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Full text of "Night watch; or social life in the South"

■y neatly printed 12 mo. volume, . entitled 
'he Night Watch; or Social Life in the South," 
>lished by Moore, Wilstach & Co., and for 
e by Wm- M. Todd in this city. The author 
?s under the anonymous name of "Somebody; 

are not informed of her true name, for the 
)k: bears internal evidence of having been 
tten by a lady, but we judge her to be an un- 
ctised and juvenile hand at tho business of 
re\ writing. /The author was eviilently filled 
h good intentions and sois the bot^k; and we 

presented with a varied and comprehensive, 
. far from a truthful picture of domestic life 
;he South. The author appears by residence 
1 experience to be really familliar with the po- 
larities of Southern life, but her work is over-, 
)ught. The great fault of the book is its ut- 

want of life and reality. People at the South, 
any where else, don't move and talk as they 
in the artificial pages of this book. The ac- 
3 behave unnaturally, and talk unnaturally,, 
I the author describes both in a clumsy 
le, awkward, minutely tedious and unpol- 
ed by the delicate art of the ready writer. — 
e story would have been more interesting 
I it been told in one-half the words to be 
nd in the book, provided that half had been 
re carefully selected, as some of the inci 
its of the plot more carefully pruned. This 
;ld have been done easily, as the greatest 
It of the author is her verbosity. Is this a 
sh judgment of such writing as the following, 
Lch we take by mere chance from the middle 
the book: 

rhey had now arrived before some untenanted 
ises, which were each divided by a dark al - 
(?). Those buildings were tall, and the shad 
i cast from them were deep and dark. Just as 
rray felt the lady fall on his arm as a dead 
ight, six masked' figures rushed out from those 
k alleys and surrounded the little party. In 

twinkling of an eye their mouths were stop- 
l. Three men seized Col. Murray, but with the 
;ngth of a hercules he wrenched his arras 
se, as the men weie trying to tie his hands be- 
d him, and dealing right and left such blows 
h his clenched fist as you might suppose Vul- 
1 did with his sledge hammer, he had in a few 
autes laid two men at his feet. Then as the 
rd measured his length on the pavement, a 
irth drew his knife, and slipping up, thrust it 

his side. "O, God! where is Murdoch?".and 
fell heavily across the prostrate bodies wifh a 
;p groan. 

rhe rattle of the night watch is heard, and 
irdoch and his myrmidons came running up. 

1 had passed so quickly, and work of treachery 



It irom the boweJs oi the earth. When the 
rived at the spot, they found three . men a 
rently dead, and Murray weltering in his I 
The other three had escaped, fled at the 
sound of that dead rattle. Murdoch and hi 
were a great terror to evil doers; and that 
—Oh! that rattle." 

The book, however, has some marks of 
about it, and would justify its author in m 
another attempt. It is far more worthy of a 
ing and the purchase money than one-ba' 
novels oiFered to the public. 



F/Lom the, # 

Lib/Lo/iy 0^ AmeAyicana 

Jo6e,ph Vuidlty SuuttoA 




^fnen)ifn ai . Sterne JLibrar^ 
^m})ersit^ of cn I a Da ma in Jjirmin^nam 



t to criticige. There is bo much that is true, that we do 
t know, and which would be useful to know, that we verj^ 
ely venture into the regions of fiction. Having known 
1 fair authoresa for rears, and this, being her fii'at attempt 



long ana deep suttenng ana sincere repents 
If the reader is disposed to forgive them, it 
be hoped God has done so too. If novelists wei 



authorship, we have departed from our usual practice i _„Up „ii thpir rharartprs hannv nr iinliannv arc 
i read.it ttrough. It is bitten in an easy and natural '^ake ail ineir cnaraciers nappy or unnappy ace 



le, and its scenes are vividly conceived and drawn to the 
!. The interest in the story never flags. The foUiej* and 
llo^^ pretences of fashionable society are exposed with an 
sparing hand. Many excellent moral and religious aen- 
lenfsareput into the mouths of the personages of the 
rr. The deeper and wilder passions of the human heart 
! portrayed with a graphic pen. But we doubt whetlier 
it portrayal will be of any practical value to the reader, 
e principal hero and heroine are represented as J^elding: 
passions which ought never to have been indulged, and, 
er a long life of sufferiDg and disgrace, are brought to-a 
?vy and honorable condition in life. 
t is true the heroine is made to repent of her sinful 
irse, but wc doubt whether the moral effect of such a 
miuation to eueh a life will not be bad upon the mindB of 
nthful readers. We wish we could induce the authoress 
;um her attention to a somewhat different style of com- 
lition. This, her first book, certainly evinces the posses- 
Q of a high order of talents. She wields a facile and vig- 
lus pen, which ought not to be idle. God haa. given her 
Tcrs which might be made to tell with effect upon the 
[fare of the race. Were she to depict the workings of the 
rer and better passions of the sonl ivith the same graphic 
ver that she has done those of an opposite class, in this 
: first attempt, the moral effect would be far better, and 
• labors would be more higlJy prized by the pnbhc. 
Prcshytermn HeraM. 

Like, the Rev. editor of the Herald, we have, c»n- 

iry to our usual practice, read "Night AYateb, or 

cial Life in the South" throuffk. The public may 

turally suppose, that, if both a saint and a sinner,/ 

itrary to their usual custom, read a novel from^ 

jinning to end, it must be a production reiuarka- 

r adapted to the fascination of all cla sses. And so ' 

ght Watch is; we do not think that Presbyterian, 

iscopalian. Baptist, Methodist, Universalist, Jew, 

pist, Bible-revisionist, or Anti-Bible revisionist, 

I read its first chapters without reading the whole.- 

Dur neighbor of the Herald rather implies that he 

id Night Watch through because he has peij-son- 

Y known the fair authoress for years. Acquaint- 

^eship with a charming woman is certainly an 

sellent reason with both saints and sinners for 

ding her productions, but we apprehend, that, in 

> present case, the charm of the work itself was 

Ite enough to rivet our reverend neighbor's at- 

ition. He pr fesses to have found some wicked 

hgs in the book, such us he is very much afraid 

ly have a bad effect upon the minds of readers 

anger and less established than himself; and, as 

m holy men, if we may believe the Scriptures, 

i'c their weaknesses, it seems barely possible that 

wickedness of the novel was the true spell, 

iclj constrained the good editor, contrary to his 

torn, to read it through. For ourselves, we deny 

ring felt such an influence. 

t is true that the hero and heroine of Night 

Itch, under the stress of strong temptation, do sin 

St grievously, and we have no doubt that metf" 

I women of morbid tastes will for that reason be 



ing tb the acts of their lives, novels would be 
dull concerns. Novelists are perhaps not bom 
be more relentless to earthly sinners than Heav 
in its Providence. 

We should be glad to enlarge upon the meri 
Night Watch, but our readers can find it at the t 
stords and depots and judge for themselves. W 
due recollection of the caution of our reve 
neighbor upon their minds, they need not fear to 
it. Of course a fair lady, who has for many ^ 
been a personal acquaintance of the editor o 
Herald, cannot be supposed to be the authore 
an immoral book. We believe, that, if there 
500 copies in the city, they would all sell. 




Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

Lyrasis IVIembers and Sloan Foundation 



http://www.archive.org/details/nightwatchorsociOOmoor 



THE 



NIGHT WATCH: 



OR, 



-:i 



SOCIAL LIFE IN THE SOUTH 



H 



*:* 



BY^SOMRPODY, 



' Through all disguise, form, place, or name, 

Beneath the ilaunting robe of sin, 

Through poverty, and squalid shame. 

Thou lookest on the man within." 



CINCINNATI: 
MOOKE, WILSTACH, KEYS & CO, 

25 "WEST FOURTH STREET. 

r*'" " • » — '. 

^- ■ -1^ 



A : 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1856, by 

C. O. HOFFMAN, 

In the Clerk's office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern 

District of Ohio. 



stereotyped and Printed by 
MOORE, WILSTACH, KEYS & CO. 



CONTENTS. 



PAQB. 

^ CHAPTER I. 
Close Quarters ■... 7 

*"* CHAPTER II. 
The Parvenue Patroness 13 

CHAPTER III. 
Household Cares ; 23 

CHAPTER IV. 
The Milliner's Shop 30 

CHAPTER V. 
The little Scotch Woman 40 

CHAPTER VI. 
Heart Revealings and the True Friend 46 

CHAPTER VII. 
Scenes in the Sanctuary 53 

CHAPTER VIII. 
The Dinner Party 59 

CHAPTER IX. 
Divers Scenes in Sundry Places 70 

''^ CHAPTER X. 
Nature's Nobleman 83 

(iii) 



IV CONTENTS. 

PAOE. 

CHAPTER XI. 
The Journal 90 

CHAPTER XII. 
A Domestic Scene in High Life _. 101 

CHAPTER XIII. 
A Young Raven Fed 115 

CHAPTER XIV. 
The Siren 124 

CHAPTER XV. 
The Jew Peddler .*. 135 

CHAPTER XVI. 
The Neophyte Actor 147 

CHAPTER XVII. 
The Lover — Soul Phases 159 

CHAPTER XVIII. 
The Lady and the Toady 174 

CHAPTER XIX. 
The Miser's Home 184 

CHAPTER XX. 
The Courteous Manager 194 

CHAPTER XXI. 
The Ambush 199 

CHAPTER XXII. 
The Fall 210 

CHAPTER XXIII. 
The Courtship , 214 

CHAPTER XXIV. 
The Old Jew's Family 223 



CONTENTS. V 

PAGB. 

CHAPTER XXV. 
The Good Wife 230 

CHAPTER XXVI. 
The Governor's Levee 241 

CHAPTER XXVII. 
The Masque ., 264 

CHAPTER XXVIII. 
The Forgeries 273 

CHAPTER XXIX. 
The Letter. 283 

CHAPTER XXX. 
The Wedding 301 

CHAPTER XXXI. 
The Elopement Discovered 324 

CHAPTER XXXII. 
The Chamber of Death 331 

CHAPTER XXXIII. 
The Marriage 341 

CHAPTER XXXIV. 
The Happy Home 345 

CHAPTER XXXV. 
The Journal — The Far Past Recalled 359 

CHAPTER XXXVI. 
The Journal — A Gift 374 

CHAPTER XXXVIl. 
The Journal — An Intriguante 391 

CHAPTER XXXVIII. 
The Journal — A Stunning Announcement 408 



VI CONTENTS. 

PXOK. 

CHAPTER XXXIX. 
The Journal — The Eeturn 426 

CHAPTER XL. 
The Journal — Paradise and Purgatory 440 

CHAPTER XLI. 
The Journal — The Maniac Mother 457 

CHAPTER XLII. 
The Journal — Old Friends and Foes 469 

CHAPTER XLIII. 
Conscience, the Oracle of God 480 

CHAPTER XLIV. 
Retribution, or the Maniac Husband 488 

CHAPTER XLV. 
The Happy Family 503 

CHAPTER XLVI. 
The Jewess 612 

CHAPTER XLVII. 
The Conclusion 620 



THE NIGHT ¥ATCH. 



CHAPTEE I. 

^<^ , CLOSE QUARTERS. 

* " Have pity on them, for their life 

Is full of grief and care ; 
You do not know one half the woes 

The very poor must bear ; 
You do not see the silent tears 

By many a mother shed, 
As childhood offers up the prayer, 

' Give us our daily bread.' " 

In one of the large towns in the South, in a street not 
very remote from the central and business portion of the 
place, there are still standing two or three mean -looking, 
dilapidated, gloomy hovels. I know not why these are 
left there to cumber the earth, and to mar the general pros- 
pect, amid the neighboring tenements which present a 
new, clean, thrifty appearance, unless it be that it is prop- 
erty entailed; which is doubtless the case. The partic- 
ular house before which we would now conduct our 
readers, presents a front of about eighteen feet of old, 
moldy boards, with a jutting, blackened roof. One small 
window has sidled off to the left, as if weary of standing 
up so straight ; or may be, like the door, it has grown 
feeble by the weight of so many years, and is trying to 
find something to lean upon. The walls, as well as the 
window sills and door lintels, have had a rough coat of 
white-wash and coarse green paint administered to them 

(viil 



8 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

* 

recently, which, by-the-by, only makes one think of the 
utter futility of trying to make old, worn-out things look 
fresh and new. 

Such was the exterior of this dwelling. JSTow let us 
take a survey of the interior. There is neither hall nor cor- 
ridor ; the old, creaking door opens into the one best room, 
which is made to serve as parlor, dining room, bedroom, 
and sometimes kitchen. As I said before, it is lighted by 
only one narrow window, looking out on the street. The 
whole place gives evidence of extreme indigence, but 
everything is forced up to its highest point of usefulness, 
and made to show to the best advantage. The little old 
patched up table, and broken work stand, are polished 
and made decent by frequent brushings and furbishings. 
The few aged and worn rush-bottom chairs bear marks of 
the same careful, pains-taking hand. A small, single bed 
in each corner of the room fills one broad side, while on 
the other stands an old cupboard in solitsir j grandeut% con- 
taining articles of household use. Another little, low, 
rickety door opens out on a shed, which has been turned 
into a stall by the present occupants. In this place stands 
a small cooking-stove, where their meager meals are 
prepared. 

The inmates of the house are an old lady, her grand- 
daughter, and great grandson. The grandmother seems 
to be the active agent and presiding genius of the place. 
She is dressed in a cheap calico wrapper. A plain mus- 
lin caj). much darned, and a neat white handkerchief is 
pinned transversely over her bosom. She looks to be in 
good health, although a cripple. She is at this moment 
sitting in an old arm chair, which is minus an arm, patched 
up and mended from top to bottom. She is looking 
moody, but not positively dissatisfied or disconsolate, as 
she rocks herself sometimes violently, then more delibe- 
rately, and finally subsides into a gentle undulating mo- 
tion, as her feelings and memories prompt. 



THENIGHTWATCH. 9 

The granddaughter, who is yoimg and beautiful, ap- 
pears to be unhappy. She is sitting in a low chair, quite 
still, her arms hanging down listlessly by her side, gazing 
vacantly into the fire. She, unlike her grandmother, is 
attired carelessly, and in a dress which was once costly, 
handsome and rich, but is now faded and worn in many 
places, and if not ragged, we must thank the same poor 
old lady who, with her .natural thrift, with spectacles on 
nose, has plied the needle in many places. Meantime she 
sits there, alternately looking at her daughter and the 
fire. 

" Well now ! there you are, like the old gray cat in the 
corner ; one about as much use as the other. I say, Myra, 
what good will it do to sit there moping and gazing into 
the old rusty grate ? It will not put coals into it. I say, 
don't you hear, child ? " and she placed her lips in such 
close proximity to the lady, whom she called Myra, that 
she touched her, while she shouted the last words into her 
ear. The granddaughter started so violently as almost to 
upset her. The old lady seemed to be vexed, as she with 
difficulty recovered her equilibrium, exclaiming, " Now is 
not this too bad ? You had better knock me down at 
once, then I would know exactly how I stand in the house." 
Myra looked at her imploringly, and bending on her those 
glorious eyes, filled as they now were with a soft and hu- 
mid light, said, 

" Oh, mother, I do most humbly ask your pardon. I 
would not have been guilty of such rudeness, especially to 
you, for the world. I hope you will forgive me, dear 
grandmamma." 

" Well, I suppose I must overlook this, as I do every- 
thing else, but I can not permit you to sit there forever- 
more in that way. You must learn to exert yourself, 
child. True, you have been treated badly : I know all 
that. But see, God has left you all your faculties, and 
you have health and strength to work, if not in one way. 



10 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

then in another. How can you sit there mewed up, sigh- 
ing and groaning, when there are no provisions in the 
house, no coal in the cellar, no wood in the yard, and 
scarce a change of clothing, even for the child, of the 
coarsest kind ? I tell you it will not do. Think you, 
because God sees fit to withdraw some of his blessings, 
after having permitted j'ou to enjoy so many of his good 
things, to be nurtured delicately, and fondled in the lap 
of luxur}^, he will now excuse you for not improving the 
talent which is left? Come, rouse up ; unfold the napkin 
which conceals thy talent, and be doing, lest thou be 
brought to judgment." 

" Oh ! God, pity me ! " exclaimed the young woman, with 
such a heart-broken tone and despairing look, that even 
the stern old lady appeared softened. 

" Well, child, I'm sorry that I have to scold so much, 
but I must stick to the text, ' there is no use in sighing 
and groaning over spilt milk ! ' " 

" Dear grandma, spare me this one time. I have done 
what I could. It does seem to me all that I could yet 
awhile. I have complied with the requisitions of our pit- 
iless landlord, and in order to secure to him the miserable 
pittance we owe him for the rent of this '■ ■palace^ I have 
consented to have myse?/' put over the door as fashionable 
dress-maker from New York. Oh, Lord ! I pray thee 
forgive me all the falsehoods and subterfuges which I am 
now compelled to practice." 

Then she folded her arms and resumed her despairing 
look and attitude, gazing, as was her constant habit, into 
the tire. The old lady seemed to think she must follow 
up the subject, and avail herself of the little advantage 
gained; for it was a point achieved to get poor Myra even 
to listen. To hear and heed, with a reply or remark, not 
wholly irrelevant to the subject in hand, were events now 
of rare occurrence. She therefore again essayed to rouse 
her granddaughter from her lethargic mood. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 11 

''But my daughter, I do not see why you have done 
this ? I did not desire that you should thus humble your 
proud spirit so much, all at once. I did not intend that 
you should stoop so low as to become a thing to be ordered 
about, insulted, and brow-beaten, by the insolent, purse- 
proud mushrooms, and miserable parvenues of this 
overgrown city. It is not thus I would have you exert 
yourself, my dear. Why not make your fine accomj)lish- 
ments available? Music, French, drawing, etc? There 
is nothing mortifying, degrading or ignoble in these pur- 
suits. You only establish your superiority over the mass : 
and while your own mental faculties are maturing, you 
are doing something toward elevating the better portion 
of the animal. But in this vile employment you can only 
minister to the vanity and self-love of a parcel of haughty 
women, heartless butterflies, who will presently treat you 
with impertinence and contumely. In short, dear child, 
poor and miserable as we are made by poverty, and the 
cruelty of man; neglected, deserted, unknown, and un- 
happy; still I am unwilling that you should expend 
your time, and exhaust your strength in adorning the 
bodies of those worms, — in fitting the caterpillar to fly. 
I will not have it so." 

"Now, my dear grandmother, everything but our 
wretchedness here (looking around on the bare walls and 
floor), and that your child is educated, and perhaps a 
little more gifted than falls to the lot of some others 
(which in our peculiar situation I deem a great misfor- 
tune), has escaped you. Have you forgotten the crowning 
sorrow of my life ? Have you ceased to remember the 
cause of our leaving home, and fleeing as for our lives, to 
this remote place, where I desire to shun all associates ? 
Have you? Oh yes ! you do seem to have forgotten all, 
while I never do ! Waking or sleeping, it is always the 
same. Memory, with me, is ' The worm which never 
dieth.' " 



12 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

She wrung her hands, and writhed, as if undergoing the 
intensest agony of spirit, while her fine form, and beau- 
tiful features jerked with a spasmodic force. Her cheeks 
(that soft downy surface, with charming dimples) col- 
lapsed and became livid, so that the old lady shrieked out 
in terror, at the same time catching up the pitcher of 
water, and throwing its contents into her face. She soon 
recovered. Who would not, to be so thoroughly baptized 
in ice-water, in the month of December? She smiled 
faintly, as she looked up timidly into her mother's face, 
saying in the same soft, dulcet voice, 

"Forgive me, grandma! I could not helj) it." 
"Well ! may Grod forgive us both our trespasses ! I fear 
we are both to blame," rejoined the old lady. 



W'f 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 13 



CHAPTER II. 

THE PARVENUE PATRONESS. 

"There are smiles and tears in the mother's eyes, 
For her beautiful boy beside her lies ; 
Oh, heaven of bliss ! when the heart o'erflows 
With the rapture a mother only knows." 

"Where is Clarence? " said the grandmother. 

The daughter looked troubled, and seemed afraid to 
speak. Grief makes us timid and cowardly sometimes. 
However, she nerved herself and replied : 

" I have sent him to that day-school, just across the 
street. I hope you will not blame me for doing this ? I 
could not teach him any longer, if I am to engage in the 
business indicated by that rude sign over the door." 

The old woman frowned, and moved about uneasily in 
her chair, as she rejoined : 

" Then I should like to know who is to cut the wood for 
the kitchen stove, fetch the coal, biiy our marketing, and 
bring the water from the pump? You sit there more 
dead than alive ; I am crippled, and almost blind ; still 
you look to me to keep house, have all the meals in order, 
and make everything snug, and you all comfortable." 

Poor Myra could not refrain from smiling at this tirade 
of the garrulous, but good-hearted old ladj^. This enume- 
ration of household cares could not fail to bring to her 
mind the total destitution of her family. Then she 
remembered that there was neither coal, wood, nor pro- 
visions in the house, and no means to buy. 

Just then the old street-door flew open, and there burst 
into the room, like a "sunbeam," a little boy about six 



14 THE NIGHT WATOn. 

years old. He came bounding and dancing into the center 
of the room, then stopped and threw up his little cap, 
shouting, "Huzza ! I'm head of my class, already, mamma," 
and he looked so bright, and beautiful, and happy, that 
you could never for an instant possibly suppose that he 
was an inmate of that dark, dismal, cold room. One would 
naturally think of a stray angel, sent there to cheer the 
desponding inhabitants of the place. So seemed to think 
the mother ; for there was a gleam of joy, and a ray of 
hope overspreading that pale, sad face. 

" Come here, my angel boy, and kiss your mother." 

The child flew into her arms, embracing her passionately, 
then nestled on her bosom, and began to sob ; softly 
repeating, "I love you, mamma; /love you. Don't look 
so mournful, pretty, sweet, good mamma. My heart is 
full of love for you. Never mind whether anybody else 
loves you or not." And there they sat, that transcend- 
ently beautiful young mother, who, but for her deep 
dejection, would scarce have seemed beyond early girl- 
hood, and that glorious little boy, locked in each other's 
arms, weeping as if their only luxury was in tears. Mean- 
time the grandmother looks on sullenly, still rocking 
herself. Presently the two weepers become calmer ; the 
clouds cleared away from the boy's April face, and the 
young mother looked less somber. 

The child unwound his little arms from her neck, and 
gently slid from her lap. Approaching his grandmother, 
looking shy and confused, he said, " I love you too, mam." 

" Well, I suppose j^ou do," said she, somewhat gruffly. 
"Who said you didn't? But boy that won't put bread in 
your mouth, will it ? Can you live on these fine tantrums ? 
Do either of you feel any better since that copious shower? 
I guess you will change your note presently, when you 
sit down to knives and forks, and empty plates." 

The child looked hurt, and instinctively shrunk from 
her, as we do from whatever gives us pain, and again 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 15 

drew near to his tender, loving mother, '^^he impressions, 
impulses, and instincts of childhood are very strong; 
they can not reason, they do not comprehend, but they 
feel. These feelings are acute, and they obey their 
promptings. At an early age they acknowledge the 
influence of kindness of look, gentleness of word, suavity 
of manner. 

Oh ! what a sad, sad spectacle to me, greater than any 
other, is that of a mournful, dispirited child. G-reat must 
be the sufferings, tremendous the hardships, and cruel, 
more than cruel, the treatment to a child sufficient to 
crush out its innate buoyancy and mirthfulness — to put 
out the light and joy of its little soul. In this instance, 
the young mother had so sheltered her cherub boy from 
all -want and harshness — so adroitly managed to conceal 
the true situation of her family from him, that save a 
vague idea which was forced on him by seeing her in 
tears, and hearing his grandmother's croakings, he had 
no conception of misfortune or sorrow. True, he knew 
and felt every day that there was a great change in their 
mode of life. It had been but a short time since they 
resided in a fine house, and he was waited on by servants 
— was petted and caressed. He also remembered to have 
seen his mother and himself handsomely dressed and ap- 
parently surrounded by friends. These reminiscences 
brought no joy to his young mind, because the bare men- 
tion of them drew a cloud over his mother's face, and 
filled her eyes with tears. He knew this had all vanished. 
He saw and felt that they lived poorly, were meanly clad, 
and oftentimes he was cold and hungry. But he also 
knew that he had only to intimate this to his beautiful 
mother, when she would by some means supply him with 
all that was needful to appease his appetite ; and when he 
was cold, he had but to nestle in her bosom, to lie down 
there and listen to the beatings of that heart whose every 
impulse he knew was for him. The little fellow adored 



16 THE N 1(4 HT WATCH. 

his mother with such au entire devotion that it seemed 
sufficient for him to be near her. This was happiness in 
itself, yet awhile. But, as the old grandmother said, it 
would not satisfy the cravings of nature. Presently he 
crej)t up to her, and asked in a very humble voice, " If 
she had any supper for him." 

For a moment she hesitated whether she would box his 
ears, or trouble herself to explain to him the low state of 
their financial concerns, pantry, larder, cellar, etc. An 
impatient movement, with a deprecatory look from the 
mother, induced the grandmother to desist. So she seated 
herself again and commenced rocking. 

Myra now rose and left the room for a few moments. 
When she returned, she held in her hand a stale loaf of 
bread, a few drops of milk in a broken tumbler, and one 
dried herring. After sj)reading a tattered cloth on the 
little old table, she placed these articles of food on it, 
which were every morsel the house contained. Then 
going to the cupboard, she took from it a small tea canis- 
ter, and a little delf teapot, and approaching her mother, 
asked her if she would make the tea. By this time 
the old lady had been disarmed of her wrathful feelings 
by the subdued dignity of her granddaughter, and taking 
the things, she said, 

" Well, child, where is the water ? I thought every fool 
knew that it took three things besides the tea to make it: 
water, sugar, and milk." 

" Oh I will bring the water," said the bright little boy. 
With that he caught up the bucket, ran to the pump, filled 
it, all the time singing one of those beautiful waltzes 
which he had so often heard his mother play both on the 
harp and piano. 

When he returned, he found standing before the door 
two ladies, who were trying to decipher the rude sign. 
One of them said (and his blood boiled while he listened), 

" But see, the fool has put no name up. I wonder if 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 17 

she has moved. ' Fashionable dress-making by nobody.' 
It amounts to that ; and look what sort of a house too. 
Dear me, how very absurd it is to think of having such 
elegant fabrics as yours are, made up in such a looking 
place as this. Why, really I don't think I could wear a 
dress made here. You may depend upon it, Emma, she 
is some poor straggler altogether unworth}^ of our pat- 
ronage." 

" Why, now, mamma," replied a pretty, innocent-looking 
girl (whose head was no doubt full of all sort of romance 
about love in a cottage, birds, flowers, and whiskers ; and 
her heart, too, overflowing with benevolence and sympa- 
thy, ready to yield up both to the first who should make 
a demand), "you should not prejudge this person. You 
do not know but this poor old house may present a very 
different aspect within. Shall we see for ourselves? Shall 
I knock? " 

Just then the little Clarence came up, bending under 
his burden, the water bucket. The elder lady said, 
rudely, 

" Boy, do you live here?" 

" Yes," said the child, catching the tone and spirit in 
which he was addressed. 

" Then what is the name of the woman who sews ? " 
pointing to the sign. 

The boy pushed by her without speaking, and would 
have shut the door in her face, had not the girl added, 

" Now, mamma, how could you accost that beautiful 
boy in that way ? " 

"Why, Emma, you are a fool. Pray, how would you 
have me address such people ? " 

Emma did not rejjly, but turning to Clarence, said, 

" My little son, my pretty little man, we wish to come 
in here, to see the lady ; we have some business with her. 
Will you have the kindness to open the door ? " 



18 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

In a moment a sweet smile beamed on the child's face 
(which when lighted up by happiness was as beautiful as 
his mother's). He touched his cap. and as speedily as he 
could, opened the old creaking door, saying, 

" Walk in, if you please, ladies." 

These two aristocratic members of the best society, 
seemed to be amazed as they viewed the premises. Dis- 
gust and impertinence usurp the place of surprise with 
the elder lady ; while mingled emotions of astonishment, 
admiration, and commiseration are written on the coun- 
tenance of the girl. Her eyes were riveted on the face 
of Mrs. "Wise, the mother of the boy. She looked as if 
uncertain whether she saw aright, and was almost unwil- 
ling to trust to her sense of seeing. 

" Surely, I am deceived ! It is some bright, beautiful 
optical illusion. She has not moved. It is some charm- 
ing picture, or splendid statue. I will approach and feast 
my ej^es." 

The elder lady, all this time, had seen nothing but the 
squalid misery of the apartment, and the poor old woman 
who was still proceeding with her scanty preparations for 
supper. In the meantime, the child had placed himself 
by his mother, ready to share with her, whether good or 
bad fortune. 

The young lady was most elaborately dressed, had 
pleasing manners, a conciliatory tone of voice, and rather 
pretty face. She approached that mother and child with 
a respectful air, although a little bit too patronizing to 
suit the one or the other. The boy possessed all his 
motjiers delicacy of feeling, with her sensitiveness. 

'' Madam, I have called to get some dresses fitted. We 
were passing, and happened to descry the sign over the 
door." 

Poor Mrs. Wise trembled from head to foot. All the 
blood in her veins rushed to her face, and, by as sudden a 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 19 

revulsion, back to her heart, thus leaving that face as 
colorless as marble. The girl again looked amazed, and 
soliloquized softly, 

" Just now I thought her a most lovely painting, look- 
ing like patient resignation. Now it is a sublime piece 
of statuary; the similitude of grief ! Oh! how exquis- 
ite. What shall I say or do next ? I feel greatly puz/;led, 
and somewhat disconcerted." 

I presume the interview would have ended here, so 
much was she, in her over-wrought notions of romantic 
sensibility, afraid of wounding the feelings of the unhappy 
lady ; but just then her mother came rustling uj) in her 
brocade of regal purple, calling out in a high-pitched 
voice, " We would like to have several dresses made, and 
we want them done in double quick time. We were on 
our way to Madam Bertram's, who is both fashionable 
and stylish, as well as distinguished for good taste. This 
foolish child would put in here. 

" Will you let us see some of your fashions ? Some of 
your latest prints and patterns from Paris?" 

Poor Mrs. Wise turned away, and did all she could to 
control her feelings — but to no purpose. This was the 
initiatory step. With all her griefs and troubles she had 
not as yet known much of humiliation. These were the 
first witnesses of her degradation. Her poor, crushed 
heart had not yet become indurated by slights and con- 
tumely. She turned from them, and her whole frame 
shook with convulsive sobs. The child clung round her 
knees, weeping, too, as he stretched out one little hand, 
holding the open palm toward them: 

" Go away ! Go away ! You have hurt poor mamma's 
heart." He always expressed himself thus, because he 
had so often seen her, when troubled, press her hand 
tightly over her heart. " You have made her cry. Now 
go awav." 



20 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

The lady seemed vexed, and casting a scornful look 
around, said, 

" Come daughter, come Emma Calderwood, this is no 
place for us. I am disgusted and tired of the sight." 

Not so with the young girl. She again ai^proached 
Mrs. "Wise, took her hand, and looking into her face, with 
the most sympathetic as well as respectful expression, 
added — 

" Pardon, if you please, my mother and myself, if we 
have given you pain, I sincerely regret it. Believe me, 
I could not forsee this." 

" Oh ! I am so wretched," sobbed out poor Myra, in 
reply, " I am driven to this expedient by the direst neces- 
sity, but I am so poorly fitted for it yet. After a while 
I shall get used to these hard things ; then I shall do 
better. Will you have the kindness to excuse this weak- 
ness?" She advanced to Mrs. Calderwood — 

" Madam, I am now ready to be employed." 

"Oh yes; I dare say you are, but it matters not. I 
believe I would rather not have my fine silks sprinkled 
over with salt water every day, or whenever you feel like 
getting up a scene. I think, however, I will stop and see 
your fashions." 

" Alas ! madam, I have none. I did not think of this." 

"Then of course you can not expect such persons as we 
are to give you our work. " And then with a disdainful 
toss of the head, and a sneer as she again glanced around 
the room, she called to her daughter and swam out of 
the house. 

Before the girl followed, she whispered a few words to 
Mrs. Wise, then slij)ping something into the hand of the 
little boy, bowed politely to the old lady, and also passed 
into the street. 

After they had gone, the grandmother placed the tea 
and toast on the table, hobbled to a trunk, unlocked it, 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 21 

and took out the very smallest sugar dish, filled but indif- 
ferently well with brown sugar, muttering to herself all 
the time — 

" Yes, I still lock up the sugar from the negroes just the 
same as when we had them to steal, which the}^ will all 
do, with a very few exceptions. This is only the force of 
habit, that's all. Come, children, and partake of what 
God has given us, and be thankful." Then the three 
poor, destitute, lonely creatures surrounded the table. 
The grandmother asked a blessing ; offered a sincere but 
brief prayer of thanksgiving and praise. 

That woman was old and ugly, had an ungracious man- 
ner ; was crusty of speech, impatient and stern sometimes. 
But beneath all this beat a heart which was honest, and 
true, and kind, and good. And as she sat there in the 
presence of God, and pronounced that humble, heartfelt 
invocation, who can affirm that she did not stand as fair 
as angels, and seraphs, and saints ; and it may be, was 
far more acceptable to God himself, than they who sat in 
high places, with crowned heads. 

When they had finished the meal, they drew around the 
little grate. Clarence had crept to his mother's knees as 
usual, and was now trying to draw her attention to a gold 
piece which had been given him by the young girl, Emma 
Calderwood. His mother seemed to feel worried at it. 

" I don't want it, my son, I can't use it until I have 
rendered an equivalent for it." 

" But mamma, she gave it to me. I did not ask her for 
it, and now I will give it to you. Come, take it dear 
mamma." 

" Give it to me, Clarry; your mother is a simpleton, 
with her high Eoman virtue, and Spartan notions of 
endurance, and independence, and all that. I will take it, 
and look upon it as a real God-send. I will, to-morrow, 
lay it out for food to keep our souls within our bodies." 



22 T H K N 1 O H T WATCH. 

The child hands her the money, adding, " Grandma, you 
must buy something pretty for my sweet mother." 

"Why, child, it is five dollars! Well, no matter, the 
world owes everybody a living ; for it is God's world, and 
we are all his children; and if he "feeds the young 
ravens," how much more will he feed us, who are so 
precious in his sight — having paid such a ransom for us. 
Yes, Clarry, to-morrow we will lay in a little stock of pro- 
visions, and when that is gone we will continue to hope 
and believe that He will still supply us from his own 
store-house." So then, after committing her little family 
to the protection of that Omnipotent arm, she laid herself 
down, calmly and peaceably to rest, without fear or dis- 
trust. They were all, with a sleeping world, in the hands 
of the living God. This faith sufficeth. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 23 



CHAPTER III. 

HOUSEHOLD CARES. 

" Vain we number every duty, 
Number all our prayers and tears, 
Still the spirit lacketli beauty, 
Still it droops with many fears." 

The sun was up and had traveled many a mile on his 
daily journey, before the inmates of the hovel had left 
their pillows. Myra woke first, and looking around on all 
the appointments of the miserable place, sighed so deeply, 
so heavily, that one might suppose the heart which sent 
it forth had been riven. 

She took into her arms the beautiful boy, who slept so 
sweetly by her side, looking so pure and innocent. . She 
gazed on him with a fond and swelling heart. A placid 
smile o'erspread his dimpled face. " Surely," cried she, 
" angels are whispering to thee. For your sake my dar- 
ling one. I will nerve myself to endure all things. I will 
endeavor to forget the past, bear with the present, and 
look hopefully to the future. I will learn to work, to 
submit to impertinence, and cease to brood over my 
wrongs, my sweet little Clarry. Yes, my boy, yoa are to 
be educated ; you must be fitted to take your place among 
men, even though I, your unfortunate mother, should fall 
in the life-struggle to accomplish it." 

She slipped softly from the bed — a new spirit seemed 
to have passed into her. For the first time in a great 
while, there seemed to be, even to her, an object in life. 
She dressed herself in the poor faded garments, all she 
possessed on earth, and after having made her ablutions 



24 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

in freezing water, and combed her hair with almost frozen 
fingers, she betook herself to the novel task of making a 
fire. Never before in all her life had she attempted a 
thing of the sort ; never had lighted a fire, or dressed 
without one. During the space which had intervened 
between her luxurious mode of life and her troublous one, 
she had through inertness, thoughtlessness, or maybe 
apathy, suffered herself to be waited on by her grand- 
mother, who, by dint of good management and great 
industry, had contrived to provide a few comforts. More- 
over, she was wholly absorbed with her griefs — and thus 
it occurred. Her intentions, motives, and actions were 
all good, as far as she remembered. Now, poor lady, she 
fails in all. She could not get the fire to burn ; she used 
all such aids as the place aff'orded. 

At last she succeeded in getting a faint blaze in the 
grate ; but this was a small matter. The fire in the stove 
was a stupendous undertaking. Her courage faltered here. 
She struggled hard, but accomplished nothing. She over- 
turned the kettle, threw down the poker, shovel and 
tongs, until at last she sat down and wept with fatigue 
and vexation. What must she do? What more could 
she do ? And now to crown her troubles, after giving up 
all hope of success wuth the stove, she returned to the 
room, expecting to find a cheerful fire blazing there, when 
lo ! every spark was extinct, and she had her first work to 
do over again. 

The old lady begins to yawn and groan, and in the 
same querulous voice to croak : 

" Now this is hard on me, one of my age, to have to get 
up and do as much service as any negro girl in the city." 

Poor Myra, hearing this, came forward, and with the 
tears still glistening in her eyes, declared she had been up 
for the last hour exerting herself, but all to no purpose. 
The grandmother hobbled up, and as she dressed con- 
tinued to grumble all the time. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. ^ ^ 

" Yes, so it is. This comes of not raising our cbiildren 
and grandchildren like we have ourselves been brought 
up. My father was rich too : but where I was born and 
bred, nothing was more common than for girls to wait on 
themselves. Many hundreds and thousands of times have 
I made my fire ; yet was my father one of the magnates 
of the land. It was different though with that poor child. 
Where she was reared it was so difficult to do anything of 
the sort. Her good, docile, gentle mother must e'en do 
like other people, and she doated on her daughter so 
much, thinking she was quite too pretty to do anything 
in the shape of work. I wonder if that poor thing could 
make a biscuit to save her life? I reckon not." 

She had b}" this time completed her simple toilet, and 
now wdth the greatest ease makes both fires, and sets 
about preparing coffee. Myra, in the meantime had made 
the beds, swept the floor, dressed the child, placed the 
chairs in order, and spread the table for breakfast. True, 
all this w^as poorly done ; but she did her best. When the 
bread -cart came by, the grandmother bought a loaf, and 
also a pint of fresh milk. But they had neither meat nor 
butter. 

Again they surround that frugal board, and the good 
old lady invokes another blessing. 

Scarcely had this meal passed, when the same young 
lady who has been made known to the reader as Miss 
Emma Calderwood, made her appearance. She came 
running into the room, flew to the fire, spread out her 
hands, and sitting down commenced, 

" Good morning, ladies. I hope you are both well. I 
declare this morning is enough to freeze out all the love, 
and generosity, as well as politeness, that one may happen 
to have in her heart. Don't you think so darling?" said 
she, kissing the little Clarence. 

The child smiled languidly. He did not know exactly 
how to take such familiarity from an entire stranger. As 
3 



2^ ^ THE NIGHT WATCH. 

usual, he crept up to his mother, and jDlaciug one little 
hand around her neck, stood there silently awaiting the 
result of this early visit. 

" I have played mamma the nicest trick. Poor mamma 
is very peculiar. I felt so much hurt at what occurred 
here yesterday. I do hope you will not remember it. At 
all events, do not let it, I beseech you, make a diiference 
between us." This was addressed to both ladies. Then 
turning to Myra : " I intend (with your permission) that 
we shall be friends. My heart is set on it. I liked you 
all, the instant I laid my eyes on you. Last night at tea, 
I would tell papa of our little adventure, in spite of all 
mamma's winks across the table. Papa is quite different 
from mamma ; he is v£ry indulgent to me, his only pet, 
and suffers me to obey my impulses sometimes, right or 
wrong. When I take a fancy to any one, he allows me to 
follow the bent of my inclinations. I told him all about 
you this morning, down in the parlor, where I pretended 
to be practicing ; but in truth it was only to get away 
from mamma, because she sometimes makes herself so 
disagreeable to us both. He kissed me and said, ' If mat- 
ters stood as I seemed to think, he was not surprised at 
my admiration.' Now, my dear ladies," said she, bowing 
to both, " you must consent to receive papa, for my sake, 
at first ; afterward for himself — for you can not fail to like 
him, he is so handsome, and the most agreeable of men." 

Seeing a troubled expression on the face of Myra, she 
looked quickly toward the old lady, but there was nothing 
in her wrinkled countenance either to reassure or discour- 
age ; she pursued her morning avocations as if there had 
been no stranger in the room. Then the girl sought the 
face of the daughter again ; that perplexed expression 
had given place to one of intense pain, and she became 
extremely agitated. 

The grandmother called impatiently to her, " Myra, 
Myra, bethinlv yourself ! What are you doing ? " 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 27 

In an instant the cloud passed away, and she smiled 
languidly. This kind-hearted girl was very thoughtless, 
and sometimes indiscreet in her manner of even doing 
good. She could not comprehend that what she had 
said was even remotely the cause of Myra's present 
excitement. 

" I'm sure you will love papa, he is so fine looking, so 
genteel and well bred, so polite and fashionable. Now, 
the long and short of it is this : you must let us both be 

of service to you. I should feel so yjroud of aiding 

I mean, of being allowed to aid such a lady as you are. 
And you, my little Prince Eegent, I have fallen dead in 
love with you. Won't you be my little sweetheart? Here 
are a few trifles which I bought for you on the way." 

She opened several bundles, and discovered to the 
delighted child a great variety of pretty toys. Infancy 
is easily won off from troubles. The bright little fellow 
clasped his hands together in the attitude of thankful- 
ness ; then clapped them and fairly shouted with joy — 

" Oh ! mamma ! Oh ! grandmamma ! just look, just 
such things as cousin Walter used to bring me. Mamma, 
I must give this good lady my cousin Walter for a sweet- 
heart. Tm too little, you know. Where is he ? I must 
tell her about him." 

A look from his mother checked his raptures. He 
looked abashed, and suddenly became silent. The girl 
remarked this, but was too thoroughly good-natured and. 
well-bred to make any comments. She went on — 

" See here, my little man." 

"Oh yes! a beautiful gilt ball, looking like pure gold," 
cried the child, " and a splendid top, with such an assort- 
ment of marbles, and this beautiful little knife. Oh ! dear 
mamma, tell me how to thank the good lady. 

Emma looked at Mrs. AVise (the mother was watching 
with delight the radiant face of her son). 

" Oh ! my goodness ! I never saw such a change. I do 



28 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

■wish papa could see you just now while you are smiling." 
In her delighted surprise she jumped up, scattering the 
sugar plums, nuts, and raisins to the further ends of the 
room, flies to Mrs. Wise, seizes her hand, and exclaims 
with enthusiasm : " Oh ! madam ! O my dear friend ! 
promise me one thing ; that you will always smile on me 
in that way when I come ; then I will steal away from 
mamma every day, that I may come and sua my heart. 
I have heard of rays of light, and moonbeams, and April 
showers, and sunny skies, but I never saw anything like 
that bright smile in all my life before. Will you smile 
thus when I bring papa to see jon ? Yet I fear it will 
turn his head." 

She reseated herself and continued to open the little 
stores. Clarence had succeeded in gathering up the sjDilt 
comfits. " Come here, love ; ask ma and grandma to do 
you the favor to partake with you , " handing him a large 
paper full of fresh figs and beautiful white grapes. These 
had been bought more with a view to regale the two ladies 
than to please the child. 

ISTow, it was a most difficult thing for that old lady's 
face to relax into a smile ; it was so unpracticed in such 
levities; but she did her best toward it, which amounted 
to little more than a grimace. Yet her words were kind, 
as she thanked Miss Emma for thinking of her. Her 
voice, though far from silvery, was much, less grating 
(the oil of kindness had found its way to her rusty tem- 
per), and though not smooth, was at all times firm and 
steadfast Avhen it became her duty to sj)eak, and never 
backward in praising Grod and in reproving sin. 

Emma rose to depart, approaching the old lady, she 
said, " Madam, I hope we shall be very good friends in 
future." 

" Oh ! yes, Grod knows it stands me in hand to be very 
grateful for everything in the shape of friendship. But. 
young lady, I'm not much in favor of such sudden and 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 29 

violent attacks. Good does not always come of it. You 
know nothing of ns, nor we of you. Presently, maybe, 
you'll change your mind, or you may tire of us ; or some 
one may ridicule you about it ; then you'll regret that you 
ever exjDressed yourself so warmly. Better take things 
a leetle more coolly, my dear, for your own sake. But, 
under God, I give you fervent thanks for this outpouring 
of the milk of human kindness. Yesterday, and the day 
before, and for many days, I thought it was all dried up. 
I thank heaven, for the credit of human nature, that we 
have met you." And this plain, upright, downright, hon- 
est-hearted old woman brushed a tear from her bleared 
eyes. 

The girl pressed her hand, as she said, " I am very 
happy to find you care enough for me to admonish me. I 
shall long remember that precept, and hope to be bene- 
fited also by your example." 

Myra followed her to the door, and explained to her 
that she expected to render an equivalent in sewing for 
the gold piece left with the child. The girl looked hurt, 
broke away from her, ran down the street a short dis- 
tance, then returning, kissed the mother and little boy 
affectionately, adding, 

" Why did you wish to mortify me by speaking in that 
way ? Was it because mamma treated you as she did ? I 
could not help it. Nay, say no more. Can not I be 
allowed to make the most beautiful thing in all creation a 
little present, when I have such an abundance?" 



30 THE NIGHT WATCH. 



CHAPTEE IV. 

THE milliner's SHOP. 

" Of all the causes wliicli conspire to blind 
Man's erring judgment, and misguide the mind; 
What the weak head, with strongest bias rules, 
Is pride, the never-failing vice of fools." 

When Mrs. Calderwood left the hovel and had returned 
to her splendid mansion, she threw herself down on a 
sofa and commenced rating Emma. In the first place, 
she was very angry with her daughter for j)roiDOsing, and 
herself for condescending to enter such a place. She 
would say, " What a fool I was, and what a fool you are, 
Emma, to think of people of our cast stooping so low!" 

The girl was facetious, and did not stand in awe of her 
mother; she very quietly replied, 

" Poor dear mamma, I did not know that you had to 
stoop. I went in without. You did'nt strike your head I 
hope though, mamma? Yet the door was quite low." 

" You are a little fool ! I consider myself very badly 
treated by that insolent woman. Who wanted to witness 
all those tragedy-queen airs in a milliner's shop ? I go 
to the theater when I wish to see acting. And that old 
crone was so hateful; yet I declare I liked her a thousand 
times more than I did the pretty one. Why, Emma, she 
makes herself a perfect Niobe, or whatever it is the hea- 
thens used to call them crying goddesses. I tell you 
now, once for all, I like the old woman the best, and if 
she could sew, I would give her some work to help her 
along." 

" Yes, mamma, I don't doubt it — for I have observed 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 31 

that you are particularly sympathetic toward old iigly 
women. I don't know why either — you can't have a fel- 
low-feeling for them, have you, ma'am?" Mrs. Calder- 
wood was exceedingly homely. 

Mrs. G-reen and Mrs. Gray are announced. After the 
usual nothings are passed, she recounts to them this singu- 
lar adventure. Several other ladies call : the story is told 
to all with many embellishments, and so it travels ; each 
one bestowing her own additions and adornments, until it 
is made quite a little romance of. This mischievous 
woman has done all this to gratify a natural malevolence 
of temper, and a peculiar spite she feels for all pretty 
women. It excites great curiosity, and the ladies deter- 
mine to give this mysterious stranger a call. 

Miss Jones chimes in : "Yes, indeed, Mis Callerwood, I 
do think madame nature had little to do to lavish such 
gifts on a poor thing whom fortune has discarded. I 
shall call some time to-morrow, if I can make any sort of 
an excuse. Oh, now I remember, I'll take an old skuirt to 
her to quilt." 

" I'll go with you," replied Mrs. Calderwood, getting 
up and beginning to look animated. "I'll go with you; 
I just want to see what sort of airs and tantrums she'll 
take on herself next time." 



Miss Emma Calderwood had just finished speaking and 
left them, Mrs. Wise had resumed her low seat, and her 
listless attitude by the fire, — the child crouching at her 
feet, — when they were startled by a thumping or beating 
at the door; I can not call it a rap or even a knock. The 
child springs up, his mother requests him to go to the 
door, which he opens, and in stride Mrs. Calderwood and 
Miss Nancy Jones. Myra did not rise from her seat. She 
seemed intuitively to understand that they meant to in- 
sult her, and wished to maltreat her. To their arrogant 
" good morning, ma'am," she bowed slightly, pointing to 



32 T H E N I G II T W A T C H . 

seats, then resumed her reading. Clarence had shoved a 
couple of chairs to the fire, then crept back to his mother's 
side. 

After a short time Mrs. Calderwood said, in a very 
supercilious way, " Mrs. I have brought you a cus- 
tomer, Miss Jones, Mrs. ." 

A very slight inclination of her head, and then she laj^s 
the paper in her la]3, and looks, not at the ladies, but into 
the fire. 

" Did I understand you, madam, last evening, to say that 
your Parisian fashions would shortly arrive ?" 

" I do not know, madam, what you understood ; but I 
said not a word of the sort." 

" "Well, then, when do you expect them ?" 

" Never," said Myra, very haughtilj^. 

"!N"ow that's cool, isn't it?" 

" 'Tis honest, at least," rejoined Miss Jones. " Can I 

get you, Mrs. , to quilt me an under-skuirt? I have 

one I want to get made out of old dress-tails." 

No reply — Myra resumed her newspaper. 

"When can you have it done?" she went on, winking 
Jit Mrs. Calderwood. 

"I do not understand any such work. I will not under- 
take it." 

"Pray, then, what do you understand?" added Mrs. 
Calderwood. "Yesterday you plead ignorance about 
what your sign out there intimates; nowyou can't do 
plain sewing. Will you have the kindness to inform us 
what you do understand, and what you will undertake?" 

" I understand clearly, madam, that you came here this 
m.orning to maltreat me ; therefore the sooner we close 
this interview the better, and I undertake to protect my- 
self and family as best I may, from insult ; also to rid my 
house speedily of any who are wicked and ci'uel enough 
to meditate such unprovoked attacks." 

She made a sign to the child, who went himself to the 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 33 

door and set it wide open, then took his place on one side, 
as if to show the ladies out. They took the hint. Miss 
Jones rose first and set up a giggle, which seemed to 
incense the little boy, whose face flushed, and tears started 
to his eyes as he looked at his mother, who was very 
pale, but calm. 

" Hoity ! toity ! biit she's high-flown and lofty, though, 
isn't she. Mis Callerwood?" 

Mrs. Calderwood glared at poor Myra with those great, 
pale, blue eyes, and in passing, said, " I'll make you sorry 
for this." 

" I do not doubt it, madam," said Myra. 

Ere the door was closed, two other ladies entered. 
They came without glancing over the room, or showing 
any surprise, which was a great relief to the inmates. 
Coming up to Mrs. Wise (who was now expecting imper- 
tinence from every one, and did not at first rise,) they 
greeted her with a courteous good morning : she in 
return, received them in the most polished lady-like way. 
The lady introduced herself as Mrs. G-reen, and then pre- 
sented her daughter. Miss Mary Green. 

Myra invited them to the fire, and laid aside her 23aper. 
Then there were a few trite, but necessary remarks about 
the weather, and a little well-timed notice of the child. 
It Avas clear that this was done to open the way for some 
business. Poor Myra felt the delicacy of the procedure, 
and it was with the greatest difiiculty she could control 
her feelings. 

Matters had progressed thus far, when the poor old 
crippled grandmother came hobbling in with a huge bas- 
ket on her arm. She did not perceive the ladies, and 
was taken greatly by surprise, and really looked amazed, 
when Myra got up and said almost cheerfully, " Allow 
me, ladies, to make you acquainted with my grandmother; 
Mrs. Wise. Mrs. and Miss Green." 



34 T HE NIGH T W A T C H . 

The young lady rose at once and oftered her seat at the 
fire. Mrs. "Wise took it unhesitatingly, and as she threw 
herself into it, said, 

" Thank you, my dear. I ain very tired, as you can no 
doubt see. All good, well-bred young ladies have a sym- 
pathy for the aged and the infirm. Clarry, my son, bring 
that stool and place it here. Now, Miss Green, you will 
do me the favor to sit by me." The child brought an old 
backless chair from the shed and set it down as directed. 
The girl seated herself 

" Oh ! you are so cold ; let me help you off with your 
gloves." 

When she had removed them (for the old lady was 
quite passive, looking pleasantly into her face), Miss 
Green took those poor, withered hands, which were stiff 
with cold and hard from servitude, and chafed them until 
all coldness disappeared from them, as well as all gruff- 
ness from the countenance. 

When they are about to depart the elder lady be- 
came embarrassed, hesitated. At last she said rather 
hurriedly : " Mrs. Wise, I am going to ask a favor of you. 
My daughter will leave home soon, to be absent some 
time. I shall be much hurried, fitting out her wardrobe. 
Will you assist us ? I shall take it as a favor, and will be 
most happy to make all due return." 

Myra's eyes filled with tears. She could not speak. 
Then ensued a pause, which was only broken by the child 
saying, as he tugged at his mother's hand, to gain her 
attention, 

" Oh ! yes, mamma, you must help that good lady to 
sew. God sent her here to get you to help her. He 
knows how nicely you can stitch, mamma, and He wants 
her to have her work done well. Grandmamma says God 
orders everything, and all things ; then He sent these 
ladies here, and Miss Emma too." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 35 

He jumj)ed up to the little cupboard, gets his paper of 
confectionary, and pressed them to partake, saying — 
''Another good lady brought me these." 

Mrs. "Wise pressed their hands in silence ; while the 
grandmother uttered in a voice husky with emotion, 
" God will reward and bless you for all kindness to His 
poor. We thank you for His dear sake." 

When they were gone, the grandmother, perhaps to 
avoid a scene, calls little Clarry to her in a cheerful tone, 

" Come here, son, and see what grandma has bought 
with your gold piece. Quite a little store. Get your 
slate and calculate it." 

He ran oif with alacrity. When he returned, he seated 
himself, saying, " ISTow I am ready, mam, to cypher it all 
up. By what rule must I work ? Addition, subtraction, 
division, or multiplication ? " 

" Well, I reckon it will take your entire stock of knowl- 
edge in each one. This is a wholesale business of ours 
this morning." 

" I'm waiting, grandma." 

" Child, bring me that basket," said she to Myra. She 
repeated it in a louder voice : " Myra, Myra, don't you 
hear me speak to you ? " 

Then the poor lady started up, and looking wildly 
around, said, " Did you speak to me, grandmother? " 

" Oh ! Lord have mercy on us ! What ! dreaming 
again ? Hoped you had got waked up. I thought so just 
now, when those ladies were here. I want you to bring 
me that new basket. ISTow begin, sir. First of all, I 
gave fifty cents for the basket, set that down ; twenty-five 
for butter, fifty for tea, fifty for cofi'ee, twenty -five for 
loaf sugar, twenty-five for brown sugar, twenty-five for 
molasses, twenty for rice. Then I came by the market 
and got two little beefsteaks and some nice country sau- 
sages, these were fifty cents. I bought a dollar's worth 



36 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

of coal, and a cart-load of wood for the little stove. I 
gave a man a dime to bring the basket. I had forgotten, 
I have a few potatoes. And here is fifteen cents left, 
which you must have to do as you please with." 

" Then where will you get the money to buy a little 
m.ilk for your and mamma's coffee, or to get the warm 
loaf!" 

" Oh mercy ! sure enough, or to pay for the hauling 
the coal and wood, and for cutting it up. What shall we 
do ? " cried the old lady. " I had quite forgotten all this." 

Just then there was a noise in the street, as of some- 
thing being thrown out, with a thundering knock at the 
door. 

" Hallo ! there." 

Mrs. "Wise, the elder, limped to the door. A red-haired, 
savage-looking man, his face and hands smeared and be- 
grimed over with mud and coal dust, came forward, and 
demanded the money, twenty-five cents for the hauling. 
She offered him fifteen, saying, " This is all I have in the 
world. I will ]3ay the other dime soon." 

He refused it, adding, while he looked at her insolently, 
" Then, be Jasus ! ye hadn't ought to employ honest men 
to work, when ye know ye haint got the tin to j)ay 'em. 
I tell you, ' auld one,' I wants my money. I'm a poor 
man, what lives by my labor, and what axes no favors of 
iny body, only to pay me my wages." 

<' Well, my friend, I know ; but this is every cent I 
have on God's earth." 

" Thin I'll jist take some o' them good things what ye 
had in the basket when I met ye down by your coal pen." 

" Oh no ! this must not be ; these are all the provisions 
we have." 

The daughter could stand it no longer. She came to 
the door, her eyes flashing fire and her face flushed. There 
she stood in all her native majesty and beauty, looking at 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 37 

the man for a moment in silence. The poor craven wretch 
actually cowered before her ; she saw it, and in a voice of 
contemptuous pity, said, 

" Go away, sir, and call this afternoon ; then perhaps I 
may be able to settle with you." 

The man doffed his cap. " Yes, me leddy, but what 
time would you have me come ? " 

" Five o'clock," said Myra. 

At the same moment a cart is driven up by a negro 
boy, who, throwing out the wood, comes up to Myra, 
takes oft' his hat, scratching his woolly pate : " Missus, 
you owes me fifteen cents, if you please, mam." 

" Call presently, my good-kittle uncle.'" 

"Yes, mam, I will," and he drove off. 

"My God!" said Myra, throwing herself down in a 
chair, " do I deserve all this suffering? Insult, cold, hun- 
ger, with prostration of soul and body." 

After sitting still for some time, her eyes cast down, her 
head bowed as in humility, she said, 

" Mother, I have an idea that this thing is being pushed 
too far. I think I'll end it. What is life worth to me 
now? One brazier of charcoal, with the use of that little 
shed, some night when all the windows and doors are 
closed, and I shall be beyond this misery." 

Hush, Myra, that is impious. Think of your child." 

The little fellow came in laughing, having been highly 
amused with the unloading of the carts. He jumped glee- 
fully into his mother's lap, throwing his arms around her 
neck, and kissing her fondly. For the first time he finds 
those impassioned caresses meet no return. He slid from 
her lap, while her arms fall down despairingly by her 
side. Her eyes are fixed on vacancy ; she can not weep ; 
all softness is dried up. Adversity hardens some hearts 
which are naturally gentle and tender. Her's could only 
be reached through kindness, noble deeds, generous 
actions. Squalid 'misery brought no feeling but that 



38 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

of disgust, rebellion, and loathing of life. We know this 
is all wrong, but we are recording facts ; putting them 
down as they really are, and not as they should be. 

Poor little Clarence crept to his grandmother, and hid 
his face in her apron, sobbing out " What is the matter 
with mamma." 

" Oh, God only knows child. I can't understand her 
high waj^s. Your mother, my dear, although my own 
grandchild, is a riddle to me. She has grand ways even 
in being sorry. Sublime in grief I suppose the book people 
would call it. Now, for my part, when God withdraws 
the light from me, I just know I have done something to 
displease him ; and although* I may not exactly at the 
time feel what it is, I believe that it is good for me to be 
chastised. Then I make up vay mind at once, to submit, 
pray, and repent. But I never stop work, mind you, 
child. Having put my shoulder to the wheel, I do not 
withdraw it. After awhile he suffers me to come home 
to the Saviour. But this is the darkest season I have 
ever known. Yet, Avhat matter ? It is not too dark for 
the light of hfs forgiving smiles to penetrate and scatter. 
He is looking on, dear children, and will suffer things to 
go just so far and no further. In his own good time he 
will lift the burden, or take us home. Yes, Clarry, take 
us home to heaven ; where the best and truest friend we 
ever had is waiting for us. Blessed Jesus ! thou art 
indeed a true finend to the poor, and needy, and wretched. 
' If thou art for us, who shall be against us ? ' " 

Another thundering knock at the door. A man stands 
there with baton in hand ; he is clothed in coarse furs, 
coat buttoned up to his eyes, over which a fur cap is drawn 
so as almost to conceal them. This is the guardian of the 
streets, whose business it is to make the ways straight 
and smooth, for the rich and great to walk in, lest they 
strike their feet against a stone. The man calls out in a 
loud and somewhat gruff voice, " Wood and coal in the 



THK NIGHT WATCH. 39 

street — can't stay — must be removed before sundown — 
lieav}" fine, else." 

He was about to pass on, when Myra, witli a pensive, 
abstracted air, goes to the door. The man looks at her 
with amazement, and involuntarily takes off his cap. 

" What is it, sir? " asked the absent-minded lady. 

" Well ! I don't know now. Can I be of any service to 
you, miss? " 

He approached very near to her, looking steadfastly in 
her face, with much more of curiosity and admiration 
than impertinence. Thoixgh he came up with a deferen- 
tial manner he advances too close — the lady suddenly 
recovers from her abstraction and slams the door in his 
face. He utters an impatient exclamation, and a little 
oath ; then moves off, dubiously shaking his head, and 
repeating to himself as he hurries along : 

" Well, she is pretty — there's no mistake about that. 
But what right had she to insult me in that way ? To 
slam the door in my face, and she living in that old shanty, 
too. Such beautiful women should not expose their sweet 
faces at such a door as that, if it offend them for such men 
as me to gaze at them. I shouldn't have hurt her little, 
white hand ; only meant to touch it, and offer my services. 
But zounds ! she looked grand. Oh, wouldn't she queen it 
over a fellow ? I reckon she is some great lady from over 
seas, and is unfortunate ; maybe been badly treated, 
robbed, deserted, forsaken. If so I don't blame her. I 
rather think I did gaze too hard at her — the unhappy do 
not like to be speered at. Some other time, maj^be I can 
help her along ; do her a quiet little service. I'd do any- 
thing for her, just to get a look at her beautiful counte- 
nance. About sundown I'll pass along there again, and 
if that wood and coal are there still, I'll knock again ; 
then maybe I may get another glance ; but it shall be a 
distant view. I'll never offend her again, I wonder who 
she is, and where she came from? '' 



40 THE NIGHT WATCH. 



CHAPTER V. 

THE LITTLE SCOTCH AVOMAN. 

" The tear down childhood's cheek that flows, 
Is like the dew-drop on the rose ; 
When next the summer breeze comes by, 
And waves the bush, the flower is dry." 

Poor Mj-ra seemed to have nerved herself for endurance 
that day. Throughout all her vexations she remained 
passive, as if -waiting to see what new shape her troubles 
would assume. 

" Grandma, what do you propose now ? Do you wish 
me to go out and bring in the coal, and saw that wood?" 

"No, but Clarry can bring the coal to the door, and 
we'll trust to chance about the wood." 

" Well ! trust on mother. We'll see presently what your 
trust will bring us. We'll see ! Oh, we'll see ! Ha ! ha ! ha ! " 
She laughed hysterically as the tears ran down those 
peach-blossom cheeks. Then she fell again into reverie. 

" Come, darling, you go and fill the box, and poor old 
cripple grandma will take it at the door, and carry it 
through to the kitchen. See, here are two boxes. We'll 
soon have it all in — then we'll think about the wood." 

She gets a coarse apron with long sleeves, puts it on the 
child, and ties one around her own waist. The beautiful 
boy goes out, and commences his labors. Every one who 
passes stops an instant to look at the lovely little creature, 
with his sunny curls waving in the frosty air. Some speak 
to him, but he heeds them not. Presently he stops and 
thinks a moment. His grandma gives him the box ; he 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 41 

fills it, and says, " Grandma, I am so tired, let me rest a 
little while." 

When the door is closed, he takes from his pocket his 
golden ball and top, and runs off to a toy-shop. 

" Sir, these things were given me a very short time ago, 
by a good lady, but they are too pretty for 2^007- me, now. 
Will you buy them? Give me a little money for them. 
Look, my fingers are almost frozen from carrying in coal." 

" Why, yes," said the man, " these be nice things. How 
much do you want or expect to get on them, my boy? " 

" I don't know, sir. Whatever you may choose to give." 

" Well, here is fifty cents." 

The child laid the toys on the counter. They w^ere 
worth at least a dollar. Then the little fellow ran back 
to his work. 

" Aweel ! now Patrick, are ye not ashamed to swindle 
that ' wee bit bairn,' in that way? Don't ye see, can't ye 
see by one blink o' your little grey een, that the puir lit- 
tle body is cheated ? ' Oh, wad some power the giftie gie 
us, to see oursels as others see us.' " 

" Now, me leddy, you jist go and give him more, if you 
want to. I've done verj^ well by him, methinks, seeing 
he's a stranger^' 

" Ah ! that's it ; but what does the gude God tell ye 
about the stranger within thy gate? " 

This conversation passed between a little Scotch woman 
and the Irish shop-keeper. She had come to buy some 
trifle, but her mind being taken up, just then, with the 
child, she left without making her purchase. 

The man shouted after her in rather a loud voice, — 
" Miss Minny, Miss Minny Dun, come back; I want a word 
with ye." 

" Aweel, some ither time ; I'm going doon here to speak 
to the chiel a bit." 

When she arrived at the place, Clarence w^as working 
like a Trojan. The tears were forced down his cheeks by 
4 



42 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

the cold ; still his little heart was not discouraged. E'ear- 
ly all the coal had been taken in, and his sweet face was 
so blurred and begrimed with tears and smut, that an 
intimate friend could not have recognized him. 

" Grood day to ye, my darling." 

The child looked up, but as quickly cast his eyes down, 
seeming to be ashamed of his emplojnnent. 

" Oh, now, never mind the work ; it's all right and hon- 
orable to do sae ; and never mind the dirt either ; but 
jDuir little soul, you let that man up there cheat you. Sor- 
ry, sorry fellow that he is ! He didn't give you half the 
worth o' your pretty toys." 

" O, mam ! but I don't mind ; he gave me more than I 
expected of him. Grrandma says that's the way of the 
world. I am very glad of that much." 

"What are j^ou going to do with it, birdie? " asked the 
girl affectionately. 

" You see that wood there ; well, I am going to get it 
all sawed up and packed away in the kitchen. I have 
no ax, and grandmother can't buy one jet. I could chop 
it up myself, for my sweet mother's and grandmother's 
sake, if I had the ax." Then he drew himself up to his full 
hight, looking proudly on the little pile of wood. "You 
know I love them so much that I love to work for them." 

" Awheel, dear, just let me loan you this little piece of 
money to get it done this time, and when you grow large 
enough to work, then you will pay me back." 

" Oh ! please. Miss, don't make me owe you anything. 
I do not know whenever I can pay you. Pray don't 
make me be in debt. Grandma says, ' Ow^e no man any- 
thing but good will.' " 

"But, dear, I'm not a man, you see. I'm only a little 
woman, a poor little shop-keeper. Yet I can spare this 
sma' sum. Nae doubt I shall w^ant ye Ta&Tay a time to do 
me a turn. We are neebors, chiel' ; I live just a wee bit 
further adown the street. Come, keep it." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 43 

They call him from the house, and the little Scotch 
woman passed on, reflecting and turning about in her 
mind how she can benefit the child and the inmates of 
the hovel. At a glance she has discovered that there is 
poverty and suffering within the old moldy walls. 

The last box of coal is put awa}^, the apron is taken off, 
and the child is washed, his pretty hair combed, and every 
vestige of his recent occupation removed. Some of the 
new coal is put on, which burns up cheerfully. The old 
lady has made a clean fireside, and set all things in order. 
The superb and refined Myra had packed the coal •. she 
could not sit there and see the grandmother limping back 
and forth with the box. 

The child looks w^eary, and begins to fret. " Mamma, I 
am so hungry; almost starved, mamma," he cries. 

Myra looks at her grandmother, but says nothing. 

" Yes, my love, I don't doubt it, but presently we'll 
have the very nicest little supper you ever sat dowm to in 
your life : molasses, sausages, warm loaf, tea, milk." She 
rubs her hands (this good old lady) in pretended glee, 
while the child smiles faintly, and hides his little head 
between his mother's hands. 

Another knock at the door. 

" I will not open it ; " said Myra, " it is only that hate- 
ful Irishman, and I have not the money to pay him." 

Again the knock — thvimp, thump, thump. 

" I'll see, any how, before they batter down the old 
door," added the old lady. 

The poor mother presses her child to her bosom, and 
turns her face to the wall in iitter heljjlessness. The 
child had fallen asleep. 

A negro man stands there with a frame and hand-saw. 

"I'secome, mistis, to saw up dat wood out dar." 

" Ah ! " sighed she, " how much is it ? " 

"Two bits, mam." 

'' Oh ! if it's only one cent, I have it not, and this min- 



44 - THE NIGHT WATCH. 

lite I do want the wood to cook supper. Can't you saw 
it, and wait for the money ? " 

He scratches his head, and turns his quid of tobacco 
from one cheek to the other, spits, and looks sheepish. 
" I would in a minit, Mistis, but my own Mistis 'quires the 
money of me every night." 

He was about to move off, when the little Clarence starts 
uj), rubs his eyes, and going to the door, says, 

" Here, grandma, I have money to do everything. Get 
the uncle there to saw- up the wood ; then here is more to 
pay for the hauling, besides enough to buy the hot bread, 
fresh milk, and all. Now go to work, uncle, I'll settle it." 

"I thought so, master; little Miss Minny Dun, down 
dar, told me to come, and said a little chubbub (cherub), 
or sompin of dat sort, would pa,y me. She call little mar- 
ser, here, all kinds putty names and sweet things. I tell 
you, honey, you well off on dis airth, if j'ou got good lit- 
tle Miss Minny for your friend." 

" What is 3'our name, uncle?" said the child, hanging 
to his hand. 

" Uncle l^Ted, honey. What's yourn, young Massa? " 

" Mine is little Clarry ; eveiybody calls me little Clarry. 
]^ow go to woi'k, Uncle Ned, and I will be pay-master. 
First cut a little bit, and make grandma a nice fire in the 
stove to cook supper." 

This was speedily done. The child goes as usual to the 
pump for water, the old lady proceeds with her cooking, 
while Myra sits as usual with a handkerchief over her 
head. We do not know whether she is weeping, but we 
do know that she is thinking and sorrowing. 

When the man has placed all the wood awa}'' in the 
kitchen, he comes in to get his pay. 

" Here, Uncle ISTed, but you must sit down and warm 
yourself, while I bring you your supper. It is very nice ; 
you never tasted anything so good as the sausages. Don't 
tliev smell savorv. uncle?'" 



THE N I (i H 'J' \V A T C II . 45 

" Well, dey does dat. Dey does smell nice, and dat's de 
trujjh ; an' I is hungiy. 'Sides, I aint not got no where 
to stop to git a crumb of nothing till I goes home to-night." 

The child had it all fixed on a plate, and getting a bowl 
of coffee, takes it in to the negro. Then he returns 
and takes his seat at the foot of the table. He is the mas- 
ter of the mansion; he felt that he was, and he looks 
proudly around and seems quite happy. 

The negro having finished his meal, departs. Then the 
coal-man comes and receives his dues from Olarry's little 
hand, who is now general purser and p«r«f_?/or. 

The sun is making a golden set — the promise of a 
bright day on the morrow. He looks in, though late, 
upon the inmates of that hovel; and his evening rays 
penetrate and light up the somber dwelling. 

" Behold that sunbeam, Myra ! It has been gloomy, 
cold, and dark all day. Now at the close, see that glori- 
ous sunset. Hail it, my daughter, as a happy augury ! 
Don't you see now, my dear, that our wants have been 
supplied — all our exigencies met, with little or no effort 
on our part — almost without our agency ! iJ^ow, my 
child, will you still distrust God ? Will you not rather 
cast all your cares on the Saviour ? " 

Myra spoke not, but wept in silence. This was the 
onl}^ way to reach that lofty spirit — that proud heart. 
There was no other way to sound the depths, and touch 
that self-sufficient nature. 

" Here, mamma, is still a little more money." 

" Where did you get it all, my love? " said the mother, 
at last drawn from herself and her sorrows, by that sweet 
prattler. 

The little fellow recounts to them very minutely the 
incidents of the morning. Then that embryo of all truth, 
honor, and manliness, sinks sweetly to rest on the bosom 
of his beautiful mother. 



46 THE NIGHT WATOH. 



CHAPTEE VI. 

HEART REVEALINGS AND THE " TRUE FRIEND." 

"No thought •within her bosom stirs, 

But wakes some feeling dark and dread ; 
God keep thee from a doom like hers, 
Of living when the hopes are dead." 

It is Sunday morning, with a bright, clear atmosphere, 
and cloudless sky. That invalid old lady rises from her 
hard, rough bed, calls her children around her, and now 
sets up in their midst the family altar. She blesses Grod 
for existence ; returns thanks to him for whatever health 
she and those dear ones are permitted to enjoy ; for 
strength of body and mind given them for endurance ; 
for that sheJter ; for food and raiment ; above all, for 
redemption and the hope of salvation. Eeader, dost thou 
think they have much reason to thank him? She thinks 
so (that old lady), for she has the love of Christ in her 
soul, and firmly believes that all else will be added. She 
feels no uneasiness, no dread, for perfect love casteth out 
all fear. 

She is now in the midst of her world. She lays one 
hand on the head of that heart-stricken young mother — 
that once light-hearted, happy, perhaj)s worldly-minded, 
but none the less crushed woman, that deeply-injured w\fe. 
The other is placed on that of the sweet child by her side. 
She invokes God's watchful care over them ; she pleads 
for a mitigation of their sorrows, if it pleaseth him ; she 
begs for the gift of the graces of patience, submission, 
confidence, and faith — such as can move mountains; and 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 47 

concludes with the invocation for the friendship of Christ, 
saying, " Give them this, O Father, and it is enough." 

Dear old lady ! halt, lame, and almost blind; with thy 
unpolished ways, and thy unvarnished tongue, and maybe 
inflexible nature : but thou meanest well, ever aiming to 
do right. And God, thanks to his name ! is a discerner 
of the heart ; and also of the pure gold from the glitter- 
ing dross. He knows thou art trying to honor him, in 
thy humble eftbrts to trim and keep alive thy little rush- 
light, through all storms and tempests. 

When their simple devotions were ended, they betook 
themselves each to their different avocations. The child 
again brings the water, while his grandmother prepares 
the breakfast. His mother, the delicate, fastidious Myra, 
finds work for those white hands and taper fingers, look- 
ing, for all the world, like little pure wax candles, so 
transparent are they in their whiteness. The feeling 
common to her while going through these menial details, 
is that of impatience and loathing. She sometimes flings 
down the implements of housewifery in disgust and dis- 
couragement, and declares that she would rather lie down 
and die, than to pursue that life of degrading drudgery. 

Her grandmother at such times, turns on her a look of 
grieved remonstrance — not uttering a word of rebuke or 
even gentle reproof — quietly pursuing her occuiDation, 
whatever it may chance to be at the time. But one thing 
we have noticed : after an ebullition of such feelings, for 
that day, and the next, and one more, perha23s, provisions 
are very scarce on that frugal board. Every comfort is 
lopped off; presently it dwindles down almost to nothing, 
and they sit down to a crust and a glass of water, or 
maj^be a cup of tea, without even the few grains of sugar 
and drops of milk allotted to each. This silent, unsus- 
pected discipline proves salutary ; and thus matters are 
adjusted without a word. 

There is nothing so chastening to poor human nature, 



48 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

as hard, stern, necessity. Want and lean, lank hunger 
will bring people to their senses, and also extract what- 
ever latent strength of character there may be concealed 
beneath the conventional rubbish of a worldly, superficial 
education. Splendid suffering will not do it; such as the 
poor body endures, racked however much by pains, and 
scorched by fever on a luxurious bed of down. Gilded 
misery will not, such as sore and lacerated feelings, hid 
away to rankle in a bruised or broken heart, beating under 
furs and velvet, and gold and silver traj)pings. These will 
not bring down a haughty spirit, or call forth strength of 
]5urpose ; because this very pride sustains the one, while 
it enervates the other. Pride of place, pride of birth, 
pride of person, and pride of wealth will blind its vota- 
ries, even in death. But just let nature put in her claims, 
the cravings and gnawings of the two vultures ; and if 
there are any powers within, see if they do not come 
forth and stalk abroad to do battle against the enemy, the 
fell destroyer starvation. Or if not thus fiercely, then 
witness the windings, the turnings, the devious ways, the 
artifices, the subterfuges, the leaping over and crawling 
under obstacles ; nay, the cringing and skulking, if needs 
be, to find the means to appease these yearnings and pro- 
pitiate the foe. 

Myra did her part, when forced thus to contemplate this 
ghastly picture ; but without alacrity, earnestness, or 
hope. Yet she would not starve — so she worked. 

" My daughter, we must attend God's sanctuary to-day. 
This is His da}^, and we must endeavor to keep it suitablj^. 
Therefore we mnst all go to church." 

" I can not, grandma ! I can not go even to the Lord's 
house, to be looked down on by those who are placed 
above me now, by this downward turn of the wheel of 
fortune. Besides, I have no seat, consequently no right. 
Then I will not show myself in these old, faded, tattered, 
garments ; and you should not. if 1 could prevent it." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 49 

" Oh, child ! your troubles have unsettled yonr mind, 
and dried up all softness in your nature. Do you think 
for a moment, that there will be any difficulty in finding 
a place to worship G-od, in his own temple ? " 

" I do not know, but I am not willing to risk it. I will 
not go there to be gazed at by the heartless pupj^ets who 
assemble there to act a part." 

" AA-^ell, I will go, and must take the child as a walking- 
stick, and see who will insult me, or ask me out. Indeed, 
I shall feel that I have just as good a right there as any 
other one of the poor, crawling things on this His foot- 
stool. I shall take the child, Myra." 

" But, grandma, he is so badly dressed ; his little toes 
and elbows are out, and his clothes are old and rusty." 

"Never mind all that. Who will know us, child? 
None will see or care for us in that vast assemblage, save 
He, the God of glory, who when on earth had not where 
to lay his head." 

They left. Myra sat for a few moments musing dee^Dly. 
She thought of her altered condition ; she felt her isola- 
tion there in that fine city ; she brooded over her wrongs, 
her persecutions — but she did not see her own faults. 
She did not seem to feel that she was weak, and sinful, 
and needy. Now, as she sat there in that room, there 
was an expression of injured feelings, wounded pride, 
great wretchedness, excruciating suffering — but there 
was no compunction for sin. She did not think she had 
committed any fault which might have been the moving- 
cause of this overwhelming misery. Perhaps she had not. 
God knows : we do not. She broods over her condition, 
her position in the world, until her heart seems to collapse ; 
but her brain grows hot, and feels full. The impulse 
comes on her to rush away ; to flee from the haunts of 
men ; to hide and be at rest. 

"Motion — motion I must have — air and motion. 
Oh ! for the power to soar, to take wings, and fly 
5 



50 T H E N I G H T W A T C H . 

away from all familiar places. My God ! what shall I 
do? Eemain here, and my brain maddens." 

She rushes to the door, tugs madly at the old bolt, and 
flings it wide open. Then she is admonished, by rude, 
gajjing looks, that there is no silence, no seclusion there — 
no sepulchral gloom, such as her feelings covet, to be 
found on that thoroughfare. 

One person, more impertinent than the rest, approaches 
her ; she slams the door to, in his face, with such force as 
to shake the whole edifice to its foundation. 

" Oh ! where shall I go ? Where shall I fly, to get 
away, far away from all, but more particularly- from 
myself. Alas ! I have no place. The narrow compass of 
these walls comprise my world at jjresent, and this only 
for a short time perhaps, and that by sutferance. Oh!, 
my God ! what have I done, thus to deserve th}' hot 
displeasure ! " 

After rushing across the room a score of times, she stops 
as if to think, folds her arms, and walks with a slow and 
measured pace to and fro in that prison-house. 

Presently she seats herself before her little work-table, 
and takes from its drawer a blank-book in which she 
writes rapidly, and without intermission, for a short time. 
Then she leans back in her chair, looking pale and worn, 
as if tired of all things. 

"Ah ! yes, my dear journal! thou art a true friend. I 
can sjDeak to thee in confidence. Thou dost never prate 
of the o'erfraught heart, when in its desperation it has 
entrusted thee with its revealings. From the hour that I 
first felt myself so aggrieved, I have poured out to thee 
my plaints. Still thou art very patient ; thou dost not 
tire of my wailings, like other finends. I have confided 
to thee my most hidden thoughts. See, they have swelled 
into such a book. Thou hast helped, and still must helj) 
me to bridle this untamed nature. For a week past I have 
had much to humble me ; and I thought this turbulent 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 51 

spirit had been broken. ISJ'ot so : I find it still as niigov- 
ernable, and as hard on the bit as the 'wild Arab 
steed.' My grandmother chides, and exhorts, and prays 
for me. But she speaks to dull ears ; I can not xmderstand 
her philosophy. She, dear, single-minded, perhaps delu- 
ded old lady, finds out some blessing in ever^'^thing. She 
says she can trace the finger of God in all, and believes it 
w\\\ eventuate in good. She qiiotes texts after texts, 
which she calls promises ; seems to exi^ect me to embrace 
and apply them all ; is hurt that I can not see with her 
eyes, and have faith, or trust, or hope, or something else, 
all equally a riddle to me. 

" In the school of religion where I was taught — not 
Christ, but the church, the high church — they did not 
dive so deeply into the subject as my good grandmother 
does. We skimmed very smoothly and lightly over the 
surface ; and were in the church because it was rejDutable 
to be a member of one of those aristocratic congregations, 
and also to have a seat in this or that gilded or Grothic 
structure. She holds strange doctrines, too ; such as 
' When two or three are met together in the name of 
Christ, there shall his temple be ; ' that an altar set uj) on 
the hill side, or on the mountain top, or in a cave, or 
even under a green tree, is equally the sanctuary of the 
Lord of Hosts. I was not taught this. I only thought of 
His presence when the organ pealed, the choir chanted, 
and when his vicegerent thundered his anathemas from the 
sacred desk, or made the invocation through the Litany. 
I wish I could feel thus. Alas ! I can not. My thoughts 
are taken up with my situation, the injustice of this hard 
decree, which separates me from the world ; the cruelty 
of man, far more merciless than wild beasts, for they do 
show some signs of feeling for their offspring. Nor do 
they always pre}^ upon their own species. 
• " But this good old grandmother of mine can see beau- 
ties in all things, while to me the deformities are only 



52 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

obvious. She thanks God day by day for blessings which 
seem to me to be curses. What want I with existence ? 
"What is life to me now ? What does it bring me each 
rising of the sun, but contumely, hardship, want, and a 
prospect of starvation, — each going down of the same, but 
a feeling of destitution, a couch watered with tears, sleep- 
less, or if not sleepless, then heavy and dreamless nights." 

She gets up and takes her place by the window, and looks 
out on the passers by, seeming somewhat subdued and 
calmer. The old rickety door swings open, grating harsh- 
ly on its rusty hinges. The good grandmother and bright 
little boy enter. 

" Ah ! here you are, my hope, my joy, my life ! " 

The child rushes to his mother, throws two little cling- 
ing hands around her neck, and nestles in her lap. Then 
untwining those supple arms, he places his little hard 
hands on her peach-blossom cheeks, and draws her down 
to him, kissing her fondly, as he says, looking timidly at 
the old lady, " Dear mamma, I'm so glad you did not go 
to church. A great, big, grand-looking lady, dressed so 
finely, came storming into the pew, and asked " 

" Hush ! hush boy — you must not say ugly things to- 
day. Let all things appear pretty and peaceful on Sun- 
day. Never mind what passed in the church, there is 
enough to be thankful for any how. Come, darling, and 
help grandma to patch up a nice little Sunday dinner. 
Your mother has been dreaming again. See, she has let 
the fire go out. ISTow, my baby, run and get me some 
water. Presently we shall . be as hapj^y as kings and 
princes ; nay, more so, for they always do lack one thing, 
the one jewel in their crowns is wanting, and the absence 
of this embitters all else." 

Myra is again wrapped in revery. Something has oc- 
curred in the street, or she has seen some one to disturb 
her tranquillity, a moment ago, and she seems strangely 
disconcerted and greatly agitated. 



T H E N I G H T W A T C H . 53 



CHAPTEE VII. 

SCENES IN THE SANCTUARY. 

" What is a church ? Our honest sexton tells, 
'Tis a tall building with tower and bells." 

" Where some are thinkin' on their sins, 
And sume upon their claes ; 
Ane curses feet that fyPd his shins, 
Anither sighs and prays." 

When the old lady and cliild arrived at the church, and 
entered the vestibule of one of those stately edifices where 
the rich and the grand, and the proud, mock God in their 
attempts to worship him in pomp and state, there were 
but few persons yet arrived, for the hour was early, and 
the bells had not yet chimed the last peal. A pursy, bea- 
dle-looking man stood there. The old lady divined his 
office at a glance, for she understood all these things, hav- 
ing been but a short time since a respected member of a 
more magnificent church than that, and also accustomed 
to as much opulence as any who essayed to pray there. 

The man looked at the coarse, plain dress, the old, 
crumpled bonnet, and faded shawl ; then glanced at the 
little boy, without cloak or overcoat, standing there shiv- 
ering (for these very fine churches are oftentimes cold 
places), and made iip his mind that they were paupers, 
who had come to extract the pittance from the rich pew- 
holders ; therefore he pointed over his shoulder with his 
thumb to a certain corner set apart for such persons. 
But she turned from him, and walked up the long aisle. 
Seeing a pew door ojien, she entered, and with the child 
takes her seat in the far corner. They dropped on their 



54 T H E N K;} H T W A T C H . 

knees, and prayed fervently to Him who knows all our 
wants before we have spoken, but has only promised to 
give unto those who ask. 

The burden of the child's prayer, after he had said, 
" Our Father," was, " O Lord ! bless my beautiful 
mother and my good grandmother, and my friend. Miss 
Emma, and the good little Minny, and Uncle Ned ; and, 
O Lord ! if it please thee, don't let my grandmother 
scold my poor dear mother so much ; but any how I be- 
seech thee, my kind Father, to bless 'em both. Amen." 

Now he rises from his knees, takes his seat by the old 
lady; but there is a troubled exj)ression on that purely 
transparent countenance — an uneasy, maybe a slightly 
alarmed look. He again drops on his knees. At that 
moment the child was the only kneeling figure in the 
house. He did not care ; he, baby as he was, aimed to 
please G-od and not the congregation. In his noble disin- 
terestedness, his almost divine unselfishness, and his anx- 
iety to invoke blessings on his friends, he had failed to 
implore aid for himself. He had been taught by that old 
lady — she with the coarse, rough shell enshrining such a 
sweet kernel — that he could not live properly or hapj)ily 
without God's assistance day by day. 

Now that vast assembly kneel. The solemn, dignified 
successor to the apostolic office is at the altar. 

When they are again seated, a haughty, over- dressed, 
but handsome woman, with a pale, quiet-looking young 
man at her elbow, comes in, and touching the old lady, 
signs to her to leave the pew. She does not understand. 
She never dreamed that such a feeling could have birth in 
the human breast. What ! refuse to a stranger a seat in 
God's own mansion ! She could not suppose such a mon- 
strosity. She hands her the prayer-book, and smiles 
innocently at the grand ladj', who in return scowls down 
on her, and again motions to her to go out, adding, " I 
want my seat." The poor old lady rises, and taking the 



THE NIOIIT AVATCU. 55 

child by the hand, totters feebly out. Her agittition and 
her infirmity make her progress down the aisle slow. Ere 
she reaches the door, she is arrested. A gentleman, whose 
pew is opposite to that of the lady of such haughty mien, 
and who has witnessed the whole j:)rocedare, now comes out, 
and darting one glance of keen reproach at her, follows the 
old woman and child. When he has arrested her atten- 
tion, by touching her lightlj' on the arm, he bows respect- 
fully, and begs her to return and take a seat with him ; 
which they do. After showing them, in, he follows, sit- 
ting down bj" the child. The service proceeds. 

The full, deep-toned organ sends forth its solemn peals, 
mingling with the rich melody of human voices. The 
embassador of Christ again stands at the altar in his 
sacerdotal robes, and there before him stands that vast 
congregation of immortal souls, combining all. the ele- 
ments of human nature requisite to ma,ke up a world. 
Who, if endued with omniscience, would dare to look into 
the hiding-places of those seven hundred human hearts ? 
Methinks it would be a fearful sight — a loathsome sjDec- 
tacle. Alas ! who can have the courage to contemplate 
the workings of his own deceitful and desperately wicked 
nature. 

Here, then, are kneeling, and bowing, and genuflect- 
ing, and chanting, and pra^'ing, and praising, all respon- 
sive to that chaste and beaiitiful liturgy; as I have said, 
seven hundred beating hearts, all apparentlj' solemn and 
grand. How many of them, think you, dear reader, wei'e 
blameless in the sight of God ? |he who reads the heart ? 
Why was that poor old crippled woman required to give 
up her place ? Think you that haughty one had a right 
to make a distinction ? to draw the dividing line there 
in the temple of the Almighty? Will it be thus before 
the judgment seat, when the seventh seal shall be opened? 
What then will be the relative position of these three 
members of Christ's church ? 



56 T HE NIGHT \V A T C H . 

Now the service is ended, the benediction is pronounced, 
and the crowd is dispersing. The gentleman stoops down 
and inquires of the gentle child if he lives in the city. 

"Yes, sir. Won't you go home Avith me and see my 
mother ? I want my dear mamma to help me thank you 
for your jJoliteness to poor grandma." There was a dew- 
drop in those sweet, upturned, violet eyes, and a tremu- 
lousness in his soft voice. 

" Thank you, my little man, it would afford me much 
j^leasure. Where shall we find her ? " 

" I will show you. Come with me," and he held on to 
the gentleman's hand. 

This little dialogue had been carried on in a low voice, 
but there was a pair of keen, envious, jealous ears kept 
wide open to catch each vibration of the music which fell 
from the innocent lips of that sweet prattler. She noticed 
that look of admiration on the part of the gentleman ; 
she witnessed with a pang his respectful attentions to that 
insulted old lady ; and then she would have given half of 
her fine estate if she coitld have revoked her conduct. 
She would almost have consented to change places with 
that lowly, outraged one. Beneath velvet, satin, and furs 
there beat a heart that day whose every throb was one 
prolonged agony. She stood still as the little pariy 
slowlj" defiled from the church. She placed herself in the 
Avay of this grandly handsome man, who was now as cold 
and stern to her as she herself had been to the woman. 
He gave back no look of recognition. His eyes fell on 
her face as if for the first time. 

JSTow she off'ers the morning salutation, expecting him to 
join her — that proud lady. He slightly bows and passes 
on. The new friends separate themselves from that gay 
throng, leave the fashionable promenades, and strike off 
into a less frequented walk. Presently they arrive at the 
humble dwelling. The gentleman looks greatly surprised ; 
he shakes hands with the little boy, bows to the old lady, 



T H K . N 1 O H T \V A T C H. 57 

and is about to pass on ; the child clings to his hand and 
begs him to come in and see his mother. He declines. 
but promises to call soon. 

As he passes the window, there is a face pressed against 
the glass. He starts violently. It is a face of such super- 
human beauty that he involuntarily exclaimed, " Surely 
it is a dream of poetry ! She can not be mortal ! " 

A man with a rough bear-skin coat and coarse furs saw 
that start, and marked the look. Some little distance 
back there is a haughty but apparenth' troubled beaut}', 
somewhat in advance of a pale, quiet-looking young man, 
who sees the start and notes the look. He sees it too ; 
and the sweet, innocent cause of all this interest sees the 
start, the sudden halt and drawing up before that old, 
one-sided, creeling window. 

At first she smiled brightly ; then some memorj^ seemed 
to sweep over her mind, and her face flushed, then paled, 
as if from deadly sickness. She turns desjDairingly away 
from the window, and her head droops on her breast. 

Meantime that slight semblance of a man at the side 
of the proud lady institutes quite a catechism. We know 
not whether with a view to annoy or entertain. He haz- 
ards many comments on the weather, etc., all to as lit- 
tle purpose. She heeds him not; still hurrying on. The 
youthful lover smiles sarcastically. 

They are now before that old house where they saw 
the old lady and child disappear. A wicked thrill of ex- 
ultation ran through her frame as she viewed the premi- 
ses; taking in all at a glance. She then marks with a 
curious eye the old, tattered curtain at the window. 
Above all, the rude sign over the door fills her heart with 
delight. " Fashionable Dress-maker, from ISTew York." 
She points to it, and looking at the young man, laughs 
scornfully. He is silent. 

JSTow it so turned out that by an irresistible impulse, 
Myra is again at the window, and when the proud 



58 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

beauty arrives there, she also stops with a start and sud- 
den halt. 

Intense envy, jealous rage, and fiendish hatred are the 
inmates of her breast. Oh ! what commotion and strife 
are raging there ; but all is still and deep, like the hushed 
storm when garnering its strength ere it descends to do 
its fell work of destruction. When she arrives at her 
own mansion, she waves her comi^anion into the parlor, 
and rushes to her own room. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 59 



CHAPTEE VIII. 

THE DINNER PARTY. 

" Their various cares in one great point combine 
The business of their lives, that is — to dine." 

" I own that nothing like good cheer succeeds — 
A man's a God whose hogshead freely bleeds ; 
Champagne can consecrate the damnedst evil ; 
A hungry parasite adores a devil." 

"When this proud beauty finds herself alone, she flings 
the door to, with a force which shakes the whole edifice. 
She now commences tearing off those costly adornments. 
The gaudy, senseless, trajopings of wealth, which are em- 
ployed as ministers to the Court of Fashion, and are 
always the faithful insignia of folly. When she is disen- 
cumbered she throws herself down on the sofa with the 
utmost abandon, and indulges the following monologue : 

" Well ! I have done for myself! Fool, fool, that I am. 
It is all over between us now ! I saw it in his look ! 'Twas 
written on that lofty brow — that nervous upper lip. The 
icy glance, the freezing manner, told me that he not 
only resented my conduct to that old wretch, but that he 
heartily despised me. Oh ! why did I not remember how 
strange he is about such things ! Then I might have 
choked down the natural loathing I feel for poverty. I 
could, to please him, have endured her presence for so 
short a time. But it never entered my head ; the possi- 
bility of such a thing as sitting in my own pew alongside 
of a beggar ! I was not taught this ; I feel no imjjulse 
moving me to it ; I remember no precept or example of 



60 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

the sort, and the circle in which I move furnishes no pre- 
cedent. What ! who would ever think of such a thing as 
the mingling of luxurious wealth with squalid misery ! 
I wish he would not hold such crude, obsolete principles : 
' That you must give to paupers in a particular way, with 
discrimination and delicacy.' How troublesome and 
absurd! I take them "e« 77tasse." Everybody must 
know that their hearts are dried up ; their sensibilities 
pinched to a mere speck ; and all sensations, save such as 
are employed to exact, are squeezed out by their mode 
of life. Still he will talk about the manner and kind 
words being worth more to mendicants than the real sub- 
stance. 

" Pshaw ! he is a fool — a greater one even than I am. 
I would not have hesitated to give that old hag, and that 
upstart boy, ten, twenty, or even fifty dollars, had they 

asked charity of me on street — I might even have 

spared more, had a subscription been handed by somebody. 
I^ay, I would have given a hundred to please him. But 
I fear the jig's up now — I was taken so by surprise — I 
did not know that the amenities of life were to be 
extended to old beggar women and little ragged urchins. 

" Oh ! how proudly disdainful he looked, when he 
vouchsafed me that one cold glance ; and then to follow 
the old wretch home ! I hate her, because I have mal- 
treated her. He is to dine here to-day — I will then try 
to extenuate my conduct. After all, this may not be so 
hard to do. Half a million of dollars is a good thick veil, 
and there are very few persons whose spectacles magnify 
sufficiently to show faults through it. From under plain, 
coarse, and tattered garments, small vices peep out ; but 
robes and splendid mantles cover up all sins, even great 
ones. 

" These same robes have done me good service — hiding 
my faults from others ; but they, nor vanity, nor self-love, 
can conceal them from my own mental inspection. When 



THE NKillT WATCH. 61 

the mind is forced to take cog"iiizance of the heart's work- 
ings, and the still small voice within says, 'deej^er — 
deej)er — dive deeper — look into, and read what is writ- 
ten there. Self — self^ — self Yet this does not prevent 
conscience from discharging her duty faithfully — and 
there is a time when all must listen." 

The street-door bell rings. She rises hurriedly, and 
shaking off those somber feelings, rings impatiently for 
her maid. When she comes, the lady puts on the same 
imperial manner with which she had waved the old lady 
from the pew. The still small voice is hushed now. It 
is rarely listened to in the crowded halls. 

" Ann, have the gentlemen arrived? " 

" What say, ma'am ? " 

She raves at her — "I say have the gentleman come yet? 
You stupid dolt, why don't you answer ? Have any of 
the gentlemen come yet? " 

" Oh, oh. ]S"o — no, ma'am, not yit — only Mr. Gaines, 
what followed you from the church." 

The bell rings again. 

" Look, Ann," said the beauty, very calmlj^, for she 
would have considered that it was compromising her- 
self to show the least bit of feeling, save anger, before a 
servant. 

The girl returns, saying, " It aint nobody but Mrs. 
Calderwood and her set." 

" Well, come help me to dress, Ann," said the lady, 
with a weary, disappointed look. "It is very early; I 
wonder why these people have forestalled the hour of 
dining. It is quite annoying, and a great liberty to take." 

" Now, Miss Gruttrude, you know this ain't not one of 
the grand days for grand dinner parties. 'Taint one of 
the reg'lar fine times what we haves sometimes. This is 
only Sunday, and they don't care much what they do 
here on a Sunday. We can't make no great have-to-do on 
the Sabbath, you know." 



62 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

The bell rings, rings, rings — the lady seems slightly- 
flurried ; which the negro marks down in her tablets. 

•' Go see again, Ann." 

But before the maid can obey her imperial mistress, 
there is a rap at the door. A footman enters, bowing. 

" Maj. Lindsay send he compliments to you, ma'am, and 
beg you wnll do him de favor to give him de pleasure of 
your company in the drawing-room, where all the ladies 
and gemmen 'sembled, waiting the presence of the queen 
ob the 'casion." 

She takes no notice of this set speech, meant to be 
facetious. 

" Has Col. Murray come in yet, boy? " 

" No, ma'am, the Kernel aint come in yit ; but we 'spect 
him the very next pull." 

" Tell my father, Eobert, that I am not quite ready — 
will soon join him." 

The negro stares at her, seeing that her toilette is com- 
pleted, and she is looking particularly elegant. 

JSTow there is another message from Major Lindsay, 
which forces the lady to appear among the guests, whom 
she greets cordially (although that day she hates them 
every one), and then goes through the intricate conven- 
tionalities in the most unexceptionable manner. 

She smiles, too ; and you can not discover on that smooth 
surface anything to denote the troubled under-current. 
Only sometimes a sudden raising of the eyes and a quiet 
turning tOM-ard the door as it opened to admit guest after 
guest on that Sunday afternoon. There is no nervous 
starting, no piercing glance, as if she would rend the 
oaken pannels ere they have time to swing on their 
smooth hinges. She plays the well-bred lady to the same 
kind of audience; according to their own code of good 
breeding and etiquette — which is a constitution of forms 
without feeling, words without meaning, and show with- 
out substance. 



T H K N 1 (i H T W A T C II . t)3 

But he comes not ! Mx\ Gaines, our quondam acquaint- 
ance, hands this pet of society to the head of the splendid 
board. When there, she acquits herself in the most 
approved manner. He comes not ! and thei'e is darkness 
in her soul, but no shadow on her brow. Meantime they 
chatter on, laugh, discourse politics, literature, fashions, 
the drama ; some Garrick or Kemble in embryo ; some 
ejDhemeral poet, or rather poetaster ; then religion — Oh 
no, not religion, but the church, the minister, the sermon, 
the congregation, etc. 

Miss Lindsay is inquired of about the sermon ; the ques- 
tion is repeated ; she looks up, and tries to recover herself; 
her thoughts are wandering, they are with him, for still 
" he conies not." She has not heard one word of the con- 
versation. She did not hear that discourse from the 
pulpit, yet she replies to the question, 

" Oh ! very well, indeed." 

" Daughter, what was the text? " says Major Lindsay. 

She looks to her friend on the left, saying, "My father 
is so primitive and tiresome. Who cares or thinks about 
the text." 

That father is not to be silenced, for he is a Lindsay, and 
a Scotchman. He repeats the question, slightly frowning. 
" I say, Gertrude, what was the text? " 

]N'ow that proud eye quails before the stern, rigid, 
Scotch brow, and she answers deprecatingly, "I do not 
know, papa ; I have forgotten. I don't think he stuck to 
his text." 

" You mean, you did not take to it, Gertrude. That's 
about it." 

The lady bit her lip, fiercely. She knew that she 
always found her match in her father, at whatever game 
they played. Lindsay pitted against Lindsay ; " Then 
comes the tug of war." 

" I do not think it matters much, Miss Lindsay, whether 
you listened or not. He was decidedly personal; and all 



(ii THEM (1 H T AV A T C H . 

sensible people must pronounce that to be in very bad 
taste," rejoined Mr. Gaines. 

" How so ? " inquired some one, 

" Well, I rather think so. He talked, you know, so 
much against the rich and high, in this world, that one 
would almost conclude, that it was a sin to be either one 
or the other. Then he said, poor beggars here, were to 
inherit the kingdom. In conclusion, he launched out into 
a long tirade about Dives and Lazarus, and a great deal 
more Avhich I have forgotten — but I know I thought him 
very personal." 

He stopped suddenly, having received the look which said 
" hush, you have talked enough." No worshiper of nature 
ever studied her face more assiduously, in order to learn 
the presage of the w^eather, than did this youth the coun- 
tenance of his mistress, that he might discern the symp- 
toms of the coming storm. JSTow he sees a little cloud in 
the distance, "Not larger than a man's hand; " but it is 
there gathering, gathering ! He feels he must abide it, 
for it will surely break over his devoted head, ere long. 

Major Lindsay is quick -sighted. He sees that G-aines 
is discomfited. " "What is it, Gertrude ? What does he 
mean? " said he. 

" Oh, I don't know, father ; I heard nothing of the sort," 
said she. 

It happened that Dr. Mercer had chosen for his subject 
that day, this short but pithy text, " Grind not the faces 
of the poor." In the portraiture of character, and the 
delineation of certain features, he did seem to describe the 
prominent traits belonging to our haughty beauty. And 
Mr. Gaines had made the application with great justice. 
The doctor had witnessed the dumb show enacted in the 
pew of the aristocratic lady — for millionaires do occupy 
high seats in the cliurcli, as well as in the synagogue, and 
their actions are scanned. The good minister being 
armed with the sword of the spirit, did lay on manfully ; 



T II E xN I O H T W A T C H . G5 

he generally wielded this weapon with great strength. 
But to-day his thrusts are deep. It is also true, that 
Master Shallow, in the person of Mr. Josiah Gaines, had 
suffered himself to be taken captive (at least his atten- 
tion), and 80 he concluded that the person in the sacred 
desk had aimed those blows at his divinity. 

"What was the text?" again asked the major, with a 
merry twinkle in his eye. " Come, Mrs. Calderwood ; 
Bpeak, madam." 

" Pray, do not ask me ; I was too busy watching a scene 
which was being enacted just before me. I could see nor 
hear nothing else." 

" What Avas it, Miss Emma ? " said the jovial host, rub- 
bing his hands. 

" Indeed, Major Lindsay, I have forgotten. I did hear 
it, and thought I would mark it down in my memory, 
well knowing that you would call on me at dinner as 
usual ; but indeed, sir, my attention was so taken up with 
that beautiful boy in the next pew " 

"What was it, Calderwood?" 

" Ah ! friend Lindsay, you are too hard for me now. In 
truth I did not hear it. /was watching Murray, as he 
played the agreeable to an old beggar, whom he had 
gathered somewhere from the hedges and highways." 

The major continued thus to interrogate them, his 
merry mood increasing with each one's discomfiture, until 
he rubs his hands together, and laughs with great glee. 

" Well, upon my word, you j^ay our good divine a high 
compliment. Each one of you seems to have had some- 
thing else before you more interesting than the preacher 
and his subject." 

He now turns, still chuckling, to Mrs. Grreen. 

" I will not ask you, madam, because I think I know 

what takes you to church, and what you always have 

before you. But suffer me to pass on to my gentle friend, 

3"our daughter. Miss Mary, what did yon see right before 

6 



66 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

you^ to take your mind off the text ? Was it Mrs. Calder- 
wood's scene, or Miss Emma's cherub, or Murray's play- 
ing Don Quixotte to Calderwood's pauper, or the grandly 
handsome colonel, himself, or poor old Doctor Mercer's 
bald head?" 

" All, sir," replied Mary Green, blushing. 

" All ? Then of course you did not hear the text." 

"No : no, of course not," shouted the younger members 
of the company. 

"Ah!" cried Emma, exultingly ; "Mary is defaulter, 
at last." 

"You are all mistaken," added she, while a beautiful 
carnation overspread her face, " I did hear." 

" Then let us hear," exclaimed the company-. She is 
silent, and her lids droop over those plaintive blue eyes. 

Her mother looks encouragingly at her. '' Speak, my 
love. IS[ever be backward to raise your voice in such a 
cause." 

When this little stream of polite mirthfulness has run 
its course, she looks up modestly, and says, "You are all 
m.istaken ; I do know. I both heard and understood, and 
now I remember — but I take no praise to myself for this. 
Major, as there was really nothing to distract my atten- 
tion." She then repeated the text, chapter, and verse. 

