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ye. I sed it then, if I never sed it afore. There ain't of “the new Dufferin milliner” spread abroad. She one chance in a million that a soul that sees ye will from Paris," “ from London,” as it happened ; spot ye as Mis’ King. You and Mister Cyril never but wherever from, she was a high-born lady rewent on to Dufferin Street all the time you was duced,” a widow and yet not a widow. Her busband here afore, only to cum an' go. An' as they never - an earl, a lord, somebody of grand degree - had knowed your faces as sech, even at Hi’ Sanderson's, fallen into disgrace and fled, and she had taken refuge where I told all about ye, an' bragged on ye, I can tell
in the Dominion. But whether a countess in exile or ye, how ken a soul on ’em, now, think as Mis' King a grisette in disguise, all agreed that the bonnets she and Missis Darcy is one an' the same individooal ? made had an air of grace and “style" unknown before as Not much.”
a home product of Dufferin. “The quality,” as Evelyn Evelyn did not over-estimate her success, nor mis- called them, sent less frequently to Montreal or "home" take the disposition of Miss Buzzill.
to London, for bonnets ; the middle class withdrew “ Acquisitiveness an'alimentiveness, they stick out their patronage from the Lake, and Miss Buzzill flouron 'er head e'enamost as big as turkey's eggs. I felt ished and drew money into her drawer beyond her 'em. When she thought I was rubbin' her head down wildest dreams. for the nervous headache, I felt 'em. She thought I Nor was Agnes without positive pleasure in her was makin' the passes, an' I was; but they wasn't all work, for it was
If it was patience and I was doin'. I meant to hev the bumps on her cran’um weariness and sideache sometimes, it was taste and settled once for all, afore you got into its clutches; an' | beauty and reward in the ultimate. Her keen artistic I settled 'em. I know jest what they be. My! Ef sense lightened and crowned her labor. When she her eyes were sot only a little nearer together, an' held up a bonnet finished as perfectly as her hands conscientiousness hed ben the least trifle smaller, she'd could fashion it, the pleasure she felt in beholding it ben a thief which now she isn't. Jest keep 'er sar- was the same in quality, if fainter in degree, as that tin the dollars are comin' in, an' keep 'er stomic full, which filled her when she used to hold up a picture to an' you won't bev no trouble, not a mite. I'll keep ye her eyes, as good as she could make it. And never in supplied in cookies an' crullers, an’ when you see she's all her life had she seen money look like this which gittin' fractious, jest you say, “Mis’ Buzzill, hev a was laid in her hand by Miss Buzzill. She had cruller? Mis’ Buzzili, do take a cookie !' an' she'll earned it. Miss Buzzill might look melancholy, as be all right."
she involuntarily did, to part with (to her) so many Agnes obeyed Evelyn's injunctions with extreme beloved dollars; but her gloomy visage some way benefit to herself. She soon discovered that poor Miss failed to chill Agnes' delight. She had worked for Buzzill, though largely endowed with both, was by no them; because she had worked for them skilfully, means all acquisitiveness or all alimentiveness. She tirelessly, faithfully, they were hers. She was not had “her good streaks,” even Evelyn acknowledged, receiving dole, but just recompense; and as she realand Agnes was not slow to find them out. Perhaps ized this, these dollars took on a dignity and brightthe most strongly marked was her love for little ness no dollars had ever worn in her eyes before. As children. The lonely woman, whom her compatriots usual, she, the person most concerned, was the last to called “a stingy, crooked old maid,” had ever a tender hear the faint whispers afloat in the air concerning her. spot in her heart and a sugar-plum in her pocket for Nor was it strange that they floated so wide of the truth. every little child she met.
Though not far beyond the boundary, she was never“I ought to hev teched philoprogenitiveness," said theless in a foreign country ; certainly far enough in Evelyn, after listening to Agnes' recital of Miss Buz- it to discover that the natives of the Dominion emuzill's fondness for Vida ; " but I was so overcome with lated their kindred “at home across the Atlantic in the bigness of t’other bumps, I never thought on't. this, as in all else, their supreme indifference to all Nat’relly one wouldn't, with an old maid, knowin' she the internal life of the States." hed no sort o use for sech a bump.”
