Condensed Novels by Bret Harte

CONDENSED NOVELS by BRET HARTE Contents: HANDSOME IS AS HANDSOME DOES LOTHOW, or THE ADVENTURES OF A YOUNG GENTLEMAN IN SEARCH OF A RELIGION MUCK-A-MUCK, A MODERN INDIAN NOVEL, AFTER JAMES FENIMORE COOPER TERENCE DENVILLE SELINA SEDILIA THE NINETY-NINE GUARDSMEN MISS MIX GUY HEAVYSTONE; OR, “ENTIRE.” MR. MIDSHIPMAN BREEZY JOHN JENKINS; OR, THE SMOKER REFORMED
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CONDENSED NOVELS

by BRET HARTE

Contents:
HANDSOME IS AS HANDSOME DOES
LOTHOW, or THE ADVENTURES OF A YOUNG GENTLEMAN IN SEARCH OF A RELIGION MUCK-A-MUCK, A MODERN INDIAN NOVEL, AFTER JAMES FENIMORE COOPER TERENCE DENVILLE
SELINA SEDILIA
THE NINETY-NINE GUARDSMEN [AFTER THE THREE MUSKETEERS, BY DUMAS] MISS MIX [AFTER CHARLOTTE BRONTE]
GUY HEAVYSTONE; OR, “ENTIRE.”
MR. MIDSHIPMAN BREEZY
JOHN JENKINS; OR, THE SMOKER REFORMED NO TITLE [AFTER WILKE COLLINS]
Contains:
MARY JONES’S NARRATIVE
THE SLIM YOUNG MAN’S STORY
NO. 27 LIMEHOUSE ROAD
COUNT MOSCOW’S NARRATIVE
DR. DIGGS’S STATEMENT

MARY MCGILLUP, A SOUTHERN NOVEL, AFTER BELLE BOYD

HANDSOME IS AS HANDSOME DOES.

BY CH–S R–DE.

CHAPTER I.

The Dodds were dead. For twenty year they had slept under the green graves of Kittery churchyard. The townfolk still spoke of them kindly. The keeper of the alehouse, where David had smoked his pipe, regretted him regularly, and Mistress Kitty, Mrs. Dodd’s maid, whose trim figure always looked well in her mistress’s gowns, was inconsolable. The Hardins were in America. Raby was aristocratically gouty; Mrs. Raby, religious. Briefly, then, we have disposed of–

1. Mr. and Mrs. Dodd (dead).

2. Mr. and Mrs. Hardin (translated).

3. Raby, baron et femme. (Yet I don’t know about the former; he came of a long-lived family, and the gout is an uncertain disease.)

We have active at the present writing (place aux dames)–

1. Lady Caroline Coventry, niece of Sir Frederick.

2. Faraday Huxley Little, son of Henry and Grace Little, deceased.

Sequitur to the above, A HERO AND HEROINE.

CHAPTER II.

On the death of his parents, Faraday Little was taken to Raby Hall. In accepting his guardianship, Mr. Raby struggled stoutly against two prejudices: Faraday was plain-looking and sceptical.

“Handsome is as handsome does, sweetheart,” pleaded Jael, interceding for the orphan with arms that were still beautiful. “Dear knows, it is not his fault if he does not look like–his father,” she added with a great gulp. Jael was a woman, and vindicated her womanhood by never entirely forgiving a former rival.

“It’s not that alone, madam,” screamed Raby, “but, d–m it, the little rascal’s a scientist,–an atheist, a radical, a scoffer! Disbelieves in the Bible, ma’am; is full of this Darwinian stuff about natural selection and descent. Descent, forsooth! In my day, madam, gentlemen were content to trace their ancestors back to gentlemen, and not to–monkeys!”

“Dear heart, the boy is clever,” urged Jael.

“Clever!” roared Raby; “what does a gentleman want with cleverness?”

CHAPTER III.

Young Little WAS clever. At seven he had constructed a telescope; at nine, a flying-machine. At ten he saved a valuable life.

Norwood Park was the adjacent estate,–a lordly domain dotted with red deer and black trunks, but scrupulously kept with gravelled roads as hard and blue as steel. There Little was strolling one summer morning, meditating on a new top with concealed springs. At a little distance before him he saw the flutter of lace and ribbons. A young lady, a very young lady,–say of seven summers,– tricked out in the crying abominations of the present fashion, stood beside a low bush. Her nursery-maid was not present, possibly owing to the fact that John the footman was also absent.

Suddenly Little came towards her. “Excuse me, but do you know what those berries are?” He was pointing to the low bush filled with dark clusters of shining–suspiciously shining–fruit.

“Certainly; they are blueberries.”

“Pardon me; you are mistaken. They belong to quite another family.”

Miss Impudence drew herself up to her full height (exactly three feet nine and a half inches), and, curling an eight of an inch of scarlet lip, said, scornfully. “YOUR family, perhaps.”

Faraday Little smiled in the superiority of boyhood over girlhood.

“I allude to the classification. That plant is the belladonna, or deadly nightshade. Its alkaloid is a narcotic poison.”

Sauciness turned pale. “I–have–just–eaten–some!” And began to whimper. “O dear, what shall I do?” Then did it, i. e. wrung her small fingers and cried.

“Pardon me one moment.” Little passed his arm around her neck, and with his thumb opened widely the patrician-veined lids of her sweet blue eyes. “Thank Heaven, there is yet no dilation of the pupil; it is not too late!” He cast a rapid glance around. The nozzle and about three feet of garden hose lay near him.

“Open your mouth, quick!”

It was a pretty, kissable mouth. But young Little meant business. He put the nozzle down her pink throat as far as it would go.

“Now, don’t move.”

He wrapped his handkerchief around a hoopstick. Then he inserted both in the other end of the stiff hose. It fitted snugly. He shoved it in and then drew it back.

Nature abhors a vacuum. The young patrician was as amenable to this law as the child of the lowest peasant.

She succumbed. It was all over in a minute. Then she burst into a small fury.

“You nasty, bad–UGLY boy.”

Young Little winced, but smiled.

“Stimulants,” he whispered to the frightened nursery-maid who approached; “good evening.” He was gone.

CHAPTER IV.

The breach between young Little and Mr. Raby was slowly widening. Little found objectionable features in the Hall. “This black oak ceiling and wainscoating is not as healthful as plaster; besides, it absorbs the light. The bedroom ceiling is too low; the Elizabethan architects knew nothing of ventilation. The color of that oak panelling which you admire is due to an excess of carbon and the exuvia from the pores of your skin–“

“Leave the house,” bellowed Raby, “before the roof falls on your sacrilegious head!”

As Little left the house, Lady Caroline and a handsome boy of about Little’s age entered. Lady Caroline recoiled, and then–blushed. Little glared; he instinctively felt the presence of a rival.

CHAPTER V.

Little worked hard. He studied night and day. In five years he became a lecturer, then a professor.

He soared as high as the clouds, he dipped as low as the cellars of the London poor. He analyzed the London fog, and found it two parts smoke, one disease, one unmentionable abominations. He published a pamphlet, which was violently attacked. Then he knew he had done something.

But he had not forgotten Caroline. He was walking one day in the Zoological Gardens and he came upon a pretty picture,–flesh and blood too.

Lady Caroline feeding buns to the bears! An exquisite thrill passed through his veins. She turned her sweet face and their eyes met. They recollected their first meeting seven years before, but it was his turn to be shy and timid. Wonderful power of age and sex! She met him with perfect self-possession.

“Well meant, but indigestible I fear” (he alluded to the buns).

“A clever person like yourself can easily correct that” (she, the slyboots, was thinking of something else).

In a few moments they were chatting gayly. Little eagerly descanted upon the different animals; she listened with delicious interest. An hour glided delightfully away.

After this sunshine, clouds.

To them suddenly entered Mr. Raby and a handsome young man. The gentlemen bowed stiffly and looked vicious,–as they felt. The lady of this quartette smiled amiably, as she did not feel.

“Looking at your ancestors, I suppose,” said Mr. Raby, pointing to the monkeys; “we will not disturb you. Come.” And he led Caroline away.

Little was heart-sick. He dared not follow them. But an hour later he saw something which filled his heart with bliss unspeakable.

Lady Caroline, with a divine smile on her face, feeding the monkeys!

CHAPTER VI.

Encouraged by love, Little worked hard upon his new flying-machine. His labors were lightened by talking of the beloved one with her French maid Therese, whom he had discreetly bribed. Mademoiselle Therese was venal, like all her class, but in this instance I fear she was not bribed by British gold. Strange as it may seem to the British mind, it was British genius, British eloquence, British thought, that brought her to the feet of this young savan.

