(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The Quaker City; or, The Monks of Monk Hall: a Romance of Philadelphia Life, Mystery, and Crime"

*/? <&c 



THE QUAKER CITY; 

OR, THE 

MONKS OF MONK HALL. 

A ROMANCE OF 

PHILADELPHIA LIFE, MYSTERY AND CRIME. 

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, AND THE AUTHOR S PORTRAIT AND AUTOGRAPH, 

BY GEORGE LIPPARD. 

AUTHOR OP "THE LEGENDS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION," "PAUL ARDENHEIM, 

THE MONK OF WISSAHIKON;" "BLANCHE OF BRAND YWINE;" "WASHINGTON 

AND HIS MEN;" "THE MYSTERIES OF FLORENCE;" "THE MEMOIRS OF A 

PREACHER;" "THE EMPIRE CITY;" "THE BANK DIRECTOR S SON;" 

"THE ENTRANCED; ""THE NAZARENE;" "LEGENDS OF MEXICO." 



ffb American Novel has ever commanded so wide-spread an interest, as this work. It has been made 
the subject of criticism wherever the English language is spoken. On one Jumd, it /uzs been denounced as 
a work of the most immoral and incendiary character ; on the other, it has been elaborately praised, as a 
painfully vivid picture of Life in the Great City. It is written in a graphic style, with its darker 
passages relieved by portraitures of intense moral interest and beauty. But we advise the reader to refer 
to the work itself. Let him survey its varied pages, and take in the wide panorama of its absorbing 
plot, from the first chapter where thi Great Idea of the story is dimly shadowed, even to the last, where 
that Idea is portrayed in all its ^tails. Although nil the characters of Philadelphia Life are introduced 
the Lawyer, who takes fees from both sides : the Parson, wlioae private history gives the lie to his public 
preaching; the Doctor, who commits a crime for money ; as well as the dishonest Merchant, the Swett- 
Porger, the black-mail Editor, the Young Blood about town ; the Fence Keeper, (receiver of stolen good&,) 
etc., etc.; yet has the author painted no living character in the pages of his work, but only the distinguish 
ing features of the representatives of a class. 



PHILADELPHIA: 
LEARY, STUAET & COMPANY, 

9 SOUTH NINTH STREET. 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 187C, by 

T. B. PETERSON & BROTHERS, 
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C. 






PREFACE TO THIS EDITION. 



MY Publishers ask me to write a Preface for this new Edition 
of the Quaker City. What shall I say ? Shall I at this time enter 
into a full explanation of the motives which induced me to write 
this Work ? Shall I tell how it has been praised how abused 
how it has on the one hand been cited as a Work of great merit, 
and on the other, how it has been denounced as the most immoral 
work of the age ? 

The reader will spare me the task. The Quaker City has passed 
through many Editions in America, as well as in London. It 
has also been translated and numerous editions of it have been 
published in Germany, and a beautiful edition in four volumes, 
is now before me, bearing the imprint of Otto Wigand, Leipsic,7 f 
as Publisher, and the name of Frederick Gerstaker, as the Author.! 

Taking all these facts into consideration, it seems but just that 
I should say a word for myself on this occasion. 

The motive which impelled me to write this Work may be stated 
in a few words. 

I was the only Protector of an Orphan Sister. I was fearful 
that I might be taken away by death, leaving her alone in the 
world. I knew too well that law of society which makes a virtue 
of the dishonor of a poor girl, while it justly holds the seduction 
of a rich man s child as an infamous crime. These thoughts im 
pressed me deeply. I determined to write a book, founded upon 
the following idea : 

That the seduction of a poor and innocent girl, is a deed altogether 
as criminal as deliberate murder. It is worse than the murder of the 
body, for it is\the assassination of the soul^> If the murderer de 
serves death by the gallows, then the assassin of chastity and maiden 
hood is worthy of death by the hands of any man, and in any place. V; . 

This was the first idea of the Work. It embodies a sophism, 
but it is a sophism that errs on the right side. But as I 

(i) 
F347044 



PREFACE. 

progressed in my task, other ideas were added to the original 
thought. Secluded in my room, having no familiarity with the 
vices of a large city, save from my studentship in the office of an 
Attorney-General the Confessional of our Protestant communi 
ties I determined to write a book which should describe all the 
phases of a corrupt social system, as manifested in the city of 
Philadelphia. The results of my labors was this book, which has 
been more attacked, and more read, than any work of American 
fiction ever published. 

And now, I can say with truth, that whatever faults may be 
discovered in this Work, that my motive in its composition was 
honest, was pure, was as Destitute of any idea of sensualism, as 
certain of the persons who have attacked it without reading a 
single page, are of candor, of a moral life, or a heart capable of 
generous emotions.^ 

To the young man and young woman who may read this book 
when I am dead, I have a word to say : 

Would to God that the evils recorded in these pages, were not 
based upon facts. Would to God that the experience of my life 
had not impressed me so vividly with the colossal vices and the ter 
rible deformities, presented in the social system of this Large City, 
in the Nineteenth Century. You will read this work when the 
hand which pens this line is dust. If you discover one word in 
its pages, that has a tendency to develop one impure thought, I 
beseech you reject that word. If you discover a chapter, a page, 
or a line, that conflicts with the great idea of Human Brotherhood, 
promulgated by the Eedeemer, I ask you with all my soul, reject 
that chapter, that passage, that line. At the same time remember 
the idea which impelled me to produce the book. Remember that 
my life from the age of sixteen up to twenty-five was one per 
petual battle with hardship and difficulty, such as do not often fall 
to the lot of a young man such as rarely is recorded in the 
experience of childhood or manhood. Take the book with all its 
faults and all its virtues. Judge it as you yourself would wish 
\ to be judged. Do not wrest a line from these pages, for the 
Encouragement of a bad thought or a bad deed. 

GEORGE LIPPARD. 



INSCRIBED TO THE MEMORY CF CHARLES BROCKDEN BROWH. j 

3The origin auU object of tin s Booh. 

ONE winter night I was called to the bedside of a dying friend. I found him 
sitting up in his death-couch, pale and trembling yet unawed by the gathering 
shadows of the tomb. His white hairs fell over his clammy brow, his dark grey 
eye, glared with the unnatural light, which, heralds the approach of death. Old 

K had been a singular man. He had been a profound lawyer, without fame 

or judgeship. In quiet he pursued his dreamy way, deriving sufficient from his pro 
fession, to support him in decency and honor. <Jn a city, where no man has a 
friend, that has not money to back him^the good old lawyer had been my friend. 
He was one of those old-fashioned lawyers who delight to bury themselves among 
their books,<ivvho love the law for its theory, and not for its trick and craft and des 
picable chicanery^ Old K had been my friend, and now I sat by his bedside 

in his last hour. 

[ " Death is coming," he said with a calm smile, " but I dread him not. My ac 
counts with God are settled ; my face is clammy with the death-sweat, but I have 
no fear. When I am gone, you will find in yonder deskFa large pacquet, in 
scribed with your name. This pacquet, contains the records of my experience 
as a private councillor and a lawyer, for the last thirty years.} You are young and 
friendless, but *you have a pen> which will prove your best friend. I bequeath 
these Papers to you; they may be made serviceable to yourself and to the 
world ] ^ k u. 

In a faint voice, I asked the good old lawyer, concerning the nature of these 
records. 

" They contam(a full and terrible developement of the Secret Life of Philadel 
phia. In that pacquet, you will find, records of crimes, that never came to trial, 
murders that have never been divulged ; there you will discover the results of 
secret examinations, held by official personages, in relation to atrocities almost 
LOO horrible for belief ^-" 

"Then," said I, "Philadelphia is not sojpurejas it looks l \." 

" Alas, alas, that I should have to say it," said the old man with an expression 
of deep sorrow, " But whenever I behold its regular streets and formal look, 1 
think olj~The Whited Sepulchre, without all purity, within, all rottenness and dead 
men s bones. Have you courage, to write a book from those papers ?*] ftV 

" Courage 1" 

T" Aye, courage, for the day has come, when a man dare not speak a plain 
truth, without all the pitiful things of this world, rising up against him, with ad 
der s tongues and treacherous hands. Write a book, with all your heart bent on 
some good object, and for every word you write, you will find a low-bred calum- 

3 



4 THE ORIGIN AND OBJECT OF THIS BOOK. 

niator, eager to befoul you with his slandersj Have you courage, to write a book 
from the materials, which I leave you, which shall be devoted to these objects- 
To defend the sanctity of female honor ; to show how miserable and corrupt is 
o^.^ that Pseudo-Christianity which tramples on every principle ever preached or 
practised by the Saviour Jesus ; to lay bare vice in high places, and strip gilded 
crimes of their tinsel. Have you courage for this?" 

I could only take the old man s hand, within my own, and murmur faintly, 
"I ll try!" 

"Have you courage, to lift<the cover from the Whited Sepulchre, and while 
the world is crying honor to its outward purity, to show the festering corruption 
j that rankles in its depths ?> Then those records are yours !" 

- " jet, I sat beside the deathbed of the old man all night long. His last hours were 

f* past in calm converse, full of hope and trust in God. Near the break of day, he 

died. God bless him ! He was my friend, when I had nothing but an orphan s 

gratitude, to tender in return for his friendship. He was a lawyer, and honest ; 

I a Christian and yet no bigot ; a philosopher and yet no sceptic. 

After his funeral, I received the pacquet of papers, inscribed with my name, 
and endorsed, REVELATIONS OF THE SECRET LIFE OF PHILADELPHIA, being the re 
cords of thirty years practice as a councillor, by * * * K . 

The present book is founded upon those portions of th^Revelations, more in 
timately connected with the present day. 

|With the same sincerity; with which I have written this Book of the Quaker 
^ City, I now give it to my countrymen, as an illustration of the life, mystery and 

crime of Philadelphia^ 



:<, 

V-") 

r 








THE 



MONKS OF MONK-HALL, 



BOOK THE FIRST. 






THE FIRST NIGHT. 



MARY, THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



CHAPTER FIRST. and a very round face, illuminated by 

a pear-shaped nose " Brandy is a 
WAGER IN (THE OYSTER-CELLAR.) gentleman a per perfect gentle 
man. He leaves no head-ache next 
morning by way of a card. Cham 
pagne s a sucker - - a hypocritical 
scoundrel, who first goes down your 
throat, smooth as oil, and then a 



" I SAY, gentlemen, shall we make 
a night of it t That s the question 
gents. Shall we elevate the the 
devil along Chesnut street, or shall we 
.subside quietly to our homes ? Let s 
toss up for it which shall have the 
night brandy and oysters, or quilts 
and feather-beds ?" And as he spoke, 
the little man broke loose from the 
grasp of his friends, and retiring to the 
shelter of an awning-post, flung his 
cloak over his shoulder with a vast 
deal of drunken dignity, while his 
vacant eyes were fixed upon the con 
vivial group scattered along the pave 
ment. 

" Brandy" cried a gentleman 
distinguished by a very pursy figure, 
enveloped in a snow-white overcoat, 



a very much so how d d 

irregular these bricks are puts a 
powder-mill in your head and blows 
it up dam im ! Mem : Byrne- 
wood d ye hear ? write to thercor- 
poration/to-moirow, about these curst 
mountainous pavements " And hav 
ing thus said, the pursy gentleman re 
treated to the shelter of another awning- 
post, leaving the two remaining mem 
bers of the convivial party, in full 
possession of the pavement, which 
they laid out in any given number of 
garden-plots without delay. 

" Byrnewood d ye hear ?" ex- 
5 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



claimed the tallest gentleman of the 
tivaio, gathorrr g his frogged overcoat 
c-ioser around him, "while his mus 
tachioed lip was wreathed in a drunken 
smile " Look yonder at fthe state- 
house] sing singular phenomenon] 
There s the original steeple and 
duplicate. Two steeples, by Jupiter ! 
Remarkable effect of moonlight ! Very 
Doesn t it strike you, Byrnewood, 
that yonder watch-box is walking 
across the street, to black the lamp 
post s eyes for for making a 
face at him ?" 

The gentleman thus addressed, 
instead of replying to the sagacious 
query of his friend, occupied a small 
portion of his leisure time in perform 
ing an irregular Spanish dance along 
the pavement, terminating in a pleasant 
combination of the cachuca, with a 
genuine New Jersey double-shuffle. 
This accomplished, he drew his well 
proportioned figure to its full height, 
cast back his cloak from his shoulders, 
and turned his face to the moonlit sky. 
As he gazed upon the heavens, clear, 
cold, and serene as death, the moon 
light falling over his features, dis 
closed a handsome tho pallid face, 
relieved by long curling locks of jet 
black hair. For a moment he seemed 
intensely absorbed amid the intricacies 
of a philosophical reverie, for he fre 
quently put his thumb to his nose, and 
described circles in the air with his 
outspread fingers. At last tottering 
to a seat on a fire-plug, he delivered 
himself of this remarkable expression 
of opinion 
. " Miller the Prophet s right ! Right 

I say ! The world d n the plug, 

how it shakes the world is coming 
to an end for certain ^for, d ye see 



I boys there s two moons shining up 
yonder this blessed night sure as 
fate" 

The scene would have furnished a 
tolerable good subject for an effective 
convivial picture, f cM* <4 - CJ ~ C 

There, seated on the door-way step 
of a four storied dwelling, his arms 
crossed over his muscular chest, his 
right hand grasping a massive gold- 
headed cane, Mr. Gustavus Lorrimer, 
commonly styled the nandsome Gus 
Lorrimer, in especial reference to his 
well-known favor among the ladies, 
presented to the full glare of the 
moonbeams, a fine manly countenance, 
marked by a brilliant dark eye, a nose 
slightly aquiline, a firm lip clothed 
with a mustache, while his hat tossed 
slightly to one side, disclosed a bold 
and prominent forehead, relieved by 
thick clusters of rich brown hair. 
His dark eye at all times full of fire, 
shone with a glance of unmistakeable 
humor, as he regarded his friend 
seated on the fire-plug directly opposite 
the doorway steps. 

This friend Mr. Byrnewood, as 
he had been introduced to Lorrimer 
was engaged in performing an extem 
poraneous musical entertainment on 
the top of the fire-plug with his fingers, 
while his legs were entwined around 
it, as though the gentleman was urging 
a first-rate courser at the top of his 
speed. 

His cloak thrown back from his 
shoulders, his slight though well-pro 
portioned and muscular form, was 
revealed to the eye, enveloped in 
a closely fitting black frock-eoat. 
His face was very pale, and his long 
hair, which swept in thick ringlets to 
his shoulders, was dark as a ravens 



, THE vVAGER. 



< 



wing, yet his forehead was high and 
massive, his features regular, and his 
jet-black eye, bright as a flame-coal. 
His lips, now wreathing in the very 
silly smile peculiar to all worshippers 
of the bottle-god, were, it is true, 
somewhat slight and thin, and when 
in repose inclining to severity in ex 
pression ; yet the general effect of his 
countenance was highly interesting, 
and his figure manly and graceful in 
its outlines, although not so tall by 
half-a-head as the magnificent Gus 
Lorrimer. 

While he is beating a tattoo on the 
fire-plug, let us not forget our other 
friends, Col. Mutchins, in his snow- 
white overcoat and shiny hat ; and Mr. 
Sylvester J. Petriken, in his glazed 
cap and long cloak, as leaning against 
opposite awning posts, they gaze in 
each others faces and afford a beauti 
ful contrast for the pencil of our friend 
Darley. 

Col. Mutchins face, you will ob 
serve, is very much like a picture of a 
dissipated full-moon, with a large red 
pear stuck in the centre for a nose, 
while two small black beads, placed 
in corresponding circles of crimson 
tape, supply the place of eyes. The 
Colonel s figure is short, thick-set, and 
corpulent ; he is very broad across the 
shoulders, broader across the waist, 
and very well developed in the region 
of the hands and boots. The gen 
tleman, clinging nervously to the op 
posite awning post, is remarkable for 
three things smallriess of stature, 
shghtness of figure, and slimness of 
legs. His head is very large, his 
face remarkable for its pallor, is long 
wad square looking as though it had 



been laid out with a rule and compass 
with a straight formal nose, placed 
some distance above a wide mouth 
marked by two parallel lines, in the 
way of lips. His protuberant brow, 
faintly relieved by irregular locks of 
mole-skin colored hair, surmounted by 
a high glazed cap, overarches two 
large, oyster-like eyes, that roll about 
in their orbits with the regularity of 
machinery. These eyes remind you 
of nothing more, than those glassy 
things which, in obedience to a wire, 
give animation to the expressive face 
of a Dresden wax-doll. 

And over this scene of quadruple 
convivialism , shone the midnight moon , 
her full glory beaming from a serene 
winter sky, upon the roofs and 
steeples of the Quaker City. The 
long shadows of the houses on the 
opposite side of the way, fell darkly 
along the street, while in the distance, 
terminating the dim perspective, arose 
the State-House buildings, with the 
steeple shooting upward into the clear 
blue sky. 

" That champagne " hiccupcd 
Mr. Petriken, clinging to the awning- 
post, under a painful impression that it 
was endeavoring to throw him down 

That champagne was very strong 
and the oysters Oh my " 

" As mortal beings we are subject 
to sud sudden sickness " observ 
ed the sententious Mutchins, gathering 
his awning-post in a fonder embrace. 

" I say, Byrnewood how shall 
we terminate the night ? Did I under 
stand you that the d 1 was to be 

raised? If so, let s start. Think how 
many bells are to be pulled, how many 
watch-boxes to be attacked, how many 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



curse the thing, I believe I m 
toddied watchmen to be licked. 
Come on boys ?" 

" Hist ! Gus ! You ll scare the fire- 
plug. He s trying to run off with me 

the scoundrel. Wait till I put the 
spurs to him, I say !" 

" Come on boys. Let s go round 
to Smokey Chiffin s oyster cellar and 
have a cozy supper. Come on I say. 
Take my arm, Byrnewood there, 
steady here Petriken, never mind 
the awning-post, take this other arm 

now Mutchins hook Silly s arm 
and let s travel " 

But Mutchins who, by the way, 
had been out in a buffaloe hunt the 
year before was now engaged in an 
imaginary, though desperate fight 
with a Sioux warrior, whom he bela 
bored with terrific shrieks and yells. 

" D n the fool he ll have us 

all imthe watch house) " exclaimed 
Lorrimer, who appeared to be the 
soberest of the party by several bottles 
" Fun is fun, but this thing of cut 
ting up shines in Chesnut street, after 
twelve, when it keep steady Silly 
amounts to yelling like a devil in 
harness is un-un-der-stand me, no 
fun. Come along, Mutchy my boy !" 
And arm in arm, linked four 
abreast, like horses very tastelessly 
matched, the boon companions tottered 
along Chesnut street, toward Smokey 
Chiffin s oyster cellar, where they 
arrived, with but a single interruption. 

"Hao-pao-twel-o-glor-a-a-damuley 
-mor /" 

This mysterious combination of 
sounds emanated from a stout gen 
tleman in a slouching hat, and four 
or five overcoats, who, with a small 
piece of cord -wood in his hand met 



our party breast to breast, as they were 
speeding onward in full career. 

" I say stranger do that over 
again will yo ?" shrieked Petriken, 
turning his square face over his 
shoulder and gazing at the retreating 
figure with the cord-stick and the 
overcoats "Jist do that again if you 
please. Let me go I tell you, Gus. 
Don t you see, this is some dis-dis- 
tinguished vocal -ist from London 1 
What a pathos there is in his voice 
so deep so full why Brough is 
nothing to him ! Knock Wood, and 
Seg-Seguin and Shrival and a 
dozen more into a musical cocked-hat, 
and they can t equal our mys-myste- 
rious friend " 

" I say you d better tortle on my 
coveys " cried he of the great coats 
and cord stick, in a subterranean 
voice " Or p r aps, my fellers, ye d 
like to tend Mayor Scott s tea-party 
would ye ?" 

"Thank you kindly " exclaimed 
Gus Lorrimer in an insinuating tone, 
" otherwise engaged. But my friend 
if you will allow me to ask what 
do you mean by that infernal noise you 
produced just now ? Let us into the 
lark ?" 

The gentleman of the cord stick and 
overcoats, was however beyond hear 
ing by this time, and our friends 
moved on their way, Byrnewood ob 
serving in an under tone, somewhat 
roughened by hiccups, that on his 
soul, he believed that queer old cove, 
in the slouched hat, meant by his 
mysterious noise to impart the impor 
tant truth that it was half -past ticelve 
o clock and a moonlight morning. 

Descending into Smokey Chiffin g 
subterranean retreat, our friends were 



THE WAGER. 



wailed upon by a very small man, 
with a sharp face and a white apron, 
and a figure so lank and slender, thai 
the idea involuntarily arose to the 
spectators mind, of whole days and 
nights of severe training, having been 
bestowed upon a human frame, in order 
to reduce it to a degree of thinness 
quite visionary. 

" Come my * Virginia abstraction 
exclaimed Lorrimer " Show us into 
a private room, and tell us what 
yov ve got for supper " 

" This way sir this way gents " 
cried Smokey Chiffin, as the thin gen 
tlemen was rather familiarly styled 
" What got for supper ? Woodcock 
air ? excellent sir. Venison sir ; ex 
cellent sir. Oysters sir, stewed, sir, 
fried sir, roasted sir, or in the shell 
sir. Excellent sir. Some right fresh, 
fed on corn-meal sir. What have sir ? 
Excellent sir. This way gents " 



fare, the host, attended by his cus 
tomers, disappeared from the refrec- 
tory proper, through an obscure door 
into the private room. 

There may be some of our readers 
who have never been within the con 
fines of one of those oyster-caverns 
which abound in the Quaker City. 
For their especial benefit, we will en 
deavor to pencil forth a few of the 
most prominent characteristics of the 



" Oyster 
Chiffin." 



Saloon by Mr. Samuel 



Lighted by flaring gas-pipes, it was 
divided into two sections by a blazing 
hot coal stove. The section beyond 
the stove, wrapt in comparative ob 
scurity, was occupied by two opposing 
rows of boxes, looking very much 
jKe conventual stalls, ranged side by 



side, for the accommodation of the 
brothers of some old-time monastery. 
The other section, all light, and glitter, 
and show, was ornamented at its ex 
treme end, by a tremendous mirror, 
in which a toper might look, time 
after time, in order to note the various 
degrees of drunkenness through which 



An oyster-box, embellish 
ed by a glorious display of tin signs 
with gilt letters, holding out inviting 
manifestations of "oysters stewed fried 
or in the shell," occupied one entire 
side of this section, gazing directly in 
the face of the liquor bar placed oppo 
site, garnished with an imposing array 
of decanters, paint gilding, and glasses. 
And the company gathered herel 
Not very select you may be sure, 
Four or five gentlemen with seedy 
coats and effloresent noses were warm 
ing themselves around the stove, and 
discussing the leading questions of the 



And as he thus delivered his bill of day ; two individuals whose visits to 



the bar had been rather frequent, were 
kneeling in one corner, swearing at a 
very ragged dog, whom they could nt 
persuade to try a glass of * Imperial 
Elevator, and seated astride of a 
chair, silent and alone, a young man 
whose rakish look and ruffled attire 
betrayed the medical student on his 
first * spree was endeavouring to hold 
himself steady, and look uncommonly 
sober ; which endeavour always pro 
duces, as every body knows, the most 
ridiculous phase of drunkenness. 

These Oyster Cellers are queer 
things. Like the caverns of old story, 
in which the Giants, those ante-dilu- 
vian rowdies, used to sit all day long, 
and use the most disreputable arts to 
inveigle lonely travellers into then- 
clutches, so these modern dens, are 



10 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



3ccupied by a jolly old Giant of a de 
canter, who too often lures the unsus 
pecting into his embrace. A strange 
tale might be told, could the stairway 
leading down into the Oyster Celler 
be gifted with the power of speech. 
Here Youth has gone down laughing 
merrily, and here Youth has come up, 
his ruddy cheek wrinkled and his 
voice quavering with premature age. 
Here Wealth has gone down, and kept 
going down until at last he came up 
with his empty pocket, turned inside 
out, and the gripe of grim starvation 
on his shoulder. Here Hope, so 
young, so gay, so light-hearted has 
gone down, and came up transformed 
into a very devil with sunken cheeks, 
bleared eyes, and a cankered heart. 
Oh merry cavern of the Oyster Celler, 
nestling under the ground so close to 
Independence Hall, how great the 
wonders, how mighty the doings, how 
surprising the changes accomplished 
in your pleasant den, by your jolly 
old Giant of a Decanter ! 

It is here in this Oyster Celler, that 
we open the fearful tragedy which it 
is the painful object of our narrative, 
to tell. Here amid paint, and glitter 
and gilding, amid the clink of glasses 
and the roar of drinking songs, oc 
curred a scene, which trifling and 
insipid as it may appear to the casual 
observer, was but the initial letter to 
a long and dreary alphabet of crime, 
mystery and bloodshed. 

In a room, small and comfortable, 
lighted by gas and warmed by a 
cheerful coal-fire, around a table furn 
ished with various luxuries, and garn 
ished with an array of long necked 
bottles, we find our friends of the con 
vivial party. Their revel had swelled 



to the highest, glass clinked against 
glass, bottle after bottle had been ex 
hausted, voices began to mingle to 
gether, the drinking song and the 
prurient story began to pass from lip 
to lip, while our sedate friend, Smokey 
Chiffin, sate silently on the sofa, re 
garding the drunken bout with a glance 
of quiet satisfaction. 

"Let me see let me see" he 
murmured quietly to himself " Four 
bottles o Cham, at two dollars a bot 
tle four times two is eight. Hum 

hum. They ll drink six more. 
Let s call it twelve altogether. Say 
twenty-four shiners for supper and all. 
Hum hum Gus pays for all. 
That fellow Petrikin s a sponge. 
Wonder when Col. Mutchins will call 
for the cards ? Don t know who this 
fellow Byrnewood is? New face 
may be he s a roper* too? We ll 
see we ll see." 

" Give us your hand, Gus " 
cried Byrnewood, rising from his seat 
and flinging his hand unsteadily across 
the table " Damme, I like you old 
fellow. Never never knew until 
to-night met you at Mutchin s room 

wish I d known you all my life 
Give us your hand, my boy !" 

Calm and magnificent, Gustavus 
extended his hand, and exclaimed, in 
a voice, which champaigne could not 
deprive of its sweetness, that it gave 
him pleasure to know such a regular 
bird as Mister Byrnewood ; great plea 
sure ; extraordinary pleasure. 



I * This genteel term is applied to a well 
dressed edition of the vulgar stool-pigeon, 
used by gamblers, to decoy the unwary into 
their dens. The stool-pigeon is the loafei 
decoy, the roper is very aristocratic, prevail* 
jn the large hotel and is called a -r gentleman. 



THE WAGER. 



" You see, fellows, I believe I ll 
take a spree for three days wont 
go home, or to the store in Front 
street. Mean to keep it up until after 
Christmas. Wants three days o 
Christmas mean to jolly ha 
ha how the room reels " 

" Gentle-men I don t know what 
is the matter with me " observed 
Petriken, who rested his elbows help 
lessly on the table, as he looked around 
with his square face, lengthened into 
a vacant stare " There s somethin 
queer a-goin on with my eyes. I 
seem to see spiders lots o em 
play in corner-ball with roaches. See 
anything o the kind, Mutchins?" 

" Why why " replied that sen 
tentious gentleman as his red round 
face was overspread by a commiserat 
ing smile " Why the fact is Silly 
you ve been drinkin . By the bye 
does nt it strike you that there s some 
thing queer going on with that gas 
light. I say, Smokey, is nt there a 
beetle tryin to mash his brains out 
against that gas-pipe?" 

" Gentlemen I will give you a 
toast!" exclaimed Lorrimer, as he 
stood erect, the bold outline of his 
manly form, his handsome face, the 
high forehead relieved by thick masses 
of brown hair, the aquiline nose, the 
rounded chin, and the curving lip 
darkened by a mustache, all shown to 
advantage in the glowing light 
"Gentlemen fill your glasses no 
heeltaps! WOMAN!" 

"WOMAN!" shrieked the other 
three, springing unsteadily to their 
feet, and raising their glasses on high 
"WOMAN! Three times three 
hip-hip-hurrah !" 

" Womer !" muttered Sylvester 



Petriken * " Women tor ever ! when 
we re babies she nusses us, when 
we re boys she lathers us, when we re 
men she bedevils and bewitches us !" 

" Woman " muttered Colonel 
Mutchins " without her what ud 
life be ? A dickey without a plete, a 
collar without starch !" 

" We can t help it if we fascinate 
em ?" exclaimed Byrnewood " Can 
we Gus ?" 

" All fate, my boy all fate. By 
the bye set down boys. I ve got a 
nice little adventure of my own to tell. 
Smokey bring us some soda to 
sober off with " 

" Gentlemen " cried Petriken, 
sinking heavily in his chair " Did 
any of you see the last number of my 
magazine? The Ladies Western 
Hemisphere and Continental Organ. 
Offers the following inducements to 
sub subscribers one fashion-plate 
and two steel engravings per number 
48 pages, octavo Sylvester J. 
Petriken, Editor and Proprietor, office 
209 Drayman s alley, up stairs. 
Damme, Mutchins, what s your idea 
of fleas?" 

There was not, it is true, the most 
visible connexion between the Ladies 
Continental Organ and the peculiar 
insect, so troublesome to young 
puppies and very small kittens, yet 
as Mr. Petriken was not exactly 
sober, and Col. Mutchins very far 
from the temperance pledge, the idea 
seemed to tickle them both immensely 
and they joined in a hearty laugh, 
which terminated in another glaat 
from a fresh bottle of champagne. 

" Let s have your story, Gus !* 
shouted Byrnewood " Let s have 
your story ! Damme life s but * 



12 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



porcelain cup to-day we have it, to 
morrow we hav nt why not fill it 
with sweetness ?" 

As he said this, in tones indistinct 
with liquor he flung his long curling 
hair back from his brow, and tossed 
his glass unsteadily on high. 

Life a porcelain cup, why not fill it 
with sweetness? Great God of Mercy ! 
Could the terrible future, which was 
to break, in a few brief hours, with all 
its horrors, on the head of this young 
man, who now sat unconsciously at 
the drinking board, have at that mo 
ment assumed a tangible form, it 
would have stood like an incarnate 
devil at his shoulder, its outstretched 
hand, pouring the very gall of despair 
into the cup of his life, crowding it to 
the brim with the wormwood of death. 

" Well boys for my story. It s a 
story of a sweet girl, my boys a 
sweet girl about sixteen, with a large 
blue eye, a cheek like a ripe peach, and 
a lip like a rose-bud cleft in two " 

" Honor bright Gus. Damme, that s 
a quotation from my last Ladies 
Western Hem. Damme Gus " 

"Byrnewood do hold poor Silly 
down. There s this material differ 
ence, boys, between a ripe peach or a 
cleft rose-bud, and a dear little 
woman s lips or cheek. A ripe peach 
won t throb and grow warm if you lay 
your cheek against it, and I never yet 
heard of a rose-bud that kissed back 
again. She s as lovely a girl as ever 
trod the streets of the Quaker City. 
Noble bust slender waist small 
feet and delicate hands. Her hair? 
damme, Byrnewood, you d give your 
eyes for the privilege of twining your 
hands through the rich locks of her 
dark brown hair " 



" Well, well, go on. Who is this 
girl ; uncover the mystery !" 

" Patience, my boy, patience. A 
little of that soda if you please. Now, 
gentlemen, I want you to listen atten 
tively, for let me tell you, you don t 
hear a story like mine every day in 
the year." 

Half sobered by the combined in 
fluences of the soda water and the in 
terest of Lorrimer s story, Byrnewood 
leaned forward, fixing his full dark 
eyes intently upon the face of Gus, 
who was seated opposite ; while Col. 
Mutchins straightened himself in his 
chair, and even Petriken s vacant face 
glowed with a momentary aspect of 
sobriety. 

" I see, boys, that you expect some 
thing nice. (Smokey put some more 
coal on that fire.) Well Byrnewood, 
you must know I m a devil of a fellow 

among the girls and and d n 

the thing, I don t know how to get at 
it. Well, here goes. About two weeks 
ago I was strolling along Chesnut 
street towards evening, with Boney 
(that s my big wolf dog, you know ?) 
at my heels. I was just wondering 
where I should spend the evening ; 
whether I should go to see Forrest at 
the Walnut, or take a turn round 
town ; when who should 1 see walking 
ahead of me, but one of the prettiest 
figures in the world, in a black silk 
mantilla, with one of these saucy kiss- 
me-if-you-dare bonnets on her head. 
The walk of the creature, and a little 
glimpse of her ankle excited my 
curiosity, and I pushed ahead to get a 
view of her face. By Jupiter, you 
never saw such a face ! so soft, so 
melting, and damme so innocent. 
She looked positively bewitching in 



THE WAGER. 



that saucy bonnet, with her hair part 
ed over her forehead, and resting each 
cheek in a mass of the richest curls, 
that ever hung from the brow of mor 
tal woman " 

" Well, Gus, we ll imagine all this. 
She was beautiful as a houri, and 
priceless as the philosopher s stone 

5J 

" Byrnewood you are too impatient. 
A pretty woman in a black silk man 
tilla, with a lovely face peeping from 
a provoking bonnet, may seem nothing 
to you, but the strangest part of the 
adventure is yet to come. As I looked 
in the face of this lovely girl, she, to 
my utter astonishment addressed me 
in the softest voice in the world, 
and " 

"Called you by name?" 

" No. Not precisely. It seems 
she mistook me for some gentleman 
whom she had seen at a country 
boarding-school. I took advantage of 
her mistake, walked by her side for 
some squares along Chesnut street, 
and " 

" Became thoroughly acquainted 
with her, I suppose ?" suggested 
Byrnewood. 

" Well, you may judge so, when I 
mention one trifling fact for your 
consideration. This night, at three 
o clock, this innocent girl, the flower 
of one of the first families in the city, 
forsaking home and friends, and all 
that these sweet girls are wont to hold 
dear, will seek repose in my arms " 

" She can t be much " exclaimed 
Byrnewood, over whose face a look 
of scornful incredulity had been gather 
ing for some few moments past 
" Pass that champagne, Petriken my 
boy. Gus, I don t mean to oflend 



you, but I rather think you ve oeen 
humbugged by some slevver ? "* 

A frown darkened over Lorrimer s 
brow, and even as he sate, you might 
see his chest heave and his form 
dilate. 

" Do you mean to doubt my word 
Sir ?" 

" Not at all, not at all. But you 
must confess, the thing looks rather 
improbable. (Will you smoke, Col. ?) 
May I ask whether there was any 
one in company with the lady when 
first you met her ?" 

" A Miss something or other I 
forget her name. A very passable 
beauty of twenty and upwards, and I 
may add, a very convenient one, for 
she carried my letters, and otherwise 
favored my cause with the sweet 
girl." 

" And this sweet girl is the flower 
of one of the first families in the 
city?" asked Byrnewood with a half 
formed sneer on his upper lip. 

" She is " answered Lorrimer, 
lighting a cigar. 

" And this girl, to-night, leaves 
home and friends for you, and three 
hours hence will repose in your 
arms?" 

" She will " and Lorrimer va 
cantly eyed a column of smoke wind 
ing upward to the ceiling. 

" You will not marry her ?" 

" Ha-ha-ha ! You re ahead of me 
now. Only a pretended marriage, 
my boy. As for this life interest in 
a womim, it don t suite my taste. A 
nice little sham marriage, my boy, is 
better than ten real ones " 



(X cant term used by profligates for female 
servants of indifferent cnaracter^ 



14 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



" You would be a d d fool to 

marry a woman who flung herself in 
your power in this manner. How do 
know she is respectable ? Did you 
ever visit her at her father s house ? 
What is her name 1 Do enlighten us 
a little " 

* Your cute, my boy, mighty cute, 
as the Yankee says, but not so cute 
as you think. Her name? D ye 
think I m so particularly verdant as to 
tell it ? I know her name, could tell 
you the figure of her fathers wealth, 
but have never been mside of the 
threshold of her home. Secret meet 
ings, secret walks and even an assum 
ed name, are oftentimes wonderfully 
convenient."! 

" Gus, here is a hundred dollar bill 
on the Bank of North America. I am, 
as you see, somewhat interested in 
your story. I will stake this hundred 
dollars that the girl who seeks your 
arms to-night, is not respectable, is 
not connected with one of the first 
families in the city, and more than all 
has never been any better than a com 
mon lady of the sidewalk " 

"Book that bet, Mutchins. You 
heard it, Silly. And now, Byrnewood, 
here is another hundred, which I will 
deposit with yours in Mutchins hands 
until the bet is decided. Come with 
me and I ll prove to you that you ve 
lost. You shall witness the wedding 
ha, ha and to your own sense of 
honor will I confide the secret of the 
lady s name and position " 

" The bet is booked and the money 
is safe" murmured the sententious 
Mutchins, enclosing the notes in the 
leaves of his pocket-book " I ve 
heard of many rum go s but this is 
.he rummest go of all." 



" If I may be allowed to use the 
expression, this question involves a 
mystery. A decided mystery. For 
instance, what s the ladys name? 
There is a point from which Hypo 
thesis may derive some labor. What s 
in a name as Shakspeare says. 1 
say, gents, let s pick out a dozen 
names, and toss up which shall have 
it?" 

This rather profound remark of 
Mr. Petriken s was received with 
unanimous neglect. 

It was observable that during this 
conversation, both Lorrimer and 
Byrnewood had been gradually re 
covering from the effects of their de 
bauch. Lorrimer seemed somewhat 
offended at the distrust manifested by 
Byrnewood ; who, in his turn, appear 
ed to believe the adventure just related 
with very many doubts and modifica 
tions. 

Lorrimer leaned over the table and 
whispered in Sylvester s ear. 

" Damme damme my fellow" 
murmured Sylvester, apparently in 
reply to the whispered remark of his 
friend "It cannot be done. Why 
man its a penitentiary offence." 

Lorrimer again hissed a meaning 
whisper in the ear of the little man. 

"Well, well, as it is your wish I ll 
do it. A cool fifty, did you say ? You 
think a devlish sight of the girl do 
you then? I must provide myself 
with a gown and prayer book ? I flat 
ter myself I ll rather become them 
three o clock, did you say?" 

"Aye aye " answered Lorri 
mer, turning to the rubicund face of 
Col. Mutchins and whispering hurried 
ly in his ear. 

A pleasant smile overspread the 



MARY. 



face of the benevolent man, and his 
pear-shaped nose seemed to grow ex 
pressive for a single moment. 

D d good idea? I ll be your 

too-confiding uncle ? Eh ? Stern but 
relenting? I ll bless the union with 
my benediction Fll give the bride 
away?" 

" Come along Byrnewood. Here 
Smokey is the money for our supper. 
Mark you gentlemen, Mr. Petriken 
and Col. Mutchins the hour is three 

o clock. Don t fail me, if the d 1 

himself stands in the way. Take my 
arm Byrnewood and let s travel " 

"Then * hey for the wedding. 
Daylight will tell who wins !" 

And as they left the room arm in 
arm, bound on the adventure so sud 
denly undertaken, and so full of in 
terest and romance, Petriken looked 
vacantly in Mutchins face, and Mutch- 
ins returned the look with a steady 
gaze that seemed to say * How 
much did he give you, old boy ? 

Whether Sylvester translated the 
look in this manner, it is difficult to 
tell, but certain it is, that as he poured 
a bumper from a fresh bottle of cham 
pagne, he motioned the Colonel to do 
the same, and murmured in an absent 
manner, or perhaps by way of a senti 
ment, the remarkable words 

" Fifty dollars ! Egad that ill buy 
two steel engravings and three fashion 
plates for the next number offthe 
Ladies Western Hemisphere. ^ Eco 
nomy is wealth, and the best way to 
learn to fly is to creep creep very 

low, remarkably low, d d low 

always creep /" 



CHAPTER SECOND. 

MARY, THE MERCHANTS DAUGHTER. 

LEANING gently forward, her shawl 
falling carelessly from her shoulders, 
and her bonnet thrown back from her 
brow, the fair girl impressed a kiss on 
the cheek of her father, while the 
glossy ringlets of her hair mingled 
their luxuriant brown with the white 
locks of the kind old man. 

The father seated on the sofa, his 
hands clasping her slight and delicate 
fingers, looked up into her beaming 
face with a look of unspeakable affec 
tion, while a warm glow of feeling 
flushed over the pale face of the mo 
ther, a fine matronly dame of some 
forty-five, who stood gazing on her 
daughter, with one hand resting on 
the husband s shoulder. 

The mild beams of an astral lamp 
diffused a softened and pleasing light 
through the parlor. The large mirror 
glittering over the mantle, the curtains 
of crimson silk depending along the 
windows, the sofa on which the old 
man was seated, the carpet of the 
finest texture, the costly chairs, the 
paintings that hung along the walls, 
and in fine all the appointments of the 
parlor, designated* the abode of luxury 
and affluence.^ 

The father, who sate on the sofa 
gazing in the face of his child, was a 
man of some sixty years, with a fine 
venerable countenance, wrinkled by 
care and time, with thin locks of 
snow-white hair falling along his high 
pale forehead. In his calm blue eys, 
looking forth from the shadow of a 
thick grey eyebrow, and in the gene* 
ral contour of his face, you rnigh* 
trace as forcible a resemblance to his 




M^ 



16 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



daughter, as ever was witnessed 
between an old man just passing 
away from life, and a fair young 
girl, blooming and blushing on the 
very threshold of womanhood. The 
old man was clad in glossy black," 
and his entire appearance, marked 
the respectable merchant, - who, re- 
tirinj; from active business, sought 
in the quietude of his own home, all 
the joys, that life, wealth or affection 
united and linked in blessings, have in 
their power to bestow. 

The mother, who stood resting her 
hand on her husband s shoulder, was, 
we have said, a fine matronly dame 
of forty-five. A mild pale face, a 
deep black eye, and masses of raven 
hair, slightly sprinkled with the silver 
threads of age, parted over a calm 
forehead, and tastefully disposed be 
neath a plain cap of lace, gave the 
mother an appearance of sweetness 
and dignity combined, that was emi 
nently effective in winning the respect 
and love of all who looked upon her. 

" Mary my child how lovely 
you have grown !" exclaimed the 
Merchant, in a deep quiet tone, as he 
pressed her fair hands within his 
own, and looked up in her face. 

" Nonsense ! You will make the 
child vain " whispered the wife 
playfully, yet her face flushed with 
affection, and her eyes shone an 
answer to her husband s praise. 

The girl was indeed beautiful. 

As she stood there, in that quiet 
parlor, gazing in her father s face, 
she looked like a breathing picture of 
youth, girlhood and innocence, painted 
by the finger of God. Her face was 
very beautiful. The small bonnet 
thrown back from her forehead, suf 



fered the rich curls of her brown hair 
to escape, and they fell twining and 
glossy along each swelling cheek, as 
though they loved to rest upon the 
velvet skin. The features were re 
gular, her lips were full red and ripe, 
her round chin varied by a bewitching 
dimple, and her eyes were large, blue 
and eloquent, with long and trembling 
lashes. You looked in those eyes, 
and felt that all the sunlight of a 
woman s soul was shining on you. 
The face was lovely, moist lovely, the 
skin, soft, velvety, blooming and 
transparent, the eyes full of soul, the 
lips sweet with the ripeness of maiden 
hood, and the brow calm and white 
as alabaster, yet was there no re 
markable manifestation of thought, or 
mind, or intellect visible in the lines 
of that fair countenance. It was the 
face of a woman formed to lean, to 
cling, to love, and never to lean on but 
one arm, never to cling but to one 
bosom, never to love but once, and 
that till death and forever. 

The fair round neck, and well-de 
veloped bust, shown to advantage in 
the close fitting dress of black silk, 
the slender waist, and the ripening 
proportions of her figure, terminated 
by slight ancles and delicate feet, all 
gave you the idea of a bud breaking 
into bloom, a blossom ripening into 
fruit, or what is higher and holier, a 
pure and happy soul manifesting 
itself to the world, through the round 
ed outlines of a woman s form. 

" Come, come father, you must not 
detain me any longer " exclaimed 
the daughter in a sweet and low-toned 
voice " You know aunt Emily has 
been teasing me these two weeks, ever 
since I returned from boarding-school, 



MARY. 



17 



to come and stay with her all night. 
You know I was always a favorite 
with the dear old soul. She wants to 
contrive some, agreeable surprise for 
my birth-day, I believe. Pm sixteen 
next Christmas, and that is three days 
off. Do let me go, that s a good 
fecher " 

"Had nt you better put on your 
cioak, my love ?" interrupted the Mo 
ther, regarding the daughter with a 
look of fond affection " The night is 
very cold, and you may suffer from 
exposure to the winter air " 

" Oh no, no, no, mother " replied 
the fair girl, laughingly " I do so 
hate these cloaks they re so bung 
ling and so heavy ! I ll just fling my 
shawl across my shoulders, and run 
all the way to Aunt Emily s. You 
know it s only two squares distant in 
Third Street" 

" And then old Lewey will see you 
safe to the door?" exclaime4 the Mo 
ther " Well, well, go along my dear 
child, take good care of yourself, and 
give my love to your Aunt " 

" These old maids are queer things " 
said the Merchant with a smile 
" Take care Mary or Aunt Emily will 
find out all your secrets " 

And the old man smiled pleasantly 
to himself, for the idea of a .girl, so 
young, so innocent, having any secrets 
to be found out, was too amusing to 
be entertained without a smile. 

A shade fell over the daughters 
face so sudden and melancholy that 
her parents started with surprise. 

" Why do you look so sad, my 
child ?" exclaimed the Father, looking 
up in his daughter s face. " What is 
there in the world to sadden ?/ow, my 
Mary?" 



"Nothing, father, nothing " mur 
mured Mary, flinging her ibrm on her 
fathers bosom and twining her. arms 
round his neck as she kissed him 
again and again " Only I was think 
ing just thinking of Christmas, 
and 

The fair girl rose suddenly from 
her fathers bosom, and flung her arms 
hurriedly around her mother s neck, 
imprinting kiss after kiss on her lips. 

" Good bye mother I ll be back 
I ll be back to-morrow." 

And in an instant she glided hastily 
to the door and left the room. 

" Lewey is nt it very cold to night?" 
she asked as she observed the white- 
haired negro-servant waiting in the 
hall, wrapped up in an enormous over 
coat, with a comforter around his neck 
and a close fur cap surmounting his 
grey wool and chubby round face 
"I m sorry to take you out in th 
cold, Lewey." 

"Bress de baby s soul " mur* 
mured the old negro opening the door 
" Habbent I nuss you in dese arms 
when you warnt so high? Lewey 
take cold ? Debbil a cold dis nigger 
take for no price when a-waitin on 
missa Mary " 

Mary stood upon the threshold of 
her home looking out into the cold 
starlit night. Her face was for a mo 
ment overshadowed by an expression 
of the deepest melancholy, and her 
small foot trembled as it stepped over 
the threshold. She looked hiTrii dly 
along the gloomy street, then cast her 
glance backwards into tne entry, and 
then with a wild bound she retraced 
her steps, and stood beside her father 
and her mother. 

Again she kissed them, again flung 









18 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 









her arms round their necks, and again 
bounded along the entry crying laugh 
ingly to her parents " Good night 
good night I ll be back to-mor 
row." 

Again she stood upon the threshold, 
but all traces of laughter had vanished 
from her face. She was sad and si 
lent, and there were tears in her eyes. 
At least the old negro said so after 
wards, and also that her tiny foot, 
when resting on the door-sill, trembled 
like any leaf. 

Why should her eye grow dim with 
tears and her foot tremble ? Would 
not that tiny foot, when next it crossed 
the threshold, bound forward with a 
gladsome movement, as the bride 
sprung to meet her father and her 
mother once again 1 Would not that 
calm blue eye, now filled with tears, 
grow bright with a joy before un 
known, when it glanced over the hus 
bands form, as for the first time he 
stood in the fathers presence ? Would 
not Christmas Eve be a merry night 
for the bride and all her friends as 
they went shouting merrily through 
the luxuriantly furnishod chambers of 
her fathers mansion? Why should 
she fear to cross the threshold of her 
home, when her coming back was to 
be heralded with blessings and crown- 
with love ? 

How will the future answer these 
trembling questions of that stainless 
heart? 

She crossed the threshold, and not 
daring to look back, hurried along the 
gloomy street. It was clear, cold, 
starlight, and the pathways were com 
paratively deserted. The keen winter 
wind nipped her cheek, and chilled 



seemed smiling her onward, and she 
fancied the good angels, that ever 
watch over woman s first and world- 
trusting love, looking kindly upon her 
from the skies. 

After traversing Third street for 
some two squares, she stood before an 
ancient three-storied dwelling, at the 



corner of Third and 



streets, 



with the name of Miss. E. Graham, 
on the door plate. 

"Leweyyou need nt wait "she 
said kindly yet not without a deeper 
motive than kindness to the aged 
Negro who had attended her thus far 

"I ll ring the bell myself. You 
had better hurry home and warm 
yourself and remember, Lewey, tell 
father and mother that they need not 
expect me home before to-morrow at 
noon. Good night, Lewey." 

" Good night, Missa Mary, Lor 
Moses lub your soul " muttered the 
honest old Negro, as, pulling his fur 
cap over his eyes, he strode hqme- 
ward "Dat ar babby s a angel, dat 
is widout de wings. De Lor grant when\ 
dis here ole nigger gets to vander \ 



nigger gets to yande 
firmey-ment dat is if niggers gets 
dar at all he may be pinted to one 
ob de benches near Missa Mary, so he 
can wait on her, handy as nuffin 
dats all. She s a angel, and dis here 
night, is a leetle colder dan any night 
in de memory ob dat genel man de 
Fine Col ector nebber finds de berry 
oldest inhabitant." 

Thus murmuring, Lewey trudged 
on his way, leaving Mary standing in 
front of Aunt Emily s door. Did she 
pull the bell? I trow not, for no 
sooner was the negro out of sight, than 
the tall figure of a woman, dressea in 



for form, but above her, the stars |black, with a long veil drooping over 



BYRNEWOOD AND LORRIMER. 



ner face, glided round the corner and 
stood by her side. 

* Oh Bessie is that you ?" 
cried Mary, in a trembling voice 
" I m so frightened I don t know what 
to do Oh Bessie Bessie don t you 
think I had better turn back " 

"He waits for you " said the 
strange woman, in a husky voice. 

Mary hurriedly laid her hand on the 
stranger s arm. Her face was over 
spread with a sudden expression of 
feeling, like a gleam of sunshine, seen 
through a broken cloud on a stormy 
day, and in a moment, they were 
speeding down Third street toward 
the southern districts of the Quaker 
City. Another moment, and the eye 
might look for them in vain. 

And as they disappeared the State 
House clock rung out the hour of 
nine.^ This, as the reader will per 
ceive, was just four hours previous to 
the time when Byrnewood and Lorri- 
mer closed their wager in the subterra 
nean establishment along Chesnut 
street. To the wager and its result 
we now turn our attention and the 
readers interest. 



CHAPTER THIRD. 

BYRNEWOOD AND LORRIMER. 

THE harsh sound of their footsteps, 
resounding along the frozen pavement, 
awoke the echoes of the State House 
buildings,as linked arm in arm, Byrne- 
wood and Lorrimer hurried along 
Chesnut street, their figures thrown in 
lengthened shadow by the beams of 
the setting moon. 



The tall, manly arid muscular figure 
of Lorrimer, attired in a close-fitting 
black overcoat, presented a fine con 
trast to the slight yet well-proportioned 
form of Byrnewood, which now and 
then became visible as the wind flung 
his voluminous cloak back from his 
shoulders. The firm and measured 
stride of Lorrimer, the light and agile 
footstep of Byrnewood, the glowing 
countenance of the magnificent Gus, 
the pale solemn face of the young 
Merchant, the rich brown hair which 
hung in clustering masses around the 
brow of the first, and the long dark 
hair which fell sweeping to the very 
shoulders of his companion, all 
furnished the details of a vivid con 
trast, worthy the effective portraiture 
of a master in ourfeister-arO 

" Almost as cold as charity, Byrne 
wood my boy " exclaimed Lorri 
mer, as he gathered Byrnewood s arm 
more closely within his own " Do 
you know, my fellow, that I believe 
vastly in faces?" 

"How so?" 

" I can tell a man s character from 
his face, the moment I clap my eye 
on him. I like or dislike at first sight. 
Now there s Silly Petriken s face 
how do you translate it?" 

"The fact is, Lorrimer, I know 
very little about him. I was intro 
duced to him, for the first time, at a 
party, where he was enrapturing some 
sentimental old maids, with a few 
quires of sonnets on every thing in 
general. Since that occasion I have 
never met him, until to-night, when 
he hailed me in Chesnut street, and 
forced me into Mutchins room at the 
United States Hotel. You know the 
rest " 



90 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 






"Well, well, \*ith regard to Petri- 
ken, a single word. Clever fellow, 
clever, but like Mutchins, he sells for 
a reasonable price. I buy them both. 
By Jupiter ! the town swarms with such 
fellows, who will sell themselves to 
any master for a trifle. Petriken 
poor fellow his face indicates his 
character a solemn pimp, a senten 
tious parasite. Mutchins is just the 
other way an agreeable jolly old- 
dog of a pander. They hire them 
selves to me for the season I use 
and, of course, despise them " 

" You re remarks are truly flatter 
ing to these worthy gentlemen !" said 
Byrnewood, drily. 

" And now my fellow, you may 
think me insincere, but I tell you 
frankly, that the moment I first saw 
your face, I liked you, and resolved 
you should be my friend. For your 
sake I am about to do a thing which 
I would do for no living man, and 
possibly no dead one " 

" And that is " interrupted Byrne- 
wood. 

"Just listen my fellow. Did you 
s ever hear any rumors of a queer old 
house down town, kept by a reputable 
old lady, and supported by the purses 
of goodly citizens, whose names you 
never hear without the addition of 
* respectable, * celebrated, or ha 
ha * pious mosi l pious ? A 
queer old house my good fellow, 
where, during the long hours of the 
winter nights, your husband, so kind 
and good, forgets his wife, your mer 
chant his ledger, your lawyer his 
quibbles, your parson his prayers ? A 
queer old house, my good fellow, 
where wine and woman mingle their 
attractions, where at once you sip the 



honey from a red-lip, and a sparkling 
bubble from the champagne ? Where 
luxuriantly-furnished chambers re 
sound all night long with the rustling 
of cards, or the clink of glasses, or 
it may be the gentle ripple of 
voices, murmuring in a kiss? A 
queer old house, my dear fellow, in 
short, where the very devil is played 
under a cloak, and sin grows fat with 
in the shelter of quiet rooms and im 
penetrable walls " s 

" Ha ha Lorrimer you are elo 
quent ! Faith, I ve heard some rumors 
of such a queer old house, but always 
deemed them fabulous " 

" The old house is a fact, my boy, 
a fact. I Within its walls this night I 
will wed my pretty bride, and within 
its walls, my fellow, despite the pains 
and penalties of our Club, you shall 
enter " 

" I should like it of all things in the 
world. How is your club styled ?" 

" All in good time, my friend. Each 
member, you see, once a week, has 
the privilege of introducing a friend 
The same friend must never enter 
the Club House twice. Now I have 
rather overstepped the rules of the 
Club in other respects it will require 
all my tact to pass you in to-night. 
It shall be done, however and mark 
me you will obtain a few fresh ideas 
of the nature of|the secret life of this 
good Quaker City "J 

"Why Lorrimer " exclaimed 
Byrnewood, as they approached the 
corner of Eighth and Chesnut " You 
seem to have a pretty good idea ol 
life in general " 

"Life?" echoed the magnificent 
Gus, in that tone of enthusiasm pecu 
liar to the convivialist when recover- 



BYRNEWOOD AND LORRIMER. 



21 



ing from the first excitement of the 
bottle "Life? What is it? As 
brilliant and as brief as a champagne 
bubble ! To day a jolly carouse in an 
oyster cellar, to-morrow a nice little 
pic nic party in a grave-yard. One 
moment you gather the apple, the 
next it is ashes. [Every thing fleeting 
apd nothing stable, every thing shift 
ing and changing, and nothing substan 
tial ! J A bundle of hopes and fears, 
deceits and confidences, joys and 
miseries, strapped to a fellow s back 
like Pedlar s wares" 

" Huzza ! Bravo the Reverend 
Gus Lorrimer preaches. And what 
moral does your reverence deduce 
from all this!" 

"One word, my fellow ENJOY! 
Enjoy till the last nerve loses its deli 
cacy of sense ; enjoy till the last sinew 
ie unstrung ; enjoy till the eye flings out 
its last glance, till the voice cracks and 
the blood stagnates ; enjoy, always 
enjoy, and at last " 

" Aye, aye that terrible at last 

n 

" At last, when you can enjoy no 
longer, creep into a nice cozy house. 
*ome eight feet deep, by six long and 
two wide, wrap yourself up in a com 
fortable quilt of white, and tell the 
worms those jolly gleaners of the 
scraps of the feast of life that they 
may fall to and be d d to em " 

" Ha ha Lorrimer ! Who 
would have thought this of you ?" 

" Tell me, my fellow, what busi- 
ne&s do you follow ?" 

" Rather an abrupt question. How- 
\ cvei, I m the junior partner in the 
\importing house of Livingston, Har- 
irey, & Co., along Front street " 

" And I " replied Gustavus slow 



ly and with deliberation " &nd 1 am 
junior and senior partner m a snug 
little wholesale business of my own. , 
The firm is Lorrimer, & Co. the 
place of business is everywhere about 
town and the business itself is en 
joyment, nothing but enjoyment ; 
wine and woman forever! And as 
for the capital I ve an unassuming 
sum of one hundred thousand dollars, 
am independent of all relations, and 
bid fair to live at least a score of years 
longer. Now my fellow, you know 
me come, spice us up a few of your 
own secrets. Have you no interest 
ing little amour for my private ear ?" 

" By Heaven, I d forgotten all about 
it!" cried Bynewood starting aside 
from his companion as they stood in 
the full glare of the gas-lamp at the 
corner of Eighth and Chesnut street 
"I d forgotten all about the letter !" 

" The letter ? What letter ?" 

" Why just before Petriken hailed 
me in Chesnut street this evening 
or rather last evening a letter was 
placed in my hands, which I neglected 
to read. I know the handwriting on 
the direction, however. It s from a 
dear little love of a girl, who, some six 
months ago, was afsejvantVin my 
father s house. A sweet girl, Lorri 
mer and you know how these 
things work she was lovely, inno- 
ent and too confiding, and I was but 
a man "j 

"And she a slower; Rather a 
low walk of business for you, my bey i 
However, let s read the letter by iamp- 
light-" 

" Here it is < Dear Byrnewood 
[ would like very much to see you to 
night. I am in great distress. Meet 
me at the corner of Fourth and Ches- 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



nut streets at nine o clock or you will 
regret it to the day of your death. Oh 
4>r God s sake do meet me Annie. 7 
What a pretty hand she writes Eh ! 
Lorrimer ! That for God s sake 9 is 
rather cramped and egad! there s 
the stain of a tear " 

" These things are quite customary. 
These letters and these tears. The 
dear little women can only use these 
arguments when they yield too much 
to our persuasions " 

"And yet d n the thing 

how unfortunate for the girl my ac 
quaintance has proved! She had to 
leave my father s house on account o 

of the circumstance becoming 
too apparent, and her parents are very 
poor. I should have liked to have 
seen her to-night, However, it will 
do in the morning. And now, Lorri 
mer, which way?" 

" To the queer old house down 
town. By the bye, there goes the 
State House one o clock, by Jupi 
ter ! We ve two good hours yet to 
decide the wager. Let s spend hal 
an hour in a visit to a certain friend 
of mine. Here, Byrnewood, let me 
instruct you in the mysteries of the 
lark " 

And, leaning aside, the magnificent 
Gus whispered in the ear of his friend 
with as great an appearance of m 
as the most profound secret might 
supposed to demand. 

" Do you take, my fellow?" 

^Capital, capital " replied Byrne- 
wood, crushing the letter into his 
pocket " We shall crowd this night 
with adventures : that s certain ! ! 

The dawn of daylight it is true 

closed the accounts of a night 
somewhat crowded with incidents. 



Did these merry gentlemen who stood 
laughing so cheerily at the corner 01 
Eighth and Chesnut streets, at the hour 
of one, their faces glowing in the light 
of the midnight moon, did they guess 
the nature of the incidents which five 
o clock in the morning could disclose ? 
God of Heaven might no angel of 
mercy drop from the skies and warn 
them back in their career ? 

No warning came, no omen scared 
them back. Passing down Eighth 
street, they turned up Walnut, which 
they left at Thirteenth. Turning dowr 
Thirteenth they presently stood before 
a small old fashioned two storied 
building, with a green door and a bulli 
window, that occupied nearly the en 
tire width of the front, protruding ill 
the light. A tin sign, placed betweeft 
the door and window, bore the inscrip- 
tion, " *. *****, ASTROLOGER." 

" Wonder if the old cove s in bed * 
exclaimed Lorrimer, and as he spoktt 
the green door opened, as if in answer 
to his question, and the figure of a man, 
muffled up in the thick folds of a cloak 
with his hat drawn over his eyes, 
glided out of the Astrologer s house, 
and hurried down Thirteenth street. 

" Ha ha devilish cunning, but 
not so cunning as he thinks !" laughed 
Byrnewood " I saw his face it s 
old Grab-and-Snatch, the President of 

the Bank, which every body 

says is on the eve of a grand blow 
up !" i 

"The respectable old gentleman 
has been consulting the stars with re 
gard to the prospects of his bank 
h a ha! However, my boy, the 
door is open let s enter ! Let s 
consult this familiar of the fates, this 
intimate acquaintance of the Future !" 



THE ASTROLOGER. 



CHAPTER FOURTH. 

THE ASTROLOGER. 

]N a small room, remarkable for 
the air of comfort imparted by the 
combined effects of the neatly white 
washed walls, the floor, plainly carpet 
ed, and the snug little wood-stove 
roaring in front of the hearth, sat 
a man of some forty-five winters, 
bending over the table in the corner, 
covered with strange-looking books 
and loose manuscripts. 

The light of the iron lamp which 
stood in the centre of the table, resting 
on a copy of Cornelius Agrippa, fell 
full and strongly over the face and 
form of the Astrologer, disclosing 
every line of his countenance, and 
illumining the corner where he sat, 
while the more distant parts of the 
room were comparatively dim and 
shadowy. 

As he sat in the large old-fashioned 
arm-chair, bending down earnestly 
oyertji massive manuscript, covered 
with strange characters and crossed 
by intricate lines, the lampbeams dis 
closed a face, which somewhat plain 
and unmeaning in repose, was now 
agitated by an expression of the deep 
est interest. The brow, neither very 
high nor very low, shaded by tangled 
locks of thin brown hair, was corru 
gated with deep furrows, the eye 
brows were firmly set together, the 
nostrils dilated, and the lips tightly 
compressed, while the full grey eyes, 
staring vacantly on the manuscript, 
indicated by the glassy film spread 
over each pupil, that the mind of the 
Astrologer, instead of being occupied 
with outward objects, was buried with 



in itself, in tne contemplation of some 
intricate subject of thought. 

There was nothing in the dress of 
the man, or in the appearance of his 
room, that might realize the ideas 
commonly attached to the Astrologer 
and his den. Here were no melo 
dramatic curtains swinging solemnly 
to and fro, brilliant and terrible with 
the emblazoned death s-head and cross- 
bones. Here were no blue lights 
imparting a lurid radiance *,o a row of 
grinning skeletons, here were no 
ghostly forms standing pale and erect, 
their glassy eyes freezing the specta 
tor s blood with horror, here was 
neither goblin, devil, or mischievous 
ape, which, as every romance reader 
knows, have been the companions of 
the Astrologer from time immemorial ; 
here was nothing but a plain man, 
seated in an old-fashioned arm chair, 
within the walls of a comfortable room, ) 
warmed by a roaring little stove. 

No cap of sable relieved the Astro 
loger s brow, no gown of black velvet, 
tricked out with mysterious emblems 
in gold and precious stones, fell in 
sweeping folds around the outlines of 
his spare figure. A plain white over 
coat, much worn and out at the elbows, 
a striped vest no remarkable for its 
shape or fashion, a cross-barred neck 
erchief, and a simple linen shirt collar 
completed the attire of the astrologer 
who sat reading at the table. 

The walls of the room were hung 
with the Horoscopes of illustrious 
men, Washington, Byron, and Napo 
leon, delineated on large sheets of 
paper, and surrounded by plain frames 
of black wood; the table was piled 
with the works of Sibly, Lilly, Cor 
nelius Agrippa and other masters in 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



the mystic art ; while at the feet of 
the Astrologer nestled a fine black cat, 
whose large whiskers and glossy fur, 
would seem to afford no arguments in 
favor of the supposition entertained by 
the neighbors, that she was a devil in 
disguise, a sort of familiar spirit on 
leave of absence from the infernal re 
gions. 

"I m but a poor man " said the 
Astrologer, turning one of the leaves 
of the massive volume in manuscript 
which he held in his hand "I m 
but a poor man, and the lawyer, and 
the doctor, and the parson all despise 
me, and yet " his lip wreathed with 
a sneering smile " this little room 
has seen them all within its walls, 
begging from the humble man some 
knowledge of the future ! Here they 
come one and all the fools, pre 
tending to despise my science, and yet 
willing to place themselves in my 
power, while they affect to doubt. 
Ha-ha here are their Nativities one 
and all That" he continued, turn 
ing over a leaf " is the Horoscope 
of a\ clergyman -r- Holy man of God ! 
He wanted to know whether he 
could ruin an innocent girl in his con 
gregation without discovery. And 
that is the Horoscope of a lawyer, who 
takes fees from both sides. His desire 
is to know, whether he can perjure 
himself in a case now in court without 
detection. Noble counsellor! This 
Doctor " and he turned over another 
leaf " told me that he had a delicate 
case m hand. A pretty girl has 
been ruined and so on the seducer 
wants to destroy the fruit of his crime 
and desires the doctor to undertake 
the job. Doctor wants to know what 
moment will be auspicious ha-ha !" 



And thus turning from page to page, 
he disclosed the remarkable fact, that- 
the great, the good, and the wise of 
the Quaker City, who met the mere 
name of astrology, when uttered ill 
public, with a most withering sneer, 
still under the cover of night, were- 
happy to steal to the astrologer s 
room, and obtain some glimpses of 
their future destiny through the oracle 
of the stars. 

" A black-eyed woman lusty and 
amorous wants to know whether 
she can present her husband with a 
pair of horns on a certain night? I 
warned her not to proceed in her 
course of guilt. She does proceed 
and will be exposed to her husband s 
hate and public scorn " 

And thus murmuring, the Astrologer 
turned to another leaf. 

" The Horoscope of a puppy-faced 
editor ! A spaniel, a snake, and an 
ape he is a combination of the three. 
Wants to know when he can run off 
with a lady of the ballet at the theatre, 
without being caught by his creditors 1 
Also, whether next Thursday is an 
auspicious day for a little piece of 
roguery he has in view ? The peni 
tentiary looms darkly in the distance 

let the editor of the DAILY BLACK 
MAIL beware " 

Another leaf inscribed with a dis 
tinguished name, arrested the Astrolo 
gers attention. 

" Ha ha ! This fellow is a man 
of fashion, a buck of Chesnut street, 
and and a Colonel ! He lives / 
know how the fashionables who 
follow in his wake don t dream of his 
means of livelihood. He has conv- 
mitted a crime an astounding crime 

wants to know whether his asso- 



THE ASTROLOGER.. 



ciate will betray him? I told him he 
would. The Colonel laughed at me, 
although he paid for the knowledge. 
In a week the fine, sweet, perfumed 
gentleman will be lodged at public ex 
pense " 

The Astrologer laid down the 
volume, and in a moment seemed to 
have fallen into the same train of 
thought, marked by the corrugated 
brow and glassy eye, tha* occupied 
his mind at the commencement of 
this scene. His lips moved tremulous 
ly, and his hands ever and anon were 
pressed against his wrinkled brow. 
Every moment his eye grew more 
glassy, and his mouth more fixedly 
compressed, and at last, leaning his 
elbows on the table with his hands 
nervously clasped, his gaze was fixed 
on the blank wall opposite, in a wild 
and vacant stare that betrayed the 
painful abstraction of his mind from 
all visible objects. 

And as he sat there enwrapt in 
thought, a footstep, inaudible to his 
ear, creaked on the stairway that as 
cended into the Astrologer s chamber 
from the room below, and in a mo 
ment, silent and unperceived, Gus Lor- 
rimer stood behind his chair, looking 
over his head, his very breath hushed 
and his hands upraised. 

"In all my history I remember 
nothing half so strange.- All is full of 
light except one point of the future, 
and that is dark as death!" Thus 
ran the murmured soliloquy of the 
Astrologer "And yet they will be 
here to-night here here both of 
them, or there s no truth in the stars. 
Lorrimer must beware " 

"Ha -ha ha " laughed a bold 



and manly voice " An old stage 
trick, that. You didn t hear my foot 
steps on the stairs did you ? Oh no 
oh no. Of course you didn t. 
Come come, my old boy, that clap- 
trap mention of my name, is rather 
too stale, even for a three-fipenny- bit * 
melo-drama " 

The sudden start which the Astro 
loger gave, the unaffected look of sur 
prise which flashed over his features 
at the sight of the gentleman of plea 
sure, convinced Lorrimer that he had 
done him rank injustice. 

"Sit down, sir I have much to 
say to you " said the Astrologer, in 
a voice strikingly contrasted with his 
usual tone, it was so deep, so full and 
so calmly deliberate " Last Thurs 
day morning at this hour you gave 
me the day and hour of your birth. 
You wished me to cast your horo 
scope. You wished to know whether 
you would be successful in an enter- 
prise which you meditated. Am I cor 
rect in this ?" 

"You are, my old humbug that 
is my friend " replied Lorrimer, 
flinging himself into a seat. 

" Humbug ?" cried the other with a 
quiet sneer "You may alter your 
opinion after a-while, my young friend. 
Since last Thursday morning I have 
given the most careful attention to 
your horoscope. It is one of the most 
startling that ever I beheld. You were 
born under one of the most favorable 
aspects of the heavens, born, it would 
seem, but to succeed in all your 
wishes ; and yet your future fate is 
wrapt in some terrible mystery " 

" Like a kitten in a wet blanket, for 
instance ?" said Lorrimer, in the vain 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



endeavor, lo shake off a strange feel 
ing of awe, produced by the manner 
of the Astrologer. 

"This night I was occupied with 
your horoscope when a strange cir 
cumstance attracted my attention. 
Even while I was examining book 
after book, in the effort to see more 
clearly into your future, I discovered 
that you were making a new acquain 
tance at some festival, some wine- 
drinking or other affair of the kind. 
This new acquaintance is a man with 
a pale face, long dark hair and dark 

\eyes. So the stars tell me. Your fate 
and the fate of this young man are 
linked together till death. So the 
heavens tell me, and the heavens 
never lie." 

" Yes yes my friend, very 
good " replied Gustavus with a 
smile "Very good, my dear sir. 
Your conclusions are perfect your 
prophetic gift without reproach. But 
you forget one slight circumstance : 
I have made no new acquaintance to 
night! I have been at no wine-drink 
ing ! I have seen no interesting young 
man with a pale face and long dark 
hair" 

" Then my science is a lie !" ex 
claimed the Astrologer, with a puzzled 
look "The stars declare that this 
very night, you first came in contact 
with the man, whose fate henceforth is 
linked with your own. The future 
has a doom in store for one of ye. 
The stars do not tell me which shall 
feel the terror of the doom, but that it 
will be inflicted by one of ye upon the 
other, is certain " 

** Well, let us suppose, for the sake 
of argument, that I did meet this 



mysterious young man with long black 
hair. What follows?" 

"Three days ago, a young man, 
whose appearance corresponds with 
the indication given by the stars of the 
new acquaintance you were to make 
this very night, came to me and de 
sired me to cast his horoscope. The 
future of this young man, is as like 
yours as night is to-night. He too is 
threatened with a doom either to be 
suffered or inflicted. This doom will 
lower over his head within three days. 
At the hour of sunset on next Satur 
day Christmas Eve a terrible 
calamity will overtake him. At the 
same hour, and in the same manner, 
a terrible calamity will blacken your 
life forever. The same doubt prevails 
in both cases whether you will en 
dure this calamity in your own per- 
son, or be the means of inflicting its 
horrors on some other man, doomed 
and fated by the stars " 

" What connection has this young 
man with the { new acquaintance 
which you say I have formed to 
night ?" 

"1 suspect that this young man 
and your new acquaintance are one. 
If so, I warn you, by your soul, 
beware of him this stranger to you !" 

" And why beware of me?" said a 
calm and quiet voice at the shoulder 
of the Astrologer. 

As though a shell had burst in the 
centre of that quiet room, he started 
he trembled, and arose to his feet. 
Byrnewood, the young merchant, 
calm and silent, stood beside him. 

" I warn ye," he shrieked in a 
tone of wild excitement, with his grey 
eyes dilating and flashing beneath 






THE ASTROLOGER. 



2 






the woven eyebrows "I warn ye 
both beware of each other ! Let 
this meeting at my house be your last 
on earth, and ye are saved! Meet 
again, or pursue any adventure to 
gether, and ye are lost and lost for 
ever ! I tell ye, scornful men that ye 
are, that ask my science to aid you, 
and then mock its lessons, I tell ye, 
by the Living God who writes his 
will, in letters of fire on the wide scroll 
of the firmament, that in the hand of 
the dim Future is a Goblet steeped in 
the bitterness of death, and that goblet 
one or the other must drink, within 
three little days !" 

And striding wildly along the room, 
while Byrne wood stood awed, and 
even the cheek of Lorrimer grew 
pale, he gave free impulse to one of 
those wild deliriums of excitement 
peculiar to his long habits of abstrac 
tion and thought. The full truth, the 
terrible truth, seemed crowding on his 
brain, arrayed in various images of 
horror, and he shrieked forth his in 
terpretation of the future, in wild and 
broken sentences. 

" Young man, three days ago you 
sought to know the future. You had 
never spoken to the man who sits in 
yonder chair. I cast your horoscope 
I found your destiny like the des 
tiny of this man who affects to sneer 
at my science. My art availed me no 
fuither. I could not identify you with 
the man who first met Lorrimer this 
night, amid revelry and wine. Now 
I can supply the broken chain. You 
and his new-formed acquaintance are 
one. And now the light of the stars 
breaks more plainly on me within 
three days, one of you will die by the 
other * hand " 



Lorrimer slowly arose to his feet, 
as though the effort gave him pain. 
His cheek was pale, and beaded drops 
of sweat stood on his brow. His 
parted lips, his upraised hands and 
flashing eyes attested his interest in 
the astrologer s words. Meanwhile, 
starting suddenly aside, Byrnewood 
veiled his face in his hands, as his 
breast swelled and quivered witn sud 
den emotion. 

Stern and erect, in his plain white 
overcoat, untrjcked with gold or gems, 
stood the Astrologer, his tangled brown 
hair flung back from his brow, while, 
with his outstretched hand and flash 
ing eye, he spoke forth the fierce 
images of his brain. 

" Three days from this, as the sun 
goes down, on Christmas eve, one of 
you will die by the other s hand. As 
sure as there is a God in Heaven, his 
stars have spoken, and it will be so!" 

" What will be the manner of the 
death ?" exclaimed Lorrimer, in a 
low-toned voice, as he endeavored to 
subdue the sudden agitation inspired 
by the Astrologer s words, while 
Byrnewood raised his head and awaited 
the answer with evident interest. 

" There is the cloud and the mys 
tery " exclaimed the Astrologer, 
fixing his eye on vacancy, while his 
outstretched hand trembled like a leaf 
in the wind " The death will over 
take the doomed man on a river, and 
yet it will not be by water ; it will kill 
him by means of fire and yet he will 
not perish in the midst of flames " 

There was a dead pause for a single 
instant. There stood the Astrologer, 
his features working as with a con 
vulsive spasm, the light falling boldly 
over his slight figure and homely attire, 






THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



and there at his side, gazing in his 
face, stood Byrnewood, the .young 
merchant, silent as if a speil had fallen 
on him, while on the other side, Gus 
tavus Lorrimer, half recoiling, his 
brow woven in a frown, and his dark 
eyes flashing with a strange glance, 
seemed making a fearful effort to com 
mand his emotion, and dispel the gloom 
which the wierd prophecy had flung 
over his soul. 

"Pah! What fools we are! To 
stand here listening to the ravings 
a madman or a knave " cried 
Byrnewood, with a forced laugh, as 
he shook off the spell that seemed to 
bind him "What does he know o 
the future more than we? Eh? 
Lorrimer? Perhaps, sir, since you 
are so familiar with fate, destiny and 
all that, you can tell us the nature o 
the adventure on which Lorrimer is 
bound to-night ?" 

The Astrologer turned and looked 
upon him. There was something so 
calmly scornful in his glance, that 
Byrnewood averted his eyes. 

" The adventure is connected with 
the honor of an innocent woman " 
said the Astrologer "More than this 
I know not, save that a foul outrage 
will be done this very night. And 
hark ye sir either the heavens are 
false, or your future destiny hangs 
upon this adventure. Give up the ad 
venture at once, go back in your 
course, part from one another, part 
this moment never to meet again, and 
you will be saved. Advance and you 
are lost !" 

Lorrimer stood silent, thoughtful 
and pale as death. It becomes me not 
to look beyond the veil that hangs be 
tween the Vis ble and the Invisible, but 






it may be, that in the silent pause of; 
thought which the libertine s face mani 
fested, his soul received some indica 
tions of the future from the very 
throne of God. Men call these sudden 
shadows, presentiments ; to the eyes of 
angels they may be, but messages of 
warning spoken to the soul, in the 
spirit-tongues of those awful beings 
whose habitation is beyond the thres 
hold of time. What did Lorrimer be-" 
hold that he stood so silent, so pale, 
of! so thoughtful? Did Christmas Eve, 
and the River, and the Death, come 
terrible and shadow-like to his soul ? 
* Pshaw! Lorrimer you are not 

f| frightened by the preachings of this 
fortune-teller?" cried Byrnewood with 
a laugh and a sneer " You will not 
give up the girl ? Ha ha scared 

f by an owl ! Ha ha What would 
Petriken say ? Imagine the rich laugh 
of Mutchins ha ha Gus Lorri 
mer scared by an owl !** 

" Give up the girl ?* cried Lorri 
mer, with a blasphemus oath, that pro 
faned the name of the Saviour 
" Give up the girl? Never i She 
shall repose in my arms before dav- 
light! Heaven nor hell shall scare 
me back ! There s your money Mister 
Fortune Teller your croaking de 
serves the silver, the d 1 knows ! 

Come on Byrnewood let us away." 
" Wait till I pay the gentleman for 
our coffins " laughed Byrnewood, 
flinging some silver on the table 
See that they re ready by Saturday 
night, old boy? D ye mind? You 
are hand-in-glove with some respecta- 
i)le undertaker no doubt and can 
him our measure. Good bye 
old fellow good bye ! Now, Lorri 
mer, away " 



DORA LIVINGSTONE. 



29 



" Away, away to Monk-hall !" 
And in a moment they had disap 
peared down the stairway, and were 
passing through the lower room to 
ward the street. 

" On Christmas Eve, at the hour of 
sunset " shrieked the Astrologer, 
his features convulsed with anger, and 
his voice wild and piercing in its tones 
" One of you will die by the other s 
hand ! The winding sheet is woven, 
and the coffin made you are rush 
ing madly on your doom !" 



CHAPTER FIFTH. 

DORA LIVINGSTONE. 

IT was a nice cozy place, that old 
counting-house room, with its smoky 
walls, its cheerful coal-fire burning in 
the rusty grate, and its stained and 
blackened floor. A snug little room, 
illuminated by a gas-light, subdued to 
a shadowy and sleepy brilliancy, with 
the Merchant s Almanac and four or 
five old pictures scattered along the 
walls, an old oaken desk with im 
mense legs, all carved and curled into 
a thousand shapes, standing in one 
corner, and a massive door, whose 
glass window opened a mysterious 
view into the regions of the ware 
house, where casks of old cogniac lay, 
side by side, in lengthened rows, like 
jolly old fellows a* a party, as they 
whisper quietly to one another on the 
leading questions of the day. 

Seated in front of the coal fire, 
his legs elevated above his head, rest 
ing on the mantel-piece, a gentleman, 
of some twenty-fivs years, with his 



arms crossed and a pipe in his mouth, 
seemed engaged in an earnest endea 
vour to wrap himself up in a cloak of 
tobacco smoke, in order to prepare for 
a journey into the land of Nod, while 
the tumbler of punch standing on the 
small table at his elbow, showed that 
he was by no means opposed to that 
orthodox principle which recognizes 
the triple marriage of brandy, lemon 
and sugar, as a highly necessary ad 
dition to the creature comforts of the 
human being, in no way to be despised 
or neglected by thinking men. 

You would not have called this gen 
tleman well-proportioned, and yet his 
figure was long and slender, you could 
not have styled his dress eminently 
fashionable, and yet his frock coat was 
shaped of the finest black cloth, you 
would not have looked upon his face 
as the most handsome in the world, 
and yet it was a finely-marked counte- 
nance, with a decided, if not highly 
intellectual, expression. If the truth 
must be told, his coat, though fashion 
ed of the finest tloth, was made a lit 
tle too full in one place, a little too 
scant in another, and buttoned up. 
somewhat too high in the throat, for a 
gentleman whose ambition it was 
flourish on the southern side of 
nut street, amid the animate" As 
and silks of a fashionable r nade. 
And then the large bla ,ck, en 

circling his neck, wit 1 crumpled, 
hough snow-white collar, gave 

a harsh relief .4 countenance, 
while the ca^ .y-disposed wrist 
bands, crushes,, ack over the upturned 
cuffs of his coat, designated the man 
who went in for comfort, and flung 
p ashion to the haberdashers and dry 
goods clerks. 



THE MERCHANT S DAU-GHTER. 



full out 



As for his face, whenever the cur 
tain of tobacco smoke rolled aside, you 
oeheld, as I have said, a finely-marked 
countenance, with rather lank cheeks, 
a sharp aquiline nose, thin lips, biting 
and sarcastic in expression, a 
square chin, and eyes of the peculiar 
class, intensely dark and piercing in 
their glance, that remind you of a 
flame without heat, cold, glittering and 
snake-like. His forehead was high 
and bold, with long and lanky black 
hair falling back from its outlines, and 
resting, without love-lock or curl, in 
straight masses behind each ear. 

" Queer world this !" began our 
comfortable friend, falling into one of 
those broken soliloquies, generated by 
the pipe and the bowl, in which the 
stops are supplied by puffs of smoke, 
and the paragraph terminated by a sip 
of the punch " Don t know much 
about other worlds, but it strikes me 
that if a prize were offered somewhere 
by somebody, for the queerest world 
a-going, this world of ours might be 
rigged up nice, and sent in like a bit 
of show beef, as the premium queer 
world. No man smokes a cigar that 
ever tried a pipe, but an ass. I was 
a small boy once ragged little devil 
that Luke Harvey, who used to run 
about old Livingstone s importing 
warehouse. Indelicate little fellow : 
wore his ruffles out behind. Kicked 
and cuffed because he was poor 
served him ri^ht dammim. Old 
Liv. died young Albert took the 
store capital, cool one hundred 
thousand. Luke Harvey rose to a 
clerkship. Began to be a fine fellow 
well-dressed, and of course virtu 
ous. D d queer fellow, Luke. 
Last year taken into partnership along 



with a young fellow whose 
worth at least one hun. thou. c 
Firm now Livingstone, Harvey, Ac 
Co. Clever punch, that. Little too 
much lemon d d it, the sugar s 



" Queer thing, that ! Some weeks 
ago respectable old gentleman in white 
cravat and hump-back, came to count- 
ng house. Old fellow hailed from 
Charleston. Had rather a Jewish 
wang on his tongue. Presented Liv- 
ngstone a letter of credit drawn by a 
Charleston house on our firm. Letter 
from Grayson, Ballenger, & Co., for 
a cool hundred thousand. Old white 
cravat got it. D n that rat in the 
partition why can t he eat his 
victuals in quiet ? Two weeks since, 
news came that G. B. & Co. never 
gave such letter a forgery, a com 
plete swindle. Comfortable, that. Hot 
coals on one s bare skull, quite plea 
sant in comparison. Livingstone in 
New York been trying for a week 
to track up the villain. Must get new 
pipe to-morrow. Mem. get one with 
Judas Iscariot painted on the bowl 
Honest rogue, that. Went and hang 
ed himself after he sold his master. 
Wonder how full the town would be 
if all who have sold their God for 
gold would hang themselves ? Hooks 
in market house would rise. Bear 

queer fruit eh? D d good to- 

bacco. By the bye must go home. 
Another sip of the punch and I m off. 
Ha ha good idea that of the hand 
some Colonel ! Great buck, man of 
fashion and long-haired Apollo. Called 
here this evening to see me smelt 
like a civet cat. Must flourish his 
pocket-book before my eyes by way of 
a genteel brag. Dropped a letter from 



DORA LIVINGSTONE. 



a bundle of notes. Valuable letter tbat 
Wouldn t part with it for a cool thou 
sand rather think it will raise th< 
devil let me see " 

And laying down his pipe, Mr. Luke 
Harvey drew a neatly-folded billet- 
doux from an inside pocket of his 
coat, and holding it in the glare of the 
light perused its direction, which was 
written in a fair and delicate woman s 
hand. 

" Col. Fitz-Cowles United States 
Hotel " he murmured "good idea, 
Colonel, to drop such a letter out of 
your pocket-book. Won t trouble you 
none? Spose not ha, ha, ha 
d d good idea !" 

The idea appeared to tickle him 
immensely, for he chuckled in a deep, 
self-satisfied tone as he drew on his 
bearskin overcoat, and even while he 
extinguished the gas-light, and covered 
up the fire, his chuckle grew into a 
laugh, which deepened into a hearty 
guffaw, as striding through the dark 
warehouse, he gained the front door, 
and looked out into the deserted street. 

" Ha-ha-ha to drop such a dear 
creature s letter !" he laughed, lock 
ing the door of the warehouse 
" Wonder if it won t raise h 1 ? I 
toved a woman once. Luke, you were 

a d d fool that time. Jilted yes 

jilted. That s the word I believe? 
Maybe I won t have my revenge? 
Perhaps not very likely not " 

With this momentous letter, so 
carelessly dropped by the insinuating 
millionaire, Colonel Fitz-Cowles rest 
ing on his mind, and stirring his fea 
tures with frequent spasmodic attacks 
of laughter, our friend, Mr. H&rvey, 
pursued his way along Front street, 
and turning up Chesnut street, arrived 
3 



at the corner of Third, where he halt 
ed for a few moments in order to 
ascertain the difference in time, between 
his gold-repeater and the State House 
clock, which had just struck one. 

While thus engaged, intently peru 
sing the face of his watch by the light 
of the moon, a stout middle-aged gen 
tleman, wrapped up in a thick over 
coat, with a carpet bag in his hand, 
came striding rapidly across the street, 
and for a moment stood silent and 
unperceived at his shoulder. 

" Well Luke is the repeater right 
and the State House wrong ?" said a 
hearty cheerful voice, and the middle- 
aged gentleman laid his hand on Mr. 
Harvey s shoulder. 

" Ah-ha ! Mr. Livingstone ! Is that 
you ?" cried Luke, suddenly wheeling 
round, and gazing into the frank and 
manly countenance of the new-comer 

" When did you get back from New 
York?" 

" Just this moment arrived. I did 
not expect to return within a week 
from this time, and therefore come 
upon you by a little surprise. I wrote 
to Mrs. L. yesterday, telling her I 
would not be in town until the Christ 
mas holidays were over. She ll be 
rather surprised to see me, I suppose?" 

" Rather !" echoed Luke, drily. 

" Come Luke, take my arm, and 
.et s walk up toward my house. I 
rave much to say to you. In the first 
place have you any thing new ?" 

While Mr. Harvey is imparting his 
budget of news to the senior partner 
f the firm of Livingstone, Harvey & 
Co., as they stroll slowly along Ches 
nut street, we will make some few 
notes of his present appearance. 

Stout, muscular, and large-boned. 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



with x figure slightly inclining towards 
corpulence, Mr. Livingstone strode 
along the pavement with a firm and 
measured step, that attested all the 
matured strength and vigor peculiar 
to robust middle age. He was six 
feet high, with broad shoulders and 
muscular chest. His face was full, 
bold, and massive, rather bronzed in 
hue, and bearing some slight traces of 
the ravages of small -pox. Once or 
twice as he walked along, he lifted 
his hat from his face, and his fore 
head, rendered more conspicuous by 
some slight baldness, was exposed to 
view. It was high, and wide, and 
massive, bulging outward prominently 
in the region of the reflective organs, 
and faintly relieved by his short brown 
hair. His eyes, bold and large, of a 
.calm clear blue, were rendered strange 
ly expressive by the contrast of the 
jet-black eyebrows. His nose was 
firm and Roman in contour, his mouth 
marked by full and determined lips, 
his chin square and prominent, while 
the lengthened outline of the lower 
jaw, from the chin to the ear, gave 
his countenance an expression of in 
flexible resolution. In short, it was 
the face of a man, whose mind, great 
in resources, had only found room for 
the display of its tamest powers, in 
enlarged mercantile operations, while 
its dark and desperate elements, from 
the want of adversity, revenge or hate 
to rouse them into action, had lain still 
and dormant for some twenty long 
years of active life. He never dream 
ed himself that he carried a hidden 
hell within his soul. 
[ Had this man been born poor, it is 
probable that in his attempt to rise, 
the grini hand of want would have 



dragged from their lurking-places, 
these dark and fearful elements of his 
being. But wealth had lapped him at. 
his birth, smiled on him in his youth, 
walked by him through life, and the 
moment for the trial of all his powers 
had never happened. He was a fine 
man, a noble merchant, and a good 
citizen we but repeat the stereo 
typed phrases of the town and yet, 
quiet and close, near the heart of this 
cheerful-faced man, lay a sleeping 
devil, who had been dozing away 
there all his life, and only waiting the 
call of destiny to spring into terrible 
action, and rend that manly bosom 
with his fangs. 

" Have you heard any news of the 
forger?" asked Luke Harvey, when 
he had delivered his budget of news 
" Any intelligence of the respectable 
gentleman in the white cravat and 
hump-back?" 

" He played the same game in New 
York that he played in our city. 
Wherever I went, I heard nothing but 
Mr. Ellis Mortimer, of Charleston, 
bought goods to a large amount here, 
on the strength of a letter of credit, 
drawn on your house by Grayson, 
Ballenger, & Co., or that < Mr. Mor 
timer bought goods to a large amount 
in such-and-such a-store, backed, by 
the same letter of credit No less 
than twelve wholesale houses gave 
him credit to an almost unlimited ex 
tent. In all cases the goods were 
despatched to the various auctions and 
sold at half-cost, while Mr. Ellis Mor 
timer pocketed the cash " 

" And you have no traces of this 
prince of swindlers ?" 

" None ! all the police in New York 
have been raising heaven-and-earth to 



DORA LlVINGSTONfc. 



catch him for this week past, but with 
out success. At last I have come to 
the conclus on that he is lurking about 
this city, with the respectable sum of 
two hundred thousand dollars in his 
possession. I am half-inclined to be 
lieve that he is not alone in this busi 
ness there may be a combination 
of scoundrels concerned in the affair. 
To-morrow the police shall ransack 
every hiding-hole and cranny in the 
city. My friend, Col. Fitz-Cowles 
gave me some valuable suggestions 
before I left for New York I will 
ask his advice, in regard to the matter, 
the first thing in the morning " 

" Very fine man, that Col. Fitz- 
Cowles " observed Luke, as they 
turned down Fourth street " Splen 
did fellow. Dresses well gives 
capital terrapin suppers at the United 
States inoculates all the bucks about 
town with his style of hat. Capital 
fellow Son of an English Earl 
ain t he, Mr. Livingstone ?" 

So I have understood " replied 
Mr. Livingstone, not exactly liking the 
quiet sneer which lurked under the 
innocent manner of his partner "a 
least so it is rumored " 

" Got lots of money a millionaire 
no end to his wealth. By the bye, 
where the d 1 did he come from ? 



Tsn t he a Southern planter with acres 
of niggers and prairies of cotton ?" 

" Luke, that s a very strange ques 
tion to ask me. You just now asked 
me, whether he was the son of an 
English Earl did nt you ?" 

" Believe I did. To tell the truth, 
I ve heard both stories about him, and 
some dozen more. An heir-apparent 
to an English Earldom, a rich planter 
from the South, the son of a Boston 



magnifique, the only child of a rich 
Mexican these things you will see, 
don t mix well. Who the devil is our 
long-haired friend, anyhow ?" 

"Tut-tut Luke this is all folly. 
You know that Col. Fitz-Cowles is re 
ceived in the best society, mingles with 
the ton of the Quaker City, is squired 
about by our judges and lawyers, and 
can always find scores of friends to 
help him spend his fortune " 



" Fine man, that Col. Fitz-Cowles. 
Very," said the other in his dry and 
biting tone. 

" Do you know, Luke, that I think 
the married men the happiest in the 
world ?" said Livingstone, drawing 
the arm of his partner closely within 
his own " Now look at my case for 
instance. A year ago I was a mise 
rable bachelor. The loss of one hun 
dred thousand dollars then, would have 
driven me frantic. Now I have a 
sweet young wife to cheer me, her 
smile welcomes me home ; the first 
tone of her voice, and my loss is for 
gotten !" 

The Merchant paused. His eye 
t ^glistened with a tear, and he felt his 
heart grow warm in his bosom, as the 
vision of his sweet young wife, noM 
so calmly sleeping on her solitary bed 
rose before him. He imagined he? 
smile of welcome as she beheld hio* 
suddenly appear by her bedside ; he- 
felt her arms so full and round twjiing 
fondly round his neck, and he tried to 

fancy but the attempt was vain - 

the luxury of a kiss from her red ripe 
lips. 

"You may think me uxorious, 
Luke " he resumed in his deep 
manly voice " But I do think that 
God never made a nobler woman than 



34 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



my Dora ! Look at the sacrifice she 
made for my sake ? Young, bloom 
ing, and but twenty summers old, she 
forgot the disparity of my years, and 
consented to share my bachelor s- 
home " 

" She is a noble woman " ob 
served Luke, and then he looked at 
the moon and whistled an air from 
the very select operatic spectacle of 
Bone Squash. " 

Noble in heart and soul!" ex 
claimed Livingstone " confess, Luke 
that we married men live more in an 
hour than you dull bachelors in a 
year " 

" Oh yes certainly ! You may 
well talk when you have such a hand 
some wife ! Egad if I was nt afraid 
it would make you jealous I would 
say that Mrs. Livingstone has the 
most splendid form I ever beheld " 

There was a slight contortion of Mr. 
Harvey s upper lip as he spoke, which 
looked very much like a sneer. 

"And then her heart, Luke, her 
heart ! So noble, so good, so affec 
tionate ! I wish you could have seen 
her, where first I beheld her in a 
/small and meanly furnished apart 
ment, at the bed-side of a dying 
mother ! They were in reduced cir 
cumstances, for her father had died 
insolvent. He had been my father s 
friend, and I thought it my duty to 
visit the widowed mother and the 
orphan daughter. By-the-bye, Luke, 
I now remember that I saw you at 
their house in Wood street once 
did you know the family ?" 

" Miss Dora s father had been kind 
to me " said Luke in a quiet tone. 
There was a strange light in his dark 



eye as he spoke, and a lemarkable 
tremor on his lip. 

"Well, well, Luke here s my 
house exclaimed Mr. Livingstone, 
as they arrived in front of a lofly four 
storied mansion, situated in the aristo 
cratic square, as it is called, along 
south Fourth street. "It is lucky 1 
have my dead-latch key. I can enter 
without disturbing the servants. Come 
up stairs, into the front parlor with 
me, Luke ; I want to have a few more 
words with you about the forgery " 

They entered the door of the man 
sion, passed along a wide and roomy 
entry, ascended a richly carpeted 
staircase, and, traversing the entry in 
the second story, in a moment stood 
in the centre of the spacious parlor, 
fronting the street on the second floor. 
In another moment, Mr. Livingstone, 
by the aid of some Lucifer matches 
which he found on the mantle, lighted 
a small bed-lamp, standing amid the 
glittering volumes that were piled on 
the centre table. The dim light of the 
lamp flickering around the room, re 
vealed the various characteristics of 
an apartment furnished in a style of 
lavish magnificence. Above the man 
tle flashed an enormous mirror, on 
one side of the parlor was an inviting 
sofa, on the other a piano ; two splen 
did ottomans stood in front of the fire- 
ess hearth, and, curtains of splendid 
silk hung drooping heavily along the 
;hree lofly windows that looked into 
the street. In fine, the parlor was all 
that the upholsterer and cabinet 
maker combined could make it, a de- 
Dository of luxurious appointments and 
costly furniture. 

" Draw your seat near the centre 



DORA LIVINGSTONE. 



table, Luke " cried Mr. Livingstone, I sented his letter of credit ; it was cash- 
as he flung himself into a comfortable ted and we wrote to Grayson, Bal- 



rocking chair, and gazed around the 
room with an expression of quiet satis 
faction " Don t speak too loud, Luke, 
for Dora is sleeping in the next room. 
You know I want to take her by a 
little surprise eh, Luke ? She 
doesn t expect me from New York 
for a week yet I am the last person 
in the world she thinks to see to-night. 
Clearly so ha ha!" 

And the merchant chuckled gaily, 
rubbed his hands together, glanced at 
the folding doors that opened into the 
bed-chamber, where slept his bloom 
ing wife, and then turning round, look 
ed in the face of Luke Harvey with a 
smile, that seemed to say I can t 
help it if you bachelors are misera 
ble pity you, but can t help it. 

" It would be a pity to awaken Mrs. 
Livingstone " said Luke fixing his 
brilliant dark eye on the face of the 
senior partner, with a look so meaning 
and yet mysterious, that Mr. Living 
stone involuntarily averted his gaze 
"A very great pity. By the bye, 
with regard to the forgery " 

"Let me recapitulate the facts. 
Some weeks ago we received a letter 
from the respectable house of Grayson, 
Ballenger, & Co., Charleston, stating 
that they had made a large purchase 
in cotton from a rich planter Mr. 
Ellis Mortimer, who, in a week or so, 
would visit Philadelphia, with a letter 
of credit on our house for one hundred 
thousand dollars. They gave us this 



lenger, & Co., announcing the fact " 
" They returned the agreeable an 
swer that Mr. Ellis Mortimer had not 
yet left Charleston for Philadelphia, 
but had altered his intention and wag 
about to sail for London. That the 
gentleman in the white cravat and 
hump-back was an impostor, and the 
letter of credit a forgery. There 
was considerable mystery in the al- 
fair ; for instance, how did the impos 
tor gain all the necessary information 
with regard to Mr. Mortimer s visit, 
how did he acquire a knowledge of the 
signature of the Charleston house?" 

" Listen and I will tell you. Last 
week, in New York, I received a let 
ter from the Charleston house an 
nouncing these additional facts. It 
appears that in the beginning of fall 
they received a letter from a Mr. Al 
bert Hazelton Munroe, representing 
himself as a rich planter in Wain- 
bridge, South Carolina. He had a 
large amount of cotton to sell, and 
would like to procure advances on it 
from the Charleston house. They 
wrote him an answer to his letter, ask 
ing the quality of the cotton, and so 
forth, and soliciting an interview with 
Mr. Munroe when he visited Charles 
ton. In the beginning of November 
Mr. Munroe, a dark-complexioned 
man, dressed like a careless country 
squire, entered their store for the first 
time, and commenced a series of ne 
gotiations about his cotton, which 



intimation in order that we might be ( had resulted in nothing, when another 



prepared to cash the letter of credit at 
eight. Well, in a week a gentleman 
of respectable exterior appeared> stated 
that he was Mr. Ellis Mortimer, pre- 



planter, Mr. Ellis Mortimer, appeared 
in the scene, sold his cotton, and re 
quested the letter of credit on our 
house. Mr. Munroe was in the store 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



every day was a jolly unpretend 
ing fellow familiar with all the 
clerks and on intimate terms with 
Messrs. Grayson, Ballenger, & Co. 
The letter written to our house, inti 
mating the intended visit of Mr. Mor 
timer to this city, had been very care 
lessly left open for a few moments on 
the counting house desk, and Mr. 
Munroe was observed glancing over 
its contents by one of the clerks. The 
day after that letter had been despatch 
ed to Philadelphia, Mr. Albert H. 
Munroe suddenly disappeared, and 
had not been heard of since. The 
Charleston house suspect him of the 
whole forgery in all its details " 

" Very likely. He saw the letter 
on the counter forged the letter of 
credit and despatched his accom 
plice to Philadelphia without delay " 
* " Now for the consequences of this 
forgery. On Monday morning next 
we have an engagement of one hun 
dred thousand dollars to meet, which, 
under present circumstances, may 
plunge our house into the vortex of 
bankruptcy. Unless this impostor is 
* discovered, unless his connection with 
this Munroe is clearly ascertained be 
fore next Monday, I must look for 
ward to that day as one of the greatest 
danger to our house. You see our po 
sition, Luke?" 

"Yes, yes " answered Luke, as 
he arose, and, advancing, gazed fixed 
ly into the face of Mr. Livingstone 
" I see our position, and I see your 
position in more respects than one " 

" Confound the thing, man, how 
you stare in my face. Do you see 
anything peculiar about my counte 
nance, that you peruse it so attentive 
ly?" 



" Ha - - ha " cried Luke, with a 
hysterical laugh "Ha ha! No 
thing but horns. Horns, sir, I 
say horns. A. fine branching pair ! 
Ha ha Way damn it, Living 
stone, you won t tf. able to enter the 
church door, next Sunday, without 
stooping those horns are so d d 
large !" 

Livingstone looked at him with a 
face of blank wonder. He evidently 
supposed that Luke had been seized 
with sudden madness. To see a man 
who is your familiar friend and part 
ner, abruptly break off a conversation 
on matters of the most importance, 
and stare vacantly in your face as he 
compliments you on some fancied re 
semblance which you bear to a full- 
grown stag, is, it must be confessed, 
a spectacle somewhat unfrequent in 
this world of ours, and rather adapted 
to excite a feeling of astonishment 
whenever it happens. 

"Mr. Harvey are you mad?" 
asked Livingstone, in a calm deliberate 
tone. 

Harvey slowly leaned forward and 
brought his face so near Livingstone s 
that the latter could feel his breath on 
his cheek. He applied his mouth to 
the ear of the senior partner, and 
whispered a single word. 

When a soldier, in battle, receives 
a bullet directly in the heart, he springs 
in the air with one convulsive spasm, 
flings his arms aloft and utters a 
groan that thrills the man who hears 
it with a horroi never to be forgotten. 
With that same convulsive movement, 
with that same deep groan of horror 
and anguish Livingstone, the mer 
chant, sprang to his feet, and confront 
ed the utterer of that single word. 



DORA LIVINGSTONE. 



4 Harvey " he said, in a low tone, 
mJ with white and trembling lips, 
while his calm blue eye flashed with 
that deep glance of excitement, most 
terrible when visible in a calm blue 
eye " Harvey, you had better never 
been born, than utter that word again. 
To trifle with a thing of this kind is 
worse than death. Harvey, I advise 
you to leave me I am losing all 
command of myself there is a voice 
within me tempting me to murder you 
for God s sake quit my sight " 

Harvey looked in his face, fearless 
and undaunted, though his snake-like 
eye blazed like a coal of fire, and his 
thin lips quivered as with the death 
Bpasm. 

" Cuckold!" he shrieked in a hiss- 
* ing voice, with a wild hysterical laugh. 

Livingstone started back aghast. 
The purple veins stood out like cords 
on his bronzed forehead, and his right 
hand trembled like a leaf as it was 
thrust within the breast of his coat. 
.His blue eye great God! how glassy 
it had grown was fixed upon the 
form of Luke Harvey as if meditating 
where to strike. 

"To the bedchamber " shrieked 
Luke. " If she is there, I am a liar 
and a dog, and deserve to die. Cuck 
old, I say, and will prove it to the 
bedchamber !" 

And to the bedchamber with an even 
stride, though his massive form quiver 
ed like an oak shaken by the hurri 
cane, strode the merchant. The fold 
ing door slid back he had disap 
peared into the bedchamber. 

There was silence for a single in 
stant, like the silence m the graveyard, 
between the last word of the prayer, 



and the first rattling sound of the clods 
upon the coffin. 

In a moment Livingstone again 
strode into the parlor. His face was 
the hue of ashes. You could see that 
the struggle at work within his heart 
was like the agony of the strong man 
wrestling with death. This struggle 
was tenfold more terrible than death- 
death in its vilest form. It forced the 
big beaded drops of sweat out from 
the corded veins on his brow, it drove 
the blood from his face, leaving a 
black and discolored streak beneath 
each eye. 

" She is not there " he said, 
taking Luke by the hand, which he 
wrung with an iron grasp, and mur 
mured again . " She is not there *\ 

"False to her husband s bed and 
honor " exclaimed Luke, the agita 
tion which had convulsed his face, 
subsiding into a look of heart-wrung 
compassion, as he looked upon the 
terrible results of his disclosure 
" False as hell, and vile as false !" 

An object on the centre table, half 
concealed by the bed-lamp arrested 
the husband s attention. He thrust 
aside the lamp and beheld a note, ad 
dressed to himself, in Mrs. Living 
stone s hand. 

With a trembling hand the merchant 
tore the note open, and while Luke 
stood fixedly regarding him, perused 
its contents. 

And as he read, the blood came 
back to his cheeks, the glance to his 
eyes, and his brow reddened over with 
one burning flush of indignation. 

" Liar and dog !" he shouted, in 
tones hoarse with rage, as he grasped 
Luke Harv jr by the throat with 9 



38 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



sudden movement " Your lie was 
well coined, but look here ! Ha ha 
" and he shook Luke to and fro like 
a broken reed " Here is my wife s 
letter. Here, sir, look at it, and I ll 
fbrce you to eat your own foul words. 
Here, expecting that I might suddenly 
return from New York, my wife has 
written down that she would be absent 
from home to-night. A sick friend, 
a school-day companion, now reduced 
to widowhood and penury, solicited 
her company by her dying bed, and 
my wife could not refuse. Read, sir 
oh read!" 

" Take your hand from my throat 
or I ll do you a mischief " mur 
mured Luke, in a choaking voice as 
he grew black in the face. " I will, 
by God " 

"Read sir oh read!" shouted 
Livingstone, as he forced Luke into a 
chair and thrust the letter into his 
hands " Read, sir, and then crawl 
from this room like a vile dog as you 
are. To-morrow I will settle with 
you " 

Luke sank in the chair, took the 
letter, and with a pale face, varied by 
a crimson spot on each cheek, he be 
gan to read, while Livingstone, tower 
ing and erect, stood regarding him 
with a look of incarnate scorn. 

It was observable that while Luke 
perused the letter, his head dropped 
slowly down as though in the endea 
vor to see more clearly, and his un 
occupied hand was suddenly thrust 
within the breast of his overcoat. 

" That is a very good letter. Well 
written, and she minds her stops " 
exclaimed Luke calmly, as he handed 
the letter back to Mr. Livingstone 
"Quite an effort of composition. I 



didn t think Dora had so mu<,h 
tact" 

The merchant was thunderstruck 
with the composure exhibited by tho 
slanderer and the liar. He glanced 
over Luke s features with a quick 
nervous glance, and then looked at 
the letter which he held in his hand. 

" Ha ! This is not the same letter !" 
he shouted, in tones of mingled rage 
and wonder " This letter is address 
ed to Col. Fitz-Cowles " 

"It was dropped in the counting 
house by the Colonel this evening " 
said Luke, with the air of a man who 
was prepared for any hazard " The 
Colonel is a very fine man. A favorite 
with the fair sex. Read it Oh 
read" 

With a look of wonder Mr. Living, 
stone opened the letter. There was a 
quivering start hi his whole frame, 
when he first observed the hand-writ- 
ing. 

But as he went on, drinking in word 
after word, his countenance, so full of 
meaning and expression, was like a 
mirror, in which different faces are 
seen, one after another, by sudden 
transition. At first his face grew crim 
son, then it was pale as death in an 
instant. Then his lips dropped apart } 
and his eyes were covered with a 
glassy film. Then a deep wrinkle 
shot upward between his brows, and 
then, black and ghastly, the circles of 
discolored flesh were visible beneath 
each eye. The quivering nostrils 
the trembling hands the heaving 
chest die man ever die with a strug 
gle terrible as this ? 

He sank heavily into a chair, and 
crushing the letter between his fingers, 
buried his fice in his hands. 



DORA LIVINGSTONE. 



"Oh my God " he groaned 
" Oh my God and I loved her so ! 

And then between the very fingers 
convulsively clutching the fatal letter, 
there fell large and scalding tears, 
drop by drop, pouring heavily, like 
the first tokens of a coming thunder 
bolt, on a summer day. 

Luke Harvey arose, and strode hur- 
xiedly along the floor. The sight was 
too much for him to, bear. And yet 
as he turned away he heard the groans 
of the strong man in his agony, and 
the heart- wrung words came, like 
the voice of the dying, to his ear 

" Oh my God, oh my God, and I 
loved her so !" 

When Luke again turned and gazed 
upon the betrayed husband, he beheld 
a sight that filled him with unutterable 
horror. 

There, as he sat, his face buried in 
x his hands, his head bowed on his 
breast, his brow was partly exposed 
to the glare of the lamp-beams, and 
all around that brow, amid the locks 
of his dark brown hair, were streaks 
of hoary white. The hair of the mer 
chant had withered at the root. The 
blow was so sudden, so blighting, and 
so terrible, that even his strong mind 
reeled, his brain tottered, and in the 
effort to command his reason, his hair 
grew white with agony.* 

"Would to God I had not told 
him " murmured Luke " I knew 
rot that he loved her so I knew not 
and yet ha, ha, / loved her 
once " 

" Luke my friend " said Liv 
ingstone in a tremulous voice as he 



* This is a fact, established by the evidence 
of a medical gentlerrian of the first reputation. 



raised his face "Know you anything 
of the place named in the let 
ter?" 

" I do and will lead you there " 
answered Luke, his face resuming its 
original expression of agitation 
" Come !" he cried, in a husky voice, 
as olden-time memories seemed striv 
ing at his heart " Come !" 

" Can you gain me access to the 
house to the the room ?" 

" Did I not track them thither last 
night ? Come /" 

The merchant slowly rose and took 
a pair of pistols from his carpet bag. 
They were small and convenient 
travelling pistols, mounted hi silver, 
with those noiseless patent triggers 
that emit no clicking sound by way 
of warning. He inspected the percus 
sion caps, and sounded each pistol 
barrel. 

"Silent and sure " muttered 
Luke " They are each loaded with 
a single ball." 

"Which way do you lead? To 
the southern part of the city ?" 

" To Southwark " answered 
Luke, leading the way from the par- 
or " To the rookery, to the den, to 
;he pest-house " 

In a moment they stood upon the 
door step of the merchant s princely 
mansion, the vivid light of the Decem 
ber moon, imparting a ghastly hue to 
Livingstone s face, with the glassy 
eyes, rendered more fearful by the dis 
colored circles of flesh beneath, tho 
furrowed brow, and the white lips, all 
fixed in an expression stern and reso- 
ute as death. 

Luke flung his hand to the south, 
and his dark impenetrable eyes shone 
with meaning. The merchant placed 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



his partner s arm within his own, and 
they hurried down Fourth street with 
a single word from Luke 
" To Monk-hall !" 



CHAPTER SIXTH. 

MONK-HALL.* 

STBANGE traditions have come 
down to our time, in relation to a 
massive edifice, which, long before 
the Revolution, stood in the centre of 
an extensive garden, surrounded by a 
brick wall, and encircled by a deep 
grove of horse-chesnut and beechen 
trees. This edifice was located on the 
out-skirts of the southern part of the 
city, and the garden overspread some 
acres, occupying a space full as large 
as a modern square. 

This mansion, but rarely seen by 
intrusive eyes, had been originally 
erected by a wealthy foreigner, some 
time previous to the Revolution. Who 
this foreigner was, his name or his 
history, has not been recorded by tra 
dition ; but his mansion, in its general 
construction and details, indicated a 
mind rendered whimsical and capri 
cious by excessive wealth. 

The front of the mansion, cne plain 
mass of black and red brick, disposed 
like the alternate colors of n chess 
board, looked towards the south. A 
massive hall-door, defended by heavy 
pillars, and surmounted by an intricate 
cornice, all carved and sculptured into 
hideous satyr-faces ; three ranges of 



* No reader who wishes to understand this 
itory in all ts details will fail to peruse this 
tkapte\ 



deep square windows, with cumbrous 
sash frames and small panes of glass ; 
a deep and sloping roof, elaborate 
with ornaments of painted wood along 
the eaves, and rising into a gabled 
peak directly over the hall-door, while 
jits outlines were varied by rows of 
substantial chimneys, fashioned into 
strange and uncouth shapes, all 
combined, (produced a general impres 
sion of ease and grandeur that was 
highly effective in awing the spirits of 
any of the simple citizens^ who might 
obtain a casual glance of the house 
through the long avenue of trees ex 
tending from the garden gate. 

