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looked-for haven, she set all her pennons you plainly 't I shouldn't be surprised if flying. This call from Mrs. Hanks, who there was something in that, now I come to was the sister of the first Mrs. Adams, think of it. Very likely, indeed.” seemed to her very significant. She be- With this Mrs. Hanks had to be content, came more complacent than ever before. for to all further inquiries Miss Moore reIf Mrs. Hanks thought the orange ribbon a turned only her stereotyped assent. little too bright, Miss Moore said, “very At last Mrs. Hanks turned away from likely, indeed.” If Mrs. Hanks thought the ribbons without buying and said : the blue just the thing, Miss Moore was “ Well, I must be going.” again impressed and said, “very likely." Very likely," said Miss Moore from But when Mrs. Hanks said that on the sheer habit. And then, too, she was turnwholc the blue would not do, Miss Moore ing over in her mind the intelligence Mrs. thought so, too.
Hanks had given her, and what a nice At last Mrs. Hanks pushed back her morsel it would be to tell the wife of the sun-bonnet, fingered the rolls of ribbon ruling elder in Mr. Whittaker's church. absently, and approached the point of attack.
CHAPTER XV. “ Well, Miss Moore, they do say you're not going to be Miss Moore always."
MARK'S MISSION. The milliner smiled and blushed and bridled a little, and then gave way and tit- “ You don't say so.” It was Sheriff tered. For when a woman's courtship Lathers who spoke, as he did so, putting comes late, the omitted emotions of her his boots up on the mantel-piece, leaning girlhood are all interpolated farther on, and back in his chair and spitting in the fireit is no affectation for her to act like a young place-expectorating by way of facilitating girl. Young girl she is in all the fluttering the expression of his ideas. He never emotions of a young girl. Only the flutter could say anything of great importance ing does not seem to us so pretty and without stopping to spit, and his little clique fitting as it might have been twenty years of hangers-on knew that when Major earlier.
Tom Lathers thus loosened his mental “ Well, I suppose Roxy wont trouble machinery he was about to say something
quite oracular. It was the signal for genMiss Moore looked mysterious.
eral silence and intense attention on the “ Very likely, indeed," she replied, and part of the bottle-nosed deputy and other then added with a blush, “ I've heard she interested disciples of the eminent and ashas a beau.” Miss Moore had heard only tute political philosopher whose misfortune of Mark's attentions, but the suspicious it was that he must repose his boots on the Mrs. Hanks was now on the track of Whit-poplar mantel-piece in the sheriff's office in taker.
Luzerne, rather than on the sofas in the “Mr. Whittaker?" she queried.
United States Senate Chamber, for which “ Very likely.” This was said partly last position of repose nature had clearly from habit and partly to cover her real sur intended him. But while I have thus prise at hearing the name of Whittaker. digressed the philosopher has run his sharp But this mechanical assent did not satisfy gray eyes in a scrutinizing way around the the inquisitive lady.
circle of admiring loafers, has rammed his “Now do you know anything about it, fists into his pockets, corrugated his intelMiss Moore? Don't say “very likely' but lectual brow, resumed his meditative stare tell me plainly."