The major, seeing the company look blank, and under- 
standing that there might now ensue an awkward silence, 
added, " But from your own confession, we believe that 
you saw all these things. Come, tell me how you man- 
aged to escape their influence. But first recount to me 
all about this Sunday drama. Indeed, I should like very 
much to hear a version of it, from each member of the 
board. I only premise that you shall be sworn as usual, 
to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the 
truth." 

This was unanimously agreed to ; and Mrs. Calderwood 
being the first lady on the right, is first called on. 



TflK NIGHT WATCir. 67 

"I had taken my scat," says tlic lad}', ''after (^-ctting 
through with the first praj^ers, when there comes hobbling 
up the aisle, a miserable, mean, hag-looking, old woman, 
and takes her seiat in " 

A violent pressure on the toe causes her to stop, and 
look up at the beautiful hostess ; she meets that glance 
which, like an electric shock, is felt and understood. Then 
all is again bland and smiling; but the eyes smile only; 
the rich vermilion lips are compressed so tightly between 
those pearly teeth, that presently, when she is compelled 
to open them to reply to Mrs. Calderwood's "Did you 
speak to me. Miss Lindsay ? " they are covered with blood. 
And now the lips essay to wreathe themselves into a like 
expression. 

Mrs. C. has taken the hint, and not a word about the 
■pew escapes her ; she only adds, " She was an impertinent, 
and hateful-looking old wretch." 

Emma looked around as she exclaimed, " Oh ! mamma, 
don't say that ; she made no such impression on me. I 

only noticed how hurt she looked Avhen she was told " 

a pinch on the arm arrests her, and she ended by saying, 
curtly enough, " I mean, I was so engrossed with the beau- 
tiful boy." 

" JSTow, Mrs. Green, we will take your deposition." 

" I did not see anything of all this. I saw no beggar 
so loathsome, nor boy so supornaturalh^ beautiful." 

" Miss Mary, Miss Mary, we want j^oiir testimony. 
What did you see?" 

" I saw what our friends here have deposed to ; besides, 
I saw, as you say. Doctor Mercer's bald head and my 
praj'er book, which I think they did not see. Then I 
saw a pale, feeble-looking old lady and a sweet child get 
up, as if they would leave the church, and walk down the 
long aisle. The old lady tottered, and leaned on the shoul- 
der of the bright, beautiful boy, as if scarce able to stand 
without this little support. Then I saw Colonel Murray 



68 T H E N I G H T W A T C H . 

follow, and having overtaken them, he bows to the old lady 
as if she had been Yictoria or Miss Lindsay. After which, 
they all returned together, and were seated in the colo- 
nel's pew, where they sat quite still, seeming to be wholly 
engrossed with the service, and afterward absorbed in the 
sermon. Then I " 

" That will do, my dear. Major Lindsay only wants to 
see how differently different persons see the same objects. 
Yes, and noAv I insist on hearing what you yourself saw." 

"Well, to begin, I did not see any old hag hobbling up 
the aisle ; nor did I see anywhere in that house any one 
resembling a pauj^er. All these novelties, in Doctor Mer- 
cer's church I missed. But I saw a jDlainly dressed, but 
strictly decent old lady-. True, her shawl was faded, and 
her bonnet seemed to have been made acquainted with 
narrow places. But her countenance was placid, and 
revealed, no doubt, what her heart felt^ religion and love 
to Christ. No one can look abject to my eyes, who bears 
that seal." 

" Whose pew did she leave? " asked Lindsay 

No reply. 

It is repeated. 

Silence still. The red spot is on the proud lady's cheek, 

and her pearly teeth are again discolored with a deeper hue. 

A servant hands his master a note, which he reads aloud : 

" Col. Murray hopes his friend, Maj. Lindsay, will 
excuse his absence from his hospitable board to-day. 
Unforeseen circumstances cause his non-attendance. Ac- 
cept his regrets. Eespectfully, 

C. C. Murray." 

" Well, this is as cool as the day, and as short as your 
pie-crust, Gertrude. Did you see and speak with him 
to-day, daughter? " 

" No, sir ; I spoke to him. the morning salutations 
merely, in passing." 



T H E N I G H T W A T C H . 69 

" Come, pass the wine, Gaines. Ladies, here is hoping 
we may have the pleasure of passing together many more 
such Sundays." G-ertrude quietly sets down the glass, the 
wine untasted. 

They now adjourn to the drawing-room ; as the gentle- 
men are not invited to linger over their cuj)S ; this making 
the only difference between that and other festive days. 

Maj. Lindsay is a Scotchman by birth, and left Edin- 
burg when a mere youth. He seems to have lost all recol- 
lection of the Presbyterian mode of Sabbath - keeping 
there. His sojourn in the United States, and his residence 
jjrincipally in Southern cities, had obliterated all fervent 
love for kirh ; and now he and his family show themselves 
once on every Sunday at church; then go home and pass 
the day as above described. He has many of the national 
traits of the Scot ; is rather cold and somewhat stern ; 
unbending and unflinching where duty is recognized, des- 
titute of all vanity, somewhat selfish, has that sort of 
pride which places him above the possibility of doing a 
mean or a little action. He might be moved to commit a 
crime on a grand scale — at least there are circumstances 
which would extenuate a great fault — but never a petty 
one. He could not jDardon a mean act or a petty cruelty. 
He would also have gone to the stake for religion or con- 
science sake, provided there was a showing of maganim- 
ity or sublimity in the action. But he knew nothing of 
those quiet virtues which win their way and are always 
ready for use. He only felt the impulse to practice such 
as walked abroad at noonday. Still he was immeasura- 
bly better than his beautiful daughter, even in such graces 
as should adorn the female character. Hence the dread 
the lady felt to have her conduct known to her father. 

The company now all dispersed to their respective places 
of abode, w^ere we will presently pay each one a visit 
after they have taken off their masks. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 



CHAPTER IX. 

DIVERS SCENES IN SUNDRY PLACES. 

" 0, MANY a shaft at random sent, 
Finds mark tlie'arclier never meant ; 
And many a word at random spoken, 
May soothe or bruise the heart that's broken." 

Three persons are sitting together in a handsome and 
comfortable parlor, the hour being nine o'clock, p. m : an 
exceedingly handsome man, a sweet Hebe-looking child, 
and a precise, rather fantastic lady, somewhat passed mid- 
dle age, of medium size, and j^ossessing traces of rare 
beauty even at the present time. This lady is dressed in 
the hight of the fashion, with great care and some taste. 
The clever ones have reported her to be sixty or more, 
but this evening she is looking about forty years old. 
Yet she is the true mother of that magnificently dark and 
grandly handsome man, and the grandmother of the pretty 
sylph-like creature, G-enevieve Murray. The child is sit- 
ting on her father's knee, with one little, plump, white 
arm twined around his neck, while with the other dim- 
pled, baby hand she is playing with those rich clustering 
curls as black as the sloe ; ever and anon burying the same 
little rosy tips in his luxuriant whiskers and moustache. 
Sweet prattler. 

" Papa, why don't you look at me sometimes ? Aint I 
as pretty as the fire? Look at me, j)apa, pray do, instead 
of always w^atching the red hot coals. I w^onder that ter- 
rible blazing fire don't melt your eyes, papa. Tivvy says 
when we die, that we've all got to lie down in a hot bed 
of coals for awhile. Oh ! papa, aint that scary ? " 



THE NIGHT WATCH. <1 

He heeds not that sweet little mouth, as it lisps out those 
words ; his mind seems to be closed, and thought has 
given place to memoiy — the mind's mirror, wherein 
sometimes fearful things are reflected. See how that 
fine face is marred, look how" those perfectly defined 
arches are contracted, how that smooth and expansive 
forehead is corrugated with lines drawn in it by inten- 
sified feeling. 

The lady across the table is reading (or seeming to) by 
a splendid burner, whose light is brought down to her 
through a handsome gilt tube. She assei-ts herself to be 
near, or short sighted. Ha ! ha ! ha ! that's the way when 
ladies arrive at a certain age, or no age ; they are apt to 
grow short-sighted. A costly eye-glass, depending from 
a Maltese chain of exquisite workmanship, is held to her 
eyes. She seems to experience a sort of unrest, which 
induces a constant looking away from her book, to gaze 
on her son, who still sits there with the little girl in his 
arms, sunk in revery. 

A servant enters and hands him a letter. He puts down 
the child, approaches the table, and reads it. ISTow a still 
darker and more lowering cloud o'erspreads his face. 

'' Murray, why did you not dine with Major Lindsay, 
on last Sunday, as usual?" says his mother, looking 
sharply at him. 

" I could not, madam," answered the son, with a very 
freezing look. 

The mother knew there was no appeal from that look. 
All the avenues of information were then closed. 

He rings the bell, and when his seiwant apj)ears, orders 
his cloak, cane, and cap. When he has received them 
from the boy he leaves the house. 



72 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

Major Lindsay throws down his newspaper, as Ann, 
the lady's maid enters. 

" Ask your young mistress to do me the favor to come 
down. I am waiting to see her." 

The girl hesitates, and the major, stamping his foot, 
rips out a heathenish sort of oath, and bids her begone. 

In the meantime, he walks up and down that large 
room, muttering to himself, " I had well nigh forgotten ; 
I must find out what all this talk is about. A feeble old 
woman being turned out of a pew. I thought G-ertrude 
evinced some feeling ; a great deal for her, even through 
that iron mask which she puts on sometimes, when she 
wishes to conceal what she is thinking about — what wrong 
she has been perpetrating against some j)oor body. But 
I trust no daughter of mine could have been guilty of 
this exercise of petty power. Confusion seize me ! but I 
could not forgive this mean arrogance, because of fortuit- 
ous advantage over the feeble and indigent. Aye, yes, I 
remember ; Murray failed to escort her to church, and 
did not call on Saturday evening. Disajjpointments never 
fail to rouse the tiger in her naturally savage nature. 
"Well! she can't help it — nature is nature, after all your 
training ; and she inherits the worst qualities of both 
father and mother. What could be expected from the 
issue of such a marriage. A true Scot, driven by his 
desiserate fortunes to woo and wed an English heiress, 
who, on her part, marries for social position ; neither of 
us having chosen the other, at least as far as the election 
of the heart tells. The simple truth of the business is 
this : the poor child was born too soon after our disen- 
chantment ; when those great scales had but just fallen 
from our eyes, and we were forced to contemplate each 
other after the masks were laid aside — to view our real 
and secret natures. I must bear with her. Many of her 
faults are by entail; she can not part with them if she 
M'ould." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 73 

The girl returns ; the major meeting her at the door, 
frowning. Ann stammers out, 

"Sir, Miss Guttrude say, she hope you will 'scuse her 
dis evenin', for she aint not well. She say, she feel much 
predisposed, and her head gwiue to 'vide right into two 
halfs." 

He passes on with the same measured tread ; adding, 
" It is better so ; all right. G-irl, tell your mistress, good 
night, and adieu. "We had better not meet to night, 
that's clear. I will talk it over with her to-morrow, 
perhaps." 



It is nine o'clock, a. m. Sweet Mary Green is occu- 
pied as all sweet Marys, who have ever lived, would like 
to be. She is seated in their small, neat, plain parlor, the 
surroundings of which give promise of ease and comfort 
only. 

A young man of pleasing appearance, and debonair 
address, is by her side. They have been conversing for a 
long time in a soft, low tone of voice, not louder than the 
gentle ripple of the still waters, when stirred by the light 
evening breeze. He presses her taper fingers, which 
sends the subtle fluid through every avenue to the heart ; 
and with eyes and lips is pleading his cause. Sweet Mary 
Green blushes, and is silent. I believe, in such matters 
not to dissent is to assent. Is it not so, my young lady 
reader ? 

Now, all such interviews are only interesting and pre- 
cious to the parties concerned. "We will therefore close 
our ears to their plaintive murmurings, the soft rustlings 
of the boy-god's wings. 



In the same neighborhood, the same hour, and self-same 
moment, the following dialogue is going on : 
7' 



74 THE NUIHT WATCH. 

'' Well, papa, I confess I did recognize the child, and 
the old ladj, too ; but somehow I felt unwilling to have 
them hrought forward, there at that table, to be carved 
up, as I knew they would be, if the company had known 
that they were the inmates of the hovel, and related to 
that charming, delectable, superhumanly elegant, trans- 
cendently beautiful young woman. O papa! if you could 
only have seen her yesterday, w^hen she smiled on me. I 
was electrified. I can think of no similitude in all nature 
by which I can place her before you. There is not a 
flower that wall do. Eoses, and peach-blossoms, and 
moonlight, and sunbeams, and dewdrops, and diamonds, 
and pearls, and everything else, combined and amalga- 
mated into one blaze of glory, could not, I know, papa, 
convey to you the same impression as did that radiant 
smile to me — that one gleam of hope, as it struggled its 
way up, from the poor, stricken heart, to the face of 
divine beauty." 

" I should think not, daughter ; for all those beautiful 
and bright things thrown pell-mell, and as you say, blent 
into one, would form an unseemly mass. But when will 
you take me to see this nonjsareil of a woman ? " 

" Sometime soon, I hope, sir ; but she has never told 
me. When I urge it now, she only smiles sadly and 
says, ' My drawing-rooms are not quite ready. When 
they are in order to receive , stylish, fashionable visitors, 
I will let you know;' and so she puts me off from time to 
time." 

" S'death ! but that's tempting. I like a thing of that 
sort. Grods ! how it inflames a fellow — that sort of quaint 
chariness! " 

" What did you say, papa ? I do not understand you. 
What is it, sir?" 

" God forbid you should, (aside). Oh, nothing, daughter, 
go on. What else?" 

" Nothing else, sir, I had ceased speaking." 



THE N I G U T WATCH. 75 

"Well, 1 don't think mamma ever surmised who they 
were." 

" Certainly not; had she done so, that house would not 

have held her, and then she would have given me h 

as soon as we reached home." Emma put her hand over 
her father's mouth. 

" Come, papa, I do not want any flowers of rhetoric 
to-night. Listen, hist ! hist ! let us do so for our own 
edification, papa." 

" My dear Jones, did you notice that look of Miss Lind- 
say when her father read the note from that cold, haughty, 
hateful Colonel Murray? " 

" I guess I did ; and Mis Callerwood, did you see how 
she bit her lips, and turned pale, then red, then white 
again?" 

"You better believe I saw it all, and more, too." 

"Do tell!" rejoined Miss Nancy, unable to sit still, so 
keen was becoming her enjoyment of the subject. 

"Do you think, Jones, that they'll ever be married?" 

" Who, ma'am? " 

" Pshaw ! I thought you understood ; we were talking 
about Miss Lindsay and Colonel Murray." 

" Oh, true ! but the Lord knows I don't. But they do 
say " 

" Oh hush, Jones; don't keep telling me what they do 
say — ^tell me what you know." 

"Do tell! I never see sich a woman. She'll ask ten 
thousand questions, but if you jest take up time to response 
to one, she'll fly off the helm." 

" Come, Jones, don't be a fool ; you know I have been 
your friend through thick and thin, so put up." 

" I always do put up. I've put up Avith everything till 
I can't stand it no longer. Xext you'll be telling me to 
put out, and I'll be sure to do it; so I will." 

Miss Nancy had wrought herself into a towering pas- 



76 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

sion. Her little twinkling, coal-black eyes snapped ; her 
lips, which were always white, just then became blue, and 
she involuntarily clenched her teeth and her fists ; but 
when she saw Mrs. Calderwood bridle up, and set her 
head on one side, closing the opposite eye, she knew then 
the time had come ; and if she did not speedily recant, the 
game would be up. 

" Well, Miss Jones, I wonder who would be looser 
thereby ? I want you to decide that case, and inform me 
speedily," and her hig^ pale, blue eyes glared — they never 
could flash, you know. 

" God bless my dear Mis Callerwood. Why I was just 
a-joking. 1 havn't no idea of doing nothing at all in the 
wide, wide, world," said the toady, in an humble, fawning 
voice. Seeing that the lady was not yet propitiated, and 
fearing that her feline propensities were being roused (for 
she rapidly passed her thumb over the end of every 
finger-nail as if feeling their pointedness and potency), 
she adds hurriedly, with feigned showing of importance 
and mystery, 

" But Callerwood, I believe I never told you. No, I 
swore I would lock it all up in my bosom of bosoms, and 
then throw away the key." 

"What! what is it, Jones?" (A laugh from the hus- 
band.) 

Every vestige of anger had now disappeared, — all swal- 
lowed up in her insatiable love of gossij) and desire to 
hear scandal. 

" Come now, Jones?" and she laid her arm around her 
scraggy neck caressingly. 

" Can't do it. Mis Callerwood. I reckon I hadn't 
ought to ; I'm bound up so tight." 

" Humph ! Grod knows you look like it, you d — d old 
mummy, you! " exclaimed Calderwood, and Emma again 
places her hand on his mouth. 

"Well, Jones, Fm hound, too, to hear that." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 77 

"How! you don't say so? Then I reckon we may's 
well just talk it all over together." 

" Well, I think so, Jones." 

"I had been way down to the t'other eend of Chesnut, 
to see again about getting that skuirt quilted." 

" Oh ! the fiends take the skirt ; go on." 

"Well, Mis Callerwood, who told you, any how?" 

" Go on, Jones," says Mrs. Calderwood, now trembling 
with eagerness. 

" As 1 was a saying, I went down to the fur end of 
Chesnut to get that sku " 

" Confound Chesnut and that old petticoat too ! Jones, 
I will not talk to you, if you don't stick more to the text." 

" Why, what is the text, Mis Callerwood ? " An im- 
patient wave of the hand, a sudden starting to the floor, 
and a very lady-like stamping of the foot, brings poor old 
Miss Nancy back to the point, and reseats her, for she had 
been raised quite out of her chair by that little whirl- 
wind. As meekly now as a martyr she relates, while the 
lady as greedily drinks in, the poison. 

" Well, as I was coming back, I calls to see Moggy Ann 

Cams. I wanted to git her to " Another frown 

from Mrs. C. "'Well,' says Moggy Ann, 'Miss Jones, 
did you hear what a quarrel G-ertrude Lindsay and Colo- 
nel Murray has had ? ' ' No, dear,' says I, ' I haint heerd 
a word on the subject. What is it, dear Moggy? ' ' Oh,' 
says she, ' I'm afeard to tell ye, I swore on the Mver of the 
Bible. You see the leaves was all burnt up long ago, 
'cause Tom Truman, my last sweetheart, went and exam- 
ined the family record, and seen our ages ; so sister burnt 
up all the in'ards of the book, but for myself, I didn't — ' " 

" Fool ! " exclaimed Mrs. C. with an uncontrollable burst 
of impatient rage. 

Miss Nancy folded her arms, and, with Moses-like meek- 
ness went on — 

" Well, as I was saying, she said she was swore on the 



78 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

lids of tlie Eible, that she wouldn't tell nobody, and then 
she sorter swore me, but as you've been bound up too, 
jist like myself, we'll talk it over together." 

" Gro on ! " now screamed Mrs. Calderwood, almost 
beside herself. 

" Ann, Gertrude's maid, come t'other day for that blue 
satin dress, and when she got it, she kept a kind o' linger- 
ing and loitering like. So it struck me she had some- 
thing on her mind. ' Ann,' says I, ' when is your mis- 
tress going to get married ? ' 

" ' Well, now. Miss Moggy, dat's more 'an dis nigger is 
able to say jest now. I begin to think never.' Then she 
comes close up to Moggy and whispers, ' Dat Colonel Mur- 
ray don't love Miss Guttrude ; he neber did, and neber 
will ; dat's de way to tell it. You remembers las' Sunday, 
don't 3"0u, Miss Moggy? Well, did jou know dat ev'ry 
Sabbat day, de Lord's good day, we has dinner party at 
our house ? and de 'mestics and waiters can't get to go to 
de Mefodist chaplain to hear dat dear, miserable-looking 
man perclaim de glad tidings of great joy, what you'd 
never think was glad tidings, he say 'em so mournful 
like.' 

" 'Go on, Ann, that's a good girl,' says Moggy. 

" ' Well, dat last dinner, 'most a week ago, after all de 
comp'ny leaved, I was in de back jDarlor, and dey in de 
front. I kept as still as anj^ hoppergrass, so dat I might 
listen good. I hear Miss Guttrude say, in a low and trim- 
bly voice, " Murray, what has come over jovl ? You is so 
cold and distantful tome of late?" Den de colonel get 
up, and sa}' he must wifdraw.' 

" ' But first, what did he say ? ' eagerly inquired Moggy. 

" ' He spoked not a word, but like a dumb brute before 
de shearers, he jis opened his lips.' 

" ' Then what did he say? ' reiterated Moggy Ann. 
' " ' Why, didn't I tell you, he speaked not a word.' 

" ' But you said he opened his lips, didn't you ? ' 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 79 

"'Lor' I no I didn't; I said the dumb beast 'fore de 
shearers opened dar lips. O mercy ! O mercy ! How 
ignorous white folks is, any how. Dey hardly eve does 
know de word o' God.' 

" ' Go on, Ann,' says Moggy, for, like you, Mis Caller- 
wood, she was anxious to git to the sequence. 

" ' Well, den she take his hand, and she look up in he 
whiskers and sigh, and groan, and say, weeping, " Oh ! 
monda-Dieu ! I has live one day too long ! Conrad, you 
don't love me ! What has I did, that you is so much es- 
tranged away from me? " ' 

"'Then what? Do pray, go on, Ann,' said Moggy 
Ann. 

" ' He git right up, and say he must retire. So he takes 
her hand, and say good-night. But presently he stoop 
down and kiss her one, two, tree times. Den he face flush 
up, and he eyes blaze, and de big veins swell so in he 
forehead dat dey look like young ropes ; and 1 swear to 
you. Miss Moggy Ann, I thought Miss Gutty was gwine 
to die of gladness. Ah ! but, Miss Moggy Ann, white 
man mighty uusartain. Dey aint constant and true in 
dar loves ; and dat I do know for myself, nigger as I is.' 

" ' Well, what then ? what followed ? ' said Moggy. 

" ' Why, nothing didn't follow. Dat de last time she 
ever see him. Ah ! I tell you, white man is so slippery 
and so full of dissembilation. Miss Gutty 'si^ect him to 
come to go with her to church, accordin' to pintment, biit 
s-h-e w-a-i-t ! s-h-e w-ai-t! After awhile he come 
not at all, and she go off by herself wid Mr. Gaines ; but 
she d-a-t mad ! Whew ! how mad she was. I hear no 
more. But I got my eye and mj^ ear open.' ' And mouth 
too, said Moggy,' parenthetically. 

" ' Go on, Ann dear ! What comes next?' 

"'Oh, nothing did'nt come next; dey did'nt have no 
next. But, from what I hear. Miss Gutty made him mad. 
Sompin 'bout an old beggar 'oman at cluirch.' 



80 T H E N I G H T W A T C H . 

" ' So he didn't come that afternoon,' says Moggy. 

" ' !N"o, m-a-m, he didn't ; nor that night ; nor never 
since. In fact, he haint come yit, and I don't believe he's 
ever gwine to come agin.' 

" ' Oh,' says, Moggy (who is very tender hearted), 'that 
is too cruel. How does she stand it, Ann ? ' 

" ' Well ! she never do tell her grief nor her love ; but 
jis lets it, like a worm in de core of an apple, feed on her 
damaged cheek, and sits dar, while a green an' sickly 
melancholy does her dat way, as " Will Haispear" says.' 
(Ann was a constant attendant at the theater, and a 
special admirer of the divine Shakspeare.) 

" ' Is that all ? ' 

" ' Not quite. She writ a letter to him the other night. 
De letter was blistered wid bitter, salt tears. She give it 
to me, 'cause she know she can inis' me. She tell me to 
hang about the door till he come out, and then follow him, 
and bring him to her, if I wants my poor young mistis 
to live. But — God bress your soul, Miss Moggy — I 
stand dar till I can't keep my limbs from chattering and 
my teeth from quaking wid cold. Presently he come 
out, all muffled up so, dat de Devil himself wouldn't know 
him. But instead of taking de street to our house, he 
strike down nine or ten squares. I all dat time creep 'long 
behind him. After awhile he stop before a little m-e-a-n- 
looking house ; den he walk up and down many times ; 
after which, he plant hisself before the lamp-post, and 
look like he gazing into the old window. Just den de 
Watch comes 'long, and seize hold o' me : but I knows dat 
man ; so I shows him my face ; den he cuss me, and ax 
me what Devil's arrand I on now. I pint to Col. Mur- 
ray — and burst out into a loud whisperin giggle ; and 

when Murdoch sees what I pint at, he says — " Yes, d 

him, he's there again, is he ? " So I broke off and run'd 
home — and found Miss Gutty dressed, sitting up waiting 
for de Col. — he ! he ! he ! And dat's all.' 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 81 

" ' Oh! Lors a mercy! I've been here four hours. Miss 
Guttrude 'II kill me ! Miss Moggy ' 

" ' Oh, never fear Ann ; you know too many of her 
secrets. You might do just what you have a mind to. If 
you'll manage your cards right, you can git your free- 
dom.' 

" ' Oh, I don't want dat. I'm a thousand times better 
off dan any free nigger, and a million of times more 
'spectable. And now, Miss Moggy you must take a sol- 
emn oaph on de Bible.' 

" ' Oh, never mind, Ann, I'm not going to betray your 
confidence.' 

" ' Git de Bible, else I won't tell you what passed sence, 
betwixt Miss Guttrude and dat traitorsome colonel.' 

" So that made Moggy get them lids of the Bible, and 
Ann put her through the oath, thinking it was a valid 
oath, and a sure-'nough book." 

" Weil, what more, Jones ? " 

" Not another word would Ann utter, but broke right 
off, notwithstanding Moggy coaxed her, and offered to 
pay her." 

Mrs. Calderwood drew a long breath, for so intensified 
had been her enjoyment, so rapt her attention, that she 
had not ventured to respire freely, lest she should inter- 
rupt that which by long indulgence had become the ali- 
ment of her nature. 

" "Well, now I declare, Jones, this is something worth 
listening to." 

" I think, Jones, it is the most remarkable thing of the 
age, how that old^ patched-up, pasted over, braided, and 
painted up mother of his has so got the upper hand of 
that cold, stern, proud man. She winds him up like a 
watch or a clock, they tell me." 

" Yes, Mis Callerwood, but tliey do say that that old 
woman possesses some charms or conjurations ; any how, 
some sort o' subtly arts ; for they tell me — I don't know 



82 THE N 10 TIT WATCH. 

nothing about it myself — but they say that she always 
carries her pint, and that she can coax or scold, or scare 
that nasty, arrogant, hateful man into, or out of, any plan 
or prospect of his life whenever she pleases. And she, 
too, the oldest, the ugliest, and madest up creature that 
ever I saw." 

Then they both laughed a little, mean, sniggering laugh, 
and " d em " was heard from across the way, 

" Papa, did you ever hear or see anything like the gusto 
with which mamma and Miss Nancy have served up every- 
body's reputation to-night?" 

" Yes, my love, and their appetites are growing keener 
every hour." 

" But, papa, why use such ugly, profane language before 
your little daughter ? I'll bet you m.j diamond ring that 
when I take you to see my glorious Grecian statue, you 
will never think of devil, or damnation either, in her 
presence." 

" Emma, I love you more than all the world besides, 
ind I never mean to wound or maltreat you ; but, d 

child, here at home, where jour mother and that old 
^ are, I always find something suggestive of those 
.^ . Perhaps if I were there, I should only think of 
fairies, and goddesses, and Cupid's court." 

" You would think, papa, of angels and seraphims, and 
good spirits. I think one unholy thought or desire would 
desecrate the place ; " and she looked plaintively and 
inqu.iringly into his face. 

" Dear child, you are a sweet, bewitching, innocent lit- 
tle fool," and he kissed her fervently and left. 



THE NIGHT WATCH, 



CHAPTEE X . 

nature's nobleman. 

" He was not born to shame ; 
Upon his brow shame is ashamed to sit ; 
For 'tis a throne where honor may be crowned 
Sole monarch of the universal earth." 

" Love is a passion which kindles honor into noble acts." 

At the same hour, in a plain, neat little room, back of 
a little variety store, seated in a little old arm chair, is a 
little old lady. The little old lady is very aged ; her hair, 
which is milk white, is combed smoothly over her wrin- 
kled brow, and worn under a prim Quaker cap. A little 
table is by her side, on which is a snow-white cover and 
a napkin, a fine China plate, cup and saucer, wine-glass, 
knife, and silver fork. 

A rather quaint, quiet-looking little woman, attired in a 
brown merino dress, a collar of fine linen, white as her 
teeth, with cuff's to suit, is in attendance. This little young 
lady is not pretty, as we behold her just then, but she is 
good. Oh, how good ! 

" Aweel ! aweel ! my bonny bairn, ye dinna ken, and 
maybe ye dinna care, how lang and wearily the time 
drags wi' me. Ye gang your gaits, but ye leave the puir 
auld body here to greet and glower all alone by my ain 
sel'. Lang, Oh, too lang it is, before I can lay me down 
and dee." 

" Ah ! now, grannie, niver fash, and it'll be gude when 
it comes. Aweel ! and it's nae sae lang either since ye 
tasted o' the gude things frae God's store-house." 



84 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

Then she placed on that little table the nicest plate of 
oysters and crackers, fills the China cup with aromatic 
tea, and pours into the glass a spoonful of good port wine. 
It is all on the table, every morsel that the house con- 
tained that night. The old lady eats with a morbid appe- 
tite, while with the garrulousness and qiTcrulousness of 
extreme old age, she grumbles all the time. But that 
dear little embodiment of patience and fortitude never 
retorts. Then, when all is consumed, every oyster and 
every cracker, and there is nothing left for the pious, 
lovely, self-sacrificing little Minny Dun, she with a smoth- 
ered sigh pours out a cup of tea, and drinks it without 
the amelioration of sugar or cream. Still with a thank- 
ful heart, a contented mind, and an humble sj)irit, she 
says, mentally, " I have lost my thrift, somehow, I dinna 
ken half my time what I am about. But I will provide 
better next week." 

That good creature retired presently with the pangs of 
hunger at work ; but she did not the less pour out her 
soul in gratitude to God. Peace be with thee, and angels 
watch over thee and thy aged, exacting parent ; and may 
God bless thee, thou gentle, affectionate little Minny Dun. 



In another part of the city, quite remote from this, 
there are four or five men seated over a fire in a mean, 
dirty-looking room. The atmosphere is reeking with the 
rank odor of spilt liquor and tobacco smoke. 

A dark, but very handsome man gets up, puts on his 
overcoat, which is bear-skin, buttons it up to his chin, 
dons a cap of the same material, takes his club of office, 
and leaves the room, the rest following him. 

The first man separates himself from the others, and 
walks on hurriedly until he gets opposite to a stately man- 
sion, from the windows of which brilliant lights are 
streaming. He stops, looks at the house, and mutters to 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 85 

himself, "Well, he can't helj) it, and I can't help it either. 
I curse myself every hour in the clay. But why do this ? 
I am not to blame. All are attracted, even as I was. 
Who can resist such beauty? I saw him start. I saw 
that look of wondering admiration, that intense mesmeric 
gaze. He stopped too ; but she did not recoil from him. 
I watched her. No, no ; she stood and gazed too. I 
watched her." 

While he stood there thus communing with himself and 
kindling his wrath, the street-door opened, and a muffled 
figure comes out in the clear gas light. His hat is also 
drawn low down over his face, which is quite concealed. 
He walks on rapidly until he gets far down Market street. 
The bear-skin man keeps a short distance behind. 

When the man ahead stops, it is in front of the hovel. 
He walks slowly before the house for some time ; always 
in passing sends a curious, keen glance into the old rickety 
window. 

The stained and time-worn curtain reveals, through a 
rent in the center, the group within. A little fire is blaz- 
ing in the grate ; the old lady is rocking herself as usual, 
looking very calm and peaceful. A small work-table 
stands before the fire, on which is an old tin lamp. 
Myra is seated by this, writing in a large book, A hand- 
kerchief is thrown over her head so that her face is only 
partially revealed. She writes rapidly, then stopping, 
puts her hand to her head, and seems to think. Then 
she raises those glorious eyes to heaven, and they are 
humid. She writes again — now she stops and weeps, 
and placing her left hand over her heart, sighs deeply. 

Surprise, admiration, and curiosity, have now all given 
place to one overwhelming feeling of amazement. He is 
really as cold as the lamp-post against which he leans. 

When our bear-skin man gets within ear shot, he 
catches these disjointed exclamations : " Strange ! passing 



86 THE NIGHT WATCH 

strange ! most marvelous ! It must be the same ! It can 
be no other than a living woman who sits there writing! 
I am bewildered ! My head whirls ! I am either dying, 
or I am frightened ! I know nothing of either, save in 
the abstract ; but I rather think this is death. Oh, Grod ! 
I am content ! Let me die, then, while I am gazing at 
her ! I was taught to believe that the cold tomb en- 
shrouded that matchless form ! My mother told me so, 
and I have never yet doubted her truth. This, then, is 
only a vision, a glimpse of heaven." 

"Past nine o'clock!" sung out the "Night Watch," 
" all's well." 

The man in the slouched hat starts up, looks wildly 
around, and hurries off. 

The watchman then takes his place against the lamp- 
post, and the poor inmates are subjected also to his gaze. 
He, no doubt, would have stopj)ed there till morning, and 
left somebody else to cry out, "All's well," had not one of 
his comrades surprized him by rudely slapping him on 
the shoulder. 

"Why, Murdoch, what in the devil's name are you 
standing there gazing at that old blue flag for ? What in 
the h do you see there to peer at so ^ fforociously .^ ' " 

"Yes," added another, "it's Phil and myself what's 
been watching ye for ten minutes a'most ; and be Jasus 
we jist thought ye was frozen in yer shoes, entirely." 

" Pass on, pass on ; I've got nothing to do with you," 
replied he, and as they walked away they laughed 
coarsely. This was an entire new phase in the behavior 
of their brother in office. 

While he continues to gaze, the old curtain is drawn 
closely together ; so that the aperture being closed the 
enrapturing vision is shut out, or rather in. The man 
grinds his teeth in impotent rage. 

" There it is again, Murray could have stood here till 



THE NIGHT WAT (' H . 87 

broad day-light and she would nevei- liuve tliought of 

closing that d d rag. But as soon as I come, then, 

that's the way ! But I'll have her, and I'll make her rue 
the day that she flung the door so fiercely into my face, 
and then looked so dove-like on him. What right had 
she to treat me thus ? or what business has she being so 
pretty? Why did she settle down in that little place on 
the way-side, if she don't want folks to look at her ? God 
forgive me ! I can't help my nature. I fall in love with 
beauty whenever I meet with it, and the more I should 
not, the more I do. I love to gaze at the lovely creature 
behind that old curtain, because I know she don't want 
me to." 

It was the old lady who had closed the curtain, and she 
now calls on her granddaughter to join in the evening 
devotions. 

Reader, had you been sufficiently near to hear without 
seeing, you would never have inferred from that address 
to Deity, that there was want, and misery, and squalid 
poverty in that house — so hopeful and grateful was the 
thanksgiving ; so fervent, glowing, and intense the praise ; 
so trusting and confident the invocation. In seeking the 
kingdom, that dear old saint had found all things added. 
She never doubted, for one single moment, the validity 
and steadfastness of God's promises. This sufficed for 
her happiness, better than silver and gold, stately man- 
sions, ermine and fine linen. All these are unstable and 
perishable : but God's promises are immutable and inde- 
structible. 

That feeble, infirm woman was elevated by her faith 
and love above the common mutations of time, the vicis- 
situdes of life. Nothing could make her afraid. Did 
sickness and sorrow assail, did friends desert, did enemies 
smite, did hunger pinch, did toil weary, and break down, 
and shatter the old casket, still the jewel within remained 



88 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

untarnished. It was given into tlie keeping of one who 
knew the worth of the gem. She smiled at all the ills of 
life in her blunt way, well knowing that Christ's little 
flock had nothing to fear. Christ, the Good Shepherd ! 
Oh ! how beautiful are those words, " He will watch over 
them, and lead them into green pastures ! " Even death 
had no terrors for her. The same Grood Shepherd would 
be waiting at the portal to conduct his ransomed one into 
the presence of the Father. Is it any wonder, then, that 
that hovel should have seemed like a palace to her. 

She thus retires to rest — but first entreating her grand- 
daughter to follow her example. Finding all her persua- 
sions fail, she essays to use an argument which, with 
ladies, is generally potent. 

" Myra, my dear child, if you do not give up this ugly 
habit of sitting up all night, you will soon begin to look 
like a blighted, or frost-bitten flower. In a short time 
your skin will resemble an old, wilted cabbage-leaf." 

Poor Myra smiled mournfully, as she replied, 

" Ah ! grandma, that is the fittest similitude you ever 
used in your life. I am what you describe, even now. 
But what matter ? What use have I for charms ? Yet to 
please you, I will soon retire. Indeed, mother, I intend 
from henceforth to obey every suggestion of your's, as 
faithfully as if I were a machine, set in motion by you. 
Then I shall be saved the trouble of thinking, and can 
feed on memories." 

" I'm done : you are about to mount your stilts again, 
I see, child. Well ! totter on. I'm afraid though you'll 
get a mighty fall, some of these days. G-o to bed, go 
to bed. I suggest this then, as the first test of your 
obedience." 

Myra rose and seemed to busy herself in the necessary 
preparations for retiring. Presently the old lady gave 
token of having found temporary rest from her labors. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 89 

The child, too, is sleeping sweetly. The lady is also dis- 
robed of her faded, fine garments, and has donned a 
double wrapjDer of coarse cloth. She moves about very 
softlj", puts all things to rights, places the little stand near 
the fire, having added a very little fuel to the dying 
embers ; then she takes out her journal, and turning back 
several leaves, reads, and weeps. Then she goes up very 
softly to the bedside, and kisses the child many times. 
After which she seats herself and writes impatiently, and 
nervously, as if afraid to stop or think. 

8 



90 THE NIGHT WATCH. 



CHAPTER XI. 

THEJOURNAL. 

" remembi'ance : 
Why dost thou oi^en all my wounds again^'' 

" Thinking will make me mad. Why must I think, 
When no thought brings me comfort." 

" Passions are likened best to floods and streams ; 
The shallow murmur, but the deep are dumb." 

" Sunday night, 10 o'clock. my Father in heaven ! 
Pity me! Spirit of my sainted mother, whose heart, like 
mine, was hroken, hover near, and sustain me ! I droop, 
I faint, dear mother ! I have not thy sublime spirit of 
endurance, thy perfect patience, thy exalting philosophy, 
or thy meek, subdued piety. But Oh, I have all thy 
griefs. I inherit all thy sorroW'S, with none to help, none 
to listen, none to pity ; and, alas ! no self-sustaining power, 
and no Christian graces. I weep my eyes out ; my soul is 
dissolved in weakness, while my nature and constitution 
are enfeebled and shattered. Come, gentle spirit, like 
that dove of old, and give me an earnest of thy sympathy ; 
a token that thou art near ! dear spirit ! if thou art 
permitted, let me hear the soothing rustle of thy angel- 
wings ! " 

The poor, grief-stricken, half-demented woman sat as 
if entranced, in the attitude of rapt attention, listening to 
catch that token. 

JSTow, a change comes over her face — a shadow flits 
across it. She is disapj)ointed, and she bows her head, 
and weeps while she plaintively murmurs. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 91 

" All things fail me ! Hast thou too forgotten th}^ child, 

my mother ? Blessed Jesus, then pity me ! I am 
taught, that Thou, and Thou only, never didst at any 
time, turn away from the wretched. Thou hast seen that 
this day has been one of intense torture. Thou knowest 
that my anguish of soul has been more than I could 
endure through another day. Oh ! how I have longed for 
silence and solitude. I am not mistaken. I saw him 
to-day. He passed that window. I saw him start, then 
stop, and tarn ghastly pale. I was at that moment stand- 
ing there, dreaming of him ; thinking over those halcyon 
days, before our troubles came. So vivid was this action 
of memory, that I thought myself still by his side, wan- 
dering through orange and myrtle groves. Seeing him 
thus, was so mucli a matter of coiTrse, that I smiled a 
joyous welcome, having for the nonce forgotten this fright- 
ful change. Yes ! I smiled ; and then I saw the blood 
rush back to his face, and he looked startled and bewil- 
dered. Just as I was about to fly to the door, and call 
out frantically on his dear, honored name, O God ! that 
fearful promise, that awful oath, that heart-crushing, 

soul-killing secret came to my mind. The daj^ my 

poor father imparted it to me, is one never to be forgotten. 
Such days as that, and this, occur but once in a lifetime. 
No nature is strong enough to endure a repetition ; no 
mind firm enough to bear up under such a weight ; no 
heart capacious enough to conceal its corrodings. My 
blood curdles at the remembrance ! Grod help me ! I feel 

1 am on the brink of distraction." 

She walks hurriedly across the room many times ; 
then taking her seat, she again writes on slowly and 
wearily : 

" I loved him so much ! Oh ! who ever loved as I did, 
or was loved as I was ? I could get none to speak of him 
to me, and it was onlj^ when they thought me dying, and 
in answer to m}'' frenzied entreaties, that as a death-bod 



92 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

favor they whispered, ' He is married ; so now turn your 
thoughts from earth to heaven.' Oh! why was I not 
suffered to die then ? Why left here only to bewail 
the past and dread the future ? To please my father then, 
I jDerjured my soul, and married too. But softly ; let me 
not revive that memory. O Clod ! Spare me this remin- 
iscence. Let every association in my mind perish ; let 
every connecting link be sundered ; let all things die, so 
that there be no cue to that fearful connection. My poor 
grandmother is the chain by which I am forced to unite 
the past with the present. But for that, I should wish to 
annihilate all dates, all mementoes, all remembrances. 
My darling mother stood by her child as long as she lived. 
She w^as so just, upright, and pure that cruelty, vice, and 
crime did not stalk abroad in our vicinity then, as after- 
ward. Oh! I am very wretched ! " 

Just then the child stirred uneasily, and commenced 
speaking in a low, drowsy voice : 

" Mamma, I love you ; w^on't that do ? I love you ; let 
me kiss you, my sweet mother." Then he threw his lit- 
tle arms up as if to embrace her. 

"Now, may God forgive me!" cried that frantic 
mother. " My child, my child ! I have in my madness 
invoked maledictions on thy innocent head. O Saviour, 
intercede for me, and let not my wild ravings be visited 
on the head of this poor lamb." 

She threw herself on her knees by the bed, wrung her 
hands, wxpt, and prayed fervently in her incoherent way, 
until she even exhausted grief Then she arose, bathed 
her eyes, and again wrote : 

" I regret much that I stood beside the window to-day. 
I fear I shall never be able to subdue this restless spirit 
any more. I must hide away from him. He must not 
see me. I must not look upon him. I can not keep the 
oath, were I to do so. Alas ! to what a condition am I 
reduced ! To-morrow I must sit here again, a sort of 



T II E N T G Tf T \V A T C H . 93 

raree show, where everybody seems to feel free to enter. 
I must enact the same folsehood, play off the same insig- 
nificant cheat. 

" Fashionable dress-maker ! Saints and angels ! I 
never have made a dress ; I know not whether I could 
achieve such a thing to save my life ; yet I am to be again 
insulted and gazed at. All this humiliation I must endure, 
because I had not the power to subdue, nay, subvert 
nature, to change God's own work. He made me as I 
am. He gave me this loving heart ; endued me with this 
yielding, trusting, grateful disposition, and cursed me 
with these fervent affections, this ardent nature, and then 
suffered me to be tempted beyond my strength. ISTow my 
heart is cold and dead ; sometimes it seems to be iron, 
then stone, and again ice. But to-day, aye ! to-day 

" How handsome he looked ! I think I should have 
screamed with joy, had not I been so wrapj)ed up in that 
dream. How sujDerb he is in his glorious serenity ! how 
magnificent in gloom ! how sublime in trouble ! Man, 
lover, friend, philosopher. Christian, he is more than 
human in each relation of life. 

" I could not ask the child, could not trust myself to 
speak his name. Grandma did not allude to the hand- 
some stranger. My poor little son ! Oh ! my head is 
dizzy. I grow wild ! I am half dead ! "What will become 
of me ? Brother, my brother ! Father ! you were very 
stern, fierce, and cruel ; but you did it for the best, per- 
haps. I don't know. Look down now, poor father, and 
see what your work has done. Behold thy lost, lost, lost 
child." She falls heavily from her seat. 

The tenants of that lowly place are so worn out by toil 
that they sleep soundly. 

When the old lady rises, she finds Myra lying on the 
floor, apparently dead. A little stream of blood has 
issued from a contusion on the temple, which is now 



94 T H E N I (I I] T NY A T C H . 

coagulated. God knows how long she had been lying 
there ; she is white and cold, and does not breathe. 

The poor old lady is frantic with grief and fright ; she 
runs to the door; gives one piercing shriek of alarm. The 
house-maid at the opposite tenement is opening the win- 
dows ; she drops her broom, and runs over, saying — 

" What de matter, Mam ? " 

"Look!" said the old lady, pointing to her prostrate 
child. — " For the love of Clod ! run for a Doctor ! " 

"I can't leave home, Mam — I darn't to — but I'll run 
tell little Miss Minny Dun ; she'll fix everything right 
for you." 

In the mean time, Clarence had been roused up ; and 
instead of, " child-like," adding to the commotion, he 
dresses himself, and seeing his grandmother making un- 
successful efforts to get his mother in bed, without sajnng 
a word — the tears streaming down his cheeks — he takes 
hold of her feet, and they raise her up. He then puts on 
his little cap, slips from the house, and runs along the 
street, sobbing as if his heart would break. 

It being earl}^, there are but few persons passing. ISTone 
seem to heed that poor child. He has accosted some half- 
dozen persons ; but taking him for a little beggar, re- 
hearsing his part, which must be played over with varia- 
tions a hundred times during the course of the day, they 
push him rudely aside. He would sometimes take hold 
of a coarse, rough man's hand, and raising his tearful 
eyes to his face, say — "Oh, Sir, for God's sake, help me 
to find a doctor;" but he w^ould also shake him off. That 
short syllable, "help," had steeled their hearts. None 
waited to hear his sad story. 

Dear little soul ! he ran that cold morning, only half 
clad as he was, all the way to the market-house, without 
stopping. There he is still unheeded ; till presently, catch- 
ing one familiar note, and listening, he hears a fi^iendly 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 95 

voice : darting to the spot, he throws his arms around the 
neck of a rather uncouth, ugly negro-man, and after kiss- 
ing his sooty face two or three times, he finds words to 
tell his tale. 

" Grod A'mighty hress de darlin child," said he, em- 
bracing him. 

" Oh ! Uncle ISTed, my dear mother will be dead — quite 
dead — if you don't come now, and run all the way." 

" Why, honey ! de'll whip ebery bit o' skin offer Uncle - 
Ned's back, if I leave my posties here." 

The boy wrung his hands, crying — " Then I fear she is 
lost!" 

An Irish woman who had been listening, comes up, and 
taking him in her arms, ci'ies out, as she wiped her eyes, 
" Oh, the darlint lamb. Come, ISTed, take the dear, and 
just go along. I'll stay by and watch the stall, and stand 
between you and blame." 

Uncle Ned takes him from the woman, and placing his 
great, hard, horn hand over his little bare feet, he moves 
off at a rapid pace. He takes him to Doctor Brown's 
office ; there the little fellow is allowed to tell his troubles 
in his own language ; which is rendered almost incompre- 
hensible, on account of his choking sobs. 

When they arrive, they find little Minny Dun and the 
grandmother engaged in rubbing the patient. They are 
so much absorbed that they have forgotten to shut the 
street door, and there are a pair of large, coal-black, but 
gentle eyes, peeping out from amid coarse furs, at them. 
He stands in the way, waiting to be of service. The 
Doctor enters, visibly shuddering, as he beholds thefc*^ 
tableau, as also wath cold. 

" Boy, put down the child, and make a fire." 

" Yes, Sir, I gwine to do dat of my own 'cord. I knows 
ole Missus dare, and young Massa, and de poor dead lady. 
I loves 'em all. Dey give poor Uncle ISTed dinner, one 
day, when he quite starved a'most." 



96 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

Having made the fire, ISTed goes for water. The child 
creeps up to his mother, and dropping on his knees seizes 
her hand, which he covers with kisses and tears. The 
Doctor has done a great deal for her, and she at last gives 
some signs of life. 

Doctor Brown thinks of something which he needs. 

He looks round for a messenger. Ned has gone, and 
the child is half dead with grief; he steps to the door, and 
seeing our bear-skin man there, he calls to him. 

" Murdoch, come hither. Can't you do a service to this 
poor family? They are in great distress." 

" With the most hearty good will, I assure you, sir." 

He is then entrusted wnth the errand ; and before the 
Doctor had taken a half-dozen turns in the room he was 
back. 

He entered now without ceremony, and after handing 
the articles to the Doctor, he approached the bed and 
gazes with a reverential look at the patient. There is no 
contortion of muscle, limb or feature. She reclines in the 
most easy, graceful attitude ; one arm has been bandaged 
for the use of the lancet, this is bare, and is thrown up 
over her head ; while the other hand is clasped in that of 
her son, still kneeling by her side. 

The luan seems to be magnetized ; and is at first unable 
to withdraw his gaze. J^ow he turns mournfully away, 
and wipes his eyes. 

Minny Dun has gone home, for a moment. Old Mrs. 
"Wise is in the kitchen. The Doctor wishes to raise the 
patient, for the purpose of pouring some potion down her 
■*i|.throat. He looks round 

" Here, Murdoch ! 'Tis a matter of life and death,- 
and death has much the best chance just now; else I 
would not place her in this perilous situation," said he, 
with a mischievous smile. " Here sit behind this poor 
lady, while I pour this medicine down her throat." 

Murdoch hesitated, and seemed to hang; back. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 97 

" Come, my friend, she will strangle to death, unless 
she is supported ; " and he points to Myra's shoulders. 

The man approached, as if he were treading on hallowed 
ground, and very softly takes her in his arms and leans 
her up against his rugged, giant-like breast. When the 
Doctor attempts to administer the drug, he can not ; for 
Murdoch is seized with such an uncontrollable agitation 
that he shakes the whole bed. Doctor Brown looks up in 
astonishment. 

" Why, what is the matter, Murdoch ? Have you got 
an ague, too?" 

When he looked into his face, he well-nigh dropped 
the cup. His eyes w^ere blazing, scorched up with feeling, 
and had become blood-shot. He is very pale ; almost as 
much so as the poor lady on whom his fiery gaze is fixed. 
By a superhuman effort he quells the storm within. In 
doing so he has wound his arms so tightly around poor 
Myra, that she struggles and writhes in pain. 

" Why, Murdoch, you are worse than any school-boy. 
Loose your hold, man. Presently the lady will open her 
eyes ; then she will think herself enfolded in ' bruin's 
embrace.' if she sees all that bear-skin about her. Let us 
put her down, now." 

When the good, honest, but rough Xight Watch, was 
released, he did not stop to say a word, but rushed from 
the house. Then he kept on his way, walking very 
rapidly, until he came to a lonely spot — a covered bridge. 
He now threw open his coat, vest, and shirt ; baring his 
breast to the keen north-west wind, he sends forth a shrill 
sort of sound, between a hiss and a whistle : 

" W-h-e-w ! w-h-e-w ! Come, now, poor heart, don't 
burst through this hard, strong rind, this thick bark ! 
W-h-e-w! . . . w-h-ew ! .... 'Peace! be still,' 
poor fluttering devil. I wonder what business such a car- 
cass as this has with such a heart. — W-h-e-w! Well! 
from this time I'm a better man. JSTo more coarse, low 
9 



98 T H E N I(i H T \V A T C H . 

connections. No more vulgar absociates. jSTo, no ! This 
breast, black, coarse, and savage-looking- as it is (and he 
plucked fiercely at the luxuriant growth of black hair), 
has supported an angel, and these arms have encircled 
•that heavenly form. Whew ! my blood boils, and my 
brain seems to ^hift about in my noddle. Oh, I do wish 
I could get my chest cool once more. W-h-e-w ! " 

"What is the matter, Murdoch?" said a rich, mellow, 
friendly voice. " What are 3'ou doing Avith your clothes 
open this frosty morning? " 

The Night Watch averted his eyes as if afraid Colonel 
Murray would read his secret. He endeavors to draw his 
clothes together, over that broad, black chest, but he 
becomes embarrassed, fumbles with his buttons, and 
makes no headway. He now starts off, walking hurriedly 
along, wishing to outstrip his companion. 

"Why, friend Murdoch, what has brought you out here 
before sunrise, with bare breast to court the northern 
breeze in December ? " 

" Faith, I vnaj ask you the same question." 

" Not altogether a parallel case, I think, Murdoch. As 
to myself, I am just at this time cursed with a sort of 
unrest. I can not sleep, I can not read or write, and 
worse than all, I can not stay at home." 

The bear-skin man walks on moodily, without reply- 
ing. Now he darts a keen glance at Murray, and is a 
thousand times more jealous than before. The last half 
hour, though, has made him more human. An hour ago, 
and he was almost fiendish when thinkiug of his rival, as 
he viewed him. 

Oh ! divine love ! thine influence is marvelous on the 
coarse and savage nature of man. How it softens, and 
refines, and exalts, while it also ennobles. We speak of 
that genuine spark which is from heaven, and not of its 
semblance, which Ave think emanates from the other 
place. 



THE NIUIIT WATCH. 99 

" Murdoch, I have been looking- for you. I wish to gain 
some information on a subject with which I think j'ou 
must be acquainted. You saw me standing before the 
window of that house on Market street? " 

" Yes, certainly I did, three or four times. What 
of it?" 

" Well, my friend, that house contains the most lovely 
child I ever beheld. I should like to know something- of 
his parentage. Will you tell me all you know, and have 
heard ? " 

" I have heard very little, and I know less," replied the 
Night Watch, with a dry, curt voice, impatient manner, 
and dogged look. 

jSTothing dismayed, Col. Murray proceeded with his 
queries. " How long have they been there ? " 

" Not more than two or three weeks in that house, I 
think." 

" Have they lived elsewhere in the city ? " 

" I believe they boarded at some hotel when they first 
came." 

" How many are there in the family ? " 

" I think only an old lady, a child, and its mother." 

" What name ? what do they call themselves ? " 

"Wise, I think," answered the man, now with a deci- 
dedly impatient manner. 

" What is their occupation, and where do they come 
from ? " 

" Ah ! now you are too hard for me, sir. I don't know 
that, and I don't think I've any right to know. My voca- 
tion don't take me that far along, I'm thinking. The 
young- w^oman's got a sign upon the door. Haven't you 
seen it? " 

" A sign ? What sort of a sign ? '' 

" Fashionable dress-maker from New York. Good 
morning, colonel, I have engagements." 

Murray was filled with amazement. He walked on 



100 THE NIGHT AV A T C H . 

rapidly, until he reaches the hovel, and passes several 
times before the door : but all is still within. He now, 
for the first time, remarks the " sign." 

" Well, after all, I must be mistaken. It can't be she ; 
but oh ! how like ! What a quandary I'm in ! One 
moment I am convinced, the next I am filled with doubt. 
I presume this is a just punishment for doubting the 
word of my mother." 

As he returns home, he meets old Faggot. 

" I don't believe I have been out for two days or nights 
that I have not encountered that old Jew. I dislike to 
do so, for I always think of shame, crime, and misery 
when I see him, carrying his head hid almost between his 
shoulders, as he does when walking the street. He is a 
strange creature : repulsive, and at the same time, attrac- 
tive, if I may be allowed to use such a paradox." 

Thus soliloquized Murray until he reached home. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 101 



CHAPTEE XII. 

A DOMESTIC SCENE IN HIGH LIFE. 

" Oh ! I have passed a miserable night, 
So full of ffearful dreams, of ugly sights, 
That as I am a Christain, faithful man, 
I would not spend another such a night, 
Though 'twere to buy a world of happy days : 
So full of dismal terror was the time." 

Col. MiriiRAT and his imperious mother are making a 
silent meal. It is dinner; himself, his mother, and little 
daughter are seated at table. Three servants are in 
attendance, one stationed behind each chair. Tou can 
not conceive of the stateliness and solemnity of these 
silent dinners. Everything is magnificent, and arranged 
with the same particularity as if the Queen of England, 
or the President of the United States, was going to dine 
there by special invitation. 

Mrs. Murray is dressed with the most elaborate care. 
1 think I have before mentioned that she was about sixty 
years old, but looking young even for forty. To-day she 
is attired in a rich purple brocade, trimmed with velvet, 
a shade or two darker than the silk ; very costly collar 
and undersleeves. Her complexion is fine for any age ; 
somewhat too sanguine, always, immediately after the 
arduous duties of the toilette have been gotten through 
with. She wears her own natural hair, but not its natu- 
ral hue. It is now as black as midnight, and arranged in 
full beautiful bandeaux. Her eyes are keen, piercing, 
black ones, and like her hair, they glisten. Her teeth 
are even and white, and artistically beautiful ; but they do 



102 THE NIGHT AV A T C H . 

not seem to be steadfast in her head, or they are particu- 
larly sympathetic, for when she speaks, or laughs, or 
eats, these finely polished ivories are seen to work up and 
down, with responsive movement. But when the lady is 
herself moved by anger, or any other violent agitation, 
the teeth seem to be acted upon by the same influence, 
shivering and shaking as if possessed of a sejDarate life. 
She is very spare and lathlike, thin even to attenuation. 
But then she wears rich, flowing robes and handsome 
drapery. That poor frame is generally concealed under 
a mass of costly attire. 

Col. Murray, — but, my dear reader, I will leave him to 
your Imagination. Just call to mind the handsomest 
man you ever saw in all your life, on a grand scale, and 
of the dark order. Then endow him with a gigantic 
intellect, indomitable will, strong and fiery passions, aflPec- 
tionate and glowing temperament, good, honest, upright 
heart; let him be wayward and excentric (like all gen- 
iuses), proud and unsocial, sometimes ungenial ; but all 
these incongruities are tempered by good sense, and deep, 
fervent, religious emotions. Then give him fine, large, deep, 
lucid, black eyes ; black moustache, whiskers, and hair. 

They had remained for some time after the cloth was 
removed, over their wine ; up to this time preserving that 
silence unbroken — even the little Genevieve seemed to be 
afraid to prattle. Suddenly Col. Murray speaks, and his 
voice, as usual, is rich, and deep, and impressive ; but it 
has lost its mellow smoothness. 

" Mother, where is Marianna Glencoe ? " 

Mrs. Murray's face flushed the deepest crimson ; then as 
the blood flowed back she became deathly pale — all but 
those two spots in the center of each cheek. Her son 
beholds this strange emotion with amazement, and now 
repeats the question, watching her closely : 

" Did you tell me, madam, that Marianna Grlencoe was 
dead f Am I mistaken ? " 



THE NIGHT W A T C II . 1 03 

She at length replies, but with evident ettbrt : "Well, 
who says she is not 'dead? I'am sure nobody has a better 
right to know than I, and I did tell you that they were 
all dead ; and they are dead and buried." 

" Do you say now, madam, that Marianna Glencoe is 
dead?" And he looked at her fixedly, as if he Avould 
peer into her soul. 

She could not meet that cold, keen, steel-like glance ; 
it seemed to pierce her. She fell back in her chair. 

Murray approached in alarm, but she signed him away, 
and calling to her maid, retired to her room in great 
disorder. Soon after, the girl came out, saying her mis- 
tress was ill, and wished to see the family phj^sician. He 
sends James for Doctor Brown, and then, forgetting all 
those conventionalities which had been taught him from 
his cradle, and kej^t up between mother and son with 
such punctilious scrupulosity, was about to rush unbid- 
den for the first time into her presence. But Tivvj^ meets 
him at the door. 

" Don't come in here, Mas'r Charles ; for your life don't 
enter this room without leave and license." This was 
spoken in a whisper. 

" Then go back and tell my mother that I am waiting 
to see her, and also most anxious to serve her in any way. 
Tell her this, Tivvy, with ni}^ fervent love ' 

He remained at the door, expecting to be admitted, and 
in answer to his respectful, afi^ectionate message he hears 
her shriek out: "Who? Charles Murray? He come in 
here ? Oh ! God forbid ! No ! no ! no ! Where is he ? 
Then lock that door. I would not have him come in here 
for world!>. But, Tivvy, tell him I am very much obliged, 
I wish to sleep now. When I can, I will send for him. 
Oh, yes! certainly, greatly obliged.'' Then he heard a 
sob, as if she were going into hysterics. 

The girl was detained a short time with her mistress. 
When she came out, she found Col. Murray sitting by the 



104 THE NIGHT W A T r H . 

parlor fire with his little daughter on his knee, looking 
gloomilj" out of the window. 

When that good, familiar creature, the family physi- 
cian, came, he finds Mrs. Murray reall}^ ill. One convul- 
sion after another makes her case an alarming one to even 
the steady practitioner of twenty years. She is in bed, 
but there has been no change made in the appointments 
af her person, other than the rich brocade dress for that 
of an equally rich robe de chambre of satin. 

At first he found her so still and cold that he feared she 
bad died before he came. Yet those hectic spots were 
there, as ever, glowing on the j)oor, lank cheeks. In 
alarm, the doctor rings the bell. The maid starts up from 
behind the bed, where she had been dozing, while her 
mistress was djdng. 

" Go call your master, Tivvy ; 1 believe 3'our mistress 
is dead." 

The girl shakes her head, saj^ing, 

" I can't do it, doctor; can't, indeed." 

" Tivvy, I command you summon Col. Murray to the 
death-bed of his mother." «. 

"Can't do it, doctor. She made me swear that not even 
to save my life, and hern too, would I ever let Mas'r 
Charles come into her bedroom. If she was dead, and he 
was to come in, 'twould make her stir." 

" Sti-ange state of things. I'll go myself. I fear Charles 
Murray would never forgive me if I should let her die off 
and not warn him."' 

"Better not," says Tivvy. "See! didn't I tell you it 
would make her stir, even though she be on the verge and 
confines of the tother world. Look ! " Sure enough, 
there she was trying to speak, and is able at last to 
make him comprehend that on no account must he call in 
her son. 

" Well, it is no business of mine, but I mxist think that 
it is deuced unnatural." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 105 

"You see," said Tivvy, " she's very prond of Mas'r Con- 
rad ; but, alas ! ah me ! alaek-a-daisical ! there has come 
a great change over 'em both in the few, last, several 
years. And now, doctor, I declare I'm 'fraid she aint 
got a drop of tenderness in her soul for him." (" Or for 
anybody else, I'm thinking," threw in the doctor.) " Still 
she's proud of him, and he just treats her at all times like 
she was the sure-'nough,' living, live Queen o' Sheepy. 
ISTothing makes this great man s'erve from his good pur- 
poses, no how." 

"Well, I know, Tivvy; but when people come to die 
they generally get over all these strange quirks and 
qualms, and make a clean breast of it, as the Scotch say. 
I think they ought." 

" Yes, I think so too ; but, doctor, it'll not be so with 
them, I tell jow it won't, that's all. That secret, whatever 
it is, and the grudge too, whatever it is, will go down to 
the grave with 'em." 

The doctor now approached the bed ; the poor invalid 
has roused up, and by signs and a few incoherent words, 
makes him comprehend that she wishes him to sit down 
by her. She whispered again, telling the maid to leave. 

" l!iow lock the door. Is all secure ? " 

"Yes," replied Doctor Brown. *• 

"Then help me to rise." 

Imagine the doctor's look. " Why, madam, you are out 
of your head! I did not suppose you could raise your 
hand ; you are ill, Mrs. Murray ; I will not be responsible 
for the consequences if you attempt to get up." 

" I will take the responsibility on my own shoulders ; 
but I shall rise. I have that to say, which being said in 
bed will cause my speedy death." 

" Madam, then I insist on your recumbent posture." 

" But ere he had time to prevent it, without any aid, she 
sat bolt upright in bed, saying, " I should like to know 



106 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

who is to dictate to me." Tlien she commenced speaking 
in a strong, rather shrill voice : 

" O Doctor, I know that that cold, haughty boy will be 
the death of me at last. I can not live through another 
such a scene." 

" What is it, my dear madam ? " placing his finger on 
her pulse. "I am very much grieved; yet it can't be 
helped. You would have to undo more than half, maybe 
yotir whole life, before you could get things straightened 
up. You have been prime minister at home, and princi- 
pal actor in this sad drama so long, now you must fold 
your arms and act audience Avhile the plot of the play is 
played out. Tou play no more, and there is no help for 
you on earth. You had better try whether you can get 
any from up there," pointing heavenward. 

"Are -fon done, sir? Now let me talk, if your sermon 
is ended." 

" Go on, madam." 

"Oh, you don't know how that wretched boy fright- 
ened me." 

The good doctor seeing that she was about to go off, 
shook her somewhat rudely, which brought her to ; then 
he seated himself by her side, and thus she continued to 
sob and talk : 

" O that I Avere dead ! O that I could be at rest ! " 

"It would be as well," quoth the doctor. " Eest is a 
very desirable thing. Most of us need it, and all like it. 
I wish you were at peace (and rest too," muttered he 
j)arenthetically, " then you could cause no more unrest to 
the good and innocent). But to the point: What new 
trouble has turned up to-day, madam? " 

" Oh, my God ! give me sti'ength to tell it. He asked 
me ; oh, he asked me if Marianna Glencoe was dead." 

"Well," responded the doctor. 

" Yes, he asked me in that low, ominous voice, and with 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 107 

that thunder-cloud look, whether I still asserted that 
Marlanna Glencoe was dead." 

" Well ! " again responded he. 

" Well ! indeed. 'Tis not well ! There is nothing well ! 
and I don't believe there ever will be anything well 
again. I'm sure I never shall be " 

"Amen ! " ejaculated Doctor Brown! 

" I hate everybody ! " 

" Humph ! I don't doubt it," rejoined he. 

" You, and all the world are leagued with him ; with 
Charles Conrad Murray. Even that fool Tivvy has begun 
to leer at him." 

A faint smile lurking in the corners of the doctor's 
mouth seems to enrage her. 

" Yes, you, and she, and all of them, have formed a 
combination against me. The devils, and all the fiends in 
hell are consjDiring, and my own son at the head of them," 
almost shrieked the patient. 

" I shouldn't wonder," added he, jocosely. 

But now he found he had this time indulged his vein 
of ironical humor beyond the point of discretion. It was 
natural to him, and he sometimes used it with a view to 
laugh her out of her whimseys — generally succeeding. 
She must now be soothed ; but ere he could calm her per- 
turbation, she relapses into hysteria. She is ill, and must 
die, if the most efficient means are not used. So he calls 
Tivvy, who was waiting at the door. 

"Now, good girl, tell James to jDrepare a hot bath 
instantly, and have it here in the shortest possible time. 

When she returned, he said, " Eemove all this flummery; 
put away all these falsehoods ; " indicating Mrs. Murray's 
face. 

Tivvy looked alarmed, and said, " Doctor I darsn't do 
that, 'cept she be about going off." 

"I tell you, girl, there is no time to lose. She'll be 
dead before we get the bath, I fear." 



108 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

Just then James and the cook came in bringing a huge 
tub with steaming water. Soon after the poor creature 
(at least as much as was left of her when Tivvy was 
done " taking off and putting away ") was put into the 
bath, her struggles ceased. Well they might — she had 
fainted. 

" Call in Murray. She's gone, I do believe ! " But that 
order seemed to rouse her. She opened her eyes and 
feebly shook her head. 

" Ha ! didn't I tell you so? I believe it will resurrect 
her when she is dead sure enough," said the lady's maid. 

" It is wonderful ! " exclaimed Doctor Brown. " I never 
saw anything like it in my life before." 

"No, I re'ckon not. Nor no body else never did, 
neither," says Tivvy. 

When the poor old woman found herself dismantled 
and robbed of all foreign aids and disguises, she com- 
menced sobbing and wringing her hands, and screaming 
at the top of her voice. But Doctor Brown and the faith- 
ful, though frivolous maid, by their joint efforts succeeded 
in quieting this violent spasmodic grief, frenzy, or what- 
ever it was. He then placed her back in bed, and drugged 
her heavily ; so she soon sunk into a deep sleep. After 
feeling her pulse, and watching her for a few moments, he 
took his hat and left the room. Tivvy followed him out. 

" Doctor will she get over it? " The girl in speaking of 
her mistress invariably used the pronoun for the noun. 
Hence the habit of the domestics about the establishment 
was to say she and 7ier, and it was understood at once. 

" Doctor, will she get well ? " repeated Tivvy. 

" I don't know, Tivvy. That is with them up yonder," 
pointing to heaven. "But, come, my good girl, and tell 
all about it." 

" No sir, I can't ;• 'cause I don't know. I wish I did." 

"Well, are you on your mistress's or your master's side, 
girl?" 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 109 

" Lors amarcy ! bless your soul, sir, I aint on nobody's 
side, 'cause I aint acquainted with them dark, deep, dread 
secrets what's always eroding on Tier poor conscience, and 
working and swurging up in Mas'r Charlie's mind." 

" Don't Col. Murray's man know anything about the 
cause of these singular outbreaks of the old lady, and the 
settled gloom on j)oor Charles' spirits?" 

" Can't say, sir ; don't think anybody knows much but 
they ownselves. But I do know one thing : jest as soon 
as she wakes out of that sleep, she won't hardly wait to 
.fix on her things, before she'll send me right off after old 
Faggot." 

" What, that old Jew Devil ? Old fire and Faggot ? 
You don't tell me so ? Why, he would prove a second 
' Merchant of Venice ' toward anybody who had the mis- 
fortune to owe him a dollar. I would not wish the great- 
est enemy I have any greater hell than to fall into the 
clutches of this old Faggot. This is really the worst fea- 
ture in the case. Send for that old hell-hound ! What 
does she want with him? " 

" I don't know, sir ; but jest as soon as she wakes up, 
if it's even midnight, I'll be 'spatched after him, that's 
all." 

" She will not wake to-night, Tivvy ; you can go to 
sleep." 

" Won't she, though ? Well, I'm sorry for her, anyhow, 
but what a life I lead. Jest think of it ! I'm bound to 
be faithful to her, but she's so hard to serve. Col. Mur- 
ray is not, and I might succeed in 'scuring his favor ef I'd 
blab ; but I won't 'peach, it's so mean." 

" I thought you didn't know nothing in the world, no 
how, Tivvy?" 

The girl looked down, and the red blood mounted to 
her temples, and showed itself through her tawny skin. 

" Well ! no more'n I don't. Anyhow, nobody knows 



110 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

that I know what I does know," said the negro, gkjomily 
and significantly. 

" Tivvy, does Conrad never get you into a tight place 
by asking you questions about it? " 

" Question me ! Col. Murray question and 'terrogate a 
nigger ! JSTow, I know, doctor, you is joking. Why, you 
jest as soon think that one of them golden angels from 
the 'New Jerusalem would come down and hold a converse 
with a ' black-me-moor,' as Mas'r Charles. I reckon he'd 
knock me down ef I was to tell him. that she sent me after 
old Faggot." 

"ISTever mind, then, say no more. I thought you spoke 
of telling him something, and I presumed on that." 

" So I did, and sometimes I think I ought ; then I think 
I oughtn't. I reckon, though, ef he ever once got a 
inkling of what I knows, he'd listen." 

" Well, will you tell him ? " 

" I don't know, I can't tell 'zactly whether it's destina- 
ted for me to do it or not ; but I reckon it taint. If it is 
my destination to tell him, I'll be forced to do it. If not, 
I can't. Now, that's the sum total of the matter." 

When Doctor Brown passed along the hall, on his way 
out, he heard the slow, measured step of Murray in the 
parlor, as he paced the room. He looked in. Atfirst^he 
did not raise his ej^es, and knew not that the doctor was 
there until the latter spoke. 

" Ah ! my dear sir, I'm very happy to see you ; take a 
seat. How is my mother? " 

"Doing very well now, sir; but she's been bad, — bad 
indeed; pretty nigh gone, when I arrived." 

" Good Grod ! why was I not called ? " 

" Couldn't," answered the doctor, frowning. 

" But why ? " 

" Can't tell, don't know. If you don't know yourself, 
I've no riffht to know. Good niffht, sir," said the ffood, 



THE. NIGHT WATCH. Ill 

upright, well-meaning, but bustling little Doctor Brown, 
who left the magnificent Murray to his own somber reflec- 
tions, and plods on his way cheerily, doing his duty. 

Murray continued to pace the room. 

" Oh ! God ! to think that after this lapse of years, in 
which I have so honored and loved my mother, I should 
now be forced to doubt her truth — that my faith should 
be shaken in my own mother, who was my standard. Oh ! 
my soul is very dark." 

He sits down, meekly leaning on his hand and weeps. 
Yes, that proud, cold, and sometimes stern man, who in 
the world bears himself so grandly, sits there and weeps 
over what he thinks is his mother's first dereliction from 
her exalted morality. There is so much that is incomj)re- 
hensible, such dark, deep mystery ; her violent agitation ; 
her startled and bewildered look, when he asked her that 
question. 

He starts uj) wildly, strikes his clenched hand against 
his forehead, and rushes from the house. When in the 
street, he finds all very quiet and peaceful. The gentle 
moon hangs in the heavens, shining on calmly and sweetly. 
The few little stars that have not been forced to hide 
their diminished heads in her superior light, seem to twin- 
kle with gladness. The rude northern blast is hushed, or 
only heard in distant moanings. All nature is sleeping 
and being renovated for the duties of the coming day. 
Only man, vile man is restless and perturbed. 

Murray walks on regardless of all ; alike heedless of 
time or place, until he arrives at that portion of the city 
where the houses are old and moldering to decay. In 
one little window of an old hovel a faint light glimmers. 

" Ha ! " with a sudden recollection. " Ha ! It was here 
on this spot, through that little window, that I gazed on 
that vision of beauty. Her semblance — Oh, how perfect! 
Who can she be ? Would that I knew I If Marianna be 
dead (and it must be so), then who is this ? " 



112 THE NIOHT WATCH. 

He was roused from his revery by a groan, or rather a 
deep -di' awn sigh near him. By the light of that sweet 
moon he descries a huge figure, clad in coarse furs, leaning 
against the lam]D-post. Ere he had time to accost him, he 
had glided away. 

Mui^ray now takes his place, and peers keenly into the 
windoAv ; but nothing is revealed. All within is still and 
dark. 

He returns home. On entering the house a feverish 
desire to see his mother seizes upon him. He calls to 
mind, that since his childhood he has never been permit- 
ted to enter that chamber unannounced, and then some- 
times after long delay. Yet he seems unable to resist the 
affectionate impulse of his kind natiire. He steals softly 
to the door — hesitates. Is this wrong ? Is it a violation 
of a,nj law save that of foolish etiquette, for a son to 
approach his sick mother uncalled? Oh, no! IsTature, 
duty, religion — all would sanction this act. 

He enters. A small flame of gas issues from the burner, 
intended for a night-lamp. Everything is arranged with 
great precision — for Tivvy is well trained. She has 
fallen asleep in that gorgeous rocking-chair. Her head 
droops on one side : one hand hangs over the arm, her 
foot is on the velvet stool — just the attitude in which her 
mistress always dozed. Tivvy was an ardent admirer of 
Mrs. Murray's grand ways, and aped them. 

He bestows one look of kindly indulgence on the sleep- 
ing maid : then turns to the bed. What means that start ? 
that bewildered look? 

" 'Angels and ministers of grace defend us ! ' What do 
I behold? Where is my mother? Tivvy — good girl, 
come here. Get up, Tivvy." 

He shakes her violently, but she slumbers on. 

Murray jerks her up, and at the same time catching up 
a glass of water, dashes it fiercely into her face. She opens 
her eyes, and stares distractedly at him. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 113 

" Lord a marcy ! Mas'r Charles Conrad Murray — you 
in here, and she undressed. Oh, pray, sir, go out. Oh, 
she'll sell me to the 'soul drivers,' away from James Eoss, 
my 'spoused husband,' if she finds it out." She drops on 
her knees, sobbing out — "Oh, Mas'r Charles, would you 
bring all this sorrow and disgrace on a j)00r 'fianced nig- 
ger maiden. I tell you, Mas'r Conrad, we's got feelings 
and 'feetions, same as you, if our skins is black." 

" Hush, Tivvy ! my mother will never know I have 
come in to see her a moment at midnight, because she 
spurned me from the door yesterday. I came in to crave 
her blessing. I can not exist while estranged from her." 

" How did you git in? I thought I fastened the door." 

" iSTo, I came by that door, and not through the key- 
hole, as your alarmed looks would indicate. Calm your- 
self; no harm shall come to you. ISTow, Tivvy, come 
here, and tell me who this care-worn, emaciated, misera- 
ble-looking aged person is ? and where is my handsome 
mother? " He drags the maid to the bedside, and points 
to old Mrs. Murraj', now unmasked. 

" Why, Mas'r Charlie, is you losing your nine senses 
that aAvay? Why that's her; your own grand, aristocrati- 
cus mother, and my poor old Mistress. Indeed, that's 
her." 

" Oh no, girl ! it can't be ; I can not recognize my fine- 
looking mother in that wasted form there." 

" It's her though, Mas'r Charlie, notwithstanding, never- 
theless, for all that." 

" Poor mother," says he, dropping on his knees, " have 
I done this? My asking that one question, has it caused 
this fearful spoliation ? Is remorse, then, so voracious 
as to swallow up all thy good looks in one night? " He 
kisses his mother's withered hand, and weeps again. 

"Oh Luddy! Oh Luddy! Mas'r Charles, what makes 
you take on so? you didn't do nothing to her; she's only 
10 



114 THE NIGHT AV A T C H . 

got all her things off. She looks just that away every 
night. Come, hush up, now. Look, here she is ! " 

She raised the lid of a dressing-case, and disclosed to 
the wonder-stricken man those marvelous works of art, 
by whose power the old and ugly are rejuvenated and 
made pretty. 

" Oh, Tivvy, I am amazed. What are these?" toying 
with the different cosmetics, and pointing to the pearly 
teeth. 

"He! he! he!" giggled the negro. " Why them's her 
fixins, what reforms her into a middle aged handsome 
lady. . . . The Lord of Hosties! I've done let it out! 
I did'nt never mean to tell! Oh ! oh ! That's one of her 
secrets what she's always been a keeping from her own 
son. Oh, Mas'r Charles, she'll burn, or hang me alive, if 
she hears." 

He could not refrain from bursting out into a spasmodic 
laugh,the girl's terror was so ludicrous. 

ISfow the patient moved ; roused perhaj^s by that un- 
natural cachinnation. She mutters " Tivvy, Tivvy, come 
here — don't you know I can't speak? Yes. Well, tell 
him to come, but under cover of night, mind you. The 
usurious Jew dog ! I must see him once more, anyhow. 
Accursed dog, of an accursed race!" She opens her eyes; 
they fall on her son. 

" Well, Faggot — you are here, are you? Did any one 
see you enter? How, old infidel ! methinks you are look- 
ing wondrous well, to-night? " 

Tivvy jumps at Col. Murray and forces him out, shiits 
the door, and locks it. When she returns to the bed-side, 
her mistress has fallen asleep. The maid seats herself in 
the same luxurious arm chair, draws a long breath, and 
ejaculates to herself — 

" Well : I know I'm a poor, ruinated, done up nigger ! 
if Mas'r Charlie Conrad Murray w^as like everybod}'^ else." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 115 



CHAPTEE XIII. 

A YOUNG RAVEN FED. 

" Speak gently, kindly, to the poor ; 
Let no harsh term be heard ; 
They have enough they must endure. 
Without an unkind word." 

Doctor Brown was roused the Biorning after the pre- 
ceding events by a messenger, but before he had dressed, 
or even made his ablutions, our friend Murdoch, alias 
" the bear-skin man," alias the ISTight Watch, made his 
appearance in the doctor's sleeping room. 

" Ha ! Murdoch, you are early, and you come unan- 
nounced ; but you are welcome, Murdoch, for I know a 
good and true heart beats under that savage, wild beast 
hide of j^ours." 

" Thank you, doctor ; but I didn't come to bandy com- 
pliments. I come on business." 

" Well, my friend, you are equally welcome. What 
is it?" 

The man hesitates, and his face grows fiery red, and his 
eyes glow like the live coals in the grate. 

A quick perception of what was going on in the hiding 
places of that rough man's heart, takes hold of the little 
doctor, and he chokes down a disposition to laugh out 
right. 

Murdoch, in the twinkling of an eye, sprang xip, 
and seized him by the arm, exclaiming angrily, " What 
are you laughing at, sir ? G-od knows, it is no laughing 
matter." 



116 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

" You are a fool, Murdoch. I am not laughing at you ; 
my throat, these frosty mornings, gets full of phlegm." 

The Night Watch reseats himself, looking very much 
abashed, still eyeing the doctor with distrust. 

" Come, come, man ! tell me. I'm called this morning, 
else I'd not be out of bed so early. How can I be of ser- 
vice to you?" 

"Why I called this morning — I called — I — I just 
called," and then he fairly broke down. 

" Yes, I know ^''ou did," says the doctor, coming to the 
fire. But finding his companion to be overcome by some 
strange embarrassment, he abruptly led to the subject, 
which he sees is making such a boy of the man. 

" See here, Murdoch, I have been so occupied, that I 
have not had time to call again to see our beautiful patient 
down Market street. Can you tell me how she is ? " 

" Well, it is that which has brought me here this morn- 
ing, so early. I havn't seen her since, either; but good 
little Minny Dun says she's powerful bad off. Minny is 
in and out every hour, and helps them a great deal. 
That's a great little creature, that Minny Dun. Il^ow, 
Dr. Brown, you've been acquainted with Murdoch, the 
Night Watch, a long time." 

"Yes." 

" Did you ever know him to do a dishonest or mean 
act ? " 

"No." 

" Did you ever know liim to tell a lie ? " 

"No." 

" Good ! Did you ever know him to do a foolish 
thing ? " 

" Yes." 

" What? " says the other, starting up. 

" Oh, sit down, Murdoch, and tell your tale out, for God's 
sake ! I have only five minutes more to wait," looking 
at his watch. 



THE NIG H T W A T C li . 117 

" You know, also, doctor, that I am a poor man ; but 
you didn't know, I reckon, that poverty can keep a little 
fund for charity, did you, doctor?" 

"No — yes — I don't know whether I did or not; 
go on." 

The man stretches himself out, and taking from his 
breeches pocket a soiled silk purse, indifferently well filled 
with small silver and gold coin, chucks it into the open 

palm of the doctor, '' There ! " wipes his eyes with his 

coat-sleet^e, rises, and is about to depart without further 
explanation. 

" Stop, my friend, I have no bill against you. What 
does this mean ? " 

He returns, looks fixedly at the doctor, while the blood 
again rushes to his face, his temples, and even to his eyes ; 
then drawing quite near to him, whispers, " Supply that 
poor lady with all she needs for herself and family. Give 
her every attention, furnish all medicines, and save her ! 
Oh, save her doctor ! and I'll bind myself to you for life. 
Excuse me, sir ;" dropping his eyes under the astonished 
gaze of his companion. Then again, lowering his voice 
to a gentle monotone, " I mean I'll become general pay- 
master." Without waiting for a reply, he hurries from 
the house. 

The doctor looks after him, exclaiming, " There goes 
the noblest work of God ! His best mechanism was used 
to form the heart of that brawny, rough fellow. Would 
I were rich ! he, nature's nobleman, should not pace these 
streets all night, in such strict fidelity to his office, cry- 
ing, ' All's well,' when, as poor old Mrs. Murray says, 'all 
never is well.' Satan himself is oftentimes let loose in 
these streets, and then of course ' is to pay.' Still that hon- 
est JSTight Watch on his way, having hushed the uproar, 
and smothered the devil, cries, 'All's well.' Good, upright 
soul ! that's the only lie I ever knew him tell. Just so 
soon as I have made this visit, I will call to see his ' lady- 



118 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

lovef for by heavens! tliat savage 'bear-skin' is head 
over heels in love with the divine creature. How tame 
he has become under its influence ! As docile as a lamb, 
a dove, or a new born babe." 

When Dr. Brown had made his visit to the patient 
above mentioned, he turned his steps toward that lowly 
cot. On arriving, the door is opened by the same beaiiti- 
ful boy with the golden curls. 

" Come in, sir ; Oh ! I am so glad to see you," says the 
dear little fellow, as he waves him in. 

" How is your mother, my darling ? " 

" I think, sir, she is better. Come and see." 

He leads the doctor to his mother, who looks at the 
lady with an expression of surprise as well as admiration. 

" How are you to-day, Mrs. Wise ? " 

" Thank jovl, sir, better now." And she drops those 
curtains, those long, silken fringes over her heavenly blue 
eyes, thereby concealing them from the ardent gaze of 
the mercurial little man. Those singularly fascinating- 
eyes seemed to exercise a sort of mesmeric influence over 
every beholder. I scarcely think the lady was aware of 
this power. We know that she did not intend to use it. 

While the doctor busies himself in finding and counting 
that feeble pulse, he devours her face and person with his 
glances. Oh ! how exquisitely beautiful he thinks her ; 
even that word becomes tame and insufficient when ap- 
plied to that incomparable woman. Her rich, dark hair 
has escaped from under the little snowy cap ; her arms and 
neck are enveloped in a loose drapery of fine white linen ; 
all the other surroundings, as she lay there so calm and 
peaceful, are also replete with purity ; while chaste refine- 
ment is blended with severe simplicity. Even the atmos- 
phere seems rarified and purer than elsewhere. In a small 
vase by the bedside is a sweet rose, and a few geranium 
leaves. 

" Ha ! roses and green leaves ? " taking them up. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 119 

"Yes, sir," replied Mrs. Wise, opening her eyes only 
again to meet the fervent, admiring look of her com- 
panion. 

" Where did you get them ? " 

" Dear Minny brought them. I think, from heaven. 
Indeed, sir, she must have dropped down from that place. 
None but a ministering angel could be as good, and do 
exactly as she does. Did you ever see Minny, Doctor ? " 

"No — 3^es — I think I did meet her here a few days 
ago, mam." 

" You would not think her pretty at first, but when you 
come to know her as well as I do, you would be sure to 
love her, and think her the prettiest creature in all the 
world." 

" One exception, I'd make one exception," said he, 
snatching up her hand, intending to carry it to his lips ; 
but finding the delicate creature recoil from this rudeness, 
he placed his finger on her pulse again. 

A neatly-sj)read breakfast table occupied one corner of 
the room ; a nice, cheerful little fire blazed in the grate. 
The child's clothes looked clean and comfortable, thanks 
to little Minny Dun, and he and his mother are certainly 
very beautiful. 

Presently the old lady came in from the shed, her 
sleeves rolled up over her elbows, a clean white apron on. 
She proclaims her occupation in the kitchen by her cold, 
red hands, and the napkin thrown across her shoulders. 

Doctor Brown sees nothing to indicate want ; is there- 
fore afraid to intimate to the inmates of the place the 
beneficent purpose of that poor JSTight Watch, or to make 
any overtures of the sort on his own behalf. Still his 
heart is swelling with the most generous promjDtings. 
He resolves to call again the same night, and if possible 
find some mode by which he can put his benevolent im- 
pulses into practice. 



120 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

Ah ! little did lie know what pinching poverty, what 
fearful want was concealed under that pleasing exterior. 
The old lady had just cooked the last morsel of food, that 
poor invalid had used the last grain of tea, and the last 
cup is quaffed in its crude state. The night before they 
had used the last candle, this morning burned the last 
piece of coal, and the last splinter of wood has been used 
to prejDare that meager breakfast. Moreover, the last 
dime had been sent to the post-office, hoping the letter 
advertised might be the one so long looked for : but 
instead of w^hich comes an insulting declaration from some 
roue of the city, who had heard of her marvelous benirty, 
and, as he asserted had seen her at the window. 

Still the grandmother complains not; not a feeling of 
distrust finds an abiding place in that good old trusting 
bosom. The child is instructed to keep all a secret from 
his mother. But what are they to do ? The invalid must 
be kept warm. She must have nourishing diet, and above 
all, she must not be disturbed. After the old lady has 
waited on her children, and restored all things to their 
former tidy state, she sits down to deliberate. " I can 
not, I will not tax dear Minn}", further. She has not only 
given us her sympath}", and her time, but her substance 
also. I must hide our present necessities from her, else 
will she take the bread from her own mouth to feed us." 

"Grrandma," says the child, "mamma has fallen asleep 
now, let me steal away and try to find something to do to 
make a few cents for you and her. Can't I work some, 
grandma?" 

" Sweet darling, what sort of work could you do, with 
your baby hands? Sit down, child, God will help us 
again in his own good time. Remember, dear one, ' He 
feeds the young ravens, and clothes the lilies of the field, 
•which toil not, neither do they spin.' " 

So j)oor Clarence sat down and twirled his little cap, 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 121 

and sung a little song. Yet that dear child scarce ate a 
morsel that morning, so fearful was he that he might be 
taking from his mother or grandmother. 

Presently, Myra said, in a weary, faint voice, " Dear 
grandma, can't you give me a cracker, I think I could 
eat now." 

The child knew there was not such a thing in the house. 
He goes up to his mother, kisses her affectionately, then 
Blij)S out of the room. He runs on without seeming to 
have any definite object in view. The cold is pinching, 
and the tears are forced from that little Spartan soul. He 
still moves on ; he will not beg, and he does not know 
where to ask for employment. 

Presently, he comes to a large house against which a 
boy is pasting up bills. He stops and reads : " "Wanted, a 
child about six years old, to take a simple part in the 
following plays, etc." While he stands there w^eeping, 
and reading by turns, the manager comes up. 
~ " What's the matter, my little fellow ? " 

" I am reading this advertisement." 

"Yes." 

" I think I could do what is required here." 

" Well ? " 

" And Avould like to engage, but my mother is starving 
and freezing to death at this moment, so that " 

" Oh yes : so are many others, my son. Still the pub- 
lic's maw must be catered to. Their appetites must be 
coaxed, if ten thousand mothers freeze and starve to 
death." 

The child turned away. He had scarcely passed the 
angle of the wall before he is accosted by another person. 

" How old are you, ray little man?" said this stranger, 
taking his hand. 

" Six years old, sir." 

" Can you read, my dear, and sing ? " 

" Oh yes, sir." 
11 



122 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

" Then come with me." He leads him into the box- 
office ; for that large, rambling old house is tho theater, 
and that man is the first manager. When seated, he takes 
the child between his knees, and reads him the adver- ' 
tisement. 

" Yes sir, I have just been reading it, and was thinking 
of asking for the place ; but I can't wait for the pay ; " and 
he burst into tears. 

" Why, to-morrow morning is not so long, my son ; 
then you shall have it." 

The poor orphan looked at him, and then remembering 
the rebuff he had received from the man on the street, 
he hid his face between his hands and continued to weep. 

" My little friend you shall have your pay, all in good 
time." 

Clarence peeped over his hands at the speaker, and 
seeing nothing in his face but benevolence, sobbed out, 

" O sir ! by to-morrow my dear mother may be dead. 
She is starving and freezing to death, I fear, at this 
moment. If I do not find some way to make a few cents 
to carry home to her she will be gone. She has been very 
ill, and now needs a few little nice things, which we have 
not, and can't get. Dear sir, if you woula only give me a 
little piece of money in advance, I promise you, upon the 
honor of a gentleman's son, that I will come back and 
work for you — bring coal, or wood, or do anything that 
is respectable." 

" What then is your father's name, my child?" 

Poor little Clarence hung down his head, looking 
troubled. "I don't want to say, sir. My mother don't 
wish me to speak." 

The man dashed a tear from his own eyes, takes a 
sovereign from his j)ocket, gives it to the child, embraces 
him, and says, " I will trust to tliat gentleman's son, who- 
ever he may be." 

" I'll come back. Oh sir, I'll come back ; if life is spared 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 123 

me, I'll come back." He throws up his little cap, and 
shouts loudly, dancing about the floor, " huzza ! huzza ! " 
then darts into the street. 

The man had watched him with an artist's eye, and 
marked him for his own. 

" Why sir, that child will prove a treasure to us. He 
will bring us crowded houses for six mouths. Did you 
observe him, sir? He is the most beautiful and graceful 
creature I ever beheld. Besides, I think he has genius, 
and a decided vocation for the stage." 

" Maybe so ; we'll see," said the second manager. 

Meantime Clarence had run all the way home ; on 
reaching there he was almost exhausted. He found the 
old lady sitting where he left her ; he falls into her arms 
and laughs wildly, at the same time showing her the 
money. 

" Ah ! dear child, didn't I say so ? " 

" Yes, indeed you did, grandma, and I begin to think 
that I am a sure-enough '■young raven.'' You know I've 
been fed so often. Will I begin to croak presently, mam ? " 

" Grod bless our beautiful treasure ! " 

In a moment after, he had fallen asleep on the floor. 
The old lady puts on her bonnet and shawl to go out for 
the purpose of laying in a stock of provisions. When she 
returns both mother and child are sleeping soundly and 
sweetly. She takes the boy up very tenderly, and places 
him on the bed. 



124 THE NIGHT WATCH. 



CHAPTEK XIV. 

THE SIREN. 

" Oh! howtlie passions, insolent and strong, 
Bear our weak minds their coiirse along ; 
Make us the madness of their will obey. 
Then die and leave us to our griefs a prey." 

We now return, after ti laj^se of some weeks, to the 
beautiful but haughty Miss Lindsay. During this inter- 
val she has had many alternations of feeling. Sometimes 
throwing off the incubus which hung over her, she gets 
the better of the mortification, grief, and chagrin induced 
by the seeming disdain of her lover ; then she plunges 
into dissipation, and flirts with all sorts of men ; listens 
to the impassioned love-making of the polished young 
dandy, Mr. Josiah Gaines ; coquets with some dozen oth- 
ers, and in a fit of madness makes overtures to the Gov- 
ernor. But just as surely does she return home to weep 
and toss the whole night on that bed of thorns, made so 
by self-reproach and wounded pride. 

She rarely now meets Col. Murray at any of those fash- 
ionable resorts. Sometimes he would glide by when she 
w^as engrossed with her frivolous pleasures ; perhaps 
surrounded by her satellites, some ten or a dozen tilings, 
who, like moths, seek to buzz around the brightest light, 
thinking it honor enough to get their wings singed, and 
those little dried up things, which beat so faintly in the 
place where a heart ought to throb, scorched by that 
blaze of beauty, the reigning belle. Miss Gertrude Lind- 
say is worth half a million of dollars in her own right; 
is pretty, nay, I should rather say handsome ; is stylish 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 125 

and accomplislied, and has received the most finished edu- 
cation in the Fi'ench school of etiquette, witli all the various 
and multifarious conventionalities appertaining thereto. 
She dresses magnificently. Her temper is imperious and 
exacting, nay, as despotic as an autocrat, where she 
can exercise power. She has great strength of will, and 
some strength of mind, when not overruled, or obscured 
by her passions, which are very violent. Her heart — 
well, her heart, we will leave that to the great " Searche:^ 
of hearts." 

"When she would thus meet Murray in the giddy throngs 
he never seemed to notice or care what her pursuits were, 
or with whom she might be ; but would smile faintly, 
bow slightly, and pass on, never stopping to speak. 

Once she was so reckless, or forgetful of all true wo- 
manly dignity as to follow him, and slip a note into his 
hand. This note had been carefully prepared at home, 
artfully to bear the marks of haste and agitation, as an 
impromptu. 

" Dear Conrad — In God's name, what is the meaning 
of this treatment ? "What have I done? I challenge you 
to bring the charge. The merest culprit may meet his 
accusers and hope for justice, but I am doomed to endure 
a foretaste of the damned, without knowing wherefore. 
In an hour more I shall feign sickness (God knows it 
will be no feint : a real sickness of the heart I have at 
times). I shall presently brush off these musquitoes, and 
return home. Meet me there in my boudoir. You must 
come, Charles. 1 find I can not live in this state of in- 
certitude. Shall I expect you? or will you disaj^point 
me again ? 

" P. S. Ann will meet you at the door. 

Gertrude." 

Murray had withdrawn from the crowd, to read the 



126 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

note, not with the whirlwind impatience of a lover, but 
with that chivalrous respect which every high-tWned gen- 
tleman feels for the sex ; together with a sense of duty, 
calling for a sacrifice of personal comfort for the time being, 
to the demands of any lady who might chance to need 
his attention. He smiled a little bit scornfully. "Poor 
Gertrude," thought he, " so proud, so arrogant to all oth- 
ers ! Where is now your vaunted independence? " 

He folded his arms, and was falling into abstraction, 
when he was roused by a commotion in the adjoining 
room. Presently a party of ladies and gentlemen came 
through the hall where he was standing.' He caught a 
few words : " Hold up her head. Don't let her arms drag 
so. Mr. Gaines, don't hold her so tightly." Gertrude 
had fainted really, and Murray saw his affianced bride in 
the arms of the most consummate fop, and the veriest 
roue in the city — Messrs. Gaines and Calderwood. Her 
head was resting on the shoulder of the former, and as 
he turned his to speak to his co-worker in this labor of 
love, his lips came in contact with the alabaster forehead 
of the lady. 

But Murray looked on without emotion ; not a troubled 
wave of jealousy swept over his breast at the sight. He 
smiled, and maybe his luxuriant moustache did move with 
a little ripple of scorn. 

They passed on. Then he leisurely walked to the 
cloak-room, takes his, wraps it about him, and without 
the least impatience wends his way to meet his lady-love. 
Oh ! what mockery ! 

On arriving, Ann meets him at the street door. He is 
not siiffered to ring the bell. 

"Don't make a noise, please," says Ann. 

" Why, is your mistress so ill ? " 

" I don't. know, sir ; she told me to say dat ; now I done 
say it, I can't not follow up, and comperhend Miss Gut- 
trude." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 127 

" Where is your master? " 

The girl nodded toward his room, 

Murray frowned dai-kly ; all was explained. This was 
to be a clandestine meeting, and he was not pleased. 

The girl opened her mistress's door very soft!}', and 
then vanished. 

ISTow to any other man than the j)re-occupied, unloving 
one before us, the scene which breaks on his vision would 
have been one of ravishing delight and bewilderment. 
The appointments of the lady's boudoir are in keeping 
with herself. Magnificent sofas, divans, chairs, etc., all of 
blue silk ]Dlush ; curtains of cerulean hue, richly wrought 
in delicate colors, portraying classic scenes. A delicious 
perfume is breathed throughout the apartment. The gas 
is reduced, and made to send forth a mellowed light. 
Under that gorgeous burner stands a mosaic table, on 
which lay a few new works, all beautifully bound, with 
many other costly nothings. Here and there, and every- 
where, are scattered letters in pink, blue, white, and even 
yellow embossed envelops, bearing on their backs the 
address of the elegant proprietor of this bower of en- 
chantment. 

The lady is reclining on the sofa, in the most ajDproved 
attitude, it having been wheeled to the fire. She has 
exchanged her magnificent vestments of gauze, satin, 
lace, gold, and diamonds, for a more comfortable, but not 
less costly robe-de-chambre of delicate j)ink silk velvet. 
In removing the tiara of diamonds (worthy to press the 
brow of a princess) her hair has become unfettered, and 
now falls in rich masses over her neck and shoulders. 
She is pale, but still looking very regal ; and to-night 
pretty. There is a softened expression, a languor, which 
is peculiarly becoming to some women. Her eyes are 
closed. 

Murray stands looking at her, and for the first time 
there is a feeling stirring within his bosom akin to pas- 



128 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

sion for that splendid creature, who is so certainly his 
own whenever he chooses to approj^riate her. " While 
the lover is gazing at the lovely picture, surprised at his 
own emotions, he notes two big tears force their way 
from under the closed lids, and roll down her cheeks." 

"Ann, has Conrad come yet? Oh ! How tardy he is? I 
would have flown to him, did he joermit me." 

" I am here, Gertrude," said Murray, aj)proaching 
her. She starts up with an exclamation of irrepressi- 
ble joy. 

" Oh ! I have waited so long, and have wished so much 
for this hour!" Leaning on her elbow, she weeps in 
silence. The large oriental sleeve has fallen back and 
reveals the bare arm to the shoulder. That axm is beau- 
tiful — it might have furnished the model for the Greek 
slave. 

He sits down by her, takes her hand, and presses it 
gently, then carries it to his lips. The conversation now 
ensues, which is related in part (with many variations) 
by the lady's maid, to Miss Moggy Ann Cams — with due 
allowance for the inventive genius of all negro slaves. 
This time there are gross discrepancies, and an astonish- 
ing mistake of time and place. 

" Conrad ! you have ceased to love me. How have I 
offended you ? Why do you thus evermore neglect and 
avoid me ?" 

" Cease all upbraidings, Gertrude. In sooth, I'm in no 
mood to listen." 

" Oh, God ! cold as ever ! Will nothing move that flinty 
heart? Would I were dead? If I have outlived your love, 
Murra}^, I do not prize existence, and will throw it from 
me." She weeps again, and wringing her hands, adds : 

" Tell me at once — let me know — whether I am thus 
wretched?" She takes his hand again, which in her 
violent excitement she had thrown from her, and looks 
pleadingly into his face. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 129 

Col. Murray withdraws it, rises to his feet, and folds his 
arms, looking proudlj'' down on her. 

" G-ertrude, have I ever told you I loved you? Have I 
for one moment deceived you in this? Have I not rather 
always said, that my heart was withered, shriveled like a 
dried leaf just ready to fall? Blame me not — I have no 
spirit, no feelings to meet your ardent nature. I am 
pained to think that yours are squandered on a soulless 
man." 

She takes his hand again, and exclaims passionately — 

"I care not! I do not love you less for this," pressing 
his fingers to her lips. 

" Come, come, Gertrude, do not waste such fine senti- 
mentality upon me. Eefrain, I beseech you. Do you not 
see that I am as imj)assive as marble; cold and incensate, 
blind to all such things, as the j)oor mole that burrows 
beneath the earth?" 

The lady covers her face with her hands and sobs out — 

" Then will you leave me to die ? Will you cast me off 
and desert me again ? " 

" No, Gertrude, I intend to comply with that marriage 
contract. As I am pledged so will I fulfill. I have this 
day renewed this promise to my mother, whose heart 
seems to be set on the alliance. I can not tell wherefore, 
but she seems to desire, with a feverish impatience, to 
witness our happiness : that is, your happiness and my 
prosperity." 

"Miss Lindsay" (said he, now seating himself by her), 
" I could never understand why you should descend from 
your lofty pedestal, where so many adorers offer daily that 
incense which is so acceptable to all pretty women, and 
thus condescend to accept such a poor shattered man as I 
am. In spirit, person, and fortune, I am broken. Yet 
would you bestow yours, all unimpaired, on this wreck. 
How is this ? "Why are our parents so anxious to have us 
united ? Why would your proud father, who knows my 



130 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

dark history, give his queenlike daughter, with all her 
charms, beside countless thousands of that dross which is 
so worshiped in the world, to a man who is bankrupt in. 
all these, and whose heart even, has stopped payment for 
such a length of time?" 

"Oh! I do not know! I can not say anything about 
it. I only know, that I love you in spite of every dis- 
couragement, that my heart is no longer in my own 
keeping, and that I am yours — soul, body, and fortune. 
Then, if I can not be your wife I'll be your slave — your 
anytliing — SO that I may be allowed to remain near you, 
to see you, to wait on you, and sometimes to embrace you." 

The calm, cold man was conquered. He sat down on a 
low seat at the feet of this reckless woman, took her hand, 
pressed it with more fervency than he had ever done before ; 
carried to his lips those beautiful taj)er fingers ; talked 
to her in a low, soothing voice ; then rising, said, " Well, 
Gertrude, you shall have your own way about it. Appoint 
the day, and let it be an early one : but have no undue 
parade. My mother's illness will be a sufficient reason to 
your friends for not making Q.fete. Let it take place, and 
make yourself, my mother, and your father hajapy. As 
to myself I am a wretch, and do not deserve the tenth 
part of this devotion." 

He has said adieu ; has once more kissed a good night 
on those rosy tips, and departs: but turns to gaze again 
at his volu^ituous-looking bride. Ah ! why did he turn 
back ? It never was well to do so ; " better to have been 
changed to a pillar of salt " at once, than to meet that 
array of charms so seductive. Poor man ! thy future is 
fall of dark spots ! But he did look back, and human 
nature is human nature. The lady was smiling j)lacidly — 
happiness had . made her face radiant. Now her counte- 
nance is glowing and beautiful, beaming with love for him. 
He knows this, he feels it. He returns, falls on one knee 
before her, embraces her wildly, kisses her hands, her 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 131 

forehead, her cheeks, her lips, many times, then rushes 
from the room. 

As he passes from the presence of the Circe, he finds 
the door ajar, and in the distance, perceives Ann gliding 
away. But what cares he now ? For the first time, for 
many years, he is under the domination of passion. He 
is wild, and the hot blood is coursing throvigh his veins ; 
he believes his present delirium is a presage of love, the 
harbinger of happiness. Beware, young man ! There 
are two kinds of the same thing : the pure and the dross, 
the sentiment of love and the passion. Try them both 
in the crucible of reason ; test them in the alembic of 
time. 

To-morrow morning when you shall awake from your 
slumbers — maybe dreams of Elysium — compare your 
present, forced, exuberant emotions with the fervent, 
steadfast, self-immolating love which you have felt even 
from childhood, for the ill-fated Marianna, your soul's 
idol. 

When Col. Murray left the Siren, he hurried on, as he 
thought, homeward ; still under the influence of passion, 
he walked on heedless of all things, and only roused up 
to find that he was traveling at that tremendous pace in 
the opposite direction. He turns, and in retracing his 
steps, finds himself before that humble abode of the hap- 
less Myra. 

"Ha! I meant not this (he closes his eyes). I must 
not do anything unworthy of Charles Murray. Let her be 
what she may now, when she becomes my wife, she shall 
then be exalted. All other idols must be shivered, when 
I place her by my hearthstone, where no traitor, false hus- 
band, or craven lover ever dwelt. I will be true. Oh, yes, 
I will at least be honest ; every man has it in his power to 
be that : but I will also do my utmost to requite her 
mighty love. My poor G-ertrude ! " He enters his house. 