This impression of awe was some 
what deepened by various rumors that 
obtained through the southern part of 
the Quaker City. It was said that 
the wealthy proprietor, not satisfied 
with building a fine house with three 
stories above ground, had also con 
structed three stories of spacious 
chambers below the level of the 
earth. This was calculated to stir 
the curiosity and perhaps the scandal 
of the town, and as a matter of course 
strange rumors began to prevail about 
midnight orgies held by the godless 
proprietor in his subterranean apart 
ments, where wine was drunken with 
out stint, and beauty ruined without 
remorse. Veiled figures had beer 
seen passing through the garden gate 
after night, and men were not wanting 
to swear that these figures, in dark 
robes and sweeping veils, were pretty 
damsels with neat ankles and soft 
eyes. 

As time passed on, the rumors 
grew and the mystery deepened. 
The neatly-constructed stable at the 
end of the garden was said to be con 



MONK-HALL. 



41 



nee ted with the house, some hundred 
yards distant, by a subterranean pas 
sage. The two wings, branching out 
at either extremity of the rear of the 
mansion, looked down upon a court 
yard, separated by a light wicket 
fence from the garden walks. The 
court-yard, overarched by an awning 
in summer time, was said to be the 
scene of splendid festivals to which 
the grandees of the city were invited. 
From the western wing of the man 
sion arose a square lanthern-like 
structure, which the gossips called a 
tower, and hinted sagely of witchcraft 
and devildom whenever it was named. 
They called the proprietor, a libertine, 
a gourmand, an astrologer and a 
wizard. He feasted in the day and he 
consulted his friend, the Devil, at 
night. He drank wine at all times, 
and betrayed innocence on every oc 
casion. In short the seclusion of the 
mansion, its singular structure, its 
wall of brick and its grove of impene 
trable trees, gave rise to all sorts of 
stories, and the proprietor has come 
down to our time with a decidedly bad 
character, although it is more than 
likely that he was nothing but a 
wealthy Englishman, whimsical and 
eccentric, the boon-companion and 
friend of Governor Evans, the rollick 
ing Chief Magistrate of the Province. 

Although tradition has not preserved 
the name of the mysterious individual 
yet the title of his singular mansion, 
is still on record. 

It was called Monk-hall. 

There are conflicting traditions 
which assert that this title owed its 
origin to other sources, A Catholic 
Priest occupied the mansion after the 
original proprietoi went home to his 



native land, or slid into his grave ; it 
was occupied as a Nunnery, as a 
Monastary, or as a resort for the Sisters 
of Charity ; the mass had been said 
within its walls, its subterranean 
chambers converted into cells, its 
tower transformed into an oratory cf 
prayer such are the dim legends 
which were rife some forty years ago, 
concerning Monk-hall, long after the 
city, in its southern march, had cut 
down the trees, overturned the wall, 
levelled the garden into building lots 
and divided it by streets and alleys 
into a dozen triangles and squares. 

Some of these legends, so vague 
and so conflicting, are still preserved 
in the memories of aged men and 
white-haired matrons, who will sit by 
the hour and describe the gradual 
change which time and improvement, 
those twin desolators of the beautiful, 
had accomplished with Monk-hall. 

Soon after the Revolution, fine brick 
buildings began to spring up along the 
streets which surrounded the garden, 
while the alleys traversing its area, 
grew lively with long lines of frame 
houses, variously fashioned and paint 
ed, whose denizens awoke the echoes 
of the place with the sound of the 
hammer and the grating of the saw. 
Time passed on, and the distinctive 
features of the old mansion and garden 
were utterly changed. Could the old 
proprietor have risen from his grave, 
and desired to pay another visit to his 
friend, the Devil, in the subterranean 
chambers of his former home, he 
would have had, to say the least of it, a 
devil of a time in finding the way. 
Where the old brick wall had stood 
he would have found long rows of 
dwelling houses, some four storied. 



42 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 















some three or one, some brick, 
some frame, a few pebble-dashed, and 
all alive with inhabitants. 

In his attempt to find the Hall, he 
would have had to wind up a narrow 
alley, turn down a court, strike up an 
avenue, which it would take some 
knowledge of municipal geography to 
navigate. At last, emerging into a nar 
row street where four alleys crossed, 
he would behold his magnificent man 
sion of Monk-hall with a printing 
office on one side and a stereotype 
foundry on the other, while on the 
opposite side of the way, a mass of 
. miserable frame houses seemed about 
to commit suicide and fling themselves 
madly into the gutter, and in the dis 
tance a long line of dwellings, offices, 
and factories, looming in broken per 
spective, looked as if they wanted to 
shake hands across the narrow street. 
The southern front of the house alas, 
how changed alone is visible. The 
shutters on one side of the hall-door are 
nailed up and hermetically closed, 
while, on the other, shutters within the 
glasses bar out the light of day. The 
semi-circular window in the centre 
of the gabled-peak has been built up 
with brick, yet our good friend would 
find the tower on the western wing in 
tolerable good preservation. The sta 
ble one hundred yards distant from 
Monk-hall what has become of it ? 
Perhaps it is pulled down, or it may 
be that a splendid dwelling towers in 
its place? It is still in existence, 
standing amid the edifices of a busy 
street, its walls old and tottering, its 
ancient stable-floor turned into a bulk 
window, surmounted by the golden 
balls of a Pawnbroker, while within its 
precincts, rooms furnished for house- 






hold use supply the place of the stalls 
of the olden-time. Does the subter 
ranean passage still exist? Future 
pages of our story may possibly an 
swer the question. 

Could our ancient and ghostly pro 
prietor, glide into the tenements ad 
joining Monk-hall, and ask^the me 
chanic or his wife, the printer or the 
factory marj to tell him the story of 
the strange old building, he would find 
that the most remarkable ignorance 
prevailed in regard to the structure, 
its origin and history. One man 
might tell him that it had been a fac 
tory, or a convent, or the Lord knows 
what, another might intimate that it 
had been a church, a third (and he 
belonged to the most numerous class) 
would reply in a surly tone that he 
knew nothing about the old brick nui 
sance, while in the breasts of one or 
two aged men and matrons, yet living 
in Southwark, would be discovered the 
only chronicles of the ancient struc 
ture now extant, the only records of 
its history or name. Did our spirit- 
friend glide over the threshold and 
enter the chambers of his home, his 
eye would, perhaps, behold scenes that 
rivalled, in vice and magnificence, 
anything that legend chronicled of the 
olden-time of Monk-hall, although its 
exterior was so desolate, and its out- 
side-door of green blinds varied by a 
big brass plate, bore the respectable 
and saintly name of "ABIJAH K. 
JONES," in immense letters, half in 
distinct with dirt and rust. 

Who this Abijah K. Jones was, no 
one knew, although the owner of the 
house, a good Christian, who had a 



pew in 



church, where he took 



the sacrament at least once a month, 



THE MONKS OF MONK-HALL. 



might have been able to tell with very 
little research. Yet what of that? 
Abijah K. Jones might have nightly 
entertained the infernal regions in his 
house, and not a word been said about 
it; because, as the pious landlord 
would observe, when cramming Abi- 
jahs rent-money into the same pocket- 
book that contained some tract-society 
receipts, t* Good tenant that ! pays 
his rent with the regularity of clock 
wor 



CHAPTER SEVENTH. 

THE MONKS OP MONK-HALL. 

THE moon was shining brightly 
over the face of the old mansion, while 
the opposite side of the alley lay in 
dim and heavy shadow. The light 
brown hue of the closed shutters af 
forded a vivid contrast to the surface 
of the front, which had the strikingly 
gloomy effect always produced by the 
intermixture of black and red brick, 
disposed like the colors of a chess 
board, in the structure of a mansion. 
The massive cornice above the hall- 
door, the heavy eaves of the roof, the 
gabled peak rising in the centre, and 
the cumbrous frames of the many 
windows, all stood out boldly in 
the moonlight, from the dismal relief 
of the building s front. 

The numerous chimneys with their 
fantastic shapes rose grimly in the 
moonlight, like a strange band of gob 
lin sentinels, perched of the roof to 
watch the mansion. The general ef 
fect was that of an ancient structure 
falling to decay, deserted by all inhab 
itants save the rats that gnawed the 



wainscot along the thick old walla. 
The door-plate that glittered on the 
faded door, half covered as it was with 
rust and verdigris, with its saintly name 
afforded the only signs of the actual 
occupation of Monk-Hall by human 
beings : in all other respects it looked 
so desolate, so time-worn, so like a 
mausoleum for old furniture, and 
crumbling tapestry, for high-backed 
mahogany chairs, gigantic bedsteads, 
and strange looking mirrors, veiled in 
the thick folds of the spider s web. 

Dim and indistinct, like the booming 
of a distant cannon, the sound of the 
State-House bell, thrilled along tho 
intricate maze of streets and alleys. 
It struck the hour of two. The mur 
mur of the last stroke of the bell, so 
dim and indistinct, was mingled with 
the echo of approaching footsteps, and 
in a moment two figures turned the 
corner of an alley that wound among 
the tangled labyrinth of avenues, and 
came hastening on toward the lonely 
mansion ; lonely even amid tenements 
and houses, gathered as thickly to 
gether as the cells in a bee-hive. 

" I say, Gus, what a devil of a way 
you ve led me!" cried one of the 
strangers, with a thick cloak wrapped 
round his limbs "up one alley and 
down another, around one street and 
through another, backwards and for 
wards, round this way and round that 
damme if I can tell which is north 
or south except by the moon !" 

" Hist ! my fellow don t mention 
names cardinal doctrine that on an 
affair of this kind " answered the 
tall figure, whose towering form was 
enveloped in a frogged overcoat 
" Remember, you pass in as my friend. 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



Wait a moment we ll see whether 
old Devil-Bug is awake." 

Ascending the granite steps of the 
mansion, he gave three distinct raps 
with his gold-headed cane, on the sur 
face of the brass -plate. In a moment 
the rattling of a heavy chain, and the 
sound of a bolt, slowly withdrawn, 
was heard within, and the door of the 
mansion, beyond the outside door of 
green blinds, receded about the width 
of an inch. 

" Who s there, a disturbin honest 
folks this hour o the night " said a 
voice, that came grumbling through 
the blinds of the green door, like the 
sound of a grindstone that hasn t been 
oiled for some years " What the devil 
you want ? Go about your business 
or I ll call the watch " 

" I say, Devil -Bug, what hour o th 
aight is it ?" exclaimed Lorrimer in a 
whispered tone. 

" Dinner time " replied the 
grindstone voice slightly oiled 
"Come in sir. Did nt know twas 
you. How the devil should 1 7 Come 
in" 

As the voice grunted this invitation, 
Lorrimer seized Byrnewood by the 
arm, and glided through the opened 
door. 

Byrnewood looked around in wonder, 
as he discovered that the front door 
opened into a small closet or room 
some ten feet square, the floor bare 
and uncarpeted, the ceiling darkened 
by smoke, while a large coal fire, 
burning in a rusty grate, afforded 
both light and heat to the apartment. 

The heat was close and stifling, 
while the light, but dim and flickering, 
iislosed the form of the door-keeper 
of Monk-hall, as he stood directly in 



ront of the grate, surrounded by lh 
details of his den. 

"This is my friend " said LOT- 
rimer in a meaning tone " You un 
derstand, Devil-Bug?" 

"Yes " grunted the grindstone 
voice " I understand. O course. But 
my name is Bijah K. Jones, if you 
slease, my pertikler friend. I never 
know d sich a individooal as Devii- 
Bug" 

It requires no great stretch of fancy 
o imagine that his Satanic majesty, 
once on a time, in a merry mood, 
created a huge insect, in order to test 
lis inventive powers. Certainly that 
nsect which it was quite natural to 
designate by the name of Devil-Bug 
stood in the full light of the grate, 
gazing steadfastly in Byrne wood s 
face. It was a strange thickset speci 
men of flesh and blood, with a short 
body, marked by immensely broad 
shoulders, long arms and thin destort- 
ed legs. The head of the creature 
was ludicrously large in proportion to 
the body. Long masses of stiff black 
hair fell tangled and matted over a 
forehead, protuberent to deformity. A 
flat nose with wide nostrils shooting 
out into each cheek like the smaller 
wings of an insect, an immense mouth 
whose heavy lips disclosed two long 
rows of bristling teeth, a pointed chin, 
blackened by a heavy beard, and mas 
sive eyebrows meeting over the nose, 
all furnished the details of a counte 
nance, not exactly calculated to in 
spire the most pleasant feelings in the 
world. One eye, small black and 
shapen like a bead, stared steadily in 
Byrnewood s face, while the other 
socket was empty, shrivelled and orb- 
less. The eyelids of the vacant socket 



THE MONKS OF MONK-HALL. 



were joined together like the opposing j buried all traces of a chin and discJos- 
edges of a curtain, while the other eye Jed two rows of teeth protruding like 
gained additional brilliancy and effect | the tusks of a wild boar. Musquito 



from the loss of its fellow member. 

The shoulders of the Devil-Bug, 
protruding in unsightly knobs, the 
wide chest, and the long arms with 
talon-like fingers, so vividly contrast 
ed with the thin and distorted legs, all 
attested that the remarkable strength 
of the man was located in the upper 
, part of his body. 

" Well, Abijah, are you satisfied ?" 
asked Lorrimer, as he perceived 
Byrnewood shrink back with disgust 
from the door-keeper s gaze " This 
gentleman. I say, is my friend V 

"So I s pose," grunted Abijah 
" Here, Musquito, mark this man 
here. Glow-worm, mark him, I say. 
This is Monk Gusty s friend. Can t 
you move quicker, you ugly devils?" 

From either side of the fire-place, 
as he spoke, emerged a tall Herculean 
negro, with a form of strength and 
sinews of iron. Moving slowly along 
the floor, from the darkness which 
had enshrouded their massive outlines, 
they stood silent and motionless gaz 
ing with look of stolid indifference 



upon 



the face of the new-comer. 



Byrnewood had started aside in disgust 
from the Devil-Bug, as he was styled 
in the slang of Monk-hall, but certainly 
(these additional insects, nestling in the 
Ky den of the other, were rather singular 
specimens of the glow-worm and mus- 
quito. Their attire was plain and 
simple. Each negro was dressed in 
coarse corduroy trowsers, and a flar 
ing red flannel shirt. The face of 
! Glow-worm was marked by a hideous 
flat nose, a receding forehead, and a 
wide mouth with immense lips that 



had the same flat nose, the same re 
ceding forehead, but his thick lips, 
tightly compressed, were drawn down 
on either side towards his jaw, present 
ing an outline something like the two 
sides of a triangle, while his sharp 
and pointed chin was in direct contrast 
to the long chinless jaw of the other. 
Their eyes, large, rolling and vacant, 
stared from bulging eyelids, that pro 
truded beyond the outline of the brows. 
[Altogether, each negro presented as 
hideous a picture of mere brute 
strength, linked with a form scarcely 
human, as the imaginatior of man 
might well conceive.J 

" This is Monk Gusty s friend " 
muttered Abijah, or Devil -Bug, as tho 
reader likes " Mark him, Musquito 
Mark him, Glow-worm, I say. 
Mind ye now this man don t leave 
the house except with Gusty ? D ye 
hear, ye black devils ?" 

Each negro growled assent. 

" Queer specimens of a Musquito 
and a Glow-worm, I say " laughed 
Byrnewood in the effort to smother his 
disgust Eh ? Lorrimer ?" 

" This way, my fellow " answer, 
ed the magnificent Gus, gently leading 
his friend through a small door, which 
led from the doorkeeper s closet 
" This way. Now for the club and 
then for the wager P 

Looking around in wonder, Byrne- 
wood discovered that they had passed 
into the hall of an old-time mansion, 
with the beams of the moon, falling 
from a skylight in the roof far above, 
down over the windings of a massive 
staircase. 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



" This is rather a strange place 
eh ? Gus?" whispered Byrnewood, as 
he gazed around the hall, and marked 
the ancient look of the place " why 
the d 1 don t they have a light 
those insects ha-ha whom we have 
just left !" 

" Secrecy my fellow secrecy ! 
Those are the police of Monk-Hall, 
certain to be at hand in case of a row. 
You see, the entire arrangements of 
this place may be explained in one 
word it is easy enough for a stranger 



ranean stairway, surrounded by the 
darkness of midnight, Byrnewood 
found it difficult to subdue a feeling of 
awe which began to spread like a 
shadow over his soul. This feeling it 
was not easy to analyze. It may 
have been a combination of feelings ; 
the consideration of the darkness and 
loneliness of the place, his almost 
entire ignorance of the handsome liber 
tine who was now leading him he 
knew not where; or perhaps the 
earnest words of the Astrologer, fraught 



that s you, my boy to find his with doom and death, came home to 



way in, but it would puzzle him like 
the devil to find his way out. That 
is, without assistance. Take my arm 
Byrnewood we must descend to the 
club room " 

" Descend ?" 

" Yes my fellow. Descend, for we 
hold our meetings one sory under 
ground. Its likely all the fellows 
or Monks, to speak in the slang of the 
club are now most royally drunk, 
so I can slide you in among them, 
without much notice. You can re 
main there while I go and prepare the 
bride ha ha ha ! the bride for 
your visit " 

Meanwhile, grasping Byrnewood by 
the arm, he had led the way along the 
hall, beyond the staircase, into the 
thick darkness, which rested upon this 
part of the place, unillumined by a ray 
of light. 

" Hold my arm, as tight as you 
can " he whispered " There is a 
staircase somewhere here. Softly 
softly now I have it. Tread with 
care, Byrnewood In a moment we 
will be in the midst of the Monks of 
Monk-Hall " 

And as they descended the subte?- 



his soul like a vivid presentiment, in 
that moment of uncertainty and gloom. 

" Don t you hear their shouts, my 
boy " whispered Lorrimer "Faith, 
they must be drunk as judges, every 
man of them! Why Byrnewood, 
you re as still as death " 

" To tell you the truth, Lorrimer, 
this place looks like the den of some 
old wizard it s so d d gloomy " 

" Here we are at the door : Now 
mark me, Byrnewood you must 
walk in the club-room, or Monk s room 
as they call it, directly at my back. 
While I salute the Monks of Monk- 
hall, you will slide into a vacant seat 
at the table, and mingle in the revelry 
of the place until I return * " 

Stooping through a narrow door, 
whose receding panels flung a blaze 
of light along the darkness of the pas 
sage, Lorrimer, with Byrnewood at 
his back, descended three wooden 
steps, that led from the door-sill to the 
floor, and in a moment, stood amid 
the revellers of Monk-hall. 

In a long, narrow room, lighted by 
the blaze of a large chandelier, with a 
low ceiling and a wide floor, covered 
with a double-range of carpets, around 



THE MONKS OF MONK-HALL. 



4? 



a table spread with the relics of their 
feast, were grouped the Monks of 
Monk-halU 

They hailed Lorrimer with a shout, 
and as they rore to greet him, Byrne- 
wood glided into a vacant arm-chair 
near the head of the table, and in a 
moment his companion had disappear 
ed. 

"I ll be with you in a moment, 
Monks of Monk-hall " he shouted 
as he glided through the narrow door 
"A little affair to settle up stairs 
you know me nice little girl ha- 
ha-ha " 

" Ha-ha-ha " echoed the band of 
revellers, raising their glasses merrily 
on high. 

Byrnewood glanced hurriedly 
around. The room, long and spa 
cious as it was, the floor covered with 
the most gorgeous carpeting, and the 
low ceiling, embellished with a faded 
painting in fresco, still wore an anti 
quated, not to say, dark and gloomy 
appearance. The wnll? ^rfi rnniTf^ 1 - 
eji_^_huge_^neJs_jD-wunaa^ in 
tricate with uncouth sculpturings of 
fawns and satyrs, and other hideous 
creations of classic mythology. At 
one end of the room, reaching from 
floor to ceiling, glared an immense 
mirror, framed in massive walnut, its 
glittering surface, reflecting the long 
festal board, with its encircling band 
of revellers. Inserted in the corres 
ponding panels of the wainscot, on 
either side of the small door, at the 
opposite end of the room, two large 
pictures, evidently the work of a 
master hand, indicated the mingled 
worship of the devotees of Monk-hall. 
In the picture on the right of the door, 
Bacchus, the jolly god of mirth and 

4 



wine, was represented rising from a 
festal -board, his brow wreathed in 
clustering grapes, while his hand 
swung aloft, a goblet filled with the 
purple blood of the grape. In the 
other painting, along a couch as dark 
as night, with A softened radiance 
falling over her uncovered form, lay a 
sleeping Venus, her full arms, twining 
above her head, while her lips were 
dropped apart, as though she murmur 
ed in her slumber. Straight and erect, 
behind the chair of the President or 
Abbot of the board, arose the effigy of 
a monk, whose long black robes fell 
drooping to the floor, while his cowl 
hung heavily over his brow, and his 
right hand raised on high a goblet of 
gold. From beneath the shadow of 
the falling cowl, glared a fleshless 
skeleton head, with the orbless eye- 
sockets, the cavity of the nose, and 
the long rows of grinning teeth, turned 
to a faint and ghastly crimson by the 
lampbeams. The hand that held the 
goblet on high, was a grisly skeleton 
hand ; the long and thin fingers of 
bone, twining firmly around the glit 
tering bowl. 

And over this scene, over the paint 
ings and the mirror, over the gloomy 
wainscot along the walls, and over the 
faces of the revellers with the Skeleton. 
Monk, grinning derision at their scene 
of bestial enjoyment, shone the red 
beams of the massive chandelier, the 
body and limbs of which were fashioned 
into the form of a grim Satyr, with a 
light flaring from his skull, a flame 
emerging from each eye, while his ex- 
tended hands flung streams of fire on 
either side, and his knees were huddled 
up against his breast. The design wa 
like a nightmare dream, so grotesque 



48 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



and lerrible, and it completed the 
strange and ghostly appearance of the 
room. 

Aound the long and narrow board, 
Btrown with the relics of the feast, 
which had evidently been some hours 
in progress, sate the Monks of Monk- 
hall, some thirty hi number, flinging 
their glasses on high, while the room 
echoed with their oaths and drunken 
shouts. Some lay with their heads 
thrown helplessly on the table, others 
were gazing round in sleepy drunken 
ness, others had fallen to the floor in 
a state of unconscious intoxication, 
while a few there were who still kept 
up the spirit of the feast, although 
their incoherent words and heavy eyes 
proclaimed that they too were fast ad 
vancing to that state of brutal inebriety, 
when strange-looking stars shine in 
the place of the lamps, when the bot 
tles dance and even tables perform the 
cracovienne, while all sorts of bee 
hives create a buzzing murmur in the 
air. 

And the Monks of Monk-hall 
who are they ? 

Grim- faced personages in long black 
robes and drooping cowls ? Stern old 
men with beads around their necks 
ind crucifix in hand? Blood-thirsty 
characters, perhaps, or black-browed 
"uffians, or wan-faced outcasts of so- 
tiety? 

Ah no, ah no! From the elo 
quent, the learned, and don t you 
laugh from the pious of the Quaker 
City, the old Skeleton-Monk had se 
lected the members of his band. Here 
were lawyers from the court, doctors 
from the school, and judges* from the 



* This of course alludes to Judges of dis 
tant country courts. 



bench. Here too, ruddy and round 
faced, sate a demure parson, wMose 
white hands and soft words, had made 
him the idol of his wealthy congre 
gation. Here was a puffy-faced Edi 
tor side by side with a Magazine Pro 
prietor; here were sleek-visaged trades 
men, with round faces and gouty hands, 
whose voices, new shouting the drink 
ing song had re-eghoed the prayer 
and the psalm in the aristocratic . 
church, not longer than a Sunday 
ago; here were solemn-faced mer 
chants, whose names were wont to 
figure largely in the records of Bible 
Societies, * Tract Societies and < Send 
Flannel-to-the-South-Sea-Islanders So 
cieties ;* here were reputable married 
men, with grown up children at col 
lege, and trustful wives sleeping 
quietly in their dreamless beds at 
home ; here were hopeful sons, clerks 
in wholesale stores, who raised the 
wine-glass on high with hands which, 
not three hours since, had been busy 
with the cash-book of the employer . 
here in fine were men of all clas 
ses, poets, authors, lawyers, judg 
es, doctors, merchants, gamblers, 
and this is no libel I hope one par- 
son, a fine red-faced parson, whose 
glowing face would have warmed a 
poor man on a cold day. Moderately 
drunk, or deeply drunk, or vilely 
drunk, all the members of the board 
who still maintained their arm-chairs, 
kept up a running fire of oaths, disjoint 
ed remarks, mingled with small talk 
very much broken, and snatches of 
bacchanalian songs, slightly improved 
by a peculiar chorus of hiccups. 

While Byrnewood, with a sleeping 
man on either side of him, gazed 
around in sober wonder, this was 



THE MONKS OF MONK-HALL. 



the fashion of ths conversation among 
the Monks of Monk-hall. 

" Judge I say, judge that last 
Charge o yours was capital " hic 
cupped a round-faced lawyer, leaning 
over the table "Touched on the 
viccjs of the day ha ha ! Dens 
of iniquity and holes of wickedness 
;ts very words ! exist in city, which 
want the strong arm of the law to up 
root and ex-ex d n the hard 
words exterminate them ! 

" Good my very words " 
replied the Judge, who sat gazing 
around with a smile of imbecile fatuity 
" Yet, Bellamy, not quite so good 
as your words, when your wife 
how this d d room swims found 
out your liason with the Actress ! Ha 

ha, gents too d d good that " 
" Ha ha ha " laughed some 

dozen of the company " let s hear it 

let s hear it " 

Why you see replied the 
Judge " Bellamy is so d d fat, (just 
keep them bottles from dancing about 
the table !) so very fat, that the i-i-idea 
of his writing a love-letter is rath- 
rather improbable. Nevertheless he 
did to a pretty actress, Madame De 
Flum and left it on his office table. 
His wife found it oh Lord what 
a scene ! ranted raved tore her 
hair. * My dear * said our fat 
friend, do be calm this is the copy 
of a letter in a breach of promise case, 
on which I am about to bring suit for 
a lady client. The mistake of 
the names is the fault of my clerk. 
Do oh do be calm. His wife 
swallowed the story clever story for 
a fat man very !" 

"JErieods and Brethren, what shall 
ye do to be saved ?" shouted the beefy - 



faced parson, in the long-diawh nasal 
tones peculiar to his pulpit or lecture- 
room " When we con-consider the 
wickedness of the age, when we re 
flect tha-that there are thousands da-i- 
ly and hou-r-ly going down to per-per- 
dition, should we not cry from the 
depths of our souls, like Jonah from 
the depths of the sea I say, give us 
the brandy, Mutchins !" 

" Gentlemen, allow me to read you 
a poem " muttered a personage, 
whose cheeks blushed from habitual 
kisses of the bottle, as he staggered 
from his chair, and endeavoured to 
stand erect " It s a poem on 
(what an unsteady floor this is hold 
it, Petriken, I say) on the Ten Com 
mandments. I ve dedicated it to our 
Rev-Reverend friend yonder. There s 
a touch in it, gentlemen if I may 
use the expression above ordinary 
butter-milk. A sweetness, a path- 
pathos, a mildness, a-a-vein, gentle 
men, of the strictest mo-ral-i-ty. I 
will read sonnet one Thou shalt 
not take the co-eternal name eh? 
Dammit ! This is a bill ! I ve left 
the sonnet at home " 

" Curse it how I ll cut this fellow 
up in my next Black-Mail !" murmur 
ed the puffy- faced editor, in a tone 
which he deemed inaudible to the poet 
" Unless he comes down handsome 
I ll give him a stinger, a real 
scorcher " 

" Will you, though ?" shouted the 
poet, turning round with a drunken 
stare, and aiming a blow at the half- 
stupid face of the editor " Take that 
you fungus you abortion you 
d d gleaner of a common sewer 
you " 

"Gentlemen, I con-consider myself 



50 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



grossly insulted " muttered the edi 
tor, as the poet s blow took effect on 
his wig and sent it spinning to the 
other end of the table " Is the Daily 
Black Mail come to this T 

Here he made a lunge at the author 
of the Ten Commandments, a Series 
of ^oiinets, and, joined in a fond em 
brace, they fell insensible to the floor. 

" Take that wig out of my plate " 
shouted a deep voice from the head of 
the table " Wigs, as a general thing, 
are not very nice with oysters, but 
that fellow s wig ugh ! Faugh !" 

Attracted by the sound of the voice, 
Byrnewood glanced towards the head 
of the table. There, straight and erect, 
sate the Abbot of the night, a gentle 
man elected by the fraternity to pre 
side over their feasts. He was a man 
of some thirty odd years, dressed in a 
suit of glossy black, with a form re 
markable for its combination of 
strength with symmetry. His face, 
long and dusky, lighted by the gleam 
of a dark eye, indicating the man whose 
whole life had been one series of plot, 
scheme, and intrigue, was relieved 
by heavy masses of long black hair 
resembling, in its texture, the mane of 
a horse which fell in curling locks 
to his shoulders. It needed not a 
second glance to inform Byrnewood 
that he beheld the hero of Chesnut 
street, the distinguished millionare, 
Col. Fitz-Cowles. The elegant cut 
of his dark vest, which gathered over 
his prominent chest and around his 
slender waist, with the nicety of a 
glove, the plain black scarf, fastened 
by a breast-pin of solid gold, the 
glossy black of his dress-coat, shapen 
of the best French cloth, all disclosed 
the idol of the tailors, the dream of 



the fashionable belles^ the envy of the 
dry gpods clerks, [Algernon Fitz- 
Cowles. He seemed, by far, the most 
sober man in the company. Every 
now and then Byrnewood beheld him 
glance anxiously toward the door as 
though he wished to escape from the 
room. And after every glance, as he 
beheld one Monk after another kissing 
the carpet, bottle in hand, the interest 
ing Colonel would join heartily in the 
drunken bout, raising his voice with 
the loudest, and emptying his glass with 
the most drunken. Yet, to the eye 
of Byrnewood, this looked more like 
a mere counterfeit of a drunkard s 
manner than the thing itself. It was 
evident that the handsome millionaire 
emptied his glass under the table. 

The revel now grew wild and 
furious. As bottle after bottle was 
consumed, so the actors in the scene 
began to appear, more and more, in 
their true characters. At last all dis 
guise seemed thrown aside, and each 
voice, joining in the chorus of disjoint 
ed remarks, indicated that its owner 
imagined himself amid the scenes of 
his daily life. 

" Gentlemen allow me to read 
you a tale a tale from the German 
on Transcendental Essences " cried 
Petriken, rising, for he too was there, 
forgetful, like Mutch ins, of his pro 
mise to Lorrimer "This, gents, is a 
tale for my next Western Hem.:" here 
his oyster-like eyes rolled ghastily 
"The Ladies Western Hem., forty- 
eight pages monthly offers fol 
lowing inducements two dollars " 
at this point of his handbill the gentlo 
man staggered wofully " Office No 
209 Drayman s Alley hurn-h 



THE MONKS OF MONK-HALL. 



51 



Mutchins what s your idea of soft 
crabs?" 

Here the literary gentleman fell 
heavily to the floor, mingled in the 
same hean that contained the poet and 
the wigless editor. In a moment he 
rose heavily to his feet, and staggered 
slowly to Mutchin s side. 

" Gentlemen of the jury, I charge 
you " began the Judge. 

" Your honor, I beg leave to open 
this case " interrupted the lawyer. 

" My friends and brethren," cried 
the parson " what shall ye do to be 
saved oh " 

"Hand us the brandy " shouted 
Mutchins. 

" Mutchy Mutchy I say " 
hiccupped Petriken " Rem-Rem-em- 
ber the gown and the prayer-book " 

" Silly we must take a wash- 
off " cried Mutchins, starting sud 
denly from his seat " The thing 
had slipped my memory this way, 
my parson ha, ha, ha " 

And taking Silly by the arm, he 
staggered from the room in company 
with the tow-haired gentleman. 

" Lord look down upon these thy 
children, and " continued the par 
son, who, like the others, appeared 
unconscious of the retreat of Petriken 
and his comrade. 

" Hand the oysters this way " 
remarked a mercantile gentleman, 
with a nose decorated by yellowish 
streaks from a mustard bottle. 

" Boys I tell you the fire s up this 
alley " cried another merchant 
ather an amateur in fires when sober 
" Here s the plug now then " 

" Gentlemen of the Grand Jury, I 
beg leave to tell you that the amount 
of sin committed m this place, in your 



very eyesight, cannot be tolerated by 
the court any longer. Dens of ini 
quity must be uprooted who th 
h 11 flung that celery stalk in my 
eye?" 

" Who soaked my cigar in cham 
pagne?" 

"Somebody s lit another chande 
lier" 

" Hand us the brandy " 

" Did you say I didn t put down 
my name for 4 one hundred, to the 
Tract Society ?" 

" No I didn t, but I do now" 

" Say it again, and I ll tie you up 
in a meal bag " 

" My friends " said the reverend 
gentleman, staggering to his feet 
" What is this I see confusion and 
drunkeness ? Is this a scene for the 
house of God ?" He glanced around 
with a look of sober reproof, and then 
suddenly exclaimed " No heeltaps 
but show your bottoms ha-ha-ha !" 

There was another person who re 
garded this scene of bestial mirth with 
the same cool glance as Byrnewood. 
He was a young man with a massive 
face, and a deep piercing brown eye. 
His figure was somewhat stout, his 
attire careless, and his entire appear 
ance disclosed the young Philadelphia 
lawyer. Changing his seat to Byrne- 
wood s vicinity, he entered into con 
versation with the young merchant, 
and after making some pointed remarks 
in regard to the various members of 
the company, he stated that he had 
been lured thither by Mutchins, who 
had fancied he might cheat him out of 
a snug sum at the roulette table, or ths 
faro-bank in the course of the night. 

" Roulette-table faro-bank ?" mtit 
tered Byrnewood, incredulously. 



ft? 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER 



"Why, my friend " cried the 
young lawyer, who gave his name as 
Boyd Merivale " Don t you know 
that this is one of the vilest rookeries 
f in the world If It unites in all its 
details the house-of-ill-fame, the club- 
II house, and the gambling hell.j Egad ! 
I well remember the first time I set 
my foot within its doors ! What I 

beheld then, I can never forget " 

" You have been here before, then ?" 
" Yes have I ! As I perceive you 
are unacquainted with the place, I will 
tell you my experience of 

A NIGHT IN MONK -HALL.* 

Six years ago, in 1836, on a foggy 
night in spring, at the hour of one 
o clock, I found myself reposing in 
one of the chambers of this mansion, 
on an old-fashioned bed, side by side 
with a girl, who, before her seduction, 
had resided in my native village. It 
was one o clock when I was aroused 
by a hushed sound, like the noise of a 
distant struggle. I awoke, started up 
in bed, and looked round. The room 
was entirely without light, save from 
the fire-place, where a few pieces of 
half-burned wood, emitted a dim and 
uncertain flame. Now it flashed up 
brightly, giving a strange lustre to the 
old furniture of the room, the high- 
backed mahogany chairs, the anti 
quated bureau, and the low ceiling, 
with heavy cornices around the walls. 
Again the flame died away and all 
was darkness. I listened intently. I 



* The reader will remember, that Merivale 
entered Monk-Hall for no licentious object. 
hit with the distinct purpose of discovering the 
ctreat of Western. This story, told in Mer- 
ivale s own words, is strictly true 



could hear no sound, save the breath 
ing of the girl who slept by my side. 
And as I listened, a sudden awe cama 
over me. True, I heard no noise, but 
that my sleep had been broken by a 
most appaling sound, I could not doubt. 
And the stories I had heard of Monk- 
hall came over me. Years before, in 
my native village, a wild rollicking 
fellow, Paul Western, Cashier of the 
ounty Bank, had indulged my fancy 
with strange stories of a brothel, situ 
ated in the outskirts of Philadelphia. 
Paul was a wild fellow, rather good 
looking, and went often to the city on 
business. He spoke of Monk-hall as 
a place hard to find, abounding in 
mysteries, and darkened by hideous 
crimes committed within its walls. It 
had three stories of chambers beneath 
the earth, as well as above. Each of 
these chambers was supplied with trap- 
doors, through the which the unsus 
pecting man might be flung by his 
murderer, without a moment s warn 
ing. There was but one range of 
rooms above the ground, where these 
trap-doors existed. From the garret 
to the first story, all in the same line, 
like the hatchways in a storehouse, 
sank this range of trap-doors, all care 
fully concealed by the manner in 
which the carpets were fixed. A 
secret spring in the wall of any one of 
these chambers, communicated with 
the spring hidden beneath the carpet. 
The spring in the wall might be so 
arranged, that a single footstep pressed 
on the spring, under the carpet, would 
open the trap-door, and plunge the 
victim headlong through the aperture. 
In such cases no man could stride 
across the floor without peril of hia 
life. Beneath the ground another 



THE MONKS OF MONK-HALL. 



range of trap-cbors were placed in the 
same manner, in the floors of three 
stories of the subterranean chambers. 
They plunged the victim God knows 
where ! With such arrangements for 
murder above and beneath the earth, 
might there not exist hideous pits or 
deep wells, far below the third story 
under ground, where the body of the 
victim would rot in darkness forever ? 
As I remembered these details, the 
connection between Paul Western, the 
cheerful bachelor, and Emily Walra} 
ven, the woman who was sleeping at 
my side, flashed over my mind. [The 

child of one of the first men of B , 

educated without regard to expense by 
the doating father,^with a mind singu 
larly masculine, and a tall queenly formj 
a face distinguished for its beauty and a 
manner remarkable for its ladylike ele 
gance] poor Emily had been seduced, 
some three years before, and soon 
after disappeared from the town. Her 
seducer no one knew, though from 
some hints dropped casually by my 
friend Paul, I judged that he at least 
could tell. Rumors came to the place, 
from time to time in relation to the 
beautiful but fallen girl. One rumor 
stated that she was now living as the 
mistress of a wealthy planter, who 
made his residence at times in Phila 
delphia. Another declared that she 
had become a common creature of the 
town, and this great God, how ter 
rible ! killed her poor father. The 
rumor flew round the village to-day 
next Sunday old Walraven was dead 
and buried. They say that in his dying 
hour he charged Paul Western with 
his daughter s shame, and shrieked a 
father s curse upon his head. He left 
no oroperty, for his troubles had 



preyed on his mind until he neglected 
his affairs, and he died insolvent. 

Well two years passed on, and no 
one heard a word more of poor Emily 
Suddenly in the spring of 1836, when 
this town as well as the whole Union 
was convulsed with the fever of spec 
ulation, Paul Western, after a visit to 
Philadelphia, with some funds of the 
Bank, amounting to near thirty thou 
sand dollars, in his possession, sud 
denly disappeared, no one knew 
whither. My father was largely in 
terested in the bank. He despatched 
me to town, in order that I might 
make a desperate effort to track up the 
footsteps of Western. Some items in 
the papers stated that the Cashier had 
fled to Texas, others that he had been 
drowned by accident, others that he 
had been spirited away. I alone pos 
sessed a clue to the place of his con 
cealment thus ran my thoughts at 
all events and that clue was locked 
in the bosom of Emily Walraven, the 
betrayed and deeply-injured girl. 
Sometime before his disappearance, 
and after the death of old Walraven, 
Paul disclosed to me, under a solemn 
pledge of secresy, the fact that Emily 
was living in Philadelphia, under his 
protection, supported by his money. 
He stated that he had furnished rooms 
at the brothel called Monk-hall. With 
this fact resting on my mind, I had 
hurried to Philadelphia. For days my 
search for Emily Walraven was in 
vain. One night, when about giving up 
the chase as hopeless, I strolled to the 
Chesnut Street Theatre. Forrest was 
playing Richelieu there was a row 
in the third tier a bully had offered 
violence to one of the ladies of the 
town. Attracted by the noise, I join. 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



ed the throng rushing up stairs, and 
beheld the girl who had been stricken, 
standing pale and erect, a small poig- 
nard in her upraised hand, while her 
eyes flashed with rage as she dared 
the drunken buffer to strike her again. 
I stood thunderstruck as I recognized 
Emily Walraven in the degraded yet 
beautiful woman who stood before me. 
.Springing forward, with one blow I 
felled the bully to the floor, and in 
another moment, seizing Emily by the 
arm, I hurried down stairs, evaded the 
constables, who were about to arrest 
her, and gained the street. It was yet 
early in the evening there were no 
cabs in the street so I had to walk 
home with her. 

All this I remembered well, as I sat 
listening in the lonely room. 

I remembered the big tears that 
started from her eyes when she re 
cognized me, her wild exclamations 
when I spoke of her course of life. 
tf Don t talk to me " she had almost 
shrieked as we hurried along the 
street " it s too late for me to 
change now. For God s sake let me 
be happy in my degradation." 

I remembered the warm flush of in 
dignation that reddened over her face, 
as pointing carelessly to a figure 
which I observed through the fog, 
some distance ahead, I exclaimed 
"Is not that Paul Western yonder?" 
Her voice was very deep and not at 
all natural in its tone as she replied, 
with assumed unconcern "I know 
nothing about the man." At last, 
after threading a labyrinth of streets, 
compared to which the puzzling-gar 
den was a mere frolic, we had gained 
Monk-hall, the place celebrated by the 
wonderful stories of my "riend West 



ern. Egad ! As we neared the doot 
I could have sworn that 1 beheld 
Western himself disappear in the door 
but this doubtless, I reasoned, had 
been a mere fancy. 

Silence still prevailed in the room, 
still I heard but the scund of Emily 
breathing in her sleep, and yet my 
mind grew more and more heavy, 
with some unknown feeling of awe. I 
remembered with painful distinctness 
the hang-dog aspect of the door-keeper 
who had let us in, and the cut-throat 
visages of his two attendants seemed 
staring me visibly in the face. I grew 
quite nervous. Dark ideas of murder 
and the devil knows what, began to 
chill my very soul. I bitterly remem 
bered that I had no arms. The only 
thing I carried with me was a slight 
cane, which had been lent me by the 

Landlord of the Hotel. It was a 

mere switch of a thing. 

As these things came stealing over 
me, the strange connexion between the 
fate of Western and that of the beau 
tiful woman who lay beside me, the 
sudden disappearance of the former, 
the mysterious character of Monk-hall, 
the startling sounds which had aroused 
me, the lonely appearance of the room, 
fitfully lighted by the glare on the 
hearth, all combined, deepened the 
impression of awe, which had gradu 
ally gained possession of my faculties. 
I feared to stir. You may have felt 
this feeling this strange and incom 
prehensible feeling but if you have 
not, just imagine a man seized with 
tlje, night-mare when wide awake. 

I was sitting upright in bed, chilled 
to the very heart, afraid to move an 
inch, almost afraid to breathe, when, 
far, far down through the chambers 



THE MONKS OF MONK HALL. 



of the old mansion, I heard a faint 
hushed sound, like a man endeavour 
ing to cry out when attacked by night 
mare, and then great God how dis 
tinct ! I heard the cry of Murder, 
murder, murder ! far, far, far below 
me. 

The cry aroused Emily from her 
sleep. She started up in the bed and 
whispered, in a voice without tremor 
" What is the matter Boyd " 

" Listen " I cried with chattering 
teeth, and again, up from the depths 
of the mansion welled that awful 
sound, Murder! MURDER! MUR 
DER ! growing louder every time. 
Then far, far, far down I could hear 
a gurgling sound. It grew fainter 
every moment. Fainter, fainter, faint 
er. All was still as death. 

" What does this mean?" I whisper 
ed almost fiercely, turning to Emily 
by my side" What does this mean?" 
And a dark suspicion flashed over my 
mind. 

The flame shot upward in the fire 
place, and revealed every line of her 
intellectual countenance. 

Her dark eyes looked firmly in my 
face as she answered, "In God s 
name I know not !" 

The manner of the answer satisfied 
me as to her firmness, if it did not 
convince me of her innocence. I sat 
silent and sullen, conjuring over the 
incidents of the night. 

" Come, Boyd " she cried, as she 
arose from the bed " You must leave 
the house. I never entertain visitors 
after this hour. It is my custom. I 
thank you for your protection at the 
theatre, but you must go home " 

Her manner was calm and self- 



I turned to her in perfect 
amazement. 

" I will not leave the house " I 
said, as a dim vision of being attacked 
by assassins on the stairway, arose to 
my mind. 

" There is Devil -Bug and his cut 
throat negroes " thought I " no 
thing so easy as to give me a cliff 
with a knife from some dark corner ; 
nothing so secret as my burial-place 
in some dark hole in the cellar" 

" I won t go home " said I, aloud. 

Emily looked at me in perfect 
wonder. It may have been affected, 
and it may have been real. 

" Well then, I must go down stairs 
to get something to eat " she said, 
in the most natural manner in the 
world" I usually eat something 
about this hour " 

" You may eat old Devil-Bug and 
bis niggers, if you like " I replied 
aughing " But out of this house my 
father s son don t stir till broad day- 
ight." 

With a careless laugh, she wound 
her night gow i round her, opened the 
door, and disappeared in the dark. 
Down, down, down, I could hear hex 
go, her footsteps echoing along the 
stairway of the old mansion, down, 
down, down. In a few moments all 
was still. 

Here I was, in a pretty fix. In 
a lonely room at midnight, ignorant 
of the passages of the wizard s den, 
without arms, and with the pleasant 
prospect of the young lady coming 
jack with Devil-Bug and his niggera 
o despatch me. I had heard the cry 
of Murder so ran my reasoning 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



--they, that is the murderers would 
suspect that I was a witness to their 
guilt, and, of course, would send me 
down some d d trap-door on an 
especial message .o the devil. 

This was decidely a bad case. I 
began to look around the room for 
some chance of escape, some arms to 
defend myself, or, perhaps from a 
motive of laudible curiosity, to know 
something more about the place where 
my death was to happen. 

One moment, regular as the ticking 
of a clock, the room would be illumi 
nated by a flash of red light from the 
fire-place, the next it would be dark as 
a grave. Seizing the opportunity af 
forded by the flash, I observed some 
of the details of the room. On the 
right side of the fire-place there was a 
closet : the door fastened to the post by 
a very singular button, shaped like a 
diamond ; about as long as your little 
finger and twice as thick. On the 
other side of the fire-place, near the 
ceiling, was a small oblong window, 
about as large as two half sheets of 
writing paper, pasted together at the 
ends. Here let me explain the use of 
this window. The back part of Monk- 
hall is utterly destitute of windows. 
Light, faint and dim you may be sure, 
is admitted from t{ie front by small 
windows, placed in the wall of each 
room. How many rooms there are 
on a floor, I know not, but, be they five 
or ten, or twenty, they are all lighted 
In this way. 

Well, as I looked at this window, I 
perceived one corner of the curtain on 
fhe other side was turned up. This 
gave me very unpleasant ideas. I 
almost fancied I beheld a human face 
pressed against the glass, looking at 



me. Then the flash on the hearth 
died away, and all was dark. I heard 
a faint creaking noise the light from 
the hearth again lighted the place 
could I believe my eyes the button 
on the closet-door turned slowly round ! 

Slowly slowly slowly it turned, 
making a slight grating noise. This 
circumstance, slight as it may appear 
to you, filled me with horror. What 
could turn the button, but a human 
hand ? Slowly, slowly it turned, and 
the door sprung open with a whizzing 
sound. All was dark again. The 
cold sweat stood out on my forehead. 
Was my armed murderer waiting to 
spring at my throat ? I passed a mo 
ment of intense horror. At last, 
springing hastily forward, I swung 
the door shut, and fastened the button. 
I can swear that I fastened it as tight 
as ever button was fastened. Regain 
ing the bed I silently awaited the 
result. Another flash of light Great 
God ! I could swear there was a 
face pressed against the oblong win 
dow ! Another moment and it is 
darkness creak, creak, creak is 
that the sound of the button again 1 It 
was light again, and there, before my 
very eyes, the button moved slowly 
round ! Slowly, slowly, slowly ! 

The door flew open again. I sat 
still as a statue. I felt it difficult to 
breathe. Was my enemy playing 
with me, like the cat ere she destroys 
her game ! 

I absently extended my hand. It 
touched the small black stick given 

me by the Landlord of the Hotel 

in the beginning of the evening. I 
drew it to me, like a friend. Grasp 
ing it with both hands, I calculated 
the amount of service it might do me. 



THE MONKS OF MONK-HALL. 



And as I grasped it, the top seemed 
parting from the lower portion of the 
cane. Great God ! It was a sword 
cane ! Ha-ha ! I could at least strike 
one blow ! My murderers should not 
despatch me without an effort of resis 
tance. You see my arm is none of 
the puniest in the world ; I may say 
fhat there are worse men than Boyd 
Merivale for a fight. 

Clutching the sword-cane, I rushed 
forward, and standing on the threshold 
of the opened door, I made a lunge 
with all my strength through the dark 
ness of the recess. Though I extend 
ed my arm to its full length, and the 
sword was not less than eighteen 
inches long, yet to my utter astonish 
ment, I struck but the empty air ! 
Another lunge and the same result ! 

Things began to grow rather queer. 
I was decidedly beat out as they say. 
I shut the closet door again, retreated 
to the bed, sword in hand, and awaited 
the result. I heard a sound, but it 
was the footstep of poor Emily, who 
that moment returned with a bed-lamp 
in one hand, and a small waiter, sup 
plied with a boiled chicken and a bot 
tle of wine in the other. There was 
nothing remarkable in her look, her 
face was calm, and her boiled chicken 
and bottle of wine, decidedly common 
place. 

" Great God " she cried as she 
gazed in my countenance " What 
is the matter with you ? Your face is 
quite livid and your eyes are fairly 
starting from their sockets " 

" Good reason " said I, as I felt 
lhat my lips were clammy and white 
" That d d button has been going 
omd ever since you left, and that 



d d door has been springing open 
every time it was shut " 

Ha-ha-ha " she laughed 
" Would it have sprung open if you 
had not shut it ?" 

This was a very clear question and 
easy to answer ; but 

" Mark you, my lady " said I 
" Here am I in a lonely house, under 
peculiar circumstances. I am waked 
up by the cry of Murder a door 
springs open without a hand being 
visible a face peers at me through 
a window. As a matter of course I 
suspect there has been foul work done 
here to-night. And through every 
room of this house, Emily you must 
lead the way, while I follow, this good 
sword in hand. If the light goes out, 
or if you blow it out, you are to be 
pitied, for in either case, I swear by 
Living God, I will run you through 
with this sword " 

" Ha-ha-ha " she fairly screamed 
with laughter as she sprung to the 
closet door " Behold the mystery " 

And with her fair fingers she point 
ed to the socket of the button, and to 
the centre of the door. The door had 
been sprung, as it is termed, by tho 
weather. That is, the centre bulged 
inward, leaving the edge toward the 
door-post to press the contrary direc 
tion. The socket of the button, by 
continual wear, had been increased to 
twice its original size. Whenever the 
door was first buttoned, the head of 
the screw pressed against one of the 
edges of the socket. In a moment tho 
pressure of the edge of the door, which 
you will remember was directed out 
ward, dislodged the head of the screw 
and it sank, vvell-ni^h half an inch 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



into the worn socket of the button. 
Then the button, removed farther 
from the door than at first, would 
slowly turn, and the door spring open. 
All this was plain enough, and I smiled 
at my recent fright. 

" Very good, Emily " I laughed 
" But the mystery of this sword 
what of that ? I made a lunge in the 
closet and it touched nothing " 

" You are suspicious, Boyd " she 
answered with a laugh "But the 
fact is, the closet is rather a deep 
one" 

" Rather " said I " and so are 
you, my dear " 

There may have been something 
very meaning in my manner, but cer 
tainly, although her full black eyes 
looked fixedly on me, yet I thought 
her face grew a shade paler as I 
spoke. 

" And my dear " I continued 
" What do you make of the face peep 
ing through the window : " 

" All fancy all fancy " she re 
plied, but as she spoke I saw her eye 
glance hurriedly toward the very win 
dow. Did she too fear that she might 
behold the face ? 

" We will search the closet " I 
remarked, throwing open the door 
" What have we here 1 Nothing but 
an old cloak hanging to a hook let s 
try it with my sword !" 

Again I made a lunge with my 
ssvord : again I thrust at the empty 
air. 

" Emily, there is a room beyond 
this cloak you will enter first if you 
please. Remember my warning about 
the light if you please " 

" Oh now that I remember, this 
cioset does open into the next room " 



she said gaily, althougi her cheeK 
so it struck me grew JL little paler 
and her lip trembled slightly*" I 
had quite forgotten the circum 
stance " 

"Enter Emily, and don t forget 
the light " 

She flung the door aside and passed 
on with the light in her hand. I fol 
lowed her. We stood in a small room, 
lighted like the other by an oblong 
window. There was no other window, 
no door, no outlet of any sort. Even 
a chimney-place was wanting. In one 
corner stood a massive bed the quilf 
was unruffled. Two or three old 
fashioned chairs were scattered round 
the room, and from the spot where I 
stood looking over the foot of the bed, 
[ could see the top of another chair, 
and nothing more, between the bed 
and the wall. 

A trifling fact in Emily s behavioui 
may be remarked. The moment the 
ight of the lamp which she held in her 
land flashed round the room, she 
urned to me with a smile, and leading 
he way round the corner of the foot 
of the bed, asked me in a pleasant 
voice " Did I see any thing remarkable 
there ?" 

She shaded her eyes from the lamp 
as she spoke, and toyed me playfully 
under the chin. You will bear in 
mind that at this moment, I had turn 
ed my face toward the closet by which 
we had entered. My back was there 
fore toward the part of the room mos* 
remote from the closet. It was a tri 
fling fact, but I may as well tell you, 
that the manner in which Emily held 
the light, threw that portion of the 
room, between the foot of the bed and 
the wall in complete shadow, while 



THE MONKS OF MONK-HALL. 



the rest of the chamber was bright as 
day. 

Smilingly Emily toyed me under 
the chin, and at that moment I thought 
she looked extremely beautiful. 

By Jove! I wish you could have 
seen her eyes shine, and her cheek 
Lord bless you a full blown rose 
wasn t a circumstance to it. She 
looked so beautiful, in fact, as she 
came sideling up to me, that I stepped 
backward in order to have a full view 
of her before I pressed a kiss on her 
pouting lips. I did step back, and did 
kiss her. It wasn t singular, perhaps, 
but her lips were hot as a coal. Again 
she advanced to me, again chucked 
me under the chin. Again I stepped 
back to look at her, again I wished to 
taste her lips so pouting, but rather 
warm, when 

To tell you the truth, stranger, even 
at this late day the remembrance 
makes my blood run cold ! 

When I heard a sound like 

the sweeping of a tree-limb against 
a closed shutter, it was so faint and 
distant, and a stream of cold air came 
rushing up my back. 

I turned around carelessly to ascer 
tain the cause. I took but a single 
glance, and then by G d I 
sprung at least ten feet from the place. 
There, at my very back, between the 
bed and the wall, opposite its foot, I 
beheld a carpeted space some three 
feet square, sinking slowly down, and 
separating itself from the floor. I had 
stepped my foot upon the spring 
made ready for me, to be sure and 
the t.ap-door sank below me. 

You may suppose my feelings were 
somewhat excited. In truth, my 
heart, for a moment, felt as though it 



was turning to a bal) of ice. First ? 
looked at the trap-d jor and then at 
Emily. Her face WLS pale as ashes, 
and she leaned, trembling, against the 
bedpost. Advancing, sword in hand, 
I gazed down the trap-door. Great 
God ! how dark and gloomy the pit 
looked ! From room to room, from 
floor to floor, a succession of traps 
had fallen far below it looked like 
a mile, although that was but an ex 
aggeration natural to a highly excited 
mind far, far below gleamed a light, 
and a buzzing murmur came up this 
hatchway of death. 

Stooping slowly down, sword in 
hand, my eye on the alert for Miss 
Emily, I disengaged a piece of linen, 
from a nail, near the edge of the trap 
door. Where the linen it was a shirt 
wristband had been fastened, the car 
pet was slightly torn, as though a man 
in falling had grasped it with his finger 
ends. 

The wristband was, in more correct 
language, a ruffle for the wrist. It 
came to my mind, in this moment, that 
I had often ridiculed Paul Western for 
his queer old bachelor ways. Among 
other odd notions, he had worn ruf 
fles at his wrist. As I gathered this 
little piece of linen in my grasp, the 
trap-door slowly rose. I turned to 
ook for Miss Emily, she had changed 
tier position, and stood pressing her 
band against the opposite wall. 

" Now, Miss Emily, my dear " I 
cried, advancing toward her " Give 
me a plain answer to a plain question 
and tell me what in the devil do 
you think of yourself?" 

Perfectly white in the face, she 
glided across the room and stood at the 
foot of the bed, in her fcrmer position 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



leaning against the post for support. 
You will observe that her form con 
cealed the chair, whose top I had only 
seen across the bed. 

" Step aside, Miss Emily, my dear 
" I said, in as quiet a tone as I 
could command " Or you see, my 
lady, I ll have to use a little necessary 
force" 

Instead of stepping aside, as a 
peaceable woman would have done, 
she sits right down in the chair, fixing 
those full black eyes of her s on my 
face, with a glance that looked very 
much like madness. 

Extending my hand, I raised her 
from the seat. She rested like a dead 
weight in my arms. She had fainted. 
Wrapped in her night-gown, I laid her 
on the bed, and then examined the 
chair in the corner. Something about 
this chair attracted my attention. A 
coat hung over the round a blue 
coat with metal buttons. A buff vest 
hung under this coat ; and a high 
stock, with a shirt collar. 

I knew these things at once. They 
oelonged to my friend, Paul Western. 

" And so, my lady " I cried, for 
getting that she had fainted; "Mr. 
Western came home, from the theatre, 
to his rooms, arrived just before us, 
took off his coat and vest, and stock 
and collar maybe was just about to 
take off his boots when he stepped 
on the spring and in a moment was 
in _in h 11 " 

Taking the light in one hand, I 
dragged or carried her, into the other 
room and laid her on the bed. After 
half an hour or so, she came to her 
senses. 

:< You s 3e you see " were her 
first words uttered, with her eyes flash 



ing like live-coals, and her lips white 
as marble "You see, I could not 
help it, for my father s curse was upon 
him !" 

She laughed wildly, and lay in my 
arms a maniac. 

Stranger, I ll make a short story of 
the thing now. How I watched her 
all night till broad day, how I escaped 
from the house for Mr. Devil-Bug, it 
seems, didn t suspect I knew anything 
how I returned home without any news 
of Paul Western, are matters as easy 
to conceive as tell. 

Why didn t I institute a search? 
Fiddle-faddle! Blazon my name to 
the world as a visiter to a Bagnio? 
Sensible thing, that ! And then, al 
though I was sure in my own soul, 
that the clothes which I had discovered 
belonged to Paul Western, it would 
have been most difficult to establish 
this fact in Court. One word more 
and I have done. 

Never since that night has Paul 
Western been heard of by living man. 
Never since that night has Emily 
Walraven been seen in this breathing 
world. You start. Let me whisper 
a word in your ear. Suppose Emily 
joined in Western s murder from mo 
tives of revenge, what then were 
Devil-Bug s ? (He of course was the 
real murderer.) Why the money to be 
sure. Why be troubled with Emily as 
a witness of his guilt, or a sharer of 
his money? This is rather a a 
dark house, and it s my opinion, 
stranger, that he murdered her too ! 

Ha-ha why here s all the room 
to ourselves ! All the club have either 
dissappeared, or lie drunk on the floor ! 
I saw Fitz-Cowles I know him 
sneak off a few moments since I 



THE MONKS OF MONK-HALL. 



could tell by his eye that he is after 
some devils-trick! The parson has 
gone, and the judge has gone, the 
lawyer has fallen among the slain, 
and so, wishing you good night, 
stranger, I ll vanish ! Beware of the 
Monks of Monk-hall!" 

Byrnewood was alone. 

His head was depressed, his arms 
were folded, and his eye, gazing 
vacantly on the table, shone and 
glistened with the internal agitation of 
his brain. He sate there, silent, mo 
tionless, awed to the very soul. The 
story of the stranger had thrilled him 
to the heart, had aroused a strange 
train of thought, and now rested like 
an oppressive weight upon his brain. 

Byrnewood gazed around. With a 
sudden effort he shook off the spell 
of absence which mingled with an 
incomprehensible feeling of awe, had 
enchained his faculties. He looked 
around the room. He was, indeed, 
alone. Above him, the hideous Satyr 
chandelier, .still flared its red light 
ever the table, over the mirror, and 
along the gloomy wainscot of the 
walls. Around the table, grouped in 
various attitudes of unconscious drunk 
enness, lay the members of the 
drinking party, the merry Monks of 
Monk-hall. There lay the poet, with 
his sanguine face shining redly in the 
light, while his hand rested on the 
bare scalp of the wigless editor, there 
snored some dozen merchants, all 
doubled up together, like the slain in 
battle, and there, a solitary doctor, 
who had fallen asleep on his knees, 
was dozing away with one eye wide 
open, while his right hand brushed 
away a solitary fly from his pimpled 
nose. 



The scene was not caicu i.teo to 
produce the most serious feelings in 
the world. There was inebriety 
as the refined phrase it in every 
shape, inebriety on its face, inebriety 
with its mouth wide open, inebriety on 
its knees brushing a fly from its nose, 
inebriety groaning, grunting, or snor 
ing, inebriety doubled up mingled in 
a mass of limbs, heads and bodies, 
woven together or flat inebriety sim\. 
ly straightened out on its back with 
its nose performing a select overture 
of snores. To be brief, there, scatter 
ed over the floor, lay drunkenness 
as the vulgar will style it in every 
shape, moddled after various patterns, 
and taken by that ingenious artist, the 
Bottle, fresh from real life. 

Raising his eyes from the prostrate 
members of the club, Byrnewood start- 
ed with involuntary surprise as he be. 
held, standing at the tables-head, the 
black-robed figure of the Skeleton- 
Monk, with his hand of bone flinging 
aloft the goblet, while his fleshless 
brow glared in the light, from the 
shadow of the falling cowl. As 
the light flickered to and fro, it gave 
the grinning teeth of the Skeleton the 
appearance of life and animation for a 
single moment. Byrnewood thought 
he beheld the teeth move in a ghastly 
smile ; he even fancied that the orbless 
sockets, gleaming beneath the white 
brow, flashed with the glance of life, 
and gazed sneeringly in his face. 

He started with involuntary horror, 
and then sate silent as before. And 
as you can feel cold or heat steal ovei 
you by slow degrees, so he felt that 
same strange feeling of awe, which he 
had known that night for the first time 
in his life, come slowly over him 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



g like a shadow over his soul, 
and stealing like a paralysis through 
his every limb. He sate like a man 
suddenly frozen. 

" My God !" he murmured and 
the sound of his voice frightened him 
" How strange I feel ! Can this be 
the first attack of some terrible dis 
ease or is it, but the effect of the 
horrible story related by the stranger ? 
I have read in books that a feeling like 
this steals over a man, just before 
some terrible calamity breaks over his 
head this is fearful as death itself!" 

He was silent again, and then the 
exclamation broke from his lips 

" Lorrimer why does he not re 
turn? He has been absent full an 
hour what does it mean ? Can the 
words of that pshaw ! that fortune 
teller have any truth in them ? How 
can Lorrimer injure me how can I 
injure him? Three days hence 
Christmas ha, ha I believe I m 
going mad there s cold sweat on 
my forehead " 

As he spoke he raised his left hand 
LO his brow, and in the action, the 
gleam of a plain ring on his finger 
met his eye. He kissed it suddenly, 
and kissed it again and again ? Was 
it the gift of his ladye-love ? 

" God bless her God bless her ! 
Wo to the man who shall do her 
vrong and yet poor Annie " 

He rose suddenly from his seat and 
strode towards the door. 

" I know not why it is, but I feel as 
:hough an invisible hand, was urging 
me onward through the rooms of this 
house ! And onward I will go, until 
1 discover Lorrimer or solve the mys 
tery of this den. Go<? knows, I 



feel pshaw ! I m only nervous 
as though I was walking to my death 
Passing through the narrow door- 
way, he cautiously ascended the darK 
staircase, and in a moment stood on 
the first floor. The moon was stil 
shining through the distant skylight, 
down over the windings of the massive 
stairway. All was silent as death 
within the mansion. Not a sound, not 
even the murmur of a voice or the 
hushed tread of a footstep could be 
heard. Winding his cloak tighily 
around his limbs, Byrnewood rushed 
up the staircase, traversing two steps 
at a time, and treading softly, for fear 
of discovery. He reached the second 
floor. Still the place was silent and 
dismal, still the column of moonlight 
pouring through the skylight, over the 
windings of the staircase only render 
ed the surrounding darkness more 
gloomy and indistinct. Up the wind 
ing staircase he again resumed his 
way, and in a moment stood upon the 
landing or hall of the third floor. This 
was an oblong space, with the doors 
of many rooms fashioned in its walls. 
Another stairway led upward from the 
floor, but the attention of Byrnewood 
was arrested by a single ray of light, 
that for a moment flickered along the 
thick darkness of the southern end of 
the hall. Stepping forward hastily, 
Byrnewood found all progress arrested 
by the opposing front of a solid wall. 
He gazed toward his left it was so 
dark, that he could not see his hand 
before his eyes. Turning his glance 
to the right, as his vision became 
more accustomed to the darkness, he 
beheld the dim walls of a long corri 
dor, at whose entrance he stood, and 



THE MONKS OF MONK-HALL. 



whose farther extreme was illumii.ed by 
a light, that to all appearance, flashed 
i rom an open door. Without a mo 
ment s thought he strode along the 
thickly carpeted passage of the corri 
dor ; he stood in the full glow of the 
light flashing from the open door. 

Looking through the doorway, he 
beheld a large chamber furnished in a 
style of lavish magnificence, and 
lighted by a splendid chandelier. It 
was silent and deserted. From the 
ceiling to the floor, along the wall op 
posite the doorway, hung a curtain of 
damask silk, trailing in heavy folds, 
along the gorgeous carpet. Impelled 
by the strange impulse, that had urged 
him thus far, Byrnewood entered the 
chamber, and without pausing to ad 
mire its gorgeous appointments, strode 
forward to the damask curtain. 

He swung one of its hangings aside, 
expecting to behold the extreme wall 
of the chamber. To his entire wonder, 
another chamber, as spacious as the 
one in which he stood, lay open to his 
gaze. The walls were all one gor 
geous picture, evidently painted by a 
master-hand. Blue skies, deep green 
forests, dashing waterfalls and a cool 
calm lake, in which fair women were 
laving their limbs, broke on the eyes 
of the intruder, as he turned his gaze 
from wall to wall . A curtain of azure, 
sprinkled with a border of golden 
leaves, hung along the farther extre 
mity of the room. In one corner 
stood a massive bed, whose snow- 
white counterpane, fell smoothly and 
unruffled to the very floor, mingling 
with the long curtains, which pure 
and stainless as the counterpane, hung 
a ound the couch in graceful festoons, 
5 



like the wings of a bird guarding its 
resting place. 

" The bridal-bed !" murmured 
Byrnewood, as he flung the curtains 
of gold and azure, hurriedly aside. 

A murmur of surprise, mingled 
with admiration, escaped from his 
lips, as he beheld the small closet, for 
it could scarcely be called a room, 
which the undrawn curtaining threw 
open to his gaze. 

It was indeed a small and elegant 
room, lined along its four sides with 
drooping curtains of faint-hued crim 
son silk. The ceiling itself was but a 
continuation of these curtains, or 
hangings, for they were gathered in 
the centre, by a single star of gold. 
The carpet on the floor was of the 
same faint-crimson color, and the, 
large sofa, placed along one side of 
he apartment, was covered with vel 
vet, that harmonized in hue, with both 
carpet and hangings. On the snow- 
white cloth, of a small table placed in 
the centre of the room, stood a large 
wax candle, burning in a candlestick 
of silver, and flinging a subdued and 
mellow light around the plate. There 
was a neat little couch, standing in the 
corner, with a toilette at its foot. The 
quilt on the couch was ruffled, as 
though some one had lately risen 
from it, and the equipage of the toilette 
looked as though it had been recently 
used. 

The faint light falling over the 
hangings, whose hue resembled the 
first flush of day, the luxurious sofa, 
the neat though diminutive couch, the 
small table in the centre, the carpet 
whoee colors were in elegant harmony 
with the hue of the curtains, all com 



64 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



bined, gave the place an air of splen 
did comfort if we may join these 
incongruous words that indicated the 
sleeping chamber of a lovely woman. 

" This has been the resting place of 
the bride " murmured Byrne wood, 
gazing in admiration around the room 
" It looks elegant it is true, but 
if she is the innocent thing Lorrimer 
would have me believe, then better for 
her, to have slept in the foulest gutter 
of the streets, than to have lain for an 
instant in this woman-trap " 

There was a woman s dress a 
frock of plain black silk flung over 
one of the rounds of the sofa. Anxious 
to gather some idea of the form of the 
bride oh foul prostitution of the 
name ! from the shape of the dress, 
Byrnewood raised the frock and ex 
amined its details. As he did this, the 
sound of voices came hushed and 
murmuring to his ear from a room, 
opposite the chamber which he had 
but a moment left. Half occupied in 
listening to these voices, Byrnewood 
glanced at the dress which he held in 
his hand, and as he took in its various 
details of style and shape, the pupil of 
his full black eye dilated, and his 
cheek became colorless as death. 

Then the room seemed to swim 
around him, and he pressed his hand 
forcibly against his brow, as if to 
assure himself, that he was not en 
tangled in the mazes of some hideous 
dream. 

Then, letting his own cloak and 
the black silk dress fall on the floor at 
once, he walked with a measured step 
toward that side of the room opposite 
the Painted Chamber. 

The voices grew louder in the next 
room. Byrnewood listened in silence. 



His face was even paler than before, 
and you could see how desperate waa 
the effort which he made to suppress 
an involuntary cry of horror, that 
came rising to his lips. Extending his 
hand, he pushed the curtain slightly 
aside, and looked into the next room. 

The extended hand fell like a dead 
weight to his side. 

Over his entire countenance flashed 
a mingled expression of surprise, and 
horror, and woe, that convulsed every 
feature with a spasmodic movement, 
and forced his large black eyes from 
their very sockets. For a moment he 
looked as if about to fall lifeless on the 
floor, and then it was evident that he 
exerted all his energies to control this 
most fearful agitation. He pressed 
both hands nervously against his fore 
head, as though his brain was tortured 
by internal flame. Then he reared 
his form proudly erect, and stood ap 
parently firm and self possessed, al 
though his countenance looked more 
like the face of a corpse than the face 
of a living man. 

And as he stood there, silent and 
firm, although his very reason tottered 
to its ruin, there glided to his back, 
like an omen of death, pursuing the 
footsteps of life, the distorted form of 
the Door-keeper of Monk-hall, his huge 
bony arms npraised, his hideous face 
convulsed in a loathsome grin, while hife 
solitary eye glared out from its sunkera 
socket, like a flame lighted in a skull, 
grotesque yet terrible. 

In vain was the momentary firm 
ness which Byrnewood had aroused to 
his aid ! In vain was the effort that 
suppressed his breath, that clenched 
his hands,that forced the clammy sweat 



MOTHER NANCY AND LONG-HAIRED BESS. 



from his brow ! He felt the awful 
agony that convulsed his soul rising 
to his lips he would have given the 
world to stifle it but in vain, in vain 
were all his superhuman efforts ! 

One terrific howl, like the yell of a 
man flung suddenly over a cataract, 
broke from his lips. He thrust aside 
the curtain, and strode madly through 
its folds into the next room. 



CHAPTER EIGHTH. 

MOTHER NANCY AND LONG-HAIRED 
BESS. 

" So YE have lured the pretty dove 
into the cage, at last " said the old 
lady, with a pleasant smile, as she 
poised a nice morsel of buttered toast 
between her fingers " This tea is 
most too weak a little more out of 
the caddy, Bessie, dear. Lord! who d 
a-thought you d a-caught the baby-face 
so easy ! Does the kettle boil, my 
dear 1 I put it on the fire before you 
left, and you ve been away near an 
hour, so it ought to be hissing hot by 
this time. Caught her at last ! Hah- 
hah hey? Bessie? You re a reg lar 
keen one, I must say !" 

And with these mild words the old 
lady arranged the tea things on the 
small table, covered with a neat white 
cloth, and pouring out a cup of Gun 
powder, chuckled pleasantly to her 
self, as though she and the buttered 
toast had a quiet little joke together. 

" Spankin cold night, I tell ye, 
Mother Nancy " exclaimed the 
young lady in black, as she flung ner- 
self in a chair, and tossed her bonnet 



on the old sofa " Precious time I ve 
had with that little chit of a thing! 
Up one street and down another, I ve 
been racing for this blessed hour! 
And the regular white and black uns 
I ve been forced to tell ! Oh crickey 
don t mention em, I beg " 

"Sit down, Bess sit down, Bessie^ 
that s a dove " said the delighted 
old lady, crunching the toast between . 
her toothless gums " and tell us all 
about it from the first ! These things 
are quite refreshin to us old stagers." 

What a perfect old d 1 " mut 
tered Bessie, as she drew her seat neai 
the supper table " These oyster* 
are quite delightful stewed to a turn, 
I do declare " she continued, aloud 
" Got a little drop o the * lively 
hey, Mother?" 

" Yes, dovey here s the key of 
the closet. Get the bottle, my dear 
A leetle jist a leetle don t go ugly 
with one s tea " 

While the tall and queenly Bessie 
is engaged in securing a drop of the 
lively, we will take a passing glance 
at Mother Perkins, the respectable 
Lady Abbess of Monk-hall. 

As she sate in that formal arm-chair, 
straight and erect, her portly form clad 
in sombre black, with a plain white 
collar around her neck and a bunch of 
keys at her girdle, Mother Nancy 
looked, for all the world, like a quiet 
old body, whose only delight was to 
scatter blessings around her, give 
large alms to the poor, and bestow 
unlimited amounts of tracts among the 
vicious. A good, dear, old body, was 
Mother Nancy, although her face was 
not decidedly preposessing. A low 
forehead, surmounted by a perfect 



66 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



tower-of-Babel of a cap, a little sharp fed, all full of nooks and corners, and 



nose looking out from two cheeks dis 
posed in immense collops of yellowish 
flesh, two small grey eyes encirclec 
by a wilderness of wrinkles, a deep in 
dentation where a mouth should hare 
been, and a sharp chin, ornamentec 



with a 
beard ; 



slight imperial of stiff grey 
such were the details of a 



countenance, on which seventy years 
had showered their sins, and cares, anc 
crimes, without making the dear olc 
lady, for a moment, pause in her ca 



reer. 



And such a career ! God of Hea 
ven! did womanhood, which in its 
dawn, or bloom, or full maturity, is so 
beautiful, which even in its decline is 
lovely, which in trembling old age is 
venerable, did womanhood ever sink 
so low as this ? How many of the 
graves in an hundred churchyards, 
graves of the fair and beautiful, had 
been dug by the gouty hands of the 
vile old hag, who sate chuckling in her 
quiet arm-chair ? How many of the 
betrayed maidens, found rotting on the 
rivers waves, dangling from the garret 
rafter, starving in the streets, or resting, 
vile and loathsome, in the Green 
house;* how many of these will, at the 
last day when the accounts of this 
lovely earth will be closed forever, 
rise up and curse the old hag with 
their ruin, with their shame, with their 
unwept death ? 

The details of the old lady s room 
by no means indicated her disposition, 
or the course of her life. It was a 
fine old room with walls neatly paper- 



The house for the unknown dead. 



warmed by a cheerful wood fire blaz 
ing on the spacious hearth. One whole 
side of the room seemed to have been 
attacked with some strange eruptive 
disease, and broken out into an ery 
sipelas of cupboards and closets. Aq 
old desk that might have told a world 
of wonders of Noah s Ark from its own 
personal experience, could it have 
spoken, stood in one corner, and a 
large side- board, on whose top a fat 
fellow of a decanter seemed drilling 
some raw recruits of bottles and 
glasses into military order, occupied 
one entire side of the room, or cell, of 
the Lady Abbess. 

There are few persons in the world 
who have not a favourite of some kind, 
either a baby, or a parrot, or a canary, 
or a cat, or, in desperate cases, a pig. 
Mother Nancy had her favourite as 
well as less reputable people. A 
huge bull dog, with sore eyes and a 
ragged tail that seemed to have been 
purchased at a second-had store during 
the hard times lay nestling at the 
old lady s feet, looking very much like 
he candidate whom all the old and 
surly dogs would choose for Alder 
man, in case the canine race had the 
Drivilege of electing an officer of that 
lonorable class, among themselves. 
Phis dog, so old bachelor-like and 
aldermanic in appearance, the old lady 
was wont to call by the name of 
Dolph, being the short lor Dolphin, 1 
of which remarkable fish the animal 
was supposed to be a decided copy. 

Here s the lively, Mother Nancy 
" observed Miss Bessie, as she re 
sumed her seat at the supper table 
It s the real hot stuff and no mistake. 
The oysters, if you please a ".ittle o f 



MOTHER NANCY AND LONG-HAIRED-BESS. 



that pepper Any mustard there? Now 
then, Moth I-, let s be comfortable " 

" But " observed the old lady pour 
ing a glass of the Lively from a de 
canter labelled Brandy "But Bessie 
my love, I m a-waitin to hear all about 
this little dove whom you trapped to 
night " 

It may be as well to remark that 
Bessie, was a tall queenly girl of some 
iwenty five, with a form that had once 
been beautiful beyond description, and 
even now in its ruins,was lovely to look 
upon, while her faded face, marked by 
a high brow and raven-black hair, 
was still enlivened by the glance of 
two large dark eyes, that were suscep- 
table of any expression, love or hate, 
revenge or jealousy ; anything but 
fear. Her complexion was a very 
faint brown with a deep rose-tint on 
each cheek. She was still beautiful, 
although a long career of dissipation 
had given a faded look to the outlines 
of her face, indenting a slight wrinkle 
between her arching brows, and slight 
ly discoloring the flesh beneath each 
eye. 

"This here Lively is first rate, 
after the tramp I ve had " said Bes 
sie as her eyes grew brighter with the 
lively effects of the bottle " You 
know Mother Nancy its three weeks 
since Gus mentioned the thing to me 

"What thing, my dear?" 

"Why that he d like to have a little 
Jove for himself something above the 
common run. Something from the aris 
tocracy of the Quaker City you 
know r 

"Yes my dear. Here Dolph here 
Dolph-ee here s a nice bit for 
Dolph" 

* < us agreed to give me something 



handsome if I could manage it 
for him, so I undertook the thing. 
The bread if you please, Mother. You 
know I m rather expert in such matters 7 * 

"There ain t you beat my dear. 
Be quiet Dolph that s a nice Dolph- 
ee" 

"For a week all my efforts were in 
vain. I could nt discover anything 
that was likely to suit the taste of 
Gus At last he put me on the right 
track himself 

"He did, did he ? Ah deary me, but 
Gus is a regular lark. You can t per- 
duce his ekle " 

"One day strolling up Third Street, 
Gus was attracted by the sight of a 
pretty girl, sitting at the window of a 
wealthy merchant, who has just re 
tired from business. You ve heard of 
old Arlington? Try the Lively 
Mother. Gus made some enquiries ; 
found that the young lady had just re 
turned, from the Moravian boarding 
school at Bethlehem. She was inno 
cent, inexperienced, and all that. Suit 
ed Lorrimers taste. He swore he d 
have her." 

"So you undertook to catch her, 
did ye? Butter my dear?" 

"That did I. The way I managed 
it was a caution. Dressing myself in 
solemn black, I strolled along Third 
street, one mild winter evening, some 
two weeks since. Mary that s her 
name was standing at the front door, 
gazing carelessly down the street. 
I tripped up the steps and asked in my 
most winning tone " 

"You can act the lady when you 
like, Bess. That s a fact." 

"Whether Mr. Elmwood lived there? 
Of course she answered No But in 
making an apology for my intrusion, I 









THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



managed to state that Mr. Elmwood 
was my uncle, that I had just come to 
the city on a visit,and had left my aunt s 
in Spruce street, but a few moments 
ago, thinking to pay a nice little call on 
my dear old relative " 

"Just like you Bessie ! So you scrap 
ed acquaintance with her ?" 

"Fresh from boarding school, as 
ignorant of the world as the babe un 
born, the girl was interested in me, I 
suppose, and swallowed the white uns 
I told her, without a single suspicion, 
The next day about noon, I met her 
is she was hurrying to see an old 
aunt, who lived two or three Squares 
below her father s house. She was all 
in a glow, for she had been hurrying 
along rather fast, anxious to reach her 
aunt s house, as soon as possible. I 
spoke to her proposed a walk she 
assented with a smile of pleasure. I 
I told her a long story of my sorrows ; 
how I had been engaged to be married, 
how my lover had died of consump 
tion but a month ago ; that he was 
sich a nice young man, with curly hair, 
and hazel eyes, and that I was in black 
for his death. I put peach fur over 
her eyes,by whole hand s full I tell you. 
The girl was interested, and like all 
young girls, she was delighted to be 
come the confidante of an amiable 
young lady, who had a little love-ro 
mance of real life, to disclose. Oys 
ters, Mother Nancy " 

"The long and short of it was, that 
you wormed yourself into her confi 
dence? That it my dear? Keep 
still Dolph or Dolph s mommy would 
drop little bit of hot tea on Dolph s 
head" 

"We walked out together for three 
days, just toward dark in the evening. 



You can fancy Mother, how 1 wouna 
myself into the heart of this young 
girl. Closer and closer every day I 
tightened the cords that bound us, arid 
on the third evening I believe she would 
have died for me. " 

"Well, well child, when did Gusty 
first speak to her ? A little more of 
the "Gunpowder" my dear " 

"One evening I persuaded her to take 
a stroll along Chesnut Street with me. 
Gus was at our heels you may be sure. 
He passed on a little-a-head determin 
ing to speak to her, at all hazards. She 
saved him the trouble. Lord love you 
Mother Nancy, she spoke to him 
first" 

"Be still Dolph be still Dolph-ee ; 
Now Bessie that s a leetle too strong ! 
Not the tea, but the story. She so in- 
nocent and baby-like speak first to -4 
strange man ? Ask me to believe in 
tea made out of turnip tops will ye ? " 

"She mistook him for a Mr. Bel- 
mont whom she had seen at Bethlehem. 
He did not undeceive her, until she 
was completely in his power. He 
walked by her side that evening up 
and down Chesnut Street, for nearly 
an hour. I saw at once, that her girl 
ish fancy was caught by his smooth 
tongue, and handsome form. The 
next night he met us again, and the 
next, and the next Lord pity her 
the poor child was now entirely at his 
mercy " 

"Ha ha Gusty is sich a devil. 
Put the kettle on the fire my dear. 
Let s try a little of the Lively. And 
how did she this baby-faced doll 
keep these walks secret from the eyes 
of her folks? Eh? Bessie?" 

"Easy as that "replied Bessie 
gracefully snapping her fingers 



MOTHER NANCY AND LONG-HAIRED-BESS. 



* Every time she went out, she told 
father and mother that she went to 
see her old Aunt. I hinted at first, 
that our friendship would be more ro 
mantic, if concealed from all intrusive 
eyes. The girl took the hint. Lor- 
rimer with his smooth tongue, told her 
a long story about his eccentric uncle 
who had sworn he should not marry, 
for years to come ; and therefore he 
was obliged to keep his attentions to 
her, hidden from both of their families. 
Gusty was dependent on this old un 
cle you know 1 Once married, the 
old uncle would relent as he be 
held the beauty and innocence of the 
young wife ! So Gusty made her 
believe. You can imagine the whole 
trap. We had her in our power. 
Last night she consented to leave her 
home for Lor rimer s fami ly mansion. 
He was to marry her, the approval of 
his uncle that imaginary old Gen 
tleman was to be obtained, and on 
Christmas Eve, Mr. and ha, ha, 
ha - - Mistress Lorrimer, were to rush 
into old Middleton s house, fall on their 
knees, invoke the old man s blessing ; 
be forgiven and be happy ! Hand us 
the toast Mother Nancy " 

"And to night the girl did leave the 
old folks house? Entered the door 
of Monk-hall, thinking it was Lorri 
mer s family Mansion, and to-morrow 
morning at three o clock will be mar 
riedeh? Bess?" 

"Married, pshaw ! Over the left. 
Lorrimer said he would get that fellow 
Petriken to personate the Parson 
Mutchins the gambler, acts the old un 
cle ; you, Mother Nancy must, dress 
up for the kind and amiable grand 
ma suit you to a T ? Lorrimer 

pays high for his rooms you know ?" 



" Spose it must be done. It s now 
aftei ten o clock. You left the baby- 
face sleeping, eh ? At half-past two 
you ll have to rouse her, to dress. Be 
quiet Dolph or I ll scald its head 
that s a dear. Now Bessie tell me 
he truth, did you never regret that 
you had undertaken the job? The 
girl you say is so innocent?" 

"Regret ? "cried Bess with a flash 
ing eye " Why should I regret? 
Have I not as good a right to the com 
forts of a home, to the smile of a fa 
ther, the love of a mother, as she ? 
Have I not been robbed of all these ? 
Of all that is most sacred to woman? 
Is this innocent Mary, a whit better 
than I was when the devil in human 
shape first dragged me from my home? 
I feel happy aye happy when I 
can drag another woman, into the same 
foul pit, where I am doomed to lie and 
rot "J 

"Yet this thing was so innocent " 
cried the good old lady patting Dolph 
on the head " I confess I laugh 
at ail qualms all petty scruples, but 
you were so different when first I knew 
you you Emily, you " 

"Emily " shrieked the other as 
she sprung suddenly to he* 1 feet " 
You hag of the devil call me by 
that name again, and as God will judge 
at the last day, I ll throttle you!" 
She shook her clenched hand across 
the table, and her eyes were bloodshot 
with sudden rage "Emily!" 
Your mother called you by that namje 
when a little child " She cried with 
j a burst of feeling, most fearful to be 



hold in one so fallen " Your fa- 



j ther blessed you by that name, the 

j night before you fled from his roof 

Emily ! Aye, Ae, the foul betray 



TO 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



er, whispered that name with a smile 
as he entered the Chambei, from which 
he never came forth again You re 
member it old hell-cat, do ye 1 " 

" Not so loud, Good G d, not so 
loud " Cried the astonished Mo 
ther Nancy " Abuse me Bessie 
dear but not so loud ; down Dolph 
don t mind the girl, she s mad not 
so loud, I say " 

" I can see him now !" cried the 
fallen girl, as with her tall form raised 
to its full height, she fixed her flashing 
eye on vacancy "He enters the room 

that room with the the trap-door 
you know ? Good night, Emily, he 
said, and smiled Emily? and my 
father had cursed him ! I laid me 
down and rested by another man s 
side. He thought I slept. Slept ! ha, 
ha ! When, with my entire soul, I 
listened to the footsteps in the next 
room ha, ha when I heard the 
creaking sound of the falling trap, 
when I drank in the cry of agony, 
when I heard that name * Emily, oh 
Emily, come shrieking up the pit of 
death ! My father had cursed him, 
and he died ! Emily oh my God" 
and she wrung her hands in very agony 
" Roll back the years of my life, 
blot out the foul record of my sins, let 
me, oh God you are all powerful 
and can do it let me be a child 
again, a little child, and though I 
crawl through life in the rags of a 
beggar, I will nev^r cease to bless 
oh God to bless your name " 

She fell heavily to her seat, and, 
covering her face with her hands, wept 
the scalding tears of guilt and shame. 

" Gal s been a-takin opium " 
said the old lady, calmly " And the 
fit s con*o on her. Sarven her right. 



Told her never to mix l^er brandy 
with opium " 

" Did I regret having undertaken 
the ruin of the girl " said Bess, in a 
whisper, that made even the old lady 
start with surprise " Regret ? I tell 
ye, old hell-dame as you are, that my 
very heart strings seemed breaking 
within me to-night, as I led her from 
her home " 

" What the d 1 did you do it for, 
then ? Here s a nice Dolph eat a 
piece o buttered toast that s a good 
Dolph-ee " 

"When the seducer first assailed 
me " continued Bess, in an absent 
tone " He assailed a woman, with a 
mind stored with knowledge of the 
world s ways, a soul full as crafty as 
his own, a wit sharp and keen as ever 
dropped poison or sweetness from a 
woman s tongue! But this girl, so 
child-like, so unsuspecting, so inno 
cent ! my God ! how it wrung my 
heart, when I first discovered that she 
loved Lorrimer, loved him without one 
shade of gross feeling, loved him with 
out a doubt, warmly, devotedly, with 
all the trustfulness of an angel-soul, 
fresh from the hands of God ! Never 

bird fell more helplessly into the 
yawning jaws of the snake, that had 
charmed it to ruin, than poor Mary 
ell into the accursed wiles of Lorri- 
ner ! And yet I, / aided him " 

" So you did. The more shame for 
you to harm sich a dove. Go up stairs, 
my dear, and let her loose. We ll 
consent, won t we ? Ha-ha ! Why 
3ess, I thought you had more sense 
han to go on this way. What will 
become of you ?" 

" I suppose that I will die in the 
same ditch where the souls of so many 



THE BRIDE. 



of my vile sisterhood have crept forth 
from their leprous bodies ? Eh, Mother 
Nance ? Die in a ditch ? Emily 1 die 
in a ditch ? And then in the next 
world ha, ha, ha I see a big lake 
of fire, on which souls are dancing 
like rnoths in a candle ha, ha, ha !" 

i4 Reely, gal, you must leave off 
that opium. Gus promised you some 
five or six hundred if you caught this 
^al, and you can t go back now " 

" Yes, yes, I know it ! I know it ! 
Forward s the word if the next step 
plunges me in hell " 

And the girl buried her face in her 
hands, and was silent again. Let not 
the reader wonder at the mass of con 
tradictions, heaped together in the 
character of this miserable wreck of a 
woman. One moment conversing in 
the slang of a brothel, like a thing 
lapped from her birth in pollution ; the 
next, whispering forth her ravings in 
language indicative of the educated 
woman of her purer days ; one instant 
glorying in her shame, the next recoil 
ing in horror as she viewed the dark 
path which she had trodden, the 
darker path which she was yet to 
/read these paradoxes are things of 
every day occurrence, only to be ex 
plained, when the mass of good and 
evil, found in every human heart, is 
divided into distinct parts, no more to 
mingle in one, no more to occasion an 
eternal contest in the self-warring 
heart of manj 

" Well, well, Bessie go to bed 
and sleep a little that s a dear " 
said the old lady, with a pleasing 
smile " Opium isn t good for you, 
and you know it. A leetle nap ill do 
you good. Sleep a bit, and then you ll 
he right fresh for the wedding. Three 



o clock you know Corne along, 
Dolph, mommy must go tend to some 
little things about the house Come 
along, Dolph-ee Sleep a leetle, Bes 
sie, that s a dear 1" 



CHAPTER NINTH. 

THE BRIDE. 

A CHAPTER IN WHICH EVERY WOMAN MAY FIND 

SOME LEAVES OF HER OWN HEART, READ WITH 
THE EYES OF A HIGH AND HOLY LOVE. 

" MARY !" 

Oh sweetest name of woman ! name 
by which some of us may hail a wife, 
or a sister in heaven ; name so soft, and 
rippling, and musical ; name of the 
mother of Jesus, made holy by poetry 
and religion ! how foully were you 
profaned by the lips that whispered 
your sound of gentleness in the sleep 
er s ear! 

" Mary !" 

The fair girl stirred in her sleep, 
and her lips dropped gently apart as 
she whispered a single word 

" Lorraine !" 

" The assumed name of Lorrimer 
" exclaimed the woman, who stood 
by the bedside " Gus has some taste, 
even in his vilest loves ! But, with 
this girl this child good Heaven? 
how refined ! He shrunk at the very 
idea of her voice whispering the name 
which had been shouted by his devi> 
mates at a drinking bout ! So he to . -j 
the girl to call him fcot Gusty, no 
no, but something musical LOT 
raine /" 

And, stooping over the the couclu 
the queenly woman, with her proud 



T2 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



form arrayed in a dress of snow 
white silk, and her raven-black hair 
gathered in thick tresses along her 
neck, so full and round, applied her 
lips to the ear of the sleeper and 
whispered in a softened tone 

* Mary ! Awake it is your wed 
ding night !" 

The room was still as death. Not 
a sound save the faint breathing of the 
sleeper ; all hushed and still. The 
light of the wax candle standing on 
the table in the centre of the Rose 
Chamber as it was called fell 
mild and softened over the hangings 
of faint crimson, with the effect of 
evening twilight. 

The maiden pure and without 
stain lay sleeping on the small 
couch that occupied one corner of the 
closet. Her fair limbs were enshroud 
ed in the light folds of a night-robe, 
and she lay in an attitude of perfect 
repose, one glowing cheek resting 
upon her uncovered arm, while over 
the other, waved the loosened curls 
of her glossy hair. The parting lips 
disclosed her teeth, white as ivory, 
while her youthful bosom came heav 
ing up from the folds of her night- 
robe, like a billow that trembles for a 
moment in the moonlight, and then is 
suddenly lost to view. She lay there 
in all the ripening beauty of maiden 
hood, the light falling gently over her 
young limbs, their outlines marked by 
the easy folds of her robe, resembling 
in their roundness and richness of pro 
portion, the swelling fulness of the 
rose-bud that needs but another beam 
of light, to open it into its perfect 
bloom, 

The arihing eyebrows, the closed 



lids, with the long lashes resting on 
the cheek, the parted lips, and r .he 
round chin, with its smiling dimple, 
all these were beautiful, but oh how 
fair and beautiful the maiden s dreams . 
Rosier than her cheek, sweeter thaa 
her breath, lovelier than her kiss 
lovely as her own stainless soul, on 
whose leaves was written but one 
motto of simple meaning " Love in 
life, in death, and for ever." 

And in all her dreams she beheld 
but one form, heard the whisper of 
but one voice, shared the sympathies 
of but one heart ! He was her dream, 
her life, her God him had she trust 
ed with her all, in earth or heaven, 
him did she love withfthe uncalcu- 
lating abandonment of self, that marks 
the first passion of an innocent wo 
man !j^ 

* And was there aught of earth in 
this love ? Did the fever of sensual 
passion throb in the pulses of her vir 
gin blood 1 Did she love Loiimer be 
cause his eye was bright, his form 
magnificent, his countenance full of 
healthy manliness ? No, no, no ! 
Shame on the fools of either sex, who 
read the first love of a stainless wo 
man, with the eyes of Sense. She 
loved Lorrimer for a something which 
he did not possess, which vile world 
lings of his class never will possess. 
For the magic with which her fancy 
had enshrouded his face arid form, she 
loved him, for the wierd fascination 
which her own soul had flung around 
his very existence, for a dream of 



* The reader who desires to understand 
thoroughly, the pure love of an innocent girl 
for a corrupt libertine, will not fail to peruse 
this passage. 



THE BRIDE. 



73 



which he was the idol, for a waking 
irance in which he walked as her 
good Angel, for imagination, for fancy, 
ibr any thing but sense, she loved 
aim. 

It was her first love. 

She knew not that this fluttering 
fascination, which bound her to his 
slightest look or tone like the 
charmed bird to the lulling music 
which the snake is said to murmur, 
as he ensnares his prey she knew 
not that this fluttering fascination, was 
but the blind admiration of the moth, 
as it floats in the light of the flame, 
which will at last consume it. 

She knew not that in her own or 
ganization, were hidden the sympa 
thies of an animal as well as of an 
intellectual nature, that the blood in 
her veins only waited an opportunity 
to betray her, that in the very atmos 
phere of the holiest love of woman, 
crouched a sleeping fiend, who at the 
first whisperings of her Wronger, 
would arise with hot breath and blood 
shot eyes, to wreak eternal ruin on her, 
woman s-honor. 

r" For this is the doctrine we deem it 
right to hold in regard to woman. 
Like man she is a combination of an 
animal, with an intellectual nature. 
Unlike man her animal nature is a 
passive thing, that must be roused ere 
it will develope itself in action. Let 
the intellectual nature of woman, be 
the only object of man s influence, and 
woman will love him most holily. 
But let him play with her animal na 
ture as you would toy with the ma 
chinery of a watch, let him rouse the 
treacherous blood, let him fan the j 
pulse into quick, feverish throbbings, j 
let him varm the heart with convulsive i 



beatings, and the woman becomes, 
like himself, but a mere animal. 
Sense rises like a vapor, and utterly 
darkens Soul. 

And shall we heap shame on wo 
man, because man, neglecting her ho 
liest nature, may devote all the ener 
gies which God has given him, to rouse 
her gross and earthy powers into ac 
tion ? On whose head is the shame, 
or whose the wrong ? i Oh, would man 
but learn the solemn truth that no 
angel around God s throne is purer 
than Woman when her intellectual na 
ture alone is stirred into developement, 
that no devil crouching in the flames 
of hell is fouler than Woman, when 
her animal nature alone is roused into 
action would man but learn and re 
vere this fearful truth, would woman 
but treasure it in her inmost soul, then 
would never a shriek arise to heaven, 
heaping curses on the betrayer s head, 
then would never a wrong done to 
maiden virtue, give the suicide s grave 
its victim, then in truth, would woman 
walk the earth, the spirit of light that 
the holiest Lover ever deemed her ! 

And the maiden lay dreaming of 
her lover, while the form of the tall 
and stately woman, stood by the bed 
side, .ike her Evil Angel, as with a 
mingled smile and sneer, she bade the 
girl arise, for it was her wedding night. 
Her wedding night f 

"Mary ! Awake it is your wed 
ding night !" 

Mary murmured in her sleep, and 
then opened her large blue eyes, and 
arose in the couch. 

"Has he come?" were the first 
words she murmured in her musical 
tones, that came low and softened to 
the listeners ear "Has he come ?" 



74 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



"Not yet not yet my dear " 
said long-haired Bess, assisting the 
young maiden to rise from the couch, 
with all imaginable tenderness of man 
ner " You see Mary love, it s 
half-past two o clock and over, and 
of course, high time for you to dress. 
Throw back your night-gown my love, 
and let me arrange your hair. How 
soft and silky it needs but little aid 
from my hands, to render each tress 
a perfect charm " 

"Is it not very strange Bessie " 
said Mary opening her large blue eyes 
with a bewildered glance as she spoke. 

"What is strange? I see nothing 
strange except the remarkable beauty 
of these curls " 

"That I should first meet him, in 
such a singular manner, that he should 
love me, that for his sake I should fly 
to his uncle s mansion and that you 
Bessie my dear good friend should 
consent from mere friendship to leave 
your home and bear me company. 
/Ail this is very strange how like 
the stories we read in a book ! And 
his stern old uncle you say has re 
lented?" 

"Perfectly resigned to the match 
my dear. That s the way with all 
these relations is not that curl per 
fect ? when they ve made all the mis 
chief they can, and find it amounts to 
nothing, at the last moment they roll 
up their eyes, and declare with a 
sigh that they re resigned to the 
match. And his dear old grand-ma 
She lives here you know? There 
that is right your curls should fall 
in a shower over your snow-white 
nec k The dear old lady is in a per 
fect fever to see you ! She helped me 



to get every thing read y foi the wed. 
ding" 

"Oh Bessie Is it not most sad ? 
said Mary as her blue eyes shone with 
a glance of deep feeling "To think 
that Albert and you should love one 
another, so fondly, and after all, that 
he should die, leaving you alone in this 
cheerless world ! How terrible ! If 
Lorraine should die " 

A deep shade of feeling passed over 
Mary s face, and her lip trembled. 
Bessie held her head down, for a mo 
ment, as her fair fingers, ran twining 
among the tresses of the Bride. Was 
it to conceal a tear, or a smile ? 

"Alas ! He is in his grave ! Yet 
it is the memory of his love, that makes 
me take such a warm interest in your 
union with Lorraine. This plain fil 
let of silver, with its diamond star - 
how well it becomes your brow ! 
You never yet found a woman, who 
knew what it was to love, that would 
not fight for two true-hearted lovers, 
against the world ! Do you think 
Mary dear, that I could have sanc 
tioned your flight to this house, if my 
very soul had not been interested in 
your happiness ? Not I not I . 
Now slip off your night-gown my 
dear Have you seen the wedding 
dress?" 

"It seems to me " said Mary, 
whose thoughts dwelt solely on her 
love for Lorrimer " That there is 
something deeply touching in a wed 
ding that is held at this hour of the 
! night ! Every thing is calm and tran- 
quil ; the earth lies sleeping, while 
Heaven itself watches over the union 
I of two hearts that are all in all to 
each other " 



THE BRIDE. 



The words look plain and simple, 
out the tone in which she spoke was 
one of the deepest feeling. Her v.ery 
soul was in her words. Her blue eyes 
dilated with a sudden enthusiasm, and 
the color went and came along her 
glowing cheek, until it resembled a 
fair flower, one moment resting in the 
shade, the next bathing in the sunlight. 

"Let me assist you to put on this 
wedding dress. Is it not beautiful 1 
That boddice of white silk was Lor- 
rimer s taste. To be sure I gave the 
dress-maker a few hints. Is it not per 
fect 1 How gently the folds of the 
skirt rest on your figure ! It is a per 
fect fit, I do declare ! Why Mary 
you are too beautiful ! Well, well, 
handsome as he is, Lorrimer ought to 
be half crazy with vanity, when such 
a Bride is hanging on his arm !" 

A few moments sufficed to array 
the maiden for the bridal. 

Mary stood erect on the floor, blush 
after blush coursing over her cheek, 
as she surveyed the folds of her gor 
geous wedding dress. 

Itjvas in truth a dress most worthy 
of her face and form. From the shoul 
ders to the waist her figure was en 
veloped in a boddice of snow-white 
satin, that gathered over her swelling 
bosom, with such gracefulness of shape 
that every beauty of her form, the 
width of the shoulders, and the gra 
dual falling off, of the outline of the 
waist, was clearly perceptible. 

Fitting closely around the bust, 
it gave to view her fair round neck, 
half-concealed by the drooping curls of 
glossy hair, and a glimpse of each shoul 
der, so delicate and white, swelling 
away into the fullness of the virgin 
bosom, that rose heaving above the 



border of lace. From the waist down- 
ward, in many a fold, but with per 
feet adaptation to her form, the gor 
geous skirt of satin, fell sweeping to 
the floor, leaving one small and tiny 
foot, enclosed in a neat slipper, that 
clung to it as though it had grown 
there, exposed to the eye. 

The softened light falling over the 
rose-hued hangings of the room, 
threw the figure of the maiden out 
from the dim back- ground, in gentle 
and effective prominence. Her 
brown tresses showering down over 
each cheek, and falling along her 
neck and shoulders, waved gently to 
and fro, and caught a glossy richness 
from the light. Her fair shoulders, 
her full bosom, her long but not too 
slender waist, the downward propor 
tions of her figure, swelling with the 
full outlines of ripening maidenhood ; 
all arrayed in the graceful dress of 
snow-white satin, stood out in the dim 
light, relieved most effectively by the 
rose-hued hangings, in the back 
ground. 

As yet her arms, unhidden by sleeve 
or robe, gave their clear, transparent 
skin, their fullness of outline, their 
perfect loveliness of shape, all freely 
to the light. 

"Is it not a gorgeous dress ?" said 
long-haired Bess, as she gazed with 
unfeigned admiration upon the face 
and form of the beautiful maiden 
" As gorgeous, dear Mary, as you are 
beautiful!" 

" Oh it will be such a happy time !" 
cried Mary, in a tone that scarcely 
rose above a whisper, while her blue 
eyes flashed with a glance of deep 
emotion " There will sit my father 
and there my mother, in t/ e cheerful 



, 6 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



parlor on Christmas Eve ! My father s 
grey hairs and my mother s kindly 
face, will be lighted up by the same 
glow of light. And their eyes will be 
heavy with tears with weeping for 
me, Bessie, their lost child, as they 
will call me. When behold ! the door 
opens, Lorraine enters with me, his 
wife, yes, yes his wife by his side. 
We fling ourselves at the feet of our 
father and mother for they will be 
oars, then ! We crave their forgive 
ness ! Lorraine calls me his wife 
we beg their forgiveness and their 
blessing in the same breath ! Oh it 
will be such a happy time ! And my 
brother he will be there too he will 
like Lorraine, for he has a noble 
heart! Don t you see the picture, 
Bessie ? I see it as plainly as though 
it was this moment before me, and 
my father oh how he will weep 
when again he clasps his daughter in 
his arms !" 

There she stood, her fair hands 
clasped trembling together, her eyes 
flashing in ecstacy, while her heart, 
throbbing and throbbing like some 
wild bird, endeavoring to burst the bars 
of its cage, sent her boscn heaving 
into view. 

Bessie made no reply. True she 
attempted some common-place phrase, 
but the words died in her throat. She 
turned her head away, and thank 
God, she was not yet fallen to the 
lowest deep of woman s degradation 
a tear, big and scalding, came rolling 
down her cheek. 

And while Mary stood with her 
eyes gazing on the vacant air, with 
the manner of one entranced, while 
Bess pooi and fallen woman ! 






turned away her face to hide the fain 
ing tear, the curtains that concealed 
the entrance to the Painted Chamber 
were suddenly thrust aside, and the 
figure of a man came stealing along 
with a noiseless footstep. 

Gus Lorrimer, silent and unper- 
ceived, in all the splendor of his 
manly beauty, stood gazing upon the 
form of his victim, with a glance of 
deep and soul-felt admiration. 

His tall form was shown to the ut 
most advantage, by a plain suit of 
black cloth. A dress coat of the most 
exquisite shape, black pantaloons that 
fitted neatly around his well-formea 
limbs, a vest of plain white Marseilles, 
gathering easily across the outlines 01 
his massive chest, a snow-white shirt 
front, and a falling collar, confined by 
a simple black cravat ; such were the 
brief details of his neat but effective 
costume. His manly face was all in 
a glow with health and excitement. 
Clustering curls of dark brow hair 
fell carelessly along his open brow. 
His clear, dark-hazel eye, gave forth 
a flashing glance, that failed to reveal 
anything but the frank and manly 
qualities of a generous heart. You 
did not read the villian, in his glance 
The aquiline nose, the rounded chin, 
the curving lip, darkened by a grace 
ful moustache, the arching eyebrows, 
which gave additional effect to the 
dark eyes; all formed the details of a 
countenance that ever struck the be 
holder with its beaming expression of 
health, soul, and manliness, combined. 

And as Gus Lorrimer stood gazing 
in silent admiration upon his victim, 
few of his boon companions would 
have recognized, in his thoughtful 



THE BRIDE. 



77 



countenance, the careless though hand 
some face of the reveller, who gave life 
and spirit to their drinking scenes. 

The truth is, there were two Lorri 
mers in owe. ( There was a careless, 
dashing, hanSsome fellow who could 
kill a basket of champagne with any 
body, drive the neatest turn out in 
the way of horse flesh that the town 
ever saw, carry a frolic so far that 
the watchman would feel bound to 
take it up and carry it a little farther 
This was the magnificent Gus Lor- 
rimer. 

And then there was a tall, hand 
some man, with a thoughtful counte- 
aance, and a deep, dark hazel eye, 
tfho would sit down by the side of an 
innocent woman, and whisper in her 
ear, in a low-toned voice for hours to 
gether, with an earnestness of manner 
and an intensity of gaze, that failed 
in its effect, not once in a hundred 
times. Without any remarkable 
knowledge derived from education, 
this man knew every leaf of woman s 
many-leaved heart, and knew how 
to apply the revealings, which the fair 
book opened to his gaze. His gaze, 
in some cases, in itself was fascina 
tion ; his low-toned voice, in too many 
instances, whispered its sentences of 
passion to ears, that heard it to their 
eternal sorrow. This man threw his 
whole soul, in his every passion. He 
plead with a woman, like a man under 
sentence of death pleading for his life. 
Is it a wonder that he was but rarely 
unsuccessful? This man, so deeply 
read in woman s heart, was the * inner 
man of the handsome fellow, with the 
dashing exterior. Assuming a name, 
never spoken to his ear, save in the 



soft whispers of one of his many 
victims, he styled himself Lorraine 
Lorrimer. 

" Oh, Bessie, is not this Love 
a strange mystery?" exclaimed 
Mary, as though communing with her 
own heart ," Before I loved, my soul 
was calm and quiet. I had no thought 
beyond my school-books no deeper 
mystery than my embroidery-frame. 
Now the very air is changed. The 
atmosphere in which I breathe is no 
longer the same. Wherever I move 
his face is before me. Whatever may 
be my thoughts, the thought of him is 
never absent for a moment. In my 
dreams I see him smile. When 
awake, his eyes, so deep, so burning 
in their gaze even when he is ab 
sent seem forever looking into mine. 
Oh, Bessie tell me, tell me is it 
given to man to adore his God ? Is it 
not also given to woman to adore the 
one she loves ? Woman s religion is 
her love " 

And as the beautiful enthusiast, 
whose mind had been developed in 
utter seclusion from the world^gave 
forth these revelations of her heart, ir 
broken and abrupt sentences, Lorri 
mer drew a step nearer, and gazec 
upon her with a look in which passion 
rose predominent, even above admira- 
ion. 

" Oh, Bessie, can it be that his love 
will ever grow cold ? Will his voice 
ever lose its tones of gentleness, will 
lis gaze ever cease to bind me to him, 
as it enchains me now ?" 

" Mary !" whispered a strange voica 
n a low and softened murmur. 

Sho turned hastily round, she beheld 
he arms outspread to receive her, she 



78 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



saw the manly face of him she loved 
all a-glow with rapture, her fair blue 
eyes returned his gaze, " Lorraine," 
she murmured, in a faint whisper, and 
then her head rested upon his bosom, 
while her form trembled in his em- 
brace. 

" Oh, Lorraine " she again mur 
mured, as, with one fair hand resting 
upon each arm of her lover, she gazed 
upward in his face, while her blue eyes 
shone with all the feeling of her in 
most soul. " Oh Lorraine will 
you love me ever?" 

"Mary " he answered, gazing 
down upon her blushing face, as he 
uttered her name in a prolonged whis 
per, that gave all its melody of sound to 
her ear "Mary can you doubt me?" 

And as there he stood gazing upon 
that youthful face, now flushed over 
with an expression of all-trusting love, 
as he drank in the glance of her large 
blue eyes, and felt her trembling form 
resting gently in his arms, the foul 
purpose of his heart was, for a mo 
ment, forgotten, for a moment his 
heart rose swelling within him, and 
the thought flashed over his soul, that 
for the fair creature, who hung fasci 
nated on his every look, his life he 
could willingly lay down. 

" Ha-ha " muttered Bess, who 
stood regarding the pair with a glance 
of doubtful meaning -"I really be 
lieve that Lorrimer is quite as much 
in love, as the poor child ! Good idea, 
that ! A man, whose heart has been 
the highway of a thousand loves 
a man like this, to fall in love with a 
mere baby-face ! Mary, dear " she 
continued aloud, too happy to break 
the reverie which enchained the se 
ducer anH his vi itim " Mary, dear, 



hadn t I better help you to put on yom 
wedding robe?" 

Lorrimer turned and looked at her 
with a sudden scowl of anger. In a 
moment his face resumed its smile 

" Mary " he cried, laughingly 
" let me be your costumer, for once. 
My hands must help you on with the 
wedding robe. Nay, nay, you must 
not deny me. Hand me the dress, 
Bessie " 

It was a splendid robe of the same 
satin, as the other part of her dress. 
Gathering tightly around her form, it 
was designed to remain open in front, 
while the skirt fell trailing along the 
floor. Falling aside from the bust, 
where outlines were so gracefully de 
veloped by the tight-fitting boddice of 
white satin, its opposite sides were con 
nected by interlacing threads of silver- 
cord, crossed and recrossed over the 
heaving bosom. Long and drooping 
sleeves, edged with silver lace, were 
designed to give bewitching glimpses 
of the maiden s full and rounded arms. 
In fine, the whole dress was in the 
style of some sixty years since, such 
as our grand-dames designated by the 
euphonious name of * a gown and 
curricle. 

"How well the dress becomes you 
Mary !" exclaimed Lorrimer with 
a smile as he flung the roue over her 
shoulders " How elegant the fall 
of that sleeve ! Ha ha Mary, 
you must allow me to lace these silver 
cords in front. I m afraid I would 
make but an awkward lady s-maid, 
What say you Bessie ? Mary, your 
arms seem to love the light embrace 
of these drooping sleeves. You must 
forgive me, Mary, but I thought the 
style of the dress would please you, 



THE BRIDE, 



o I asked our good friend Bessie htre 
to have it made. By my soul, you 
give additional beauty to the wedding 
dress. Is she not beautiful Bessie ?" 

