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one of which an English labouring-man is said to of air, and that a month or two spent among the have lamented the hardship of finding one of these mountains or on the sea-coast would be beneficial; monstrous ova too substantial to be entirely con- but he laughed my advice as much as he did at sumed during one breakfast. The meat alone- the solemn head-shakings and formal behaviour albeit we spared as many of our stock as possible, of the Spanish physician whom I with difficulty and allowing for the fact that the legs of a well- prevailed upon him to summon from St Jago. grown ostrich would prove too tough for the teeth My dear boy,' said the professor, “I have been of the hungriest man-paid nearly half of our compelled to think, all my life long, while others annual outlay. The Guachos, as the wild birds were crowding and elbowing their way along the were thinned off, went farther and farther afield, beaten paths of the commonplace-excuse me, I and would ride half-way to the Andes to sweep have some of the old lecturing tricks of speech fresh captives into our pens.

still—and I know what ails me better than you The end of another season saw us thriving so can do, and ten times better than yonder solemn notably, that the President of the Republic, in his dunce with his square-tailed coat and his goldspeech at the opening of the Argentine Congress, headed cane. It is success that is killing me.' made mention of our new and promising industry *Success !' I repeated, wondering whether I had as of a fresh source of wealth opened in the country. heard aright. We had, by this time, rivals and imitators, for "Just so,' returned the professor, coolly refilling three or four ostrich-farms, though on a less ex- his pipe. 'Have you never heard how a plentiful tended scale, had sprung into being. Of these diet shortens the days of those who have been competitors, however, we felt neither jealousy nor forced, under the iron pressure of poverty, to lead alarm. Our flock of feathered pensioners was abstemious lives? What is subjectively true of steadily increasing, and although we lost many a the body is objectively trųe of the mind. I have promising young brood through disease, and found hunted the will-o'-the-wisp, Dame Fortune, for that the eggs presented an irresistible temptation many a weary year, and now that I have come up to rats, we still cleared heavy and increasing pro- with her, success is doing what privation and disfits. The third year yielded fivefold the revenue appointment have failed to effect. As long as the of the second ; and the fourth brought in an amount goal lay far ahead of me, I had strength to struggle of gain that made the results of its predecessor on. Come, a truce to philosophy; and let us see appear pitiful. There was no doubt of the fact if those lazy drones of ours have got ready the that the professor's prediction had been verified, supper of the young ostriches.' and that the firm of Hartmann and Warburton I partly understood the old man's drift, and was on the high-road to fortune.

began to think it probable that he might be right During all this time, my mind had not been so after all, and that the stout heart which could busy with the details of money-making as to cause hold bravely out through the long-continued me to forget Alice. Many a time, as I watched wrestle with misfortune, might give way when the sun go down, like a ball of many-coloured fire, once the prize was won, and found, perhaps, to be and the strange constellations of the antarctic scarcely worth the persistent toil of years

. So hemisphere sparkle overhead in the violet-blue long as the chase continues, every faculty is sky of night, I had sighed to think of the great absorbed in the effort to come up with the object and hopeless distance that seemed to divide me for that keeps so provokingly out of reach ; but when ever from her I loved. Those were the old once the race is won and the reward attained, the familiar stars that looked down upon Alice at nerves are apt to take their revenge for the high home in England, the Pole-star, the Bear, the tension at which they have been kept. Wain; while above mine blazed the Southern 'I am no longer strong enough to undertake the Cross, with many a heavenly lamp unseen by journey to Buenos Ayres. You must go in my English eyes. Often have I taken up my pen to stead, my English friend; and mind, Herr Warburwrite to the dear girl since my affairs first began to ton, that you don't allow yourself to be cheated by prosper, but I never carried out the design. A those rogues of feather-merchants. Your countryman who seems to have dropped out of the world, men have not the firm grip of money and money's and to have severed the links that bound him to worth that my cautious compatriots possess.