When Miss Lindsay found herself alone, she threw off 



132 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

that gentle languor, which was so pleasing to her lover, 
but which had been sustained with so much trouble and 
fatigue to herself. She jumps up from her recumbent 
attitude, throws her beautiful arms aloft, and cries, in an 
ecstacy of triumphant delight, 

" Oh ! I am so happy — I have had him at my feet — 
joy ! joy ! joy ! I have played my part, and 'heaven is 
won! ' " 

Ann, coming into the room, unintentionally uj)sets a 
chair. 

" Ha ! are you there, Ann ? How long have you been 
in the room? " 

"I jest come. Miss Guttrude — jest this minit." 

" Ann, you are a liar by nature ; but tell me a lie now, 
at the peril of your black hide, and I'll have it peeled 
off. How long have you been a witness to what was 
passing in this room?" Then that gentle, melting, lov- 
ing lady jerks up a chair with Amazonian strength, and 
advances toward the girl with the intent to strike her 
down. The negro dodges and runs out of the room. 

" 'Now I've done for myself again. Fool ! fool ! fool ! 
that I am evermore. If she should leave me, and tell 
this thing where Murray should hear it ! And this she'll 
be certain to do, for she is the devil incarnate. I must 
propitiate her — my own slave. I who, this night, have 
had a sovereign at my feet, must now condescend to coax 
my own negro! Oh, what a world! What a world 
this is ! " 

She goes to the door and calls the maid, who replies — 
"Yes, m-a'a-m, I'm coming." No sound was ever so wel- 
come — the mxisic of the spheres could not have been 
hailed or listened to with more delight. 

" Ann, come here to your Miss Girty. Why did you 
go out, girl ?" 

" Because, Miss Guttrude, I thoiight you was gwine to 
kill ms wid dat cheer." 



THE NIUHT WATCH. 133 

" Ann, yoti are a fool ! Did I ever kill you with a 
chair?" 

The girl takes up her apron, and begins to go through 
the motion of crimping the hem between her finger and 
thumb, and looking askance at the lady, answers with a 
grin, " Y-e-8, m-a'a-m." 

" Well ! I didn't mean to do it this time, any how. 'Now 
tell me what you heard and saw, while you were listening 
there." 

" I aint not been listening, Miss Gutty, l^ow you may 
ask Eobert ef I wasn't a gallivanting wid him." 

" With Eobert? What business have you with Eobert, 
girl?" 

" Oh, me ! " cries Ann ; now following up the process of 
crimping the other side of her apron, and looking out at 
the corners of her eyes, " We's, we's sweethearts, mam." 

" Oh, is that ii? " A sudden thought strikes this intri- 
guante. " Do you love him, Ann ; and does he love you ? " 

" Yes, mam, we does dat? " 

" Do you know that you both belong to me, child ? " 

" Yes, mam, I knows I does, but I thought Eobert b'long 
to master." 

" Noj he and you are both my slaves, and if you will be 
a faithful, good girl, and quit lying, I'll let you get mar- 
ried, and I'll give you a nice wedding the same night that 
tve are married." 

" Thank you, Miss Gutty," said the negro girl, making 
a low curtesy : but is you gwine to git married, sure- 
'nough, mam? Oh, I'm so glad. And will you let Eobert 
and me stand up before de same Hymenial halter ? " 

" If you behave yourself, and please me. l!^ow tell me 
what you heard and saw from that door." 

" Lawsy me ! you got back to dat agin, mam. Now, 
'fore God ! Miss Gutty, you's hard on dis poor nigger. I 
tell you, mam, I had jest got in de room, and I hear you 
say, ' Oh ! I done play de part ; joy ! joy ! and heaven is 



134 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

won.' So I thought, being as how you was sick to-night, 
prehaps you was gwine to die. Then I so 'stonished, and 
so glad — no, I mean so sorry — dat I jest 'advertently set 
up dat cheer down on de floor. And now dis is de truph, 
de whole truph, and nothin' but de truph ; so help me 
everybody. Amen." 

" What made you think about dying, just then, Ann ? " 

" Oh nothing, mam ; only de Mefodist ministerial tells 
us dat it's only through de shadow and valley of death dat 
we can arrive at the gates ; so I s'pose you was gwine dat 
way of course. But maybe Miss Grutty j^ou got some new 
way to enter dat kingdom-come ? Is you, mam ? " 

The lady laughed, and retired to her room, closing the 
door after her. Ann busied herself for a short time in 
adjusting the room, muttering all the time to herself, 
with an occasional little giggle, " Ha, ha, he, he, he ! 
Maybe she think she gwine git to heaven when she marry 
wid dat j)roud colonel ! Aye ! but wont she miss de right 
road ? Phew ! I wouldn't not be in h-e-r p-l-a-c-e . I 
wouldn't — that's all. Phew! but Avont he make her 
walk de chalk line? Phew ! he, he, he ! " 

When she has restored all things to their original order, 
she goes in to disrobe her imperial mistress. Ann was 
proud of her lady, although she had not much love for 
her. Those very qualities which were so distasteful to 
Murray, and all other good persons, only enhanced her 
value in the eyes of the slave. She found Miss Lindsay 
sitting there, waiting to be undressed — which she had 
never done for herself in the whole course of her life. 
We leave them together. Oh what a brace ! It is Satan 
pitted against Satan. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 135 



CHAPTEE XV. 

THE JEW PEDDLER. 

" The miser lives alone, abhorred by all, 
Like a disease ; yet can not so be 'scaped. 
But canker-like eats through the poor men's hearts 
That live about him." 

" Of age's avarice I could never see 
What color, ground, or reason there should be." 

There is a large, tall, quaint-looking- brick house stand- 
ing in a distant part of the city from the places where we 
have been. This tenement shelters, and conceals in its 
unnumbered apartments, nooks, and crannies, a sufficient 
number of human beings to form a colony. A small, 
wretched, dirty, doleful -looking room, immediately under 
the roof is tenanted by the owner of the whole house — 
nay, whole square. Its walls are rude and unplastered ; 
the few panes of glass in the one little window which are 
not broken, are almost entirely darkened by rime and cob- 
webs, and the holes are stopped with rags, brown paper 
and old hats. The winter winds whistle through the 
crevices of door, window, ceiling and floor. The furni- 
ture consists of two chairs without backs, a little table, 
and a very ricketty, dilapidated cot, or couch. A heap of 
rubbish is piled up in one corner : old rusty, broken 
fenders, parts of bedsteads, chairs, candlesticks, pitchers, 
plates, a mass of filthy-looking coverlets, pieces of carpets, 
also some old greasy wearing apparel. It is impossible 
to conceive of the gloom and squalor of this place, and 
the imagination could scarce paint such a scene. 



136 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

A few coals are blazing in a very small grate, on one 
side of which is a large hair-trunk, having as fastenings 
three bands of iron, and a huge j»adlock. This trunk is 
almost concealed by an old cloak. On it is seated the 
presiding genius of the place — a little, old, shrunken, 
shriveled, mummy-looking man. His eyes are small, and 
peer out from under his gTay, shaggy brows so fiercely, 
that on meeting them you experience the same involun- 
tary shudder which passes through the frame when 
encountering the eye of a snake, or any other venomous 
beast. Ever and anon he turns those eyes to the door, 
and then again to the fire, and spreads out his lean, lank, 
claw -like fingers over the little blaze : then again turns 
to the door, and sighs, and mutters to himself. 

" Why don't she come ? I'm starving ! Oh ! what is 
de matter mit de gal ? Oh ! I wants to see her, mine own 
comely shild ! " Again he sends a piercing glance to the 
door. " Oh, oh, oh ! something has happened to mine 
shild ! Oh ! Fadder Abraham ! them Christian dog has 
taken mine comely shild captive." He plucks off his cap, 
and, after the primitive manner of his people, sprinkles 
ashes on his head and weeps. 

The door opens : a girl enters, muffled up to the eyes in 
a cloak and hood, with a green veil thrown over her head. 
Coming up to that unsightly old man, she throws her 
arms around his neck and kisses him. 

" Oh ! now thank the Cod of Isaac, and Jacob, and all 
the oder fadders ! But where is mine monish ? Where 



" Father, it is very cold to-day. It is almost " 

" Where is mine monish, I say ? — Tell me dat. 

Where " 

" Father, I did my best, but I could not succeed this 

time." 

" Why, den, shild, couldst thou not collect mine dues?" 
" They are all sick ; sick almost unto death, father." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 137 

"■ Didst thou ask dem, for what is mine own? Didst — " 

" Come, father, kiss thy poor little Leah. She has done 
all she could with honor." He leans forward, and that 
young, fresh, sweet child of nature entwines her arms 
around the neck of that old, repulsive piece of parch- 
ment, and returns the kiss with affection. He is the first 
to disengage himself, saying, " I^ow, shild, you shall tell 
thy fadder all about it. When shall I get mine monish ? " 

" Father, I have brought thee something nice for thy 
dinner." She opens a napkin and shows him a piece of 
meat and a few sausages. He starts back with apparent 
dismay. 

" Out uj)on thee for a bad shild ! to fetch thy poor old 
fadder swine to eat ! Fadder Abraham ! dem ISTazarene 
has turned the shild's head. By all the patriarchs ! I'll, 
I'll " 

" Oh ! hush, father ; threaten me not. It is worse than 
idle to do so. But, poor father, thou art greatly mista- 
ken ; it is beef, good beef, made up by my order for thee." 
Poor old man ! thou wouldst sooner put to death a Christ- 
ian than eat a piece of their pork." 

" Then, shild, come fry me a little bit of it. Thy father 
is almost famished. Stop, stop ! where didst thou get the 
monish to buy dem nice meat, Leah ? Now may Abra- 
ham, Isaac, Jacob, and all de oders assist me ! Leah, if 
thou hast let dem Christian dogs look upon thy face, and 
hast pleased dem, so dat they give thee dat filthy lucre, 
and hast tempted dem to find the way to thy fadder's 
hiding place, I'll, I'll lock thee up in dis trunk," beating 
the ends of it with his bony fingers. 

The girl did not reply, but proceeded to remove the 
cloak and hood. When she had done so, she turned to 
her father, who grinned his admiration. 

" Yes, 1 see ; just like thy mother; comely, as was Ea- 
chel of old." The old man spoke most truly. The girl 
was as beautiful as the poet's dream. 
12 



138 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

^ow that divine creature hunts about among the rub- 
bish iintil she finds a skillet in whicb she pours a little 
oil, then placing the fragments of meat and a couple of 
links of sausage in it, sets it on the fire, where it begins 
to fry. Bringing a large onion, she proceeds to slice it 
very nicely, and putting the pieces also into the skillet, sits 
and watches the process of browning, turning every piece 
carefully. When all is nicel}^ cooked, she dishes it up in 
a tin j)late, jDlaces it on the little table, and moves it up 
to her father's side, having also set down a loaf of bread, 
some salt in a broken teacuj), and an old, rusty, tin pepper- 
box. This finished, she goes again to the mass of rub- 
bish, and pulls out a stone jug, from which she fills a tin 
cup with some sort of liquor — hands it to the old man, 
then replaces the bottle, covering it up as before. 

The old creature eats voraciously, while his beautiful 
daughter stands by, napkin in hand, and ministers to him. 

A little bell tinkles. He starts as if he had been caught 
in the commission of crime. 

" Here, shild, put away dese tings ; thy fadder is very 
poor, thou knowest. He can not afford to feed on flesh 
and drink Hock. Don't mine shild understand her own 
fadder ? " In a moment, as if by magic, every dainty dis- 
appeared, leaving only the loaf of bread and pitcher of 
water. 

" Come in," says a voice so feeble and quavering that 
you would have supposed it issued from the lips of one 
just " going off." " Come in," and as Tivvy entered, 
Leah disappeared most mysteriously. She was in the act 
of hanging up an old coat, when, in the twinkling of an 
eje, she seemed to amalgamate with the cloth ; for when 
the negro came to the fire, she found the old man alone, 
sitting as at first, on the trunk. 

" How do you do, old Fire and Faggot ? " says Tivvy. 

" Good morning, lady. How is thyself? " whined out 
a little, plaintive voice. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 139 

" Oh ! I don't know ; I sujDpose bad enough, Faggot. 
But when I place my sitiwation along side o' this, I reckon 
it's very good, and easy, and comfortable like." 

" Yes, lady ; nobody is so bad off as old Mordecai Fag- 
got, the Jew peddler. I is \evy poor ; very poor is poor 
old Faggot." 

" Well, I've come for .you, Mordecai, rich or poor, I've 
come for yon, so make ready." 

"Ah! mine Got ! who wants poor old Faggot ? I tell 
thee, ma'am, I is not able to go. Oh ! oh ! I is not able." 

"You'll have to go ; you dare not disobey." 

" Who wants me, den ? " 

"Faggot, i/oiir mistress and mine, wants you." 

" Wlio? who is dat? Who does Avant me ? " 

" Why ,s/?«3 wants you. Do you know now? Anyhow 
you've got to go, that's flat, even if you can't walk." 

" Fadder Abraham ! Well, I must try. I know it is 
death by de law to desobey her." He rises with great 
difficulty, and totters to an old cloak on the wall, and tries 
to disengage it from the peg, but fails. " Fadder Jacob, I 
is so mighty weak I can't do nothin' at all." Tivvy gives 
him the cloak, turning up her nose at the noisome con- 
dition of it. 

"Now, thou must go on, my lady, and tell her I is 
coming." 

" Oh ! but she told me not to leave you. Faggot." 

" Run on, run on ; goot gal, I is comin'." 

"Now, old Mordecai Faggot — 'the Jew peddler,' you 
call yourself, don't you ? do you want your soul left in 
the inside o' that old dried up hull of a body o' yourn ? " 

" To be sure I does." 

" Then don't you disappoint her. And if you love any- 
thing in this world (beside that old hair-trunk, what sets 
there full o' money), and wants it saved, then don't you 
come into that front door." 

" Oh ! oh ! " said he, dropping down again on the 



140 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

truBk, and trying covertlj^ to conceal it with his cloak, 
" I is got no monish ; nobody is so poor as Mordecai Fag- 
got, the Jew. I is 'fraid somethin' will happen to me. 
Oh! oh!" 

"You are afraid something will happen to the gold in 
that trunk ; that's about it. That iron-hound trunk there," 
said Tivvy, peeping round mischievously. " Great pad- 
lock, too." 

" Oh ! oh ! oh ! I is betrayed ! I is betrayed ! " 

"Old Faggot, you are a fool! JN'ow, just as soon as it 
gits little bit darker, you come right along. I'm not 
going to walk the streets w^ith you — but you had better 
make haste." 

Tivvy left, closing the door. In an instant it was 
double locked. And now, that feeble, miserable, decrepid 
old wretch disajDpears, and in his stead there stands a 
smart, active, bustling little man, about half the age of 
the poor old Faggot, who sat there a moment ago. The 
first thing he did was to tug at the trunk. Finding it 
secure, he brought a bundle of rags and covered it over. 
He walks brisklj^ about the room, arranging many things 
until it is quite dark. Then he again puts on his old 
cloak and cap, and the same aged, white-haired man tot- 
ters from the house. Having made fast the door like the 
trunk with a strong padlock, he passes feebly and cring- 
ingly, on his way to that lordly mansion. 

On his route he receives many a hiss and malediction. 
If he, b}^ accident, jostles even a negro, the words he is 
forced to hear are, " Cussed Jew, don't fetch me ! Nigger 
as I is, I wouldn't be yow." And as he is rudely thrust 
oflP, he comes in contact with some blustering, swaggering 
member of the mushroom aristocracy, who as fiercely 
throws him back, exclaiming, with assumed wrath, 
"Damned usurer! stand off!" Then again, that snaky 
sound issues from groups of boys. 

This was excoriation to the feelings of that abject look- 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 141 

ing man. Yet he j^lods on humbly, without once raising 
his head. Those little fiery eyes gleam from under his 
penthouse brows, with a lurid and ominous fire ; but he 
makes no resistance, and seems not to heed. Yet all 
these wrongs are written on his heart with a red-hot steel 
pen, which can only be washed out by the blood and tears 
of his enemies. His soul burns to wreak his vengeance 
on all Christians — the foes of his race. 

" Poor old Jew, I am sorry for thee ! Thou wert not 
so bad at first; but now thy evil passions are inflamed, 
and thou art ready to commit crimes, and waiting only 
for a day of power to sweej) them from the face of the 
earth. That creeping, cringing, crawling thing would 
have, with fire and sword, slain every follower of Christ. 
All his secret stores — his hoarded gold — were set apart, 
and consecrated in his mind to this great and righteous 
work of retributive justice. Therefore to rob, to distress, 
to torture (but not to kill) secretly all who came in his 
way was, in his eyes, a virtue, and became the fixed pur- 
pose of his life. It was done remorselessly, for conscience 
sake ; religiously believing it to be a sacred duty incum- 
bent on him to avenge his people. Superadded to this, 
was avarice, in its most repulsive form — its most ghastly 
shape. And this was the counselor and coadjutor of the 
aristocratic Mrs. Murray. 

When Faggot ai-rived at the alley which communicated 
with the offices of the establishment, he exclaims in a 
low and angry growl, " Mine Grot ! it is as dark as de devil 
here." 

" Hist ! hist ! " said Tivvy, " follow me." 

She then conducted him up a back stairway, then 
through a narrow, dark corridor to her door. She opens 
it softl}^, pushes him in, shuts it, and goes off to gossip 
and make love to James, Col. Murray's valet. 

The old lady is quite recovered, and is again arrayed in 
all her youthful charms. The Jew, thus suddenly forced 



142 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

into the presence of this woman, who had for forty years 
exercised such unbounded influence over him, trembled 
from head to foot. He cowered beneath those keen, cold 
eyes. ISTo salutation is passed between them. Such is not 
the custom with the lady toward her tool. He stands 
there in her presence with those white locks uncovered. 

" Well, Jew, you have come? 'Tis well," said the lady, 
looking disdainfullj'^^ at him. 

"Yes, mine lady, I is here." Another painful pause. 
He adds, "Mine lad}^ sent for her servant. "What does 
she want mit him ? " 

"I sent for you, Faggot, because I have Avork tit for 
your hands on]3^ Now, tell me, Mordecai, what usury 
you will extort for doing a service which will afford you 
as much pleasure as me profit ? " 

" Oh ! I does not know, mine lady : dat will dej^end on 
the nature of the servish. If thou wilt tell thy servant, 
then he can judge." ^ 

" In the first place, Mordecai, my son has fallen into 
the strangest mood. He neither talks, laughs, eats, nor 
sleeps." 

" Oh ! mine Grod ! den what does he do ? Jest nothing 
at all. Well, now dat is bad ; he can't live long at dem 
rate." 

" Wretch ! How dare you interrujjt me ? Keep your 
wizen jaws closed ; else, by heaven, I'll have them slit 
from ear to ear." 

" I begs thy pardon," says the poor old creature, droj)- 
ping his head on his breast. " Go on, my lady, if it please 
thee." 

" Well, every evening he leaves home about nine o'clock, 
is gone two hours, then comes back to pace the room the 
whole night ; I wish to know where he goes, and how he 
passes that interval." 

" Oh ! dat is easy enough done ; I knows where he goes 
now." 



THE NIGHT AVATCH. 143 

Then she spoke some words in a low whisper. The 
Jew starts, and raises his little red hot eyes to her face. 
All this time she has kept the feeble old man standing. 
IsTow she says in a condescending tone : 

" Mordecai, sit down ; I have. a great deal to say to you 
about our busineBS." 

He sits down, meekly folding his arms, and casting his 
eyes to the floor. 

" Faggot, didn't you swear to me solemnly that Mari- 
anna Grlencoe was dead ? And didn't I make you a title to 
the very house which shelters you now, for the commis- 
sion of that one deed, which was only the keenest enjoy- 
ment to such a blood-sucker as you are? " 

"Yes, mine lady, you did," said he, grinning, thereby 
disclosing very white, sharp teeth. 

"Is she dead, or not?" Once for all I ask you, and I 
want the truth." 

The Jew moved uneasily in his chair, and said nerv- 
ously, " Mine Got! The goot lady raves." 

" Speak out, base Israelite ; else shall you not live to 
see your ill-gotten hoards again." 

" Well, now, did not mine lady see for herself, and not 
for anoder, dat she was dead ? Didn't she see de coffin 
let down into de ground her own self, mit her own keen 
eyes?" 

" I thovight so, miscreant ; but something has occurred, 
some very strange things have turned up to awaken sus- 
picion, and — — " 

" Oh ! mine Got ! Den I'll hide ; I'll run away. Oh ! 

Oh! " 

. " No, sir, you shall not. You stand your ground and 
do my bidding ; do you hear me, sir?" 

" Yes, mine lady, I does." 

" JSTow, tell me. Faggot, who that beautiful stranger is, 
occupying that old hovel way down Market street? " 

Then he required her to describe the place very mi- 



144 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

nutely, all the time looking innocent and ignorant. But 
if the lady had been using those handsome eye-glasses, 
she would have seen that his ghastly face suddenly became 
livid. 

" Jew, I suspect you acted the traitor in that matter 
toward me, but it can't be helped now ; beware how you 
repeat it. Aye, beware ! I am induced to think that 
that mysterious person is no other than the dead Mari- 
anna, and it is there my son goes every night. Now, 1 
want you to hang on his steps, day and night. Dog him 
to his hiding place. Contrive some way to introduce 
yourself into the house of that woman ; pry into her pri- 
vate life ; establish a spy there, and speedily report to me. 
If you find it as I suppose, then she must be removed. 
Do you hear, sir ? " 

" Say on, lady." 

" !N"ow listen to me, and heed me well ! Some dark night 
a fire breaks out in the center of those old wooden houses. 
Many persons perish, but if she^ if Marianna Glencoe is 
saved by some accursed intermeddling arm, then she 
must be spirited away. Such things do happen, but they 
are familiar only to spirits like you and your twin brother, 
the devil." 

The old man sits looking straight on before him, as if 
he were gazing far into futurity. 

" Do 5'ou understand, Jew ? Do you hear me, Israeli- 
tish dog? What are you staring at? have you turned to 
stone? " 

"I see, mine lady, damage and death to mine own self. 
The goot God of Jacob said, ' Thou shalt do no murder.' 
I can't." 

" Fool ! it is too late to talk thus. How many festering 
sores and foul stains are already hid awa}^ in your craven 
heart?" 

She takes from a drawer a Morocco casket, touches a 
spring, and displays to the dazzled eyes of the Jew pawn- 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 145 

broker several valuable diamonds. She watches with a 
curious eye the effect. 

" JSTow, Faggot, if you will again get that girl out of 
the way, remove her secretly, put her away securely this 
time, all these shall be yours." 

" Oh ! ah ! oh ! A tousand monish worth. I'll do it ; 
I'll do it." 

"But when?" 

" Jest so soon as I can get de wires to work," said the 
Jew, now rubbing his hands as if they itched to get hold 
of the gems. 

" Go now, and see after Murray, but beware of detec- 
tion. Faggot, were he to catch you in this dastardly 
business, he would make no more of wringing off your 
head than my cook would that of the chicken's for 
breakfast." 

" I knows it ; but now, mine honored lady, what surety 
wilt thou give to old Faggot that thou wilt keep thy word 
to him ?" 

The lady straightened herself up, and looked contempt- 
uously down on the poor cringing creature beneath her. 
" My word, sir ; my pledged word. When did I break it?" 

He shakes his head doubtingly. 

" Fool ! wretch ! dog ! what is the matter ? What do 
you want ? What sort of security ? Would you have a 
witness to this compact? " 

"Jest thy name, lady, only a few line — write thy name 
on little scrap o' paper." 

" I do not understand you, Mordecai." 

" Put down, in black and white, dat thou promise to 
deliver to me thy diamonds when certain servishes is done 
(naming them), and den thy name." '' 

" It is very strange ! You never demanded any such 
note of me before?" said she, uneasily. 

"1^0, lady; but all tings is so uncertain now; let it 

13 



146 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

be SO." He takes from his pocket a little old iBk-horn and 
pen. " Here write, lady." 

She seems by some strange impulse, moved to obey the 
dictation of him, who for such a series of years has been 
to her the servilest of slaves. She writes — 

"I promise to pay over to Mordecai Faggot my morocco 
case of diamonds, when he brings me the opal ring worn 
by Marianna Glencoe. Geraldine Murray." 

She read it aloud. Faggot frowned, and knit his 
shaggy brows until they met together over his nose, 
bringing in fearful juxtaposition those little serpent-like 
eyes. 

"Will that do?" said the lady, looking at him with 
surprise. 

"Yes! goot night;" and he went creeping off. Tivvy 
conducted him out through the same secret way. When 
they reached the blind alley, she said — 

" Well, old Fire and Faggot, who got the best of it this 
time, Satan or the Devil? " 

" Oh gal, don't mention it. She always does work out 
her own purposes. But I is got her name, and if she 
beti*ays old Faggot, and brings him to de halter, he'll 
have good company. Dat little scrap o' paper will fix 
her bisness too. Dat's all." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 147 



CHAPTEE XVI. 

THE NEOPHYTE ACTOR. 

" LoED ! my boy, my Arthur, my fair son ; 
My life, my joy, my soul, my all the world; 
My widow's comfort and my sorrow's care ! " 

" Thanks to the gods, my hoy has done his duty." 

"When Clarence awoke from that deep sleep, the day 
was well-nigh spent. It was the mystic hour of twilight, 
when poor busy, toiling, scheming hnman nature may 
enatch a fe'w moments of repose. The child's first sensa- 
tion was that of intense hunger. (Eemember, that poor 
little boy had tasted nothing but a crust throughout the 
day.) His first thought was of his mother, then his 
grandmother ; after that his little mind reverted to the 
humane manager. Seeing it was almost dark, he began 
to cry. 

" Oh ! I am ruined ! I'm disgraced ! I've told him a lie. 
I must go to him this moment." 

He then approached his mother's bedside, and finding 
her so much improved, looking so well, and beautiful as 
he thought, that in his joy he forgot his griefs. The 
dear good Minny was standing by, holding a waiter, which 
contained a few delicacies intended to tempt a failing 
appetite. The odor of these dishes seem to whet the keen 
edge of the boy's hunger, and he is about to ask Minny for 
a portion of the nice things when the old lady entered (like 
a good fairy the night before Christmas) bearing a great 
tea-board loaded down with the comforts of a substantial 
meal. It was soon spread out. Then the grandmother, 



148 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

Minny, and Clary surrounded it. After the thanksgiving, 
that little circle make themselves happy, nay joyous. 

" Now, come my bonny bairn, and tell your ain lassie, 
who was sae kind-hearted as to gie ye the siller?" 

" Oh ! dear Minny, that brings to mind wdiat I had 
again forgotten. I owe it all to the good man at the 
old theater. I must run off this minute. Come, Minny 
lassie, and help me to don my 'martial cloak.' " 

" The puir chiel is demented ! Ye must nae go there, 
deary." 

"You shall not go!" said the grandmother; and her 
honest brows were corrugated with a frown of disappro- 
bation. 

" My sweet bairn, ye canna find your way in the dark." 

"I must try, dear Minny; don't say a word. I have 
promised, upon the honor of a gentleman's son. to go 
back. My word is out ; and would you have me prove 
myself not what I said I was ? " 

" You shall not stir from this house ! You are now 
poor baby ! broken down by toil and hardships, and your 
young heart has already known more sorrow than falls to 
the lot of most middle-aged men," rejoined the old lady, 
wiping her eyes. 

" Yes, I know all that, grandma ; but as yet there is no 
stain on it ; and, thank God, I have never told a lie in my 
life. Would you compel me now to tell one, mam ? " 
and that brave little man shuddered at the bare idea of 
doing a mean action. 

He went up to his mother, and whispered to her ear- 
nestly for a short time. After which Myra called Minny 
to her. "The child must go, Minny; if you, or I either, 
were in his place, we would desire to do like him. Wrap 
him up, dear girl, and start him off as speedily as possible." 

" What, alone ! ISTae, nae — I canna do that." 

" ISTo, Minny, not alone. God will be with him. He 
has never forsaken that child yet ; but I think, has 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 149 

"watched over him for her sake (pointing- to her grand- 
mother), and has fed him from time to time, and brought 
him hack in safety. My boy has never yet been forced to 
beg, thank G-od." 

"Aweel, aweel. It is only the truth ye ha' sj)oken — 'I 
have never seen the righteous forsaken, or their seed 
begging bread,'" says Minny, with pious fervor. 

While sjDeaking she had busied herself in wrapping up 
the child; then putting on her own cloak and bonnet, 
says to him, " Go kiss your mother and gi-andam, darling, 
and let us be off." On turning she comes up against Doc- 
tor Brown, who had been an unnoticed spectator of the 
scene. 

" Good-bye, Doctor," says the child, and pulling Minny 
off they leave the house. 

He finds the old lady in tears, but this time Myra seems 
sustained by some invisible power. Presently they make 
him sit down and partake of their banquet. Mrs. "Wise, 
the elder, pours out for him a cup of the best tea, places 
before him the most savory chop, with the lightest, short- 
est, and hottest of biscuit. The good little doctor thought 
he had never eaten anything so delicious ; he sipped his 
tea, and ate his supper with a gusto unknown to the hang- 
ers-on of hotels and restaurants. But he is troubled by 
the silent sorrow of the old lady, who from time to time 
wipes her eyes. 

" Oh, madam ! you should not grieve thus ; you should 
not worry about this thing. It is all for the best, as sure 
as you are born. That child has revealed this day the 
germs of great genius, as well as an exalted sense of 
honor — in short, powers far beyond his years. I stood 
by, an unpereeived spectator, and listened with the pro- 
foundest admiration to the boy's remarks and arguments." 

" Well ! maybe so. But I don't like prodigies ; they 
never make quiet, useful citizens. Besides, it is throwing 
the child, so tender, and unformed as he is, into the very 



150 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

jaws of Satan, to send him to that terminus of vice, 
shame, and crime." 

" Tut. tut," says the doctor, and he looks over at the 
invalid. A faint smile is flitting over that sweet face. 
Then he rejoins : 

" Grlory, glory, madam, and fame ! Think of that ; in 
one week that boy's name will be heralded half over the 
ITew World." 

" God foi'bid ! I would not have his right mind per- 
verted, and his pure soul blurred by what he must meet 
with there. Grod forbid that my child should be elevated 
through the instrumentality of those play-house hell- 
hounds." 

Myra looked troubled, but still tried to smile, while she 
spoke in an apologetic voice : 

" My grandmother is very primitive in her views, gene- 
rally, and on this one subject is rabid. Her knowledge of 
the world has not kept pace with this age of improvement. 
Once a fearful misfortune befell a member of her family, 
the origin of which she traced back to the theater. Hence 
her apparent rancor." 

The door opens, and Minny enters. Now she is intro- 
duced in form to Doctor Brown. She sits down by him, 
looking up child-like into his face. 

" I thank ye, Doctor, for filling my vacant place here 
by the ingleside." Her countenance is beaming with 
satisfaction and benevolence. 

Eeader, we have told you that Minny was not pretty : 
we retract that slander. Such a combination of elements 
as we find here, must make lovely much plainer features 
than her's. She has a rich, sort of creamy-looking skin, if 
I may so express myself, which pales or flushes with her 
emotions, grey eyes, and very dark brown hair. 

She is of medium stature, and remarkably well formed, 
lithe, and brisk, and active as an antelope. Yet we have 
called her little Minny, because the impression made on 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 151 

every beholder at first is, that she is small, and very 
young. There is such a quaint simplicity about her, such 
a bewitching naturalness, candor and truth, such inno- 
cence, that we can but associate the winning graces of 
childhood with our good little Minny Dun. 

"While she recounts her trip to the theater,. Doctor 
Brown looks on with a pleased admiration. Myra, who 
is quick-sighted in all the devious ways of the heart, 
marks it all down on the tablets of her memory to be 
brought up sometime, j)erhaps with benefit to her friend. 

" Well, Minny, did you thrust the poor young thing into 
that den of wild-beasts, thieves, robbers and murderers?" 

" Oh, niver fash, niver fash, grandam, nae harm will 
come to the sweet bairn. Fix your trust above, then 
none can mak' afraid," said Minny, kindly taking her 
hand. 

" You are back early. Miss Dun ; did you run for your 
life, all the way? " said the doctor. 

"l^ae,nae. I had to gang but a little way before we 
met that good creature Murdoch, who turned back with 
us, and seeing that the child wished to hie along so fast, 
he taks him up in his arms, and carries him a' the way. 
It was a lang weary ' road to ruin ' this time, grandam," 
said Minny, laughing merrily. 

" That dear, good-hearted, honest fellow, took the bairn, 
as I said, in his arms, and they kept up a running conver- 
sation a' the way. Clarry placed his little arm around the 
neck of that coarse bear-skin, and thus we reached the 
theater. But many times the drap was in my een to see 
with what tenderness that rough-coated man treated the 
bairn ; " and little Minny wiped her eyes again. 

" Gro on, Minny," said Myra. 

" Yes, but dear lady, there is na much mair to tell. 
Murdoch went wi' us to a place they call the box-ofiSice, 
and left the bairn in my care while he gaes to seek the 
manager. When he comes back, I just kissed the sweet 



152 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

mou' o' the bonny bairn, and taks my leave ; but all the 
time I kept looking back to see how the pair chiel would 
stand sic an ordeal. At last I saw the handsome Mr. 
Gooch come in. Clarry rises, pulls off his little cap, and 
bows politely ; just as much sae as that grand Colonel 
Murray could have done to save his life." 

At that name Myra .starts visibly, and becomes very 
pale. 

" Gro on, Minny," said she, in a tremulous voice. 

" Well, the man bows, too, and says, ' All hail young 
prince ! ' and then shaking his dear little hand, adds, 
'"Welcome! most welcome! Duke of York — that is to 
be.' " 

Now Minny rises to depart. Dr. Brown offers his arm, 
and they make their adieux. On going out, they discover 
a huge mass of cloth and coarse furs leaning against the 
post. It moves off; a moment after is heard in the dis- 
tance the sonorous voice of the Night Watch, crying, 
" Past nine o'clock ! all's well." 

" That's the only lie the man utters," said Dr. Brown, 
for the tw^elth time. 

" Aweel, he thinks o' na harm until he sees it before 
his een," replied Minny. 

On reaching the little toy shop, she unlocks the door, 
and invites the doctor to enter. An ig^^vincible curiosity 
takes hold of him to see the good little creature's home — 
her little fireside. He follows her in. After passing 
through the shop they enter that delicious little sitting- 
room ; and there sits the venerable figure, in that same 
old stuffed and wadded arm-chair. She seems to be 
dozing. Minny calls her very loudly, for she is quite deaf: 

" Grandmither, let me introduce you to Dr. Brown, 
Mrs. Wise's physician." 

The old lady extends her hand and says, with due 
courtesy, " I am happy to see ye, doctor. Ye are welcome 
to our ino;leside." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 153 

This old woman possessed an innate politeness, which 
seems to belong to all good-hearted, truly pious persons. 
The genuine religion of Jesus Christ induces this, I think, 
without any other training. 

The doctor remembering the lateness of the hour, rises 
to take his leave. Apjjroaching Minny, he says : 

" Miss Dun, I was this morning entrusted with a com- 
mission, which troubles me. I think, perhaps, you can 
hel]D m© out." (Dr. Brown had rightly divined the prom- 
inent traits in the girl's character ; which were decision, 
common sense, and practicality.) " That same ' bear- 
skin man ' gave me this," said he, pulling out a purse, 
" which he wishes appropriated to the necessities of Mrs. 
Wise and family, I have been looking out for an oppor- 
tunity for the last hour to break the matter to the glo- 
rious creature ; but I'll be blamed if I could find one, or 
words either." 

"Oh, niver try — niver try, sir. It would na do just 
now. It would be hurled back to puir dear Murdoch, by 
that high-spirited woman, Mrs. Wise." 

At the words, " dear Murdoch," the doctor winced. 
Somehow in this short time he had unintentionally suf- 
fered himself to appropriate Minny. He constituted him- 
self (in feeling) her. friend and guardian. 

" I'll manage it :fer ye. Poor dear Murdoch made a 
bad beginning. He offended Myra^ at the outset, whose 
feelings are as tender as a fresh wound, and as morbid as 
an old sore, by too plain showing of admiration. She, 
puir soul, has na yet learned to forget and forgive. I 
would na have that honest Night Watch's feelings 
wounded for sae gude a deed." 

" Well, here Minny, take the purse." 

The girl blushed crimson, thus to hear her name pro- 
nounced with such familiarity by the man she had learned 
to like and respect so much. 

On seeing her embarrassment, he tried to apologize. 



154 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

but became himself confused — then resumed, in a more 
formal way : " Here, Miss Dun, take the purse and do 
with its contents as your own judgment may prompt, 
then all will be well, at least right." He takes Minny's 
hand, presses it kindly — almost tenderly. "I can't help 
it. Good night, dear good little Minny, as everybody 
calls you." 

On passing by the hovel, the same dark mass moved 
away. 

" Well, I'll be blamed if that ' dear Night Watch ' (as 
Minny says) does not confine his watch to the house of 
' his lady love.' God forgive me for thus desecrating the 
name of the peerless Myra. I know of no one who is 
good or grand enough for her but Charles Murray." 

When he reached the theater, he stopped to listen to 
that thundering applause. "Ha! the devil has broke 
loose here, too. Such sounds have not awakened the 
echoes of these old walls for many a day. I will just 
look in and see what it is." 

On taking his seat in a side box, he meets an old chum. 
" Good evening, Gordon. What means all this uproar in 
the house? " 

" Oh, nothing only a little novelty." 

" Well ?" responded the doctor. 

" You know the public have been bored to death with 
this dull stock company. The same kings and queens, 
with the same purple and scarlet robes ; the same Coras 
and Eollas ; the same Desdemonas and Othellos ; in short, 
the same everything ; so that now they hail with suck 
acclamations the advent of anything that is not a part of 
that same sameness." 

" Well!" quoth the doctor. 

" This novelty makes its appearance on this evening iu 
the shape of a j)retty little boy — a lovely child — a very 
miracle of beauty and grace." 

"Ah, yes! I know," rejoined Brown. "That little 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 155 

Miiiny made me forget everything. Go on, G-ordon, if 
you please." 

" The little fellow comes out to-night in the ' Dumb 
Show,' which is most opportune for him, as the manager 
only procured his services two hours before the curtain 
rose, as I have just learned. But, for God's sake, look at 
Murray. See how ghastly he looks. One would scarcely 
think that he was so soon to become the lord and master 
of that haughty beauty there (who is now engaged in 
such soft dalliance with the man Gaines). I should think 
the conviction of that fact, and that he is so soon to have 
the control of all those thousands, would bring him to 
life. JSTow, by our ' patron saint ! ' he looks much more 
like mounting the pale horse, than a triumphal car." 

" Humph ! But, Gordon, how do you know that Murray 
is to be married to Miss Lindsay ? " 

" I may not tell you, doctor, how I heard it ; but I 
know it to be true, sir. He has just perceived his ' affi- 
anced ' surrounded by that swarm of insects. I should 
not like to see my wife (that is to be) leaning so affec- 
tionately on the arm of that fopling." 

" Hush ! Gordon. Gaines is a right good fellow, and 
would, I think, make a better, more useful, maybe a more 
suitable husband for the beauty than the cold, haughty 
Murray." 

" Look ! he seats himself behind her, bowing so slightly 
to her warm salutations. Now, see how she looks at him, 
her face expressing as in so many words, ' Ah ! proud 
man, I hold you fast in golden chains, with ' half a mill- 
ion ' links." 

" Why, Gordon, I'll be blamed if I don't believe you 
are jealous and envious too." 

" Ha ! ha ! ha ! " loudly laughed the young man. " l^o. 
Brown, I have only spoken the truth, which is another 
novelty in the house." 

" No such thing; the woman loves the man devotedly, 



15b THE NIGHT WATCH. 

passionately, and he is grateful for it. He cares not for 
her gold. She is naturally disposed to be a coquette, and 
you have all, every one of you, helped to foster this dis- 
position. Now, when you see your own handy -work ma- 
tured, you stand back and iind fault, and blame her for 
being what you yourselves have made her." 

The curtain rises; a train of villagers advance with 
Clarence at their head. He is the presiding divinity, and 
is presumed to be deaf and dumb, but omniscient withal. 
He is magnificently attired, glittering with jewels ; his 
beautiful golden locks hang in graceful curls over his neck 
and shoulders, which are bare. A bright tinge of carna- 
tion on his cheeks gives luster to those deep violet eyes, 
so full of light and darkness. He walks as if he had trod 
the boards for years — with the majesty of a real king. 

When the train are all on the stage, he turns, takes off 
his cap, faces them, standing still and very erect. They 
kneel and render homage, and now the reverberating plau- 
dits are stunning. 

It was not in character for the mute prince to hear or 
to sjDeak ; but nature prevailed over art. Just then the 
child wheeled about — his countenance radiant as one just 
dropped from heaven — smiled and bowed to the audience. 
The overwhelming tide of apj)lause continued to roll on. 
Then the boy approached quite near to the foot-lights, 
knelt down, raised his little cap in one hand, while with 
the other he sends many kisses to the audience. The 
house is electrified. Then follow a few moments of deep 
silence, induced by admiration, and maybe something bet- 
ter. They had forgotten that this was a departure from 
all rule and precedent ; that the child had lost sight of the 
character which he had to sustain. They only saw that 
boy of such superhuman beauty. 

The group of kneeling figures start up, surround their 
prince, raise him above their heads, and bear him off in 
triumph, but not before he has tossed up his cap into mid- 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 157 

air, shoutiBg, " Huzza ! huzza ! long live my friend, Mr. 
Gooch." Now it seems that those old walls will come 
down. Peal after peal resounds long after the curtain 
has dropjDed. 

Immediately on leaving the stage, Clarence had run up 
to the property room, for the purpose of undressing. He 
commenced tugging at his gaudy trappings, but finding 
that he could not disengage himself from their trammels, 
he sat down and began to weep. 

" How now, my prince of beauty, and of little devils ? 
What ! crying, after such a hit? I tell you, my fine little 
man, your fortune is made." 

He looks up at the kind-hearted " tire woman." 

" Oh ! my dear ma'am, I can't help it. Just help me to 
put off these things, and to put on my clothes." 

" l!^ot yet, my darling ; you will have to go down again. 
There will be showers of presents for you. The boxes 
and pit will rain gold on your own golden head directly." 

" Oh ! no, ma'am, I can't wait ; I have performed my 
part and fulfilled my promise, now I must run home. I 
would not make my mother so unhappy for this house 
full of gold." 

Then the woman proceeded to disrobe him. When she 
had finished, and he had put on his clothes, he threw his 
little arms around her neck and kissed her. " Thank you, 
ma'am, and good night." 

He was running down stairs, when Mr. Grooch ap- 
proached. 

" My son, they will not rest until they see you before 
the foot-lights. The house is clamoring for ' the child,' 
'the beautiful boy,' ' master whoever-he-is.' Oh ! Jenny, 
why' did you disrobe him ? But never mind, he is look- 
ing very beautiful. ISTow, just touch these curls over, 
which look so much like golden threads, with sunbeams 
playing through them. So ! come along, before they burst 
their throats." 



158 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

The child was dressed in a little suit of green cloth, 
with shirt-collar edged with fine lace — thanks again to the 
thrift of dear little Minny. The manager leads him out 
in front of the curtain, and announces Master Clarens. 
And now again burst forth those shouts, mingled with the 
clink of silver and gold, as it falls like hail from gallery, 
pit, and boxes. 

" Mercy ! What a harvest ! What a shower of metal ! " 

Clarry, contrary to all stage etiquette, pulled away from 
the manager, who essayed still to hold him fast by the 
hand, and giving one glad, grateful look to the audience, 
sets about gathering up the money. 

Presently the child comes up to Mr. Gooch (who is 
looking on in placid wonderment), and dropping grace- 
fully on one knee, in real play-house style, with mock 
reverence offers the little cap, which is half full. Just 
then the full orchestra strikes ujj, and the house is in an 
uproar. Some throw their hats, gloves, and caps, and with 
more heedless temerity than discretion or good taste, 
jump on the stage. 

When Clarence comes out in citizen's dress, and raises 
his sweet, plaintive, and weary-looking eyes to the boxes, 
Murray starts to his feet ; he recognizes the little boy he 
had once met in the church. Then quickly flashes 
athwart his mind the recollection of certain events, times 
and places. The resemblance to her and many things 
which were forgotten are now reflected on the mirror of 
his bewildei-ed mind. He leaves the box abruptly, for- 
getting that he had escorted Miss Lindsay there ; he goes 
to the private door — has bribed the keeper to admit him, 
finds his way to the green-room, and inquires in a hur- 
ried, agitated voice for Master Clarens. 

The prompter points to a figure just moving off, with a 
child in his arms very much muffled up : " There," said 
the man, " that good-hearted Night Watch brought him 
here in his arms and so he carries him away." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 159 



CHAPTEE XVII. 

THE LOVER. — SOUL-PHASES. 

«' There is a kind of mournful eloquence 
In thy dumb grief, wliich shames all clam'rous sorrow." 

" Why let the stricken deer go weep, the heart ungalled play ; 
For some must watch, while some must sleep ; so runs the world away." 

It was near midnight ; the old lady sat rocking herself 
as usual. Myra had been assisted to rise, and was rolled 
up in a blanket, reclining in a comfortable sick-chair. 
By-the-by, both of these articles of luxury had been 
loaned to the poor invalid by their little friend. She was 
looking very patient and quiescent, while her grand- 
mother was nervous and perturbed. They seemed to 
have changed natures ; the elder lady had let go her trust 
in this case, while the younger one appeared to have 
taken hold of hope with a pertinacity equalled only by 
her former despair. 

" G-randma, I heard the name of one to-night whom I 
thought far away, beyond the seas." 

" Yes, I know ; " says the old lady, rocking herself even 
more violently than ever. " That little Minny has few 
faults, but like all other lassies when there is a lad in the 
way, her tongue grows lax and frivolous. I think, Myra, 
she was mightily taken up with Doctor Brown, consider- 
ing they were strangers." 

"I think not too much so, grandma. I remarked a 
look of surprized admiration on the countenance of the 
Doctor." 

"Well! maybe so. I do wish he would fall dead in 



160 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

love with her, and they would marry ere long" — her little 
■fit of ill-humor now giving way to that universal philan- 
thropy which generally pervaded her nature. 

*■' But dear mother, this is wholly irrelevant to the sub- 
ject. Do you know whether Charles Murray is here, or 
even in the United States? " 

The old lady turns about restlessly ; then says : " I do 
not know anything about your cousin Charles. Never 
saw him as I know of, and I'm glad of it. Everything 
that is sad and painful, is associated in my mind with his 
name. Your own pitiful destiny, your mother's melan- 
choly death, and the name of Charles Murray are 
stereotyped on my heart — yet I never saw the man. 
I understand that he was a noble, generous fellow, and 
handsome withal." 

" Oh yes, yes ! He was godlike in all things ; one to 
whom the heart would naturally turn in time of love and 
prosperity, and the soul cling in the hour of darkness and 
adversity ; to love and trust at all times, and worship 
evermore." Myra, while speaking, had clasped her hands 
together, and raised her eyes to heaven — the finest per- 
sonification of adoration. 

" Nonsense ! Tut, tut. ISTow child you are going off 
again. If you are about to mount your stilts, I want to 
retire. Why do you think of the past? Look ahead, 
look ahead, and think of the present, too." 

" O G-od ! I have no present — no future. Compared 
with that one season of past happiness, that Elysium of joy 
and rajjture, my present life is a blank ! It is worse ! a 
thousand times worse ! Oh, would I were dead ! Oh 
that I were a nonentity ! " 

" Certainly," said the old lady ;" of course you do; 
having now no duties on earth to j^erform ; no interest 
here below ; no Grod to please, no crown to win in heaven ; 
no aged parent, whose passage to the grave should be 
smoothed ; no child to " 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 161 

She starts as if affrighted. " Oh, forgive me, dear mother, 
I have, I fear, committed a great sin." ' 

" Ask God! to forgive you then, poor child. Ask Christ 
to plead for you. I do indeed consider it a great sin, 
thus to overlook, or shut your eyes to all these comforts," 
said the grandmother, looking round. 

"You will pray for me, will you not, dear mother? " 

A rap. " Ah ! here you are, my bonny bairn, as Minny 
calls you. Come in, friend ]\iurdoch ; come to the fire, 
and warm yourself," said the old lady. 

" Thank you, but it is late, and maybe I had better not." 
He had placed the child on the floor, who ran joyfully and 
bounded into his mother's lap. 

" Not so, never too late to render thanks to a good man 
tor such services. Come and warm yourself, good Mur- 
doch, for this night is as cold and pitiless as the frozen, 
flinty hearts of the rich and grand." She takes his hand 
and draws him to the fire. 

The child is whispering to his mother. They hear him 
say, " He has been so kind to me, mamma." 

She answers, '' Certainly, my love," kissing him ten- 
derly. "My own heart prompts such a course." 

So when Murdoch stands there, she rises, wrapping the 
blanket still more closely around her, offers him her lit- 
tle, soft, white hand, and begins to utter some w^ords of 
thanks. The little hand is grasped by that bear-skin 
paw, and pressed with such energy as would, if contin- 
ued, have crushed those slender bones. 

Finding she drew away quickly, he raised his eyes with 
an humble, deprecatory look, and then dropped his head 
on his breast. He had met only an expression of amaze- 
ment in her gentle eyes ; but the poor, stricken man could 
not endure the refulgence of those glorious orbs, so full 
of all the best and brightest emotions which belong to 
earth, and heaven too, for aught Murdoch knew or could 
think, or reason either. The good Night AVatch was past 
14 



162 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

anything of the sort. now. The touch of that little hand 
had set in motion the electric fluid, which carried a tele- 
graphic dispatch to every little, hidden, secret place in his 
heart. The great soul of that rude man raised itself to 
Grod, through the reverential devotion it felt for His image 
there before him. 

I know not how he would have managed to quell, at 
least conceal, those feelings from the lady; for all pure 
and honest as his purposes were, the fastidious and un- 
tamed Myra would have thought it an abomination for 
a man in his sphere to have poured out his heart's 
blood even in her service, if prompted by love. All des- 
olate and prostrate by sorrows, sickness, poverty, 'almost 
starvation — she never dreamed of descending from her 
high seat. Since the real world was shut out from 
her, since she was separated from all that was alluring 
and was no longer permitted to mingle with kindred 
natures, she had created a world for herself, and in her 
fervid imagination had peopled it with creatures only a 
little less than the angels. Is it any wonder, then, that 
she usually appeared abstracted, cold, and sometimes 
haughty ? These generally sufficed to soothe her. But 
when those same hard realities, those stern necessities 
which are without law, came, and she is forced to contem- 
plate life as it is, she then, as well as others, must need 
succumb. ISTow comes conscience, bringing self-reproach, 
and memory's vast store-house is unlocked. She shud- 
ders, shrinks, and dashes this mirror of the mind to the 
earth. It is shivered, but she finds her frenzy has only 
furnished fragments by which her woes are multiplied. 

Dear reader, our sympathy for the lovely but ill-fated 
Myra has caused us to ramble. "We return to the ISTight 
Watch. We were thinking that he could not extricate 
himself from that bewildering dilemma, but just then his, 
and everybody's good genius, little Minny Dun, came 
skipping into the room. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 163 

" I bid ye good even, friends. How do ye do, Mur- 
doch ? " giving her hand. 

" Oh ! my sweet birdie ! come to yer ain lassie." 

Clarence had climbed to the knee of Murdoch and, intu- 
itively seeing there was something wrong, he clasps his 
arms around his neck, as was his custom toward all whom 
he loved, and kissed him several times, through that mass 
of heavy, black beard. 

" Come here, darling, and tell Minny all about it." She 
offers to take him. (This is done to please Myra, who is 
really shocked at the child's familiarity.) 

She is arrested by a call : " Minny, Minny Dun, come 
here.'" 

Minny flies to the old lady, who is again bending under 
the weight of the same tea-board. 

" Here, child, help me. You see, children (she draws 
the little table to the fire), in the halls of my father it 
was taught us with our religion, if a stranger came to our 
door, he must not go away as such. If any came cold and 
hungry, they must be fed and warmed. I can not do as 
I was trained, but the disposition is left, while the power 
is almost gone. Yet somebody has said, ' where there's a 
will there's a way,' and I believe that doctrine." 

"While talking, she had busied herself in pouring out 
cups of fine, clear, hot coffee. Then there were crackers, 
and cakes, and sardines, with a leetle bottle of wine. 

"Now come, friends, and surround the board of Mrs. 
Glen " 

An impatient and frightened look from Myra arrested 
the half-spoken word, and she added in a subdued tone, 
" Of poor old Mrs. Wise. My daughter, will you come? 
Murdoch will wheel your chair to the table?" 

Myra frowned, and Minny, with her usual tact, added : 
" Nae, nae ! not sa ; that auld lady maun bide in the cor- 
ner and munch her cracker soaked in a little wine, while 
we young folks enjoy a' these good things." 



164 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

So they sit there chatting, and laughing, and eating, 
and drinking. Murdoch seems to have recovered himself. 
He is not hilarious, like Minny and Clarry, but he seems 
quiet, and for the time, haj)py. He has told them all 
with which the reader has already been made acquainted, 
exclaiming, " Oh ! it was a high trump, a mighty hit, a 
marvelous success ! " 

The child has fallen asleep in Minny's arms, and now 
she says, as the old lady relieves her of her charge, " Mur- 
doch, do you hear that cry? ' Past o-n-e o'c-1-o-c-k.' I 
must e'en bundle and go." 

She rose, and kissing both ladies, turns to the man, who 
is trying to pull something from his pocket. " What is 
that, Murdoch ? " 

" 'Tis the child's wages ; the manager gave it to me to 
fetch for him. He said it was not the custom of the house, 
but the boy earned it honestly, and he wanted him to 
have it. His own little caj? was pretty nigh half full, but 
he kept giving away piece by piece until it has dwindled 
down to this." 

"Oh, you dinna tell me, gude man, that all this siller 
belongs to my little birdie? " 

She takes the silk handkerchief, and going to the table, 
pours out the contents of gold and silver coin, and counts 
it. " Forty and five — and " 

" That will do, Minny. Do, if you jolease, sir, keep the 
balance. Do oblige me. It would make the dear child 
so happ3^" 

" I can't, ma'am ; indeed I can not do it," says Murdoch. 

" Then you wound our feelings by refusing," said Myra, 
with eiaotion. 

Minny gives him a sign to accept ; but while she is 
again kissing adieu to Myra, Murdoch very quietly places 
the coin on the mantle-piece. On leaving, as they opened 
the door, somebody swept by them so briskly, that they 
could not discern who it was. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 165 

" Murdoch, I do believe that was old Faggot," said 
Minny. 

" Yes, the same thought struck me. I'll bet my life 
that he has been peering through the window. Let us go 
back, and ascertain whether he could see through that 
blue rag, there. If he has been watching you, while you 
counted the gold, I must at once sound my rattle, and set 
a guard over the house." 

" I dinna think it will be well to do sae, Murdoch. It 
would scare Mrs. Wise to death. ]^ow, you gude man, as 
ye are, jest take your stand by the post, as ye do every 
night." And Minny sent forth a little merry but harm- 
less giggle. 

" Pshaw ! nonsense, Minny, what makes you such a 
little fool?" 

" Nature, I reckon, Murdoch. You ken I didna' mak' 
my ain sel." 

When they found themselves before the window, all 
seemed secure, and there was no gleam of light issuing 
from it. 

" They have mended the slit in that old window-cover. 
They used to sit there, with it gaping wide open ; so that 
all who passed might see," said Murdoch. 

" That was when the puir bodies were so bowed with 
greeting and glamouring." 

"They are happy now, are they, Minny? Oh, girl," 
says he, griping her arm, " I would lay down this rough 
carcass, and be trampled to death — have the soul crushed 
out of me, if that woman could walk over it to comfort 
and happiness." 

" O Murdoch, what mak's yoit, sic a fool ? " 

" The Devil, I reckon, Minny, and that woman's pretty 
face." 

" Listen to me, dear Murdoch, you must get o'er all 
this ! Ye are the humble ' Night Watch' o' these streets. 
Ye are hardly seen or known in the light o' day. There 



166 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

is a great gulf between you. You are the black, murky 
night. She is the winsome, glorious day. Think not o' 
her, Murdoch, an ye love your ain soul ! You wad peril 
your body, I know; but mind the soul, man ! that w^hich 
ye have in trust only, frae God : you may not offer up the 
soul o' your body on any altar save one ! Grod will require 
it at your hands ! Think nae mair about that haughty 
woman, Murdoch." 

" Why, Minny, she is poor and defenseless, uncared-for, 
and unknown ; and if I am just what you say I am, why 
should she scorn this heart, which, God knows, has never 
yet nursed a mean or a dishonest thought or purpose ? 
You are hard U230n me, Minny. I am not so lowly as you 
think me, perhaps. I am as high up in the world now as 
she is ; I am, maj" be, as acceptable in the sight of heaven 
as she — and " 

" Oh, niver mind all that. May be ye are mair sae. 
You may be altogether better. Still think not o' her. I 
advise ye for your ain gude." 

"But Minny, will nothing move her? Will not this 
devotion, which would shame the love of all others before? 
If I lay down my life, will she not then think kindly 
of me?" 

" Nae, nae ! not in the way ye wish, I ween." 

" I can not live thus," said the man, dropping his arms 
down heavily by his side. " Minny, dear Minny! if you 
should hear, some day, that I have thrown myself from 
that old bridge into the flood beneath, will you tell her 
that I died a martyr to that love which I dared not 
confess." 

" Oh, niver fash ! Gude Murdoch, shake it all off; rouse 
up, man. There's a good time coming to us a' 

" Grandam says so, and she knows. She believes in 
dreams, and sae do I. Last night we both dreamed the 
same dream, and I canna' forget it." 

''What. was the dream. Minny?" 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 167 

" I have nae time to tell it to ye now. But 'tis the 
sign o' good times; mair by token there's a good time 
coming." 

" But, Minny, the lady was not so haughty to me 
to-night?" 

" Oh, but it is a' nothing ; trust not to symptoms." She 
turned quickly, and looking him keenly in the face, says : 
" Murdoch, I'll jest ask ye one question, an ye'll let 
me?" 

" Say on," groaned the man. 

" Wad ye tak' an empty casket and wear it in your ain 
bosom, when its gem had gone to enrich that of another ? 
Wad ye ? Tell me that, man ? Ye had nae thought o' 
that, had ye, friend?" He walks on moodilj", without 
speaking. Then he recovers himself and looks about. 

" Minny, we are at least a mile from your house." 

" Oh, I kenned it a' the time, Murdoch ; but I thought it 
wad do ye good ; help to cool the fever in your brain, and 
may be put out that flame in your heart. I would save ye, 
Murdoch, for I know ye are an honest and true-hearted 
man. But Lucifer has set you on fire, puir man ! " 

Ere they arrive at the door of the little toy-shop, Minny 
has reasoned him into a more genial mood. There is, 
therefore, no trace of his former fierceness in his tone, as 
he bids her " Good night." 

The next day Mr. Grooch of the Theater, called at 

the hovel, and being a generous as well as just man, offers 
a liberal salary for the services of the little Clarry. The 
grandmother grows fiercely angry, and seems disj)Osed to 
show the good man the door. But Myra listens with a 
pleased and gratified attention to the hyperbolical praises 
of her darling. She does not consent to his terms until 
he pledges himself by a written contract, to give the 
child two hours instruction in the useful branches every 
day. "I would not part with my child. I would not 
give him up to you thus, soul and body, knowing how 



168 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

plastic is childhood's tender mind, if I did not feel a sort 
of premonition, that you would deal justly by us, and that 
you are not only upright, but sympathetic and benevo- 
lent. I have not the facilities to educate my son. Scarce 
can I find covering for his tender limbs, or suitable food 
for his delicate frame. Why and how I have been reduced 
to this necessity — in what way and by whose instru- 
mentality I have been dragged down to this miserable 
condition (looking around her), it boots me not to tell. 
Let it suffice to know, that none here or elsewhere have 
been more tenderly nurtured, or more affectionately cared 
for. jSTone in the whole land can boast of higher and 
purer lineage. But I am now what you see me, and 
miist bide God's own time to restore the right, and pun- 
ish the wrong. I entrust you with the only jewel I have 
left. Guard it as you prize your own life ; as j^ou desire 
the well-being of your loved ones ; as you value your 
immortal soul ; above all, as you love Christ, and hope 
for mercy through him in that last day — that solemn 
scene in the closing act of the drama of life — I conjure 
you to shield my heart's treasure from harm and from 
vice." 

The manager is deeply moved, goes to the window, and 
wipes his eyes. He sees a Bible Ijnng open, brings it to 
Myra, and proceeds to swear. 

" Stop ! " says the lady, placing her own little white 
hand on his ; " I will trust to your simple word. Hon- 
esty is written on your face, and your name stands high 
on Fame's peerage roll. Take him. I will trust." 

He now proceeded to arrange the terms. The little 
boy was to go early every morning, the Sabbath excepted ; 
the whole of that d'dj would belong to his mother. He 
should receive all requisite instruction, have proper hours 
for recreation and exercise : the rest of the time would 
be taken up in getting ready and in rehearsing his little 
role. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 169 

" That will do," said the young mother. "I trust to 
your kind heart that he shall not be overtasked." 

" Come here, Clarence," said she, and the child ran in 
from the kitchen, where he had been assisting his grand- 
mother. His sweet baby face was blurred and smiitted, 
with soot and coal dust ; and his hands were red and stiff 
with cold. He wore a long-sleeved, coarse, linen apron. 
On perceiving Mr. Gooch, he stops, looking abashed ; but 
qu.ickly recovering himself, he goes up to him. 

" Ho ! ho ! ho ! My little prince, come doff that linen 
vesture, and assume the royal purple." 

Myra takes off the apron, washes his face, smooths his 
hair, curling each bright lock over her own tiny fingers. 
When she has finished, he agains turns to Mr. Grooch, who 
exclaims, with a genuine burst of admiration, 
- " Hail, once more, Duke of York ! I think he is a 
wonderful genius." 

" JSTot so," said Myra. " He used to go sometimes to 
the theater, where everything was explained to him ; 
and we have read many of the popular plays together ; 
also a few of Shakspeare's ; and having a fine memory, he 
would frequently be able afterward to repeat whole pages. 
Then, for amusement, and in sheer idleness, I would 
instruct him in some simple rules of elocution. Many 
times before he has been hailed ' Duke of York.' Some- 
times he has ventured on ' Eichard,' and ' Albert,' and 
others." 

" All this will now bring its reward. It will most 
assuredly be repaid to you a thousand fold in the success 
of your son ; in the pride you are bound to feel in his 
brilliant career. It will also return to you in a golden 
harvest. "Will you allow me, madam, to pay a month's 
salary in advance." 

" Oh no ! I pray you do not place me under this obli- 
gation ; permit me to decline. See what he brought home 
last night," showing the pieces of gold and silver coin, 
15 



170 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

" We shall need no more until he has won his way to 
public favor, and is deemed worthy of his hire." 

" Should you need any aid or service, of whatever 
nature, will you honor me with your commands ? " 

She thanked him with a sweet smile, and having 
embraced the child tenderly, over and over again, hands 
him to Mr. G-ooch. 

"Madam," says he, joresenting his hand, "may I hope 
that you will permit me sometimes to call on you along 
with my proteg6 ? " 

Myra blushed, but replied quickly, " I fear, sir, I must 
forego this pleasure, for the present. When I am differ- 
ently situated it will afford me the greatest gratification. 
I will advise you of that time through my son, and will 
then hope to see you." 

" Sir, will you not let me take my tea every evening 
with my mother ? " 

"Oh yes," says Myra, eagerly;"! had forgotten to 
stipulate for that." 

" Certainly," replied Mr. Grooch ; " anything and every- 
thing, in reason, shall be permitted. Good morning, 
madam." 

Another kiss on that sweet, dewy mouth, and an ardent 
embrace from the child, and she is alone. 

"And is he gone?" she exclaims with " Medora." 
" And is he gone ! Is Conrad gone ! " 

" Yes, he's gone," quoth the old lady ; " he is gone ; and 
where is he gone ? And who has sent him on his way to 
perdition. Oh, Myra ! you will regret it ; I fear you will 
rue the day that you ever saw that man, that Mr. Goose, 
or whatever else his hateful name is. What is his name?" 

" Gooch, madam." 

" Well, I don't care ; I hate him, any how. He has 
taken the only sunbeam from this house. Sad, and dreary, 
and deep is the gloom of this place to me now! " 

" Grandma, hush ! for God's sake hush ! Would you 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 171 

Upset what little courage I may have drawn from the 
hope of having done my duty? Would you have that 
gifted child to be forever a ' Hewer of wood, and drawer 
of water?'" 

" I would have him, when he quits this world prepared 
to mingle with pure spirits in heaven ; I would have him 
ready to meet his G-od ! Oh ! most unnatural mother ! 
Oh, proud, ambitious woman ! will nothin'g humble you? " 

Myra sat quite unmoved. She neither spoke, nor wept. 
She seemed to be sustained and buoyed up above all that 
could vex or annoy. Hope was now at the helm, there- 
fore the little bark will weather the storm, and that poor, 
stricken young mother will find her vessel, with herself 
and sweet fledgling in a safe mooring at last. 

" Oh ! " sobbed the old lady, still rocking herself fiercely, 
'< I miss my child ; I miss his bright face, his mocking- 
bird voice, and I miss his little hands more than all.'' 

Myra smiled quietly, but said nothing. 

This domestic scene was interrupted by the entrance 
of an old man, who softly lifts the latch and comes, unan- 
nounced, toward the fire, creeping and tottering along. 
His beard and hair are as white as milk, hanging far 
down on his breast and shoulders. He is poorly clad and 
seems to be cold and weary. 

Myra hands him a chair, looking pityingly at him ; 
then invites him very kindly to draw near to the fire ; 
offers to take his cap, which he declines, speaking in a low 
and quavering voice. He seems wholly absorbed in the 
comforts of the little grate, spreading out his thin, bony 
hands over the blaze. 

The old lady has left the room, and Myra again begins 
to ply her needle, having fixed her eyes on her work ; the 
old man peers keenly from under his cap around the 
room ; no corner or crevice escapes him. He fixes his 
eyes on the lady ; as she raises her's from time to time his 



172 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

drop beneafh their soft, mild expression, and instantly 
resume the same stolid, marble-like look. 

Finally, he asks her, with the real mendicant whine, 
for something to eat, saying he had journeyed far, and 
had not yet broken his fast. 

She leaves the room, and as she passed to the kitchen, 
mnrmnred, " Poor old man, I will divide even to the half 
that I have." 

She was gone but a moment, jet long enough for the 
money which ]\Iu,rdoch had placed on the mantle-piece to 
pass from the shelf to his pocket. 

Myra returns, saying she had nothing in the house fit 
to offer him, but gives him a piece of money, telling him 
he must buy a dinner at some restaurant. 

He thanked her very humbly, and rose to depart ; but 
suddenly seeming to remember something he again seated 
himself; he then inquired if she wanted to hire a servant? 

Myra replied she would like to get a little negro girl. 

" All right then, madam, I have just the one to suit you ; 
but I ask two dollars a week.'' 

Myra nodded assent. 

Promising to send her that evening, he thanked her for 
her charity, and offered his withered hand, and as he 
seemed to bow his head over her's she saw that his eyes 
gleamed with a sinister expression, as they fell on the 
opal ring. 

Late in the afternoon, when the sun was about to bid 
adieu to this nether world, there came to the hovel a tall, 
graceful girl, very much wrapped up, and closely veiled. 
She seemed reserved and constrained, but Myra was 
interested, and showed her all the civilities which the 
nature of the case permitted. At last she spoke in a low, 
sweet, tremulous voice : 

" T have called, madam, to see you about the little ser- 
vant whom my father engaged to furnish. I entreat you 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 173 

to show her as much lenity as will be consistent with pru- 
dence only. She is a smart child, and will seem docile 
and obedient, but children should not be trusted too far. 
Mind my words, lady, and trust not too much." 

" I hope she is good and faithful ; above all, truthful," 
said Myra. 

"I will bring her, madam, and let you try her," said 
the girl, seeming to evade the query. 

She left, but in a very short time returned, bringing 
with her a little negro girl, very black, and with remark- 
ably straight hair for an African. Myra throughout had 
treated the veiled lady with so much consideration and 
kindness, that when she took her hand to say adieu, she 
carried it to her lips, and a tear fell on it, dimming that 
same opal ring. 



1'74 THE I^IGHT WATCH, 

4k 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

THE I. ADY AND THE TOADY. 

"Nor do they trust their tongues alone, 
But speak a language of their own ; 
Can read a nod, a shrug, a look. 
Far better than a printed book ; 
Convey a libel in a frown, 
And wink a reputation down." 

Sweet Mary Green and her mother sat in that young 
lady's dressing-room. The former had been ill for sev- 
eral weeks, consequently had not set out on that tour 
which was in projection at the oj)ening of our story. 
Myra had never been called on to aid them in fitting out 
her wardrobe ; but there had been forwarded to her from 
time to time, very substantial proofs of their generosity. 
Neither Mary nor her mother had called since, so they 
never knew that the greater portion of their bounty had 
not reached them. Negroes do not like to see anything 
going out from the full stores of their owners to the empty 
shelves of " poor white folks," as they term the less for- 
tunate members of Grod's family. Therefore, much that 
was intended to comfort the interesting members of that 
little household never traveled beyond the kitchen, or 
the nearest negro quarters. 

The mother and daughter were just speaking of that 
"poor lady in disguise," as Emma always called Myra, 
when she (Emma) entered the room. 

After the usual salutations were over, and the sincere 
kiss of friendship had been given, Emma Calderwood 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 175 

commenced in her off-hand way: "Ah ! Mary, I have the 
strangest thing to tell you." 

" Have you, then ? " replied Mary, " I'm glad of it ; I 
have not heard a marvelous thing since I last saw your 
mother and Miss Nancy." 

'' I do wish you had been at the theater for the last few 
nights. Our own beautiful little protege made his debut, 
and looked ten times more lovely than ever. I do think 
there must have been a peck of sovereigns thrown on to 
the stage." 

A servant enters and announces Mi'S. Calderwood and 
Miss Jones. 

'' Oh Lord ! Now I am dumb, and would like to be 
deaf for the next half hour," said Emma, looking annoyed. 

" Ask them to walk up, Euth," said Mrs. Green. 

Presently they were heard ascending the steps — Mrs. 
Calderwood bending under the weight of finery, and poor 
old Miss Nancy under her budget of news. They seem 
to be in high glee. 

" Ah ! said Emma, somebody is down now. Hear ! 
they are holding a jubilee over some pretty woman's fall, 
some poor man's failure or defalcation. Some lady's mis- 
fortunes have furnished the basis for this rejoicing." 

" Oh ! you here, Emma ? I thought you had gone to 
congratulate your friends on their elevation, that is to be," 
said Mrs. Calderwood. 

" No, mamma, I came here to sit with Mary." 

After being seated, seeing that neither Emma, Mary, nor 
Mrs. Green asked an explanation. Miss Nancy Jones opens 
the conversation by saying, 

"Well, Mis Green, have you heard the news to-day?" 

" I have read it, Miss Jones." 

" Oh ! but I guess you haven't read it all." 

" I have read all that was meant for the public eye. 
Beyond this I have no right or desire to pry." 

" Oh ! you haven't ? Well, Mis Callerwood, but don't 



176 THE N I G U T WATCH. 

you think it's very strange that she shoukl have sold her 
child ? her own flesh and blood? " 

" Whom do you mean, Miss ISTancy ? " asked Emma. 

" Why, your and Miss Grreen's progidy of perfection, 
that insolent woman down on Market street. Yes, she 
has actually sold her little boy to Gooch, the manager of 

the theater," rejoined Mrs. Calderwood, with a look 

of great satisfaction. 

"Yes, indeed," struck in Miss Nancy, " G-ooch was down 
there the other morning, closely shut up the whole day 
with the milliner. Toward night he was seen going home 
leading the poor lad along, just like a calf or a sheep, by 
the shambles." 

" He gives her a fine price, certainly," added Mrs. C, 
" more than any one of my negro boys would bring." 

" How much. Madam?" asked Mrs. Green, looking very 
coldly. 

" Oh, I don't know. I can't descend to particulars ; 
but I was told it was a fine price, and a very advan- 
tageous sale." 
■ " O mamma ! do stop ; you make we sick." 

"I don't wonder, my dear; and you must be pained 
too, to find yourself so deceived and put upon by such 
vile dissembling stragglers, and I don't know what else 
besides." 

Emma was about to attemj)t a justification of her 
favorites, w^hen Miss ISTancy again cut in. 

" They do say, Mis Callerwood, that Gooch and that 
milliner are agoing to get married right away ; and then 
she's to take all the heavy tragedy-queen parts ; and the 
old woman's to play all the hag.^, and witches of Dendor, 
and Bacbeth ; and the boy's to do all the young villains 
and dare-devils." 

"Ah! now you are at fault, Jones. I'm better posted 
up this time, for a wonder, than even the sapient Miss 
Nancy." 



c 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 177 

"What? what is it, then, Mis Calderwood? Now do 
tell?" 

"Why, mam, she is — witlioiit a shadow of a doubt, 
without the slightest shade of an uncertainty — engaged 
to Murdoch, ' Tlie ISTight Watch.' He almost lives there, 
either inside or outside of the house. He stays, I'm told, 
till one or two o'clock every night with the woman inside, 
and till day against the lamp-post on the outside. ISTow 
you know, of course, Mrs. Green, that the old woman and 
child must be fast asleep long before that. You must 
know this, mad-am." 

" 'No, Mrs. Calderwood, I do not know. I am not so 
well posted up as yourself." 

"Well, any how," again cut in poor old Miss Nancy, 
" When he is forced away from her, by his street duties, 
he jest takes his stand before her window, and peeps in 
at her through the curtain (which has a slit torn in it on 
purpose) the live long night." 

" Oh ! This is monstrous ! It is unprecedented vindic- 
tiveness." 

" 'Tis so. Mis G-reen. 'Tis monsrous bad, indeed ; and 
to think that I belittled myself so much as to ask her to 
quilt me a skuirt." 

"And that foolish child there, wanted to give her all 
those fine fabrics of hers to have ruined, and spotted over 
with salt water from those soft, deceptions-looking eyes. 
I wonder, Mrs. Green, if it will get out to our injury, that 
we entered that den of vice and poverty?" asked Mrs. 
Calderwood. 

"And do you think. Mis Green, 'twill blemish my 
reputation, if it gets to be known that I went in there to 
ask her to " 

"Which she rejected with such scorn," said Emma, 
laughing heartily. " Oh ! she would not quilt that skirt. 
How impertinent ? " 

" Shut up. Miss Purtness, I'm not a talking to you. 



178 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

Do you, mam," again turning to Mrs. Green with an inno- 
cent look of inquiry. 

" Oh no ! I think you have nothing to fear. I have no 
idea that either of you ladies can be worsted by this 
unfortunate stranger." 

" Well, I reckon not. We are too well established," said 
Mrs. Calderwood. 

"Doubtless in some things, to be hurt," rejoined Mrs. 
Green. 

" Mis Callerwood, they do say that Murray and Ger- 
trude Lindsay are agoing to be married next week." 

" You don't say so, Jones ? Oh, it can't be true ! " 

"Yes, it can though. I tell you they do say so." 

" Why, Jones, what did Ann tell Moggy Ann ? Didn't 
she say it was all off ? " 

" Oh, but Ann didn't prick her ears well, that time. It 
was all made up that same night, and the day was fixed 
then. Gertrude goes every day now, to see the 'young 
old lady,' and they are as thick as peas in a pod. The 
old woman loves the girl, but Murray loves the money." 

"How did you learn all these jDrivate matters?" asked 
Mrs. Green, coldly. 

" Never mind, I've got a little bird that tells me every- 
thing." 

"Is it a white, black, or yellow bird?" asked Emma, 
with a merry look. 

Miss Nancy again scowled, and looking at the girl, said 
between her clenched teeth — " Insolent, hateful thing." 

"But is this so," inquired Mrs. Calderwood. "Have 
you heard of it, Mrs. Green ? " 

"Yes, madam, I know they are to be married, but not 
so soon." 

They then left; and in the course of the morning 
made many calls, repeating everywhere those slanders. 

One would think, that this was a. sorry and depraved 
condition of society, Avhen such persons as these are 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 179 

received on familiar footing into the first families in the 
city. Yet it is not more strange than true. You must 
know, dear reader, that Mrs. Calderwood is wealthy, gives 
big dinners, and grand parties ; is besides, related to 
the present Governor. Miss I^ancy Jones is her "prime 
minister." Gossip, eaves-dropper and toady, and general 
sj)y, as she is well known to be, she is still received and 
even welcomed almost everywhere. Our neighbors are 
very fond of knowing each other's business ; above all, 
their family secrets. Consequently those two ladies are 
courted by all. 

Their last visit is made to the mansion of Col. Murray. 
They are ushered into the di-awing-room without delay. 
This is one of the old lady's regular reception-days. She 
has only three a week. Miss Lindsay, Mrs. Murray, and 
the Colonel are at home. Gertrude is seated at the piano, 
and is looking magnificent. Truly, happiness is a great 
beautifier of the human face ! The mother is arrayed in 
all her regality — purple, velvet, Mechlin lace, and jewels. 
The son is dressed with severe simplicity, and is silent and 
moody. 

On the entrance of* the ladies. Miss Lindsay had risen 
from the instrument. She seats herself apart from the 
company, and Murray, to shield himself from the obtru- 
Biveness of the visitors, takes a chair by her side, and 
commences a conversation in a low tone. 

Gertrude was greatly delighted. But now he is fast 
sinking into abstraction. At last he seems to have for- 
gotten her — her, his betrothed. Her presence brings no 
beam of sunshine to his frozen heart. 

Poor Murray ! he had some time since recovered from 
his brief intoxication ; had waked up, and could dream 
no more. But with the same sort of highly-wrought res- 
olution which incites a man to meet danger or death, 
for honor or conscience-sake, he was determined to go 
through with the marriage ; yet there was a feeling of 



180 THE NIGHT WATCH 

entere self-immolation. He might be wretched, or he 
might die, hut he would not with premeditation sully his 
honor or forfeit his word. 

In the meantime, these two familiar acquaintances had 
regularly recounted to Mrs. Murra}^ all that had been 
repeated at Mrs. Green's, which had been detailed with 
many additions at some four or five other places. !N"ow it 
had swelled into a mighty and marvelous tale, strange 
and ugly, as Miss Nancy said. Murray, during his seem- 
ing revery, had been listening fixedly. Not a word had 
escaped him. But when they spoke of Murdoch as a lover, 
nay, as the affianced of the incomparable Myra, he started 
to his feet so suddenly as to fi-ighten Gertrude. On pass- 
ing, he trod on her foot, which made her scream out. 

" Pardon me," said he, and hurried out of the room. A 
sign passed froni one lady to the other. 

When these two harpies had left. Miss Lindsay drew 
near to Mrs. Murray, taking a low seat at her feet, and 
looking distractedly around her, says, 

" Mother, O mother, pity me ! " 

She oftentimes accosted her by that endearing name. 
In fact, the unwavering friendship which these two con- 
genial natures felt for each other, that intimacy which had 
withstood so many rude shocks, was the one redeeming 
trait in their lives — " The one virtue linked with a thousand 
faults." Gertrude had grown up from infancy under the 
eye of Mrs. Murray, and was in some sort her foster child. 

" Now you see, mother, how it is ? I told you so. 
When I read that anonymous letter, I felt my doom was 
fixed. You tried to reassure me, and you did caress away 
my doubts for the time, but they have returned with 
ten -fold intensity. I feel as I imagine a convict does 
who is subject to the fearful alternations of hope and 
despair. I will not be trifled with much longer. My 
father does not know how I have been treated. He 
does not surmise the base part I have played in this court- 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 181 

ship. He looks upon Conrad Murray as one full of eccen- 
tricities, but as the most chivalric of men, the most 
impassioned of lovers. But, mother, this thing must end. 
I will break this chain which has been no chain till now, 
or so wreathed with roses that I felt it not. Now the 
thorns begin to prick me, and the links chafe. I shall 
have this chain either riveted or broken soon. If broken, 
mother, your foster daughter will not hang herself with a 
blue or pink silk scarf, nor jump out of a third story win- 
dow; neither will she, like Juliet, forestall him in the 
friendly cup, nor even elope with Mr. Gaines ; but she 
will make Charles Conrad Murray rue the hour that he 
ever saw the light of day, or Gertrude Lindsay." 

" Oh! for God's sake! Gertrude stop; you make me 
shudder. You frighten even me, who never did quail but 
once in my life, and that was under his eye. That man's 
eye is as keen as a two-edged sword. But enough. I 
know, my dear, although he is my son, that there is some- 
thing wrong about the boy ; something strange and fan- 
tastical, and then again fearful. But just wait, my child ; 
such a looking woman as you are, Gertrude, beautiful and 
so voluptuous, must rivet the chain, though it be forged by 
circumstances and expediency. / know, Gerty, I am a 
judge of these things ; and besides, I know too much 
about his passionate, fierce nature when aroused, to doubt 
of the result ; and don't you doubt either, my dear child, 
but trust to" me. I rarely fail in my diplomacy. I always 
carry my point, either by foul means or fair." 

The beauty seemed reassured. As she passed through 
the hall, she heard his measured step in the parlor. He 
did not offer to attend her, although Tivvy had been sent 
to inform him that such was his mother's wishes. 

" Go on, go on, Tivvy ; I don't know what you are say- 
ing. I will listen to you some other time." The girl 
stood there staring at him in amazement ; he was as pale 
as death. " Go away, Tivvy, that's a good girl." 



182 . THE NIGHT WATCH. 

" What shall I tell her? " said Tivvy. 

" Anything you please, so that you leave me alone." 

"When Tivvy vanished, he locked the door and resumed 
his march, talking the while. 

" "Why this wild emotion ? What is the woman to me ? 
Nothing, other than she resembles my lost Marianna. I 
do not knoAv much of this poor lady, but every one who 
does know her says she is an angel. Why should I thus 
shudder at the good Murdoch mating with this gentle 
dove ? I am myself to be married soon, and my own 
marriage will be as ill-assorted as theirs. That child, too, 
is like my lost bride. Poor Marianna ! cut off in the 
flower of thy youth, amid the glory of such heavenly 
beauty." He stops and placing his finger on his lip, 
seems to reflect. " Would to heaven I could break these 
two untoward marriages ; would that I knew the secret 
which envelops her life. O that I could clear up those dark 
mysteries. What brings that old Jew jDeddler here ? or 
why does he thus dog my steps? Thrice have I turned, 
intending to chastise his impertinence, old as he is ; but 
he seemed to fade from my sight as if the earth had 
ojDened and swallowed him uj). Ah ! how that woman's 
image haunts me ! Ha ! now I remember one of the har- 
pies spoke of her engagement to Gooch, and that she was 
to become a stock actress. I know this to be false,- so may 
be all else which their vituperative tongues uttered. I 
know Gooch ; he is a gentleman, although connected with 
a theater, and never would jeopardize the reputation of 
an unprotected woman. I heard him speak of his inter- 
view, which did not last more than one hour. I also 
lieard him laud her modesty and good sense. 

A rap at the door, and the impatient voice of his mother 
demands instant admittance. After looking at him very 
keenly, she said, " My son, Gertrude wishes to attend the 
theater to-night." 

" Well, madam : I have no objection." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 183 

" Should you not attend her, sir? — your affianced wife, 
Charles Conrad Murray ! " She always gave the full 
name when she wished to be impressive. 

" I am ready, madam. Do you think she desires my 
attendance? " 

" Of course, she expects it." 

•' If you wish it, my mother, then I will call for her. 
But where is Mr. Gaines ? I do not remember ever to 
have seen her there without him. If he does not go with 
her, he joins her immediately after ; and they are fre- 
quently so absorbed, that they do not see or hear any of 
the play." 

"]S"ow, Charlie, you are jealous. Well, that is a first 
rate symptom." 

" Not so : would to heaven I could feel or care enough 
to be made jealous." 

The old lady frowned, and her white, even, pretty 
teeth worked fiercely up and down — and so she swept 
from the room. 



184 THE NIGHT WATCH. 



CHAPTEE XIX. 

THE M I S E r's home. 

" As pale and wan as ashes was Ms look, 
His body lean and meager as a rake, 
And skin all withered like a dried rook; 
Then, too, as cold and dreary as a snake. 
That seemed to tremble evermore and quake." 

When Miss Lindsay left Mrs. Murray, to return home 
as she stated, after going in that direction for several 
squares, she struck into an unfrequented street, or alley ; 
this led to a dismal, dirty court, which was that portion 
of the city occupied bj^ the Jews for dwellings, or rather 
stopping places (for they do not dwell), and is called the 
Jews' Quarter. She had now arrived at the place she 
sought — a gloomy, dilapidated pile of old brick walls, 
black with age, and green with mold. She entered a 
dark allej^, and passing into a narrow back yard, pushed 
open a low door, and bending her haughty head, com- 
menced ascending a spiral staircase. Uj), up, up, she 
mounted, higher and higher, until she felt assured she 
must be near the roof. The next step brought her to a 
platform, or landing. On reaching this she was com- 
pelled to stop for breath. In the intensity of her feel- 
ings, amid that tornado of raging passions — love, hatred, 
and jealousy — she had forgotten everything but the object 
in view. Having rushed along the street with the 
velocity of a steam engine, then mounting that flight of 
steps, which, like Jacob's ladder, seemed to reach to the 
heavens, she was compelled to lean against the wall for 



THE NIGHT M' A T C H . 185 

several moments before she could give the signal, or low 
double rap. 

That platform was so constructed b}^ some cunning 
device, that when the foot touched the last board, a little 
bell tinkled over the head of the miser ; consequently he 
was never taken by surprise. The fact, too, that no one 
could ascend those winding stej)s without stopping to rest 
on the threshhold, was another thing in his favor. The 
old wretch was indulging (which he sometimes did after 
an unusual success in villany) in a bowl of rich stewed 
oysters, and fine white bread, washed down by the best 
win^. Leah had prepared this sumptuous repast, and 
was standing by his side while he ate. 

When that little bell tinkled, he exclaimed, "Here 
shild, take the tings away. Somebody wants to speak 
mit thy fadder on business. Let every ting be hid away." 

As if by magic, the fragments, dirty dishes, and bottle 
vanished — then, when the rap was given, a little, low, 
mean chuckle preceded the feeble, quavering " come in ; " 
and Leah, as once before, became part and parcel of a 
quantity of old clothes on the wall. "When Miss Lindsay 
entered, she found the Jew seated on the same old hair 
trunk. He had assumed even a more lean, lank, cold and 
hungry look than ever. 

" Well, Mordecai, I've come again, you see." This was 
said to the low, cringing reverence, that the miser made 
to the wealthy aristocrat. 

"Yes, mine lady, I sees." 

" Then sit down and listen to me. I have such need of 
your services as will call forth all your energy and shrewd- 
ness ; and for which, if you serve me well, and succeed, I 
will pour more gold into your old trunk there, than 
any one ever did before, or ever will again." 

" Oh ! oh ! mine lady, thou is mishtaken : old Mordecai, 
the Jew, is so poor that he can't buy new cloth to make 
his coat, and he is always half starved." 
16 ■ 



186 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

" Never tell me that, Faggot. I know that you and 1 
with our combined strength, could not move that strong- 
box one inch." 

■ " Oh ! oh ! thou is mishtaken, mine lady ; I will show 
thee that thou is mishtaken." And then he proceeded to 
unlock the trunk, which, much to the sui^prise of Grer- 
trude, contained some articles of clothing, that seemed 
to be only a little bit cleaner than the rags he wore. 

" See ! see ! lady," says he, as he turns them over for 
her inspection, " dis is all." 

" Well, Jew, I have done you injustice, as many another 
has, no doubt ; and as many more will. But let that pass ; 
I crave your pardon, Mordecai." 

" Oh ! mine lady ! " and he bows himself down in the 
most servile, abject manner. 

" I will say, then, that I will place the largest amount, 
or the first contribution, if you will, in that trunk." 

" Go on, lady, old Faggot is ready." 

"]S"ow, Mordecai, you know that pretty milliner down 
Market street, who is turning the town upside down, and 
all the men's heads with it. She seems to be in every- 
body's Avay. She is in mine, and I want her put out 
of it. She must be removed — safely stored away, 
Faggot," and the words came hissingly from her pretty 
mouth. 

<' Oh ! now, mine lady, how can dat poor woman stand 
in thy way ? the comely and high maiden, mit so much 
gold monish." 

" A truce with your fulsome flattery. If you do not 
listen and come to terms at once, I will engage old Nathan, 
the other Jew dog, your next door neighbor. I chose you. 
Faggot, thinking there are degrees of wickedness even in 
hell, and of all the devils I wanted the biggest." 

" Oh ! he ! he ! he ! " chuckled the Jew, and he grinned; 
showing little white, pointed teeth, such as we see in the 
mouth of a jackall. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 187 

" Go on, lady, I'll do it, dat's all I is got to say. I'll 
do it. I'll do it." 

" Next week I have promised to marry Coni'ad Mur- 
ray ; but some mysterious circumstances have transpired, 
which make me think this low-born, obscure, and, I am 
told, suspicious person will try to interrupt the marriage. 
Now, Mordecai, I confess, with shame and confusion of 
face, that I fear this creature more than all the belles and 
beauties of the city." 

" Oh yes ! she is comely — bright as de sun, and beau- 
tiful as was Fadder Jacob's wife, Eachel — de comely 
Eachel ! " 

The lady scowled, and the Jew showed his jackall teeth 
again. 

" Is she so ? Then so much greater the necessity to 
have her removed." 

"What does thou propose, my lady ? " said Faggot. 

" I propose nothing to such a fiendish machinator as 
yourself. I thought the devil abounded in devices. I did 
think he was never at a loss for ways and means to work 
ruin and devastation on the human family. When I find 
that hovel vacant and Murdoch and his hounds set on the 
wrong trail, and she is no more forthcoming, I will pay 
you five hundred dollars." 

His little red-hot coals of fire gleamed out again from 
under his shaggy, gray eye-brows. 

" Write it, mine lady," said he, producing the same lit- 
tle ink-horn and the stump of a pen ; and taking a small 
piece of paper, which he again divided, hands her the 
scrap. 

Then that smart, scheming woman, had the imprudence 
to write her promissory note for that amount, with her 
true signature afiixed. 

The door opened, a little negro girl entered, and came 
toward them. 

" Who is this, sir? " shouted the beauty. " How dare 



188 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

you, base traitor, to allow any one to come upon me here 
in your vile den?" She sprung to her feet and seized 
the old man by the collar. " "Wretch ! dog ! I will shake 
the soul out of your body ! " and she jerked him violently 
from his seat. 

" Oh ! Fadder Abraham, and Jacob, and de God of dem 
all, save me ! Lady, it is only my own little slave. Fear 
nothi;ig ; she does not understand, nor speak any language 
but the ancient one of my peoplesh." Then he turned to 
the child, and they conversed in an earnest tone, the girl 
making gestures of disgust and disapprobation to Avhat 
the old man said. 

Mordecai turns to the beauty. " You may depend on 
me. When to-morrow's sun shall rise, he will shine on 
dat empty hovel — on dat cold grate. Den two, tree 
days more, and old Faggot will come to de palace of de 
'queen of beauty,' to git his monish." 

" 'Tis well ! " said the lady. 

Jvist then there was a slight noise behind those old 
clothes ou the wall. The lady again started to her feet. 
" What noise was that ? Infidel dog ! false Israelite ! 
would you entrap and betray your benefactress? " 

" Oh ! Fadder Abraham ! it is nothing, only but rats." 

But Gertrude seemed greatly disturbed, and proceeded 
to examine every part of the wall — peeping and prying 
curiously about. When she came to those old clothes, 
she took every piece down and scrutinized the panels. 
Faggot and the child had watched her with the most 
nervous anxiety ; but when she turned to them again, 
they were both unconcernedly looking into the fire. 

When the lady had left, Faggot and the little negro 
talked for some time. Then he dismissed her, after 
which he run his hand under the old clothes on the wall, 
and a noise was heard like the click of a spring. He now 
soliloquized, in a low, guttural voice, " I is myself only 
smart enough to head dat Leah. It takes old Faggot, 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 189 

mit all his cunning, to overtake dat shild. I is got her 
fast shut up in her cage now, tank Got ! Dat wash one 
clever invention, dat counter-spring." 

He busied himself in taking from their several hiding 
places certain garments of better quality and condition 
than those he wore ; and while he proceeded to array 
himself in them, he muttered all the time : " De girl is 
goot — I like her very much ; but she is not true to my 
peoplesh like Hagar is. So oftentimes she thwarts my 
plans of vengeance against de proud ISTazarene. O 
Leah ! if thou was true to me and mine peoplesh, when 
my vengeance is satisfied, I would make de like unto de 
Queen o' Sheba. But Faddor Abraham, de girl is merci- 
ful to dem Christian dogs ! Yet I is up to her dish time ; 
she is fast enough." 

Then he touches another spring in a panel, differing 
in nothing from the surrounding blank walls. This dis- 
covers a large mirror, which reflects the image of the 
Jew as he looked when he forced poor Myra, as her land- 
lord, to place that sign over her door. He is himself now, 
and presents the appearance of a brisk, shrewd little 
man — not much beyond fift}'" or fifty-five years of age. 
Those ugly, shaggy brows have disappeared ; those milk- 
white locks and flowing beard, have given place to a 
naked, but wrinkled, dried -looking face, and close-cropped, 
iron-gray hair. All, everything is changed, but the little 
gleaming eyes and the jackall teeth. He wraps himself 
up in his ample shawl, and putting on his cap, views him- 
self again in the mirror, and, with a low chuckle of satis- 
faction, thus soliloquizes again: 

" Oh, oh ! the woman is very beautiful ; dat JN'azarene 
is comely. I feel someting stirring in dis old heart dat 
has been dead, dead, dead so long," tapping his side with 
his fingers. " O Eachel ! my beloved wife, I owes to 
thy memory a hecatomb of dem vile Nazarene. But 1 



190 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

am paying dem off, I am. giving dem beds of thorns to 
sleep on, and tears to water dere couch." 

He views himself again from head to foot, and the lit- 
tle, sharp teeth shine out from under the corrugated lips, 
as he exclaims, " Dat will do ; dat will do. De Gentile 
woman is very comely." Then restoring the mystic panel, 
he left. 

By another intricate stairway he takes his course to a 
store, comprising articles of every description — new and 
second-hand clothing, furniture also of the finest mahog- 
any and rosewood, down to the plainest pine boards. On 
entering the front store he finds a clerk engaged in the 
sale of a renovated coat, which the young man (a small, 
thin, but good-looking youth) declared had come that 
morning from the hands of the tailor. 

" Good morning, Mr. Nathan," said young Isaacs, and 
then they exchanged a few words in their own tongue. 

Now Mr. JSTathan, the Jew clothing merchant, emerged 
into that dismal court from his own store. He walked 
rapidly along through all its devious windings, passing 
through many a private alley until he reached Market 
street. There manj?- other Jews are passing and repass- 
ing pursuing their several avocations, but all tending to 
the same end, to overreach and swindle the Christian. 
There is many a smile of recognition, many a hat touched 
and head bowed in lowly reverence to the wealthy cloth- 
ing merchant. 

He now arrives at the hovel, having settled in his mind 
to extort the last penny of the rent before his diabolical 
purpose of suppressing the beautiful proprietor shall have 
put it beyond his power to do so. He knocks ; a very 
soft and musical voice invites him to enter. Myi-a is 
seated as usual in her low chair, and is writing on her 
lap. She puts by the old port-folio, and with innate good 
breeding, rises and offers him a chair. Oh ! how beauti- 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 191 

If 

ful she looks then ! so gentle and winning was her smile ; 
so pellucid those deep, earnest, blue eyes. He sits there 
silently gazing at her. 

Does the man feel softened? Does the Jew relent? 
"While he, with those little fiery eyes devours that match- 
less form and face, does he relent ? that old Jew. He 
may, for he is a creature of like passions with ourselves. 
The Jew may feel, may love. The man, however savage, 
may be tamed and won from his brutality, but the miser 
never. For one moment the man, the Jew even, has the 
ascendency, and the " still, small voice " begins to whis- 
per and is heard. He raises his little blood-shot eyes to 
her innocent face, her heavenly countenance, and exclaims, 
mentally, 

" JSTo, I will not harm her. Wretch as I am, I will not, 
I can not imbrue my hands in her blood. May the God 
of Jacob render this arm powerless to hurt thee, thou 
angel woman ! " In the intensity of this new feeling, for 
one instant he had lost sight of himself, and stretching 
out his arm at that point where he makes the solemn 
adjuration, cries out, " I can not; Oh no, I can not ! " 

The sudden start, the evident recoil, and frightened 
look of his victim disenchanted him. And now avarice 
asserts his dominion. The Miser whispers, " Jew, thou art 
a fool ! Dost thou suffer a pretty face to blind thee to the 
abject condition of thy hard-pressed people? — thy des- 
pised race?" Avarice gibbers in the ear of the man, 

" Dotard ! dost thou not see that she turns loathingly 
away from thee, shuddering at thy wrinkled face and thy 
unseemly, aged form ? Bethink thyself, man, Jew, and do 
thine errand," and he clutched between his fingers, which 
he had during his agitation thrust violently into his pocket, 
the two promissory notes. 

Myra turned deadly pale, and rising, would have left 
the room; but feeling the necessity upon her to command 
herself, she sat down, though further away from him. 



192 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

" Sir," said she, in a timid voice, " is your business with 
me or with my mother, this afternoon ? " 

The miser grinned ; a grin in which the hyena, teeth 
and all, was disclosed. He presented a paper, and while 
she read it, he watched her keenly. Much to his surj)rise, 
and maybe regret too, for another passion was now war- 
ring with avarice in that old breast, when she had finished 
it she rose, and inclining her head in the most conde- 
scending manner to him, said, " I believe it is Mr. Nathan, 
our landlord? You will pardon, sir, this recreancy of 
memory. -J. had quite forgetten you." She went to her 
trunk, taking from it a purse, and counted out the amount, 
and hands it to him. 

Avarice has resumed his despotic sway in that poor, old 
crime-stained heart. His eyes are riveted on the j)urse, 
which she still holds in her hand, and he counts and 
recounts the little sum. After which, w^ith a growl, says, 
" There is sixpence coming to me." She hands him a 
shilling ; then he with many regrets says, " I has no 
change, mine lady." 

" Never mind, sir, I do not care for it." Myra says this 
condescendingly ; for now that hope has revived and for- 
tune does not frown so low^eringly, she was beginning 
involuntarily to look and act the gTacious princess. 

The Jew puts on his cap, and coming up to her, pre- 
sents his skinny hand to take leave, when she, with an 
irrepressible shudder, steps back and bows, saying, " Good 
afternoon, sir." 

Poor lady! That last act, so natural to thy refined and 
delicate nature, has steeled that man's heart against thee! 
Thou couldst not touch those hard, grij)ing fingers — that 
pi^gard, miserly hand. But thou didst shake hands with 
the old pauper, who was filthy and disgusting. Thy gen- 
tle hand and heart are open to the calls of charity ; but 
closed to the demands of avarice. 

Myra sat for some time after the miser had left, lost in 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 193 

thought. The man's look, his strange agitation, were all 
enigmas to her. She did not, for one instant, think that 
the little dried up, wizen-faced wretch would dare to raise 
his eyes to her even to admire. 

Looking up suddenly, she met the gaze of the little 
negro fixed upon her. Oh ! that look ! in it was the con- 
centration of malice. As quick as thought it vanished, 
and was succeeded by the most gentle, subdued, and 
obliging expression. 

17 



194 THE NIGHT WATCH. 



CHAPTEE XX. 

THE COURTEOUS MANAGER. 

"A SEASONED friend not tainted with design, 
Who made those words grow useless — thine and mine." 

Many weeks had now elapsed since the little Clarence 
had gone to take his chance with Mr. Gooch's Stock Com- 
pany. Still the public clamored for the beautiful child, 
Master Clarens. Night after night, he had played his 
part without fault or failure. The contract between the 
mother and manager had been complied with to the letter; 
and Myra saw that her boy was improving in strength of 
mind and body, without losing that sweet simplicity and 
innocency peculiar to all childhood, but more especially to 
Clarence. Mr. Gooch had often renewed his solicitations 
to be permitted to call on the ladies ; but Myra, true to 
herself, always declined, with due courtesy ; yet with a 
firmness which presently convinced him that her scruples 
were purely prudential, and he learned to respect her the 
more. 

The patrons of that theater were extremely anxious 
that Clarens should now be brought out in some piece in 
which all his powers should be put into requisition. Here- 
tofore he had, through the tenderness of Gooch's big 
heart, been kept pretty much in dumb shows, and 
pageants, and such other characters as would show off 
the personal attractions of the child, without taxing his 
mind or memory overmuch, for Gooch was chary of that 
boy's strength. 

By particular request, they have consented to produce 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 195 

William Tell, in order to show Clarens off in Albert ; and 
now he is to appear in that interesting character, having 
had careful instruction and training from Gooch himself. 
On this morning, when the child arrives at the office of 
that gentleman, he hands him a sealed packet, desiring 
him as soon as he had delivered it, to hasten back, as the 
last rehearsal would take place in the course of the 
morning. 

When Myra opens it, she finds a few lines from the 
manager. 

" Wednesday morning. 
" My dear Mrs. Wise — I pray you, excuse this liberty, 
and do me the favor to accej)t the enclosed tickets for 
yourself and friends. I very much desire that you shall 
honor the House with your presence to-night, that you 
may be among the first to hail the dawning fame of your 
son, the fruits of your own precepts. In short, that you 
may see your own noble attributes and perfections 
reflected in the little mirror before the foot-lights. 
" Yours, respectfully, 

"GrOOCH." 

Myra hastily penned her thanks ; but declined, on the 
score of having no suitable escort. 

In a very short time the manager had found Doctor 
Brown, explained to him what he had done, and then put 
into his hands the two lines from Myra. 

" Well ? " says Doctor Brown, dryly. 

" Well ! yes, well ! don't you see what I want?" 

"ISTo," said the Doctor. "How should I? You have not 
told me, and you don't look at me, so that I may read it 
in your eyes." 

" Go to, man ! Where is all that foresight, or rather 
quicksight, into other people's business, which belongs to 
your calling? I wish you to see these ladies, and in the 
most business-like way (eschewing everything like gal- 



196 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

Ian try), offer to conduct them to my box, on the left-hand 
side, near the stage. Mind, Brown, none of your blun- 
dering bluntness. Bear in mind what you are doing, and 
at whose behest. It is a delicate flower you will have to 
handle, and see that you dej)ort yourself properly and 
respectfully." 

" Gooch, 111 be blamed, if I did not know you were the 
very prince of all good fellows, I'd knock j^ou down where 
you stand." 

Gooch, who was quite tall and stout, clapped his hand 
low down on his stomach and groaned — intending to 
convey the idea that it would be about that region, where 
the doughty little man's blows would fall. The exceed- 
ingly grotesque expression of mock pain caused the doc- 
tor to roar out ; and so his ire passed off, as he himself 
passed on his way to call on Myra and good little Minny 
Dun. 

He simply stated to Mrs. Wise the younger, that he 
should come in the evening to conduct her and Minny to 
the theater, nolens volens — having engaged a box very 
near the stage, thinking she would most enjoy this situa- 
tion. He left without giving her time to rej^ly, and hur- 
ried down to the toy-shop. 

He found Minny behind her little counter, showing her 
little wares to a prim little old woman. When she had 
concluded her sale, and dropped the little piece of money 
into the little drawer, she turned her attention to the lit- 
tle doctor ; and strange as it may seem to the reader, a 
little blush mantled the little cheeks of each. 

" G-ood morning. Miss Minny. Come get your bonnet 
and go with me to see Mrs. Wise. I have some business 
witTi you both together." 

On his w^ay he made known to Minny the nature of 
his errand, and instead of having any scruples to combat, 
the dear little creature was wild with delight at the idea. 
She clapped her hands, then clasped them both round 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 197 

the doctor's arm, aud cried, in real ecstacy : " Aweel I 
aweel ! It will be sae delightful to see the winsome bairn 
in that bonny part. The good, dntifal son, the clever 
Albert. Oh, doctor, I'm sae glad to go, and I'm sae 
obleeged to ye for taking me." 

The doctor felt amply repaid for all the annoyances he 
had known during his ten or twenty years servitude to 
the public, by the happiness he felt in affording such 
unalloyed pleasure to the good little creature by his side. 
In fact, there was a freshness, blended with earnestness, 
about her ; the avidity with which she seized upon any 
recreation, or opportunity to vary her monotonous life, 
never failed to delight not only her friends, but any 
chance beholder. 

When they were in Myra's little room, Minny did not 
resort to arguments or persuasions, but commenced 
describing, in glowing terms, the pride and joy which 
she (Minny) anticipated in the child's triumph. 

" Oh, just to think o' the wee bit bairn toddling about on 
the beautiful stage, in that sweet character ! " And thus 
Minny rattled on, with wild joyousness — sometimes kiss- 
ing Myra, and almost kissing the doctor in her childish 
glee. Once or twice she came very near upsetting the old 
lady. Presently Myra, without having had the slightest 
jjrevious intention of accepting the invitation, found her- 
self as much elated with proud expectancy as is possible 
for any one to be. And there sat Dr. Brown smiling, 
and sometimes laughing hilariously, and all the time gaz- 
ing fondly on Minny. 

At length the doctor jumped up, and, looking at his 
watch, declared he had quite forgotten an important 
engagement, reminded the two friends to be ready, and 
left them. 

During the whole time passed as above described, 
the old lady sat moodily rocking herself without speak- 
ing a word. When the doctor had gone, she roused up, 



198 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

and said gruffly, " Well, Myra, I did not think, after all 
your sorrows, that you could have any heart in you to 
play the fool in this way." 

