, you
are quite a girl yet. Why, it was only the other day I was asked if you
were one of my daughters."
Mrs. Ellis and the girls laughed at this sally of their father's, who asked
Mr. Walters if he had as yet any house in view.
"There is one of my houses in Winter-street that I think will just suit
them. The former tenants moved out about a week since. If I can call for
you to-morrow," he continued, turning to Mrs. Ellis, "will you accompany me
there to take a look at the premises?"
"It is a dreadful long walk," replied Mrs. Ellis. "How provoking it is to
think, that because persons are coloured they are not permitted to ride in
the omnibuses or other public conveyances! I do hope I shall live to see
the time when we shall be treated as civilized creatures should be."
"I suppose we shall be so treated when the Millennium comes," rejoined
Walters, "not before, I am afraid; and as we have no reason to anticipate
that it will arrive before to-morrow, we shall have to walk to
Winter-street, or take a private conveyance. At any rate, I shall call for
you to-morrow at ten. Good night--remember, at ten." "Well, this is a
strange piece of intelligence," exclaimed Mrs. Ellis, as the door closed
upon Mr. Walters. "I wonder what on earth can induce them to move on here.
Their place, I am told, is a perfect paradise. In old Colonel Garie's time
it was said to be the finest in Georgia. I wonder if he really intends to
live here permanently?"
"I can't say, my dear," replied Mrs. Ellis; "I am as much in the dark as
"Perhaps they are getting poor, Ellis, and are coming here because they can
"Oh, no, wife; I don't think that can be the occasion of their removal. I
rather imagine he purposes emancipating his children. He cannot do it
legally in Georgia; and, you know, by bringing them here, and letting them
remain six months, they are free--so says the law of some of the Southern
States, and I think of Georgia."
The next morning Mrs. Ellis, Caddy, and Mr. Walters, started for
Winter-street; it was a very long walk, and when they arrived there, they
were all pretty well exhausted.
"Oh, dear," exclaimed Mrs. Ellis, after walking upstairs, "I am so tired,
and there is not a chair in the house. I must rest here," said she, seating
herself upon the stairs, and looking out upon the garden. "What a large
yard! if ours were only as large as this, what a delightful place I could
make of it! But there is no room to plant anything at our house, the garden
is so very small."
After they were all somewhat rested, they walked through the house and
surveyed the rooms, making some favourable commentary upon each.
"The house don't look as if it would want much cleaning," said Caddy, with
a tone of regret.
"So much the better, I should say," suggested Mr. Walters.
"Not as Caddy views the matter," rejoined Mrs. Ellis. "She is so fond of
house-cleaning, that I positively think she regards the cleanly state of
the premises as rather a disadvantage than otherwise." They were all,
however, very well pleased with the place; and on their way home they
settled which should be the best bedroom, and where the children should
sleep. They also calculated how much carpet and oilcloth would be
necessary, and what style of furniture should be put in the parlour.
"I think the letter said plain, neat furniture, and not too expensive, did
it not?" asked Mrs. Ellis.
"I think those were the very words," replied Caddy; "and, oh, mother, isn't
it nice to have the buying of so many pretty things? I do so love to shop!"
"Particularly with some one else's money," rejoined her mother, with a
"Yes, or one's own either, when one has it," continued Caddy; "I like to
spend money under any circumstances."
Thus in conversation relative to the house and its fixtures, they beguiled
the time until they reached their home. On arriving there, Mrs. Ellis found
Robberts awaiting her return with a very anxious countenance. He informed
her that Mrs. Thomas wished to see her immediately; that Charlie had been
giving that estimable lady a world of trouble; and that her presence was
necessary to set things to rights.
"What has he been doing?" asked Mrs. Ellis.
"Oh, lots of things! He and aunt Rachel don't get on together at all; and
last night he came nigh having the house burned down over our heads."
"Why, Robberts, you don't tell me so! What a trial boys are," sighed Mrs.
"He got on first rate for a week or two; but since that he has been raising
Satan. He and aunt Rachel had a regular brush yesterday, and he has
actually lamed the old woman to that extent she won't be able to work for a
week to come."
"Dear, dear, what am I to do?" said the perplexed Mrs. Ellis; "I can't go
up there immediately, I am too tired. Say to Mrs. Thomas I will come up
this evening. I wonder," concluded she, "what has come over the boy."
"Mother, you know how cross aunt Rachel is; I expect she has been
ill-treating him. He is so good-natured, that he never would behave
improperly to an old person unless goaded to it by some very harsh usage."
"That's the way--go on, Esther, find some excuse for your angel," said
Caddy, ironically. "Of course that lamb could not do anything wrong, and,
according to your judgment, he never does; but, I tell you, he is as bad as
any other boy--boys are boys. I expect he has been tracking over the floor
after aunt Rachel has scrubbed it, or has been doing something equally
provoking; he has been in mischief, depend upon it."
Things had gone on very well with Master Charlie for the first two weeks
after his introduction into the house of the fashionable descendant of the
worthy maker of leathern breeches. His intelligence, combined with the
quickness and good-humour with which he performed the duties assigned him,
quite won the regard of the venerable lady who presided over that
establishment. It is true she had detected him in several attempts upon the
peace and well-being of aunt Rachel's Tom; but with Tom she had little
sympathy, he having recently made several felonious descents upon her
stores of cream and custards. In fact, it was not highly probable, if any
of his schemes had resulted seriously to the spiteful _protege_ of aunt
Rachel, that Mrs. Thomas would have been overwhelmed with grief, or
disposed to inflict any severe punishment on the author of the catastrophe.
Unfortunately for Mrs. Thomas, Charlie, whilst going on an errand, had
fallen in with his ancient friend and adviser--in short, he had met no less
a person than the formerly all-sufficient Kinch. Great was the delight of
both parties at this unexpected meeting, and warm, indeed, was the exchange
of mutual congratulations on this auspicious event.
Kinch, in the excess of his delight, threw his hat several feet in the air;
nor did his feelings of pleasure undergo the least abatement when that
dilapidated portion of his costume fell into a bed of newly-mixed lime,
from which he rescued it with great difficulty and at no little personal
"Hallo! Kinch, old fellow, how are you?" cried Charlie; "I've been dying to
see you--why haven't you been up?"
"Why, I did come up often, but that old witch in the kitchen wouldn't let
me see you--she abused me scandalous. I wanted to pull her turban off and
throw it in the gutter. Why, she called me a dirty beggar, and threatened
to throw cold water on me if I didn't go away. Phew! ain't she an old
"Why, I never knew you were there."
"Yes," continued Kinch; "and I saw you another time hung up behind the
carriage. I declare, Charlie, you looked so like a little monkey, dressed
up in that sky-blue coat and silver buttons, that I liked to have died
a-laughing at you;" and Kinch was so overcome by the recollection of the
event in question, that he was obliged to sit down upon a door-step to
"Oh, I do hate to wear this confounded livery!' said Charlie, dolefully--"
the boys scream 'Johnny Coat-tail' after me in the streets, and call me
'blue jay,' and 'blue nigger,' and lots of other names. I feel that all
that's wanting to make a complete monkey of me, is for some one to carry me
about on an organ."
"What do you wear it for, then?" asked Kinch.
"Because I can't help myself, that's the reason. The boys plague me to that
extent sometimes, that I feel like tearing the things into bits--but mother
says I must wear it. Kinch," concluded he, significantly, "something will
have to be done, I can't stand it."
"You remember what I told you about the wig, don't you?" asked Kinch; and,
on receiving an affirmative reply, he continued, "Just try that on, and see
how it goes--you'll find it'll work like a charm; it's a regular
footman-expatriator--just try it now; you'll see if it isn't the thing to
do the business for you." "I'm determined to be as bad as I can,"
rejoined Charlie; "I'm tired enough of staying there: that old aunt Rach is
a devil--I don't believe a saint from heaven could get on with her; I'm
expecting we'll have a pitched battle every day."
Beguiling the time with this and similar conversation, they reached the
house to which Charlie had been despatched with a note; after which, he
turned his steps homeward, still accompanied by the redoubtable Kinch.
As ill luck would have it, they passed some boys who were engaged in a game
of marbles, Charlie's favourite pastime, and, on Kinch's offering him the
necessary stock to commence play, he launched into the game, regardless of
the fact that the carriage was ordered for a drive within an hour, and that
he was expected to fill his accustomed place in the rear of that splendid
Once immersed in the game, time flew rapidly on. Mrs. Thomas awaited his
return until her patience was exhausted, when she started on her drive
without him. As they were going through a quiet street, to her horror and
surprise, prominent amidst a crowd of dirty boys, she discovered her little
footman, with his elegant blue livery covered with dirt and sketches in
white chalk; for, in the excitement of the game, Charlie had not observed
that Kinch was engaged in drawing on the back of his coat his favourite
illustration, to wit, a skull and cross-bones.
"Isn't that our Charlie?" said she to her daughter, surveying the crowd of
noisy boys through her eye-glass. "I really believe it is--that is
certainly our livery; pull the check-string, and stop the carriage."
Now Robberts had been pressed into service in consequence of Charlie's
absence, and was in no very good humour at being compelled to air his
rheumatic old shins behind the family-carriage. It can therefore be readily
imagined with what delight he recognized the delinquent footman amidst the
crowd, and with what alacrity he descended and pounced upon him just at the
most critical moment of the game. Clutching fast hold of him by the
collar of his coat, he dragged him to the carriage-window, and held him
before the astonished eyes of his indignant mistress, who lifted up her
hands in horror at the picture he presented. "Oh! you wretched boy," said
she, "just look at your clothes, all covered with chalk-marks and
bespattered with lime! Your livery is totally ruined--and your knees,
too--only look at them--the dirt is completely ground into them."