"Most beautiful " exclaimed 
Bess, as for the moment, her gaze of 
unfeigned admiration was fixed upon 
the Bride, arrayed in the full splen 
dor of her wedding robes " Most 
beautiful !" 

"Mary, your hand " whispered 
Lorrimer to the fair girl, who stood 
blushing at his side. 

With a heaving bosom, and a flash 
ing eye, Mary slowly reached forth 
her fair and delicate right hand. 
Lorr mer grasped the trembling fin 
gers within his own, and winding his 
unoccupied arm around her waist he 
suffered her head, with all its shower 
of glossy tresses, to fall gently on his 
shoulders. A blush, warm and sud 
den, came over her face. He impress 
ed one long and lingering kiss upon 
her lips. They returned the pressure, 
and clung to his lips as though they 
had grown there. 

"Mary, my own sweet love " he 
murmured in a low tone, that thrilled 
to her very heart "Now I kiss you 
as the dearest thing to me in the wide 
world. Another moment, and from 
those same lips will I snatch the first 
kiss of my lovely bride! To the 
Wedding Room my love !" 

Fair and blushing as the dawn, 
stainless as the new-fallen snow, lov 
ing as one of God s own cherubim, he 
led her gently from the place, motion 
ing onward with his hand as again 
and again he whispered To the Wed 
ding Room my love, to the Wedding 
Room !" 

"To the Wedding Room " echo 



ed Bess who folllowed in her Brides- 
maid robes "To the Weddmg\ 
Room ha, ha, ha, say rather to] 
h 11 ! : 

There was something most solemn, 
not to say thoughtful and melancholy, 
in the appearance of that lonely room. 
It was wide and spacious, and warm 
ed by invisible means, with heated air. 
Huge panels of wainscotting covered 
the lofty walls, and even the ceiling 
was concealed by massive slabs of 
dark walnut. The floor was all one 
polished surface of mahogany, desti 
tute of carpet or covering of any kind. 
A few high-backed mahogany chairs, 
standing along the walls, were the only 
furniture of the place. The entrance 
to the Rose Chamber, was concealed 
by a dark curtain, and in the western, 
and northern walls, were fashioned 
two massive doors, formed like the 
wainscotting, of dark and gloomy 
walnut. 

In the centre of the glittering ma- 
hogany floor, arose a small table 01 
altar, covered with a drooping cloth, 
white and stainless as the driven snow. 
Two massive wax candles, placed in 
candlesticks of silver, stood on the 
white cloth of the altar, imparting a 
dim and dusky light to the room. In 
that dim light the sombre panelling of 
the walls and the ceiling, the burnish 
ed floor of mahogany as dark as tho 
walnut- wood that concealed the ceil 
ing and the walls, looked heavy and 
gloomy, as though the place was a 
vault of death, instead of a cheerful 
Wedding Room. 

As yet the place was silent and so 
litary. The light flickered dim rv 
along the walls, and over the mahog- 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER 



any floor, which shone like a rippling 
lake in the moonlight. As you gazed 
upon the desolate appearance of that 
place, with the solitary wax lights 
burning like two watching souls, in 
the centre, you would haVe given the 
world, to have seen the room tenanted 
by living beings ; in its present still 
ness and solitude, it looked so much 
like, one of those chambers in olden 
story, where the ghosts of a departed 
family, were wont to assemble once 
a year, in order to revive the memo 
ries of their lives on earth. 

It might have been three o clock, 
or even half an hour later, when the 
western door swung slowly open, and 
the Clergyman, who was to solemnize 
this marriage, came striding some 
what unsteadily along the floor. Clad 
in robes of flowing white he had 
borrowed them from the Theatre 
with a Prayer Book in his hand, Pe- 
triken as he glanced uneasily around 
the room, did not look at all unlike 
a Minister of a particular class. His 
long, square, lugubrious face, slightly 
varied by red streaks around each 
eye, was tortured into an expression 
of the deepest solemnity. He took 
his position in silence, near the Altar. 

Then came the relenting Uncle, 
striding heavily at the parson s heels 
He was clad in a light blue coat 
with metal buttons, a buff vest, striped 
trowsers, and an enormous scarf, 
whose mingled colors of blue and gold, 
gathered closely around his short fat 
neck. His full-moon face looking 
very much like the face of a relent- 
ng uncle, who is willing to bestow 
mercy upon a wild young dog of a 
nephew, to almost any extent afford 
ed a pleasing relief to his pear-shaped 



nose, which stood out in the light, like 
a piece of carved work from a crim 
son wall. Silently the relenting Un 
cle, took his position beside the vene 
rable Clergyman. 

Then dressed in solemn black, the 
respectedGrand-ma of the Bridegroom, 
who was in such a fever to see the 
Bride, came stepping mincingly along 
the floor, glancing from side to side 
with an amiable look that ruffled the 
yellowish flesh of her colloped cheeks. 

The imperial on her chin had been 
softened down, and with the aid of a 
glossy dress of black silk, and a tower 
of Babel cap, she looked quite venera 
ble. Had it not been for a certain 
twinkle in her eyes, you could have 
fallen in her arms and kissed her ; 
she looked so much like one of those 
dear old souls, who make mischief in 
families and distribute tracts and cold 
victuals to the poor. The Grand-ma 
took her position on the left of the 
Clergyman. 

And in this position, gathered around 
the Altar, they stood for some fivu 
minutes silently awaiting the appear 
ance af the Bridegroom and the Bride 



CHAPTER TENTH. 

THE BRIDAL. 

"I SAY Mutchy, my boy " said 
Petriken, in a tone that indicated 
some lingering effects of his late de 
bauch " How do I do it ? Clever 

hey ? D ye like this face 1 Good 

is it? If my magazine fails, I 
think I ll enter the ministry for .gooct. 
Why not start a Church of my own ? 



THE BRIDAL. 



81 



When a man s fit for nothin else, he 
can always find fools enough to build 
him a church, and glorify him into a 
saint " 

" Do you think I do the Uncle 
wel 1 ?" whispered Mutchins, drawing 
his shirt collar up from the depths of 
his scarf, into which it had fallen 
" Devilish lucky you gave me the hint 
in time. Been the d 1 to pay if we d 
a-disappointed Gus. What am I to 
say, Silly. Is she not beautiful / in a 
sort of an aside tone, and then fall on 
her neck and kiss her 1 Eh, Silly ?" 

" That ill be coming it a little too 
strong " said Petriken, smoothing 
back his tow-colored hair " You re 
merely to take her by the finger-tips, 
and start as if her beauty overcame 
you, then exclaim God bless you my 
love, God bless you as though 
your feelings were too strong for ut 
terance " 

" God bless you, my love r 
echoed Mutchins " God bless you 
that will do hey, Silly? I feel 
quite an interest in her already. Now 
Aunty, my dear and kind-hearted old 
relative, what in the d 1 are you to 
do?" 

" Maybe I ll get up a convulsion or 
two " said the dear old lady, as her 
colloped cheeks waggled heavily with a 
smile her enemies would have called 
it a hideous grin " Maybe I ll do a 
hysteric or so. Maybe I won t? Dear 
me, I m in sich a fever to see my lit 
tle pet of a grand-daughter ! Ain t I?" 

"Hist!" whispered Petriken 
" There they are in the next room. 
I think I heard a kiss. Hush ! Here 
they come d n it, I can t find the 
marriage ceremony " 

No sooner had the words passed his 



lips, than Lorrimer appeared in the 
small doorway opening into the Rose 
Chamber, and stepped softly along 
the floor of the Walnut Room. Mary 
in all her beauty hung on his arm. 
Her robe of satin wound round her 
limbs, and trailed along the floor an 
she walked. At her side came Long 
haired Bess, glancing in the faces ot 
the wedding guests with a meaning , 
smile. 

" Nephew, I forgive you. God 
bless you, my dear I approve my 
nephew s choice God bless you, my 
dear " 

And, as though his feelings over 
came him, Mutchins veiled his face in 
a large red handkerchief; beneath 
whose capacious shelter he covertly 
supplied his mouth with a fresh morsel 
of tobacco. 

" And is this my grandchild ? Is 
this the dear pet ? How I shall love 
her ? Shan t I, grandson ? Oh my 
precious, how do you do ?" 

The clergyman saluted the bridt> 
with a low bow. 

A deep blush came mantling over 
Mary s face as she received these 
words of affection and tokens of kind 
ness from the Minister and the rela 
tives of her husband, while a slight, 
yet meaning, expression of di&gust 
flashed over Lorrimer s features, as he 
observed the manner in which his 
minions and panders performed their 
parts. 

With a glance of fire, Lorrirnei 
motioned the clergyman to proceed 
with the ceremony. 

This was the manner of the mar- 
riage. 

Hand joined in hand, Lorrimer and 
I Mary stood before the altar. The 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



bridesmaid stood near the trembling 
bride, whispering slight sentences of 
consolation in her ear. On the right 
hand of the clergyman, stood Mutch- 
ins, his red round face, subdued into 
an expression of the deepest solem 
nity ; on the other side, the vile hag 
of Monk-Hall, with folded arms, and 
grinning lips, calmly surveyed the 
face of the fair young bride. 

In a deep-toned voice, Petriken be 
gan the sublime marriage ceremony 
of the Protestant Episcopal Church. 
There was no hope for the bride now. 
Trapped, decoyed, betrayed, she was 
about to be offered up, a terrible sa 
crifice, on that unhallowed altar. Her 
trembling tones, joined with the deep 
voice of Lorrimer in every response, 
and the marriage ceremony, drew 
near its completion. " There is no 
hope for her now" muttered Bess, 
as her face shone with a glance of 
momentary compassion " She is 
sold into the arms of shame !" 

And at that moment, as the bride 
stood in all her beauty before the al 
tar, her eyes downcast, her long hair 
showering down over her shoulders, 
her face warming with blush after 
blush, while her voice in low tones 
murmured each trembling response of 
the fatal ceremony, at the very mo 
ment when Lorrimer gazing upon her 
face with a look of the deepest satis 
faction, fancied the fulfilment of the 
maiden s dishonour, there shrieked 
from the next chamber, a yell of such 
superhuman agony and horror, that 
the wedding guests were frozen with 
u sudden awe, and transfixed like 
figures of marble to the floor. 

The book fell from Petriken s trem 



bfing hands ; Mutchins turned pale, 
and the old hag started backward 
with sudden horror, while Bess stood 
as though stricken with the touch of 
death. Mary, poor Mary, grew white 
as the grave-cloth, in the face ; her 
hand dropped stiffly to her side, and 
she felt her heart grow icy within her 
bosom. 

Lorrimer alone, fearless and un 
daunted, turned in the direction from 
vhence that fearful yell had shrieked, 
and as he turned he started back with 
evident surprise, mingled with some 
feelings of horror and alarm. 

There, striding along the floor, 
came the figure of a young man, 
whose footsteps trembled as he walk 
ed, whose face was livid as the face 
of a corpse, whose long black hair 
waved wild and tangled, back from 
his pale forehead. His eye Great 
God ! it shone as with a gleam 
from the flames of hell. 

He moved his trembling lips, as he 
came striding on for a moment the 
word, he essayed to speak, stuck in 
his throat. 

At last with a wild movement of his 
arms, he shouted in a voice whose 
tones of horror, mingled with heart 
rending pathos, no man would like 
to hear twice in a life time, he shout 
ed a single word 

" MARY !" 

The bride turned slowly round. 
Her face was pale as death, and hei 
blue eyes grew glassy as she turned 
She beheld the form of the intruder. 
One glance was enough. 

" MY BROTHER !" she shrieked, 
and started forward as though aboul 



THE BRIDAL. 



> spring in the strangers arms ; but 
suddenly recoiling she fell heavily 
upon the breast of Lorrimer. 

There was a moment of silence 
all was hushed as the grave. 

The stranger stood silent and mo 
tionless, regarding the awe-striken 
bridal party, with one settled and 
burning gaze. One and all, they 
shrank back as if blasted by his look. 
Even Lorrimer turned his head aside 
and held his breath, for very awe. 

The stranger advanced another step, 
and stood gazing in Lorrimer s face. 

" My Sister /" he cried in a husky 
voice, and then as if all further words 
died in his throat, his face was con 
vulsed by a spasmodic movement, and 
he shook his clenched hand madly in 
the seducer s face. 

"Your name " cried Lorrimer, 
as he laid the fainting form of the 
Bride in the arms of Long-haired 
Bess " Your name is Byrne wood. 
This lady is named Mary Arlington. 
There is some mistake here. The 
lady is no sister of yours " 

" My name " said the other, with 
a ghastly smile " Ask this pale-faced 
craven what is my name ! He intro 
duced me to you, this night by my full 
name. You at once forgot, all but my 
first name. My name, sir, is Byrne- 
wood Arlington. A name, sir, you 
will have cause to remember in this 
world and devil that you are ! in 
the next if you harm the slightest hair 
on the head of this innocent girl " 

Lorrimer started back aghast. The 
full horror of his mistake rushed upon 
him. And in that moment, while the 
fainting girl lay insensible in Bessie s 
arms ; while Petriken, and Mutchbs, 
and the haggard old Abbess of the 



den, stood stncken dumb with astonish 
ment, quailing beneath the glance of 
the stranger ; a long and bony arm 
was thrust from behind the back of 
Byrnewood Arlington, the grim face 
Devil-Bug shone for a moment in the 
light, and then a massive hand with 
talon-fingers, fell like a weight upon 
the wick of each candle, and the room 
was wrapt in midnight blackness. 

Then there was a trampling of feet 
to and fro, a gleam of light flashed for 
a moment, through the passage, open 
ing into the Rose Chamber, and then 
all was dark again. 

" They are bearing my sister 
away !" was the thought that flashed 
over the mind of the Brother, as he 
rushed toward the passage of the Rose 
Chamber " I will rescue her from 
their grasp at the peril of my life !" 

He rushed along, in the darkness, 
toward the curtain that concealed the 
entrance into the Rose Chamber. He 
attempted to pass beyond the curtain, 
but he was received in the embrace of 
two muscular arms, that raised him 
from his feet as though he had been a 
mere child, and then dashed him to 
the floor, with the impulse of a giant s 
strength. 

" Ha-ha-ha ! " laughed a hoarse 
voice " You don t pass he"e, Mister. 
Not while Bijah s about! No you 
don t, my feller ha, ha, ha !" 

"A light, Devil-Bug " exclaimed 
a voice, that sounded from the centre 
of the darkened room. 

In a moment a light, grasped in the 
talon -fingers of the Doorkeeper of 
Monk-Hall, flashed around the place. 
Silent and alone Gus Lorrimer, stood 
in the centre of the room, his arms 



8-4 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



folded across his breast, while the dark 
frown on his brow was the only out 
ward manifestation of the violence of 
the struggle that had convulsed his 
very soul, during that solitary mo 
ment of utter darkness. Calling all 
the resources of his mind to his aid, 
he had resolved upon his course of 
action. 

"/ is a fearful remedy, but a sure 
one " he muttered as he again faced 
Byrnewood, who had just risen from 
the floor, where he had been thrown 
by Mr. Abijah K. Jones " Begone 
Devil-Bug " he continued aloud 
"But wait without and see that Glow 
worm and Musquito are at hand," He 
added in a meaning whisper. "Now 
Sir, I have a word to say to you " 
And as he spoke he confronted the 
Brother of the girl, whose ruin he had 
contrived with the ingenuity of an 
accomplished libertine, mingled with 
ail the craft of an incarnate fiend. 

Aching in every limb from his re 
cent fall, Byrnewood stood pale and 
silent, regarding the libertine with a 
settled gaze. In the effort to command 
his feelings, he pressed his teeth against 
his lower lip, until a thin line of blood 
trickled down to his chin. 

"You will allow that this, is a most 
peculiar case " he exclaimed with 
a calm gaze, as he confronted Byrne- 
wood "One in fact, that demands 
some painful thought. Will you favor 
me with ten minutes private conversa 
tion?" 

"You are very polite " exclaimed 
Byrnewood with a withering sneer 
"Here is a man, who commits a wrong 
for which h 11 itself has no name, 
and then instead of shrinking from 
the sight of the man he has injured, 



beyond the power of .vords o tell ha 
cooly demands ten minutes private 
conversation !" 

"It is your interest to grant my re 
quest " replied Lorrimer, with a 
manner as collected as though he had 
merely said Pass the bottle, Byrne- 
wood ! 

"I presume 1 must submit " re 
plied Byrnewood "But after the ten 
minutes are past remember that 
there is not a fiend in hell whom I 
would not sooner hug to my bosom, 
than grant one moment s conversation 
to a a man ha, ha a man 
like you. My sister s honor may be 
in your power. But remember that 
as surely as you wrong her, so surely 
you will pay for that wrong, with 
your life " 

"You then, grant me ten minutes 
conversation ? You give me your 
word that during this period, you will 
eep your seat, and listen patiently to 
all, that I may have to say? You nod 
assent. Follow me, then. A footstep 
or so this way, will lead us to a plea 
sant room, the last of this range, 
where we can talk the matter over " 

He flung open the western door of 
he Walnut room, and led the way 
ilong a narrow entry, up a stairway 
with some five steps, and in a moment 
stood before a small doorway, closing 
he passage at the head of the stairs. 
At every footstep of the way, he held 
he light extended at arms length, and 
regarded Byrnewood with the cautious 
lance of a man who is not certain 
at what moment, a concealed enemy 
may strike him in the back. 

"My Library Sir " exclaimed 
Lorrimer as pushing open the door, he 
entered a small oblong roorr, some 



THE BRIDAL. 



,wenty-feet in length and about half 
hat extent in width. "A quiet little 
place where I sometimes amuse my 
self with a book. There is a chair 
Sir please be seated " 

Seating himself upon a small stool, 
that stood near the wall of the room, 
furthest from the door, Byrnewood 
with a single glance, took in all the 
details of the place, It was a small 
unpretending room, oblong in form, 
with rows of shelves along its longest 
walls, facing each other, supplied with 
books of all classes, and of every des 
cription, from the pondrous history to 
the trashy novel. The other walls at 
either end, were concealed by plain 
and neat paper, of a modern pattern, 
which by no means harmonized with 
the ancient style of the carpet, whose 
half-faded colors glowed dimly in the 
light. Along the wall of the chamber 
opposite Byrnewood, extended an old- 
fashioned sofa, wide and roomy as a 
small sleeping couch ; and from the 
centre of the place, arose a massive 
table, fashioned like a chest, with sub 
stantial sides of carved oak, supply 
ing the place of legs. To all appear . 
ance it was fixed and jointed, into the 
floor of the room. 

Altogether the entire room, as its 
details were dimly revealed by the 
beams of the flickering lamp, wore a 
cheerless and desolate look, increased 
by the absence of windows from the 
walls, and the ancient and worn-out 
appearance which characterized the 
stool, the sofa and the table ; the only 
furniture of the place. There was no 
visible hearth, and no sign of fire, 
while the ~ir cold and chilling had a 
Tiusty and unwholesome taint, as 



though the room had not been visited 
or opened for years. 

Placing the lamp on the solitary ta 
ble, Lorrimer flung himself carelessly 
on the sofa, and motioned Byrnewood, 
to draw his seat nearer to the light. 
As Byrnewood seated himself beside 
the chest-like table, with his cheek 
resting on his hand, the full details of 
his countenance, so pale, so colorless, 
so corpse-like, were disclosed to the 
keen gaze of Lorrimer. The face of 
the Brother, was perfectly calm, al 
though the large black eyes, dilated 
with a glance that revealed the Soul, 
turning madly on itself and gnawing 
its own life, in very madness of 
thought, while from the lips tightly 
compressed, there still trickled down, 
the same thin line of blood, ren 
dered even more crimson and dis 
tinct, by the extreme pallor of the 
countenance. 

" You will at least admit, that 7 
have won the wager " said Lorri 
mer, in a meaning tone, as he fixed 
his gaze upon the death-like counte 
nance of Byrnewood Arlington. 

Byrnewood started, raised his hands 
suddenly, as if about to grasp the liber 
tine by the throat, and then folding his 
arms tightly over his chest, he ex 
claimed in a voice marked by unatural 
calmness 

" For ten minutes, sir, I have pro 
mised to listen to all all you may 
have to say. Go on, sir. But do not, 
I beseech you, tempt me too far " 

" Exactly half-past three by my re 
peater " cooly replied Lorrimer, 
looking at his watch " At twenty 
minutes of four, our conversations ends. 
Very good. Now, sir, listen to my 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



proposition. Give me your word of 
honor, and your oath, that when you 
leave this house, you will preserve the 
most positive secrecy with regard to 
to everything you may have 
witnessed within its walls ; promise 
me this, under your word of honor and 
your solemn oath, and I will give you 
my word of honor, my oath, that, in 
one hour from daybreak, your sister 
shall be taken to her home, pure and 
stainless, as when first she left her fa 



ther s threshold, 
this ?" 



Do you agree to 



" Do you see this hand ?" answered 
Byrnewood, with a nervous tremour 
of- his lips, that imparted an almost 
savage sneer to his countenance 
" Do you see this flame 1 Sooner than 
, agree to leave these walls, without 
m y m y without Mary, pure and 
stainless, mark ye,*! would hold this 
good right hand in the blaze of this 
lamp, until the flesh fell blackened and 
festering from the very" bohe. Are 
you answered?" 

" Excuse me, sir I was not speak 
ing of any anatomical experiments; 
however interesting such little efforts 
in the surgical line, may be to you. I 
wished to make a compromise " 

" A compromise /" echoed Byrne- 
wood. 

" Yes, a compromise. That melo 
dramatic sneer becomes you well, but 
it would suit the pantomimist at the 
Walnut street Theatre much better. 
What have I done with the girl, that you. 
or* any other young blood about town, 
would not do, under similar circum 
stances. Who was it, that entered 
so heartily into the joke of the sham 



marriage, when 
Oyster Cellar? 



it was named in the 
Who was it called 



the 



astrologer a 



knave a forUiiw 



/ 



teller a catch-penny cheat, when 
he simple man ! advised me to 
give up the girl ? I perceive, sir, you 
are touched. I am glad to observe, 
tbat you appreciate the graphic truth 
of my remarks. You will not sneer 
at the word compromise again, will 
you ?" 

"Oh, Mary! oh, Mary!" whisper 
ed Byrnewood, drawing his arms yet 
more closely over his breast, as though 
in the effort to command his agitation 
" Mary ! Was I placing your honor 
in the dice-box, when I made the 
wager with yonder man ? Was it 
your ruin the astrologer foretold, when 
he urged this devil to turn back in 
his career? Was it my voice that 
cheered him onward in his work of 
infamy ? Oh Mary, was it for this 
for this, that I loved you as brothei 
never loved sister ? Was it for this, 
that I wound you close to my inmost 
heart, since first I could think or feel ? 
Was it for this, that in the holiest of 
all my memories, all my hopes, your 
name was enshrined ? Was it for this, 
that I pictured, again and again, every 
hour in the day, every moment of the 
night, the unclouded prospects of your 
future life? Oh Mary, oh Mary, I 
may be wrong, I may be vile, I may 
be sunken as low as the man before 
me, yet my love for you, has been 
without spot, and without limit ! And 
now Mary oh now " 

He paused. There was a husky 
sound in his throat, and the blood 
trickled faster from his tortured lip. 

Lorrimer looked at him silently for 
a moment, and then, taking a small 
pen-kriife from his pocket, began to 
pare iis nails, with a quiet and absen* 



THE BRIDAL. 



87 



air, as though he did nt exactly know 
what to do with himself. He wore 
the careless and easy look of a gentle 
man, who having just dined, is 
wondering where in the deuce he shall 
spend the afternoon. 

J I say, Byrnie my boy " he cried 
suddenly, with his eyes fixed on the 
operations of the knife " Devilish 
odd, ain t it? That little affair of 
yours, with Annie 1 Wonder if she 
has any brother ? Keen cut that " 

Had Mr. Lorrimer intended the allu 
sion, about the keenness of the * cut, 
for Byrnewood instead of his nail-par 
ing knife, the remark would, perhaps, 
have been equally applicable. Byrne- 
wood shivered at the name of Annie, 
as though an ague-fit had passed sud 
denly over him. The * cut was rather 
keen, and somewhat deep. This care 
less kind of intellectual surgery, some 
times makes ghastly wounds in the 
soul, which it s6 pleasantly dissects. 

" May I ask what will be your 
course, in case you leave this place, 
without the lady ? You are silent. I 
suppose there will be a suit instituted 
for abduction? and a thousand legal 
et ceteras ? This place will be ransack 
ed for the girl, and your humble ser 
vant will be threatened with the Peni 
tentiary ? A pleasant prospect, truly. 
Why do you look so earnestly at that 
hand?" 

" You have your pleasant prospects 
I have mine " exclaimed Byrne- 
wood with a convulsive smile " You 
see that right hand, do you ? I was 
just thinking, how long it might be. 
ere that hand would be reddened with 
your heart s blood " 

"Poh! poh! Such talk is d d 



boyish. IVye agree to my proposition? 
Yes or no?" 

" You have had my answer " 

" In case I surrender the girl to you, 
will you then promise unbroken se 
crecy, with regaifd to the events of 
this night?" 

" I will make no terms whatever 
with a scoundrel and a coward!" 
hissed Byrnewood, between his clench 
ed teeth. 

" Pshaw ! It is high time this mask 
should be cast aside " exclaimed 
Lorrimer, as his eye flashed with an 
expression of triumph, mingled with 
anger and scorn " And do you sup 
pose that on any condition, or for any 
consideration, I would leave this fair 
prize slip from my grasp? Why, in 
nocent that you are, you might have 
piled oath on oath, until your very 
breath grew husky in the effort, and 
still still despite of all your oaths, 
the girl would remain mine ! 

"Know me as I am ! Not the mere 
man-about-town, not the wine-drink 
ing companion, not the fashionable 
addle-head you think me, but the 
Man of Pleasure ! You will please 
observe, how much lies concealed in 
that title. You have talents these 
talents have been from childhood, de 
voted to books, or mercantile pursuits. 
I have some talent I flatter myself 
and that talent, aided and strengthened 
in all its efforts, by wealth, from very 
boyhood, has been devoted to Pleasure, 
which, in plain English, means 
Woman. 

"Woman the means ot securing 
her affection, of compassing her ruin, 
of enjoying her beauty, has been my 
book, my study, my science, nay my 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



profession from boyhood. And am I, 
to be foiled in one of the most intricate 
of all my adventures, by such a 
child a mere boy like you ? Are 
you to frighten me, to scare me back 
in the path I have chosen ; to wrest 
this flower, to obtain which I have 
perilled so much, are you to wrest this 
flower from my grasp ? You are so 
strong, so mighty, you talk of redden 
ing your hand in my heart s blood 
and all such silly vaporing, that would 
be hissed by the pit-boy s, if they but 
heard it, spouted forth by a fifth-rate 
hero of the green-room and yet 
with all this you are my prisoner " 

Your prisoner ?" echoed Byrne- 
wood slowly rising to his feet. 

"Keep cool Sir " cried Lorrimer 
with a glance of scorn "Two mi 
nutes of the ten, yet remain. I have 
your word of honor, you will remem- 
oer. Yes my prisoner! Why 
do you suppose for a moment, that I 
would let you go forth from this house, 
when you have it in your power to 
raise the whole city on my head ? 
You know that 1 have placed myself 
under the ban of the laws by this ad 
venture. You know that the Peniten 
tiary would open its doors to enclose 
me, in case I was to be tried for this 
affair. You know that popular indig 
nation, poverty and disgrace, stare rne 
in the very eyes, the moment this ad 
venture is published to the world, and 
yet ha, ha, ha you still think me, 
the egregious ass, to open the doors 
of Monk-Hall to you, and pleasantly 
bid you go forth, and ruin rne forever ! 
Sir, you are my prisoner." 

"Ha ha ha! I will be even 
with you " laughed Byrne wood 



"You may murder me, in the aft oul 
I still have the power to arouse tho 
neighbourhood. I can shriek for help. 
I can yell out the cry of Murder, from 
this foul den, until your doors are flung 
open by the police,and the secrets of your 
rookery laid bare to the public gaze " 

"Scream, yell, cry out, until .your 
throat cracks ! Who will hear you 1 
Do you know how many feet, you are 
standing, above the level of the earth ? 
Do you know the thickness of these 
walls ? Do you know that you stand 
in the Tower-Room of Monk-Hall? 
Try your voice by all means I 
should like to hear you cry Murder or 
Fire, or even hurra for some political 
candidate, if the humor takes you " 

Byrnewood sank slowly in his seat, 
and rested his cheek upon his hand. 
His face was even paler than before 
the consciousness that he was in the 
power of this libertine, for life or death, 
or any act of outrage, came stealing 
round his heart, like the probings of 
a surgeon s knife. 

"Go on Sir "he muttered biting 
his nether lip, until the blood once 
more came trickling down to his 
chin "The hour is yours. Mine 
will come " 

"At my bidding ; not a moment 
sooner " laughed Lorrimer rising 
his feet " Why man, death sur 
rounds you in a thousand forms, 
and you know it not. You may walk on 
Death, you may breathe it, you may 
drink it, you may draw it to you with 
a fingers-touch, and yet be as uncon 
scious of its presence, as a blind man 
is of a shadow in the night " 

Byrnewood slowly rose from his 
seat. He clasped his hands nervously 



THE BRIDAL. 



89 



together, and his lips muttered an in 
coherent sound as he endeavoured to 
spea k. 

; < Do what you will with me " he 
cried, in a husky voice " But oh, for 
the sake of God, do not wrong my 
mter /" 

" She is in my power !" whispered 
Lorrimer, with a smile, as he gazed 
apon the agitated countenance of the 
brother " She is in my power !" 

" Then by the eternal God, you are 
in mine !" shrieked Byrnewood, as 
with one wild bound, he sprang at the 
tall form of Lorrimer, and fixed both 
hands around his throat, with a grasp 
like that of the tigress when she fights 
for her young " You are in my 
power ! You cannot unloose my grasp ! 
Ha ha you grow black in the 
face ! Struggle ! struggle ! With 
all your strength you cannot tear my 
hands from your throat you shall 
die like a felon, by the eternal God !" 

Lorrimer was taken by complete 
surprise. The wild bound of Byrne- 
wood had been so sudden, the grasp 
of his hands, was so much like the 
terrific clutch with which the drown 
ing man makes a last struggle for life, 
that for a single moment, the hand 
some Gus Lorrimer reeled to and fro 
like a drunken man. while his manly 
features darkened over with a hue of 
livid blackness, as ghastly as it was 
instantaneous. The struggle lasted 
but a single moment. With the con 
vulsive grasp tightening around his 
throat, Lorrimer sank suddenly on 
one knee, dragging his antagonist with 
him, and as he sank, extending his 
arm, with an effort as desperate as that 
which fixed the clinched fingers 



around his throat, he struck Byrne- 
wood a violent blow with his fist, di 
rectly behind the ear. Byrnewood 
sank senseless to the floor, his fingers 
unclosing their grasp of Lorrimer s 
throat, as slowly and stiffly as though 
they were seized with a sudden cramp 

" Pretty devilish and d d hasty !" 
muttered Lorrimer, arranging his cra 
vat and vest " Left the marks of his 
fingers on my throat, I ll be bound ! 
Hallo Musquito! Hallo, Glow-worm 
here s work for you !" 

The door of the room swung sud 
denly open, and the herculean negroes 
stood in the doorway, their sable faces, 
agitated by the same hideous grin, 
while the sleeves of the red flannel 
shirts, which formed their common 
costume, rolled up to the shoulders 
disclosed the iron-sinews of their jet- 
black arms. 

" Mark this man, I say " 

" Yes Massa I doo-es " 
chuckled Musquito, as his loathsome 
lips, inclining suddenly downward to 
ward the jaw, on either side of his 
face, were convulsed by a brutal grin 
" Dis nigger nebber mark a man 
yet, but dat some/in cum ob it " 

" Massa Gusty no want de critter to 
go out ob dis ere door?" exclaimed 
Glow-worm, as the long rows of his 
teeth, bristling from his thick lips, 
shone in the light like the fangs of 
some strange beast " Spose he go 
out ob dat door ? Spose de nigger 
no mash him head, bad ? Ain t Glow 
worm got fist ? Hah-hah ! Sketo 
did you ebber see dis chile (child) 
knock an ox down ? Hah-hah !" 

" You are to watch outside the door 
all night " exclaimed Lorrimer, as 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



he stood upon the threshold "Let 
him not leave the room on the peril of 
your lives. D ye mark me, fellows?" 

And as he spoke, motioning the ne 
groes from the room, he closed the 
door and disappeared. 

He had not gone a moment when 
Byrnewood, recovering from the stun 
ning effect of the blow which had saved 
Lorrimer s life, slowly staggered to 
his feet, and gazed around with a be 
wildered glance. 

" On Christmas Eve " he mur 
mured wildly, as though repeating 
words whispered to his ear in a dream 
" On Christmas Eve, at the hour 
of sundown, one of ye will die by the 
other s hand the winding sheet is 
woven and the coffin made / 



CHAPTER ELEVENTH. 

DEVIL-BUG. 

IT don t skeer me, I tell ye ! For 
six long years, day and night, it has 
laid by my side, with its jaw broke 
and its tongue stickin out, and yet I 
ain t a bit skeered ! There it is now 

on the left side, ye mind in the 
light of the fire. Ain t it an ugly 
corpse ? Hey ? A reel nasty Chris 
tian, I tell ye ! Jist look at the knees, 
d rawed up to the chin, jist look at the 
eyes, hanging out on the cheeks, jist 
look at the jaw all smashed and broke 

look at the big, black tongue, 
stickin from between the teeth say 
it ain t an ugly corpse, will ye? 

" Sometimes I can hear him groan 

only sometime* ! I ve always no 
ticed when anything bad is a-goin to 



come across me, that critter groans 
and groans ! Jist as I struck him 
down, he lays afore me now. Whiz 

wh-i-z he came down the hatch 
way three stories, every bit of it ! 
Curse it, why hadn t I the last trap 
door open 1 He fell on the floor, pretty 
much mashed up, but but he wasn t 
dead 

" He riz on his feet. Just as he lays 
on the floor in his shirt sleeves, with 
his jaw broke and his tongue out he 
riz on his feet. Didn t he groan ? I 
put him down, I tell ye ! Down -~ 
down ! Ha ! What was a sledge ham 
mer to this fist, in that pertikler min 
nit 1 Crack, crack went the spring of 
the last trap-door and the body fell 

the devil knows where I don t. 
I put it out o my sight, and yet it 
came back to me, and crouched down 
at my side, the next minnit. It s been 
there ever since. If I sleep, or if I m 
wide awake, it s there there al 
ways on my left side, where I hain t 
got no eye to see it, and yet I do I 
do see it. What a cussed fool I was 
arter all ! To kill him, and he not 
got a cent in his pockets! Bah! 
Whenever I think of it I grow fever 
ish. And there he is now With his 
d d ugly jaw. How he lolls his 
tongue out and his eyes ! Ugh ! 
But I ain t a bit skeered. No. Not 
me. I can bear wuss things than that 
are" 

The light from the blazing coal -fire, 
streamed around the Doorkeeper s 
den. Seated close by the grate, in a 
crouching attitude, his feet drawn to 
gether, his big hands grasping each 
knee with a convulsive clutch, his 
head lowered on his breast, and his 
face, warmed to a crimson red by the 



DEVIL-BUG. 



glare of the flame, moistened with 
thick drops of perspiration ; Devil- 
Bug turned the orbless eye-socket to 
the floor at his left side, as though it 
was gifted with full powers of sight, 
while his solitary eye, grew larger and 
more burning in its fixed gaze, uutil 
at last, it seemed to stand out, from 
his overhanging brow, like a separate 
flame. 

The agitation of the man was at 
once singular and fearful. Oozing from 
his swarthy brow, the thick drops of 
sweat fell trickling over his hideous 
face, moistening his matted hair, until 
it hung, damp and heavy over his 
eyebrows. The lips of his wide mouth 
receding to his flat nose and pointed 
chin, disclosed the long rows of brist 
ling teeth, fixed as closely together, as 
though the man, had been suddenly 
seized with lock-jaw. His face was 
all one loathsome grimace, as with his 
blazing eye, fixed upon the fire, he 
seemed gazing upon the floor at his 
left, with the shrunken and eyeless 
socket, of the other side of his face. 

This creature, who sate crouching 
in the light of the fire, muttering 
words of strange meaning to himself, 
presented a fearful study for the Chris 
tian and Philanthropist. His Soul 
was like his body, a mass of hideous 
and distorted energy. 
^ Born in a brothel, the offspring of 
foulest sin and pollution, he had grown 
from very childhood, in full and con 
tinual sight of scenes of vice, wretch 
edness and squalor. 

From his very birth, he had breath 
ed an atmosphere of infamy. 

To him, there was no such thing as 
good in the world. 



His world his place of birth, his 
home in infancy, childhood and man 
hood, his only thea^ie of action 
had been the common house of ill-fame. 
No mother had ever spoken words of 
kindness to him ; no father had evei 
held him in his arms. Sister, brother, 
friends ; he had none of these. He 
had come into the world without u 
name ; his present one, being the stand 
ing designation of the successiye Door 
keepers of Monk-hall, which he in vain 
endeavoured to assume, leaving the 
slang title bestowed on him in child 
hood, to die in forgetfulness. 

Abijah K. Jones he might call him 
self, but he was Devil-Bug still. 

His loathsome look, his distorted 
form, and hideous soul, all seemed to 
crowd on his memory, at the same mo 
ment, when the word Devil-Bug rang 
on his ear. That word uttered, and he 
stood apart from the human race ; that 
word spoken, and he seemed to feel, 
that he was something distinct from the 
mass of men, a wild beast, a snake, 9. 
reptile, or a devil incarnate any 
thing but a man. 

The same instinctive pleasure that 
other men, may feel in acts of benevo 
lence, of compassion or love, warmed 
the breast of Devil-Bug, when enjoyed 
in any deed, marked by especial cru 
elty. This word will scarcely express 
the instinctive impulse of his soul, 
He loved not so much to kill, as to ob 
serve the blood of his victim, fall drop 
by drop, as to note the convulsive look 
of death, as to hear the last throttling 
rattle in the throat of the dying. 

For years and years, the instinctive 
impulse, had worked in his own bosom, 
without vent. The murder which had 
dyed his hands, with human blood for 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



I he first time, some six years ago, 
opened wide to his soul, tne pathway of 
crime, which it was his doom and his de- 
) ight to tread. Ever since the night of the 
Murder, his victim, hideous and repul 
sive, had lain beside him, crushed and 
mangled, as he fell through the death 
trap. The corpse was never absent 
from his fancy ; which in this instance 
had assumed the place of eyesight. Did 
he s it it was at his left side. Did 
he walk crushed and mangled as it 
was, it glided with him. Did he 
sleep it still was at his side, ever 
present with him, always staring him 
in the face, with all its loathsome de 
tails of horror and bloodshed. 

Since the night of the Murder, a 
longing desire had grown up, within 
this creature, to lay another corpse be 
side his solitary victim. Were there 
he thought, two corses, ever at his 
side, the terrible details of the man 
gled form and crushed countenance of 
the first, would loose half their horror, 
all their distinctness. He longed to 
surround himself with the Phantoms 
of new victims. In the number of his 
crimes, he even anticipated pleasure. 

It was this man, this deplorable mo 
ral monstrosity, who knew no God, 
who feared no devil, whose existence 
was one instinctive impulse of cruelty 
and bloodshed, it was this Outlaw of 
heaven and earth and hell, who held 
the life of Byrne wood Arlington in 
his grasp. 

"It s near about mornin and that 
ere boy ought to have somethin to eat 
\ leetle to drink per aps? Now 
^/p-pose, I should take him up, E 
hiled chicken and a bottle o wine 



He sits down by the table o course to 
eat I fix his plate on a pertikler side. 
As he planks down into the cheer, his 
foot touches a spring. What is the 
consekence ? He git s a fall and hurts 
lisself. Sup-pose he drinks the wine? 
Three stories down the hatchway 
reether an ugly tumble. He git s cra 
zy, and wont know nothin for days. 
Very pecooliar wine got it from the 
Doctor who used to come here dint 
kill a man, only makes him mad-like. 
The Man with th Poker is n t nothin 
to this stuff Hallo ! Who s there ?" 

" Only me, Bijah " cried a wo 
man s voice, and the queenly form of 
Long Haired Bess with a dark shawl 
thrown over her bridesmaid s dress ad 
vanced toward the light "I ve just 
left Lorrimer. He s with the girl you 
know ? He sent me down here, to tell 
you to keep close watch on that young 
fellow" 

"Jist as if I could nt do it mesself 
grunted Abijah in his grindstone 
voice "Always a-orderin a feller 
about? That s his way. Spose you 
cant make yourself useful ? Kin you ? 
Then take some biled chicken and 
a bottle o wine up to the younk chap. 
Guess he s most starved " 

"Shall I get the chicken and the 
wine ?" asked Bess gazing steadily in 
Abijah s face. 

"What the thunder you look in my 
face that way fur 1 No you shant git 
em. Git em mesself. Wait here 
till I come back. Do nt let any one 
in without the pass word What 
hour of the night and the answer 
Dinner time you know ?" 

And as Devil-Bug strode heavily 
from the den, and was heard going 
down into the cellars of the mansion, 



DEVIL-BUG. 



Bess stood silent and erect before the 
fire, her face, shadowed by an expres 
sion of painful thought, while her 
dark eyes, shot a wild glance from be 
neath her arching brows, suddenly 
compressed in a frown. 

" Some mischief at work I sup 
pose " s he whispered in a hissing 
vo j ce "I ve sold myself to shame, 
but not to Murder !" 

A low knock resounded from the 
front door. 

Suddenly undrawing the bolt and 
flinging the chain aside, Bess gazed 
through a crevice of the opened door, 
upon the new-comers, who stood be 
yond the out-side door of green -blinds. 

"Who s there?" she said in a low 
voice. 

"Ha ha " laughed one of the 
strangers "It s bonny Bess. What 
hour of the night is it, my dear ?" 

" Dinner time , you fool " re 
plied the young lady opening the out 
side door "Come in Luke ! Ha ! 
There is a stranger with you ! Your 
friend Luke ?" 

" Aye, aye, Bessie my love, " an 
swered Luke as he entered the den, 
with the stranger at his side "Did 
ye hear the Devil-Bug say, whether 
there was fire in my room 1 all right 
hey ? And cards you know Bess 
cards ! This gentleman and T, want 
to amuse ourselves with a little game. 
Bye-the-bye where s Fitz-Cowles ? 
I should like him to join us. Seen 
him to night my dear?" 

" Up stairs you know Luke " an- 
8\ve~ed Bess with a meaning smile " 
Veiled figure? Luke you know? 
That s a game above your fancy I 
should suppose ?" 

And as she said this with an ex 



pressive gance of her dark eye, Bess 
observed that the stranger who ac 
companied Luke, was a very tall, stout 
man, wrapped up in a thick overcoat, 
whose upraised collar, concealed his 
face to the very eyes. His eyes were 
visible for a single moment, how- 
ever as half-hidden by the shadow of 
Luke s figure, the stranger strode 
swiftly across the floor of the den. 
Bess started, with a feeling of terror, 
akin to the awe one experiences in the 
presence of a madman, as those eyes, 
so calm and yet so burning in their 
fixed gaze, flashed for a moment in 
the red light. 

"Luke, I am ready " said the 
Stranger in a smothered voice "To 
the room Luke to the Room /" 

Without a word Luke led the way 
from the den, and in a moment Bess^ 
heard the half-hushed sound of their 
footsteps, as they ascended the stair- 
case of the mansion. 

"That s a strange eye for a man 
who s only a-goin 9 to play cards" 
muttered Bess as she stood by the fire, 
place "Now it s more like the eye of 
a man, who s been playin all night, 
and lost his very soul in a game with 
the D 1 ! Lord ! But that s a wick- 
ed eye for a dark night !" 

"Here s the biled chicken and the 
wine" grated the harsh voice of 
Devil-Bug, who approached the fire, 
with a large waiter in his arms 
"Take it up to the feller, Bess. He s 
hungry praps ? And d ye mind gal- 
set his plate on the side of the table, 
furthest from the door?" 

"Any particular reason for that, 
Bijah?" 

" Cuss it gal, cant you do it, with 
out axeing questions 9 It s only n 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



whim o mine. That bottle is worth 
its weight in red goold. Don t taste 
such Madeery every day I tell you. 
p oor fellow guess he s a-most 
starved " 

"Well, well, I ll take him the chick- 
en and the wine " exclaimed Bess 
pleasantly as she took possession of 
the waiter with its cold chicken and 
luscious wine "Hang it though, 
when I come to think o it, why could nt 
you have taken it up yourself? Bijah 
you re growin lazy " 

"Mind gal " grunted Devil-Bug 
as the girl disappeared through the 
door "Set his plate on the side of 
the table furthest from the door. D ye 
hear ? It s a whim o mine furthest 
from the door d ye hear" 

" Furthest from the door "echoed 
Bess, and in a moment her footsteps 
resounded with a low pattering noise 
along the massive staircase. 

"The Spring and the bottle " 
muttered Devil-Bug as he resumed his 
seat beside the fire " It seems to 
me, I should like to creep up stairs, 
and listen at his door to see how them 
things work. The niggers is there : 
but no matter. May be he ll howl 
or groan or do all sorts of ravin s ? 
Gusty did not exactly tell me to do all 
this but I guess he ll grin as wide 
as any body, when the thing is done. 
It seems to me I should like, to see 
how them things works. It ud be nice 
to listen a bit at his door. Wonder if 
that gal suspicions anything?" 

He rubbed his hands earnestly to 
gether, as a man is want to do, under 
the influence of some pleasing idea, 
and his solitary eye, dilated and spark 
led, with a glance of the most remark 



able satisfaction. A slight cmicklt; 
shook his distorted frame, and his lips, 
performed a succession of vivid spasms 
which an ignorant observer might 
have confounded under the general 
name of laughter. 

"Poor feller guess he s cold with 
out a -fire " said complacent Devil- 
Bug as he rubbed his hand cheerfully 
together " I might build him a little 
fire. I might I might ha! ha! 
ha !" he arose slowly to his feet, and 
laughed so loud, that the echoes of his 
voice resounded from the den, along 
the hall, and up the staircase of the 
mansion "I might try that" he cried 
with a hideous glow of exultation- 
"Wonder how that would ivork ?" 

Opening the door of a closet on one 
side of the fire-place, he drew from its 
depths, a small furnace of iron ; such 
as housewives use for domestic pur 
poses. He placed the furnace in the 
full light of the fire, surveyed it close 
ly, rubbed his hands pleasantly toge 
ther yet once more, while a deep 
chuckle shook his form, from head to 
foot. His face wore an expression of 
extreme good humor the visage of 
a drunken loafer, as he flings a penny 
to a ragged sweep, was nothing in 
comparison. 

"A leetle kindlin wood " he 
muttered, drawing to the fire an old 
sack that had lain concealed in the 
darkness "And a leetle charcoal! 
Makes a rougeing hot fire ! Fat pine 
and charcoal ha, ha, ha ! Rather 
guess the poor fellow s cold ! Now 
for a light Cuss it how the fat pin 
blazes !" 

He waited but a single moment foi 
the wood and charcoal to ignite It 



DEVIL-BUG. 



flared up at first in a smoky blaze, and 
then subsided into a clear and brillian 
flame. Seizing the iron handle of the 
furnace Devil-Bug suddenly raised it 
from the floor, and rushed from the 
den, and up the staircase of the man 
sion, as though his very life hung on 
his speed. And as he ascended the 
stairway, the light of the furnace 
gradually increasing to a vivid flame, 
was thrown upward over his hideous 
face, turning the beetling brow, the 
flat nose and the wide mouth with its 
bristling teeth, to a hue of dusky red. 
One moment as he swung the furnace 
from side to side, you beheld his face 
and form in a glow of blood red light, 
and the next it was suddenly lost to 
view, while the vessel of iron, with its 
burning coals, seemed gliding up the 
stairway, impelled by a single swarthy 
Hand, with fingers like talons and 
sinews starting out from the skin like 
knotted cords. 

"Halloo! I didn t know Monk 
Luke was in his room " he mutter 
ed, as he paused for a moment before 
a massive door, opening into the hall, 
which extended along the mansion, 
above the first stairway " There s a 
streak of light from the keyhole of his 
door ! And voices inside the room 
but no matter ! The charcoal s a-burn- 
m and wonder how that* ill 
work ?" 

And up the staircase of the mansion 
he pursued his way, flinging the blaz 
ing furnace from side to side, while his 
face, grew like the visage of a very 
devil, as again the words rose to his 
ips 

" The charcoal s a-burnin won- 
cier how Ma* ill work?" 



The light still flickered through the 
keyhole cf the massive door. 

Within the sombre panels, it shone 
over the rich furniture of an apart 
ment, long and wide, with high 
ceiling and wainscotted walls. The? 
was a gorgeous carpet on the floor, a 
thickly curtained bed in one corner, a 
comfortable fire burning in the grate, 
and a large table standing near the 
centre of the room, on which a plain 
lamp, darkened by a heavy shade, was 
burning. The shade flung the light 
of the lamp down over the table it 
was covered with books, cards, and 
wine glasses and around the carpet, 
for the space of a yard or more, while 
the other portions of the apartment, 
were enveloped in faint twilight. 

And in that dim light, near the fire, 
stood two men, steadfastly regarding 
each other in the face. The snake- 
like eye of the tall and slender man, 
was fixed in keen gaze upon the bronzed 
face of his companion, whose stout 
and imposing form seemed yet more 
large and commanding in its propor 
tions, as occasional flashes from the 
fire-place lighted up the dim twilight, 
[t was a strange thing, to see those 
arge blue eyes, gleaming from the 
bronzed face, with such a calm and 
yet burning lustre. 

" Luke to the the room " 
whispered a roice, husky with sup 
pressed agitation. 

"He is calm " muttered Luke to 
himself " I led him a d 1 of a \vay 
n order to give him time to command 
lis feelings. He is calm now and 
it s too late to go back." 

Extending his hand he reached a 
small dark lanthern from the mantel* 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



piece, and walked softly across the 
floor. Opening the door of a wide 
closet, he motioned Livingstone to 
approach. 

" You see, this is rather a spacious 
closet " Luke whispered, as silently 
drawing Livingstone within the recess, 
he closed the door, leaving them en 
veloped in thick darkness " The 
back wall of the closet, is nothing less 
.han a portion of the wainscotting of 
the next room. Give me your hand 

it is firm, by G d ! Do you feel 
that bolt? It s a little one, but once 
withdrawn, the panelling swings 
away from the closet like a door, and 

egad ! the next room lays before 
you!" 

While Livingstone stood in the thick 
darkness of the closet, silent as death, 
Luke slowly drew the bolt. Another 
touch, and the door would swing open 
into the next room. Luke could hear 
the hard breathing of the Merchant, 
and the hand which he touched sud 
denly became cold as ice. 

As though by mere accident, in that 
moment of suspense, when their joined 
fingers touched the bolt, Harvey al 
lowed the door of the dark lanthern, i 
to spring suddenly open. The face 
of Livingstone, every line and feature, 
was disclosed in the light, with appal- 
ing distinctness. Luke was prepared 
for a sight of some interest, but no 
sooner did the light fall on the Mer 
chant s face, than he gave a start of 
involuntary horror. It was as though 
the face of a corpse, suddenly recalled 
to life, had risen before him. White 
and livid and ghastly, with the dis 
colored circles of flesh deepening be 
neath each eye, and with the large 
blue eyes, steadily glaring from the 



1 dark eyebrows, it was & countenance 
to strike the very heart with fear and 
horror. The firm lips wore a blueish 
hue, as though the man had been dead 
for days, and corruption was eating 
its way through his vitals. Around 
his high and massive brow, hung his 
hair, in slight masses ; fearful streaks 
of white resting like scattered ashes., 
among the locks of dark brown. 

"Well, Luke you see I am 
calm " whispered Livingstone, smil 
ing, with his lips still compressed 
** I am calm " 

Luke slowly withdrew the bolt, and 
closed the door of the lanthern. The 
secret door, of the wainscotting swung 
open with a faint noise. 

" Listen !" he whispered to Living 
stone, as the dark room lay before 
them " Listen !" 

And with his very breath hushed, 
Livingstone silently listened. A low 
sound like a woman breathing in her 
sleep, came faintly to his ear. Luke 
felt the Merchant start as though he 
was reeling beneath a sudden blow. 

" Give me the dark lanthern " 
whispered Livingstone " The pistols 
I have /" he continued, hissing the 
words through his clinched teeth 
* The room is dark, but I can discern 
the outlines of the bed" 

He pressed Luke by the hand with 
a firm grasp, took the lanthern, care 
fully closing its door, and strode with 
a noiseless footsiep, into the dark 
room. 

Luke remained in the closet, listen 
ing with hushed breath. 

There was a pause for a moment. 

It seemed an age to the listener. Not 

j a sound, not a footstep, not even the 

i rustling of the bed-curtains. All was 



THE TOWER ROOM. 



silent as the grave- vault, which has 
riot been disturbed for years. 

Luke listened. He leaned from 
. he closet and gazed into the dark 
room. It was indeed dark. Not the 
outline of a chair, or a sofa, or the 
slightest piece of furniture could he 
discern. True, near the centre of the 
place, arose a towering object, whose 
outlines seemed a shade lighter than 
the rest of the room. This might be 
the bed, thought Luke, and again, 
holding his breath, he listened for the 
slightest sound. 

All was dark and still. 

Presently Luke heard a low gur 
gling noise, like the sound produced 
by a drowning man. Then all was 
silent as before. 

In a moment the gurgling noise was 
heard again, and a sudden blaze of 
light streamed around the room. 



CHAPTER TWELFTH. 

THE TOWER ROOM. 

" MY sister is in his power, for any 
act of wrong, for any deed of outrage ! 
And I cannot strike a blow in her de 
fence ! A solitary wall may separate 
as in one room the sister pleads with 
the villain for mercy in the other, 
trapped and imprisoned, the brother 
hears her cry of agony, and cannot 
cannot raise a finger in her behalf! 
Ha! The door is fast I hear the 
hushed breathing of negroes on the 
< other side. I have read many legends 
\ of a place of torment in the other 
world, but what devil could contrive a 
hell like this ?" 



He flung himself on the sofa, and 
covered his face with his hands. The 
lamp burning dimly on the solitary 
table, flung a faint and dusky light 
around the walls of the Tower Room. 
Byrnewood lay in dim shadow, 
with his limbs thrown carelessly along 
the sofa, his outspread hands covering 
his face, while the long curls of his 
raven-black hair, fell wild and tangled 
over his forehead. As he lay there, 
with his dress disordered and his form 
resting on the sofa, in an attitude 
which, careless as it was, resembled 
the crouching position of one who suf 
fers from the cold chill succeeding 
fever, you might have taken him for 
an inanimate effigy, instead of a liv 
ing and breathing man. 

No heaving of the chest, no quick 
and gasping respiration, no convulsive 
movements of the fingers, indicated 
the agitation which shook his soul to 
its centre. He lay quiet and motion 
less, his white hands, concealing his 
livid face, while a single glimpse of 
his forehead was visible between the 
tangled locks of his raven hair. 

The silence of the room was broken 
by the creaking of the door, as it 
swung slowly open. 

Bess silently entered the room, hold 
ing the waiter with the cold chicken 
and bottle of Madeira in her hands. 
She hurriedly closed the door and ad 
vanced to the solitary table. Her face 
was very pale, and her long dark 
hair, hung in disordered tresses around 
her full voluptuous neck. The dark 
shawl which she had thrown over her 
bridesmaid s dress, had fallen from her 
shoulders and hung loosely from ner 
arms as she walked. Her entire ap 
pearance betrayed agitation and hast* 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



" He sleeps !" she murmured, ar 
ranging the refreshments provided 
by Devil-Bug along the surface of 
the chest-like table " Fix his plate 
on the side of the table furthest from 
the door what could the monster 
mean ? Ha ! There may be a secret 
spring on that side of the table, which 
the foot of the victim is designed to 
touch. I ll warn him of his danger 
and then, the bottle " 

She said she would warn Byrne- 
wood of his danger, and yet she linger 
ed about the small table, her confused 
and hurried manner betraying her ir 
resolution and changeability of pur 
pose. Byrnewood still lay silent and 
motionless on the sofa. As far from 
slumber as the victim writhing on the 
rack, he was still unconscious of the 
presence of Long-haired Bess. His 
mind was utterly absorbed in the har 
rowing details of the mental struggle, 
that shook his soul to its foundations. 

At first, arranging the knife and 
plate on one side of the table, and then 
on the other, now placing the bottle in 
one position and again in another, it 
was evident that Long-haired Bess 
was absent, confused and deeply agi 
tated. The side-long glance, which 
every other instant, she threw over 
her shoulder at the reclining form of 
Byrnewood, was fraught with deep 
and painful meaning. At last, with a 
hurried footstep, she approached the 
sofa, and glancing cautiously at the 
door, which hung slightly ajar, she 
laid her hand lightly on Byrnewood s 
shoulder. 

" I come to warn you of your 
danger " she whispered in his 
ear. 

Byrnewood looked up in wonder 



and then an expression of intolerab e 
disgust impressed every line of his 
countenance. 

" Your touch is pollution " he 
said, shaking her hand from his 
shoulder "You were one of the 
minions of the villain. You plotted 
my sister s dishonor " 

" I come to warn you of your 
danger !" whispered Bess, with a 
flashing eye " You behold refresh 
ments spread for you on yonder table. 
You see the bottle o wine. On peril 
of your life don t drink anything " 

"But rale good brandy " grated 
a harsh voice at her shoulder 
" Liqu-ood hell-fire for ever ! That s 
the stuff, my feller ! Ha ! ha ! ha S" 

With the same start of surprise, 
Byrnewood sprang to his feet, and 
Bess turned hurriedly around, while 
their eyes were fixed upon the face of 
the new-comer. 

Devil-Bug, hideous and grinning, 
with the furnace of burning coals in 
his hand, stood before them. His 
solitary eye rested upon the face of 
Long-haired Bess with a meaning look, 
and his visage passed through the series 
of spasmodic contortions peculiar to h*s 
expressive features, as he stood swing 
ing the furnace from side to side. 

" You can go, Bessie, my duck * 
he said, with a pleasant way of speak 
ing, original with himself. "This 
ere party don t want you no more. 
You see, my feller citizen " he con 
tinued, turning to Byrnewood " yer 
humble servant thought you might be 
hungry, so he sent you suffin to eat. 
Thought you might be cold ; so he 
brung you some coals to warm yes- 
self. You can re-tire, Bessie " 

He gently led her to the door, fix- 



THE Tt VVER ROOM. 



iig his eye upon her face, wilh a look, 
as full of venom as a spiders sting. 

"You d a-spilt it all would yo ?" 
he hissed the whisper in her ear as he 
pushed her from the room "Good 
night my dear " he continued a- 
loud You better go home. Your 
mammy s a waitin tea for you. Now 
I ll make you a little bit o fire, Mis 
ter, if you please " 

"Fire?" echoed Byrnewpod "I 
see no fire-place " 

"That s all you know about it" 
answered Devil-Bug swinging the 
furnace from side to side " You 
think them are s books do you ? Look 
a little closer, next time. The walls 
are only painted like books and 
shelves false book-cases you see. 
And then there s glass doors, jist like 
real book-cases. They did it in the 
old times them queer old chaps as 
used to keep house here, all alone to 
themselves. Nice fire-place aint it ?" 

He opened two folding leaves of the 
false book-case near the centre of the 
wall opposite the door, and a small 
fire-place neatly white-washed and 
free from ashes or the remains of any 
former fire, became visible. Stoop 
ing on his knees, Devil -Bug proceeded 
to arrange the furnace in the hearth, 
while the half-closed folding leaves of 
the book-case, well-nigh concealed 
him from view. 

"A false bookcase on either side of 
the room ! Ha ! Books of all class 
es, painted on the pannels, within the 
.sashes, with inimitable skill ! They 
deceived me, in the dim light of yon 
der lamp. What can this mean ? By 
my life, I shrewdly suspect, that these 
bookcases, conceal secret 
leading from this den " 



Byrnewood flung himself on the 
sofa, and again covered his face with 
his hands. 

" Blazes up quite comfortable " 
muttered Devil-Bug, as half concealed 
by the folding doors of the central 
part of the bookcase, he stooped over 
the furnace of blazing coal, warming 
his hands in the flame. "A nice fire, 
and a nice fire-place. But I ll have to 
discharge my bricklayer for one 
thing. Got him to fix up this 
harth not long ago. Scoundrel walled 
up the chimbley. Did ye ever 
hear of sich rascality? Konse- 
kence is, this young genelmen will be 
rather uncomfortable a cause, the 
charcoal smoke wont find no vent. 
If I should happen to shut the door 
right tight he might die. He might 
so. Things jist as bad have happen- 
ed afore now. He might die. Ha 
ha ha " he chuckled as he retired 
from the fire-place, screening the bla 
zing furnace, with the half-closed 
doors of the book-case "Wonder 
how that ill work !" 

He approached the side of Byrne- 
wood, with that same hideous grin dis 
torting his features, but had not ad 
vanced two steps, when he started 
backward with a moment of involun 
tary horror. 

"Look here you sir " he whisper 
ed grasping Byrnewood by the arm 
"Jist look here a minnit. You see the 
floor at my left side do you ? Now 
tell us the truth, aint there a dead man 
lay in there ? His jaw broke and hig 
tongue out ? Not that I m afeered, 
but I wants to satisfy my mind. Jist 
take a good look while I hold still " 

"I see nothing but the carpet " 
answered Byrnewood with a lock cf 






100 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



loathing, as he observed this strange 
being, standing before him, motionless 
as a statute, while his left hand point 
ed tc the floor "I see nothing but 
the carpet." 

" Don t see a dead man, with his 
knees dravved up to his breast, and his 
tongue stickin out ? Well that s 
queer. I d take my book oath, that 
the feller was a layin there, nasty as 
a snake Hows ever re-fresh your 
self young man. There s plenty to 
eat and drink and " he pointed to 
the hearth as he spoke " There s a 
nice comfortable fire. Good charcoal 
and I wonder s how that ill 
work " 

Closing the door, he stood in the 
small recess, at the head of the stairs, 
leading to the Tower-Room. The 
huge forms of the negroes, Musquito 
and Glow-worm, were flung along the 
floor, while their hard breathing indi 
cated that they slumbered on their 
watch. Listening intently for a sin 
gle moment, at the door of the Tower- 
Room, Devil-Bug slowly turned the 
key in the lock, and then withdrawing 
it from the keyhole placed it in his 
pocket. He stepped carefully over the 
forms of the sleeping negroes, and 
passed his hands slowly along the pa 
nelling of the recess, opposite the door. 

11 The spring ha, ha I ve found 
it " he muttered in the darkness. 
" The bookcases dont conceal no pas 
sage between the walls of this ere 
Tower, and the room itself do they ? 
O course they do not. Quiet little 
places where a feller can say his pray 
ers and eat ground-nuts. Ha ! Ha ! 
Ha ! I must see how that ill work." 

The pannelling slid back as he 
touched the spring and Devil-Bug 



disappeared into the secret 
or passage, between the false book 
cases and the massive walls of th 
Tower; as the solitary chamber, ri 
sing from the western wing of Monk- 
Flail, was termed in the legends of the 
place. 

Meanwhile within the Tower- Room, 
Byrnewood Arlington paced slowly up 
and down the floor, his arms folded, 
and his face, impressed with a fixed 
expression, that forced his lips tightly 
together, darkened his brows in a set 
tled frown and drove the blood from 
his entire visage, until it wore the livid 
hues of death. 

I " My sister in his power ! Last 
night she was pure and stainless to 
orrow morning dawns and she will be 
thing stained with pollution, dishonor- 
by a hideous crime ! No lapse of 
time, no prayers to Heaven, no bitter 
tears of repentance can ever wash out 
the foul stains of her dishonor. And 
I am a prisoner, while she shrieks for 
help and shrieks in vain " 

As Byrnewood spoke, striding ra- 
pidly along the floor, a grateful warmth 
began to steal around the room, dis 
pelling the chill and damp, which 
seemed to infect the very air, with an 
unwholesome taint. 

" And we have been children toge 
ther ! I have held her in these arms, 
when she was but a babe a smiling 
babe, with golden hair and laughing 
cheeks ! And then when she left home 
for school, how it wrung my soul to 
part with her! So young, so light- 
hearted, so innocent ! Three years 
pass she returns grown up into a 
lovely girl whose pure soul, a very 
devil would not dare to tarnish she 



THE TOWER ROC 



101 



return to bless the sight of her father 
her mother, with her laughing face and 
giie i s dishonored ! I never knew 
the meaning of the word till now 
dishonored by a villian " 

He flung himself on the sofa, and 
covered his face with his hands. 
T" And yet I, I, wronged an inno 
cent girl, because she was my father s 
servant ! Great God ! Can she, 
have a brother to feel for her ruin ? 
My punishment is just, but Mary 
Oh ! whom did she ever harm, whom 
could she ever wrong?"*! 

He was silent again. And while 
his brain was tortured by the fierce 
struggles of thought, while the memo 
ries of earlier days came thronging 
over his soul the image of his sister, 
present in every thought, and shining 
brightest in each old-time memory 
he could feel, the grateful heat which 
pervaded the atmosphere of the room, 
restoring warmth and comfort to his 
limbs, while his blood flowed more 
freely in his veins. 

There was a long pause, in which 
his very soul was absorbed in a deliri 
um of thought. It may have been the 
effect of internal agitation, or the re 
sult of his half-crazed intellect acting 
on his physical system, but after the 
lapse of some few minutes, he was 
aroused from his reverie, by a painful 
throbbing around his temples, which 
for a single moment destroyed all con 
sciousness, and just as suddenly re 
stored him to a keen and terrible sense 
of his appaling situation. Now his 
Drain seemed to swim in a wild deliri 
um, and in a single instant as the 
throbbing around his temples grew 
more violent, his mental vision, seemed 
clearer and more vigorous than ever. 



"I cari -^dy brea r he! nt> nk>t j 
tered, as he - ^ck on the sofa, after 
a vain attempt se There is a 
hand grasping me . ^e throat I 
feel the fingers clutci. *he veins, 
with the grasp of a dei. My 

heart ah ! it is turning to ice to 
ice and now it is fire ! My heart is 
a ball of flame the blood boils in 
my veins " 

He sprung to his feet, with a wild 
bound and his hands clutched madly 
at his throat, as though he would free 
the veins from the grasp of the invisi 
ble fingers, which were pressing 
through the very skin. 

He staggered to and fro along the 
floor, with his arms flung overhead, as 
as if to ward off the attacks of some 
invisible foe. 

His face was ghastly pale, one mo 
ment; the next it flushed with the 
hues of a crimson flame. His large 
black eyes dilated in their glance, 
and stood out from the lids as though 
they were about to fall from their sock 
ets. His mouth distended with a con 
vulsive grimace, while his teeth were 
firmly clenched together. One in 
stant his brain would be perfectly con 
scious in all its operations, the next 
his senses would swim in a fearful de 
lirium. 

"My God My God!" he shout- 
ed in one of those momentary inter 
vals of consciousness, as he staggered 
wildly along the floor " I am dying 
I am dying ! My breath comes 
thick and gaspingly my veins are 
chilled ha, ha they are turned to 
fire again " 

Even in his delirium he was consci 
ous of a singular circumstance. A 
portion of the pannelling of the false 



1G2 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



bookcase") alor/g the . vrall opposite the 
fire, receded suddenly, within the sash 
of the central glass-door, leaving a 
space of black and vacant darkness. 
The aperture was in the top of the 
bookcase, near the ceiling of the room. 

Turning toward the hearth, Byrne- 
wood endeavoured to regain the sofa, 
but the room seemed swimming around 
him, and with a wild movement, he 
again staggered toward the bookcase 
opposite the fire. 

He started backward as a new hor 
ror met his gaze. 

A hideous face glared upon him, 
from the aperture of the book-case, 
like some picture of a fiend s visage, 
suddenly thrust against the glass-door 
of the book-case. 

A hideous face, with a single burn 
ing eye, with a wide mouth distending 
in a loathsome grin, with long rows 
of fang-like teeth, and a protuberent 
brow, overhung by thick masses of 
matted hair. This face alone was 
visible, surrounded by the darkness 
which marked the square outline of 
the aperture. It was, indeed, like a 
hideous picture framed in ebony, al 
though you could see the muscles of 
the face in motion, while the flat nose 
was pressed against the glass of the 
book-case, and the thick lips were now 
tightly closed, and again distending in 
hideous grin. 

" Ho ! ho ! ho !" a laugh like the 
shout of a devil, came echoing through 
the glass, faint and subdued, yet wild 
and terrible to hear " The charcoal 
the charcoal ! Wonder how ihatfill 
work /" 

Byrne wood stood silent and erect, 
while the throbbing of his temples, the 



gasping of his breath, and the deaden 
ing sensation around his heart, sub 
sided for a single moment. 

The full horror of his situation 
rushed upon him. He way dying by 
the gas escaping from charcoal, in a 
room, rendered impervious to the air ; 
closed and sealed for the purpose of 
this horrible death. 

A brilliant idea flashed across his 
brain. 

"I will overturn the furnace " 
he muttered, rushing toward the hearth 
" I will extinguish the flame !" 

With a sudden bound he sprang 
forward, but in the very action, fell to 
the floor, like a drunken man. 

His breath came in thick convul 
sive gasps, his heart grew like a masa 
of fire, while his brain was tortured by 
one intense and agonizing throb of 
pain, as though some invisible hand 
had wound a red hot wire round his 
forehead. He lay on the floor, with 
iiis outspread hands grasping the air 
n the effort to rise. 

" It works, it works !" shouted the 
voice of Devil-Bug, as his loathsome 
ountenance was pressed against the 
glass-door of the book-case " Ha ! 
la ! ha ! He is on the floor he 
cannot rise he is in the clutch of 
death. How the poor feller kicks pnd 
scuffles !" 

A wild, wild shriek echoing from a 
distant room came faintly to Byrne- 
wood s ear. That sound of a woman s 
voice, shrieking for help, in an em- 
)hasis of despair, aroused the dying 
man from the spell which began to 
deaden his senses. 

"It is my sister s voice!" he ex 
claimed, springing to his feet with n 



THE TOWER ROOM. 



lift 



.asl effort of strength " She is in the 
hands of the villain ! I will save her 
I will save her " 

" The sister outraged ! The bro 
ther murdered !" shouted Devil-Bug, 
through the glass-door " I wonder 
how that ill work!" 

Byrnewood rushed towards the 
door ; it was locked and secured. All 
hope was in vain. He must die. Die, 
while his sister s shriek for aid rang 
on his ears, die, with the loathsome 
face of his murderer pressed against 
the glass, while his blazing eye feasted 
on his last convulsive agonies, die, 
with youth on his brow, with health 
in his heart ! Die, with all purposed 
vengeance on his sister s wronger un 
fulfilled ; die, by no sudden blow, by 
no dagger thrust, by no pistol shot, 
but by the most loathsome of all 
deaths, by suffocation. 

"Ha! ha!" the thought flashed 
over his brain " The hangman s 
rope were a priceless luxury to me in 
this dread hour !" 

Staggering slowly along the floor, 
with footsteps as heavy as thdugh he 
nad leaden weights attached to his 
feet, he approached the chest-like ta 
ble, and with a faint effort to recover 
his balance, sunk down on the floor, 
in a crouching position, while his out 
spread hands clutched faintly at the 
air. 

In a moment he rolled slowly from 
side to side, and lay on his back with 
nis face to the ceiling, and his arms 
extended on either side. His eyes 
were suddenly covered with a glassy 
film, his lower jaw separated from the 
upper, leaving his mouth wide open, 
while the room grew warmer, the air 
more dense and suffocating. 



" Help help !" murmurod Byrne- 
wood, in a smothered voice, like the 
sound produced by a man throttled by 
nightmare " Help ! help !" 

" By-a-baby, go to sleep that s 
a good feller " the voice of Devil- 
Bug came like a faint echo through 
the glass " A drop from the bottle 
ud do you good, and jist reach 
your right hand a leetle bit further ! 
There ain t no spring there, I sup-pose! 
Ain t there ? Ho-ho-ho !" 

And Byrnewood could feel a deli 
cious languor stealing over his frame, 
as he lay there on the floor, helpless 
and motionless, while the voice of 
Devil-Bug rang in his ears. The 
throbbing of his temples had subsided, 
he no more experienced the quick 
gasping struggle for breath, his hear* 
no more passed through the quick 
transitions from cold to heat, from ice 
to fire, his veins no more felt like 
streams of molten lead. He was sink 
ing quietly in a soft and pleasing 
slumber. The film grew more glassy 
in each eye, his jaws hung further 
apart, and the heaving of his chest 
subsided, until a faint and tremulous 
motion, was the only indication that 
life had not yet fled from his frame. 
His outspread arms seemed to grow 
stiffened and dead as he rested on the 
floor, while the joints of the fingers 
moved faintly to and fro, with a flut- 
tering motion, that afforded a strange 
contrast to the complete repose of his 
body and limbs. His feet were pointed 
upward, like the feet of a corpse, ar 
rayed for burial. 

The dim light burning on the chest- 
like table, afforded a faint light to the 
ghastly scene. There were the un 
touched refreshments, the cold chicken 



104 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



and the bottle of wine, giving the 
place the air of a quiet supper-room, 
there were the false book-cases, indicat 
ing a resort for meditation and study, 
there was the cheerful furnace, its 
glowing flame flashing through the 
half-closed doors, speaking a pleasant 
tale of fireside joys and comforts, and 
there, along the carpet, stiffening and 
ghastly lay the form of Byrnewood 
Arlington, slowly and quietly yielding 
to the slumber of death, while a 
hideous face peered through the glass- 
door, all distorted by a sickening 
grimace, and a solitary eye, that 
gleamed like t live coal, drank in the 
tremulous agonies of the dying man. 

" Reach his hand a leetle bit further 
that s a good feller. Won t have 
no tumble down three stories, nor 
nothin , if his lingers touch the spring? 
Ho-ho ! Quiet now, I guess. list 
look how his fingers tremble He ! 
he! he! Hallo! He s on his feet 
agin !" 

With the last involutary struggle 
of a strong man wrestling for his life, 
Byrnewood Arlington sprang to his 
feet, and reaching forth his hand with 
the same mechanical impulse that had 
raised him from the floor, he seized the 
bottle of wine ; he raised it to his lips, 
and the wine poured gurgling down 
his throat. 

" Hain t got no opium in, I sup 
pose 1 Not the least mossel. Cuss it, 
how he staggers ! Believe my soul 
he s comin to life agin " 

Byrnewood glanced around with a 
look of momentary consciousness. 
The drugged wine, for a single mo 
ment, created a violent re-action in 
his system, and he became fully sen- 
fible of the awful death that awaited 



him. He could feel the hot air, warm 
ing his cheek, he could see the visage 
of Devil-Bug peering at him thro the 
glass-door, and the danger which me 
naced his sister, came home like some 
horrible phantom to his soul. He felt 
in his very soul that but a single mo 
ment more of consciousness, would be 
permitted him, for action. That mo 
ment past, and the death by charcoal, 
would be quietly and surely accom 
plished. 

" Keep me, oh Heaven !" he whis 
pered as his mind ran over various ex- 
pedients for escape " Aid me, in this, 
my last effort, that I may live to 
avenge my sister s dishonor !" 

It was his design to make one sudden 
and desperate spring toward the glass- 
door, through which the hideous vi- 
sage of Devil-Bug, glared in his face 
and as he madly dashed his hands 
through the glass, the room would be 
filled with a current of fresh air. 

This was his resolve, but it came 
too late. As he turned, to make this 
desperate spring, his heel pressed 
against an object, rising from the floor, 
near a corner of the chest-like table. 
It was but a small object, resembling 
a nail or spike, which has not been 
driven to the head, in the planking of 
a floor, but suffered to remain half-ex 
posed and open to the view. 

And yet the very moment Byrne- 
wood s heel, pressed against the trifling 
object, the floor on which he stood gave 
way beneath him, with a low rustling 
sound,half of the Chamber was changed 
into one black and yawning chasm, 
and the lamp standing on the table sud 
denly disappeared, leaving the place 
wrapt in thick darkness. 

Another moment passed, and while 



THE TOWER ROOM. 



105 



Bymewood reeled in the darkness, on 
the veige of the sunken trap-door, a 
hushed and distant sound, echoed far 
below as from the depths of some 
deep and dismal well. The lamp had 
fallen in the chasm, and the faint sound 
heard far, far below was the only in 
dication that it had reached the bottom 
of the gloomy void, sinking down 
like a well into the cellars of Monk- 
hall. 

Byrnewood tottered on the verge of 
the chasm, while a current of cold air 
came sweeping upward from its depths. 
The foul atmosphere of the Tower 
Room, lost half its deadly qualities, 
in a single moment, as the cool air, 
came rushing from the chasm. 

Byrnewood felt the effects of the 
charcoal rapidly passing from his sys 
tem, and his mind regained its full 
consciousness as his hot brow, receiv 
ed the freshning blast of winter air, 
pouring over the parched and heated 
skin. , 

But the current of pure air, came 
too late for his salvation. Tottering 
in the darkness on the very verge of 
the sunken trap-door, he made one des 
perate struggle to preserve his balance, 
but in vain. For a moment his form 
swung to and fro, and then his feet 
slid from under him ; and then with 
a maddening shriek, he fell. 

" God save poor Mary !" 

How that last cry of the doomed 
man shrieked around the panelled 
walls of the Tower Room ! 

" Wonder how that ill work /" the 
hoarse voice of Devil-Bug, shrieked 
through the darkness "Down 
down down / Ah-ha ! Three 
stones down down down ! [ 
wonders how that ill work !" 






Separated from the Tower Room by 
the glass-door, Devil-Bug pressed hia 
ear against the glass, and listened for 
the death-groans of the doomed man. 

A low moaning sound, like the 
groan of a man, who trembles under 
the operations of a surgeon s knife, 
came faintly to his ear. In a moment, 
Devil-Bug, thought he heard a sound 
ike a door suddenly opened, and then, 
the murmur of voices, whispering 
some quick and hurried words, re 
sounded along the Tower Room. 
Then there was a subdued noise, 
like a man struggling on the brink 
of the chasm, and then a hushad 
sound, that might have been taken 
for the tread ol a footstep mingled 
with the closing of a door, came faint 
ly through the glass of the book-case. 

Gliding silently from the secret re- 
ess, behind the panelling of the 
Tower Room, Devil-Bug stepped over 
the forms of the slumbering negroes 
and descended the stairway leading to 
the Walnut Room. The scene of the 
wedding was wrapt in midnight dark 
ness. Passing softly along the floor, 
Devil-Bug, reached the entrance to the 
Rose Chamber, and flung the hang 
ings aside, with a cautious movement 
of his talon-like fingers. 

" I merely wanted a light " ex 
claimed Devil-Bug, as he stood gazing 
into the Rose Chamber " But here s 
a candle, and a purty sight into the 
bargain !" 

He disappeared through the door 
way, and after the lapse of a few mo 
ments, again emerged into the Walnut 
Room, holding a lighted candle in his 
hand. 

" Amazin circumstance, that " 
he chuckled, as he strode across the 



106 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER 



glittering floor " The brother fell in 
that are room, and the sister fell in 
that ; about the same time. They fell 
in different ways though. Strange 
world, this. Let s see what become 
of the brother Charcoal and opium 
-ho! ho! ho!" 

Before another moment had elapsed, 
he stood before the door of Tower 
Room. Musquito and Glow-worm 
still slumbered on their watch, their 
huge forms and hideous faces, dimly 
developed in the beams of the light, 
which the Doorkeeper carried in his 
hand. Devil-Bug listened intently for 
a single moment, but not the slightest 
sound disturbed the silence of the 
Tower room. 

He opened the door, he strode along 
the carpet, he stood on the verge of 
the chasm, produced by the falling of 
the death-trap. 

" Down down ! Three stories, 
and the pit below ! Ha ! Let me 
hold the light, a leetle nearer ! Every 
trap-door is open he is safe enough ! 
Think I see suffin white a-flutterin 
a-way down there! Hollered pretty 
loud as he fell devilish ugly tumble! 
Guess it ill work quite nice for Lor- 
rimer !" 

Stooping on his knees with the light 
extended in his right hand, he again 
gazed down the hatchway, his solitary 
eye flashing with excitement, as he 
endeavoured to pierce the gloom of 
the dark void beneath. 

" He s gone to see his friends be 
low! Sartin sure! No sound no 
groan not even a holler !" 

Arising from his kneeling position, 
Devil -Bug approached the recess of 
.he fire-place. On either side, a plain 



panell of oak, concealed the score* 
nook behind the false book-case. 
Placing his hand cautiously along the 
panell to the right, Devil-Bug examin 
ed the details of the carving in each 
corner, and along its side, with a care 
ful eye. 

"Hasn t been opened to-night " 
he murmured u Leads to the Wal 
nut Room, by a round-a-bout way. 
Convenient little passage, if that fool 
had only knowed on it !" 

In an instant he stood outside of the 
Tower Room door, holding the key in 
one hand, and the candlestick in the 
other. 

"Git up you lazy d 1 s !" he 
shouted, bestowing a few pointed 
kicks upon the carcases of the sleep 
ing negroes " Git up and mind your 
eyes, or else I ll pick em out o your 
head to play marbles with " 

Glow-worm arose slowly from the 
floor, and Musquito, opening his eyes 
with a sleepy yawn, stared vacantly 
in the Doorkeeper s face. 

" D ye hear me ? Watch this fel 
ler and see that he don t escape? 
He s a sleepin now, but there s no 
knowin Watch ! I say watch ! 

He shuffled slowly along the nar 
row passage, looking over his shoulder 
at the grinning negroes, as he passed 
along, while his face wore its usual 
pleasant smile, as he again muttered 
in his hoarse tones " Watch him ye 
dogs I say watch him !" 

Another moment, and he stood be 
fore the entrance of the Rose Cham 
ber, holding the curtaining aside, 
while his eye blazed up with an ex 
pression of malignant joy. He raised 
the light on high, and stood gazing 
silently through the doorway, as 



THE CRIME WITHOUT A NAME. 



though his e yes beheld a spectacle of 
strange and peculiar interest. 

And while he stood there, chuckling 
pleasantly to himself, with the full 
light of the candle, flashing over his 
loathsome face, two figures, stood 
crouching in the darkness, along the 
opposite side of the room, and the 
eastern door hung slightly ajar, as 
though they had entered the place but 
a moment before. 

P" Once or twice Devil-Bug turned, as 
though the sound of suppressed breath 
ing struck his ear, but every time, the 
shadow of the candle fell along the op 
posite side of the room, and the crouch 
ing figures were concealed from view. 

" Quite a pictur " chuckled 
Devil-Bug as he again gazed through 
the doorway of the Rose Chamber 
"A nice little gal and a handsome 
feller! Ha! Ha! Ha!" 

He disappeared through the cur 
taining, while his pleasant chuckle 
came echoing through the doorway, 
with a sound of continued glee, as 
though the gentleman was highly 
amused by the spectacle that broke on 
his gaze. 

The silence of the Rose Chamber 
was broken by the tread of a footstep 
and the figure of a man, came steal 
ing through the darkness, with the 
form of a queenly woman by his side. 

" Advance and save your sister s 
honor " the deep-toned whisper 
broke thrillingly on the air. 

The man advanced with a hurried 
step, flung the curtain hastily aside, 
and gazed within the Rose Chamber. 

The horror of that silent gaze, 
would be ill-repayed by aa Eternity 
of joy. 



CHAPTER THIRTEENTH. 

THE CRIME WITHOUT A NAME. 

" My brother consents 1 Oh joy, 
Lorraine he consents ! " 

" Your brother consents to our wed- 
ding, my love " 

" How did he first discover, that the 
wedding was to take place to night?" 

" It seems that for several days, he 
has noticed you walking out with Bess* 
You see, Mary, this excited his sus 
picions. He watched you with all a 
brother s care, and to night, tracked 
Bess and you, to the doors of this 
mansion. He was not certain how 
ever, that it was you, whom he seen, 
enter my uncle s house " 

"And so he watched all night around 
the building ] Oh Lorraine, he is a 
noble brother !" 

" At last, grown feverish with hia 
suspicions, he rung the bell, aroused 
the servant, and when the door was 
opened, rushed madly up stairs, and 
reached the Wedding Room. You 
know the rest. After the matter was 
explained to him, he consented to keep 
our marriage secret until Christmas 
Eve. He has left the house, satisfied 
that you are in the care of those who 
love you. To morrow, Mary, when 
you have recovered from the effects 
of the surprise, which your brother s 
sudden entrance occasioned to-mor 
row we will be married ! " 

" And on Christmas Eve, hand link 
ed in hand, we will kneel before our 
father, and ask his blessing " 

"One kiss, Mary love, one kiss, 
and I will leave you for the night " 

And leaning fondly over the fair 
girl, who was seated on the sofa, her 



108 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER 






form enveloped in a flowing night-robe, 
Lorrimer wound h s right arm gently 
around her neck, bending her head 
slowly backward in the action, and 
suffering her rich curls to fall show 
ering on her shoulders, while her up 
turned face, all radiant with affection 
lay open to his burning gaze, and her 
ripe lips, dropped slightly apart, dis 
closing the ivory teeth, seemed to woo 
and invite the pressure of his kiss. 

One kiss, silent and long, and the 
Lover and the fair girl, seemed to have 
grown to each others lips. 

The wax-light standing on the 
small table of the Rose Chamber, fell 
mild and dimly over this living picture 
of youth and passion. 

The tall form of Lorrimer, clad in 
solemn black, contrasting forcibly 
with the snow-white robes of the Maid 
en, his arm flung gently around her 
neck, her upturned face half-hidden by 
the falling locks of his dark brown 
hair, their lips joined and their eyes 
mingling in the same deep glance of 
passion, while her bosom rose heaving 
against his breast, and her arms hal f- 
upraised seemed about to entwine his 
form in their embrace it was a mo 
ment of pure and hallowed love on the 
part of the fair girl, and even the li 
bertine, for an instant forgot the vile- 
ness of his purpose, in that long and 
silent kiss of stainless passion. 

" Mary !" cried Lorrimer, his hand 
some face flushing over with transport, 
us silently gliding from his standing 
position, he assumed his seat at her 
side "Oh! would that you were 
mine ! We would flee U gether from 



the heartless world in some silent 
and shadowy valley, we would ibrget 
all, but the love which made us one. 

" We would seek a home, quiet and 
peaceful, as that which this book de 
scribes " whispered Mary laying 
her hand on Bulwer s play of Claude / 
Mellnotte "I found the volume 
on the table, and was reading it, when 
you came in* Oh, it is all beauty and 
feeling. You have read it Lorraine ?" 

" Again and again and have seen it 
played a hundred times. The home, 
to which love could fulfil its prayerSj 
this hand would lead thee " he 
murmured repeating the first lines of 
the celebrated description of the Lake 
of Como "And yet Mary this is 
mere romance. A creation of the 
poets brain. A fiction as beautiful as 
a ray of light ; and as fleeting. I 
I might tell you a story of a real 
valley and a real lake, which I be 
held last summer where love might 
dwell forever, and dwell in eternal 
youth and freshness. " 

"Oh tell me tell me "cried 
Mary, gazing in his face with a look 
of interest. 

" Beyond the fair valley of Wy 
oming, of which so much lias been 
said and sung, there is a high and ex 
tensive range of mountains, covered 
with thick and gloomy forests. One 
day tast September when the summer 
was yet in its freshness and bloom, 
toward the hour of sunset, I found 
myself wandering through a thick 
wood, that covered the summit of one 
of the highest of these mountains. I 
had been engaged in a deer-hunt all 
day had strayed from my com 
rades and now as night was coming 



THE CRIME WITHOUT A NAME. 



109 



on, was wandering, along a wind 
ing path, that led to the top of the 
mountain " 

Lorrimer paused for a single instant, 
and gazed intently in Mary s face. 
Every feature was animated with sud 
den interest and a warm flush, hung 
freshly on each cheek. 

And as Lorrimer gazed upon the 
animated face of the innocent girl, 
marking its rounded outlines, its hues 
of youth and loveliness, its large blue 
eyes beaming so gladly upon his 
countenance, the settled purpose of his 
soul, came home to him, like a sudden 
shadow darkening over a landscape, 
after a single gleam of sunlight. 

It was the purpose of this libertine 
to dishonor the stainless girl, before he 
left her presence. 

Before day break she would be a pollu 
ted thing, whose name and virtue and 
soul, would be blasted forever, j 

In that silent gaze, which drank in the 
beauty of the maiden s face, Lorrimer 
arranged his plan of action. The book 
which he had left upon the table, the sto 
ry which he was about to tell, were the 
ifirst intimations of his atrocious design. 
While enchaining the mind of the 
Maiden, with a story full of Romance, 
it was his intention to wake her ani 
mal nature into full action^ And when 
her veins were all alive with fiery pul 
sations, when her heart grew animate 
with sensual life, when her eyes swam 
in the humid moisture of passion, 
then she would sink helplessly into his 
arms, and like the bird to the snake, 
flutter To her ruin. 

" Force violence ! These are 
but the tools of grown-up children, 
who know nothing of the mystery of 
woman s heart " the thought flash 



ed over Lorrimer s brain, as hjs lip, 
wore a very slight but weaning smile 

"I have deeper means, than these ! 
I employ neither force, nor threats, 
nor fraud, nor violence ! My victim 
is the instrument of her own ruin 
without one rude grasp from my hand, 
without one threatning word, she swims 
willingly to my arms !" 

He took the hand of the fair girl 
within his own, and looking her stea 
dily in the eye, with a deep gaze 
which every instant grew more vivid 
and burning, he went on with his story 

and his design. 

" The wood grew very dark. A- 
round me, were massive trees with 
thick branches, and gnarled trunks, 
bearing witness of the storms of an 
hundred years. My way led over a 
path covered with soft forest-moss, 
and now and then, red gleams of sun 
light shot like arrows of gold, between 
the overhanging leaves. Darker and 
darker, the twilight sank down upon 
the forest. At last missing the path, 
I knew not which way to tread. All 
was dark and indistinct. Now fall 
ing over a crumbling limb, which had 
been thrown down by a storm long be 
fore, now entangled by the wild vines, 
that overspread portions of the ground, 
and now missing my foothold in some 
hidden crevice of the earth, I wander 
ed wearily on. At last climbing up a 
sudden elevation of the mountain, I 
stood upon a vast rock, that hung over 
the depths below, like an immense 
platform. On all sides, but one, this 
rock was encircled by a waving wall 
of forest-leaves. Green shrubs swept 
circling around, enclosing it like a 
fairy bower, while the eastern side, 
lay open to the beams of the moon. 



110 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



jvhich now rose grandly in the vas 
horizon. Far over wood, far over 
mountain, far over ravine and dell 
this platform-rock, commanded a dis 
tant view of the valley of Wyoming 
" The moon was in the sky, Mary; 
the sky was one vast sheet of blue, 
undimmed by a single cloud ; and be 
neath the moonbeams lay a sea of fo 
rest-leaves, while in the dim distance 

like the shore of this leafy ocean 

arose the roofs and steeples of a 
quiet town, with a broad river, rolling 
along the dark valley, like a banner of 
silver, flung over a sable-pall " 

" How beautiful !" 

And as the murmur escaped Mary s 
lips, the hand of Lorrimer grew closer 
in its pressure, while his left arm, 
wound gently around her waist. 

" I stood entranced by the sight. A 
cool breeze came up the mountain side, 
imparting a grateful freshness to my 
cheek. The view was indeed beau 
tiful, but I suddenly remembered that 
I was without resting-place or shelter. 
Ignorant of the mountain paths, afar 
from any farm-house or village, I had 
still a faint of hope, of discovering the 
the temporary habitation of some hun 
ter, who had encamped in these forest- 
wilds. 

" I turned from the magnificent 
prospect I brushed aside the wall of 
leaves, I looked to the western sky. 
I shall never forget the view which 
like a dream of fairy -land burst on 
my sight, as pushing the shrubbery 
aside, I gazed from the western limits 
of the platform-rock. 

" There, below me, imbedded in the 
very summit of the mountain, lay a 
calm lake, whose crystal- waters, gave 
back the reflection of forest and sky, 



like an immense mirror. It was but 
a mile in length, and half that distance 
in width. On all sides, sudden and 
steep, arose the encircling wall of fo 
rest trees. Like wine in a goblet, that 
calm sheet of water, lay in the em 
brace of the surrounding wall of fo 
liage. The waters were clear, so 
tranquil, that I could see, down, down, 
far, far beneath, as if another world, 
was hidden in their depths. And then 
from the heights, the luxuriant foliage, 
as yet untouched by autumn, sank in 
waves of verdure to the very brink of 
the lake, the trembling leaves, dipping 
in the clear, cold waters, with a gen 
tle motion. It was very beautifuJ 
Mary and " 

"Oh, most beautiful!" 

The left hand of Lorrimer, gently 
stealing round her form, rested with a 
faint pressure upon the folds of the 
night-robe, over her bosom, which now 
came heaving tremulously into light. 

" I looked upon this lovely lake 
with a keen delight I gazed upon the 
tranquil waters, upon the steeps 
crowned with forest-trees one side 
in heavy shadow, the other, gleaming 
n the advancing moonbeams I 
seemed to inhale the quietness, the so 
litude of the place, as a holy influence, 
mingling with the very air, I breathed, 
and a wild transport aroused my soul 
nto an outburst of enthusiasm. 

" Here I cried is the home for 
Love ! Love, pure and stainless, fly- 
ng from the crowded city, here can 
repose, beneath the shadow of quiet 
rocks, beside the gleam of tranquil 
waters, within the solitudes of endless 
brests. Yon sky, so clear, so cloud-* 
ess, has never beheld a sight of hu 
man misery or wo. Yon lake, 



THE CRIME WITHOUT A NAME. 



Ill 



ing beneath me, like another sky, has 
never been crimsoned by human blood. 
This quiet valley, hidden from the 
world now, as it has been hidden since 
the creation, is but another world 
where two hearts that love, that mingle 
in one, that throb but for each other s 
joy, can dwell forever, in the calm si 
lence of unalloyed affection " 

" A home for love such as angels 
feel" 

Closer and more close, the hand of 
Lorrimer pressed against the heaving 
bosom, with but the slight folds of the 
night-robe between. 

" Here, beside this calm lake, when 
ever the love of a true woman shall 
be mine, here, afar from the cares and 
realities of life, will I dwell ! Here, 
with the means which the accident of 
.ortune has bestowed, will I build, not 
a temple, not a mansion, not a palace! 
But a cottage, a quiet home, whose 
roof shall arise like a dear hope in 
the wilderness from amid the green 
leaves of embowering trees " 

" You spoke thus, Lorraine ? Do 
I not love you as a true woman should 
love? Is not your love calm and 
stainless as the waters of the mountain 
lake? We will dwell there, Lor- 
-^raine ! Oh, how like romance will be 
the plain reality of our life !" 

" Oh ! Mary, my own true love, in 
that moment as I stood gazing upon 
the world-hidden lake, my heart all 
throbbing with strange impulses, my 
very soul steeped in a holy calm, 
your form seemed to glide between my 
eyes and the moonlight ! The thought 
rushed like a prophecy over my soul, 
*hat one day, amid the barren wilder 
ness of hearts, which crowd the world, 
! should fine one, one heart, whose 
8 



I impulses should be stainless, whose ai- 

j fection should be undying, whose love 

j should be mine \ Oh, Mary, in that 

moment, I felt that my life would, one 

day, be illumined by your love " 

" And then you knew me not ? Oh, 
] Lorraine, is there not a strange mys 
tery in this affection, which makes the 
heart long for the love, which it shall 
one day experience, even before the 
eye has seen the beloved one?" 

Brighter grew the glow on her 
cheek, closer pressed the hand on hei 
bosom, warmer and higher arose that 
bosom in the light. 

"And there, Mary, in that quiet 
mountain valley, we will seek a home, 
when we are married. As soon as 
summer comes, when the trees are 
green, and the flowers burst from 
among the moss along the wood-path, 
we will hasten to the mountain lake, 
and dwell within the walls of our 
quiet home. For a home shall be 
reared for us, Mary, on a green glade 
that slopes down to the water s brink, 
with the tall trees sweeping away on 
either side. 

" A quiet little cottage, Mary, with 
a sloping roof and small windows, all 
fragrant with wild flowers and forest 
vines! A garden before the door, 
Mary, where, in the calm summer 
morning, you can inhale the sweetness 
of the flowers, as they breath forth in 
untamed luxuriance. And then, an* 
chored by the shore, Mary, a light 
sail-boat will be ready for us ever ; to 
bear us over the clear lake in the 
early dawn, when the mist winds 
up in fleecy columns to the sky, 01 
in the twilight, when the red scm 
flings his last -ay over the waters, 
or in the silent night, when the moon 



112 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



is up, and the stars look kindly on us 
from the cloudless sky " 

** Alas ! Lorraine ! Clouds may 
come and storms, and winter " 

" What care we for winter, when 
eternal spring is in our hearts ! Let 
winter come with its chill, and its ice 
and its snows ! Beside our cheerful 
fire, Mary, with our hands clasping 
some book, whose theme is the trials 
of two hearts that loved on through 
difficulty and danger or death, we will 
sit silently, our hearts throbbing with 
one delight, while the long hours 
of the winter evening glide quietly 
on. Do you see the fire, Mary? 
How cheerily its beams light our 
faces as we sit in its kindly light ! 
My arm is round your waist, Mary, 
my cheek is laid next to yours, our 
hands are locked together and your 
heart, Mary, oh how softly its throb- 
bings fall on my ear !" 

" Oh, Lorraine ! Why is there any 
care in the world, when two hearts 
can make such a heaven on earth, 
with the holy lessons of an all -trust 
ing love " 

" Or it may be, Mary " and his 
gaze grew deeper, while his voice 
sank to a low and thrilling whisper 
" Or it may be, Mary, that while we 
sit beside our winter fire a fair babe 
do not blush, my wife a fair babe 
will rest smiling on your bosom " 

" Oh, Lorraine " she murmured, 
and hid her face upon his breast, her 
long brown tresses, covering her neck 
and shoulders like a veil, while Lor 
raine wound his arms closely round 
her form, and looked around with a 
glance full of meaning. 

There was triumph in that glance. 
The libertine felt her heart throbbing 



against his breast as he held her in hi* 
arms, he felt her bosom panting and 
heaving, and quivering with a quick 
fluttering pulsation and as he swept 
the clustering curls aside from her 
half-hidden face, he saw that her cheek 
glowed like a new-lighted flame. 

" She is mine !" he thought, and a 
smile of triumph gave a dark aspect 
to his handsome face. 

In a moment Mary raised her glow 
ing countenance from his breast. She 
gazed around, with a timid, frightened 
look. Her breath came thick and 
gaspingly. Her cheeks were all 
a-glow, her blue eyes swam in a hazy 
dimness. She felt as though she was 
about to fall swooning on the floor. 
For a moment all consciousness 
seemed to have failed her, while a de 
lirious langor came stealing over her 
senses. Lorrimer s form seemed to 
swim in the air before her, and the 
dim light of the room gave place to a 
flood of radiance, which seemed all at 
once to pour on her eyesight from 
some invisible source. Soft murmurs, 
like voices heard in a pleasant dream, 
fell gently on her ears, the langor 
came deeper and more mellow over 
her limbs ; her bosom rose no longer 
quick and gaspingly, but in long pul 
sations, that urged the full globes in 
all their virgin beauty, softly and 
slowly into view. Like billows they 
rose above the folds of the night robe, 
while the flush grew" warmer on her 
cheek, and her parted lips deepened 
into a rich vermillion tint. 

" She is mine !" and the same dark 
smile flushed over Lorrimer s face. 
Silent and motionless he sat, regard 
ing his victim with a steadfast glance. 

" Oh, Lorraine " she cried, in a 



THE CRIME WITHOUT A NAME. 



113 



gasping voice, as she felt a strange 
unconsciousness stealing over her 
senses " Oh, Lorraine save me 

save me !" 

She arose, tottering on her feet, 
flinging her hands aloft, as though 
she stood on the brink of some fright 
ful steep, without the power to retreat 
from its crumbling edge. 

" There is no danger for you, my 
Mary " whispered Lorrimer, as he 
received her falling form in his out 
spread arms " There is no danger 
for you, my Mary " 

He played with the glossy curls of 
her dark brown hair as he spoke, 
while his arms gathered her half- 
swooning form full against his heart. 

"She is mine! Hex blood is 
a-flame her senses swim in a deli 
rium of passion ! (While the story fell 
from my lips, I aroused her slumber 
ing woman s nature, j Talk of force 

ha, ha She rests on my bosom 
as though she would grow there " 

As these thoughts half escaped 
from his lips, in a muttered whisper, 
his face shone with the glow of sen 
sual passion, while his hazel eye di 
lated, with a glance, whose intense 
lustre had but one meaning ; dark and 
atrocious. 

She lay on his breast, her senses 
wrapt in a feverish swoon, that laid her 
powerless in his arms, while it left her 
mind vividly sensible of the approacb- 
ing danger. 

" Mary, my love no danger 
threatens you " he whispered play 
ing with her glossy curls " Look 
up, my love 7am with you, and 
will shield you from harm !" 

Gathering her form in his left arm, 
secure of his victim, he raised her 



from his breast, and fixing his gaze 
upon her blue eyes, humid with mois 
ture, he slowly flung back the night 
robe from her shoulders. Her bosom, 
in all its richness of outline, heaving 
and throbbing with that long pulsation, 
which urged it upward like a billow, 
lay open to his gaze. 

And at the very moment, that ner 
fair breast was thrown open to his sen 
sual gaze, she sprang from his em 
brace, with a wild shriek, and instinc 
tively gathered her robe over her 
bosom, with a trembling movement 
of her fair white hands. The touch 
of the seducer s hand, polluting her 
stainless bosom, had restored her to 
sudden consciousness. 

" Lorraine ! Lorraine !" she shriek 
ed, retreating to the farthest corner of 
the room " Oh, save me save 
me" 

" No danger threatens you, my 
Mary" 

He advanced, as he spoke, toward* 
the trembling girl, who had shrunk 
into a corner of the room, crouching 
closely to the rose-hued hangings, 
while with her head turned over her 
shoulder and her hands clasped across 
her bosom, she gazed around with a 
glance full of terror and alarm. 

Lorrimer advanced toward the 
crouching girl. He had been sure 
of his victim ; he did not dream of 
any sudden outburst of terror from 
the half swooning maiden as she lay, 
helpless on his breast. As he ad 
vanced, a change came over his ap 
pearance. His face grew purple, and 
the veins of his eyes filled with .hick 
red blood. He trembled as he walked 
across the floor, and his chest heaved 



114 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



and throbbed beneath his white vest, 
as though he found it difficult to 
breathe. 

God save poor Mary, now ! 

Looking over her shoulder, she 
caught a gleam of his blood-shot eyei 
and read her ruin there. 

" Mary, there is no danger " he 
muttered, in a husky voice, as she 
shrunk back from his touch " Let 
me raise you from the floor " 

" Save me, oh Lorraine Save 
me !" she cried, in a voice of terror, 
crouching closer to the hangings along 
the wall. 

" From what shall I save you ?" 
lie whispered, in a voice unnaturally 
soft and gentle, as though he en 
deavoured to hide tne rising anger 
which began to gleam from his eye, 
when he found himself foiled in 
tne very moment of triumph "From 
what shall I save you " 

" From yourself " she shrieked, 
m a frightened tone " Oh, Lorraine, 
you love me. You will not harm me. 
Oh, save me, save me from yourself!" 

Playing with the animal nature of 
the stainless girl, Lorrimer had arous 
ed the sensual volcano of his own base 
heart. While he pressed her hand, 
while he gazed in her eyes, while he 
wound his embrace around her form, 
he had anticipated a certain and grate 
ful conquest. He had not dreamed 
that the humid eye, the heaving bosom, 
the burning cheek of Mary Arlington, 
were aught but the signs of his corning 
triumph. Resistance? Prayers? Tears? 
He had not anticipated these. The 
fiend was up in his soul. The liber 
tine had gone too far to recede. 

He stood before the crouching girl, 
I fearful picture of incarnate 



Sudden as the shadow after the light 
this change had passed over his soul. 
His form arose towering and erect, his 
chest throbbed with sensual excite 
ment, his hands hung, madly clinched, 
by his side, while his curling hair fell 
wild and disordered over his brows, f , 
darkening in a hideous frown, and hi< 
mustachioed lip wore the expression 
of his fixed and unalterable purpose. 
His blood-shot eyes, flashed with the 
unholy light of passion, as he stood 
sternly surveying the form of his 
victim. There was something wild 
and brutal in their savage glare. 

"This is all folly "he said, in 
that low toned and husky voice 
"Rise from the flocr, Mary. You 
don t .hink Pd harm you T 

He stooped to raise her from th* 
floor, but she shrank from his extend 
ed hands as though there was pollu 
tion in his slightest touch. 

" Mary, I wish you to rise from the 
floor !" 

His clenched hands trembled as ho 
spoke, and the flush of mingled anger 
and sensual feeling, deepened over his 
face. 

" Oh, Lorraine !" she cried, fling 
ing herself on her knees before him 
" Oh, Lorraine you will not harm 
me ? This is not you, Lorraine ; it can 
riot be you. You would not look 
darkly on me, your voice would not 
grow harsh as it whispered my name 
It is not Lorraine that I see it 
is an evil spirit " 

It was an evil spirit, she said, and 
yet looked up into his blood-shot eyes 
for a gleam of mercy as she spoke, 
and with her trembling fingers, wrung 
his clinched right hand, and clasped 
it wildly to her bosom. 



THE CRIME WITHOUT A NAME. 



115 



Pure, stainless, innocent, her hear 
a heaven of love, her mind child-like 
m its knowledge of the World, sh< 
knew not what she feared. She die 



not fear the shame which the 



good 



world would heap upon her, she die 
not fear the Dishonor, because it woulc 
be followed by such pollution that, no 
man in honor might call her Wife 
no child in innocence might whisper 
her name as Mother she did not 
fear the foul Wrong, as society with 
its million tongues and eyes, fears it, 
and holds it in abhorence, ever visiting 
the guilt of the man upon the head 
of his trembling victim. 

Mary feared the Dishonor, because 
her soul, with some strange conscious 
ness of approaching evil, deemed it, 
a foul Spirit, who had arisen, not 
much to visit her with wrong as to 
destroy the Love, she felt for Lorrimer. 
Not for herself, but for his sake, she 
feared that nameless crime, which al 
ready glared upon her from the blood 
shot eyes of her Lover. Her Lover ! 

" Oh, Lorraine, you will not harm 
me ! For the sake of God, save me 
save me !" 

She clasped his hand with a closer 
grasp and gathered it tremblingly to 
her bosom, while her eyes dilating 
with a glance of terror, were fixed 
upon his face. 

"Mary this is madness no 
thing but madness " he said in that 
voice, grown hoarse with passion, and 
rudely tore his hand from her grasp. 

Another instant, and stooping sud 
denly, he caught her form in his arms, 
and raised her struggling from her 
very feet. 

" Mary you are mine !" he 
hissed the whisper in her ear, and ga 



thered her quivering form more close 
ly to his heart. 

There was a low-toned and hideous 
laugh, muttering or growling through 
the air as he spoke, and the form of 
Devil-Bug, stole with a hushed foot 
step from the entrance of the Walnut 
Chamber, and seizing the light in his 
talon-fingers, glided from the room, 
with the same hyena laugh which had 
announced his appearance. 

" The trap the bottle the fire, 
for the brother " he muttered as 
his solitary eye, glanced upon the Li 
bertine and his struggling victim, 
neither of whom had marked his 
ntrance "For the Sister ha! 
a ! ha ! The handsome Devil -Bug 
Monk Gusty tends to her! 
Bijah did nt listen for nothin ha, 
ha ! this beats the charcoal, quite hol- 
ow !" 

He disappeared, and the Rose Cham 
ber was wrapt in midnight darkness. 

Darkness ! There was a struggle, 
and a shriek and a prayer. Dark 
ness ! There was an oath and a groan, 
mingling in chorus. Darkness ! A 
wild cry for mercy, a name madly 
hrieked, and a fierce execration. 
)arkness ! Another struggle, a low 
noaning sound, and a stillness like 
bat of the grave. Now darkness and 
ilence mingle together and all is still. 

In some old book of mysticism and 

uperstition, I have read this wild 

egend, which mingling as it does the 

rrible with the grotesque, has still its 

meaning and its moral. 

In the sky, far, far above the earth 
so the legend runs there hangs 
n Awful Bell, invisible to mortal eye. 



116 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



which angel hands alone may toll, 
which is never tolled save when the 
Unpardonable Sin is committed on 
earth, and then its judgment peal rings 
out like the blast of the archangel s 
trumpet, breaking on the ear of the 
Criminal, and on his ear alone, with 
a sound that freezes his blood with hor 
ror. The peal of the Bell, hung in 
the azure depths of space, announces 
to the Guilty one, that he is an outcast 
from God s mercy for ever, that his 
Crime can never be pardoned , while 
the throne of the Eternal endures ; 
that in the hour of Death, his soul will 
be darkened by the hopeless prospect 
of an eternity of wo ; wo without li 
mit, despair without hope ; the torture 
of the never-dying worm, and the un 
quenchable flame, forever and forever. 

Reader! Did the sound of the 
Judgment Bell, pealing with one aw 
ful toll, from the invisible air, break 
over the soul of the Libertine, as in 
darkness and in silence, he stood shud 
dering over the victim of his Crime ? 
P If in the books of the Last Day, 
there shall be found written down, but 
One unpardonable crime, that crime 
will be known as the foul wrong, ac 
complished in the gaudy Rose Cham 
ber of Monk-hall, by the wretch, who 
now stood trembling in the darkness 
of the place, while his victim lay 
senseless at his feet J 

There was darkness and silence for 
a few brief moments, and then a 
stream of light flashed around the 
Rose Chamber. 

Like a fiend, returned to witness 
*ome appalling scene of guilt, which he 
had but a moment left, Devil-Bug stood 



in the doorway of the Wa/nut Cham- 
her. He grimly smiled, as he survey 
ed the scene. 

And then with a hurried gesture, a 
pallid face and blood-shot eyes, as 
though some Phantom tracked his 
footsteps, Lorrimer rushed madly by 
him, and disappeared into the Painted 
Chamber. At the very moment of his 
disappearance, Devil Bug raised the 
light on high, and started backward 
with a sudden impulse of surprise. 

" Dead Dead and come to life !" 
he shrieked, and then the gaze of his 
solitary eye was fixed upon the en 
trance to the Walnut Room. With a 
mechanical gesture, he placed the light 
upon the table and fled madly from the 
chamber, while the curtains opening 
into the Walnut Room rustled to and 
fro, for a single instant, and then a 
ghastly face, with livid cheeks and burn 
ing eyes, appeared between the crimson 
folds, gazing silently around the place, 
with a glance, that no living man 
would choose to encounter, for his 
weight in gold it was so like the 
look of one arisen from the dead 



CHAPTER FOl H.TEENTH. 

THE GUILTT WIPE. 

THE light of the dark-lanther* 
streamed around the a/ at, where tfo 
Merchant stood. 

Behind him, all was darkness, while 
the lanthern, held extended i" his left 
hand, flung a ruddy blaze o it, over 
the outlines of the massive Long 



THE GUILTY WIFE. 



11: 



floor, concealing the bed from view, 
while from within the gorgeous curtain 
ing, that low softened sound, like a wo 
man breathing in her sleep, came faint 
ly to the Merchant s ear. 

Livingstone advanced. The man 
ner in which he held the lanthern flung 
his face in shadow, but you could see 
that his form quivered with a tremu 
lous motion, and in the attempt to 
smother a groan which arose to his 
lips, a thick gurgling sound like the 
death-rattle, was heard in his throat. 

Gazing from the shadow that enve 
loped his face, Livingstone, with an in 
voluntary glance took in the details of 
the gorgeous couch the rich curtain 
ing of light azure satin, closely drawn 
around the bed ; the canopy overhead 
surmounted by a circle of glittering 
stars, arranged like a coronet; and 
the voluptuous shapes, assumed by the 
folds, as they fell drooping to the floor, 
all burst like a picture on his eye. 

Beside the bed stood a small table 
resembling a lady s work stand co 
vered with a plain white cloth. The 
silver sheath of a large Bowie knife, 
resting on the white cloth, shone glit 
tering in the light, and attracted the 
Merchant s attention. 

He laid the pistol which he held at 
his right side, upon the table and rais 
ed the Bowie knife to the light. The 
sheath was of massive silver, and the 
blade of the keenest steel. The han 
dle fashioned like the sheath, of mas 
sive silver, bore a single name, engra 
ved in large letters near the hilt, Al 
gernon Fitz-Cowles, and on the blade 
of polished steel, amid a wreath of 
flowers glittered the motto in the ex- 



silk curtains, of rich azure, fell droop- j pressive slang of southern braggarts- 
ing in voluminous folds, to the very Stranger avoid a snag. 