at the fire-place, in which there are the Miss Moore was cornered. She did not charred relics of the last fire it contained, want to tell a lie, for Miss Moore was as destined to remain until the next fire shall truthful as a person of her mild temper could be lighted in the fall. And now he is be. But she was very loth to confess her ready to speak. ignorance and thus lose something of her “Well, I'll be swinged!" Here he importance in the eyes of Mrs. Hanks. paused. Pauses of this sort whet people's
· Well, being's it's you, Mrs. Hanks—he appetites. He looked about him once more ing's it's you"-Miss Moore spoke as though to be sure that he had now fairly arrested she were going to sell a bonnet under price the whole-hearted attention of his devout -"I don't mind telling you the plain truth followers, without any double-and-twisting. I tell “ I didn't believe on ways, as Mark Bon
amy would go, and he wouldn't a gone a sensitive vanity, prone to change color with step ef the ole man hadn't a threatened. every change of surrounding. Mark's one of this 'ere kind : you can coax Mark Bonamy was not yet a licensed him and tole him with a yer of corn, but preacher, nor even an exhorter, for his jist try to drive him and he wont. "Git up,' probation of six months had not expired. says you, ‘I wont,' says he; 'Git up there,' He exhorted in meeting by general consent, says you, I'll be dogged ef I do,' says he, but as a layman. A glowing account of and lets his heels Hy and you keel over his abilities and of his missionary enthusibackward. I tried drivin' and tolin' last asm had been sent to Bishop Hedding, summer and he kicked up every time I who immediately booked him in his mind tried the spurs onto him. But he's goin' to as suited to some dangerous and difficult Texas shore enough, they say. That'll wear rôle; for Hedding looked on men as a chessout soon and he'll be back here, like the player does upon his pieces, he weighed prodigal son, eatin' swine's flesh with the well the difference between a knight and a rest of us."
rook, and especially between a piece with Here he gave a knowing look at each of great powers and a mere pawn. The death his auditors and received a significant blink of Dr. Martin Ruter had weakened the in return.
Texan mission. In Mark, as described to Just at this point Mark Bonamy himself him, he saw a man of force who might in time came in to attend to some business with prove of the utmost value to the church in that the sheriff's deputy.
new republic. So he wrote to Mark, asking “Good morning, Major," he said, half- if he would proceed in the autumn to Texas conscious at once that he had interrupted and take a place as second man on a cirsome conversation about himself.
cuit of some five hundred miles around, with “Howdy, Mark? Goin' to Texas, shore forty-seven preaching-places. The letter as shootin', so they say ? "
came at the right moment, for Bonamy had “Yes.” This with some hesitation, as of just returned from the great camp-meeting a man who would fain make an avowal in Moore's Woods, with all his religious enwith reserve lest he should want to creep thusiasm and missionary zeal at white heat. out of it.
He had renewed for the tenth time in six “Well, Mark," here Lathers paused, months his solemn consecration of himself placed his feet on the mantel-piece again to some great work, had made a public and and again performed the preliminary rite penitent confession of his backslidings, and of expectoration, “ I do say that they aint resolved to grow cold no more. And of many folks that gives up more'n you do all his spiritual leaders none were wise in goin' away on a fool mission to con- enough to know and point out to him that vert the heathen. Now, Mark, it mayn't be this keying himself higher than his impulsive a bad move after all. Texas is a small nature would bear, was one of his chief republic, and you may come to be pres- perils. Reactions were inevitable while he ident there, like Joseph did in the land continued to be Mark Bonamy. of Canaan. Hey? And Texas may be But while he was thus, as Cartwright hitched on behind Uncle Sam's steamboat would have said, “under a shouting latisome day as a sort of yawl. In which case tude," there came the letter · from the look out for Mark Bonamy, United States great bishop like the voice of God telling Senator. It's better to be capt'in of a yawl | him to leave his father's house, and to get than deck-hand on board the General him out into the wilderness to seek the lost Pike. I don't know whether you're such a sheep. Many a man gets committed to fool after all. Joseph didn't go down into some high and heroic course in his best, Egypt for nothing. He had his eye on the moment, often wondering afterward by corn."
