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“What's Hecuba to me or I to Hecuba!' Yet I the fine, fragrant butter, and the rich cream thank you for reminding me of these expected set apart for the table. The tea-room next de guests, whom I had indeed forgotten."
manded her attention-lifting the fine damask “ Forgotten! dear me, did any one ever hear cloth spread over the tea equipage, to discover the like !” exclaimed Mrs. Dimity, raising her if the flies had dared to crawl within any
chance hands in astonishment.
opening, and were now, little thieves, feasting “How many of these cousins of mine do you upon the delicious cake, the dishes of ruby expect ?" asked Horace. “Mere school-girls, I quince, or the lumps of snowy sugar heaped so suppose.”
generously upon the social board. Her next visit “All I know is, your father said he would was to the parlour, surveying for, at least, the bring home a whole coach-load, if he could get twentieth time that day the proofs of her neatthem," answered Mrs. Dimity, “and I have ness and taste, displayed in its arrangement, been all the week getting the house in order and every time finding a little something to do for them-rubbing up the old furniture-clean- —a chair to move half an inch to the right, a ing the brasses, whitening the linen, and filling table to wheel a little more to the left—the curthe store closet with plenty of plum-cake and tains to be looped up or let down—books to ginger-nuts! I vow and declare, Mr. Horace, move, and the little china vases filled with it is absolutely provoking to see you take it so pretty flowers to rearrange, so as to exhibit to coolly, just as if your father was only going to greater advantage some favourite blossom; and bring home a new brood of ducks or chickens !” lastly, the notable old lady took a hurried and
They will gabble as fast, no doubt,” said satisfactory inspection of the chambers, and Horace. “I shall be glad, however, if my father then hastened to her own little room to doff the finds pleasure from their society, Mrs. Dimity; homely dark chintz gown for a more becoming so far, their presence will be a relief to me.” attire, ere the arrival of Mr. Mansfield and his
“Well, well, aren't you going to dress your- young nieces. self?-Mercy on me, if you appear before them A short time sufficed for her toilet, and Mrs. in that dishabilly, the poor things will think Dimity came forth arrayed in a shining black you are Valentine and Orson !”
silk petticoat, relieved by a short gown or ne“Rest easy, Mrs. Dimity-I will be in readi- gligée of white cambric falling just below the ness to receive our guests. Don't stop longer on hips, and ornamented with a broad ruffle neatly my account, I beg," returned Horace.
plaited, and her gray hair combed smoothly back " A-hem! hem!- just as sure as I live he will under a cap of the whitest and stiffest lawn. But never stir a step if I don't keep teasing him !" | of all her earthly possessions, that which the old said the old housekeeper to herself, pretending lady most prized was the gold spectacles which to leave the room, but stopping midway to watch Mr. Mansfield had presented her on Christmas, the effect of her previous admonition.
and these she had now mounted, together with In another moment Horace had apparently the large silver watch once the property of her forgotten everything but the page before him, deceased husband. In this becoming and tidy to which he now gave his most rapt attention. garb, she now paused before the door of
“How beautiful!” he exclaimed abstractedly Horace's chamber. -“as A is to B, so is C to D—let me see-as X “I may as well give him a call,” said she, is to Y-s0 is M to N-what harmony !”. “ for just as likely as not he is off in one of
“Dear, dear, only hear him!” cried Mrs. his absent fits again." Dimity. “What is the use of spending so much She listened a moment,—all was still—taptime if one can't learn? Poor boy, he is always tap-tap-no answer-tap-tap-“Mr. Horace!" puzzling over A, B, and C-well, I don't know-knock, knock,—“Mr. Hor"-knock,-“ ace! much to be sure, but thank Heaven, I do know -Come, are you ready, Mr. Horace ?” And the that AB spells ab, and CA spells ca! Mr. Ho- good lady, now quite out of patience, shook race!” and this time the vexed old lady shook and pounded the door as if the house was on our hero not very gently.
fire, and unconscious of danger, the inmate “Ah yes, true—I had forgotten—well I will of the chamber calmly sleeping. go now;" and most reluctantly the student rose “ Yes, Mrs. Dimity, yes, yes, I am coming, from the table, and casting a long lingering I hear,” said the voice of Horace, aroused at look behind,' proceeded to the duties of the length by the din. toilet.
