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Full text of "Miriam vs. Milton, or The mystery of Everdale Lake"

V 1. i 1 



THE UNIVERSITY OF 

NORTH CAROLINA 

LIBRARY 




I'l 



THE WILMER COLLECTION 

OF CIVIL WAR NOVELS 

PRESENTED BY 

RICHARD H. WILMER, JR. 




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Miriam 



vs. 1 



ILTON 



MYSTERY OF EVERDALE LAKE. 



JAS. J. KANE, U. S. Navy, 

author of 

"adrift on the black wild tide," 

"iliax, or the curse of the old south church." 




LONDON : 

CHARLES BIRCHALL, 38, GRACECIIURCH STREET, E.G. 
7 & 9, Victoria Street, Liverpool, and 
18, Beazennose Street, Manchester. - 



THE AMERICAN NEWS COMPANY, NEW YORK 

1894. 



Copyright. 
Entered at Stationers' Hall. 

(Ail rig'hts reserved). 



Copyrighted at 
Washington, D.C, 1894, 

DY 

J AS. J. KANE. 

(All rights feseiz'cd). 



trf3e jEnglisb B&ition 

OF THIS WORK IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED 

TO 

3obn H^eppic, feq*, 

LIVERPOOL. 

As the author is indebted to him for many tokens of friendship in the 
days of yore, he would therefore beg leave to tender this token of gratitude 
to^his highly-esteemed friend. 

Mttb S'raternal ©icetino. 



The aiitlior begs leave to introduce his readers to the folloiving 
principal characters. There are others who are only incidental 
to the story, and therefore not rnentioned here. 



Englisb Cbaractcrs. 

Rear-Admiral and Lady Creed- 
more, R.N. 

Miriam and Milton Creedinore. 

Richard Shirley. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Van Reem. 

Sir Thomas and Lady Shirley and 
Family. 

Martin Nickley, of Granthorn Park. 

Edmond Harold, Earl of Montville. 

Lieut. Bentley, Royal Navy. 

Mrs. Harriet Ainsworth, of Beech- 
wood Seminary. 

Pauline Van Sant. 

Oslena, the Gipsy Queen. 

Ziska, the Gipsy Chief. 

Lord Grassmere and Lady Martha. 

Rev. A. J. Sarmaine. 

Sister M. De'phine. 



American Cbaracters. 

Colonel n. Derwent. of Kentucky. 
Captain Isaiah Moorehead, of 

Boston. 
Joseph Richardson, Society of 

Friends. 
Cousin IMargaret, of New York. 
Joshua Harkness. 
Etaline Roberts, of Virginia. 
Henrietta St. Clair. 
Henry Winston, the Scout. 
Lieut. Hilton, Confederate Army. 
Kate and Ida Derwent. 
Jerold Slevington. 
Marcy Graston, Mining Engineer.. 
Bill Jenkins, the Miner. 
Lieut. Grimes, U. S. Army. 
Grey Cloud, the In.U.in Chief. 



INDEX OF THE PROBLEM. 



F5RST DIVISCON. 



THE ANALYSIS OF THE TWINS. 



I. EVERDALE. 2. MIRIAM ESTHER CREEDMORE. 

3. MILTON EDGAR CREEDMORE. 4. REBELLION. 

5. EVERDALE LAKE. 6. THE EXCHANGE. 



SECO^'D DJVIStON. 
iViiHam's experience as Edgar. 

I. THE SEPARATION. 2. 

3. NEV/ YORK IN 1S61. 4. 

5. IN THE RANKS OF THE 71ST 6. 

N. Y. V. 8. 

7. BATTLE OF BULL RUN. ic. 

9. THE DERAVENT MOTTO. 12. 

II. THE OATH OF REVENGE. 14. 

13. BATTLE OF ANTIETAM. 16. 

15. LIBBY PRISON. 18. 
17. THE SACRIFICE OF ETALINE. 20. 

19. UNDER SHERIDAN. 22. 

21. THE RIDE FOR LIFE. 24. 

23. THE SWORD AND THE 26. 

PLOUGHSHARE. 

25. THE WILD WEST. 28. 
27. THE ROSE HILL GOLD 

MINE. 30. 

29. THE FALLEN AIR CASTLE. 32. 

31. LYNCH LAW. 34. 

33. THE CLOSE CALL. 36. 

35. PINKERTON'S TRAIL. 38. 
37. SAN FRANCISCO. 

39. THE LOW GRADE. 40. 

41. ROAD AGENTS. 42. 

43. GREY CLOUD. 44. 

45- UNDER THE LION'S PAW. 46. 

47. THE "PRINCESS ALICE." 48. 



THE EXPERIMENT. 
Milton's experience as Esther. 

THE MAY QUEEN. 

BEECHWOOD SEMINARY. 

THE GIPSY CAMP. 

CATILINE CONSPIRACY. 

THE THREE GRACES. 

THE BELTED EARL. 

LOCH LOMOND. 

THE TONGUE OF SCANDAL. 

THE MANSE OF ARROCHAR. 

THE CASTLE BY THE SEA. 

THE HOOPS OF GOLD. 

F.\TAL RECOGNITION. 

THE TRIUMPH OF THE COM- 
MONER. 

THE SHADOW OF THE LION 
MOUNT. 

LONDON BY GASLIGHT. 

THE EARL'S DAUGHTER. 

THE MODERN LOCHINVAR. 

THE FAITHFUL C^SAR. 

THE BOATMAN OF THE 
TIiA;\IES. 

THE CAMP OF ZISKA. 

DISCRIMINATION. 

THE CONVENT G.4.TE. 

WESTMINSTER BRIDGE. 

THE PLANET OF JUDGJIENT. 



THIRD DIVISION. 

BACK IN THE OLD TABER- 
NACLES. 

MRS. VAN REEM. 

THE WANDERER. 

GRAND ARMY OF THE RE- 
PUBLIC. 

THE DI.AMOND CROSS. 

TRIAL BY JURY. 

THE THUNDER OF ROME. 

ENGLISH JUSTICE. 

THE AMERICAN COUSIN. 



RENOVATION. 

2. RECRIMIN.VnONS. 

4. AT BAY. 

6. THE HOUSE OF THE GOOD 

SHEPHERD. 
8. THE CHATEAU DE NAY- 

MOURS. 
10. CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE. 

12. THE NUGGET OF GOLD. 

13. RETRIBUTION. 

16. GRANTHORN PARK. 
APPENDIX. 



THE PROBLEM OF THE PLOT. 



"The education of a child should commence one hundred years before it is 
born." — Peof. Oliver WENDRi.r, Holmes. 



The above quotation is so much in affinity with the problem 
of the plot of this stoiy, that it is given to help the reader to 
understand the failure of the strange life in dual form of 
Miriam and her twin brother Milton. Thei'e was no previous 
training through the law of hereditary influence for an 
exchanged condition of existence. 

The author spent many weary months in the endeavour to 
collect an indisputable array of facts to sustain the problem of 
this new departure from the old and well-worn tracks of novel 
writers in general. It was found, however, that these proofs 
wei'e too deep to suit the average reader. He therefore decided 
to follow the advice of a friend, the President of a University, 
who said, " that in a romance the magic of imagination wtvs 
more potent to please the general public than theories difficult 
to sustain." 

The plot of this narrative may seem improbable to those who 
hear of it for the first time, yet the theoiy is not a new one. 
It has had many advocates in all ages of the world, and some 
of the ablest minds in every country have accej)ted it. 

Two citations are given to show that there is a widespread 
belief that we are on the eve of very imjooi'tant discoveries, 
not only in Anthropology but in Science and Mechanics. 

This leads us to hope tliat some definite knowledge as to the 
relation of the Body, Soul, and Spirit to each other may soon 
be discovered. In the absence, however, of positive informa- 
tion the author has taken the liberty of assuming the true 
solution of the problem of the plot. 

A newspaper i-ecently stated that " In this wonderful age of 
ours, nothing presents such an exhibition of ignorance of what 



The Problem of the Plot. 7 

has been done in the past, nor such a low appreciation of 
human capacity, as to take a snap judgment of new ideas. 
Does not each day of our lives bring forth some new marvel of 
mechanical invention or scientific discovery 1 

" Even the most confirmed pessimist has to admit that man 
and the planet which he inhabits are no longer in the elementary 
stages of evolution. The brilliant victories achieved by science 
in the last decade alone give hope of still greater explorations 
in nature's hitherto closely-guarded domain." 

We may add, what field so fertile or that gives promise of 
grander results than in the study of Anthi'opology — man's 
composition, Physical, Psychical, and Spiritual ? 

Prof. Wilford Hall, in his introduction to his work on the 
" Problem of Human Life," states : — 

" The closing decades of the present century are marked in 
the history of the world for their unexampled massing of 
revolutionaiy discoveries and startling events. Ifo other equal 
period of historic time has been so fraught with marvellous 
conceptions, profound advances in philosophic and scientific 
research, and surpi-ising mechanical inventions, since the dawn 
of civilization, I have hinted at the progressive strides of our 
own immediate time, in discovery and invention, as a warning 
note against sui-prise, let what will be announced in the future 
or as already achieved. The age in which we live seems to 
accelerate its own progressive development by the momentum 
it receives in each new advance. Where it is to end we know 
not ; but the practical observer, with mind and eye upon the 
alert, gazes into the future with a well-grounded expectancy of 
discovei'ies in Science and Philosophy which shall utterly 
eclipse anything the world has yet witnessed." 

The author has given these quotations without any desire to 
fortify his position by extracts, which in their totality would 
have no bearing on his problem. He wishes simply to warn 
his readers not to condemn in advance his new proposition, 
even if it should seem somewhat startling — perhaps radical and 
revolutionary. 



8 Miriam vs. Milton. 

Althougli lie had tlie plot of this work in embryo for ten 
years, yet its production in its present state is due to an 
editorial in the New York Herald some time ago in reference 
to the prevailing discontent of women in general about what 
they term the unjust limitation of their sex. 

The object, therefore, of these pages is to show that the lot 
of the average woman is superior to the lot of the average man. 
Also, that no success in life can be attained without discipline. 
This is the unalterable law of our being, and apjilies to every 
department of activity. The neglect of this important factor 
has caused the sad failure of many women attempting a career 
in life. 

If the reader will look over the Appendix before commencing 
this story, the key-note of the plot will be found. 

Briefly stated, it is summed up in the acceptance of the Tri- 
part nature of man as set forth by Dr. Broadman, viz., Man 
is composed of three factors. 1st, A Body; 2nd, A Soul, 
which is the vital principle ; 3rd, A Spirit, or mind, the Ego. 
The union of the first two makes a living creature. The union 
of the three makes what is known as a human being. The 
exchange, therefore, which the author assumes took place in 
Miriam and Milton, was that of the Spirit and not the Soul, 
or life-giving principle. Our individuality is in the former, and 
not in the latter. 

With this bi'ief statement the story opens. 

The manuscript of Miriam vs. Miltou was finished in June, 
1891. A leading New York publisher, to whom it was at that 
time ofiered, stated that the plot was one hundred years ahead 
of the times. The verdict of the readers must alone decide 
this question. The author declines to wait ninety-seven years 

longer. 

Jas. J. IvANE, U. S. Navy, 

U. S. Naval Station, 

Brooklyn, In.Y. 
March 4th, 1894. 



First Division, 



THE ANALYSIS OF THE TWINS. 



CHAPTER I. 

EYERDALE. 



One of the most delightful spots in England is the Lake 
district. As many have visited this region, and much has been 
Avritten about it, we are compelled for want of room to pass it 
by with only a brief mention. 

It is the intention to eliminate from this story all superfluous 
scenic descriptions. Few readers care for this style of litera- 
tui*e, and our present space is too limited to indulge in it. 

At the southern end of one of the smaller lakes is a 
picturesque village, nestling between two hills. The place was 
called " Everdale," and belonged, with all its Ijroad acres, to the 
Master of Everdale Manor. This was a hue old stone mansion, 
built in the days of England's great Queen Elizabeth. The 
battlemented walls, and the heavy drawbridge over the now 
iilled-up moat, was a proof that the building was able to stand 
a siege, and a long one at that. The histoi-y of this old English 
manor would fill many pages of interesting matter. Over this 
we must reluctantly pass. 

Two years before our story opens the lord of the m;inor was 
Rear-Admiral Hastings Creedmore, who with Lady Creedmore 
spent most of their time at this lovely, quiet home. 

The Creedmoi'es had always been naval men, from the time 
that their great ancestor commanded one of the war vessels 
that brought William the Conqueror and his troops to England. 
After the Battle of Hastings they settled down in permanent 
possession. Once in at least every generation a member of 
the Creedmore family was expected to bear the name of this 
great battle. 



10 Miriam vs. Milton. 

Lady Creedmore was a daughter of the house of Shirley ; 
descended from one of the Saxon nobles, who died by the side 
of the warrior, King Harold, in the battle before mentioned. 

The Shirleys were a noted race, proud and high spirited, and 
the ruling trait among the generality of their women was a 
strong masculine temper. Their Saxon blood never apparently 
mixed harmoniously with that of the Norman invaders. 

A I'oving disposition was the sti'ongest characteristic of the 
Creedmores. A sti'ange peculiarity, which was never accounted 
for, was the fact that whoever of the family bore the name of 
Hastings was, with a very few exceptions, the father of twins. 
This was not deprecated, for they had abundant wealth. 

The present admiral and his wife were happily mated, for 
while Lady Creedmore, though young, lacked none of the 
family traits, yet the extreme good natui-e and jovial disposition 
of her husband prevented any serious disagreements. 

On the fii'st anniversary of their wedding day, the anxious 
father, who at that time was First Lieutenant of a large frigate 
fitting out for sea, received the following letter from the family 
doctor : — 

EvERDALE Ma^-oe, March 3rd, 1840. 

My Dear Lieutenant Creedmore, 

Allow 1110 to congratulate you upon the safe arrival of the strangers 
this morning. Bearing as you do the name of the great battle, you 
could not expect less than twins. Your daughter came lirst, then your 
son. Mother and children doing S2:)lendidly. 

The question of their names is already a matter of dispute among 
your relatives, which, however, will not be decided until you return 
liome. Your true friend, 

John Rains, M.D 

The delighted father obtained a few days' leave to visit Ins 
home, and proposed to his wife to call their baby boy, 
Hastings, Jun. Tiie Saxon mother refused to name her child 
after a battle that was a reminder of the defeat of her ancestors. 
She proposed to name the boy Milton Edgar, and her husband 
could call the girl what he liked. " Well, then," was the 
answer, " let her be called Miriam, because her mother 
exhibited rebellion to the established order of things in this late 
generation." 

" Very well," was the reply, '* and supplement it with the 
name of Estlier, the lovely obedient Queen." Thus were the 
names of our heroine and hero settled. 

By referring to these ancestral traits, and accepting the law 
of hereditary influences, we may in some measure understand 
the development of character that follows in these pages. ■ifcjt- 



Everdah. 1 1 

On the nineteenth birthday of the twins, their father, wlio 
had meanwhile been promoted to Commander and then Post- 
Captain, received his commission as Eear-Admii-al, with instruc- 
tions to hoist his broad pennant on a fine frigate fitting out as 
flagship of a foreign station. 

Everdale iManor was filled to its utmost capacity with 
kindred and friends, invited to join in the festivities in honour 
of the double anniversaiy. 

Boating on the lake was one of the attractions of Everdale, 
and, although the day was cold and blustering, Lady Creedmore, 
who had been ailing for several days, joined her guests in the 
round of the lake, stopping for a brief visit to a small island 
called " Crusoe's Retreat." She fully realized the imprudence 
of exposing herself to the keen March wind, especially on the 
water, and expected nothing less than a cold as a result. This 
promptly came, and held on with a tenacity which defied the 
skill of her physician to remove. In six months after, viz., on 
the third of September, she quietly passed away, in her thirty- 
eighth year. Her husband, the Admiral, at the time was with 
his ship in a foreign port. As soon as he heard of his melan- 
choly bereavement he asked to be recalled, and on his return 
went directly to Everdale. He told his friends that, while it 
was perhaps his duty to live and look after his childi-en, yet he 
would be glad to join his wife, and he added that together they 
could explore some of the planets, whose bright orbits had 
interested him so much in his midnight watches at sea. He 
was a great enthusiast on the subject of explorations, and at 
one time had volunteered to go to the Arctic Ocean in search 
of Sir John Franklin. 

On the thirteenth of May following his wife's death he laid 
down to die ; he had long been a sufierer from heart trouble. 

True to his sailor's instinct, in the moment of dissolution 
he said, "The anchor's weigh 'd; brace shai'p to the wind. 
Adieu!" 

The spirit was freed from its earthly mansion, and untram- 
melled and unfettered by prejudice, ignorance, oi" limited 
knowledge, it now could set out on its explorations. What pen 
could do justice to the enthusiasm of this explorer, starting out 
on such a grand voyage of discovery 1 Some would perhaps 
say, " If he could only return with a clear account of the 
problems of the universe." But of what use would they be to 
us ? From the want of analogies we could not understand the 
reports of life and its conditions, on even a single one of the 
planets. 



12 Miriam vs. Milton. 

"'iVith the exceptiou of Iiis children the Admiral left no near 
kindred. 

Lady Creedmore had two brothers — tlie older, Sir Thomas 
Shirley, and the younger, Hichard Shirley, also a widowed 
sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Van Reem. Sir Thomas was married and 
lived in the South of England. His brother was a bachelor. 
By invitation of the Admiral on his return home from his last 
cruise, he had taken up his residence at Everdale. Mrs. Van 
E.eem also came and took charge of the house, and both uncle 
and aunt continued the education of the twins of the gallant 
Admiral, as they were universally called. 

This was the situation of affairs on New Year's Day, 1861. 

In the next two chaptei-s we will present the sister and 
brother in the light in which they were known to their relatives 
and friends. 



CHAPTER II. 

MIRIAM ESTHER CREEDMORE. 

One of the most difficult tasks that the author has found in 
the prepai'ation of this book is the analysis of the character of 
iliriam. 

At the outset it must be stated that she was no ordinary 
girl, and yet not entirely singular, for there are many more of 
that same mould who keen their peculiarities well hidden. 
There are thousands of women who go through life in half- 
suppressed rebellion to the " decrees of fate," as they term the 
origin of their being. They wish that they had been born 
men. Man}' of them, looking at it from a human point of 
view, would make a better success of life's work as men than 
they do as women. On the other hand, there are men who 
.should have been women. 

This is the way we look at this matter in our short-sighted 
and finite weakness ; but the great Judge who sees the end 
from the beginning knows what is best, and makes no mistake 
in the assignment of the sexes. 

We will follow out the theory that body, soul, and spirit are 
merely co-existent factors, and will present the physical traits 
of Miriam, then the qualities or faculties of the co-partners. 



Miriam Edlter Creedmore. 13 

Where to draw the line on all these points is by no me;ins 
an easy task, and on some of them we must be brief, for they 
involve too much metaphysical discussion, which we wish to 
avoid. 

It may be pardonable at this point to use a quotation, whicli 
will explain in a few words a graphic description of the 
physical character of Miriam. " She was moulded in one of 
Nature's loveliest moods." She was somewhat taller than the 
average height, and her luxui'iant hair, a golden brown, fell 
below her waist. The head was well proportioned, with a 
forehead broad and high. Her father had often remai-ked, 
when looking at her highly-intellectual face, " that there was a 
lavish and needless waste of brain power, because, l)eing a girl, 
she could make no profitable use of the superabundant talent." 
Her deep-blue eyes were marvels and enigmas to all who were 
permitted to look into their lustrous depth, which was only 
done by a favoured few ; she had a peculiar habit of keeping 
them half closed, and apparently in deep contemplation. But 
when aroused by excitement they would open and enlarge, and 
a language flash out more forcible than if spoken by word of 
mouth. Fully half of her waking hours were spent in an ideal 
world of her own, thinking of what she would do if she had 
been born a boy. She felt forcibly the want of harmonious 
relations in her organization — the want of adaptability of her 
restless, powerful spirit imprisoned in a feminine mould, and 
limited by customs and old-time prejudice in the scope of 
activity. This feeling grew stronger day by day. 

Nature had indeed been very generous in physical gifts. 
Her hands and feet were smail ; but she had a firm step, and 
walked with the air of one who felt that she had no apology to 
ofter for coming into the world, and, being in it now, proposed 
to make the most of what had been placed in her reach. 

In classic times she would have been the ideal model for the 
great Athena. Lavish, however, as Nature had been in the 
outward form, there was a still greater display of mental 
power. Her memory was keen, both for places, names, and 
faces, and had a tenacious hold upon all that she read or heard. 
A union of these peculiarities is seldom found. Her judgment 
was clear and her will inflexible. She had indomitable 
perseverance, exhaustless energy, and courage of a rare order ; 
fear and lierself were apparently strangers. 

These points are very important to observe, as it will be 
shown later on that they were chiefly the characteiistics of her 
spirit — the tenant at will of a beautiful tabernacle of clay. 



14 Miriam vs. Milton. 

It was the unanimous conclusion of all who knew her, that 
a masculine spirit must have entered by mistake into a body 
intended for a gentler feminine one. 

As a rider she had no equal in her county. It was the 
acme of her delight to mount a restless hunter and go over 
fences, hedges, and up the mountain side, leaving her 
companions far behind. But one man was ever able to keep 
near her. That was a Mr. Martin Nickley, a country gentleman 
and a lai'ge landed proprietor, one of her neighbours. He 
spent much of his time in his stables. On horse-lore he was 
an accepted authority. He was a graduate of Oxford, and his 
friends often remarked that it must have been his horses that 
pulled him through. He was rich, and while his gold covered 
a multitude of sins, yet even that gilded garment could not 
hide his many weaknesses. He frequently asserted that every 
woman had her price, and virtue and chastity were commodities 
to be weighed in the balance with the yellow metal, and that a 
hundred guineas would go a long way. "With these sentiments 
openly expressed, he was the very last man that a prudent 
father or mother with loving daughters would care to have 
enter their household. Yet he met no difficult}' in that respect. 
He had some strange fascination over most women that was a 
mystery to the men. Perhaps it was his out-spoken sentiments 
and his dare-devil manner or his superior horsemanship that 
gained him such favour with the womeu-folks. 

It is a well-known fact that most ladies, especially young 
ones, are very susceptible to a horse-tamer. The boldest rider 
always gets the sweetest smiles from the feminine portion of 
humanity. 

As already stated, he alone was able to keep up with Miriam 
on all occasions when the gentry met to follow the hounds. 
By some fate he always seemed to be on hand whenever the 
restless girl went forth for a ride in the morning or evening. 
Often she set out attended only by a groom, who was soon left 
behind, though making frantic efforts to keep up with his 
mistress, but Mr. Nickley would dash past on a thoroughbred 
and invariably came up with the Avild rider, as Miriam was 
called. Very rarely could Milton, her brother, be induced to 
risk his neck in cross-country racing. The main road and a 
gentle pace were good enough for him. 

It was no secret that Martin Nickley was desperately in love 
with the only woman that he ever met who understood horse 
nature. While his own capacity was limited to this knowledge, 
he could not appreciate the fact that Miriam was also a keen 



Miriam Esther Creedmore. 15 

judge of human nature, and had fully weighed him for all he 
was worth. ludeed she had only endured his occasional 
companionship because of his wonderful mastery over horses ; 
and her friendship was perhaps no greater than that accorded 
to her own coal-black steed. 

Yet this man was in hopes of winning this woman for 
himself. To make her mistress of Granthorn Park was his 
great ambition. 

From this description of Miriam the reader must not draw 
the inference that she was a mannish girl. Far from it. While 
fueling that her spirit was intended for a masculine body, yet 
she fully realized that, in her present condition of existence, 
society would expect a comportment and manner of living in 
strict compliance with the laws and customs laid down for 
womankind. On this point she was very precise and exact. 
Except for an occasional outburst of ambition, which mostly 
found vent in wild and oft-times reckless riding, she was blame- 
less in all points. She was modest, quiet, and unassuming. 

Her voice was of a rare quality, and being a skilful musician 
she would at times entrance her audience with her vocal powers. 
She was very fond of giving select rea.dings, and had versatile 
talents. She could make her hearers cry like children over her 
pathetic rendering, and the next minute would have them 
convulsed with laughter when rendering some humorous phase 
of life. 

It is needless to say that with such characteristics, both 
physical and mental, Mii-iam had hosts of friends. Her girl 
companions idolized her, and her gentleman friends worshipped 
her. Thus we describe her at the opening of our story. 



CHAPTER IIL 

MILTON EDQAR CREED3I0RE, 

Hilton, being Miriam's twin brother, bore such a facial 
resemblance that their relationship was apparent at a glance. 

In mental capacity he was in no way inferior. He was a 
quick and apt scholar. He was less demonstrative than his 
.sister, and in tastes and aspirations was diametrically opposed 
to her. His hair was the same colour, but his eyes were grey. 



16 Miriam vs. Milton. 

In bodily structure Milton was an enigma ; ai")parentlj 
efieminate, slii'inking and retiring when in repose, but, once 
started into active vitality, a new being seemed to emerge or 
develope, and the strength of a giant took the place of the 
hitherto girlish effort. His physical training had been well 
looked after, and he was an expert in all manly sports. His 
father, the Admiral, had been an enthusiast on this subject. 
One of the best boxing masters in London had been engaged 
to give him lessons in the art of self-defence. When he first 
saw his pupil he turned up his nose in contempt of the effemi- 
nate boy, as he called him. He did not hold this opinion 
very long, however, for inside of a week he was knocked 
down three times in succession by his young pupil with the 
gloves. 

It was a misfortune, perhaps, for Milton that his education 
had taken place at home, and not in the rough but highly- 
practical English schools. His father had proposed to send him 
to Eton, but his mother would not consent to let her delicate 
boy go away from her own supervision. So it came about that 
he and his sister were taught by able instructors at home, and 
thus Milton, already half a girl by nature, had virtually 
developed into one by home training, at least in disposition and 
feminine tastes. 

There were occasions, nevertheless, when his latent powers 
were exerted, very much to the astonishment of his kindred and 
friends. Sometimes he and Muiam would make brief visits to 
their uncle. Sir Thomas Shirley, in the South of England, who 
had two sons and three daughters. The boys were about the 
same age as Milton. They had both experienced the marvellous 
strength of their girlish-looking cousin, and were never anxious 
for a second trial ; but it was their delight to get some of their 
young friends to test his powers. At one special visit, three 
stalwart young men, judging from Milton's slender appearance 
and timid v/ay that he was a capital subject for practical jokes, 
endeavoured to duck him in a fish-pond. Their amazem.ent was 
beyond description when the fi-ail-looking youth picked them np 
one by one and tossed them into deep water. As it was the 
month of November their cold water bath subdued their 
ardour, and Milton after that was treated with deference and 
respect. 

This great strength was never put forth, however, except 
when he was ai'oused either by attempts on himself or in 
protecting animals from acts of cruelty. The latter was his 
particular hobby. Once, when visiting in the North, he met a 



Milton Edgar Creedmore. 17 

young Yorkshire driver, burly and massive, who was most 
unmex'cifully lashing a jibbing horse with a heavy whip, which 
di'ew the blood at every stroke. Miriam was walking with her 
brother and she begged of him not to interfere. The manly 
spirit of the boy, however, was aroused. He at first quietly 
suggested to the country boor the advisability of trying a little 
gentle persuasion on the horse, and not so much whip. 
The answer was characteristic of that district, " I have a great 
moiud to give thee a taste of this whip ; and were it not for the 
lass beside thee I would do it enyhov/." With a spring like a 
tiger Milton leaped upon the Yoi-kshire lad, wrenched the whip 
from his grasp, and then laid it with such vigour on his shoulders 
that he fairly howled for mercy, and begged for it on both knees. 
The whip was then flung over the top of some trees, and the 
twins walked quietly home. 

While Milton had been well trained physically, yet he seldom 
joined in boyish games, and as a rule shrank from boys' company. 
He preferred the society of girls. With them he was always a 
favourite, for he was so quiet and gentle. He was an accom- 
plished musician, and the piano had charms for him which 
nothing else could equal. 

He exhibited a girl's timid nature in a hundred different 
ways, and it was only when fully aroused that he showed the 
metal that was in him. 

He never lost his temper with his sister. He continually 
looked to her for advice, and her slightest wish was at all times 
his law. In proportion as she was restless, fearless, and brave, 
he was, on the other hand, quiet, subdued, and exceedingly timid. 
When, however, the limit of her powers was reached he 
would suddenly emerge from his timidity like one awakening 
from a dream, and take the leadership. This was illustrated 
one afternoon a few months after the death of the Admii-al, 
their father. They had gone out driving behind a pair of high- 
spirited horses. Milton did not relish the prospect of a lide 
behind such fast stej)pers, but Mii'iam, who had virtually 
assumed the power of head of the family, commanded her 
brother peremptorily to get into the carriage, and, dismissing 
the groom, she took the reins herself. 

After getting well out on the country road the restive 
animals took the bit between their teeth, and set oflT on a dead 
run. In vain Miriam pulled and tugged at the reins, and 
called " Whoa ! " The excited brutes galloped all the faster, 
and the prospect was almost certain that the carriage would be 
dashed to pieces and the occupants pex'haps killed. 



18 Miriam vs. Milton. 

The utmost range of the girl's strength had now been 
reached. She grew faint and pale, and handing the lines to 
Milton, slie said in a weak voice, " Can you do anything 
to stop these horses ? " Quietly but firmly the young man 
took a turn of the reins around each hand, and laying back he 
quickly brought the horses' heads almost down to their 
forefeet, and so stopped them. They were trembling all over, 
more with fear than anything else of the power suddenly 
exerted upon them, which had curbed their haughty spirits 
and restrained them in their mad career. Milton then quietly 
drove home and lifted his half-fainting sister out of the 
carriage. The next day, however, she again resumed her sway, 
and her brother yielded as a matter of course. 

Admiral Creedmore had often said to his son, " Milton, you 
should have been a girl instead of JMiriam." The only answer 
the boy ever made was, " Well, father, I wish I could exchange 
with her; I would rather be a girl." The effeminate traits of 
his son were a gi-eat trial to the Admiral, who looked forward 
to a manly representative as a successor of his name. A little 
incident occurred when Milton was nineteen years old that 
opened the father's eyes, and made him feel that after all there 
were qualities in his heir that would become important factors 
in his subsequent career. 

Just befoi-e he sailed in his flagship, as narrated in the open- 
ing chapter of this book, he sent for Milton to spend a few days 
with him on board. He had often proposed to get for the youtli 
a midshipman's appointment, but Lady Creedmore had 
persuaded him out of it, on the plea that their boy would 
never make a sailor ; he was too timid. 

When IMilton arrived on board the flagship? his father sent 
for one of the older midshipmen, and directed him to show 
his son around the vessel and explain the fittings and the 
battery. 

Of all the harum-scarum and fan-loving midshipmen on board 
the ship, Edward Bentley was perhaps the one above all others. 
To play a practical joke on the son of the Admiral was a serious 
matter, but the demure and hesitating demeanour of Milton was 
more than young Bentley could endure. He resolved to attempt 
a few. As he was showing Milton around the ship they reached 
the forward part of the spar-deck, and Milton asked what held 
the anchor-chain, which was passed three times around the 
windlas.s bitt, and then led down into the hold. 

" Oh," said Bentley, " we pick out the naughty sailors and 
detail five at a time to hold on to the end." 



Milton Edgar Creedmore. 19 

The girlish face of Milton tempted Ned Bentley to see how- 
far he could go in the way of ridicule, so he several times said 
in answer to questions, " No, Miss," and " Yes, Miss," and 
then would half apologise and say that he had shown so many 
pretty girls around the ship that he Avas apt to forget himself. 
Twice he answered, " No, dear," and " Yes, dear." 

The seamen who overheard these remarks were intensely 
amused. Several of them remarked in an undertone that they 
wondered how the young man's mamma could trust the dear 
creature away fi'om her api'on-strings. 

Midshipman Bentley became so intent upon the fun that he 
was creating that he did not notice the flashing of the grey 
eyes of the Admiral's son. The limit of patience and endurance 
was fast being reached, and the fi'olicsome middy was about to 
be taught a lesson that would never be forgotten. In answer 
to a quiet question, " Was the windlass-end ever used for any 
other purpose than holding the anchor-chain ] " 

"Oh, yes," said Bentley, "the Master -at -Arms puts 
naughty sailors over it, and gives them a dose of the oil of 
hemp." 

" What is the oil of hemp ? " Milton quietly asked. 

Ned picked up the end of a rope and answei'ed, " This is it, 
and it has wonderful curative powers ; it makes good men out of 
bad ones." 

"■ Is it good for boys 1 " was the next inquiry. 

" Yes, indeed ; nothing could be better," replied Ned. 

Milton took the rope in his right hand and looked at it care- 
fully. The next moment he seized the midshipman by the 
collar of his jacket, laid him over the windlass-end, and holding 
him as though he were in a vice, he gave him a dozen with the 
I'ope's end. The biter was badly bitten and howled with pain. 
Milton then let him up, and, taking his hand, remai'ked 
quietly : " Now, Mr. Bentley, as we thorouglily understand 
each other, let us be friends and go on with our examination of 
the ship. I am not so feminine as I look." 

If, he had been struck by lightning the middy would not 
have been more astonished, not only from the pain of the blows 
but at the iron grasp which held him as though he had been a 
baby. Bentley was the champion of the mess, and was 
celebrated for his muscular development. He was quick to 
perceive that he had greatly under-estimated the girlish-looking 
boy. He took the proffered hand, remarking, " Yes, Mr. 
Creedmore, I would like to be your friend, I fully deserved 
what you gave me." 



20 Miriam vs. Milton. 

The moral effect of this example upon the crew was verv 
great, and had Milton been a midshipman five hundred meu 
would have followed his lead in boarding an enemy's vessel. 

When the Admiral heard of it he v/as amazed. He knew 
that his boy had latent strength, but was of the opinion that 
he had not s})irit enough to put it forth in such a way. He 
sent for him at once and for young Bentley, and told Milton 
that he must apologise to the midshi]jman for what he had done. 

" No, indeed. Admiral," was Bentley 's reply ; " I am the one 
to apologise. I was playing jokes on your son, and he only 
gave me what I richly deserved." 

" Very well," was the I'eply ; " I will make amends by asking 
you to dine with us to-day, and I will take you under my 
special favour." 

That dose of the oil of hemp was very fortunate for 
Midshipman Bentley at a later period. 

When they were alone the Admiral said to his boy : "Milton, 
I have often said to you that you ought to have been a girl, 
but, after all, I think you have latent qualities in you which 
will be the making of a splendid man." 



CHAPTER IV^ 

REBELLION. 

Having presented the twins in their peculiar character, the 
author feels tempted at this point to pause for a moment and 
consider briefly a question of metaphysics which bears directly 
on the plot of this narrative. 

It is assumed by many leading metaphysicians that the 
spirits of humanity are of the neuter gender, neither male nor 
female. This seems to be the direct teaching of the Bible, 
Mathew xxii., 30. 

In such case, if there should be an exchange of one spirit 
with another in its brief tenui-e of a tenement of fragile and 
perishable clay, no law of the eternal fitness of things can be 
violated. 

The respective employments of the sexes are merely the 
result of education, and nothing more. Cooking, dressmaking, 
and millinery, for example, are acknowledged occupations of 



Rebellion. 21 

'vvomen. Yet the best cooks are men, and tlie highest artistic 
productions of female garments are devised by such men as 
Worth, of Paris, and others. The most successful millinery 
establishments are conducted by men. The government of a 
nation is allotted to be man's province, yet some of the most 
successful rulers have been women. 

Many of the illusti'ations of this paradox of the occupations 
could be given, but we have no time to enter upon discussions 
outside the line of our story. 

Six months had passed away since Admiral Creedmore's 
death. Mrs. Van Reem had charge of the domestic economy 
of Everdale, and Uncle Richard Shirley managed the estate. 
Everything was done for the two children that could possibly 
advance their welfare. It was, therefore, a source of great 
anxiety to both uncle and aunt, as they noticed the growing 
disposition on the part of Miriam to i-ebel against the decree of 
fate, or whatever else it was, that sent her into this life as a 
girl, while her twin brother, Milton, had the coveted honour, 
which he did not appreciate. 

Mrs. Van Reem was a woman of very positive chai-acter. 
No children had ever blessed her union with her husband, the 
late Mr. Van Reem. Her maternal instincts had been 
directed, therefore, in ruling him, but only when at home. He 
managed his business on strict principles and attended to 
everything himself, and when he died, from the result of a 
cold, he left his widow a comfortable fortune. 

She had more than the average of the strong characteristics 
of the Shirley family. No one was a more strenuous advocate 
for the old-fashioned English way of bringing up girls in 
training them for domestic duties. She found Miriam 
of a different disposition from most girls that she had 
known. 

She often declared that her sister, Lady Creedmoi-e, having 
beei^ too indulgent to her children, had spoiled them. When 
she came to Everdale to take chai-ge, she did not feel that she 
could act towards her niece as she would have done had Miriam 
been her own child. 

Most of the time Miriam was easy to jiersuade, but 
sometimes her restless spirit would break away from restraint, 
and it found vent in reckless riding over the hills. This 
always restored her equilibrium. 

Neither uncle nor aunt could tolerate Martin Nickley. They 
highly disapproved when their niece accepted him for a 
companion on her wild rides across the country. 



22 Miriam vs. Milton. 

Her answer to these remonstrances was that, whenever he 
felt disposed to go out to ride, she could not prevent him. She 
added that he was alv/ays respectful and deferential to her, and 
that twice when her hunter had run away he had stopped him. 

Again and again her aunt had expostulated with her vipoii 
the danger of riding such a vicious animal as her favourite 
horse. The late Admiral had pui-chased him but never dared 
to ride him. He was called " Cataline," a well-deserved name,, 
for he was unreliable and treacherous, and continually learning 
new tricks. He had thrown six riders, killing two of them. 
Miriam liked him, however, and he returned the affection. 
He had never tried to throw her, but would occasionally break 
out into a wild run, perhaps to work off the exuberance of 
his spirit. 

Milton heartily disliked Cataline, and the animal seemed to 
know this, for he tried several times to bite and kick him. 
The youth, however, was too cautious to give him a chance. 

The rebellious spii'it of Miriam was daily growing in intensity, 
and a family council was called to consider the best means to 
ovei'come her strange feeling of discontent. Sir Thomas and 
Lady Shirley and several others of their kindred came to 
Everdale, and the whole matter was fully discussed. During 
this visit the vexy worst possible traits of Miriam's character 
were exhibited. Most of the time she had been ladylike and 
correct in her deportment, but now she acted so perversely that 
her relations were amazed and prophesied all manner of evil 
that would I'esult from such a wilful course. It was finally 
agreed that the best thinic to do was to send her to "Beech wood 
Seminary," a finishing school for young ladies. It was presided 
over by Mrs. H. Ainsworth, a member of the Shirley family. 
The school had a national reputation for sending out highly- 
accomplished and very tractable girls. This seminary had been 
proposed several times before, both to Admiral and Lady 
Creedmore, but they would not listen to it. 

Now her guardians thought that it was absolutely necessary 
for the girl's futui-e welfare to place her under the strict 
discipline exercised at Beechwood. 

When Miriam heard of this resolve she quietly, but firmly, 
declined to enter that worse than prison, as she termed the 
school. Mrs. Van Reem, however, was equally determined that 
she should go, especially as she was backed up by all her 
kindred in this, which they considered the only course. A letter 
was sent to Mrs. Ainsworth, asking her to take Miriam under 
her charge and employ Avhatever discipline was necessary to 



Rehellion. 23 

curb her restless and untractable spirit. Two days afterwards 
the answer came back. Mrs. Ainsworth was at all times willing 
to do what she could for her kinsfolk. She had heard so much 
of Miriam's headstrong character, and as her father, the late 
Admiral, had positively refused to send his daughter to her 
school, she must therefore respectfully decline the proposition. 
She had already several young ladies under her charge whose 
dispositions were about all she could do to control, and one such 
ungovernable a spirit as Miriam's would be liable to lead to 
open rebellion. 

The family council broke up, and the only result was to 
embitter the girl, whose welfare they had sought to promote, 
and make her more discontented. Her disposition was an 
enigma to all her relatives ; they could not understand her. 

Miriam had what every woman longs for — beauty, youth, health, 
and wealth, yet she was extremely discontented with her lot as 
a gii-1. She wanted to be a boy. With such a strong masculine 
spirit as Nature had given her, how could she enjoy life ? Day 
after day her aunt would say to her, " What is the use of 
repining ] You must accept the conditions of existence in which 
Providence has placed you. Make a profitable use of j'our 
brilliant talents. You cannot change your nature, and your 
repining only makes you miserable and your relatives uuhappy." 

All this, however, had no efiect. The spirit of rebellion was 
daily gi'owing, and a culmination was not far off. 

Milton was very easy to manage. His love for his sister 
was so great that when she uttered her complaints he often 
said to her, " If we could only exchange bodies I would cheer- 
fully do so. Perhaps it can be done." 

" How can it be possible ? '"' Miriam asked. 

" I do not know, but T had a dream the other night that we 
both died and were given permission to return to life, each in 
possession of the other's body. Perhaps such a change would 
not be out of harmony with Nature's laws." 

''Would you be willing, Milton?" demanded she, "to take 
my place in life as a girl, to have all your movements criticised, 
a limit put on your actions, and to hear a dozen times a day 
'you must not do this or act in that manner, it is not ladylike; 
it is proper for your brother to do such things but not for a 
girl.' You have no conception of the restraints which have 
been put upon me since our father and mother died. Your 
love for me must indeed be very great if you are willing to give 
up all your prospects in life as a man, and take upon yourself 
the limited and narrow sphere of a woman. They are treated 



24 Miriam vs. Milton. 

like children nearly all their lives; their reputation liable to be 
blasted by any evil tongue, A man may sin deeply and the 
world will easily forgive; but let a woman err, even slightly, 
and she is crushed by the weight of pulilic opinion." 

" Miriam," he replied, " notwithstanding all that you have 
said I am willing to take my chances. I would make a name 
for myself that the world would honour. I would study the 
history of all the great women, and strive to follow in their 
footsteps." 

" Milton, this is all very well in theory, but it is difficult to 
put into practice," 

Thus the time went by. Miriam was becoming more boyish 
every day, and Milton moi'e girlish. What a blessed thing it 
is for mortals that the future is beyond our A'ision. We build 
air castles, and when they tumble to the ground we continue 
to re-build, until the weariness of old age prevents further 
effort. Then we live in the past. Happy is that man and 
that woman who have a pleasant past to dwell in. 



CHAPTER V. 

EVERDALE LAKE. 

The 3rd of March, 1861, opened with all the genial warmth 
of a beautiful spring day. 

At Everdale Manor great preparations were made to 
celebrate the event. It was the twenty-first birthday of the 
twins. At noon the executors of their late father's estate were 
to hand over to them a statement of accounts and the full 
control of their patrimony. 

To Miriam the prospects were anything but flattering. 
Some of the conditions of her father's will she thought 
disparaged her abilities because she was a girl, and she was 
greatly excited. 

Was not her spirit more masculine than Milton's 1 Had she 
not a stronger will and better executive power 1 Why, then, 
was she ignored in the management of the property ? It was 
true she had an equal share of the income, but Milton was 
placed at the head. Never had she felt the hdmiliation of 
being a girl so much in her past life. It was indeed a 
misfortune, she declared to herself, to come into the world in 



Everdale Lake. 25 

feminine mould. Could it be, that she had existed in another 
planet or mode of life, and for some unexpiated fault was sent 
into life here as a girl in order to make reparation 1 When 
she complained, everyone said to her that she must make the 
best of it. No ; she would not make the best of it, but would 
rebel. How much this would accomplish she did not consider. 
She proposed to vigorously protest against what she considered 
the inj ustice of fate. 

Never had she been known to display such ill temper as on 
this eventful morning, destined to be frauglit with such 
momentous consequence to her and Milton, 

A proposal of marriage received that very day from a young 
English earl added fuel to the fire of her discontent. He had 
unexpectedly succeeded to a large estate by the deatli of a 
brother. He had served as a lieutenant under the late 
Admiral, her father, and had several times been a guest at 
Everdale, but being then a younger son had no expectations. 
Now, with an earldom and vast property, he offered his hand 
and heart to Miiiam. To ninety-nine women oiTt of a hundred 
this proposal would have given great pleasure. Bat Miriam 
had her own notion about marriage. It was a bond that chained 
a wife to her husband, and made her his slave for life. The law 
made him her head, her lord, her master. To be asked, therefore, 
to give up her freedom was, in her estimation, an indignity. 

With her uncle and aunt she could hold her own by 
argument ; but in this case of a husband the law of the land 
made her his exclusive possession, merged her name in that of 
his, and thus sank her individuality, her identity, and she 
would be known as his wife, his jiroperty, the same as his 
horse, his house, his dog. She seized the perfumed letter, with 
one of the oldest English coronets at its head, tore it into a 
hundred fragments, and stamjied on them. 

Tiie .sense of restraint now seemed to stifle her breath. She 
felt she must get out of the house, away from her kindred and 
friends, and proposed to Milton to go out on the lake. The]-e 
they could be alone, and upon her quiet, gentle, loving brotlier 
.she could find vent for her pent-up feelings of discontent and 
rebellion, 

Everdale lake was as smooth as glass ; not a ripple was 
upon the water, yet at this season it was liable to become 
exceedingly rough if an unexpected squall should sweep down 
tiirough the valley. 

They pushed off from the shore ; Miriam took the oars, as 
was her custom. They landed upon the small islet previously 



26 Miriam vs. Milton. 

mentioned as "Crusoe's Retreat, " and, sitting in a rustic 
summer-bouse, free from all interruptions, they exchanged 
ideas of life and its mysteries. Miriam bitterly complained of 
the disadvantages of being a girl, and how galling it was to 
one of her temperament and masculine spirit. Milton insisted 
that the advantages of life as a woman were certainly greater 
and more conducive to happiness than those which fell to the 
lot of ordinary men. 

" Look at woman in all her limitations," said Miriam. 
** From infancy to the grave she is, at best, but a piece of 
fragile clay, delicate and tender, unable to face or cope with 
the rough experiences of life. Two-thirds of my sex are 
seldom free from ailments of one kind or another." 

" Admit all that," was the gentle reply ; " do you think that 
men enjoy a continual bed of i-oses as they journey through 
this mortal vale, as our rector so often expresses it in his 
sermons 1 Neitlier of us can pretend to know much of the 
hardships encountered by either sex, only what we have read. 
Even though men are stronger physically, do they not need it 
all to hold their own in the daily battles '? " 

" But this battle, as you call it, Milton, is the spice of life. 
It keeps men from growing rusty. Time never hangs heavily 
on their hands, and the fruits of victory are more keenly 
enjoyed, because all their energy is roused to obtain them." 

" You must acknowledge, Miriam," said her brother, " that, 
as a gild, yovi live and breathe in a purer atmosphere than the 
average boy. You surely do not think it an advantage to 
listen to the low jest and vulgar talk that I often have to 
endure because I am a boy 1" 

" Why don't you avoid such company if you feel that it 
degrades youl" 

" How can I, my sweet sister 1 To do so, I must live 
secluded as in a glass case. T cordially detest it, but I have to 
endure it very often, or give mortal ofience even to guests under 
our roof. Take your friend, Martin Nickley, for instance." 

" Milton, stop," cried the excited girl, " do not call that man 
my friend. I only endure him once in a while as a companion 
on my ' wild horseback rides,' as you call them, because you, 
my only brother, decline to go with me." 

" That is because I have serious objections to breaking my 
neck, and I hate violent horseback exercise." 

" And 1, on my part, hate a snail-pace over the covintry 
roads. Do you know, Milton, that I have built many air 
castles of what I woi;ld do if I were only a boy 1 " 



EverdaU Lalce. 27 

" Do yon object, beautiful sister of mine, to tell me what 
some of those lofty castles are like ? What line of action 
would you map out for yourself if you and I should exchange 
bodies 1 " 

" One of the first things I would do would be to leave 
England and go to America and look up Uncle Joseph 
Hichardson, the husband of our late aunt, the only sister of 
our father. In that land of great possibilities I would find 
free scope for my ambitions." 

" So far, well, Miriam ; now go into particulars about some 
of these air castles." 

" You know, Milton, that the papers set forth that there is a 
strong probability of war breaking out between the Northern 
and Southern States. I would ascertain the merits of each 
side of the controversy, and the side that I thought was in 
the right I would join, and go into the very thickest of the 
battle. I would aspire to place my name high on the temple 
of fame." 

"That sounds very poetic," said her brother; "but suppose 
you were killed before you reached that temjile of fame — in 
fact, within the first hour of the battle— what then'?" 

" Oh, Milton, that is just like a man, always talking and 
looking upon the dark side. I would not for a moment 
anticipate such an ending. My ambition would be to bear the 
standard of the cause I had espoused, and keep it waving 
on high." 

" Everyone to their taste, my imperious sister ; but I prefer 
the quiet life of Everdale to any such pictures as you have 
drawn. Perhaps you could suggest some other excitement 
besides war in that fair land far over the sea." 

" Yes, I have thought over several employments, and the one 
that has for me the greatest fascination is to own a cattle-ranch, 
and head the cowboys in their wild rides over the endless plains 
of the far West. To think that, because I am a girl, I am 
debarred from this grand sport makes my discontent all the 
more intolerable. Oh, Milton, I feel that I would rather end my 
rebelliousness under the waters of this lake— yes, die to-day — 
sooner than continue life as a discontented woman." 

To emphasize her remark Miriam stood up with defiance in 
every gesture. The next moment a puff" of wind took her hat 
from ofi" hei' head, and loosened the fastenings of her golden 
brown, haii', which waved in the wind like a haughty banner. 
Then came a sudden squall, lashing the hitherto quiet waters 
into angiy foam. 



28 Miriam vs. Milton. 

" Miiiam," cried lier brotlier, " this is wicked in you to talk 
and act so. It is flying into the face of Providence. When 
this squall is over let us return to the house at once." 

Milton was aroused to a sense of the danger that threatened 
them. It was only a quarter of a mile to the landing at the 
foot of their garden, but the boat was a very light one and the 
water was rough. There was a quiet dignity and a firmness of 
manner in him that his sister had never witnessed before, and 
it exasperated her, 

" You are jiutting on airs in advance of the hour of noon, 
when you become the head of the family, but I am equal to you 
in all respects," was the angry retort of the now passion-swayed 
girl. 

"Miriam, we have had enough of this," answered Milton. 
The angry flush of her brother's ftice told the sister that it was 
best not to arouse the hitherto dormant passion within him. 
Without another word she took his arm and went with him to 
the boat, and both got into it. Unfortunately her obstinacy of 
disposition got the best of Miriam. She again took the oars 
and insisted upon rowing back. Half way o\"er another squall 
came dov/n the narrow valley. In vain Miriam tried to make 
headway. The wind was across their bow. She refused to give 
up the oars until the boat was half full of water. Then Milton 
took them from her, and exerted his marvellous strength. If 
he had been permitted to do so five minutes sooner all might 
have been well. It was now too late, a wave swept over them, 
and the boat capsized. 

" Hold on to the boat," he cried to his sister. She did so for 
a moment, and then told him as the shore was onlj'- thx-ee 
hundred feet away she would swim to it. 

Uncle and aunt, kindred and friends, had alreadj'- gathered at 
the landing, and were anxiously v/atching the struggle with wind 
and water. 

"For Heaven's sake, Miriam, don't let go," pleaded her 
brother. " Do you not see that another boat is making ready 
to come to our assistance : with your heavy clothing on it is 
perfect madness to try to swim to shore against wind and waves. 
Don't be rash." 

"I can take care of myself," was the cool rejoinder, and the 
fated girl made a bold attempt to swim to shore. 

Milton, who was an expert swimmer, let go his hold upon 
the boat and made his way to her side. All efi'orts were in 
vain. The garments of the rash girl prevented motion, and she 
began to sink. 



Ever dale Lake. 29 

" Save yourself, Milton," she called out, " and leave me to 
ray fate." 

" Never," was the answer of the noble boy, as he put his arm 
around his sister and tried to hold her up. The task, however, 
was too much, and they sank in each other's embrace to the 
bottom of the lake. 

Five minutes later and the rescue boat had reached the spot 
where the two went down. Among the occupants were Mr. 
Martin Nickley, also Midshipman iSTed Bentley, who had come 
home with the late Admiral Creedmore, and was now attached 
to another vessel. He had arrived only a fev/ minutes before 
the catastrophe at Everdale. 

Young Bentley fastened a rope about his waist, and taking a 
stone in his hand to hold him down in the water, which was 
only fifteen feet deep, he went overboard, followed by Mr. 
Nickley, similarly equipped. 

Thirty seconds passed, and one of the ropes was violently 
pulled. Quickly it was drawn in, and young Bentley came to 
the surface holding Milton's body in his arms. A shout of joy 
went up, which was answered by the anxious ones on shore. 
Ten seconds later and Mr. Nickley rose to the surface. He 
could not find the gii'l, but resolved to try again. Taking 
another stone from the boat and holding it tightly he went to 
the bottom and groped around. A few seconds later he gave 
the signal, and was pulled up, holding the form of Miriam. 
Both were quickly taken into the boat, which a moment after 
was fastened to the landing. Huri-iedly the bodies were carried 
to the house. Two physicians wei-e among the guests, and 
everything was done that was possible. An hour later the 
result was made known. The twins of Everdale were 
pronounced dead. 

Milton might have saved himself, everyone said, but he had 
refused to abandon his sister; and all agreed that Miriam's 
obstinacy caused the death of both. 



30 Miriam vs. Milton. 

CHAPTER VI. 

THE EXCHANGE. 

It was high noon, and the bell of the parish church at 
Everdale was tolling the requiem for the departed ones. 

The feast had all been prepared, and tenants and friends had 
assembled to do honour to the occasion of the double birthday. 

Dismay was now on every face. Women by the score were 
wildly weeping for the great calamity. In their separate 
chambers the bodies of the drowned were being manipulated 
by skilful physicians, seeking with all the highest arts known 
to medical science to restore life, but so far without avail. At 
last even the most sanguine gave up hope ; all efforts ceased, 
the still, calm faces were covered, the door of the death apart- 
ments were closed, and the dead left alone. 

The sorrow was universal. All felt the loss as tliough some 
near of kin had been taken. The virtues of Milton were 
extolled by the women, for he was a very great favourite with 
them. His gentle, quiet ways and hatred of cruelty to animals, 
his ready sympathy for all who were sick, affiicted, or in 
distress, had made him many friends. The men were loud in 
their praise of the high-spirited Miriam. The sudden extinction 
of such a life, bright, spai'kling, and daring, was no ordinary 
loss. Her dauntless courage and fearless character, added to 
her rare beauty, were sufficient to make all feel that her death, 
tragic in the extreme, was something awful to realise. 

The great ox continued to roast before a huge fire, but no 
one felt hungry. The casks of ale remained untapped, for no 
one felt thirsty. The large assembly had been appalled by the 
terrible disaster of the double death. 

Midshipman Bentley walked up and down the broad piazza 
of Everdale Manor, regretting that the rescue boat had not 
been a few minutes sooner. Ever since the occurrence two 
years ago, on the Admiral's flagship, he had cherished a warm 
friendship for the quiet lad, whose character was in such con- 
trast to his own. lie was glad that he had found the body as 
quickly as he did, and mourned that it was too late to save the 
valued life. 

Perhaps for the first time in his life Martin Nickley felt the 
pang of deep regret. Miriam was the only woman he had ever 
loved, so far as such a nature could reallv love. He had risked 



The Exchange. 31 

liis own life to save her ; and if she could be restored to con- 
sciousness this would be a debt that would bear a great deal of 
interest for many years to come. The analysis of his feelings 
exhibited about the same amount of sorrow that would follow 
the loss of a favourite horse — one on which he had laid high 
expectations of fame and money. 

Tlie verdict of the doctors was accepted as final by all 
assembled at Everdale. The funei'al was the next thing in ordei\ 

Suddenly a piercing scream rent the air, and one of the 
chambermaids, with a blanched and terror-stricken face, rushed 
-out on the jjorch, gesticulating wildly, and saying at the top of 
her voice — " Ghosts — spirits — the twins ! " 

The doctors and several of the bravest of the men hurried to 
the libraiy. This apartment separated the chambers where 
the bodies had been placed. A sight met them that made even 
the boldest grow pale with terror. Two forms wrapped in 
blankets and sitting in arm chairs, side by side, and talking in 
a low tone, confronted them. It was some minutes before ib 
was fully realized that the dead had indeed come back to life, 
and that the eflbrt for resuscitation had borne fruit. 

The joyful news spread like wildfire, and the room was 
quickly filled with kindred and friends. Wonder was expressed 
on all faces at the unexpected event. Great, however, was the 
astonishment at the remai'kable dejiortment of the twins. On 
previous occasions Miriam had always been the leader ; she did 
the talking and usually gave her orders in a perempto)y 
mannei'. 

Now it was Milton who spoke, saying that the^- had just gone 
through a very strange experience, the details of which would 
not be made known at present. He also gave directions that 
all their relatives and friends should hereafter call each of them 
by their second name. In future they would only answer to 
Edgar and Esther. 

They proposed to at once return to their beds, so as to avoid 
any injurious results that might be likely to follow from their 
imm'ersion in the cold waters of the lake. In the meantime 
they desired the feast to go on as originally contemplated. 
Their uncle and aunt would represent them. The rendering of 
accounts would do at some future day. 

Language fails to describe the intense joy that pervaded the 
great assembly. The large ox was duly carved, and justice was 
fully done to the casks of old English ale. The health of the 
restored twins of Everdale was repeatedly drank, and each 
lime amidst loud applause. 



32 Miriam vs. Milton. 

The lower down the guests liad been in the valley of 
despondency the higher they now soared in the excess of 

joy- 

Midshipman Ned Bentley was the hero of the hour. All the 
ladies thought it their duty to kiss him. Nothiag, however, 
moved him so much as the tearful thanks of Mrs. Van E.eem, 
Uncle Richard Shirley, Sir Thomas and Lady Shirley, followed 
by the other kindred. 

Martin Nickley was not forgotten, and his action in risking 
his life served as a plenary indulgence for his past shortcomings. 
To all congratulations he smiled his acknowledgments with the 
air of a man who has made a veiy profitable investment, and 
has reason to expect lai'ge dividends. 

The midshipman x-ejoiced because he had saved a human life, 
and sought no other reward than the approval of his own 
conscience. The other was gratified because he considered he 
held a heavy mortgage on the girl whose body he had snatched 
from the jaws of death. 

Three days later Edgar and Esther had fully recovered from 
the shock of the immersion. Aunt Elizabeth was a great deal 
longer in recovering her surprise over the change in the 
characteristics of the twins. Edgar had indeed developed 
unexpected traits. His voice, mannei*, and language were 
decisive, and admitted of no appeal. 

Esther, on the other hand, was quiet, gentle, and submissive. 
She was anxious to please, and acted like a girl entering a new 
school, seeking for information in regard to the rules and 
regulations, and very much afraid of infringing upon some of 
them. Her aunt, having found Miriam more than a matcli at 
all points, was disposed to take advantage of this. The girl's 
change of disposition had been attributed to the great fright 
and the nearness to the dark abyss of death. The meek display 
might not last long. Mrs. Yan Heem resolved to secure the 
mastery and hold the upper hand, in case of a return to the 
old haughty characteristics. She was not long in finding out 
that the meek Esther had limits in her temper beyond which 
it was not prudent to venture. This was made known about a 
week after the restoration from drowning. Midshipman Bentley 
had remained as a most welcome guest, but had to return 
two days later to rejoin his ship. A grand fox hunt was 
organized, and many riders were assembled in the spacious 
grounds of Everdale Manor. Edgar asked his sister whether 
she wisiied to ride Cataliue in the hunt. If so the side-saddle 
would be puc on him, and she could get ready. 



The Exchange. 33 

" No, indeed," was the answer. " I will not ride that vicious 
horse, and do not propose to take part in the hunt. I have no 
idea of risking my neck in going over hedges and ditches." 

" All right, sweet sister of mine. You surrender all claim 
to ownership in Cataline in exchange for my slow-going cob, 
Brutus." 

" You are welcome, Edgai-, to Cataline, and also to Brutus. 
I have given up horseback riding." 

""Veiy well, I will go and see whether Cataline will accept 
his new master." 

When it was known that Edgar had given orders that his 
sister's fiery horse should be saddled and bridled for his use, all 
the guests assembled to witness the experiment. 

Uncle Bichard strongly advised his nephew not to take such 
a great risk as trying to manage an animal that had a bad 
record, and on whose back very few men had been able to stay. 

" It was always a mystery," remarked Mrs. Van Reem, " how 
your sister not only held her place, but dis]3layed a fondness 
for one of the most treacherous brutes in the shape of horse- 
flesh." 

Several grooms stood by ready to pounce upon the horse as 
soon as he should rear and ])lunge, as was his custom whenever 
a man attempted to get on his back. Cataline's reputation for 
ugliness was very bad indeed. He seemed to know tliis, and 
was apparently proud of it. 

Fully equipped he was led, or rather pranced around, rearing 
and plunging, up to the hall door. When Esther saw him she 
grew pale, and begged her brother to forego his attempt. There 
were several far better horses in the stable, she pleaded, and 
why tempt Providence in this manner % Words and persuasions 
were of no avail. Cataline must be subdued, and Edgar 
proj^osed to do it. He quickly seized the bridle, and with a 
grasp of iron brought the animal's head down to his own, and 
in a clear, firm voice said, " Cataline, do you know me ? " 

It is a well-ascertained fact that dogs and horses have a 
peculiar faculty of penetration not possessed by man. In this 
case it was not so much the voice, or the strong hand which 
held his restive head as though it were in a vice. There was 
something which flashed out from the keen grey eyes that 
impressed Cataline with the thought that in some way, which it 
was beyond his power to define, his former mistress, the only 
being who had ever mastered him, was standing before him. 
The voice and dress were indeed difi'erent, but the flashing of 
the eyes magnetized and exerted the same spell over him that 



34 Miriam vs. Milton. 

Miriam had done. He gave a loud neigh of I'ecognition. The 
next moment Edgar was in the saddle, and the fiery Cataline 
became as gentle and submissive as ever he had been under the 
guidance of his fair mistress. 

As the party rode away to the fox hunt, Martin Nickley, 
who, since the rescue from the lake, had been a frequent visitor 
at Everdale, rode up to the porch where the ladies stood, and 
said : " Miss Creedmore, I am very sorry that you are not 
mounted to-day. The sport promises to be a grand one. If 
there is no horse in your stable that you can ride, I will be 
glad to place a gentle one at your disposal." 

" A thousand thanks, Mx\ Nickley," she replied, " but I have 
determined to ride no more — at least for the present." 

" Surely this is not final 1 " he asked. 

" Indeed it is," was the reply. 

With a look of wonder, and a glance of admiration at the 
form of the beautiful girl, who seemed to have grown more 
lovely than ever, Mr. Nickley turned his horse and joined the 
other riders. 

Mrs. Van Reem felt that this was a good opportunity for a 
display of her authority. 

" Esther, my child," said she, " it is my wish that you 
dismiss Mr. Martin Nickley, in the same manner that you have 
dismissed that vicious horse, Cataline. Both are on a common 
jjlane for deceitfulness, upliness, bad temper, and evil 
reputation. Your bath in Everdale Lake has brought to the 
surface your latent good sense. That wild x'iding of yours was 
always very unladylike." 

For a moment Esther made no reply, but looked steadily 
into her aunt's face until the latter quailed before her gazu. 
She then replied : 

" I may have much to answer for when I leave this world, 
but ingratitude will not be one of my failings. Mr. Mai-tiii 
Nickley saved my life. But for him my body might yet be 
lying at the bottom of the lake, and I do not propose to dismiss 
him. I look upon hira as my friend. In reference to horse- 
l)ack riding, I may take it up again whenever it suits my 
fancy. I admit that in some things my disposition has under- 
gone a change. Many girls turn over a new leaf when they 
reach their twenty-first birthday, and are thenceforth mistress 
of their own actions. In all reasonable things you will find 
me, hereafter, docile and obedient. I can be easily led by 
kindness, but harshness and attempted force will only harden 
my nature. Many a girl that might have been developed into 



The Exchange. 35 

an angel with kind moral suasion, has been made a devil by an 
opposite course. Thei'e is a limit to the patience of everyone. 
Mine has been reached in the treatment I have received during 
the last week from you. My mother left me in your care to 
fill her place. The sooner, therefore, that we understand each 
other the better for your peace of mind and my future 
happiness. Almost from the hour I was rescued from the 
bottom of the lake you have, without ceasing, rehearsed my 
exuberance of spirit in the past two years, and have seen fit to 
take a course of repression to ' crush my proud will,' as you 
termed it, lest I should break out again. Half-a-dozen loving 
words would have done more to control me than all the lectures 
and homilies I have listened to." 

"With quiet dignity Esther drew her white zephyr shawl 
about her, and turning to her Uncle Richard, put her arm 
about his neck and kissed him, and then went to her room. 

"Elizabeth," said Mr. Shirley, "the girl is right. I am 
glad she has spoken so freely. You never did imderstand that 
child, and you certainly do not know her disposition now." 

" Richard, if you had your way you would spoil her entirely. 
Men do not understand the moods of a wilful girl. I propose 
to humble her haughty spirit. The Creedmore stock was 
always wild and restless. I do not propose to let that liead- 
stong girl disgrace the Shirley blood." 

" Be careful, my sister. You may, by too stern treatment, 
ruin both body and spirit." 

Prophetic words, as the sequel will show. 



Second Divisiox. 



THE EXPERIMENT. 



CHAPTER I. 

THE SEPARATION,. 

It was tlie second of April, and Edgar and Estliev were to 
part, for reasons that will be made known later on. 

They had each received an equal share of their late father's 
estate. The Manor of Everdale was to be kept as a mutual 
home for them both, and Richard Shirley and Mrs. Yan Reeni 
were to have the management of it for life. One-third of the 
heritage was to be held in trust for the support of the manor. 
The remainder, in two equal parts, was to be given to his 
chikh-en. Milton was to have absolute control of his patrimony/ 
when he arrived at age. Miriam's share was to be held iu 
reserve until her thirty-eighth birthday, which was her 
mother's age when she died, but she was to have the interest 
provided her executors were satisfied with her manner 
of living. Should either of the twins die without issue 
the survivor was to receive the whole. Miriam's headstrong 
disposition, and the fear that she would make an unhappy 
marriage, had induced her father to take the precaution he did 
in holding her portion in trust. It was also expected that by 
this arrangement her uncle and aunt Vr^ould be better able to 
control liei\ 

Edgar had announced his intention of leaving for America 
to seek an opening for business suited to his talents. He had 
a letter of credit for twenty thousand pounds, which was his 
.share in cash of the patrimony. All who had previously known 
him were amazed at the great change that had come over the 
liitherto timid boy. 



Tlie Separation. 37 

It seemed as though the twins had exchanged natures. 
Everyone talked about it, but no one could satisfactorily explain 
the matter. 

One hour before their separation they went down to the foot 
of their garden, and stood on the little landing on the shore of 
the lake where, just a month previous, both of their inanimate 
bodies were landed from the rescue boat. They wanted to be 
alone to take their last farewell. 

" My dear Edgar," said his sister, " we ai'e about to part, 
perhaps for a lifetime. Your wish has been gratified, and you 
have the privilege of manhood, with all its freedom of action, to 
engage in any enterprise you see fit. You have money, talents, 
and ambition, with a glorious possibility before you. I will 
expect to hear of your upward progress, and will look for your 
name high up on the temple of fame. I remain behind with 
tJiC ])rospects of severe conflicts between our respected aunt and 
n}yself. My executors have the power to withhold my income 
if my ways do not suit them. While you must jidmit that you 
have the best of the exchange yet I do not regret it, because 
you will be ha))py. You will have a very exciting life in 
America, and that will just suit your restless spirit. It is hard 
to think that we may not again look upon each other's face, 
and cannot even correspond, but I hope to hear about you very 
often. How can I say fai-ewelH" 

" Esther, my loving and always unselfish one," said Edgar, 
" the pang of parting is indeed very great to me. I wish I 
could stay to help you. I am well aware, from jiast experience, 
that you will have many conflicts of authority with Aunt 
Elizabeth, but I feel satisfied that you Avili be able to hold your 
own at every point. Uncle Richard idolizes and will always 
stand by you. Make a confidant of him. Your great beauty 
will make you a jjower in the land. I speak from knowledge 
v.'hen I say, be on your guard against Martin Nickley. He 
saved your body from death in the lake, but he may demand a 
fearful recompense. Aunt Elizabeth proposes to send you to 
Eeechwood School. It is a choice betv^'een two evils — life there 
under the stern discipline of Mrs. Ainsworth, and life here 
under our dictatorial and overbearing kinswoman. Both are 
bad enough. There are some nice girls at Eeechwood, as I have 
always heard, and perhaps, after all, you will be better ofi" at 
that school. Then, when you are matrimonially inclined, the 
Earl of Montviile will be very devoted." 

Slowly, arm in arm, brother and sister walked back to the 
house. The carriage was waiting. One last embrace and Edgar,. 



38 Miriam vs. Milton. 

accompanied by liis uncle, was driven to the railway station to 
take the train for Liverpool. 

Great and heartrending was the grief of Estlier as the 
carriage disappeared in a turn of the road. The awful sense of 
her loneliness came over her ; the strain was too much, and she 
sank on the porch in a dead faint. It was fully two hours 
before a doctor, who had been summoned, could restore her to 
consciousness. 

We must now devote the rest of this chapter to Edgar in the 
dawn of his new experience. 

After leaving Everdale station all went well until just before 
they reached Preston, when by a misplaced switch the train ran 
off the track, doing considerable damage. It was an omen of 
ilisaster, and Edgar felt it; but could he expect that, in his new 
life, everything would run smoothly? 

A passage had been secured by the Cuuard steamship sailing 
very early next morning. In due time Edgar was on board 
the vessel that was waiting to convey him to a fai'-off land, 
where, among strangers, he would find phases of life unthought 
of, undreamt of, even in his wildest fancy. 

The parting from his uncle, following so close to that from 
his sister, was a great trial, and for the first time he pondered 
the question whether he had done wisely in asking for the 
exchange. Would not the former condition have been better % 
It was too late to repent. Slowly at first the massive steamship 
left her moorings in the Mersey and shaped her course for 
New York, and England, dear old England, was left far behind. 

The ship was Avell out to sea before Edgar was able to look 
up his fellow-passengers. He sufiered from sea-sickness, but 
his strong will aided him to shake it off. 

The passenger list was a large one, but we are interested 
with only two of them. One was a regular Southern fire-eater,^ 
Colonel Henry Derwent, of Kentucky, and was the room-mate 
of Edgai'. The other one, whose stateroom was opposite, was 
a sea captain, and came into Edgar's room the morning after 
the ship left Liverpool and oflered his services and advice, 
introducing himself as " Captain Isaiah Moorehead, from Boston, 
sir, at your service." "Now, Mr. Creedmore," said he, "take 
my advice and go on deck and keep there, build up your 
stomach with hard bread and salt beef; nothing like it, sir, to 
give you a pair of sea-legs that will enable you to hold your 
ovvn in any gale of wind." Colonel Derwent, who was in the 
upper berth, and feeling far from amiable, raised himself u[), 
and in a sneering tone asked, "From Boston, did you say, sir 1" 



The Separation. 39 

"Yes," was the reply, "from good old Boston, the hub of 
the universe, the land where every man is free to call his body 
and his soul his own." 

"Hub of H !" was the savage rejoinder. "It is the 

land of cranks and the hotbed of abolitionists. I suppose, sir, 
you are going back to join in the hue and cry to take our 
niggers from us — our property, sir — for which, sir, we paid 
our honest dollars, sir. I myself propose to join in the defence 
of our homes and fii-esides, sir, and we can hold our own, 
sir, against all Yankee comers, sir, and be blanked to 
you, sir." 

This gi'eeting was rather unexpected to Captain Moorehead, 
who had, with a bluBf old sailor's instinct, come to ofier 
assistance. So he replied, in a quiet tone, " I believe this is 
Colonel Derwent, of Kentucky, is it not 1 " 

" Yes, sir, that is my name, but not at the service of a 

Yankee abolitionist, sir." 

" Well, Colonel," was the answer, " one learns a great deal in 
going through life. I always laboured under the imjiression 
that Kentucky colonels wei-e gentlemen and men of honour, 
but I suppose there are exceptions to that rule, and as 1 find I 
was mistaken in you, sir, I beg leave to withdraw." 

" How were you mistaken, sivl" roared the angry Kentuckian ; 
but Captain Moorehead had left and closed the door behind him. 

The excitement was too much for the Colonel's stomach, for 
he reached for a basin and paid the landsman's tribute to old 
ocean. 

As Captain Isaiah Moorehead is closely interwoven in our 
narrative, a brief description of him is necessary. 

The Mooreheads were seafaring men ever since the first of 
the family came over in one of the ships that followed the 
historical " Mayflower." The captain's lather, grandfather, and 
great-grandfather were all shipmasters, and Isaiah had inherited 
a ffiir share of this world's goods. He had just sold a fine 
clipper ship in Liverpool, and was returning home to build 
another. He had been liberally educated and was a close 
student, both of men and books, the former being the most 
practical and useful, and, in fact, a necessary attainment. The 
most successful men in business ai'e those who have closely 
studied their fellow-men. 

The other noticeable points in Ca])tain Moorehead's chai-acter 
will be made known from time to time, as we meet him in the 
progress of our story on the field of battle and the mining 
camps of the far SVest. 



40 Miriam vs. Milton. 

Little did Edgar think liow these two fellow-passengers 
would be so thoroughly interwoven in his own history. 

Colonel Derwent was a typical Kentuckian, and could 
not rest easy until he had avenged the insult from Captain 
Moorehead. He felt the necessity of meeting the old 
sea-dog on equal terms, and therefore proposed to wait until 
his stomach regained its normal condition, and then he could 
have satisfaction, as he remai'ked to Edgar two days after the 
above event. 

" Mr. Creedmore, you are an Englishman," said he, " and 
therefoi'e, cannot understand the code of honour that prevails in 
old Kentucky. Why, sir, I would be disgraced if I did not 
wipe out that insult in blood ; yes, sir, in blood. That Yankee 
skipper said I was no gentleman and not a man of honour. 
He will find to his cost, sir, that I am both, sir ; and now, Mr. 
Creedmore, I will expect, as you are my room-mate and over- 
lieard this insult, that you will be my second, sir. In Kentucky 
a man always gets his best friend to represent him. It is an 
lionour, sir, and I confer this on you, for I like you, sir ; you 
are a gentleman, every inch of you, sir, and if you ever need a 
second yourself call upon me, sir, and I will see that you have 
blood and satisfaction, all you want, sir." 

Here was a prospect of excitement for Edgar at the veiy 
beginning of his new career. The former Milton would have 
certainly kept away from this entanglement had he been in his 
place. Edgar, however, was new to this business, and as the 
Colonel told him that to refuse the proposed honour would be 
an eternal disgrace, he accepted it • and three days after, when 
everyone had recovered his equilibrium, he waited upon 
Captain Moorehead with a challenge from Colonel Derv/ent. 
Satisfaction was required with the weapons of a gentleman — 
bowie knives, revolvers, or rifles. 

Captain Moorehead was very much astonished, for he had 
had no intention of insulting anyone. The controversial points 
of the day were of a very exciting nature, and hot words were 
continually exchanged between partisans of the North and 
Soutli. However, if Colonel Derwent wanted to fight, why, of 
course, the Captain would oblige him at any time or place. 
Captain Moorehead was as brave as a lion, always cool and 
collected. On several occasions lie had quelled serious mutinies 
on his ships by his determined manner. He referred Mr. 
Creedmore to his first otncer, who was also a fellow-passenger. 
He said, however, to Sdgar, " I don't think, young man, that 
you have entered into this business of your own accord, and you 



The Separation. 41 

may yet find that I will prove a better friend to you than that 
Southern fire-eater, Colonel Henry Derwent." 

The first ofiicer referred to by Captain Moorehead was a Mr. 
Joshua Harkness, of Bath, JMaine. He was a young man but 
a thorough seaman. When Edgar made known his eri'and the 
reply was characteristic of the down-East population of the 
Union. 

" What blamed nonsense this code of honour, as your fire- 
eating Kentucky colonel calls it ; want to cut each other's 
throats because of a misunderstanding which five minutes of 
mutual explanation would make satisfactory to both parties. 
All right, I will stand by my Captain, Imt I want to inform 
you that he is one of the best shots with a rifle or pistol that 
I ever came across. He has had lots of practice at sea." 

Colonel Derv^'ent insisted that permission should be obtained 
from the captain of the Cunard steamship, and the duel take 
place at ouce. This wish was duly made known, biit Captain 
Leitcli was no stranger to this sort of experience. More than 
once he had received applications of the same kind. " Wait 
until you get to New York," was his answer, "and then in 
Hoboken you will find suitable places. Besides, we have no 
embalmer on board, and I should judge his services will be 
required for one or both the jn'incipais." 

iSo it was settled that the duel should take place at Hoboken 
the morning after the arrival in port. 



CHAPTER II. 

THE HAY QUEEX. 

The first of May was just such a genial spring day as poets 
dream about. The ordinary adjectives would be inadequate to 
express its invigorating influences, so characteristic of the lake 
region. 

It was two months since the upset in Everdale Lake, and 
one month since Edgar left for New York. A letter had been 
received from him by the morning post telling of his safe 
arrival, and that he was staying with his Uncle Richardson, 
and had about made up his mind to join the Northern forces 
for the suppression of the rebellion. The war would probably 



42 Miriam vs. Hilton. 

not last six months, and then he proposed going West to look 
for an opening for business. He promised in his next letter to 
give the details of his trip across and meeting his kindred in 
New York. This letter was a great relief to Esther, for her 
life at home was far from happy. Her aunt was continually 
dreading lest her niece should again develope the old haughty 
disposition. Now that she in a measure controlled her, she 
wanted to make assurance doubly sure by a severe course of 
i-epression and daily lectures, that were perfect torture to the 
highly-sensitive girl. She had meant to send her to Beechwood 
Seminary just as soon as Edgar sailed for America, and was 
hardly persuaded out of it by her brother Richard. That 
terrible school will be described later on ; but enough to say 
that its very name was a terror to all young girls for a 
radius of one hundred miles from the place where it was 
situated. 

Mrs. Van Reem was a most determined woman, and perhaps 
narrow in her ideas of bringing up girls. Once having made 
up her mind on any point it was very hard to turn her aside. 
With Miriam she had never been able to hold her own. In 
fact the girl controlled the whole establishment to suit herself. 
Her imperious will was a lav/ that none of the servants dared 
to disobey ; and her aunt could never understand how the 
magnetism of that mysterious force, which her niece exerted, 
overwhelmed even herself. But the charm was broken after 
the bath in Everdale Lake, and she had resolved that it would 
never control her any more, if lectures and severe training 
could prevent it. 

Esther was no match for her aunt, for while she at times 
resented any extra display of authority, yet the iron, inflexible 
will of Mrs. "Van Reem was too potent to subdue. So day by 
day the aunt grew stronger in the exercise of will power, until 
her niece gradually yielded. Uncle Richard took Esther's part, 
but even his masculine will was not up to the standard of his 
sister's. On one point he would not at first yield, and that was 
to give his consent to sending Esther to Beechwood School. 
Time and again he said, " Elizabeth, I don't believe in bringing 
up girls under a rigid, inflexible discipline. Why not teach 
them independence of character, the same that is instilled into 
the boys'^ Why should a girl be made to feel that she is 
comi)arable to a piece of fragile china, liable to be broken by 
careless handling'? The great majority of English girls to-day 
are mere children in self-reliance, and when thrown upon their 
own resources are perfectly helpless." 



The May Queen. 43 

" Why, Richard," was the reply, '•' do you want to bring 
Esther up after the fashion of American girls ? I read a state- 
ment the other day that any American young lady could travel 
alone from one end of the Union to the other without being 
molested. The idea of it ! If an English girl was to attempt 
such a thing over here she would lose her character. Now, 
Richard, you must understand once for all that my duty 
to my niece is of too much importance to take any risks, 
and I firmly believe that Mrs. Ainsworth, our kinswoman in 
charge of Beechwood, is the proper person to finish Esther's 
education." 

Uncle Richard now loved his gentle, quiet niece as he never 
did before. The former haughty spirit of Miriam was not 
productive of reciprocal affection, but the girl was so completely 
changed that he fairly idolized her. 

The clock was striking ten in the forenoon of the first of 
May, as above described, when a bevy of girls called on Esther 
to inform her that she had been chosen as the May Queen, and 
that she would be crowned in the afternoon. This made the 
fourth year this honour had been conferred upon her. To their 
amazement she absolutely declined. It was only fair now that 
some other girl should be chosen. Then, again, she was not 
feeling well, and was too u.tterly miserable to join in any festive 
sports. Her mind was made up on this point, and nothing 
could change it. The following dialogue took place : — 

Miss Agnes Thomson said : " Esther, darling, what on earth 
has come over you in the last two months 1 Ever since you 
and your brother were fished out of the lake you seem to have 
changed natures." 

" The close call we had for our lives has tended to develope 
in me a more serious frame of mind. 1 am not so wild and 
reckless as I was before that disaster." 

Miss Lena Delphin answered : " Oh come, Esther, you are 
not going to turn preacher, are you % If a bath in Everdale 
Lake makes such a radical change in one's disposition, turning 
a lively and energetic girl into a meek, submissive nun, I will 
keep away from it." 

" So will I," answered all the girls in a chorus. 

" If I call for you to-movrow, in company with my brother, 
a lieutenant of the horse-guards, will you join us in a ride 
across the hills ? " asked May Irwin, the daughter of a rich 
baronet. 

" I don't care for such violent exercise any more," said 
Esther. 



44 Miriam vs. Milton. 

" Why, you are Gelehrated," Tvas the reply, " as the most 
daring lady rider in the lake district. Surely you are not going 
to give it up." 

'■' Yes, indeed, I am. My aunt insists that hereafter I must 
devote my time to music, French, and the study of domestic 
-economj-." 

The answer to this was a chorus of exclamations, such as 
" Well I never ! " " What next 1 " " Just listen ! " Uijou my 
word ! " " The idea ! " " Did you ever ?" and " Deliver us from 
a, bath in Everdale Lake ! " 

The next moment Esther hid her face in her handkerchief 
and cried as though her heart would break. The full force of 
the freedom she had given up came over her. If this experience 
was the beginning, what would the years bring forth ? 

All her fair visitors sought to comfort her, but without avail. 
Her aunt came into the room at this point, and remarked, " It 
is something unusual to see Esther in tears. Until two months 
ago I never saw a tear in her eye. I hope she is not going to 
turn and play the baby." 

Almost like a flash of lightning, Esther rose to her feet and 
with her deep blue eyes l)lazing with excitement and anger, she 
faced her aunt, and in low, suppressed tones replied, " God 
help any baby that had to depend upon you for sympathy and 
love." Then, with quiet dignity, she asked her callers to 
excuse her, a,nd went out of the room with all the haughtiness 
of an offended queen. She went to her brother's room, fastened 
the door, and burst into a flood of tears. 

Since his departure she often came to his room and found 
comfort in inspecting the things he left behind. She went to a 
cupboard and took out his boxing gloves, his foils and visor, 
his foot and cricket balls and bats, and other articles of 
amusement ; but that which was the most precious was his 
meerschaum i)ipe, a present from Midshipman Ned Bentley. 
Yes, Milton smoked, and, sitting in that very arm chair, spent 
many hours enjoying the fragrant weed. As Edgar he did 
not seem to care for it.* 

The more Esther looked at the well-i'emembered pipe the more 
she became fascinated with it, and the suggestion came to her 
that if when in a boy's body she loved to smoke, why not as a 
girH Just one or two little whiff's, no more. So the pipe was 
half filled and duly lit. Then came the old comfortable position 
in the easy chair, with feet perched on the table ; what harm 

■ Query.— Is smoking an enjoyment of the soul or the spirit? Animals cannot 
endure smoking, and in accordance witli our theory they have souls. 



The May Queen. 45 

could there be iu doing so 1 She was alone in the room. The 
two little whiffs were taken, and then two more. The cloud of 
smoke was indeed a token of old days ; but, oh ! what is this 
nasty nausea feeling that comes so unexpectedly 1 Milton 
never had that. The pipe was placed on the table, and the 
dainty head, with its curling locks of golden-brown hair, lay 
back in the arm chair, so sick ; oh, dear, she would not try the 
pipe any more. There was a large ba}^ window in the room, 
opening on to a small verandah which connected with the hall. 
Suddenly the window was darkened, and Mrs. Van E,eem 
stepped over the low window-sill and came into the room. 
Esther never moved, she was too ill to do so ; her feet were 
still on the edge of the low table. Her aunt at first could hardly 
find words to express her amazement. It was not the sporting 
implements laid out on the long table at the side of the room, 
nor the meerschaum pipe, that excited her wrath, but the 
undignified position of her niece. At last she found vent, and 
exclaimed, " Of all the things I ever heard tell about, this caps 
the climax. V7hat would your mother say if she were living] 
To think that after all my training you would put your feet on 
a table just like your brother. It was allowable for him to do 
so, but not for a girl ! This settles the matter, and to Beech- 
wood yo\i go the day after to-morrow. Mrs. Ainsworth wrote 
last week and said that she had heard such favourable accounts 
of your change of disposition that she would take you on trial. 
If she only could see you now, never would she let you enter 
her school. Take your feet down from that table. Miss." 

Slowly the little feet were lowered to the floor, and paler 
grew the beavitiful face. 

" What makes you look so white % " asked Mrs. Van Reem 
in a snapi)ish tone. 

'• The smell of tobacco," Avas the meek answer. 

" Stufi" and nonsense. Why you sit day after day in the 
library and your Uncle Richard smokes, and you never com- 
plain. I do believe you tried to smoke, and I hope it will 
make you really ill ; then it will be a lesson to you. But sick 
or well to Beechwood you go the day after to-morrow." 

Without another word Mrs. Van Reem unlocked the door 
and went out, and Esther was left alone with her memory of 
the past and no bright expectations for the future. Gradually 
she fell into a sleep. 

Two hours later Agnes Thomson came into the room, dressed 
in white, exclaiming, " Esther, darling, wake up. T have 
been chosen May Queen since you would not take it, and I 



46 Miriam vs. Milfon. 

want you to come and be one of my maids of honour. Here 
comes Lena Delpliin, and she will help me to dress you." 

"I am too ill," replied Esther; "please excuse me." 

" No, we cannot do it," was the answer. " Your dear old 
Uncle Richard told us to insist upon your going. Besides, you 
will be the leading beauty. Why, how pale you look ! " 

" Resistance to such pleading was out of the question, and 
half an hour afterwards amid the lai'ge assembly Esther was 
acknowledged as the belle of the lake region. 

She was dressed in a rich robe of fine white cashmere, 
trimmed with white silk, her arms and neck bare, and on all 
sides were heard the exclamations, " Superb ! " " The queenly 
Esther!" " What radiant beauty!" Among those who came to 
s[ieak to her was Mr. Martin Nickley, and as he took her hand 
he said : " Miss Creedmore, a single smile from your sweet lips 
would repay any man a thousandfold for bringing you up from 
the bottom of the lake. To me it was a great privilege, and I 
would cheerfully risk my life again to do you even a small 
favour." Slowly the lustrous blue eyes were raised to his, and 
a slight shudder crept over her. Was it an omen, or merely 
the wind that caused it ? 

The sport weat on, and great was the enthusiasm when Miss 
Agnes Thomson, the lovely brunette, was duly crowned as Queen 
of May. Some one had woven a crown of red and v^hite roses 
and placed them over Esther's brow. Later on, when in her 
room taking them off, she found a small piece of folded paper, 
with the following words v/ritten in a girl's fine handv/riting: — 

" Beware of the smile of ]\Iartin Nickley, for it is more 
deadly than the bite of a serpent. This warning is fi-om one 
who speaks from sad experience. — A Victim." 

A reception followed in the evening at the house of 
Sir Peter Irwin, and Esther and her uncle and aunt went. 
There was a very large gathering. The magnet that drew all 
eyes was Esther, dressed in a rich pink silk robe, which showed 
otF her queenly form to perfection. During a lull in the 
dancing she was surrounded by a number of beautiful girls, 
and to them she told her aunt's decision. " Where do you 
think I am going the day after to-morrow, girls % " 

"To London," said one; "To Liverpool," "To Manchester," 
" To Paris," " To the Continent," said others. 

"No; to none of those places, but to Beechwood Seminary," 
was the reply. "What do you think of that?" 

Not a v/ord was spoken, for all the girls were too frightened. 
A dozen hands pressed hers, and tears were shed for sympathy. 



Neic York in 1861. 47 

CHAPTER III. 

NEW YORK IN 1861. 

What stirring memories are aroused at the very mention of 
the vear '61 bv those of this generation who were old enough 
to take part in the thrilling excitement of the times. 

Much as we would like to dwell upon the cliain of causes 
that led np to the breaking out of the civil war between the 
North and South, yet we can only briefly refer to such portions 
as come within the experience of Edgar Creedmore. 

We left him at the end of the first chapter on board the 
Ounard steamship bound for New York. He was the second 
for the fiery Colonel Derwent, and the duel was to come off at 
Hoboken the morning after the ship's arrival. Nothing of 
special interest occurred during the remainder of the passage. 
The Kentucky colonel could have found abundant cause for 
more duels, but, as he I'emarked to Edgar, " One war at a time, 
sii\ Besides, I have no particular grudge against Captain 
Moorehead, sir; it is only against the party he represents. 
Yes, sir, it is the blank abolition party that I want to fight. 
I would like to wipe them all out, sir, every mother's son of 
them, sir." 

The grand entrance of New York Harbour made a favourable 
impression upon Edgar as he stood upon the steamer's deck, 
tind Colonel Derwent pointed out all the places of interest. 

It was late in the afternoon of the thirteenth da}^ of April 
when the passengers got their luggage through the custom 
inspection, and Edgar and the colonel went direct to the Fifth 
Avenue Hotel. After their dinner they went out to see New 
York by gaslight. The colonel was in a serious frame of mind, 
for the duel that he had on hand was no child's affair. The 
weapons which had been chosen by Captain Moorehead were 
rifles at forty paces, then each comliatant was to draw his six- 
shooter and advance and fire all the charges ; if neither was 
wounded the principals were to shake hands. 

The colonel found that he had under-e.stimated the courage 
of the " Yankee skipper," as he termed him. He remarked to 
Edgar in their rambles after leaving the hotel, " I did not 
think there was any fight in that down-Easter, sir ; but now I 
find he is full of it, and rather enjoys the prospects. I hear he 
is a splendid shot, sir, and cool and firm." 



48 Miriam vs. Milton. 

" Yes," answered Edgar, who was in hopes that the duel 
could be averted, " I was told that he can hit a floating object 
ill the water with a i-evolver a distance of seventy-five feet iive 
out of every six shots, and with a rifle can score a bull's-eye at 
three hundred yards every time. 

This was not pleasant news to the hitherto warlike colonel, 
but he put on a bold face, and said, "Well, Mr. Creedmore, 
they will tell you, sir, in Kentucky, that the Derwents are no 
slouches at the trigger. At the same time I don't want to kill 
this Yankee captain, sir ; he is not a bad sort of a fellow, and 
if he would only apologize, sir, and say he did not mean to 
insult me, why, sir, I would be satisfied. 

Edgar had no hope of this, for the captain's chief ofiicer, 
Joshua Harkness, was apparently very anxious to have the 
duel come off. A little exciting practice would do the captain 
good, he told Edgar. "Nothing like real war to sharpen up 
one's wits ; then, also, if our principals kill each other, why, 
Mr. Creedmore, you and I can take a little friendly hand at 
mutual target practice." The prospect was not encouraging for 
the next morning's work for the Kentuckian. 

The colonel related to Edgar the history of his past life, and 
gave him some letters to post in case of a fatal termination 
next day. " And if I fall," he said, smiling, " you can have 
me embalmed or pickled, sir." 

•' It will never do, sir," he continued, " to be killed in a 
miserable afi'air like this; for I have letters from home, sir, 
offering me the colonelcy of a regiment ready to take the field 
to defend our homes, and by gad, sir, I offer you now the 
position of first lieutenant in one of my companies, sir. Think 
the matter over, sir, and if you are ever in a tight place in any 
Kentucky town, or where the troops from our State are 
encamped, sir, make use of the motto of our family, and yon 
will find staunch friends, sir. The motto is, ' The star of 
Derwent never fades.' " 

Edgar never for one moment thought that the motto would 
do him any good, for he had no idea of going to Kentucky, and 
as for war the small one on hand was about all he wanted. 

The colonel and his second were in no humour for any sight- 
seeing, so they went back to their hotel and retired early, 
leaving orders to be called at 4-30 and a carriage to be ready 
at 5 a.m. 

Edgar could not sleep. He thoiight of the possibility of one or 
both contestants being killed in the morning, and he probably 
would be held for trial. This matter was not of his seeking, 



New York in 1861. 49 

and it was certainly an unfavourable beginning of his career in 
the New "World to figure as a second in a deadly duel the 
morning after his arrival. 

He vi-as up and dressed by four in the morning, and by five 
both be and the colonel and the surgeon, who had been engaged, 
lefc the hotel for Hoboken Heights, that historic duelling 
ground. They were the first to arrive ; and a few moments 
later a second carriage drove up and Captain Moorehead and 
his second, Mr. Joshua Harkuess, got out, having with them a 
young doctor. Two cases were passed out, one containing a 
pair of sporting rifles, and the other a brace of tiaely-embelliohed 
Colt's revolvers. Mr. Harkness proceeded to load them all 
carefully, and then handing both cases to Edgai', asked him to 
let Colonel Derwent take his choice of a rifle and a revolver. 
Then forty paces were duly measured off with a tape-line, and 
the practical Mr. Harkness drove a small stake at each point. 
A coin was tossed up for positions and Edgar won, and the 
colonel took his place with his back to the rising sun. Both 
combatants had taken their coats and vests ofi", and stood ready 
with the rifles in hand and the revolvers in frogs attached to 
belts around their waists. Captain Moorehead was as pleasant 
and as jolly as though fighting a duel was a mere pastime to 
him ; he was perfectly cool and collected. Not so with Colonel 
Derwent ; he realized the importance of the occasion, and while 
just as self-possessed as his opponent he was in no mood for 
levity. 

" Are you ready, gentlemen 1 " called out Mr. Harkness. 
"All ready," answered the colonel and Edgar. "Hold on a 
moment," said Captain Moorehead ; "these shooting irons are 
new and may want a little lubricating. Please hand me the 
oil-can," and with the utmost nonchalance he oiled the hammer 
and trigger of the rifle, then of the revolver, and, handing the 
oil-can to Edgar, said with a smile, " Please take this to the 
colonel with my compliments. A little oil will make the 
trigger pull much easier." 

Tills exhibition of nerve was too much for Colonel Derwent, 
and he threw his rifle and revolver on the ground, and said, 
** Captain Moorehead, you are too brave a man for me to fire at. 
Shoot away at me to your heart's content, sir. I was a fool to 
quai'rel with such a brave man as you are. I was mistaken in 
you and deserve to be shot for my foolishness, sir." Captain 
Moorehead immediately threw his weapons on the ground, and 
walked over to the colonel, and taking his hand, said, " My dear 
Colonel Derwent, let us shake hands. I have no ill feeling against 



50 Miriam vs. Milton. 

yoa. This duelling business is foolishness and we are both too 
old to indulge in it. I never had any idea of insulting you." 

It is needless to say that a friendly handshaking followed all 
round, and none were more ])leased than the seconds of both 
parties. They all returned to their carriages, and accepted the 
colonel's invitation to breakfast at the Fifth Avenue Hotel. 

It was indeed a happy ending to what at one time promised 
to be a very disagreeable affair. That evening both Captain 
Moorehead and Colonel Derwent left for their respective homes. 
Edgar took a carriage and drove to the house of his Uncle 
Richardson, where he was welcomed in a genial, hearty manner 
by his uncle and daughter. 

Joseph liichardson was of English parentage, and a member 
of the Society of Friends. His family and the Creedmores 
had been intimate for two generations, and the only sister of 
the late Admiral Creedmore, the gentle Ruth, had known 
Joseph from childhood, and when she was twenty years old 
had accepted his offer of marriage. A year later she accom- 
panied him to New York, where Mr, Richardson engaged in 
business. 

Ten years of happy married life passed pleasantly when 
Mrs. Ptichardson died, leaving a lovelj^ daughter, who, at the 
opening of our story, was nineteen years of age, and devoted 
her time to her father's welfare. Margaret Richardson inherited 
her mother's sweet disposition. Her hazel eyes and very dark 
brown hair, almost black, with a broad forehead, made her home 
the centre of attraction for many of the young men of the old 
families. Her heart was still her own until the coming of her 
English cousin. Edgar possessed all the qualities of her ideal 
young man, and the day after his arrival Maggie realized that 
love — that very much idealized quality of human nature — had 
germinated in her heart. Whether tlae final product would be 
happiness or heartache was a problem yet in the womb of time. 

Edgar found on his arrival in New York that the whole 
country was in the thi'oes of a great convulsion, owing to the 
dark cloud of war which rolled over the Northern States from 
the echoes of Sumjjter's guns. 

There was but one answer to the guage of battle flung down 
by the Southern section, and that was that the Union should 
be preserved, even if it took the blood of a million men to 
sustain the compact. 

This war feeling was infectious, and a week after his landing 
from the Cunarder he asked his uncle's advice about accepting 
an offer of second lieutenancy in a company of the 71st N. Y. 



New York in 1861. 51 

Volunteers. This liad been made by one of his late fellow- 
passengers. The answer of Mr. Richardson was characteristic 
of even the peace-loving Quaker, imbued with loyal sentiment 
to the iSTorth and a disayjproval of the Southern effort to extend 
the limits of the slave States. 

" Edgar, if thou hast made up tliy mind to throw in thy lot 
with the North, and are not willing to be dissuaded from 
■engaging in warlike operations, then I would advise thee to 
begin at the bottom of the ladder. Thou hast neither practical 
nor theoretical knowledge of the art and science of governing 
a company of men. Thou must learn to obey before thou can 
expect to command with success. This is applicable to all 
pursuits in life, as thou wilt find if thou art spared to come 
back from this a[)peal to the sword. I am not yet persuaded 
but that diplomacy might have averted this calamity if men on 
both sides had not been so hot-headed and unreasonable in 
their demand. Thou shalt have my earnest prayer for thy safe 
return." 

Cousin Maggie was brimful of patriotism, and answered to 
the point when her young English kinsman asked her 
opinion. 

"Edgar, go to the front by all means, and who knows but 
that you may come back with the stars of a major-general on 
your shoulders, and then " — here she hesitated. 