You those with whom he formerly associated, often beat us in boldness and breadth ; but we are com: feels a strange shyness and difficulty in renewing mercially your superiors, because we make sure of the connection. And, besides, what right had I to full value for every kopeck, and are not ashamed think that Alice cared for

me ? She had had ample to be miserly. Mind that you do not let them time to become cured of her girlish fancy, and to fleece you, my good lad,' said the professor, when love and mate elsewhere. Very probably she was it was finally settled that I, not he, was to convey married, and if so, how absurd and unwelcome the accumulated feathers to the capital, and to would

my letter appear, should I be foolish enough return with their price in money. Hitherto, Mr to write it! I maintained no correspondence what- Hartmann had personally conducted all such sales

. soever with any one in England, and though I and to the great advantage of the firm. Now, he worked hard and with good results, I had no definite was really becoming too feeble for the fatigues of plan for the future.

the road, although Don Miguel, who chanced also My partner, on the other hand, began to grow to be bound for Buenos Ayres, had offered him very old and frail. His interest in our thriving a seat in his own coach, drawn by six mules speculation never flagged, and his attention to the and stored with all the creature-comforts which business was genuine and unremitting, but his a luxurious traveller, in that region of slor health was perceptibly declining. More than voyaging and bad inns, could desire to take with once I hinted that he was wearing himself out him. by his vigilant exertions to make the most of our It was almost ludicrous to watch the professor, joint property, and sometimes I suggested change as he hovered and fidgeted around me on the day

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of my departure with the chests of ostrich-plumes, whom may possibly tempt you to forget your cruel in Don Miguel's queer old silver-mounted coach, fair one in England.' which had probably been constructed on the model I had told my story to Don Miguel, not suppressof some state-carriage of a Spanish viceroy before ing the episode of my ill-fated attachment to Alice; the War of Independence. I do not know whether he but I was surprised and not over-pleased at his reminded me most of a hen that has had a duck's alluding to my hopeless love in so light and jesting egg placed among her own, and that sees the un- a manner, the more remarkable because my rich conscious duckling ‘take the water' as no respect- neighbour and early patron was by taste and' habit able chicken would do, or of a Germanised Vicar a serious and somewhat of a taciturn man. of Wakefield prescient of his son's luckless invest- The dinner-party at the governor's was a large ment in the green spectacles. I laughingly prom- one. There were glittering uniforms, a great disised to be as keen at a bargain as Shylock's self; play of costly jewels among the ladies, and what and we parted ; but it gave me pain to observe was no doubt colonially considered as a brilliant how worn and bent the old man looked, and how and distinguished company. The good-natured much more aged than when I first remembered governor, to whom I had not been previously prehim. The journey was performed smoothly and sented, was distressingly hospitable, and lauded me pleasantly enough ; and I was by no means duped to the skies as the founder of a new, yet essentially in the matter of selling the feathers, which fetched native and South American industry' Poor old a higher price than ever, in consequence of a large Hans Hartmann! I am afraid that the real archiand increasing demand from Europe. We had tect of our fortunes, and the pioneer of our paralready considerable savings, which my previous ticular branch of progress, would not have been experience as a financier had assisted us to invest quite so warmly welcomed, merely because a prevery gainfully; and our banker rubbed his hands posterous coat and a pair of coloured spectacles, an together and cordially congratulated me, as I con- unkempt beard and an uncouth manner, oversulted him as to the disposal of the new deposit. balanced, in the vulgar estimation, the sterling "Well done, Don Warburton !' said the little worth of the wearer.

But before the governor silver-haired Portuguese, eyeing me with sincere had concluded his harangue, I heard his sonorous approval. I have wealthier customers, of course, periods no more, so intent was I in gazing on the but none of whose prosperity, I augur better than face of a lately, arrived guest, slowly advancing of yours; and all deserved, my dear sir, all towards where the governor's wife, in flame-tinted deserved!' And the old gentleman, quite excited, satin and diamonds, stood and smiled a greeting, and muttering between his teeth : Feathers ! hard by the French clock and vases, the strip of Santos ! all that lump of money got by feathers !' Tournai carpet, and the white porcelain stove of insisted on uncorking some wonderful Madeira that Berlin make, which contrasted so queerly with the was worthy of a royal palate, to drink to the good hangings of Spanish leather, stamped and gilded, luck of Hartmann and Warburton.

