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me very much the same as it always had getting hold of the cane again without by daylight; the large waiting-room was being seen.” For, whenever uncle sat just as unclean, and tables and benches down, he generally put the cane down by stood about in as great a disorder, as they his side. If I were to succeed, I intended generally did through the day. I sat me to run straightway home, and when uncle down a few moments, and saw some of returned from his journey, - which would the passengers approaching the tables to evidently be but a short trip, he having no order a cup of coffee or tea. “How funny baggage with him, - and found his cane it must be to take coffee at so early an on the same spot where he put it last hour!” I thought; “suppose I try it? " night, — why, that would be a capital joke! My porte-monnaie was out in a twinkling, He would hardly know himself what to and I, being still in the first half of the think of it, and take his cane to be bemonth, found enough in it to defray this witched, going off and coming back at most unforeseen expense. A cup of coffee, will. therefore, I did order, and took a seat upon I fear me, reader, you will, on reading the balcony like a gentleman. I must be these lines, join Aunt Louisa's party and candid in confessing that Aunt Elizabeth vote me to be the “biggest rogue,” inmade better coffee than they gave me at deed. But, I told you before, the "old" the station ; but never mind that. I was Leo had once more awakened in me, and an independent being here, and as such, this very morning I was up to all sorts of one can easily stand a cup of bad coffee. antics; there was a certain something in The bitter draught was soon despatched, the atmosphere itself. and I on the point of carrying it back to I stole lightly from the arbor, wanting the counter, when suddenly, — how could to go back on the platform; but I quickly this have happened? — where was my crept back to my hiding-place. Uncle cane?- Uncle Zachary's favorite cane ? 1 Zachary, with his — my cane in his right must have left it on a table in the waiting- and the one which he had brought himroom. I must be quick, lest it might be self in his left hand, was gravely pactaken.
ing up and down the platform, casting I rushed in, and — mercy upon me! glances around him in all directions. what should I see there, but a man hold What to do in this dilemma I did not ing my cane in hand, and looking at it in know! My gloriously ingenious plan was blank astonishment ? And this man -I frustrated, and it occurred to me that the ran out of the room, down the platform, best thing for me to do would certainly and into the most thickly grown arbor be to steal away very quietly, and to make in the station-inspector's garden, that for home as fast as my legs would carry man looking at the cane, incredible as it me. But that was not practicable either. may appear, was — Uncle Zachary in pro- Uncle Zachary had but to turn round, and, pria persona!
in that case, would surely perceive me. For a while I sat perfectly speechless. I resolved to wait until after the departure Uncle Zachary at the station at a quarter of the train, and to go quietly home afterof six in the morning? What could this wards. I had scarcely been seated five mean? He had not said the least word minutes, when the ringing of the bell, and about it on the evening before. Where a shrill whistle following it, indicated the could he be going? Why was he going approach of another train. It came to a at all? and what was to become of me, stop soon. I could not overcome my curinow that he had recognized his cane ? osity, stepped from out the arbor, in order Gracious me! wouldn't there be another to see Uncle Zachary depart, did actually terrible scene at home, if they found out see him step up to a car, the door of which that I had been loitering about town at opened, and — out jumped my cousin five o'clock in the morning ?
Albert, cordially shaking my uncle by the As I said before, I was speechless for hand. some time. Suddenly, however, a bril Both conversed for a moment. Albert, liant idea suggested itself to me, at which of course, did not get in again; strangely I could not help smiling to myself. “Per- enough, neither did uncle. Why not? haps," I thought, “I might succeed in Another whistle was beard; the train
moved off, and both walked down from, on his brow disappeared and in a kindly the platform in the direction of the in- tone he said, spector's garden.
“Nonsense again, as usual. Should Although nearly petrified with astonish- very nearly have been minus my good old ment, I yet had presence of mind enough cane." to retire forth with into my arbor. But “ That, then," asked Albert, “is the what were my feelings, when I saw them famous story of the cane ?" both entering the garden, standing still a “ The very one. But, now, my brave moment, then looking about them, and young rover, tell me, pray, can you keep suddenly marching right towards me, Un- a secret ? ” cle Zachary saying, in a stentorian tone of I do not quite take your meaning." voice,
“Will you promise me not to say anyLet us go into that arbor, yonder, my thing at home about Albert's coming boy; we shall be undisturbed there! The here?" inspector, an old friend of mine, will not “ And why not?” I asked, greatly astake it amiss. Come! I want to tell you tonished. a story about my cane, -a most remarka “Simply because I don't want you to. ble story!”