"Then what*?" playfully said Edgar, looking into the bright 
hazel eyes, which revealed her feelings, much, perhaps, against 
her wish. 

" I will finish that sentence when I see the stars on those 
broad shoulders." 

"But suppose I do not come back with stars on my 
shoulders, will I be welcome, fair cousin of mine % " 

" How can you ask such a question 1 Have we not already 
made you welcome 1 No matter if you return as a private 
soldier, if you come with honour you will find no cause to 
complain of how I will receive you." 

" But, Maggie, have you thought of a contingency 1 If I go 
into battle I may never return — what then 1 Will my memory 
be kept green in your home and in your heart? Would you 
once in a while shed a tear for the memory of your British 
cousin, slain in the defence of his adopted flag ? " 

The beautiful and patriotic girl, with her expressive eyes filled 
with tears, said, " Edgar, we are both too young to think of so 
sad an ending. No ; I will not think of such a contingency. 
You will come back with honour. Will you accept this little 



52 Miriam vs. Milton. 

locket? it is an heirloom of the Creedmore family, and tradition 
lias it that whoever wears it will be protected from harm. It 
has already been worn in five battles. My mother gave it to 
me in trust." 

The little locket was duly transferred to her cousin's neck, 
and its talismanic j^owers were certainly not abated by passing 
into possession of the new owner. 

Edgar gave his letter of credit for twenty thousand pounds 
to his uncle to take care of and invest, and decided to follow the 
sound advice of beginning at the bottom of the ladder. It is 
not every young man, with a fortune of one hundred thousand 
dollars in his possession, that would consent to enlist as a private;, 
but then it was war time, and promotion was rapid to the 
ambitious and energetic aspirant. 

Edgar would have preferred to wait a month or so before 
volunteering for active service, but the 71st Regiment had 
been strongly I'ecommended to him as one of the best and most 
thoroughly equipped in the State of New York. They were ta 
be mustered into the service of the general government on the 
21st. and owing to the urgent necessity for troops at Washington 
would leave at once. Therefore, if he wished to go with them, 
he had no time to lose. The service was only for tln-ee months, 
so he decided to go with this regiment in preference to any 
other, and made his arrangements accordingly. 

The excitements of an active life were thus unexpectedly 
opened to him, and he was quick and prompt to avail himself 
of the opportunity. His star was in the ascendant ; would it 
be in accord with the Derwent motto % 



CHAPTER IV. 



BEECHWOOD SEMINARY. 



Esther had a full two months to take a survey of the talents 
entrusted to her keeping in her new sphere. 

The great difficulty experienced so far was the want of 
adaptability of her spirit to the new order of things. The 
exchange had been made without the opportunity of previous 
training, in regai'd to the handling of the delicate, elaborate, 
and highly-finished piece of human mechanism that was given- 
to her to manage and direct in all its movements. 



BeecJmood Seminary. 53 

A single error might he the means of in-etrievable disaster. 
A boy could take many departures from the straight line of 
rectitude, and the -urorkl, at all times lenient to him, would 
call it the exuberance of youth, and would caution him to be 
more careful in future. 

Let a girl make one deviation from the narrow path pre- 
scribed for her sex, and though there may be pardon in the next 
world there is none here. 

The injustice or right of this discrimination is too weighty a 
problem to discuss, so we pass it by. Nevertheless, Esther 
thought over all of the laws which governed women in their 
movements, and, while anxious to avoid mistakes, yet found it 
difficult so to walk that none should find fault. 

it was indeed a great misfortune that she found herself under 
the control of such a narrow-miiided woman as Mrs. Van 
Reem. 

A family co^^ncil decided that Beechwood Seminary was the 
best place after all to send Esther. It was true that her father 
had refused his consent, and the fiery, imperious Miriam was 
not a subject that Mrs. Ainsworth cared to have iu her school; 
but now that the haughty disposition was curbed and subdued 
it was a different matter. It was also noticed by her kindred that 
instead of the former quick decisiveness of action in all matters 
there was now a hesitancy, and a disposition to procrastinate 
and to put off to another f)Ccasion everything that could he, so 
done. There was also an unhealthy and morbid tendency to 
linger over her brother's implements of sport, which he had left 
behind. It was very difiicult to get her to join in the amuse- 
ments of the many young ladies who were on visiting terms 
with her family. Invitations were poured upon her in 
abundance, but she invariably declined on one jilea or another. 
At Beechwood she would be compelled to mingle with her 
class-mates, and then the absence from old associations would 
be very beneficial. Beechwood Seminary had a wide reputation 
for thorough training of young ladies in all the arts and 
accomplishments of domestic life. Many girls of an exceedingly 
refractory nature, perverse, headstrong, and wilful, had been 
entirely changed during a two years' residence there. It was 
not a preparatory school, but rather a finishing one. No girl 
under sixteen could enter. The avei-age age of most of the 
scholars was twenty years. 

The seminary was situated at the upper end of Beechwood 
village, and was forty miles distant from Everdale on the line 
of railway. 



54 Miriam vs. Miltoyi. 

The grounds and buildings wex*e the exchisive property of the- 
principal, Tilrs. Harriet Ainsworth, a member of the Shirley 
family. She was the widow of the late Rufus Ainsworth, 
and at his death his countiy seat at Beechwood, so named after 
his mother's family, had been enlarged and tui'ned into a 
finishing school. Mrs. Ainsworth had ample funds at her dis- 
posal; but, having inherited a very strong share of the masculine 
disposition of the Shirleys, she needed some outlet for restless 
ambition. She chose to teach, and so far had made a very 
great success of it. 

She was a very tall woman, but had an exceedingly shapely 
form ; her waist was small, which lent a charm to her personal 
appearance, and while fully forty years old, yet when in rejiose 
looked about twenty-five. Her eyes were large and magnetic,, 
and perhaps it was this feature that was the secret of her great 
power over the girls placed under her charge. Woe betide 
any of her pupils who did not show signs of submission and 
instant obedience when those great orbs were turned upon her. 
If they flashed but once it became a very serious matter foi* the 
offender ; but when an angry frown succeeded the flash, then 
what followed was known only to the delinquent and the 
principal. Both kept their own counsel. No Beechwood 
scholar had ever been known to betray the secret discipline of 
the school. The mothers of the girls may have been able to 
obtain the information, but no one else did. 

It was this very mystery that made the seminary a dreaded 
place, and often times the mere threat to send a refractory 
daughter to Beechwood was more potent than any argument 
that could be used. 

In view of all these well-known facts, it was not to be 
expected that Esther Creedmore should feel very happy, on 
the morning of the third of May, when a servant informed her 
that the carriage was at the door to take her and her aunt to 
the railway station, where they were to purchase tickets direct 
to Beechwood village. She was dressed in a travelling suit of 
pearl-grey cloth that set off" her shapely figure. A small cap of 
the same material fitted close to her head, but did not hide her 
broad and high forehead. 

Esther was going through a mental struggle that needed but 
slight provocation to develope into fiery rebellion. If she 
should positively refuse to go, what then % Her trustees had 
the power to withhold every shilling of her income, if previous 
to her marriage she failed to follow their instructions. They 
would make it so unpleasant for her at ErerLsale that she would 



Beechicood Seminary. 55 

"be compelled to leave. She dared not write to her brother or 
meet him face to face. Whither could she go or what could 
she do for a living 1 It was true that she might accept an oflfer 
of marriage from Martin Nickley, but the very thought of it 
was repulsive. 

She paid no heed to a second summons from her aunt that 
they would miss the train unless she came down at once. She 
was weeping and looking longingly at the cricket bats and balls 
and other paraphernalia of sporting things laid out on the table, 
and was taking a farewell look of these well-remembei-ed objects. 
If she missed the train, why it would give her one more day at 
home. But Mrs. Yan Keem had no idea of any such delay, so 
she came herself, all ready to break out in sharp reproof upon 
her niece, but one look into that tear-stained face awakened a 
motherly feeling in her heart. Putting her arms around the 
weeping girl, and laying the beautiful head on her breast, she said: 

" Esther, ray child, you are not going away for any long 
period. It is only two months to vacation and you then will 
come home again, Mrs. Ainsworth is your own kinswoman, 
and the stories of her severity are gi-eatly exaggerated. I know 
you will enjoy the school life at Beechwood. The pupils are 
all young ladies of the very best families, for only such can 
afford to pay the high charge of one hundred guineas a year. 
Don't be despondent ; leave all these things, and they will not 
be disturbed until you come back." 

"With one longing, farewell glance Esther left the room, and 
taking her vincle's arm as she reached the porch got into the 
carriage followed by both aunt and uncle, and they were driven 
to the station. They were just in time for the express train. 
A parting kiss to Uncle Richard and Esther found herself a 
moment after in a moving carriage. 

It was just half-past eleven when the guard called out 
" Beechwood Station." On alighting, Esther and her aunt 
found Mrs. Ainsworth's carriage in waiting to convey them to 
the seminary. This was indeed a special honour, for the average 
pupil had to take the stage-coach. Their reception was every- 
thing that could be desired ; Mrs. Ainsworth was on the porch 
with two of the teachers. She was dressed in a gown of heavy 
black silk, a lace collar of rich material encircled her neck, and 
at her cuffs were seen lace of costly fabric. The hand that took 
hold of Esther's was soft, while the large eyes fully corroborated 
the words of welcome that the lips were uttering. 

Mrs. Ainsworth was earnest and enthusiastic, for while she 
had the care of many daughters of houses famous in English 



56 Miriam vs. Milton. 

history, yet in Esther she looked not only upon a kinswoman, 
but a representative of two of the oldest English families, and 
the fame of the late Admiral Creedmore v/as not j^et forgotten. 

After being introduced to all the teachers and the matron, 
Esther was duly presented to each of her new school-mates. 
She was too nervous and excited to observe the quiet and 
subdued air of each one, as they took her hand bidding her 
welcome. Two of them were detailed to show her to her 
room. For one week they were to be her monitors. Their 
duty was to explain in detail all the rules and regulations of 
the seminary, and also to suffer any punishment that would result 
from the infringement of these rules by the new pupil. Their 
names were Pauline Ella Yansant and Elvira Nancy Huben. 

Miss Vansant was the daughter of a colonel in the English 
Army, and was known in the school as " the sweet little 
blonde," being only eighteen years old. Her form was ijetite, 
while her brown e^'^es and small mouth gave her face an 
exceedingly juvenile expression. She was the impersonation 
of good nature and a general favourite with her class-mates. 
Her hair fell in natural short curls, which made her the 
acknowledged belle of the school. She was a bright scholar, 
and rarely gave cause for entering any demerits against her, 
being at all times brimful of fun, yet exceedingly careful in 
observing rules. No better monitor could have been chosen 
for Esther. 

Miss Elvira Huben was the daughter of a Presbyterian 
minister, and related on her mother's side to the Earl of 
Montville, already mentioned as a lover and admirer of 
Miriam. Her mother's marriage had been contracted against 
the protests of her high-born relatives, but she had weighed 
well all the consequences and never regretted her choice. The 
Rev. Mr. Huben was a clergyman of good family and a highly- 
accomplished gentleman. 

Elvira was in her twenty-first year. A delicate constitution 
had kept her from school, and while inheriting her father's 
brilliant talents had not been able to develope them as fast as 
she wished. She had only been at Beechwood since the 
opening of the fall term. She was a brunette of medium 
height, and nearly always dressed in black, which brought out 
in bold relief her lily-white skin. Being of a studious and 
serious turn of mind, she was therefore in sti'ong contrast to 
the lively and fun-loving Pauline. Together, however, they 
were certainly the best-qualified pair of monitors for Esther in 
her present frame of mind. 



Beechicood Seminary. 57 

Mrs. Van Eeem accepted a pressing invitation to spend a 
few days at Beech wood ; she also consented to attend a party 
given by one of the old county families that same evening. 

Mrs. Ainsworth had an invitation for herself and teachei-s, 
and any friend that might be visiting, also such of her pupils 
as she should feel disposed to let go. Very rarely, however, 
was this latter privilege accorded. Slie remarked to D.Irs. Van 
Keem, " I don't think that any of my senior girls would care 
to go, because they have a new scholar for initiation to-night. 
Oh, well, gii'ls like to have a little enjoyment, and it is only 
on such occasions that I relax my rules. A great many 
pupils come to this seminaiy full of starchy manners, and 
the sooner this is taken out of them the better for all 
concerned." 

Mrs. Van Reem fully agreed with her kinswoman on 
this point, and said : 

" I trust you may not find Esther a difficult subject 
for you to handle. Her mortal peril in Everdale Lake has 
subdued much of her former fiery imperious style, but she 
may break out again if not checked in time." 

Mrs. Ainsworth smiled with the consciousness of a general 
whose discipline has been tried in the ordeal of battle and 
never failed. 

In a quiet but firm tone she answered : " For ten years I 
have been the head of Beechwood Seminary, and never had a 
pupil whose haughty spirit I could not bend to my will. Esther 
must be very different to the average English girl if at the end 
of two years she does not leave this establishment meek, quiet, 
subdued, and ladylike in every respect. Inside of three days 
you will notice a change." 

There were twenty-one girls at Beechwood ; ten of them 
belonged to the upper form and eleven to the lower one. Two 
years was the regular course. 

After dinner Mrs. Ainsworth sent for her and examined her 
in her studies, and was amazed to find that she had not a scholar 
who could equal her in mental attainment. Turning to Mrs. 
Van Reem she remarked : " Esther knows already as much as 
we can teach her in a literary way, and it will be, therefore, 
necessary to concentrate our efforts on domestic economy and 
the higher branches of English, French, and German literature, 
for which a special teacher will be engaged at the opening 
of the fall term. As there are only two months now to 
vacation, a rehearsal of her past studies will be the best course 
to pursue." 



S8 Miriam vs. Milton. 

Turning to Esther, she continued : " We will get along veiy 
well togetlier if you will keep before your mind all that is 
implied in thi'ee words, viz., Obedience, Punctuality, and 
Earnestness. Obey all the rules of the seminary. Be punctxial 
to the minute in study hours and the other divisions of the 
day's work, and show an earnestness in all the routine of school 
life. I will expect you to give me at this time to-morrow 
llie full definition of the words I have just named, as found in 
5.he English dictionary. You can go now and receive further 
information from your monitors." 

With a low courtesy Esther bowed and left the room without 
saying a word. 

" Upon my word," exclaimed Mis. Van Reem, " I would 
not have believed this possible if I had not seen it. The 
atmosphere of Beechwood is certainly conducive to toning down 
the haughty and rebellious spirits of headstrong girls." 

Esther was duly instructed on all points by her monitors,, 
and was told that the upper form girls i-arely spoke to the 
lower form ; they had their own playground and separate table 
at meals. As she was the last comer she would be expected to 
be a sort of maid-of-all-work for the ten gii'ls of the upper form. 
She would have to brush their clothes, dress their hair, and 
perform other minor details, and at the same time must not 
neglect her own studies ; and her room at all hours of the day 
was to be ready for inspection by visitors. 

A small book for demerits was given her, but no entry would 
be made for the first week ; after that probably the book would 
be in frequent demand. Every time that the figure " ten" was 
reached thei'e was a settlement. 

" In what way?" asked Esther. 

" Mrs. Ainsworth will send you notice to report to her after 
evening prayers, and what passes between you is at all times a 
matter of strict confidence. After the interview, which is 
generally xery impressive, the demerits are cancelled and you 
start anew. I hope, dear Esther," said both Pauline and Elvira,. 
us they put their arms around her, " that our books of faults 
won't be called upon for recoi'd during our week of monitorship." 

" I will do my best to avoid infringing any rules," was the 
tearful answer. 

When the hour came for retiring both of her monitors kissed 
her good night, and said it was a stringent rule that a new girl 
must sleep alone the first night, so they left her. 

It was indeed with a heavy heart that she laid down to sleep. 
In her home at Everdale she had often heard vai-ue rumours 



In the Ranks of the 71st. 59 

of the harassing of new girls at Beechwood. Her aunt and 
Mrs. Ainsworth and all the teachers had gone to the part}-, 
and the house was left in charge of the matron. The field was 
clear, and I'esistance was out of the question. So, come what 
may, she must endure the infliction. 

Esther had just dozed ofi" into a sleep Avhen a light flashed 
in her face, and she saw ten girls ranged around her bed, 
dressed in white, with masks on their faces. Her eyes were 
bandaged, and slie was told to keep perfectly quiet. For one 
hour she went through an experience which we cannot relate. 
The seci'ets of Beechwood were too well kept. When she got 
back to her room she was dripping wet, and Pauline and Elvira 
came to her assistance, helping her to put on dry clothes, and 
she slept undisturbed through the remainder of the night. This 
was her initiation into the mysteries of Beechwood Seminary. 



CHAPTER V. 

IX THE KANKS OF THE 71ST, 

On the ISth day of April, just five days after his arrival, in 
accordance with his resolution Edgar presented himself at the 
Armoury of the 71st N. Y. Yol. for enlistment as a private. 
He came with a letter from the friend referred to as a fellow- 
passenger. He saw Colonel A. Yosburg, the commander of the 
regiment, and told him that he liad been ofiered a second 
lieutenant's commission, but did not feel competent to com- 
mand men, and preferred to serve in the ranks ; then if found 
qualified lie would be better fitted for a higher position. Tiie 
young Englishman was warmly welcomed ; it was a proud day 
in his existence when he put on the uniform of the Unioii 
forces, and he immediately went into training. He carefullv 
studied ail the details of the manual of arms, and made it a 
special point to be exact and prompt in the drills, and obeyed 
the orders of his superiors with alacrity. 

He was in the very highest ])hase of excitement when his regi- 
ment received orders to embark on the steamer " R. R. Cuyler" 
for Annapolis on the way to Washington. There was not a 
prouder man in that warlike body, a full thousand strong, 
marching down Broadway, than Edgar Creedmore. They were 
singing, " We are marching on," kc. 



€0 Miriam vs. Milton. 

Thousands of fair ladies waved them adieu. None was more 
enthusiastic than the little Quaker cousin, Maggie, who, filled 
with the loyalty of the hour, waved her handkerchief from a 
window, and Edgar looking up returned her greeting. Thej'- 
expected to see each other in a few months, when tliey supjiosed 
the war would be ovei", and the castles wliich they had built in 
the air would thus materialize on the solid land. Maggie was 
deeply in love with her soldier boy, her brave, generous English 
cousin, as she was proud to tex'm him to her friends, and he 
was in love with his new profession of arms ; as to marriage, 
that was perhaps an event of the future which might be 
judicious, but he never wasted a thought on it now. His 
vision dwelt upon the temple of fame — no ordinary pinnacle 
for him, one of the loftiest was alone suited to his ambition. 
Failure to reach it was out of the question ; it must be reached. 
Others had placed their names there, why should not his be 
emV)lazoned so that all could read it % 

The martial music as lie kept step to it, the glistening of the 
sun on the polished bayonets, the wild cheers of the onlookers, 
all tended to increase the intoxication of the hour. As tiie 
I'egiment was rounding a street corner Edgar unwarily stepped 
ou an orange peel, and would have fallen if he had not been 
caught in time by a comrade. 

The first lieutenant of his company sagely remarked, 
*' Creedmore, you march with your head too high in the air. 
It does not pay to dwell so much among the stars while you 
are still related to mundane affairs. Watch where you tread 
and be sure of your footing. This is a safe motto to follow, 
both in the army and out of it." 

It would have been better for Edgar's peace of mind if he 
had acted upon that advice. The man who gave it was a true 
philosopher. A failure to follow it himself, however, caused 
him to fall on the field of battle severely wounded within 
ninety days after. 

Ten days after his enlistment Edgar gave proof of the mettle 
that was in him. One cold, rainy night, while on sentinel 
duty at the outskirts of the camp at the Navy Yard in 
Washington, a captain of one of tlie companies, a very pompous 
individual, unduly elated with his new uniform, came with a 
swaggering gait. When halted by Edgar and the countersign 
demanded he refused, merely stating that he had forgotten the 

countersign, but that he was Captain Blank, of Co. , and 

set oiit to walk on. Little did he reckon with whou) he had 
to deal. With a pei'emptory " halt " Edgar brought his gun to 



In the Ranks of the 71st. 61 

the heart of the stranger and told liim he %rould certainly fire 
if he moved another step. To be stopped in this manner by a 
private soldier was more than the dignity of the new-fledged 
captain could endure. He drew his sword and threatened to 
cut down the sentry unless he let him pass. " Drop that 
sword or I will put a bullet through you," was uttered in a 
firm tone. The click of the hammer showed that he was in 
earnest. The captain tried to parley, buc this was declined. 
The rain was now coming down in torrents. Edgar called for 
the corporal of the guard, and the crest-fallen captain was taken 
to the guard-house until his identity could be fully established. 
When the atfair was reported to the colonel next morning he 
sent for Edgar and highly commended his action. A few days 
later, having shown great proficiency in drilling, he was made 
a corporal of his company. The captain who had made such a 
fool of himself never Jieard the end of the affair, and it afforded 
amusement for the whole regiment for many a long day. 

The art of warfare was new to both privates and officers, and 
it was some time before the participants became expert in tht^ 
stern discipline found necessary in all ages of the world for the 
success of the last resort, the appeal to the sword. 

Edgar was well aware that he bore no charmed life, and 
must therefore take his chances in what the French call the 
" Fortune de la Guerre." 

Little did he dream, however, of the many stirring adventures 
through which he was destined to pass. The rough life of the 
camp and daily drilling and exercise tended to develope his 
})hysical frame, and even his sister would fail to recognise the 
sunburnt, hardy-looking, and stalwart young soldier as the same 
mild and etiemiuate boy of only three months previous. 

This active, stirring life was in full accord with his restless 
spirit, and he enjoyed it beyond measure. A field of action 
was now open to him practically unlimited, and a great future 
lay before him. What it might bring forth he did not care to 
know. He felt that not all the gold of the universe would 
tempt him to change back to the former life, with its limitations 
countless in their number. 

For two months and a half the headquarters of the 71st was 
in camp at the Xavy Yard, but from time to time some of the 
companies were detailed for vigorous expeditions, and three times 
the whole regiment was sent to Alexandria, where they had their 
baptism of fire. The important service rendered to the Union 
cause by the 71st Xew York is too well known to need 
recapitulation at this late day. Perhaps it is safe to say that no 



€2 Miriam vi^. Milton. 

other three months' State troops cau claim any superior war 
record. Some of the other volunteer regiments that had gone 
to the war looked upon the entire affair as a picnic. Of course 
a little shooting was expected, a few exchanges of shots to keep 
the time from hanging heavily on their hands. The idea of 
engaging in a pitched battle where hundreds of their number 
would fall upon the field dead and dying had had little place 
in their anticipations. It was well enough to read about iu 
novels and war histories. Not so, however, was the j>Brsonnel 
of the 71st New York. This regiment was composed of as 
brave men as ever left the Empire State, but, like thousands of 
others, they had not been educated up to the standard 
of allowing themselves to be calmly shot to sustain a 
principle. This requires training and preparation, as after 
events proved. 

Information was wanted of the position and strength of a 
body of insurgent troops, strongly entrenched in a thickly 
wooded height, and Corporal Creedmore volunteered his 
services. 

An English cotton buyer anxious to get north had lefc his 
bac^fjage behind, and among his things was a suit of civilian 
clothes that fitted Edgar, and he so disguised himself that none 
of his company would have recognised him. He was not 
ignorant of the danger he ran of being caught and hanged as a 
spy, but this lent a spice to the adventui-e. Pie was well 
mounted and provided with papers prepared for the occasion, 
giving him autliority to pass the lines as the representative of 
the English Consul at New York, searching for information as 
to the whereabouts of the heir of an English earldom, last heai'd 
fi'om as being in Virginia. As this was not an unusual 
occurrence he anticipated little difficulty. His papers being 
fully endorsed by the colonel of his regiment as being correct, 
he started out expecting to be absent two days. A Massachusetts 
regiment was encamped on a bluff to the right of tlie place to 
which he was bound, and he hoped to pass it unnoticed. Just 
as daylight was bi'eaking he found himself suddenly suri'ouniied 
by a detachment of Federal troops, and the officer in command 
sternly ordered him to halt and dismount. Great was his 
astonishment when he recognised Captain Moorehead, who had 
raised a company in his native town and had been made capt:iin 
of it. Much as he would like to have taken his former fellow- 
traveller into his confidence, yet prudence dictated that the less 
his identity was known the greater would be his chance of 
success, and also less danger to his own person. He decided, 



In tlie Ranks of the 71st. 63 

therefore, to assume the hauglity Englisli style. After liis 
papers were examined he expressed a wish to continue lii's 
journey, as everything was in order. He said casually to the 
■captain, " I dined last evening with the colonel of the 71sfc, 
and found hiiu a perfect gentleman, and trust I will meet the 
same courtesy from you." 

" Your name is Robert Shirley," remarked the keen Captain 
Moorehead, looking at the name on the pass. " You resemble 
very strongly a late fellow-passenger on the Cunard steamer 
that I came over on in Aprih I could almost have sworn that 
you were the same individual, but as you have failed to 
recognise me, why, I must be mistaken." 

" What was his name?" was the cool interrogation. 

" Edgar M. Creedmore; and a right noble fellow he was too. 
I would like to meet him again," answered the captain. 

"Ah, I am delighted to meet a friend of my cousin Edgar. 
He was always a quiet .sort of a fellow until you stirred him 
up, and then he became a very dangerous subject to manage. 
He had the wild "West on the brain, wanted to raise cattle, 
scalp a few Indians, and other outlandish things. He will soon 
get cured of that nonsense." 

" Since you are the cousin of my friend Mr. Edgar Creed- 
more, you can jiass on," said Captain Moorehead, looking 
closely into the eyes of the Englishman. " I never thought 
that even cousins could so closely resemble each other." 

With a quiet expression of thanks Edgar remounted his 
horse and rode on, meeting no further impediment. It was 
seven o'clock as he reined up at a wayside inn called the 
Randolph House. 

The landlord met him as he dismounted, and bade him 
welcome in true Virginia style, and instructed his daughter to 
wait on the gentleman and see that he wanted for nothing. 
Etaline was the girl's name, and she was very pretty and 
winsome in her ways. Edgar captured her at once -when she 
brought his breakfast to him by saying : 

" Miss Roberts, you should have lived in the height of 
Grecian power and splendour." 

" Please don't call me Miss Roberts," was the pleading 
answer, " every one calls me ' Etaline.' But why do you think 
I ought to have lived so far back in history ] " 

" Because," said Edgar in his most gallant style, " such a 
vision of extreme loveliness bursting in upon the gaze of the 
susceptible Greeks would at once have raised you to the rank 
of Gi'ecian godesses." 



64: Miriam vs. Milton, 

" Do all Englishmen flatter like that 1 " said the highly- 
delighted girl, as her eyes sparkled with the keen sense of 
enjoyment of the compliment paid her beauty. 

" Look in your mirror," re])lied Edgar, " and then you will 
surely acknowledge that I do not flatter. This breakfast 
served by your fair hands, Etaline, will be long remembered iu 
my future history." 

Two results followed from this little bit of complimentary 
talk. Etaline lost her heiirt. This was not a serious matter 
to anyone except herself. The other was that Edgar obtained 
information thac proved of the greatest advantage to the Union 
cause. He was told of the strength of the Confederate forces,, 
which was his special mission to learn. Also of the work of a 
supposed Jewish pedlar passing backward and forward with 
des{)atches from the friends of the Confederate Government in 
Washington. He was also told of an intended attack on the 
71st New York. 

The girl told him that everything that went on in that regi- 
ment was known to Genei-al G. T. Beauregard, the Brigadier- 
General commanding the Confederate forces in Virginia. This 
hist piece of information was not of a pleasant nature, for it 
might leak out that Coi'poral Creedmore had gone disguised as 
an Englishman in quest of knowledge that it would be prudent 
to have withheld from him. The result of discovery would be 
exceedingly unpleasant, so he determined to leave at dark. 
But as fate would have it General Beauregard and his stafl' rode 
np to the hotel at dinner-time, and of course the rejjresentative 
of the English Consul at New York was introduced. 

Nothing so wins the heart of the average Virginian gentleman 
as a thoroughbred Englishman, and when he is seeking for the 
missing heir of an earldom a romance is woven around him 
that is positively enchanting. 

As Edgar was highly accomplished and a perfect gentleman, 
he received a welcome that fairly surprised him. He was 
constrained to accept an invitation to visit General Beauregard's 
lieadquarters, and rode over all tlie fortifications, and thus came 
into possession of points of strength and also of weakness that 
would be potent agents in the coming battle which all felt was 
near at hand. It was the afternoon of the third day before he 
got back to the Bandolph House, and prepared to return that 
night to his regiment. 

He was in a quandary as to his 2>i'ecise duty in regard to the 
valuable information he had obtained. He had won the con- 
fidence of the Confederates by the fact of his Englisli education. 



The Gipsy Gamp. 65 

Could he lawfully use tlie points so obtained in a civil war 
between two sections of a country alien to bis own 1 It was a 
j)roblera. He had taken an oath to defend the Union cause. 
How far did that oath obligate him 1 His life if necessary, 
yes — but his honour ! — he would sleep over that question. 
He gave orders to be called at seven o'clock in the evening, 
at which time his dinner was to be ready, and at eight o'clock 
he would resume his journey. 



CHAPTER Vi. 

THE GIPSY CAMP. 

The first week of Esther's life at Beech wood was one filled 
■with surprises. The rules of the seminaiy were explained 
gradually : a portion each day was Mrs. Ainsworth's method of 
making an indelible impression upon the minds of new pupils. 
The iron hand of discipline was gradually laid upon Esther. 
From 6-30 in the moi'ning to 10-30 at night the hours 
were divided for study, recitations, recreation, and meals. 
Extreme punctuality was a very stringent requirement. 
Intellectually Esther stood without a rival in the school, yet, 
being the last comer, she was compelled by the custom of the 
establishment to become the fag of girls whose only advantage 
was that of prioiity in membership. As it was only two 
months to vacation she accepted the situation gracefully and 
soon became a general favouiite with both classmates and 
teachers. Her aunt remained four days, and her niece did not 
regret her departure. 

Most of her time was spent in the study of domestic economy, 
both practical and theoretical. 

A detail of six girls was made each week. Two super- 
intended the daily purchases, two looked after the rooms and 
reported the pupils who failed to keep their chambers in perfect 
order, and two attended to the cooking and the servants. 
Esther was constantly on this detail in one department or 
another. The minutite of daily life at Beechwood comiDrised so 
much that we have not space to record it. AVe can only touch 
upon the important events. Three weeks after her arrival a 
little incident occurred which will give a faint idea of Mrs. 
Ainsworth's mode of training the young ladies j)laced under 



66 Miriam vs. Milton. 

her charge. It may seem outrageous to Araerican gii-ls brought 
ui) under the moral suasion employed iu that country. But in 
England and Germany thirty years ago it was considered 
comnie il faut. 

On retiring to her room one night Esther found a robe of 
coarse grey material upon her bed. She wondered who would 
vrear such a garment, especially as it was fastened at the back, 
with buttons all the way from the neck to the skirt. She 
threw it contemptuously on a chair, and got ready to retire. 
Pauline and Elvira, who had both become very much attached 
to her, came into her room to say good night, and to them she 
mentioned the strange-looking garment. Instantly they said 
in a frightened manner : 

" "What have you been doing? For pity's sake tell us." 

Esther replied, " Oh, nothing particular. I believe I got 
some marks. My little book was asked for and returned, and 
I did not open it to see how many marks were made." 

" Let us look at it," said her monitois, and when it was 
opened they exclaimed, "Fifteen marks! That accounts for the 
grey robe. You must put it on and go to Mrs. Ains worth's room." 

"But I don't want to put that nasty thing on. It smells 
musty." 

" Nevertheless," sa,id Pauline dryly, " you will have to wear 
it, and don't keep our respected princiiaal waiting too long for 
the interview." 

The grey i-obe was duly put on. Esther surveyed herself 
in the mirror and remarked, "the horrid thing don't fit me." 

"Well," was the response, "something else will. Don't make 
any noise. Good night." 

Half-an-hour later the stately Esther returned to her room 
and savagely flung her little book down on the table. The 
record against her was cancelled. What took place in the 
chamber of Mrs. Ainsworth we are not at liberty to disclose. 
There were two doors to her room and a heavy curtain besides. 
This kept all impromptu orations from being heard by pupils 
and teachers, who were required to be in their own apartments 
•Aud their doors closed at eleven p.m. 

The first Thursday in July was Commencement Day, and the 
next morning Esther left for her home at Everdale. Her uncle 
and aunt found a beneficial change. Tliey concluded that after 
all that Avas said against Beechwood, the routine, while severe, 
was just the thing their niece iieeded in her present frame of 

The foregoing description of punisliment is talieu almost verbatim from an English 
Newspaper. 



The Gipsy Camp. 67 

Tiiiad. July and August passed rapidly in a round of pleasure 
and visiting. Esther now accepted all invitations, and was the 
reigning belle of every occasion. Martin Nickley was devoted 
in his attentions, but, while Esther was polite and affable, she 
gave him no particular encouragement. 

On the 10th of September she returned to Beech wood in 
company with two young ladies, daughters of neighbouring 
families. Her position in the seminary was an improved one. 

Mrs. Van Reem had sent a letter to Mrs. Ainsworth asking 
her not to relax her discipline with her niece, bu.t to keep a 
iirm hand upon her at all times. 

The lines Avere therefore gradually drawn tighter until, 
instead of subduing the girl, a spirit of rebellion was awakened. 
Finding that she was not placed upon her honour, she did not 
feel bound to obey the rules when she could in safety to herself 
set them aside. More than once Esther had worn the detested 
grey robe, but the result was to harden her feelings, and failed 
to accomplish any lasting result. 

In the latter part of October a gipsy camp came into the 
neighbourhood, and Esther was anxious to test the power of 
the so-called gipsy queen, and learn if she could tell her of tlie 
past, also of what fate had in store for the future. Nothing 
would induce Mrs. Ainsworth to let any of her pupils indulge 
in such foolish nonsense as having theii* fortunes told. There- 
fore the visit must be made after dark. Esther had a dauntless 
spirit, and was brave almost to rashness. 

Beechwood Seminary was flanked on three sides by a stone 
wall, and on the other a small lake completed the protection. 
In the rear of the kitchen was the provision gate, as it was 
called, used only during the day, and the key was kept on a 
hook in the lower hall. To get out, therefore, through this 
.gate was not a very difficult matter provided Cajsar, the 
powerful watch dog, could be conciliated. Mrs. Ainsworth 
had so trained him that any pupil attempting to leave the 
grounds after dark was sui'e to be caught by the great mastiff, 
who held to her dress, and at the same time gave an alarm that 
brought the principal out of doors at once. A number of girls 
had been stopped in this way, and he was proof against all 
efforts to make friends with him. The scholars hated him and 
the dog seemed to know it, but it only increased his watchful- 
ness. It was intense satisfaction to him whenever he could 
got hold of one of them outside of the building at night. A 
week before the event we are about to record he hurt one of 
his paws, but found no sympathy from any of the pupils except 



68 Miriam vs. Milton. 

Esther, who bandaged the injured limb and washed it with 
water. The massive brute showed every possible token of 
gratitude, and no animal can be more so than those of the 
canine species. 

Esther made up her mind to risk a visit to the gipsy camp ; 
its very rashness and danger was a relief from the monotony of 
the severe discipline of Beechwood. At seven o'clock one 
evening she asked to be permitted to retire to her room on the 
plea of a headache. She made all preparations carefully, 
putting on a short walking dress, heavy boots, and a cap with 
a veil to hide her features. Watching her chance she 
slipped down the back staircase when the servants were all 
in their rooms on the top floor ; quietly she took the key and, 
opening the back door, found Ctesar just outside. She gave 
him some bones collected for the occasion and rubbing his 
bandaged paw, spoke kindly to him. He licked her hand, but 
made no efibrt to detain her. A moment after she was outside 
of the grounds and had locked the gate. It was a walk of only 
ten minutes to the gipsy camp. She was conducted at once 
to the tent of the so-called gipsy queen. Nothing was thought 
of a young girl coming alone, as it was a common occurrence. 

Esther placed a sovereign in the gipsy's hand and asked for 
her future fate. 

She was told in substance a story that would fit the case of 
eight out of eveiy ten girls. There would be sunshine and 
storm, she would be happily mated, and then would come trials, 
tlieu dark clouds, yes, very dark, and daylight would fiuali_v 
come after a drear, dismal night, and so on and much more, all 
of the same tenor. Not a word of her past historj^ was 
mentioned. 

On leaving the tent of the gipsy queen she failed to put 
her veil over her face, and the gipsy chief caught a glimpse of 
a countenance of unusual beauty. He at once claimed a kiss. 
This Esther refused and tried to get away from him, but he 
held on to her. The spirit-faculty of memory suggested a 
movement she had often practised when in a boy's body. 
Placing her i-ight foot behind the ankle of the gijjsy and 
suddenly seizing him by the collar she tripped him up, and the 
next moment was off like a deer over the fields. The night 
was very dark, and instead of taking the main road through 
the village back to Beechwood, she doubled on her tracks and 
took a back road, and reached the school grounds without 
meeting anyone. The gipsy chief suspected that the fair visitor 
was from the seminaiy, and as the place was well known to 



TJie Gipsy Camp. 69 

bim lie reached it first and kept watch by the provision gate. 
He was rewarded by seeing a muffled figure unlock the door 
and enter; before the gate coukl be fastened from the inside 
he burst it open and entered the grounds. Esther ran rapidly 
to the back entrance, but it was locked and bolted. This was 
a surprise. She hastened around to the front and was met 
half-way by Cfesar, who immediately took hold of her dress, 
and gave a low growl of warning. She at once realized the 
necessity of keeping pei'fectly cool, for if caught by any one of 
the teachers or the principal the 2">nnishment would be some- 
thing terrible. Reaching down, with a low sympathetic voice 
she said, " Dear old Ctesar, how is your paw?" For a moment 
there was a struggle between duty and gratitude, but the latter 
won, and he let go the dress and wagged his tail in token of 
recognition. The next moment the gipsy, who had followed 
her, rushed forward and, taking hold of her, exclaimed, "Ah, 
my pretty lass, I have you now." 

" CfBsar, take him," was the quick rejoinder from the giii. 

With a savage bark the mastiff sprang upon the intruder 
and bore him to the ground. 

Esther at once fled to the hall door and hid by the side of 
the porch. Mrs. Ainswortli and the matron happened at that 
time to be in the office, which was a small front room on the 
left of the main entrance. 

Hearing the alarm from Ctesar, both women went out 
expecting, as usual, to find some pupil roaming round the 
grounds. 

Esther Avatched her chance and v.-ent in by the now open 
door, and taking the precaution of slipping off her boots in the 
lower hall, went directly to her room, where she quietly 
disrobed and, hiding all evidence of her clandestine adventure, 
was soon in bed. 

In the meantime Mrs Ainswortli called off the dog, and the 
gipsy explained that one of her pupils had visited his camp to have 
her fortune told ; he had escorted her home, for which service he 
was promised half a crown, but on reaching the grounds the 
girl refused the compensation agreed upon and set the dog on 
him. As all this was told with an injured air of innocence, 
Mrs. Ainswortli gave him the half crown, and after seeing him 
safely out of the provision gate, took the key, which was still 
in the lock, fastened all securely, and returned to the house to 
find the culprit. 

" In this establishment there are but four girls," remarked 
Mrs. Ainsworth to the matron, " who have the phj-sical courage 



70 Miriam vs. Milton. 

to go out alone a night like this, and the most daring of the 
lot is Esther Creedmore." To her room thei-efore they went. 
On reaching it everything was found quiet and in perfect order. 
A wrapper lay on a chair, with a pair of daint_y slippers beside 
it ; and the girl was apparently sleeping pi-ofoundly. There 
was not the slightest evidence tliat the occupant had been out 
of it since she was excused at seven o'clock. As it was not 
ten, most of the girls were still up, and were in the rooms of 
the teachers, as was the custom, listening to stories. Mrs. 
xiinsworth went to all the apartments. Every pujnl was able to 
prove that she had been seen a number of times that evening. 
Esther was the only one who had not been seen since seven 
o'clock. Back to her room the principal went, accompanied by 
all the teachers ; she was awakened and asked to produce her 
Avalking boots. She looked from one to another in amazement 
at the unexpected visit, and then took from her cupboard a 
pair of boots. They were examined, but no mud was found. 
Esther had such an air of innocence and intense surprise on 
her face that her classmates, who had come also into her 
room as well as the teachers, were convinced that she had not 
been out. 

Miss Blanche Sinclair suggested that more than likely it was 
one of the servants. 

"No," said Mrs. Ainsworth, '-'the gipsy told me that the 
girl was tall and handsome. I am satisfied that a pupil was our, 
for the key was in the lock, and Cossar gave that peculiar growl 
which he always does when he catches a scholar out at night ; 
then he gave a deep bay when he took hold of the intruding 
gipsy. That dog is very faithful and intelligent, and I have an 
idea by which, with his aid, I can detect the guilty one ; and 
then let her look out, as I will make an example of her that 
will not be forgotten for many years to come. Let every girl 
now retire to her room. Florence Johnson, you can sleep with 
Esther to-night. I place her in your cliarge." 

Florence belonged to the upper form, and had always shown 
dislike to Esther. Perhaps on the principle that as some 
jieople are diametrically opposed to each other in mental as well 
physical attributes, they become deadly enemies. It was so in 
this case. Florence Johnson was homely, a slow scholar and 
unpopular genei-ally, and may be summed up in the expression 
Esther often used, "She was the most hateful girl she ever 
met." 

TMi's. Ainsworth had as members of her faculty three 
teachers besides Mrs. Morton, who was the matron (and gave 



The Gipsy Cam}). 71 

lectures on domestic economy) ; Miss Blanche Sinclair was the 
teacher of arts and sciences, and her sister, Miss Mabel, was 
teacher of music. They were the daughters of an English 
mining engineer, who in the days of his prosperity had educated 
them at Beechwood, and after graduation had accepted situa- 
tions with Mrs. Ains worth. They were both brilliant scholars, 
and two more lovable young ladies could not be found in all 
England. Both of them took kindly to Esther, and saved her 
a number of times from getting into trouble by not reportin;^: 
her when she failed to observe the rules of the seminary. 

Miss Elinor Sterling, teacher of languages, was the daiighter 
of a younger son of one of the old families of the realm. He 
had great expectations, and only needed two or three relatives 
to die to put him in possession of a large estate. This they 
declined to do, so in despair he died himself. His daughter 
took to teaching. Her family connections made her valuable 
to Mrs. Ainsworth. Her proud, haughty disposition was not; 
conducive to popularity among the students. She took kindly, 
however, to Esther, and tried to make things as pleasant as 
possible for her. None of the teachers believed that Esther 
had visited the gipsy camp. They felt coniident it was one of 
the servants. 



CHAPTER VII. 

THE BATTLE OF BULL RUN. 

At seven o'clock Edgar was awakened from a sound sleep by 
the porter of the hotel and told that dinner was all ready. 
His horse, saddled aud bridled, was held in front of the poi'cl). 
He quickly descended, and the lovely Etaline waited on him 
and kept him amused with her graphic description of the 
many people who patronised the hotel. Suddenly a sound of 
the trampling of hoi'ses' feet was heard, and a tr'oop of cavalry 
halted before the door, and the leader called out in emphatic 
language, " Where is that blank, smooth-tongued Englishman % 
We believe he is a spy in the pay of the Yankees. Blank all 
Englishmen in genei'ah What right have tbey to meddle m 
our family fight ] " 



72 Miriam vs. Milton. 

Etaline, with full presence of mind, went to the dining-room 
door leading to the main hall, and told her father, who had been 
sitting out in the porch, to keep the soldiers talking for a few 
minutes, as their guest must not be arrested under their roof. 
She then bolted the door, and turning to Edgar, who had arisen 
from the table, said : 

" Mr. Shirley, I fully believe you to be an honest English- 
man, but these are exciting times, and to be even suspected is 
equivalent to being condemned ; men in this vicinity are 
sometimes shot and tried afterwards. Your horse is now in 
possession of the troopers. Come with me and I will find you 
another." 

They went out to the stable by the back way, where Etaline 
brought out a beautiful grey pony, saying, " Now, Mr. Shirley, 
take Bess, and put my brother's saddle on her ; walk with her 
over the fields in tlie I'ear of our house, and you will strike the 
main road ; ride for all you are worth ; you can send the pony 
back by some friend of my father's. You will have a long 
start of those soldiers; they have not in their possession a horse 
that can overtake Bess when she is on her mettle. Good-bye ; 
I hope we can meet again before long." 

Edgar fully appreciated the thoughtfulness of the noble girl, 
and taking her hand said, " Etaline, I give you. my word of 
honour that I am an Englishman, and have only been in this 
country three months. I may yet be of service to you and 
your father, and if such Ls the case you will find in me a friend 
that will stand by you, even unto death. For the present, 
adieu!" 

The next moment Etaline was alone, with her tears flowing 
fast. She looked anxiously at the rapidly-retreating figure, 
which was soon lost to sight in the darkness. 

The girl returned to the house and found the hall full of 
soldiers demanding, in angry tones, the person of the English- 
man, who they claimed was a corporal of the 71st N. Y. 
Volunteers, and was a Yankee spy. 

" He is an Englishman ' to the manner born,' " answered 
Mr. Roberts. " Don't you suppose I know the difference 
between a Yankee and a Britisher?" 

Etaline was anxious to gain time, so she said, " Mr. Shirley 
is a true gentleman; even General Beauregard admitted that. 
When he has finished his dinner he will answer all your 
questions satisfactorily. You have possession of his horse, so 
that he cannot escape you. Father," she continued, " bring 
out that demijolin of old rye and let these gallant soldiers 



The Battle of Bull Run. 73 

drink to our health." A full half-hour passed, the whisky was 
good, and justice was done to the hospitality of the Randolph 
House. Finally the leader of the troops intimated that it was 
time to demand some explanation of the man they came to 
arrest. He went to the dining-room door, which he found 
unbolted, but no one was inside. Etaline suggested perhaps 
lie had gone into the garden to smoke. Search was made, but 
no trace of the Engli.shiiian was found. The troopers mounted 
their horses and searched the road for several miles, but without 
result, and they returned to their camp feeling confident that 
the landlord's daughter had some hand in the escape of the 
stranger, 

Ed^ar reached his regiment without being molested, and 
reported at once to his colonel, who fully appreciated the 
valuable information that was brought to him nnd at once 
jjromoted Creedmore to be a sergeant. At daylight he sent 
him to Major-General Irwin McDowell. 

Edgar now no longer felt any compunction of conscience at 
making known the enemy's weak points after the language that 
was used by the leader of the troops sent to arrest him. He 
had sworn to defend the cause of the Union against all her 
enemies, and as the Southern leaders were using spies of every 
rank to keejJ themselves well informed, they could not complain 
if the same agencies were used against them. 

General McDowell was highly pleased at the frank bearing 
of Sergeant Creedmore. On learning that he was the only son 
•of the late Rear-Admiral Creedmore, of the Royal Navy, he at 
<mce offered him the position of aide-de-camp, with the rank of 
second-lieutenant, v/hich was accepted. 

The information thus unexpectedly brought to General 
^McDowell was very important, and was the means of pre- 
venting a raid in force by the Confederates on the unguarded 
position of several Union regiments. 

Lieutenant Creedmore was instructed to arrest the bogus 
Jewish pedlar of whom he had heard so much from Etaline. He 
found a darkey boy who knew Mr. Roberts of the Randolpli 
House, and with a gift of five dollars entrusted to him the 
task of taking " Bess" back to her mistress, with a brief note of 
thanks, and stating that he had accepted service under General 
McDowell. 

Two days after the same darkey boy brought back an 
answer, and Edgar then fully realized that the fair and lovely 
Etaline was desperately in love with him. This was embarrass- 
ing, as he felt he could not reciprocate. He thought the best 



74 Miriam vs. Milton. 

way was not to encourage her, and the fire of love would finnlly 
die out. Like many another man, he underestimated her 
character. Some women can transfer their affections as easily 
as a bird flitting from tree to tree, whilst with others to love 
once is to love for eternity. 

This work does not profess to be a love story, and we must 
thei-efore eliminate all such descriptions from our pages except 
where absolutely necessary. Sterner scenes v/ill now occupy 
our attention. 

At the same time it must be distinctly understood that we 
are not composing a history of the late civil war. Such battle 
scenes as are described are taken from duly - authenticated 
records. The reader will remember how Miriam stated that if 
she could become a man she would like nothing better than to 
lide into the very thickest of a battle and there enjoy the keen 
excitement of the hour. Tliis seemed to her an outlet to her 
superabundant vitality. So far we have seen how Edgar made 
no mistakes, and rose step by step in the upward journey on 
the rugged hill-side of fame. Away up in a high altitude was 
a lofty pinnacle. Others had reached it, and why not one so 
highly favoured by a kind Providence 1 Edgar had 3'et to learn, 
as also had Esther, that adaptation is the unalterable law that 
governs all things on this planet. 

If the aphoi'ism which comes from the pen of the celebrated 
Oliver Wendell Holmes, quoted on the opening page of this 
volume, is true, then our education commenced one hundred 
years before we were born. It purposed that we should run 
in a certain groove ; consequently success can only be obtained 
by sticking to the said groove. Out of it we will certainly 
fail at the most critical point. This is the moral of our tale. 
Let us take l^p once more the thread of our narrative. 

It was now the middle of July, and both the Northern 
and Southern leaders were anxious for a general contest- — 
a pitched battle, in order to test the fighting qualities of 
both sides. 

The forward movement was taken by the Union ai-my, 
commanded in the field by General Irwin McDowell. His 
forces were moved up and concentrated around the ridge on 
which Centreville is situated. A large Southern force, under the 
immediate command of General James Longstreet, was strongly 
posted at Blackburn Eord, on Bull Run. General Beauregard, 
command ei"-in-chief, was kept fully apprised by his spies of 
every movement of the Union troops. In this regard he had 
better information than his opponents. 



The Battle of Bull Run. 75 

The most reliable information as to the relative number of 
each army places it at thirty-five thousand. No battle of tlie 
late civil war has involved such endless controversies fis this 
Battle of Bull Run, fought on Sunday, the 21st of July, 1861. 

In the fore part of the day the Union army was victorious, 
and the Confedei'ates, disheartened by heavy losses, were about 
to withdraw from their position when they were heavily 
reinforced. This turned the tide of battle. General Bobert 
Patterson, at the head of twenty-tvv-o thousand men, was in 
camp at Charleston, Va., but failed to send a single regiment 
to the aid of General McDowell. For this he v/as relieved of 
his command by General Banks on tlie 25th, four days after 
the Bull Bun disaster. Horace Greeley, in his History of the 
Civil "War, vol. i., i>age 5-47, referring to this battle, states: 
" The causes of this disaster, so shamefully misstated and 
perverted at the time, are now generally understood. The true 
controlling reasons of our defeat are briefly these : 

First : — The fundamental fatal error on our side was that 
spirit of hesitation, of indecision, of calculated delay, of stolid 
obstruction, which guided our military councils, scattering our 
forces and pai'alyzing our efibrts." On page 552 he continues, 
"Although our army, before fighting on that disastrous day, 
was largely composed of the bi'avest and truest pati'iots in the 
Union, it contained also much indifferent material. Many in 
the general stagnation and dearth of employment had volun- 
teered under a firm conviction that there would be no serious 
fighting ; that the rebels were not in earnest ; that there would 
be a promenade, a frolic, and ultimately a compromise, which 
would send everyone home, unharmed and exultant, to receive 
from admiring, cheering thousands the guerdon of his valour. 
Hence some regiments were very badly officered, and others 
gave way and scattered or fled just when they were most needed." 

It has been conceded that the loss of this battle was one of 
the best things that could have happened to the Union cause, 
for it consolidated the nation and opened the eyes of the people 
to the magnitude of the war. 

On the other hand the people of the South, rejoicing in the 
extravagant description of the valour of the Southern troops, 
were led to believe that a single regiment was sufficient to 
drive before it a whole brigade of JSTorthern mudsills, and did 
not see the necessity of a thorough preparation for the herculean 
task before them. 

We must now take up the experience of Edgar as one of the 
aides-de-camp to General McDowell. Orders were issued to 



76 ' Miriam vs. Mil f on. 

give battle at all points at 6 a.m. on the morning of the 
21st. It was 6-30 when General Tyler, in front of the stone 
bridge, opened with his artillery, and it was three hours later 
when Hnnter's advance, under Colonel Burnside, crossed at 
Sudiey Springs. This delay to carry out his instructions irri- 
tated General McDowell beyond measure, and his aides were 
kept busy riding over the field urging on the divisions and 
inquiring the cause of the delay. Edgar won many praises from 
the General owing to his rapid movements and quick perception 
of the condition of things. 

It was noon of this never- to-be forgotten day when General 
^McDowell sent Lieutenant Creedmore with a peremptory 
message to the officer commanding the Second IMaine and Third 
Connecticut to carry by storm a Confederate battery of artillery 
strongly posted behind breastworks. Instead of returning 
to the General for further orders, Edgar desired to witness the 
assault. This was an error, for he could do no good by waiting, 
while he would have been of great service to his chief in the 
critical moments when victorj' or defeat was hanging in the 
balance. It was an hour long looked forward to, and he longed 
to ride at the head of the charging columns as they swept over 
fences and ditches right up to the enemy's breastworks. He sat 
on his horse watching the gallant charge, saw the " boys in 
l)l-ie " as they met their death at the very muzzles of the 
enemy's guns. He shouted for joy as the buildings behind 
M'hich the guns were sheltered were carried. Then came heavy 
reinforcements to the hard-pressed Confederates, and they 
drove the attacking party back and made many prisoners. 
Lieutenant Creedmore now turned his horse and rode for life 
down the hillside, but a few moments after his horse was shot 
from under him and both rolled in the dust together. Before 
he could recover himself he was surrounded l.)y a dozen Con- 
federate troops and made prisoner. His leg was sj^rained by the 
fall, and he could not walk. A soldier was left to guard him, 
whilst the others sped on. His captivity was short, however, 
for a second charge was made to repel the advance of the now 
elated Southern troops, and Edgar heard a familiar voice saying, 
" Hello, is that you, Lieutenant Creedmore 1 Are you badly 
wounded?" And looking up he saw the smoke-darkened face 
of Captain Moorehead, of a Maine regiment. 

Another horse was soon procured and he was placed on it. 
Once mounted he was able to hold his seat, although sufFei'ing 
considerable pain, and he reported in person to General 
JIcDowell. He persisted in keeping on the field and carried 



The Battle of Bull Run. 77 

many orders after that, but his error of judgment, while only- 
known to himself, was a keen souixe of pain and annoyance. 

When the sun set upon that bloody field of battle on that 
warm July Sunday evening. General McDowell, with all that 
was imjilied in the lost Vjattle, was yet not unmindful of the 
aides who had so faithfully carried his orders. To none was 
he more complimentary than to Lieutenant Creedmore, Avho, 
jjale from his sutfering and bruises, yet rode manfully beside 
his chief. Thus ended the first battle of Bull E,un. 

As we are interested in the movements of the 71st N. Y., it 
would be v/ell to state that the whole regiment, under the 
command of Henry P. Martin (who succeeded Colonel Vosburg 
after his death on the 20th of May), lefc the Navy Yard on the 
IGch of July in heavy marching order, and was assigned to the 
Burnside Brigade. They occupied the extreme right of the 
line of battle at Bull Hun and turned the enemy's flank. The 
regiment lost eleven killed, thirty-nine wounded, twelve 
l)risouers, and four afterwards died from wounds. 

Their term of service expired the day the battle was fought. 
The men were too loyal and jiatriotic to think of leaving, and 
went into battle seven hundred and fifty strong. The regiment 
has good cause to be proud of its work in that memorable 
battle. Many of the privates were promoted to oflicers and 
served faithfully throughout the entire war in various regi- 
ments. As long as the 71st 1^. Y. is in existence it can always 
point with pride to the noble record of its battle-scarred 
veterans. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

THE CATILINE CONSPIKACY. 

At nine o'clock on the morning following the episode of the 
gipsy camp Mrs. Ainsworth walked into the library where the 
girls were all assembled for roll-call. There was a thunder- 
cloud upon her face, ready to break out in fearful wrath upon 
the culprit who should be proved guilty of the gross infringe- 
ment of her rules and regulations. She told her pupils it was 
without exception the most heinous oftence ever committed 
since the school was opened. Expulsion in dire disgrace was 
only a minor penalty, which would follow as a matter of 
course. 



78 Miriam vs. Milton. 

In. order to give impressiveness to the whole proceediugs shs 
had invited the Vicar of Beechvv'ood to read the morning 
prayers. When this was finished he also gave his opinion of 
any young lady who should so forget the dignity due to her 
position as to visit u gipsy camp late in the evening. 

All eyes were turned upon Esther during these remarks, but 
she sat at her desk calm and unmoved. An angry Hush on her 
cheeks added to her beauty. There was a dangerous fire in her 
eyes, and perhaps the "famous girl-camer,"as Mrs. Ainsworth was 
called, would find more tlian her match if she ventured too far 
in accusing the high-spirited girl without sufficient proof to 
sustain the charge. 

All the pupils were ordered to stand in line, and a smile of 
grim satisfaction came over Mrs. Ainsworth's face as she 
thought of her brilliant idea of detecting the guilty one. 

" Bring in the dog Csesar," was her order to Mrs. Morton. A 
moment after the huge mastiff came into the room, walking 
with a dignified air as though knowing that something very 
important was on hand, for he was rarely allowed to vifiit the 
iiljrary. 

" Good old Ctesar," s^id his mistress, as she patted him 
on the head, " show me the girl that you found outside last 
night." 

There was intense interest now manifested on the faces of 
pupils and teachers. Did the dog know what was wanted, and 
if he did, would he tell? For he must know that his doing so 
would bring severe punishment on the girl he designated. 

Caesar looked quietly down the long line of anxious faces. 
Esther was the last one, and she was looking at him with a 
cold, hard stare. He apparently read her thoughts, for he 
tui'ne 
bark. 

" Csesar," repeated Mrs. Ainsworth in a tone of authority 
not to be mistaken, "go and do as I tell you, sir; take hold of 
the girl's dress that you met outside last ni^lit." 

Slowly the mastiff walked up and down the line, looking 
each girl in the face, and then stopping before Florence Johnson 
he gave a bark and took hold of her dress. 

The girls laughed aloud. Even Mrs. Ainsworth smiled, for 
Florence was indeed the last girl in her school who would dare 
to go outside in the giounds after dark alone, much less visit a 
gipsy camp. 

Florence, however, hated Csesar and the dog knew it, for she 
often called him names and gave him savacje looks. 



The Catiline Consjnraci/. 79 

This accusation hj the highly-intelligent mastiff was a serious 
matter, and Florence was not only indignant but thoroughly 
frightened. 

So she exclaimed, " You mean thing, you are telling a false- 
liood ; let go my dress ; you know I was not outside last 
night." Then she burst into tears. 

" Don't Ite afraid, Florence," called out Mrs. Ainsworth. " I 
know you are not the guilty one. Ccsssar, point the right girl 
out this minute, do you hear 1 " she continued, feeling chagrined 
that her pet scheme of detection was liable to fail. 

The dog wagged his tail, and again went up to Florence 
and barked. 

His mistress seized a ruler that was on the table and started 
to hit him with it, saying, " Why don't you do as I tell you V 

Caesar did not propose to take a thrashing, so he made a 
bound for the door, and his mistress flung the ruler at him, 
hitting him over the back ; he stopped, picked it up, and went, 
down the stairs with rapid speed. 

Mrs. Ainsworth was almost beside herself with rage at the 
failure of her plan. She was convinced that Esther was the 
culprit, but how to bring this home to her was a problem. 

Turning to her scholars she said, " 1 will now draw lots, ai;id 
the last girl's name taken from the list will be dealt with in a 
.serious manner, and if the offender can look on and see an 
innocent girl punished for her offence, then the sting of 
conscience will make itself felt for the remainder of her life." 

This was one of the rules at Beechwood. When a 
misdemeanour was committed lots were drawn, and the one 
chosen underwent the punishment. 

On a number of occasions this had been successful in bringing 
out the offender, who could not stand another girl suffering for 
her offence. 

Folded slips, with the names of each pupil written thereon, 
were placed in a vase, and Mrs. jMorton being blindfolded 
drew out one at a time, and the last one was that of " Elvira 
Huben." 

" Come out in the middle of the room, Elvira," said Mrs. 
Ainsworth. Pale and trembling the lovely Elvira left the 
ranks sobbing like a child. " If the girl who is guilty of the 
offence can now look on and see Elvira punished, then she 
must have a heart of stone and is unworthy of the name of 
woman," continued Mrs. Ainsworth. 

That moment was a trying one to Esther, for Elvira and 
Pauline wex-e her two best friends. To confess that she was the 



80 Miriam vs. Milton. 

one sought for would involve a series of punishments too awful 
to contemplate, and then be dismissed in disgrace with a 
reputation ruined foi- life. Yet how could she endure to look 
on and see her bosom friend undergo an agony of punishment '] 
It was an awful moment, but her nature was too noble and 
generous to let another suffer, and that one so very dear 
to her. She took a step forward and was about to proclaim 
herself when Mrs. Morton called out saying that only twenty 
names had been put in the vase. A search was made for the 
missing slip, and it was found behind the table where it had 
dropped. This, of course, made the drawing invalid, and ib had 
to be gone over again. Elvira, much relieved, went back to her 
place in the ranks beside Esther, who took her hand and 
congratulated her. 

Unce more the slips were drav/n out, and the last name read 
" Esther M. Creedmore." 

A smile of intense satisftiction came over Mrs. Ainsworth's 
face as she heard the name ; she felt confident that now the 
culprit was before her, and would no doubt confess when 
undergoing the punishment she proposed to inflict. 

'• Esther," she called out, " stand in the middle of the room 
and tell me what you have to say why you should not be 
chastised. The lot has fallen to you, and you know my rules 
in this resj)ect." 

Pale almost as marble, but with her deep-blue eyes opened 
to their full extent, and flashing with a magnetising power 
never previously developed, the stately girl walked slovvly up 
to the principal until she stood within three feet of her, and, 
looking her in the face, said, with a voice quivering with 
emotion : 

" Mrs. Ainsworth, your method of taking by lot a girl to 
undergo a punishment as a sort of vicarious atonement for the 
offence of someone that you cannot find out is unworthy of 
this day and generation. It should be far beneath the dignity 
of an Englishwoman to act in this manner to English giris 
placed under her charge. I am no longer a child, and do noo 
propose for one moment to allow you to inflict any indignity 
upon me. Heretofore I have submitted to the discipline of the 
school, but a public example will not be made of me. You can 
at once take my name oti' your list, for I positively decline to 
remain any longer at a school where such arbitrary modes are 
practised. You have not the slightest proof that any pupil 
went out last night, except the word of a Ij-ing gipsy who was 
found prowling in your grounds. You have tried by unworthy 



The Catiline Conspiracy. 81 

means to fasten the guilt upon me, and for the first time in my 
life I feel ashamed that you are my kinswoman. I will at once 
telegraph for both of my uncles, and the methods employed at 
Beechwood will be given to all England through the press. I 
am no longer your })upil." 

With head erect and a stately step Esther left the library 
followed by fifteen of her classmates. 

A flash of lightning could not more completely have paralysed 
Mrs. Ainsworth than this defiant speech of the hitherto gentle, 
meek, and yielding Esther. 

She made no reply, but sat like one dazed by some appalling 
disaster, Those flashing eyes of her kinswoman had hypnotised 
her. 

Miss Blanche Sinclair, the teacher of arts and sciences, and 
Miss Mabel Sinclair, her sister, teacher of music, now came up 
and stated that owing to the tenor of Esther's words, which 
they fully upheld, they wished to tender their resignations, and 
■were willing in lieu of notice to forfeit the salary that was due 
them. If Beechwood was going to be investigated they did 
not want to be brought into public print. 

Miss Elinor Sterling, the teacher of languages, said that 
she coincided with what Miss Blanche and Miss Mabel had 
stated, and also begged leave to resign. 

The Vicar of Beechwood then asked to be excused, and 
remarked that he had been drawn into a false position. 

Mrs. Ainsworth never moved nor spoke. 

Mrs. Morton, the matron, told the remaining six girls that 
they could retire, and then tried to arouse her principal, l)ut the 
shock was too mi;ch for her nerves, and there she sat without 
moving a limb. It was well into the afternoon before she could 
be persuaded to retire to her bed, and her physician was called 
in, and gave her an opiate to soothe her. 

In the meantime Esther', with the faithful Cfesar at her side, 
and followed by the fifteen girls who had left the library with 
her, v/ent out of the establishment, and the porter opened the 
lodge gate at once for them. They went direct to the telegraph 
oflice, and messages were sent to parents and giiardiaus to come 
to Beechwood on the morrow on highly-important business. 
Esther sent the same message to her Uncle Richard and Sir 
Thomas Shirley. An hou.r later replies came to every telegram 
stating that those telegraphed for would be on hand the 
following day. 

The girls returned to the seminaiy, but all recitations were 
at an end. The fifteen pupils who had followed Esther's lead 



82 Miriam vs. Milton. 

now met in her room and persuaded her not to withdraw from 
the school, but to form an alliance, offensive and defensive, and 
v/hen their relatives came, ask to have the rules of the school 
modified. 

They formed themselves into an organisation and called it 
*' The Society for the Emancipation of Schoolgirls." Esther was 
chosen president of it, and Elvira secretary, and Pauline the 
censor, to see that no member grew faint-hearted, but that all 
should stand together. 

The next day was a red-letter one in the history of Beech- 
wood. The morning train brou£;ht twenty-five of the relatives 
of the pupils. Among those who came were Sir Thomas and 
Lady Shirley and lUcliard Shirley. The latter told his niece 
that her aunt, Mrs. Van Keem, was away on a visit. The 
Hev. Mr. Huben and Colonel Vansant also came. When the 
visitors had assembled in the library Esther, at the head of 
her society, explained the reasons for calling them together 
and related the condition of things and the humiliation practised 
upon the pupils, which, she claimed, lowered them in their 
own estimation and did not tend to develope the higher and 
nobler traits of character. Fear and craftiness, and not love 
and honour, were thus engendered in the minds of the scholar.s. 
No one was ever placed upon their honour, and when the 
principal imagined someone violated her rules she would ofceu 
punish all in order to make sure of the supposed culprit, or 
lots would be drawn and the unfortunate girl whose name was 
drawn out last would be publicly chastised. 

The visitors were horrified and amazed at the statements 
made, and as the three teachers had resigned it was evident 
that the seminary needed overhauling. Mrs. Ainsworth was 
i>ick in bed and her physician forbade her seeing anyone. She 
sent word out that she placed herself and her management 
entirely in the hands of the visitors. 

At the meeting Sir Thomas Shirley was chosen chairman. A 
committee was appointed to draft new rules and regulations, 
which, when drawn up, were signei by all present, and they 
were sent to the principal to sign, v/ith the o[)rioa of losing all 
her scholars. She signed at once without reading them, and 
sent a message to her three teachers asking for the withdrawal 
of their resignations, and placed Miss Sinclair in charge during 
her illness. Among the important items incorpoi'ated in the 
new regime was that hereafter no corporal punishment should 
be inflicted upon any pupil. Every girl should be placed uf)on 
her honour in all matters relating to school life. Moral suasion 



The Catiline Consinracy. 85 

was to be tlie ruling factor, and if this failed then the scholar 
who declined to be governed in this way Avas to be sent home. 
E'v'erything was completed by the afternoon, and all the visitors 
took their departui-e. Beechwood Seminary resumed its course 
of study under the improved regulations. 

It was a week before Mrs. Ainsworth left her bed, and a 
fev/ days after she accepted an invitation to visit Sir Thomas 
and Lady Shirley, where she stayed until the Christmas 
vacation. She wrote to Mrs. Yan Reem suggesting that as 
Esther was the leader of the " Catiline Conspirators " who 
overturned her long-established usages she had better be with- 
drawn. Esther felt bound to stand by the other girls and 
declined to stay at home. 

The Spring and Summer terms passed away without any 
incident arising to disturb the harmony of the seminary. Mrs. 
Ainsworth, when she returned after Christmas, was a changed 
woman. Her overbearing manner was gone. She treated 
Esther with kindness and respect, although she spoke of her to 
others as the fiery Catiline conspirator, and said that there was 
not money enough in all England to induce her to face the 
blazing eyes of that girl when her passions were aroused. 

Esther left the school for good at the commencement in 
June, but Beechwood Seminary was no longer a terror to 
young girls. 



CHAPTER IX. 



THE DERWENT MOTTO. 



It was the 8th of August before Lieutenant Creedmore 
was able to leave the hospital and again take his place on the 
stafi' of General McDowell. 

General George B. McClellan had been made the Commander- 
in-Chief of the military department of Washington, and of 
N. E. Yirginia. 

General McDowell was retained in command of a corps of 
the army of Virginia, but the valuable woi'k which he did for 
the Union cause cannot be told in a brief narrative like this. 

Imperative orders came from Washington to capture, at all 
hazards, the Confederate spies, who were constantly passing 



84 Miriam vs. Milton. 

between Richmond and Washington. All classes of persons 
were engaged in this business, but the womeD, especially the 
j'oung ones, were most successful. In case of capture they 
trusted to their sex to shield them from serious consequence;; ; 
they were very bold, and there was a romance about the 
business that suited their nature. 

General McDowell detailed Lieutenant Creedmore for the 
special purpose of detecting these spies, and all the men he 
wanted were placed at his disposal to aid him in this work. 
Inside of a week no less than ten persons were sent as 
prisoners to Washington, captured with evidence convicting 
them of carrying contraband goods and information of the 
movement of the Union troops. 

Edgar was anxious to capture the famous Jewish pedlar, of 
Avhose exploits Etaliue had informed him. He thought that 
the man was a cheat, for a genuine Government spy would not 
be likely to boast of his work, well knowing that spies on the 
other side would be apt to report him, making his detection 
almost certain. General Beauregard had spoken of this man 
and had laughed quite heartily over his adventures. A strict 
inquiry among the various army corps failed to produce a single 
man who had even seen any such person as a Jewish pedlar. Yet 
every two weeks he reported in E-ichmond with a fresh basket 
of contraband goods, late Northern papers, and a detailed 
account of tlie position and strength of many of the Union 
regiments and brigades. 

There was a mystery about the whole a.^Mir that made 
Lieutenant Creedmore anxious to solve it. 

On a sultry afternoon in the last week of August he was 
.■fitting in his tent deei)ly engrossed in studying a map of 
Vi]'ginia when he suddenly became aware of boisterous laughter 
fi'om a group of soldiers gathered around an old coloured man 
who was peddling chicken sandwiches. Some unknown cause 
seemed to prompt him to go and interview this " venerable 
African," as he was called. Slavery in its full import was a 
novelty to him, and he gathered much valuable information in 
cross-questioning the various escaped slaves that he had met 
since joining the army. Here then was an old one that could 
give him many new points upon his favourite subject. 

Edgar had a very keen ear, and the accent peculiar to the 
Virginia negroes could not be so aptly counterfeited but that 
he would instantly detect the fraud. He had been told that 
there were white men who had been brought up among the 
coloured race and had acquired their accent so thoroughly 



Tiie Dericeid Motto. 85 

as to make it difi&>:ult to distinguish tliem except by tlieii- 
physiognomy. 

Lieutenant Creedmore, as he listened to the witty answers of 
the new-comer, realized at once that he was acting a part, and 
that the man was not what he appeared to be. He determined 
to question him closely. 

" Where do you get the chickens to make so many sand- 
wiches 1 " he asked him. 

" Say, boss, I guess you ise a sti-anger in dis ere part ob 
de country, kase you would not ask a nigger whare he done got 
4em chickens." 

" I admit I am somewhat strange to Virginian customs, and 
they interest me very much. Is not that basket a heavy one 
for an old man like you to carry around ] " 

" Well, boss, you know the nigger is used to de carrying ob 
big loads, and dey don't mind it. As long as I ken gib de 
Yankee boys some ob de luxuries ob life, I don't mind de hard 
labour." 

"How many sandwiches can you put in that basket ?" 
Edgar continued. 

" Well, de fact of de matter I don't gone and count 'em. I 
fills 'em up, and when dey am gwine out I replenishes." 

" Well, old man," said the lieutenant, " I am very fond of 
mathematical i:»roblems, and curious to know how many 
sandwiches can be put in that basket, so I will have it 
examined." 

" Now, boss, I don't tink it am necessary to go to all dat 
trouble. I once pat one hundred and fifty in dis yere basket, 
and golly it made my ole back ache to lug it round. I must 
object to hab my sandwiches mussed around by de soldiers ; dey 
don't got clean hands, and den when dey is put back nobody 
done go buy dem kase dey all soiled." 

" If everything is all right," rej^lied Edgar, " you will have 
no trouble in selling the balance of your stock, for I will buy 
them myself." He then ordered several of the soldiers to 
examine the basket. 

Underneath a layer of sandwiches was found a false cover, 
which, when taken out, revealed a large quantity of contraband 
goods, late Northern newspapers, and about twenty-five letters 
for persons in Richmond. Everything was laid out on the 
grass, and then Lieutenant Creedmore in a stern voice asked the 
old man to explain the meaning of these contraband articles. 

With the utmost coolness he answered, " Dat am as great a 
mystery to dis nigger as to you. My ole woman she done gone 



86 Miriam vs. Milton. 

and fill dis yere basket last uiglit, and I don't know where dese 
yere things belong." 

" I know where they belong if you don't," was Lieuteoant 
Creed more's reply, and laying his hand on the man's head 
pulled off a cap, and with it came the woolly wig and whiskers, 
revealiug the brown hair and smooth face of a white man with 
his face blackened. He was then partially stripped and proved 
to be a man of about thirty years of age. 

" I think," said Edgar to the men around him, " that at last 
we have found the long-looked-for Jewish pedlar. Place him 
in double irons, and if a drumhead court-martial does not 
impose the punishment of death for being a spy, then I am 
ver}^ much mistaken." The first surmise was correct, but the 
last one was not verified. The man was tried, but convicted 
of being a blockade-runner, engaged only in contraband trade, 
and was sent to prison for twelve months. 

Lieutenant Creedmore caught a number of others, but as this 
became so common it no longer excited even cariosity. 

General McDowell obtained promotion for him to the rank 
of first-lieutenant, and while he kept him on his staff detailed 
him for the special purpose of watching and examining all 
persons attempting to pass the lines. He was giveii a guard 
of fifty men, with a second-lieutenant and two sergeants and 
two corporals to assist him, and the valuable result of their 
work was strongly commended by General McCIellan himself. 
We have only space to record a few of the more notable cases 
that came imder his attention. 

Late in the Autumn of 1862 word was brought to Lieutenant 
Creedmore that a farm house in a secluded spot was the 
rendezvous for the spies and scouts both going to Richmond 
and returning from it. He formed a plan to raid the place and 
capture all connected with it. He set out at dark with his 
men well mounted, and having with them as guide an escaped 
slave, or, as such were then called, " a contraband." This man 
was very intelligent, about thirty years of age, and as brave 
and daring as one of the celebrated Numidian warriors. He was 
very difierent from the ordinary men of his colour. He was a 
mulatto, and known as Henry Winston, the name of his former 
owner. His serious, pensive nature impressed Lieutenant 
Creedmore that he was a valuable man to have, so he was duly 
mustered into the Union services as a scout. Having been 
reared in that locality and his master being a civil engineer, he 
had accompanied him all over that region, and was therefore a 
very great acquisition in the important service in which Edgar 



Tlie Derwent Motto. 87 

was now engaged. Henry rarely laughed, and his words were 
few but well chosen. He had learned to read and write by 
permission of his owner, who felt that he would be more 
valuable to him with these accomplishments than without 
them. His master had raised a company and joined General 
Beauregard's forces, but was killed in a skirmish, and Henry 
felt that it was his duty now to look after himself. This he 
did by going over to the Union forces, and in order to 
make himself more acceptable he had brought with him six 
valuable horses, the property of his late master, who had left 
no immediate relatives. It was Lieutenant Creedmore's good 
fortune to be the first one to find him out, and, being assui-ed of 
his reliability, took him as above stated into his service. Edgar 
at once appropriated one of the chargers and allowed Henry to 
keep any horse of his ov/n selection. He accordingly chose a 
coal-black one of a rather fiery, impetuous nature, somewhat 
akin, as Edgar thought, to the famous Catiline. The other 
horses were given to his company. All this took place a week 
before the raid that we are about to descril)e. As stated, it was 
after dark when they set out for the farm house, the vicinity of 
which they reached by daylight. Having secreted his men, 
Edgar put on a suit of English citizen's clothes and provided 
himself with a pass, duly signed, permitting Edwin Harten, of 
Liverpool, England, to .cross the lines on his way to Wilmington, 
N.C., to bring north his mother and sister, who were anxious 
to return home. 

When he reached the farm house gate, he found two savage 
bloodhounds in possession of the pathway. Their deep baying 
brought to the door the master of the premises, who with an 
oath demanded his business. 

Edgar told him that he was an Englishman on his way to 
Wilmington on special business, and iie wished to get a con- 
veyance to take him to Richmond and would pay well for it. 

The man examined the pass critically, then surveyed his 
visitor from head to foot and replied : 

" You look all right and talk like a Britisher, but there are 
so many Yankee spies around that one has to be careful. If 
you are honest I want to help you along ; but if you are net, 
and I find it out, then my dogs will make a meal of what is 
left of you. Have you no pass-word besides these papers 1 " 

" Yes," was the reply, " I have one, but I don't suppose it 
will pass current in this State. It is only good for Kentucky." 

" Let me have it," said the master of the house, " and I will 
soon tell you if it is good for anything in old Virginia." 



88 Miriam vs. Milton. 

It was on the impulse of the moment that Eilgav remembered 
Colonel Derwent'a advice to use his motto if he wanted help. 
He was doubtful of its use iu the present case, but as it would 
do no harm he tried it and said : 

" 'The star of Derwent never fades.' It does not iu old 
Kentucky; how about this State?" 

" Who gave you that motto 1 " was asked in a softened tone 
with welcome in it. 

'" Colonel Derwent himself," was the reply. 

" Then I bid you welcome," said the Tirginian, opening the 
gate and admitting him, the hounds following them up to the 
porch. 

The house was once a mansion of some pretension to archi- 
tectural beauty, and had many evidences left of former grandeur. 
Edgar was conducted into the dining room, where he was 
introduced to half-a-dozen men, who, although the hour was 
early, were already at breakfast. The Derwent motto was a 
sufficient introduction, and the friend of the famous Kentucky 
colonel was greeted in a very genial manner. Three of the 
men present wei'e bound to Richmond, and offered to escort the 
young Englishman to that city. An hour later they were all 
sitting on the front porch when the deep baying of the hounds 
told of the presence of strangers. The next moment a volley 
was fired which instantly killed both dog.s, and before the men 
could move a body of Union soldiers had covered them with 
their rifles and the stern command to surrender was given. 
Ilesistauce was out of the question. The men were searched 
and then placed under guard. Edgar came forward and showed 
his papers and asked to be allowed to go on his journey. The 
officer in command duly inspected them, and none of the 
prisoners for a moment suspected that the quiet-looking 
Englishman was other than what he had stated, or dreamt that 
he was the leader of the Union troops who had captured them. 

The reply to Edgar's request was that as his papers were all 
right he could continue his journey, but it would be necessary 
to escort him part of the way. Twenty-five of the troopers 
were sent back to headquarters with the prisoners, while the 
remainder proposed to raid another establishment, of which 
Edgar had heard from his new acquaintance. As soon as the 
prisoners had gone Lieutenant Creedmore once more assumed 
his uniform and rode some fifteen miles under the guidance of 
his faithful scout, Henry Winston. 

Neither Lieutenant Creedmore nor his second in command 
had noticed a little humpbacked white boy sitting in a corner 



The Three Graces. 89 

sunning himself ; nor bad they seen the flashing of the eyes of 
the master of the house to the boy, which telegraphic code he 
understood to mean that assistance and a rescue must be had 
at all hazards. 

It was a mistake for Lieutenant Creedmore to divide his 
men. Success had made him careless, and he was abouc to be 
taught a lesson that every officer should remember: "Never 
divide your forces in the enemy's country." The lesson was 
■dearly bought, but it was effective. 



CHAPTER X 

THE THREE GRACES. 

Esther's school life was now over. As to how much she 
was benefited by the time spent at Beech wood was a problem 
to Mrs. "Van Reem. The expected outbreak of the former fiery 
and headstrong character of her niece had not taken place, and 
at last the worthy aunt came to the conclusion that the plunge 
in Everdale Lake was lasting in its effects. In reviewing both 
dispositions she often thought that perhaps after all Miriam's 
impetuous nature was preferable to the present cold and 
indifferent one. The former often ])ut her arms around her 
neck and kissed her affectionately. Esther never did so. There 
were many hours when she felt that she could put up with an 
outljreak of her niece's temper if only followed as in the past 
by demonstrative affection. 

Two weeks after Esther's return from Beech wood she 
accepted an invitation from her uncle, Sir Thomas, to spend the 
summer at his house. She lost no time in going, for she dearly 
loved her Aunt Martha, who in turn wa>) exceedingly fond of 
her orphan niece. 

Esther was received with a warm welcome at Elmswood 
Manor, the grand old home of the SJiirleys for many 
generations. 

Her cousins looked upon her as quite a heroine from the fact 
of her victory over Mrs. Ainsworth. 

Sir Thomas Shirley may be summed up in all that is inferred 
in the words of that favourite song so much in vogue many 
years ago, "A fine old English gentleman, one of the olden 



90 Miriam vs. Milton. 

time." To all who came under his roof he had a hearty, genial 
welcome. He never would agi'ee with his sister, Mrs. Yan 
Ileem, in her old-fashioned notions about bringing up girls. 
Time and again he told her that she was making a serious 
mistake in her treatment of Esther that would result in 
developing a wilful, headstrong disposition as the girl grew 
older. He loved Esther fondly, and her life was always a 
happy one under his care. 

Lady Sliirley, or " Aunt Martha," as Esther called her, was 
very affectionate in her way and rarely lost her temper, but 
was extremely methodical. On one point she was particular, 
that was that her daughters should at all times dui'ing the day 
be presentable. She would pardon almost any other fault, 
except negligence of attire. She left the training of her boj^s 
to their father, but looked closely after her girls. The eldest 
son, Robert, was in his twenty-fourth year. Having great 
expectations he took life as easy as possible, was very 
patronising in his way, and had inherited his father's good nature. 
He was an adept in all the manly accomplishments of his day. 

His brother, John, was twenty years old, as full of fun and 
mischief as it was possible to contain and not explode. He 
had on several occasions been brought to grief by attempting 
jokes on his Cousin Milton. He was never happy, except when 
inventing some new pranks. 

Adelaide, the eldest daughter, was the same age as Esther. 
Her disposition partook of the Shirley characteristic of the 
female line, and was cold and haughty to strangers. She upheld 
any display of independence in a girl's character, and strongly 
approved of her cousin in her revolt at Beechwood. 

Eleanor, the second daughter, was the sage of the family, the 
critic and encyclopedia, to whom they all referred in disputed 
statements, and her decision was accepted as final. She was in 
her eighteenth year, but a well-read girl for one of her age. 

Irene was " the baby," as she was called, although sixteen 
years old. Her sweet, loving disposition made her a general 
tavourite. To make others happy seemed her main object in life. 
Her father called her his nightingale, for her clear contralto 
voice was heard all the day long warbling some notes of song. 

As their characters thus briefly presented are interwoven in 
the course of our story, we will be the better enabled to under- 
stand their actions as they appear from time to time. 

There is another important personage that we wish to present 
to our readers, and that is Winifred Vivian, the daughter of a 
retired English naval chaplain, who made his home in a pretty 



The Three Graces. 91 

but elaborate cottage, built in the Swiss style, on the Elms wood 
estate. The chaplain and his wife were very much sought 
after, and tlie rare beauty of "Winifred brought many suitors 
to her feet. Robert Shirley was one of the most devoted, but 
the girl seemed to be in no hurry to make a choice. She was 
born in the same month as Esther, and between the two a 
strong friendship had developed in their early years, which 
augmented as they grew older. The chaplain had made his 
last cruise on the flagship with the late Admiral Cieedmore, 
and felt under oVjligations to do all in his power to look after 
his orphan daughter. 

The three girls most intimately associated with Esther's 
future life were her two special friends at Beechwood, Pauline 
"Vansant and Elvira Huben, also "Winifred Vivian. It was a 
strong trio. They were afterwards termed " the Three Graces 
in black," as a contradistinction to Sir Thomas Shirley's 
daughters, who were called " the Three Graces in red, white, 
and blue." 

We mention these facts to show that no girl could have had 
more judicious, more unselfish, and tenacious friends than 
Esther Creedmore ; none better suited to keep her free from 
the debasing influence of a polluted atmosphere. A kind 
Providence had provided a special and pure influence to 
surround the pathway of her girlhood. 

A week after Esther's arrival at Elms wood Manor her 
cousins prepared a little scheme to test her nerves. 

It is needless to say that John was at the head of it, but all 
the others entered heartily into the plan. 

They had yet to learn that beneath their lovely cousin's quiet, 
yielding disposition there was a keenness of percei)tion that 
tooli cognizance of every detail and quickly analysed its 
meaning. Esther realised at once that some plot was hatching 
to frighten her, perhaps at some imexpected moment. So she 
resolved to spring upon the conspirators a counter-plot, and 
thus to have all the fun on her own side. She went and 
consulted with AVinifred, who in turn referred the matter to 
her f ither. The worthy chaplain, in his long ex])erience in the 
English Navy, had seen practical jokes of every kind played on 
board ship, and at once suggested the details for tlie counter- 
plot that would decidedly turn the tables on the fun-loving 
cousins. The first thing was to find out what the other side 
proposed to do ; then to take means to cause its failure at the 
critical moment, and afterwards to spring on them a surprise 
in return. 



02 Miriam vs. Milion. 

The following aftevnoon Estlier made a careful search of her 
room. At one end of it there was a large window opening out 
on a verandah. The window-sill was very high, and against it 
was an old-fashioned chest of drawers. On looking behind it 
she found a piece of heavy muslin, painted black on the 
margins, leaving in the centre the outlines of a woman's figure 
in a white robe. A line was attached to a roller to which the 
muslin was made fast. It was arranged to hoist this up to the 
top of the window. It was to be manipulated fi-om the outside, 
and as the moon being full would shine directly on the muslin, 
the effect would be very startling to the occupant of the room 
at night. 

Esther knew that this canvas ghost would be carefully 
examined by her cousins before retiring, so she did not disturb 
it, but proceeded to arrange matters for her own project. 

The Eev. Mr. Vivian and his wife and daughter were 
invited over to dinner. After the gentlemen had joined 
the ladies in the drawing-room, Robert proposed that ghost 
stories be the order of the evening. He began the first one, 
by relating an old tradition of a girl who had been walled up 
alive by her father for marrying his coachman, who was then 
arrested for her murder, and kept in prison for a long time. 
Regularly every year in July, the anniversary of her death, 
she appeared at the bedroom wii:idow of the various families of 
the neighbourhood with an illuminated paper in her hand, 
which read, " Find my body and give it a Christian burial." 
The description of this beautiful girl, with her long red hair, 
was fully detailed. Esther knew that all this was meant to 
prepare her mind for the ghostly visitor on the muslin. She 
put her head in Winifred's lap to hide her smiles, and declaimed 
she had enough of such frightful stories. 

John said it was his turn. He told a story of some nocturnal 
visitors, and was followed by each of his sisters. When they 
had finished Esther remarked that aftei- what had been related 
she would certainly see apparitions, and they must not be 
suprised if she sci'eamed for all she was worth. Winifred 
must stay and sleep with her. 

She asked the chaplain if he could not tell some Indian 
ghost story to counteract the effect of what had already been 
told. All present eagerly seconded this request, so the good- 
natured clergyman consented. 

He related a case that he heard of when in Calcutta. Au 
English army oiiicer brought to India a handsome young wife 
belonging to a noble Scotch family. She was very much 



The Three Graces. 9S 

admired by tte otlier ofBcers of tlie I'egimeut and iilso by 
civilians. Her husband became intensely jealous of her and 
tliey had frequent quarrels. Having to go away on an 
expedition he left his wife in their quarters with only tvro 
native servants. One dark night some one knocked at the 
front door. Looking out of her chamber window the wife was 
told that there was a very important message from her husband 
which must be delivered to her in person. She took a small 
hand-lamp and went down and opened the dooi". This was the 
last ever seen of her alive. 

When her husband returned, he declared that his wife's ghost 
came into his room every night with a lamp in her hand and 
beckoned him to follow her. A week afterwards he was found 
dead with a pistol clenched tightly in his hand and a bullet in 
his temple, lying upoa a freshly-made mound. This was dug 
up and the body of the wife found with her throat cut, and the 
lamp buried beside her. 

As this story was more weird than the others which had been 
related, it was at once proposed that the chaplain should tell 
some naval story — some of his experience on a man of war. 

He then told them of a lieutenant on a flagship of which he 
was chaplain. This officer was a splendid man, powerfully 
built, and a universal iavourite with the crew and his brother 
officers. The ship was at Malta, and entertainments afloat and 
ashore were the order of the day. The lieutenant drank more 
liquor than he was able to get rid of, and one night he rushed 
out of his room exclaiming that there v/ere two lai'ge snakes 
suspended by a string in front of his air-port, and that they 
tried to bite him. His brother ofiicers carefully .searched his 
room, and assured him that there was nothing of the kind to 
be found. He went into several of the other rooms, and the 
snakes still followed him. Three days after he died. 

During this recital both of the boys had their eyes riveted 
on the chaplain, and when he finished they pushed away their 
glasses of punch which were half filled, and Robert asked : 

" Is that a very bad sign when one fancies he sees snakes ? " 

" Yes, indeed, very l)ad and very dangerous." 

"Then I won't take any more punch to-night ; I can almost 
see the snakes now." 

" I agree with yoti," said the now serious John. " Xo more 
for me; I vrould be frightened out of a year's growth if I saw 
any snakes in my room." 

The young ladies all said they felt very nervous, and thought 
it was time to retire. 



"94 Miriam vs. Milton. 

The chaplain and his wife took their departure, and Winifred 
and Esther went to their room. 

Tlie latter made up her mind not to play her part, except as 
a matter of retaliation. 

Her cousins were not so enthusiastic as they had been before 
the relating of the chaplain's stories. Irene thought that they 
should abandon their project to frighten Esther, but her 
brothers said that having gone so far, and made all preparations, 
it would never do to back out. 

Half an hour later the five practical jokei's gathered on the 
porch, and waited to hear their cousin and Winifred scream, as 
the canvas ghost was hoisted before their window. The line 
was pulled but it would not move, and finally it broke. The 
'i)oys proposed that their sisters should call Esther and Winif)"ed 
into their room under pretence of helping them to search under 
the bed and in the closets, and one of them would refix the 
cord. This was tried, but neither girl would get up. They 
said they were too frightened, and would not budge unless the 
house was on fire. This failure was a great disappointment, 
for they did want to see how much nerve their stately cousin 
had. They all went silently to their looms. 

Before retiring Esther had fastened the line attached to the 
roller of the canvas ghost to the window knob, and prevented 
it from being hoisted. Both the girls now silently left their 
room. The moon was very bright and shone directly on the 
window of the boys and also on their sisters. The porch, 
above described went all around the house. Esther took from 
the bag she carried in her hand a pair of stuffeti snakes, 
over which phosphorus had been rubbed, and fastened them 
to a line that had been prepared during the afternoon, hoisted 
the snakes half-way up the window of the boys' room, and 
held them. Almost immediately John's voice was heard 
exclaiming, " Bobert, wake up ; good gracious ! I see snakes. 
I won't touch any more punch as long as I live." Then 
Bobert was heard saying, " they are there sure enough ; I 
hope I am not going to die. I don't wonder that poor lieutenant 
died." Both boys hid their faces in the bedclothes and the 
snakes were lowered and put away. 

Esther and her companion returned to the hall and went 
round the other way to Adelaide's room, where her two sisters 
were also sleeping. They were all very nervoizs. The little 
plot to frighten their cousin had acted as a boomerang ; the 
climax was to come. A bolster had been j^repared by Esther 
with a corset on to give it a waist, then a white robe put over 



The Three Graces. 95 

it, and a mask of a woman's face put on witli long hair attached ; 
a piece of red flannel was sewed across the throat, and tlie 
whole resembled the murdered wife of the English army officer. 
Slowly this was raised by a cord which ran through a screw- 
eye at the top of the window. The result was something 
startling. Scream after scream rang through the house, and 
Esther and Winifred had just time to lower their dummy and 
carry it to their room. Hastily putting on wra[)))ers tiiey went 
to Adelaide's chamber. Sir Thomas and Lady Shirley and the 
servants also came. The three girls all asserted that they had 
seen a genuine ghost. The murdered lady had appeared to 
them at the window. The boys also declared that they had 
seen a pair of snakes and no mistake. 

Sir Thomas gazed searchingly into the face of his innocent- 
looking niece and remarked, " well, my advice is not to play 
practical jokes on Esther any more, for I think she is too much 
for you." 

A light then began to break in upon the mystery. Robert 
and John both said, " sweet Cousin Esther, do relive our minds 
and prolong our lives by telling us that we did not see snakes % " 

" Yes, you saw them truly," was the answer, " and you can 
see them again to-morrow after breakfast." 

" How about the ghost of the murdered lady 1 " asked 
Adelaide. 

'• I will exhibit her also," was the reply. 

After a hearty laugh all around they retui'ned to their 
chaml^ers. " No more jokes on Esther," was the verdict of her 
cousins. 



CHAPTER XI. 

THE OATH OF REVENGE. 

The house which was the object of Lieutenant Creedmore's 
expedition was soon reached and surrounded. They found in 
possession a gentleman of about 60 years, who with his 
daughter were the sole occupants, besides two slaves. 

Mr. James St. Clair, tlie owner, was what was then termed 
an r. F. V. (one of the First Families of Virginia). He betrayed 
no surprise at the coming of the Union troops. His hospitality 
was cordially extended. His daughter Henrietta made herself 



96 Miriam vs. Milton. 

very agreeable to Lieutenant Creedmore. He was invited to 
lunch, and a meal was also prepared for the men and non- 
commissioned officers. All made themselves at home except 
the scout, Henry Winston. He suspected some ambush, as he 
noticed the humpbacked boy with a look of exultation on his 
face. Henry at last found an opportunity of urging Lieutenant 
Creedmore to lose no time in returning to headquarters. They 
were in an enemy's country, he pleaded, and that humpbacked 
boy, " Fred," as he was called, made his home at tlie house 
which they had raided that morning. More than likely he had 
given warning to the local militia. General Beauregard's 
headquartei's were not far off, and if word once reached him 
their way back would be cut off. 

Edgar, while he realised the foi'ce of what his scout told him, 
was afraid that if he gave the order to retreat before sunset his 
men might think he was shov/ing the white feather, and nothing 
he dreaded so much as the imputation of cowardice. So he con- 
tinued to enjoy the conversation of Mr. St. Clair and his fair 
daughter, and was about to yield to a pressing invitation to 
stay for dinner v.dien a slave rode up on a foam-covei-ed horse, 
and seeing Henry Winston, whom he had formerly known, told 
him that a company of cavalry was only two miles av.-ay, tliat 
another company had set out to intercept the body of troops 
that had the prisoners, and if they wished to avoid giving battle 
to a superior force they must leave at once. In less than five 
ininutes Edgar had taken a reluctant farewell of Mr. St. Clair 
and Henrietta, and was riding at the head of his men at full 
speed back to headquarters. 

They had almost i-eached the house which they raided 
in the morning, when rounding a sharp turn in the road 
they were fired upon from ambush. Two men were killed 
and three Avounded, and two horses disabled. Without 
pausing for a moment they charged the ambush, firing 
with their carbines at short range. They found a force of 
twelve men — four were killed and six wounded, the other two 
being made prisoners. They discovered a light twelve-pounder 
field-piece in position, with a splendid pair of horses all ready 
to limber up. They also found saddled and bridled twelve 
horses, all blooded animals, belonging to the Confederates, who 
■were a party of Yirginia planters hastily got togethoi', and they 
felt that twelve such gentlemen were more than a match for 
twice their number of Yankee troops. No time was lost. 
Lieutenant Creed moi-e took his dead and wounded and 
jjrisoners, including the field-piece, leaving the enemy's dead 



The Oath of Revenge. 97 

"behind Mm, and a few minutes afterwards they reached the 
deserted farm-house. They were met by a slave who told them 
that the road below was in possession of a large force of Con- 
federate troops, and escape that way v/as impossible. 

The only course that remained was to entrench at once, 
■which they did, xising rails and farm waggons for a barricade. 

One of the Union soldiers was a proA'erbial Connecticut 
Yankee, full of inventive genius. He suggested to Lieutenant 
Creedmore tlie advisability of mounting several Quaker guns, 
which he made from stove pipes. The ends were filled with 
black clay and hollowed out to represent field - pieces, and 
looked so natural that the enemy were deceived by their 
appearance. There were apparently six formidable guns. The 
genuine howitzer was arranged to shift from point to point. 
These hurried preparations were hardly completed when a 
cloud of dust gave notice of the approach of the pursuing 
column. They were received with a deadly fire, the field- piece 
which had failed to act for the Confederates in the critical 
moment now worked smoothly and with terrible results. The 
attacking column, seeing the ominous black muzzles of six guns 
in position, hastily retreated. The foi'ce at the lower end of 
the road moved up at once to the help of their comrades, but 
a volley of musketry and a charge of grape and canister from 
the dreaded field-piece, and also the sight of the strong 'oattery, 
threw them into a panic, and they fell back, leaving the Union 
standard flying in the evening breeze on the victorious 
bari'icade. Lieutenant Creedmore was well aware that each 
hour would bring reinforcements to the enemy, while none 
would come to him. At daybreak his weak points would 
become apparent, and his entrenchment would be carried by 
assault. 

The scout Henry stated that he knew of a bridle path 
through the woods in the rear of the house that would lead to 
the main road about ten miles from their destination. It would 
be impossible to take the gun along. When it was quite dark 
a trench was dug for the two dead ti-ooj^ers, the field-piece was 
spiked and the carriage broken, and silently they evacuated 
their entrenchment. They found no sign of the enemy, and 
when they reached the main road lost no time but made all 
haste, and by daylight were safely back in the Union camp. 
They found that their comrades under the second lieutenant 
had safely reached the camp with their prisoners the night 
before, and had not been molested nor had even exchanged a 
hostile shot. 



98 Miriam, vs. Milton. 

General McDowell was higlily pleased at the conduct of his 
aide, and made such a favourable report about his work that a 
week later lie was promoted to the rank of captain. Slowly 
the ladder was being mounted. 

