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II ARDSCRABBLE.

A TALE OF CHICAGO.

BY MAJOR RICHARDSON,

AUTHOR OF “ ECARTE," "WACOUSTA,

," "TAE CANADIAN BROTHERS,'

" TECUMSEH, *WAR OF 1812," "JACK BRAG IN SPAIN," ETC., ETC.

(Continued from p. 290.)

CHAPTEB VII.

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| before midday to-morrow-nay, sir;"-seeing

strong surprise and disapproval depicted on It was near sunset when Ensign Renayne, the countenance of the commandant—"I am who, it will be recollected, had obtained the ready to forfeit my commission if I fail—" sanction of his commanding officer to take an

“ Are you mad, Mr. Renayne, or do you armed party in the scow, returned from his

suppose that I am mad enough to entertain excursion, bringing with him his affianced such a proposition, and thus weaken my force bride, Maria Heywood, and her mother, who

still more? Forfeit your commission if you were placed with the wife of his friend Elmsley, fail! Why, sir, you would deserve to forfeit until the alarm created by the presence of the your commission if you even succeeded in anyIndians should have subsided. As, after having thing so wholly at variance with military prudisposed of them, he crossed the parade-ground dence.-Gentlemen, recollect what I have said. to his own quarters, he met Captain Headly.

I expect you to use the utmost vigilance to“So, sir, you are returned at last. It seems night, and, Mr. Elmsley, fail not instantly to to me that you have been much longer absent

report the fishing-boat.” Thus enjoining, he than was necessary.”

passed slowly on to his quarters. The high spirit of the youth took fire. " Pardon me, sir,” he answered haughtily, “if

“ Fudge for your military prudence, and I contradict you. No one of the least feeling

your pompous cold-bloodedness," muttered the

fiery Ensign between his teeth-scarcely waitcould have thought of removing such an invalid as Mrs. Heywood, without using every care her ing until his superior was out of hearing. condition required. Have you any orders for

“Ilush," whispered Elmsley; "he will hear me, Captain Headly ?” he concluded, in a more

you.” respectful manner; for he had become sensible

“ Ha!” he continued, after a short pause, the moment after he had spoken, of his error during which they moved on towards the messin thus coming as it were under the reproof of room, “you begin to find him out, do you? his superior.

But tell me, Renayne, what the deuce has put “ You are officer of the guard, I believe, Mr. this Quixotic expedition into your head! What Renayne ?” he said.

great interest do you take in these fishermen, “« No, sir; Mr. Elmsley relieved me this that you should volunteer to break your shins morning.”

in the woods this dark night, for the purpose At that moment the last-named officer came of seeking them, and that on the very first up, on his way to the Ensign's quarters; when night your lady fair honours these walls with the same question having been put to him, and her celestial presence ? Come, thank Headly answered in the affirmative, Captain Headly for his refusal. When you sit down to-morrow desired that the moment the fishing party came morning, as I intend you shall, to a luxurious in, their arrival should be reported to him.

breakfast of love, coffee, fried venison, and “And now, gentlemen,” he concluded, “I ex- buckwheat cakes, you will find no reason to pect you both to be particularly on the alert complain of his adherence to military prato-night. The absence of that fishing party dence.” distresses me, and I would give much that they “Elmsley,” returned his friend seriously, “I were back."

can have no disguise from you at such a mo“Captain Headly,” said the Ensign quickly, ment. You know my regard for Maria Heyalmost beseechingly, “let me pick out a dozen wood, although you cannot divine its depth, men, and I pledge myself to restore the party and could I but be the means of saving her

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father, you can well understand the joy I from your purpose. What I can do for you I should feel."

will do; but tell me what it is you intend." “Certainly, my dear fellow; but you know “Yet, Elmsley, before we enter further in as well as myself, that there exists not the the matter, do you not think that you will shadow of a hope of this. That scarecrow, incur the serious displeasure of. Military PruGiles, half-witted as he is, tells too straight-dence ??forward a story.”