" Grandma, don't bother me. I have made up my mind 
to go, and there is no use in throwing obstacles in the way, 
or croaking either. I should think you would wish me 
the relaxation of going out once in a year. Everything 
in Grod's beautiful world has been closed to me so long." 

" Ah ! Myra, well do I know that there is no use in 
talking to such a girl as you are. You were always self- 
willed and obstinate about one or two things — good in all 
else. You never would, nor never will, I fear, listen to 
the sober voiee of reason, when the syren one of love 
whispers." Seeing a gesture of impatience, and a flush 
of vexation overspreading the pale face of her daughter, 
she went on, with an assumed show of temper, herself: 
" Now you are off again ! Dear me, what a life I do lead ! 
Well, I don't care. I'll speak if the house comes down 
over my head. You are not satisfied with starting the 
poor child off on the road to ruin, but you must e'en travel 
the same broad, downward path yourself." 

" Aweel ! aweel ! ISTow dinna fash, grandam, it will all 
turn out weel and right in the end. Mind what I tell ye. 
Wait and see." 

" Yes ! ' all's well that ends well.' Every fool knows 
that; but this is not agoing to turn out well. Mind what 
/ tell you. Wait and see that, Miuny Dun ! " and she 
hobbled out of the room, with an injured and vexed look. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 199 



CHAPTEK XXI. 

TflEAMBUSH. 

" Then bursting broad, the boundless shout to heaven, 
From many an hundred hearts ecstatic sprung." 

" My plots fall short, like darts which rash hands throw, 
With an ill aim, that have too far to go." 

Miss Lindsay sat in her splendid boudoir waiting for 
her lover. She was on this evening looking radiantly 
beautiful. She had received a note in the morning, with 
" Colonel Murray's compliments, begging to be allowed 
the honor of accompanying her to the theater. At least, 
he hoped to be permitted to make one in her brilliant 
train, if he were so unfortunate as to find her monopo- 
lized for the walk." The j)oor girl was so blinded by 
vanity, so much exalted in her own estimation by those 
continual ovations, that she was almost beside herself. 
She could not see that this was not Murray's way of 
addressing her. She only saw that it was his handwriting, 
and then sat down to reply to the note, and to revel in 
the consciousness of this new triumph of her charms. 
For be it remembered, this was a very unusual attention 
from him, and as unexpected as it was pleasing. Hence 
her beaming countenance. 

Murray had never seen the note ; and with shame be it 
S]3oken, had not thought of Gertrude. After tea, when 
his servant brought his hat and cloak, his mother said, 

" Conrad, G-ertrude expects you this evening ; I had 
forgotten to tell you. She expects you to go with her to 
the theater." 



200 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

He frowned, and replied, "I do not know why she 
should; I have not asked her " 

" Charles Conrad Murray, you are a, a, a (brute, said 
the lady mentally) cynic. You must go for her ; I desire 
it, particularly." 

" Very well, madam, I will call." When he pro- 
nounced these words he did not intend to prove recreant 
to the promise ; but as he passed into the street he saw 
Murdoch walking by and joined him, without giving 
another thought to Gertrude or his mother. They saun- 
tered oia together, talking a little, but for the most part 
preserving silence — for Murdoch was, as you^ know, a 
man of small speech. 

They had now reached a lonely, gloomy portion of the 
city, where the Night Watch generally commenced his 
vigils. It was growing late, almost dark. An old cov- 
ered bridge was on their right. At that moment ?, figure, 
closely muffled, darted from the place, and comi i^' quickly 
up to Murdoch, laid her hand on his arm. 

" Come with me, friend ; I have waited long." 

" Ha ! it is some time since I have heard thao i^ightin- 
gale voice." Then, without taking the least notice of his 
companion, he followed the girl. 

Murraj^ stood there alone, like a tall, black pillar, in 
the faint starlight — so erect and motionless was he. 

" More mysteries ! " said he. After waiting a few 
moments for their egress from the bridge, he turned and 
walked slowly back. As he passed the theater the thun- 
dering sounds issuing from it startled him from his 
rever}^ ; and then, and only then, did he think of Miss 
Lindsay. 

" Well ! I am a brute, as ray mother said parenthet- 
ically ; but I heard the hissing word when she tried to 
turn it into cynic. Yes ; I do believe I am a brute. I 
will go now and ask the proud beauty's pardon." 

When he entered the house he perceived at a glance 



THE NIGHT WATCH, 201 

that the crowd was crushing. That deafening applause, 
which had at all times greeted the child's appearance had 
just subsided, and the little fellow was speaking. 

" I must manage to hear this," said Murray, turning to 
the box-keeper. " Is Miss Lindsay's box full." 

" Yes, sir," said the man, grinning. " Her box is always 
crowded." 

■' Who is with her ? " 

"Well, sir, the same '■ gemmen' that always follows her; 
Mr. Josiah Gaines, and nine or ten others." 

"Where then can I find a place, Drummond." 

" Maybe, p'r'aps I might squeeze you into a seat in the 
manager's box, if that '11 do. 

" Lead on, sir," said Murray, dropping a piece of silver 
into the hand of the man. 

When he arrived at the place designated, there seemed 
not to be space for your hand; but such a fine "open 
sesame" Is a little piece of silver, that Drummond very 
soon made a vacancy. Murray then proceeds to wedge 
himself into the place. At first his attention was wholly 
absorbed by the little Albert, and he foun'd himself, ere 
he was aware of it, wiping his eyes. 

There were two ladies sitting on the seat before him. 
One appeared to be a remarkably pleasing little woman ; 
all versatility and good humor — full of quaint yet sensible 
criticisms on the play and performance. The other was 
a lady dressed in deep mourning, and so closely veiled 
that you could scarcely hear her voice when she replied 
to the questions of the merry little soul by her side. She 
seemed all the time to be struggling to subdue her feel- 
ings ; and when Master Clarens came out again she was 
seized with even a more overwhelming agitation. The 
boy, from time to time, cast quick and anxious glances 
toward that box ; especially at the veiled figure. 

Just then there was a great sensation in the opposite 
box. A moment before, Murray had discovered Miss 



202 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

Lindsay almost lying in the bosom of Mr. Gaines, as she 
turned to speah up to some one behind her. On resettling 
herself, she encountered the cold, haughty look of her 
betrothed. Then she turned deadly pale, and said to 
Gaines, " I am sick at heart, and shall surely die in ten 
minutes, if you do not bring me some relief." But aftet-' 
saying this she threw herself so heavily on his breast that 
he was obliged to remain and support her. 

He called to a gentleman and said, " Dr. Brown is in 
the house ; seek him out, and bring him as quickly as 
possible." 

Amid the senseless confusion that usually waits on such 
scenes, he left for this purpose. Leaning over, he touched 
the doctor on the shoulder : " Come, come quickly ! 'tis 
thought Miss Lindsay's about to die." 

Murray heard it all, and saw it all, but he was too well 
posted up in Gertrude's peculiarities not to understand. 
He had witnessed her inimitable acting before ; therefore, 
not a muscle of his face moved, not a fiber of his frame 
quivered, not even a pulse of that naturally warm heart 
beat the quicker when he heard that alarming announce- 
ment. 

The kind little, bustling doctor whispered a few hur- 
ried words to Minny, saying as he rose, " I will return 
as soon as possible." On perceiving Col. Murray, he 
exclaimed, " God bless me, Conrad ! how glad I am to see 
you. 'Tis most opportune. There, take my seat and 
guard those la " — — He was jerked away without hav- 
ing time to finish the sentence. 

When Murray had taken his place by Minny, on the 
front seat, he saw Gertrude carried from the house in the 
arms of Mr. Gaines, but without one pang of envy or 
jealousy. 

The play proceeds. The next act develops more 
fully the treachery of Gesler. The noble Swiss is offered 
an alternative, a chance of life, by jeopardizing that of 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 208 

his son — shooting an apple from the head of his darling 
boj. But we presume, dear reader, that you and every- 
body are acquainted with this thrilling story. 

Murray, on turning to look at the lady at his side, meets 
a pair of ingenuous grey eyes, and a beaming smile ; she 
thus acknowledging his kindness without the slightest 
embarrassment, or showing any feeling of distrust, or other 
emotion, save that of gratitude for his implied jorotection. 
How bewitching is this naive, simple trustfulness. He 
bowed to this look, and there was a tacit acquaintance 
established between them. But the arbitrary laws of soci- 
ety precluded the admissibility of his addressing a word 
to her, as they had not been introduced. 

His attention was now attracted to the other lady, who 
seemed to be almost choking with suppressed sobs. 

The girl at her side looked troubled, and said, " Aweel, 
aweel ; now deary, dinna be alarmed, we are not alone. 
The doctor left us in charge of his friend, Col. Murray ; 
as he called him before he left." 

At that name, a wild thrill ran through her frame, and 
she felt as if she must shriek out, and echo it, or die. 
A brawny but tremulous hand passed a glass of water. 
Murray received it, and as he raised his eyes to thank the 
person, he met those of the honest Night Watch. His 
paleness was corpse-like. 

Minny laid her little hand on his arm, and said in a 
whisper, " Come, Murdoch, be a man ; dinna take on sae, 
my gude Murdoch." 

The curtain again rises. Albert is stationed with the 
apple on his head ; Tell has drawn the bow ; the arrow is 
sped. There is a stifled shriek, then all is still again. 
The apple falls, and the child is safe, and locked in the 
arms of his father. 

In the roar of acclamation, that stifled shriek is for- 
gotten by all save two persons. Even Minny has ceased 
to think of it ; but it rung long in the ears of the humble 



204 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

Night "Watch, and haiinted the memory of the haughty- 
Murray like a troubled dream. 

They were leaving the house as speedily as jiossible, 
when Murdoch touched Murray and said, " Don't hurry, 
Colonel, wait a moment in the lobby. Mind what I say, 
sir, do not hurry ! " 

Murray had placed himself between the two ladies ; but- 
the fingers of the veiled figure scarce touched his arm, 
though he coidd feel that she trembled. Lest the little hand 
which hung so loosely should fall away, and its owner^e 
wheeled off in that rushing crowd, he reached under his 
cloak, took hold of it, and attempted to draw it forward. 
Oh ! what a start ! The hand quivered like something 
alive in his grasp. Then he felt her form hang heavily 
on his arm. And thus it was that he had forgotten the 
good Murdoch's warning injunction. 

They had now arrived before some untenanted houses, 
wdiich were each divided by a dark alley. Those build- 
ings were tall, and the shadows cast from them were deep 
and dark. Just as Murray felt the lady fall on his arm 
like a dead weight, six masked figures rushed out from 
those dark alleys and surrounded the little party. In the 
twinkling of an eye their mouths were stopped. Three 
men seized Col. Murray, but with the strength of a Her- 
cules, he wrenched his arms loose, as the men were tryr 
ing to tie his hands behind him, and dealing right and 
left such blows with his clenched fist as you might sup- 
pose Vulcan did with his sledge-hammer, he had in a few 
seconds laid two men at his feet ; then as the third meas- 
ui'ed his length on the pavement, a fourth drew his knife, 
and slipping up, thrust it into his side. 

"O Grod ! where is Murdoch?" and he fell heavily 
across the prostrate bodies, with a deep groan. 

The rattle of the Night Watch is heard, and Murdoch 
and his myrmidons came running up. All had passed so 
quickly, and the work of treachery and death had gone 



THE NI(iHT WATCH. 205 

on BO quietly, that although the guard were concealed at 
a very short distance, nothing had occurred to give notice 
of the attack until Murdoch, who had waited for the child 
as usual to answer to the call of the house, came in sight 
and sprung the alarm rattle. Then they all started up, 
as if from the l)owels of the earth. 

When they arrived at the spot, they found three men 
apparently dead, and Murray weltering in his blood. The 
other three had escaped, fled at the first sound of that 
dread rattle. Murdoch and his men were a great terror 
to evil-doers, and he was a tower of strength within him- 
self. And that rattle — Oh ! that rattle. 

He looks around anxiously, but there is nothing to tell 
of the existence or non-existence of the two females. He 
gives the child into the care of one ; utters a few brief, 
hurried directions to another, about the body of Murray, 
who had fainted from loss of blood ; and then darts off in 
an opposite direction. 

Several men take up the lifeless form, and placing it on 
a litter of old boards, found hard by, they move off. The 
man who has the child in charge, conveys him to the 
place designated by Murdoch ; the other is left to guard 
the fallen assailants until the watch shall rally and remove 
them to the guard-house. 

No sooner had these two parties separated, and were 
out of sight, than the three ruffians came to life, sprang 
to their feet, and seizing the solitary guard pitched him 
headlong into the gutter, and scampered off. 

When Johnson, the man entrusted with the child, 
arrived at the hovel, he found Minny wringing her hands 
and sending forth such wails as only a little Scotch body 
could send. The poor old lady ! There she sat ; her eyes 
closed, her grey hair hanging in tags from under her 
night-cap, rocking herself furiously, and crying out, 

" I knew it ! I knew it ! I said it would be so. I felt it 
here and here," touching her head and her heart ; "but you 



20G THK NIGHT WATCH. 

would not heed the old woman I She was always willful. 
Oh ! my lost children ! " 

Minny took the child, who was so much fatigued by the 
exertions of the evening that he slept soundly, without 
his little heart being troubled. He knew nothing of what 
had passed. 

Johnson touched his cap, and said, " Captain Murdoch 
ordered me to fetch the Doctor," and vanished. 

When Murdoch had started off so unceremoniously, he 
ran straight in the direction of the Jews' Quarter. On 
arriving, he plunged into that dark alley, and reaching 
the dirty little court back of the house, he tries to open 
the door, but finds it fast. The stars only were shining, 
yet to one so accustomed to darkness this was sufficient. 
He looked around for something with which he could force 
the lock, but not finding anything he clenches that mall 
fist, and with one blow shivered the boards ; then wrench- 
ing off the iron bars, he begins to ascend the long winding 
steps. When he reaches the landing he must also stop to 
breathe before he is in the room. The little bell had tin- 
kled but was succeeded so quickly by the entrance of 
Murdoch, that old Faggot was in the act of bearing the 
lifeless body of Myra across the room. 

Such was his amazement, such the panic, on seeing Mur- 
doch (for the Jew would much rather have met face to face 
Satan himself, just at that moment, than the fierce Night 
Watch), that he let the delicate form of his victim fall. 

" Wretched ! miserable old man ! Why have you done 
this? Faggot, if it were not for your sweet daughter's 
sake ; if it were not that I have loved Leah more dearly 
than any brother ever loved a sister, I would crush every 
bone in that old dried skin of yours. As it is I believe 
I had better kill you at once. Why should such garbage, 
such vile carrion, be allowed to cumber the earth longer." 

The Jew fell on his knees, and clasping his hands 
together, in the most abject manner whines out, 



THE NIGHT WATCH, 207 

" Oh ! oh ! oh ! Mine goot sir, have mercy on thy 
servant." 

This only inflamed the brave Murdoch, and seizing him 
by the nape pf the neck, he jerked him to his feet, and 
shook him so furiously that I presume the soul would 
have been forced from the poor old body in a very short 
time, had not Leah glided from under those old clothes on 
the wall. 

Two words of deprecation from those beautiful lips, in 
that peculiarly silvery voice were enough. " O Mur- 
doch ! " He slung the Jew from him, across the room, 
exclaiming, " Why should the strong man crush the 
worm?" Then turning to Leah, he beheld her with as 
much surprise as admiration. Oh ! how lovely she looked ; 
how transcendently beautiful and bright. He approached 
her, and entwining his arms around her waist, embraced 
her tenderly. 

" Leah ! Ah ! my beloved Leah, why have you hid 
away from me so long ? Do you no longer love your poor 
Murdoch." 

" Dear Murdoch," said she, in a very hurried voice, not 
seeming to heed his looks of admiration ; " dear Murdoch, 
I have come to tell thee, that the accomplices in this out- 
rage are coming at this moment into the Pandemonium ; 
so thou must hurry off with the lady. For God's sake do 
not let them find thee here, or /shall be the sufferer." 

She turned to Myra, and kneeling down poured some 
restoring draught into her mouth, and kissed her ; then 
she seemed to listen. When springing to her feet she 
cried, " Away ! away, good friend, I hear them coming." 

He strained that slight, beautiful girl to his rude, 
manly breast for a second ; then taking Myra up in his 
arms, like an infant, gave another look of unutterable 
respect, confidence, and brotherly love to Leah, which 
she returns tenfold, saying in a low tremulous voice, 
" Dear, dear Murdoch ! " She opened the door, and ho 



208 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

commenced descending the steps, as she heard the footfall 
of many persons in the room adjoining. 

The old Jew now gets up from his crouching attitude, 
where he had remained when falling from Murdoch's 
hand, and commenced whining, " Oh ! oh ! oh ! It is all 
gone ; one tousand monish ! five hundred monish ! Oh ! fad- 
der Abraham ! It is all gone. Oh ! Dat Leah ! dat Leah ! " 

He then approached the girl with a menacing look, and 
uplifted hand to strike. With the ease and activity of a 
cat she sprang away from him. He followed her up, and 
while his mouth froths with impotent rage, and his eyes 
glare, says : 

" Now may de Got of mine peoplesh curse thee ! May 
thy mother's spirit curse thee ! May thy bones be broken, 
and thy flesh rot, and may thou be alive to see it, and feel 
it, and know it ! May thou be cursed in thy love, and in 
thy life, and unto thy death ! Thou renegade from thy 
peoplesh, and de religion of their Got ! The Got of thine 
Fadders ! " 

She holds up her finger, pointing warningly toward him. 

" Peace ! old man. Thou hast done enough wrong in 
this world, wrought enough ruin ere now without cursing 
thy own child ! Go ! go ! I say, father, go to bed — to 
sleep, aye, to sleej) ! Dost thou know aught of that ? Or 
hast thou too, murdered sleep. Poor old man, I pity thee! 
Would that I could help thee, j)oor father ! " 

The last exclamation was wrung from the heart of the 
maiden, as her eye fell on the base, craven -looking old 
man cowering beneath the just indignation of his noble- 
minded, pure-hearted daughter. It was but an instant, 
and then the fiend spoke. 

" False ! false thou art, girl, to thy kindred, and to thy 
peoplesh ! I have seen it ! my own old eyes have beheld 
thee in de arms of de Nazarene dog. Leah ! Oh ! mine 
Got! Leah thou must die ! die de secret death which is the 
reward of thy apostacy. Dese old eyes have lived to see 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 209 

mine own flesh and blood on de breast of de enemy of thy 
j^eoplesh. So thou must die mitin dese secret walls, comely 
as thou art." 

When she had heard her father pronounce those fearful 
words, she gave one wild, startled look toward that door 
which opened into the adjoining room, where now waited 
the conspirators. Too well did the poor girl know what 
dreadful deeds of violence had been done, as he said, within 
these secret walls. But remembering that the slightest 
symptom of fear would only embolden him to go forward 
in any atrocity, and that to defy him would avail more than 
volumes of supplicatory prayers for mercy, she retorted — 

" Do thy worst, old man ! wi'eak thy foiled vengeance 
on thy helpless child. But I tell thee, my blood will cry 
aloud from these walls (secret as thou thinkest them), for 
that hour of retribution — Oh! my poor father! — the day 
of reckoning is hastening on for thee." She weeps. "True, 
I have broken one of the ancient laws of our people ; but 
this has passed away; and were it not so, or I did not love 
this Christian, which I am proud to say I do ; were it not 
for the influence I have with 'that vile JSTazarene,' as thou 
dost call that good man, thy own old limbs would be 
quivering, and jerking, and whirling between heaven and 
earth at this time. Father," and she approached quite 
near, "thy daughter whom thou hast cursed so fearfully, 
has saved thy life three times." 

Then she whispered something in his ear which made 
him shudder. She looked pityingly at him, and her sweet 
eyes were full of tears, as she took his hand — that cold 
damp hand — and kissing it, said : 

" Fear not ! Peace be with thee, poor father ! I am still 
thy friend ; although thou hast cursed me, and would just 
now have killed me." 

The old man came cringingly toward her, with his — 
" Oh, Oh, Oh." But Leah receded from him, and sud- 
denly disappeared. 
18 



210 THE NIGHT WATCH, 



CHAPTEE XXII. 

THE FALL. 

" One struggle more, and I am free 

From pangs that rend my heart in twain, 
One last long sigh to love and thee, 
Then back to busy life again." 

When Murdoch reached the bottom of that long spiral 
stairway, what with fatigue, want of breath, but above 
all, excessive agitation, he came very near falling with 
his precious burden. For the first time in his life, his 
strength failed him ; so that he was obliged to rest one 
mom.ent. The cool night air blowing so freshly on Myra's 
face, and maybe the tremendous hlows which that pent-up 
heart continued to give right under her ear, as he kept 
her clasped in that maddening embrace, together with 
the cordial administered by Leah, had revived her. She 
opened her eyes, and looking frantically around, closed 
them again, and nestling like a little bird in his bosom, 
sighs and says — "Dear one, I have found you at last, and 
am happy." 

Poor Murdoch! Alas! poor Murdoch! think of Leah, 
dear good Murdoch ! This proud lady clinging so fondly 
to thee I so like a tender fledgling resting in thy bosom, 
is thinking of another. Poor Murdoch ! 

The man is beside himself; he strains her to his faith- 
ful, honest bosom ; but hearing approaching footsteps, he 
takes her up in his arms, and passes on. Being now 
unable to proceed further, he calls a hack, and as he 
places her in it, finds she has fallen asleep like a child in 
its mother's arms. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 211 

The motion of the vehicle awakes her, and clinging 
still more closely to him, she sighs out — " They shall not 
tear me from you again, my beloved ! We are once more 
anited, and whether there be guilt, or shame, or degrada- 
tion I care not — I am thine now, throughout time and 
eternity." 

Poor Murdoch ! It does seem as if he were too severely 
tried. He believes that last protestation of undying affec- 
tion is addressed to him ; he thinks it applicable to their 
peculiar situations. He believes it to be an uncontrollable 
gush of fervent love, the reward of his own mighty 
devotion. He again strains her to his heart ; but he is 
past all utterance. Surprise, rapture, and gratitude have 
made him mute. 

Again the lady murmurs, and her voice is not louder 
than the rustle of the zephyr's wing, or the soft sweet 
note of the fabled bulbul. He inclines his ear to catch 
the syllables. She, nestling still closer, says : 

" How did you find me out, dear one ? Ah ! yes, I 
know ; you are always on the alert ; you have long been 
my guardian spirit, my brave, my noble, my worshiped 
Conrad." 

Murdoch started as if he had been bitten, stung, or 
pierced to the heart. Had he received the point of a 
sharp instrument into his heart's core, his whole frame 
could not have been more suddenly relaxed. His arms 
dropped lifeless by his side, and he suffered poor Myra to 
slip from his embrace down to his feet, in the bottom of 
the carriage. This aroused her from her happy oblivi- 
ousness, and she began to weep ; then followed heart- 
rending sighs and sobs. 

It was not in the nature of Murdoch to witness suffer- 
ing without trying to succor.' So now he raised the 
weeping lady, and pls^cing her on the back seat, takes his 
opposite to her without speaking. Poor Murdoch ! He 
had been hurled from heaven without any preparation, 



212 THE NIGHT V/ A T C H . 

and he felt himself bruised and mangled — nay, crushed 
by the fall. Poor man ! there had been no little jutting 
point by the way to break that mighty fall. 

The lady continued to sob, and when the good-hearted 
Night Watch essayed to utter a few words of comfort, his 
voice was so changed that he started himself, and Myra 
did not recognize it. Presently he succeeded in calming 
himself, and said, in a cold, curt, rather severe voice : 

" Madam, I beg you will compose yourself, and believe 
that you have nothing to fear. I have saved you from a 
den of thieves and ravishers, at the peril of my own life ; 
and am now conducting you to your child and your 
friends." 

"Oh! Murdoch, is it you ? G-od bless you, good, kind 
Murdoch. What do I not owe you? " and she caught up 
his hand and bedewed it with tears of gratitude. 

But Murdoch was now wide awake. That was a hard 
fall he had received, he will not dream again. And then 
dawned on his memory the words Minny had once spoken 
in such an oracular voice to him. 

" Think not of her, Murdoch. Think not of that proud 
lady. Would you take to your honest bosom the empty 
casket, when the gem has gone to enrich that of 
another?" And then, somehow, his thoughts revert to 
Leah ; and her beautiful face and graceful form rise up 
before him. Although the poor fellow had been so ■ 
bewildered by Myra's presence, that he did not, at the 
time, perhaps, appreciate her extreme beauty, yet it now 
came up before his mental vision, perhaps greatly aug- 
mented by the check he had just received. 

The}^ had arrived at the hovel. Murdoch alights, and 
handing Myra from the carriage, in the most deferential 
way opened the door, and she tottered in, falling into the 
arms of the affectionate Minny. Murdoch jumped into 
the hack, and bidding the man drive as fast as possible, 
he leaned from the window, and taking oif his cap, bared 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 213 

his breast to the cold, night wind. After awhile was heard 
in the distance, that same calm, sonorous voice : "Three 
o'clock, all's well." 

Myra, when urged by her friends to give them an 
account of her rescue, can tell of nothing more than her 
ride home in the hack, and Murdoch's coldness, which 
seemed to wound her greatly ; and then she commenced 
sobbing again, until she went into hysteria. Minny and 
the doctor sat by her the whole night. 



When Johnson arrived at Murray's mansion, he found 
Doctor Brown bustling about over the wound as he 
dressed it. 

"Ah, yes!" said he, in answer to Johnson, "I'll be 
ready in a minute. This patient will do nicel3\ I've 
dressed this wound beautifully; nothing very serious 
either, thank God ! It would have been too great a pity 
for this noble fellow^ to have been put away so slily by 
such caitiff wretches in the dark. Methinks such a fine 
fellow should die gloriously on the field of battle, in 
defense of his country; or else, in shielding beauty 
(which he was trying to do, when he got that little love- 
lich in the side). But still, not by a parcel of pickpockets. 
Maybe now it might be better, after all, to fall sweetly 
asleep in the arms of his faithful old wife, after having 
blessed and made happy two generations or more. What 
think you, Johnson ? " 

" Well, it's hard to say, yer honor. I reckon it's no 
odds though, how a feller lays hisself down, so he gits 
up the right way, and then travels the right road when 
he does git up. I reckon it's no odds at all at all." 

Having given the patient a composing draught, and 
seeing him fall off to sleep, he takes his way with 
unwonted alacrity toward the hovel, where we next find 
him. 



214 THE NIGHT WATCH, 



CHAPTEE XXIII. 

THE COURTSHIP. 

" She that with poetry is won, 
Is but a desk to write upon ; 
And what men say of her, they mean 
No more than on the thing they lean." 

These two good creatures sat there watching the dis- 
turbed sleep of the unfortunate Myra. Sometimes she 
raves, then beseeches, and anon commands. Now she 
calls out in a frantic voice, and brandishing her little 
hands aloft, cries, 

" ]S"o, no ! I never will believe it. Father it is false ! 
Why did you tell me this cunningly-devised tale, but to 
win me to your purposes? I knew it not, but no matter. 
I should still have loved him as madly as now. Ah ! 
Walter ! I saw the good youth ! I closed my eyes, but I 
heard the repoi't; yet I saw not the shot." Then her 
voice would sink into a low breeze-like murmur, and she 
would contract her body, as if she were trying to creep 
into some loving bosom. Then she would smile plain- 
tively, and sigh, and say, "Dear Conrad, I am very happy." 

The old lady slumbered in her chair ; the child slept 
soundly on his couch. All was still and peaceful. The 
poor patient has at last sunk to rest. 

Eeader, is it any wonder that the watchers should have 
hitched their chairs nearer, little by little, until they got to 
be jammed up as close together as chairs ever do get to be; 
and tbat their hands should have been attracted to each 
other, and that the doctor's lips should have found a very 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 215 

short and easy road to Minny's hand, and a still shorter 
and quicker one to her lips ; those little, tempting, cherry 
lips. 

But you may think it strange, and maybe wrong, that 
Minny was so ingenuous and innocent as not to chide, but 
just returned kiss for kiss simply, and it maybe only be- 
cause she saw it gave him pleasure ; still it made her, she 
did not know wherefore, very happy. 

Doctor Brown drew a long breath, for he would not 
have acknowledged to a sigh. Yet he could feel, and sigh, 
and weep too, for the woes of others ; and little man as he 
was, he had as big a heart and as great a soul as either 
Murdoch or Murray ; was also wrought upon by the same 
passions, yet without the devastating whirlwinds, or the 
scathing lightning! So then he did really heave a deep, 
real, bona fide sigh, and said in a slow and would-be steady 
voice, 

" Dear, good little Minny, I have many things to say 
to you, and some questions to ask, which I want you to 
answer like yourself, with candor and decision. And you 
see, Minny, we must necessarily converse more familiarly 
than we have ever done before." 

" Certainly, doctor, if you wish it," said the girl. 

" Ah ! that's it at once. I don't want you to be so for- 
mal. That ' yes, sir,' and ' no, Doctor,' must be thrown aside, 
and a more familiar, and a — and a — a dearer name sub- 
stituted. In short, good girl, you would please me much 
better if you would call me by my Christian name, instead 
of so much siring, and doctoring, and Browning." 

" Aweel ! I would like it too, but that's a' I ever heard. 
I dinna ken mair than that. Tell it to me, sir. Let me 
hear the ither one." 

" True, Minny, I never have told you anything of my 
family. Now, dear one, I was named for my father, who 
was named for his father, who was named for his father, 
and so on for such a number of generations that I can 



216 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

not count back. And moreover, every one of them save 
your humble servant, Minny, was born in your own coun- 
trj^, and claim noble descent from some lairds, who were 
descended, a-w-a-y back, from Eob Roy, and some other 
big folk." 

Minny could not suppress a merry titter. 

" What are you laughing at. Miss Dun ? " said he, 
straightening himself back in his chair. 

" Go on, sir ; I could na help it. I was sae joyed to 
hear you say this." He felt himself mellowed by this 
lubricating application to his wounded family pride. It 
was the first time the little man had ever left this, his 
weakest point, uncovered, and the girl learned in the 
course of that conversation that he was morbidly sensi- 
tive on the subject of his lineage. IS'either could he abide 
his plebeian name of Brown. Minny did not like this trait. 
The good, little, honest soul had no fancy for reflected 
greatness, and when he commenced again to speak of his 
ancestors, she struck in : 

" Aweel, now, never mind ony mair about that ; gie us 
the name. What is the name o' this noble scion o' the 
McGregors?" 

He looked at her very seriously for a moment, and 
seemed to be debating with himself whether he should 
get vexed or not, and his eyes glistened for that length of 
time ; then they twinkled, and the contracted muscles 
about the mouth relaxed, and naturally resolved them- 
selves into a bright smile. And then Minny gave one of 
her most gleesome laughs, and taking his hand, she put it 
to her forehead and adds, 

" Aye, and ye can be bright and winsome too, as weel 
as ony o' them, an' ye will. So now tell us the name." 

" Gabriel," said he. 

'• Gramercy ! it's too lang ; Oh, my gude man, I toll ye 
it's too lang to call ye by every day ; so I'll just call ye 
Gabe, dear Gabe and sz-ude Gabe. and a' that." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 217 

" That's it, Minny, that's the very idea. I never did 
meet with anybody before who cotild read my thoughts, 
and anticipate my wishes." 

The girl jumped at him, and just as a wild, playful 
child would do, imprints three or four kisses on his cheeks 
and forehead, and running her fingers through his hair, 
puts it back and kisses him again. 

" There it is! I was just beginning to feel my need of 
one of them sweet articles, when you tender me three or 
four," and they laugh hilariously. " After awhile, I shall 
not know how to get along without you," said he. 

" ISTow, dear Gabe " but her mouth was closed, and 

there was a smothered sort of a smacking noise, loud 
enough to disturb the poor patient, who moaned and 
wept. " Oh ! I am so lonely ! I feel so desolate ! " Then 
all was still as before. 

Presently the doctor resumed — "I do believe, Minny, 
I do believe in my heart that I am in love with you ! If 
it is not that, I do not know then what it is. I somehow 
feel like I always want to be near you, and certainly do 
find myself more contented then than at any other time. 
I always think that you are watching for me, Minny, and 
that your little face grows brighter when I do come. And, 
Oh ! Minny, you are every way a dear little thing, and 
you have, I do know, the sweetest little mouth." 

Then there was the same smacking noise as before, and 
the girl seems half stifled with something or other, as she 
tries to say, " Oh ! dear Gabe ! Dear, gude Gabe ! " 

" Now listen to me, Minny. I have something to tell 
you which will astonish you, no doubt. I never have 
courted a woman in my life. I am now twenty-eight 
years old, and if I do not love you, then I never have loved 
anybody. I believe I shall be happy with you, Minny, 
and wretched without you. ]S"ow. child, you who are so 
shrewd about most things, tell me, is not this enough to 

19 



218 THE NIGHT AV A T C H . 

begiB with. Come, speak, Minny, don't atop to blush. 
I'm in haste." 

"Uncanny man that ye are; I have nae thought o' 
blushing. I was only reflecting like, o'er the subject." 

" Well, don't take time to reflect ; I'm all impatience 
for your decision. I had thought your heart woiild have 
answered at once." 

" Aweel now ! did the warld ever hear o' sic a mon ? 
Wad ye mak me judge and jury too, and have me pass 
sentence on my ain case? " 

"SjDeak, Minny : speak, child ; I'm in a flame just now." 

" Weel, Gabriel, if the lassie was o' your ain way of 
thinking, and happened to be a leettle bit blinded wi' luvo 
for Mr. G-abriel Brown, of the stock o' the Rob Roys, then 
I shonld say that that would be sufficient." 

The little man started to his feet, and looked at Minny 
with amazement ; then seating himself, with a sigh said, 
" Miss Duu, in what way am I to understand your 
words?" 

"In the right way, I trust, doctor." 

" Am I to believe that I have thrown away my affection 
on you ? That — that — that I have squandered " 

" That's just as ye hapjjen to think o' me. That de- 
pends on your ain opinion of me, doctor." 

"O Minny! have I garnered uj) mj'- heart's treasures 
in this pretty little casket, only to have them thrown out 
by such a careless hand ? " 

She did not speak. 

" Minny, I thought you loved me even as well as I do 
you. I believed, when you suff'ered me to kiss yonr sweet 
mouth, and returned it so heartily, that this was the sanc- 
tion and seal of the tacit compact between us. Miss Dun, 
do ladies kiss and suffer themselves to be kissed, and mean 
nothing by it ? Do they ? I have no fancy for romance 
in real life. I thought we would glide along smoothly, 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 219 

without provoking the fates. "What did j^ou mean, Miss 
Dun, by thus leading me on to commit and to make as great 
a fool of myself as any school-boy? " 

He looks so distressed and ludicrously wretched that 
the gii'l could hold out no longer. Then she laughed and 
cried, and threw her arms around his neck and said — 
but she could not say it for some time, so carried away 
was she by this mirthful mood, " Dear, dear Gabe, I was 
only trying you. You seemed a leettle bit too confident, 
too secure ; but I believe it'll do. I think your account 
o' yourself will be sufficient." 

It was agreed upon then, and they became engaged ; 
the doctor stipulating that as soon as all parties were well 
again, that thej^ would marry ^' each other." After this, 
they talked of their feelings, the rise and progress of the 
same in their souls. Then a calm succeeded, and there 
they sat, with clasped hands, listening to the beating of 
each other's hearts, and the low breathing of the patient. 

Present!}', Minny gotto narrating her own history: how 
she was born on Lord Dalkeith's estate in old Scotland, 
her father having been that gentleman's steward ; how 
she had been induced, after the death of her parent, to 
come to America, and had finally concluded to settle down 
in peace and independence in the little toy-shop ; on the 
beatitude of which mode of life she expatiated warmly. 

Seeing a smile on the doctor's face, she exclaims with 
animation — " Aweel, now, ye may smile an ye will, but 
there is something right pleasant in being ' monarch of 
all I survey,' even though that be a little toy-shop and 
sma' back room, and a crust o' bread, but always with 
sunshine in the heart and a gude fire on the hearth. 
You need na laugh sae, dear Gabe." 

" Go on, Minny ; go on, child, I love to hear you talk ; 
indeed I do." 

" I have four little rooms to my house ; the front room 
is the store and hall, the back one is my parlor, and some- 



220 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

times kitchen. It is always a comfortable place for ray- 
grandmother, who is more contented than mony a lady in 
her palace." 

" True, most true. I know a case in point. Poor old 
Mrs. Murray." 

Minny continued her narrative — "One of the U2)per 
rooms I have loaned to a widow. Poor Lucy May has 
seen better days. She has had, I think, the misfortune at 
some time to offend against society, and was perhaps 
thrust out. She, poor thing, now hides away from an 
intolerant and doubtless a more sinning world than her- 
self. I know not what her fault w^as, I care not wdiat her 
career has been : I have nothing to do w^ith that. It is 
the present and the future with which I have to deal. I 
know that her life is blameless now, and I think her heart 
is right, being full of love to Grod. I have helped her as 
best I could with my little means, in every way that was 
oj)en to me; and now I am reaping my reward. I could 
na have gone wi' you to-night, dear Grabe, to see that 
sweet play, I could na be sitting here wi' poor, dear Myra 
now, if my gude Lucy May were not there to tak' my 
place by my helpless grandmither." 

" "What do 3^ou get a month, Minny? " 

" I do not rent it. I mak' nae charge. She heljis me 
about many things since she has recovered her health." 

" Good heavens ! You don't tell me you had to take 
charge of a sick woman. Poor, dear little thing ! How 
could you accomplish this ? " 

" Oh, very weel. What merit wad there be in doing a 
gude deed, if it cost nothing ? All things were added, 
and I found every day, that the way was opened by which 
I somehow obtained the necessary supplies for the poor 
sufferer." 

'• How, dear Minny ? In what way were they furnished ? " 

"Oh, in many ways, too tedious to mention. God's is 
a vast storehouse ! It never gives out." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 221 

" Well, child, I do believe you are an angel of mercy, 
sent here to do such things ; and that's the upshot of the 
whole — only you are the prettiest and best among 
them all. 

"But, Minny, my dear," — the Doctor had learned to 
transpose the words ; it used to be " My dear Minny " — 
" ISTow, Minny, my dear, you said, I think, that this poor 
Lucy May was, or had been an outcast from society. For 
what offense was it ? " 

" I told you I did not know. I do not wish to know. 
The subject has never been brought up between us, and 
never shall be, unless she introduces it, and thinks it will 
relieve her heavy heart to talk." 

" But, Minny, I do not think I approve of my little wife 
being on quite such familiar terms with an outcast." 

" Doctor Brown, sorry am I that ye hae spoken that 
word. I dinna exactly ken yet, but I hardly think I do 
luve you just quite as weel as I did." 

" But you see my motive, my dear little girl. I think 
my Minny is as pure as any of those bright ones, who 
continually do shine around the ' Great White Throne j ' 
therefore she should not come in contact with infamy." 

" Ah, sir ! ye should na judge. Ye dinna ken your ain 
heart ; then how can you judge of anither's. Christ has 
said, that the angels (whom ye talk sae much about, and 
ken sa little) do rejoice more over one repentant sinner, 
than over ninety and nine just persons. And ye know, if 
ye were your ain sel' a good shepherd, and did one o' 
your flock go astray, ye wad leave all. and go in pursuit 
o' him that was lost. So you see, Gabriel, God careth for 
these stray lambs. Now, dear one, do ye hope ever to 
get to heaven ? " 

" To be sure I do, Minny. Everybody has that hope in 
some shape or other." 

" Then dinna ye ken, that heaven will be full o' repentant 
sinners ? The Saviour loved sinners, you know, my friend, 



222 THE NIGHT \\' A T C H . 

more than ye can ever love wife, or child, or ony other 
thing." 

" Ah ! I give it up, darling. I give it all up. Ton have 
converted me. I am all sorts of a proselj'te to any creed 
you may choose to hold and declare. I do believe you 
can give a reason for everything that you may do and 
believe, which would be satisfactory to God himself."' 

" Ah ! Grod is not half so hard on us as we are on each 
ither. I would rather fall into the hands o' the living 
God than into those o" my fellow worms." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 223 



4»» 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

THE OLD Jew's family. 

" Hath not a Jew eyes ? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, 
senses, affections, passions ? Fed with the same food, hurt with the 
same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same 
means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a 
Christian?" 

It will be remembered when Gertrude Lindsay enffered 
the room of the Jew, that Leah suddenly disappeared. 
The girl lingered, with her ear to the wall, until she had 
heard all that passed between the proud beauty and her 
instrument of crime, poor Leah's father. She also learned 
from what the little black child said, the condition of the 
family in the hovel, and was confirmed in her surmises, 
that their nefarious designs were now to be put in ojDera- 
tion against its inmates. In the interview between the 
little slave and the old man, the whole plot was made 
known ; and as quickly did Leah form her plans to 
forestall and overthrow it. 

This poor girl, almost from her infancy, had been com- 
pelled to live and act that despicable thing,,a spj^, an 
eaves-dropper. She had been trained to it by her mother, 
who w^as in all things honest and high-minded ; and she 
believed, conscientiously, that the motive with the end in 
view, would sanctify the means and ennoble the deed. 
To watch, listen, and prevent harm ; forestall and hinder 
crime ; to redress wrongs and jjrotect innocence, had been 
the life-time work of poor Eachel, the mother of Leah, 
and wife of Nathan, the Jew merchant. This marriage 
had been one of family expediency ; the parties having in 



224 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

view the combining and consolidating their forces against 
the Christian. 

I know that this sort of rancor between the children of 
Israel and the Gentile world, has, in a great measure, 
subsided ; and if their condition is ameliorated, and the 
contempt in which they were held has given place to 
better feelings, we shall ascribe it to the mild and just 
lavv^s of our glorious Eepublic, which holds out the same 
immunities, and aifords the same protection to the alien 
as to her own children. But then, I ask, if that instinc- 
tive distrust of the Jew, the contempt felt for their pur- 
suits, the scorn for their characteristic serviiitj, and 
above all, their unholy love of money, their usurious exac- 
tions from the necessities of all who may chance to fall in 
their way, do not now, as ever, move the worst disposi- 
tions of our nature toward them? Besides, the place 
Avhere we have seen fit to locate our " dramatis person<B,'" 
is one which has retained many more of the primitive 
usages as well as national traits of this migratory peoj^le 
than any other one, perhaps, in our country. 

But to our story : this match had been arranged with- 
out the mutual consent of the parties, for the common 
weal of the confederacy established in the Jews' Quarter 
of the qMj of , and for the private injuiy of her citi- 
zens. Poor Eachel had never felt any other emotion than 
fear and dislike toward the creeping, cringing thing she 
was forced to marr}^ ; and from that time to the end of 
her life, she swerved not from the course she had marked 
out for herself She had no enjoyments, no recreations. 
She sought none ; her whole being seemed absorbed in 
doing good and thwarting evil. She was, therefore, as I 
have said, a secret spy on her household. The amount 
of misery which she prevented — the sutferings she had 
relieved — must be her extenuation for this breach of 
conjugal faith. The poor, isolated woman felt herself 
justified in the sight of her Creator; and as to his crea- 



THE NIUllT WATCH. 225 

tui'es, she had nothing to do with their approval or con- 
demnation. The fiendish passions and pui'suits of her 
husband, the contracted minds and petty superstitions of 
her peojde, together with tlie scorn in whicli they were 
h.eld, had made her what slie was — a prisoner within the 
walls of that dismal old brick house. 

In dying she bequeathed her ofiice to her daughter, 
Leah — initiating her into the dark mysteries of her 
father's character, and also into many a secret of the 
house, its gloomy passages, rooms, walls, etc. Many a 
hidden stairway, seci"et corridor and cunning device, had 
been planned by Rachel, of which her husband had no 
knowledge. Leah now was entrusted with the keys, 
and made the unseen mover of all the secret springs. 

Not so with her other daughter, Hagar ; the mother 
had no confidence in this child. 

There never had been any congeniality of feeling 
between the two sisters; but Leah, like her mother, 
mourned over her depravity, and many times had stood 
between this neophyte in vice, and her hard-hearted 
father : acting as mediator, only to receive, as recom- 
pense, treachery and hatred. 

Murdoch, the IS^ight Watch, had known this family from 
boyhood ; and, until old Faggot had become so grovel- 
ing, by the indulgence of that soul-killing passion, had 
been in the habit of paying them frequent visits. While 
his wife lived, there was none of that loathsome aifecta- 
tion of poverty about the husband. The miser he was, 
but on a more enlarged scale ; and numberless petty 
meannesses were concealed from the high-minded Rachel, 
else would she have spurned him as a worthless cur-dog. 
The one redeeming trait, the one human feeling which 
avarice had left in that little murky soul, was intense 
animal affection, and boundless admiration for his wife. 

When this poor lady found that the sands of life were so 
near run out she dispatched Leah after Murdoch. When 



226 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

he came, he approached the bedside of his dying friend 
with a bowed head and broken heart. She had been almost 
the only friend the youth had ever known. She had assisted 
him in all ways ; sometimes by loans of money, or presents 
of clothing ; in short, she was his benefactress. She had 
afforded him the facilities of getting an education sufficient 
to enable him to embrace any reputable calling, either in 
the mechanic arts, or in commerce. But he had no 
patrons Avho could or would help him on to promotion. 
He, therefore, became w^hat we have seen, the guardian 
of the downy or thorny pillows, as the case may be, of 
the luxurious and wealthy citizens of the city of . 

The "Night Watch" was an oi'phan, the offspring of a 
Jew father and Christian mother. This alliance (pro- 
hibited in the synagogue) brought much sorrow and 
annoyance to the parties ; but it was a match of affection; 
so they endured all things patientty unto the end. Both 
parents died suddenly; the last induced by grief for the 
loss of the first. After this, Murdoch became almost an 
inmate of the house of Mrs. I^athan ; having been con- 
signed to her care by his dying mother. 

He had by nature ardent feelings ; an idolatrous love 
for the beautiful (female beauty) was the first sensation 
which made itself comprehensible to his young mind. 
Mrs. J^athan was exceedingly beautiful and fascinating ; 
and the boy, youth, and man, had accustomed himself to 
look up to her as a superior being. His feelings for her 
were those of adoration. Eachel saw this with regret ; 
but hojDed he would transfer this affection, with some 
mitigation, to her second self, her daughter Leah. But as 
yet she had witnessed nothing to encourage her. She had 
not seen one look of admiration, or one demonstration of 
regard other than such as would move the pure heart of a 
brother toward a good, gentle little sister. He loved Mrs. 
Nathan, who was still a very young woman, and for the 
present, this passion was sufficient to fill all the interstices 



THE NIGHT AVATCH, 227 

of his huge heart. Leah, she knew, would be beautiful 
when matured ; she had also seen, for some time, that her 
child loved the orphan boy with all the fervor and 
enthusiasm which belonged to her oriental blood. 

Eachel had studied the temper and heart of her foster 
son ; maj^be to check the unholy passion she saw there 
for herself ; maybe for something else; but she learned 
that much of his devotion was induced by the mystery 
thrown around her, and that it was strengthened by the 
insuperable barrier between them, preventing his too 
close approximation. She knew also, that familiarity and 
easy access, would interrupt the growth of love on his 
part; while that of poor Leah would expand and ripen to 
her own detriment. Hence the solemn injunction which 
is presently laid upon the girl. 

When Murdoch drew near, and found that death had 
set his signet on that noble countenance, he threw himself 
on his knees, and for a few moments indulged the wildest 
grief The patient, feeling that her sands were numbered, 
looked at him with a face full of anxiety. She placed the 
hand of Leah within his, and with a look of ineffable 
love, faintly whispered — " IVIaj" the blessings of the God 
of our people be upon you and abide with you, my 
children ! " 

Murdoch rushed from the room. When the mother and 
daughter were left alone, she made Leah comprehend 
that she had something of importance still to say, and 
asked for an exciting potion. After she had swallowed it, 
the feeble ray of life gleamed up for a moment, and 
raising herself, she said in a low whisper, 

" Gome hither, child. Now listen carefully. Leah, you 
have never disobeyed me during your life ? " She paused 
for an answer. 

The girl fell on her knees, and sobbed out, " O my 
mother! how could I? Thou never didst do wrong." 



228 THE NIGHT AVA't'CH. 

" Then, my love, promise me without question, that you 
will obey my dying injunction.'" 

" With my life will I obey thee, my sainted mother." 

" You will, Leah, from this hour, veil yourself closely, 
and never at any time, or under a.nj circumstances, suffer 
the good Murdoch to look upon your features ; or caress 
you, or even touch jouv hand ; but hide your face from 
him, and envelop yourself in profound mystery for the 
space of three years ; not abating one moment of the time. 
It is half j)ast eleven o'clock. Three j^ears from this 
moment, my beloved and dutiful child, you shall be 
absolved from this oath ; and your mother's spirit will 
hover near you to do you good. Eemember the hour and 
the moment. My daughter, spare j^our father's grey hairs, 
and as much as in you lies, smooth his passage to the 
grave. Now call him and your sister ; but first embrace 
me, my love." 

When the husband and child came in, she took an affec- 
tionate, but calm leave of them ; folded her arms, closed 
her eyes, and fell asleep, not in Jesus, I presume — for 
this promise is only to Christians — but that pure soul 
winged its way back to him who gave it, and has I hope 
found a resting-place in father Abraham's bosom. 

This has been a tedious digression ; but we deemed it 
necessary, in order to explain and extenuate the seeming 
infatuation of the gentle and refined Leah for the appa- 
rently rough-natured Murdoch. 

The girl, as has been before stated, remained with her 
ear to the wall until she had learned all she wished ; then 
she stole softly to her room, enveloped herself closely in 
her wrappings, and returning sat doAvn near the same spot 
until her father should leave the bovise. She heard his 
soliloquy, wherein he had accused her of treachery ; she 
also heard him touch the counter-sjaring (as he called it) 
and chuckle over the thought, that he had put it beyond 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 229 

her power to thwart his diabolical enterprise. All thig 
she did not regard, but she was in agony lest she should 
be foiled in her efforts to meet Murdoch in time to make 
him set the watch near the hovel. 

"While she sat on the floor, her head against the panel, 
she heard her father exclaim ; " Oh, oh, oh ! It is just 
three years dis day sence my poor, dear Eachel was 
gathered to her peoplesh ; " and she could hear him beat 
his breast. 

The girl commenced a rapid computation of time, and 
finding it was even as the old man said, dropped her head 
on her breast, and wept in silence. 

The miser at last leaves the room ; then Leah also stole 
out, taking her way toward the covered bridge; where 
she waited full an hour before Murdoch made his appear- 
ance, in company, as has been stated, with Col. Murray. 

When they had again sought the bridge, she revealed 
to him as succinctly as she could, the discovered plot, with 
her intention to save the ]50or lady and her family. 

" JSTow, dear Murdoch, thou hast not, I hope, forgotten 
the road to our house ? Thou knowest the way to the 
spiral steps, then force the door, if it be fast, and enter 
quickly. I will see thee by twelve o'clock, but not before 
half past eleven." 

When he would have taken her to his manly, affection- 
ate bosom, she stepped aside, eluding him, as she had 
never failed to do for three years, and said, " The time 
will soon come, Murdoch ; my probation will end in a few 
hours, then I can without sin suffer myself to be folded to 
the breast of my foster brother, as in my childhood. 



280 THE NIGHT WATCH. 



CHAPTEE XXV. 

THE GOOD WIFE. 

" How few, like thee, inquire the wretched out, 
And court the offices of soft humanity ! 
Like thee, reserve their raiment for the naked. 
Reach out their bread to feed the crying orphan, 
Or mix the pitying tear with those that weep." 

Dear, sensible, and I hope obliging reader, let your 
imagination spread her wings, and with me keep pace 
with the old scythe-man for one year, in chiding the alter- 
nations of time and season. Another winter has come 
and gone, without any of the traces which the stern hoary- 
headed traveler usually leaves in the track of his ruthless 
strides. There w^ere changes, but not such as are painful 
to contemj)late or recount. 

Clood Doctor Brown and dear little Minn}' are married. 
They live together most happily in a pretty cottage with 
charming verandahs. The aged grandam, as we were 
ever pleased to hear the little woman call her, is installed 
in one of the best rooms. All the familiar objects Avhich 
had made that little old back room so agreeable to her, 
everything she prized, .whether for association or con- 
venience, had been transferred to this room; so that the 
old lady scarce felt the change. Her milk-white hair 
reposes as smoothly beneath the little snowy cap as ever ; 
her fine cambric kerchief is folded as primly over the sil- 
ver-grey luster dress as for the last fifty years, and she 
herself is just as happy and querulous as when we met 
^ her first. That good little granddaughter has so smoothed 



THE N 1 G H T WATCH. 231 

the declivity that the gentle downward passage is not 
felt. 

Minny is looking prettier and somewhat stouter, is as 
ever full of kind feelings and active benevolence. She is 
always on the qui vive to do somebody some good. Day 
by day her fiice beams Avith happiness, and she as regu- 
larly sends up a fervent prayer of gratitude to God for 
the means afforded her to manifest her love to His crea- 
tures. And Gabriel, "dear Gabe," is he luqjpy? Can 
you doubt it ? Let that elastic step, as he bounds along 
on his way, fulfilling his professional duties, answer. 
That fresh, hale countenance, that calm, untroubled, blue 
eye, twinkling and merry, that genial smile, what tale do 
they tell ? And then that nicely brushed black coat, the 
snowy plaits of the shirt bosom ; but above all, those 
much improved sandy locks, which a year ago were so 
carroty and elfin, do they not testify to the presence of 
some busy, thrifty, loving littk^ body ? Ah yes ! would 
that the world were full of little Minnys, for the sake of 
all forlorn little Gabriels. 

The girl has carried her own sunshine into that house, 
as she does everywhere. Whenever she appears, dark 
places become luminous, and crooked ways straight. O 
Minny, thou art a second little Dot^ and when we have 
said this, we can pronounce no higher praise. Like Dot, 
Minny has a little baby, and "just like its father," all the 
clever ones exclaim, as from time immemorial. Bu.t this 
time, as generally, the verdict is false ; for the little baby 
girl, the little Myra, is just like her pretty little mother. 

When Minny was married, and left her humble home 
to occupy a better one, she installed Lucy May in 
the toy-shop, placing with her for company and assist- 
ance an orphan child, whom she had found weeping 
in the street on her wedding day, as she passed from 
church to her new home. So she commemorated this 



232 T H E N I G H T W A T 11 . 

event by an action which, if angels are permitted to review 
scenes in this world, must have caused joy in heaven. 

They were dashing on in a very fine " turn out," accom- 
panied by a few of the Doctor's particular friends, when 
Minny descried a child in the street, who looked lonely 
and miserable. She instantlj^ pulled the check-string, 
and with much earnestness explained to her husband that 
she wished to alight for a moment, that she might speak 
to the child. Grabriel's face flushed, and looking up at his 
friends he could see that they were surprised, and he 
thought he detected a smile of derision on their fashiona- 
ble faces ; therefore the sensitive little man commenced a 
remonstrance. 

" Ah hist ! dinna fash ! dinna fash ! I will not detain 
ye lang ; but I must sj)eak to the puir suffering bairn." 
He was about to utter a rejoinder, when she put her 
mouth to the trumpet and ordered the coachman to stop 
and open the door. Then with the most bewitching 
naivete, said, " Ah Gabe ! I know ye too well ! Ye wad 
na see the puir little chiel perish in the street, amang the 
gay and gi-and folks, on your happy wedding day." 

He said no more, but jumped out and handed his wife 
from the carriage. The child at the time could give no 
account of herself She was sick ; a fever raged in her 
blood, and she seemed stupified from pain. Doctor Brown 
saw that she would indeed die if left there. At Minny's 
request, he lifted her into the carriage, and they drove on. 
They nursed the sick child through a long and severe 
illness. When she had entirely recovered she was placed 
as stated, with Lucy May. They had adopted and given 
hei- their name — thc}^ called her Jennie Brown. 

Minny, with the sanction of the Doctor, invited Myra 
and her grandmother to live with them. 

"No, no, Minny," said the old lady, "God only knows 
how much I do thank you, child ! But best not ; I should 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 233 

die of idleness. I think it would go hard with me, now, 
to sit down and hold my hands in a friend's house. Let 
us have a place of our own, even if it is a shanty^ 

Minny comprehended fully the feeling, and urged them 
no further. On their way home she was sad and silent ; 
then rousing up she said, " Aweel, dear husband, I dinna 
think I can ever sleep mair in my nice bonny home, while 
puir Myra an' the auld lady are in sic a place. They 
must be better fixed, else I shall sleep wi' my een wide 
open, all my days. Choose now, gude man, atween 
the twa." 

The Doctor laughed, and came near forgetting himself 
so far as to embrace his little wife on the street. 

Just then the Jew came walking up — not creeping : 
'' Good morning, sir, said the Doctor. " Is any one occu- 
pying that neat, cottage-looking house, over the way, 
yonder? " 

"Which one?" said Mr. ISTathan, the Jew clothing 
merchant. 

" The one with latticed windows." 

" No, der is nobody living dere, now." 

" When is your rent due from Mrs. Wise." 

" It is due now, dis very hour. I is on my way dere 
to git it." 

" Well, Mr. Nathan, propose to Mrs. Wise to take the 
cottage." 

" Oh ! oh ! mine Got ! It is too much more monish dan 
she will be able to pay me." 

" Never mind that, sir. Do as I have requested ; and 
when her means fail, I will make up the deficit." 

In an instant he whipped out a little ink-horn from his 
pocket, and a scrap of paper, saying, "Write, write." 
The Doctor gave him the note, and passed on. 

The next day saw Minny as busy as the busiest of all 
busy things — a hen with one chicken — arranging the cot- 
tage for her friends. The day after sees them domiciled 
20 



234 T n K N t (i II T A\- A T C 11 . 

as if they had lived there all their lives. Thanks now 
to little Minny Broicn. 

Clarence is charmed with the exchange. His salarj", 
and the donations to him from the patrons of the drama, 
have all been given as glad offerings to his mother and 
grandmother. His little heart swells with pride, and feels 
too big for his little body, when he thinks that he sup- 
ports his parents — " Ms family/.''' 

■The golden-haired, sunnj^-faced, beautiful boy has grown 
some, and is greatly improved. Mr. Gooch has watched 
over and guarded him, as if he were the apple of his 03^0. 



Col. Murray lingered long in his sick room, vacillating 
between life and death. A fever succeeded to the disas- 
trous events of that night; not so much from the wound, 
as the disordered state of his nervous system, and the dis- 
tracted state of his mind. The wild hoj^es which he had 
for one brief half-hour suffered to spring up in his breast, 
with their sudden overthrow, were more than his excita- 
ble nature could endure. There were man}^ alternations, 
and it was a matter of great uncertaint}^ whether he 
would ever arise from that bed ; or if he did, whether his 
mind would recover its equiiDoise. 

To-day he has awakened from a long obliviousness. 
Looking around, for the first time for many weary months, 
he seems to be conscious of Avhat is passing in the room. 
He speaks very feebly : 

"James, where is my daughter?" 

" Oh ! thank Grod, master ! I am so rejoiced to see you 
sensible once more. I thank the Lord for that, anyhow;" 
and the negro began to weep. 

" I am greatly obliged to you, James, my good bo_y ; 
but I hope you do not expect or require me to cry, 
too?" 

" Lor ! no, sir: but we never did expect to see you look 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 235 

SO natural-like and sensible any more. So I couldn't help 
crying for joy. Hope you will excuse the liberty, Mas'r 
Charles?" 

" Certainly. But James, who has been here during my 
illness?" 

" Oh, Lors a marcy ! everybody on God's yarth." 

" That w^ill do, James. Go and tell Tivvy to come in 
and bring the child." 

When the little Genevieve came, she seemed to under- 
stand at a glance that her father was better. She clapped 
her hands and shouted, and sprang upon the bed, and 
literal^ stopped his breath with caresses. 

" Oh ! dear, dear papa ! we thought j^ou were going to 
die, and paj^a, that pretty lady" 

"Hush," said Tivvy; and he saw the maid squeeze the 
child's arm. 

" Poor cousin Gerty cried her eyes out, Avhen that 
pretty la " 

"Come, honey, let's go," said Tivvy, taking up the 
child. 

"Put her down," said Murray. "Go on, daughter; 
what is it? " 

"Papa, I think you ought to love cousin Gcrtude." 

" What for, my love ? " 

"Because she loves you so much, and grandma says 
she is s-o r-i-c-h. Papa please marry cousin Gert}^," said 
she, kissing her father. "Won't you, dear papa? " 

" Do you want papa to marry her, my darling? " 

" I don't know ; I reckon so." 

Then she put her little ruby lips to his ear, and whis- 
pered ver}' softly : " Tivvy says, cousin Gertrude is almost 
dead to marry you, and that she will die soon, if you don't 
let her." 

Murray gave Tivvj'" a black look, and continued to 
frown. The child tried to wipe oif with her handkcr- 



236 THE NKUIT WATCH. 

chief, those disfiguring signs of vexation, while Tivvy, in 
great embarrassment and some alarm, adds : 

" Lors ! ISTow, Miss Yevy, I didn't do no sich a thing, 
now." 

"Ton did, Tivvy. I heard you tell uncle Jim so; and 
you said you knew it, because she used to steal in here 
when papa was out of his senses, and kiss him, and kneel 
down by him, and cry, and all that."' 

" That will do, my love ; come run away to the gov- 
erness. Tivvy, I wish to speak to you, and when you 
have carried the child, return immediatel3^" 

Tivvy looked worried. "Lor! Mas'r Conrad, what 
does you want? I'm so busy; won't Jim do? " 

" Tivvy, you have foi-gotten yourself. Do j^ou dare 
debate whether you will obey me or not? " 

" No, sir," said the maid; and taking up the child, hur- 
ried out. 

" When they had gone, Murray sighed and exclaimed, 
" Poor Gertrude ! I wish to God I could provoke her to 
discard me. I would very meeMy submit to the sentence 
of banishment. Aye ! most gladly ; but think of it, she 
is a most magnificent creature ! Well, the truth is, I do 
believe I am a hrute, as my mother once said." This con- 
demnatory soliloquy was interrupted by the return of 
Tivvy. 

" Take that seat there, right before me ; now tell me, 
Tivvy, if you can lie as adroitly as ever?" 

The girl was so astonished at being made to sit in the 
presence of her master, and so frightened by his lowering 
looks, that she did not really hear, see, or' heed. So 
when Murra}^ rej)eated that question, she answ^ered, with 
vacant stare, 

"Yes, sir." 

" So I presume. Are you sure you have not imjjroved 
by practice?" 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 237 

" O Lors ! Mas'r Charlie, I aint hurd a word you said." 

" I asked you if you could lie as smartl}' as ever? " 

" !N"o, sir, not quite." 

" Now, Tivvy, I shall ask you a few questions, and if 
you have a spark of truth in you, I warn you to let it 
out, or I will crush it out ; as weak as you may think me 
I can still manage you. '" 

"Oh, poor Mas'r Conrad is gwine out of his senses 
agin ! " 

She seemed to be preparing to scream out, but a men- 
acing look fi'om her master threw her back in her 
chair, and made her as mute as if she had been tongue- 
less. For a moment the sick man looked at her cower- 
ing, frightened appearance, and bit his lip to suppress a 
smile ; then said, in a half stern, have jocular voice : 

"Well, then, I didn't mean to scare you to death quite. 
Tivvy, when I was ill, and j^ou had all given me up to 
die — when I could not sj)eak, and you believed I could 
not see — I thought then, girl — or I dreamed it — that I saw 
as plainl}" as I see you now, mj poor, lost Marianna, stand- 
ing by my bedside. She was weeping bitterly, and 
wringing her hands ; and then, oh ! then (methinks I feel 
them yet ; so dewy and refreshing were they to my 
parched soul), ever and anon, she would stoop down and 
imprint a long, fervent kiss on my poor, dried lips. She 
was dressed in deep mourning, and looked so sad, so 
despairing. She called me dear cousin — dear Conrad — 
dear, dear Charlie. Then the scene changed, and she 
called me brother, and grew cold and reserved — seemed to 
shudder and shrink from me ; which made me so wretched 
that I thought I died, and only came to life a few hours 
ago. Now you are to tell me every word about this, 
Tivvy, as you hope for any good fortune or happiness in 
this world or the next. I command you to tell me the 
truth, the whole truth.' You had better not provoke aue, 
girl." 



238 T HE N I(^ H T WATCH. 

Tivv}^ clasi^ed her liauds together, rolled up her eyes 
until you could only see the whites, and falling on her 
knees, says : 

" Now, Mas'r Charles, I'm gwine to tell the truth, same 
as if I was in the judgment at the last day of the world." 

"Go on," says Murray, with great trepidation, "speak." 

" Well, Mas'r Charles Conrad Murray, I takes the Lord 
of Hosties to witness, that what I say is the fact, the whole 
fact, and nothing but " 

" Go on," shouted Murray, quite carried away by impa- 
tience. 

"To witness," says Tivvy, in a subdued tone, "that I 
does believe from the bottom and incesses of my heart 
and soul, that — that you w-a-s a dreaming." 

With a quick movement, and an angry, disappointed 
• look, he gave her a violent push, which threw her sprawl- 
ing on the floor backward. 

Just then the door opened, and Doctor Gabriel Brown 
entered. He stopped suddenly, exclaiming with great 
glee, " Hoity toity ! What's all this ? Ha ! ha ! ha ! he ! 
he ! ho ! ha ! " and he laughed until the tears ran down 
his plump, ruddy cheeks. " Well, this is the best joke I've 
got on you, Conrad." 

" Sir, you are mistaken ; it's no joke, and I'm in no 
mood to be laughed at. Get up there, Tivvy, and take 
yourself off." 

The girl rose with alacrity, and as she left, was heard 
to giggle. This for an instant seemed to enrage the sick 
man, and he«commanded Brown, in a very authoritativ-e-- 
voice, to call her back and hand him his cane. 

" Pshaw ! Nonsense ! Why, man, you are getting well 
too fast. I must give you something to put you back a 
bit. Lie down, sir, lie down," said he as he felt his 
pulse. 

Finding him much excited, and looking almost ill again, 
he proceeded to prepare a draught for him, but when he 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 239 

turned to administer it, he found him sitting up in bed, 
looking for all the world like a galvanized corpse. 

"Lie down, sir," said the doctor, in a very determined 
voice. 

" I will not ; I am a free man. How dare you speak to 
a white man in that way ? " 

" Because you are my patient. I am responsible to 
3'our friends for your well-being ; besides, you are under 
my control, and in my power. Now, Murray, if you do 
not drink this anodyne and lie down quietly, like a decent 
sick man should do, I'll be blamed if I don't knock you 
down ; so that's the long and short, and whole upshot of 
the matter." 

Being very weary now, and much exhausted by the 
agitation of the last half-hour, he was content to fall into 
the hands of the good little doctor. 

Presently he grew composed, and begged his friend to 
listen to him, while he related minutely what had passed 
between himself and Tivvy, imploring him to speak. 

The doctor grew thoughtful, then moody, and at last 
answered the poor, enthusiastic, half-demented sick man : 
" Well, Murray, I must think, with Tivvy, that you did 
dream a great deal daring that long slumber of the men- 
tal faculties, that midnight of the mind." 

" Doctor, I did not dream then. My mind was not dark 
at that moment, as you think. I tell you, I saw my lost 
bride, my long-loved Marianna. I felt, and do yet feel, 
her dewy kisses on my lips.' It was that heavenly mois- 
ture falling on the arid soil of my soul, which revived it, 
and caused verdure to spring up. You need not shake 
your head ; I am sane now. I have not forgotten either. 
"VYould the fainting wretch Avho had traversed the desert 
for many days without refreshment, forget the cup of cool 
water which he had unexpectedly received? Well, as 
that cup would be to the parched, cracked lips of the poor 
perishing wayfarer in the wilderness, so was that first kiss 



240 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

to my withered soul. I fainted no more. I could not die 
then ; but Oli ! I thirst again for that cup. Gods ! how 
vaj soul pines and my heart yearns for a few more drops 
even of that, th-a-t, t-h-a-t d-e-w-y cup." He falls asleejj. 

Doctor Brown sat watching him for some time, with his 
fingers on his pulse. He smiled placidly as he slept, and 
still murmured, " that dewy cup." 

" Poor fellow ! With all our boasted knoAvledge,- we 
know nothing. We all thoiight him dj^ing that night, six 
of us. Six doctors (I wonder it didn't kill him) exhausted 
their skill, and threw up ; then he was saved by one woman, 
and in the simplest and most natural way — a kiss ! Well, 
I'll be blamed if I don't think it is enough to bring a fel- 
low back to life. They will either kill or cure, that's 
certain." 

He rang the bell, and when James entered, he told him 
his master must be kept very quiet. Every jjerson., and 
every subject of an exciting nature must be kej)t from 
him. 

" Yes, sir, but Miss Lindsay has been here waiting for 
several hours to come in ; but I guess the sight o' Miss 
Guttrude will not excite any great commotions in Mas'r 
Charles' heart." 

The doctor smiled and left. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 241 



CHAPTEK XXVI. 

THE governor's LEVEE. 

" The house was an inn, where all were feasted and welcomed." 

" Hath wine an oblivious power ? 

Can it pluck out the sting from the brain ? 
The draught might beguile for an hour, 
But still leave behind it the pain." 

Nature has again unveiled her bright, smiling face, 
and as if the more to fascinate her lovers, she has cast oif 
her mantle of hoar frost, mnrky clouds, and occasional 
robe of beautiful snow wreaths, and arrayed herself in all 
her glory of light green, diversified by all the tints of the 
rainbow. Yet is she still a coy belle, coquetting skittishly 
w'ith her adorers. Now smiling so sweetly and brightly, 
then veiling her face, and anon, in sheer exuberance of 
gladness, weeps. It is spring, the season for such vaga- 
ries — the charming month of May, about the end, and 
near the close of day. Light clouds are chasing each 
other over the soft cerulean expanse, and a balmy breeze 
has sprung up, cool and refreshing. The goddess herself, 
and all her myriad train, are breathing forth the incense 
of adoration to their Creator. 

The flowers, at this vesper hour, are exhaling their 
sweetest perfumes to honor Him. The little birds, hop- 
ping from spray to spray, and chirping merrily ; the chor- 
isters in the grove who open their throats and melody 
gushes out, do hymn forth His praise, and rejoice in their 
existence. Even the insect world, the poor beetle, the 
cricket on the hearth, and every beast and creeping thing, 
21 



242 T HE N I a H T AV A T H . 

in the exercise of their peculiar functions, do but furnish 
testimonials of the declarative glory of Grod. All things 
seem to join in this silent, harmonious tribute of praise. 
The earth seems one vast altar, and the universe a mighty 
temple, to declare the glory of its maker, and to show 
forth His handy-woi'k on this sweet spring evening, this 
holy vesper hour. Only man, he alone, made in the image 
of God, is ungrateful. 

A tall figure, enveloped in a shawl, moves slowly along- 
down Market street, until he reaches a hovel. Now he 
takes his j^osition against a lamp-post, and commences to 
scrutinize the premises. All things remain as they were. 
There hangs the same old blue curtain, with the rent in 
the center — but the season is changed, and there is no 
ruddy firelight gleaming through, thereby revealing what 
is passing within. He steps forward, and with great 
trepidation gives a hurried knock ; another, and another 
succeeds the first, with even more impatience ; but alas ! 
no voice issues from within, bidding him enter. 

He waits a moment longer, and finding all so still, with 
a disappointed look turns away and walks on to the little 
toy-shop and raps. An interesting lady comes to the 
door accompanied by a bright, happy-looking child — a 
pretty little girl. 

" Is Miss Minny Dun at home ? " 

" ISTo, sir," answered the interesting lady. He turned 
mournfully off. Before Lucy May coiald explain a word, 
he is retracing his steps, but turns from the beaten track 
and wanders about, he cares not whither. 

It is growing late, and to the valetudinarian the air 
feels chill and damp. As he turns his steps homeward he 
hears a sweet, bird-like voice call '' Papa ; " turning he 
meets his daughter, and Miss Lindsay, who is holding the 
little Genevieve by the hand. At the first flush he was 
vexed at the meeting ; he believed the beauty had pur- 
posely thrown herself in the way, arrayed as she was 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 243 

with such elaborate care, with all the accessories to fas- 
cinate and seduce. He was almost tempted to pass her by. 
But Murray was a gentleman, although now a willful, way- 
ward' one, as he was alwaj's a haughty one. He would 
not, nay, he could not treat any woman riidely, when 
from under the domination of his fierce passions. 

So Avhen the little girl ran to him, seized his hand and 
kissed it, saying, "Dear j)apa, Cousin Gerty and I walked 
out to seek you. Grrandma sent us to see where you 
were, and what you were doing " (Gertrude blushed crim- 
son); he answered, "Did you my love? I am sure I ought 
to be vei-y much obliged to you both." Then he otfered 
his arm to Gertrude, and taking the little Genevieve by 
the hand, they proceeded in silence. 

There was a subdued manner about the girl this eve- 
ning, in her tone of voice, and the expression of her face; 
her haughtiness seemed chastened down to something 
like softness. Murray almost admired her, and I imagine 
he gave an intimation of this by some secret telegraphing, 
some little pressure of the hand, or I do not know what, 
but the proud lady again blushed and trembled. He saw 
and felt this silent token of his power ; and it is not in 
the nature of man, vain man, to be indifferent to such 
ovations. 

They passed the Executive Mansion, whose windows 
were blazing with light, and there was an unwonted stir 
about the place. 

" What is going on there, Gertrude? " 

" Why Conrad ! Is it possible you don't know? " 

" I do not. I have seen nothing, and heard nothing, 
for half a century. This morning, and for the last week, 
I have, denied myself to all visitors, pleading ill health, 
and bad feelings." 

" The Governor is at home this evening, and receives his 
friends in any way in which they may choose to present 



244 THE NIG n T W A T C H . 

themselves — in masquerade, fancy-ball dress, or as 
yourself." 

They walked on in silence for a moment; then he spoke 
quickly, as if afraid he would again forget it. " You are 
going, Grertrude?" 

" ' Mirabile dictu ! ' I have no escort. This is grand 
reception night, and Miss Lindsay has no beau. Ah me ! " 

"Where is Mr. Gaines ? " asked he drily, slightly 
smiling. 

" I don't know," replied the beauty, curtly — not smil- 
ing at all. 

Then came another awkward pause, in which you might 
have heard the lady's heart beat, had there been space 
tinder those patent corsets. Then he asked her very 
quickl}^, if she " wished to go ? " 

" Oh yes. More than anj^thing in the world," said she. 

" Then would you consent to lean on such a poor, broken 
reed as I am? " 

" Thank you; with pleasure; " and the lady evidenced 
too much of it. It seemed like exultation ; and it grated 
on Murray's refined and over-fastidious notions of female 
delicacy. It displeased him. There was in truth a mani- 
fest elation at this oj^iDortunity of being seen with him 
in public. 

As they parted at her door, he said, " I will call for you 
in my carriage, at the right hour," touched his hat, and 
he and the little girl plodded on their way homeward. 

When she reached her room, and rung for her maid, 
and as she was being ministered to by that sable com- 
^pound of cunning, smartness, and duplicity, she continued 
to grumble : 

" In the carriage ! Aye ! in the carriage ! What in the 
fiend's name is he going to come that way for ? I wanted 
the walk with him. I wanted every body to see me hang- 
ing on his arm." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 245 

' I'll tell you, Miss Gutty," said Ann, " I tinks I knows, 
nigger as I is." 

" What do you mean, Mi.ss, by speaking in my presence 
without license? But speak out this time, and mind how 
you presume again. Go on, I say." 

""Well den. He's jest gwine to carry his mother; and 
she, you know, will come all apart — all dem patchwork 
will fall to pieces, ef sheebber did walk dat fur." 

" Now that is it, I do expect. I don't know what he 
wants to hang all them scraps and shreds on his arm 
for ? his poor, feeble arm." 

" Oh, Miss Gutty ! don't talk dat way ; 'tis sin. She 
flesh of his flesh, and bone of his sinews ! " 

" I suppose then he will have to wait on her, hang over 
her, and trail round the room with her ; and I shall have 
to promenade with Gaines, or some other stupid fellow." 

" "Well : Dis nigger don't know much about de eat de cat 
of dat new fashionable Gubbernor's house. I can't say 
for sartin. But I tell you, Miss Gutty, what I do summise, 
dat he won't not be able to trot round (as you say) noting, 
unless it be in a cheer or sofa. And Miss Gutty, if you will 
take the advice of your own faithful black nigger maiden, 
you'll just hang yourself on the tudder side, and sit still 
wid his mother and him; 'stead o' gallavanting about de 
floor. Dat will be de purtiest, and de familiarest, and 
more in de family -way like, to sit still wid him any how." 

"Ann, I believe you are right, and I do believe I will 
take your advice. It will be so romantic and sentimental 
to immolate my ambition on the altar of affection." 

" Well, Miss Gutty, I don't not know what you means-' 
by dem high-fa-lutin things and words ; but I know de 
street door did ring some time ago." 

A servant entered, handed a card, and withdrew. A 
few words are scratched carelessly on it with a pencil. 
*' Mr. Gaines has called to see if Miss Lindsay has com- 
pany for the evening?" 



23:6 THE NIGHT W A T C II . 

" Pshaw ! I thought it might have been Convad, or 
somebody. Run, Ann, and tell him I am provided." 

But Ann did not confine herself to that simple mes- 
sage, but told him everything with which the reader is 
acquainted, even to the premeditated walk to entrap Mur- 
ray ; and detailed minutely the preceding dialogue between 
herself and Mistress. In fact, the lady's maid kept the 
lover informed from day to day, of every word and trans- 
action in the private life of the beauty. She assured him, 
" That if he would only hold on 'faitlLfnl' that he would 
be sure to get her at last. I tell you, Mas'r Josiah, Col. 
Murray and Miss Gutty will never be married. 'Taint not 
his destination, and he don't want to neither; but he tries 
mighty hard to do it, for de honor of his sake; but he 
can't, because it aint not his destination." 

So Graines believed, and he never wavered in his faith a 
moment. ' He had resolved on it, and he never doubted 
but that he should ultimately succeed in bearing off that 
great prize of wealth and beauty. He had loved her at 
first with a pure, disinterested affection, when they were 
much younger. Gaines had been almost bred up in the 
house of his benefactor, Major Lindsay ; he had known 
Gertrude all his life, and they were near the same age — 
she though being the elder. 

Yes, he loved her at first for herself, without knowing 
that she was an heiress. But she had flirted with him, 
coquetted him, and sometimes lured him on to commit 
himself, and would then slight and maltreat him in the 
presence of witnesses. Still a sort of fatality kept him 
there : and now ambition to be the husband (he Lind- 
say's second clerk) of the peerless Miss Lindsa}', and a 
secret desire to requite her treatment to him when he 
shall have gained that post, are the best feelings and 
strongest motives which actuated him. Yet he admires 
her intensely; he is charmed with her apj)earance, 
and enchanted by her accomplishments. Superadded to 



THE NIGHT WATCH. f47 

this is a vivid recollection of that fortune of a half- 
million of dollars. 

When Ann has concluded her communications, he smiles 
sardonically, and leaves the hoiise. Murray calls at an 
early hour for Gertrude ; informs her that it is incumbent 
on him to make his aj)j)earance at the mansion at rather 
an unseasonable hour for such an ultra fashionable as 
herself; that he being one of the Governor's aids, is bound 
to be in place. 

She looks dissatisfied, and frowns involuntarily. 

" I can not help it, Gertrude. You know at this time 
I am no part of a lady's man, and it is my duty to be at 
the side of the Governor. I will conduct mj mother 
there, and send Mr. Gaines, or some other friend for you, 
perhaps your father." 

'• Oh no. I shall be ready in a moment, and much pre- 
fer going now with Aunt Murray and yourself." 

She found that in the indulgence of her splenetic feel- 
ings she had overreached herself, and that Col. Murray 
was not Josiah Gaines. She therefore brightens up and 
declares that she was only jesting, and would not detain 
them a second. So away she flies, and soon returns 
enveloped in some light mazy drapery, which throwing a 
softening influence about her, brings her nearer to his 
"beau ideal" of beauty than he has ever before thought 
her. She is for the first time, to /m eyes, more lovely than 
handsome. 

On arriving, they found the company collecting rapidly. 
Yet it is quite too early for the '-leader of ton" to be 
seen. So she hurries to the cloak-room, where she meant 
to hide until the proper hour should arrive for her to 
make her advent among the admiring throng. Murray 
left them there. On going down he received a note from the 
Governor, requiriiig his immediate presence in the saloon. 

He went back and told her that he was forced to the 
alternative of conducting them to the drawing-room at 



Z4e THE NIGHT WATCH. 

once, where they would be compelled to sit ; or to wait 
there in the dressing-room until the reception of guests 
should be over. This would have been crucifixion to the 
vanity of the spoiled girl. To be seated for an hour or 
two when she first enters a drawing room ! Why she 
would get a back-set from which she could not recover 
.during the whole evening. Therefore she proj^osed that 
he should hand his mother to a seat, and at his earliest 
convenience return for her. 

Thus Murray and his mother were the first to pay their 
devoirs to the "powers that be." Then seating her on a 
sofa in the most desirable part of the room, he brought a 
friend of his — a distinguished stranger — and introduced 
him to her. After which he took his station b}' the side 
of the Governor. 

It was hard to tell, as they stood there together, which 
created the greatest sensation; the fair, ruddy, light- 
haired, merry -faced, medium-sized man in office, or the 
pale, dark, and grandly melancholy countenance and 
manly form of his aid. Perhaps place and position threw 
a few straws in the balance against our friend Murray, in 
the minds of the mothers and more calculating daughters; 
but with the natural, sentimental, and disinterested, our 
somber friend made him kick the beam. 

As soon as his duties, as the Grovernor's right hand 
man, were over, he excused himself, and left for the pur- 
pose of conducting the peerless Gertrude through the 
rooms. On his way, he encounters Mr. Gaines, who is 
wearing a mock rueful face, but with a lurking smile in 
the corner of his rather pretty mouth. On inquiring the 
cause, Gaines says : 

"The one thousand and one rebuffs which I have met 
with, at different times from Miss Lindsay, are all nothing 
to the one I have just received. I went, as I thought, in 
duty bound — being of the same household — to offer my 
arm to the lady, my old play-mate, when she rejected it 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 249 

with scorn. She absolute!}^ spurned me as I imagine a 
Sultana Avould a presumptuous slave. She declared she 
would sit there till broad daylight, if you did not choose 
to come for her until that time." 

" And yet you laugh, Mr. Graines. I regret this scene, 
but I declare you evidence so much philosophy, or it may 
be apathy under it, that I am filled with admiration. 
Which of these is in full exercise now, Josiah ? " 

'• ISTeither, sir; I only let patience have her perfect 
work. It will not always be so, and you will see it," and 
he smiled significantly, and passed on. 

Gertrude surpassed herself in elegance to-night. Of 
late, in her absorbing desire to please her lover, she had 
dressed more in accordance with his taste, which was 
less magnificent, but more chaste than her own. On this 
evening she wore white crepelise, thicklj^ dotted over with 
minute gold stars. A border of jasmine and other beau- 
tiful flowers, were wrought in gold around the skirt, as 
high as the knees. This was worn over white satin. A 
snowy gossamer veil, ornamented as the dress, hung in 
graceful folds depending from the back of her head. 
This veil was made from the finest blond lace, and so 
mazy that you would almost doubt of its existence, had 
it not been wrought with gold thread into a wreath at 
the border, and specked all over Avith the smallest span- 
gles. The usual tiara of diamonds or pearls, each worth 
a sugar plantation, was disj)laced by a simple wreath of 
orange blossoms — this confined the veil. Her aj^pear- 
ance, altogether, was more feminine, and much more in 
character with her age and girlhood than he had ever 
seen it. 

As soon as they had advanced a little way into the first 
parlor, he found that they were attracting the undivided 
attention of the gaping, admix'ing multitude; and remem- 
bering that Gertrude had not yet received the obeisance 
of the presiding genius of this tumultuous sea of human 



250 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

beings, he endeavored to lead her to him — but more to 
avoid the rude stare, and servile bows which were oflPered 
to the belle. 

In elbowing- their way through the crowd, Gertrude 
was once or^wice in imminent danger of losing her veil, 
and Murray his equilibrium as well as equanimity. Many 
an amusing sight and shocking sound greets them. But 
what matters? This is a Eepublican Government, and 
that was a sort of '■^omnium gatherum,'" where all could 
come and feel free. Here is Apple Joe, as the chil- 
dren call the street vender of that fruit, and by his side 
is his little dowdy sweetheart — so finel}^ dressed that she 
ignores all acquaintance with the laundry that morning. 
Anon, they are jostled by the burly blacksmith, who, at 
twelve o'clock to-day, came out with naked arms, sooty 
face, leathern apron, and hammer in hand, to examine 
a loose shoe on the foot of one of the noble greys before 
the regal equipage of the proud lady. ]S]"ow he pulls his 
front lock with a clownish bow, to the polished aristocrat. 
There, too, is Mr. Nathan, the Jew clothing merchant, 
gliding about amid the throng. Here are masks, and 
dominos, and fancy di'esses, and citizens' dresses. The 
badges of office, the insignia of pride of place, pride of 
wealth, and pride of family, mingling and jostling, cheek 
by jowl, with the artizan and tradesman. There stands 
the gaping, staring, wondering delegation from the coun- 
try. The peasant is easily told from the city hireling. 
All meet here on equal grounds once a year, "pell mell, 
in thQ people's house — the Executive mansion." 

They now force their way to the ballroom ; and there, 
flashing in diamonds and charms, amid that unmitigated 
gaslight, they find the ^^ soi disant" elite of the city. We 
can not stop here to describe, at ?inj length, what meets 
the senses there. For one second, all is suspended 
and merged into that admiring gaze at the handsome 
couple who now advance into the center of the room. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 251 

Then the beaux and acquaintances (but not friends ; of 
such she is minus. Poor lady! Any sort of superiority, 
any very great endowments, either of wealth, genius, or 
beauty, sejjarates a woman from her species — especially 
from her own sex, and leaves her really isolated and 
friendless) — of Miss Lindsay flock to, and crowd around 
her with that stereotyped smile, and everlasting, un- 
changing, monotonous phrase — " May I have the plea- 
sure to dance the next set with you ? " She declines all 
overtures, preferring to hang on the arm of that '■'■ hroken 
reed^'' and with him, to view and criticise the motley 
scene. 

Here is a lady who has some time since fallen into the 
" sere and yellow leaf," trjdng to blush under the simili- 
tude of spring. Another who has not passed her first, 
fresh girlhood, is bending under the voluptuous maturity 
of summer. Anon a child, fair, fresh, and ruddj^-, is per- 
sonifying winter, and is dressed in crimson velvet and 
gold fringes ; she is literally bowed down with ermine 
and the heat. It is not exactly a " midsummer night," 
but it is a balmy evening in May. This is a called ses- 
sion of the Legislature, and out of season, and out of 
order, as many other things are also. 

Here are kings and queens, lords and ladies, counts and 
countesses. On the right stands Madame de Maintenon, 
leaning on the arm of her royal lover. On the left is Rich- 
lieu, seeming to be engaged in watching the soft dalliance 
of the distinguished couple. Here is Queen Elizabeth, with 
ruff and farthingale, dancing the latest French cotillion 
with her favorite Leicester. B}* her side, whispering and 
giggling in the last and most approved style known in 
the court of folly, is her beautiful rival, the Queen o' 
Scots. Then there are May Dacres, and sweet Lucy Ash- 
tons, and Die Vernons ; but the young " JSTourmahal, the 
light of the harem," does not join in the giddy whirl 



252 T HE N I U H T ^V A T C H . 

to-night, but stands apart with a look of quiescent con- 
tentedness never before seen on that countenance under 
similar circumstances. 

" Conrad," murmured she, looking lovingly into his 
face, " I will not keep you standing ; you are feeble, and 
must feel weary. Let us join your mother at once." 

He did not reply, and she found he was watching a 
couple who were standing back in an alcove window, 
looking on at the dancers. 

" Who is that distinguished-looking man there, so darkly 
and superbly handsome? he who is bending over and 
talking so earnestly to that mask ? See how gx*acefully 
and trustingly she hangs on his arm — his stout, strong 
arm." 

" Yes," said Murray, " 'tis the ivy and the oak, the vine 
flinging to the brave, tall tree." He had not removed his 
eyes while speaking, but kept them fixed on the masked 
figure. 

" Who are they? See, they emerge from their hiding- 
places. Why, Conrad, he is the handsomest man in the 
room, excejDt yourself. I think him the most perfect 
impersonation of Coeur-de-lion. Do you think he meant to 
revive the ' Black Knight ' here this evening, Charles?" 

" No : I do not presume he ever thought of it ; but had 
King Eiehard's spirit sought the world, though, he could 
not have found a more worthy representative, not only 
seemingly but really." 

" You know him, then ? Pray enlighten me ; I'm cap- 
tivated." 

" ISIo, not much ; very slightly acquainted with the per- 
son, but well aware of the great worth of the man." 

They passed on to the drawing-room, and approached 
the Governor. 

" Ah ! my queen of beauty ! my Yenus de Medicis ! my 
constellation has been incomplete all the evening. And 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 253 

now all lesser lights joale in the presence of this star. 
See, see, how they hide their diminished heads already. 
Ha ! ha ! ha ! look, Conrad. Ah ! you are a lucky dog." 

This last remark and burst of merriment was evoked 
from the little Grovernor, who really did feel very great 
admiration for the personal appearance of Gertrude, by 
the drojDping off of the gay bevy of ladies who had con- 
tinued to revolve around him the whole night, until his 
hyperbolical simile, expressing his sense of her superi- 
ority, had given offense. He had mana^ged to make each 
one think herself the prime favorite; thereby keeping 
quite a number near him to aid in the tiresome conven- 
tionalities imposed on him by his high position. But 
now they are scattered to the four corners of the room, or 
elsewhere, and that brilliant trio are left standing alone. 

The Governor then projDoses that they shall adjourn to 
the ball-room ; but Gertrude excuses herself, and inti- 
mates that she would like to join Mrs. Murray. 

They find her still in conversation with that distin- 
guished stranger. The gentleman rises and offers his 
seat, but Gertrude passes on, knowing by experience that 
one lady never forgives another who is so unfortunate, or 
imprudent, as to supplant an agreeable gentleman by her 
side. Mr. and Mrs. Green are sitting there, but sweet 
Mary Green is treading that everlasting round with her 
blond lover. 

Murray threw himself down by Gertrude, and com- 
plained of great weariness. The lady was full of sympa- 
thy and regret, and invoked all sorts of genteel little 
imprecations on herself for imposing on him such a task. 

" Well, never mind now, you can not help it ; they will 
make such a lioness of you. This evening you have 
enjoyed an unprecedented triumph, and now we can afford 
to sit still and watch the progress of the treadmill." 

" Yes, my love," whispered she, and then blushed at 



254 THE NIGHT WATCH 

her own temerity. So she commenced her criticisms in a 
hurried and embarrassed voice. 

" Mrs. Calderwood, as I live. Why, yesterday she pro- 
nounced herself ill in bed. Look, Conrad, how she is 
trying to give old Miss IS'ancy Jones the slip. See how 
the poor old toady hangs on." 

As she came near, they could hear her voice in a loud, 
hissing whisper : " Yes, Mis Callerwood, they are here. 
I saw 'em in the ball-room jest now, as 1 peeped in. She 
was dressed beautiful, and looked mons'rous pretty. I 
declare he looked down in her face, like he was beginning 
to love her. His mother is here too, and got on all her 
Jixings, and looks ra-al elegant." 

Mr. Calderwood was dragging his wife along at a rapid 
pace, as if to get thi"0ugh with an irksome duty, as well 
as to shake oif her usual appurtenance, Miss Nancy Jones. 
She had no intention of extending the least civility in 
public to the poor old creature, or in fact of being seen 
with her ; but her anxiety to know all about certain per- 
sons whom she hated because she envied them, and the 
eager delight with which she gave her attention to what 
" thei/ do say,'" was stronger even than pride. So as they 
walk along, her head is thrown back in the attitude of 
listening. 

Calderwood gives her a sudden jerk, with, " "What in 
the devil's name are you dragging back so for?" And 
thus he separated her from the crone. He has jiist per- 
ceived Gertrude, and is all anxiety to throw himself in 
her train. ISTow they stop, and Calderwood is transfixed 
before the beauty and the belle. 

Murray most cordially despised this married roue, and 
moved off, that he might not be forced to listen to the ful- 
some adulation which he knew would be poured into the 
willing ear of his affianced bride. 

So Calderwood and his wife dropped down on each side 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 255 

of Gertrude; the former commencing a whispered con- 
versation. Thus Miss ISTancy was shuffled off with as lit- 
tle compunction as they would have thrown away a 
worthless garment. 

" Poor old thing ! " said Mrs. G-reen, " I am truly sorry 
for her." She made room between herself and Mrs. Mur- 
ray, and invited her to sit. 

Murray noted this good action, and it penetrated him. 
He therefore rose, and remained standing, in order to give 
them more space. 

That perpetual round of promenaders is now for the 
first time broken, and the large room is greatly thinned. 
The " elephant " has gotten through with the exhibition 
of himself, and has stolen off to regale. The lesser mem- 
bers of the jungle follow the example of the master beast 
of the managerie. 

"Who is that j)retty, interesting girl with Doctor 
Brown ? " said Murray to Mrs. Green. " Surely, I have 
seen her before." 

" That is Mrs. Brown. The doctor is married, you 
know." 

" Married ? When ? Why, I never heard a word of it." 
A laugh a little too loud and boisterous for the "queen of 
beauty," burst from Gertrude, which seems to startle and 
shock Murray. 

" She never does anything right when in company with 
that wretch," said he to Mrs. Green. The lady smiled 
and shook her head. 

" Why, Col. Murray, you are the veriest old ' Eip Yan 
Winkle.' Have you also been asleep twenty years ? " said 
Gertrude. 

This thoughtless remark elicited a laugh from a portion 
of the circle, but it passed without further notice. 

Murray was occupied in watching the little doctor, 
whose good-natured face was glowing with happiness. 
Minny was dressed in a delicate rose-colored gros-de- 



256 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

Naples, made " low-necked and short sleeves." She also 
woi"e costly lace and handsome rubies, which were pecul- 
iarly becoming to her rich brown skin. There were no 
ornaments in her hair, save one " red, red rose." She is 
greatlj' improved in appearance, having become /a^ and 
plump; her complexion, too, is clear. In short, she is 
now a very pretty little woman, and is the embodiment 
of cheerfulness, amiability, and contentment. 

" Whom did he marry ?" asked Murray. 

" A Miss Dun ; an exceedingly interesting Scotch girl," 
replied Mrs. Green. 

" Do you visit her, madam ? " again inquired he. 

" Oh yes, and like her ; she is as estimable as she is 
pleasing." 

" Do you visit my friend Brown's family, mother? " 

" ISTo, Conrad, /can't of course visit one of her low ori- 
gin ; but I assure 3^011, my dear, I shall always feel grate- 
ful to her, and would be willing to do her a service at any 
time. I tell you, madam," turning to Mrs. G-reen, "her 
attention to my son during his illness was unremitting. 
She came with her husband, night after night, and per- 
formed miracles in the w&j of watching by his bedside." 

Just then they passed, seeming to be as much interested 
in each other as if they had not been married, or were 
still lovers. The doctor bowed, and Minny smiled brightly 
and ingenuously. 

" There is no consciousness of inferiority in that sweet, 
satisfied smile, and composed countenance, at least," said 
Murray. 

" She feels none, and there is none. She is equal, and 
even superior, in many things, to the best of us," said 
Mrs. Green. 

" Where did my friend Gabriel find her ? " 

"Well, now," struck in Miss ]!:^ancy, unable to contain 
longer, " they do say that she has seen better days, away 
over on the Black Sea, in Scotland, where they say she 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 257 

come from ; but for several years here she has kej)t 
that little old toy-shop away down Market street, in that 
low, mean neighborhood close by " 

" Oh well, Jones, hush ; you never know where to stop 
when you get started. The woman couldn't help what 
you say of her ; she was, you know, deadly j)oor. All I 
ever had against her was, that she would always keep up 
such an intimacy with that insolent milliner ; she with 
that hateful, pretty, smirking face of hers." 

A loud "ha! ha! ha!" from Calderwood, was the only 
response to this amiable speech of his wife. 

Murray jumped up angrily and left them, and advanc- 
ing toward the inoffensive subject of this rude philippic, 
he joins them, and shakes hands cordially with Brown, who 
introduces his wife, seeming to swell with pride as he calls 
the dear little Minny by his name. After a short prom- 
enade together, they return and take their seats opposite 
to the j)arty on the sofa. They talk of the doctor's mar- 
riage, of Murray's illness, etc. Minny converses with ease 
and fluency ; very sweetly interlarding her phrases with 
her pretty Scotch words. But she has lost some of them, 
which '• dear Grabe " has found, such is the reciprocity in all 
things between them. 

Murray adverts to the evening he met her at the thea- 
ter ; for as soon as he heard her speak, he had recognized 
her to be the same sweet little creature who had so 
charmed him with her simplicity and innocent self-pos- 
session. But when he ingeniously, as he thought, led to 
the subject of the veiled lady, and essayed to gain some 
information of her, his friends became suddenly silent 
and embarrassed ; and now the whole scene from first to 
last dawns on his awakening memory, and he urges them 
in the most impassioned voice to enlighten him. 

" I can na tell ye, sir. I have nae right to sjDeak o' 
that puir lady's sad history. I am bound by an oath not 
to do sae." 
22 



258 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

" For heaven's sake, my friend ! compassionate my con- 
dition, and tell me, if no more, whether she escaped, 
and how." 

" Well," replied the Doctor, between a sigh and a growl, 
for the little man found his kind heart was prompting 
him to do a thing which his reason condemned, and his 
pledged word forbade ; " well then, she was rescued 
alive, by that noble beast, the lion of his tribe, or ' big 
black bear,' as he looked then— Murdoch, the ISfight 
Watch." 

" Grod bless him ! " cried Murray. " May a just Power 
so rescue him from all trouble ! And there he is now, 
with that slight gi^aceful mask, again." They were talk- 
ing earnestly, in a low voice. " By heavens ! I'll go 
and thank him. Who is that with him? " 

" Awheel ; I dinna ken, seeing her face is covered over 
with that pasteboard thing." 

" True, I had forgotten ; how could you know ? " 

He starts off, overtakes them, shakes hands with Mur- 
doch, expresses his pleasure at the meeting, and bows 
respectfully to the mask. Murdoch, in an embarrassed 
and little bit clownish way, congratulates him on his 
recovery ; then a dead pause ensues, as they pass on and 
leave the room. 

" Oh ! there is that glorious Black Knight again. I 
really envy the mask on his arm. How proud I should 
be to have such a sublime ' personification of night ' to do 
battle for me, and be subject to my behest ! " 

A universal burst of merriment succeeded ; several of 
the party exclaiming in astonishment, " Why, Miss Lind- 
say, you are crazy." 

" Who is he then ? " two or three, or more voices call 
out at once. 

" Why, it is only Murdoch, the Night Watch, dressed 
up." 

" I don't believe it." said she. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 259 

" It is true, though, my dear,'' whispered the roue in 
her ear. " And now" talk to me, my sweet girl. We 
have not many moments allotted to us, like the pres- 
ent, of late. Why is this, my love?" said he, squeezing 
her hand. 

The lady returns the pressure, but intimates by some 
secret sign, that his wife is on the qui vive. 

The spell is broken, and the aristocratic beauty no longer 
sees Eichard Coeur-de-lion, in the huge form passing 
before her, but remembers that he is awkward as well as 
athletic ; his shoulders are too broad and brawny, and his 
moustache and whiskers altogether too black and bushy. 
Moreover, she had thought all the time that he did carry 
himself like a j)lebeian, and a very j^ight Watch — that 
even there, in the Grovernor's drawing-room, he still 
retained the sort of -stride and swing belonging to his 
office. Poor Eichard Coeur-de-lion ! Thou art most sud- 
denly unhorsed. Most ruthlessly robbed of thy helmet, 
shield, and buckler ! 

When Murray returned he found the room vacated. A 
servant steps up and tells him that the Governor wished 
to see him in the first supper room. 

" Lead on," said Murray. When he entered the room 
he saw^ the same elite standing around the table ; the Gov- 
ernor and Miss Lindsay presiding at the head. He 
receives a sign from them to join the brilliant circle, of 
whom Gertrude is the nucleus. 

Toast after toast is drunk ; sentiment after sentiment 
given ; tribute after tribute offered ujd at that shrine, 
where he only never had bowed, or bent the knee in true 
homage. He gazes at the sparkling creature, then hang- 
ing on the Governor's arm. At last, but slowly the con- 
viction is forced on him, that he is perhaps untrue to 
himself in thus secretly worshiping an idol which has 
long since been dragged from its pedestal, the image only 
of which is now hid away in his own heart. Was it not 



260 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

wrong, to fling away such a j)rize, to toy with the happi- 
ness of another, and maybe at last immolate the peace 
and welfare of both to a shade. " Alas ! I am very willful 
and wayward. Should I not be proud of an alliance with 
this woman, whom everybody admires ? Should I not 
feel gratified by the marked preference she shows me 
every where ? But is not her love at all times, in public 
as well as in private, too demonstrative ? Oh yes, I am 
oftentimes shocked." 

" Come, Colonel," calls out the Grovernor, " you are a 
recreant knight, I fear. You have not yet proposed a 

toast to your ladye friend here. Shall I suggest one 

for you? " 

Murray bowed. The little great man drew himself up 
and throwing back his head, gave, " The Queen of Beauty ; 
The Light of the World ; The Young JSTourmahal." The 
intoxicating cuj) was quaffed with enthusiasm, and the 
Siren smiled complacently and encouragingly on this 
libation. Another and another glass of the sparkling 
juice is poured out on that altar, and still the Circe allures 
and fascinates. At last the calm, dignified, self-possessed 
Murray, the cool, unimpassioned lover, the candid, hon- 
orable, upright gentleman, drinks deep and madly— for 
the first time in his life, abandons himself to his whirl- 
wind passions. 

They are about to adjourn. The (xovernor, who is 
much more than " half-seas over," offers his ai*m again to 
Gertrude; but Murray, with a smile and bow, which 
would have done honor to George the Fourth, says, 
"Excuse me, Governor, I am opposed to a monopoly, 
even in office," and leads off' the " Light of the World." 

He carries her to a private balconj^, and then the here- 
tofore indiffei-ent lover breathes into the eager ear of the 
infatuated girl, for the first time in his life, something like 
passion. He does not tell her he loves her; his lips 
refuse to utter this untruth ; but he makes her, in some 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 261 

wild, incoherent way, compreliend that he is dazzled and 
bewildered by her charms ; that he is intoxicated with 
the idea of possessing this pet of society ; in short, that 
he is consumed with passion for her. He begs her to 
appoint another daj'" — an early day — for their marriage. 

When she, with well-feigned chariness, tells him to 
compose himself, and speaks of a month — then remem- 
bers that that is a very short time to make all suitable 
arrangements, he calls to mind how infirm of purpose he 
has always been on that one subject ; feels that he must 
not again subject his feelings to the alembic of time, 
that he must act promptly, if at all, and therefore says, 
with energy, 

" Come, Gertrude, let it take place now, at once ; no 
more postponements, an you love me." Then she accedes 
with a charming modesty, which quite takes him. He 
strains her to his breast in a lorig and passionate embrace. 

O divine sj^irit of "pure love!" surely thou hast folded 
thy wings, and in thy stead some demon doth possess 
this j)Oor mortal, who from childhood till now has ever 
been the soul of honor ! O Spirit of Wine ! What hast 
thou done ? This mighty sin shall be laid at thy door. 
See ! thou hast superseded all the gentler and finer emo- 
tions of his soul. 

On stepping from the open window back into the room, 
Murray thought he saw a dark figure glide from under the 
curtain, and move swiftly away. But what matter, he 
sees double now. 

Gertrude has rejoined her party, and Murray rushes off 
somewhere to breathe the fresh air. He cares not where 
he finds it ; but he has need of it to cool his fevered brain. 

He has very much the feeling of one who has been 
impelled by some unseen, indefinable influence to sign his 
own death-warrant. Now he bares his breast to the 
breeze ; he feels frantic ; he does not know whether joy 



262 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

or angei' is the dominant feeling; but he knows that he is 
almost mad. 

Many persons are promenading that spacious piazza ; 
but he heeds them not. There he stands with open 
bosom inviting the winds and the storms, if they would 
come. The front of the executive mansion in the city of 

is ornamented with majestic Corinthian columns; 

as he passes by one of these pillars a mask darts from 
behind it, and puts a note into his hand, then in the 
twinkling of an eye is gone. He examines the pillar ; 
there is scarce a foothold for a bird behind it. He turns 
into the house, and by the first light in the hall reads : — 

" CoL. Murray — Beware how thou dost bind thyself by 
bonds which will chafe thee unto the end of thy life. Suf- 
fer no fetters to be riveted, save those which have been 
forged by affection. A true friend advises thee. She whom 
thou hast loved fondly from thy boyhood yet lives^ and 
loves thee, even as much as thou dost love her. Remember, 
and heware of ties.'' 

With a still wilder start, and more bewildered look, he 
is about to leave the house, with head uncovered, and 
cloakless. 

" How now, Conrad? Is your head so weak, that you 
can not drink the health of your friends, and pledge them 
in a cup each to his own Divinity? Come, you have been 
derelict ere now, and we have forgiven you ; but our 
clemency is not like the widow's cruise. This way ! " and 
he leads to the dining-room, where a knot of good fellows 
are standing before the sideboard. They separate for the 
Governor and his aid : then they all join in congratvila- 
tions on the approaching nuptials ; this calls for bumpers, 
and they jest and laugh with the most obstreperous mer- 
riment. At a moment when Murray is speaking to 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 263 

Gaines, who is one of the Governor's clique, the latfer 
steps off, and then they drink once more. 