This last raid was of great benefit to Edgar in many ways. 
It taught him valuable lessons in the art of war. 

General McDowell gave him an increased force, so that he 
had one hundred picked men, all splendidly mounted. Their 
various I'aids were in the main successful, and filled with 
many thrilling adventures. Thus the winter of 1861 passed 
away, and the spring of '62 was well advanced when Captain 
Creedmore, returning from a foraging expedition, was told by 
General McDowell that the evening previous a very beautiful 
English lady had ridden into camp attended by a single groom, 
and wished to proceed to Washington on her way to New York 
to take a steamer to England to join her widowed father. She 
had been visiting friends in the South when the war broke 
out, and remained with them expecting that peace would soon 
be declared, but could wait no longer. 

Captain Creedmore was at once suspicious. He went to the 
tent occuj)ied by the lady, who was sitting at a table enjoying 
her evening meal. She arose to greet the ofiicer, and invited 
him to a seat. She had no conception that she w-as talking to 
a full-blooded Englishman. She gave her name as Miss Mamie 
Mayfair, of Manchester, England, and entertained her visitor 
with descriptions of English life, " so difi"erent, you know, from 
American ideas." She said this with a bewitching smile. 
Captain Creedmoi-e was satisfied that he had seen lier some- 
where, but could not recall the fact. It was the first time his 
keen memory had failed him. He had heard that voice, but 
there was some change in the make-up, so that he could not 
exactly tell where he had seen her. He was certain that she 
liad never been in England, and felt no doubt that she was a 
spy, and that he would soon detect her. With a very interested 
e>:presyion, he said to her : 

" Manchester is cpiite a seaport town, is it not ] " 

" Yes, indeed," was the reply. " I sailed from there to New 
York wlien I came over a year ago. ' 

" It is also very near London, only a few miles ? " was again 
asked. 

" Yes," said the girl. " I always did my shopping in London ; 
such, large .shops there. I often went there in the forenoon 
and was back home to dinner. It is only twenty-five miles 
away." 



Tlie Oath of Revenge. 99 

" Do yoii remembei", I\Iiss Mayfair, Low far Livei'iiool is from 
Manchester? It is a very long way, is it nof?" 

" Oh, yes, fully three hundred miles. Takes all day to make 
the journey." 

Captain Creedmore now arose from the table, remarking 
|)leasantly, " To-morrow I will furnish an escort foi- your 
journey to Washington, and I hope your voj'age to your home 
in Manchester will be very agreeable." 

The irony of this remark was not appai-ent to Miss Mayfair. 
She did not think for a moment that she was suspected. 

Captain Creedmore went at once to General IMcDowell, and 
told him that the fair, so-called young English lady was a 
Southern si)y, and no doubt carrying despatches to Washington. 

A regular female detective was employed at headquarters to 
examine suspected women, but she was away sick. It was 
necessary that this young lady should be searched, otherwise 
the valuable secret despatches she was caiTying would not be 
secured. How to search her was a problem. General McDowell 
was inclined to doubt that she was a spy; her stoiy was straight- 
forward, and she appeared to be familiar with English history 
and customs. 

Captain Ci'eedmoi'e told him that he was perfectly sure 
she had never been in England. He explained to the General 
that he had questioned her in relation to the distance between 
Manchester and London, which was fully two hundred miles, 
and only thirty miles to Liver])Ool, also that Manchesrer was 
an inland city. She perhaps had read about English cities, but 
was sadly at fault in their geographical situation. 

Captain Creedmore sent for his scout, Henry Winston, and 
asked him whether he did not think this young lady was from 
the South. 

" I am sure of it," was the reply, '' and I have seen her 
somewhere ; she is disguised. Why don't you search hei*, or 
get up some commotion in the camp, and in the excitement take 
away the satchel she carries'?" 

" Her despatches are not in the bag she has with her," he 
replied. "She has them about her person, more than likely 
sewed up in the waist of her dress. An idea has come to me 
resulting from your suggestion. I think it will work to a 
charm." 

At ten o'clock that night a sentry called out to Miss Mayfair 
that her tent was on fire and she had better come out at once. 
She had merely taken her dress off, and was sleeping soundly 
on the army bed. Half asleep and thoroughly frightened she 



100 Miriam vs. Milton. 

wished out with a shawl on her slaoulders. The sentry put his^ 
cloak around her, and an officer escorted her to another tent. 
She had no sooner reached it than she turned in wild alarm to 
go back. She had forgotten her dress. All her papers were in 
the waist of it. The officer told her that everything would be 
brought over, and she need fear no alarm. 

In the meantime Captain Creedmore had gone into the 
vacated tent. As he expected he had found two packages 
sewn up in each side of lier basque. It took but a moment to 
extract them, and some dummy papers put in their place. A 
blonde wig lay on a small table by the head of the cot. This 
told the story. All the things were bundled up, and Captain 
Creedmore and Henry went over with, them to the other tent. 
They found Miss Mayfair sitting on a camp stool with the 
sentry's cloak around her, and looking terribly pale and 
worried. In her excitement she had forgotten her wig and 
disguise. 

The Captain gave her a searching glance and smiled. His 
doubts had been confirmed, and Miss Mayfair was thus revealed 
in her true colours. 

He quietly remarked: "Miss Henrietta St. Clair, the next 
time you pass for an English lady, I would advise you to 
become more proficient in English geography. You will now 
consider yourself a prisoner, and to-morrow you will be sent 
iinder escort to Washington. The papers sewn up in your 
basque will be delivered safely, but not to the persons for whom 
they were intended. 

A lioness robbed of her whelps could not have exhibited 
greater fury than this girl. She called Captain Creedmore all 
tiie names she could think of, with s'irong adjectives attached, 
and finally ended by taking a solemn oath never to rest until 
she had her revenge. " I will see you lodged safely in Libby 
Prison," said she, " and will watch with keen delight your slow 
starvation. You are too mean to live. It was you who got up 
that contemptible trick of setting the tent on fire, and when I 
rushed out you went in and took my papers. In that raid of 
yours last fall you killed a man I loved, and I have to get 
square with you for that. Kemember that just as sure as you 
live I will yet have my day of vengeance, and it will be sweet. 
Go on now and do your worst." 

Captain Creedmore bowed profoundly, and smiled as he 
answered, " Miss St. Claii', we are making war against men 
and not against women. Therefore no one will molest you at 
our headquarters. The papers that you were carrying are no 



The Oath of Revenge. 101 

doubt of importance to your people, so they will be to us, and 
will perhaps save many valuable lives. I perfofmed my duty, 
iind have been as considerate of your feelings as it was possible 
to be under the circumstances. I now have the honour to bid 
you good night." 

The baffled Southern girl was left alone, with only the 
measured tread of the sentinel before her teat to remind her 
that she was a prisonei*. 

Captain Creedmore went at once to General McDowell, and 
the captured despatches were opened. They wei-e of such an 
important nature that an officer with a strong escort was 
detailed to take them to General McClellau, who wrote back 
a very complimentary letter to Captain Creedmore, as did 
Secretary Stanton a week latei*. 

Miss St. Clair on arriving at Washington was sent a prisoner 
to Fort Lafayette, where she remained some time. 

Captain Creedmore was very successful in arresting " contra- 
band mail carriers," as they were called, and had many 
amusing experiences. 

One afternoon he received a letter from Miss Etaline Roberts, 
stating that she and her father were prisoners bound for 
Washington, and implored his help. An hour later he handed 
lier an order for her release and her father also, and a pass 
throiTgh the lines to their home. Etaline, with her 
■eyes filled with tears, took his hands and kissed them, 
at the same time expressing her gratitude in fervent 
language. 

Edgar replied gallantly, saying : " No thanks are due, my 
fair Etaline. I am only paying back part of a debt to you. If 
I had been caught that night at your hotel it would have gone 
hard with me." 

" I have often wanted to see you since that never-to-be- 
forgotten evening," said Etaline. " I heard about you from 
time to time. I have also heard recently that Henrietta St. 
Clair took a solemn oath to be revenged on you, and vowed to 
get you into Libby Prison. All I can say is, that if you ever 
go there I will secure your release. Henrietta will find that I 
a,m m^ore than a match for her. That girl was a fool to act as 
she did. It was your duty to intercept all unlawful 
cori'espondence. She knew the risk she assumed. We were 
schoolmates. She was always proud and conceited. I had a 
jolly laugh when I heard how you got her out of the tent and 
secured the papers. The officials in Richmond, though 
regretting the failure to get the documents through, yet were 



102 Miriam vs. MlUon. 

amused at your ingenious way of finding out who she 
was. Slie tried to do something wonderful, and found 
lierself in Fort Lafayette." Thus Etaline and Edgar parted, 
for a season. 



CHAPTER XII. 



THE BELTED EAKL. 



Esther had been at Elmswood two weeks when, one bright 
afternoon, returning from a ramble with her cousins, she was 
agreeably surprised in walking up the fine carriage-way, shaded 
with elm trees on both sides, to see a great mastiff come 
bounding down froQi the house, barking and wagging his tail 
with joy. " Why, if this isn't Ceesai'," she exclainied. " How 
did you come here, you dear old dog?" She put her arms 
lound liis neck and hugged him. 

Her uncle, Sir Thomas, was on the porch, and told her that 
the dog had been brought from the railway station an hour 
previously by one of the employes, with a note from Mrs.. 
Ainsworth, which read as follows : — 

Beechwood Seminary, July 25tli, 1862. 
My Dear Sir Thomas, 

I am enjoying this summer's vacation as I never did the 
same period of rest before. To me it is a great satisfaction to ieel that 
I am the mistress once more of my own house. You may think it very 
strange, but I caunot help feeling a great dislike to my dog Ca?sar. I am 
fully satisfied in my own mind that Esther won him away from his 
allegiance to me. Her power over Iiim was so great tliat he refused to 
betray her in the critical moment. Since she left I had a long talk with 
the gipsy queen, and she described the girl that came that nigiit to her 
camp so clearly that it left no room for doubt that it was Esther. The 
law may be right which defines that no one shall be termed guilty until 
duly proved so. Well, that episode is passed, but Ca?sar, liaving betrayed 
my confidence, I send him as a present to Esther. She may have use for 
him ; 1 have none. 

Give my very kind love to your wife, and I hope the visit of your 
niece to your house may not result in tlie revolution that her coming to- 
tliis seminary did here. I remain. 

Your afl'ectionato kinswoman, 

Harriet Ainsworth. 
Sir Thomas Shirley, Bart., 
I'^iLSwood Manor. 



The Belted Earl 103 

A burst of laughter from Esther and her cousins greeted the 
reading of this letter, and Cassar got an extra hug all round. 
He showed his attachment to his new mistress at once, and 
ne\^er was an animal moi-e devoted from that time than he was. 

Two days afterwards Csesar. on going out in the morning, 
acted very strangely. He slept on a rug outside Esther's door 
at night. He ran round the walk in front and by the side of 
the house, sniffing the ground and barking savagely. Robert, 
who was a keen judge of the various traits of dogs, surmised 
that some stranger had been round the house during the night, 
and one whom Caesar did not like. The lodge-keeper on being 
sent for stated that at ten o'clock the previous night he found 
a gipsy looking into the di'awing-room window, and on beinw 
asked what he was doing stated that he had a letter for Miss 
Creedmore, which he must deliver in pei'son and he would call 
next day, and that it was necessary for him to see her alone. 
Robei't and John were very indignant at the presumption of 
the gipsy, and stated that if they caught hira prowling around 
the house again he would have cause to regret it. 

As related in a previous chapter, one of the weaknesses of 
Esther's chai'acter was superstition and a yearning desire to 
probe into the futui-e. She had heard two days previouslv 
that a gipsy encampment had come into the vicinity. She 
■wondered at the time whether it was the same one that she 
had visited ten months previously at Beech wood. She 
resolved to investigate for herself. With Ctesar's escort she 
felt safe. 

After breakfast she excused herself to her cousins, saying 
that she would run over and see Winifred for a few moments. 

There was a circular clump of woods surrounded by a stone 
wall about a mile fi'om the manor, and a summer-house built 
in rustic fashion in the centre of it. It was used as a picnic 
ground for the Shirley family and friends. The children of the 
parish church also had the use of it on special occasions. Slie 
went directly to this place, as it was on high ground and com- 
manded a view of the surrounding country. An iron gate was 
the only entrance. She had the key with her. On reaching 
the place she unlocked the gate and entering stood on the porch 
of the rustic house, and surveyed the grand panorama spread 
before her for many miles. While thus engaged a warning 
bark from Csesar gave notice of the approach of a stranger. 
She called the dog to lier side, and a moment later the gipsy 
chief stood before her, with his cap in his hand, and in a 
deferential attitude he addressed her : 



104 Mir lain vs. Hilton. 

" Miss (Jreedmore, I am glad to liave the opportunity of 
setting myself riglit before you. Last year, when you visited 
my wife, the queen of our tribe, I asked for a kiss. This is a 
toll I take from the many j^irls who come to have their fortunes 
told. Further than that I would not have harmed a hair of 
your head, and if you had not thrown me down I would have 
escorted you safely back to the seminary, and thus saved joxi 
from a very unpleasant experience. For reasons which I am 
unable to explain I feel a deep interest in your welfare, and I 
assure you by the sacred traditions of our tribe, and this is the 
greatest oath a gipsy can take, that you will always find in me 
a true friend. We make a special study of the stars, and there 
are signs and tokens which have been handed down from 
remote ages which have never failed in their import. Two 
nights ago I watched you as you stood on the poi'ch of 
Mr. Vivian's house, while his daughter "Winifred had her 
arm round your waist. She was looking at you in the 
full light of the moon, while you were intently gazing at 
the evening star. I also watched for the signs. First a small 
cloud passed over the star, then a few moments later a darker 
one came and obscured it. That passed away and was followed 
by a still dai"ker one, which obscured it for thirteen minutes. 
Then it, too, passed away, but the star was dimmed and did 
not shine so brightly as before. Now for the meaning of these 
signs. In your case ' coming events are casting their shadows 
before.' A small cloud will come over you but it will pass 
away ; then will come greater trouble, but this you will succeed 
in putting aside. Then will come a great calamity which will 
last thirteen years. You will again shine out befoi'e the wox"ld, 
but the great lustre will have departed, never more to leturn. 
Being thus forewarned, why not become forearmed 1 Let me 
see your hand." Taking it in his he continued : " I see lines 
of immediate danger. Some one, whether woman or man I 
cannot tell, is now plotting against your welfare. Be prudent, 
be cautious. I never felt the same interest in a human being as 
I now do in you. If you ever want my help post me a letter 
directed simply to Ziska, the Gipsy Chief. Put it in any post- 
office and it will find me." 

Esther was deeply interested in what was said. The man 
was sincere, but just what amount of belief to place in his 
prognostication she was puzzled to define. She took out her 
purse and taking a sovereign offered it to him, which he 
respectfully declined, saying : " 1 dare not take money for 
what I have told you. I am under an influence which I 



The Belted Earl. 105 

cannot account for. I have a foreboding of evil coming upon 
you to-day that is overpowering in its effect. You had better 
return to the manor and I will follow at a respectful distance, 
and see that no harm comes to you." 

Csesar at this point gave a low growl, then a fierce bark. 
A heavy footstep was heard coming up the walk from the 
iron gateway, and the next moment Martin Nickley stood 
before them. He had on a riding suit and was booted and 
spurred, with a heavy wiiip in his hand. In a tone of sui'prise, 
mingled with sarcasm, he said : 

" I am astonished and grieved to see the fastidious daughter 
of the house of Shirley and of Creedmore holding a private 
conference with a vagabond gipsy, who, if he had his deserts, 
ought to be transported to penal servitude for life. Allow me," 
he continued, offering his arm to Esther, " to escort you to 
more resjjectable society." 

The swarthy complexion of the gipsy turned to a darker hue 
in the effort to suppress the anger which was slowly shaking his 
frame, and he slowly replied : " If you, Mr. Nickley, were 
placed in one scale and I in the other it would take a dozen 
men like myself to balance your iniquity. In all my short- 
comings no man can say that I ever i)asely robbed a girl of her 
honour, and then threw her aside as a worthless toy. There is 
no blood of wronged women crying to heaven for vengeance 
against me, as there is against you." 

Martin Nickley waved his whip, saying : " I will show 
how I chastise such a villain as you are." But before he could 
strike, the gipsy chief snatched the whip out of his hand and 
flung it far into the woods, saying : 

" Martin Nickley, if you do not respect the presence of this 
lady I do, and were it not for her I would give you such a 
chastisement as you never had before." 

Martin Nickley was beside himself with rage as he replied, 
•' I will get a warrant out for your arrest from Sir Thomas, and 
have you sent to jaiL" 

" No, you won't," was the sneering retort. •' If you have 
forgotten Cecilia Thorndike I have not, and there are 
others who remember her also. Your visit to Elms wood 
would be very brief if all the details of that affair were 
known to Sir Thomas a,nd Lady Shirley. I will leave 
you now," and a moment after the gi^^sy had disappeared in 
the woods. 

Esther and Martin Nickley then walked back to the manor. 
He told her that he arrived five minutes after she had left 



106 Miriam vs. Milton. 

the house, that he was staying with a friend in the neighbour- 
hood, and had come over to see hei*. 

On reaching the house Sir Thomas came out to greet them, 
saying to Esther : " My dear cliild, I have a surprise for you. 
The Earl of Montville has just come on a visit, and is very 
anxious to meet you once more. He has been abroad and 
returned yesterday. He wrote to me some months ago, saying 
that your rejection of his offer of marriage took all the life and 
energy out of him. He now comes back to see whether he still 
has any chance of meeting with favour at your hands." 

Martin Nickley's face grew black, and turning to Esther he 
said : 

" When a belted earl comes wooing to my lady fair, then a 
commoner has no chance of even a smile by way of a reward 
for risking his life in searching for your body at the bottom of^ 
the lake." 

" Sir Thomas," he said, " please excuse me now and convey 
my greetings to your family." He then mounted his horse and 
rode away without another word. 

" Very jealous, my dear," said the uncle to his niece, 
"Truly he saved your life, and apparently he wants a l)ig 
reward." 

The young and handsome Eai'l of Montville came out on the 
porch bareheaded, and taking Esther's hand greeted her very 
cordially, remarking, " Fair queen of beauty, you grow more 
lovely than ever. In all my travels I have seen nothing to 
excel the radiant splendour of your eyes. Do you remember 
how as children we used to l^Iay together on these very grounds 
when we both visited here "? Have you forgotten the sparring 
matches I had with your brother] I hear he is doing splendidly 
in America, and has been promoted for gallant service on the 
field of battle. I nciver thought Milton cared for warlike 
sport." 

" Edgar is his name now," said Esther, with a quiet smile. 

" Oh, pardon me, I forgot," said the earl ; " that was a queer 
notion of both of you wishing to be called by your second 
name." 

" The immersion in the lake changed our disj^ositions," 
replied Esther, " and we wanted our friends to note the effect ; 
that was all." 

The earl promised to stay a week i)rovided his company was 
agreeable, and when they got tired of him to let him know. 

An earl of the realm, young, rich, and handsome, was a prize 
that young ladies would not be apt to get tired of in a hurry. 



The Belted Earl 107 

Esthei-'s cousins made up their minds that if she did not want 
to be a countess, tlien they would strive for the coronet. 

The following morning a gentleman waited on the earl with 
a challenge from Martin Nickle}' to fight a duel in Belgium. 
The matter was referred to Sir Thomas, who rode over to where 
Mr, Nickley was stopping, and told him that the Earl of 
Montville was a playmate from childhood with Esther; he 
served as a lieutenant on her father's flagship, and had his 
permission to pay attention to his daughter. 

Mr. Nickley had cooled off, and replied that if Esther 
preferred the belted earl to one who had saved her life well 
and good, he would withdraw from the field. By so doing she 
exhibited so much ingratitude that she was not woi'th fighting 
about. He withdrew his challenge and also his proposal of 
marriage. A young lady who thought so little of her dignity 
as to make appointments in a summer-house with a roving, 
vagabond gipsy chief was not a woman that he wanted for a 
wife. 

Sir Thomas gave a look of withering scorn at Martin 
Nickley, and without answering a single word he mounted his 
horse and rode home. 

Esther told her uncle frankly and candidly the object of 
going to the summer-house. She had Ctesar with her at the 
time, and the gipsy was most respectful in his deportment, and 
his advice was good. 

" That may be," was the answer, " but it is not well to allow 
such a man as Martin Nickley to have even a slender thread 
to work up into a whole texture of insinuations and inferences." 

Martin Nickley resolved that if the earl won Esther as his 
wife, then before she became the Countess of Montville her 
good name should be tarnished. 

The following day he called in person on Mrs. Van Reem, 
and gave her an exaggerated statement of her niece meeting 
the gipsy chief alone in a summer-house. He also told the 
same story to Mrs. Ainsworth. This was the beginning. God 
help the girl who has a villain like that to assail and undermine 
her reputation. 



108 Miriam vs. Milton. 

CHAPTER XIII. 

THE BATTLE OF ANTIETAM. 

One sultry afternoon in the early part of August, 1862, 
Edgar returned to headquarters, tired and dusty after a long 
I'ide. He had a very strong mounted force, as several attempts 
wei'e made to capture him. False rumours were often brought 
of spies and contraband mails and goods stored at certain 
points, but he was too wary to fall into the trap laid for him. 

On this occasion he brought back a noted spy who had 
passed to and fro a number of times through the lines without 
heing detected. On his way back that morning he stopped to 
visit his old friend, Moorehead, now the major of his regiment, 
who told him of a very distressing case that had fallen under 
his notice only the day previous. Air aged widow had come to 
the front to look for her only son, who had been killed or taken 
prisoner in a skirmish, and she was now collecting money to go 
to Eichmond to learn whether he was in Libby Prison. The 
major had given her every assistance in his power. 

When Captain Creedmore heard the details he smiled, and 
said he would also assist if she could tell a sti-aight story. 

" Oh, she is all right," answered the major. " She brought 
me a letter of introduction from a friend in Boston." 

" My dear major," said Creedmore, " I have been taken in 
so often in the last year that I suspect everyone now, especially 
women folks." 

As soon as the widow saw the celebrated spy-detective she 
changed colour and exhibited great fear. Edgar watched her 
keenly, her gait, her way of walking, and a dozen other points. 
Her accent, to his quick ear, revealed her at once as a Southern 
woman. Her eyes flashed too quickly for an old person. Hei" 
movements were agile and nervous. She felt that she was being 
weighed in the balance, and her face flushed to a ci'imson hue. 
Edgar did not say much ; he let his eyes do the talking, and 
their language was indeed potent. The widow saw that her 
game was up. So she said in a sharp, snappish way : 

"Well, what are going to do?" 

" Fort Lafayette," was the laconic answer. He motioned to 
Henry, who coming up behind touched her on the shoulder 
and told her to take off" her widow's bonnet and veil. She did 
so. He pointed to her grey wig, and this slie also removed, 



The Battle of Antletam. lO^ 

revealing a liead of bright golden hair, and the features of a 
young woman of twenty-five years. Captain Creedniore smiled 
as he said : 

" Grey hairs will come fast enough, and it is a pity to hide 
such radiant beauty under a grey wig and widow's cap. 

The girl appreciated the compliment, even though she knew- 
a term of imprisonment was before her, and she reciprocated 
and said : 

" Well, Captain Creedmore, I would rather be found out by 
you than any one else. I felt I had little hope when I saw 
your keen grey eyes with their wonderful power bearing on me." 

Edgar always tried to avoid a scene whenever he could, and 
as compliments cost nothing he lavished them freely whenever 
he found that they conciliated. 

"When he reported to General McDowell he found him in 
company with a Southern olficer, who had come in under a 
flag of truce. The voice was familiar, and as he listened to the 
conversation, standing by the tent-door, he thought of all that 
had passed since he first heard it. 

" I tell you, General, that the South, sir, is very far from 
being exhausted, sir. We have a large reserve, sir, and we 
can hold our own for ten years, sir." 

At this point Colonel Derwent, for it was he, turned his 
head, and beholding Edgar at the tent door jumped up and 
shook him warmly by the hand, exclaiming : 

" I am right glad, sii', to see my old friend Creedmore. It 
does my heart good, sir," and turning to General McDowell he 
continued : " General, this young man, sir, did me a favour a 
year ago last Apiil, sii-. He stood by me as my second in a 
duel, sir, and right nobly did he acquit himself, sir. I may be 
able to reciprocate, sir. Now, my dear Creedmore, be careful 
and try to come out of this war alive, sir, and come and see me 
tlien in old Kentucky, and I will do all I can to make your 
visit pleasant, sir. Good bye, general. Thanks, sir, for your 
kindness." The next moment the Kentuckian had i-idden back 
to the Southern lines. 

Preparations were now made by the Federal authorities to 
resist the advances of General Lee, and the prospects were that 
two large armies would meet in the shock of battle. Both 
sides would fight with trained veterans, and thei'e was not any 
likelihood of such disgraceful conduct as characterised the first 
battle of Bull Run. 

General McDowell's corps of 15,000 men, under the imme- 
diate command of General Pope, was ordered on the 27th of 



110 Miriam vs. Milton. 

August to press forward from Warrenton to Manassas Junction. 
General Pope was at Centreville, and Major Creedmore, who 
had been promoted, was sent to him with special information 
which he had obtained of the strength of General Longstreet's 
division, also that if a determined attack in force was made on 
General Jackson entrenched at Manassas, he would be enclosed, 
and if assailed by 25,000 men on either side would have to 
surrender. This attack must be made before he was reinforced 
by General Longstreet, who was advancing for that purpose. 

General Pope was very much impressed with the frank and 
soldierly bearing of the young Englishman, and com]>limented 
him highly on the work he had already performed for the 
Union cause. While he was in conversation with him ^vord 
was brought that General Jackson was not to be caught 
napping. He had evacuated Manassas, and thus escaped the 
destruction which probably awaited him had he persisted in 
waiting for Longstreet's reinforcements. General Pope 
immediately sent Major Creedmore back with orders to General 
McDowell to intercept Jackson, and give him battle at all 
hazards. 

Edgar narrowly escaped captui-e. It was late in the after- 
noon of the 29th of August, when ascending a hill he saw 
before him in the valley below the retreating forces of Jackson, 
moving towards Thoroughfare Gap. While watching these 
troops he saw General King's division, of General McDowell's 
corps, advancing at a quick rate, and a sanguinary combat 
ensued, which was terminated by darkness coming on. The 
losses on both sides were heavy. The enemy had among the 
severely wounded. Major Genei-al Ewell and Brigadier-General 
Taliaferro. Edgar at once reported to General King, and took 
his report, and went on his way to General McDowell, 
arriving early next morning. 

It would be impossible, in this brief narrative, to dwell upon 
all the hard fighting that took place in this campaign, and the 
second battle of Bull Run. We can only say that Major Creed- 
more, from early dawn to late at night, was continually in the 
saddle. He was familiar with all the turnpikes and cross- 
sections. For much of this knowledge he was indebted to his 
faithful scout, Henry Winston, whom he never failed to take 
with him on all his expeditions, and by whom he was saved from 
capture a number of times, by taking his advice. He found a 
devoted fiiend in Etaline Boberts. Though loyal to the Southern 
cause, she would on all occasions send him warning of the plots 
to capture him. She gave him no information of the movements 



Tite Battle of Antletam, 111 

of the Confederate troops, but only of what concerned his 
personal safety. He was well aware that the girl loved him, 
and as she was apparently happy in this matter he did nothing 
either to encourage or discourage her. It became proverbial in 
the army that Major Creedmore bore a charmed life, as did also 
his famous charger, which had been as already stated the 
property of Henry's former owner. He called the horse 
*' Cicero." The animal was of an iron-grey colour, and never 
seemed to show signs of fatigue. He was quiet and had no 
bad tricks, but, when needed, he could get over the ground 
with marvellous speed. He became deeply attached to his new 
master. The animal, when not in motion, would stand like a 
statue, and was nicknamed by the troops " the stone horse," 
" the bronze charger," and also the complimentary name of 
"the horse that thinks." Edgar becarae possessed with the 
idea that if anything should happen to his horse the charm of 
his own good luck would be broken. This feeling seemed to 
grow upon him. While he had no fear for his own safety, being 
a stranger to this quality of human nature, yet he was anxious 
at all times lest Cicero should be wounded or killed. Many a 
time had some hidden sharp-shooter taken them both for a 
target, but always failed to hit either. How long this would 
last was a problem that troubled him. 

A fall campaign was. started by General Lee invading 
Maryland at the head of a large army, estimated to be about 
90,000 strong. He crossed the Potomac and moved on to 
Frederick, which was occupied without resistance. General 
Lee believed that the Mary landers would rise on his coming, 
and recruits by the thousand would join his standard. On the 
8th of September he issued a very seductive address to the 
Marylanders. The result was a great disappointment, for not 
more than three hundred joined, while he lost more than that 
number by desertion. 

General McDowell sent Major Creedmore to General 
McClellan with the information that a large force of Con- 
federates in his front had disappeared, and had crossed into 
Mai'yland. As it was evident that a great battle was imminent 
McClellan detailed the major to serve on his staff, which 
honour he was glad to accept. 

General McClellan had, by a i-ave stroke of good fortune, 
become possessed of a copy of General Lee's general orders, 
which specified his prospective movements. This was an 
immense advantage to the Union leader, and he was quick to 
avail himself of it. 



112 Miriam v,^. Milton. 

It is impossible in our limited space to describe the figbting^ 
that took place daily, from the 8th of September until the 
final culmination on the 17th, of the great Battle of 
Anjtietam. The result of this victory for the Union forces was 
the withdrawal of Lee's army back into Virginia, with a loss of 
about 15,000 in killed, wounded, and missing. The victory 
was dearly purchased, for the Northern army lost 12,469, of 
which number over 9,000 were wounded. 

It was a proud day for Edgar when he found himself serving 
on the staff of the famous and popular Union general, George 
B. McClellan. The temple of fame, of which he had so often 
dreamed, he felt confident was at last in sight. There was no 
doubt that he would safely reach it. What would come after 
he cared not to dwell upon. 

What pen can describe the enthusiasm of a character with 
the qualities of Edgar Creedmore, now having attained the 
very acme of his ambition 1 There is a fascination and an 
indescribable excitement in liding over a field of battle 
carrying despatches amidst flying bullets and bui'sting shells. 

It was the forenoon of the 17th, in the closing acts of 
the drama of Antie tarn's bloody field, whose soil was soaked 
with the best blood of both the North and South. Edgar was 
can-yiug an important message to one of the corps commanders 
when a twelve-pound shell burst in iront of him. His horse 
reared, almost going over backward, then going ahead a few 
paces and falling down dead. The grief that filled Major 
Creedmore's heart is beyond description. The faithful charger, 
that had nobly carried him out of impending dangers, was now 
lifeless ; and would his good fortune go with his beloved Cicero 1 
The answer seemed a favourable one, for as he looked up he 
saw coming towards him a magnificent riderless horse, all 
saddled and bridled. The animal was terribly friglitened. 
Edgar waited until he got close to him, and spoke in a kind 
voice. The horse stood still as though glad to find a friend on 
such a field, where men and horses were dying together. 

Two minutes after Major Creedmore was mounted on his 
new acquisition and speeding away to his destination. 

At nine o'clock that night Edgar had to carry an important 
despatch to General Franklin, whose corps, the Sixth, composed 
of his own, Couch and Syke's Divisions, had formed the left 
wing of McClellan's grand army, and had borne the brunt of 
that fierce battle. In ci-ossing the battle-field he heard from a 
wounded soldier a plaintive cry for help. There was some- 
thing so pathetic in the voice, "an indescribable feeling that 



The Battle of Antietam. 113 

penetrated his inmost S[iii'it," that he ac once dismounted, and 
holding his horse's bridle in his left hand he knelt by the side 
of the wounded individual, -u'hom he discovered to be a Union 
trooper, one of General Eranklin's veterans. The life blood 
was ebbing fi^st from a v/ound in the breast. Edgar took out 
his handkerchief to stop the blood. As he unbuttoned the coat 
he discovered that the soLlier was a woman. This was not the 
first time that his keen eyes had penetrated the disguise of the 
fair sex, who from patriotism and love of adventure had donned 
the male garments and enlisted in the i-anks. This one in 
particular made no secret of the matter, but told her story in a 
few brief words. She was the daughter of a Methodist clergy- 
man, who was pastor of a church with a very moderate salary, 
and with a large family to support. She had left home, and 
was employed in a dry goods establishment in the city of 

C . When the war drum sounded daily through the 

streets she felt an overpowering desire to shoulder a musket. 
A fellow-clerk to whom she confided her feelings lent her a 
suit of male garments and enlisted with her. He was killed in 
the first battle in which they were engaged. So far she had 
concealed her identity and escaped unhurt. The fortune of 
war had now overtaken hei', and she willingly yielded up her 
life for the Union cause. She asked Edgar to write a letter to 
her father and mother and tell them of the fate of their 
daughter. He could alsp tell them that she died unsullied and 
uncontaminated, and yielded back her spirit pure to God who 
created her. A few moments afterwards she ceased to breathe. 
Edgar straightened out her limbs and cut off a lock of her hair 
to send with her last message. He wrote a note for the burial 
detail, to lay away the soldier's body and to mark the resting 
place with a tablet with the words " R. S.," and signed his 
name to it as aide-de-camp. This he knew would assure a 
respectful burial. He afterwards sent the letter and lock of 
hair as directed. 

Thus closed the day upon Antietam's bloody battle-field. 



114 Miriam vs. Milfoii. 

CHAPTER XIV. 

LOCH LOMOND. 

If the readex' will go back to the fourth chapter of the first 
division, a remark will be found, made by Miriam, " that a 
woman's character was a fragile aS'air at best, and liable to be 
blasted at any moment by a report from an evil tongue." 

Esther began to realise the truth of this statement. Martin 
Nickley did not fail to make the most out of the mole-hill that 
he had discovered, and sought to swell it into a mountain. 
"Within a week every friend and relative of Esther's had heard 
that she had met in a clandestine manner a gipsy chief, in a 
summer-house on her uncle's estate. Her uncle, Sir Thomas, 
wrote fully twenty letters explaining the whole affair. This 
was the first cloud over the face of the evening star referred 
to by Ziska. 

Mrs. Yan Reem felt it incumbent upon her to write to her 
brother, Sir Thomas, and warn him that his ideas of moral 
suasion were not adapted for one having the peculiar character- 
istics of Esther. The girl needed a firm hand, and should be 
given to understand in plain Anglo-Saxon that any wilful 
conduct on her part would result in her executors withholding 
her income, as they had the power to do so under her father's 
will. 

She was surprised that her niece had so little pride as to risk 
a scandal in meeting a low, vulgar gipsy alone, without one of 
her cousins to accompany her. This had given rise to a great 
deal of talk. She had written a letter of thanks to Martin 
Nickley for the severe thrashing he had given this gipsy, and 
also for taking Esther away forcibly from the presence of this 
man. Mr. Nickley had told her how he had horsewhipped the 
presumptuous fortune-teller until he begged for mercy. 

Mrs. Van Reem further stated that this conduct of her niece 
made her ill. 

This letter was followed by one from Mrs. Ainsworth, which 
speaks for itself:— 

Beechwood Seminary, 

August 2nd, 1862. 

My Deaii Sir Thomas, 

I received a personal visit from Mr. Martin Nickley, who 
related to me a detailed account of the reckless conduct of your niece, 
Esther. It is a deep mortification to me to think that she was a member 



Loch Lomond. . 115 

■of this school, for her actions reflect on my training. It appears that it 
was the same gipsy baud that she visited one night while a student here. 
I am amazed that she should value her own good name and that of your 
family so lightly as to risk it by meeting a gipsy cliief alone in a sunimer- 
liouse on your estate. After this I will not be surprised at auytliiug that 
I may hear concerning her. 

For yourself and family I have the very highest esteem. Believe me. 
Your affectionate kinswoman, 

Harriet Aixsworth. 

Esther felt keenly the tenor of both these letters. She knew 
that she was innocent of any wi'ong intention when she visited 
the summer-house, and that not a word would have been said 
iibout it but for the vile conduct of Martin ISTickley. If Edgar 
were only in England he would take steps to silence his 
slanderous tongue. Sir Thomas and Lady Shirley were 
exceedingly kind to her, and in Winifred Vivian she found a 
warm friend. Her cousins, Adelaide and Eleanor, were very 
j salons of her influence over the Earl of Montville. He had 
several times proposed to her, and offered to marry her at once. 
To his proposal she asked time to consider it. 

On the morning of the 5th of August she received a letter 
from Ziska, the gipsy chief, giving her -warning of a plan 
concocted by Martin Nickley to kidnap her person and thus 
place her in a compromising ])Osition, which would necessitate 
her accepting his offer of marriage. She did not feel unkindly 
disposed towards Mr. Nickley, as she was conscious that 
she owed him a great debt of gratitude for savin;i; her life. 
Under this influence she might possibly have been disposed to 
accept him if he had acted properly. He was now driving her 
to take the offer of the earl. 

She gave this letter to her uncle. Her cousins, Robert and 
John, assured her that Mr. Nickley would have a larger 
contract on his hands than he had contemplated, if he thought 
he could get her away from their house by force. Martin 
Nickley had indeed a design of this sort, and loitered in the 
neighboui'hood with two of his servants. A cari'iage was 
kept at a convenient place. As Esther often took rambles 
alone with Cfesar and sometimes with Winifred, he thought 
there would be little difficulty. The first thing to do was to 
get rid of the dog. 

Later in the evening Mr. Nickley sent one of his men with 
a letter to Sir Thomas from some gentleman in the neighbour- 
hood, asking for information about some trivial matter. Whilst 
waiting for an answer the man spoke a few kind words to the 
dog, and laid down by the porch a piece of poisoned meat. The 



116 Miriam vs. Milton. 

morsel was very tempting, but Ciesar had been trained from a 
puppy never to take anything from a stranger. Besides, he 
was a very intelligent animal, and suspected that something was 
wrong, because it was so unusual for visitors to bi'ing him food, 
as he had all he wanted from the kitchen. Some persons 
declare that animals do not reason, but they do, nevertheless. 
There were several cats round the house, and in the estimation 
of most dogs, cats do not possess any great commercial value. 
Csesar took the piece of meat to the back yard where the cats 
were holding a "primary meeting," and left it near them. 
The following morning the meat was gone, and four cats were 
found dead. 

It did not require any great amount of reasoning power in 
Csesar to convince him that the meat was dangerous, and that 
his death was to be the result of eating the choice morsel. 

Esther was now fully warned of the plot against her welfare, 
and gave Mr. Nickley no opportunity to put it in o[)eration. 

In the middle of August Sir Thomas, as was his custom,, 
resolved to visit Scotland with all of his family. The Earl oi" 
Montville consented to be one of the party, and Esther looked 
forward to a relief from the annoyance of IMartin Nickley. 
She had written him a letter declining his oiTer of marriage. 
While in no way forgetting the debt of gratitude due him, she 
was not willing to become his Avife, especially after the unkind 
letters he had written about her. 

To this he replied that he loved her as he had never 
loved a woman before, and it was a great disappointment to 
him. It Avas true he could not place at her feet a coronet, bi.it 
he could show as large a bank account as the earl, and his life- 
devotion would be greater. Therefore she could not expect 
that he would tamely look on while another carried off the 
prize that he felt belonged to him. He acknowledged having 
wi-itten several letters derogatory to her character, but it was 
because he was goaded almost to madness by her ingratitude. 

He stood ready at any hour to make her his wife. This 
would prove to all that the rumours of her meeting the gipsy 
chief v/ere of no account. He asked that she would take time 
for reflection before finally deciding to reject him and accept 
his rival. If she consented to this, say for six months or a year, 
then if at the end of that time she felt that she could not 
reciprocate his love and devotion he would try to forget her. 

It is needless to say that Esther felt the full force of his 
crafty letter. She was not willing that he should think her 
ungrateful ; she also did not feel that she was in love with 



Loch Lomond. 117 

the earl. She liked him ; he was very devoted and highly 
accomplished, and was a companion to whom she could talk on 
literary matters, and who appreciated her talent as no one else 
did. As already stated Esther had a very brilliant mind. She 
was extremely fond of psychology, a subject that none of her 
cousins, not even the gifted Eleanor, could understand. 

The earl found that if he wanted to hold the advantage 
already gained he must be able to discuss metaphysics with 
her. He was quick to perceive that she was no ordinary girl ; 
in fact, one out of a million. Her religious temperament was 
very high — as well it might be after her strange experience. 

The evening before the departure for Scotland Esther 
consented to a moonlight ride with the earl. The moment 
that she was seated in the saddle a strange longing came over 
her for a wild run over the hills. The feeling was uncontroll- 
able, and as soon as they left the grounds of Elmswood away 
they went, t was the first time she had ridden a horse 
since the lake ei)isode. Both were mounted on thorough- 
breds, the roads were good, the moon very bi'ight, and the 
exhilaration was keen. Ctesar followed them, as did also two 
other dogs of the establishment. He was amazed at this freak 
of his mistress. The dogs took short cuts across fields, while 
the horses kept the pike. The riders did not rein up until they 
leached a high hill ten miles away from their starting point. 
The view in the moonlight was weird and gi'and, and neither 
spoke for several minutes. The occasion was too favourable 
for wooing to be lost, and the earl proposed to make good use 
^f it. 

" Esther," he said, " you promised a few days ago to give me 
an answer to my proposal. You are aware that we have known 
each other from childhood. When I grew to manhood my 
constant dream was to have you as my bride. When I unex- 
pectedly succeeded to the earldom at the death of my older 
brother, the greatest joy I had was the hope that you would 
share it with me. I have waited so long that I am willing to 
wait until you are ready, if only }'0U will give me some 
encouragement." 

" Edmond," she gently replied, " I would not marry you, or 
anyone else, without I could give my whole, undivided heart. 
I promise you, however, a positive answer in six mouths from 
to-day. This will give me time to analyse my own feelings. 
If then we are mai'ried there will be no occasion to repent at 
leisure. I now acknowledge that I like you very much indeed, 
and with that you must be content for the present." 



118 Miriain vs. Milton. 

Esther, sitting erect on her horse, with her superb figure iu & 
close-fitting riding habit outlined against the indigo sky, formed 
a grand picture in the golden haze of the harvest moon. 

At that moment the earl felt that he would cheerfully 
have given half of his large estate to be able to call her hi& 
bride. 

The ride back was without incident. All the family were on 
the porch waiting for their return. There was a strong tincture 
of jealousy iu Adelaide's tone as she remarked : "I hope you 
won't get cold after your wild riding. I thought your horse 
ran away with you." 

It was a merry party that left Elmswood on the following 
morning. Winifred went with them, as Esther would not go 
without her. Edinburgh was reached late in the evening, and 
they went direct to the Balmoral Hotel, where apartments had 
been secured. 

Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is for its size one of the 
most im})osing, interesting, and magnificent cities of Europe. 

A week passed away pleasantly in visiting places of interest 
in and near the city. On all occasions the earl was the constant 
attendant of Esther, when they went to the Castle, Holyrood 
Palace, the National Picture Gallery, and the Botanical and 
Zoological Gardens. They also visited Melrose Abbey and 
Abbotsford. This last is of world renown as the home of Sir 
Walter Scott. They went to Dry burgh Abbey and many other 
places of deep interest. 

Arrangements were made to visit Loch Lomond, the queen 
of Scotch lakes. The morning on which they were to go was 
wet and dismal, and Sir Thomas proposed that they should take 
carriages and drive to Ijeith, the seaport of Edinburgh, and 
dine with an old friend of his who had sent a pressing invitation. 
They all went except Esther, who complained of a very severe 
headache. The earl also stayed behind, as he wished to see a 
friend on some special business. 

An hour after their departure the rain ceased and the sun 
came out clear and bright. 

The earl called for Esther and told her that there was just 
time for her to dress and get the train for Balloch, at the foot 
(jf Loch Lomond, where they could take the steamer for 
Tarbet ; a sail on the lake would do her good. It did not 
need any arguments to persuade her. She was ready in a few 
minutes. They enjoyed the trip up the tranquil waters of 
Loch Lomond and got oft' at "Tarbet, i)roposing to take th& 
steamer on the return trip from Inversnaid, at the head of the 



Loch Lomond, 119 

lake. They took a carriage across to AiTochar, at the head of 
Loch Long, a distance of about two miles. 

On reaching this place they liad dinner at the hotel, and 
afterwards drove to several noted scenes and set out on their 
return to Tarbet. When within a mile of the place the front 
axle broke. This necessitated walking the rest of the way. 
On their arrival they found that the steamer had made her 
landing and was then a mile distant. There was no other 
steamer that day, and no way to get back to Edinburgh before 
the following morning. 

They hired a fresh carriage and drove back to Arrochar, 
going direct to the manse of the Established Church, where 
they found the Rev. James Demar the pastor in charge. To 
him the earl introduced himself and explained the situation. 
The worthy Presbyterian clergyman at once offered the shelter 
of his home to Esther, while the earl could stay at the hotel. 
This would prevent a scandal arising from this incident. 

A very pleasant evening was spent, the earl remaining for 
dinner. The Rev. Mr. Demar was a highly-cultured gentleman, 
and those who have partaken of his hospitality always 
remember it as a pleasant episode of the past. 

The following morning the earl and Esther took the steamer 
on Loch Long for Greenock, thence by rail to Edinburgh, where 
they arrived at eleven o'clock. It is needless to remark that 
Sii" Thomas and his family were alarmed at the non-arrival of 
Esther and her escort on the previous evening, and at once 
surmised the cause, as the earl had left a note stating that they 
were going to Tarbet and then over to the other lakes. A 
letter from the Rev. James Demar gave satisfactory evidence of 
Esther's whereabouts on the previous evening to all her friends, 
except Mr. Martin Nickley. He had followed them to Scotland 
and heard of the lake incident, and made up his mind to make 
the most of it. 



120 Miriam vs. Milton. 



CHAPTEE XV. 

LIBBY PIUSOA^ 

Amoxg the few who wei'e benefited by the Union victory 
won on Antietam's battle-field was Major Creedmore. 

General McClellan, in recognition of his valuable services, 
procured for him promotion to the rank of lieutenant-colonel, 
Edgar held no sinecure, for he was almost constantly in the 
saddle. 

After the battle of Antietam General Lee retired to the 
vicinity of Winchester. Finding that he had not been pursued 
or molested by McClellan, he sent General Stuart on a bold 
raid into Pennsylvania, who penetrated as far as Chanibers- 
lairg. He there destroyed a large amount of supjilies, and 
parolled 275 sick and wounded soldiers whom he found in the 
hospital, also burned the railroad depot, machine shops, and 
sevend trains of loaded cars. Colonel Creedmore was sent at 
the head of a strong Ibrce to get information of Stuart's position, 
but the wily Confederate had no purpose of making a prolonged 
stay in the Keystone State. Long before the coveted informa- 
tion reached General McClellan he had recrossed into Virginia. 

In the latter part of October General ]\(cClellan moved his 
army to Warrenton, where on the 7th of November he was 
directed to turn his command over to General Burnside, and to 
proceed to his home in Trenton, New Jersey. 

Horace Greeley, in his History of the Civil War (page 342, 
vol. 2), states that General Eurnside reluctantly and with 
unfeigned self-distrust succeeded to the command of the ai'my 
of the Potomac. The devotion of its principal officers and of 
many of their subordinates to McClellan was so ardent that 
any other commander must have had a poor chance of hearty, 
uncpxestiouing support, and Burnside would gladly have shrunk 
from the ordeal. Having no alternative but disobedience of 
orders, he accepted the trust and immediately made preparations 
for a movement of his forces down the Ila[)pahaunock to 
Fredericksburg, which lie had selected as the proper as well as 
the direct line of operations from V/ashington against Eicliraoud. 

The fearful slaughter of Union soldi'ers hurled against the 
strongly-entrenched Confederate troops under General Lee, 
80,001) strong, and over one hundred guns jsosted on heights 
that the Union batteries could not reach, is a matter of historic 



Lihhy Prison. 121 

record. Over this dark page we must pass. They wei-e 
sacrificed to the public clamour for some practical results. 

During the terrible fighting of December lOfch and 11th 
Lieutenant- Colonel Creedraore served General Burnside as 
faithfully as he ever did McDowell and McCIellan. It was 
towards the close of the 11th December when Edgar, hastening 
v,-ith an important despatch to General Franklin, who com- 
manded the left v/ing, rode into a thick clump of woods, whei-e 
he found Captain ]\Ioorehead with a battery of artillery and 
only two hundred men strongly entrenched behind a breastwork 
of rail logs. The captain told Colonel Creedmore that he had 
been sent to take possession of this point, and was surrounded 
on the way by a regiment of Confederate troops. He gained 
the woods, where the under-brush was so thick as to hide the 
fiict of his having only sLx: twelve-pounders. He adopted the rule 
of scattering his guns and firing at the enemy from six different 
points. His fire was so rapid that the Confederates concluded 
there must be a veiy large force and hastily retreated. Lieu- 
tenant Harkness was wounded, but was well cared for. The 
cajitain asked Edgar to have reinforcements sent to him as 
.soon as possible. This was done by General Franklin, and the 
brave action was fully reported by Colonel Creedmore. The 
gallant Captain Moorehead was promoted to the grade of lieu- 
tenant-colonel, and given command of a battery of twenty 
field-pieces. 

On the 2Stli of January, 1S63, General Burnside was relieved 
from the command of tlie army of the Potomac, and Genera! 
Joe Hooker assumed command. 

The reputation of Lieutenant-Colonel Creedmore was too 
well known in the army not to make him a very desirable 
aide-de-camp, and General Hooker knew him well, as he had 
often carried despatches to him, and one of the first things be 
did was to invite the young man on his staff. He followed 
General Hooker in that memorable advance on Richmond in 
April, which culminated in the bloody battle of Chancel lor- 
ville, where in the charge by Stonewall Jackson's division, 
2.'i,000 strong, on the fortified positions of General Pleasauton, 
the Confederate chieftain lost his life. 

On Sunday morning. May 3rd, Lieutenant-Colonel Creed- 
mure, on proceeding to report his observation of the enemy's 
movements from a distant point, where he had been sent, 
found General Hooker lying on the ground. He had been 
stunned by a heavy shot striking a pillar of the house against, 
which he v/as leaning. His staff ofiicers supposed him to be 



122 Miriam vs. Milton. 

dying. By noon, however, he had fully I'ecovered and once 
more assumed command, although for several hours the large 
army of the Potomac was virtually without a head, and that in 
the midst of a great battle. 

On the 25th of May Lieutenant-Colonel Creedmore received 
a letter from Etaline Roberts stating that Henriettti St, Clair 
liad olitiiined her freedom and was returning South. Etaline 
further told him that it would henceforth be diamond cut 
diamond between herself and Henrietta, and she would keep 
him apprised of all plots against his person. 

Edgar thoroughly appreciated the kindness of Etaline, but 
felt fully able to look after his own safety, and therefoi'e took 
no precautions whatever in view of the warning received. A 
week later at sundown, while sitting at his tent door, a I'agged 
specimen of a contraband came to him and said that he had 
been sent to give him notice that Miss Henrietta St. Clair was 
at that moment in hiding at a small house about a mile outside 
of the lines and close to the river. The man added that if he 
should take five well-armed men, unmounted, and follow him 
through the woods he would escort him to the place, and her 
capture was certain. She had in her possession, he declared, 
valuable papers which she was taking to Richmond. 

The man was a mulatto, and had a straightforward way of 
speaking and was evidently honest. He had the peculiar 
"Virfvinia-nei^rro dialect. He further stated that he had had 
nothing to eat since the previous day. Colonel Creedmore 
ordered his servant to give him a meal, while he went and 
selected five trustworthy men. He regretted that he had sent 
his faithful scout, Henry Winston, away on a message to 
Colonel Moorehead, for he would not return before morning. 

Edgar's judgment prompted him to take one hundred well- 
mounted men, but the contraband told him that such a force 
would defeat the object of the expedition, as Miss St. Clair was 
on the watch. Her capture would be more easily accomplished 
if she were taken unawares by half-a-dozen men coming through 
the woods. 

At nine o'clock Edgar started with six picked men, well 
armed. It was a starlight night, and they had no difficulty in 
reaching the river by eleven p.m., where at anchor were a 
number of Union gun boats. They soon came to a large house, 
which their guide told them was the place. Slowly and 
cautiously they advanced. As they reached the rear of the 
house, in which sevei'al lights were burning, Edgar's quick eye 
noticed five armed men who walked past one of the Avindows, 



Lihhj Prison. 123 

and suspecting treachery he demanded in a stern tone of the 
contraband what was meant by those men in the house. 

" It means," was the reply in excellent English, " that you 
are my prisoner as well as your men. I am Lieutenant St. 
Clair, of the Confederate army, a cousin of Henrietta, and I 
have within call 100 well-armed men. Resistance is useless." 
A heavy revolver was placed against Edgar's forehead, and the 
man continued : " AVill you sun-ender, or shall I blow your 
brains out 1 I had no idea I could play the I'agged contral^and 
so successfully on such a keen detective as you ai'e reputed to 
be. Miss St. Clair will be glad to welcome you inside." 

Edgar never quailed, but, looking the man straight in the face 
without speaking, he suddenly caught his wrist with his left 
hand and raised the pistol over his head ; it went off, but the 
l)ullet fiev/ harmlessly among the trees. The next instant 
Colonel Creedmore placed his own revolver against the spy's 
face and fired. The man dropped dead at his feet. Thei'e was 
instant commotion in the house as the shots rang out in the 
night air. A great massive bloodhound came bounding down 
the pathway, but was immediately killed by one of Edgar's 
men. It was high time to reti'eat, and they made rapidly for 
the banks of the rivex'. A mile below the house they were 
stopped by a body of men close by a large boat. Lieutenant- 
Colonel Creedmore at once surmised that they belonged to one 
of the gun boats. He gave his name and rank, and stated 
briefly the reason that brought them there, and also that they 
were pursued by a company of Confederate troops, who would 
soon be up with them. The ofiicer in command of the boat party, 
Acting-Ensign A. J. Kane, invited them off to their vessel, 
which was the " Commodore Jones." They had hardly left the 
shore when the Confederates arrived and gave them a volley. 
Three men were slightly wounded, the darkness preventing more 
serious damage. The gun boat opened fire on the shore at once 
with nine-inch grape and canister, and the Confederates 
hurriedly retreated. The next morning fifteen dead men lying 
on the bank of the river told the sequel of the adventure. 

By the following morning Colonel Creedmore and his men 
were back at headquarters. 

Edgar was so mortified at being deceived by a fictitious 
contraband, that he obtained permission from General Hooker 
to take a force of 250 men and raid the house where he had 
gone the previous night. He arrived thei'e in the aftei'noon, 
and was rather surprised to find Miss St. Clair calmly eating 
dinner in company with half-a-dozen Confederate ofiicers. 



124 Miriam vs. Milton. 

They were all disavmed and made pi-isoners, together with 75 
men found in and about the premises. No resistance was 
offered, and the march was begun back to the XTnion lines. 
Miss St. Clair had on a close-fitting riding habit of grey cloth, 
trimmed with Confederate army buttons, and was very affable 
to Colonel Creedmore, quietly remarking : " The fates of war 
are against me and I am a second time your pi-isoner, but you 
know the old adage, ' He laughs best who laughs last.' " The 
girl appeared to he perfectly light-spirited, yet Edgar had no 
suspicion that anything was wrong ; he rode l)eside his fair 
prisoner. He did wonder at the ease with wliicli the capture 
had been made, but what could 75 men do against 250 ? 

The road back was mostly through a wooded tract. When 
about in the middle of it Henry Winston, who was ahead, 
suddenly rode back and reported that the road was blocked 
by a strongly-entrenched Confederate force. A moment later 
a bugle sounded on the right, and a masked battery was 
revealed with long black muzzles protruding. Another bugle 
was sounded on the left, and the same sight met their astonished 
gaze. On looking back they saw a mounted force quietly take 
})osition as if on jiarade. The Union troops were dumbfounded 
at the suddenness of this unexj^ected ambuscade. The prisoners 
at a signal quietly took the rifles from their guards, and a dozen 
bayonets encircled Colonel Creedmore's neck. An officer in 
dashing grey uniform now rode up calling for unconditional 
surrender, and giving his name as General Stuart, of General 
Lee's forces. He had over 2,000 men under him, and resistance 
was useless. 

At this point Miss St. Clair, with a mocking laugh, said : 
'■ Colonel Creedmore, don't you think that I have the last 
laugh? This is the hour I have dreamed about for a year, and 
by to-morrow, when you are landed in Libby, my oath will be 
fulfilled." The march was now reversed. 

The following afternoon the doors of Libby Prison opened 
and closed upon Colonel Creedmore, and Heniietta's threat was 
accomplished. 



The Tongue of Scandal. 125 

CHAPTER XYI. 

THE TONGUE OF SCAXDAL. 

By the effort of Martin Nickley the second cloud referred to 
Ly the gipsy came over Esther's fair name. A full account of 
her visit to Arrochar was published in several newspapers, 
written in such a way as to leave doubt whether she had been 
at the manse all night. One article was headed : — 

AN OLD STORY TOLD AGAIN. 

THE PICNIC OF AN ENGLISH EAEL. 

A DAUGHTER OF A COMMONER RETURNS TO HER FRIENDS, 

A SADDER BUT A WISER WOMAN. 

Marked copies of these papers wei-e sent to all of Esther's 
friends and kindred. Every one of her schoolmates at Beech- 
wood had one, and even the servants at Everdale Manor and 
all the tenants on the estate got copies. The tongue of scandal 
was very free with Esther's name. 

Sir Thomas threatened to bring a suit against the newspapers, 
and they all published the correct statement with the letter 
from the Bev. Mr. Demar. The Daily Scotsman sent a special 
I'eporter to Arrochar, and his vindication was complete. An 
editorial article denounced the cowardly attack upon the 
character of a fair young girl. Any man who could take part 
in such a contemptible business was not fit to live. 

The authorship of the scandal was traced to Martin 
Nickley ; a reaction set in, and he was held up to public 
scorn and contempt. 

Mi-s. Van Beem wrote a characteristic letter to Sir Thomas, 
who immediately sealed it up and returned it to his sister 
with the endorsement on its face in red ink, " The sentiments 
expressed in this letter are unworthy of a member of the 
Shirley family. So please destroy it." 

Mrs. Ainsworth could not let the opportunity go by without 
expressing her opinion also to Sii- Thomas, who replied to it in 
the following terse language : — 

Balmoral Hotel, 

Mks. Ainsworth. Edinburgh, September 2nd, 1862. 

Madam, — After reading your letter I flung it in the fire and then 
washed my hands, as I felt they were polluted by contact with an epistle 
coming from such a malignant source as your spleen and veuorn prove 



126 Miriam vs. Milton. 

you to be at this present time. I must decline to receive you into my 
house or have any more communications from you until you fully apologise 
to my niece and myself for 3'our unjust suspicions. 

The Earl of Montville is too honourable a man to take even the 
slightest advantage of the confidence reposed in him by Esther. 

I remain, &c., 

Thomas Shirley. 

The result of this letter was a very humble apology, but; 
Jlrs. Ainswoi'th nevei* after recovered her lost position iu Sir 
Thomas Shirley's estimation. 

When Pauline and her father heard of the incident they both 
went to Edinburgh, and the loving girl told Esther that she 
would stand by her even if all the world went against her. 

The colonel immediately sent a challenge by mail to Martin 
Nickley to fight a duel, or he would horsewhip him. The reply 
was characteristic of the man. Martin Nickley stated '' that 
he fully appreciated the honour conferred upon him in being 
asked to fight such a gallant soldier, but as he had no quarrel 
with him, and England needed all her fighting material, he 
would not be so unpatriotic as to kill a man in a private quarrel 
who was needed to stop an enemy's bullet." 

Sir Thomas told the colonel that he would demean himself 
in fighting such a scoundrel, so the matter dropped. 

Elvira Huben wrote a letter in which she expi-essed the 
fullest confidence in her former class-mate, and hoped before 
long to be able to congratulate her as the Countess of Montville. 

The tour of Scotland was abruptly terminated, and the whole 
party returned to Elmswood. 

Sir Thomas and Lady Shirley became more devoted to Esther, 
and her life under their roof was a pleasant one. Her cousins 
ivobert and John did all in their power to add to her happiness. 
Adelaide and Eleanor showed occasional fits of jealousy, but 
Irene more than made up for any perverseness of her sisters 
She upheld her fair cousin with an oft-quoted scriptural 
expression, that she was " chief among ten thousand, and 
altogether lovely." 

Esther's beauty augmented daily, and wherever she went she 
became at once a central star of great magnitude. The cloud 
had now entirely passed away, and it was a well-known fact 
that the evil rumours were set on foot by the fierce jealousy of 
Martin Nickley. He never abated his efforts for a moment. 
He made a second attempt in November to abduct Esther. 
The plot was well laid, and was chiefly foiled by the watchfulness 
of the dog Csesar. Two men were engaged by Martin Nickley 
to help him in the job. Robert and John were informed of 



Tlie Tongue of Scandal. 127 

their intention by Ziska, the gipsy chief. Winifred had been 
absent a few days on a visit to some friends. One afternoon 
Esther received a letter, written apparently in the handwriting 
of the Rev. Mr, Vivian, and signed with his name, stating that 
his daughter had just returned home quite ill, and wanted 
Esther to come over at once and spend the night with her. 
"Without a moment's hesitation she got ready and started alone 
to go through the woods. Csesar at the time was in the lodge- 
keeper's house; he rushed out, and standing before his mistress, 
barked in a warning tone, and appeared to be very much excited. 
His baying brought Robert and John to the spot, to whom 
Esther gave Mr. Vivian's letter. They both doubted its 
authenticity, but in order to be sure of it they consented to 
accompany her. When half way through the woods they came 
upon a closed carriage and a powerful span of horses standing 
in a side road. Csesar now became almost frantic, and rushed 
to the door of the carriage and bai'ked furiously. The window 
was then let down and an arm extended holding a pistol, which 
was aimed at the dog ; a flash and a report followed, but the 
bullet flew wide of the mark. John picked up a stone and 
hurled it into the carriage, and the next moment the door 
opened and Martin Nickley sprang out with the blood streaming 
down his face from a gash made by the well-aimed missile. 
Two powerful and heavily-armed men, who had been hiding behind 
some trees, now came to Nickley's aid. It would have gone 
hard with Esther and her cousins but for the timely arrival of 
the lodge-porter and two of the gamekeepers with double- 
barrelled guns. They had suspected trouble from the actions 
of Csesar, and had quietly followed their young masters. 

Martin Nickley, on seeing these reinforcements, returned to 
his carriage and was followed by his men who, jumping on the 
coachman's seat, quickly dr*ve away. 

When the residence of the Rev. Mr, Vivian was reached, 
they found that the worthy gentleman had gone to London to 
bring his daughter home. Of coui'se this decided the impression 
that the letter was a forgery and a decoy, which would have 
resulted in Esther's abduction but for the faithful Csesar, 

A v/arrant was issued for Martin Nickley's arrest, but before 
it could be served he had gone to Paris to be absent some time. 

Esther now had rest from the persecution of her vindictive 
suitor. The earl renewed his proposal of marriage. To his 
entreaties Esther promised to give a final answer on New 
Year's Day. Uncle Richard came to Elmswood for a visit and 
also to induce his niece to return to Everdale. He was. 



128 Miriam vs. Milton. 

devotedly attached to the girl, and she on her part fully 
reciprocated his affection, but she could not endure the lectures 
of her aunt. Besides, there were other reasons that she could 
not explain to Uncle E-ichard. Milton's room at Everdale was 
so full of the memories of the past, and brought up so many 
doubts as to the wisdom of what she and her brother had done, 
that the wisest course was to keep away from it. 

New Year's Day of 1863 was an exhilarating one. The air 
was crisp and clear. A grand ball Vi^as to be given at the 
residence of one of tlie oldest families of the county. It was 
talked about and prepared for fully a month ahead. Those 
who felt disposed could come with masks. Esther chose a 
costume that became her superb figure — that of a Grecian 
maiden of the day when Athens was in the height of her fame 
and glory. 

The earl also had prepared for himself a dress of the style 
worn by the Round Men of King Arthur. 

Sir Thomas gave a dinner to some of his most intimate 
friends, to vv'hich Winifred and her father were invited. 

The ball which followed at the house above referred to was a 
brilliant success. 

The earl had been seeking all day for a favourable oppor- 
tunity of asking for an answer from Esther, according to her 
promise. The girl seemed to take delight in his anxiety and 
gave him no chance to find her alone. When the ball was at 
its height the earl, v.'ho of course knew Esther's disguise, 
managed to get her away into a retired corner of the conservatory, 
where, amidst fragrant llowers, in low, soft words, he again 
told her the old story of his love and asked for her acceptance 
of his hand and heart. He took from his pocket a solitaire 
diamond ring of great value, and said to her : 

" Esther, for six months I have carried this ring in my 
pocket, hoping that some day you would wear it as a token of our 
engagement and as a pledge of my earnest love for you. Mine 
is a devotion that will know no cessation while my heart throbs 
in my breast, and will never grow wear}'-. To make you happy 
will be the one aim of my life. Will you let me put it on your 
linger ? " 

Slowly, without a word, the dainty hand was placed in his. 
He took off the white kid glove, and on the index finger he 
placed the hoop of gold with its sparkling gem resplendent in 
its beauty. 

Neither of the lovers noticed the stealthy approach of a tall 
IJgure, masked in the costume of a monk. A heavy hand was 



The Sacrifice of Ef aline. 129 

suddenly placed on the earl's shoulder, and a voice of siippvessed 

passion said : 

" You have won ber, hut you camiot keep her." 

Both recognised the voice of Martin Nickley. The next 

moment he was lost in the thron;^. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

THE SACRIFICE OF ETALIXE. 

When Henry Winston saw Colonel Creedmore made a 
prisoner, he realised the fate in store for himself if caught with 
arms in his hands. No quarter was given to former slaves 
found red-handed in battle. He dismounted and in the 
confusion had, unnoticed, taken oif his uniform and hid it in 
the thick underbrush. He worked his way to the rear, where 
he found a dozen negroes, servants of the ofEcei's of General 
Stuart's forces. Several of them were known to him, and five 
minutes later no one would have recognised the Union scout 
in the ragged contraband. Watching his chance he slijiped 
away in the darkness, and by morning had reported to General 
Hooker the capture of his aide-de-camp. A strong rescue party 
was sent out, but they were too late. 

Great was the rejoicing among the officials in lUchmond 
when it was known that the celebrated Lieutenant-Colonel 
Creedmore was a prisoner and safely lodged in Libby, the 
Southern Bastile. 

Henrietta St. Clair had sworn to land him in the famous 
prison, and proposed to make his sojourn anything but agreeable. 
She obtained an order from the Secretai-y of War to have her 
prize, as she called him, placed in solitary confinement, and no 
one was to be allowed to see him without a written order from 
the Secretary, countersigned by herself. This was something 
unusual, but her father's influence was strong with the Secretary 
of War, and the girl had her own way, for a while at least. 

Etaline Roberts soon heard of the capture, and went at once 
to Richmond. She was told of the stringent orders in regard 
to his close confinement, and resolved to see him at all hazards. 
She called upon Henrietta, and congratulated her upon her 



130 Miriam vs. Milton. 

triumph, and said that the South owed her a debt of great 
cratitude for so successfully capturing the celebrated Yankee 
Colonel, and she would very much like to see her prisoner. 
" What does he look like ? Is he a handsome man % " said the 
artful girl to the unsusj^ecting Henrietta. 

"He looks just what he is," was the reply, " a conceited 
Englishman, but his pride will be humbled before we get 
through v/itli him. As to his being a handsome man, well I 
never did consider him such. If you care to see him I will go 
with you to the prison. I think, however, you will be disap- 
pointed in your expectations of beholding something wonderful." 
The following day these two girls, so widely different in their 
feelings towards the captive Englishman, were admitted into 
the prison. Efcaline, when she saw the Colonel in his cell 
looking downcast, could hardly restrain her tears, but gave no 
sign of recognition. Unnoticed by anyone she managed to slip 
a note into his hand, in which she stated that her efforts in his 
behalf would not cease until he was released from captivity. 

Four months of prison life passed and Edgar began to despair 
of getting out alive. His fare was just enough to keep soul 
and body together. Etaline had not been able to see him again, 
or even to get a letter to his cell, but she left no stone unturned 
to get him exchanged. This was a matter that the Confederate 
Secretary of War would not entertain. 

On the first week in October an inspection of Libby Prison 
was made by order of President Davis. Colonel Creedmore's 
cell door was opened as well as the others for the officers 
charged with the duty to ins])ect and i-eport the condition. 
Among the number was a captain of a Kentucky regiment 
who, when he heard the colonel was an Englishman, went to 
his cell and asked a few questions, and how it was that he was 
in close confinement. 

Edgar stated his case briefly, and then thinking of Colonel 
Derwent's motto said, " In your State the star of Derwenfc 
never fades, I am told, but there is no star of hope for me in 
■this prison." 

The Confederate officer was amazed when he heard these 
words, and asked Edgar " Who told him of this star ?" 

" Colonel Derwent himself, one of my fellow-passengers on 
the Cunard steamer," said Edgar. 

" Would you like to see the colonel 1 " was the question ia 
a low tone. " He arrived in Richmond yesterday." 

" Yes, if he cares enough to come I will certainly be glad 
to see him." 



Tlie Sacrifice of Etcdine. 131 

" He will surely come," was the response. " If he thought 
enough of you to give the secret password of his family he 
will stand by you when in distress." 

Sure enough the next day Colonel Derwent came with an 
order from President Davds to make Colonel Creedmore's 
captivity as pleasant as possible. He was removed into a 
better room and a more liberal allowance of food was served 
out to him. Colonel Derwent endeavoured to have Edgar 
exchanged, and had a promise that the matter would be 
favourably considered. Another two months passed and 
nothing was done. Etaline was now permitted to see Edgar 
from time to time, and brought him such supplies as she was 
able to procure. 

On the 2nd of December she came to see him, and brought 
a letter received the previous day from Henrietta St. Clair, who 
had been for the past two months in the north acting as an 
a-^ent for the Confederate Govei'nment. She stated in the 
letter that she had gained the confidence of Mr. Stanton, 
Secretary of War, and had almost succeeded in ruining Colonel 
Creedmore's character. She had informed the Secretary that 
he was a paid spy of the Confederate Government, his captivity 
was part of the plan, and he was living like a nabob in Libby 
Prison. She had passed herself off as a widow of an officer of 
a Boston regiment killed in battle, and was now under pay 
from the "War Department in Washington. She had proposed 
on her return to have the Colonel drummed out of Richmond, 
and his reception in the Union lines would not be a pleasant 
one. Her revenge would then be complete. 

Colonel Creedmore was almost beside himself when he read 
this letter, and he asked Etaline if there was no way by which 
he could escape and go to Washington and confront this woman, 
and show her up in her true light. 

Etaline, with tears in her eyes, told him she saw but one 
way, and that was a sacrifice of herself. 

" Why, Etaline, what do you mean 1: " he asked. 

There was a struggle in the girl's mind, and then amidst her 
fast-flowing tears she explained her proposition. 

'•' It is very important that you should get out of tliis prison 
and reach Washington before Henrietta ruins your character 
for life. Her conduct partakes of private revenge, and she is 
no longer actuated in your case by love of the South, and I 
jjropose to checkmate her. One of the lieutenants on duty in 
this prison is an old playmate of mine, and has urged me 
repeatedly to marry him. I have refused to listen to his suit. 



132 Miriam vs. Milton. 

This morning I showed him Henrietta's letter, and lie agreed 
to help me to get you out on one condition." 

" What were the terms of it 1 " he asked. 

" For his help to give you a chance to escape I was to 
promise to become his wife." 

"And 3^our answer? " said Edgar, reading in the girl's eyes 
her unspoken love for himself. 

Slowly she answered, " As there was no other way to save 
your honour I consented. This evening at dark I will corce 
and bring you one of my dresses. You will put it on and take 
my hat and veil, and as we are nearly of the same size you can 
easily pass the guard. One of my servants will be at hand 
with my pony phajtou and will drive you to the E,andolph 
House, which you will reach by daylight. Once there you will 
be safe, and can easily get into the Union lines." 

" How about you, and what will be the consequence when 
you are discovered 1 " 

" I have arranged all that," she replied. " I will put your 
coat on for a while and cover myself up. Then Lieutenauc 
Hilton will let me out; I will have a Spanish lace shawl to 
throw over my head, and can easily pass out of the gate. A 
line will be made fast to your window sill, and that will show 
how you got away. Here is a file ; cut two of the bars when 
you have a chance, and before you leave your cell pull the bars 
apart. It is needless to say that there is a great risk of detection, 
for the guards keep a strict watch, but the audacity of the 
attempt will more than likely enable you to escape successfuliv. 

Everything as then planned was carried without a hitch. 
Colonel Creedniore, in the black dress and shawl and close veil, 
with his moustache shaved off, quietly walked up to the guard 
and dropped in a box the pass given to Etaline. Two or three 
otficers standing by the door took off their hats to the supposed 
Miss Randolph. In front of the hotel near by, the pony phteton 
was Avaiting, and Edgar was delighted to find his faithful scout, 
Henry Winston, well disguised, sitting on the driver's seat. 
The turnout was so well known that no questions were asked 
as they drove through the gates. Henry had the countersign, 
and once clear on the highway the speed was all that the 2)ony 
could put forth. 

An houv after Edgar had passed through the famous prison 
gates, Etaline, leaning on the arm of Lieutenant Hilton, went 
out, and deposited in the box a piece of blank paper resembling 
the visitor's pass. She went direct to the home of one of her 
young lady friends and found it convenient to stay in bed for 



Tlie Sacrifice of Etaline. 133 

-three days, and then went home to the Eandolph House. A 
week later she kept her promise, and gave her hand in marriage 
to Lieutenant Hilton. 

Colonel Creedmore reached the Randolph mansion at daylight 
of the following morning. Just before arriving he put on a 
civilian suit that Henry had concealed in an old ruin. He was 
hidden in the hayloft all day, and after dark he left and reached 
the Union lines next morning in company with Henry. He 
reported to General George G. Meade, who had on the 
28th of June succeeded to the command of the army of the 
Potomac. 

Colonel Creedmore received a genial welcome from his 
many friends in the army, but they would never have 
recognised him \i he had not made himself known. It was 
not so much the loss of the military moustache as the change 
in his face, produced by a scarcity of food and unhealthy 
quarters. 

He showed General Meade the letter of Henrietta St. Clair 
to Etaline, and asked for a court of inquiry as to his loyalty. 
The genei-al told him that there was no need of any court. 
His long and faithful services to the Union cause were too 
well known to be lightly set aside by a designing woman. 
General Meade gave him a strong letter of endorsement to 
Secretary Stanton, and closed it by saying ; — " Lieutenant- 
Colonel Creedmore's face tells its own story of severe priva- 
tions, and its frank, genial expression will promptly brand as 
false any malicious statements of his enemies." 

On the morning of the 5th of December, Edgar reached 
Washington after his six months' sojourn in Libby Prison. 
He drew on his uncle for funds, and going to a military tailor 
was fortunate in finding a uniform that fitted him. 

At noon he went to the "War Department, and sent his card 
and the letter from General Meade to Secretary Stanton. 

As the fates would have it, Henrietta had the previous day 
obtained a letter from Secretaiy Stanton to General Meade 
recommending her as a useful spy, able and willing to risk 
going to Eichmond and bring back valuable information. Not 
satisfied with this, she returned the next day to get an order to 
be read to the army of the Potomac denouncing Lieutenant - 
Colonel Creedmore as a spy in the pay of the Confederate 
Government. The order was made out and the Secretary was 
about to sign it when he received Colonel Creedmore's card and 
the letter from General Meade which he read. 

" Admit him," was his reply to the door-keeper. 



134: Miriam vs. Milton. 

Ileni-ietta did not recognise tlie cadaverous-looking ofiScer in 
a bi'and new uniform as her prize, safely caged, as slie thought, 
in Libby. 

Not so, however, with Edgar, for as soon as he caught sight 
of the trim figure in widow's weeds and a blonde wig on her 
head, sitting by the Secretary's desk, and smiling one of her 
sweetest and most captivating smiles, he promptly said : 

" Why, Miss Henrietta St. Clair, what are you doing here 
disguised as a widow 1 Are you planning some new deviltry ] " 

Tlie effect of these words was something startling. Secretary 
Stanton jumped to his feet, his eyes flashing with the iudigna- 
tioQ he felt. If thei'e was anything he disliked more than 
another it was to have his finer feelings worked upon by an 
artful woman. 

Turning to Colonel Creedmore, he said : 

" Is this woman that Henrietta St. Clair whom I released 
from Fort Lafayette seven months ago, confined there on the 
charge of being a Southei'n spyl" 

" Yes, Mr. Secretary ; it is the same person." 

Secretary Stanton bi'ovight his hand dov.^n with terrific force 
upon the bell on his table, and he told his messenger to send 
an officer and guard to his room. When they came he said : 

"Take this woman to Fort Lafayette and keep her there 
in close confinement until the war closes." 

" Turning to Edgar, he continued : " I trust, Colonel Creed- 
more, you will pai'don any unjust suspicion I may have 
entertained about your loyalty to the Union cause. I was a 
fool to allow myself to be imposed upon b}^ that woman, who 
passed herself off as a widow of a Union officer killed in battle. 
As a compensation I will have your promotion made out to be 
a full colonel of volunteers, with leave of absence until you 
have recovered from the efiects of your imprisonment. Then I 
will assign you to whatever duty you may select. I will be 
most happy to have you dine with me at six o'clock this 
evening." 

The sacrifice of Etaline had just been made in time. 



The Manse of Arrodiar. 135 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

THE MANSE OF AUROCHAR. 

Esther had pledged hei-self to the Earl of Montville, but 
would not consent to have the ceremony take place until after 
six months. She loved the earl, but found it hard to reconcile 
the idea of marriage with her former condition of existence. 
In the agreement with her brother nothing had been said on 
this subject ; she wanted moi'e time to consider this matter. 

In the latter part of the month of Februaiy she went back 
to Everdale with her uncle Richard. Her reception by her 
aunt was not of an enthusiastic nature, for she had been 
strongly prej udiced against her niece by Mrs. Ainsworth. Mrs. 
Van Reem was constantly expecting a renewal of Esther's 
former fiery character. She could not understand the sudden 
change of disposition, and did not believe it permanent ; in fact, 
she was on the look-out for an outbreak, and felt it her duty to 
be constantly on her guard to crush any evidence of rebellion. 

Two years had now elapsed since the event and Esther was 
twenty-three years old, but the clause in the late admiral's will 
giving the executors power to withhold his daughter's income 
placed her entirely in their power. This was done OAving to 
the urgent representations of Mrs. Van Reem working on the 
admiral's mind in the last few months of his life. It was a fatal 
error on his part, destined to be fraught with serious consequences 
to the daughter whose welfare he had sought to promote. 

On the morning of the 3rd March, which was the second 
anniversary of the exchange and the first one Esther spent at 
home, she made up her mind to go over to Crusoe's Retreat 
and, alone in the memorable summer-house, to ponder over the 
deep mystery of the exchange of tabernacles. 

She told no one of her purpose, and was well pleased wlien 
at the breakfast table her aunt told her that she was going to 
Manchester to make some purchases, and would not be back 
before evening. Her uncle had to go to Preston and wanted his 
niece to go with him, but she declined on the plea of having a cold. 

" I would not be surprised," said Mrs. Van Reem, " to learn 
that, after we leave, you will be foolish enough to go out on the 
lake and I'isk getting drowned a second time." 

An angry retort came to Esther's lips, but she restrained, 
and, with a smile, said, " I suppose, aunty, if I were to get 



136 Miriam vs. Milton. 

drowned and efforts at resuscitation were to fail you would not 
put on mourning for me." 

This touched ;i tender spot in Mrs. Van lieem, for she replied 
*' You have a very bad opinion of me, my child. I may be 
strict in my ideas of propriety, but your loss would be very 
grievous to all of us." 

Esther was moved at this display of tenderness, and, putting 
her arms around her aunt, kissed her affectionately. This was 
such a rare event that Uncle Richai'd exclaimed : 

" I wonder if I am dreaming, or is this a harbinger of the 
millennium % " 

The only answer made by his niece was the pressure of her 
soft arms around his neck, with a kiss followed b}' a smile ; 
then her wonderful eyes opened to their full extent and her love 
for him flashed out. 

An hour later, after both had gone, Esther with a shawl 
around her and followed by Cfesar, who was her constant 
companion, went down to the boat landing. She had given 
instructions to have the same boat ready for her that had 
capsized on that eventful day two years previously. 

Csesai", while fond of the water, did not care for a boat, and 
showed a decided repugnance to getting into it, until his 
mistress said, " All right, Csesar, 1 will leave you behind," 
when he cautiously got into the craft with a low growl as a sort 
of protest. The day was like a May morniDg, calm and genial. 
With a few strokes of the oars the landing at Crusoe's Ketreat 
was reached, and Esther was soon seated in the summer-house. 
An hour of delightful reveries was passed. It did not seem 
more than five minutes, there was so much to think about in 
the past, and so many air castles for the future. Cfesar, who 
had been sleeping at her feet, jumped up, and barking loudly 
ran down to the boat landing. Esther was astonished at 
beholding the other larger boat being made fast, and the manly 
form of Ned Bentley, now a sub-lieutenant of the Royal Navy, 
get out, and with him were Pauline, Elvii-a, and Winifred. 
They had arrived Vjy the same train, and came to Everdale to 
congratulate her on her twenty-third birthday ; they wanted to 
surprise her, and did not write or telegraph. 

They all went back to the house, where telegrams began to 
pour in from friends and kindred wishing many haj>py i-eturns 
of the day. 

Uncle Richard had planned a number of surprises for his 
niece. Nothing had been said to her about having any birth- 
day party, so she looked for a quiet time. 



The Manse of Arrocliar. 137 

Great was her astonishment when the afternoon train 
brought back her uncle Richard with a present of a pair 
of diamond earrings. Mrs. Van E,eem brought a beautiful 
]:)aie-blue silk dress which had been made for the occasion. Sir 
'J'homas and Lady Shirley and all his family also came with 
valuable tokens. The Earl of Montville presented her with a 
diamond coronet for her hair. 

Among others who came were Miss Blanche Sinclair and 
her sister, Miss jMabel, of Beechwood Seminaiy, and six of her 
former class-mates. They were invited by Uncle Kichard as a 
surprise for his niece. 

The dinner at seven o'clock was one of the grandest ever 
given in Everdale Manor, and the reception which followed 
was an event i-emembered for many years. 

It was fully a week before the last of the guests took their 
departure and the old manor resumed its quiet features. 

Mrs. Yan Reem urged her niece to make preparations for 
her coming marriage with the earl, but Esther told her that 
although she was engaged no day had been set for the cere- 
mony, and it would perhaps be a year before it took place. 

Eour months passed awa}^ without anything arising to 
disturb the harmony of life at Everdale. Mrs. Van Reem, 
finding that no outbreak took place in her niece's disposition, 
became more genial in her treatment. The earl was a frequenc 
visitor, and he and his affianced enjoyed many pleasant 
lides. Catiline, to the wonder of everyone, had become a 
very tractable animal, and the earl rode him in preference t<^ 
any other horse. 

It was arrranged that a grand party should be made up for a 
complete tour of Scotland, spending at least two months there. 
Uncle Richard and Mrs. A^an. Reem, Sir Thomas and all 
his family, Winifred and her father and mother, also Colonel 
"Vansant and his daughter, and the Rev. Mr. and Mr.s. Huben. 
and Elvira. They were to meet at the Balmoral Hotel on the 
3rd of July. 

Not a word had been heard of Martin Nickley since New 
Year's night. Uncle Richard had taken extra precautions iu 
guarding the grounds of Everdale, and Esther never went oui- 
.side of tiiem without being well attended. After his two failures 
to abduct the girl, her kindred supposed that no further effort 
v/ould be made to molest her. 

According to appointment, all who w^ere invited met in 
Edinburgh at the appointed place and time. The month of 
July was passed in visiting the North of Scotland, the party 



138 Miriam w. Milton. 

going' as fai- as Inverness, and visiting the famous battle-field 
of Culloden, where the star of the ill-fated Stuart was 
extinguished by the Duke of Cumberland. 

The early part of August found them at the head of Loch 
liomond. The earl proj^osed that they should spend a few days 
at Arrochar, where there was good boating and fishing on Loch 
Long. 

The hos])itable Mr. Demar entertained as many of the ])arty 
as his house would hold, while the balance found accommodation 
at the hotel. On the evening of the second day, while Esther 
was sitting under a shade-tree on the grounds of the manse 
listening to an ancient Highlander playing the bagpijje, a little 
boy came up and jilaced a note in her hand and waited for an 
answer. She was surprised, on opening it, to see the 
signature of Martin Nickley. 

It read as follows : — ■ 

Arrochar, August 5tli, 1863. 

Miss E. Cekedmore, 

Pardon the liberty I take of once more sending you a few 
lines. They will be the last I will ever write to you. 

I am about to leave England for a long tour through India, and wanted 
to say farewell to you, the only woman among tlie many I have met 
whom 1 cared to liave as my wife. Two years ago, when I risked my 
life to save yours, I thought perhaps you would be grateful to me for 
doing so. Since you rejected my offer of marriage I have no longer any 
inducement to keep me in dear old England. 

I did want to hold your hand once more and ask you to forgive me for 
attempting to abduct you. I did so because I felt you were influenced 
against me. I am waiting now at the house of a wortlij' farmer a mile 
l>elow the manse. The family are honourable and will protect you. Five 
jninutes is all I ask, and if you will only say in person that you will 
forgive jre I will go on my long journey with a lighter heart, and also 
will feel that ingratitude is not a ]iarc of your nature. 

The boy who takes this letter will conduct you to this house. If you 
don't care to come, then farewell for ever. 

Your heart-broken lover, 

Martin ^STiceley. 

This letter moved Esther to her heart's core. Most of her 
]>ai-ty had gone out for a sail on the lake. Winifred was asleeji 
on a sofa in the manse. Mrs. Demar had gone to make a sick 
call, and only the children were at home ; she had declined to 
«>o boat sailing, for she disliked the water and had pleaded a 
headache. Twice she read the letter, and finally decided to 
go and see Mr. Nickley and take Ctesar with her, but the dog 
could not be found. Esther went to the house to ask Winifred 
to go witli her, but finding her sleeping so profoundly resolved 
to go alone. 



The Manse of Arrochar. 139 

As she left the manse and followed the boy a strong fore- 
boding of evil came over her, and she twice started to return. 
A quarter of a mile from Arrochar she met Mr. Nickley, who 
greeted her cordially and asked her forgiveness. He j)ointed 
to a steam yacht lying at anchor, and said that he had 
chartered her, and he expected in ten minutes to be on board 
bound for France on liis way to India. A boat manned by 
four sailors was waiting for him in a small inlet a few hundred 
feet from where they stood. Estiier told Mr. Nickley that 
she freely forgave him and hoped his life would be happy, 
and would never forget the debt of gratitude due him. 
" Neither will I," said ISTickley in a sneering tone, and the 
next moment he placed a handkerchief saturated with ether 
to her face, and throwing a shawl over her head picked her 
up in his arms and carried her to the boat, and the next 
moment was being rowed rapidly to his steam yacht. Hardly 
had he left the shore before Cffisar came tearing down the 
road barking furiously. His deep bay resounded a long 
distance over the waters of the lake. At this juncture 
two boats filled with Esther's party came swiftly round a 
sharjD bend of the shore under sail. The frantic manner of 
Csesar was recognised, and the apparent endeavour of the 
strange boat to get away led to a suspicion of something 
wrong. As the wind was strong a few minutes sufHced to head 
off the stranger, and the burly form of Martin Kickley was 
seen. As the tliree boats came together the earl, followed by 
Robert and John Shirley, leaped into Nickley's craft. John 
])icked up the unconscious form of Esther and took her into 
the other boat, Avhile his brother and the earl pounded I^ickley 
until he was almost insensible, and then let him go. Esther 
soon revived and told the story of the abduction. 

Her kindred decided that the marriage with the earl ought 
to take place at once. 

To this .she made no objection, and the next morning u-as 
fixed for the ceremony. 

It was thought best to take no action against Martin Nickley, 
as, no doubt, he would leave the country at once. 

It is needless to say that Ciesar came in for a large share of 
petting. 

The dinner at the manse was a joyous affair, and all were 
thankful at Esther's narrow escape. 



140 Miriam vs. Milton. 



CHAPTER XTX. 

THE FvIDE FOR LIFE. 

Colonel CREEDraoEE dined with Secretary Stanton and 
related to bim the detail of his prison life, and gave him much 
valuable information. 

The Secretary, when he heard of the sacrifice of Etaline, 
leniai'ked that the noble action of this woman more than 
counterbalanced the distrust engendered in his mind by the 
deceit of Henrietta St. Clair. 

The following day Edgar left for New York, and received a 
royal welcome from his uncle Richardson and his lovely 
daughter, Margaret. To her he remarked : 

" My fair cousin, I am back from the war after an experience 
of over two years and a half and cannot show the stars of a 
major-genei'al, but I have the eagle of a colonel won in hai'd 
toil, and propose as soon as I am well to return and keep at it 
until the war ends." 

Edgar did not need to be told of the love which had 
germinated in the heart of his beautiful cousin for him. It 
shone in her face and was revealed in every word. He had 
but to ask for her hand and it would have been freely given. 
To him love and marriage were out of the question at present. 
The restoration of the Union was the goal for which he was 
aiming, in company with the one million men under arms for 
the cause of the loyal North. 

Colonel Creedmore received a grand ovation from the 71st 
Regiment. They had watched with personal pride the gradual 
promotion of one of their men from the ranks up to full 
colonel, and whilst he was in prison had used every effort to 
have him exchanged. Of all the regiments sent out from 
New York none had a grander record than the 71st. Many 
of the members afterwards entered the regular service as 
officers. 

Uncle Richardson used every endeavour to persuade hi.s 
nephew to remain in New York, as his health was very muck 
undermined by exposure and, more than all, by the close 
confinement of Libby Prison. 

The war spirit was too dominant in the J'^oung Englishman 
to return to the quiet routine of pi-ivate life. On the 1st of 
March, 1864, he reported by letter to Secretary Stanton, and 



■ The Ride for Life. 141 

on tlie 5tli lie was instructed to report to General Grant for 
assignment to duty. 

General Grant had been nominated and confirmed as Lieu- 
tenant-General. 

On the 8 th of March Colonel Creedmore reported to General 
Grant in Washington. It was the day that President Lincoln's 
order appeared investing General Grant with the chief command 
of all the armies of the United States. The ai-my of the 
Potomac, under the command of General Meade, was com- 
pletely reorganised, and was made to consist of three army 
corps instead of five, its former number. 

Colonel Creedmore was assigned to duty on the staff of 
General Meade, and was warmly welcomed back by his many 
friends. On all sides he had advice to beware of blonde- haired 
beauties, but as the one referred to was safe in Fort Lafa3'ette 
he thought that with the experiences of the past he could keep 
out of Libby, for he knew that if he paid a second visit there 
his reception would not be a genial one. 

The scout, Henry Winston, who had remained with General 
Meade, now came back to his old commander. 

In the last week of April the army of the Potomac was held in 
preparation to cross the Rcipidan, and information was wanted 
of the exact position of Lee's army, which was alert and vigilant, 
and was west of the tract of land known as the Wilderness. 

This was a wild table-land filled with ravines, dwarfish 
timber, and bushes, and had only three or four good roads. 

Colonel Creedmore was instructed to take 250 mounted men 
and as few incumbrances as possible, and find where the Con- 
federates were entrenched. He would like to have taken a 
battery of four field-pieces, but as this would prevent rapid 
progi'ess it could not be thought of in an expedition where 
celerity of movement was of paramount importance. Henry 
Winston, who was always full of new ideas, suggested that 
Quaker guns would answer their purpose, and two of them 
could be carried on a horse. Four of them had been recently 
captured from the Confederates ; they were splendid imitations 
of twelve-pound siege guns, and only weighed twenty-five 
pounds each, whereas the genuine article would have been 
fully 1,000 pounds. 

These four Quaker guns were therefore taken along with the 
light carriage that held them, and were covered over so that no 
spy could betray the artifice. 

Colonel Creedmore and his men had only been four hours on 
the march when the outposts reported a large body of the 



142 Miriam vs. Milton. 

enemy advancing. It was but a moment's work to leave the 
I'oad and conceal themselves in the dense underbrush, the 
troops being dismounted. Tiie enemy was found to be a 
scouting party of infantry 400 strong. As soon as they passed, 
the road was barricaded with logs and bushes, and the Quaker 
guns duly mounted. 

An hour later the Confederates came back in full retreat, 
pursued by a Union regiment. Great was their amazement to 
find the road over which they had passed such a short time 
previously now strongly entrenched, with four wicked-looking 
siege guns commanding the position. They found themselves 
between two fires, and as they thought resistance was useless 
they surrendered without firing a shot, as they felt confident 
that the>e must be a full thousand men that held them in 
check. They grounded their arms, and in a few minutes the 
other body of Fedei-al troops came up, and Colonel Creedmore 
was delighted to find it was a Massachusetts regiment 
commanded by his old friend, Colonel Moorehead. 

When the leader of the Confederate troops saw four men 
deliberately walk up, each taking up one of the field-pieces and 
fasten two of them on a horse, he was duml) with amazement. 
Turning to Colonel Creedmore he said : " How is it possible 
for a single man to lift one of those heavy pieces of ordnance % 
Why, they must weigh half a ton." 

" Oh, no," was the answer, " only 25 pounds. They are of the 
Quaker order, and of white piue wood." 

For a moment there was silence ; then the Confederate 
colonel commenced to swear, slowly at first but gathering 
momentum at each word. He asked to be shot for being a 
jackass and a poor specimen at that, and said that he could, 
never hold up his head any more after surrendering without a 
blow to four miserable Quaker guns. 

When informed that they were of Confederate make he 
started ofi" on another swearing spell. To use an expression of 
Henry Winston's, " He was the maddest man "Virginia had 
ever produced." 

During the battle of the Wilderness, fought under the 
immediate command of General Grant, Colonel Creedmore 
again rendered invaluable service. It was to him the most 
memorable campaign of the whole war. Among the prisoner.s 
taken by the Union troops was Etaline's husband, Lieutenant 
Hilton. Edgar did not hear of it until a week later, when he 
received a letter from her asking his influence to have her 
husband's captivity rendered as pleasant as possible. This he 



Tlie Ride for Life. 143 

did at once, and was thus enabled partly to repay his obligations 
and his gratitude for his escape from Libby, 

Colonel Derwent was also taken prisoner, being badly- 
wounded. He sent for Colonel Creedmore, who ju-omptly 
responded and had his friend removed to comfortable quarters, 
:ind when sufficiently recovered he was sent to 'Sew York, 
where he found kindness and hospitality, which very few other 
Confederate prisoners obtained — at least not in the marked 
manner which he received as the result of Edgar's influence. 

The battle of the Wilderness cost the Union the loss of 
26,000 men, of whom 6,000 were taken prisoners. The month 
of May, 1864, was a veritable red-letter month in the history 
of the Civil "War. More fierce fighting took place in this 
month than any other, and more blood shed both for the Union 
and against it. The loss of officers was also very heavy. 

Colonel Creedmore had a very narrow escape from capture 
about the middle of the month. He had carried a very 
important despatch late in the afternoon, and on his return to 
General Meade's headquarters almost rode into an ambush of 
Confederate scouts. He was called ujjon to surrender at once 
but paid no heed to it, and putting spurs to his horse made for 
the Union lines. It was a full mile^and a half away ; bullets 
flew around him like hail, but he seemed to bear a charmed 
life. He had around his neck the little gold lockefc given to 
him three years previously by his cousin, Margaret. He 
thought of its reputed charm, but his faith in its potent agency 
was not very strong. His reliance now was in the speed and 
endurance of his war steed. It is a well-known fact that there 
are periods in the life of every horse when he seems to know, 
either by instinct or reason, that a human life depends upon 
his resources, and he puts forth every power to save that life, 
even at the sacrifice of his own. 

So it was in this case ; Colonel Creedmore's well-trained 
animal knew, without being urged, that he must strain every 
muscle of his powerful body, and he did so. Faster and faster 
he went over the ground, but the enemy were slowly gaining. 

Edgar saw in the distance the flags waving on the Union 
breastworks, and began to wonder why his pursuers should 
risk capture themselves by riding recklessly into the Federal 
lines. Strange as it may appear, his uppermost thoughts were 
upon the imprudence and audacity of his pursuers. How 
foolish they were, and what a risk they were running 1 Several 
times as he looked back he saw that the distance between them 
was srowing less. He rode down into a glen and realized that 



1-ii Miriam vs. 2Iilton. 

when he reached the opposite hill he would become a splendid 
target at short range for his enemies. The risk was great, but 
there was no other alternative. 

Just as lie reached the summit his horse stumbled and fell, too 
exhausted to rise. Edgar cleared himself from the stirrup and 
]>repared to run for all he was worth, when, to his amazement, he 
heard the welcome voice of Colonel Moorehead, saying, '• Take 
your time, my dear colonel ; don't be in a hurry. I have my 
regiment strongly posted in these woods, and can amply take 
cave of your pursuers." The underbrush was so thick that the 
Confederates did not notice Colonel Moorehead, and came on 
feeling confident of securing their chase. 

Five minutes later tliey were surrounded and made prisoners 
before they could realise the situation. 

Colonel Creedmore took the hand of his friend, and said : 

" You have added another debt of gratitude which I can 
never repay. Thei'e is a special Providence in all this. You 
seem to appear at the right moment ; it looks as though it had 
all been arranged lieforehand. "What a lucky thing for me that 
you were not killed in that proposed duel three years ago on 
Hoboken Heights." 

" My dear Creedmore, if it was lucky for you it was doubly 
so for me." 



CHAPTEE XX. 

THE CASTLE BY THE SEA. 

Hast thou seen that lordly castle, 

That castle by the sea ? 
Goldfii and red above it, 

The clonds float gorgeously. 

Tlie winds and the waves of ocean, 

Had they a merry chime ? 
Did'st thou hear troni those lofty chambers, 

The harp and the minstrel's rhyme ? 

* * if ****** 

Led they not forth in rapture, 

A beauteous maiden there ? 
Resplendent as the morning sun, 

Beaming with golden hair 'i — Lor^gfcUow. 