" If he finds out that you are gone, certainly; “ Elmsley,” persisted his friend, “there is and I cannot see how it can be otherwise. every hope, every reasonable expectation, that

Depend upon it, he will be upon the fidgets he may yet survive. Maria, herself, first all night, and possibly ask for you; but, even opened my eyes to the possibility, for until if not then, he will miss you on parade in the then I had thought as you do; and deeply did morning.” her words sink in my heart when she said " And what will be the immediate result to reproachfully, that instead of sending a party you? Answer me that candidly, I entreat!” to rescue her, it would have been far better to “Then, candidly, Renayne, the Captain likes have despatched them to the farm in which her me not well enough to pass lightly over such a father might at that moment be sustaining a breach of duty. The most peremptory orders siege—the house being strong enough to admit have been given not to allow any one to leave of a temporary defence by even a couple of the Fort, and since you wish me to be sincere, persons.”

should I allow you to pass, it will go hard with " And what said you to that ?”

my commission.” “What could I say? I looked like a fool, “ How foolish of me not to have thought of and felt like a schoolboy under the iron rule of that before. How utterly stupid to have asked a pedagogue—but I resolved—”

that which I ought to have known myself—but “ And what did you resolve, my enterprising enough, Elmsley, I abandon the scheme altoknight-errant ?”

gether-you shall never incur such a risk for • You have just heard my proposal to the me.” gentleman who piques himself so much on his “Yet, understand me,” resumed the other, military prudence,” returned the youth with “if you really think that there is a hope of its bitter irony.

proving more than a mere wild goose chase, I “Yes, and he refused you—what then?" will cheerfully incur that risk ; but on my

" True, and what then !” and he nodded his honour, Renayne, I myself feel convinced that head impatiently.

nothing you can do will avail.” "You will sleep upon it, my dear fellow, “Not another word about it," answered his after we have had a glass of hot wabash, and friend; “here is what will banish all care in a pipe; thus refreshed, you will think better of regard to the matter, at least for the present.” it in the morning."

His servant had just entered, and deposited “We will have the wabash and the pipe, for on the mess-table hot and cold water, sugar, truly I feel that I require something to soothe, lime-juice, pipes, and tumblers, and the two if not absolutely to exhilarate; but no sleep officers, joined by Von Vottenberg, sat down to for me this night, Elmsley;" he added more indulge their several humours. While the latseriously, “you will pass me out of the gate ?” ter, according to practice, mixed the punch,

“ Pass you out of what !” exclaimed the which, when made, was pronounced his chef other, starting from the chair on which he had d'ouvre, Elmsley amused himself with cutting thrown himself only the moment before; "what up the tobacco, and filling the pipes with it do you mean, man?"

and the fragrant kinna-kinnick. The Ensign, “I mean that, as officer of the guard, you taking advantage of their occupation, indulged only can pass me through after dark; and himself in a reverie that lasted until the bevethis service you must render me.”

rage had been declared ready. “Why! where are you going? Single-handed, The presence of the Doctor acting as a check like Jack the Giant-Killer, to deliver, not a upon further allusion, by the friends, to the beautiful damsel from the fangs of a winged topic which had hitherto engrossed their attenmonster, but a tough old backwoodsman from tion, the little conversation that ensued, was of the dark paws of the savage.”

a general nature. Neither of them, however, “Elmsley,” again urged the Ensign, “you cared much to contribute to it; so that the forget that Mr. Heywood is the father of my Doctor found, and pronounced them for that future wife!”

evening, anything but entertaining companions. * Ah! is it come to that at last! Well, I am He, however, consoled himself with copious right glad of it. But, my dear Renayne," potations from the punch-bowl, and filled the taking, and cordially pressing his hand, “ for- room with dense clouds of smoke, that were in give my levity. I only sought to divert you I themselves sufficient to produce the drowsiness

CHAPTER VIII.