Presently Col. Murray seeks his party. He finds Ger- 
trude and the Governor engaged in a low, earnest con- 
versation : he seems to be charging her with something 
which she is denying. On perceiving him, the}^ both 
become confused. The Governor rallies, and with a smile 
in which a slight shade of sarcasm is visible, says. — "Well, 
we'll see ; we'll see ! " 

He then leads her to Murray — "Sir, Miss Lindsay 
grows languid. Our poor efforts to please pall on her 
over-fastidious taste. She complains of satiety;" then 
bows, and leaves. 

" There is something covert in that si^eech," said Mur- 
ra}^, mentally ; and he grew a little bit jealous. It is said 
that " Love sat to the artist when jealousy was painted." 
Our friend Murray is somewhat entangled with both. 
He saj'S, "I will ask Gertrude what it all means? Pshaw! 
why should I? I shall not be the wiser if I do. From 
henceforth, I must make myself half blind, and just as 
deaf;" and a keen pang shot through his heart. 

J!!^ow the multitude is dispersing, he hands his mother 
and Gertrude into the carriage, and jumps in after them. 
They are whirled home. On taking leave of the beauty, 
with a feeling of desperation he clasps her again madly 
to his bosom. Some spirit — whether good or bad, we 
know not which — whispered, " Think of thy lost bride; 
think of poor Marianna." And he remembers then the 
mysterious note : thinks he will peruse it more particularly 
when he reaches home. Ere he gets there, his memory 
and mind are both overshadowed; he throws himself 
heavily on the bed, and sinks into a deep sleep. 



264 THE NIGHT WATCH. 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

THE MASQUE. 

• "Ah ! could you look into my heart, 
And find your image there ; 
You would own the sunny loveliness 
Affection makes it wear." 

" The beautiful are never desolate, for some one always loves them." 

" But, Leah, I don't see why you should care so much, 
and be always troubling yourself about people whom you 
do not know, and who care not for you. Is it that j^ou 
are in love, too, with that handsome fellow yonder, with 
all them gauds and glittering rags hanging on his arm? 

D him ! he has crossed my path before, and I would 

hate him if I could." 

" But thou canst not, Murdoch ; all who know Colonel 
Murray must respect and honor him, if not love him." 

The man turns fiercely on her, scowls, and, dropping 
her little hand, folds his arms. 

" Leah, you had better stop there ! If you desire any 
good to come to that haughty man, you had best say no 
more : for by your own fathers Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, 
and all the rest of 'em, I'll put this into him (touching a 
large clasp-knife), with as little remorse as I killed that 
rabid dog yesterday. That is, if I find him stealing you 
away from me also." 

" Dear Murdoch, I do not know the man — never have 
been nearer to him than at this moment, until he joined 
us so cordially to-night. But let me tell thee now, once 
for all. that it is not Col. Murray, but the lady. I know 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 265 

that it is only through him, that her happiness can be 
secured. Then why shouldst thou threaten thus ? Thou 
dost not love me now, Murdoch." The girl spoke this in 
a subdued, heartbroken tone. 

" Did I love your mother, girl ? Did I worship her 
Avhile on earth ? and do I adore her image, now that she's 
in heaven?" 

" I think thou dost, good Murdoch." 

"Then know that you are like her — a fac simile of 
her." 

Her face lights up with joy as she raises her timid 
ej^es to his. " Dear friend ! dear foster brother ! but do 
not talk so sharply. You awe me." 

He pi-esses her hand as he looks down in her face 
aft'ectionately. 

" Go on, Leah, go on, dear girl. I'll do my best to keep 
down the beast, and conceal the Night Watch under the 
garb of the Governor's guest and thy lover. Now, go on, 
Leah. What were you saying? Your voice is very 
soothing and sweet to my ears." 

"I don't know, now; excessive happiness, as well as 
intense wretchedness, makes us stupid. I can think of 
nothing but thyself, when near thee, my dear brother." 
She raised her little hand to her head, and seemed to be 
trying to recall some vagrant thought. Then she looked 
up brightly and said : 

" Ah ! I have seen this sweet ladj^ ; have talked to her; 
have looked into that touchingly beautiful face ; gazed 
into those deep, deep melancholy eyes; have received 
kind and courteous treatment from her. Oh ! she is 
divinely beautiful ! I would not have blamed thee for 
adoring her — for falling down and worshiping her like 
a canonized saint, or an enshrined image, as thy religion 
teaches ; but surely thou didst dream, madly dream, Mur- 
doch, when thou didst think of mating with that proud, 
h igh-born Christian . ' ' 
23 



266 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

" How do you know that she is high-born, Leah ? " 

" Ah ! how could I fail to know ? Nobility of soul is 
written on her countenance, proclaimed by her gentle 
manners, and in her sweet voice ; it is labeled on every 
act of her faultless life. Yet is she proud, she would not 
even listen to thy love. Poor, dear Murdoch ! " 

" Blame me not, girl, but blame yourself. This would 
never have happened to me had your mother lived ; for 
then you would not have kept from me the light of your 
own sweet face, thus consigning me to darkness. Leah, 
you do not feel for me, and hide my faults, and excuse my 
failings as your mother did. She knew of my weaknesses 
and pitied me. She knew — but maybe you do not yet 
know (and that strong man trembled) that beauty — the 
beautiful form and face of woman, has a maddening influ- 
ence on me. It creates a sort of delirious joy, an insane 
desire for possession, an exquisite pain, a" 

" Alas ! poor Murdoch ! " said Leah, interrupting him, 
" I have heard my mother say so, good friend, but as yet 
I have found thee very clever and docile. Thou shouldst 
be the Sultan, Murdoch. Wouldst like to be a Grand 
Turk, brother ? " 

" ]S o, girl, I spoke truly when I said you did not know 
me. I have never loved but twice before," pressing her 
hand. " and then only one at a time." 

" Dost admire that radiant creature yonder, hanging so 
lovingly on the arm of Col. Murray ? " 

" No, child ; no indeed ; I never liked a full-blown rose, 
or a gaudy tulip, or dahlia, which spreads out its gay 
beaiities to meet the kisses of every sunbeam, or to invite 
every idle breeze, as you know. But, Leah, I have ever 
sought out the modest and lowly wild flowers. I should 
never have raised my eyes to that divine creature, had 
she been exalted, and above all, had there not been some- 
thing mysterious about her, something which I could not 
comprehend ; and this feeling was the oftspring of com- 



^: 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 267 

passion, and a desire to protect and cherish. But she 

spurned me ; Oh, she spurned me for him ! D him ! 

would that I could hate them both." 

"Hush! hush! Thou art mistaken, sir;" said the 
girl, in a calm, dignified voice, " thou dost wander far 
from the mark, when thou blamest that man. He did 
not supplant thee. Long before that poor lady came to 
this city, they were attached, engaged, and separated. 
He loved as even thou thyself knowest how to love, 
dear Murdoch. Then be not too hard ; thou art like him 
in many things, good friend. By the most cruel train of 
circvimstances they were torn asunder. My father was 
the prime minister in the atrocity, and the directing and 
controlling power was that shrewd but bad woman, Mrs. 
Murray. Even now she holds a despotic sway over him, 
for which I can not account." 

" Leah, how do you know all this ? By heavens ! if 
you can prove this to me, I will take a vow, a solemn 
oath, that I will not look upon your sweet face, or embrace 
you, until I have restored them to each other. But you 
must make it clear to me, girl, without shadow of doubt, 
and I'll bind myself to do your bidding in all things. 
Then, when they are happy, I shall claim my reward," 
and the strong, brawny arm of the l^ight Watch encir- 
cled her waist, and strained to his breast that delicate, 
refined girl. 

"Let it be as thou sayest," sighed she, with intense 
happiness. " And now listen to me. My dear mother, 
ere she died, when entrusting her poor child with many 
another fearful secret, leaving many injunctions and innu- 
merable directions, told me also of this — detailed to me 
minutely all the events which transpired some seven or 

eight years ago, in the city of , where she and my 

father, and all the other members of the plot then lived. 
She made me promise, and she called on all the patriarchs 
to witness it, that I would be vigilant, and always ready 



268 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

at a moment's Avarning, to aid and snccor that poor lady, 
should I ever find her out. At the same time said that 
facts had become so mystified, and it was now such a tan- 
gled Aveb, that she feared I would never be able to 
straighten it ; confessed with tears, that zhe had signally 
failed, but urged me to put forth all the energy and power 
of my soul, which is brave and strong in obeying the 
behests of that sainted mother. Then she pointed to 
thee, Murdoch, as a fit coadjutor in this work of mercy. 
She did not see, she scarce hoped, that we could restore 
the lovers, but she believed we might save the poor lady 
some anguish, and my misguided father the stain of 
another crime on his benighted soul. Then she told me, 
and oh ! so mournfully, Murdoch, that I should find my 
reward in a peaceful conscience here — all she had ever 
known — and a full recompense in heaven." The girl 
wept. 

" Ah ! do not weep, darling. This is no place for tears. 
We are at the Governor's reception ball, my good 
Leah." 

" I care not, Murdoch ; I have no heart for such light 
pleasures ; mine is a higher mission. I rarely have time 
to smile, even. See, there is my father now, with his 
stealthy step, creeping along the wall, intent on some evil 
purpose. O that God would gather me to my people, 
or tiiat I inight become apathetic, blind, deaf" 

" Well, Leah, what do jovl proj)Ose ? I am your tool, 
until this Avork of retribution is accomplished. Com- 
mand me, girl, as j^our own." 

' God bless thee, Murdoch ! but I must first premise two 
conditions." 

" Well, I am ready," said he, drawing her nearer. 

" First, thou art not to endanger thy own precious life; 
then tliou must save my father. Murdoch," said she, seiz- 
ing his hand with both of hers, "that old, white-haired 
man must not be sent into the presence of his God with a 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 269 

fresh crime, an unrepented sin on his head. Promise me 
this, friend." 

" Lord, Leah, what's the use? He'll never be any bet- 
ter. He sold the immortal part of himself long ago to 
Satan, for what's in that old trunk, you know, child. I 
sometimes think I can see the imps or young devils, hov- 
ering around him, waiting for the old carcass." 

The girl looks hurt, and veiy much troubled, as she 
replies : " I know thy vocation, thy dark life ; I mean thy 
life in the dark, has made thy vision very acute about dark 
things, and thou mayest have so much to do with the Evil 
One thyself, that the members of his family are not 
afraid to show themselves in thy presence. I have never 
seen such comjsany about my poor father. Methinks 
thou art quick-sighted, sir. But this is thy own lookout, 
good Murdoch. Art thou free from sin ? " said she, with 
much spirit. 

" From crime, as God above knows, and my little wife, 
that is soon to be, believes. Come now Leah, you. must 
forgive me. I love you so much, and I have identified 
myself with you so fully, that I felt free to speak as I did 
of our father. You will pardon me, loved one." 

'• I do, Murdoch ; but we waste time." 

" What do you propose then, I again ask?" 

" There is," said the girl, heaving a deep sigh, " a dread- 
ful plot forming; a frightful scheme hatching. I have 
watched its progress for some time. Old Faggot, the 
Jew miser — not my father Levi Nathan, mind you — is 
engaged by two wealthy ladies at a high price to kidnap 
or kill that poor defenseless lady." 

Murdoch starts violently, and in his agitation lets 
Leah's arm drop. 

" My Grod ! you don't tell me so. Are they at that 
game again ? " 

" It is even so. They think she, the unfortunate Mrs. 



270 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

Wise, whom they all now identify with his lost Marianna, 
stands in the way of the consummation of the marriage 
of Col. Murray and the wealthy Miss Lindsay. Ee only 
seems to be kept in ignorance of her existence. This 
marriage has already been interrupted twice, and these 
evil-minded persons attribute this delay to her; when she, 
poor woman, is wholly unconscious of the existence of 
such facts." 

" Leah, you surprise me ; but how could this be?" 

" In the first place, they would have been married a 
year ago, about the time the lady is first seen in the city. 
It seems he got an accidental sight of her at the window, 
and being struck with the wonderful resemblance to one 
whom he had thought dead, he immediately conceived 
the romantic idea that she was one and the same person ; 
and so he was not forthcoming in due season." 

" Oh yes ! I know. It was the same time that I saw 
her, and was so dazzled and grew so distracted," chimed 
in Murdoch. " I do remember the very first time he got 
a glimpse of her at the old window, ' he jumped almost 
out of his hide,' as Johnson says, 'with amazement.' But 
Leah, I thought it was on account of her pretty face, and 
I tried to hate him from that time." 

"After that, the old Hecate his mother, and the Circean 
beauty, who is now looking so sweetly and innocently up 
into his face, cajoled him into another engagement, which 
was again interrupted by the events of that disastrous 
night, when Col. Murray was wounded." 

" Yes, d him ! I can never forget that night ; or the 

mighty fall he occasioned me. J) him ! I wish I could- 

hate him." 

" Hush, Murdoch, thou dost shock me. Is it thus thou 
shouldst treat the child of thy best friend ? Why dost 
thou continually offend mine ears by such coarse pro- 
fanity?" 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 271 

" Once more I beg you to forgive me, Leah. Go on. I 
will not offend again, unless I forget myself, or am sur- 
prised." 

" ISTow," resumed the girl, "they have put their wits 
together to inveigle him into another promise, well 
knowing that he will fulfill it with his life, if not pre- 
vented by omnipotent power. That man w^ould not 
break his plighted faith even to that woman by his side, 
all heartless as he knows her to be." 

" She loves him with an entire heart, Leah ; you can 
see that ; then how can she be heartless ? " 

" Well ; her passion for him is all that redeems her 
from it." 

" Leah, I will just ask j^ou one question, and then 
indeed I'll hear you to the end : How do you find out all 
these deep, dark secrets? " 

The maiden blushed with shame at the recollection of 
the ignoble post she occupied in her father's house — her 
pure nature recoiled at the name of "spy." She spoke 
quickly, and in a curt, cold voice : " Why ask me that, sir? 
I thought that thou didst know, that old Faggot, the Jew 
peddler, miser, usurer, and villain, had a spy jilanted in 
every house in the city, where his interest or his malice is 
at stake ; and that his wretched, degraded daughter had a 
crack in the wall, and quick ears, and sharp eyes ? I 
thought thou didst understand all this, and the whys and 
wherefores ? Now, Murdoch, I have thy promise to aid 
me in this good work. Have I ? " 

" Yes ; I will obey you in all things, doing my best to 
succeed. Then, even if I fail, having satisfied you with 
my efforts, shall I then claim ray reward, and receive my 
recompense?" 

"Oh yes, dear Murdoch." 

" Thank you ! thank you, Leah." And it was then 
that they emerged from the alcove window. 

Later in the evening we saw Murray join them. Still 



272 THE NIGHT W A T V. U . 

later, wc see Leah gliding awa}' from the window of the 
balcony. Lastl}", we meet her on the piazza, after she has 
darted from the column. Having now accomplished her 
mission — that which brought her thei-e — she and her 
lover return to her home, w^iere peace, comfort, and a 
refreshing banquet await them. 

Levi Nathan had not intended that his daughter should 
leave home that night ; he thought he had shut her in, as 
once before. Therefore, he did not suspect that the tall, 
graceful girl on Murdoch's arm, was his own daughter. 
He had mot this couple once or twice, and had passed 
with a cringing bow. Having been informed by the 
little black slave, that Mrs. Wise would accompany Doc- 
tor Brown and Minnj' to the Governor's levee " en onasque," 
he had agreed, for an enormous sum, exceeding even the 
former stipulation, to abduct her; and with this fiendish 
intent, he and his emissaries had repaired to the mansion. 

It is true, Myra had been coaxed into giving her con- 
sent, and would have suffered herself to bo taken, had not 
the little Clarence come home that evening sick. And 
thus again was she saved from falling into the clutches 
of these vultures. Leah had stolen forth, through one of 
the secret passages, and met her lover on the confines of 
that old, gloomy court. 



THE NIGHT AV A T H . 273 



CHAPTEE XXVIII. 

THE FORGERIES. 

" Thought ye your iron hands of pride, 
Could break the knot that love had tied ? " 

" Thither, full fraught with mischievous revenge. 
Accursed, and in a cursed hour she hies." 

ObL. Murray awoke after his revel, with an aching- 
head and heavy heart. He rings for his servant, and 
orders a bath, after which he dresses himself with great 
care — intending to call on Miss Lindsay agreeable to 
appointment — to hear the daj^, that day of daj^s, named. 

James picked up a pajDer, and, handing it to his master, 
says: "You jes drap that, sir." He opens it, and as he 
reads, becomes red and white by turns ; then starting up, 
walks hurriedly across the room. 

" James, do you remember that hovel, away down Mar- 
ket street, where that beautiful boy lived? " 

"Yes, sir; and a lady lives there much more beauti- 
ful er than the boy." 

Murray blushed involuntarily as he said : " Silence, 
sir! I asked you but one question." 

James clasped his hands low down over his stomach, 
and commenced twirling his thumbs, trying to look like 
" suffering innocence, just ready to be offered." 

" Where are they, then ? I think they have left their 
former residence," rejoined Murray, turning away as he 
spoke. 

"Well, I don't know ezactly; but I know they's still in 
the city." 



274 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

" Are you sure, James ? " 

"Oh, yes, sir; I'm quite sure of that circumstance — 
'cause the j)retty child you was a speaking about, is still 
at the old theater, a playing to crowded and admiring 
hou" 

" Will you keep silence, sir, and only reply as you are 
questioned? What is this boy's name? — I mean the 
name of his family ? " 

" I've heard Tivvy say, sir, that her name was Mrs. 
Wise." 

" Very well ; now go and ask Tivvy what her Christian 
name is. Then answer to the bell, and be ready to carry 
letters to the post-office." 

When James got alone with Tivvy, she, artful creature 
as she was, drew him on ingeniously to speak of his mas- 
ter's affairs, and although he was a faithful servant as 
negroes go, and attached to his master, he was nothing in 
the hands of such an intriguante as the lady's maid. So 
she made him tell her everything that passed; and when 
he had done so, he was scarcely aware of it, so adroitly 
had she wormed these secrets from the poor fellow, who 
would gladly have been true to his master, whom he 
admired and honored above all things. 

The bell noTV sounds loudly from Murray's room. 
When James again presents himself, he tells his master 
that " Tivvy does not know the tother name of the beau- 
tiful lady." He had forgotten to ask. 

" It makes no difference, I presume ; put this letter in 
the ofl&ce, and then call at Maj. Lindsay's and leave this 
note." 

He bowed with an obsequious " yes, sir," and his master 
walked out. 

When James went to answer his master's bell, Tivvy 
slipped up to her mistress's dressing-room, where she 
found Miss Lindsay and the old lady ; they had sat there 
in secret conclave all the afternoon. Gertrude was dis- 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 275 

appointed in Murray's promised call in the morning ; so 
she came to fret and comj)lain to his mother. 

Tivvy listened a moment at the door before she entered, 
and heard the old lady say, " I'm glad, G-ertrude, you 
have brought him to that, anyhow. But there really is 
no trusting that man now. Don't feel too secure, my dear. 
I hope he will go through with it this time. God grant 
that he may not already have forgotten .it." 

" What do you mean, madam ? Do you suppose he 
could forget his pledged word, voluntarily given, and that 
to Miss Lindsay ? " 

Mrs. Murray smiled, and said with a peculiar emphasis, 

" Oh, of course not, he never did do such a thing. Now 
let me tell you of a fact which may have escaped you." 

" Well, madam, I'm all attention." 

" Charles Conrad Murray was drunk last night ; the 
first time to my knowledge in his life." 

The girl laughed hilariously. " What of that, mother ? 
I'm sure he had a noble precedent — the first oificer in the 
State. Such high characters can do anything. They 
almost ennoble vice, in my eyes. But what has that to 
do with our present subject, madam?" 

" Oh, nothing, only men's oaths made when they are 
drunk are not considered valid in a court of justice, and 
I had thought were even less to be relied on in a court 
of love. That's all, child, that's all." 

Tivvy comes in and hands her mistress the mysteri- 
ous note which Murray had received at the Governor's. 
James held this in his hand when he joined her in the 
hall, having picked it up again on leaving the room. 

Mrs. Murray reads and grows white in the face, all to 
the two hectic spots. 

" Something has turned our viceroy, the Devil, against 
us," said she in a husky voice; "who else knows anything 
of those dark secrets? " 

She now sets to work to circumvent the above men- 



276 THE N 1 U 11 T W A T C H . 

tioned gentleman. Having learned from Tivvy that 
James is ordered to cany letters to the office, she with 
that far-sighted policy and prompt decision which would 
have done credit to Eichlien, instructed the girl to way- 
lay James in the hall, having equipjDed herself for a walk, 
and then carelessly say to him, that the ladies are waiting 
for the carriage, which must be at the door immediately. 
Tivvy should then take the letters and leave the house, as 
if on her way to the office. 

James, well knowing that Mrs. Murray's voice was all- 
potential even with his master, did not dare to gainsay or 
even demur to what Tivvy had said, but handed her the 
letters, and hurried to the stable. 

The letters traveled back to Mrs. Murray's dressing- 
room, and there they stoj)ped. The one addressed to Miss 
Lindsay ran thus : 

"Dear Gertrude — I am prevented by indisposition 
from calling on you at the appointed hour, as agreed ujDOn 
last night. To-morrow, I will not fail. Pray excuse my 
short-comings to-day. I am feeling particularly wretched. 
Adieu, Murray.'' 

The letter to Poor Myra seemed to have been written 
with a tremulous hand, and under great excitement ; was 
blotted in many places, perhaps by tears wrung from that 
proud man ; I know not ; we deal in facts. It was 
couched in these words : 

" Marianna, dear Marianna — Oh ! my Grod ! How 
can I 2>roceed? My beloved, I have found you, have 
pierced your disguise, and now all the combined j)Owers 
of the earth shall not keep me from you. A whole 
3^ear I have languished between hope and incertitude. 
Sometimes wild with desire, and always tortured beyond 
endurance by suspense. Still you hide from me. Why 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 277 

is this, my love? — my first, last, and onl}'' true affection, 
I have been driven to the verge of despair; have been 
goaded on to desperate acts, but my love for 3^ou, and my 
steadfast faith in you, Marianna, never wavered. I love 
you as when we so happily and trustingly wandered in 
those elysian bowers. I adore j^ou as when we were sep- 
arated, and the whole world became a bleak and dismal 
abode of misery to me. Such are my feelings at this 
instant. Oh my lost bride ! my own, my gentle Mari- 
anna ! write to me, my love, write on the instant, and tell 
me where I shall find you, and when I shall once more', 
Oh heavens ! clasj) you to my wild and distracted heart. 
And now I vow before high heaven, that nothing short 
of the arm of Omnijjotence, or your own j)ositive and per- 
emptory rejection of me, shall prevent my finding you in 
less than twenty-four hours. 

" Yours, through time, Murray." 

It is impossible to conceive of, much less describe, the 
rage which took possession of the beauty on reading these 
two documents. The one addressed to herself she tore 
into atoms, then tramjjled on the fragments, stamped her 
pretty feet, gnashed her pearly teeth, and foamed at the 
mouth, in impotent rage. An insatiable thirst for ven- 
geance, not only on the provocative, but the innocent 
cause of this outrage, seizes upon her. Oh ! it is a fear- 
ful and painful sight to see so much beauty marred by 
anger. 

Presently she grew calm, and suddenly checking the 
torrent of imprecations, she sat down at Mrs. Murray's 
feet, and looking up in her face, said with great firmness 
and emphasis, speaking slowly : 

"Mother, lam resolved that this marriage shall take 
place. I do not care whether / am happy or miserable, 
blessed or cursed, so that I keep him from her. I have 



278 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

set my life on the cast of this die, and in one weeJi; more 
I shall have accomplished my destiny." 

" Ah ! I don't see now what more can be done," said 
Mrs. Murray. " That old wretch, Faggot, fails us. He 
too, has grown craven or insane, maybe impotent — I 
know not what, I know nothing." 

" Aye, but he shall do his work now, and that quickly, 
else will I play his own game on him. Mother, do you 
see this hand ? Think you it would be squeamish when 
my vengeance is to be fed? " and she bared her beautiful 
arm to her elbow, then burst out into a loud, frenzied 
laugh. " I shall presently pay him a visit, and if he does 
not consent to act promptly, and from my dictation, then 
we'll see who is the stronger." 

Mrs. Murray had been ruminating moodily, during the 
time that Gertrude had played off these fine heroics ; she 
now looked up and said : 

" I have one more expedient ; after that I am done for- 
ever. If that fails, I shall scheme no more. If it succeeds 
there will be no need." She goes to a secret drawer in 
her escrutoire, and takes out a package of letters, searches 
for some time, selects one, then saj'-s : " Gertrude, can 3^011 
imitate this handwriting? " 

She looks at it carefully, and taking a pen writes 
two lines. 

" Aye, that's it ! that will do precisely. He will never 
suspect. Now take this sheet of coarse note-paper. It 
must all be in character you know ; she is too poor to get 
gilt-edged, embossed paper to write to her paramour (and 
then she snarled). "Write, child, in the characters of that 
letter, what I shall indite." 

When this forgery was finished, she looked at it and 
pronounced it a perfect counterfeit. " Now," said she, 
" imitate my son's." Being also satisfied with that cheat, 
she proceeded to dictate one from Conrad to poor Myra, 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 279 

which, when finished, was put into the envelop the 
superscription of which was written by himself, as the 
reader is aware. Tivvy was then dispatched with it, and 
Gertrude set out to visit the old Jew. 

She finds James at the door with the carriage : the 
ladies had both forgotten that it had ever been ordered. 
She threw herself into it, and giving the direction, was 
driven rapidly through the street, passing a great many 
squares ; then pulling the check-string she gets out, say- 
ing carelessly, that she preferred walking home, and 
dismissed him. 

In due time she arrives, and enters the miser's den, or 
stronghold, as once before described. She finds him there 
in the same crouching attitude, with the same abject, 
cringing look. While she is engaged in developing that 
scheme of mischief and crime, and as she relates with a 
peculiar accuracy, rendered necessary by the affected 
obtuseness of the miser, how they had intercepted the 
letters, and had forged others in their stead ; she pulled 
out her handkerchief, and with it the original letter writ- 
ten by Murray, which falls unperceived on the floor. 
While all this is going on in the miser's reception room, 
Leah's ear is at the wall, and drinks in every sj^llable. 

After the lady has revealed to him the whole of that 
diabolical plot, as devised by herself and that arch-machin- 
ator, Mrs. Murray, she takes from her pocket a splendid 
porte-monnaze, and opening it discloses to the miser its con- 
tents. And now behold those little, gleaming, serpent- 
like eyes, those sharp catamount teeth, which are, from 
some spasmodic affection of the lips, always visible ; ever 
and anon he licks out his tongue over his lips, like a cat, 
and clutches his claw-looking fingers convulsively together, 
as if feeling for something between them. The lady looks 
on with an amused but sinister smile, as she continues to 
exhibit note after note, and piece after piece of gold coin 



280 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

— just as ^ cat toys with and enjoys the fright and tor- 
ture of the poor little mouse. 

Faggot has glared fiercely on that display of gold, until 
his little fiery eyes have become inflamed. At last she 
takes from the case a fifty dollar gold piece, poises it 
between her fingers for a moment, eyeing him maliciously, 
then putting it back closes the purse with a loud click. 
"By de Got of mine peoplesh, dat is too much!" and 
springing at her he tries to seize the porte-monnaie. The 
lady also started to her feet, and for one brief moment 
they close in a fierce and deadly conflict. 

"What art thou doing, poor old man?" And in the 
twinkling of an eye the miser cowers beneath the calm, 
reproachful look of his daughter. " And thou, lady, why 
stay here to tempt the fiend thou hast invoked? Away ! 
thou hast done thine errand ; thy business is ended ; now 
leave this miserable old man to himself, that he may 
exorcise, as best he can, the demon which has been raised 
by thy gold. G-o ! I tell thee for thine own good, haste ! 
If thou hast any to love thee, and for whom thou dost 
care, then for their sakes, if not for thine own, come not 
here again ! " 

" And who are you, pray, who thus dai^e to queen it 
over me? Who ever before gave Gertrude Lindsaj^ an 
order? " 

" It matters not, lady, who I am, or who thou art. A 
moment more and thou hadst been numbered with those 
that are not. I have saved thy life." 

" From Avhat ? Saved my strong life ; from what ? That 
poor, feeble, crawling thing? that poor, old man? I 
could crush him with one hand. Poor, old wretch ! 
Think you I fear him, or you? I have that old Jew dog 
in my power. I could hang him to-morrow, an I would 
condescend to meddle. with such garbage." 

" Lady, thou deceivest thyself in all things. Thou 



THE NIGHT WATCH, 281 

knowest not with whom thou dost tamper. Thou hast 
had the indiscretion, on two or more occasions, to leave 
thy high aristocratic name, on little scraps of paper, with 
the old ' Jew dog,' which had brought thee to judgment ere 
this, but for me ; and now let me tell thee proud lady, 
when that poor, despised Israelite is dragged before a 
court of justice thou shalt meet him there ; for thou and 
th}^ accomplice, the old lady, are both compromised, irre- 
mediably committed with that old 'Jew dog.' And as to 
thee matching thy strength with his, I should grieve to 
see it. Look at thy delicate hands and wrists, and judge 
whether he whom thou seest so bowed now, is always so 
feeble." 

She removed her gloves, raised her sleeves, and found 
that her skin was bruised and torn in some places, and 
the blood ready to burst from under her nails. For a 
moment she looked like a tigress; but that expression 
faded, and she turned to the Jew with somethiug of a 
conciliatory tone, and said : 

" Mordecai, I do not consider this compact shaken, or 
at all events it is not broken by this outrage. I hold you 
to it, and will now pay you. the amount stipulated." Then 
turning to Leah, said, " Girl, I owe this man a certain 
sum of money, which I shall now pay over to him ; " and 
while she counted it, Leah stood between her and the 
miser. As she handed it to him, she said, 

"]\iake sure of your work this time. Faggot; let there 
be no more failures, and I will quadruple that sum." 

" Yes, mine lady, I is going to try dis time to close de 
matter." 

" Away, away," said Leah, with an impatient wave of 
the hand, " if thou hast any regard for the safety of thy 
fair face and reputation, tarry no longer. Woiildst thou 
like to be found in secret conclave with Mordecai Faggot, 
the Jew peddler, Jew dog? " 

The haughty beauty and belle cast a look of defiance 
24 



282 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

on the muffled and veiled girl ; but at that moment she felt 
a degree of respect and deference for that unknown per- 
son, such as she had never experienced for any living- 
creature, save Murray. When she had departed. Fag- 
got turned on his daughter, and cursing her between his 
ground teeth, commanded her to leave the room. 

" My father, be not wroth at thy poor child ; she has 
but done the behest of her sainted mother ; only obeyed 
thy wife, and saved thee from imbruing thy hands in 
blood, insane old man as thou art." She picked up the 
letter which G-ertrude had dropped, and disappeared. In 
it was inclosed that warning written by herself. 

The miser, after making the door fast, and touching the 
counter-spring, unlocks the old trunk and secretes the 
money. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 283 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

THE LETTER. 

" Memories on memories ! to my soul again 

There come such dreams of vanished love and bliss, 
That my vrrung heart, though long inured to pain, 
Sinks with the fullness of its wretchedness." 

" Here are few of the unpleasantest words that ever blotted paper." 

Myra sat in her neat little sitting-room, with Clarence 
in her arms. The beautiful boy had been slightly sick 
for a few days, and the kind-hearted Mr. Gooch had 
brought him home, as he said, to recuperate. 

" Madam, I leave my little friend with you in trust, 
until he thinks himself better. I believe he has been 
somewhat homesick of late. Allow me again to reiterate 
my readiness to serve you at all times." 

On passing Doctor Brown's, he called and requested the 
doctor and his lady to drop in incidentally, and see Mrs. 
Wise. 

Myra and the old lady are taking their tea. There is 
no longer any appearance of pinching want ; they do not 
now, as once, sit down to empty dishes, merely for form 
sake. Times have greatly changed for the better with 
our friends since first we met them. A gentle rap at the 
door. Clarence meets them, and is caught up in the arms 
of dear Cabe. 

" Why, Master Clarens, Cod bless the boy ! how he 
grows and improves." 

" Aweel, after all, I can na think staging is sae bad for 
a bairn, grandam." 



284 THE NIGHT AVATCH. 

The old lady moves about the room without taking 
any notice of this remark. At last she turns, " What's all 
that you've got in your arms, Minny ? " 

"JSTot o'er much of ony thing, but just a wee bit pres- 
ent for the distinguished Master Clarens." 

" Ah, let me see it, aunt Minny." 

" Weel, my bonny bairn, sit down in that little chair, 
and I'll gie it to ye." 

So Minny unrolled her little Dot of a baby, Myra the 
second, and placed her in his lap. Then what glee, and 
gladness, and fun, and frolic they kept up over that lit- 
tle, plump, white child. The little thing laughs and coos, 
and throws her little arms ujd, and knocks her little 
balls of fists together. But when the baby -girl first of 
all takes the boy's hand and carries it to her mouth, as 
all babies will ' do, then their mirth knows no bounds. 
The doctor declares that, woman like, she has commenced 
coquetting at once. 

And thus it was that Clarence forgot that he came home 
to be sick, and Myra feeling no longer alarmed, forgot to 
be gloom}^, and the old lady, who was pleased with all 
things as they came, except the theater, after having 
placed everything nicely away and covered up the little 
tea-table for breakfast, took her knitting, which was a little 
pink sock intended f^ that same said little baby, and 
seating herself in front of the merry group, commenced 
rocking with an easy, undulating motion. She laughed 
so heartily at their nonsense that she was forced frequently 
to take ofl" her spectacles and wipe them, they kej)t grow- 
ing so misty. 

Oh what a happy reunion was that ! How little of such 
simple, pure, unalloj^ed enjoyment falls to the lot of many 
of us. The whole secret of it was, they loved one another. 
We are told that love constitutes the employment and 
enjoyment of the angels and blessed spirits in heaven. 
Then may we not think that the nearest we can approach 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 285 

to the condition of these su2)erior beings is to love ? Love 
God first, and then love one another with all the ability 
which He has given us ; and this, methinks, creates beati- 
tude on earth. 

The little negro had been sent to the post-ofiice, for even 
the destitute and apparently forgotten inmates of that 
cottage expected a letter. It was late when the girl 
returned ; but she brought a letter. Myra seizes it, and 
looking at the superscription, turned deadly jDale. She 
tears it from the envelop, and reads. It was penned 
neatly, without any apparent trepidation. 

"Mrs. Wise — Excuse me. Madam, if I am too blunt 
when I tell you that your warning note came too late, 
a little too late. I received it last night. I have also 
penetrated your disguise too late. I know that you 
are Marianna Glencoe, whom I once loved, and for so 
many years have thought dead. But Marianna, or Myra, 
time makes strange changes with us, and in us. I could 
not have believed it. Seven years ago I could not 
have sat down so calmly to inform you of my marriage, 
which will take place four days from this time. Marianna, 
we loved then ; but we were young and tender : j^ou 
twelve and I just eighteen. How could we expect con- 
stancy from children ? 

" Grood bye. Yours, respectfully, 

" C. Conrad Murray." . 

" P. S. I advise you to follow my example as quickly as 
convenient. Shake oif the old shackles, which clog. 

"C. C. M." 

With a deep groan she dropped the open letter, and 
falling back in her chair, cried out, " O God ! Thou 
knowest that I do not deserve this from him ! My 
heavenly Father ! help me now in mine extremity ! 
There ! my friend, read it, and tell me if you think I 
merit this insult? Had one come from the dead, or an 



286 THE NUiHT WATCH. 

angel from heaven, and said this of — of — my — my — of 
Col. Murraj , I would have pronounced it a slander." And 
she burst into wild paroxysms of grief and lamentation. 
" I did not think it of him ! What have I ever done but 
love him? Ah yes ! so tenderly." 

" Nor do I believe it," said Doctor Brown. "There are 
other clever ones in that house beside my friend Murray." 

'•' But, Doctor, it is his hand writing. I know it. Alas ! 
I know it too well ! Would to G-od I did not ! " 

The child hung aboxit his mother's neck, mingling his 
tears with hers, trying to soothe her by kisses, and many 
assurances of love ; but all in vain. The old lady quotes 
Scripture, and entreats her to calm herself. But Myra 
became the more impatient. 

At length Minny says : " Let her alone, grandara ; this 
grief maun have its way." 

The Doctor took from his pocket a letter, and after 
comparing them carefully, said with a groan : " Well ; I 
give it uj). I am as much deceived and almost as much 
grieved as yourself. Here, wife, compare these characters, 
and see if you can find a flaw." 

Minny took the letter written by Murray to Brown, 
and the one to Myra ; examined them side by side, but 
she could see no difference. Still she continued to say — 
" I canna think it. I willna yet gie it up. If Colonel 
Murray were to come himsel' and swear to't, I wadna 
think he tauld the truth. And now friends, mind what 
poor little weak Minny Brown tells ye : Just so sure as 
the good and great God, who made that gentle moon 
W' hieh is to light us hame, is pure and holy, just so sure is 
Col. Murray an honest man, and a gude ^ne. He never 
writ that insulting letter." 

" O my God ! Minny, I know that hand-writing," 
pointing to the superscription. " I have reason to know 
it. It is engraven on my heart. I can never forget it, 
through time and eternity." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 287 

" Well ; I can't help a' that : but he never writ that 
letter." 

It was now agreed that Doctor Brown should leave his 
wife with poor Myra. The whole of that long night she 
wept, and sometimes tried to pray; but she never got 
beyond " Lord pity me, and forgive him ! Have 
mercy, Lord !" And then she would choke up. 

After awhile, when she thought they were all asleep, 
she crept from her bed, and taking out her book wrote for 
a long time. Minny thought that pouring out her grief 
to her friendly journal would relieve her; but finding that 
she only grew the more agitated, the good little soul [■•ot 
up, and throwing her arms around the neck of the poor 
sufferer, they wept together. 

" Aweel, my dear, you mustna greet sae ! I canna per- 
mit it langer. Myra my love, my sweet sister, good will 
come o' this yet. You maun trust God, and the blessed 
Saviour ! Lean on him. He, only, never deceives. Come, 
Myra, let us kneel and prostrate our souls before him." 
And this humble and pure-hearted creature prayed fer- 
vently^, but simply and earn'estly, that all might eventuate 
in good for the parties. When they rose from their knees, 
they both felt comforted. 

" Dear Minny, there is a fearful mystery hanging 
over me." 

" I know it, dear ; ye hae tauld me sae before ; but 
when ye could have had it cleared up, ye wad not, and 
now ye maun look above for consolation." 

" Dear friend, listen to me. I have long wished to 
make you acquainted with those secrets; that I might 
claim your symj)athy and counsel, and may be benefited 
by your prayers ; if j'ou should think it worth while to 
pray for such a poor benighted thing as I am." 

" Hush ! Hush ! Doubt not. You should trust to God's 
promises." 

So they sat there all night — sometimes reading the 



288 THE NIUHT WATCH. 

journal, and sometimes weeping. It was daylight when 
Myra concluded the narrative. 

" This is a wild, thrilling story, my love, but it will a' 
come right. I have faith to believe it; and I tell ye, 
now, that that auld Mrs. Murray is at the head and foot 
o' a' the mischief, and sooner or later will be brought to 
shame and sorrow. Come entrust your cause to the 
tender, compassionate Jesus ! Dear suffering soul ! I 
love you ten thousand times mair since I have heard o' 
your errors, Puir dear ! ye ha' been too sairly tempted. 
Grod will excuse you, and bless you at last." 

Then Minny dressed herself, and taking up the child, 
rolled it up like a bundle of dry goods, took an affection- 
ate leave of all, and went to her own home. 

After breakfast, when the doctor called, he found jDoor 
Myra sitting just wdiere he had left her the night before. 

" Come, come ! This will never do. I can not have 
such carryings on. I will not stand such foolishness. You 
must go to sleep." 

She shook her head mournfully. 

" Shake not your head at me," said the little man, with 
a "mock tragic air." "Has she taken any breakfast, 
madam ? " turning to the old lady. 

" Oh, no, I could not even get her to look at it." 

'• "Well, maybe she'll not look at this, either." 

He mixed a potion and forced her to drink it; after 
which he took her in his arms, as he would have done 
his own little Myra, and without saying a word, laid her 
in the bed, and covered her up carefully. During this 
scene which has, doubtless, appeared unfeeling, this good, 
kind-hearted man, was forced several times to turn away 
and wij^e his eyes. 

The next day Murray received the answer to his tender, 
impassioned letter to Myra, which was, as the reader has 
seen, forged by the same evil spirits, and he, like that 
poor lady, was completely deceived. He saw, as he 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 289 

thought, her well-known handwriting before him. He did 
not dream of fraud — at least he never thought of traitors 
in his own household. He contemplates those familiar, 
and once loved characters ; but what pen can paint the 
disappointment, the mortification, and keen anguish of 
soul, which has come upon that strong man, and makes 
him even as a little child? G-rief has subdued that proud 
spirit. 

And now, behold him walking to and fro in hig room, 
with such languid step, and mournful look. He speaks 
in a loAV, plaintive voice, soliloquizing: O God! then 
there is no trust to be put in any of thy creatures ! JS'o 
faith, no hope ! Two days ago, had a man told me this, 
I would have felled him to the earth for uttering the foul 
blasphemj-. And now, what a change ! Yet I do love 
her " said he, stopping and folding his arms in a quiet, 
meek manner. " Yes, I do love her, even now, when she 
has so disdainfully spurned me. I call Grod to witness 
that /have never been false to her. True was I, even to 
her memory ! When I thought her dead, still did I cher- 
ish her image in my heart, making the one green spot, 
amid that arid waste, which was watered and kept alive 
by my tears. O Marianna ! Thou hast now destroyed 
all chance of happiness for me in this world. Yet I love 
thee, and still I pity thee ! Poor girl ! Poor ' stricken 
deer.' The herd will flee from thee, then where wilt thou 
find a bosom to shelter thee like this ! I wrote that 
nothing but her own positive rejection of me, or the arm 
of Omnipotence, should stay me in my search. Oh, my 
love ! my bride ! my w!fe, in the sight of heaven ! thou 
hast pierced thy lover to the soul! Would to God I 
knew where to find her ! Even now, discarded, spurned, 
maybe scorned, I would still kneel and implore her to 
receive me, and if not, then in mercy to tell wherefore." 
He takes out the letter again and reads : 
25 



290 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

• " Mr. Conrad Murray — Why, sir, do you not let me 
rest in peace ? "Why not suffer me to remain unmolested 
in the obscurity I have chosen ? Would you jDursue me 
to the shades of death? Have you not caused me misery 
enough ? Do you wish to embitter the days that are left 
me for rejDentance and j)rayer? Would you destroy that 
serenity which heaven has vouchsafed to me, and not see- 
ing you to tempt, I have learned to enjoy? I tell you, 
Conrad, we must never meet. There is a great gulf 
between us, greater than you know of. So leave me in 
peace. I will never see you again ; I do not wish it. Had 
I desired this meeting, I would have made myself known 
to you when I sat by your side, and hung tipon your arm. 
Farewell, forever. Marianna Glencoe." 

•• Ah yes, Marianna, thou didst indeed hang upon this 
arm heavily, heavily, as if overcome by the weight of th}- 
own loving heart. O God ! I felt that heart beat against 
mine, and it seemed as if it would break the bounds of its 
prison house, to meet the wild responsive throb. There 
was no dissimulation then ; that w^as nature asserting her 
sujDremacy. But now she says, alas ! what does she not 
say? Surely she has dipped her pen in gall. Marianna, 
thou art strangely altered." He again reads and repeats 
slowly and emphatically, " I will never see you again ; I 
do not wish it." " Well, I would not thrust myself into 
heaven even, unwished for. I presume I can live 
through this, too. We have an allotted number of j^ears 
to suffer, and toil, and rest, and play the fool, and sin, 
and repent ; and then comes the end. When my cup is 
full, and I have achieved my destiny, then God will do 
with me as seemeth him best. Till then, I will yield 
myself, and float down with the current on the turbid 
stream of time. Presently, I shall be swallowed up in 
that great gulf, and shall be seen, and maybe remembered 
no more among men forever.'' 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 291 

He wrapped himself up in iiis cloak and walked out. 
He was invoking his former aids to come to his assist- 
ance. Pride, that almost curse of his race, where art 
thou now ? Why dost thou hang back thus ? Thy slave 
needs thee ; come, put forth thy support. Alas ! Mari- 
anna has murdered pride in that heart. Philosophy, thy 
specious arguments do but teach endurance, patience, a 
proud sort of self-satisfied submissiveness, a self-glorifica- 
tion in the powder to endure and defy, but do not heal 
the wound. 'Tis but cicatrieed, and the deep sore still 
festers beneath. 

What is it, then, poor maimed wayfarer ? what dost 
thou need ? Thy sick soul yearns for sympathy, for love. 
Aye, for love ! Start not ; love has been thy bane, and 
love must be thy antidote. But love wisely the next time. 
Set not up in thy heart an idol to rival God. Worship 
not the creature, forgetting the Creator. " Thou shalt 
love the Lord thy God with all thy strength, heart, and 
mind. Thou shalt have no other gods before me." How 
is it with thee, proud man, when the .still, small voice is 
Avhispering these truths to thy troubled soiil ? , Dost thou 
relent? Wilt thou now tear away that image, and give 
thy heart to God? He thinks he would. He feels that 
he desires to understand, and would like to appropriate 
these important truths. " Son, give thy heart to God." 

Then he exclaims in anguish, " O that I had some one 
to whom I could trust to show me the way." The still, 
small voice whispered, " Stay thy soul on Christ, learn of 
him ; thou needest no other teacher. Son, give thy heart 
to God." That rebellious heart answers, " Oh ! I love 
her yet. Tear her image from my heart, and the myste- 
rious principle of life is gone." 

It has grown late, but he does not heed it. Many a lit- 
tle star has begun to twinkle and adorn the spacious fir- 
mament, yet he does not see them. He at last rouses up, 
and finds himself in that portion of the city where our 



292 THE NIGHT AVATCH. 

story opens. He stops for one moment, and muses before 
that window. Again that tall girl so closely veiled passes 
by; he has seen her at every turn, but his thoughts are 
in no condition to be affected by externals. 

As he moves along, his eyes fixed on the ground, he is 
startled by a burst of rude, coarse mirth. On looking 
around, he perceives a knot of youths on the left ; they 
are amusing themselves at the expense of an old woman 
who has fallen to the ground. She was coming from the 
market, with a heavy basket of provisions just purchased, 
when her foot became entangled in the snare set by those 
brewers of mischief, and she falls heavily, her articles of 
marketing strewing the dirty earth. 

When Murray apjDroached, he found the old lady strug- 
gling to extricate herself. She could not rise without aid, 
which greatly increased their uproarious shouts of mirth 
and ribaldry. 

" Shame, shame on you ! dogs, puppies, cur dogs ! 
where have you been bred that you could do such a deed, 
and then gloat over it? " He then very tenderly assisted 
the old lady to her feet, commanding one of the boys to 
gather up the contents of the basket ; and now perceives 
that they are all inebriated. 

Looking mournfully down on them, he says, " Go home, 
go home and sleep. To-morrow call at the office of Charles 
Murray. I have something of importance to say to you 
then." A sudden jerk of the arm which had been drawn 
through his, makes him look inquiringly into the face of 
the old lady, but he sees naught expressed there but suf- 
fering, lliat name had caused the shock. 

" I fear, good mother, you are injured ? Did I move 
you too roughly ? Pardon me, I did foi'get," and taking the 
basket on his arm, he said, " I will see you home, madam." 

" Oh no, sir ! I can not tax one like you. Pray, do not 
trouble yourself Give me the basket and accept my 
warmest thanks for this timely aid." She attempts to 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 293 

"withdraw her arm, and holds out her hand to receive the 
basket. 

"Then, do you reject my protection? Oh, what has 
come over the world ! " 

" Oh no, sir. I could go down on my knees to thank 
you. But what have the rich, and the proud, and the 
high, and the grand to do with the humble, suffering poor?" 

"I admit that they have not half so much to do with 
them as they should have ; but /, not laying claim to any 
of these possessions, will, whether you consent or not, 
protect you home. See, even now, those poor infatuated 
creatures, are waiting to pursue their oi'gies. They are 
drunk, and did I leave you they would wreak their ven- 
geance on you, for having been despoiled of their sport." 

" Ah, sir ! God sees, and will reward this good action. 
I do not know how to thank you." And the old lady wept. 

" Good mother, you just now spoke of God. Would 
that I knew more of Him than is taught in the lofty edi- 
fices reared by man, more to gratify his own vainglorious 
pride, than to honor the great Builder of the Universe. 
"Would that I could feel his presence sometimes, without 
fear ! But I am awestruck when I contemj)late that all- 
pervading, almighty Essence. I almost fear to invoke 
his spirit." 

The old lady was now all alive. The conventional bar- 
riers were broken down, and they meet on equal grounds. 

" Oh, sir, I am so glad to hear you say so ; " and taking 
his small, white, jeweled hand in her poor, coarse, wrin- 
kled one, she turned her dim eyes, which ai*e now soft 
and humid, to him, and said, " Oh, sir, can one so lowly as 
I am, teach you ? Surely, you do mock me ? " 

" Ah no ! good mother ; could you look into this heart, 
as God is looking into it even now, you would pity me." 

" And God will pity you, sir. None of us are so ready 
to pity one another, as ' our Father in heaven ' is." 

" Alas ! I am afraid. He seems to be so immeasurably 



291 T HE N I G H T W A 'J' ( ' I r . 

removed from me. He is so great, and pure, and holy, 
and I am so vile and abject." 

" Dear friend, yon must seek him through his Son. 
None of us dare approach a justly offended God, but 
through our friend in heaven, who is always waiting to 
present our petitions to his and our Father." 

" But are they not the same ; one and the same ? " 

" Ah ! ask me not of such subtleties. I deal not in them. 
Mine is the simplest of all creeds." 

" Then tell me of it, and let me embrace it at once." 

" It is said that, ' we shall be taught from the mouths of 
babes and sucklings,'" said she; "and weak, and unskilled 
as I am in theology, I can still testify to the love of Christ 
in the soul, which casteth out all fear, and doubt, and 
darkness. You would no doubt think, sir, that one like 
me, old, halt, and almost blind, and very poor in this 
world's gear, would have little cause for rejoicing. But, 
my friend, I sometimes feel such fullness of joy, such per- 
fect love to Christ, and to the Father, and to our fellow- 
travelers here below, that like Paul, I am caught up to 
the third heaven." 

" But, mother, I have heard that this sort of ecstacy, this 
state of beatitude, if you will, does not last, and that the 
poor worm is furnished with wings to soar for a short 
while, then is suffered to fall again to earth." 

" I know nothing of this. True, I do not alwaj- s see 
God's countenance unclouded ; but, as the hymn says, 

sometimes, 

' Behind a frowning providence, 
He hides a smiling face.' 

But my friend, the love of Christ sufficeth us. And day 
by day, come weal or woe, as long as I keep alive th-e 
Divine spark, I am happy. If we have but a crust in the 
house, I munch it in thankfulness. If the fire goeth out, 
and the larder shelves are empty, I know that God's store- 
house is the earth, and the fullness thereof His supplies 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 295 

have never failed me. I never fear that they will fail mo. 
I tell you, my friend," and again she pressed his hand, 
" that he never slumbers or sleeps, for watching over the 
fold. Even now, when my poor old crippled feet were 
entangled in the snare set for the unwary, did he not send 
succor? I am not injured. You were his agent, and well 
have you. discharged your duty." 

Murray is much moved, but remains silent. 

" Once before," continued the old lady, " I experienced 
the special care of the Good Shepherd. Soon after we 
came to this city, and after a week of unprecedented 
hardship, privation and suffering, we were relieved at the 
last hour by an unexpected hand. The sweet Sabbath 
dawned on our renovated hopes and grateful hearts. I 
took my little grandson, having attired ourselves in the 
best clothes we had, and went to one of those stately 
structures of which you have just been speaking. On 
arriving I applied to the sexton for a seat; he glanced 
curiously at our poor garments, which were the best to be 
found in poverty's wardrobe, and then in a supercilious 
way pointed to the mendicant's corner. Well, friend. I 
did not go there to beg, but to offer thanksgivings for 
mercies. So I would not take the seat. I know not what 
chance led me to that aristocratic pew ; but we had 
scarcely gotten through the first prayer, when a magn-ifi- 
cent-looking woman, covered up in fine raiment and furs, 
came, and ordered me out. I got up and moved down 
the aisle, intending to take a seat on the floor, that I 
might pray for the proud lady ere I left the temple. 
Before I reached the door the Good Shepherd sent his 
angel to me, and I was conducted back by a fine-looking 
gentleman (so said my little grandson, I did not see hira). 
to a magnificent seat. Well, sir, I prayed for that proud 
lady ; I prayed for that good gentleman ; I thought I felt 
the secret intimation that my petitions, sooner or later, 
would be answered. I have faith, and do believe that the 



296 THE NfdHT WATCH. 

arrogant woman will be brought to repeiitance, and that 
good man will reap the reward of his good deed." 

Murray is again greatly agitated ; he takes out his 
handkerchief and wipes his eyes. The plaintive voice, 
the earnest and sincere manner of the old lady, as she 
talked of these gosjjel truths, smote the rock of that 
proud man's heart, and a fountain of tenderness gushed 
forth. 

They had now arrived before the door of Myra's cot- 
tage, and there is an embarrassed pause. 

" Friend, circumstances of a very painful nature forbid 
my asking you to enter our house, just now."" 

" And I could not, if you did ask me, good mother.'' 
He gives her the basket, and then she takes his hand and 
says : 

" Col. Murray, I can not find words to express my 
gratitude. But it Avill not always be thus. There is a 
good spirit at w^ork for you. Trust in that friend whom 
you, and I, and every living sinner, may claim as his 
own. He only can make the crooked way straight. 
' Trust and loait.' " She repeated the last sentence with 
a very peculiar emphasis. 

When Murray arrives at home, he finds the parlor 
occupied by a gay group. Gertrude is sitting at the 
piano ; the Grovernor and Mr. Gi-aines are on each side 
of her. The former hangs over the Siren, and breathes 
soft, delicious nonsense into her ear ; the latter has folded 
his arms, and looks on with a calm, untroubled brow — 
never moving, save to turn the music, as she sings song 
after song. 

When G-ertrude has played her last waltz, and sung 
her last song, she rises from the instrument, leaving her 
distinguished lover, and takes her seat by Murray. She 
inquires after his health with such an ingenuous look of 
kindness, that he is touched ; looking into her beautiful 
face (which is, at the moment, apparently free from all 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 297 

guile), he discovers nothing in it but j)assionate love 
for himself. He presses her hand and whispers, " God 
forgive me ! I do not deserve such devotion and con- 
stancy." 

Maj. Lindsay calls for Gertrude; he had left her there 
and gone to his club. Some ladies, the Governor, Mr. 
Gaines, and a few others, had dropped in from their even- 
ing promenade, on hearing Gertrude's fine voice. 

" Well, daughter, shall we go ? " said he. Murray rises 
and offers his arm. The Governor stejDS up — 

" Stop, sir ; I am ojDposed to a monopoly, as you once 
said to me." 

"While Gertrude is drawing her splendid wrappings 
about her, some one calls off the attention of the Gover- 
nor. Old Mrs. Murray has Maj. Lindsaj^- fast by the but- 
ton ; Murray has folded his arms, and Mr. Gaines steps 
up to her, and looking keenly at her, says, "Madam, let 
me see you home." 

They reach there full one hour before her father comes 
in. During that time, they are engaged in a conversa- 
tion, which is so absorbing that they do not see Ann as 
she passes about, making various pretexts in order to 
look and listen. 

Presently they hear the Major come in, and Gaines has 
prej)ared himself for an angry rencounter of words with 
his master. Be it remembered that Maj. Lindsay had 
been to his club. Going to that place sometimes makes 
a man see too well (double) ; sometimes prevents him 
frona seeing at all (as he should). 

He comes blustering and reeling into the room. See- 
ing Ann there, he says : 

" See here, girl, where is that d d interloper? that 

long-legged clerk of mine? He came home with Miss — 
hiccup — Lind — hiccup — say. Where is that son of a — 

hiccup — of — of a hie — d it, I say, where is that 

son of a hie — of a — cup. Where is Gaines? If I find 



298 THE NIGHT W A T C H . 

him I'll make him — hiccup — I'll — hiccup — leave in 
short order," and he storms at the negro, who is bursting 
with suppressed mirth. 

" Marster, does you mean Mas'r Josiah ? He didn't 
stop no time, nohow, at all. He's bin gwine away, ' long 
time ago,' as the song says." 

" It is well for them both that he did," says Lindsay ; 
and he staggers up to Ann, and catches at her. The girl 
gave a little squeal ; he curses her, and then reels oflf' to 
bed, hie — hie — hiccuping all the way. 

"When Mrs. Murray and her son were left alone, she 
informed him that the wedding, to suit the parties, had 
been hastened a few days: and such a wedding, and such 
a fete as that woiild be, had never before been witnessed 

in the city of . She told him that cards had been 

sent to all the old aristocratic families in the j)lace, and 
also to other cities. 

He listened to her in moody silence. " Only two days 
more of freedom ! Well, let it go on, mother.' Why bother 
me with these details?" 

" Remember, my son, there must be no more disap- 
pointments ;" and she fixed her basilisk eyes on him, 
while she Avent on explaining ; but Murray neither saw 
the look, nor heard the words. 

Presently he got up, and walked gloomily across the 
room. 

" Mother, as I have always told you, arrange these 
things to please yourself, G-ertrude, and Major Lind- 
say : as to myself, I do not feel that I am a party much 
interested y 

While all this commotion, bustle, unrest, and discom- 
fort (in the way of splendid j^reparations) are going on 
in the two mansions, Murraj^ alone was quiet. There was 
a stagnation of feeling — a collapse of the heart — which 
was worse than acute suffering. He seemed to have 
resigned himself to his fate. For two whole days before 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 299 

the wedding, he denied himself to every one except his 
future father-in-law, and his friend, Doctor Brown. 

When the latter entered, he found him as usual, jDacing 
the floor ; he did not indulge in his natural strain of bad- 
inage, but looked thoughtful and very grave. At last he 
said, 

"Well, Murray, do you think you will go through with 
it this time? or shall we have another break-down? " 

" I presume my mother and Gertrude will carry out 
their projects, now. If not, then God help them and me 
too. They have been caucussing for such a length of 
time, and those schemes have been conceiving for" 

"Ah yes!" struck in the doctor, trying to smile, "they 
must bring forth now, else there surely will be an entire 
abortion." 

" I don't know how it will turn out ; I am myself wait- 
ing for the denouement," rejoined Murray, looking very 
sad. 

"You are willing then, Conrad, are you? You want 
this wedding to come off, do you?" 

" I wish to be at rest. I know no quiet; have not for 
over a year." 

" Minn}' passed last night with Mrs. Wise, who is sick 
again." (Murray trembles, and averts his face.) "While 
there, Myra received this letter. She (my Avife) is, as well 
as myself, extremel}' anxious to know if you are the 
author of it ? " 

Murray seems greatly surprised, and drew himself up 
haughtily. Doctor Brown takes the letter from his 
pocket. 

" Col. Murray, is this your handwriting?" j)resenting it. 

" Certainl}^ it is, sir," said he, looking at the super- 
scription. 

" Open it," added Brown. He did so, and glanced 
carelessly at it, without reading a word; and just then 
remembering the disdainful response, said coldly, 



300 T H E N J G H T W A T C H . 

" I wrote that letter, sir, why do you ask? "VVliat more 
would the lady have ? " 

The Doctor saw that he did not read the letter, and felt 
vexed at his indifference. Eising abruptly he said, 

" Well ! I must say, it is rather the coolest thing I have 
yet witnessed. Good morning, sir." 

" Stop a moment," said Murray ; and taking from a 
basket two cards for the wedding, said, " I hope, sir, you 
will do me the honor to bring your wife with you?' 

" 'No sir, no, no sir ; from this time. Col. Murray, we 
are strangers ; " and he laid the cards down on the table 
and left. 

" Well, that is certainly strange conduct in my old 
friend ? I do not know what it means," said Conrad. In 
fact I do not know what anything means. Ere long 1 
shall not be certain whether I am awake or asleep, dead 
or alive." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 301 



CHAPTER XXX. 

THE WEDDING. 

" Feae ye the festal hour ? 
Aye ! tremble Trhen the cup of joy o'erflows ! 
Tame doTvn the swelling heart ! the bridal rose 
And the rich myrtle flower have veiled the sword." 

A BLAND and beautiful evening precedes the night of 
the wedding, but it is dark, very dark, where the gas does 
not prevail. Maj. Lindsay's mansion looks like a crystal 
palace. The scene is one of enchantment. 

And now the brilliant crowd is assembling. They come 
pouring in like a continuous stream. The rooms are full, 
but not crammed. All are there ; the venerable clergy- 
man, with his long, graceful gown, sits ready; the com- 
pany- is ready ; the bride is ready. A slight nervousness 
seizes upon the guests; many watches are covertly exam- 
ined, and the words buzzed through those gorgeous saloons, 
" Ten o'clock ; past ten o'clock." 

Let us take a short retrospect. At nine, the Governor 
and the other attendants had called at the mansion of 
Col. Murray. They sent him word that at half past nine 
his lady bride would expect him. The carriage was drawn 
Ml) before the door. 

Soon after this, Mrs. Murray tapped at his door. She 
found him in his robe de chamhre, ensconced in an easy 
chair, reading. 

" Merciful heavens ! Charles Conrad Murray ! What 
in the name of God are you doing? " 

" Nothing, madam." 



30.2 T H E N I G H T W A T C H . 

"I see, sir. Are you crazy?" 

" I think not, madam. Do 3^011 see any symptoms of 
this calamity?" 

" Is not this your weckling night? " 

"Certainly, madam, I am perfectly aware of that untow- 
ard circumstance." 

" Then what are you sitting there for, en disliabiUe? " 

" I was waiting for my lady mother to notify me of the 
proper hour for everything. Will you not, madam, have 
all things done according to the most approved and politic 
plan? It is not the first time you have done me this 
honor." 

" I do not wish to hear another word, sir. I would have 
you get yourself dressed and join your friends in the j)ar- 
lor; the Governor and your other attendants are waiting 
for you below." 

"Are they, madam? Do me the favor, then, to pull 
the bell-rope there on your right. But will you not be 
seated, mother? You are looking particularly elegant 
to-night." 

When the servant came, Murray looked at him list- 
lessly. " Well, James, your mistress, and mi/ mother 
wishes me to be dressed gorgeously, no doubt, for this her 
second marriage. Twice now has she married me off 
without once gaining my consent." 

" Il^ot yet, Mas'r Charles. She aint not married you up 
but once yit awhile, and as Tivv^^ do say, ' Dar's many a 
cup 'twixt de slip an' de lip;' so take heart, Mas'r Charlie; 
somethin' may turn up yit." 

" Come, James, bestir yourself, man. and let me be 
ready for whatever it shall be that may turn up." 

James was the very prince of all black valets de chani- 
hre. So at ten o'clock Col Murray entered the parlor, 
where his coadjutors had been consoling themselves for 
fhe loss of time with an impi'omptu bottle or two of wine. 

When he came among them, they sent forth the most 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 303 

hilarious shouts and congratulations. They are now 
admonished by the head and front of all things, Mrs. 
Murray, that it is time to depart. So the bridegroom 
offered an arm to his mother, hands her to the carriage, 
then he and his friends walked, feeling absolute need of 
fresh air, ere they should be in a condition to face that bril- 
liant assembly, and that grave and reverend j)erson with 
black robe and white bands. And now they are there, 
and the buzzing words have changed to, " They've come, 
they've come." 

Murray separates himself from his party, and takes his 
way to Grerti-ude's boudoir. He finds her arrayed in all 
her glory, looking vcrj^ queen-like and beautiful. She is 
surrounded by her maids of honor. He goes up, kisses 
her, and in a hurried voice desires her to send a message 
to the gentlemen. 

Thej^ come, and now they descend to the back drawing- 
room, which has been kept closed up to this time. There 
they arrange themselves before those great doors, reach- 
ing quite across the room, which in a moment more slide 
into the walls as if by magic, and that magnificent bridal 
party confront that gorgeous company. 

Col. Murray is very pale, but is looking unusually inter- 
esting and handsome. 

The clergyman meets them, opens the book, has gotten 
through the preliminaries, and in a few minutes more he 

will have pronounced those thrilling words when a 

loud, prolonged shriek is heard, succeeded by the appall- 
ing cry of " fire ! " It resounds through the house. Then 
another shriek, and the cry, " The gas ! the gas ! A gas- 
pipe has exploded in one of the rooms above, and the 
atmosphere will ignite," screamed some half-dozen voices. 

I^rothing, perhaps, save the " last trump," when it shall 
sound, will produ.ce a greater panic, or take the world 
more by surprise. Many rushed shrieking from the room, ■ 
some threw themselves from the open windows ; nearly 



304 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

all tried to precipitate themselves into the street. The 
parson was ovei-turned in the melee. Poor old Mrs. Mur- 
ray was upset, and but for the timely aid of some friendly 
hand, would have had that ingenious piece of frame-work 
totally demolished. No one now is observing his neigh- 
bor ; for a season, curiosity is quenched by the stronger 
passion, fright. 

Murray stood with Gertrude on his arm, like one 
entranced. Presently, Mr. Gfaines whispers in her ear ; 
then she unclasps her hands from that fond hold, and he 
leads her aAvay. And now Murray rushes from the room, 
but not to the street ; he goes to see what can be done to 
save the house. 

When he reaches the hall above, he finds that portion 
of the mansion in total darkness. What a change, from 
a moment before ! As he descends, a tall figure, com- 
pletely muffled, touches his arm, and whispers, " Come, 
there is nothing the matter here. I am waiting for thee ; 
follow me quickly, else we shall be too late." 

He instinctively obeys her. She glides rapidly on 
before him. They leave the house and that quarter of 
the lighted city, and plunge into darkness. A hundred 
fire-bells seem to be ringing ; an hundred hundred of 
people seem to be running, and jostling, and falling, and 
getting up, and crying, and screaming, but all tending in 
one direction ; and now the engines come rushing and 
tearing by. 

He has followed the veiled figure without question. 
Onward, onward they go. And now they come to the 
scene of action. A cottage, standing a little apart from 
the other buildings, is on fire. It seems to be too far 
gone to claim the attention of the red-flannel-shirted 
crew, whose efforts are directed to protecting the adjacent 
buildings. All this was taken in by Murray, at one 
coup cZ' (bU. The veiled figure says to him, as she shakes 
him violently: 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 305 

" Rouse up, now ; thou hast no time to dream ! Plunge 
into the flames, and save Marianna Glencoe ! " 

" Great God ! what do I hear ! " 

" Lose no time in idle exclamations or queries. This 
was her abode. See there ! The good Murdoch is bear- 
ing out the old lady, and Dr. Brown has the child ; but 
where is poor Marianna? "When thou hast found her, 
come not this way, for ravening beasts are waiting to 
seize upon you both ; but come out into the back-court. 
I will be there to receive you, and bear you to a place of 
safety. Mind my injunctions ; come not this way." She 
throws a woolen shawl over his head, and draAVS it ten- 
derly about his face, saying, " Poor fellow ! I would shield 
thee from this, too, an I could, but I must be obeyed to 
the letter, else all is lost." 

A piercing wail is now heard through the crowd — " My 
mother! Where is mj- mother? "Who will go with me 
to save my mother?" 

The child was caught up by the veiled figure, and at that 
moment Murray rushes frantically into the burning pile, 
and disappears amid reverberating shouts of admiration 
and groans of horror. " The lady ! the lady ! " is echoed 
through the crowd ; the child has extricated himself from 
those kind arms, and would have followed Murray, but 
the figure again seizes him, saying, " Keep still, my 
darling, they shall save thy mother." 

Scarcely had the flames closed over the head of the 
poor fellow, before Murdoch comes up to Leah, and whis- 
pers, "Where is he?" 

She points to the burning j)ile. "There, gone to save 
Mari " 

" Great God ! girl, what have you done ! She is not 
there, and he will perish." Snatching up a blanket, he 
wraps it about his head, and plunged also into the fire. 

" Now, may the God of Jacob help them both, else are 
they lost ! " 
26 



306 T HE N J G H T WATCH. 

The girl had not more than uttered this thrilling cry, 
when the roof fell in, and all is one masss of blazing 
wood, and soon after a smoldering ruin. 

Then a prolonged groan convulses that crowd, which 
at last finds vent in the cry of " Oh ! they have perished ! 
Oh ! most horrible ! Poor fellows, they are lost ! they 
are burned alive ! " 

Leah gives the child to a bystander, with directions to 
carry him immediately to Dr. Brown's. Then she darts 
into the dark alley leading to the back court, where she 
had placed j^ersons to await her coming. When there, 
she finds herself quite alone. There is nothing to be 
seen but flying red-hot fragments and blazing cinders. 
There is no one waiting for her in that fearful place ; the 
carriage is not there, as she directed. 

She screams, all brave and enduring as she is, with 
alarm and anguish. Her shoes, which were silk, are 
burned from her feet, and now she tramples, barefoot, on 
red-hot coals. Yet she stands there for several moments, 
insensible to physical pain ; so utterly overwhelmed is 
she at the apparent destruction of three persons in whom 
she was so deeply interested : then she turns away, " a 
puir heart-broken thing." 

The panic at that festive mansion has subsided ; some 
few persons have had presence of mind and courage to 
explore the rooms above, and find that the cause of alarm 
was a fiilse one in the main. The accidental, or premedi- 
tated expenditure of gas had filled the rooms with that 
noxious stench, which none can inhale long and live. 
This is all that has yet transpired to the guests below. 
Those who had ventured in their wedding garmentsto the 
place of actual distress, had returned, and reported that 
it was nothing only a cottage of some poor person — a mil- 
liner or dressmaker had her house burned down, and had' 
perished herself in the fire. 

" Oh well, if that's all," said the leaders of ton, "then 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 307 

let the festivities j)roceed." The Minister is still there, 
looking very plaintive and martyr-like since his over- 
throw from his arm chair. The bride is there, in her 
vestal robes, so pure and white. The father is there to 
give her away ; and hundreds of friends, as friends go 
on such occasions, are there, smiling obsequiously and 
parasiticall}^, all waiting to offer congratulations, but more 
specially to enter on the pleasures of the fete. 

" Come, let the ceremony go forward," said the father, 
glancing at his watch. "It is now near twelve o'clock, 
and the repast is yet untasted ; and still worse, but few 
of those rare juices have been imbibed. Why, friends, 
we shall scarce have time to test the merits of either table 
or sideboard. Where is Murray? Where is my son elect? 
Murray, Colonel Murray," called the mirth -loving host. 
" Why, man, come on ; jou mar our sports, and delay the 
festivities, instead of leading the way, and teaching us how 
to sacrifice in fijnrit and in si/bsfance to the jolly God. I tell 
you now, sirs, the ' Old GJ-rey -Beard Bacchus ' will not be 
cheated thus, without reprisal." 

" What ho ! Murray ! Conrad ! Charles Murray ! where 
are you, my son? Come, we are waiting to be gracious." 

Major Liiidsay passed through the gorgeous scene with 
an easy careless gait (peculiar to persons who have been 
always rich), and called on the bridegroom in a jocose 
voice, and with a merry twinkle of the eye, stopping anon 
to jest with some congenial chum on the subject. " But 
he comes not." 

A buzz, a whisper, a murmured conjecture, swell into a 
full tide of curiosity, and love of wonder, with the words, 
"He is not here ; where can he be gone ? " One has seen 
him jump out of the window on the first note of alarm. 
Another has seen him rush from the street door. Some 
few saw him stealing up stairs. All saw him standing 
before the parson, beside his bride : but none saw the 
truth. None had seen him leave the house by the back- 



308 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

door witli that tall girl so closely veiled. Yet there was 
one who did see this. One pair of calm, steel-like grey- 
eyes saw it all. The same hand which drew that beauti- 
ful bi"ide away from the side of her majestic bridegroom 
had something to do with the turning on of too much 
of that noisome fluid. He alone saw Murray leave the 
house. 

Messenger after messenger is dispatched in all direc- 
tions, through the long suit of rooms above and below, 
to his own house, everywhere ; but as yet there is no 
trace of him. 

In the meantime, the Governor flirts as usual, with G-er- 
trude. He is again pouring into her ears the insidious 
language of adulation ; uttering protestations which were 
as factitious as the hearts of the aristocratic guests, who 
with the host and the little great man, the clever Gov- 
ernor, had not failed to attest their devotion to his 
God ship. 

Miss Lindsay is seated on an ottoman in the center of 
the room, with a crowd of admirers around her. The big 
man of the evening is hanging over her, seeming to gloat 
on her exposed and transparent charms. She is indeed 
looking delicious. He forgets himself, and in rather too 
distinct a whisper murmurs, " My angel ! you had better 
reward some one of your faithful servants, and leave that 
erratic orbitless star to his fate, which must sooner or 
later explode, or set to rise no more. It is a sin to throw 
away such chai'ms on that passionless man. He is totally 
insensible to the value of such a possession." 

O " spirit of wine ! " she owes this to thee. The girl 
5felt Avhat the excited man said. Had he searched through 
an hundred vocabularies, he could not have found words 
more suited to her case, or better to embody her senti- 
ments, as well as so acceptable and soothing to her morti- 
fied vanity and wounded jDride. She looked lovingly up 
into his face, she inclines her person toward the lascivious 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 309 

little man, she even offers a soft, tender response. Then 
the Governor whispered something which none could hear, 
and the lady raised her flushed face and burning eyes to 
his. 

The inspiring sound of violins is now heard from the 
dancing saloon, and as the Crovernor gives his hand to 
G-ertrude to lead her to the floor, she once more encoun- 
ters the deep, earnest gaze of Mr. Josiah G-aines fixed upon 
her. Those eyes seem ever to have had a peculiarly pene- 
trating power. That one steadfast look has probed the hid- 
den places of that vain, weak heart, and brought wp the 
secret. It is written on that blanched cheek, and revealed 
from those timid, cowering eyes. 

A few cotillions, and as many waltzes, are gotten 
through with, not trippingly " on the light, fantastic toe," 
but heavily and mechanically. The genius of mirth 
seemed to have been frightened away. ISTor would Terp- 
sichore deign to preside over such soulless offerings. 
Maj. Lindsay gave his arm to Mrs. Murray, and they lead 
the way to the banquet. Time will not serve me to tell 
of all the luxuries and dainty dishes of meats, cakes, 
confections, fruits, wines, etc. Pyramid upon pyramid 
of bride's cake rises in stupendous grandeur, as monu- 
ments now of the uncertainty of all earthly plans, the 
precarious tenure of all worldly ho]Des. A whole heca- 
tomb of birds have been sacrificed. Turkies which, from 
their size, looked as if they might have been patriarchs 
over many generations of pee-pees, were flanked by gan- 
ders who had stood sentinel during the halcyon days of 
many a grey goose, whose heads are all now laid low. 
Alack-a-day ! this dreadful onslaught : and for whatl 
To commemorate an event which only goes to confirm the 
truism, that all is vanity and vexation of spirit. 

The champagne foams and sparkles. Glass after glass is 
drunk in token of admiration to the goddess of beauty, and 
in honor of the prince of good cheer, Maj. Lindsay. At last, 



310 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

the anxious expression of every face seems to be yielding* to 
this genial influence. The somber demon has been exor- 
cised, and in his stead reigns a spirit of mad mirth — a 
simultaneous desire to indulge deeply, unsj)aringly, reck- 
lessly in pleasure : a unanimous disposition to banish care 
is now manifest, and well have many of them succeeded. 
Already are they oblivious of that which should have 
marred such unholy orgies. But the audience had been 
despoiled of the play, the pageant, in the way laid down 
in the programme, and now the reaction is taking place. 

" This is certainly a very brilliant, joyous, hilarious, and 
rather too uproarious assembly of wit, beauty, and non- 
sense," said the calm, dignified Doctor Mercer, alias the 
parson, to his wife, as they stood apart from the revel, 
and looked on in silent amazement. 

"■ Ah ! " said the lady, " what children ! In the exciting 
bowl they have already forgotten the missing bridegroom." 

"Hist! hist! listen! What sound is that?'" ISTot 
louder at first than the buzzing of the drowsy insect, but 
it swells. Why is there a suspension of all pursuit? Why 
are those delightful little giggles suppressed? — those 
whisj)ered vows of love in beauty's ear, and the respon- 
sive protestation breathed up to luxuriant moustache and 
whiskers? Why are they arrested? Why is that cup 
dashed before it reaches the lips ? And above all, why is 
that sweet morsel which has been rolled under the tongue 
so impatiently for the last hour, that piece of honeycomb, 
that delightful little scandal, forgotten ? Why that shriek, 
and that sinking form? That indistinct murmur has 
again formed itself into words, which have reached the 
ears of the mother — her son is dead. Col. Murray was 
seen to rush into the blazing pile, which soon after became 
a mass of living fire. There had been no chance for 
escape; he had perished. 

Mrs. Murray's lifeless body was boime to her own dwell- 
ing, and a message dispatched for the family physician, 



THE NIGHT WATt'H. 311 

Doctor Gabriel Brown. In the meantime, while Tivvy 
and James are hanging over their mistress, and a few 
persons, either out of compassion for human suffering 
generally, or maybe idle curiosity, are trying to restore 
the imperious old woman, let us return to the festive hall. 

On hearing this stunning report, the Governor, who 
really was attached to Murray, left Gertrude standing at 
the table, the glass of champagne raised, but untasted, 
and hastened out to learn more fully of this horror. All 
eyes are now turned on the bride. She does not shriek, 
she does not faint, she utters no word ; she is very pale, 
and her eyes are distended and glaring. There she 
stands, so beautiful and statuesque. Horror seems to have 
frozen her. Those terrible words have surely petrified her. 
She moves not, speaks not, does not so much as breathe a 
sigh. Every one views her with amazement, but none care 
enough for the haughty beauty to put forth a finger to 
touch and rouse her from that catalepsy. 

Major Lindsay had also left the house, perhaps like the 
Governor, to make assurance doubly sure by being a wit- 
ness of the dreadful spectacle. They doubted not that 
the charred and mutilated body of the glorious Murray 
would be wrested from the fire ere it was consumed. All 
is commotion and noise in that banquet room. 

Mr. Gaines steps up to Miss Lindsay, touches her arm, 
and taking the glass from her hand, says, " Madam, had 
you not better retire ? " 

" Sir?" said she, looking vacantly in his face. 

" I say, would it not be pleasanter to withdraw from 
the rude gaze of the curious?" 

" Yes, sir, said she, looking around timidly ; " but 
where is Gov. ; he is to meet me at three" 

" Silence, madam ; would you furnish more food for 
gossip?" 

He took her hand, and led her from the place like a 
child. When they were ia- the adjoining room, he rang 



312 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

the bell furiously. Ann came in ; he whispered to her 
for some time, then said, " Do not on your life, Ann, leave 
her a moment, or admit any one to her, not even her 
father, unless forced to it, till I come. Now, girl, remem- 
ber. Aye! Eemember!" He rejjeated this word in a 
voice as solemn and ominous as did poor Charles the 
First. After which, he spoke out in a loud, careless 
tone — 

"Ann, conduct Miss Lindsay to her room," and 
turned away. 

The company had now dispersed ; a neighboring clock 
rung out three ; Mr. Gaines alone remained. As he strode 
through those gorgeous, but desolate rooms, he uncon- 
sciously hums, " Oft in the stillj^ night." Then looking 
around, moodily folds his arms and sings while he 
walks, smiling sardonically — 

"I feel like one who treads alone, some banquet hall deserted; 
Whose lights are fled, whose garlands dead, 
And all but me departed." 

Then hearing some one enter, he ensconces himself behind 
a folding door, and curiously peers out. 

Major Lindsay comes in, throws himself into an arm 
chair, covers his face with his hands, and weeps. After 
indulging this silent grief, he adds : "Poor fellow! poor 
Murray ! To be cut off thus in his prime ! To be sepa- 
rated from his bride just then ! Ah yes ! he obeyed the 
summons, and 'left his bride at the altar.' And for 
what ? To immolate himself to an abstract principle of 
good. What was that milliner woman to him ? Nothing ! 
But universal philanthrophy prompted him to all good 
deeds. O my son ! my noble, my magnanimous son ! I 
shall never, never again, see thy equal ! Never again find 
one to fill thy vacant place in this heart." He smites his 
breast. " Poor Gertru.de ! poor girl ! poor bereaved bride I 
in my own selfish grief, I had forgotten thy greater sor- 
row ! Poor thing, I almost fear to see thee ! " 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 313 

■ Ho rises, and takes a few turns through the rooms ; 
sometimes almost touching Mr. Gaines. Then exclaims 
in a very sad voice, " Well ! I will go to poor Gertrude ; 
I will say what I can to comfort her! Perchance I may 
hit upon the right words. If not, then we can mingle 
our tears together.'" He leaves the room. 

No sooner had he gone than Josiah rings a small hand 
bell, and Eobert enters. 

" Well, Robert, what news ?" 

" Not much, sir ; I did as j'ou told me." 

"Well." 

" I followed the Governor down thar." 

" Well." 

" Then I followed him back, but he could'nt hardly 
walk, sir." 

" Ah ! yes, Robert, you jDlayed your part well." 

" Yes, sir, I put all that morphinous stuff in the bottle 
of sherry, as you told me to ; then I set it right on the 
sideboard, whar I know'd Marster and the Governor 
would come to sioig it, and so they did sure 'nough. But 
Marsler perfers champagne hisself, and the Governor 
does love sherry, and that's the fact. Well ! I declare, 
Marster Josiah, I thought the man was gwine to go fast 
asleep on the ground, when he stood there, with his eyes 
fast shut, gazing on that burning house." 

"Well, what now?" 

" Well, that 's all." 

"Why, did you leave him standing there?" 

" Oh no, sir; I tetched him on the arm, and tetching my 
hat at the same time, I axed him ef he hadn't better go 
home? And as you told me, I enquired ef he warnt gwine 
b|ick to see Miss Guttrude ? Then he cass me, and say, 
'Robert, what the devil do I want with your Miss Gut- 
trude or any other gal in my condition ? ' I say to him, 
' She 'spects you, sir.' Then he say, ' Expects hell fire : 1 
don't doubt it, knave. But I'm not going, and more than 
27 



314 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

that, I never meant to go.' Then he cuss me, and drive 
me off. Then he call me back, and he say, ' Here, my 
good Robert, take this dollar, and when you. go home, tell 
your young mistress that I am very sick, mighty sick.' 
Then he stumble long, till he git to the 'zecutive mansion, 
and that 's the last of that poor man, as I knows of." 

Robert puts his hand in his pocket and takes out the 
dollar which the G-overnor had given him, exclaiming, 
" Lors a marcy ! bress my soul ! Look a here Mas'r 
Gaines, this is pure gold! How much is it, Mas'r Joe?" 

" It is onty fifty dollars, Robert." 

" Oh marcy ! Then I must go this minit, and carry it 
back to him, musn't I Mas'r Claines ? Would'nt that be 
right?" 

" Yes, Robert, but you hav'nt time now. Here is another 
piece like it. And now attend closely to what I am about 
to tell you : and if you obey me to the letter, and jDrove 
trustworthy throughout, it will no doubt lead to your free- 
dom." Then he explained to the negro very minutely his 
plans — to which he readily assents. 

" Then put these things a little to rights. Reduce the 
light in that burner, and extinguish those in the hall. 
When you have done all, wait my further orders here. I 
shall go out for a short time." He left, closing and lock- 
ing the street door. 

It will be remembered that Maj. Lindsay had left the 
parlor for the purpose of seeking G-ertrude in her boudoir. 
When he reached the door, he hesitated, saying to himself, 
"I'll be cursed if I don't dread it." He knocks softly; 
then answers to the gentle " Come," by opening the door. 
He found his daughter standing in the center of the room, 
as if awaiting him. j-j 

" Ah, poor child ! exjiecting your father? Waiting for 
him? Well, poor girl, you still have one true heart left 
to love you. Come to your father's arms, and let him tell 
you how he loves and at the same time pities you." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 315 

"Pities! pities me! Did you use that word, sir? I 
think he would hardly venture on such an experiment. 
JSTo, no, my father, he had better not talk of pity to Ger- 
trude Lindsay. I believe he does love me ; he has told me 
so^a thousand times, and to-night he has again reiterated 
this, and made honorable proposals, and" 

" What the devil are you talking about, Gertrude? Have 
you lost your senses? Who? What, in the fiend's name, 
do you mean ? 

" Why, sir, may I inquire what you mean ? Not a mo- 
ment ago, did you not tell me that Tie loved me, which I 
have long known ; and when I agree to accept his love, 
because I spurn his pity, is it thus you rate me? " 

Maj. Lindsay rises from the seat into which he had 
dropped, and stands before her. 

" Now, once for all, Miss Lindsay, I wish to be informed 
of the meaning of this enigmatical tirade. Else, I shall 
be convinced in my mind, that your senses have become 
unsettled by the great calamity which has fallen upon us ; 
and must consequently give orders to have you conveyed 
to the white house upon the hill forthwith, if I am forced 
so to think." 

" It is thus 1 am forced to think of you, sir. I shall 
be pleased to be convinced to the contrary. But to con- 
vince you that I am as sane as ever I was, I will consent 
to gratify you by a few details of facts. 

" I meant Governor , and it was of him I supposed 

you spoke, when you made that declaration. If not of 
him, then of whom did you speak ? May I beg to be 
informed?" 

"Deluded girl! He cares more for politics and popu- 
larity, than for ten thousand Miss Lindsays. I spoke of 
myself." 

The lady looks troubled and disappointed, continues to 
watch the door, and seems to be all the time in the atti- 
tude of listening. 



316 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

" Gertrude, I came here to mourn with jon. I hoped 
we might console each other for the loss of my lamented 
friend, and jour affianced husband. But strange, heart- 
less girl that you are, I find you already prating about 
some new lover." 

"Well, and where is the bonny bridegroom, sir? " 

" I hope he is in heaven ere this." 

" Ah ! now, my father, you are the poor, deluded 
one." 

" Why so ? hundreds of persons saw him rush into the 
furnace of fire, to save a poor creature whom he did not 
know or care about, other than from pure benevolence. 
A poor milliner, I'm told, who " 

" jSTever mind about being explicit, sir. I know all about 
it. That woman has been his paramour for years." 

"I don't believe it." 

" It is, nevertheless, true, sir. True as holy writ." 

" Well, w^hat of it? Methinks your woman's heart — 
that is, if you are a woman, and have a heart — must 
needs acknowledge the magnanimity of such a deed, and 
could but mourn over such a catastrophe." 

" Would you have me grieve for one who cares not for 
me? who has trifled with me — disappointed me? who 
for years, has wantonly sported with my feelings ? Pre- 
ferring that humble creature — that obscure, low-born, 
unknown woman, to Gertrude Lindsay? I tell you, sir, 
his heart was never in this marriage ! He never loved 
me ! He did but yield himself to a necessity! " 

"Fool! What necessity was there? what comjjulsion 
could there be, or other motives than love and pride, to 
marry the heiress of the house of Lindsay? Speak, girl — 
explain." 

" I have said, sir" * 

" Girl, you have not! You dare not look me in the face 
and tell me that you have laid him under this necessity; 
or, by all the gods! I will strangle you where you sit. 



THE N I (i II T W A T C II . ' ' 317 

Have you yielded yourself to this man, Gertrude ? " look- 
ing fiercely at her, and approaching her menacingly. 

She rises with great dignity, and in passing him, says, 
coldly : 

" Peace ! peace, sir ! I am in all things exactly worthy 
of just such a father. But you have misconceived me. 
I meant, though, what is most strangely true, Conrad 
Murray is, from some mysterious cause, so completely 
under the domination of that skillful piece of patchwork, 
his detestable old mother, that I believe he would sacri- 
fice his life, rather than oppose or disobey her. Besides 
his fortune is broken, and needs propping. He knows 
that, without some such adjunct, be must, ere long, appear 
before the world bankrupt. Yet I must do him the jus- 
tice to say, that this marriage was none of his seeking." 
And she turns moodily away. 

" Why, then, did you consent to marry him?" 

' Because I loved him from the first moment I ever saw 
him, wildly! madly! absorbingly! idolatrously ! sinfully!" 

" Wretched girl ! How could you love unsought? " 

" Go ask the winds why they blow? why the torrents 
roar? why wild beasts prowl, and old ocean swells and 
surges ? Can ye stop and stem their course ? Then no 
more could I quell the passion which boiled and raged in 
my heart for that man. They perform their functions 
and obey their instincts, and thereby fulfill their destinies; 
and so shall I mine. Father, leave me alone I I would 
sleep." 

" Poor girl ! and he deceived you, when you loved him 
so much ? Curse him! I'm glad he is burned alive." 

"Now, again, you are at fault, sir. Col. Murray is not 
dead. Ere the week passes he will be here again. And 
now, hear me, father; I swear by all the saints and angels, 
and all other holy things in heaven ! as well as by all the 
evil things in hell ! that Conrad Murray shall never again 
look upon the face of Gertrude Lindsay." 



318 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

" Why you would not lay violent hands on yourself?" 

" Oh no ! but remember my words. Come, father, it is 
late. I must retire." 

She kisses him, and attends him to his sleeping-room. 
On returning, she stands before the mirror for a moment, 
tosses back her graceful ringlets, and, with a smile of 
complacency, soliloquizes: "I do believe, as everybody 
tells me, that I am very beautiful, and not yet in my 
zenith. I have wealth, which is power! Aye! yes! 
and one or the other of us shall rue the events of this 
night!" 

She hears a soft step in the entry, and, as the door 
opens, springs forward, exclaiming, 

" My dear Grovernor ! I have been waiting so long to 
see you — until I am half dead ! " She throws herself into 
the arms of Mr. Josiah Gaines. Not meeting the ardent 
embrace which she expected, she raised her eyes and 
would have shrieked, but, in a dry, quiet tone, he says : 

"Better not — better not make a noise; take things 
easy now, else you might bring your father back. I have 
come as ever, with the intent to do you good." 

" But you must not stay, sir ! Oh, you must begone 
this moment. Gro quickly! I shall be undone if he — 

he — finds . In short, I am waiting to meet a person 

here, by special aiDpointment." 

" I know," said Gaines, "but he will not come." 

"How do you know-?" cried the distracted girl, "you 
do not even know of whom I speak." 

" Think not? An hour ago, Governor returned 

from the fire to his own house ; where he is now, doubt- 
less sleeping off the fumes of two gallons of wine." 

" Oh, then, you ^o know my secret, and I am humbled 
before my father's clerk." 

" Need not be ; I have learned nothing new to-night." 
Then he took a seat by her on the sofa, where she had 
gone into hysterics. He manifested no alarm at her 



THE NIGHT W A 1 I : . 319 

situation, although there really was cause ; but waited in 
silence until she grew calm. Then taking her hand he said, 
"Gertrude." He had never ventured on this familiarity 
before; and the lady started, and essayed to look haughty. 

" Never mind, do not become excited. This is no time 
for idle forms and set speeches. Gertrude, I wish to 
speak very seriously to you. Will you listen ?" 

" Go on, sir," said the beauty, proudly. 

'" I have come to make you acquainted with certain 
facts. Then I await jouv decision." 

" Go on, sir." 

" Well : In the first place. Col. Murray has not perished 
in the flames, as is believed." 

" That is nothing new to me, sir. I never believed the 
rumor, after the first stunning announcement. But go 
on, I say." 

" Then Governor — ■ never meant to fulfill his 

engagements here with an}' honorable designs. His pur- 
poses are all nefai'ious. his only desire being the gratifica- 
tion of lust. He would never have married you. Gertrude, 
even if this last bubble had not burst, and left you here, 
as you must feel you are, a mark for the shafts of 
calumny, the jeers of ridicule; in short, a thing for the 
'finger of scorn to point at.' " 

" Stop, sir, I will hear no more." 

" You must hear me out ; and I do not wish to be inter- 
rupted." He takes out a note and reads very slowly and 
emphatically : — 

" Dear Joe — I am ordered by my sister Clara to invito 
you to meet a gay party at the old homestead, on the 6th 
of next month. She has at last got her own consent to 
marry the merry little Governor, who has (like Jacob of 
old) served seven years for her. We will take no denial. 
Yours, truly, T. W. Lane." 



320 THE NIGHT W A T C H . 

" Colonel Murray, without intending it, has, to-night, 
placed you in the most painful situation." 

" Did you come here, sir, to probe my heart, or to gloat 
over my degradation? to deliver a lecture, or preach a 
sermon? " 

" For none of these purposes. I came to give j^ou an 
opportunity to save yourself from further insults and 
mortifications, by giving me a right to protect you. Or 
if not so, then to aid you in your own plans in getting 
out of the dilemma." 

"But how? In what way can you protect me from those 
assaults? " 

" Only as your husband, madam." 

" You my husband?" almost shrieked the lady. 

"Aye ! Your husband ! Better that, than the thing I've 
been ; " and he fixed those steel-like eyes on her ; while 
hers, as ever, sunk beneath the keen cold glance. Again 
she went into hysterics. Her companion took no notice 
of this ; but after calmly waiting for a few moments, took 
out his watch and said very dr3d3^ " Madam, I wait your 
decision."" 

She looked up and said, " Josiah, have you told me the 
whole truth?'' 

" Far from it, I assure you. I have told 3'ou the truth, 
and nothing but the truth, but G-od forbid I should tell 
you the whole truth." 

"Oh ! what must I do? What is best? Do advise me, 
my last and only true friend." She took his hand and 
pressed it to her lips. All this he endured very compo- 
sedly^, without the least excitement. " Tell me what you 
propose." 

Then he explained his wishes and plans, which ended 
in the lady throwing herself into his arms, and crying, 
" Well, take me and do with me as you think best." 

" Now go to your room," said Gaines, " and get ready, 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 321 

for in one hour more it will be broad day. 1 will await 
you here." 

When Gertrude went to her room, she saw with aston- 
ishment Ann sitting with her traveling dress and bonnet 
on. A large trunk was out in the floor, all jDacked, with 
dressing-case, band-boxes, etc. Gertrude's traveling at- 
tire was also lying on the bed. "Without saying a word, 
Ann commenced disrobing her mistress, talking as she 
worked. " No time to chat now, Miss Gutty. "We must 
be off, else we can't get oft'. Come, let me fix your hair 
up plainer like. We must hurry now." 

A low tap at the door. 

" Come." 

Mr. Gaines entered. " Come, my dear," said he. The 
lady started, but in an instant recovered herself, and tried 
to smile her thanks. Poor soul ! she felt like the drowning 
wretch, who seizes the plank thrown into the whirljjool. 

'Now they are ready, and Mr. Gaines j)laces before her 
writing materials. 

" Write to your father, Miss Lindsay," said he. 

" Oh mercy ! For God's sake do not ask me to do that. 
I can not ; I am afraid." 

" Gertrude, it is due to yourself, your friends, and my- 
self. Besides, it would be an unpardonable disrespect to 
your father." 

" How can I ? How can I address my father ? How 
can I tell him that I have — have — Oh ! how can I write 
to my father, who is so passionate? " 

" You will not be here to witness it. Write ; we lose 
time." 

" What must I say, Josiah ? " taking the pen and look- 
ing pleadingly into his face. She repeats the question, 
" Oh tell me, dear Josiah, what I shall say." 

The young man turns away, and smiles with a peculiar 
expression — walks across the room, then says, "I would 



322 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

not presume so much. Your own heart must be your Men- 
tor in bidding your own father farewell." 

" O God ! I have no heart — ('I fear not,' struck in 
Mr. G-aines) — to do this or anything else." 

" Write, madam ! Address two lines to your father, 
accounting for your disajDpearance. In less than five min- 
utes I shall leave. If you have done it then, and are ready 
to accompany me, I shall doubtless he honored. Write." 

" My dear Father " " Oh ! I can not ! I feel incom- 
petent to this difficult task." 

Mr. Gaines has taken his seat very composedly across 
the room on a divan, with his watch in his hand. 

Ann comes to the door, and says, " It most day, bress 
God ! If you don't start soon, you gwine to hab de sun 
to light you on your road to ruin." Gaines smiles sar- 
castically, and again admonishes Miss Lindsay of the 
flight of time. 

Then with the look and manner of desperate reckless- 
ness, she dashes off the following note : 

" Dear Father — I have placed myself under the pro- 
tection of the only man who never did deceive me. 1 
shall write from the first post. 

Your poor Daughter." 

She handed it to him timidly, saying, " I could think 
of nothing else to write. Pardon me if I have not said 
enough to please you." 

" It is sufficient. Now shall I have the pleasure of 
handing you to your carriage ? " offering his arm. 

When they reached the street it was still dark, and after 
walking a few squares, they came to a vehicle. Gertrude 
was handed into it; Gaines sprang in after her, the maid 
following. He had placed himself by her side and folded his 
arms, and after giving the signal, spoke not another word. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 323 

They drove off at a furious pace. A few market cart-men 

and the post-boy riding drowsily along, were all who saw 
that flying vehicle. 

When the sun rose, they were many miles on their way. 
The blinds were securely buttoned down ; the inmates 
heeded not the hour. And now that proud, arrogant, 
spoiled belle of a large aristocratic city, slept quietly on 
the humble bosom of the second clerk of a commercial 
house — her father's book-keeper — a man younger than 
herself. But she, with all her accessories, and her high, 
haughty 8j)irit, will find her match in that pale, quiet 
young man. 

She rests in peace now in his arms, where we will leave 
her for the present to dream ; aye ! to dream. 



324 THE NIGHT WATCH. 



CHAPTER XXXI. 

THE ELOPEMENT DISCOVERED. 

"Alas! what stay is there in human state, 
Or who can shun inevitable fate ? 
The doom was written, the decree was past, 
Ere the foundations of the world were cast ! " 

At eleven o'clock, Maj. Lindsay sat at breakfast rumin- 
ating over the events of the past evening. He adjusts his 
spectacles midway between his eyes and the point of his 
nose. Then takes them off, and wipes them ; puts them 
on again a little nearer. Anon he wipes them again. 

At length he exclaims, " D it all ! if I don't believe- 

I'm growing old ; hardly though — my lady Murray reads 
without the cursed things. But whether the book is up 
side or down it is all the same to her. Ha ! ha ! ha ! " Sij)s 
his chocolate, and reads the last journal — having placed 
the glasses again on the point. 

" ' The public ' — ahem ! ' The public notice is invited 

to' the devil ! Will they never get up anything new? 

'Wanted, a young woman to' — go to h with such 

stuff! Humph! What is this? 'Fire — everything 

lost — nothing saved but' 'unprecedented heroism!' 

Ahem! 'plunged into the flames' Yes, poor fel- 
low ! You did indeed plunge right into damnation ! 

I believe I'm turning woman, or fool, which is the 
same thing." Wipes his eyes — " God only knows, when 
these old eyes were ever moistened with grief before. 

Poor child ! no wonder she shuts herself up Such a 

loss ! Such a loss I Oh me I Oh me ! " Eises and rings 
the bell. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 325 

Tom comes in, who is only an assistant groom. " Where 
is Eobert?" asked Maj. Lindsay. 

" I dunno, mas'r, I can't not find him." 

" Where is Ann, then ? " 

" She aint not come down yet. I reckon she sleep too, 
like Miss Gutty." 

" Has she been called? " 

" Yes, sir ; but every one of the doors of Miss Gutty's 
rooms is locked." 

" Go bid Mrs. Bluster come to me immediately." The 
house-keeper soon presented herself — full of importance. 

" Mrs. Bluster, I am sorry to see you so backward in 
having things placed to the right about. It is now twelve 
o'clock, and the whole house looks like a pandemonium." 

" Yes, sir, I know such is the true state o' the case ; but 
I have been waiting orders from the head o' the quar- 
ters." 

"What has Miss Lindsay to do with house-cleaning?" 

" iSTothing, sir, with house-cleaning, but a great deal 
with house clearing. Many of the things, here, is horrid. 
Way out from the very outsquirts of the city. ISTobody 
knows nothing of the places, but the young lady, Ann, and 
Eobert. All three of them can't be found. Cook says 
she 'sposes thej^'s asleep, after their rebel last night ; but 
I reckon they's drunk, or gone off, somewhere or nother, 
I do " 

" Silence ! ISTow, Mrs. Bluster, I want you to do credit 
to your profession, and to your name. Ere night every- 
thing must be in statu quo. Call in help, if you need it, 
five, ten, twenty hands ; but let me on my return see a 
comfortable house, and a real snug tea-table, with some- 
thing racy and nice. Miss Lindsay, you see, has taken 
nothing to-day. She must be compensated for walking 
down stairs, you know." He takes his hat and cane, and 
goes out. 

" Miss Lindsay taken nothing to-day ! Little he knows 



326 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

about it. Poor old man ! I guess she 's took fits 'fore now. 
I wonder how he'll stand it. Heigh-ho ! Well, it is won- 
derful how some folks do wom themselves round our 
affections, and quirl their hearts about ourselves. Ah ! it 
takes dear Mr. Josiah Gaines to do sich things as above 
mentioned." She places her arms a-kimbo and marches 
out of the roona, with a Yerj knoiving and consequential 
air ; sighing, as she goes, " Ah ! yes, it does that." 

When Major Lindsay left home, he went straight to the 
house of Mrs. Murray. Gertrude's words flashed across 
his mind, and he felt troubled. She had said, '' Before 
one w^eek is over, he will be here." " It is strange," said 
he, " but perhaps she knows more than any of us ; I will 
call." He reached there, and rang the bell, but no one 
came: he rang again. Then he opened the door and 
entered. All was still and lonel}^ He walks through the 
deserted and dismal-looking rooms below, then made his 
way upstairs. 

Tivvy comes from her Mistress's room, wringing her 
hands and weeping. 

" What's all this ? Is the devil to pay here, too ? " 

" Oh yes ! I believe so, sir." 

" What do you mean, girl?" 

" I don't know, sir. But I believe the gemman you 
jest mentioned is to pay, and he gwine to take poor old 
Mistis for the debt." 

" Explain yourself, Tivvy, else I'll give you this cane. 
I will." 

" Oh, sir, I don't mean nothing, only I fear the devil is 
to pay, and poor Marster Charles not here to witness the 
transaction." Seeing him look wildly at her, she added 
petulantly : " Lor ! Major Lindsay, is you so subtuse as 
all that ? I mean my poor old Mistis is about to move 
her washing to a warmer climate. He ! he ! he ! Hugh ! 
hugh ! hugh ! " And the negro laughed and cried at the 
same time. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 327 

" Good morning, Doctor Brown. How is the old 1 

mean how is Mrs. Murray? " 

" Bad ! bad ! sir. Bad state of things, sir. I hardly 
think she will survive this shock. The loss of her son 
seems more than she can live under," said Dr. Brown, 
with feeling. 

" Pshaw ! she never cared for any body in her life, but 
herself" 

" Well ! I don't know about that ; but this stroke is 
overwhelming. It has unsettled her reason. Hark ! 
Listen to those maniac shrieks. I am going after my 
wife. She begs to see her before she dies." 

" Does she think her case so desperate, then ? " 

" I believe so. She raves incessantly for her son. Does 
not seem willing to give credence to that rumor of his 
death. Good day, sir ; I am in haste." 

Major Lindsa}^ felt strangely '3pressed. All things 
seemed to have lost their roseate hue. He plodded on 
his way down street ; his eyes fixed on the ground. Pre- 
sently he quickens his pace and looks up. " "Well ! d 

it ! I can't help it ! Why should I go bowed down in this 
way ? I'm sure I did all in my power, while he lived, to 
please and honor him. No use in grieving myself to 
death, because he is dead. I'll call for the little Gov- 
ernor, and take him home with me, and we'll make a 
jollification over it, just to keep off the azure demons, as 
Gertrude says." So he knocked up his friend. 

When they reached home, they found all the house in 
order, and a comfortable-looking tea-table set out in the 
back parlor. 

"Ah! this is glorious. Major ; this looks like a man had 
something to come home to." 

" Oh yes ! If Gertrude is good for any thing, it is this. 
She makes a fellow's home very attractive in the even- 
ing. Here Robert ! Ann ! Jack ! Tom ! Dolly ! Cook ! 



328 THENIGHT WATCH. 

Bluster ! anybody ! where are your varlets ? the devil 
take the negroes ! They are more trouble than they are 
worth. Here, hand these cards to Miss Lindsay, and tell 
her we are waiting for her, as well as the tea, in the back 
parlor." 

The servant soon returned with word that all the doors 
to Miss Lindsay's suit of rooms were fast, and that they 
had knocked loud enough to wake up the dead, all for 
nothing. Mrs. Bluster was sent up to have the door forced. 
The house-keeper came down, whimpering and Avhining ; 
she pulled her nose and stuck her fingers into the cornex'S 
of her eyes, to help her on to the melting mood, Avhile she 
thus delivered herself : "All things remains edzactly as 
they was, but the sweet bird has flew aw^ay. The cage is 
filled no more forever. But here is writ out the passage 
of that same bird. Oh ! oh ! oh ! " She hands Gertrude's 
note to Lindsay, who this time reads without glasses. 

"Dear Father — I have j)laced myself under the pro- 
tection of" 

"Hell and damnation ! " cried the Major, sjjringing to 
his feet with the alacrity of youth, "who is there on 
the face of the earth who never did deceive ? There, 

read the d d thing. Governor, and tell me which of 

the parasitical puppies has played me this scurvy trick. 
But I don't care who it is, they will have their hands full, 
and ere long they'll find out the wormwood and the gall, 
instead of the honey and the honey-comb. Who is it. 
Governor? Who is the scapegrace ? " 

" Why, my dear sir, don't you know your own confi- 
dential friend and private secretary, and second clerk of 
the house of Lindsay & Co.? " 

The father cast- his eyes down, and mused for a moment, 
then looking up cheerfully, said, " Well, I'm glad it is no 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 329 

worse. After all, I reckon Gaines will do better for her 
than anj^body else ; but, gad ! they have taken me greatly 
by surprise." 