Silently Livingstone examined the 
blade of the murderous weapon. It 
was sharp as a razor, with the glit 
tering point inclining from the edge, 
like a Turkish dagger. The merchant 
grasped the handle of this knife in his 
right hand, and holding the lanthern 



on high, advanced to the bedside. 

" His own knife " muttered Liv 
ingstone " shall find its way to his 
cankered heart " 

With the point of the knife, he silent 
ly parted the hangings of the bed, and 
the red glare of the lanthern flashed 
within the azure folds, revealing a 
small portion of the sleeping couch. 

A moment passed, and Livingstone 
seemed afraid to gaze within the hang 
ings, for he turned his head aside, 
more than once, and the thick gurg 
ling noise 
throat. 



again was heard in his 
At last, raising the lanthern 



gently overhead, so that its beams 
would fall along a small space of the 
couch, while the rest was left in dark* 
ness, and grasping the knife with a 
firmer hold he gazed upon the specta 
cle disclosed to his view. 



Her head deep sunken in a downy 
pillow, a beautiful woman, lay wrapt 
in slumber. By the manner in which 
the silken folds of the coverlid were 
disposed, you might see that her form 
was full, large and voluptuous. Thick 
masses of jet-black hair fell, glossy 
and luxuriant, over her round neck 
and along her uncovered bosom, which 
swelling with the full ripeness of 
womanhood, rose gently in the light. 
She lay on her side, with her head 
resting easily on one large, round arm. 



118 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 






half hidden by the masses of black 
hair, streaming over the snow white 
pillow, while the other arm was flung 
carelessly along her form, the light 
falling softly over the clear transpa 
rent skin, the full roundness of its 
sHape, and the small and delicate hand, 
resting gently on the coverlid. 

Her face, appearing amid the tresses 
of her jet-black hair, like a fair picture 
half-hidden in sable drapery, was 
marked by a perfect regularity of fea 
ture, a high forehead, arching eye 
brows and long dark lashes, resting 
on the velvet skin of each glowing 
cheek. Her mouth was opened slightly 
as she slept, the ivory whiteness of 
her teeth, gleaming through the rich 
vermillion of her parted lips. 

[She lay on that gorgeous couch, in 
an attitude of voluptuous ease ; a per 
fect incarnation of the Sensual Woman, 
who combines the beauty of a mere 
animal, with an intellect strong and 
resolute in its every purpose^ 

And over that full bosom, which 
rose and fell with the gentle impulse 
of slumber, over that womanly bosom, 
which should have been the home of 
pure thoughts and wifely affections, 
was laid a small and swarthy hand, 
whose fingers, heavy withrings,pressed 
against the ivory skin, all streaked 
with veins of delicate azure, and clung 
twiningly among the dark tresses 
that hung drooping over the breast, 
as its globes rose heaving into view, 
like worlds of purity and womanhood. 

It was a strange sight for a man to 
>ee, whose only joy, in earth or 
heaven, was locked within that snowy 
bosom, and yet Livingstone, the hus 
band, stood firm and silent, as he 



gazed upon that strange hand, half 
hidden by the drooping curls. 

It required but a slight motion of his 
hand, and the glare of the light flashed 
over the other side of the couch. The 
flash of the lanthern, among the 
shadows of the bed, was but for a mo 
ment, and yet Livingstone beheld the 
face of a dark-hueo" man, whose long 
dark hair mingled its heavy curls with 
the glossy tresses of his wife, while 
his hand reaching over her shoulder, 
rested, like a thing of foul pollution 
upon her bosom. 

They slumbered together, slumber 
ed in their guilt, and the Avenger 
stood gazing upon their faces while 
their hearts were as unconscious of hi* 
glance, as they were of the death whicl 
glittered over them in the upraised 
knife. 

" Wife of mine your slumber 
shall be deep and long " 

And as the whisper hissed from be 
tween the clenched teeth of the hus. 
band, he raised the dagger suddenly 
aloft, and then brought it slowly down 
until its point quivered within a fin 
ger s width of the heaving bosom, 
while the light of the lanthern held 
above his head, streamed over his livid 
face, and over the blooming counte 
nance of his fair young wife. 

The dagger glittered over her 
bosom ; lower and lower it sank until 
a deeper respiration, a single heart- 
drawn sigh, might have forced the 
silken skin upon the glittering point, 
when the guilty woman murmured in 
her sleep. 

" Algernon a coronet wealth 
and power " were the broken words 
that escaped from her lin 

Again the husband raised the knife 



THE GUILTY WIFE. 



lit 



hut it was with the hand clenched, and 
the sinews stiffened for the work of 
death. 

" Seek your Algernon in the grave 
" he whispered, with a convulsive 
smile, as his blue eyes, all alive with 
a glance, like a madman s gaze, sur 
veyed the guilty wife " Let the coro 
net be hung around your fleshless 
skull let your wealth be a coffin, 
and ha ! ha ! your power cor 
ruption and decay " 

It may have been that some feeling 
of the olden-time, when the image of 
that fair young wife dwelt in the 
holiest temple of his heart, came sud 
denly to the mind of the avenger, in 
that moment of fearful suspense, for 
his hand trembled for an instant and 
he turned his gaze aside, while a single 
scalding tear rolled down his livid 
cheek. 

Algernon " murmured the wife 
" We will seek a home " 

" In the grave !" 

And the dagger rose, and gleamed 
like a stream of flame overhead, and 
then sank down with a whirring sound. 

Is the bosom red with the stain of 
blood ? 

Has the keen knife severed the 
veins and pierced the heart ? 

The blow of a strong arm, stricken 
over Livingstone s shoulder, dashed 
his hand suddenly aside, and the knife 
sank to the very hilt in tne pillow, 
within a hair s breadth of Dora s face. 
The knife touched the side of her 
cheek, and a long and glossy curl, 
severed from her head by the blow, 
lay resting on the pillow. 

Livingstone turned suddenly round, 
with a deep muttered oath, while his 
massive form rose towering to its full 



height. Luke Harvey stood before 
him, his cold and glittering eye, fixed 
upon his face, with an expression of 
the deepest agitation. 

" Stand back Sir " muttered Li 
vingstone with a quivering lip 
" This spot is sabred to me ! I want 
no witness to my wrong nor to my 
vengeance !" 

" Ha ha !" sneered Luke bending 
forward until his eyes glared fixedly 
in the face of the Husband " Is this 
a vengeance for a man like you ?" 

" Luke again I warn you leave 
me to my shame, and its punish 
ment" 

"Shame Punishment! Ha ha ! You 
have been wronged in secret, 
slowly and quietly Pronged, and yet 
would punish that wrong, by k olow 
that brings but a single pang !" 

"Luke you are right " whis 
pered Livingstone, his agitated manner 
subsiding into a look of calm and fear 
ful determination " The wrong has 
been secret, long in progress, horrible 
in result. So let the punishment be. 
She shall see the Death " and his 
eye flashed with a maniac wildness 
" She shall see the Death as it slowly 
approaches, she shall feel it as it 
winds its very fangs into her very 
heart, she shall know that all hope is 
in vain, while my voice will whisper 
in her freezing ear * Dora, it is by 
my will that you die ! Shriek Dora 
shriek for aid ! Death is cold and 
icy I can save you! I your 
husband ! I can save you, but will 
not ! Die Adultress die " 

"Algernon " murmured Dora 
half-awakened from her sleep "There 
is a cold hand laid against mv 
cheek" 



120 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



" She wakes !" whispered Luke 
"The dagger the lanthern " 

It required but a single moment for 
Livingstone to draw the knife, from th 
pillow, where it rested against th 
bloc -fling cheek of the wife, while 
Luke, with a sudden moment graspec 
the lanthern, and closed its door, leav 
ing the Chamber wrapt in midnigh 
darkness. 

The husband stood motionless as a 
stone, and Luke held his very breath 
as the voice of Dora broke on their 
ears, in tones of alarm and terror. 

"Algernon " she whispered, as 
she started from herslumber "Awake 
Do you not hear the sound of voi 
ces, by the bedside ? Hist ! Could it 
have been the dream ? Algernon " 
"Deuced uncomfortable to be waked- 
up this way " murmured a sleepy 
voice "What s the matter Dora? 
What about a dream ?" 

" I was awakened just now from my 
sleep by the sound of voices. 
I thought a blaze of light flashed round 
the room, while my hus that is, Li 
vingstone stood at the bedstead. And 
then I felt a cold hand laid against my 
cheek" 

" Ha ha ! Rather good, that ! 
D ye know Dora that I had a dream 
too? I dreamt that I was in the 
front parlor, second story you know, 
In your house on Fourth street, when 
the old fellow came in, and read your 
note on the table. Ha ha and then 
are you listening ? I thought that 
the old gentleman while he was read 
ing, turned to a bright pea-green in the 
face, and " 

" Hist ! Do you not hear some one 
breathing in the room ?" 

"Pshaw Dora, you re nervous! Go 



to sleep my love. Don t loose your 
rest for all the dreams in the world. 
Good night, Dora !" 

" A little touch of farce with our 
tragedy " half-muttered Luke, as a 
quiet chuckle shook his frame 
" Egad ! If they talk in this strain 
much longer, I ll have to guffaw ! It s 
rather too much for my risibles ; this 
is ! A husband standing in the dark 
by the bedside, while his wife and her 
paramour are telling their pleasant 
dreams, in which he figures as the 
hero" 

Whether a smile passed over Li 
vingstone s face, or a frown, Luke 
could not tell, for the room was dark 
as a starlit night, yet the quick gasp 
ing sound of a man struggling for 
breath, heard through the darkness, 
seem to indicate any thing but the plea 
sant laugh or the jovial chuckle. 

" They sleep again !" muttered Luke 
" She has sunken into slumber 
while Death watches at the bedside. 
Curse it how that fellow snores !" 

There was a long pause of dark 
ness and silence. No word escaped 
the Husband s lips, no groan convul 
sed his chest, no half-muttered cry of 
agony, indicated the struggle which 
was silently rending his soul, as with 
a viper s fangs. 

"Livingstone " whispered Luke 
after a long pause " Where are you? 
onfound it man, I can t hear you 
>reathe. I m afraid to uncover the 
ight it may awaken them again. 
. say Livingstone had n t we better 
eave these quarters " 

" I could have borne expressions of 
remorse from her lips I could have 
istened to sudden outpourings of hor 
or wrung from her soul by the very 



THE GUILTY WIFE. 



191 



blackness of her guilt, but this grovel 
ling familiarity with vice !" 

" Matter-of-fat pollution, as you 
might observe " whispered Luke. 

" Luke, I tell you, the cup is full to 
overflowing but I will drain it to the 
dregs!" 

"Now s your time " whispered 
Luke, as, swinging the curtain aside, 
he suffered the light of the lanthern to 
fall over the bed " Dora looks quite 
pretty. Fitz-Cowles decidedly inte 
resting " 

" And on that bosom have I slept !" 
exclaimed Livingstone, in a voice of 
agony, as he gazed upon his slumber 
ing wife "Those arms have clung 
round my neck and now ! Ha ! 
Luke you may think me mad, but I 
tell ye man, that there is the spirit of 
a slow and silent revenge creeping 
through my veins. She has dishonor 
ed me ! Do you read anything like 
forgiveness in my face?" 

" Not much o it I assure you. But 
come, Livingstone let s be going. 
This is not the time nor place for 
your revenge. Let s travel." 

Livingstone laid down the bowie 
knife, and with a smile of bitter 
mockery, seized a small pair of scissors 
from the work-basket which stood on 
the table. 

" You smile, Luke?" he whispered, 
as, leaning over the bedside, he laid 
his hand upon the jet-black hair of the 
slumbering Fitz-Cowles ; " Ha-ha ! 
I will leave the place, but d ye see, 
Luke, I must take some slight keep 
sake, to remind me of the gallant 
Colonel. A lock of his hair, you 
know, Luke ?" 

" Egad ! Livingstone, I believe 
you re going mad ! A lock of his 



hair? Pshaw ! You ll want a straight 
jacket soon " 

" And a lock of my Dora s hair " 
whispered Livingstone, as his blue 
eyes flashed from beneath his dark 
eyebrows, while his lips wore that 
same mocking smile "But you see 
the knife saved me all trouble. Here 
is a glossy tress severed by the Colo 
nel s dagger. Now let me wind them 
together, Luke, let me lay them next 
to my heart, Luke yes, smile my 
fellow Ha! ha! ha! 

" Hist ! Your wife stirs in her 
sleep you will awaken them again." 

" D ye know, Luke " cried Liv 
ingstone, drawing his partner close to 
his side, and looking in his face, with 
a vacant glance, that indicated a tem 
porary derangement of intellect 

D ye know, Luke, that I didn t do 
that, o my own will? Hist! Luke 
closer closer I ll tell you. The 
Devil was at the bedside, Luke ; he 
whispered it in my ear, he bade me 
take these keepsakes ha, ha, ha 
what a jolly set of fellows we are ! 
And then, Luke " his voice sank to 
a thrilling whisper " He pointed 
with his iron hand to the last scene, 
in which my vengeance shall be 
complete. She shall beg for mercy, 
Luke ; aye, on her knees, but ha, 
ha, ha kill Jcill kill ! is writ 
ten in letters of blood before my eyes, 
every where, Luke, every where. 
Don t you see it ?" 

He pointed vacantly at the air as he 
spoke, and seized Luke by the shoul 
der, as though he would command his 
attention to the blood-red letters. 

Luke was conscious that he stood 
in the presence of a madman. 

Inflexible as he was in his own se. 



122 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



cret purpose of revenge, upon the wo 
man who had trampled on his very 
heart, Luke still regarded the Mer 
chant with a feeling akin to brother 
hood. As the fearful fact impressed 
itself on his soul, that Livingstone 
stood before him, deprived of reason, 
an expression of the deepest feeling 
shadowed the countenance of Luke, 
and his voice was broken ID its tones 
as he endeavoured to persuade the 
madman, to leave the scene of his dis 
honor and shame. 

" Come ! Livingstone ! let us go " 
said Luke, taking his partner by 
the arm, and leading him gently to 
ward the closet. 

" But I ve got the keepsakes safe, 
Luke " whispered Livingstone, as 
tfrat wild light flashed from his large 
blue eyes "D ye see the words in 
the air, Luke ? Now they change to 
her name Dora, Dora, Dora ! All 
in blood-red letters. I say Luke, let s 
have a quiet whist party there s 
four of us Dora and I ; you and 
Fitz-Cowles " 

" I m willing " exclaimed Luke, 
as with a quick movement he seized 
the pistol left by Livingstone on the 
table, and concealed it within the 
breast of his greatcoat "Suppose we 
step into the next room, and get every 
thing ready for the party " 

" You re keen, Luke, keen, but I m 
even with you " whispered Living 
stone as his livid face lighted up with 
n sudden gleam of intelligence 
" Here we stand on the threshold of 
this closet we are about to leave my 
wife s bed-room. You think I m mad. 
Do I look like a madman ? I know 
rh^re is no whist-paity to be held this 



night, I know that Hist. Luke 
Don t you see it, all pictured forth in 
the air 1 The scene of my vengeance t 
In colors of blood, painted by the 
Devil s hand ? Yonder Luke yon 
der ! How red it grows and then 
in letters of fire, every where, every 
where, is written Dora Dora 
Dora" 

It was a fearful spectacle to see 
that strong man, with his imposing fi 
gure, raised to its full stature and his 
thoughtful brow, lit up with an ex 
pression of idiotic wonder, as standing 
on the verge of the secret door, he 
pointed wildly at the blood-red picture 
which his fancy had drawn in the va 
cant air while his blue eyes dilated 
with a maniac glance, and his face 
grew yet more livid and ghastly. 

"Come, Livingstone " cried Luke 
gently leading him through the close! 

"You had better leave this place " 
" And yet Dora, is sleeping here ? 

My young wife ? The mother of my 
children? Do ye think Luke, that 
I d have believed you last Thursday 
morning, if you had then told me 
this ? Livingstone, this day-week, 
you will leave a chamber in a brothel, 
and leave your young wife, sleeping 
in another man s arms. But never 
mind Luke it will all be right. 
For I tell ye, it is there, there before 
me in colors of blood ! That last 
scene of my vengeance ! And there 

there in letters of flame Dora ! 
Dora ! Dora ! " 

And while the fair young wife slept 
quietly in the bed of guilt and shame, 
Luke led the Merchant from the room 
a id from the house. 



THE DISHONOR. 



123 



CHAPTER FIFTEENTH. < 

THE DISHONOR. 

ALL was silent within the Rose ; 
Chamber. For a single moment that j 
pale visage glared from the crimson j 
^hangings, concealing the entrance to\ 
the Walnut Room, and then with aj 
measured footstep, Byrnewood Arling 
ton advanced along the floor, his 
countenance ghastly as the face of 
Lazarus, at the very instant, when in 
obedience to the words of the Incar 
nate, life struggled with corruption and 
death, over his cheek and brow. 

Bring home to your mind the scene, 
when Lazarus lay prostrate in the 
grave, a stiffened corse, his face all 
clammy with corruption, the closed 
eyes surrounded by loathsome circles 
of decay, the cheeks sunken, and the 
lips fallen in : let the words of Jesus 
ring in your ears, Lazarus, come 
forth !" And then as the blue eyelids 
slowly unclose, as the gleam of life 
shoots forth from the glassy eye, as 
the flush of health struggles with the 
yellowish hue of decay along each 
cheek,as life and death mingling in that 
face for a single moment, maintain a 
fearful combat for the mastery; then I 
pray you, gaze upon the visage of 
Byrnewood Arlington, and mark how 
like it is to the face of one arisen from 
the dead ; a ghastly face, on whose 
fixed outline the finger-traces of cor 
ruption are yet visible, from whose 
eyes the film of the grave is not yet 
passed away. 

The gaze of Byrnewood, as he 
strode from the entrance of the Wal 
nut Chamber, was riveted to the floor. 
Had the eyes of the rattlesnake gleam- 
el from the carpet, slowly drawing its 



victim to his ruin, Byrnewood could 
not have fixed his gaze upon the ob 
ject in the centre of the floor, with a 
more fearful and absorbing intensity. 

There, thrown prostrate on the 
gaudy carpet, insensible and motion 
less, the form of Mary Arlington lay 
at the brother s feet. 

He sank silently on his knees. 

He took her small white hand 
now cold as marble within his own, 
he swept the unbound tresses back 
from her paliid brow. Her eyes were 
closed as in death, her lips hung apart, 
the lower one trembling with a scarce 
ly perceptible movement, her cheek 
was pale as ashes, with a deep red tint 
in the centre. 

Byrnewood uttered no sound, nor 
shrieked forth any wild exclamation 
of revenge, or wo, or dispair. He 
silently drew the folds of the night- 
robe round her form, and veiled her 
bosom but a moment agone warmed 
into a glow by the heart s fires, now 
paled by the fingers of the ravisher 
he veiled her fair young bosom from 
the light. 

It was a sad sight to look upon. 
That face, so fair and blooming, but a 
moment past, now pale as death, with 
spot of burning red on the centre of 
each cheek : that bosom, a moment 
since, heaving with passion, now still 
and motionless ; those delicate hands 
with tiny fingers, which had bravely 
fought for honor, for virtue, for purity, 
an instant ago, now resting cold and 
stiffened by her side. 

Thick tresses of dark brown hair, 
hung round her neck. With that 
same careful movement of his hand, 
Byrnewood swept them aside. Along 
the smooth surface of that fair neck 



(24 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



like seme noisome reptile, trailing 
over a lovely flower, a large vein, 
black and distorted, shot upward, 
darkening the glossy skin, while it 
told the story of the maiden s dishonor 
and shame. 

" My sister !" was the solitary ex 
clamation that broke from Byrne- 
wood s lips as he gazed upon the form 
of the unconscions girl, and his large 
dark eye, dilating as he spoke, glanced 
around with an expression of strange 
meaning. 

He raised her form in his arms, and 
kissed her cold lips again and again. 
No tear trickled from his eyelids ; no 
sigh heaved his bosom ; no deep mut 
tered execration manifested the agita 
tion of his soul. 

"My sister!" he again whispered,and 
gathered her more close to his heart. 

A slight flush deepening over her 
cheek, even while he spoke, gave 
signs of returning consciousness. 

Mary slowly unclosed her eyes, and 
gazed with a wandering glance around 
ihe room. An instant passed ere she 
discovered that she lay in Byrnewood s 
arms. 

" Oh, brother " she exclaimed, 
not with a wild shriek, but in a low- 
toned voice, whose slightest accent 
quivered with an emphasis of despair 
" Oh, brother ! Leave me leave 
me. I am not worthy of your touch. 
I am vile, brother, oh, most vile! 
Leave me leave me, for I am lost !" 

" Mary !" whispered Byrnewood, 
resisting her attempt to unwind his 
arms from her form, while the blood, 
filling the veins of his throat, produced 
an effect like strangulation " Mary ! 
Do not do not speak thus I 



He could say no more, but his face 
dropped on her cold bosom, and the 
tears, which he had silently prayed for, 
came at last. 

He wept, while that low choakinj 
noise, sounding in his throat, that in 
voluntary heaving of the chest, tha 
nervous quivering of the lip, all be 
tokened the strong man wrestling witfr 
his agony. 

" Do not weep for me, brother " 
she said, in the same low-toned voice 
"I am polluted, brother, and am 
not worthy of the slightest tear you 
shed for me. Unwind your arms 
brother, do not resist me for the 
strength of despair is in these hands 
unwind your arms, and let me no 
longer pollute you by my touch " 

There was something fearful in the 
xpression of her face as she spoke. 
Ihe was no longer the trembling child 
whose young face, marked the inexpe 
rience of her stainless heart. A new i^ 
world had broken upon her soul, not a 
world of green trees, silver streams 
and pleasant flowers, but a chaos of 
ashes, and mouldering flame ; a lurid 
sky above, a blasted soil below, and 
one immense horizon of leaden clouds, 
hemming in the universe of desolation. 

She had sprung from the maiden 
nto the woman, but a blight was on 
her soul forever. The crime had not 
only stained her person with dishonor, 

t, like the sickening warmth of the 
hot-house, it had forced the flower of 
her soul, into sudden and unnatural 
maturity. It was the maturity of pre 
cocious experience. In her inmost 
soul, she felt that she was a dishonored 
hing, whose very touch was pollution, 
whose presence, among the pure and 
stainless, would be a bitter mockery 



ThE DISHONOR. 



125 



and foul reproach. The guilt was not 
hers, but the Ruin blasted her purity 
forever. 

" Unwind your arms, my brother " 
she exclaimed, tearing herself from his 
embrace, with all a maniac s strength 
"I am polluted. You are pure. 
Oh do not touch me do not touc-h 
me. Leave me to my shame oh, 
leave me " 

She unwound her form from his 
embrace, and sank crouching into a 
corner of the Rose Chamber, extend 
ing her hands with a frightened ges 
ture, as though she feared his slightest 
touch. 

" Mary" shrieked Byrnewood, fling 
ing his arms on high, with a move 
ment of sudden agitation " Oh, do 
not look upon me thus ! Come to me 
oh, Mary come to me, for I am 
your brother." 

The words, the look and the trem 
bling movement of his outspread arms, 
all combined, acted like a spell upon 
the intellect of the ruined girl. She 
rose wildly to her feet, as though im 
pelled by some invisible influence, and 
fell tremblingly into her brother s arms. 

While one dark and horrible thought, 
was working its way through the ave 
nues of his soul, he gathered her to 
his breast again and again. 

And in that moment of silence and 
unutterable thought, the curtains lead 
ing into the Painted Chamber were 
slowly thrust aside, and Lorrimer 
again appeared upon the scene. Strick 
en with remorse, he had fled with 
a madman s haste from the scene 
of his crime, and while his bosom was 
torn by a thousand opposing thoughts, 
he had endeavored to drown the voice 
within him, and crush the memory of 



the nameless wrong. It was all in 
vain. Impelled by an irresistible de- 
sire, to look again upon the victim of 
his crime,he re-entered the Rose Cham 
ber. It was a strange sight, to see 
the Brother kneeling on the floor, as 
he gathered his sister s form in his 
arms, and yet the Seducer, gave 
no sign nor indication of surprise. 

A fearful agitation was passing over 
the Libertine s soul, as unobserved by 
the brother or sister, he stood gazing 
upon them with a wandering glance. 
His face, so lately flushed with pas 
sion, in its vilest hues, was now palest 
and livid. His white lips, trembled 
with a nervous moment, and his hands, 
extended on either side, clutched va 
cantly at the air, as though he wrestled 
with an unseen foe. 

While the thought of horror, was 
slowly darkening over Byrnewood s 
soul, a thought as dark and horrible 
gathered like a Phantom over the mind 
of Lorrimer. 

A single word of explanation, will 
make the subsequent scene, clear and 
intelligible to the reader. 

From generation to generation, the 
family of the Lorrimer s, had been r A 
subject to an aberration of intellect, as JjJ 
sudden as it was terrible ; always re 
sulting from any peculiar agitation of 
mind, which might convulse the soul, 
with an emotion remarkable for its 
power or energy. It was a hallucina 
tion, a temporary madness, a sudden 
derangement of intellect. It always 
succeeded an uncontrollable outburst 
of anger, or grief, or joy. From fa 
ther to son, since the family had first 
come over to Pennsylvania, with the 
Proprietor and Peace-Maker William 
Penn, this temporary derangement ofj 



IY\/1> 




126 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



intellect, had descended as a fearful 
heritage. 

Lorrimer had been subject to this 
madness, but once in his life, when 
his father s corse lay stiffened before 
his eyes. And now, as he stood ga 
zing upon the form of the brother and 
sister, Lorrimer, felt this temporary 
madness stealing over his soul, in the 
form of a strange hallucination, while 
he became conscious, that in a single 
moment, the horror which shook his 
frame, would rise to his lips in words 
of agony and fear. 

u Raise your hands with mine, to 
Heaven, Mary " exclaimed Byrne- 
wood as the Thought which had been 
working over his soul, manifested its 
intensity in words " Raise your 
hands with mine, and curse the author 
of your ruin ! Lift your voice with 
mine, up to the God, who beheld the 
wrong who will visit the wronger 
with a doom meet, for his crime 
lift your voice with mine, and curse 
him" 

" Oh Byrnewood, do not, do not 
curse him. The wrong has been done 
but do not, I beseech you, visit his head 
with a curse " 

" Hear me, oh God, before whom, 
I now raise my hands, in the vow of 
justice ! In life I will be to this wretch, 
as a Fate, a Doom, a Curse ! 

"I am vile oh God steeped in 
the same vices, which blacken the 
heart of this man, cankered by the 
same corruption. But the office, which 
I now take on myself, raising this 
right hand to thee, in witness of my 
fixed purpose, would sanctify the dark 
est fiend in hell ! I am the avenger 
of my sister s wrong ! She was in 
nocent, sne was pure, she trusted and 



was betrayed! I will avenge her. 
Before thee, I swear to visit v her wrong, 
upon the head of her betrayer, with u 
doom never to be forgotten in the me 
mory of man. This right hand I de 
dicate to this solemn purpose come 
what will, come what may, let danger 
threaten or death stand in my path, 
through sickness and health, through 
riches or poverty, I now swear, to hold 
my steady pathway onward, my only 
object in life the avengement of rny 
sister s wrong ! He shall die by this 
hand oh God I swear it by thy 
name I swear it by my soul I 
swear it by the Fiend who impelled 
the villian to this deed of crime " 

As he whispered forth this oath, in 
a voice which speaking from the depths 
of his chest, had a hollow and sepul 
chral sound, the fair girl flung herself 
on his breast, and with a wild shriek 
essayed to delay the utterance of the 
curse, by gathering his face, to her 
bosom. 

For a moment her efforts were suc 
cessful. Lorrimer had stood silent 
and pale, while the deep-toned 
voice of Byrnewood Arlington, break- 
ing in accents of doom upon his ear, 
had aided and strengthened the strange 
hallucination which was slowly gather 
ing over his brain like a mighty spell. 

" There is a wide river before me, 
its broad waves tinged with the last 
red rays of a winter sunset " such 
were the words he murmured, extend 
ing his hand, as though pointing to the 
scene, which dawned upon his soul 
41 A wide river with its waves surging 
against the wharves of a mighty city. 
Afar I behold steeples and roofs and 
towers, all glowing in the beams of thft 
setting sun. And as I gaze, the waves 




MARY, BYRNEWOOD, AND LORRIMER. Page 126. 



THE DISHONOR. 



127 



turn to blood, red and ghastly blood 
and now the sky is a-flame, and the 
clouds sweep slowly past, bathed in the 
same crimson hue. All is blood 
the river rushes before me, and the sky 
and the city all pictured in colors 
of blood. 

"" " An invisible hand is leading me to 
my doom. There is Death for me, 
in yonder river, and I know it, yet 
down, down to the rivers banks, down, 
down into the red waters, I must go. 
Ha ! ha ! Tis a merry death ! The 
blood- red waves rise above me high 
er, higher, higher ! Yonder is the city, 
yonder the last rays of the settrng sun, 
glitter on the roof and steeple, yonder 
is the blood-red sky and ah ! I tell 
ye I will not die you shall not sink 
me beneath these gory waves ! Devil! 
Is not your vengeance satisfied must 
you feast your eyes with the sight of 
my closing agonies must your hand 
grasp me by the throat, and your foot 
trample me beneath the waves ? I tell 
you I will not, will not die " 

" Ha ha ha ! Here s purty 
going s on " laughed the hoarse voice 
of Devil-Bug, as his hideous form ap 
peared in the doorway of the Walnut 
Chamber, with his attendant negroes 
at his back "Seems the gal helped 
him off. There he sits the ornery 
feller, with his sister in his arms 
while Gusty, is a-doin some ravin s 
on his own indivdooal hook. Come 
here Glow-worm here Musquito 



come here my pets, and tend to this 
leetle family party " 

In another instant the Rose Cham 
ber became the scene of a strange 
picture. 

Byrnewood had arisen to his feet, 



the hallucination which possessed his 
brain. The handsome Libertine stood 
in the centre of the room, his form di 
lating to its full stature, his face the 
hue of ashes, while with his hazel eyes, 
glaring on vacancy, he clutched wild 
ly at the air, starting backward tit ths 
same moment, as though some? invisi 
ble hand, was silently impelling him 
to the brink of the blood -red river, 
which rolled tumultuously at his feet, 
which slowly gathered nround him, 
which began to heave upward to his 
very lips. 

On one side, in a half-kneeling po 
sition, crouched Mafy Arlington, her 



large blue eyes, 



from her 



pallid face, as with her upraised hands, 
crossed over her bosom, she gazed 
upon the agitated countenance of the 
seducer, with a glance of mingled awe 
and wonder ; while, on the other side, 
stern and erect, Byrnewood, with his 
pale visage daikening in a settled r 
frown, with one foot advanced and his 
hand upraised, seemed about to strike 
the libertine to the floor. 

In the background, rendered yet 
more hideous by the dimness of the 
scene, Devil-Bug stood grinning in 
derisive triumph as he motioned his 
attendants, the Herculean negroes, to 
advance and secure their prey. 

There was silence for a single mo 
ment. Lorrimer still stood clutching 
at the vacant air, Mary still gazed 
upon his face in awe, Byrnewood yet 



in his meditated blow, while 
Devil-Bug, with Musquito and Glow 
worm at his back, seemed quietly en 
joying the entire scene, as he glanced 
from side to side with his solitary eye. 
" Unhand me I will not die " 
hile Lorrimer stood spell-bound by ( shrieked Lorrimer, as he fancied thai 
9 



128 



THE MERCHANT S DAUGHTER. 



phantom hand, gathering tightly round 
his throat, while the red waters swept 
surging to his very lips " I will not 
die I defy ah ! ah ! You strangle 
me" 

" The hour of your death has come! 
You have said it and it shall be so!" 
whispered Byrnewood, advancing a 
single step, as his dark eye was fixed 
upon the face of Lor rimer " While 
your own guilty heart spreads a blood- 
red river before your eyes, this hand 
no phantom hand shall work 
your death !" 

He sprang forward, while a shriek 
arose from Mary s lips, he sprang 
forward with his eye blazing with ex 
citement, and his outspread hand 
ready for the work of vengeance, but 
as he sprang, the laugh of Devil-Bug 
echoed at his back, and the sinewy 
arms of the negroes gathered suddenly 
round his form and flung him as sud 
denly to the floor. 

" Here s fine goin s on " exclaim 
ed Devil-Bug, as he glanced from 
face to face " A feller who s been a 
leetle too kind to a gal, stands a-makin 
speeches at nothin . The gal kneels 
on tho carpet as though she were a 



gettin up a leetle prayer on her own 
account ; and this ere onery feller 
git a good grip o him you bull-dogs 
sets up a small shop o cussin and 
sells his cusses for nothin ! Here s 
a tea party for ye " 

" What does all this mean, Devil- 
Bug " exclaimed Lorrimer, in his 
usual voice, as the hallucination passed 
from him like a dream, leaving him 
utterly unconscious of the strange 
vision which had a moment since ab 
sorbed his very soul " What does 
all this mean ? Ha ! Byrnewood and 
Mary I remember 1 You are her 
brother are you not?" 

" I am her avenger " said Byrne- 
wood, with a ghastly smile, as he en- 
deavoured to free himself from the 
grasp of the negroes " And your 
executioner ! Within three days you 
shall die by this hand !" 

u Ha-ha-ha!" laughed Devil-Bug 
"There s more than one genelman 
as has got a say in that leetle matter. 
How d ye feel, young man? Did you 
ever take opium afore? You won t 
go to sleep nor nothin ? We can t do 
what we like with you ? Kin we ? Ho 
ho-ho ! I venders how thafi 



BOOK THE SECOND. 



THE DAY AFTER THE NIGHT. 



THE FORGER. 



CHAPTER FIRST. 



PITZ-COWLES AT HOME. 



scene changes to a Chamber 
ID the fourth story of the TOX HOTEL, 
which arises along Chestnut street, a 
monster-building, with some hundred 
windows varying its red-brick face, 
in the way of eyes, covered with green- 
blind shutters, looking very much like 
so many goggles intended to preserve 
the sight of the visual organs aforesaid; 
while the verandah, on the ground 
floor, affording an entrance to the bar 
room, might be likened to the mouth 
of the grand-edifice, always wide open 
and ready to swallow a customer. 

The sunshine of a cold, clear win 
ter morning was streaming dimly, be 
tween the half-closed inside shutters, 
of the small chamber on the fourth 
story. The faint light, pouring be 
tween the shutters, of the two win 
dows, looking to the south, served to 
reveal, certain peculiar characteristics 
of the place. 



There was a dressing bureau, sur 
mounted by a hanging mirror, stand 
ing between the two windows of the 
chamber. Along the marble top of 
the bureau, were disposed various bot 
tles of perfumes, whose strong scent 
impregnated the atmosphere with re 
markable reminiscences of musk, and 
orange, and lemon, and patchovlly ; 
a pair of well-used kid gloves, which 
had been white yesterday ; a rumpled 
black scarf j a Play bill figured off 
with intoxicated letters, displaying the 
entertainment at the Walnut Street 
Theatre the night before ; and a glit 
tering bowie knife, side by side with 
its silver sheath. 

All over the carpet, were scattered 
Windsor Chairs, either grouped in cir 
cles, as though they were talking about 
the various gentry who had reposed on 
their well-cushioned seats ; or fixed in 
strange positions along the walls, Itke 
waiters at a party, overburdened with 
coats and vests and stocks, and other 
articles of apparel, thrown carelessly 

1*29 



130 



THE FORGER. 



over their rounds ; or yet again flung 
down on the floor, with their heels in 
the air, as though they had taken a 
drop too much, and didn t know how 
to get up again. 

There was a large sofa on one side 
of the room, a coal fire blazing in the 
grate opposite ; while in the dim dis 
tance, you might perceive the outlines 
of a bed, and hear the deep bass of a 
heavy snore, which held a concert of 
its own, within the closely drawn cur 
tains. 

Altogether, that entire room, located 
in the fourth story of the Ton House, 
said as plainly as a room can say, 
that somebody had come home very late 
last night, or very early this morning, 
most probably in liquor ; and called 
up as witnesses to this interesting asser 
tion, the chairs thrown disorderly 
about the floor, the gloves and Bowie 
knife on the dressing bureau, the hat 
on the sofa, and the heavy snore with 
in the bed. 

Sitting in the blaze of light stream 
ing between the aperture of the half- 
closed shutters, was a small Creole 
boy, whose slight yet perfectly pro 
portioned form, was perched on the 
edge of a Windsor chair, as with his 
legs crossed and his hair flung back 
from his tawny face, the young gen 
tleman was briskly engaged in elabo 
rating a fashionable boot into the re 
quisite degree of polish. 

The Boy was eminently handsome. 
His face was a light brown in hue, 
yet perfectly regular in every feature ; 
his complexion clear as a ripe Seckel 
pear; his lips red as May cherries; 
his eyebrows penciled and arching, 
and his eyes full, large, and black ; 
brilliant as diamonds, and glittering : 



as icicles. Long curling hair, mark 
ed by that peculiar jet black, tinged 
with a shade of deep blue, which de 
signates the child of white and African 
parents, fell waving around his neck 
and face, in stiffened locks, resem 
bling in their texture, the mane of a 
horse. His form, light, springy and 
agile, was the Ideal of a Creole Cupid. 
Not an outline too large or too small, 
not the slightest disproportion visible 
in a single limb ; with small feet and 
delicate hands, a waist as lithe as a 
willow, and a hollow in the back like 
a bow gently bent, the Creole, was al 
together one of the most beautiful 
things, ever fashioned by the hand of 
Nature. 

He was a pretty child, and yet his 
large black eyes had something in 
their glance which spoke of a pre 
cocious intimacy with the vices and 
intrigues of manhood. 

" Massa tole Dim to polish dat boot 
until he see his face in de morroc- 
cor " muttered the young gentle 
man, brushing away at the glittering 
leather " Dim can see his nose, and 
his two eyes in de boot, but the mouth 
aint not perfect. Stop a minnit, I 
bring dat feature out ha, ha, hah !" 

It was a pleasure to hear the little 
fellow talk, there was such a delicate 
accent lingering on his words ; and 
his laugh, not at all similar to the 
usual African guffaw, was a quiet 
chuckle, which rolled lusciously in his 
mouth like a delicious morsel, whose 
sweetness he wished to enjoy at leisure. 

"Tink I shall hab to discharge 
Vfassa. Debbil of a flare-up tween 
me and him some day when I tells 
him ; l l dont want you any more, you 
sah ! you kin take dem wages and 



FITZ-COWLES AT HOME, 



131 



go ! Kep Dim up till broke ob day. 
Say dat Morroccor don shine 1 Break 
de lookin -glasses heart I tells you. 
Till broke ob day kep Dim a-waitin , 
and den tumbles into bed, widout so 
much as giving de chile a-quataw ! 
Oh de High-Golly !" 

This appeal to Master Endymion s 
favorite Saint, the High-Golly. sup 
posed to be some imaginary Deity, 
created by the fertile fancy of the 
young Creole, was occasioned by a sud 
den mishap with the boot, which resent 
ing a vigorous push of the brush, slip 
ped out of his hands, and went spin 
ning across the room. 

" Wonder if the debbil aint in dat 
Morroccor? I jis does. Nebber see 
sich a boot in all my born days. I 
lay a bran new brass dollar, dat if I 
was to set dat boot at de head of the 
stair, and no watch him, he d streak 
it right off to de bar room, and call 
for a mint-julap, an pull out his quar- 
tair to pay for it ! I jis try him some 
day Ha! Ha! Ha!" 

" I say Dim !" 

"Yes Massa I se about " 

" I say, Dim !" continued the voice 
which resounded from the interior of 
the bed-curtains, in the dark corner of 
the room, where the snore had been 
heard "I say Dim, what kind of a 
day is it ?" 

" Bran new day Massa. Got it s 
new coat and trowse s on." 

" I say Dim, what have we got to 
do to day ?" 

" Last night de Curnel, gib dis chile 
a kick, in order to mem randum dese 
tings on Dim s memory. Dis morn- 
in you got to pay all your creditors. 
Dey comes in about an hour. High- 
Golly aint dero a lot ob em ? Den 



you got to see de Lady, who libs in 
Fourth street. Den you got to go, 
down town, to see if ole Devil-Bug, 
keeps dat dere feller safe. You 
knows who I means ? Den you got to 
gib Dim, a qua-taw, and not to gib him 
no kick, by no means " 

" Dressing-gown Dim !" 

" Yes, Massa " 

" Got any hot water, ready for me, 
Dim ?" 

" Biles like a steam ingine " 

" Light up the room, Dim !" 

And in obedience to this request, 
Endymion flung back the shutters, 
and the full glare of the sunlight pour- 
ed into the room. The owner of the 
voice and snore heard from within 
the curtains, sprung from the bed and 
assuming the dressing gown, advan 
ced toward the windows. 

Col. Fitz-Cowles, the handsome co 
lonel Fitz-Cowles, stood revealed in 
the light, his dark-hued face looking 
somewhat worn and haggard, around 
the eyes, while his slender form, at- 
tired in the rainbow morning-gown 
and close fitting drawers, though well 
proportioned, and graceful in its out 
lines, by no means displayed that per 
fection of symmetry, which distin 
guished the person of the millionaire 
in broad daylight, along Chesnut 
street. For instance , the Colonel was 
thicker around the waist, thinner about 
the hips, smaller in the region of the 
calves, than was usual with him, when 
arrayed in full dress. His face was 
very pale and his cheeks lacked that 
deep vermillion tint, which gave such 
life to his dusky countenance at the 
evening party, or the afternoon parade, 

" Dim you d 1 " exclaimed the 
Colonel, bestowing a gentle hint upon 



132 



THE FORGER. 



the gentleman of color, with the toe 
of his slipper "Go down and get 
my breakfast. Tell, the cook to but 
ter my toast, and broil my steak. 
Vanish !" 

Dim vanished through the door at 
the extreme end of the apartment. Ar 
ranging his shaving materials on the 
marble top of the dressing bureau, 
Fitz-Cowles commenced the solemn 
ceremonies of the toillette. 

"Good razor that! Keen! Bad 
soap this must kick the barber who 
sold it to me. Just think of my tick 
lish position ! In debt up to the ears, 
forced to leave the United States Hotel 
only a day since, in order to avoid my 
creditors : perched in the fourth story 
of the Ton House ; and why ? Be 
cause I can t use the solid stuff, locked 
up in that old hair trunk. Can t use 
it. Somebody might find out some 
thing if I did. Curse the thing but I 
think the old trunk s laughing at me " 

Razor in hand Fitz-Cowles stooped 
to the floor, and drew from beneath 
the sofa, an old hair trunk, which 
looked as if it had been through all 
Napoleon s campaigns, and suffered in 
the battle of Waterloo ; it was so bat 
tered, and scarred and weather-beaten, 
with great wounds of uncovered lea 
ther visible among the worn-out hair, 
of its exterior. 

"An hundred thousand locked up in 
that old ruffian of a trunk " mutter 
ed Fitz-Cowles, gazing upon the ob 
ject, with an angry scowl "Half in 
sovereigns half in notes ! The d 1 
throttle the fool, why could nt he get it 
all in American gold ?" 

" De toast is buttered and de steak 
\g briled " and as he spoke, Endy- 
mion anterrod the room, carrying the 



breakfast of his Master in his hands 
" Muss discharge dat cook. She gits 
quite sassy " 

" Dim " cried Fitz-Cowles, mak- 
ing a hideous face at the glass in the 
effort to shave his chin " Set my 
breakfast down by the fire, and come 
here. Now, Dim, answer me, one 
question. Who are we ?" 

" Massa take de chile for a philly 
sofer ? Dat berry cute question l 
^Sometime we are a plantaw from the 
Souf sometime we are a son of Mex 
ican Prince ; oder time we come from 
Englan and our fader is a Lord. De 
High-Golly ! We are so many tings, 
dat de debbil hisself could nt count 
em " ; 

" Where were we this time last 
month ?" 

"Charleston, Massa" 

"The month before?" 

" New Orleans Massa " 

" Month afore, that, eh, Dim ?" 
"Bos on Massa" 

" How long since we first fixed our 
quarters in this city ?" 

" Six month ago, and been a trav 
ellin about eber since. Led dis chile 
a debbil ob a life " 

"What were we travelling about 
for eh?" 

" Axe de ole hair trunk. He tell 
you plain as pie-crust 

" I ll tell you what it is, Dim " 
exclaimed Fitz-Cowles laying down 
the razor, and turning to the handsome 
Creole boy " If you ever whisper a 
word to any body, about any-thing 
you may have seen or heard, while 
you travelled about with me, these last 
six months, I ll just take this knife, 
and skin you, you black scoundrel, 
skii you d ye hear?" 









FITZ-COWLES AT HOME. 



133 



Dim looked up into the scowling 
face of his master, with a glance of 
perfect calmness. The brow of Fitz- 
Cowles was disfigured by a hideous 
frown, and his entire countenance, 
wore an expression, characteristic of a 
low bully, who has been accustomed 
to the vilest haunts, in the most cor 
rupt cities of the South. Dim was 
used to these sudden outbursts of pas 
sion, when his master, dropping his 
gentlemanly repose of manner, was 
wont to stand before him with his 
Bowie knife in hand, while with a 
threatening tongue and sullen brow, he 
bade him reveal the things he had seen 
and the words he had heard; if he dared. 

" You black scoundrel, d ye hear?" 

" De High-Golly ! Dim aint black 
and Dim aint no scoundrel. Yes Mas 
sa, I hears " 

" If you ever whisper a word, mind, 
a word, I d just take this bowie knife, 
and cut your heart from your body ! 
I ddo tltellyou " 

" What make you do dat for ? Dim 
could nt draw bref den " 

" Pshaw ! You know better than to 
whisper a word ! Here help me to 
dress Dim. My corsets, Dim " 

" Here they are Massa " cried 
Dim, throwing open, one of the draw 
ers of the dressing bureau " New 
pair Massa " 

u Lay that Morning gown on the 
chair. Now lace me. Tighter I say 
that ill do. That s about the 
waist we want is n t it Dim ?" 

" Yes Massa. Dat s de wasp com 
plete !" 

"Hips, Dim " 

" Which hip you want, Massa 1 
Big hip or little hip ?" cried Endymion, 



rummaging in the open drawer " Dia 
pair do ?" 

" More subdued, Dim, more sub 
dued. Just large enough to make my 
frock coat set out in the skirt. That s 
the idea " 

With a careful movement Endymion 
strapped certain detached portions of 
padding, around his master s form be 
low the waist, and in a moment, this 
part of the ceremony was finished, 
giving quite a voluptuous swell to the 
outline of the Colonel s figure. 

" Calves, Dim " 

" Which boots Massa wear to-day ? 
Hab dis big calf or de toder one ?" 

" We want a good calf to-day, Dim. 
A large, fat calf. That pair will do. 
Tie it round the leg there, there. 
Draw the stocking over it gently 
gent-ly! That s about the outline 
eh?" 

" Dicky or a shirt, to-day, eh, 
Dim ?" 

" Shirt, Massa, as you are goin to 
hold your Lebee /" 

" Ha ! ha ! Wont there be a lot o 
em the creditors ? Black scarf 
Dim ?" 

" Dar it is, Massa. Turn de collar 
down and tie up de scarf wid dis gole 
pin dat s de ticket!" 

" Now, Dim, my slippers. She 
worked them for me, you know, Dim? 
How many ladies are engaged to be 
married to us, if we will have them ?" 

"Dare s de soap biler s daughter, 
who spends her fader s fortin in per 
fumery. Dare s de rich grocery man s 
daughter, and de hardware merchant s 
daughter, and de wool merchant s only 
chile, and dare s " 

" Oh, d d them ; the set is cursed 



134 



THE FORGER. 



low. Black pants, Dim ? Which is 
our principle ticket in the female line I 
Eh, Dim?" 

" Ha, ha, ha ! Down Fourth street, 
Massa. De old genelmin in New 
York, and de lady at home by her 
self! De High-Golly !" 

" Vest, Dim. The new black vest, 
which, last night, came home from 
the tailor. What hour will the credi 
tors be here ?" 

"Dey comes in that ar door " 
observed Endymion, pointing to the 
door on the right of the western win 
dow " And, accordin to your direc 
tions, dey is shown into dat door, 
which conducts em into de large sal- 
loon, where dere s fire to warm their 
hands,and cheers to rest their bodies " 

" Hallo, Dim, there s a tap at the 
door " exclaimed Fitz-Cowles, as, 
arrayed in the full splendor of his 
morning costume, with a gaudy silk 
wrapper, all broken out into spots of 
green, blue, and red, thrown round 
his limbs, he resumed his seat in the 
easy chair, beside the breakfast table 
"I know the knock. It is Count 
Common Sewer show him in." 

Opening the door near the western 
window, Dim made a profound bow, 
as he ushered the visiter into the pre 
sence of Col. Fitz-Cowles. 

" De Editaw ob de Daily Black 
Mail. Mistaw Poodle, sah Buzby 
Poodle s-a-h!" 

" Ha-ha ! Curnel Bon jour, as 
<re say it French. Seen the Black 
MaJ this morning. Capital on dit 
about your gold mines quite the 
thing ensemble de chose, as we say 
in domestic French " 

As he spoke, Buzby Poodle, Esq., 
tood bowing and scraping in the cen 



tre of the vacant space of carpet, ex 
tending before the breakfast cable, 
Buzby PoodL wasn t handsome. Not 
precisely. He was a little thickset 
man, with a short heavy body, shaped 
something like a pine-knot, and irre 
gular legs, fashioned like a pair of in 
verted parentheses, or like a pair of 
sickles with their backs placed to 
gether. It must be confessed that his 
legs were deplorably knock-kneed near 
ly acquainted with each other at the 
knees, and quite distant in their inter 
course at the feet. Buzby s feet were 
not small ; Douzzle the bootmaker has 
been heard to say, with evident pain, 
that he would just as soon make slip 
pers for a young hippopotamuses boots 
for Buzby. You could not positively 
say that Buzby s hands were small, or 
delicate, or decently aristocratic. Very 
short in the fingers, and very thick 
across the palm and back, Buzby s 
hands reminded you of a terrapin s 
fin ; they were such peculiar hands. 

Buzby s face wasn t handsome. It 
may have been *expressive, or intel 
lectual, but it was not handsome. 
Looking upon his countenance, you 
were aware of the presence of a saffron 
lump of flesh, with a small projection 
in the centre for a nose, a delicate 
gash below this projection for a mouth, 
and two faint stripes of whity-brown 
hair, in the way of eyebrows. His 
eyes, looking from beneath the brows, 
without the intervention of anything 
you might call an eyelid, had a deplo 
rable half-cooked appearance, very 
much like the visual organs of a salt 
mackerel, roasting on the griddle. A 
delicate strand of forehead, about half 
an inch in width, was agreeably re 
lieved by a dense thicket of curly 



FITZ-COWLES AT HOME. 



135 



01 own hair. There were mysterious 
rumors about town with regard to this 
luxuriant hair. Several of Buzby s 
intimates had been observed to smile, 
when the ladies complimented him on 
his delightful curls ; Pettitoes, the wig 
maker, always grew mysterious when 
Poodle s head of hair was called in 
question, and once but that was on 
a drinking party, when Pettitoes in 
tellects were muddled he had said, 
with a melo-dramatic scowl, that 
* there was some people in this ere 
world as stuck emselves up mighty 
high, and yet wore dead people s 
hum he wouldn t say what they 
wore but they wore dead people s 
hum he could tell what. 9 

The general contour of his face was 
so singular, and to use a word 
which he delighted to repeat on every 
occasion so unique, that Coddle St. 
Giles, the celebrated miniature painter, 
who, having been honored with the 
patronage of Queen Victoria, had 
painted the whole royal family from 
Her Majesty down to the lap-dog; 
said, with a painful grimace, that he 
had never experienced such extraordi 
nary feelings as came over him, when 
pourtraying Buzby on costly ivory, 
but once before in his life, and that 
to use Coddle s delicious cockney dia 
lect * wos when the Royal Mena 
geries had visited my native town, 
and I ad the extr onery Aonor to de 
pict the lineaments of the female Hou- 
rang-Houtang. 

Altogether, Buzby Poodle, Esq., 
was an extraordinary man ; some 
thing out of the common run of men ; 
a specimen of that high pressure style 
t>f editorial genius which the Quaker 



City admires and loves, to the bottom 
of its universal heart. 

"Like that hint about your gold 
mines eh, Curnel?" observed Buz- 
by, flinging his cloak on a chair, and 
seating himself beside the breakfast 
table " Nice steak for breakfast. 
Quite recherche* as we say in 
French. Don t care if I do take a 
pull with you. Get me a plate 
Dim" 

"Why Buzby, this will do; yes 
certainly " observed Fitz-Cowles, 
stirring his spoon in the coffee, while 
he glanced over the pages of the Dai 
ly Black Mail -"But what a bad 
smell your paper has ! Quite an odor. 
The patchoully, Dim. Now get a 
plate for Count Common Sewer " 

" You are so jocular " exclaimed 
Buzby with a pleasant laugh " You 
have such a quantity of fun about you ! 
Count Common Sewer ha, ha, 
Good ! You like that on dit, then ?" 

" Yes, Buzby, but you must touch 
em up to-morrow, about the mysteri 
ous stranger at the Ton House ; sup 
posed to be the son of an English Earl ; 
perhaps a Prince. You know, my 
boy ?" 

"Don t I!" exclaimed Buzby 
taking up Fitz-Cowles s toast be 
tween his fingers " It takes me R 
pris moi as we say in Domestic 
French" 

"Now Buzby " exclaimed Fitz- 
Cowles, fixing his dark eyes on the 
unmeaning face of the Editor, with a 
look, that made the little fellow trem 
ble in his shoes " You know I pay 
you, well, for these little advei tise- 
ments. As a matter of course, vou 
have some knowledge of my affai , 



13G 



THE FORGER. 



little knowledge, very little, but you 
might use it some day to my injury. 
What security have I that you will not 

do so ?" 

" What security ! Good Heaven s, 
Gurnet !" cried Buzby rising from his 
chair " Can you suspect me ? This 
Is too much " and Poodle s voice 
grew quite pathetic " Why Curnel, 
to show what are my feelings toward 
you, I will now place myself com 
pletely in your power " 

"As how?" 

Buzby made no reply, but striding 
with a cautious step, to every door in 
the room, he assured himself that they 
were fast locked and secured ; and 
then with an air of the deepest mys 
tery approached Fitz-Cowles, and ga 
zed steadily in his face. 

" What the d 1 do you mean ?" 
exclaimed Fitz-Cowles, as he observed 
the boiled mackerel eyes fixed upon 
his countenance. 

" There, there, I m in your power. 
The secret s out. Nobody knows it 
but myself and wife. Now you know 
it too. You can ruin me if you like " 

" What in the d 1 do you mean ?" 

" Why, why " exclaimed Buzby 
fingering away at his curly hair "/ 
wear a wig /" 

"Ha! Ha! Ha! roared Fitz- 
Cowles, as Poodle stood before him, 
holding his head of hair in his hand 
" Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! Count Common 
Sewer you do look like old Jocko, the 
Wonderful Ape whom they exhibited 
some time ago at the Masonic Hall ! 
Oh, Jupiter I shall die ! Ha ! Ha ! 
Ha ! That head that head !" 

It was not the most solemn sight 
in the world. There stood Buzby, 



calm and solemn, his luxuriant head 
of hair extended in his right hand, 
while the outline of his real head, 
clothed with a short, wiry stubble of 
real hair, became painfully distinct 
in the light of the morning sun. 

" And how is this, to place you in 
my power ?" asked Fitz-Cowles, aflei 
his laughter had subsided to a quiet 
chuckle " Oh, Jupiter ! that head ! 
Buzby, do put on your wig, or you ll 
drive me into convulsions " 

" How is this to place me in your 
power ?" exclaimed Poodle in a half- 
offended tone, as he resumed his curly 
head of hair " Would I figure so 
largely behind the scenes of the Thea 
tre, if the ballet girls knew I wore a 
wig 1 Curse it, the very supes would 
laugh at me, and the scene-shiflers 
would not hesitate to jeer me ! Fitz- 
Cowles, it may seem foolish to you, 
who have no such feelings of a tender 
nature, but but my whole existence 
is wound up in that head o hair " 

"The deuce it is ! Why, Poodle, you 
didn t know that it was flung into my 
plate last night at Monk-Hall did 
you?" 

" Was it, though ? Then I must 
have been drunk " exclaimed Buzby, 
with a look of the deepest mortifica- 
tion. "That accounts for the peculiar 
sticky state of my hair this morn 
ing You think any of the fellows, 
noticed it?" 

" Too drunk for that, Buzby ! By- 
the-bye, you must have had a great 
many tender adventures in your time? 
Eh, Poodle" 

" Hallo, Massa, open dis here 
door " the voice of Endymion, who 
had been down stairs in search cf a 



FITZ-COWLES AT HOM$ 



137 



plate for Buzby, was heard in the en 
try Ihabgot de plate for Com 
mon Sewer " 

In a moment the door was opened, 
and Dim entered with a plate and some 
additional refreshments ; which hav 
ing been placed upon the table, Fitz- 
Cowles and Buzby resumed their 
breakfast. 

" Tender adventures ? " cried Poo 
dle, masticating a piece of toast as he 
dropped his knife and fork "D ye 
see that?" 

He drew a small pocket Bible, from 
his bosom as he spoke, and displayed 
it complacently, before the eyes of the 
astonished Fitz-Cowles. It was cor 
pulent with letters, inserted between the 
leaves, like so many anchovies, be 
tween various thin slices of bread-and- 
butter. 

" This rather goes a-head of the 
wig! What may it mean, Buzby?" 

" Don t you see, I keep all my love 
letters, in the Bible ? Ah, me ! If ] 
wasn t married ! Well, well, it can t 
be helped! But these letters might 
tell a strange tale " 

" Let them tell it by all means 
observed Fitz-Cowles; and Buzby push 
ing his chair back from the table, 
and displaying his legs very wide 
apart, laid the pocket Bible on one 
knee, and commenced a soliloquy 
something after the fashion. 

" That s from a delightful creature, 
Curnel " he observed, turning over 
one of the leaves of the Bible, and ex 
tracting a letter " She loves me. Of 
course, I had to be complaisant. Fain 
heart never won fair lady Le c&ur 
ennvye ne jamais pas engage la 
belle blanche as we say in French 
That s from a vocalist that from an 



actress and that ah! Curnel there s 
a mystery about it !" 

"How so?" 

" It s from an unknown lady. Pve 
tried to find out her name through the 
lerks of the Post Office > but in vain. 
She s a Southern Planter s daughter, 
Curnel. Rich, beautiful, just seven 
teen. Offers me her hand don t 
know I m booked. Ah me! it would 
make the tears come into your eyes 
if I was to read this letter ; there, O-- 
nel, is a lock of her hair " 

And Buzby, with a look of subdued 
melancholy, slowly unfolded the letter, 
and held up in the sunlight a lock of 
reddish, brownish hair, which, long 
and slender, looked amazingly like a 
patent whip lash. 

Fitz-Cowles preserved the gravity 
of his face with considerable difficulty, 
while the Creole, Endymion, who 
stood at Poodle s shoulder, placed his 
hands alternately to his mouth and 
the pit of his stomach, as though he 
was suffering under intermitting at 
tacks of the cholera and toothache. 

Buzby sate in the full light of the 
morning sun, holding the lock of hair, 
extended in his right hand, while his 
other hand absently grasped the pocket 
Bible. 

"You see she is a noble girl " 
he exclaimed, gazing fixedly upon the 
lock of hair, with a glance of painful 
melancholy " Loves me. Spoke of 
my early struggles in her letter. 
Asked me if the world hadn t been 
hard with me if the iron grasp of 
persecution hadn t been on my 
shoulder, ever since the days of slips 
and pap-spoons if it didn t gall me 
considerable to think my genius wasn * 
appreciated if " 



J38 



THE FORGER. 



Buzby paused, and with a look of 
tender melancholy, jerked the pinkish 
lock of hair up and down, as a carter 
* cracks his whip. 

The action was too much for Fitz- 
Cowles. He burst into a roar of laugh 
ter, while Dim, the Creole, went rolling 
over the floor, holding his hands to 
his side, as though he was laboring 
under an epileptic fit. 

" Curse me if I see any reason for 
l.aughing in this manner " exclaimed 
Buzby, rising angrily from his seat 
" That s a very singular boy of yours, 
Curnel. D n him, he lays there 
wriggling like a snake " 

"Ha! Ha! Ha! This is too 
good " roared Fitz-Cowles " Of 
course, I had no hand in writing that 
letter " he muttered to himself 
" Get up, Dim, and behave yourself!" 

" Massa, dis quite convulses us 
it does he ! he ! he!" exclaimed Dim, 
rising to his feet " Massa didn t send 
me to the barber, nor nothing, to buy 
dat hair?" he chuckled, in a whisper 
inaudible to Buzby s ears " Dim 
didn t take de letter to de Pos Offis? 
De High-Golly !" 

" This is quite a tender affair 
n est une affaire tendre as we say 
in domestic French " exclaimed 
Buzby, resuming his seat, with this 
sentiment in his peculiarly detestable 
French " Ton honor, Curnel it s 
a fact. The girl the unknown 
loves me devotedly. I should sup 
pose that she read my paper. How 
d ye feel after the bruise last night?" 

" Capital. I intend to have some 
fun this morning. You see my Go 
vernor hasn t sent me the usual quar 
terly remittance. My creditors have 
been hunting me down for the last 



fortnight. I have been aitacked in th 
street, assaulted in the Theatre, be- 
seiged in my Hotel. As a last resort. 
I appointed a day for each of them to 
call and see me ; and even named the 
hour. Of course each creditor is ig 
norant of the fact, that I have made 
the same appointment, with every one 
of his fellow blood-suckers. It hap 
pens to-day at ten o clock, in the next 
room this glorious family party!" 

Ha ! Ha ! Ha !" laughed Buzby 
Poodle " This beats some insolvent 
schedules quite hollow ! I say some 
because I ve had a little business in 
that line myself. Out of curiosity 
mind ye only from curiosity, I have 
looked over some of the schedules in 
the court, devoted to such interesting 
affairs " 

" And you discovered something 
rich, I s pose ?" 

" The old proverb says * a man is 
known by the company he keeps 
comprenez-vous un homme par ses 
compagnons du voyage as we say 
in domestic French. Now I m of 
the opinion that a man is known by 
his insolvent schedule. There s a 
schedule filed in the proper court, 
under the delicate nose of their Honors, 
which says queer things for the char 
acter of its signer. One day he went 
round town the jolly dog getting 
seven coats on credit, mind ye 
from seven tailors ; rings from this 
jeweller and breast-pins from that; 
boots by the quantity, and hats by the 
half-dozen ; in short, there was scarce- 
ly a store in Chesnut street that he 
didn t do; not a credulous merchant 
ha, ha, ha ! but was diddled by him, 
on this remarkable day " 

" Well, well, what was the result ? v 



FITZ-COWLES AT HOME, 



13* 



" One day, like a clock, he went 
exclusively * on tick : the next day the 
clock stopped going. It was wound up 
to some considerable extent. The 
creditors look blue. Their friend and 
pitcher took the Bankrupt Law /" 

" De High-Golly ! By de way dat 
chap tells de story, one ud think he 
did all dat his ownsef ! Ha hah !" 

" Buzby, your paper must make 
you some considerable amount of 
*T argent? How d ye manage the 
< Daily Black Mail ? " 

This question appealed to the no 
blest sympathies of Poodle s heart. He 
rose slowly from his seat, he glanced 
round with an expression of conde 
scending pride, and his face became 
radiant with a sudden enthusiasm. 

"How do I manage the * Daily 
Black Mail V " he exclaimed, extend 
ing his right fin, in the manner of a 
stump-orator, who wishes to enrapture 
a mass meeting, consisting of a few 
dirty boys, one loafer, and two small 
dogs " I do it a little in the footpad 
line. A big motto at the paper s head 
* Fiat justitia? you know the 
rest. Do I want the cash ? I stick 
in an article charging some \vell- 
kno>vn citizen with theft, or seduction, 
or some more delightful crime. Citizen 
comes down in a rage wants the 
article contradicted in next day s 
paper. He pays for the contradiction, 
of course. I have known a mere on 
dit that so-and-so, had committed a 
* hideous crime, to bring me in as 
much as a cool hundred at a * lick " 

" How do you manage to acquire 
so much favor with the * sex ? " 

"Take the Theatre, for instance. 
A new actress appears. Suppose her 
virtuous or silly. I make advances. 



She foolishly rebels me: ve:y ikely 
calls me a puppy. Next day an 
on dit appears in * Black Mail, head 
ed, * Licentiousness of the stage, and 
embracing some compassionate allu 
sion to the lady aforesaid. You un 
derstand? I damage her reputation 
by a paragraphical slur " 

" And she capitulates ?" 

" Sometimes ; and sometimes she 
don t. But I keep up this delightful 
fire of genteel insinuations, delicate 
allusions, and spicy on dits. If the 
girl s character is ruined, it isn t my 
fault, I m sure " 

" It s quite refreshing to hear you 
talk in this way. Are not times pretty 
dull with you now ?" 

" Oh, Lord, } es ! Hasn t been a 
suicide for a week. Not even a mur 
der down town, nor a nigger baby 
killed. I do wish something lively 
would spring up for Christmas now 
an * abduction case with the proper 
trimmings, would go it with a rush i 
Allez avec une furie as we say in 
domestic French !" 

" How d ye stand with the other 
papers ?" 

" Guess when I tell you one 
slight circumstance. They regard 
my paper as a sort of literary galleys, 
in which every aspirant for fame, must 
serve his time. An author, who has 
once been connected with my sheet, is 
regarded as a convict all his life, by 
the rest of the world newspaporial. 
Good phrase that !" 

u D ye edit your paper, by your 
self!" 

" Bless you, no ! I know a trick 
worth two o that Je comprend un 
artifice double-la as we say in do 
mestic French. Whenever I find an 






140 



THE FORGER. 



author vn extreme distress rather 
out of pocket, you know? I take 
him into my office ; give him a dog s 
salary, and make him do a dog s 
work." 

" Dog s work, indeed ! If he as 
sists in getting up your paper !" was 
the murmured remark of Fitz-Cowles. 

"Should he leave me and they 
always do leave me after a month or 
so I libel him on every occasion, 
and talk about ingratitude ha, ha, 
ha ! But the poor devil, can never get 
rid of the crime of having been con 
nected with my paper ! That sticks 
to him, like original sin to a Puri 
tan !" 

" Well, Buzby, you have given me 
some fresh ideas about newspapers " 
observed Fitz-Cowles " I thought I 
knew them like a book ! You have 
given me a new wrinkle !" 

He said this and gazed silently into 
the saffron face of Buzby Poodle. 

Oh, glorious Liberty of the Press, 
lei us take the opportunity afforded by 
this quiet moment, and chaunt a psalm 
in your praise ! Oh, glorious Press, 
what a comfort it must be to you, to 
think and feel in your inmost heart, 
that Buzby Poodle who sits smiling in 
yonder chair, is no reality, no fact ; 
but a mere fictitious impersonation of 
all the evils, which spring around your 
life, and darken your existence ! 

Oh, magnificent Quaker City, with 
your warehouses, and your Churches, 
your Theatres and your Brothels, 
your Banks and your Insane Hospitals, 
your Loan Companies and your Alms 
Houses, how delightful to all your de 
nizens, must be the reflection that 
Buzby Poodle s no living nuisance, 



but an airy, though loathsome creation 
of the author s brain ! 

Nursed from his very infancy in th 
purlieus of the dance-house ; an asso 
ciate of the ruffian and the courtezan, 
from his earliest childhood ; crawling 
from the pages of his foul journal, 
over the fairest reputations in the com- 
munity ; sneering at the character of 
this man s virtuous wife ; blasting 
with his leprous pen, that man s stain 
less child ; in his person and soul, one 
hideous blot and breathing deformity ; 
an ulcer cankering over the bosom 
of society ; a bravo who stabs for his 
dollar ; a hireling who without cha 
racter, without reputation, without even 
a name, prowls abroad, selling his 
sheet, to any man that will buy it, for 
any purpose under heaven ; a tolera 
ted infamy ; an uncaged jail-bird an 

unconvicted felon oh, Glorious, 

Quaker City, does it not make your 
moral heart grow warm, when you 
remember that a creature, despica 
ble as this, has no existence in fact, 
but is only a fancy of the author, a 
fiction of his brain ! 

Other cities may have their abo 
minations in the shape of a licentious 
press, with marketable Editors, who 
have in their time, pursued every ho 
nest occupation, from body-snatching 
up to newspaper publishing ; but the 
Quaker City, like the Ideal town of 
some far-off El Dorado, is so pure, so 
spotless, that an Author in search of 
a cut-throat Editor, by the portraiture 
of whose character, he means to throw 
a dark relief around the brighter por 
tions of his pages, must set his wits to 
work, and invent, a Buzby Poodle / 

Oh, rare invention Buzby Poodle 
long may it be, ere a thing like you 



FITZ-COWLES AT HOME. 



141 



nhall start into tangible existence, and 
all be-wigged and sickle-legged, walk 
visibly along Chesnut Street ; a dimi 
nutive incarnation of a most nauseous 
emetic. 

Go to the door, Dim ! There s the 
first of the Creditors ! Be quiet, Poo 
dle and enjoy the fun " 

" Yes Massa, I opens the door " 
cried Endymion as the hoarse voice of 
Creditor One, was heard in the next 
room. 

"Tell Col. Fitz-Cowles, that Mr. 
Bluffly Bulk want s to see him." 

And as the hoarse voice echoed 
through the aperture, Mr. Bluffly Bulk, 
appeared in the doorway, driving an 
immense paunch before him, as he 
walked along. His small head over 
looked his immense corporation, like a 
pea observing the circumference of a 
pumpkin. 

"Well, Fitz-Cowles" said Mr. 
Bulk " I ve called according to ap 
pointment. You owe me a fee in the 
case of Commonwealth vs. Fitz- 
Cowles charge, lathering a watch 
man. The fee is fifty. Pay it, and 
let me go " 

" Do me the kindness to step this 
way " exclaimed Fitz-Cowles with 
one of his best bows as he motioned 
Creditor One, toward the small door, 
opposite " In a moment I ll see you ; 
And settle this little matter." 

Bluffly Bulk Esq., disappeared within 
the eastern door, muttering strange 
curses as he walked along. 

"Dar goes ten o Cloc Massa " 
exclaimed Dim listening at the key 
hole of the western door " De High- 
Golly ! I hear more of em in the nex 
room " 



" Show era in Dim ! One at a 
time ! Ha ! Whom have we here ! My 
friend Smith John Smith the Uphol 
ster" 

A little thin man, with a narrow 
face, a starved nose, and a green over 
coat, advanced and seized Fitz-Cowles 
earnestly by the hand. 

"Note to pay to day Sir " he 
said in a thrilling whisper " Bill for 
the curtains, you got of me, when you 
was at the United States Hotel Six 
hundred and fifty two dollars, twelve 
and a half cents. Tight times Sir. 
Money very scarce shall I give you 
a receipt Sir ? " 

" In the next room if you please " 
observed Fitz-Cowles with a pleasant 
smile " You see my old fellow, we ll 
fix that matter in a minute " 

" Bress your eyes, Massa, dey are 
a-growlin like cat-an dog in toder 
room !" observed Dim holding the 
door slightly open "I bear s em a- 
comin up de stairs ; and I hear s de 
sarvant a-showin em into the next 
room " 

" This grows quite refreshing ! Al 
most equal to a Schedule at the Insol 
vent Court!" 

" Is Misther Fitz-Cow-fcot01es, in the 
house himself, jest ? Be aisy thare ye 
nager, and let me come in. Dhrop a 
word into his private ear, that Michael 
O Flannagan, French Boot Maker 
from Paris, is a wantin to get the 
taste ov a sight ov him " 

And a large boned man, attired in 
a shabby white great coat, with an old 
fur cap drawn over his eyes, came 
rushing into the room. He stood full 
six feet in his stockings ; and his red 
face, seen through the apertures of hi* 
hair and whiskers, all of the sam* 



142 



THE FORGER. 



burning red, looked very much like 
/he countenance of a man who won 
stand upon trifles ; or occupy his time 
in breaking the hind legs of a flea. 

"Oh the blazes ! But them six 
teen pair of stairs give me a pain in 
the side ; the top o th marnin to ye 
Colonel its yerself that s lookin 
like a canary bird the-day. Shall we 
fingher the pewther Curnel ? Cin- 
shider the seventeen pair o boots, all 
done and complated by Michael O Flan 
nagan, French Boot Maker, from the 
Cityo Pari-i-s,in theouldCounthry " 

" He s got the real Parisian accent!" 
exclaimed Buzby Poodle " Talks 
like a native. Quite aufait /" 

" The accshent ? And who the 
divil should have the accshent, but me? 
Wasn t I brot up all my life, a gini 
wine Frenchman, and didn t my fa 
ther fight with ould Boney, in the 
scrimmage of Watherloo?" 

" You speak it like a native Mikey. 
This way ; I ll talk to you in minute. 
Show em in, Dim." 

" Mistaw Douzzle, de toder Boot 
Maker from Paris !" 

A mouldy looking man, of short 
stature, and a heavy face, invested by 
a dampish beard of some indefinable 
color, was now shown into the room, 
with his arms hanging straight by his 
sides, like pendulums to some walking 
clock. 

" Curnel, I ish in want fery mosh 
ov dat small bill for de French Boots. 
Times is hardt ; mine wife is sick, and 
von childt has got de measles. Eight 
pair of fine French Boots seven dol 
lars a-pair seven eight ish fordy- 
eight " 

" Next room Douzzle. See you in 
a minute. Keep on sho win em in Dim!" 



"I ave the Aonour, to present mv 
small bill " exclaimed a little man 
in a Cockney face, and bcown sack 
coat " To one portrait of Col. Fitz- 
Cowles, fifty dollars. Very much in 
want of money, to day Sir. Obliged 
to you for a little. Never since I ad 
the extron ery Aonor, to paint Her 
Royal Majesty Victoria, and Prince 
//albert with the ouses o Parliament 
and the lap-dog in the background, 
never since that ere blessed moment, 
ave I taken so much pains with a mi- 
ni ture as with yours ! Out of wood 
sir out of coal sir out of ivory, 
Sir" 

"Not out of brass I hope? Ha! 
Ha ! Ha ! There I had you St. Giles ! 
Walk into the next room if you please! 
Pass em this way, Dim !" 

And Dim did pass them that way to 
some considerable extent. It should 
be borne in mind, that Col. Fitz-Cowles 
had been living for some time past in 
a style of princely splendor, kept up 
and supported by a numerous retinue 
of credulous tradesmen. The results 
of this princely style, now manifested 
hemselves in the shape of som^ four- 
and-thirty creditors, who came pour- 
ng from the ante-room, one after ano- 
her, in quick succession, with their 
Dills in hand, and their demands ring- 
ng loudly on the air, like a delightful 
chorus to the grand drama of the 
Bankrupt law. 

" A small bill for horse hire. To a 
haise and four " began a little thick 
set man, with browh whiskers, and a 
short bang-up, smelling strongly of 
he race-course " To a chaise and 
bur, seventeen times " 

" My little bill for ten coats, fifteen 
?air of pants fourteen vests and a 



JblTZ-COWLES AND HIS CREDITORS, 



143 



dickey " interrupted a solemn look- 
ing-personage pressing hurriedly for 
ward "Firm of Flunk, Checkley 
and Co. Five hundred and fifty dol " 

" I ave furnish you with parfumerie, 
to dis amount " 

" Seventy one pair of gloves. White 
kid. Hoskin s " 

" To the use of my cab, Gineral 
Washington won-hunder and fafly 
times " 

" To, the * Genelman s Universal 
Wardrobe, an Furnishin store, Col. 
Fitz-Cowle s, Debtor Sixteen fine 
shirts and " 

"My bill for Dry Goods, sir " 
said a pompous man, with a snub nose 
and immense ragged whiskers 
"McWhiley Murnshell, sir. Two 
hundred and six " 

" Pothecary s bill for med cine. 
Seven bottles Swain s Panacea " 

" Ha ha ! This beats the Insol 
vent Court ! What a scene for the 
next Black Mail !" 

" De High-Golly ! Dey come wid 
a parfac looseness, dis time !" 

" Gentlemen, gentle-men " ex 
claimed Fitz-Cowles, looking from 
face to face with a pleasant smile 
"You are really too impatient. To 
see you rushing forward in this style, 
one would think T had the wealth of 
Girard in my pockets. Step into the 
next room, gentlemen. All your de 
mands shall be satisfied " 

A murmur of satisfaction burst from 
the contrasted throng, and in an instant 
they had all disappeared into the next 
room. 

" Now, Buzby, let s wait a few 

minutes, until they begin to grow 

feverish. When I think they ve work 

ed themselves up into the proper hu 

10 



mor, we ll step in, and take a look at 
them. I M show you how to bluff off 
a creditor " 

" I thought I was rather au fait at 
that business myself. However <wi- 
t er noos as we say in domestic 
French "* 



CHAPTER SECOND. 

FITZ-COWLES AND HIS CREDITORS. 

Iff a large saloon, furnished in a 
style of magnificence,popularly known 
as the gingerbread style, with im 
mense red silk curtains along the 
windows, scattered patches of gilt, 
glittering around the cornices, and a 
jolossal mirror above the mantle, sate 
he four-and-thirty creditors, waiting 
for the appearance of the millionaire. 

The softened light which came 
through the drawn curtains, gave a 
mild and shadowy effect to the figures 
of the patient band, while it was quite 
delightful to witness the animated ex 
pression of their countenances, as 
gazing into each others eyes, they 
seemed to wonder why in the deuce 
they were all penned up there together, 
like various kinds of cattle at an 
Agricultural fair. 

Bluffly Bulk, Esq., the fat lawyer sat 
glaring upon the little bootmaker, 
Douzzle, as though he was wonder i lg 
what kind of a -fry the fellow would 
make for his breakfast; Michael 
O Flannagan, the Parisian bootmaker, 



* The author does not hold himself respcn- 
sible for Mr. Buzby Poodle s violent assatlfc 
on Louis Phillipe s French. 



144 



THE FORGER. 



was engaged in polishing his shoes on 
the handsome hearth-rug ; oddle St. 
Giles, gazed vacantly around with the 
look of a man who has been feloniously 
decoyed into a den of thieves, while 
the rest of the four-and-thirty creditors 
were occupied in examining their 
various bills, which they raised fre 
quently in the light ; and crushed be 
tween their fingers, as though the 
. action was productive of great peace 
of mind and tranquility of spirit. 

A buz-buz of satisfaction, resounded 
through the saloon. 

Col. Fitz-Cowles appeared in the 
doorway with Buzby Poodle, and En- 
dymion at his back. 

" Gentlemen " said the Colonel, 
placing one hand between his back 
and his flashy morning-robe, while he 
waved the other gently up and down 
" I owe you money " 

" That you do " muttered Bluff 
ly Bulk, Esq., stamping his cane on 
the floor ; and a buz-buz from the four- 
and-thirty creditors, confirmed the 
truth of the sentiment. It was quite 
pleasing to see how much unanimity 
of feeling existed on this point. Had 
there been only half the concurrence 
of opinion, visible in the doings of most 
of our religious conventions, synods 
and conferences, the world would have 
been Christianized long ago. 

" I owe you money and I mean to 
? ay it " 

" He manes to pay it ! Hurra ! 
Three times, hur-rah.!" 
| " I mean to make your fortunes. I 
*hould suppose you all want money 
rather bad ?" 

"Deuced bad." "Cursed bad." 
Oth, don t I?" " Wife and children 
- - one sick with the measles." " Star 



vation." " Go to jail." " Out of 
wood, out of coal, out f ivory." 

" If I don t pay you this morning I 
suppose it will ruin you all ?" 

"Totally." "Have to leave the 
city." " Can t think on t." " Horri 
ble." " Och whillaloo !" " Ruin me, 
root and branch !" 

"Well, then, gentlemen, I will 
make your fortunes. You have a 
pleasing countenance, my friend Bluff 
ly Bulk, a respectable person. You 
shall oversee the hands. Yes, yes. 
That ill just suit you. Mister Flan- 
nagan, imagine yourself perched on 
the edge of a well, some hundred 
fathoms deep, telling the laborers be 
low to mind their eyes and be d d 
to em. * Hoist away my hearties 
d ye take? Coddle St. Giles, your 
remarkable talents will here be called 
into requisition. You can take draw- 
ngs of the mines publish em when 
we all get back splendid volume 
letter press by Sylvester J. Petriken, 
of the Western Hem. Flunk, my dear 
friend Flunk, of the firm of Flunk, 
Checkley & Co., Merchant Tailors, 
you can make up a lot of clothes for 
the miners ! Gad gents, I like the 
plan altogether ; it will suit our various 
talents. It will make our fortunes " 

" Gintlemen, me name is Mikey 
O Flannagan, Bootmaker, from Par- 
ris, and me father fought with ould 
Boney, and so ye see there s some 
arnin in our family, but may the 
divil fly away wid me, if I can make 
out what the Curnel manes By 
Julias Caysar, but we re all a-listenin 
to a gintleman from the Insane Hoz- 
pittal !" 

" What in the d 1 do you mean ?" 
xclaimed Blufl3y Bulk, growing like 



FITZ-COWLES AND HIS CREDITORS. 



145 



a turkey-cock in the face as he fixed 
his eyes upon Fitz-Cowles, who stood 
in the centre of the saloon, in an 
attitude of dee t t abstraction " Be so 
kind as to explain yourself!" 

"Yes the plan is feasible " ex 
claimed Colonel Fitz-Cowles elevating 
his eyebrows with an absent stare 
" But there s a rough desert to pass 
through before we reach the mines. 
Plenty of Mexicans and Texans 
not to mention the Indians and wild 
beasts. Still the mines are productive : 
on my father s estate you know ? I m 
incog: just now, but when the Com 
pany is in full operation, under the 
combined patronage of Santa Anna 
the Mexican government, and Sam 
Houston, I ll make known the old man s 
name " 

Sir " cried Bluffly Bulk in a 
voice of thunder " Will you tell us 
what you mean ?" 

" Arrah, man, and be quick at it !" 
" Oblige us with some slight know- 
ledge" 

" Guess he wants a straight-jacket/ 
" Tell you what I mean T exclaim 
ed Fitz-Cowles, starting from his re 
verie " With pleasure. You see 
gentlemen, L-propfise to make your 
fortunes, by allowing you to enter 
your names, as stockholders of the 
Grand Montezuma Gold-Mining Com 
pany of the gold mines of Huancate- 
papetel, district of Tolpcaptl, South 
Mexico Algernon Fitz-Cowles, Pre 
sident, Bluffly Bulk, Secretary, Board 
of Directors as follows you can fill 
up the blank at your leisure you know? 
[ will allow you, each to take ten shares 
of the capital stock at $100 per share ; 
and we will say nothing about the small 
turns I owe you. Mere trifles you 



know. Bluffly, in consideration of 
the post of Secretary, being tendered 
you, one hundred shares, will be the 
smallest number, you can be permit, 
ted to take " 

Fitz-Cowles paused, and looked 
around to note the effects of his im 
portant proposition. There was a dead 
silence in the Saloon. You might have 
heard a pin drop. The four and thir 
ty Creditors, looked into one another s 
faces, but said nothing. Buzby Poo 
dle and Dim the Creole, concealed 
themselves among the window cur 
tains, which quivered and shook, as 
with a sudden convulsion, 

" Gentlemen d ye like my propo 
sition?" said Fitz-Cowles blandly 
" Is it feasible ? We can all go to 
Huancatapepetel together; times are 
50 hard in this city. Those that are 
married can take their families with 
them ; those that are single, will get 
families soon enough on their arrival 
at the mines. You are silent it is 
with surprise I suppose ? Or d ye 
want to advance some small amount 
on your shares? No gentlemen. I 
can t think of that ! The trifles I owe 
you one and all, will more than pay, 
for your shares " 

" Well, may I be rammed inta a 
shot gun, and fired off* at a nigger riot, 
if this is n t the coolest thing I ve 
heard of for some time !" and as he 
spoke the fat lawyer started from his 
feet, and confronted Fitz-Cowles 
" Zounds Sir, what do you take me 
for ?" 

"A fine fat old gentleman " re- 
plied Fitz-Cowles bowing " Who 
would make a Capital Superintendent 
of the mines. By Jupiter ! Bluffly, 
that person of yours carries respec- 



146 



THE FORGER. 



lability in its every outline. It is worth 
at least a-thousand shares to the com- 
pany-" 

The storm, long-gathering and silent 
in its growth, burst suddenly over the 
head of Fitz-Cowles. One and all the 
four and thirty Creditors rose, one and 
all they poured forth their anger in 
broken words and bitter curses. 

" J s the villian ! " " The scoun- 
drel " "Swindler" "This is 
wot I gits for his mini tur ! " " I m 
paid for the fifteen coats and 
" Here s the cash for my gloves !" 
"Tish is damdt pat my wife sick 
and de shildren got de measles " 
" Hurrah ! Lets whack into im !" 

" This beats an Insolvent Schedule 
all hollow !" laughed Buzby Poodle, 
peeping out from behind the curtains 
" < Gad ! what a scene for the Black 
Mail ! Four and thirty Creditors, of 
all shapes, sizes and patterns, sur 
rounding Fitz-Cowles, who greets em 
with a commisserating smile ! Ha 
ha! Capital;" 

De High-Golly !" shouted Dim 
thrusting his head from the other cur 
tain " Dey look as if dey eat Massa up 
widout any pepper or salt !" 

" Gentlemen will you hear me !" 
shouted Fitz-Cowles in a voice of thun 
der, as he gazed upon the four and 
thirty threatening faces " Will you 
or will you not ? Am I to be insulted 
in my own house? Dim go and call 
the servants, and have these fellows 
trundled down stairs " 

" Well Sir, what do you propose ?" 
cried Bluffly Bulk, his voice rising 
above the tumult " No more hum 
bug Sir " 

" You then reject my offer, made 
with the best feelings in the world, to 



combine you, one and all, into the 
Grand Montezuma Gold-Mining Com 
pany of the Huancatepapetel " 

" Huancatty-kettle-polly be d d! M 
shouted Flunk the tailor pressing 
forward, as he shook his clenched 
hand in the air. 

" Pitch Gwan-goett-polly to the 
divil !" screamed O Flannagan the 
Boot Maker. 

" Just as you like Gentlemen. Pitch 
Huancatepapetel to the devil, by all 
means. But I was about to observe 
that the various sums, which I owe you 
separately, taken in the lump, amount 
to something over three thousand dol 
lars. You are interested. Well now, 
my fellows here s the difficulty. I ve 
but a thousand dollars, cash in my 
possession. You can divide it among 
you, if you like " 

" Now you, talk " observed Bluff 
ly Bulk, with a pleasing smile as 
though the previous remarks of Fitz- 
Cowles had not risen even to the dig 
nity of talk " Of course my little 
fee of fifty dollars, will be satisfied out 
of this sum, in precedence to all other 
claims " 

" Av course me little bill of thirty 
sivin dollars, sixty cents " observed 
Mr. Flannagan, stepping briskly for 
ward, as he thrust his hands, deep into 
the vacuum of his great coat pockets 
" Will take the prisidence of your thri- 
fling claims " 

" Of course, Curnel, rny bill of two 
hundred and fifty, for Dry Goods " 
mildly exclaimed McWhiley Mum- 
shell, pulling his ragged whiskers, 
with a hand, all glittering with costly 
rings " My little bill will be consi 
dered, first of all " 

" And is it the likes of ye, to stand 



F1TZ-COWLES AND HIS CREDITORS. 



afore me ? The divil dhrag me under 
a harrow, but ould rat-face, ye ve a dale 
of impedencein them same whiskers." 

"Curnel,don t forgit the min itur " 
" Nor the horse-hire " " Remember 
the gloves " " Ishn t I to be paidt 
for my poots ?" " De parfumcrie Mon 
sieur Viz-Cowle " " Jist stand 
back there, will ye " "Devil take 
your impudence Pm as good as 
you " " Say that again " " Youre 
another " "My bill, Curnel " 
" Mine I say " " Wife and five chil 
dren, won sick wid de measles " 

" Gentlemen do be calm " cried 
Fitz-Cowles as he viewed the gather 
ing storm " Remember gentlemen, 
that you are gentlemen. Be calm 
Flannagan Quiet yourself Bluffly 
Soothe your excited feelings Mum- 
shell" 

" Will you settle my bill " shriek 
ed Bluffly Bulk, red in the face with 
inger " Yes or no !" 

"Botherashin! Stand back auld por- 
pise and let me give him a receipt 
Or is it a row ye ve a-wantin " 

"D d Irishman" grated Bluffly 
between his teeth. 

" D d Irishman, am I ? And me a 
Paryshian barn t For the sake of my 
ould man,who was an Irishman,and who 
fit wid Boney at Watherloo take that." 

And with his clenched hand, he 
aimed a blow, full at the immense cor 
poration of the fat lawyer. The blow 
brushed Mumshell s whiskers and took 
effect on the person of the lawyer. 
The effect was terrific. In an instant 
the four and thirty Creditors, their bills 
m hand, were all mingled through 
each other, every man striking the 
man who stood next to him, without 
regard to consequences, while Bluffly 



and Flannagan, went at it, tooth and 
nail, exchanging fisticuffs with remark 
able good will. 

The scene was peculiar. A forest 
of fists, rising up and down, a mass 
of angry faces, all mingled together, 
some four and thirty bodies of all 
sizes and descriptions, twisting and 
winding about, with so much rapidity, 
that they all looked like the different 
limbs of some strange monster, un 
dergoing a violent epipletic fit. 

" Gentlemen do be calm " 

" Go your death Allez-vous noire 
mort f" as we say in domestic French 
"Hit em again ! frappez duexfois! 
That s it! Give him another! 
donnez lui un autre /" 

" You scoundrel I ll prosecute 
you for damages " 

"Damages, you ould porpise 
then by my father s soul, I ll damage 
you a thrifle more !" 

" This is shameful ! Show me the 
man who struck me in the eye " 

" Bi Gott ! I vill murder somebodys 
tirectly---" 

" Let me up ! It wasn t me that 
struck you !" 

" I ll take the wo th of my glove* 
out o somebody " 

" Oh my A-cye ! Erc s a purty 
minature for you !" 

" Oh ! whililoo ! Any one here 
that ll say I wasn t a Paryshien bornt 
Fight it out boys lather it into one 
another ! Whoop ! Say that black 
mark under yer eye isn t a bit o patch 
work will ye 1 Jest say it ! Come 
on six ov ye I ain t pertikler which! 
Hurrah ! There goes the lookin 
glass ! Crack smash bang ! Thry 
it agin ---ould porpise! This bates 
Watherloo hurray, hurray !" 



148 



THE FORGER. 



CHAPTER THIRD. 



THE DEATH WARRANT. 



THE mirror, which hung above the 
dressing bureau, reflected the hand 
some form of Col. Fitz-Cowles. J 
must be confessed that the Colone 
looked decidedly interesting, as stand 
ing before the mirror, in the glare o 
the morning sun, he surveyed his forrr 
for the last time, ere he sallied forth 
on Chesnut street. His figure, with 
its broad chest and tapering waist 
was enveloped in a close-fitting over 
coat of dark cloth, which, falling open 
along the breast, disclosed his black 
scarf, gathered over his shirt front with 
a plain gold pin, and tastefully dis 
posed within the collar of his glossy 
coat and satin vest, whose jet black 
hues were in harmony with the other 
portions of his attire. 

The dark visage of the Colonel, 
relieved by long curling locks of jet- 
black hair, was surmounted by an 
elegant hat, remarkable for its conical 
crown and width of brim. This was 
the much admired and very aristocra 
tic l Fitz-Cowles hat, worn by all the 
distinguished bloods of the Quaker 
City. Introduced by the gallant Colo 
nel, it soon became the rage, and was 
at the time of which we write, the 
standing test of fashion and elegance 
among the exquisites of Chesnut street. 
" Dim " said the Colonel, gently 
waving the gold-headed cane, which 
he held within the white-kid glove of 
his right hand " Are they all gone? 
11 All turned out, Massa. De sar- 
^ants tumble em down stairs more an 
half- hour ago" 

Dim " continued the Colonel, 
impregnating his snow-white hand 



kerchief with an additional scent 
of patclwully* "What s the d;mi 
age?" 

" De looking-glass hove de mantel 
broke in tousan pieces one ob de 
winder curtains torn down. De berry 
debbil kicked up all ober de room " 
" Buzby " resumed the Colonel, 
passing a comb lightly through the 
locks of his jet-black hair " How did 
you like it?" 

" Quite recherche . But won t they 
sue you for their various debts ?" 

" Let them sue and be hanged ! 
The amount I owe them, applied in 
the proper way, would command a 
great influence in Court. Why rrnm" 
[ ve got the price of seven judges, ten 
uries and some score of lawyers, in 
my pocket. These things are all for 
sale" 

"Ha! ha! This is libellous ! Hello! 
There s a knock at the door " 
" See who it is, Dim " 
Dim opened the door at the extreme 
end of the bed-chamber. He gazed 
or an instant through the aperture, 
and then closing the door with a sud 
den movement, he came running to 
lis Master s side, his eyes dilating 
vith surprise and his tawny face, pale 
is Fitz-Cowles s white kid gloves. 

" What in the deuce, is the matter 
Dim ?" 

" Oh, Golly Massa ! Oh Lor ! Oh 
e debbil !" cried the Creole, dancing 
bout the room. 

" Shall I knock you down with the 
hair you scoundrel ? Or would you 



* A perfume, once the rage among th* 
shionables of our city. To the uninitiated 
smells like a composition of Musk, cast- 
iron filings and bad rain water 



THE DEATH WARRANT. 



like to be held oui of a fourth-story 
window, by the heels, again ?" 

Dim approached his master s side, 
and whispered in his ear. 

The Colonel s face grew suddenly 
pale, and a blasphemous oath escaped 
from his lips. 

" Buzby, go into the next room " 
he cried harshly, with the same tone, 
he would use, in getting rid of a trou 
blesome dog ** Be quick. I have a 
visiter, whom I must see alone. Why 
do you stand there, staring in my face 
like an idiot 1 Begone I say I 
must be alone " 

Buzby Poodle, disappeared through 
the Saloon door, with a look of ma 
lignant anger, that boded no good to 
his friend, Colonel Fitz-Cowles. 

" Open the door. D ye hear Dim?" 
shouted the Colonel, as his face grew 
paler, and his dark eye, emitted a 
clear flashing glance, that betokened 
powerful though suppressed emotion. 
u Show our visiter in " 

Dim opened the door, at the end of 
the bed-chamber, farthest from the win 
dows, and the visiter entered. It must 
foe confessed that the surprise which 
the mere utterance of his name occa 
sioned, might be easily explained, when 
tfie singular appearance of the new 
comer, was taken into consideration. 

A short, thickset, little man, dress 
ed in a suit of glossy black cloth, ad 
vanced from the open door. His face, 
which from its remarkable length, 
gave you the idea of a horse s head, 
affixed to the remnant of a human bo- 
V dy, seemed to lay upon his heart, 
while his shoulders arose on either 
side, as high as his ears, and his back 
protruding in a shapeless hump, was 
visible above the outline of his head. 



His face, it is true, from its ex 
treme length, and the peculiar manner, 
in which it seemed to lay on his breast, 
might have appeared distorted and de 
formed, yet were the features perfectly 
regular, the nose a decided aquiline, 
the mouth well-proportioned and indi 
cative of firmness, the chin, full and 
round, while the high forehead, with 
the dark eyebrows, over-arched two 
large and brilliant eyes, whose intense 
lustre beaming from a face, marked 
by a clear, healthy complexion, gave 
the beholder the idea, that he beheld a 
supernatural, rather than a human 
being. 

Should the latter portion of this des 
cription, appear overstrained, the rea 
der will remember, that the diminutive 
stature of the strange visiter, the hump 
on his back, and the manner in which 
his face, seemed to rest on his chest, 
all gave additional effect to the ex 
pression of his face and eyes. l Jcw\ 
was written on his face as clearly and 
distinctly as though he had fallen 
asleep at the building of the Temple 
at Jerusalem, in the days of Solomon, 
the rake and moralist ; and after a 
nap of three thousand years, had 
waked up in the Quaker City, in a 
state of perfect and Hebraic preserva 
tion. 

"You are, here, are you?" whis 
pered Fitz-Cowles in a tone of ungo 
vernable rage " Why is this ? Why 
leave your hiding place in broad day 
light?" 

" Pave comsh bekos I vanted to 
comsh " said the Jew, calmly, as 
he folded his hands across his breast, 

" You have, have you ?" whispered 
Fitz-Cowles, as the gleam of rage, 
brightened in his dark eyes Do 



150 



THE FORGER. 



you know you dog, you miserable 
-Jog that I ve a great notion to give 
you a taste of this " 

And as he spoke, quick as thought, 
he flung open the breast of his over 
coat, and drawing the Bowie knife, 
from a secret pocket, he brandished it 
above the head of the Jew, with a look 
of ungovernable hatred. 

" Puts away te carving-knifes Puts 
away te carving-knifes " said the 
humpback, with a bitter, though 
scarcely perceptable sneer "You 
vill not hurts noboty." 

" Perhaps you will tell me, why you 
have left your hiding place ! In broad 
day, with all the police at your heels ? 
Ha ! Ha ! This is delightful ! Curse 
that Devil-Bug " he muttered as he 
strode to the window " How could 
he have let this dog escape?" 

" I tells you vy Pave left dat nash- 
ty plashe " said the Hebrew in the 
coolest manner imaginable " Bekos 
it vos a nashty plashe ! Bekos dese 
leetle hand do all te vorks andt maybe 
after all, you reaps te profit. I mosh 
hide in dat hole viles you valksh 
Cheshnut Streets ? Vos dat de kon- 
traksh ? You keep your pargain, vill 
yous ?" 

" And what was that bargain ?" ex 
claimed Fitz-Cowles again facing the 
Jew. 

" Ven te tings vos done, you vos to 
gif me ten tousand tollars in goldt. I 
vos to sail for Europes. Vot have 
you done? Left me to rots among 
roppers and tiefs, viles you walksh 
Cheshnut Streets ! Got-tam !" 

The Jew sate down, or rather fixed 
himself on the sofa, and looked up 
calmly into the flushed countenance 
of Fitz-Cowles. 



" Well, well, Von Gelt, lets shake 
hands, and talk the mattter over 

" We may talksh as mosh as we 
pleashes, but we tont shake handts " 

" Just as you like. Well, Judos 
is that your first name Von GeCt ?* 

" Supposh it vos my naturs ? Von- 
der how long afore the handsome 
Curnels would be Father Moses 
I know veres " 

" So you threaten, me, do you Ga 
briel ? Ha !-ha ! This is amusing. 
May I ask what you propose to do ?" 

" To morrow mornings I vill takf 
te carsh for New Yorksh. Nex tay 
I vill sail for Europes. To tay, you 
will gif me, ten tousandt tollars " 

" But Judas that is Gabriel Ju 
das for short, you know ? You must 
remember that I have not ten thousand 
dollars in my possession " 

"Veres is te ole hair trunksh?" 

"But Gabriel" exclaimed Fitz- 
Cowles in a conciliating tone, as he 
seated himself, beside the table opposite 
the Jew " But Gabriel you know, 
that it is impossible for us to have this 
money, for months to come. The sov- 
reigns and the notes, might be recog 
nized at once. It is better to wait a 
little while and make sure of the whole 
sum beyond a chance of detection. 
Pen and ink, Dim." 

" Meanviles te poleesh ranshack 
Monks-halls, andt fint me, hit avay 
among tiefs and roppers. No No! 
I vill bear tish no longers. Tish tay 
I mosh ave ten tousandt tollars, or 
or" 

Or or" echoed Fitz-Cowles 
as he scrawled a few words 011 a sheet 
of gilt-edged note paper " Or of 
You was about to observe " 

" May be I can git ten tousandt tol- 



THE DEATH WARRANT. 



151 



ars, someveres else " said the Jew 
with a meaning look. 

" Ah ha ! You grow humorous, 
Gabriel " observed Fitz-Cowles with 
a smile " Please deliver this little 
note to Devil-Bug if you should 
chance to see him again, before you 
start for Europe. Will you Gabby ?" 

"Ha! vot is tish!" exclaimed the 
hump-backed Jew, as his eye glanced 
over the note, which read as follows : 

Devil-Bug Our friend leaves us to 
morrow. It is all right. Aid him as far 
as you can, in anything that concerns his 
departure. THE ABBOT. 

" Den you conshents ?" exclaimed 
Gabriel, with a smile of triumph 
" You vill gif me te monish ?" 

" Of course, of course. You know 
I would never refuse you anything, 
Gabriel. You must be careful though, 
Gabriel, with the money. Mighty 
careful" 

" Vot a fool I vos, ever to part mit 
it !" muttered Gabriel " I hadt it all 
in mine own handts won time " 

" Excuse me one moment, Gabriel, 
while I write a note to my jeweller M 
said Fitz-Cowles, with a pleasant 
smile. " Here, Dim take this ring 
and this note down to Melchoir, the 
Jeweller, in Fourth street near Ches- 
nut. Hurry back, d ye hear ?" 

As he seized the note and folded it, 
Fitz-Cowles gazed smilingly in the 
face of the Hebrew. But when he 
took the diamond ring from his finger, 
and handed it to Dim, with one quick 
flashing glance of his dark eyes, the 
smile deepened into an agreeable 
laugh, and Fitz-Cowles looked, for all 
.the world, like a man whose mind is 
unburdened by a single care. Ard 



this, while his life and .brtune hung 
upon the note which he handed to the 
Creole ! 

" Dim you understand ? This 
ring and note are for the Jeweller in 
Fourth below Chesnut?" 

"Yes, Massa " answered Dim. 
with a stolid and imperturable expres 
sion of countenance. "I ll be back 
d rectly." 

That note was the Death Warrant V 
of the Jew. 

Thus it read : 

Devil-Bug When the Jew comes 
back to Monk-hall he will have about his 
person ten thousand dollars. You can 
pay yourself for the care and trouble you 
have had with him. The ring will tell 
you what I mean. THE ABBOT. 

" Now, Gabby " exclaimed Fitz- 
Cowles, as Dim hastened from the 
room " You can amuse yourself by 
looking out of the window, while I get 
you the money." 

As the handsome Algernon, stoop- 
ng to the floor, drew the hair trunk 
from beneath the sofa, Gabriel, the 
Jew, rose from his seat and advanced 
toward the window. 

" Dere s noting like improvin vons 
:imes " he muttered, as he seized an 
object, which lay exposed on the top 
of the dressing bureau. " Father 
Moses ! He vill swear ven he mis- 
shes dis ting " 

" Ten notes of a thousand dollars 
?ach " murmured Fitz-Cowles, lock- 
ng the trunk again " Much good 
will they do him ! Devil-Bug is such 
an amiable man !" 

"Now I vill pegone !" exclaimed 

abriel, hastily concealing the notes 
within the breast of his overcoat, 



152 



THE FORGER. 



" Dish countries is too hot to holdt 
me." 

Fie strode to the door, and looked 
back at Fitz-Cowles, as he uttered 
this pleasant good-bye. 

" Farewells ! Ven ve meetsh agin 
may ve pe in betterish spiritsh 
Goot byesh !" 

He disappeared, and in a moment 
was heard passing hurriedly along the 
entry, without the bedchamber. 

"Go!" shrieked Fitz-Cowles, the 
mocnent he had dissappeared " Go, 
and to your DEATH !" 

He paced hurriedly along the room, 
his brow darkening over with a heavy 
frown, and his eye blazing with ex 
citement. 

" Ha ! The door leading into the 
saloon is ajar could anyone have 
listened to our conversation?" he 
pushed the door open and glanced 
around the spacious apartment as he 
spoke " Ha, ha ! There is no one 
in this room ! What a fool I am to 
fancy a listener near. And yet that 
fellow, Buzby but he s too cowardly 
to betray a man. He might muster 
courage to betray a lame nigger 
woman, or a sick rag picker but a 
man never!" 

He closed the door, leading into the 
saloon, as he spoke. 

And as the door was closed, the 
form of a man stole softly from the 
folds of the silken window curtains, 
and Buzby Poodle stood disclosed in 
the light. His face was very pale, 
and his hands trembled like pendulums, 
very much out of order. 

" Here s a secret worth a for 
tune " he exclaimed, as he passed 
through the saloon door, into the wind 
ing entry of the fourth story " Be 



tray a rag picker, indeed ! Ho ! ho 1 
What if I betray a forger?" 

Meanwhile Fitz-Cowles strode swift 
ly along the floor of his bedchamoer, 
his face and manner, betraying the 
wild excitement which possessed his 
soul. 

" If I manage my cards right I am 
safe! Ha! ha! That Jew got up 
some very neat letters from my father 
the Earl of Lyneswold, Lincon- 
shire, England! To give the d 1 
his due, the Jew managed these letters 
with a masterly hand. English post 
marks and all! I showed them to 
Dora, together with a parchment con 
taining our pedigree the Lyndes- 
wolds of Lyndeswold ! I have used 
the Jew, and now egad ! he must 
retire from the scene! Ry next 
Monday morning I can arrange every 
thing ! And then, as from the decks 
of a steamer bound for England, I 
gaze upon the receding shores of 
America, while Dora smiles in my 
face, and the cash rattles in my pocket, 
then ha, ha, ha! how I shall 
laugh at these fools of the Quaker 
City !" 



CHAPTER FOURTH. 



DORA LIVINGSTONE AT 

THE boudoir was lighted by two 
long and narrow windows looking to 
the south. The morning sunshine 
shone mildly round the place, through 
the folds of the thick curtains of light 
silk, which hung drooping along the 
windows. 

In shape, the room was sexagonal, 



DORA LIVINGSTONE AT HOME. 



with pedestals of dark marble, stand 
ing along four of the six walls. On 
ihe top of one pedestal stood an ala 
baster vase, containing flowers of the 
choicest hues and fragrance, gather 
ed from the conservatory which was 
visible through the small door, on the 
summit of the second, was placed a 
statue of the Venus de Medici, sculp 
tured by a master hand, in snow-white 
marble ; the third supported another 
vase, also filled with flowers, while 
the top of the fourth was occupied by 
an image of the Virgin Mary, her 
eyes raised upward to heaven, and 
her hands clasped over the crucifix, 
resting upon her bosom. 

The small door leading into the ad 
joining conservatory, located in the 
second story of the western wing of 
Livingstone s princely mansion, hung 
sh ghtly ajar. A delightful fragrance, 
the breath and sweetness of many 
flowers, pervaded the atmosphere. 
The perfume of the full-blown rose, the 
penetrating scent of the heliotrope, the 
delightful odor of the arbor vitoa, ming 
ling with the fragrance of a thousand 
other plants and flowers, created an air 
of delicious and intoxicating sweetness. 

The appointments of the boudoir 
or, perhaps, closet would be the more 
correct designation were neat and 
classic. Four handsome gothic chairs, 
with worked-cloth seats, disposed 
along the walls, an elegant sofa, placed 
between two of the pedestals, a se 
verely-classic table of snow-white 
marble standing opposite, all burdened 
with books in costly binding, strewn 
over its surface; and a gorgeous 
Turkey carpet, whose deep rich co 
lors were in effective contrast to the 
light and delicate papering of the 



walls ; all combined produced an effect 
of elegance and taste, heightened ana 
refined by the vases of flowers, and the 
marble statues presenting beauty in 
the contrasted forms of Religion and 
Love. 

The heat of the conservatory, ming 
ling with the sweetness of its flowers, 
imparted a fragrant warmth to the 
boudoir. No stove, nor grate, with 
glaring coal or crackling wood, was 
therefore needed to render the place 
comfortable. 

Altogether the entire room was im 
bued with an air of spiritual repose 
of dreamy languor, which would have 
been very ethenal indeed, if it had not 
been for the presence of the small 
breakfast table which stood in the 
centre of the carpet, like a plain and 
stubborn earthly fact, with its silver 
coffee-pot, porcelain cup, and buttered 
toast, disposed along the surface of a 
snow-white cloth. However, the cof 
fee was cold, and the toast untasted. 
This was something in favor of the 
spirituality of the boudoir. 

Through the dim light which im 
parted a twilight effect to the room, 
you might discern the outlines of a 
woman s form, as she lay reclining on 
the sofa. Her form, full, large and 
voluptuous, was enveloped in the folds 
of a snow-white morning gown, which 
gathering lightly around her queenly 
figure, displayed the symmetry of her 
rounded arms, the fulness of her bust, 
and the swelling outlines of her person, 
in the richest varieties of light and 
shade. A single red gleam of sun 
light, escaping through tho folds of 
the window-curtain streamed over the 
whiteness of her snowy neck. 



THE FORGER. 



Her head resting on the sofa cush 
ion, with the dark hair falling care 
lessly around, her eyes were half- 
closed in dreamy reverie and the 
brightness of her glance, subdued to a 
hazy dimness, which attested the ab 
sence of her thoughts from all out 
ward things, stole mildly from the 
shadow of the ong and trembling 
lashes. 

Here entire attitude was that of a 
person, absorbed in some delightful 
reverie. Her hands were gently clasp 
ed in front of her form, her limbs, as 
you might see by the folds of her 
dress, were carelessly crossed, one 
over the other, while one small and 
delicate foot, with the slender ancle, 
encased in the snow-white stocking, 
was visible, as she lay with her volup 
tuous person, thrown lightly along the 
sofa. 

She was indeed a beautiful and vo- 
mptuous woman. The deep vermillion 
of her lips, the burning flush crimsoning 
each cheek, the blackness of her eye 
lashes and pencilled brows, the long 
dark hair which when all unbound, 
fell in thick and glossy tresses, below 
her waist, the fullness of her bosom, 
the swelling roundness of her limbs, 
the smallness of her feet, and the de 
licacy of her hands, with long and ta 
pering fingers, all attested her love 
liness and beauty ; while the swim 
ming glance of her large eyes, indi 
cates the innate voluptuousness of her 
nature. 

Her eyes, were of that deep and 
well-like brightness, which seems to 
throw open to the vision of the gazer, 
not only their mellowed glance and 
dazzling radiance, but the entire pros- 
peci of th^ hidden soul. You gazed 



not upon, but into, those eyes, au<j 
felt that you were in the presence of a 
mighty intellect and a sensual orgaV 
nization. 

As she lay reclining on the sofa, a 
a low murmur of delight escaped from 
her lips, and a flush, like the sunny- 
side of a ripening peach, blight- 
ened over her face and neck. 
Her eyelids slowly unclosing revealed 
her large dark eyes, animate with an 
expression of sudden delight, and 
beaming with a swimming brightness 
that finds no parallel, save in the 
glance of a lovely and voluptuous 
woman. 

Dora rose slowly to her feet, and 
stood erect upon the floor. 

" That were a boon, worth the peril 
of a soul to win !" she whispered in a 
low and softened tone, as her hands 
absently toyed with the rose, which 
rested upon her bosom " A coronet, 
yes, yes, a coronet ! This is a fair 
brow they tell me how well the glit 
tering circlet of diamonds, would be 
come its beauty ! A coronet ! "But one 
short year ago, a poor girl, clad in the 
threadbare costume, which seems to 
belong by right, to poverty-stricken 
gentility, watched by the bedside of a 
dying mother, in a meanly-furnished 
apartment, faintly illumined by the 
beams of a flickering lamp. Now that 
poor girl, is the wife of one of the 
merchant-princes of the city, rolls in 
wealth, almost without limit, and of 
course moves among the first ciicles 
of the Aristocracy of this good city ! 
Such Aristocracy ha, ha ! Like a spe 
cimen of paste-board statuary, giving 
a grotesque outline, of the reality 
which it is intended to represent! 
Another year ! Ha, ha ! My braia 



DORA LIVINGSTONE AT HOME. 



155 



grows wild ! Another year and this 
same poor girl, may, no, no, will 
stand among the glittering circles of a 
royal Court, with the blaze of rank 
and beauty flashing all around her, 
with the smile of a Queen, beaming 
upon her face, while a coronet, that 
tells the ancestral glories of a thou 
sand years, rests brightly upon her 
brow ! 

" * Dora Livingstone, wife of Living 
stone, the Merchant -Prince that 
sounds well, though prince that word 
merchant as you may, it still re 
tains ha, ha! a wonderful taint of 
the Shop ! But there is a title, written 
on the very clouds which darken over 
my Future, which would sound much 
better, and that title but hold my 
brain grows dizzy ; I seem to glide on 
air that title is " 

" Dora Lyndeswold, Countess of 
Lyndeswold !" said a deep voice at the 
shoulder of the beautiful woman. 

She turned hastily round, gazing 
upon the intruder, with a glance of 
mingled surprise and anger. 

Fitz-Cowles, in all the elegance of 
his fashionable attire, stood before her, 
with his conical hat in one hand, his 
gold -headed cane in the other, while 
a smile of peculiar meaning lighted 
up his dusky countenance. 