Even as he spoke, the winding of the stageFeeling that she had thus successfully ac- horn proclaimed the approach of the travellers. quitted herself of this responsibility, the house- Mercy on me, here they come! There—the keeper now hurried to the kitchen to see if the coach is now turning into the great gate,-do supper was in progress—the coffee boiling, and make haste, do, Mr. Horace.” And as rapidly the rolls ready to put in the oven-from thence as she could the old lady descended the stairs, she put her head into the dairy, to look after and throwing open the hall door, stepped out
upon the piazza to receive them. Horace al- | where is Meg ?-ah, there she goes, the gipsy, most mechanically followed close behind her, skimming over the lawn like a lapwing !" but, to the horror of the worthy housekeeper, And each fair cousin in turn presented & all her labour of speech had been thrown away, rosy cheek to the salute of the embarrassed for there he stood in the full glare of sunlight, Horace. still in robe-de-chambre and pantouffles, his beard “Well, girls, welcome to Mansfield Hall,” unshorn, his hair disordered.
continued the old gentleman, as the gay party “Good gracious, Mr. Horace! Do go back- tripped up the steps of the portico. “Here, you look like a fright-pray go quick, - I will Mrs. Dimity, I make over these merry girls to say you are sick, or out, or anything, only you. Show them their rooms, if you please, and don't stand there in such a trim.”
then let's have supper, for this long ride over But it was too late. The driver cracked his the hills has given me a pretty sharp appetite. whip—the horses bounded forward, and the Hark ye, girls, you need not stop to beautify crazy old coach drew up to the door.
yourselves; there is nobody here but your old Merry peals of laughter met the ear, and the uncle to see you, for as for your cousin Horace, music of young, girlish voices,—bewitching he will never look at you, or fall in love with little straw bonnets clustered together, and you." taper fingers and snowy wrists rested upon the There was more than one arch glance cast old brown sides of the coach-then suddenly toward the spot where Horace stood leaning these were withdrawn, and Auttering veils against one of the pillars, feeling, it must be thrown back, and out blazed a galaxy of the confessed, a little foolish at this blunt speech most brilliant orbs, all fixed with mischievous of his father, and more than one little head glance upon the person of our hero, standing was saucily tossed, ere the fair girls disapready to assist their egress from the stage. peared with Mrs. Dimity into the house.
Agile as sylphs, out they sprang upon the “Nice girls, Horace, full of life and spirit !" bright green turf, and gathered around poor exclaimed Mr. Mansfield, slapping him on the Horace, whilst Mr. Mansfield, his good-hu- shoulder. “ Bless their sunny faces, why they moured face all in a glow of delight, slowly have made me young again !--Hark, did you dismounted.
ever hear such music as that?” as a joyous “You need not laugh, you little jades, I am laugh rang out upon the summer air from one not as young as you are !-Ah, Horace, my of the upper windows. “Ah, I see you, minx !" boy, how are you ?” cried the old gentleman. shaking his cane at a mirthful face peeping “ Bless me, why don't you salute your cousins ? down upon him through the fragrant sweetNever be bashful, man,-here, this is your brier which clustered around the casement. cousin Kate, and this is her sister, Lucy Mans- Horace quickly retreated into the hall, and field, and here is my stately Constance, and passed on to his chamber, his ears yet ringing this, the mirth-loving Gabriella Lincoln, and with that happy, merry laugh. this is roguish Bessie, and this little— hey,
(To be continued.)
BY MISS E. W. BARNES.