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that Renayne pleaded in excuse for his taci- The Lieutenant gazed through the glass a turnity.

moment, and then pronounced name after After his second glass, Elmsley, reminding name, as the men severally came under the the Ensign that he expected him as well as the range of the field. “Yes, sir, as you say, Surgeon, to breakfast with him in the morning, there is Corporal Nixon, steering—then, with at eight o'clock precisely, took his leave for their backs to us, are first Collins, then Green, the night.

then Jackson, then Weston, then Cass, then Philips—but what they have in the bottom of the boat, for I now can see it plain enough, is not fish, sir, but a human body-and a dog,

crouched at its side. Yes—it is indeed the It was about seven o'clock on the morning Frenchman's dog, Loup Garou.” succeeding the occurrences detailed in the pre- · Yes, that's certainly a dead body," purceding chapter, that Lieutenant Elmsley waited sued the Lieutenant—"somebody killed at the on the commanding officer, to report that the farm, no doubt. Have you any orders for the fishing boat was at length in sight. These direction of the party when they land, sir?" tidings were received as Captain Headly was he inquired, as he handed back the glass to the preparing to sit down to his breakfast—a re- Captain. freshment to which the fatigue he had under- “ First desire the drums to beat to parade," gone during the night, had not a little disposed was the answer. “ It wants only a few minutes him. True, however, to his character, he of guard-mounting, and by the time the men stayed not for the meal, but instantly arose have fallen in, and the roll is called, the boat and taking his telescope, accompanied the sub- will be here. Where is Mr. Renayne ?" altern to the flag-staff battery, whence the best “I have not seen him this morning, sir, but view of the river was commanded.

believe that he is in his own rooms. He is, * Anything to report, Mr. Elmsley ? but I however, aware of the hour of guard-mounting, presume not, or of course I should have been and doubtless, will be here presently." apprised of it.”

“ When the men have fallen in, come and Many of the men, dressed and accoutred for report to me,” said the Captain, as he descended the morning parade, which usually took place from the bastion, and proceeded to his own about nine o'clock, were grouped around, and quarters, to eat his untasted breakfast. anxiously watching the approach of the boat, The Lieutenant touched his cap, in assent, as of something they had despaired of ever and then despatching the orderly to the tempoagain beholding. Captain Headly drew his rary drum-major, crossed over to the aparttelescope to the proper focus, and after looking ments of the Ensign, anxious not only to excuse through it a few minutes, remarked

himself for not being able to receive his friend “ Thank Heaven, all is right—they are all to his own breakfast, at the hour he had named, there, although it is quite unaccountable to but to prepare him for the reception of the me how they could have been detained until murdered body of Mr. Heywood, which he this morning—and ah! it seems they have doubted not was that now being conveyed for taken a heavy draught of fish, for although I interment at his own home. cannot see the bottom of the boat, their feet On entering the mess-room, in which they are raised, as if to avoid crushing or injuring had taken their punch, the previous evening, something beneath them. But hold! there is everything bore evidence of a late debauch. something wrong too. I do not see the usual Ashes and tobacco were liberally strewed upon number of muskets piled in the stern. Mr. the table, while around the empty bowl were, Elmsley, how is that ?”

in some disorder, pipes and glasses, one of “Perhaps there is not the same number of each half emptied of all but the ashes and sedimen,” suggested the Lieutenant—"some of ment, the other two only half smoked, half full, them, for causes connected with their deten- and standing amid a pool of wet, which had tion, may be coming by land.”

evidently been spilt by a not very steady hand. “Not at all. There are seven men. I think The windows were closed, so that the smoke seven men compose the fishing party. Do they clung to what little furniture there was in the not ?"

room, and the whole scent of the place was an “Sis men, besides the non-commissioned abominable compound of stale tobacco and officer. Yes, sir."

strong whiskey. “I can make out Corporal Nixon, for he is A loud snoring in the room on his right, atsteering, and facing me—but for the others, Itracted his attention. He knew that it was do not know them well enough to distinguish. Von Vottenberg's, and he entered for a moHere, Mr. Elmsley, take the glass, and try ment, to see what had kept him in his bed until what you can make of them.”

that late hour. The Surgeon, only half un

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dressed, was fast asleep, not within, but on the , where can he have gone, and what could he outside of the bed-clothes. Somewhat disgusted have expected to result from his mad scheme? at the sight, for Elmsley was comparatively Had he waited until now, he would have known, abstemious, he shook him, not very gently, by the arrival of the fishing party with their when the Doctor, opening his eyes with a start, sad burden, how utterly useless was all this half rose upon his elbow. “Ha!” he exclaimed, risk.” “I know you mean to say that breakfast is “Well, Mr. Elmsley !" said the Captain, who waiting. I had forgotten all about it, old now appeared at the front of his own door, fellow."