the rich cornices, the floor inlaid with rare and Little Dom Basil, crouching like an auriferous highly polished wooden marquetry, of the oldspider among his moidores, and gold-dust, and fashioned apartment, which had formerly, no doubt, broad silver dollars, and sheaves of bills drawn for witnessed the stately receptions of the representall amounts and in all languages, was not the only ative of Spanish royalty. person who was disposed to be complimentary to Could I believe my eyes! It was Alice! In a our now flourishing firm. Don Miguel introduced moment I recognised the fair, innocent face, the me everywhere, not merely as his best friend and frank eyes, the graceful carriage of the pretty head. the

preserver of little Charlie's life, but as one of the She came forward, with her hand resting on the most rising men in the colony.' I found myself arm of a withered but quick-eyed old gentlemanfêted and made much of wherever I went; and, her uncle, Mr Touchet. On the other side walked had I possessed a larger leaven of vanity in my Don Miguel, looking maliciously benevolent, if nature, I might have learned to consider myself as such a thing can be. I stood, speechless, deaf and a public benefactor, because I had condescended to dumb to all around, my eyes riveted on Alice, as if make money by rearing ostriches.

I doubted the evidence of my senses, when Don Here is an invitation, said Don Miguel one day, Miguel called out: Don Morris Warburton, here producing a large card in its pink envelope — an is a gentleman-and a lady-whom you used to invitation to dine to-morrow with the civil governor know; so they tell me.--Señor Governor, I beg you of the town. It will be rather a grand affair ; and a thousand pardons for interrupting you, but I too, am asked; but I pledged myself that you I did not hear the rest. I sprang forward, and would accept, for you know you are the newest in an instant I had read in Alice's bright eyes, lion in our colonial society.!

swimming in tears now, that she loved me stiil'I confess that I am rather tired of my part as had ever loved me. Had I been still incredulous, Lion,' I answered with a smile ; 'the rather that I the timid pressure of the small hand that I clasped have done nothing to deserve my leonine honours ; in mine would have conjured away my doubts. and besides, I want to go back to the Pampas and Mr Touchet's reception of me afforded a marked busy life on the farm. But if you really wish it, contrast to the irritable harshness with which he of course I will accept.'

had treated me, as a penniless pretender to his Ah, that is right!' said Don Miguel, with an niece's hand, when last we met in England. And odd expression of satisfaction lurking about the it presently came out that Don Miguel, whose corners of his handsome, stern-looking mouth ; acquaintance with the merchant was of long stand* and I will take it on myself to reply in your ing, had, unknown to me, maintained a correname, in all the forms of Castilian politeness. At spondence with the uncle of Alice, in which he had the governor's palace you will meet some influ- painted my character and prospects in colours that ential persons, and, what is perhaps more attractive were only too flattering ; while Mr Touchet, who to a man of your age, some beautiful ladies, one of was secretly aware that Alice had refused many


his own,

more advantageous offers for the sake of the young fellow whom her uncle had asked to the Dorking

THE CHILDREN. villa, was glad to hear that the sunshine of pros

To grown-up beauty men are fond perity was shining on me at last, and that I was

Of singing frequent praises ;
known in the colony as one already well-to-do,
and likely to become rich.

Alike they laud brunette and blonde
The remainder of my story is soon told. My

With pretty, high-flown phrases. return to the Pampas was deferred for two months To me, though such ripe loveliness, more, and when I went back, I took with me

No doubt, is far the rarest, Alice as my wife. We had, for the moment, no Of all things fair, I must confess, home but Don Miguel's roomy hacienda, where I

The children seem the fairest. had till then resided, always insisting, in the midst of all our busy toil, in remaining Charlie's play

The children, with their happy looks, mate and preceptor; and, indeed, the dear little

Their little joys and sorrows, boy loved me second only to his father. But it Their frank delight in story-books, was evident that we were fully able to build a

Their wealth of bright to-morrowshouse for ourselves, for we were rich. Not only What heart but in their tiny hands had Mr Touchet made over to us the annual income

Is soft as wax for moulding? which I had sold to him-poor Aunt Letty's six

What eye that sees their elfin bands hundred a year—but, in addition to the proceeds of the ostrich-farm, a new source of wealth had

But joys in the beholding? suddenly disclosed itself.