The morning of August 6th, 1863, was all that could be 
desired by any bride for a wedding day. There was no time to 
prepare an elaborate trousseau. It was decided that Esther 



The Castle hij the Sea. 145 

should be married in a travelling dress of dark blue clotli, 
relieved by narrow crimson silk stripes. The garment had not 
been previously worn, and was prepared for the Scotch tour. 
The ceremony was to take place at 2-30 p.m., and after a 
reception all were to drive over to Tarbet to see the bride and 
groom off in the steamer to Balloch, on their way to Edinburgh, 
where tliey were to spend the night. The next day they would 
go to Leith and take the coasting steamer which would land 
them at Belhaven, near which the earl had a very romantic 
castle, built on a high bluff overlooking the North Sea. It was 
arranged that on tliat day week all the party at Arroehar, 
including the Hev. and Mrs. Demar, with several other friends 
of Esther's, were to come to Harold Castle, as it was called, 
:ind spend two weeks as the guest of the earl. 

Esther, somehow, did not seem to anticipate cheerfully her 
marriage. She had a foreboding of evil which she could not 
shake off. Her cousin Adelaide made no attempt to conceal 
her feelings. She had been living in hopes that Esther would 
decline the eail, and then she herself would have a chance for 
the coveted coronet. 

She refused point blank to act as a bridesmaid, and her sister 
Irene, with "Winifred, Pauline, and Elvira accepted the honour. 
A friend of the earl's, who was sojourning at the hotel at 
Tarbet, was to be the best man, and Robert and John were the 
other groomsmen, as also the eldest son of the Rev. Mr. Demar. 

The children of the house and a dozen more from neighbouring 
families had been at work all morning gathering flowers and 
ornamenting a summer-house that stood in the front lawn. 
The sides had been removed, so that it formed a canopy resting 
on four pillars, and svas fixed to resemble a large bell. Under 
this the bridal couple were to stand. 

The marriage settlements had all been signed, and the cere- 
mony was to be that prescribed by the Established Church of 
Scotland, which v/as brief and to the point. 

At half-past two Esther came out of the manse leaning on 
the arm of her uncle, Sir Thomas. Never had she looked so 
superb. The excitement lent an additional charm to her 
classic features. She was as serious looking as a novice about 
to take the black veil in a convent. 

Winifred whispered into her ear, " For pity's sake, Esther, 
smile and look cheerful ; this is a wedding and not a funeral." 
She was in one of her abstracted moods, and would have shown 
no more emotion if she had been going to lay her dainty head 
on the fatal block. 



146 Miriam vs. Milton. 

She did not seem to realise that she was about to share in 
the name and fortune of one of England's proudest titles. 

Under the flowei'-laden canopy bhe took her place, and Sir 
Thomas placed her hand in that of the eai'l's, saying : 

*' Edmond, I give over into your keeping mj'^ beloved niece. 
May your future married life be filled with the blessing of 
harmonious relations between you both. I know that Esther 
will amply repay all your love and devotion to her." 

To the question by the Rev. Mi-. Demar, " Will you take this 
woman for your lawful wedded wife?" &c., the eai-1 answered in a 
clear, joyous tone, " I will ! " When it came to Esther's turn she 
answered in the affirmative in a dazed sort of way. Before she 
could realise it the ceremony was over, the hoop of gold was 
ou her finger, and she heard herself being congratulated 
as the Countess of Montville. When her bosom friend 
kissed her she said, "Oh, Winifred, am I really married V 
She seemed to awaken out of a dream when her husband gave 
the bridal kiss. 

The reception that followed was brief. The carriages were 
Avaiting, and they left to drive over to Tarbet. In the first 
carriage were the newly-married couple, and Esther asked that 
Robert and Winifred might also get in with them. On the 
way over the bride had a reaction from her dreamy mood, and 
was as full of life and fun as a schoolgirl. 

They did not have long to wait at Tarbet for the steamer. 
There was a grand send-off. Esther watched with a sad feeling 
the receding faces until lost to view by a bend of the lake. 

They reached the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh at seven 
o'clock, and after dinner they took a quiet stroll through some 
of the streets. The best time to get an insight into Scotch 
life is in the month of August, in the evening. The whole 
population, at work during the day, fill the streets after their 
evening meal. The shops are brilliantly lighted and the scene 
is a gay one. 

At noon on the following day the earl and his bride went 
to Leith and took the steamer that made daily sailings to the 
principal ports on the North Sea. Belhaven, where they 
diseuibarked, is one of the most romantic spots on the whole 
coast. A coach with four horses and two outriders, all in the 
handsome livery of the house of Harold, stood waiting. 

On their arrival at the porter's lodge at the entrance to the 
castle grounds they found a number of tenants assembled to bid 
them welcome. Twelve little girls dressed in white muslin, with 
broad Scotch plaid ribbons from shoulder to hip, each carrying 



The Castle hij the Sea. 147 

-a basket of flowers, stood ready to give an old-fashioned 
welcome to the bride. 

The steward of the estate apologised for not having made 
more elaborate preparations, bnt as he only received the notice 
by telegraph the previous day he had done the best he could. 

The earl and Esther got out of their carriage and walked up 
the pathway to the castle. 

The children went before them, singing a joyous refrain of 
welcome, and spreading the flowers over the pathway of the lord 
of the manor and his winsome bride. This enthusiastic reception 
was totally unexpected and was fully enjoyed by both of them. 

When they reached the reception room all the guests were 
iodividually presented. 

After dinner, to which eight of the earl's special friends were 
invited, Esther retired to her chamber and ari'ayed herself in a 
robe of white cashmere, richly embroidered in siher. This 
dress became her style of beauty, and her husband, in the 
enthusiasm of the moment, when she came into the drawing 
room, took both her hands in his and said : 

" Esther, I always knew that you were an uncommonly 
handsome woman, but now you are nearer to my ideal of an 
angel than any person I ever met." 

For an answer to this high compliment Esther smiled, but 
she threw her soul into that smile, and her husband felt that 
half his fortune would be a low price to pay for being the 
recipient of such a token of love. 

The following six days went by like a dream. Tiiey received 
and returned calls, and visited old ruins famous in Scottish 
history. Their chief pleasure was to watch the roll of the waters 
from the high turrets of the castle. Steamers and sailing craft of 
every description passed by at all hours. The weather was 
delightful, and their spirits were harmoniously blended. 

In the afternoon of the 13th of August the steamer from 
Leitli landed at Bel haven with the expected guests. All the 
party came who were at Arrochar with the exception of 
Adelaide ; she pleaded illness and went to visit a class-mate of 
hers in Glasgow. The Rev. Mr. and Mrs. Huben came the 
following day, the latter a cousin of the earl's. Their daughter 
Elvira looked sweeter than ever. Colonel and Mrs. Vansant 
and the lovely Pauline came on the 14 th. 

The earl leceived his guests at the landing, and at the castle 
Esther stood on the porch and bade them welcome. She was 
dressed in a becoming robe of plaid silk, and with the sun 
iihining on her golden-brown hair drew forth praises from all, 



148 Miriam vs. Milton. 

sufficient to have have turned the head of any girl not so well 
balanced as she was. 

Language fails to describe the festivities of the following 
two weeks. It may be expressed in the sentence, " Joy was 
iincoufined." From early morn to midnight the castle walls 
and lofty chambers resounded with music, song, and laughter. 

On the 1st of September the guests took their departure on 
their return to Eugland, and the earl and countess went with 
them. 

They stopped for a day at York, and enjoyed the sight-seeing 
of that ancient city. They arrived in London on the 3rd — a 
day tliat was to be in future years a memorable one in the 
history of the twins. 

A week was sj)ent in the earl's town house, and on the 10th 
the guests went to their homes. 

[Tlie author feels compelled at this point to digress for a 
moment from the thread of his narrative, and to state to his 
readers that he is feeling alarmed at the growing proportions of 
this book, while so much of the experience of his hero and 
lieroine are yet to be told. He has already been compelled to 
eliminate the headings of six chapters from this division and 
to condense the material into other cha^jters, and may have to 
curtail more to save the story from being too bulky. Tliere are 
still fifteen years of life in their exchanged condition to be 
recorded. Therefore some of this history must be concise, and 
this will be the case for the next two years of Esther's life.] 

The earl and his bride went direct to Paris, and did not 
return to England again for two years. They visited during 
that time the principal cities of France, Germany, Switzerland, 
and Italy. A month was spent at Palermo. Then they 
went to Malta, Alexandria, and Cairo. From there to Jaffii 
and Jerusalem, and across Palestine to Damascus and on to 
Beyrout, Smyrna, Constantinople, Athens, Naples, and Pome. 
Twice they visited Florence and Venice. Of Switzerland they 
never grew tired. 

It was one long honeymoon, not a single display of ill-temper 
on either side. They were well mated. 

On the 6th of August, 1865, the second anniversary of their 
marriage, they found themselves back once more in their Castle 
by the Sea, where they proposed to rest and recuperate after 
their long tour. 

There we leave them for a while. 



Under Sheridan. 149 

CHAPTER XXI. 

UNDER SHERIDAN. 

On the 11th of May, 1864, General Grant wrote to the War 
Department a statement of what had been clone, and closed it 
v/ith those memorable words, which became famous all over the 
Union : — 

" I propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all 
summer." 

True to this promise he did fight all summer, and the result 
of a full dozen battles was a heavy loss to the Union forces, 
estimated at 100,000 men in killed, wounded, and missing. 

The loss to the South was in proportion. Colonel Creedmore 
participated in all those engagements without being injured in 
any way. Many times he found he was made a target of, but 
came out of each battle unharmed. As this is not a war 
history we cannot undertake to give an account of the fierce 
fighting of this memorable summer, lasting from the 1st of May 
to the 1st of November. 

We have already given more pages to Edgar's war experieuce 
than was our intention at the outset. 

We v/ill take up one incident that will serve to bring out in 
bold relief the cool self-possession of this remarkable man. 

In the battle of Cold Harbour, on the 7th of June, while the 
fighting was raging fiercely, a Confederate battery planted on a 
hill was very annoying to the position where General ]\leade 
had established his headquarters, and he finally told Colonel 
Creedmore to have a strong force sent against it to capture the 
position. 

" I can have that hill vacated inside of an hour without the 
loss of a single man," was the quiet answer to these orders. 

" Then by all means do it," was General Meade's reply. He 
was too busy in watching the battle to notice the smile on the 
face of his daring aide-de-camp. 

Edgar rode back to the rear to his tent, where he put in 
execution a plot he had in view for several days. 

Among the recent captures was a mounted colonel's uniform 
belonging to one of the aides of General Lee. Edgar had the 
lining taken out of it, as also out of one of his osvn uniforms, 
and had them joined together. This he at once put on with 
tlie Union blue outside. He put in his pocket a Confederate 



150 Miriam vs. Milton. 

hat, and with heavy top-lioots over white riding trousers he 
started off. He knew that it was a very risky business, for if 
captured with this double unifoi-m he would certainly be hanged 
as a spy. 

The excitement of the proj^osed adventure compensated for 
the risk. Men were being slain on every hand, and in the 
midst of a fierce battle no one had time to think of the risk of 
death. That is part of a soldier's contract. 

Colonel Creedmore rode away rapidly and gained a thick clum[) 
of trees not far from the Confederate battery. Dismounting 
he turned his coat and put on the Southern hat and then rode 
boldly uji to the hill, and asking one of the outposts the name 
of the officer in charge was told that Colonel Harbet, of Georgia,^ 
was in command, and Captain Lawson was next in rank. 

Edgar, without a moment's hesitation, rode into the enti-ench- 
ments, and in a very haughty manner demanded why the orders 
of General Lee had not been carried out. 

The surprised Colonel Harbet replied that he did not know 
-which orders were meant, as he had received half-a-dozen since 
morning. 

" Then report yourself under arrest to General Lee," was 
Edgar's cool answer, and continuing he said, " Captain Lawson, 
by orders of Lieutenant-General Lee you will assume chai-ge 
of this battery and proceed with all your gims and take 
possession of yonder elevated point." 

This order was promptly obeyed, and within ten minutes 
Colonel Creedmoi-e was left the sole occupant of the hill, calmly 
watching with his glasses the fierce charges of the Union troops. 
In a few minutes afterwards he left, and on reaching the clump 
of trees he again tamed his coat and rode back to where 
Colonel Moorehead was stationed with his regiment, and told 
him of the situation. He sent Captain Joshua Harkness with 
three companies to occupy the vacant hill. Edgar went to his 
tent and took off the dangerous coat which had answered its 
purpose, and reported to General Meade. The vacating of the 
hill had been noticed from headquarters, and also its occupancy 
by the Union force, but no special attention was paid to it, as 
it was supposed to be some plan of General Lee. The latter, 
when he heard of it, concluded some of his aides had blundered. 

It was a week later before General Meade heard the true 
explanation and he laughed heartily, but thought the risk was 
too great to try that plan again. 

When General Phil Sheridan was told about it he made an 
application to General Grant to have Colonel Creedmore 



Under Sheridan. 151 

detailed for duty under him. He said that he needed just 
such a man — cool, daring, and full of new devices. A man 
who could caj^ture an important position in the midst of a 
great battle without the loss of a man was indeed a very 
valuable acquisition. 

A few days after Edgar reported himself to General Sheridan. 

There is a grain of superstition in every nature, no matter 
how well trained. 

The reader will remember that in April, 1861, cousin 
Margaret had placed around Edgar's neck a family heirloom in 
the shape of a locket, with a tradition of its great talismanic 
powers. This was lost in some way on the day in which he 
rode into the Confederate entrenchment and ordered them to 
vacate the hill. He felt the loss of it very keenly, and seemed to 
think that the charm that had protected him so far was now to 
be withdrawn. He was well aware that he had reached his 
highest altitude in the Union service. The fact of his being 
an Englishman had created some jealousy in army circle.^?. 
This was due in some measure to the unfriendly attitude of the 
British Government, and no matter how great Colonel Creed- 
uiore's services had been in the past the rank of colonel was 
the limit of promotion. He had no cause to complain of his 
treatment, for everywhere he received the greatest honour, 
from General Grant down to the humblest private in the ranks. 

General Sheridan always treated him with special favour, 
and entrusted him with very important despatches. 

On the 7th of August Major-General Sheridan was appointed 
the new commander of the De])artment of West Virginia, 
Washington, and Susquehanna. Colonel Creedmore went with 
him and remained on his staff until the close of the wai-. 

In the battle of Opequan, commenced on the 19th of 
September against the Confederate forces under General Early, 
who held Opequan Creek, covering Winchester, Edgar found 
that the extraordinary good fortune which had attended him 
since his entry into the Union army had not deserted him, even 
tiiough he had lost his charmed locket. 

At two in the afternoon Colonel Creedmore was sent by 
General Sheridan with instructions to General Crook, com- 
manding the 8tli Corps (late of the army of West Virginia), to 
charge tliii enemy's left flank. These orders were duly delivered 
and carried out. While returning to headquarters, in riding 
through the woods he Avas suddenly surrounded by a detach- 
ment of the 8th S.C., whose colonel, with 171 men, had been 
captured sevei-al days before. Colonel Creedmore was not asked 



152 Miriam vs. Milton. 

to surrender, but was pulled from his horse and searched for 
despatches almost before he knew it. The prospect looked very 
favourable for another sojourn in Libby, and as he had left 
tliere nine months jJJ'eviously without ceremony he did not 
exj)ect that his return would be conducive to his happiness. 

The suspense was not long, for Colonel Thomas, of the 8 th 
Vermont, charged the woods at double quick, and General 
Crook charged from the flanks with wild cheering. Everything 
Avas carried, and the Confederates did not stand upon the oi'der 
of going but went at once, leaving a number of prisoners behind 
them. An hour afterwards Colonel Creedmore reported to 
General Sheridan as though nothing had happened. 

Battle succeeded battle until November, when both armies 
went into winter quarters. 

Nothing of special importance took place until the following 
spring. Fort Fischer was captured iu January, 1865, by the 
combined efforts of the naval fleet under the renowned ilear- 
Admiral Porter, and eight thousand men under General Terry. 

The early spring brought with it a renewal of hostilities all 
along the lines defending Richmond. General Sheridan's fame, 
rose to its zenith in the battle which closed the great rebellion. 

He was instructed by General Grant to open the spring 
campaign of 18G5 by a daring raid aimed at Lynchburg, and 
the Confederate communications generally. 

On the 27th of February he left Winchester at the head of 
10,000 men, all mounted. He moved so rapidly that he utterly 
defeated General Early, and destroyed a large quantity of 
Southern supplies. He took his force around General Lee's 
army, crossed the James River at Jones Landing, and reported 
to General Grant on the 27th of March in front of Petei'sburg. 

Colonel Creedmore was thus made a participant in the closing 
scenes of the greatest civil war known iu history. 

On Sunday, Api'il 2nd, Richmond was evacuated, and the 
follovv'iug day it was occupied by the Federal forces. On the 
Dth of April General Lee surrendered his grand army that he 
had led and directed during four years. 

This virtually finished the Confederacy. What followed is a 
matter of public history. 

In June the work of disbanding the million men yet under 
arms for the defence of the Union began. Colonel Creedmore, 
broken in health, resigned his commission and returned to New 
York to his uncle's house, and took Henry Winston with him. 

It is needless to say that he was given a grand welcome 
home, not only by his peace-loving uncle but more particularly 



The Hoops of Gold. 153 

by the fair Margaret. She had long since got over the iilea 
prevalent with many of her sex of looking for the stars of a 
major-general on the shoulders of their lovers. They were 
glad to have them back, even if they came with honourable war 
records as private soldiers. 

Edgar, who had been kept duly apprised from time to time 
of the welfare of his sister, was well pleased when he heard of 
her marriage to the earl, and would have gone to England him- 
self but for his obligations. There was now peace in the land. 



CHAPTER XXIL 

THK HOOPS OF GOLD. 

A FEW days after the arrival of the earl and countess at 
Harold Castle their numerous kindred began to arrive to 
give them a welcome home. Once more the lofty chambers 
resounded with mirth and melody. 

Adelaide cams this time in a happy frame of mind, for she 
was engaged to be married to the oldest son of a baronet, with 
a fair prospect of succeeding to an earldom. 

\Yinif red's happy face told of her betrothal to Robert Shirley. 
Pauline and Elvira both showed by their light spirits that their 
hearts were free. 

Mrs. Ainsworth wrote a very gracious letter and wished 
Esther and her husband many yeats of happiness. Every 
chamber of the spacious castle was filled. The large estate 
afforded abundant game for those inclined to hunting. There 
was shooting on the moors, fishing and boat sailing on the 
North Sea, and tine roads for riding and driving. Not a single 
incident happened to mar the pleasure. The Rev. and Mis. 
Demar came, and by their genial presence added much to the 
enjoyment of the visitors. At the end of three weeks all had 
taken their departure, and the earl and countess proposed to 
remain a few days longer and then leave for a visit to Sir 
Thomas Shirley in the South of England. 

The second morning after the departure of the last of their 
guests the earl received a telegi'am from Glasgow, stating tliac 
a relative of his was very ill in a hotel and wished to see him 
a,t once. 



154 Miriam vs. Milton. 

Esther was not feeling well, and so remained at the castle 
while her husband was away. They had never been separated 
for a single day since their mari'iage, and she could not shake 
oii" a feeling of coming evil which seemed to weigh her down. 

The earl had just time to get ready for the steamer, which 
called at Belhaven at noon. He bade his wife good-bye and 
told her he would return in two days, unless it was absolutely 
necessary to remain with his sick relative a day or so longer. 

Esther watched the carriage until it was out of sight in a 
Lend of the road. 

It was the 3rd of September — a day fated to be a red-letter 
one in her history. 

An hour after the departure of her husband a caller was 
announced. Her first inclination was to decline to see him, 
but he sent up a letter signed by the Rev. J. Demar, intro- 
ducing the Rev. Duncan Albright. She went to the drawing 
room and found a grey-haired gentleman of a decidedly clerical 
aj)pearance. He was well informed and had travelled 
extensively on the continent, and, having visited so many 
places that Esther had seen on her late tour, she became very 
snuch interested in him. He was asked to stay for lunch, 
which he consented to do. 

On the table was a heavy coffee urn, with an alcohol lamp 
under it. The coffee was exceedingly hot, and Esther in trying 
to blow out the light set fire to the lamp itself. Her guest, in 
the endeavour to assist her, upset a large portion of the coffee 
over her left hand, blistering it very badly. He apologiseci 
profusely for his cai'elessness, but told her he was a doctor as 
well as a clergyman, and sent a servant for some lime, sweet 
oil, and water, and placing the blistered hand in it took off her 
wedding ring, bandaged the hand, and told her that in a day 
or so she would be all right. 

Esther suffered so much pain that she requested her guest to 
remain until the return of the earl. This he said he could not 
do, as he had to meet one of his sons on the following day in 
Edinburgh. He would remain accordingly for that night only. 

Esther told Mr. Albright that it was a bad omen to be 
compelled to take oft' her wedding ring, but as it could not be 
helped she would keep it in sight on her pincushion in her 
bedroom . 

The pain from the blistered hand continued to increase so 
much that, after dinner, she asked to be excused and retired to 
iier chamber. The agony became unbearable, and Esther sent 
her maid for Mr. Albright, who administered a sleeping powde r» 



The Hoops of Gold. 155 

and in an hour later she was sound asleep. A maid had been 
in the room all the time, and the clergyman took some powders 
from his pocket, instructing the giii to take them to the kitchen 
and mix them in a cup of hot water and sugar, and if her 
misti-ess was restless during the night to give her half of the 
medicine. When he found himself alone he went to the pin- 
cushion and took the wedding ring, also the engagement ring 
and two others which were special gifts from the earl to his 
wife. He examined them carefully and replaced them. This 
done the clergyman retired for the night. 

The following morning Esther met her guest at the breakfast 
table ; she was looking pale and had her hand bandaged up. 
He told her that he would have to leave at eleven o'clock, but 
before doing so had something very important to communicate, 
which must be in private. 

After breakfast they retired to the library, but were hardly 
seated when a servant announced that one of the gamekeepers 
from Everdale had just arrived with the dog Csesar and a letter 
from Mrs. Van Reem, which read as follows : — 

Everdale Manok, 

My Dear E.STnEK, September 2nd, 1865. 

On our return here yesterday I found that your favourite 
dog Csesar has developed a strong hatred towards Martin Nickley, for 
wliich I do not blame liim, but as the law is on the side of the man and 
not of the dog the latter is at a disadvantage. Ctesar watches every 
opportunity to attack Is'icklej', and twice he has been shot at ; so I 
concluded to send the animal to you. The gamekeeper will take the 
steamer trom Newcastle to-morrow evening and will reach you early the 
morning after. You had better leave Cresar at the castle when you start 
otf on your visit to the South of England. Mr. Nickley left two days 
ago for parts unknown, and the fervent wish of all is that he may never 
return. Your Uncle Eichard sends his best love, in which I heartily join. 
Y'our aflectionate aunt, 

Elizabeth Van Eeeji. 

Esther related to her guest the history of the dog, and asked 
him if he would like to see the animal. 

This offer was declined very emphatically on the plea that he 
was once bitten by a mastiff and could not endure large dogs ; 
in fact, they made him very nervous. 

The Ptev. Mr. Albright, having recovered from the nervous- 
ness into which he was thrown by the news of the arrival of 
the great mastiff, proceeded with the object he had in view 
when he asked for a private interview. 

"Lady Harold," he commenced, "you will pardon me if I 
ask you a iQ'N questions, which, I assure you, are pi'ompted by 
a desire to serve you. The Kev. Mr. Deniar also has the same 



156 Miriam vs. Milton. 

kindly feeling, for he now knows that he v/as imposed upon, 
but did not obtain his information until after his return home 
from his visit to this castle. I find it very difiicult to muster 
up sufficient courage to inform you of your present status in 
reference to the Earl of Iilontville, but it is better that you 
should seek for an explanation from him. You told me that 
he received a telegram yesterday morning, asking him to meet 
a sick relative in Glasgow." 

" Yes," v/as the reply of the countess, whose eyes were open 
to their full extent, as though seeking to read the inmost 
thoughts of her visitor. 

" Do you ever go to his private desk?" was the next question 
of Mr. Albright. 

" No, I do not. I trust my husband to the uttermost, and 
he dees the same with me ; I never touch his private papers." 

" Last evening," said he, " you gave me permission to write 
a letter at your husband's desk, and I found this letter with 
others of the same tenor. It makes my mission here easier to 
explain than I had anticipated. I feel the shame and deception 
practiced on you very keenly, and I pity you from the very 
deptlis of my heart." 

" You speak in enigaias, and I demand to know at once what 
you insinuate," said Estlier, rising to her feet, v/ith her large 
eyes blazing with excitement. 

" Be calm, Lady Harold, and don't get excited. Perhaps it is 
only a blackmail on the part of some designing woman, and no 
doubt the earl can give the proper solution. Read this letter." 

It was as follows : — 

Glasgow, September 1st, 1865. 

My Own Darling Hakold, 

Is it not about time to jnit an end to this farce of your mock 
wedding with Esther Creedmore ? I never would have consented to yoiu- 
going olF witli her if I had not relied upon your statement that you 
would send her home at the end of a year. You cannot and dare not 
deny that, by the laws of Scotland, you were my lawful husb.jnd long 
before that ceremony at Arrochar Alanse. You played the innocent 
bridegroom on that occasion to perfection. 

I will send you a night message to-morrow to meet a sick relative at 
the (Queen's Hotel in this city, and will look for j^ou on the evening of 
the iJrd. On your return to the castle you must inform the proud- 
spirited Esther that she is only your wife by brevette, and that I am the 
true Countess of J^.Iontville. We can go abroad until the scandal of it is 
forgotten. I am sorry (or the girl, but I do not propose to resign my 
rights. I don't suppose it will come very hard on her, for I i'eel satisfied 
Ironi what you have written to me from time to time that she really did 
not care very much for you. I must now close. 

Your own loving and devoted, 

Fl'jrkkce Hauold, Countess of Montville. 



The Hoops of Gold. 157 

It was fully twenty minutes befove Esther spoke. Three 
times she read the letter. Her face became intensely pale, and 
she was more like a piece of sculptured marble as she sat in her 
chair wrapped in her robe of white cashmere. 

At last she arose, and asking Mr. Albi-ight to excuse her 
went to her chamber. In ten minutes she returned with a 
letter addressed to the earl and a small jewel box. She handed 
both to her visitor, and in cold, hard tones said to him : 

" Mr. Albright, you will confer a very great favour if you 
will go to Glasgow, seek for the earl at the Queen's Hotel, and 
give him this letter and this box which contains his engage- 
ment and wedding rings. I shall return at once to Everdale 
Manor and consult my relatives. Did you find any more 
letters in the desk where you got this one 1 " 

" Yes," was the reply, " I found five others, tied with a blue 
ribbon, marked 'private.' I must leave now as I have just time 
to get the steamer at Belhaven. Comniaud my services at any 
time." 

Esther accompanied her guest to the hail door, and as it was 
opened by the footman Cassar, who was on the porch, sprang 
in and greeted his mistress with all the ardour of his dog 
nature. The next moment he quivered with excitement and 
ssprang savagely at the carriage door, which had just closed 
upon Mr. Albright. The dog barked furiously, and only ceased 
when Esther went and took hold of his collar. He looked up 
into her face with an expression almost human, as though he 
wanted to tell her something. 

Esther told the gamekeeper from Everdale that .•she had 
made up her mind to return with him on the afternoon steamer 
to IS'ewcastle, and from there a train could be taken to 
Everdale. 

The servants were too well trained to express any surprise 
at this unexpected movement of the countess. She told her 
maid to pack all her clothes, and under the escort of the game- 
keeper she left Harold Castle never more to return. Ciesar 
went with her. 

They arrived at Nev/castle on the following morning, and 
irom there she telegraphed to her uncle Pilchard to expect her 
in the evening, and also wired to her uncle Sir Thomas and his 
wife to come at once to Everdale on a matter of life and death. 

On arrival at Everdale station she found both her uncles and 
aunts waiting to receive her. Esther's face was closely veiled, 
so that her emotion could not be read by any one. Her 
relatives surmised that she had quarrelled with her husband, 



158 Miriam vs. Milton. 

and that it would pass off in a day or so. When seated in the 
cai-riage she made a request to be let alone until tlie manor was 
reached. 

Once in the privacy of the library she threw on the table tlie 
package of letters, and told her relatives to read them and 
advise her in the morning what to do. 

She then retired to her chamber, where, after partaking of a 
cup of tea and some toast, she dismissed her maid for the night 
and was left alone with her thoughts, happy in the fact that 
her fingers no longer held the hoops of gold, which were once 
the emblems of fidelity, honour, and love, but which now were 
rejected baubles stamped with treachery. Never for a moment 
did she question the wisdom of her hasty step in leaving 
Harold Castle. The discovery of the earl's double life was a 
terrible blow to Esther's sensitive nature. 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

THE SWORD AND THE PLOUGHSHARE. 
1865. 

At the close of the Civil War the great army of the North, 
over a million strong, was disbanded, and the veterans of a 
hundred battles turned their swords into ploughshares. The 
majority took up the peaceful associations of their former lives 
without any regx'et at leaving the active, stirring life of the 
camp. 

Edgar soon recovered his normal health and vitality, and was 
disposed to accept a proposal of his uncle Richardson to go 
into business with him. 

The one hundred thousand dollars which he had given into his 
care were returned to him with one hundred and fifty thousand 
more added. At the end of two months there came a reaction 
and a craving for more excitement than was to be found in 
mercantile pursuits. 

At this point the refining influence of Mai'garet Richardson 
had a powerful effect over Edgar and the reaction passed away, 
leaving him with the valuable experience of his four years of 
army life thoroughly disciplined and ready for any phase of 
business. 



The Sicord and the Plour/lishare. i59 

He fully made up his mind to enter into his uncle's counting- 
house as equal partner. It was their understanding that in 
the course of a few years he was to have the entire control and 
profits, Margaret's liking for her English cousin was well 
known to her father, who accordingly looked upon him as a 
future son-in-law. All these plans might have been carried out 
but for a single mistake. How often is the current of many 
lives turned by the event of an hour ! 

When Edgar came home from the war, in May, he found 
Colonel Dervvent a prisoner at large, just recovering from his 
wounds. He had been not only well cared for, and all his wants 
supplied, but had the entree to many houses of the best families. 
This was due to the influence of Colonel Creedmore. 

On the 1st of June he was released from his parole, and 
permitted to return to Kentucky. For a week before leaving 
he was Edgar's guest at the house of Mr. Richardson, and was 
anxious to show his gratitude to his friend Creedmore, as he 
called him. 

He urged him to return to Kentucky with him. This was 
declined for the present, but a partial promise was made that 
the invitation would be accepted in the autumn if business 
engagements permitted. 

Colonel Derwent took his departui'e for his home, leaving a 
very favourable impression upon all with whom he came in 
contact. The four years of war experience had tamed his former 
fiery spiiit, and he had had enough of fighting. 

On the 1st of September Edgar came back to New York, 
with his uncle anft his cousin Margaret, fi'om Saratoga, where 
they had spent the summer. It was arranged that on the 3i-d 
the new partnership sign was to be placed on the door of the 
old warehouse, and the large business was to be conducted 
thenceforward under the name of " Richardson «fe Cieedmoie, 
Wholesale Commission Merchants." 

Edgar found a number of letters awaiting his return. One 
was from the Earl of Montville, telling of the safe return 
home from their long honeymoon. Another was from Etaline 
Hilton, stating that she and her husband expected to go West 
to Colorado to reside. Edgar learned also that Heni'ietta St. 
Clair had come back from Fort Lafayette very much embittered 
against the Yankees in general and himself in particular. Her 
father was dead and the lax'ge estate had become virtually a 
wreck. She attributed all her misfortune to the man who had 
nipped in the bud her bright career as a Confederate spy, and had 
checkmated her in the hour of triumph. She had told Etaliuti 



160 Miriam vs. Milton. 

that the day of vengeance would yet come, and that Colonel 
Creedmore should bite the dust at her feet. Etaline's letter 
closed with the hope that she herself could in some way be of 
use to him. 

There was also a letter from Colonel Moorehead, stating that 
lie had given up all his seafaring ambitions and proposed to go 
to Denver, Colorado, in the spring to buy a ranch and raise 
cattle, and that he would be pleased to welcome his old comrade 
to liis new home at any time. 

After all the letters had been read the envelojies were thrown 
in the waste basket, and the letters duly placed on a file 
until time should be found to answer them. As Edgar rose 
from the table he noticed three envelopes that had apparently 
dropped on the lloor, and stooping down he threw them in the 
basket. His cousin Margaret, being of a very practical and care- 
ful turn of mind, examined all the emjjty envelopes to see that 
no letters had escaped being opened. She was rewarded in her 
search by finding that the last one taken from the floor had a 
letter inside, and was from Colonel Derwent. It contained a 
very urgent invitation to Colonel Creedmore to vi.sit Kentucky, 
stating that although he had served on the JSTorthern side yec 
bis many acts of kindness to Southern prisoners had made him 
many warm friends. The writer himself wished to show his 
gratitude for the care taken of him when wounded and a 
2)iisoner. He would have an opportunity of seeing life in the 
South under the new order of thiugs. 

When cousin Mai-garet read this letter she urged Edgar to 
wiite a kind declination, stating that as he was about to enter 
into business with his uncle he could not leave New York at 
present, but some other time he Avould be glad to avail himself 
of the offer of hospitality. This letter was duly written. Edgar 
wanted to go out and post it at once, but his cousui persuaded 
him to wait until morning as it v/as raining. 

This was the fatal mistake of her life, and bitterly did she 
afterwards repent of it. 

The following day Edgar told his cousin that he was glad he 
did not post the letter, as he had gone through a severe struggle 
during the night about the invitation of Colonel Derwent, and, 
after mature reflection, had decided to go to Kentucky for u 
month. On the 3rd of October he would be back to take his 
place in his uncle's warehouse as the new partner. 

Uncle Kichardson did his best to persuade his ne^jhew not to 
visit Kentucky until the animosity against the IsTorth had 
abated. 



The Sword and the Ploughshare. 161 

Edgar replied that lie needed a change, and felt satisfied that 
he would come back at the end of a month better prepared for 
mercantile life. 

On the morning of the 3rd of September he left for Louis- 
ville, where he was met by Colonel Derwent and escorted to 
his plantation. 

Nothing was left undone to give a genial, hearty, and right 
royal welcome to Colonel Creedmore by all the members of the 
Derwent family. Mrs. Derwent had fitted up her guest's 
chamber in luxurious style for the use of the man who 
succoured her husband when he was severely wounded and 
a prisoner, and contributed so much to his welfare afterwards. 
She had two charming daughters, Kate and Ida. Both of 
them made up their minds that the gallant Englishman should 
want for no comfort during his stay under their I'oof. They 
were splendid horsewomen, and the day after Edgar's arrival 
they pro})osed a ride to several places of interest near their home. 
Their father was not sufficiently recovered from his wounds to 
ride a horse, so he let his daughters take charge of his guest. 
Edgar had a strong partiality for women who could success- 
fully manage a horse, and as the Misses Derwent were famous 
riders he felt that his stay at Harmondale Plantation (the uame 
of Colonel Derwent's property) would be more pleasant than 
he had anticipated. 

It is doubtful if there was another man of the Union army 
who would have received the same welcome as Colonel 
Creedmore. The fact that he fought against the South was 
outbalanced by his English birth and his relationship to two of 
the oldest families of Great Britain. Then again he was 
wealthy, had an attractive manly form, was highly educated, 
and exceedingly brilliant. 

The month of September passed away before Edgar could 
realise it. His uncle in New York wrote an urgent letter 
asking him to return and take his place in the counting-room. 
His cousin Margaret also pleaded in a long letter, asking him 
not to stay away any longer as her father needed assistance in 
his business. 

It would have taken a man of sterner stuff than Colonel 
Creedmore to resist the persuasions of both Mrs. Derwent and 
her beautiful daughters to extend his visit at least another 
month, and if possible to remain for Christmas. Edgar finally 
yielded so far as to promise to stay until the 1st of November. 
Then he would surely take his j^lace as p)artner in the new firm 
in New York. 



162 Miriam vs. Milton. 

Among the many who were on terms of friendsliip with 
Colonel Derwent was a man named Captain Jerokl Slevington. 
He had no particular business, but always paid his debts 
punctually. He served in the war as captain of a company in 
Colonel Derwent's regiment. He stood six feet two inches 
high and was broad in proportion. He was quiet in his 
deportment, did not talk much, and was a splendid judge of 
human character. He soon acquired a strong influence over 
Edgar. It was indeed a day of ill omen for the young English- 
man when he first took the hand of Captain Slevington in his, 
and exchanged greetings. The stalwart Kentuckian had a 
grip like a vice, and Edgar's fingers felt the pressure for an 
hour afterwards. Moralising would be pardonable here, but 
we pass on. 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

FATAL RECOGNITION. 

When the Earl of Montville reached Edinburgh from Leith 
it was five o'clock. He drove to the Balmoi-al for dinner, 
where he found a telegram from his kinsman in Glasgow, 
stating that he had recovered from his illness and was about 
leaving the city. The earl made up his mind to return next 
day at uoon by the steamer. At the hour named he stood on 
the pier, and was about to go on board when a footman in 
livery handed him a telegram, signed Rev. J. Albright, stating 
that he had called at Harold Castle to see him, and was then 
on his way to Edinburgh to meet him. It was a matter of life 
and death, and he hoped the earl would stay at the Balmoral 
until the arrival of the boat from Belhaven. 

The earl's first impulse was to go on his return journey, and 
as the two steamers met in a harbour on the way he could 
easily find Mr. Albright and ask him to return with him. He 
hesitated over the matter, and while he did so the gangway plank 
was hauled aboard and slowly the steamer left, and with its 
departure there came to him that terrible foreboding of danger 
which many men experience. Coming events in his case did 
indeed cast their shadows before. 

He turned away from the pier and went back to the Balmoral, 
there to await the Rev. Mr. Albright. Promptly at five he came, 
and presented a letter of introduction from the Rev. Mr. Demar. 



Fatal Recognition. 163 

This was so strongly worded that the earl gave him a very- 
cordial Avelcome and insisted that they should partake of dinner^ 
and afterwards v,'ould have ample time for the business that 
brought his new friend to Edinburgh. It was seven o'clock 
when they found themselves alone in a private parlour, and 
Mr. Albright, with the proverbal Scottish bluntness, came to 
the point at once without any bye-play. 

"I am the bearer," he said, "of a very important message 
from your wife, the Countess of Montville. Before I deliver 
it I would like permission to ask a few questions which may 
throw light on a dark subject. I do not ask this from idle 
curiositj', but from a wish to serve you." 

" How long did you know the countess before j'ou mai-ried 
her?" 

'' Yf e were playmates from childhood," was the answer of 
the earl, who exhibited the utmost astonishment at the 
question ; "but why do you ask?" 

" The letter from the Rev. Mr. Demar ought to convince you 
that I am a friend of his, and therefore anxious to serve you 
from the fact that you were married at his house," I'eplied 
Mr. Albright. " Will you permit me to ask one or two more 
questions % Did you not have a rival of some sort % Was there 
not several attempts made to abduct Miss Creedmore'?" 

"Yes, I had a rival. A certain Martin Nickley fancied he 
had some claim on my wife, from the fact that he assisted in 
raising her body from Everdale Lake when she and her brother 
were capsized and sank to the bottom." 

" You use the word ' assisted ; ' I heard that he did it alone, 
going down and groping around at the risk of his life until he 
found her." 

" I admit all that ; but saving a woman from death does not 
give her rescuer a life mortgage on her personality, and this 
was what Mr. Nicklejr claimed. My wife was grateful for this 
act on his part, but she could not love him." 

" Are you sure of this last assertion % Women are strange 
creatures, and their nature is a mystery. They are impulsive at 
times." 

" Pardon me," said the earl, rising, " but I must decline to 
entertain a single doubt of the unwavering devotion of Lady 
Hai'old for myself, and I would therefore beg leave to ask you 
to state the object of your visit at once." 

" Certainly," said Mr. Albright, as he rose to his feet. 
" Your wife asked me to hand you this package, which has 
a letter inside. I came to see you at the special request of 



164 Miriam vs. Milton. 

Mr. Demar, who was pained at certain rumours that reached him 
on his return from his visit to Harold Castle last week. I will 
now withdraw, as I must leave on the night train for London 
to meet my eldest son. A letter to my bankers, Messrs. 
Edmonds & Co., Threadneedle Sti-eet, London, will reach me. 
I will be most happy to serve you at any time." 

A moment later and the earl was alone. He felt sure that 
he had seen his visitor before, but he could not exactly say 
where. Without the slightest misgiving he opened the package 
and found half-a-dozen rings, one being the engagement solitaire 
diamond he had given to his wife, and another the wedding 
ring. What could this mean 1 

Hastily tearing open the letter he read the contents. What 
followed immediately afterwards the earl never knew up to the 
hour of his death. He was aroused to consciousness by the 
clock on the mantel-piece striking the midnight hour with its 
cathedral gong. A crushed letter was in his hand, and on the 
table six glittering hoops of gold lay, with the stirring mementoes 
of their history. Once again he read the letter : — 

Haeold Castle, September 4th, 1865. 

My Husband, 

This is the last time that I will call you by this name. We must 
part at once and part for ever. You know lull well all that is involved 
iu this separation for me. I am a woman, and therefore my mistakes are 
considered by the uncharitable world as little short of criminal. I was 
led into this false position of our marriage against my better judgment. 
Having yielded I nuist pay the penalty. I ask but one i'avour, and that 
is to be let alone. I surrender back the name j'ou gave me, with the rings 
which once encircled my fingers as pledges of undying love. I am rudely 
awakened from this dream, and the only anticipation of joy in which I 
now dare indulge is the fact that death, sooner or later, will end the awful 
agony which has taken full possession of me. 

Under no condition will I accept a single ])enny from you. This hour 
of parting has revealed to me how much 1 did love you, but that love is 
dead and can never be resuscitated. Our future pathways are now in 
opposite directions ; they should never have been brought together. 

I am leaving Harold Castle by the afternoon steamer, and this is the 
last time I will ever write to you. Once more, farewell. 

Esther M. Creedmoee. 

The earl, holding the crumpled letter in his hand, went to 
the sideboard, and tilling a tumbler with brandy drank it down 
and threw himself on his bed without undressing. The strong 
liquor stupefied him and gave him no chance to weigh all the 
facts contained in Esther's letter. In this critical juncture of 
his history he needed a cool brain, and the brandy, as it flew 
through his veins, swept away his last chance of averting the 
awful calamity about to fall upon his house. 



Fatal Recognition. 165 

At six in the morning he arose and left Edinburgh for 
London, sending a telegram to his butler at Harold Castle to 
forwai'd his clothes to liis London residence. 

We must now go back to Esther at Everdale Manor. 

Yery early on the morning after her ai-rival she went to the 
library, and found both her uncles and her aunts deep in 
•consultation as to the best means to pursue in this crisis. 

Sir Thomas and Lady Shirley felt satisfied that there must 
be some mistake — a probable case of blackmail, as the earl was 
too honourable a man to deceive his best friends wilfully. 

" No doubt he may have known this woman," they said, 
" and perhaps she tried under Scotch laws to prove a prior 
marriage." 

Mrs. Van Reem said that the letters now before them had 
been received by the earl at the different places which he 
visited on his wedding tour, for they all bore foreign postmarks. 
It was, therefore, a very deep conspiracy, or a case of total 
depravity on the part of Edmond Harold. 

It was finally decided that Sir Thomas should see the earl 
and ask for satisfactory explanations. 

At nine o'clock in the forenoon Esther received the following 
telegram, which cast a ray of sunshine on the darkened 
household : — 

Lo.NDON, September 6th, 1865. 
To THE Countess of Montville, 

EVEKDALK Ma>-OU. 

Important evidence just discovered. Case of 
"blackmail. All will be well ii you conie to London ot once. The eaii is 
here and will explain everything. Come alone ; will meet you. 

Kev. J. Aleiiight. 

At first Esther was not inclined to go to London, but her 
relatives urged her to do so, saying that as she left her 
husband's home without hearing what he had to say it was her 
-duty to go at once and meet him. An hour later she was on 
her way to London. 

When the earl reached his destination he was met by the 
Rev, Mr. Albright, who seemed to have been aware of his 
•departure, and therefore he was expected. Mr, Albright told 
him that he had been working on his case all day, and was very 
certain that it was a deep conspiracy on the pare of some 
enemy. He would arrange on the next day for a meeting with 
the countess. 

In the meantime he suggested that they should go to the 
Adelphi Hotel, where he had engaged apartments. Un reacliing 



166 Miriam vs. Milton. 

it a splendid supper was served in a private parlour, and the 
earl brightened up at the prospect of once more meeting his 
wife. 

Mr. Albright urged him to drink champngne, as it would 
give him needed strength. AVhen they were ready to retire 
the earl was persuaded to take a hot brandy punch, and half- 
an-hour later was sleeping soundly. 

The following morning he arose with a splitting headache, 
and was in the worst possible humour. He found a note from 
Mr. Albright on his table saying that urgent business called him 
out of town. It further stated that he would return by five 
o'clock, when he would call for the earl to go where his wife 
would be found with her kindred, and everything would be 
made satisfactory once moi'e. In the meantime Mr. Albright 
insisted that it was absolutely necessary that no one should 
know he was in the city until the proper moment came for 
unmasking the conspiracy. As the earl had perfect confideiice 
in his new friend he followed his advice and kept indoors. 

"When Esther arrived at Euston station she v/as met by Mr. 
Albright, who was most respectful in his greeting and attention. 
He told her that from the evidence he was able to collect it 
was a villainous attempt to blackmail her husband, and that 
those implicated in it would be brought to justice. 

A handsome carriage with a coachman in livery was waiting 
for them. They at once got into it and were driven away. 

Mr. Albright stated that they were going to the house of a 
friend of his, who lived in a small street off the Strand, and 
her husband would join her there. 

When they arrived they were met by a pleasant-faced 
woman dressed in deep mourning, wlio was introduced as Mrs. 
Henville. She cordially greeted the Countess of Montville, 
and insisted that they should partake of lunch, which was 
ready. 

Wine and champagne were on the table in abundance. 
Esther was persuaded to drink of both. Her nerves needed 
strengchening after the nervous prostration of the past few 
days. Shortly aftei* she complained of feeling very ill and was 
assisted to a lounge in the room. A moment later she was 
unconscious. 

At six o'clock she was rudely awakened by Mi\s. Henville, 
who stated that the earl was coming to see her and she must 
get up. A glass with some mixtui-e was handed to her and 
she drank its contents. It revived her at once, and she now 
perceived that her hair was all unbound and her dress 



Fatal Recognition. 167 

Tinfastened. No time was given to arrange her toilet ; not a 
moment must be lost, Mrs. Henville told her, for if her husband 
saw her coming out of this house his confidence in her character 
would be ruined. 

The hallway was dark. A man took her arm and opened 
the door, where a carriage was waiting. Leaning against a 
lamp-post, pale and haggard, stood her husband, the Earl of 
Montville, On the opposite side of the street was a footman 
in livery, and with him were Sir Thomas and Lady Shirley 
and her Uncle Eichard and Mrs. Van Reem, also Colonel 
"Vansant and his daughter Pauline. 

Esther looked up to see who had hold of her arm, and was 
amazed to behold the triumphant face of Martin Nickley. 

He stooped and kissed her, remarking in a loud tone, which 
was heard by the earl and her relatives : 

" My own darling Esther, we are united at last, and I won't 
leave you again in the cluches of your brutal husband." 

A voice, which sounded like Esther's, replied : " My darling 
Martin, you are the only man I ever truly loved. Farewell to 
all my kindred and my husband. I will cling to you while 
life lasts." 

The next moment she was lifted into the carriage by Martin 
Nickley, who followed after her ; the door was closed by the 
footman and they were driven rapidly away. 

No effort was made by the earl to stop her. He walked 
down the street, and went to Charing Cross and took the train 
for Paris. Language would fail to describe his feelings, and 
we will not attemjit it. 



168 Miriam vs. Milton. 

CHAPTER XXY. 

THE WILD WEST. 

The 1st of November came and found Edgar wavering aud 
undecided about his future plans. 

The morning mail had brought him a pleading letter from 
his cousin Margaret, askins; him to return at once as her father 
was ill from over-work and needed his help in his business. It 
was a letter that, if received at any other time and place, 
would have stirred every fibre of his nature. At pre.sent he 
was under the influence of Colonel Dervvent's daughters, who 
were both in love with the stalwart Englishman, and sought 
by all means in their power to keep him as a guest. Captain 
Slevington had gained a strong control over him, and persuaded 
him to invest a large sum of money on some fast horses on the 
I'acecourse. The result was a clear gain of five thousand 
dollars. It would have been better for him if he had lost ten 
times that amount. It became a strong lever in the hands of 
a man like Slevington, and he did not fail to use it. 

He was anxious to visit the newly-discovered gold mines in 
Colorado, where, if a man had some capital, he could make an 
immense fortune in a short time. 

In urging this subject one day, he said : " My dear Colonel 
Creedmore, it is utterly impossible for you to settle down to a 
mercantile life in New York after four years of camp life ; 
you, who are the hero and veteran of a hundred battles. 

" In the Wild West, as some people term it, you will find 
Avork suited to your taste and disposition. There is no State 
that presents such golden opportunities as Colorado. Take 
your capital which j'ou have in the bank at New York to 
Denver, and inside of a year it will double itself. I will go 
with you and give you the benetit of my experience. Kentucky 
is too slow and conservative. It makes me weep when I think 
of the grand possibilities in Denver, the rising capital of 
Colorado, to a man of your firm will and keen judgment of 
human character. Tlien, again, you have a quarter of a million 
in cool cash at your call. Why, my dear fellow, the business 
ways of New York are too prim and precise for you. Horace 
Greeley's advice to ' go West, young man,' is decidedly the best 
thing he ever got off". Well, I don't want to unduly persuade 
you. Your dear old qunker uncle in Gotham has an eye to your 



The Wild West. IG'J 

money to prop up his business. Oh, well, I will go alone to 
Denver and watch ray chance." 

Day after day Captain Slevington worked upon Colonel 
Creedmore, throwing ridicule upon his uncle's proposition and 
then painting in glowing colours life upon a ranch, with the 
possibilities of owning a gold mine and thereby amassing a 
boundless fortune in the far West. The captain knew his man, 
and was not surprised when, on the 10th of November, Edgar 
told him he had decided to go to Denver to look at the place, 
and if not satisfied he would return to New York. 

As soon as Colonel Derwent realised the influence obtained 
over his guest by Captain Slevington he was alarmed. He 
knew that the latter was a gambler and would be likely to lead 
his friend into dangerous speculations, and certainly would not 
be over-scrupulous about the way he obtained the money from 
the young Knglishman. 

Then, ag;iin, he had perceived that both his daughters were 
deeply in love with Colonel Creedmore, and he entertained 
hopes that he might marry one of them, and accordingly 
endeavoured to persuade Edgar to settle in Kentucky. His 
wife and daughters aided him in this course ; they ))leaded so 
strongly against his going to Denver that he yielded so far as 
to agree to stay until Christmas, and then Colonel Derwent 
promised to go with him to assist in prospecting. 

This arrangement did not in any way suit the views of 
Captain Slevington, but that individual was too astute to openly 
•oppose it. He tinally thought of a plan to kee]) Colonel Derwent 
at home, and thus give him a free hand with Colonel Creedmoi-e. 

A vacancy in Congress occurring at this time in Colonel 
Derwent's county, Captain Slevington started a boom in favour 
of the Colonel. He was not only nominated by acclamation 
but overwhelmingly elected. He left for Washington, having 
obtained Edgar's word that he would not leave for Colorado 
before Christmas. Captain Slevington went alone, and a week 
later he wi'ote a glowing account of the prospects in gold 
mining. He said that by rare good fortune he met on the 
train one of the owners of the Rose Hill Gold Mine, who had 
Iteen to New York to purchase mining machinery. What was 
needed was capital to develope the mine. It was valued at one 
million dollars. A half interest, however, could be purchased 
for §250,000, but must be taken up at once, as it would not 
go begging. 

A quantity of the ore was sent on by express for analysis. 
When it arrived it w^as assayed, and found to be worth live 



170 Miriam vs. Milton. 

thousand dollars to the ton. This looked most promising, and 
the gold fever took full possession of Edgar. 

Mrs. Derwent, at this point, felt that if Colonel Creedmore 
was to be won as a son-in-law one of her daughters must retire 
from the field. She stated this matter candidly to them, and 
proposed that the one who loved the Englishman the most 
should remain. Both insisted strenuously that they could not 
Jive without him. Their mother, taking a lesson from Solomon, 
told them that the proper way to arrange this matter was to 
draw lots as to who should remain at home, while the other 
was to go away on a visit. Kate immediately accepted this 
proposition, but Ida })Ositively refused to incur the risk. Under 
310 circumstances would she let Colonel Creedmore know that 
she loved him, yet she would not surrender her hope of winning 
Mm. 

JMrs. Derwent then decided that her youngest daughter 
displayed the greatest love and that Kate must yield. 

Reluctantly she did so, and the next day went off on a visit 
to her uncle's. Ida being thus left in undisputed occupation 
of the field sought, in every proper and maidenly way, to make 
an im[)ression on the heart of the young Englishman. 

She was tall and had a mind well stored, having been at 
school continuously for twelve years. She was very domestic, 
and her skill in the culinary department was often exercised to 
produce choice dishes for their guest. Her hair was of flaxen 
colour, with hazel eyes which were large and expressive. Her 
nature was very confiding. Taken altogether she was well 
ada])ted for a wife to a man of Edgar's mould. 

He was not blind to the fact of this preference for himself, 
and for the first time he seriously debated the question of 
marriage. He weighed the claims of his cousin Margaret 
against Ida Derwent and found both were exceedingly desirable. 
He loved them both ; yes, the passion had germinated and he 
was in love. He tliought of the sweet Etaline and her sacrifice 
for him, and although she was married he was also in love 
with her. He could only marry one, however, and the choice 
was necessarily narrowed down to Margaret and Ida, 

This matter could not and must not be decided hastily. To 
relieve his mind he wrote a non-committal but an aftectionate 
letter to Margaret, and stated tliat he was going to Denver 
after Christmas, adding that if the life there did not suit him 
he would return to Is'ew York and take up his duties in her 
father's counting-house as a partner, and she would find him a 
devoted cousin. 



The Wild West. 171 

Captain Slevington sent on from Denver a second instalment 
of ore from the Hose Hill Mine, which was more valuable than 
the first lot. The gold fever grew apace, and Edgar was indeed 
badly smitten. He wrote a full statement of this mine to his 
friend. Colonel Moorehead, at Boston, and asked his advice about 
it. TJie answer was characteristic of tlie cautious seaman 
navigating in strange waters. '"Be careful," he wrote, '"'of 
false charts, and remember the old adage that ' all is not gold 
that glitters.' If the Rose Hill Mine is what it is represented 
to be, then rest assured that it will not go begging." He ended 
by saying that he would be glad to meet his friend Colonel 
Creedmore in Denver on or about the 5th of January. 

The Christmas season at Harmondale Plantation was cele- 
brated in true Kentucky style. The colonel came home for 
the holidays. The remembi'ai^ce of it became such a factor in 
Edgar's after experience that it assumed a calendar period, and 
events that happened were looked ujjon as taking place so 
many days or months from that Christmas at Harmondale. 
Even the Derwents spoke of it as " that Christmas-tide," as 
though there was no other such event in the past or likely to 
come again. For Edgar and Ida Derwent it was indeed a 
memorable event. 

How often as the years rolled by did the girl console herself 
by saying " It might have been," while the fated Englishman 
felt " It should have been." If it had, how much bitter agony 
would have beeii avoided. One of the old coloured slaves of 
his host, on Christmas morn, in answer to the wish of a merry 
time, had said to him in reply : " ]\Iassa Colonel, last night as 
you danced wid de beautiful Miss Ida, I done gone and felt dat 
de fates and de Lord designed you for each oder. Better you 
don't gone and fly in de face ob Providence by a wilful 
resistance to de fore-ordained plan ob taking dat lady for vour 
wife." 

These words were never forgotten by Edgar. Yet he could 
not tell why he did not take the hand and heart that would 
have been freely given to him for the asking. 

Many men have had the same ex2:)erience. How often are 
we puzzled over the problem, whether it is a chance or 
Providence that shapes our ends — very roughly indeed at times ! 



172 Miriam vs. Milton. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

TPIE TIUUMPH OF THE COMMOXER. 

After the episode of the hist chapter Sir Thomas and Lady 
Shirley went back to Elmswood, and his Itrother and sister 
returned to Everdale. Not a word of comment was uttered. 
Thejr were too utterly dumbfounded to speak. 

Not so, however, the lovely Pauline. She told her father 
that Estlier was certainlj^ the victim of a base conspiracy by 
that double-dyed villain, Martin Nickley. She was willing to 
stake lier life on the fiict that the Countess of Montville never 
uttered the words of endearment which, they heard. Nickley 
had on several occasions given exhibitions of his power of 
ventriloquism, and had a great faculty of mimicry. Esther 
was under the influence of some powerful drug, and she must 
therefore be rescued at all hazards from the power of the 
scoundrel who had abducted her. 

Colonel Vansant, ui'ged on l)y his daughter, employed the 
best detectives to hunt up the ])lace where Nickley had taken 
Esther, and he himself enlisted several of his friends in the cause. 

Four weeks passed away before anj^ clue was obtained. A 
detective informed the colonel one morning that Martin 
Nickley, the man he was looking for, had been seen the 
previous evening in one of the clubs, but that no trace had 
yet been found of the lost Countess of Montville. Immediately 
Colonel Vansaut went to the club mentioned and found the 
report true. In fact, Martin Nickley had breakfasted there 
and was expected to return for dinner. 

Colonel Vansant had just reached his sixtieth year; Nickley 
was twenty years younger and had great physical power. Tiie 
former was likely to be at a great disadvantage in a trial of 
strength. Still the brave colonel never wavered for a moment. 
He determined to publicly horsewhip the villain who for 
several years had pursued Esther and twice tried to abduct her. 
Eor this purpose he purchased a strong, short whip, such as 
was used by draymen, and concealing it in his coat went back, 
to the club all ready to make an example of his stalwart 
opponent. It wanted five minutes of live when Esther's 
champion, who but a moment previously had picked up the 
evening paper to glance at it, was startled by a burly form at 
his side saying in a sneering tone : 



Tlie Triumph of the Cotnmoner. 173 

" Well, Colonel "Vansaut, I hear you have been looking foi- 
me. Sorry if I have kept you waiting. You surely have not 
come alone to undertake the rather dithcult contract of trying 
to horsewhip me. That is a game at which two can play." 

For a moment the colonel was thrown off his guard by this 
unexpected bravado of the man for whom he was looking. 

The next instant he drew from the folds of his light overcoat 
the heavy whip, and quick as a stroke of lightning the lash 
■was entwined around Martin Nickley's face and neck like tbe 
folds of a snake, leaving a deej) crimson mark. The pain was 
great, but greater far the mortification of being lashed in a club 
in the presence of fully fifty members. 

Witli a savage roar like a v/ounded tiger Nickley wrenched 
the whip from the colonel's hand, then raising the loaded butt 
he would have certainly brought it down on the head of his 
opponent with deadly etfect, but at that instant he was seized 
from behind and thrown violently to the floor. Before he could 
recover himself he was dragged to the head of the stairs and 
then down to the bottom, and was unceremoniously hustled 
into the street with a parting kick from a foot cased in a heavy 
Avalking boot. 

The discomfited villain turned round to see who had taken such 
unwarranted liberties, and was amazed to behold the strong- 
limbed Xed Bentley, now a lieutenant in Her Majesty's Navy. 

" I will settle this account at another time," was all he said, 
and jumping into a passing hansom he drove away, and Lieu- 
tenant Bentley joined Colonel Vansaut and offered his services 
to find out Avhat had become of Esther. 

In most of the London clubs the stealing of a man's wife is 
not considered by the members a serious ofieuce, provided, of 
course, that it is not their own. 

Martin Nickley made no secret of what he had accomplished 
in abducting the Countess of Montville. 

No one thought for a moment of calling him to account or 
of asking for his expulsion. A public horsewhipping in the 
club rooms was, however, an indelible stain on the character 
of a member. Action was therefore taken at once by the 
governing committee, and after due deliberation Martin 
Nickley's name was erased from membership and a receipted 
bill sent to him for all claims, these items being paid out of 
the general deficiency fund. This was the standing rule of this 
Tery exclusive club. 

As it would be considered tainted, no money could be paid 
into the treasury from an expelled member. 



174 Miriam vs. Milton. 

The following clay tliis terrible disgrace was the talk of all 
London. 

Martin Nickley lost no time in leaving England and going 
direct to Paris. 

Strange as it may appear he looked upon himself as a man 
very much injured by the Earl of Montville. Esther, he 
declared to himself, .should have been his wife, and the con- 
sequences resulting from his effort to obtain what he felt was 
his right was only another debt for \vhich he proposed to obtain 
satisfaction from his rival. 

On his ai-rival in Paris he was not long in finding out the 
cufe frequented by the earl. Seeking the place in the afternoon, 
when it was crowded by English visitors as v/ell as the elite of 
the gay capital, Nickley took a seat at a table near at hand 
without being observed by his rival. 

Edmond Harold was the picture of utter despair ; his eyes 
were bloodshot, and he had been drinking heavily to drown his 
sorrow. Feeling satisfied that his wife had left him voluntarily, 
the words of endearment he heard from her addressed to 
Martin Nickley were sufficient evidence to him that, while she 
gave him her hand, her heart did not go with it. Sadly he 
chought of the happy two years of their honeymoon, "during 
which not a single ci'oss word had been exchanged between 
them. 

Her death would have been a very great calamity, but her 
desertion and the accepting such a man as Nickley was a 
thousand-fold more agonising. The more he dwelt upon' it the 
greater was his mental torture. Why should he suffer any 
longer? A single plunge in the Seine and all would be over. 
Yes, he would cake the step. There was nothing to live for. 
He arose from the table where he had been sitting, and started 
for the door to carry out his suicidal intent. He was about to 
put his hat on his head when a man arose from a table by 
which he was passing and confronted him, saying : 

" Edmond Harold, you are a })eer of the realm, but that will 
not protect you from a public chastisement for your baseness in 
stealing the woman whose life I saved, and who loved me. 
You undermined me in her affections. I took her away from 
you because you had no right to stolen property. This earth 
is not large enough to hold us both. We must meet in Belgium, 
and under the shadow of the Lion Mount, on the fateful field 
of Waterloo, we will decide the ownership of Esther." 

Amazement would be a mild word to express the feelings of 
the earl, not only at the words just uttered but at meeting the 



The Triumph of the Commoner. 175 

man who bad so deeply wronged him. All thought of self- 
destruction fled from his miud, and was succeeded by a desire 
for revenge. But would he not lower himself by meeting such 
a scoundrel on the field of honour 1 Expressing in his face and 
his language all the scorn, contempt, and hatred for the man 
before him, he replied : 

" Zllartin ISTickley, for the first time in my life I begin to 
doubt the fact of the Almighty's supervision over the afiairs of 
this world because such a villain as you can go unpunished. 
If you were a gentleman I would not weigh the fact of your 
being a commoner, but would meet you anywhere for a duel 
unto death. You have descended to such base methods that ifc 
places you outside of civilised society. I therefore decline your 
challenge with scorn. Get out of my pathway." 

"Edmond Harold," said Nickley, "I will be under the 
shadow of the Lion Mount by daylight to-morrow morning. 
The train leaves Paris at six this evening for Brussels, and if 
you fail to be there I will publicly horsewhip you and brand 
you as a coward. In order that you may have no further 
excuse 'I will give you a public insult. Take this." Suiting 
the action to the v/ord Martin Nickley dashed a glass of wine 
into the earl's face, and, leaving his card on the table, said : 

" At daylight to-morrow ; don't forget. The Count Henri 
Rochmere will represent me ; arrangements can be made on 
the field. Au revolr!" 

The earl wiped the wine from his face and started for the 
door, where he met Lieutenant Bentley, who had just arrived, 
and had come to Paris specially to find him and to help in the 
search for the lost Countess of Montville. He explained the 
matter to him, and Bentley agreed to go to Belgium as his 
second. A surgeon was hunted up and invited, and at six 
o'clock they took the train for Brussels, Martin Nickley and 
his second were on the same train. 



176 Miriam vs. Milton. 

CHAPTER XXVII. 

THE ROSE HILL GOLD MINE. 

On the morning of the 3i'd of Janiuuy, 18G6, Edgar and 
Ida Derwent stood by the mantelpiece in the breakfast room 
to say the last words of parting before the rest of the family 
should come from their rooms. Kate had returned a few days 
previously. She did not acquiesce iu her sister's claim of 
possessing all right to the Englishman, and was not disposed 
to let them have any quiet talk by themselves if she could 
prevent it. 

From the many words of encouragement from Edgar Ida 
had expected a pi'oijosal before he should leave. There was no 
doubt in his own mind that he loved the girl well enough to 
ask her to be his wife, but he also loved his little quaker 
cousin, Margaret Richardson. She had a priority of love and, 
besides, was a kinswoman ; and her father had pi'ofitably 
invested his patrimony and more than doubled it. Therefore 
there was added to her claim gratitude and blood relationship. 
Ida was the most lovely of the two, more demonstrative ; but 
in Margaret's nature there was a depth of love and true devo- 
tion that would keep on loving " for richer, for poorer, for 
better, for worse," and that would not become extinct even if 
death should part them. Edgar was indeed in a quandary. 
Tiie proper, manly course to pursue would have been to decide 
promptlv which girl he would prefer, Ida or ]\Iargaret, and then 
to state his preference. Insteatl of that he adopted a vacillating 
and wavering line of action, and thus kept two women in an 
agony of suspense. 

Taking Ida's hand in his, and with his eyes fixed upon her, 
he calmly remarked : 

" Ida, we are about to part, for how long I do not know. 
There is much I would like to tell you if I had time, but must 
postpone to another occasion what now fills my heart. Write 
to me as often as you can, and I will keep you fully apprised 
about my movements. If I find that the Rose Hill Mine 
is half as valuable as is claimed for it, why I will be a very 
rich man inside of a year, and then I will be at liberty to place 
certain matters before you for your consideration. I will not 
attempt to express in language my gratitude for the hospitality 
I have received under this roof, and this has been made doubly 



The Rose Hill Gold Mine. 177 

dear to me by your unselfish efforts in my behalf. I will not 
say farev/ell, but only a brief au revoir. If I find everything 
favourable and straightforward at Denver I will telegraph to 
your father, and he has promised to jiin me at once. Here 
comes your sister Kate." 

At ten o'clock Edgar took his departure for the station, 
accompanied by all the Derwent family. Ida was the last to 
shake hands with him, and in parting he said : 

" Fair daughter of Kentucky, the memory of your winsome 
face will be a guiding star until I return from Denver, and 
then I will ask you " 

This sentence was never finished, for the train began to move 
away. A moment later those on the platform were left far 
behind, and Edgar was speeding to the far "West. 

The journey was without special incident. On his arrival at 
Denver he was met by Captain Slevington, who greeted him 
cordially and conducted him to a hotel. 

The following morning they mounted horses and rode to the 
Rose Hill Mine, a distance of 30 miles. They had a relay of 
horses, and reached the place late in the afternoon. The 
country was wild and rugged. The mine was situated at the 
base of a hill well up on the road to Central Village. The 
surroundings were about the same as many others of the mining 
camps then so common in Colorado. 

A log shanty bore the name of "The Mountain House." 
Even to the veteran Colonel Creedmore, with his four years' 
war expei'ience, there came a strong revulsion of feeling as he 
sat down to his evening meal in company with a score of miners 
and others, all in their shirt sleeves, hands and faces strange to 
soap and water. 

The table consisted of rough pine boards, placed on two 
empty flour barrels, with tin pots and tin plates. Ruefully he 
thought of the elegant table service at the stately old mansion 
of Colonel Derwent. 

The accommodation for sleeping was primitive in the 
extreme. Tired as he was Edgar could not sleep, and V)y 
morning had made up his mind to go back by the first train 
from Denver to New York and take his place as his uncle's 
partner. 

The next day it required all Captain Slevington's eloquence 
to awaken anything like enthusiasm in Colonel Creedmore ; 
even the large lumps of rich ore taken ouc of the mine before 
his very eyes failed to stir him. Nothing would induce him to 
spend another night in such a place, so it was decided that 



178 Miriam vs. MiJton. 

they should return to Denver that afternoon. By hard riding 
they could reach it before midnight, and as it was clear weather, 
with moonlight, there was no impediment hut the rough roads. 

At four o'clock Edgar, with Captain Slevington and two 
uncouth-looking men, introduced as part owners of the mine, 
left the camp. By seven o'clock they halted and cooked their 
evening meal. An hour later they proceeded on their journey. 

The party had been discussing the probability of meeting 
*' road agents," as they were called in "Western parlance (any one 
of these bold I'iders of the plains would have shot you on sight 
had you been foolhardy enough to call them highwaymen). 
Not that Colonel Creedmore or his companions feared an 
attack, for Captain Slevington had a full four years' war 
record on the Southern side, and the two others were part of 
" Mosby's Guerillas" — "shooting at sight" was their business. 
But, then, these road agents were veiy careless about finding 
out the antecedents of those whom they proposed to attack. 
A rumour had spread that a very rich Englishman was expected 
to visit the Hose Hill Mine, and in the slang of the district he 
was considered " a soft snap." His arrival would soon be known 
all over that mining region. 

The party had reached by ten o'clock the worst part of the 
road. Captain Slevington was riding ahead, followed in single 
file by Colonel Creedmore and the other two men. Each man 
held his bridle by the left hand, while the right grasped a 
Colt's navy six-shooter. Suddenly, without warning, each 
hoi'se's bridle was grasped on the left and a revolver was 
levelled at the riders. Two men on the right covered them 
with I'ifies, and the stern command v/as given, " throw up 
your hands or you are dead men ! " 

Not a word was spoken in reply, but four pistol shots rang 
out in the night air and the four men holding the bridles 
dropped to the ground. The two rifles cracked but the bullets 
flew wide of their mark. Again four more revolver shots were 
heard and the two men on the right fell. 

No stop was made to see if the road agents were killed or 
only wounded. The party rode on without displaying any 
excitement and reached Denver a few minutes before midnight. 

Edgar never heard afterwards of the result of the shooting. 
If they were killed they were buried by their companions in 
crime ; if only wounded they were quickly removed to places 
of safety. 

The beds of the splendid hotel in Denver were duly appreciated 
by all the travellers, and by Colonel Creedmore in particular. 



Tlte Rose Hill Gold Mine. 179 

The next clay he was delighted to see his old war comrade, 
Colonel ]Moorehead, walk into the hotel fresh from Boston. 
With him came Heuiy "Winston, sent out specially by Margaret 
Richardson to look after her cousin's welfare. 

It was the 7th of January, and was destined to be a memorable 
day for our hero. The morning mail had brought a letter in a 
woman's handwi-iting that sent a thrill of pleasure through 
Edgar's veins. It was from Etaline, who stated that she and 
her husband were kt^eping house in Denver. Lieutenant Hilton 
was engaged in his business of civil engineering, and would be 
glad to serve him in any way. Both proposed to call ac his 
hotel by ten o'clock. 

When they arrived they were accorded a genial, hearty 
welcome, and an hour was spent with Colonel Moorehead, 
Slevington and Winston being also of the party, talking over 
the old war days. 

Then came the subject of the Rose Hill Mine. Everyone had 
heard of it. It was the talk of Denver. Lieutenant Hilton 
offered to survey the place in company with an expert, and 
upon the report made action could «e taken. 

Colonel Moorehead also wished to go, and Henry Winston 
asked to be of the party, They were advised to take their own 
tent and provisions and go well armed. 

The following morning they set out, twelve in all, including 
the two part owners who came back with Edgar. 

Five days later they all returned with enthusiastic accounts 
of the rich mine, and all Denver was wild over the reports. 

The owners, six in number, had previously offered to sell 
their claims for $250,000, but now put it up to one million, and 
v/ould only sell one half for cash, taking stock for the balance. 

A company was quickly formed and Colonel Creedmore was 
elected president. Colonel Moorehead vice-president, and Colonel 
Derwent was offered by telegraph the position of treasurer, 
which he duly accepted. Lieutenant Hilton was made engineer 
of the mine. 

Captain Slevington persuaded Edgar to secure one-quarter 
of the stock, and he immediately drew on his uncle for 
§250,000. 

The gold mine fever spread, and even the cautious Mr. 
llichardson sent on $25,000 as his own investment. Colonel 
Creedmore advanced $20,000 to Lieutenant Hilton and $5,000 
to Henry Winston. 

He borrowed this money from one of the bankers of the 
city, giving fifty thousand dollars worth of stock as collateral 



180 Miriam vs. Milton. 

security. It was cousidered ample. The demand for shares 
was greater than the supply, and the premium gradually rose 
until by the 1st of March it had reached 200 with the par 
value 100. 

Large orders for machinery were sent to New York, and every 
preparation made to develope the great resources of the mine. 

Colonel Derwent resigned his seat in Congress, and gave all 
his time to the now prosperous company. 

On the 1st of March Henry Winston, w^ho had been for a 
week at the mine, returned to Denver and sought out President 
Creedmore, and told him that there were rumours that the 
Rose Hill Mine was only a projecting spur of ore, and that the 
main body was situated in another claim held by the former 
owners of the Rose Hill, who had unloaded all their stock. 
He urged Edgar to sell half of his stock while it was at such a 
high premium. In case of failure he would not be at any loss ; 
this was what many of the stockholders were doing. 

Mr. Richardson had sold half of his. "When Colonel Derwent 
and Captain Moorehead heard of these rumours they sold one- 
half of their holding, so did Lieutenant Hilton and Henry 
Winston, paying off the loans, thus relieving Colonel Creedmore. 

He on his part absolutely refused to part with a single share. 

Etaline came in person to his office and urged him to make 
himself secure in case of a failure of the ore. He was firm and 
would not consent. He had faith in the mine, and the premium 
was going up every day. Demands for the stock were coming 
in from all parts of the Union. As soon as the expected 
machinery came then dividends would be declared, and there 
was no telling where the stock v^rou!d go. He was too old a 
soldier to become frightened at stock-jobbing rumours. The 
assay of the ore showed that it was one of the richest that had 
yet been discovered. Why should he sell 1 If the other investors 
were weak-kneed he, as the president, would stand firm. 

Etaline withdrew with a sad feeling, because Edgar had put 
his whole fortune into this one enterprise. 

While she was faithful to her husband in eveiy respect, yet 
her heart had gone out years before to the man of her choice, 
and for his welfare she would have yielded her life. This was 
the state of affairs on the 2nd of March, 1866. 

Could Edgar forget this mouth and what it developed five 
years previously 1 Had he reached the zenith of his fame 1 
Why this terrible depression, as he sat iu his luxurious ofiice 
the envied president of the rich Rose Hill Gold Mining 
Company 1 Thus we leave him for a while. 



The Shadow of the Lion Mount. 181 

CHAPTER XXVIII. 

THE SHADOW OF THE LIOX MOUXT. 

It was just seventeen minutes aftex* the midnight houv when 
the train containing the Earl of Montville and his opponent 
arrived at Brussels. The former with Lieutenant Bentley went 
to the Hotel de Bellevue, while Martin Nickley and his second 
went to the private residence of a friend of the count. The 
latter called upon Lieutenant Bentley shortly after his arx'ival, 
and arranged the details of the duel. Carriages were to be 
ready at live o'clock to drive to the field of "Waterloo, distant 
twelve miles. By half-past six, under the shadow of the Lion 
Mount, the principals were to face each other with pistols and 
fire at the word " three." Count Rochmere stated that Mr. 
Nickle}"-, whom he had known for several years, was very bitter, 
and insisted on at least three shots in case the other two were 
without result. 

Everything was arranged, and at the appointed hour the 
next morning the earl and Lieutenant Bentley were sitting in a 
hraidsome coupe drawn by a splendid team of ii-on-grey horses, 
speeding to the celebrated field of Waterloo. They arrived at 
6-15, being the first on the field. They left their carriage some 
distance away, so as not to excite any suspicion. 

Ten minutes later the count and Martin Nickley arrived. 
Both of the seconds shook hands, while the principals glai'ed at 
each other in fierce anger. 

The day before Edmond Harold was anxious to court death, 
in order to find relief from his anguish resulting from the loss 
of Esther. It may seem strange that a man of his standing 
should calmly submit to the loss of his wife without making 
some effort to get her back. 

In the first place, he fully believed that Esther had ceased to 
love him, and he never would have I'cxised a finger to keep a 
wife against her will. The letter she had written to him from 
Harold Castle had misled him, and he could not undei'stand 
why she could have preferred such a coarse man as Martin 
Nickley to himself. This was the first time in his career when 
he really wanted to take human life. He knew that his 
oi>poneut was a man of great nerve and a dead shot. But he 
himself had practiced with a pistol until he considered himself 
an expert. Edmond Harold was the soul of honour, and under 



182 Miriam vs. Milton. 

no consideration would he think of taking the least imfair 
advantage of his oj^ponent. Martin Nickley, while the pistols 
were being loaded, carefully scanned his opjjouent, and was not 
long in realising that the earl was cool, calm, and collected, and 
would fire to kill. He felt that his adversary had taken an 
undue advantage of him in the matter of Esther Creedmore, by 
the fascination of his position as an earl of the realm, and tlius 
carried away the prize. Therefore, if he could retaliate by firing 
at the word " one," he would be justifiable in so doing. 

The sun was under a heavy cloud and consequently there 
could bo no particular advantage in position. When it was 
proposed to toss for positions Martin Nickley objected, and 
expressed a wish that the earl should choose his place and also 
have the choice of the pistols. Suddenly he became very 
courteous, and claimed that as he had forced the eai-1 into this 
duel he should iiave as his right all the possible advantage of 
jjositions and other details. Lieutenant Bentley was cool and 
self-possessed, while the count was very much excited, and in 
his eagerness virtually assumed control after the principals 
were in position. 

" Now, gentlemen," he said, " at the word ' one ' you will face 
each other, at the word 'two' you will raise your weapons, and 
at the word ' three ' you will fire. Are you both ready ] " 

*' Yes," said Martin Nickley. 

" Ready," answered the earL 

For fully thirty seconds there was pei'fect silence ; then came 
in quick succession the command : 

" One, two, three, fire." 

Edmond Harold had expected the words to come slowly,, 
and was not prepared for the nervous excitement of the 
Frenchman. 

His opponent, however, had made up his mind when he 
should fire, and did so promptly at the word " one." His 
bullet struck the earl on the right side just above the hip bone, 
and ploughed its way on tlie edge of the stomach, making a 
long wound fully thirteen inches in length. 

Without flinching Edmond Harold took deliberate aim and 
fired, while the count uttered a vehement protest : " Too late,. 
monsieur ; you have lost your chance." 

The bullet sti-uck Martin Nickley on his right arm above 
the elbow, breaking the bone and making also a flesh woitnd 
in his breast. The blood flowed freely, and the surgeon who 
came with the count at first ])rouounced his wound fatal, but 
after examination said it was serious. 



The Shadoio of the Lion Mount. 183 

The other doctor congratulated the earl upon his nan-o\v 
escape. His wound was bandaged and both parties returned 
to Brussels, Martin Nickley taking the first train for Paris, 
much against the advice of his doctor. 

The earl went to Belgium and booked by the evening steamer 
for Harwich, and the next morning was at his London residence 
accompanied by Lieutenant Bentley. Neither the principal 
nor his second expected a fatal termination; but as a precaution 
a London surgeon was called in, and he, after a careful examina- 
tion, frankly told his patient that one of the intestines had 
been pierced, and that there was but small hope of his recovery. 

Three days later inflammation set in and the earl's condition 
became alarming. Lieutenant Bentley wired to Sir Thomas 
and Lady Shirley and their brother Pilchard. They promptly 
responded, but Mrs. Van lleem declined to come. \Yhen they 
arrived the sick man was sinking fast, and taking Sir Thomas 
by the hand he said, '• I am the victim of a cruel conspiracy. 
If you will believe me innocent of any deception to your niece 
I will die happy." 

The hand or the dying man was cordially pressed for answer, 
and the fast-flowing tears of those surrounding his bed con- 
vinced him that no ill will was harboured against his fair name. 

At eight o'clock in the evening he awakened out of a sleep 
and repeated the words, " Vengeance is mine ; I will repay, 
saith the Lord." A moment later he said, " Give my parting 

love to Esther and tell her " A smile came over his face, 

and quietly tlie spirit of the young Earl of Montville joined 
the great congregation of the dead without finishing his last 
message. 

Three days later his body was laid beside the dust of his 
ancestors, and the title and entailed estate passed into the 
possession of a young nephew, the son of his only sister, who 
for several years had been living in Australia with her husband. 



184 Miriam vs. Milton. 

CHAPTER XXIX. 

THE FALLEN AIR CASTLE. 

1S6G. 

It is a notable fact in the history of many individuals that 
certain days in the year are veritable red-letter ones. Good 
and evil fortune come on the same day, very often after aa 
interval of several years. It is so in our story with Edgar 
and Esther. We cannot stop to discuss this fact or try to 
explain by what law this is bi'ought about. 

The morning of the 3rd of March was very stormy. The 
wind blew the falling snow into the faces of those who had 
been venturesome enough to brave the fury of the Storm King 
as unrestrained he took full possession of the streets of Denver. 

The I'eader will remember that obstinacy had been a leading 
ti'ait of Miriam's character. It was now strongly developed in 
Edgar. A meeting had been called for the stockholders of the 
Rose Hill Gold Mine. It was to take place at ten o'clock this 
very morning. President Creedmore was in the office of the 
company at an early hour. A proposition had been laid 
before him from the men who were the former owners of his 
mine. Finding that the tract of ground which they had sold 
contained only a spur of the ore, and that they still held the 
main body in their possession, they now ofiered to sell the 
adjoining tract of fifty acres for half a million dollars. Colonel 
Derwent and Colonel Moorehead, as well as several others of 
the directors, were in favour of accepting this proposition. 
Colonel Creedmore, however, bitterly opposed it. An bour 
before the appointed time several members of the board of 
directors sent requests that he should postpone the meeting till 
another day. He felt very certain that, with a full represents 
tion of the stockholders, he would be overruled in the stand he 
had taken of absolutely refusing to purchase any more mining 
claims until it was demonstrated that their mine did not contain 
the principal body of the ore. Contrary to all expectations, 
however, there was a very full attendance of those interested in 
the Rose Hill Mine. After the reading of the minutes of the 
previous meeting the pioposibion to purchase was duly laid 
before the stockholders. It was soon apparent that there was 
an almost unanimous feeling in favour of the acquisition of all 



Tlie Fallen Air Castle. 185 

the land that coukl be purchased in the vicinity of their claim. 
This was Colonel Creedmore's opportunity and he availed him- 
self of it. Having made up his mind on this subject he was 
well prepared to sustain his point. He now presented his 
views so clearly that on the vote being taken he had a majority 
on his side. It was a victory dearly won. Colonel Derwenfc 
and Colonel Moorehead both resigned from the directorate. 
Lieutenant Hilton entered his protest against the course adopted, 
but as the majority had so decided he declared that he would 
stand by them and work for the success of the enterprise. 

in the afternoon it was known in Denver that several of the 
late directors of the Rose Hill I\Iine had disposed of all their 
shares and that large blocks were offered by other holders, and 
there was dissension in the management. The shares which 
had been held at a high premium began to fall, and by the 
evening of the 5th were below par. 

Captain Slevington had opposed President Creedmore in his 
course. He was now violent in abuse of his protege, as he 
called Edgar, and accused him of ruining the prospects of the 
mine. The hardest blow, however, was the fact that his two 
staunch friends, Derwent and Moorehead, left for their respective 
homes without seeing him. They sent brief notes saying that, 
as they could not agree with him in the course he was taking, 
they had sold their shares and thus lefc him free in his 
actions. 

By the middle of March the stock had fallen to $50 a share. 
President Creedmore was still unconvinced that his views were 
eri-oneous, but finally yielded to the wishes of the majority and 
wrote to the holders of the claim which had been offered to this 
company, and consented to take the land at their oti'er of half 
a miiiion dollars. By return mail, however*, he received a 
reply that they had sold all their holdings to an English 
syndicate for one million dollars. 

On the 1st of April he was astonished when the general 
manager of the Rose Hill Mine came into his office, and, 
without taking off his hat, coolly sat down, remarking in true 
Western style : 

" Well, ' guvnor,' the Rose Hill is busted higher than a kite. 
Reckon you had better have bought that ere adjoining claim ; 
the ledge is ' give ' out. Rather think you had best vamoose 
the ranch afore the stockholders hear the news and go for your 
scalp. I am going to skedaddle myself, as they might take a 
notion to give me a hoist up some tree. A ' necktie sociable ' 
would not suit my health jusjt now ; so good-bye, old man." 



186 Miriam vs. Milton. 

An hour later Ciiptain Slevington came iuto the ofSce, and 
said in a savage tone : 

"Just see what your infernal obstinacy has produced. If 
you had purchased that adjoining claim the Rose Hill Mice 
would to-day have been up to three hundred dollars a shai-e, 
whereas it is now below twenty, and will soon be at zero. 
There is a large crowd gathering opposite the Exchange, and I 
heard some very ugly remarks uttered about you as I left tiiere 
•A few minutes ago. Take my advice and leave Denver until 
the storm blows over." 

President Creedmore became thoroughly demoralised. The 
proper course would have been to remain at his post and face 
the stockholders. He should have called a meeting at once, 
and consulted as to the best line of action in the present crisis 
of aftaii's. 

A suggestion had been made to him on the previous day by 
one of the directors. It would be sound policy, he suggested, 
to call u))on the manager of the English sj^ndicate which had 
purchased the claim that he had refused. Perhaps an arrange- 
ment could be brought about by which the two companies might 
be consolidated. The English syndicate would naturally be 
anxious to stand well with the Denver financiers, and the 
failure of the Rose Hill Mine would react calamitously upon 
the new enterprise. Again President Creedmore made a fatal 
error by refusing to listen to men who possessed much experience 
in mining. 

The clock was striking the noonday hour when a tumult of 
iuigry voices coming up the street apprised Edgar that if he 
waited any longer he Avould have to face an excited crowd. Yet 
no man connected with the Rose Hill Mine was better able to 
liold an angry mob in check than the cool-headed president. 
Captain Slevington was his evil genius. He now urged him to 
it-ave the city at once. This was the turning point of his life. 
Should he turn his back upon his duty and qttail at the critical 
moment, then his hitherto good fortune was certain to abandon 
him. It is so in the history of every man and every woman 
who in some crucial moment of their existence magnify the 
troubles that confront them and surrender almost without an 
effort, whereas a bold front often will gain for them the 
victory. Many a man has foolishly taken his life in a crisis 
like this. 

Pi-esident Creedmore went to a livery stable, procured a 
carriage, and drove to the ranch of a friend some twenty miles 
t'rom Denver, leaving all his valuable claims and tlie vast 



The Fallen Air Castle. 187 

interests confided to his keeping Ijy the stockholders to take 
care of themselves. 

When the crowd of excited shareholders arrived at the office 
they were met by one of the directors, who soothed them by a 
few well-chosen words. In every great enterprise, he told them, 
there were times when it required the combined effort of all 
connected with it to keep it afloat, and. this was the case with 
the Rose Hill Mine. To attack the president or to make a 
public demonstration could do no good, and would only be 
detrimental to their own interests. This had a quieting effect 
upon the crowd and they silently dispersed. 

On the following day the general jnanager of the English 
syndicate called at the office of the Rose Hill Mine to otier a 
j)voposition of consolidation on very ftivourable terms. President 
Oteedmore being absent nothing could be done until his 
return. 

A week passed, during which the stock of tlie Rose Hill 
Mine went up twenty points, and everything looked favourable 
for the stockholders. It only needed the return of the president 
to bring the shares back to par. Cajitain Slevington now 
followed Edgar to his hiding place, and told him an exaggerated 
story about the anger of the investors in the mine. He had 
received a lai'ge bonus from the former owners of the mine, and 
had been enabled besides to sell his stock at a premium. The 
success of the Rose Hill j\Iine would therefore now be of no 
benefit to him, but rather a detriment. It "would restore the 
popularity of Colonel Creedmore, and enable him to become a 
jiiillionaire. This would take him out of Slevington's i)o\ver ; 
whereas if he should be brought under the ban of the law he 
could be made use of to great advantage. It became now the 
^ettled plan of Slevington to ruin Colonel Creedmore beyond 
recovery. This may appear little short of murder. Men of 
this stamp, however, gamblers by profession, think nothing of 
the havoc and ruin that follows their designs. 

The reader may wonder why a man of Edgar's keen insight 
into human nature did not see through all the deep villany of 
ills treacherous friend. The answer is that, being tlioroughly 
honest himself, he was not of a suspicious dis^^osition and gave 
full credit to others. 

On the tenth day after the sudden departure of the President 
of the Rose Hill Mine, rumours began to be spread abroad that 
he was short in his accounts, and that he had left the State to 
avoid arrest. A meeting of the directors was called. Captain 
Slevington attended it as one of the original members, and made 



188 Miriam vs. Milton. 

sei'ious charges against him. A warrant was procured and a 
i-eward offered for information leading to his arrest. Tho 
following day all Denver was flooded with handbills circulated 
by Slevington. Not satisfied with this he also spread malicious 
reports. Thus he endeavoured to ruin utterly the man who had 
trusted him in this dark hour of his life. 

Believing now that Edgar's reputation had been hopelessly 
blasted, Slevington made his way to the ranch where the 
colonel was hiding and showed him some of the handbills. 
The storm of indignation would blow over, he said, and it 
would be best to keep quiet. No pen can describe the awful 
:igouy endured by the sensitive nature of Colonel Creedmore. 
He valued his reputation more than anything else in the world. 
These serious charges, if left uncontradicted, would remain as a 
lasting stigma. If thej'' should come to the eai's of his uncle 
Richardson and his cousin Margaret, wliat sufiering it would 
inflict upon them ! 

He determined to return to Denver and face all accusations. 
He now perceived Slevington's character in its true light, and 
became convinced that he must have some unworthy design in 
the advice to remain in hiding. 

Late that night, v.dthout giving Slevington any intimation of 
his purpose, he procured a horse and set out for Denver, arriving 
early the following morning. He went directly to the sheriti' 
and surrendered himself. The news spread over the city like 
wildfire. Among his friends who remained loyal to him in 
tills gloomy period none were more earnest in his behalf than 
Etaline and Lieutenant Hilton, her husband. Henry Winston 
was also active for his old chief. By noon more than fifty 
persons ofi'ered to go on his bail bond. This was fixed in the 
sum of five thousand dollars, Edgar v/ent to his apartments 
and found everything had been seized by the sherifi", but all 
v/as promptly restored. 

A meeting of the stockholders was called to devise the best 
plan to secure their interests. The general manager of the 
English syndicate was also present. Instructed by his 
principals he now could only ofi^er one-quarter of the amount 
originally proposed. This was accepted, and Colonel Creedmore 
left the president's chair. The famous Hose Hill Gold Mine 
became the property of the new corporation. When a settle- 
ment was made it was found that the liabilities for machinery 
ordered and other expenses absorbed all that had been realised 
from the ti'ansfer. Colonel Creedmore thus found himself 
adrift in the city of Denver with less than a hundied dollars to 



London by Gaslight. 189 

Lis name ; whereas only three months previously he arrived 
til ere worth a qviarter of a million dollars. 

On the 5th of April his trial took place. Notwithstanding 
Captain Slevington's efforts he was triumphantly acquitted by 
the jury without leaving their seats. Fortune once more smiled 
upon him. His uncle Richardson wrote to him telling him to 
draw upon him for five thousand dollars. He also added that 
liis place as partner in the firm was waiting for him to take it, 
the capital that was needed was on hand, and nothing would 
ever be said about the Denver speculation. Colonel Moore- 
head and Colonel Derwent also wrote very kind letters, and 
each enclosed drafts for five thousand dollars. They were 
promptly returned with letters of thanks. He had resolved to 
light his way alone, and declined all pecuniary assistance. 



CHAPTER XXX. 

LONDON BY GASLIGHT. 

The author is compelled to pass over a si^ace of five years of 
the life of Esther. During this long period no one of her 
kindred or friends had received any word from her ; in fact, it 
was not even known where she was. From the hour on that 
fatal 5th of September, 1865, she had completely disappeared. 
JS'o trace had been left behind to reveal where her abductor had 
taken her. 

At Everdale everything had moved along in a quiet manner. 
Uncle Richard Shirley had aged very much. He deeply felt 
the loss of his favourite niece. Mrs. Van Reem was extremely 
bitter in her denunciation of the late Earl of Montville. She 
♦leclared that if he had taken prompt action when he received 
iisther's letter all the subsequent misfortune might have been 
aiverted. 

Martin Is ickley's stately residence, which was only two miles 
from Everdale, was left to the care of servants. If the master 
ever occasionally returned no one outside of his household 
knew of it. The dog C^sar seemed to divine that the long- 
continued absence of his mistress was owing to Martin Nickley. 
He became so fierce and vindictive that it was necessary for 
him to be kept continually chained. Once he broke loose and 
jiKide his way over to the estate of his enemy. If the dog 



190 Miriam vs. Milton. 

covikl have had his long-sought-for privilege of fastening his 
fangs in Nickley's flesh it woukl have been a woeful meeting 
for the lord of the manor. CjBsar would have died before 
letting go. 

At Elmswood there were some changes of note. Robert and 
Winifred had been married for three years, and a bouncing boy 
had blessed the union. They lived at the manoi*. iSir Tliomas 
and Lady Shirley often spoke of Esther, and wondered whether 
she was alive. A large sum had been spent for detective 
search, but to no purpose. Both mourned her as dead. Adelaide 
had given her hand in marriage to the man of her choice, and 
her husband was the heir of an earldom. She and her sister 
never mentioned their unfortunate cousin's name. Eleanor was 
of too harsh a nature to think of such a thing as pardon for 
Esther's oifence. ISTot so, however, the loving Irene. She 
would never allow a single word to be spoken against the name 
of her fair cousin. With her the fall of Esther was a misfor- 
tune and not a crime. Willingly would she have gone to 
Esther's assistance if she but knew where to find her. So, too, 
would the ever-faithful Winifred. Many times had she and 
her husband gone to distant places when the rumour came to 
them that Esther had been seen there. 

The fun-loving John Shirley found a mate in Elvira Huben. 
It was the result of a practical joke which he played upon that 
sedate young lady when she came on a visit to Winifred. He 
had frightened her very much one night by hoisting a bolster 
up to the window with the mask of a woman's face fastened to 
it. Elvira's screams roused the household, and the following 
Jay his father insisted upon a full apology. This was promptly 
given. John oflered his hand and heart as a propitiatory 
sacrifice and such a ]jortion of his father's estate as would be 
assigned to him. Elvira accepted the ofier. Sir Thomas was 
so pleased at the good fortune of his youngest son in securing 
such a splendid helpmate that he settled upon him a liberal 
allowance. Elvira also brought a fair dowry, and the marriage 
was a very happy one. 

After the death of the Earl of Montville his executoi-s placed in 
the Bank of England the portion belonging to Esther, to be held 
subject to the decision of the courts as to who was the rightful 
Countess of Montville. So far no claim had been made for it 
by anyone. The interest of Esther's patrimony was deposited 
in the same bank subject to her order, as she had kept her 
private account there after her marriage. This money likewise 
remained uncalled for. Having thus reviewed the salient 



London h>j Gaslijld. 191 

jioints of the five years tliat liave ela^tsed since the abductioa 
of the Countess of Montville, we now take up her history once 
more. 

London by gaslip;ht is one of the notabilia of the great 
modern Babylon. It is only when the shades of night have 
fallen that a visitor can see the hidden life of the va.st 
metropolis. There does not exist to-day among the children of 
men a genius suliiciently gifted to portray in adequate tei*ms 
all the guilt and misery which remains hidden during the blaze 
of noonday illumination, and only comes to view under tlie 
glare of the gaslight. 

Any author in search of v/eird material for a work not of 
fiction but of drama, more pathetic and more intensified t]i:i!i 
tlie loftiest imagination could evolve, can find here all ht) 
wants. Let him stand for one single hour at the corner of 
Regent or Piccadilly Circus, about nine o'clock at night, and 
tliere he will behold scenes which no other city can equal — not 
even Paris, with all its wickedness. Of all the months in the 
year the gloomy fogs render November one of the worst for a 
sti'anger to see London for the first time, if he would carry 
away a favourable impression. 

The 10th of November, 1S70, was a miserable day. A black 
fog hung over the city, and even the gaslights only made the 
gloom more depressing. At six o'clock in the evening the 
streets were deserted. The shops were nearly all closed, for no 
one that could help it was abroad. Locomotion was extremely 
■difficult, and few cabs were to be found. 

At seven o'clock on this dark evening a solitary figure of 
.stalwart proportions vras walking uj) and down by the opening 
iii Westminster Bridge, almost under the shadow of the massive 
cathedral, which for six hundred years has reared its lofty spires 
iieavenward. lie was evidently expecting some one. Ever and 
anon he would look up at the clock on the square steeple and 
then peer into the darkness. A close observer ^^■ould have seen on 
his swarthy face the indication of intense anxiety, also a fear 
lest some unforeseen occurrence had prevented the person he 
was expecting from keeping the appointment. The chimes on 
the steeple had just sounded the quarter past when the figure 
-of a woman, closely veiled, came out of the gloom. Taking his 
Ijand, she sjjoke in a sad but musical voice : 

" Ziska, I hope I have not kept you waiting very long." 

An expression of intense joy and excitement lit up the face 
of the gipsy. Taking ofi" his cap, he replied in a tone of great 
respect : 



192 Miriara vs. Milton. 

*' Fair Countess of Montville, I would cheerfully wait twenty 
years for the opportunity of greeting you. Assisted by the 
members not only of my own tribe but also those of our race 
in England and in many cities of the Continent, I have searched 
for you long and eagerly. Had you been buried a thousand 
fathoms deep under the sea you could not have been more securely 
hidden than you have been. It is very rare that the keen eyes 
of the gipsy people fail to jienetrate secrets that baffle the 
keenest detectives. Martin Kickley has been traced to Dieppe. 
He then mysteriously disappeareel as though the earth had 
swhI lowed him." 

" Ziska," answered Esther (for it was indeed no other than 
the missing Countess of Montville, for whom the detectives of 
the leading cities of Europe had vainly searched), " Oh, Ziska, 
I trembled when I saw you for fear you would turn away in 
loathing from me. I am degraded in my own sight, and would 
look upon death as a blessing. 1 am to-day without a friend in 
this wide world. I thought perhaps you might assist me in 
this lone hour of my life. If you refuse to help me, then I will 
have no other resource than to plunge over this bridge. The 
Thames v/ill receive with a kind embrace those who are rejected 
by their fellow-mortals." 

" How could you think of such a thing," the gipsy chief 
asked, as the tears came to his eyes. " Rest assured that I will 
stand by you, and to avenge you will be the chief aim of my 
life. To me you are now, and always will be, the respected 
Countess of Montville. There is no other that can claim the 
title. The new earl has not yet married." 