“I believe,” said Lady Caroline, one day, interrupting her maid in a glowing eulogium upon the skill of “M. Leetell,”–“I believe you are in love with this Professor.” A quick flush crossed the olive cheek of Therese, which Lady Caroline afterward remembered.

The eventful day of trial came. The public were gathered, impatient and scornful as the pigheaded public are apt to be. In the open area a long cylindrical balloon, in shape like a Bologna sausage, swayed above the machine, from which, like some enormous bird caught in a net, it tried to free itself. A heavy rope held it fast to the ground.

Little was waiting for the ballast, when his eye caught Lady Caroline’s among the spectators. The glance was appealing. In a moment he was at her side.

“I should like so much to get into the machine,” said the arch- hypocrite, demurely.

“Are you engaged to marry young Raby,” said Little, bluntly.

“As you please,” she said with a courtesy; “do I take this as a refusal?”

Little was a gentleman. He lifted her and her lapdog into the car.

“How nice! it won’t go off?”

“No, the rope is strong, and the ballast is not yet in.”

A report like a pistol, a cry from the spectators, a thousand hands stretched to grasp the parted rope, and the balloon darted upward.

Only one hand of that thousand caught the rope,–Little’s! But in the same instant the horror-stricken spectators saw him whirled from his feet and borne upward, still clinging to the rope, into space.

CHAPTER VII.*

* The right of dramatization of this and succeeding chapters is reserved by the writer.

Lady Caroline fainted. The cold watery nose of her dog on her cheek brought her to herself. She dared not look over the edge of the car; she dared not look up to the bellying monster above her, bearing her to death. She threw herself on the bottom of the car, and embraced the only living thing spared her,–the poodle. Then she cried. Then a clear voice came apparently out of the circumambient air:–

“May I trouble you to look at the barometer?”

She put her head over the car. Little was hanging at the end of a long rope. She put her head back again.

In another moment he saw her perplexed, blushing face over the edge,–blissful sight.

“O, please don’t think of coming up! Stay there, do!”

Little stayed. Of course she could make nothing out of the barometer, and said so. Little smiled.

“Will you kindly send it down to me?”

But she had no string or cord. Finally she said, “Wait a moment.”

Little waited. This time her face did not appear. The barometer came slowly down at the end of–a stay-lace.

The barometer showed a frightful elevation. Little looked up at the valve and said nothing. Presently he heard a sigh. Then a sob. Then, rather sharply,–

“Why don’t you do something?”

CHAPTER VIII.

Little came up the rope hand over hand. Lady Caroline crouched in the farther side of the car. Fido, the poodle, whined. “Poor thing,” said Lady Caroline, “it’s hungry.”

“Do you wish to save the dog?” said Little.

“Yes.”

“Give me your parasol.”

She handed Little a good-sized affair of lace and silk and whalebone. (None of your “sunshades.”) Little examined its ribs carefully.

“Give me the dog.”

Lady Caroline hurriedly slipped a note under the dog’s collar, and passed over her pet.

Little tied the dog to the handle of the parasol and launched them both into space. The next moment they were slowly, but tranquilly, sailing to the earth.

“A parasol and a parachute are distinct, but not different. Be not alarmed, he will get his dinner at some farm-house.”

“Where are we now?”

“That opaque spot you see is London fog. Those twin clouds are North and South America. Jerusalem and Madagascar are those specks to the right.”

Lady Caroline moved nearer; she was becoming interested. Then she recalled herself and said freezingly, “How are we going to descend?”

“By opening the valve.”

“Why don’t you open it then?”

“BECAUSE THE VALVE-STRING IS BROKEN!”

CHAPTER IX.

Lady Caroline fainted. When she revived it was dark. They were apparently cleaving their way through a solid block of black marble. She moaned and shuddered.

“I wish we had a light.”

“I have no lucifers,” said Little. “I observe, however, that you wear a necklace of amber. Amber under certain conditions becomes highly electrical. Permit me.”

He took the amber necklace and rubbed it briskly. Then he asked her to present her knuckle to the gem. A bright spark was the result. This was repeated for some hours. The light was not brilliant, but it was enough for the purposes of propriety, and satisfied the delicately minded girl.

Suddenly there was a tearing, hissing noise and a smell of gas. Little looked up and turned pale. The balloon, at what I shall call the pointed end of the Bologna sausage, was evidently bursting from increased pressure. The gas was escaping, and already they were beginning to descend. Little was resigned but firm.

“If the silk gives way, then we are lost. Unfortunately I have no rope nor material for binding it.”

The woman’s instinct had arrived at the same conclusion sooner than the man’s reason. But she was hesitating over a detail.

“Will you go down the rope for a moment?” she said, with a sweet smile.

Little went down. Presently she called to him. She held something in her hand,–a wonderful invention of the seventeenth century, improved and perfected in this: a pyramid of sixteen circular hoops of light yet strong steel, attached to each other by cloth bands.

With a cry of joy Little seized them, climbed to the balloon, and fitted the elastic hoops over its conical end. Then he returned to the car.

“We are saved.”

Lady Caroline, blushing, gathered her slim but antique drapery against the other end of the car.

CHAPTER X.

They were slowly descending. Presently Lady Caroline distinguished the outlines of Raby Hall. “I think I will get out here,” she said.

Little anchored the balloon and prepared to follow her.

“Not so, my friend,” she said, with an arch smile. “We must not be seen together. People might talk. Farewell.”

Little sprang again into the balloon and sped away to America. He came down in California, oddly enough in front of Hardin’s door, at Dutch Flat. Hardin was just examining a specimen of ore.

“You are a scientist; can you tell me if that is worth anything?” he said, handing it to Little.

Little held it to the light. “It contains ninety per cent of silver.”

Hardin embraced him. “Can I do anything for you, and why are you here?”

Little told his story. Hardin asked to see the rope. Then he examined it carefully.

“Ah, this was cut, not broken!”

“With a knife?” asked Little.

“No. Observe both sides are equally indented. It was done with a SCISSORS!”

“Just Heaven!” gasped Little. “Therese!”

CHAPTER XI.

Little returned to London. Passing through London one day he met a dog-fancier. “Buy a nice poodle, sir?”

Something in the animal attracted his attention. “Fido!” he gasped.

The dog yelped.

Little bought him. On taking off his collar a piece of paper rustled to the floor. He knew the handwriting and kissed it. It ran:–

“TO THE HON. AUGUSTUS RABY–I cannot marry you. If I marry any one” (sly puss) “it will be the man who has twice saved my life,– Professor Little.

“CAROLINE COVENTRY.”

And she did.

LOTHAW;

OR,

THE ADVENTURES OF A YOUNG GENTLEMAN IN SEARCH OF A RELIGION.

BY MR. BENJAMINS.

CHAPTER I.

“I remember him a little boy,” said the Duchess. “His mother was a dear friend of mine; you know she was one of my bridesmaids.”

“And you have never seen him since, mamma?” asked the oldest married daughter, who did not look a day older than her mother.

“Never; he was an orphan shortly after. I have often reproached myself, but it is so difficult to see boys.”

This simple yet first-class conversation existed in the morning- room of Plusham, where the mistress of the palatial mansion sat involved in the sacred privacy of a circle of her married daughters. One dexterously applied golden knitting-needles to the fabrication of a purse of floss silk of the rarest texture, which none who knew the almost fabulous wealth of the Duke would believe was ever destined to hold in its silken meshes a less sum than L1,000,000; another adorned a slipper exclusively with seed pearls; a third emblazoned a page with rare pigments and the finest quality of gold leaf. Beautiful forms leaned over frames glowing with embroidery, and beautiful frames leaned over forms inlaid with mother-of-pearl. Others, more remote, occasionally burst into melody as they tried the passages of a new and exclusive air given to them in MS. by some titled and devoted friend, for the private use of the aristocracy alone, and absolutely prohibited for publication.