It is instinctively pleasant to the monarchical Briton "I think she makes great use of it,” said Agnes. complacently to ignore the crude Republican life which “I could forget every fault in one so kind to little he inherently despises. Dufferin liked its milliner, was children. And it is so much to me to have Vida with proud of her ; she did not look like a “Yankee,” did me; I couldn't have her if she was disagreeable to look like a lady, she had a mystery else she would Miss Buzzill, and in her way.”
never choose to live in a log-house in the wilderness ; Thus a little child led them in their lowly daily path thus it was most agreeable to the Dufferin mind to beof work and small traffic. She made a bond of unity lieve that she came from London. Believing this, it between two women who by nature and by fate held was in little danger of finding out where she really did naught else in common save their lonely state. Agnes' come from, while every new story springing from its wish to be a silent partner also went far to soothe Miss own premises shot further and further from the truth. Buzzill's professional pride, and to propitiate her per- Dufferin Street had bought its last bonnet for the sonal favor. It was still “ Miss Buzzill's shop.” Miss
There was nothing to be done in the shop beBuzzill took orders and received payments, and was yond the powers of Miss Buzzill to perform ; thus she the acknowledged head of the establishment; a fact ex- was reluctantly compelled to acquiesce when Agnes, asperating to Evelyn, but very pleasant to Miss Buz- with Vida, withdrew to Tarnstone Pinnacle, there in zill. Quite by herself in a little inner room, Agnes seclusion to await the “ spring opening,” which Miss made the bonnets ; and it was the bonnets that brought Buzzill intended should be of a magnificence unknown in money and fame, a fact Miss Buzzill did not forget, before in all the chronicles of Dufferin. as she proved by being kinder to Agnes than she was The eager torches of color that the autumn bore had to anybody else except Agnes' child; in her fashion, at flained and gone out on forest and Pinnacle. The the bottom of her heart, she loved both.
spruces and firs and cedars now pierced the steely air Perhaps all the more for her seclusion, the fame with stings and needles of tawny green. There are
no half-tones or tints in this dazzling land of the north, might be, within the log house all was warmth and this land of swift transitions, and of vivid effects. comfort. No winter was rigorous enough to exhaust Suddenly, in early September, in a single vight, the Evelyn's woodpile, that pile of split and seasoned frost fell. In the morning, every flower in the garden maple so dear to every northern heart. Nor could any stood stiff and stark in mail of ice. Agnes could have North American winter be long enough to exhaust her wept over these late-born tender children of the north- garnered stores; her grain of wheat and corn, of barern year, over the little frozen faces of the pansies, the ley and buckwheat. Had not Daisy been sacrificed for dead sweet-peas and tube-roses, slaughtered innocents. beef and candles, and Towzer for spare-rib and “crackAnother night the heavens danced with auroras. Wave lin”? Towzer was a pig, who never grew to be a hog. after wave of rose-red flame rolled up from the horizon. He lived in a palace of a peu, he had his weekly bath,
Through this ruddy sea in quick succession flew innu- and his daily conversations with his mistress as she merable lances of ever-changing hues, violet and prim- poured out his smoking repasts of potatoes and meal, rose, rose-red, the palest pink, the faintest azure, shoot ihrough all his earthly sojourn. Evelyn shed many tears ing to the zenith ; while the whole concave of heaven at the thought of his demise, yet she slew him no less, and throbbed and flashed in coruscating splendor.