"But you haven't seed his back, marm," said Robberts; "he's got the
pirate's flag drawn on it. That boy'll go straight to the devil--I know he
All this time Charlie, to his great discomfiture, was being shaken and
turned about by Robberts in the most unceremonious manner. Kinch, with his
usual audacity, was meanwhile industriously engaged in tracing on Robbert's
coat a similar picture to that he had so skilfully drawn on Charlie's, to
the great delight of a crowd of boys who stood admiring spectators of his
artistic performances. The coachman, however, observing this operation,
brought it to a rather hasty conclusion by a well directed cut of the whip
across the fingers of the daring young artist. This so enraged Kinch, that
in default of any other missile, he threw his lime-covered cap at the head
of the coachman; but, unfortunately for himself, the only result of his
exertions was the lodgment of his cap in the topmost bough of a
neighbouring tree, from whence it was rescued with great difficulty.
"What _shall_ we do with him?" asked Mrs. Thomas, in a despairing tone, as
she looked at Charlie.
"Put him with the coachman," suggested Mrs. Morton.
"He can't sit there, the horses are so restive, and the seat is only
constructed for one, and he would be in the coachman's way. I suppose he
must find room on behind with Robberts."
"I won't ride on the old carriage," cried Charlie, nerved by despair; "I
won't stay here nohow. I'm going home to my mother;" and as he spoke he
endeavoured to wrest himself from Robberts' grasp. "Put him in here,"
said Mrs. Thomas; "it would never do to let him go, for he will run home
with some distressing tale of ill-treatment; no, we must keep him until I
can send for his mother--put him in here."
Much to Mrs. Morton's disgust, Charlie was bundled by Robberts into the
bottom of the carriage, where he sat listening to the scolding of Mrs.
Thomas and her daughter until they arrived at home. He remained in disgrace
for several days after this adventure; but as Mrs. Thomas well knew that
she could not readily fill his place with another, she made a virtue of
necessity, and kindly looked over this first offence.
The situation was, however, growing more and more intolerable. Aunt Rachel
and he had daily skirmishes, in which he was very frequently worsted. He
had held several hurried consultations with Kinch through the grating of
the cellar window, and was greatly cheered and stimulated in the plans he
intended to pursue by the advice and sympathy of his devoted friend. Master
Kinch's efforts to console Charlie were not without great risk to himself,
as he had on two or three occasions narrowly escaped falling into the
clutches of Robberts, who well remembered Kinch's unprecedented attempt
upon the sacredness of his livery; and what the result might have been had
the latter fallen into his hands, we cannot contemplate without a shudder.
These conferences between Kinch and Charlie produced their natural effect,
and latterly it had been several times affirmed by aunt Rachel that, "Dat
air boy was gittin' 'tirely too high--gittin' bove hissef 'pletely--dat he
was gittin' more and more aggriwatin' every day--dat she itched to git at
him--dat she 'spected nothin' else but what she'd be 'bliged to take hold
o' him;" and she comported herself generally as if she was crazy for the
conflict which she saw must sooner or later occur.
Charlie, unable on these occasions to reply to her remarks without
precipitating a conflict for which he did not feel prepared, sought to
revenge himself upon the veteran Tom; and such was the state of his
feelings, that he bribed Kinch, with a large lump of sugar and the leg of a
turkey, to bring up his mother's Jerry, a fierce young cat, and they had
the satisfaction of shutting him up in the wood-house with the belligerent
Tom, who suffered a signal defeat at Jerry's claws, and was obliged to beat
a hasty retreat through the window, with a seriously damaged eye, and with
the fur torn off his back in numberless places. After this Charlie had the
pleasure of hearing aunt Rachel frequently bewail the condition of her
favourite, whose deplorable state she was inclined to ascribe to his
influence, though she was unable to bring it home to him in such a manner
as to insure his conviction.
Mrs. Thomas has her Troubles.
Mrs. Thomas was affected, as silly women sometimes are, with an intense
desire to be at the head of the _ton_. For this object she gave grand
dinners and large evening parties, to which were invited all who, being two
or three removes from the class whose members occupy the cobbler's bench or
the huckster's stall, felt themselves at liberty to look down upon the rest
of the world from the pinnacle on which they imagined themselves placed. At
these social gatherings the conversation never turned upon pedigree, and if
any of the guests chanced by accident to allude to their ancestors, they
spoke of them as members of the family, who, at an early period of their
lives, were engaged in mercantile pursuits.
At such dinners Mrs. Thomas would sit for hours, mumbling dishes that
disagreed with her; smiling at conversations carried on in villanous
French, of which language she did not understand a word; and admiring the
manners of addle-headed young men (who got tipsy at her evening parties),
because they had been to Europe, and were therefore considered quite men of
the world. These parties and dinners she could not be induced to forego,
although the late hours and fatigue consequent thereon would place her on
the sick-list for several days afterwards. As soon, however, as she
recovered sufficiently to resume her place at the table, she would console
herself with a dinner of boiled mutton and roasted turnips, as a slight
compensation for the unwholesome French dishes she had compelled herself to
swallow on the occasions before mentioned. Amongst the other modern
fashions she had adopted, was that of setting apart one morning of the week
for the reception of visitors; and she had mortally offended several of her
oldest friends by obstinately refusing to admit them at any other time. Two
or three difficulties had occurred with Robberts, in consequence of this
new arrangement, as he could not be brought to see the propriety of saying
to visitors that Mrs. Thomas was "not at home," when he knew she was at
that very moment upstairs peeping over the banisters. His obstinacy on this
point had induced her to try whether she could not train Charlie so as to
fit him for the important office of uttering the fashionable and truthless
"not at home" with unhesitating gravity and decorum; and, after a series of
mishaps, she at last believed her object was effected, until an unlucky
occurrence convinced her to the contrary.
Mrs. Thomas, during the days on which she did not receive company, would
have presented, to any one who might have had the honour to see that
venerable lady, an entirely different appearance to that which she assumed
on gala days. A white handkerchief supplied the place of the curling wig,
and the tasty French cap was replaced by a muslin one, decorated with an
immense border of ruffling, that flapped up and down over her silver
spectacles in the most comical manner possible. A short flannel gown and a
dimity petticoat of very antique pattern and scanty dimensions, completed
her costume. Thus attired, and provided with a duster, she would make
unexpected sallies into the various domestic departments, to see that
everything was being properly conducted, and that no mal-practices were
perpetrated at times when it was supposed she was elsewhere. She showed an
intuitive knowledge of all traps set to give intimation of her approach,
and would come upon aunt Rachel so stealthily as to induce her to declare,
"Dat old Mrs. Thomas put her more in mind of a ghost dan of any other libin
One morning, whilst attired in the manner described, Mrs. Thomas had been
particularly active in her excursions through the house, and had driven the
servants to their wits' ends by her frequent descents upon them at the most
unexpected times, thereby effectually depriving them of the short breathing
intervals they were anxious to enjoy. Charlie in particular had been
greatly harassed by her, and was sent flying from place to place until his
legs were nearly run off, as he expressed it. And so, when Lord Cutanrun,
who was travelling in America to give his estates in England an opportunity
to recuperate, presented his card, Charlie, in revenge, showed him into the
drawing-room, where he knew that Mrs. Thomas was busily engaged trimming an
oil-lamp. Belying on the explicit order she had given to say that she was
not at home, she did not even look up when his lordship entered, and as he
advanced towards her, she extended to him a basin of dirty water, saying,
"Here, take this." Receiving no response she looked up, and to her
astonishment and horror beheld, not Charlie, but Lord Cutanrun. In the
agitation consequent upon his unexpected appearance, she dropped the basin,
the contents of which, splashing in all directions, sadly discoloured his
lordship's light pants, and greatly damaged the elegant carpet.
"Oh! my lord," she exclaimed, "I didn't--couldn't--wouldn't--" and, unable
to ejaculate further, she fairly ran out of the apartment into the entry,
where she nearly fell over Charlie, who was enjoying the confusion his
conduct had created. "Oh! you limb!--you little wretch!" said she. "You
knew I was not at home!"
"Why, where are you now?" he asked, with the most provoking air of
innocence. "If you ain't in the house now, you never was."
"Never mind, sir," said she, "never mind. I'll settle with you for this.
Don't stand there grinning at me; go upstairs and tell Mrs. Morton to come
down immediately, and then get something to wipe up that water. O dear! my
beautiful carpet! And for a lord to see me in such a plight! Oh! it's
abominable! I'll give it to you, you scamp! You did it on purpose,"
continued the indignant Mrs. Thomas. "Don't deny it--I know you did. What
are you standing there for? Why don't you call Mrs. Morton?" she concluded,
as Charlie, chuckling over the result of his trick, walked leisurely
upstairs. "That boy will be the death of me," she afterwards said, on
relating the occurrence to her daughter. "Just to think, after all the
trouble I've had teaching him when to admit people and when not, that he
should serve me such a trick. I'm confident he did it purposely." Alas! for
poor Mrs. Thomas; this was only the first of a series of annoyances that
Charlie had in store, with which to test her patience and effect his own
A few days after, one of their grand dinners was to take place, and Charlie
had been revolving in his mind the possibility of his finding some
opportunity, on that occasion, to remove the old lady's wig; feeling
confident that, could he accomplish that feat, he would be permitted to
turn his back for ever on the mansion of Mrs. Thomas.
Never had Mrs. Thomas appeared more radiant than at this dinner. All the
guests whose attendance she had most desired were present, a new set of
china had lately arrived from Paris, and she was in full anticipation of a
grand triumph. Now, to Charlie had been assigned the important duty of
removing the cover from the soup-tureen which was placed before his
mistress, and the little rogue had settled upon that moment as the most
favourable for the execution of his purpose. He therefore secretly affixed
a nicely crooked pin to the elbow of his sleeve, and, as he lifted the
cover, adroitly hooked it into her cap, to which he knew the wig was
fastened, and in a twinkling had it off her head, and before she could
recover from her astonishment and lay down the soup-ladle he had left the
room. The guests stared and tittered at the grotesque figure she
presented,--her head being covered with short white hair, and her face as
red as a peony at the mortifying situation in which she was placed. As she
rose from her chair Charlie presented himself, and handed her the wig, with
an apology for the _accident_. In her haste to put it on, she turned it
wrong side foremost; the laughter of the guests could now no longer be
restrained, and in the midst of it Mrs. Thomas left the room. Encountering
Charlie as she went, she almost demolished him in her wrath; not ceasing to
belabour him till his outcries became so loud as to render her fearful that
he would alarm the guests; and she then retired to her room, where she
remained until the party broke up.