what inspiration he was thus raised above Here Lathers winked at the deputy's himself. Happy is he whose opportunity luminous nose, and then looked seriously of decision finds him at high-water mark. at Bonamy. Somehow Mark, at this mo- Happy, if he have stability enough to stand ment, felt ashamed of his mission, and was by his decision after it is made. quite willing to have Lathers impute to him Mark was not without debate and hesitainterested designs rather than to appear to tion. He might even now have faltered the eyes of that elevated moral philosopher but for two things. The influence of Roxy a mar who was somewhat disinterested and and of his father alike impelled him to actherefore a fool. The real chameleon is a l cept. As soon as the word came to Colonel
Bonamy that Mark had received such a customed directness and fervor, but with a letter, he did his best, unwittingly, to con- faltering voice. Twonnet's fortune-telling firm him in his purpose by threatening him had awakened in Roxy a sense of the again with disinheritance. It only needed strength of her own feeling for Mark, and to awaken the son's combativeness to give with this came a maidenly delicacy. She his resolution strength and consistency. faltered, hesitated, picked her words, prayed Even the religious devotion of a martyr in platitudes, until at last, after mentioning may gain tone from inborn oppugnancy. Mark only in the most general way, she
Then there was the influence of Roxy. proceeded to pray for those to whom he Her relation to Mark was only that of a was sent. All the force of her strong nature confidential religious friend: Hc had had found utterance in the cry of the lost, and occasion to consult her rather frequently, when she ceased everybody was weeping. sometimes when meeting her on the street, And when the brethren and sisters rose sometimes calling at her house. But how from their knees, the old schoolmaster in the often does one have to remark that mere amen corner started to sing: friendship between a young man and a
“ From Greenland's icy mountains;' young woman is quite impossible for any considerable time. There is no King Knud and as everybody sang it with feeling, Mar who can say to the tide of human affection, felt ashamed that he should ever have " thus far and no farther." Mark's love thought of any other life than that of a misfor Roxy had ceased to be Platonic-he sionary. It were better to die of malarial was not quite Plato. But how should he fever among the rowdies and rattlesnakes even confess to himself that he loved Roxy. of the Brazos River, than to live a thousand For loving Roxy and going on a mission to years in ease and plenty. And when at the Brazos River were quite inconsistent. the close of the meeting the military notes A man was not supposed to want a wife to of “Am I a Soldier of the Cross ? " resounded help him fight Indians, rattlesnakes, Mexi- through the old meeting-house, Mark recan desperadoes and starvation. And to gretted that so much time would intervene give up the mission for Roxy's sake would before he could reach the field of battle. have been to give up Roxy also. He knew In this state of enthusiasm he walked dimly that it was only in the light of a self- home with Roxy. And this enthusiasm sacrificing hero that she admired him. Per- lifted him almost to the height of Roxy's haps he unconsciously recognized also that perpetual exaltation. They talked of that this admiration of him on her part had in which they both were interested, and is served to keep his purpose alive.
it strange that they were drawn the one to the other by their community of feeling? Mark did not even now distrust himself; he
did not once imagine that there was any AFTER THE MEETING.
difference between his flush of zeal, and the On the Wednesday evening following life-long glow of eager unselfishness and Mark's reception of his call to go to Texas devoutness that was the very essence of the and his talk with Lathers, he would fain see character of Roxy. He could not distinguish Roxy. It was the evening of the prayer- between himself—thin comet that he was, meeting, and if he had been prone to neglect renewing his ever-waning heat, first by the it, he would have found Roxy nowhere else. fire of this sun and then by the radiance of But he had no inclination in his present that-and Roxy, the ever-burning fixed star state of feeling to go away from the whose fire of worship and charity was within meeting.
herself. But taking himself at the estimate The brethren had heard of the call to the she put upon him, he rejoiced in having a mission, and most touching prayers were friend worthy to sympathize with him, and offered for his welfare and success. Mark when he parted with her, he pressed Roxy's himself prayed with deep and genuine hand and said: pathos. Toward the last the minister
"Oh, Roxy! if you were only going with called on Roxy to pray, and she who had me! You make me brave. I am better been born full of the missionary spirit, who when I am with you. Think of the good would have rejoiced to lay down her life we might do together.
we might do together. Some day I shall for the lost sheep in the wilderness, who come back for you if you'll let me." had been the source of most of Mark's in- He held her hand in both of his, and spiration, began to pray, not with her ac- l he could feel her trembling.
