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have the old trunk-tree ; Gerald and sake the woman whom he has chosen, Rosa are sitting on a sloping bank, a because it turns out that she may not little apart. I was lying on the grass, have a dower. No, no. Let them reading apparently, in heart survey- alone. Let them love, and be loved. ing all the persons of our little drama. The future will make itself for them.
Nonsense ! Roger," said the Squire, Rather let us talk of what more nearly halflaughingly— "offour engagement concerns yourself in this strange busiRose give back his troth to Gerald, ness. This compact, and its conditions because you may chance to be poorer -you hold yourself bound by it ? ” than we thought. If I thought the “Yes, John, yes. I have my doubts fellow had such an idea in his heart, whether it would be ratified in a law I would disinherit him. But I know court ; but it is my bond, and therehe hasn't. No, by Jove, he is a true fore law to me." gentleman. Not wish to hold us to “ Right, Roger, right. Lawyers' our word! What are gentlemen held quibbles are not rules of honour. by, then, if not by their words and Stand by your word. Rose will be honours? Is every little change and dearer to us, if thus she comes to us shift in the world's circumstances to poor and dowerless, than if she blow our honour and faith about brought plantation on plantation like thistle-down? The fact is, Roger, with her. In fact, we could not conwe foresaw this. We guessed that sent to accept a wealth which a mere the nephew's coming was a sign of technical objection would give. But bad weather-of coming trouble ; so do you know how far, and how much we determined to be beforehand—to you are bound ?” secure sweet Rose, so that, once a “Scarcely, indeed; the impression Grenfell by plighted troth, no after- of the nature and provisions of the clap could change or alter that. The deed are very vague. It was exeDame planned it, and that puppy cuted in a generous, mutual impulse; there certainly played his part very remained with my brother as the well. Luckily it jumped with his elders; and I remember little of it, own desires, otherwise he would have except that the general meaning or been obstinate enough, I dare say. intent was, that as our labours and Rose has been chosen as a daughter endeavours were in common, 80 of our house, and so it stands. Rich should be our gains and interests. or poor, with lands, or without lauds, Whether it applied only to the preit is the same, unless you wish to sent possessions, or also to future draw back, and object to that fellow savings, I know not : this, of course, there as a son-in-law.”
will appear when the document is “John, John, this is too much, too produced; but the consequence, which generous. You must think of all that troubles me most, for your generous is before me--of what is impending resolve has made the loss of property over us, ere you cast your lot in with a lesser evil, is, that the slaves, the ours. Wait at least until this year poor dependants, whom I believed of ordeal is passed, and the event that I had once wronged, and had shows itself. "Let the young people determined to recompense by a fube free till then."
ture well-being, must be wrested from “ Wait we must, Roger, for they my hands, and thrown back into a cannot marry yet, and must bide a worse state than before." while. That fellow must go forth, Well, Roger, it appears to me and make his way in the world, and that this is a point on which you are prove himself a man, ere he comes well justified in getting every opinion back to make his dovecote here; but and every evidence. It involves the as for being free, that's a matter interests of others more than your neither you nor I can arrange.
Consider the West Indian can't say to their hearts forget,' estates as a lost inheritance-as beyou know, Roger; and you don't in- yond your power of willing and betend to act the great Bashaw by lock- queathing to others, but let your ing up Rose ; nor shall I do the part conscience reserve the right of seeing of melodramatic father, by sending how your act can affect those conforth Gerald with a command to for- cerned by it. There is a year left
you for counsel, for inquiry. Use it ing seemed to us all! And then the well ; take opinions; send an agent next morning, when everything was over to the property to examine so bright and glad, to see the dark and report on everything connected spirit come back on poor papa-the with it. Recognise the letter and dark spirit which the memories and the spirit of the bond, but be sure, recollections of that old time in the for the sake of others, that you do West Indies ever brought back, and not more.”
the evil news which was spread over “Yes, John, you counsel well. With- Oh Gerald, 'tis a sad trial! I out any departure from my word, I know how papa will brood over it, may and will gather all the facts and and how the peace which he has felt proofs which will enable me most of late will be disturbed.” truly to fulfil it.”