Oh, there is music at my heart,
Ye may bear me o'er the mountain peak,
Now, ye may bear me wheresoe'er
A TALE OF CHICAGO.
BY MAJOR RICHARDSON,
AUTHOR OF “ ECARTE,” “WACOUSTA, ," "THE CANADIAN BROTHERS,
** “ TECUMSEH," "WAR OF 1812," " JACK BRAG IN SPAIN," ETC., ETC.
They had left the Fort at daybreak, passing
Heywood's farm at the moment when, for the At a distance of two miles above Heywood's purpose of foddering the cattle, he was with farm, and on the southern branch of the Chi- the boy, William, crossing in the canoe in cago, which winds its slightly serpentine which Ephraim Giles afterwards made his course between the wood and the prairie, there escape; the latter, with the Canadian, being was at that period a small deep bay, formed engaged in felling trees, although in a different by two adjacent and abrupt points of densely direction. Arrived at the little bay to which wooded land, in the cool shadows of which the we have just adverted, the boat was fastened pike, the black bass, and the pickerel loved to to the trunk of a tree which projected over the lie in the heat of summer, and where, in early deep water at the point. This done, they spring, though in less numbers, they were stepped on shore, taking with them their fishing wont to congregate. This was the customary rods, bait, and haversacks, but leaving their fishing spot of the garrison—six men and a spears and muskets in the boat, and dispersed non-commissioned officer going almost daily, themselves at short distances along the curve with their ample store of lines and spears, as that formed the bay—which, however, was not much, although not avowedly, for their own more than three hundred yards in extent, from amusement, as for the supply of the officers' point to point. table. What remained, after a certain division When they first cast their lines into the among these, became the property of the cap- water, the sun's rays were dimly visible tors, who, after appropriating to themselves through the thick wood in their rear. The what was necessary for their next day's meal, early morning too had been cold, almost frosty, distributed the rest among the non-commis- so much so that the wild ducks, which genesioned officers and the company. As the season rally evinced a good deal of shyness, now advanced and the fish became more plentiful, seemingly emboldened by the briskness of the there was little limitation of quantity, for the atmosphere, could be seen gliding about in freight nightly brought home, and taken by considerable numbers about half a mile below the line and spear alone, was sufficient to them, while the fish, on the contrary, as though afford to every one abundance. In truth, even dissatisfied with the temperature of their elein the depth of winter, there was little priva- ment, refused to do what the men called the tion on the score of fresh food endured by the “ amiable,” by approaching the hook. Their garrison,--the fat venison brought in, and sold occupation had been continued until long past for the veriest trifle by the Indians, the lus- midday, during which time not more than a cious and ample prairie-hen, chiefly shot by dozen fish had been taken. Vexed at his nonthe officers, and the fish we have named, leav- success, for he had not even had a nibble, one ing little necessity for the consumption of the of the men flung his rod upon the bank impasalt food with which it was but indifferently tiently, and then seated himself on the projectstored.
ing root of a large tree, declaring it was all On the day on which our narrative has nonsense to play the fool any longer, and that commenced, the usual fishing party had ascended the most sensible thing they could do was to the river at an early hour, for the severeness take their dinners, smoke their pipes, and of the season and the shortness of the days wash down the whole with a little of the rendered it an object that they should be on Wabash. the accustomed “spot” as soon as possible. “I say, Collins,” remarked the Corporal
good-naturedly, “we shall have poor fare even four or five miles to fish, and scarcely get a for the officers' mess, let alone ourselves, if we sight of one." all follow your example, and give up so soon. “Well, but Collins, that's not always our But, as you say, it's time to have some grub, luck ; I'm sure we've had sport enough before. and we'll try our luck afterwards."
