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“ Petrel " had gone down. And now he through the grape-vines which over-clameven dreamed at night of the “Petrel," weath- bered the upper piazza, to the great, peaceful er-worn but richly laden, sailing into New current of the Ohio, flowing steadily in a Bedford harbor with Roxy on her prow, majestic stillness;-a placid giant is that while he stood in the crowd of rejoicing stock- river ;-he listened to the red-bird in a holders, anxious friends of sailors, curious neighboring cherry-tree pouring out an ecidlers, on the busy pier watching her return. stasy of amorous song to his mate, as he But the “Petrel" never, except in Whit- leaped joyously from bough to bough; and taker's dreams, floated again over the waters he, the grave, severe young minister, reof Buzzard's Bay. He hoped in vain for his joiced in hills, and sky, and river and dividend, and the weary wives of sailors on singing birds, half reproaching himself all the “Petrel " waited in vain for husbands the time for being so happy and feeling like whose grave-stones were the icebergs. a good boy that, under some impulse quite
But if the “Petrel" did not come, another irresistible, has suddenly played truant. ship did. The rich and childless deacon, Twonnet was long in appearing and Mr. who out of his large means had lent young Whittaker resumed his pacing to and fro, Whittaker enough to finish his education glancing every now and then at the hills for the ministry, died, and remembering and the river, and listening in a dreamy that notes and bonds could not add to his way to the delicious melody of the red-bird comfort in heaven, he willed to his bene. and the occasional soft cooing of a turtleficiary the amount of his debt. On the dove whose nest was in an apple-tree just very morning of Twonnet's fortune-telling beyond the garden fence. At last Twonnet Whittaker had gone feverishly to the village came out on the piazza —or porch, as they post-office in the back part of a dry goods call it in Indiana—and Whittaker told her, store, to look for the letter that should with what solemnity he could, of the death bring him news of the “Petrel.” He readily of the old deacon, and then of his own paid the thirty-seven and a half cents post- good fortune. age on a letter from his brother, and “ I'm glad," said Twonnet, beginning to opened it eagerly to read, not the return of guess what had kept Whittaker from visiting the “ Petrel,” but the death of Deacon Bor- Roxy. den and his own release from bondage. “Glad the deacon's dead?” queried I am afraid that his joy at his deliverance Whittaker, smiling. from debt exceeded his sorrow at the death "I do not know your friend and I can't of his benefactor. He would now carry be very sorry for him. But I do know you out a plan which he had lately conceived and I am glad, since he must die, that he of starting a school, for there was no good was good enough to give you your debt. one in the village. The two hundred dol- It shows he was prepared to go, you see, lars a year which this would bring, added so my pleasure is quite religious and right, to his two hundred from the Home Mission- and she laughed roguishly.
“Besides, you ary Society and the one hundred of salary don't seem heart-broken about it, and from the church, would be ample for his but here she checked herself, seeing that support and that of a wife.
she had given pain. He was so elated that he could not quite “I am afraid I have been selfish," said keep his secret. He had gotten into a Whittaker,—all the gladness had gone now, habit of talking rather freely to Twonnet. —“but you don't know what a nightmare Her abundant animal spirits were a relief this debt has been. I don't wonder that to his sobriety, and he had observed that debt makes men criminals—it hardens the her regard for him was kindly and disin- heart.” terested. So with his letter full of news, “Well, Mr. Whittaker, if he had wanted he began to walk the upper piazza,waiting for you to feel sorry when he had gone, he the blithe Twonnet to come out for she had ought to have given you the money while returned home and was now, as she “ made he was alive,” said Twonnet, lightly. Then up” the beds, singing and chatting to her she started away but looked back over her younger sisters half in French and half in shoulder to say teasingly, “ Now, Mr. WhitEnglish. In circumstances such as his, one taker, you'll go to see somebody, I'll bet.” must talk to somebody. Once he paused in “ Twonnet," he called after her, and his pacing to and fro and looked off at the when she had stopped he asked : “ Is there deep green of the Kentucky hills, overlaid by any reason why I shouldn't go to see somea thin blue atmospheric enamel; he looked body?”