“Yes, my bonny Rose, he will feel Thus soberly spake the elders, it doubtless; but we must lighten grave men, talking gravely of honour, his burden; and, after all, 'tis only conscience, duties, interests: hearts, the loss of so many acres, so many young hearts, were softly hovering pounds; and my father laughs at that, over the same subject. The difficulty and says, if Penhaddoc is not enough fell on them, with a difference. The for us, we must be more extravagant cloud which masses heavily on the in our desires than our forbears have banked rock or dark thicket, passes been.” only with a light shade over the open “No, Gerald, 'tis not the loss of glade, the garden, or the running wealth which distresses him so much, brook. Rose and Gerald whispered though I think he had some little and murmured the doubts and fears pride in thinking his daughter would raised by the cousin's visit. He not be undowered ; but the thought laughed at them, tossed them to the of the poor people, whom he believes winds in sport, blew them forth as that he had formerly wronged, passbubbles which would expand and ing into other hands, to be subject to burst. It was the inauguration of any oppression, or neglect, or illthe man's mission, inspiring trust, treatment, grieves him sadly.” inspiring strength, breathing hope. Yes, I suppose that is the hardShe felt them as mysterious agencies, est part; but I heard the Squire say boding influences, gathering round that he hoped that might possibly her young love; but the loving soul be averted without breach of word still looked through them clear and or contract; so let us hope, my bonny hopeful.
Rose – hope that the storm may Lo 'Twas well, Rose, I think, that I pass over, and meantime, like the took heart and spoke that night, be- summer birds, and the summer things fore the cousin, with his dark curls around us, we will joy in the brightand large eyes, put in his claim,” ness of our present. For a time of said Gerald, laughingly; " or I might parting is nigh-don't look so sad, have had to play the part of a love- sweet Rose-it will be short, but it lorn cavalier, have taken to gam- must be. The Squire insists that I bling or melancholy, or gone forth to should go forth into the world, and seek some foreign wars, since our approve myself a man, before I settle own seem ended now; and you would down here. He says he will have no have been queen of a plantation, with milksop, no Corydon, no Lumpkin, I don't know how many slaves under loitering, and piping, and fattening you. What a destiny you lost!” about the old place. And he is right,
Rose gave a little shudder, and Rose. 'Twill be a sore struggle to drew closer to her lover, looking up quit thy dear side, and leave all the in his face half fondly, half reproach- dear old haunts; but I feel that, to fully, even at such a jesting thought. do the work and play the part before
“Oh, Gerald, what a dreadful day me worthily and well, I must become that was ! how frightened I was at a man, and learn the ways of men.” cousin's talk, his stories, his swear- “Oh, Gerald, you will leave me for ing, his passion, and his compliments; so long-leave me here alone in the and then such a happy evening. What old walks and over the old books, a comfort and protection your com- and you will come back so world
made and so world-wise, that you turing, all my tutoring, fits me best will care no more about the old sim- for soldiership. 'Tis thus I must see ple pleasures; and even poor simple and learn life, if at all. Besides, the Rose will have to become fashion- Squire has set his heart on it. He able and modish, and learn to do the thinks it the proper sphere for a fine lady."
Grenfell. At one time there was a “Out upon you, little mocker; you thought of my being an attaché to know my love for home and home some embassy ; but he has a strange scenes, that 'tis the strongest thing prejudice, some way, against our dipin my heart, perhaps next to love of fomatist ancestor, who was, I believe, thee and the dear old people, and is the most noted man among us. Só mixed up with it too; for there's not that was given up, and the army a glade, or a walk, or a tree that is fixed on. The cavalry, too, was a not knit with some memory; and I point with him. He clings to the shall come back at all the old holi- old idea of the Eques and the Cavaday times, when we used to ramble lier, and thinks a gentleman should in the woods, or stroll by the brook, only fight on horseback, though our and always at the Christmas-tide, the foot men have done such noble work old hearty, pleasant time. And say of late." not you will be alone, Rose; there But there may be war, Gerald, will be many loving hearts around, and you will be in those terrible batall looking to you for comfort and tles, and we shall have to watch and joy now. The Squire, let him say pray for you, and tremble at every what he will, will mope when I go, post and every despatch, and wait and the mother will pine, and you with agony and dread for the list of must cheer them with your smiles, killed and wounded, like the poor your laugh, and your happiness; and lady in the village, whose husband then there is
father-remember was away in the late wars. Oh, 'tis what is hanging over him, and how horrible to think of !” he looks at all times of trial and dis- “There is no chance of such thing, tress to his light on the hearth.”” I fear, Rose ; for our old foes, the
There was a tear-drop in her eye; French, are quiet enough, and their but her bosom swelled at the same great man is safely locked up in Elba; time, as woman's ever does at the so I shall have to listen only to tales thought of a duty, and in it she saw of hero deeds and wonderful advena mission and a consolation.