It must be because the weather's rather cold “Rome wasn't built in a day,” said the man to-day that the fish won't bite.” who had been fishing next to Collins, and
“It's of no use his grumbling, Philips,” redrawing in his line also; “ we've a good many marked Corporal Nixon. “We're here not so hours left yet."
much for our own sport, as on a duty for the Following the recommendation of their chief, garrison. Let me hear no more of this, Col
lins.” the rest of the party sat down near the edge of the bank, and, opening their haversacks, pro
“Well, Corporal, that's true enough,” said duced each his allowance of corn bread and Green ; “but, dash me, if it isn't temptin' to venison, or salted pork, after despatching see them fellows there stealin' upon us, and which, with the aid of clasp-knives, they took
we lookin' on and doin' nothin'." a refreshing “horn” from the general canteen
“What fellows do you mean ?” inquired the that Collins carried suspended over his should Corporal, suddenly starting to his feet, and der, and then drew forth and lighted their looking down the river. pipes.
Why, them ducks to be sure—see how they As the latter puffed away, with a vigour that
come sailin' towards us, as if they knew all
about the Captain's order—nojumpin'or friskin' proved either a preoccupied mind, or extreme
but all of a heap." gratification in the “weed," he cast his eyes carelessly down the stream, where a large
“ Yes, but I say, what's that black-looking description of duck, called, by the French thing beyond the ducks ?” asked one who had natives of the country, the cou rouge, from the not hitherto spoken, pointing wită his finger. colour of their necks, were disporting them
“Where—where, Weston ?” exclaimed one selves as though nothing in the shape of a fire
or two voices, and the speakers looked in the
direction indicated. arm was near them—now diving—now rising
“ Hang me if it isn't a bear!” said Collins, on their feet, and shaking their outstretched wings—now chasing each other in limited in a low tone; “ that's the chap that has sent
the ducks so near us. Do let me have a crack circles—and altogether so apparently emboldened by their immunity from interruption, as
at him, Corporal. He's large enough to supply to come close to the bank, at a distance of little the whole garrison with fresh meat for three more than fifty yards from the spot where he days, and will make up for the bad fishing, sat.
only one shot, Corporal, and I engage not to
miss him.” “It's very ridiculous,” he at length re
True enough, there was, near the centre of marked, pouring forth, at the same time, an unusual volume of smoke, and watching its distant, which all joined in pronouncing to be
the stream, a dark object, nearly half a mile curling eddies as it rose far above his head,
a bear. It was swimming vigorously across “its very ridiculous, I say, that order of the
to their own side of the river. Captain's, that we sha'n't fire. Look at them
“I think we might take him as he lands," ducks, how they seem to know all about it,
observed Green. “ What say you, Corporal ! too."
I reckon you'll let us try that, if you won't let “By Gosh," said another, “ I've a great
us fire.” notion to git my musket and have a slap into them-shall I, Corporal ?”
“Stay all of you where you are," was the
reply. “I can manage him myself with & “ Certainly not, Green,” was the answer.
spear, if I can only be in time before he reaches " If 'twas known in the Fort I had permitted the shore. If not, it's no matter, because I any of the party to fire, I should be broke, if I won't allow a trigger to be pulled." didn't get picketed for my pains—and none of
Corporal Nixon was a tall, active, strongus would ever get out again.”
limbed Virginian. He soon cleared the space “No great harm in that either,” said the that separated them from the boat, and jumpman who had made the novel observation that ing to the stern, seized one of the fishingRome had not been built in a day.
spears, and then moved on through the wood The Corporal looked sharply at the last that densely skirted the bank. But he had not speaker, as if not fully comprehending his been ten minutes gone when he again made meaning
his appearance, not immediately by the half“ Jackson means, no great harm if we never formed path he had previously taken, but by a get out again,” interposed Collins, “and I slight detour to the rear. think as he does; for I see no fun in rowing “Hist, hist!” said he in an audible whisper,
as soon as he saw that he was perceived, mo- was armed), that lay in its sheath dangling tioning at the same time with his hand to enjoin from his girdle. Seeing, however, that there silence and concealment; then, beckoning to was no hostile disposition manifested by the Weston to join him, he again moved along the party, he speedily relinquished his first impulse, path with the light tread of one who fears to and stood upright before them, with a bold but alarm an object unconscious of danger.