His voice was full of pleading, and Roxy | longed to the enemy. But upon debating was in a flutter of mingled admiration, various plans she resolved to see Roxy herpity, and love. That this brave servant of self. She was Roxy's aunt, and the aunt the Lord, taking his life in hand, casting ought to have some influence with the ambition, friends, and property behind him motherless niece, she reasoned.
She was a should appeal to her! She dared not speak little ashamed to go to Roxy now, and she could not pray.
In a moment so long since she had entered the old logBonamy had kissed her hand. A maidenly house which had sheltered her childhood recoil seized her, she withdrew her hand, in the days when wandering Indians still opened the gate and ran up the walk be traversed at intervals the streets of the new tween the rows of pretty-by-nights and village of Luzerne. But then she had been touch-me-nots. It was not until she stood so busy with her own children, Roxy in the door with her hand on the latch-string, ought to make allowance for that. that she turned toward her companion and These explanations she made to Roxy said softly, in a voice suffused with emotion: when she made her call on the next day “Good-night, Mark!”
after the prayer-meeting. She couldn't And then she went into the house with come before. And then Roxy was so her soul in chaos. Zeal, duty, and love, steady that she didn't need looking after. neither contended nor agreed. The scru- It wasn't every girl that could keep a house pulous girl could understand nothing, see so clean and do so much for her father. All nothing Pitying thoughts of Whittaker this talk troubled Roxy. She was simplestrove with her thoughts of Mark.
minded and direct, and the lurking susAnd that night she dreamed that she had picion of ulterior purpose in her aunt's words, set out to find the lost sheep that had left and the consciousness of having something the ninety-and-nine and strayed in the wil- to conceal, disturbed her. derness, and Mark had set out with her. “I understand, Roxy," she said at last, But ever they became more and more sep- “ that you've had one or two beaus lately. arated in the thorn-thickets of Texas, until Now you know that I'm in the place of a at last Mark left her to travel on alone mother to you, and I hope you wont do while he gave over the search. And the anything about marrying without consulting thickets grew higher and more dense, her me." feet were pierced with thorns, and her body Roxy bent over her sewing and grew red exhausted with weariness. She saw panthers in the face. Mrs. Hanks interpreted this and catamounts and rattlesnakes and alliga- Aush of indignation as a blush. tors and indescribable creatures of terror “I suppose you are already engaged," about her; they hissed at her and rushed she said, with an air of cffense. “I don't upon her, so that she shuddered as she pushed think you ought to treat your mother's sister on and on through the dense brake, wondering in that way. I was told that you were enwhether the poor lost sheep were not already gaged to Mr. Whittaker.
I'must say I devoured. But at last she came upon the don't think it the best you can do." object of her search environed with wild “I am not engaged to Mr. Whittaker or beasts. Trembling with terror she broke to anybody else,” said Roxy, giving way to through and laid hold on the far-wandering her rising anger, and breaking her needle. sheep,--the monsters fled before her and the “I wish people would mind their own impregnable fold all at once inclosed her business." and the lost one. Then she discovered that “Well, Roxy, I must say that is not a the lost whom she had saved, was, by some nice way to treat me when I come to give transformation, Mark himself. And even you advice. If I can't talk to you, who while the Shepherd was commending her, the trembling girl awoke.
Roxy's sense of injury and neglect which she thought she had conquered by prayer
all revived now, and she bit her lip. CHAPTER XVII.