now Towzer, the quintessence of “ pig-pork," was packed In the morning, lo! nature's reaction ! Heaven's in a barrel in the depths of Evelyn's cellar, a source fiery glow gone out in asben gray. Gray upon the sky, of pride to her heart greater even than when he grunted gray in all the air ; snow, dense and spotless, lying his replies to her remarks from out of his well-kept heavy upon the earth; the cedars fringed with ermine; sty. Her kitchen walls were garlanded with strings the firs stretching out their strong arms and lifting up of dried apples, and white bags filled with dried blacktheir cone-like crowns swathed in the same immaculate berries and Canadian plums. It was garnished also fleece. Then the gray curtain was lifted, and the sun, with many bunches of dried pennyroyal and pepperriding through a dazzling heaven, drew the earth's mint, summer savory, sage, and thyme; and, biggest whiteness after him and exhaled it into the snow clouds of all, bunches of dried catnip for her cats. Her skeins that canopied his setting. After the melting of the of snowy wool had long been ready for the spinning. first snow came the Indian summer. It was the soul Before the autumn days were done, her yarn was spun of the earlier summer come back with a pleading soft and ready. By the time the winter nights began, ness in its breath that the first summer had not. Misty Evelyn was at her winter occupation, busily knitting; banners trembled about the mountain-tops. The whole this time, a pair of red and white stockings for Vida. world seemed to float in nebulous gold. The atmos- Agnes' winter rest had come. She spent it chiefly phere was penetrated with a vague, haunting sweetness. in her own little inner room, teaching her child, makWafts of winey fragrance came up from the beds of ing necessary garments, thinking long, long thoughts, moist, ripe leaves that lined the forest, from the spicy contrasting the life she lived now, the solitude surferns still peering green from their shaded coverts, and rounding her, with her life at the capital two winters from the exuding balsams of the spruces and firs. before, her life at Lotusmere one year ago. Could a
In this halcyon season Agnes and Vida lived in the more utter transition come to any life? She never woods. These had no voice nor language that Agnes forgot the large debt of gratitude that she owed to did not know. These had no minor tone that did not Evelyn even in little things, and spent many evenings penetrate her exquisitely attuned ear. Boughs just reading to her and listening to her chatter, when had astir in the still air, the patter of the dropping nut, the she listened to her own inner impulse, only, she would tiny rustle of the squirrel in the leaves, the cry of the have stayed in the solitude of her own room. cricket in the russet grass, each gave out its own dis- Saturday brought the crowning night of the week, tinct note of music to her soul. From color, odor, for it was on Saturday only that Jini Dare mounted sound, were woven these perfect days. To this woman John and rode through snow and biting cold to Dufferin alone, a sense of yearning came out of their opaline for the mail. It was never a large one, nevertheless it deeps. All she had lost, the more she had missed,
was the event of the week. It brought to Agnes a haunted indefinably their sad and subtle beauty. There letter from her only correspondent," Mary Ben,” as was a sadness in the soul of the season that touched she lovingly called her: a letter that made her hands the sadder soul within her.
tremble as she opened it, and her heart often ache — Suddenly as it came, the Indian summer went. It oh, how hopelessly! - after reading it. Yet as if she was winter at once. The dead pansies were buried delighted in self-torture, she would not be deprived of beneath the embankment of straw that encircled the it. °It brought also Evelyn's Tribune, and the journals log-house. Double windows and doors were set to and magazines in which Agnes sparingly indulged, to protect its inmates from the freezing cold without. By keep her brain from starving. day and night the snow fell, till it made the forest road
• I'd like to know what's to hender," exclaimed Ev. impassable, and piled up around the cottage solid walls elyn on one of these winter Saturday nights, as she as high as itselt. Jim Dare, now grown an athletic thrust out a newspaper to Agnes, who sat with a fellow, spent many days cutting paths through this bleached face and a far-distant look in her eyes, after
By degrees a way was made through it past the reading a letter which she had silently dropped into woods, but the mass remained on the frozen earth to her pocket. Speechless she was, yet how her heart be subdued and melted away only by the late May sun. dumbly cried within her. Mary Ben wrote that “ she At long intervals the south wind rose and the rain fell had been told that Miss Kane had gone to Ulm to visit just long enough to let the night set every tree, bough, her friends. Mr. King had gone to Washington, and and leafy spray, and even the Pinnacle itself
, in mail Lotusmere was closed for the winter.” She was inly of crystal that froze and glittered in the sunlight, and crying for ber home, for her lost love, for her buried transformed the whole scene into a sight of enchant- child.
“ There's nuthin' in the world to hender,” said Ev. No matter what the mutations of the elemental world'elyn. “ You talk like a book, an' I know ye can write
one if you want to; an' somehow I've sot my heart tle bear,” to his eager questionings of the heavenly on your gittin' that hundred dollars. You've only to mysteries to which his young soul so soon went forth. say you will, an you'll git it ; I'm sure on't,” and she Through him she cared for all living boys. When she pointed to the advertisement of a Boston publishing shut herself up to consider them, she found that it was house, offering one hundred dollars as a prize to the not the impossible, unnatural, “ goody” boy, but the competitor who should write the best story for boys, every-day, sinning, much-suffering, knocked-about, dethe prize to be awarded by impartial judges.
nounced, “ trounced,” yet ever beloved boy of the hu. " I'd like to know what's to hender?” again asked man family, whom her heart yearned over. Was she Evelyn, as Agnes looked up after reading the notice. not his spontaneous defender and saviour from a little “ Here's language bulgin' out your eyes big as plums child? Yes, she had something for him! a story of back of each on 'em; an' as for boys, nothin' is more help and cheer and happiness she would make for this surprisin' than the knowledge you hev on 'em, except boy, wherever on the earth he might be, and in her the pashunce you show to 'em. An' you jest write that heart dedicate it to the memory of her own lost one, book. Come, now, you'll try, won't ye, deary?” in the for whose sake all other boys had grown yet more most wheedling tones. "My heart is perfectly sot on dear. it."