" How so ? Did you not see that the fellow held an influ- 
ence over her superior to all others, not excepting your- 
self and our poor, lamented Murray ? " 

" Ah ! well, what's done is done. Here, ho ! Eobert ! 
John ! Joe ! varlets ! where are ye all ? Here, bring wine ; 
we'll drink to the continuance of it, and to their very 
harmonious lives," laughing sarcastically, " as well as to 
their raj)id onward route." 

'' Not so ; we'll drink to their speedy return to their 
friends, and their own splendid mansion. Now, my dear 
Major, you must write this very night, inviting them 
back." 

" Well, wait a bit ; wait, Goveimor. Let us have time to 
ponder." 

"No, sir, not an instant. If you do not write now," 
flourishing his hand with mock heroic air (the Governor 
already felt the encroachments of the subtle fluid), " the 
last link shall be broken which binds me to thee ! " He 
strikes the waiter containing the decanters and glasses, 
which are dashed to the ground and shivered, the costly 
wines deluging the rich Brussels carpet. 

" Many , a true word is spoken in jest," said the Major, 
pointing to the wine. 

" Ah ! there's no joke in that. It is a sad truth, besides 
a most unholy use of a good thing," affecting to look 
grieved. " But we can call up more wine ; we can again 
invoke that spirit. But who will restore our Pleiad lost ? 
or fill her place at the festive board? Come, write, 
bereaved old man, and make us your debtor for exquisite 
and untold joys." 

So he writes and invites his daughter back, and tenders 
his forgiveness for that to which in his secret soul he did 
not object ; urges them to return immediately, and sends 



330 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

his best respects to his son-in-law ; then seals and ad- 
dresses the letter to the care of Mr. Josiah Gaines, Esq. 
The Governor looks on, and smiles meaningly, as he says, 
" Already do honors begin to cluster around the head 
of the neophyte great man. In twelve hours he is distin- 
guished among men as accepted lover, husband, and 
esquire. 

Huzza! huzza! 
Long live the happy pair ! 
None but the brave deserve the fair." 

" Hurrah ! hurrah ! " cries the Major, tossing off another 
glass 

The reader may be at a loss to know why the Governor 
was so much interested about the return of Gertrude, after 

his glaring defalcations. My friend. Governor , was 

a roue in the most polite sense of the term, equaled only 
in that sort of profligacy by our quondam acquaintance, 
Mr. Calderwood. This gentleman is announced at this 
moment. Soon after, they all three enter on the most 
entire, absorbing, sense- destrojang, soul-killing saturnalia. 



THE NIGHT WATGH. 3M 



CHAPTER XXXII. 

THE CHAMBER OF DEATH. 

" Of all 
The fools who flocked to see or swell the show, 
Who cared about the poor corpse ? The funeral 
Made the attraction, and the black the woe." 

When Doctor Brown reached home, he found Minny 
with the heart-broken little Clarence in her arms, trying 
to soothe ^lim. The poor child continued to send forth 
heart-piercing lamentations. 

" Oh ! my mother ! my kind, sweet mother ! Where is 
she? Where is my beautiful mother?" 

Mr. Grooch is sitting by, holding one little hand, while 
the other arm is thrown around Minny's neck. The kind 
manager says, " My son, if you would exert yourself, you 
might be able to succeed. Besides, I think it will beguile 
you from your griefs." The child answers, 

" 1^0, sir, I can't ever an}^ more. The life and soul of 
action is gone from me. I should disgrace my former 
self. I can't go there now, to be a mere machine, to move 
only as I am prompted." 

" But, Clarens, the forfeiture of my pledged word to 
the public will ruin my present, and your future pros- 
pects. Come, boy; come, my son, think of that." 

"Alas ! sir, I have no future. All is swallowed up in 
this present anguish. No, no ! Mr. GrOOch, I would do 
more for you than any other friend save this one," nest- 
ling still closer, and hiding his face in Minny's bosom, 
" but my occupation is done." 



332 THE NIGHT AVATCH. 

" Poor boy ! But what then will you do ? Lie there 
and sob your life away? You can't, though; you would 
not ; for in that you usurp the place of the little fledg- 
ling in the cradle." 

" I don't know, sir, but I hope God will let me die. 
Then I shall go to my mother." This child, young as he 
is, was so deeply imbued with the spirit of poesy that he 
involuntarily employs the language to express his own 
grief. 

"Aweel! IN'ow it's nae use spaking' to the chiel that 
gate ! Gang awa', man. Dinna ye ken that the very soul 
is gane out o' the bairn for action, as he says himsel' ? 
Canna ye see it? There's nae heart in him to do ony- 
thing, for sairness. Puir stricken deer, you shall rest 
here !" said she, pressing him fondly to her breast, "even 
though the wee bit Myra shall have to gang awa' to a 
foster mither." 

Mr. Gooch looks distressed and slightly disconcerted. 
He stoojDS down and kisses the child ; then going up to 
old Mrs. Wise, offers his hand, which she refuses, and 
turns from him. He then shakes hands with Minny, and 
leaving a paper within hers, says, " For the use of the 
bereaved ones." When he had closed the door after him, 
Minny opens the little roll and finds it to be a fifty dollar 
bank note. The good little creature weeps, and cries out, 
with much feeling, 

" Thank God ! It wasna then the luve o' filthy lucre 
that made him worry the puir bairn sae. See, dear Gabe, 
what the man meant by them whispered words." 

" Ah yes ! Gooch is a noble fellow: there is no doubt of 
that. And Minny, when you remember that to the vota- 
ries of the stage there is no separate existence from it, no 
individuality, no domestic life, you can not blame Gooch. 
Its members are pledged, and devoted to self-abnegation. 
Many a poor crushed woman is compelled to smile, and 
bow, and sing — aye! and merrily too, and adorn the 



THE NIGHT AVATCH. 333 

festive board, and play off the gorgeous queen, or dashing 
high bred wife to some lord or duke, when her heart j^er- 
haps, has been that day buried witli the loving hxisband of 
her youthful choice. Her poor bereaved heart swells in that 
lonel}^ bosom,. and throbs wildly ; then burns, yea burns 
to go and lay itself down b}^ his side. The big tears are 
forced back on that poor, parched up thing to revive it. 
and produce a little life by Avhich she shall be enabled to 
go through with the roll assigned her by her taskmaster, 
the manager. Still she smiles and laughs, and carols, and 
maybe dances. The audience does not know ; these ladies 
and gentlemen only view the surface, and by its smooth 
brightness are deceived. If it be tragedy, some more 
reflective and sjnnpathetic person will say, ' How feel- 
ingly she plays her part ! How naturally she weeps ! How 
chastened is her manner in the character of the wife.' 
Some one rejoins, 'Why, I had thought her heart was not 
in the play, that she seemed pre-occuiDied. See, now, how 
her features fall, and how" the smile fades from her fVice, 
while her opposite speaks; and see that start as if aroused 
from sleep.' Then comes the whispered communication, 
that that splendid personification of folly has that, same 
morning lowered into the earth her first and last friend, 
the faithful husband of her trusting bosom. Some few 
commend, 'such admirable magnanimity, thus sacrificing 
private feelings to the interest of her employer.' A few 
cry out, 'Oh how heartless ! How can she ajjpear hero in 
all those fantastic gauds, to play the fool for the gratifi- 
cation of that extortioner, the public? I know I can 
never endure her again in my sight ! ' 

" But wife, dear wife ! ISTone but God looks into that 
heart ; none but He takes cognizance of its throbbings 
and its promptings. That night, when she is released 
from service, even in those royal robes she takes her way 
to that lowly sod, that new made grave. The little stars 
look down on that mourner. The lonely tree-frog, the 



334 THE NIG H T W A T C H . 

hooting owl, and the melancholy howlings of some poor 
watch -clog (like herself chained), mingle their dismal 
notes with the wails of that heart-broken wife. But, my 
dear wife, there is an eye and an ear open at all times, and 
they M^atch over that lone one." 

" Oh ! my ain dear husband ! say no mair ; for the luve 
o' God, say na mair! I dinna ken much about sic things, 
but the little I ha' read and heard, gaes to testify to 
the truth o' the picture!" cried Minny, now weeping 
as if her own little loving heart was going to break, or 
else exhale itself in sighs and tears. 

" Gabe I dear Gabe ! for heaven's sake tell me where ye 
learned all that? I feel like I would be willing to turn to 
a tree-frog, or an owl, or some puir dog, that I, too, might 
accord my sympathy to the puir, dear, tragedy queen." 

Dr. Brown could not refrain from laughing, sad as he 
felt. He stooped down and kissed his Avife tenderly. 
" Heaven bless you, my dear wife ! I love you so much, 
and I am so grateful to God for such a gift, that I firmly 
believe, after a while, it will make me good and religious 
like yourself But I had forgot my mission. Give the 
bairn to the grandam, wife. You must come with me. 
One of whom you would never have thought, is calling 
frantically^ for you — says she can't die in peace until she 
has talked with you." 

The little Clarence had fallen asleep. Minny places 
him gently on the sofa, and spreads a light shawl over 
him. Then she puts on her bonnet, and taking the arm 
of her husband, departs without asking a question. She 
is satisfied to know that some one of God's family is in 
distress; and glad and thankful is she, that he makes her 
his instrument in ministering to them. 

On arriving at Mrs. Murray's, they find her more com- 
posed, and she has now, apparently, an interval of rea- 
son — a lucid ray. She beckons Mrs. Brown to her, and, 
taking her hand, says, very feebly : 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 335 

" Sit down. I must hasten to tell you what I have to 
say, without loss of time or waste of words. Now, swear 
to me that you will faithfully execute my dying injunc- 
tions. Come, swear ! " 

" I canna do it. I must na swear, madam. But 1 
will give ye m}^ word o' honor, which is better, because 
not sinful." 

" O Lord ! I can't get anything done the way I want 
it," cried she. 

" Dear woman, ga on. It maunna be lang that ye shall 
ha' to speak. I promise, and God above hears me." 

Mrs. Murray looks about her anxiously. Minny goes 
to the doctor, and whispers something to him. He 
approaches the bed, raises the patient, and says, 

" Drink this, it will give you strength to do and say 
what you wish." He feels her pulse, then adds : " I leave 
you in the hands of my wife, who can do you more good 
than I can." 

"ISTow, m}^ dear little woman, take that portfolio, and 
sit down by me. I must w^rite to my son." Seeing that 
Minny looked greatly surprised, she rejoins, with energy, 

"You think him dead, but I know better — I know 
better." 

" Why, have ye ony tidings o' Col. Murray, madam ? " 

" Do not interrupt me or ask me questions, it throws 
me out. No, I have had no information ; but something 
assures me that that poor, wronged, and deceived one — 
that good son and honest man — must be recompensed, 
even in this world, for his mighty sufferings. A crim- 
inal ambition for high things and places ; a wicked 
thirst for vengeance — for trivial offences ; and oh ! a 
fatal attachment, which brought me nothing but sorrow, 
and a no less fatal promise, made to an unworthy object, 
led me to barter my own soul to the evil one (who only 
could have prompted such fearful devices), whereby I 
destroyed the happiness, therefore the usefulness of my 



336 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

son — one of the most gloriously promising youths that 
ever lived." She became so fiercely agitated just at this 
juncture, that Minny was compelled to administer another 
sedative mixture. 

" And now," said the suffering woman, " write as I shall 
dictate, and remember that the paper is not to be given 
till after my demise. N"o, not if it could snatch me from 
the jaws of death, must you let it jDass from your hands 
before I have been dead and buried three days. Disobey 
me under pains of being haunted all your after life by a 
phantom. As sure as there is a devil in hell, and he gives 
me the power, I'll come back and stand at the foot of your 
bed as I look now, ghastly and grim. Yes, when darkness 
covers the earth — when the elements wage war with each 
other, and even your brave soul becomes faint with con- 
sternation, /will then be there, and you shall see it and 
know it." 

" Oh ! for Christ's sweet sake, think o' better things. 
Woman, your soul will pass away, and ye ha' given it no 
'tendance, provided no passport to that far off country, 
and awfu' journey. Here on my knees I promise ; but be 
brief Then let us provide something for'the puir sinfu' 
soul." 

" Too late ! No time now ! Let me make what restitu- 
tion I can to those two poor, wronged children. Now 
write as I shall dictate." 

So Mrs. Brown sat there patiently waiting on the dying 
woman, as she slowly and painfully indited that letter. 
When it was finished, she closed her eyes and lay so still 
that Minny became alarined. She held her ear down to 
see if she breathed ; which she did, but so softl}^ that one 
would think that nothin'g save- infancy and innocence 
could know sucTi downy sleep. 

Minny folded up the paper, intending when the patient 
awoke to get her signature if possible. The sick w^oman 
continued to slumber for some time quietly. Presently 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 337 

she became restless — breathed with difficulty — then deep 
and labored sighs are heaved up, and convulsions ensue. 

Minny becomes alarmed. During the time that the in- 
valid had .slept, the dear little " dot " of a woman had 
arranged everything in the room for the night vigil. It 
is now dark, but that splendid lamp is made to emit a soft 
and mellow light. Those alarming symptoms increase, 
and Mrs. Brown feels sure that immediate dissolution is 
at hand. She therefore scratches the following note to 
hei' husband : 

" Dear Gabe : I canna just say, but I think her time is 
about come. I dinna wish to stay alone. Go fetch Lucy 
May and Jenny to stay wi' the auld folks at hame, and 
you come quickly. It is awfu' dismal here. Solitude at 
sic a time is nae sa winsome. Make haste, Gabe, dear. 

" MiNNT." 

In a short time he is there, and his looks show that he 
thinks her words are prophetic. 

" Gabe," said Minny, " will she ever wake up ? " 

" I think not, dear wife ; not until the last trump shall 
"wake her." 

" Oh ! my husband, it is too dreadful, too awful to rush 
into the presence of a pure and holy God, wi' all her life- 
time sins upon her soul ! " And she weeps vehemently. 

" Come, wife, come ! no use in that. She does not go 
uncalled. It is the regular summons, dear ; and God can 
do no wrong, you know. ' He can cause the wrath of 
man to praise him.^ " An-d so they sat there by the bed 
of sickness, as once before, hand in hand; loving each 
other even naore tenderly than then. 

The hour is late, and very solemn ; the stillness is appal- 
ling. The labored breathing of the patient is only varied 
by the beating of their own hearts. The clock strikes 
twelve. The doctor scrutinizes the features of the patient ; 
29 



338 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

places his finger on her pulse. Then they sit down again 
together in silence. 

The watchers are startled by the violent ringing of the 
street door bell. Soon after the door burst open, and Col. 
Murray stalks in. He is ghastly pale, and his beautiful 
locks are scorched, and his whiskers on one side are 
burned nearly to the face. His eyes are inflamed, his face 
blistered in many places, and covered with patches, and 
his hands are bound uj). ]\Iinny, uttering an exclamation 
of joy, ran to him, and actually threw her arms around 
his neck. While the Doctor exclaimed, 

■' God bless my soul ! God bless my life ! Where have you 
been ? Have you just come from the infernal regions, sir ?" 
" Ah ! I don't know; it is a strange place.' Then his 
eyes falling on the corpse-like appearance of his mother, 
he drojjs on his knees, and taking her hand, wept over it 
in silence. 

She roused up, looked wildly around, and then her 
gaze settled on the kneeling figure of her son. A ghastly 
smile o'ersj)read her face, and now commenced the most 
painful struggles to speak. It was soon discovered that 
she was unable to do so ; the power of utterance was 
gone ; yet it did not seem to be the paralysis of death. 
She beckoned Minny to her, and made such violent efi'orts 
as almost threw her into spasms. 

" Oh ! my Father in heaven ! what shall I do ? The 
puir old body is struck dumb, and there is something on 
her mind which she wants to say to her son." 

Murray remained kneeling, with his face pressed on 
her hand. 

"What do you want, puir woman? water?" 
She shook her head ; the good creature continued to 
enumerate a great many things. At last, seeing her look 
very earnestly at a book shelf she repeated, " book.'' In 
a moment the sick woman's face brightened up, and she 
nodded assent. Then Muiny got a dictionary, and o])encd 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 339 

it at the alphabet, and she spelled by pointing to each 
letter, " Tell my son to come." And as he stood by her, 
she went on, " Have you found her ? " 

He answered, " Oh ! no ! My mother, will you leave 
me with this secret, which has bowed me down for years, 
still unrevealed ? " 

The dying woman nodded to Minny, who then took 
Conrad's place, and holding the book, put her finger on 
the alphabet and said, " When I come to the right letter, 
nod your head. So she moved her finger down the list, 
until the patient, becoming impatient and nervous, seized 
the book, and, with great etfoi-t, spelled, " Seek her in the 
den of the Jews." 

" Oh ! " cried he, " she is not there ; I know she is not." 

She looked despairingly at him, and then slowly and 
feebly made out, " Mordecai Faggot, the Jew Peddler." 

Murray sprang to his feet, and j^utting on his hat, was 
about to leave the room, when Minny, seeing the expres- 
sion of anguish on the countenance of the fast sinking 
woman, laid her hand on his arm, and said, as she pointed 
to the patient, " Not yet, my friend. Ye canna leave her 
now. Sit down by your own puir mither." 

He takes the seat, and the poor creature rewards him 
by a look of intense gratitude. Minny leaves the room, 
and calls her husband after her. Comes back, and takes 
her seat again by the bedside. In ten minutes. Dr. Brown 
returns with Dr. Mercer, the rector of St. Paul's church. 
The lady opened her eyes on hearing his name, and 
looked steadfastly at him, but very mournfully. Bixt 
w^hen he would have questioned her on the state of her 
feelings in view of that great change which was about to 
take place, she gave no sign of understanding. He could 
make out no indication of feeling whatever, only when he 
at last said, " There's yet time ! turn your dying eyes to 
Christ! look upon the cross! while the lamp of life burns, 
however feebly, there is yet hope ; she shook her head. 



340 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

" My poor friend, rej)entance may be a short work. 
Think of the thief on the cross ! Have faith." 

She, by an impatient gesture, intimated that she wished 
him to cease. Then he boAved himself in prayer, while 
that little band of mourners knelt around the death bed. 
When they arose, they found she had fallen into a deep 
sleep, from which she never roused up. 

About daylight, the pulse stopped, and that restless, 
jjerturbed heart, which, for forty years, had been a busy 
scheme shop, also ceased to beat. The breath had 
departed, and the mysterious principle, or spark, had 
gone back to its source. 

All is over, the son kisses the cold, rigid, features, and 
leaves. Mrs. Brown proposes to send for one or two 
neighbors ; but Tivvy informs her that she had been 
made to swear on the holy Bible, that there should be no 
curious, prying eyes in that chamber of death. So they 
perform the last sad offices themselves alone. Every 

thing was left to Dr. Brown and Minny. Governor 

came to offer his condolence and services. Major Lind- 
say kept aloof. Poor Murray did not seem to know 
what was passing, who came, or who went, or one word 
that was said to him. He continued to pace the room 
slowly, with his eyes fixed on the carpet, entirely absorbed. 

The funeral was one of unusual jjomp. A great con- 
course of people swelled that dismal train. But mourn- 
ers, there were but three — the son, that faithful maid, 
and an old beggar, with long, flowing, milk-white locks, 
little snaky eyes, and catamount teeth. He was seen to 
shudder, wring his hands, and sprinkle dust on his head. 

"When the multitude had dispersed, that proud man, 
and that humble beggar, remained. The son and the 
servant of the poor clay beneath, met each without see- 
ing the other, and sat down on either side of that mound, 
and wept. The one for sorrow and loneliness ; the other 
for foiled and disappointed avarice. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 341 



CHAPTEE XXXTII. 

THE MARRIAGE. 

" The hour of marriage ends the female reign, 
And we give all we have to buy a chain ; 
Hire men to be our lords, who were our slaves. 
And bribe our lovers to be perjured knaves." 

About the same date, the quiet citizens of the village 
of , were startled by the dashing aj)pearance and furi- 
ous driving of a splendid equipage through its lonely- 
streets. The noble dapple greys were driven by a remark- 
ably fine-looking negi'O servant. They stopped at the 
best hotel in the place. A fair, slight, delicate-looking 
young man handed a magnificent-looking lady from the 
carriage. 

They entered the house, and to the landlord's obsequi- 
ous bow, he said, " Let us have two of your best rooms 
put in order immediately, sir." When the host had left, 
he went up to the lady, and said in a calm, but respectful 
tone, " Madam, do you feel much fatigued? " 

" Oh yes, tired almost to death ; but, dear Josiah, why 
do you address me so formally. I think you should spare 
no pains to please and soothe me now, when I have just 
made such a sacrifice for you. It is as little as you could 
do to call me by pet names, Mr. Gaines. " The young man 
smiled quietly. 

" Oh yes, I know, but we must let all such things come 
naturally, and in "the course of time, by familiarity and 
association." 

The lady pouted and seemed very dissatisfied. Mr. 



342 THE NIGHT W A T C H . 

Gaines put on his hat and moved toward the door. She 
jumped at him, and cried out in a passionate voice, " You 
shall not leave me, sir. I will not sit here hy myself in 
this dreadful place." He laid down his hat, and then 
threw himself into a large old rocking chair opposite to her. 

Just at that juncture, the landlady came in, announc- 
ing, with the same sort of servility, that " the rooms were 
ready." He offered his arm, and they follow the hostess 
up stairs. There they find the two servants, Robert and 
Ann, flirting as usual. 

" Grirl," said Gaines, going close up to Ann, " I think 
you told me once your mistress had jjromised that your 
marriage should come off the same time as her own. 
l^ow get her ready and yourself; I am about to make 
that promise good. In fifteen minutes I shall be here." 

In less time, he came with the pastor of the Presbyte- 
rian church, and going up stairs, he brought the lady 
down, the servants following. When the master, and 
"like man," were married, the former presents the par- 
son with two doubloons, which was no doubt a real God- 
send to the poor fellow, as his black cloth began to look 
rather seedy. The white bridegroom conducted his bride 
back to her chamber, and the black one was ordered to 
bring up the trunks. 

The next morning, the following letters were dispatched 
on their way home : 

"Dear Father — About ten minutes ago, wo wei-e 
united. I hope, dear sir, you will approve of this step ; 
at all events, forgive it, as it was the very best thing I 
could do at the time and under the circumstances. I 
begin to think that you did not understand or appreciate 
Mr. Gaines at home. I know now that I never did ; but 
I feel, convinced that I soon shall, and perhaps, after 
awhile, learn to love him. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 343 

" We shall sail for Europe immediately on reaching 
New Orleans. I regret that I shall have to take my ser- 
vants. You know, sir, that I could never make my toi- 
lett without Ann. 

" After seeing everything in Great Britain and on 
the Continent, we will come hack to stay with you. I 
hope the establishment will be kept up as before I left 
home. 

"Send me a check for $5,000 ; we shall need tliis much 
for the outfit. The next must be drawn on the Bank of 
England, etc. Ann was married immediately after I was, 
and is now Mrs. Ann G-aines; as I subscribe myself, 
"Your respectful daughter, 

"Gertrude Gaines." 

" Dear Miss Moggy Ann — I bin intend to wa-ite you 
accordin' to promise, ever sence we all 'loped dat same 
night of Miss Guttj^'s weddin', what didn't turn out no 
weddin', as you has no doubt hearn afore now. Now I 
know, Miss Moggy, dat you and raj other two inti- 
mate friends, Mis Callerw^ood and Mis Nancy Jones, is 
a'most dead to hear how we new-married folks stands it. 
and gits along. Lor' bress your soul ! you don't know 
that Mas'r Josiah ; for we all b'longs to him now, ever 
sence 'bout ten minutes ago, when w^e was all bound up 
to him in the hoi}- bands of hymenial matrimony, by a 
keeper of a meeting house, vulgarly called the pasture of 
de Prisperterian church. Miss Gutty seemed mazin put 
out when she heard he hadn't got on the black gownd and 
white bans, and vowed she wouldn't not be married by no 
sich a barbararian. But my master, Mr. Gaines, jist set 
hisself down, and folded up his arms, and said : 

" ' Well, Miss Lindsay, it makes no great difference to 
me. Far as I myself's concerned, it all de same way. . I 
shall enjoy myself jest as well ; but I thought it was due 



344 T H E N I G H T W A T C H . 

to my benefactorer, your father, and his daughter too, to 
have dis bisines 'tended to wid no loss of any time.' 

" Den she stomp her little foot, and wring her small 
aristocraticous hands, and cry, and cry, but it all de same 
to him. Lor', Miss Moggy, you'd think dat man had been 
married all de days of his life time, he look so lonesome 
and pitisome like. I tell you all, dis man's gwine to turn 
out somethin' great. Because why? Well, he is de first 
man, woman, and child what ever did git de upper hand 
of Miss Gutty Gaines, and he's gwine to keep it too. 
He'll make her stand the right about wheel; that's the 
way to tell it. 

"But still, dear friends, I don't know whether dat and 
all her great money estate will suffice to make de poor fel- 
low happy. ' Oh, he do look so gloomy, and grand-like,' as 
Will Hatspeare says. ' He seldom and never do smile, and 
when he do it, of sich a short kind, as if he knocked 
hisself, and scorned his sperrit, that could be moved to 
smile at nothing at all.' 

" But to de pint of de subject. Presently she come off 
all dat. When he git up and put on his hat, and at de 
same time one of dem perculiar short kind of smiles, and 
bow and say, ' Good evening. Miss Lindsay.' She jump 
at him, same as any cat Avould at a rat ; and while she 
bite her lips with madness, she say, 'My grashus, Josiah, 
I'm jis a joking, I'm ready to do anything on de face of de 
yarth that you wants me to.' He never answer a word; 
but having 'splained to me before all about it, he gave 
me de sign to follow on. And after dey was bound up, 
den de man of God bound me and Eobert up, so we jis in 
dat pedieament at dis present junction. I hope we'll all 
be made able by de grace of Divine aid, to perform our 
parts well, and faithful to the end ; and above all, dat our 
performance may prove satisfaction to every one of us, is 
de prayer of your friend, Ann Gaines." 



THE NIGHT W A T C H . ?A'o 



CHAPTEE XXXIV. 

THE HAPPY HOME. 

•' His clean hearth stone, his thriftj wife's smile, 
The lisping infant prattling on his knee, 
Does a' his weary kiaugh and care beguile, 
And makes him quite forget his trouble and his toils." 

When Murray left the grave of his mother, and turned 
his stej)s' slowly toward his solitary home, he found his 
friends waiting for him there. Minny left her husband, 
and meeting him placed her hand on his arm, and looking 
lip kindly into his face, said, " Come wi' us, my friend, 
we hae the best claim to ye to-night. Ye must not go in 
there to greet and glower all b}'' your ain sel'. Come wi' 
us, and we'll try to do ye good." 

" My dear madam," said he, pressing her hand, " I 
should make but a sorry and somber comjjanion, this 
evening. I should only mar your happy home." 

"Ah ! ISTever fash ! What was friendship made for, or 
what are friends gude for, if it's only in moments o' joy, 
and hours o' gladness, that we are to be found ? Come 
wi' us ; ye shall be situated just as ye see tit ; either to 
mak' aneamang us, or to go to yourself. And then we are 
no' sae cheery there, now, as we hae been. Sic troubles 
as these must reach every heart." So he suffered himself 
to be led along. 

On entering the parlor, Murray thought he had never 
seen so complete a portraiture of domestic comfort and 
happiness. You will remember the month is May, and in 
this genial clime, now, all rude winter winds have been 
chased back to their northern homes, by the balmy breath 



346 THE NIGHT W A T C H . 

of spring. The atmosphere in that large pleasant room 
is redolent with sweets exhaled from beautifully arranged 
vases of fresh flowers. A sabbath-like serenity jDcrvades 
the place. The lights are thrown out from rose-colored 
glass globes, shedding through the room a soft, roseate 
sunset hue. Plain but neat sofas, divans, and ottomans, 
footstools, etc., are gracefully disposed about, over the 
rich Turkey carj)et. A table stands — not ostentatiously 
in the center — on which are found some of the choicest 
gems of literature. Conspicuous amid the display of 
precious things is a large family Bible, elegantly bound; 
flanked on the one side by " The "Whole Duty of Man," and 
on the other by " Woman as she should be." Then there 
were Scott, and Milton, and Shakspeare, and Burns ; in 
short, quite a medley of authors, but only the best works 
of each. 

Old Mrs. "Wise sat at the head of a sofa, on which slept 
the little Clarence. Further on, was Minny's aged grand- 
mother. The other members of the family are also thei'e. 
They are assembled, as was the custom, twice every day ; 
for it was in that room, the best she had, that Minny 
tried to honor God by setting up the family altar. 

When Murray had taken a cursory survey of the apart- 
ment, and Minn}^ detected the look of satisfaction on his 
face, she advanced to him, and taking his hand said, 
"JSTow suffer me to present ye to the auld folks. They 
like sic little attentions which help to eke out their enjoy- 
ments, and Grod knows old age has but few left." 

" Get up, my bonny bairn. Here is a friend come to see 
you," said she, taking up the little Clarence from the sofa. 

" Oh, I don't want to see anybody. Dear aunt Minny, 
let me hide away here till God takes me home to my 
mother." 

Murray had taken his seat near him, and when he pro- 
nounced those two words — " My son," — in his peculiarly 
full, rich, voice — now modulated to a mournful sweet- 



THE ^M O H T v.- A T C H . 347 

ness — the child sprang up, as if electrified, rushed into 
his arms, threw his own around his neck, and bursting 
into tears, cried out : 

" O that jou would let me he your son ! Then I 
would not wear}" heaven with prayers for death ! " There 
was not a dry eye in the room — even the hard, bleared 
eyes of eighty winters overflowed. 

" Aweel ! aweel ! That bairn surely keeps the key to 
the fountain of tears. He never speaks but he unlocks 
it," said Minny. 

ISTow a little silvery-sounding bell tinkles, and " mine 
little hostess " announces tea. When they surround the 
tea-table, which, with all its appointments, is in strict 
keeping with that pleasant parlor, and the genius of the 
place — the little mistress — Dr. Brown, in a calm, manly 
voice, i^ronounces the thanksgiving. Their usual cheer- 
ful contentedness was much chastened; and that glad, 
heart-felt happiness, which was the characteristic of that 
evening meal, was, for the time, o'ereast. Yet were they 
patient and submissive under it — waiting God's own 
time to make all bright again. 

The child seemed like one resurrected. He looked up 
into Murray's face wistfully, hung upon every word which 
fell from his lips, and hoarded them up in the treasure- 
box of his little memory, as pearls and diamonds. He 
even smiled, which he had not done since the loss of his 
mother. The beautiful boy would lay his head on the 
arm, and gaze up into the face of his new friend, with 
those deep, dark, Marianna ej'es. When Murray would 
meet that earnest, mournful look, his own would fill with 
tears. 

Oh ! it was a touching sight ! one which the inhabitants 
of heaven might behold with mingled feelings of joy and 
sympathy. That tender, trusting, but melancholy child 
by some mysterious influence, impulse, or instinct, cling- 
ing to that strong man. who is so sublimely handsome in 



348 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

sorrow ; so grandly beautiful in goodness ; so touchingly 
considerate in kindness ! 

See with what patient gentleness he tends the " ivy 
branch " by his side ; with what deference he listens to 
the silly garrulity of old Mrs. Dun ; what steadfast atten- 
tion he gives to Mrs. Wise, whenever she opens her 
mouth to utter one of her blunt, but sensible truisms; and 
above all, see with what rapt admiration he catches eyery 
syllable which falls from the lips of the good creature at 
the head of the table. And so it is, every one, even to 
little Jenny, Brown, is chamned with the great man, as 
she calls him. Still his heart was in none of these things ; 
his thoughts were with the dead and the absent ! 

" Col. Murray," said Minny, " we gae back every night 
to the parlor, to make our familj' devotions, sae that the 
auld folks may retire if they see fit. I wad na like to 
mak an innovation on ony account, but I will show ye 
to your ain room at once, unless ye wad like to kneel wi' 
us around the ' family altar.' We want ye to do just as 
ye like while ye are wi' us. Imagine, if ye can, that ye 
are in your ain house." 

The child pvilled him into the room ere he could reply, 
and presently he found himself seated between the little 
Clarence and his grandmother. Dr. Brown read a chap- 
ter in Psalms, after which a hymn — the beautiful lines 
commencing with " When through the deep waters He 
cause you to pass," etc. Then there broke on his aston- 
ished ear the full, swelling tones of an organ in a fine 
prelude. He looked up, and saw the interesting but pen- 
sive face of Lucy May bending over the instrument. To 
this succeeded that touching harmony, that choir of plain- 
tive voices sending iip pure incense to Grod. Murra}^ 
almost imagined that he could see the graceful wreaths as 
they ascended to the great white throne. " Surely," 
exclaimed he, "of such is the kingdom of heaven." 

Minny's voice was one of great sweetness — clear, full, 



THE NIGHT W A T C H . ^ 349 

and gushing, and generally glad, like a thrush on first find- 
ing himself in summer bowers after the horrors of a long 
winter. Clarence possessed wonderful vocal jDOwers, which 
was one great cause of his popularity on the stage. 

j^ow the hymn is ended, the prayer is over — they rise 
from their knees, and the adieus for the night have 
passed. When they were left alone - — -Minny, Dr. Brown, 
and Murray^ the latter said, with emotion. ''My friends, 
I thank you for this evening, which has done me good ; it 
has taught me a very important lesson. While sitting 
there listening to your heartfelt devotion, feeling all the 
time like an intei'loper who had no lot nor part in such 
holy things, the conviction was forced on me that there is 
no happiness save in the discharge of duty — no safety 
but in the friendship of Christ, no security but in the 
protection of God." 

" That's all, sir ! Seek first the kingdom, then all things 
shall be added unto you. And, dear friend, it's na sae 
hard to find either. If you reallj^ do wish to seek it, God 
will furnish a lamp to your way, and a guide to your 
feet." 

"But Mrs. Brown, the doctors, and theologic writers 
do not make it so easy." 

" Ah ! never think o' them now. I can tell you o' an eas- 
ier way to gang. Come at once to the blessed Jesus ; do not 
sufl'er j^ourself to think him so far ofi". Do not stand aloof 
and cry ' O that I could find him I ' or ' Who will ascend 
up into heaven to bring Christ down ! ' He is here now 
in this room with pitying ears, anxious to help us. So 
will he go with ye, to your ain chamber ; still waiting to 
catch the first words from the humble, penitent heart. 
' God be merciful to me a sinner ! ' This is enough, if the 
heart is right." 

Mui'ray shakes his head, and adds, " Ah ! But it is not 
so easy to get the heart right." 



350 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

"Ye canna do it yourself. Ye maun invoke the Holy 
Spirit to help ye do even 3'our ain part. If ye have 
wronged ouj one, make restitution ; ' Cease to do evil, and 
learn to do well ; ' then keep the commandments, tak' up 
the cross and follow him." 

Dr. Brown is called out, and .they are left alone. He 
then inquires of Minny about, the events that had trans- 
pired during his absence. The elopement of the woman 
who was so near being his wife, excites neither vexation 
nor surprise. But when Minny tells him that the general 
verdict is that he perished in the flames, he volunteers to 
tell the good creature the story. 

After making her acquainted with such facts as the 
reader already knows, up to his rushing into the tire, he 
begins : " When I had entered the house, I could not see 
a yard before me ; all was smoke, and flame, and falling 
cinders. I forced my way into the rooms on the right, 
but finding no one there, I essayed to do the same on the 
left. All now was one mass of flame. Well knowing 
that no creature could live in that fierce element, I sj)ed 
on to another apartment which in sheer desperation I 
would have entered, and of course perished ; but some 
one jerked me up as though I had been no heavier than 
the little Clarence there, and carried me from the place. 
ISTot a second after, the roof fell in, amid the yells and 
shrieks of the populace. My hat had been stricken off, 
and the pain I suffered from burnt eyes and skin for 
awhile, was so intense that I lost all thought of what was 
passing. In fact, I think I must have swooned. 

" When I revived, I found myself in a small, neat room, 
lying on a bed whose appointments made me think of a 
snow-bank. Murdoch sat by me, aj^plying some soothing 
applications to my wounds, and a tali, graceful girl passed 
about the room, engaged in making other preparations. 
The room was cool and fragrant. But, strange to tell, 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 351 

there was not a window in it. A mellow light issued from 
a perfumed lamp, and I heard at no great distance the 
music of the feathered songsters. I imagined myself to 
be in some grotto, and hut for the matter of fact Night 
Watch sitting there, I should have taken it for a fairy 
jilace, and that slight girl for the divinity. My face was 
covered with plasters, my hands salved over and bound 
up, my feet poulticed. I looked at Murdoch, who seemed 
to have escaped almost unscathed. 

" I remembered being borne from the burning house, 
and seeing that a small portion ©f those black locks were 
missing, and his luxuriant whiskers slightly scorched, I 
immediately ascribed my salvation to his timely aid. I 
asked him for water, and found that I could scarcely 
speak, my mouth and throat were both so much inflamed. 
The girl advanced and gave me a cooling draught, which 
was instantaneous in its soothing influence. 

" Then I closed my eyes, and perhaj)s slept ; I know 
uot, but whatever state it was, I found it entrancing. A 
delicious repose stole over my senses. I felt unequal to 
the least exertion, either mental or j)hysical. I lay there 
with my eyes slightly open, if I did not dream; and 
thought I saw the same graceful figure flitting before me, 
appearing to my excited fancy marvelously beautiful. 
She aj^plied other bandages and plastei-s to my hands, 
after having laved them in a cooling lotion. Then stole 
over my senses the most mellifluous sounds ; soft and 
faint at first, as if at a distance ; then swelling gradually, 
until they reached a louder strain. A voice that surely 
could not have been earthly, sang the following lines, 
which were so thrilling in their pathos and peculiar appli- 
cability, that I knew they were improvised. I held my 
breath lest I should interrupt the sound which I soon got 
to think was the music of the spheres. that I could 
have listened forever. 



iJ52 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

Sleep, sleep, poor, weary, broken man ! 
Nor let thy mind straj' hence again ; 
Thou hast done all, performed thy duty ; 
None could do more in cause of beauty. 

See how thy hands are scorch'd and mangled. 
Thy face so blur'd, thy locks so tangled, 
Thy very limbs are stiff and sore ; 
Then take thj"^ rest, and toss no more. 

Come, yield thee now to dreams of gladness ; 
Hope points the way, then cast off sadness — 
She whom thou lov'st may yet be thine ; 
Think, think of this. Oh, bliss divine. 

Aud then the strain died away, and with it passed all 
memory of pain, sin, and sorrow. I seemed to have been 
transported to elysian fields and fairy bowers, where 
nothing ruder than the soft sighing of the breeze through 
the myrtle and acacia groves could reach me. I felt my 
face fanned by the zephyr's wing, as nectar exhaled from 
the overhanging botighs of the fragrant jessamine. 

" I know not how long I remained in this state, but 
when I roused up the vision did not pass away. I beheld 
there by my side, the most miraculously beautiful .woman 
I had ever seen, save one," and his head dropped on his 
breast. When he raised it, a tear glistened on the lid. 
'' Her eyes were large and lustrous, and dark as night, 
yet full of light and love. They shone on me with a mild 
compassion. She was not so fair as my lost Marianna, 
being what in these climes we call a brilliant brunette. 
Her features were finelj^ molded and very expressive. 
Her mouth — O it is folly for me to attempt description. 
Just fancy, as I did, that an angel sat there fanning me 
with her wings. I lay and gazed at her, as she produced 
that gentle undulation of the balmy atmosphere with one 
of those large oriental fans, which it would take a clerk's 
salarj' to purchase'. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 353 

"Seeing me look so steadfastly at her, she leaned over 
and asked me if I wanted anything. Oh ! how soothing 
was that sweet voice to my lonely heart! I was still 
inclined to be feverish, and the only trouble of which I 
was conscious, was an unappeasable thirst. I asked her 
again for water. She gave me ice-lemonade ; then felt 
my pulse, and applied wet napkins to my head and breast. 
She placed that little soft hand on ni}^ heart, and seemed 
to count its beatings. I know not that its pulse was 
quickened under the pressure of that hand on the bare 
surface; but I know it made me think o^ her — of my own 
beautiful one. I then caught that hand between both of 
mine, and entreated her, if she had any pity in her soul, 
to tell me where I could find herf if she still lived? or 
whether she had perished in the flames ere I could reach 
her? 

" She stooped down and kissed my forehead as she said, 
' My friend, I can not tell thee much, now. She was 
saved, and lives ; I may not say where — I have it not at 
my option to do so yet ; but let this suffice. I have made 
a vow to suspend my own happiness until she is restored 
to thee. She shall be. Slight and fragile as thou mayst 
think me, know that I wield a mighty power ; and aided 
by my coadjutor in works of mercy, I am sometimes 
invincible. Aye! thou smilest, but no matter. Did I 
choose to put forth my strength and use my influence, 
assisted by that most efl'ective and poAverful of all engines, 
the immense wealth of my people, I could shake this city 
to its foundation. But,' said she (falling from that pitch 
of enthusiasm to which she seemed unguardedly to have 
risen), in a subdued voice, ' my friend, the human heart 
is a most complex thing — a most intricate machine — 
and must be coaxed, and oiled, and induced, but not made 
to do. Be patient, and I call father Jacob and all the 
Patriarchs to witness my vow, that, if life lasts me, I will 
unravel this mystery — at all events, I will restore to you 
30 



354 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

that unfortunate lady. My own haj)piness, as I have 
said — that for which I have waited since my childhood — 
is kept in abeyance until your cup is full. I have 
sworn it.' 

" In ray madness, and drunk with revived hopes, as well 
as the overwhelming admiration for the heavenly crea- 
ture by my side, I started up in bed and caught her to 
my breast — imprinting kiss after kiss on her unresisting 
lips. Then becoming exhausted with effort and excite- 
ment, I fell back- on my pillow, panting and almost faint- 
ing. When T opened my eyes, she was gone. I knew 
not how to address her, else would I have given my 
remaining strength to the winds in calling on her name. 

" My thirst now became consuming, and I roared in 
agony for drink. In tossing about I chanced to look at 
the little table. I found there iced wines and lemonades, 
as well as cold water. I drank, and then the same rich 
and mellow strain of music lulled me to rest. 

" When I awoke from that natural sleep, I was refreshed, 
and would have risen and dressed myself, but my feet 
were still poulticed, and when I sat up, I found my head 
grew dizzy. Presently a sound like a sliding panel, 
startled me ; a place opened in what had appeared to me 
to be a solid wall. Murdoch and my enchantress came in 
together. She was now dressed most sweetly, in a splen- 
didly wrought India muslin robe; her arms and neck 
were bare, and beautifully plump and round, as those of 
infancy. She wore a necklace, bracelets, and girdle, all of 
the finest diamonds. Her black hair fell in graceful 
ringlets to her waist. She was leaning on Murdoch's 
arm, and looking up into his face, in a loving, confiding 
manner. When they approached me I felt my face flush, 
and I thought I saw an answering suffusion on hers. 

" Murdoch, who is the besfman in the world, aided by 
the lady, opened my wounds, some of which he said were 
quite healed. Then applying some 4ubricating liniment 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 355 

to others, bound them, up again. On being asked how I 
felt, I answered, ' Like a new creature, and quite able to 
get up.' He replied, ' Yes, after a bit ; now take some- 
thing to eat.' A large waiter containing delicate and 
nutricious viands, but nothing prepared as I had ever seen 
it before, was placed on the table. 

" When I had eaten, I asked Murdoch of the time. He 
said, ' It is just dark.' ' Dark,' cried I, ' it must be near 
day; it seems longer than that since we came in.' 'Yes,' 
replied he, smiling drj^ly, 'it is now more than three 
daj^s.' ' Three days,' exclaimed I ; 'it is but one night ; 
one short and beautiful night.' 1 looked at the lady. She 
came to me, took my hand. ' Now, my friend, I hope thou 
art refreshed, since thou hast slept' ' Yes; but my bright, 

my beautiful, my charming one, you must tell me' 

I was startled by a dark, lowering cloud, which over- 
spread the usually ingenuous and handsome face of the 
JSTight Watch. I was appalled; and looking inquiringly 
at the girl, I stopped speaking. She smiled sadly, and 
said, 'Alas ! this is one of the evils of my life ! I am kept 
busy to suppress the "Green-eyed Monster," in more 
instances than one. But go on, sir.' 

" 'Murdoch, my good friend," said I, 'come sit down by 
me.' I placed her little hand in his. ' Now tell me who 
is this kind angel who with yourself is laying me under 
such mighty obligations ? Tell me your name, sweet 
lady?' • Thou wilt know it soon; the time has not yet 
come,' said she. ' Well, then, tell me, both of you, why 
this kindly interest for a stranger? why have you lavished 
this tender care on me ? ' ' Partly from early education, 
which taught me to feel it a duty incumbent on me to 
relieve suffering wherever I meet it, more especially of the 
stranger within our gates ; partly with the hope of 
making some restitution to thee for wrongs done by one, 
who though despised and contemned by your race, and in 
some measure justly so, is still dear to me; but above all, 



356 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

for the interest 1 feel in that good, pure, gentle, and 
beautiful lad}" ; and last, and most of all, would I save 
those grey hairs another crime.' ' Lady, you speak in 
enigmas ; will you not explain ? ' 'I can not, yet. Ask 
me no further. We are doing all we can for thee. Mur- 
doch, do thine errand.' And she vanished. 

" He then informed me of the illness of m.j mother, 
telling me he had just learned from the doctor that she 
would not live through the night. I immediately rose, 
and with his assistance dressed myself. When he saw 
that I w^as ready to leave he came up to me and said with 
some confusion, ' Col. Murray, you are in the Jews' Quarter. 
And 3'ou know they have been in this jDlace, as everywhere, 
a reviled and abused people; though not hunted like wild 
beasts, as they are in some countries, for acts which, in the 
Christian, j)asses for peccadilloes, but in the Jew become 
crime. A body of these have formed themselves into a con- 
federacy, and have built up for their present sojourn, this 
street. The better for security, they keep up this mys- 
tery" and gloomy secrecy. Ko Christian has ever left these 
walls exactly as he came. Your being here is unknown 
to all save the girl and myself. It is usual (if permitted 
to leave the j)lace at all) to go forth either blindfolded, or 
led out during the night when darkness covers the eai'th. 
It is different with you. Your simple Avord, that you will 
observe nothing ; or if you do, that you will not use it for 
the detriment of the inhabitants, is sufficient. I leave it 
to 3"0ur own honor. I will not even ask a jDromise.' 

" 'Ah! think jou,' I cried, 'I could sacrifice those who 
have saved and nursed me, to an absti'act princijjle of 
good? I hope 5'our heart does not harbor a doubt of me?' 
He added quickly, 'Say no more; I do not suspect.' 
And so we left b}' some curious, winding, stairway. 
After we reached the street, which seemed to be at least 
a mile from the top, without any other incident, I got 
home at midnight, as you know." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 357 

"Now, my friend, you must advise me as to the best 
course. My mother told me that I should seek her of 
' Old Faggot the Jew.' The girl pledged herself to 
restore her to me. Had I better wait for the fulfillment 
of that pledge, or tempt the cupidity of the old extor- 
tioner, by offering a ransom?" 

Dr. Brown approved of the last plan, but Minny 
opposed it. She thought Murdoch and the girl would 
bring all things to light, if left alone. Moreover, she 
feared Myra would be hurt, if they gave the affair any 
publicity. 

" There is, sir, a stronger reason for that incognita 
than ye wot of" Then going to a small cabinet which 
stood in the corner, she took from it a roll of papers. " If 
ye will tak' the trouble to read this, ye can then see what 
cause that puir body had for mourning and greeting sae 
much. She gave it to me the night she received your let- 
ter. Ah ! that letter came very near killing the puir 
body." But Murray, feeling quite innocent of all design 
to wound, did not inquire into the cause ; 8upj)osing 
that Minn}^ meant only, that she was greatly agitated 
by receiving his communication. 

Dr. Brown now came in, and looking at his watch, 
informed them that it was long after midnight. Said he 
must interrupt any further conversation for the present ; 
that it was all important for Murray to rest. So he laid 
his commands on him to retire at once. lie then 
attempted to take the manuscript from him, and chided 
Minny for being so thoughtless. 

But when the poor, nervous man, saw that he was to 
be left in solitude, he entreated Mrs. Brown to sit \vith 
him while he read, declaring it w^as out of the question 
to think of sleep in his frame of mind. That dear little 
embodiment of obligingness had never learned the art of 
saying no, consequently she passed into her room for a 



358 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

moment, said a few words to her husband, which were 
satisfactory, and returned to Col. Murray. 

They seated themselves by the large lamp, and he com- 
menced the journal. It had been written at diiferent 
times, with a view more to relieve her pent up feelings, 
than with any ulterior object. In many places the paper 
was blotted, and sometimes defaced, as if scalding tears 
had been sprinkled over its pages. Toward day, Minny 
was called to her own room, and Murray retired to his, 
but not to sleep. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 359 



CHAPTEE XXXV. 

THE JOURNAL. — THE FAR PAST RECALLED. 

" 'TwAS pretty, though a plague, 
To see him every hour : to sit and draw 
His arch'd brows, his hawking eye, his curls, 
On our heart's table." 

In childhood, I never knew anything- of happiness, 
other than such^s was imparted to me by the plaintive, 
tender caresses of an invalid mother. I never dreamed 
of ]oy, felt gladness, or experienced delight save by asso- 
ciation with my little cousin, Charles Conrad Murray. It 
would be a vain and idle task to endeavor to make any 
one com23rehend how I loved that boy, or cherished that 
mother. They constituted the whole Avorld of enjoyment 
to me, which was bounded by my desire to please them. 

I was an only child ; my parents had been married 
seven j'ears when I was born. This was a long season 
of anxious sadness to my mother, and of irascibility, 
combined with a corroding dissatisfaction on the part of 
my father ; for he was for some family interest feverishly 
anxious to have male issue. He became estranged from 
his wife, left home, plunged into pleasures, which led to 
dissipation ; sought other firesides, to the total neglect of 
his own ; became, as I was told by my nurse, greatly 
enamored of another lady. 

This honest creature had taken care of me from my 
birth. She almost fancied that I belonged to her. She 
loved and pitied my mother, and most cordially disliked 
my father; therefore took every opportunity to resent his 



360 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

neglect of us. She was a single-minded and upright 
woman, did what she believed to be her duty, in defiance 
of all obstacles and discouragements. She conceived the 
erroneous notion that it was her duty to keep me informed 
of all those grievances which tended to increase the 
instinctive dread and distrust I had of my father, as well 
as the tender devotion I felt for my mother. 

During my babyhood, my cousin Conrad was my con- 
stant attendant. Like me, he had no companions at 
home, no playmates, and was left much to the care of the 
servants. His father was first cousin to my mother, and 
as long as he lived, was her devoted friend. He died soon 
after my parents were married, and before the birth of 
his son. His wife had been a dashing belle aod great 
beauty. She was besides, shrewd, diplomatic, and artful ; 
full of all sort of finesse. She was never known to yield 
to feeling but once throughout her whole life. With her, 
affection, virtue, and all domestic duties were made sub- 
ordinate to worldly ambition and a feeling of revenge. 
Into these two evil passions were submerged all gentler 
emotions, and every imjDulse of good. 

The one grand passion of her life was deep, intense, 
ungovernable love for Doctor Glencoe, my father. I know 
not whether he reciprocated it, but my family chronicles 
state that he preferred my mother, who was the antithe- 
sis of the fashionable beauty, and the very antipodes of 
my vain, worldly father. But she had one possession, 
immense wealth, which if she had been blessed, or 
cursed, with the one-hundredth part of their " cleverness," 
could have made them vassals to her, instead of des- 
pots over her, as they were. But my mother was soft, 
gentle, and yielding, and seemed fitted only fur the domes- 
tic sphere of affectionate wife and tender mother. Alas ! 
she met no res^jonse in the first relation ; in the last, God 
is my final judge, but my own heart acquits me of all 
blame. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 361 

My first vivid impressions were, that I was very happy, 
very much blessed in having that dear mother, sweet lit- 
tle cousin, and good old nurse. My cousin was a spirited 
little man, a very high-toned gentleman, for his years. 
Yet to my mother and myself he was as bland as the 
sweet breath of flowers, and as beautiful as the face of 
nature — even as much so as my own little Clarence. (Here 
the paper was blistered with tears.) 

He was in the habit of coming over every morning to 
read to my mother. Sometimes he would stand by her 
bedside and fan her, while I would learn a little lesson. 
Then in the richest voice in the world he would say, 
"Now, cousiji Myra (my mother's name), I will hear 
pet's lesson." So day after day this scene of perfect love 
and trust was enacted in the chamber of the sufii'erinfi:, but 
uncomplaining invalid. At last we got to watch for his 
coming, and our hearts learned to bound, while gladness 
sparkled up from the depths of that sick, oppressed soul, 
and mine leaped with joy, and sprang to meet him, as to 
its home. Then I would rush into his arms, and almost 
smother him with kisses. My mother looked on and 
smiled her approbation, while a faint " Grod bless you, my 
children," would escape her. 

There arise before me now visions of my childhood, so real 
that I seem to live over that " auld lang syne." ISTow I am 
seven years old and he is twelve. Neither one of us has 
been sent to school. His mother is quite absorbed in the 
dissipations of the place, a large commercial city, and 
very fashionable withal ; the only aristocracy being a 
monied one. Mrs. Murray, as I have said before, lacked 
means to carry out her splendid projects of grandeur, so 
essential to the gratification of her burning thirst to be 
the leader of ton. It seems my father was her adviser 
and abettor in all those schemes of self-aggrandizement. 

There was nothing which they would not have done, no 
sacrifice was too great to be made, in order to compass their 
31 



362 THE NIGHT AVATCH. 

ends. My old nurse used to say to me ' Dear child, they 
would sell you both — poor little lambs — to the soul driv- 
ers, for fifty thousand dollars, provided they could keep it 
a secret ; then they'd divide it atween 'em.' This woman 
was a mulatto, and extremely good-looking for a negro ; 
had very mild, benevolent features ; I can never forget 
her ; she is linked in my memory with the only days of 
sunshine I ever knew, and the only other two beings 
whom I have ever loved. When a girl herself, she had 
carried my mother about in her arms, and now she is her 
friend and companion, and oftentimes her only solace. 
She divides this mighty love between myself and mother, 
and at this time lavishes as much care and attention on me, 
as she had done heretofore on her. 

Still, this generous -hearted negress had her faults : she 
was more loving than discreet or discriminating. I owe 
it to her early influence, that I am inclined to suspect all 
great professions of friendship; to look for hollowness or 
something worse beneath all beautiful exteriors ; to fear, 
that every bright, smooth surface, if not quite transpar- 
ent, conceals a turbid under-current. Whether she had 
ever experienced the mildew of hope or the blight of aifec- 
tion, I know not ; but there was a tide of bitterness ever 
surging up, which oftentimes engulphed the otherwise 
placid stream of her life. Conrad, as well as myself, hon- 
ored and loved this woman. 

I had forgotten to state, that Mrs. Murray, in her own 
total neglect of her son, had j)rovided a private tutor for 
him — a poor relation, who was good, and moral, and vir- 
tuous. Thanks to him for the solid foundation on Avhich 
was afterward reared that beautiful superstructure. 

About this time, when I am nine years old and my 
cousin is sixteen, a great change is taking place in our 
household. My father is seized with a sadden concern 
about mj^ mother's health. He comes, "Oh, strange to 
tell," to see her sometimes. On one of these occasions, 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 363 

affects to feel anxious about her ; places his finger on her 
pulse, and tells her she is feverish. In a kind voice, regrets 
that she will exert herself, and thus put forth her strength 
to her own injury, about her daughter. (He always spoke 
of me thus.) That the superintending the education of 
such a willful girl must be a great tax, and would prove 
too much for her feeble frame. 

During this colloquy, my nurse, cousin, and myself were 
sitting behind a large screen which my mother kept before 
the oriel window to break the light from her eyes, which 
were weak, I think, from much weejDing. Nurse had given 
the sign for silence, and in an instant we became as mute 
as the chairs on which we sat. My father continued to 
speak, and nurse to curl her lip in scorn. 

" Myra, my love, indeed you over-task yourself with 
those two children. That boy of Mrs. Murray is always 
here, and in fact seems to share your fondness equally 
with your own little girl. Now Mrs. Murray is a woman 
whom I do not like. She is all for self; I do not think 
she should impose this trouble on you merely to allow 
herself more latitude for frivolity, and because the lad's 
father was your cousin, and perchance a cidevant lover." 

He said this with acrimony; for notwithstanding he 
did not love my mother himself, he was jealous by 
nature, and could not endure that anj^ one else should 
love her. His only feeling for us both was that of the 
tyrant for the victim, the master for the slave. We were 
his, and none must meddle : he must do with us as seem- 
eth him best, and none must pluck us out of his hands. 
As to myself, my position with my parent was truly unfor- 
tunate ; he never forgave me, from the moment of my 
birth up to the present time, "for not being a boy." I 
committed the unpardonable sin in this fii'st act^ and was 
therefore doomed to bear his everlasting displeasure. 

It was in vain that my mother declared herself able to 
proceed with the same course ; in vain that she protested 



364 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

against any innovation, and assured him that the pleasure 
she felt in imparting instruction to me, and in the com- 
panionship of her little cousin Charles, were the greatest 
sources of enjoyment left her. She wept, and sobbed, and 
finally became ill. Then he left, with an awful impreca- 
tion on everything. As soon as he was gone, we both ran 
to the bedside of my poor mother, and blended our pro- 
testations of love and duty, with our lamentations for her 
sorrows. 

Much to our surprise my father returned ; both hands 
full of nostrums. Mrs. Murray was with him. On seeing 
us, he looked annoyed, and there was an angry rebuke 
ready on his tongue ; but when she said, " Why, Conrad, 
what are you doing here in a lady's bed-room, at such a 
time as this?" the scowl faded from his face, and he 
stopped to listen to the oracle from whence he drew his 
inspiration. 

My cousin had laid my mother's hand down, and 
speaking up boldly, dared to say to his imperious mother, 
" Madam, I am here to aid my little cousin Anna, in her 
efforts to bring her poor mother to life: for by heavens! 
she is fretted out of it." And he gave an angry, defiant 
glance at my father. 

" Leave the room, sir," said his autocratic mother. 

"No, my dear Madam," said my diplomatic father, 
smiling blandly on her, and turning condescendingly to 
my cousin, as he placed his hand on his head, " let him 
remain. My dear wife is veiy fond of her little cousin, 
and I assure you it does us all good to have him with 
us. Besides I think, from present symptoms, he inclines 
to be a disciple of Esculapius, and will doubtless take his 
first lesson with his cousin John." 

The boy jumped away from him, throwing his hand 
violently off, and, with flashing eyes and quivering lips, 
said: 

" Sir I demand an explanation of this taunting insult." 



THE NIGHT WATCH, 365 

He stood in a menacing attitude, while his ashen face, 
rigid features, and stern, statuesque figure expressed 
intensified anger. He had heard my father's conversa- 
tion with my mother, and young as he was, he was the 
embodiment of honor, candor, and truth. 

" Leave the room, I say, sir ! " The boy did not stir. 

The red spot is on the lady's cheek, and she bites her 
lip until the blood shows on her teeth ; but she conti'ols 
herself while she adds, " Charles Conrad Murray, I bade 
you leave this room. Your preceptor is waiting for you, 
while you waste your time in silly dalliance with that 
weak little girl, and her worse than imbecile mother." 
He looked at me deprecatingly, and then threw a glance 
of boundless pity on the invalid, and left the room. 

The patient soon revived — for my father was a 
prompt, skillful, and efiicient practitioner. Then the two 
conspirators sat down there by the bedside of my poor, 
weak, sick, and confiding mother ; and ere they left, she 
was willing to believe that that woman, with the oily 
tongue, and Siren voice, was the best friend she had in 
the world ; and that it was her great misfortune, and not 
my father's fault, that he did not love her ; and so she 
yielded to that drug, administered to both body and mind, 
and fell asleej), sweetly and soundly, never doubting or 
suspecting. 

" Molly, take that malapert girl to her room, and do not 
let her leave it until I give my permission," said Doctor 
Grlencoe. 

When we were there and the door closed, the good 
creature threw herself into a chair, and taking me in her 
arms, burst into tears. Her sobs were varied by such 
interjections as the following: "Poor Miss Myra! she trust 
everybody ! Anybody can fool that dear cretur ! I'm 
that mad and sorry, too, that I can't hardly breathe the 
breath of life ! Thar they is, setting thar by the poor 
thing, plotting, plotting ! And they want to begin on this 



366 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

child. (Then she presses me violently to hei' bosom — 
well-nigh crushing every bone in my body.) Bat they 
shan't! I'll — I'll watch 'em ! I'll head 'em this time! 
Old Mollj^ Wise didn't live with her young mistress thirty 
years or more, and with her father all her lifetime, to let 
neither one nor the t'other of his offsprings fall into the 
hands of the cruel fowler, nor the Witch of Nendor, 
neither. She didn't, that! ISTo, I'll save this one — I 
will! Ha! ha! ha! He say he don't like that woman ! 
I wonder ef he did fool poor Miss Myra that away?" 

I looked up into her face, I suppose with amazement ; 
for, with an impatient gesture, she said, " What you look 
at me that away for, child? What you want ? " 

" Aunt Molly, you don't think my father would tell 
his wife a story, do you ? He would not do such a base 
thing." 

" Story ! bless God ! call things by thar right name ; 
call it lie. Yes, he will tell her lie, and do anything else, 
so that he can blind her eye against the wiles of that 
woman." 

" Why, does papa love her more than he loves mamma ? " 

"Yes, honey, else he wouldn't love her much." 

" Oh ! Aunt Molly, tell me why? why does he love her 
more than he does my gentle, sweet mother? Is it 
because she is dashing and splendid looking — and — " 

" Yes, lamb, all that, and because she's a snake, and can 
charm everybody she chooses ; and because j^oiir mother 
is innocent and pure, and child-like, and loving, and can't 
head 'em ; but above all, because she's sick, because she's 
sick! " and the faithful slave almost shrieked out the last 
words ; so great was her indignation against them, and 
so strong the feeling of compassion for my mother. 

"Poor dear mamma!" cried I; " may God help her, 
then ! If what j^ou say be true, she will need it." And I 
crept from her arms, and laid me down on the carpet, and 
cried myself to sleep. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 367 

When I awoke it was almost night, and in that room 
nearly dark ; Aunt Molly sat nodding in her chair. I 
think I see her now, with her brown calico dre^s on, and 
white apron, with blue and yellow madras handerchief 
on her head. I shook her, until she awoke; then told 
her I was hungry. " Poor child ! He order me to keep 
you in this room tell he call you ! Well ! honey. Aunt 
Molly is nigger, she 'bleege to obey orders if she loose 
her life by it. She been do that all her lifetime. But 
bless God ! that call aint come yit. Dinner bell ring, then 
tea bell sound, and still that call aint come." 

A very lady -like tap at the door, Molly opens it, and 
Mrs. Murray enters, looking flushed and excited. " Good 
heavens, Molly ! what do you mean by not bringing the 
girl to see her mother for so long, and to the table? " 

"Humph! I obey orders, mam ; that's w^hat I mean." 
" Surely you were not so silly as to understand Dr. Glen- 
coe literally? Why, he did not mean what he said at all." 

" Yes, mam, I is jest that silly, and being a literal 
'oman, I thought he did mean ezactly what he did say. 
But I suppose by this time there be no longer any reason 
to keep us out of the way any more. I hope he feels 
better under it all." This was said with thea4ook and 
voice of concentrated sarcasm. 

Mrs. Murray's beautiful face flushed uj), and I saw hate 
blaze in her eyes ; but she sat down and began to talk 
ver}' mildly, and in a short time the surface was as 
smooth as ever. She smiled sweetly on Molly and said, 
"Ah ! nurse, on account of your many good qualities, and 
in view of your tried fidelity to our family, 3'our tongue 
is a licensed one. Here, Molly, take this douceur and 
make a little feast to compensate for the loss of your din- 
ner." She reached out a piece of gold coin, and, much to 
my grief and mortification, Molly received it. 

I have remarked one thing with i-egard to our slaves. 
Let them be ever so true and faithful in the discharge of 



368 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

duty, let them even scorn, as they do sometimes, the 
remotest imputation of dishonesty in stealing, or in all 
other criminal transactions, still they are open to this 
temptation. I have known many instances of heroism, 
self-abnegation, and noble devotion in the slave to his 
master ; yet I have never met one who had the strength 
of purpose and magnanimity of soul to resist and spurn 
a bribe. 

So this little piece of gold had a verj- lubricating influ- 
ence on the before stern feelings of the good, honest 
(according to the negro standard) Molly. And when the 
smiling, urbane, and snaky lady said, " Come, my good 
woman, assist Marianna to dress, and let her come down 
quickly to tea," she said not a word, but proceeded to obey 
her. 

When Mrs. Murray had left, she gave a little, low whis- 
tle, which ended with a sinister sort of chuckle, and wound 
up by saying, "Well, bless G-od ! I don't reckon the man 
can helj) it, aiid I won't be so hard on him hereafter. I 
jest does believe that she fascinates him, and gets round 
him so like a witch, or a fairy, or a serpent, as she does 
everybody what comes in her way. I 'spect he can't help 
hisself, and so does whatever she wants him." 

" Do you t^hink, Aunt Molly, she employs the same 
means to win papa that she has used with you, to-night?" 

" Oh hush, child ! you don't know what j^ou is talking 
about," and the blood mantled her tawny cheeks, sent 
there by a feeling of shame, which for a short time had 
hid itself away in some curtained place of her naturally 
upright heart. " You'll be jest like all the rest under her 
thumb in less than no time ; then I'll ask you hard ques- 
tions, too." 

I was now ready to descend to the parlor. On passing 
my mother's room, 1 ran in to kiss her. I found Conrad 
there, reading to her. When I took my cousin's hand to 
lead him down to tea, as I had done almost every day for 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 369 

the last five years, he withdrew it, and stooping down, 
kissed my cheek, as he said, " I can not, cousin Anna. I 
will never set at that man's table again, until he apologi- 
zes to me for that insult. I hate him, anyhow. Oh ! how 
I do hate him ! " 

" I don't like him either," said I; " but I fear I commit 
a sin when I say so. It is no harm for you, you know, 
cousin, but he is my father, and all that, and you " 

"Hush ! children ; I can not listen to you. You dis- 
tress me greatly. I must never hear such conversation 
between you, again. Charles, you should teach jonr little 
cousin better things." 

Another summons called me to the tea-table, where Mrs, 
Murray presided with great majesty, looking radiant in 
spirits and beauty. 

jSTow, for the first time, I watched my father ; and the 
conviction entered my soul like an ice-bolt, that what I had 
heard from my nurse was true. He did indeed seem to be 
under a sj^ell. I think I never saw him look so happy in 
my life, and I know he never looked half so handsome. 

There were a few other guests present, who seemed 
much disposed to caress and flatter me ; but when one of 
the gentlemen ofi'ered to lead me to the piano, sajdng, 
" Come, Miss G-lencoe, j^ou must sing me tl^ .very beau- 
tiful song I heard you play the other evening " (my mother 
had taught me music on three instruments), and I had 
taken my seat at the instrument, having run my fingers 
over the prelude, Mrs. Murray came hurriedly from the 
hall, and said, " My dear — excuse me, sii," bowing to the 
gentleman — -'j^our mother wishes to i^ee you for a 
moment." 

"Is she worse? " cried I, starting up, " Is anything the 
matter?" 

"Yes — no — I don't know. She wants to see you ; go 
and see." ,^ 

I darted up stairs ; but ere I reached my moth^'s room, 



370 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

I heard Mrs. Murray's loud and rather fine voice in 
the same song. When I entered, I found all things 
just as I had left them. Conrad is reading ; my mother 
is ver}'- composed, and Aunt Molly is sitting by, nod- 
ding. When I asked her why she had sent for me in 
such haste, she seemed surprised, and said she had 
not even asked for me. I then related what occm^red 
in the parlor. Nurse sat shaking in her chair. " He ! 
he ! he ! I told you so ; everybod}^, great and small, must 
mind that 'oman." 

So time passed, and my dear mother grew more feeble 
every day. In a few months she has become so emacia- 
ted that she can scarcely rise from her bed. My cousin 
is still untiring in his attentions. He also su23erintend8 
my education. There is no great change in the family 
during the two j'^ears that have glided so quietly away, 
save that I am sometimes frightened at the strength of 
my aftection for my boy lover. Oh what halcyon days 
were those ! and how joyous they would have been but 
for that poor, sick, suffering mother. During all this time, 
she is still the same patient woman, the meek invalid, the 
resigned Christian. We are sitting in her I'oom to-day, 
as of yore. I am reciting my lesson to my cousin : my 
mother is holding a hand of each. My father comes on 
us suddenly. He frowns darkly on Conrad, then turning 
to me, said, " Marianna, I have jDrivate business with your 
mother. Take your books to 3'our own room. I don't 
know whether this young gentleman will choose to fol- 
low you there or not, but he really does seem to have the 
run of this house very completely." 

An imploring look toward my cousin from my mother, 
and a frightened one from me, quelled the storm which 
was ready to burst over my father's head at the slightest 
provocation. He kissed her hand (and I think with a feel- 
ing of defiance, and a mischievous desire to brave my 
father on his own premises), threw his arms around my 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 371 

neck and embraced me with much apparent unction, 
bowed with mock reverence to Doctor Glencoe, and with 
a taunting- laugh ran out of the room. Nurse drew nie 
along to the aforementioned screen, behind which she 
ensconced herself, and forced me down by her side. 

" M^'ra," said my father, " I fear you ar§ declining very 
rapidly. I can no longer delay it. I am resolved to have 
a ladj' in the house with you, as a friend and comj^anion ; 
one who can aid 3'ou, or take the entire charge of your 
daughter's education. I hope you will not attempt to resist 
my commands, when I say that that forward boy, whom 
I have just sent away, must be banished from this house 
forever. On no account let me hear of his being admit- 
ted to your private room, your hed-chamber , again. Why 
surely, madam, the innate delicacy of your nature slept, 
when you consented to receive that young man here, every 
day as you lie in bed, undressed, and your daughter, too, 
present, when she is now also a young woman ; at least 
she is verging toward it." 

When I heard this I w^as seized with a wild, vasrue 
sort of fear. I had never thought of our ever being young- 
men and women. My mother was lying with her eyes 
shut, seeming not to heed him. 

'•Myra, do you hear me?" said he, slowly, and trem- 
bling with anger at the mere possibility of his having 
spoken so many words in vain. She nodded her head, 
but did not open her eyes. " Then, remember what I say. 
Will you?" 

■' Ah yes ! and may God forgive 3'ou for saying it, and 
for thinking of such a thing. There are but few avenues 
left ojjen to me for enjoj^ment, noAV. When you have 
closed this one. I know not where I shall turn. I fear it 
is the last." 

" Why, you do indeed attach very great importance to 
the society of this son of your old lover." 



372 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

" A truce to all nonsense ! I have no heart for such 
folly, and I will not listen to it. State your business 
simply and succinctl}^, else leave me alone." 

" Hoity, toity ! This is a new phase on the face of 
things. What is in the wind now ? " 

" Proceed, sir. A worm will turn sometimes, when 
trod on." 

" Aye ! And sting, maybe, hey? Wouldst sting thy hus- 
band? Ha! ha! ha! Wouldst sting thy loving husband, 
Myra?" 

I struggled in the grasp of the nurse; I burned to 
confront this hard, cruel father, and demand of him, child 
as I was, how he dared thus to maltreat my gentle 
mother. But the woman held me fast, and I was forced 
to listen. 

*' Now, there really is no use in all this. I rather think 
I am master of this establishment ; and have very little 
idea of submitting to dictation, or the least bit of rebel- 
lion in m}^ province. I have written for my niece 
Amanda Grlencoe (who about a year since lost her 
parents), to come and reside with us. I therefore request 
you to receive her as a relation, and shall require you to 
make her home as comfortable as possible, in her uncle's 
house. Are you pleased or displeased with this announce- 
ment, madam?" 

My mother did not speak. 

" Myra, I have asked you a question. Will you do me 
the honor to answer me now, or must I repeat it?" said 
my father, angrily. 

" I have no power to resist your commands, whether 
pleasing or otherwise," said his poor wife. 

" Then it is settled. And I shall exj)ect you to deport 
yourself becomingly toward the wealthy, high bred rela- 
tion of your husband," said my father, with pride. 

"When will she arrive, sir?" 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 373 

" I think in a week or less time. Now promise me, 
my wife, that you will discard from your presence that 
insolent boy ; I mean young Murray, who is not a fit 
associate for your daughter." 

" I will not promise, sir. I will not do such violence 
to my nature. I shall not deny myself or my child this 
innocent enjoyment." 

After a few more taunts and angry words from my 
father, and a firm resistance against his unreasonable 
exactions from my mother, he left the room. 



f 



374 THE NIGHT WATCH, 



CHAPTER XXXVI. 

THE JOURNAL A GIFT. 

"Though my many faults defaced me, 
Could no other arm be found, 
Than the one which once embraced me 
To inflict a cureless wound." 

A WEEK passed, and the lady has not come ; another 
has glided by, and she is not here. My mother seems to 
feel relieved by this respite. She experiences an indefin- 
able sort of dread of my cousin Amanda Grlencoe. A fore- 
boding of evil has taken possession of her mind, in view 
of her becoming an inmate of our house. 

One morning, finding her disposed to talk, I said : 
"Mamma, did you ever see Miss Amanda Glencoe ?" 

" 'No, my dear, I have never seen her, and would to 
God I never could see her." 

^' Why, mamma ? My dear mother, tell me why ? I will 
not speak of it." 

" Will you not, my love ? " said she, kissing me. " I 
know you are a very good girl, and astonishingly discreet 
for one so young. I should not fear to tell you anything. 
First, your father's relations are very supercilious — very 
fond of wealth and splendid show. They have never for- 
given me, because my fortune was not commensurate to 
their expectations, which were boundless. This young 
lady and her brother, though, are themselves, both 
wealthy. In consequence of many deaths in their imme- 
diate family, they have become, I'm told, possessed of an 
immense estate." 



*»" T H E N I G H T W A T C H . 375 

" Well, mamma, if she is so rich, she may not share 
that spite toward you with the balance of them." 

" Perhaps not, my darling ; but I can not feel otherwise 
than I do. I have known nothing but sorrow and vexa- 
tion since I first heard the name of Glencoe. I never 
hear it even now, but a sort of shivering seizes upon mo. 
Would to Grod you were old enough to change it, mj^ little 
daughter." 

" Mamma, may 1 ask you a question ? You will not be 
offended?" 

" Certainly not. Speak, my love." 

"Was not your's a match of affection ? " 

" On my part, intensely so. But constant bickerings, 
cross looks, without words; slights, without open neglect; 
'petty i^ersecutions, without cause or reason ; all these 
little things without one overt act of maltreatment, will 
break down and destroy the most ardent affection ; even 
as the tide against the firmest rock, which has breasted 
many a storm, by daily surgings will wear it away at 
last. And now, my love, my dear little daughter, your 
mother has told you the secret of her soul, which is the 
groundM^ork of that resignation to the seeming stern 
decree which calls me away from my child ! I have no 
hope, no confidence, no respect, therefore no love for my 
husband ! " My mother covered her face with her thin, 
white hands, and remained quite still. 

I wept for a long time, then suddenly recollecting what 
the nurse had told me about my father's infatuation for 
Mrs. Murray, I looked up quickly. 

" Mamma, is there any reason for this behavior on the 
part of my father, that you know of?" 

" Yes, child, perhaps so, I don't know ; we will not 
investigate it. The Glencoes are inconstant by nature. 
They are wayward, willful, capricious, and jealous, as I 
too well know. The old lady, your grandmother, is an 
exception." 



376 THE NIGHT WATCH. % 

" When shall I ever see her, mamma? " 

" I do not know, child ; I wish she were coming instead 
of this girl. Now call Molly, my dear." 

When the nurse came, my mother whispered to her for 
some time, and I heard the woman say — 

" Yes, mam, if there was any way to get to see him ; 
but every servant in the house is ordered to shut the door 
in his face. He has already been turned twice aw^ay by 
your order." 

" Oh ! what a systpm of fraud and duplicity is carried 
on in this house ! But, nurse, this only makes the neces- 
sity more imperative. 

" Molly, I must see that dear boy. I may die suddenly, 
and ere I do, I wish" to commend my child, as if in the 
hour of death, to his care. When Miss Grlencoe is once 
established here, then will there be no opportunity. I 
feel that she is to be a spy on this household." 

" Ah yes ! dear child ! I knows that too, and there is 
no time to lose ; the room all put in order, and the Doctor 
expecting her every minit." 

When we left my mother's room, nurse caught me up 
in her arms, and told me that my mother wanted to give 
me to my cousin for his little wife, and that she was in 
great dread lest she should die before she could get to see 
him. Therefore, she was going to smuggle him up to her 
room by the private stairway. How strange I felt ! I 
had always claimed my cousin as belonging to myself and 
mother, and knew that we both loved him as dearly as we 
did each other, which was much more than we loved our- 
selves : but I felt now, that I should not feel the same 
freedom toward him, and knew this would pain him ; 
therefore I dreaded the meeting. 

All day the good Aunt Molly was lying in wait. She 
hung about the street. (Mrs. Murray lived opposite.) 
She went over to the kitchen, and watched about the 
premises. In the course of an incidental gossip, she 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 377 

learned that their young master was in a strange way; 
that he would not eat; did not sleej) ; had thrown by 
his books, and refused to see any one about the house, and 
that they "rally and sartainly" did "b'lieve that she was 
at the head and foot of the whole of it." 

Molly asked carelessly where he was ? They told her 
he was locked up in his room. " Then," said she, rising, 
"I must see him." 

" Aye, gal ; ef you gits to see him, you smarter 'an any 
nigger's bin 'bout dis house lately." 

She had gotten almost to his door, when Mrs. Murray 
came out from an adjoining room, and said, very quietly, 
"Well, Molly, how are all at home to-day? I hope your 
poor mistress is better. See here, I have a new recipe 
for her. Come into my room." And then she kept on 
talking, in that sweet seductive way which was peculiar 
to her. 

Presently Molly said, " I wish to see Mr. Conrad a 
minute." 

" Yes, I will go and tell him at once ; but, poor fellow, 
he is not well. Something is the matter with his chest, I 
fear." She returned, and said, still smiling, but now in a 
would-be plaintive way, " Molly, he begs to be excused 
to-day, on the score of bad feelings. Is it anything to 
which I can attend? " 

" Oh no, ma'am, jest a little business 'twixt he and me." 
Susan, the lady's maid, looked at Molly knowingly, and 
turned tip her eyes with a very " ISTow, did you ever" sort 
of expression. 

The lady then showed the negro out herself, talking 
rapidly all the time. But this good creature' never ceased 
her vigilance. She resorted to vainous subterfuges and 
devices, but they all failed. After a while, Susan came 
over, and said her mistress never went near her young 
master's room to deliver Molly's message. Then she was 
entrusted with one, but that also, like every other expe- 
32 



378 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

client, fell to the ground. My mother seemed to grow 
nervous under these disappointments, and was threatened 
with severe illness. 

Toward night my father came in ; and, after giving her 
the usual attention from physician to patient, said, " Myra, 
to-morrow my niece will arrive at mid-day ; I am called 
into the country. (He had his riding gloves and whip 
in his hand, and was booted and spurred.) I may not get 
back in time to inti'oduce you." 

" Very well," said she, closing her eyes. 

After I had given my mother her tea, and taken my 
own supper, I seated myself by her bedside with a book, 
for I had now taken my banished cousin's place. Molly 
came with her knitting, and dropped down into the low 
chair in which she always sat, and was preparing for her 
usual nap. 

" Molly, this would be such a good time to see 
Conrad." 

" Yes indeed, honey, but I don't know now how you 
gwine to manage. I done try every 'spedient a'ready. 
But I does think if Miss Pet would jest go right along up 
stairs, she maybe might catch him; and if so, then my 
advice is to tell him above board that her mother wants 
to see him, no matter who hears." 

M}' mother looked at her watch, and said, " Yes, that 
will do. I will not give j'ou any message or direction, 
but will trust to chance, and whatever tact you may pos- 
sess.. Throw your cloak on, and let Molly go with you 
and wait at the street door." 

When we reached there, the servant, who was on very 
good terms with nurse, suifered me to pass without any 
noise or delay. It was now near nine o'clock. I ran 
lightly up stairs, looking to the right and left, and every- 
where for my cousin. I found Mrs. Murray's confidential 
maid. Tivvy, fast asleep on her post. She had been placed 
as sentinel to guard the door. I tapped lightly, but 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 379 

receiving no invitation to enter, I opened the door and 
walked into Mrs. Murray's boudoir. 

For one moment I was transfixed to the spot. There 
sat my father at the end of a sofa, with the recumbent 
form of Mrs. Murray in his arms. At first I thought the 
lady had fainted, and he was supporting her lifeless body. 
My first impulse was to scream out for assistance ; but 
when I saw him stoop down and kiss her several times, 
and heard her murmur some soft, loving words, in which 
"dear one " was the burden, I at once felt myself growing 
blind. Whether it was that sort of affection which makes 
all rabid, venomous things blind, or whether it was the 
frenzy of anger, I know not, but all things seemed to reel 
and grow dark before me. I felt if I did not give vent to 
my feelings I should die instantly. I walked right up to 
them, and then with an uncontrollable burst of passion, 
and I fear in a very coarse, loud voice, exclaimed, 

" Shame ! shame on you ! Or are you lost to all shame? " 
They sprang to their feet, and for one moment stood 
quite still, looking like two guilty things. 

In a short time they recovered. Mrs. Murray was the 
first to speak. She laughed carelessly. My father seemed 
to be infui-iated. His eyes emitted flames, and I verily 
believe, had he obeyed that first impulse, he would have 
torn me to pieces. 

"Why, child," said Mrs. Murray, " what is the matter ? " 

" I am shocked, madam, to find you and my father in 
such a situation. Shame ! shame on you both ! " 

" Begone ! you insolent, despicable little wretch ! " 

" Silence! " said the siren, in the most imperative voice. 
He sat down as a slave, or a little child would have done. 

"Why, you little fool! " said the lady, " what Avas it? 
You saw my head lying on your father's knee. Where is 
the harm ? How often have you lain in your cousin Con- 
rad's arms? You little witch ! you have turned his head 
completely. Your father is mj^ cousin, and as such I love 



380 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

him. Do you not love your cousin Conrad ? Say, does 
he not sometimes give those little pouting lips a cousinly 
kiss?" 

I felt my cheeks glow. I also saw that they watched 
me closely. 

" My father told my mother that he was called to the 
country," said I. 

He would then have spoken, and the angry spot was 
still on his cheek, and the fier}^ look in his eye, but when 
she had said, " your father is my cousin," she had taken 
her seat by his side again, and now when he would have 
uttered an angry rejoinder, she put her hand on his arm 
and spoke for him. " So he is going, still. Do you not 
see the riding paraphernalia ? " pointing to the spurs. 
" He did but call to see me a moment. I have been indis- 
posed for several days." 

"I heard," said I, trembling, stammering, and blush- 
ing, "that cousin Conrad Avas very ill, and — and — I — 
I" 

"Ah, 3'es! I understand, and your little loving heart 
yearns to pour out its sympathy into his no less loving 
ears." 

She rang the bell. When Tivvy entered, rubbing her 
eyes, she received a furious glance. " Tell Master Conrad 
to go down to the parlor ; I wish to see him there." 

She returned shortly, and whispered to her mistress ; 
after which, Mrs. Murray got up, and taking me by the 
hand, turned to my father and said, " I wish to see you 
here, one moment, before you ride. Wait for me." 

We descended to the parlor, where I found my cousin, 
at first looking very miserable. He sprang to meet me, 
saj^ing, "This is indeed a joyful surprise." I hardly 
think he saw his mother, else he felt more temerity in 
that presence than anybody else ever did. He clasjied 
me to his breast, and kissed me perhaps fifty times ; I 
don't know precisely, for he left me no breath to count. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 381 

Then disengaging myself, I stepped suddenly aside, and 
he came in contact with Mrs. Murray. He looked sul- 
lenly at her, without speaking, bowing coldly. 

" My dear Conrad," said she, "Doctor Glencoe and his 
daughter were sitting with me ; " and she turned her 
expressive eyes on me, which said as plainly as her tongue 
could have spoken, " Do not contradict me." " He is now 
called suddenly away to the country ; I wish you to see 
Marianna home. I do not mean to be inhospitable, but, 
dear children, it is late." 

I gave her my hand, Conrad looked sad and dissatisfied. 
Then, as we left the room, he caught her hand hurriedly, 
and pressed it to his lips. 

" Do not leave poor little Anna to go alone through 
those long, dark passages. If the servant is not there, go 
with her up to her mother's I'oom. I'm sure cousin Myra 
wants to see you by this time." 

" Well ! if this does not surpass any thing ! That is 
surely the most remarkable woman." 

Molly, who was just behind, touched my arm, and I 
stopped short. 

"What? w^hat is it?" eagerly asked my cousin." 

" Oh nothing, only I think your mother must be an 
enchantress. She certainl}^ is the most /asaVia^my human 
being I ever saw." 

" Or maybe ever will see," said he, with a deep sigh ; 
" my mother is indeed what you say, cousin Anna. It 
were better, if she were not quite so charming some- 
times." 

We were now before my mother's door ; but ere Molly 
opened it, she drew us aside, and said, " Xow, children, 
don't go to talking about nothing in thar, that'll excite 
your mother. Don't mention Dr. Glencoe's name at all, 
if you want that poor thing to have any satisfaction with 
her cousin Charles ; what she bin want to see so much. 
Mind what 1 say now ! " Then, she opened the door, and 



382 T H K N 1 G H T WATCH. 

we passed in. Conrad kissed my mother tenderly, and 
ere they spoke a word, tliey both had a hearty cry. He 
forbore to spealv at all of his absence ; and when she 
pressed him to tell the cause, he shook his head and said, 
" There is no use to advert to it. Dear coiisin Myra, let 
us enjoy the present, without turning to the past or look- 
ing to the future." 

" My son, it is of the future that I wish to speak, and 
alas ! I fear it must be hurriedly and briefly. To-mor- 
row a lady arrives here, who may be perfection for aught 
I know, but she belongs to a race, and bears a name 
which has made my life a blight. I have a presentiment 
that she is introduced into my family to play the spy on 
it. This is the reason why I was so importunate with my 
messages. I have dispatched a great many since I saw 
you." 

" Why, madam, what do you say ? I have not received 
one. The slightest intimation would have brought me to 
your bedside. Did I ever fail to obey your summons in 
my life? " Just then Molly cleared her throat in a very 
significant way, but Conrad cried eagerly, " CtO on ma- 
dam." 

" I do not think I have been deceived. These were 
surely, unmistakable symptoms. Do you not love my 
dear child, Charles ? " 

" Oh yes, more than life ! " said he, with enthusiasm. 

" Then take her, my son. There are no witnesses, 
save that good, honest creature who sits there dozing; 
but she is, and ever will be, as true and elficient a friend 
as you will ever find in this world. But (xod, who sees 
you, and hears me, will as surely bring you to judgment, 
if you are not true to each other." 

She had drawn me to him, and now I rested trust- 
ingly on his bosom, listening to the imjDassioned beating 
of his young heart. 

My mother continued : " You are very young, too 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 383 

young yet ; but remember, when the time comes, and 
you are old enough, she is yours, I having given her to 
you for your wife. And now, my children, take your 
last embrace for the night. Kiss me, my son. I can 
die in peace with such faith as I feel in you both." 

My father came while we were at breakfast. He in- 
quired carelessly about my mother, but looked keenly 
into my face. He seemed to be satisfied by the scrutiny 
and the answer, for he said no more, but sat sipping 
his chocolate iu a moody, abstracted manner. "When I 
had finished my cofi'ee, I begged him to excuse me ; I 
had my mother's breakfast to pre^Dare. She loved to 
have that little slice of cold ham, and the one piece of 
toast brought to her by me. This had been my busi- 
ness, and the greatest pride of my life, ever since I was 
large enough to raise the waiter. 

I was now standing at the window, a carriage stopped 
at the door, and a stylish lady and gentleman got out. 
Presently a servant came up. " Doctor Glencoe say, he 
will like to see little Miss Anna in the pai'lor right now." 

I felt a degree of trepidation, and almost alarm, 
hitherto unknown to me, under any cii'ciimstances. I 
remembered that nurse carried me to my room, arranged 
my hair, smoothed my ringlets, which were very dark, 
and quite long. It was the month of December ; and I 
also recollect that I wore a crimson cashmere dress, and 
a piece of very fine Vallenciennes lace at the throat. This 
made up the details of my toilet. When I reached 
the door, my father met me, and led me up to the stylish 
lady. I saw- an expression of surprise, and the gentle- 
man and lady exchanged looks. 

" M}' daughter — your cousin Amanda — your cousin John 

Glencoe." The former kissed me courteously. The latter, 

a very smart, fashionable, rather dandified, medium-sized 

man, with fine, dark whiskers, hair some lighter, and 

^yes still a little more so, came forward, took my hand, 



384 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

kissed my cheek, led me to a seat, and placed himself 
by me ; then, in an easy, well-bred way, commenced talk- 
ing on indifferent subjects ; but I remarked that he never 
took his eyes from my face. 

The lady had thrown off her bonnet and mantle, and 
was sitting near the cheerful fire, seeming to feel as much 
at ease, and as entirely at home as if she had been there 
a year. Great wealth always lends this sort of clever 
self-possession if not self-sufficiency to its possessors. But 
these two persons did seem to be well bred. They mani- 
fested not the least arrogance or assumj)tion of dignity. 
"Why should they ? They were used to opulence, and had 
enjoyed the homage paid to it all their lives. Besides, 
they were on most excellent terms with themselves. 

Miss Glencoe was not particularly pretty, but was 
remarkably pleasing. She had gray eyes and dark lashes, 
fine complexion, with a rich tint on her cheeks, while the- 
glow of good health mantled her face and neck and per- 
vaded every movement. She had fine teeth, and her 
mouth w^ould have been decidedly pretty, nay beautiful, 
but for a nervous sort of twitching of the upper lip. The 
brother also possessed this peculiarity (even in a greater 
degree), which made you feel doubtful, while looking at 
him, whether the face was about to relax into a graceful 
smile, or to contract into a bitter sneer. They resembled 
each other greatly in all things. 

My cousin Amanda wore a black broadcloth riding-dress 
richly braided. She was in mourning, and her jewels, with 
all the other appointments of her toilet, Avere in keeping. 
Her form was faultless, and like her brother's, medium size. 

After she had conversed with my father for some time, 
with as much self-complacency as affability, she turned to 
me, and said, " My dear, when your cousin John has 
care&sed those incomparable ringlets long enough, I beg 
you will do me the favor to go with a message to your 
mamma? " 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 385 

I rose at once, very glad of a pretext. The gentleman 
had become quite too demonstrative of his admiration. 
" I am ready, cousin," said I, ajDproaching her. 

" Then give my love to my aunt, and say to her that I 
would be glad to come up and greet her if she will receive 
me. " 

Soon after, I conducted her to my mother. In a mar- 
velous short time, she had managed to soothe my dear, 
eas}^, gentle mamma into a feeling of respect, and those 
deep-rooted prejudices were being removed. She had also 
cajoled my nurse into a state of endurance. As to myself, 
1 was ready to fall dead in love Avith her at once. What 
a gift is gentle address and urbane manners ! Yet I did 
not feel at all attracted toward my cousin John, although 
they Avere alike. I recoiled from ail familiarity, and sick- 
ened at his jDrotestations of admiration. 

After a while, I offered to conduct my cousin to her 
room, thinking she might wish to dress for dinner. 

" No," said she ; " if my aunt will suffer me, I will just 
peep into her mirror." Thus inducing the belief that her 
personal ajDpearance was a matter of perfect indifference 
to her. 

She asked to have her dressing-case brought, and then 
I found that she gave the most scrupulous attention to 
these duties. Every plait of hair, her eyebrows, her com- 
plexion — in short, that whole head had undergone a 
thorough renovation in a few moments. When she turned 
again toward us, I thought her almost beautiful, so much 
had she been improved by the mysteries of that toilet 
case. 

On reaching the dining-room, we found Mrs. Murray 
and my cousin Conrad there. They had both been invited 
by my father to meet his relatives. After the presenta- 
tions were over, he offered to hand his niece to the head 
of the table, but she declined, and begged Mrs. Murray to 
33 



386 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

take the seat. This simple act of courtesy, so gracefully 
done, seemed at once to break down that conventional 
frigidity which always succeeds an introduction at a din- 
ner party. Conrad Murray, I thought, appeared to watch 
her with a curious but pleased attention. Her great 
vivacity, the constant play of feature, her bright smile 
(only marred by that curling upper lip), her ready wit, 
with that easy flow of conversation, seemed to enchant 
every one. 

Dinner passed off pleasantly. Conrad was about to 
offer me his arm, as we adjourned to the parlor, when 
Mrs. Murray, seeing this, called me hurriedly to the 
window, pretending to point out something. She whis- 
pered to me: "My love, take your cousin John's arm. 
I am anxious that Conrad shall come out of the mopes. 
So let him hand Miss Glencoe to the jDarlor. You see this 
is also due her." 

I at once assented. Indeed I was convinced of the pro- 
priety of what she said; therefore I turned and laid my 
hand on Mr. Glencoe's arm, which seemed to please every 
one present save the one I most desired to please on 
earth. AVhen I did this — for me, very familiar thing — 
he looked surprised, and his face flushed ; then stepping 
up to cousin Amanda, he conducted her to the drawing- 
room. There she enchained him to her side by the sj)ell 
of her charming conversation. Presently he handed her 
to the piano, and then hung over her while she played ; 
turned the music; asked for song after song; and was 
so taken up that he seemed to ignore all else in the 
room. I could stand this no longer, and being boi-ed 
to death, now, by my cousin John's compliments, I broke 
away. 

"Excuse me, sir, my mother wants me." I ran up 
stairs, threw myself down by her side, and burst into 
tears. I wept several minutes before I could tell her. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 387 

Then I sobbed out, " O mamma! your fears were, indeed, 
prophetic. She has taken him from me already! She 
has charmed him on first siglit ! He has not spoken to 
me since she came ! " 

Just then there was a light tap at the door. Molly 
opened it. " God bless your sweet soul and face ! I'm 
t-h-a-t glad to see you I don't know what to do with 
myself! Look a-there ! the poor thing's a-dying of 
jealously a'ready of the strange woman and her little 
husband." 

Yery soon all was explained satisfactorily, and we were 
once more a very happy trio. Alas ! there is always a 
di-awback ! Mrs. Murray came tripping into the room 
without rapping, and Conrad disappeared. 

I was never again left alone with my cousin Conrad, 
but constantly with my cousin John. We had not now 
met alone for more than a month. I could not under- 
stand wherefore; and I was far from feeling reconciled. 
Yet he appeared cheerful when we met in company, and 
had never sought an interview that I knew of, offered 
explanation or apology. 

"Whenever he came to see my mother, which he did 
sometimes by her request, sometimes voluntarily, either 
my father, cousin John, or cousin Amanda was sure to bo 
present. I was in desjDair. I hated them all by turns. 
I could not forgive him, that he was so quiescent under 
this surveillance. I had thought that he would pull the 
house down over their heads, rather than submit to this 
system of espionage. 

At last, during one of those sittings, he managed to slip 
a note into my hand. He did this most adroitly for one 
so unpracticed in artifice. Still I think Miss Glencoe 
saw it, although her head was turned from us. I ran 
to my room, locked the door, and falling on my knees, 
read the following note, which had been scratched off in 
haste : 



388 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

" My dear LITTLE WiFE — If I do not get to see you 
soon, I will either shoot myself or run away. It seems 
that the members of both families have combined to keep 
lis apart. I can not exist under this state of things. I 
have waited thus long to see what it would come to ; now 
I must see you, if at the point of the sword, or the mouth 
of the pistol. Meet me in the conservatory to-night at 
twelve o'clock. Bring Molly with you if you choose. 
Perhaj)8 it would be better, in case of a surprise ; and 
then you know we are such children (as our dear mother 
said) we may need a guardian. Come when, they have 
all retired. I'm convinced that you wish to see me, my 
love, and if you fail me, I shall not blame you. But come. 
God bless my little bride. 

C. C. Murray." 

I put this note into my writing-case, locked it, and hid 
the key. At the appointed hour, nurse and I stole down 
quietly to the basement, thence to the garden. In a few 
moments more, I was resting confidingly and happily on 
the bosom of the only man I have ever loved. He 
explained all seeming mysteries. We renewed our vows 
of love and constancy, and swore that we were more in 
love with each other than ever, which was swearing to a 
great deal. 

Then my cousin began to plead with me to elope with 
him, and be married, children as we were; saying so inno- 
cently, " Dear cousin Anna, we will grow old just as fast, 
and maybe faster if we are married. Then they can not sep- 
arate us." Nurse cleared her throat disapprove nglj^. He 
continued, " I have at last divined their plans, which had 
all been concocted b}^ jovly father and ray mother before 
Miss Grlencoe and her brother came. The scheme is to 
have me married to your cousin Amanda, and you to your 
cousin John, so that the two immense fortunes shall be 
kept in the family." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 389 

He had overlieard a conversation the evening before, in 
which he learned this, and also why we were never per- 
mitted to meet. He said he knew matters would grow 
worse day by day, and presently we would be called on, 
at least I would, to ratify this engagement with John 
Glencoe. And then this boy fell on his knees, and 
entreated me so earnestly to place myself under his protec- 
tion, to leave home with him at once for this purpose, that 
aided as he was by the pleadings of my own heart, I 
think he would have carried his point with me, had it not 
been for my nurse, who had sat so still that we had for- 
gotten her presence. 

"Oh no, bless God! children, I can't not consent to 
that. I never gwine to give in to that, no how. I jest 
brought Miss Pet here to talk little while with you, 'cause 
them clever ones in the house watch over you so close ; 
but I got to carry her back. Bless God ! I got to do that 
thing. Think, honey, of your mother. Could either of 
you do sich a thing without asking her advice and con- 
sent? No, I know you couldn't to save the lifetime of 
you. And my little lady there, not yet near fourteen 
years old, and Mr. Conrad not much more." 

" Oh, forgive us, nurse ! " exclaimed I, " we were crazy ; 
we would not be guilty of such madness, and thus cause 
you and my darling mother such sorrow." 

" Cousin Anna, I do not indorse that statement. / am 
neither crazy nor mad ; nor did I deem you so. I appeal to 
you, good nurse, is a man mad or crazy because he tries 
to circumvent his enemies, and wishes to protect his fam- 
ily from oppression by resorting to the best means open to 
him, to secure his and their happiness? Would you call a 
man mad or crazy for doing this? Speak, good nurse." 

" No, honey, certainly not ; no man would be to blame 
for doing sich things, but I can't say so much for hoy. I 
can't not say that it is right all the same way for young 
boy." 



390 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

"What do you mean, old woman?" said he, starting 
up ; " do you mean " 

" Nothing more nor less than what I says, child." And 
the good-natured creature laughed a little, low titter. 
Then we consulted together, ^nd it was settled that we 
would talk it over with my mother, arid return at the 
same hour the next night. 

Just at that juncture, when we were feeling so secure, 
we heard a suppressed sneeze. "We all sprang to our feet, 
and in great consternation looked to the right and left, 
but of course we could see nothing, as it was quite dark. 
Molly thought it best that my cousin should not venture 
into the house, and promised to arrange another meeting 
with my mother. So we separated. 

When I reached my room, I found a large traveling 
trunk, dressing case, writing desk, etc. And when I 
looked into my escrutoire for the note, it could not be found. 

I had a terrible foreboding of evil, I could not think, 
I could not weep, I could not even undress myself. I 
should have sat there gazing at that trunk all night, if 
my good nurse had not come in to put me to bed. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 391 



CHAPTER XXXVII. 

THE JOURNAL. — AN INTRIGUANTE. 

" Faeewell to the few I have left with regret ; 
May they sonietimes recall what I can not forget." 

" At last I know thee, and my soul from all thy acts set free, 
Abjures the cold consummate art 'shrined as a soul in thee, 
Priestess of falsehood, deeply learned in all heart treachery ! 

At ten o'clock the next morning, I had not left my 
room ; I had takeii no breakfast ; had not slept ; I felt 
stunned. My father opened the door and came up to me 
even before I saw him. " Marianna, have you seen your 
mother, to-day?" 

" I have not, sir ; I have not yet left my room : "' and I 
looked proudly up into his face. 

I expected he had come to upbraid me ; and being 
guiltless of all wrong, I felt defiant, and was prepared to 
hurl back every reproach and accusation. But not so ; 
and great was my surprise when, looking at him, I only 
saw an expression of subdued misery. This, to me, was 
inconceivably touching. My proud, rebellious feelings 
were in an instant changed to those of interest, and the 
most respectful sympathy. I eagerly asked, " Dear sir, 
what is the matter? Why did you ask me that 
question, and why do you look so sorrowful? I have 
not heard that my mother is worse. She is not ill — is 
she, sir? " 

" No ! It is not of her that I would now speak. Listen 
to me." 

" What is it, then, sir ? " cried I. 



392 THE NIGHT WATCH; 

" It will avail you nothing to tell j'Oii. Words can not 
helji you. Poor deluded child ! I j)ity you, from my 
inmost soul. Oh ! I am forced to pity you. False ! false 
hearted wretch ! And so young, so promising, and so 
handsome ! " 

I threw myself on my knees ; I caught his hand, 
"bowed my head on it, and implored him to explain him- 
self, before I should lose my reason. O my GJ-od ! I felt 
my brain reel ! 

He shook his head mournfully, and laying his hand on 
mine, said in a voice full of pity. "Alas ! I can not ! Get 
up. Your mother is waiting to see 3'ou." 

[Col. Murray had read poor Myra's Journal up to this 
point with intense emotion ; sometimes so overcome, that 
he was forced to stop and wipe his eyes. But when he 
came to this portion of it, he sprang to his feet, exclaim- 
ing, " The perfidious monster ! Oh ! what is it all ? For 
what purpose is this intricate and diabolical woof of 
treachery woven ? " He resumed his seat and read.] 

When I went to my mother's room I found her in tears, 
and before she saw me I heard her exclaim passionately, 
" I do not believe it ! I care not what is said of her, and 
I care not who says it. I believe her to be as pure as the 
' angels in heaven.' I know, and God knows, and I think 
you all know, that my precious lamb is free from spot or 
blemish"— — 

My father went up to her hurriedly, and with a stern 
look said, " Silence, madam, else you shall not be indulged 
with this last interview." She sunk back on her pillow, 
and continued to sob. 

Cousin Amanda was hanging tenderly and jjityingly 
over her. And as I sat watching her, I believed her to be 
then a ministering spirit sent to sustain my mother in 
this her extremity. Poor dear mamma seemed to think 
so too, for she turned to her — "Oh, my friend, compas- 
Bionate me, and intercede with that stern, hard man, your 



THE NIGHT WATCH, 393 

uncle, to leave me my child, just the little while that 1 
shall be here in this world of woe ! " 

She whispered for some time to ray poor half dead 
mother, and when she raised her head, her face was 
streaming with tears. I felt at that moment like falling 
down and worshiping her. In after j^ears I learned that 
she possessed some strange power, by which she could 
induce the lachrymose humor at any moment, without 
the least feeling, and when her heart was untouched. 
She came up to ray father, who was standing apart, hold- 
ing me by the hand, and looking very significantly into his 
face, said, " Uncle, let the child embrace her mother." 

I threw myself into the arms of my darling mamma. 
I vowed most solemnly that I had done no wrong ; I 
assured her that I never dreamed of its being amiss to 
meet ray cousin anywhere and at any time, and that my 
nurse was only taken for protection by the way to the 
rendezvous. I was going on to explain further, when she 
said, " Hush ! my love ; I know, I understand all. I also 
know that you were goaded on to commit this little indis- 
cretion ; but were one to come from the dead, aiid tell me 
that my pet lamb had erred, 1 would not believe it. Oh 
no ! But they have made this a pretext to tear you from 
me. You are to be sent away." 

My father apjn-oached, and shaking my mother rudely, 
said, "Woman, cease this silly tirade ; I am tired of it." 
She did not seem to heed him, but continued her lamen- 
tations. " Oh ! when they send her away, tear my poor 
child away, then will life become a weary waste indeed. 
This is the last flower left blooming on my solitary path- 
wa}" ! The only sunbeam which ever reaches my frozen 
heart. Alas ! " 

I heard no more. My pitiless father dragged me back 
to my room, where I found my maid holding my travel- 
ing bonnet and mantle. 



394 THE NIGHT WATCH, 

" Tempy, do your business quickly," said he, and he 
took his seat to watch the process. That mournful 
expression had passed from his face, and in its stead was 
a hard, stern, resolute look. I became sick, unable to 
think or act ; was now perfectly passive in their hands. 

When I was dressed in my traveling attire, my father 
led me to the parlor to take leave of my family. I found 
there my cousin John and Mrs. Murray. I looked around 
for my dear Conrad. Then those mysterious words of 
my father came to my mind. I think I should have 
fainted, had not Mrs. Murray come to me, and entwining 
her arms around my waist, embraced ..me, and at the same 
time whispered, " My dear, your poor cousin is as 
w^retched as yourself, yet he would be in the street to 
offer his adieus (these doors have again been closed against 
him), but he is too ill to rise from his bed." 