The Duchess, herself the superlative of beauty, wealth, and position, was married to the highest noble in the Three Kingdoms. Those who talked about such matters said that their progeny were exactly like their parents,–a peculiarity of the aristocratic and wealthy. They all looked like brothers and sisters, except their parents, who, such was their purity of blood, the perfection of their manners, and the opulence of their condition, might have been taken for their own children’s elder son and daughter. The daughters, with one exception, were all married to the highest nobles in the land. That exception was the Lady Coriander, who, there being no vacancy above a marquis and a rental of L1,000,000, waited. Gathered around the refined and sacred circle of their breakfast-table, with their glittering coronets, which, in filial respect to their father’s Tory instincts and their mother’s Ritualistic tastes, they always wore on their regal brows, the effect was dazzling as it was refined. It was this peculiarity and their strong family resemblance which led their brother-in-law, the good-humored St. Addlegourd, to say that, “‘Pon my soul, you know, the whole precious mob looked like a ghastly pack of court cards, you know.” St. Addlegourd was a radical. Having a rent-roll of L15,000,000, and belonging to one of the oldest families in Britain, he could afford to be.

“Mamma, I’ve just dropped a pearl,” said the Lady Coriander, bending over the Persian hearthrug.

“From your lips, sweet friend,” said Lothaw, who came of age and entered the room at the same moment.

“No, from my work. It was a very valuable pearl, mamma; papa gave Isaacs and Sons L50,000 for the two.”

“Ah, indeed,” said the Duchess, languidly rising; “let us go to luncheon.”

“But your Grace,” interposed Lothaw, who was still quite young, and had dropped on all-fours on the carpet in search of the missing gem, “consider the value–“

“Dear friend,” interposed the Duchess, with infinite tact, gently lifting him by the tails of his dress-coat, “I am waiting for your arm.”

CHAPTER II.

Lothaw was immensely rich. The possessor of seventeen castles, fifteen villas, nine shooting-boxes, and seven town houses, he had other estates of which he had not even heard.

Everybody at Plusham played croquet, and none badly. Next to their purity of blood and great wealth, the family were famous for this accomplishment. Yet Lothaw soon tired of the game, and after seriously damaging his aristocratically large foot in an attempt to “tight croquet” the Lady Aniseed’s ball, he limped away to join the Duchess.

“I’m going to the hennery,” she said.

“Let me go with you, I dearly love fowls–broiled,” he added, thoughtfully.

“The Duke gave Lady Montairy some large Cochins the other day,” continued the Duchess, changing the subject with delicate tact.

“Lady Montairy,
Quite contrairy,
How do your cochins grow?”

sang Lothaw gayly.

The Duchess looked shocked. After a prolonged silence, Lothaw abruptly and gravely said:–

“If you please, ma’am, when I come into my property I should like to build some improved dwellings for the poor, and marry Lady Coriander.”

“You amaze me, dear friend, and yet both your aspirations are noble and eminently proper,” said the Duchess; “Coriander is but a child,–and yet,” she added, looking graciously upon her companion, “for the matter of that, so are you.”

CHAPTER III.

Mr. Putney Giles’s was Lothaw’s first grand dinner-party. Yet, by carefully watching the others, he managed to acquit himself creditably, and avoided drinking out of the finger-bowl by first secretly testing its contents with a spoon. The conversation was peculiar and singularly interesting.

“Then you think that monogamy is simply a question of the thermometer?” said Mrs. Putney Giles to her companion.

“I certainly think that polygamy should be limited by isothermal lines,” replied Lothaw.

“I should say it was a matter of latitude,” observed a loud talkative man opposite. He was an Oxford Professor with a taste for satire, and had made himself very obnoxious to the company, during dinner, by speaking disparagingly of a former well-known Chancellor of the Exchequer,–a great statesman and brilliant novelist,–whom he feared and hated.

Suddenly there was a sensation in the room; among the females it absolutely amounted to a nervous thrill. His Eminence, the Cardinal, was announced. He entered with great suavity of manner, and, after shaking hands with everybody, asking after their relatives, and chucking the more delicate females under the chin with a high-bred grace peculiar to his profession, he sat down, saying, “And how do we all find ourselves this evening, my dears?” in several different languages, which he spoke fluently.

Lothaw’s heart was touched. His deeply religious convictions were impressed. He instantly went up to this gifted being, confessed, and received absolution. “To-morrow,” he said to himself, “I will partake of the communion, and endow the Church with my vast estates. For the present I’ll let the improved cottages go.”

CHAPTER IV.

As Lothaw turned to leave the Cardinal, he was struck by a beautiful face. It was that of a matron, slim but shapely as an Ionic column. Her face was Grecian, with Corinthian temples; Hellenic eyes that looked from jutting eyebrows, like dormer- windows in an Attic forehead, completed her perfect Athenian outline. She wore a black frock-coat tightly buttoned over her bloomer trousers, and a standing collar.

“Your Lordship is struck by that face,” said a social parasite.

“I am; who is she?”

“Her name is Mary Ann. She is married to an American, and has lately invented a new religion”

“Ah!” said Lothaw eagerly, with difficulty restraining himself from rushing toward her.

“Yes; shall I introduce you?”

Lothaw thought of Lady Coriander’s High Church proclivities, of the Cardinal, and hesitated: “No, I thank you, not now.”

CHAPTER V.

Lothaw was maturing. He had attended two woman’s rights conventions, three Fenian meetings, had dined at White’s, and had danced vis-a-vis to a prince of the blood, and eaten off of gold plates at Crecy House.

His stables were near Oxford, and occupied more ground than the University. He was driving over there one day, when he perceived some rustics and menials endeavoring to stop a pair of runaway horses attached to a carriage in which a lady and gentleman were seated. Calmly awaiting the termination of the accident, with high-bred courtesy Lothaw forbore to interfere until the carriage was overturned, the occupants thrown out, and the runaways secured by the servants, when he advanced and offered the lady the exclusive use of his Oxford stables.

Turning upon him a face whose perfect Hellenic details he remembered, she slowly dragged a gentleman from under the wheels into the light and presented him with ladylike dignity as her husband, Major-General Camperdown, an American.

“Ah,” said Lothaw, carelessly, “I believe I have some land there. If I mistake not, my agent, Mr. Putney Giles, lately purchased the State of–Illinois–I think you call it.”

“Exactly. As a former resident of the city of Chicago, let me introduce myself as your tenant.”

Lothaw bowed graciously to the gentleman, who, except that he seemed better dressed than most Englishmen, showed no other signs of inferiority and plebeian extraction.

“We have met before,” said Lothaw to the lady as she leaned on his arm, while they visited his stables, the University, and other places of interest in Oxford. “Pray tell me, what is this new religion of yours?”

“It is Woman Suffrage, Free Love, Mutual Affinity, and Communism. Embrace it and me.”

Lothaw did not know exactly what to do. She however soothed and sustained his agitated frame and sealed with an embrace his speechless form. The General approached and coughed slightly with gentlemanly tact.

“My husband will be too happy to talk with you further on this subject,” she said with quiet dignity, as she regained the General’s side. Come with us to Oneida. Brook Farm is a thing of the past.”

CHAPTER VI.

As Lothaw drove toward his country-seat, “The Mural Enclosure,” he observed a crowd, apparently of the working class, gathered around a singular-looking man in the picturesque garb of an Ethiopian serenader. “What does he say?” inquired Lothaw of his driver.

The man touched his hat respectfully and said, “My Mary Ann.”

“‘My Mary Ann!'” Lothaw’s heart beat rapidly. Who was this mysterious foreigner? He had heard from Lady Coriander of a certain Popish plot; but could he connect Mr. Camperdown with it?

The spectacle of two hundred men at arms who advanced to meet him at the gates of The Mural Enclosure drove all else from the still youthful and impressible mind of Lothaw. Immediately behind them, on the steps of the baronial halls, were ranged his retainers, led by the chief cook and bottle-washer, and head crumb-remover. On either side were two companies of laundry-maids, preceded by the chief crimper and fluter, supporting a long Ancestral Line, on which depended the family linen, and under which the youthful lord of the manor passed into the halls of his fathers. Twenty-four scullions carried the massive gold and silver plate of the family on their shoulders, and deposited it at the feet of their master. The spoons were then solemnly counted by the steward, and the perfect ceremony ended.

Lothaw sighed. He sought out the gorgeously gilded “Taj,” or sacred mausoleum erected to his grandfather in the second story front room, and wept over the man he did not know. He wandered alone in his magnificent park, and then, throwing himself on a grassy bank, pondered on the Great First Cause, and the necessity of religion. “I will send Mary Ann a handsome present,” said Lothaw, thoughtfully.

CHAPTER VII.

“Each of these pearls, my Lord, is worth fifty thousand guineas,” said Mr. Amethyst, the fashionable jeweler, as he lightly lifted a large shovelful from a convenient bin behind his counter.

“Indeed,” said Lothaw, carelessly, “I should prefer to see some expensive ones.