“Of course not. Every reason why you | forsaken of her friends. She was mad with should go right off. You are not too late, the minister and with Roxy. but you will be if you wait.” This last was But Whittaker walked away in the sunsaid with the old bantering tone, and Whit- light full of hope and happiness. taker looked after her as she disappeared, saying to himself:
CHAPTER XIII. “ A splendid girl. Pity she is so giddy."
A WEATHER-BREEDER After mature reflection lasting fifteen min
PEEPS into the future are depressing. utes, he decided to call on Roxy Adams that very afternoon. He had not understood Twonnet's gypsy-gift did not raise Roxy's Twonnet's warning, but some apprehension spirits. By means of divination she had of grave disaster to his new-born hope, and suddenly found, not exactly that she was in the nervousness of an austere man who has love with Mark, but that she was in a fair not often found duty and inclination coinci- way to love him. It was painful, too, to dent, made him in haste to forestall any with Bonamy was not as she had thought
know that all the joy she had had in talking misadventure. He ate but little dinner, not even enjoying his favorite dish of dandelion it, purely religious and disinterested. Her greens cooked in good Swiss fashion. Mr.
sensitive conscience shuddered at the thought Lefaure watched anxiously and at last in
of self-deception, and she had been in this quired with earnestness :
case both deceiver and dupe. She had “ Est-ce que vous ne vous portez pas bien, but much in her shrewd insight.
little belief in Twonnet's gift of prophecy Monsieur ?"
Was it But Whittaker smiled and assured the true, then, that the great, brilliant and selfhost that he was well, but had no appetite. sacrificing Mark loved her? This thought
Twonnet, at last, solemnly told her father would have been enough to plunge her that Mr. Whittaker had received a letter into doubt and questionings. But Twonthat very morning informing him of the net's evident distrust of her hero vexed and death of an old friend, and this information perturbeil her. And then to have her other tallied so little with the expression on the hero suddenly thrown into the opposite minister's face that Twonnet's father was
scale drove her into a tangle of complex quite suspicious that the girl was playing feelings. How did Twonnet know anything one of her little pranks on him. But when about Mr. Whittaker's feeling toward her? he looked again at Whittaker's face it was
Was it likely that he would want to marry serious enough.
a Methodist ? After dinner he tried to get ready with
Alas! just when her life was flowing so great deliberation. By severe constraint smoothly and she seemed to be able to be he compelled himself to move slowly, and useful, the whole stream was suddenly perto leave the little front gate of palings, turbed by cross-currents and eddies, and painted black atop, in a direction oppo
she was thrown into doubts innumerable. site to that which his feet longed to take. Prayer did not seem to do any good; her
“ The other way,” cried the mischievous thoughts were so distracted that devotion voice of Twonnet, from behind a honey
was impossible. This distraction and desuckle which she affected to be tying up to pression seemed to her the hiding of the its trellis.