" I thank you with all my heart," answered Esther. " These 
kind words are the first I have heard for many a long day ; but 
please do not call me the Countess of Montville. I have no right 
to it. My marriage to Edmond Harold was void. There had 
been a prior marriage to Florence Mayburn." 

" Rest assured," replied the gipsy, '• no such marriage ever 
took place. That was part of the conspiracy of Martin Nickley. 
I will explain all to you to-morrow. Come with me now, for 
luy wife is waiting at our tent and I have a conveyance ready 
to take you there. When you are fully rested you will know 
ail of the base plot which was so successfully carried out by 
tiiat arch-villain Nickley. Notwithstanding his great wealth 
lie will yet wear the prison garments. I received your letter 
fx-oni Dieppe only this morning and I hastened to meet you. 
Tell me where was the place of your concealment and why no 
trace of you could be found ? 



London by Gasligld. 193 

" The story can be told in a very few words," answered Esther. 
" Five years ago on the 5th of September last I was taken to 
some place near the Strand to meet my husband. I had been 
placed under a powerful drug, and so have only a faint recollec- 
tion of seeing the earl at the door of the house as I came out, 
and also several of my kindred. When I had fully recovered 
consciousness I was a prisoner in a chateau on a small islet 
about twenty miles from Dieppe. The place was nominally owned 
by the Count Henz^i Rochmere, but really was the property of 
Martin Nickley. There were only three servants — an old man 
and his wife and their daughter, who was my waiting-maid. 
They were ignorant to an extreme degree, and had been 
informed that I was not in my right mind and must never be 
allowed to escape. I was supposed to be the wife of Martin 
Nickley, and was always addressed as ' Madame. ' I cannot find 
language to describe the mental torture I have endured. 
Martin remained with me for the first month after our arrival. 
He then went away, and returned in five days with his arm in 
a sling. It had been broken above the elbow, and he told me 
that it was done by Edmond Harold in a duel fought on 
my account in Belgium. The earl had spi'ead malicious reports 
about me, he declared, and he had challenged him to fight a 
duel. Harold was badly wounded, and had returned to 
England. A week later he informed me that the earl was dead. 
This news threw me into a violent fever, and it was two months 
before I recovered. During all this time Martin watched me 
as tenderly as such a man could. After my recovery it was 
niy turn to nurse him, as his arm troubled him very much. 
One day he brought a priest — e«t least he was dressed as one — 
and Martin insisted that we should be married. I was 
powerless, and had to submit to what I considered a mockery. 
It did seem as though the man tried to love me. A month 
passed in what he was pleased to call our honeymoon, after 
which a doctor from Paris who had been called in advised that 
Martin should go to Italy for a change. The Count Henri 
Rochmere accompanied him, and I was left behind to pass the 
time as best as I could. I had no lack of money, and could 
procure anything from Paris that I wanted. I could not, 
however, send any letters ; in fact, I had been required to 
give my solemn word not to write to any one. This I 
sacredly kept. Thus year after year passed, and Martin 
spent a good deal of the time with me. He seemed to enjoy 
the solitude of our island home. He always came and 
went disguised as a fisherman. This was the reason that you 



19-i Miriam vs. M lit on. 

and others could not find me. A week ago to-day he told me 
that he was tived of my company and that I was free to go 
where I pleased. Our so-called marriage, he declared, was 
not legal. The supposed priest was a cabdriver wliom he 
had hired to come to the chateau to perform a mock ceremony. 
I had suspected as much, and this information did not surprise 
me. Martin gave me a hundred pounds of English money. 
and promised to pay me the same amount every month provided 
I did not trouble him in any way. He then took me to Paris 
and set me free to go where I pleased. I wrote to you at a 
venture, not knowing whether my letter v/ould reach you or 
that you would care to help me. Martin has kept me fully 
informed as to the welfare of my kindred and my friends. This 
is my history and my experience for five years past." 

Ziska had been deeply interested in this recital. He now 
took Esther's hand and replied : "A kind Providence has 
placed you in my care, and only over my dead body shall 
Martin Nickley get possession of you again. Come, let us go 
and join my wife, and under her care you will be safe from all 
annoyance." 

The two passed along the bridge and made their way through 
several streets, at last reaching the conveyance in waiting. At 
that moment a carriage with a span of spirited horses drove 
rapidly down the street and came near running over Esther. 
A liveried footman and coachman were on the front seat. The 
latter swore at her for gettiiag in the way and causing him to 
stop his horses. Ziska took her part. A lash from the whip 
was his only reply. The next moment the coachman was 
pulled from his seat and received a severe beating. The 
occupant of the carriage opened the door and came out to 
ascertain the cause of the detention. The burly form of 
Martin Nickley appeared before their astonirshed gaze. The 
footman judiciously kept his place and held the horses. Both 
men recognised each other. The sight of Esther with Ziska 
put Nickley into a frenzy of passion. He struck the gipsy a 
heavy blow. Instantly it was returned. Moie followed and 
Ester's abductor was getting the worst of it. At this critical 
moment, however, several policemen came to the spot and 
conducted them all to the station house. On arriving Nickley 
preferred charges against Ziska for assault upon himself and his 
coachman, and deposited one hundred pounds as security. The 
sight of this money and the presence of the handsome carriage 
with servants in livery led the police oflicer to accept the 
charge. The rich man was permitted to go on his own 



Lynch Lcm. 195 

I'ecogiiizances while the gipsy was placed in a cell. Nickley 
took Esther away with him. 

Three days later the case was tried, and again gold was 
successful against justice. The gipsj' was convicted of assault 
with intent to rob, and sentenced to penal servitude for five 
years. 

Esther's testimony would perhaps have saved him, but she 
could not be found. She had again disappeared. 

The gipsy chief was transported, and Martin Nickley was 
once more triumphant. 

At this point the dying words of the late Earl of Montviile 
come to mind, " Vengeance is mine ; I will repay saith the 
Lord." Perhaps some will say, " How long, oh, how long, must 
the injured wait for justice? Fear not; it will come Avith an 
energy of operation, heightened by delay, waiting for the cup 
to be filled." 



CHAPTER XXX L 

LYNCH LAW. 

lif the last chapter of Edgar's life we left him adrift in the 
city of Denver with only one hundred dollars in his pocket. 
He received numerous offers of pecuniary help but declined 
them all. He pondered long over the generous proposal of his 
uncle to return to New York and take his place in the firm, 
but finally decided to decline it. He was virtually a pauper. 
He felt that if he went to New York he would be entirely 
dependent upon his uncle. So he resolved to stay out West 
and seek in some way to retrieve his fortune. 

Captain Sleviugton still desired to retain his hold upon him, 
and offered him a chance to make some money — " in an honour- 
able way," as he expressed it. By his efforts Edgar obtained a 
situation in a large mining supply warehouse. Its headquarters 
were in New York, but the Western branch was in Denver. 
Colonel Creedmore was just the man that the manager's needed. 
They were willing to pay him a very large salary, which he 
gladly accepted. Colonel Moorehead offered him a position in 
Boston, but Edgar wrote a very eai'nest letter of thanks in 



196 Miriam vs. Milton. 

reply, and stated that there were far better opportuuities out 
West to regain what he had lost than in the older cities of the 
East, Colonel Derwent also wrote a second urgent letter to 
Colonel Creedmore inviting him to return to Kentucky, where 
without doubt there was a fine opening, in which the 
capital chiefly required was brains and indomitable energy. 
These qualifications his friend Creedmore possessed in a 
remarkable degree. Ida Derwent also wrote a letter filled wiih 
pleadings which, if it had not been for his pride, would have 
caused him to return to the hospitable old manor of the 
Derwents, where the memory of the Christmastide so lately 
passed was still fresh. Her letter might have been successful 
but that Edgar mentioned the fact to Captain Slevington. 
Strange as it may appear, this man had once more gained 
an ascendancy over Edgar, who, having refused money fi'om 
every one else, now accepted it from this gambler. Having 
failed in his foi-mer tactics Slevington endeavoui-ed to screen 
his conduct by a profuse attention to the wants of the man 
whom he had sought to ruin. Colonel Creedmore advised 
Henry Winston to return to New York and accept a position 
in the warehouse of Mr. Richardson. Winston consented and 
left for New York accordingly. Lieutenant Hilton accepted a 
situation on the Union Pacific Eailroad. Both he and his wife 
were devotedly attached to Edgar. Etaline's devotion seemed 
to grow stronger, and she would have sacrificed her life 
cheerfully at any time to have aided the man who had won her 
heart in the old war days. 

A month after the failure of the Hose Hill Mine Colonel 
Creedmore left Denver to visit some distant mines, and obtain 
oi'ders for the company who employed him. Almost from the 
outset he was very successful. He was brought into contact 
with that large body of men who were tired of the restraints 
of civilised life, and found vent and scope for their ambition 
in the exciting experiences of the mining camps of the far 
AVest. Travelling in this region at this period was rather 
primitive, and not only so but highly dangerous. Every one 
went armed. There was no attempt at concealment of this 
fact ; but, on the contrary, arms were carried wliere they coukl 
be both seen and used at a moment's warning. Not to go armed 
was to invite attack. The best-armed man, and the one who 
was the readiest with his " shooting-irons," was the most likely to 
be left undisturbed. Any person who attended strictly to his 
own afiairs, but was always ready to repel attack, could transact 
his business in safety. Liquor was the origin of all the trouble 



Lynch Law. 197 

in the mining regions. It was said in some of the camps that 
for every pint of liquor sold a fall pint of human blood was 
shed. 

About the middle of May Colonel Creedmore reached 
Cheyenne, and then set out to visit several of the mines 
situated about thirty miles from this point. 

Late in the evening of the 20th May, tired, dusty, and 
thirsty, he rode into a pass called "Dead Man's Run." This 
peculiar name had been given to it on account of the many 
pioneers and Indians murdered there. A natural road lay 
through a canyon, on either side of which there rose a low 
bluff of rocks, forming a splendid barricade. Behind them 
Indians often were in ambush and at other times road agents. 
Whoever entered this dangerous pass when the rocks were held 
by his foes must run for his life, and if he could gain a distance 
of one hundred yards he found a place of safety. He then had 
the advantage of his enemies, as they could not maintain their 
position. More men were killed on this Run than in any 
other spot in the far West. Very few succeeded in getting 
through. One man, however, had saved his own life and 
gained a reputation which was known far and wide. He had 
taught the red scalpers a lesson that was not soon forgotten. 
One cold morning in the mouth of February, 1865, Marcy 
Graston, while seeking for new fields, came to this rocky pass. 
Knowing the danger he carefully surveyed the place from a 
safe distance, but findinjj no si^n of Indians went through. 
Hardly had he entered the pass when six rifle shots rang out 
on the morning air. !N^one hit him, however, the intense cold 
preventing the Indians from taking a j^roper aim. Graston 
ran the gauntlet, and before the end of the Run was reached 
anothcjr volley was fired. The bullets fell all around but he 
was unharmed. Reaching a place of safety he now returned 
the tire, and picked ofi" his enemies one by one until all were 
slain. Henceforward the name of Marcy Graston became 
synonymous with extermination. 

Before leaving Cheyenne Colonel Creedmore had been duly 
cautioned about the celebrated pass of Dead Man's Run. 
With his usual contempt for danger he took no extra 
l^recaution. Indians were not the only foes to contend against. 
Road agents often came to the place to replenish their empty 
jjurses at the expense of unwary miners. 

Colonel Creedmore had just reached the beginning of the 
Run when, from a projecting ledge of rock, a man sprang ouc 
and grasped his horse's bridle, and called a peremptory -'halt!" 



19S Miriam vs. Hilton. 

He looked tlie man in the face without betraying the slightest 
surprise. 

" Good evening, my friend," said he ; "I am delighted to 
meet you. I am tired and hungry. What have you got to eat 1 " 

Three others now came forward and received the same 
salutation. There was something about Colonel Creedmore'.s 
bearing that overawed the road agents. He quietly dismounted 
and, addressing the man who had hold of his bridle, said : 

" Give my horse a good rub down and feed him well. Now, 
partners," he continued, " let me see some of your hospitality." 

Among men of this stamp there was nothing so likely to 
charm them as this sang fvoid. Nerve was their admiration, 
and the man who exhibited the most of it was very sure to be 
well treated. They accordingly gave Edgar a hearty welcome, 
and invited him at once to partake of their evening meal. He 
frankly told them his business, and also his name. They had 
heard of him, and with that peculiar fraternal feeling found 
only in the far West they assured him of their sympathy, and 
hoped that he would retrieve his fortunes. In their turn they 
were no less candid than himself. They informed him that they 
were waiting for the mail coach, which was due about eight 
o'clock, and was I'eported to have several passengers who were 
carrying a large amount of specie. The coach was certain, of 
course, to be well guarded, and he v/oiild be welcome to join 
them and share the danger as well as the booty in case of 
success. If he chose to decline the otfer, then " mum " was to 
be the word at all times. 

Colonel Creedmore thanked them, but said that he preferred 
to be " mum." He was not the sort of man to reward hospi- 
tality by betraying them, and so would ride on and get out of 
the way. They replied to him that after the job was done they 
v/ould leave at once and be far distant by daylight next morning. 
They further advised him not to ride into the camp until after 
their business was over. He would be in danger otherwise of 
being suspected of having some hand in the affair. He could 
lie concealed among the rocks, and after the coach went on he 
could ride back a distance and then return to the pass and go 
on to the mining camp to which he w^s bound. As he was 
virtually a prisoner he had no alternative. The night became 
very dark and the x-oad agents took their ajjpointed places. 
Edgar found a place of concealment where he could see all that 
went on without being seen. Prompt to time the heavy mail 
coach came up to the pass at a ten-mile speed. On each side 
of the driver sat a man holding a Spencer carbine, with its ten 



Lynch Laiv. 199 

cartridges all ready for discharge. Eight in the middle of the 
pass the two leading hox'ses stumbled and fell, entangled 
apparently in some cordage. N^ot a sound was heard to indicate 
the presence of foes. The driver and two guards dismounted, 
and throwing their carbines over their shoulders asked the 
male passengers to get out and help to lift up the horses. This 
was no sooner done than they were surrounded by four men, 
and the stern command v^^as given by the leader : 

" Hold up your hands or you will be instantly shot ! We 
outnumber you three to one." 

The guards wei-e disarmed at the instant. Two of the 
robbers kept their rifles in position while the other two searched 
the passengers, taking from them their cash belts and watches 
and all valuables. Resistance was useless and none was 
attempted. The stern but business-like searchers did not 
disturb two ladies who were inside the coach. They took the 
specie box and mail bag and then gave their victims liberty to 
]jroceed on their journey, telling them that a band of Indians 
was lurking in the vicinity and it would be best for them to 
waste no time. It did not take long to clear the horses, and 
the stage left at a rapid speed. The language used by the men 
on the coach was not of a chaiacter that would bear re])eating. 
Even the presence of the ladies did not prevent this forcible 
expi'ession of their feelings. 

Colonel Creedmore from liis place of concealment heard all 
that was said. He recognised among the passengers the crest- 
fallen Jerold Slevington and also Lieutenant Hilton. The 
ladies got out of the coach after the departure of the road 
agents, and Edgar recognised, by the aid of the carriage lamps, 
the fair classical face of Etaline, and also to his utter amazement 
the petite form of Henrietta St. Clair, He had not seen her 
since that memorable day in Secretary Stanton's office in 
Washington, nearly three yeai'S previously. He had expected 
to meet Lieutenant Hilton and his wife at the camp, but did 
not look for either Slevington or Henrietta. This latter com- 
bination was not to his liking. Colonel Creedmore waited for 
fully two hours after the departure of the mail coach before 
he went to the place where his horse had been concealed. 
Mounting him he rode back a few miles and then retraced his 
steps, reaching the mining camp without incident early in the 
morning. 

The robbery of the coach being one of the incidental perils of 
the road was not looked upon as anything very extraordinary, 
and but for the loud and boisterous excitement of Slevington 



200 Miriam vs. Milton. 

would have passed off witliout particular notice. He had lost 
a vexy large sum of money, and sought to reorganise a searching 
party to I'ide after the road agents, in order if they were 
cauglit to mete out to them the law of Judge Lynch. 

When Colonel Creedmore rode into the camp he was soon 
surrounded by a number of miners, who asked him for details 
of the journey, and also if he had seen any road agents. With 
a guileless air he inquired whether any had attacked the camp. 
He was then informed of the particulars of the rol)bery on the 
previous night. Expressing astonishment, he remarked that it 
was fortunate for him that his journey had been delayed or he 
might have been also a sufferer. As he was dismounting 
Slevington came up, and in a peremptory manner said : 

" Creedmore, I want you to join me in a search party." 

" Not much use," was the quiet answer. " Those road agents 
have put fully fifty miles between themselves and that pass ; 
and besides it would be difficult to tell which way they went." 

Slevington was furious at this refusal, and, to be revenged, 
he set the rumour in circulation that Colonel Creedmore himself 
WHS just the sort of a man to be a leader of road agents. His 
declining to join in pursuit was evidence of complicity with 
them. 

Henrietta St. Clair kept in the background but seconded 
these efforts of Slevington. It might have gone hard with 
Creedmore then and there, but Lieutenant Hilton and his wife 
came at once to the rescue. All his chances for business, 
however, were spoiled in that vicinity. 

Slevington had cooled down somewhat by evening, but there 
were several other men in the camp who, to cover their own 
misdeeds, sought on occasions like theae to enforce Lynch law, 
A party of six just such characters banded together and 
resolved that they would " hang Creedmore and try him 
afterwards." An hour before midnight was the appointed 
time. 

Marcy Graston, whom we have already mentioned, heard of 
this plot. He had taken a great liking to Edgar, and in order 
to frustrate the lynchers warned him of their designs. After 
dark Creedraoi'e went to the outskirts of the camp, where 
Graston had a fresh horse ready, and Lieutenant Hilton and 
Etaline wei-e waiting to bid him God-speed on his way. A few 
minutes later the would-be victim of Judge Lynch had left the 
mining camp far behind. 



Tlie Earl's Daughter. 201 



CHAPTER XXXII. 

THE earl's daughter. 

Tex months bad passed away since the episode of West- 
minster Bridge. Ziska had been sent to Australia in a convict 
ship and everything moved along smoothly for Martin Nickley. 
His lands prospered and returned an increase for their owner. 
He was like thousands of others who, " Because sentence 
against their evil works v/as not executed speedily, therefore 
their hearts were fully set in them to do eviL" 

Nickley realised, when he saw that Esther had made an appoint- 
ment with the gipsy chief, that she miglit become a dangerous 
olj.stacle in the way of his schemes. He carried her away with 
him in order to prevent her giving testimony in favour of 
Ziska. He now resolved to send Iier to a place of safety v/here 
he could use her for any of his purposes. Not being allowed 
to see the newspapers during the trial, she knew nothing in 
regard to the fate of the gipsy. Thus the months passed 
without anything of special interest to vary the monotony of 
her life. She was virtually a prisoner at the house of Mrs. 
Henley, the so-called sister of the Kev. Mi*. Albright, and was 
then living near Osterly Park, situated about nine miles from 
London. 

On the 1st of Se2:)tember, 1871, Esther received a peremptory 
message from Martin Nickley to meet him at two o'clock at 
the steps of the National Gallery, in Trafalgar Square. This 
she refused to obey. Hitherto she had been directly under his 
personal magnetism, and in consequence was submissive to his 
will. He had yet to learn that the power of hypnotism cannot 
be exerted at pleasure, except by personal contact. 

It was five o'clock in the evening when the wrathful abductor 
drove up to Mrs. Henley's cottage, and striding into the parlour 
asked the servant girl, who answered his ring, to inform Esther 
Creedmore that he wished to see her without a moment's delay. 
It v/as fully twenty minutes before the object of his visit came 
into the room, and with a dignified mien and in a tone of 
wonder and sur2:)rise inquired : 

"Did you wish to see me']" 

Nickley was startled by this greeting. He began to question 
whether his victim was becoming unbalanced in mind. This 
mood of hers was new to him. He had not seen her since that 



202 Miriam vs. Milton. 

eventful evening ten months previously. Most of this time he 
Lad spent abroad with a new attraction. 

In a low suppressed tone he demanded : 

" Why did you not meet me at the steps of the National 
Gallery 1 I directed my messenger to tell you to be prompt. I 
waited for an hour, and that is more than I would do for the 
Lord Mayor of London." 

Esther opened her wonderful eyes to their full extent, and 
said : 

" Martin, a year ago you told me I was at liberty to go to the 
Devil for all you cared. I suppose that ended all connection 
between us. I therefore declined to accept any verbal message 
to meet you. You have l^ept me a virtual prisoner here in 
this house; but as I have been well treated, and was relieved 
from all annoyance from you, I have not complained. My life 
has been blasted, and therefore I prefer a sequestered ])lace 
like this. I dread going into the city, as I am liable to meet 
some of my kindred or my friends. You know that I have 
suffered grievously from meeting Mr. Albright. I have never 
seen him since, and am not anxious to do so again." 

There was indeed a change in Esther's manner. Nickley 
began to realise that his hold upon her consisted in his power 
to hypnotise her by his presence. This opened up a fresh field 
of thought, and gave him an insight into a new domain 
wherein he would find more conquests. Force and harshness 
were out of the question with such a girl as Esther, so he tried 
mild persuasion. 

*' Esther," said he, " I acknowledge that I have been some- 
what tyrannical in my conduct, but it must be evident to you 
that if 1 had not loved you I would not have taken all this 
trouble. In all my capricious moods I have never been cruel ; 
that is, I have never ill-treated you, and if I did say in a 
moment of passion a year ago that you could go to his Satanic 
Majesty it was owing to annoyance from that cabdrivei' — I 
mean that so-called priest who deceived me in telling that he 
was a priest and then aftei'wai-ds attempted to blackmail me. 
It is just as well that we were not really married, for we were 
never suited for each other. If I have wronged you I will 
make all the reparation in my power. Henceforward you are 
free to come and go as you please, and my allowance of twelve 
hundred pounds a year shall be regularly paid into your bank. 
There is a large surplus to your credit in the Bank of England 
from your father's estate. Why do you not use it % It is at 
your disposal without question from anyone." 



The Earl's Daughter. 203 

" No, it is not," said Esther. " The fact of xaj false marriage 
to Edmoud Harold made the original proviso of my father's 
will still in force, and my aunt, Mrs. Van Reem, would never 
consent that I should touch a single pound of it. Besides, I 
have no use for any of it." 

" If what I have allowed you is not enough," Nickley 
answered, •'' I will increase it. You must admit that I have 
not been niggardly in money matters in the j^iast and I do not 
propose to be so now. I have a new idea. Would you like to 
go as governess in the family of an earl, where there will be 
plenty of life and excitement — you can forget the past and 
bury it in oblivion 1 " 

Long and sadly did Esther gaze into the face of the man 
before her to read, if possible, the reason of this sudden solicitude 
on his part. There was evidently some new scheme of villany 
under the guise of this anxiety to look after her interests. Being 
so completely in his power she was conscious that the best way 
to avoid any unpleasant outbreak was to agree to his wishes. 

" "What arrangements have you made about this position 1 " 
•she asked, in a tone of voice indicating that she had made up 
her mind to accept. 

"Everything has been settled," said Nickley. "Of course you 
will have to go under an assumed name, and I thought tluit 
the name of Esther Ducie would be appropriate. You will be 
the orphan daughter of the late Rev. Henry Ducie, belonging 
to an old Huguenot family. No one will question this matter. 
The earl's family consists of a single daughter named Luella. 
She is a I'omautic girl, and you will be a companion to her, to 
help her in French and pi'event her making a fool of herself 
by running away with some adventurer. The earl's sister, the 
Lady Martha Ormund, keeps house for him. The estate is 
heavily mortgaged and they cannot pay a very large salary, 
but that is of no moment to you. Your duties will be light, 
and you will be considered one of the family. The earl is 
passionately fond of music. His daughter does not play, 
neither does his sister, and you will be expected to charm them 
with your brilliant talents." 

There was an amused smile on Esther's face, which brought 
back some of the old life and vitality. The more she thought 
of the new plan the more she liked it. 

" What is the name of the earl ? " 

" Lord Grassmere, better known as the Earl of Condor." 

" I have met him, bat I do not think that he will recognise me. 
When do you wish me to take up this new dutj" of governess]" 



204 Miriam vs. Milton. 

" To-morrow. Take the one o'clock train from Osterly 
Park, and at the Great Western Station in London the Rev. 
Mr. Albright will meet you, and m\' carriage will take you to 
Euston ; from there it is only fifteen minutes' ride by rail to Grass- 
mere Park. The Lady Martha and her niece will meet you, and 
you may be sure of a genial reception at Grassmere Park Manor." 

Mr. Nickley stayed for tea, and made himself very agreeable. 
He seemed to be very happy over the ready acceptance of his 
plans. It was late when he took his departure. 

The following day at the appointed time Estlier met 
Mr. Albi'ight at the Great Westei-n Station. She looked him 
closely in the face to ascertain whether he were not Martin 
Nickley disguised. She had often suspected this, but now a 
close inspection convinced her that he was a different person. 
He bore a close resemblance, yet there was a much older look 
in his face. Esther was closely veiled, and she was amused 
when she was addressed as Miss Ducie hj her clerical-looking 
escort. At three to the minute Grassmere Park was reached, 
and on the platform the earl himself was waiting with a 
handsome coach and servants in livery. Nothing could have 
exceeded the genial, hearty welcome accorded to Estlier and 
Mr. Albright. 

"■ The ladies wanted to come," said Lord Grassmere, " but as 
the air is so damp I advised them to remain at home, and I 
have come myself to bid you welcome to Grassmere Manor." 
Then, directly addressing Esther, he said : 

"Miss Ducie, I have heard much about your beauty; I must say, 
however", that the description comes far short of the original." 

" I feel greatly honoured at this lofty compliment," replied 
Esther, " coming as it does from the representative of such a 
long line of famous earls. To stand high in your esteem is 
indeed a great pleasure to me." 

The smile and gracious bow that came from Lord Grassmere 
assured Esther that she had won a high place in the good 
graces of her employer. 

No less genial was the reception given on arrival at the 
manor by the Lady Martha and the fair Luella. 

The latter was a slightly-built girl of seventeen years, with 
flaxen hair. She was romantic to a perilous extent and fairly 
idolized the poem of " Young Lochiuvar." She often declared 
that no man could have her for a wife unless he came wooing 
in that style. Although the daughter of a liundred earls there 
was in her none of the chai'acteristics described in Tennyson's 
poem, " Lady Clara Vere de Vere." 



Tlie EarVs Daughter. 205 

As a commoner, she would have been considered a pretty 
gii-1 and no more. She took at once to Esther as though she 
had known her for many years. The Lady Martha was very 
good looking, but somewhat inclined to take life as easily as 
possible. She was good uatured in the extreme ; so was the 
earl. Thus we find that, in one sense, Esther was very 
fortunate in getting into such a home. 

Mr. Albright stayed until the next morning, and declined a 
pressing invitation from Lord Grassmei-e to remain for several 
days. Business of a very important nature, he declared, called 
him back to London. 

During the long hours of Esther's life at the chateau near 
Dieppe music had been her only solace, especially when In ickley 
was absent. She had rare powers, and now in her new place 
they were called into requisition. Her favourite piece was 
Schubert's " Last Greeting." In that grand inspiration of the 
great composer she fairly revelled. Slie played it upon the 
second evening of her sojourn at Grassmere. The earl and his 
daughter and sister were fairly overwhelmed by the spirit of 
the song, and the power evoked from the piano by the skilled 
hand. 

In less than a week Lord Grassmere, who was a widower of 
fifty-five years, proposed to Esther. She replied that her heart 
was not her own, and that he must noc ask for any particulars, 
otherwise she would be compelled to leave. The earl bowed to 
the inevitable, and offered to double her stipend. This she 
respectfully declined, on the ground that she did not earn what 
she was now getting. Life at Grassmex'e Manor was a quiet 
one, but it was in accord ^vith her feelings. All went well 
until the arrival of the Count Morella de Naymour, whose 
character and acts will occupy the next chapter that comes in 
sequence. 



206 Miriam vs. Milton. 

CHAPTER XXXIII. 

THE CLOSE CALL. 

After leaving the mining camp where he had met with 
such an unfriendly reception Edgar set out to return to 
Che3'^enne. After going several miles, however, he changed his 
mind, and took the direction for a new mine lately discovered 
near the western border of Wyoming Territory. He reached 
the place on the evening of the fifth day. He followed the line 
of the railroad and had no difficulty in obtaining food and 
lodgings, such as they were. He was very successful in getting 
orders for large quantities of mining machinery. He now 
determined to keep on to the westward, the ulterior poinc of 
destination being San Francisco. He hoped to reach that 
place early in the spring. He was destined, however, to pass 
through many experiences before he should see the Golden 
Gate. That springtime to which he was looking forward was 
to extend to five years. 

Late in the summer of 1866 Colonel Creedmore had the 
opportunity of acting the part of the good Samaritan. There 
was this difference, however, that the said " Samaritan " was 
able to return the kindness with interest added several fold. 
It was the opening dawn of a balmy day in September. Edgar 
had encamped during the previous night under a large tree, with 
only the canopy of heaven for a covering. His morning meal 
was a scanty one. He expected to reach a settlement by even- 
tide, where he would have a long rest and be able to do some 
profitable business for his firm. On reaching the summit of a 
low knoll as the sun was rising he stopped his horse and drank 
in the enchanting beauty of the landscape. There was a clump 
of trees about half a mile on his right, and on the outskirts he 
saw a v/ounded Indian pony limping along and eating the rich 
grass with evident relish. To his experienced eye this signified 
that there was either a wounded or dead Indian not far from 
the place. Riding cautiousl}^ he easily secured the animal, and 
then dismounting he soon discovered a wounded Indian with 
his back against a tree and his bow and arrow in hand. Edgar 
stood still for a moment without making any attempt to draw 
his own weapons, and then said : 

" My friend, is this your pony, and can I do anything for 
you 1 " 



The Close Call. 207 

A joyful expression beamed in tlie face of the wounded mau 
as he replied in excellent English : 

" White man, if you come in peace I will hail you as a 
messenger sent by the G-reat Spiiit to aid me. I have always 
been the friend of the white man, and many lives have been saved 
and numerous scalps have rested on their owners' heads through 
my solicitation. I am the Indian chief, 'Grey Cloud.' My 
father v/as the great warrior, ' Sun Beam.' !N'o better friend of 
the pale faces ever lived than he. Yet he was slain in ambush 
by some pioneer simply because his skin was red. When 
but a boy I was captured by a company of soldiers and sent 
to the East to be educated in a school. When twenty-one 
years old I visited my tribe. IMy father, the chief, gave me 
the choice to take my place in our tribe, or he would call upon 
the ' Great Manitou ' to punish me for leaving the lauds where 
my fathers fought and died. I put off the garments of the 
white man, and at my father's death was chosen to his place. 
My experience among the pale faces convinced me that the 
Indian must give way before the advancing tide of civilisation. 
Last evening I encamped here on my way to meet the 
commissioner sent out by tlie Great Father at Washington to 
confer about our lands. When preparing my evening meal a 
party of white men came along. I invited them to partake of 
what was ready. They did so, and then repaid my hospitality 
by taking my rifle and blanket and disabling my pony. On 
I'emonstratiiig they shot me, giving as a reason that the only 
good Indian was a dead one." 

Edgar was greatly moved by this recital, and immediately 
brought water from a stream near by to bathe the Indian's 
wound. Some broth was then prepared from a portion of 
dried meat left in the saddle bags. He also promised the 
wounded man to stay by him until he was able to travel, 
and would go v\-ith him back to his tribe. A look of deep 
gratitude was all that the Indian had to give in return. Game 
was abundant and Edgar procured plenty. A week thus passed 
away pleasantly. He built a hut of branches and gave his own 
blanket to the sick man. 

On the morning of the eighth day a band of Indians was seen 
in the distance. A hostile tribe was roaming over the plains. 
Every effort was accordingly put forth by Colonel Creedmore 
and the now convalescent chief to defend themselves in case of 
an attack. Great, however, was their joy when the band came 
nearer to perceive that it was a portion of the wounded man's 
tribe in search of him. When thev heard how Edjrar had cared 



208 Miriam vs. Milton. 

for their chief they were enthusiastic in their expression of 
joy. The encampment of the tribe was not far away, and Grey 
Cloud insisted that his benefactor should go back with him. 
No warrior returning from a victorious campaign met with 
such a gi-and reception as Colonel Creedmore got from all the 
tribe, old and young. Fair dusky maidens placed wreaths on 
his brow, and the warriors laid their weapons and blankets 
at his feet. This was the greatest honour that they could 
confer on him. He was constrained to stay for two months, 
having a most agreeable time in hunting and in watching the 
sports devised in his honour. When the 1st of November 
came Colonel Creedmore told his hosts that he must take 
leave, for he had hopes of getting large orders for the firm he 
represented. 

On the morning of his departure he was surprised to see a 
magnificent horse all saddled and bridled waiting for him as 
the gift of the chief. As they parted the latter said to him : 

" Colonel Creedmore, will you accept this horse and this carbine 
as a small token of gratitude from me 1 I would like to go 
part of the way with you but cannot ride very far. I am 
indebted to you for my life, and may be able to repay some day 
part of what I owe to you. Some of my young men will go 
with you to the encampment to which you are bound; and now, 
may the G-reat Spirit protect you." 

The tribe escorted him for several miles, and then left him 
with a score of young warriors, who rode by his side. Edgar 
hud leariied from Grey Cloud that the leader of the gang who 
had shot him was called '•' Wild Rob Roy." He was of Scotch 
descent and was considered one of the most dangerous men on 
the plains. 

On the evening of the second day the party reached the 
place of destination. He now parted from his escort with 
many expressions of regret. They on their part evinced the 
deepest feeling, for they had become greatly attached to him. 
At the period of which we are writing there were many men 
to be found in every encampment who thought no more of 
shooting an Indian than they would a dog ; in fact, this 
feeling has not died out even at the present day. Therefore 
when it became known that the new-comer, as Edgar was 
called, had come to the outskirts of the camp with a ijaud of 
redskins as escort he did not receive a very cordial welcome. 
Indeed several of the miners were in favour of giving him 
notice to leave at once. As soon, hovs'ever, as his name was 
made known he was made welcome by a large number. The 



The Close Call. 209 

late President of tlie famous Rose Hill Mine was not a strangei* 
to the majority of them, at least by i-eputation. There were a 
few, nevertheless, who were ill-disposed to Colonel Creedmore 
because of his relations with the Indians. In their creed this 
was an unpardonable sin. Among the miners was a man called 
Bill Jenkins. He was from the State of New York, and was 
known by the name of " Honest Bill." A more honest and 
stz'aightforward man could not be found in the "West. He was 
the first to greet Edgar and bid him welcome to the Paradise 
Gate Mining Camp. This name had been given to it from the 
fact of the beautiful entrance at the head of the valley that led 
to the camp. The landscape at the gate was something beyond 
adequate description. Here the analogy ended. A wilder set 
of men, as a rule, never got together. In as few words as 
possible he stated that he had rendered a favour to some 
Indians whom he met and that they had escorted him to 
Paradise Camp, as there was a band of hostiles roaming around 
scalping all whom they found alone. This was considered 
satisfactory, and through the influence of Jenkins Edgar 
obtained several large orders for machinery. Three months 
were passed pleasantly, and the machinery ordered having duly 
arrived Colonel Creedmore superintended its erection in place, 
and so became the most popular man in the camp. 

In the first week of February, 1867, Edgar heard that a baud 
of I'oad agents, eight in number, and led by no less a personage 
than Wild Rob Roy, was in the neighbourhood and were 
expected in the camp any day. Bill Jenkins and Colonel 
Creedmore consulted as to the best means of keeping order, if 
these undesirable men should make themselves obnoxious. The 
result was that a dozen honest miners banded together and 
elected Edgar as their captain. They were known as the 
" Pai'adise Vigilance Committee." They had resolved to keep 
the peace at all hazards. 

Colonel Creedmore had not contemplated to remain so long. 
His expei'ience, however, was too highly valued to part with 
him, and a liberal offer from the largest mine owners induced 
him to stay ; he wrote to Lieutenant Hilton to come at once 
and bring Marcy Graston with him. He was looking for 
their arrival daily, and was laying great stress u.pon the value 
of Etaline's advice. Experience had taught him that she was 
a keen observer of men, and at present this quality would be 
of vast service. 

On the evening of the 10th of February, about nine o'clock, 
a band of men rode into the camp shouting wildly, firing ofl" 



210 Miriam vs. Milton. 

their revolvers, and proclaiming that if objection was made 
to their action they were ready to wipe out the whole encamp- 
ment. Colonel Creedmore assembled his band, and inside of 
half an hour had placed the invaders under guard, where he 
left them to get sober. The most submissive of them all was 
the leader, no less a personage than the famous road agent, 
'' Rob Roy." 

On the following day, upon the promise of good behaviour, 
they were let go. Eveiything went along smoothly for a week, 
when in some way ''Rob Roy" — or, to give his true name, 
Rufas MacGregor — learned that Colonel Creedmore had saved 
the life of the Indian chief whom he and his band had shot. 
A reaction set in against the hitherto popular Englishman. 
MacGregor taking advantage of it surrounded him with his 
band and grossly insulted him, and dared him to fight a duel 
unto death. Bill Jenkins was with him at the time, and they 
were at a distant point from the main camp. The miscreants 
did not imagine that the quiet Englishman would accept. The 
" code," as then practised at Paradise Camp, was almost certain 
death to one of the combatants. The challenge was accepted 
promptly and the ground cleared at once for the duel. The 
terms were that the two seconds were to hold each a loaded six- 
shooter Colt's revolver, and the principals were to throw a silver 
dollar in the air for choice of first shots. The one that won 
was to take his pistol from his second and fire the six chambers 
in succession at twenty-five paces apart. It then became the 
]>rivilege of the other, if he was able to return the compliment. 
No one, however, had ever survived to do so. 

MacGregor took a coin out of his pocket and asked Colonel 
Creedmore to name his choice, " heads or tails." Before his 
second could warn him he called out " heads." The coin went 
up in the air and " tails " came up as it fell to the ground. 
Bill Jenkins turned deadly pale. His friend, he apprehended, 
was a dead man. MacGregor was the best shot on the plains. 
With a triumphant leer he took the pistol from his second, and 
in order to enjoy his triumph as much as possible he carefully 
examined the weapon, took deliberate aim, and fired. Without 
moving a muscle Edgar stood his ground. The shot flew by 
his head. Another and a third shot also sped along without 
touching him. MacGregor became nervous at this failure of his 
marksmanship. Once more two shots rang out on the still air and 
the Englishman was unharmed. The Scotchman now turned 
pale. His life depended upon his next shot. He well knew that 
his opponent would not fail to kill at once when it came his turn. 



The Modern Lochinvar. 211 

Slowly the revolver was raised and the trigger pulled. The 
hand was too nervous and the leaden messenger flew wide of 
its mark, Edgar knew that unless he acted promptly the band 
would interfere to save their chief Quickly taking the pistol 
from the extended hand of Bill Jenkins he discharged two shots 
in rapid succession, and waited to see the i-esult. A moment 
later the dreaded chief of the road agents fell forward on his 
face, with two bullets through his heart. Jenkins hastened to 
him and took from the vest pocket of the dead man two silver 
dollars, one with two heads and the other with two tails, and 
said to his principal, '■ Colonel Creedmore, you should not have 
called out your choice until the coin was in the air." 

Great was the rejoicing in the camji, and Edgar was con- 
gratulated on his escape from the " close call." 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 

THE MODERN^ LOCHINVAR. 

Esther passed three months of a very pleasant life at 
Grassmere Manor ; in fact, it vras the only happiness she had 
known since September, 1865. She was well aware that 
Martin ]!>Iickley had some deeply -hidden design of his own in 
procuring her this situation as companion for Lord Grassmere's 
daughter. The question of her own welfare did not enter into 
his calculations. She surmised that possibly he might be 
seeking an alliance with the Lady Martha, who was now past 
forty and would not object to a wealthy suitor. 

One bright morning about the middle of December the earl 
told the ladies at the breakfast table that a few days previously 
he had invited the Count Eochmere to spend the Christmas 
season with him at Grassmei'e Manor. He had met the count 
several times when in Paris, he remarked, and had found him 
an agreeable companion. He had just received a letter from 
the count saying that he could not come, as he had given a 
previous promise to another friend. He had taken the great 
libex'ty, however, of giving a letter of introduction to his old 
friend, Count Morella Naymour. On his father's side the 
count belonged to one of the oldest French families, and his 



212 Miriam vs. Milton. 

mofclier was the daughter of the house of Moreila, one of the 
noblest in Italian history. He spoke English ilueutly ; in fact, 
knew several languages, and was very rich. 

This last qualification was the most attractive. Three days 
later a handsome carriage drove to Grassmere Manor and the 
footman took a card to the hall door beaiing the name of 
Count Moreila Naymour. The Earl of Condor was at home 
and received his visitor in the drawing-room, giving him a 
hearty English welcome. He was pressed to sta)'' for dinner, 
and after the Lady Martha had added her persuasions he 
finally consented. 

" My daughter will be so pleased to meet you," said Lord 
Grassmere, " and we have as a member of our family a 
charming young lady, a countrywoman of yours by descent, a 
Miss Ducie, who plays and sings like an angel. I never heard 
an angel sing," the earl added, " but then I have an idea of 
how a celestial being could sing, and Miss Ducie is without a 
rival, as far as I have heard, both in song and music," 

" Such attractions are a very strong inducement," the count 
replied, " but the gracious welcome of the Lady Martha is 
alone sufficient. I have heard so much of the far-famed beauty 
of your daughter that I am impatient to see her." 

" I know that she will be delighted to meet you," answered 
Lord Grassmere. " At present she and Miss Ducie are out 
riding, but they will be home in an hour's time." 

The count related many events of his travels, and at dinner 
he met Lady Luella and Miss Ducie, to both of whom he was 
very agreeable. After the gentlemen had rejoined the ladies 
in the drawing-room Miss Ducie charmed them with some of 
her best selections. When the hour for retiring came the count 
bade them all a gracious good night, saying that he would be 
very much pleased to accept their further hospitality, but he 
had given a positive promise to Lord Morton to breakfast with 
him at his club. He would be happy to come some other 
time. 

The following day Esther received a letter from Martin 
Nickley, instructing her to obey the wishes of the Count Moreila 
as she would himself. This filled hei" cup of misery full to 
overflowing. As long as the villainy of this man was aimed at 
herself she could endure it, but when he desired to use her in 
some scheme of his against an innocent girl she resolved to 
have nothing to do with him. She had already penetrated the 
make-up of the Count Moreila Naymour and recognised Martin 
ISTickley. He had long sought an alliance with one of the old 



The Modern Lochinvar. 213 

families of tlie nobility. If such were Ms present intentions 
no obstacle would be placed in his way, but if he had any 
designs against the earl's daughter she resolved to denounce 
him to Lord Grassmere. She waited for him to exhibit his 
tactics. It would have been better for her own peace of mind 
if Nickley had been shown up in his true colours. 

The Count Morella came frequently to Grassmere Manor, 
sometimes remaining for several days. N'ot once did he betray 
his identity to Esther ; in fact, he flattered himself that she had 
not penetrated his disguise. Martin Nickley was a born actor. 
He had a I'are control over his features and never lost his 
presence of mind. Esther thought it best to keep her discovery 
to herself. 

The 1st of May came. The count had made many visits to 
the Manor but had not unmasked his purpose. He paid great 
attention to the Lady Martha, and the earl was well pleased 
at this preference for his sister. She received many valuable 
presents from the count and looked for a formal proposal. 

The 1st of May was always a great day at Grassmere Manor. 
This one in particular was to be a special festive occasion, as the 
fair Luella had been chosen as the Queen of May. The count 
had been specially invited, but sent a letter of regret from 
Paris stating that business of the utmost importance called him 
avv^ay to Italy. 

On the 3rd of May Esther and Luella went out for a ride, 
accompanied by a French groom who had been recommended 
to Lord Grassmere by the count. They visited an old ruined 
abbey situated about fifteen miles from Grassmere. The day 
was a beautiful one and the abbey was reached by noon. They 
spread out their lunch in the old refectory and enjoyed them- 
selves talking over the history of the place. It was three 
hundred years since the monks held possession, yet the walls 
were in a state of perfect repair. At two o'clock they set out 
on their return. Their horses were spirited animals. Esther 
was fully occupied in managing hers. She had enjoyed the 
horseback exercise ever since comintj to Grassmere. During 
the years intervening since the episode of the lake she had 
cared very little for riding ; now, however, there was a craving 
for it as a relief from the burden of the past. 

Esther and Luella had ridden about five miles on their 
return, when the latter said to her companion, playfully : 

"What a fine place this glen would be for a modern 
Lochinvar to take me away, and make me his bonny bride 
before my angry father could overtake us." 



214 Miriam v.s\ Milton. 

" My dear Luella," said Esther, " why do you harbour such 
wild notions'? It does very well to read about in old Scotch 
history, but is out of fashion in these practical days." 

" I cannot help it, Esther," replied Luella. " It is in my 
nature. I suppose that some ancestor of mine eloped iu this 
fashion, and such things run in the blood. At times this feeling 
is overpowering and I cannot keep it down. But who is this 
coming so gallantly mounted 1 I declare it is the Count 
Morella. I thought he was in Italy." 

Esther turned deathly pale as she caught sight of him. She 
had a foreboding that his presence at this lonely spot meant 
danger to her companion. 

The count saluted the ladies in a gallant manner. Luella 
told him that they had been talking of Lochinvar and also of 
the lady who ran away with a Highland chief, but was 
drowned in the lake just as her father reached the shore. 

There was a peculiar smile on the face of the count as he 
replied : 

" So, fair daughter of a hundred earls, you would like to see 
a modern Lochinvar, who would take you to his castle far 
over the sea. Well, suppose I play the role, but in a more 
dignified style. Let me hold your horse's bridle and off we go." 

The count gave Esther one significant look, and holding on 
to the bridle of Luella's horse he rode ra2)id]y away accom- 
panied by the groom, leaving Esther alone to return home 
and explain the abduction as best she could to the earl. 

Esther's first impulse was to go to London and never go back 
to Grassmere Manor. After reflection, however, she pei'ceived 
that in failing to return she would be suspected of complicity 
in the abduction. Then, again, she did not dare give the right 
name of the count, because there was no good reason to offer for 
keeping this matter a secret so long. She was afraid to betray 
him, and so resolved to make up a story of her own. The earl 
was passionately fond of his davighter, and Esther dreaded his 
anger. 

When Esther ari'ived at the manor she told the groom that 
took charge of her hoi'se as she dismounted that the Lady 
Luella had gone to make a call upon a young lady friend who 
was illj and would not probably return for a day or so. She 
then sought the apartments of the Lady Martha, and told her 
in a few brief words that her niece had been abducted by an 
Italian who looked like a nobleman, and that it was probably 
a preconcerted affair, as Luella went away without making any 
attempt at escape. 



The Modern Loch Invar. 215 

" Oh, how dreadful ! " said the Lady Martha. My brother 
will be exceedingly vexed on his return. He received a 
telegram just after you went out riding from his friend the 
Count Rochmere in Paris, asking Iiim to come on at once and 
join in a grand boar liunt. He left at an hour's notice, and 
will not likely return for a week. He left no directions 
and I do not know where to telegraph to him." 

" Of course this Italian nobleman will marry Luella, will he 
notl" 

'' Certainly," said Esther, although from her own experience 
she would not place much stress on the validity of such a 
marriage, and yet Martin Nickley might be disposed to con- 
tract a lawful marriage ; in fact, be glad to do so with such an 
old house as that of Condor. Still there was no telling what 
such a deeply-dyed villain would do. Time alone would show. 

It was deemed advisable to keep the abduction a secret from 
the servants and also from the friends of the family. Word was 
given out that the Lady Luella had decided to visit Paris with 
a friend who was going there for a change of climate, and some 
clothes were sent to London ostensibly to meet her. 

A week passed away before the return of Lord Grassmere. 
The Lady Martha was afraid to tell her brother, and directed 
Esther to break the news to him. She did it with fear and 
trembling. His manner vt^as very different from what she 
expected. He only shrugged his shoulders, and coolly remarked : 

"Women have strange notions at times. Read this letter 
which I just received from Luella. I heard of this elopement 
from the Count Morella as I was leaving Paris on ni}' return. 
He told me that he knew the Italian count well, who was very 
rich and had been engaged to some lady of noble birth in his 
own country, but found that he loved my daughter the first 
time he met her at a party in London. I was also informed 
that Luella had planned the elopement herself." 

Esther then read the following letter : — 

Rouen, France, May 7th, 1872. 
My Dear Father, 

Don't be angry with your Luella at the step she has taken in 
eloping in a romantic way. We left London on the night of the 3rd and 
were married in this city on the morning of the 4th by a Catholic priest, 
and are resting here for a few days, when we go south to visit some of my 
husband's relatives. There are certain family reasons why 1 cannot give 
you the name of my husband at present, but I can say that he belongs to 
an Italian family as old as your own. He made me a present to-day of a 
handsome diamond coronet, and he is immensely rich. We love each other 
and are suited, and when you know all you will forgive me and give us your 
blessing. Give my love to my Aunt Martha, and say I have had my wish. 



216 3Iiriai/i vs. Milton. 

and that my modern Lochinvar is all I could desire. Ask Esther to 
overlook any pain I may have caused her by leaving her so abruptly, bur. 
it was all planned beforehand — I mean the elopement, not the shock to 
her nerves. She did look awfully surprised when we rode away so coolly 
with the groom. 

I would have written the day I was married, but I heard that you had 
gone to Paris for a week. 

With much love for your own sweet self and also for aunty, and not 
forgetting Esther, I remain lovingly, 

Your Own Little I.uella. 

" I trust, Lord Grassmere, that you hold me guiltless of all 
blame in this matter," said Esther, as she handed back the 
letter to the earl. 

" Why, of course. Why should I blame you 1 This romantic 
affair has been Luella's dream for several years, and I hope that 
she will not have cause to regret it." 

" Now that your daughter has gone I suppose you will not 
need my services any longer," continued Esther. 

" I will need them more than ever," was the answer. " I wish 
3'ou to take her place, not only in my heart but also with my 
sister, who could not sjiare you under any consideration. 
Consider Grassmere Manor your home for life — if not as the 
Countess of Condor then as my daughter, and to close the 
bai'gain I will give you a father's kiss." 

Esther made no objection to this [iroposal, and she took the 
place vacated by the romantic Luelia. 



CHAPTER XXXV. 

pinksrton's trail. 

Six months after the event recorded in the last chapter 
Edgar received a letter from Lieutenant Hilton, saying that 
he had made a strike and purchased a claim which gave 
promise of a rich development. He also told him that if he 
would come on to Cheyenne at once he would give him an 
equal share. Machinery w-as needed, and more than all 
Edgai''s exjjerieuce. 

This letter was shown to Bill Jenkins, who after reading it 
advised his friend to go, and ofiered to go with him and lend 
his services as superincendent, as he had considerable experience 
at that work. The offer was accepted and they both bade 



PinJcerton's Trail 217 

farewell to their friends and went to Cheyenne. They arrived 
without incident on the 14th of August, 1867. Edgar found 
that his old friend Marcy Graston was in partnership with 
Lieutenant Hilton, but a place was made for Colonel Creedmore, 
and Bill Jenkins was installed as superintendent. Foi'tune 
once more smiled upon Edgar, for the new mine was far richer 
than even the most sanguine expectations of either Lieutenant 
Hilton or Marcy Graston, who was really the one that discovered 
its true value. He had purchased it for a mere trifle from a 
man who stumbled upon it accidentally and at once offered 
it for a thousand dollars. This was not an isolated case. Some 
of the richest mines out West were purchased in this manner 
from prospectors who had not the money to develope their finds. 

One of the first things that Edgar heard on his arrival was 
that Henrietta St. Clair had married Captain Slevington. He 
felt equal to their combined efi'orts, especially as Etaliue told 
him that she would be on the watch. 

The new mine was called the "West End." When the 
original discoverer had been asked where the place was situated, 
he answered : 

" Oh, you will find the claim at the west end of a narrow 
valley." So this name was given to the place. 

The stock was soon in "reat demand. Edfjar wrote to Colonel 
Moorehead, in Boston, to come on at once, and also to Colonel 
Derwent, in Kentucky. The}^ both responded in person and 
bought freely, and gave their advice and experience. The shares 
went higher and higher, for silver ore of a fine grade was taken 
out in large quantities. 

In June of 1868 an offer was made by an English syndicate 
to purchase the stock. The sum named was a large one, yet if 
the ore did not give out an equivalent amount could be obtained 
in a year. But here was the risk. Several of the best mines 
had suddenly failed when least expected. It was therefore 
decided to accept the offer. Edgar and his partners now had a 
quarter of a million dollars apiece. Colonel Moorehead pleaded 
with Edgar to return to Boston with him, and Colonel Derwent 
used all his eloquence to induce him to go back to Kentucky. 
He was inclined to accept the latter's invitation, for the fair 
Ida was waiting to give him a cordial welcome. 

Margaret Richardson, hearing of Edgai-'s good fortune, m- rote 
a letter that would have accomplished its object if there had 
not been other pressure brought to bear on her cousin. 
Lieutenant Hilton had decided late in the fall of 1868 to go to 
Denvei", and make that city his permanent home. Etaline 



218 Miriam vs. Milton. 

therefore urged Edgar to go with them. 

was accepted. Graston and Jenkins also decided to go to the 

same place. Colonel Moorehead and Colonel Derwent both 

returned to their respective homes, regretting that they could 

not have with them the man to whom they were so warmly 

attached. 

The evening before the intended departure of Edgar and his 
friends for Denver, the man who had sold them the "West 
End claim came to them at their hotel, and informed them 
that he had discovered a place that would far surpass any yet 
found in the West. Etaline protested against any more specula- 
tion in mines. She insisted that if they should invest their 
money in real estate in Denver it would yield them a large 
return. Why, therefore, run such a great risk as to engage in 
another mining enterprise 1 

Graston and Jenkins urged the matter so strongly that it 
was decided to investigate it. 

On the following day Lieutenant Hilton and Edgar, accom- 
panied by their tvvo partner's and the " claim finder," as he was 
called, set out on horseback, leaving Etaline at the hoteh 

This trip was destined to be more exciting to Colonel 
Creedmore than he had any idea of when he left Cheyenne. 

It will be remembered that Edgar in a former chapter was 
with the road agents when they stopped the mail coach, 
and Captain Slevington lost a large amount. Somehow the 
latter entertained the notion that Colonel Creedmore knew 
more about this matter than he had admitted. Having married 
Henrietta St. Clair, she strongly urged that he should place 
the matter in the hands of Pinkertou's Agency, and one of 
their men was sent out, who decided to procure a warrant 
for the arrest of Colonel Creedmore. The detective had 
the misfortune of being just too late to find the man he 
was after at the places he visited. Besides, he knew that the 
evidence on which the charge was based was very slight, 
and unless he proceeded cautiously he would be liable for 
damages. 

On the evening of the first day after leavang Cheyenne 
Edgar and his companions stopped at a mine encampment 
called " Silver Glen." The first man who met them was 
Captain Slevington. As nothing was known by them of the 
warrant of arrest they greeted him warmly, but said nothing 
of their errand, remarking that they were prospecting. 
Slevington told them that he and his wife were living in a 
small cottage, and he was the owner of a valuable claim. 



PinUrton's Trail. 219 

When Henrietta heard from her husband of the ai-rival of 
Colonel Creedmore she made up her mind tliat the oj^jjortunity 
was a good one to get her revenge upon the man avIio had foiled 
her in so many of her projects. 

Silver Glen Camp, like many others at that time, was kept 
in order by an elected body of men, who were really a Vigilance 
Committee. To the members of this despotic force Henrietta 
went, and told them that among the arrivals that evening was a 
leader of the road agents, for whom there was a warrant out on 
account of the robbery of the mail coach at Dead Man's Run over 
two years previously. An accusation like this was a very serious 
matter, and many a man on far less evidence had been hanged. 
To be accused was to be found guilty, and the punishment 
ouickly followed. The Yigilauce Committee was composed of 
six men, and they got ready at once. This meant an expulsion 
from the camp or a "neck-tie sociable." By the merest accident 
Bill Jenkins heard of the preparation. It v/as useless to parley 
with a mob bent on mischief. The best way was to get the 
proposed victim out of the place as soon as possible. Jenkins 
was no lover of women, and when he heard that it was by the 
instigation of Sleviugton's wife that the lynching was to be 
carried out, became more determined to circumvent her. It was 
considered prudent for Edgar to leave alone, while the rest of 
the party were to remain behind. This plan was carried out. At 
about eleven o'clock the Vigilance Committee visited the tent of 
the new-comers, and demanded to see Colonel Creedmore, Bill 
Jenkins informed them that the man whom they were seeking 
had left the tent about an hour before to call upon his old friend, 
Captain Slevington, and had not returned. The tent was thrown 
open and an examination made. The leader was satisfied of the 
truth of the statement. They then left to hunt foi their man 
around the encampment. Slevington and his wife were found 
at a neighbour's cabin, and when told of the failure to find 
Colonel Creedmore, and that he had probably gone to hunt 
them up, they hastened home to their cottage. On their arrival 
they went in the back way while the vigilauts remained in 
front with their rifles ready to shoot on sight, this being the 
usual custom with desperate characters. Such they judged 
Edgar to be from the exaggerated accounts of Henrietta. This 
time she had over-reached herself. She and her husband searched 
the back part of their cottage, and then, v/ithout lighting a lamp, 
they suddenly opened the front door. The vigilants on watch, 
thinking it was Colonel Creedmore trying to escape, opened 
fire, and six rifle shots broke the stillness of the midnight. 



220 Miriam vs. Milton. 

When, a light was procured Captain Slevington and his wife 
were found lying dead. The latter had received four of the 
shots, v/hile a single one had penetrated the brain of the former. 

The next day a jury decided that their death was purely their 
own fault for not lighting a lamp. They were buried in one 
grave, and no further search was made for Colonel Creedmore. 
His companions left quietly, and joined him by appointment 
two days after. "When he heard of the death, tragic in the 
extreme, of his two enemies he made no remai-k. Surely he 
bore a charmed life ! 

On the evening of the third day they reached the new claim 
and made a careful examination. It was valuable ; but, being 
so remote from the line of the railroad, and, more than all, 
there being a great scarcity of water, they decided not to work 
it at present. They bought it, however, for a thousand dollars, 
and returned to Cheyenne. Here they found Etaline very 
much alarmed over the reports from Silver Glen Camp that 
had reached Cheyenne. 

The safe arrival of Edgar was of greater joy to her than she 
cai-ed to express. 

After a few days of rest the party all set out for Denver, 
where they arrived on the 1st of February, 18G9. Edgar 
contemplated how much he had gone through in the three years 
since he first came to that city, and how different was his standing 
now to what it was then. He had possession of the same 
amount of money, but he had gained a vast deal of experience 
which had been dearly bought. Beyond buying some city lots 
no special investment was made. The " Quartette Mining 
Company," as they facetiously called themselves, were in no 
mood for speculation. Perhaps one of the reasons was the ill- 
health of Lieutenant Hilton. He had contracted a fever on 
the last journey, and found it difficult to shake it ofl". His 
companions were very anxious on his account. He was a 
valuable member and hard to replace. He grew gradually 
worse and on the 10th of October he died, leaving his wife 
a sad mourner, for she had been faithful to him ever since the 
compact in Richmond that gave Colonel Creedmore his freedom 
in 1863. It was true she had given her heart long before to 
Edgar, but she never was remiss in any way to the man she 
married. They had lived happily together, and he had made 
her a devoted husband. 

A month after the death of Lieutenant Hilton Edgar was 
suddenly arrested by one of Pinkerton's men for complicity in 
the affair at Dead Man's Run. The charge was quickly 



The Faithful Ccescu: 221 

disproved and lie was acquitted. Tlie annoyance preyed 
on his mind, however, and it was some time before he got 
over it. The Pinkerton's trail had been a long one. 

In the spring of 1870 Colonel Creedmore entered into active 
partnership with Graston and Jenkins, and Etaline was also 
made a partner in the profits. Mining machinery was their 
specialty. They were fortunate in selling for a large advance 
the claim that they had pui-chased when they left Cheyenne to 
look at the new find. 

For a while we must iea%"e them in Denver while we take 
up the experience of Esther. 



CHAPTER XXX Yl. 



THE FAITHFUL C-ESAR. 



Esther's life at Grassmere Manor during the summer and 
autumn of 1872 was like a peaceful dream. She had taken the 
place which Luella had vacated. The latter wrote from time 
to time stating that she was very happy in her wedded life, and 
hoped as soon as her husband's family affairs were settled to 
return to England. 

The earl became more deeply in love with his "'golden-haired 
charmer " as he called his daughter's companion. She on her 
part kept her own counsel. Very rarely was London visited. 
Her relatives had been told that she had gone to Australia as 
a governess, and they made no further effort to find her. 

On the 5 th of November the Count ]Morella Naymour 
suddenly drove up to the door of the manor, and sent his card 
in to the earl. 

At first Lord Grassmere was inclined to send the card back 
with a curt message that he was not at home to the count, but 
Lady Martha suggested that perhaps he could give them some 
definite information ia regard to the husband of Lueliu. 

When ushered into the drawing-room he was X'eceived very 
coldly. The earl accused him of having some hand in the 
abduction of his daughter. This was at once stoutly denied 
by the count, who answered in an excited manner somewhat 
after the French stvle : 



222 Miriam vs. Milton. 

" Why, Lord Grassmere, liow could you have such an opinion 
of me 1 I am grieved that you should entertain the thought 
for one moment that I would violate j'our hospitality. All 
true Frenchmen would scorn to do a thing so vile as to take 
advantage of the trust placed in them by the father of a family. 
This has grieved me more than anything that has happened to 
me since I first came to England. I will confess that I met 
your daughter and her husband in Paris, and I gave 
them my word that I would not betray their confidence. 
You will know all concerning the count and his family in 
a short time. 

Lord Grassmere was a man of generous impulses. Feeling 
that perhaps he had wronged the Count Morella he sought to 
make amends by pressing him to spend a few days at Grassmere 
Manor. The invitation was accepted, and he was not long in 
gaining a complete ascendancy over the earl. 

To Esther the count was freezingly polite. The visit only 
lasted four days. Lord Grassmere then went to Paris with his 
guest in the hope of meeting his daughter, and thus penetrating 
the mystery which overahadowed the whole affair. 

One week later Esther received by post a letter from the earl 
in Paris enclosing a cheque for twenty-five pounds, and stating 
that her services were no longer needed. The hand of Martin 
Nickley was too apparent in this transaction to cause Esther 
to feel any annoyance at this hasty action of her employer. 
She lost no time in packing her trunk. In an hour after the 
receipt of the letter of dismissal she asked to see Lady Martha 
to bid her good-bye, but even this was declined. Orders were 
given to the coachman to take Miss Ducie to the railway 
station whenever she was ready to go. Great was the grief 
among the servants at the prospect of losing the popular adopted 
daughter, and all felt that the French count had some hand in 
this abrupt departure of the winsome young lady. 

Two hours after she left a telegram came for her from the 
earl recalling the dismission, and one also for the Lady Martha 
saying that he had received information within an hour which 
had proved to him unequivocally that Esther had no hand 
whatsoever in the elopement of Luella. Two servants were at 
once sent to London to find her, if possible, and deliver the 
telegram. Lady Martha also wrote a very urgent note asking 
her to return at once, and to overlook her want of courtesy in 
refusing to see her when she asked for an interview. 

The following day they returned saying that they could not 
find the slightest trace of Miss Esther. 



The Faithful Ccesar. 223 

That same evening Lord Grassmere also amved back home. 
"When he heard of the failure of his telegrams he was ahnost 
frantic with grief. Never had she been so dear to him as now, 
when the bitterness of his unjust suspicion came home with 
full power. Where could he find her when no one knew to 
what place she had gone. London Avas about the last place to 
hunt for any one when there was no clue to begin with. 

Next day the earl went to London and engaged the services 
of one of the best detectives. He sj^ent a full week himself 
walking the streets by day and often late into the night, but 
not the faintest trace of the missing Esther was obtained. 
Sadly he returned home. 

The whole trouble had been caused by the direct accusation 
of Esther by an English lady residing in PariSj who had 
known the earl for many years, and also knew of the 
elopement of his daughter. The evidence ai)peared so clear 
that Lord Grassmere had accepted the statement. In the first 
burst of his indignation he wrote to his sister telling her what 
he had heai'd, and also wrote the fatal letter of dismissal to 
Esther herself The next day by the merest accident he met 
his daughter in the Bois de Bolougne, driving in a handsome 
carriage with servants in the livery of the Count Rochmere. 
He left his own conveyance and entered hers. She told him 
promptly that Esther had absolutel}' nothing to do with the 
elopement, and she alone had managed the whole affair. She 
also assured him that she was very happy with her husband. 
He was now in Italy, she said, and expecting to arrange 
his family matters within a month, after which they would 
announce their marriage to their respective friends. She was 
married to her husband beyond the shadow of a doubt, as the 
ceremony took place in a chapel in the city of Rouen. After 
this explanation the earl realised his mistake in accusing Esther, 
and hastened at once to remedy it by telegraphing her and also 
his sister. It was too late, however, and we will now take up 
Esther's expeiience after she reached London. 

On arriving at Euston Station she left her trunk in the 
baggage room and went out undecided where to go. If only 
Ziska had not been transported she would have gone directly 
to his encampment. She was afraid, however, to go to his wife, 
lest she might upbraid her of being the cause of his transporta- 
tion. She wandered to Westminster Bridge, and when half 
way along it the impulse came over her to throw herself into 
the river and thus end all her agony. She was actually 
contemplating this rash step when she heard a voice at her side. 



224 Miriam vs. Milton. 

" My child, you look dejected and sad. If I mistake not you 
are debating the problem of ending your life." 

Esther turned quickly around and stood face to face with the 
gipsy queen. 

" By all the traditions of our tribe," exclaimed the latter, 
" if this is not the long-lost Esther, the Countess of Montville!" 

" Do you not hate me, Oslenal " she asked, beholding the wife 
of the man who had lost his liberty on her account. 

"Why should I, my child? Your misfortunes have made 
you very dear to me. Long ago I swore that I would leave no 
stone unturned till the villain who is the cause of your deep 
trials received full justice. But where have you been 1 For 
the last two years I have searched diligently for you. I knew 
well that Nickley would keep you concealed till after the trial 
of my husband. " 

Esther then gave a brief recital of what had occurred since 
that eventful night two years ago, when on this very bridge she 
had met Ziska and been so rudely torn away from him. 

" My dear child," said the gipsy queen, when Esther had 
finished, " a kind Providence must have sent me hither this 
afternoon. Come with me to our camp. Martin Nickley will 
be a sharper man than I give him credit for if he can get you 
away from my protection." 

The following day Esther wrote a long letter to both her 
uncles, and after giving a brief account of her experience for 
the last seven years asked them to put forth theLr influence to 
procure the pardon of Ziska, with permission to return to 
England. She also asked as a favour that none of her relatives 
should seek her in her present retirement. She hoped before 
long, she added, that matters would be cleared up so that she 
could face them all without a blush of shame. 

Two days later she received lettera of warm, sympathetic 
afiection from her Uncle Richard Shirley and also from Sir 
Thomas. The latter informed her that he had seen the Hon. 
Secretary for Home Atiairs, a pardon had been posted to 
the governor of the penal settlement, and Ziska would be 
permitted to return home at once. Her uncles enclosed cheques 
for a large amount, which she at once gave to the gipsy queen 
to be used for the benefit of the tribe. 

A month after Esther's arrival in the gipsy camp .she received 
an agreeable surprise. On getting up in the morning her dog 
Caesar stood at her tent door. Great alike was the joy of bot>> 
girl and dog at the pleasure of once more seeing each other. 
Queen Oslena had planned this surprise. She had sent a 



The Faithful Ccesar. 225 

special messenger to Mr. Richard Sliirley, and asked that 
Caesar should be sent as a companion to his niece. Esther's 
life was once more pleasant and free from care and troul)le. 
The members of the gipsy camp did all in their power to make 
things as agreeable as jDOssible for her. 

Wherever Esther went Ca3.sar went also. It would have 
been a bold man that would dare molest her with that champion 
at her side. The animal was now old, yet he had not lost the 
peculiar expression of showing his teeth whenever anyone tried 
to take liberties with him, whether it was dog or man. His 
devotion to his mistress was so sti'ongly manifested that every- 
one called him the " Faithful Caesar." Kothing would so arouse 
him to fierceness as the uientiou of the name of Martin Nickley. 
In this matter the huge mastiff was almost human in his 
instincts. Day after day he seemed to be on the watch for this 
man. Everyone knew that could he have but once seen him 
it would have been a fight unto death. Thus months passed 
without incident. All at the encampment were waiting for the 
I'eturn of their absent chief from Austi-alia ; then would come 
a day of reckoning for the mutual enemy, as Nickley was termed. 

And how was this man getting along 1 Serenely enough. 
Once more had he been made a welcome guest at Grassmere 
Manor. He volunteered promptly to search for tb ? missing 
Esther, but at the same time took good care that le did not 
obtain any clue to her hiding place. Her presence at the n.anor 
would be an obstruction to his plans. WJiat they were he ktpt to 
himself. He was very devoted in his attentions to Lady M irtha. 
For the first time in his life, howevei", he was worried over 
some matter. Was it remorse 1 No ; such a nature as his had 
long ago stifled the warnings of conscience. The trouble was 
that some of his well-laid schemes had not matured as he had 
expected, and there was also in his eye that peculiar expressive 
look which is invariably seen in those who are expecting a 
sudden raising of the veil that has hidden their inner life from 
the world. The time, however, was not yet ripe for retribution. 



226 Miriam vs. Milton. 

CHAPTER XXXYII. 

SAN FRANCISCO. 

The firm of Creedmore, Graston, Jenkins & Co., dealers 
in mining machinery, quickly rose to the '• to]) notch 
of the business houses" of Denver, using the Western 
vernacular. 

They had the essential qualifications for success, viz., large 
capital, experience in their particular line, and undaunted 
energy. According to the usual results in such cases, where 
there is a market for the goods the profits should have been 
satisfactorj^ 

After two years of hard woi'k, however, there were no 
profits but a heavy deficiency. Orders for machinery were 
numerous ; in fact, the demand was greater than the supply. 
Wlw, then, the failure? The solution is not far to seek. 
Colorado, Wyoming, and adjacent territories were thronged 
with mining companies. The great majority were without a 
working capital, but they each had great expectations. Having 
nothing to risk, and consequently nothing to lose, they ordered 
machinery — -some of it of the most costly nature — wherever 
they could obtain credit. If successful they paid their bills ; 
but in most cases they failed, and then they made an assign- 
ment with heavy liabilities and no assets except a hole in the 
ground and the aforesaid machinery, greatly deteriorated in 
value. 

The firm of Creedmore & Company being composed of uieu 
of kind disposition no one applied for credit in vain to them. 
They held mortgages on a large number of mines and many 
claims had been turned over to them. In April, 1872, the 
firm decided to wind up their business, and by the 1st of July 
they ascertained that they had lost a full quarter of a million 
dollars. They held on, however, to all their claims, trusting 
that on a future day some of them might become valuable. 
They were strongly advised to invest the remainder of their 
fortune in real estate in Denver. This would have doubled in 
value within five years without efibrt on their part. Etaline 
strongly urged this course, but at the same time consented 
to abide by the decision of the others. For several months 
tlieir favourite theme had been the grand opportunities in 
San Francisco. The Golden Gate had long been their Mecca. 



San Francisco. 227 

It was finally decided to go there, so they bade farewell to their 
many friends in Denver and took their way Westward. They 
spent two months on the way, collecting a considerable amount 
of debts, and arrived at their destination by the last of October. 
They found speculation there at a high fever point. Mining 
stocks and wheat were the two commodities in greatest demand. 
The latter was apparently the safest investment ; so, after 
careful investigation, by the 1st of December the firm name 
of Creedmore, Graston, Jenkins & Co. was emblazoned on two 
handsome brass plates on each pillar of their granite warehouse. 
The "Company" was Etaline. She had left all of her late 
husband's money in the firm and had gone on a visit to Virginia 
to her home. Her father was still living and had married the 
widow of a Confederate colonel. But she could not be content 
away from tlie man who held her heart. As soon as they were 
fairly started in their new enterprise she joined them, taking 
with her as a companion a cousin called Sylvia Thornton. 
The latter had promised not to fall in love with any man ; in 
fact, declared that she had made up her mind to live and die 
an old maid. 

The day after their arrival the ladies had the pleasure of 
receiving a call from the members of the firm, and the beauty 
and sparkling wit of the Virginia belle made a deep impression 
on Bill Jenkins. He had been known all his lifetime as a 
woman-hater. He had never been able to see any good points 
in " those designing women-folks," as he invariably called them. 
Being thus strongly entrenched in his views he considered 
himself proof against all the craft of the fair sex. He was 
positive that no woman lived that could make his heart beat 
one throb quicker than the ordinary routine of that important 
member of his corporeal structure. 

It was therefore somewhat in the nature of a surprise to 
both Colonel Creedmore and Marcy Graston when they noticed 
he was taking unusual pains in his toilet, and was looking 
decidedly sprucer than they had ever known him Ijefore. 
They were dumbfounded a week later to see him drive up to 
the warehouse one afternoon with a handsome span of horses, 
and much more so when he told them that he was going to 
take Mrs. Hilton and her cousin out for a drive to Seal Rock. 
Day after day these drives were the regular routine. They 
were therefore prepared for the announcement a month later 
of the engagement of the hitherto reserved and bashful Bill 
Jenkins. The girl had broken her vow to her cousin by falling 
in love, although she sought to screen her.self by stoutly 



228 Miriam vs. Milton. 

declaring that it was Willie that had fallen in love with her. 
She did not allow anyone to call him " Bill " in her presence. 

The marriage took place in January, 1873. Whole columns 
of the morning papers wei'e filled with details of the brilliant 
ceremony. The diamonds, the dresses, the lovely women, the 
notable peojile, were the chief topics. During the reception 
that followed afterwards Marcy Graston said to Colonel 
Creedmore : 

" My dear Colonel, it is your turn next." Then, looking at 
Mrs. Hilton, he continued : " How superb that charming little 
widow looks to-day in her navy-blue velvet dress. Another 
sweet woman like that and I might follow the example of Bill. 
By the way, we must not call him Bill any longer. His wife 
objects to that abbreviation. But I never expected to see our 
partner mated." 

At this moment Edgar caught a glance of the brilliant e^^es 
of Etaline. It went to his heart's core and stirred him as 
nothing had ever done before. For a moment there was a 
struggle between the claims of his cousin Margaret and Ida 
Derwent. He weighed them mentally in one scale against 
Etaline and her sacrifices for him. He thought of how much 
he owed to her. She had saved him from prison and even 
death itself. What had been done to repay this great devotion ? 
Quickly he came to a decision. Going over to her he took her 
hand and looked into her eyes. Not a word was spoken ; no 
need of it, for their faces told the tale. They read each other's 
thoughts and became engaged, not by word of mouth bat by 
the atfinity of spirit with spirit. 

The marriage of William Jenkins was a happy one, and 
neither ever had cause to regret the choice. 

The spring of 1874 came around quickly. Edgar and Etaline 
were to be married in May, but it was postponed till the falh 
No reason was assigned, but Edgar requested it. 

A spirit of wild speculation had taken hold of many 
thousands of the inhabitants of San Francisco. Wheat was 
king. The firm of Creedmore & Co, controlled the market. 
They bought largely of the new wheat in the fields. The price 
fell ; still they bought, their credit was good, and they 
"loaded up" heavily. It went lower and lower. When it 
reached the lowest figure the hitherto wealthy fix-m of Creed- 
more, Graston, Jenkins & Co. was bankrupt. After a settlement 
with the creditors all was found to be lost but honour. They 
paid one hundred cents on the dollar on all claims. Jenkins 
proposed that they should leave the city and go back to the 



San Francisco. 229 

mining districts, as tliey still had a number of claims that they 
had taken for debts while in Denver, and these might be 
disposed of to advantage. 

Colonel Creedmore said that he had enough of mining, and 
proposed to remain where he was. He accordingly sold out all 
claims for a small sum of ready cash. Etaline, hov^ever, retained 
her share and left her interests with the partners. She pi'ocured 
an engagement as a teacher in a public school, and Graston 
and Jenkins and his wife took their departure for the East. 

Uncle Richardson, when he heard of the great failure, wrote 
and urged his nephew to come to New York and accept the 
long-offered position in his business. Cousin Margaret wrote 
an urgent letter, and it might have prevailed for he was heartily 
tired of the West. But he was pledged to Etaline and could 
not break with her. 

Once more his two staunch friends, Colonel Moorehead and 
Colonel Derwent, wrote offering financial assistance, and also 
an opportunity to go into business. He wrote back thanking 
them with all his heart, but adding that it was of no use as the 
fates were against him. He declined to accept a single dollar 
from his uncle. It was perhaps foolish in him thus to refuse 
the kind offer of assistance, but he desired to retrieve his 
fortunes unaided. He offered to release Etaline from Jier 
engagement, but she was " true blue " and refused to desert 
him in this hour of his need. Were he the poorest man in the 
Union she would have clung to him. 

After this last great failure Edgar's disposition changed. He 
became sullen and unsociable. He drifted into the gambling 
saloons, and soon became a regular visitor at those haunts of 
hazard. 

A wild desire seized upon him to win back by cards what he 
had lost by speculation in the wheat market. He took to 
drinking heavily, and began to sink in the social scale. Every 
dollar went to the gambling table. His late two partners sent 
him remittances from time to time, ignoring the fact that they 
had bought his claims. They were very successful in collecting 
old bills due to them. Falling lower and lower he even 
borrowed money from Etaline. He was fast approaching a 
tragedy in his history which v^^ould leave an impression behind 
that not even death itself would efface. The sting of remorse 
would make itself felt for a lifetime. 

It was the springtime of 1875, just ten years since the war 
closed. The result of the decade was only barren leaves in his life, 
and now he was sinking into the depths of crime and degradation. 



230 Miriam vs. Milton. 

In the excliuuge of bodies no assurance had been given to 
either that they •would be free from the temptations common 
to humanity at large. It would have been well for both of 
them if they had kept this fact prominently before their minds. 

Could Edgar only have seen the awful and sudden doom that 
came down upon one that he loved, cheerfully would he have 
given his own life to have averted the terrible blow. 

Although the reader will wish that this disaster could have 
been averted, yet on the whole it will be seen later on that it 
was best for the victim. Tears may be shed for the swift 
ending of a lovely, sweet life, but there is consolation in the 
contemplation of the compensations in the other planet of our 
existence for all the disappointments of this weary pilgrimage. 
Edgar's cup of misery was not yet drained to its dregs, and the 
needful experience was far from being complete. 

When in the zenith of his existence as a rich and prosperous 
merchant social honours were lavished upon him without stint. 
I'^ow that he was a confirmed gambler one by one his friends 
left him, and only Etaline was true as steel to him. 

It is with dilEculty that we avoid the temptation to moralise. 
"We leave that to the reader. 



CHAPTER XXXYIIL 

THE BOATMAN OF THE THAMES. 

The 10th of October, 1873, was a cold day. A dark cloud 
hung over the metropolis that threatened to develope into a 
pi'overbial London fog. The gipsy camp at this time was 
situated about two miles from Westminster Bridge on the 
Surrey side of the Thames. Esther had assumed the gipsy 
costume, and at no period of her life was she the recipient of 
so much attention, for all the members of the tribe were very 
devoted in their treatment of " the countess," as she was 
invariably called by them. She followed them in their 
wanderings, and enjoyed the life because of its freedom from 
the persecutions of Martin Nickley. He on his part made no 
attempt to trace out her whereabouts. It was therefore somewhat 
in the nature of a surprise when, on the morning of the above 



The Boatman of the Tliames. 231 

day, she received a letter from him asking her to meet him 
that evening on Westminster Bridge at ten o'clock. The 
following is a copy of the letter : — 

London, October 9tla, 1873, 
My Dear Esther, 

I have long known where you were in seclusion and respected 
your wish to be left alone. I have lately discovered very important clues 
in relation to your marriage to Eduiond Harold, late Earl of Montville. 
You owe it to your family to clear avray all doubts in regard to this 
marriage. 

You will perhaps be greatly surprised to hear about the claims of that 
Paris cabdriver who performed the marriage ceremony for us at our island 
chateau seven years ago. I have very much to tell you. Come aloue. 
You have nothing to fear from me. If when I had you in my complete 
power for five years I did not harm you ia any way I am not likely to do 
so now. However, if you have any fears of me do not come. 

To-morrow night at ten o'clock I will be on Westminster Bridge, 
standing by the third lamp-post. I will send a carriage at half-past nine 
to meet you at the corner of Edmund Lane and Surrey Eoad. The same 
carriage will take you back to the gipsy camp after our interview. 

As our past relations concern no one but ourselves I would thei-efore 
suggest that you mention this meeting to no person in the encampment. 
A failure on your part to come will be to your own detriment. 1 cannot 
understand why you did not return to Grassuiere Manor after all the 
elibrts on the part of tb.e earl to induce you to forget the hasty letter he 
wrote to you. You had hardly been gone an hour when he sent a 
telegram to recall it. I will speak of this and other matters when I see 
yo\i to-morrow evening. Until then, 

1 remain your best friend, 

Martix Xicklf.y. 

Esther pondered long and carefully over this letter. It wa.s 
plausible on its face, there was very much in it to excite her 
curiosity, and the man who wrote it understood feminine 
nature and Esther's in particular. She was sitting by the 
door of her tent with the letter in her lap when Caesar came 
up and put his massive head to her hand and licked it. 
Smiling at the notion of the dog, she said in a half abstracted 
way : 

" Csesar, old doggie, this letter is from Martin Nickley, and 
he wants me to meet him this evening. What shall I do 
about it 1 " 

Little did Esther imagine that the mastiff would under.stand 
her question, and she had forgotten for the moment his anti- 
pathy at the mere mention of the name of Nickley. She was 
therefore very much amazed when the sagacious brute gave a 
low growl of disap[)roval and seized the letter in his mouth, 
and placing it on the ground tore it in several pieces, and when 



232 Miriam vs. Milton. 

his mistress tried to take it away froQi him he picked up the 
remnants and bounded out of her tent and disappeared in the 
woods. 

As to how much of the tenour of Nickley's letter was 
understood by Csesar we are not prepared to say. There are, 
however, so many well-authenticated records of dogs under- 
standing conversations not specially directed to them that we 
feel that the actions of a highly-bred mastiff, as in this case, 
ai'e not without many parallels. 

An hour after this occurrence Cpesar retm'ued and kept 
close watch upon every movement of his mistress. He was 
apparently determined that wherever she went he would go 
also. As the shades of evening fell this watch was more keenly 
kept. Esther had made up her mind to meet Nickley and hear 
what he had to say, but knew that it would never do to take 
the dog with her, and also that if he was forcibly chained up 
he would arouse the camp with his howling. Therefore she 
resolved on diplomacy, and after giving Ctesar a bountiful 
supper of meat she partly undressed and lay down upon her 
bed. As a rule she slept alone, though very often one of the 
young girls of the camp kept her company. Caesar slept at her 
tent door. 

The dog was now feeling the effects of old age, and slept 
sounder than in his younger days. It was not long, therefore, 
before he was sleeping "the sleep of the just." He did not 
suspect his mistress of having any design of evading his watch- 
fulness. 

At a quarter-past nine Esther rose, and di'essing speedily 
slipped vmder the back part of the tent and got clear of the 
camp without having been seen by any one. She found 
Nickley's carriage at the appointed place, and was soon moving 
on rapidly to the bridge that was already so interwoven with 
her history, and which was destined to be still more so. A 
fierce storm had been predicted and cabled from New York, 
and it was expected to reach the British Isles that very day. 

The sun had gone down in a dark bank of clouds, which at 
this hour were scudding along, driven before a strong westerly 
gale. Evei-y few moments a rift was made that allowed the 
crescent moon to shed a brief light, and then all was dark 
again. The late pedestrians were hurrying homeward as fast 
as possible, and the guardians of the watch were installed in 
places of security from the fast-approaching storm. When 
Esther's carriage reached the entrance of the bridge the door 
was opened, a.nd the footman told her it was the wish of his 



The Boatman of the TJianies. 233 

luastei- that slie should go alone to meet him, and he himself 
would wait for her return at this point. Closely veiled she 
went rapidly along the great bridge without meeting anyone. 
At the third lamp-post Martin Nickley was found waiting to 
receive her. He took both her hands in his and greeted lier 
warmly and affectionately, saying : 

" Fair queen of my heart, no other woman has ever had the 
hold that you have on me. I have looked forward to meeting 
you this evening with more joy than I can express. I am glad 
that you came alone. As the storm will soon be upon us I 
must be brief in what I have to say. In the first place, in 
reference to your marriage to Edmond Harold, 1 can clear 
away all the dark mystery that has gathered around that event, 
and will do so provided you will follow my wishes. I want 
you to promise not to return to that gipsy camp, but to go to 
a hotel that I will name. To-morrow you are to meet me at 
the office of my legal adviser and sign certain papers that I 
have pi-epared for you, and without reading them you are to 
swear that you know their contents. Then I wish you to sail 
fur Australia and remain there for three years, and I will give 
you in hand three thousand pounds. At the end of the three 
years I will place you in possession of such infonnatiou a.s will 
set you right before the eyes of the world and those of your 
kindred, and you will obtain full recogiaition as the Countess 
of Montville." 

During this recital Esther's hands were held by Nickley. 
She now withdrew them. Throwing back her veil, and with 
an inflection on every word to show that she meant all that 
was said, her eyes flashing as they only did when fully aroused, 
replied : 

" Martin Nickley, I came here to-night against my better 
judgment to meet you. I had no idea that you thought my 
moral nature had sunk to such a low level as to be willing to 
perjure myself, and thus place me more fully in your power. 
My answer to your request will be final and decisive. I 
emphatically decline to leave the gipsy camp where I have been 
so kindly treated. Neither will I sign any papers without 
knowing the contents. As to going to Australia I will not 
entertain the pi'oposition for a single instant. I cannot leave 
England for reasons that must not be disclosed at present. 
I do not need your gold, and if you care for me as you profess 
then you will relieve me of your presence. ; You ruined that 
foolish girl Luella, and perhaps now you are seeking some 
new conquest, I feel guilty for the silence observed in that 



234 Miriam vs. Milton. 

aflfaii'. Ziska is expected home this week, and he can obtain 
the information about the claims of the so-called Countess of 
Montville." 

"Ziska's term of sentence is not up,"' said Nickley. " How 
can he come back 1 " 

" I wrote to my uncles," answered Esther, " and they obtained 
a par<lon for him; and when he gets back he will have a 
I'eckoning with you that will not be to your credit." 

At this point gi-eat drops of rain began to" fall, and Esther 
continued : 

" As the storm is breaking upon us I beg of you to excuse 
me waiting here any longer." 

A dark, angry flush came over Nickley's face that threatened 
terrible danger to the girl befoi'e him. In low suppressed 
tones of passion he said with a sneer : 

" So you think that you and that lying gipsy scoundrel, a 
transported convict, can cross my path and clear away the 
inysteiy of Harold Castle. Listen ! Unless you swear to do 
what I have just asked you I will throw you over this 
bridge." 

He seized her with both hands and raised her to the toj) of 
the low parapet. Then drawing from a breast pocket a 
long keen knife he put it to her throat, and with a savage 
oath said : 

" Esther, I mean what I say. Now, will you solemnly swear 
to do my bidding 1 Promise, or I will bury this in your heart 
and send you where dead women tell no tales." 

" Never," was the decided answer, and the brave girl called 
loudly for help. 

Quickly the gleaming knife was raised, but before it could 
descend a large mastiff sprang at Nickley's throat and fastened 
his teeth in his shoulder. Letting go his victim he buried the 
keen blade in the shaggy sides of the dog. The next moment 
Esther lost her balance, and with a shriek fell over into the 
river. Immediately the faithful Caesar, for it was no other than 
he, sprang after his mistress. Nickley was horrified. He had 
no intention of harming the girl. He only purposed to frighten 
her by pressing the blade of the knife to her throat. He looked 
over the parapet to see where she had gone. The next moment 
he was felled to the ground by a powerful blow and saw a 
heavily-built man bending over him, saying excitedly as he 
grasped his throat : 

" Martin Nickley, tell me what you have done with Esther?" 

" Is that you, Ziska ? " said the now crestfallen bully. 



Tlie Boatman of the Thames. 235 

" Yes," was the answer, " I ain Ziska, and this is the hour 
I have long looked forward to in the weary hours of my banish- 
ment. If you have harmed a single hair of that girl's head I 
will kill you without compassion." 

" Quick, Ziska," was the reply, " let us search for her. She 
was sitting on the parapet when that savage brute of a dog 
rushed upon me, and she lost her balance and fell over into the 
river." 

" What is the meaning of that blood on your hands 1 " was 

the next inquiry, " Also, whose blood is that on that blade 1 " 

" I used the knife to ward off the dog. Do you suppose that 

I wou.ld stab a girl 1 Come, we are wasting time when Esther 

perhaps is drowning." 

Ziska saw the force of this argument and allowed his 
antagonist to arise. They both went rapidly to the end of the 
bridge and then down by the steps to the edge of tlie river A 
flash of lightning revealed a boat pulling rapidly down thf 
current to London Bridge. 

" Ziska," said Nickley, " that boat must have picked her up. 
Will you follow it to the place where it may land 1 I will see 
you to-morrow. There is a Providence that takes care of thac 
girl." 

" Martin Nickley," was the answer, " if I find that Esther 
has not been rescued I will have you arrested for her mui'der." 
The next moment the gipsy was gone. 

An hour before the occurrence just related Hans Nelsola, 
the well-known boatman of the Thames, was sitting before a 
cheerful fire in his cabin sleeping in his easy chair. His wife 
was sewing, and at his feet a dog was taking an after-dinner 
siesta. Hans was a London celebrity. He was a Norwegian 
by birth, and had sailed out of London for a score of years, and 
had been married for five years. At the termination of his 
last voyage his ship had need of extensive repairs, and Hans 
stayed by her. The old cabin had been replaced by a new one 
of larger dimensions, and as the weather-beaten structure was 
hoisted over the side an idea struck Hans. If he could obtain 
possession of it he would have a very comfoi'table home. That 
very day the watchman of the ship yard had been discharged 
and Hans at once applied for the place. He obtained it, and 
the old cabin was fitted up for his use. Hans never was 
happier than when walking the roof of his dwelling — his 
" quarter-deck," as he called it. 

He had the privilege of picking up odd jobs on the river, 
and had been instrumental in saving many lives of unfortunate 



236 Miriam vs. Milton. 

women who had sought death in the muddy waters of the 
Thames. He brought them to his cabin, and his wife had led 
them over to a more cheerful way of thinking and procured 
them honest employment. 

At nine o'clock of that evening as just recorded Hans was 
asleep. Waking up suddenly he said to his wife that he had a 
dream of a woman drowning and that there was no one to 
help her. 

" It is only a dream," said his wife, " and it is too dangerous 
to go out on the river a niglit like this." 

'' Nevertheless, I feel that I must go," answered her husband. 
'' I will pull up to Westminster Bridge and wait for an 
Jionr and then return. Come, Jack," he said to his dog, who 
was also a waif of the river ; having found him one dark night, 
no doubt he had fallen over from some vessel. As the boat 
pushed off from the shore Jack took his place in the bow and 
kept a lookout. 

It was not long before the boat was secured under the third 
ai'ch of the bridge, and there awaited events. An hour had 
passed and the storm was about to break in all its fury. Hans 
concluded to return to his cabin. He had just unfastened the 
line when a scream was heard, and a splash by his own boat 
told the old story. A second later and he had caught hold of 
the garments of a woman. He hauled her in the boat when a 
second splash told of another unfortunate being. He reached 
over to take in the drowning form when, as he pulled it over 
the gunwale, he exclaimed, "A dog! Well, what next?" 

Jack immediately came to offer his sympathy to his canine 
brotlier, while his ma:ster attended to the woman. 

He found her conscious, and she said in answer to his inquiry : 
" I fell by accident, and if you will take me ashore I will pay 
you well." 

It WHS Esther ; truly she was a girl with a charmed life. 

" I will take you to my home," said Hans ; " but do not talk 
of pay. My wife will find you dry clothes." 

A moment later and the boat was speeding down the river. 



The Low Grade. 237 

CHAPTER XXXIX. 

THE LOW GRADE. 

In the first division of this work it will be borne in mind 
that Miriam stated to her brother that if it were possible for 
them to exchange bodies, then the aim of her spirit would be 
to reach the highest pinnacle of fame. Never for one moment 
did she conceive that there might be an opposite course leading 
down to the lowest grade of human experience. We are now 
compelled to describe the gradual decline of Edgar till the low 
grade was reached. 

It was May, 1875. Colonel Creedmore had left San 
Francisco and gone to Virginia City. There he could gamble 
without meeting those who had known him as the prosperous 
merchant. It was an evil day for him when he put foot in that 
mountain city of Nevada. He had left Etaline without letting 
her know where he proposed to go. He felt a pang of remorst; 
every time he met her ; there was such a depth of love 
manifested in her deep blue eyes. He was well aware that 
he had never made any adequate I'eturn for the many sacrifices 
and proofs of her devotion for himself. She was alone and 
friendless, and he was bound to stand by her at all hazards. 
It was not a manly thing to desert her now, when her money 
was gone and she needed some one to advise her so far away 
from her Vii-ginian home. 

A week after his arrival in Virginia City he received a letter 
from her, dated from Carson City, saying that she was on her 
■way to persuade him to go back to Denver, where there were 
so many good openings for a man of his experience. He also 
had many friends in that city who would gladly assist him to 
recover what he had lost. She pointed out the fact that he had 
more than made up what he lost on his first visit to Denver. 
Then, again, his late two partners were collecting some of their 
debts. It was true that he had sold out his share to them, but 
they had declined to take any advantage of this sale. 

She had just received a cheque from them for one thousand 
dollars as part of some collections, half of which was for him. 
More was to follow. They reported that they were doing very 
well. Sylvia had presented her husband v.ith a boy, whom 
they had named Edgar Marcy Jenkins. Etaline intended to 
go to Cheyenne to meet them after she left Virginia City. 



238 Miriam vs. Milton. 

The item that pleased Edgar most in this letter was the 
information as to the cheque. Five hundred at this time would 
be of great benefit to him. He had won some money on the 
previous day and needed more to win a very large amount. 

He met her on her arrival at the station and she gave him 
his share at once. He procured rooms for her with a very 
respectable family, and that evening he was in the gambling 
saloon. He never left it all night. The following morning 
when he did not come for her as by appointment she sought for 
him, and was told where he might be found. The lady with 
whom she was boarding was the wife of a superintendent of 
one of the mines. She went with her in the search and boldly 
entered the gambling house. To one unacquainted with such 
scenes it was an awful sight. At one of the tables Etaline saw 
the pale and haggard face of Edgar, his eyes bloodshot, and 
his whole manner full of the intense excitement that 
characterised all who were playing for heavy stakes. 

He on his part did not look up to see who had come into the 
room. The only attraction for him then was the cards that 
were being dealt out by a man called " Bullet-headed Jim." 

As long as Etaline had known Colonel Greedmore she never 
heard him use profane or vulgar language. What was her 
astonishment to hear him now use a fearful oath, and accuse 
the dealer of the cards of cheating. This was a serious affair. 
Instantly " Bully Jim," as he was more frequently called, drew 
his revolver, and covering Colonel Creedmore said with an oath : 

" Apologise, or draw your shooting-irons." 

Without a moment's hesitation Colonel Creedmore drew a 
heavy revolver, but before he could use it Bully Jim fired. 
The shot missed, and was returned by Edgar with a miss also. 
Instantly Etaline threw herself in front of him and received the 
second shot full in the breast. 

There was a teixible commotion in the gambling saloon. A 
score of pistols were drawn and Bullet-headed Jim was pierced 
by a dozen shots, amid the cries : 

" He shot a woman ; kill him ! " 

Edgar fired twice into tlie body of his antagonist. He then 
picked up the prostrate form of Etaline and carried her to her 
boarding place. A doctor who was called pi'onounced the 
wound fatal, and that she could not live beyond sundown. 
Colonel Creedmore was filled with remorse and deep anguish, 
and asked the dying girl what he could do for her : 

" I ask but one request," said she, " and that is to die in your 
arms as your wife." 



The Low Grade. 239 

A minister of the Gospel was sent for, and he inai-ried them 
before witnesses who were weejiing at the pathetic scene. 

"When Edgar stooped and kissed Etaline and called her " his 
darling wife," her face lit np at the supreme happiness which 
was felt at the consummation of the hopes of years of weary- 
waiting. She was the wife at last of the man she loved ; yes, 
worshipped with an almost idolatrous love. She must, how- 
ever, leave him soon ; but death had no terrors for her, for 
might she not be of more service to him in the other 
sphere in watching over him in all his wanderings. Rarely is 
such love found by man, "We read of it, but seldom is it 
realised — unselfish, devoted, and faithful unto death. 

Animals, as in the case of the dog Csesar, very often show 
this constant devotion, but, alas ! humanity is more selfish. 

Six hours after the marriage Etaline passed away in the arms 
of her husband. What his feelings were can better be imagined 
thiin described. So without further comment we leave him 
with his conscience and degradation. 

" Bully Jim " was dead, and the coroner's verdict was " died 
as the fool dieth, viz., by his own cussedness." This verdict 
was applauded by all as being the product of much wisdom. 
At sundown he was buried, attended by half-a-dozen old cronies. 

The verdict in the case of Etaline was "died for the man she 
loved." 

The following day the whole of Virginia City turned out to 
attend her funeral. Stalwart men wept who had not shed a 
tear for many a long day, when the minister spoke in touching 
language of her sad end in behalf of the man to whom she 
had been attached for so many years. 

Tenderly she was laid away to rest in a grave on the highest 
point of the cemetery, and to-day the visitor can see her tomb 
from afar, a broken column of white marble, with only the 
words : 

ETALINE. 

'•AFTER life's FITFUL FEVER 

SHE SLEEPS WELL.'' 

This monument was sent by her cousin Sylvia from Cheyenne. 
For a full week after the death of his wife Edgar was plunged 
in the depths of despair. All motive for ambition was gone. 
But the bitterest cup was yet to be held to his lips. A 
committee waited upon him with the message that while there 
were no doubt many men in Virginia City far more wicked 
than himself, yet, as his wife lost her life in a gambling saloon. 