It was her custom, after these grand entertainments, to make nocturnal
surveys of the kitchen, to assure herself that none of the delicacies had
been secreted by the servants for their personal use and refreshment.
Charlie, aware of this, took his measures for an ample revenge for the
beating he had received at her hands. At night, when all the rest of the
family had retired, he hastily descended to the kitchen, and, by some
process known only to himself, imprisoned the cat in a stone jar that
always stood upon the dresser, and into which he was confident Mrs. Thomas
would peep. He then stationed himself upon the stairs, to watch the result.
He had not long to wait, for as soon as she thought the servants were
asleep, she came softly into the kitchen, and, after peering about in
various places, she at last lifted up the lid of the jar. Tom, tired of his
long confinement, sprang out, and, in so doing, knocked the lamp out of her
hand, the fluid from which ignited and ran over the floor.
"Murder!--Fire!--Watch!" screamed the thoroughly frightened old woman. "Oh,
help! help! fire!" At this terrible noise nearly every one in the household
was aroused, and hurried to the spot whence it proceeded. They found Mrs.
Thomas standing in the dark, with the lid of the jar in her hand, herself
the personification of terror. The carpet was badly burned in several
places, and the fragments of the lamp were scattered about the floor.
"What has happened?" exclaimed Mr. Morton, who was the first to enter the
kitchen. "What is all this frightful noise occasioned by?"
"Oh, there is a man in the house!" answered Mrs. Thomas, her teeth
chattering with fright. "There was a man in here--he has just sprung out,"
she continued, pointing to the bread-jar.
"Pooh, pooh--that's nonsense, madam," replied the son-in-law. "Why an
infant could not get in there, much less a man!"
"I tell you it was a man then," angrily responded Mrs. Thomas; "and he is
in the house somewhere now."
"Such absurdity!" muttered Mr. Morton; adding, in a louder tone: "Why, my
dear mamma, you've seen a mouse or something of the kind."
"Mouse, indeed!" interrupted the old lady. "Do you think I'm in my dotage,
and I don't know a man from a mouse?"
Just then the cat, whose back had got severely singed in the _melee_, set
up a most lamentable caterwauling; and, on being brought to light from the
depths of a closet into which he had flown, his appearance immediately
discovered the share he had had in the transaction.
"It must have been the cat," said Robberts. "Only look at his back--why
here the fur is singed off him! I'll bet anything," continued he, "that air
boy has had something to do with this--for it's a clear case that the cat
couldn't git into the jar, and then put the lid on hissef."
Tom's inability to accomplish this feat being most readily admitted on all
sides, inquiry was immediately made as to the whereabouts of Charlie; his
absence from the scene being rather considered as evidence of
participation, for, it was argued, if he had been unaware of what was to
transpire, the noise would have drawn him to the spot at once, as he was
always the first at hand in the event of any excitement. Robberts was
despatched to see if he was in his bed, and returned with the intelligence
that the bed had not even been opened. Search was immediately instituted,
and he was discovered in the closet at the foot of the stairs. He was
dragged forth, shaken, pummelled, and sent to bed, with the assurance that
his mother should be sent for in the morning, to take him home, and keep
him there. This being exactly the point to which he was desirous of
bringing matters, he went to bed, and passed a most agreeable night.
Aunt Rachel, being one of those sleepers that nothing short of an
earthquake can rouse until their customary time for awaking, had slept
soundly through the stirring events of the past night. She came down in the
morning in quite a placid state of mind, expecting to enjoy a day of rest,
as she had the night before sat up much beyond her usual time, to set
matters to rights after the confusion consequent on the dinner party. What
was her astonishment, therefore, on finding the kitchen she had left in a
state of perfect order and cleanliness, in a condition that resembled the
preparation for an annual house-cleaning.
"Lord, bless us!" she exclaimed, looking round; "What on yarth has
happened? I raly b'lieve dere's bin a fire in dis 'ere house, and I never
knowed a word of it. Why I might have bin burnt up in my own bed! Dere's de
lamp broke--carpet burnt--pots and skillets hauled out of the closet--ebery
ting turned upside down; why dere's bin a reg'lar 'sturbance down here,"
she continued, as she surveyed the apartment.
At this juncture, she espied Tom, who sat licking his paws before the fire,
and presenting so altered an appearance, from the events of the night, as
to have rendered him unrecognizable even by his best friend.
"Strange cat in de house! Making himself quite at home at dat," said aunt
Rachel, indignantly. Her wrath, already much excited, rose to the boiling
point at what she deemed a most daring invasion of her domain. She,
therefore, without ceremony, raised a broom, with which she belaboured the
astonished Tom, who ran frantically from under one chair to another till
he ensconced himself in a small closet, from which he pertinaciously
refused to be dislodged. "Won't come out of dere, won't you?" said she.
"I'll see if I can't make you den;" and poor Tom dodged behind pots and
kettles to avoid the blows which were aimed at him; at last, thoroughly
enraged by a hard knock on the back, he sprang fiercely into the face of
his tormentor, who, completely upset by the suddenness of his attack, fell
sprawling on the floor, screaming loudly for help. She was raised up by
Robberts, who came running to her assistance, and, on being questioned as
to the cause of her outcries, replied:--
"Dere's a strange cat in de house--wild cat too, I raly b'lieve;" and
spying Tom at that moment beneath the table, she made another dash at him
for a renewal of hostilities.
"Why that's Tom," exclaimed Robberts; "don't you know your own cat?"
"Oh," she replied, "dat ar isn't Tom now, is it? Why, what's the matter wid
Robberts then gave her a detailed account of the transactions of the
previous night, in which account the share Charlie had taken was greatly
enlarged and embellished; and the wrathful old woman was listening to the
conclusion when Charlie entered. Hardly had he got into the room, when,
without any preliminary discussion, aunt Rachel--to use her own
words--pitched into him to give him particular fits. Now Charlie, not being
disposed to receive "particular fits," made some efforts to return the hard
compliments that were being showered upon him, and the advice of Kinch
providentially occurring to him--respecting an attack upon the
understanding of his venerable antagonist--he brought his hard shoes down
with great force upon her pet corn, and by this _coup de pied_ completely
demolished her. With a loud scream she let him go; and sitting down upon
the floor, declared herself lamed for life, beyond the possibility of
recovery. At this stage of the proceedings, Robberts came to the rescue of
his aged coadjutor, and seized hold of Charlie, who forthwith commenced
so brisk an attack upon his rheumatic shins, as to cause him to beat a
hurried retreat, leaving Charlie sole master of the field. The noise that
these scuffles occasioned brought Mrs. Thomas into the kitchen, and Charlie
was marched off by her into an upstairs room, where he was kept in "durance
vile" until the arrival of his mother.
Mrs. Thomas had a strong liking for Charlie--not as a boy, but as a
footman. He was active and intelligent, and until quite recently, extremely
tractable and obedient; more than all, he was a very good-looking boy, and
when dressed in the Thomas livery, presented a highly-respectable
appearance. She therefore determined to be magnanimous--to look over past
events, and to show a Christian and forgiving spirit towards his
delinquencies. She sent for Mrs. Ellis, with the intention of desiring her
to use her maternal influence to induce him to apologize to aunt Rachel for
his assault upon her corns, which apology Mrs. Thomas was willing to
guarantee should be accepted; as for the indignities that had been
inflicted on herself, she thought it most politic to regard them in the
light of accidents, and to say as little about that part of the affair as
When Mrs. Ellis made her appearance on the day subsequent to the events
just narrated, Mrs. Thomas enlarged to her upon the serious damage that
aunt Rachel had received, and the urgent necessity that something should be
done to mollify that important individual. When Charlie was brought into
the presence of his mother and Mrs. Thomas, the latter informed him, that,
wicked as had been his conduct towards herself, she was willing, for his
mother's sake, to look over it; but that he must humble himself in dust and
ashes before the reigning sovereign of the culinary kingdom, who, making
the most of the injury inflicted on her toe, had declared herself unfit for
service, and was at that moment ensconced in a large easy-chair, listening
to the music of her favourite smoke-jack, whilst a temporary cook was
getting up the dinner, under her immediate supervision and direction.
"Charlie, I'm quite ashamed of you," said his mother, after listening to
Mrs. Thomas's lengthy statement. "What has come over you, child?"--Charlie
stood biting his nails, and looking very sullen, but vouchsafed them no
answer.--"Mrs. Thomas is so kind as to forgive you, and says she will look
over the whole affair, if you will beg aunt Rachel's pardon. Come, now,"
continued Mrs. Ellis, coaxingly, "do, that's a good boy."
"Yes, do," added Mrs. Thomas, "and I will buy you a handsome new suit of
This was too much for Charlie; the promise of another suit of the detested
livery quite overcame him, and he burst into tears.
"Why, what ails the boy? He's the most incomprehensible child I ever saw!
The idea of crying at the promise of a new suit of clothes!--any other
child would have been delighted," concluded Mrs. Thomas.
"I don't want your old button-covered uniform," said Charlie, "and I won't
wear it, neither! And as for aunt Rachel, I don't care how much she is
hurt--I'm only sorry I didn't smash her other toe; and I'll see her
skinned, and be skinned myself, before I'll ask her pardon!"
Both Mrs. Thomas and Charlie's mother stood aghast at this unexpected
declaration; and the result of a long conference, held by the two, was that
Charlie should be taken home, Mrs. Ellis being unable to withstand his
tears and entreaties.
As he passed through the kitchen on his way out, he made a face at aunt
Rachel, who, in return, threw at him one of the turnips she was peeling. It
missed the object for which it was intended, and came plump into the eye of
Robberts, giving to that respectable individual for some time thereafter
the appearance of a prize-fighter in livery.