Lord's face. She wrote in her diary on “Presently," replied he, finding it so much
that day : easier not to keep his secret, and pleased with Twonnet's friendly sympathy. But that mitted some sin and the Lord has withdrawn from
“I am walking in great darkness. I have comword, spoken to her half in tenderness, me the light of his countenance. I try to pray, but pierced her like an arrow. A sharp pang my thoughts wander... I sear I have set my heart of jealousy and I know not what, shot on earthly things. What a sinner I am. Oh Lord! through her heart in that moment; the sun
have mercy! Leave me not in my distress. Show
me the right way, and lead me in paths of righteous. shine vanished from her face. She had ness for thy name's sake." accomplished her purpose in sending Mr. Whittaker to Roxy, and now her achieve- The coming of Whittaker that afternoon ment suddenly became bitter to her. She added to her bewilderment. She did her ran upstairs and closed her door and let best to receive him with composure and down the blind of green slats, then she cordiality, but Twonnet's prophecy had so buried her head in the great feather pillows impressed her beforehand with the purpose and cried her eyes red. She felt lonely and l of his visit that she looked on him from the
first in doubt, indecision and despair. And But again she looked out of the window, yet her woman's heart went out toward him straining her eyes in that blind, instinctive, as he sat there before her, gentle, manly, un- searching stare, to which we are all prone selfish and refined. It was clear to her then in time of perplexity. There was nothing that she could love him. But thoughts of without but some pea-vines, climbing and Mark Bonamy and his mission intruded. blossoming on the brush which supported Had Whittaker come a week or two earlier! | them, a square bed of lettuce and a hop
While the minister talked, Roxy could not vine clambering in bewildering luxuriance control her fingers at her knitting. Her over the rail fence. The peaceful henhands trembled and refused to make those mother, troubled by no doubts or scruples, motions which long since had become so scratched diligently in the soft earth, cluckhabitual as to be almost involuntary. There ing out her content with a world in which was one relief; Bobo sat alongside of her there were plenty of angle-worms and and the poor fellow grew uneasy as he seeming in her placidity to mock at discovered her agitation. She let fall her Roxy's perturbation. Why should all these knitting and pushed the hair from the dumb creatures be so full of peace ? Roxy boy's inquiring face, lavishing on him the had not learned that internal conflicts pity she felt for her suitor, speaking caress- are the heritage of superiority. It is so ing words to him, which he caught up and easy for small-headed stupidity to take no repeated like an echo in the tones of tender- thought for the morrow. ness which she used. Whittaker envied the But all that Roxy, with her staring out of perpetual child these caresses and the pitying the window, could see was that she could love which Roxy gave him. Roxy was not see anything at all. much moved by Whittaker's emotion. Her “Will you tell me, Miss Adams," asked pitiful heart longed not so much to love him the minister, presently, “whether I am treadfor her own sake as to comfort him for his ing where I ought notwhether you are sake. Some element of compassion must engaged ?" needs have been mingled with the highest ' No, I am not." Roxy was a little startlove of which she was capable.
led at his addressing her as “ Miss Adams." The minister came to the love-making For in a western village the Christian rather abruptly. He praised her and his name is quite the common form of speech praises were grateful to her, he avowed to a young person. his love, and love was very sweet to her, There was another long silence, during but it was when, having exhausted his which Roxy again inquired of the idlepraises and his declarations, he leaned looking pea-vines, and the placid hen, and forward his head on his hand, and said, the great, green hop-vine clambering over “Only love me, Roxy, if you can,” that the fence. Then she summoned courage she was deeply moved. She ceased her to speak : caresses of the boy and looked out of the " Please, Mr. Whittaker, give me time to window in silence, as though she would think-to think and pray for light. Will fain have found something there that might you wait,wait a week—or so ? I cannot show her a way out of the perplexities into see my way." which her life had come. Bobo, in whose "I cannot see my way," put in Bobo, mind there was always an echo, caught at pathetically. the last words, and imitating the very tone “ Certainly, Roxy. Good-bye!” of the minister, pleaded :
She held out her hand, he pressed it “Only love me, Roxy, if you can.” but without looking at her face, put on
This was too much for the girl's pent-up his hat, and shook hands with little Bobo, emotions, she caught the lad and pressed whose sweet infantile face looked after him him in her arms eagerly, saying or sobbing: wistfully.