Thus in the little log-house in the northern solitude, “I would do anything in my power
heart the work of brain and heart began. Did the will never was set on; you know that,” said Agnes warmly, “ but falter ? the heart never grow weary? Often. How I should never for one instant feel as if I could win often, only they can tell who, without encouragement, this hundred dollars. And if I try and fail, as I'm without cheer from any assured source, shut away from almost certain to do, you will feel worse, Evelyn, than every exterior prop, resting on their own souls alone, if I hadn't tried at all.”
weave on to completeness the web of thought and ex" Jest you try !” said Evelyn oracularly, steadying perience spun from the brain and life, perhaps from the her dancing brown eyes into a measuring look fixed very life-blood of the heart. What is easier than to upon Agnes. Bumps don't lie, nev-er. Faces pass judgment on the work, to criticise any lack of findon't lie, for they can't, no matter if they do try; an' ish, even in its passage? But if it be woven of the a feelin' heart don't lie, not when it's chock full an' run- stuff out of which human life is made, it is never lightly nin' over with love an' sorrer. Be a good little gal or easily done. an' try – jest to please me, won't ye?” and Evelyn, Agnes wrote only with fulness and power when she getting up, smoothed back Agnes' hair and kissed her forgot what she was doing. Then heart, soul, and forehead.
of their overflow without effort and without Agnes burst into tears. It was a little thing, a lov- stint. But the moment the conscious thought came ing thing, for the toil-hardened hand to do, for the sim- of what she was attempting, all assurance of touch left ple, honest lips to express. There were none others her. A deep distrust of her powers, a sense of her to caress or to love her now, and this fact, with the own temerity, made both mind and hand falter and touch and action, bringing back so utterly as they did halt. What right had she to suppose, because she had the caress and kiss of another, - alas! how far back in insight in her soul and love in her heart to respond to the past ! - just at this moment were more than Ag. the need of the every.day boy, that she had also the nes' overstrained heart could receive without visible gift to embody either in a form to which the ratheremotion.
hard-to-be-suited little man would spontaneously re“ Anything I can do I will try to do, to please you, spond? She painted the truth, then was afraid of it. Evelyn,” she said, as she rose to go in to her child. She would attempt to hold it far out from her mental Sleep was not for her that night. The uprooted past, vision, and pronounce judgment upon it as if she were Mary Ben's letter, Evelyn's injunction, her own aching a disinterested judge. Nobody, nobody on earth, fit to heart and tumultuous brain, forbade it. But she slept decide upon it, would say that was just the fancy or late into the morning. Evelyn amused Vida in the thing to put in a story. She was sure of it. Her soul kitchen, “ shewed " Jim into his Sunday clothes, and was brave, her mind was timid. She was without exwalked her domain on tiptoe, that Agnes might sleep. | perience. She had never won success. She was alone. She appeared at last with a perfectly serene face.
The orld was wide and cold. Could she ever venture “ Evelyn,” she said quietly, “ I will write the boys' to send her fledgling out into it adrift? If she did, book, if you can promise me one thing: that you won't it would drop and die for lack of shelter and warmth. take it very much to heart if I don't get the prize. It Where in all the world was the hand strong and true is in my power to write something, but it may be far to take it in, care for it, start it for steady though lowly from my power to win the hundred dollars.
If you'll flight? promise to keep this in mind, so as not to be too much Of all these things and many more she was too disappointed, I will try.”
keenly conscious for her work's good. She had many " I'll promise anything, queeny, if you'll try,” said despondent days, when she shut up her portfolio and the conquering Evelyn, as she gave the final Sabbath locked it out of sight, in regret and bumility of soul. twist to a corkscrew curl before her fifty-cent looking- That the beloved image of her little hero could ever be glass, prior to settling herself for her Sunday reading, painted by her hand was impossible; of that she felt consisting of her hymn-book and Bible, with the alma- certain. It remained for her to go back to Miss Buznac and phrenological tracts interspersed by way of zill and her bonnets; she could make a bonnet, a pretty condiments.
one; she had proved that; but to make the word-porNothing came so near to Agnes as the life of a boy. trait of a living boy, alive, life-inspiring as well as lifeFor more than seven years she lived in closest sympa- destroying, to do him justice was beyond her power. thy with the boy nature. It had no fault, no need, On the whole she was glad she had learned it before that she did not know. She had sympathized with her she had proved her failure by demonstrated defeat in boy in everything, from his yearning for a "a good lit- the shape of a publisher's pitilessly polite note of refusal
(To be continued.)