Charlie started for home in the highest spirits, which, however, became
considerably lower on his discovering his mother's view of his late
exploits was very different from his own. Mrs. Ellis's fondness and
admiration of her son, although almost amounting to weakness, were yet
insufficient to prevent her from feeling that his conduct, even after
making due allowance for the provocation he had received, could not be
wholly excused as mere boyish impetuosity and love of mischievous fun. She
knew that his father would feel it his duty, not only to reprimand him, but
to inflict some chastisement; and this thought was the more painful to her
from the consciousness, that but for her own weak compliance with Mrs.
Thomas's request, her boy would not have been placed in circumstances which
his judgment and self-command had proved insufficient to carry him through.
The day, therefore, passed less agreeably than Charlie had anticipated; for
now that he was removed from the scene of his trials, he could not disguise
from himself that his behaviour under them had been very different from
what it ought to have been, and this had the salutary effect of bringing
him into a somewhat humbler frame of mind. When his father returned in the
evening, therefore, Charlie appeared so crest-fallen that even Caddy could
scarcely help commiserating him, especially as his subdued state during the
day had kept him from committing any of those offences against tidiness
which so frequently exasperated her. Mr. Ellis, though very strict on what
he thought points of duty, had much command of temper, and was an
affectionate father. He listened, therefore, with attention to the details
of Charlie's grievances, as well as of his misdemeanours, and some credit
is due to him for the unshaken gravity he preserved throughout. Although he
secretly acquitted his son of any really bad intention, he thought it
incumbent on him to make Charlie feel in some degree the evil consequences
of his unruly behaviour. After giving him a serious lecture, and pointing
out the impropriety of taking such measures to deliver himself from the
bondage in which his parents themselves had thought fit to place him,
without even appealing to them, he insisted on his making the apologies due
both to Mrs. Thomas and aunt Rachel (although he was fully aware that both
had only got their deserts); and, further, intimated that he would not be
reinstated in his parents' good graces until he had proved, by his good
conduct and docility, that he was really sorry for his misbehaviour. It was
a severe trial to Charlie to make these apologies; but he well knew that
what his father had decided upon must be done--so he made a virtue of
necessity, and, accompanied by his mother, on the following day performed
his penance with as good a grace as he was able; and, in consideration of
this submission, his father, when he came home in the evening, greeted him
with all his usual kindness, and the recollection of this unlucky affair
was at once banished from the family circle.
Trouble in the Ellis Family.
Since the receipt of Mr. Garie's letter, Mrs. Ellis and Caddy had been
busily engaged in putting the house in a state of preparation for their
reception. Caddy, whilst superintending its decoration, felt herself in
Elysium. For the first time in her life she had the supreme satisfaction of
having two unfortunate house-cleaners entirely at her disposal;
consequently, she drove them about and worried them to an extent
unparalleled in any of their former experience. She sought for and
discovered on the windows (which they had fondly regarded as miracles of
cleanliness) sundry streaks and smears, and detected infinite small spots
of paint and whitewash on the newly-scrubbed floors. She followed them
upstairs and downstairs, and tormented them to that extent, that Charlie
gave it as his private opinion that he should not be in the least
surprised, on going up there, to find that the two old women had made away
with Caddy, and hidden her remains in the coal-bin. Whilst she was thus
engaged, to Charlie was assigned the duty of transporting to Winter-street
her diurnal portion of food, without a hearty share of which she found it
impossible to maintain herself in a state of efficiency; her labours in
chasing the women about the house being of a rather exhausting nature.
When he made the visits in question, Charlie was generally reconnoitred by
his sister from a window over the door, and was compelled to put his shoes
through a system of purification, devised by her for his especial benefit.
It consisted of three courses of scraper, and two of mat; this being
considered by her as strictly necessary to bring his shoes to such a state
of cleanliness as would entitle him to admission into the premises of which
she was the temporary mistress.
Charlie, on two or three occasions finding a window open, made stealthy
descents upon the premises without first having duly observed these
quarantine regulations; whereupon he was attacked by Caddy, who, with the
assistance of the minions under her command, so shook and pummelled him as
to cause his precipitate retreat through the same opening by which he had
entered, and that, too, in so short a space of time as to make the whole
manoeuvre appear to him in the light of a well-executed but involuntary
feat of ground and lofty tumbling. One afternoon he started with his
sister's dinner, consisting of a dish of which she was particularly fond,
and its arrival was therefore looked for with unusual anxiety. Charlie,
having gorged himself to an almost alarming extent, did not make the haste
that the case evidently demanded; and as he several times stopped to act as
umpire in disputed games of marbles (in the rules of which he was regarded
as an authority), he necessarily consumed a great deal of time on the way.
Caddy's patience was severely tried by the long delay, and her temper, at
no time the most amiable, gathered bitterness from the unprecedented length
of her fast. Therefore, when he at length appeared, walking leisurely up
Winter-street, swinging the kettle about in the most reckless manner, and
setting it down on the pavement to play leap-frog over the fire-plugs, her
wrath reached a point that boded no good to the young trifler.
Now, whilst Charlie had been giving his attention to the difficulties
growing out of the games of marbles, he did not observe that one of the
disputants was possessed of a tin kettle, in appearance very similar to his
own, by the side of which, in the excitement of the moment, he deposited
his own whilst giving a practical illustration of his view of the point
under consideration. Having accomplished this to his entire satisfaction,
he resumed what he supposed was his kettle, and went his way rejoicing.
Now, if Caddy Ellis had a fondness for one dish more than any other, it was
for haricot, with plenty of carrots; and knowing she was to have this for
her dinner, she, to use her own pointed expression, "had laid herself out
to have a good meal." She had even abstained from her customary lunch that
she might have an appetite worthy of the occasion; and accordingly, long
ere the dinner hour approached, she was hungry as a wolf. Notwithstanding
this fact, when Charlie made his appearance at the door, she insisted on
his going through all the accustomed forms with the mat and scraper before
entering the house; an act of self-sacrifice on her part entirely uncalled
for, as the day was remarkably fine, and Charlie's boots unusually clean.
He received two or three by no means gentle shoves and pokes as he entered,
which he bore with unusual indifference, making not the slightest effort at
retaliation, as was his usual practice. The fact is, Charlie was, as lions
are supposed to be, quite disinclined for a fight after a hearty meal, so
he followed Caddy upstairs to the second story. Here she had got up an
extempore dining-table, by placing a pasting board across two chairs.
Seating herself upon a stool, she jerked off the lid of the kettle, and, to
her horror and dismay, found not the favourite haricot, but a piece of
cheese-rind, a crust of dry bread, and a cold potatoe. Charlie, who was
amusing himself by examining the flowers in the new carpet, did not observe
the look of surprise and disgust that came over the countenance of his
sister, as she took out, piece by piece, the remains of some schoolboy's
"Look here," she at last burst forth, "do you call this _my_ dinner?"
"Yes," said Charlie, in a deliberate tone, "and a very good one too, I
should say; if you can't eat that dinner, you ought to starve; it's one of
mother's best haricots." "You don't call this cold potatoe and
cheese-rind haricot, do you?" asked Caddy, angrily.
At this Charlie looked up, and saw before her the refuse scraps, which she
had indignantly emptied upon the table. He could scarcely believe his eyes;
he got up and looked in the kettle, but found no haricot. "Well," said he,
with surprise, "if that don't beat me! I saw mother fill it with haricot
myself; I'm clean beat about it."
"Tell me what you've done with it, then," almost screamed the angry girl.
"I really don't know what has become of it," he answered, with a bewildered
air. "I saw--I saw--I--I--"
"You saw--you saw," replied the indignant Caddy, imitating his tone; and
taking up the kettle, she began to examine it more closely. "Why, this
isn't even our kettle; look at this lid. I'm sure it's not ours. You've
been stopping somewhere to play, and exchanged it with some other boy,
that's just what you've done."
Just then it occurred to Charlie that at the place where he had adjusted
the dispute about the marbles, he had observed in the hands of one of the
boys a kettle similar to his own; and it flashed across his mind that he
had then and there made the unfortunate exchange. He broke his suspicion to
Caddy in the gentlest manner, at the same time edging his way to the door
to escape the storm that he saw was brewing. The loss of her dinner--and of
such a dinner--so enraged the hungry girl, as to cause her to seize a brush
lying near and begin to belabour him without mercy. In his endeavour to
escape from her his foot was caught in the carpet, and he was violently
precipitated down the long flight of stairs. His screams brought the whole
party to his assistance; even Kinch, who was sitting on the step outside,
threw off his usual dread of Caddy, and rushed into the house. "Oh, take me
up," piteously cried Charlie; "oh, take me up, I'm almost killed." In
raising him, one of the old women took hold of his arm, which caused him to
scream again. "Don't touch my arm, please don't touch my arm; I'm sure it's
"No, no, it's not broke, only sprained, or a little twisted," said she;
and, seizing it as she spoke, she gave it a pull and a wrench, for the
purpose of making it all right again; at this Charlie's face turned deathly
pale, and he fainted outright.
"Run for a doctor," cried the now thoroughly-alarmed Caddy; "run for the
doctor! my brother's dead!" and bursting into tears, she exclaimed, "Oh,
I've killed my brother, I've killed my brother!"
"Don't make so much fuss, child," soothingly replied one of the old women:
"he's worth half a dozen dead folk yet. Lor bless you, child, he's only
Water was procured and thrown in his face, and before Kinch returned with
the doctor, he was quite restored to consciousness.
"Don't cry, my little man," said the physician, as he took out his knife
and ripped up the sleeve of Charlie's coat. "Don't cry; let me examine your
arm." Stripping up the shirt-sleeve, he felt it carefully over, and shaking
his head (physicians always shake their heads) pronounced the arm broken,
and that, too, in an extremely bad place. At this information Charlie began
again to cry, and Caddy broke forth into such yells of despair as almost to
drive them distracted.