“Some number sixes, I suppose,” said Mr. Amethyst, taking a couple from the apex of a small pyramid that lay piled on the shelf. “These are about the size of the Duchess of Billingsgate’s, but they are in finer condition. The fact is, her Grace permits her two children, the Marquis of Smithfield and the Duke of St. Giles,– two sweet pretty boys, my Lord,–to use them as marbles in their games. Pearls require some attention, and I go down there regularly twice a week to clean them. Perhaps your Lordship would like some ropes of pearls?”

“About half a cable’s length,” said Lothaw, shortly, “and send them to my lodgings.”

Mr. Amethyst became thoughtful. “I am afraid I have not the exact number–that is–excuse me one moment. I will run over to the Tower and borrow a few from the crown jewels.” And before Lothaw could prevent him, he seized his hat and left Lothaw alone.

His position certainly was embarrassing. He could not move without stepping on costly gems which had rolled from the counter; the rarest diamonds lay scattered on the shelves; untold fortunes in priceless emeralds lay within his grasp. Although such was the aristocratic purity of his blood and the strength of his religious convictions that he probably would not have pocketed a single diamond, still he could not help thinking that he might he accused of taking some. “You can search me, if you like,” he said when Mr. Amethyst returned; “but I assure you, upon the honor of a gentleman, that I have taken nothing.”

“Enough, my Lord,” said Mr. Amethyst, with a low bow; “we never search the aristocracy.”

CHAPTER VIII.

As Lothaw left Mr. Amethyst’s, he ran against General Camperdown. “How is Mary Ann?” he asked hurriedly.

“I regret to state that she is dying,” said the general, with a grave voice, as he removed his cigar from his lips, and lifted his hat to Lothaw.

“Dying!” said Lothaw, incredulously.

“Alas, too true!” replied the General. “The engagements of a long lecturing season, exposure in travelling by railway during the winter, and the imperfect nourishment afforded by the refreshments along the road, have told on her delicate frame. But she wants to see you before she dies. Here is the key of my lodging. I will finish my cigar out here.”

Lothaw hardly recognized those wasted Hellenic outlines as he entered the dimly lighted room of the dying woman. She was already a classic ruin,–as wrecked and yet as perfect as the Parthenon. He grasped her hand silently.

“Open-air speaking twice a week, and saleratus bread in the rural districts, have brought me to this,” she said feebly; “but it is well. The cause progresses. The tyrant man succumbs.”

Lothaw could only press her hand.

“Promise me one thing. Don’t–whatever you do–become a Catholic.”

“Why?”

“The Church does not recognize divorce. And now embrace me. I would prefer at this supreme moment to introduce myself to the next world through the medium of the best society in this. Good by. When I am dead, be good enough to inform my husband of the fact.”

CHAPTER IX.

Lothaw spent the next six months on an Aryan island, in an Aryan climate, and with an Aryan race.

“This is an Aryan landscape,” said his host, “and that is a Mary Ann statue.” It was, in fact, a full-length figure in marble of Mrs. General Camperdown!

“If you please, I should like to become a Pagan,” said Lothaw, one day, after listening to an impassioned discourse on Greek art from the lips of his host.

But that night, on consulting a well-known spiritual medium, Lothaw received a message from the late Mrs. General Camperdown, advising him to return to England. Two days later he presented himself at Plusham.

“The young ladies are in the garden,” said the Duchess. “Don’t you want to go and pick a rose?” she added with a gracious smile, and the nearest approach to a wink that was consistent with her patrician bearing and aquiline nose.

Lothaw went and presently returned with the blushing Coriander upon his arm.

“Bless you, my children,” said the Duchess. Then, turning to Lothaw, she said: “You have simply fulfilled and accepted your inevitable destiny. It was morally impossible for you to marry out of this family. For the present, the Church of England is safe.”

MUCK-A-MUCK.

A MODERN INDIAN NOVEL.

AFTER COOPER.

CHAPTER I.

It was toward the close of a bright October day. The last rays of the setting sun were reflected from one of those sylvan lakes peculiar to the Sierras of California. On the right the curling smoke of an Indian village rose between the columns of the lofty pines, while to the left the log cottage of Judge Tompkins, embowered in buckeyes, completed the enchanting picture.

Although the exterior of the cottage was humble and unpretentious, and in keeping with the wildness of the landscape, its interior gave evidence of the cultivation and refinement of its inmates. An aquarium, containing goldfishes, stood on a marble centre-table at one end of the apartment, while a magnificent grand piano occupied the other. The floor was covered with a yielding tapestry carpet, and the walls were adorned with paintings from the pencils of Van Dyke, Rubens, Tintoretto, Michael Angelo, and the productions of the more modern Turner, Kensett, Church, and Bierstadt. Although Judge Tompkins had chosen the frontiers of civilization as his home, it was impossible for him to entirely forego the habits and tastes of his former life. He was seated in a luxurious arm-chair, writing at a mahogany ecritoire, while his daughter, a lovely young girl of seventeen summers, plied her crochet-needle on an ottoman beside him. A bright fire of pine logs flickered and flamed on the ample hearth.

Genevra Octavia Tompkins was Judge Tompkins’s only child. Her mother had long since died on the Plains. Reared in affluence, no pains had been spared with the daughter’s education. She was a graduate of one of the principal seminaries, and spoke French with a perfect Benicia accent. Peerlessly beautiful, she was dressed in a white moire antique robe trimmed with tulle. That simple rosebud with which most heroines exclusively decorate their hair, was all she wore in her raven locks.

The Judge was the first to break the silence.

“Genevra, the logs which compose yonder fire seem to have been incautiously chosen. The sibilation produced by the sap, which exudes copiously therefrom, is not conducive to composition.”

“True, father, but I thought it would be preferable to the constant crepitation which is apt to attend the combustion of more seasoned ligneous fragments.”

The Judge looked admiringly at the intellectual features of the graceful girl, and half forgot the slight annoyances of the green wood in the musical accents of his daughter. He was smoothing her hair tenderly, when the shadow of a tall figure, which suddenly darkened the doorway, caused him to look up.

CHAPTER II.

It needed but a glance at the new-comer to detect at once the form and features of the haughty aborigine,–the untaught and untrammelled son of the forest. Over one shoulder a blanket, negligently but gracefully thrown, disclosed a bare and powerful breast, decorated with a quantity of three-cent postage-stamps which he had despoiled from an Overland Mail stage a few weeks previous. A cast-off beaver of Judge Tompkins’s, adorned by a simple feather, covered his erect head, from beneath which his straight locks descended. His right hand hung lightly by his side, while his left was engaged in holding on a pair of pantaloons, which the lawless grace and freedom of his lower limbs evidently could not brook.

“Why,” said the Indian, in a low sweet tone,–“why does the Pale Face still follow the track of the Red Man? Why does he pursue him, even as O-kee-chow, the wild-cat, chases Ka-ka, the skunk? Why are the feet of Sorrel-top, the white chief, among the acorns of Muck-a-muck, the mountain forest? Why,” he repeated, quietly but firmly abstracting a silver spoon from the table,–“why do you seek to drive him from the wigwams of his fathers? His brothers are already gone to the happy hunting-grounds. Will the Pale Face seek him there?” And, averting his face from the Judge, he hastily slipped a silver cake-basket beneath his blanket, to conceal his emotion.

“Muck-a-Muck has spoken,” said Genevra, softly. “Let him now listen. Are the acorns of the mountain sweeter than the esculent and nutritious bean of the Pale Face miner? Does my brother prize the edible qualities of the snail above that of the crisp and oleaginous bacon? Delicious are the grasshoppers that sport on the hillside,–are they better than the dried apples of the Pale Faces? Pleasant is the gurgle of the torrent, Kish-Kish, but is it better than the cluck-cluck of old Bourbon from the old stone bottle?”

“Ugh!” said the Indian,–“ugh! good. The White Rabbit is wise. Her words fall as the snow on Tootoonolo, and the rocky heart of Muck-a-Muck is hidden. What says my brother the Gray Gopher of Dutch Flat?”

“She has spoken, Muck-a-Muck,” said the Judge, gazing fondly on his daughter. “It is well. Our treaty is concluded. No, thank you,– you need NOT dance the Dance of Snow Shoes, or the Moccasin Dance, the Dance of Green Corn, or the Treaty Dance. I would be alone. A strange sadness overpowers me.”