Nevertheless, in characteristic defiance of her fiats, the and sad; and yet not so sad as drenched and weary, for he boy of her heart was often too much for her wavering was cheered by a sense of success in a good cause. will. In spite of all her doubt and dread as to how he
Faint sounds came from the barn, and he looked that would look to others who loved him not, she loved him
way. Figures came singly and in pairs through the doors
all walking awkwardly, and abashed, save the foremost, so entirely, and saw bim so distinctly, that the passion
who wore a red jacket, and advanced with his hands in his to individualize him, to paint him as she saw him, pockets, whistling. The others shambled after with a conwould overpower all the menacing thoughts waiting in science-stricken air: the whole procession was not unlike ambush, and with sure but delicate strokes the image Flaxman's group of the suitors tottering on towards the inof the boy traced amid all his environments and entan- fernal regions under the conduct of Mercury. The gnarled glements became week by week more vividly distinct. shapes passed into the village, Troy, their leader, entering And when in the unconscious glow of creation she
the farm-house. Not a single one of them had turned his held him up to the eyes of untutored Evelyn, who
face to the ricks, or apparently bestowed one thought upon
their condition. Soon Oak too went homeward, by a diflaughed and cried over him with equal delight, Agnes ferent route from theirs. In front of him against the wet, had already found her audience and tasted the only glazed surface of the lane he saw a person walking yet unalloyed sweet of authorship.
more slowly than himself, under an umbrella. The man Thus the soul-child grew in shade and sunshine, turned and apparently started : he was Boldwood. amid laughter and tears. He had attained the perfect
“How are you this morning, sir ? ” said Oak. stature of his boyhood, and his whole story was told,
“ Yes, it is a wet day. Oh, I am well, very well I thank before Miss Buzzill returned with her spring goods
you : quite well.”
"I am glad to hear it, sir.” from Montreal. The very day that Jim Dare carried Boldwood seemed to awake to the present by degrees. the precious package containing his story in his inside “ You look tired and ill, Oak,” he said then, desultorily pocket through the woods and over the hills to the regarding his companion. post-office at Dufferin, Miss Buzzill herself appeared in "I am tired. You look strangely altered, sir.” the door of the log-house at the Pinnacle. She came
“I? Not a bit of it: I am well enough. What put that
head?” to inquire when “ Madame Darcy” (as she was called by Evelyn’s “quality '') would come to the Corners to
" I thought you didn't look quite so topping as you used
to, that was all.” make ready for “ the opening.” Miss Buzzill's orange
“ Indeed, then, you are mistaken,” said Boldwood, shortly. tinged countenance was illuminated by a bonnet of the
“ Nothing hurts me. My constitution is an iron one.” brightest canary. She said, “I thought I'd give 'em at “ I've been working hard to get our ricks covered, and meetin' jest a spec of what's comin'. None of yer gay, was barely in time. Never had such a struggle in my life. dashin' colors for me, I can tell ye. What I will hev
.. Yours of course are safe, sir ?” is a plain, stiddy yaller.”
“Oh yes.” Boldwood added after an interval of silence, “What did you ask, Oak ? "
“ Your ricks are all covered before this time?”
“At any rate, the large ones upon the stone staddles ?” FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD.
“ They are not."
“ Nor the little one by the stile. I overlooked the ricks It was now five o'clock, and the dawn was promising to this year.” break in hues of drab and ash.