" Ha, ha ! Dora, you are surprised 
to see me ! The truth is, old Artichoke 
your gardener, attracted my eye as I 
passed thr- <rh the hall. He wanted 
me to e> ne, some of his favorite 
plants. rile his attention was turn 
ed ano f way, I stole up the back 
stairca- reached the conservatory, 
and hf am ! Yes yes Dora, not- 
Jing your incredulous snv le, 



it is in your power, to DO Countess of 
Lyndeswold " 

" Algernon, it can never be " ex 
claimed Dora, fixing the gaze of her 
brilliant eyes, upon his countenance, 
with a glance of strange meaning. 

" But it can be, Dora, and it must 
be " answered Fitz-Cowles, in a 
careless tone, as he gently balanced 
his gold-headed cane, on the palm of 
his right hand, with a see-saw motion. 

Dora silently laid her hand on his 
shoulder, and gazed into his eyes, with 
a glance of deep interest. 

" By what means, you would ask t 
By flight ! Yes, by flight ! Next Tues- 
day the Great Western, sails from 
New York. Let us arrange all our 
matters, take passage on board the 
steamer, and in fifteen days we will be 
in London. It is but a day s ride from 
London to Lyndeswold " 

^"Lyndeswold 1 echoed Dora, 
and the name seemed to act like a spell 
upon her " Ah, ha ! England boasts 
an Aristocracy, founded on high deeds 
whose records we trace, in the history 
of a thousand years. The Aristocracy 
of this land, and ha, ha, this cify, ia 
founded on what ? Can you tell 
Algernon T\ 

" I ve been trying to find out for the 
last three months. I flatter myself 
that I know something about the pe 
culiar merits and glories of Quaker 
City, aristocracy " 
* " An Aristocracy founded on the 
high deeds of dentists, tape-sellers, 
quacks, pettifoggers, and bank direc 
tors, all jumbled together in a r idicu- 
lous mass of absurdities. Your den 
tist, whose proper court of arms 
should be a tooth and p ; nc,ers on a 



156 



THE FORGER 



field gules , sends to the Herald s Col 
lege, in London, and asks the Herald s 
to trace back his pedigree to the con 
quest ! And so with all tin classes of 
the Philadelphia ton. Now could we 
establish a Herald s college, in the 
State House, I would make the pro 
fession of every man, the rule by 
which to fashion his crest or coat of 
arms ! To the Quack a pill-box ! 
To the petifogger, three links of a con 
victs chain, with the Penitentiary in 
the distance ! To the Bank Director a 
Widow s Coffin, with a weeping Or 
phan on either side by way of heral 
dic supporters ! Pah ! There is no sin 
gle word of contempt in the whole 
language, too bitter, to express my 
opinion of this magnificent Pretension 
the Aristocracy of the Quaker 
City !" 

" You are quite animated, Dora ! 
I never trouble myself about such 
mall matters !" 

" Do you know, what was the pro 
fession of my grandfather?" exclaim 
ed Dora, as with a smile of bitter sar 
casm playing on her proud lip, she 
again confronted Fitz-Cowles "Why, 
na, ha, ha ! He was guess what ?" 

" A merchant perhaps ? or a mem 
ber of one of the oldest families of 
Pennsylvania to use the slang of the 
day, or or 

E A Shoemaker/"} shrieked Dora, 
with a burst of laughter, as she strode 
hurriedly up and down the room 
" Yes, yes a shoemaker!" 

" A cobbler !" muttered Fitz-Cowles 
starting with a look of silent disgust. 

" Yes, yes, a toil-begrim d cobbler, 
who sate working all day long on an 
old bench, mending other peoples old 
shoos ? And I r. shamed of this? Ha, 



ha ! Not in the least ! The cobbler s 
grand-daughter moves in the first cir 
cles of the Aristocracy of Philadel- 
phia ! And what is something to her 
credit, she is not ashamed of her an 
cestry ! She does not conceal it with 
some sounding pretension to high birth, 
but at once, and without reserve, hor 
rifies, the tape-and bobbin nobility of 
the Quaker City, with the plain decla 
ration, that Dora Livingstone wife of 
the Merchant Prince, is a Cobbler s 
grand-daughter !" 

" Deuce take me, if I can under 
stand you Dora ! You are not ashamed 
of having a shoemaker for your grand 
father, and yet you reverence the spi 
rit of ancestral pride !" 

" You have given my jipinions with 
remarkable precision ! 1 tell you, Al 
gernon, that I respect, the Mechanic, 
at his bench, though his hands be 
rough, his face begrimed with toil, 
his manners uncouth and destitute of 
polish ! But for the petty Aristocrat ; 
the Duke Thimble-and-thread, the 
Count Soap-and-candle, the Baron 
Peddle-and -cheat, for all these, I do 
entertain the most sovereign contempt ! 
Give me the honest Mechanic at the 
bench if we must have a nobility, for \ 
your true republican nobleman : not | 
the dishonest Bank-Director at the I 
desk ! But if you pass the Mechanic 
aside whose honest vote, sustains 
your republic if you pass him aside, 
when you form your Aristocracy, then 
I say, give us the Titles and the Trap 
pings of an English nobility ! Let 113 
at once have a Throne and a Count, 
a King and Courtiers !"J 

" Ha, ha, ha ! Dora you grow 
philosophical ! Decidedly so ! But you 
have quite forgotten my proposition. 



DORA LIVINGSTONE AT HOME. 



157 



Flight, Dora, sudden and successful 
flight !" 

" And do you think Fitz-Cowles, 
that I would fly with you as an it is 
a sweet word and a true one as an 
Adultress ! As an Adultress forsak 
ing her husband ? No No ! By my 
life ; no !" 

" Once in England, we could be 
united in marriage, without the slight 
est difficulty. You would become the 
Countess of Lyndeswold on the death 
of my father, when I would succeed 
to the Earldom. During his life, our 
title would merely be, my Lord and 
Lady Dalveny of Lyndeswold " 

" Countess of Lyndeswold, and my 
husband living in America ! Ha, ha, 
ha ! This is like some probable his 
tory in the Arabian Nights !" 

" And how do you propose to over 
come the the difficulty " 

" Which is but another name for 
a husband, after all " muttered 
Dorainatone*inaudible to Fitz-Cowles. 

"You know, Dora, that we must 
arrange our plan of action without de 
lay. A solitary word of suspicion, 
whispered in your husband s ears by 
some officious friend, and our schemes 
are blown to the gentleman in 
black." 

Dora approached Fitz-Cowles and 
laid her hand on his shoulder, while 
b^r dark eyes, flashing with a deep 
and meaning glance, were fixed upon 
his countenance. 

" Suppose Livingstone should die " 
she said, in a low whisper, while her 
eyes became intensely brilliant and 
her face grew suddenly pale. 

" Why " replied Fitz-Cowles, with 
a slight start " Why, you would then 
ye *he widow Livingstone, with a for- 



i tune of some two hundred thousand in 
your possession. But you know, Dora, 
Livingstone bids fair to live at least 
half a century from the present mo 
ment " 

"Livingstone may die, and that 
suddenly " said Dora, in that same 
low tone, while the hand, resting on 
Fitz-Cowles shoulder, trembled like a 
leaf. 

" Egad ! Dora, you re white as 
snow in the face ! One would think 
you meant something by the 
glance of your eyes. Do speak out 
and let us hear the news " 

" Listen, Algernon, and I will tell 
you a secret. Strong and vigorous 
man as he looks, Livingstone has been 
for years the victim of a secret and 
insidious disease. It is that disease 
which slowly and quietly, almost with, 
out pain, ossifies the main arteries of 
the heart. The victim may live for 
years, with the flush of health on his 
cheek and brow, while this insidious 
disease is closing up the avenues of 
his life. He may live for years with 
all the outward signs of health and 
vigor, when a sudden excitement of 
mind would lay him down a lifeless 
corse ; aye, in an instant, without a 
single pain to warn him of his danger, 
he would fall a lifeless corse " 

" Yes, yes, I remember. McTorni- 
quet the queer doctor, who talks 
of Henry Clay, the statesman, and 
Henry Clay, his blood horse, all in 
the same breath took the trouble, 
one day last week, to explain this 
disease to me. However, he did not 
tell me that Livingstone was its vic 
tim" 

" This doctor, who is our family 
physician, called here but an hour 



158 



THE FORGER. 






ago, and asked me when I expected 
_ Mr. Livingstone back from New York. 
I answered, of course, next week. He 
then told me that the main arteries of 
my husband s heart were now almost 
entirely ossified ; that I must take 
every care in the world of him, for 
any s idden excitement, would kill 
him ir. in instant "* 

" Wha, a pity ! Poor fellow ! To 
think of a man going about with such 
a bad heart in his bosom !" 

" You understand me, then ? Liv 
ingstone may live for twenty, nay, for 
thirty years longer, and he may die 
in a year, a month, a day, or it 
may be in an hour." 

"I appreciate his position, Dora. 
To say the least, its a very ticklish 
one. Jove ! The idea of a man hav 
ing red cheeks, bright eyes, and a 
firm step, while his heart is turning to 
bone the idea of such a state of af 
fairs, I say !" 

Dora drew nearer to Algernon s 



* In the course of a series of lectures, de 
livered last winter by the gifted Dr. Mitchell, 
celebrated no less for his medical attainments 
than his poetical genius, the learned gentle 
man described the disease of the heart in de 
tail. From his lecture I derived a knowledge 
of the various phenomena of the disease, 
which I have used in this portion of my nar 
rative. The learned Doctor described, in 
eloquent terms, the insidious manner in which 
this disease, through a long course of years, 
gradually ossified the avenues to the heart of 
its victim, until at last, his life would hang 
suspended by a hair. The victim might live 
for years if I do not mis-quote the Doctor 
with the main arteries of the heart most entire 
ly ossified, but a sudden and violent excitement 
would result in instantaneous death. Since 
.he lectures of the Doctor, I have seen the 
truth of his remarks confirmed, in the death 
t>f a man, whose cheeks were glowing with 
apparent health at the very moment when he 
fell a lifeless corse. 



side, and suddenly grasped him by 
the wrist. There was a wild light 
j gleaming from her dark eyes as she 
gazed fixedly in his face, and a slight 
wrinkle indented the surface of her fair 
forehead, between the eyebrows. Her 
voi 3e was utterly changed in its tones, 
when she whispered these words to the 
listener s ear. 

" Algernon, give me your advice on 
a point of the deepest interest. When 
my husband returns from New York, 
I^will seize the earliest opportunity to 
press upon his attention the import 
ance of having his Will prepared with 
out delay. Poor man ! His life hangs 
by a slender thread the most trifling 
chance may sever that thread, and 
precipitate him into eternity. It is 
important, therefore, that he should 
hold himself prepared for death. Jus 
tice to his wife demands that his Will, 
making a final disposition of his for 
tune, should be executed with alt pos 
sible haste " 

"By Jove, Dora, you look quite 
wild. To what tends all this ? Hush ! 
Did you not hear a footstep in the 
conservatory ?" 

" Suppose, Algernon, that my hus 
band should make his Will. Suppose 
he leaves his fortune to his wife. 
These suppositions made, I wish you 
to imagine a scene. Livingstone and 
myself are seated in the parlor, on a 
winter s evening, beside the cheerful 
fire. His face is lighted up with a 
pleasant smile, as, displaying the un 
folded Will in his hands, he gazes 
upon the beaming countenance of his 
wife. And that wife mark you, 
Algernon at the very moment when 
the husband reaches forth his arms to 
clasp her to his bosom, falls on her 



DORA LIVINGSTONE AT HOME. 



159 



Knees at his feet, and, in broken words, 
shrieks forth the story of her guilt, and 
his dishonor! Yes, yes, to his ear, 
to the ear of the man who loves his 
wife as man never loved wife before, 
that young and innocent wife, "ells the 
dark story of her shame Even 
while his face beams with affection, 
she tells him that he is dishonored, 
aye, dishonored ! That she has been 
false to his bed, recreant to her plight 
ed faith ! That she is polluted in per 
son, corrupt in soul ! That this young 
wife, whom he loved so well, is ha, 
ha an Adultress ! This she tells 
him with tears of repentance, with 
prayers for mercy, with groans of 
anguish ! And he how think ye 
Livingstone would hear this confession 
from the wife whose very image he 
now worships ? Ha ! Algernon ! 
Think ye not, it would kill him, even 
before his frantic wife had done with 
her tale of guilt 1 Even as he sate, 
without a moments delay, he would 
fall from his chair, a stiffened corse ? 
Would he not, Algernon ?" 

A blasphemous oath escaped from 
Fitz-Cowles lips, and in a sudden 
start, which shook his frame, he suf 
fered his hat and cane to fall on the 
floor. 

By G d, Dora, I don t think 
i you re a human being !" 

He said this in a low-toned voice, 
and turned away from the Merchant s 
wife, as she stood in the centre of the 
room, her statue dilating to its full 
heighth, while, with a panting bosom 
and a flashing eye, she awaited his 
answer to her momentous question. 

** And this" she cried, gazing upon 
Fitz-Cowles, who stood near the win 
dow with his face averted from hsr 
11 



glance "And this, after I have sacri 
ficed all I possess on earth, all I hope 
in heaven ; and sacrificed for you /" 

" Hun ! Did nt you hear a foot 
step in the conservatory 1 Really, 
Dora, you are very imprudent " ex 
claimed Fitz-Cowles, in a sullen tone, 
as he gazed vacantly through the win 
dow-curtains. 

" Would to God, there had been a 
footstep in the conservatory when I 
first resigned myself to shame !" said 
Dora, in a tone of keen and biting 
sarcasm. 

" When a lady agrees, makes up 
her mind to part with her virtue, and 
a gentleman makes up his mind to 
accept the gift, all is fair and satisfac 
tory, and nobody, but an injured hus 
band has a right to complain. But, 
Murder, Dora Murder " 

" Murder ! Madman that you are, 
who spoke of murder? Fitz-Cowles, 
I beseech you do not force me to 
change my opinion, with regard, to 
you. I thought you were a man ; one 
of that class, in fact, who look rather 
to the end that is to be accomplished 
than to the delicacy of the means " 

" But Dora, this experiment of 
yours has ten chances of failure, to 
one of success. Livingstone might. 
recover from the shock, occasioned by 
your confession " 

"Then it is the chance of failure, 
not the experiment itself, which turns 
your face to the hue of ashes " 

" D n the thing, Dora, Livingstone 
never wronged me. And I can t see 
that he has done you any injury suffi 
cient to warrant such a return " 

" I perceive Algernon " said Dora, 
crossing her arms, with a calm ge- 
ture " You do not undei stand me. 



1 60 



THE FORGER. 



Livingstone, never did me a wrong : 
on the contrary, he has bestowec 
wealth upon me, almost without bound, 
and lavished affection upon me, until 
it amounts to idolatry. You never 
gave me wealth, you never gave me 
love. Then what is the tie that binds 
me to you? You have it in your 
power to grace the the ha, ha ! 
The Cobbler s grand-daughter with a 
title ! Livingstone is the bar sinister , 
ha, ha, between me and hereditary 
rank ! Who spoke of murder 1 Not 
I, by my life ! Livingstone may die, 
he may die. That, was all I said " 
" He may die, that is true " said 
Fitz-Cowles, turning away from the 
window * By-the-bye, Dora, you are 
remarkably ambitious, for a sensible 
woman. Your very soul, seems ab 
sorbed in this ambition to rise j" 

" There is a leaf of my heart, Fitz- 
Cowles, which you never yet, have 
read. I loved once ; loved with all 
the intensity of my nature, and sacri 
ficed my plighted love, for wealth and 
Livingstone. iDid you never read in 
books, that the first love of a strong 
minded woman, when divested from its 
proper source, turns to the gall and 
bitterness of worldly ambitiogj I feel 
in my inmost soul, that I was destined 
from my birth to rank and station, to 
the sway of hearts and the rule of 
power. In my early childhood, when 
forced by penury, my mother, a wi 
dowed and a friendless woman, sought 
a home, in the outskirts of the city, 
the prophecy was whispered in my 
ears, that one day, I should wear a co 
ronet, and walk a titled lady among 
the grandees of a royal court " 
" And some old crone, I suppose, 



with a cup sprinkled with tea-grounaa 
in her hand, was the Oracle ?" 

" It matters not, for the prophecy , 
come it from whom it might, found its 
echo in my own heart. Does it not 
often chance, that a casual word, ut 
tered by an ignorant mechanic, strikes 
a mighty chord in some Statesman s 
heart, and originates a new and mag 
nificent scheme of state policy ? So n 
chance word, from vulgar lips, may 
arouse a prophecy which has beer, 
hidden in our souls, since the hour of 
our birth. Why did the Creole, Josephine, 
credit the withered hag, who foretold 
that her brow, would one day be en 
circled with the Crown of France ? 
Because the old crone, was gifted by 
heaven with especial power? No 
no no ! She might have foretold a 
thousand incidents, and not one would 
have impressed the heart of Josephine, 
with even a passing sensation. 

" On the heart of this same Creole, 
Josephine, from the hour of her birth, 
had been written down by God s own 
hand, the high destiny for which she 
had been born, and the chance words 
of the old crone, aroused the pro- 
phecy into life !" 

" Hush ! Dora, there is a footstep 
on the stairs " exclaimed Fitz 
Cowles with a sudden start. 

" My God ! It is Livingstone s foot 
step !" and as she spoke, Dora s face 
grew suddenly pale " Ha ! The note, 
which I left last night on the centre 
table, was gone, when I looked for it 
this morning. Could he have returned 
n the night ?" 

The door leading into the main buiid- 
ng of the mansion, was suddenly 
opened, and a red-faced servah. -n 



DORA LIVINGSTONE AT HOME. 



16) 



grey livery, turned up with velvet, 
entered the boudoir. 

" Mister Livingstone, ma am !" 

And in an instant Livingstone ap 
peared in the doorway, and entered 
the room. 

" Ah ha ! My dear I ve stole a 
march on you, have I ? Back from 
New York sooner than I expected, 
you see ! Ah ha ! Colonel, is that 
you ? How do you do !" 

" My God ! Livingstone ! How pale 
you are " was the involuntary excla 
mation of the wife, as her eyes, were 
riveted to his countenance "Have 
you been ill ?" 

" Egad ! You look as if you been 
sick a-month !" exclaimed Fitz-Cowles 
" Why Livingstone positively you re 
turning grey !" 

Calm and smiling Livingstone ad 
vanced, and gathered his right arm 
round the waist of his beautiful wife. 
His face was very pale, and his blue 
eyes, had an unnatural brilliancy in 
their glance, which in the mind of an 
acute observer might have aroused a 
suspicion as to the sanity of the Mer 
chant. 

" One kiss my love !" exclaimed 
Livingstone, as he pressed his lips to 
the full and pouting lips of his wife, 
while his face, brightened with a look 
of pleasure "You must excuse, 
these little matrimonial attentions Fitz- 
Cowles. We married men, are very 
apt to be fond of our wives ; espe 
cially after a long absence. And how s 
your poor sick friend my dear !" 

" You have my note, then ?" ex 
claimed Dora, as a slight tremor was 
visible on her lip. 

" To be sure, my dear, to be sure. 
: returned from New York in the night, 



found your note on the contro-lable, 
and having read its contents, I retired 
from the house without alarming the 
servants. I spent the night at the 
counting-house, examining my books 
and papers. How did you say your 
poor sick friend was, Dora ?" 

" Alas ! She is dead !" and Dora 
turned away as if to conceal her agi 
tation. 

"Well, well, it can t be helped. 
Debt we ve all got to pay as the 
old women at a funeral, have it. By- 
the-bye, Fitz-Cowles, I ve got some 
traces of the Forger at last !" 

The Merchant laid his hand play 
fully on Fitz-Cowles, shoulder and 
gazed smilingly in his eyes, while his 
unoccupied hand, toyed with his watch- 
seals, in a careless manner. 

" The deuce, you have ?" answered 
Fitz-Cowles with a stare of surprise- 
" By Jove !" he muttered to himself 
" There is a strange look, about Li 
vingstone s eyes, that does nt exactly 
please me !" 

" I tell you how it was, my boy " 
continued Livingstone, still toying 
with his watch-seals " While I was 
in New York, the head clerk of the 
Charleston House, arrived in town. He 
recognized the Forger, one day in 
Broadway, strutting it, among the 
finest bucks of the city " 

" And you arrested him ?" 

" Not exactly. We had evidence 
enough for suspicion ; but conviction* 
you know is a different thing. You ll 
laugh when I tell you how I managed 
it with the fellow. He was one ot my 
most intimate friends in New York . 
and was wont to frequent my rooms, 
very much during the day, manifest 
ing his familiarity by calling me & 



162 



THE FORGER. 



jolh old fellow Old Lin. and all 
that kind of thing, you understand? 
Before the head clerk arrived from the 
South, I did not ever dream of sus 
pecting this perfumed gentleman of 
the forgery. Why Colonel do you 
know, that I d just as soon suspected 
you, as him?" 

" Curse me Livingstone these kind 
of comparisons, are deuced unplea 
sant " observed Fitz-Cowles grow- 
ing very uneasy under the Merchant s 
gaze. 

" What do you think we did when 
we found that we had nt evidence 
sufficient for conviction ? Why ha, 
ha ! It s two good ! We dressed up 
a decayed police officer, like a Sou 
thern planter, and introduced him to 
the Forger, as a gentleman of immense 
fortune from the South. The forger, 
promenades New York, with the dis 
guised Police Officer at his elbow, 
showing the pseudo-planter all the 
lions of the town, and making him 
self agreeable in a general way. Now 
the joke of the thing. 

"Yes " echoed Fitz-Cowles 
" The joke of the thing " 

" Is simply this. The Southern 
Planter has a warrant in his pocket, 
for the arrest of the Forger, the mo 
ment he shall attempt to leave the City! 
Ha Ha Ha ! Capital !" 

" Capital ! Capital ! Ha, ha, ha !" 
roared Fitz-Cowles. 

" Is nt it too good ?" 

" Ha, ha, ha ! It is too good ! A 
warrant in his pocket, for the arrest 
of the Forger, all the while did ye 
say ! Capital ha, ha, ha ! Capital !" 

"Why Fitz-Cowles, your ladye- 
love, has been making free with a lock 
m , our hair 1 " exclaimed Livingstone 



playfully " Look here, Dora, what 
space there is, near Fitz-Cowles righ 
temple ! A large lock severed close to 
the skin why Dora, I declare you 
too, have been making somebody a 
present of a lock of your hair ! A 
large tress severed from the hair, near 
your right temple too ! Singular co 
incidence oh, Fitz-Cowles ?" 

With the same involuntary gesture, 
Fitz-Cowles and Dora, both raised 
their hands to their right temples, and 
both discovered that a large tress was 
missing, from among the clustering 
locks of their raven-black hair. 

" Curse that barber ! I shall have to 
flog him !" muttered Fitz-Cowles- 
" How deuced careless in him !" 

" Positively Albert, I can t tell how 
this occurred " said Dora approach 
ing her husband " I must have cut 
it off in my sleep. How extremely 
odd " " Or somebody may have cut 
it off, to save you the trouble, while 
you were asleep !" said Livingstone 
with a kindly smile, as turning from 
his wife he approached one of the 
windows, and looked out upon the sky. 

Meanwhile Dora stood silent and 
thoughtful, her bosom heaving upward 
with sudden pulsations, clashed for a 
moment, convulsively together, trem 
bled with the agitation that quivered 
through her whole frame. 

" Now" she murmured as a slight 
pallor overspread her beautiful coun 
tenance " Now, is the moment of 
my fate ! The disease, gathering round 
his heart, manifests its progress al 
ready, in his countenance ! I will con 
fess all, ha, ha, I will throw myself at 
his feet and beseech his pardon !" 

" Fitz-Cowles turned pale as ashes. 
He did not hear the whispered word* 



DORA LIVINGSTONE AT HOME. 



163 



V 



of Dora, but he read her fixed and des 
perate purpose in the lines of her coun- 
lenance, now moulded into an express 
ion, as unrelenting as Death. While 
his brain whirled round in wild con 
fusion, he resolved to delay or at least 
10 thwart the accomplishment of her 
purpose. 

" Aid me now, Great Father, before 
whom,~T shall so soon appear !" were 
the murmured words that broke from 
the white lips of Livingstone, as with 
his face turned from his wife and her 
paramour, he made a pretence of 
gazing upon the clear and blue winter s 
sky " I feel that fit of madness com 
ing over me again. Oh, for a little 
strength to go through the mockery ! 
To pretend affection to the wife ; friend 
ship to the paramour ! There is frenzy 
in my veins ; I know it ; I feel it ; but 
I will, I will command my soul !" 

And yet as the words escaped from 
his lips, he felt that same feeling of 
mocking frenzy, which had given its 
impulse to his actions, in Monk-Hall, 
the night before, rushing like a torrent 
through his veins. Conscious that he 
was acting like a madman, he drew a 
pistol from his bosom, and making one 
stride across the floor, held it to the 
heart of Fitz-Cowles. 

" A handsome pistol Colonel ! Silver 
mounted with a hair trigger! One 
touch of my finger and you re a dead 
man ! Ha ha ! How you step back 
ward, how you recede to the wall. 
Zounds, man, but I believe you re 
afraid !" 

"For Heaven s sake, Livingstone, 
put the thing away " cried Fitz- 
Cowles as with the pistol at his heart, 
step by step he retreated to the wall 
" You might, yoJi know, pull the trig- 



| ger by chance ! It s loaded you say 
and " 

"The bail might lodge in your 
heart! Ha! ha! ha! So it might! 
Suppose we try !" 

As he spoke he pulled the trigger 
Dora uttered an involuntary shriek as 
the clinking of the pistol broke on the 
air, and then covered her face with 
her hands. When she again looked 
around the room, she beheld Fitz- 
Cowles standing in one corner, pale 
as ashes, while Livingstone, with a 
bitter smile wreathing his white lips, 
still held the pistol presented at his 
breast. 

" Confound those caps not worth 
the having !" exclaimed Livingstone, 
with a pleasant smile - " Why, Colo 
nel, ha, ha, ha ! You look as frighten 
ed as if, ha, ha, ha ! I had intended to 
shoot you !" 

" The pistol was loaded " hesi 
tated Fitz-Cowles, as he averted his 
eyes from Livingstone s flashing 
glance. 

" Loaded 1 Nonsense man I was 
merely trying some new percussion 
caps." 

" The disease has affected his rea 
son " muttered Dora, as she ad 
vanced to her husband s side " Now 
for the confession and the result /" 

"You dropped your handkerchief, 
Mrs. Livingstone " exclaimed Fitz- 
Cowles, as starting hastily forward 
he presented the snow-white l mou- 
choirj with a low bow Not on the 
peril of your soul!" he hissed the 
whisper between his set teeth, as hia 
dark eyes were fixed upon her face 
with a malignant yet frightened glance. 

She returned his glance with a look 
of scorn. 



164 



THE FORGER. 



She advanced to her husband s side, 
she seized his arm with a convulsive 
grasp, while her dark eyes flashed with 
an expression of the deepest emotion. 

" Livingstone " she shrieked, 
with all the pathos of voice and ges 
ture at her control " I have much 
to tell you " 

In another instant she lay panting 
upon his breast, with her arms flung 
round his neck, while the convulsive 
sobs, which heaved her bosom, broke 
wildly on her husband s ear. 

Fitz-Cowles saw that his fate hung 
in a balance, which the weight of a 
feather might turn. 

" Ha !" cried Livingstone, with the 
same strange glance which marked his 
wandering intellect, flashing from his 
clear blue eye " Ha ! what means 
this agitation this sudden emotion 

these sobs and tears ?" 

Why the fact is, Livingstone 
your wife is anxious that is to say 

deuce take the thing ! Dr. McTor- 
niquet was here this morning, and 
and dropped some strange hints 
about a disease to which you are sub 
ject and and your wife is alarm 
ed for your health " 

<c Fools ! They think to deceive 
me !" thought Livingstone, as his wife 
lay sobbing in his arms " They do 
not dream that I overheard their in 
genious plans, as I stood in the con 
servatory, not five minutes past ! Ha, 
ha ! I will be even with them ! Oh, 
with regard to the disease of the 
heart " he continued, aloud 
" Which has threatened me for so 
many years, I forgot to mention a 
slight circumstance McTorniquet, 
rhis worning assured me that he 
bad long mistaken my symptoms. 



I am no more in danger, from any 
malady of this kind than you are, my 
dear. There, Dora, don t weep I 
can well appreciate this affectionate 
regard for my health, but you mus n t 
weep " 

As Dora lay with her head buried 
in his bosom, a quick and sudden 
tremor shook her frame from head to 
foot. She was deceived for once in 
her life, and after having betrayed her 
husband in the very hour of his mad 
ness became his willing dupe. With 
one start she raised her head, and her 
face, pale and ghastly, from the effect 
of the sudden revulsion of feeling, was 
disclosed in the morning sunlight. 

"Oh Livingstone " she said in a 
voice tremulous with emotion, "I 
am so glad to discover that all my ap 
prehensions, are groundless !" 

Sh walked to the window, as if to 
hide the agitation, the joyful agitation 
which Livingstone s unexpected dis 
closure, had aroused in her soul. As 
she passed Fitz-Cowles, she darted a 
look in his face, full of dark and fear 
ful meaning. For a moment her coun 
tenance was convulsed by an express- 
ion, hideous as it was resolute, and 
then, like a sunbeam gleaming from a 
cloud, all was calm and smiling again. 

"By-the-bye, Dora, I had nearly 
forgotten, an important circumstance, 
connected with our celebration of the 
Christmas holidays. You know, my 
country seat of Hawkwood in Jersey, 
some ****** miles from Cam den? 
It is the old family mansion of the 
Livingstone s was built in fact long 
before the revolution. Full of secret \ 
passages, solemn old rooms with wide 
fireplaces, lofty halls, and wainscottmg 
without limit) you know 7" 



DORA LIVINGSTONE AT HOME. 



16-3 



" I have ofton heard of this strange 
old family seat " replied Dora, with 
out turning from the window, " And 
have as often felt a desire to see the 
place" 

"You shall see it, my dear, within 
two days. I have this morning des 
patched servants to the place, in order 
to arrange the old hall for the celebra 
tion of Christmas in the old English 
style. To morrow morning we will 
start for Hawkwood and spend the 
holiday s there. Fitz-Cowles, I hope 
you will favor us with your company? 
You nod assent. Well, that is settled ; 
and now I must away to the ware 
house. You will excuse me, Fitz- 
Cowles ? I ll be home to dinner my 
dear" 

Livingstone left the boudoir as he 
spoke. 

Dora turned from the window and 
faced Fitz-Cowles. Their eyes met 
in one deep and meaning glance. 

Well, " said Fitz-Cowles draw 
ing a long breath " We re out of 
that d d scrape, any how !" 

Dora smiled, but did not speak. 
Her attention was attracted by a loose 
slip of letter paper, which lay on the 
carpet, near her feet. With a manner 
of easy nonchalance, she picked this 
paper from the floor, and examined it 
with a careless glance. 

In a moment, quick as a lightning 
flash, her dark eyes shone with sudden 
fire, her stature dilated to its full height, 
and her bosom, rose and fell, beneath 
the folds of her morning gown, with 
an impulse of the deepest agitation. 
She stood in the centre of the room, in 
ail her beauty and loveliness, regard 
ing the paper which she held in her 
trembling hand, with one intense and 



flashing glance, while her face, waa 
crimsoned over by a sudden flush of 
excitement. There was an expression 
of scorn mingled with triumph on her 
curving lip ; and her high forehead, 
was impressed with a slight yet mean 
ing frown. 

" Why Dora you are agitated " 
exclaimed Fitz-Cowles advancing 
" What can there be, in that slip of 
paper to move you thus ?" 

Her eyes gleamed like flame-coals 
as the answer broke from her lips in 
a slow and deliberate whisper, ren 
dered most wild and thrilling, br th 
sudden huskiness of her voice : 

" Leave that to me, and to <*< 
Future /" 



CHAPTER FIFTH. 

THE GOLD WATCH. 

" LUKE, you know how liable wt 
are to accident and sudden death ? If 
I should die suddenly, I wish you to 
open this packet and execute the com 
mission which it names. Consider 
this request, Luke, as the last request 
of a dying man. Will you promise 
me?" 

"I will, and do promise you " 
Luke replied, grasping the hand of 
Livingstone " As soon as you are 
dead, I will open this packet, and at 
every peril, at all hazards execute the 
commission which it names. Egad !" 
he muttered to himself " he seems 
to have recovered from his mad fit 
A precious tramp I ve had, up and 
down this beautiful city ever since day 
break, in order to cool him off!" 



16" 



THE FORGER. 



" Now, Luke, I must go home to 
my family," said Livingstone, with a 
faint smile as they emerged from the 
Exchange " Here we part, Luke, at 
least for a little while. It is now nine 
o clock. At noon, I will meet you at 
my house on especial business. Good 
morning !" 

They parted. Livingstone pursued 
his way up Walnut street, while Luke 
Harvey remained standing at the cor 
ner of Walnut and Third. 

" I don t suppose anything peculiar 
will take place between this and sun 
down do I? Very likely I don t. 
Possibly I do ! Well, well, let mat 
ters take their course. When a wo 
man adorns her husband s forehead 
with horns she ought to remember 
that these ornamental branches may 
be turned into dangerous weapons! 
Stags gore people sometimes! W-h-ew! 
There s that tooth again ! I must to 
some tooth-butcher, right off!" 

With great deliberation, Luke took 
his black silk cravat from around his 
neck, and investing his mouth and 
jaws with its folds, fastened it over the 
top of his head, with an ornamental 
knot. He presented rather a singular 
picture. His long and slim figure 
was enveloped in a tight overcoat, 
his hat was drawn down over his 
brows, while his face was nearly 
concealed by the folds of the black 
cravat, which left a glimpse of his 
eyes, the top of his nose, and a small 
portion of each cheek exposed to view. 

" I ll swear that tooth of mine must 
have joined a Fire Company, by the 
way it goes on ! W-h-ew !" 

Passing the various good citizens 
who were pursuing their way alcng 
Walnut street, Luke, after a-half-an- 



hour s brisk walking, with nis hand 
pressed against his jaw all the while, 
arrived before a splendid mansion, 
with a great big silver plate affixed to 
the door. " PILPETTE SURGEON 
DENTIST," was blazoned on the plate, 
in immense letters. Luke rung the 
bell, and was swearing quietly at his 
tooth, when a liveried servant appear 
ed and showed him into a large room r 
furnished in a style of lavish and auc 
tion-store splendor, where Mr. Auguste 
Pilpette, stood surrounded by the ma 
terials of his elegant profession. 

Mr. Auguste Pilpette was a stout 
little man, with a high forehead and a 
nose which would have been Roman 
if it hadn t been shaped like a pear. 
Mr. Pilpette prided himself on his 
resemblance to Louis Phillipe, and 
his acquaintance with the literature of 
the day. Mr. Pilpette had been a 
bricklayer the year before, and hi 
name had been Jonas Pulp, which by 
the same lively exertion of imagina 
tion that transformed the layer of 
bricks into the puller of teeth, had 
been changed into Auguste Pilpette. 

" Pilpette, this tooth s agoin on as 
tho it would break my jaw, and blow 
my brains out ! Pull it !" 

" We will soon arrange this little 
matter " said Auguste Pilpette, seat 
ing Mr. Harvey in a chair, which 
looked as though it had been made for 
an Alderman, in the days when Alder 
men averaged three hundred pounds 
a-piece " We ll soon arrange this 
little matter. A bad tooth. Shocks 
ing. What s your opinion of Bui 
wer?" 

" Bui wer be d d ! Pulp, pull m>j 
tooth !" 

1 Pulp, did not please Mr. Augusta 



THE GOLD WATCH. 



167 



Pilpette. On the contrary, Mr. Pil- 
pette was chafed. 

" Pulp, indeed!" he muttered " I ll 
give him a wrench for that !" 

And, accordingly, throwing Luke s 
head so far back that his upturned 
eyes commanded a view of the vane 
surmounting a distant steeple, which 
was visible through the lofty window, 
Mr. Pilpette proceeded to give Mr. 
Harvey a wrench. 

It was decidedly a wrench. Luke 
sprang from the chair with a tremend 
ous bound and an oath. 

** D n n!" he muttered or hissed, 
(and the man who objects to the oath 
never had the toothache.) " D n n ! 
Why Pulp, you were born two cen 
turies too late ! The Inquisition ought 
to have had you !" 

"Don t you think Dickens excels 
\ in the quiet touches ?" said Mr. Pil 
pette, with great suavity, as Luke 
performed an irregular Polka over the 
room "It seems to me, there s a 
feeling and a finish in Dickens. 

" Pulp you are an ass " replied 
Luke, rather harshly, as well-nigh 
convulsed with the pain of his un 
worthy member, the half-drawn tooth, 
he dashed into Mr. Pilpette s window 
curtains, and looked out upon the 
street "It s my opinion, Pulp, that 
in you the Inquisition would have ex 
perienced a great acquisition. Hollo, 
who s that !" 

Pulp, Pilpette, Inquisition, toothache, 
and all were forgotten as Luke gazed 
out in the street, with a stare of vacant 
wonder lengthening his visage. 

" I ll soothe him by a criticism " 
thought Pilpette " Do you think, Mr. 
Harvey, that the beauties of Shelly 
are appreciated by the mass?" 



"What!" shouted Luke, gazing 
into the street " In the street at broad 
daylight ! I d swear it s him ! Ha ! 
Ellis Mortimer ! He turns the cor 
ner ! Now or never !" 

While Mr. Pilpette stood stricken 
dumb with astonishment, Luke flung 
up the window-sash and sprang out 
upon the pavement, before Mr. Pilpette 
could say Jonas Pulp. Rising from 
the pavement, for he had fallen in the 
spring, Luke rushed down Walnut 
street at the top of his speed, while 
his long black hair, and the flaps of 
his overcoat streamed carelessly in 
the wind. 

The spectacle of a hatless man 
traversing Walnut street at the top of 
his speed, in a cold winters day, had 
rather a maniac wildness in it, and ac 
cordingly, two ladies with sharp faces 
and blue nose-tips, stopped somewhat 
suddenly in their course and gazed 
after the retreating form of Luke. A 



very ragged newsboy, with whom the 
sharp-nosed ladies, has just been en 
deavoring to trade two pious tracts 
headed "Bad Children in Hell," for 
one * extrey Ledgey containing ac 
counts of a steamboat accident on the 
Mississippi, also turned round and 
looked after Luke, with an emphatic 
adjuration to his whiskers. 

" Oh ! You bad youth !" said the 
sharpest of the sharp-faced tract dis 
tributors "Don t you know where 
little boys that say bad words will go 
to?" 

" Can t say I do. House o Refuge 
m am?" 

" Oh ! You ignorant and deplorably- 
neglected youth !" said the other lady, 
whose nose was tipped with the faintest 
shade of blue " Give me that Extra 



168 



THE FORGER. 



Ledger and I ll give you this tract, 
which tells you all about the bad 
place." 

" I d rather not. A-cause veri the 
bad place comes it comes, and vots 
the use of a feller riling his system 
with it aforehand?" 

With these words the unrepentant 
youth strode away, making the air 
vocal with Extrey Ledgey steam 
boat blowed up on Massesappy ! Ten 
hunder lives lost all for two cents ! 

Meanwhile, dashing along Walnut 
street, Luke Harvey pursued the dis 
tant form of a little hump-backed man, 
who, all unconscious of th danger at 
his back, was quietly wending his on 
ward way. It was not long, however, 
before he became cognizant of his 
pursuer. While Luke was half-a- 
equare distant, he suddenly slipped 
into an alley and was lost to view. 
Luke turned into the alley, emerged 
into an adjoining street, but no signs 
could he discern of Mr. Ellis Mortimer. 

" I would have sworn it was the 
Jew !" he muttered, gazing hurriedly 
up and down the street " The very 
look and dress of the man !" 

" Here s a remarkable state of af 
fairs ! One of the first merchants in 
town * digging along Walnut street on 
a cold winters day, without his hat ! 
Ha, ha ! Quite unique in the way of 
le grand spectacle as we say in do 
mestic French ! Eh, Harvey ?" 

" Harvey !" echoed Luke, turning 
round to greet the new-comer "Why, 
damme, it s Poodle, Poodle of the 
Black Mail. Go way fellow! I 
hav n t got any bribe for you !" 

" He, he, he, how jocular !" replied 
Buzby Poodle, rubbing his hands 
pleasantly together " I. know what 



you re after. The Jew ha, ha, ha 
I ve been watching him. Yonder 
he goes! Harvey I say I might tell 
you something if I liked ! I might ! 
I ve been watching the Jew /" 

" Pooh ! The Jew has no bribe to 
give you !" exclaimed Luke, with the 
most emphatic disgust " Hallo ! 
There he is ; far down Seventh street 
I ll have him yet !" 

And down Seventh street Luke 
started, with as much speed as though 
he had a match against time, his hair 
and coat-flaps streaming in the wind, 
while Buzby Poodle watched his pro 
gress with quiet wonder. 

"Ha, ha! There he goes like 
mad ! He s a-diggin down Seventh 
street he nears the Jew ! Two to 
one on Harvey anybody take that 
bet? Ha! The Jew turns round- 
bra vo ! Now the race becomes excit 
ing ! Some little boys join the pursuit 
a coal heaver flings down his shovel, 
and pelts after em ! The Jew s ahead ! 
Go it, hump-back ! Go it, Harvey ! 
Hullo! He s got him no! He s 
clear ! He turns down an alley 
they re gone ! I d like to bet a con 
siderable amount on the Jew yet. 
Hum-hum ! Harvey wouldn t buy 
me. Bad, that, for Harvey. I can 
guess that he entertains some suspicions 
with regard to Fitz-Cowles ; else why 
does he pursue the hump-backed gen 
tleman, whom I tracked from the 
rooms of the millionaire ? I think 
we must sell Harvey to Fitz-Cowles. 
Damme, I ll cut up that fellow Harvey 
in to-morrow s Black Mail. I ll be 
bitter d d bitter!" 

The State House struck eleven. 
His face, all crimson with excitement. 



THE GOLD WATCH. 



169 



his brow streaming with thick drops 
of perspiration, his long hair flying 
wildly in the wind, from under the 
shadow of a very bad hat, which he 
had borrowed from a friend, Luke 
Harvey came slowly round the corner 
of certain prominent streets in a re 
mote district of the city, his entire 
appearance betraying great exhaustion 
of body, mingled with considerable 
depression of spirits. 

" Nearly two hours passed in chas 
ing that cursed Jew ! Poh ! Pretty 
figure I cut. The Jew ahead a long 
tail of boys, sweeps and coal heavers 
behind me. Wild chorus of yells 
rending the air. People flinging up 
their windows ha, ha ! Twig that 
man without a hat! All humbug! 
Kullo ! Here s the old woman s house ! 
Damme, I ll go in and see her !" 

Luke stood in front of a three storied 
dwelling, which, remarkable for its 
old and desolate appearance, stood 
among a cluster of Pawnbroker shops, 
like a decayed gentleman surrounded 
by pickpockets and thieves. Thick 
masses of rank green moss grew over 
the steep roof, and the garret window 
was stuffed with an old straw hat and 
bundles of rags. The shutters on the 
first story were entirely closed, through 
the windows of the second floor, faded 
green blinds of a damp and mouldy 
aspect were visible, while the glasses 
of the remaining windows, in the third 
story, were concealed by rough boards, 
nailed loosely to the window-frame on 
the outside. The solitary front door, 
was one of your old fashioned front 
doors, with massive posts, and heavy 
cornices. The old brass knocker was 
covered with a thick crust of verdigris, 
and all along the door ind frame 



some industrious hand had driven in 
numerable nails, and spikes of every 
size and pattern, as though a hard 
ware merchant had been seized with 
an original fancy, and wished to turn 
the whole concern into a business card. 

In fact, it looked just like the house 
which all the restless spirits in the city, 
gentlemen and lady ghosts, who fre- 
-quent graveyards nightly, and prevail 
very numerously in Christmas-time, 
about the halls of old mansions, would 
choose for their scene of assemblage, 
in case the spiritual fraternity, deter 
mined upon a National Convention of 
all the ghosts in the union ; a sort of 
death s head festival, with the Skele 
ton-God himself in the chair. 

Becky Smolby lived in this ancient 
house. Becky Smolby and an Irish 
female servant were the only tenants 
of the old time mansion. Who Becky 
Smolby was, or what were her sources 
of livelihood, was a question often 
asked, but by no means frequently 
answered. (^ Becky was old, penurious 
and avaricious ; every body knew 
that. Didn t she keep the female ser- 
vant for one entire week on stale gin 
gerbread and sassafras beer? JBecky 
was queer and whimsical ; this point 
was never doubted. Did she not keep 
candles burning all the day long in 
the old mansion, even when she was 
starving herself for the want of gene 
rous onion-soups and broiled steaks! 
Becky was rich aye, aye, old rooms 
[umbered with antique but costly furni 
ture, mysterious caskets standing upon 
picturesque sideboards of black ma 
hogany, great monsters of chests, 
stowed away beneath canopied bed 
steads, ribbed with bra^s bands, and 
corded with thick ropes, all bore wit- 



170 



THE FORGER. 



ness of Becky s hidden plate and 
doubloons. Becky was capricious to 
a fault ; had she been a little younger, 
and worn blue stockings, and talked 
dictionary, she would have been term 
ed a genius, and her whims would 
have assumed the shape of amiable 
eccentricities, peculiar to a gifted mind. 
Becky had four cats and a parrot, by 
way of agreeable companions, on whom 
she was wont to bestow her daily in 
vestments of good humor, which, as 
the reader may judge, were sometimes 
remarkably limited in their nature; 
while she kept her Irish female servant 
as a sort of safety valve for all her 
vapors, spites, animosities, and what 
was worse than all, her reminiscences 
of her five husbands, Buddy, Crank, 
YjDulpins, Smolby and Tuppick. 

How Becky made all her money 
was a mystery. The Tariff, Free 
Trade, or even the grand question, 
* what ever became of the funds of the 
United States Bank, were nothing to 
it. Some said she had saved it in the 
course of matrimonial experience, by 
stinting her five husbands ; some 
averred she had made it by trading at 
sea, to Europe and the Indies ; others 
stated that it had been slowly gather 
ed at home, in the legitimate exercise 
T>f a profession, which may be dignified 
by the name of the Mum-Mum trade. 

For instance, a gentleman on whose 
back a seedy coat hung very lightly, 
in comparison with the firm grasp of 
Hard-times (a modern deity) which 
was ever on his shoulder, pressing 
him steadily down, some day or other 
became possessed of a watch, or a few 
dozen spoons, or a piece of gold plate, 
ull in a sudden and mysterious man 
ner. These costly articles, the gen 



tleman aforesaid, being modest in his 
disposition, and not disposed to aristo 
cratic ostentation, would transfer to 
Becky, for a few hard dollars, or per 
haps a gold eagle or two. While the 
transfer was going on, the gentleman 
placing his finger to his lips, would 
whisper mysteriously the monosylla 
ble, Mum, to which Becky would re 
ply with equal brevity and point Mum 
wherefore the transfer was known 
as the Mum-Mum trade. 

By some means or other, either by 
the sea trade, or the Mum-Mum trade, 
or by stinting her five husbands, Becky 
Smolby had acquired various stores 
of gold and silver plate, great cheste 
full of every thing valuable, together 
with four or five houses, and a small 
court, located in one of the purlieus of 
Southwark. Becky was rich, crusty 
and ancient; and Becky, in her old 
age, had joined a conventicle, which 
flourished under the pastoral care of 
the Rev. Dr. F. Altamont T. Pyne, 
one of those independent gentlemen 
who saving souls on their own parti 
cular hook, acquire their degrees from 
some unknown college, and holr 1 , forth 
in some dark alley, two stories up 
stairs, where they preach brimstone, 
turpentine and Millerism, in large 
instalments, according to the taste of 
their hearers.* 



* For the religion of Jesus Christ, our Sa 
vior and Intercessor, the author of this work 
has a fixed love and reverential awe. For the 

mposture and trickery of the various modern 
copies of Simon Magus, (who went about 
casting out devils in the name of the Lord, 
all for hire,) whether they take the shape of 
ranting Millerites, intemperate Temperance 

ecturers, or Reverend politicians, the a 
does entertain the most intolerable disgust and 

oathing. The first make maniacs, the second 
make drunkards, the last make infidels. 



THE GOLD WATCH. 



171 



" Well, well," cried Luke, as he 
gazed upon the front of the old house. 
" The old lady has always passed for 
my aunt the man in the moon knows 
whether Fm related to her at all ! At 
all events I ll go in and see her." 

He gave a slight tap with the 
knocker. 

In a large room, furnished in an 
old fashioned style, sate the ancient 
lady, bending over a small table, on 
which was placed two lighted candles, 
flinging their glaring light full in her 
withered face. 

Opposite the old lady, sate a gen 
tleman of some forty-five, resting in a 
capacious arm-chair, his corpulent 
form clad in glossy broadcloth, while 
his round face, of oily sweetness, was 
strikingly relieved by the snow-white 
cravat encircling his neck. The sharp 
features of the old lady, all their harsh 
ness of outline, thrown out into the 
light by the tight-fitting black silk 
cap which covered her head, were im 
pressed with peculiar and distinctive 
characteristics. A long aquiline nose, 
hooked like an eagle s beak, thick 
grey eyebrows meeting together and 
shooting up \ato the forehead at either 
extremity like two sides of a triangle ; 
small dark eyes, quick, piercing and 
brilliant in their glance ; a wide mouth 
with thin lips, much sunken from the 
absence of teeth ; a pointed chin and 
high cheekbones ; a. gave a stern and 
decided expression to the countenance 
of the aged dame, which was in strong 
contrast with the oily sweetness of the 
round face, whose large grey eyes 
were gazing in her own. N 

TThe Reverend Dr. Pyne; who sate 
opposite commonly called Fat Pyne, 



from the initials of his name, or his 
peculiar disposition to blaze up in hid 
sermons was a fine specimen of a 
well-preserved dealer in popular credu 
lity. A red, round face, with thick 
lips, watery grey eyes, and lanky hair, 
of a doubtful color, mingling white 
and brown, and hanging in uneven 
masses around the outline of his vis 
age, formed the details of a counte 
nance very sanctimonious and some 
what sensual in its slightest expres- 
sion.j 

" Trouble brother Pyne, nothin but 
trouble in this blessed world," said the 
widow Smolby, bending over the 
small work-stand which separated the 
parties. " Only to think o it ! This 
very mornin I was sittin up stairs in 
the back room, with Wes on one side 
and Nappy on t other, when I heard 
a knock at the front door. D ye 
mind ? Ike was a sittin in one cor 
ner; Washy was cardin wool near 
the fire ; Abe was hanging up against 
the winder, when I hears a knock 
at the front door " 

" I didn t know that the old lady s 
family was so extensive!" muttered 
the Rev. Dr. Pyne "Ike, Washy, 
Nappy, Wes and Abe ! Hired men I 
suppose " 

"Peggy Grud that s the young 
woman who lives with me, you know ? 
She goes to the front door and lets in 
a little hump-backed Jew, who wanted 
to sell me a gold watch. Ike was a 
spinnin near the fire, as I heered the 
Jew s voice below, and Abe was a-hol- 
lerin murder with all his might, when 
I comes down stairs Now you know, 
Brother Pyne, that a poor lone widow 
woman like me, ought to turn an 
honest penny whenever she can, and 



172 



THE FORGER. 



so. cordingly, I buys watches when 
ever opportoonity offers " 

"He that provideth not for his own 
house is worse than an infidel " 
said Brother Pyne, with great oilyness 
of manner. 

"Considerable. Well, the Jew hands 
me the the gold watch and I goes up 
stairs to compare it with some time 
pieces I has on hand. Abe was a-hol- 
lerin murder all the while, and Wash 
ington carded wool with all his might. 
Napoleon looked in my face as I com 
pared the watch with another one, jist 
as if he d say d * take care old woman, 
somethin s wrong about this house, I 
do say. Down stairs I comes, con- 
siderin the price o th watch over in 
my mind, when I diskivered that the 
Jew was gone ! I say " she cried, 
elevating her voice into a shriek " I 
diskivered that the Jew was gone !" 

"And left his watch with you? 
Surely, Sister, this was not the act of 
a Jew" 

" D ye see that little drawer, in the 
old sideboard yonder ? D ye see the 
keys a-hanging in the keyhole ? When 
I went up stairs I left the keys in the 
keyhole, jist as they are now when 
I came down, the keys was jist the 
same as ever, but five thousand dol 
lars in gold, which I, a poor lone wo 
man, had saved up from five husbands, 
was gone ! The Jew took em ! I m 
ruined ! I m ruined ! Oh, Lor ! Oh, 
Lor ! And Abe a hollerin murder 
all the while" 

" He cried murder, did he ? What 
could have induced Abel " 

" It ain t Abel " said the old wo 
man, sharply "It s Abraham. I 
named him arter the First Patriarch. 
Washy I named arter Washington ; 



Nappy, after Napoleon; Ike, arter 
Isaac son o Abraham, which was the 
son of Heber; and Wes, arter the 
great and good, Wesley " 

" Bless me Sister, what a numerous 
family ! Your grand-children I per- 
ceive ?" 

" Grand-children ! Och, pelt me 
to pieces wid thimbles! They ain t 
no grand-childer ; only four cats an 
a parrit " 

" Now Peggy Grund, who told you 
to put in your sixpence?" said the old 
woman, turning sharply round to the 
new-comer, who stood in the doorway 
" Bless my soul, if you ain t more 
pervokin nor bad bank-stock !" 

" Put in my sixpence, indade ! And 
you sellin your soul to the devil for 
yer cats and yer parrit! Twist the 
necks ov em ! Wouldn t I, if I had 
my will o th creeturs !" 

Peggy Grud, who had suddenly ap 
peared in the doorway of the room, 
was a tall, stout Irishwoman, coarsely 
clad, with large hands, and a withered 
face looking as though it had been 
scorched in some fire and hardened to 
the dryness of an Egyptian mummy 
surrounded by an immense cotton 
night-cap, adorned with colossial ruf 
fles. 

" And Abe was a-hollerin murder 
all the while" 

" Excuse me, Sister," said the Rev. 
Dr. Pyne, arising ; " If I name the 
object which brought me here. I came 
on an errand of mercy. I have noticed 
you, sister, again and again, mingling 
with the crowd which weekly fills my 
church ; jthe^Church ofTrue Believers 
and Free Repenters, conducted by 
Providence s blissful permission, by 
the Rev. Dr. Pyne, up Dorkloy s 



THE GOLD WATCH 



173 



court, second story, brick building to 
the right. Sister, is it not a comfort 
for you to think, that however hard 
the times may be, there is one thing 
cheap very cheap " 

"And that s mackerel!" said the 
widow Smolby, with a delighted smile 
" Mackerel is cheap ! I ll stick to 
to that two small uns for a fip ] 
Yes, yes, mackerel is cheap " 

" No, sister, you mistake me. I 
meant grace, sister, grace. And talk 
ing of grace, sister, if you have any 
small sum about you, which you 
would like to invest in a Heavenly 
Bank, here is an opportunity which 
should not be slighted. A poor man, 
sister, with a wife and seven small 
children to support, has met with a 
sad accident. Ascending a scaffold 
with a hod on his shoulder, he fell 
from the height of five stories, laming 
a negro sweep who was passing at the 
time, and injuring a school boy for 
life. He fell upon them both, sis 
ter" 

" I say Aunty, let s have a look, at 
that watch " said a voice proceeding 
from the doorway, occupied by the 
form of Peggy Grud " Let s see the 
trinket any how." 

Luke Harvey advanced toward the 
light, his jaws enveloped in a kerchief 
of burning red, which gave a singular 
and flaming effect, to his entire ap 
pearance. 

" My nevey, Brother Pyne " 

" Bah !" ejaculated Luke in a whis 
per intended for the reverend gentle 
man s ears "You can t come it, Fat 
Pyne." 

" Have you a small sum about you, 
*ay five dollars or ten, which you 
would like to invest in a Heavenly 



Bank?" said the Rev. Dr. in a re 
markably bland whisper. 

" Heavenly Bank !" echoed Luke 
" Monk-Hall for instance 1" 

"Monk Luke!" 

The reverend gentleman turned 
aside, and spiritualized a whistle ; 01 
in plainer English, puckered up his 
mouth, as though he was about to per 
form a lively air, while a faint sound, 
like a sigh, was all that escaped his 
lips. 

" I say Aunt," exclaimed Luke 
" This Jew must have had some ac 
complice in the house. Otherwise how 
could he know, that you had five 
thousand dollars in yonder drawer?" 

"Troth and so he must!" said 
Peggy Grud " He must have had an 
accomplish shure !" 

" That s jist what I was a-goin to 
tell Brother Pyne," exclaimed the old 
lady rising to her feet " Three days 
ago, there comes, to my house a poor 
girl, without cloak, bonnet or shoes, 
a-beggin me to take her in for God s 
sake, for somebody was pursuin her, 
and a-goin to murder her, an what 
not ! I took her in ; though she would 
not tell me her name ; I took her in, 
gave her bread to eat, and a bed to 
sleep on here s my thanks I say, 
here s my thanks !" 

" Ha ! This is singular !" exclaimed 
Dr. Pyne, his red face turning sud 
denly pale "Has the girl dark, very 
dark hair, and dark eyes ? I merely 
ask from curiosity?" 

. Black as your hat!" vociferated 
the Widow Smolby with vehemence 
" Black as your hat " 

" Very pale in the face ?" said the 
worthy Dr. in a suggestive tone. 

" A freshly white-washed wall aim 



.74 



THE FORGER 



no paler !" responded the Widow 
S mo I by. 

" And you suspect that this girl 
was a spy, introduced into your house 
by the Jew in order to accomplish the 
robbery of your five thousand dollars?" 
asked Luke, in a quiet tone. 

" Don t I? Ain t I a-goin to give 
her up to justice in an hour 1 Have 
n t I penned her up, in the room, 
^hich has nt been opened for these 
seventeen years? The Ghost-Room 
as Peggy Grud calls it ! To think 
that I should outlive five husbands, 
Buddy, Crank, Dul Dul I say Peg, 
what was my third husband s name?" 
" Dulphins av it plase ye ma am !" 
"Ye see Brother Pyne, I hadn t 
that one more than three months, so I 
sometimes forgits his name. Buddy, 
Crank, Dulphins, Tuppick, and Smol- 
by ; five husbands in all. To think 
that I I should What was I goin 
to say Peg?" 

" To think that you should outlive 
five husband s, and be robbed afther 
all in this murtherin manner !" 

" Jist so. And afore an hour goes 
over my head, this girl, shall be placed 
in the keer of Alderman Tallowdocket, 
that she shall. I ll have justice !" 

f" Justice, and in the Quaker City !" 
said Luke, with a quiet sneer, as fold 
ing his arms across his breast, he 
gazed from face to face " Justice and 
in the Quaker City ! A Strange Mon 
ster I trow ! One moment it unbolts 
the doors of the prison, and bids the 
Bank-Director, who boasts his ten 
thousand victims, whose ears ring for 
ever with the curses of the Widow and 
(he Orphan, it bids the honest Bank- 
Director, go forth ! The next moment 
it bults and seals fhose very prison 



doors, upon the poor devil, who has 
stolen a loaf of bread to save himself 
from starvation ! One day it stands 
grimly smiling while a mob fires a 
Church or sacks a Hall, the next, ha, 
ha, ha, it hurries from its impartial 
throne, and pastes its placards over 
the walls of a Theatre, stating in pom- 
pous words, and big capitals, that 
THE TRUTH must not be told in 
Philadelphia rf 

" My frieno, you are severe upon 
the * proper authorities, " exclaimed F. 
Altamont T. Pyne, (Pastor of the 
church of True Believers and Free 
Repenters,) with great suavity of man 
ner. " Take care ? There are muz 
zles, and prisons, and fines, for those 
who speak thus !" 

" Justice in the Quaker City ! Sup 
pose the Almighty God, should hold a 
Court one day, and try the Justice of 
the Quaker City, by his impartial law 
Ha, ha, ha! What a band of wit 
nesses would come thronging to that 
solemn bar, c Come into court, old 
Stephen Girard ; come into court with 
your will in hand that will which 
bequeathed your enormous wealth tc 
the white mail orphans of the past, the 
^resent, of generations yet unborn ; 
come into court, and testify ! What 
say you of Quaker City justice ? _JLa_ 
your College built ? Has a single or 
phan been fed, clothed, or educated at 
your expense, or with your money 1 
Come into court, widows and orphans 
>eggared by the frauds of bank direc- 
;ors, come into court, in your rags and 
misery ; come, and testify : That think 
you of Justice, as she holds the scales 
n Philadelphia ? Come into court. 
Religion, and point to your churches 
n ruins ! Come into court, Humanity 



THE GOLD WATCH. 



irs 



and point to the blackened ashes of the 
Asylum, the School House, and the 
Hall ! Come into court, one and all ! 
What think ye of Quaker City Jus 
tice? Quaker City justice ! cries old 
Stephen Girard. Where is my Col 
lege ? A generation has past away 
since my death ; where is my College, 
where is my money V Quaker City 
Justice !" shout the widows and the 
orphans. 4 By its decision we walk 
in penury and rags, while the bank 
director, who robbed us, rides in his 
coach-and-four. Then, in God s 
name, what has this solemn mockery, 
Justice in the Quaker City, ever ac 
complished ?* It has laughed plea 
santly while riot after riot, went howl 
ing through the town ; it has chuck 
led gaily as it bade assassin after as 
sassin, go scatheless from its bar ; it 
has grown violent in glee, as it beheld 
its judical halls, soiled by the footsteps 
of corruption ; and, now and then, it 
has crept from off its lazar-throne, 
and arrested an editor who raised his 
voice for the right ; or stopped a play, 
that dared speak out for the truth !"* 

* Luke Harvey, in his usual sneering style, 
deals not only in gross anachronisms but in 
arrant falsehoods. In order that the readers 
of this book, at a distance from Philadelphia., 
may not be deceived by Luke s anti-Phila 
delphia tirade, we deem it proper to state a 
few facts. Girard College has been built for 
years, and has been the home of some thou 
sand orphans, who have been fed, clothed, 
and educated, at the expense of good old 
Stephen. Every body knows this to be true. 
Bank directors are always convicted in Phila 
delphia, when tried for robbing widows and 
orphans. Widows and orphans, plundered 
by bank directors, never starve in Philadel 
phia. The Quaker city is too charitable for 
that. Churches have never been burned in 
Philadelphia. Nor halls fired, nor orphans 
isylums sacked, nor school houses, given up 
to * tnob. Not in the least. The play of an 
12 



" Well, well, Luke, ain t you most 
out o breath?" said the Widow Smol- 
by, rubbing her hands together. " But 
that ain t nayther here nor there. 
Afore an hour goes over my head, thia 
gal, who is now up stairs, in the Ghost 
Room, shall be tuk to Alderman Tal- 
lowdocket s, and bound over for this 
4 ere robbery. " 

" Could I see the young lady for a 
few moments, alone?" said Dr. Pyne, 
with his usual bland smile. " It would 
be such a comfort to tell her, that in 
the next world, she ll be burned up 
forever and ever. It would, indeed." 

" I spect you carit see her, bro 
ther. I d rather not. Come this 
way, Luke, and I ll show you the 
watch." 

The old lady led the way up two 
pair of dark stairs, followed by Luke. 
In a few moments, they stood in a 
large room, on the third floor, whose 
outlines, Luke might dimly discern by 
the glimmer of the candle, which the 
old lady grasped in her hand, k was 
wide and spacious, the floor covered 
with carpet of an ancient though costly 
pattern, while the ceiling was em 
blazoned with a picture in fresco, 
whose gorgeous hues had been soften 
ed down by time. Massive velvet 
curtains hung along the three win 
dows, which, facing the street, were 



author, who dared speak out for the truth, has 
never been ukase-d in this city. Never. A 
contemptible coalition of charlatans, have never 
resorted to threats of assassination in order to 
put down a work, which held them up to publie 
corn. Never, never ! 

This is a great city, and its dignitaries are 
great men, worthy of all respect. 

Pity for them that their rule is so brief? 
Why not have an ordinance passed by th 
Councils, to make the dog days last all the 
year, and forever I 



17* 



THE FORGER. 



hermetically closed, by the boards 
outside the sashes. A bed with a lofty 
canopy, was in one corner ; an an 
tique dressing bureau, surmounted by 
a circular mirror, stood in the space 
between two of the windows ; a wide 
hearth, with ashes and loose pieces of 
half burned wood scattered over the 
bricks, extended along one entire end 
of the chamber, while the wall above 
the mantel, was concealed by a large 
picture, set in a gorgeous frame. It 
was the picture of a fair and lovely 
girl, remarkable for the brilliancy of 
her eyes, and the midnight blackness 
of her hair. 

It was a singular circumstance, 
which did not escape the notice of 
Luke, that the carpet was covered 
with thick dust, as though it had not 
been open for years, while the velvet 
of the window curtains, the gilt of the 
massive portrait frame, and the hang 
ings of the bed, were all obscured by 
the same thick, grey dust, and hung 
with heavy spider webs. 

"Ghost Room, indeed!" muttered 
Luke ; " why look here, aunt, the car 
pet is covered with dust, and the air is 
damp and unwholesome as a grave 
vault. What s the meaning of all 
this, any how ?" 

" It has not been opened since she 
died, until this day !" said the Widow 
Smolby, as her features, withered and 
wrinkled as they were, glowed with 
an expression of strange feeling. 
" She died in yonder bed. I held her 
in my arms. Her child lay dead upon 
her bosom. Yon hearth d ye see it, 
Luke ? The fire went out when she 
Hied it has never been Hghted 
since !" 

" What mean you ?" cried Luke, 



amazed at the agitation of the old wo. 
man. " Ha !" he shouted, ere she 
could answer his question. ** Here is 
the watch on the dressing bureau ! It 
is Fitz-Cowles , by my life ! The Jew 
must have stolen it from him ! Fitz- 
Cowles once told me, that his name 
was inscribed within the case. Hold 
the light while I open it, Aunt. Ha ! 
What is this ! A memorandum on a 
slip of paper, in Fitz-Cowles hand, 
inserted between the case and the 
body of the watch ! In Charleston? 
on such a date * Must be in Phila 
delphia, on another date. * Ellis 
Mortimer i ho, ho, ho ! We ve track 
ed the fox at last! f Ellis Mortimer, 
and the hump-backed Jew are one ! 
Fitz-Cowles is the master villain ! Be 
fore to-morrow night, I ll have him, 
ha, ha, ha, where patchvully can t 
sweeten him !" 

" Why, Luke, what in the world s 
the matter with you !" cried the Wi 
dow Smolby, in utter wonder. " You 
go on like mad. Howsomever, here s 
the Jew s accomplice, sleeping in the 
bed ! Don t she sleep sound, for such 
a guilty thief?" 

Leading the way along the floor, the 
old lady pushed aside the cobweb- 
hung curtains, and gazed upon the 
sleeper s form. 

" Ha ! The dead have come to 
life !" She shrieked, starting back 
ward. " It is not the stranger ; it is 
my daughter, just as she looked nine 
teen years ago, when she was pure 
and innocent ! Look, Luke ; look, I 
say ! That pale face, that long dark 
hair, that iily white hand ! I d swear 
k was my daughter come to life !" 

Advancing to the bedside, Luke 
gazed upon the sleeper s form, as it 



THE GOLD WATCH 



177 



Jay dimly disclosed by the light of the 
flickering candle. 

The face of a fair young girl, re 
lieved by long tresses of jet-black 
hair, broke like a dream upon his 
gaze. True it was, the young form, 
thrown aiong the bed, in an attitude 
of slumber, was clad in a dress of 
tattered rags, yet the outline of a 
figure ripening from the bud of maid 
enhood into the bloom of beauty and 
womanhood, might be discerned, be 
neath the disguise of mean apparel ; 
true it was, the face, pale as death, 
bore the traces of a long life of sorrow, 
yet were the features regular, the dark 
eyebrows, penciled and arching, the 
brow was calm and white, full of the 
silent grandeur of intellect, while the 
rounded outline of the cheeks, the 
fulness of the pouting lips, and the 
dimple of the chin, all bespoke the 
youth and loveliness of the sleeper. 

" Thus nineteen years ago, she lay 
upon that bed! My only daughter! 
Seventeen years ago, upon that bed, 
she breathed her last ! Since that 
hour, the light of day has not shown 
within the walls of this house ! Since 
that hour I have not stepped beyond 
the threshold of my home ! And now 
now she has arisen from the dead!" 

" And this," cried Luke, gazing in 
silent wonder upon the pale yet beau 
tiful face of the sleeper, " this is the 
accomplice of the Jew !" 

Luke s exclamation aroused the 
old woman from her waking dream. 
Her daughter, for whom she had 
mourned so long, was forgotten when 
she remembered the five thousand dol- 
?irs stolen from her house that very 

orning by the Jew, whose accom- 

^e lay sleeping on the bed. 



" The huzzy !" she cried, shaking 
her fist at the form of the unconscious 
girl " To steal my hard earnings, and 
arter I d given her a home and a bed, 
without so much as axing her name ! 
But I ll have justice! That I will, 
Luke ! To jail with the trollop 1" 

" I tell you what it is Aunt " ex 
claimed Luke, with his gaze rivetted 
to the face of the lovely girl " Pro 
mise me that you will not consign this 
child to the care of the Police until to 
morrow morning, and I give you my 
word, that before sunrise your five 
thousand dollars shall be safe in your 
hands again !" 

" You never yet broke your word 
to me, Luke ! You re got my promise. 
But mind you keep yours ! Hush ! 
She wakes !" 

The lids of the sleeper, fringed with 
long dark lashes, slowly unclosed, and 
her eyes, large, dark and brilliant 
gazed wonderingly around. -In a mo 
ment the glance of wonder changed 
to one of the deepest terror. 

"Mr FATHER!" she shrieked, 
starting up in the bed and gazing 
fixedly over Luke s shoulder. 

Luke turned hastily around. The 
Rev. Dr. Pyne stood by his side with 
his smooth face all radiant with an 
xpression whose doubtful meaning of 
malignancy and triumph Luke found 
it difficult to fathom. 

" MY FATHER !" again shrieked the 
rirl, crouching up in the bed, with her 
imbs all huddled together as though 
she anticipated a violent blow. 

" My child, you please me " said 
Brother Pyne, mildly. " You recog 
nize your parent. You repent your 
ate flight from his roof? You will 
return to your home ?" 



178 



THE FORGER. 



" To uie prison !" shrieked the girl ; 
" to the cell, to the gibbet, anywhere 
you please, but not to him! For 
God s sake, good woman, do with me 
what you will, but save me from his 
power ! He is my father, but sooner 
than return to his roof again, I would 
drag out the life of a convict within a 
dungeon s walls, I would beg my bread 
on the highway, I would I would 
Stand back from the bedside ! Back ! 
Back, I say, or you will drive me 
mad ! Ah ! Ah ! I see it all again ! 
That scene the night I fled from your 
roof! Oh God, oh God !" 

She fell prostrate on the bed, her 
limbs writhing in a convulsive spasm, 
while her cheek grew like death, and 
the white foam hung on her livid lips. 



CHAPTER SIXTH. 

THB POISON OF CATHARINE DE 
MEDICIS. 

"Tnis, you see, is my Museum. 
My Museum, Livingstone ! A little 
of every thing from all parts of the 
world. In that jar a negro* child with 
two heads. Preserved in spirits. Capi 
tal specimen of a double-headed negro. 
Ought to have been at Hall this morn 
ing; cut off a poor fellows arm. Took 
it quite lively. Henry Clay seen 
my blood horse, Henry Clay ? Splen 
did creature, capital action, glorious 
gait. Paid eight hundred for him. 
Make a good President ; in favor of 
the Tariff; chivalrous fellow. Got a 
soul, Livingstone, a soul, I say, and 
a big soul it is, too !" 






** Which do YOU mean, McTorni- 



quet- 
man 



the blood-horse or tne stairs 



" Ah ! Hum ! You re disposed to 
be jocular! Why the fact is, I m 
such an admirer of the statesman, 
that whenever I begin with praising 
the horse I m sure to slide into an ex 
pression of feeling with regard to the 
man. Singular specimen of an arm, 
that. In that long jar. Took it off 
the body of a man who was hung for 
robbing the mail. Hand had seven 
fingers. By-the-bye, did you hear 
that Henry Clay won the purse at the 
last races ? He didn t run \\efew ! 
All stuff about that duel with Ran 
dolph ! Randolph came on the field 
in a morning-gown ! Who the d . 
ever heard of fighting a duel in that 
way ? Pshaw !" 

" By-the-bye, Doctor, what erro 
neous notions have come down to our 
time, with regard to Poisons ! Now, 
some credulous historians would have 
us believe that in the time of Catha 
rine De Medicis the art of poisoning 
was carried to such perfection that a 
feather, a glove, or a perfume, impreg 
nated with a chemical preparation, 
would send the victim quietly to his 
long home. All fudge isn t it Doc 
tor?" 

" Fudge ?" echoed Doctor McTorni- 
quet, raising his tall form to its ex 
treme heighth, while his long black 
morning gown floated loosely round 
his spare limbs "Fudge! Let me 
tell you, Livingstone, that I have de 
voted some small portion of my time 
to the study of Chemistry. Its very 
well to encourage the idea that 
these legends about Catharine De 
Medicis poisons are all fudge for, 
were the truth known, there would be 



THE POISON OF CATHARINE DE MEDICIS. 



an end of all civilized society. Do 
vou know that there are poisons so 
itealthy and subtle in their operations, 
ihat the minutest particle infused into 
a drink, mingled with food, laid gently 
on the victims lips, will produce in 
stantaneous death ?" 

" But such a death will be attended 
with marks of violence?" 

" Not a bit of it, Livingstone ! No 
mark of violence, no sign of murder 
attests the manner of the death. The 
victim lays as though he (or she) had 
but fallen asleep. What d ye suppose 
would be the consequence, were these 
chemical secrets made known?" 

" Very disastrous, I presume " 

" Just fancy what a world it would 
make ! A lawyer picks a quarrel 
with a judge, and sends him to Heaven 
with a whiff of a perfume. Two clergy 
men disagree on matters of controver 
sial divinity one makes the other a 
present of a pair of gloves ! W-h-ew ! 
He s gone ! A lady jilts her lover 
he sends her a magnificent Bird of 
Paradise, tipped with poison ! The 
lady jilts no more lovers ! Two candi 
dates are running for office one puts a 
pill in t other s brandy, and kills him 
off, on the eve of th lection. Delight 
ful world it would make ! Tom poisons 
Dick ; Dick poisons Harry ; Harry 
poisons his wife, and his wife poisons 
the d 1 knows who !" 

"You ve a very poor opinion of 
human nature, McTorniquet ?" 

" You ve hit it ! Its a way we doc 
tors have. God Almighty trusts us 
with very little knowledge of the grand 
mysteries of nature, for fear we ll 
abuse our gift. Why Livingstone, 
d ye know that were this secret and 
most ?ubtle poison generally known, 



half the men in town would give their 
wives an eternal leave of absence? 
And vice versa. Precious world we d 
have !" 

" Ha, ha, ha, Doctor ! You take 
such an original view of things ! By- 
the-bye, have you seen my wife this 
morning? Did she expect me back 
from New York so soon ?" 

" Saw Mrs. Livingstone this morn 
ing, and cautioned her about your dis 
ease. Egad Albert, you must be very 
careful ! Ticklish d.sease that ! One 
moment lively as a bird ; the next, 
stiff as a poker! Have you seen 
Harry Clay lately? Grand speech 
that : his farewell to the Senate ! Wait 
a moment and I ll go round to the sta 
ble and order the servant to trot him 
out. Would you like to see a manu- 
script volume of mine, on the Theory 
of Poisons? Here it is in this Cabinet. 
Just take a peep at it while I run round 
and have Henry Clay brought to the 
front door. Put it back in the Cabinet 
when you ve gratified your curiosity. 
Back in a minute, Livingstone !" 

Livingstone took the small volume 
of manuscript in his hand and eagerly 
turned over the leaves. He was alone. 
He stood in McTorniquet s Museum, 
surrounded by shelves piled with sur 
gical curiosities, preserved in jars, or 
hanging by parti-colored strings, or, 
yet again, huddled carelessly together. 
The very air was reminiscent of the 
scalpel and the torniquet. Dead men 
in fragments, in great pieces and little, 
in all shapes and every form, wero 
scattered around. In the full light 
of the window, fashioned in the ceiling 
of the room, stood a grisly skeleton, 
one hand placed on his thigh-bone 
while the other, with the fingers stuck 



ISO 



THE FORGER. 



in the cavity of the nose, seemed per 
forming the stale jest, common with 
he boys along the street. "You 
can t come it Mister, by no manner o 
means !" that gesture said, as plainly 
as a skeleton s gesture can say. 

" In the days of Catharine De 
Medicis " murmured Livingstone, 
reading from the manuscript volume 
" There was prepared by her com 
mand, a poison, combining in its na 
ture, the most deadly chemical attri 
butes. This poison laid its victim 
down in the sleep of death without a 
mark of violence, without the slightest 
sign of murder, to tell the tale of an 
untimely death. Subtle and penetra 
ting in its nature, most fearfully op 
posed to the Principle of life, in its 
mildest form ; this poison was pre 
pared by the Alchemist Ellarbin 
D Zoisboigne , after the study of 
years passed in searching for the 
Grand Secret, the Water of Life. 
The Alchemist sold the poison to the 
Queen, for the price of ene of her 
royal jewels. Secure of the deadly 
preparation, and aware of the manner 
in which it was to be used, the Queen 
determined that the secret of its com 
position should rest with her alone. 
The Alchemist was her first victim. 
Among various strange legends of 
medical lore, the poison, its various 
qualities, and the secret of its prepa 
ration, have descended to modern 
times. It is prepared thus 51 

Livingstone paused. The terrible 
idea which had rested upon his brain, 
since the scene of the past night, 
now began to take form and shape. 
He saw the horrible path which he 
was doomed to tread, more clearly 
and distinctly in its minutest windings. 



He listened intently for a singia 
moment. There was no sound of the 
Doctor s returning footstep. The 
Museum was still as the grave. And 
yet, as the fatal idea rose blackening 
Livingstone s brain, with all its details 
of horror, the very air of the room 
grew stifling, and he could distinctly 
hear the beatings of his own heart. 

Ere another moment passed, seizing 
a lancet which lay on an adjoining 
shelf, with a calm and cautious move 
ment, Livingstone severed the leaf, 
which he had just read, from the 
manuscript volume, and folding it in 
letter form, placed it within the breast 
of his overcoat. 

" Close to the keepsakes next to 
my heart !" he grimly smiled, as he 
placed the manuscript volume in the 
cabinet again "Three days ago, I 
little dreamed that Catharine De Medi 
cis would become serviceable to me !" 

He quietly passed from the room 
and from the house. Hurrying along 
the crowded street, in the course of 
fifteen minutes he arrived before his 
stately mansion. At the very door he 
was met by Luke Harvey, who had 
just returned from his visit to the 
widow Smolby s house. 

" Is it noon " exclaimed Luke, 
with a quiet smile " Here are the 
fruits of my morning s labors !" 

He placed in the Merchant s hands 
he memorandum which he had taken 
from the stolen watch. 

Livingstone started, but in an instant 
recovered the fearful composure whicn 
had marked his demeanor since the 
fatal scene at Monk-Hall. 

" I bear it well ? Do I not, Luke ? 
be calmly exclaimed. "So,.-so! He 
s-noJLpnly the the Adulterer, but 



THE POISON OF CATHARINE DE MEDICLJ. 



the Swindle^ and Forger! We can 
settle both accounts at once !" 

There is enough in that slight 
memorandum to excite suspicion," 
exclaimed Luke, " but not enough to 
produce conviction. Leave the mat 
ter in my hands, and before Friday 
night that s to-morrow the fellow 
will be in the hands of the police." 

" To-morrow morning Dora and I 
start for Hawkwood " replied Liv 
ingstone, with a slight smile " By- 
the-bye, while you are procuring the 
necessary documents for the convic 
tion of the forger, we must be sure 
that he does not leave the city. Ha, 
ha ! I have it ! Let us walk down 
the street while I let you into my 
plans." 

They were walking down the street, 
whispering earnestly together, when 
a hand was laid upon Livingstone s 
shoulder. 

" Look here, Curnel you don t 
forgit old friends, do you ?" said a 
bluff voice, which sounded very much 
like the deep bass of an oysterman. 

" Why, Larkspur, is that you ? I d 
scarcely have known you ! Why, 
what s the matter with you ?" 

"Nothin much. Only there was 
a change in the admineystration. 
Easy Larkspur was turned out. Kon- 
sekence is, he persents a pictur for the 
portrait painter, and the daily papers. 
Does not he ?" 

Easy Larkspur, as the new comer 
was styled, certainly presented a pic 
ture, and a very remarkable picture it 
was, too. He was a short, stout man, 
with broad shoulders, and a tolerably 
corpulent person. His face was re 
markable for its crimson hue, and its 
immensity of jaw or cheek, as the 



reader pleases. His cost .-.me was at 
once picturesque and simple. A short 
gray roundabout, exhibiting glimpses 
of a saffron shirt, at the elbows, and 
buttoned up to the neck across his 
muscular chest ; corduroy trowsers, 
reaching to the calf, agreeably varie 
gated with patches of various colors, 
and a pair of shoes, rather the worse 
for the wear, with the heels worn 
away all at one side, and picturesque 
crevices near the toes. Easy Lark 
spur wore no stockings. Such things 
as stockings had been invented long 
after man had departed from his pri 
mitive simplicity of manners ; Easy 
Larkspur was above wearing stock 
ings. The hat which surmounted Mr. 
Larkspur s broad face, was quite a 
curiosity in its way. In material it 
was rather flimsy, being fashioned 
of common straw ; in shape it was 
singular, bearing a strong resem 
blance, to nothing in heaven above, or 
on earth beneath, or in the waters 
under the earth. Speculative people 
would have called it a shocking bad 
hat. You might have fallen down 
and worshipped it, without any viola 
tion of the commandment. The pic 
turesque appearance of the hat was 
rather increased by a glimpse of a 
dingy red handkerchief, which peeped 
from the crevices of the crown, like a 
quiet observer, taking a view of the 
world, from a favorable elevation. 

" Why, Larkspur, where have you 
been all this while ?" 

" Two years ago, I was turned out 
of the Police. Since that time I ve 
been perambulating the continent. 
Part of the time, as a Tuppy graphical 
ingineer ; I carried the chain on the 
railroad. Part of the time, I was in- 



J82 



THE FORGER. 



gaged in the mercantile marine ser 
vice : drove the horse on the canavvl. 
I attributes the present depression of 
my funds to the cursed Whig tariff of 
42. It must be tint ; for, deuce take 
me, if I know what else it can be !" 

" Larkspur, would you like to earn 
a hundred dollars ?" 

" Jist try me. I m putty desp rate 
now, I tell you. I might accept." 

" Could you assume the manners 
of a Soutnern planter?" 

" What d ye mean ? Swear a few 
big oaths, carry a Bowie knife, and 
talk about my niggers ? I jist could 
do that, and nothing else." 

"Go down to my store, in Front 
street, Larkspur, and wait for me," 
said Livingstone, turning toward his 
mansion again. " Luke, attend to 
the accomplice of the Forger, in the 
den of Monk-Hall. I ll see that the 
Forger himself does not leave the 
city." 

It was in this state of mind, with 
his plans of vengeance fully matured, 
and his soul determined upon the pro 
secution of those plans, that Living 
stone sought the presence of his wife, 
and passed through the scene in her 
boudoir, which we have already de 
scribed.* 

" The girl is beautiful" Luke so 
liloquized as Livingstone and Larkspur 
passed on their separate ways, leaving 
him alone in the street. "Beautiful 
as a dream ! Pshaw, Luke, this folly 
ought not to move you again ! Jilted 
once, and again in love ! and with 
whom 1 A nobody, who, coming from 
nowhere, knocks at old Widow Smol- 
by s door, and begs admittance, but 



See Chapter Fourth Dora Livingstone 



won t give her name ! Fat Pyne, her 
father too hum that s suspicious, 
to say the least ! Aunt Smolby, pro 
mised that the girl should noi leave 
her roof, until she heard from me. 
There s mystery about the thing, take 
it as you will, and so as I said last 
night when hurrying down this very 
street I say now ! To Monk-Hall 1" 



CHAPTER SEVENTH. 
THE COUNCIL OF WAR. 

" I HAVE gathered the fruit, and it 
is ashes !" 

Lorrimer was alone in the Rose 
Chamber. The light of the candle, 
fast waning to the socket, streamed in 
fitful flashes over his wan and pallid 
face. Thus had he sate for hours, his 
arms crossed over his breast, his face 
drooped low on his clasped hands, 
while his hazel eyes glanced vacantly 
in the flickering light form beneath the 
shadow of his corrugated brows. Thus 
had he sate, while the morning dawn 
ed over river, and steeple, and roof j 
and as the day wore on, filling the 
darkest nooks and avenues of the old 
city with the noonday beams of the 
winter sun, he remained silent and 
alone, stricken with a strange apathy 
his very soul impressed with a fea: , 
whose nature he might not analyze, 
and his heart imbued with a terrible 
remorse for the irreparable wrong. 

" I have gathered the fruit and it is 
ashes !" he murmured " Oh, would 
to heaven, that before the commission 
of this wrong, I had known my heart ! 
Would that I had felt, twelve hours 



THE COUNCIL OF WAR. 



183 



ago, now dear this girl would have 
been to me as a wife ! How she 
would have wound herself into my 
heart, and grown into my very exis 
tence ; the life of my life, and of my 
^oul, a better and a purer soul ! 
Curses, eternal curses upon the creed 
of the heart-cankered worldling which 
has dragged Mary to ruin, and which 
will ha, ha, ha within a few brief 
days, hasten her wronger to an un 
timely and unwept death !" 

" Death ?" echoed a hoarse voice 
"Short word that, but good as a 
med cin to cure some disorders ! I 
say Monk Gusty, what shall we do 
with the feller?" 

"With Byrnewood " muttered 
Lorrimer, turning his head slowly 
round and gazing upon the form of 
Devil Bug, who stood at his side, with 
his usual hideous grin " With Byrne- 
wood, you mean ?" 

" With Byrnewood or the feller, jist 
as you like ! About these times I kon- 
siders him a putty disagreeable feller, 
I does that ! He s a-layin on the floor 
of the Walnut Room, half dead with 
opium, and all sorts o drugs ! He 
won t come to his senses for hours 
yet. But Gusty, what shall we do 
with him, when he does come to his 
senses. That s the pint which I wants 
to argur !" 

" And the gal, what shall we do 
with the gal ?" interrupted a voice pro 
ceeding from the other side of the 
room " She s been sleepin in the 
Painted Chamber ever since daylight. 
At fust she took on considerable, but 
a drop o laud num in her coffee set 
tled that business! What shall I tell 
her ven she vakes ?" 

Mother Nancy, with her sharp fea 



tures and colloped cheeks twisted into 
an expression of sneering malignity, 
approached Lorrimer, and laid her 
withered hand upon his shoulder. 

"Tell her what you please, but 
leave me to myself!" and as Lorri 
mer spoke, his brow darkened with 
a frown, " and Devil-Bug, mark me 
I would be alone ! 

" Very well, ve-r-y well ! When 
the feller gits over the opium, I ll axe 
him down stairs very perlitely, and 
tell him to dig off! Vender how that 
11 vork ? He won t come back with 
the poleese o course not. Monk 
Gusty won t be jugged up for makin* 
too free, with another man s darter? 
The feller s a nateral born fool what 
thinks it !" 

" Come, come, young man," cried 
Mother Nancy, squaring her elbows, 
" it may suit you to sit here mopin 
and mopin, over spilt milk, but it 
don t suit me, 1 tell you ! Suppose 
this young chap, Byrnewood, or 
Byrnecoal, or whatever his name is, 
leaves Monk-Hall, what 11 be the 
konsekence ? Monk-Hall will be torn 
up, root and branch, and " 

" Our leetle family joys walked into 
like bricks !" suggested Devil-Bug. 
" Cuss that light, how it flares !" 

" And what remedy do you pro 
pose?" exclaimed Lorrimer, as his 
face changed to a death-like pallor, 
was illumined by a sudden glare of 
light. 

" I perpose to keep a tight hold on 
the gal !" said Mother Nancy, with a 
pleasant smile. " Nothin like bein 
on the safe side ! And then, Gusty, 
you can have a little bird to yerself, 
all in this old cage of Monk-Hall, and 
no body be the wiser !" 



184 



THE FORGER. 



" And as for Byrne wood," suggest 
ed Lorrimer, turning to Devil-Bug. 

" I perpose to keep a tight hold on 
him, too !" 

The face of the doorkeeper of 
Monk-Hall, was crossed by a hideous 
smile. His solitary eye glared with 
sudden intensity, and the muscles of 
his countenance were agitated for a 
single moment, by a violent and con 
vulsive movement. 

" What mean you ?" exclaimed 
Lorrimer, starting with involuntary 
terror, as he beheld the purpose of 
Devil-Bug s soul, gleaming from his 
loathsome face. 

" Cuss it, how that light flickers in 
the socket!" Devil-Bug calmly an 
swered, raising his hand to his pro 
tuberant brow, and smoothing the 
matted hair to one side. " What do 
I mean ?" he continued gazing at Lor- 
rime: through the outspread fingers of 
his hand " Nothin o konsekence ! 
Only the young feller will not come 
to his senses, till long arter dark, and 
then and then cuss the light, it s 
gone out !" 

The libertine and his minions were 
enveloped in sudden darkness. 



CHAPTER EIGHTH. 
MAJOR RAPPAHANNOCK MULHILL. 

ARRAYED in all the paraphernalia) 
,jf his walking costume*, Fitz-Cowles 
was threading his way among the 
crowd of loiterers, who daily occupy 
the pavement in front of Independence 
Hall. His brow was clouded by a 
. <*nd once or twice, as he walked 



along, he allowed his gold-headed 
cane to fall on the hard bricks, with a 
ringing sound. It was evident thaf 
the gallant Colonel, in all the glory 
of his original hat, his tight-fitting 
overcoat, his long dark hair, his white 
kid gloves, and gold-headed cane, was 
still somewhat ruffled in temper, and 
disturbed in soul. 

" This woman !" he muttered, 
" Gad I never knew her match ! 
Bold, reckless, and dangerous ! I 
must take care ! Dora, with her im 
prudence, may frustrate all my 
schemes, and scatter my fortunes to 
the wind ! I stand upon a dangerous 
height ! A step higher, and I arrive 
at the object of all my desires, un 
limited wealth and safety ! A step 
lower, a single misplaced movement, 
and ugh ! The prison, the convict s 
cell, and it makes my flesh creep 
the lash, are mine !"j 

"Ah, ha! Fitz-Cowles! I ve just 
been seeking for you !" 

" Is that you, Livingstone ! Which 
way are you bound? Up Chesnut 
street or down ?" 

"Colonel Fitz-Cowles, allow me, 
to make you acquainted with Major 
Rappanhannock Mulhill, of Mulhill 
Plantation, South Carolina. A planter 
from the South, Colonel," suggested 
Livingstone, in a whisper ; " rich as 
Girard. Lands without limit, and a 
gold mine !" 

" I am proud of your acquaintance, 
sir," replied Fitz-Cowles, graciously 
extending his hand to the stranger. 
" Queer specimen of a planter," he 
muttered to himself. " Wonder if 
he s keen at the cards ? I must try 
him at Faro !" 

" Sur ! Happy of the honor ! I like 



MAJOR RAPPAHANNOCK MULHILL. 



you you re of the right stripe * the 
real pig, as we say at Mulhill," ob 
served the Southern planter, clapping 
Fitz-Cowles on the back. " May I be 
cussed, Curnel, if I don t think you re 
got the real allegator eye, which give 
sich wiwacity to the phizzes of us 
bloods, from down South !" 

Col. Fitz-Cowles had seen many 
queer specimens of the Southern 
planter, but this gentleman was deci 
dedly the queerest of all. Rappahan- 
nock Mulhill, was a stout, thickset 
gentleman, with a round, red face, 
and a corpulent paunch. His dress 
was at once singular and effective, fas 
the playbills have it.> A broad- 
brimmed hat, of raw felt, with a 
round crown, and a long blue cord, to 
which was appended a tassel, that hung 
drooping to the Major s shoulders. A 
deep crimson velvet waistcoat, double- 
breasted, and buttoned up to the 
throat. Pants made very full and 
wide, and striped like fancy bed -tick 
ing; a sky blue coat with glaring 
metal buttons ; yellow buckskin 
gloves ; tight boots of patent French, 
leather, and a check neckerchief, tied 
in an enormous bow, and affording 
free play to the colossal shirt collar, 
which rose to the Major s ears. Had 
you seen the Major, thus attired, walk 
ing along Chesnut street, you would 
have said, that there was only one 
thing wanting to complete the general 
finish of his appearance ; a cane of 
the proper style and dimensions. This 
want was supplied, by an enormous 
stick or club, which the Major grasped 
in his right hand. Bending in a 
dozen ways, all twisted, and curled, 
and knotted, it looked as though it 
might have been, the root of the Ta 



riff, which politicians have been en 
deavoring to find for years. 

" How did you leave all the folks 
down South, Major ?" 

" Lively" replied the Major, pull 
ing up his shirt collar "Lively! 
Roasted ar/ Abolitionist the day afore 
I left, for tryin to steal my niggers. 
Lynched a Yankee, the day afore that, 
for sellin me some Jersey cider for 
sham-pane ! Things is werry lively 
in our diggins, jist now " 

" I suppose you ve been in a few 
knock-downs in your time?" observed 
Fitz-Cowles condescendingly. 

* Can t say much for my skill in 
that line, Curnel " replied the Major, 
still tugging away at his shirt collar, 
while he grew suddenly red in the 
face " Killed four or five fellers in a 
duel. Took em one after another. 
Had to pay their funeral expenses. 
Very low business. The Sheriff had 
the impoodence to get a warrant out, 
for me. There it is I ve preserved 
it to this day as a coorosity !" 

" Why it looks quite fresh " ob 
served Fitz-Cowles, looking at the 
document which Mulhill held in his 
extended hand " Very fresh, in 
deed" 

" Oh, that s because I have kept it 
in spirits : a warrant s sich a coorosity 
down South " 

" Colonel, if you ll excuse me, I 
wish to speak a word with the Major 
before I resign him to your care. 
Major will you walk this way a mo 
ment " 

He led the Major beyond the hear 
ing of Fitz-Cowles, and glanced quiet 
ly over his shoulder at the millionaire 
as he spoke. 

" Larkspur, how can you be so 



186 



THE FORGER. 



hazardous !" exclaimed Livingstone 
" His name on that very warrant, and 
the signature of the Mayor at the bot 
tom !" 

" Werry true " replied Easy Lark 
spur, alias Rappahannock Mulhill, 
" werry true. The Ma or swore me 
in as Depitty Poleesman. He, he ! 
The idea-r ! My comin the Southern 
planter over him, when I ve got a 
warrant in my pocket for his arrest ! 
I say, Livingstone, you re a perfect 
Ericcson Perpellar for fun, you are !" 

" Remember, Larkspur !" whisper 
ed Livingstone, in a deep and hurried 
tone " Remember the injunctions 
which Mr. Harvey gave you. At 
three o clock you are to leave this 
civet cat, and with a dozen policemen 
at ycu: ba:x. hasten down town to 
the house you know the rest ? After 
that business has been settled, you are 
to hang on to Fitz-Cowles, until all 
our plans are matured ; you under 
stand?" 

" Don t I ? Good mornin , Living 
stone " he added aloud, as strutting 
to Fitz-Cowles side, he waved his 
hand to the Merchant " Call and 
see us at the Ton House when you ve 
time." 

u What a monster !" muttered Fitz- 
Cowles " Red vest and blue coat ! 
However, there s money to be made 
by cultivating this creature. Walk 
up to the Ton House, Major, and 
smoke a cigar " he added aloud, in 
the most insinuating tone imaginable. 

" I always carries my appeyratus 
with me," said the Major, taking a 
box of Lucifer matches from one 
pocket, and a large German pipe from 
Ae other " Nothin like bein per- 
vided with these things in case of ac 



cident. Tain t fashionable to smoko 
a pipe in Chesnut street, is it Curnel t 
Never mind we re the rale alleyga- 
ters we are." 

And taking the Colonel s arm with- 
in his own, the Major strutted down 
Chesnut street, his immense pipe at 
tracting the attention of all bystanders, 
while Fitz-Cowles regarded both pipe 
and planter with a look of smothered 
disgust. 

"Ha, ha, ha!" chuckled Living 
stone, as he gazed after the retreating 
pair "The handsome millionaire 
arm in arm with a pojice officer !" 



CHAPTER NINTH. 

THE DEAD-VAULT OF MONK-HALL. 

THE beams of the lanthern flashed 
over a wide cellar, whose arched roof 
was supported by massive pillars of 
unplastered brick. Here and there, 
as the flickering light glanced fitfully 
along the dark recesses of the place, 
fragments of wood might be discover- 
ed, scattered carelessly around the 
pillars, or thrown over the floor in 
crumbling heaps. 

Every moment, as the light of the 
lanthern shifted from side to side, 
some new wonder was discovered. 
Now the solid plastering of the ceiling. 
now the massive oak of the floor, no\* 
the uncouth forms of the pillars with 
loose bricks and crumbling pieces of 
wood scattered around, and now, ag 
a gleam of light shot suddenly into the 
distant recesses of the cellar, a long 
row of coffins might be discovered, with 
the lids broken off and the bones of 



THE DEAD-VAULT OF MONK-HALL. 



187 



the dead thrown rudely from their 
last resting place. 

The extent of the cellar might not 
be ascertained by the uncertain light 
of the lanthern. It may have been a 
hundred feet in extent, or even two 
hundred, but whenever the light 
flared up it disclosed some dark recess, 
filled with crumbling coffins, or laid 
bare some obscure nook, where ghast 
ly skulls and fragments of the human 
skeleton, were thrown together like 
old lumber in a storehouse. 

Even where the lanthern stood, in 
a square, described by four massive 
pillars which, arising from the oaken 
floor, supported the arching ceiling, 
its light gleamed over a skeleton, with 
the various bones separated by time, 
and the jaw, with its bristling teeth, 
falling apart from the blackened skull. 

The sound of a footstep rung echo 
ing among the arches of the cellar 
with a hollow sound ; and in a mo 
ment, ere the figure of the intruder 
might be seen, the murmur of a hu 
man voice mingled with the echo of 
the footstep. 

" Ha, ha, ha ! While the broad 
cloth gentry of the Quaker City guz 
zle their champaigne two stories above, 
here, in these cozy cellars of Monk- 
Hall, old Devil-Bug entertains the 
thieves and cut-throats of the town 
with scorchin Jamakey spirits and 
raw Moneygehaley ! Hark how the 
fellers laugh and shout in the next 
cellar!" 

And the chorus of a rude drinking 
song, chaunted first by a single voice, 
then echoed by a score, came faint 
and murmuring through the thick 
walls of the adjoining cellar. 



" Let the Bank D rector swill his sha n-pane, 
It s pisen d with orphan s tears 

Raw Jamakey we ll drink and drink again, 
For d 1 a beak we fears !" 

" That s what I likes " said Devil- 
Bug, as he came shuffling onwaH 
into the light of the lanthern " I 
usually wisits my private partments 
bout once a day, just to see how the 
boys gets on ! This place is what I 
calls my study he, he, he ! The 
Pawnbroker in the next street ain t in 
partnership with me? There ain t no 
secret passage under ground from his 
shop to my cellars ? We don t kon- 
tract to supply so many thieves an 
cut-throats with vittels, lodgin and 
viskey ? Them quest ins is better with 
corks on it don t do for sich likker to 
spill out, I tell you !" 

He disappeared for a moment be 
hind one of the brick pillars, and in 
an instant emerged into the light 
again, dragging the remnant of a 
coffin at his heels. 

" The genelman as used to inhabit 
this konwenient winter and summer 
residence, has soffened into dust. His 
coffin ill sarve me for a seat. Turn 
it over that s right now let me 
think. Hum-hum ! Musketer, 1 say " 

" Yes massa " muttered the voice 
of the negro, from a distant part of the 
cellar. 

" If any one wants to see me, tell 
Glow-worm to show em down, and 
d ye hear, you brute? Do you 
show em in when they are down 
Devil-Bug s at home for wisiters." 

" Yes massa !" muttered the negro, 
from the darkness of the cellar ; and 
then all was silent again. 

Devil-Bug was seated upon the 
coffin, with his elbows supported by 



188 



THE FORGER. 



his knees, and his swarthy cheeks 
resting on his thick and heavy fingers. 
The full beams of the lanthern glared 
in his face, with the matted hair hang 
ing over the protuberant forehead, 
while each hideous feature, the flat 
nose with the wing-like nostrils, the 
wide mouth with the rows of bristling 
teeth, the pointed chin, rough with a 
short and stubble-like beard, the eye 
less socket and the solitary eye, all 
were disclosed in strong and glaring 
light, as the shadow of his figure 
was flung like a belt of darkness along 
the. floor. As he sate there, with his 
face agitated, by various expressions, 
all mingled with his habitual sneer 
and scowl, he looked like the tutelar 
Demon of that vault of Death. 

" My life s been a purty quiet one," 
he soliloquized. " Not many inci 
dents to tell ; passed my years in the 
comfortible retiracy o domestic felli- 
city, as Parson Pyne would say ! Yet 
there was one adventoore in my life : 
queer one, that. One stormy night, 
bout seventeen year ago, there comes 
to Monk-Hall, a rale bully of a feller, 
with a purty gal on his arm. He 
struck her a blow with his fist: I 
knocked him down. Gal liked me 
from that hour ha, ha, ha the 
thing makes me smile ! A purty gal 
in love with a handsome man like De 
vil-Bug! And yit, and yit, many s 
the night I ve laid at her door, a 
watchin her and a-keepin harm 

from her, and ho ! ho ! ho ! She 

used to say she loved me cause I 
did nt deceive my looks ! For one 
year, me and that gal was man an 
wife ! The year passed one night 
she quit Monk-Hall I ain t never 
heerd on her since ! And, what is a 



werry rimarkible circumstance, I 
never think o that gal, without m) 
heart gettin soft, and the water comin 
in my eyes ! If any other man would 
say that o me, I d sue him r ci ^bel ! 
Hallo ! who s there ?" 

" Monk Baltzar, massa," answered 
the voice of Musquito, from a distant 
recess of the cellar. 

" That s Parson Pyne s slang 
name !" muttered Devil -Bug. " Show 
him in, Musketer !" 

And in a moment, there came hur 
rying from the darkness which en 
veloped the distant portions of the 
cellar, the figure of a man wrapped 
up in a long and drooping black cloak. 

" I say, Abijah, what are you doing 
down here ?" he muttered in a surly 
tone, from the folds of his cloak, as 
he approached Devil-Bug s lanthern. 
" Very odd taste, this !" 

" Draw a cheer, Parson," exclaim 
ed Devil-Bug, smiling blandly ; " or, 
now, that I think o it, there ain t no 
cheers. Draw a coffin, Parson, and 
let s have a talk !" 

"I ve no time to stay," muttered 
the new-comer, as he allowed the folds 
of his cloak to fall from his face, and 
discovered the full and beaming visage 
of the Rev. Dr. Pyne. " One word, 
and I m gone." 

" And that word about the gal 
you ve been seekin for three days ?" 

"At last I ve lured her to Monk- 
Hall ! This morning I discovered her 
hiding place ; and, notwithstanding 
her tears and cries, forced her in a 
carriage, quieted her with threats, and 
but five minutes since, smuggled her 
into Monk^Iall." 

" More work for me, I see ! What 
was the kontract ?" 



THE DEAD-VAULT OF MONK-HALL. 



189 



u You were to give her a potion in 
her drink, in order " 

" That she might be prepared for 
your wishes ?" 

"See that it s done, before 
o clock to-night, and the hundred dol 
lars are yours?" 

" I say, Brother Pyne," said Devil- 
Bug, with a pleasant smile. " When 
do you preach again ? I reely must 
come and hear you ! Is the old ladies 
werry much melted when you gives 
it to the sinners ?" 

" Pshaw !" muttered Brother Pyne, 
moving toward the darkness of the 
cellar. " You will always have your 
joke. Remember, Abijah, the potion 
before ten to-night?" 

He disappeared in the darkness, and 
Devil-Bug was alone, once more. 

" Wonder if there s many more sich 
parsons in the world ? Fine fat-faced 
fellers, with round paunches, and 
vatery eyes ? Seems to me, human 
natur is wery much like a piece of 
putty in a baby s fingers ! The baby 
can twist that piece of putty into any 
shape he likes, and the more the leetle 
crittur twists it, the more twist-able it 
becomes ! The idee-ar of full grown 
human bein s listenin to a steam in- 
gine like that, with his mouth belching 
out smoke and blazes, all the while ! 
Yes yes " he muttered, falling into 
the same soliloquizing mood which 
had come over his soul, before the en 
trance of the Rev. Mr. F. A. T. 
Pyne, " Yes yes she was a purty 
gal, an I sometimes thinks she s a 
livin yit ! She never told me nothin 
but her first name, an that s on the 
goofd bracelet which she gave me. 
I ve got it fast fast under 
and key !" 



Devil-Bug was silent. The shc.uts 
of the revellers in the adjoining cellar, 
grew more loud and uproarious, yet ha 
heeded them not. Deep in the heart 
ten of this monster, like a withered flowei 
blooming from the very corruption of 
the grave, the memory of that fail 
young girl, who, eighteen years ago, 
had sought the shelter of Monk-Hall, 
lay hidden, fast entwined around the 
life-cords of his deformed soul. 

* Oh, tell us, ye who in the hours of 
infancy, have laid upon a mother s 
bosom, who have basked in a father s 
smile, who have had wealth to bring 
you comfort, luxury, and a home, who 
have sunned in the light of religion 
as you grew toward manhood, and 
been warmed into intellectual life by 
the blessing of education ; Oh, tell us, 
ye who with all these gifts and mer 
cies, flung around you by the hand of 
God, have, after all, spurned his laws, 
and rotted in your very lives, with the 
foul pollution of libertinism and lust ; 
tell us, who shall find most mercy at 
the bar of Avenging Justice you, 
with your prostituted talents, gathering 
round your guilty souls, so many wit 
nesses of your utter degradation, or 
Devil-Bug, the doorkeeper of Monk- 
Hall, in all his monstrous deformity 
of body and intellect, yet with one 
redeeming memory, gleaming like a 
star, from the chaos of his sins ? 

For him there had never been a 
:hurch, a Bible, or a God ! No ar 
dent messenger of Jesus had ever 
spoken to his ears of the God who 
upon the cross, for all men v s 
sins, and all mankind s salvation 
Never, never ! 

lock And in this great city, there are 
[thousands upon thousands hidden in 



190 



THE FORGER. 



the nooks and dens of vice, who, like 
Devil-Bug of Monk-Hall, have never 
heard that there is a Bible, a Savior, 
or a God ! True, when dragged be 
fore the bar of Justice (as by a lively 
.stretch of fancy the mockery 
called) for the commission of crimes, 
to which the very evils of this mos 
Christian community had driven them 
hungry and starving as they were, 
these wretches have seen that Bible 
lifted up in Court, heard that Savior s 
name lipped over by some official, 
anxious for his dinner, or heard the 
name of that God profaned by some 
witness, greedy to sell his soul for the 
price of a hat ! This one point stated, 
and you have comprised in a focus, 
all their knowledge of a Bible, a Sa 
vior, or a God ! 

And this, in that great Quaker 
City, which every Sunday lifts its 
demure face to Heaven, and, with 
Church-burning, Girard College, and 
Bank-robbery, hanging around its 
skirts, tells the Almighty God that it 
has sent missionaries to the Isles of 
the sea, to the Hindoo, the Turk, and 
the Hottentot; that it feels for the 
spiritual wants of the far-off nations, 
to an extent that cannot be measured 
by words, while it has not one single 
throb of pity, for the poor, who starve, 
rot and die, within its very eye 
sight ! 

" She wos a purty gal, and when- 
over I think of her, as I said afore, 
my eyes grow watery ! I struck the 
feller who had laid his hands upon 
her I struck him to the floor. I 
b lieve my soul she liked me from 
that hour ! Hullo who s there ?" 

" A littlf ~igga, massa " replied 






the voice of Musquito, still speaking 
from the distant nook of the cellar. 

" Fitz-Cowles niggar!" muttered 
Devil-Bug " Wonder what he can 
be wanting with me ?" 

"De High Golly!" cried a voico 
echoing from the darkness of tho 
vault-" Dis de debbiPs own den, and 
dare s de debbil hisself ! A -^ 

Dim, the Creole, in his neat blue 
round -jacket and trowsers, came steal 
ing cautiously toward the lanthern. 

" You re a purty boy ain t you ? 
What d ye want down here hey?" 

" Dare s a lettaw from Massa Fitz- 
Cowles "observed Dim, approaching 
Devil-Bug with a cautious glance 
"De High Golly! I wonder if dat 
ting hab got a tail !" 

" Here, young indoovidooal, read 
this letter. There wasn t no Free 
Schools when I was young. Konse- 
kence was, my eddy cation was ne 
glected." 

" And he hab got two feet !" mut 
tered Dim " Bress my soul, I t ought 
one foot was a hoof! Oh, massa, you 
can t read dat letter may be you kin 
read dis ring !" 

" Hullo ! the ring !" cried Devil- 
Bug, with a start " I remember 
well, that when Fitz-Cowles first rik- 
vested me to hide the Jew, he told me 
to mark this ring. Mark it, ses he, 
and whenever I send this ring to you, 
cause the Jew to, retire / Ho, ho, 
that s what s in the wind is it ? Hur 
ray, Charcoal, an read that letter !" 

Bending slowly over the light, Dim 
read the letter which we have already 
aid before the reader. 

" To think a nigger like that should 
read, and my eddycation neglected 
Ten thousand dollars about his person! 



THE DEAD"- VAULT OF MONK-HALL. 



Recompense meself for the keer and 
trouble I ve had with him ! Won t I? 
?ou can go, young genelman yet 
hold up a minnit ! Why didn t you 
bring this ring and letter sooner than 
this? You ve been playin pitch- 
penny with some other nigger, I ll be 
bound]" 

" Ha, yah 1" laughed Dim, to him 
self "Dat mus be de debbil, surfc 
nuf! I say, massa, how did yer 
know dat 1 I jis was doin dat same 
t ing ! A party ob us young bloods 
went down to see de Navy Yard and 
den we tuk a shine roun town !" 

" Re-tire young genelman !" said 
Devil-Bug, severely " Re-tire and 
rr-port yesself to head-quarters, forth- 
vith! 

"Ha-yah!" laughed Dim, as he 
.hurried from the cellar "Dis chile 
know a little more dan rnos folk ! He 
seen de debbil ha, yah once in his 
life, anyhow !" 

Devil-Bug was alone again. Shift 
ing the lanthern from its position, he 
carefully examined the oaken planks 
of the floor. The outlines of a large 
trap-door were discernible, with the 
bolt, which held it to the floor, insert 
ed in the worn and rusted socket. 

" Trap-door bout ten feet square ! 
There s a well below it a deep well, 
a dark well ; the d 1 knows how 
deep ! Any individooal gettin a fall 
through that trap-door, might stand in 
danger of bein eat up by rats and all 
sorts o wermin, in case the fall didn t 
hurt him ! Ten thousand dollars ! 
Buy a snug little farm out West, or, 
ha, ha, ha,(if there wos a good tariff 
passed by some o these cussed Con 
gressmen, Devil-Bug might go into 

the iron-works PJ 
13 



" Massa," exclaimed the voice of 
Musquito, from the darkness, " Dat ar 
Jew is a-comin down stairs." 

" Let him come," answered Devil- 
Bug. " It don t cost nothing . And, 
hark ye,the minnit he passes the cellar 
door, do you dig off!" 

Having thus spoken, Devil-Bug 
hastily took the lamp from within the 
anthern, and poured some oil over 
he rusted bolt of the trap door. In 
an instant the bolt yielded to the im 
pulse of his hand, and moved quietly 
along the socket. 

" All right ! I ll jist leave the bolt 
a-clingin to the socket, by its end ! 
The slightest touch from my hand, 
won t unloose it ? Redikulus ! I must 
get a cheer for my friend taint nice 
to give a party without cheers !" 

Disappearing behind a brick pillar, 
he drew the fragment of another cof 
fin, from its resting place, and laid it 
down on the floor, some six feet from 
the spot where the lanthern stood, 

" Any genelman a-sittin on that 
cheer, will have the hinges o the trap 
door directly at his back, with some six 
feet o the trap a-twixt me and him ! 
The bolt will be right under my foot, 
so it will ! Suppose I was to git 
thinkin on some subject, and forgit 
myself? My foot might unlodge the 
bolt from its socket in the trap door. 
K-u-sh-ew-fomo- /" he continued, pro 
ducing a strange hissing sound, by 
suddenly forcing his breath through 
his clenched teeth. " K-u-sh-ew- 
bangf The trap door *ud fall, and 
* melancholy to re-late, as the news 
papers ses some body ud git their 
brains knocked into shad-roe 
off!" 