Would those kind powers that dispense
On the day when Alice and I were married at

Aladdin-gifts befriend me, the British Consulate in Buenos Ayres, Don Miguel

No thorn-crown of pre-eminence had entered the great room, crowded with friends,

In letters should they send me; and had approached the principal performers in

Only the skill to wake delight the ceremony with signs of more emotion in his usually impassive face than I had ever seen there,

Like some old story-teller, save on that memorable day of the alligator adven

That for the darlings I might write ture.

Such tales as Cinderella. 'Señorita,' he said, bowing courteously to my

No bland reviewer's suavity dear Alice, I have never thanked, as I should have thanked, the brave man-soon to be your

Of eulogy I'd covet ; husband—who saved the life, almost at the cost of

They, with their eager gravity,
of my
little son.
I have never ventured

Should read my book, and love it; to offer him any donation worthy of him and of And they should come about my chair, But a Spanish gentleman may offer a gift to a

Their fondness all my glory, bride. Here is mine, and my best wishes go with it.' And climb my knees, and pull my bair, And what the good man gave was a roll of

And thank me for my story. papers, conferring on Alice and on me the absolute property of a noble tract of pasture and forest,

To them, when summer-time was bright comprising our ostrich-farm and much of the best

Among the cowslip meadows, of the adjacent country.

Or round the winter-fire at night,
That was a happy year; but before it ended I

While rose and fell the shadowshad a new sorrow, för kind old Professor Hart

Their faces all toward me bent, mann, whom, in spite of his odd ways and affected

Their eyes with pleasure glistening, or habitual cynicism, Alice had also learned to

Their cheeks aglow with wondermenty esteem and value as his gentle soul deserved, died.

And all intently listeningExcepting a few trifling legacies to old acquaintances in Germany, he left me his heir; and I was Would I discourse of gallant knights, now quite rich enough to leave South America,

Their triumphs and distresses ; the soft, enervating air of which was undermining

Of giant foes, and tourney fights, my wife's health, and to return to England. The

And beautiful princesses ; old bank at Dullingham, with the old name,

Of wide enchanted wanderings Crump and Warburton, was re-established, with the hearty good-will of high and low throughout

In distant tropic prairies; our division of the county; and though Mr Prit

Of fairies, and all fairy things, chard considered himself too old to reassume his

To them that are my fairies. duties as cashier, he hovers about the bank still, like a benevolent brownie, and is always delighted

And when, in far-off after-days,

My tales should all be over, when deposits are paid in after corn-market. We Crump and Warburton — though there is no

Though no rich cenotaph of praise Crump in the firm, unless Aunt Letty's six hundred

My memory should cover, a year represents it—are well enough to do in the In some few hearts my name should wake world; and Alice and I visit in the county,' and

A touch of old affection, can give dinners nearly as good, and perhaps not And kind remembrance, for the sake quite so dull, as those of Sir John and the squire's ;

Of early recollection. yet the bank is with us a secondary consideration, and the bulk of our income is still drawn Printed and Published by W. & R. CHAMBERS, 47 Pater from our grazing-grounds and ostrich-farm across

noster Row, LONDON, and 339 High Street, EDINBCEUL the Atlantic.

Also sold by all Booksellers. e.



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"She must have stood out to sea again, Frank,' WITHOUT FURTHER DELAY. said a man, of seamed and furrowed face, the eyes

of which were the centres of bewildering networks IN THIRTY-FOUR CHAPTERS.-CHAPTER I.

of wrinkles ; a kindly face, you would say, and Full fathom five thy father lies;

shrewd, and yet that of an irritable and nervous Of his bones are coral made;

man. By his side was a figure dressed in a blue Those are pearls that were his eyes.

