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BY ESTHER SERLE KENNETH. "I STARTED my boy at the foundation of living: I housewife Meeta was-thanks to the careful training of a made him a farmer."
good mother—without wanting to marry her; and, suro Uncle Rafe Lawrence, wise old man that he was, looked enough, Mr. Clarence Pinkton, the stylish stranger from supremely satisfied, but young Rafe, as his nephew was Boston, bowed to the ground before Miss Meeta, and im. called, sat silent, with a gloomy brow. He was two-and-mediately began to show her the most marked attentions. twenty, and, poor fellow! deep in his first trouble. So, soon the girl's head was turned, and then, alas ! her
Of course, it was a heart affair. Of course, such an heart. And this was Rafe's trouble. He had been brought ardent, manly,
up a farmer. wide - a wake
The fact did young fellow
not please bim was in love,
as it did his and it was his
uncle, who sweetheart
had been as who Was
his father making him
from childwretched !
hood. The Miss Meeta
cultivation of Thompson
Hillhome, that was the pretti
great farm of est girl of the
two hundred neighborhood
acres, Rafe un. -pretty, with
derstood perthe darkest of
fectly, and he blue eyes and
was thorough the most
ly competent bewitching of
to undertake curled lashes;
farming on a and I think
still larger she never
scale. passed a man,
He had at. young or old,
tained to a who didn't
very superior turn to look
knowledge of after her.
agriculture, Out of all
but now he her beaux,
would have Rafe Lawrence
given it all had seemed,
for a valueless for & year
city standing. past, to be her
His health, favorite. In
his tanned deed, he was
cheek, his hard sure of it. Had
hands, filled she not said,
his heart with with the warm
pain, for est of smiles
Meeta no and emphasis
longer loved a of seventeen :
farmer, " There are
Mr. Clarence none of the
Pinkton, with fellows as
his lily-white smart as you
fingers, his are, Rafe ? RAFE'S BIVAL._"" BY-THE-WAY, MY GIRL,' SAID UNCLE RAFE, ' WOULD YOU RESPECT MY BOY ANY exceeding Ever since MORE IF HE WAS ALWAYS BOWING AND GRIMACING LIKE A FRENCH MONKEY?""
politeness, his that day he had gone on being completely happy. He ability to chat so affably on nothing, had won little Meeta and Meeta would be married by-and-by, he believed ; and from him. Rafe’s stout young heart gave him a cruel when he had whispered that to her, she did not gainsay twinge at the thought. him.
In vain he tried to blame Meeta, to whistle her down But Rafe’s whole heaven and earth had changed. the wind; he only succeeded in hating himself for his dis
A stranger had come to Lakeville—worse, he had come loyalty-wished he were foppish and smart, and vainly into Meeta’s very home, where he saw her fresh as a rose cast about in his mind for means to outshine Mr. Pinkton, o' morning, washing dishes in the tidiest of aprons, or in and this was Rafe's trouble. pretty afternoon dress loading the abundant tea-table with “Rafe !" sharply. dainty hands.
“Sir." Rafe knew nobody could see what a delightful little “What are you hanging your head about ?” Vol. XIV., No, 4.-31.