fully dressed for parade, and preparing to “I mean nothing of the kind,” was the re- issue forth in all the stateliness of command. ply, “but I recommend you to lose no time in “ The parade is formed, sir," he remarked, dressing, and turning out. The men are al- hesitatingly, “but I cannot find the officer for ready on parade, and if Captain Headly, find- guard.” ing that you are absent, sends here to learn “Sir!” interrupted Captain Headly. the cause, I would not give much for your

“I cannot find Mr. Renayne, sir. I have myfuture chances of swallowing whiskey punch, self been over to his quarters—looked into his within the walls of Chicago.”

bed-room, but it is clear he has not been in bed “Eh! what, what !” spluttered the Surgeon, all night.” as he jumped up, drew on his boots, dipped his

“ Ha! is it so ? Send Doctor Von Vottenberg face in a basin of water, and hastily completed here immediately.” his toilet. In less than five minutes he was on And lucky was it for Doctor Von Vottenberg, parade.

that the officer who now desired his attendance Meanwhile, Lieutenant Elmsley, after giving on the commandant, had roused him from that this warning, had passed again through the Lethean slumber, in which he had been, only a mess-room, and knocked at Renayne's door.

few minutes before, so luxuriously indulging. But there was no answer.

“Doctor Von Vottenberg,” said the Captain, “ Hilloa! Renayne !” he called loudly, as he sternly, as soon as that officer made his apturned the handle of the latch. “ Are you in pearance before him, “you are quartered with bed, too ?

Mr. Renayne. Have you seen anything of him But no Renayne was there. He looked at last night or this morning? No evasion-nay," the bed. Like the Doctor's, it had been lain seeing that the Doctor's brow began to be overupon, but no one had been within the clothes. clouded. “I mean no attempt to shield the

“What was the meaning of this ?” After a young man, by a suppression of anything you few moments of delay, he flew back to Von Vot- know.” tenberg's room, but the latter was already “I certainly saw him last night, Captain gone, and on his return, he met Renayne's ser- Headly, but not at a very late hour. We took vant entering at the mess-room door.

a glass or two of punch, and smoked a couple “Where is your master ?” he inquired. “How of pipes together, but we both went to bed is it that he is not in his room—has not been early, and for my part I know I slept so soundly in bed ?"

that I heard nothing-saw nothing-until I got “ Not been in bed !” repeated the lad with up this morning.” surprise. “Why, sir, he told me last night The Doctor spoke truly, as to their both he was very drowsy, and should be late; and going to their bed-rooms early, for the Ensign that he mightn't be disturbed, he desired me had left him early in the night, while he had to sleep in one of the block-houses. I was found his way to his own bed, early in the only to wake him in time for guard-mounting, morning. and as it wants but ten minutes to that, I am " The boat is nearing the landing-place, sir," just come to call him.”

reported the sergeant of the guard, who now “Clean up the mess-room directly-open the came up, and more immediately addressed windows, and put everything in order,” said Lieutenant Elmsley. the Lieutenant, fearing that Captain Headly This information, for the moment, banished might, on hearing of the absence of the young the subject under discussion.

6 Let the men officer, pay his quarters a visit, in search of pile their arms,” ordered Captain Headly, “and some clue to the cause. “I see it all,” he when this is done, Mr. Elmsley, follow me to mused, as he moved across the parade ground. the landing-place." “He would not, generous fellow, get me into a In a few minutes both officers were there. scrape, by making me privy to his design, and The boat was within fifty yards, when Lieuto avoid the difficulty of the gate, has got over tenant Elmsley joined his Captain ; and the the pickets somewhere—yet if so, he must have oarsmen, evidently desirous of doing their best, had a rope and assistance of some kind, for he and influenced by the presence of the comnever could have crossed them without. Yet manding officer, were pulling silently and with

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a vigour that soon brought it to its accustomed the first scrimmage with the red devils. He berth.