Comprehend ?" Reader, — you who have followed me • Very well. But aunt will know it in my morning excursion with, maybe, a very soon, -the moment, in fact, he shows shake of the head, - have pity upon a himself there.” poor, miserable rogue caught in flagranti ! “ How wise we are ! He will not go There was Uncle Zachary coming towards there, though, but go back in the very me. Oh, what will become of me? Only next train.” a few steps more and he will be here, I was now more astonished than ever, and
and could not possibly understand what “ By Jove! here's this youngster, Leo! all this meant. What are you doing here?"
“Let me tell you once more," repeated Pale and motionless as marble I stood Uncle Zachary, “ that not a soul is to before him, not knowing what to say. know that Albert has been here, and that
'Morning, Leo,” said Albert; “how I have conversed with him for nearly an you do look!
What's the matter with hour." you?”
I looked at my cousin, who shrugged " Answer!” thundered Uncle Zachary. his shoulders, as if he meant to say that he “Uncle-1-1- I'm taking coffee." did not see through all this himself. “H-m ?"
“Forward march !" came the command “I-I don't exactly know, uncle.” from Uncle Zachary. "Mum is the word,
Albert burst into a loud laugh. “Un--d'ye hear?” cle, look at the youngster!” he said; I shook hands with Albert, and was on “ doesn't he look as though he had been the point of leaving, when uncle suddenly stealing apples?"
seemed to reconsider his decision and My deeply offended pride gave me back sent an imperious 6. Halt!" after me. I my speech. A scholar, on the point of turned round and went back to him. entering the upper class, stealing apples ! “You may stay,” he said; “I have conI cast a withering glance at my cousin, fidence in that scamp; he may listen to and looking firmly into my uncle's face, what we have to say to each other; it is I chose the most prudent part, – that of nothing very wonderful or mysterious, telling the whole truth.in as few words as but I will not-d'ye hear?— I will not, that possible.
any living soul, at our house, shall ever Ile heard me out, not once interrupting hear of this interview! Comprehend? me; but I could plainly see that he was And now, will you both promise me, -undecided what to do, and that I should, faithfully, to preserre silence ?" doubtless, have to alleviate his embarrass “My word upon it, uncle!” we exment by listening to a severe lecture from claimed. him. In this I was mistaken. The cloud “Well, then, be seated, you rascals!
You, Leo, open your ears wide, but keep glanced at Albert; it seemed to me that your lips tightly closed. You, Albert, will he looked exceedingly pale. answer me categorically, if you please. “There is something else I want to say Now, then, have you been very much to you," Uncle Zachary spoke up again. frightened — h-m — at the receipt of my “I know that you silly boys vie with yesterday's letter, calling you hither so each other in the largest possible consecretly ? "
sumption of beer, thereby ruining not “I must confess, a good many supposi- only your health, but also muddling your tions suggested themselves to me; but I brains. You may tell your carousing nerer believed that anything very disa- friends that Uncle Zachary knows a man greeable could have happened."
whom not one of them can imitate in “Nor has there; but what says your that respect - who can shame them all, conscience ? Has that not trembled at and drink every one of them under the the idea that the old growler of an uncle table. And if they ask you who this had got wind of the pranks of his neph- great unknown is, - whom they, the sons
of decent and respectable parents, try to “What pranks do you refer to, uncle?" | outdo with all their might and main, asked Albert; and it seemed to me he just tell them it is the swine-herd of looked somewhat abashed.
Baltzum, who can empty an eighth-cask “Don't know,” replied Uncle Zachary; of beer in the forenoon, and gulp down a “but I feel it in my bones that you have quart of bad liquor in the afternoon. done something out of the way, — just as Understand? A glass of beer is a very I used to when I was in the service. good thing in its way; but your carousals Had a number of young folks round me; are not, — most decidedly not. Thunder could always tell by their looks; don't ex- and Mars! you might know that youractly know how it happened, but I did; selves, - I am sure you do, too, - and yet and in your case it appears to me very you keep it up all the time.” much the same. An old huntsman can Albert did not say a word in reply, and easily find the track.”