" Then not a tenth of your corn will come to measure, The air changed its temperature and stirred itself more sir.” vigorously. Cool, elastic breezes coursed in transparent “ Possibly not.” eddies round Oak's face. The wind shifted yet a point “ Overlooked them,” repeated Gabriel slowly to himself. or two and blew stronger. In ten minutes every wind It is difficult to describe the intensely dramatic effect that of heaven seemed to be roaming at large. Some of the announcement had upon Oak at such a moment. All the thatching on the wheat-stacks was now whirled fantasti- night he had been feeling that the neglect he was laboring cally aloft, and had to be replaced and weighted with some to repair was abnormal and isolated — the only instance of rails that lay near at hand. This done, Oak slaved away the kind within the circuit of the country. Yet at this again at the barley. A huge drop of rain smote his face, very time, within the same parish, a greater waste had the wind snarled round every corner, the trees rocked to been going on, uncomplained of and disregarded. A few the bases of their trunks, and the twigs clashed in strife. months earlier Boldwood's forgetting his husbandry would Driving in spars at any point and on any system inch by have been as preposterous an idea as a sailor forgetting he inch he covered more and more safely from ruin this dis- was in a ship. Vak was just thinking that whatever he tracting impersonation of seven hundred pounds. The himself might have suffered from Bathsheba's marriage, rain came on in earnest, and Oak soon felt the water to be here was a man who had suffered more, when Boldwood tracking cold and clammy routes down his back. Ulti-spoke in a changed voice — that of one who yearned to mately he was reduced well-nigh to a homogeneous sop, make a confidence and relieve his heart by an outpouring. and a decoction of his person trickled down and stood in a “ Oak, you know as well as I that things have gone pool at the foot of the ladder. The rain stretched obliquely wrong with me lately. I may as well own it. I was going through the dull atmosphere in liquid spines, unbroken in to get a little settled in life; but in some way my plan has continuity between their beginnings in the clouds and their come to nothing." points in him.
“I thought my mistress would have married you,” said Oak suddenly remembered that eight months before this Gabriel, not knowing enough of the full depths of Boldtime he had been fighting against fire in the same spot as wood's love to keep silence on the farmer's account, and desperately as he was fighting against water now — and for determined not to evade discipline by doing so on his own. a futile love of the same woman. As for her - But Oak “ However, it is so sometimes, and nothing happens that was generous and true, and dismissed bis reflections. we expect,” he added, with the repose of a man whom misIt was about seven o'clock in the dark leaden morning
fortune had inured rather than subdued. when Gabriel came down from the last stack, and thank- “I dare say I am a joke about the parish,” said Boldfully Lxclaimed, “ It is done !” He was drenched, weary,
wood, as if the subject came irresistibly to his tongue, and
ONE SOLITARY MEETS
with a miserable lightness meant to express his indiffer- since she had been to see them, and it was quite impossible
to allow the grand festivities of the “wooden wedding ” to “Oh no: I don't think that."
take place without ber. So after a somewhat elaborate “ But the real truth of the matter is that there was not, correspondence between the Widow Grubner and Frau as some fancy, any jilting on — her part. No engage- Liebe, the farmer's wife, whose right hand Louison was, a ment ever existed between me and Miss Everdene. Peo. leave of a fortnight was obtained, and the day was fixed ple say so, but it is untrue: she never promised me!” Bold- for the young girl's arrival at Brushofen. wood stood still now and turned his wild face to Oak. Old Gruhner, accompanied by his granddaughter, “ Oh, Gabriel,” he continued, “ I am weak and foolish, and Gretchen, went to meet her at the coach. I don't know what, and I can't fend off my miserable grief ! “'Two weeks, two whole weeks, my Louison,” cried .... 1 had some faint belief in the mercy of God till I Gretchen, grasping her friend's hand as they walked tolost that woman. Yes, He prepared a gourd to shade me, gether up the steep cliff path that led to the cottage. and like the prophet I thanked Him and was glad. But the “ Only think how delightfull And before the end of that next day He prepared a worm to smite the gourd, and time Hans Steimer will have asked thee to marry him, and wither it; and I feel it is better to die than to live."
then thou wilt stay here always, and live in the pretty new A silence followed. Boldwood aroused himself from the cottage by the mill, and we shall never part with thee momentary mood of confidence into which he had drifted, again.” and walked on again, resuming his usual reserve.
“ Come, come," retorted Louison, “how dcst thou know “No, Gabriel," he resumed with a carelessness which that by the time Hans Steimer pleases to say Wilt was like the smile on the countenance of a skull; “it was thou?' I shall not please to say • Nay'?" made more of by other people than ever it was by us. I do But as she spoke a smile curled the corners of her pretty feel a little regret occasionally, but no woman ever had mouth, and her eyes sparkled, all hidden though they were power over me for any length of time. Well, good morn- by their long lashes. ing. I can trust you not to mention to others what has “Well, well, we shall see,” returned Gretchen, wisely passed between us two here.”
resolving not to press the matter, at least for the present. (To be continued.)