Strange and inexplicable thing is the human heart. I 
loved my cousin more than my own soul, and would have 
died with him, in defense of our attachment ; or without 
him, to prove its truth ; or for him, to save him from 
death, or sorrow, which is worse ; j^et notwithstanding all 
this, when I heard he was ill, a thrill of joy ran through 
my whole frame. Anything but the realization of those 
dark hints from my father. I would at that moment have 
preferred to hear of his death, and would have consented 
to pass a long life in solitude, mourning his loss. But 
I would have dashed myself to pieces from the first hight 
with frantic joy, had those insinuations been confirmed. 

My cousin Amanda now came into the room and pre- 
sented me witli a small parcel from my mother. She 
shed a great many tears over me, bade me feel easy about 
my mother, said she would watch over her as if she ay ere 
her own parent, and whispered, " Do not be disheartened, 
he shall write to you very soon. Your father is aggrieved, 
and feels himself dishonored by the last night's transac- 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 395 

tion, and seems harsh ; but never mind, have a little 
patience, it will all blow over, and we will have jou back 
very soon." 

I almost adored my cousin at the time, and should have 
told her so, had I not been admonished by that upper lip 
that there was hollo wness in the heart. Oh, that wonder- 
ful upper lip ! It kept me at bay, always. 

Murray strikes his forehead fiercely, and rising, paces 
the room in great agitation, as he exclaims, " Great Grod ! 
I can scarce believe what my eyes trace on this blotted 
and anguish-marked paper. I was not ill that morning, 
I slept in peace, dreaming of elysium. And when I awoke 
at a late hour, I thought the sun shone more gloriously 
bright and beautiful, and life itself was fraught with more 
hajDpiness for me than ever before. Oh, I felt wild with 
joy ! I thought only of the meeting which I had had, and 
the one yet in prospective. I found a pitcher of hot lem- 
onade on the hearth, which I drank off with avidity. 
Soon after, I fell into the most delightful state of drowsi- 
ness. My dreams were gorgeous. I think I must have 
slept two whole days, and now I understand it all. That 
punch was drugged. When I did awake, I well remem- 
ber how my head throbbed. Feeling better after taking 
a bath, I dressed myself with great care, and walked over 
to Doctor Grlencoe's, intending to see Mrs. G-iencoe, and I 
meant, if I could gain her consent, to consummate a speedy 
and private marriage. I was met at the door bj^ a ser- 
vant, who handed me a note. 

" Doctor Glencoe begs to be excused for declining the 
honor intended his family this morning by Master Mur- 
ray. The present calamitous situation of the household 
can only be ascribed to his fool-hardy pursuit of a child 
who does not know her own mind, and who, before two 
weeks more, will be as much in love with her cousin John, 
or somebody else, as she affected to be with her cousin 



396 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

Conrad. Doctor Glencoe hopes that llaster Murray will 
be equally willing now, with every member of this fam- 
ily, to dissolve all connection, which is only productive 
of annoyance and misery. . Eespectfully, 

I returned to my room, rang the bell violently. James 
came, and stood at the door twirling his thumbs. 

" Tell me, James, what has been transpiring in this 
house while I have been lying asleep ? and what is the 
matter over the way ? " 

" Nothing 'tall aint bin transpiring here, sir, but every- 
thing is the matter over thar. Tivvy says poor Mrs. 
Glencoe is 'bout to die, and little Miss Pet, or Miss Anna 
as you calls her, is gone away in a carriage with Mr. John 
Glencoe ; they do so to get married or something or 
nother." 

I hope God will forgive me ! but, without having the 
least idea of what I was doing, I knocked that stout negro 
boy down, crying out, " I suffer no one to slander my wife." 

In an instant I was by his side on my knees, wiping 
the blood from his nose with my handkerchief. I also 
washed his face in my own basin ; took him up in my 
arms and laid him on the sofa ; then gave him a little 
brandy and water. After a while he recovered, and I 
then learned with horror the preceding facts ; but I did 
not then hear, and I do not think the boy knew, that 
Marianna had been taken to school. 

"Oh!" said Minny, taking his hand, "ye hae been as 
fierce in your time, as ony Hielander — a sort o' Eob Eoy ; 
but go on " 

The manuscript is continued, while Minny sits by — 

My cousin John is the last one to bid me adieu. When 
he imprints that unwelcome kiss on my lips, he cries out, 
" Why, Doctor, my cousin is burning up with fever ! She 
is ill ! not able to travel." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 397 

*'0h yes!" sighed I, "I am ill — sick almost unto 
death (bursting into tears), and no one pities me. I sliall 
die, die alone among strangers, and there will be none 
near to receive my parting words to my mother — and to 
tell him that — that" 

I was not allowed to finish the sentence. I felt myself 
caught up and placed in the carriage, which drove off. I 
also thought or dreamed that I lay in his arms. I closed 
my eyes, and yielded myself up to that almost crushing 
embrace — I knew, nor felt, nor cared for anything more. 
I presume I slept ; yes, slept in peace, like an infant (as 
I believed), on that adored bosom. 1 was very languid, 
and had been so soothed by the gentle caresses which 
succeeded to the first raptures, that I felt no desire ever to 
be aroused from the delicious repose. The carriage still 
drove on with great velocity : and I still dreamed on in 
blissful ignorance. 

Presently the spell was broken by the vibration of a 
strange voice. I started up in amazement, and cried out 
wildly, " What ! How is this? You here? I thought, 
Oh ! I thought it was — I thought it was ! Oh, I am dis- 
tracted ! " 

I attempted to open the door ; failing in this, I screamed 
to the driver. He drove on just as before. I then 
attempted to make my escape through the window of 
the flying vehicle. 

All this time the gentleman sat quite still, perfectly so; 
all to the twitching of that wonderful upper lip. Now 
he lays his hand on my arm, and, looking curiously into 
my face, says, " Marianna, I agree with you ; I do believe 
that you are distracted, or soon will be. Throwing your- 
self from that window will not be so pleasant ; but it will 
be instant death, if you desire that. What is the matter? 
Why do you act thus ? " 

" Oh ! tell me, then, why you are here ? Where are you 



398 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

taking me? For what purpose are you hurrying me off 
thus?" 

'' I am not hurrying you off, child. It is your father's 
carriage-driver who is driving us both off; but with no 
evil intent, I think. I am here only to render you 
assistance, and to comfort you if possible." 

"Where are we going, then?" said I, weeping. 

"Do you not know, my cousin ? Did your father not 
tell you?" 

" Oh, no ! I do not know, unless it be to some dreadful 
dungeon." 

"Strange! most strange! There is something wrong 
beneath all this mystery ! He surely did tell you Avhy 
you were leaving home ?" 

" I have told you, cousin John, that he did not." 

" Well, you are on your way to the celebrated boarding- 
school at , about tAvo hundred miles distant. When 

I saw you look so ill as I bade you adieu, and seemed so 
heart-broken, and found my cold, inflexible uncle was 
about to send his onh" child away under the protection 
of a servant only, my nature revolted at such inhuman 
treatment. So without a moment's reflection, I jumped 
into the carriage, and received your fainting form into 
my arms. For some time I thought you were dead ; but 
that little black imp, who sits there grinning at us, gave 
me the sal volaiile which revived you. Yet you did not 
open your eyes, or seem disposed to rise from your 
recumbent attitude. And I'm sure I Avould be the last 
man in the world to remind you to do so." 

My cousin John had never yet spoken one word of his 
passion to me. It was implied onl}-- by his looks of 
admiration, and his glowing commendations of all I did 
and said. Neither had he obtruded himself much of late. 
Still, I could not choose but feel a secret recoil, whenever 
he came near me. But I was also one of the most grateful 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 399 

of all God's creatures. Any kindness — the least drop 
of sympathy — called forth grateful tears. And now, I 
sat there weeping, with very softened feelings toward Mr. 
Glencoe. ■^ 

" God knows, cousin John, I am very much obliged to 
you ; but are you right sure that this was your only 
motive? " said I, trembling from head to foot, as I beheld 
his excited and inflamed countenance. 

" Certainly, my dear little coz." 

" Then why did you hold me in such an energetic 
embrace?" 

" Xow, as if any man could help it, much less one who 
loves you as I do. It must be a being endowed with 
superhuman strength, to resist such charms; else apa- 
thetic." 

I moved off to the corner of the carriage. The little 
maid on the front seat, giggled merrily. 

"What are you laughing at, Tempy ? " said he. "I 
tell you it is no laughing matter to be scorned in this 
way, when I only meant to take care of, and console my 
sweet little cousin." 

" Seeing him look as I thought, mortified, and as he 
did not approach, my conscience smote me, and I said, 
with feeling, " Dear cousin John, forgive me. I am 
more than half crazy with trouble, and quite a fool." I 
offered my hand, which he took, and drawing off the 
glove, kissed it ; then pressing it tenderly to his bosom, 
said, " Fear not, little one ! I would watch over, and 
guard the honor of this hand with my life ; an you 
would let me." 

ITothing more of consequence occurred on the way. 
The name of my lover was not mentioned between us. I 
'think, perhaps, he had never heard of my attachment to 
my cousin. I presume the devisers of that cruel plot had 
studiously kept it a secret from him. After remaining a 
day at the school, and during that time saying everything 



■400 THE NIGHT WAT OH. 

to comfort and cheer me, which oftentimes j)i'oduced. just 
the opposite effect, he took an affectionate leave. 

I then entered on the duties of the scholastic course, 
with a leaden heart. Yet I did imbibe instruction, though 
prettj' much as a sponge. I was never behind my classes, 
oftentimes foremost. I received many letters from home. 
My cousin Amanda wrote for the whole family. She 
gave me the news of the domestic, as well as the social 
circle. 

Once when she had gotten through the household 
details, after telling me that on this occasion she was my 
mother's deputy in writing, and that she was better, but 
still feeble, and all that: she went on to say, "Mi*s. Mur- 
ray sends her love to you. Your cousin Conrad also sends 
his respects. Soon after you left, he was seized with the 
most unaccountable love of books: he lived in the library, 
and only saw his mother and his 2)i'eceptor. But you know, 
dear child, that such moods do not last long in youth. 
He is now quite gay ; comes over every evening to hear 
me sing some of your favorite songs, which do not make 
him so sad as one would think. He oftentimes thinks of 
your great simplicit}', and almost infantile playfulness of 
disposition. In short, dear little Coz, he seems to feel 
quite an interest and an affection for you, even as an elder 
brother or a father. It is really amusing to hear him 
speak of his early associations with the little Marianna ; 
one would think it had been twenty years ago. My 
brother chides him sometimes, for still seeming to view 
you as a child, when he thinks you a most desirable and 
charming young woman. God bless you. 

Amanda G . 

" Merciful God," exclaimed Murray, taking Minny's 
hand. " O my dear little woman ! where can I expect 
to find truth and honesty after this ? I took that woman 
to be the incarnation of both. I almost fear to proceed." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 401 

" Gae on, gae ob, and let us get to the eend o't," said 
Minny. 

The inaniiscrij)t proceeds : " Six months passed, and still 
she wrote in the same strain. Then Cousin John wrote; 
but his was a manly, affectionate effusion. He sjooke of 
my cousin Conrad in terms of cordial praise ; regretted 
to tell me, that he thought him delicate. In fact, that 
both he and his mother were in poor health, and that Dr. 
Glencoe had ordered a sea-voyage. He began now to 
declare his feelings, but with great delicacy. 

I had never received a Avord from under the hand of 
my cousin Conrad. Sometimes a message through Miss 
Grlencoe, which I always felt to be an insult. In truth, 
ever}'' word I had heard was calculated to wound me. 

"Mrs. Brown," said Murray, "I wrote every week, but 
never received but one rejsly ; which was brief and cut- 
ting. It ran thus : 

Dear Cousin — Your letters, truly, are very fine ; but I 
have no time, therefore no relish, for such things. 

Yours, respectfully, Anna Glencoe. 

Ah ! no one can comprehend my sufferings ! " 

" Eead on," said Minny, "else the grey dawn will &n6. 
us here." He obeys. 

A year had passed away, and the vacation occurring, I 
was permitted to return home. Cousin John came for 
me. Nothing of consequence transpired by the way. We 
traveled by railroad and steamboat — therefore were soon 
at home. Once more I was folded in the arms of my dear 
mother. We were never left one moment alone. I was 
not permitted to sjDeak a word to my nurse. 'No one ever 
mentioned Conrad's name. I M^aited two whole days for 
some one to speak of him. I hoped that I might per- 
chance meet him. 
34 



402 THE NIGH T A\' A T C II . 

On the third day, I felt I could endure it no lon^r, 
and creeping up softlj^ to my mother, I leaned down and 
whispered to her, " Mamma, why does not my cousin 
Conrad come to see me?" 

Oh, what a wild, frightened look she cast round the 
room. " Hush ! Hush, child ! They will tear you from 
me, again. Do not, if you love your mother and pity her 
condition, pronounce that name in this house ever, any 
more. O God ! They have made it one of terror to me." 

" When did you see him?" said I. 

" Oh ! hush ! never, never, since you left. He does not 
care for us now." 

My father frowned, and said angrily, " Marianna, did 
you come home only to excite and distress your mother ? 
Are you not satisfied with your work of destruction 
before you left ? We could scarcely keep life in her for 
many weeks, and now you are trying to do your work 
over again." I began to weep. My mother looked like a 
timid, brow-beaten child, who was momentarily exjDecting 
punishment. 

Miss Grlencoe took me by the hand, and leading me into 
the jDarlor, bestowed many tender caresses on me, uttered 
many protestations, and shed man}' tears ; then, in a low, 
soft voice, said, "My dear, you must not pronounce Conrad 
Murray's name in the presence of your father. His con- 
duct has been most strange, and his motives past finding 
out. He has not been to see your poor mother during 
your whole absence. He and my uncle do not speak, and 
rumor says he is addressing a very wealthy lady." 

I do not know wherefore, but the impulse came on 
me to look her keenly in the eyes. Well ! this smart 
and brave lady, in all other things, quailed beneath my 
eai'nest gaze. I turned away, and shook my head mourn- 
fully. 

She soon rallied and continued : " As soon as he learned 
that you were expected home, he immediately left." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 403 

" And is he not here now? " asked I. 

" No ; he went away the very day my brother started 
for you. This is most vTnacconntable. I feel indignant 
at him, and most sincerely compassionate you, and feel 
vexed at the same time. O that I could infuse some of 
the Glencoe pride into you ! Poor little lamb ! as your 
mother calls you, you inherit all her softness and beauty, 
with her weakness. You must tear this idol from your 
heart, my love. Drag it forth ; believe me, it is unworthy 
of such a place. Such genuine, disinterested devotion, 
is altogether misplaced. Just as well lavish it on the 
dumb idols of the heathen, for all the return you will 
ever get." 

" I do not think I can go on with these dreadful details. 
This unsuspected revelation of perfidy makes me sick at 
heart," said Murray. " I went to that boarding school, 
three times during that year, and each time I was turned 
away as if by the express order of Marianna. 

" The day she left with Mr. John Glencoe, I arrived, one 
hour after they had departed, and was told by the super- 
intendent, in fact, I saw the letter from her father, which 
was: " Dear Sir, — I wish you to entrust my daughter to 
the care of Mr. G-lencoe. This, you will see, is no infrac- 
tion of the rules of projjriety, as she will be married to 
that gentleman at the end of next year." I returned from 
that place a changed man. All things require to be cared 
for ; every living thing needs encouragement, and so does 
the heart of man, let him be ever so self-sustaining. " 

I was quite ready (continued the Journal), at the end 
of the month, to return to my prison house. I felt I had 
nothing more to do in the world. And if I could not die, 
I wished to be buried alive. The school was a Eoman 
Catholic institution. I wished now to become a nun, and 



404 THE NIGHT V,' A T C H . 

I should have taken the yoavs at once, but the superior 
of the neighboring convent discouraged it. 

After remaining a whole month without hearing from 
home, I at last received a short letter from cousin 
Amanda : 

" Dear little coz — I have only time to say to you 
that your mother is no worse. I may say, rather better. 
Tour father is also well. They send their regards to you. 
You must excuse me now, I am called to the drawing- 
room to see him 1 mean, a gentleman has called to 

spend the evening with me. Well, your cousin Conrad 
returned soon after you left us. He had passed the inter- 
val in New Orleans, and came back with renovated health 
and spirits. He said he would have returned sooner, but he 
stopped by the way until you should have left. Not that he 
dislikes you, my love, but he thinks, and very justly, too, 
• that it would be embarrassing to both, especially to you. 
Mrs. Murray is ill ; she has had an attack of paralysis, and 
is so changed that you would not know her. They speak 
of setting out soon on their tour. God bless 3''0u. 

" Amanda." 

Then she wrote again, and mentioned that my cousin's 
health was feeble, and that he and his mother were pre- 
paring to leave home for an indefinite time, perhaps for- 
ever ; that they had sold out their possessions in the city 
of , and that he would be married ere long, etc. 

I determined to hazard one letter, let him think of it 
as he pleased ; let him blame or even hate, so that he 
did not despise me, I cared not. After many fruitless 
attempts, much waste of paper and time, much sighing 
and weeping, I succeeded at last in producing the follow- 
ing incoherent lines : 

"Dear Cousin — I care not now what you think, much 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 405 

less do I value the uijiuion of the world. You may, if 
you please, smile disdainfully at this unmaidenly conduct. 
I know that society would frown on it, and I feel myself that 
it is indelicate, after so many slights, and such total neg- 
lect of me. The world may point scornfuUj^ at the woman 
who would under any circumstances commence a corres- 
pondence with an estranged lover. But what care I for 
all this now ? I will tell you, while I have the j)Ower to 
do so, ere I shall be driven to some act of desperation, 
. . , . I love you still. Yes, even now, and with the 
same ardor as when my mother gave me to you, and when 
you swore so solemnly to love and cherish me to the end 
of life. But 3^ou have changed. She tells me, my clever 
cousin Amanda tells me that you are to be married soon. 
. . . . Well, you could not help it, I suppose. Some 
persons are constitutional!}'' fickle. I am not ; Oh no ! just 
the reverse. Therefore, I am true to you, and shall 
remain so through time, and maybe through eternity. 
She says the lady is wealthy ; and I infer from what she 
writes, that this is the allurement. Well, poor, dear 
cousin ! I deplore the hard destiny which drives you to 
the necessity of sacrificing your affections to your for- 
tunes. You are not married yet, and I can but love you 
with that same wild, soul-absorbing enthusiasm. When 
another has taken that place which should have been 
mine, and it gets to be a sin, then I will not speak of it. 
Still, I shall remain true to you. Your image is enshrined 
forevermore in my heart. I do not blush to tell you 
this. I am proud to avow the truth.' .... I will 
not ask you to write ; I presume you would not like to do 
so, on ' my account tnore especially.'' I thank you for your 
considerate mindfulness of my feelings heretofore. O 
Grod! how can I say fiarewell ? And now a long and final 
adieu. Anna." 

" Oh. had I but received this letter ! " said Murray, " my 



406 'J' HE N ] (i H T \V A T C H . 

happiness had not been wrecked, as now. I wrote to that 
dear child so often, and grieved over her apparent cold- 
ness, so deeply lamented her estrangement! I only- 
received those two lines. But what next?" 

I had not long to wait for a response to my letter. It 
ran thus, and it was in his handwriting. My heart could 
attest to it : 

"Dear Marianna : I am astonished and mortified. Why 
do you act thus? Why write thus? Why indulge this 
strain of pathos ? Surely, your own good sense ought to 
teach you that such things between us now, are entirely 
out of place and highly improper. Eumor saj-s, that you 
are to be married to your cousin John. I believe her 
ladyship this time, though generally her thousand tongues 
are busy in propagating falsehood. But this one time I 
think she speaks truly. At least, I hope so ; else the close 
intimacy, the affectionate caressing on the highway — -in 
carriages, with unlowered blinds — would be considered 
rather an unseemly exhibition. 

" I presume you have not forgotten the time when you 
were so benevolent as to exalt me to the third heavens 
over night, and the next day throw yourself into the arms 
of another lover-cousin — wrapping his soul, no doubt, in 
elysium. For you can do such things, little coz. Your 
preternatural beauty, and that exquisitely betwitching 
simplicity, that child-like sportiveness of manner, are 
enough to turn a stronger head than mine — or his, I pre- 
sume, when near yoix. When we are both married, and 
well married, as report says we shall be ; we may then 
meet and laugh over these details and dates in young 
love's calendar. God bless you, cousin Anna. 

" C. C. Murray. 

" P. S. My mother's health is wretched. I leave in a 
week for Europe." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 407 

When I had finished reading this letter, a wild dizziness 
seized upon me ; then a numbness, which ended in an 
attack of catalepsy. I could rieither speak, move, nor 
understand. I could see and hear, but all feeling had 
gone. Every mental faculty was suspended, and I sat 
there holding the letter before my eyes. I had lost all 
computation of time. 

The next morning, when the maid came into the room, 
she found me sitting there, with my stony eyes fixed on 
the paper as if still reading. I was very pale, and quite 
cold ; the girl thought I was dead ; she shrieked out in 
aflFright, which brought the physician, the superintendent, 
and his wife to the room. Very prompt and eflScient 
means were used. I soon revived, and was restored in a 
week to my wonted health. 



408 THE NIGHT WATCH. 



CHAPTEK XXXVIII. 

THE JOURNAL — A STUNNING ANNOUNCEMENT. 

" Slowly folding, Low she lingered, 
O'er the words their hands had traced, 
Though the plashing drops had fallen, 
And the faint lines half effaced." 

Time wore on in the same tread-mill way as ever. I did 
not hear from home for a loiig time. I had but one feel- 
ing and one interest left ; that was to know whether my 
mother lived, and to see her once more. I went through 
my tasks and duties mechanically. I never failed in a 
lesson ; I never committed a fault worthy of reprehension, 
and on the other hand, I never performed an act deserv- 
ing commendation. It was thus I remained a sort of link 
between animate and inanimate nature. I neither loved 
nor hated, felt neither joy nor sorrow, pleasure nor pain. 
I had no aspirations — no expectations, no hopes. 

One day my maid brought me a number of letters. I 
laid them listlessly down by my side. She handed me 
one ; I opened it, looked at the date ; it was old ; the sig- 
nature — John Glencoe : I laid it down. She gave me 
another; it was also from Mr. Glencoe. I laid that down. 
The next was in a neat, lady-like hand. I oj)ened it ; the 
signature was a strange one — Carolyn somebody — I did 
not wait to see. It commenced in this way : 

"Dear Young Lady: — I am sitting by your dear 
mother's bedside, and writing as she dictates. She is 
feeble, but better. ' Yes, darling child, I am, indeed, bet- 
ter; have been gradually improving ever since Miss 



THE NIGHT WxlTCH. 409 

Amanda Glencoe left. I can not tell why, but I feel a 
great i-elief in that young lady's absence. Somehow her 
presence hung like an incubus on me, and my sjsirit was 
fettered. While she was here I seemed to lose my free 
agency, and all volition. She controled me as if I had 
been a little child, or an animal. Mrs. Murray and her 
son were to take a sea voyage. Miss Glencoe did not 
intimate a word of her intention to accompany them 
abroad ; but on the morning of their departure, she came 
into my room, attired for traveling. After shedding a 
great many tears (which she could call up at any moment), 
she kissed me, and with many regrets, informed me that 
she would be absent for several years. She then tripped 
from the room. Presently she returned, and begged me 
to send her warmest regard to you, and to tell you that 
your cousin Conrad would be married immediately after 
his arrival at London. 

" ' I trust, dear child, that you will forgive your poor, 
deluded mother, for this grand mistake she made in try- 
ing to shape your destiny. I am firmly convinced now 
that it was all wrong. Better, far better, to take the 
world as it comes ; making the best of it, endeavoring to 
be prepared to meet whatever fate may develop itself. 
There is a way to do this, child. The dear creature who 
sits by me now, has told me of it. It is revealed in the 
good book ; but, heretofore, with those great monstrous 
scales on my eyes, I could not discern the truth. Your 
grandmother Grlencoe will be here next week. Carolyn 
says, she is the " salt of the earth." I hope she may prove 
so. Alas ! (Grod forgive me for saying it), I have never 
seen a good C-rlencoe, save yourself; unless your cousin 
.John is one. 

'"Write to me now, darling. I never received a letter, 
note, or message from any one — not even yourself — 
while Miss Glencoe was in the house. Did it never strike 
35 



410 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

you, that she and Mrs. Murray were of the same calibre? 
God bless and save my child. 

" ' MyRA GrLENCOE.' 

" 'P. S. I tinist I have not doiie Miss Glencoe injustice. 
Were I examined in a court of justice, and her life and 
my ow^n at stake, I could not shape a reason into words, 
why I do not love my " dear niece," as she calls herself. 
I can not point out one single positive wrong she hu.-s 
ever done my family. Yet I dread her, stand in awe of 
her, and can not love her. 

" ' Your Mother.' " 

The next is from cousin John, and of recent date. I 
glanced over it. After chiding me for coldness, and 
scolding me for not writing, and entreating me to do so, 
and then reiterating his admiration, and unchanging 
devotion, all interlarded with those sweet words, which 
are so pretty, as well as acceptable to ears attuned by the 
Blind Boy to listen, he went on to state that he would 
sail in half an hour for the port of London. The object 
of this sudden visit to England, was to witness the nup- 
tials of his sister. He further said, that immediately 
after the marriage he would hasten back to claim his 
reward — the just recompense of so much patient devo- 
tion. 

The next letter was from cousin Amanda. I knew the 
handwriting, and laid it down (I felt a presentiment of 
sorrow), and opened the last one. This was also from 
cousin John. He had, it seems, been driven by contrary 
winds, half over the Atlantic ; had been shipwrecked and 
saved by a small cruiser, which was again stranded on the 
American coast; consequently the object of his voyage 
no longer existed. His sister's marriage, of course, would 
not be delayed because he Avas. He now expected to 
return home, where he hoped to meet me, if not on his 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 411 

arrival, very soon after. I took up cousin Amanda's let- 
ter, and with a sort of icy sickness at the heart, prepared 
to read it. 

" My dear little Cousin — Would that I had time to 
tell you of the many wonderful things I have seen since 
I left home. "We have been here in the metropolis of the 
world, the emporium of every thing, the terminus of all 
things, two weeks. At first, I felt like an atom, so small, 
so insignificant in this great thoroughfare, that I began 
to fear God would forget to take cognizance of me. This 
wore off, and as our little party drew closer together in 
our own sitting-room of this immense hotel (which num- 
bers more inhabitants than many of our incorporated 
towns in America), I got to think the greater the city, 
and larger the hotel, the more our privacy, security, and 
freedom. 

" I am very much engaged, occupied, and absorbed ; as 
you will of course understand, when I tell you I was mar- 
ried the day before yesterday, and should have set out on 
our tour of Europe, to-day, but have been detained by the 
illness of Mrs. Murray. My sweet little cousin, I wish 
you could see my glorious husband, now, as I behold him. 
Tall and straight as a North American Indian ; dark and 
composed as a Spanish hidalgo ; learned and wise as an 
Athenian ; firm, decisive, and steadfast as a Scot ; polite 
and affable as a Frenchman ; aristocratic as an English- 
man ; and good, and noble, and just, and handsome as an 
American. And think of it, you little witch, this mir- 
acle of perfection is the husband of your cousin 
Amanda. 

" Did you ever know any one have such a run of good 
fortune ? AVas ever woman so blest ? Mine is a match 
of intense affection. I loved my husband from the first 
moment I laid my eyes on him, and I resolved then to 



412 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

capture that prize, cost me what it might. I have suc- 
ceeded. I rarely fail. 

" I hope that you and my brother are as well suited to 
each other, and just as happy as we are. This will suf- 
fice for mere mortals. But the sons of the house of Glen- 
coe are not distinguished among men as good husbands. 
The daughters make the fondest wives in the world, if 
they are not crossed. 

" My husband would send his love to Mrs. John G-len- 
coe, if he knew I was writing. We both believe that my 
brother waived the honor he promised us, in favor of 
greater felicity at home. Now, my dear, let me whisper 
a feM^ little words very softly in your ear. "We Glencoes 
are a jealous people, and exacting. Beware of giving even 
slight cause. Eemember that ' trifles light as air,' etc. 
Remember Desdemona ! Beware of the familiar friend 
of old ; the affectionate cousin, etc. Mind how you rouse 
the sleeping demon in that little man's breast, by look or 
Avord, written or spoken. For your life's peace, for your 
soul's salvation, I warn you. 

" We are coming home ; then I suppose we shall con- 
trast husbands. Ah ! as much as I love yours, I fear he 
will suffer by comparison. I can love your husband, but 
I warn you not to love mine. Present my love to my 
uncle and aunt, and believe me as ever, yours, 

Amanda MimEAY." 

•'Amanda Murray !" shrieked I, so loudly and fiercely 
that the girls in the next room came running in to see 
what was the matter. It had passed off. I made some 
slight excuse, which was received. I was mistaken ; I 
had thought I could not feel. Yes, I was mistaken. I 
knew, DOW, that I had but one course to pursue, to yield 
myself to my fate. 

Another half year rolled by, and then I was called 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 413 

home. I found my mothei* resigned to all things, even 
unto death. My grandmother was with her, who was 
full of love, and sympathy, and Christian piety. My 
mother's condition was much ameliorated. My father 
seemed greatly improved in temper. 'My nurse was now 
suffered to be with me, which was a great solace. There 
was a student of my father's living in the house, Walter 
Jocelyn, a very agreeable, handsome 3'outh. Yes, things 
had greatly im^Droved since I was last at home. 

When I retired the first night, I said to Aunt Molly, 
" Well, dear, good nurse, I am so glad to have you here. 
I think there is quite an improvement in the domestic 
regime. I am let alone, now, which is a great comfort, 
you know." 

" Yes, bless God ! that's a good thing, ef it'll only hold 
out." 

" Why, my father seems scarcely to know that I am in 
the house. I do not think he has spoken a word to me," 
said I. 

" Yes, I know, honey ; but just wait till that little black- 
whiskered man comes back. He with the quiverin' upper 
lip." 

" Where is my cousin John," said I. " When will he 
be here, nurse?" 

"Oh! he'll be here soon enough; I'll warrant he'll 
come, now that Miss Pet's got back. Well, honey, there's 
worse men than Mas'r John Glencoe," said she, settling 
herself for a nap. 

" But, Aunt Molly, what has produced this change about 
the house? " 

" Good Marsters ! Miss Pet, has you had so much trou- 
ble, that you has lost all your smartness a'most? Why 
can't you see? Bless God ! Child, can't you see? Aint 
they done carrj" their pints? Aint that woman done got 
her son married to the rich gal, and aint they got the for- 
tunes to splurge on ? Then aint they gwine to marry you 



414 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

to the rich man, and then marster will have part o' his'n, 
to prop up the falling house of the fortunes of Glencoe." 

" Nurse, do you think it was Cousin John who lay in 
ambush to play the sp3', and inform on us, when we were 
in the conservatory, and then had me sent from home?" 

" Whew ! Wh-e-w ! " and she spun out the word into a 
long, shrill w^histle. " No, i-n-d-e-e-d ; Mas'r John was 
not in that hush what you speaks of No, child, they 
never told him a word of it. They too smart for that. 
They keep them things a perfound secret. I tell you 
agin, Miss Pet, thar's worse folks than Mas'r John. But 
he perfect tiger when he's raised. Oh, that little man's 
the devil when his blood's up." 

" Well, who was the spy, Aunt Molly? " 

" Oh, child ! I so sorry; you aint a bit cute now. Who 
you reckon would do sich thing, but that same one what 
substract the letter from your writing scrutore, and don't 
you know who that was? I found it all out on her; 
and I was great mind to tell Mas'r Conrad, but I was 'fraid 
old Mas'r John would kill me." 

The next morning, at breakfast, my father told me 
(speaking very mildly), that he wished to have an hour's 
conversation with me. I assented. " Marianna, if you 
prefer it, I will order the barouche, or carriage, or the 
horses, and we will ride," said he. 

" Thank you, sir, it is unnecessary; I can hear you here, 
or in the parlor." So he led the way thither. When we 
were seated, he plunged right into the subject, as if afraid 
to trust himself with any circumlocution ? " You know, 
my daughter (he had never called me his daughter before 
in his life, and this first word of endearment moved me to 
tears to begin with), that 3-our Cousin John Glencoe is 
very sincerely and deeply attached to 3'ou. Do you not 
know this?" said he, smoothing my hair down, and 
toying with my ciirls. 

" He has often told me so, sir." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 415 

"You believe him, I hope, Marianna? Do you not?" 

"Yes, sir. I have had ample proofs of it. I do not 
doubt " 

" Then you return it, of course, my child? " 

" ]^o, sir," said I, looking him full in the face. 

" Why not?" rejoined he. 

" Because I can not, sir." 

" Why so ? Why can not you give your little, foolish, 
silly heart in return for his capacious, generous, manly 
one?" 

" Perhaps, sir, for the reason, that it is what you call it, 
a weak, silly one. But, father, I have no heart to give. 
If you command it, I will give my hand to my cousin. 
But that will be all, and in honesty I must tell him so." 

" G-irl, on your life do not breathe a word of the sort. 
You know not the man. Were you a thousand times 
fairer and more beautiful than you are, and his wife, he 
would strangle you, or cut your throat in a phrenzy of 
love or jealous rage" 

" Or," said I, very calmly, "when his passion had 
cooled, incarcerate me in a dungeon, or immure me in a 
madhouse." 

My fatlier shuddered visibly; but I sat unmoved. 

"Why talk thus, Marianna? Who has charge of that 
rare, precious little thing, your heart?" said he, trying 
to smile playfully. •' Tell me, child, for whom are you 
keeping it? " 

" Papa, this i^ mockery ! worse than mockery, cruelty, 
the refinement of cruelty. You know that I have loved 
my cousin Conrad all the days of my life. You know, 
that this affection, I will not call it a passion, commenced 
in childhood, nay from my very cradle, and grew with 
my growth, and strengthened with my strength. You 
know, that I would have sacrificed friends, relations, 
position, place, name, and fame, for him. You also know, 
sir, that with a ruthless hand you tore me away from 



416 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

Mm, that you prevented our meetings ever afterward, 
intercepted all letters and messages ; then formed a com- 
bination with his mother and your niece, and blended 
a few facts, innocent in themselves, with such a tangled 
web of falsehood, that neither he, nor I, could unravel it. 
We are separated. We may never meet, yet there are 
some natures which do not change." 

" Cease ! cease your upbraidings ! What will it avail 
you now to think of him ? He has deserted you., proved 
recreant to his faith, and yet would you cling to him? " 

" Does the vine leave the ruined shrine because it has 
been desecrated? Does it not rather entwine its tendrils 
lovingly about it, not being able to restore, then to con- 
ceal its decay? " 

" He has preferred another to you ; he is a changed 
man, and heartless. He is not worthy of such disinter- 
ested attachment." 

" Grant you ; but does the ivy fall away from the oak, 
because it has been riven and blasted by the thunder 
bolt ? Saw you ever that, my father ? " 

" This is all needless and unavailing. Why pursue such 
a strain. I am mortified and pained to see so little spirit 
in one of my name. Such cases have never occurred 
among the Glencoes," said he, bittei'ly. 

" Sj)irit ! did you say spirit, sir ? Well, I have none ; 
you say truly. It has been crushed out, after being 
broken ! You had no hand in this, j^apa, had you ? Now, 
sir, inform me, if you please, as to the object of this con- 
versation ? To what do you desire it should lead ? 1 
am ready to obey your commands." 

" I have received a letter from Mr. John Glencoe. He 
writes that he will not present himself here again, save 
as your accej^ted lover. That he has no desire to perse- 
cute you with his addresses ; and if you do positively 
and unequivocally reject him, that he will at once g(j 
abroad, and never see you, or cross your path again." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 417 

" This is certainly very noble and generous of my 
cousin John," said I, and I could not refrain from weep- 
ing. 

" "Well, daughter, what shall I write? " 

" I will talk to my mother, sir, and give you my answer 
afterward. But have the kindness to tell me candidly, 
why you are so anxious for this union ? You know I am 
very young. I do not wish to be married, still I am ready 
to obey your commands ; but I should like to hear your 
reasons." 

"1 can not tell you. Wh}^, what reason do you sup- 
pose I can have, other than your own welfare and 
happiness ?■■ 

" Ah ! you have never consulted my happiness ; say not 
that. Whatever your motives may be, I am ready to 
obey you ; but do not say that again, papa; I will not 
hear it." 

" Well! no matter, go now and talk to your mother and 
grandmother ; then come back quickly, and tell me what 
to write." And, for the first time in his life, he kissed me. 
I really do believe, that the hope of gaining my father's 
forgiveness, for that first sin (i. e., that I was not born a 
boy), and that he would be reconciled to my poor mother, 
and, after a while, would get to love us both, had more to 
do with gaining my consent than aught else. When I 
had told them of the nature of this long colloquy in the 
parlor, and that I had come to ask their advice, my 
poor mother wept, and my grandmother rocked herself 
violently. At last she said, ' Well, Mja-a, don't kill your- 
self crying at the outset. If jou are opposed to it, tell 
the child so, and let her go back to her father. 

" O God ! have pity on me, and direct me in this try- 
ing emergency," cried my mother. 

" That is always a good prayer. But you must decide 
quickly. I don't want John Grlencoe to come storming n-p 



418 THE NIGHT AVATCH. 

here like a hurricane as he is, when he's angry," said my 
grandmother. 

"What do you advise, grandma? I was sent equally to 
you." 

" JSTow, child, my opinion is that your heart should be 
your only counselor. When a girl is so undecided as to 
require advice, you may be sure there is something wrong. 
My belief is, that you had better let John Glencoe pass. 
There are more men and women than you two ; besides, 
you are such a baby, you. are not fit to take the head of 
a family." 

" O mother ! you are ruining everything. You will 
get us all into trouble. Her father will be furious. I 
can't explain, but there is a tie, a link of interest between 
them; some business matter, which makes it indispensably 
necessary to fasten John Glencoe to his uncle with grap- 
pling irons, as it were." 

" And this poor child is to be made the grajjpling iron. 
is she ? It is all wa-ong. I will never give my voice to 
such a bargain." Just then, my father came in, and she 
continued, " So, m}^ son, you are about to sell 3'our child 
to that hot-headed John Glencoe, for value received. Aye ! 
is it so? " 

My father turned livid with rage. She went on, " I am 
opposed to this sale." 

"But why, madam?" said he, biting his lip to keep 
down his fury. " I do not think you understand the 
matter." 

" Yes, I understand enough to know that she don't love 
him ; and love is the only real safeguard to the virtue of 
such a child-wife as she will be." 

" Oh ! for the love of heaven," said my mother, " say 
no more. You Avill raise a fiend here, presently, that all 
your philosophy, reason, and religion will be incommen- 
surate to put down." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 419 

My grandmother walked close up to my father, and 
looking him full in the face, said, " My son, I have one 
thing more to state, and then I'm done ; but I'll stick to 
it, and you must abide by it. When that poor thing 
becomes the wife of that jealous, fierce savage, and he 
begins to exact and extort, ending with violence, like all 
of you, that child will hate and then despise him. She 
will be goaded on by his treatment and her own wretch- 
edness, to commit some desperate act. Then you, at the 
head of the pack, will raise the hue and cry, and like a 
parcel of blood-hounds, you'll hunt her to death. Let 
the sin then rest where it is due, on your own shoulders ; 
and retribution icill fall where it is just, upon your own 
head. As for myself, I will stand by that child, right or 
wrong." And the dear, good, upright old lady hobbled 
out of the room. 

My father looked as ferocious as a tiger after her ; then 
turning to me, said, " Marianna, what shall I write to 
your cousin ? " 

"Word the message as you choose, sir/' said I. "I 
have already told you that I would obey your mandate. 
Why should I care ? " He frowned darkly, and left the 
room. 

I never knew what he wrote ; but three days from that 
time, Mr. Glencoe arrived. I met him without any emo- 
tion. On his part, he was so delighted to see me that he 
overlooked my apathy. He sat b}' me the whole day, and 
if I broke away and ran to my room, he very soon crea- 
ted some excuse to call me down — a book to look over 
with him, a print to examine, a walk or ride, or perhaps 
he wished to practice with me some duet for the flute and 
guitar. He performed beautifully on several instruments. 

On the third day, the dreaded subject was broached, and 
he asked me to name a day. I said, with an involuntary 
shudder, that all days were alike to me now, and then 
most inopportunely burst into tears. He was holding my 



420 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

hand at the time he commenced speaking ; but at thia 
juncture he coldly laid it on my lap, drew himself up, and 
leaning hack in his chair, remained silent. I felt that his 
eyes were fixed on me, which only tended to increase my 
distress. 

At last I became calm. I raised my eyes imploringly 
to his face, but in an instant closed them. Would to G-od 
they had closed forever ! I never saw so terrific a coun- 
tenance. He was as pale as death ; that spasmodic twitch- 
ing of the upper lip was so intense as to disclose the teeth, 
which, like his sister's, were very fine, remarkably sharp, 
and exceedingly white. When those teeth were visible, 
the mouth gave forth a decided snarl. His eyes were 
bloodshot. 

I spread my hands out, holding the palms toward him, 
as if to drive him from me, and involuntarily exclaimed, 
"O God! help me. What is the matter with you, sir? 
Cousin John, why do you look so ? " 

He arose and walked the floor, with his thumbs stuck 
in the arm-holes of his vest. I watched him for some time, 
unnoticed. Then I went to him, and laying my hand on 
his arm, as I looked up at him, said, " Sir, I give you 
until to-morrow morning to think of this. I have no 
apology to make ; I will give no explanation. If, at the 
end of that time, when you have pondered on it, and 
brooded over it, you still desire this marriage, I will con- 
sent in two days, after, to fulfill my father's engagement 
with you." 

He seemed surprised, I thought; but beneath that, I 
could see great satisfaction. He caught my hand, carried 
it to his lips, and would for the first time have embraced 
me. I drew back. 

" Not so, my cousin. Wait until you have reflected, 
and made your decision." 

" I have made it even now. I will take you, with that 
veil of mystery hanging over yoiu' conduct. Hoping that 



THE NIGHT AV A T C H . 421 

joii will yourself raise it, and that you will then reward 
my devotion by loving me. Promise me this, dear 
girl " 

" I can promise you nothing, sir. I say now, and I will 
vow no more at the altar. I will do my best to please 
you. When you have considered on it, and after we have 
been to church, and done that which I hope we will both 
try to do, however imperfectly, then meet me here. Good 
evening, sir." 

I did not come to the tea table. I took my breakfast in 
my room. I saw no one but my niirse, who ministered to 
my few requirements. I felt that I did not wish to look on 
the face of a human being save my mother and this good 
creature. To my father's frequent requests, and then his 
commands to come to the parlor, I only replied, "I am 
indisposed." 

At eleven o'clock, I descended to the drawing-room, 
attired for church. My cousin came up, offered his arm, 
and thus we proceeded. "We took our seats in my father's 
pew, side by side. When the service was over, we 
returned home without saying a word. 

At dinner we all appeared as usual. The young man 
to whom I have before alluded, Walter Jocelyn, was there. 
Being very estimable himself, and my father as hos- 
pitable, this youth was invited to become a guest in his 
house. During the whole of that morning, he watched 
us closely. I would never look up but his eyes were fixed 
upon me. This was embarrassing and a little curious, I 
thought, seeing that we were strangers. After dinner I 
took my seat in the drawing-room, to await the gentle- 
men who lingered over their wine. Walter came first. 

"Miss Glencoe," said he, "my acquaintance with you 
is short, but not so brief but that I have divined your 
secret ; have also seen disclosed the rock on which your 
domestic peace is to be wrecked." 



I 



422 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

" Oh my friend," said T (for I felt a premonition that 
he was, and ever would be my friend), then you know 
that my heart is not in this marriage? " 

"Yes: and that you are most wretched. I foresee, that 
few or none of your friends will have access to you after 
your marriage. You will be guarded with the lynx-eye 
of suspicion. Now let me tell 3 ou ; I am ready at any 
moment, in any way (no matter whether right or wrong), 
to serve you. My person, my purse, my influence, my 
mind, my soul are subject to your slightest command. Soon 
it will be a crime to tell you this. Then sink it deep into 
the cells of your memory, to be called up in time of need. 
Feel no dread or distrust; remember, that the eye of love 
is as far-seeing and as vigilant as that of jealousy. Grant 
me one favor?" I bowed assent. " Sufi^er me to kiss 
your hand, in token of the good faith between us, and 
that I am understood^ 

He said this last word with peculiar emphasis. I held 
out my hand. He imprinted a fervent kiss on it, and 
bowing, left. 

In a few moments my cousin John entered the room, 
hurriedlj^ ; looked curiously about, from right to left. 

" I thought Mr. Jocelyn was here ? " 

" He has just left, sir," said I, coldly. 

" Of wdiom was he in pursuit?" 

" He did not say, sir ; but I supposed he had called in 
to converse with me. He did not speak of any one 
else." 

" Did he so ? Then why did he leave so soon ? " 

"I can not tell ; I did not invite 'him to remain, and I 
rather think he knew, or suspected our appointment." 

I felt my blood boil in ni}' veins, but I was determined 
to avoid all scenes. This appeared to be satisfactory. 
When he found I did not evidence either anxiety, curios- 
ity, or trepidation at this first demonstration of the ruling 



THE NIGHT W A T C H . 423 

passion, he came and threw himself down on the sofa 
by me, and taking my hand, looked earnestly into ray 
face as he said : 

" My love, did yon ever know, or can you conceive of 
such affection as this ? Listen : I once knew a man who 
loved a woman so fiercely, that he got to hate every other 
man who looked at her, and in time, grew jealous of her 
own father." 

I smiled faintly, and added : " Well, did such love make 
them happy? " 

" Him it made happy beyond the power of description." 

" But the lady, how it was with her ? " 

" Why, as far as the chronicles tell, she was hapjsy, too. 
How could it be otherwise ? She was very beautiful, and 
exceedingly gentle, and angelic in all things." With this 
he caught me in his arms, and strained me to his breast 
with such violence, that to this day, I am in doubt 
Avhether he did not intend to crush me to death. Be this 
as it may, I screamed out, and my father came running 
into the room from the parlor. 

"In the name of all the saints! what is the matter?" 

"Nothing, papa," said I, laughing and crying at the 
same time, " only cousin John is trying to kill me 
already." 

"Fie! fie!" said he, angrily. "John, I wonder how 
you can wish to be bothered with such a little fool." 

When we were again alone, I said, "Sir, I came here to 
talk seriously ; but I must say, you are very light and 
frivolous this Sabbath afternoon." 

" Our Sunday ends with High Mass until Yespers, you 
know." 

" Yes," said I. " So tell me to what decision you have 
come ? " 

" Now, is not that too much ? How can you ask such 
a question ? Have you not been answered ? I can not 
live without you, Marianna. I must possess you either 



424 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

with, oc 'v\uthout love. But woe to the man who steps 
between us ! Aye ! let him try it." He had risen from 
his seat, and stood before me — his hand on the gold- 
hilted dagger which he constantly wore on his bosom. 
That U23per lip, and those dark, grey eyes, performed 
their functions as faithfully as ever; and the white teeth 
gleamed from under the dark moustache. I never saw 
that expression on his face, but my mind reverted to the 
hapless Desdemona, and my cousin's warning letters. 

On the following Tuesday, as I had promised, we were 
married. My mother's ill health, furnished the excuse 
for a private wedding. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 425 



(■ 



CHAPTEK XXXIX. 

THE JOURNAL THE RETURN. 

" Better confide and be deceived, 

A thousand times, by treacherous foes, 
Than once accuse the innocent. 
Or let suspicion mar repose." 

" In the human breast two master-passions can not co-exist." 



A YEAR has elapsed — time flying, sometimes, so swiftly 
that I did not even hear the rustle of his wings. Then 
they were clogged, and heavy, and I felt them trail on the 
ground; taking up trifles — insignificant things — which 
made life wearisome. We have just returned from a 
northern tour, and are now again at the old homestead. 
My mother's health has not improved ; and my grand- 
mother has taken up her abode in the house. 

My parents made it a sine qua non with my husband, 
that we should reside with them; everything goes on 
swimmingly. My father seems to be no longer annoyed 
by duns, or pinched by necessity. His purse is like the 
" widow's cruise," — bottomless. Mr. G-lencoe, no longer 
cousin John, is the presiding, controling, and supplying 
divinity of the place. My father loves him; my mother 
looks up to him ; everybody respects him ; my grand- 
mother endures him because he is my husband ; and I, 
who should have all those feelings blent into one, only 
fear him ! 

Ho seems to love me as fiercely as ever, and nothing 
has yet occurred to mar our tranquilltiy, I said we had 
36 



426 T H E N I G H T W A T C H . 

jiist returned home. Preparations are making to cele- 
brate tliis event with great magnificence. It has been a 
jubilee in the house since the first night after our arrival. 
Friends and acquaintances come flocking in. Congratu- 
latory and adulatory speeches are the most current coin 
in use. My gentlemen friends say, " She is greatly im- 
proved." My lady favorites exclaim, " Lord ! how Mrs. 
Glencoe has grown." My mother seems full of gratitude 
that I am not heart-broken and martyr-like. My father 
addresses me as " M}^ daughter, Mrs. John Glencoe," and 
at last seems proud of me. My grandmother rocks herself, 
shakes her head, but says nothing. Nurse says, "Bless 
God ! all's well what turns out well. I hope he'll hold 
out." 

The invitations are sent for three hundred persons, and 
the third day after this, this great /ete is to come ofi'. I 
have had a splendid dress ordered from New York, five 
hundred dollars will not cover the cost of it, to say noth- 
ing of the jewels. My husband has already expended a 
small fortune on me ; I ought to love him, children are 
generall}^ won by gauds and gewgaws. Would to God I 
could become attached to him. Every new manifestation 
of his regard makes my heart sick. I wish sometimes 
that he were cross, so that I might in some way apj)ease 
my self-accusing. 

We are sitting in the drawing-room, the dress has 
arrived. It is superb ; I am charmed with it, or rather I 
would be, if I cared for anything. By some strange train 
of ideas, without any association, my mind is far away. 
I am thinking how much jo}^, and gladness, and delight, 
would be gushing forth from my loving heart, if he were 
sitting there instead of Jihn. Then the still small voice 
whispers, " Bethink thyself, Marianna. Thou art a wedded 
wife !" And I droop my head and weep. On being asked 
wherefor (for my attentive husband never fails to inquire), 



THF. NKiHT WATCff. ' 427 

I reply, "Because, sir, you are so kind and generous." He 
looks me keenly in the face ; but I have been obliged 
to resort to subterfuges, too often, to be embarrassed by a 
look. 

While we sat there, the servant comes in with the 
letters. There are several for Dr. Glencoe, and two or 
three for John Glencoe, junr. One has a black seal. He 
lays that aside, and when he has read the others, opens 
it. He becomes deadly pale, but is silent; then he 
rubs his hand over his face, as if his thoughts strayed, 
or he felt his mind growing obtuse. 

After awhile he handed me the letter, and went away. 
I was glad he did so — had he witnessed that fierce pa- 
roxysm, that breaking up of the ice, that bursting forth 
of suppressed feeling, and long pent-up emotions, I know 
not what would have been the result. I hastened to my 
room, locked the door, and again read the letter. Mrs. 
Murray, my cousin Amanda, is dead. She had died sud- 
denly in giving birth to a little daughter ; and they are 
now on their way home. Mrs. Murray, his mother, was 
still in bad health; was much changed, and longed for 
retirement, that she might devote herself to the little 
Genevieve, the infant daughter of my cousin Amanda. 

The letter was from Conrad. He desired his love to 
his cousin Marianna. I sat for a long time musing over 
its contents. I would not look into my heart. I would 
not suffer myself to contemplate the present or the future. 
I wished to act right, and I aimed to do so. My cousin 
wrote in a manly, dignified tone. His letter was brief, 
cold, and sorrowful. There was no assumption of intense, 
overwhelming grief; no affectation of fine sentimentality. 
He appeared as I had thought him — all truth and candor. 

There came a low tap ; I got up, and found that I was 
scarcely able to move. I reeled forward, and when I 
opened the door, fell forward into the arms of ray bus- 



428 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

band ; I had fainted. When I recovered, I found him hang- 
ing tenderly over me. 

We were alone ; my husband kissed me, and said, look- 
ing very sad, " Dear child of sensibility ! But we loved 
her so much ! Poor dear lost sister ! Thine was a bril- 
liant but meteor-like career ! " 

My father came in, and after making exactly the proper 
number of inquiries, and otfcring precisely the suitable 
amount of condolence, said, 'I must send out your regrets, 
and have this festival stayed, I presume, John? " 

"If you please, uncle. " Then he walked across the 
room, and stood for some time gazing moodily out of the 
window. 

A week more, and the travelers are at home. His apart- 
ments are ojiposite to mine. I look over, and see him 
passing to and fro in his room. Now he stands beside the 
window, and /, like a guilty thing, conceal myself behind 
the curtain and peep out covertly. It has been three 
years since Ave met. He appears from this view to be 
much taller and stouter ; weai's heavy black whiskers, but 
no moustache ; looks thoughtful and sad ; has his eyes fixed 
steadfastly on our house, on my window. 

It is the month of June ; the windows ai'e raised, and, 
as they are large, I can see into his room. 

Mr, Glencoe crosses the street, and rings the bell. I trem- 
ble with excitement at the thought of any one toiiching 7m 
dear hand. O Grod ! forgive me ! I feel that I would be 
wnlling to die, to be crushed to death, if I could once more 
be clasped to his bosom ! My husband approaches hira ; 
they shake hands. Now, there seems to be an awkward 
silence; after Avhich they seat themselves near the win- 
dow, and enter into conversation. I find my heart insti- 
tuting a comparison between my cousin and my husband. 
Grod help me ! I can no longer control my thoughts ! I 
must tear myself away from the maddening scene. I 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 429 

threw myself on the sofa ; then I went to the lounge ; 
arose from that and dashed myself down on the floor ; 
then got up and lay uj)on the bed, putting the pillow on 
my face, and pressing it down furiously, as if to shut out 
all remembrance. Alas ! Externals have nothing to do 
with it. There is a long record of the past within, adorned 
by his image. 

I hear Mr. Glencoe talking below; I know that he will 
either send for me or come up. I bathe my face, arrange 
my hair, make ray toilet, and pass into my mother's room. 
She and my grandmother are engaged in talking with 
some lad}' neighbors ; so I manage to escape their notice. 
Presently a servant comes. "Mr. Glencoe says, will you 
do him the favor to come and sit with him, madam ? " 

I go down immediately, and find him looking very 
somber. After sitting together for some time, talking on 
indifferent subjects, he says suddenly, looking me full in 
the eyes, ''My love, you do not inquire about your cousin 
Conrad." In an instant I felt the blood rush to my face; 
I knew he marked this down. " Why have you not asked 
about him ? " 

I stammered out, " I thought it would make you still 
more sad, and forebore to speak until you chose to open 
the subject." This did not do ; I saw he was not satisfied. 
All that day and the next he was silent and moody. I 
would look up, and find his eyes intently fixed on me, as 
if he thought there was some secret which he expected 
to surprise and read on my countenance. 

Two days after that, we were sitting in the parlor, when 
the street door bell rang, and I heard that voice which 
never failed to thrill my whole frame, ask, "Is my cousin 
Marianna at home? " 

" Yes, sir ; walk into the drawing-room," said the boy, 
opening the door. 

On first catching the sound of his voice, I had sprung 
to my feet, and as he entered the door, with an irrepresa- 



430 THE N J ( i H T \V A T C H , 

ible si: out of gladness, I rushed into his arms and hid my 
head in his bosom. He strained me to his breast, kissed 
me passionately on the forehead, cheeks, lips, over and 
over again ; then held me at arm's length, looking at me 
so lovingly, so tenderly, that I was forced to close trj 
eyes or die of rapture. Then he would catch me up 
again, and murmur, " My dear cousin ! My darling girl ! 
My own one ! " Then holding me off, and looking at me, 
would say, " Oh ! how beautiful f How marvelously beau- 
tiful ! How exquisitely lovely ! " 

I presume all this passed in a much shorter time than 
has taken to write it. We took no note of Ms flight. 
The world, with all its vexatious annoyances, had receded 
from my thoughts. I was only conscious of a wild, deli- 
rious joy. I was once more resting on that idolized 
bosom. I felt his heart beat, I heard it ; and my own 
throbbed responsivel}^. But this state could not last. I 
should have expired in ecstacy. Ah ! why do we, poor, 
short-sighted mortals, evermore drain the cuji to the 
dregs, if it is not dashed from the lips? 

We awoke, but it was too late. On turning to sit down, 
we met my husband face to face. Conrad had not seen 
him, and /had forgotten him. There he stood, with his 
arms folded over his breast, his eyes bloodshot, his face 
bloodless, and that upper lip quivering, and jerking, and 
snarling, revealing those sharp, white, glistening teeth. I 
fell on the sofa, and covered my eyes with my hands, to 
shut out the appalling spectacle. 

Conrad approached him, and said with stern calmness. 
" Sir, I hold myself accountable to you for this scene. I 
am at j^our service at an}^ time." 

A low, hissing laugh, with " I thank you, sir," escaped 
my husband, and they left the room together. 

I was alone. I felt bewildered, almost insane, for a few 
moments, frantic. I would have rushed after them. I 
wished to flee away, to hide from the face of every human 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 431 

being, so that I might be alone with my thoughts. I 
essayed to do so, but only had strength to totter across 
the room, and fall again on a sofa. Then, fortunately, 
there was a suspension of my faculties ; I sank into a 
state of inanity. A lethargic repose stole over me, and I 
lay quite still. I neither saw nor heard anything. I felt 
no anguish, knew no joy. Hope seemed to have taken 
her everlasting flight, and memory to have closed her 
avenues. 

The servant came in to light the gas, then suj)per was 
announced. I got up mechanically, and passing into the 
room, took my seat at the table. My grandmother pre- 
sided at the head, the family surrounded the board. My 
friend Walter sat opposite to me. jSTeither my father nor 
my husband came in. The meal passed off in silence. I 
saw that young Walter's eyes were fixed on me ; I did not 
care. He addressed some common-place questions ; I did 
not answer, for I could not comprehend his words. I 
gulped down my tea, then rose from the table and left the 
room as mechanically as I had entered it. I had gone 
and taken my seat in the parlor. 

Walter followed me thither, sat down by me, looking 
mournfully into my face. " Ah ! I knew it ; my own 
heart foreboded this. I would have warned you, but I 
had no opportunity. Ah ! how quickly the poison cor- 
rodes!" I said not a word, but sat quite still, with my 
eyes closed, and my arms hanging languidly down, 
scarcely breathing. 

Presently he took my hand. I sprang to my feet. 
" Oh ! for the love of Christ ! do not touch me ! I am 
mad ! Oh ! I'm mad ! " and I rushed to my room, threw 
myself on the floor, where I remained throughout the 
whole night, without undressing. I heard the clock strike 
every hour until day. Oh ! that long, dreary, lonely 
night ! 



432 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

He did not return. I could not tell whether I was 
pleased or disturbed at it. I had ceased to reason, and 
no longer tried to understand myself. Morning dawned, 
and I had not slept. My maid came in and said my 
mother was inquiring for me. My father had not returned, 
and she felt alarmed. I suffered myself to be dressed, and 
went to my mother. I found her much excited. Seeing 
me so calm, she grew also tranquil. She said thai Con- 
rad and John Glencoe had left the house together, the 
latter being as pale as a corpse. Soon after, a messenger 
came for my father ; since which time they had not been 
heard of She claimed of me to explain the mystery. I 
could not ; I had no heart to speak. 

Just then my grandmother came to the bedside. " Tut, 
tut ! what is this fuss about ? Stop all your crjnng. 
Come, hush it all up at once. There's nothing the mat- 
ter. You know not these Glencoes yet ? By to-morrow, 
all will come right. They are only at the club. They 
find the faces of them things with red and black spots 
more attractive than the countenances of their pretty 
wives. That's all. It has always been the way with 
them. Think no more of it." 

But my mother could not be thus easily pacified. She 
therefore sent Molly over to Mrs. Murray's to inquire 
after the health of the invalid, with directions to recon- 
noiter. 

She soon came back and rej)brted that she found the 
lady sitting up, dressed in a splendid mourning rohe de 
chambre; but she was unable to walk from a recent 
attack of neuralgia. After she left Mrs. Murray's room, 
on her way through the hall, she heard her name called. 
She turned quickly and saw my cousin come from his 
room ; he gave her two notes, then went back and shut 
the door. 

" Oh, ho ! Beginning that game again, are you ? Well, 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 433 

I t-eckon the old one in there will soon break that up as 
once before, when she comes to know it." Then she began 
to sing a line from ' Love's Young Dream,' — 

" ' Oh ! that hallowed form is ne'er forgot, 
Which first love traced.' " 

And Tivvy ran off, laughing and singing. 

One note was to my mother, expressing his regret on 
hearing of her increased indisposition, and begging her 
to name an hour to receive him. The other was to me. 

" At Home, 10 o'clock. 
" My life, my soul, my Marianna ! I care not if you are 
his wife ! You are still my only sunbeam! The only ray 
to light and warm my cold and gloomj^ path through 
this cheerless vale. I believe we have been deceived — 
defrauded. I think now, since I have met you, and felt 
the throbs of that loving heart, as it panted on my 
bosom, that it was all a work of treachery — a tissue of 
falsehoods — a device of evil ones to tear us asunder. 
And now I love you ten thousand times more than ever. 
Can you conceive of such a thing, dear girl ? I was led 
to believe that you were estranged — that you preferred 
him, the stranger cousin, to me, who helped your mother 
to rear you, and who had, from that hour of innocent joys 
and infantile delights, loved you on with an untiring 
devotion, until I breathed the passionate adoration of 
manhood into your pure ears. I am now, Anna, con- 
vinced that all was false seeming, and that those letters 
were forgeries. But who was the perpetrator ? you will 
ask me. Aye ! let us not seek to know. It is too late to 
remedy the evil ; but I shall not struggle against the 
promptings of my soul, which tell me that there is no 
purer or holier shrine on the face of the earth ; and it is 
there I shall, from henceforth, offer up my homage, my 
untiring adoration. Do not be alarmed at what tran- 
37 



434 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

spired in the parlor. Your that is, Mr. Gleucoe — is a 

perfect tiger in fierceness ; a lion in courage. But do you 
not know, my love, that these wild beasts are in subjec- 
tion to their keepers ? Your poor cousin Conrad has had 
an opportunity of studying the peculiar traits of mind 
and temper of the G-lencoes. 

" Behave with calm dignity ; make no concessions ; no 
apology for what has passed, or for what may occur. You 
have done no wrong; you meant none. ISTature — sup- 
pressed nature, burst forth then. The human heart is 
said to be deceitful above all things ; but truth sometimes 
forced to conceal itself at the bottom, will at last, cry out 
for freedom, and assert its supremacy. Such love as ours 
is from heaven, heavenly. It is an emanation from Him, 
who is the source of all love. We have been cheated of 
ours, and the wronged and wrung soul demands retri- 
bution. 

" Trust to me, my sweet girl. I will never com^Dromise 
or involve you in trouble. I shall continue to visit you 
and your mother as usual ; that is, if you will permit me. 
Express but one word of disapprobation to this proposal ; 
show but the slightest sj^mptom of satiety, and I will 
withdraw. Say that your happiness is increased by this, 
and I will stand aloof and watch over jon from a dis- 
tance. Till then, my life, my love, my soul, I am j^our 
true friend. I shall call on your mother in the course of 
the day. Shall I also, see my little cousin Anna ? 

"C. C. Murray." 

I locked myself up within my chamber. I pondered 
over this letter. I did not subscribe to it with my under- 
standing ; my sense of honor forbade it. The still small 
voice condemned it. But the heart is sometimes a special 
pleader. Yet I could not forget that I was a wife, an 
immaculate one. I thought it cruel in my cOusin to tempt 
me thus ; and I uttered one of those bitter walls, " 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 435 

God ! teach me the way, and deliver me from tempta- 
tion ! " I again read the letter; reason lent me her ray, 
while in the gloomy solitude of my room, to view his 
conduct and scan his motives. The verdict of my better 
judgment, and that of religion, as far as I knew, was 
against him ; but this heart, this poor, weak, sinful heart 
arrayed itself in panoply of steel to do battle in his 
cause. But I had prayed to God to deliver me from this 
strait, and my grandmother had told me to do so at all 
times in faith. So I firmly believed that my impulses, 
thenceforth, would be directed and incited by Him. 
Eeader, can you doubt the issue ? 

I did not go down to tea. The next day came, without 
bringing home either my father or husband. In the after- 
noon, my mother's maid came in, and said Mr. Murray 
was with her mistress, and desired to see me. I begged 
to be excused, pleading a violent headache, which was 
true. I heard no more from him. 

A few hours after, when I had fallen into a light sleep, 
there was a gentle tap at the door. My husband entered 
and came right up to me. I rose to meet him, expecting 
rebukes and abuse. He kissed me, and his lips were hot; 
there was also a smell of wine on his breath. He seemed 
nervous and excited ; laughed a good deal, but this, too, 
partook of the hollowness and coarseness of the satur- 
nalia. There were many subtleties used to throw, me off 
my guard, and to lead me, as he thought ingeniously, to 
speak of my cousin, by alluding to his mother several 
times. 

I asked him, at last, if he had yet called ? 

" Why no, little wife, I have w^aited for you to show me 
the way, well knowing that it would be such a treat to 
you to do so." 

Then he looked so keenly into my eyes, that I must 
have quailed, had there been life enough left in me to 



436 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

furnish one single emotion. I calmlj' remarked, " I am at 
your service, sir, at any time." 

He lauglied loudly again, and said, " My uncle John 
would have dragged me in there last night, and the night 
before ; but I would not go. By the by, Anna, your father 
is in love with that piece of frame-work." 

" Why do you speak so slightingly of Mrs. Murray, sir ? " 

" Why do you take it up so? Do you love her too? " 
Then he snarled. 

" I cultivate a feeling of complacency for her." 

" Yes, I know, and for the son too ; " and be grew pale. 

"No, sir, that is natural." 

He jumped up, and looked fiercely at me, but seeing me 
quite unmoved, sat down again. Presently he arose, 
walked toward the door — then wheeling suddenly, as if 
struck by some new thought, said, " Anna, my love, we 
are to have company to tea. I wish you to be bright." I 
bowed assent. 

I slept for an hour, then submitted to a very elaborate 
toilet. I do not know why I did this ; I did not analyze 
the feeling which induced it ; but I rather rejoiced at my 
apj)earance when I viewed myself in the large mirror. I 
was summoned to the drawing-room. It occurred to me, 
that I would wait and see whether my husband would 
come for me as usual. I remained some time ; and when 
he did not come, I felt hurt. What a strange compound 
we are ! What a bundle of contrarieties ! Yesterday, my 
greatest desire was to keep him at a distance. To-day, I am 
wounded because he fails in a trifling point of etiquette. 

I went to. see my mother. When I asked her of my 
father, she burst into tears. At this moment the door 
opened, and my husband entered, looking still very much 
flushed. He comes up to the bedside, and greets my 
mother, inquiring kindl}" about her health ; then asked 
for my father? Ere he could be answered, the latter 



THE NIGHT AVATCH. 437 

comes in ; and walking up to me said, " Marianna, you 
are inquired for in the parlor until I am tired of it. What 
do you here so long? Go down, John." 

"Yes. Come, my love; I am here on purpose to lead 
you to our friends." 

As we passed from the room, I heard my grandmother 
say, " Merciful God ! They are both drunk." 

On going into the parlor, my husband seemed to make 
a point of leading me up to my cousin. He arose without 
embarrassment, shook hands with me, and seated himself 
by my side. I glanced around the room. There were 
several other gentlemen present. All that evening. Mr. 
Glencoe seemed to feel a savage joy in witnessing the 
attentions of Conrad ; and tried m every way consistent 
with politeness, to throw us together. When supper was 
announced, he was left to go with me, and to take the 
vacant seat by my side. When I was invited to play, 
after tea, my cousin handed me to the instrument, turned 
the music, and asked for the songs. All the other guests 
were withdrawn to take refreshments — sometimes indi- 
vidually, and once or twice en masse. He was never 
invited. 

From that evening I date the commencement of a long 
series of sorrows and petty persecutions. Everything 
seemed to excite his suspicions. Then he would break 
out into bitter reproaches, oj)en invectives, and coarse 
accusations. Sometimes he would throw out innuendoes, 
and taunt me, saying, with a hideous smile, that " I had 
been forsaken, and cast off for another." Again, for a 
whole week, I was not allowed to see my cousin. Was 
compelled to keep my I'oom, and feign sickness as an 
excuse, when he and others called. Then I would be 
paraded out, and left alone with him ; and tempted and 
lured on to do and say things heedlessly, which might 
have been wrong under some circumstances and with less 
provocation. 



438 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

I was almost deranged. I scarce knew right from 
wrong; and if I erred in speech or act, it was from igno- 
rance. But I felt myself growing reckless. I began to 
feel that I did not feel. 1 no longer tried to please my 
husband or my father. They had crushed this desire, 
with all spirit, out of me. I had become a mere automa- 
ton in the hands of any who might take the trouble to 
direct me. I imjDlicitly obeyed my husband and father : 
I went and came as they directed. I met my cousin or 
did not, just as thej chose to suggest. I failed in nothing; 
yet I made no effort to succeed, because I cared not. 1 
was at that time, as ever, a chaste, obedient and respectful 
wife. I did all that God suffered me to do. I did not 
love him. I could not. I had not the power to do so. 
These continual droppings of small things — this fretting 
away of the foundation, was effecting a fearful change in 
feeling and principle. I was so wretched that I did not see 
how my condition could be made better or worse. True, 
he had never yet laid violent hands on me ; but he had 
applied the epithet which Othello puts upon Desdemona, 
more times than the Moor ever did, and with just as much 
propriety, as far as I can see ; perhaps with less just 
cause. 

Alas ! all things work against me. I w^as not now 
encouraged by the presence of my grandmother, who was 
a restraint on him as well. She was confined to her bed 
with rheumatism. The only solace I had, was to creep to 
her bedside and j)0ur out my lamentations. All my grief, 
with every other vexatious care, was kept away from my 
poor invalid mother. About this time, m^' husband 
became furiously jealous of the young Walter. I had 
been forbidden to speak or to reply to him, which 1 
obeyed to the letter. Then I was charged Avith keeping 
up a telegraphic intercourse with our eyes ; and thus my 
difficulties increased. I was not permitted to converse 
with either of th-ese gentlemen, notwithstanding I was 



THE NIGHT WATCH. ' 439 

forced to appear in the parlor every evening, where I met 
them and other company. 

I was compelled to pass whole hours at the harp or 
piano ; required to sing merry songs, to talk blithely 
(which, by-the-b}'', I never succeeded in doing), while 
those bloodshot eyes were fixed upon me like the most 
dreadfal nightmare. God help me ! I know not half my 
time what I am doing. I scarce comprehend what is said 
to me. A sense of utter wretchedness is the only abiding 
feelinff. 



440 THE NIGHT W A T H . 



CHAPTEE XL. 

THE JOURNAL . PARADISE ANT) PURGATORY. 

" Jealousy, that doats but dooms, and murders, yet adores," 

" I will be master of what is my own ; 
She is my goods, my chattels, my household stuff." 

I HAD passed such an evening as is described in the last 
chapter, when, toward the close, Mr. Glencoe took his 
seat on the sofa by my cousin, who had been sitting- 
silent, either absorbed in listening or thinking. " Mur- 
ray, did you ever hear your cousin sing that last new 
song? " calling it by name. 

" I have not. I was not aware that she had learned it." 

" Why, the little fairy ! she did not learn it, but played 
it off as soon as I placed it before her. She does some 
things intuitively. Anna, will you favor us with it, my 
love? " 

I walked to the piano, not suffering either Conrad or 
Walter to lead me. lest they might perchance touch my 
hand, and thereby give offense. They took their station 
on either side of me, and before I had finished the second 
verse, my husband left the room. I saw him go out, and 
I felt an inexpressible relief in his absence, for I had got 
to loathe him. 

A reaction immediate!}'' took place. M}' spirits, which 
had been spell-bound for such a length of time, now burst 
forth, and ni}^ genial nature reveled in gladness. The in- 
cubus was shaken off. Neither the dreaded father, nor the 
jealous, despised husband were present. I was like a child 
just let loose from school, in its gambols, or a bird from 



THE NIGHT \V A T ( ' il . 441 

its cage. I talked, and laughed, and sung, and played. My 
voice once more became full and gushing, rich and melodi- 
ous. I was urged to sing song after song. Walter and my 
cousin Conrad stood by me, and seemed to enjoy my 
recovered mirthfulness. They gaze at me fondly, with 
that tender, protecting look which belongs to a mother 
for an unfortunate child. O G-od ! it is well that there 
is but one such season of bliss in a lifetime. But one ! 
Were it not so, we should have no as^iirations for heaven. 

This delicious evening drew to a close. They are gone. 
I am sitting alone on the same seat at the piano, enjoying 
it all over in review. 

" Come, go to your room, Miss Pet," said a kind bat 
alarmed voice. I jumped up, threw my arms around the 
neck of my nurse, and wept for happiness and gladness. 
She led me away. 

" Now, don't ondress yet. Have it all over with your 
clothes on," said she. 

" What, good nurse ? What do you mean? Have what 
over ? " 

" Ah ! poor lamb ! You will know too soon, I fear ; " 
and instead of removing my dress, she made me put on a 
silk sack. I had worn an evening dress, and my arms 
and neck were bare. 

Some one is at the door, and the good creature slipped 
from the room. My husband enters. He stands before 
me with those bloodshot eyes, that ghastly face, and that 
quivering upper lip. I meet him face to face, unblench- 
ingly. I have done no wrong, I have injured no one ; 
then why should I quail under any human eye ? He 
approaches quite near, looks tauntingly at me, runs his 
face into mine. I do not move, but look at him calmly. 

" Out, wanton ! Base, lewd, unblushing ! Take 

that — -and that," giving me a furious slap on the face, 
which sent me reeling to the opposite side of the room. 
Ere I had recovered from my amazement, he had jerked 



442 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

me forth again, and blow after blow descended quickly 
on my face, head, and chest. I was quite unable to shriek 
out. He had stopped for the want of breath. 

Just as his arm was raised to inflict another blow, a 
powerful hand was laid on his shoulder. 

" Stop, sir ; on your life don't strike ! What ! would 
you strike your wife? your own flesh and bone? Ha! 
blood ! what does this mean? Wretch ! coward ! rascal ! 
what is the meaning of this ? " said Molly, who was, as I 
have said, a powerful woman. She took him by the 
shoulders and shook him fiercely; then, giving him a 
violent push, he fell heavily with his head against the 
fender. She stojsped but an instant to look at him, 
then exclaimed, in a sullen voice, " God forgive me ! I 
didn't mean to kill him quite, but I have done it, anyhow, 
and I can't help it." 

She hurried me through the basement, again, into the 
garden, thence to a grotto on the confines of the grounds, 
and placing me in the arms of my cousin Conrad, pro- 
ceeded to i-elate to him the preceding occurrences. 

" Great God ! " cried he, " What a monster ! But, Molly, 
you may have killed him." 

" I 'spect I has, I'm 'fraid I has, but it can't be helped 
now !" 

" But you will be hanged ! good honest creature ! The 
provocation and your motive will not shield you ; you 
will be hanged." 

" I knows that, as well as you does, Mas'r Conrad. 
You needn't keep telling me of it, 'thout you be trying 
to git me use to it 'forehand. But thar's more sides 
than one to every thing. How they gwine prove it on 
me ? Tell me that clever over ? '" 

" If that man is dead, and we are found here, or it is 
known that Ave have been here, every one of us will be 
implicated in his murder." 

" You better see to that child in your arms before she 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 443 

bleeds to death. He cracked a blood vessel somewhere in 
her face, and the blood spouted all over his haggard, 
devilish-looking countenance. I wish you could ha' seen 
him then." 

" But, j\Iolly, I fear, in your just indignation, you have 
killed him." 

" Don't care ! He would ha' killed that sweet flower," 
said she. 

" Oh ! nurse, I am sick, almost unto death ! Take me 
hence, dear cousin ! I can never behold his face again ! I 
will never enter that house any more ! I will die here, or 
in the woods or floods." 

" Then thar gwine to be two murders ! Don't say that, 
darling Miss Pet; think of 3'our poor, broken-hearted 
mother ! " 

" God bless my mother ! " cried I ; " I am read}^ to live 
or die for her." 

It was now decided that Molly should return to the 
house and reconnoiter. We were alone. I was reclining 
on that tender, manly breast ; I felt myself nestled like a 
helpless child in that brave bosom. His lips were pressed 
to mine. I drank in his warm, fragrant breath ; I foi'got 
my wrongs ; my wounds were no longer felt. I ceased 
to hate the monster who was the instrument in procuring 
me this moment of bliss. Molly was not long absent. 
We were left alone but a short time in the grotto. But it 
was surely a foretaste of the pure joys of the blessed. We 
listened to the soothing ripple of the stream, as it so 
peacefully glided by ; the sighing of the winds through 
the tall trees ; the plaintive notes of the stock dove, 
mourning perhaps some dead or faithless mate ; and we 
drank in delicious draughts of odor, the pure breath of 
flowers, wafted to us on the gentle, loving breeze. We 
were soothed and refreshed, and tranquilized ; above all, 
we wei'e together. All else in this world was forgotten. 
I felt that I would wish to exhale my soul out in love to 



444 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

him, and gratitude to God. It was a holy hour, and my 
feelings were holy. I was rapt away. 

But alas ! all joy is fleeting ; I was dragged back to 
this mundane sphere, by Molly exclaiming, "Bless God ! 
I walk so fast, being something of a big nigger, that I'm 
quite out of wind," and she threw herself down, and 
panted, and puffed for some time, before we could get her 
to speak. " No, bless God ! no such good luck ; he's live, 
and live like to be, I'm aft'aid. He got up his-self, and 
washed his own face. I jest went boldly in, and when he 
turned round and looked at me, I said, 'JSTow, aint you a 
nice man for a husband? Shame! shame on you.' He 
made up to me again. I drawed back, and made my fist 
into a knot as hard as any iron, and said, ' John Glencoe, 
I'm a nigger, and I reckon you can have me hung for salt 
and battleing, but keep your hands offer me, else I'll 
make sure work of it next time. You know I'm no 
baby in strengt when I'm raised. You almost killed 
your wife, and I tried to kill you for it.' 

" He looked wildly at me, like he jist waked up, and said, 
' Oh ! Molly, I'm very sorry ef I have done any one amy 
wrong. I did'nt know that I had hurt any body. I was 
drunk ; have been for two days. I do love her so much, 
and she will not love me ; all I can do, I can't get her 
even to say she loves me ; no, not even to say it.' 

" ' Because, that child bin taught to tell the truth only. 
Do you 'spect to beat love into her with j^our fist ? Do 
you ? Tell me that ? ' 

" 'Beat! What about beat? You dare not, you old devil, 
insinuate .that I ever struck my wife, that gentle, unof- 
fending angel ! I surely have not been such a craven 
dog as to strike a defenseless woman ? ' 

" ' Come, that will do, sir. You can't come it over old 
Molly Wise that away. You 'spose I didn't see you get up, 
'cause my ' little pet lamb ' went to sing a few love songs to 
her cousin, and wring yoiir teeth, and grit your hands, 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 445 

and turn chalky in the face, and come in the back parlor, 
and set down thar, and watch 'em through the crack of 
the folding doors ? You think I did'nt see you take that 
riding whip, and place that sterletto in your bosom, or 
whatever you call that dirk thar, jest because the poor 
thing happened to sing a few love ' 

" ' Yes, d her! she did sing and look love too. I'd 

do it again ! I'd crush her to death, even while I am so 
frantically in love with her. I believe I'll kill every one 
of you ; ' and he seized me by the two arms and began to 
shake me. J^\it I shook him off, just like Saint Paul did 
that venomous wild beast what come outen the fire that 
time and fastened on his arm. 

" Then laying hold of him, I holds him like as if he was 
fastened up in a screw or a vice. ■ I thought his upper lip 
was gwine to jump off from the rest of his face ; while 

his eyes blazed, and he say, ' You d d old devil you ! 

Don't you know that I can have you put to death for this?' 

" ' Don't you know, you fierce little cock sparrow you ! that 

I can fix you so, that thar will be nobody to tell the tale?' 

" 'Come, Molly, unhand me. "Where is your mistress?' 

" ' What you want to know that for? You want to kill 
her over agin ? ' 

" ' No ; I want to go down on my knees to her, and ask 
her pardon.' 

'' ' Yes ; and to-morrow night kill her over agin, if she 
look at her cousin or Mas'r Walter. What you bring 'em 
here for, if you that jealous-hearted, and can't help it? 
I'll tell you now what you got to do. She is gwine to 
sleep with her grandmother. So you. jest go to bed and say 
nothing about what's haj)pened 'till I consult with Miss 
Pet. If you don't, I'll go from one end o' this town to 
tother, and 'spose you by .breakfast to-morrow.' 

" So I left him. I heard him say, as I came out, ' Oh ! 
I was drunk. I wish I had died, before I acted the 
fool so.' Then I heard him lock his door. And that's 



446 THE NIGHT ^^■ A T ( ' II . 

all, and it's enough. So I left. And noAv, I think, it's 
high time for that child to go home. Poor, beat, bruised 
and battered up thing." 

Another passionate embrace, and we separated. 

My grandmother seemed very indignant, and wept; 
while she bestowed execrations on all the Gi-lencoes. She 
also reiterated her determination to "stick b}^ me," even 
if the whole world deserted me. I fell asleep while she 
was repeating those consoling assurances. I did not 
leave my grandmother's room for a whole week. I 
learned that my husband looked very grave, and kept 
quite sober for the first few days ; then he fell into the 
old way. He was now a confirmed inebriate. 

Every day I received a note from my cousin. At first, 
he wrote incoherently, and filled up the pages with mal- 
edictions on my persecutors. Then he grew more rational, 
and after two days comtBenced making jDroposals to me as 
once before — said he Avould take me to England; but 
alwaj^s w^ound up by saying that my word was the law, 
and should govern him in all things. 

Then he proi:)Osed to me to elope with him ; said our 
happiness had been sacrificed to the selfish interest of 
others , that they had used us for their own aggrandize- 
ment ; thus blasting our young and beautiful lives. I still 
declined. 

Had I been left in quiet seclusion, with my grand- 
mother, I should never have taken another step down- 
ward. To-day, I am able to be up, and to dress myself. 
A message from my father takes me to the j)!ii"lor. He 
demands to know why I have left my husband's room ? 
Then he also applies opprobrious epithets to me ; accuses 
me of cherishing a guilty passion for my cousin Conrad, 
and ends by swearing that we .should never meet again ; 
avows his intention to send Molly away ; swears that I 
should never see Conrad again, unless I would promise to 
return to my husband, love him, and behave myself as a 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 447 

chaste, obedient wife should do. He opened the book, 
and said, " See the sacred Word of God. Swear ! " I 
turned my eyes mechanically to the page ; they fell on the 
words, " Swear not at all." I pointed it out to my poor 
violent, passionate father. An involuntary oath escaped 
him. " Obstinate fool ! This is enough to break ujd our 
compact. Weak, superstitious thing that you are about 
that book ! " I rose to leave the room. " Sit down, 
madam ; you leave me not until you have promised." 

J^urse came to the door. " Miss Pet, your mother want 
to see you one minit." 

" I will return, sir, anon," said I. 

On our way, Molly said, " N'ow, honey, you jis go to 
John G-lencoe's room ; I reckon he won't 'noy you much 
at first with his decait ; but go any how, and stay till tea 
time, and do like you gwine make up with him ; then I'll 
git you out the scrape to-night." 

When I met my mother, she looked frightened out of 
her wits. 

" O child, for the love of heaven, go back to your 
room; I really believe they will murder us both." 

"I am going, dear mamma. Do not let this distress 
you." After talking a short time, I went back to my 
father. 

" I hope, madam, you are ready to return to the honest, 
affectionate man who honors you with the title of wife." 

" I am ready to obey you, sir." 

" Then retire at once, and let me hear of no more 
scenes." 

I found Mr. G-lencoe sitting there reading. He met mo 
at the door, took my hand, and did look very penitent, as 
he said, " Anna, may I hope that I shall ever be forgiven? 
Can a lifetime of remorse purchase your pardon ? Will 
such devotion, love, and service as were never dreamed 
of by woman, or witnessed in man, at last win me a lit- 
tle place in your heart?" All this time we had stood, 



448' T H E N 1 G H T W A T C H . 

he still holding my hand. Now he attempted to draw me 
to him. 

I jerked away as if I had felt the sting of a viper. 
"Sit there," said I, pointing to a chair at some distance 
from me, and I seated myself opposite to him. 

"Oh, I can't blame you. I have been worse than a 
savage." 

" Yes," said I, abstractedly, "yes, I know ; I can't get 
over it all at once. My head is still very sore." 

He threw himself down before me and clasped my 
knees, caught my hands and kissed them like some half- 
demented lover — implored me with frantic voice and man- 
ner to receive him again into favor. 

Oh, how I hated him ! N"ay, despised him. My loath- 
ing amounted to madness. I felt if I were compelled to 
endure that man's embraces again, I should become a 
maniac. Anything else ; the cloister, the grave, a strange 
country, the north or south pole, anything but to be 
pressed to the bosom of that petty tyrant, that puling 
lover, that disgustingly uxorious husband, and jealous 
monster. I stiid to him, "If you will give me time ; but 
you must not force this thing upon me now. Time is 
your best advocate in this miserable business." 

A servant hands him a card. " My wife," said he, " a 
few friends wish me to meet them at the club. Promise 
me that I shall find you here when I return. Shall I, 
dear wife ? " 

" If you do not come too early. I am obliged to be 
with m}^ grandmother for several hours. At what time 
will 3^ou be here ?" 

" I fear not before one o'clock. Will that do ? " 

" Yes," said I, and he attempted to kiss my lijDS. Had 
the rotary motion of the earth depended on it, had I 
known that I should have been murdered on the spot, I 
could not have prevented that shudder and recoil. 

" Well," said he again, "lean not blame you." So he left. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 449 

I met him again at tea, but lie and my father "both 
seemed pre-occupied. Greatly to my relief, there was no 
conversation. After supper, they rose to depart. My 
husband came to me, and with a sickening display of 
fondness, kissed me on the forehead, and said, " I will be 
the first to leave, my love." And they left together. 

On going up stairs, I met Molly. She handed me a 
note. 

"Dear Marianna — Come to the grotto an hour from 
this time. I shall be there. It is important to our mu- 
tual safety that we meet without loss of time. The 
evenings are cool, my love, therefore put on a thick dress, 
lest you take cold. Molly will come with you. Fail not 
to meet me. God bless you till then. C. C. M." 

I passed into my mother's room. I felt a premonition 
that I should embrace her to-night for the last time. I 
kissed her over and over again ; I bathed her hands 
with my tears ; I knelt by her bedside ; I invoked bless- 
ings on her head. I w^as overwhelmed with grief. 

" My poor, dear pet lamb, why are jou so distressed ? 
Do you then dislike him so much ?" said she, not divin- 
ing the true cause. 

" Oh yes, mamma, he abuses me." 

Some one touched my shoulder. 

" How ? " said my mother. 

Another pressure. I looked up ; it was my nurse. I 
knew what it meant. I got up, embraced her tenderly 
again and again, and left the room. I never saw her 
afterward. When I entered my room, I found Molly 
there. She said if I were going to see my cousin Con- 
rad, I had better put on the dress which she held in her 
hand. It was a traveling habit. I was very passive, 
objected to nothing. She attired me as she chose; then 
throwing a mantle around me, tied on my bonnet. I 
38 



450 THE N 1 U H 'i' \V A 'I' ( ' 11 . 

scarcely noticed these preparations at the time. Then we 
passed from the house, as before. 

A rapid walk of a few moments brought us to the place 
of rendezvous. My cousin was already there. His man- 
ner was very serious, nay solemn ; there was no rapture, 
no caress^ but taking me by the hand, said in a voice 
equally impressive, " ]VIy love, will you consent to place 
yourself under my protection? Can you trust me? And 
are you willing to submit to my guidance? "' 

" O my cousin, for life and death ! I can not return 
to the arms of that monster and live. I have left my 
home forever ! " 

" Then we Avill lose no time. Molly, give the signal." 
A low whistle brought a carriage to the jilace. I was 
penetrated with a tenfold love and gratitude on tinding 
that my nurse was to accompan}^ me. How considerate, 
how delicate was this attention. I could only press his 
hand, and weepingly tell him so. We sped on, on. Pres- 
ently we stopped, but only for a moment, until fresh 
horses were brought. Then onward again. 

About midnight, we arrived at a depot, but learned that 
the cars had been thrown from the track, and we could 
not proceed for several hours. This was a serious annoy- 
ance to my cousin, but there was no hel]). Therefore Ave 
would rest during this interval in the little inn parlor. 

It was a still, peaceful hour. The moon shone gently 
into the room. The little piece of tallow candle allotted 
to us by our penurious landlord had long since burned 
out ; but that stream of calm, beautiful light from heaven, 
that moonbeam, revealed every object distinctly to view. 
I vcas sleejjing, at least I was reposing, I know not 
whether I was really wrapj)ed in slumber, but I know 
that 1 was oblivious of all care, anxiety, and fear. 

Suddenly, there was a commotion in the house, a tramp- 
ling of feet in the hall, and suppressed voices. The land- 
lord, holding a candle, entered, followed by five or six 



1' II K S I (i Tt 'J' W ATC H . 451 

men. I looked up and saw ni}- father and my husband. 
The othei'S were coarse, ruffianly-looking men, whom I 
had never seen. 

My cousin had sprung to his feet, on this unceremo- 
nious intrusion on the privacy of travelers. In an instant 
I saw him close with two men. A fierce struggle ensued. 
My husband goes up, and aims a blow with his open 
palm on his face, saying, "Dastard! Caitiif! Craven 
churl ! " Conrad tore himself from the grasp of three 
stout men, and felled my husband to the earth. In a 
second, another ruffian had measured his length, then the 
remaining three closed with him. In a short time I heard 
the report of a pistol, and then I thought I saw my cou- 
sin fall. I closed m}^ eyes. 

"Unmanly, cowardly varlets, unhand him!" cried a 
Stentor-like voice. " How ! three men to hold and bind 
one gentleman ? Unhand him, I say, or by the eternal 
world ! your brains shall stain these boards. This revol- 
ver carries six missives of death. Refuse to set him free, 
and I will pull this trigger, and this, and this, which each 
time will send to hell a poltroon, more low and base than 
any there. Ha ! ropes ! Aye ! they were spun for you — 
for such dogs as ye are, and not for him. Do you hear 
me? cut these thongs." 

He held the terrible instrument of death aloft, and is 
aiming at the head of one of these wretched excuses for 
men. He is in the act of firing, when Molly and the 
carriage-driver rush into the room with sticks, tongs, 
poker, etc. She called out, " Don't, dont shoot ! Mas'r 
Walter Jocelyn, don't shoot ! Bless Cod ! there is 
trouble enough in the world a'ready, 'thout killing 'em 
quite!" 

By this time they had released Conrad. My father has 
hold of me. I open my eyes — God help me! My hus- 
band has gotten up. Another pistol is fired. I hear a 
suppressed groan. I hear, see, feel, no more 



452 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

When I recovered from my swoon, I found myself lying 
on a little lounge, in a low, gloomy room. I am quite 
alone. There is not one familiar object on which my 
eye falls. The impulse is to shriek out for help, for I 
am almost dying of thirst. 

Presently my father enters with refreshments, water, 
ice-lemonade, etc. After I have drunk, he sits down by 
me, and takes my hand. " Marianna, wretched, wretched 
child ! with all your soul-destroying sins, I am sorr}' for 
you ! But you have entailed disgrace on yourself and 
family forever. You have sinned, I fear, beyond redemp- 
tion ! Ton need never pray more ! I will send father 
Anselmo to you. Then unburden your crime-stained 
conscience to him, and ask his intercession with the 
mother of Christ, for the remission of your sins." 

" Hold ! sir. You do surely rave. You know not 
what you say. It was not thus the immaculate Jesus 
talked to sinners. He did not employ such language 
even to the woman who was brought to him in the 
Temple." 

" Hardened wanton ! There is nothing on record in 
that ISTew Testament, of any such crime as yours. Poor 
wretch ! " 

" Then, what is it, sir? With what do 3'ou charge me 
that you do not yourself do almost daily? " 

"Miserable creature ! Then are 3-011 so steeped in sin ? 
From your cradle, your propensities have run in that 
same channel. I have warned you — I have separated 
you — I have watched you night and day — done all that 
a mortal man could do to save you from this ghastly 
crime." 

" My father ! Now I know that you are mad ! Think 
of your own dalliance — your long-standing intrigue with 
Mrs. Murray, to the total neglect of my weak, unoffend- 
ina- mother. You know I have committed no such 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 453 

"O God! this is too dreadful; I must not listen to 
her," said he, covering his face with his hands, and seem- 
ing to weep. 

"What is it then, sir? what is it 3^ou think I have 
done ? tell me at once, tortiire me no longer with sus- 
pense." 

"Know, then, wretched, lost girl, that you have the 
crime of incest on your soul." 

I sprang to my feet. "How? how is this?" shrieked 
I ; " by heavens ! I will not hear my chaste and innocent 
mother slandered. It is false ! false as hell ! where onlj- 
such a horrible idea could have originated. I am your 
daughter, sir. Would to G-od ! I were not." 

" Yes, you are my daughter, Marianna Grlencoe. You 
are indeed my daughter, and I echo your own words — 
would to God ! you were not ! " Then he passed his 
hand over his face, and looking at me fixedly, with a 
mournful, despairing look, said, "And HE is my SON ' 
Thus you have the dreadful sin of incest on your soul." 

I fell w^ith my face on the floor (which was of brick), 
and the blood gushed from my nose and mouth. He 
attempted to raise me. I shrieked out, and recoiled 
from his touch. As often as he approached me, I uttered 
piercing screams, and signed him away. I praj^ed now 
for insanity. I implored God to send his thunderbolts 
and destroy me ; and if not so, then to destroy my mem- 
ory. I know not who comes or goes. I hear a sound as 
of the opening and shutting of doors. I do not look up. 
I am on my knees, with my head bowed to the earth, my 
forehead resting on the bare bricks. 

Father Anselmo comes in. He speaks soothingl}- to 
me. He does not chide or abuse. He bids me look up 
and hope. I cry out, "I can not! I dare not! my father 
says I have committed an unpardonable sin ! " 

" Not so, my child ; you can repent. Confess, and then 
repent." 



454 T H K -N 1 U II T \V A T C U 

" Too late ! too late ! I am lost ! lost ! lost ! 

But, father, I was tempted beyond human strength, 
unaided, to resist. I was goaded on by wrongs, railings, 
false accusations, and at last, violence. I have received 
many indignities, and even blows. I have been driven 
from one steji to another, from one fault to another, with- 
out any solace ; and getting to loathe the author of these 
troubles, I, at last, took refuge in that manly bosom. O 
father, if j'ou but knew him, as I do ! So noble, so exalted, 
so handsome, and '' 

" Hush, daughter ! breathe not another word in that 
strain. I came here to meet you at the confessional, and 
to make Avhat intercession I can with God ! through our 
Mother and her blessed Son." 

Then I knelt before that holy father, that man of God ; 
I confessed my sins of omission, and commission ; I laid 
bare my most secret thoughts to the scrutiny of his dis- 
cerning mind. I threw open the portals of m^^ heart. 
He is made acquainted with every thought, desire, and 
emotion which had actuated me throughout. 

When I had finished, he shook his head, and I shrieked 
out, insing from my knees, " Do you, too, say, knowing 
all, that I'm lost ? " 

" Far from it ! Poor dove ! the hawks have pursued 
and driven thee into the only shelter open to thy weary 
stricken wing. It was thy refuge ; God takes cognizance 
of the necessities of his children." 

I fell again on my knees, seized his hands, and rcpeate\i 
with great enthusiasm, "And He will bless thee! thou 
gentle vicegerent of the meek and lowly child Jesus." 

We heard distinctly a low cough, and, in an instant, 
Father Anselmo's manner changed. He did not look 
alarmed, but disconcerted. 

" Daughter, the blood of Christ cleanseth from every 
sin. But you must do penance." 
" Impose it. father ; I am ready for all things, eveu death." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 455 

" We do not arrogate to ourselves the right either to give 
or take life. We impose a penance on the body to save 
the soul, but we wish to preserve it alive." 

" Go on, father," said I, still on my knees. " I am wait- 
ing to hear my doom," 

" Well, daughter, we wish you to go through the most 
solemn adjuration (my father enters at this moment) that 
you will never look upon, or permit him to look upon 
your face; that you will not speak to, write, or receive 
letters from, or in any way hold intercourse and com- 
munication with your BEOTHEE." 

At that word, I uttered a piercing cry, and fell with 
my face again on the bricks. After a while, he raised 
my head very gently, and then went on : " You will return 
to your husband. You will, by every dutiful attention 
and humble obedience, make atonement for this false step. 
Will you swear to perform these duties, kissing the Holy 
Bible?" 

"ISTo, no! a thousand times no !" said I, springing to 
my feet. " I will never again live with John Grlencoe as 
his wife. I will not do such violence to all honesty and 
truth. I will not again be tempted to desecrate sacred 
things. I will not outrage my own nature so much. 
Never can I be convinced that it is my duty to maintain 
a relation with any man or woman, the existence of which 
makes me a loathing to myself — so fills me with cold 
despair, that I can not even pray to Grod — so takes away 
all self-respect, that I am fain to cower in the presence 
of my more fortunate sisters, as a thing defiled, and to 
cry like the leper, ' Unclean ! unclean ! ' " He com- 
menced a remonstrance. 

" Stop ! " said I, " this is needless ; I can not be turned." 

" She says truly," added my father. " That is impossi- 
ble ; I know it to my sorrow. You may break her spirit, 
but you can never bend her will. Administer the first 
part of the adjuration." 



456 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

This was now done, with a great show of solemnity. I 
was then made to kiss the sacred volume, and to put my 
name to the instrument of writing. He (the priest) went 
through a form of prayer, and I was left alone. I got up 
from my knees, and commenced pacing round and round 
the room. I caught myself saying, " Brother ! Dear 
brother ! Ha ! ha ! ha ! Come ! we '11 travel on. Aye ! 
Yes, so merrily round and round." Then the feeling came 
on me to flee away — I wanted space — I wanted air — I 
wanted to shout ; and I did cry out, " Brother ! brother ! " 
Then the room swam round and round. 



THE NIUHT WATCH. 457 



CHAPTEK XLI. 

THE JOURNAL — THE MANIAC MOTHER. 

"She looked on many a face with vacant eye, 
On many a token without knowing why." 

" Then fresh tears stood on her cheeks, as doth the honey-dew 
Upon the gathered lily almost withered." 

"Nurse," said the doctor, "raise her head, and let us 
pour down a little of this gruel. Poor thing ! would that 
I could relieve her. Would that one ray of reason would 
beam from those gentle, plaintive, deep, dark-blue eyes. 
I sometimes think she understands me." Then, agreeable 
to the long-established custom of the place, I call in Dr. 
Severe, and the poor creature hides her face and becomes 
80 terrified and shrieks out so fearfully, that I believe what 
little daw^ning of light there might be, is scared away. 
After that, she sinks into the same lethargic state." 

" No wonder," says the woman. " Poor dove ! how can 
she help it, when he is so cross? Then Dr. Stern and 
old Mrs. Hardheart — the three are enough to squeeze or 
scare the soul out of anybody's body, with their strait- 
jacket and sour looks." 

" Is the poor bird asleep now ? " said the humane doctor. 

"Yes, I think so. Myra ! Myra ! " I would not open 
my eyes, because I wanted to hear more. I had only 
heard enough to mystify me. The woman continued : 

" It is strange that we have never heard from the 
old man since he brought her here. What a bad coun- 
tenance he had ; that old Jew ! How he grinned and 
smirked around the poor demented creature ! He looked 
better sometimes ; and I thought a gleam of pity was 
39 



"458 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

about to break out on that old wrinkled-up, parchment 
face ; then that hideous leer and libidinous grin would 
supersede every other human expression." 

" Strange that none ever came to inquire about her," 
said the woman. 

" Martha, don't you think she is very beautiful?" 

" Yes, if she had any sense, and a little bit of light in 
her eyes." 

'' I think, without doubt, she is the most beautiful 
woman I ever beheld. Her features are faultless; but, 
as you say, she lacks the soul peeping from the windows 
of that perfect piece of workmanship," he rejoined. 

" Do they still send the remittance, by which softening 
influence the horrors of this purgatory are somewhat 
mitigated? " 

" Punctually, up to last quarter. They are in arrears 
for that." 

" Then God help the poor soul, say I. How long has 
she been here?" 

" Two years and a half. Nay, more ; in three months 
it will have been three j^ears since she came. The child 
will be" 

I started up wildly, and so suddenly that they w^ere 
alarmed. " What ! What do I hear? Then it was not all 
a dream?" 

I would have gone on to say much more, but the phy- 
sician of whom they had spoken entered at that moment. 
He came ujj to the bedside, and scowling on me from 
under those dark, shaggy brows, said in a sort of growl, 
"What's all this? What's this uproar about?" I gave 
him one startled, timid look, and began to shriek at the 
top of my voice. He grew angry. He was (as I after- 
ward learned) morbidly sensitive about his personal 
appearance. To me he was hideously iigly. In my poor 
benighted mind I associated him with my own sorrows ; 
and with crime, treachery, and despotism gencrall}-. The 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 459 

mere sight of him, as the good Doctor Goodwin had said, 
never failed to put out every glimmer of dawning light 
in my mind. This time I retained some of my faculties, 
and heard him say in the same low voice, between a hiss 
and a growl, " I wish I were rid of her. I'm heartily 
tired of such scenes. I wonder why an all-wise Provi- 
dence suffers such a poor, troublesome thing to live. Johrr 
3'ou must exercise more rigor. I always notice, when you 
and Martha have charge of this ward, that 3'ou spoil her 
by indulgence. Then when I come in, and look at her 
only, she A'ells out in that way — just like a trifling house- 
dog, whose tail has been trodden on. To-morrow you 
must exchange with Doctor Stern, and old Mrs. Hard- 
heart. They will bring her to her good behavior. In 
the meantime put on the strait-jacket ; and let her regi- 
men be a crust and a glass of water a day. I shall call at 
eight o'clock to-night, to see that you have jDroperly 
obeyed my instructions." 

" But, sir," said the young man, " if when you come she 
meets that piercing glance with which you are enabled to 
quell the maniacs, will you not then relax your treat- 
ment?" 

" Oh, of course. For forty years, I have ruled the 
subjects of a lunatic asylum by a glance of my eye, and 
in no instance did I ever fail to silence 3'elling save in 
this one. Hers commences where theirs ends." He gave 
some other directions to the subordinates, and then left. 

I lay with my eyes shut, still and silent as if I were 
dead ; this state always succeeded to the excited one. 
The young man now sat down by me, felt my pulse, and 
laid his hand on my heart. 

" Martha, have you ever known this poor lady to 
weep ? " 

" No, sir ; never. I have sometimes thought she looked 
pitiful-like when I would steal in here between times to 
bathe her head and loosen that jacket, as if she wanted 



460 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

to cr}*, onl}' her eyes were so dry they w^ouldn't furnish 
tears. Oh ! I had forgotten ! That invention of the 
fiends must be used. I dread to do it ; I would rather be 
put into it myself than again to bind it on those slender, 
polished limbs. But I must obe}^ old Merciless, else 
would he have us whisked out of our places in no time." 

Then they crept quietly from the room. I was left 
alone, and I could now think a little. I could recall some 
events ; but I could j^et understand nothing beyond that 
I was in a madhouse. All else seemed dim and shadow}^ 
I remembered nothing clearly. I had a vivid impression 
of an accumulation of horrors. My sore, tired limbs 
could attest to cruelty of treatment. My bloodless, atten- 
uated hands and arms revealed a tale of hard usage, 
meager fare, and sickness. 

I lay there and thought. I tried so hard to comprehend, 
while I explored the darkened chambers of memory; but 
alas ! its stores were locked up. They spoke of a child ! 
What was it ? I felt a thrill of strange and mingled emo- 
tions, new to me. Ah ! yes, new, or if not new, then so 
long ago felt, that I have forgotten what they are. Is it 
delight I feel ? Is it gladness ? O my God ! what is it ? 
My heart beats so quickly and loudly that I think one 
without the door might hear it. Child ! did they say? I 
remember something about a little, soft w^ail, a tiny voice. 
O ni}' Father in heaven! Now it is going; I feel my 
mind receding ; I know it ! I know it ! I lay a long time 
quite still, struggling Avith recollection. I felt weary and 
sleej^y, but I feared to close my eyes, lest oblivion should 
come over me, and I should never be able again to call 
up that tiny, shadowy face, and that low, breeze-like, 
w^ailing voice. 

The key grates harshly in the door ; I look up and see 
the humane Doctor Goodwin, and meet the compassion- 
ate eye of the good Martha. 

I sat up in my bed and said, " Come here, and tell me 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 461 

all about it. Now don't cross me, or say a word that will 
be hard to understand." I saw them exchange pleased 
looks of surj)rise. " In the first place, can you keep that 
dreadful old man away? If he comes back, it will all be 
put out again, like a candle blown upon by the breath. 
Then I know not that your gentle voice and kind hand 
can relume the spark." 

" Dear lady," said he, " I am so delighted to hear you 
talk thus, that I can scarce refrain from shouting for joy." 
And the tender-hearted young man took out his hand- 
kerchief and wiped his eyes. 

" Ah ! " said I, " tears ! tears ! Would that I could weep 
too. As dew is to the M'ithered flower, so are tears to 
the parched and dried heart. I used to weep a great 
deal, shed many tears ; but they were forced back to their 
fountain, where they congealed, and now they are consol- 
idated, and have formed a wall round about my heart, 
which is stone. Yes indeed, my heart, this heart which 
was so tender and loving, and so easily moved, is now all 
marble." 