240 Mlriavi vs. Milton. 

trying to save him in a quarrel of his own — in fact, brought on 
by himself — they must '* draw the line " at this point. There- 
fore he would " consult liis best interests " if he would leave 
the place within twenty-four hours, or sooner if possible. One 
of the committee quietly said that a man whom they once 
" advised " to leave had not taken the hint, and the next day 
his friends were put to the expense of his funeral. There w^s 
no mistaking this language, for these men were the members of 
the Vigilance Committee. 

By sundown Colonel Creedmore had left the city far behind. 

To what degradation had he fallen when he was not con- 
sidered good enough for such a place as Virginia City in the 
year of grace 1875 ! It was only now that he realised how 
much he had truly loved Etaline. It was a moonlight night, 
and he was walking down the mountain side. He reached 
Silver City about ten o'clock, and put up at the small hotel. 
The following morning he took the ti-ain for Carson City, and 
thence for Salt Lake City. He had a draft for five hundred 
dollars which his wife had endorsed over to him before she 
died. Besides this he had about fifty dollars. All else had 
gone in gambling. Again and again he had asked himself the 
question : Why had he failed just at the critical moment in all 
the emergencies of his life in the last ten years 1 Bitterly he 
regretted the exchanged conditions of his life. A thousand 
times better he felt it would have been to have remained in his 
original body. As a girl a grand success might have been 
made of life and its opportunities. He wondered whether he 
could exchange back. He had not heard from England for 
some time, and he hoped the spirit of Milton was making a 
better record than he was doing. There was no such possi- 
bility of a failure so complete as in the present case. 

Down-hearted and weary of life Edgar Creedmore reached 
Salt Lake City. He could form no plans for the future and 
saw no silver lining to the clouds that hung over him. He had 
trusted as a matter of course to a special Providence to take 
care of him and his interests without much effort on his own 
behalf, and was disposed to think that Providence had greatly 
neglected its part. Religious exercises had been but a trivial 
factor in his life in the last ten years. His experience of anthro- 
pology in the few brief moments of the exchange had given 
liim a large fund to draw from, but he had exhausted it ; in 
fact, drawn on all of it long ago, and had not in any way added 
to it. Now he was bankrupt, and could only drift and wait 
for developments. 



The Low Grade. 241 

It was an evil influence that had led him to Virginia City, 
and it was something of the same charactei" that brought him 
to Salt Lake. 

It is a well-known fact that misfortunes never come singly, 
but that one follows another in rapid succession. When Edgar 
arrived in the capital of Mormonism he found the inhabitants 
in a very excited condition, owing to the robbery of the stage- 
coach on the previous night between Salt Lake and Ogden, the 
station wliere the connections were made with the trains to the 
West and East. Wells, Fargo & Company had lost a large 
amount of specie in transit. An emigrant train had been 
robbed only a few days previously and two of the party 
murdered. This last outrage led to the formation of a 
Vigilance Committee. All strangers were closely scrutinised, 
and Colonel Creedmoi-e was suspected at once. To ascertain 
his character a telegram was sent to Virginia City, and 
a response received that he had been forced to leave that 
place. He was staying at a hotel kept by a Mormon bishop, 
who had taken a strange liking to his guest and felt confident 
of his innocence, as he was not the kind of man to become a 
road agent. The bishop knew that it was useless to argue with 
a mob bent on finding a victim, and told Edgar it would 
be best for him to leave the city at once. But this was easier 
said than done. All avenues were closely guarded, and in an 
hour the vigilauts would surround the hotel and demand their 
man. It happened that there was sojourning at the same hotel 
a prospecting miner, who was very ill and wished to sell his 
outfit, including a fine horse. The bishop advised Edgar to 
make this purchase, which could be had for two hundred dollars. 
The draft for five hundred dollars which Etaline had obtained 
from the bank of California, and endorsed over to him 
before she died, was as good as gold. He handed it out and 
received the difi"erence in coin. The problem, however, was to 
get the horse and himself out of the city without observation. 
The Mormon bishop was equal to the occasion. He told his 
guest that he would send the horse away by one of his servants. 
It would be necessary for him to go out disguised as a 
woman. One of his wives would furnish him with a dress, 
cloak, and hood. As it was then dusk no trouble would be 
experienced in reaching the outskirts of the city, where the 
horse would be found waiting ; then he had better I'ide for the 
mountains. Once there he would have to take his chance with 
the road agents who were on the watch for what they could 
find. 



242 Miriam vs. Milton. 

This pi'ogvamme was quickly carried out. Just as the 
vigilants had surrounded the hotel Edgar was mounted, and, 
bidding farewell to his escort with many thanks for the disguise, 
he I'ode rapidly up the mountain path. The sick miner whom 
he had seen for a few moments had told him that at a distance 
of twenty miles from the city limit he would come to a cross 
road, and by taking the left-hand one he would find a mile 
furtlier on a deserted cabin in very good repair, with a shed for 
his horse and clear water from a mountain stream. Game was 
plentiful, and there was a new rifle and abundance of ammuni- 
tion in the outfit. It was an hour before midnight when he 
reached the place designated. He was pleased to find it far 
better than he expected, and was soon fast asleep rolled up in 
his blanket. In the morning, after a careful survey of his 
surrounding, and finding — thanks to the forethought of the 
bishop and his wives — that he had a good supply of provisions, 
he felt that he could rest for a while in peace. It was the first 
time in several years that he oflfered a genuine prayer to his 
Maker for His bounties. Thei'e is nothing like deep adversity 
to br-ing a man to a realising sense of his total dependence on 
an over-ruling Providence. After all he was very fortunate 
in his escapes from great danger. If he had fallen into the 
hands of the vigilants it would have gone hard wich him. He 
made up his mind to follow the dying advice of his wife to seek 
out his former partners and to remain with them. A few days 
of rest he felt would do him good and then he would go on his 
way. 



CHAPTER XL. 

THE CAMP OP ZISKA. 

Long before Hans could reach his cottage the storm burst 
upon him in all its fury. The rain came down iu torrents and 
the lightning was fearful. Still the boat sped on and finally 
reached the landing of the shipyard. The noble-hearted boat- 
man took the di'ipping form of Esther in his arms and carried 
her into the cheerful sitting-room, where his wife was anxiously 
waiting his return. It took but a few minutes to change the 
wet garments while Hans went out to secure his boat, and 
found that the dog he had rescued was unable to move, A 



The Gamp of ZisTca. 243 

vivid flasli of lightning revealed to the astonished Norwegian. 
that the bottom of the boat was full of blood flowing from a 
deep gash in the side of the mastiff. Tenderly lifting the 
animal he carried him into the cottage, saying to his wife : 

" Here is another patient." 

As soon as Esther saw her faithful Csssar was wounded she 
gave utterance to a cry of agony, and, bending over his 
prostrate form, cried in heartbreaking tones : 

" Oh, Csesar, my faithful friend and protector, has the curse 
reached you? You have given your life to save youv mistress." 

The dying mastiff made an effort to rise and then licked her 
hand. A moment later, with a look of intense devotion on his 
face, he uttered a groan and expired with his head resting in 
the ai'ms of the girl he had served with all the fidelity of his 
dog nature. Esther knelt by the side of her faithful dead 
friend and wept as though her heart would break. Rising 
to her feet, and with her hand raised toward heaven, she 
exclaimed : 

" Martin Nickley, when the hour of retiibution comes there 
will be a bitter debt to pay for the life of this faithful dog." 

Jack now came forward and licked the face of the dead 
animal, and gave a long low whine as a I'equiem to the departed. 
Hans and his wife joined in the testimony of sympathy, knowing 
that there was some deep drama behind all this scene. 

Esther was conducted to the " spare state-room," as it was 
called, and retired to rest with a sad and heavy heart. The 
loss of Cfesar was a great blow to her and it made her feel very 
bitter towards Nickley, She slept very little during the night 
and the following morning was ill with fever, the result of the 
immersion in the river coupled with the excitement. She 
wrote a few lines to the gipsy queen, and asked Hans to take 
it in person and wait for an answer. At eleven o'clock she 
was surprised to see not only the sweet motherly face of Oslena 
but also the stalwart form of Ziska. It is needless to say that 
they were overjoyed at finding alive one that they were afraid 
had met a watery grave. 

Ziska told her that he had been up all night, and had vainly 
followed the boat which he saw going down the river. He also 
told her of what had followed after she fell over the parapet. 

Esther was puzzled to know how Ziska had found out where 
she had gone and how he managed to come up just in time to 
save her. 

" It was all owing to that faithful old dog of yours," was the 
answer. 



244 Miriam vs. Milton. 

*'I arrived in England yesterday afternoon, and came up 
from Liverpool on the express crain and reached the camp at 
half-past nine. My wife and myself went at once to your tent 
and called you. We found it empty and Cassar sleeping at the 
door. When he found you were not in the tent he became 
frantic. He rushed around as though he had gone mad, and 
then went to some bushes and brought back some scraps of 
paper, which he laid at my feet. I put them together, and read 
the letter that Martin Nickiey had sent asking you to meet 
him at Westminster Bridge. The carriage that brought me to 
the camp was still waiting. I took the dog and hurried to 
the appointed place of meeting, and was just in time to be of 
assistance. I am sorry that Csesar did not take a good-sized 
piece of flesh out of that contem[)tible villain. By the way, 
how is that faithful animal 1 Nickiey had a blood-stained knife 
in his hand when I knocked him down." 

Tears filled Esther's eyes as she replied, " Faithful unto 
death, as it was always predicted that he would be. There he 
lies," and she pointed to a tarpaulin that covered the dog's 
I'emains in the corner of a sitting-room. 

Ziska raised the covering, and tears came to his eyes as he 
saw the cold body of what had been one of the most affectionate 
dogs in England. 

" He died a warrior," said the gipsy, " and he shall have a 
warrior's funeral." 

He took a sovereign from his pocket and offered it to Hans 
to purchase a box to hold the body of the dog. Hans refused 
the money, saying that he had one that would suit but would 
not take pay for it, or for any hospitality to the fair lady, whom 
he woidd be glad to serve in any possible way. Esther was 
found to be too ill to risk removal at present, so it was decided 
that Oslena should watch over her and give her such medicine 
as was used in her tribe. 

Cseaar's body was duly boxed, and as Ziska took it away 
his mistress's feelings could no longer be controlled. Wildly 
she wept and lamented for her noble mastid". She thought of 
the school days at Beechwood and of the test of Ctesar between 
duty and gratitude. With unwearied sagacity he had watched 
her interests and saved her when she was tilmost abducted by 
Nickiey at Arrochai-, 

Only yesterday, with almost human instinct, he had in his 
dumb way entered his protest against her going to meet the 
man who was her enemy and his. He had even watched her 
movements so that she should not go without him. 



The Camp of Ziska. 245 

In vain Oslena tried to comfort her, and Mrs. Nelsola did 
her best to cheer ujj the weeping girl. At last, tired out, she 
fell asleep. 

We must now go back to the movements of Martin Nickley. 
After parting from the gipsy chief he recrossed the bridge 
to send home his coachman who had brought Esther to 
the place. Then he retraced his steps and took a cab to 
his apartments. He was very much worried over the 
events of the evening. If Ziska failed to find Esther 
then he would be completely in the power of the gipsy, 
and probably have to pay a heavy blackmail for his 
silence. 

The following evening he drove to the gipsy encampment, 
and without leaving his carriage sent his coachman to tell 
Ziska that he wished to see him. He fully expected to find 
him sullen in the extreme, and was amazed when the gipsy 
greeted him cordially and invited him to visit his tent, saying 
that no one would know of liis presence in the camp. Nickley 
had not a particle of fear in his composition. He got out of 
his carriage and asked the question that was absorbing his 
nature. 

" Ziska, have you found Esther 1 " 

" I found the body of Csesar," was the reply. " It lies in yonder 
box, and for the sake of its mistress I propose to give it a 
decent burial to-morrow. The boat that we saw may have 
picked her up. I will search at all the landings, and have 
been hard at woi'k to-day." 

This was what Nickley feared, and turning to the gipsy 
continued : 

" Ziska, I will pay for all the costs of the search. Here is 
one hundred pounds, and do not spare expense in finding 
whether she was picked up." 

Ziska took the money with more satisfaction than he ever 
enjoyed over any other transaction in his past life. He 
resolved to use the funds for Esther's benefit. Before leaving 
Nickley said to the gipsy, looking him in the face with one of 
his cold, hard looks : 

" Ziska, suppose you do not find that the girl has been saved, 
what then % " 

The gipsy fully understood all that was implied in this remark. 

"You would be liable to arrest for her murder," answered 
Ziska coolly. 

•'That is a matter that rests between us," said Nickley, 
•" and we will discuss the terms at another time." 



246 Miriam vs. Milton. 

The gipsy chief had all the shrewdness inherent in his race^ 
but for the educated villain with gold and broad acres at his 
back he was no match. It was not a case of diamond cutting 
diamond by any means, but that of a diamond cutting tough 
glass, in which case the diamond wins every time. 

The proud man of money, who stood unmoved and had no 
pity when the friendless gipsy was sentenced to five years' 
trans})ortation on the false charge of highway robbery, was not 
such a fool as to expect that all this would be forgotten. Too 
■well he knew that revenge is a strong passion in the gipsy 
character. The latter now held the winning card, and betrayed 
his exultant feeling in the flashing of his eyes. Gold and 
position were not proof against the charge of murder. 

As Nickley was getting into his carriage he turned and took 
a valuable diamond ring off his finger, and taking the gipsy's 
hand said : 

" Ziska, take this diamond as a token of my goodwill, and 
let the past be buried in oblivion. I hold no ill-will against 
you. Let me know the moment that you have found any trace 
of Esther — dead or alive. I will meet you at the third lamp- 
post on Westminster Bridge three nights hence at nine o'clock. 
For the present, farewell." 

The next moment the carriage was driving rapidly away. 
Ziska never moved for some time. He was enjoying tlie 
triumph of his feelings. Looking at the glittering diamond by 
the light of the moon he i-emarked to himself: 

'" This is what the Americans call a ' Bonanza,' and I will 
work it for all it is v.'orth." 

The next morning he went to the boatman's cottage, and 
found that Esther was improving very fast under the careful 
nursing of his wife. He told them both of tlie events of the 
preceding evening, and showed them the ring that Nickley had 
given him. His wife said it was evident that Nickley was 
very much afraid of being denounced for the murder of Esther. 
The latter told him that even in gifts Martin Nickley was to 
be closely watched. 

" Ziska, you will find him a deeper scoundrel than you 
imagine. He has deceived some very shrewd men. Be very 
careful in all your dealings with him." 

" Never fear, Esther," was the confident answer. " I am 
more than a match for such a man as Martin Nickley." 

On the third evening at the appointed hour Ziska was 
walking along Westminster Bridge from the Surrey end. As 
he reached the third lamp-post he found Nickley waiting for 



The Camp of Zlslca. 247 

him. This extreme punctuality seemed to the gipsy an indica- 
tion of fear, and he was therefore inclined to be a little haughty 
to the man whom he thought he held in his power. This 
manifestation was quickly noticed by Nickley, whose greeting 
was very cordial. He then asked whether anything had 
been discovered of Esther. 

" Several bodies of women have been found," was the answer; 
" and J heard this afternoon of one that was picked up several 
miles down the river who had golden-brown hair. I will 
investigate this case to-morrow and let you know the result." 

" Ziska," said Nickley in a slow, measured tone, " I expect 
to leave for Dieppe by the midnight train and have only a few 
minutes for our business. In case you do not find Esther, 
what am I to pay you for your silence on all points regarding 
my dealings with her ? " 

" You know best what the value of my silence will be," was 
the answer. 

" "Well, suppose we compare the value of your silence and 
mine, and see which has the greater worth and who has the 
most at stake," said Nickley in a sneering tone that was 
instating in the extreme. 

" I do not see that I have anything to fear from the know- 
ledge that you have of any action of mine," answered the gipsy 
haughtily. 

" Oh, don't you 1 Then perhaps I may enlighten you, and after 
you read this advertisement which appeared in Tiie Times 
yesterday you may place a very high value on my silence." 

The gipsy took the slip that was handed to him and read as 
follows : 

"The individual vrho robbed a gentleman several nights ago on 
"Westminster Bridge, taking several Bank of England notes and a valuable 
diamond ring, will be liberally rewarded by returning the latter to the 
undersigned and no questions asked. 

M. i^., Victoria Chambers, W." 

"I do not see that this advertisement concerns me in any 
way," said Ziska. 

" Then you are duller than I gave you credit for," remarked 
Nickley. " Now let me explain. I was robbed here on this 
bridge on the night of the great storm. I lost one hundred 
pounds in marked Bank of England notes, and a valuable 
diamond ring worth one thousand pounds. Two days ago this 
identical ring was purchased from you by a pedlar for the 
sum of seventy-five pounds. You changed a hundred-pound 
note for him and gave five Bank of England notes, all of the 



2-iS Miriam vs, Milton. 

value of live pounds. These were part of the notes stolen from 
me. I bought this ring yesterday, and also have the notes and 
the sworn testimony of this pedlar. The penalty for robbery 
with violence is twenty years' penal servitude and fifty 
lashes. Is the value of my silence enhancing in your 
estimation 1 " 

" Why, Martin Nickley, you gave me this ring and also the 
money, and I sold the ring because it was dangerous for a gipsy 
to cari-y a diamond ring about his person." 

" What jury or judge will believe the story that I would 
give away a ring valued at one thousand pounds and also a 
large sum of money ? Remember that you are still a ticket-of- 
leave man. You have not a single witness to prove that I gave 
you this ring. So much for the value of my silence. Now for 
yours. You think you can prove that I flung Esther over this 
bridge, and you have several pieces of a letter purporting to be 
written by me. Now I never wrote any letter, and the 
pi'oduction of a forged piece of paper will add to your sentence 
five years more. If Esther's body is found then it will be 
evident that she committed suicide. She often threatened to 
do it. I have abundant proof of that. Now, then, my dear 
fellow, I have no ill-will against you and no idea of sending 
you away for tv/enty-five years, only I do not propose to be 
blackmailed." 

'• Hei-e are fifty pounds in gold. This is all that I will give 
you till you send or bring me definite news about Esther. If 
she is dead I must see her body ; if alive I must see her 
in pei'son. Then I will give you one thousand pounds. Till 
then, good-bye." 

The next moment Nickley walked away and got into his 
carriage, which was waiting for him under the shadow of 
England's great historic granite building. Ziska was dumb with 
amazement. He saw the full force of Nickley's argument. 
He was indeed in the power of that man. Grinding his teeth 
in rage, he said : 

" Not for ten thousand times ten thousand pounds would I 
betray Esther to such a villain." 

Slowly he wended his way back to his tent. 

Ten days after Esther's rescue from the river she had 
recovered sufficiently to allovv' of her removal to the gipsy 
camp. The motherly Oslena had gone for a short visit, and 
Mrs. Nelsola had also gone out to purchase supplies. Esther 
was sitting before the tire when Hans came into the room, 
and staudinor before the girl said to her : 



The Camp of Ziska. 249 

" Miss Esther, to-morrow you purpose to leave us. I would 
ask as a favour, if you think my services of any value, to let 
me kiss your hand. That to me will be a great boon." 

" Why, Hans, you dear good fellow," she replied, " I consider 
that I ow(i you more than I ever can repay. I will kiss you if 
that will be any gratification." 

She rose to her feet, threw her white arms around his neck, 
and implanted a warm kiss upon his cheek. A wave of wild 
fire swept through the giant frame of the Norwegian. He 
clasped her in his arms and kissed her again, saying : 

" Oh, Miss Esther, I would toil for a hundred years for such 
a kiss as that." 

Pei'haps it was just as well for the peace of the household 
that Esther returned next day to the gipsy camp. 

Her first errand was to visit the grave of her faithful Ctesar. 
Over it she shed tears, and hoped that a day of vengeance 
would come. She put on the full costume of a gipsy and 
became very popular as a fortune-teller. 

Thus eighteen months of a pleasant roving life passed 
away. Not a word was heard from Martin Nickley. No more 
money was received from him by Ziska. 



CHAPTER XLI. 

ROAD AGENTS. 

We left Edgar in hiding upon the mountain that overlooks 
Salt Lake City. It is wonderful how a rest will recuperate the 
physical system. For six days the fugitive was undisturbed 
by his fellow men. Several wild beasts came to make social 
calls, but their reception was not of a nature to induce others 
to emulate the visit. The first that came was a bear, and 
Edgar thought so much of the caller that with a well-directed 
shot from his Spencer carbine he persuaded him to leave his 
skin behind as a mat for the door of the cabin. A wolf and a 
deer shared the same fate. The mountain stream abounded 
with fish, and as the miner's outfit had good tackle there was 
no trouble in getting a large supply. 

In the early morning of the sixth day, while Edgar was 
engaged in getting his breakfast out of the brook, landing a 
number of fine fish, he noticed something sparkling in the 



250 Miriam vs. Milton. 

water. Keacbing down he took up a handful of the sand and 
detected particles of gold mingled with it. Going back to his 
cabin he made ready a hasty breakfast, and set to work ior 
a further search of the bed of the stream. The result of the 
day's work was gratifying. With his rude appliances he had 
washed ovit fully five ounces of gold. Visions of wealth filled 
his mind, and he thought how much better this was than 
gambling. He had promised Etaline on her deathbed never 
to enter a gambling saloon again. 

Just as the sun was setting and he was preparing his evening 
meal he was very much surprised to see two mounted men ride 
up to his cabin and cover him with carbines, saying in the 
language of the mines : "Throv/ up your hands, partner, or we 
will fill ycur carcase with lead." 
. We omit the oath with wliich they accentuated this request. 

One sterling quality of Colonel Creedmore was that he never 
lost his presence of mind. Looking quietly at the new comers, 
he replied : 

" Just in time for supper, pards. I have not much to offer, 
but what I have you are welcome to partake of. You will find 
good pasture for your horses and plenty of water. So hurry 
up, and I will put on some more fish and an extra venison 
steak." 

Without further word the invitation was accepted. A few 
moments later they were all seated at the rude table with 
appetites ready for anything that was set before them. 

When the meal was finished they went out and sat down 
uy>on rustic seats in front of the cabin. The new comers were 
culled respectively Jerry Smythe and Archie McDonald. They 
were very much puzzled to classify their liost. He was not a 
regular miner. There was some mystery about him, however, 
that they were anxious to solve. One of them commenced : 

"Say, partner, you look to me like a man who is down on 
his luck." 

" Well, perhaps I am," was the reply. " In fact, I think I 
am very much so." 

" Well now, partner, seeing as how you have treated us as 
white men, if we can help matters along just tell us where the 
pinch comes, and we will chip in and help you out." 

" A thousand thanks," was the I'eply, " but my ti'oubles are 
too deep for you to aid me at present. I suppose you, like 
luyself, are waiting for something to turn up." 

" Well yes, partner, we are just waiting for something to 
turn up. We do not mind telling you, seeing as how you are 



Road Agents. 251 

white all over. The fact of the matter is we are road ageuts; 
that is, we borrow from those that can spare what we need." 

" Perhaps, then," was Edgar's reply, " you know something 
about the robbery of the Wells, Fargo & Company's specie 
box, a few days ago, near Ogden." 

" Well, partner, we did not have a hand in that affair, 
although we know who did have a say in it." 

*' I know who had to suiTer," was the answer. " It was a 
close call for me, and but for the Mormon bishop that keeps 
the hotel in Main Street I would have been the recipient of a 
* neck-tie sociable.' The vigilants surrounded the hotel, but I 
left in season, thanks to the disguise furnished me." 

" Now, partner, that is what we call hard to suffer for the 
sins of other people. The men who ])ut up that job on the 
stage coach were our two pards, Black Tom and Red Loomey. 
"VVe have been waiting for them here for some days. We 
reckon they have been closely pressed, but they will turn up 
before long and you v.ill find that they will do the square thing 
by you. Those two men are a team hard to beat. Black Tom 
is not a nigger by a jugful, but we call him by that name on 
account of his black beard, which makes him look savage and 
fierce. Bed Loomey is a contrast, for his be;ird is fiery red. 
When those two pards stop a stage folks shell right out." 

" Is this mountain, so near to Salt Lake Cit\% a safe place to 
hide?" asked Edgar. "Are you not liable to be surrounded 
at a moment's notice ? " 

" Have to take our chances, pard. However, we will hear 
by morning from our two pards, and then we will move to 
other places. Never pays to work the same locality too much. 
How would you like to join US'? You will find us white every 
time. We like you. Any man wlio can look down two rifie- 
barrels as you did this evening without being disturbed is just 
the man for a road agent." 

" Many thanks for your kind ofier," Edgar answered, " but I 
think I can ofier you something better than your risky business. 
What say you to a share in a gold mine, where you can get 
more specie than you will find in the ordinary stage-coach, and 
no risk to run of vigilants 1 " 

"Gold mine, did you say, pardi Well, just count us in, 
and here are our hands on it. Yes, I reckon you are about 
right, the vigilants are spoiling our business. But where is the 
mine, pard '? ' 

Colonel Creedmore explained to his two visitors his good luck 
in the mountain stream, and assured them that there was plenty 



252 Miriam vs. Milton. 

iov all. The sight of the five ounces of gold decided them, and 
they concluded that honesty would be the best policy for the 
present. 

Just as they were preparing to go to bed a long low whistle 
was heard, followed by three quick blasts. Both Jerry and 
Archie jumped to their feet, exclaiming : 

" Here come our partners. Listen for another signal." 

They answered by three shrill blasts on whistles which they 
pulled from their pockets. A long mournful blast was again 
heard from the stranger. This was followed by four quick 
notes. 

The effect on the two road agents was electrical. They seized 
their rifles and got their revolvers ready, and said to tlieir host : 

" Say, pard, get your shooting irons ready. The vigilants 
are coming and they will treat you just as they will us — a 
short shrift and a long rope over the first tree that comes 
handy." 

The next moment a man i*ode up to the cabin, and jumped 
off covered with blood, 

" Glad to see you, pards," was his salutation. 

" Where is Black Tom?" asked Archie, as Jerry took hold 
of the horse. 

" Up spout," was the I'eply of Bed Loomey, for it was that 
celebrated individual. " I reckon by this time he has gone up 
the flume. Those vigilants do not waste time over road agents 
caught red-handed. Tom had the specie, and when his horse 
was sliot he had not much chance, being found with the money 
on his person. I rode away for all I was worth." 

" Ijoomey was made welcome to the cabin, and his wounds, 
which were not serious, were bound up. He told his comrades 
that he and Tom had been surprised at daylight that morning 
as they were trying to reach the mountain. They had gone to 
the north of Ogden after taking the plunder from the stage 
coach and were laying low when surprised. 

When Bed Loomey heard of the experience of Edgar, and of 
the find of the gold dust, he proposed that the colonel should 
be made captain of their band in the place of Black Tom, who 
had undoubtedly been hung before this. 

" What we need more than anything else at this present time," 
said he, '•' is a man of some experience. The colonel has been 
through the war and is not afraid of gunpowder. Then, again, 
we must have a man who can control his temper, and that 
Black Tom could not do. He got awful mad yesterday when I 
proposed that we travel by night and not by daylight." 



Road Agents. 253 

This offer to be made captain of a band of road agents came 
to Edgar somewhat in the nature of a surprise. However, it 
was one of those situations in which he must secure control of 
the force of the tide or it would overwhelm him. Besides, he 
needed help at this moment to work the new gold find, and, by 
taking charge of their movements, these men might be led to a 
more honest mode of life ; so, with the express proviso that 
they should render prompt obedience to all his orders, he 
consented. To this they agreed, and Colonel Creed more was 
accepted as their chief. He first i-emarked to them that it 
would not pay to abandon their gold field, but that it was 
necessary to be pi-epared for the vigilants. He added that as 
their description had been widely advertised it would be 
necessary for them to remove their beards, and pass themselves 
off as Englishmen looking for investments. As there were 
many of this class in the West, and he himself was from 
England and had letters to that eflect, there would be no 
difficulty in carrying out the programme. 

An hour later no one would have i-ecognised the three road 
agents in the smooth-faced, innocent-looking prospecting miners. 

Colonel Creedmore told them that just after his failure in 
San Francisco he had met an Englishman named Sir Thomas 
Shannon, who received a number of letters from the English 
Government with the words on the envelope — " On Her 
Majesty's Service." One day, when making a call at the 
hotel of this gentleman, he found four of these empty envelopes 
in the waste basket, and had put them in his pocket. He had 
an uncle in England, Sir Thomas Shirley, and the suggestion 
had come to him that by a change in the name of Shannon to 
Shirley these envelopes might be of use. He now proposed to 
put them in a coat pocket and hang the coat up. Early next 
morning they were all to go out to the creek and set to work 
hunting for gold. If the vigilants came they would first 
examine the cottage, as that was on their road. The envelopes 
would probably save them from any annoyance. 

At daylight this plan was put in operation. An hour later 
they were not at all surprised to see a band of twenty men ride 
up and surround the cabin. As Edgar and his men were at 
work in the creek they had not been seen at first by the 
vigilants. Red Loomey turned pale, and it was with diiiiculty 
that he could be assured that there was no danger if he kept 
cooL At heart the man was a coward. The self-possession of 
Colonel Creedmore had its effect on the others, and they all 
remained quietly at work. Five minutes later ten of the 



254 Miriam vs. Milton. 

strangers rode up. Pointing their rifles at the four miners 
working in the bed of the creek they told them to hold up their 
hands or they would be riddled with shot. Colonel Creedmore 
walked over to the leader, and with a rifle almost touching his 
breast quietly said, in a tone of indignant autliority : 

" To what are we indebted for this unwarranted intrusion ? 
We are Englishmen prospecting on lawful claims. We are 
unarmed. If you are men of peace then allow us to go on with 
our work ; if you are road agents you can help yourselves to 
what you can find, as you outnumber us. But rest assured 
that the law will overtake you." 

A thunderbolt could not have unnerved the man more 
thoroughly than this firm attitude of Edgar. 

Before an answer could be made to this demand of Colonel 
Creedmore the other gang of men rode up, and the captain of 
the vigilauts dismounting asked in a very deferential tone 
which was Sir Thomas Shirley ] 

" I am," said Edgar advancing and holding out his hand. 

" A thousand pardons, Sir Thomas, if we have disturbed 
you. But the fact of the matter is we have been looking for 
several road agents who we had reason to think were hiding iu 
this mountain." 

" If you have any doubts," was Edgar's answer, " I can show 
you our passports." 

" Not necessary, my dear Sir Thomas. Have you found any 
gold 1 " was asked. 

" Only a little so far ; but with proper machinery a large 
amount can be obtained from this creek. We thought of going 
to Salt Lake City and organising a gold mining company." 

" Why not organise it at once 1 " asked the captain. " I am 
a banker of Salt Lake, and as I lost a large amount by the 
robbery of the Wells, Fargo Express, we went out in two parties 
to hunt down the robbers. We have several men of means in 
this company, and we can begin this business now." 

All the baud dismounted, and examinations were made of 
the gold dust already found and of the bed of the creek. 
Excitement rose to fever heat. All efibrts at hunting road 
agents was at an end. The sight of newly-discovered gold was 
too potent an agent to allow any other thought to occupy their 
minds. 

Within two hours the company was organised, all the 
vigilants taking stock. It was to be known as the " Trout 
Creek Gold Mining Company." Edgar declined the presidency, 
as he had to return to England, and the banker was chosen. 



Road Agents. 255 

The terms were five thousand dollars cash to Edgar and his three 
assistants, and forty-five thousand dollars of the capital stock, 
all of which was to be sent to him in England. The banker 
handed the order for the stock over to Colonel Creed more. He 
agreed to mail a draft for the five thousand dollars as soon as 
funds were collected from tlie shareholders. The latter then 
informed the members of the company that he had x-eceived 
urgent letters of recall from Her Majesty's Government. He 
had delayed his return as they were anxious to find out the 
value of this claim. He had purchased it from the original 
discoverer, who was too ill and too poor to do anything 
with it himself. Not a single one of the vigilants doubted 
this statement. Gold blinded their eyes, and the story was 
the only one of many of the same kind that had been fully 
authenticated. 

At sundown Edgar and his three companions took their 
departure on the pretext that they wished to inspect another 
claim a hundred miles to the east. Riding some twenty miles 
they encamped for the night in a deserted cabin. The true 
natures of Pted Loomey and his two companions were then 
exhibited. Gratitude to Edgar for having saved their lives 
was not once considered. They found fault with him for not 
demanding the gold for theii- share of the mine. Edgar 
explained that if he had done so it might have excited 
suspicion, and when the drafc was cashed they would get what 
they were entitled to under their agreement. They would not 
listen to him, but accused him of trying to get the best of 
them. Fierce words followed, and Edgar finally declared that 
he v.'ould not have anything more to do with them. He 
unfastened his hoi"se and mounted him. Immediately E,ed 
Loomey covered him with his revolver and ordered him to 
dismount and hand over all his cash. 

Edgcir knowing that he had dangerous men to deal wich had 
his pistol already in his hand. 

" Take your choice," was his quiet answer — " safety under 
my leadership, or the tender mercies of the vigilants. You 
know that there is another party hunting in this mountain. 
If they find you here you will be dead men in an hour. They 
will hang you as they no doubt did Black Tom." 

A fearful oath was the reply. " We defy the i-igilants. We 
want all your valuables, and then we will look after ourselves." 

The next moment Red Loomey fired, more to frighten Edgar 
than to hurt him, but little did he imagine with whom he had 
to deal, for Edgar sent a bullet straight through the heart of 



256 Miriam vs. Milton. 

the brutal highwayman. Then putting spurs to his horse he 
rode away. The others were too astonished to give chase. 

It was a starlight night and the road was in fair condition. 

Two weeks later Edgar read in a paper that " a party of 
vigilauts out on the mountains heai'd some firing, and on going 
to the place found two road agents with the dead Ijody of a 
comjianion whom they were about to bury. The trial was 
short and simple, and the morning light discovered two men 
dangling from a tree with a placard on their breast, * A 
warnincr to evil doers.' " 



CHAPTER XLII. 

DISCRIMINATION. 

The 1st of May, 1875, was in noted contrast to the weather 
that had been the lot of those living in England. The winter 
had been a hard and severe one, and the spring was backward. 
Almost without warning a summer day was ushered in, and 
the delighted Londoners, coo}>ed up for so many months in the 
fogs and rains of their city, poured out in masses into the 
country to get a breath of pure ozone. 

Ziska's camp was back in its old place, and the young 
maidens of the metropolis came in large numbers to know what 
the fates had in store for them. On the outskirts of the camp 
was a grove of trees, and seated on a rustic bench was a couple. 
The lady, while juvenile in appearance, was past thirty, and her 
companion was thirty-five. He had a certain jovial look about 
him that gave evidence of a fun-loving nature. Yet to a careful 
observer there was to be seen a firm-looking jaw that left the 
impression of a sternness of will, which made him a very unsafe 
man to trifle with. He was in undress naval uniform, and had 
evidently come to London frona some ship-of-war for a brief 
visit. His fair companion had now taken ofi" her hat and 
allovi'ed the wind to blow her curly locks in waving masses. 
He now addressed her : 

" Pauline," he said, " I have waited ten long years for your 
hand. I think it is about time that my patience was rewarded." 

" Such patience is woi'thy of a better cause," answered 
the c'irl. 



Discrimination. 257 

" No cause could be better than your love," was the gallant 
reply; "but you will admit that there is a limit to everything. 
Our ship is to be paid oflf in a few days, and I thought it would 
be a sensible thing for you and myself to go into commission 
and hoist oiir pennant for a voyage on the sea of life." 

" "Well Ned, who is to be captain of this craft, as you seafaring 
men would call it ?" was asked in a playful way. 

" Why you are, of course. I never knew a woman yet that did 
not take command at once. So, my dear Pauline, name the day." 

" How would this da}' next year suit you "? " 

" Would not suit at all," was the emphatic answer. " When 
we were first engaged you told me you would not marry while 
your father was alive. Now that he has been dead a year I 
think that it is time to hoist the broad pennant of a commodore. 
Nothing less will suit you." 

" I have an idea, my dear Ned. Let us go and have our 
fortune told by the handsome gipsy princess. Every one is 
talking about her marvellous power. She is called Elsoi'a, and 
beautiful as the dream of an angel. She is now in the gipsy 
camp over yonder." 

" All right," was the reply. " I also have heard some 
reports of her." 

A few moments later the couple were ushered into the tent 
of Elsora. When they saw her they were both startled. 
Pauline sprang forward, saying : 

" Oh, Esther darling, are you still alive?" 

Ned, who was indeed Lieutenant Bentley, clasped her hand 
warmly, saying : 

" I wonder if all this is not a dream ! I have sought you so 
long and heard of your death so often that I can hardly credit 
my eyes now." 

" I believe I am very much alive at present," answered 
Esther, " and more than delighted to see you both. I suppose 
you came to hear your fortune told. I can predict for you 
both a happy life." 

" Esther darling, we would rather hear of your past fox'tune 
than anything else at. present," said Pauline. 

" Not much to tell that is very creditable, I assure you," 
was the reply. " However, I can tell you all that has 
happened since that awful day in the Strand ten years ago. 
How the time goes by, and how many changes have taken 
place since that event ! Before I commence, however, let me 
offer you some refreshment;-, and then I will give orders not to 
be disturbed until I get through." 



258 Miriam vs. Milton. 

A bountiful lunch was spread in the tent, and after the 
things had been cleaved away Esther told her hearers all her 
experience. Several times Lieutenant Bentley jumped up, 
saying : " Oh, that double-dyed villain ! How I wish I had 
killed him that day five years ago when I flung him out of the 
club." 

Pauline wept like a child at the recital of the wrongs of her 
schoolmate and repeatedly kissed her, saying : 

" Surely this suffering is at an end now." 

Little did that trio think of all that must be gone through 
before that happy consummation when it could be truly said, 
" It is finished." 

It was five o'clock when Ned Bentley and Pauline arose to 
take their departure. In vain they had urged Esther to come 
Avith them and allow her relatives to bring a suit against 
Martin Nickley for his misdeeds. She would not listen to it ; 
she could not face the gaze of the public in a court of justice, 
and have her life rehearsed in the newspapers. She was happy 
in her present sphere and enjoyed the roving existence. 

She would be glad, however, she declared, to see them both 
at any time, and also to welcome Winifred and Elvira, both 
happily mated to her cousins. It was agreed between them 
that no one else should know of her whereabouts. An inter- 
view was arranged to take place in the present encampment on 
the following afternoon, and Ned was to be the escort. 

Esther watched the receding forms of her two friends, and 
then, as she thought of what might have been, she wept with 
her heart almost breaking at the darkness of the cloud that 
for ten long weary years had obscured her life. She saw no 
way out of it with honour to herself Life to her was not 
worth living without self-respect, and that had been lost 
long ago. 

An hour after their departure Ziska came to her tent with 
his wife. When they saw her eyes red with weeping they 
asked whether any one had annoyed her in any way. She told 
them no ; that it was only one of her spells, and would soon 
pass away. They both lov^ed Esther, and Ziska would have 
killed any one who would dare to insult his " sweet Elsora," 
as he called her. 

" I have some news for you," said the gipsy, " but will wait 
till morning before I tell you." 

"I do not think that my curiosity would stand such a 
strain," said she. "If the news is good it will cheer me up ; 
if bad then the sooner I hear it the quicker I will get over it." 



Discrimination. 259 

" "Well, my cHld, it is not good news, but bad. Who do 
you think is dead — died a week ago in childbirth \ " 

For a moment Esther pondered and then said Luella ! 

" Yes," was the answer. " A French nurse brought a baby 
^ii'l to Grassmere Manor two days ago. The earl does not 
know to this day who the count is that ran away with his 
daughter, and I doubt if Luella herself knew at the time of her 
death. The earl once drove me off his grounds and therefore 
owe him no goodwill, otherwise I would inform him. 

It was indeed with a sad and heavy heart that Esther retired 
to her bed that night. Still she was cheered at the prospect of 
seeing her three best and warmest friends. 

At three o'clock the next afternoon a carriage drove up to 
the gipsies' encampment. For the first time in ten years 
Winifi-ed and Elvira were enabled to set their eyes upon 
Esther. Pauline also greeted her again enthusiastically. 
Lieutenant Bentley said that he would leave the women to 
themselves while he went for a drive. 

The two cousins, as well as Pauline, came with the full 
determination of persuading Esther to return with them, and 
they felt that there would be no difficulty in doing so. 

When the subject was introduced Esther with tears in her 
eyes told them that there were too many barriers in the way. 
Till they were i-emoved nothing would induce her to enter into 
the houses of her kindred. 

When asked to tell what they were, she replied that the 
chief one was the distinction which the world would make 
between her misfortunes and the crimes of her persecutor, 
Martin Nickley. During her past life she had not willingly 
done any wrong or violated the law of the land. Nickley's 
whole career from boyhood was one long list of falsehoods and 
outrageous actions. In spite of all this he could enter into all 
classes of society, and no one professed to be contaminated by 
associating with him. But she would be spurned because this 
man had by force kept her a close prisoner for five years as his 
mistress. The iron prej udices of society were too strong for her 
to overcome. The cruel words uttered against her by some of her 
relatives could never be forgotten. She was bound fast by the 
mere fact of her sex, and must patiently wait for a vindication 
that probably would never come in this world. She was not 
able to fight this injustice single handed. But till she could 
stand before all her kindred and the world at large without a 
shadow on her fair name, it was better for her to live in her 
present obscurity and poverty. Nothing would induce her to 



260 Miriam vs. Milton. 

falter in the resolution taken years ago, not to use any funds of 
her family till her reputation was cleared. In her present 
mode of existence she was as happy as could be expected. All 
of the tribe were exceedingly kind to her. She had not 
entered a church for ten years, for the injustice against which 
she protested was just as strong in religious circles as in those 
of the outside world. When it came her turn to die she would 
render back her spii'it to her Creator, and trust for that mercy 
and forgiveness that were denied her here. 

Pauline and her two companions felt the full force of this 
logic. They knew too well that the lines of this discrimination 
were being more tightly drawn instead of there being any 
weakening or mitigation of their severity. 

By the unwritten law of society a woman's mistakes were 
treated as crimes. A man's culpable actions with women were 
simply follies. This unjust distinction sends thousands of 
contiding girls every year to a suicide's grave, while their 
wrong-doer is unchallenged and at full liberty to seek fresh 
victims for his gratification. Parents know this fact too well, 
but a false modesty deters them from warning their daughters. 

At five o'clock Lieutenant Bentley returned. Little did 
Elvira and Winifred think as they parted from Esther that 
when next they should see her a change wou.ld have taken 
place, deep and mysterious in its influence upon her career — 
a change that perhaps some readers may not understand. 

Esther watched the receding carriage till it was out of sight. 
When turning away she was surprised to see a handsome 
barouche stop before her, Martin Nickley stepped from it and 
called her. The next moment Ziska, who had been watching 
her, came up, and with anger and contempt on his swarthj 
face stood beside her to protect her. Nickley was not a man 
to waste time in any surprise, but came to the point at once. 
When angry his language was not choice. 

"You double-dyed villain! Why did you deceive me in regard 
to that girl 1 You gave me to understand that she was dead," 
were his words. 

" I did not deceive you," was the gipsy's reply. " Yoa 
must have been a fool if you thought for one moment that I 
would deliver this girl up to you again after she had escaped 
with her life ! " 

" All right, my worthy gipsy. That charge of highway 
robbery stands good, and we will see if twenty years' trans- 
portation will not cool your ardour." 

The next moment Nickley was driving away furiously. 



Discrimination. 261 

Ziska knew too well that he stood no chance against this 
charge. The fact that he was a gipsy would tend to his 
conviction on evidence much less positive than Nickley could 
produce. Prompt action was necessary, and it was taken. 

An hour later the gipsy camp was broken up and scattered. 
Ziska and Esther made their way to Antwerp, where they 
arrived the following morning without incident. Esther was 
placed in a boarding-house, while Ziska told her it was 
necessary he should hide till the search for him at the instance 
of Nickley should be over. Then he would see her again. 

One evening a month later, as Esther was walking along the 
Esplanade, she was both surprised and delighted to meet 
Lieutenant Bentley and Pauline. They were on their honey- 
moon. When they heard of her exi^erience since they last met 
they were both very indignant. 

" Oh, Esther," said Lieutenant Bentley, " why will you not 
let me have this deep-dyed villain arrested at once and thus 
end all this agony ] " 

" It would be of no use," was the reply. " His gold is too 
powerful. Let him alone and he will yet come to grief." 

Esther told her two friends that she was seeking a situation 
as a governess, but had no recommendation. 

The following day they procured a place for her with an 
English family residing in Antwerp. A few days later Pauline 
and her husband lefc on their tour. 



CHAPTER XLIII. 

GREY CLOUD. 

Three weeks after the events recorded in the last chapter of 
Edgar's life he rode into Paradise Gate mining camp. On his 
way he had written to his uncle in England and asked him to 
endorse the draft over to him, and to keep the certificates of 
stock when they were sent from Salt Lake City. He told him 
that at some other time he would explain why he had had the 
draft made out in his name. It was partly owing to his recent 
failure in San Francisco. The answer he desired to be sent to 
him at Denver. This letter had been posted from a station on 
the Union Pacific Railway. 



262 Miriam vs. Milton. 

At Paradise Gate he had expected to hear something of his 
late partnei's. He was very much disappointed on his arrival 
to find that no one had heai'd of them for several montlis. 
His reception was encouraging. He found remunerative 
employment at once, and everything pointed to a period of 
rest and quiet. After his late experience he was in hopes that 
the tide of evil fortune was about to tui-n, and that prosperous 
times would again come to him. The five thousand dollars, 
when it should come back from England, would afi"ord the 
means of a good beginning in business. Had the three 
road agents acted justly he would have divided this money 
with them. Their death left him the rightful owner of all. 
The ownership of the mine was his by discovery, and his offer 
to them was a gratuity which they did not appreciate. They 
had lost their lives solely through their own criminal conduct. 
Red Loomey was a scoundrel to the backbone, and Edgar was 
not surprised at what he did ; but Archie was a Scotchman, 
and as for Jerry Smythe he was a weak man and easily led. 
Edgar regretted to take human life, but when his own was in 
the balance it caused no compunctions of conscience to kill 
anyone who tried to murder him. So he dismissed the 
matter. 

Six months of quiet life passed at the mining camp of 
Paradise Gate. Not a word had been heard from Sir Thomas 
Shirley. Edgar had written to Denver, directing all his letters 
to be forwarded to him at his present residence. It was in the 
latter part of November that the harmony of his life was again 
disturbed by an incident that resulted from loss of temper. 
Edgar attempted to draw a fine point in reference to his 
promise to Etaline when dying that he would not enter a 
gambling saloon for the purpose of risking his money on games 
of chance. The passion had taken a deep hold of him and it 
was a terrible temptation to resist. At last he began to 
analyse the promise, and to debate with himself what was 
implied by the term " gambling saloon." In old-fashioned 
phraseology he was " beating the devil about the bush." After 
much reflection Edgar came to the conclusion that a few 
innocent games of chance in his rooms did not constitute 
gambling in the strict sense of the word. Then, again, he 
I'easoned his apartments were not devoted to gambling, 
therefore in thus amusing himself and his friends he would not 
be violating his sacred promise. 

As already remarked, a little incident arose which rapidly 
developed into an important factor of his life. 



Grey aoud. 263 

A few friends were gathered in his rooms, and a game of 
euchre v/as played for one dollar a stake from each player. 
Liquor was passed around and all partook freely of it. A 
dispute finally arose about the game, when one of the party, 
excited by whiskey, drew his revolver and threatened to shoot 
the first man who challenged his word. In a moment of 
excitement Edgar di'ew his pistol, and covering the half-drunken 
miner said with an oath to emphasise his words : 

" Put up that shooting iron or I will serve you as I served 
Ked Loomey and one or two others I might mention." 

No sooner were these words uttered than the imprudence of 
them was apparent. He would have given much to have 
recalled them. 

One of the men in the room who heard this remark was 
Ellis Ringworth, a native of the State of New York. His 
reputation was not of the best ; in fact, he was suspected of 
knowing something of several robberies that had taken place 
in the neighbourhood of the camp. His eyes were black, keen, 
and penetrating. He quietly fixed his gaze on Edgar for a few 
minutes to see whether the boast he had made was only bravado. 
How Red Loomey met his death was a mystery in Paradise 
Gate Camp, where he had been well known. That he was 
killed by his two companions was not believed by the miners. 
The report had reached thein from the vigilants who had hanged 
Jerry and Archie that the two men made a statement, saying 
they had elected a certain Colonel Croyden as their captain, 
and he had shot Red Loomey in a quarrel. This was the name 
that Edgar had given to the road agents. 

When Ellis heard Colonel Creedmore say that he had shot 
Red Loomey, and compared the similarity of the two names of 
Croyden and Creedmore, he quietly went out and looking up 
some of his friends told them the facts of the case, and proposed 
to them to demand from the Englishman a retractation of his 
boast, or an avowal that he really did the shooting. Edgar was 
not aware that the three road agents belonged to a secret society 
called " The Free Lances." They were sworn to avenge the 
death of any of their number who died without having fair play. 
As far as they could find out Red Loomey was murdered, and 
they had long sought to discover by whom the fatal shot was 
fired. Although there were many friends of Loomey in Paradise 
Gate, there were also a number of miners who rejoiced at his 
death. 

Inside of an hour the boast of Colonel Creedmore was known 
throughout the whole camp. Several of his friends came 



264 Mlriavi vs. Milton. 

at once and urged him to leave without delay. The Free 
Lances were powerful and vindictive, they told him, and it was 
their usual custom to hang a suspected enemy first and try his 
case afterwards. In the present instance there would not be 
very much ceremony. He had declared publicly that he had 
shot one of their number. Edgar required no urging. He was 
soon mounted and riding away in the darkness of the night. 
This, however, was exactly what Ellis Ringworth expected, and 
it suited him better that vengeance should be taken outside of 
the camp than within its limits. 

A miner named Sergeant Grimes was amongst Edgar's 
friends. He had served a number of years in the regular army, 
and also through the war. Colonel Creedmore had rendered 
him a service at the battle of Antietam, when he lay wounded 
on the field. Grimes had never forgotten it. Beiug aware 
that the Free Lances would have spies watching the colonel 
he resolved to outwit them. The two exchanged horses, Edgar 
receiving a dark bay for his light-grey one. Sergeant Grimes 
mounted and took the road used by the stage coach, while 
Colonel Cx'eedmore went directly towards the mountain. In 
half an hour the sergeant heard the tramping of pursuing 
horses. He knew that Ringworth had the fleetest horse in 
Paradise Camp, and therefore was not surprised when he 
perceived that one of the horses was gaining on him. An hour 
afterwards a horseman rode up to him, and pointing a revolver 
to his head ordered him to halt. Gi'imes reined in his animal 
and recognised Ringworth. He covered him with a pair of 
army Colt's revolvers, and demanded what he wanted. Ellis 
was furious when he found that it was not the man whom 
he was after. "With an oath he demanded to know why the 
sergeant was riding so furiously at that time of night. 

" Going to send a telegram from the railroad station," was 
the answer. " My wife is ill and I am anxious about her. 
But what are you doing chasing a strange horseman at mid- 
night 1 " 

" Why are you riding Colonel Creedmore's horse?" asked Ellis. 

" I borrowed it ; mine was lame. Why don't you answer 
ray question 1 " demanded Grimes. 

" We are hunting for road agents," was the reply of Ring- 
worth, as he rode away. 

The sergeant resumed his journey to the station, distant 
about twelve miles from the camp. As it was a common thing 
for the miners to go to the telegraph oflice at all hours of the 
day and night Grimes' statement was accepted withou.t a doub*" 



Grey Cloud. 266 

as to the truth of it. The Free Lances rode back to the carup 
believing that their spies had mistaken the grey horse with the 
sergeant on it for the colonel's. 

We must now follow the latter, who had made his escape 
without being seen by anyone. Five miles out he found 
himself in an Indian encampment. Immediately he was 
surrounded by a number of Indians and was made a prisoner. 
He began to fear that he had jumped out of the frying pan 
into the fire. Asking the name of their tribe and who was 
their chief, he was told that Grey Cloud was the head man. 
Turning to a young man at his side he said in the Indian 
dialect : 

" Go tell the great war chief that his pale-faced brother, 
Oolonel Creedmore, will accept of his hospitality." 

In an instant a dozen hands were extended. They bade him 
welcome to their camp, and apologised for his rough reception. 

A moment later and Grey Cloud came. He grasped both of 
Edgar's hands and siiid to him : 

'• ily pale-faced brother honours the Indian chief by coming 
to his camp." 

Edgar went to Grey Cloud's tent. Here he told him the 
reason of his late visit, and asked his advice as to the best way 
of reaching Denver. 

" It was veiy fortunate that you came into my encampment, 
otherwise you would have found it very hard to have escaped 
the Fi'ee Lances," was the reply of the Indian chief. " I am 
glad, however, of the opportunity to repay your kindness 
extended to me ten years ago on the plains. In the first place 
I would advise you to send back Grimes' horse, as he may 
incur the vengeance of your enemies. One of my young men 
will take him back and let him loose near Paradise Gate camp. 
The horse will find his way to his stable. It will be necessary 
for you to disguise yourself as one of our number. I can get 
you to the railway station when the excitement has died out." 

The next day no one would have recognised Edgar with his 
face stained and a blanket thrown around him. The members 
of the tribe were all intensely amused at the disguise. He 
was one of the few white men whose names were held sacred. 
His action in saving the life of their chief ten years previously 
had never been forgotten. Edgar spent three months with 
Grey Cloud as his guest, and then took his departure not 
without reluctance for Denver. Before going he sent word 
to Sei'geant Grimes that he was safe. He received for his 
answer the information that Ellis Riujcworth had accused 



266 Miriam vs. Milton. 

several miners of helping the Englishman to escape, that 
one of them had resented the imputation and had shot 
Ellis dead. A vigilance committee had also been organised, 
and the whole band of Free Lances were ordered to leave 
Paradise Gate mining camp with the assurance that if they ever 
returned they would be lynched. Colonel Creedmore was safe 
in coming back if he wanted. He was anxious, however, to 
reach Denver, for he wished to find out what had become of 
the long-expected letter from his uncle. 

It was the 1st of March, 1877, when Colonel Creedmore once 
more set foot in Denver. When he left it he had over a 
quarter of a million dollars ; now he had but two hundred. 

On the following day he obtained the lost letter from his 
uncle. It had been sent to a friend of his, and was 
accidentally mixed up with other papers. The draft was at once 
endorsed, and on presentation the amount was promptly paid. 
It was blood money. It cost a human life to hold it, and 
now brought with it a curse. 

Edgar spent a year in Denver, trying first one thing and then 
another. Fortune frowned on him. His money was all spent, 
and he was sick. He wrote to his uncle in New York for 
assistance and waited for the result. 



CHAPTER XLIV. 

THE COKVENT GATE. 

In the year 1876, in the month of June, on the eve of the 
anniversary of "Waterloo, a large number of tourists, mostly 
English, assembled in the capital of Belgium to witness the 
fetes. Tliey had been widely advertised, ostensibly to com- 
memorate the great victory that gave peace to Europe. The 
real object was to attract strangers to Brussels. The shoi^- 
keepers and others would thus be benefited by the influx of a 
large floating population. Among those that came was the 
family with whom Esther was employed as governess. 

A strange desire that she could not account for came over 
her to visit the Lion Mount on the field of the great historic 
battle. She longed to stand on the spot where her late husband 



Tlie Convent Gate. 267 

tad givea his life in her behalf. She went t'lither alone. As 
she stood by the mount the old love for Edmond Harold caiue 
over her with overwhelming power. She wept as she had 
never done before in all her life. At that moment the impres- 
sion came upon her that she had wronged him by suspecting 
his fidelity. An intense longing seized her to throw off the 
bonds that bound her to this life so that in the other existence 
she might find her husband. In her bitterness of soul she 
cried : " O Harold ! can you ever forgive me ? " 

No answer came to her exclamations of vain regret. Passing 
sightseers wondered that a young woman should be weeping at 
that spot. It could not be for any friend or near relative slain 
so many years ago. 

Reluctantly she went to the railway station and retiirned to 
Brussels. 

By what irony of fate was it that the first person she saw at 
the station was the now doubly-hateful form of Martin Nickley 1 

With that cool audacity for which he was characterised he 
came up, and taking her hand as though he had parted from 
her but yesterday he asked : 

" How ai"e you feeling to-day, Esther ? Glad to see you in 
this gay capital. When did you leave Scotland 1 " 

There was a quiet gleam of triumph in his eye. He 
determined at once that the girl he had sought so long and who 
had evaded his search should not again escape. 

" I have not been in Scotland for the last ten years," said 
she. 

'* Why, how is that ] After you left that vile gipsy camp 
last year I received letters from several women saying that if I 
would go to Edinburgh I would find you. I spent several 
months in a wild goose chase, and still these letters kept 
coming saying that you were first in one place and then 
in another in Scotland." 

Esther smiled at this information. Ko doubt dear Pauline 
had caused the letters to be sent to give her a chance to live in 
peace and quietness. She must get away from this man at all 
hazards. She pei'ceived herself fast coming under the influence 
of his hypnotic power, and decided never to let him have the 
mastery which he had possessed in the past. He had many 
resoui'ces at his command and no scruples to employ them. 
He was very gentle in his manner and talked with all the 
courtesy of a Chesterfield. 

" I suppose you have heard all about Ziska," he continued. 
" He sailed for America to escape from the charge of highway 



268 Miriam vs. Milton. 

robbery. No doubt lie told you that I gave liim t/ie diamond 
ring and a hundred pounds. How that gipsy could lie ! In fact, 
the race make their living by lying. Now, my dear Esther, I 
wish you to come back with me to England. I need your services 
very much, indeed. You can aid me in a little matter ; nothing 
wrong, T assure you. You know that I am liberal in money 
matters. I will have a thovisand pounds deposited to your 
credit in bank, and you can have it as soon as you sign certain 
papers. Then, if you would like to go to America or Australia, 
I will allow you twelve hundred pounds a year for life." 

Esther's face flushed with anger at this proposal. She had 
at this time twenty thousand pounds at her command in the bank 
from her father's estate, and the paltry offer now made to her 
showed that she was held by this man at a low value, like a 
degraded outcast. 

They were passing a large building at the time, and over the 
portal Esther read the words: " The Convent of the Magdalene." 
At the massive door two nuns were talking. The impulse came 
over her to seek the protection of this asylum. Before Nickley 
could prevent her she ran to them and in French asked for 
protection. The door was immediately opened wide and one 
of the sisters took her in charge. The other was the IMother 
Superior. The surprised Englishman demanded his wife, 
declaring that Esther was of unsound mind and that he was 
taking her to England for treatment. 

" Madam," he said, " you must not believe what she tells you." 

The good Mother Superior was a woman of large experience. 
The pretext of insanity had been tried very often by persons 
wishing to get possession of young girls who had come to this 
institution. She was also a keen judge of character. One 
quick look at Esther's face and a close scrutiny of the man 
before her convinced her that he was a bad man, and she at 
once determined that the girl should have protection at her 
hands. 

Martin Nickley tried to force his way in, but was confronted 
by the quiet, dignified form of the sister, who said to him : 

" Monsieur, I trust that you are a gentleman. If you are 
not I have but to press this little button and in answer to my 
summons the gendarmes vvill quickly respond. If you are 
brought before the Commissary of Police on the charge of 
attemjJting to force your way into this sacred asylum it will 
fare vex-y hard with you." 

The truth of this remark was too evident. The baffled 
Englishman turned away, saying : 



The Convent Gate. 269 

" All right I will seek the assistance of the Commissaiy 
of Police myself to regain the person of my wife." 

Martin Nickley was now thoroughly aroused and resolved 
to obtain the control of Esther at all hazards. He went at 
once to an " advocate " with whom he was acquainted and gave 
him a heavy retaining fee. As the hour was late and the whole 
city engaged in the fete it was thought best to wait till the next 
day, Tlie following morning an order was served on the 
Mother Superior to bring the young English lady into court. 
An answer was returned that she was very ill in bed. Another 
order was then served forbidding her departure from the city 
till her case had been examined by the magistrate. 

Nickley spent his money freely, and his story created quite 
an excitement amons; the English residents. It was declared 
by them an outrage to prevent a man from seeing his wife who 
was suiFering from dementia, as it was called. The English 
consul took the matter up. When the British Lion wagged 
Lis tail and gave an ominous growl it was a serious affair. 
Something had to be done and that at once. The next day 
Esther was represented as very seriously ill from nervous 
prostration. Twenty hours later she was reported dead. 

Nickley would not accept this report unless he could see her 
dead body. He was accordingly shown into a dimly-lighted 
room, where he beheld the dead form of a giid laid out in her 
coffin. Around her forehead was a white cloth, and trailing 
under it was a quantity of the well-known golden brown haix*. 
A small plait of hair was given to Nickley. As he approached 
the coffin to make sure that the occupant was not only dead 
but actually Esther herself, the Mother Superior took a locket 
from the body, saying : 

*' Monsieur, this locket was found on the person of your 
wife. The picture is the likeness of a young man. I suppose 
it is her brother. She wished it to be buried with her. Shall 
we do so % " 

Without the slightest suspicion Nickley opened the locket. 
A look of horror came over his countenance. The face of 
Edmond Harold was painted on the ivory — the man whom he 
murdered in this very city ten years before ! It is true the 
law called the occurrence a duel, but nevertheless it was clearly 
murder. Great drops of perspiration stood on the forehead of 
the now trembling man. Handing back the locket to the 
Mother Superior he said : 

"I am satisfied. I will give you a thousand francs for her 
interment and another thousand for charity." 



270 Miriam vs. Milton. 

" Then, with a bowed aud humbled head, Nickley went out 
from the chamber of death, with the sting of remorse making 
itself felt for the first time in many years. In his way he had 
loved Esther, and now that he supposed her dead he mourned 
for her. He left for England that werj day. 

The announcement of Esther's death was duly published in a 
number of English and Scotch papers. She was mentioned as 
the Countess of !Montville, daughter of the late Admiral 
Creedmore, of Everdale Manor. 

Nickley, as the Count Morella, now made frequent visits to 
Grassmere Manor. Presently he offered his hand to the Lady 
Martha. She could not make up her mind to accept him, and 
the courtship went on. 

Esther had told her story to the Mother Superior. The duel 
of her late husband, the earl, had been the talk of Brussels at 
the time of its occurrence, and it had not been forgotten. Her 
statement was believed. The English consul, however, had 
made such a stir about her case that nothing could save her 
from being given vip to Nickley as her husband. It was found 
necessary, therefore, to set afloat the rumour of her death. A 
young girl had just died in the institution. Esther's hair was 
cut off and part of it placed on the head of the coi-pse. The 
locket did the rest. It was now imperative for her to change 
her name ; she accordingly took that of Madeline Montana, the 
name of the girl whose body had passed as her own. This girl 
had been a nureemaid who had loved and been betrayed. 

The sisters of the convent decided that Esther for her owa 
safety should take the same position in life as her namesake, 
and a place was found for her as child's nurse with a French 
family that spent a good deal of time travelling. Not one of 
her friends could have recognised her when she left the convent. 
Her beautiful hair had been cut short, and now, dressed in. 
plain costume with white apron and cap, she was a typical 
French nursemaid. As she spoke French fluently no one 
suspected who she was. Her face was very youthfuh 

Esther spent two years in this employment. She was not 
happy — far from it. She had to endure the fiei'ce jealousy of 
her mistress, made more intense by the constant won-ying of 
the mother-in-law. This woman held the purse strings. She 
had perceived that her son was in love with Madeline, and did 
not suppose that any girl could help being in love with him. 
She was not far from the truth so far as her son was concerned, 
but Esther had been a perfect model of decorum. While she 
was respectful she gave no encouragement to her young master. 



Under the Lion's Paw. 271 

This only increased his ardour. She ■would have left the 
employment but for the fact that she had given her sacred 
promise to the Mother Superior of the Convent of the Magda- 
lene that she would remain with this family for at least two 
years. 

In July, 1878, she left them in Antwerp and sought for 
other emiiloyment. Her late mistress gave her a bad name, 
and she could not find any family that would accept her without 
a character. 

On the 24:th of August her money was almost gone ; she had 
only enough to buy a ticket for a deck passage to London, and 
on arriving there had just ten shillings left. What could 
she do ] Her friends all thought her dead, and perhaps it was 
better that they should. She tried to find Ziska's camp, for 
Oslena would give her a home, but no one knew where they 
had gone. Thus we leave her for the present, alone and 
friendless in Loudon. 



CHAPTER XLY. 

UNDER THE LION'S PAW. 

On a cold, bleak day in February, 1878, Edgar was sick in 
bed at a boarding house in Denver. He had failed in all his 
enterprises, and was now waiting, " Micawber-like," for " some- 
thing to turn up." To his surprise it did. A card was sent 
to his room. He read the words, " Margaret Richardson, 
New York." A goM find would not have caused more excite- 
ment than this weil-remembered name. Sick as he felt he 
arose at once, and hastily dressing went down and greeted his 
cousin afi'ectionately. Margaret had come prepared to lecture 
him for not returning to New York years before. The sight 
of the pale and haggard face prevented this and enlisted all her 
sympathy at once. She had cause to feel very sore at the 
treatment from him. If she had suffered so had he. She now 
spoke to him in tones of affection, telling him that she was 
going to take him back with her to New York. His old 
servant, Henry Winston, was with her, having remained in her 
father's employ all these years. 



272 Miriam vs. Milton. 

Edgar made no objections to returning with liis cousin. He 
was heartily sick of the West. His uncle was very old and 
had withdrawn from business, and Margaret devoted her life 
to his welfare. 

It was a treat for the sick man to see the genial face of 
Henry once more. A week later they all left Denver and 
arrived in New York without incident. Uncle Richardson 
was not so hearty and genial in his welcome to his nephew as 
his daughter had been. He had heard many stories that never 
came to Margaret's ears. The rumours that had come to New 
York had been magnified and enlarged ; mole hills had 
developed into mountains. This is usually the case. The 
white-haired old man shuddered as he took the hand of his 
returning kinsman. That hand was stained with blood. 
Indeed, but for his daughter Edgar would never have come 
again to his house. 

The worthy old Quaker was not inclined to emiilate the 
father of the prodigal, as recorded in the parable. No fatted 
calf was killed. No friends were invited to welcome the 
wanderer and make merry over his retui-n. He gave his 
nephew shelter and his daughter supplied money. 

The day after Edgar's arrival his uncle inquired of him coldly 
whether he had lost all his funds, and what prospect there was 
of a dividend from any of his Western claims. Ten yeai-s ago 
he would have freely given him without a question half of his 
business. Now even the shelter was afforded to him for only a 
short period. This was quietly intimated by the following 
questions : 

'•' Edgar," the uncle asked, " hast thou formed any plans for 
the future % How dost thou expect to make a living, and 
where wilt thou abide ? Hast thou had enough of the West 1 " 

" I have plenty of claims in mines that will materialise into 
something more tangible than air castles one of these days. I 
have never been a burden to any one of my friends and do not 
propose to become so now. Colonel Derwent will find me a 
good position in Kentucky, so will Colonel Moorehead in 
Boston." 

" If thou hadst not gone to Kentucky thirteen years ago 
thou might have been to-day a very rich man." 

" That is a mooted question, uncle. Perhaps I can do better 
if I go a second time. I will write to Colonel Derwent 
to-day." 

" I can do better for thee than that Southerner," answered 
the uncle with a more kindly tone. He heartily disliked 



Under the Lion's Paw. 273 

Colonel Derv.'ent. He blamed him for taking his nephew away 
from New York. But for him Edgar might have been his 
son-in-law and at the head of his late business. 

The mention of the name of the Kentuckian was a shrewd 
move on Edgar's part. It was like a red flag to a bull. The 
effect was apparent the next day, when his uncle handed him a 
cheque for a thousand dollars, and told him to get what he 
needed in the way of a wardrobe and to consider his house 
his home. 

Fickle fortune seemed to have once more smiled on Edgar. 
If the recipient had only been equal to the occasion doubtless 
the lost thousands would have been regained. 

A month after his return to New York he was surprised to 
get a letter from his late partners in Deadwood enclosing 
a draft for one thousand dollars as part of a collection which 
they had made, and giving the information that they had a 
very valuable mine which they were now working. If Colonel 
Creedmore would only join them a million could be made. 
This was not an idle day dream, as the sequel will show. He 
had enough of the West and the offer was declined. If he had 
gone and joined Bill Jenkins and honest, hardworking Marcy 
Graston he would have avoided bitter sufferings. The fates 
willed otherwise, however, and the climax was thus hastened. 

The letter did him more harm than good. Legally he had 
no claim on his late partners. He had sold them all his rights. 
They declined, however, to consider it a fair transaction, and 
regarded him as a partner. As the husband of Etaline they 
sent him her share. His cousin Margaret had full charge of 
all her father's huancial affairs and supplied him liberally with 
money. 

The quiet home life at his uncle's did not suit him. He 
craved for excitement, and found relief in visiting some of the 
gambling saloons of New York. He had promised his dying 
wile not to risk his money on games of chance in gambling 
saloons, and that he would abstain from taking any part 
therein. The very fact that the loving, trusting Etaline had 
lost her life in visiting such a place ought to have been sufficient 
to keep him away. Edgar meant to keep his promise inviolate. 
He felt confident that he had strength of will that would carry 
him through all temptations. 

When any man, however, deliberately places himself in the 
way of temptation, trusting in his own power to keep from him 
from falling, he has taken his fate, so to speak, out of the hands 
of Providence into his own. Sooner or later he will be sure to 



274 Miriam vs. Milton. 

surrender. It is, therefore, no matter for surprise that in three 
months after Edgar's arrival in New York he had become a con- 
firmed gambler. He lost money day by day. He wrote to his 
partners at Dead wood to send him what they could spare. This 
they did, sending no less than three thousand dollars. He 
also borrowed a large sum from his trusting cousin. He told 
her that he had entered into a speculation and hoped to make 
a very large amount. He had resolved to stop gambling the 
moment he got back the amount he had already lost. The 
final result is not hard to conjecture. The meshes of his fate 
were gradually drawing about him and the crisis in his career 
was not far off. 

In July Mr. Richardson and his daughter took a cottage at 
Long Branch for the season. Edgar, of course, went with 
them. He was not long in finding out the gilded palace where 
so many fortunes have been lost. The place was " high-toned," 
and stakes were large. It was no place for a poor man ; we 
might add it was no place for any man. The early part of 
August was the I'acing season, and Long Branch was crowded. 
Of course many who thronged the racecourse in the daytime 
filled the gambling saloon at night. Edgar had reached the 
uttermost limit of his finances, and could only look on and see 
others win and gain. Miss Richardson had learned what her 
English cousin was doing with his money, and her allowances 
to him were curtailed accoixlingly. 

On the 10th of the month Edgar, flushed with wine, forged 
a cheque upon his uncle's bank and signed his name to it. 
jMeeting a friend who had come to the races he asked him to 
advance the money. As he was known to be the nephew of 
the rich quaker the money was paid at once. Edgar went to 
one of the tables and placed down a hundred dollar bill. In 
a moment it was lost. Another shared the same fate. Going 
to another table he tried his luck again with the same result. 
Within half an hour he lost five hundred dollars more. The 
remaining three hundred was his last chance. He tried another 
table, and in order to shorten the agony he put down all that 
he had. Fortune smiled on him, for in an hour he had won 
two thousand dollars. He hastened to find the man to whom 
he had given the forged cheque ; he searched among the hotels 
but in vain. At nine o'clock at night he returned to his 
uncle's cottage and found only his cousin np ; lier father had 
retired. Margaret had remained to plead with him. He 
listened to all she had to say without a word of comment, for his 
heart was full of forebodinsr. At last she said : 



Under the LiorCs Paw. 275 

" Edgar, my father said to me to-day that it Avoiald be best 
if you can liud another place to board, as you " 

Here she hesitated, and her cousin finished the sentence : 
" I have worn out my welcome." 

His cousin made no reply. Her heart was heavy. She had 
built many air castles upon him, and they had all fallen to the 
ground. She arose and asked : 

" Is anything wrong in your affairs % Here are two letters 
and two telegi*ams, and my father received one this afternoon 
from the Chief of Police in New York asking where you could 
be found." 

Edgar hastily tore open the letters. One was from Colonel 
Derwent saying that he had just received word from Denver 
that one of Pinkerton's men had a warrant out for the arrest of 
Colonel Creedmore on the charge of murder and foi'gery. It 
was charged that he had killed a man called " Red Loomey," 
and also that he was the chief of the band of road agents that 
had robbed the mail coach between Ogden and Salt Lake City. 
The telegram was also from the colonel. It contained the 
information that he would be in Long Branch on Monday 
morning. The other letter and telegram were from Sergeant 
Grimes, The Free Lances had once more gained control at 
Paradise Camp, it was stated. The .sergeant had accordingly 
returned to the army, and had now been sent to take charge of a 
recruiting station in New York City. He had been informed by 
a friend at Paradise Camp that an effort would be made to arrest 
Colonel Creedmore for killing Red Loomey, and bring him back 
for trial. It was arranged that a band of Free Lances would 
lynch the colonel as soon as he arrived. The telegram informed 
him that a detective was then in New York looking for him, 
and warned him to be on his guard. 

Edgar said nothing to his cousin about the contents of these 
letters. With a heavy heart he retired to his room, but not to 
sleep. He was more worried over the forged cheque than 
anything else. He resolved to make a diligent search for the 
man who had negociated it. 

The following morning being Sunday Edgar slept until the 
breakfast bell at nine o'clock awoke him. He dressed hastily 
and came down. As he reached the hall he heard some one 
talking to his uncle on the porch. A moment later he saw his 
friend who had cashed the forged cheque leave and walk away. 
His uncle came in, and in a husky tone said to his daughter : 

" Mai'garet, thou can send a cup of coffee to my room," and 
without noticing his nephew he left the apartment. 



276 Miriam vs. Milton. 

Edgai- declined to sit down, and the breakfast was sent away 
untouched. At half-past nine Mr. Richardson sent for Edgar, 
and, handing him the forged cheque, asked him if he had 
received the money for it the previous evening. 

" Yes," was the reply. " I did not purpose, however, that it 
should go to bank. I tried to find the man last evening. Did 
you pay him 1" 

" I did," said his uncle, "and thou hast fallen greatly when 
thou art driven to such methods. Since thy return from the 
West I have been libend with money, and thou might have 
had twice this sum if thou hadst come to me for it. It pains me 
beyond measure to think that the son of my late wife's brother 
should forge my name to paper. Tell me : why does the Chief 
of Police of New York want to know where to find thee ? " 

Edgar then for the first time related to his uncle his full 
history since he went West. At the end of the recital Mr. 
Richardson said : 

" Edgar, thou hadst better leave this country and go back to 
England." 

" Any place but there," was the reply. " After all my 
failures I do not care to meet my kindred." 

" Better to meet them than face Western justice, especially 
the vigiiants. Thou will have no fail* trial with them in their 
present temper." 

" Uncle," said Edgar, " here is the thousand dollars that I 
I'eceived for that cheque." 

" Keep it ; thou will need it now," was the reply. 

" No," was the answer ; " I have a thousand more left. I 
am not such a spendthrift as you suppose." 

" I would prefer that thou should retain this money ; I now 
give it to thee." 

Both talked over the course to pursue, and decided that the 
best jjlan to take would be for Edgar to leave Long Branch by 
the evening ti"ain and sail on Wednesday by the Cunard 
steamer. 

At seven o'clock he bade a last farewell to his uncle and 
cousin, and left in the darkness for New York. On his arrival 
he went to the lodgings of Sergeant Grimes, and found him at 
home. The generous man offered him a place in the army, and 
promised to get him out of the city without anyone knowing it. 
He resolved to wait for Colonel Derweut. He also sent a 
telegram to Colonel Moorehead at Boston. 

The next day Edgar remained in the house while the 
Sergeant went to meet the Kentuckian and the old shipmaster. 



Under the LiotHs Paio. 277 

The latter came first and then the former. After they both 
had heard the full statement of affairs they strongly urged 
that the course recommended by Mr. Richardson was the best. 
It would be prudent, they insisted, for Colonel Creedmore to 
place himself at once under the protection of the English 
consul. After dark this was done. Once under the " lion's 
paw " it would be difficult to get him away. 

The morning after his departure from Long Branch one of 
Pinkerton's detectives rang the bell of the cottage of Mr. 
Richardson, with a warrant of arrest for his nephew on serious 
charges. He declared himself very sorry to come on such a 
painful errand. With a very quiet, dignified manner Mr. 
Richardson replied : 

" My nephew left yesterday, and if thou wilt go to Louisville, 
Kentucky, and find the abode of a certain Colonel Derwent, 
thou may possibly learn the whereabouts of the man thou art 
after." 

" Can I search the house? " the detective promptly asked. 

" If thou dost not believe my word that my nephew left 
yesterday thou art welcome to look to thy heart's content." 

" No," was the reply ; " I believe you. Pardon me for the 
momentary doubt." 

Late on Tuesday night Edgar went with the English consul on 
board the Cunarder at her dock at Jersey City. He there found 
his friends Colonel Derwent and Colonel Moorehead, and also 
Sergeant Grimes. All of them offered him money, which was 
declined, as he had two thousand dollars in his pocket. His 
passage was paid by his two staunch friends. They now bade 
him farewell. At daylight the next morning the steamer sailed. 
When the open sea was reached the fugitive felt secure, as he 
was under the flag that is respected from pole to pole and zone 
to zone. He who could take away one thus placed must needs 
be a strong man. 

Sadly did Edgar compare his present condition with the higli 
hopes he had entertained seventeen years previous. He carried 
away an aching heart, but left hearts aching still heavier behind 
him. Margai'et Richardson and Ida Derwent were mourning 
over unrequited love. A marble shaft marked buried hopes 
on a lonely hillside in far-off Nevada. 

The massive Cunard steamship sped on day by day over 
summer seas without incident, and in due season arrived at 
her destination, the grand old seaport of Liverpool. 



278 Mir lain vs. Milton. 

CHAPTER XLYI. 

WESTMINSTER BRIDGE. 

We left Esther aloue, friendless and almost penniless, in the 
great city of London. Very few can I'ealise all that is implied 
in this statement. You, gilded daughter of fashion, reclining 
in a luxurious chair reading these pages, what do you know of 
such an experience 1 Perhaps the most you can say will he, 
" Oh, how dreadful ! " Others will ask : why does she suffer 
when she can obtain money that belongs to her now in the 
bank ] 

She cannot do this. She had been pronounced dead, and is 
therefore without any claim ; and to declare herself alive would 
be to start anew the persecutions of Martin Nickley. But why 
not appeal to the law? What chance would she have with 
her reputation against a man with the large income of her 
persecutor ? 

Esther obtained lodgings at a cheap place and paid ten shillings 
for it in advance, leaving herself absolutely without a single 
penny. In vain did she walk the streets day after day seeking 
for a situation that she could honourably take. She had no 
recommendation, and without one it was impossible to obtain 
honourable employment. As already stated she arrived in 
Ijondon on the morning of the 25th. It was a beautiful 
August Sunday. The great mass of the fashionable portion of 
the inhabitants had gone to the sea shore or to the country. 
The following Sunday was the 1st of September, and the 
landlady asked Esther for the week's board in advance. 

The girl replied that she had failed to find employment, but 
would obtain some money from some of her friends in a day 
or so. 

" A girl with such uncommon beauty as you have ought 
not to be without a few pounds in your pocket," the 
woman replied with a meaning not to be mistaken. Esther 
shuddered at the suggestion. She would first drown herself 
in the Thames. Death was preferable a thousand times than 
such a life. 

On Monday morning she set out again. Walking up Regent 
Street, a sign in the window of a millinery establishment 
attracted her attention : 

"A girl wanted as a modeh" 



Westminster Bridge. 279 

In answer to her request for tlie situation she was informed 
that fifty applications had been received already. If, however, 
her name and references were left an answer would be given 
next day. 

To this Esther replied that although there were many persons 
of distinction to whom reference could be made thei'e were 
family reasons that prevented asking any favour of relatives. 
Could she not have the vacancy on her own merits if that 
would be satisfactory 1 

" No, you can not," said the woman who was in charge ; 
" we have enough applications from girls with good characters 
without taking those of doubtful reputations." 

Esther blushed deeply at tiiis insinuation and she turned to 
leave, when a gentleman who had overheard the conversation 
came forward with the remark : 

" I rather like your appearance. May I ask your name 1 " 

" Madeline Montana," was the reply. 

" You are the very image of the late Countess of Montville," 
was his rejoinder. " I never thought such beauty could l)e 
duplicated, I once had the pleasure of spending a daj' Y>-ith 
the earl and his wife at Harold Castle, and for the sake of the 
resemblance I will give you the position of model. I do not 
think Ave can find a better one," he continued, turning to his 
manager, the woman who had insulted Esther. 

" We can fizid plenty with characters," was the sneering 
answer. 

" Tliis lady suits me," said the gentleman in a positive tone 
that admitted of no debate on this question. " Miss Montana," 
he continued, " your salary will be one pound a week, and you 
can take yotir place at once. It will be your duty to fit on 
bonnets and hats so that our customers can see tlieir beauty 
and style. 

The forewoman gave Esther a look filled with hate and scorn 
that was not significant of future harmonious relations. 

As this chapter relates the combined experiences of the 
twins, we must leave Esther for a while and go back to Edgar. 

The Canard steamship arrived at Liverpool on the morning 
of the 24 th. That evening he was in London. 

He knew the great risk inctirred in coming back to England. 
If he .should meet Esther face to face both Avould die within the 
next twenty-four hours. This was the compact and there could 
be no deviation from it. There was a mystery, however, about 
his sister's life that he could not understand. He had been 
informed of the death of the Earl of Montville, and that his 



280 Miriam vs. Milton. 

widow was living in retirement. Her muue was never 
mentioned afterwards by any of his kindred. As lie had agreed 
not to write to her or make inquiries, lie took it for granted 
that she had quarrelled with her relatives and was living- 
secluded. Never for a moment did he dream of any degrada- 
tion in her experience. It was bad enough for one of the 
family to fall without the other. 

Edgar arrived in London at the Midland Station and took 
rooms at the Midland Hotel. A telegram was sent to both of 
his uncles informing them of his arrival. He received an 
invitation to come at once to their homes. He determined to 
visit Everdale first, and wired to his Uncle Richard Shirley to 
expect him on Monday afternoon. 

In the meantime he tried to find out what had become of 
Esther. He called at the house of the family solicitor, but 
learned that he was at the seashore. At five o'clock in the 
evening he returned to his hotel. Here he was surprised to find 
waiting for him Lieutenant Bentley. The meeting was hearty 
and genial. Bentley explained that he was under orders to join 
a large frigate as her first lieutenant, and his wife was then in 
London. They had received a telegram from Sir Thomas 
Shirley to call upon him and tell him all the family news. 

Edgar wanted to ask about Esther, Bentley dreaded to tell 
him of her fate. It was for that purjiose that he had been sent 
to the hotel. 

" Come, old fellow," said Edgar ; " let us have dinner and 
then for all the news." 

Two hours later Edgar heard the whole story and the 
reported death of Esther at Brussels two years previously. 

When Bentley had finished Edgar jumped up, saying, "I 
will kill this scoundrel. Surely the law will not punish me for 
50 doing." 

" Edgar, my dear boy," said Lieutenant Bentley, " you 
have the American notions about human life. Out West 
where you have lived so long you might kill such a man 
and nothing would be said, but in England human life is held 
very dear." 

" Is there no law that can reach him 1 " Edgar eagerly asked. 

" None, now tliat your sister is dead." 

" But are you sure she is dead 1 AVho saw her die and what 
evidence have you that this is a fact ] " 

" The notice was published in a number of newspapers that 
she died in the hospital of the Magdalene in Brussels," said 
Lieutenant Bentley. 



Westminster Bridge. 281 

" Oh, what a place to die ! How my proud fathei' would 
have felt this disgrace ; and my mother, what agony it would 
have been to her if she were alive ! My mind is made up, 
I will seek this villain and demand my sister's life at his 
hands. I will challenge him to fight." 

" Remember, Edgar, that he killed the Earl of Montville," 
said Bentley. " He is a splendid shot, and is brave and cool 
withal that he is such a consummate villain. Then, again, he 
has the most unaccountable good luck." 

" So have I," was the reply. " I fought several duels and 
killed my man every time. I will exterminate this fellow 
inside of a week." 

" Do not forget, my dear Edgar, that you are now in Old 
England. If, however, you ai-e determined to fight and Nickley 
accepts the challenge, which I very much doubt, then count on 
me as your friend. I was the second for the earl and would 
like to see that murder avenged." 

The next day Edgar visited Lieutenant Bentley and his 
wife. Pauline was loud in her praise of Esther and bitter in 
denunciation of Martin Nickley. She told him of the school 
life at Beechwood Seminary and of the faithful dog Cossar. 

The following afternoon Edgar was welcomed at Everdale by 
bath Uncle Richard and Mrs. Van Reem. Seventeen years 
had passed since he left the old home. His lofty ambitious 
hopes had indeed proved but day dreams. He said nothing 
about his purpose. Nickley, he found, was not then at home, but 
was expected in a few days. Three days later he had returned. 
Edgar lost no time in going to Granthorn Pai'k. He found 
Nickley sitting on the veranda smoking a cigar with the air of 
a man at peace with himself and all mankind. Wiifch the scorn 
of his natui-e concentrated in his face Edgar walked up to him, 
and in a quiet but determined tone said : 

" Martin Nickley, do you know me ] " 

Without moving from his chair Nickley took his eyeglass, 
and leisurely fitting it to his eye scanned his visitor from head 
to foot. 

" Ah," he remarked. " By George ! this is Edgar Creedmore. 
To what am I indebted for this visit 1 " 

This cool audacity was too much for Edgar. He snatched 
the eyeglass and threw it over the lawn. His fiery indignation 
ihen broke loose and he poured out the pent-up wrath of his 
nature on Nickley. "With withering rebuke he denounced his 
unmanly conduct, calling him a coward and villain, and 
challenged him to fic^ht in Belgium. 



282 Miriam vs. Milton. 

" I will give you a chance to murder me as you did the Earl 
of Montville. I demand from you the life of my sister." 

Nickley rose to his feet calm and unmoved, and without 
showing the least resentment replied : 

" Mr. Creedmoi'e, your sojourn in America has not improved 
your manners ; I suppose this is the Western style of greeting. 
It is rather a novelty in England. To all your abuse I will 
reply as a gentleman. Your sister Esther is my lawful wife. 
I thought her dead and in her grave. Those sisters of charity 
in Belgium deceived me. She has been seen in London and 
recognised by several of my friends. I have been trying to 
find out where she is staying. I heard that she was seeking 
for a situation. I will give her a thousand pounds to relieve 
her wants. As your brother-in-law I must therefoi'e decline 
to fight you. When you come as an English gentleman I will 
always be glad to welcome you to Granthorn Park. I now 
beg to be excused." 

With a pleasant bow Nickley went into the house and 
closed the door behind him. 

Edgar stood for a moment like one in a dream. He was 
startled to hear that his sister was alive and in London, and 
that she was the wife of this man. He walked away and 
returned to Everdale on foot. That night he was again in 
London and resolved to find where Esther was residing. The 
next day he called upon Lieutenant Bentley and told him and 
his wife what he had heard. They agreed at once to help hiiu. 
Word was sent to Elmswood, and in response John and Robert 
Shirley telegraphed they would come to London to assist in the 
search with their wives, Winifred and Elvii-a. 

Edgar was now in a terrible quandary. He was eager to see 
his sister, yet he dared not meet her. If she should be found, 
what excuse could be offered to his kindred for declining to see 
her] 

It was Monday night, the 2nd of September. The stars 
were out and not a cloud was to be seen. Edgar wended his 
way to Westminster Bridge to see the place where his sister 
fell over into the river. Being near midnight the bridge was 
deserted. Looking towards the third lamp-post he saw a 
woman standing. A moment later she was climbing the 
parapet. It was a plain case of attempted suicide. Rushing 
forward he took hold of her dres.s, saying : 

" Rash woman ! why do you want to take this fatal step 1 " 

She turned her face towards him and the lighc of the gas 
lamp revealed their identity to each other. 



The " Princess Alice." 283 

" My God, Esther ! is that you 1 " 

" Edgar," was the reply. " We are doomed." 

Brother and sister had met face to face. 

This was in violation of the solemn compact made seventeen 
years previous at Everdale Lake. 

The penalty as then stated would be the death of both inside 
of twenty -four hours. 



CHAPTER XLYII. 

THE "PRINCESS ALICE." 

The certainty of death brought no feeling of regret to the 
reunited twins. They walked away arm in arm. Two objects met 
their view ; one was a passing cab empty, and the other was a 
brilliantly-lighted cafe. The former proved a quick conveyance 
to the Midland Hotel, and the other suggested necessary 
refreshment for the exhausted body. Turning to his sister, 
Edgar asked whether she was hungry. 

" I have had nothing to eat since breakfast," was the reply ; 
" and that comprised a red herring, a stale roll, with a cup of 
very weak tea." 

"No wonder, my dear sister, you felt like jumping into the 
river." 

" It was someLhing more potent than hunger that drove me 
to that last extreme. I have been tired of life long ago," 
Esther sadly replied. 

" Then life has not moved along in a pleasant groove since 
we parted seventeen years ago '{ I have heard nothing about 
your movements lately." 

" No," answered Esther, " it has not, and the coming of 
death is a pleasant change to me ; in fact, but for your timely 
arrival I should have plunged into the Thames." 

" Well, my sister, to-morrow you can lell me all that has 
happened. Have \'0u ever forgotten the details of the five 
provisos to which we solemnly agreed on that eventful day 
when our bodies were at the bottom of Everdale LakeT' 

" Surely I never could forget them, Edgar, and perhaps it 
would be as well to i-ecall them and see if we are doomed. In 
the first place we agreed to assume the second name previously 
borne by the other." 



284 Miriam vs. Milton. 

'•' I think, Esther, we have kept that one." 

" The second was, we must separate within thirty days and 
thenceforth never hold correspondence, or see each other face to 
face for the remainder of our lives. The penalty for a violation 
of this would be the death of both in twenty-four hours 
afterwards." 

"This second one, Esther, seems to me a little ambiguous. 
We have not corresponded, and our meeting face to face was a 
mere accident. At first I thought we would have to die, but 
now I have some hope. The fact is I am not fit to die at 
present ; my life for the last dozen years has been a hard fight 
with fortune, and I have gone down hill. Now for the other 
provisos." 

" Third : We were to make the best possible use of the new- 
condition of existence. Our talents were to be improved, and 
the aim of each should be so to live that the world would be the 
better for our return. 

" Fourth : The secret of this exchange was to be rigidly 
guarded. 

" Fifth : This permission to return to physical life carried 
with it no assu.rance of longevity. We would not be free from 
any consequences resulting from violations of either the 
physical, organic, or other laws of our being. 

" A solemn a,cceptance of these conditions," added Edgar, 
" was freely given ; the way was then clear for us to take the 
occupancy of each other's body. We were futher informed that 
the spirit-memory would always be an important factor in our 
new condition. This would enable us to have in review our 
past experience. The faculty of memory belonging to the 
soul, or ])S3'clnc principle of life, would enable each to know 
what had been previously learned and to carry on the work. 
Thus there would be in constant operation two faculties of 
memory. 

" As both of us had been well educated and stood equal in 
mental attainments, we took possession of our new habitations 
well stored and richly furnished with intellectual powers of a 
superior order, 

•• The question that now confronts us and on which our lives 
depend is, have we faithfully kept our solemn covenant % 

" For my part I am very sorry to say, Esther, that I have 
failed to keep the third proviso; I doubt if the world is any 
better for my return to it. I have carefully guarded the 
secret of our return. In I'eference to the fifth, I have suffered 
from the violations of the physical and organic ia-ivs of my being. 



The " Princess Alice." 285 

To-morrow forenoon you shall hear my adventures since my 
departure on the Cunard steamer in 1861. It is of no use 
wasting time now in vain regrets. Let us go over to yonder cafe.^' 

It has been said that hunger is one of the most potent agents 
in driving a man or woman to suicide. As soon as Esther had 
partaken of some refreshments, and knew that her brother was 
with her to share her lot, she wondered at the insane desire 
that had taken such hold of her in the early part of the day. 
Martin Nick ley would now have a man to cope with fully able 
to handle him, physically and otherwise. Edgar was very 
diiferent from the delicate-looking Milton. The Nvar experience 
and the frontier life had developed a manly form. 

Edgar on his part was happier than he had been for many a 
long day. The hounding of fortune, as he termed it, would 
surely end. He looked forward to a pleasant life in the Iiome 
of his late fatiiar. Everdale Manor was a grand place to rest 
in after all his rough experiences in the far West. 

A substantial supper, to which both did ample justice, being 
finished they drove to the Midland Hotel. A room was 
assigned to Esther next her brother's, and they retired to their 
respective chambers to meditate on what the morrow had in 
stoi-e for them. Never were their peculiar characteristics more 
evident than o\i this eventful night. Esther spent a full half- 
hour in prayer, then, committing her spirit to the care of her 
Creator, lay down and sank into a dreamless sleep. Edgar, 
on the other hand, undressed at once and went to bed. 
He felt that death might come to him before the next 
midnight. The manner of its coming did not give him 
the least concern. He thought over his past life, and 
especially of the lives he had taken, not only in battle but in 
his Western adventures. Yes, there was blood on his hands, 
and the noble Etaline had lost her life on his account. 
Presently he fell into a troubled sleep. His dreams were 
confused. He saw the face of Ked Loomey with a revolver in 
his hand demanding his valuables. At the back of him was 
Bullet-headed Jim. Then Etaline and Ida Derwent and 
Margaret Ilichardson appeared before him, all warning him 
of some impending danger. Next he saw Esther in the liver 
calling for help. He plunged in to save ner and was carriad 
down into the deep waters. He immediately awoke. The 
perspiration was coming out at every pore. Eagerly he 
longed for daylight. He did not fear death. Why should 
he % Had he not once before gone through the portals, 
and many times on the field of battle had faced the 



286 Miriam vs. Milton. 

death messenger % Again sleep came to his eyehds. He 
found himself in the midst of a large crowd of men and 
women hurrying to a great warehouse. He entered and saw a 
long row of bodies covered with sheets. Going to one of 
them and pulling away the cover he saw the face of Esther. 
He awoke with a terrible cry. It was now daylight. He 
arose, dressed himself, and went out for a walk, coming back 
with the morning paper. Glancing his eye over the pages he 
saw the advertisement of an excursion down the river on the 
steamer " Princess Alice." It was just the opportunity to get 
away for a few hours before seeing his friends and cousins. He 
wrote out a telegram and sent it to Lieutenant Bentley, saying 
that he had found his sister. They were going on ati excursion, 
he added, and would be pleased if Pauline and he should dine 
with them at seven in the evening. He sent a similar message 
to Robert and John. Then going to Esther's room he found her 
dressed and looking bright and cheerful. She entered heartily 
into the plan of going down the river. 

After breakfast they drove to the steamer's landing and took 
passage on the ill-fated vessel. Hundreds were on board and 
hundreds more were coming. It was nine o'clock when she set out 
with fully one thousand passengers on board. It was noon 
when the steamer reached her destination. Edgar and his 
sister went ashore and rambled among the groves of trees. He 
told her some of his American experiences. 

At two p.m. the " Princess Alice " started on her return trip 
with fully eleven hundred persons on board. It was impossible 
to move about. 

At the last landing that was made several passengers 
went ashore. They were afraid of some accident to a steamer 
crowded beyond the limit of safety. Fully a hundred persons 
were on the pier wanting to go on board, but the agent refused 
to open the gates. He was roundly cursed by a number of men 
anxious to return to the city. The next day he was blessed by 
the same men, who were grateful to him for not opening the 
gates. 

Slowly the doomed vessel wended her way up the river. A 
mile below London Bridge a large iron steamship was seen 
heading downward. Whistles were blown on both vessels as 
they came nearer. The stranger was the •' Bywell Castle," out- 
ward bound. Some one blundered. Who it was has been a 
moot point ever since. A moment later and the heavy collier 
struck the lightly-built passenger craft just forward of the 
paddle-wheel. There was a sound of crashing timbers mingled 



The "Princess Alice" 287 

vTith shrieks of human agony. Men, women, and children 
were crushed by the bow of the huge vessel. Slowly the 
" By well Castle" backed away and the "Princess Alice" began 
to sink, bow first. Edgar and Esther were on the after part of 
the steamer and saw many dead bodies floating past them. The 
accident took place off a chemical works, and the water was of 
a poisonous nature. Hundreds were thus killed the moment 
they touched the water. It was an awful scene to which no 
pen can do justice. At last the cruel waters reached the 
frightened remnant at the stern of the steamer and swept them 
into eternity. 

Edgar had grasped the after-rail with one hand and held 
Esther with the other. Cheerfully would he have given his 
own life to have saved her, ^N'ot a word was spoken by either. 
They knew their fate and were resigned to it. Suddenly the 
steamer went from under them. Still holding each other's hands 
they sank below the surface and were swept down by the ebb- 
tide. They came to the top of the water below the chemical 
works, and could have reached the shore in safety but for a 
dozen other passengers who seized hold of them to save them- 
selves. Boats were coming to their rescue, but they went uuder. 
The author was in London at the time of this unparalleled 
disaster, and therefore is not making history but relating it. 
He was also staying at the Midland Grand Hotel on this same 
3rd of September. Well does he remember the awful, agonised 
looks of several ladies and gentlemen who were waiting for the 
return of friends who had gone out on the unlucky steamer. 

At sis o'clock word was brought to the hotel that a large 
zaumber of bodies had been landed at a certain pier, and laid out 
in a warehouse to be identified. 

Wild rumours were abroad that fully four hundred persons 
were drowned. Alas! that number fell far short of the truth. 
Seven hundred bodies had been landed, and it was estimated 
that fully two hundred more were swept out to sea. 

Lieutenant and Mrs. Bentley, also Eobert and his brother John 
with Winifred and Elvira, were waiting in a parlour for the return 
of Edgar and Esther. They were considering means by which 
Martin Nickley could be brought to justice. Their unfortunate 
cousin they resolved should have their care and devotion. !N^o 
more would chey let her go away from them. All sorts of 
reproofs and scoldings for Mrs. Van Eeem were ready if she 
dared to utter a single reproachful v/ord to her niece. If she 
did they would rebuke her, and make her life unpleasant at 
Everdale. Esther was the lawful mistress of the manor. 



288 Miriam vs. Milton. 

Uncle Eichard had sent a telegram, in answer to one telling 
him of the finding of his niece, that he would be in London by 
eight o'clock to give a cordial welcome to her. She should 
return with him to her rightful home. His sister, IMrs. Yan 
Eeem, was going away for a long visit to the South of England. 
Thus they planned and were full of joyful expectations. 