And there were naturally many other subjects of conversation interesting to the family party, or at least to the women portion of it: many questions to ask and be an
swered, many friends to be inquired for and discussed. THE WOODEN WEDDING.
A merry and talkative group were they, as they sat to
gether that evening at work, by the open window of the “Of course Louison must come home for the wooden
cottage kitchen. It seemed as though they could never wedding,” decided the whole of the Grubpers assembled get to the end of their absorbing topics — births, marriages, in full family conclave; the said family conclave being deaths, changes of one kind or another, rumors of what composed of Grandfather and Grandmother Gruhner, might be, or might have been, flirtations, feuds: who does Widow Grubner, and her two daughters, Margot, whose not know the thousand and one elements of village gossip? fifth wedding day was to be celebrated, and Gretchen, the If the conversation flagged for a moment, it was sure to laughter-loving, youngest of the family. Besides whom break out again directly with an Oh! what do you were present Wilhelm Raus, Margot's husband, and Hans, think?” or “ Have you heard ?” or “Do tell me.” And the miller's son.
then on the tongues would go again, as glibly as though “ Yes, yes, Fräulein Louison must come home for the not a word had been spoken for hours. wedding, of course," echoed Hans.
“Oh! these women, these women," grumbled old GrandAnd then everybody laughed. First of all, because no father Grubner. “ Just listen to them click clack, click one in the world but Hans would have dreamed of dignify: clacking, for all the world like a flock of geese. Set five ing little Louison Grubner with so imposing a title; and women together, and some mischief will be brewing, one next, because poor Hans could never so much as mention may be sure of that.” And yet, in spite of his protests, it Louison's name, titled or not, without causing a laugh in did not seem that the old man had really any very strong the family circle. His admiration for that young person, aversion himself to a little gossip, since he hovered about freely expressed on all occasions when the object of his
the group, pipe in mouth, with some tenacity, instead of affections was not present, and his extreme shyness in following his son-in-law, Wilhelm, to the garden, where her society, bad long been a standing joke in the village he was busy digging potatoes. of Brushofen, and had earned for him the nickname of The forthcoming festivities of the wooden wedding, and “the bashful lover."
the presents which were expected or promised for the ocWhen they all laughed, Hans blushed a very furious casion, of course took up a considerable share of the conand unbecoming red.
versation, and filled up the pauses of village scandal. The “ Never mind, never mind, friend Hans,” said Wilhelm, custom of giving presents of a special kind on each fifth clapping him on the shoulder encouragingly. “I was young anniversary of a marriage originated in America, but has once, and timid too, and yet thou seest I took the bull by been largely adopted in Germany.. On the fifth anniverthe horns at last; and I would advise thee ".
sary of the wedding-day all the gifts must be of wood, on But the advice was drowned in a chorus of laughter and the tenth of tin, on the fifteenth of china, and so on until expostulations. Margot, perhaps not unnaturally, objected the silver, the twenty-fifth; the golden, the fiftieth ; and the to be compared to a horned bull; and Wilhelm's timidity diamond, the seldom-reached seventy-fifth year of wedlock, had not been so patent to the world, even in his young is attained. There was naturally a good deal of arrangedays, as to have made much impression upon it, it would ment required, and some anxiety manifested by the notable
young housewife that the offerings should be such as would However, it was quite decided that Louison was to come give satisfaction alike to the donor and the recipients, that home.
rarest of all cases in the giving and receiving of presents. She was a bright, dark-eyed girl of about seventeen, an Possibly Margot had never heard of that unhappy bridal orphan piece of Widow Grubner, and the bosom friend of pair whose thoughtful friends provided them with ten her cousin Gretchen, who was her junior by a few months. toast-racks as wedding gifts. But experience or learning Louison lived, as a rule, with some distant relatives, who
of some kind bad evidently made her wise, and she was were farmers, a few miles from Königsberg; but her holi- resolved that no mistake of such a kind should occur in days, somewhat few and far between, were always spent in her case. Though the gifts might be limited in kind, as the Gruhners' little cottage, wbich from her cbildhood had well as in cost, there was no reason why they should not been considered as her real home, and her visits to Brush
be of very various description. At least so it would seem fen were looked forward to by all the members of the from the list which she counted on ber fingers, more than family with great pleasure. It was now almost a year twice over, for her cousin's benefit, and which included