“I go,” said the Indian. “Tell your great chief in Washington, the Sachem Andy, that the Red Man is retiring before the footsteps of the adventurous Pioneer. Inform him, if you please, that westward the star of empire takes its way, that the chiefs of the Pi-Ute nation are for Reconstruction to a man, and that Klamath will poll a heavy Republican vote in the fall.”

And folding his blanket more tightly around him, Muck-a-Muck withdrew.

CHAPTER III.

Genevra Tompkins stood at the door of the log-cabin, looking after the retreating Overland Mail stage which conveyed her father to Virginia City. “He may never return again,” sighed the young girl as she glanced at the frightfully rolling vehicle and wildly careering horses,–“at least, with unbroken bones. Should he meet with an accident! I mind me now a fearful legend, familiar to my childhood. Can it be that the drivers on this line are privately instructed to despatch all passengers maimed by accident, to prevent tedious litigation? No, no. But why this weight upon my heart?”

She seated herself at the piano and lightly passed her hand over the keys. Then, in a clear mezzo-soprano voice, she sang the first verse of one of the most popular Irish ballads:–

“O Arrah, ma dheelish, the distant dudheen Lies soft in the moonlight, ma bouchal vourneen: The springing gossoons on the heather are still, And the caubeens and colleens are heard on the hills.”

But as the ravishing notes of her sweet voice died upon the air, her hands sank listlessly to her side. Music could not chase away the mysterious shadow from her heart. Again she rose. Putting on a white crape bonnet, and carefully drawing a pair of lemon-colored gloves over her taper fingers, she seized her parasol and plunged into the depths of the pine forest.

CHAPTER IV.

Genevra had not proceeded many miles before a weariness seized upon her fragile limbs, and she would fain seat herself upon the trunk of a prostrate pine, which she previously dusted with her handkerchief. The sun was just sinking below the horizon, and the scene was one of gorgeous and sylvan beauty. “How beautiful is Nature!” murmured the innocent girl, as, reclining gracefully against the root of the tree, she gathered up her skirts and tied a handkerchief around her throat. But a low growl interrupted her meditation. Starting to her feet, her eyes met a sight which froze her blood with terror.

The only outlet to the forest was the narrow path, barely wide enough for a single person, hemmed in by trees and rocks, which she had just traversed. Down this path, in Indian file, came a monstrous grizzly, closely followed by a California lion, a wild- cat, and a buffalo, the rear being brought up by a wild Spanish bull. The mouths of the three first animals were distended with frightful significance; the horns of the last were lowered as ominously. As Genevra was preparing to faint, she heard a low voice behind her.

“Eternally dog-gone my skin ef this ain’t the puttiest chance yet.”

At the same moment, a long, shining barrel dropped lightly from behind her, and rested over her shoulder.

Genevra shuddered.

“Dern ye–don’t move!”

Genevra became motionless.

The crack of a rifle rang through the woods. Three frightful yells were heard, and two sullen roars. Five animals bounded into the air and five lifeless bodies lay upon the plain. The well-aimed bullet had done its work. Entering the open throat of the grizzly, it had traversed his body only to enter the throat of the California lion, and in like manner the catamount, until it passed through into the respective foreheads of the bull and the buffalo, and finally fell flattened from the rocky hillside.

Genevra turned quickly. “My preserver!” she shrieked, and fell into the arms of Natty Bumpo, the celebrated Pike Ranger of Donner Lake.

CHAPTER V.

The moon rose cheerfully above Donner Lake. On its placid bosom a dug-out canoe glided rapidly, containing Natty Bumpo and Genevra Tompkins.

Both were silent. The same thought possessed each, and perhaps there was sweet companionship even in the unbroken quiet. Genevra bit the handle of her parasol and blushed. Natty Bumpo took a fresh chew of tobacco. At length Genevra said, as if in half- spoken revery:–

“The soft shining of the moon and the peaceful ripple of the waves seem to say to us various things of an instructive and moral tendency.”

“You may bet yer pile on that, Miss,” said her companion, gravely. “It’s all the preachin’ and psalm-singin’ I’ve heern since I was a boy.”

“Noble being!” said Miss Tompkins to herself, glancing at the stately Pike as he bent over his paddle to conceal his emotion. “Reared in this wild seclusion, yet he has become penetrated with visible consciousness of a Great First Cause.” Then, collecting herself, she said aloud: “Methinks ’twere pleasant to glide ever thus down the stream of life, hand in hand with the one being whom the soul claims as its affinity. But what am I saying?”–and the delicate-minded girl hid her face in her hands.

A long silence ensued, which was at length broken by her companion.

“Ef you mean you’re on the marry,” he said, thoughtfully, “I ain’t in no wise partikler!”

“My husband,” faltered the blushing girl; and she fell into his arms.

In ten minutes more the loving couple had landed at Judge Tompkins’s.

CHAPTER VI.

A year has passed away. Natty Bumpo was returning from Gold Hill, where he had been to purchase provisions. On his way to Donner Lake, rumors of an Indian uprising met his ears. “Dern their pesky skins, ef they dare to touch my Jenny,” he muttered between his clenched teeth.

It was dark when he reached the borders of the lake. Around a glittering fire he dimly discerned dusky figures dancing. They were in war paint. Conspicuous among them was the renowned Muck-a- Muck. But why did the fingers of Natty Bumpo tighten convulsively around his rifle?

The chief held in his hand long tufts of raven hair. The heart of the pioneer sickened as he recognized the clustering curls of Genevra. In a moment his rifle was at his shoulder, and with a sharp “ping,” Muck-a-Muck leaped into the air a corpse. To knock out the brains of the remaining savages, tear the tresses from the stiffening hand of Muck-a-Muck, and dash rapidly forward to the cottage of Judge Tompkins, was the work of a moment.

He burst open the door. Why did he stand transfixed with open mouth and distended eyeballs? Was the sight too horrible to be borne? On the contrary, before him, in her peerless beauty, stood Genevra Tompkins, leaning on her father’s arm.

“Ye’r not scalped, then!” gasped her lover.

“No. I have no hesitation in saying that I am not; but why this abruptness?” responded Genevra.

Bumpo could not speak, but frantically produced the silken tresses. Genevra turned her face aside.

“Why, that’s her waterfall!” said the Judge.

Bumpo sank fainting to the floor.

The famous Pike chieftain never recovered from the deceit, and refused to marry Genevra, who died, twenty years afterwards, of a broken heart. Judge Tompkins lost his fortune in Wild Cat. The stage passes twice a week the deserted cottage at Donner Lake. Thus was the death of Muck-a-Muck avenged.

TERENCE DENVILLE.

BY CH–L–S L–V–R.

CHAPTER I.

MY HOME.

The little village of Pilwiddle is one of the smallest and obscurest hamlets on the western coast of Ireland. On a lofty crag, overlooking the hoarse Atlantic, stands “Denville’s Shot Tower”–a corruption by the peasantry of D’Enville’s Chateau, so called from my great-grandfather, Phelim St. Kemy d’Enville, who assumed the name and title of a French heiress with whom he ran away. To this fact my familiar knowledge and excellent pronunciation of the French language may be attributed, as well as many of the events which covered my after life.

The Denvilles were always passionately fond of field sports. At the age of four, I was already the boldest rider and the best shot in the country. When only eight, I won the St. Remy Cup at the Pilwiddle races,–riding my favorite bloodmare Hellfire. As I approached the stand amidst the plaudits of the assembled multitude, and cries of, “Thrue for ye, Masther Terence,” and “O, but it’s a Dinville!” there was a slight stir among the gentry, who surrounded the Lord Lieutenant, and other titled personages whom the race had attracted thither. “How young he is,–a mere child; and yet how noble-looking,” said a sweet low voice, which thrilled my soul.

I looked up and met the full liquid orbs of the Hon. Blanche Fitzroy Sackville, youngest daughter of the Lord Lieutenant. She blushed deeply. I turned pale and almost fainted. But the cold, sneering tones of a masculine voice sent the blood back again into my youthful cheek.

“Very likely the ragged scion of one of these banditti Irish gentry, who has taken naturally to ‘the road.’ He should be at school–though I warrant me his knowledge of Terence will not extend beyond his own name,” said Lord Henry Somerset, aid-de-camp to the Lord Lieutenant.

A moment and I was perfectly calm, though cold as ice. Dismounting, and stepping to the side of the speaker, I said in a low, firm voice:–

“Had your Lordship read Terence more carefully, you would have learned that banditti are sometimes proficient in other arts beside horsemanship,” and I touched his holster significantly with my hand. I had not read Terence myself, but with the skilful audacity of my race I calculated that a vague allusion, coupled with a threat, would embarrass him. It did.