“ Yes, I will love you, Bo, God bless you!” He was gone and Roxy sighed with
She had no sooner relaxed her hold than relief. But she had only postponed the the minister, in whose eyes were tears, put decision. his arm about the simple lad and em- The minister, who had carried away much braced him also, much to the boy's delight. hope, met Mr. Adams in the street, and, This act, almost involuntary as it was, partly because he felt friendly toward everytouchedd Roxy's very heart. She was ready body and toward all connected with Roxy in that moment to have given herself to the in particular, he stopped to talk with him; good man.
and he in turn was in one of his most con
trary moods, and took pains to disagree “I thought he'd made a burnt sackerfice with the preacher about everything.
of hisself and laid all on the altar, and was “It is a beautiful day," said Whittaker agoin' off to missionate among the Texiat last, as he was saying good-bye, resolved cans,” said Jemima, prudently reserving her perhaps to say one thing which his friend heavier shot to the last, and bent on teasing could not controvert.
her opponent. “Yes, nice day," growled Adams, “but “Well, I don't imagine that'll come to a weather-breeder."
anything,” said Mrs. Hanks. • Young This contradictoriness in the shoe-maker Christians in their first love, you know, took all the hopefulness out of Whittaker. always want to be better than they ought, The last words seemed ominous. He re- and I don't think Mark ought to throw turned home dejected, and when Twonnet away his great opportunities. Think how essayed to cheer him and to give him an much good he might do in Congress; opportunity for conversation by saying that and then, you know, a Christian congressit was a beautiful day, he startled himself man is such an ornament-to-to the by replying, with a sigh:
church." “Yes, but a weather-breeder."
“ An' to all his wife's relations besides," chuckled the wicked Jemima. “ But for my part, I don't 'low he's more'n a twenty
'leventh part as good as Roxy: She's jam CARPET-RAGS AND RIBBONS.
up all the time, and he's good by spells and “ It seems to me
in streaks—one of the fitty and jerky kind." Mrs. Henrietta Hanks speak- “Jemima, you oughtn't to talk that way." ing to her faithful Jemima on the day Mrs. Hanks always pitted her anger and after the events recorded in the previous her slender authority against Jemima's rude chapter of this story. Jemima and her wit. “You don't know but Mark 'll come mistress were cutting up all manner of to be my nephew, and you ought to have old garments and sewing them into carpet- more respect for my feelings." rags, while Bonaparte Hanks, whose name “ They haint no immegiate danger of is better known to our readers in its fore- that," answered Jemima, with emphasis. shortened form as Bobo, was rolling the “He may come to be your nephew to be yellow balls of carpet-rags across the floor sure, and the worl' may stop off short all to after the black ones, and clapping his hands wunst and come to a eend by Christmas. in a silly delight, which was in strange con- But neither on 'em's likely enough to make trast to his growing bulk.
it wuth while layin' awake to think about “ It seems to me,” said Mrs. Hanks, it." “ that Mark and Roxy will make a match “ How do you know?" of it.”
“Well, I went over arter Bobo yesterday Umph,” said Jemima. She did not evenin',* an' what d'ye think I see?" say “umph,"-nobody says that; but she Mrs. Hanks did not inquire, so Jemima gave forth one of those guttural utterances was obliged to proceed on her own account. which are not put down in the dictionary. “ I see Mr. Whittaker a-comin' out of The art of alphabetic writing finds itself the house, with his face all in a flash, like as quite unequal to the task of grappling with ef he'd been a-talkin' sumpin pertikular
, such words, and so we write others which an' he spoke to me kinder shaky and trimnobody ever uses, such as umph and eh and blin like. An' when I come in, I see ugh, as algebraic signs to represent the un- Roxy's face sort a red and white in spots, known quantity of an expressive and per- and her eyes lookin' down and to one haps unique objurgation. Wherefore, let sides, and anywheres but straight,-kinder "umph," which Jemima did not say, equal wander'n'roun' onsartain, like's ef she wus the intractable, undefinable, not-to-be- afeared you'd look into 'em and see sumpin spelled word which she did use. And that you hadn't orter." undefinable word was in its turn an al- Well, I do declare!” Whenever Mrs. gebraic symbol for a whole sentence, a Hanks found herself entirely at a loss for formula for general, contemptuous, and indescribable dissent. “ He goes there a good deal,” replied South, is used in its primary sense of the later
Evening," in the Ohio valley and in the Mrs. Hanks, a little subdued by Jemima's afternoon, not as in the eastern states, to signify mysterious grunt.
the time just after dark.
words and ideas she proceeded after this when his mother prudently took it away formula to declare. She always declared from him, put on his cap, led him to the that she did declare, but never declared door and said : what she declared.