One of the porters at the hotel who had taken a great fancy 
to Edgar had been waiting at the door for an hour to be ready, 
when he and his sister should return, to assist them out of the 
cab. He "was the first to hear of the disaster. Pale with excite- 
ment he rushed to the parlour where the relatives of the 
twins were waiting for their return, and told them the terrible 
news. A few minutes later the rumour was confirmed by a 
telegram, stating that if there were any friends of the ill-fated 
passengers at the hotel they were desired to come at once and 
identify their remains. Out of the number on board only about 
one hundred were saved. 

Lieutenant Bentley with Eobert and John drove to the place 
designated and made a careful examination of the bodies. The 
twins were not there. They waited while body after body was 
brought in. At last they began to hope that Edgar and his 
sister had been rescued. Perhaps they were now on the way to 
the hotel. Just then a dozen bodies were brought in that had 
been washed ashore below the scene of the disaster. Alternating 
between hope and fear they waited till these victims were placed 
side by side. The last two faces to which they came were the 
ones they had been seeking ; Edgar and his sister were sleeping 
the sleejD of death as placidly as though in their beds. After a 
proper identification the two bodies were given to them, and 
were removed to an undertaker's to be prepared for burial. 

Slowly and sadly Lieutenant Bentley and his two companions 
returned to the hotel with the dreadful news. They found 
uncle Eichard waiting. 

We must now leave them alone with their calamity. 
Intrusion upon mourning friends is in bad taste. Telegrams of 
the sad event were sent to Everdale and Elmswood. 



The Planet of Judgment. 289 

CHAPTER XLYIIL 

THE PLANET OF JUDGMENT. 

The creeds of all nations have one fundamental doctrine in 
common, and that is " a judgment on the actions of the human 
race when the spirit shall leave the body after what is 
technically called death has taken place." JSTo revelation has 
been given describing the location, yet for many reasons which 
we have no time to state we assume that this place of judgment 
is on some other planet. 

How long it takes to reach this point when the call is made 
for us to go is not to our purpose to suggest. I^either can we 
discuss the mode of locomotion used in getting there. Sufficient 
to say we are informed that a full record of our lives is kept, 
and we must face the charge that will be brought against us. 

Another important point which we assume, and that is that 
those who will conduct this examination, namely, the judges, must 
be of our own race. To put angels on the judgment throne 
would not be in harmony with the plans of our Creator in his 
government of this world, so far as He has been revealed. The 
Apostles were told they should sit upon thrones, judging not 
the world at large but the twelve tribes of Israel. Why this 
particular distinction 1 Evidently because they were better 
qualified to judge those of their own faith than any one else. 
Assuming that this interpretation is a correct one, we are not 
straining the point when we say that each generation of men 
will be judged by a chosen number of their fellows, who may 
be found qualified for this special duty. Hundreds of thousands 
of mortals are dying every day. Each \n]l require a separate 
hearing, and our sense of equity int-pires the thought that the 
judges before whom we may be brought will have had some 
experience of the affairs of our own day. 

What would a man who lived four thousand years ago know 
of the trials and deep worriment of this highly practical and 
wonderful nineteenth century, especially the closing decade 1 

Admit that this is all speculation, yet in the absence of 
positive information on this subject the above has some plausi- 
bility, while the deductions and assumptions set forth are not 
"beyond the bounds of probability. 

As to the possibility of a spirit being able to return to this 
mundane sphere from the so-called Planet of Judgment, either 



290 Miriam vs. Milton. 

for a continued existence or a brief visit, that is a problem too 
deep for our limited space. There are many well-authenticated 
cases of persons who have passed through the actual experience 
of dissolution and yet have been resuscitated and restored to 
full health. 

This digression from the thread of our narrative is necessary 
to prepare the reader for the second exchange that will be 
described in the next chapter. 

We are exploring strange territory and following out a new 
line of thought ; therefore we are compelled to do more 
theorising than would be found profitable in any ordinary plot. 

This subject is one that is certain, sooner or later, to become 
of vital interest to each reader of this book. We must go 
through the experience, and those best qualified for the ordeal 
will be the men and women who have prepared themselves for 
it by timely reflection and study. 

We will now continue our description of what took place 
after the second eviction of the twins from their bodies. 

We left them in the poisonous waters of the Thames 
struggling with several of their fellow-passengers. Esther had 
fainted, and Edgar thus had a double burden trying to save 
himself and his sister at the same time. The shore was not far 
away and boats had begun to put off to the rescue. The two 
would undoubtedly have been saved had it not been for a 
young woman who, coming to the surface with all her senses 
about her, caught Edgar by the shoulder and said to him : 

" Don't you see that girl is dead ] Let her go and save me." 

It was a critical moment with her and there was not time to 
stand on fine points, so she endeavoured to unwind the strong 
arms that held Esther and thus secure the support for herself. 
Edgar held on all the tighter, and his anger was aroused at this 
attempt of a stranger to ask his help at a moment when he had 
more than enough to do to save himself. 

Drowning people do not mind rebuffs, even when couched in 
the emphatic language that Edgar used on this occasion. The 
stranger clung fast to him, and under this increased burden he 
could no longer keep his head above water. Just as they were 
sinking the girl said to him : 

" You are cruel to let me drown." 

She was one of those mortals that know the full value 
of complete self-possession. She now let go her hold and 
seized upon an elderly man who was making frantic efforts to 
reach the shore. He tried to shake her off, but it was of no 
use, and the result would have been doubtful had not a boat 



The Planet of Judgment. 291 

arrived at this moment and picked them up. ITow that she 
•was saved herself she urged the boatman to save " that other 
man with a dead girl in his arms," meaning Edgar. Diligent 
search was made, and a hxxndred yards below they were 
found just under the surface and taken into the boat. On 
being carried ashore they were laid out on the sand, but their 
forms were motionless. The boatman bending over Esther 
uttered a cry of astonishment. He was no other than Hans 
J^elsola, and quickly recognised the one whom he had taken 
from the river five years before. Hans hired a boy to run to his 
cottage not far off to tell his wife to come at once. Other lives 
were at stake, so the noble boatman went out to save all whom 
he could. Twenty persons were thus rescued by him. "When 
no more were to be found he went back to the spot where he 
had left the twins, and, taking the bodies in the boat with him- 
self and wife, went to his cabin. Every effort was made to 
bring back the life that the cruel waters had extinguished. 
After a fruitless effort Hans took the bodies once more in his 
boat at ten o'clock at night and brought them to the warehouse 
where the others were laid out. Two boats ahead of him had 
just landed a dozen drowned persons. 

It is assumed by many that when we vacate this, our earthly, 
body we must have some one of a superior intelligence to act as 
a guide to the Planet of Judgment. At the death-harvest of 
the " Princess Alice " over seven hundred spirits were suddenly 
evicted from their bodies without a moment's warning. The 
term " evicted " is an appropriate one here, as these spirits had 
been really dispossessed from their earthly habitations. ]S«^o other 
having been provided they were compelled to migrate from this 
globe to some new form of existence. 

"VYe have no means of knowing whether each departing spirit 
has a separate guide or, taking a case like the present disaster, 
one would be sufficient for a hundred or more of the evicted 
and, we may add^ deeply-surprised spirits. 

Another question comes up at this point, and that is how 
long can we remain after the separation from our bodies 
takes place. 

The tendency of thought on this subject inclines to the belief 
of an immediate departure. When, however, it is seen that 
the vital principle is not quite extinct a delay is no doubt 
obtained. 

Acting on this last assumption we conclude that the spirits of 
the twins did not join the great throng that took their final 
leave of the scenes of their probationary state. 



292 Miriam vs. Milton. 

Their past experience gave them reason to hope that they 
might once more return to life, each in their first condition. 
They hoth made this request contingent upon the fact that the 
Hfe-giving electrical current was not irretrievably broken in 
both bodies. One would not accept a return without the 
other. 

Over this experience we must pass, for a detail of what they 
went through would be perhaps speculation and assumptions 
that would call forth severe criticism. 

Those who may be interested in this subject will find a full 
and truthful account in the work called Adrift on the Black 
Wild Tide, by the author of this volume. 



Third Division. 



EEFORMATION. 



CHAPTER I. 

BACK IN THE OLD TABERNACLES. 

Yv^EDNESDAY morniug, the 4tli of September, 1878, was indeed 
a red-letter day in the history of many families iu the great city 
of London. A wave of horror and dismay swept over the 
inhabitants, as they read in the morning journals the thrilling 
account of the fearful loss of life by the sinking of the 
*' Princess Alice." 

Entire households were stricken out of existence. All day 
long a vast crowd of men, women, and children filled the streets 
leading to the warehouse where the bodies were deposited. Sir 
Thomas and Lady Shirley came from Elmswood at once. A 
consultation was held by all the members of the family, to 
which Lieutenant Bentley was invited. The latter suggested 
that, as the two had once before been resuscitated upon a similar 
occasion, it might be advisable to call upon some physician of 
standing to examine both bodies and ascertain whether all life 
was extinct. He had taken the precaution the previous night 
to give strict orders to the undertaker not to use any embalming 
fluid, but to wait and see if there were any signs of vitality left. 

This proposition was agreed to, and they at once sent for a 
prominent specialist. On his arrival they went with him to 
where the bodies Avere lying side by side in oaken caskets. 

The undertaker met them at the door and remarked that at 
daylight he had noticed that both bodies were warm, and he 
had placed bottles of hot water at their feet. A few moments 
previously the eyelids of the lady had slightly moved. This 
was a ray of sunshine to the sorrowing kindred. The doctor, 



294 Miriam vs. Milton. 

however, cautioned them not to be too sanguine. Muscular 
contraction would cause the movement of the eyelids, and he 
had known a corpse to remain warm for several days. He 
next proceeded to apply an electric battery to the two bodies. 
After a few moments Esther opened her eyes and looked 
around the room with consciousness visibly demonstrated on 
her face. 

Pauline, who had come with her husband, could no longer 
control her feelings. She sprang forward impulsively, caught 
the baud of her schoolmate, with the tears streaming down her 
face, and said : 

" Oh, Esther, speak, and tell us that you are alive." 

A smile of recognition came into the countenance of the now 
resuscitated woman, and she answered quietly : 

" Yes ; I am back once more in the old tabernacle." 

The stalwart Lieutenant Bentley placed his arms under Esther 
and lifted her out of the casket. He was fearful lest the 
knowledge of having been in the coffin might dangerously 
agitate her. She was placed on a sofa. All eyes were then 
turned to Edgar. His pale form as yet had given no sign of 
returning vitality. It was indeed a thrilling moment. Esther, 
with her head resting in the arms of Pauline, watched as 
anxiously as the others. An hour passed and there were still 
no favourable signs. The specialist was about to give up his 
efforts. It was evident, he declared, that the brother had not 
the recuperative powers of his sister. 

Esther now spoke and said : " Doctor, I am certain that he is 
not dead. His heart is weak. Concentrate your efforts on that 
organ and I think you will see evidences of life." 

This advice was followed. One hour later the brother also 
opened his eyes. There was at once visible on his countenance a 
smile of intense satisfaction. All those present attributed this to 
delight at being restored to consciousness. But it was more. 
He had found himself in possession of his original body. The 
exchange had been a disastrous one. For thirteen long years 
there had been a career of suffering and a steady deterioration in 
self-respect. He was asked whether he recognised those around 
him. 

" Yes," he replied, " I have been watching you all for the last 
two hours." 

" Quite a common occurrence," said the doctor. " I have 
seen the same thing a number of times. Very often persons in 
a state of coma while apparently unsconscious are cognisant of 
all that is taking place." 



Back in the Old Tabernacles. 295 

By evening both the patients were found sufficiently strong 
to be removed to the Midland Grand Hotel. They were then 
placed in comfortable apartments. Once more were the hopes 
of kindred and friends raised from the depths of despair to the 
summit of joy and happiness. No one was happier than Lieu- 
tenant Bentley. Well he might be. All felt that if it had not 
been for his forethought in forbidding the use of embalming 
fluids and ice caskets, before there was a positive proof of death, 
resuscitation would have been impossible. 

The following day a marked change was noticed in the 
disposition of the twins. In Esther's eyes there was a look of 
determination that had not been seen there for many a long day. 
Her whole character seemed to have undergone a complete 
rendition. Pauline was amazed. She had always known her 
as a gentle, yielding, lovable girl. Xow there was a resolute 
woman with a manner of speech that indicated a will of iron. 

The change in Edgar was just as decided. Instead of the 
bold man with nerves of steel, who could look calmly into the 
muzzle of a revolver without flinching, there Avas apparently a 
very meek one. The story of Colonel Creedmore's coolness and 
bravery on the field of battle, and his success as prospector and 
mining engineer, were vv^ell known to all his friends. Was it 
possible that this man, now so quiet and shrinking in his 
disposition, was the same individual who gained such a wide 
reputation as an officer serving on the staff of noted Federal 
commanders 1 It was well known that no ordinary man of 
English birth could have held such a proud position, or have 
been in demand by generals like McDowell, McClellan, Burnside, 
Hooker, Meade, and Sheridan. To what was this change of 
character due % Could the two have changed bodies % No one was 
able to give a satisfactory answer. The wonder was increased a 
day later when Esther announced that, as she and her brother 
had experienced ill fortune since they changed their names, they 
now agreed to take again their original ones, and that from this 
time onward they would answer to the names of Miriam and 
Milton. 

After a rest of three days Sir Thomas Shirley pressed his 
nephew and niece to return with him to Elmswood. 

Miriam asked whether she could expect a genial welcome 
from her cousins. 

" Certainly," was the reply. " Why not 1 " 

" Because," said she, " they have never extended to me any 
sympathy in all my misfortunes. I do not wish to go where I 
would be considered as having disgraced the family name." 



296 Miriam vs. Milton. 

" My dear child," was the answer from her aunt Martha, " we 
did not know where to find you. No effort was spared in search 
for your whereabouts. Rest assured that you and your brother 
will be received with all the love of the old days." 

Uncle Richard desired them to come to Everdale first. It 
was their home, he declared, and as his sister Mrs. Van Reem 
had gone away for a visit Miriam could take charge of the 
household. 

It was finally decided that all should go to Elmswood first, and 
Uncle Richard agreed to go also. Of course it was insisted 
upon that Lieutenant Bentley and his wife should come and 
stay as long as possible. As the former had to join his ship 
in two days Pauline consented to make a prolonged visit. She 
was puzzled more and more over the change in her old school- 
mate. The last time she had seen her was in Antwerp, in June, 
1875, as a fugitive from Martin Nickley. He must have had a 
very powerful mind to have held such a complete sway over 
such a woman as Miriam. The thought came to Pauline, as it 
did to others, that the great tension caused by the nearly 
extinguished principle of life might have strengthened some 
.latent qualities of their minds and weakened others. This 
seemed a satisfactory as well as a logical deduction, and was 
therefore accepted. 

In the school days of Beechwood Seminary, Pauline remembered 
that only on one occasion did Esther exhibit any resolute will 
in her behaviour. That was when Mrs. Ainsworth attempted 
to chastise her publicly. The strong woman had then recoiled 
before the indignant girl. If Esther had only kept up the fire 
that blazed out on that memorable occasion Martin Nickley would 
never have had control of her fur these many years. That 
brilliant flashing of the eyes was now again visible ; and when 
on the day following the arrival at Elmswood the name of 
Nickley was mentioned, Miriam was aroused to a pitch of 
excitement that astonished her kindred. There was indeed no 
cause to complain of the reception at that old manor. Robert 
and John, who with their wives had returned on the previous 
day, met them at the railway station, and at the house Winifred 
and Elvira greeted them on the porch and hugged and kissed 
Miriam so affectionately that there could remain no doubt of a 
genuine welcome. As she entered the hall door she was clasped 
by Irene, who cried like a child for very joy. Irene had never 
married. She had many offers, but always said she was cut out 
for an old maid. Adelaide and Eleanor were away with their 
husbands making the tour of the continent. They each had 



Back in the Old Tabernacles. 297 

three children. Eoberfc had four " olive branches," as his 
father called them, "while John was blessed with two boys. 

A month slipped away so rapidly that it was hardly observed. 
Mrs, Van Eeem wrote to her brothers that when her niece could 
produce a marriage certificate showing that she was lawfully 
married to Martin Nickley, then she herself would be glad to 
welcome her. If, however, her brother Eichard persisted in 
bringing a degraded woman to Everdale, then she would stay 
away. Neither Miriam nor ^Slilton saw this letter. It was, 
however, the cause of much anxiety. All knew that Mrs. Van 
Eeem was a woman of a very positive character and had the 
dogged Shirley disposition. When her mind was once made 
up she would never waver or falter in any purpose. 

Day by day Miriam grew more and more haughty. Pauline 
was the only one who could control her. The gentle Irene stood 
in awe of her cousin. Milton likewise was completely under 
the sway of his sister. At times she treated him as though he 
were a child. A storm was gathering and it soon broke 
out. The sister found out, however, as she had in earlier years, 
that her brother also had tire in his nature, and that his will was 
stronger than her own when it was once aroused. Milton was 
feminine in his tastes, but he was in no sense effeminate. 
The distinction is a wide one between these terms. 



CHAPTEE II. 

RECRIMINATIONS. 

There is no intention to burden these pages with meta- 
physical propositions that may be unintelligible to many readers. 
Some brief explanation, however, is necessary. The reader will 
remember the statement before made, that in every human being 
there are two faculties of memory, viz., the soul-faculty and the 
spirit-faculty. The former is akin to the animal's endowment 
and perishes with the body ; while the latter goes with the 
spirit into the other world and increases in power as the ages 
roll on. A simple illustration of this meaning may be found 
in the example of tvro persons owning furnished houses. 
They become dissatisfied with their respective homes and 
agree to exch?.pge. They each prepare a memorandum of 



298 Miriam vs. Milton. 

the contents of their habitations, and leaving it on the 
hull table make the exchange. On taking possession of 
their abodes the proprietors find the niemoraudum thus left 
behind, and are enabled to know exactly whore everything 
connected with their new homes is to be found. Anything that 
may be lacking will be explained at subsequent meetings. This 
illustration may bo somewhat primitive, but it comes near 
enough to be easily understood. In a way like this Miriam, on 
taking possession of her former female body and in looking over 
the record left behind, found that a certain stigma was attached 
to her on account of the way her brother had managed the trust. 
On the other hand j^Iilton was amazed to find that a serious 
charge of murder was resting on him, and it was possible he 
might be extradited and compelled to return to America 
for trial. 

Wo have remarked that Miriam had been daily growing more 
haughty. She had perceived that unless the marriage with the 
Earl of Montville could be established as valid, as well as the 
subsequent one with Martin iNickley, there was no possible 
chance for hor to hold any position in society. Even her 
kindred, if they persisted in harbouring her, would have to run 
the risk of being themselves ostracised. This made her very 
bitter towards her brother. The beginning in life seventeen 
years ago was a brilliant one, and the present low condition she 
felt must have resulted from criminal negligence. 

It was one month after their last rescue when Miriam could 
no longer control her indignation. The gathering storm broke 
on Milton's head. 

A lovely autumn day was the 4th of October. Early in the 
morning Miriam asked her brother to come with her to the 
rustic house before described, where Martin Mckley had met 
Esther when she was talking to the gipsy Ziska. 

At this place they could confer without interruption and 
explain much of their past lives. Miriam felt she had the 
principal grievance. She began : 

" Milton, how could you be such a fool as to leave Edmond 
Harold so abruptly without seeking from him an explanation of 
the charges brought against him by that fraud, Joseph Albright ?" 

" How could I do otherwise after the evidence laid before 
me ? " was the answer. " Yet I now feel that my action was 
hasty." 

" Then, again, what made you live so long with that deeply- 
dyed villain, Martin Nickley 1 I would have killed him or set 
that chateau on fire where you were confined." 



Recriminations. 299 

" Ah, Miriam, your long residence in America has given you 
a very cheap idea of the value of human life. Across the water 
they excuse a woman for killing a man who deceived her. lu 
England they would hang her. On the whole I did the best I 
could under the circumstances." 

Miriam restrained the tears that forced themselves into her 
eyes, and said in bitter tones as the memory of what had taken 
place came up in review before hor : 

" All I have to say to you, my brother, is that I left you a 
body carefully trained and a pure name, and now on my return, 
to use a mild expression, I find that the fair name I left you is 
tainted. I am a virtual outcast. My fortune is held by terms 
of the will of my late father subject to the control of the 
executors, and there must be a unanimous agreement to give me 
charge of the funds. Of course if my marriage was found to be 
legal then I would have the management myself. Our aunt, 
Mrs. Van Eeem, I am persuaded will never agree to this, or 
receive me unless I can show the validity of my marriage. I 
could not stay at Everdale under a cloud, and must therefore 
seek for some employment." 

"Well, Miriam," responded her brother, "perhaps it is my 
turn to ask for explanations as to the management of what was 
committed to your charge. I will not speak of the large amount of 
money that fell to my share and which you took to America and 
lost out West. I find on the record the stain of human blood.. 
You took two lives, and others were lost by your actions. Also 
you added forgery to the number of failures." 

" I do not deny all this," was her answer, " but you know that 
the faults of men are extenuated. You can go into any societj' and 
be well received. 'So one will feel degraded by your presence. 
But look at me. I am only tolerated here at Elmswood because 
you are with me. Why, even the very servants know my position, 
and the humiliations are increasing every day. The task oi 
reformation is a harder one than I dreamed of. Very severe 
trials are before me, and how I am going through them is a 
mystery. If I had my life to live over again how different 
would be the record ! But vain are these regrets. You have 
sown and I must reap the bitter harvest." 

At this endeavour to lay all the blame of the fallen condition 
on him Milton began to show signs of irritation. If his 
sister could have left behind her a stainless record, then 
.she might have cause to find fault. Taking her hand, he 
said in tones that showed the limits of his patience had been 
reached : 



300 Miriam vs. Milton. 

" Miriam, these recriminations are waste of timb. The only 
course for both of us is to begin at once and rectify our mistakes. 
Then we can secure the respect of not only our kindred but the 
world at large. The marriage to the Earl of Montville will 
yet be found valid, and so will the one to Martin Nickley. 
Remember that he has acknowledged this fact, and if you will 
only have patience it can be proved. For my own part, if I am 
extradited I will go over to America and ajopeal to the Grand 
Army of the Republic ; they have never been known to desert 
a comrade of the war. I have no fear of the result if I can get 
a fair trial. Then, again, I have hopes that some of the mine 
investments will prove of value." 

" Perhaps, after all, your view is the correct one," said the 
sister. "It is certainly of no use to repine over what is now 
beyond our power to recall. I will from this time endeavour to 
make amends for past errors, and be on my guard for the 
designs of Martin Nickley. In the body over which he had 
control so long he will tind a different spirit." 

As they set out to walk away arm in arm, who should they 
meet face to face but the very man they had been speaking 
about ! Martin Nickley stood in their pathway and, with a 
confidence born of past successes, paying no attention to Milton, 
he coolly addressed Miriam : 

" Well, my fair one, I hear that you have elected to be called 
by your old name. I rather like the change, for it was the one 
that first took my heart. Allow me to congratulate you upon 
your narrow escape from death. I have not had the opportunity 
of seeing you since that event. I believe that I have some 
claim on you. I now want you to come with me and I will 
provide for all your wants. By the merest accident I heard that 
you were not dead, as reported by those sisters of charity in 
Brussels. Why did you run away from that shop in Regent 
(Street a month ago where you were employed as a model 1 I 
was informed that you had taken the position, and went there 
to offer ample funds for your support. I do not think you 
behaved rightly in acting as you did." 

During this speech Miriam looked at ov'icklej'' with a cold, 
haughty stare. She replied : 

" I am not aware that you have any claims upon me that I 
care to recognise. I do not need any funds from you, and 
cannot see why you should interest yourself any longer in my 
movements." 

" You did not talk that way seventeen years ago," he replied, 
" when I was searchiag the bottom of Everdale Lake for your 



Recriminations. 301 

body. For weeks after your rescue from death your expressions 
of thankfulness Avere boundless. You said that the debt of 
gratitude due me for that action never would be forgotten. 
JS'ow you coolly say that no claims of mine will be recognised. 
I propose to enforce my rights and insist that you go with me. 
A carriage is waiting and you must come to London at once. 
Tou gave me the slip on several occasions, but I will take care 
that it is not repeated this time. I am fully prepared for all 
contingencies, for no one else has the right that I have and hope 
you will not create a scene." 

The scorn on Miriam's face was intensified. She was about 
to reply when Milton stepped forward and said in a quiet 
tone : 

That while he and his sister fully recognised the services of 
the rescue as just stated, yet they were both of the opinion 
that the debt had been fully paid ; therefore they declined to 
debate the question any further. If violence were offered it 
would result disastrously for those attempting it. 

'' Upon my word," was Nickley's answer, " I admire your 
American assurance. It is very refreshing, but allow me to 
remind you that you are now in England and not on the 
Western plains. Besides, I think that you will have about all 
you can do to manage your own affairs without meddling with 
mine. So please do not interfere with what does not concern 
you. Your crimes in America have yet to be atoned for." 

Milton did not allow a muscle to quiver at this reflection, but 
the flashing of his eyes told that he was wrought up to the 
utmost tension, and if Nickley had not been so wrapt up in his 
own importance he would have noticed the gathering storm. 
Perhaps he needed a lesson and he got it. He reached out and 
took Miriam's hand saying : 

" Come with me." 

The next instant a grasp of iron was laid on his wrist, and 
his arm was flung to one side as though struck by a sledge- 
hammer. 

Milton said in low, suppressed tones, quivering with passion : 

"Do not presume to touch my sister; your hand is 
polluted." 

Nickley took a whistle from his pocket and blew a shrill blast. 
In answer to it a powerful thick-set man who was concealed at 
some distance came running forward. He had not gone more 
than a hundred yards when he was felled to the ground by a 
powerful blow from an assailant, who unexpectedly rushed 
forward from behind a tree. Nickley ran to the assistance of his 



302 Miriam vs. Milton. 

hired servant, but was too late to see who had dealt the blow. 
Miriam and Milton took a short path home and were not 
molested further. They had both recognised Ziska who had 
come to their aid. 



CHAPTER III. 

MRS. VAN REEM. 



Once more had ISfartin Nickley been foiled in his attempt. 
He had some reason for his persistence besides that of revenge. 
Unexpectedly he had found himself in a false position, and 
either he or Miriam must go to the wall. For this reason he 
had offered her a large sum to leave the country and she had 
refused. This made it necessary to his ends to weave around 
her a web that would place her entirely at his mercy. A nevv 
factor had unexpectedly appeared in the person of her brother, 
and it was now evident that Milton would have to be removed 
out of the way before the road would be clear to deal with 
Miriam. Nickley was not a man to deliberate long over any 
project. He made up his mind quickly and put in execution 
the purpose at which he arrived. Three days after his rebuff he 
sent a detective to New York with credentials from Scotland 
Yard. The man was instructed to find out all about the actions 
of Colonel Creedmore out West, and to institute proceedings for 
extradition. Whether this could or could not be sustained 
I^Iilton must be sent to America. This matter settled and his 
man having sailed, Nickley set on foot a plot of his own to 
alienate the affections of Miriam's kindred and friends. Ha 
purposed to make her a noted character to the end that if shy 
should chance to be arrested on any charge it would be an easy 
matter to get her transported for a long period. Nickley knew 
that Mrs. Van Eeem was the best one to work upon. He was 
well aware that there was no man that she hated vrorse than 
himself. So much the better for his purpose. As far as he 
was personally concerned this was a matter of the most supreme 
indifference. Mrs. Harriet Ainsworth was still teaching at 
Beechwood. He also surmised she would be a valuable aid to 
his project. There must be no failure. He resolved to take 
plenty of time to ensure success. 



Mrs. Van Reem. 303 

A com"bination of circumstances had made his new scheme a 
matter of life and death. If Miriam had only been drowned in 
the " Princess Alice " it would have taken a great load off his 
mind. For what he had done or was proposing to do there did 
not enter into his thoughts a single compunction of conscience. 
He had ruined a dozen other women, and not one had given him 
the trouble that Miriam did. He was a cold, hard, calculating 
man. He weighed gold in the balance against woman's virtue, 
and if he paid liberally for all claims he considered that it was 
nobody's business. We now leave him engaged in maturing 
his plot. 

On the evening of the day that they encountered Martin 
I^ickley, Milton received a note from Ziska asking for an inter- 
view. The gipsy also asked to see Miriam. He told them that 
he had to keep in hiding, for, at the instance of Nickley, 
there had been a warrant issued against him on the charge of 
highway robbery with violence. 

A messenger was waiting for an answer. As it was a moon- 
light night Ziska was invited to come into the grounds of Elms- 
wood. An hour later Miriam and Milton were holding him by 
the hand. They heartily thanked him not only for the timely 
assistance of that day but for all the attentions of the past. 
They now offered him money, but this Ziska absolutely refused. 
He told them that he came to Elmswood two days previously. 
Having seen Nickley pass with his carriage he instantly appre- 
hended that some mischief was contemplated. A strict 
watch had been kept, with the result as recorded. The gipsy 
further informed them that Nickley must have some great object 
at stake, otherwise he would not spend so much money for the 
mere gratification of malice. Half a dozen members of his 
tribe were detailed not only to follow ISTickley secretly but to 
find out the motive of this persecution. In parting Ziska 
remarked that they were all engaged against a common foe, and 
cautioned them to be on their guard against this villain, as he 
had some diabolical scheme on hand for their harm. The twins 
were confident, however, that they were a match for Martin 
JSTickley. This disparagement of the power and resources of 
their enemy brought them sad misfortune. 

On the 1st of November Milton and his sister with their 
uncle Eichard left Elmswood for Everdale. Pauline had gone 
to pay a visit to some of her husband's relatives, and promised 
to spend the Christmas holidays with Miriam. The stay at 
their uncle's house had been very pleasant in every way, 
although Miriam was, perhaps, over-sensitive. Her aunt Martha, 



304 Miriam vs. Milton. 

with her daughters-in-law and the sweet Irene, had done all in 
their power to make things as agreealjle as possible. Miriam, 
was gradually coming back to her old self. Her voice was often 
heard in song, and this more than anything else was a healthy 
restorative for mind and body. 

Two months passed swiftly at Everdale without anything 
arising to disturb harmonious relations. Pauline was now with 
Miriam, and did much to make her forget the past, at the same 
time encouraging her to look forward to the time when the 
mystery attending the estrangement of the Earl of Montville 
should be cleared away. This would release the large amount 
of money from the estate, which was now held awaiting the 
decision as to who was the lawful Countess of Montville. Not 
a word had been heard from the woman who had claimed to be 
his wife prior to his marriage with Esther Creedmore. The 
latter had never made any claim for the money, feeling that she was 
deceived in her espousal. Miriam, however, was not willing to 
wait for this claimant, but proposed to make her show her hand 
and bring forward her proofs. Her uncle Eichard employed 
skilful lawyers, and they served notice on the trustees of the 
estate of the late Edmoud Harold to show cause why the dower 
should not be paid at once to his widow. 

Martin Nickiey's actions hastened this movement. It did not 
suit his plans for Miriam to be acknowledged as the rightful 
Countess of Montville. That one person should succeed in his 
plots and not be detected may seem overdrawn, yet this man did 
.succeed. The author is by no means employing his imagination 
in this description ; in fact, one-half the villainies of Isickley 
liave not been recorded. Such only have been mentioned as 
concern the dealings with Miriam. 

Mrs. Van Eeem had declined to return to Everdale while 
her niece was at the place. But she grew tired of these 
tactics and suddenly made a bold move to take possession of 
her home. Having been there so long she seemed to forget 
that Milton and Miriam were the legitimate owners, and her 
claim was based on a mere technicality of the will of her brother- 
in-lav/, the late admiral. 

Miriam had taken charge of the household, and everything 
moved along peacefully. Everybody was very much astonished 
when, on the 4th of February, Mrs. Van Eeem arrived at 
Everdale early in the morning, and gave orders to the servants 
as though she had only been absent a single day. When 
her brother Eichard came down to breakfast she reproached him 
for allowing a vile woman, who had been the mistress of several 



Mrs. Van Reevi. 305 

men, to come into the manor, where only pure women had been 
Avelcome. Then, again, she declared Milton was a murderer, and 
had escaped from New York to avoid arrest for his crimes. He 
liad repaid his uncle's generosity in America by forging his name 
to pay a gambling debt. His whole career over there had been 
one long round of dissipation and crime. She said it was 
a wonder that her dead sister did not rise from her grave and 
enter protest in person at this desecration of Everdale. 
All their friends knew of these things and it was a very serious 
matter for herself and brother, because they were harbouring 
an unworthy woman and a notorious gambler and murderer. 
She reminded her brother that as Miriam was not married it 
required tbe unanimous consent of the trustees to give her the 
interest of her patrimony. Under no conditions would she 
herself consent to this. To say that Mr. Richard Shirley was 
astounded would be using a mild term. He loved his niece 
and nephew fervently. He had allowed his sister to manage 
the household as she thought best without interference from 
him. This, however, was a different matter. 

"Elizabeth," said he, "you have brought very serious charges 
against the son and daughter of our late brother-in-law. What 
proof have you of these allegations 1 I am afraid that you have 
allowed a scoundrel like Nickley to prejudice your mind. 
There may be some rumours of Milton sowing his wild oats, 
yet I do not think that it approaches anything like what you 
have just represented. You know that we have an abundance 
of newspaper clippings giving an account of his bravery during 
the late war between the i^Torth and South; also of his 
honourable career from papers in Denver and San Francisco. 
In the face of all these facts I cannot accept mere rumours, no 
doubt instigated by his enemies. As far as Miriam is concerned, 
her marriage with the late earl was valid. I have taken steps 
to have it proved to be legitimate, and everything will be made 
satisfactory. Instead of trying to crush her it is your duty to 
try and help her, and not at this period to put obstacles in the 
way. Martin !Xickley has acknowledged her as his wife." 

" Richard, you are a fool," said his sister in a savage tone. 
" Surely you do not think that I have accepted these things 
which I have just related on mere hearsay evidence? Neither 
would I allow myself to be influenced by Martin Nickley. I 
hate the man, and would not aid him in his evil designs. There 
is abundant proof for what has been stated. Everdale was to 
be the joint home of the twins provided they led honest and 
pure lives. Now there has come a time for me to assert my 



306 Miriam vs. Milton. 

rights here, and I will do so at once. That vile womau must 
not give another order in this house. I have instructed the 
servants not to obey her on the penalty of instant discharge." 

"Elizabeth," replied her brother, "I have something to say in 
the premises, and do not propose to drive away the rightful 
heirs from their home. This was their father's house and it 
belongs to tliem. Your rights here are only a life residence." 

" Richard, you are an arrant fool and a very poor specimen 
to talk like that. I am surprised to hear you at your time of 
life become the defender of a woman who has so far forgotten 
her ancient blood as to become a mistress to those able to pay 
the price for her deceptive smiles. j\Iy late brother-in-law left 
me in charge of Everdale, and I will be faithful to that trust 
while life lasts." 

At this moment Miriam and Milton came into the room and 
both stood before their kinswoman. Their faces were quivering 
with passion. They had heard nearly all the conversation, and 
Miriam spoke first : 

" Mrs. Van Eeem," said she, " never again will I call you 
aunt. I regret that any of your blood is in my veins. 
Your statements in regard to myself are false in every 
particular. It is useless to bandy words with you. You are a 
disgrace to the Shirley blood. I am here in my late father's 
home, and any servant who dares to disobey my orders will be 
discharged peremptorily. You are merely a housekeeper in this 
establishment, and as my honoured uncle has stated our rights 
1 have nothing further to say. My brother can speak for 
himself." 

Milton quietly said : " Madam, your assertions concerning 
my past history are beneath notice ; to attempt to answer them 
would lower all self-respect. You will kindly retire to your 
apartments." 

Mrs. Van Eeem was for the moment subdued before them. 
She left the room saying : 

" Perhaps neither of you will talk so bravely in a month from 
to-day." 



At Bay. 307 



CHAPTER IV. 

AT BAY. 

The reader must not set down Mrs, Van Reem as a woman of 
a cold, heartless character. Her conduct in the present instance 
was the result of hereditary training. There are thousands of 
men and women in England to-day who w^orship ancestral birth, 
and the further back they can go the greater their reverence for 
the family name. The one unpardonable sin in their belief is 
the disgrace that is brought on the family heritage by any 
jiiember who wilfully steps outside the strictly-detiued path. 
The Shirley family, tracing their lineage back to the Conquest, 
•were doubly vigilant of their inheritance. It was this that 
made Mrs. Van Reem so bitter against her niece. As for her 
nephew his uncles would deal with him. Although she had 
been for the time subdued by the flashing of the eyes of both 
Miriam and Milton, yet she was far from giving up the contest. 
She wrote at once to Mrs. Ainsworth to meet her at Elmswood, 
and the next day, without even seeing her brother Richard, she 
took her departure for that place. 

Pauline, who had been absent for a week, again returned to 
Everdale. Nothing could turn her against her schoohuate. 
Her husband was on his ship in the Mediterranean Squadron. 
She knew that he would stand by both Milton and Miriam 
through all trials and tribulations. 

Martin Nickley redoubled his efforts. The detective in 
America was not making the progress that he expected. Why 
should he 1 Being well paid and having a good time of it he 
was in no hurry to end such a proiitable employment, so he 
sent information from time to time and reported progress. 
Nickley was too shrewd a man to stand this. He cabled over to 
his employe that the papers must be made out at once for the 
extradition of Colonel Creedmore. Four days later he received 
an answer that everything was " O.K." This reply was not 
entirely satisfactory, and he sent another message asking for 
particulars. The answer was that his wishes had been carried 
out. With this he had to be content. 

Ziska was on the alert, and communicated that he had just 
heard from one of the servants at Elmswood that false testimony 
of the most outrageous kind had been sent to Sir Thomas 
Shiriey from Antwerp, Brussels, and other places, including 



308 Miriam vs. Milton. 

Paris. All of these statements had been purchased by Mckley's 
gold. They were stamped by the seal of the English consul at 
each of these places. Another woman's crimes had been palmed 
off on these officials as the deeds of Miriam herself, and thus 
the storm-cloud gathered material. Ziska urged Milton not to 
wait for the coming attack, but to make a counter move on 
his enemy. The gipsy was convinced that Nickley had 
committed bigamy, and if this should be communicated to 
the French authorities as well as to Lord Grassmere, then it 
would be all he could do to look after his own safety. If this 
advice had been folloAved it might have saved much tribulation. 

The family at Elmswood did not at first suspect that it was 
the gold of Mckley which had secured the information that so 
excited them. They believed that some friend equally jealous 
as themselves of the good name that had been so carefully 
guarded for many years was seeking the removal of the stain. 
It was decided that Miriam must not remain at Everdale, but 
take refuge in some convent and stay there for the rest of her 
life. In the case of Milton he would be advised to emigrate 
to Australia, and funds to keep him in moderate style would be 
assured to him on condition that he never returned to England. 

Winifred and Elvira, as well as Irene, entered their protest 
against this condemning of their cousins unheard. They were 
powerless, however, against Mrs. Van Eeem and Mrs. Ainsworth, 
now reinforced by Adelaide and her sister Eleanor. The 
husbands were also at one on this point. Eobert and his 
brother John held aloof, while their father sided with the 
women. It was a divided family. The majority assumed that 
a certain course was necessary. Yet how to put their project 
into execution was a problem. Miriam and Milton were in 
their own lawful home, and the courts would uphold them in their 
rights. Family tradition was one thing but the law of possession 
was another. 

Uncle Eichard was on their side and just as firm as his sister. 
The latter mourned over the degeneracy that had fallen upon 
the once proud name. She belongfid to that large class in 
England who would look upon an erring daughter as a stranger, 
and even though she were dying in a ditch would pass her by 
with supreme indifference. 

There are too many well-authenticated cases of this sort. 
Special instances are not needed. Fathers have been known to 
pass by their sons when in prison garb with a cold, haughty 
stare, and without a sign of recognition. They were dead to 
them and to their family. The one unpardonable sin in the old 



At Bay. 309 

English families is the stain that is put upon this idol of the 
house — "the heritage of virtue.". This refers chiefly to the 
women. The men may — in fact, often do — transgress this law. 
If detected then it is called "injudicious," "very improper," 
"not to be repeated." But for a daughter of the house who has 
fallen adjectives of a very strong meaning are used to express the 
indignation and abhorrence of the fault. Pardon, reformation, 
and atonement are out of the question. English-speaking 
Christendom has no token of salvation for such pariahs in a 
family. 

Mrs. Van Eeem had given the twins one month to lower their 
haughty tone. For the manner in which they had answered her 
she was not vindictive towards them ; far from it, but was 
jealous of her reputation and resolved to uphold it. Having 
been left the guardian of Miriam, she proposed to have 
something to say in regard to the household affairs at Everdale. 
During the thirteen years that Esther was a wanderer no 
effort was made to reclaim her. She had never been educated 
up to this heaven-born principle of mercy to the wayward and 
unfortunate. A Saviour would pardon this class, but an English 
woman of ancient blood has another rule of action. 

No one had been more surprised than Mrs. Van Eeem at the 
change in the characteristics of her niece after the resuscitation 
on the 4th of September. The old haughty spirit of Miriam 
had returned. The worthy matron could not account for it, so 
she let the matter drop as being above her comprehension. 

Monday, the 3rd of March, 1879, was ushered in with a 
strong north-east gale. The snow fell in heavy flakes. It was 
just such a day as to make everyone feel blue and miserable. 
At Everdale preparations were made to celebrate the eighteenth 
anniversary of the rescue from the bottom of the lake. Lieu- 
tenant Bentley sent a telegram from Malta offering congratula- 
tions for the day. A few friends had been invited to dine. 
Among those who came were Eobert and John Shirley with 
their wives, Winifred and Elvira. The Eev. Mr. Huben came 
as well as Chaplain Vivian, who although seventy-five years 
old was just as erect as when we last met him seventeen years 
previously. Ziska and Oslena were provided with a bountiful 
dinner in the butler's room. A handsome present was sent to 
Hans !Nelsola and his wife. 

Xot a single one of those invited had declined, and there was 
a goodly gathering in the old manor which for many years 
had been so quiet. Dinner was appointed for five o'clock. 
There was a buzz of admiration when Miriam came into the 



310 Miriam vs. Milton. 

drawing-room robed in a rich garment of dark blue velvet. 
Never in ber life did she look so majestic. Milton had indeed 
taken good care of the physical tabernacle entrusted to him. 
It was a birthday festival as well as a celebration of the rescue. 
Miriam was thirty-nine years old, yet she looked only twenty- 
five. The sparkle in her eyes was as brilliant as in the days of 
yore. Milton looked much older than his sister, and showed 
plainly the effects of hard life on the plains as well as the 
severe war service. 

The snow had ceased falling, and the sun was struggling to 
emerge from the cloud-banks that had hidden its light all day. 
The guests went out on the porch to watch for a moment the 
war of the elements. Cloud after cloud came along, and all 
were piled in one dark ma.ss in front of the setting orb as 
though anxious to hide its light from the children of men. One 
small but compact cloud was seen hurrying onward before the 
driving gale. It struck the larger body, and by its momentum 
carried the whole obstruction away from the face of the sun, 
allowing the golden light to spread over the landscape. 
The effect on all those assembled was exhilarating. It 
was a happy omen of the renewed life of the brother and 
sister. The Rev. Mr. Huben, on Avho.se arm Miriam was 
leaning, said to her : 

" How emblematic of life is the action of those clouds. 
Often are we troubled and our horizon filled with darkness and 
sorrows, but in a moment when we least expect it the clouds 
are swept avv^ay and sunshine comes once more to our weary 
and heavy-laden hearts." 

Both Miriam and her brother had been strict churchgoers 
since their last return from the shades of death. On the 
previous day they had attended the morning and evening 
services at the parish church of Everdale. 

The birthday dinner was all that could be desired. Every- 
one was in the best of humour. There was not the slightest 
token of the awful blow about to be dealt by Martin Nickley. 
He had been kept informed by the aid of his gold of all that 
was passing at Everdale Manor. He laid his plans to 
culminate on this particular occasion, when the dear and tried 
friends were to be present to witness the disgrace. Nickley 
threw the javelins of his malice just when they would wound the 
deepest and rankle with agonising touch. He never asked or 
gave quarter in his warfare. 

After the dinner the ladies retired to the drawing-room ; the 
gentlemen smoked and chatted for half an hour before joining 



At Bay. 311 

them. There was a traitor among the servants. A light had 
been placed in a window ; this was the signal and the moment 
was at hand. The thunderbolt fell, as it was intended, with 
deadening effect — not one moment too soon or too late. 

A carnage drove vip to the door. All were expressing 
wonder who it could be; perhaps some callers. The latter 
surmise was, indeed, the correct one. A moment later two 
detectives from Scotland Yard entered the room, accompanied 
by an American officer. 

" Which is Colonel Creedmore % " said one of them, looking 
around the room, scanning the faces of the gentlemen present 
•with an inquiring gaze. 

"I am," said Milton, coming forward fi'om the side of 
Pauline, wdiom he had taken to dinner. 

"In the name of Her Majesty," said the officer, laying his 
hands on Milton. " This officer," he continued, pointing to the 
American, "has an order of arrest for you under the Extradition 
Treaty. You are wanted in the United States on the charge of 

MURDER, FORGERY, and ROBBERY ! 

" Very good," was the quiet answer of Milton, casting a 
swift look at his sister. " Please allow me to change my dress." 

" Certainly," was the answer. 

Half an hour later Milton was driven away in the carriage 
with the officei's. Those assembled were almost paralysed by 
the swiftness of the stroke. All eyes were turned to Miriam, 
who sat on a sofa, deadly pale. One javelin had gone home ; 
the other was to follow. 



CHAPTER Y. 

TUE WANDERER. 

MiRlAJi, having been wai-ned of the evil designs of Nickley, 
was not altogether surprised at the aiTest of her brother. She 
was also well aware that if taken to Salt Lake City he would 
be acquitted if he had a fair trial. The danger was from the 
mob, or, more than likely, the vigilants would take the law into 
their own hands and hang him without waiting for a verdict. 

On the day following the arrest, Robert with his brother 
Joliu went to London and instructed their family solicitor to 
look after the interests of Milton. The hearing; was to be held 



312 Miriam vs. Milton. 

on Thursday, and it took place at the Bow Street office. The 
papers were too carefully prepared in Amer'ica to permit of 
any doubts being cast on the evidence. Milton was accordingly 
handed over to the charge of the American officer to sail on 
Saturday's steamer for New York. His cousins, with the Kev. 
Mr. Huben and Chaplain Vivian, accompanied him to the 
vessel and every provision v/as made for his comfort. Uncle 
Richard sent him a draft on New York for five hundred 
pounds, and told him to draw upon him for any further sum 
he needed. Miriam wrote a letter full of sisterly counsel, 
advising him on arrival to send at once for Colonel Derwent 
and Colonel Moorehead. His cousin Margaret would be of 
great service. A letter had been posted to her by the same 
steamer that would take him over. His lawyers arranged that 
no indignity should be offered to him in transit. No one was 
to know that he was a prisoner. In this matter, however, 
Martin Nickley had tried to anticipate them. He procured 
the publication in all the newspapers that the " notorious 
Colonel Creedmore " had been arrested on the charge of murder 
and would sail by the Guion Line steamer on Saturday. 
Milton's cousins, however, paid the difference of passage on the 
Cunard steamship, and as the detective made no objection 
they embarked on her. Nickley was thus foiled in the base 
design of making the voyage unpleasant for his victim. 

In one hour after Milton had sailed Martin Nickley opened 
his campaign against the woman whose life he had embittered 
so much. She was seated in the library talking to Pauline and 
uncle Kichard. The rest of her kindred had gone to their 
homes. Two callers were announced — " On Her Majesty's 
Service." These magic words open every door, from the stately 
palace to the humblest cottage. It may mean promotion or 
ap}jointment to some lucrative office. But it oftener ini])lies 
that the prison cells are ready for one more unfortunate. When 
the callers in this particular instance had been ushered into the 
library they asked for Esther Creedmore, alias Madeline 
Montana. 

" My name is Miriam Esther Creedmore Harold, the Countess 
of Montville, at your service," said the woman for whom they 
had come- 

" There must be some mistake," was the reply of one of the 
men, awed by her magnetic gaze. " We have an order of arrest 
issued by the Chief of Police in Brussels for a woman described 

as ," here the officer hesitated, but continued : " You do not 

look like the person we want. Did you ever assume the name 



The Wanderer. 313 

of Madeline Montana 1 Pai'don me for asking such a question, 

but we are here on Her Majesty's Service, and ." Again the 

officer of the law hesitated, for Miriam stood before him erect, 
looking haughty, cold, and unmoved. She knew well this was 
Nickley's work, and there was no alternative but to go with 
the officers. 

" Yes," was her quiet reply. " I did bear that name for two 
years in order to avoid the persecutions of a man called Martin 
Nickley, but never disgraced it. It was the name of a girl who 
died in the convent of the Magdeline in Brussels. Her life 
was an unfortunate one ; no doubt some stigma may have been 
attached to her, which will account for the order of arrest you 
now hold. This is part of the contemptible plot of the man I 
just named." 

" "Very sorry, madam," was the reply of the officer ; '•' but 
we have no other course except to ask you to come witli us to 
London, where I trust the charges can be proved to be utterly 
without foundation." 

As there was no ti-ain for an hour the officers were invited 
to dinner, wiiile Miriam made her preparations. Her uncle 
Richard and Pauline also went with her to London. It was 
late when they arrived, and they were driven to Bow Street, 
where bail was refused, as the charge was a capital one, being 
that of " child murder." 

Miriam's sensitive nature could not stand this awful 
imputation and she swooned away. When consciousness 
returned it was to find herself in a cell attended by a young 
woman weaxing prison raiment. Her proud spirit, however, 
came to her aid, and declining further assistance calmly awaited 
the issues of the morrow. 

Uncle Richard did not for one moment believe in the guilt 
of his niece, and resolved to defend her with all his resources. 
He employed able lawyers to represent her at the preliminary 
trial for extradition to Belgium. Early on the following day 
they had an interview with her and heard the whole story. 
They at once sent a messenger to Brussels to obtain the 
evidence of the Mother Superior of the Convent of the 
Magdalene. Bail was again offered but refused. The hearing 
was set down for Wednesday, the 12th of March. Martin 
Nickley also paid a prominent solicitor to aid the Crown in the 
pending examination. He did not want the woman sent to 
Brussels, he protested, nor did he wish his name mixed up in 
this afi"air in any way. He told the solicitor that he felt sorry 
for the family, and if Miriam would only confess her guilt a 



314 Miriam vs. Milton. 

way would be found to get her out of the country. Thus he 
assumed the position of a friend to the accused, but also as not 
in favour of compromising justice. He had nevertheless 
prepared an exaggerated account of the whole affair for the 
press, and paid liberally for its insertion. All the London 
dailies on the morning succeeding the arrest had sensational 
articles headed : 

"crime in high life. 

AN admiral's daughter ARRESTED FOR CHILD MURDER. 
TWO PROMINENT OLD ENGLISH FAMILIES INVOLVED." 

Marked copies of these papers were sent to Sir Thomas 
Shirley and all friends of the family. Nickley did not let the 
opportunity pass without having a fling at Pauline, in order to 
get square with her husband and also her late father, for he 
bad never forgotten the horsewhipping nor the expulsion from 
the club fourteen yeai's previously. So in Tuesday's papers an 
article ajDpeared stating that Mrs. Pauline Bentley, the wife of 
the first lieutenant of the flagship " Stiffsides," now at Malta, 
was the bosom friend and companion of the accused, Miriam 
Creedmore, tdiaa Madeline Montana. A number of these 
papers were sent to all naval stations and ships in commission. 

Martin Nickley expected an easy victory in the trial, and 
as a result Miriam would be given in charge of the oflicer from 
Brussels, This man was in his pay. The anticipation was that 
she would be badly frightened and willing to accept his offer of 
escape by leaving the country, going to Australia never to 
return. His calculations were based wiiou his experience of 
Esther's character. To be sure he lately had seen some exhibi- 
tion of a haughty spirit, but that he attributed to the example 
of Milton. The latter being now out of the way, he hoped to 
find the same timid girl that he had managed so long in past 
years. 

The examination was short. The able solicitors em])loyed 
by uncle Richard produced the swoi'n statement of the Mother 
Superior at Brussels, which proved conclusively that the charge 
was an old exploded one that was decided two years before the 
real Madeline died. All the other evidence was rebutted by 
undoubted proof of innocence. Miriam was absolved com- 
pletely of the charges, but the judge rebuked her for her folly in 
taking the name of such a noted character as this Montana girl. 

Miriam was now a free woman, but all London knew of her 
past career. She left the court I'oom suffering from nervous 
prostration, and went with her uncle and Pauline to the 



The Wanderer. 315 

Midland Hotel, and might have recovered from the shock 
speedily but for a letter received the next day from Mrs. Van 
Heem. It was written from Everdale, where she had returned 
and once more installed herself as mistress. 

She told her niece that, having disgraced the family heritage, 
she must never presume to set her polluted feet inside the 
manor. The best thing now would be to assume a new name 
and emigrate to Australia. There she could find employment 
&s a servant, and if reports were satisfactory an allowance 
would be sent to her. Even her uncle must not return until 
he had given evidence of repentance for his disgraceful conduct 
in "harbouring a fallen woman." Mrs. Ainsworth wrote 
asking that Miriam would never mention the fact of her 
sojourn for eighteen months at Beechwood School. Her name 
had been erased from the list of former pupils. 

A third letter came from her cousin Adelaide, stating that 
the doors of Elmswood wei'e closed against her for ever. In the 
hour when she needed kind, sympathetic words from her 
relatives not one ray of hope could she get except from Pauline 
and uncle Richard. The worship of that terrible god, family 
heritage, was in the way of any assistance. 

As We have before stated Miriam was of a strong nature, 
but there are limits to even the most powerful. These three 
letters were too much for endurance. Her mind became 
weakened under the awful strain and a desire came to flee from 
her kindred. Why should uncle Richard be under the family 
ban on her account % Even the loving Pauline was injured 
because of loyal friendship for her schoolmate. 

The day was cold and blustering, the wind was from the 
east, and snow fell at intervals. It was the last effort of 
winter. Miriam left the hotel quietly without Pauline knowing 
of it. Her uncle had gone out to attend to some business. 
She had no particular purpose, no place to go for shelter, and 
even neglected to take money. She had on a travelling dress 
of navy-blue cloth. 

A brief note was left for uncle Richard asking him not to 
seek her. She desired to get away from all connections and 
friends, otherwise madness would result from the strain. 

Up one street Miriam wandered and down another. The 
snow began to fall heavily. Still the proud spirit sustained the 
physical nature, but the latter began to show signs of weakening. 
It was now four o'clock. Her breakfast had been a slight one, 
and nothing since then had passed her lips. She saw a sign 
with the words, " Home for the Friendless." It was a 



316 Miriam vs. Milton. 

pretentious mansion, given by a maiden lady on her death-bed 
for the purpose indicated, with a liberal endowment. In charge 
of the home was a woman belonging to the same class as Mrs. 
Van Reem — a widow, but with very little of the milk of 
human kindness in her constitution, 

Miriam rans: the bell, which was answered bv a vouni; 2:irl 
of about fourteen years. A chair was in the hall, into which 
the tired wanderer dropped with a sigh of relief for even this 
brief rest. A moment later the deaconess, as she was pleased 
to call herself, swept into the hall robed in a dress of black 
silk that . must have cost at least fifteen shillings a yard. 
Her manner was cold and scornful. She looked at Miriam 
with a quick survey of her wet raiment. Then in slow, 
measured words said : " Did you wish to see me % " 

Miriam put her hand to her head as though to collect her 
thoughts, and answered : 

" Can I have shelter for the night 1 " 

" Have you any money 1 " was the query. 

" Money, did you say 1 No ; but I can get some to-morrow," 

" Oh, yes, perhaps you can ; I have heard this story so often. 
Well, if you have no money we have no place for you. But I 
can give you a little change." The deaconess at this moment 
remembered that she had received that very day a sovereign 
from a charitable lady to be given to some deserving woman. 
Here was a doubtful case. If the whole of this sum, she 
reasoned with herself, was given it might be wasted on a 
worthless person. In order, therefore, not to be deceived she 
handed out a shilling and kept the balance lierself, thus making 
sure that the bounty of the donor should not be wasted on one 
who would not appreciate the gift. The head of this so-called 
charitable establishment called the }"Oung girl and bade her 
open the door for " this woman," as she designated Miriam. 
Before it was closed the child was told to get a pail of water 
and a scrubbing-brush to wash the chair where this person sat, 
as it was polluted. This was meant as an object-lesson for the 
young girl. 

Miriam heard this remark and turning to the deaconess 
flung the shilling at her feet, and with her eyes blazing forth 
all the indignation of her nature, said : 

" You should change your sign, calling it ' The Home of 
Hypocrisy,' God help the friendless when they come to you 
for aid and shelter." 

With this retort she left the house and faced the now bitter 
storm. Once more summoning all the energv of her dauntless 



The House of the Good Shej^herd. 317 

spirit she resolved not to falter in the resolution to keep avvaj 
from her kindred. It was indeed the hour of triumph for 
Martin Nickley. Alone she could not fight him. She asked 
heaven for help, for light, for guidance in this hour of 
extremity, and the prayer was answered at once. 



CHAPTER VI. 

THE HOUSE OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD. 

From the statement made in the last chapter the reader 
may think that the author has a personal feeling in this 
matter. In refutation of this he would say that the account 
narrated about the Home for the Friendless was copied 
from a London journal, and adopted by him as germane to the 
story he is now relating. 

What Miriam needed in her present condition was some- 
thing to arouse her from the depression of mind. This had 
been effectually done by the action of the deaconess in directing 
the chair to be washed in which she had sat for a few minutes' 
rest. The snow now came down in large flakes, covering her 
as with a white mantle. On she pressed with no particular 
oljject in view, only to keep moving. The clock of a church 
was just striking six when she stopped by an arched gateway. 
A lamp burning over it illuminated a sign which when read 
stirred every fibre of her nature. With a shudder she shrank 
back, exclaiming : 

" Oh, no ; not that ! " 

She put her hands up to her face and the hot teai's came as 
a relief. Once again she looked at the sign, and leaned 
against the stone door-post for support. The first impulse was 
to return to the Midland Hotel, where uncle Richard and 
Pauline would give a cordial welcome. A passing cab went 
slowly by ; when on the point of hailing it her hand went up 
involuntarily to the bell handle. The words which agitated 
her so much was, " The House of the Good Shepherd." To 
seek entrance under its sheltering roof would be a virtual 
admission of a fallen condition. She was startled at the 
impulse that caused her to ring the bell. The door, or, more 



318 Miriam vs. Milton. 

properly speaking, the gate, opened but no one was there. 
Going inside, a large granite building at the end of a walk 
thirty feet distant met her gaze. Stone steps led up to 
the main doorway, A lamp shone in the centre over the 
}iorch. She wondered what her reception would be at this 
establishment. Certainly it could not be worse than that 
accorded at the Home for the Friendless. Her feet had 
hardly touched the lower step Avhen the massive door swung 
wide open, and a Sister of Charity stood to give her a welcome. 
The hall was refreshingly warm. As the door closed behind 
her a gentle voice said, in a tone so sweet and musical that 
set all doubts at rest in regard to the reception that would be 
accoi-ded : 

" Welcome, my sister, to this house, in the Saviour's name." 

These Avords were spoken by a woman who might have been 
forty years of age. She was dressed in the habit of the order 
of St. Joseph. The face was one of striking beauty with a 
skin pale, but of a texture so fine as to be almost juvenile. 
Her eyes were hazel, with a high forehead, to which the white 
covering of the order on her brow lent an additional charm. 
Quietly the sister surveyed the visitor, and Miriam spoke in 
answer to the token of welcome : 

" Can I have shelter for the night 1 I have no money, but 
this ring is of some value." 

She took off her glove and showed a diamond ring that was 
pi'esented by uncle Richard as a birthday token. 

" Keep the ring, my sister ; you are welcome to what we 
have in the name of our blessed Redeemer. We seek no 
information here as to your past history, except such as you 
may volunteer to relate. Your clothes are wet and your hands 
cold. Come, and I will give you dxy raiment and a warm 
meal." 

" I ask only shelter for the night," replied Miriam sorrow- 
fully. " Let me sleep in the kitchen before the fire. I may 
pollute your house by remaining longer. To-morrow you cau 
wash the chair on which I sleep so that it will taint no one 
else." 

The sting of the insult of the deaconess was rankling in her 
bosom ; at the thought of it she sat down in a chair and wept 
bitterly. 

The sister, who was no other than the Mother Su})erior of 
the establishment, was passing through the hall when the bell 
rang. She now knelt down beside Miriam, and putting her 
arms around her, said : 



The House of the Good Shepherd. 319 

• '' Where did you get such an impression of our sisterhood as 
to thiuk we would do anything so uncharitable as to make you 
feel unwelcome ? If you are in trouble we will seek to alleviate 
it ; if you are hungry we will feed you ; if you are sick we 
will try to heal not only the body but the soul ; if you are 
persecuted here you will be secure from annoyance of every 
kind. But you must not remain a moment longer in your wet 
garments." 

Two other sisters now came into the hall and repeated the 
welcome so heartily that Miriam arose to follow them. She 
told of the cruel words spoken to her at the Home for 
the Friendless. 

The Mother Superior, whose name in the convent was Sistex' 
Marie Delphine, after hearing Miriam's story said to her : 

"By the rules of our order we never presume to JLidge of 
the actions of other institutions. We eudeavour to act and so 
conduct ourselves here that we may be found blameless before 
all mankind, and as far as possible in the sight of our blessed 
Master." 

Miriam was taken to a warm bedroom. As her feet were 
wet she was persuaded to go to bed. A few moments later a 
supper was brought to the bedside. She was truly thankful 
for the kind Providence that led her to this house of the Good 
Samaritans. Little did she think that this very establishment, 
whose name had made her shudder when she first saw it, was 
to be so strangely interwoven with her history in the critical 
hour when her whole destiny hung upon the effort to break 
the chain of circumstantial evidence. 

At eight o'clock she was sleeping soundly. 

The regular priest in attendance on the sisters of the House 
of the Good Shepherd was away in Rome on a visit, and acting 
in his place was the Rev. A. J. Sarmaine, the vice-rector of 
a college. Father Sarmaine was thirty-five years of age, 
but his smooth face and clear-cut features gave him a much 
younger look. He belonged to one of the old English families. 
His father had intended him for the diplomatic service. After 
graduating at Stonyhurst College, the great and justly-cele- 
brated Jesuit institution of learning in the Korth of England, 
he spent two years as attache in the English Embassy at 
Paris. His thoughts, however, turned to the Church. He was 
one of those men who are born to this work, and can no more 
keep from entering into sacred orders than they can help 
coming into the world. It was a great disappointment to his 
laiher, who had looked anxiously forward to the time whe^n 



320 Miriam vs. Milton. 

promotion step bj step would raise him to the raiak of 
ambassador. His mother was also ambitious of worldly 
honours. He was, however, a dutiful son, and while his 
heart was set on holy things yet realised that his father, who 
liad spent so much money on his education, had a right to 
advise him about his movements. He exhibited his aspirations 
for work in the vineyard of his Divine Master so strongly 
to his parents that they finally yielded. The seven years' 
judicious training at Stonyhurst had borne legitimate fruit. 
In due course of time he was ordained. His superior talents 
took him at once to the front. He was now, as we have 
stated, the vice-rector of a large college. It was very rare to 
find so young a man in a post of so great responsibility. 

Father Sarmaine was of a very gentle disposition, liberal in 
his views, and, while devoted to the interests of the Catholic 
faith, yet was willing to r^we credit to those of other denomina- 
tions for their earnest zeal in the service of their common Lord 
and Master. Massillon, the great evangelican preacher of the 
ISth century, was his favourite authoi'. Wherever he went 
his genial face attracted attention as being one of a higher grade 
than the ordinary class of priests. No other in the City of 
London was better adapted for the peculiar work of the 
House of the Good Shepherd. There was such a kindly, 
sympathetic look in his eyes that women in distress or sorrow 
felt that they could confide in him. No matter bow low they 
had fallen there was no look of reproach. Yet no one would 
have dared to take the slightest liberty with him. Thus we 
present him to our readers, and hope his actions as he comes 
upon the scene of our story may not belie the analysis of his 
character. This is no fancy sketch. The author first met him 
in Rome, and had abundant opportunities of studying his 
disposition in the mutual friendship that followed. 

The morning after the arrival of Miriam Father Sarmaine 
went, as was his custom, to visit the sisters and also to speak to 
the new-comers. The Mother Superior told him of her guest, 
whom she did not feel like regarding as one of the refugees from 
a world whose cup of pleasure had been drained to the bitter 
dregs. He waited in the parlour while Sister Marie Delphine 
went to invite her charge to an interview with their pastor. 

The rest during the night and the peaceful surroundings of 
the house had a very beneficial efiect upon Mii'iam. From 
what he had heard of her the priest expected to see a 
woman of fashion who had become tired of the frivolities 
of her surroundings and was glad of a respite. The stately 



The House of the Good Shepherd. Siil 

form of Miriam swept into the room with all the polished 
grace of a woman of education and refinement. "When those 
"wonderful eyes opened in their full power and beauty Father 
Sarmaine bowed lower than he remembered to have done for 
many a long day. There was an indesci-ibable something in 
her countenance that excited his curiosity and won his utmost 
sympathy. Asking her to be seated he expi-essed his great 
pleasure at this interview, and offered full assistance in any 
way that would be of service to the honoured guest of the 
house. 

Miriam told him frankly that she was not of his faith but 
belonged to the Established Church. " It must have been an 
overruling Providence that led me here," she continued, " for 
I have found nothing but kindness, and the dear Mother 
Superior has entwined herself around my heart. I owe you 
some explanation for my advent last evening, and hope that 
you do not take me for one of those unfortunate beings of my 
sex for whose special benefit this house has been established. 
My history is a strange one, but perhaps you have heard so 
many that you would not care to hear mine." 

" I must confess," was the answer, " that you inspire me 
with more than ordinary interest, and will be glad to hear 
whatever you may be pleased to im[)art. One look at your 
intelligent face is sufficient to convince the most sceptical that 
you have moved in a circle far above the class you have 
mentioned." 

Miriam then told the priest her history, combining the dual 
life, but only relating the experience in England. She gave 
him the letters that came from her aunt and cousin, and stated 
the reason for wishing to relieve her uncle from all embarrass- 
ment. He was further told that while she had no money yet 
her diamonds were worth a thousand pounds, and offered them 
to him to dispose of and use the funds as he thought test. 

" Under no consideration will I take these gems," was his 
reply. " Remain here under our protection, and I will aid you 
iu every way in my power to prove your marriage valid with 
the late Earl of Montville. Cinder this sacred I'oof Martin 
Nickley will not dare molest you, and everything will be done 
for your comfort." 

On leaving the house Father Sarmaine told the Mother 
Superior that the Countess of Montville impressed him as the 
most cultured woman he ever had the pleasure of meeting. 
Thus we leave her for a while. Milton has some claim on our 
time. 



322 Miriam vs. Milton. 

CHAPTER VII. 

GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC. 

Milton's passage on the Cunax*der was without incident. 
There was none of that romantic adventure which characterised 
Edgar's trip when he went over just eighteen years before. 

He was recorded on the list of passengers as Mr. Milton, 
and no one knew that he was a prisoner. On arriving at New 
York he was taken to the Tombs Prison and the authorities at 
Salt Lake City were duly notified. 

He had planned his course while on the steamer and now 
put everything into operation. In the first place he wrote to 
his cousin Margaret and uncle Joseph, telling of his arrival 
and the cause. Then he telegraphed to Colonel Derwent, also 
to Colonel Moorehead. He followed the advice of Miriam by 
wiring to the Grand Army Post, in San Francisco, where his 
name had been recorded as a comrade of good standing. He 
next sent woi'd to Marcy Graston and Bill Jenkins to meet 
him at Salt Lake City. If the trial should be conducted 
fairly he had no fear of the result. 

One of the charges on which he had been extradited was that 
of obtaining money by false pretences. This was a side issue. 
Murder was the main point — tlie murder of Red Loomey and 
several others whom he had never seen. In many of the 
Western towns to be accused was equivalent to being found 
guilty. There was a strong feeling against him at Salt Lake 
owing to the large amount of money lost on account of 
the Trout Creek Mining Co. The blame of all the mismanage- 
ment had been laid on Colonel Creedmox-e. He was an English- 
man • this was enough to condemn him in the Western States. 
He was accused of " salting the mine," passing himself off as 
an English baronet and thus working on the credulity of the 
vigilants, who were blinded at the sight of the virgin gold 
taken out of the bed of the creek. There was also the unfavour- 
able impression at Virginia City owing to the death of the 
noble Etaline. Milton thus had to face a combination of 
circumstances that in the aggregate might lead to serious con- 
sequences. Martin Nickley's agent had followed up all clues 
and grossly exaggerated every item of fact. 

He expected that his cousin Margaret would have been the 
first to come to his prison to bid him welcome back to America. 



Grand Army of the Republic. 323 

She did not appear. In one lioiu" after he had wired to Colonel 
Moorehead the answer came from him stating that he would 
leave by the Fall Eiver boat that evening, bringing a lawyer 
with him to take charge of his case and go to Salt Lake. Then 
came an almost identical answer from Colonel Derwent from 
Louisville, Kentucky. In the evening he received a telegram 
from his Grand Army Post in San Francisco, telling him that 
one of the ablest lawyers in that city had been retained to meet 
him on his arrival at Ogden, and a,lso authorising him to draw 
on the post for five hundred dollars. He had sent his message 
to JMarcy Graston at Denver, as that was the last jilace at 
which he had been heard from. Late in the evening came a 
despatch from him to send on by mail full particulars of the 
charges, and assuring him that both his old partners would 
stand by him for all they were worth. Not a line or word 
came from his cousin. Strangers were helping with money, 
also giving their time freely to aid and assist him in this dark 
hour. Where were his kindred? 

Nevertheless Margaret had not neglected him. She had 
spent an hour with her father pleading for permission to 
employ able counsel to defend her English cousin. It was the 
first time in her history that she had to argue any point with 
her father. He let her have her own way in everything, 
Margaret was a dutiful daughter and never imposed on her 
trusting parent. But now he was worked to a high pitch. 
She never faltered in her devotion to her cousin, and in this 
hour of his sorest need pi-oposed to stand by him, even if all 
the world said he was guilty. Not in many years had Mr. 
Richardson developed the " Ijull-dog tenacity " of his English 
nature, which now came to the surface. He had never 
forgiven Edgar the forgery of his name at Long Branch during 
the previous summer, though he helped to get him out of 
the country. Now that he was brought back a prisoner to 
stand trial for his misdeeds he was willing to renounce the 
tie of kinship. In closing the conversation he was wrought 
up to a state of passion very unusual for a staid member of 
the Society of Friends. 

" I tell thee, Margaret," he declared, " I will not use a 
dollar of mine to prevent the law from taking its course on thy 
kinsman. Yerily he must suflfer for his crimes. I feel guilty 
in aiding his escape last August." 

" But, father," she pleaded, " he has not been j^roved guilty 
of any crimes, and although he has been brought back from 
England it was owing to the malice of one Martin Nickley 



324 Miriam vs. Milton. 

who found him in the way. I had full particulars of this from 
Miriam by the last mail." 

" My child, thee must remember that there are many 
rumours likewise of that woman that are not to her credit. 
Yerily I cannot understand why the children of my late 
brother-in-law should turn out so unfortunate." 

" You forget, my worthy father, that Edgar, or Milton as 
he now prefers to be called, has a grand war record and his 
army life was without stain. Remember how you welcomed 
him back and offered him half of your business, and even sent 
to Denver a large sum of money to in\-est in the Rose Hill 
Gold Mine." 

" Ah, Margaret, thee hast called up some points in my life 
that have troubled me very much indeed. The weakness of 
the flesh overcame me, and the pride of relationship in the 
excitement of that war period made me forget the teaching of 
the Society of Friends. I did rejoice when victory crowned 
the Northern standard. It was a temptation from the Evil 
One, and I am being punished now for my exultation with 
those sons of Belial." 

'• Why, father, you don't call the brave defender's of our 
glorious Union ' sons of Belial 1 ' Whei-e would our country 
have been if they had not gone forth at the call of duty 1 " 

" Margaret, I repeat to thee what I have often said before, that 
they wei'e a necessary evil in those days, and now that we do not 
need them I am opposed to any remembrance of their so-called 
valour. Look at the Grand Army of the Republic ! AVhat 
are they but a collection of sons of Belial ! I have no doubt 
that they will help thy cousin, and verily I trust he will not 
make known his relationship to us." 

" I am deeply grieved to hear you talk in this way, my 
father," said the girl, "and for my part do not propose to desert 
Milton when he needs our help. I will seek at once for a 
lawyer of experience to defend him, and want you to go with 
me to the jail to see him." 

" Thou canst retain the lawyer, but I will not go to the 
prison. I never was in any place of that kind in my life, and 
would feel grieved to have thee go where only men of Belial 
are placed to restrain them from depredations." 

Margaret knew that her father, if left alone for awhile, 
would rej)ent of his harsh views. So she went to the " man 
of law " who had charge of her father's affairs, and told him 
the case as it stood ; also that she was anxious to see her 
cousin, but her father declined to go with her. 



Grand Army of the Republic. 325 

" He will change his mind by to-morrow," was the lawyer's 
answer. " I have to go to court in a few minutes, but will see 
Colonel Creedmore the first thing in the morning. Nothing 
will be done in his case for a week, as they must wait for the 
requisition from Salt Lake." 

Margaret went home and wrote a long letter to Milton, 
telling him what she had done in his behalf, and would 
see him in person as soon as her father was able to go out. 
She said that she believed him innocent of the charges, 
and he could always count on her warm sympathy, no matter 
what others might s.-iy about him. This letter was received the 
day after his arrival, and its effect on the imprisoned English- 
man was wonderful. It braced him up so that when Colonel 
Moorehead arrived with a Boston lawyer, prepared to go with 
him to Salt Lake, he felt that victory was almost assured. 

" Comrade Moorehead," as he chose to be called, was 
exceedingly cordial in his greeting, and told his " comi-ade of 
the war," as he styled Milton, that bail for any amount would 
be forthcoming. He would also make his case known to some 
of the Grand Army Posts in the city, and they would rally 
round him, so that he need have no fear of the result. 

That afternoon Milton was delighted to see his uncle ushered 
into the reception room where he was talking to Colonel 
Moorehead. His sweet cousin was with her father, aud the 
manner in which he was received by his kindred was a circum- 
stance that he never forgot. Quaker though he was the old 
man had softened, and his heart was opened towards his 
nephew. 

" Milton," he said, " thou shalt have all the money thou 
may require for thy defence. Thou must keep up a stout 
heart. It may be as well to have these charges tried and thine 
innocence proved ; then thou canst go about in peace without 
fear of arrest." 

" A thousand thanks, dear uncle, for your kind words; but 
I have all the money I need, and my comrades of the Grand 
Army have volunteered to assist me by procuring able counsel 
and funds to carry out the defence. What I need now is not 
gold, but that which gold cannot buy — loving words of belief 
in my innocence. I am not guilty of the charges brought 
against me." 

The tears came into Milton's eyes, and his uncle was touched 
as he never was before. 

" Milton," he said, " I will come to see thee every day, and 
the best that the city can produce in the way of eating shall be 



326 Miriam vs. Milton. 

brought to thee. My man of law tells me that the authorities 
will not take bail, for if they would I can put u^d for thee one 
hundred thousand dollars." 

After a few words of kind greeting from cousin Margaret 
she left with her father. 

" Milton has changed," said the old quakei-. " Verily I 
cannot understand it. There is more of a gentle spirit in the 
flash of those eyes than what there was last August." 

" There is something about Milton that is mysterious," said 
the daughter. 

At four o'clock in the afternoon the grey-]:aired and battle- 
scarred veteran. Colonel Derwent, embraced Milton, saying : 
" My dear Colonel Creedmore, I left my home on an hour's 
notice and proi^ose to stand by you until you are a free man. 
I have with me five thousand dollars and there is more behind 
it. Those Salt Lake idiots will be taught a lesson." 

Thus the days passed pleasantly. A number of comrades of 
the Grand Army came to see him. Among them were several 
prominent lawyers, who ofi'ered to defend him on his trial. 
All this was without thought of compensation from the 
prisoner. The comradeship of vetei'ans was indeed a tie 
stronger than that of blood. Although they were classed as 
" men of Belial " by many of the Society of Friends, who were 
only too glad to avail themselves of their strong arms and 
stalwart forms to keep at bay for four years the men who 
sought to burn their homes over their heads, yet now that the 
danger was past looked upon them as butcliers. We will now 
go back to England. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

THE CHATEAU DE NAYMOURS. 

When Richard Shirley returned to the Midland Hotel and 
found a note that Miriam had left him he was very much grieved 
that she had acted in this rash and hasty manner. Not for a 
moment did he have any doubts of her entire innocence. 
Pauline was prostrated by Miriam's departure, and resolved to 
devote her time to finding out where she had gone. This was 
a more difficult matter than she had anticipated. Miriam had 



The Cliateau de Naymours. 327 

resolved to remain under the protection of the Sisters of 
Charity, and Father Sarmaine said that she woukl at all times 
find him at her service. 

The sudden flight had surprised Martin Nickley. He 
employed able detectives, but no trace of the missing one was 
obtained. No one thought of asking for information at the 
House of the Good Shepherd. It was naturally supposed by the 
average policeman to be the very last place to which a proud- 
spirited woman like Miriam would go for refuge. A week 
passed without the slightest clue, and Nickley began to think 
that she had actually thrown herself into the river. He knew 
that Esther had manifested such symptoms several times, and 
therefore offered a large reward for the body. Gladly would he 
have paid more than a thousand pounds to have seen it laid 
out for the grave. It became necessary for his security 
that Miriam should die ; the longer she lived the more his 
own danger augmented. Business of a very urgent nature 
called him away to Italy, and we must go back for a few 
moments to a part of our narrative which will make certain 
matters clear that may have been a little equivocal. Tlie 
reader will remember that when Martin Nickley first came to 
see Lord Grassmere it was with an introduction from Count 
Rochmere, who sent his friend Count Morella de Naymours to 
take his place. The right to this title we will now explain. In 
1864, while Nickley was in Italy watching the movements 
of his rival, Edmond Harold, and his bride on their honey- 
moon, he learned that the old Chateau de Naymours was for 
sale. It was situated at the head of Lake Como, and had 
been for many years the patrimony of the family. The last 
of the male line was the Count Morella Naymours. He had 
stipulated in his will that after his death or that of his two sistei's 
the property should be sold. The only condition made was that 
the purchaser should bear his name. One of these sisters was a 
widow without children and the other a maiden lady. As they 
were in need of money they were anxious to sell the chateau, 
having power to do so under the will. Martin Nickley bought 
it, together with three hundred acres of land. The purchase 
carried with it the title of count, subject to the transfer 
tax. The agent of the Italian Government called upon 
Nickley, and informed him that the assessment for the title 
when not directly inherited would be five thousand pounds of 
English money. As this was half the price paid for the whole 
estate the honour was declined. He had no particular use for 
the rank, being very plebeian in his ideas. He knew that in 



328 Miriam vs. Milton. 

all other countries except Italy he could use it whenever he 
desired. In searching over the old family records, however, he 
found that he was entitled to the additional title of Count 
Nucingar. This came to a former heir by inheritance but was 
not used, as that of Naymours was the older and more 
honourable. Under the latter name he had married the 
daughter of Lord Grassmei'e and taken her to the chateau, 
where she spent most of the time of her married life. Her 
little daughter was called Luella Nucingar. 

Tlie time had come now when the legal right to use in Italy 
the title of Count Morella de Naymours was necessary for 
Martin Nickley. 

He was engaged to marry Lady Martha Oi-mond, sister of 
Lord Grassmere. The marriage was to have taken place in 
October. He had fitted up the chateau in elegant style for his 
expected bride. The appearance of Esther, wliom he thought 
dead, had caused him to delay the wedding until spring. His 
plea was ill health. 

Now that Miriam liad probably drowned herself he felt ar. 
liberty to go to Italy. After much bargaining with the 
officers of the Italian Government the tax for the legal 
right to use the title of count was fixed at two thousand 
pounds. Nickley drew up the papers himself, and stipulated 
that he was privileged to assume all the rank belonging to the 
house of Naymours. When the money was paid and the 
papers of nobility had been signed by the king, Nickley had the 
notice printed in the newspapers that under the royal signet 
he was the Count de Naymours and also the Count Nucingar. 
The Italian authorities were very much chagrined to find that 
two titles had been given for the price of one. 

Although Nickley for so many years had despised the title, 
yet, now that he was so addressed by the government, he 
became proud of it. It needed only his marriage to the earl's 
sister to complete his ambition. He had an income of twenty 
thousand pounds a year, his habits were not expensive, and 
he was anxious for children to perpetuate his name. How, then, 
did Miriam stand in his way % Because he had acknowledged 
to Milton that she was his lawful wife. He had not intended 
to make this confession ; it came out before he was aware of it. 
Nevertheless, though this so-called marriage was not a demon- 
strated fact, he could not afibrd che risk thac it should be made 
a matter of inquiry. The reader will remember that Esther 
told Ziska, on Westminster Bridge, that Nickley had brought 
a man to perform the ceremony at the chateau where she was 



The Chateau de Naymours. 329 

a ])nsoner. This man assumed to be a priest. Afterwards, 
Nickley had told lier that he was a Paris cab-driver. This 
was iudeed his occupation. His solicitor had told him that 
such a marriage in France was void. In Scotland it would 
have been legal, but in England it was not. The easiest 
solution was to induce Miriam to leave the country, failing 
in that then woiny her to her grave. He regarded this 
whole matter as thousands of men do. He was a man with a 
hirge income, healthy, and of possible great use to his country. 
Such a life vv^as valuable. Besides, he was an Italian count. 
This made his estimate of his worth rise higher. Against this 
was a woman whose character was ruined, and had been 
<liscarded by most of her relatives. She could not enjoy 
life. The best thing for her would be to die and thus 
leave him free from all impediments. This is a cold-blooded 
argument. Yet it is indulged in by many. He was doubtful 
as to whether Miriam had any intention of ending her mortal 
existence. She did not believe what Nickley had told Milton, 
about her being his lawful wife. She hated the man, and only 
desired to be let alone by him. But this he did not propose to 
do so long as she was living. " That woman has more lives 
than a cab," was his observation to the man whom he employed 
to search for her body. 

Nickley returned to England early in June, and went 
directly to Grassmere Manor to pay his respects to his affianced 
wife, the Latiy Martha. Not far from the eai-l's residence was 
an old-fashioned building, called " Langworth Hall." The late 
owner had been a very eccentric bachelor. He was taken sick 
suddenly in the streets of London and sent to a hospital where 
the sisters of charity were the nurses. They waited on him 
attentively without knowing that lie was a rich man and large 
landed proprietor. He died in the hospital, but before doing 
so made a will leaving Langworth Hall and the interest of ten 
thousand pounds to keep it in repair for the use of the sisters 
as a summer home. 

On the loth of June Sister Delphine took Miriam, who was 
ill from worry and mental depression, to Langworth. At first 
she was not willing to go, apprehending that she might not only 
meet Martin Nickley but Lady JMartha or the earl himself. 

On airival Miriam kept herself carefully secluded in the 
grounds. She had made a full statement to Father Sarmaine 
and Sister Delphine about her former stay at Grassmere 
Manor under the name of Esther Ducie, the daughter of a 
Huguenot clergyman. This had been done at the suggestion 



330 Miriam vs. Milton. 

of Nickley and was not in accordance with her own desire. 
Lady iSIartha, although a member of the Established Church, 
very often came to the hall to pay a visit. Miriam therefore 
took care to keep her face closely veiled every time she went 
out walking- M'ith one or more of the sisters. 

On the 20th of June, while taking one of those wnllcs with 
the Mother Superior, they suddenly encountered Pauline, who 
was visiting in the neighbourhood. She stopped and sjDoke 
to Sister Delphine, informing her that several ladies were: 
making garments for the annual fair to be given by the sisters 
in July. Miriam's heart was touched when hearing the musical 
voice of her dearest friend. Her own face being closely veiled 
she had not been recognised by Pauline. Remaining silent for 
a moment she then pronounced her name — Pauline. 

There was but one woman in the world that could speak like 
that, and instantly Miriam found herself clasped in the arms of 
her schoolmate. Together they walked back to the hall. 
Pauline went in to spend the rest of the day, and heard the 
experience of the last three months. She in turn told of how 
several letters had been received from her husband, telling 
her to stand by Miriam through all reports no matter what 
the world said. She had walked the streets early and 
late watching faces, but never once seeing the one dearer 
than all others. At sundown she took her departure, 
promising to come next day. Early on the following 
morning Father Sarmaine paid a visit to the sisters and 
expressed a wish to see Miriam, He had long since perceived 
that she was a woman of unusual mental abilities, but had 
refrained so far from speaking to her about religious matters. 
If she could be won over to the Catholic faith it would be quite 
an acquisition, especially when her right to the title of 
Countess of Montville should be established. He felt sure 
this would speedily come, as the case was now pending in 
the courts. This would release the very large amount of 
money due to her from her father's estate, besides her dower 
interest. The priest must not be regarded as mercenary in 
this transaction. Shelter had been freely given to Miriam 
when nothing was known of her position. The very fact that 
she sought refuge in the House of the Good Shepherd was an 
indication that she had no friends to inquire after her. 

During the thi'ee months that Miriam had been under the 
charge of the sisters she was always treated with marked 
respect, money being freely furnished for her needs by Father 
Sarmaine out of his private funds. He had positively refused 



The Chateau de Naymours. 331 

to sell her diamonds or allow her to part with them. As 
stated in a previous chapter, the ipriest was not disposed to 
take advantage of her distressed position to press upon her a 
religion diiFerent in some of its teachings from the one in 
which she had been brought up. He now asked her whether 
there was any information regarding the Catholic faith that 
would enable her to look upon it as the one essential to 
salvation. If there was he would be happy to impart it. 

" Father Sarmaine," she replied, " there is not such a radical 
difference between the Established and the Catholic faith as to 
require much argument to draw one over to yours. But until 
cleared from all imputations resting on my character I would 
prefer to remain in my present condition. I have had an 
experience — in fact, two of them — that has led me to place 
more value on the main points of Christianity and not so much 
on the various denominations that divide it. Some other time 
I will tell you some strange things." 

At this point visitors came in and the religious talk was 
postponed to a future day. 



CHAPTER IX. 

THE DIAMOND CROSS. 

MiriAjVI was conscious that coming to Langworth Hall was 
an error of judgment, for it was close to Grassmere Manor 
where Martin Kickley was in the habit of visiting. Had she 
stayed away much suffering might have been avoided. 

Pauline was now a regular visitor, and went out with Miriam 
for walks together. On the tenth day of her arrival the bell 
rang about ten o'clock. Miriam expecting that it was her 
friend answered it in person. She was very much astonished 
to behold Lady Martha. The latter recognised her although it 
was now seven years since the departure from Grassmere Mauoi-. 

" My dear Esther," was the salutation. " What are you 
doing here 1 I thought you were a Protestant, being the 
daughter of a Huguenot clergyman. Have you gone over co 
Eome % " 

"Ko," was the answer, "I am on a visit to Sister Marie 
Delphine, who is a friend of mine. My name is Miriam. 
Esther is my second name." 



332 Miriam vs. Milton. 

" My brother, the earl, v.dll be delighted to know that you 
are in the neighbourhood once more. We shall expect you 
over to see us at the manor. I suppose that you have heard 
all about my engagement to Count Morella de Naymours. 
We are to be married shortly." 

" This is the first I have heard of it," was the answer. 

*' He has fitted up the grand old Naymours chateau on the 
border of Lake Conio, and we will be delighted to see you 
there," said Lady Martha. 

Miriam was indeed astonished at this information. Perhaps 
now there would be peace and rest fi'om Niokley's persecutions. 
She was tempted to tell Lady Martha that the count and 
Martin Nickley were one and the same person. After due 
reflection, however, she concluded it was none of her business. 
All iiour later Pauline came and Lady Martha left. 

Miriam speedily made up her mind to go back to London to 
the House of the Good Shepherd. Pauline agreed with her 
that it was the best course to adopt. Wliile talking the matter 
over with the Mother Superior the bell rang and Lord 
Grassmere was announced. 

" My dear Esther," said the earl, " I am delighted to see 
you. My sister has just told me that you were here, and I 
would have called sooner if I had known that you were in the 
neighbourhood. She also informed me that your first name is 
Miriam. Well, they are both good names. Count Morella 
is in Paris. You have heard of his engagement to my sister. 
I am anxious to hear all about you since you left us. It is 
seven years ago and you haidly look older than you did then. 
You must also see my little grandchild. Ah ! how you did try 
to persuade that daughter of mine to get those romantic notions 
out of her head. Well, poor child, she is gone." 

Miriam replied : " I feel greatly honoured, Lord Grassmere, 
at your visit and deeply grateful for your kind invitation, but 
am about to return to London today. Some other time I will 
be delighted to accept your hospitality." 

" Impo.ssible to think of letting you go, my dear Miriam. I 
hunted for you many long months ; now that you are found I 
shall expect a visit. My sister needs your help at this present 
time. She wants your advice about the choice of a number of 
things for her coining marriage. I know that the Mother Superior 
will spare you when she knows how much we want you." 

Lord Grassmere declined to take " no" for an answer. Miriam 
was constrained to accept the offer of hospitality, and went 
with him to the manor. She found the little Luella a bright 



The Diamond Cross. 333 

charming girl, the very image of her late mother. The 
moment she crossed the threshold of the house a strange 
feeling of depression that could not be accounted for took 
possession of her. She was certain also that Mai-tiu Nickley 
would hear of her presence at the residence of his affianced. 
It placed her in a quandary as to the proper course to pursue. 
She dreaded his vengeance if he discovered that his personality 
was made known. 

Pauline came to see her the day after her arrival at the 
manor, and advised her to tell the earl everything and expose 
the character of this man. 

" Miriam," she said, •• you cannot expect any consideration 
from Nickley. Why should you hesitate a single moment ? By 
striking now you may baffle some design he may have against you. 
Hest assured that he will not let you alone after what has been 
done to Milton and yourself I am satisfied that your brother 
would never have been extradited but for Nickley's gold." 

" If that could be verified," said Miriam, " I would turn on 
him with all the vindictive fury of ray nature. I am only 
waiting for the fact of my marriage to Edmond Harold to be 
established beyond the shadow of a doubt, then Mr. Nickley 
will have a war on his hands that will fully occupy his time." 

" Miriam," said Pauline, " I am convinced that Nickley holds 
the key to the solution of that problem. He will never let you 
have the advantage that such a clearance would give. I have 
been working quietly myself on that aflfair, and have discovered 
that the so-called Rev. Albright is his relative. The Ilev. Mr. 
Demar, of Arrochar, wrote to me in answer to a letter of 
inquiry about this matter, and said that he was deceived in 
Mr. Albright, whom he was sure was not a clergyman. I have 
employed a private detective to look up the character of 
this man. In a few days a full report of his antecedents will 
be given me. My husband advised this course. I am going to 
London to-morrow and will keep you informed of all news. 
But take my advice and look out for some trap that will be 
surely laid for you. That arch-enemy of yours would not be 
happy unless he v/as plotting mischief. If I were in your place 
I would leave this house to-morrow on some plea or another." 

" I am anxious to go," said Miriam, " but a letter came from 
the Rev, Father Sarmaine this morning asking me to stay here 
as long as possible. He has hopes of winning over the earl 
and his sister to the Church of Rome. Being under such 
obligations to him I cannot well refuse to stay, ?nd will remain 
here on his account rather than on my own." 



334 Miriam vs. Milton. 

"Well, I hope nothing will arise during this visit to 
increase your troubles, but I cannot shake off a presentiment 
of evil." 

" I have the same feeling," said Miriam. " The earl and his 
sister are very kind to me. Would you believe it, he asked me 
just before you came in if my heart was still my own 1" 

•' Well, what next ! " said Pauline, " ISTo doubt the 
next thing that I hear will be that you are the Countess 
of " 

"De Naymours," said a voice behind them; and turning 
they beheld the smiling face of JMartin Nickley, disguised as 
the Count Morella de Naymours. 

The irony of his tone betrayed the fact that he had overheard 
thoir dialogue ; but without any exhibition of anger he 
continued : 

" Ah, Miss Ducie, I am delighted to see you once again 
under this hospitable roof. It is a long time since this 
privilege was accorded to me. This is your sister, I suppose," 
he said, turning to Pauline. " I have just arrived from Paris 
owing to a telegram received yesterday, and have not yet seen 
the earl. I would like to ask the opinion of you two ladies 
upon a matter of a present brought from Paris for Lady 
Martha. You are aware that in Italy a diamond cross is an 
appropriate gift to one's affianced ; but I v/ould like to know if 
in England it would be considered the proper thing to do." 

The count took from his pocket a beautiful case covered with 
crimson velvet, having the arms of the house of ISTaymours 
embossed in gold on the cover. Opening it he showed a gold 
cross studded with diamonds, each stone weighing not less than 
five carats. The ladies answered that such a gift would be a 
princely one for any English lady. " I suppose," they con- 
tinued, " this is for Lady Martha Ormond." 

" Yes," was the reply, " I bought it for p souvenir. Must 
return to Italy to-morrow to look after some improvements to 
my chateau on the banks of Lake Como. As I expect to be 
absent for several weeks I brought this little trinket to console 
my affianced for my expected absence." 

Martin Nickley's disguise was perfect and no one could easily 
have penetrated it. His long residence abroad had given him a 
foreign aspect. His assurance was unbounded, and certainly liis 
power over women Avas phenomenal. As much as Miriam and 
Pauline hated him, yet they Avere brought under his peculiar 
influence and constrained in spite of themselves to be affaljle 
with him. 



The Diamond Cross. 335 

Miriam introduced Pauliue as the wife of Lieutenant E. 
Bentley, of H.M. Ironclad " Stiffsides," flagship of the Flying 
Squadron. 

Lord Grassmere now came into the room, followed a few 
moments later by his sister. The Count Morella presented the 
cross to her without any formality, merely saying : 

" My dear Lady Martha, may I ask your acceptance of this 
little souvenir ] It is only a trifle, but hope it will be a 
reminder of the fact that in this life we have crosses to bear. 
May we all carry them as easily as you will this little one." 

" Satan turned preacher," whispered Pauliue to Miriam. 

"Ah, did you say a preacher]" said the count, turning round. 
" Well, I flatter myself that I could do as well as half of those 
who make a profession of being preachers." 

JS^ever was the magic power of this remarkable man more 
apparent than on this particular day. He had no superior in 
relating stories. He was so full of humour that his hearers 
were convulsed with laughter. Indeed Pauline was more on 
her guard than Miriam. 

Although pressed to stay for the night he declined to do so, 
on the plea that he had to take an early train for Paris. At 
eleven o'clock his carriage was announced. He found a moment 
to whisper to Miriam : " My friendship means life and my 
enmity is death. Your brother's welfare depends upou your 
discretion. Betray my secret and his life will be the forfeit." 
The next moment he was gone, 

" A very remarkable man," said Lord Grassmere to Miriam ; 
" very well educated for a foreigner." 

"I do not like him," said Pauline bluntly. "He treats 
women as though they were children. Lady Martha," she 
continued, " when you marry the count be sure and assert 
your rights at the beginning." 

" All women do that without being told," said the earl. 

When Miriam and her schoolmate retired for the night they 
spent two hours in discussing the events of the day, and trying 
to solve the problem of Martin Nickley's power over them both 
when he was with them. As soon as he was gone they felt 
freed from his influence. They could not account for it. 
Indeed many others besides themselves in London had tried 
the solution of this problem. It was the subject of much 
discussion in the clubs and elsewhere. All admitted, however, 
that his power over women was something marvellous. 

The following day Pauline left the manor, promising to be 
back in a week. For three days Miriam had a very pleasant 



336 Miriam vs. Milton. 

time of it. She gave her advice to Lady Martha about her 
weddiog trousseau. Several seamstresses were employed and 
there was much cutting and fitting. Age does not dim the 
vanity of the fair sex ; the earl's sister was no exception to the 
general rule. 



CHAPTER X. 

CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE. 

When Pauline arrived in Loudon she went directly to the 
Midlaud Hotel, and found Mr. Richard Shirley there in a very 
despondent state of mind over the abrupt departure of Miriam. 
He had heard nothing from the detectives whom he had 
employed to search for her; that is, he heard nothing satis- 
factory. They reported very often and promptly at the end of 
each week when they came for their pay. 

Learning from Pauline that his missing niece had been found 
he was greatly relieved. He told her that the claim on the 
executors of the estate of the late Earl of Montville was about 
to come up for trial, and no doubt Miriam would be given the 
recognition that was her right. 

" I hope by September to be able to return with her to 
Everdale," he added, '* and then my worthy sister will have to 
lind some other residence. The house is not large enough for 
Miriam and her auat to dwell together. We expect also to 
have ^lilton back with us, and look forward to a season of 
peace and rest. My sister has abundant funds of her own. 
She can live with our brother Sir Thomas, or at Beechnood 
Seminary." 

Pauiine told him of the dual life of Nickley, who was passing 
himself olf as the Count Morella. 

" He has the right to the title," was the answer. " I learned 
this last week. He is too shrewd a man to do anything like 
that without full authority. His money purchased the rank of 
Count de Naymours. There is nothing to j)revent him from 
marrying the Lady Martha, and I doubt even if it was known 
he was the notorious Martin Nickley whether the match would 
be broken off. Lord Grassmere is poor. Twenty thousand 
pounds a year is a great magnet to draw even prouder families 
than the house of Condor." 



Circumstantial Evidence. 337 

We -will Eow turn back to Miriam. The sixth day after 
her arrival at the manor she came down to the breakfast table 
and found Lady Martha in a state of agitation almost 
uncontrollable. 

" Miriam," she said, " I have met with a dreadful loss. Some 
one stole the diamond cross last night from my room. Did you 
hear any noise after you retired 1 I had the cross in my hand 
and laid it on my pincushion. This morning it was gone. The 
most singular thing is that my door leading into the hall was 
bolted and the one leading into your room was open." 

'* 1 heard nothing," said Miriam. " If burglars entered the 
house they would not have gone without taking the jewellery 
that was on my table. My door was not bolted. I think, how- 
ever, that I Avould have heard anyone coming into the apartment." 