pilot suit, ornamented with brass buttons, bearing All night long the storm had been raging, but the device of a crown and anchor: this was the with the dawn the wind had abated ; instead of officer of customs; the other was Evan Rowlands, roaring as a north-west gale, trumpeting and scream- the banker of Aberhirnant. Banker and ship ing into the throat of the broad hill-encompassed owner too; hence, perhaps, the anxious glances estuary of Aberhirnant, it whispered softly in a he cast over the empty sea. balmy southerly breeze. The tide had run out, and 'She must have made an offing,' reiterated Rowa great expanse of yellow-ribbed sands lay glinting lands peevishly, in answer to a grave shake of the in the bright rays of the wintry sun. A mile head from the official. away at the bar the sea was still breaking heavily, • What do you say, John Jones? Could she have and rolling in huge masses of foam and spray; got back to sea against that nor'-west gale ?' but along the sands, crisp and curling riplets came "Well, indeed,' said John, squirting a small hurrying in, touched with all kinds of tints of cataract of tobacco-juice from his mouth, it's pearl and opal by the slanting beams of the rising very possible. . She very good sailer, close-hauled ;


indeed.' A small wooden pier ran out into the mouth of *It's possible, of course,' said Frank Williams, the river, and the shore behind this pier formed the custom-house man; “but is it likely ?' a little bay, which was the harbour of Aberhirnant. *Deed, I can't say.—But see, Mr Frank, what's The town itself was a crescent of houses ranged this coming up with the tide ?' upon the curving shores of the bay-small neat The tide had now turned, and in the centre of houses, for the most part tenanted by the wives the stream was running up with some force, of the coasting masters of the port. Behind the although by the pier its influence was not yet houses rose the flank of a steep hill, the summit felt. In the very middle of the river was floating of which bounded the view from the pier ; but a mass of shattered timber, with an iron bolt had you been farther out at sea, you would have sticking out here and there. seen, slope rising over slope, precipice crowned by John Jones jumped into his boat, which lay at crag, the higher summits veiled by light fleecy the foot of the pier, without another word, and clouds, which the storm had driven in from the pulling quickly after the moving object, reached sea : a wild mountain region margined by a coast it, hitched a rope to it, and towed it slowly back. of iron. Great masses of foam were still lurking in By this time a little crowd had collected. Women all corners and crevices of the pier, in all sheltered with hurriedly arranged garments ; men winking hollows of the sands; but except these, and a line of and blinking, the stupor of the night not yet drift the angry waves had washed against the houses shaken from them; a few children, dragged halfwhich lined the bay, there were no other relics of naked from their beds—such the crowd which the storm that had passed. A few seafaring men clustered together at the head of the pier, looking were lounging at the pier-head, scanning the waters up at the tall, commanding figure of the banker, with their glasses, but not a sail was to be seen; who, standing on the framework of the capstan, the brown waves went up and down, but neither alternately cast his glances toward the approaching mast nor hull broke the undulating lines.

boat, or swept the dull horizon with his

eyes. e




The mass of timber which the boatman had in you take on so? Menevia's Pride is as safe as I tow came lazily rolling through the water; each am.— The dog? Pooh! he juniped overboard. tug of the rope, as the boatman straightened his Gwen Pugh, the master's wife, looked about her back to the stroke, caused it to plunge and wallow bewildered, not knowing what to believe-the in the sea. Except that it was wreck of some smooth voice of the man, or the dog shivering and kind, no one could say what its form or shape. whining by her side.

Menevia's Pride is as safe as I am !' cried Row- Listen to Evan Rowlands, anwyl bach,' cried the lands from his platform, in answer to some low- old crones in chorus. “The dog jumped overboard. toned question from the crowd. All the faces Evan is safe ; Evan Rowlands says so. Dear, dear! brightened up at this, for Menevia's Pride was the who would have thought it!' pride of Aberhirnant also. She had been built on "Take my arm, Gwen Pugh,' said the bankerthe sands at Aber. Her master and her crew were take my arm, and walk home. Dear heart ! you all Aberhirnant men. The very dog that was on look very pale, and no wonder, with the fright you board of her had been a puppy of that stout old got. But don't cry any more, Gwen; Mencvia's bitch which now stood wagging her tail and Pride is as safe as my bank; and Evan will be home whining on one of the timbers of the pier. presently to scold you, and shake his old friends by

All of a sudden there was a great movement in the hand.” the crowd, for the wreck in the harbour had turned Gwen Pugh, a pretty swarthy woman, dressed right over, shewing a splintered taffrail rail, and in short petticoat and bedgown, took the banker's painted thereon in large white letters, RIDE. arm, and they walked towards the street together,

A low groan, a wail, rose from the people. the rest of the crowd following at a little distance.