“Go to Roxy." “Well, I do declare!" she proceeded after “Go to Roxy !" cried the little fellow, a pause. “Jemimy Dumbleton, if that don't starting down the path, repeating the words beat the Dutch! for you to go prying into over and over to himself as he went, as people's houses, and peeping into their eyes though he found it needful to revive inand guessing their secrets, and then to run stantly his feeble memory of his destination. around tattling them all over town to every- Having thus comfortably shed her body, and
maternal responsibilities, Mrs. Hanks proBut the rest of this homily will never ceeded to shed the carpet-rags also, by be known, for at this critical moment the arraying herself to go out. This was a very lad with the ambitious name, who was en- simple matter, even for the wife of one gaged in developing his military genius by of the principal men in the town, for in firing carpet-rag cannon-balls in various those good old days of simplicity nothing directions and watching their rebound, more elaborate than a calico dress and sunmade a shot which closed the squabble bonnet was needed to outfit a lady for between Mrs. Hanks and her help. He minor shopping. Mrs. Hanks's sun-bonnet bowled a bright red ball-relic of an old was soon adjusted, and she gave Jemima a flannel shirt-through the middle of a farewell look, expressive of her horror of screen which covered the fire-place in the gossiping propensities, and then proceeded summer. When he heard the crashing of to where the tin sign beside the door read, the ball through the paper he set up a “Miss Moore,
“Miss Moore, Millinery and
Millinery and Mantuashout of triumph, clapping his hands to maker,” for the purpose of verifying Jemigether, but when he saw that his missile ma's report did not come back from its hiding-place, Miss Moore was all attention. She he stood looking in stupefied curiosity at showed Mrs. Hanks the latest novelty in, the screen, the paper of which had almost scoop-shovel bonnets which she had just closed over the rent. He was quite unable brought from Cincinnati, got out her box to account for the sudden and total eclipse of ribbons and set it on the table, and asof his red ball.
sented to everything Mrs. Hanks said with Mrs. Hanks saw with terror the screen, her set formula of “ very likely, Mrs. Hanks, which had cost the unskilled hands of her- very likely.” self and Jemima two or three hours of cut- Miss Moore was not at all the conventing and planning and pasting, destroyed at tional old maid. She was one of the mild a blow. Mischief done by responsible kind, whose failure to marry came neither hands has this compensation, that one has from flirting nor from a repellent temper, the great relief of scolding, but one would nor from mere chance, but, if it is needful as well scold the wind as to rebuke so to account for it at all, from her extreme irresponsible an agent as Bobo. Mrs. docility. A woman who says “indeed ” Hanks seized him by the collar and shook and “very likely” to everything, is very him, then ran to the screen and put her favorless." Adams had concluded to marry hands behind it, holding the pieces in place her now, perhaps, because he liked paraas one is prone to do in such a case. It is doxes and because Miss Moore with her the vague, instinctive expression of the wish ready assent would be the sharpest possible that by some magic the injury might be re- contrast to his contradictoriness. Then, called. Then she looked at her late antag- too, she was the only person he could think onist, Jemima, for sympathy, and then she of with whom he could live without quarrellooked at the rent and uttered that un- ing. She never disputed anything he said, spellable interjection made by resting the no matter how outrageous. He experitongue against the roof of the mouth and mented on her one day by proving to her, suddenly withdrawing it explosively. One conclusively, that polygamy was best and writes it “tut-tut-tut,” but that is not it according to Scripture, and when he had at all.
done and looked to see her angry, she Bobo fretted a little, as he generally did smiled and said, “ Very likely-very likely, after being shaken up in this way, but hav- | indeed.” ing recovered his red ball, he was on the Now that the long-becalmed bark of point of dashing it through the screen again, I Miss Moore was about to sail into the