After breakfast search was made for the missing article but no 
trace was found. A letter now came to Miriam from Father 
Sarmaine at Langworth Hall, stating that he had just come 
from London for the day and wished to see her. She went 
immediately to her room and put on a white cashmere dress 
that was hanging up in her closet. On her arrival at the hall 
she told Sister Delphine about the loss of the cross. Father 
Sarmaine remarked that perhaps it was mislaid and would no 
doubt be found. 

At four o'clock in the afternoon, as Miriam was about to 
return to Grassmere Manor, a man was ushered into the 
reception room. He announced that he was a detective from 
Scotland Yard, having been sent for with the view of finding 
out who had stolen the cross from Lady Martha. In the 
presence of the Mother Superior and Father Sarmaine he asked 
Miriam a number of questions, and then quietly remarked : 

" I think I know where the missing cross is at this present 
moment." 

" Where 1 " asked Miriam. 

" In your pocket," was the answer. " I have been observing 
you very closely and noticed that you display a nervous manner ; 
also you have put your hand frequently into your pocket. If you 
will turn it inside out it Avill relieve my suspicions." 

Miriam flushed to the temples at this imputation. She 
immediately pulled the pocket out. Nothing was found in it 
but a handkerchief. " Pardon me," said the detective, " let me 
examine. Aht ! " he continued : " What is this 1 " 

Taking a penknife he cut open the lower part of the pocket 
and took out the missing diamond cross wrapped up in a costly 
lace handkerchief belonging to Lady Martha. 



338 Miriam vs. Milton. 

"Just what I expected," he quietly remarked. " I am under 
the painful necessity of asking you to accompany me to London." 

Miriam drew herself up to her full height, and, looking the 
officer straight in the face, answered in a scornful tone : 

"The person who put that bauble in my pocket must have 
told you just where to look for it. Go tell your employer, 
Martin ISTickley, that this plot of his will fail as all the others 
have done." 

"Mr. JNickley is not my employer," said the detective. "I 
came from Scotland Yard to find out who took the cross. I 
simply made use of certain clues which I obtained at Grassmere 
^lanor. That jewel which you call a bauble is worth over a 
thousand pounds." 

" Miriam," said Father Sarmaine, looking at her with an 
expression of surprise, " this is a very serious matter. How do 
you account for the cross being in your pocket 1 " 

" The only theory that I can advance is that one of the 
servants, or more likely one of the seamstresses employed at the 
manor, is in the pay of Martin Nickley. As my dress was in 
the closet it was a simple matter to put the cross in the pocket and 
sew it up. This man" — pointing to the officer — "seemed to know 
just where to look for it. Why should I want to steal the 
diamonds when I have those of my own that are out of place in 
my present condition of life 1 " 

" Oh Miriam ! " said the Mother Superior, " this accusation is 
dreadful." 

" Surely," was the answer, " neither you nor Father 
Sarmaine will for one moment think that I have sunk so low as 
to violate hospitality. I have been fully warned that Martin 
iSrickley would invent some new design to get me into trouble. 
He will find a different spirit to deal with, however, than in the 
days gone by. Hitherto I have submitted tamely to his persecu- 
tions ; but now war will be declared upon him, and one or the 
other will be driven to the wall. I acknowledge, however, that 
in the present instance the evidence is against me, but my 
innocence will be proved." 

" I have heard such statements before," remarked the 
detective, " and you will find some trouble to get the bail that 
will be required. If I mistake not you were arrested last 
March on a requisition from the Chief of Police in Brussels." 

There was a conflict in the mind of Father Sarmaine. The 
circumstantial evidence before him was apparently conclusive 
against Miriam, yet his experience of the honesty of her life 
was equally convincing. Her face was truthful. She did not 



Circumstantial Evidence. 339 

"betray tlie least agitation at tlie finding of the missing cross in 
her possession. He soon came to the conclusion that some one 
in the pay of Nickley had put it where it had been found. He 
resolved to stand by her. Turning to the officer he said : 

" I can procure all the bail that may be needed for her 
appearance, and Avill go to London and meet you at the office in 
Scotland Yard. Until she is proved guilty I trust that you 
will treat her as an innocent person." 

" I will also go with you," was the loving assurance of the 
Mother Superior, as she put her arms around Miriam's neck and 
kissed her. 

Miriam now changed her dress for a black one, giving the 
white garment to the officer to be used as evidence. When 
they arrived in London Father Sarmaine took a cab and drove to 
the house of his brother, a wealthy merchant, from whom he 
procured a cheque for one thousand pounds to be used as the 
amount of bail for Miriam. When he reached the dreaded 
place — the terror of the criminal element — called Scotland Yard 
he learned that Miriam and the Mother Superior had gone 
away together. Bail had been given by Martin Nickley him- 
self. This seemed very strange. If this man was at the 
bottom of this conspiracy why should he provide the bail bond 1 
The priest went at once to the House of the Good Shepherd 
and found Miriam. She told him that when they arrived 
at Scotland Yard i\Ir. Nickley was there professedly upon 
some other matter. When he heard of the accusation against 
Miriam he declared to the Chief of Police that he was certain 
she was innocent. He said that the original thief had no 
doubt placed the stolen article in the pocket where it was found, 
in the hope that no one would think of looking in the room or 
among the clothing of a guest of the house. So convinced he 
declared himself to be of the innocence of this lady that he 
placed a thousand pound note down for the bail bond, which was 
accepted. J^Tot only had he spoken in this manner but offered 
Miriam a cheque for five hundred pounds. This she had politely 
but firmly declined. She explained to Father Sarmaine that 
j^^ickley had beyond doubt some design behind all this sudden 
display of generosity. 

"I think he has," was the reply. '" I will therefore go again 
to Scotland Yard and deposit my cheque for the full amom:it 
of the bail. This man Nickley may take it into his head to 
surrender you, or possibly try to obtain possession of your 
person. From the fact of being your bondsman he can come 
at any time with a constable to take you away, ostensibly to 



340 Miriam vs. Milton. 

put you in jail. You would then be in his power. I have 
heard of such things before. His presence at the Central Office 
already, with a thousand pound note in his pocket, looks to me 
like a pre-arranged plan." 

The following day Father Sarmaine called upon the family 
solicitor of the late Admiral Cieedmore, and went with him to 
deposit the cheque for one thousand pounds with the othciais 
of Scotland Yard. He requested them iu case Mr. !Nickley 
should come at any time to make a surrender of the woman for 
whom he was surety not to mention this fact to him. When 
the Chief of Police heard the whole explanation he concurred 
with Father Sarmaine. He added that he did not think the 
charges against the accused would be brought for trial. 

The day after the return to London Miriam wrote to Pauline 
and told her the history of the arrest, and requested her also to 
inform her uncle Eichard that she would be glad to see him. 
At five o'clock in the afternoon both of them went to the 
House of the Good Shepherd. The meeting was very affecting. 
Uncle Eichard besought his niece to return to the Midland 
Hotel with him, but she answered that it would be better for 
her to remain where she was until the trial took place. Pauline 
stayed all night with her schoolmate. She declared to Miriam 
that this last plot was instigated by i!^ickley, being the final 
effort of a man driven to desperation by repeated failures. 

" Your solicitor told me yesterday," she continued, " that 
within a month he felt certain that your claim as the Countess 
of Montville would be recognised by the courts. Then for a 
move against Nickley, which will expose his villainy and place 
him behind prison bars, where he properly belongs. Milton, I 
am sure, will also be cleared of the charges brought against 
him. A triumphal march to Everdale to dislodge Mrs. Van 
Eeem will follow." 

" How can I ever thank you, my sweet Pauline," was 
Miriam's rejoinder to these cheering predictions of her faithful 
friend. 

" You will thank me best," was the reply, " by showing more 
determined action in the future than you have done in the past. 
Eemember how much good resulted from the bold stand you 
made at Beechwood. I cannot understand your quiet sub- 
mission for so many years to this man jS^ickley." 

Miriam put her arms around Pauline's neck as she answered : 

" In everything, except love, you will find me a different 
woman to the Esther of the past." 

" I hope so," was the reply. 



Trial by Jury. 341 

CHAPTER XL 

TRIAL BT JURY. 

We must now turn back to Milton and follow him to Salt 
Lake City. During tlie ten days' sojourn in the Tombs he was 
visited daily by his cousin and her father. The worthy old 
quaker had softened very much towards his nephew. The best 
that the market afforded was purchased for his repasts. Many 
members of the Grand Army of the Eepublic came frequently ; 
both Colonel Moorehead and Colonel Derwent spent a large 
portion of their time with him. "When the final papers arrived 
they accompanied him, together with two lawyers whom they 
had engaged. Mr. Richardson also insisted upon sending a 
young man, a member of the bar, who had already made quite 
an excellent reputation in the courts of New York. 

I\rilton was escorted to the train by a goodly number of 
friends. His uncle Joseph said just before the train started : 

" Milton, when thou wentest to the war eighteen years ago I 
told thee that I felt satisfied that thou wouldst return with 
honours, and now repeat the same thing. Within a mouth I 
will look for thy safe return with all charges against thee 
disproved. Then thou shalt have such a welcome that thou 
hast never experienced before. Here is a letter that will cheer 
thee on thy journ«y." 

Cousin Margaret, with her eyes filled with tears, whispered 
to him her farewell : " ^Milton, I will pray for you daily and 
hourly as I did in the old war days. Write as often as you can. 
God be with you." 

Amid the waving of many handkerchiefs the train moved 
out of the station at Jersey City. 

Could Martin Mckley have seen this enthusiastic display he 
would have felt that it was a bad omen for him. But a hard 
fight was in reserve. 

The letter which Mr. Eichardson gave to cheer his nephew 
contained five bank notes of five hundred dollars each. 

When the party arrived at Denver they were met by Marcy 
Graston, with whom were William Jenkins and his wife. No 
greeting is more hearty and full of honest welcome than that 
accorded by the miners of the far West. These staunch old 
friends of Colonel Creedmore did nothing by halves. They had 
already sent on to Salt Lake City one of the ablest lawyers of 



S42 Miriam vs. Milton. 

Denver, aud they proposed to go themselves. Some one had 
stkred up the lawless element of the population in the capital 
of Mormonism, and they were likely to be met by a vigilance 
committee when they arrived at Ogden. Fortunately Lieutenant 
Grimes, the old war friend of the colonel, who had lately 
passed his examination and commissioned second lieutenant 
in the regular army, was now with his company at Salt Lake. 
He had been informed of the coming of Colonel Creedmore, 
and was sure to take care of all vigilants who might have 
planned a " neck-tie sociable," as the lynching parties were 
called. 

After a rest of one day the company set out for Cheyenne. 
More old friends of the English colonel, as Creedmore was 
termed, were present at the station at that place to bid him 
welcome. Money was offered without stint. Several even 
proposed to accompany him if it was necessary. Marcy Craston 
thanked them on behalf of the colonel, and stated that they 
would be called upon if needed. 

At the first station on this side of Ogden an Indian chief, 
with six warriors all heavily armed, got on the train. Many of 
the passengers felt very nervous as these stalwart sons of the 
forest walked through the train, looking each passenger in the 
face. They were evidently seeking some person. When they 
reached the Pullman coach the coloured porter sought to stop 
them, saying : 

" Dis am a private car, sah, and dere is no room for intruders, 
sah." 

" Stand on one side," answered the Indian chief in excellent 
English, with an accent that commanded instant obedience. 

The porter obeyed this order wii,h alacrity, and instinctively 
put his hand to his head as though to be sure of his wool. 

" Is it all there ] " asked the chief, with a faint perception of 
a smile. 

" Yes, sah, it am dere sure enough." 

" Then if you want to keep it where it belongs do not inter- 
fere with us, but show me where I can find Colonel Creedmore," 

" Golly ! do you want to raise his scalp 1 Beckon as how 
you had better be kind ob careful for de colonel hab lots ob 
friends on dis yere car." 

At this moment the chief caught sight of the man he was 
seeking, and he said to him : 

" My pale-faced brother, the Indian chief Grey Cloud comes 
to greet you and place himself and his warriors at your disposal. 
At Ogden station waiting for your arrival there is a large baud 



Trial hy Jury. 343 

of vigilants led on by an EnglislimaD. Lieutenant Grimes is 
also there with twenty soldiers, but they are only a handful. I 
have provided sixteen horses waiting a mile on this side of the 
station j by taking them we can reach Salt Lake ahead of the 
vigilants. Any loss of life now would injure your chances of 
acquittal at your coming trial. I cannot understand how all 
this excitement has been raised or for what purpose." 

Graston and Jenkins both greeted the chief. They knew him 
personally and introduced him to the others. 

Grey Cloud's advice was followed. The train Avas stopped at 
the appointed place and the company mounted the waiting 
animals, with the Indians as escort. The conductor of the train 
promised to inform Lieutenant Grimes, so that he might return 
at once to Salt Lake. It Avas late at night when the party 
arrived in that city, where the officer delivered his prisoner to 
the authorities. 

Mckley's agent had been using money freely to keep up the 
excitement against Colonel Creedmore. "When after waiting 
two days at Ogden the vigilants heard that the man they were 
seeking was safe in the jail at Salt Lake City, they returned to 
find how their victim escaped them. They now decided to wait 
for the trial. 

Colonel Creedmore found on arrival that his Grand Army 
Post had sent on one of the ablest lawyers in San Francisco to 
aid him in his defence. 

The District Attorney who had charge of the case of " The 
People vs. Colonel Creedmore " was a young man. He had 
read lavv with his father, a celebrated judge in San Francisco. 
The father's reputation as a jurist obtained for the sou the 
position which he now held. Genius, however, is not always 
hereditary. Nevertheless, young Simmons felt confident that 
ho not only possessed all his worthy father's legal attainments 
but a great deal more. It did not worr}' him a particle when he 
heard that five skilful lawyers were engaged for the defence. 
It was the one great opportunity of a lifetime. He pictured in 
his imagination the consternation of these five disciples of 
Blackstone when, after his brilliant and convincing indictment, 
the jury should pronounce the prisoner guilty without leaving 
their seats. Then he thought in his exultation how all the 
newspapers Avould teem with laudatory articles about the 
talented district attorney. There loomed up in the distance 
the judge's bench. His father would be proud of such a son. 
He was in this frame of mind when iS^ickley's agent, who had 
once been a detective at Scotland Yard, came to see him. The 



344 Miriam vs. Milton. 

man gave his name as Mr. William Barlow. He had credentials 
from tlie Chief of Police of London, and stated that he had 
been sent to find out what kind of a character this Colonel 
Creedmore bore. In fact, the colonel was wanted in 
England. " If I can be of assistance to you," he continued, 
" command my services. There are five lawyers retained for 
the defence, and I would advise you to obtain help. ISIoney is 
no object in obtaining a conviction," he added in conclusion. 

Mr. Simmons put on the dignified and patronising air which 
his father often assumed, and bowing said with the tone of a 
man confident of victory : 

" A thousand thanks, Mr. Barlow, but if Colonel Creedmore 
had all the lawyers in this territory it would make no difi"erence 
to me. My indictment is prepared and the conviction of the 
prisoner is a certainty. My father. Judge Simmons, of the 
Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of California, is always 
at my service. But there is no need of outside help. I^o jury 
can help convicting on the evidence that I have at my disposal. 
Hope to see you at the trial, Mr. Barlow. You can have a 
copy of my speech to take back to England. It is very concise 
and will without doubt be often referred to in the future juris- 
prudence, not only of this city but also in the territory of Utah. 

When Mr. Barlow went out he said to himself aloud : 
"What a conceited ass that man is. Colonel Creedmore will 
certainly be acquitted." 

The most zealous workers for the accused were Marcy Graston, 
with his partner William Jenkins. They felt certain that the 
charge of murder and highway robbery could not be sustained. 
The great danger lay in the failure of the Trout Creek Mining 
Co. So many persons in Salt Lake City had lost money in that 
enterprise that they would go in for hanging Colonel Creedmore. 
It was universallj'' believed that he had " salted the mine," and 
sold out to the individuals Avho came so unexpectedly upon 
the scene. This, then, was the weak point. They resolved 
accordingly to examine the abandoned claim, feeling certain that 
the colonel would never unload a fraudulent mine. 

The day of the trial was observed as a holiday. Most of the 
shops were closed. Everyone wanted to hear the evidence 
and to see the man who was extradited from England. His 
name had been in everybody's mouth for a month past. The 
counsel for the defence challenged one after another of the 
jurymen summoned. Many wanted to serve. It took two days 
to secure twelve men that were satisfactory to the prosecution 
and the defendant's counsel. 



Trial by Jury. 345 

Young Simmons was impatient to begin the reading of his 
indictment. He was very specific in his statement. His father 
had trained him well on that point. He spoke in the first place 
of the duty of all citizens uniting in behalf of law and order. 
Then he called attention to the reign of terror that had existed 
for several months. This was due to robbery of stage 
coaches and even highway plunder of the citizens of Salt Lake 
City almost in broad daylight. The population were com- 
pelled to rise in self-defence and form a vigilance committee. 
They had finally ran these depredators down and made short 
work of those caught red-handed. The chief of this noted 
band escaped to England. He had been extradited and brought 
back to receive the penalty due to his crimes. Many murders 
were committed by this band of Free Lances, as they 
were pleased to call themselves. Not content with plundering 
mail coachos, they had been bold enough to organise the most 
stupendous swindle ever known in the history of the territory. 
With unblushing audacity they placed a quantity of gold 
dust in the bed of a stream within sight of the city. The 
controlling spirit of that enterprise was an Englishman by birth, 
who had assumed the name of an English nobleman. By false 
representations he induced many of the citizens of Salt Lake 
not only to invest large sums in this salted mine but to lose 
valuable time. "This leader — this head of the band that 
terrorised the inhabitants of our peaceful city so long — is now 
a prisoner at the bar, and I feel sure that you, gentlemen of the 
jury, will bring in a verdict of guilty without leaving your seats. 
Our laws provide that every man shall have a fair trial, no matter 
how heinous his crimes maj^ have been. The accused in this case 
has shown his consciousness of the peril in which he stands by 
bringing here with him no less than five of the ablest lawyers 
from various parts of the Union. What better evidence of 
guilt do you need than this fact alone ! Gentlemen of the 
jury, against these five brilliant members of the bar I stand 
here alone as the representative of your outraged laws. I had 
such confidence in the good sense of any jury that could 
possibly be selected for this trial that I have made no elaborate 
preparations. I do not rely upon oratorical efi'orts to obtain a 
verdict for the people. My sole dependence is upon a plain 
statement of facts, after which conviction must follow as a 
matter of course. These talented gentlemen who are conducting 
the defence will no doubt seek to lead you astray on the 
technicalities of evidence. But the case is too clear and the 
statements of our witnesses cannot be set aside. Now, 



346 Miriam vs. Milton. 

gentlemen of the jury, your fellow-citizens are looking to you 
to vindicate the laws that have been violated so often by the 
man who now stands before you a trembling prisoner. He 
already reads in your honest faces the doom which you are 
certain to pronounce on him when the case is finally given into 
your hands," 

One hour was occupied in this preliminary address, and when 
the young district attorney finished, the hard cold looks on the 
faces of the jury were an indication that no mercy would be 
extended to the accused. 

Slowly and deliberately Mr. Geo. Tinckler, the lawyer from 
San Francisco, rose to his feet, and looking at the triumphant 
face of young Simmons said in a tone of intense disgust : 

"Of all the rubbish I ever heard in a court of justice this is 
the climax ! Your father, the judge, once told me that you 
could be depended upon for making a fool of yourself every 
time. Your conceit, he said, would carry you away." Turning 
to the jury, he continued : "Gentlemen, I blush for the majesty 
of the law of this city because it is managed by a man who has 
such a low estimate of the commonsense of a highly respectable 
body of citizens like yourselves." 

Simmons could have stood any amount of logic in refuting 
his charges, but this was too much for him. He lost his 
temper, and forgetting his position went over to Mr. 
Tinckler, and putting his fist in his face exclaimed in a 
towering passion : 

" You are a liar, sir. I brand your statements as false ; in 
fact, you are the most consummate liar in this territory. San 
Francisco cannot produce your equal. My father would not 
make any such remark about me. He would not speak to such 
a low vulgar cur as you are. You cannot save that rascal, your 
client, by any such statements. I defy you, sir." 

To all this abuse Mr. Tinckler bowed and smiled ; then 
turning to the jurj' remarked in a calm tone : 

" Gentlemen, it needs no repetition on my part about the 
asinine disposition of the district attorney ; he bravs for 
himself." 

The defence thus scored a point, and that was to present the 
prosecution in a ridiculous aspect. The representative of the 
people lost his temper, and did not recover it again for the rest 
of the day. 

The witnesses for the prosecution were most unmercifully 
handled by the counsel for the defence, their evidence being 
confusing and contradictory. Those who were produced for 



The Nugget of Gold. 347 

Colonel Creedmore were invulnerable, notwithstanding the 
frantic efforts of young Simmons to break the weight of their 
statements. 

The hearing was concluded at four o'clock. At five the jury- 
intimated that they could not possibly agree. Mne were for 
acquittal, one did not know which way to vote, and the other 
two were in favour of a verdict of guilty, on the principle 
that if a man is accused he ought to be convicted first and tried 
afterwards. 

A new trial was ordered and the prisoner remained in the 
custody of the sheriff. 

As Mr. Barlow was leaving the court he said to a bystander : 
"Just what I expected from the overweening conceit of the 
district attorney. Hope it will be a lesson to him." 



CHAPTER XII. 

THE NUGGET OF GOLD. 

I!^0TWITHSTANDING what Mr. Tinckier said to the jury he as 
well as the other gentlemen associated with him in the defence 
of Colonel Creedmore were fuUy aware that young Simmons, 
even if he had allowed himself to be carried away by a 
momentary conceit, was by no means a fool. The new trial was 
to take place in ten days. They neglected no preparations. 

The district attorney called to his aid one of the most gifted 
lawyers of Salt Lake City. Additional witnesses were procured 
and fully instructed in regard to their evidence. 

Marcy Graston, who had been away from the city for a week, 
returned three days after the disagreement of the jury, and held 
a long consultation with Colonel Creedmore's lawyers. Directly 
afterwards they, together with the Indian chief. Grey Cloud, 
began to buy up the shares of the defunct Trout Creek Gold 
Mining Co. The Indian had offered a bag of gold to his pale- 
faced brother to aid in his defence. It had been declined, but 
was told that if it was needed he would be called upon 
for the loan, I^ow he, like the others, bought up the 
shares, saying to those who held them that he wanted to 
xemove all cause of ill-feeling against his friend. When the 



348 Miriam vs. Milton. 

holders of these shares found there was a market, a regular 
scramble took place to unload the " dead cats," as defunct 
mining stocks were called. Mr. Barlow was in Simmons' office 
talking about the coming trial when word was brought of the 
new tactics of the defence. Mr. Simmons laughed scornfully 
as he heard it. " Let them buy all they want," was his reply ; 
" it won't save their client." 

Mr. Barlow stroked his chin, and taking his hat went out 
and at once purchased fifty shares, all he could find, paying five 
dollars a share, the par value being fifty dollars. 

The astute detective said nothing of this purchase to anyone. 
The general impression in Salt Lake was that it was done to 
soften the hard feelings against Colonel Creedmore. The latter 
already held one-half of the stock in his own name. 

Two days afterwards there was an increased demand for the 
stock. As high as one hundred dollars was offered for it by 
old friends of Marcy Graston. The man who sold the shares to 
Mr. Barlow went and oflJ'ered him double the par value for them, but 
it was declined. He desired, he said, to take them back to England 
as evidence against Colonel Creedmore in case the jiwj should 
fail to convict him on the next trial. ]\Ir. Barlow himself tried 
to purchase more stock, but not a share could be had at any 
price. After the trial he was told plenty would be on the 
market, but not before. 

The day appointed for the second trial was a beautiful one. 
The court was crowded to suffocation. Grey Cloud was present 
alone ; his six followers were absent. So likewise was "William 
Jenkins. IMarcy Graston v/as on hand, dressed in a long linen 
duster. Colonel Creedmore was cheerful. His face had a 
far-off look. He had just heard of the failure to extradite 
Miriam to Brussels. The jury was selected with but three 
challenges from the defence. This fact puzzled young Simmons. 
The new indictment had been carefully drawn, and laid great 
stress upon the fraud connected with the Trout Creek Mining 
Company. "Salting a mine" was esteemed to be the most heinous 
crime in the territory — worse than horse-stealing, and among the 
mining class that was a capital offence. Witness after witness was 
put on the stand, and the lawyers for the defence did not cross- 
question them. In fact, they evinced a decided indifference to 
"vy.hat was testified. Young Simmons was very much nettled at 
this procedure by his legal opponents. Two of them read a 
newspaper while he was laying down the law to the jury. All 
this was too much for the district attorney. He felt that the 
elaborate efi'orts he was makin^ for a conviction merited at least 



The Nugget of Gold. 349 

some show of interest. But there was none. Finally the 
prosecution was finished. They had presented their case 
skUfuUy. To offset all that had been proved would require a 
very strong rebuttal. 

All eyes were now turned on Mr. Tinckler. He rose slowly 
and drawing himself up to his full height — for he stood over 
sis feet — spoke impressively and with a measured tone, as 
though aware of the importance of every word : 

" Gentlemen of the jury, your patience must be well-nigh 
exhausted by the mass of irrelevant testimony forced upon your 
notice by the talented though very young district attorney. I 
must acknowledge that I have not paid much attention. We 
do not propose, however, to keep you away from your business 
very long. The charges of murder and highway robbery are so 
absurd that we will not waste your time in trying to disprove 
them. Great stress has been laid by the prosecution upon the 
so-called * salting ' of the Trout Creek Mine. If it can be 
proved to your satisfaction that this mine was not only a 
veritable claim, but that it is rich to-day in good paying ore, 
then we will expect a verdict of acquittal for our client. In 
fact, we believe you will render this as your unanimous opinion 
without the formality of leaving the court room. ' Marcy 
Graston.' " 

All eyes were now turned to this individual. He walked up 
to the witness stand, and after taking the oath removed his 
linen duster and stood in a miner's garb. He had on a blue 
woollen shirt and heavy top boots, whilst around his waist was 
a large leather belt filled apparently with small stones. His 
eyes sparkled with a merry twinkle as he surveyed the district 
attorney, and then looked at the judge and jury. Mr. Tinckler 
proceeded to examine him : 

■' Marcy Graston, what is your occupation]" 
" A prospectiug miner." 

" How long have you been engaged in this business ? " 
"Just thirty years. I am a California forty-niner." 
" You claim to be an expert in mining, do you not % " 
" I think I can tell whether a mine is likely to prove a paying 
one or not." 

"Do you know the accused at the bar?" 
" Yes ; I have known him for over ten years." 
" From your knowledge of him, would you infer that he is the 
kind of a man to salt a mine and sell it as a genuine one 1 " 

" No, sir. He is the last man in God's creation who would 
do such a low, contemptible trick." 



350 Miriam vs. Milton. 

" Do you know anything regarding the Trout Creek Gold 
Mine?" 

" Yes. In company with my partner, William Jenkins, I 
have made a thorough survey of all the land belonging to the 
claim." 

" What did you find in your examination 1 " 

" We found out the reason why paying ore was not panned 
out after the mining company was fully organized." 

" Will you state this reason ?" 

" Gold dust was found in the bed of the creek for a distance 
of a quarter of a mile, and then all evidence of it was lost. At 
the point where the last particle of ore was taken out is a 
high bluff. The water is deep here and runs swiftly. We 
examined above this bluff but no gold was seen. Below 
this we found several ounces scattered along the bed of the 
brook." 

" What inference did you draw from all this?" 

" We made up our minds that the bluff was the source 
whence the gold came." 

" What course did you then pursue 1 " 

" We employed the six warriors of Grey Cloud's band to 
work for us. We did so as we knew we could depend upon 
them to guard our secret. We blasted the rock that formed 
the bluff" 

"What did you findr' 

" Just what we expected to find — a large quantity of ore 
that had accumulated for many years, and also a rich vein from 
which the ore had been washing away." 

" What do you consider the worth of this mine 1 " 

"• Gold ore to the value of fully one million dollars is in sight." 

" Who is in charge of this treasure now ■? " 

" Grey Cloud's warriors and my partner. Also Lieutenant 
Grimes and his company of soldiers." 

" Have you any specimens of ore with you to show the jury?" 

" Yes, I have a few nuggets of gold." 

Here Marcy Graston took out of his leather belt a dozen 
nuggets of all sizes, from that of a walnut to one the size of a 
hen's egg. These were passed to the jury to examine. Intense 
excitement now filled the court room. The young district 
attorney forgot all about his case and took hold of one of the 
nuggets with a feeling of admiration. Even the judge weighed 
one in his hand mentally estimating its value. 

Mr. Tinckler now asked one more question : 

" Have you any more nuggets ? " 



The Nugget of Gold. 351 

" Yes, I have one that is very heavy, and I could bring many 
like it iuto court." 

Heie he took from his pocket a nugget the size of his fist. 
It was of pure gold in a virgin state. The excitement was now 
at fever heat, and it was with difficulty that the jury could be 
kept in their seats. Isix. Tinckler then stated that he had done 
with the witness and turned him over to the prosecution, 

;Mr. Simmons was equal to the occasion. He said to the jury : 
" As the defence by a masterly stroke has gained a "Waterloo, 
we ask the jury to acquit the gentleman who is a prisoner 
at the bar. In behalf of this city I offer him an apology 
for all that he may have unjustly suffered by being wrongly 
accused." 

The judge said that he had no remarks to make. He was 
still holding in his hand the large nugget that had been passed 
to him. 

"Without a moment's hesitation the twelve jurj'-men rose to 
their feet, and before the clerk of the court had time to ask them 
if they had agreed upon a verdict the foreman said : 

" We find that Colonel Creedmore is innocent of all the 
charges brought against him." Cheer after cheer filled the 
court room. Everyone rushed forward to grasp his hands and 
then the hands of his counsel. Colonel Derwent threw his 
arms about his friend and hugged him. Colonel Moorehead in 
his excitement shook hands with everyone. Grey Cloud forgot 
the stoic dignity of his race and embraced Marcy Graston, 
saying : 

" This is a grand victory for our pale-faced brother." 

Mr. Tinckler went up to ilr. Simmons and said : 

" W^ell, young man, what message shall I take back to your 
worthy father ] " 

" Tell him that I consider you the ablest lawyer in the State 
of California, ^o one congratulates you more heartily upon 
A'our victory than I do. The experience to me will be profitable 
and I do not regret the defeat, for I should dislike to hang an 
innocent man. I was urged on by that English detective who 
profits by this matter, for I heard that he bought fifty shares of 
the Trout Creek Mine at five dollars a share. He is a very 
keen fellow." 

Mr. Barlow now came forward and acknowledged that he 
had been in the employ of ilartin Xlckley. From that hour 
he would have nothing more to do with such a knave. He had 
now became a rich man, for he was offered on the spot five 
hundred dollars a share for his stock and refused the ofi'er. 



352 Miriam vs. Milton. 

On the following day the Trout Creek Mining Company was 
reorganized. Marcy Graston was chosen president, and Mr. 
Tinckler was made vice-president. All the stock was held by 
Colonel Creedmore and his friends. It was a fortune at one 
effort to all of them. Grey Cloud's bag of gold had become a 
source of revenue that promised many comforts to himself and 
his tribe. We now leave Salt Lake City and go back to 
England. 



CHAPTEE XIII. 

THE THUNDER OF ROME. 

Father Sarmaine had deposited the thousand pounds as bail 
for Miriam. The more he thought of the matter the more 
he was convinced that Nickley had some deep-laid scheme 
behind his pretence of anxiety for her welfare. The priest 
accordingly gave strict orders to the Mother Superior that if 
Nickley should call at any time she should send for liim at once. 

Several weeks passed. l!^othing was done to disturb Miriam. 
Her trial was set down for the 3rd of September. She received 
a long letter from Milton telling of his acquittal ; also that he 
was engaged v/ith Marcy Graston, William Jenkins, and Colonels 
Derwent and Moorehead, assisted by the five lawyers who had 
been retained for his defence, in developing the Trout Creek 
Gold Mine. He said nothing of the great value of the property, 
but enclosed a draft for two thousand pounds, adding that he 
would send the same amount every month until his return. 
This he explained would hardly be under a year, as the mine 
required all his attention. His lawyers had given up their 
practice and were located for the present at Salt Lake City. 
He also told her that the detective employed by Nickley had 
turned against him, and would at any time give evidence 
adverse to his late employer that would land him in prison. 
But at present it was ail he could do to attend to the fortune 
which so unexpectedly came to him. 

This was indeed cheering news to Miriam. She gave the 
money to Father Sarmaine to be used in her defence. The 
latter wrote to Milton telling him of his sister's peril. It might 



Tlie Thunder of Rome. 353 

go hard with her if Lady Martha should press the charge. 
He advised 3Iilton, therefore, to return to England at once. 
Miriam's safety was of more importance now than the finding 
of gold. It was the first week in August. ^No movement had 
been made by Nickley to disturb Miriam. Father Sarmaine 
began to think that perhaps after all he had wronged the man. 

Preparations for the trial were now in progress. Lady 
Martha refused obstinately to listen to any compromise. She 
declared to the solicitors retained for the defence that she fully 
believed her guest had taken the cross, and was determined to 
go on with the trial, and ask for the full punishment the law 
accorded to such a crime. 

The matter was very serious. The cross had been found in 
Miriam's possession. Then there was the condemnatory fact that 
she had previously gone to Lord Grassmere's house under an assumed 
name. She had at various times taken a name not her own. 
All this was very much against her. If convicted on this 
charge the penalty would not be less than ten years' penal 
servitude. 

There was absolutely no defence. The only hope that her 
friends now entertained was to persuade the Lady Martha to 
decline to prosecute. Mr. Richard Shirley offered to pay over 
to her estate the sum of five thousand pounds if she would with- 
draw the charges against his niece. At first she Avas inclined to 
listen to this proposition, but the Count Morella wrote to her 
from Italy stating that if any compromise were made their 
engagement would end. If she wavered in this matter it would 
be an exhibition of contempt for his gifts. The honour of the 
ancient house of Naymours required that the sacrilegious thief 
should be severely punished. This fixed her determination to 
prosecute to the last extremity. Father Sarmaine sent several 
of his most intimate friends to plead with Lady Martha, but 
she was inflexible in her purpose that the law must be vindicated. 

The second Monday of August was wet and stormy. About 
one o'clock in the afternoon Father Sarmaine received a letter 
from a lady, who wrote that she was a member of an old 
English house and had long contemplated entering the 
communion of the Eoman Church, believing it to be the only 
gate to heaven. She had been very ill for a week past, and her 
doctor had stated that day that the ailment might result 
seriously at any time. She desired him to come speedily to 
receive her declaration of adherence to his Church. It was in 
contemplation to leave her fortune to charity, and wanted his 
advice as to the best way to dispose of it. 



354 Miriam vs. Milton. 

This was not the first time that the worthy priest had 
received letters of a similar import. He delivered his appointed 
lecture to his class and called a cab, telling the driver to go to 
the place designated in the letter. The cab-driver was Vv-ell 
informed in regard to streets and numbers. As soon as he 
heard the directions he answered : 

" There is no such place in Dalstou. I have lived in that 
vicinity for many years and am sure of it. In the West End 
there is a street of that name." 

" I am certain," said the priest, " that the lady mentioned 
Dalston. I was at the convent of the Good Shepherd when the 
letter arrived. I gave it to the Mother Superior to read and came 
away without it. The lady that I am going to see asked me 
to call at half -past four. I have already allowed myself just 
time to get there. If, however, you v/ill drive quickly to the 
convent I can procure the letter and will not be so very late for 
the appointment." 

It was just ten minutes past four when the convent gate was 
reached. Sister M. Delphine could not find the letter. She 
laid it on the parlour table to go and receive a lady visitor. 
Diligent search was made but it had vanished. The clock 
struck half-past four and Father Sarmaiue was very impatient. 
A convert to his Church, perhaps now dying, was waiting for 
him to give absolution. Then, also, unless that missing letter 
could be found a fortune would be lost to the cause of charity. 
At that moment the door bell rang, and when it was answered 
by a sister three men entered. Two of them said they 
were ofldcers of the law. They had come to take Miriam 
Creedmore to jail as her bondsman, IMr. Nickley, now 
present with them, had been informed that she was about 
to leave the country and accordingly wished to surrender 
her. 

Father Sarmaine instantly came into the hall and stated that 
he had filed a bail bond for the sum of one thousand pounds, 
and had at the same time signed a release in blank for Mr. 
Nickley. All that was necessary would be for him to 
go to Scotland Yard, get his money, and a release from all 
liability. 

" I decline to do anything of the kind," said I^ickley, 
haughtily. " This woman must be delivered to these officers of 
the law at once." 

" And I refuse to deliver up this woman," said Father Sar- 
maine, " unless you bring me an order from the Chief of Police 
at Scotland Yard." 



The Thunder of Rome. 355 

" Then these officers will search this house and take her by 
force," was l!^ickley's rejoinder, " This convinces me more than 
ever that you are aiding her to go to America to join her 
worthless brother, who has been accLuitted in Salt Lake City. 
But he dare not come back to England. I now propose to 
prevent you from allowing this woman to escape." 

Father Sarmaine was a slender man and delicate looking. He 
certainly was no match, for the burley !Nickley. His face paled 
and flushed at this charge against him, but he kept down the 
angry words that came to his lips. He placed his hand upon 
his heart to restrain its wild beating, and then repeated aloud in 
Latin the first six verses of the Ixx. Psalm, which were certainly 
appropriate for the occasion : 

"In te domine speravi, non confundar in cefermim; Injuiftitia 
taa libera me, et eripe me. Indina ad meaurem tuam, et salva 
me. Esto mihi in Deiim protedorem et in locum munitum ui 
salvum me facias. Quoniam firmamentum meum refugium 
meum es tu. Deus mens, eripe me de manu peccatoris, et de 
manic contra legem agentis et iniqui. Quoniam tu es piatientia 
mea, Domine. Domine, sjjes mea a Juuenfute mea." 

During this recital Xickley stood with his arms folded and a 
scornful smile on his face. When the priest finished he said : 

" Do 3'ou take us for a parcel of imbecile Hottentots, that you 
can charm with Latin mummery 1 Give up that woman to the 
custody of these officers." 

" I will do so," was the answer, " when you comply with the 
requirements I have named and not before." 

" Then by warrant of law these constables will search this 
house." 

" Show me the warrant of law you mention," said the priest, 
" and I will open the doors for you." 

" I hold myself personally responsible for their actions," 
retorted Nickley, now losing control of his temper. " Officers, 
do your duty," he continued, turning to the two men by his side. 

" If you dare to intrude in this house without warrant (jf 
law," said Father Sarmaine, " I will call down upon your guilty 
heads the curse of our Holy Church." 

" Keep your curses for the fools that you control and who 
are frightened by them ; we are men and not children. Officers, 
go ahead." 

The constables did not move. They were not Catholics ; iu 
fact, were nothing in particular. Like many of their class they 
belonged to no denomination. There was something, however, iu 
the voice and manner of the priest that awed and held them back. 



356 Miriam vs. Milton. 

Father Sarmaine made a motion to one of the sisters, "who 
brought two lighted caudles into the hall and stood by his side. 
He took from his pocket a stole which he had with him to visit 
the dying lady, and also his breviary. Making the sign of the 
cross he commenced to read the cxxxix. Psalm in Latin : 

" Eripe me, Domine, ah hominemalo ; a viro miquo eripe me. 
Qui cogitaverunt iniquitates in corcle ; tota die conatituebant prce 
lia." 

" Look here, Mr. Mckley," said the two constables, "if it is 
all the same to you, seeing as how we are poor men with families, 
and do not care to run any risk of curses on ourselves or 
children, we will leave, and perhaps you can get some other 
officers who do not mind such things." 

" Why, men, this is all tomfoolery; all the Latin mummery in 
the world cannot hurt you one particle." 

The priest continued : " Acuerunt linguas suas sicut serpentis; 
venenum aspidum sub labiis eorum." 

" Father Sarmaine, we are not in this business and we are 
oflV' said the two officers, starting for the door. 

" The Lord be with you," was the reply. " Go in peace." 

Martin Nickley was very much put out by being left alone^ 
He stood for a moment watching the forms of the sisters, who 
had gathered in the hall and knelt with bowed heads as the 
priest went on with the Psalm : 

" Custodi me, Domine de manu peccatoris ; et ab hominibus 
iniquis eripe jne." 

This last verse was read with such distinct emphasis that 
Martin Nickley felt the force of it, for he perfectly understood 
the meaning of the Latin. 

" You have gained your point this time," he said to Father 
Sarmaine ; " but I will come again with such process of law 
that you will not dare to defy me." 

" I am not a lawbreaker but a strict upholder of the law," 
was the reply, and then the reading of the Psalm was 
continued. 

Nickley turned on his heel and went out slamming the door 
behind him. The Psalm was finished and then another search 
was made for the missing letter, but it could not be found. 

" I believe that woman must have taken it," said the Mother 
Superior, ^j 

" "What kind of a woman was she 1 " asked Miriam, 
who had been standing in the hall dressed in the garb of 
the sisterhood. 

Sister M. Delphine described her. 



Retribution. 357 

" That description corresponds exactly with one of the seam- 
stresses who was working at Grassmere Manor preparing the 
outfit for Lady Martha. I beUeve she wrote the letter 
herself by directions of Mckley, for I feel certain she is in his 
employ." 

This let in new light upon the subject and convinced the 
priest that he had been imposed upon in order to get him out of 
the way. He gave the cabman a sovereign and dismissed him 
with his blessing. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

RETRIBUTIOX. 

In the afternoon of the 2nd of September Father Sarmaine 
was seated in his study at the college, engaged in deep thought 
as to how he could save Miriam from her impending fate. The 
next day was the one set down for the trial, and the solicitors 
gave but little hope unless something unexpected should happen. 
Lady Martha had resisted all appeals to refrain from pressing 
her charge. The priest's servant brought him a card ; when he 
saw the name he jumped up, saying : 

" Admit him at once." 

The name read " Milton E. Creedmore." 

" I am delighted to make your acquaintance," said Milton as 
he came into the room. " Allow me to thank you for all that 
you have done for my sister." 

" Do not mention it," was the answer. " I am only too happy 
to have been of service to her. You have come just in time too, 
and I am inspired with the hope that your coming will break 
the network which I^ickley has woven around her." 

" I arrived in Liverpool this morning and came on to London 
at once. I did not telegraph to any one on my return. I took 
my uncle Richard by surprise at the Midland, and found there 
with him our family solicitor, who gave me full particulars. I 
came here from the hotel, but cannot see my sister now as I ara 
going at once to confer with Lord Grassmere. I may induce him 



358 Miriam vs. Milton. 

to keep his sister away from the trial to-morrow. He does not 
know that Martin Nickley and the Count Morella de Naymours 
are one and the same person. I proposed to tell him, but our 
solicitor advised waiting and informing Lady Martha of this 
fact on the wdtness stand." 

" Well, Mr. Creedmore, Miriam will be delighted to hear that 
you have returned to England. As it will be late when you 
come back from Grassmere Manor I Avill bring her round to see 
you at the Midland Hotel in the morning. She can meet her 
friends there before going to the court room." 

Milton had only just time to catch the train to Grassmere 
fi om Euston Station ; he therefore cut short his call and went 
to the telegraph office. He wired his uncle Sir Thomas 
of his return to England, and would expect to have him 
and all his family stand by their kinswoman in this hour 
of her need. "When Milton arrived at Grassmere Manor he sent 
his card in to the earl. The card was returned with a message 
saying that Lord Grassmere declined to see Mr. Creedmore. 

"Tell the Earl of Condor," said Milton, "that if Lady 
Martha dares to accuse my sister all England will know within 
twenty-four hours of the shame that has fallen on his proud 
house." 

He was about to leave the manor and return to the station 
Avhen the earl came into the room and asked in an imperious 
tone what he meant by such a message to him. 

" Do you dare to reflecb upon the marriage of my late 
daughter, Luelia] She was legally married to the Count 
Is'uciiigar." 

" The count had a wife living at the time," said Milton. 

" I do not believe it," answered the earl. 

" The public will not be quite so unbelieving," was the reply. 

At this point Lady Martha also came into the room. Milton 
went on with his assertions. 

" I know of what I am speaking, and there will be abundant 
proof to-morrow. You will find that it will not be the house 
of Creedmore that is on trial but that of Condor. I will now 
make you a proposition. I only arrived from America to-day. 
1 made a large amount of money in a gold mine out West. 
If you will consent to withdraw these charges against my sister 
1 will place to the credit of your granddaughter twenty thousand 
pounds. If you will sign the agreement now I will draw my 
cheque at once for the sum named. To show you that I am 
good for that amount here is a draft on the Bank of England 
lor one hundred thousand pounds." 



Retribution. , 359 

The offer was indeed a tempting one. Here was a chance for 
the little Luella. The earl and his sister retired for a few 
moments to talk over the proposition. The former was in 
favour of accepting the offer. 

" I do not want any scandal," he said. " You know there is 
some douht about the legality of the marriage of Luella." 

Lady Martha replied that she wanted more time to think 
of it. So they told Milton that their answer would be given in 
the morning. He then went back to London. 

The morning of the 3rd was a dismal day. Eain had fallen 
in torrents during the night. The streets were very slippery. 
At an early hour Miriam, accompanied by Father Sarmaine, 
went to the Midland Hotel, where he left her with her uncle 
and Milton. The meeting of brother and sister was indeed 
a joyful one. This was the anniversary of their wonderful 
experience. The year had been one of trial and tribulation, 
^ow they were once more in the throes of a mortal combat. 
The liberty of one of them was at stake. What had this day 
in store ? Surely they were not rescued from death to be over- 
whelmed in the awful disaster that now confronted them? 
While they were talking over the prospects of the coming trial 
the waiter brought up on a tray several cards. They read as 
follows : Sir Thomas and Lady Shirley, Mr. and IVIrs. Eobert 
Shirley, Mr. and Mrs. John Shirley, Miss Irene Shirley. 

They were at once shown up. The greeting was cordial and 
hearty, there being no reserve. 

Sir Thomas kissed Miriam, with tears in his eyes. 

" My dear child," said he, " we propose to stay with you and 
fight your battles. Adelaide and Eleanor are on the continent, 
or I know they wov;ld have come also." 

He remarked that they had travelled all night to reach London 
in time. Winifred and Elvira were delighted to see Miriam 
once more. Breakfast was ordered at once ; just as they were 
going down to it Pauline was announced. No one had worked 
for liliriam more assiduously than the lovely Pauline. Hardly 
were they seated at the breakfast table when a stranger in undress 
naval uniform walked into the room unannounced. Pauline 
gave a scream as she saw him, and the next moment was clasped 
in his arms. 

" Lieutenant Bentley ! " they all exclaimed. 

Taking Miriam's hands in both of his, he said : 

" I have come from Malta on special leave, and travelled day 
and night so as to be on hand. If he would only fight I would 
kill that scoundrel Nickley." 



360 Miriam vs. Milton. 

" A thousand thanks to you, my dear Bentley," said Milton. 
'* How can I ever repay your kindness and that of your wife 
to my sister." ■ 

At ten o'clock Father Sarmaine came with a carriage to take 
Miriam to the court for trial. He was warmly greeted by all the 
kindred of the woman whom he had so faithfully defended. 
As they stood on the porch of the hotel the sun burst out from 
a heavy mass of clouds that had hidden its golden light all the 
morning. 

"A favourable omen," said Ziska, coming up and taking 
Miriam's hand. " I would give my right arm to help you. I 
have been in Paris for several weeks on your business." 

On arrival at the court room it was found that the queen's 
counsellor had been assisted by two of the best solicitors in 
London. Nickley had paid for their services. 

The first to greet the accused was the Eev. Mr. Huben and the 
Eev. Mr. Vivian. They told her to be hopeful, for her innocence 
was fully believed in by all her friends. 

After the preliminary proceedings the name of Lady 
Martha Ormond was called by the clerk of the court. For a 
moment there was silence. Milton looked anxiously to see 
whether she would respond. She did, and with dignified mien 
went to the witness stand and took the oath. The solicitor for 
the Crown drew from her the full statement regarding the loss 
of the diamond cross, and of the impossibility of any one 
coming into her room except through that of her guest, Miss 
Ducie, as she was formerly called. Lady Martha told of the 
finding of the missing cross in the pocket of this woman, whom 
she had invited to her home. In answer to a question whether she 
supposed that some one else had placed the cross where it was 
found, she replied : 

" No ; any woman who assumes several alia>ses is capable of 
any crime." 

The witness was now turned over to the solicitors for the 
defence. 

" Lady Martha, who gave you this cross ? " was asked. 

" The Count Morella De ISTaymours." 

" Is it true that you are engaged to be married to this 
count 1 " 

" Yes, we are to be married at the end of this month." 

" I suppose you are well aware that this Count De JNaymours 
and Count Nucingar who married your niece and Martin 
Nickley are one and the same person ? " 

The Lady Martha turned pale as she replied : 



Retribution. 361 

" ^0 ; I am not aware of any such thin<:j. The Count Moiella 
is an Italian nobleman, while this Xickley is a notorious 
Englishman, whom I would not allow to come under my roof." 

" "Well, it appears from j'our own statement that you are 
engaged to him, and have allowed him to come many times 
under your roof." 

" This is false. I appeal to the hon. judge on tlie bench for 
protection. You ought not to be allowed to insult me in this 
fashion, or to slander the honourable name of my affianced 
husband." 

" Lady Martha," said the Justice, " I thought you knew that 
Martin !N'ickley had lately purchased the title of !N'aymours from 
the Italian government, which also carried with it that of Count 
iNucingar." 

" This is the first information I have had on this subject ; 
surely there must be some mistake." 

More questions were asked of her but she became confused 
and contradicted herself repeatedh^ The vision of the happy 
life at the chateau on the banks of Lake Como was fast vanishing 
from her mind. Much better to have accepted the twenty 
thousand pounds offered for the little Luella. She would have 
done so, but she had received a letter from the count that 
morning saying that if she failed to testify he would return to 
Italy and their engagement would be at an end for ever. 

Lady Martha was badly broken down when she left the 
witness box. The solictors for the defence now told the judge 
that they had summoned Martin Nickley to appear as a witness, 
but he had declined to come. They proposed to prove from his 
evidence that the whole charge of the theft of the diamond 
cross was planned and carried through by this man for purposes 
of his own, which would be fully exposed on cross-examination. 

The justice at once signed an order for the arrest of Nickley, 
and gave it into the hands of an officer of the court. At this 
moment, before he had time to leave, a messenger came into the 
court room from Scotland Yard with a package directed to the 
justice. When he opened it he found a large pocket book filled 
with letters and papers, and also a letter from the Chief of 
Police, stating that "a dead man had just been brought in by 
several officers." They reported that as he was crossing the street 
near the Mansion House he had slipped and fallen in front of 
a heavj" van. Before it could be stopped it passed over him and 
crushed his life out. A summons had been found on him 
du-ected to one Martin Mckley, commanding him to appear at 
court to testify in the case of "The Crown vs. Miriam Creedmore." 



362 Blirlam vs. Milton. 

In the pocket book were letters all directed to the same name. 
The dead man, therefore, could be no other than Martin iN'ickiey 
himself. 

When this announcement was made by the justice there was 
great commotion in the court room. Lady Martha fainted. 
A woman in the audience screamed and was carried out in a 
swoon. The court was adjourned to the following day. Miriam 
was allowed to go with her friends, as the bail bond was renewed. 



CHAPTER XV. 

ENGLISH JUSTICE. 

All the lady friends of Miriam who were vvn'th her at the trial 
went back with her to the Midland Hotel. Sister M. Delphine, 
after kissing her affectionately, said that judgment had befallen 
her enemy. He had dared the curse of the Holy Church and 
had paid the penalty of his rashness. She promised to be 
present on the next day to assist by her presence. 

All the men of the party went to Scotland Yard to identifj'- 
the dead man. When the sheet that covered the body was 
taken off there lay the mangled form of Martin Nickley. The 
wheels of the van had gone over his thighs and stomach, crush- 
ing out his life at once. His face was untouched, and wore the 
same sardonic smile that he usually had in life. There was also 
a worried expression, as though something had gone wrong. 
The smile was one of determination to crush all opposition. 
The whole expression seemed like that of a man at bay, but 
resolute to hold his own at all hazards, against the world if 
necessary. When death overtook him he was smiling at the 
attempt to make him testify against himself in the court room, 
to which he was hurrying when he was called to a higher 
tribunal. 

Father Sarmaine stood for some time in silence viewing the 
face of the dead, recalling the last time he had seen him so 
defiant at the Convent of the Good Shepherd. Had the curse 
really come down upon him, or was this one of the many 
accidents so common to the great metropolis 1 ^o one mourned 



English Justice. 363 

his death. The world was purer, every one felt, for the 
taking away of such a man. It would have been better if he had 
never been born. 

After the coroner's inquest the body was sent to his home at 
Granthorn Park, and buried in the churchyard at Everdale. 

There was a joyful dinner party at the Midland Hotel 
that evening. Father Sarmaine asked the blessing. All the 
solicitors for the defence were there. Both Miriam and Milton 
looked younger than they had done for several years. Uncle 
Eichard was almost boyish in his delight at the turn affairs had 
taken. PauHne was the star of the group. She Avas doubly 
happy. Her class-mate was virtually out of danger, her husband 
was with her, and she was once more the merry schoolgirl of 
the days of Beechwood. The faithful Ziska had not been 
forgotten. He and his wife were provided with a bountiful 
dinner in the hotel, and they drank to the health of the twins of 
Everdale. Ziska smiled as he had not dared to do for several years. 
The charge of highway robbery had been hanging over his head, 
but now he could go about his business without let or hindrance. 

The ladies had retired to the drawing-room and the gentlemen 
were smoking when a servant brought a letter to Milton. 

The letter was from Florence Mayburn. She asked to see him 
at once alone. After an interview of half an hour Milton sent for 
the three solicitors. They were closeted for an hour. They then 
rejoined theu' party in the drawing-room. When the court was 
opened on the following morning the solicitors for the Cro\Yn 
stated that they had been instructed by the Earl of Condor to 
withdraw all charges against Miss Ducie, otherwise known as 
Miriam Creedmore. Her solicitors declined to accept this. 
They had important witnesses to examine in her behalf and 
desired her full vindication. 

The justice stated that he had examined the papers fouud in 
the pocket book of the late Martin Nickley. He was able to 
assist in unravelling the network of circumstantial evidence 
that had been woven around the accused. If death had not 
taken this man away his crimes would have merited not less 
than twenty years' penal servitude. 

Lady Martha was too ill to appear in response to a special 
summons. Lord Grassmere, however, came to hear the 
outcome of the examination. He seemed to have grown ten 
years older since the previous day. The morning papers were 
filled with the particulars of the trial and dwelt upon the fact 
that his sister was engaged to the notorious Martin isickley, 
who had eloped with his late daughter. 



364 Miriam vs. 2Iilton. 

The first witness called was Florence jMayburn. She was a 
handsome woman of about fortj'- years and youthful looking. 
INIiriam recognized her as one of the seamstresses employed by 
Lady Martha. Her face wore a determined aspect as though 
fully conscious that penal servitude was staring her in the face, 
yet resolved that she would clear her conscience of the part she 
had taken in the conspiracy against Miriam. In answer to the 
first question whether she had known the late Martin Nickley, 
and how long, the reply was : 

" I have known him for twenty years." 

" "What relation were you to him I " 

'• His mistress." 

'•' What was his general disposition? " 

" Kind, and in money matters generous provided you did not 
cross him." 

" Have you ever met the accused % " 

" Yes, several times ; but I was never introduced to her." 

" Do you know anything about these letters 1 " 

A package was handed to her. 

" Yes ; I wrote them at the dictation of Martin Kickley." 

" Please state the object of doing so." 

" Mr. iSIickley had been expecting to marry Miss Creedmore, 
and when she married Edmond Harold, Earl of Montville, 
he was furious over the success of his rival and determined to 
wreck his happiness. He procured an introduction for me 
to the earl as one of his kinswomen. Having several whom 
he had never seen he was liberal to them, never 
asking questions. He was happy with his wife, and when 
told that I was thrown upon my own resources at once 
made me a liberal allowance. He permitted me to correspond 
with him and I did so frequently. I always wrote two letters — 
one being that of thanks for his kindness; the other was a letter 
of endearment, as though I was his wife. The latter one ?dr. 
Nickley kept, as also the answers received in reply. These 
answers were destroyed and in their place 1 imitated the earl's 
handwriting, so that it would take an expert to detect the 
forgery. I wrote letters of affection for myself and disparaged 
his wife. These were carefully placed in the envelopes 
bearing the foreign post marks. This was kept up for two 
years, until his return to Harold Castle. The time being 
then ripe for the explosion of the mine, as Nickley called 
it, he sent his uncle, a Mr. Albright, who bore a close 
resemblance to himself and who was a physician, to visit 
Harold Castle. The earl was called away by a fraudulent 



English Justice. 365 

telegraphic message to Edinburgh. Taking advantage of the 
illness of the Countess of Montville Mr. Albright adroitly 
exchanged all the letters of thanks which I had written to the 
earl, and put in their place the letters of endearment. Each 
one was regularly dated and put in the proper envelope. All 
of these letters were placed in the hands of the countess, and 
the statement made to her that she was not his wife. As was 
expected she left the castle at once and went back to Everdale. 
What followed is well known. Mr. Albright did his part 
successfully." 

During this recital of the deep scheme as carried out by 
!Nickley the most profound attention was given. 

The examining solicitor again asked her : 

"What was the reason of the continued persecution by 
Martin Mckley of the lady whom he had so foully wronged?" 

"After the death of the earl from the wound which he 
received in the duel in Belgium, Nickley found a cab-driver in 
Paris who resembled a priest, and for a consideration he con- 
sented to go to the chateau where the countess was confined 
virtually as a prisoner to perform a mock-marriage ceremony. 
This man did the thing so naturally that Nickley was rather 
startled at the familiarity he exhibited of the formula of 
marriage. In reply to a question as to how he knew so much 
about it, the cab-driver told him that he had several times 
before performed the same job, and was credited with doing it 
better than half of the priests. Isickley remarked that if 
he had not known him as a cab-driver he would swear that he 
was a veritable priest of the Roman Church. This last surmise 
was a correct one. The man was a priest who had been 
suspended by his bishop for some cause, and six years afterwards 
was restored to his clerical duties. As he was a regularly ordained 
priest his marriages were legal in the sight of the law. This 
marriage was registered according to the French code, and 
Mckley v/as so informed five years later. He did not believe it, 
however, and married the romantic Luella under the name of 
the Count of jSTucingar. This was bigamy in France. For this 
reason he had tried to induce Esther to sign a release or to get 
her out of the way. This priest wrote to him several times 
saying he must acknowledge as his lawful wife the woman whom 
he had married in the chateau. Nickley offered him a large sum 
of money to keep quiet on the subject, but he refused to do so." 

Another question v/as asked : 

" What do you know about the diamond cross that was found 
in the pocket of the accused person now at the bar on her trial 1 " 



36(3 Miriam vs. Miltcn. 

'• I was employed at Grassmere Manor to help Lady- 
Martha in her preparations for her coming marriage to Mckley, 
but was really there to keep him apprised in regard to all that 
passed. I informed him that Miriam had come as a guest. By 
the positive orders of Nickley I took the cross at night and 
sewed it in the pocket where the detective, at my suggestion, 
found it." 

" Do you know anything about a letter that was written to 
Father Sarmaine to call upon a sick lady in Dalston 1 " 

" I wrote the letter myself. The purpose was to get the 
priest away from the convent, so that Nickley would have a 
better chance to take Miriam from the sisters' care. I also 
visited the convent, saw the letter on the table, and destroyed 
it. I reported to my employer that the field was clear." 

" What prompted you to make the confession you have now 
related 1 " 

" While Martin Nickley was alive I was under his power so 
completely that I did not dare to say my soul was my own. 
ISTow that he is dead I am anxious to clear the reputation of an 
innocent and much-wronged woman, whatever the result may be 
to myself." 

The solicitors for the Crown asked the witness whether she 
was aware that the confession she had now made would entail a 
severe penalty — perhaps ten years' penal servitude. 

The reply was that she had fully counted the cost, and was 
now ready for the punishment due for the base part taken 
against an innocent woman. She would rather spend ten years 
in prison than one year in the power of such a man as the late 
Martin Nickley. 

A witness that Ziska had brought from Paris was then 
placed on the stand. He proved to be the French priest 
already mentioned as having performed the marriage ceremony 
between Esther and Martin Nickley. The court interpreter 
translated his evidence, which corroborated the statement made 
by Florence Mayburn. He produced a copy of the register of 
the marriage, and also an indorsement that it was regulai-, 
according to French law, and valid in every particular. 

Lord Grassmere had listened to all the evidence given without 
moving a muscle. He now came forward and handed to the 
justice a will of the late Martin Nickley, duly authenticated, 
leaving all his property without reserve to his beloved wife, the 
Countess of Naj'^mours. She was also made the sole executrix 
and to have absolute control of all the estate. This included 
his property at Lake Como, the chateau of Naymours. A few 



English Justice. 367 

of his servants were rememlDered in small legacies, and a 
hundred pounds a year was set apart to be given to his uncle 
Albright, subject to the approval of his wife. 

The earl stated that this will had been made out for the 
benefit of his sister when she should become the lawful wife of 
the Count de Naymours. As it had been proved that he had a 
wife living this will was valid in her behalf. He now wished 
to congratulate the Countess of Montville on the claarauce of 
her character. It had been against his wishes that any action 
was taken about the matter of the diamond cross. 

The case was submitted to the jury, and without leaving 
their seats they returned a verdict of "not guilty." 

Cheer after cheer followed, and the judge did nothing to 
suppress the applause. Leaving the bench he came down and 
took the hand of Miriam, saying to her : 

" In the name of English justice I now apologise for the 
sufferings you have endured. You leave this court a free woman ; 
not a stain of any kind rests upon your fair name. You are 
now the Countess of Montville, entitled to all the dower of 
your husband, the late Earl of Montville. Being the legal wife 
of Martin Nickley his property under his will is yours. This 
makes you also the Countess of Naymours and of Nucingar. 
Accept my congratulations." 

The impetuous Pauline threw herself into Miriam's arms and 
cried like a child. Milton then took her hand, followed by all 
her kindred. Ziska was happy beyond description. 



368 Miriam vs. Milton. 

CHAPTER XYI. 

GRANTHORN PARK. 

Now that the mystery that liuug over the marriage of the 
Earl of Montville has been cleared we proceed to wind up this 
narrative. The author dislikes to read any story which ends 
abruptly. He therefore proposes to finish this tale without 
leaving his readers to draw inferences in regard to the charac- 
ters tliat have figured in its pages. The celebrated trial of the 
Crown vs. Creedmore had been the talk of all London. The 
evening papers carried the news of the result broadcast. 
Everyone condemned the action of Florence Mayburu in 
deceiving the Earl of Montville. She was promptly 
arrested on chai-ges of conspiracy, but was immediately 
bailed out by Milton Creedmore. Miriam refused to prose- 
cute, and gave her five hundred pounds with a ticket to 
Australia. 

There was another grand dinner at the Midland Hotel. The 
same company sat down as on the previous evening. Again 
and again was Miriam's health drank, Ijoth as the Countess of 
Montville and Countess of Naymours, She declined to 
receive callers and a large basketful of cards was left for 
her at the hotel. Pauline and her husband both remained 
with her. 

On the follo\ving day after breakfast Miriam held a con- 
sultation with her kindred as to the best course to pursue. 
Uncle Richard stated that on the previous evening he had sent 
a telegram to Everdale to his sister, Mrs. Van Reem, informing 
lier of the result of the trial, and giving her directions to make 
ready to receive Miriam and to have triumphal arches erected. 
This, he said, would be a very plain hint for his intolerant 
sister to vacate the premises. 

The strain on Miriam's nerves had been veiy great. It was 
now decided that she should leave London as soon as possible. 
Ziska sent a message saying that business of importance called 
him away from London, but with her permission he would see 
her at Everdale. 

Miriam first idsited the Convent of the Good Shepherd. It 
would be impossible, she told Sister M. Delphine, to pay the 
great debt of gi-atitude she owed to her and also to Father 
Sarmaiue, but all that was possible for a grateful woman to do 



J 



Granthorn Park. 369 

in this life would be done by lier. She left a cheque for one 
thousand pounds for the use of the convent. Milton gave a 
like sum, and Sir Thomas and his brother did likewise. 

Pauliue had set out early with her husband on an errand of 
her own. She told him that he must ask no questions, but for 
once in his life obey her. 

" My dear Pauline," he replied, " that is what I have been 
doing ever since we were married. But do tell me what you 
pi'opose to do with the box of soap and those six scrubbing 
brushes, and that chair which the driver has on the seat 
with himf 

" Ned, my darling, you never allow your orders to be called 
in question on boaid of your .ship; so I will expect you to try 
a lictle of your own discipline." 

A pair of bright, sparkling, mischievous eyes looked into his 
and two little hands held him by the head. He was kissed 
so fervently that he replied : 

" All I'ight, ' mum ' is the word. I would rather a thousand- 
fold be here obeying you than giving orders on the flagship at 
Malta. But, good gracious ! yoii are not going into this 
place," he continued as the carriage stopped, and the driver 
opened the door before a house where a large sign hung out in 
gold letters, with the words " Home of the Friendless." 

" Yes, I have a donation for the matron of this establishment." 

When they were ushered into the parlour the deaconess 
came into the I'oom robed in the same silk dress in which she 
received Miriam several months before. She asked her visitors 
to be seated. Pauline haughtily declined, and said : 

" "VVe will only detain you a moment. Here is a donation 
for this establishment." 

" A thousand thanks," replied the deaconess. " I will see 
that your charitable gifts are given to worthy objects. Many 
come to our house and we turn none away. We ask no 
questions but aid all, no matter what their creed or colour." 

" This chair," said Pauline, '■ I purchased this morning, and 
the Countess of Montville and of Naymours sat in it for five 
minutes. There is also a box of soap and six scrubbing brushes. 
I thought perhaps that the chair used by the countess on her 
last visit was about worn out by frequent scrubbing. 

'• I do not understand what you mean," said the deaconess, 
turning red in the face at this insinuation. 

" Do you remember six months ago, one stormy evening in 
March, that a woman came to this house and asked for shelter 
for the night, which was refused ? You gave her a shilling and 



370 Miriam vs. Milton. 

turned liei* out into the bitter cold, when she was half dead 
with walking? Then you added insult to injury by calling a 
girl and telling her to wash and scrub the chair used by the 
woman, as it was tainted. I have now to inform you that 
your visitor was the Countess of Moutville and of Naymours, 
one of the richest widows in the kingdom. Good day." 

Taking her husband's arm Pauline went out and returned to 
the Midland. 

" Why, Pauline," said he, "you never told me of this insult 
to Miriam. I ought to have known of it, and I would have 
opened on her with all my batteries and raked her fore a ad aft." 

" I gave her enough to last for some time, but we are not 
done with her j^et, by any means," said his wife. 

On the following day Miriam and her brother, with all of 
her kindred that had stood by her on the trial, as well as 
Pauline and Lieutenant Bentley, set out for Everdale. 

The first to meet them on the platform was Ziska and his 
wife, with their tribe dressed in holiday attire. He informed 
them that he had come on ahead, lest the steward of the estate 
would not make the preparations for the welcome that the 
occasion demanded. He and his men had worked hard and 
he trusted that his efforts would meet with her approval. 
He also told her that Mrs. Van Ream had gone to visit Mrs. 
Ainsworth at Beechwood, but said nothing to the steward 
about making any preparations to welcome back the twins of 
Everdale to their ancestral home. 

Miriam took the hand of the gipsy chief in both of hers, and 
with tears in her eyes replied : 

" My noble Ziska, you have suffered on my account. I am 
indebted to you for my life. I trust that you and your dear 
wife will never have to complain of my ingratitude." 

As the party reached the massive gates of the lordly manor 
of Evei'dale a large triumphal arch erected by Ziska was 
seen, and over it the words painted in gold letters : " Welcome 
to the Twins of Everdale." Half way up on the lawn was 
another arch, with the words : " Welcome to the Countess of 
Montville and of Naymours." Still another arch was found 
before the porch of the mansion, emblazoned with : " Welcome 
to the Lord of the Manor, Colonel Milton E. Creedmore." 

This handy-work of Ziska was fully appi-eciated by all the 
company. In the stately drawing-room Miriam and Milton 
gave a hearty welcome to their friends. Ziska and his wife 
were provided with suitable apartments, while the rest of the 
tribe encamped on the border of the lake. 



Grantliorn Parle. 371 

The name of Mrs. "Van Ream was not mentioned. In the 
general rejoicing that followed the triumphal return she was 
forgotten. Pauline told them of lier visit to the deaconess and the 
gift of the soap and brushes, setting them in a tumult of laughter. 

On the day following their arrival, while they were seated 
on the porch after breakfast, a carriage drove up. Two 
gentlemen got out, announcing themselves as the solicitors of 
the late Martin Nickley. They had come, under the provisions 
of the will, to place the countess in charge of his property. 
They desired her to go with them to Grantliorn Park and take 
formal possession. 

Miriam not only hated the man but also ]ns residence. It 
was, however, a magnificent manor, with beautiful grounds. 
She consented to go after lunch. The solicitors replied that 
they would prepare the servants for the reception of their new 
mistress. 

Miriam was informed that a lodge of fine design, costing 
over one thousand pounds, and intended by Nickley for one of 
his henchmen w^ho had been doing some of his dirty work, was 
just completed but not occupied. She resolved to give it 
to Ziska and his v/ife for a residence. His tribe would be 
employed on the premises and would have a permanent 
home. She sent for Ziska, but neither he or any member of 
his tribe could be found. 

It was just three o'clock as Miriam with 3Iilton, luicle 
Richard, and Pauline, seated in a magnificent carriage drawn 
by four liorses, drove into the magnificent grounds of Grantliorn 
Park. The other guests came after them in carriages. Ziska's 
absence was now accounted for. He had just given the 
finishing touches to an arch of evergreens, with the words over 
it in roses red and white : " Yv'elcome to the new ]ilistress of 
the Manor, the Countess De Naymours." 

On the grand porch they were met by the solicitors and 
the servants, headed by the steward. Miriam was formally 
installed as the owner of the estate by being presented with the 
keys on a silver tray. She touched them with her finger and 
gave them back to the steward. 

All the apartments were duly inspected. When they had 
returned to the drawing-room Miriam, who was leaning on the 
arm of her brother, said : 

" Milton, you can have Granthorn Park if you care to 
acce})t it." 

'•I am very much obliged," v.as his answer, "but I do not 
want it. Everdale is good enough for me." 



372 Miriam vs. Milton. 

" What will I do with it ? I am not willing to live here." 

" Give it to Lieutenant Bentley and Pauline jointly for life." 

" That is a s})lendid idea. I will otfer him the charge of the 
property. It needs some one to look after it." 

Pauline was engaged with her husband looking at some of 
the master paintings on the walls, and Miriam went to her 
and said : 

" Pauline, I want you to permit me to call your husband 
Ned." 

'• Certainly," was the reply. 

" I will consider it an honour to be thus styled," said the 
lieutenant. 

" Will you believe it f said Miriam. "This estate is going 
begging for an owner. I offered it to Milton but he refused 
it. I do not want it, and now ofi'er it to you both as a 
residence for life. The income from the lands proper will 
maintain you and the household. 1 will also add two thousand 
pounds a year if you will consent to manage the whole of 
Martin Nickley's })roperty here and abroad." 

"Miriam," said Pauline in her astonishment, "you do not 
mean it !" 

" Yes, I do. This arrangement will keep your husband at 
home, so that he need not go back to Malta to join his ship." 

" Miriam," said Bentley, " how can 1 ever repay such un- 
paralleled generosity ? " 

" It was paid long ago," was her reply. " Will you accejjt 
the manor % Here, Monton," she called to the steward, who 
still held the tray containing the keys. " Pass that tray over 
to your new master." 

Lieutenant Bentley took the tray in his hands, and said to 
Miriam : 

" I hope that you will never have cause to regret this con- 
fidence in me." 

Pauline threw her arms around Miriam and cried for very joy. 

" One more act," said Miiiam, " and we will return to 
Everdale. I want to place Ziska in charge of the lodge, and I 
hope, Ned, he will prove as faithful to your interests as he has 
done to mine." 

It was a ])roud day for the gipsy when he took possession of 
his new home. 



The American Cousin. 373 

CHAPTER XYIL 

THE AMERICAN COUSIN. 

A MONTH had passed since the triumphal return of the tn^ins 
to their old home. Sir Thomas had gone hack to Elmswood 
■with a promise from ^liriam that she -would pay him a visit 
before Christmas. Adelaide and Eleanor had both written 
warm letters of congratulation, and rejoicing in the clearinc; of 
their cousin's reputation. They threw the hlame of holding 
aloof from her on Mrs. Yan Eeem. jNIrs. Ainsworth sickened 
and died of mortification. She left all her property to ?*ririatn, 
and asked forgiveness for her unjust suspicions. Miriam 
gave the school with all its profit over to Miss Blanche 
Sinclair and her sister Mabel, who had remained there all these 
j'-ears. Both had refused splendid offers of marriage, for their 
father had recovered his lost fortune ; but his two eldest 
daughters preferred teaching and training others for domestic 
duties. Their fa,me in this respect had become a household 
word. To have been educated by the Misses Sinclair was 
considered a verj' great honour. Their youngest sister, the 
brilliant and Avitty Miss "Maud, had married a baronet, to the 
surprise of her mother, who thought she was too young. Mrs. 
Van Eeem, stubborn to the last, went over to Paris to spend the 
rest of her days. The obstinate Shirley nature refused to accept 
the solution of the problem regarding her niece. Pauline 
expressed herself very forcibly by saying that it would take the 
logic of an archangel to change the opinions of that hateful 
aunt, Mrs. Van Eeem. Such is the tendency resulting from 
a worship of the hereditary idol. 

^liriam provided a liberal allowance out of Nickley's estate 
for the little Luella. Hans Nelsola and his wife were invited 
to take charge of the boats on the lake, with a snug cottage to 
live in for life. They promptly accepted the offer. It was the 
realisation of a sailor's paradise — a virtual snug harbour, good 
pay, and very little to do. 

Through the influence of Sir Thomas Shirley Lieutenant 
Bentley received his promotion to the grade of commander, and 
was at his own request placed on the retired list. He found 
Ziska a very valuable man. The first time the gipsy chief sat 
down to a meal in his new home he smiled before a portrait of 
Martin Nickley. It had been taken out of the drawing-room 



374 Miriam vs. Milton, 

of the mansion and was about to be consigned to the attic. 
He asked for it and had placed it in his dining-room. Smiling 
before it he said to his wife : 

" My dear, who laughs last laughs best." 

Milton had written giving a full account of the trial and its 
denouement to his uncle Joseph and cousin Margaret; also to 
his late partners, who had stood so nobly by him in the hour of 
his extremity. He also wrote to Colonels Derwent and 
Moorehead. Ey return of mail he received answers extending 
hearty congratulations to himself and his sister. 

Uncle Joseph wrote that he had disposed of his property in 
New York and was about to sail for England, to end his days in 
his native land. He requested Milton to look out for an 
estate near Everdale, and if one could be found he would buy 
it on arrival. Such a place had been on the market for some 
time, and Milton obtained the refusal for it until his uncle 
should arrive. He and his daughter reached Liverpool on the 
10th of K"ovember by a Cunard steamer, and were met by 
Milton and l\Iiriam. It is needless to say that both received a 
hearty welcome and were escorted to Everdale. At the station 
they Avere met by Richard Shirley and Sir Thomas and his wife. 
It was many years since they had last met. 

As soon as Mr. Richardson saw the mansion Avhich was for sale 
he told Milton to conclude the bargain at once. The place was 
a very fine one ; in fact it was superior to Everdale, and was 
sold at a low price. By the first of December he was installed 
in his new home. Milton Avas a daily visitor, as his uncle 
needed his assistance to invest his funds. Miriam had in the 
meantime gone on a visit to her uncle Sir Thomas. Adelaide 
and Eleanor came home Avith their husbands. "While Miriam 
had cause of grievance with them for the cold Avay in Avhich 
they had treated her she passed it all over. The loving Irene 
had been faithful all the time, and her devotion atoned for the 
actions of her sisters. It was arranged that all should spend 
Christmas at Everdale. Eather Sarmaine had also promised 
to come. Miriam returned about the 20th of December to 
get ready for her guests. The first thing that Milton told 
her was that he had gone into partnership with their uncle 
Joseph. 

" Partnership, " said his sister ; " have you not money enough 
already 1 " 

"Yes," he answered ; "plenty of money, but my ncAV venture 
is something more profitable." 

"What are the terms of the partnership 1 " was asked. 



Tlie American Cousin. 375 

'•' Love, honour, and obey," by the stronger sex to the weaker; 
also, " With all my worldy goods I thee endow," 

" I have expected as much," said Miriam. " So our American 
cousin has won your heart. I am glad you will be so near. I 
congratulate you both. When are you to be installed as the heir 
of Queensdale Park, the home of our worthy quaker uncle ? " 

" The marriage is to take place on the third of next March, 
our 41st birthday. It will be the twentieth anniversary of our 
rescue from the lake. What an eventful experience we both 
have had ! I propose to invite over to our wedding Colonel and 
Mrs. Derwent and Colonel and Mrs. Moorehead and his only 
daughter ; also Marcy Graston and William Jenkins with his 
noble wife." 

The invitations were duly sent and accepted. The guests all 
arrived on the same steamer, a Cunarder, and were met at 
Liverpool by Milton. When they reached Everdale Commander 
Bentley and Mr. Richardson insisted that a division of the 
Americans should be made. The former claimed Colonel 
Mooiehead and wife and daughter, as being in afliuity with the 
old 8ea dog. The latter took Mr. and Mrs. W. Jenkins as his 
share. Miriam had the pleasure of welcoming Colonel and 
Mrs. Derwent. Both of their daughters were married and had 
young children. This had prevented them from accepting the 
invitation to come to the wedding of the gallant Colonel 
Creedmore. Milton looked after Marcy Graston. 

The 3rd of March, ISSO, was a day made to order; at least 
that was the opinion of all the friends and relatives gathered at 
Everdale and at Granthorn and Queensdale Parks. The Eev. 
James Demar and his wife had come by special invitation from 
Arrochar. The venerable Chaplain Vivian was to perform the 
ceremony, assisted by the liev. Mr. Huben as well as the Vicar 
of Everdale. 

Ziska, when permitted to build triumphal arches, was in his 
glory. He had erected no fewer than seven. Hans I^elsola 
was kept at work taking the guests across the lake to Queens- 
dale Park. 

Mr. Eichardson asked that a preliminary quaker ceremony 
should take place at his house before going to the church. 

This was done at half-past ten o'clock. Milton and his 
cousin before all the assembled guests took each other for man 
and wife until death should part them. Then they received the 
blessing of the old quaker, who said to his son-in-law : 

" Milton, I give to thy charge and keeping my daughter 
Margaret. Thou will find her at all times a loving faithful 



376 Miriam vs. Milton. 

spouse, for she hath been to me a very devoted child. May the 
Lord bless thee both through life." 

The old man was overcome and could say no more. 

Four steam launches had been provided to take the guests 
across the lake, and they each had in tow a large barge filled to 
its utmost capacity. At the Parish Church the regular ceremony 
of the Established formula took Tilace. The couple were finally 
pronounced husband and wife. There were six bridesmaids, 
Irene being of the number. The bride was dressed in quaker 
style — a plain silk dress of rich pearl grey silk without 
ornaments of any kind. Over all she had a v/hite lace veil bub 
no orange blossoms. 

The reception took place at Everdale IManor. There were 
manj'^ Avedding presents, both from the English kindred and the 
American guests. 

Just as they were sitting down to the wedding breakfast 
Miriam presented her brother with a long envelope, which he 
found to contain the conveyance of the lands and Chateau de 
Naymours, and the right given by the King of Italy to the title 
of count of that name. This Avas indeed a princely gift. 
Commander Bentley asked for tliree cheers for the new Count 
Milton de Naymours. Father Sarmaine asked a blessing on the 
wedding brealcfast, and then, as the poet expressed it, they " let 
joy be unconfined." 

Mr. Richardson Avas one of the jolliest of the company. He 
could not refrain from getting off a pun on his son-in-laAv. 

" Thee canst call Milton " count " as much as thee may 
please; but I count him as my son, and this count is the best." 

This Avas greeted Avith rounds of applause. 

After the breakfast the Avedding party assembled in the 
drawing-room, where the bride and bridegroom Avere to receive 
the congratulations of the tenants of the three estates and 
others aa'Iio might call. 

Miriam held a short consultation with her brother and his 
wife, and then announced the programme for the wedding tour. 

The happy couple were to go to Paris, then to Nice and Lake 
Como to take possession of the Chateau de Xaymours. On the 
first of May all Avho Avere present were to meet them there to 
spend a month at the chateau, which was large enough to 
accommodate them. 

At sundoAvn there Avas a grand demonstration in honour of 
Milton and his American bride. On tlie platform of the station 
as they were about to leave Ziska's Avife presented the bride 
with a beautiful basket of flowers, saying that they Avere sure to 



Tlie American Cousin. 377 

bring good fortune. The same train took many of the guests. 
Mr. Richardson went to Everdale to live until the time appointed 
to go to Lake Como. He and uncle Richard were a happy 
couple, and never tired of talking of old friends. Sir Thomas 
insisted upon taking with him Marcy Graston, and would have 
taken Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins also but Miriam objected. 
Commander Bentley held on to his prize, as he termed Colonel 
and Mrs. Moorehead, with their worthy daughter. 

Marcy Graston was the lion of the hour at Elmswood. John 
and Robert were never weary of hearing about "Western life. 
There was no better talker than Marcy. He told them that 
]}.Ir. Barlow, the detective whom Nickley had sent out to Salt 
Lake City, and who had bought a number of shares of the Trout 
Creek Gold Mine, was now the manager of it. He had organized 
an English syndicate and purchased all the shares for a very 
large amount. The mine was paying a big dividend. Marcy 
told them that he held several good investments in mining lands, 
and proposed to return in the fall with his partner and work 
them up. Colonel Creedmore, as he always called Milton, was a 
half partner in all these claims. 

Robert and John soon had the mining fever badly, and 
Winifred and Elvira proposed that they should all go to 
America on a visit. 

The last week in April saw the invited guests wending their 
way to Lake Como. Mr. Richardson and uncle Richard with 
Miriam were tlie first to arrive. Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins, who 
had visited Paris, were next. Father Sarmaine had gone to 
s!)end the Easter in Rome, and stopped at Como on his way 
home. All had arrived on the first of IMay except Sir Thomas, 
his wife and Irene, and Marcy Graston. Adelaide with Eleanor 
came from Germany with their husbands. A telegram was 
received at noon stating that Sir Thomas and Lady Shirley 
would arrive at two o'clock. When the}' came every one asked 
for Irene and Marcy Graston. 

" Mr. Graston will be here to-morrow," was the reply. " Irene 
will also come with a friend." 

The next day jMilton received a telegraphic message that Mr. 
and Mrs. Graston would be due at noon. This caused great 
excitement. 

" Of all the unexpected things," said Mr. Jenkins, "this takes 
the premium. That old bachelor getting married. I wonder 
who captured him." 

The station was filled with all the guests to give Avelcome to 
Marcy and his bride at noon. When he stepped upon the 



378 Miriam vs. Milton. 

platform he banded out a lady closely veiled, and said to these 
present : 

" Ladies and gentlemen, my wife." 

Everyone Vv^aited for her to raise her veil. Slowly she did 
so and Adelaide and Eleanor screamed, saying : 

" It is Irene ! Who ever thought that the old maid of the 
family would get married ! " 

" Thank you for the compliment," said the blushing bride, 
" but as I am the j'oungest daughter I am allowed a margin of 
twenty years over my oldest sisters." 

*•' Every one laughed at this apt reply. The next moment 
the ladies of the party were saluting and kissing her. 

Pauline went up to Sir Thomas, and said to him : 

*' Why did you not invite us to the wedding % " 

He replied : " Mr. Graston claimed he was too bashful a man 
to have a public ceremony." 

The author feels that Avhile mating people is a happy ending to 
all stories yet it gets monotonous. He will now bid adieu to 
his readers and his characters at the same time, leaving them 
all to enjoy themselves at the Chateau de Naymours on the banks 
of the beautiful Lake of Como. 

la closing he would c<dl his readers' attention to the great 
contrast betv.'ecn the phase of life of Edgar Creedmore, the 
hunted fugitive from justice, and the peaceful life of the 
Countess of Montville, the rich widow, respected and surrounded 
by loving friends. We are sure that no inducements would 
obtain the consent of the spirit of Miriam to return to a man's 
body with such an experience as she had in this condition of 
existence. 

The author was informed by a man of wide reading not long 
ago, that the world was on the eve of startling discoveries in 
the hitherto mysterious domain of anthropology. 

The jiroblem of our plot may be a little ahead of the times, 
but perhaps not so very much after all. 

The reader has the privilege of making his own deductions 
from wliat is related in the foregoing pages ; so the matter must 
now rest. 

THE END. 



IT. S. Xaval Station, 
Norfolk, Va., 

Jiuie 10th, 1S91. 



APPENDIX 



Extract from an Essay by Dr. Dana D. Boardinan, LL.D., 
published in the Baptist Quarterly, 1867. Philadelphia. 



Dr. Boardman states in one passage that " Christendom has 
persisted in clinging to the old pagan notion of man's double 
nature, instead of accepting the spiritual doctrine of his triple 
constitution. Man consists of body, life or living principle, and 
spirit. It is the union of these three which makes up the wonder- 
ful thing which we call a human being. The body is the organ of 
communication between the other parts of man's nature and 
the outward world — the avenue through which he is fed 
emotionally, intellectually, and morally. The second element of 
man's nature is the psychic force, which makes the object which 
possesses it, whatever it be, a living being. What a wonderful 
thiug this vital principal is ! What its nature is — whether 
material or immaterial — what its origin and laws of working, 
is the most baiHing as well as the most fascinating of nature's 
secrets, utterly defying lancet and microscope, crucible and 
balance, pliysiologist and philosopher. Phenomenally sur- 
veyed the soul seems to be endowed with a most mysterious 
gathei-ing, forming and organising force. It seems to be the 
inmost centre and pivot of the j^ei'sonality, around which the 
whole man as now constituted — physical, emotional, intellectual, 
and spiritual — gathers, crystallizes, and lives. In answer to its 
mystic powers, the heart throbs, the lungs dilate and contract, 
the sensibilities awaken, the passions take fire, the imagination 
roams, the reason marches forth in logical sequence, and the will 
strides on in exploits of conquest. Aiid all this is shared in an 
immeasui'ably lower degree by the animals around iiini. 



" Reason and instinct we are disposed to believe are only- 
relative terms. TJiat which in man we call reason, in animals 
we call instinct — that mysterious force which vitalizes and 
builds up the fabric of the human body is the same mysterious 
force' which vitalizes and builds up the fabric of the animacule. 
The difference is not so much one in nature or kind as in 
degree or intensity. 

" The third and highest element of man's nature is the 
Pneuma, or Spirit. This is distinctively the religious facidty. 
It is the organ by which man has the sense of Clod, by which 
he comes up into contact with Him, and apprehends and knows 
Him. God is not said to be the Father of our bodies or souls ; 
of these He is only the maker and framer, but He is said to 
be the Father of our Spirits. 

" This is the celestial sign which separates man so radically 
and everlastingly from the animal creation. The animal has 
a Psyche — a soul — as well as man. He not only has life, but 
having it can reason and desire and feel and love and rejoice 
and be enraged, and do a thousand things like a human soul. 
But unlike man he has no Pneuma. He cannot know Grod or 
worship Him." 



LITERARY MEN AND SAVANTS ALIKE EXPECT IMPORTANT DISCOVERIES IN 
THE REALM OF ANTHROPOLOGY. WHETHER THIS BOOK IS IN ANY REASONABLE SENSE 
AN ADVANCE COUrilER OF SUCH DISCOVERIES, ITS RSADERS MUST DETERMINE FOR 
THEMSELVES. — J^Fi'/rttr. 

MIRIAM vs. MILTON. 

The following review is from the pen of Prof. Alex. Wilder, M.D., of Newark, N.J. 
For thirteen years he held the post of associate editor with i/ie late V/m. C. Bryant 
of the New York Evening Post : — 

THE PLOT. 

A concept of a startling nature underlies the story of Miriam and her twin 
brother, Milton. There is nothing in the way the plor is set forth which 
need shock the sensibility of a person most fastidious on such topics. It certainly 
is deeply interesting to every reader. It is unlike the works of Bulvver, Haggard, 
Stevenson, and other prominent writers because the field is entirely the author's 
own. 

The heroine and hero of this tale are a twin sister and brother, children of 
Rear-Admiral Creedmore, of the Royal Navy. They are, as is often the case, 
counterparts in their essential qualiiies. Miriam, the sister, is talented, brilliant, 
and possessed of faculties of a rare order. With all these endowments she is 
restless and with a temperament masculine in its aspirations. The brother is as 
talented as she, but of a reserved nature, and with qualities generally rc'-^arded 
as feminine. Their kindred observe these differences, and often suggest that 
somehow the spirit of each had become allied to the wrong body. 

When celebrating their twenty-first birthday they go out for a sail on the 
lake near their home, tiieir boat is capsized by a squall, and they sink to the 
bottom. Their spirits are forcibly separated from their bodies. 
In the region in which they find themselves they make an earnest supplication 
to the Disposer of events, and are permitted to return to the earth life, each 
taking the body of the other. They were rescued from the water alter an 
immersion of ten minutes. The physicians at first pronounced them dead, but 
atter a period of active exertion animation is restored. Their return was 
qualified by several conditions. Henceforth the youth takes the name of Ed'-'ar, 
and the maiden that of Esther. 

It is the year i86l. Edgar makes his way to America, and enlists in the 
7[bt N. Y. Volunteers, is speedily engaged in active service, wins distinction, 
and finally becomes a Colonel. He serves in turn upon the statt of the various 
Generals commanding the army of the Potomac. Vivid accounts are "^iven 
of the various Battle Scenes in which he participated. " 

After the war Colonel Edgar Creedmore tries his fortune in the Far West. 
Thirteen years of adventure follow with sad tales of misfortune, which are 
thrilling and romantic. 

The history of Esther's experience is no less sorrov.ful. It is a terrible story 
of conspiracy and crime. The reader is led through seventeen years of plotting 
and adventure in the higher and lower grades of English and Continental life. 

After this period the brother and sister meet, but this being in violation of 
their solemn agreement they are again involved in a drowning disaster and once 
more permitted to resume their original bodies, but are entangled with each 
other's untoward experiences. After many trials the errors of the twins are 
retrieved, and they take their place in the social world purified and benefited by 
their strange episodes of life. 

The interest of this very remarkable story is maintained from the first chapter 
to the last. It is full of entertainment as well as stimulus to profound thouo-ht. 
This outline only faintly expresses the piot of this narrative; 
the details cannot even be guessed. 



EVERY CLERGYMAN AND EVERY DOCTOR SHOULD read this Story, 
FOR THE SCHEME IS BASED UPON A PROPOSITION DEMANDINO FROM REFLECTING MINOS 
THE MOST SERIOUS CONSIDERATION. — Wilder. 



By the Author of thss volume. 



.drift on the Black V^'^IId Tide. | 

==^^= Price, Cloth, 2/=. 



NOTICES FROM THE PRESS. 



"As a curious psychological study the book is exceedingly interesting, and much of its 
disclosures of the other world suggest useful spiritual lessons applicable to the present life.' — 
Christia7i Intellignicer. 

"This book recounts the strange sensations of the author's trance, turning them to moral 
and spiritual ?i.zzo\s.x\X.." —Literary World. 

"This is a peculiar book. The author disclaims all design to influence any one'.s theology; 
offers no e.vpianation of the phenomenon. We commend this book to students of the effects of 
disease on mental action." — Christian Advocate. 

"Those interested in the great problem of after-e.xistence will find the book attractive." — 
Boston Transcript. 

"A marvellous narration of presumed death, and of intercour.se with spirits, and glimpses of 
the undiscovered country. Evidently a sincere report of real emotions, and will be read with 
curiosity and perhaps with comfort by many." — Philadelphia Evening Bulletin. 

" Weird and strange experience in dreamland, and a Bunyanist vision of a sail up the river 
of death. "—i\'V;y York Herald. 

"An extraordinary vivid dream and a subsequent consciousness of passing into the future 
state, with the sensation occasioned by the separation of soul and body, all related wit'n an air of 
candour and graphic force of expression which makes the narrative e.xtremely impressive." 
— Philadelphia Inquirer. 

" A nautical version of the Pilgrim's Progress, with the essential difference that it is a 
record of literal fact. The book affords an excellent moral." — Philadelphia Tiines. 

"The book deals of the impressions on the mind of one who had undergone the severe 
experience of yellow fever, and is a work of rare interest." — Norfolk Virgijtian. 

"The remarkable yellow fever e.xperiences of the author are graphically described in this 
little volume, startling and peculiar." — Ne^u York Observer. 

"The author, when supposed to be dead, traversed the river of death until he had caught 
glimpses of the Celestial City, and was sent back to earth again. There is nothing in the book in 
conflict with God's Word, and much that is deeply interesting and impressive. The spirit of the 
book is earnest and reverential." — National Baptist. Philadelphia. 

"A curious story, very well told. The author is master of a good style, and has a fine 
imagination. The material could be shaped into an allegory of extraordinary interest." — 
Religious Herald. 

"The experience of Mr. Kane forms a striking and interesting narrative, from whatever 
point of view it is considered. We shall all of us learn some day how much of it is true, and 
any criticism upon it in advance of a like experience must be purely speculative. Certainly, no 
one can envy the chaplain his exceptional capacity for repeating an e.xperience which most are 
quite satisfied to go through with but once." — U. S. Army and Navy Journal. 

The author does not waste any time in superfluous matter, but introduces his readers into the 
mysteries of the spirit-iand in such a prompt manner that the attention is riveted at once, 
and completelj- absorbed until the book is finished. He gives no explanation of the phenomena ; 
neither does he draw any deduction, nor offer any theory, but leaves his readers to their o-.vn conclu- 
sions. Mr. Kane is well known among his friends as being a most thoroughly practical man and not 
at all visionary, thus making his narrative all the more singular. The work has received the endorse- 
ment of a large number of clergymen of all denominations, and should be in every household in the 
land. To those who are suffering from bereavement the book will come like a messenger from the 
other shore, telling of the bright land across the dark river. To all classes the book will throw a 
beam of light across the pathway to the border-land ; for the author minutely describes his 
.sensations in the throes of death, and the wonderful development of the spirit faculties, and 
showing that the hour of dissolution should be looked upon as the gateway to untold happiness. 
Having been eight times at the point of death, and three times pronounced dead, the author has 
had unu.sual facilities for a glimpse of the other sphere. The favourable notices of the secular 
and religious press are a sufficient endorsement of the character of this book. — Thos. C. Murphy, 
B.D., Philadelphia. 

IMay be obtained from Charles Bikch.\ll, 38, Gracechurch Street, London ; 
7 & 9, Victoria Street, Liverpool ; and all Booksellers. 



By the Author of this Voluivie. 



The Curse of the Old South Church. 

Price, Paper, 2/=. ==^=^==^^== Cloth, sl^' 

EXTRACTS OF REVIEWS ¥ROM THE PRESS, 



"Under the title of ' Ilian,' James J. Kane, U. S. N., has written a psychological taleof the late 
civil war that is both original and fascinating. Many of his characters are studies from the lives 
of those with whom he came in contact in the struggle for supremacy between the North and the 
South. The picture of the conscience-stricken man standing at midnight under the shadow of the 
Old South Church, .^nd shaking t'rom head to foot as he realises that a fearful curse is hovering over 
his head, is one that cannot easily be erased from the mind. The author makes his pictures with 
an exactness that causes everj- detail to be visible. The lesson that it unfolds may strike home, 
and, even if it does not, its influence is so powerful that it cannot be shaken off without difiiculty." 
— Boston Herald. 

'• ' Ilian' is a strong and romantic story of adventure, and of some mysteries that are stranger 
than any material adventures. It is of absorbing interest and carries the reader on in an 
atmosphere of mystery through a plot full of stirring action and strange events, which cannot fail 
:o hold his closest attention and most intense interest. It has a ii;;e literary quality that adds 
immensely to its effectiveness." — American Bookseller, Philadelphia. 

" Mr. Kane's romance is unlike any other which has been sent out for a long while. It 
introduces into human life and among natural events those mysterious elements which are often 
de.scribed as supernatural, but which, perhaps, would be more accurately stated as 
supersensuous. It appe.ils to the awe of the unknown and the yearning after the stranse realities 
of the immortal life. The novel deserves wide reading, for it is the reverse of commonplace." — 
JV^e^v York JMoming Journal. 

" This is a book worthy of more than passing notice. The tale is absorbingly interesting. 
The glimpses of Northern and Southern social life are evidently given by one who knows, and the 
naval episodes are worthj- of Clark Russell himself." — New York Truth. 

" 'Ilian' certainly has in it sufficient stirring adventure and supernatural mystery to satisfy- 
any reader. The description of blockade-running and naval engagements are graphically 
presented." — Philadelphia Record. 

" It is a strange stor\', and, except the curse, it can be matched in its thrilling incidents by 
many others known to soldiers and civilians during the civil war. The material is not of the kind 
that requires working up. There is room for many more stories of the same kind." — NeT.u York 
Herald. 

" Psychological stories well told have an indescribable fascination to the reader. ' Ilian' is a 
thrilling narrative." — Home Journal, New York. 

" 'Ilian' is a wonderful storj', thrilling, and out of the ordinary range of events ; a story that 
one is tempted to finish before anything else when once begun, and when the last page is reached 
the reader can but feel that the time spent has been perfectly consumed." — Sunday Telegram, 
Providence, R.I. 

"This book is one of the most remarkable novels of this or any other season. It is very- 
fascinating. The novel reader, above all things, desires new ideas, and he certainly gets them 
uom ' Ilian.' " — Taggart's Sunday Times, Philadelphia. 

" For a book wTitten in so many places, and under such varying circumstances, the author 
maintains the theme of the story remarkably well. The psychological incidents are thrilling 
and the plot and denouement are original and sufficiently sensational." — Morfiimr Herald 
Utica, N. Y. 

" ' Ilian ' is destined to find a creditable place in the literature of the hour. The story is told 
in an absorbing style." — Army and Naz'y Register. 

" .\ war novel with love, curses, broken hearts, battles, mysterious marriages, gambling tables, 
secret service in the South, catastrophes, mysteries, and tragedies." —Journal of Education, 
Boston. 

May be obtained from Charles Bikchall, 38, Gracechurch Street, London; 
7 & 9, Victoria Street, Liverpool ; and all Booksellers. 









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