Billeder på siden

playing a dreadful game—the stake, human life. The grave is the winner!

Let us pass by these scenes; let us go down into the dark, gloomy, dirty cellar of Giles-or, rather, as old Sebastian called him, Dick Wilson. Giles is not alone. On his rough bed, writhing in the agonies of death, is seen the once gay and fashionable form of Robinson. He is in pain, and Giles mocks him with a hellish smile. The dying man's eyes are fixed upon his companion, who, seated on a small stool a short distance from his victim, eyes him with malicious satisfaction.

"How do you feel, Captain, my boy ?" he inquired. "Wretch, you are murdering me."

"No, Captain, not murdering-I am somewhat of a careless nurse, and if I give you a glass of water too much, or an extra dose of calomel or oil, it is, you know, a professional error, ha! ha! ha! The extra glass you have taken!" “Villain! I will cry for help."

"Do, and the dead-cart will stop at the door. Scream, Captain-Giles is a professional nurse-ha! ha! ha!" Dick, you do not mean to murder me-will you allow me to die?"


"No, certainly not; here is the oil, there the calomel, ha ha ha!"

"Villain! murderer! Dear Giles, I am not so sick-you Ishall have thousands of dollars-call Dr. Carson; he can cure me: I am not so bad, I am sure.


[ocr errors]

'Captain, you mistake, you cannot recover."

"What motive have you, Dick, in treating me so?"

"Motive!" screamed forth Giles, kicking the stool to the farthest end of the room- "What motive? Listen: That girl that young, innocent girl-a child-that Jane whom I-I decoyed to your den of infamy-she was ruined,

she was mocked, she was scorned, and left alone for days and nights, crying out for help-you laughed, you shouted in triumph, and then she died."

"Well, what of that? I could not nurse her." "No, but you could ruin her."

"Others died."

"True! Will you take the oil, Captain ?" "Monster!"

"Well, listen, Captain, to the monster's story. That little girl, whose wrongs must be revenged-mark me, revenged! —was as pure as angels when she entered that house. She was taken there to die-I have brought you here for the same purpose."

"Would you murder me for a simple girl?"

"No, certainly not. Had you decoyed all the youth and beauty in town to your house, and kept them there to die, I should have said nothing, if—if that one had escaped."

"What interest had you in her fate more than that of others?"

"She was my daughter!"

"Father of Mercies !"

"Aye! pray-pray for your soul's salvation. Now, ask me if I will spare your life? Death is on your brow, man; man, your career on earth has run out."

"Will you not endeavor to save me, Giles?"

"Remember Jane!"

"Will you not hand me those powders?"

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

As he spoke, Robinson drew a pistol from beneath the bed-clothes, and with a sure aim, before Giles could prevent


it, fired. The ball struck him fairly; he fell back, but recovering himself, he made a desperate attempt to reach the bed-his limbs faltered-the eyes of the two men met, a fiendish smile lit up the death-like features of Robinson; Giles caught hold of the bed-clothes to save himself from falling-his eyes glared in savage wildness-his victim laughed the laugh of a dying maniac-it was one of hate and scorn--while a yell, as of a demon, escaped from Giles. Life was going out-they gasped for breath to give expression to the direful feelings of their hearts- -a deep voice came up from the street, " Bring out your dead!" 'Bring out your dead!" For a moment their wandering eyes met; again they were turned toward the window, as if to catch the meaning of the words uttered; one effort, and Giles had now reached within a few feet of Robinson; his fingers were distended and his teeth gnashed—it was the moment of life and death to both; he stood erect; his right arm was raised, and then he fell to the floor a stiffened corpse. Robinson raised himself up-he looked down-he attempted to laugh, but death refused him the gratification of this his last wish on earth. Bring out your dead!" " Bring out your dead!" and ere those two bodies were cold, both were consigned to one grave. Giles slept beside his daughter and her seducer. “The dead often possess terrible secrets, that the grave-diggers have closed up with them in their tombs."



"Let's not unman each other, pair at once

All farewells should be sudden, when forever."-BYRON.

Mary recovered, and the kind, and almost paternal, interest taken in her welfare by Stephen Girard, soon restored

her once more to her humble, though peaceful home. Shortly after, she had the satisfaction of presenting to her husband the little iron box, containing money and jewels to the amount of over four thousand dollars, which, added to a large balance in the Bank of North America, rendered her an object of interest beyond all those personal and mental accomplishments which first won the heart of WILLIAM COOPER.





In the year 1829, the writer of this had the pleasure of taking a cup of tea with the family of Captain William Moore. Moore was, and is, for he still lives, as fine a fellow as ever sailed before the mast. The family of my friend consisted of himself, wife, and his wife's father and mother; at least so they were recognized, for she was an adopted child, and most dearly did they love her, and as truly was that love returned. She was at that period a most beautiful woman, and her death in a foreign land, in 1831, spread a gloom over the declining years of her parents, which not even the kindness of Moore (for he was to them all that a son should be), could remove. They are gone long since, and to this day, as regular as the Sabbath returns, does William Moore visit their tombs in old St. Paul's church-yard. "Twas but a few Sundays ago we stood beside their earthly homes, and the tears-aye, the tears of a brave and good heart fell on the clear white marble. He thought of one far away, whose bones were mouldering on heathen ground. But I am digressing.

On the evening alluded to above, old Mr. Cooper amused us with many a pleasing anecdote, and then would he change from the lively to the sad, and recite some of the distressing scenes which occurred in '93. In the evening, Stephen Girard called, and the pleasure of that hour was enhanced in listening to his conversation. It is a fact not

generally known, that Stephen Girard, at the social fireside, or before a bottle of sparkling wine, was a very different person from what he was on 'Change. He could tell a story with a gusto that was charming. His naive manner, to which was added the French idiom and a total "abandon" to the subject, was not only highly amusing, but interesting. One of his stories, the "Massacre of St. Domingo," will be remembered by many of his old friends, and which has since appeared in one of our periodicals, most highly colored, by one of our best writers. When Stephen Girard prepared to depart, he stood for a moment at the door. He raised his hat; we all arose: "Captain Moore," said he, and his voice faltered, "your vessel sails to-morrow at high water; good night." The door closed, and we sat down gazing at each other in astonishment. From that voyage Mrs. Moore returned not. And here endeth the


« ForrigeFortsæt »