it seemed to me as though uncle had “I assure you, uncle — "
touched another sore point. “Never mind, now, I may be mistaken; “But here I am babbling, as if I were certainly have no positive knowledge yet. my sister. Now to the point! Will you But let me tell you one thing: I can par- do me a favor, Albert ? ” don much, with one single exception, which “ With all my heart, uncle! is, when a son distresses and grieves his “Don't promise too hastily; we shall mother. Understand? Therefore, if there see! Have you, accidentally,” — Uncle is anything, anywhere — may be — well – Zachary fixed his eyes upon me,
heard you know — whatever it be, you will imme- anything about a family in the city by the diately report to Uncle Zachary, - compre- name of Bernitz ?" hend? — without allowing even a breath “Indeed I have; they are quite well thereof to come to your mother's ears. known.” That uncle will, of course, give you a "What can you tell me about them?" thundering blowing-up, that'll make you “The son is studying law, like myself, shake and quake; but he'll be on hand and is the senior of our society."
understand ? — and spare the poor wo- “H-m!” said Uncle Zachary; “the man, who is troubled and annoyed enough senior, I suppose, is he who arranges and at her brother, without additional grief and presides at your drinking-bouts ? sorrow over her son! There, that will do! “So he is; at the same time, however, And mind, what I have just said is also he looks after the interests of our society." meant for that young sprig there, who Highly important interests they must takes canes out for an airing at early be, I warrant! But that is only a seconddawn! Comprehend? But this is not ex-ary consideration. Are you well acquaintactly what I had on my mind. I shall ed with him?" now inform you why I had you come · Intimately, sir." here."
“H-m! And go to see him, someCncle Zachary stopped a moment. I times?"
Certainly, uncle! we do occasionally, traction, that the father came here with take a gl- a cup of tea in bis den— in rather a small fortune, and that, owing to his room, I inean."
lucky speculations, he has made himself “So, so! Do you know any of the very rich, and gained a good standing in family besides?"
society. At the present time, his is the “I cannot say that I am well acquainted very first house in the city; he has given with the family; but Hans Bernitz has his daughter a dowry of one hundred introduced me to his parents, and I have thousand thalers, and married her off to a dined with them twice; the second time Hamburg Cræsus. People say that the only the day before yesterday.”
boys, at their father's death, are likely to “So! and how many children are inherit twice that sum each.” there ? ?
“And, Albert, are those people really “ Three, — two sons and one daughter; so much and so universally respected in the latter is married."
the city ? " “H-m! And have been received very “ As far as I know, uncle, they are. pleasantly by them? Tell me something And how could it be otherwise ? Where more about them."
there is much money, there also mankind “Well, sir, I hardly know much about will bestow their favors and adulations." them; they asked me some questions about “ H-m! that sounds very wise, and yet papa, how long ago he died, and several is most confoundedly silly! But all this other questions."
is not what I want to ask of you. Will “ Have they also asked you your moth- you do me the favor to cultivate the acer's maiden name ?"
quaintance of your senior as much as pos“No, sir."
sible?" “ Did they inquire about me ? "
“Why, certainly, sir, if that is all you “I hardly believe, uncle, they know of want." your existence even."
• Yes; but in such a manner, that you “So much the better, by Jove! So will receive frequent invitations, not to much the better!"
a cup of tea, as you before remarked,· Apropos ! they have also invited me, where, by-the-by, more beer has probably that is to say, Hans invited me to visit been drunk than tea, — but to the house, them on their estate in Silesia, during and by his parents too! Comprehend ?” vacation. It is said to be a noble estate! “I shall do my best, uncle." And, what strikes
as being very “But mind, they are never to know strange, its name is the same as Leo's; mind you, never - that you have the honor it is called Oberg."
of descending, be it only on the maternal Uncle Zachary here jumped up from his side, from the Aumanns, and that you seat, his eyes sparkling very singularly. have a cousin, a nice young fellow, who
Have you, in any way, intimated to - well, who accidentally bears the same them that you have a cousin whose name name by which the estate which that Mr. is Leo von Oberg?”
Bernitz owns in Silesia is called. Do you “No, sir. I hardly know why not, -I take it all in ? " never thought of it.”