" Massa Von Gelt, am here, 



THE FORGER. 



*.Bijah," cried Musquito, from the dis 
t;int extreme of the vault. 

" Show the genelman in, and tell 
him to walk mighty keerful, or else 
he might fall through some o them 
cussed holes, in the floor !" 

In a moment, a cautious footstep 
was heard, and the dim outline of the 
Jew s figure, became visible, as he ad 
vanced along the vault. 

" Goot eveningsh !" was his salu 
tation, as he approached the lanthern 
" Fader Abraham ! vot you dosh in 
dis place ?" 

"Good arternoon " exclaimed 
Devil-Bug grinning hideously " Sit 
down, an take a cheer !" 

With a slight shrug of disgust, the 
hump-back, seated himself upon the 
coffin opposite Devil-Bug, and quietly 
folding his arms over his fragment of 
a body, gazed fixedly into the hideous 
face of the Door-keeper. 

" I say old feller, will you smoke ?" 
exclaimed Devil-Bug, taking some se- 
gars from the breast of his coarse out 
er garment, which neither frock-coat, 
over-coat nor dress-coat, was fashion 
ed of dingy canvass, with great horn 
buttons, running up in front, while the 
wide sleeves, hung loosely round his 
muscular arms " I say old feller will 
you smoke? Here s yer reglar Pax on 
cannon smokers " and he displayed 
a number of segars in the bony palm 
of his broad hand " or here s yer 
baby-suckers wot aint got no strength 
in them at all. Take a smoke, Gabr el?" 

" I vill take won baby-sucker, wot 
ish not doo sthrong " replied Gabriel 
as reaching forth his hands, he seemed 
about advancing toward Devil -Bug 
" Dis plashe is very dampish " 

" H- ou wont take the trouble to 



git up " exclaimed Devil-Bug ai 
hastily rising he removed the lanthern, 
from its location at his feet, to the im 
mediate vicinity of the Jew " Jist 
keep the lanthern there. I likes to 
fcon-template beauty, in a strong 
light!" 

The two figures, would have made an 
effective picture. The lanthern placed 
at the feet of the Jew, threw a strong 
light over his person, while the form of 
Devil-Bug, was wrapt in a sort of 
lively twilight. The calm visage of the 
Jew, rendered even more quiet and 
contemplative by the segar which he 
smoked, the unnatural length of his 
face, and the absurd disproportion of 
his small and hump-backed body, 
which looked more like a shapeless 
lump, dressed up in man s attire, than 
the frame of a human being, all pre- 
sented a vivid contrast to the visage of 
Devil-Bug, its solitary eye, glaring 
through the obscurity of the vault, like a 
flame coal, while his short, but stout and 
muscular frame, with the heavy body, 
knotted into uncouth knobs at the 
shoulders, with the long arms and 
bony fists, the slim legs and massive 
feet, all gave you the idea, of a 
Sampson, stunted in his growth ; a 
giant whom nature had dwarfed from 
the regular proportion of manly beau- 
ty,\down into an uncouth image of 
hideous strength^ 

Around the twain, extended the 
death-vault of Monk-Hall, its distant 
recesses, wrapt in heavy shadow, 
while Ihe arched ceiling directly over- 
lead, the oaken floor around, and the 
bur pillars of massive brick, were 
now disclosed in strong light, as a 
sudden gust of wind, agitated the lan 
thern -flame, or yet again veiled in a 



THE DEAD-VAULT OF MONK-HALL. 



193 



dim shadow, which gave a dark and 
dreary appearance to the place. 

" I say Gabr el, wot a pitty, it is ; 
is nt it?" exclaimed Devil-Bug, as he 
looked forth from the cloud of tobacco- 
amoke, which half-concealed his hide 
ous countenance. 

" Vot ish a bitty ?" 

" That me and you, was nt jined 
together, with a cord, a-passin 
through our witals ! Would nt we 
have made a specymen of Siamese 
twins ! Ho, ho ! What a pair of 
beauties !" 

" What wos dish plashe made fur ?" 
asked Gabriel knocking the ashes from 
his segar " It looksh like won devil s 
counting-housh, Bi-Gott !" 

" Why, ye see, Gabr el " said 
Devil-Bug in a cheerful way " From 
all that I ever heered, them fellers as 
used to hold out in these diggins, the 
Monkses and Priestses, and Nunses, 
in the time of the Revvylushun, made 
a practice o buryin their dead in 
this ere cellar ; and a lively practice 
it was too ! They do say there was 
fine goin s-on in the old times, in these 
parts ! I ought to ve been about in 
those days! I was born artermy time " 

" Vas you porn at all ?" enquired 
Gabriel with a look of quiet sarcasm. 

"Now d ye know, Gabr el, that I 
sometimes think, I was never born at 
all? very pecooliar that you should 
jist think as I do, on that pint. Sup 
pose I was a devil, would nt it be a 
lively thing for me, to chaw you up, 
without pepper or salt ! Lord ! How 
I should like to gouge out one of 



your eyes ! 
Gabr el ?" 
"I wash 



Ha, ha ! Nother segar, 



to see Vitz-Cowle dis 



a calm decision of manner, that indi 
cated the man of business. 

" You wos, wos ye ?" answered 
Devil-Bug, playing carelessly with the 
bolt of the trap-door "And arter 
you d seen him, what happened ?" 

" You knowsh de Widow Smolpy ? 
She has de goldt plate, and de monish !" 

" Know her ?" cried Devil-Bug, still 
playing with the bolt " The old wo 
man s as rich as Geerard ! You wos 
to see her, wos you, Gabr el ?" 

" I vos, and soldt her a goldt watch. 
Dat ish to say, I made her a presentsh 
ov de watch " 

" Do I look like a werry young in. 
fant ?" exclaimed Devil-Bug, as bend 
ing his face down between his knees, 
he passed his fingers along the floor, 
with a quick movement " A Jew 
give any body a watch ! I ll go an 
jine the Free Repenters arter that !" 

" Vot you scratch your fingersh on 
te floor ? Hey ? I doesh not like dat 
noise ! I am so nervous ! I gives te 
watch to her, but I takes five thou- 
sandt dollars in goldt, from the house, 
for my watch !" 

"Five thousand dollars in gold, 
where is it, Gabr el, where is it ?" 

" Up stairsh, in your room. I 
put it in te closetsh, near te firesh. 
Vot you scratch your fingers on te 
floor ?" 

"Gabr el, are you good at rithme- 
tic? How much is five thousand dol 
lars and ten thousand dollars ?" 

" Fifteen tousandt tollars. Vot you 
asksh for?" 

Why " replied Devil -Bug, as 
with his face still bent down between 
his knees, he played with the boU of 
the trap-door " Why why in fact, 



warnings h " exclaimed Gabriel, with | Gabr el, you can re-tire !" 



J94 



THE FORGER. 



The word had not passed his lips 
before the bolt flew back from its 
socket; there was a creaking noise, suc 
ceeded by a crash and the whirring 
sound produced by the falling trap 
door, echoed around the death-vault. 
Devil-Bug listened. All was darkness 
and silence. With the last gleam of 
aght he had beheld the Jew tottering 
on the brink of the chasm, and now 
he listened for the sound produced by 
the mangled body, as it went sweep 
ing through the air, to the bottom of 
the well. Another moment passed. 
A sound arose from the depths of the 
well. It was the sound of the lanthern 
as it struck against the sides of the 
chasm. Bending over the well, on 
hands and knees, Devil -Bug listened 
with an intensity that forced the cold 
sweat out from his forehead. No 
sound came echoing up the chasm, 
not even a murmur or a groan. 

" He s gone home to his daddy " 
muttered Devil-Bug, as rising on his 
feet again, he turned, in the darkness, 
from the edge of the trap door 
* He ll never refuse fat pork agin . 
[ warrant ye !" 

f "I say, vot te teffil you cuts dem 
capersh for ?" said a clear bold voice, 
resounding through the darkness of 
the vault " Got-tam ! I might have 
fell town and hurtsh mesself! Vot 
for you actsh like a crashy man ?" 

Devil-Bug started. So certain had 
he been of the Jew s death, that when 
he heard his voice echoing through 
the darkness, it struck him with a 
feeling of supernatural awe. In a 
moment, however, he recovered him 
self and began to crawl around the 
edge of the trap-door, in the direction 
from whence the voice had issued. 



" He got off, did he?" he muttered 
to himself " Ha ! I won t seize him 
by the throat, and pitch him into the 
well ? Jist trust me with him, a min- 
nit, somebody! Why you see, Ga- 
br el," he added aloud, in his blandest 
tone " I happened to put my foot on 
the bolt o that cussed hatchway and 
it come loose ! Where are you, Ga- 
br el? I m got somethin pertickter 
to say to you " 

" No toudt, no toudt," responded 
Gabriel " Put I vill keepsh my dish- 
tance ! Fader Abraham ! vot a man 
it ish !" 

Creeping along the floor, on hands 
and feet, Devil-Bug approached the 
pillar from whence the voice pro 
ceeded. 

" To sarve me sich a trick !" he 
muttered " But I ll bruise him for it, 
I ll bruise him !" 

" I vos a-goin to tellsh you dat 
I drop mine pocketsh-book in de wo 
man Smolpy s house. Ten tousandt 
tollars in it, too !" 

" What s that you say ?" grunted 
Devil-Bug " Dropped your pocket- 
book in widow Smolby s house? You 
are a precious pork-hater, to give ten 
thousand dollars for five !" 

A shrill whistle echoed round the 
vault, ringing through nook and cre 
vice, with a piercing sound, like the 
winter wind shrieking down a chim 
ney. 

" What are ye up to ?" growled 
Devil-Bug, as his outspread hands 
grasped the brick pillar " Jist let me 
have a feel of your hand, Gabr el 

As he spoke the glare of a lamp 
flashed over the vault. Devil-Bug 
beheld the face of the Jew thrust from 
the opposite side of the pillar, with the 



THE DEAD-VAULT OF MONK-HALL. 



195 



Keen a.id piercing eyes fixed upon his 
countenance. 

" Where did that light come from?" 
.he shouted " Hey, Gabr el?" 

Turning suddenly, he beheld the 
form of a stranger, advancing from the 
distant door of the vault with a lighted 
candle in his hand. 

"I vos jist a-goin to tell you " 
exclaimed Gabriel, as Devil-Bug was 
occupied in watching the stranger, 
who came hastening over the floor of 
the vault " Tat we can rop te widow 
Smolpy s house. Dosh dat pleash 
you? I can git into te house tish 
very afternoon " 

" Now mister, may I axe, who you 
are, and what the d 1 you want 
here ?" cried Devil-Bug, as the new* 
comer, light in hand, stood in front 
of the pillar which separated the 
Doorkeeper from the Jew " What s 
yer name, anyhow ?" 

"Brick-Top," responded the stranger 
in a snuffling voice, "Brick-Top, at 
your service, sir. My daddy was a 
scavenger, and my mammy sold rags. 
Now you know all about me, and my 
family into the bargain. How d ye 
feel, old cove?" 

" You re werry familiar, young 
man ; you are !" exclaimed Devil-Bug 
as he gazed upon the new comer, with 
a suspicious glance. 
T Brick-Top, was a tall, thin person 
age, clad from head to foot in rags ; 
not ragged clothes, nor damaged 
clothes, nor shabby genteel clothes; 
but absolute and unconditional rags. 
His thin face, with its aquiline nose, 
was spotted all over with large frec- 
Kles, and a great bunch of fiery red 
hair hung over his forehead, down to 
the very eyes. The lower part of his 



face was hedged in by a thick beard, 
of the same fiery red as his matted 
hair ; while his eyes, keen, dark, and 
brilliant, presented a strange contrast 
to the vacant and unmeaning expres 
sion of his freckled countenance. 

" Yer daddy was a scavenger, and 
yer mammy sold rags ? It s my opi 
nion, young man, that yer mammy 
must a-dressed you up in her rag shop, 
and that yer daddy got mad with you 
won day, and cleaned some werry 
dirty alley with yer carcase ! Wot a 
jail bird! It must a-been a dirty 
alley, any how ! Who is the chap, 
hey, Gabriel ?" 

" A person I got dis mornin to help 
us to rob te Widow Smolby s house. 
He can git into te house, easy as 
nothinsh ! Dish young man vill help!" 

"The Widow Smolby s house?" 
exclaimed Devil-Bug. " Stores o 
plate, chests o yaller boys, closets 
full o walleyables ? We kin git into 
the house easy as nothin , kin we? 
That ud be a haul ; the Widder Smol 
by s jewelry ! Why didn t ye say 
this at fust, Gabr el ? I wouldn t a- 
played any jokes on you then : no 
more I wouldn t !" 

" Tern jokes ish very tampdt fat," 
said Gabriel quietly ; he little dream 
ed that this pleasant joke had been 
prepared by Fitz-Cowles, for his espe 
cial benefit. 

" Vot a set o wretches ye are . n 
exclaimed Brick-top, snuffing the can 
die with his fingers " To stand here 
gabblin about nothin , ven the old 
Widdey s house is a-waitin to be rob 
bed. Didn t that servant wots a-gom 
to betray her Missus, tell us to be on 
hand afore three in the arternoon !" 

" Sc we kin git in that way, iitt 



1% 



THE FORGER. 



we ? r exclaimed Devil-Bug, with his 
accustomed delightful chuckle; "Come 
along, Pork-hater, come along, Bundle 
o Rags ; this is fcora-siderable better 
than Nited States Bank stock !" 

And the three pleasant companions 
hastened from the Death-vault of 
Monk-Hall; Devil-Bug and Gabriel 
Von Gelt, conversing together in sub 
dued tones while, Brick-Top, follow 
ing at their heels, manifested his exu 
berance of spirit, by various strange 
gestures and mysterious expressions. 

" Can we trust that are loafer ? 
Werry low feller, he is !" exclaimed 
Devil-Bug in a whisper. 

" Very desperit fellersh !" replied 
Gabriel. " Toes not care for tanger, 
and ish goot mit a knifesh !" 

" Hurray for Tippeycanoe !" shout 
ed Brick-Top, cutting a caper in the 
air ; " the lots o gold and walleyables 
we re a-goin to lay hold of! All in 
the arternoon, ven the Quaker City 
as had its dinner, and all the Alder- 
mon is a-strugglin with boat loads o 
terripin and basket of oysters ! Hur 
ray for Tippeycanoe !" 



CHAPTER TENTH. 

THE GHOST-ROOM. 

"Now, Peggy Grud, did I ketch 
ye, that time ? Fill the hopper to the 
brim with coffee, that cost me nine 
cents a pound ! Hey ! hey ! Here s 
wasie for you here s comin to want 
in my old age ! Sit down, Ike, near 
the fire, Ike don t mind that woman, 
Peggy Grud! She can t help it, if 
he s crazy ! Here, Wessy, here 



Naphy, Wshy, Washy, I say come 
an sit near the fire, my dears ! You 
Peggy Grud, where did ye put Abe, I 
say?" 

" Murder mur-der /" cried a shrill 
voice from the cage, above the mantel. 

"Oh, yer there, are ye? Why 
jist look at that, Peggy Grud, the 
werry parrot cries out, Murder ! 
when he sees you wastin the coffee 
in that style. Now, what did possess 
you, Peggy Grud, to fill that hopper 
brimfull with that roast coffee, which 
cost me nine cents a pound ?" 

** Troth, Missus Smolby, an its 
yerself that s hard to the poor ! Did 
the divvil himself ever hear tell o the 
likes o this ? A hopper full o nine 
cent coffee indaade ! D ye think me 
bones is made o 1 broomsticks, and me 
blood o turpentine an melasses, that 
ye f-aa-de me, on such likker as 
this ?" 

" Don t shake yer coffee mill under 
my nose ! It cost nine cents a pound." 

" Murder, mur-der /" screamed the 
parrot. 

" Troth the parrot s a-laffin at ye ! 
No wondher! Didn t he, himself, 
wid his own eyes, see me the tother 
day, a-tryin to make some o this 
coffee run down the kitchen stairs 
and all I could do, it wouldn t for the 
life o me, stir a step ! mair be, token 
it was very wake !" 

" Git out o my sight, Peggy Grud, 
git out o my sight, and don t come 
near me to-day a n !" 

" Ochone ! We re got our dander 
riz, have we?" cried Peggy Grud, 
bouncing out of the room. " It s 
mighty crazy we re a-gettin in our 
old age," she shrieked, from the entry 
without the door. " An it ud take a 



THE GHOST-ROOM. 



197 



dozen divvils to manage us, it would !" 
.She added, by way of a parting sa- 
lulfb, as she was heard descending the 
stairs. 

" It s about seventeen years this 
day !" muttered the old woman, quietly 
seating herself in the capacious arm 
chair, placed in front of the fire place! 
" Seventeen years since she died 
seventeen years since I have had a 
fire made in this room ! Hum-hum ! 
So Brother Pyne was that gal s father ! 
The trollop, to run away from her 
own father s house ! Howsomever, 
he tuk her home agin, this mornin ! 
Wonder if Luke won t swear when 
he hears it 1 To think I should out 
live five husbands, Buddy, and Crank, 
and Dul Dul Peg, I say, what was 
my third husband s name ? Oh, she 
aint here. Dulcombe or Dulman, 

or, yes that s it, Dulpins, and 

what was I a-goin to say ?" 

The old lady glanced around the 
room, with a puzzled look. The 
Ghost-Room was perfectly still and 
quiet. The faint wood fire, flickering 
over the hearth, every now and then, 
flared up in a sudden flash, dispelling 
the dim shadows which rested upon 
the corners of the chamber. As the 
fire died away, the light of the soli 
tary candle, standing upon the work 
table, at the old lady s side, fell with 
glaring lustre, around its immediate 
vicinity, while the farther extremes of 
the room were wrapt in dusky sha 
dow. The massive bed, with its 
heavy curtains, rose in the obscure 
air, like a mausoleum for the dead ; the 
circular mirror, standing on the an 
tique dressing bureau, as ever and 
anon, it received a gleam of light on 
its polished surface, looked like one 



of those niirrors, in which you are 
afraid to gaze, when alone in the si 
lence of night, for fear a ghostly face 
may peer over your shoulder in the 
glass; and the thick hangings de 
pending from the windows, waved 
slowly to and fro, as occasional gusts 
of wind came moaning through the 
crevices of the chamber door. 

The picture above the mantel, as 
the light trembled over its surface, as 
sumed the appearance of reality, and 
for a moment, ever and anon, it would 
seem animate with a sudden life. The 
deep, lustrous dark eyes, the pale face, 
blooming with a rose-bud freshness in 
the centre of either cheek, and strik 
ingly relieved by the long black hair, 
twining around the neck, and falling 
over the bosom in glossy curls, seemed 
warming into life, while it gazed with 
a sad and melancholy gaze, upon the 
wrinkled visage of the old woman 
seated by the fireside. 

" Murder mur-der !" screamed the 
parrot, from his cage, which was hung 
beside the portrait. " Murder Fi-er!" 

"Now, Abe," cried the Widow 
Smolby, starting from her reverie, r 
11 That s a lie ! I was not a-goin to 
say murder nor fi-er! But I was 
a-goin to say that it was a strange 
thing that I should outlive five hus 
bands, Buddy, and Crank, and Smol 
by, and Tuppick, an one whose name 
I dis-remember; and be robbed, arter 
all, by a plunderin Jew; not at all 
mentionin Peggy Grud s filling the 
hopper brimfull o nine cent coffee !" 

The old lady gazed fondly into the 
faces of her four cats, grouped around 
the fire place, like pieces of Dutch 
statuary, as though she awaited thetf 
answer to her lamentations. 



193 



THE FORGER. 



" Ike-y" she exclaimed, gazing in 
the countenance of a very vicious tor 
toise-shelled cat, " You wos very 
naughty to per-voke that Abe this 
mornin ! You was so ! Wesley, 
that s a good Wesley," and she patted 
the back of a cat, whose coat display 
ed an uniform of sky-blue and white. 
" To sit cardin wool there all alone, 
by yerself ! Washy didn t ketch any 
mice to-day." This was addressed 
in a tone of mock severity, to a large 
and lubberly white cat. "And, as 
for you, Nappy," Nappy was a 
small black cat, with spiteful green 
eyes " And, as for you, Nappy, you 
don t do nothin but spin from morn 
in till night !" 

Attracted by the sound of the old 
woman s voice, the four cats, arose 
from their sleeping postures, and be 
gan to rub their sleek fur against her 
dress, while they exhibited their de 
light by purring to a lively tune. 

" Ikey spins werry coarse " soli 
loquize the old woman " I feel very 
heavy, now that I come to think of it. 
I b lieve I ll lay down a bit." 

She moved toward the bed, with the 
cats following at her heels, and in a mo 
ment disappeared within the curtains. 

"I ve never laid in this bed " her 
voice resounded from within the hang 
ings " Since the day afore she died ! 
Be still Ike don t stick yer claws into 
me, in that way ! Down Wesley, I 
say get off my head Wesley how 
dare you ! Tear my cap to pieces in 
that way! Nappy, ye black snake 
ye, will you be quiet?" 

" Abe wants a pe-ta-ter !" screamed 
the Parrot bustling about in his cage 
" Abe wants a hot pe-ta-ter ! Fi-er ! 
Murder, Mur-der/" 



" I ll get up and choke you, Abe; 
I will !" screamed the old woman turn 
ing over in bed " Yer a perfec pack 
o wretches ! To think that I should 
outlive five husbands, Buddy, Crank, 
Dul Dul I say Peg what s that 
one s name ? Dul Dul 

The old lady was asleep. The par 
rot in a fit of violent misanthrophy 
laid his head between his wings and 
muffled himself up in those very wings, 
like a traveller in his cloak. The room 
was perfectly quiet; the silence un 
broken by a sound save the purring 
noise made by the cats, as they clus 
tered round the sleeping widow. 

This entire quietude continued for 
the space of ten minutes or more, 
when it was disturbed by the opening 
of the chamber-door. 

The withered face of Peggy Grud 
was thrust through the aperture. 

" Aslaape, is she ? An cut me aff 
wid a shillin ? The likes on her to 
thry that game wid me, a ter my long 
sarvice! Wait till three o clock, 
comes ; jest wait !" 

Closing the door, Peggy hurried 
down the dark stairway. Instead of 
making her way to the basement 
kitchen, her usual resort, she entered 
the front room on the first floor, and 
sate down by the table, on which a 
light was burning. 

"The laud num in the coffee, settled 
her hash !" she muttered squaring her 
elbows, as her withered face, was 
wrinkled by a sickly smile "The 
front door aint on the jar ? Divvil the 
taste ! I ll jist craape down to my 
karner be the kitchen fire! Five 
hunder dollars the Jew prormshed ; 
and two hunder he s give me, 



THE GHOST ROOM. 



199 



dhy ! Faix I ll put em in the Loan 
Company !" 

Peggy rose from her seat, and 
moved toward the door of the room. 

" Troth it plashes me ! Cut me a-ff 
wid a shillin indaade !" she exclaimed 
as she closed the door and disappear 
ed " Faix she may be cut a-ff wid 
something besides a shillin ; sorrow to 
to her sowl !" 

The room was not long left to si 
lence and solitude. Peggy had not 
disappeared more than five minutes, 
when the front door of the mansion, 
creaked harshly on its rusty hinges, 
footsteps were heard in the entry, and 
and the door leading from the entry 
into the front room, swung slowly open. 

" Dish is de plashe !" exclaimed a 
voice in a deep whisper, and the di 
minutive form of a hump-backed man, 
lad in a threadbare cloak, with an 
immense white hat concealing his face 
from view, strode softly into the room 
* Dish is de plashe ! Now for mine 
pockets-booksh, vich " he added in a 
tone of quiet glee " Vich I nefer did 
lost !" 

Ere another moment passed, two 
other figures, wrapped in threadbare 
cloaks, like the first, stole cautiously 
into the room, and approached the 
light, which burned dimly on the small 
table in the centre. 

"I say Gabr el bolt the door" 
said the stoutest figure of the three 
u Let s have a quiet time to ourselves ! 
Ho! Ho! Ho! Robbin a house in 
broad daylight ! It tickles me, it does ! 
Now genelmen to your posts two on 
us must go up stairs, while the tother 
one, watches below. Will you watch 
in this ere room Gabr el ?" 

" Fader Abraham ! Viles you has 



te priviliges of looking over te oldt 
lady s cash-pooks up stairsh ! Not I, 
py no meansh !" 

" What d ye say Brick-Top ? Will 
ye keep watch down stairs ?" 

" Jist as this ere convention of the 
Sovreign People, may decide " re 
plied the gentleman addressed, quietly 
taking his seat by the table "But 
fair play ye mind ? I m to have my 
thirds out o this estate as the Irish 
widder said, whem she fit with fourteen 
children for thirteen potatoes, and a 
salt mackerel ! Go up stairs boys, and 
Remove the Deposits ! ^We re the rale 
Dimmycrats we are JY 

" Gabr el they re a-waitin 5 prayer 
for us !" exclaimed Devil -Bug, as his 
solitary eye, twinkled from beneath 
the shadow of his ponderous hat 
"Up stairs Gabr el, up stairs andjine 
in prayer for the health o the old 
lady" 

They hastened from the room, and 
in a moment were heard ascending 
the stairs, while their companion, the 
contemplative Brick-Top, remained 
seated beside the table in the front 
room. 

" This is lively ! They go up stairs ; 
they commence rummaging the front 
room. Meanwhile, there is no one on 
the look out for them ? Oh, no : don t 
think of such a thing. Having plun 
dered the front room, on the third 
story, they try the back room door, 
and find it locked. This excites their 
curiosity. They break open the door, 
and -find themselves in the arms of 
Easy Larkspur and twelve polict 
officers /" 

It was singular to note the change 
which came over Brick-Top s voice 
and manner, as he sate by the table 



800 



THE FORGER. 



muttering mysterious words to him 
self, in a tone of quiet satisfaction. 
His voice, suddenly lost all its vaga 
bond-hoarsness, and his manner was 
utterly unlike the manner of the devil- 
may-care loafer, whom Devil-Bug and 
Von Gelt had left in the front room 
as their sentinel. 

Suddenly rising from his seat, 
* Brick-Top turned his face from the 
light, as he bent over a small wash- 
stand in an obscure corner of the 
room. It was very singular that a 
gentleman of his free-and-easy habits 
should take the trouble to wash his 
face, but judging from the gestures of 
Brick-Top, as he stood with his back 
to the light, he was certainly occupied 
in this vital act of Turkish devotion. 
In a moment he turned toward the 
light again, and as a farmer strips a 
stalk of corn of all superfluous leaves, 
so Brick-Top, passing his hands 
rapidly up and down his person, 
stripped his costume of manifold rags, 
entirely from his tall figure, and lo ! 
he stood disclosed in the beams of 
the candle, a very respectable gentle 
man, attired in a frock coat and pants 
of glossy broadcloth. His uncouth 
red hair, hanging over his very eyes, 
still gave him a most villianous air of 
decayed loaferism, but this he treated 
with the same disrespect as his cos 
tume of rags. 

" Faugh ! How that red wig 
stinks !" cried Brick-Top, flinging 
Ins head of hair to the other side of 
the room " I flatter myself I did the 
4 loafer rather genteely ! Ha, ha, 
Luke, it wasn t so bad for you ! My 
name is Brick-Top, gemmen, my 
daddy wos a scavenger, and my 
nommy sold rags ! Ha, ha, ha !" 



Luke Harvey, dressedjn his usuai 
costume, with the paint jmd freckles / 
washed from his (ace, stood disclosed 
in the light. 

" Dressed myself in a small rag- 
shop this morning and prowled about 
the avenues leading to Monk-Hall. 
Met the Jew introduced myself as a 
ruffian out of business closed the 
bargain with him to help rob this 
house. Went to the Police office, en 
gaged twelve fellows with red noses 
and agreeable complexions. Gave 
their leader, Easy Larkspur, the pass 
key to the small door at the back of 
this house, which opens into the pri 
vate staircase, leading up into the bacli 
room on the third story ! The ol . 
lady sleeps there in the afternoon 
The police were to warn her of hei 
danger. And the old lady and the 
girl, I suppose, are safe in the garret, 
while Devil-Bug and Von Gelt are 
being trapped in the midst of their 
plunder. At all events, the police 
are close at hand ! They are there 
at this moment waiting for their prey ! 
Ha ! Let me listen !" 

Advancing to the foot of the stairs, 
he listened with silent intensity for a 
single moment. Not a sound came 
echoing down the dark staircase. All 
was silent as though no robber s foot 
pressed the floors of the old mansion. 

" Let me once have the Jew in my 
power, and then Fitz-Cowles is a [ 
doomed man ! Was not that a shriek ? 
[ will buy the documents by offering 
the Jew his liberty and all his share 
of the ill-gotten money into the bar 
gain ! Ha ! the police are upon 
hem ! I hear them fighting up 
stairs ! As for Devil-Bug, it rather 
sains me to bring the old fellow tc 



DEVIL-BUG IN THE GHOST-ROOM. 



201 



harm s door! Egad, but they re at j was moving in the direction wheru 
: t up stairs ! (jfo. doubt_ he has com- he supposed the bed was fixed, when 
mitted crimesjmough to sink a ship, his foot slipped from under him, and 



even if each separate crime weighed 
no more than a pebble on the sea 
shore ! But he s an honest oldirjogue 1 
for all that, and the Oath of our 
Club prevented me from betraying 
the haunts of Monk-Hall to the police, 
so I had to lure the Jew from its cozy 
old nooks and cells ! Pity that Devil- 
Bug came with him ! Ha ! Was not 
ihat a shriek? Another shriek a 
groan and the tramp of footsteps ! 
Devil-Bug fights hard ! He is scuffl 
ing with the police I ll hurry up 
stairs and see the fun ! 

A piercing shriek, followed by a 
deep-toned shout, echoed through the 
chambers of the old mansion. Luke 
rushed up stairs. The noise grew 
louder in the third story, the hurried 
tramp of footsteps resounded through 
the mansion, and then all was silent 
again. Luke gained the head of the 
stairway; all was dark as the tomb. 
No light glaring from an open door 
served to illumine his way. Stand 
ing at the head of the topmost stair, 
Luke held his very breath as he 
listened. A dark fear and a horrible 
suspicion flashed over his soul. Not 
a sound struck his ear, not even the 
breathing of a man, or the rustling of 
a passing footstep. 

" This is strange " muttered Luke 
" but a moment ago the house 
rung with shouts and shrieks, and 
now Ha ! This must be the door of 
the Ghost-Room " 

He entered the dark chamber, his 
hands outspread, while he listened 
with painful intensity for the slightest 
lound. He passed over the carpet, he 



he fell to the floor. 

" The floor is wet " he muttered, 
with an oath, as he endeavored to 
regain the floor " Curse the thing, 
who has been flinging the furniture 
about the room ?* he continued, as an 
object a piece of furniture, or perhaps 
a chest, or a bundle of clothes arrest 
ed his progress and flung him head 
long to the carpet. " The police must 
have had a d 1 of a schuffle ! But 
what s become of the old woman and 
the girl ?" 

Arising hastily to his feet, he rush 
ed down stairs, in order to procure a 
light. Entering the front room once 
more, he extended his hands to grasp 
the candlestick, and in the very action 
started back with a feeling of horror, 
that chilled him to the inmost heart. 

His hands, which he raised in the 
glare of the light, were crimsoned 
with thick red blood. 



CHAPTER ELEVENTH. 



DEVIL-BUG IN THE GHOST-ROOM. 

" Cuss the stairs they creak as if 
they had the roomatiz ! Keep close 
to my heels, Gabr el !" 

"Yes I dosh!" whispered the 
Jew, in reply " There i?h a light 
take keer now, take very goot keer " 

Ascending the dark staircase with 
a hushed and cautious footstep. Devil. 
Bug stood on the landing which gave 
entrance to the back and front rooms 
of the third story. A ruddy gleam 



*02 



THE FORGER. 



of light flared out upon the passage, 
from within the Ghost-Room, as the 
door hung slightly ajar. Devil-Bug 
advanced a step and listened. All 
was silent. He pushed the door wide 
open, and with Gabriel following at 
his heels, stood within the confines of 
the ancient chamber. The candle 
was still burning upon the table, and 
the wood fire flickered fitfully on the 
hearth. 

The old woman s a-sleepin on that 
bed" muttered Devil-Bug "She 
snores like a trumpet ! We must be 
keerful ! Have you got the keys 
them false keys " 

" Vich I took from wax impres 
sions, prepared! by Peggy Grud? 
Here tey ish te trunksh under te 
foots of the te bedt " 

Devil-Bug took the keys in one 
hand, the candle in the other and ad 
vanced to the foot of the bed. In a 
moment, placing the candle upon the 
carpet, he swept the bed-hangings 
aside, and drew from under the couch, 
with a slow and careful movement, a 
small chest of dark wood, with a key 
hole of peculiar shape. 

" Bi-Gott !" cried the Hebrew, who 
ever made use of this favorite oath 
when very much excited " I smellsh 
te gooldt already !" 

" H-u-sh !" whispered Devil-Bug, 
fixing one of the keys, which he 
grasped in his hand, in the keyhole 
of the chest " Be still, or I ll damage 
you so the d 1 won t know you ! 
Ha, ha there s the yeller boys ! The 
rale giniwine mulatters !" 

" Fader Abraham !" cried the Jew, 
rubbing his hands with glee. 

With the light extended in one 
hand, Devil-Bug, bent slowly down, 



and as his every feature was thrown 
out in strong relief, he surveyed trie 
prospect disclosed by the opened chest, 
with a glance of the deepest satisfac 
tion. By his side, knelt the Jew, his 
dark eyes sparkling with delight, a& 
as he gazed upon the treasures of the 
opened chest. The light flared over 
their faces, and over the rich stores of 
coin, which peeped out from among 
musty parchments, and dingy rolls of 
time-eaten manuscript. The long face 
of the Jew, with its regularity of fea 
ture, its healthy hues, and its deep and 
brilliant eyes, was in vivid contrast 
with the hideous countenance of his 
companion, the eyeless socket and the 
solitary blazing eye, the wide mouth 
and the pointed chin, yet in that mo 
ment of intense gratification, their 
visages, so widely different in detail, 
were glowing with the same grinning 
expression of delight, and agitated by 
the same grasping lust for gold. 

" Gott ! Toubloonsh ! Toubloonsh !" 
muttered the Jew, thrusting his hands 
eagerly into the chest. 

* Are ye a nateral born fool ?" mut 
tered Devil-Bug in a surly tone "The 
clink of the pewter ill wake up the 
old woman. Be quiet while I konsi- 
ders the pecooliar circumstances, under 
which we are placed " 

And as they bent lowly over the 
chest, their eyes feasting on the rich 
store of doubloons, the bed hangings, 
were agitated by a slight movement, 
and in an instant, a worn and wither 
ed face, whose sharp features, were 
rendered painfully distinct, by the 
tight-fitting cap of black silk, was 
thrust between the purple folds, with 
in striking distance of the robbers 
heads. 



DEVIL-BUG IN THE GHOST ROOM. 



203 



It was the face of the old woman, 
aroused from her sleep, by the clink 
ing of her gold. With presence of 
mind, that would have done honor to 
a General in a battle-field, she noticed 
the movements of the robbers, without 
so much as a start or a cry of surprise, 
and in that instant of silent observation, 
she resolved upon her plan of action- 
Beneath the side of the be I, nearest 
the wall, was a small chest, in which 
a pair of pistols, had been always 
kept by her last husband. Could she, 
slowly drag her form along the mas 
sive couch, to the opposite side of the 
bed, and extending her hands, raise 
the lid of the chest, and seize the pis 
tols, she had no fears for the result. 
While the robbers bent over the chest, 
whispering to one another in hushed 
tones, she withdrew within the cur 
tains, and commenced dragging heiself, 
slowly and cautiously along the bed. 

"I tells you vat it ish " whis 
pered the Jew " Dish is too mosh 
monish to take away leetle by leetle ! 
Somepody may come, and take it 
afore we come agin. Let ush, put 
down the lid, and carry off te chest at 
wonsh !" 

" Was that the old oman moanin in 
her sleep?" whispered Devil-Bug, 
holding his breath to listen " Hush ! 
The bed s a creakin like blazes. Let 
me go round an take a look at the old 
lady" 

Arising from the chest, he strode 
cautiously around the bed, and gazed 
within the curtains. All was dark as 
midnight. He could hear a sound like 
the hissing of an enraged cat, mingled 
with a slight creaking noise. 

" The light Gabr el !" he whispered. 

" I ll give it to you, you ornery 



scoundr l to rob a poor live woman, 
in this ere vay " screamed a wo 
man s voice, from within the curtains, 
and the light of a pistol, caused by the 
powder flashing in the pan, flared 
up in Devil-Bug s face. By that 
momentary gleam of light, he beheld 
the form of the old woman, crouching 
on the bed, in the attitude of an en 
raged tigress preparing to spring, a 
pistol extended in each outstretched 
hand, while a gleam of superhuman 
malignity shot from her small grey 
eyes. 

" Rob a poor lone woman, will ye? 
Take that !" she cried, pulling the trig 
ger of the remaining pistol. It flashed 
in the pan, but missed fire. 

"Them pistols is old fashioned, like 
yerself ought to have the rale per 
cushions, ha, ha, ha !" laughed Devil 
Bug, but his laughter was of brief du 
ration. 

With a wild yell, gathering all her 
strength for a desperate effort, the old 
woman, bounded from the bed, and in 
an instant, came plunging at the 
throat of Devil -Bug, her arms out 
stretched, and her long skinny fingers, 
clutching him by the face and hair. 
She hung upon him, like a living 
Night-mare, her arms gathering con 
vulsively round his neck, while her 
long nails, dug into his cheeks, like 
the talons of a vulture. 

"Help me, Gabr el " muttered 
Devil -Bug, struggling fiercely with the 
old woman " Give me a lift, and I ll 
choke her in a minnit " 

Gabriel looked up in surprise, 
mingled with terror. His course was 
taken in a moment. Closing the lid 
of the small chest, heaped with dub- 
loons, he gathered it, in the embrace 



f04 



THE FORGER. 



of his long arms, and winding his 
dingy cloak round his shoulders, 
made towards the door. 

" Down the back staircase," he 
muttered, hurrying through the door. 
" I vill make my tracks !" 

The old widow still clung to the 
robber s neck, gathering him to her 
withered form in an embrace, more 
pressing than maternal. With a vio 
lent effort Devil-Bug raised his arms, 
and poising her a moment in the air, 
dashed her to the floor. In an instant 
she was on her feet again ; in another 
instant her arms were round his neck, 
with one hand gathered in his hair, 
and the other clutching him by the 
face. 

" What an old crittur ! Not to 
pare her nails !" muttered Devil-Bug, 
as his face, and hands were wet with 
his blood. I ll give ye a lesson, ye ll 
never forgit, I will ! 

" I ll larn ye to rob a poor lone wo 
man," shrieked the widow. 

Then commenced a contest, which 
buf^a mtnate ortwo in duration, was 
characterized on both sides by all the 
malignant energy of wild beasts, fight 
ing for their prey. Again and again, 
Devil-Bug, raised her in his arms and 
dashed her to the floor; again and 
again, she sprung to her feet, and 
v/ith the bound of a rattlesnake dart 
ing on its victim, gathered her hands 
round his throat. Along the floor, 
Devil-Bug dragged her, upsetting 
chairs and tables in the struggle; from 
one end of the room to the other, with 
the celerity of lightning, the combat 
ants passed, the old woman muttering 
a suppressed shriek all the while, as 
the hand of the robber was pressed 
apon her mouth. Now around the 



bed, now along the hearth, scattering 
ashes and firebrands in the air, now 
against the wall, this desperate fight 
was continued, the old woman strug 
gling with supernatural strength for 
jier life and her gold, while Devil-Bug 
with all his muscular vigor, his arms 
of iron sinew, and his fingers, whose 
grasp was like the shutting of a vice, 
found, for once, he had encountered 
an antagonist as determined as him 
self. 

" Murder Mur-der/" shrieked the 
parrot, aroused from his nap, by the 
sound of the contest. 

" Ye ll cry murder, will ye ?" cried 
Devil-Bug, mistaking the cry of the 
parrot, for a shriek of the old woman. 
"I ll settle that business for you, I 
will !" 

His teeth were fixedly compressed, 
as with one desperate effort he un 
loosed the arms 01 the old woman 
from his throat, and grasped her firmly 
by the middle of the body. He fixed 
his eye upon a massive knob sur 
mounting one of the brass andirons 
before the fire, and, as a blacksmith 
raises a hammer in his arms, he 
swung the body of the old woman 
suddenly on high. She uttered a 
loud and piercing shriek it was her 
last! As the blacksmith with his 
muscular arms, braced for the blow, 
brings the hammer, whirling down 
upon the anvil, so Devil-Bug, with his 
hideous face, all a-flame with rage, 
swung the body of the old woman 
wildly over his shoulder, and with the 
every impulse of his strength, gather 
ed for the effort, struck her head her 
long grey hairs streaming wildly all 
the time full against the knob of the 
brass andiron. 



DEVIL-BUG IN THE GHOST ROOM. 



203 



He raised her body in the air again 
to repeat the blow, but the effort was 
needless. The brains of the old wo 
man lay scattered over the hearth, 
and the body which Devil-Bug raised 
in the air, was a headless trunk, with 
the bleeding fragments of a face and 
skull, clinging to the quivering neck. 

" B lieve me soul, the old ooman s 
hurt," muttered Devil-Bug, with a 
ghastly smile, as he flung the body, 
yet trembling with life, to the floor 
" Ha ! ha !" he shouted, standing as 
still as though suddenly frozen to 
stone. " There s that feller at my 
side with the jaw bruk and the tongue 
stickin out ! There is, just as he fell 
through the trap, and there, by his 
side, is the old woman, with the brains 
a-pourin out from the empty skull ! 
There s two on em now and they ll 
always be with me ah! ah! I ll 
not stand this ; I won t ! Why can t 
a feller kill his man or woman and 
have done with em? But to have 

em this way, always with you. 

^ He, he, he ! / begin to Vlieve in hell 
now, I do /" 

He stood before the fireplace, with 
his back to the portrait. The corse 
of the old woman, the mangled frag 
ments of a face and skull, resting in 
a pool of blood, lay at his very heels 
along the hearth. In front of him, at 
some distance along the floor, beside 
the bed, stood the candle, now flicker 
ing in its socket, and flinging a waning 
light around the room. The face of 
Devil -Bug was pale as ashes. His 
lips were tightly compressed, and his 
solitary eye glared out from the sha 
dow of the overhanging brow, like 
the eye of a war-horse, with the 
death-arrow in his heart. His hands 



hung stiffened by his side, rlis entire 
appearance, was that of a man whom 
some wierd enchantment is transform 
ing to lifeless stone. The cold sweat 
in big and clammy drops, streamed 
over his tawny visage, and his eye 
grew more vivid and intense in its 
burning gaze. 

" 1 hear the critter groan " he 
muttered, without moving the fraction 
of an inch from his statue-like posi 
tion " Somethin evil is goin to hap- 
pen to me ! Just as he fell through 
the hatchway, his jaw broke and 
his tongue out he lays afore me ! 
And he moves his blood-shot eyes 
and waggles his tongue, and groans 
an groans ! And the old woman s 
there too ! She s layin at my back, 
I know, but there she is, at my side 
the brains oozing out from the hol 
low skull !" 

For a moment the murderer treirv- 
bled from head to foot. 

"By God!" he muttered the oath) 
with deep emphasis and this was a 
singular thing for Devil-Bug to do,, 
for he scarcely ever swore by the 
name of the Almighty " By God ! J 
do / do begin to b lieve that there 
is a hell /" 

And around his feet and over the 
heart, silently and slowly the blood 
of the murdered woman began to flow 
and spread, while the ghastiy corse, 
with the hollow skull oozing with 
clotted flesh and brains, lay huddled 
in a shapeless heap, the hand contort 
ed with the spasm ~ r death,and the stif 
fened limbs fl ? v,g *Uong the bricks, in 
the crouching position peculiar to a 
violent and a bloody death. 

Murder was in that room in its most 
awful form. Like a terrible Presence, 



206 



THE FORGER. 



it seemed to darken the very air of 
-he room, and chill the strong heart 
of the murderer. The light flickered 1 
dimly in the socket, and then sank 
down, after sudden glare, and all was 
darK as midnight. 

" It s gone out " muttered Devil- 
Bug, as his heart gathered a strange 
courage from the darkness, which 
took the sight of all outward objects 
from his view " It s gone out ! Why 
shouldn t I fill my pockets with some 
o the old woman s plunder ? Ha, ha, 
ha! Why not? Devil-Bug ain t so 
easily skeered, I tell ye " 

He turned toward the fire-place as 
he spoke. He was about to prosecute 
his researches in the darkness when 
the light, which he had fancied ex 
tinguished, flared up from its socket, 
and lit the room with a sudden glare. 
That glare was but for an instant, 
and yet by its red light Devil-Bug, 
with his face turned to the hearth, 
beheld the dark eyes of the portrait 
gazing fixedly upon him. He had not 
observed this portrait before. But 
now, as the pale cheeks glowed in the 
momentary glare of the dying candle, 
as the dark eyes grew suddenly bril 



liant, and the hair seemed to wav- i*i 
float in the ruddy light, while tha 
background of this picture, the frame 
and all its minor details were wrapt 
in thick darkness, Devil-Bug thought 
he beheld, not a portrait or a mere 
piece of inanimate canvass, but a 
breathing and living woman, whose 
look was fixed upon his face in terri 
ble reproof. 

"Nell!" he shrieked "The gaf 
come to life agin , jist as she was 
seventeen years ago! Ho, ho, ho! 
/ do believe there is a God thafs 
a fact!" 

The light went out and all was 
darkness. Devil-Bug, with a wild 
yell, fled from the room, his footsteps 
echoed through the next chamber, and 
in a moment resounded from the pri 
vate stairway leading into the yard. 
Again and again that wild yell, 
mingled with a woman s name, broke 
upon the air, and then all was still. 

Silence, and darkness, and murder, 
were only the tenants of the Ghost- 
Room, while the oozing blood began 
to harden over the cold bricks of the 
fire-place. 






BOOK THE THIRD. 
THE SECOND NIGHT 

MABEL. 



CHAPTER FIRST. from the private staircase, and in a 

moment, throufflTlhe doorway at its 

LUKE HARVEY IN THE GHOST-ROOM. 

head, there stole the figure of a stout 



LUKE raised his blood-stained hands 
in the light, and stood chained to the 
spot with horror. In a moment he 



man, wrapped in a thick overcoat, 
with a pistol in one hand and a thick 
knotted mace in the other. One by 



mastered the dead and icy feeling of j one, at his heels, there followed twelve 
awe which began to change his very ; muscular men, dressed and armed 
heart to stone. He seized the candle, ! like their leader. Luke neither heard 
he rushed up the stairway, and stood | nor saw them, but stood as if frozen tc 
before the door of the Ghost-Room, j the floor, with his head turned away 
The light which he grasped flashed j from the door of the Ghost-Room, 
through the open door of the back- " Why Harvey is that you ?" 
room. It was silent and untenanted cried the leader of the band of twelve 
by human being. The door, opening i " Has them fellers been here hey? 
on the private staircase, hung slightly Or am I too early ? Easy Larkspur 
open. Luke gazed through the door- is generally too early. Why what s 
way of the back-room again and again, the matter with you, man ? Where s 
but his gaze, never for a single instant, the old woman, and the gal ? Strike 
wandered into the Ghost-Room, whose me stoopid, if you haint strucK 
opened door laid its Secret bare to his dumb !" 

glance. Luke silently pointed to the Ghost- 

He stood at the door with the light Room. 

in his hand, trembling with a strange Larkspur seized the candle and, 
fear, but he dared not enter the followed by the twelve police officers, 
room. hurriedly rushed into the chamber. 



Even as he stood, footsteps, hushed 
end softened, came echoing faintly 



There was a pause for a single mo 
ment, and then from every man them 



14 207 



808 



MABEL. 



yelled one involuntary and awful 
shriek of horror. 

By G d we re too late !" mut 
tered Larkspur, in a voice whose em- 
phasis of horror was in fearful contrast 
with his usual devil-may-care tones 
" The party has been here afore us, 
and finished their job !" 

" Didn t I tell you " cried a Police 
Officer " That the feller, whom we 
saw shinnin it down the alley, as we 
came in the gate, was one of the party 
from this house?" 

" May I be hung for stealin* a tooth 
pick from a match boy, if this aint a 
leetle a-head of my time !" exclaimed 
Larkspur, and Luke could hear him, 
walking hurriedly up and down the 
room " Too late, boys, too late, by 
G d !" 

Luke gathered nerve for a sight of 
horror, and slowly advancing into the 
room, pushed through the band of po 
lice officers, and gazed upon the 
mangled corse " Here s some of the 
fruits of my d d plot to catch the 
thieves " he said in a husky voice, 
as he gazed upon the shapeless mass\ 
which but five minutes before, had been 
a living and breathing creature 
" Larkspur I thought that you were 
hidden in the backroom, when I first 
entered the house : but no matter. It s 
all over now " 

His face was white as the death - 
shroud, and his upper lip trembled 
with an involuntary movement. 

" Larkspur " he said in a voice 
which did not rise above a whisper 
" Search this room, and see and 
see if there is not another another 
corpse !" 

"Och, Whilaloo! Cchone! Ochone! 



Murtherin th-a-aves in the house o? 
me misthress ! Ochone !" a voice 
came echoing from the main stairway 
of the mansion " Ochone ! We re 
ruinated and kilt intirely ! Heard ye 
iver the likes o this ?" 

Peggy Grud came rushing into the 
room, her hair flying about her head 
in wild disorder, while with her clasp 
ed hands upraised, she rent the air 
with a succession of vivid shrieks. 
The Police officers were between her 
and the fireplace, and the fearful ob 
ject, laid along the floor, did not 
meet her eyesight. 

" Will ye git out o this, ye mur- 
therin blaggards ? Where s my mis 
thress? Ochone Ochone! Th-a-aves! 
I ll riz the nabor ud on ye Where s 
me misthress ?" 

Luke silently pushed the police 
officers aside, and taking Peggy Grud 
by the hand, led her forward. 

" There " he cried fixing his 
snake-like eye upon her, with a glance 
which she dared not face " There is 
your Mistress !" 

" Murder, Murder /" cried the Par 
rot, rustling about in the cage abovo 
the mantel piece. 

Peggy Grud looked down upon the 
corse, and then leaped into the very 
air, with a start of unfeigned horror. 
Uttering shriek after shriek, no longer 
feigned by shrewd hypocrisy, but 
wrung from her bosom, by the hor 
rible sight of the ghastly corse, com 
bined with her own guiity fears, Peggy 
Grud, sank in a kneeling position 
with her face averted from the dead 
body, while she tore her hair, in very 
madness. 

" Who ses I did the murther ? she 



DORA AND LUKE. 



209 



fthi*eked "It s a lie! It s a lie! Who 
ses I did the murther ? It is a lie as 
black as hell ! Och ochone !" 

" Yer a purty pictur aint you V 
cried Larkspur advancing from the 
throng of police officers "Yer a 
purty thing, aint ye? You ll be in all 
the papers, now wont you 1 Oh, git 
?rt, ye ugly cripple ! Ye ll have your 
portr it in the Black Mail, with these 
verds below "Peggy Orud the 
murderer of her missus. 1 And they ll 
have an account of yer trial in the 
Ledger and the Chronicle, vith full 
descriptions of yer relations, and yer 
family affairs ! Oh, ye 11 become a 
public karacter ye will ! I ll tell you 
what it is, fellers, there s none of ye 
can ever say, that you ever heered of 
Easy Larkspur bein seized with an 
affecshun o wafer in the eyes, but 
d n them werry eyes, but if that 
sight doesn t beat me out ! To see an 
ole v/oman murdered by an hired gal, 
while the werry cats, vich the ole wo 
man, fed with her own hand, comes 
a-weepin round her corpse " 

True it was that the favorites of the 
old lady who in the first uproar of the 
contest, between her and Devil-Bug, 
had slunk away into the nooks and 
crannies of the room, now stole 
forth from their hiding places, and 
came purring and moaning round the 
\shapeless corse. ^They walked in 
the old woman s blood, picking her 
dress with their claws, as though to 
arouse her from slumber, while they 
looked up in the faces of the bystand 
ers, with an expression of brute an 
guish, more painful to see, than the 
deepest agony of a human counte 
nance, for the human countenance 



has a tongue to speak, while the brute 
can only look and mourn. 

Ike, the tortise-shell cat, and Wes 
ley the blue-and-white cat to give 
them the fanciful names, by which the 
old lady knew them Nappy, the 
black cat with snake-like eyes, and 
Washy the lubberly white cat, with a 
sleepy look, all walked round the dead 
body, staining their feet in the thick 
blood, while with moan after moan, 
they picked the torn dress of the old 
woman, with their claws, and seemed 
urging her to rise. 

" Genelmen aint that a sight for 
you?" cried Larkspur in a tone of 
feeling. No one replied. Luke stood 
beside the corpse with his head droop 
ed over his folded arms. 

" Genelmen aint that a sight for 
you ? Here the cats and the hired gal .! 
The old woman fed em all ! The 
hired gal murders her missus the 
cats mourn for the death o their mis 
sus ! Aint that a sight genelmen ?" 

"Ochone Ochone!" screamed Peg- 
gy Grud " What have I done ? Jist 
tell me anybody, what have I done ?" 

" Murder, Mur-der /" screamed the 
Parrot, from his cage " Mur-der /" 



CHAPTER SECOND. 

DORA AND LUKE. 

" No sign of violence, no mark of 
murder, to tell the story of an untimely 
death ! The victim will lay, calm arid 
motionless, as though he had but re- 
signed himself to a pleasant slumber! 
One moment his cheek glows with 



$10 



MABEL. 



health let but a drop from this phial, 
uas his lips, and his face, will take 
the hue of ashes, his heart grow cold 
and lifeless ! The world, ha, ha, ha ! 
The world, will wonder and stare, and 
the Doctor, nodding sagely all the 
while, will aver, by all the knowledge 
of his craft, that Livingstone, came to 
his death, through the natural result 
of the fatal disease, which has been 
gathering round his heart for years ! 

" I, alone, will hold the mystery of 
his death, locked fast among the se 
crets of my bosom !" 

Dora Livingstone was alone. Alone 
in that gorgeous chamber, which Li 
vingstone had delighted to crowd with 
the evidences of his wealth. Situated 

r m a central part of his mansion, it 
was illumined by a splendid chan 
delier, whose price, told in round 
heaps of dollars, would have bought 
you a seat in Congress, or wrung 

{Justice, from the most impartial Bench. 
The light of the chandelier, sub 
dued and softened, by thick shades of 
costly glass, fell around the chamber 
with the effect of moonlight, disclosing 
rhe satin hangings, which concealed 
the lofty walls, the gorgeous^ carpet 
laid along the floor, and the splendid 
furniture, which gave an appearance 
of extreme luxury to the place. 
The wide hearth, surmounted by a 
mantel, adorned with vases of ala 
baster, was enlivened by the glow of 
a cheerful wood-fire, whose gleams, 
now shot flashingly along the room, 
and now died away, into a steady and 
cheerful blaze. All around the walls, 
among the hangings of crimson satin, 
oictures in gorgeous frames, received 
rhe glow of the chandelier full on their 



canvass, every inch of which, had 
been made immortal by the hand of 
one of the Painter-Genii of the old 
world. Venus rising from the bath, 
fresh in the lustre of her charms, 
Apollo erect in the glory of youthful 
manhood, Daphne awaiting the ap 
proach of the god, Eve bending over 
the fountain, in whose clear waves, 
she saw another Eve, radiant as her 
self; such were a few of the figures, 
beaming from the pictures, hung along 
the walls, with the rich folds of the 
satin hangings falling carelessly aside 
from their heavy frames. 

The chamber, we say, was crowd 
ed with ^evidences of Livingstone s. * 
wealth. 7 On the centre-table of rich 
Mosaic were caskets of ebony, glitter 
ing with the jewels of Dora, the Mer 
chant s wife ; rajejuriosities, prized 
and costly from their very variety ; 
vases of alabaster; antique gems, 
rich with the fairy-sculpture of some 
classic Artist ; and all the costly spoils 
which gold, that conqueror and dis- 
poiler of Art, more unrelenting than 
the Goth or Corsican, had won from 
the galleries and cabinets of Rome and 
Florence. The carpet, whose gor 
geous hues overspread the floor, con 
sidered by itself alone, was worth the 
price of a first rate statesman, as j 
statesmen are valued in the political \ 
market; while the elegant sofa and ^ 
the chairs, elaborate with Gothic 
work, and embroidery, turned into 
gold, would have bought up a dozen 
patriots of the common order. Alto 
gether, the room was full of wealth, 
luxury, and splendor, and here it 
was that Dora, uncompanioned savo 
by her own dark thoughts, had retired 






DORA AND LUKE 



*** 

HI 



to arrange her plans and hasten on 
the fatal crime, on whose result she 
nad perilled her soul. 

Bu. in hour returned from the 
Theatre, where she had shone among 
the magnates of the Quaker City no 
bility, she had thrown aside her costly 
robes and assumed a garb, whose 
loose folds, gathering gently around 
her queenly form, displayed her 
beauty to more advantage than all 
the silks of France, or costumes of an 
imperial Court. 

Seated in that article of furniture 
peculiarly American, a rocking chair, 
with her head thrown back, her eyes 
upturned with their lids half-closed, 
while her dark tresses, released from 
comb or braid, fell carelessly over 
her shoulders, the lady was enrobed 
in a gown of faint azure satin, whose 
ample development of shape or 
want of shape wide sleeves and 
swelling folds, gathered round her 
bust, and waist, and limbs, with a 
voluptuous adaptation to every out 
line of her faultless form. 

Her arms were crossed carelessly 
over her bosom, while the softened 
light of the chandelier fell warmly 
over the whiteness of her small hands 
and rounded shoulders ; snowy and 
roseate as alabaster, tinged by the 
flush of daybreak. Her feet, in all 
their delicate outlines, unconfined by 
slipper or stocking, peeped from the 
heavy folds of her night-robe, white 
as Parian marble, and quite as beau- 
tifu ,_ in their proportions as these from 
which Canova modelled the feet of 
his Venus. 

Certainly a beautiful woman is the 
greatest wonder of God s universe! 
Certainty the remarkable combination 



of beauties, presented by her form, 
the outlines, rounded and flowing, 
whether manifested in the fulness of 
the bust or the faultless symmetry of 
the limbs ; the various hues which are 
combined in her person, the deep 
black of her hair, the soft rose tint of 
her cheek and lips, the alabaster of 
her hands and neck and shoulders, 
the lustrous darkness of her eye, and 
the blackness of her brows and 
lashes ; the magic of her walk, each 
limb moving in as much harmony 
with the general effect, as the star 
circling in its orbit, compares in the 
regularity of its motion with star; 
certainty, we say, these beauties and 
graces afford more convincing proof 
of God s power, than the whole uni 
verse combined ! 

But then, when we add to these, the 
attractions of her soul, that strange 
magnetism of her look, which en 
chains and fascinates, that varied in 
tonation of voice, which can awe us 
in a whisper, or bring us to ruin with 
a word, that power to flatter, to glose 
a falsehood and cover the naked 
blackness of a lie with such a delicate 
surface of ivoried -fiction ; when we 
remember that by the pressure of her 
hand, slight, warm and thrilling, she 
can lure the Preacher from his pul 
pit, the Statesman from his solemn 
thoughts, the grave Justice from his 
Bench ; itjbecpmes a wonder, why that 
most wonderful of all things, a beauti 
ful woman, was ever permitted by the 
Creator to have the power of evi) 
entrusted to her nature ! 

Here we have Dora Livingstone 
sitting in yonder rocking chair by the 
light of that splendid chandelier, as 



212 



MABEL. 






beautiful as God s own light, and yet, 
in her heart, as corrupt as the black 
ness of hell ! Is she not beautiful ? 
Mark the head, thrown backward, 
the soft flush warming over her face, 
the half-closed lids, the parted lips, 
so rich, so small, and yet so full and 
ripe in their redness and shape ; mark 
the glossy blackness of her hair, 
sweeping down in careless clusters to 
her shoulders, and those very shoul 
ders ! how round their outline, how 
soft their surface, how bewitching 
that dimple, indenting itself like a 
living smile into the centre of each 
shoulder, just where the full arms are 
joined to the queenly bust ! Ah-ha [ 
The bust ! How it heaves beneath 
the careless folds of the satin gown 
slowly, slowly, higher and yet higher, 
like a wave hidden by a snow-flake ! 

The hands lightly crossed over that 
bosom, the tapering fingers, the dim 
ples along the surface of the white 
skin, where the fingers, join the hand 
itself, the clear nails, tinged with a 
circle of deep red around their edges ! 
That glimpse of a wrist and an arm, 



disclosed by the wide 
falls, carelessly aside ! 



sleeve, as it 
The slender 



waist, its shape revealed by the volup 
tuous (a good word for any thing tha.t 
is easy in position, swelling in outline, 
bewitching in general effect) folds 
of the satin robe ! The full pro 
portions of the lower part of her form, 
suggest mingled ideas of stateliness 
ripeness and beauty ; pleasant images 
of white swans, smiling grandly 
waters, ripe peaches, 



over smooth 
heavy from 



their 



very ripeness. 



hanging lusciously from some bend 
ing bough; or soft daybreaks, or 
lovely sunsets, or still midnights, or 



indeed any thing, whose beauty a 
without comparison ! 

And then, the feet ! Ha, ha, we 
have come down to the feet, and these, 
let me tell you, are not the most con 
temptible of Dora s beauties ! The 
high instep do smile at our minute 
ness the long and narrow form, the 
shape of the toes, the nails, like the 
fingers, tinged, each of them, with a 
deep circlet of red ! 

A look at the face, again ! Do not 
those red lips, with glimpses of the 
ivory teeth, stealing out upon you, 
from the interval of the moist vermi 
lion, do they not, look as though they 
were but made for a man to kiss once, 
and then die ? The eye&--gleamin JT 
between the half-closed lids, beaming 
from the shadow of the long an<r 
trembling lashes, how beautiful they 
are, as veiled in a lustrous moisture, 
a mist-like dimness, they indicate the 
soul, absorbed in a reverie ! The 
broad forehead (a thing we do no,* 
always like to see in woman) the dark 
eyebrows, the regularly shaped nose 
Grecian with the slightest inclination, 
toward the aquiline the firm, round 
chin ha, ha ! 

Here s a beautiful woman, sitting 
easily in the rocking-chair, as a good 
wife, who has not a single bad thought 
should sit, and yet this beautiful wo 
man*, is already in heart a Murderess ! 

Already false to the Honor of her 
husband, she now would assail his 
Life! And she, so beautiful, so queenly 
and so like the impersonation of a pure 
Thought in every outline of her form ! 
And this, was once a confiding, loving, 
and boasting girl ; but the Canker of 
Ambition, has warmed itself into her 
Soul, the atmosphere of Sensuality, has 



DORA AND LUKE. 



213 






changed her inner nature, while her 
outward beauties remain the same ! 
Alas ! Alas ! Why did not Eve stay 
at home in the garden of Eden, and 
refrain from wandering about, she 
knew not whither, and plucking for 
bidden fruit, and listening to handsome 
serpents ? Ever since that fatal hour, 
too many of her fair daughters, have 
not only plucked, but turned them 
selves into, forbidden fruit; not only 
listened to handsome serpents, but 
[ transformed themselves into very 
/ snakes, whose venom of sting, is but 
1 ill-recompensed by their glittering and 
brilliant exterior ! 

; No mark of violence, no sign of 
murder, to tell the story of an untimely 
death !" the thought, flashed over the 
mind of the wife, but did not shape 
itself into words " The world, will 
say, he died of that fatal disease, 
which threatened him for years 



claimed looking At her watch. "You 
may bring in the coffee, Thomas." 

" Coffee for you and Mr. Living 
stone 1 Yes ma am " 

Mrs Livingstone was alone again. 
Raising her form languidly from the 
half-reclining position, in which she 
had lain, Dora, lifted her right hand, 
slowly to her very eyes, and gazed 
intently upon a small phial, clasped 
between her delicate fingers. The 
phial not larger, than the most delicate 
finger on her snowy hand, was filled 
with a liquid, clear as crystal, which 
sparkled like a star, within the glas? 
as she raised it in the light. Wrap 
ping her spotless handkerchief, care 
fully around it, as ladies are wont to 
do, with their smelling bottles, Dora 
again relapsed into her half-reclining 
position on the back of the rocking 
chair. 

" A drop, fresh from the phiai, 
mingled with any liquid is sure to kill ! 



Dora of Lyndeswold, ha, ha ! *Alger- But it must be applied, the moment 



non, thinks he can mould me to his 
slightest purpose ! What is the block 
of marble, should seize the chissel, 
and change places, with the Sculptor?" 

Extending her hand, she lifted the 
small bell, from the white cloth of the 
table at her side. A moment, and the 
silvery sound of the bell, rung round 
the room. 

The servant in Livery, presented 
himself at the door. 

" Did you ring, Ma am ?" 

* What time did Mr. Livingstone 
say he would return home ?" exclaim 
ed Dora, without turning her eyes, in 
the direction of the door, which was 
behind the back of her chair. 

" Ha past ten ma arn." 



ere the victim drinks, or it is harm 
less ! That paper of the Doctor s did 
me good service thanks to the cant 
of the day, which educates young 
girls, as though they were intended 
for any thing else, but wives or mo 
thers, I learned something of chymist- 
ry at Boarding school,; that was before 
father died. To day, I have dis 
patched twenty servants, twenty dif 
ferent ways, for the various drugs, 
with which to prepare in liquid : sus 
picion, cannot lay a finger s weight 
upon me !" 

" Coffee ma am, for you and Mr, 
Livingstone, Ma am " said Thomas, 
entering with two porcelain cups 
smoking with coffee which he placeo 



" It is now half-past ten." she ex- upon the smaU table, beside her cha4r. 



MABEL. 



This done, Thomas, who looked as 
though he had been born in his grey 
and velvet livery, with but the power of 
saying yes ma am, no ma am, retired 
from the room, in the same formal man 
ner, which had marked his entrance. 
Dora relapsed into her reverie, 
again. A footstep sounded in the en 
try, leading to the chamber. Her 
frame, quivered with a slight start, 
but in an instant, she sank into the 
?<hair again, with her head thrown 
backward on the soft velvet cushion 
ing. Another moment and the foot 
step grew nearer. 

" It is he !" she muttered, and 
with an effort, maintained her care 
less, half-slumbering attitude. As 
she spoke, the door opened, and she 
heard the pressure of the footstep 
upon the carpet. 

"My dear, you have been absent 
very long " said Dora, languidly, 
without moving from her position. 

A slight, yet deep-toned laugh, 
echoing behind her chair, was the 
only answer she received from the 
new-comer. 

" Ha ! I should know that laugh " 
she cried, starting, " Luke Harvey !" 
she murmured as she beheld the form 
of the stranger " Luke Harvey, and 
at this hour ! That man is my evil 
fate !" 

" Excuse this intrusion, madam " 
exclaimed Luke, advancing with a 
slight bow " Mr. Livingstone made 
an appointment to meet me at this 
hour. He is not in, T preceive?" 

" Mr. Livingstone is not at home !" 

exclaimed Dora, rising, even in her 

drshabille, with an air of freezing po- 

iteness. 

"Oh, well, well " replied Luke 



ixing his dark eyes upon her beaut* 
ul face "Well, well, it makes DO 
lifference. I m one of that class who 
can either wait or be * put off " 

And as he spoke, with the coolest 
manner in the world, he drew a chair 
and sate down on the opposite side of 
he table. Dora gazed upon him in 
utter surprise. With one hand she 
seized her dark tresses and bound 
hem up within her comb, while with 
an instinctive movement, she with 
drew her naked feet under the shadow 
of her satin night-robe. 

" Ha !" cried Luke, sleepily, with 
a slight yawn, as he drummed on his 
bat with his fingers " Ha ! hum ! 
Cool evening, ma am !" 

" Sir " exclaimed Dora, as her 
3roud form towered proudly erect 
* This is my private chamber. You 
;an wait for Mr. Livingstone in the 
hall, down stairs " 

She fixed her dark eyes upon him 
as though she would wither him with 
a look. 

" Sir ! " echoed Luke, with that 
sneering laugh which sometimes gave 
his sharp features the expression of a 
sneering devil " Sir to me ! Ha, 
ha ! Dora too good that ! *ir 
ha, ha, ha !" 

" Dora " echoed the Merchant s 
wife, in a tone of utter astonishment 
as though she had not heard aright 
" * Dora indeed ! You are eithei 
mad or impertinent, sir " 

" Sit down, Dora, sit down and 
compose yourself!" replied Luke, 
still drumming on the crown of his 
hat "Doesn t it strike you as ex 
tremely odd, Dora, that you should 
assume that freezing look and call me 
Sir ! D ye remember the little back 



DORA AND LUKE. 



213 



parlor in Wood street, Dora, where 
you used to sit on my knee and cal 
me, Luke " 

** You are insulting !" exclaimed 
Dora, as one burning flush of indigna 
tion brightened over her face, while 
her dark eyes flashed fire " Leave 
the room, sir !" 

" * Luke, dear Luke, you called 
me, and, ha, ha, ha, kissed me " 

" Leave the room !" exclaimed 
Dora, growing very white in the 
face. Her voice was husky with 
indignation. 

" Those are fine lips of yours, 
Dora! Your troth was plighted to 
me then, Dora ! Egad ! What a 
picture you present for an artist ! 
Fine study for a rising genius. 
1 The Enraged Beauty! One night 
you kissed me so sweetly, Dora, so 
lovingly ! Good night, Luke, and 
kissed me ! The next day you picked 
a delightful quarrel with me, and for 
bade your plighted love, the house. 
/"Why? Because the rich merchant, 
\ Livingstone, had called at your mo 
ther s dwelling. Your eye was fixed 
upon him. The poor cleric was 
eclipsed ! In less than six months 
you were Mrs. Albert Livingstone, 
wife of the merchant prince. Sir, 
indeed ! ha, ha, ha !" 

<c Mr. Livingstone shall be inform 
ed of this insult !" said Dora, in a 
deep low tone, that indicated the most 
deadly anger. She rang the bell vio- 
ently, as she spoke. 

" I presume you are about to order 
your servants to thrust me from your 
doors ?" said Luke, his voice sinking 
to a whisper, as he leaned over the 
table, and awaited her answer. 



She made no reply, but sinking in 
the chair, turned her face away from 
her former lover, and with a gesture 
of fierce anger, rang the bell as though 
her life depended on its clamor. 

" Thrust me from the doors ! Dear 
Luke, you said, and kissed me!" 
Luke bent slowly down, gazing at the 
indignant woman through the shadow 
of his thick eyebrows as he spoke. 
" Do you know, Dora, that I often 
think of that little back parlor in 
Wood street ? A splendid woman on 
my knee, her full arms around my 
neck, her soft whispers falling on my 
ears like delightful music. When 
we are married, Luke, twas, thus, 
you often whispered, we ll live to 
gether, in some nice two-story house, 
secluded from the world. Your sa 
lary is small, Luke, and we may be 
very poor, but and then you would 
smile, Dora we have that which the 
wealth of the Indies cannot give, love 
Luke love ! Then you would 
kiss me ! When I shut my eyes, and 
forgot the Present, I can feel thoso 
kisses still clinging to my lips !" 

" Mr. Livingstone shall be inform 
ed of this insult, sir," exclaimed Dora, 
her brow darkening with rage, as with 
her back turned toward Liike, she 
clenched her hands in very anger. 

" I pray you, inform Mr. Living 
stone of my conduct !" whispered 
Luke, leaning over the table, as his 
band was thrust within his bosom. 
Have me thrust from your doors, 
nform Mr. Livingstone of my con 
duct ; but, but " his voice sunk to a 
.vhisper, like the hissing of a snake 
*at the same time inform him of the 
contents of this note/" 



216 



MAE EL. 



Leaning over the table, he held a 
letter which he had taken from his 
bosom, open to her gaze. 

" What folly is this !" began Dora, 
as she glanced over her shoulder at 
the letter, which Luke held extended 
in his hand. " Ah !" she shrieked, 
in utter horror, as with a lightning 
glance she caught a view of the su 
perscription. <"^My letter to Fitz- 
Cowles !> Oh God, I am in this man s 
power !" 

She buried her face in her hands, 
while her hair, escaping from the 
cornb, fall wildly over her neck and 
bosom. 

" How interesting you look just 
now \ Good night, dear Luke ! v 
Will you inform Mr. Livingstone of 
this insult ; will you order the servant 
to thrust me from the door ?" 

" Did you ring, ma am ?" exclaim 
ed Thomas, opening the door. 

Dora started from her seat, and ad 
vanced hurriedly toward the fireplace. 
Her brow was darkened by a fearful 
frown, and a big^black vein marred 
the beauty of her forehead. 

" I am in his power !" she mutter 
ed to herself. " He can, by a single 
word, scatter all my schemes to the 
wind, and cover me with shame ! 
What ! Endure the foul tongue of pub 
lic slander ! Never ! Ha ! This man 
must die ! I have resolved upon my 
course !" She turned to the servant, 
and exclaimed in her usual command 
ing tones "Mr. Harvey will take 
coffee, with me to-night. The coffee, 
which you have placed upon the table 
s cold. Bring in fresh coffee, 
Thomas." 

With a wild stare of amazement, 
as though he suspected all was not 



right, Thomas closed the door } ana 
disappeared. 

"You are a bold and desperate 
man," cried Dora, as she advanced 
toward the table, and gazed fixed 7 y 
in Luke s face. "I am in your 
power ! What would you with me ?" 

"I thought that would bring you 
down a peg or so !" exclaimed Luke, 
smiling as he rattled the letter against 
the table. " However, here s the 
coffee" he continued, as Thomas en 
tered, like a spirit, placed fresh cups 
of coffee on the table, and in an in 
stant was gone. " Here s the coffee. 
Take a cup with me, Dora ! D ye 
remember those nice little suppers ir 
the back parlor in Wood street ?" 

" Do me the favor, sir, to arrange 
the fire on the hearth," exclaimed 
Dora, in a tone as commanding as. 
though she spoke to the humblest of 
her menials. "The room is quite 
cold ! M 

Luke smiled pleasantly, as a man 
is wont to smile, who indulges a child 
in some trifling humor, and then turn 
ing toward the fireplace, commenced 
arranging the huge sticks of wood 
upon the hearth. 

A wild light flashed from Dora s 
dark eyes. Bending slightly forward, 
she held her right hand over one of 
the porcelain cups, and taking the 
cork from the small phial, she suffered 
a single drop to mingle with the fra 
grant coffee. It was the work of a 
moment. When Luke turned again 
from the fireplace, she was seated in 
the rocking chair, her head thrown 
back, as with her right hand upraised, 
she made a show of applying salts to 
her nostrils. 

" Good coffee this /" said Luke, as 



LUKE AND DORA. 



he seated himself by the table. "Take 
a. cup, Madam I" 

Dora silently raised the cup which 
was untinctured with the contents of 
ihe phial. As she lifted it to her lips 
she silently watched Luke s move 
ments, over the edge of the cup. 

" Good coffee," he exclaimed, "has 
a pleasant fragrance !" He raised it 
to his lips. 

A slight start quivered through 
Dora s frame. "He drinks " the 
thought flashed over her soul " He 
drinks ! He is lost ! In a moment 
he will fall from the chair a lifeless 
corse !" 

" Good coffee, I say," exclaimed 
Luke, gazing quietly at Dora, over 
the edge of the uplifted cup. " Has 
a surprising fragrance, but " he hesi 
tated, slightly lowering the cup from 
his lips, " but, Dora " and a smile 
of strange meaning crossed his lips. 

"What mean you, sir?" she ex 
claimed, sipping her coffee with a 
careless air, while her heart swelled 
to bursting, and her inmost soul was 
thrilled with the appaling interest of 
the scene. " What mean you, sir ?" 

" Fragrant coffee ; but I prefer 
Cogniac to Mocha," said Luke, quietly 
placing the porcelain cup on the table, 
without tasting its contents. "Ha, 
ha ! I can make the same remark to 
you, that the convict made to the 
hangman, who did his business in 
such a bungling manner, that the 
poor fellow, with his neck in the rope, 
roared out a forcible reproof. I say, 
you wasn t quick enough with the 
drop? Ha, ha! Pooh! You can t 
poison me, Dora! I m not one of 
them kind !" 

Dora could feel her heart grow cold 



in her bosom. For a single instant 
she felt as though she was about to 
fall dead on the floor. She had but 
presence of mind to conceal the small 
phial in the handkerchief, and place 
it within the folds of her dress, when 
her very reason seemed to fail her, 
and pressing her hands against her 
burning forehead, a single exclama 
tion escaped from her lips. 
"All is lost!" 

" Suppose I show the letter to your 
husband ?" said Luke, with a quiet 
sneer, as he stood surveying her 
agony, with a silent delight. 

Her bosom rose heaving from the 
folds of her dress, as though convuls 
ed by the agony of death. Still her 
hands were pressed against her brow, 
while her large black eyes, dilating 
with a wild stare, glared fixedly in 
the face of her torturer. 

"To-morrow, to-morrow," the 
bought came darkening over her soul 
" I will be the scoff and jeer of all 
he fashionable circles ! My name a 
by-word my reputation a bauble! 
And more than all more than the 
scoff of the world, more than my 
husband s hate, my plans will all be 
scattered in ruins ! No ! No ! I will 
:ry my last hope with this man he 
oved me once ! And how the 
bought of the degradation galls me 
now I must kneel to him for mercy !" 
"Zwfce/" she shrieked aloud, as 
she rose on her feet, and stood before 
him, a breathing picture of mortal 
Agony, her hands convulsively clasp 
ed, while her long dark hair, fell 
glistening over her shoulders Luke? 
" That sounds better than Sir," - 
replied Luke in the same dry and 
biting tone. 



218 



MABEL. 






"Spare me Luke!" she shriekec 
flinging herself on her knees at his 
feet " Spare me Luke !" 

"Ha, ha! The beauty of the 
Quaker City at my feet I" 

He said this with his usual dry anc 
caustic laugh, but the spectacle, began 
to touch the chords of his dark and 
mysterious nature. 

Her dark hair showering over her 
shoulders, the loose robe floating wild 
ly around her voluptuous form, her 
womanly bosom rising into view, her 
hands clasped, and her eyes glaring 
with a vacant stare, she shrieked forth, 
m a voice whose agony of emphasis, 
no words can depict " By the me 
mory of the love, you once felt for 
me, oh spare me ! Mercy, Luke, in 
God s name, mercy !" 

" That love, which wound your 
image round my heart, as never man s 
love entwined the image of mortal wo 
man before that love you trampled 
upon !" and his snake-like eye gleam 
ed with a savage light "Had you been 
but a bosom friend, and stolen my 
money, I would have forgiven you ! 
Had you been my wife, and left me 
for dishonor, I might still have for 
given you ! But girl that you were, 
you trampled upon a heart, that would 
have bled its last drop for you, you 
trifled with a soul, that would have 
dared eternal ruin for your sake ! 
Spare you? Never!" 

The cool and biting tone in which 
he spoke, restored Dora, to full con 
sciousness and reason. She saw that 
her very soul hung in a fearful ba 
lance ; and by one quick operation of 
her genius, she resolved to fling the 
We ght of hor charms into the scale. 

" Luke" she cried, spreading her 



arms toward him, as she knelt at his 
feet, while her eyes, swimming with 
well-affected passion, were fixed upon 
his countenance "You once loved 
me Luke you will spare me, now !" 

As if by accident she suffered the 
folds of her night-gown, to slip aside, 
and her white shoulder, with all its 
faultless symmetry of shape, lay open 
to the beams of the light. 

Luke gazed upon her, and felt his 
heart relent ! She knelt before him, 
an embodied Tempest of voluptuous 
oveliness. Her cheeks flushed in 
ively hues, her eyes, beaming passion, 
ier long dark hair streaming down to 
ier uncovered shoulders, glimpses of 
her bosom, whose womanly fullness, 
now grew animate with voluptuous 
agitation rising slowly in the light 
Luke gazed upon her and thought of 
;he olden time. 

"Mercy, Luke! Mercy!" 

" On one condition " he exclaimed 
n a whisper, that thrilled to her very 
leart. 

"And that is " 

He hissed a single word, in her ear, 
as his dark eyes, drank in the living 
)icture of her beanty. 

She started as though an adder had 
stung her. 

" Never !" she shrieked with a 

lance of unfeigned indignation. 

Sooner will I face the very worst! 

The world s scorn and my husband s 

late !" 

She had prepared herself, to use al ! 
he influence of her charms, to win 
mercy from his iron heart, but^-to 
ell herself for the letter/] Thfc 
hought aroused all that pride, which 
lad been the first cause of her ruin. 

" This letter published, the worW 



THE FREE BELIEVERS AND TRUE REPENTERS. 



219 



will call you an Adultress ! A 
pretty word, Dora " 

She quivered in every limb, as the 
foul word, broke on her ears. Drop 
ping her head upon her bosom, she 
"Jasped his knees with her trembling 
hands. The cup of her degradation 
was full. 

t "I consent " she murmured 
* Da-with me what you will !" 

" The letter is yours, Dora" he 
jaid in a husky voice " You place 
yourself in my power?" 

" I have sold myself to you " her 
voice sunk to a whisper, almost 
inaudible " The price this witness of 
my guilt !" 

Luke gathered his arms around her 
form as she knelt before him, and 
bending her head slightly backward 
gazed upon her face. Her eyes were 
dimcast and a deep crimson flush 
mantled over her face. She lay in 
his arms, motionless as a statue, yet 
living as a flame. Luke slowly raised 
her from the floor ; her head drooped 
on his shoulder, and her bosom throb 
bed warmly against his breast. For 
a single moment, the light of passion 
"subdued the cold and snake-like gleam 
of his eyes, but even in that instant, 
the face of the fair and unknown girl,* 
whom he had seen that morning for 
the first time in his life, rose like a 
guardian angel before him, and with 
that vision, a frown darkened over his 
forehead, and an expression of scorn 
trembled on his lip. 

" You place yourself in my power, 
Dora ! Ha, ha ! Here s beauty for j 
the sight and touch here s soft 
glances of the eyes, kisses of the lip, ; 
pressures of the moist hand, all for j 



sale ! And I, I, with the most beau- 
tiful woman in the Quaker City in 

my arms, waiting to become mine 

I, with this living picture of health, 
loveliness and passion, in my arms 
proffering her lip to my kiss, her bo 
som to my touch 1 have still the 

moral self denial, ha, ha, ha! to 

scorn the embraces of an 

Adultress /" 

With that mocking laugh he flung 
her rudely from him, and rushed from 
the room. 

Extending her arms with a faint 
effort to preserve her balance, she fell 
insensible to the floor. 

God save from the vengeance of 
this woman, the man who dared to 
put such galling scorn upon her! 
There she lay, all her pride and beau 
ty brought down to the dust, there she 
lay, her cheeks pale as death, her lips 
parted, and her eyes, glaring upon the 
ceiling with an unconscious stare, 
there she lay, insensible and motion 
less, but^he Fiend was locked within 
that faultless form ; within the snowy 
whiteness of that bosom, now gleam 
ing coldly in the light, was Hell. 



CHAPTER THIRD. 

THE FREE BELIEVERS AND TRUE 
REPENTERS. 

" GENELMEN, my daddy vos a 
scavenger and my mommy sold 
rags ! On my travels again, ha, 
ha ! Let me compare notes with my 
self and first of all, that scene with 
Dora! Don t know what in th 



/20 



MABEL. 






deuce possessed me to work her up 
o ; Livingstone merely requested me 
to leave a note with her, in which he 
stated that business would detain him 
at the counting-house all night. I 
called to leave the note, found her 
alone, and I suppose some devil must 
have inspired me, for I never planned 
that scene myself, no, never! A 
pretty mess I ve got myself into, with 
all this planning and plotting ! The 
old woman murdered, the Jew and 
Devil-Bug escaped, and all my work 
to do over again ! Peggy Grud, how 
ever, is safe : and the proper authori 
ties have promised to leave the arrest 
of Devil-Bug to me ; I ll manage him 
before to-morrow night, or my name 
isn t Luke ! And that pale-faced girl, 
with the soft eyes and dark hair 
Parson Pyne s daughter, is she? I ll 
know more about her, too, before I m 
many hours older !" 

Attired in the rags of Brick-Top, 
with the red hair falling over his eyes, 
and his face all smeared with paint 
and invested with huge crimson 
whiskers, Luke was hurrying down 
Third street, his hands in his pockets, 
and his body thrown forward, while 
* his walk was that of a genuine loafer, 
being made up of an Indian s tramp 
when on a war-path, and a High 
lander s characteristic trot ; a sort of 
half-walk and half-run, with a slight 
sprinkling of a lazy lounge. 

To say that Luke did not relish 
these excursions, for the adventure s 
sake alone, would be doing him rank 
injustice.* He found as much pleasure 
in pursuing the thread of a difficult 
enterprize, which combined danger, 
romance, and mystery, as the most 
indefatigable novel-reader finds in the 



pages of a book like Rookwood.* 
where the attention is, from first to 
last, rivetted and enchained by one 
passage of breathless interest succeed 
ing another, in transitions as rapid 
and thrilling as the changes of some 
well -contested battle. 

" Here s a new mystery " mut 
tered Luke, as he struck into a bye- 
street " Mary Arlington missing and 
her brother in the bargain ! Egad, 
this will be an eventful Christmas, if 



* The author begs leave to record his 
humble admiration of Wm. Harrison Ains- 
worth, whom all the starch-and-buckram ^/ 
critics have been abusing so heartily for years. 
Rookwood is a production of which Walter 
Scott might have been proud. Ainsworth^ 
understands the art and theory of the plot of 
a story better than any living writer. 

Among other remarkable things, uttered 
by an industrious compiler, named Griswold, 
who, with singular modesty, has taken upon 
himself to say who are, and who are not, the 
Poets of America ; the following passage ia 
one of the most remarkable ".Mr. Codj>er is 
less read in the United States tlian ITarrisor. 
Ainsworth" Passing over the solemn joke 
of Mistering* the greatest Novelist that 
ever gave a literary name to our country 
abroad, or enchained his million-readers at 
home, we come to the implied sneer on the 
genius of Ainsworth ; for though it s a very 
dull attempt at sarcasm, still the intelligent 
Griswold, with that commendable effort, 
which marks all his compilations, meant to 
be very bitter by insinuating this comparison 
between the two men. In the first place, the 
fact about Cooper being less read than Ains 
worth, is a compiler sfact ; about as substan 
tial, sometimes, as his title of Reverend, or 
his claims to the acumen of a critic or tha 
power of a genius. In the next place, we 
humbly opine, that works like Rookwood 
and Crichton are not to be killed with a 
sneer, although that sneer comes from the 
same pen, that (with its twin-scissors) has 
compiled a small library of " Poetry" 
" Annuals" " Curiosities" " Sermons" 
"Cock Robins" illustrated and "Jack 
the Giant killers" in cloth, with notes. 



THE FREE BELIEVERS AND TRUE REPENTERS. 



221 



things keep on this way.* However, 
my business to night is to follow in 
the footsteps of the illustrious Parson 
Pyne ! In the first place, I must 
make for his Lecture Room " 

Passing from the bye-street into a 
dark alley, where the winter wind 
was doing a fierce concert on its own 
account, while the clear, cold stars 
shone down between the intervals of 
the roofs that almost met overhead; 
Luke presently halted under the light 
of a lamp which projected from the 
wall of an old brick building, illumi 
nated the dingy confines of an entry, 
disclosed by an open door. Above 
the door, a large sign bore the legend, 
in bright yellow letters painted on a 
dark ground 



FREE BELIEVERS 1 AND TRUE REPENTERS 

LECTURE ROOM, 

Rev. F. A. T. Pyne Principal Free Believer 
and True Rcpcnter. 

UP STAIRS. Kr 



" Fat Pyne is piling on the agonies" 
exclaimed Luke, as the sound of a 
voice, shouting out something in a 
very hoarse tone, came echoing from 
a distance " I ll go up and get a lit 
tle patent grace from Pyne: I will 
that !" 

" Brethern and Sisters I ask you 
a plain question, and I want a plain 
answer! We have assembled on a 
most interesting occasion, I might say 
a sublime occasion, to which all other 
occasions are but a mole-hill to the 
mighty Andes, or a gin-shop to the 
Palace of Nebuchadnezzar ! We have 
met together to forward the objects of 
our grand Association which, as you 



all know, is called * The Universal 
Patent Gospel Missionary Society, for 
the conversion of the Pope of Rome 
in particular and the suppression 
of Vatican Paganism in general.* 
We are a-going to send the Gospel to 
benighted Rome ! Trembling in his 
pontificial robes, with a Bull in one 
hand, and a cup o coffee in the other, 
the mighty Anti-Christ shall start in 
his Vatican when he hears our thun 
der a-booming over the fragrant plains 
of idolatrous Italy. He shall hear our 
thunder, and while his knees tremble, 
and his eyes water, he shall ask his 
four-and- ^enty Cardinals, as they 
sit revelling in oysters and wine 
* Boys, what s that / And they shall 
answer, turning white from very fear 
That s the American Patent Gos 
pel, Pope ! That s the roaring of a 
real Buffalo a-seekin to fight your 
Bull ! And then the Pope shall ask, 
what is the American Patent Gospel 1 
As he speaks, our answer shall thun 
der in his ears ! Our Gospel is a 
patent improved Gospel ; a terrifier ; 
a scorcher ; a real Locomotive-off-the- - f \/ 
track sort of a Gospel ! We hold it 
to be a comfortable doctrine, to abuse 
the Pope o Rome afore breakfast, and 
after breakfast, and all day long ! 

We hold it to be a consoling belief 
that of all the millions o human be 
n s ever created by the Lord, three- 
fourths of them are roasting in the 
broad lake o fire and brimstone, this 
very minnit ! Our Gospel is a gos 
pel of fire and brimstone and abuse 
o the Pope o Rome, mingled in 
3qual quantities about half o one 
and half o tother that s what cur 
Gospel is !" 

Standing on his small pulpit, which 



222 



MABEL. 



looked something like a cross between 
a watch-box and a bath-tub, the 
Reverend Mr. Pyne, extending his 
arms, with his coat thrown back, and 
nis portly paunch thrust forward, his 
broad face red as a turkey s gills v 
and his watery eyes starting from 
their sockets, thundered forth the 
solemn assertion yet once more 
" Fire and brimstone in the morning, 
abuse o the Pope o 7 Rome at night 
Brimstone and fire at night, abuse 
o the Pope o Rome in the morning ! 
Turn it and twist it as you will, that s 
what our Gospel is !" 

One universal sensation spread 
through the lecture room like wild 
fire. The old women, sitting on the 
first benches, in big black bonnets, and 
long faces, groaned positively groan 
ed : the old gentlemen, sitting behind 
the old ladies, stuck their hands far 
down in their pockets, and groaned in 
chorus : while all the young men, in 
white cravats, and all the young la 
dies in straw bonnets, with flashing 
ribbons, vented their enthusiasm in a 
simultaneous cough. 

The lecture room of the True Be 
lievers and True Repenters was a 
long and narrow apartment, with a 
dingy white ceiling, from which de 
pended a rusty chandelier, and smoky 
walls, lone, cheerless, and desolate in 
its appearance, with here and there a 
great spot of indefinable black, look 
ing as though the plaster had received 
a bruise, and immense cracks, run 
ning from ceiling to floor, like veins 
in the lithograph of a coal mine. At 
one end of this large room, was the 
pulpit, looking, as we have said, like 
a composition of a watch-box and a 
bath-tub; at the other end was the 



narrow door, and between the dooi 
and the pulpit were seated one dense 
mass of human beings, male and fe 
male, old and young, high and low 
rich and poor, packed together, along 
uncomfortable benches of unpainted 
pine, like sardines in a tin-box. Back 
of the pulpit, on a green settee, were 
gathered some dozen gentlemen, in 
white cravats and sanctified faces, 
their hands clasped on their crossed 
knees, as bending earnestly forward, 
they listened in painful intensity to the 
words of Elder Pyne. Immediately 
in front of the pulpit, around a large 
table covered withja:een baize, in the 
centre of which, was an inkstand, a 
sheet of paper, and two quills, freshly 
mended, some dozen more brothers 
were seated on green chairs, their 
heads thrown backward, and theii 
mouths wide open, as they all listened 
to the words of the pious Brother 
Pyne, with an acute earnestness quite 
remarkable to behold. 

" Thafs what our Gospel is !" con- 
tinued F. A. T. Pyne, with a final 
flourish " Tho various committees 
appointed at the last meeting of our 
Association, will now .Re-port !" 

One of the gentlemen sitting at tlit 
back of the Rev. Pyne now arose and 
came to the edge of the bath-tub, with 
a great roll of paper in his hand. He 
was a short little man, with a long 
face, thin lips, and thick eyebrows, 
which well-nigh concealed his dimi 
nutive eyes. 

" Brother Augustus Billygoat, from 
the Committee on the Pope o 
Rome " observed the Rev. Pyne, in 
a suggestive tone to the assemblage. 

" The Com-mittee on the Pope o 
Rome do re-port " began Brother 



THE FREE BELIEVERS AND TRUE REPENTERS. 



223 



Billygoat in a voice, somewhat afflic 
ted by a cold " That they have ex 
amined into the Pope o Rome, and 
\J weighed him in the balances o th 
Patent Gospel ; and he is founc 
*antin as Toilers " 

A great sensation. One old woman 
exclaimed "tremendous !" in a tone, 
somewhat too loud, whereupon a bro 
ther sitting on the next seat, pinched 
her lovingly in the arm. 

"He is found a wantin whereas he 
sends out bulls ; and the scriptur don t 
tolerate any bulls ! He s found a 
wantin because he lives in a sump 
tuous palace called -the Wattykin ! 
VVe defies the whole world to find the 
name o th Wattykin in the Bible ! 
Friends and Brethren, we of this Com 
mittee think the day will come, and 
is not long a comin when the Pope o 
Rome, like Nebbykudneezir will have 
to go to grass, and chaw roots for his 
livvin ! The Watty-kin will be deso 
late ! The owl will hoot through its 
walls, and the rooster crow from its 
towers ! 

" With these few brief remarks, I 
lays the report on the table without 
readin it in full, makin a motion at 
the same time, that it shall be printed 
in The Universal American Patent- 
Gospel Exposition for the instruction o 
futur ages!" 

The motion was carried by accla 
mation. Brother Billygoat sat down 
amid a murmur of applause. 

Another Brother rose. He was a 
man of the middle height, with a look 
of deep sanctity oozing from the 
parchment of his saffron skin. His 
eyes were, as is often the case with 
persons of remarkable piety, inclined 

to be watery and dump-ish. His voice 
15 






was a low-toned persuading kind of 
voice slightly tinctured with a snuffle. 
His hands were placed behind his 
back, as he spoke, while his long, lank 
hair fell carelessly around his cheeks 
and over his ears. 

It gave him great pleasure, he re 
marked, to behold this demonstration. 
With that he pointed emphatically at 
the front bench, filled with old ladies 
in large black bonnets. Such things 
as this, were calculated to expand the 
feelings, while they confirmed the re 
ligious sentiment. As the Editor of 
the Patent- Gospel Expositor, he felt 
proud. As a Christian, he felt de 
lighted. As a Protestant of the Uni 
versal American Patent-Gospel School, 
he felt enraptured. He, too, considered 
it his duty to testify to the abuses of 
Papal Rome. Old Babylon, ought to 
be exposed, laid out, and cut up. 
Those were his sentiments. In order 
to carry them fully into action he 
would relate a painful incident. 

The Captain of an American Brig, 
which made a voyage to Naples, one 
summer s day suggested to his crew 
and passengers, that it would be a 
capital idea to visit the old Pagan in 
his Vatican. The Crew, the Passen 
gers, consented. 

"They went to Rome " continued 
the Rev. Syllaybub Scissors, as the 
Editor of the Patent- Gospel was 
styled " They saw the old Pagan. 
There were ten men of the crew 
and twenty passengers, not counting 
a little boy. They all had tracts, \ 
from the Patent-Gospellers Association 
in their pockets. The Pope sat in his 
chair, with a large number of Car 
dinals in attendance. It may be aa 
well to remark, that the old Pagan 






224 



MABEL. 



keeps these cardinals as gentlemen in 
waiting, to bring him coffee and muf 
fins or perhaps oysters. Well, the 
crew and passengers, all dressed in 
their best, took a view of old Anti- 
Christ. But mark ye, brethren and 
sisters, they are called upon to kiss 
the Pope s toe. Like Americans, like 
Patent-Gospellers, they refused. They 
refused, the ten men of the crew, the 
twenty passengers, and the little boy ! 
What was the consequence of the re 
fusal 1 What I say was the con 
sequence ?" 

There was utter silence in the hall 
of the Free Believers and True Re- 
penters. You might have heard a 
pin drop. 

"Why Brethren and Sisters, I ll 
tell you !" cried Syllaybub Scissors, 
growing very much excited " Those 
passengers, crew, captain, little boy 
and ttZZ, have never been heard of 
since. (Great sensation !) They 
went into the Vatican, it is true, but 
they never came out again ! (Tre 
mendous excitement) I have nothing 
further to remark, my friends, but 
will close with a painful fact. It is 
melancholy, but it is too true, that next 
door to the Vatican is a large manu 
factory for Bologna sausages. (The 
excitement becomes intense.) Some 
time after this painful disappearance, 
an American gentleman, travelling 
through Italy for his health, saw fit to 
order a large amount of sausages from 
this very factory. Well, the sausages 
were sent home ; the American gen- 
deman ordered one of them to be cut. 
A slight obstruction opposed the pas- 
*age of the knife. It was a small 
iump of something wrapped up pretty 
tight. The American gentleman with 



his own ringers picked the small lump 
o something from the very centre of 
the sausage. It was a piece of paper 
he unrolled it. Brothers and sisters, 
it was nothing more than a fragment 
of a Tract issued by the Patent-Gos 
pellers ; and headed " A Thrust at 
Pagan Rome ! Brothers and sisters, 
each one of that lot of sausages en 
being opened, contained one or more 
of such fragments ! Brothers and sis- 
ters, those ten men of the crew, those 
twenty passengers, that captain, and 
that little boy, all had Patent-Gospel 
tracts in their pockets when they 
were missed ! __ Brothers and sisters, I 
will leave you to draw your own con 
clusions !" 

The Rev. Syllaybub Scissors sate 
down amid a perfect hurricane of ap 
plause. What the Free Believers 
applauded it was difficult to tell. 
Whether it was the Pope of Rome, 
or the crew, or the passengers, or the 
little boy, or the sausage manufactory, 
or whether it was the American Gen 
tleman, so mysteriously held in view, 
to this day remains a mystery. 

" Missionaries, stand forth !" cried 
the Reverend F. A. T. Pyne, rising 
statelily behind his bath-tub. 

Three young men, with long hair, 
very tow-like in hue, stuck behind 
their ears, and white cravats around 
their necks, stepped slowly forward, 
and took their place in front of the 
pulpit, crossing their hands very 
meekly on their breast, and casting 
their eyes, upon a particular nail in 
the floor, with a sanctity of look, thai 
was quite edifying, even to an uncon 
verted man. 

" Abel Stump, Joshua Hoe, Benijah \ 
Baker, are you willing to go abroad 



THE FREE BELIEVERS AND TRUE REPENTERS. 



225 



lo the Pope of Rome, as Missionaries 
sent by the Universal American Pa 
tent-Gospel Association " exclaimed 
Brother Pyne, in a loud voice with his 
fist raised in the air, in a gesture of 
indignant menace. 

" We air " responded three faint 
and sickly voices. 

" Do you understand your calling ?" 
continued Brother Pyne in his most 
Boanergian voice " You are to allow 
the Pagan no peace ! You are to give 
him Tracts as he comes from mass, 
you are to present him with a fresh 
Bible every Sabbath ; you are to hail 
him in the street, and tell him that in 
America, the Patent-Gospellers are 
raising a Buffalo to fight his Bull ! 
Are you willing to defy the Inquisition 
in such a cause. Are you willing to 
defy death *are you willing to be 
made up in sausages, in such a cause ? 
Are you, Brothers, I say ?" 

" We air /" responded the three 
faint and sickly voices. 

" Here is a sight for the whole 
world to see !" continued the Reverend 
F. A. T. Pyne, his eyes dilating, while 
his crimson face, looked like the full 
moon seen through a distempered 
mist " Here, standing upon the Rock 
of Freedom we tell the Pope of Rome, 
that his schemes are defeated, that his 
Babylon has fallen ! Ha, ha ! We 
laugh at the Pope of Rome ! We tell 
him in tones of indignant thunder, that 
his grand plan of buying up the state 
of Missouri, in order to erect a Papal 
Kingdom on American soil, and let 
his Bulls loose, to run wild on Ameri 
can prairies, has fell through been 
nullified and trampled upon with the 
ponderous foot of the Universal Patent- 
Association He would build 



a Vatican on the Banks of the Mis 
sissippi, would he? He d have his 
Propaganda, in the State House would 
he? Yes, yes, he would have his 
College of Cardinals in Faneuil Hall, 
would he ? He would, but he can t ! 
We snap our fingers at him ! Ha, ha ! 
Let him jump Jim Crow in his Vatican 
at Rome if he likes, but he rrms n t try 
to build another St. Peter s on our Soil 1 
No, no, no ! Down with the Pope 
say I down with the Pope say all ! 
We ll fight his Bulls with spiritual 
weapons, with the Patent-Gospel bowie 
knife ! We ll crowd our pulpits with 
lecturers no matter who they are, 
or what they are, or where they come 
from ! From the prison we welcome 
them ! From the jail, or the galleys, 
or even from the rope of the gibbet 
still, still, we welcome them ! Are 
they not brothers 1 Co-workers with 
us? Let them but affirm that they 
once were Priests of Rome, let them 
but declare they are converted Jesuits, 
and with all our hearts, we welcome 
them ! But they must decry Rome ! 
Down with Rome, down with the J 
Pope UP with the Bible ! 

"They must rake up from the 
ashes of the past, all the firebrands 
ever lighted in the flames of Hell ! 
All the old books, which show up the 
atrocities of Rome, must be republish- 
ed their contents shouted from the 
street-corners, printed on our Patent- 
Gospel Press, thundered from our Pul 
pits down with the Pope of Rome ! 

" Awake St. Bartholomew, with 
your blood and ashes and flame we 
want you here ! Awake bones of the 
martyrs ; awake sword of the Solemn 
League and Covenant! Down with* 
the Pope of Rome ! :s " 



826 



MABEL. 



" Stir yourselves up in the good 
work, brothers and sisters ! Let not 
your efforts slack ! Whenever you 
find a deluded follower of the Pope 
teach him, or her, the error of their 
ways ! If he is a porter in your em- 
*A ploy, or a drayman, or a common 
laborer discharge him, I say, wash 
your hands of him, bid him go forth ! 
If she is a seamstres, or a governess, 
or a hired girl, especially an Irish 
Pagan hired girl turn her from your 
doors ! 

" Thus let Pagan Rome be met at 
the threshold ! Awake Guy Faux, 
frith your lanthern and faggots, 
awake Inquisition with your tortures, 
with your fiery furnace, into whose 
flames you cast those good Protest 
ants, Shadrack, Meshack and Abed- 
Nego awake we want, you here ! 
You must help to witness against 
Pagan Rome ! 

"Down with the Pope and his 
Bulls I Down with St. Peter s and the 
Vatican ! Down with the Priests, and 
the Monks and the Nuns, down with 
the Sisters of Charity and the Orphans 
under their care down with them 
, - all ! Up with the Patent-Gospellers, 
jp with the good old doctrine which 
John Calvin preached to Servetus 
from the window of his chamber, 
looking out into the open square of 
Geneva where that same Servetus, 
a rank infidel, was burning up with 
the good old doctrine, which pro 
claims fire and brimstone, the cardi 
nal points of the belief of the good 
Savior Jesus ! Down with the Pope 
up with fire and brimstone ; up 
with toleration ; UP with the Bi~ 
We /" 
ll - How the applause of the Free Be 



lievers and True Repenters, rose uf 
to the ceiling like the voice of si rim 
huge monster ! Thunder was mere 
silence in comparison ! How the old 
ladies rose from their seats in extacy, 
how the old gentlemen punished the 
hard floor with their thick-soled boots ! 
How meekly the three Missionaries 
resumed their seats, how warmly the 
brethren, crowding round them, crush 
ed their fingers with very joy, and al 
most dragged their arms from the 
sockets, with intense religious feeling. 
But when the Reverend Pyne, re 
suming his seat, took from his coal 
pocket a large white handkerchief 
and wiped the perspiration from his 
red round face, ah me, that was the 
time for the applause ! * A Quaker 
City Theatre, with Fanny Ellsler on~ 
the stage, and all the grey-haired men 
in the pit, never raised such a round 
of applause as that ! Death to the 
old Pagan, death to the Pope of 
Rome ! Up with fire and brimstone, 
up with toleration, up with the Bible ! 

When the excitement was some 
what subdued, a faint voice was heard 
echoing from a far corner of the Lec 
ture Room, and the light of the rusty 
chandelier fell upon the grey hairs of 
an old man who trembled nervously 
as he spoke. 

He stated, in feeble tones, that he 
was an American citizen ; that his 
father had fought in the Revolution. 
At Monmouth, Trenton, Germantown 
and Brandywine, he had fought under 
the banner of George Washington. 
The old man s voice trembled as he 
spoke this name ; and he paused for 
a moment to collect his thoughts. 

" That s the stuff!" cried the Reve- 
rend F. A. T. Pyne" A soldiei 






THE FREE BELIEVERS AND TRUE REPENTERS. 



227 



under Washington let us hear , sores to be examined and healed by 

him !" I the Missionary of Jesus in this our 

* Somethin against that tarnelj moral heart of Philadelphia, ere we 



Pagan, no doubt !" cried an old wo 
man, quite joyously. 

"Now let the Wattykin look to 
itself!" murmured brother Augustus 
Billygoat. 

" An incident for my Patent-Gos 
pel Expositor 1" meekly suggested the 
Rev. Syllabub Scissors. 

" My father fought under Washing 
ton " continued the old man, speak 
ing from that distant corner of the 
room, in trembling tones " 
though but a mere boy, at that time, 
I fought with him ! He died in my 
arms on the battle-field ; his last 
words were, God take my soul and 
bless brave Washington ! Therefore, 
brethern, I humbly think, that I have 
some small claims to the title of an 



cut off the limb of Pagan Rome, or 
bind up the wounds of idolatrous Hin- 
doostan 1 

" Might not the Missionary of Jesus 
find, room for much well-doing in our 
Courts, ouT Churches, ~6uT" Streets, 
our Homes? Might he not stand 
upon the grave of old Stephen Girard 
(leaving the Pagan of Rome to his 
errors for a little while) and point 
to Girard College that unfinished 
Monument of a foul wrong, done to 
ten thousand orphans and, as he 
pointed, might he not call upon the 
God of the fatherless to protect those 
same orphans, who were scattered 
abroad through the world, in order 
that a Corporation might feast and 
riot upon old Stephen s money 1 



American: my life does not, I believe,! "Down with Pagan Rome by all 
contradict the additional claim, which j means, but down with the Paganism 
I make to the title of Protestant of Protestant Philadelphia ! 



Christian ! 

" My friends, I ask your attention 



" And oh, friends, might not the 
true Missionary of the cross enter the 



to a passing thought, which struck thickly-carpeted chambers of some of 
me while our Reverend Brother was our Reverend Pastors, and tell them, 

enchaining you all with his eloquence, as God will tell them one day, that 

Is there no need of Missionaries for j they are a blot upon the name of 
other purposes than the overthrow- 1 Jesus ! That the seduction of female 

ing of Pagan Rome ? *Do we not innocence is not a light crime to rest 

want Missionaries in this our good upon the souls of those who adminis- 

city? V os**""** ter God s Sacrament ! 

" Are there no holes of vice, to be " That foul-mouthed temperance in 

illumined by the light of God s own public wine-drinking in private the 

Gospel? Are there no poor, no sick, assailment of private character in the 

no needy ? Would not a true physi- pulpit the destruction of some poor 

cian first turn his knife to those girl s honor in the parlor that bitter 

cankering sores which gather near controversy violent appeals to ex- 

the heart of the patient, ere he pro- cited mobs, combined with insidious 

ceedcd to bind up wounds or cut ofF endeavors to create those very mob* 

limbs ? Are there no hideous moral that these are not the characteris- 



228 



MABEL 



tics of God s own Ministers, but rathe 
the fuel with which the Devil wil 
kindle a hell for their souls !" 

They silenced the old man with a 
hurricane of groans. 

"A Catholic!" shouted Brother 
Pyne " A pagan A Roman ! Hanc 
him over to the police !" 

" To think of his impudence !" 
screamed an old woman " To come 
here an try to p ison our minds ! 
Papist !" 

The old man felt himself seized by 
the arms, and hands and coat-tail, 
all at once. Brother Billygoat forced 
his hat over his eyes ; Brother Sylla 
bub Scissors helped to lead him out. 
The three Missionaries merely groan- 
sd. To the door, down stairs, into 
the street old man, soldier of Wash 
ington, son of a soldier, this is your 
share of Patent-Gospel charity ! Into 
the street, and into the dark with him 
and his lies! He belongs to Pagan 
Rome! 

After the old man was dismissed, 
the Free Believers composed their 
minds in a hymn of pious import ; 
being three lines to the Pope and one 
to the Devil, on the average, through 
ten long stanzas ; and this finished, 
Brother Pyne poured forth his soul in 
prayer ! 

Prayer! Ho, ho! Was that a 
fiend s laugh as he heard the mockery 
of that prayer ascend in tones of blas 
phemy to the very throne of God ? 
Prayer ! Hurrah hurrah ! Was 
that the yell of all the devils gathered 
in the shades of death, as they heard 
the name of Jesus profaned, and 
mocked, and polluted by the hot 
breathings of yon round-faced hypo 



crite? Prayer! Is this long-drawn 
Anathema Maranatha, made up of 
curses, falsehoods and impious vul 
garities, is this prayer? 

Is the whispering of the young mo 
ther, over her first-born, prayer ? Is 
the trembling supplication of the 
father, by the bedside of his dying 
daughter, uttered in husky tones with 
eyes blinded by tears, is this agony 
of a breaking heart, prayer? Are the 
holiest feelings of the heart, rising up 
from the soul to its God, in the silence 
of night, when earth sleeps while 
heaver^ watches its slumbers, are 
these warm uprisings of man s better 
nature, prayer? Are all these prayer, 
and are the whining blasphemies of 
yonder smooth-tongued Pander to the 
ust of the Bigot, are these loathsome 
falsehoods, linked together by a chain 
of Scripture phrases, are these prayer ? 

If this is prayer, then let us shut 
the Bible and cry with the madman- 
atheist of France There is no God 
Death is an eternal sleep If this 
be prayer, then let us blaspheme, 
curse, swear, or sell our souls for a 
Preacher s hire any thing but pray ! 

The Free Believers dispersed a* 
soon as the howl of Brother Pyne was 
over. How the sisters and the brothers 
hronged around the Reverend Brother 
as, with his cloak wrapped around his 
)ortly form, he hastened from the 
room ! What pressing of hands, what 
icking at his cloak, what glancing 
n his face ! Old and young, fair and 
bul, red lips and grey hairs, all joined 
o do the Parson honor ! How was 
lis cold ; had the Lord been good to 
n m lately ; had he heard from that 
)oor, wretched, runaway daughter; 



STRANGE VISITORS IN MONK-HALL. 



229 



was he blessed in prayer ; and did he 
not hurt himself by studying so late 
at night ! 

Down stairs, followed by his loving 
congregation, Brother Pyne pursued 
his way, Brother Billygoat clinging to 
his arm, while Brother Scissors, 
with the three Missionaries, hung 
closely at his heels. The alley was 
reached, and in a few moments the 
saintly quadruple, stood in the bye- 
street, where a carriage waited for 
Brother Pyne, with a stout lusty coach 
man on the box, wrapped up in an 
unknown number of overcoats, with a 
broad hat flapping its broken rim over 
his eyes. 

" Good night, sisters, good night 

/brothers !" said Brother Pyne, in a 

/ tone of spermaceti smoothness 

" Good night, my children, good 

night !" 

The door closed, and the carriage 
drove off. 

" He goes to his night-long studies, 
after the Truth !" cried Brother Scis 
sors, wiping his nose with the cuff of 
his sleeve " Let Pagan Rome look 
out !" 