“Ah–what mean you?” he said, white with rage.

“Enough, we are observed,” I replied; “Father Tom will wait on you this evening; and to-morrow morning, my lord, in the glen below Pilwiddle we will meet again.”

“Father Tom–glen!” ejaculated the Englishman, with genuine surprise. “What? do priests carry challenges and act as seconds in your infernal country?”

“Yes!” I answered, scornfully, “why should they not? Their services are more often necessary than those of a surgeon,” I added significantly, turning away.

The party slowly rode off, with the exception of the Hon. Blanche Sackville, who lingered for a moment behind. In an instant I was at her side. Bending her blushing face over the neck of her white filly, she said hurriedly:–

“Words have passed between Lord Somerset and yourself. You are about to fight. Don’t deny it–but hear me. You will meet him–I know your skill of weapons. He will be at your mercy. I entreat you to spare his life!”

I hesitated. “Never!” I cried passionately; “he has insulted a Denville!”

“Terence,” she whispered, “Terence–FOR MY SAKE?”

The blood rushed to my cheeks, and her eyes sought the ground in bashful confusion.

“You love him then?” I cried, bitterly.

“No, no,” she said, agitatedly, “no, you do me wrong. I–I–cannot explain myself. My father!–the Lady Dowager Sackville–the estate of Sackville–the borough–my uncle, Fitzroy Somerset. Ah! what am I saying? Forgive me. O Terence,” she said, as her beautiful head sank on my shoulder, “you know not what I suffer!”

I seized her hand and covered it with passionate kisses. But the high-bred English girl, recovering something of her former hauteur, said hastily, “Leave me, leave me, but promise!”

“I promise,” I replied, enthusiastically; “I WILL spare his life!”

“Thanks, Terence,–thanks!” and disengaging her hand from my lips she rode rapidly away.

The next morning, the Hon. Captain Henry Somerset and myself exchanged nineteen shots in the glen, and at each fire I shot away a button from his uniform. As my last bullet shot off the last button from his sleeve, I remarked quietly, “You seem now, my lord, to be almost as ragged as the gentry you sneered at,” and rode haughtily away.

CHAPTER II.

THE FIGHTING FIFTY-SIXTH.

When I was nineteen years old my father sold the Chateau d’Enville and purchased my commission in the “Fifty-sixth” with the proceeds. “I say, Denville,” said young McSpadden, a boy-faced ensign, who had just joined, “you’ll represent the estate in the Army, if you won’t in the House.” Poor fellow, he paid for his meaningless joke with his life, for I shot him through the heart the next morning. “You’re a good fellow, Denville,” said the poor boy faintly, as I knelt beside him: “good by!” For the first time since my grandfather’s death I wept. I could not help thinking that I would have been a better man if Blanche–but why proceed? Was she not now in Florence–the belle of the English Embassy?

But Napoleon had returned from Elba. Europe was in a blaze of excitement. The Allies were preparing to resist the Man of Destiny. We were ordered from Gibraltar home, and were soon again en route for Brussels. I did not regret that I was to be placed in active service. I was ambitious, and longed for an opportunity to distinguish myself. My garrison life in Gibraltar had been monotonous and dull. I had killed five men in duel, and had an affair with the colonel of my regiment, who handsomely apologized before the matter assumed a serious aspect. I had been twice in love. Yet these were but boyish freaks and follies. I wished to be a man.

The time soon came,–the morning of Waterloo. But why describe that momentous battle, on which the fate of the entire world was hanging? Twice were the Fifty-sixth surrounded by French cuirassiers, and twice did we mow them down by our fire. I had seven horses shot under me, and was mounting the eighth, when an orderly rode up hastily, touched his cap, and, handing me a despatch, galloped rapidly away.

I opened it hurriedly and read:–

“LET PICTON ADVANCE IMMEDIATELY ON THE RIGHT.”

I saw it all at a glance. I had been mistaken for a general officer. But what was to be done? Picton’s division was two miles away, only accessible through a heavy cross fire of artillery and musketry. But my mind was made up.

In an instant I was engaged with an entire squadron of cavalry, who endeavored to surround me. Cutting my way through them, I advanced boldly upon a battery and sabred the gunners before they could bring their pieces to bear. Looking around, I saw that I had in fact penetrated the French centre. Before I was well aware of the locality, I was hailed by a sharp voice in French,–

“Come here, sir!”

I obeyed, and advanced to the side of a little man in a cocked hat.

“Has Grouchy come?”

“Not yet, sire,” I replied,–for it was the Emperor.

“Ha!” he said suddenly, bending his piercing eyes on my uniform; “a prisoner?”

“No, sire,” I said, proudly.

“A spy?”

I placed my hand upon my sword, but a gesture from the Emperor bade me forbear.

“You are a brave man,” he said.

I took my snuff-box from my pocket, and, taking a pinch, replied by handing it, with a bow, to the Emperor.

His quick eye caught the cipher on the lid. “What! a D’Enville? Ha! this accounts for the purity of your accent. Any relation to Roderick d’Enville?”

“My father, sire.”

“He was my school-fellow at the Ecole Polytechnique. Embrace me!” And the Emperor fell upon my neck in the presence of his entire staff. Then, recovering himself, he gently placed in my hand his own magnificent snuff-box, in exchange for mine, and hanging upon my breast the cross of the Legion of Honor which he took from his own, he bade one of his Marshals conduct me back to my regiment.

I was so intoxicated with the honor of which I had been the recipient, that on reaching our lines I uttered a shout of joy and put spurs to my horse. The intelligent animal seemed to sympathize with my feelings, and fairly flew over the ground. On a rising eminence a few yards before me stood a gray-haired officer, surrounded by his staff. I don’t know what possessed me, but putting spurs to my horse, I rode at him boldly, and with one bound cleared him, horse and all. A shout of indignation arose from the assembled staff. I wheeled suddenly, with the intention of apologizing, but my mare misunderstood me, and, again dashing forward, once more vaulted over the head of the officer, this time unfortunately uncovering him by a vicious kick of her hoof. “Seize him!” roared the entire army. I was seized. As the soldiers led me away, I asked the name of the gray-haired officer. “That–why, that’s the DUKE OF WELLINGTON!”

I fainted.

* * * * * *

For six months I had brain-fever. During my illness ten grapeshot were extracted from my body which I had unconsciously received during the battle. When I opened my eyes I met the sweet glance of a Sister of Charity.

“Blanche!” I stammered feebly.

“The same,” she replied.

“You here?”

“Yes, dear; but hush! It’s a long story. You see, dear Terence, your grandfather married my great-aunt’s sister, and your father again married my grandmother’s niece, who, dying without a will, was, according to the French law–“

“But I do not comprehend,” I said.

“Of course not,” said Blanche, with her old sweet smile; “you’ve had brain-fever; so go to sleep.”

I understood, however, that Blanche loved me; and I am now, dear reader, Sir Terence Sackville, K. C. B., and Lady Blanche is Lady Sackville.

SELINA SEDILIA.

BY MISS M. E. B–DD–N AND MRS. H–N–Y W–D.

CHAPTER I.

The sun was setting over Sloperton Grange, and reddened the window of the lonely chamber in the western tower, supposed to be haunted by Sir Edward Sedilia, the founder of the Grange. In the dreamy distance arose the gilded mausoleum of Lady Felicia Sedilia, who haunted that portion of Sedilia Manor, known as “Stiff-uns Acre.” A little to the left of the Grange might have been seen a mouldering ruin, known as “Guy’s Keep,” haunted by the spirit of Sir Guy Sedilia, who was found, one morning, crushed by one of the fallen battlements. Yet, as the setting sun gilded these objects, a beautiful and almost holy calm seemed diffused about the Grange.

The Lady Selina sat by an oriel window, overlooking the park. The sun sank gently in the bosom of the German Ocean, and yet the lady did not lift her beautiful head from the finely curved arm and diminutive hand which supported it. When darkness finally shrouded the landscape she started, for the sound of horse-hoofs clattered over the stones of the avenue. She had scarcely risen before an aristocratic young man fell on his knees before her.

“My Selina!”

“Edgardo! You here?”

“Yes, dearest.”

“And–you–you–have–seen nothing?” said the lady in an agitated voice and nervous manner, turning her face aside to conceal her emotion.

“Nothing–that is nothing of any account,” said Edgardo. “I passed the ghost of your aunt in the park, noticed the spectre of your uncle in the ruined keep, and observed the familiar features of the spirit of your great-grandfather at his usual post. But nothing beyond these trifles, my Selina. Nothing more, love, absolutely nothing.”