*Fools!' shouted Rowlands, 'what's RIDE? Why, Dear! what a good-hearted man he is !' was the there are hundreds of ships with RIDE in their chorus among the crowd. The good heart was

Dozens from this port alone. Why, that of Evan Rowlands.
there's Arthur's Bride, and Bridegroom, and ever
so many more. But it isn't any of our ships, I tell


But the women would not be convinced ; they

Thou art not for the fashion of these times,

Where none will sweat but for promotion. had felt the touch of terror and incredulity ; dread overspread their minds, and that blank, bewilder- From the esplanade of Aberhimnant one side-street ment which the heart feels at the possibility of only branches off, a short street ending in a chapel ; a loss which may, unknown, have already befallen this street lines the mouth of a little gorge running it. But the men rallied round the banker, and down from the mountains to the sea. On one side urged a hundred different reasons why this of the street is the bank, a three-cornered stone shattered taffrail should belong to any other building, with small narrow windows and heavy vessel than Menevia's Pride. Then, whilst doubt slated roof; on the opposite side is another dulland irresolution kept down grief and lamentation, looking stone building, on the door of which is a profound throb of emotion made itself felt painted, in half-obliterated white letters, Mr through the crowd. All turned away from the Arthur Rowlands, Solicitor, Stamp Office. sea and the sky, from the boat bobbing up and If you followed the road beyond the Methodist down, from the wreck twisting and twirling, from Chapel, you presently came to a steep shoot, which the banker on the capstan, from the sea-mews ascended the side of a ravine, and lost itself among screaming over his head-turned with one accord the hills. This was the old Áberhirnant and Glanto a figure on the pier, that of a woman, lying dovey road, now almost disused, except by farmers fainting on the rough boards of the flooring, a dog coming to market, as the new road following the licking her face.

line of the coast, and cut out in places in the face of But such a dog! his hair soaked and matted, his the rock, is much more safe and convenient, though claws torn and bleeding, his head battered and not so direct. bruised, and his eyes! ah! what weariful, miser- Arthur Rowlands, solicitor and distributer of able eyes they were, as though they still reflected stamps for the county of Caerinion, is a young man all the struggles of dying men! So weariful and of some four-and-twenty years, residing at this pitiful were the dumb looks of that poor dog, that present time with his father, the banker. It was all the stout seafaring men that stood around well known in Aberhirnant that he was going to were fain to wipe their eyes with their jacket-marry Mary Roberts, the pretty daughter of the sleeves, whilst the women in a body threw a de- rector of the adjoining parish of Llanfechan, and spairing cry to Heaven, and then, clasped in each that the wedding was to come off on Christmasother's

's arms, wailed and wept in unavailing grief. day, now close at hand. A house had been taken

Poor thing, poor thing! said all the seafaring for him a mile or so up the estuary, in a pleasant men in concert. They meant the wife of the little glen facing to the south, and appropriately master of Menevia's Pride, who lay fainting on the named Bodheulog, or the abode of the sun ; and ground, the dog licking her face. There was no sundry van-loads of furniture had already arrived. more hope for her, poor creature; the dog had All the people of Aberhirnant were in a state of brought her at least that message from the dead. chronic excitement as to the approaching wedding There was a handkerchief knotted to his collar, There were to be triumphal arches and flags; and the husband's handkerchief. Mort, the dog, had the well-to-do inhabitants were to feast each other come home again ; the rest, where were they? at the Wynnstay Arms, whilst the poor people

Rowlands descended from the capstan, his face were to be fed in the Wesleyan Chapel; and there pale and troubled.

were to be fireworks at night, and a bonfire on the * Dear me, what is the matter ?–My dear Mrs | top of Mynydd Maur, and all kinds of similar Pugh,' he said, taking the woman, now supported delights.

in the arms of her friends, by the hand, 'why do Had it happened, indeed, that Meneria's Pride



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