calm look. All had the sense to understand that there “What you want with boat ?” asked the was some good reason for the conduct of the Corporal, almost involuntarily, and without the Corporal, and with the exception of Weston, slightest expectation that his question could be who had promptly obeyed the signal, busily understood. but silently resumed their morning's occupa- “Me want 'em cross," replied the Indian, tion.
pointing to the opposite shore. First a quarter of an hour, and then minute “But why you come in bearskin ?" and in after minute passed away, yet there was no his turn the Corporal pointed with his finger in sign of the return of their companions. What the direction in which the supposed bear had could be the meaning of this? If the bear been seen. had not proved to be too much for both, they “ Ugh!" muttered the savage, finding that ought to have killed him and rejoined them he had been detected in his disguise. before this. Curiosity-nay, apprehension- “What nation you ? Pottawatomie ?”. finally overcame the strong sense of obedience “Wah! Pottawatomie.” to orders which had been literally drilled into “Curious enough,” remarked Corporal Nixon, them, and they all, at the suggestion of Green, addressing himself to his comrades. “I don't dropped their rods on the bank, and moved half like the look of the fellow, but I suppose cautiously in the direction that had been taken it's all right. We must not offend him.--You by the Corporal and Weston. Great was the chief ?” he continued, pointing to a large silver surprise, however, of Collins, then a little in medal suspended over the breast of the athletic advance, when, on nearing the spot where the and well-proportioned Indian. boat lay moored, he beheld, not those of whom “ Yes ; me chief,—Pottawatomie chief,” and they were in search, but a naked and hideously he made a sign in the direction of the Fort, painted savage, in the very act of untying the near which the encampment of that tribe lay. rope by which the skiff was fastened to the “ You friend, then ?” pursued the Corporal, gnarled and projecting root of the tree. Sensi- extending his hand. ble that there was impending danger, although “Yes, me friend,” he answered promptly, he knew not of what precise kind, inasmuch as brightening up and taking the proffered hand. there was no reason to apprehend anything “You give 'em boat ?” hostile from the Indians, with all of whom “Do you see anything green in my eye ?" around the Fort they had always been on the asked the Virginian, incapable, even under the best terms, he sprang forward to arrest the circumstances, of repressing the indulgence of movement. But the distance was several rods, his humour. and the savage, alarmed by the rustling made But the party questioned, although speaking among the brushwood and foliage, now put his a little English, was not sufficiently initiated shoulder to the boat, and in the next instant in its elegancies to comprehend this, so he would have had it far into the stream, had not merely answered with a “ugh !” while the a hand, suddenly protruded from beneath the greater portion of the men laughed boisterously, hollow clump of earth on which the tree grew, both at the wit of the Corporal and the seeming grasped him firmly by the ankle, even while in astonishment it excited. the act of springing into the forcibly impelled This mirth by no means suited the humour skiff. For a moment or two he grappled of the Indian. He felt that it was directed tightly with his hands upon the bow of the towards himself, and again he stood fierce and boat, but finding the pressure on his imprisoned motionless before them. limb too great for resistance, he relinquished Corporal Nixon at once became sensible of his hold, falling upon his face in the water, his error. To affront one of the friendly chiefs from which he was dragged, although without would, he knew, not only compromise the inteviolence, by Corporal Nixon, who had emerged rests of the garrison, but incur the severe disfrom his hiding-place.
pleasure of the commanding officers, who had When the Indian was suffered to rise, there always enjoined the most scrupulous abstinence was a threatening expression on his counte- from anything offensive to them. nance, which not even the number of those by “ I only meant to say," he added, again exwhom he was surrounded could check, and he tending his hand, “I can't give 'em boat. made an involuntary motion of his hand to his White chief,”—and he pointed in the direction scalping-knife (the only weapon with which he of the Fort—“no let me.”