The young man turned his dark liquid orbs fondly upon the ingenuous face of his betrothed.

“My own Edgardo!–and you still love me? You still would marry me in spite of this dark mystery which surrounds me? In spite of the fatal history of my race? In spite of the ominous predictions of my aged nurse?”

“I would, Selina”; and the young man passed his arm around her yielding waist. The two lovers gazed at each other’s faces in unspeakable bliss. Suddenly Selina started.

“Leave me, Edgardo! leave me! A mysterious something–a fatal misgiving–a dark ambiguity–an equivocal mistrust oppresses me. I would be alone!”

The young man arose, and cast a loving glance on the lady. “Then we will be married on the seventeenth.”

“The seventeenth,” repeated Selina, with a mysterious shudder.

They embraced and parted. As the clatter of hoofs in the court- yard died away, the Lady Selina sank into the chair she had just quitted.

“The seventeenth,” she repeated slowly, with the same fateful shudder. “Ah!–what if he should know that I have another husband living? Dare I reveal to him that I have two legitimate and three natural children? Dare I repeat to him the history of my youth? Dare I confess that at the age of seven I poisoned my sister, by putting verdigris in her cream-tarts,–that I threw my cousin from a swing at the age of twelve? That the lady’s-maid who incurred the displeasure of my girlhood now lies at the bottom of the horse- pond? No! no! he is too pure,–too good,–too innocent, to hear such improper conversation!” and her whole body writhed as she rocked to and fro in a paroxysm of grief.

But she was soon calm. Rising to her feet, she opened a secret panel in the wall, and revealed a slow-match ready for lighting.

“This match,” said the Lady Selina, “is connected with a mine beneath the western tower, where my three children are confined; another branch of it lies under the parish church, where the record of my first marriage is kept. I have only to light this match and the whole of my past life is swept away!” she approached the match with a lighted candle.

But a hand was laid upon her arm, and with a shriek the Lady Selina fell on her knees before the spectre of Sir Guy.

CHAPTER II.

“Forbear, Selina,” said the phantom in a hollow voice.

“Why should I forbear?” responded Selina haughtily, as she recovered her courage. “You know the secret of our race?”

“I do. Understand me,–I do not object to the eccentricities of your youth. I know the fearful destiny which, pursuing you, led you to poison your sister and drown your lady’s-maid. I know the awful doom which I have brought upon this house! But if you make way with these children–“

“Well,” said the Lady Selina, hastily.

“They will haunt you!”

“Well, I fear them not,” said Selina, drawing her superb figure to its full height.

“Yes, but, my dear child, what place are they to haunt? The ruin is sacred to your uncle’s spirit. Your aunt monopolizes the park, and, I must be allowed to state, not unfrequently trespasses upon the grounds of others. The horse-pond is frequented by the spirit of your maid, and your murdered sister walks these corridors. To be plain, there is no room at Sloperton Grange for another ghost. I cannot have them in my room,–for you know I don’t like children. Think of this, rash girl, and forbear! Would you, Selina,” said the phantom, mournfully,–“would you force your great-grandfather’s spirit to take lodgings elsewhere?”

Lady Selina’s hand trembled; the lighted candle fell from her nerveless fingers.

“No,” she cried passionately; “never!” and fell fainting to the floor.

CHAPTER III

Edgardo galloped rapidly towards Sloperton. When the outline of the Grange had faded away in the darkness, he reined his magnificent steed beside the ruins of Guy’s Keep.

“It wants but a few minutes of the hour,” he said, consulting his watch by the light of the moon. “He dare not break his word. He will come.” He paused, and peered anxiously into the darkness. “But come what may, she is mine,” he continued, as his thoughts reverted fondly to the fair lady he had quitted. “Yet if she knew all. If she knew that I were a disgraced and ruined man,–a felon and an outcast. If she knew that at the age of fourteen I murdered my Latin tutor and forged my uncle’s will. If she knew that I had three wives already, and that the fourth victim of misplaced confidence and my unfortunate peculiarity is expected to be at Sloperton by to-night’s train with her baby. But no; she must not know it. Constance must not arrive. Burke the Slogger must attend to that.

“Ha! here he is! Well?”

These words were addressed to a ruffian in a slouched hat, who suddenly appeared from Guy’s Keep.

“I be’s here, measter,” said the villain, with a disgracefully low accent and complete disregard of grammatical rules.

“It is well. Listen: I’m in possession of facts that will send you to the gallows. I know of the murder of Bill Smithers, the robbery of the tollgate-keeper, and the making away of the youngest daughter of Sir Reginald de Walton. A word from me, and the officers of justice are on your track.”

Burke the Slogger trembled.

“Hark ye! serve my purpose, and I may yet save you. The 5.30 train from Clapham will be due at Sloperton at 9.25. IT MUST NOT ARRIVE!”

The villain’s eyes sparkled as he nodded at Edgardo.

“Enough,–you understand; leave me!”

CHAPTER IV.

About half a mile from Sloperton Station the South Clapham and Medway line crossed a bridge over Sloperton-on-Trent. As the shades of evening were closing, a man in a slouched hat might have been seen carrying a saw and axe under his arm, hanging about the bridge. From time to time he disappeared in the shadow of its abutments, but the sound of a saw and axe still betrayed his vicinity. At exactly nine o’clock he reappeared, and, crossing to the Sloperton side, rested his shoulder against the abutment and gave a shove. The bridge swayed a moment, and then fell with a splash into the water, leaving a space of one hundred feet between the two banks. This done, Burke the Slogger,–for it was he,–with a fiendish chuckle seated himself on the divided railway track and awaited the coming of the train.

A shriek from the woods announced its approach. For an instant Burke the Slogger saw the glaring of a red lamp. The ground trembled. The train was going with fearful rapidity. Another second and it had reached the bank. Burke the Slogger uttered a fiendish laugh. But the next moment the train leaped across the chasm, striking the rails exactly even, and, dashing out the life of Burke the Slogger, sped away to Sloperton.

The first object that greeted Edgardo, as he rode up to the station on the arrival of the train, was the body of Burke the Slogger hanging on the cow-catcher; the second was the face of his deserted wife looking from the windows of a second-class carriage.

CHAPTER V.

A nameless terror seemed to have taken possession of Clarissa, Lady Selina’s maid, as she rushed into the presence of her mistress.

“O my lady, such news!”

“Explain yourself,” said her mistress, rising.

“An accident has happened on the railway, and a man has been killed.”

“What–not Edgardo!” almost screamed Selina.

“No, Burke the Slogger!” your ladyship.

“My first husband!” said Lady Selina, sinking on her knees. “Just Heaven, I thank thee!”

CHAPTER VI.

The morning of the seventeenth dawned brightly over Sloperton. “A fine day for the wedding,” said the sexton to Swipes, the butler of Sloperton Grange. The aged retainer shook his head sadly. “Alas! there’s no trusting in signs!” he continued. “Seventy-five years ago, on a day like this, my young mistress–” But he was cut short by the appearance of a stranger.

“I would see Sir Edgardo,” said the new-comer, impatiently.

The bridegroom, who, with the rest of the wedding-train, was about stepping into the carriage to proceed to the parish church, drew the stranger aside.

“It’s done!” said the stranger, in a hoarse whisper.

“Ah! and you buried her?”

“With the others!”

“Enough. No more at present. Meet me after the ceremony, and you shall have your reward.”

The stranger shuffled away, and Edgardo returned to his bride. “A trifling matter of business I had forgotten, my dear Selina; let us proceed.” And the young man pressed the timid hand of his blushing bride as he handed her into the carriage. The cavalcade rode out of the court-yard. At the same moment, the deep bell on Guy’s Keep tolled ominously.

CHAPTER VII.

Scarcely had the wedding-train left the Grange, than Alice Sedilia, youngest daughter of Lady Selina, made her escape from the western tower, owing to a lack of watchfulness on the part of Clarissa. The innocent child, freed from restraint, rambled through the lonely corridors, and finally, opening a door, found herself in her mother’s boudoir. For some time she amused herself by examining the various ornaments and elegant trifles with which it was filled. Then, in pursuance of a childish freak, she dressed herself in her mother’s laces and ribbons. In this occupation she chanced to touch a peg which proved to be a spring that opened a secret panel in the wall. Alice uttered a cry of delight as she noticed what, to her childish fancy, appeared to be the slow-match of a fire- work. Taking a lucifer match in her hand she approached the fuse. She hesitated a moment. What would her mother and her nurse say?