" Dear heart !" echoed an old lady 
kt And so he studies all night, does 
he ! A bringin 1 himself to the grave 
with his zeal !" 

" The saints and martyrs are no 
thing compared to Brother Pyne !" 
meekly exclaimed Brother Billygoat, 
expectorating violently on an old 
lady s bonnet " Let Pagan-Rome 
look out for its Wattykin ; that s all !" 

Meanwhile the carriage, containing 
the Foe of Pagan Rome, dashed down 
the street like mad, the coachman 
lashing the horses into perfect fury, 
while a poor ragged loafer, gliding 



from the side walk, crept up behind 
the vehicle, and assumed a quiet seat 
all to himself, without saying a word 
to the holy preacher within, or the 
white-coated driver in front. 

At the corner of a wide street, the 
coachman held up for a single mo 
ment. He tapped the window of the 
carriage with the handle of his whip. 

" Vich vay ?" he shouted in a deep, 
hoarse voice. 

Down went the carriage window, 
and the red round face of Parson Pyne 
was thrust out into the full glare of 
the gas-lamp on the corner, 

" Down town, of course, Simon 
I ve got to visit the sick you know " 

" In vich quarter ?" 

" Monk-Hall !" whispered the 
preacher, and then the coachman 
cracked his whip, the carriage win 
dow went up, and the carriage rol 
led off, while the poor loafer, sitting 
behind, chuckled merrily to himself, 
and whistled for very glee ! 

" My daddy was a scavenger, and 
my mammy sold rags ! Ha, ha, ha ^ 
Hurrah ! Down with the Pope and 
the Wattykin ! Up with the Patent- 
Gospel, up with Monk-Hall ! Let 
Pagan Rome look out foi itself 
hurrah !" 



CHAPTER FOURTH. 



STRANGE VISITORS IN MONK-HALL. 

THE beams of a small lamp of rusty 
iron, standing on the table near the 
firef gave a faint and dusky light to 
the Doorkeeper s den. Devil-Bug was 



230 



MABEL. 






seated beside the table, with his elbows 
resting on its rough oaken surface, 
while his hands grasped his tawny 
cheeks, the long finger nails sinking 
into the flesh like the talons of an 
eagie, and spotting his face with drops 
of blood. His teeth were fast clenched, 
but his lips, hung apart, shrivelled 
with a fixed and grotesque grin ; like 
the smile of a fiend, frozen into mar 
ble. His thick, matted hair hung over 
his protuberant brow, and his solitary 
eye, dilated and enlarged to twice its 
usual size, glared steadily forward, 
with one fixed and unvarying gaze. 
The light streamed full in his face, 
revealing each hideous feature in stern 
and immovable distinctness, while the 
outlines of his deformed body, and the 
details of the den, were wrapt in a 
twilight shadow. In the recess on one 
side of the fire, sate the negro Mus- 
quito, his arms crossed, and his head 
sunken on his breast, while on the op 
posite side of the fire, his companion, 
Glow-worm, rested in the same atti 
tude, and slumbered like some over 
grown animal who has been gorged 
with food. Their common costume 
the red flannel shirt and corduroy 
trowsers dimly disclosed in the light 
seemed to increase the outlines of their 
herculean frames, while it gave them 
a wild and ruffian-like appearance. 

Alone in his den, with his attendant 
satellites slumbering on either side, 
Devil-Bug sat silent, as though he was 
but an uncouth effigy of stone, while 
his fingers, digging their talon-like 
nails slowly in the flesh of his cheeks, 
gave some indications of the terrible 
agony which was eating through his 
soul. He hid sate thus silent and 



motionless for the space of an hour, 
when the small door, leading into the 
hall of the mansion, was softly open 
ed, and our friend Brick-Top, clad in 
his array of rags, came treading 
stealthily into the Doorkeeper s den. 

He started at the sight of Devil-Bug > 
but in a moment advanced, and laid 
his hand upon the Doorkeeper s 
shoulder. 

" You re a purty old cove, aint ye, 
now ? To run ofF, and leave a feller 
in the lurch ! The old ooman s dead 
body up stairs and the poleese below ! 
Pack me up in a see-gar box, some 
body, and bury me in a common for 
a werry infant, arter that l tv $*fcjr 

" Ha ! What brings you here ?* 
cried Devil-Bug, starting from his re 
verie " Where did you leave the Jewt 
And the chest o gold hey, hey ?" 

" What brings me here ? Business 
o course ! You see it aint pleasant 
to have the poleese inquirin arter yer 
health, specially when an old wo 
man s been knocked in the head, by 
some indewidooals at present un 
known. So I came to the Pawn 
broker s went down stairs and along 
the vault, and then up stairs again 
you know the way. Here I am, and 
there you are, and we re both a pair 
o beauties for Cherry Hill ! Brick. 
Top and Devil-Bug hurray !" 

" Where did you leave the Jew ?" 
said Devil-Bug with a fierce scowl as 
he struck his fist against the table 
" And the chest o gold hey, hey ?" 

"Young man does yer mother 
know yer out ? Venever ye meet a 
werry green young genelman, as 
doesn t know what huckleberries is 
compared with persimmins, then axe 



STRANGE VISITORS IN MONK-HALL. 



231 



him sich a question I I don t know 
nothin bout the Jew, no more nor 
yesself!" 

" S-h-ew !" whispered Devil-Bug 
with a sudden start as he motioned his 
companion to be silent "S-h-ew ! 
Don t ye see that feller a lay in on the 
floor with his jaw bruk and his tongue 
out?" 

" Cussed if I do !" 

11 Nor the old woman, with the 
brains oozeing out from the holler 

skuii ?" 

" Not the least circumstance !" 
" S-h-ew ! Don t ye hear that fel 
ler groan? Look how he wriggles 
th ere a-twistin and twistin like a 
snake, and his tongue rollin out all 
the while! And the old woman 
don t ye see her ? I tell you ma<i, 
she s there there right between us 
on the floor ; her holler skull layin at 
my werry feet, and her long grey 
hair7 ndabblin in her blood ! Don t 
see her indeed ! He ! He !" and he 
smiled ghastlily " Why man, I tell 
ye, I can count the blood-drops as 
they fall patter patter from the 
holler skull to the floor !" 

And the solitary eye of Devil-Bug 
glared wildly from the shadow of his 
brow, while the sweat, cold and clam 
my, stood out on his forehead and 
trickled down his swarthy face. 

" And not to git the chest o doub 
loons arter all !" Kin ye read feller, 
1 say kin ye read ?" he exclaimed in 
n fierce tone, as he laid his hand on 
Brick-Top s arm " Or are ye a stu 
pid jackass as don t know nothin ?" 

" Shut me up in a coal mine al 
my life, and make me chaw dirt for a 
livin ! Kin I read ? I wish my dad 
dy could hear you say that! He c 



show my school bills, old chap, with 
a wengeance to ye !" 

" Here s a package o papers, which 

picked up on the stairs o th widow s 
louse. Sit down on t other side o th 
able and read em to me !" 

Brick-Top sate down on one side of 
he table, while Devil-Bug resumed 
lis seat opposite. 

: Papers !" cried Brick-Top pulling 
his lank rad hair down over his brows 
" Egad !" he muttered to himself 

The very packet entrusted to me by 

ivingstone this morning ! The seal 
Broken, too !" 

" Read, will ye ? And mind yer 
eye feller! If I ketch you play in the 
bol with me, and readin any stuff 
what isn t there, I ll make no bones of 
iurtin your body so no doctors wont 
3uy ye arter yer a corpse !" 

- " Talk that way to the Wolunteers, 
will ye ? Howsomever, here goes into 
the doc-y-ments " 

In a low toned voice, still marked 
by his vagabond accent, Brick-Top 
began to read the contents of the 
package. 

At first Devil-Bug leaned over the 
table with a look of the deepest inter 
est, but soon the details of the pack 
age seemed to tire him, and he leaned 
listlessly to one side, with his eye 
fixed vacantly upon the ceiling. Brick- 
Top read on. A name attracted Devil- 
Bugs attention, and then a date, and 
an incident. He leaned over the table, 
his solitary eye blazing with the most 
intense interest. 

" Look here, youssir you aint 
a-foolin me are ye? Ellen did ye 
say !" 

" The werry same," replied BricR 
Top burying his face in the unrolled 



232 



MABEL. 



package. His attention also seemed 
rivetted to the paper and its contents, 
for his glittering and snake-like eye 
grew more brilliant in its glance, 
while the outlines of his countenance 
became fixed and compressed. Brick- 
Top pulled his red hair farther over 
his brow, until it almost concealed his 
eyes, and then resumed the reading 
of the paper. 

Devil-Bug listened with every power 
of his soul, enchained by an over 
whelming interest. His solitary eye, 
dilated and flashed with excitement, 
and the nails of his talon-like fingers 
were thrust into his tawny cheeks 
with a movement of involuntary agi 
tation. 

" Christmas Eve ?" he echoed, re 
peating the words of the Manuscript 
as they fell from the lips of the read- 
er " Christmas Eve, Eighteen hun 
dred and twenty four 1 Hallo, yous- 
sir 1 Is them the words ?" 

" The werry same !" replied Brick- 
Top raising the paper before his face 
" Left her mother s house on that 
date" 

" Read on will ye ? Don t ye see 
Vow I m a quiverin ? I want to know 
the rest read on !" 

Brick-Top again turned his atten 
tion to the Manuscript. Devil-Bug was 
utterly absorbed in its details. He 
held his very breath, as he drank in 
each word, and date and incident. 

"^The second child died, did it ?" 
he shrieked, starting wildly from his 
sea t Now look here feller, if you re 
got the feelin s of a common human 
bein don t make a fool o me ! Read 
it agin be sure that it s the second 
child ; jist be sure o that !" 

"The second child born Christ 



mas Eve, Eighteen hundred ana 
twenty four " exclaimed Brick-Top 
reading from the Manuscript, while a 
slight tremor was observable in his 
voice. 

"That s the date, too, that s the 
date !" cried Devil-Bug in a voice of 
the deepest agitation " Look here 
feller, d ye see that arm ? The night 
arter she left this house, I got a sailor- 
chap to print this here with Injin ink." 

And as he spoke, Devil -Bug bared 
his right arm, and thrust it forward 
into the full glare of the light. Brick- 
Top gazed upon it in surprise. On its 
brawny skin, in rough characters, 
was punctured, this brief name and 
date "CHRISTMAS EVE 1825 EL. 



"And so ye know d her did ye?" 
exclaimed Brick-Top gazing in Devil- 
Bug s face with a piercing glance, 
while his lip tr~mbled with some un 
known emotion " Werry singular 
that !" 

" Know- d her ?" responded Devil- 
Bug in a tone of sudden anger 
" Don t axe no questions feller, but 
read on !" 

Brick-Top again resumed the Man 
uscript. A name, once more started 
Devil -Bug from his feet. 

"Dick Baltzar?" he echoed 
" Sure that s the name ?" 

" The werry same. Here it is 

The second child, was buried by a 
man named Dick Baltzar, who with 
his wife, resided in the widow s 
house. The jirst child " howsom- 
ever let me read on !" 

The Manuscript drew near its close. 
His brows woven in frown, his teeth 
clenched, his hands clutching his 
cheeks with a convulsive grasp, Devil- 



STRANGE VISITORS IN MONK-HALL. 



233 



Bug listened to the closing words with 
breathless interest. 

"The whole of his fortune?" 
echoed Devil-Bug repeating the words 
of the Manuscript " Luke Harvey 
entrusted with the commission 1 Hey, 
hey? Is that it?" 

Brick-Top nodded, but said nothing. 
Well was it for him, that Devil-Bug 
occupied with his own strange thoughts, 
had no eye for his companion s de 
meanor. A tear stole from Brick- 
Top s eyelid and rolled down his 
freckled face. His hand trembled as 
he grasped the Manuscript, and his 
lip quivered with a tremulous motion. 

" Luke Harvey 1" muttered Devil- 
Bug " He s a wild fellow, and one 
of the devil s disciples who hold their 
meetings in this house ! A purty chap 
to have sich a matter in his charge ! 
He ll be here sometime to night, and 
I ll have a talk with him ! Gi me that 
paper will ye?" 

" I say, old feller, come now and 
uncork this mystery ! Let a body 
know all about it that s a conwivial 
old devil !" 

Devil-Bug turned toward him with 
a lowering brow, but as he turned a 
knock was heard at the front door. 

" Dig oft feller!" said Devil-Bug, 
with great emphasis " Taint for sich 
as you to know what quality comes 
to this house ! Dig, I say !" 

Brick-Top lounged lazily toward 
the doorway of the mansion-hall, 
while Devil-Bug, unbarring the front 
door, gazed through the crevices of 
the green blinds upon the form of the 
new-comer. 

"Who s there?" 

" Monk Baltzar " answered an 
assumed and artificial voice. 



"What had you for dinner to 
day ?" asked Devil -Bug, repeating the 
first part of the countersign of Monk- 
Hall. 

" Fire and Brimstone !" answered 
the voice. 

"Come in!" said Devil-Bug "All 
right ! The gal s up stairs in the 
room I ll be up d rectly !" 

And as he spoke the Reverend 
Parson Pyne strode silently across 
the floor of the den, and with his face 
muffled in the folds of his cloak, 
passed through the doorway, and 
along the hall, and up the stairs ; and 
in a moment disappeared into one of 
the rooms on the right side of the 
massive staircase, on the second floor 
of the mansion. As he disappeared, 
a tall figure rose upward from the; 
darkness, which hung round the ban 
nisters of the staircase near the floor. 

" Parson, I think I ve tracked you 
to some purpose !" said a deep-toned 
voice " The girl your daughter and 
you in Monk-Hall ! I ll drop Brick- 
Top for a little while and assume Luke 
Harvey again, in order to be ready 
for all accidents ! My game is a des 
perate one, but I ll play it with a cool 
head and firm hand !" 

With these words he disappeared 
into the door of Luke Harvey s room; 
and in a moment the sound of the 
key, turning in the lock, echoed faintly 
round the hall. 

Mean while Devil-Bug, standing near 
the table, in the centre of his den, with 
his arms crossed over his breast and 
his right hand grasping Livingstone * 
mysterious packet, seemed utterly ab 
sorbed in the contemplation of the- 
disclosures which it had revealed. 

The sound of voices, mingling con 



234 



MABEL 



fusudly together, came echoing sud 
denly from the stairway leading to the 
Banquet-Room of Monk -Hall. And 
then a rude burst of laughter, resound 
ed through the hall, mingled with the 
hurried tramp of footsteps. 

" Ha, ha, ha ! And so you drugged 
the brother with opium !" exclaimed a 
voice familiar to the reader " That 
was an odd mistake of mine, Gus, 
about the fellow s name !" 

"To think Silly should introduce 
him to you by the name of Byrne- 
wood !" cried another voice " And 
then ha, ha, ha ! the Bridal scene ! 
Oh Lord, that was too good, wasn t 
it, Gus !" 

" Very good, no doubt, very good, 
gentlemen " exclaimed a third voice 
"But there are some jokes which 
cost a mint of money. I rather think 
suspect that this amusing adventure 
is one of the costly class !" 

Ere the words had ceased to echo 
in the air, Lorrimer, followed by 
Petriken and Mutchins, lounged into 
the Doorkeeper s den. Their faces 
was slightly flushed by the kisses of 
that long-necked giant, the champagne 
bottle, and their entrance into Devil- 
Bugs s private parlor, was heralded 
by clouds of smoke issuing from the 
segars which the trio carried between 
their lips. 

"Well, boys" cried Petriken, 
moving toward the door " Let s out 
and have a night of it ! My Western 
Hem. was put to press to day, and so 
I m free for a fortnight ! D ye see 
my last Hem., Mutchins ?" 

"Never, except on one occasion, 
after a long night s carouse, when my 
temples were bursting with the effects 
of the champagne. "I wanted to sleep 



and couldn t for the life of me. How 
ever, happening to pick up a copy of 
the Western Hem. with Autumn, a 
Homologue : by S. J. Petriken, I fell 
into a gentle doze after the first twenty 
lines, and slept for thirty-eight hours, 
as I m a living sinner ! Is your Mag. 
printed near a laud num factory, 
Silly?" 

" Pshaw ! You ought to see the 
last number ! Two engravings, one 
tragic, one comic ! Tragic the death 
o Cock Robin, with an illustrative 
piece o poetry, by my friend Deacon 
Shewbrush ! Comic Nigger church 
on fire, with the Sheriff and Court 
looking on, to see that it is done in 
an effective manner.* Good number, 
that !" 

" Come on, fellows !" exclaimed 
Lorrimer, who had been gazing 
quietly at Devil-Bug, as he stood un 
conscious of their presence " Let us 
out, and make a night of it !" 

As he spoke, a hand was laid upon 
his shoulder, and Long-haired Bess 
stood before him, her jet-black tresse? 
hanging dishevelled along her \vhite 
neck, while the peculiar brilliancy of 
her eyes, with the dark circle of dis 
colored flesh beneath each eye, gave 
indications of deep and powerful agi 
tation. 

"Well, Bessie, what s the matter 






* See the charge of a certain Judge, in 
which he instructs the Grand Jury to present 
a certain Hall as a nuisance, because it was 
threatened by a mob, and, therefore, it en 
dangered the surrounding property. It was 
owned and used by Negroes for benevolent 
purposes. This latter fact furnishes sufficient 
apology for any act of outrage in a city where 
Pennsylvania Hall was burnt by the whole 
population, because the object for which 
was built happened to be unpopular 



STRANGE VISITORS IN MONK-HALL. 



235 



now ? How is the girl, that is to j 
say, how is Mary 1" 

" She has lain unconscious all day 
long, until within a few minutes past" 
answered Bess, in a low-toned voice 
" She has now recovered her rea 
son. She does nothing but wring her 
hands as she paces up and down the 
room ; nothing but wring her hands 
and shriek your name. Lorrimer, 
you had better see this girl before you 
leave the house " 

" Why the fact is, Bessie, I don t 
see the necessity of the thing" 
answered Lorrimer, moving towards 
the door " Quiet her, Bessie, quiet 
her ! I will see her to-morrow !" 

" Have you a man s heart within 
your bosom ?" said Bess, with a flash 
ing glance of her dark eyes " Can 
you refuse this request? Do what 
ye will with Byrne wood, but for the 
sake of your own self-regard, do not 
refuse this request ! She is dishonor 
ed, Lorrimer, but who was the cause 
of her dishonor? Do not refuse to 
look upon the ruin which has followed 
your crime !" 

" Not to-night, Bessie, not to 
night " cried Lorrimer, moving to 
ward the door " Any time but to 
night ; as for Byrne wood " 

" That ere patient is in the hands 
of the Doctor " exclaimed Devil- 
Bug, advancing. " I give him a leetle 
opium to begin with ; arter a-while I ll 
per-soribe somethin more coolin a 
leetle hard steel for instance. Vonders 
how that ill vork ?" 

As he spoke, Lorrimer and his 
companions disappeared through the 
front door, with a loud burst of laugh 
ter. 

* He is gone !" cried Bess, folding 



her arms across her bosom- - " God 
of Heaven! The shriek of that mined 
girl is ever in my ears, its accents of 
despair freezing my soul with a horror 
I never felt before ! And the bro 
ther" 

" I tell ye, Bessie, I ll tend to him !" 
cried Devil-Bug, with his hideous grin 
" Go up stairs an tend to the fe 
male wictim, my dear, go along my 
duck. I think I hear your mammy 
callin for you " 

Bess looked at him with a glance 
of scorn, and then her deep black eyes 
flashed with an expression whose 
awful meaning thrilled him to tho 
very soul. 

" Don t you see the corse at your 
side ?" she shrieked, as she stood in 
the doorway" Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! There 
is evil in store for you, Devil-Bug, 
evil, I say, and doom and death ! 
Hark ! hark ! Don t you hear him " 
and she pointed to the floor " Hark 
how he groans !" 

And she was gone. Her wild shriek 
rang like a death-knell in Devil-Bug s 
ears. 

" That gal is a born devil " he 
said, in a whisper, as he wiped the 
cold sweat from his forehead " Ha ! 
There s the feller agin his jaw broke, 
and his tongue lollin out ! Ha ! And 
the old woman too ; her holler skull 
droppin blood on the floor! But 
I ll not be troubled this way much 
longer " a ghastly smile crossed 
visage " It seems to me I ve got to 
wade through blood up to my neck ! 
I m only ancle-deep jist now arter 
a while I ll swim in blood, I ll float, I 
tell ye I ll float. As to that Byrno- 
wood " 

There was a knock at the door. 



236 



MABEL. 



r 

a 
-9 



Musquito, rising from his slumber, 
slowly opened the inner door and de 
manded the watchword of the new 
comer. It was given in a faint voice, 
and in a moment the stranger entered 
the den. He was a young man with 
a figure somewhat below the middle 
heighth, whose elegance of shape and 
beauty of proportion, was disclosed to 
every advantage, as his sweeping 
black cloak fell carelessly back on his 
shoulders, its collar of fur, almost 
concealed by the thick ringlets of jet- 
black hair, which swept along the fair 
face of the stranger. It was, indeed, 
a fair face, almost effeminate in its 
regularity of feature, while its extreme 
pallor gave additional effect to the 
brilliancy of two large black eyes, 
whose glance was full of fire and ex 
pression. A small velvet cap placed 
jauntily on the centre of his head, 
amid a profusion of black curls which 
fell waving over his fair brow, as well 
as along his face and down to his 
neck, gave an air of saucy daring to 
the stranger, which won Devil-Bug s 
good opinion for him at first sight. 
His form, remarkable for its effemi 
nate beauty of shape, was enveloped 
in a close-fitting black frockcoat, but 
toned tightly over the breast, with its 
dark hue relieved by a large white 
shirt collar that fell aside from the 
fair throat of the stranger. 

" Well, young slim-waist, who are 
ye, and what d ye want here?" said 
Devil -Bug, more from his habitual 
taste for sarcasm than from any posi 
tive dislike to the stranger " You re 
not one of the Monks, I perceive. 
How did ye git hold o th watch 
word ?" 

1 Your name is Abijah K. Jones ?" 



said the stranger, in a tone which was 
evidently assumed. 

" Taint that no more !" cried the 
Doorkeeper, with a look of mocking 
glee " Devil-Bug for ever ! While 
there s strength in these arms .0 
strike or to kill, call me Devil-Bu? 
and I m your man !" 

The stranger quietly seated himself 
beside the table, and gathering tho 
cloak around his slender form, care 
lessly tossed his dark ringlets over 
his brow and looked in the face of 
Devil-Bug with a long and penetrat 
ing glance. 

"Portr it painter, I s pose?" said 
Devil-Bug, with a grin " Wants to 
put my phizzog in the pictur win- 
ders." 

"You know a man named Luke 
Harvey " said the stranger in a deep 
voice widely different from the care 
less tone, which he had assumed at 
first. 

" Well, I do, boss. But fust of all, 
who are you ! How did ye git hold o 
that watchword ?" 

" No matter about my name " 
answered the stranger " The watch 
word of Monk-Hall, was given to me 
by one of the Monks. To the point 
You know a man named Luke Har 
vey. He will be in this house, by 
three o clock to morrow morning. 1 
hate him, and he must die !" 

" Ha, ha, ha he You are a handsome 
copy o Devil-Bug ! Ha, ha ! How 
your eyes sparkle, how your teeth 
grit agin one another ! You hate him 
and he must die ! Quite short ha, 
ha, ha !" 

" Kill him, for me, kill him by the 
pistol or the knife, by fire or by the 
sword, any way you like, kill him 



STRANGE VISITORS IN MONK-HALL. 



231 



this riighl, and I ll make a rich man 
of you ! There is gold for you, as an 
3arnest of your future reward." 

" Right fat purse, this ! How your 
chest swells underneath that cloak, 
and your eyes ; one could light 
tfee-gar at em !" 

" This Luke Harvey carries a ring 
on the third finger of his left hand. 
Its shape is peculiar, and it bears a 
name, engraven on the inner side. 
This ring was given him by his ladye- 
love long, long ago : he values it, as 
his life, and will not part with it save 
with his life. I will wait in a secret 
chamber of this house until daybreak. 
Bring me this ring, before the dawn 
of day, and I will reward you, with 
gold sufficient to buy you ten thousand 
pardons, from the hand of justice " 

" Or a seat in Congress, or a place 
on the Bench, among them big chaps 
in court ! I venders how that ud vork ? 
Devil-Bug in Congress, makin laws ? 
Or Judge Devil-Bug ho ! ho ! ho ! 
on the bench a-sentencin little boys to 
Cherry Hill for stealin nose-wipers !" 

" Do you consent ?" said the stran 
ger, gathering his cloak more closely 
around his form " Is it a bargain ?" 

His eyes, so dark in their hue and 
piercing in their gaze, grew alive 
with a clear and flashing light, that 
spoke the settled resolve of a fearless 
soul. A deep flush mantled over his 
face, and his lips were firmly com 
pressed, while, beneath the thick curls 
which fell over his forehead, you 
might discover the settled frown which 
darkened his brows, so regular and 
arching in their outline. His breath 
".ame thick and gaspingly, and you 
might discern the throbbings which 



agitated his chest, through the heavy 
folds of his cloak. 

" Consent ? Ha, ha ! S pose I should 
pocket this ere money and then laugh 
in your face ?" 

" You would lose the reward 
which is in store for you " drily res 
ponded the stranger. 

" That reward is about your slim- 
waisted body? S pose I take it from 
you, and turn you from my doors with 
a flea in yer ears ?" 

" You dare not " said the stran 
ger, throwing his cloak back on his 
shoulders, and displaying a pistol in 
ither hand" One word of insolence, 
one sign of violence, and you die !" 

" Pluck, good pluck ! Ha, ha, ha !" 
laughed Devil -Bug " Good pluck for 
a slim waist, good pluck for a heaving 
3osom, ha, ha, ha ! Stranger, push 
aside your curls, will ye ? What Ml! 
ye bet I can t tell your name ?" 

" My name !" cried the stranger, 
with a sudden start, as he hurriedly 
gathered the folds of his cloak around 
lis handsome form. " My name 
What know you of my name ?" 

" Your name is " Devil-Bug be- 
*an, in a slow and deliberate voice. 
3e ended the sentence by a quick 
whisper which he hissed in the stran 
ger s ears, as he leaned over the table, 
with his head thrown forward until it 
well-nigh touched the face of the list 
ener. 

But we must depict a scene which 
occurred one hour before this incident 
of our Revelations^ 



MABEL. 



CHAPTER FIFTH. 
DORA AND FITZ-COWLES. 

WE open this scene with a pifiiyre. 
f -Kneeling on the carpet of a princely 
chamber, a man of some thirty years 
and more supports the insensible form 
of a lovely woman in his arms. T 
dim light of a massive chandelier 
illumines the scene. The dark-hued 
face of the man, marked by massive 
features, his stiff black hair descend 
ing to his neck in heavy curls, his 
well-proportioned form clad in a black 
frockcoat, all combined furnish an ef 
fective contrast to the careless loveli 
ness of the woman, her fair-hued face 
turned upward to the light, her long 
and glossy hair, falling in tresses of 
jet along her shoulders white as snow, 
while a night-gown of azure silk, 
gathering round her form, so swelling, 
so lithe and so voluptuous in its every 
outline, in negligent folds falls gently 
aside from her neck, and reveals a 
glimpse of her bosom, slowly heaving 
into view.j 

A dark and ill-omened smile rests 
upon the lip of the man, as he surveys 
the beauty of the insensible woman, 
while a gentle flush, tinting her cheeks, 
and warming over her bosom, betrays 
her return to consciousness. The mi 
nor details of the scene, tell the story 
of the picture. In her extended hand, 
she grasps a letter, with a convulsive 
grasp like that of death. His hat and 
cane and gloves, flung carelessly on 
the carpet, his cloak thrown over a 
chair, and the door of the chamber, 
hanging wide open, all tell the story 
of his sudden entrance and his surprise. 
The back ground of the scene is sup 



plied by the furniture and the crimson- 
hangings of the chamber, varied by 
pictures in massive frames, and mel 
lowed into gentle twilight by the dim 
beams of the chandelier. Altogether, 
the picture is an effective one, worthy 
the genius of an artist who has a soul 
to feel, and a hand to execute; like 
I)aley) for instance, whose pencil is a 
mine of un wrought gold. 

" A lovely woman, by Jove ! " 
muttered Fitz-Cowles " And a deep 
one ! Passions like a volcano, and a 
soul fearless as the fiend himself! I 
must take care that she does not out- 
devil me !" 

" Is he gone ?" Dora exclaimed 
in a whisper, as she slowly unclosed 
her eyes" Ha ! Fitz-Cowles ! Then 
you know, all 7" arid half-rising from 
her prostrate position she gazed in his 
face, with a look of the most intense 
anxiety. 

" All Dora ?" echoed Fitz-Cowles 
with a look of vacant surprise 

What mean you?" 

As he spoke, he gently assisted her 
to rise from the floor. 

" Know you this letter ?" she ex- 
laimed, in a whisper, as she threw 
herself in the rocking-chair, and placed 
the letter in his hands. 

" Your letter to me !" cried Fitz- 
Cowles, with a start of surprise " I 
ost it from my pocket-book, sometime 
yesterday. How fortunate for us both 
hat you found it !" 

" Luke Harvey found it !" exclaim 
ed Dora, in a slow and deliberate tone, 
as she leaned over the table " And 
Luke Harvey holds us in his power ! 
A single word from his lips, and our 
secret is known to Livingstone " 

"Luke Harvey!" exclaimed Fitz- 



DORA AND FITZ-COWLES. 



Cowies, recovering from the stunning 
shock of surprise which had thrilled 
his very soul, as Dora made the mo 
mentous disclosure "And he was 
here and threatened you, Dora?" 

" Not only threatened me, but 
assailed me with deliberate and gall 
ing insult. It is but five minutes 
since he left the room. We stand 
upon the edge of an awful precipice, 
Algernon; already it crumbles be 
neath our feet ! A word from Luke, 
and our plans are overshadowed by 
utter ruin " 

"He visits Monk- Hall to-night!" 
.^claimed Fitz-Cowles, with his finger 
10 his lip, in an absent tone " Visits 
Monk-Hall with our secret in his 
possession. A single blow, and he 
were silent forever !" 

"That blow must be stricken!" 
exclaimed Dora, and a deadly light 
flashed from her dark eyes as she 
spoke. " Luke once silenced, we are 
safe ! To-morrow morning, Living 
stone and myself leave town for 
Hawkwood. To-morrow evening, Liv 
ingstone will have to return to town 
on business, and after he has set out 
Dn his return, you will arrive at 
Hawkwood in the secrecy of night. 
We can then arrange matters for our 
flight or otherwise " 

" My plan is a plain and a clear 
one. After Livingstone has set out 
on his return to the Quaker City, I 
will arrive at Hawkwood, and then, 
mounted on fleet steeds, with suitable 
disguises, we will leave the country 
mansion together ; and riding all night 
overtake the New York cars near 
Burlington. It is then but half a 
day s journey to New York ; and the 
steamer sails in the beginning of next 

16 



week. This is a straightforward 
plan, Dora, and we would both do 
well to adopt it " 

" I have other plans which may 
essentially alter our arrangements " 
said Dora, in a deep and meaning 
whisper, with that same deadly glance 
of her eyes "However, Algernon, 
do not fail to meet me at Hawkwood 
to-morrow night. But what folly is 
this ! While we lay plans for our 
flight, Luke Harvey is telling Living 
stone the story of his wife s guilt and 
his dishono/ !" 

" This Harvey seems to hate you, 
Dora " began Fitz-Cowles, aloud, 
but he finished the sentence by a 
muttered whisper "By Jove! He 
is on my track also ! I learn from 
that Buzby Poodle whom I have 
been forced to buy that Harvey was 
dogging the Jew s heels to day ! That 
same Luke has a spiteful black eye !" 

"Hate me!" echoed Dora "Ha, 
ha, ha ! To tell you the truth, Fitz- 
Cowies, he was <once a lover of mine, 
I rejected the poor fellow, he has ex 
changed his love for spite, and now 
would sell his soul to ruin me ! He 
must be silenced, Fitz-Cowles ?" 

She leaned over the table, fixing her 
dark eyes with a meaning glance 
upon the face of her paramour. Fitz- 
Cowles involuntarily averted his eyes, 
and shaded his brew with his up 
raised hand. Dora gazed upon him 
silently and sternly for a sing- 1 * mo 
ment, and then laid her fair wniie 
hand upon his arm. 

" He must be silenced !" she re 
peated in that same deep whisper. 

" The Jew is safe by this time ; I 
have nothing to fear from that quar 
ter !" muttered Fitz-Cowles. " Why 



MABEL. 



the fact is, Dora, I hardly think the 
man would have showed you this let 
ter had he meant to betray you. He 
will attend the banquet in Monk-Hall 
to-night, and consequently cannot see 
Livingstone before to-morrow. By- 
the-bye, where is the old fellow V 

" Mr. Livingstone sent me word by 
the servant that matters of pressing 
business would detain him at the 
counting house all night, until the 
hour of our departure to-morrow 
morning. To be plain with you, 
Algernon, I do not feel safe while 
this man Harvey lives with the power 
of mischief at his control. Can 
you think of no plan to secure his 
silence ?" 

" Tut, tut ! He is not worth our 
notice, Dora " exclaimed Fitz- 
Cowles, resuming his hat and cane, 
and moving towards the door. " Let 
him take his own course. He is too 
pitiable a thing to cause one solitary 
fear. By-the-bye, you must excuse 
me, Dora I left a friend waiting in 
the parlor down stairs. Remember, 
Dora, to-morrow night we meet at 
Hawkwood " 

" My disguise is safe in the next 
room," exclaimed Dora, assuming a 
careless and languid manner. " By- 
the-bye, Fitz-Cowles, how does your 
Club manage Monk-Hall? Are you 
assured of the silence of your subor 
dinate ? Now if any person who has 
money to clear his way can enter the 
mansion, I would not give a straw for 
the secrecy of the place " 

" Ha, ha ! You women are so 
curious!" laughed Fitz-Cowles 
" Anybody enter the Hall ? Non 
sense No one can enter without 
the password, which is changed by 



the Abbot every night. Old Devil 
Bug would murder the man who at* 
tempted an entrance without the 
secret word. Last night I gave out 
the pass word for to-night. * Fire and 
brimstone you know? Tart and 
expressive, Dora !" 

" Fire and brimstone ! " echoed 
Dora, rising from her chair " And 
this Jones, or Devil-Bug, is a despe 
rate sort of man : is he not ? Some 
thing of the cut-throat and the bravo?" 

"By Jove! I should not like to 
empt his cut-throat skill ! But really, 
Dora, my friend down stairs is grow 
ing impatient. Remember, Dora " 
and he made a slight bow " Hawk- 
wood, Dora, to-morrow night !" 

He closed the door, and the mer 
chant s wife was alone. 

She stood silent and motionless, 
with her arms folded across her breast, 
while her dark hair hung clustering 
over the fair bosom, now rising in the 
light with the impulse of a dark and 
terrible thought. Her eyes, dark and 
lustrous as they were at other times, 
were now almost hidden by her com 
pressed brows, while they shot forth 
a dead and glassy light, which indi 
cated a mind buried in itself, as it 
called up its most fearful elements, to 
nerve it for the accomplishment of a 
desperate and appalling deed. 
*" My name whispered through all 
the town with epithets of scorn and 
contempt ? In the parlor, the saloon, 
and the theatre? And then the daily 
Journals, who fatten on the garbage 
of private discord, will parade in their 
loathsome columns the disgrace of 
Livingstone, the guilt and degradation 
of his wife ! My name will become 
another word for pollution and dis 



DORA A.VD FITZ-COWLES. 



241 



honor! Shall this be? Never by 
all the energies of a soul, which has 
a woman s passion without her fear, 
never ! 

" The deed which I contemplate is 
most appalling ! It requires a firm 
soul, and a heart which shrinks not 
at the sight of blood! It perils a 
world to gain a world ! But what of 
that ? ** A sure eye and a firm footstep 
may guide thejrayeller, unharmed, 
along the edge of awful chasms, 
which yawn to engulph him, and 
echo his tread with the sound of 
crumbling rocks ! What cares he for 
the death that reaches forth its arms 
to grasp him, so that he can escape 
by a hair s-breadth from its clutches? 

" My soul is resolved ! Before the 
dawn of day, Dora, the Cobbler s 
grand-daughter ha, ha, ha will fear 
no living witness of her guilt i And 
to-morrovv, to-morrow Catharine De 
Medicis must ha, ha, ha ! must 
clothe these young limbs with a 
widow s weeds !" 

These words uttered, she pushed 
aside the crimson hangings, and dis 
appeared into the next chamber, with 
a single exclamation. 

" The disguise " she murmured 
" The disguise which Fitz-Cowles 
prepared for our flight, is safe in this 
chest !" 

Meanwhile, passing down the stairs, 
Fitz-Cowles was saluted by his com 
panion, who stood waiting in the 
hall, under the light of the hanging 
lamp. 

" Cool my blood with a julap !" ex 
claimed the indomitable Major Rap- 
pahannock Mulhill, as he stood pick- 
ng his tefeth with a large bowie knife 



" But it s too bad to keep a fellow 
waiting in this way ! I say, Colonel, 
did you find old Livingstone in ? No ] 
Then you won the bet !" 

"I told you not to bet, but you 
would !" replied Fitz-Cowles, twirling 
his cane with a nonchalance air 
" You wagered a cool thousand that I 
would find Livingstone up stairs ! 
How deuced foolish in you ! I never 
saw such a fellow for betting ; never, 
by Jove ! By-the-bye, Major, there s 
a fire in the parlor, let s walk in and 
settle the bet." 

" Oh, we bloods down south are 
awful chaps to bet, awe-hi\ !" replied 
Rappahannock, as his round face 
assumed an expression of deep solem 
nity " Why Fitz, my boy, I recol 
lect one occasion, when the head of a 
large family was buried it was my 
father that bets were made with all 
the heirs with regard to the length of 
the Parson s sermon ! The odds ran 
strong on an hour and a half. Bets 
were freely offered, ten to one, that the 
JParson would not get done in two 
hours. I booked them all. The Par 
son, strong winded chap as he was, 
broke down after the first hour, and 
they handed the bets to me over the 
old man s grave " 

" Let us walk into the front par 
lor," exclaimed Fitz-Cowles, opening 
the door. 

" But the most singular fact of all 
was, that we had to use the old man s! 
coffin as a writing desk, on which to 
settle the amount of the various bets. 
The Parson waited till we had finish 
ed. One fellow was mean enough to 
skulk out of his bet ; I licked him, and 
we had a row over the grave " 

" Now, Major, your Wt was a 



242 



MABEL. 









thousand, vas it not?" cooly inter 
rupted Fitz-Cowles, opening his pocket 
bock, as if to receive the money. 

" We had a row over the grave. 
You d hardly believe it, Colonel, but 
fifteen funerals sprung from that very 
circumstance. Why the amount of 
Bowie knives and pistols which were 
used in that fight may be estimated, 
when you are informed that a dev lish 
enterprising blacksmith in the vicinity 
made horseshoes from the fragments 
for six months afterwards. The 
Mulhill funeral horseshoes were all 
the go ! Cool me with a julap, 
by " 

" Your bet was a thousand dollars" 
said Fitz-Cowles, quite pointedly, 
as he displayed the pocket book in 
his right hand. 

"Oh my dear fellow, I sha n t 
have a remittance till Monday. Just 
make a note of it, will ye. By-the- 
bye, Fitz, my boy, I ll take you 
another bet that I don t get that re- 
mittance till Tuesday." 

" All right, Major, all right," ex- 
claimed Fitz-Cowles, concealing his 
chagrin with the best possible grace. 
" Don t think I ll take that other bet. 
fBy-the-bye, I am going to Mrs. Tulip 
St. Smith s conversazione to nightj 
Will you go with me, Major?" 

" What is to be did ?" replied the 
Major, sticking his hands in his vest 
pockets " Cock fightin or a bear 
bait, or any thing o that kind ?" 

" Nothing so refined. You must 
alk of Byron and Shelley and Mrs. 
Hummins or Hemans " 

" Don t know much about Byron, 
Colonel, but as poor Shelly Gad! 
Didn t my next neighbor give him 
thirty-nine for runnin off with a yel 



low gal ? Shelly was the worst buck 
nigger on [ones place !" 

Fitz-Cowles acquaintance with the 
literature or the literary cant of the 
day, was exceedingly limited, but the 
remark of the round-faced Mulhill was 
too strong for even his intellectual 
nerves. 

" The fellow is a decided jackass !" 
he muttered, leading the way from the 
parlor " I say Mulhill, did you ever 
read a book in your life?" he exclaim 
ed, as he lifted the dead-latch of the 
front door " Did you ever read so 
much as a Magazine ?" 

" Didn t I ? Haven t we all them 
pictur books down south ? Steel plates 
in front, depictin the feelin s of pussies 
deprived of their ma s, and nice love 
tales full o grand descriptions of the 
way young genelmen an ladies dies 
for won another, without so much as 
leavin a pocket-hank cher to tell their 
fate ! Read the Migizines ? Wot po try, 
wot sentiment, wot murder, an mad 
ness, an mush-and-milk, for a greasy 
quarter ! Cool me with a julap, by !" 

" Hist ! Look yonder, Major !" ex 
claimed Fitz-Cowles, pointing to the 
door-steps of Livingstone s mansion, 
which they had but a moment left 
" Who is that young fellow, standing 
in front of Livingstone s door? Who 
can it be ? A fashionable hat and a 
sweeping mantle ! Egad ! He leaves 
the door and hurries down Fourth 
street ! Come on, Mulhill let s give 
chase !" 

" Kick me to death with crickets \ 
And why should I give chase? Ha, 
ha, ha! D ye see that paper, Curnel, 
d ye see that document ? Ho, ho, ho 
What J ud ye give to read it? Hurray, 
hurray !" 



DEVIL-BUG IN LOVE. 



243 



Y.iJ to the utter astonishment of 
Fitz-Cowles, the ardent Southerner 
witn his red round face, half-hidden 
by an immense shirt collar, and his 
portly form enveloped in a white 
blanket overcoat, commenced perform 
ing an irregular dance along the 
pavement of South Fourth street, tos 
sing his felt hat on high with one hand ? 
while the other grasped a slip of dingy 
paper, and waved it to and fro, in the 
winter air. 

" What in the deuce do you mean ? 
Folks will think you re crazy. What s 
that letter about ?" 

" What s it about?" echoed Mulhill, 
with a broad grin widening his fea 
tures " Nothin pertikler ! list a love 
letter from a g-a-l !" 



CHAPTER SIXTH. 

DEVIL- BUG IN LOVE. 

" YOUR name is " 

As Devil-Bug leaning over the table, 
Sissed these whispered words in the 
er of the listener, his face assum 
ed an expression of hideous glee, 
his lips parting with a sneering gri 
mace, while a multitude of minute 
wrinkles, diverging from the corner 
of his eyelids, spread over his swarthy 
skin, in a smile of fiend-like triumph 
and scorn. 

" My name " echoed the stranger, 
drawing the folds of his cloak yet 
more closely around his form, while 
his hand with an involuntary move 
ment swept his dark curls more thick 
ly over his white forehead. * My 
name is " 

"Dora Livingstone!" whispered 



Devil-Bug, resting the knuckles of his 
iron hands upon the edge of the tal le. 
" The wife of the rich Merchant ! 
Alone and in Monk-Hall !" 

The face of the stranger became 
suddenly pale as death, and then the 
dark eyes, gleaming from beneath the 
mass of jet-black curls, shot forth a 
glance of fixed resolution. 

" Beware how you whisper that 
name within these walls !" The voice 
was calm and resolute, that spoke 
these words. " Woman, as I am, it 
were not safe for you to dare my ven 
geance ! I came here for revenge ! 
You are the man to fulfil my settled 
purpose I have asked you to commit 
a horrible crime but you shall have 
gold for your labor. Gold sufficient 
to make you a rich man ! This Luke 
Harvey must die !" 

" It s quite a pleasure to hear her 
talk !" cried Devil-Bug, gazing upon 
the face of the disguised woman, with 
a look of gloating admiration. " To 
think that the creetur with them 
devil s eyes is a woman, with a soft 
buzzim and a plump form ! Ho, ho, 
ho ! Luke Harvey shall die, good 
lady if you wish it, but the wages aint 
to be paid in goold." 

" What mean you ?" exclaimed 
Dora, with a look of disgust impress 
ing the lines of her proud counte 
nance, as she marked the expression 
of Devil-Bug s loathsome face. 

" The goold I want good lady, is a 
kiss from a red lip ; a little love you v 
know, and a good deal o fondness ! 
That s my price. I aint to be had on 
any other terms. Ho, ho, ho ! The 
han some Merchant s wife in love with 
old Devil-Bug I venders how thar 
J ud vork?" 



244 



MABEL. 



The bosom of the disguised 
rose heaving beneath the folds of her 
cloak, and her dark eyes flashed with 
fierce indignation. 

"And dare you presume to hold 
such language with me ? Another 
word of such insolence from your lips, 
and by the Heaven above me, you die !" 

She sprang to her feet, and flinging 
the cloak from her shoulders, stood 
with her proud form elevated to its 
full stature, while her fair white hands, 
each held a pistol extended at arms 
length, in an attitude of determined 
menace. 

" Look here Musketer, look here 
Glow-worm aint that a purty sight ? 
You re the rale pluck I tell ye, g-a-1 ! 
D ye mean them words as a purty 
speech or as rale sensible tolk ? D ye 
see them niggers ? Suppose ye fire 
at yer humble sarvant, d ye think a 
g-a-1 with yer soft bosom and smooth 
limbs ar a match for sich reglar iron- 
boned devils as them darkies ? I have 
seen ye afore, gal, and liked ye Come 
to my terms, and I ll come to yours ! 
A kiss for every drop o blood I shed 
on your account!" 

Dora started at the sight of the two 
negroes, nestling in the dark corners 
of the Doorkeeper s den. 

" Oh madness, madness !" she mut 
tered, dropping her face instinctively 
on her bosom, while her extended 
hands still grasped the pistols in their 
fair white fingers. " I have placed my 
name and reputation at the mercy of 
this fiend in human shape ! There 
are witnesses to this dark interview 
oh madness, madness !" 

Devil-Bug quietly Vnotioned his Ne 
groes to leave the den. As they crept 
through the door leading into the man 



sion, he silently glided around th 
table, and stood at the side of the beat, 
tiful woman, whose head still resteo 
upon her bosom. 

" I like yer spirit " he whispered, 
fixing his solitary eye upon her red- 
dening face with a look of gloating ad 
miration " If you want to leave these 
doors, old Devil-Bug is not the man 
to stop you. But look ye, good lady, 
if you but say the word, Luke Harvey 
shall not see the sun rise to-morrow ! 
You go up stairs, and wait till day 
break in a private room ; no one shall 
dare to molest ye ! When I bring you 
that ere ring, which Luke aint to par r 
with except with his life, then &ou are 
to pay me, the the -goold ? | 

Dora said never a word, but letting 
the pistols fall from her hands, she 
sank in the seat, and hid her face in 
her bosom, while the long tresses of 
her dark hair, escaping from beneath 
the velvet cap, fell showering and lux- 
uriant over her neck and shoulders, so 
beautifully disguised in man s attire. 

" Insulted, scorned, despised." she 
murmured, " And by the man I once 
so deeply loved ! My name at his mer 
cy, my whole fortune hanging on a 
chance word from his lips ! Shall 1 
pause in my career of revenge 1 This 
night and to-morrow safely passed, I 
am Countess of Lyndeswold. Yes, 
yes, Luke Harvey must die, at an) 
arice, at all hazards, must die " 

" Lady what s the use of mutterin 
an* mumblin to yerself ? Is it a bar 
gain ? If it is, jist reach out yer hand, 
and let me kiss it " 

" Bring me the ring, and you shall 
revel in wealth " whispered Dora, 
raising her face slowly from her bosom. 

" If you d a kept yer face hid a 



PARSON PYNE AND HIS DAUGHTER. 



24& 



tninnit longer, I might ave corne to yer 
terms. But with the sight o that face 
afore me, Pd sooner you d come to 
mine ! I d sooner revel on yer lip, 
good lady, than to float in goold up to 
my eyes ! Is it a bargain 1 Gi us 
yer hand " 

Dora slowly rose from her seat. 
How beautiful she looked, as standing 
erect in her disguise, with her long 
dark hair, falling aside from her face, 
she folded her arms across her heav 
ing bosom, and remained for a single 
moment, silent and motionless. The 
light fell softly over the outline of her 
form, revealing the symmetry of her 
limbs, so round in their faultless shape, 
the swelling ripeness of her bosom, 
heaving beneath the disguise of the 
closely-buttoned frockcoat, the slender 
waist, and the proportions of her figure, 
widening with beauty below the waist, 
and gradually narrowing again like 
the outline of an invented pyramid, as 
they approached the small and deli 
cate feet, enclosed in tight-fitting boots, 
which reached mid-way to the knee. 
She was very beautiful, and her com 
pressed lip, and pale forehead, dark 
ening with a frown, gave her lovely 
countenance, an expression of deep 
and painful thought, which disclosed 
the mighty struggle at work within 
her soul. 

" Gi us yer hand i ? said Devil-Bug, 
as he glided closer to her side. 

" The ring " was all that Dora, 
found strength to murmur, as with her 
face averted, she slowly extended her 
fair white hand toward the deformed 
wretch by her side. 

" This is the goold for which I bar 
gains "exclaimed Devil-Bug as drop 
ping on his knees, he app ied his loath 



some lips to the skin of that delicate 
hand " Before daybreak you shall 
have the ring, and I the goold ! Ha, 
ha ! Ho, ho ! Venders how thai 
ill vork?" 



CHAPTER SEVENTH. 

PARSON PYNE AND HIS DAUGHTER. 

" COMFORTABLE range of apart 
ments," muttered the Rev. Dr. Pyne, as 
he entered a small chamber on the 
second floor. "This is my study. A nice 
ittle room, with a coal fire in the grate, 
a lamp on the table, a cupboard in the 
corner, and a bed in the other. This 
s what I call comfortable, " he smiled 
pleasantly as standing with his back 
to the fire, and his hands under his 
coat-tails, he warmed his respectable 
person, and surveyed the room, at the 
same time. " This is the retreat to 
which the Foe of Pagan Rome retires, 
when the labors of the pulpit are over. 
Ha, ha ! I am blessed with an affec 
tionate and loving congregation. Dear 
people, they love me ! I preached with 
unction to night, powerful, very pow~ 
erful unction, and talking of unction, 
I believe Pll try a little brandy." 

With that pleasant smile beaming 
from his red round face, that smile 
which won him bank-note opinions 
from the wealthy old women of his 
flock, and endeared him to the hearts 
of all the Patent-Gospellers, the good 
Doctor advanced to the cupboard, and 
taking a corpulent decanter from its 
recesses, poured himself a very toler 
able glass of blushing Cogn ac. Sur 
veying the creature for a moment. 



846 



MABEL. 



with his one eye closed, and his ful 
red lips dropped apart, the Reverenc 
gentleman after this silent pause of 
thought, raised the glass to his lips 
with the emphatic sentiment ; Down 
with the Pope of Pagan Rome ; up 
with the Pa tent- Gospellers ! 

" Good brandy, that," he murmur 
ed replacing the empty glass in the 
cupboard. " Old Swipes, one of our 
Elders who keeps a wine store, sent 
me that brandy in mistake for wine. 
It was intended for the use of our 
church on particular occasions ; I use 
k instead of the church which does 
just as well." 

The Reverend gentleman then seat 
ed his portly person, in the large arm 
chair beside the fire, and taking a cor 
pulent pocket-book from a side pocket, 
he displayed its contents, on his out 
spread knees. 

" Funds are easy with us to-day," 
said the good man smiling as he spoke, 
" My wants were quite numerous this 
morning ; to night they are amply 
supplied. That ten dollar note came 
from a good old lady, on account of a 
poor man, who was run over by the 
cars. A widow with five small child 
ren and one at the breast, will doubt 
less be relieved when she beholds the 
twenty, which was presented to me 
for her, by an aged brother of our 
flock. That gold-piece is for the poor 
man, who fell from a five-story house, 
with a hod on his shoulder. This five 
dollar note, came with a letter, which 
defied the Pope of Rome in very strong 
language. Down with the Pope of 
Pagan Rome, yours ShadroeS Shad- 
roe is a very zealous brother ; quite 
fiery. And here is a fifty, which 
was vendered me for the use of an in 



digent young brother, about to com. 
mence the Gospel Ministry. There s 
somewhere near a hundred dollars in 
all, collected by me since breakfast 
this morning. A good day s work." 
The Rev. F. A. T. Pyne chuckled 
pleasantly to himself, and winked ra 
ther viciously at the small Bible on the 
mantle-piece. It was a very pleasant 
thing to behold the*fruits of his day s 
abor resting on his kn^e, in the shape 
of solid gold and bank notes ; and our 
admiration of the sight is increased to 
a positive reverence for Dr. Pyne, 
when we remember that the poor man 
who was run over by the cars, the 
widow with five children and one at 
he breast, the man who fell from a 
ive-story house with a hod on his 
shoulder, and the indigent young bro- 
her about to commence the Gospel 
Ministry, were all lively fictions, in 
vented by the Foe of Pagan Rome, for 4 
he especial benefit of his two rooms 
and other conveniences at Monk-Hall. 
3ut this you will understand is a pos- 
tive secret, and having been entrusted 
o us in strict confidence, must on no 
account go any farther. 

" A little opium wont hurt me, I 
pine," said the good Brother taking 
small paper from his pocket, which 
>eing opened, disclosed a number of 
smaller papers, all carefully folded in- 
square form, with an Apothecary s 
abel, on the outside of each. " We 
emperance folks must have some little 
excitement after we have forsworn in- 
mperance. When we leave off Al 
cohol, we indulge our systems with a 
ittle Opium. That s what I call a 
apita 1 compromise." 

The Brother now arose from hi 
seat, and quietly opened a small door r 



PARSON PYNE AND HIS DAUGHTER. 



24? 



/eadirig into the adjoining chamber. 
A cheerful smile overspread his round 
face, and his watery eyes twinkled 
with glee. There was something very 
meaning in the energy with which he 
smacked his large red lips together. 

" She sleeps !" he muttered, and 
then with a quiet manner and cauti 
ous footstep stole into the chamber, 
closing the door carefully behind him. 

It was a wide and spacious cham 
ber, with lofty ceiling and wainscotted 
walls. A small lamp burning on the 
table near the fireplace, gave a clear 
cold light to the hearth-side, while the 
other parts of the room were wrapt in 
shadow. Like most of the chambers 
of Monk-Hall, this room wore an an 
cient and desolate appearance. The 
heavy oaken wainscot of the walls, the 
chairs of massive mahogany, with 
high-backs and carved limbs, the small 
couch standing in one corner, with its 
snow-white counterpane and spot 
less pillow contrasting with the heavy 
carvings of the bed-posts of dark wal 
nut, the faded carpet on the floor, 
and the elaborate wood-work above 
the mantel, with the coal fire smoul 
dering in the grate below, such were 
the characteristics of the ancient cham 
ber, which was rendered dark and 
gloomy by the absence of windows 
from the lofty walls. A small aper 
ture near the ceiling not more than 
two feet long and one foot high, could 
scarcely be called a window ; although 
it was intended to give a faint glimpse 
of light during the daytime. 

Near the fire, a fair giri, dressed in 
spotless white, was sleeping as she 
reclined in a massive arm-chair, whose 
high-back thickly cushioned with dark 
velvet, aiforded a ge.itle repose to her 



maidenly form. The light fell mildly 
over her countenance, disclosing its 
pale hues and regular features, strik 
ingly relieved by the long black hair 
which half unbound fell waving over 
her cheek, down to her shoulders. 
Her hands small and delicate, and 
death-like as the whitest marble, were 
clasped in front of her person, and the 
light folds of the robe, which envel 
oped her form like a death-shroud, 
were softly agitated by the faint motion 
of her bosom, heaving gently upward 
as she slept. 

So like a pure and holy dream 
was the beauty of the fair girl, as she 
lay sleeping quietly in the den of 
Monk-Hall, that Altamont Pyne, start- 
d with involuntary awe, as he gazed 
upon his daughter s face. Her beau 
ty was of that peculiar cast which 
mingles high intellect and purity of 
soul with all the enticing loveliness of 
a fair young form, soft limbs, a deli- 
ate bosom, throbbing with the impulses 
of youthful blood and a lustrous black 
eye beaming with the undeveloped love 
of a stainless soul. Her form some 
what below the middle heighth, was 
marked by peculiar and characteristic 
beauties. A neck fair and round ; 
wide shoulders, the skin as white as 
alabaster, and veined with delicate 
streaks of azure ; a slender waist wi 
dening into the lower proportions of 
the figure, which were marked by the 
swelling outlines of womanly beauty, 
and a small foot, thrust from jnder- 
neath the folds of her dress. 

Her face was fair, in its hues, round 
in its contour, swelling in its outlines, 
the features regular, the brow calm 
and eloquent, the lips red and ripe f 



X" 

M8 MABEL, 


marked by a bewitching loveliness of 


bosom, his hot breath on my cheek 4 


shape, and the chin, firm and resolute 


Help, oh God, help ! Father, hav 


in its expression, was varied by a 


mercy, oh have mercy ! Your voice 


laughing dimple. And yet with all 


it was that taught me God s own holy 


this beauty, the countenance was 


truths, and now that same voice whis 


white as marble, never animate with 


pers pollution in my ear. Your hands 


the flushed hues of maidenhood, save 


first raised mine to God as we prayed 


when strong emotion, called the warm 


together, a.nd now father those hands 


blood to the swelling cheek. As she 


oh God ! Oh God !" 


lay reclining in the arm-chair she 


" Awake my child," whispered Al- 


looked for all the world, like a marble 


tamont Pyne as his red round face 


statue of an intellectual and voluptu 


grew suddenly pale. 


ous maiden, with all the outline and 


" It is night, it is night !" muttered 


shape, which gives fascination to the 


the sleeping girl, * Back, father, I say 


face and form of beauty, without the 


back ! God s vengeance will strike ye 


warm hues, which tint the lips with 


dead, if ye but attempt this horrible 


love, and fire the cheek with passion. 


crime ! Back I say, or with this lamp 


" Mable is quite beautiful !" mut 


I will fire the window curtains, and in 


tered the oily-faced Parson gazing 


an instant this house, which you have 


upon the girl with his watery eyes dis 


forever polluted by this attempt at 


tended by an expression of animal 


crime, never to be named in human 


admiration. " It s most a pity to 


ears, this house will arise to heaven 


awake her 1 However Brother Devil- 


in flames ! Each spark of flame, a 


Bug will be here directly, with the po 


witness before God, of the horrible 


tion. Mabel," his voice assumed its 


crime ! Back I say I will to the 


blandest whisper as he applied his 


door back, or I fire the house ! Ha, 


mouth to the sleeper s ear. " Mabel, 


ha ! I gain the door, the entry is past 


look up, my child !" 


and the stairs ! Ha, ha ! I am in 


The maiden moved in her sleep, but 


the street, the night is cold and the 


d d not unclose her eyes. Gathering 


flinty stones rend my feet, but I am 


her hand convulsively over her bosom, 


saved, I am saved !" 


as the soft accents of the Reverend 


" Mabel, awake I say !" exclaimed 


Pyne broke on her ear, she murmured 


Brother Pyne, with an angry frown. 


wildly in her sleep, as though some 


" You should not encourage these 


terrible vision had dawned upon her 


night-mare dreams. Ugh ! The girl 


soul. 


makes me shiver, and yet her lip is 


" It is night again," she muttered 


ripe as a May cherry ! Where is 


in a voice scarcely audible. " I am 


Devil-Bug with his potion ?" 


alone. The door is locked and oh, 


" Oh let me in for the sake of God !" 


save me good Heaven ! His footstep is 


the accents of the sleeper broke on the 


on the stairs ! He comes, and I, stand 


air in tones of agony. " The night ia 


trembling at the approach of my fa 


dark and I am cold ! My feet are 


ther ! My father, ha, ha, ha ! It is 


pierced by the flinty stones, and the 


might again and his hand is upon my 


winter hail and snow beats against my 



PARSON PYNE AND HIS DAUGHTER. 



249 



bosom ! Open your door, oh stranger, j 
lor he pursues me ! He, my father, | 
and I fear him worse than the grave!" 

" Mabel girl, I say will you hush 
this nonsense !" exclaimed Parson 
Pyne, in an angry tone, as he shook 
the maiden roughly by the shoulder. 

The girl slowly unclosed her eyes 
and gazed in his face with a bewilder 
ed stare. 

" Oh do not hurt me, father," she 
exclaimed clasping her hands beseech 
ingly in his face. 

"Hurt ye, girl? Who talks of 
hurtin ye ?" exclaimed Pyne, betray 
ed by his excited feelings^into an 
harshness of dialect which spoke of 
the habits of his former life, when he 
was not precisely a saint. " What 
d ye set there dreamin about such 
stuff and nonsense 1 Haven t I pro 
vided you a home, where you might 
recover from the unfortunate state of 
mind which has possessed you of late? 
Dismiss that unhappy dream, my 
child, dismiss that unhappy dream, 
now and forever !" 

Brother Pyne drew a chair, and sat 
down by his daughter s side. 

" And then, father, you think it was 
a dream ?" she exclaimed, with an ex 
pression of rapture warming over her 
face. 

" To be sure I do, Mabel, to be sure 
I do !" said Brother Pyne, quickly. 
" Put your arms round my neck and 
kiss me, that s a good daughter." 

Mabd reached forth her arms and 
entwined them round her father s neck. 
She kissed him on the cheek with her 
lips, now reddened with excitement, 
but a cold shudder ran over her form, 
in the very act. She shrank back in 
to her chair as ihougL she had been 



stung by a serpent. At this moment 
she looked very beautiful. Her swell 
ing cheeks were flushed with sudden 
life, her large dark eyes beamed with 
soul, and her lips so bewitching in 
their shape, grew moist and red as 
rose-buds heavy with morning dew. 
Her brow white as alabaster and calm 
as death, was eloquent with the silent 
intensity of thought, which absorbed 
her soul. And aside from that fair 
brow swept her raven hair, falling in 
long and glossy tresses to her rounded 
shoulders, and imparting a solemn 
beauty to the loveliness of her counte 
nance. 

" Oh father," she murmured, " the 
night, the night when I fled from your 
roof. Was it all a dream ?" 

" To be sure it was, my dear," re 
plied Dr. Pyne, taking his daughter s 
hand within his own. 

" Did you not seek my chamber, 
did you not oh horror, horror ! My 
tongue cleaves to the roof of my 
mouth, when I endeavor to picture 
forth that scene in words !" 

" Tush, tush, this is all nonsense !" 
and as he spoke the Doctor gently 
wound his arms around her waist. 
" Have I not always been a kind fa 
ther to you ? Have I not rented this 
house for your especial comfort ? You 
see, my child, your solitary way of 
life has slightly, very slightly, affect 
ed your mind. A few weeks of quiet, 
with the change of scene afforded by 
this old mansion, the perusal of whole 
some books, together with the cheerful 
conversation of yoir father, will bring 
you right again. Have your attend 
ants brought you any refreshments, 
my child." 

" Yes, fatter. An hour ago, jusl 



850 



MABEL. 



as I had lain down upon the bed to 
rest myself for a few moments, a ser 
vant entered the chamber, and set food 
upon the table before the fire. He did 
not observe me, father, but I saw him 
and was chilled with horror at the 
sight of his hideous countenance. Why 
do you employ such a hideous mons 
ter, father?" 

"What, Brother Abijah? Oh he 
ts a fine fellow, a Christian, my daugh 
ter, although his face is not precisely 
nandsome. What are you thinking 
of now, Mabel ?" 

And Brother Pyne patted the palm 
of her fair white hand, while his arm 
gathered more lovingly around her 
waist. 

"Of my mother! She has been 
dead long, very long, has she not, fa 
ther? Many and many an hour, in 
the daytime, when abroad in the 
street, and at night when resting in 
bed, have I endeavoured to recall the 
memory of her face, or a tone of her 
voice, or a smile wreathing her lips, 
but in vain ! All is dark with me, 
when I think of my mother." 

" The fact is she died when you 
was a mere baby, Mabel. Think, my 
child, what a care you have been to 
your father, how he has reared you 
up in the Lord ; how, from time to 
time, he has filled your young mind 
with the teachings of divine truth. 
Think of this, my child, and then 
think of your conduct in leaving that 
paternal roof which had sheltered you 
from childhood! Forgive this tear, 
Mabel, I can t help it." 

The Rev. Brother Pyne was deeply 
affected. If ever his oily face glowed 
with an expression of sincere feeling 
it was at that moment. Mabel gazed 



upon him for a moment, and thru 
flung her arms around his neck. 

"Forgive me, my father, forgive 
me!" 

" Father /" echoed a hoarse voice, 
and Devil-Bug, holding a waiter in his 
extended hands, glided from the doov- 
way and advanced toward the light 
" I say, Brother Pyne, here s the hoi 
coffee which you called for, and ho* 
cakes in the bargain." 

As he spoke he advanced toward 
the table, and arranged the contents 
of the waiter upon the white cloth 
which he spread over its surface. 

" Ho, ho, ho ! So the gal puts her 
arms around his neck, does she? 
There won t be much need of the drug 
in that case !" he muttered to himself, 
as he arranged the supper equipage 
upon the table. " Father indeed ! 
Could I ave heered my own ears ?" 

The girl raised her head from her 
father s shoulder. At the same mo 
ment Devil-Bug, turning on his heel 
to leave the room, caught a glimpse 
of her face for the first time. He 
started backward as though he had 
received a death-wound in his very 
heart. The waiter fell clattering on 
the floor, and with another start back 
ward, Devil-Bug raised his hands and 
gazed upon the face of the young girl. 
Never in his life had Devil-Bug been 
seized with an agitation terrible as this. 
His face grew white as a sheet, and 
his solitary eye glanced forth from its 
socket with one wild and absorbing 
gaze. Once or twice he essayed to 
speak, but the incoherent words died 
on his tongue. 

"I say, brother, what s the mat 
ter ?" cried Parson Pyne, gazing 
upon the Doorkeeper with unfeigned 



PARSON PYNE AND HIS DAUGHTER. 



251 



astonishment. " Going to have a fit, 
brother?" 

Devil-Bug slowly advanced to the 
Parson s side. He reached forth his 
arm and laid his hand lightly on the 
girl s shoulder. He spoke in a voice 
utterly changed from his usual harsh 
and discordant tones. 

J$llen!" he said, in a low and 
softened voice, whose gentleness of 
tone presented a strange contrast to 
the harsh deformity of his visage. 
" Ellen is this you, or is it your 
ghost?" 

Mabel gazed upon his face in silent 
wonder, and Parson Pyne rose angrily 
from his seat. 

" What means this insolence?" he 
shouted, in a tone of blustering 
anger. 

" Oh, nothing," replied Devil-Bug, 
with his usual grunting tone of voice. 
" Only that gal looks somethin like a 
gal I used to know ; that s all." 

And he atrocb hastily toward the 
door. 

" Devil-Bug," cried Fat Pyne, in a 
whisper, as he hurried after the re 
treating Doorkeeper. " Is the coffee 
drugged ?" 

" Yes it is, Parson," growled Devil- 
Bug, with his hand on the door. 

Soh, soh ! All s right then. Devil- 
Bug you will lock all the doors after 
you, if you please," he added, in a 
whisper. " You understand ? I don t 
want to be interrupted and mark ye, 
if you should hear a shriek or a groan, 
you needn t mind it." 

" Oh, I needn t, need t I ?" echoed 
Devil-Bug, while an expression, which 
Pyne had never witnessed before, stole 
over his deformed visage. " Parson 
you ve got the gal all in your own 



power, the coffee s drugged and the 
doors shall be locked, and we wont 
mind no shrieks nor groans nor other 
capers. But you must answer me 
won quest in. That gal called you 
father?" 

" Did she tho ?" replied Dr. Pyne, 
blandly. " I really didn t mind it." 

" You aint her father, then ?" asked 
Devil-Bug, with that peculiar expres 
sion deepening over his visage. 

" Of course not. Except in a spirit 
ual sense ha, ha, ha ! A spiritual 
sense, you know !" 

" Ha, ha, ha !" echoed Devil-Bug, 
with a wild and hollow laugh. 

" Ho, ho, ho !" chuckled Parson 
Pyne, in a quiet way, peculiar to him 
self. " You won t mind a shriek 01 4 
groan if you should chance to hear 
one ?" 

"Devil a mind!" replied Devil- 
Bug, as he stepped through the door 
way. " You re a jolly cove, you are!" 

And Parson Pyne caught the strange 
gleam of Devil-Bug s solitary eye, and 
laughed merrily as he closed the door, 
while Devil-Bug echoed his laugh with 
a hollow sound, more like the groan 
of a dying man who struggles with 
death and madness at the same time, 
than the echo of a cheerful laugh. 

" He s alone with the gal !" he mut 
tered, as he stood in the small cham 
ber where the Parson had consoled 
himself with a glass of brandy. " And 
she called him father /" 

That peculiar expression which had 
been gathering over his face, while 
conversing with the Parson, now 
manifested itself in a look of fiend-like 
hatred, which convulsed every line of 
the Doorkeeper s countenance. Sweep 
ing his thick hair aside, he bared hi* 



252 



MABEL. 



protuberant brow to the light. The 
swarthy skin was corrugated with 
thick wrinkles, which stood out from 
his deformed forehead like knotted 
cords. The shrunken eye-socket 
seemed to sink yet farther beneath his 
overhanging brow, while his solitary 
eye, gathering a strange light, enlarg 
ed and dilated until its gleam grew 
like the glare of burning coals. His 
pointed teeth were firmly clenched to 
gether, and his lips were agitated by 
a hideous grimace, which gave a gro 
tesque effect to the terrible frown of 
his brow and the fiend-like glare of 
his eye. He shook his large hands 
wildly on high, and clenched madly 
at the air with his talon fingers. 

" Ho, ho, ho !" he cried, as the idea, 
which absorbed his soul, rose before 
him like an embodied thing of flesh 
and blood. " Ho, ho, ho ! I vonders 
how that ill vork !" 



CHAPTER EIGHTH. 

THE PIT OP MONK-HALL. 

" LOOK here Glow-worm, look here 
Musketer !" he shouted to his negroes, 
who sat dozing before the fire. "D ye 
see that poker and that old tongs? 
Stick em in the coal fire, and heat 
em to a white heat ! The poker has 
a sharp pint it ill do, it ill do !" 

" Yes, massa," growled Musquito, 
as his lips which the reader will re 
member were shapen like two sides of 
a triangle distended in a hideous 
grin. Yes, massa, I doves put de 
pokar in de fi-ah !" 

" An I de tong ! exclaimed Glow 



worm, Us huge mouth grinning ike 
a death s-head, as he inserted the old 
tongs between the bars of the grate. 

" Ye r a pair of beauties !" exclaim 
ed Devil-Bug, gazing upon his satel 
lites with paternal fondness. " Htll 
can t produce ye r match." 

Certainly they were a pair of beau 
ties. As squatting in low stools on 
either side of the fire, they looked up 
in their master s face, their hideous 
visages assumed an expression of in 
fernal glee, x Give us a picture of the 
scene, Darley. Sharpen your pencil, 
and select your best piece of Bristol 
board. This is a study worthy of 
your genius. We are looking at the 
scene from the dark corner of the 
room. The light flares from yonder 
table, in the background, Devil-Bug 
stands in front of the fire ; his negroes 
squat on either side. Musquito with 
his back toward us, extends his left 
hand and holds the iron between the 
bars of" the grate, and looks up in his 
master s face, presenting to our view 
the profile of his hideous visage, the 
receding forehead, the flat nose, the 
opened mouth with the lips, meeting 
in a point near the nose and diverging 
toward the sharp and prominent chin. 
Opposite him, Glow-worm, with the 
light from the table falling on his 
broad shoulders and the beams of the 
fire illumining his face, rolls his large 
eyes towards his master, while his 
rude mouth, with the teeth projecting 
like fangs, is distorted with a loath 
some grimace, and his muscular right 
hand also holds the iron between the 
bars of the grate. And the master, 
Darley, paint him for us ; picture old 
Devil-Bug. He stands between the 
twain, his massive face receiving on 



THE PIT OF MONK-HALL. 



253 



one cheek the gleam of the lamp ; or 
its whole extent the glare of the fire. 
Picture his broad brow, hanging over 
his wide face, like the edge of a beet 
ling cliff over a receding precipice. 
The eyeless socket, the glaring eye, 
the heavy eyebrows, the flat nose with 
wide nostrils, the mouth convulsed by 
a grotesque grimace that discloses the 
clenched teeth, the pointed chin, brist 
ling with a stiff beard, the matted hair 
hanging aside from the face and brow 
in uneven locks; picture it all, Darley. 
If your wonderful pencil, which tra 
verses the sheet of drawing paper with 
such gracefulness and such vigor 
linked together by taste, if this pencil, 
Darley, can depict a nightmare stand 
ing erect, with a hideous Dream squat 
ting on either side, then you will have 
delineated Devil-Bug and his attendant 
negroes as they were grouped in that 
cozy little chamber of Monk-Hall. 

" Musketer when you ve heated that 
ere iron hot enough, jist go down 
stairs and git a few strands o thick 
rope. We shall want it in this room 
arter awhile. And look ye, Glow 
worm, keep your ears picked, will 
ye? If you don t I ll pick em with a 
hot fork. If you hear a cry, or a 
groan, or even a moan from that gal 
in the next room, jist run up stairs and 
call me! I ll be in the Walnut-Room; 
d ye mind, ye black devil?" 

Seizing the lamp in his right hand, 
Devil-Bug hurried from Monk Balt- 
zar s ante-chamber^ as it was styled, 
and in a moment found himself hasten 
ing along the dark corridor which 
traversed the second floor of the man 
sion. 

" I like this old place !" he mutter 



ed, as he ascended the staircase of the 
mansion. "Here was I born, and 
here I ve lived all my life ! I never 
had a friend in all my born days, but 
these old walls have been my friends 
I ve talked to the brick pillars in the 
dead-vault ; I ve had many a joke 
with the skeleton in the Banquet- 
Room ; and ho, ho, ho the trap 
doors all know me, and creak for joy 
when they hear me comin !*~Hur-ray 
for Monk-Hall, say I ! Its the body, 
I m its soul ! It s full o nooks and 
corners and dark places ; so is my : 
natur ! I like the old place ; there 
aint a brick in it that I don t love like 
a brother ! Ha, ha, ha ! When I 
die I should feel obliged to the rowdy 
jas ud set it afire ! It must go with 
me ! When I m gone it ill be like a 
coffin without a corpse. What s the 
use o th shell when the torkle s 
dead ?" 

Devil-Bug stood on the main cor 
ridor of the third floor, which with 
another corridor, meeting at right 
angles, separated Lorrimer s rooms 
from the other part of the mansion. 
Thus you might enter the Walnut 
Room, through a door which opened 
into the corridor, near the head of the 
stairs; or passing along the corridor, 
you might pursue the gallery which 
ran east and west until you reached 
the door of Lorrimer s Drawing-Room. 
Passing through the drawing room, 
you traversed the Painted Chamber, 
the Rose Chamber, and then entered 
the Walnut Room. Next to the Wal 
nut Room, was the Tower Room, 
which terminated the range of Lorri 
mer s apartments. 

"B lieve I ll go into the Walnu 
Room by this door. That felloe 



264 



MABEL. 



Byrnewuod has cost me trouble enough. 
I ll put an end to his story, with some 
thing sharper than a trap-door or a 
bottle o drugs ! Venders how that 
1 11 vork ?" 

He entered the Walnut Room. The 
glittering floor gave back the reflection 
of the light which he held in his hands. 
The place was silent and desolate, 
with nothing but the bare walls, the 
jark ceiling and the glittering floor of 
polished mahogany. In the centre of 
the room, lay a shapeless mass which 
moved slowly to and fro, while Devil- 
Bug advanced, and as the light flashed 
over its outlines, resolved itself into 
the form of a human being. 

" Ha, ha, ha ! Not more than 
twelre hours ago, this lump o flesh an 
blood an broadcloth was a fine young 
gentleman who cut all sorts o capers 
in the next room. Cussed like a troop 
er and swore like a preacher ! A 
little bit o opium mixed in his drink, 
and here he lays, a perfect bundle o 
sleep and stoopidliy ! A werry con 
temptible thing is human natur !" 

He flung the blaze of the light full 
over the face of the unconscious 
wretch, who lay prostrate on the floor, 
his knees huddled up against his chest, 
and his outstretched hands clutching 
the polished floor, with an involuntary 
and ineffectual grasp. Long locks of 
curling black hair fell streaming aside 
from a young face, which seemed to 
have grown prematurely old in the 
compass of a few hours. The skin 
was yellow and discolored, the lips 
wore a livid hue, and the dark eyes, 
glared upon the ceiling with a cold and 
glassy stare. A. thin, clammy foam 
hung around the white lips, and there 
were spots of blood upon the cheeks and 



hands of the unconscious man. He hail 
torn the flesh from his cheeks in very 
madness. As Devil-Bug gazed upon 
him, his limbs moved with a faint mo 
tion, like the last sign of Jeparting life, 
and his outstretched hands grasped feeb 
ly at the smooth boards of the floor. 
The light flashed over his fixed eyeballs, 
but they gave no sign of life, no quick 
flashing glance that might betoken 
consciousness. 

" Ha, ha, ha ! I ll try it, !" scream- 
ed Devil-Bug with a wild shriek of 
laughter. " I ve heard many stories 
about that same thing, but I never saw 
it done ! I m jist the man to do it, and 
jist in the hurnor to do it now !" 

He knelt beside the unconscious 
man, and allowing the light to play 
over his fixed eyeballs, he applied his 
mouth to his ear : 

" Hel-lo ! Yous sir, I say look here. 
I am a-goin to bury you alive ! D y<5 
hear that? I m a-goin to bury you 
alive ! God how the feller wriggles J 
D ye feel the cold clods fallin on your 
breast a ready ? Ho, ho, ho ! I m 
a-goin to bury you alive !" 

A slight tremor, a quivering shud 
der passed over the frame of Byrne- 
wood Arlington. Was he conscious 
of the meaning of the words whispered 
in his ear ? God alone knows, but 
his limbs were agitated for a moment 
by a convulsive motion, and the mus 
cles of his face worked as with a spasm. 

"I ll jist go an tell Glow-worm to 
watch for me in the first cellar, while 
I go down, down, into the lowest hole 
of Monk-Hall ! When the gal shrieks, 
then Musketer must whistle, and then 
low-worm will strike the old gong, 
and I will hear it, although I m so far 
below the ground. So far below the 



THE PIT JF MONK-HALL 



ground beside that man s grave in the 
Pit of Monk-Hall ! Excuse me Sir if 
1 keep you waitin " he continued 
making a formal bow, with his face 
toward the unconscious form of Byrne- 
wood. " Excuse rne Sir if I ll keep 
rou waitin but I ll be back d rectly." 

P.acing the lamp on the glittering 
floor, he departed from the Walnut 
Room. Scarce had the sound of his 
footsteps ceased to echo on the air, 
when the curtains leading into the 
Rose Chamber were suddenly thrust 
aside, and the form of a woman with 
her long brown hair falling wildly 
on her neck, came hastening over the 
floor of the apartment, her hands clasp 
ed and her white dress floating loosely 
around her maidenly figure. 

Advancing along the room, she start 
ed backward as she beheld th shape 
less form, flung prostrate at her feet, 
and the light flashed over her face 
while she stood entranced by the hor 
ror of the spectacle. 

"My brother, my brother!" she 
muttered in a low-toned voice, and 
then sank kneeling on the floor. 

Her long brown hair fell wildly over 
her shoulders, and her face white as 
the grave-cloth was tinted in each 
cheek with a spot of burning red. 
Her eyes of clear and lustrous blue, 
were marked by a fixed and glassy 
stare, as she gazed upon the uncon 
scious form of By rne wood Arlington. 
The quivering lips reddened to a deep 
purple hue, the brow animated by an 
expression as wild as it was startling, 
the hand clasped tremblingly over the 
bosom, faintly heaving beneath the 
folds of the white robe, all betrayed 
the deep emotion, like to madness in 



its indications, which convulsed the 
soul of the ruined girl. 

" Oh brother," she cried taking his 
hand within her arm. " You are dy 
ing and dying for me ! Speak to me, 
Byrnewood, speak to me. Call your 
sister by the name you used to love so 
well ! Oh, God !" she cried with a 
wild shriek as she swept the thick 
locks of his dark hair aside from his 
pale brow. " He knows me not, he 
knows me not !" 

The eyes of the brother still glared 
upon the ceiling, with that same fixed 
and glassy stare. He betrayed no sign 
of consciousness or emotion. A corse, 
with all the outward marks of death, 
and yet with the soul burning brightly 
within, could not have presented a 
more ghastly spectacle. 

Mary took his cold hands within 
her own, she kissed his wan and dis 
colored cheeks, she besought him in 
low tones to rise from the sleep of 
death, or to give but a look or a sign 
of recognition. Still he lay uncon- 
scious and motionless. 

As she thus bent kneeling over the 
unconscious form of her brother, the 
figure of a woman glided from the en 
trance of the Rose Chamber, and stood 
by her side. It was the form of Long 
haired Bess. She gazed upon the ruin, 
accomplished by Lorrimer with her 
aid, and a shudder ran over her form, 
as she gazed. 

" Oh Bessie, they have murdered 
him !" shrieked Mary gazing upward 
in the face of the woman, while her 
blue eyes, sent forth a wild and bewil 
dered gaze. " Look he is dying, he 
is dying and for my sake !" 

Hist ! Mary," cried Bess veiling her 



256 



MABEL. 



eyes with her upraised hand. " Do 
you not hear their footsteps on the 
stairs ? His torturers return, and we 
shall be discovered- " 

" Oh Bessie lead me to Lorraine, 
for God s sake lead me ! He would 
not suffer this wrong. There is some 
dark mystery I know, overshadowing, 
my very soul, but Lorraine is inno 
cent ! You are silent Bessie ? You 
do not answer " 

" Mary 1 will lead you from the 
* house " said Bessie in a hasty voice 
as she turned her face from the light. 
" I will save your brother." 

She hurried the ruined girl from her 
brother s side, as she spoke. 

"He loved me Bessie, he would not 
harm my brother ! I would as soon 
suspect you of a wrong as Lorraine ! 
There is some terrible mistake Bessie, 
but Lorraine is innocent " 

" Great God ! It makes my heart 
bleed to hear her talk thus !" muttered 
Bess leading the way into the Rose 
Chamber. u Every word she utters 
is a dagger in my heart ! Ha, ha ! 
She believes me innocent !" 

" Let me look upon him once 
again !" shrieked Mary darting aside 
from Bess, and flinging herself upon 
her brother s unconscious form. 
" Byrnewood, oh speak to me, oh call 
your Mary by her name! Only 
a word, my brother, or a look or a 
glance ? He does not speak, he makes 
no sign not even a glance for Mary ! 
* And I am the cause of all this ruin 
ha, ha, ha I I see my father and my 
mother there, there they stand gazing 
upon the corse of their son ! And 
they raise their hands, they curse me, 
with his death ! Do you not see them 
Bessie oh it freezes my blood, to look 



upon my father s grey hair, which he 
scatters to the winds as he asks Hea 
ven to curse me !" 

She rose to her feet, and with her 
blue eyes glaring at the vacant air, 
with her beautiful countenance, for it 
was beautiful even amid woe, and hor- 
ror worse than death, with her fair 
young face, paled to the hue of ashes, 
she extended her arms as if to wave 
back the spectres who stood beside her 
brother s unconscious form. 

"Ha! Devil-Bug returns!" ex- 
claimed Bess silently gliding behind 
Mary, and gathering her form in her 
arms. " I ll foil him yet ! Byrnewood 
shall yet be saved !" 

Raising Mary in her arms, she bore 
her silently from the Walnut Room. 

A moment passed and Devil-Bug 
stood beside his victim again. 

" Come my feller " he cried rais 
ing the unconscious form of Byrne- 
wood upon his shoulders. " You an 
me has got a little business to transact, 
which ought to be done in private." 

Unheeding the muttered groan which 
escaped from Byrne wood s lips, he 
raised him on his shoulder, as though 
e had been a mere bundle of mer- 
handize. In a moment he left the 
Walnut Room, and was descending the 
stairs, with the unconscious man on 
his shoulders, while his extended hand 
grasped the flickering lamp. With a 
quiet smile on his lip Devil-Bug de 
scended the stairs, and in a few mo 
ments stood on the floor of the hall, 
opening into the Banquet Room. The 
echo of shouts mingled with laughter 
rung around the place. Devil -Bug 
rimly smiled, and passing the door 
way of the Banquet Room, stole cau 
tiously along the damp floor of the; hall, 



THE PIT OF MONK-HALL. 



257 



and in a moment the glare of the lamp 
flashed over the grand stairway of 
stone, leading far down into the vaults 
of Monk-Hall. 

And far, far down over massive steps 
of granite, with solid arches above and 
thick walls on either side, far, far down, 
with the rays of the lamp flashing over 
the void beneath, with a faint yet gloomy 
effect, like a light darting its beams 
along the darkness of some hideous 
well, Devil-Bug pursued his way, his 
strong right arm supporting the un 
conscious form of his victim flung like 
a bundle over his shoulder, while his 
distorted face grew animate with 
that grimace of habitual cruelty, 
which gave his visage the expression 
of an incarnate fiend, and developed 
all the hideous moral deformity of his 
nature. 

Down, down over damp steps of 
granite, down, down ! The monoti- 
nous echo of his footsteps disturbs the 
silence of the air, and now and then, 
his victim with his face hanging over 
the shoulders of the Doorkeeper, utters 
a faint moan, as he feebly clutches at 
the door with his hands. The stair 
way terminates on a wide hall with 
roof and floor of stone. On one side 
the massive door leading into the 
Dead-vault of Monk-Hall, on the other 
side another door, as high and as mas 
sive, leading into the Wine-cellar of 
the old mansion. At Devil-Bug s back 
ascends the stairway of granite ; he 
advances along the stone floor and at 
his very feet descends another stair 
way, more dark and gloomy than the 
first, with clammy moisture trickling 
down the walls, while the light flares 
fitfully over a long succession of stone 
blocks, sinking far, far down into the 



bosom of earth and night. This stair 
way leads to the Pit of Monk-Hall. 

Ha! Old Devil-Bug starts and 
clenches his hand, and at the very 
thought of that fearful cavern, sunk 
far beneath the earth, below the 
foundations of Monk-Hall. 

Has the name of the place a terri 
ble memory for your soul, Devil-Bug? 
Does no phantom arise before you as 
as standing on the verge of the stair 
way, you gaze into the void below, 
does no phantom with blood-dripping 
hair and ghastly eyes, arise before 
you, and scare you back ? The phan 
tom of a murdered man with a man 
gled jaw sunken on the breast, a 
tongue lolling from his mouth, and 
blood-shot eyes starting from a face 
darkened to purple by the hand of 
death. 

Ho, ho ! What cares Devil-Bug 
for phantoms in his path, or white- 
shrouded ghosts gliding by his side ! 
TDerided and scorned by that fellow 
man, whom he never yet called, bro 
ther, the offcast of the world from his 
very birth, a walking curse and a 
breathing execration upon all mankind, 
why should old Devil-Bug fear that 
Phantom World, which dawns upon his 
solitary eye 1 

*Ea\ Ha, ha! Old Devil -Bug loves 
the old arches of Monk-Hall, he loves 
the cellars and the dens, he loves the 
song of the revellers in the Banquet 
Room, and the glee of the cut-throats 
in the vaults below, he loves the Ske 
leton-Monk like a twin-brother, but the 
Phantoms, ha, ha, they are at once 
his fear and his delight ! The mur 
dered man gliding forever by his side 
with the broken jaw and the starting 
eyes he hails him as a thing of ioy ! 



258 



MABEL. 



And the murdered woman with the 
quivering form and hollow skull, 
oozing with the slowly-pattering blood 
ha, ha, this phantom is one of 
Devil-Bug s familiar spirits. 

But the Pit, the Pit of Monk-Hall, 
ha, ha ! He shudders at the name, he 
starts and grows pale. The Phantom 
of the murdered man he can endure 
as he has endured for years ! But to 
go down step by step into the lowest 
deep of the pest-house, to stand in the 
nethermost cavern of Monk-Hall, for 
the first time for many long years, 
to start with fear at the palpable pre 
sence of the bare skull and moulder 
ing bones of the murdered man ! Ho, 
ho ! This were a hard trial, even for 
Devil-Bug s strong nerves and strong 
heart ! 

But down, down into the pit he will 
go ; down, down, with the form of his 
intended victim on his shoulder and 
the lamp held firmly in his talon 
fingers ; down, down, until the air 
grows thick with the breath of corrup 
tion, and the light flashes in its socket 
as it dies away under the pressure of 
an atmosphere, never yet enlivened 
by a single ray of God s sunlight, but 
rendered fatal and deathly by the de 
cay of the human corse, as it crum 
bles to dust, with the worms revelling 
over its rottenness, and the thick night 
shrouding it like a pall. 

* Shallow pated critic with your 
smooth face whose syllabub insipidity 
is well-relieved by wiry curls of flaxen 
hair, soft maker of verses so utterly 
blank, that a single original idea never 
mars their consistent nothingness, 
penner of paragraphs so daintily per- 
Simed with quaint phrases and stilted 



nonsense, we do not want you here! 
Pass on sweet maiden-man! Yoat 
perfumes agree but sorrily with the 
thick atmosphere of this darkening 
vault, your white-kid gloves would be 
soiled by a contact with the rough 
hands of Devil-Bug, your innocent 
and girlish soul would be shocked by 
the very idea of such a hideous cavern, 
hidden far below the red brick surface 
of broad-brimmed Quakertown. Pass 
by delightful trifler, with your civ^t- 
bag and your curlinj^tongs, write sy) 
labub forever, and pen blank verse 
until dotage shall make you more 
garrulous than now, but for the sake 
of Heaven, do not criticise this chap 
ter [ Our taste is different from yours. 
We like to look at nature and at the 
world, not only as they appear, but as 
they are ! To us the study of a char- 
acter like Devil-Bug s is full of interest. , 
replete with the grotesque-sublime-f- 
The light of the torch glaring over 
thick walls trickling with moisture; 
the skeleton resting in the coffin, that 
crumbles away from its bones; the 
solitary grave hidden far down in 
vaults where no mourners ever weep; 
the terrible chaos of a heart and soul 
like those of Devil-Bug, the phantoms 
ever present with him, like nightmares 
bestriding the heaving chest of the 
Murderer these are subjects and 
fancies and characters which we de 
light to picture, though our pen may 
not fulfil the quick conception of the 
brain. But as for you, sweet virgin 
man, oh reign forever the Prince of 
Syllabub and Lollypop ! And when 
you are dead, should we survive your 
loss, we ll raise above your grave a 
monument of deep regard for your 
memory* Darley shall do the design 



THE PIT OF MONK-HALL. 



A_be-pantalooned girl, with a smooth 
face and wiry hair, sitting on a volume 
of travels, with a bundle of blank verse 
in one hand and cake-basket full of 
paragraphs in the other. It shall be 
modelled in syllabub, dear Mister- 
Miss, surrounded with a border of 
sugar plumbs, besprinkled with pen 
dent drops of frozen treacle. The 
foundation of the monument shall be 
of gingerbread ; the crest, a rampant 
Katy-did. The motto, in especial re 
ference to your travels, shall be 
4 Here lies the Poet of Twaddle-dom, 
whose whole life was characterized by 
a pervading vein of Lollypop-itude. 
This is our promise, sweet maiden- 
man ; therefore we pri thee pass this 
chapter by !* 

" Ho, ho, ho!" chuckled Devil-Bug, 
as he stood on the verge of the granite 
stairway. " Here s dampness, an 
darkness, an the smell o bones all 
for nothin . Children under ten years 
half price !^ This feller on my shoul 
der don t move nor struggle. Vender 
if he thinks o th jolly things we re 
a-goin to do with him? Buried alive ! 
I do venders how that ill vork !" 

With these words, Devil-Bug began 
the desent of the granite stairway. The 
heavy echo of his footsteps resounded 
upward with a dull, monotonous sound, 



* Will the reader pardon this digression of 
he author? These Critics are so apt to at 
tack an author, merely because they know 
him to be young, and suppose him to be 
friendless, that our author wanted to get the 
(start of them when he wrote this passage. 
We do not know who the author means by 
the Prince of Lollypop ; but will simply state 
that in our opinion, * * * * the Poet, has 
written some very clever things. PRINTER S 
DEVIL. 



as lighting his way with the extended 
lamp, he went far, far down into the 
darkness of the staircase. Once or 
twice, as the moaning sound of the 
wind came rushing down the passage, 
Devil-Bug started with involuntary 
surprise, and with his burthen on his 
shoulder, attempted to turn round, and 
face the enemy, whom his excited 
fancy had imagined pursuing his foot 
steps. But the unconscious man gave 
a faint struggle, and occupied with the 
effort to hold him tightly on his shoul 
der, Devil-Bug smiled at the moaning 
sound of the wind, and with his usual 
grimace pursued his way. Down, 
down, down ! Was not that low 
pattering noise the echo of a footstep 
at his heels ? Devil-Bug smiled grim 
ly as the fancy crossed his mind. 
Down, down, down ! The old arch 
way above the staircase grows crimson 
with the light of the lamp, and the 
drops of moisture trickling along the 
walls, glittered like diamonds in a 
river s sands. Was not that faint and 
rustling sound the noise of a garment 
sweeping the stairs at his back ? Half- 
turning, Devil-Bug gazed into the 
darkness above, but the thick gloom 
enveloped the stairway like a pall, and 
his solitary eye might discern nothing 
but silence and night. 

As Devil-Bug turned round, he 
tossed the body of Byrnewood rather 
roughly on his shoulder, and the 
victim uttered a deep groan of pain 
and agony. 

" Oh, groan, little children groan, 
as the nigger wot plays on the banjo 
ses, but it won t help you the least cir 
cumstance!" muttered Devil-Bug, with 
a hideous grin, as extending the lamp 
in his left hand, he grasped his victim 



260 



MABEL. 



more firmly by the right, and resumed 
his downward way. " You see the 
opium settled your hash, and the safety 
of this ere Commonwealth is in 
danger ! You must be silenced for 
the sake of Monk-hall, so what s the 
use o cuttin capers ? Hello wasn t 
that a footstep? I m quite narvous, 
as the old women say ! Howsomdever, 
ere s the door, the big door wot opens 
into the Pit of this ere Thea-ter !" 

He stood at the foot of the stairway 
before the massive door, with timbers 
of oak, and bands of iron. Time had 
rusted away the lock, and the timbers 
in various places, between the intervals 
of the iron bands, were crumbling to 
decay. Devil-Bug fixed his foot against 
one side of the door, and it fell before 
him with a crushing sound, whose 
echo swelled upward like thunder. 

Another moment, and advancing 
over a floor of hard clay, he stood in 
the Pit of Monk-Hall. 

It was a vast and gloomy place, all 
full of oaken beams, vising from the 
floor to the ceiling far above, with 
pillars of dark brick, massive and un 
couth in their outlines, towering at 
irregular interval on every side. 
Where Devil-Bug stood, at the foot 
of the stairway, with the light of his 
lamp flashing fitfully around, a few 
prominent features of the cellar or 
cavern, were perceptible. The stair 
way seemed to descend into the very 
centre of the place. On either side, 
the irregular light of the lamp disclos 
ed faint glimpses of massive walls, all 
hideous with dark holes and obscure 
nooks, while the extent of the cavern 
was as uncertain and vague as the 
gnostly shadows which flitted from 
the hard floor to the distant ceiling far 



above. The floo; itseli was crowded 
with rubbish and lumber of all kinds. 
Innumerable heaps of broken bottles 
gave evidence of the revels held in 
Monk-Hall, in the olden time. Crum 
bling pieces of timber, heaps of old 
boards, and fragments of broken fur 
niture, littered along the floor, around 
the base of the heavy pillars, and 
among the uprising beams of oak, 
might have excited a momentary curi 
osity in the mind less calm and phi 
losophical than that of the Doorkeeper. 
Devil-Bug, however, treated all 
these things as matters of course, and 
holding the light on high, with the un 
conscious Byrnewood on his shoulder, 
he picked his way among the heaps 
of rubbish and advanced along the 
cellar. He had not gone ten feet 
from the entrance when a whirring 
sound broke upon the stagnant air, 
and then the trampling of a thousand 
tiny feet echoed to the ceiling of the 
cavern. The next instant, a crowd 
of rats, whose immense numbers black 
ened the cellar for yards around, came 
rushing across the path of Devil -Bug, 
and with that same whirring noise, in 
a moment they were gone again. And 
then crawling into the strange glare 
of the light, from the heaps of bottles, 
and the piles of old lumber, came ver- 
mine and reptiles of all kind, and of 
every loathsome shape. Glittering 
house-snakes, warmed into life by the 
foul air of the vault, hung twining 
from the oaken beams, and the brick 
pillars were half-concealed by thick 
cobwebs, woven by noxious spiders, 
who started from their resting places, 
as the glare of the light flashed around 
the place. Devil-Bug paused in the 
centre of a vacant space, extending 



THE PIT OF MONK-HALL. 



between a massive brick pillar and a 
rising piece of ground, which, shoot, 
ing upward at the distance of a few 
yards, closed all the floor of the vault 
beyond from view. On either side 
were heaps of crumbling lumber and 
rubbish, and near the sudden elevation, 
thick dust, the accumulation of years 
of decay, had gathered ancle deep. 

As Devil-Bug laid down the uncon 
scious form of Byrnewood, placing it 
on the hard clay beside the lamp, 
which burned dimly under the pres 
sure of the foul atmosphere, a deep 
yet faint and moaning sound broke 
on his ears. It was like the rustling 
of Autumn leaves driven ashore by 
angry waves, or like the rolling of a 
deep flood, swollen by a freshet, or 
perhaps like the far-off moaning of 
wind. 

iHo^JiQ-L-That s the underground 
stream o water which flows beneath 
the foundations o Monk-Hall, and 
arter rollin onwards for a few feet, 
buries itself in the ground again ! 
Ugh!" he started as if stricken by 
ome fearful thought. " I wonder if 
his body was carried off by the waves? 
This piece o ground is under the 
eastern range o trap-doors. Let s 
see with the light yes, yes " he 
added, rising the lamp overhead. 
" Yes, yes ! Tender s the archway 
with the trap-door o the Dead-vault 
cut into its bricks! He must ave 
fell somewhere about here," he stamp 
ed his foot violently on the hard clay. 
"But I don t see him now, with my 
blind side. That puzzles me. For 
six long years an more that feller 
has laid by my side, with his jaw 
broke and his tongue stickin out ! 
Now 1 don t see him, and that does 



puzzle me ! Cuss the thing, I forgot 
the spade !" 

He glanced at the form of Byrne- 
wood with a mocking laugh. 

"Ha, ha! Don t be dis-patient 
young man," he exclaimed as turning 
away from the light he moved toward 
the door. " I ll have to go up stairs 
for a spade, but I ll be back d rectly. 
Pon my word I will!" 

He disappeared in the darkness, but 
in a moment stood beside his victim, 
holding a rusted spade in his hand. 

" Reether old fashioned this," he 
muttered, " I forgot it was down here, 
You see my friend, we used it some 
years back to bury a gal wot died ree- 
ther sudden, as one might say. It s 
been a standin against yonder pillar 
ever since. A little bit rusty but it 
ill do !" 

While Byrnewood lay prostrate 
along the hard clay, with the glare of 
the lamp flashing on his face, so wan 
and discolored, the blood-shot eyes 
starting from the lids, and the white 
lips failing apart with an expression 
of idiotic vacancy. Devil-Bug cooly 
proceeded to dig the grave of the un 
conscious though living man, chuck 
ling merrily to himself, as sticking the 
spade into the earth, he paused for a 
moment, and spat in his hands, like a 
laborer preparing for his day s work. 

"JPve hung a man in my time on 
Bush-Hill, and I ve killed a man, by 
the trap, and I ve buried some few, 
and I ve stole corpseses for the Doc 
tors, but I never did bury a man alive ! 
That s a fact. Not menning any harm 
to you but only waiting to see how il 
ill work, I ll jist lay out the grave. 
Oh ye begin to be sensible o yer siti- 
vation do ye ?" 



862 



MABEL. 



A slight convulsive tremor was vi 
sible on the lip of the victim. His 
outspread hands clutched faintly at 
the hard clay, and it was evident that 
he was making a desperate effort to 
rise on his feet. 

" This ere clay digs hard," calm 
ly soliloquized the Doorkeeper. "You d 
like to git up, would ye ? No doubt. 
I should if so be, I was in your place. 
What s yer idea-r o grave-diggin* 
anyhow ? Werry low business, aint it?" 

Throwing the hard lumps of clay 
on either side, he gazed with his usual 
hideous grin, upon the face of Byrne- 
wood Arlington, as like to a corpse as 
ever was riving man. Byrnewood had 
relapsed into his former unconscious 
state, and now lay with his fixed eyes 
glaring steadily upon the thick dark 
ness above. Devil-Bug proceeded with 
his task. Plying the spade with all 
the vigor of his lusty arms, he soon 
stood in a square pit reaching to his 
knees, while the heap of clay at side of 
the grave increased in size. Now 
humming a catch of some dismal gal 
lows-bird song in his grindstone voice, 
now muttering gaily to himself, now 
filling the old vault with the echo of a 
Jeep and piercing whistle, which heemit- 
ted from his large mouth, puckered toge 
ther like the end of a purse, and now 
glancing slily aside at the form of his 
victim, while that same devil s-grin 
distorted his inhuman face, Devil-Bug 
made speedy progress in his work. 
He soon stood up to his middle in the 
grave. 

"Hello! What could that be? I 
thought I heard the sound o some 
body breath in behind yonder pillar. 
O* was it you, hey? I ll be ready for 
you d rectly, that I will." 



He again resumed his task. A* 
half-concealed in the grave, he bent 
down to his labor, a slight shudder, 
like the faint indication of a spasm, 
agitated the form of Byrnewood. Then 
his hand clutched suddenly against the 
hard clay, and in an instant, while his 
chest heaved with convulsive throb- 
bings, he arose into a sitting posture, 
and with his long dark hair falling 
wildly aside from his wan and ghastly 
face, he gazed around the vault, witn 
an agonized glance that betrayed a 
fearful consciousness of his awful si 
tuation. Devil-Bug turned from hi** 
task, aud beheld his victim. He 
shrieked forth a horrible peal of laugh 
ter, more like the howl of a hyena, 
than the sound of a human laugh. 

" Ho, ho ! Hurray ! So ye begin 
to diskiver yer sitivation? It s all 
werry good that you should know 
what s a-goin to be done with you, 
specially when ye can t help yerself! 
How ye sit there, a-starin round the 
cellar, as though you wos about to< 
buy the primises ! Pound me to death 
with pavin stones, but this is a jolly 
sight!" 

Laying down the spade he advanced 
toward Byrnewood. The half-con 
scious man shuddered as his torturer 
approached. 

" Hope ye ll excuse my not havin* 
prayers at the grave !" he exclaimed 
as he laid his hands upon Byrnewood s 
shoulder with a hideous grin convul 
sing his features. " You may shud 
der young feller, but into that grave 
you ve got to go, alive and kickin by 
God !" 

Devil-Bug swore by the name of the 
Almighty, and this was always a sign 
of deep excitement with him. His so- 



THE PIT OF MONK-HALL. 



263 



Irtary eye blazed with that instinct of 
Cruelty, which was his Soul. Laying 
his hand on the shoulders of the shud 
dering victim, he dragged him slowly j 
toward the grave. Byrnewood s lips 
parted, he essayed to speak, but the 
effort was vain. An incoherent sound, 
like that uttered by an enraged mute, 
was all that came from his lips. 

Devil-Bug dragged along the floor 
and held him over the verge of the 
grave when a deep groan awoke the 
silence of the cellar. Devil-Bug start 
ed as though a dagger had entered his 
heart. 

" It s Aim," he muttered dropping 
Byrne wood heavily on the floor. "It s 
that or nary feller who s been hauntin 
me for these six years ! He always 
groans when any thing evil s a-goin* 
to happen to me. It s him, it s him ! 
Ha ! There he is with his jaw broke 
an his tongue out, and ha ! ha ! 
There s the old woman with the blood 
oozin from the edge o her broken 
skull !" 

Leaping over the grave, his hands 
outstretched and his solitary eye flash 
ing with superhuman excitement, he 
receded step by step towards the 
elevation, which arose above the wa 
ters of the subterranean stream. The 
Phantoms were before him, in all their 
ghastliness and blood. 

As he receded, another groan sound 
ed through the vault, and entangling 
his feet in some object, hidden by the 
thick dust which had accumulated on 
the piece of rising ground, Devil-Bug 
fell heavily on his face. In a moment 
he rose on his knees, and was about 
starting to his feet again, when a yell 
of superhuman horror shrieked from 
his lips. As he fell he had tossed the 



thickly-gathered dust aside, and he 
now beheld the object which had en 
tangled his feet. A ghastly skeleton, 
with the bones falling apart from each 
other, lay on the earth, before his very *1 
eyes. The blackened skull, with long 
rows of grinning teeth, the orbless sock- . 
ets and the cavity of the nose, all crim- W 
soned by the light of the lamp, touch 
ed his very hand, as he knelt upon the" 
corner-floor. He started to his feet 
with a shriek, followed by another yell 
of horror. 

" It s him, the man I pitched thro 
the trap," he shouted. "Here he lays 
right under the trap-door, here he has 
laid for six long years, and now he 
wants to murder me ! Ugh ! He 
moves them bony fingers as if to 
clutch me by the throat, he grins iii 
my face, ha, ha ! He rises from the 
floor his bones rattlin against one 
another, and his broken jaw droppin 
blood ! I say you devil don t touch 
me, dont ye, dont Ah !" 

His soul fired with the sight of the 
terrible phantom, aroused into life by 
the spectacle of the skeleton of the 
murdered man, Devil-Bug retreated 
backwards, with his face turned tow 
ards the light, while raising his hands 
as high, he aroused the silence of the 
vault with another yell of horror. As 
the yell broke from his lips, he fell 
backward, and was lost in the grave, 
which he had dug for another. 

No sooner had he disappeared jn 
the pit than the form of a man sprung 
from one side of the brick pillar at 
the same moment that the figure of a 
woman advanced from the other side. 

" Quick Bess, quick I say," shout 
ed the man seizing the spade. " Th(* 
antidote, quick, or all is lost ! Ap 



264 



MABEL. 



ply it to Byrnewood s lips, while I keep 
this monster in his grave !" 

Luke Harvey, his snake-like eye 
blazing with excitement and his slen 
der form raised to its extreme height, 
stood beside the grave, while Long 
haired Bess, her face flushed and her 
dark eyes sparkling with animation, 
bent over the unconscious form of 
Bj-rnewood, and applied a small phial 
, to his clammy lips. 

" Hello feller, it was you that 
groaned was it ?" shouted Devil-Bug 
as his hideous face, appeared above the 
edge of the grave. " What in the devil 
d ye mean by them sort o capers any 
how ?" 

" You infernal monster," shouted 
Luke Harvey with an oath. " Make 
but an attempt to get out o that grave, 
and I ll crush your skull with this 
spade ! Quick Bess the antidote ! 
Apply it to Byrnewood s lips, and lead 
him from the cellar while I hold this 
devil at bay !" 

" Joy, joy, he revives !" shouted 
Bess gently raising the form of Byrne- 
wood from the floor. " The antidote 
has taken effect. Keep back the mon 
ger another moment Luke, and we 
will escape from the vault." 

"Ye will, will ye?" cried Devil-Bug 
grasping the edge of the grave with 
his taion fingers. " list wait till I git 
out o this !" His eye glared with a 
ferocious gleam, as placing his knees 
against the sides of the grave, he be 
gan to crawl from its confines, 

" Back devil ! You have made the 
grave and you shall sleep in it ?" 
shouted Luke, as raising the spade 
above his head, he hurled it full against 
Ihe skull of Devil-Bug. "Back devil ; 
you have met your match this time !" 



Stupified by the blow, Devil-Bag 
reeled back backward into the grave. 
Luke turned round, and beheld Byrne- 
wood standing erect on his feet, with 
the arm of Long-haired Bess gathered 
round his waist, while her shoulder 
supported his head. 

" Lead him from the vault, Bess !" 
exclaimed Luke. " In a moment old 
Devil-Bug will recover from the effects 
of the blow, and Byrnewood may again 
fall into his hands." 

" The antidote has restored him phi- 
sical but not mental strength !" ex 
claimed Bess as her cheek grew death 
ly pale with the war of conflicting 
emotions. " Ha !" she muttered to 
herself as she disappeared into the 
darkness of the vault with Byrnewood 
walking unsteadily by her side. Ha ! * 
It was in this vault that Paul Western 
fell, when the trap-door sunk beneath 
him. Yonder his bones lay uncovered 
to the light ; and his Murderess be 
holds them, and lives !" 

Luke stood beside the grave hold 
ing the spade in his hands, while he 
gazed upon the retreating figures of 
Bess and Byrnewood. 

" If I believed in any particular 
saint, I think I d call in their aid just 
now ! A cursed scrape I m in again, 
all from my my disposition to meddle 
in other folks affairs. There I stood, 
in front of my room, where I had just 
left my character of Brick -Top, 
together with the rags and the wig r 
when who should tap me on the 
shoulder but Bess ! Byrnewood 
Arlington s in danger Devil-Bug has 
just now borne him to the vaults of 
Monk-Hall, quoth the maiden, and 
without stopping to tell me the particu 
lars she hurries down stairs, liktf 



THE PIT OF MONK-HALL. 



265 



wildfire ! I hurry after her old 
Devil -Bug is seen far below with a 
man on his shoulder, and a light in 
his hand we creep along stealthy as 
cats, close at his heels. He enters the 
cellar, places the light on the floor, and 
commences his infernal orgies. We 
steal behind the brick pillar, and watch 
his movements. Bess tells me about 
the poison and the antidote ; I select 
my time for a melo-dramatic groan, 
and here lies the result of that groan ! 
Old Devil-Bug in the grave which he 
dug for another !" 

A deep groan resounded from the 
depths of the grave. 

" Oh, you re there, are you ?" cried 
Luke, as his face darkened over with 
an expression of mingled hatred and 
rage. " Suppose I try your own game 
with you? How would you like to 
be buried alive ?" 

With a mocking sneer playing over 
his features, he struck the spade into 
the loose earth, and threw several 
clumps of hard clay into the grave. 
Another groan came echoing from the 
pit, and Luke turned his jest into 
serious earnest, by throwing one 
spadeful of earth after another, into 
the grave. 

" Oh, groan by all means, it will 
do you good !" cried Luke, plying his 
spade with renewed energy. " An 
elderly gentleman like yourself, who 
whiles away his leisure time in bury 
ing folks alive, should hold himself 
prepared for any little contingincies 
like the present. How are you off for 
clay eh, Devil-Bug ? ? 

As he spoke, the spade rose and 
fell in his active grasp, and his face 
warmed with excitement. The beams 
of the light fell over his slender figure, 



and around the grave, while all be- 
yond was impenetrable darkness. As 
Lude stood on the verge of the grave, 
occupied with the use of the spade, 
which he plyed so rapidly, a swarthy 
hand stole quietly from the edge of 
the pit, and moved as quietly over the 
hard clay, as though feeling for some 
object, and in an instant another hand, 
with talon fingers, appeared by its 
side. Luke did not behold these 
hands moving so quietly beside his 
very feet, but absorbed in his occupa 
tion, continued to shower the hard 
clods into the grave. 

" Ha, ha !" he laughed, as his dark 
eye gleamed with excitement. " Old 
DeviUBug little thought of this when 
he dug the grave ! It was his turn 
awhile ago, it s my turn now, and " 

" It s my turn ag in !" shouted a 
hoarse voice, and the grim face of 
Devil-Bug, all streaming with blood, 
was thrust from the edge of the grave. 
" There s sich a thing as playin pos 
sum, young man !" 

He seized Luke by the ancles, and 
with all the strength of his iron-sinew 
ed arms gathered for the effort, flung 
him to the earth. In another instant 
he had leaped from the grave, and 
stood over the prostrate form of Luke 
with his iron-hand upraised, while his 
eye blazed with rage. 

" Take that, feller !" he muttered, 
with a deep emphasis, as gathering 
all his strength for the blow, he struck 
Luke on the head, near the right 
temple. Luke saw the blow descend 
ing, and tried to ward it off, but in 
vain. The blow descended, and in 
another moment, with a faint tremor 
quivering through his frame, Luke lay 
senseless as a stone. 



166 



MABEL. 



4 No w for the ring !" cried Devil- 
Bug, raising the left hand of Luke in 
the light. " Ah-ha ! Here it is ; on 
the third finger, and a werry purty 
ring it is ! He wouldn t part with it 
except with his life ha, ha ! I reether 
guess that he ll part with the ring and 
his life at wonst !" 