tures. I must confess, however, But, dear Gerald, where are you though you and your mother would going, and what to do ?”
call it naughtiness of heart, that I "Oh, to some terrible distance, should like to see a foughten fieldand to do some terrible work. I to stand in the stern strife between shall go as far-ay, as far, perhaps, man and man. I think that the as to the cavalry barracks in London manhood and man- knowledge the or Dublin, and shall see some dread- Squire talks so much of, would come fully severe work in Hyde Park or upon me at once, as a nature and an the Phoenix.”
inspiration. But enough of this, “You will not be a soldier, Gerald sweet one ; look up-let me see the
no, not a soldier ?” said Rose, with bright face.” a little palpitation, though perhaps Ånd she did look up; and he there was a lurking pride in her pressed the red lips, the fair foreheart at the lover's choice of a voca- head, and pressed the soft form closer tion.
and closer to him ; and then there Not a goldier, Rose! Then, what were those soft gentle murmurings, should I be? I should shine at the whisperings, and wooings, as uninbar, I think-be sure to become a telligible and meaningless as the coolord chancellor, or be very eminent ings of doves or the soughing of as an M.D.; or what say you to my winds to those without ; but to those donning the Geneva gown, reading who utter, and those who hear, they homilies, taking the family living, have the eloquence and joy of a life. and looking forward to a bishopric And so the shades of eve crept
the far future? No; all my nur- softly on, and the brook rippled, and
the breeze sighed, and the nightin- yes; after long, long years, I feel gale began its song, and young hearts that. held their commune; and so one As I left, Quamino waylaid me, stage passed, and another was to be and, drawing me mysteriously aside, entered on. The boy and girl were saidman and woman the playfellows “You go to Barbadoes, massa. lovers. Around them love threw a You do Quamino a favour. You ask bright light; before them—before all for me old Mammy--old Mammy -stood trial and suspense.
Quamino. She lib on Massa John's So we passed on into life,-Gerald place. She berry ole now. You gib to his Hussar regiment, I to the her dis little money: Me know she Temple and the law. Rose passed buy rum wid him ; but neber mind. like a sunbeam betwixt her home And you tell her me berry well and and Penhaddoc, doing the mission of berry fat, and dat Domingo dead, the loving heart-shedding in turn a and Pepperpot live and frisky; and light on each hearth.
--after a pause, as if struggling beTime went on, and we all met twixt the tie of caste and the love of again, about three months before the his master, he jerked out_“You ask period named by the cousin for the her bout Massa John's moder's pedifinal answer to his proposal. Great gree. You ask dat; she know all. events (ay, they were both great Him call me damned nigger. Hi!events to us, though the one loomed p’haps more nigger dan dis here. larger and vaster than the other) had Him trike my shins. Hi !-me find called us together. The war-the war hole in him blanket p’haps. Hi ! of the Hundred Days—had broken You ask dat.” out, and Gerald was going forth to And with this mysterious message the battle-field. I, too, had my mis- he disappeared. sion. Trevenna, hopeless of getting Good-night! 'Twas a sad goodthe necessary information otherwise, night this time for poor Rose. In had resolved on sending out an agent the little chamber, by the little to Barbadoes, to make all and every white-curtained bed, she sat sobbing, inquiry and investigation into the or knelt praying, or rose and looked nature of the tie which bound him; forth on the old hawthorn tree; and and I volunteered to go also. I had then she knelt, and sobbed, and come to say farewell ; so had Gerald. prayed, and looked again, on through How differently was it said and the long dreary watches of the night. heard! Around him were shed tears And for long days and nights yet to and sobs, and blessings and prayers: come, she would so watch, and think, a few cold wishes, coldly kind fare- and pray. No mother was near her wells, sped me forth ; and yet I was
Ι now; but the guardian presencesgoing forth for others. The mission did they not then fold closely round of goodwill often passes thus un- the fair young head, and breathe a known and unhailed, whilst that of spirit-comfort into that young mournself or glory is cheered and hurrahed. ing heart? Yet it bears its compensation. Yes,