Suddenly the ringing of the chimes of Sloperton parish church met her ear. Alice knew that the sound signified that the marriage party had entered the church, and that she was secure from interruption. With a childish smile upon her lips, Alice Sedilia touched off the slow-match.

CHAPTER VIII.

At exactly two o’clock on the seventeenth, Rupert Sedilia, who had just returned from India, was thoughtfully descending the hill toward Sloperton manor. “If I can prove that my aunt Lady Selina was married before my father died, I can establish my claim to Sloperton Grange,” he uttered, half aloud. He paused, for a sudden trembling of the earth beneath his feet, and a terrific explosion, as of a park of artillery, arrested his progress. At the same moment he beheld a dense cloud of smoke envelop the churchyard of Sloperton, and the western tower of the Grange seemed to be lifted bodily from its foundation. The air seemed filled with falling fragments, and two dark objects struck the earth close at his feet. Rupert picked them up. One seemed to be a heavy volume bound in brass.

A cry burst from his lips.

“The Parish Records.” He opened the volume hastily. It contained the marriage of Lady Selina to “Burke the Slogger.”

The second object proved to be a piece of parchment. He tore it open with trembling fingers. It was the missing will of Sir James Sedilia!

CHAPTER IX.

When the bells again rang on the new parish church of Sloperton it was for the marriage of Sir Rupert Sedilia and his cousin, the only remaining members of the family.

Five more ghosts were added to the supernatural population of Sloperton Grange. Perhaps this was the reason why Sir Rupert sold the property shortly afterward, and that for many years a dark shadow seemed to hang over the ruins of Sloperton Grange.

THE NINETY-NINE GUARDSMEN.

BY AL–X–D–R D–M–S

CHAPTER I.

SHOWING THE QUALITY OF THE CUSTOMERS OF THE INNKEEPER OF PROVINS.

Twenty years after, the gigantic innkeeper of Provins stood looking at a cloud of dust on the highway.

This cloud of dust betokened the approach of a traveller. Travellers had been rare that season on the highway between Paris and Provins.

The heart of the innkeeper rejoiced. Turning to Dame Perigord, his wife, he said, stroking his white apron:–

“St. Denis! make haste and spread the cloth. Add a bottle of Charlevoix to the table. This traveller, who rides so fast, by his pace must be a Monseigneur.”

Truly the traveller, clad in the uniform of a musketeer, as he drew up to the door of the hostelry, did not seem to have spared his horse. Throwing his reins to the landlord, he leaped lightly to the ground. He was a young man of four-and-twenty, and spoke with a slight Gascon accent.

“I am hungry, Morbleu! I wish to dine!”

The gigantic innkeeper bowed and led the way to a neat apartment, where a table stood covered with tempting viands. The musketeer at once set to work. Fowls, fish, and pates disappeared before him. Perigord sighed as he witnessed the devastations. Only once the stranger paused.

“Wine!” Perigord brought wine. The stranger drank a dozen bottles. Finally he rose to depart. Turning to the expectant landlord, he said:–

“Charge it.”

“To whom, your highness?” said Perigord, anxiously.

“To his Eminence!”

“Mazarin!” ejaculated the innkeeper.

“The same. Bring me my horse,” and the musketeer, remounting his favorite animal, rode away.

The innkeeper slowly turned back into the inn. Scarcely had he reached the courtyard before the clatter of hoofs again called him to the doorway. A young musketeer of a light and graceful figure rode up.

“Parbleu, my dear Perigord, I am famishing. What have you got for dinner?”

“Venison, capons, larks, and pigeons, your excellency,” replied the obsequious landlord, bowing to the ground.

“Enough!” The young musketeer dismounted and entered the inn. Seating himself at the table replenished by the careful Perigord, he speedily swept it as clean as the first comer.

“Some wine, my brave Perigord,” said the graceful young musketeer, as soon as he could find utterance.

Perigord brought three dozen of Charlevoix. The young man emptied them almost at a draught.

“By-by, Perigord,” he said lightly, waving his hand, as, preceding the astonished landlord, he slowly withdrew.

“But, your highness,–the bill,” said the astounded Perigord.

“Ah, the bill. Charge it!”

“To whom?”

“The Queen!”

“What, Madame?”

“The same. Adieu, my good Perigord.” And the graceful stranger rode away. An interval of quiet succeeded, in which the innkeeper gazed wofully at his wife. Suddenly he was startled by a clatter of hoofs, and an aristocratic figure stood in the doorway.

“Ah,” said the courtier good-naturedly. “What, do my eyes deceive me? No, it is the festive and luxurious Perigord. Perigord, listen. I famish. I languish. I would dine.”

The innkeeper again covered the table with viands. Again it was swept clean as the fields of Egypt before the miraculous swarm of locusts. The stranger looked up.

“Bring me another fowl, my Perigord.”

“Impossible, your excellency; the larder is stripped clean.”

“Another flitch of bacon, then.”

“Impossible, your highness; there is no more.”

“Well, then, wine!”

The landlord brought one hundred and forty-four bottles. The courtier drank them all.

“One may drink if one cannot eat,” said the aristocratic stranger, good-humoredly.

The innkeeper shuddered.

The guest rose to depart. The innkeeper came slowly forward with his bill, to which he had covertly added the losses which he had suffered from the previous strangers.

“Ah, the bill. Charge it.”

“Charge it! to whom?”

“To the King,” said the guest.

“What! his Majesty?”

“Certainly. Farewell, Perigord.”

The innkeeper groaned. Then he went out and took down his sign. Then remarked to his wife:–

“I am a plain man, and don’t understand politics. It seems, however, that the country is in a troubled state. Between his Eminence the Cardinal, his Majesty the King, and her Majesty the Queen, I am a ruined man.”

“Stay,” said Dame Perigord, “I have an idea.”

“And that is–“

“Become yourself a musketeer.”

CHAPTER II.

THE COMBAT.

On leaving Provins the first musketeer proceeded to Nangis, where he was reinforced by thirty-three followers. The second musketeer, arriving at Nangis at the same moment, placed himself at the head of thirty-three more. The third guest of the landlord of Provins arrived at Nangis in time to assemble together thirty-three other musketeers.

The first stranger led the troops of his Eminence.

The second led the troops of the Queen.

The third led the troops of the King.

The fight commenced. It raged terribly for seven hours. The first musketeer killed thirty of the Queen’s troops. The second musketeer killed thirty of the King’s troops. The third musketeer killed thirty of his Eminence’s troops.

By this time it will be perceived the number of musketeers had been narrowed down to four on each side.

Naturally the three principal warriors approached each other.

They simultaneously uttered a cry.

“Aramis!”

“Athos!”

“D’Artagnan!”

They fell into each other’s arms.

“And it seems that we are fighting against each other, my children,” said the Count de la Fere, mournfully.

“How singular!” exclaimed Aramis and D’Artagnan.

“Let us stop this fratricidal warfare,” said Athos.

“We will!” they exclaimed together.

“But how to disband our followers?” queried D’Artagnan.

Aramis winked. They understood each other. “Let us cut ’em down!”

They cut ’em down. Aramis killed three. D’Artagnan three. Athos three.

The friends again embraced. “How like old times,” said Aramis. “How touching!” exclaimed the serious and philosophic Count de la Fere.

The galloping of hoofs caused them to withdraw from each other’s embraces. A gigantic figure rapidly approached.

“The innkeeper of Provins!” they cried, drawing their swords.

“Perigord, down with him!” shouted D’Artagnan.

“Stay,” said Athos.

The gigantic figure was beside them. He uttered a cry.

“Athos, Aramis, D’Artagnan!”

“Porthos!” exclaimed the astonished trio.

“The same.” They all fell in each other’s arms.

The Count de la Fere slowly raised his hands to Heaven. “Bless you! Bless us, my children! However different our opinion may be in regard to politics, we have but one opinion in regard to our own merits. Where can you find a better man than Aramus?”

“Than Porthos?” said Aramis.

“Than D’Artagnan?” said Porthos.

“Than Athos?” said D’Artagnan.

CHAPTER III.

SHOWING HOW THE KING OF FRANCE WENT UP A LADDER.

The King descended into the garden. Proceeding cautiously along the terraced walk, he came to the wall immediately below the windows of Madame. To the left were two windows, concealed by vines. They opened into the apartments of La Valliere.

The King sighed.

“It is about nineteen feet to that window,” said the King. “If I had a ladder about nineteen feet long, it would reach to that