"I tell you plainly, Roxy, that if you A REMONSTRANCE.
marry Mr. Whittaker you'll get a cold
Presbyterian that does not believe in real AFTER her visit to the millinery and heart religion. They educate their minmantua-makery of Miss Moore, Mrs. Hanks isters without asking whether they have a debated with herself what to do. She real divine call or not. Some of them, I could not consult Jemima, for Jemima be- I expect, are not soundly converted. And
you know how you'll suffer for the means of was on her feet now. “ I've got nothing to grace if you join the Presbyterians. They do with Mr. Whittaker or Mark, and if I wont have any praying or speaking by had, you've no business talking that way. women. They don't have any class-meet- If you don't hush I'll say something ings, and I don't think they have that deep awful." depth of godliness you know that we Meth- “Well, I declare! For a girl as religious odists believe in. And they don't allow shout- as you, that's a pretty how-do-ye-do, aint it, ing or crying, and that's a quenching of the now ?” spirit. So I say. For David says in the Here Roxy left the room to keep herself Psalms to shout and to cry aloud, and to from saying
from saying “ something awful,” leaving make a joyful noise unto the Lord. Now, Mrs. Henrietta Hanks to gather her cape I do hope you wont marry a cold-blooded about her shoulders, put on her sun-bonnet Presbyterian that believes in predestination and depart with the comfortable feeling that and that a certain number was born to be she “had cleared her skirts anyhow." The damned. And little children, too, for the faithful discharge of a duty disagreeable to Confession of Faith says that children not a others maketh the heart of the righteous to span long are in hell, and
rejoice. “ The Confession of Faith don't say that," said Roxy
CHAPTER XVIII. “Oh! you've been reading it, have you.
GOSSIP AND GIGGLING. I didn't know you'd gone so far. Now, I say that there's some good Christians in the Miss Moore was a gossip of the goodPresbyterian church, but a Methodist that natured kind. She never told anything for leaves her own church to join the Presby- the sake of harming anybody. She was as terians has generally backslid beforehand. | innocent in her gossip as she was in her And a girl that changes her religion to get habit of plucking out her front hair with a husband
tweezers to ke her forehead intellectual. " Who said I meant to change my | The milliner's shop in a village is in some religion to get a husband ?” Roxy was sort a news-dépôt. People bring hither now fiercely angry. “If you're going to talk their items of news and carry away whatthat way, I will not stay and listen,” and ever has been left here by others. It is a the girl drew herself up proudly, but her fair exchange. The milliner has the start of sensitive conscience smote her in a moment everybody else; for who should know so for her anger, and she sat down again, well as she whether Mrs. Greathouse will irresolute.
wear cherry ribbon or brown? Who knows "Well, Roxy, you've got your father's the premonitory symptoms of a wedding so temper along with your mother's religion. well as the skillful woman who trims the Though for that matter I think a temper's bonnet ? And shall we condemn gossip? a good thing. But when you've got a Only where it is thoughtless or malicious. chance to marry such a Methodist as Mark For without the ventilating currents of gosBonamy, now, I don't see why you should sip the village would be a stagnant pool
. take a poor Presbyterian preacher that we are all gossips. The man who reads hasn't got a roof to cover his head. Mark 'll | the daily paper may despise the “tattle" of get over his mission soon. Missionary the town, but he devours the tattle of the fever with young Christians is like wild oats reporter who gets his livelihood by gossip. with young sinners—it's soon over. You | Whether we talk about a big world or a can cool Mark down if you try. Show him little one, it is the gossip about others that how much good he can do if he'll stay here saves us from becoming eremites in the and inherit his father's wealth. But Mark 'll wilderness of our own egotism. get his share anyway.
The old man wont But did the red-bird that sang under leave him out. And now, Roxy, you'll get Miss Moore's window that morning ask over your freaks as I have got over mine, whether his notes were a delight to any and if you miss your chance you'll be sorry one's ears? Or did he just whistle because for it. It isn't every day a girl whose whistling is a necessity of red-birdism? father's a poor shoe-maker and who lives in Miss Moore for her part did not ask whether a log-house, gets a man with a good farm and her function was of use to the community a brick house, and a chance of going to or not. It was not her place to philosophize Congress or getting to be a bishop
about gossips, but to gossip,-an employment “Oh! Aunt Henrietta, hush!" Roxy / in which she received the moral support of