The scene is changed. We are in avenues of cocoa-palms, stately and the West Indies-in Barbadoes. The sombre, to the planters' houses, and hot tropic sun is shining; dark faces there, day by day, we make our inare grinning at us, and harsh voices quiries and carry on our investigaclash on our ears; and we pass over tion, never getting nearer the end, hot dust and sand ; through rows of though often led by delusions and shingle houses, hot and dingy-looking stories. Much we see and hear of brooding hearts. But of the one said, more composedly;"me Mammy thing we wanted we could learn Quamino.” nothing; all the papers we had I then told her of her son, gave access to, all the transfers and bills his message, and her dull eyes lighted of sale up to a certain time—up to a little ; gave her the gold, and they the drawing of the contract-were shone. all in the joint name of the brothers, “So de boy berry well-eh? and and all seemed to include the slaves him with Massa Roger still. Ah, as part and parcel of the property. Massa Roger berry good man-a To the lawyer mind of my com- leetle bad when him hab dat woman, panion, it seemed beyond a doubt, but him good heart—him good heart that if the property were given up, for nigger. Oh, dat noting, saar," so must the slaves be; but it struck she answered to my glance, as the him as quite possible that the com- moans came more frequently, from pact might not include any wealth within ; "oh, dat noting, only me which was afterwards accumulated granchild ; Missey bab him flog dis or saved. This, however, would be evening. She always flog-look at a small comfort, a partial result of him.” She pushed the door open as our labours, if the great aim were she spoke, and there lay a boy, almost missed—the great object defeated. a child, with his back bleeding, So, however, it seemed ; and we were writhing and turning in a little heap preparing to return, depressed and of leaves. disheartened at our failure-I at Quamino's hint about the pedigree having done nought for those I loved; now flashed across me. “By Missey he at being baffled in his professional you mean young Trevenna's mother. research. A few days before the Your son told me to ask you about ship in which we had taken our pas- her pedigree.” sage was to sail, I bethought me of “What dat you say?" she shrieked Quamino's message and trust, and out, her eyes glaring, and her whole set forth one sultry evening in search frame stiffening;
what dat you of his mammy. After much trouble, say? my son want me to tell de and many wondering queries what pedigree. No, me nebber do dat-me Massa could want of ole Mammy feel de honour of de house — me Quamino, I came on a lone shingle. suckle Missey at dis breast-me no hut in a corner of the plantation ; an tell-nebber-nebber.” At that mooverhanging bank and a neighbour- ment the moans within became aling palm-tree threw a half shade over most yells. She trembled and shook, it, but it was a bare, dreary, comfort- and looked and gabbered at me until less spot. Some half gourds lay on I thought her senses had gone; and the ground, and at the door, half at last, clutching me close to her, lying, half crouching, was an old, hissed in my ear—“Yes, me tell ; very old negro woman; her skinny p’haps Massă Roger want to know; arms were stretched out, and her me tell
. Missey's moder, she slave; head-bald, save for little stray knobs de master marry her, but nebber sign or patches of grey hair-was laid de paper; she nebber free, she slave; between them. She was muttering Missey slave — her son slave — all to herself, and listening to moans slave. Yes, Missey slave--all slave !" which came at times from within, and thus she continued, rocking to and then her hands and her voice and fro, moaning and muttering to would be lifted as if in cursing. herself. Nothing more would she It was some time ere I ventured to say, and, in fact, seemed scarcely senmake my presence known. At last I sible of aught, so I left, and on said, "Is this Mammy Quamino's joining my companion, told him my house ?"
story. He caught at the clue as a “Ah, who want me ?—who talk bloodhound catches up the lost scent of Mammy Quamino ?” she almost and ran on slowly, but perseveringly shrieked out, as she started and sat and untiringly. "He ransacked all bolt upright, showing a face ghastly 'the records of manumission, searched with age, want, and passion.“ You well into all records and archives, but want to speak me, saar?" she then nowhere could he find evidence or