Rafe got out of his despondent attitude. “It s about the girl, isn't it *" With some hesitation, the young man confessed it was. “By the Lord Harry I Do you suppose I've made you what you are to see your sweetheart go back on you for a picayune sort of fellow like Pink—what's-his-name 2 Like all girls, Meeta's a fool ; but that shu'n't matter here or there, if you want her, Rafe, my boy.” “Uncle, I think it is something you can't meddle with.” “We'll see—we'll see about that. Humph l—such a fellow as you are breaking your heart for a doll ! But it's the way of the world—the way of the world,” grumbled Uncle Rafe to himself, for his nephew had strolled away to brood his sorrow unmolested. He knew that he was his uncle's idol—that the old man, having brought him up after his own heart, thought nothing on earth, or in the heavens above the earth, too good for him; but it seemed out of the question to entertain a thought that Uncle Rafe's ready espousal of his course would win him back Meeta again. So the cloud was not lifted by the old man's sympathy. Right across the broad turnpike, opposite Hillhome, was Meeta's home, Strawberry Cottage. If she had the most practical of mothers, she had the weakest of fathers. Old Larry Thompson was much flattered by the attention which Meeta elicited from the city gentleman, his boarder. Perhaps he would even take Meeta away to live in style and be a city lady. Nothing would have pleased him so much. “If he asks ye, Meeta—if he asks ye, be sure ye accept him,” he said, repeatedly, to the blushing girl. That Mr. Clarence Pinkton had reached the village hotel one day by the New York express, that he had applied to him for board, and been taken into Lis family without question, on the strength of his pleasing exterior and fine manners, were the facts of the gentleman's residence in the neighborhood. . More than this of him he knew nothing; yet the silly old man, who was nearly in his dotage, would readily have given him his darling daughter, the child of his old age, so flattered and blinded was he by his guest's air of superiority and tales of his own importance. But the Summer of Rafe's trouble had gone at last. The eve of Mr. Pinkton's departure had come. He had proposed to Meeta with many flattering promises, and she had.accepted him ; and promising to return soon, he left Lakeville for New York. He was off at daylight, one morning, by the first train, which passed the village at six o'clock, so that he left Strawberry Cottage after the confusion of an early and hurried breakfast. But the event of his departure from the household was followed by another, far more exciting. The family had been robbed 1 . During the night the sacred best room had been entered, and a large number of valuables removed. Two gold watches; a pair of silver candlesticks; some brilliants, also set in silver, which had been heirlooms in the family; and a box containing miscellaneous articles of jewelry, had been taken from a closet in the apartment. On further examination for loss, several pieces of valuable old china, and a dozen of heavy silver spoons were found missing from the china closet. Uncle Rafe, for reasons best known to himself, strongly advised the call for a detective; and the detective, under guise of a cattle-dealer, appeared at Strawberry Cottage. “Do you attach any suspicion to the young man who has just left you ?” he asked old Larry. “Lord, no!” in amaze. “He was a perfect gentleman, paid his board regular, and is engaged to my daughter.”
“Ah, well, I only inquired,” said the detective. “Some one who knew the premises evidently has taken the property.”
Then he got Meeta's confidence.
Meeta had just received a letter. Mr. Pinkton proposed her coming to New York, where they would be married.”
“Umph 1” said the detective. “Bold, that,” under his breath.
He, too, went to New York. In three days came a telegram for Mr. Larry Thompson :
“The property has been recovered. Mr. Clarence Pinkerton, alias François Legrange, alias Jim Bump, is the guilty party. He has been committed to jail. Will have his trial in a few weeks, and will probably be sent up for several years. John SHARP.”
Thus Rafe's rival was disposed of. It was a bitter, bitter lesson for Meeta. “How could I think anything wrong of him 7” she asked, timidly, of Uncle Rafe, who regarded her grimly“He had such gentlemanly manners, and then he paid his board so honorably.” “His board for five weeks, at three dollars per week, amounted to fifteen dollars—just the price of the spocns. The other property was worth over five hundred dollars— quite a paying speculation for your lost lover, Meeta.” “Well, my heart isn't broke,” affirmed the girl, stoutly. “So you have some backbone, after all, Miss Meetal I did think you weren't good enough for Rafe, but perhaps you'll grow wiser as you grow older. By-the-way, my girl, would you respect my boy any more if he were always bowing and grimacing like a French monkey *" “No,” sobbed Meeta. “And you think he is most as good as a city gentleman, after all, perhaps ?” “Oh, a thousand times better, Uncle Rafe.” And so Rafe came to his own again, and Meeta is proud to be an honest farmer's wife.
ONE of the nursing Sisters of the Order of Troyes succumbed some time since to an attack of hydrophobia, contracted under circumstances of no ordinary heroism. As related in the Gazette Hebdomadaire, Sister S. was taking charge of some convalescent children when out for a walk, the eldest of whom was only eight years of age, when they were suddenly assailed by a sheep-dog, whose jaws were running with foam, and which attacked them with fury. She instantly saw the danger of her charges, and resolutely interposing between the terrified children and the furious animal, bravely withstood its attack. She was severely bitten, and the dog, excited by the cries of the children, endeavored to rush upon them. Then followed a splendid act of devotion.