The physician kindly procured a carriage, and saw Charlie comfortably
placed therein; and held in the arms of Kinch, with the lamenting and
disheartened Caddy on the opposite seat, he was slowly driven home. The
house was quite thrown into confusion by their arrival under such
circumstances; Mrs. Ellis, for a wonder, did not faint, but proceeded at
once to do what was necessary. Mr. Ellis was sent for, and he immediately
despatched Kinch for Dr. Burdett, their family physician, who came without
a moment's delay. He examined Charlie's arm, and at first thought it would
be necessary to amputate it. At the mere mention of the word amputate,
Caddy set up such a series of lamentable howls as to cause her immediate
ejectment from the apartment. Dr. Burdett called in Dr. Diggs for a
consultation, and between them it was decided that an attempt should be
made to save the injured member. "Now, Charlie," said Dr. Burdett, "I'm
afraid we must hurt you, my boy--but if you have any desire to keep this
arm you must try to bear it."
"I'll bear anything to save my arm, doctor; I can't spare that," said he,
manfully. "I'll want it by-and-by to help take care of mother and the
"You're a brave little fellow," said Dr. Diggs, patting him on the head,
"so then we'll go at it at once."
"Stop," cried Charlie, "let mother put her arm round my neck so, and Es,
you hold the good hand. Now then, I'm all right--fire away!" and clenching
his lips hard, he waited for the doctor to commence the operation of
setting his arm. Charlie's mother tried to look as stoical as possible, but
the corners of her mouth would twitch, and there was a nervous trembling of
her under-lip; but she commanded herself, and only when Charlie gave a
slight groan of pain, stooped and kissed his forehead; and when she raised
her head again, there was a tear resting on the face of her son that was
not his own. Esther was the picture of despair, and she wept bitterly for
the misfortune which had befallen her pet brother; and when the operation
was over, refused to answer poor Caddy's questions respecting Charlie's
injuries, and scolded her with a warmth and volubility that was quite
surprising to them all.
"You must not be too hard on Caddy," remarked Mr. Ellis. "She feels bad
enough, I'll warrant you. It is a lesson that will not, I trust, be thrown
away upon her; it will teach her to command her temper in future."
Caddy was in truth quite crushed by the misfortune she had occasioned, and
fell into such a state of depression and apathy as to be scarcely heard
about the house; indeed, so subdued was she, that Kinch went in and out
without wiping his feet, and tracked the mud all over the stair-carpet, and
yet she uttered no word of remonstrance.
Poor little Charlie suffered much, and was in a high fever. The knocker was
tied up, the windows darkened, and all walked about the house with sad and
anxious countenances. Day after day the fever increased, until he grew
delirious, and raved in the most distressing manner. The unfortunate
haricot was still on his mind, and he was persecuted by men with
strange-shaped heads and carrot eyes. Sometimes he imagined himself pursued
by Caddy, and would cry in the most piteous manner to have her prevented
from beating him. Then his mind strayed off to the marble-ground, where he
would play imaginary games, and laugh over his success in such a wild and
frightful manner as to draw tears from the eyes of all around him. He was
greatly changed; the bright colour had fled from his cheek; his head had
been shaved, and he was thin and wan, and at times they were obliged to
watch him, and restrain him from tossing about, to the great peril of his
At last his situation became so critical that Dr. Burdett began to
entertain but slight hopes of his recovery; and one morning, in the
presence of Caddy, hinted as much to Mr. Ellis.
"Oh, doctor, doctor," exclaimed the distracted girl, "don't say that! oh,
try and save him! How could I live with the thought that I had killed my
brother! oh, I can't live a day if he dies! Will God ever forgive me? Oh,
what a wretch I have been! Oh, do think of something that will help him! He
_mustn't_ die, you _must_ save him!" and crying passionately, she threw
herself on the floor in an agony of grief. They did their best to pacify
her, but all their efforts were in vain, until Mr. Ellis suggested, that
since she could not control her feelings, she must be sent to stay with her
aunt, as her lamentations and outcries agitated her suffering brother and
made his condition worse. The idea of being excluded from the family circle
at such a moment had more effect on Caddy than all previous remonstrances.
She implored to have the sentence suspended for a time at least, that she
might try to exert more self-command; and Mr. Ellis, who really pitied her,
well knowing that her heart was not in fault, however reprehensible she was
in point of temper, consented; and Caddy's behaviour from that moment
proved the sincerity of her promises; and though she could not quite
restrain occasional outbursts of senseless lamentation, still, when she
felt such fits of despair coming on, she wisely retired to some remote
corner of the house, and did not re-appear till she had regained her
The crisis was at length over, and Charlie was pronounced out of danger. No
one was more elated by this announcement than our friend Kinch, who had, in
fact, grown quite ashy in his complexion from confinement and grief, and
was now thrown by this intelligence into the highest possible spirits.
Charlie, although faint and weak, was able to recognize his friends, and
derived great satisfaction from the various devices of Kinch to entertain
him. That young gentleman quite distinguished himself by the variety and
extent of his resources. He devised butting matches between himself and a
large gourd, which he suspended from the ceiling, and almost blinded
himself by his attempts to butt it sufficiently hard to cause it to rebound
to the utmost length of the string, and might have made an idiot of himself
for ever by his exertions, but for the timely interference of Mr. Ellis,
who put a final stop to this diversion. Then he dressed himself in a short
gown and nightcap, and made the pillow into a baby, and played the nurse
with it to such perfection, that Charlie felt obliged to applaud by
knocking with the knuckles of his best hand upon the head-board of his
bedstead. On the whole, he was so overjoyed as to be led to commit all
manner of eccentricities, and conducted himself generally in such a
ridiculous manner, that Charlie laughed himself into a state of
prostration, and Kinch was, in consequence, banished from the sick-room, to
be re-admitted only on giving his promise to abstain from being as _funny
as he could_ any more. After the lapse of a short time Charlie was
permitted to sit up, and held regular _levees_ of his schoolmates and
little friends. He declared it was quite a luxury to have a broken arm, as
it was a source of so much amusement. The old ladies brought him jellies
and blanc-mange, and he was petted and caressed to such an unparalleled
extent, as to cause his delighted mother to aver that she lived in great
fear of his being spoiled beyond remedy. At length he was permitted to come
downstairs and sit by the window for a few hours each day. Whilst thus
amusing himself one morning, a handsome carriage stopped before their
house, and from it descended a fat and benevolent-looking old lady, who
knocked at the door and rattled the latch as if she had been in the daily
habit of visiting there, and felt quite sure of a hearty welcome. She was
let in by Esther, and, on sitting down, asked if Mrs. Ellis was at home.
Whilst Esther was gone to summon her mother, the lady looked round the
room, and espying Charlie, said, "Oh, there you are--I'm glad to see you; I
hope you are improving."
"Yes, ma'am," politely replied Charlie, wondering all the time who their
visitor could be.
"You don't seem to remember me--you ought to do so; children seldom forget
any one who makes them a pleasant promise."
As she spoke, a glimmer of recollection shot across Charlie's mind, and he
exclaimed, "You are the lady who came to visit the school."
"Yes; and I promised you a book for your aptness, and," continued she,
taking from her reticule a splendidly-bound copy of "Robinson Crusoe,"
"here it is."
Mrs. Ellis, as soon as she was informed that a stranger lady was below,
left Caddy to superintend alone the whitewashing of Charlie's sick-room,
and having hastily donned another gown and a more tasty cap, descended to
see who the visitor could be.
"You must excuse my not rising," said Mrs. Bird, for that was the lady's
name; "it is rather a difficulty for me to get up and down often--so,"
continued she, with a smile, "you must excuse my seeming rudeness."
Mrs. Ellis answered, that any apology was entirely unnecessary, and begged
she would keep her seat. "I've come," said Mrs. Bird, "to pay your little
man a visit. I was so much pleased with the manner in which he recited his
exercises on the day of examination, that I promised him a book, and on
going to the school to present it, I heard of his unfortunate accident. He
looks very much changed--he has had a very severe time, I presume?"
"Yes, a very severe one. We had almost given him over, but it pleased God
to restore him," replied Mrs. Ellis, in a thankful tone. "He is very weak
yet," she continued, "and it will be a long time before he is entirely
"Who is your physician?" asked Mrs. Bird.
"Doctor Burdett," was the reply; "he has been our physician for years, and
is a very kind friend of our family."
"And of mine, too," rejoined Mrs. Bird; "he visits my house every summer.
What does he think of the arm?" she asked.
"He thinks in time it will be as strong as ever, and recommends sending
Charlie into the country for the summer; but," said Mrs. Ellis, "we are
quite at a loss where to send him."
"Oh! let me take him," said Mrs. Bird--"I should be delighted to have him.
I've got a beautiful place--he can have a horse to ride, and there are wide
fields to scamper over! Only let me have him, and I'll guarantee to restore
him to health in a short time."
"You're very kind," replied Mrs. Ellis--"I'm afraid he would only be a
burthen to you--be a great deal of trouble, and be able to do but little
"Work! Why, dear woman," replied Mrs. Bird, with some astonishment, "I
don't want him to work--I've plenty of servants; I only want him to enjoy
himself, and gather as much strength as possible. Come, make up your mind
to let him go with me, and I'll send him home as stout as I am."
At the bare idea of Charlie's being brought to such a state of obesity,
Kinch, who, during the interview, had been in the back part of the room,
making all manner of faces, was obliged to leave the apartment, to prevent
a serious explosion of laughter, and after their visitor had departed he
was found rolling about the floor in a tempest of mirth.
After considerable conversation relative to the project, Mrs. Bird took her
leave, promising to call soon again, and advising Mrs. Ellis to accept her
offer. Mrs. Ellis consulted Dr. Burdett, who pronounced it a most fortunate
circumstance, and said the boy could not be in better hands; and as Charlie
appeared nothing loth, it was decided he should go to Warmouth, to the
great grief of Kinch, who thought it a most unheard-of proceeding, and he
regarded Mrs. Bird thenceforth as his personal enemy, and a wilful
disturber of his peace.