" Can you not tell us of the things which used to make 
you weep? " 

" Ah no ! there is no feeling or memory left. All has 
been crushed out; that horrible engine of torture which 
you hold in your hand (and a sharp shudder passed 
through my frame), has left nothing." 

"We will never use this again," said he, throwing it 
across the room. " Come, tell us of your joys and sor- 
rows, before you came here." 

"Before I came here? Have I not been here always? 
Is not my being here coeval with time ? " 

"Ah!" said he, sorrowfully, " she wanders again. I 
am so disappointed." 

I lay for some time quite still. Then I passed my 
hands over my face. " I am not so wrong here as you 



462 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

think," said I, touching my forehead. " But my memory 
is so bad. That's all." 

" Well, Martha, I believe there is a great deal of truth 
in that." 

He then proceeded to ask me several numbers in the 
miiltiplieation table. He propounded some other simple 
questions in mental arithmetic. Pinall3^ he gave me a 
book, which I read without effort. He then asked me 
the subject of what I had read. I did not know. He 
looked distressed. Seeing this, I told him I had not been 
thinking of it, else I would have known. Bnt when he 
would have proposed another page, I j)ushed the volume 
away, saying, " You want me to do too much at first. 
Tou see I am now like a little child." And I closed my 
eyes. 

They seemed to think I slept, for they commenced talk- 
ing without reserve. " I thought, Martha," said the doc- 
tor, "that we were about to be rewarded for our long and 
weary vigils; but now I fear there is no hope of a perma- 
nent restoration. Her intellect became clouded again. I 
saw it while she spoke." 

" I think you are mistaken," said Martha. " I think she 
wearied, and her memory refused to aid her, and this 
caused perplexity. If we could only get her to weep, 
then all would come right." 

I opened my eyes, and in an instant he darted a keen 
and searching glance into them. I smiled, and asked, 
" Can you read it? Can you read the one idea which per- 
vades my poor benighted mind ? " 

" JSTo ; what is it ? I see there is something new, because 
you smile. I have never seen such a soft, bland, genial 
smile in this house before." 

I raised myself, and placing my head on my hand, said, 
" You wish me to weep. I heard you say so. Well, I 
could have wept an hour ago : I could weep now, would 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 463 

you but tell me " and I caught his hand and pressed 

it with energy, 

" Be composed ; just quiet yourself, dear lady, and I 
will tell you everything on God's earth you maj' choose 
to ask me." Martha now gave me something mixed in a 
glass, which helped to quiet me, and I proceeded. 

" I heard you speak of a little child, a babe, and I have 
some vague idea of the presence of one at some time or 
other. Tell me about it. Do not fear that it will excite 
me. It is the struggle to recollect, and the hard, unjneld- 
ing memory which distracts me. If you can save me 
this conflict, I shall soon recover health, both of body and 
mind." 

" Well, lie down quietly, and we will answer your ques- 
tions. Now commence." 

"Of what child did you speak? Tell me this, first of 
all." 

"Now, you are springing up again," said the doctor. 

" It is your child," rejoined Martha, no longer able to 
keep silence, while the doctor held me down with a gentle 
force. " It is your own dear little boy, and the beauti- 
fulest little cretur that ever your eyes ever rested upon, 
I know." 

"Mine? My child? Oh yes! I remember. Go on," 
cried I. 

" He is over two years old now, and " 

" Where is he? Oh ! I thought so. This pining — this 
inappeasable yearning of my soul — I thought there was 
a cause for it. Shall I ever see him? Why is he not left 
with his mother?" 

"Oh 3^0 u were sick, and we thought it better to put 
him out to nurse. We were afraid you would kill him." 
I saw Dr. Goodwin look quickly up at her. " We were 
afraid you would love him to death, and kill him with 
kindness." 



464 THE NIGHT WA T C H . 

"But I will not be so bad, now. Just let me see him, 
dear good friends ! " said I. 

" Yes, if, when Dr. Severe comes you will not hide your 
face, and shriek out as if you saw old Sooty, and beheld 
his cloven foot. You excite his ire by doing this."' 

"When Avill he come again? " 

" Immediately ; I think as soon as I inform him of 
your improved condition, he will come in to see if I have 
reported truly." 

They then went out, and I closed my eyes, that I could 
the better enjoy the beautiful day dream of a bright little 
boy, two j'^ears old, or more. I did not observe that they 
had returned to the cell, until that coarse, growling voice 
sounded ; then I started up, oj)ened my eyes, and a sharp 
shudder passed through ni}^ frame, but I did not scream 
out. 1 subdued this impulse, and now I could look at 
him, and reply to his questions, without evidencing hor- 
ror. He called me by a strange name. 

" Mrs. Wise, hoAv do you feel, now? " and he also darted 
his keen glances into my eyes. 

I did not quail this time, but met the look calmly. 
Then taking his hand, I said : " I fear, doctor, I am, and 
have been, for a long time, very troublesome. I hope 
you will forgive me. I am grateful for Avhatever kind- 
ness you have shown me." 

" Oh, don't mention it, madam ; " and he fidgeted about 
in his chair. He then, again, peered keenly into my 
eyes, as he continued to speak. " Now, would you like 
to have something good and nice to eat? " 

I was about to decline, but receiving the sign from 
Dr. Goodwin, I said, " Yes." 

The old doctor gave a low, chuckling sort of laugh, as 
he added, 

"Well! this is the onl}'" sensible word I have ever heard 
her utter. In three whole years she has never spoken to 



r 11 E .\ i ( ; H 'J' \v A T H . 465 

the point before. John order whatever she fancies, and put 
away that thing there," pointing to the strait-jacket. " Wo 
will have no further use for it in this cell," and he left. 

" You have j^layed your part admirably," said the 
humane doctor. •' As soon as you have eaten, I will 
bring the little Clarence." 

In a short time, a nice broiled bird, a biscuit, and a 
glass of wine were placed before me ; then they went to 
bring my child. I thought of getting up and making an 
elaborate toilet to receive the little stranger; but on look- 
ing round. I saw nothing but the blank walJs, the cot I lay 
on, and a shower-bath — not so miich as a piece of looking- 
glass as big as my hand. I had no wardrobe. I wore a 
coarse calico blouse. When I put my hand to my head, I 
learned, for the first time, that my fine suit of hair had 
been shorn off. I had no idea of my present appearance ; 
no recollection of my former ; had not seen my face for 
years. 

I hear footsteps in the corridor, and a sweet bird- 
like voice. I hear it caroling so sweetly. The door opens, 
I spring to meet my child with a glad shout. I seize him, 
but O Grod ! he turns away from his mother, and hides 
his darling little face on Martha's shoulder. I cry out, 
in anguish, - My Father in heaven ! this is more than 
I can bear ! He turns away loathingly from me, his 
own mother ! " 

" My good woman, you have frightened him, that's all," 
said Martha. "He'll look up directly, and come to you." 

I drop down on my bed. The Doctor takes the child 
and walks across the room several times, talking sooth- 
ingly to him ; then sits down by me, and says, " IS'ow, 
Clarence, go to mamma." 

The bright, glorious creature, looks up. I hold out my 
hands timidly ; he meets them with his own tiny fingers; 
then bounds into my arms. I fold him to my breast, I 
cover his face with kisses ; he places his little hands on 



466 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

my cheeks, and looks, baby as he is, inquiringly into my 
eyes, and then jDuts his head down lovingly on my neck ; 
I feel as if my pent-up feelings, my full soul, would kill 
me, that I should die of excessive happiness. But with 
this feeling, I experienced the intensest pain. So great 
was the tension, that one more strain, and the chord of 
life had snapped. 

But God put one word into the mouth of that child — 
the first one his sweet lips had ever lisped — and it saved 
me. " Mamma," said the cherub, laying his little cheek 
to mine. 

Then I burst into tears. Oh ! how refreshing, how 
revivifying, were those drops! delicious tears! exquisite 
emotions ! I -wept long. I pressed the child to my 
withered heart, and I could feel verdure spring up under 
it. Those tears — the renovation of hope — with that life- 
giving little form, had wrought a miracle. With that 
moment my present existence commenced, my mind 
began to exjDand and receive impressions, to conceive and 
mature ideas. Memory a little more obdurate ; was now, 
too, unfolding her portals. My nerves were newly strung. 
In fact, my whole system, mental and corporeal, was 
undergoing, and subject to, a marvelous sanatory influ- 
ence. 

Then I had the child with me all the time, only when 
the kind-hearted Martha would take him out for exer- 
cise ; still my condition — now that I had the power to see 
the naked realities — was most dismal. I occupied the 
same cell, without furniture or clothes, save the coarse 
change allotted to the indigent inmates. But finding me 
so much improved, the superintendent is soon induced to 
listen to the suggestions of my friend, Doctor Goodwin, 
and my condition is ameliorated ; I have better clothes, a 
few articles of furniture, and some conveniences. I am 
allowed to exchange the maniac's cell for a room larger, 
and better ventilated ; I am also permitted to accompany 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 467 

Martha and the child in their walks. My health is 
restored. God, doubtless, for his own wise purposes, and 
I hope, for his own glorj', has given me back m}^ faculties. 
My memory has at last been aroused from its long sleep. 
I am capable of reasoning, comparing, and recalling. 
I remember events of childhood, girlhood, womanhood. 
Have a vivid remembrance of joys and griefs. But I can 
call up nothing from the chaotic, vasty deep of memory, 
since the fearful scene in that low, gloomj^room, with my 
father and the priest, father Anselmo. 

One day, when I was wandering through the grove 
with the little Clarence (he had been named by Doctor 
Goodwin after himself; and from regard to him, and in 
honor to his virtues, I let the name remain ; I wished to 
have called him Conrad, but I forbore to speak), we were 
joined by this gentleman. After the usual salutations 
were over, I asked him if he had the privilege of answer- 
ing me a few questions, on one or two subjects which 
were consuming me. He assented. I then inquired if 
they had not been informed of mj' real name and family 
by the person who brought me there. He said not ; and 
went on to state, that I came in a close, j)rivate car- 
riage, with a mean, cringing-looking old man, and a little 
negro girl, with very straight hair (remarkable circum- 
stance for an African) ; that I was at the time of my 
arrival, quite deranged — a raving maniac. There had 
been a sum of money placed in the hands of the keeper, 
which had long since been expended ; but from time to 
time, there were other remittances from unknown sources. 

Then I told him my history, from my cradle up, only 
suppressing some of the most painful facts. When I had 
finished, he seemed again to doubt my sanity — deeming 
the fearful story to be more like the distempered ebulli- 
tions of the lunatic than aught else. However, he was 
too good-hearted to report me on the sick-list again. 

Time drags on slowly in this emporium of misery. My 



468 . THE NIGHT WATCH. 

child is now four years old. Since my recovery I have 
"written a great manj" letters to my mother, father, j^oung 
"Walter, my grandmother, and even to my nurse (negro 
as she is). I received no replies. I never did write to 
my husband ; I never thought of doing so. I felt, to be 
one moment in his presence would drive me mad again. 
I would have preferred any fate — a pauper's, an exile's, to 
be sold into slavery even, anything — to being claimed as 
his wife. I would have fled and perished in the woods, 
rather than have looked on his face fifteen minutes, much 
less endure for years that daily death. 

At last Doctor Goodwin received a letter, enclosing a 
large sum of money for my use. The author begs to be 
informed of the exact condition of my health. Her sig- 
nature is simply Leah. She wished to be addressed by 
that name only, and the letter directed to the care of one 
Murdoch. 

When he handed me this document he gave me the 
money also. "You can take charge of your own funds, 
Mrs. Wise. I pronounce you to be, in all things, caj^able 
of thinking and acting for yourself. I would advise you, 
though, to take rooms in the ' Boarding-House' apper- 
taining to the Asylum, and draw around you such com- 
forts as money can always procure. I do not think, that 
I would let the child come into the Hospital. His mind 
might become tinctured with the gloomy horrors which 
pervade the place." 

I took his advice. Selected two large rooms and fur- 
nished them handsomely, nay, magnificently. Then 
bought genteel mourning clothes for myself; and was 
guilty of the vanity of dressing my child richl}'. I pro- 
cured the finest and most costly material, and had it made 
up in a tasteful, elegant style. Long before that sum of 
money was exhausted, another supply came from the 
same source. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 469 



CHAPTER XLII. 

THE JOURNAL. OLD FRIENDS AND FOES. 

"I HAD SO fixed my heart upon her, 
That wheresoe'er 1 framed a scheme of life 
For time to come, she was my only joy.'' 

Five years and more have now passed away. I say 
five, because I date everything from the birth of my child. 
He is exquisitely beautiful, and so much like him ; but I 
must not think of this. G-od pity me ! One day I sat 
dreaming over a book, as I watched the mirthful gambols 
of my boj^. 

The servant entered, and said there was an old lady 
and a young gentleman below, wishing to see me. I rang 
for my own servant, and giving the child into her charge, 
with a heart palpitating with fear and curiosity, ran 
down. Imagine my joy and astonishment to meet my 
good Walter and my own dear old grandmother. 

Let me not attempt a description of the scene which 
ensued, or of my feelings. I took them up to my rooms, 
and after we had gazed at each other in speechless rap- 
ture, and had indulged ourselves in as many incoherent 
exclamations of love, joy, surj)rise, and indignation as 
was needful, my grandmother, who possessed great prac- 
ticality, suggested the necessity of rest and refreshment ; 
after which, I learned the following facts : I found that 
they had never known of my whereabouts, in fact, of my 
existence, until three days before. My father, my poor, 
misguided father, was dead. On his deathbed he revealed 
to Doctor Walter Jocelyn, then his partner, the secret of 
my existence, and my cruel incarceration. He stated that 
these facts were known only to himself and the old Jew 



470 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

who had carried me off. That everybod}- thought me dead. 

When AValter expressed his amazement in such strong 
terms as, " Wh}^, sir, how can this be? We saw her bier 
by the side of her mother's ; saw them lowered into the 
same grave. Then their obituaries went forth to the 
world together. The same proud monument consecrates 
the memory of both mother and child; " then the dj-ing 
man wrung his hands and cried out : 

" Oh yes ; God ! But whj^ dwell on it with such tor- 
turing emphasis and minuteness? I would give my right 
arm, my right eye, nay both, and go forth to the darkened 
world maimed and hideous, with the prospect of being 
then cursed with long life, if I had not connived at that 
diabolical plot, that awful crime. I have been a dupe, 
Walter. For 3-ears I have been a machine in the hands 
of a woman, who is at the same time the very worst and 
greatest, as well as the most seductive and Avicked crea- 
ture that ever came from the hands of a pure and holy 
Creator. She is the subtlest schemer, the deepest plotter, 
the most alluring and selfish of women. I have suffered 
myself, dotard as I was, to be ruled like a child, or an imbe- 
cile man. She drew me on sometimes by blandishments ; 
at other times, goaded me to desiDeration by threats of ban- 
ishment from her presence, ^ly infatuation then was so 
great that I could not exist long aw^a}' from her. In this 
way she impelled me on to the commission of those awful, 
hell-deserving crimes toward my own child. It was to pur- 
chase permission to see her whenever I pleased, that I 
consented to my daughter's being buried alive in a mad 
house. And afterward, that fraud was pi*acticed upon the 
public, that mock funeral. 

" It occurred in this way, Joceljai ; I Avish you. to mark 
my Avords," said my father. '• Mrs. Murray had eraploj^ed 
a miserable old Jcav to poison this girl, so as to have her 
forever out of the way of her sou. Well, this old fiend 
was ready for every crime for the sake of compensation, 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 471 

except to take life. He was a coward by nature, and as 
superstitious as he was craven. He would not murder, 
because it was written in the decalogue, ' Thou shalt not 
kill,' and his timid nature feared as the acme of human 
woe, a visitation from the phantom of the murdered body. 
Therefore, I consented that he should carry her off in 
that mysterious way." 

My father made Walter promise that as soon as the 
funeral was over, he would set out for this institution. 
As there were none left, but my grandmother, of all our 
kindred, she came with him. 

He further stated, that my poor father had been insol- 
vent for many years, and was for some time before his 
death reduced to veiy necessitous circumstances. After 
my supposed death, John (llencoe had withdrawn en- 
tirely from him. " This," said Walter, " seemed to be 
an unceasing cause of heart-burning. He continued to 
cry to the last, ' Oh ! I did it for them ; I did all this 
great amount of wickedness for them; and now they have 
both deserted me. That woman, for whom I made these 
sacrifices, and forfeited everything, sits at home in regal 
sj)lendor, while I have not the means to secure to myself 
a decent burial.' Then he would gnash his teeth and 
heap imprecations on his own head and theirs. In this 
frame of mind and temper he died." 

" Poor father ! poor deluded man ! " cried I, and I paid 
the tribute of genuine sorrow to his memory. I then 
begged Walter to tell me what transpired at the inn on 
the roadside. 

It seems, after I had swooned in my father's arms, I 
was carried by Molly and placed in the carriage. Previ- 
ous to that, the reader will remember, there had been a 
shot, which in my distraction I thought was fired by my 
husband, and had taken efi'ect on my cousin. I even 
believed I heard his death groans. But not so ; it was an 
accidental shot which was lodged in the shoulder of one 



472 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

of the ruffians. My husband was injured by a blow from 
that Herculean hand. My cousin had also received a 
wound in the breast, from some assassin's knife. They 
were unable to proceed, so were carried to their rooms. 

Three days after, Conrad received a challenge, and 
the parties met the day following, with deadly intent; 
Walter being my cousin's second. He stated that when 
Murra}^ took his station on the ground, he would have 
furnished the finest study for the artist, as the personifica- 
tion of cool, calm valor. He was very pale, and there was 
an undressed wound on his forehead, which was slightly 
bleeding. His left arm was in a sling, and he held the 
fatal instrument in the right. The ground was measured ; 
they were to Avalk ten paces, then turn and fire. ' Tis 
done ! Conrad received the shot of Mr. Glencoe in his 
side, having discharged his own in the air. He falls — 
his antagonist, with his friends, hurry off the ground. 

Soon after, their vehicles were heard driving furiously 
away. Conrad was taken back to the house. On the way 
he fainted several times ; and during the operation of 
extracting the ball, he was extremely ill. Six months he 
was confined to his bed in that country inn. When he 
arose from his sick couch, his first thought, his only 
inquiry, was, for his cousin Marianna. When he had 
learned her fate, he paid one visit to the pure white marble 
slab on which her name and early passage to the Avorld of 
spirits were recorded. Seventeen ! Only ten and seven 
brief years, and that bright vision has passed awa}' ! He 
turned off, a stricken man. A hasty and almost silent 
adieu to his mother — a few hurried leave-takings — one 
fervent embrace of his little daughter — and he is gone. 

Walter ceased speaking, to gaze at me. My whole frame 
was shaken by the wildest agitation. " Cro on ! go on ! 
dear friend," cried I. 

He resumed, but in an altered voice. " When we hear 
of him again, he has joined the expedition to Mexico. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 473 

Then we are informed of his unparalleled bravery, and 
his promotion from grade to grade until he reached that 
of colonel at the end of the campaign. He was as much 
honored and beloved for his benevolence and great 
humanity toward his own men and the soldiers gener- 
ally, as for his personal prowess. He had the confidence 
and respect of the officers, and was consulted and looked 
up to in the camp and on the field. 

" At the end of the war, he returned home. In the 
mean time, his mother, with the little Grenevieve, had 
removed to a distant city. Prompted perhaps by caprice, 
or may be by the goadings of conscience — or more likely 
by some secret infernal interest — he joined her there. 
Further than this, I know nothing," said Walter, gloomily. 

I then inquired about my nurse. That good, upright 
woman — the faithful, honest slave — the consistent, stead- 
fast friend, Aunt Mollj^. Neither he nor my grandmother 
knew ; but thought she had been sent to some one of John 
Glencoe's plantations. She had never been seen since 
those disastrous times. 

Glencoe himself went abroad ; but they had recently 
seen his name on the list of arrivals in the port of New 
York. 

Several days passed away quickly and cheerfully. We 
are devising ways and means to live. Walter proposes 
that we shall go to some new place, and all live together. 
He thinks his practice can be made commensurate to our 
wants. 

I accede to this, but my dear, shrewd, far-seeing grand- 
mother says nothing, but rocks herself with great energy. 
We are again alone. 

" Marianna," says my grandmother, "what are you 
thinking about, thus so heedlessly to consent to that 
young man's proposals ? Do you want to be principal 
actor in another tragedy? " 

" Why, dear mother, you speak in enigmas. I thought 
40 



474 1' H E .\ 1 G II T W A T V H . 

"Walter Jocelyn one of the best and most honorable of 
men." 

" He may be so. I presume he is so, my child ; but 
don't you see that he is madly in love with you? " 

" grandma, this is silly in you. I am sorry to 
hear you, who never talk nonsense, say so. Think you 
anj^body could love me after witnessing the past? Xo, 
no ! dear mother, you do but flatter your child, and 
wrong him." 

" Well, we will see ere long. I know more than you 
are aware of" 

When he came the next morning, instead of coining to 
my sitting-room, he sent his name up, saying he was 
obliged to see me a moment alone on business. When I 
reached the i^arlor, I found him sunk in revery. I 
touched his amn. He rose in embarrassment, blushed 
like any school -girl, and sitting down by my side, took 
ray hand. 

" Marianna, you agreed to my proposal, did you not? " 
I answered in the affirmative, but told him that my 
grandmother opposed it. 

" She thinks that I can not support you, I suppose? " 

" ISTo, that is not it. She thinks it will be temjDting the 
foul tongue of calumny, and wantonly inviting gossip 
and scandal. She says that we are so young and foolish 
that it would not " 

" Oh, I can remedy all that," said he, brightening up, 
while his cheeks are again suffused with a modest blush. 
" Dear Marianna, I have loved you from the first hour 
we ever met ; and I have, for man}' years, sought yon 
everywhere, that I might tell you so. I noiv offer you 
my 3^oung, fresh, loving heart, just to do with as you 
2)lease. Will you, my dear girl, link your fate with mine? 
Shall we not then go forth, leaving all troubles, sorrows, 
and painful memories behind, carve out a new life, and 
lay the foundation on which your boy shall rear a bril- 



T H K NIG H T VV A T (j H . 475 

liant superstructure ? Come, dear one, give yourself to 
me, that I may nurture and cherish you as a mother 
would her infant." 

" Great God ! " cried I, " what do I hear? " I drew my 
hand from him (which he had seized in his enthusiasm), 
and exclaimed, 

" O Walter ! why did you tell me this ? Why did you not 
let me trust and confide in your friendship ? I have faith 
in that. But love ! love ! Oh, dear friend! I shudder as I 
pronounce the word ! It has brought me all the griefs I 
have ever known. No, Walter ! no, my friend ! talk not 
to me of love ! I adore you as the most perfect of friends. 
But do not talk to me of love, else I shall lose my senses 
again." 

He rose from his seat, and rushed frantically across the 
room, then dropped into a chair, and covered his face 
with his hands. After a while he came and sat down by 
me, looking very pale and melancholy ; he gazed at me 
fixedly as he said : 

" Marianna, you will never see him,, perhaps, again in 
this life ; or if you should chance to meet him, he will be 
changed. I am told he is addressing a very beautiful 
heiress, and I think likely you will never see him but to 
wound you." 

" I do not expect it. I pray God I may never see him. 
I should deem it the greatest misfortune that could befall 
me. Were he in this room now, I would not look upon 
his face. I could not do so without sin." 

" Then fly with me ; let us leave this country, which 
has proven to be only a vale of tears to us both. We will 
seek some more consonant sphere of action; when twill 
make you forget all your griefs, so tenderly will I watch 
over you." 

" Say not another word ; never mention the subject 
again, lest you drive me from my stronghold, my last 
hope and trust in the friendship of man. Love is selfish ! 



476 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

tell me not of it. I now need the noble disinterestedness 
of friendship ; not love." 

He sat down opposite to me — looked very mournfully 
and strangel}^ into my face for several minutes, without 
speaking. I inquired the meaning of this look. He 
replied : 

" May God ! help you, then, Marianna ! you will not 
let me, and I know not to whom else you can turn in this 
awful exigency." 

I became alarmed and greatly agitated, and at last 
cried out, " In the name of heaven ! what is it? " 

" Your husband is at the hotel, in hot pursuit of you. 
Last night, I was called from my room to visit a sick 
traveler. He was in an advanced stage of inebriation, 
and I was not recognized. In his maudlin garrulousness, 
I learned that by some unlucky chance he had heard of 
you, and is here now to claim 3^ou." 

I was seized with a panic, which almost deprived me of 
life. Walter walked to and fro in the room, as if regard- 
less of me. Presently I recovered, in some degree, and 
seizing his hand, I groaned out, " O Walter ! my last, 
m}^ only friend ! w^iat shall I do ? for the love of Christ, 
advise me ! " 

He answered doggedly — still continuing his walk, " I 
have already given it, and you reject it. I can offer no 
other, because that is the only way of escape I see open 
to you." 

" O God! Can you think of nothing beyond your own 
selfish gratifications ? your own private feelings and in- 
terests ? " 

"I have offered you the best advice that I am capable 
of giving. I have told you of the only plan which sug- 
gests itself to me." . 

" Well ! you can at least tell me all he said, I sujDpose," 
added I, bitterly. 

"It seems, immediately after his arrival at the old 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 477 

place, he had been informed, through some mysterious 
agency, that during his absence you had been an inmate 
of this establishment, but that you were now entirely 
restored, and ten times more beautiful than ever. So he 
has come with carriage and horses, and a friend, to 
prove your identity, and will claim and take you home 
with him. This friend is ready to swear to the fact (if 
you resist), that you were lawfully married, and never 
divorced. There will be no resisting his claims.'" 

" When will he be here? " 

" Just as soon as he gets out of bed." 

"Dear Walter ! keep him there to-morrow, just to-mor- 
row, and give me a little time to reflect on what you 
have said." 

" Will that benefit me ? " 

"Ah ! self, self again.'' 

" Marianna, I am so disappointed ! God knows I desire 
to do all things right, and would serve yoii with my life ! 
but I am so cut down, that I will not longer trust myself 
to talk. Good-bj^ I will do as you request, and will be 
here early to-morrow morning." He took my hand, and 
his "was as cold and clammy as a dead man's. I looked up 
at him w^ith astonishment. He carried it to his fore- 
head, which was also covered wdth a cold dew. 

I told it all to my grandmother ; and now her good 
common sense, decision of judgment, and j^roraptitude of 
action, are invaluable. She looked compassionately at 
me, and said, "Well, Marianna, the Avay is very plain to 
me; we must fly — fly as much from that hot-headed fool, 
Walter, as from Glencoe. I saw the moment he laid his 
eyes on you, how it would be. But there is no time to 
talk, we must act. Did you tell me Doctor Goodwin was 
your friend? " I nodded assent. 

" Then send for him at once." 

When he came, we told him our distressed situation. 
He replied, " I was on my way to you, when I got your 



478 T 11 K N I G H T WATCH. 

message. 1 have this moment returned from the hotel. 
Mr. Glencoe has seen old Doctor Severe, who is entirely 
bought over to his interest. I am ordered to make the 
necessarj^ arrangements ; the forms are all settled, and 
to-morrow morning you are to be ji elded up to a besot- 
ted, almost idiotic, husband. I am shocked, and deeply 
pained, by this outrage." 

'■ Then you will help us ?" cried I. "We must leave 
here to-night. Can you lend us your aid? '" 

" God knows, madam, I would do anything in the world. 
I would most willingly conduct you to any jDlace of safety 
that you might suggest; but were I to leave here, it would 
doubtless lead to your discover3^ I should be hunted, the 
hue and cry would go out; and my presence, however 
pure m}'- motives, would retard your progress. But there 
will be no difficulty in leaving the place." 

So that night, under cover of a darkened sky, we 
departed. My property of furniture, books, etc., was left 
behind. I thought of nothing but the importance of 
escape. We traveled in the night train : the next night 
saw us many miles away. The day after, we continued 
our flight. 

At last we became exhausted. My grandmother and 
the child grew sick ; but the hojDC of being removed 
beyond his reach, sustained me. So we stopped at the 
Eailroad House, in this city. We had no means to pur- 
sue our journey further ; and our first troubles was a dun 
from the landlord. Finding our purses incommensurate 
to the exorbitant demand, he one day informed me that 
"he wanted his room." 

M}' grandmother was always a great reader of the 
News. In one of the daily papers, she saw those cheap 
places advertised. She immediately went out and engaged 
the hovel. 

And now, dear Minny, I have given you a faithful 
sketch of my past life. I have told you the truth ; nothing 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 479 

extenuating for myself, or anght set down in malice 
against others. If — now that you have heard the secret 
cause of this grief, this corroding sorrow — you can still 
call me friend, and can look upon me as a lady worthy of 
respect, confidence, and esteem ; then intimate it, and I 
will joyfully continue to love you. But if, on the other 
hand, I am at all fallen in your estimation, then draw off 
from me, and I shall understand it. I do not feel hum- 
bled or degraded toward my fellow worms. God permit- 
ted me to be tempted beyond my strength. He suffered 
this inliis wisdom; and sooner or later it will redound to 
his glory and my good. I feel that he has forgiven me. 
The upbraidings of conscience, and that stupefying sense 
of horror which kept me bowed to the earth, have ceased. 
I have done all I could. I have repented and prayed, and 
trusted G-od ; and you, dear friend, first taught me to love 
the Saviour — to seek the Kingdom. I have found it, 
Minny, and now rest peacefully on the bosom of Christ. 
I dread no longer. I find, as you told me, that "jierfect 
love casteth out all fear." 



480 THE NIGHT WATCH. 



CHAPTER XLIII. 

CONSCIENCE, THE ORACLE OF GOD. 

"Though thy slumber may be deep, 

Yet thy spirit may not sleep ; 

There are shades which will not vanish, 

There are thoughts thou canst not banish." 

MiNNY had been obliged to retire, on account of the 
little Myra, but most reluctantly, for she would willingly 
have set up all night to watch, with the jealous eyes of 
true friendship, the effect jDroduced on Murray by Myra's 
journal. When break&st was announced. Dr. Brown 
went in the room ; and when he spoke, Murray looked up 
at him, seeming not to comprehend one word. 

" Yes, yes, I know," said he, '•' but send Mrs. Brown 
here; I must see her." The Doctor went back to the 
breakfast-room, with a very dissatisfied look. 

" Wife, I believe Murray is either going to lose his life 
or his senses over those papers. To all I say, he answers, 
" Send Minny here; I must speak with Mrs. Brown," etc. 

The good little creature put the child into her grand- 
mother's arms, and ran up to him. '' Good heavens, sir, 
what is the matter? Ye look the picture o' hopeless mis- 
ery. I dinna ken what mak's you tak on sae." 

He pointed to the adjuration, and to the passage where 
poor Marianna is accused of that frightful crime ; then 
closes his eyes, and lets the paper fall from his hands. 
• "Now listen to me. If ye Avill get up, and tak' the 
tepid bath which is made ready for you in the next room, 
and will then come down to breakfast, wi' a better looking 
face, I will gie ye a paper that will set a' that to rights. 



THE N 1 U H T WATCH. 481 

Your poor mither writ a letter, or ratlier I writ it while 
she dictated it. All that trouble will have passed away, 
when ye ha' read that document. But I will na gie it to 
ye unless ye do as I have said." 

She left him, and when the servant came in to assist 
him, he allowed himself to be undressed and submerged 
like one in a trance. After which he descended to the 
breakfast-room. He sipped a few drops of coffee mechan- 
ically. Minny saw this abstraction, and calling him into 
the parlor, put into his hand the letter of his dying 
mother. He begged permission to withdraw to his room. 
When there, he locks the door, sits down, and as he opens 
the letter, a cold shudder i:)asses over him. He tries to read. 
" O G-od ! what new horror awaits me here ? I dread to 
look into this paper. Almost my entire faith in the human 
family is destroyed." 

•'To Charles Coxrad Murray: 

" My Dear Son : I am called ; I have received that sum- 
mons which none, however imperious and self-sustaining, 
can slight. I hear it, and feel it, and know it. It is pro- 
claimed to me in the roaring of my ears. I feel it in my 
failing sight. It is blended with ni}^ heavy and difficult 
breathing ; in this shuddering sense of dread : this fearful 
looking forward to, and waiting for, I do not know what, 

" I hear a hollow, tomb-like voice, which says continu- 
ally, ' Woman, thy soul is required of thee ! ' Oh, how it 
sounds ! How dolefully it rings ! Will you forgive your 
mother, Conrad ? Can you pardon her now, as she stands 
shivering and shrinking on the confines of two worlds — 
neither wishing to go nor stay, not being fit for either ; or 
will your curse, when you have heard all, descend with her 
to the grave, and herald her soul to the abodes of dark- 
ness. Alas ! I know this would be but justice. Yet 
before I die, I wish if time serves to do an act, one soli- 
tary act in a whole life-time, which was not prompted 
41 



482 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

by self: self-love, self-interest, self-aggrandizement, and 
worse than all, revenge. 

" My son, she whom you have loved so fondly, so unsel- 
fishly, and with a constancy which has defied absence, 
mystery, calumny, and time, which is the best crucible to 
test the worth of every passion, still lives, and is worthy 
of such devotion, and may yet be your wife, without sin 
or shame to either of you. Poor girl ! she has suffered 
equally with yourself Each throb of anguish which her 
seeming rejection has caused you ; each pang of disap- 
pointment and mortification, has been more than respon- 
ded to by her heart, which has known no change. 

" That soul-harrowing tale of your close consanguinity, 
which was breathed into the ear of the poor girl the day 
after she was torn from your arms by her hard-hearted 
father, was a fiendish invention of Doctor G-lencoe and 
your wretched mother to separate you — so often had we 
been foiled in our attempts to do this, and so well were 
we convinced that prison walls, nor dungeons, nor chains, 
would keep you asunder, if she v:ere toiUing. So that 
embodiment of deceit pretended, with many protestations 
of sorrow, a great showing of shame, and almost mad- 
dening compunctions, to reveal to his child the secret 
cause of his opposition. JVIany were the crocodile tears 
shed over that poor thing, while we were fabricating 
that intricate chain of events which was forever to fetter 
her conscience. 

" Conrad, "that girl's mother was pure, and chaste, and 
honest, and upright ; and as such she reared her daugh- 
ter. She was my successful rival, and for that I hated 
her. Yes, from the hour I felt her superiority, I hated 
her. Even now, when time has receded to a mere point, 
and eternity is opening before me with its overwhelming 
vastness, I am still conscious of the existence of this pass- 
ion. I also feel that it will constitute my greatest pun- 
ishment down in that place to which I am hastening. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 483 

" But my mind wanders. Suffice it to say, that John 
Glencoe, whom I loved, even with that sort of passion 
which has descended to my son ; devastating, and strew- 
ing my pathway, even as his, with the ruins of all cher- 
ished and beloved objects ; gave the preference to the soft, 
gentle Mj^ra. He gave her his hand and his name. Aye ! 
his name; but I guided, ruled, and possessed the man, 
while the innocent and cliild-like Myra embraced and 
loved the soulless husband. Thus matters had jorogressed. 
But let me retrovert for a moment. 

" I waited but one week after the alliance of my lover 
with my hated rival, and I too married. In a fit of unpre- 
cedented recklessness, I married your father, who was, 
as you know, first cousin to Marianna's mother. Conrad, 
on your father's part, I presume this was a match of afl'ec- 
tion, but I never reciprocated it. I honored his talents 
and force of character; I admired him as the finest spe- 
cimen of manly beauty. O my son ! he was your proto- 
type. My judgment and my secret soul acknowledged 
his vast superiority over my former lover ; but what mat- 
ters ? When was human love the growth of human 
will? / 

" You were born under just such circumstances, and 
you are like him. Oh ! so like him in all things. This 
alone should contradict that evil story of ours. For seven 
years, their home was unblessed by the well-spring of 
gladness. IsTo little toddling feet ran to meet him when 
he came. ISo soft, lisping voice hailed him by that sweet- 
est of names, papa. He grew moody, morose, and his 
home seemed distasteful to him. Then it was that he 
threw himself in my way, importuned, entreated, vowed, 
in the name of all good as well as all evil spirits, that he 
had never loved Myra, but had continued to love me. I 
do believe that opposition and resistance had brought him 
nearer to the genuine feeling than any he had ever known 
before. But 1 never yielded ; not so much, I fear, from 



484 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

the love of virtue, as a desire to punish him. Ye Grods ! 
what a feast it was to me to witness his writhings ; after 
having lured him on to hope, and tempted him bej'ond 
the strength of any human being to resist, then would I 
repulse him, and gloat over the sufferings of a man jjros- 
trated by his passions. 

'' Yet I repeat, I never sinned with that man, and I 
loved him too. You were born, my son, after your 
father's decease, but not as John Glencoe stated, a whole 
year. - 

" On returning from the little inn where they overtook 
you, he poisoned her pure ears with the recital of his own 
dej^ravity and my weakness. The turpitude would have 
been greater on his part than on mine, as I was free then 
from the fetters of wedlock. He stated to that poor girl that 
you were both his children ; then frightened her into the 
most solemn adjurations that can be uttered, as she knelt 
there, the Bible clasped to her breast, the priest standing 
before her with the crucifix held over her head, to absolve 
or denounce, as the case might be. (Grlencoe was a Papist.) 
The oath was thus administered, the girl repeating it 
after the priest. Oh ! I have not time now to recount 
the horrors of that scene ; but they made the poor crea- 
ture swear that she would suffer all the tortures of the 
damned rather than meet you again ; or if she should see 
5'ou by chance, that she would hide away. I witnessed 
all this from an aperture in a neighboring wall ; and if I 
had had a human heart in my breast, I would have rushed 
forward tind given the lie to that foul wrong to her and 
aspersion on myself. But I Avas riveted to the spot. Her 
father had forced her to confess her sins to a priest, yet 
she was a Protestant, like her mother. When she had 
gotten through with this dreadful ordeal, he pronounced 
the sentence, and said she had committed an unpardon- 
able sin. Then the poor creature fell like one pierced to 
the heart, a lifeless mass. 



THE NIG if T WATCH. 485 

" She never saw her husband after you were separated, 
Conrad ; yet that little boy was born. 

"And now, in conclusion, my poor son — my good, duti- 
ful, affectionate boy, seeing no further barrier to your 
union with your second cousin, Marianna Glencoe, let me 
caution you against your children falling into that sin 
which you did not commit. Your child, the little Gene- 
vieve, and that beautiful boy are half-brother and sister. 
O Conrad ! O my son ! I am done. There is much more 
that I would say to you, if I had strength, but I have not. 
Farewell ! may a God of pity prosper you and show 
merc}^ to me. Amen." 

About the time that Murray finished reading this letter, 
he was summoned to the jjarlor to see a visitor, and there 
he found the same mysterious figure as ever, closely 
veiled. When she ofi'ered the salutations of the morning, 
he started, for he had not forgotten, or recovered from 
the influence of that soft, touching voice. 

After he had led her to a seat— still retaining her hand 
— she says : " Friend, I have come to thee, I fear, on a 
thankless office. I have told the beautiful lady of thee ; 
sjooken to her of thy gallant conduct, thy noble disregard 
of thy own life, to save hers. I told her of thy superhu- 
man strength and courage, expended in her service. I 
have plead for thee, explained to her eager ears how thou 
dost love her. I have pledged mj'^ life, and the honor 
of him who is dearer to me than that life, on the proof 
of thy fidelity and honesty ; yet she shakes her head, and 
says, " I dare not, I must not. I shall perjure myself 
Oh ! if you but knew ! " When I then plead for an inter- 
view, even though that should lead to a final sepa- 
ration, she weeps vehement^, and says, "I dare not even 
look upon him one time. O that I could gaze on his 
noble countenance one instant, and then close these eyes 
in death ! " She also mourns for her child, grandmother, 
and her friend Minny. 



486 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

"I have come to arrange a meeting with some of you. 
Though you, my dear friend," said she, turning to Con- 
rad, and taking both of his hands, " she will not consent to 
see ; she lias not told me w^herefore. I can not restore her 
to thee here, just yet. It would be as much as my own 
life, and that of another, is worth, to remove her until the 
time arrives. That may come sooner than we know of 
at present. To my power of doing good, there is a limit, 
and I am obliged to proceed with caution. She has 
offered two or three times to make me acquainted with 
the events and vicissitudes of her life, but I have always 
declined it. I did not wish to see her excited, while so 
feeble. Ah ! little does she susjDect how much I have 
been forced to know of her sad history. But this secret 
which keeps you asunder, I do not know. Yet I hope, 
sir, that it is not irremediable." 

"No, dear ladj^," said Mui'ray ; "I have that here," 
holding out his mother's letter, " which will restore the 
right." 

" I am rejoiced to hear it," said she, " for, with me, 
'right makes might.' My intention is to come in a car- 
riage to-night, and conduct thee to her ; Murdoch will be 
with me. But remember, sir, when I introduce thee 
within the secret walls of my people — conduct thee into 
their stronghold, that I place my own life, and the safety 
of others, w^ho are dear to me, at thy mercy, and maybe 
jeopardize the interest of five hundred Jews. And my 
father, thou would'st not wreak thy indignation and 
wrath on that old man? Thou would'st not harm him? 
Surely his daughter, who has ever stood between thee 
and danger, and tried to protect those thou lovest, may 
hope for clemency at thy hands, toward the feeble, white- 
haired, old man. His power is gone ; he can work no 
more mischief at her- behest. His will and strength to 
do so, seemed to depart with her life." 

" Nay, lady, you surely do not distrust me? I would 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 487 

be drawn by wild horses, or hung up like a malefactor, 
ere I would endanger aught that you love and value." 

She passed into Minny's room, and held a long and 
confidential conversation, with that good little creature. 
Whether they had ever met before, or whether they had 
been made acquainted only through the ' ISTight Watch,' 
these chronicles do not state. But there seemed to be 
a perfect harmony and concert in their movements. 
She took the little Myra from Clarence, fondled her affec- 
tionately for a short time ; then, jjlacing her again in his 
arms, stooped down and kissed the boy. 

" Sweet cherub ! I will come to-night, and take theo to 
thy mother. She is quite well, my love, and waiting for 
thee ; but thou must be jDatient. like a darling little boy, 
till I come." She then left. 

" Aweel, aweel, I wonder what a' this means. See hero, . 
Col. Murray, I dinna ken what has come o'er the world." 
And she carried the children to Murray. " See what tlie 
fairy queen has left." 

There was a necklace of diamonds of great value 
around the little girl's neck, and on Clarence's finger a 
costly gem, and in his bosom a diamond pin. Murray 
had been so much engrossed with his reflections, and his 
joy was so full to find the ban removed from them, that he 
had not thought of the boy. In thinking so intensely of 
the mother, he had forgotten the child. Kow the idea 
comes rushing into his mind. He catches him up, clasps 
him to his breast, and calls out in joyful recollections, 

"My dear Mrs. Brown, did I read aright? Can the 
instincts of the heart deceive me ? It isso ! Did I read 
aright?" 

" Yes ; but hist, hist ! Speak not o' that to him. Myi-a 
wad na have him to speer into the past, I wot." 

" You are right, my dear friend ; and you are always 
wise, discreet, and considerate." 

We must now take rather a retrograde stride. 



488 THE NIGHT WATCH, 



CHAPTEE XLIV. 

RETRIBUTION: OR THE MANIAC HUSBAND. 

" Theke is your husband — like a mildewed ear, 
Blasting your wholesome presence." 

" His wretched brain gave way, 
And he became a wreck at random driven, 
Without one glimjose of reason or of heaven." 

When John Glencoe arrived at the boarding-house, on his 
way to claim his wife and child, he found Walter walking 
the hall in great agitation. He had preceded the besotted 
and bestial husband, that he might lend assistance, if neces- 
sary, to the unfortunate wife. When he heard from Doc- 
tor Cxoodwin that they were not to be found, and that 
Marianna had escaped in the night from the terrible fate 
which awaited her on the morrow, he was more aston- 
ished than rejoiced. His first impulse was to pursue them ; 
then he remembered that he had no right to do so, hav- 
ing no claims on them. So he had to sit down and 
" devour his heart " in secret, and endure as best he could 
the pangs of unrequited love. 

But who can describe, what pen or pencil can paint the 
rage of the foiled husband ? He had been imj)elled by 
the fiercest and worst passions incident to human nature, 
to seek his poor wife. Eevenge and lust, these were the 
only motives which induced his return from Europe, and 
prompted that long and careful search, until lighting on 
some trifling circumstances, he traced her thither. His 
intention -was to get possession of her person, and then 
remove to some distant country, where he could, unno- 



T H E NIG II T W A 'I' C IJ . 489 

ticed and unmolested, indulge the evil promptings of his 
now depraved heart. But God, who never slumbers or 
sleej)8, but continues to watch over the humble and desti- 
tute, did not see fit to have that poor stray lamb of the 
fold further outraged. 

Poor Clleneoe was not radically bad, but he was impelled 
on by notions of wrongs, and infuriated by maddening 
drinks and evil associates to this cruel step. He had not 
for one second thought of the possibility of his poor, 
helpless, defenseless wife offering the l^ast resistance to 
his will ; much less, escaping from his power. There- 
fore, when he was informed of this fact, he raved and 
swore, gnashed his teeth, tore his hair, rushed from room 
to room, threw down furniture, broke whatever he laid 
his hands on, threw costly articles of ornament out of the 
windows, crushing other things to atoms in his hands. 

At last, he came to a large mirror, Avhere he saw his 
ghastly and distorted features reflected. He sent forth a 
hideous yell, and then burst into that most appalling of all 
sounds, a loud, wild, maniac laugh. 

" Ha ! ha ! ha ! You are grinning and gibbering at me, 
are you? You foul fiend! you Devil! You shall not 
rejoice at my discomfiture. You have come to claim me, 
maybe. Well, we'll see ; " and he rushed on the sj)lendid 
Yenitian plate, and in a short time had demolished its 
polished face with his fist, aiming every blow at his own 
image, taking it for a mocking demon. 

He was secured and carried, exhausted and bleeding, to 
the same cell which had for such a length of time impris- 
oned his hapless wife. This was accidental. The same 
strait-jacket that had been used to confine her tender 
limbs, was used to secure his distorted and mangled ones. 

When Doctor Severe came, he found him a wild maniac, 
raging mad like a rabid dog, foaming at the mouth, and 
snapping at everything which came in his way. All pos- 
sible means was used to restore him : for his ample fortune 



490 THE N I (i H T WATCH. 

secured to him every attention. All skill was exhausted, 
without producing any other change than a dogged 
silence. A month passed in this way ; and they have 
pronounced him a hopeless case of idiotic insanity. 



Thus the interval had elapsed. Poor Marianna had 
never been advised of the events above recorded ; or of 
the present existing facts. 

Minny has just reminded Col. Murray, that she feared 
Myra would make this a barrier to their union, even after 
she finds the first is removed. She projDOses, therefore, 
that he shall write at once to Dr. Goodwin, and ascertain 
the present condition of the patient. 

"Invaluable woman,"' exclaimed he, "you forget no- 
thing. This is all-important. I will send a dispatch, 
which will be answered ere we meet." He then sat down 
to write. The door-bell rings ; and the servant shows 
in Miss Emma Calderwood, and a gentleman. 

The girl introduces Doctor Jocelj'n ; and then catching 
up the little Clarence, is so occupied with him that she 
does not see the crimson flash on her lover's cheek. 

Murray aj)proached him, and taking his hand, said with 
emotion, " I thank God that I am permitted this happi- 
ness once more. My friend, I have sought you every- 
where. I have written letter after letter, directing them 
to every city and town in the United States, without 
receiving a response.'' 

"Why this is most strange! I have done the same, 
only I was informed of your whereabouts ; and wrote 
advisedly. This is the whole gTOundwork of my dis- 
satisfaction toward you, sir. I was, in truth, most deeply 
w^ounded by your seeming slights ; and must needs feel 
indignant at those contempts put upon me. But recently, 
within a day or two (said he, glancing at Emma), I have 
cultivated better feelings." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 491 

"Explain, sir, if you please. I am most anxious to 
have an eclaircissement at once, that I may free mj^self 
from this blame. Proceed, my friend. I am impatient." 

"A year or two ago, meeting with a disappointment 
where all my hopes of happiness had been garnered up, 
and by which they were wrecked, I became so despairingly 
wretched, that I suffered my business to fiill into frightful 
disorder. You know, perhaps, that I am an orphan, poor, 
and without patronage. After my only friend and bene- 
factor died, I was dependent on the profession, which I 
had acquired through his charity. Poor Doctor Glen- 
coe: / have cause to speak kindly of him, at least. Well: 
I neglected this only means left me of independence, and 
locked myself up in my chamber, holding no communica- 
tion with any. I thus became involved ; indebted to the 
landlord, without hope of finding the means to aj^pease 
his rapacity. I wrote to you, sir, begging the loan of a 
small sum." ~ 

"For the love of God, say no more; or say at once 
that you exonerate me from this meanness. Tell me that 
you are convinced that I never received those letters. 
My dear Walter, I Avould have given you my coat, and 
gone without it myself. I am ready now, as before, to 
divide the last dollar with you." 

" I do believe you, sir ; and may He whom you invoke, 
foi'give me, as I trust you will, for suffering those doubts 
to take hold of me at all." 

" Gro on," added Murray ; " I see you have more to com- 
municate." 

"I was driven by my necessities to seek a subordinate 
situation in a lunatic asylum, which place to one of my 
temperament was maddening. My God ! the horrors that 
I have been forced to witness in that pandemonium are 
enough to di'ive the strongest into the place for life. But 
let me hasten. It was my duty, by my particular request, 
to wait professionally on poor Mr. Glencoe, that I might 



492 T 11 K N Hi a T W A T C 1-1 . 

minister to his few wants ; which I did to the last, faith- 
fully ameliorating his condition, and mitigating as much 
as I dared the stern usages of the institution. He is dead ! 
(It was by a mighty effort that Conrad sujjpressed an 
exclamation. But he did suppress it, for he saw that he 
was watched.) " Mr. G-lencoe died about two weeks 
since," continued Dr. Jocelyn. " Before his death, he had 
his will drawn up and attested by the 'Board of Physi- 
cians,' who assert on oath that his last hours were sane. 
His immense estate he bequeathed jointly to the little 
Clarence and myself. I am here now, sir, to yield up my 
portion to the rightful heirs — his wife and his great aunt, 
Marianna's grandmother." 

" ISToble, generous 3'oung man ! How exalted is your 
nature ! Suffer me to say, I admire and honor you above 
measure. But I presume you have heard of the dreadful 
circumstances which wrap the fate of the unfortunate 
JVIarianna in mystery." 

The young man turned away and walked to the win- 
dow. After a while, he came up to Murray, and said, " Sir, 
you used the word mystery ; is it not a certainty? " 

" 'No : we have strong hopes that she lives." 

"Indeed! Then why stand ye here? How can you 
for one moment thus fold your arms in peace? Away at 
once to the rescue, else I " 

He was interrupted in these vehement ejaculations and 
implied rej)roaches, by the entrance of old Mrs. Glencoe. 
Walter approached her, and after the mournful greetings 
were over, they withdrew to another room, where they 
conversed for a long time. 

In the interim, Murray had learned from Emma that 
"Walter was now her declared lover. 

"And I hope accepted one?" rejoined Miimy. 

" Not quite," said the innocent girl, blushing. Walter 
comes at the moment, and they depart. 

"Now, my gude friend, ye canna longer doubt. Ye 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 493 

must feel that the hand o' the Lord is in a' this ! Dinna 
ye see how the way is being opened for ye ? l^ow, will 
ye still distrust Grod?" 

" I shall never forget to trace all good under Him to 
you, our patron saint," said Murray, with emotion. 

" Aweel now ! Dinna say sic thing as that. ISTot unto 
puir me, but unto that veiled lady. Eender tribute only 
where it is due. I canna claim ony thing for simply doing 
my dut}^, when Grod mak's the way sae plain." 

The hours roll on heavily. Susjjense is at the front of 
the car, and anxiety clogs its wheels. They are waiting 
for the appearance of the veiled lady with feverish impa- 
tience. 

Eight o'clock: nine — ten, and she does not come. 
They are almost in despair. At last a carriage is driven 
furiously up to the door. They have taken their seats in 
it. A soft, SAveet voice says : 

" I hope thou wilt forgive me. We have been detained 
by the sudden illness of my father." 

"I trust he is better now?" said Murray. 

" Yes, my friend, else I could not be here at this 
moment." 

They sped on. On, on roll those everlasting wheels. 
" Will we never arrive ? " thought Minny. 

" Oh ! when shall I behold her? " felt Murray. 

After a while they stop. It is very dark. The young 
girl takes Murray by the hand ; and Murdoch, with the 
child in one arm, has Minny on the other. They plunge 
into that dark alley, and now they ascend that intermin- 
able stair-way. On reaching the last platform, they hear 
the tinkling of the little bell. The girl listens for the 
quavering voice. She steps back; the bell rings again. 
She gives the rap, but there is no answering call. She 
throws a frightened look into Murdoch's face, who opens 
the door softly, and they enter the same miserable place 
which has been described before — with this difference. 



494 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

there is a small cot or lounge in the center of the room, 
which is in very marked contrast with all surrounding 
objects. The bed and its furnitvire is of spotless white- 
ness, and of very tine material. 

The girl goes up to the couch, and folding down the 
counterpane, finds it empty. She casts a bewildered look 
around. Then fixing her eyes on Murdoch, with the 
same alarmed look of inqiiiry, exclaims, " Father Abra- 
ham ! what does this mean ? Oh ! my dear Murdoch, 
where is he? Who has stolen him from me? " 

The slightest smile passed over the handsome face of 
the JSTight Watch, as he said, " Fear not, child. Who, 
think ye, would wish to do that? " 

There is a mean, ^poverty-stricken tallow candle stuck 
in a hole in the top of the rickety table, which sends forth 
from its long wick, a ghastly glare on all around. The 
tallow has melted, and run down on the side, forming 
itself into fantastic shapes, which the timid and supersti- 
tious call a " winding sheet." Murdoch seems not to be 
wholly free from this weakness ; for an ejaculation of 
impatience escaped him, as he proceeded to remove it 
ere Leah should notice. Having lighted another, he 
goes to a corner near the fire-place, and holding the 
light down, its rays fall on the body of the miser, stretched 
across that old trunk ; his arms spread out protectingly 
over it, and his cheek laid lovingly on the coarse, rough 
hair. His attitude is that of one wishing to caress or 
shield a beloved object. 

The girl flies to him — having torn off her bonnet and 
veil — and falling on her knees, commenced the most 
plaintive lamentations. 

Murdoch takes her up tenderly and says, ".Leah, you 
are mistaken, child. He is not dead but sleeps. Get 
your elixir, while I remove him to the bed." 

He found some difficulty in tearing him off; his fingers 
had cleilched the iron bands with such tenacity, and 



THE NIGHT AVATCH. 495 

retained their hold with such spasmodic force, that it 
seemed as if the hands must needs be severed from the 
arm. By Murray's assistance, he succeeded in dislodging 
him ; and then he roused up and began to sigh and moan 
most piteously. 

"Oh! oh! They want my monish. They have come 
to take my monish." Then he would weep with the 
imbecilit}^ of childhood. 

Leah brings him the draught. He clutches it and cries 
out, " It is too much. Thou dost Avaste things, Leah. 
Hagar Avould not treat her poor fadder so. Oh ! oh ! I 
sail be ruin. I — I " 

" Drink it, dear father, said the girl ; this must last you 
all night." 

"Den put out one of dem candle; I sail be ruin. O 
shild ! I sail be ruin." And he falls asleep, still whim- 
pering. 

Leah rings a silver bell : a small woman, very richly 
dressed, with keen, sinister-looking black eyes, and black 
hair, cut short over her head, appears. Minny recog- 
nizes those featui-es. They belong to the little African 
slave. But that pure white skin, and that perfectly devel- 
oped bust, are those of a young lady of the Caucasian 
race. 

"Hagar," said Leah, "remain here ; on thy life, do not 
leave him one moment. I shall return anon." 

She then lead the way, first removing a parcel of old 
clothes from the wall, which looked as if they had hung 
there for a century ; then pressed on a board : a portion 
of the wall, rather less than a common door recedes, and 
they pass into a narrow passage or corridor. They tra- 
verse this pass-way for some distance; then, after descend- 
ing a few moments, they emerge into a spacious hall, 
lighted by a handsome lamp from the ceiling. At the end 
of this ball, which is marble, are folding doors beautifully 
carved and polished. These doors open as if by magic, at 



496 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

the approach of the mistress, and disclose a large sa- 
loon resplendent with chandeliers, suspended from the 
vaulted roof, whose innumerable lights are rei&ected on the 
face of large mirrors reaching to the floor. On either 
side of the room are arranged in charming negligence, 
gorgeous sofas, ottomans, divans, rocking chairs, etc. The 
carpet is so rich and soft, that their foot-fall seems to be 
on down ; crimson satin, and the finest white muslin cur- 
tains, hang from the lofty window-frames. These only 
open into other spacious rooms ; there seems to be no 
looking out on the external world. 

At one end of this grand saloon, there is an aviary; 
where the birds imprisoned feel not their fetters — all is 
so beautiful and delicious there : thej" sing and chirp, and 
hoj) from flower to flower ; and they know their mistress, 
and sing more cheerily, and carol more blithely. When 
she comes, they perch upon her hand, and peck the seeds 
and crumbs from her fingers, as she feeds them. 

At the other end is a conservatory, where every 
native, and many exotics, are cultivated ; the sun being 
admitted through a skj'-light. There ai"e also various 
musical instruments lying about the room. Our friends, 
notwithstanding their pre-occupation. are compelled to 
note the appointments of this room so unique as well 
as magnificent ; so beautiful and dazzling. 

"jSTow rest thee here, my friends, while I go in first," 
said Leah. "Murdoch, remain thou with them.'' And 
taking the child by the hand, she disappears. 

In another instant, they hear a simultaneous cry of joy, 
from mother and child. After a short time, JVIinny is 
taken in. The good creature's voice is heard first as if 
in explanation; then expostulation. Then she is inter- 
rupted by sobs and ejaculations, from poor Mja'a. jSTow, 
again, that honest, upright, and earnest voice, is heard in 
deprecatory tones. Anon she chides. But when those 
soft, sweet, plaintive tones are heard in entreaty : "For 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 497 

the love of heaven, cease to tempt me, Minny," Murray 
can stand it no longer. He burst from the firm grasp 
of Murdoch ; who had held him fast up to that moment, 
lest he should spoil all, by precipitating himself into her 
presence at the wrong time. He has cleared the distance 
between them, and Marian na, is once more resting on 
his bosom. All else is forgotten; many minutes of wild, 
delirious jo}^, and ecstatic rapture, pass by before they 
utter a word ; then, when their imprisoned feelings are 
freed, and their long pent-up natures are permitted to 
meet and mingle ; when soul answers to soul from the 
secret depth of their fond, loving hearts, then they find 
language to express it. 

When Conrad had rushed into the room, and thrown 
himself down by the side of Marianna, Leah slipped 
away, and going back to Murdoch, sat down by him, and 
leaning her head wearily on his shoulder, shed tears, gen- 
tle tears, soft and refreshing as the evening dew. He 
encircled her in his arms, and pressed her to his bosom 
tenderly ; Oh how tenderl}^ and delicately ! You could 
scarcely have believed that this was the same ISTight 
Watch. Yet it is even so. It is he, and the heart and the 
head are the same ; the true and genuine nature is the 
same; he has only cast off the rough coating, the coarse 
rind. 

" Dear one," said he, softly, in her ear, " the time has 
almost come. Our task is well-nigh done, and we have 
nearly reached the goal. Oh ! how I do love you for your 
goodness." 

"And I thee for thy greatness," sighed the girl. 

They are now joined by Minny. She informs them 
that there is but one draw-back to an entire reconciliation. 
The letter — Conrad's letter ; she can not be reconciled to 
that. It was a forgery ; they believe this; still Mari- 
anna is sad and tearful. 

" If that is all," said Leah, " I can soon make the present 
42 



498 T ir E N I G H T \y a 'i' (.' jh . 

bright again." 8he went to her room, and returned 
with two papers, and tapping at their door, passed in. 
She saw at a glance that there was a shadow on their 
brows. " Come, this must not be, friends. Dispel that 
cloud, and listen to me." 

Then she recounts the events which transpired at the 
time of Miss Lindsay's visit to her father — hands the orig- 
inal letter which she picked up from the .floor after the 
lady had left, saying very innocently, " I presume it 
belongs to thee, lady ; " and turning to Conrad, saj^s, 
" There was no envelop, but the name within is thine." 

They are again left alone, and now this last barrier is 
removed. It is all explained, and they are more fully 
convinced than ever, that they had narrowly escaped being 
sacrificed to the diabolical plot meant to subserve the 
interests of the baser actors in the foregoing drama. 

Minny goes in to admonish them of the hour. She 
must return to her family, and they are to accompany 
her. By dint of much talking, she at length gets them 
to understand that they are still inhabitants of this inun- 
dane sphere, and that her duties call her to her own 
peculiar little sphere. 

They look round for their benefactress, that they may 
pour out their souls in gratitude, but she is not there. 
Murray takes up the child, twines his other arm about 
the waist of Marianna, and they move on through the 
same passages and hall. On arriving at the end of the 
last corridor, Murdoch listens a moment ; then pressing 
his finger on the spring, the wall opens, and the}^ pass 
through. Leah is there on her knees, b}^ the side of the 
dying miser. They do not invade the privacy of her 
sorrow, which is holy, and should not be intermeddled 
with. 

When Murdoch has seen them to the carriage, he returns 
to Leah. He entreats her to retire and leave him to 
watch. " Oh no. dear Murdoch, it is not lousr that anv of 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 499 

US will have to minister to him. Let me alone. 1 must 
speak a great deal between this and day." 

The patient opens his eyes, and seeing Murdoch, with 
an impatient gesture waves him off. 

" Go, dear Murdoch," said Leah, "he wishes to be left 
alone with me, that is all. Do not think hardly of me, 
my love, for sending you away." She rises from her 
knees, and laying one little white hand round his neck, 
with the other pushes back the raven locks from his lofty 
brow, and imprints a holy kiss on his forehead; then 
returned and knelt again by the poor old man. He 
rewards her wath a look of unutterable love and confi- 
dence. 

The whole night, that dutiful daughter and noble- 
minded woman is pleading for others. She entreats her 
father to make restitution, ere it is too late, to all whom 
his conscience accuses him of having wronged. She begs 
him to leave her sister Hagar equal heiress with herself 
in his will, which he is now most anxious to have drawn 
up. But when she proposes sending for a notary, he 
objects vehemently, saying that she only should write it. 
To pacify him, she consents. Then there on her knees, 
with streaming eyes, she implores him to consent to her 
marriage with Murdoch. He shakes his head, and makes 
an angry sign for silence. 

" Ah ! j)oor father, I can not obey thee in this. I must 
speak ere it is too late." The Jew shakes his head again. 

" My dear father, he is the best friend thou ever hadst. 
It was only that he might in some sort watch over, warn, 
and shield thy family and our people from wrong and 
oppression, that he ever consented to become the Night 
Watch. Otherwise he would not have descended to such 
an office." 

The old man seems to reflect ; then shaking his head, 
closes his eyes. Leah proposes to send for a Rabbi ; but 
he objects to this also, and says, peevishly, " Shild, shild, I 



500 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

does not want any of dem ; dou is enough for me, and can 
do all dat I wants done." 

Day dawns, and finds that daughter still on her knees, 
holding the hand of her death-stricken father. Pres- 
ently she withdraws to prepare him some nutriment, but 
he yells after her as if frightened by ten thousand furies. 
Hagar, who has been all her life his tool and instrument 
of mischief, who was alwaj^s one after his own heart, is now 
banished from his presence. He is apparent]}^ afraid of her. 

Twelve o'clock ; and the patient is so much worse that 
the girl sends for the Eabbi without his consent. When 
he comes, he informs Leah that there is no time to lose ; 
and whatever there is to do, must be done quickly. He 
writes a few words, and gives the note to Hagar. Then 
that High Priest — that old Caiaj)has — sits down by that 
ci"ime-stained man, whose soul is weighed down by sin, 
and talks to him of his temporal affairs. Leah had left 
the room for a moment, and on her return brings with her 
this note to Murdoch : 

" Dear Murdoch — Come quickly, and bring with thee 
as witnesses, Col. Murray, Doctor Brown, and a notary. 
Lose no time ; in a little while it will be too late. 

Thine own Leah." 

She ran down to the store, and calling the shop-boy, gave 
him the note and a piece of money, urging him to delay 
not a second. Fortunately he found Murdoch on his way 
there. He jumped into a hack, and drove to the different 
jDoints ; and having gathered uj) the persons named, in a 
short time they are at the place. 

Leah is still on her knees by the bedside. She raised 
her head, and b}^ signs intimated that they must keep out 
of sight. They therefore ranged themselves at the back 
of the patient. There are five or six strange-looking 
swarthy Jew faces sitting opposite, all the while eyeing 
them with looks of distrust and curiosity. 



THE xVIGHT WATCH. 501 

The Eabbi goes to him, and inquires if he wishes to 
have his will executed. Then each one of the Jews pro- 
poses, in turn, to perform this service. The miser refuses, 
and points to Leah. 

She gets up at once, and taking a Portfolio from the 
shelf, saj's, "Dear father, thy child is read}' to write." 
The Jews draw closely around her, as if afraid of treach- 
ery even at the hour of death. The old man, greatly to 
the amazement of all, raises himself without assistance, 
and sitting up in bed, with a strong and clear voice, 
speaking slowlj^, and with great distinctness, begins ; 
while Leah writes out his jargon in plain English. 

" I, Levi Nathan, do will and bequeath to the people 
living in this house, fifty thousand dollars, to be divided 
among them. I leave to my daughter Hagar the sum of 
fifty thousand dollars, and will her, with this money, to 
my clerk, Moses Isaacs. If they do not marry, it is for- 
feited, and reverts to my daughter Leah. I bequeath to 
the man Murdoch my thanks for his services to my family. 
I leave to Charles Conrad Murray, one hundred thousand 
dollars, by way of restitution for injuries sustained by 
him at may hands. I bequeath to my dear afPectionate 
daughter Leah, for her faithful care of me ; and because 
now, as I am about to yield up the ghost, I feel that 
every act and motive of her life has been just and upright ; 
I bequeath to her two hundred thousand dollars, and my 
consent for her to marry whomsoever she pleases I also 
will to her this house, with all its stories and compart- 
ments, including store rooms, offices, cells, prisons, etc. : 
and lastly, all property that shall remain after the dis- 
bursing of the aforementioned sums." 

He reaches out, takes the paper and pen, and w4th a 
steady hand affixes his signatifre. Then fell back on 
his pillow, and closed his eyes. The will was attestodj 



502 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

and sealed. Then the Jews drop off, looking sullen and 
dissatisfied. 

Poor old Mordecai Faggot never sjDeaks but once again. 
He raises his head, and peers curiously around the room ; 
then fixing his eyes on the two candles burning, cries out, 
" Oh ! oh ! I sail be ruin ! I sail be ruin. Put out one 
of dem candle. Oh ! oh ! I sail be ruin ; " and with this 
effort of expiring nature, he breathed his last in the arms 
of his daughter. Truly, "the ruling passion is strong in 
death." 

Murdoch knew too well the disposition of the miserable 
horde hid about in the Jews' Quarter, to leave the place 
unguarded. He sets a strong watch in that room, and 
men were also stationed about the premises. The funeral 
takes place in a large, gloomy old room, just below the 
miser's den. This apartment had always been used as the 
secret council chamber. 

It is over; and the dutiful daughter has witnessed the 
last rites, and paid the last tribute of respect to his 
memory. 

The question now arises, where is all this money to be 
found? Mr. Nathan never made any deposits. He had 
durine: the last vear o-athered in his funds with heaw 
usury. Since which time, he had refused to give out any 
more loans. No one has any knowledge of his business. 
He never had a friend or confidoot. Then where is this 
money? None can answer; at least no one does. Con- 
jecture and speculation have both been exhausted. At 
last it settles doAvn into the conviction that the poor old 
creature had carried out his mischievous and malicious 
princii3les of fraud and treachery even in death — this 
being his final and gx'and hoax. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 508 



CHAPTER XLV. 

"THE HAPPY FAMILY." 

'Hope with a goodly prospect feeds the eye, 
Shows from a rising ground possession nigh." 

" What deemed they now of the future or the past ? 
The present, like a tyrant, held them fast." 

Four months have elapsed since the exciting events 
recorded in the last chapter. We hear nothing more from 
the Jews' Quarter. Dr. Walter Jocelyn and Emma have 
called to see Marianna. It is well for the latter that she 
is innocent and self-satisfied, as well as absorbed in her 
own prospect of happiness. That crimson spot on the 
young man's cheek; that agitated hand and tremulous 
voice, reveal a tale of onlj^ smothered affection. 

He again insists on waiving his claims as a legatee to the 
estate of John Glencoe. But Marianna as firmly declines, 
when Minny and Dr. Brown expostulated with her on 
this obduracy. Seeing that it is a source of grief to 
Walter, she shakes her head and says : " I could not eat 
the bread purchased with that man's money. No ! rather 
let me return to the hovel and be pinched, and almost 
starved, as I was then, than forced to rear my child on 
his means." 

Dr. Brown has been persuaded to take possession of 
Col. Murray's splendid mansion. So they all live there 
together in perfect peace. They are spoken of by all who 
visit them as the " hajDpy family." It is generally believed 
that Marianna has inherited an immense fortune. Her 
bright, beautiful, and cheerful face bears them out in this 



504 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

conclusion. She dresses in tasteful, handsome style; 
richl}^, but still with chaste simplicity. 

The improved manner of living, and the general appear- 
ance of the good little Dr. Brown and family, induces the 
verdict among the clever ones, that he also, by some for- 
tuitous circumstance, has gotten possession of that oil 
which makes the car of worldly popularity move on so 
nicely. It is not true. The Doctor attends to his profes- 
sional duties as unremittingly, and his collecting, as closely 
as ever. Yet he is more charitable. He can now afford 
this luxur}^ of the heart. 

Minny, in that great palace of a house, with all the 
appointments and surroundings of Southern ease and 
magnificence, is the same single-minded, honest-hearted, 
cheerful-tempered little woman, that she was while wait- 
ing on a customer behind the little counter of the little 
toy-shop. She is truly the light, the life, and the joy of 
all beholders. Now, Mrs. Calderwood and the other par- 
asitical hangers-on, flock to see her. She receives them 
with an easy graciousness which is marvelous. She is 
not elated. She feels no pride or exultation about any 
of those things which the world can give or take away. 
Her peace is built on a firmer foundation — yea, fixed on 
the " rock of ages." 

Marianna would be the nucleus in the gay, fashionable 

world in the capital of , did she consent to accept 

the homage of these summer friends. She is exceedingly 
beautiful, refined, elegant, and accomplished. But she 
turns coldly from all demonstrations of the kind to her 
little home circle, and giving her hand to Murray, while 
she encircles her child and grandmother in a tender 
embrace, looks round on the " Haj)py Family," and 
says : 

"This is my tvorld. Nay, I fear it is more; surely it is 
heaven on earth ! G-od forgive me, if I sin in forgetting 
that there has ever been sorrow and suffering among us ! 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 505 

There is now but one draw-back. Happy are they who 
have not many." 

The little Clarence — gladly would his friends with- 
draw him from the theater. But Mr. Gooch was the 
"good Samaritan," in those fearful times ; and he has, by 
his generous, gentlemanly conduct, taken such deep hold 
on the hearts of the family, especially the child, that it 
seems impossible to separate themselves from him. The 
dear, grateful, affectionate boy, weeps and pines for the 
presence of his friend. Seeing that he is truly enamored 
of the profession, they are at length induced to give him 
up to his benefactor. His friends are pained by this ; 
yet they, like all others, must yield at last to the force of 
cii'cumstances. They console themselves by thinking 
that it may be, after all, the boy's true vocation. 

Marian na and Murray are both in deep mourning ; at 
the end of this season, they are to be married. Then 
they purpose — the "happy family" — to forma Jjarty 
and make a visit to Minny's native city of Edinburg. 
Walter and Emma, sweet Mary Green and her chosen 
one, and a few other friends, will be of the number. At 
the end of this mourning season, there will be a general 
jubilee. It is also the time that Mr. Gooch, with some of 
his cleverest members of the stage, have determined to 
make the tour of Europe. Thus Marianna may not be 
separated from her son. 

Maj. Lindsay has not heard from his daughter since 
she left the American shore, nor has he written. The 
Governor and he are still as jolly boon-companions as 
ever. The little great man, was married soon after the 
elopement of his lady love — "the gorgeous Gertrude," as 
he continues to call her. The reader has already seen 
that the sudden disappeariince of his favorite, made no 
break in the routine of his pursuits of pleasure or busi- 
ness. 

To-day he and the major have called to pay their 
"^43 



50b THE >'I<4iir -WATCH. 

respects to the ladies. To Minny's inquiring after his 
daughter, he answers gruffly, " I know little or nothing 
about them, madam — have not heard since they went 
abroad. Yet I feel no anxiety, or at all events, no uneasi- 
ness. She has fallen into good hands ; and thank Grod ! 
I believe she has, at la'^t, met Avith a master-spirit. She 
was a perfect autocrat t hoaie. I don't know how she 
will stand the curb bit though;" and he looked down 
thoughtfully while he added, almost sadly, " that Josiah 
Gaines is the very Deil in obstinacy, when he sets his 
head to it. Yet I should not mind that ; I suppose the 
fellow always loved her, with all her faults ; and is hon- 
orable withal. But, Governor," said he, trying to look 
up cheerfully, "Josiah knows what he's about in the 
counting-room (and he forced a little laugh), and me- 
thinks he knows how to count for himself sometimes. 
Eh? major." 

Gertrude to Minny. 

London, June 10th, 18 — . 

"il/;/ Dear Madam — May I take the liberty of addressing 
a few lines to a stranger ? I am driven to it by my great 
anxiety to hear from home. Xot one line have I received 
or one word heard, since the night I left. Mrs. Brown, I 
am very unhapj)y ; and from what I heard of you before 
I left home, I know you possess a good heart and bound- 
less sympathy for the wretched. Do not think this 
miserable state of things arises from disagreements with 
my husband. Not so, I assure you. I would not venture 
on such an experiment. I would not even hazard the 
expression of a difference of oj)inion on any subject of 
importance. And if I did, it would not avail me any- 
thing. He is so clever, so exceedingly clever and smart ! 
Did you ever know my husband, madam? I do believe 
he is the smartest and cleverest man in the world. 

*' I am wretched, because Mr. Gaines thinks proper to 



THE NIGHT WATCH, 507 

lead such a quiet, retired, life. It does not suit me. You 
know I was so much sought at home, such a belle. I do 
not say this hoastinglj^, but rather with regret, since it is 
now all forever broken up. Oh ! I did queen it over the 
beaux so delightfully. I feel assured that you are almost 
ready to wee]3 over my troubles — you, who are so 
sympathetic. Do you not think it dreadful, that I am 
compelled to lead this humdrum life ? 

" Wh}^, madam, would you believe it? I am here the 
same ^Gorgeous Gertrude,'' in the midst of gay, dashing gal- 
lants — counts, viscounts, lords, and dukes — who all look 
as if they admired me. In fact, their eyes declare it 
every moment. Well, would you believe it ? that /le, my 
husband — this clever one — has never left my side long 
enough to give them an oj)portunity to ratify with their 
tongues what their eyes so openly declare. Oh ! This is 
torture! and I sometimes think I shall. get to hate Gaines, 
if — if — I — I (it will out) was not afraid of him. I^ow, 
I have admitted to you what I would not to anybody else 
on the face of the earth. I would not have Josiah to 
know it for a million of dollars. 

" There is still another annoyance. I have a great many 
calls from some of the first gentlemen in the world. But, 
(could you believe that any man would be such a brute ?) 
I have never been allowed to receive one of them, without 
that everlasting fixture at my elbow. I am so outraged by 
this system of espionage, that I hate him, and feel like I 
could kill him and myself too. It would not have been thus, 
had I married Col. Murray, instead of my father's clerk. 

" But you would never think, that this calm, dignified, 
self-possessed, self-sustained, and maybe sometimes a lit- 
tle bit self-sufiicient American gentleman, and Maj. Lind- 
say's second clerk, Josiah Gaines, were one and the same. 
You can not understand, I presume, how he could come 
to London and glide into such a position so easily, fresh 
from the counting house : where that everlasting appen- 



508 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

dage, the pen over the ear, was the only adornment of 
the outside of that clever head — the only circumstance 
to break the eternal monotony of those smooth, precise, 
hateful, flaxen locks. Sometimes when those real noble- 
men are showing such deference to the opinions of this 
New World banker, I am almost tempted to tell them of 
it. But then, Mrs. Brown, there must always have been 
a great deal more in the inside of that head than any of 
us ever suspected ; else he could not have thus taken his 
place at once among the great folks. He seems really to 
be as much at home here, and as much at his ease, as my 

Lord W , who by the by, I must tell you about. 

" I have known for some time, by the expression of his 
fine black eyes (Oh, how I do admire black eyes and black 
locks now), that in his secret soul he was languishing for 
me ; but Josiah has never given him an opportunity to tell 
me so. Well, Ann, my same maid, is with me still. She 
is free, of course; but no matter, Ann came into my room 
this morning, when the hateful old Josiah was tossing up 
the brat, the young Josiah. Did you know we had a 
child? This was most unexpected, as well as unwelcome. 
I never premeditated such an outrage on my fine form, I 
assure you. And now, my dear Mrs. Brown, I can scarcely 
breathe while I write. I feel so much shame, rage, and 
mortification at the atrocity. Don't you think the wretch 
makes me nurse my own child? Yes, makes it suck me. 
I believe that is what the plebeians call it. Then he will 
sit by and watch the process, and gloat over it as the thmg 
draws draught after draught from my bosom ; which you 
know, of course, must inevitably be siDoiled (and this was 
the joy and pride of my life). Ann says I am the subject 
of ridicule with all the abigails, who say such a thing is 
an unheard-of vulgarity in high life. He must know 
that I hate him, as he sits hj toying with the child ; ever 
and anon placing its little old hand on my bare breast. 
Then I can't refrain from a shudder, and Josiah shouts 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 509 

out in a great laugh and repeats it. But I must stand it 
all ; I can make nothing by talking. Oh ! if he would 
only quarrel with me, it would help me some. But when- 
ever I quarrel with him, he stands quite still, folds his 
arms, and, when I have got through, smiles, that same 
dry, quiet, provoking, American sort of smile (I don't 
think they smile so in high life abroad), tips his hat to me 
and leaves, locking the door after him. That day and the 
the next, and for as many days as I am wretched (he calls 
it sullen), my meals are sent up to me. Then I am not 
invited to attend the opera or any .place of amusement, 
until I am forced by sheer weariness to kiss him, and ask 
his pardon. All this I must do voluntarily; he would 
not make the least advance toward a reconciliation to 
save my life. ]!^ow, madam, what do you think I get in 
return for this wondrous condescension ? Nothing, but 
one of those aforesaid smiles and a cool kiss on the fore- 
head. Then our lives fall into the same course as before ; 
which is so smooth and tame, because of its perpetual 
smoothness. I 

" Saints and angels ! I had quite forgotten what I had 
set out to say. Ann came into my dressing room as I 
said. Josiah was there. I suppose he could read in her 
face that she had some secret for me. (Oh ! it is a great 
misfortune for a woman to have too clever a husband.) 

" He walked right up to her and said, 'Ann, there is a 
vessel to leave to-morrow for the port of New Orleans. 
Do you wish to return to the United States? ' 

" ' Lawsy me ! No, Mas'r Josiah ; I don't want to leave 
Mis Gutty.' 

'• ' Then give me that letter, and don't open your mouth, 
or you go on board in ten minutes.' 

"I believe she was about to obey my look and deny it, 
but he fixed his eye, on her, and she handed him a letter 
without saying a word. It was a beautiful pink, embossed, 
perfumed envelop. He read it all through, without the 



510 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

least emotion, then quietly lighted a taper, and held the 
letter over it. But seeming suddenly to recollect himself, 
he put it into his pocket. I could have seen Mm con- 
sumed, and felt, myself, as if I should ignite. 

"He looked at me. and smiled as placidl}^ as ever; then 
walking up to me, folded his arms, and said : ' ISTow, don't 
get excited over it, Gertrude. I am convinced, from 
under the man's own hand, that you have not invited this 
insult b}" word or deed ; but in future I shall require you 
to guard your eyes.' 

" He then turned to the nurse who held the child, took 
the babe in his arms, embraced him very tenderly, touched 
his hat to me, and left the room, calling Ann after him. 
In fifteen minutes more she was on board of that vessel. 
I never saw her again. A new maid was immediately 
installed in her place. 

" That afternoon, as I sat moodily alone, watching the 
big drops as they pattered on the window, and mingling 
my tears with the rain (in imagination), I heard a con- 
fused noise of many voices and trampling of feet. Then 
the door flew open, and my wounded husband was brought 
in on a litter, in a fainting condition. He had challenged 

Lord W , just for writing me a letter. I do not think 

Col. Murray would have cared if I had gotten one every 
day. After all, I believe it is the easiest and safest way 
to marry a man like him, who would not love his wife 
enough to make him care what she said^ or what she 
might be tempted to do. 

" The ball has been extracted, and I think he will get 
well. I believe I hope he may. My dear Mrs. Brown, 
strange as it may seem to you, although Josiah keeps me 
so in a strait-jacket all the time, I can't help but respect 
him greatly ; and sometimes I almost admire him. I 
rather think I quite do, since he has been laying here so 
patient and resigned under his sufferings. He has never 
once upbraided me, or even by innuendo, alluded to the 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 511 

past. So sometimes,. in spite of my resolves, I tind myself 
liking him. I fear I shall be weak enough to love him 
even, if he don't quit showing off such sublime traits of 
character; in a small way, you know. I don't wish you 
to think, Mrs. Brown, that he has become a hero to me, 
because he maimed my noble lover for life, and got shot 
himself. Many a coward has done as much. But the 
marvel is, how can he lie here, day after day, without 
repining — scarce so much as groaning — and never once 
accusing, or quarreling with me. You must admit, 
madam, that this is verj^ touching. I could almost weep 
when I look at him. 

" Do write to me. I should very much like to be 

informed of a few things. Poor Gov ! How did he 

stand my treatment of him ? I felt more regret at deceiv- 
ing him than aught else. My father ever loved his wine, 
quite as well as he did his daughter. I knew this, and it 
drove me to many a reckless act. His indifference, Mrs. 
Murray's counsel, and my own vanity, made me what I 
was and am. How long after that premeditated alarm of 
fire, was it before my soi disant lover, Col. Charles Conrad 
Murray, turned up again ? Apropos, what has become 
of that pretty milliner, way down on Market street? The 
brat, young Josiah, is squalling ; and the man, old Josiah, 
is groaning; so I must bid you adieu. Of course you will 
not delay your response. 

'Gertrude Gaines." 



512 THE NIGHT WATCH. 



CHAPTER XLVI. 

THE JEWESS. 

" Heart on her lips, and soul within her eyes, 
Soft as her clime, and sunny as her skies." 

" Her overpowering presence made you feel, 
It would not be idolatry to kneel." 

Twelve months more have glided hj, nothing of con- 
sequence occurring in the hapj)y family to mar its har- 
mony. The joint preparations for the marriage and 
voyage, are progressing easily and smoothly. This per- 
fect holiday of the feelings, has been enjoyed to its full 
extent. Marianna is growing more and more beautiful 
every day. Murray is almost sublime in his peculiar style 
of fine looks. Minny, her dear Grabe, and the little IMyra, 
are happy ; then, of course, pretty, in their several differ- 
ent ways. They have planned that Lucy May and little 
Jenny Brown shall give up the toy shop, and become 
inmates of the mansion, in order to watch over and afford 
companionshij) to the two old ladies. Old Mrs. Glencoe 
is still hale, cheerful, and happy ; but the old grandam, 
Mrs. Dun, is very fragile. 

A few days preceding the wedding of our friends, the 
following note is received : 

" Col. Murray — Dear Sir : — I am ordered by one in 
authority, to invite you and all your hou.sehold, to an 
entertainment at her residence to-morrow evening. But 
first, there is business to transact. Come at eight o'clock 
to the store of Nathan & Co., in the Jews' Quarter. I 
will meet you there, and conduct you to the presence 



THK NIGHT WATCH. 613 

of the hostess. Fail not to come. It is of vital impor- 
tance to many. I am directed to say, that every member 
of your domestic circle is invited. 

Yours very respectfully, John Murdoch." 

This note excited much interest, and not a little specu- 
lation, with some commotion, in that quiet, peaceful, 
household. 

"Why, how is this, wife?" says the little Doctor, 
" Murdoch come to life again ? It is now a year since we 
have seen or heard of him. During that long interval, 
the rich, sonorous voice of the Night Watch, proclaim- 
ing that great lie, ' All's well,' has not been heard. Has 
he, think you, been ' Sunning his heart in beauty's eyes,' 
after his cold sojourn in the shades of night?" 

At the appointed time, they were en route to that same 
old gloomy court. Murdoch was in waiting, and led them 
not up that mj'sterious spiral stair-way, from the blind 
alley, but a new, broad,- modern stair-case, to that marble 
paved hall ; thence to the magnificent saloon. They are 
invited by him to sit, while he excuses himself, and leaves 
the room. 

In a few moments, Leah comes out, leaning on his arm, 
dressed in deep mourning. She embraces Marianna and 
Minny affectionately, shakes hands with the gentlemen 
cordially ; nay, turns her cheek to Murray to kiss. Few 
words are passed in idle conversation, and conventional 
compliment. There is a deejD shadow resting on the face 
of the beautiful girl. 

" My friends," said she, " you all knew my father, and he 
was odious to you for many things ; but he was my parent, 
and since the death of my mother, I have had the care of 
him. Low and groveling as old Faggot, the Jew peddler 
and miser, must have appeared to you ; yet in his better 
existence, and under his true name, Levi Nathan, he was 
sometimes susceptible of generous impulses, and did per- 



514 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

form good actions. But alas ! you see how it is, the crimes 
and misdeeds of the miscreant Faggot are heralded 
abroad, and registered in your hearts, while the bene- 
factions of the clothing merchant, Levi ISTathan, go unre- 
corded. It is the way of the Christian world ; I do not 
blame you." 

There was an inexpressibly touching pathos in her 
voice and manner, and a ravishing grandeur in her beauty, 
while she discanted so feelingly on the characteristics of 
her parent. She had ceased speaking, being overcome 
by her emotions ; and now, as she resumed the subject, 
she raised those large, liTstrous eyes, and they are suffused 
with gentle tears. 

"I have called you together this evening, my friends, 
with a two-fold purpose — to witness two rites," and she 
blushed again. " First, by the aid of my early friend 
here," laying her hand on Murdoch's arm, " I shall endea- 
vor to carrj^ out the wishes, and obey the last injunctions 
of my poor father, as well as to comply with his written 
will. It was his wish, his dying request, that one whole 
year should elapse before there should be any steps taken 
to bring to light the treasures so long and so wearily 
hoarded together, and secreted somewhere, no one knew 
how or in what place. I alone was advised of the mys- 
terious hiding-place." 

She now led the way to the room so often described in 
these papers, and taking from her bosom a silver whis- 
tle, dreAY from it a shrill note, which was immediately 
answered by the young Jew, Isaacs, and a rather pretty 
girl, with remarkably smooth, fair skin, and short, black 
hair. When she met the gaze of Marianna, she colored, 
and the same sinister, vindictive expression gleamed 
from her eyes and revealed the secret. 

Marianna was so much surprised, that she was about to 
utter an exclamation, when Leah glided by, and looking 
significantly into her face, whispered, " Not a word, lady; 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 515 

on thy life, do not sj)eak. Ignorance is worth more than 
wisdom within these walls. Be warned." 

Again she sounds the whistle, and four grave, genteel- 
looking Jews enter. A large table is placed in the center 
of the floor. They surround it. Leah talks to them for 
a moment in their own tongue, and they take their seats 
on opi^osite sides of the table, each being furnished with 
a small blue glass bowl of water. Then that large, old, 
iron-bound trunk is dragged forth from beneath that heap 
of rubbish, which looks as if it had been accumulating 
from the first moment of time. 

Leah again gives the sign, and those iron bands are 
wrenched off hy that Yulcan hand. The padlock is 
removed at a blow. Aye! our friend, the Night Watch, 
Vioes not lack strength of hand or head when occasion 
calls. All now is intense expectation and curiosity. Leah 
kneels, the more for convenience. She essays to open the 
trunk, but is ovei'come by her feelings, and is obliged to 
turn away and once more pay the tribute of grief and 
shame to the memory of the father and the miser. 

The lid is raised ; but who can describe the blank dis- 
appointment which ensues? There seems to be only a 
few old clothes, pantaloons, vests, coats, etc., all very care- 
fully folded. The girl takes them out, and lays them, 
with a feeling of awe and reverence, on the floor. JSTow 
there is nothing left but the empty tray. 

She touches a secret spring, and one compartment flies 
open. And then there is a simultaneous exclamation of 
wonder. Piles of gold — pieces of every size, from the 
one dollar to the fifty — meet their eyes. Murdoch and 
the young Isaacs hand it to the men at the table, who on 
their part fall to counting, without a word being spoken. 
When the gold is all taken out, and its value duly estim- 
ated and recorded, she touches another spring, and a sec- 
ond partition opens, which is filled with bank notes and 
title deeds. They go on with the same process ; the table 



516 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

is piled up. Again and again, liidden recesses are opened 
by Leah, and their treasures dislodged. Then those old 
clothes are made to yield up their secrets. Every pocket, 
and facing, and hem is rife with the precious metal, or no 
less precious paper. This was also handed over to the 
men at the table. 

Leah then goes to that mass of disgusting rubbish, and 
points out another chest, which Murdoch drags to the 
light ; and the same operation of counting and register- 
ing is gone through with. There are also old vessels of 
household use filled with small coin, the common currency 
of the day. Yet this poor old wretch had denied him- 
self a sufficient quantity of the proper sustenance of life. 
Reader, you have seen him in his various characters. I 
can not stop for commentaries ; though I know they should 
be made, "to point a moral, as well as adorn a tale." But 
all this has been done by higher and abler jDredecessors. 
I therefore forbear to draw this draft on your jSatience, 
but rather check on your imagination. 

Now this immense estate is duly disposed of to the sev- 
eral legatees. All arrangements, both for convenience 
and secui'ity, had been made by the provident Leah and 
the shrewd, practical Murdoch. 

It is finished; the last will and testament of Faggot the 
miser, and Nathan the Jew, has been execxited. The 
guests are invited back to the saloon, and while their feel- 
ings seek repose after those exciting scenes, they recline 
on luxurious sofas, lounges, etc. They are lulled by the 
plaintive notes of the night bird, and soothed by the 
refreshing murmur of falling waters from the alabaster 
fountains. All within those orientally gorgeous rooms is 
strange, wild, and beautiful. Sweet music floats on the 
perfumed air, steals over the senses, tranquilizing and 
entrancing. Now it is nearer, and losing its vagueness, 
breathes a low and mournful strain. 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 517 

" Oh ! that strain again ; it had a dying fall : 
And came o'er my ear like the sweet south 
That breathes upon a bank of violets, 
Stealing and giving odor." 

It is a lament, a requiem. I^ow it swells louder and 
louder, until it burst on the rapt ear in a full chord. Pre- 
sently this breaks into a rich chorus of human voices. 
One full, clear, but melodious voice leads ; while the con- 
cert of singers bring in the refrain. The following simple 
but touching lines are improvised by Leah : 

" My task is o'er; I've done my best 
To carry out thy known behest: 
The wish to make some small amend 
For sorrows which thy acts did send. 

Chorus : But lie in peace, and take thy rest, 

Until thou wak'st on Abraham's breast. 

" The world despised thee, my sire, 
Would have thee cast into that fire — 
Where wicked, bad, and ruthless men 
Writhe, shriek, and curse ; but groan amen. 
Chorus : But lie in peace, etc. 

" But we thy children, know that thou 
Wast not all bad ; and well we trow 
Of many a deed in secret done. 
Unseen by all but that great One. 
Chorus : But lie in peace, etc. 

•' Peace to thy shade, deluded one ; 
And in that grave where thou art gone, 
Mayst thou in quiet take thy rest, 
Until thou wak'st on Abra'am's breast. 
Chorus : But lie in peace, etc." 

When the music ceased, then succeeded an interval of 
delicious repose. The senses are soothed, and the fancy 
is reveling in Elysian groves. " Surely," exclaimed Mur- 
ray, "this is Paradise, and the place we have left is 



518 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

Hades." They were aroused by the receding of the oppo- 
site wall, displaying the banqtiet-room. I shall not ven- 
ture on a description of this magnificent fete. 

A party dressed in festive robes of j)iire white, advanced. 
A lady, adorned simply in India muslin ; her long, black 
hair hanging in graceful ringlets to her waist, adorned by 
a wreath of natural orange blossoms. She wears no other 
ornaments, no gems. She is leaning on the arm of a dark, 
handsome, majestic, real " Coeur-de-Leon" looking man, 
who is also dressed with great simplicit}-, though in the 
finest black cloth. They advanced to the center of the 
room, and take their station under the gorgeous chande- 
lier, which sends out its rays from an hundred wax candles. 

Another couj^le follow ; but they are in marked contrast 
to the first. These seem to have aimed to rival the nobles 
of the "Yale of Cashmere,"' in regal splendor of apj)arel. 
The girl, Avho is rather small and slight, is dressed in a 
robe of fine blond lace, wrought all over with silver and 
pearls. On her head she wears a tiara of diamond, a 
necklace to suit, pin, ear-rings, etc. Her fingers are 
literally weighed down with jewels. The gentleman is 
dressed in keeping. The}" come from another door, and 
like the first couj)le, take their place in the center. 

From another sliding panel the Eabbi in his robes 
and high cap comes, followed by a large company of their 
own people, maids matrons, young men and old, youths 
and children, all having on the wedding garments. He 
raises his hand aloft, and that large assembly kneel. A 
prayer is pronounced, and as he opened the book, they 
rise to their feet, all save the two couples, who remain 
on their knees. The ceremony is performed according to 
the Jewish rites. 

It is over, and the high priest holds out his hand for 
them to kiss. When the greetings are gotten through 
with among themselves, Leah and Murdoch approach our 
friends, who embrace her afi'ectionately, and utter heart- 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 519 

felt congratulations to both. The other pair keep aloof. 
Leah, now Mrs. Murdoch, whispers a few words to Mur- 
ray ; then he and his party advance, and are presented to 
Mr. and Mrs. Isaacs. After which, they are invited into 
the banquet. Then they adjourn to the saloon, and there 
converse with Leah and Murdoch about many things, 
embracing the j)resent, past, and future. The other couj)le 
come not near, but mingle with their own people, and 
enjoy themselves in their own way, according to their 
peculiar usages. 

The friends take an affectionate leave of Leah and 
Murdoch ; after pressing them to make a visit, Minny 
and her dear Gabe, propose an early evening, or a day ; 
but Murdoch refers them to his wife. 

She shakes her head somewhat sadly. " Dear friend, 
we have many duties yet to perform ; thou wilt excuse 
us." To the entreaty of Marianna and Murray, she 
replies, laying her soft little hand on his arm : " If the 
time should ever come, when I can do thee a service, then 
thou wilt not have to use persuasion, and shalt not find 
me backward. Till then I pray thee hold us excused." 

So they are forced to leave without a promise of further 
communication. 



"^20 THE NIGHT WATCH, 



CHAPTER XLVII. 

THE CONCLUSION. 

" Oh ! married love ! each heart shall own, 

When two congenial souls unite, 
Thy golden chains inlaid with down. 

Thy lamp with heaven's own splendor bright." 

" Then come the wild weather — .come sleet or come snow, 
We will stand by each other, however it blow ; 

Oppression and sickness, and sorrow and pain, 
Shall be to our true love as links to the chain." 

A HAPPY assemblage of ten or a dozen persons, are 
grouped about the cabin of a noble vessel, destined, in a 
short time, to plow the Atlantic oeeaD. The hour, toward 
the decline of day, " When evening draws her crimson 
curtains on." Ave Maria! blessed be that hour. The 
sun has lost his rage, and in his downward course, sends 
only animating warmth, and vital luster. The sails are 
flapping lazily in this soft, seductive, vesper breeze ; all is 
in a state of readiness, but they await the propitious 
breath of heaven to waft them on their way. What a 
delicious, enchanting hour it is without and within that 
ship's cabin. Is it not blessed ? 

At a table, in the center of a long narrow floor, are 
seated four young persons, engaged in some innocent 
game of chance ; they make the walls ring with their 
hilarious mirth. Our special favorite and friend, Doctor 
Walter Jocelyn, has for the nonce, exchanged his pretty 
bride Emma, for the no less interesting one of Mr. Miles 
(our own sweet Mary G-reen). They are partners at some 
mimic game of checkered life. 



THE N'KiHT AV A T C H . 521 

At the far end of the room, another couple are stand- 
ing apart, fondly watching two beautiful children, as they 
ever and anon bound lightl}^ into the lap of a fine-look- 
ing, rather stout, middle aged negress. She puts an arm 
around each, while they kiss her tawny cheeks and lips, 
and pat her face and neck caressingly; then the children 
kiss each other. 

" O Aunt Molly ! "■ said the little Clarence, " I am so 
glad to see you, and I do love you so dearly. I have so 
often heard poor mamma and grandma talk and weep over 
the good and bad times they used to see together with 
you. They thought I was asleep, but I noted it all down ; 
because something whispered to me that I should live to 
see the good creature myself, and so you see I have. 
Mamma used to mourn and lament so, because she could 
not have yoa to nurse me^ too ; and now think of it, the 
good God has sent you back to us, and you have got to 
raise me, when Mr. Grooch is not raising me, and my lit- 
tle cousin, or rather sister Clenevieve. Vev3^ you must 
love Aunt Moll}' with all your might. It would be a 
great sin, child, not to do so, and call her mammy, as I 
shall. And you see, little one, I am older than you. No, 
I am not, but I ought to be, which is the same thing; 
therefore you must mind all I say to you; will you not, 
dear little Yevy?" and he kissed her again. 

" Now, mammy, you must tell us how you got away 
from them overseers and all? Aunt Molly, they didn't 
dare to use you ill, did they? " And the boy looks defi- 
antly and menacinglj^ into space, as he clenched his lit- 
tle fist. 

" Oh never mind all that, honey, what's done is done, 
and thar's no undoing it. Bless God ! child, I run'd away. 
I no sooner hear the news that Miss Pet was 'live, had 
come up to life — for she was once dead and buried, that's 
sartain as the sparks fly downward' — I say, I no sooner 
git this information than old Molly Wise sets her wits to 
44 ' * 



522 THE NT 1 G H T WATCH. 

work to circumvention 'em. I didn't know I should find the 
dear critter in such a good quarters. I did 'spect to find 
her subluged in all sorts of sorrows, like as theretofore. 
But, bless God ! my poor, dear, darling pet lamb done got 
to the right fold, in the true and proper sheeps-cote at 
last; and now this old nigger is jes gwine to follow you 
all to the end of the yarth. Yes indeed, life and death, 
and principalities, and powers, is never gwine to separate 
me from her agin." 

Just then a beautiful, sandy-haired child pulled away 
from its pretty little dot of a mother, who was sitting 
near, contemplating the merry trio, and toddling toward 
the good old nurse, held out her little arms, imploring to 
betaken up. 

As the aifectionate creature stooped to raise her, she 
says. " Bless God ! honey, who child this ? I jes b'lieve 
this town is full of darlin' pretty children. Who is it, 
honey Clarry ?" 

" Why, mammy, that is my little wife. In a few years 
more, I am going to marry her ; and now I think of it, 
you must raise her for me too, just like you did, mamma. 
I want you to make her as much like ray own and her 
own mother as ever you can." 

Marianna is hanging on the arm of her husband. She 
looks up in his face with a look of ineffable love, as she 
murmurs, " Conrad ! my great, my good, my adored 
husband ! Can it last ? Can such entire, such complete 
happiness last ? I am alarmed at my fullness of joy. I 
tremble, I almost fear to breathe, lest it shall be swept 
awa3^ Blame me not, dear friend, the jjast has, you 
know, been so fearful." He drew her nearer to him, and 
I'eplied by repeating those felicitous lines : 

" An hour like this is worth a thousand passed 
In pomp or ease ; 'tis present to the last. ^ 

Years glide by untold — 'tis still the same, 
As fresh, as fair as on the day it came." 



THE NIGHT WATCH. 523 

Minny and Doctor Brown now join our wedded lovers, 
and seeing a drop force its way from under those beauti- 
ful lids, she exclaims, in affected amazement, "Aweel, 
aweel, Myra weeping ! I wad na hae thought it. See, 
dear Gabe, the puir thing is so used to tears, that she 
must e'en weep because there is nae mair cause for sor- 
row ; greeting because she is happy. Aweel, aweel." 

" Well," said Gabriel, laughing, " I had thought that 
tall, grand, dark-looking youth there by her side would 
wipe all tears from her eyes. How is it, sir ? Does your 
love cool by possession so soon ? Come, come, a truce 
with all glamouring." 

" Ah ! niver fash, niver fash, as Mrs. Brown says ; you 
just look to your own eyes, friend Gabriel," said Murray. 
"All's well here." 

" Aweel, Mrs. Murray, I never did, as ye know, reply 
to that letter I received from Mrs. Josiah Gaines, until 
to-day. Here it is ; if ye or the colonel wad like to add 
a word by way o' postcrijot, ye ken ye can do sae now." 
She hands them the letter, which Marianna reads aloud. 

" Dear Mrs. Josiah Gaines — I trust ye will pardon 
this seeming neglect. I hope ye can do sae freely, being 
as ye are now at the head o' the family, and also a mither ; 
which duties ye must ken are very engrossing. And now, 
madam, before I ramble on from the point o' the subject, 
and may thereby forget it, let me tell you that you hae my 
cordial sympathy, as ye did claim in your letter, but not 
in the ,way ye expect. I sympathize with ye because ye 
are amang strangers ; but I pity ye, and blame ye baith, 
at the same time, that ye should thus shut your een to 
your ain blessed good fortune. I tak' i^^jQ hae got just 
the very husband which God intended ffei* you. And I 
can't help but think, that he is the very man to suit your 
case. From what ye tell me, I think it likely, with time, 
he will bring a' the little crooks and cranks in your 



524 THE NIGHT WATCH. 

temper out straight. And I must further remark, Mrs. 
Gaines, that I am filled with admiration at his calm, dig- 
nified demeanor, as ye describe it. 

" I shall not presume to offer ye any advice, well know- 
ing that ye wad na tak' it ; but just let a very happy little 
wife whisper something in yer lugs — If ye wad be happy 
and respected, ye maun gie up all gallavanting and seek 
yer comforts and enjoyments at hame, in the heart o' yer 
ain gude man, and in the bosom o' yer ain family — gie 
over all fooling and flirting. 

" Ye ask to be informed of the goings on here since ye 
left. I have na got time to enter into lang details. But 
to begin at the beginning. Your father seems to enjoy his 
ain good health and spirits. He lives at the same place 
and in the same way ; has the Governor and a few friends 
to eat his gude dinners, and drink his fine wines every 
Sunday as usual. The little Governor was married soon 
after you left. Na doubt he missed you, as ye say ye 
regretted him ; but he did na go cast down about it ; but 
like a wise man, cured the old luve wi' the new. Mr. and 
Mrs. Calderwood appear to be somewhat under the ban 
of that fickle goddess, Fortune, about this present writ- 
ing. She is, and has been, for some time, ill wi' a bad 
cough, caught in one o' her many tramps through the 
town alang with Miss Nancy Jones, trying to hear all 
that ' they do say.' Jones is now a fixture in the house, as 
nurse and companion, which wad be purgatory to me. 
They are left pretty much alone to feed on that aliment, 
gathered at such pains. Mr. Calderwood is confined to 
his easy-chair, flannel gown, and slippers, wi' chronic 
gout. This, I am told, sits most uneasily on the dash- 
ing beau and polished roue. Miss Emma and her friend, 
Miss Mary Green, were both married yesterday. Col. 
Murray, salamander-like, escaped and came to light as ye 
did predict, in due time — about the hour that his mother 
died. He was married also yesterday, wi' the rest o' 



T H K NIGHT WATCH. 525 

them ; all in St. Paul's church, by the good Di\ Mercer, 
and to the very ladj^ ye did inquire about — the beauti- 
ful milliner, away down on Market street. He has come 
into possession of an immense fortune. Murdoch, that 
dark and handsome Night Watch — that Black Kiiight — 
is also married. 

" I think there is nothing else that ye asked me about. 
In half an hour we shall sail for my ain native city of 
Edinburg. Canna' ye come there to see us? All the 
new married folks are of the party, and na doubt every 
one o' them, as well as my ain sel, wad be glad to meet 
ye over seas. Do meet us in Scotland. Present my 
regards to your gude man, Mr. G-aines. 

" Yours respectfully, 

" MiNNY Brown." 

Mr. Gooch now coming into the cabin, joins them, and 
while they stand there, in mute happiness and rapt 
admiration of each other, and everything else in God's 
beautiful world, hoping and looking forward to many 
more days of felicity on this His footstool, and feeling 
that faith in their hearts which reaches beyond the vale, 
they resign themselves to His care and guidance, no 
longer, for a moment, doubting Providence. 

They are recalled from their soarings by the word of 
command from aloft, spoken through the captain's trum- 
pet to "weigh anchor," and in a short time after, the good 
ship is scudding before the evening gale. 

" Merrily, merrily goes the bark, 

On a breeze from the northward free ; 
So shoots through the morning sky the lark, 
Or the swan the summer sea." 



THE END. 



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