Protecting with her body the children, who hung on to her petticoats, shrieking with terror, this brave girl threw herself courageously on the dog, and for ten minutes grasped it, rolling over with it, and thrusting her fist into its mouth to prevent its biting the children. Some peasants who came up at last beat off and killed the dog.
The Sister was found have fifteen deep wounds on her hands and lacerated arms; an important artery was wounded. Skillful care was given to her wounds, ligatures were applied, the parts torn were cauterized, and for a short time after her return to Paris some hope existed that she might escape the ultimate fate which there was so much reason to fear. In a week or two, however, hydrophobia in all its characteristic symptoms appeared;
“AM I sane 2 Is my reason sound, or am I dreaming 2" Winifred locked her hands across her throbbing brow, and lifted the mournful, hollow eyes, in a mute appeal to the dusky face opposite her. “Honey, it's no dream, my blessed child; it's devilment —yes, missie, its devilment. There ain't been nothin' but bad luck and trouble sence de day dat pizen bad Jebbebul of a furrin Freeze-up come under dis here honest roof, where nuffin' ceptin' de bes ob quality ebber libbed.” Jane forgot her careful training; forgot everything in her chagrin. She flung a chair into its place savagely, tossed up the window noisily. Now and then her glance rested on the pallid, wan face of her idolized young mistress, sitting there striving to realize the startling truth. “What does it mean, papa 2 Why did not papa tell me?” moaned Winifred. She strove to think; strove to comprehend how she could have lived twenty years in ignorance of all this. Gradually her thoughts assumed definite shape. The whirl of her tortured brain stilled. Her hands were still "ocked across her white brow. Her mind still endeavored to grasp the grim reality. Not for one instant did she credit the faintest breath of the slander upon her mother, or upon Hugh Jocelyn. She seemed to read the vindictive purpose of the Frenchwoman with unerring clearness. "She seemed to discern the cruelly worded statements, casting their foul shadow upon the only father she had ever known. She never credited a single word or hint to their detriment, but through all the past memory gradually gathered link after link of corroborative evidence. She never credited the aspersions cast upon the departed, but she never doubted the great fact stated by the Frenchwoman. Winifred seemed to comprehend much that was inexplicable, now that she held the magic key to it all. She bore in mind Hugh Jocelyn's desire to have her wed Fulke ; she remembered one after another of the very strange allusions to Fulke as the next heir ; Hugh Jocelyn's absolute silence in regard to her mother; his
painful endurance of Madame Frissae—all rose before her. Incidents after incidents ranged themselves as cumulative evidence before her mental vision. She never doubted the main fact. She never questioned that, but with her whole heart Winifred trusted the beloved dead. If the woman would reveal the whole secret ! If she would give them a single name or hint as a clew The subtile acumen of the girl foresaw that the hard, cruel, tigerish nature of this reckless Frenchwoman was fatally antagonistic to her. The case was hopeless. She must perhaps bear this frightful taint along with the other calamities pressing down upon her. Instead of honor she must endure the brand of dishonor—the obloquy of being a child of shame. Winifred writhed under the torturing humiliation. Pauperism was nothing—but “the child of shame !” She could bear anything save that. She thought tenderly and tearfully of Hugh Jocelyn's endeavor to shield her from penury. It was wrong, but the great love evinced in it excused the sin, to all except cruel Fulke. She would not believe that the world condemned or called it what Madame Frissae had called her—a fraud. Sleep never visited her couch. Through the livelong night the burning, tearless eyes were unclosed. Through the livelong night the horrible enigma of the future was unsolved. She had no friends, no money, no name. The three terms related her mournful history. “Oh, miss, are you quite sure you are able to rise 2" Jane asked, in a sort of fright at Winifred's appearance. “I must, Jane. It doesn't matter whether I am ill or not. I only wish I could be very ill, and never recover. It would be all the peace and rest I can ever hope for,” was the despairing answer, while the beautiful lips conpressed with keen anguish. “Don’t, miss ; your friends don't wish that.” “My friends 2" echoed Winifred, bitterly. “I have no friends. They are all dead.” “You are not fit to be out of bed, miss,” Jane reiterated from time to time during the whole morning, while she hovered close to Winifred's sofa, coaxing her to take
either stimulant or refreshment. The 'thin, waxen hands touchingly hopeless in her persistence. Something alarmwere again looked around her temples. Both hands and ingly reckless in the expression of the rigid white face, temples were painfully transparent and frail-looking. with its tearless eyes. The heavy black robes trailed
“You are not fit to be out of bed, missie chile; but slowly down the steps. Fulke's eyes lighted at the Marse Fulke says will you come down and see him in the prompt response. She evidently was much more ill than library ; but you ain't fit to crawl down them steps." when he saw her last. A transient terror possessed him,
Winifred unlocked her hands, and released the aching that Winifred might be dangerously sick. A misgiving temples from their pressure.