The time for the departure of the Garies having been fixed, all in the
house were soon engaged in the bustle of preparation. Boxes were packed
with books, pictures, and linen; plate and china were wrapped and swaddled,
to prevent breakage and bruises; carpets were taken up, and packed away;
curtains taken down, and looking-glasses covered. Only a small part of the
house was left in a furnished state for the use of the overseer, who was a
young bachelor, and did not require much space.
In superintending all these arrangements Mrs. Garie displayed great
activity; her former cheerfulness of manner had entirely returned, and Mr.
Garie often listened with delight to the quick pattering of her feet, as
she tripped lightly through the hall, and up and down the long stairs. The
birds that sang about the windows were not more cheerful than herself, and
when Mr. Garie heard her merry voice singing her lively songs, as in days
gone by, he experienced a feeling of satisfaction at the pleasant result of
his acquiescence in her wishes. He had consented to it as an act of justice
due to her and the children; there was no pleasure to himself growing out
of the intended change, beyond that of gratifying Emily, and securing
freedom to her and the children. He knew enough of the North to feel
convinced that he could not expect to live there openly with Emily, without
being exposed to ill-natured comments, and closing upon himself the doors
of many friends who had formerly received him with open arms. The virtuous
dignity of the Northerner would be shocked, not so much at his having
children by a woman of colour, but by his living with her in the midst of
them, and acknowledging her as his wife. In the community where he now
resided, such things were more common; the only point in which he differed
from many other Southern gentlemen in this matter was in his constancy to
Emily and the children, and the more than ordinary kindness and affection
with which he treated them. Mr. Garie had for many years led a very retired
life, receiving an occasional gentleman visitor; but this retirement had
been entirely voluntary, therefore by no means disagreeable; but in the new
home he had accepted, he felt that he might be shunned, and the reflection
was anything but agreeable. Moreover, he was about to leave a place
endeared to him by a thousand associations. Here he had passed the whole of
his life, except about four years spent in travelling through Europe and
Mr. Garie was seated in a room where there were many things to recall days
long since departed. The desk at which he was writing was once his
father's, and he well remembered the methodical manner in which every
drawer was carefully kept; over it hung a full-length portrait of his
mother, and it seemed, as he gazed at it, that it was only yesterday that
she had taken his little hand in her own, and walked with him down the long
avenue of magnolias that were waving their flower-spangled branches in the
morning breeze, and loading it with fragrance. Near him was the table on
which her work-basket used to stand. He remembered how important he felt
when permitted to hold the skeins of silk for her to wind, and how he would
watch her stitch, stitch, hour after hour, at the screen that now stood
beside the fire-place; the colours were faded, but the recollection of the
pleasant smiles she would cast upon him from time to time, as she looked up
from her work, was as fresh in his memory as if it were but yesterday. Mr.
Garie was assorting and arranging the papers that the desk contained, when
he heard the rattle of wheels along the avenue, and looking out of the
window, he saw a carriage approaching.
The coachman was guiding his horses with one hand, and with the other he
was endeavouring to keep a large, old-fashioned trunk from falling from the
top. This was by no means an easy matter, as the horses appeared quite
restive, and fully required his undivided attention. The rather unsteady
motion of the carriage caused its inmate to put his head out of the window,
and Mr. Garie recognized his uncle John, who lived in the north-western
part of the state, on the borders of Alabama. He immediately left his desk,
and hastened to the door to receive him.
"This is an unexpected visit, but none the less pleasant on that account,"
said Mr. Garie, his face lighting up with surprise and pleasure as uncle
John alighted. "I had not the least expectation of being honoured by a
visit from you. What has brought you into this part of the country?
Business, of course? I can't conceive it possible that you should have
ventured so far from home, at this early season, for the mere purpose of
paying me a visit."
"You may take all the honour to yourself this time," smilingly replied
uncle John, "for I have come over for your especial benefit; and if I
accomplish the object of my journey, I shall consider the time anything but
"Let me take your coat; and, Eph, see you to that trunk," said Mr. Garie.
"You see everything is topsy-turvy with us, uncle John. We look like
moving, don't we?"
"Like that or an annual house-cleaning," he replied, as he picked his way
through rolls of carpet and matting, and between half-packed boxes; in
doing which, he had several narrow escapes from the nails that protruded
from them on all sides. "It's getting very warm; let me have something to
drink," said he, wiping his face as he took his seat; "a julep--plenty of
brandy and ice, and but little mint."
Eph, on receiving this order, departed in great haste in search of Mrs.
Garie, as he knew that, whilst concocting one julep, she might be
prevailed upon to mix another, and Eph had himself a warm liking for that
peculiar Southern mixture, which liking he never lost any opportunity to
Emily hurried downstairs, on hearing of the arrival of uncle John, for he
was regarded by her as a friend. She had always received from him marked
kindness and respect, and upon the arrival of Mr. Garie's visitors, there
was none she received with as much pleasure. Quickly mixing the drink, she
carried it into the room where he and her husband were sitting. She was
warmly greeted by the kind-hearted old man, who, in reply to her question
if he had come to make them a farewell visit, said he hoped not: he trusted
to make them many more in the same place.
"I'm afraid you won't have an opportunity," she replied. "In less than a
week we expect to be on our way to New York.--I must go," continued she,
"and have a room prepared for you, and hunt up the children. You'll
scarcely know them, they have grown so much since you were here. I'll soon
send them," and she hurried off to make uncle John's room comfortable.
"I was never more surprised in my life," said the old gentleman, depositing
the glass upon the table, after draining it of its contents--"never more
surprised than when I received your letter, in which you stated your
intention of going to the North to live. A more ridiculous whim it is
impossible to conceive--the idea is perfectly absurd! To leave a fine old
place like this, where you have everything around you so nice and
comfortable, to go north, and settle amongst a parcel of strange Yankees!
My dear boy, you must give it up. I'm no longer your guardian--the law
don't provide one for people of thirty years and upwards--so it is out of
my power to say you shall not do it; but I am here to use all my powers of
persuasion to induce you to relinquish the project."
"Uncle John, you don't seem to understand the matter. It is not a whim, by
any means--it is a determination arising from a strict sense of duty; I
feel that it is an act of justice to Emily and the children. I don't
pretend to be better than most men; but my conscience will not permit me to
be the owner of my own flesh and blood. I'm going north, because I wish to
emancipate and educate my children--you know I can't do it here. At first I
was as disinclined to favour the project as you are; but I am now convinced
it is my duty, and, I must add, that my inclination runs in the same
"Look here, Clarence, my boy," here interrupted uncle John; "you can't
expect to live there as you do here; the prejudice against persons of
colour is much stronger in some of the Northern cities than it is amongst
us Southerners. You can't live with Emily there as you do here; you will be
in everybody's mouth. You won't be able to sustain your old connections
with your Northern friends--you'll find that they will cut you dead."
"I've looked at it well, uncle John. I've counted the cost, and have made
up my mind to meet with many disagreeable things. If my old friends choose
to turn their backs on me because my wife happens to belong to an oppressed
race, that is not my fault. I don't feel that I have committed any sin by
making the choice I have; and so their conduct or opinions won't influence
my happiness much."
"Listen to me, Clary, for a moment," rejoined the old gentleman. "As long
as you live here in Georgia you can sustain your present connection with
impunity, and if you should ever want to break it off, you could do so by
sending her and the children away; it would be no more than other men have
done, and are doing every day. But go to the North, and it becomes a
different thing. Your connection with Emily will inevitably become a matter
of notoriety, and then you would find it difficult to shake her off there,
as you could here, in case you wanted to marry another woman."
"Oh, uncle, uncle, how can you speak so indifferently about my doing such
an ungenerous act; to characterize it in the very mildest terms. I feel
that Emily is as much my wife in the eyes of God, as if a thousand
clergymen had united us. It is not my fault that we are not legally
married; it is the fault of the laws. My father did not feel that my mother
was any more his wife, than I do that Emily is mine."
"Hush, hush; that is all nonsense, boy; and, besides, it is paying a very
poor compliment to your mother to rank her with your mulatto mistress. I
like Emily very much; she has been kind, affectionate, and faithful to you.
Yet I really can't see the propriety of your making a shipwreck of your
whole life on her account. Now," continued uncle John, with great
earnestness, "I hoped for better things from you. You have talents and
wealth; you belong to one of the oldest and best families in the State.
When I am gone, you will be the last of our name; I had hoped that you
would have done something to keep it from sinking into obscurity. There is
no honour in the State to which you might not have aspired with a fair
chance of success; but if you carry out your absurd determination, you will
ruin yourself effectually."
"Well; I shall be ruined then, for I am determined to go. I feel it my duty
to carry out my design," said Mr. Garie.
"Well, well, Clary," rejoined his uncle, "I've done my duty to my brother's
son. I own, that although I cannot agree with you in your project, I can
and do honour the unselfish motive that prompts it. You will always find me
your friend under all circumstances, and now," concluded he, "it's off my
The children were brought in and duly admired; a box of miniature
carpenter's tools was produced; also, a wonderful man with a string through
his waist--which string, when pulled, caused him to throw his arms and legs
about in a most astonishing manner. The little folks were highly delighted
with these presents, which, uncle John had purchased at Augusta; they
scampered off, and soon had every small specimen of sable humanity on the
place at their heels, in ecstatic admiration of the wonderful articles of
which they had so recently acquired possession. As uncle John had
absolutely refused all other refreshment than the julep before mentioned,
dinner was ordered at a much earlier hour than usual. He ate very heartily,
as was his custom; and, moreover, persisted in stuffing the children (as
old gentlemen will do sometimes) until their mother was compelled to
interfere to prevent their having a bilious attack in consequence. Whilst
the gentlemen were sitting over their desert, Mr. Garie asked his uncle, if
he had not a sister, with whom there was some mystery connected.