“Perfectly so, sir. And why all these “ Heaven be thanked !” exclaimed Un- injunctions ? " cle Zachary. · And now, mind you, not “That is my affair. Only see to it that a word about him to them, - does not con- you can give me a brief, concise, and cern you
you need not know why - comprehensive reply, if, within a fortnight not a word, - do you hear? — and now go or a month, I should ask you about someon and tell us more about your senior, and thing which might, probably, happen in his worthy papa, and his excellent moth- that family."
“Very well, uncle, but-" “ Uncle Zachary,” Albert went on to “ But what?" say, “I can only repeat that I know but Albert remained silent; our uncle's very little about the Bernitz family. commission was, evidently, no agrecable Everybody knows, and I suppose you do one to him; he blushed, bit his lips, and likewise, that they are of Bohemian ex- I looked very dejected. The poor fellow
was visibly embarrassed, and I resolved | mother, you, are all ruined! And to-day, to divert uncle's attention from him for a when, after a fruitless strife during all moment, in order to give him time to com- these years, an opportunity is at last prepose himself.
senting itself of catching your arch-fiend “ I should not like such a commission in in a snare, of recovering the fortune the least," I ventured to remark.
which he has taken from you, by the “And why not, Master Pert ? "
most villanous fraud, to-day, -- ha!-" “Pray, uncle, do not be angry. I do “To-day, uncle,” I exclaimed, passion. not think it right to cultivate anybody's ately, “God has put the same words into acquaintance for the purpose of making my mouth, which he then did into my public his family secrets."
father's! You are my guardian, and, as In saying this, I did what most likely such, you are not to lessen my inheritance. has happened to the reader many a time. I have inherited nothing from my father, I tried to give a form to an impulse of save his unsullied honor, and the noble feeling, without thinking much what I maxim which you but just repeated : did; and this form, as I noticed, to my · Do no wrong! use honest weapons even sincere regret, only after I had finished, against scoundrels, and put your trust in hurt Uncle Zachary's feelings deeply. I the Lord's own judgment!' This inheritherefore added, quickly,
tance you have no right to touch. I shall “I do by no means wish to imply that claim it from you some day. Do — act as you have done wrong, uncle. Oh! I you please; but commit no wrong in my never thought of such a thing, even; I-behalf!” do not be angry at me - pray don't!” The reader will be greatly astonished at
Much to my surprise, however, I saw seeing such conscious energy so suddenly that my mother's brother had turned very developed in a boy of fifteen, who has red in the face while I spoke, which was been guilty of so many boyish tricks. I with him, always, the first and unmistak- believe I should have been most astonable sign of a violent burst of passion. ished myself, had not my heart throbbed Quite unexpectedly, however, he got up in my breast almost to bursting. Uncle from his chair, and went towards the Zachary stared at me in amazement; while entrance of the arbor, looked fiercely Albert, roused from his apathetic emabout him for a few moments, - turning barrassment, had jumped up and seized his cane like a mill-wheel in his convul- both my hands. It is inexplicable to me sively twitching fingers, – and then, turn to this day whence I took the courage to ing to me, who was half-dead with fright, speak as I did. I trembled violently, and he showed me a face, on which a terrible tears ran down my cheeks, when I apemotion was depicted.
proached my uncle. "Boy!” he said, with trembling voice, “Uncle Zachary, pardon me! You, “who has taught you those words which who are so kind, so generous towards us, you have just heaped upon my heart like forgive me!" so many rocks? Who has told
that But the old man refused to take my your unhappy father said the very same hand; he turned his face aside, and his to me when I wanted to save him, while voice sounded cold and sarcastic, when he it was yet possible to save him? Speak! replied, – Are you aware that the estate of Oberg, “ The noble blood cannot deny itself! in Silesia, has been the heirloom in your You are evidently in the best way of refamily for centuries, until that scoundrel sembling your father, as you grow up, of a Bernitz wrenched it from your father's my nephew. He was a man of honor, in hands by the most infamous intrigues? the strictest sense of the word, and exAre you aware that it might have been posed his family to want and misery. possible, even then, to save all, had he Hold fast to your views of right and followed my advice, instead of telling me, wrong, my young fellow; we shall talie *Do no wrong! let us use honest weapons good care that your mother does not starve even against scoundrels, and put our trust in her old age. You, Albert, may now in the Lord's own judgment'? And what take the return train; forget what I told has been the consequence ? He, your you about the Bernitz family. Baron von