was still breathing, and he took every pains to * What body is that, Corporal Nixon ?" in- recover him, but the cold night air was too quired the latter, “and how is it that you are much for him, and he died in the poor fellow's only here this morning?"

arms." “Sir," answered the Corporal, removing one “Well, this is a strange night's adventure, or of his hands from the steer-oar, and respect rather series of adventures,” remarked the fully touching his cap—" it's poor Le Noir, the Lieutenant, half aside to himself. “Then I Frenchman, killed by the Injins yesterday, and suppose,” he resumed, more immediately adas for my absence, it couldn't be helped, sir, dressing the Corporal, “ he has brought the but it's a long report I have to make, and per- body of the boy, to have him buried with Le haps, Captain, you would like to hear it more Noir.” at leisure than I can tell it here."

" Just so, sir-for he mourns him as if he By this time the men had landed from the had been his own child,” answered Nixon, as boat, leaving the Canadian to be disposed of the officer departed. “Here, Loup Garouafterwards as the commanding officer might Loup Garou”—and he whistled to the dog, direct. The quick eye of the latter immediately “come along, old fellow, and get some breakdetected the limping of Green, whose wound fast.” had become stiff from neglect, cold, and the But Loup Garou would not stir at the call of cramped position in which he had been sitting his new master. Sorrow was the only feast in in the boat.

which he seemed inclined to indulge, and he “What is the matter with this man?" he in- continued to crouch near the body of the Caquired still of the Corporal. What makes him nadian, as impassible and motionless, as if he walk so stifily ?"

was no longer of earth himself. “ Nothing much the matter, Captain,” was “Come along, Collins," gently urged the the indifferent reply. “It's only a ball he got Corporal, approaching the boat, where the in his leg, in the scrimmage last night.” mer was still feeling the bosom of the dead

“Scrimmage last night ?- what do you mean, boy, in the vain hope of finding that life was Corporal Nixon-who had you the scrimmage not yet extinct—"it's no use thinking about it. with ?"

You have done your duty as a soldier, and a “With the Injins, Captain,” replied Nixon; good man, but you see he is gone, and there's " the Injins as attacked Mr. Heywood's farm.” no help for it. By and by we'll bury them

“ Captain Headly,” interrupted his Lieu- | both together. Come along, man, the dog will tenant respectfully, “ do you not think it will let nobody near them, so never fear leaving be better to examine first Corporal Nixon, and them alone.” then the others in turn ?”

“Dash me, Corporal, if I ever felt so queer “ Very true, Mr. Elmsley; I will examine in my life," answered Collins, in a melancholy them separately, in the orderly room, to see tone, strongly in contrast with his habitual how far their statements agree. Let him clean brusque gaiety; “but, as you say, it's no use. himself, and take his breakfast, and be there The poor lad is dead enough at last, and my by that time,” and thus directing, he went to only comfort now is to bury him, and look take his own.

sometimes at his grave.” “What are you fumbling about in that boat, The half hour given by Captain Headly to Collins?” asked the Lieutenant, when his Cap- the Corporal to clean himself and eat his tain had departed.

breakfast, afforded Lieutenant Elmsley ample “Poor fellow!" interposed the Corporal, "he time to take his own, which had all this time is not himself to-day; but I am sure, Mr. Elms- been waiting. ley, you won't be hard upon him, when I tell you that but for him there wouldn't be a man of us here of the whole party.”

- Indeed!” exclaimed the Lieutenant, not a little surprised at the information; “but we The parade was again formed, the examinashall hear all about that presently. Yet what tion of the several parties in the boat having is he doing, fidgeting there at the bottom of the been gone through. bow of the boat?”

“No sign of Mr. Renayne yet ?" asked Cap“ There's another body there, sir, besides Le tain Headly. Let him be reported absent.” Noir's; it's that of the poor boy at Heywood's. “Nay, sir,” said the Ensign, almost in his An Injin scalped, and left him for dead. Collins, ear, “not as having been absent from duty I who put a bullet into the same fellow, not an trust. I am not aware that I have ever missed hour afterwards, found the boy by accident, a guard or a parade yet, without your leave." while retreating from the place where we had At the first sound of his voice the surprised

CHAPTER I X.

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