"No mystery," replied uncle John. "Your aunt made a very low marriage, and
father cut her off from the family entirely. It happened when I was very
young; she was the eldest of us all; there were four of us, as you
know--your father, Bernard, I, and this sister of whom we are speaking. She
has been dead for some years; she married a carpenter whom father employed
on the place--a poor white man from New York. I have heard it said, that he
was handsome, but drunken and vicious. They left one child--a boy; I
believe he is alive in the North somewhere, or was, a few years since."
"And did she never make any overtures for a reconciliation?"
"She did, some years before father's death, but he was inexorable; he
returned her letter, and died without seeing or forgiving her," replied
"Poor thing; I suppose they were very poor?"
"I suppose they were. I have no sympathy for her. She deserved her fate,
for marrying a greasy mechanic, in opposition to her father's commands,
when she might have connected herself with any of the highest families in
The gentlemen remained a long while that night, sipping their wine, smoking
cigars, and discussing the probable result of the contemplated change.
Uncle John seemed to have the worst forebodings as to the ultimate
consequences, and gave it as his decided opinion, that they would all
return to the old place in less than a year.
"You'll soon get tired of it," said he; "everything is so different there.
Here you can get on well in your present relations; but mark me, you'll
find nothing but disappointment and trouble where you are going."
The next morning he departed for his home; he kissed the children
affectionately, and shook hands warmly with their mother. After getting
into the carriage, he held out his hand again to his nephew, saying:--
"I am afraid you are going to be disappointed; but I hope you may not. Good
bye, good bye--God bless you!" and his blue eyes looked very watery, as he
was driven from the door.
That day, a letter arrived from Savannah, informing them that the ship in
which they had engaged passage would be ready to sail in a few days; and
they, therefore, determined that the first instalment of boxes and trunks
should be sent to the city forthwith; and to Eph was assigned the
melancholy duty of superintending their removal.
"Let me go with him, pa," begged little Clarence, who heard his father
giving Eph his instructions.
"Oh, no," replied Mr. Garie; "the cart will be full of goods, there will be
no room for you."
"But, pa, I can ride my pony; and, besides, you might let me go, for I
shan't have many more chances to ride him--do let me go."
"Oh, yes, massa, let him go. Why dat ar chile can take care of his pony all
by hissef. You should just seed dem two de oder day. You see de pony felt
kinder big dat day, an' tuck a heap o' airs on hissef, an' tried to trow
him--twarn't no go--Massa Clary conquered him 'pletely. Mighty smart boy,
dat," continued Eph, looking at little Clarence, admiringly, "mighty smart.
I let him shoot off my pistol toder day, and he pat de ball smack through
de bull's eye--dat boy is gwine to be a perfect Ramrod."
"Oh, pa," laughingly interrupted little Clarence; "I've been telling him of
what you read to me about Nimrod being a great hunter."
"That's quite a mistake, Eph," said Mr. Garie, joining in the laugh.
"Well, I knowed it was suffin," said Eph, scratching his head; "suffin with
a rod to it; I was all right on that pint--but you'r gwine to let him go,
ain't yer, massa?"
"I suppose, I must," replied Mr. Garie; "but mind now that no accident
occurs to young Ramrod."
"I'll take care o' dat," said Eph, who hastened off to prepare the horses,
followed by the delighted Clarence.
That evening, after his return from Savannah, Clarence kept his little
sister's eyes expanded to an unprecedented extent by his narration of the
wonderful occurrences attendant on his trip to town, and also of what he
had seen in the vessel. He produced an immense orange, also a vast store of
almonds and raisins, which had been given him by the good-natured steward.
"But Em," said he, "we are going to sleep in such funny little places; even
pa and mamma have got to sleep on little shelves stuck up against the wall;
and they've got a thing that swings from the ceiling that they keep the
tumblers and wine-glasses in--every glass has got a little hole for itself.
Oh, it's so nice!"
"And have they got any nice shady trees on the ship?" asked the wondering
"Oh, no--what nonsense!" answered Clarence, swelling with the importance
conferred by his superior knowledge. "Why, no, Em; who ever heard of such a
thing as trees on a ship? they couldn't have trees on a ship if they
wanted--there's no earth for them to grow in. But I'll tell you what
they've got--they've got masts a great deal higher than any tree, and I'm
going to climb clear up to the top when we go to live on the ship."
"I wouldn't," said Em; "you might fall down like Ben did from the tree, and
then you'd have to have your head sewed up as he had."
The probability that an occurrence of this nature might be the result of
his attempt to climb the mast seemed to have considerable weight with
Master Clarence, so he relieved his sister's mind at once by relinquishing
The morning for departure at length arrived. Eph brought the carriage to
the door at an early hour, and sat upon the box the picture of despair. He
did not descend from his eminence to assist in any of the little
arrangements for the journey, being very fearful that the seat he occupied
might be resumed by its rightful owner, he having had a lengthy contest
with the sable official who acted as coachman, and who had striven
manfully, on this occasion, to take possession of his usual elevated
station on the family equipage. This, Eph would by no means permit, as he
declared, "He was gwine to let nobody drive Massa dat day but hissef."
It was a mournful parting. The slaves crowded around the carriage kissing
and embracing the children, and forcing upon them little tokens of
remembrance. Blind Jacob, the patriarch of the place, came and passed his
hands over the face of little Em for the last time, as he had done almost
every week since her birth, that, to use his own language, "he might see
how de piccaninny growed." His bleared and sightless eyes were turned to
heaven to ask a blessing on the little ones and their parents.
"Why, daddy Jake, you should not take it so hard," said Mr. Garie, with an
attempt at cheerfulness. "You'll see us all again some day."
"No, no, massa, I'se feared I won't; I'se gettin' mighty old, massa, and
I'se gwine home soon. I hopes I'll meet you all up yonder," said he,
pointing heavenward. "I don't 'spect to see any of you here agin."
Many of the slaves were in tears, and all deeply lamented the departure of
their master and his family, for Mr. Garie had always been the kindest of
owners, and Mrs. Garie was, if possible, more beloved than himself. She was
first at every sick-bed, and had been comforter-general to all the
afflicted and distressed in the place.
At last the carriage rolled away, and in a few hours they reached Savannah,
and immediately went on board the vessel.
Mrs. Ellis had been for some time engaged in arranging and replenishing
Charlie's wardrobe, preparatory to his journey to Warmouth with Mrs. Bird.
An entire new suit of grey cloth had been ordered of the tailor, to whom
Mrs. Ellis gave strict injunctions not to make them too small.
Notwithstanding the unfavourable results of several experiments, Mrs. Ellis
adhered with wonderful tenacity to the idea that a boy's clothes could
never be made too large, and, therefore, when Charlie had a new suit, it
always appeared as if it had been made for some portly gentleman, and sent
home to Charlie by mistake.
This last suit formed no exception to the others, and Charlie surveyed with
dismay its ample dimensions as it hung from the back of the chair. "Oh,
gemini!" said he, "but that jacket is a rouser! I tell you what, mother,
you'll have to get out a search-warrant to find me in that jacket; now,
mind, I tell you!"
"Nonsense!" replied Mrs. Ellis, "it don't look a bit too large; put it on."
Charlie took up the coat, and in a twinkling had it on over his other. His
hands were almost completely lost in the excessively long sleeves, which
hung down so far that the tips of his fingers were barely visible. "Oh,
mother!" he exclaimed, "just look at these sleeves--if such a thing were to
happen that any one were to offer me a half dollar, they would change their
mind before I could get my hand out to take it; and it will almost go twice
round me, it is so large in the waist."
"Oh, you can turn the sleeves up; and as for the waist--you'll soon grow
to it; it will be tight enough for you before long, I'll warrant," said
"But, mother," rejoined Charlie, "that is just what you said about the
other blue suit, and it was entirely worn out before you had let down the
tucks in the trowsers."
"Never mind the blue suit," persisted Mrs. Ellis, entirely unbiassed by
this statement of facts. "You'll grow faster this time--you're going into
the country, you must remember--boys always grow fast in the country; go
into the other room and try on the trowsers."
Charlie retired into another room with the trowsers in question. Here he
was joined by Kinch, who went into fits of laughter over Charlie's
pea-jacket, as he offensively called the new coat.
"Why, Charlie," said he, "it fits you like a shirt on a bean-pole, or
rather it's like a sentry's box--it don't touch you any where. But get into
these pants," said he, almost choking with the laughter that Charlie's
vexed look caused him to suppress--"get into the pants;" at the same time
tying a string round Charlie's neck.
"What are you doing that for?" exclaimed Charlie, in an irritated tone; "I
shouldn't have thought you would make fun of me!"
"Oh," said Kinch, assuming a solemn look, "don't they always tie a rope
round a man's body when they are going to lower him into a pit? and how on
earth do you ever expect we shall find you in the legs of them trowsers,
unless something is fastened to you?" Here Charlie was obliged to join in
the laugh that Kinch could no longer restrain.
"Stop that playing, boys," cried Mrs. Ellis, as their noisy mirth reached
her in the adjoining room; "you forget I am waiting for you."
Charlie hastily drew on the trousers, and found that their dimensions fully
justified the precaution Kinch was desirous of taking to secure him from
sinking into oblivion.
"Oh, I can't wear these things," said Charlie, tears of vexation starting
from his eyes. "Why, they are so large I can't even keep them up; and just
look at the legs, will you--they'll have to be turned up a quarter of a
yard at least."
"Here," said Kinch, seizing a large pillow, "I'll stuff this in. Oh, golly,
how you look! if you ain't a sight to see!" and he shouted with laughter as
he surveyed Charlie, to whom the pillow had imparted the appearance of a
London alderman. "If you don't look like Squire Baker now, I'll give it up.
You are as big as old Daddy Downhill. You are a regular Daniel Lambert!"
The idea of looking like Squire Baker and Daddy Downhill, who were the "fat
men" of their acquaintance, amused Charlie as much as it did his companion,
and making the house ring with their mirth, they entered the room where Mr.
Ellis and the girls had joined Mrs. Ellis.