that she might escape him in spite of his advantage. He “Fulke," she repeated, shudderingly. “Fulke; yes, I placed a chair for her, more courteously than ever in his must go, Jane. I must go-he is master here."
life heretofore. She started to her feet, trembling in every limb. Ill “Winifred," he began, entirely without the roughness ness as well as grief were doing their part in swift strides. used to Madame Frissae. Fulke was alarmed for his Jane sprang forward and threw her arms about her mis- selfish plans. “Winifred, of course, I see that you are tertress, impulsively.
tibly knocked up by this pasty development. It's hard “It will kill you, Miss Winifred. You must have the on you what Madame Frissae brought to light. Ventilating doctor. You is awful sick, child,” she exclaimed. an old scandal is confoundedly ugly for the people con.
“No, Jane, I can never have the doctor. Why does it cerned, but I want to tell you that I don't mind it; I make matter about me? I am nobody, nobody. Yes, I must you the same offer as when you were supposed to be go down.”
honestly born and rich. I don't know who you are, of She walked to the door resolutely. There was something I course, and that's awkward, but I'll marry you just the
same. You have not a cent in the world, and no home, and naturally people don't care to receive a person with such a scandal attached to them. You had better have the ceremony performed this evening. I give you this chance ; you had better avail yourself of it before I change my mind."
He paused for a reply. The long lashes were not lifted. The pale lips did not move.
“ Winifred,” he resumed, "you must see how generous I am. Not many men would take a foundling like you. I say, Winifred, shall I send for a parson, and settle the thing
at once? I am rich, info
and can marry anybody now, but I am in love with you. That is why I make a fool of myself for you."
He paused again, and looked at her impatiently as he did so.
“I cannot marry you," she answered, huskily. “I consented once to save papa-he is safe now, and I shall never marry."
“Never marry !” he burst
out, angrily. “What do you expect to live on? I won't support you. I don't mean to be fooled in
live on me, or my COME INTO THE MEADOWS.- SEE POEM ON PAGE. 483.
money. It is just what
that little devil, Frissae, said of you. She said you would never marry me.” “I will not marry at all,” Winifred said, deliberately. Fulke glowered upon her, in a very white-heat of rage. He expected her to say this, but it lashed his temper none the less. “Perhaps,” he sneered, “you don't remember that at this very moment you are living under my roof, and eating my bread You can't expect me to provide for you without some return. Neither does it seem very reputable for you to be living in the house with an unmarried man. There is no place in the world you can go. You will be compelled to marry me, or be carried to the almshouse.
You must decide at once, Winifred; I have no idea of giving you another chance.”
She raised her eyes slowly. He could see that she trembled, and grew a shade whiter, if possible. “I shall never marry any one—now nor at any future time." Her words were steady and clear, her gaze unshrinking. “Long ago, I told you, Fulke, that I loved but one man—he is dead. I yielded to the horrible threat you held over papa, and would have married you to relieve him—he, too, is dead. I accept my liberty of action. It has been dearly bought; but it is my prerogative now—I shall use it.”
Fulke walked up and down excitedly. At every turn he glared at her savagely,