"What on earth is the matter with the child?" exclaimed Mr. Ellis, as he
gazed upon the grotesque figure Charlie presented. "What has the boy been
doing to himself?" Hereupon Kinch explained how matters stood, to the
infinite amusement of all parties.
"Oh, Ellen," said Mr. Ellis, "you must have them altered; they're a mile
too big for him. I really believe they would fit me."
"They do look rather large," said Mrs. Ellis, reluctantly; "but it seems
such a waste to take them in, as he grows so fast."
"He would not grow enough in two years to fill that suit," rejoined Mr.
Ellis; "and he will have worn them out in less than six months;" and so, to
the infinite satisfaction of Charlie, it was concluded that they should be
sent back to the tailor's for the evidently necessary alterations.
The day for Charlie's departure at last arrived.
Kinch, who had been up since two o'clock in the morning, was found by Caddy
at the early hour of five waiting upon the door-step to accompany his
friend to the wharf. Beside him lay a bag, in which there appeared to be
some living object.
"What have you got in here?" asked Caddy, as she gave the bag a punch with
the broom she was using. "It's a present for Charlie," replied Kinch,
opening the bag, and displaying, to the astonished gaze of Caddy, a very
"Why," said she, laughing, "you don't expect he can take that with him, do
"Why not?" asked Kinch, taking up the bag and carrying it into the house.
"It's just the thing to take into the country; Charlie can fatten him and
sell him for a lot of money."
It was as much as Mrs. Ellis could do to convince Charlie and Kinch of the
impracticability of their scheme of carrying off to Warmouth the pig in
question. She suggested, as it was the exclusive property of Kinch, and he
was so exceedingly anxious to make Charlie a parting gift, that she should
purchase it, which she did, on the spot; and Kinch invested all the money
in a large cross-bow, wherewith Charlie was to shoot game sufficient to
supply both Kinch and his own parents. Had Charlie been on his way to the
scaffold, he could not have been followed by a more solemn face than that
presented by Kinch as he trudged on with him in the rear the porter who
carried the trunk.
"I wish you were not going," said he, as he put his arm affectionately over
Charlie's shoulder, "I shall be so lonesome when you are gone; and what is
more, I know I shall get licked every day in school, for who will help me
with my sums?"
"Oh, any of the boys will, they all like you, Kinch; and if you only study
a little harder, you can do them yourself," was Charlie's encouraging
On arriving at the boat, they found. Mrs. Bird waiting for them; so Charlie
hastily kissed his mother and sisters, and made endless promises not to be
mischievous, and, above all, to be as tidy as possible. Then tearing
himself away from them, and turning to Kinch, he exclaimed, "I'll be back
to see you all again soon, so don't cry old fellow;" and at the same time
thrusting his hand into his pocket, he drew out a number of marbles, which
he gave him, his own lips quivering all the while. At last his attempts to
suppress his tears and look like a man grew entirely futile, and he cried
heartily as Mrs. Bird took his hand and drew him on board the steamer.
As it slowly moved from the pier and glided up the river, Charlie stood
looking with tearful eyes at his mother and sisters, who, with Kinch, waved
their handkerchiefs as long as they could distinguish him, and then he saw
them move away with the crowd.
Mrs. Bird, who had been conversing with a lady who accompanied her a short
distance on her journey, came and took her little _protege_ by the hand,
and led him to a seat near her in the after part of the boat, informing
him, as she did so, that they would shortly exchange the steamer for the
cars, and she thought he had better remain near her.
After some time they approached the little town where the passengers took
the train for New York. Mrs. Bird, who had taken leave of her friend, held
Charlie fast by the hand, and they entered the cars together. He looked a
little pale and weak from the excitement of parting and the novelty of his
situation. Mrs. Bird, observing his pallid look, placed him on a seat, and
propped him up with shawls and cushions, making him as comfortable as
The train had not long started, when the conductor came through to inspect
the tickets, and quite started with surprise at seeing Charlie stretched at
full length upon the velvet cushion. "What are you doing here?" exclaimed
he, at the same time shaking him roughly, to arouse him from the slight
slumber into which he had fallen. "Come, get up: you must go out of this."
"What do you mean by such conduct?" asked Mrs. Bird, very much surprised.
"Don't wake him; I've got his ticket; the child is sick."
"I don't care whether he's sick or well--he can't ride in here. We don't
allow niggers to ride in this car, no how you can fix it--so come,
youngster," said he, gruffly, to the now aroused boy, "you must travel out
"He shall do no such thing," replied Mrs. Bird, in a decided tone; "I've
paid fall price for his ticket, and he shall ride here; you have no legal
right to eject him."
"I've got no time to jaw about rights, legal or illegal--all I care to know
is, that I've my orders not to let niggers ride in these cars, and I expect
to obey, so you see there is no use to make any fuss about it."
"Charlie," said Mrs. Bird, "sit here;" and she moved aside, so as to seat
him between herself and the window. "Now," said she, "move him if you think
"I'll tell you what it is, old woman," doggedly remarked the conductor:
"you can't play that game with me. I've made up my mind that no more
niggers shall ride in this car, and I'll have him out of here, cost what it
The passengers now began to cluster around the contending parties, and to
take sides in the controversy. In the end, the conductor stopped the train,
and called in one or two of the Irish brake-men to assist him, if
necessary, in enforcing his orders.
"You had better let the boy go into the negro car, madam," said one of the
gentlemen, respectfully; "it is perfectly useless to contend with these
ruffians. I saw a coloured man ejected from here last week, and severely
injured; and, in the present state of public feeling, if anything happened
to you or the child, you would be entirely without redress. The directors
of this railroad control the State; and there is no such thing as justice
to be obtained in any of the State courts in a matter in which they are
concerned. If you will accept of my arm, I will accompany you to the other
car--if you will not permit the child to go there alone, you had better go
quietly with him."
"Oh, what is the use of so much talk about it? Why don't you hustle the old
thing out," remarked a bystander, the respectability of whose appearance
contrasted broadly with his manners; "she is some crack-brained
abolitionist. Making so much fuss about a little nigger! Let her go into
the nigger car--she'll be more at home there."
Mrs. Bird, seeing the uselessness of contention, accepted the proffered
escort of the gentleman before mentioned, and was followed out of the cars
by the conductor and his blackguard assistants, all of them highly elated
by the victory they had won over a defenceless old woman and a feeble
Mrs. Bird shrunk back, as they opened the door of the car that had been set
apart for coloured persons, and such objectionable whites as were not
admitted to the first-class cars. "Oh, what a wretched place!" she
exclaimed, as she surveyed the rough pine timbers and dirty floor; "I would
not force a dog to ride in such a filthy place."
"Oh, don't stay here, ma'am; never mind me--I shall get on by myself well
enough, I dare say," said Charlie; "it is too nasty a place for you to stay
"No, my child," she replied; "I'll remain with you. I could not think of
permitting you to be alone in your present state of health. I declare," she
continued, "it's enough to make any one an abolitionist, or anything else
of the kind, to see how inoffensive coloured people are treated!"
That evening they went on board the steamer that was to convey them to
Warmouth, where they arrived very early the following morning.
Charlie was charmed with the appearance of the pretty little town, as they
rode through it in Mrs. Bird's carriage, which awaited them at the landing.
At the door of her residence they were met by two cherry-faced maids, who
seemed highly delighted at the arrival of their mistress.
"Now, Charlie," said Mrs. Bird, as she sat down in her large arm-chair, and
looked round her snug little parlour with an air of great
satisfaction--"now we are at home, and you must try and make yourself as
happy as possible. Betsey," said she, turning to one of the women, "here is
a nice little fellow, whom I have brought with me to remain during the
summer, of whom I want you to take the best care; for," continued she,
looking at him compassionately, "the poor child has had the misfortune to
break his arm recently, and he has not been strong since. The physician
thought the country would be the best place for him, and so I've brought
him here to stay with us. Tell Reuben to carry his trunk into the little
maple chamber, and by-and-by, after I have rested, I will take a walk over
the place with him."
"Here are two letters for you," said Betsey, taking them from the
mantelpiece, and handing them to her mistress.
Mrs. Bird opened one, of which she read a part, and then laid it down, as
being apparently of no importance. The other, however, seemed to have a
great effect upon her, as she exclaimed, hurriedly, "Tell Reuben not to
unharness the horses--I must go to Francisville immediately--dear Mrs.
Hinton is very ill, and not expected to recover. You must take good care of
Charlie until I return. If I do not come back to-night, you will know that
she is worse, and that I am compelled to remain there;" and, on the
carriage being brought to the door, she departed in haste to visit her sick
The New Home.
When Mrs. Garie embarked, she entertained the idea so prevalent among
fresh-water sailors, that she was to be an exception to the rule of Father
Neptune, in accordance with which all who intrude for the first time upon
his domain are compelled to pay tribute to his greatness, and humbly bow in
acknowledgment of his power.
Mrs. Garie had determined not to be sea-sick upon any account whatever,
being fully persuaded she could brave the ocean with impunity, and was,
accordingly, very brisk and blithe-looking, as she walked up and down upon
the deck of the vessel. In the course of a few hours they sailed out of the
harbour, and were soon in the open sea. She began to find out how mistaken
she had been, as unmistakable symptoms convinced her of the vanity of all
human calculations. "Why, you are not going to be ill, Em, after all your
valiant declarations!" exclaimed Mr. Garie, supporting her unsteady steps,
as they paced to and fro.
"Oh, no, no!" said she, in a firm tone; "I don't intend to give up to any
such nonsense. I believe that people can keep up if they try. I do feel a
little fatigued and nervous; it's caused, no doubt, by the long drive of
this morning--although I think it singular that a drive should affect me in
this manner." Thus speaking, she sat down by the bulwarks of the vessel,
and a despairing look gradually crept over her face. At last she suddenly
rose, to look at the water, as we may imagine. The effect of her scrutiny,
however, was, that she asked feebly to be assisted to her state-room, where
she remained until their arrival in the harbour of New York. The children
suffered only for a short time, and as their father escaped entirely, he