Bending over the unconscious form 
of Luke, he extended his hands and 
fastened the talon-like fingers around 
his throat, with the grasp of a vice. 

"I wouldn t give much for yer eyes, 
my feller!" he muttered, tightening 
the grasp of his fingers, until the face 
of the prostrate man grew purple, and 
the lids of his eyes, slowly unclosing, 
revealed the bloodshot eyeballs start 
ing from their sockets. " It s my 
opinion you d make a bad subject for 
the dissectin table !" 

A deep booming sound like distant 
thunder, echoed through the vaults and 
chambers of the mansion. Devil-Bug 
released his grasp on the throat of 
Luke and sprang to his feet. It was 
but the labor of a moment to seize the 
lamp and rush toward the door of the 
cellar. With his muscular right hand 
he raised the fallen door from its rest 
ing place, and placing it against the 
door-frame, as he stepped upon the 
first block of the granite stairway, left 
the vault in utter darkness. 

In a moment, however, the door 
was pushed slowly aside, and the face 
of Devil-Bug, all hideous with an ex 
pression of sneering glee, appeared in 
the aperture, while his extended hand 
flung the rays of the light over the 
darkness of the vault. 

" He lays beside the grave ha, ha, 
ha and I ve got the ring ! He lays 
alongside o the grave, and there he ll 



rot, until his clothes fall, piece by 
piece, from his stripped bones ! Ho 
ho ! The worms won t play all sorts 
o* games with his eyes? O course 
not. Nor strip the flesh from his 
skull, nor fatten on his lips until the 
white teeth grin for joy? Nobody 
thinks o such a thing ! Ha ! There 
goes the gong agin I must tend to 
the wants o Parson Pyne !" 

The incarnate sneer which played 
over his countenance, suddenly gave 
place to that peculiar expression, 
which had agitated his visage an hour 
before, in the presence of Parson Pyne 
and his fair daughter. What was 
the meaning of this expression, it were 
difficult to tell, but it drew the eye 
brows down from the protuberent fore 
head of Devil-Bug, until the sockets 
were nearly hidden by their thick and 
uneven hair, it compressed his wide 
mouth with an expression as grotesque 
as it was determined, while his solitary 
eye grew alive with a deadly and glar 
ing light like the white heat on a bar 
of iron. There was revenge in that 
expression, and memory and love ! 
The heart of the monster suddenly be 
came a chaos, over whose tumultuous 
clouds of storms and darkness, a 
single ray of light, streaming from the 
fair distance, revealed a gentle form, 
with arms outstretched in mercy, and 
a fair face animated with a smile of/ 
love. 

"Nell!" muttered Devil-Bug, be 
tween his clenched teeth. " It s werry 
long ago since I saw yer face " he 
paused suddenly while some dim 
memory seemed struggling from the 
chaos of his soul. " I don t know 
much about it now, but if it is, if it i 
I say, then he shall die by inches, 



THE PIT OF MONK-HALL. 



36? 



or there ain t no sich person as Devil- 
Bug!" 

He closed the door of the vault, and 
all was darkness. Close beside the 
grave, cold and stiffening lay the form 
of Luke Harvey, with the rats, who 
were so soon to hold their revel on his 
\ flesh, already crawling around their 
prey, and snuffing their banquet in the 
tainted air of the vault. Close beside 
the grave lay the skeleton of the mur 
dered man, mouldering to dust, in 
darkness and silence, as it had lain 
for years, and the sullen stream of the 
vault still rolled moaningly onward, 
its sluggish waves chaunting a rude 
death-song for the slain. The nooks 
and crannies of the vault took up the 
echo of the flood, and on all sides a 
low-muttered murmur, swelling to the 
arching roof above, seemed but the 
whispered tones of fiends, chuckling 
with glee as they spoke of the murders 
done in the Pit of Monk-Hall. 

Meanwhile along the rough steps 
of granite, Long-haired Bess, support 
ing the head of Byrnewood on her 
shoulder, while her arm encircled his 
waist, endeavoured to lead the half- 
conscious man, as the distant echo of 
voices came muttering to her ear from 
the Pit of Monk-Hall, whose door lay 
but a few yards at her back. 

He is yet unconscious," she mur 
mured, as the head of Byrnewood 
pressed heavily on her shoulder. 
"The stairs are dark, and his foot 
steps are faint and trembling, but he 
shall yet be saved !" 

And thus, in silence and suspense, 
she led him up the lofty stairs, until 
they stood on the floor of the hall in 
front of the Banquet Room. Here his 



strength seemed to fail him, but the 

>rave woman, gathered her arm yet 

ighter around his waist, and hurried 

rim along the stairs leading to the 

first floor of Monk-Hall. Then the 

nassive stairway of the mansion was 

assed, and in a few moments Bess 

nd her charge stood in the darkness 

of the hall on the second floor. 

" The secret door lies this way," 
she murmured, leading him toward 
he northern end of the hall. " The^, 
secret door leading to the Well Room 
Monk-Hall. A private staircase, 
juilt in the walls between the mansion 
and the Tower building, leads down 
nto a narrow entry. This entry once 
raversed, he will stand in the Well 
Room, which is on the ground floor 
of the Tower building. A narrow 
door separates him from the yard. 
That door passed, the fence scaled, 
and a long alley traversed, he will 
gain the wide street, he will be saved! 
Ha ! Devil-Bug approaches, I hear his 
footstep on the stairs !" 

" My sister, my sister !" murmured 
Byrnewood speaking for the first time, 

Ah ! I have been entangled in the 
mazes of some horrible dream ! Whew 
am I ? Whose hand is this upon my 
shoulder and this darkness, what 
does it mean ?" 

"The antidote has taken full effect !" 
cried Bess in a tone of joy. " His 
strength is restored ! This way sir, 
this way !" she continued leading him 
toward the secret door. " Down the 
private staircase, and through the small 
room at its foot, you will enter the 
yard of Monk-Hall. Scale the fence 
and you are saved ! Quick or all la 
lost ! Ha ! Mark you the gleam of that 
light, flashing from the stairway along 



168 



MA BEL. 



the entry. Devil-Bug approaches and 
all is lost 1" 

The light flashing up the stairway 
faintly illumined the hall. Byrnewood 
pressed his hands madly to his brow, 
as if in the effort to awake himself 
from some horrible dream. Then a 
sudden glow flushed over his face, and 
with a rude movement of his arm he 
flung Bess aside. 

" Ha ! I remember it all. My sis 
ter, and the drug. It comes like a 
lightning flash upon my soul ! And 
you, you were one of the minions of 
the seducer ! Back, back, touch me 
not! Your hand is as polluted as 
your soul !" 

" Quick ! Pass through the secret 
door, and gain the Well-Room or you 
are Devil-Bug s prisoner once more !" 

" Leave Monk-Hall, and my sister in 
the power of the seducer] Never! 
Oh Mary my own true sister, I will 
save you yet ! The villain shall pay 
for his crime with his life ; your wrong 
shall be washed out in the blood of the 
seducer !" 

Exerting all her strength for the ef 
fort, Bess seized him by the shoulder, 
and forced him through the narrow 
doorway. 

" Quick, or all is lost !" she shriek 
ed. " Before God I swear to rescue 
your sister from the foul den of Monk- 
Hall ! Away, away !" 

As she spoke the light grew more 
vivid along the stairway, and Devil- 
Bug stood on the floor of the Hall. At 
a glance he beheld Bess and the form 
of Byrnewood, as he stood in the nar 
row door. He hailed them with a yell, 
and holding the light in his hand rush 
ed wildly forward. 

" Now will you fly ?" shouted Bess. 



" Delay one moment longer, and youi 
life is in this monster s power ! Yom 
sister is lost forever. Away !" 

" I go !" shouted Byrnewood, aa 
his wan face, reddened with a gleam 
of excitement. But I will return 
again, with the power to avenge my 
sister s wrong ! Let the seducer and 
his minions make the most of their 
hour of crime ! My hour will come, 
and my sister s wrong shall be washed 
out in her seducer s blood !" 

Bess hurried him through the door 
way, and his footsteps were heard upon 
the stairs. Devil-Bug stood before the 
tall woman, his face darkened by a 
hideous frown. 

" Well you she-devil, so you ve let 
that feller escape have ye ?" he mut 
tered as he approached her, with a 
look that boded no good. 

" He has escaped, thank heaven he 
has escaped !" cried Bess as her dark 
eye fired with triumph, while her 
proud form towered to its full stature. 

Devil-Bug made no reply, but fold 
ing his arms across his chest, with the 
light in one hand, he inclined his head 
to one side, as if in the act of listen 
ing to some far-off sound. 

In a moment a crushing sound, like 
the peal of musquetry, came thunder 
ing up the private staircase. 

" D ye hear that ?" shouted Devil- 
Bug as his eye flashed with an express 
ion of malignant triumph. " D ys 
hear that sound, g-a-1? Ho, ho, ho! 
Yer feller passes down the stairs, he 
passes the entry, he crosses the room, 
ha, ha, ha ! In the centre of that 
room, is the old well of Monk-Hall ki- 
vered with loose boards ! Yer feller 
tries to cross that room, ho, ho, ho ! 
The loose boards don t give way be- 



THE PIT OF M JNK-HALL. 



369 



neath nis feet ? What does that crash 
mean ? You ve made a purty spot of 
business of this matter, I do declare !" 

Great God ! He is lost !" cried 
Bess turning white as a sheet in the 
face. " But I will save him yet " 
she cried opening the secret door. 
Even yet I will foil ye, monster and 
devil that you are !" 

" Werry likely g-a-l, werry likely," 
exclaimed Devil-Bug quietly interpo 
sing between her form and the door. 
" But jist now you ll retire to yer 
apartments. Arter this minnit consi 
der yerself a pris ner. Go home 
Bessie " he continued with his habi 
tual sneer. " Go home little g-a-l, 
yer mommy s got short cakes an cof 
fee for supper. She wants you don t 
you hear her callin . " 

Bess calmly folded her arms, and 
while a dark frown marred the beauty 
of her countenance, she m vod r lowly 
toward the staircase o r mansion. 

" Fine gal, that!" Iwoklod Devil- 
Bug, eyeing her retreating form. 
" Only she takes too much opium in 
her brandy, now an then. But Bess 
is a screamer, when her dander is riz; 
a reg lar hell-cat for all sorts o devil 
ment " 

Bess slowly turned her head over 
her shoulder, and with her eyes flash 
ing with concentrated rage, whispered 
a single name. 

" Paul Western !" she exclaimed 
with her eyes fixed on Devil-Bug s 
face. 

What d ye mean by that ? Hey, 
you she-devil 1" cried Devil-Bug, ad 
vancing with a threatening gesture. 

" What do I mean ?" echoed Bess 
with a bitter sneer. " Why I mean 
that your account is almost full ! The 



blood of Paul Western clings to youi 
skirts, and look there Devil-Bug, 
look there!" she exclaimed pointing 
to the vacant air at his back " Do 
you not see his skeleton, standing at 
your shoulder ? Look, look ! The 
long bony fingers are grasping for 
your throat " 

Devil-Bug turned round with an in 
voluntary shudder. When he looked 
toward the stairway again, Bess had 
disappeared. 

" That g-a-l is a born devil !" he 
muttered. " Howsomdever I ll go 
down stairs and see if that feller is 
ralely done for !" 

He disappeared through the private 
door, and for a few moments, the 
Hall was wrapt in darkness. 

" All right, jist as if I d done it my 
self!" he cried as he was again visi 
ble through the aperture of the door 
way. " The boards all broke and 
smashed, and a heap o clothes flutter- 
in and movin near the bottom of the 
well !" 

He laughed with ungovernable glee, 
but in a moment the expression of his 
hideous face, was shadowed by a hea 
vy frown. 

" The g-a-l," he muttered. " Here 
I ve been foolin my time away with 
trifles, when, when " 

As he spoke he entered the door of 
Dr. Pyne s ante-chamber. 



70 



MABEL. 



CHAPTER NINTH. 

PATENT-GOSPEL GRACE. 

:c ls it not beautiful my child 1 Is it 
not beautiful?" 

As he spoke, with his knees spread 
very wide apart from each other, and 
the cup of coffee placed on one knee, 
the Reverend Doctor, waved the silver 
spoon to and fro, nodding all the 
while, and glancing with a curious 
look at the fair face of Mabel, who 
was seated opposite. We say curious 
look, because he was a good Minister, 
and it would not do, to call that sen 
sual glance, gleaming through half- 
closed eyelids, humid with unhealthy 
moisture, by its proper name. 

" What is beautiful ?" asked Ma- 
bel, as she raised the cup of coffee to 
her lips. 

" To think that a berry should grow 
in the ground," continued Alamont 
Pyne, glancing aside at the face of 
his daughter, while he beat a tattoo 
on the saucer with the end of the 
spoon. " To think that a berry should 
grow in the ground, and that, that 
simple berry, by a mysterious decree 
of Providence, should in the course 
of time, assume the appearance of a 
cup of coffee !" 

The Rev. Dr. Pyne raised his wa 
tery eyes heavenward, but in an in 
stant as though impelled by some 
strange charm, he fixed them upon 
the face of abel, with that same 
gloating expression of fatherly affec 
tion. Fatherly affection, by all 
means. 

" Drink your coffee, my love, 
drink, it will do you good !" said the 
Rev. Pyne with an unctuous fatness 



of voice. "Nothing like coffee to 
raise your spirits, specially," he ad- 
ded in a cheerful whisper, Specially 
when it is spiced with a drug or two." 

" I feel so strange, father," exc airn- 
ed Mabel passing her white hand over 
her brow. " There is a burning sen 
sation on my forehead, and my eyes 
pain me. Oh father, can I indeed bo 
going mad 1 The room is filled with 
strange forms, and I feel as though 
an invisible hand was dragging me 
over a frightful precipice " 

Her dark eyes suddenly assumed 
a wild and unearthly light. In an in 
stant the lids seemed to have shrunken 
away from the eyeballs, and each 
eye, dilating to an unnatural size, as 
sumed a strange lustre, rendered 
more apparent and striking by the 
utter paleness of the countenance, 
with a single vivid spot of red, crim 
soning the centre of each swelling- 
cheek. Even the lips of the maiden 
assumed an unnatural hue. Sud 
denly their moist vermilion changed 
to a warm and unhealthy purple. 

" Father, father," she cried, "I am 
going mad ! For God s sake, save 
me, save me ! The room sinks from 
beneath my feet, the air is filled with 
horrible phantoms, and oh save me, 
save me!" 

She fell back into the chair, and 
covered her face with her hands. 

" This is the first stage of the po- 
lion," blandly whispered Dr. Pyne, 
as his red face, with its rubicund 
cheeks, flushed all over with deep 
crimson, assumed an expression of the 
most decided character. " At first she 
will be frightened, then she will fall 
into a gentle doze, and then, ah then! 
He took her fair while hand within 



PATENT-GOSPEL GRACE. 



271 



his own, and patted it playfully against 
his oily cheek. " No one shall hurt 
you my child. Your papa is with 
you. Go to sleep, that s a dear, Ma 
bel." 

Her form thrown back in the chair, 
with the limbs disposed in a careless 
and therefore voluptuous position. 
Mabel gazed at her father with a wild 
stare as though she did not compre 
hend the meaning of his words. She 
looked supremely beautiful, as with 
her dark hair, falling in heavy masses 
aside from her pale face, she surren 
dered one hand to her father, while 
the other rested upon the white skin 
of her neck, just where it began to ex 
pand into the virgin bosom. 

"I gave Devil-Bug three potions, 
sometime ago," muttered Dr. Pyne, as 
he drew his chair to the side of the be 
wildered girl. "One kills, the other 
makes crazy, the third makes love; 
or rather disposes a sweet young girl 
for the exercise of that delightful sen 
timent." 

"Father, look, look! There, at 
at your very shoulder, stands a skele 
ton, winding a grave-shroud round 
your limbs ! Oh, father, for Heaven s 
sake, do not suffer it to stand there 
with its bony fingers on your cheek." 

" Ugh ! The girl scares the life out 
of one !" cried Dr. Pyne, jumping 
from his chair. " Ah-ha ! She begins 
to doze ! How beautiful ! That pale 
face, so round in its outlines, with the 
spot of red on each cheek, those lips 
they change from purple to red 
again falling slightly apart, that 
glimpse of a soft bosom Ah-ha ! 
She does begin to doze " 

Mabel s head dropped lightly on 
her shoulder, and her eyelids slowly 
18 



closed. Her long dark hair fell 
showering over her white shoulders. 
Her arms sank stiffly by her side. 
She lay silent and motionless as 
though suddenly stricken by the hand 
of death. 

The Rev. Dr. Pyne rose slowly 
from his seat. He smacked her lips 
with unctuous fervor, and then taking 
his watch from the fob, he strode 
quietly up and down the room. 

" This is the second stage of the 
potion," he whispered, looking at the 
watch. " The third stage is the most 
delightful of all. That paleness will 
give place to a peach-like bloom, that 
stiffness of limb will be overcome by 
a voluptuous languor, that closed eye, 
when its lids again unclose, will fire 
with passion and flash with all the be 
witching softness of a woman s lovie ! 
It now wants ten minutes of twelve 
o clock. At twelve, the dear child 
will be in my power. The care and 
trouble of seventeen years will be well 
repaid. Ah-ha ! I remember ; I have 
to preach the Anniversary Sermon of 
the Gospellers on Christmas night, 
let me think it over !" 

Mabel still lay silent and uncon 
scious, her hands dropped listlessly 
by her side, while her cheeks were 

le and colorless as death. 

" Yes, yes," soliloquized the pious 
Dr. Pyne. " I might touch up the 
Gospellers on that score! I might 
talk of my wonderful conversion, my 
sudden reform, my glorious change 
from darkness to light. Yes, bretheru 
and sisters," he continued, striking an 
attitude as though surveying his con 
gregation from the heighth of the pul 
pit. " Seventeen years ago, I was a 
poor miserable wretch, destitute at 



872 



MABEL. 



once of a good coat a pure knowledge 
of the Bible ! Now brothers, now 
sisters, behold me, behold the wonder- 
ful reform, all accomplished by pure 
Patent Gospel grace ! (Ha ! Mabel re 
vives ! Her eyes slowly unclose and 
her lips fire with passion !) Seven 
teen years ago I was a ragged loafer, 
a leprous wretch, hiding in dark cor 
ners in the day, and sleeping in the 
gutters ai night! Now brethren 
and you, my dear sisters behold the 
change ! A change of heart and a 
change of linen ! I walk the streets 
in the day, clad in fine broadcloth ; 
at night I sleep on a bed of down, and 
my conscience, brothers and sisters, 
oh it is peaceful, calm and peaceful ! 
Easy, quite e-a-s-y, I assure you ! 
And this, my children " his red 
round face assumed an expression of 
deep pathos "is all the work Patent 
Gospel grace !" 

Subsiding from his pulpit attitude, 
the good brother approached the un 
conscious girl. A warm glow brighten 
ed freshly over her pale face, and her 
dark eyes half-closed, gave forth a 
sparkling glance, moistened with pas 
sion. While the pious minister stood 
gazing upon her, with a look as pure 
as the glance from the bloodshot eye 
of a Satyr, her form relaxing from its 
rigidity of muscle, began to assume 
the flowing outlines of voluptuous 
beauty. She grew radiant with pas 
sion. The red lips, slightly parted, 
revealing the teeth like pearls, the 
young bosom heaving with life, the 
face warmed with a burning flush, and 
the eye, large, dark and lustrous, 
humid with the moisture of passion 
alas for Mabel now ! The potion ad- 
mmisterod by the good Doctor Pyne, 



had aroused her animal nature m*. 
life, and she stood disclosed, a breath 
ing image of that voluptuousness 
which is at once the charm and the 
curse of woman. 

" Come kiss your father," said Dr 
Pyne, extending his arms towards the 
girl. "That s a good child. Kiss 
your papa !" 

Mabel gazed upon him with wander 
ing glance. It was evident that while 
her animal nature was aroused into 
full development, her intellectual 
powers were for the moment crushed, 
if not utterly broken. The glance 
which rested upon Dr. Pyne s face 
was humid with passion, but it was 
the glance of an idiot. 

14 The potion works like a miracle !" 
murmured the Parson, as his rubicund 
face warmed with a ruddy glow, while 
his watery eyes, with the veins of 
each pupil filled with discolored blood, 
stood out from their very sockets, with 
a look of gloating admiration. " Come 
and kiss your papa, Mabel ! It was 
a good girl, that it was, and it must 
uss its papa !" 

Like one arising in their sleep, Ma- 
Del arose from the chair, and extending 
ler arms, advanced to her father s 
side. Her footsteps trembled as she 
walked. Still the flush brightened in 
her cheek, still the glance, flashing 
from her dark eye, grew more soft 
and mellowed with the moisture of 
)assion, still her fair young bosom 
rose heaving from beneath the folds 
of her night robe. 

She extended her arms and kissed his 
ips. Faugh ! Those lips were gross 
and sensual, though they were a Par 
son s lips ! She kissed his lips again, 
and yet again. She laid her so/ 1 



PATENT-GOSPEL GRACE. 



271 



cheek against his face she encircled 
his neck with her round arms ; he 
felt her tiny fingers playing with the 
thin locks of his hair. The Parson s 
face grew more crimson, and his arms 
gathered more closely around his 
daughter s waist. 

" It is a good child, so it is," 
whispered Doctor Pyne, kissing her 
red lips. " And it will come and sit 
on papa s knee, so it will !" 

He drew the fair girl to his knee, his 
watery eyes grew more sensual in 
their gaze, and his arms gathered 
more closely round her waist. 

" What a blessed thing it is, to pos 
sess, a knowledge of medical science, 
however slight !" And Dr. Pyne kiss 
ed the red lips of the girl, with priest- 
fervor. " Here she was, an hour 
ago, full of intellectual energy ! Now, 
ho, ho, her mind is laid to sleep for 
a little while, and all the animal por 
tion of her nature, is aroused into ac 
tive life. Quite active ! A good po 
tion that! A-h " the good Dr. 
Pyne tasted the freshness of her lips 
again. 

" Ha ! Ha ! Ha !" Dr. Pyne start 
ed with a sudden thrill of horror, as 
that maniac laugh broke on his ear. 

" Ha ! Ha ! Ha !" The girl start 
ed to her feet, and while her swelling 
cheeks flushed with animation, and 
her dark eyes seemed to swim in li 
quid fire, she stood erect upon the 
floor, her extended hands pointing at 
his face, with a maniac-gesture. 

" Mabel, my child " the Dr. be 
gan, as he rose from his seat. 

" Ha, Ha, Ha !" shrieked the girl, 
as with that same unearthly look she 
gazed steadily in the face of the good 
Parson. 



" What can all this mean ? Cer- 
tainly the child has gone mad! Ma 
bel, my dear, come to your pa-pa !" 

Still the girl stood erect, her form 
raised to its full heighth, her eyes ga- 
hering new fire every instant, her 
cheek, blooming with unnatural fresh 
ness, while her extended hands, with 
he long fingers trembling in the light, 
xrinted fixedly in his face. Oh how 
Beautiful the picture a vivid imper 
sonation of beauty, mere animal love- 
iness, yet still bewitching loveliness, 
utterly deprived of intellect ! The 
ong dark hair falling over the shoul 
ders, the erect attitude, the extended 
arms, and the flowing robes of snowy 
white, the large dark eyes, dilating 
very instant, and swimming in a 
strange light, the pale face with the 
burning freshness in the centre of each 
heek, the red lips and the young bo 
som rising faintly into view. Oh 
beautiful as a dream, and yet more 
terrible than death ! 

Ha, ha, ha !" 

Dr. Pyne turned pale. The laugh 
sounded like the shriek of his evil 
angel. 

" Come girl no more of this !" He 
advanced fiercely toward the maiden. 
His hands were clenched, and his 
brow was darkened by a frown. " No 
more of this ! Your shrieks will 
arouse the neighborhood. I have 
trifled too long ?" 

"Ha! Ha! Ha!" Louder and 
more terrible arose that shriek of ma 
niac laughter. 

" Now for the reward, for which I 
have waited seventeen long years !" 

He seized the maiden by the shoul 
der, and with one rude grasp tore the 
night robe from her bosom. The 



274 



MABEL. 



white fragments fluttered in his hatids. 
Another moment and his arms were 
around her waist : his foul lips stain 
ed her bosom with a kiss. , 

A wild light flashed from the eyes 
of the girl. Her cheek grew pale as 
death, and then crimson as the dawn ! 
Her soul was struggling with her ani 
mal nature ! She tossed her arms 
aloft, she tore her form from the em 
brace of the priestly villian, she tried 
to cover the round globes of her bo 
som, with outspread fingers of her 
fair white hands. 

" Damnation !" shouted the Preach 
er, as his round face grew purple 
with rage. 

" You shall not foil me this time !" 

Maddened with lust and rage he 
advanced, he gathered the quivering 
waist of the girl within his vigorous 
arm. She struggled and writhed, and 
leapt from her very feet in the effort 
to tear herself from his grasp. He 
raised his clenched hand and oh vil 
lian and dastard ! He struck her to 
the floor ! Her white bosom received 
the blow. Along one round and 
snowy globe, a dark streak of purple, 
burst from the skin, and stamped the 
traces of his violence. 

She lay prostrate on the floor, her 
breath heaving with convulsive gasps, 
her form quivering like a leaf, her 
cheek white as marble. He knelt by 
her side. He, the profaner of God s 
sacrament, the violator of God s truth, 
the blasphemer of God s name ! He 
knelt before the crazed girl, he ga 
thered her form in his arms, he kiss 
ed her death-cold lips. One more ef 
fort, sweet Mabel ! With one convul 
sive bound she sprang from his em- 
orace, again sunk kneeling on the 



floor, and raised her hands and eyes 
to heaven. 

" OH MOTHER," she cried in tones 
that would have melted the heart of 
the fiend in hell, " OH MOTHER, 
SAVE YOUR CHILD !" 

And her eyes were upward cast, and 
her hands were outstretched as if to 
grasp the phantom-form, which her 
crazed fancy beheld floating in the 
darkened air. 

" You cannot escape me now !" 
shouted Pyne in a voice grown hoarse 
with passion. " Mine you are by 
heaven, and mine by hell ! Ho, ho, 
my beauty ! You ran away from my 
house did you ? You placed my cha 
racter in jeopardy, did you ? Ho, ho 
my beauty, we ll see who s master 
now !" 

He rushed toward the girl. She 
rose from the floor, and retreated to 
ward a dark corner of the room. Her 
face turned over her shoulder, hei 
long dark hair floating down her 
back, the white hands clasped over 
her bosom, she fled wildly forward ; 
her foot became entangled in the car- 
pet ; she fell prostrate on the floor. 

A gleam of malignant triumph shot 
from the Preachers eyes. 

" I have you at last !" he muttered 
as he knelt by her side. His watery 
eyes grew expressive with a look of 
gloating admiration. For a moment 
he gazed upon the girl in silence. She 
lay prostrate upon the floor, her form 
quivering with a slight convulsive 
motion, while she gazed upon his face 
with her large black eyes dilating in 
an expression of utter horror. 

" Oh tremble, trem-b-1-e !" whis 
pered the good Dr. Pyne. " It does 
me good to see you laying there, help 



PARSON PYNE HAS A GOOD LAUGH TO HIMSELF. 



f ess as a baby ! You may cry for 
help no one will hear you ! You 
may attempt to escape but the doors 
are locked ! Tremble, oh trem-b-1-e !" 

The girl shuddered as the full sense 
of her danger broke upon her clouded 
reason. Still she lay prostrate on the 
floor, her face pale as death, while 
she gazed upon the Parson, in help-; 
less terror. 

" Save me mother oh save me !" 
she muttered in a low whisper, as if 
talking to a spirit. 

" Your mother can t save you now ! 
You must come to your pa-pa, my 
love !" He bent down and gathered 
her form in his arms. 

" Save me, mother," shrieked Ma 
bel, " Oh save me mother !" 

" You are mine ! You are " be 
gan the Parson in tones of exultation, 
when his arms suddenly relaxed their 
hold, and his fat form rolled senseless 
on the floor. 

- > " G-a-1 you called yer mother, and 
that call saved ye !" said a rough 
voice. Mabel looked up, and shrieked. 
Devil-Bug in all his hideous deformity 
stood at her side. His face was con 
vulsed with an expression of fearful 
toatred, and his long talonlike fingers 
worked as with an epileptic spasm. 

" Here Glow-worm, here Muske- 
ter," he shouted, " Drag this old por- 
pis into the next room !" 

The negroes came stealing through 
the small doorway of the apartment. 
They seized the unconscious form of 
the Reverend Pyne. and bore him into 
the ante-chamber. Devil-Bug was 
alone with the fair girl. 

He stooped slowly down, while she 

huddered in horror, at the sight of his 

hideous visage. He gathered his rough 



arms around her tender form , hq 
raised her from the floor. She shriek- 
ed with affright. Devil-Bug. Uembled 
from head to foot. Stepping softly 
over the floor, he bore her to the bed, 
and laid her gently on its coverlid,, 
Mabel s dark eyes grew lustrous with 
terror. 

Devil-Bug stepped backward from 
the bed. He gazed upon her face for 
a moment in silence. His huge mouth 
was fixedly compressed, and his large 
nostrils quivered with a nervous move 
ment. His solitary eye glared upon 
the face of the girl with a fearful inten 
sity. She was thrilled to the very 
heart with a strange awe. 

A wild cry burst from his lips. It 
was like the howl of an enraged beast 
holding the hunters at bay. Again 
that cry ! He rushed fiercely toward 
the bed. Mabel started up in involun 
tary affright. Devil-Bug struck his 
huge hands violently against his fore 
head, and uttered that terrific howl 
yet again. Then turning on his heel, 
he fled madly from the room. 



CHAPTER TENTH. 

PARSON PYNE HAS A GOOD LAUGH TO 
HIMSELF. 

THE portly form of Parson Pyne 
lay on the carpet of the ante-chamber, 
with a huge negro watching on either 
side. 

Devil -Bug rushed madly into the 
apartment and stood beside the form 
of the unconscious Preacher. His 
solitary eye glared with all the malig 
nity of a devil, as its glance rested 



376 



MABEL. 



upon the round and rubicund face of 
the Parson. 

" Here, yo niggers," he shouted ; 
u d ye see that couch ? Strip off the 
bed an the bedclothes, and lay the 
Parson on the sackin bottom ! That s 
right, that s right ! Now, Musketer, 
tie one leg to that bed-post, and Glow 
worm, d ye hear? You tie his tother 
leg to the tother bed-post ! Sarve his 
hands the same way ! Ha, ha ! He 
looks like the letter X in the primer 
books !" 

The fat form of the parson was ex 
tended on the sacking bottom, with 
each leg tightly pinioned by the ancle 
to the bed -posts at the foot, while his 
extended hands were tied in the same 
manner, to the posts at the head of 
the couch. He certainly looked like 
a very corpulent representative of St. 
Andrew s cross. His round paunch 
stood out from the sacking bottom in 
painful prominence, and his large lips 
hanging apart, afforded an interesting 
anatomical view of his mouth and 
pallet. 

" Is the poker and the tongs heated 
to a white heat ?" grunted Devil-Bug, 
scowling fiercely in the faces of his 
negroes. 

" Yes, massa," cried Glow-worm, 
as he raised the tongs in the light, 
with its point heated to a glaring white 
heat. 

" Dis do, massa ?" cried Musquito, 
producing the poker, whose jabbed 
point, also heated to a white heat, 
emitted a fierce and blinding glare. 

Where am I ?" said Parson Pyne, 
faintly, as he unclosed his eyes. 

" Why you see, Parson, I wanted 
to axe you a few questi ns, and bein 
afeer d you wouldn t answer em 



quite easy, I jist tied yo to that bed, 
and got a couple o first rate lawyers 
to plead with you " 

" Lawyers ?" echoed Parson Pyne. 
"Ha! I am tied to the bed. What 
d ye mean, ye villain? Where are 
your lawyers ?" 

" Here they is, Parson !" exclaimed 
Devil-Bug, and the two negroes, hold 
ing the heated irons in their hands, 
stood by the bedside. 

" Ugh !" the involuntary groan was 
forced from the lips of the pinioned 
parson. " Villain, d ye mean to mur 
der me?" 

" No, not xactly. I only wants to 
axe ye a few questi ns. If so be, you 
refuses to answer " 

If I refuse to answer " 

" Why then I ll burn your eyes out 
o your head !" replied Devil-Bug, his 
solitary eye flashing with concentrated 
hate. 

Parson Pyne was silent for a mo 
ment. He looked at the huge negroes 
by the bedside and a cold shudder rai 
over his fat person. 

"What are your questions?" he 
faintly asked. 

" Is that gal in the next room your 
darter?" exclaimed Devil-Bug, bending 
his head down to receive the answer. 

" She is," responded the Parson, in 
a firm tone. 

" That s a big a lie as ye ever did 
tell " growled Devil-Bug. " I see we 
can t git no truth out o yo without 
the lawyers. Take off his shoes an 
stockin s, Glow-worm !" 

4 Dev-i-l," muttered Parson Pyne, 
with a violent struggle to extricate 
himself from his uneasy position. 
" You shall dearly pay for this inso 
lence !" 



PARSON PYNE HAS A GOOD UGH TO HIMSELF. 



27? 



* Werry likely," responded Devil- 
Bug. " But for the present we ll at 
tend to business." 

As he spoke, Glow-worm flung the 
shoes and stockings of the Parson on 
the floor, and his bare feet, with the 
toes thrust upward, were exposed to 
the light. 

" Tighten them cords round the 
ancles," muttered Devil-Bug. " Now 
Parson, for the last time will yo 
answer all my questions in regard to 
that darter o yours? And ricollec , 
Parson, yer not among the Patent- 
Gospel fellers now /" 

Pyne made no answer, but gazed 
in the face of Devil-Bug with his 
watery eyes distended by an expres 
sion of utter amazement. 

" Gi me the iron !" exclaimed 
Devil-Bug, as he took the heated poker 
from Musquito s hands. " Now, Par 
son, vich eye do yo valley most?" 
He held the jagged point of thr. iro.i 
within an inch of the Parson s right 
eye. 

"Oh o-h," screamed Parson Pyne, 
as the heat of the iron shot a terrible 
pang through his very brain. " Take 
care, take care ! You ll burn out my 
ye! Oh, o-h!" 

" That I will !" grunted Devil-Bug, 
as the gaze of his solitary eye grew 
like the white heat of the iron. 
"H-i-s-s! h-i-s-s! Parson don t yo 
feel the sagged pint hissing into yer 
eye already ?" He held the iron with 
in a half-in-inch of the Preacher s 
right eye. 

"Oh o-h!" roared the Parson, as 
his brain was penetrated by the fierce 
heat of the iron. "I ll answer, I ll 
answer ! Take the iron from the 
room and I ll answer." 



L l-Bug grinned hideously. 

" You ll answer, will ye ? I 
I got yo on the anxious bench that 
time ! Souse them irons into that 
bucket o water, niggers ! Now, Par 
son, with regard to that darter !" 

Parson Pyne glanced cautions^ 
aside. He beheld the negroes in the 
act of plunging the hot irons into a 
bucket of water. The hissing sound 
emitted by the irons as they sank be 
neath the water broke, like the voice of 
a friend, on his ears. 

" Go to the devil !" he shouted, in 
a tone of husky rage. "You may 
kill me, but I will not answer youi 
questions !" 

" Oh, you won t, won t you ?" ex 
claimed Devil-Bug, as his habitual 
grin distorted his features. " What 
ill yo bet, Parson, that you don t an 
swer my questions in a minute? And 
answer em laffin , too?" As he 
spoke he walked round to the foot of 
the bed, and extended his large hands 
until! the talon fingers almost touched 
thb soles of the Parson s feet. 

" Monster, you shall pay for this!" 
cried the Reverend Pyne, as his fat 
face was distended by an expression 
of surprise. He evidently gazed upon 
the movements of Devil-Bug with 
some considerable wonder. 

" Now, Parson, for the questi ns ! 
And fust o all, I ll tell you what I 
know mesself. Pick yer ears, Parson ! 
About Christmas Eve, eighteen hun 
dred an twenty-five, a man named 
Dick Baltzar, with his wife, Sarah 
Baltzar, hired rooms in the house o 

the widder Crank, livin in street, 

near street." 

" Ha !" the involuntary cry of sur 
prise was forced fror j the Parson s lips. 



278 



MABEL. 



" Wos yo that man, Dick Baltzar, 
or wos yo riot?" 

" Go to the devil !" roared Parson 
Pyne. 

" Oh, werry well, wer-r-y well !" 
exclaimed Devil-Bug, as he gently 
touched the soles of the Parson s feet 
with the tips of his talon fingers. " I ll 
tune you up, my pianey fortey, I will ! 
Ho, ho ! How d ye feel, Parson ?" 

" Ha! ha! ha!" roared the Parson, 
with an outburst of spasmodic laughter, 
the result of the titillating movement 
of Devil-Bug s fingers along the soles 
of his feet. " Ha ! ha ! ha ! Ho ! ho ! 
ho! Oh-oh-oh! Hi! hi! hi! Oh for 
God s sake don t d-o-n-t ! Hoo ! 
hoo ! hoo !" And the fat form of the 
Parson wriggled, and strained, and 
heaved, as with an epiletic fit. 

Ho, ho! My pianey fortey!" 
cried Devil-Bug, executing a flourish 
with his finger tips upon the delicate 
soles of the Parson s feet. " I ll tune 
you up, I will ! Laugh, Parson, it ill 
do you good, laugh, I say !" 

" Ha ! ha ! ha-a !" roared the Par 
son, making a desperate effort to with 
draw his feet from the touch of the 
talon fingers. " Ho! ho ! ho-o ! Hi! 
hi ! hi ! Oh mer-cy ! For God s sake 
don t ye tickle tickle me ! Hurrah ! 
Ha! ha!" 

" Ha ! ha !" roared Devil-Bug, ex 
ecuting another flourish. 

"Hah! ya-hah!" shouted Glow 
worm. 

" Ya-hah-ha-yah !" echoed Mus- 
quito. 

"Go it my pianey fortey !" cried 
Devil -Bug, with a most effective 
flourish. " Jist see how my fingers 
go over these white soles J Ha! ha! 
Parson, you save souls ; I tickles em ! 



* Gently over the stones, driver I* 
E-a-sy, I say !" 

"Ha! ha! ha-a-a!" roared the 
Parson, as he grew black in the face, 
while his watery eyes started from 
their sockets. " Ho ! ho ! ho ! Oh, 
for God s sake hoo! hoo! hoo! 
Don t ye tickle ha! ha! ha! Tick-l-e, 
tick-l-e me ! Hurrah ! hi ! hi ! hi-i-i !" 

" Wot a spektikle for the Free Be 
lievers ! Ha, ha ! Jist see the Parson- 
wriggle ! Wos there ever sich twistin* 
as that ! How black he grows in the 
face ! His eyes big as Delawar bay 
oysters ha ! ha ! ha ! Come on my 
pianey fortey I ll tune yo up ! 

Yankey doo-del is the tune " 

"Ha! ha! ha!" interrupted tho 
Parson. 

" An* nothin comes so han-dy ! 
As yankey doo-del doo-del do-oo * 

" Hoo ! hoo ! hoo !" roared Parson 
Pyne. 

" An* yankey doo-del dan-dy ! * 

Screamed Devil-Bug, executing a 
delicate flourish on the soles of the 
Parson s feet. 

" Ya-hah-hah," roared the negroes, 
holding their sides as they beheld the 
Preacher s agony. 

Wriggling and twisting along the 
bed, Parson Pyne made the most 
superhuman efforts to extricate him 
self, but in vain. Still the finger tips 
of Devil-Bug ran softly, oh how softly 
along his feet, still he was forced to 
rend the air with unwilling laughter. 
Tickle, tickle, tickle ! Ha ! ha ! ha ! 
His face had now assumed a dark livid 
hue, and as his eyes hung out from 
their sockets, the white surface of oach 
eyeball assumed a fearful prominence. 
Tickle, tic-kle, tic-kle ! Ho ! ho ! ho > 






PARSON PYNE HAS A GOO I, A UGH TO HIMSELF. 



27V 



The veins stood out from his forehead 
like cords, and his chest heaved and 
swelled as though moving under the 
impulse of a small steam engine. 
Softly moved the finger tips, oh softly, 
soft-l-y, sofl-l-y! Tic-k-le, tic-k-1-e, 
t-i-c-kle ! Hoo ! hoo ! hoo ! 

Oh, God ! God ! God !" yelled the 
Parson, as the tears rolled down his 
livid cheeks. " Mer-cy ! ha ! ha ! ha ! 
Ho ! ho ! ho ! Hi ! hi ! hi ! Mer-cy ! 
Ho-o-o ! Ah-a-a-ha-a !" 

A wild unearthly shriek burst from 
the Parson s lips. Then he blas 
phemed the name of his God, then in 
voked all the curses of hell upon his 
head, and then the white foam frothed 
around his lips. 

" Do yo give in ?" shouted Devil- 
Jug executing a brilliant flourish with 
his finger-tips. 

" Ho ! Ho ! Ho !" roared the Par- 
son. Ye-s! Ye-s ! Hoo! Hoo! 
Hoo ! Curses ha ! ha ! ha ! cur 
ses ! D n! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi-i-i!" 

" Did nt I tell yo my feller that 
ye d better not per woke me ?" calmly 
exclaimed Devil-Bug, walking round 
the foot of the bed. " Now will you 
answer them questi ns ?" 

Parson Pyne lay silent and speech 
less. Poor fellow ! He looked quite 
pit<ful. He lay gasping and panting 
fo"- breath, while his livid cheeks and 
starting eyes, bore traces of the awful 
agony which he had endured. Had 
Devil-Bug continued his musical ex 
periments a moment longer, the Pa 
tent-Gospellers would have lost their 
preacher, and the devil gained a soul. 
As he lay there, pinioned to the bed, 
nis starting eyes glaring vacantly 
nround the room, he looked for all the 
world like a man who has been pre- 



ci ited over some awful hei^hth ; 
he lay so silent, so motionless, so ut 
terly blank and speechless. Had the 
Pope of Pagan Rome have seen his 
Foe, he would have pitied him. Ever 
the four-and-twenty cardinals would 
have wept. The Vatican itself, that 
deplorable edifice, would have shed 
tears. St. Peter s Church, that object 
of Patent-Gospel hate and scorn would 
have been convulsed with pity. Alas, 
for the Foe of Pagan Rome ! To 
think that he, the daring and high- 
souled Pyne, who had stood up so 
often in his pulpit, arid defied the Pope 
and the devil, who had electrified the 
old women with his eloquence, and 
convulsed whole churches-full of Gos 
pellers with his matchless zeal, to 
think that he, should have been tick 
led into submission ! 

For ten long and weary minutes 
Devil-Bug awaited the recovery of the 
Parson. Never was whipped dog 
more completely cowed by the lash 
than was Parson Pyne by the finger 
tips of old Devil-Bug. 

" Was you Dick Baltzar, or was 
you not ? Answer old porpis !" 

" I was," faintly responded the 
Parson. 

" You rented rooms at the house o 
th Widder Crank on Christmas Eve, 
Eighteen hundred an twenty-five ?" 

" I did." 

" The widder Crank had a darter T 

She had." 

" Her name was " 

" Ellen " faintly chirped Parson 
Pyne. "I ll tell you all about her. 
She had been seduced two years be 
fore I came to the Widow Crank s 
house. Her seducer, was a young - 
merchant named Livingstone. On 



280 



MABEL. 



Chrisl.-nas Eve Eighteen hundred and 
twenty four, she gave birth to a female 
child. It was called Ellen. A few 
days after the child was born, her mo 
ther in a fit of rage drove her from the 
house. The child remained with the 
widow Crank. It seems that Ellen 
and Livingstone had quarrelled soon 
after the birth of the child ; and the 
mother s harshness resulted from her 
daughter s confession, that she was 
not married to her lover. For one 
year no intelligence whatever was 
heard from the daughter " 

" Ha !" shrieked Devil-Bug. " Are 
yo sure o, that ?" 

" Why as myself and wife, only 
came to the Widow s House a year 
after Ellen had disappeared, it s hard 
for me to tell !" murmured the Rev. 
Dr. Pyne. " I never yet, have been 
quite certain, but that Livingstone 
knew of the girl s whereabouts all the 
while." 

Devil-Bug smiled grimly to himself. 

"Ho, ho !" he muttered. " Then 
I m the only human bein as knows 
where Ellen was during her absence 
from her mother s home !" 

" As I said before I came to the 
Widow Crank s house, on Christmas 
Eve Eighteen hundred and twenty 
five. That very night Ellen Crank 
returned home. She was in a very 
sad condition you see, and her mother 
welcomed her back with tears of joy. 
That very night she gave birth to 
another child " 

Devil -Bug leaned slowly forward, 
and applied his mouth to the ear of 
the Parson. " And that ere lost child, 
died ? he muttered in a whisper 
that thrilled the Parson to the heart. 



" Livingstone always thought so, 
said Dr. Pyne in an evasive tone. 

" No lyin Parson ! One child 
died that night I know ! Was it the 
first or second ?" 

" It was the first," answered Dr. 
Pyne. 

Devil-Bug buried his face in his 
hands, and the Parson heard him 
groan. The Negroes looked on in 
mute astonishment. Their master af 
fected by any thing like a human feel 
ing ! Ha, ha ! The thought tickled 
them, and they chuckled quietly to 
gether. 

" And the second child Parson, 
what ever becom of it ?" said Devil- 
Bug looking at the Preacher through 
the outspread fingers of his hands. 

" I don t know," answered Pyne in 
a faint voice. 

"You lie!" shrieked Devil-Bug, 
" You lie ! You stole that child Par 
son, you and your wife trained it up 
with the idea-r of havin a hold on 
Livingstone, when he came into his 
father s property ! Don t I know ye 
ye fat dog ?" he rose from his seat 
and seized the Parson fiercely by the 
throat. " Yer wife died, and you 
turned Parson ! H ! Ho ! am I right ? 
Tell me quick or I ll choke ye !" 

" You are you are !" cried Pyne 
as he felt the talon-fingers of the de 
formed wretch gathering round his 
throat. 

Devil-Bug started up with a wild 
howl, and rushed madly into the 
chamber. 



THE SAVAGE ALONE WITH THE MAIDEN. 



Sol 



CHAPTER ELEVENTH. 



THB SAVAGE ALONE WITH THE 
MAIDEN. 

His teeth grating together, and his 
bands outspread, while his eye blazed 
with a madman s glare, he rushed 
toward the bed, whereon the girl was 
sleeping. Mabel started up in affright, 
and clasped her hands over her bo 
som, as she beheld him approach. 

" Oh save me now, my God !" she 
shrieked and held her breath in very 
terror. 

" Come g-a-1, come !" cried Devil- 
Bug as gathering his arm around her 
waist, he bore her quickly along the 
room. " Come, I say come !" 

He stopped before an antique mir 
ror of circular shape, which depended 
from the wainscotted walls. He placed 
Mabel on her feet, and rushing from 
her side, seized the light from the 
small table near the fire. In a mo 
ment he stood by her side again, and 
as she started backward, in utter hor 
ror of his hideous countenance, he 
flung the matted hair aside from his 
right temple. 

" Look gal, look !" he cried point 
ing to the reflection of his loathsome 
countenance in the mirror. " D ye 
see that red mark along my right tem 
ple ? That red mark like a snake ? 
D ye see it, d ye see it ? That mark 
was born with me !" 

Mabel gazed upon him with an ex 
pression of blank wonder mingled 
with terror. 

Devil-Bug wound his rough arm 
round her neck, and swept her thick 
black tresses aside from her right 
temple. 



" Look, look g-a-1 look !" he shriek- 
d as he pointed to the reflection of 
her beautiful countenance in the mir 
ror. " I don t want you to look at 
them black eyes, which are like hers, 
nor the lips, nor the cheeks ! But the 
right temple g-a-1 the right temple !" 

Mabel involuntarily gazed within 
the mirror. She started back with a 
strange feeling of surprise as she be 
held a slight, thin and discolored 
streak, marring the beauty of her 
face, near the right temple. It was a* 
faint and delicate copy of the deep red 
mark near the swarthy temple of 
Devil-Bug. 

"That was born with you g-a-l, 
that was born with you g-a-1 !" shout- 
ted Devil-Bug. " An you re my 
yes yes you re my " 

He paused suddenly and fell on his 
knees. He placed the light on a chair, 
and then looked up into her wondering 
face, with his hideous countenance 
distorted by a strange emotion. 

Then, bending to the very floor, he 
clung with his huge hands to the skirt 
of her white dress, and impressed his 
thick Jips upon the shoe of her tiny 
foot. Then big tears stole from the 
lids of his blazing eye, and from the 
shrivelled socket which was destitute 
of an eyeball. Then his lips became 
fixedly compressed, and as he raised 
his clenched hands he uttered a yell, 
like the howl of an enraged hyena. 

" Oh, mercy, mercy !" shrieked 
Mabel, gazing upon the monster at 
her feet in utter alarm. 

Devil-Bug seized her fair white 
hands and looked up into her face in 
silence. It was a strange and fearful 
picture. The Savage kneeling at the 
feet of I ftnocence ! 



282 



MABEL. 



Her form, so delicate and beautiful 
in all its rounded proportions of 
maidenly loveliness, with the young 
bosom, bared to the light and heaving 
with animation, her face so pale and 
yet so fair to look upon, with the dark 
eyes of such unutterable eloquence, 
and the long black hair, falling along 
the cheeks and down to the shoulders ! 

His form, so rough and so uncouth, 
with its harsh outlines of deformity 
and strength, its broad chest quivering 
with strange emotion ; his face so 
dark, so swarthy and so distorted, 
with its protuberant brow, its flat nose, 
and wide mouth, its eyeless socket and 
its solitary eye, blazing with super 
human emotion ! It was a strange 
contrast ; the Savage reared in the 
very centre of Quaker City civiliza 
tion, kneeling at the fair and beautiful 
woman, wronged and injured by one 
}f the professed Ministers of that 
civilization ! 

" Do not, do not harm me !" cried 
Mabel, all other feelings absorbed by 
ihe terror which she felt for the strange 
being at her feet. 

"Harm ye?" growled Devil-Bug, 
as he rose from his kneeling position 
and forced her gently into a chair. 
" Gal, who is it that talks to me of 
harmin ye?" 

He seated himself on a chair oppo 
site the maiden. The light, standing 
on another chair, flashed its beams 
over the outlines of their faces," so 
strangely contrasted to each other. 

A wild hope fluttered over the heart 
of the maiden, as she beheld some 
thing like human feeling in the soli 
tary eye of the monster. 

" He may aid me to escape from 
this house !" she murmured. 



" G-a-1, had ye ever a friend?" 
And as he spoke he took her fair white 
hand within his talon fingers. 

" Never !" answered Mabel, as her 
heart warmed with a strange sym 
pathy for the being before her. " My 
father has given me food, and clothes, 
and shelter, but I never yet looked 
upon the face of a human being wnom 
I could call friend ! No mother ever 
smiled upon me, and as for my father 
oh, for God s sake do not, do not 
place me in his power again !" 
" The g-a-l s been edicated !" mut 
tered Devil-Bug. " You never had a 
friend, then? You don t remember 
your mother ? I do, g-a-l, I do !" 

" You !" 

" Yes, g-a-l, I was your mother s 
servant, a-good many years ago. I 
used to kiss the very ground she stood 
upon. Don t mind me, my dear, if 
I talk a little wild. I m a poor one- 
eyed devil, and nobody cares for me ! 
But I ll be your friend g-al I, that 
never yet was friend to a human bein 
save one I will be your friend !" 

" You !" 

" Yes, gal, me ! I m ugly as the 
devil I know it ! But for you, gal, 
for you, my heart feels warm ! Ask 
me to hold my hand in that fire for 
your sake, jist ask me !" 

He reached forth his hand toward 
the light as if to carry his words into 
action, when a spot of thick red blood 
crusting the swarthy skin, attracted 
the gaze of his solitary eye. 

" Ha ! It is her blood," he shouted, 
starting from his seat. " The old 
woman s blood ! The blood of Ellen s 
mother ! Ha ! There she lays with 
the red blood droppin from her hoi lei 
skull! There there " he pointed 



THE FLIGHT FROM MONK-HALL. 



fiercely to a vacant spot of the room. 
Don t ye see her, gal 1 And here, 
gal, here, by my side, his jaw back 
and his tongue stickin out, he lays 
he, jist as he fell through the trap !" 

He rushed wildly toward the door, 
as the terrible phantoms, in all their 
horror,, broke anew upon his gaze. 
-"But I ll beyer friend, g^al !" he 
shouted, turning suddenly round. " I, 
I, oM Devil-Bug will be your slave ! 
_ You shall roll in wealth, g-a-1 ! Par 
son Pyne ain t yer father not a bit 
o it ! Yer father has gold enough to 
buy ye a row o houses ! I tell ye, 
gal, old Devil-Bug is yer friend ! The 
man that tries to injure ye will have 
a wild beast to fight that s all !" 

He rushed into the next room 
where Parson Pyne still lay pinioned 
to the sacking bottom of the bed. The 
Herculean negroes watched by the 
bedside. 

* Put on this feller s shoes an* 
stockin s an let him clear out !" 
shouted Devil-Bug. " And look ye, 
Parson Pyne ! it ud be better for you 
to crack jokes with a hungry tiger 
than to dare touch that gal ag in ! 
Go home, Parson Pyne, and mind yer 
business, and put down the Pope o 
Rome ! The g-a-1 shall go to her 
father, the rich merchant Livingstone! 
Her face is proof enough that she is 
Ellen s darter ! And mind ye, Parson 
Pyne " he cried, as he stood in the 
doorway, his face darkened by a scowl 
of rage. " If yo ever lay a finger on 
that g-a-1 ag in, I ll have my revenge 
on you, if I have to drag you from 
yer pulpit! I ll have yer blood if I 
, have to spill it in the sacrament cup !" 

He closed the door and rushed mad- 
y down the stairway of Monk-Hall. 



" To the vault, to the vault ! An 
let me think these things over ! My 
brain feels kind o crazy like, and my 
blood biles in my veins ! Ha ! ha ! 
ha! Old Devil-Bug s darter shall 
ride in her carriage, and wear silks 
an satins that she shall !" 

And as he went down to the vault 
of Monk-Hall, his wild and discordant 
laughter broke upon the air with a 
sound of strange and savage joy. 



CHAPTER TWELFTH. 

THE FLIGHT FROM MONK-HALL. 

THE negroes were alone in the 
ante-chamber. Glow-worm stood on 
one side of the fire gazing into the 
face of his comrade, who leaned 
against the mantel on the opposite 
side. Musquito grinned hideously as 
he caught the gleam of Glow-worm s 
eye. 

Ha-hah ! Yah-hah !" 

" What fo you make dat dam 
noise?" asked Glow-worm, with dig 
nified severity. 

" It am so dam queer, it am !" re 
plied the other Insect, with an addi 
tional chuckle. " So berry pertikler, 
dam queer !" 

"Ha-yah! Yah-ha !" chuckled 
Glow-worm, as the idea which amused 
his comrade stole suddenly over his 
mind. "To tink o de pa son bein* 
tied to dat ah bed yah-hah !" 

" Jis like a sof crab on he back 
ha- yah !" 

And the delightful gentlemen chuck 
led merrily together, and showed their 
white teeth, and held their sides undt 



284 



MABEL. 



the walls of the chamber echoed with 
their uproarious glee. 

The door leading into the hall of 
the second story opened suddenly, 
and long-haired Bess entered the 
chamber. Her large dark eyes flash 
ed with a clear and brilliant expres 
sion, and her jet-black hair streaming 
wildly over her shoulders gave a 
strange relief to her deathly counte 
nance. 

" De Lor Jimminy ! It am de gal !" 
muttered Musquito, with an expression 
of idiotic surprise. 

" Quick, I say, quick !" exclaimed 
Bess, approaching the fire-place. " I 
want the keys of the house old 
Devil-Bug is waitin for em ! Where 
are they ? Quick, I say !" 

" Dere dey are, missus !" exclaim- 
3d Glow-worm, with a mock bow, as 
he pointed to the bunch of keys rest 
ing on the small table near the light. 
What de debbil yo want em foh ?" 

Bess seized the keys and rushed 
into the adjoining chamber where Ma 
bel was imprisoned. 

" I say, nigga, what all dis mean?" 
exclaimed Glow-worm, gazing in 
Musquito s face. 

" I spect dar s some fuss down 
sta rs !" responded the other negro. 

As he spoke, Bess re-entered the 
room with the form of Mabel, sup 
ported by the embrace of her right 
arm, while the pale face of the young 
girl, lit by her large and lustrious 
eyes of midnight blackness, wore an 
absent and bewildered expression. 

* Come, this way, this way," whis 
pered Bess, moving toward the door 
which led out into the hall. " This 
way and you shall be saved !" 

" What foh vou do dat foh ?" mut 



tered Glow-worm, hercely, as he 
turned toward Long-haired Bess with 
a threatening look. 

" Hush, h-u-s-h !" whispered Bess, 
as she glanced meaningly at the half- 
conscious face of the girl who hung 
on her arm. " You see, Glow-worm, 
there s a rumpus kicked up down 
stairs, and Devil-Bug wants to have 
the gal removed to the Tower Room 
Open the door quick, and let me hurrj 
up stairs with her. You are so stupid 
Glow-worm quick, I say !" 

The look which animated the face 
of Long-haired Bess, dispelled all the 
doubts which the negro had entertain 
ed. With a mechanical gesture h* 
flung open the door. 

" Now, Glow-worm, close it aftei 
me " she said, gazing in his hideous 
face, while her tone was that of a con 
fidential whisper. " And if anybody 
should come up here and ask after 
the gal, you must swear that she was 
never in the house." 

" Yes, missus." 

" Ha, ha, ha ! We know how to 
manage these things don t we, Glow- 
worm ?" laughed Bess, as, standing in 
the doorway, she gathered her arm 
more closely around the waist of the 
girl who lay half-fainting, in her em 
brace. " It takes us, don t it, Mus 
quito ?" 

" It jist does dat !" chuckled the 
negro, and Glow-worm, joining in his 
laugh, carefully closed the door. 

Bess stood in the darkness of the 
hall. A smile of triumph flashed over 
her proud face. She felt the heart of 
the girl, throbbing against the hand 
that held her form to her side. 

"The plot of the Parson and nia 
tool shall be scattered to the winds 1 



THE FLI3HT FROM MONK-HALL. 



283 



. will save the wronged girl, save her 
from the hands of her priestly father ! 
This way fair girl, and we will escape 
together!" 

" Whither are you leading me?" 
murm jred Mabel in a bewildered tone. 
" Oh save me from my father ! Do 
with me what you will, but do not hurry 
me to his roof again ! I will work my 
fingers to the bone, beg in the streets, 
or starve, but oh ! Do not place me 
in his power again !" 

Bess silently led the way down the 
stairs. Crouching on the steps, about 
half-way down, was the form of a 
woman, attired in floating robes of 
white. 

* " Mary arise ; we will escape !" ex 
claimed Bess in a whisper. " Take 
my arm, and cling to me with all your 
strength : we will escape from Monk- 
Hall !" 

The fair girl rose in the darkness, 
and clung to the arm of the fallen 
woman. No word escaped her lips ; 
no sigh heaved her bosom ; she was 
silent as the grave. 

" Ha ! I hear the sound of his foot 
steps on the lower stairs !" muttered 
Bess. * He is ascending from the 
vault of Monk-Hall. Now help me 
heaven ! If he bears a light with him 
we are lost ! Another moment and all 
will be discovered." 

She pressed her hand madly to her 
forehead, but in a moment an exclama 
tion of joy burst from her lips. 

" Stand close against the wall on 
this side of the stairway ; I will \ove 
your form with this cloak ?" 

They crouched against the wall, a 
the sound of Devil-Bug s footsteps were 
heard on the floor of the hall below 
Seizing the cloak, which she had lei 



vith Mary, while leading Mabel from 
he chamber above, she flung it over 
heir figures, and stood erect against 
ts folds, her dark dress, shrouding 
ler form from view. The sound of 
Devil-Bug s footsteps were heard on the 
irst step of the stair-case. There was 
>arely room for him to pass, between 
he form of Bess and the banisters op- 
>osite. He ascended the stairs. Step 
y step, he ascended, his hard breath- 
ng breaking on the still air like the 
>anting of a wild beast about to spring 
at the traveller s throat in the darkness 
)f some hideous ravine. The heart of 
3ess fluttered in her throat. Another 
tep, and he would be at her side. She 
leld her breath. His foot was on the 
step where she stood shielding the 
brms of the girls from view. The 
ight from the distant roof fell dimly 
over his hideous face and form, while 
he side of the stair-way next to the 
wall was enveloped in thick darkness. 
Bess beheld him turn his coarse gar 
ments rustled against her dress. She 
placed her hand against her mouth to 
smother the shriek which arose to her 
ips. The solitary eye of Devil-Bug 
Deered into the darkness with a fixed 
glare. Bess silently grasped the mas 
sive key of the front door in her right 
hand, and separated it from the ring 
which confined the bunch of keys. In 
the action the keys jingled together. 
Devil-bug started. Bess raised the 
massive key in her hand it was her 
determination to crush his skull with 
its weight, if he laid his hand upon her. 
Her lips were compressed, and he" 
bosom for the moment, was motionless 
as marble. 

" My heart s full of all sorts o queer 
tantrums" muttered Devil-Bug. t4 I 



286 



MABEL. 



just now thought I heered some 
body breathin on the stairs, and 
now I thought I heered my keys a 
jinglin together! Wot a rediculus 
fool I am to be sure !" 

He pursued his way, he passed the 
form of Bess, and the sound of his 
footsteps presently echoed from the 
stairs above. 

Bess breathed freely again. A wild 
feeling of joy fluttered round her heart : 
She seized the trembling girls, one in 
each arm, nerved for the effort by a 
hallowed hope that now began to 
brighten over her soul, she gathered a 
fair form in each arm, and hurried 
down the stairs. 

" The key, the key !" she shouted 
in a wild delirium of joy. " A moment 
longer and we are saved. A moment 
and we escape from Monk-Hall !" 

Meanwhile Devil-Bug ascending the 
stairs, stood before the door of Monk 
Baltzar s ante-chamber. 

" I ll see the gal once agin," he 
muttered. " I ll look on her purty 
face agin ; she shall roll in gold ; she 
jhall ! Old Devil-Bug s darter shall 
^avc the money ha, ha, ha! Sich 
lots o money !" 

He entered the ante-chamber, and 
passed along without heeding Glow 
worm and Musqueto who stood by the 
fire. Gently unclosing the door of the 
next apartment, he stepped within the 
chamber where he had left the girl. 
He closed the door and advanced 
toward the light. 

" She s a-sleepin on that bed, the 
darter of Ellen !" he muttered folding 
his arms. " Many and many s the 
night I ve laid at Ellen s door, watchin 
her while she slept, and keepin her 
from harm. There was nt never a 



human bein as did nt cuss me, except 
one, except one ! That was her 
Ellen the gal whom I d ave died for ! 
And this is her darter ha, ha, ha ! 
And she shall ride in her carriage, and 
have goold pieces, thick as flies in a 
molasses jug." 

He advanced a step nearer to the 
bed, his head inclined to one side, as 
if in the act of listening. He listened 
for the low, soft sound of a woman 
breathing in her sleep. 

" She sleeps wery softly !" muttered 
Devil-Bug. "An I ll go to Living 
stone, an I ll tell him the story, and 
I ll tear that Parson s heart from his 
carcase, if he dares say that she ain t 
the merchant s darter ! I hate and cuss 
the whole world ; the whole world hates 
and cusses me but the g-a-l ! I ll 
skulk along the street, and see her 
ridin in her carriage ; I ll watch in the 
cold winter nights and see her all 
shinin with goold and jewels as she 
goes into the theatre, with the big 
folks round her, and the rich mer 
chant by her side. !? f 

He drew a step nearer the bed. 

" And then I ll skulk down into the 
pit, and hide my head, but keep a look 
out on her with my one eye. When I 
sees the folks makin much of her the 
jewels shinin on her dress, the brace 
lets round her wrists and the goold 
band around her white brow, then I ll 
stick my face in my hands an laff! 
Ho, ho; ho. There, I ll cry to my 
selfthere is old Devil-Bug s darter 
among the grandees o the Quaker 
City !" 

He drooped his head on his breast, 
while his eye blazed, and his thick 
lips parted in a grotesque grin. 

In a moment, however, a strange 






THE FLIGHT FROM MONK-HALL. 






mood of thought seemed to pass over 
the distorted intellect of this monster. 

He stood with his head drooped low 
on his wide chest, while his hands 
hung extended by his side. Hb soli 
tary eye, which contracted and dilated 
ike the eye of a tiger, grew large and 
lustrous. His teeth were clenched, 
while bis thick HDS receded in a con 
vulsive grimace. He stood motionless 
as the aged walls of that old house, 
of whose wide rooms and dreary 
vaults he seemed the living soul. ^ 

In that moment of silence what a 
world of thought passed over the soul 
of the monster ! 

First came a vision of the fair wo 
man, who had loved him. Loved the 
outcast of mankind, the devil in human 
shape ! Could you have seen Devil- 
Bug s soul at the moment it was agi 
tated by this memory, you wouid 
have started at the contrast, which it 
presented in comparison with his de 
formed body. For a moment the soul 
of Devil-Bug was beautiful. 

Then the scorn of the world crowd 
ed upon his soul. His ignominious 
birth, his lonely life, the hatred was 
felt for him, and the loathing which 
he felt for man, his distorted face and 
deformed body. Like a black cloud 
it gathered upon him. Had Devil- 
Bug s soul assumed a tangible shape, 
his body in comparison, would have 
grown beautiful. It was terrible to 
note the malice of his soul flashing 
from his eye and trembling on his 

HP. 

Then came one wild and wandering 
thought. It darted over the chaos of 
his mind like the long and trembling 
ray of a star that shines but for an in 
stant and then is dark forever. It was 
19 



aiJ 



a thought, brief it is true, wild 
wandering, yet mighty in its v4ry 
brevity of existence, and most glorious 
in its wandering shape, it was| a 
thought of God. Devil-Bug for a rrjo- 
ment felt the existence of a God. F^or 
a moment he felt that he had a Fathpr 
in the Universe, He imagined 4 n 
awful being, with a face of unutterable 
beauty, an awful being looking fortfi 
from a vast immensity of clouds and 
darkness, while a frown broke ove| 
his eternal brow. Devil-Bug felt thalj 
this being was his Father. He feltj 
that he, Devil-Bug the outcast of earth, 
the incarnate outlaw of hell, had one 
friend in the wide universe ; that friend 
his Creator. He felt in every fibre 
of his deformed soul that the eyes of 
the awful being were fixed upon him 
in terrible reproof, yet with a gleam 
of mercy breaking from their eternal 
lustre. 

This thought was but for a moment. 
Like a flash of light it came, like a 
shadow it passed away. 

Then, slowly and terribly, thore 
came gliding to his side, the phantoms 
of the murdered man and woman. 
The man with the body distorted by 
death, the knees drawn up to the chest, 
the jaw broken and the tongue lolling 
out; the woman, with the blood oozing, 
drop by drop, from the hollow skull, 
while the fragment of the face, clung 
by the quivering neck, to the shattered 
and mangled body. Devil-Bug could 
see the old woman s flesh quiver; he 
could hear the sound of the dropping 

Drop! 
drop ! 



blood. Drop ! Then a pause. 
Another pause. Drop, drop, 



How red it grows as it curdles over 
the hard bricks of the fire plac^ ! He 
could see the blood-shot eyes ol the 



MABEL. 



man moving slowly to and fro; ihen 
the tongue blackened, and then Ugh ! 
That low-toned yet terrible moan ! 

" They are with me !" muttered 
Devil-Bug, wiping the cold sweat from 
his brow. " With me forever ! But 
I don t see that man Haiwey. I don t 
see his corpse. Ugh ! there he is 
now, layin 1 beside the grave, his body 
straightened out and his eyes glaring 
upward like bits of glass in the sun 
shine ! He moves ugh ! He rises 
or! bis feet, he makes toward me ! 
Ugh ! Back I say you re dead, yo 
devil, and yo can t frighten me !" 

This was uttered in a low whisper 
that would have thrilled a man s blood 
to hear. His right arm extended 
while the cold sweat trickled from his 
brow, Devil-Bug stood immoveable as 
a rock, while he regarded the phantom 
with a fixed and glassy eye. 

" Back yo devil you re dead 
ugh ! Back I say yo can t frighten 
me!" 

In a moment the fit subsided, and 
Devil-Bug gazed around with a wild 
shriek of laughter. 

"Them things iswerry delightful!" 
he observed, with his usual grin. 
" They quite refreshes a feller." 

He approached the bed, and his 
mood changed. His child, lay sleep 
ing there; his child! The darkness, 
which shrouded the corners of the 
chamber, lay thick around her couch, 
but she was there ! His heart beat 
with a strange feeling of joy as he 
approached the bedside, and from his 
heart through every vein that strange 
joy darted like lightning. 

He extended his hand, he passed it 
over the bed-clothes. A shudder ran 
tver his framt. Again he extended 



his hand, again passed it nervously 
over the white coverlid. He started 
backward with a cry of horror. 

He stood for a moment silent and 
immoveable. Then running from one 
corner of the room to another, he 
shrieked the name of Ellen, again and 
yet again, while the muscles of his 
face, worked as with a death-spasm. 

" Ellen," he shrieked, in his frenzy 
confounding the mother with the child. 
" Where have they tuk yo ? Ellen- 
did I not watch yo in the winter 
nights? Did I not fight for yo ? Say, 
Nell, was there ever sich a sarvant as 
old Devil-Bug? Nell Nell ! Answer 
me Nelly ; don t play possum with 
Devil-Bug I know you re hid some 
where ; I know it ! You d not leave 
me. Nell !" 

Again he shrieked that name. He 
listened for a moment no answer 
came to his call. He rushed hurriedly 
into the ante-chamber ; he seized the 
negro, Musquito, by the throat with a 
giant s grasp. 

" Tell me, yo scoundrel, where 
did yo take that gal ?" 

" Massa" replied the negro, speak 
ing with difficulty as the talon fingers 
encircled his throat. " Missus Bess 
took de keys and de gal dat s 
all, Massa." 

" Nigger, I ll have you roasted 
alive !" shrieked Devil-Bug, with an 
ominous scowl of anger. "Bess took 
the gal and the keys, did she ? Nig 
gers, I ll tell you what it is, if that 
gal escapes, I ll have your black flesh 
torn off with hot pincers I ll " 

He rushed through the doorway, 
and was heard descending the stairs. 

Meanwhile, with the fair form of a 



THE FLIGHT FB 



MONK-HALL. 



289 






irembling woman on each arm, Bess 
pursued her way down stairs, and in 
a few moments stood at the small door 
Df the Doorkeeper s fireroom It hung 
slightly ajar. Bess gazed through the 
crevice, and to her utter horror, be 
held two persons standing near the 
fire. She looked again, and recog 
nized the portly form of the fat Parson 
and the well-built figure of Fitz- 
Cowles. They were chatting plea 
santly together. 

" A fine girl you say, Parson ? Ha, 
ha ! You re a sly rogue, you are ! 
Where is she now ?" 

" Don t speak so loud, Fitz. She s 
up stairs a lovely girl, with a soft 
form and red lips ! Ah !" 

Bess could hear the Parson smack 
his thick lips together, with holy 
fervor. 

" Take care Parson, or I ll cut you 
out ! I ll buy off old Devil-Bug and 
have the beauty all to myself. I 
f u iaow you preachers are awful sly 
with the women ; and the pulpit is 
rather celebrated for its taste in that 
ime. My curiosity is excited, Parson 
I should like to see the girl " 

" Ah-ha ! Should you ? I ve had 
a good deal of trouble in trapping the 
beauty she shan t pass out of my 
hands for nothing, I assure you." 

There was a pause for a few mi 
nutes. Fitz-Cowles and the Parson 
whispered together, 

Bess looked through the crevice, 
while the girls hung trembling on her 
arms, and beheld the good Parson in 
the act of rattling a dice-box, which 
Devil -Bug had left on the mantle. 

"Ha. ha! The hundred dollars 
ire mine!" chuckled the Parson. 

Bess beheld Fitz-Cowles take up the 



dice, and rattling them for a moment 
in the box, fling them out upon the 
surface of the mantlepiece. 

" And the girl is mine !" exclaimed 
Fitz-Cowles, with a look of triumph. 
" Our agreement was that the one who 
had the highest throw should take the 
money ; the other should have the 
woman ! Being a Parson, you of 
course had more luck with the dice 
than one of the laity like myself; I 
am content with the girl. Where is 
she?" 

" Up stairs. My room you know ?" 
and the Parson waved his hand to 
ward the door. 

Fitz-Cowles moved from the fire 
place. In a moment the door would be 
flung open, and Bess, with her com 
panions be discovered. 

* Now is my time !" muttered Bess. 
" Girls, stay here for a single moment, 
and I ll save you !" She placed them 
in the darkness, one on either side of 
the doorway. 

" The house is on fire!" she shriek 
ed, as with her dark hair flung wild 
ly over her shoulders, she rushed 
through the doorway and confront 
ed the astonished Parson and the 
Millionaire. " Save yourselves while 
it is in your power ! The house is in 
flames away, away !" 

She rushed toward the front door 
while they stood utterly confounded, 
near the fireplace. In a mcment the 
key was in the lock, in another instant 
the door was flung wide open. 

" Save yourselves !" shouted Bess, 
elevating her voice to an unnatural 
pitch. " The house is on fire delay 
another moment and you are lost " 

" Shall we move, Fitz ?" 

" I guess we d better, Parson !" 






890 



MABEL. 






The words had scarcely passed his 
dps when the folds of white garments 
fluttered before his eyes, and two fe 
male forms, rushing from the doorway 
of the hall, bounded along the floor 
with one convulsive spring like that 
of the doe when environed by hunters. 
Mabel, herself all terror, supported 
the quivering form of Mary. In an 
instant they passed the form of Bess, 
as with the key in her hand, she held 
the front door wide open. 

" Now girls," she shrieked. "Cling 
to my arms, and we may escape !" 

With a fair girl clinging to each 
arm, she darted from the doorway, 
and was lost to view. 

" It s the very girl the one in the 
white dress its Mabel !" exclaimed 
Parson Pyne. 

" Yes, but there were two in white 
dresses " interrupted Fitz-Cowles. 

" The one with long dark hair, and 
jet-black eyes ; that was Mabel !" cried 
Parson Pyne, moving toward the door. 

" Ha ! Say you so ! I d peril a cool 
thousand to win her. Let s give chase. 
That alarm of fire was all a sham." 

They moved to the door, and looked 
out upon the night. At a short dis 
tance down the narrow street, the white 
garments of Mary and Mabel waved 
in the light of the moon. 

" I ll pursue them !" shouted Fitz- 
Cowles, darting down the street. 

"And I ll run this way, and head 
them off, at the next street !" cried 
the Parson, moving briskly along the 
alley in an opposite direction. "Ten 
chances to one, they take the alley, 
which winds round and round like a boa 
constrictor, and at last strikes into the 
street, about a hundred yards ahead ! 
Ha, ha ! I can walk quietly along and 



head them c /F. Should dear little Ma- 

bel get into my hand s again ah- 

ha !" 

The Parson pursued his way alon^ 
the street, chuckling gaily to him 
self. And at the very moment that 
Fitz-Cowles pursued the wanderers in 
one direction, while the Parson endea 
voured to intercept them in another, 
the form of Devil-Bug appeared in the 
broad door-way of Monk-Hall. 

" Ho, ho !" he cried, looking west- 
wardly down the narrow street. "There 
they go, with a feller chasin em ! 
There s Bess curse her ! There s Lor- 
rimer s gal, and there s Nell! Ha! They 
strike into the alley, which instead of 
going straight ahead like a reglar 
Phil delphy alley, winds round the 
yard of Monk-Hall, and comes into the 
street agin about a hundred yards 
ahead. Ho, ho ! I have it ! I have it ! 
I ll just climb the fence of the yard, and 
drop down into the alley back of Monk- 
Hall ! The gal s will come trampin 
down the alley for dear life they ll 
see a black lump on the ground they ll 
rush on thinkin it a stone, but that 
black lump will rise on its feet and it 
will stretch out its arms and grasp em. 
Old Devil-Bug will have the child, his 
darter agin !" 

He disappeared within the door of 
Monk-Hall. 

< The moon rose above the house 
tops. Monk-Hall gleamed in the sil 
very light like a goblin mansion. Each 
peak of the roof, each fantastic chim 
ney, the massive tower and the front 
of black and red brick intermingled in 
strange contrast, were disclosed by the 
light of the rising moon, floating so 
soft and mellow from the expanse of 
the fathomless winter sky. 



THL FLIGHT FROM MONK-HALL. 



291 



Meanwhile along the narrow street, 
each arm supporting the form of a half- 
ainting girl, Bes-s pursued her wa) r , 
her heart filled with one fixed pur 
pose, and her very soul nerved for the 
effort. The sound of footsteps struck 
upon her ear, She turned her head 
over her shoulder, and beheld Fitz- 
Cowles at the distance of some fifty 
yards. His conical hat and gold- 
headed cane were directly perceptible 
in the moonlight. But one course re 
mained for Bess. She must strike into 
the narrow alley or be overtaken. 

Gathering the arms of the girls more 
firmly within her own, Bess whispered 
a word of encouragement in their ears 
and darted around. The three forms 
were lost to view in the winding alley. 

r Gad ! I ll have them yet!" shouted 
Fitz-Cowles, gaining the corner of the 
alley, and gazing intently upon the 
figures of the wanderers. " That face 
and those eyes are not so easily for 
gotten ! Gad I ll have them yet !" 

Bess turned her head over her 
shoulder she saw the pursuer gaining 
upon her at every step. 

" On Mary," she whispered. < On 
Mabel !" for by some strange means 
he had gained the name of the strange 
maiden. " You are running from 
death, and worse than death !" 
* Her words infused a new life into 
the heart of Mabel ; poor Mary, too, 
felt a strange energy darting through 
her veins. 

Not a word more was said, but on 
and onward they dashed. Over the 
rough stones, through the puddles of 
miry water, beneath the shadow of the 
thickly clustered houses, on and on 
ward %, race for maiden purity, a 
race for womap s honor ! 



At every step Fitz-Cowles gained 
upon the wanderers. His shout of 
laughing derision burst upon their ears; 
the echo of his footsteps smote their 
hearts like a death-knell. 

" Ha, ha P he laughed. "My black- 
eyed damsel. I ll have you, by Jove, 
I ll have you yet !" 

Bess reached a point of the winding 
alley, where the thickly-clustered 
houses, were superseded on one side, 
by a high board fence. Over the 
lence, dark indistinct and gloomy, was 
seen the roof of Monk-Hall, with the 
tower rising in the moon-beams. 

As Bess reached the fence, Fitz- 
Cowles was within ten paces of her 
side. Nothing could save her now. 
Panting for breath, the girls clung 
tremblingly to her arms ; their weight 
began to drag her down ; her strength 
gave tokens of exhaustion. 

Fitz-Cowles uttered a shout of tri 
umph and sprang forward to grasp his 
victim, He did not heed the dark 
lump which like a blackened rock, 
uprose from the very centre of the 
pathway. The girls rushed past the 
blackened mass. Fitz-Cowles sprang 
forward to grasp them, laughing gaily 
in the action, when a wild yell broke 
on the air, mingling with his cheerful 
laugh, the black mass at his feet as 
sumed the shape and form of the mon 
ster, and Devil-Bug confronted the 
Millionaire. 

" Ho, ho, my teller. I ve got y[> 
have I ?" he shrieked with a blazing 
eye. " What in the devil d ye mean 
by chasin that gal ?" 

"Stand back or I ll cleave your 
skull with my cane ! Stand back fel 
low you re in my pay, and I ll 
tise you for this insolence !" 



292 



MA5EL. 



And Fitz-Cowles brandished his 
gold-headed cane in the light of the 
moon. " You ll chastise me, will ye?" 
shouted Devil-Bug. "There never 
yet was a man as felt the weight o 
this arm and lived afterwards !" 

He sprang upon Fitz-Cowles with a 
yell. *They clenched together, they 
fell in the mire of the gutter, and 
fought like dogs, the Savage and the 
Millionaire ! 

Onward with faint and weary steps, 
the wanderers held their way. They 
reached the termination of the winding 
alley, where it emerged upon the nar 
row street, a hundred yards distant 
from Monk-Hall. Panting for breath 
and trembling in every tired limb Ma 
bel clung nervously to the arm of Bess, 

hile Mary, her senses whirling in 
strange, confusion flung the weight 
of her quivering form full upon the 
shoulder of the dark-eyed woman. 

" Ha ! There is a man standing at 
the corner of the street we are watch 
ed !" Bess exclaimed in a whisper. 
" Courage, Mabel, courage Mary, you 
shall not be dragged to Monk-Hall 
again while Bess has a firm soul or a 
resolute arm !" 

"It is my father!" whispered Mabel, 
trembling in every limb. 

" Yes, yes, my pretty Mabel ! It is 
your father !" cried the portly Parson, 
advancing from the shadows of the 
street. " Come here with me, and I ll 
overlook your recent misconduct ; come 
home my dear!" 

He approached the trembling girl. 
She clung to the arm of Bess with the 
energy of despair. Bess suddenly 
flung the maiden aside, and raised her 
irm on high. Each sinew was braced 
for a desperate effort, and the tiny fin 



gers of her hand grasped the massive 
key of Monk-Hall. 

" Oh do not cast me from you," 
shrieked Mabel. 

" Come to your pa-pa, my dear," 
exclaimed Parson Pyne, reaching forth 
his hand to grasp the form of Mabel. 
* Her eyes flashing fire, Bess sprang 
forward, and struck the Parson on the 
forehead with the massive iron key. 
The blow was as sudden as it was un 
expected : he reeled to one side and 
fell upon flie pavement like a dead 
man. 

" Now, girls, cling to my arms yet 
once again. Ere ar hour passes over 
my head, I will placo you in a quie 
refuge, where no wrong can assail 
you, no dark passion mar your 
peace !" 

" Any where Bessie, to the lowest 
hovel, to the abode of rags and misery 
and want, but for God s sake not to that 
home the home which I left only last 
night for the mansion of Lorraine. I 
have had my dream, Bessie God 
alone knows how terrible has been the 
awakening from that dream !" 

As Mary spoke, her voice grew 
tremulous and Bess turned her face 
away from the gaze of the ruined girl. 
That wan countenance, those eyes of 
liquid blue dilating with a frenzied 
glare the vision blasted the very 
eyesight of Long-haired Bess. 

Mabel clung to the arm of the tall 
woman, and in a whisper besought hei 
to fly from the spot. 

" Let us away," she cried. " My 
father " and she pointed to the portly 
form whjch cumbered the roadside. 
" I fear him worse than the grave/ 

Bess silently gathered the arms of 
each girl within her ownj and then at 






THE FLIGHT FROM MONK-HALL. 



293 



fthe moon shone upon the wan yet 
beaming face with blue eyes and 
gol jen hair, on one side, and the pale 
countenance with dark eyes and mid 
night tresses, on the other, she raised 
her gaze to the moonlit heavens above, 
and for the moment her dark orbs 
grew lustrous with a strange eloquence. 
At that moment, as standing at the 
corner of the gloomy street, with a 
ruined girl on one side a wronged 
maiden on the other, her face, once so 
beautiful, and now lovely to look upon 
in its very ruins, was imbued with an 
expression holy as that which mantles 
over the face of the dying mother 
when blessing her first born child. 
/ Up to the throne of the pure and 
4f merciful God, from the heart of the 
Courtezan there ascended a vow, a 
holy vow ! She was degraded, steep 
ed to the very lips in pollution, canker 
ed to the heart with loathsome vice, 
yet at that moment, she was a holy 
thing in the sight of the angels, for 
before the altar of Almighty God, she 
swore to protect the ruined Mary to 
the death, she vowed to guard the 
stainless Mabel from the shadow of a 
wrong. And the vow went up to God, 
and the moon, rising higher over the 
roof-tops, seemed to shed a more 

w kindly light as if to crown that vow 

with an omen of success. 

* And the Three Sisters, the Fallen, 
Betrayed and the Innocent, wan 
dered forth, a ong the streets, on their 



|. * gloomy way. 



the old State House 
clock, one. There is a wild music in 
the sound of that old bell. It rings 
like the voice of a warning spirit, 
when heard in the silence of night. 



How many have heard it in the dead 
hour of night, ere they laid down to 
die ? The suicide, wan faced and heart 
broken, has paused on the edge of the 
Delaware, as the sound of that bell 
has for a moment, called him back 
to life. The poor mechanic, starving 
in his desolate home, has raised his 
head for the last time, as the old bell 
struck one upon his freezing ear, and 
then moaned and clutched the air and 
died. The Bank Director revelling 
at the sight of his gold, won from the 
poor by fraud to. which a pirate s 
crimes are acts of benevolence ; the 
jolly Bank Director counting over his 
sweat-wrung gold at the solemn hour 
of the night, has been aroused from 
his reveries by that awful sound, dim, 
booming and knell -like the State 
House clock^ tolling ONE. Woman, 
fair, and young, and beautiful, sinking 
into the arms of shame, has started 
from the polluted couch as that sound 
broke on her ears, now fast-sealed to 
all the warnings of conscience. She 
has started, and thought of the voice 
of her grey-haired father, she haa 
started and wept ! 

ONE! 

The young author, with his sallow 
cheeks, lighted by the glare of a 
dickering lamp, and his threadbare 
coat, fluttering in rags on his wasted 
form ; the young author sitting at his 
desk at the lone hour of night, while 
be wrestles with all the world for 
fame and fortune, his only weapon a 
rusted pen, hears that State House 

l God bless it for its memories! 
striking the hour of ONE, and rising 
from his task*he beholds his success 
tainted on the very darkness which 
Beclouds his pa^h. Already he be- 



.< 



.- v 



294 



MAREL. 



holds the world at his feet, already 
the bloodhounds of calumniation and 
persecution, lie gasping in their last 
agonies, while his foot is on their 
necks. Huzza for the old State House 
bell, and above all other hours, huzza 
for the hour of ONE. 

ONE! 

The minister of justice, bending 
over the table, on whose surface the 
hard gold is flung ringing down by 
the hands of the wealthy citizen who 
sits smiling opposite; the hard gold 
which buys the life of some wealthy 
murderer from the gallows, or the 
liberty of some gilded robber from the 
jail, this honest minister of justice, 
starts and trembles as he hears the 
State House bell strike ONE ! 
P* That dull and booming sound seems 
to call into life the vengeance of the 
People, which shall one day hurl the 
lordly minister of the law from his 
proud position ; already he beholds 
written on the vralls of his chamber, 
in letters of flame, that blacl^ and 
staring word " CORKUPTION."J 

Huzza for the hour of ONE. 

That sound, speaking from the 
heighths of Independence Hall, strikes 
ever the Quaker City like the voice 
of God s Judgment, rousing crime 
from its task, mirth from its wine-cup, 
murder from its knife, bribery from 
its gold. 

Huzza for the old State House bell, 
and above all other hours huzza for 
the hour of one. 

Two figures were slowly wending 
their way along a well-known street 
ir. the District of Southwark. 

" Curse the huzzy. Just look at 



my forehead ! The marks o that 
key will disfigure me for life." 

" It doesn t improve your forehead 
much that s a fact, Parson. But you 
should have seen the keelhauling that 
monster gave me ! Egad, there isn t 
a bone in my body that doesn t ache!" 

" How did you get off from old 
Devil-Bug? Eh, Fitz?" 

" Palavered the old scoundrel. 
Made believe that I was a-going to 
protect the girl and all that. Deuced 
singular he should take such an in 
terest in her ain t it?" 

" Quite unaccountable, as we say 
in the pulpit, when the morning col 
lection is rather sraall. However, 
Fitz, Pye._sold the girl to you for one 
hundred dollars, and you shall have 
her." 

"When, for instance?" 

" By to-morrow at noon !" 

" Say you so, my Parson ! Place 
this girl in my possession by to-mor 
row noon, and another hundred shall 
be yours !" 

" Give me your hand on that Fitz. 
There my boy it shall be done ! Now 
Mabel my pretty chit" he muttered 
to himself while his rubicund face was 
purple with hate ; " we ll see who 
places the character of the reverend 
Pastor of a loving flock in jeopardy : 
we ll see who gets old monsters to 
defend them the huzzy !" 

" What a comfort it is," soliloquized 
Fitz-Cowles, " what a comfort it is 
to think, that the hundred dollar note 
which I gave the Parson was on a 
Sand Bank. ^i 

"Ha! Fitz. Look yonder there 
they go the three beauties. Let s 
give chase !" 



THE FLIGHT FROM MONK-HALL. 



891 



" Agreed ! Now for another race 
a moment and we ll have them !" 

In the distance, at the corner of the 
next street, the while garments of Ma 
bel and Mary, with the dark robes of 
Bess fluttering between the two young 
forms, waved for a moment in the 
moonlight. In another moment the 
portly Pyne and the well-formed mil 
lionaire gave chase ; in a moment the 
three women turned the corner of the 
next street. It required but a few 
seconds for Pyne and Fitz-Cowles to 
gain the corner of the street. They 
looked up and down the street the 
women had disappeared. The moon 
was shining brightly in the heavens, 
and its beams illumined the long street, 
which like all Philadelphia streets was 
laid out with all the matter-of-fact 
straightness of a ten-pin alley. 

" Where could they have disap 
peared !" muttered Pyne, " there is no 
alley between this street and the next, 
and I see no signs of any other hiding 
place. They must have gone into 
some o these houses." 

" Egad ! where will you find a house 
open at this hoar 1 They must have 
sunk down plump into the bricks of 
the pavement." 

" Ha ! Here is the widow Smolby s 
house. Ten to one they went in this 
door wait a moment, I ll knock." 

Accordingly, the Reverend Doctor 
Pyne knocked at the door of the widow 
Smolby s ancient mansion. In a few 
moments the door receded about the 
width cf an inch, and the glare of a 
light flashed out upcn the side-walk, 

" Is the widow Smolby in ?" asked 
the pious Dr. Pyne, assuming his bland 
est tone. 



hat 11 answer" answered a rough 
voice from the crevice of the door. 
" Her corpse ?" 

" I spose you don t know that the 
widder was took bad with an attack of 
murder and thieves this arternoon t 
The crowner sot upon her, which con- 
siderin* as he s a wery fat man, was 
rayther an ungenteel thing for him to 
do." 

" You did not see any thing of three 
young ladies in these parts, did you ?" 
asked the zealous Dr. Pyne, in hi-s 
most unctuous voice. 

" Now wot a precious question that 
is, to wake a man up in the middle o 
th night for ! Make a pin-cushion of .. 
me somebody, and hang me up agin 
the wall for all the old ladies to stick 
pins in, but if I ain t got a notion to 
come out there old porpis !" 

With these words, the gentleman on 
the inside, being in somewhat of an 
angry mood, violently closed the door, 
using a familiar synonym for condem 
nation with some considerable empha 
sis. 

" How much his voice sounds like 
that of Major Mulhill !" muttered Fitz 
Cowles. 

" The gal is in this house ; I ve not 
a doubt of it!" blandly remarked thx 
Foe of Pagan Rome. 

"I ll tell you what it is Monk Baltzar, 
I feel interested in this girl. Her dark 
eyes have made a decided impression 
on me. I never yet fancied a woman 
that I did not win, and so if you ll by 
some means or other, I don t care how> 
secure this girl for me by to-morrow 
at noon, another hundred shal 1 b* 
yours !" 

** I l 1 manage it ; trust me with the 



Not e zactly, but her corpse is, if i affair Fitz. You must know I ve some 



296 



MABEL. 



small spite against this girl, and by to 
morrow at noon this petticoat shall be 
in your power. By-the-bye, what s 
that object m the gutter yonder ?" 

" Nothing but a drunken man. 
Come Parson, let s stroll down the 
street, and arrange matters." 

And as they strolled clown the street 
talking earnestly together, the dark 
object in the gutter moved to and fro, 
and in a moment it resolved itself into 
the outlines of a man s figure. The 
Moon shone over a wan and ghastly 
face with glassy eyes, glaring fixedly 
on the blue heavens above. Around 
that face fell thick locks of jet black 
hair, all matted with the mire of the 
gutter and soiled with the dust of the 
street. And the man crawled slowly 
along the hard stones of the street, and 
then as if unable to move from weak 
ness, he raised his face faintly in the 
light of the moon and looked upon the 
heavens and uttered a low cry. Then 
his head dropped upon the stones of 
the street, and he lay like a dead man. 

The heart of Bess thrilled with des 
pair when, after all her wanderings, 
nil her efforts to escape from Monk- 
Hall, she heard the triumphant cry 
of the Parson and the Millionaire, as 
they again pursued her. 

Dragging the exhausted girls with 
her, she rushed forward, but the 
strength of the three soon failed, and 
she was about to sink down with des 
pair when Mabel uttered an exclama 
tion of surprise. 

" This is the widow Smolby s house 
from which my father dragged me 
twelve hours ago!" exlaimed Mabel, 
as she beheld the gloomy walls of the 
old house rising in the moonbeams. 



" The widow Smolby !" muttered 
Bess, as though some strange memory 
had flashed over her brain. " Ha ! 
We may obtain shelter here I ll 
make the attempt at all events !" 

She knocked at the door. It re 
ceded slightly, and a rough voice from 
within demanded her errand. 

" Ha ! Larkspur !" she exclaimed, 
" Is that you ? Long-haired Bess 
asks you to give her shelter for the 
night she has some important facts 
to disclose with regard to the late 
murder." 

" Why, Bess, my duck, is that 
you ?" cried Easy Larkspur, opening 
the door. " Two young ladies with 
you oh, ho ! Up to some new caper, 
I spose ! Come in, my dear !" 

For the first time a wild suspicion 
darted over the brain of Mary Arling 
tion, that Bess was a courtezan, that 
she had been betrayed through hei 
means That thought, so wild and 
vague and yet so terrible, smote poor 
Mary to the soul. The familiar man 
ner with which a rough looking gen 
tleman like Easy Larkspur, greeted 
Bessie, first aroused this suspicion in 
the mind of Mary. 

" Walk in ladies : walk in ! You 
see I was jist enjoyin a glass of 
whiskey punch by the fire, with a 
prime Hawanner! And whiskey 
punch, ladies, as you may have had 
occasion to know, is a werry good 
drink, an goes down quite e-a-sy ! 
Ladies, I d always adwise yo to marry 
a gentleman, as knows how to make 
good whiskey punch, but you must be 
keerful he don t make it too weak. 
Weak punch " contiued the red- 
faced gentleman, with an anti-total -ab 
stinence smile " Weak punch, in my 



THE FLIGHT FROM MONK-HALL 



opinion, is the most despisable thing 
as is !" 

" LaiKspur, I have one word to say 
lo you. From an accomplice of the 
murderer I have gained some know 
ledge of the murder committed in this 
house yesterday afternoon. This 
knowledge I will place in your keep 
ing on one consideration. Give these 
ladies and myself shelter for the 
night; this is all I ask of you." 

" Why you see, Bessie, I was ap- 
p inted, after the crowner s inquest had 
sot upon the old lady, to stay here all 
night, in case the thieves might take a 
notion to repeat their wisit. My fel 
lers is a-sleepin in the back room. 
You wouldn t like to try a leetle of 
this punch, would yo ? You may 
stay here all night ; no doubt o that ! 
But as all the other rooms was locked 
up by the Ma or, you ll have to sleep 
in the room where the corpse is " 

" Oh, heaven !" whispered Mabel 
"Is the old lady dead?" And her 
dark eyes grew lustrous with fear and 



f awe. 

H 
- 



* "Dead, my darlin , as the Nited 
States Bank !" observed Larkspur, 
with whiskey punch beaming from 
every line of his face. " And a deader 
thing than that I don t know; it s 
about the deadest thing as is ; that s a 
fact !" 

Bess silently led the girls up stairs. 
The same shudder thrilled through 
every heart as they entered the Ghost- 
Chamber. Two formal wax candles 
gave a dim light to the place. The 
massive bed, with its thick curtains, 
still stood in one corner, the high- 
backed chairs had been replaced in 
their positions against the wall ; the 
mir /or between the windows still 



flashed oack the light of the candles 
The room was the same as in rh 
morning ; the furniture still wore the 
same antique and ghostly air ; and the 
portrait above the mantel, still gazed 
around the place with its pale and 
beautiful countenance relieved by 
sweeping tresses of long black bair 
and enlivened by the gleam of lustrous 
dark eyes. 

The Ghost-Room was the same, 
and yet not altogether the same. 
There was a crust of hardened blood 
congealed along the cold bricks of the 
fireplace ; the very air seemed tainted 
with the smell of human blood, shed 
in violence and murder. 

In the centre of the chamber, in the 
full glare of the light, rested a coffin 
covered with a plain cloth, and placed 
upon tressels of sabel wood. The 
glare of the light flashed over the de 
tails of the cold white shroud, the stiff 
hands carefully crossed over each 
other, the feet thrusting the death robe 
slightly upward, all were painfully 
disclosed, but the face was covered 
with a loose piece of snowy linen. 
Mangled, and shattered, and crushed, 
it was too fearful a sight for the eyes 
of the living to behold, and yet was it 
not tenfold more horrible to see thai 
white cloth thrown over the face, leav 
ing the vivid fancy to depict the loath 
some reality, than to look upon the 
palpable reality itself? To fancy thn 
cold blood falling drop by drop upor 
the bottom of the coffin, from the hoi 
low skull ! 

There she lay, her gold forgotten, 
her blood cold and icy, her limbs 
stiffened as marble. And as the Hgbl 
flickered with an uncertain glare, ind 
as the wind moaned tSrc .g? *> 



293 



MABEL. 



crevices of the chamber, and as the 
hangings of tho bed and the windows 
rustled heavily to and fro, while from 
the frame of the portrait, the face of 
a beautiful woman gazed sadly upon 
the scene, it seemed as though an 
awful and invisible fiend had infected" 
the very air with a curse. That fiend 
was Murder ; in the rustling curtains, 
in the moaning wind, in the flickering 
light, in the sad gaze of the portrait, 
in the spectacle of the coffin and the 
corse; in all these he spoke with a 
voice that froze the blood in its career, 
and stilled the heart in its beatings. 

" Behold your mother !" cried Bess, 
in a tone of wild agitation, as seizing 
Mabel by the hand she pointed to the 
portrait. " Behold your mother ! You 
are the child of Livingstone the mer 
chant; this house and all its contents 
are yours ! Yours by the will of yon 
murdered woman, who rests cold and 
icy in her coffin. Behold the face of 
your mother, gazing upon you in 
kindness and love. Kneel, Mabel, 
kneel, and thank your God that after 
the long night which has darkened 
your life, the day has dawned at 
last!" 

And while Mabel stood stricken 
dumb with astonishment, while her 
brain whirled in wild confusion, and 
the very room seemed to reel around 
her, Bess turned aside and took Mary 
by the hand. 

" Now hear the dark confession 
svhich I have to whisper to your ear," 
ehe shrieked, falling on her knees. 
" I was the cause of your ruin ; I was 
the accomplice of the seducer; I took 
his wages ; and earned them by selling 
myself, body and soul into his hands ! 
I, it was, that lured you from your 



home, I, it was, that led you on to nun 
my soul is blackened by the full 
guilt of a crime than which hell can 
name no deed of darker horror. 

" Hear this confession and hear my 
fixed resolve ! Spurn me from you, 
trample on me, curse me, oh cu~se 
me, but from your side living I will 
never depart ! You do not wish to re 
turn to your father s house. I will 
slave for you, work for you, beg for 
you ! Let me wash out some portion 
of my crime by a life-long devotion iu 
your service. Curse me, Mary, spit 
upon me, Mary, spurn me as the base 
thing I am, should be spurned, but I 
am your slave through life my crime 
shall be washed out in tears of blood !" 

Vain were the power of language 
to paint the horror which paled the 
face of Mary Arlington as this dark 
confession fell shrieking on her ear. 
She looked vacantly in the face of the 
kneeling woman, she even toyed play 
fully with her long dark hair, and 
then she gave utterance to a wild and 
maniac laugh. 

" Lorraine," she cried, " Lorraine, 
ha, ha, ha! He will return at last, 
he will yet be mine ! Lorraine ! Lor. 
raine !" 



CHAPTER THIRTEENTH. 

THE GOLD WHICH DEVIL-BUG WOK. 

SLOWLY and silently Devil-Bug as- 
cended the staircase of Monk-Hall, 
The lamp which he held extended af 
arm s length cast a flaring light over 
his distorted face, now rendered len- 
fold more hideous by the tokens of 



THE GOLD WHICH DEVIL BUG WON. 



299 



some terrible emotion. He had bitten 
his upper lip until the blood trickled 
over his clenched teeth, down to his 
pointed chin. There was a glassy 
light in his solitary eye, and a lower 
ing frown, full, of omen, upon his pro 
tuberant brow. 

Slowly and silently, with the light 
in his hand, he ascended the massive 
staircase of Monk-Hall. He uttered 
no word, but fearful thoughts we^e 
working at his heart. One hour ago, 
his heart had been softened into some 
thing like human feeling a very child 
might have led the savage, and ruled 
him with a word. That word, a word 
of kindness to the child of Ellen. Now 
they had stolen the child, they had 
torn the fair girl from his arm*, and 
Devil-Bug was a savage once more. 
Like a black cloud arising from the 
stagnant waves of the Dead Sea, so the 
feeling of fierce malignity to all the 
human race, arose hideous and terrible 
from the depths of the monster s soul. 

" Ha !" he cried, as he suddenly 
paused upon the stairway. "The 
corpse o that man Harvey, is a-layin 
beside the grave in the Pit o Monk- 
Hall ! I must go down and bury it. 
Yes, yes, snug under the airth, snug, 
snug I ll put it out o sight." 

He turned round and began to de 
scend the stairway. 

" I ll bury it that I will ! And as 
the hard clods fall on his white face, 
I ll laff ho, ho, ho ! I ll laff when I 
think o the prize that s in store for 
me the tall woman with the rale ripe 
lips, and jet-black eyes !" 

He raised his left hand into the 
glare of the lamp, and then a fiendish 
laugh convulsed his brawny chest. 

" Nobody don t see that ring on my 



little finger, do they 1 It s most .00 
small for the finger, so I had to 
squeeze it on above the j int. Does 
anybody see it? I wonders if ihe dead 
man ill see it, when I holds it to his 
glassy eye, and tells him about the 
prize it won for me !" 

Again that low-toned yet horrible 
laugh echoed along the stairway, and 
Devil-Bug flung the lamp wildly on 
high, in the excess of his infernal glee. 

" Yes, yes, I ll force his cold eye 
lids slowly apart, I ll rub the ring 
against the frozen eyeballs and I ll 
shout in his ear, 4 Luke, my boy, you 
was a jolly feller when alive, and now 
when you re dead a ring from your 
finger buys sick a prize for Devil-Bug, 
sick a rale screamer of a prize ! First 
I ll bury the corpse and then, ho, ho, 
ho, I ll taste the red lips o that sweet 
young woman as is a-dyin to see mo 
up stairs !" 

Laughing horribly to himself, he 
descended into the vault of Monk-Hall. 
There was a long pause of silence, 
and the light of the moon, streaming 
from the skylight in the roof, faintly 
illumined the winding stairway. Near 
ly half an hour passed, and the night 
began to wane towards its close, when 
the beams of a lamp again flashed 
over the stairway, and Devil-Bug 
came hastening upward, with a strange 
and peculiar expression impressing the 
lines of his distorted visage. 

With immense strides he hurried 
up the stairway, flinging the hand 
which grasped the light merrily from 
side to side, while that hideous sound, 
like the laugh of a devil, echoed from 
the depths of his chest. 

" It rather puzzled me," he mut 
tered, and then chuckled gaily to him* 



not 



MABEL. 



self " Quite a riddle a werry good 
riddle to be sure !" His features 
gleamed with an expression of infer 
nal triumph. " Ho, ho, ho ! I see 
how it was done, I see it all ! The 
feller come to himself, and tried to 
crawl from the cellar, and not knowin 
whar he wos, he fell into the water, 
and wos carried off jist like a dead rat, 
or a cat, or any other crittur ! I should 
ave like to have heered him howl 
when he found himself floatin into 
the underground channel ho, ho, 
ho!" 

In his glee he raised his left hand 
to his forehead and swept the thick 
hair aside from his eye. The ring on 
his finger glittered in the light. 

" The sweet young lady with the 
red lips and the dark eyes ha, ha ! 
I don t think I ought to keep her 
waitin any longer. The ring is on 
my finger, and the prize is mine ! The 
han some woman is bought and sold 
ho, ho, ho !" 

Hurrying up the stairway, Devil- 
Bug presently attained the hall on the 
second floor. In a moment he stood 
in front of the chamber, where Living 
stone, the night before, had witnessed 
the guilt of his wife. 

Raising the light overhead, he ap 
plied his ear to the keyhole of the 
door and listened with speechless in 
tensity for a single instant. 

That ghastly grimace, that flashing 
eye, that upraised hand with the ring 
glistening in the light oh Dora, 
proud and fearless Dora, better death 
than the foul dishonor, which glares 
upon vou from the monster s face ! 

The lofty chamber was full of 
shndous. The shadow of the lofty 



bed, the shadows of the high-backed 
chairs, the shadow of the antique 
dressing bureau, all thrown along the 
floor, by the trembling light which 
stood upon the small table in the 
centre of the gorgeous carpet. Then 
the fire on the wide hearth, ever and 
anon, would light up in a ruddy glare, 
flinging along the carpet, the shadow 
of a young and beautiful form, seated 
by the table of ebony. Then the cur 
tains of the bed would rustle into the 
light, presenting the soft azure of their 
folds to the glare of the fire or the 
mild beams of the lamp, or the oval 
mirror would reflect both shadows 
and light with a gloomy and spectral 
effect, or the uncouth figures, de 
lineated in warm colors on the rich 
carpet, would assume a temporary life 
as they basked in the glow that flashed 
from the fireside. 

The chamber was full of sombre 
snadows and full of glaring flashes of 
light. Now the golden coronet, sur 
mounting the canopy of the bed, glit 
tered in the light, and the rich silken 
folds of purple and azure which lined 
the lofty walls of the chamber, were 
tinted with a lively glow, and again 
the painting above the mantel, where 
Venus in all her softness and beauty 
lay uncovered amid the rosy freshness 
of the rising morn, felt the gentle in 
fluence of a sudden flash from the 
hearth, or warmed into life, beneath 
the beams of the trembling lamp. 

Still amid thick shadows and glaring 
gleams of light, along the floor was 
flung the shadow of a young and 
beautiful form. 

Dora Livingstone sat beside the ta 
ble, her cheek resting on her hand, 
wMie the glossy tresses of he? dark 



THE GOLD WHICH DEVIL-E UG WON. 



901 



flair fell clustering to her shoulders. 
The lovely outlines of her form were 
still disclosed in the close-fitting frock- 
coat which became her so well. The 
collar of the coat was thrown back 
and the shirt flung open at the throat, 
disclosed the whiteness of her snowy 
neck, with a glimpse of her bosom, 
now heaving and throbbing with tu 
multuous thoughts. 
* She was very beautiful, was that 
proud and scheming woman in her 
male disguise. The light fell warmly 
over her wide shoulders, so volup 
tuous in their outline, over the rounded 
fullness of her bust, over the slender 
gracefulness of the waist, as the close- 
fitting frock-coat gathered round her 
form with the nicety of a glove. 

She was very beautiful, and yet 
along each cheek of her queenly coun- 
terrance there flashed a spot of vivid 
and burning red, which betokened the 
feverish anxiety which absorbed the 
soul of the proud woman, while her 
dark eyes, flashing with a clear and 
brilliant glance, fraught with unuttera 
ble meaning, glared upon the thick 
shadows of the chamber with a fixed 
and immoveable gaze. Her brow was 
calm and unfrowning as that of the 
sleeping babe, and the emotion which 
absorbed her soul was manifested in 
the agitation of her bosom, as it swell 
ed into the light, in the compression 
of her red ripe lips, in the feverish 
spot of burning red upon each bloom 
ing cheek. 

Thus had she sat for hours more 
like a criminal waiting for the morn 
which was to bring her fair neck to 
the doomsman s axe, than the deter 
mined Murderess waiting for her victim. 



chamber gradually awc:d her soul, as 
the flashing gleams of light, struggling 
with the thick masses of shadow, im 
parted a spectural effect to the cham 
ber and its costly furniture, the 
thoughts of the proud woman, sitting 
there so silently in that unwomanly 
disguise, dwelt on the Past and its 
memories. 

First, like some pale and reproach 
ful ghost sent from the grave to warn 
her of her guilt, arose the thought of 
the days when she was a pure-hearted 
and innocent girl. 

The hand which supported her 
cheek trembled, and her lips grew 
ashy white. The face of her mother 
was before her, that face with its out 
lines broken by grief, and the large 
black eyes, dilated to an unnatural 
size by sickness and pain, arose before 
her for a moment in appaling distinct 
ness. 

Starting with involuntary terror, 
Dora s gaze was fixed upon the gor 
geous bed. At the sight of that 
canopy with its luxuriant folds and its 
coronet of stars, all the blackness of 
her crime rushed upon the dishonored 
wife. There, upon that couch of 
shame, had she lain down the purity 
of a wife, to take up the dishonor of an 
adultress ! 

Dora turned her eyes away from 
the bed, and tried to drown the silent 
voieesjspeaking foreyer_within_ her, by 
the thought of the prize for which she 
had trafficked her soul. Glowing 
visions of pomp and power, the coronet 
on her brow, and the title to her name, 
the smile of a Queen beaming upon 
her face, and the glories of ancestral 
rank flashing all around her; glowing 



And now, as the silence of the I visions in which her grasping ambi- 



302 



MABEL. 



tion was crowned with triumph, dawn 
ed upon her soul. 

And yet, whether it was from the 
feverish anxiety of her long and terri 
ble watch, or whether the future al 
ready gleamed upon her soul, mingling 
its revelations with the remembrances 
of memory, whenever she thought of the 
** coronet which was soon to entwine her 
brow, it became all loathsome with 
crawling grave-worms, the Queen 
who smiled upon her, became a grin 
ning skeleton, and all the lordly flat 
terers whom she had fancied kneeling 
at her feet, suddenly arose with the 
ghastliness of death painted on their 
faces, while around their icy limbs the 
death-shroud waved in drooping folds. 

Dora covered her face with her 
hands. By one sudden effort she 
banished these thoughts. The echo 
of a footstep struck upon her ear. 

She started, she turned pale, she 
arose to her feet. 

" It is he /" she muttered with ashy 
lips, while her hands were clasped 
over her bosom. " It is the Mur 
derer !" 

She listened eagerly for the foot 
step. It approached the door of her 
chamber it passed it was but the 
footstep of a reveller from the Banquet 
Room. Dora resumed her seat and 
breathed freely again. 

Then, leaning her cheek on her 
hand, she endeavored to banish all 
thought from her soul, while her ear 
drank in the slightest echo of a sound. 

Worn out by feverish suspense, she 
fell into a brief and half-wakeful slum 
ber, in which her soul was startled by 
terrible dreams. The faces of the dead 
were before her sealed eyes, grinning 
hideously in her face as if in derision 



of all her ambitious plans , and men a 
coffin, black as midnight, was borne 
slowly past, by hands outstretched 
from a lowering cloud. Then the 
death-stricken countenance of Luke 
Harvey arose from the coffin-lid and 
smiled upon her in scorn, while his 
hands tore the shroud from his limbs, 
and scattered the fragments in her 
very face. Dora started from her 
brief and feverish slumber, and gazed 
around the lonely chamber. The bed 
with its costly hangings arrested her 
eye. 

" Ha !" she exclaimed, in a low 
whisper, as though her blood was 
chilled by the fear that one loud tone 
of her voice might arouse the dead 
into life, from the thick shadows of the 
room. " My soul is terrified by 
strange fears, yet I will endure it all! 
Skeletons have arisen and gibbered in 
my face, the dead long- forgotten have 
been with me, and a coffin has been 
borne before me, by hands outstretch 
ed from a lowering cloud yet will I 
endure it all ! Ha, ha !" her deep- 
toned whisper was succeeded by a 
wild and startling laugh. " Such a 
ridiculous fancy ! It is quite laugh 
able. I just now imagined that my 
husband might have been looking 
through the bed-curtains last night, 
while I slumbered, unconscious of his 
gaze how very amusing !" 

She laughed gaily, and her face 
brightened with an expression of care 
less glee. 

The sound of a heavy footstep re 
sounded in the hall without. 

Dora stood as if frozen to the floor. 
The laugh died in her throat. 

" Tis he /" she murmured, in a 
hollow whisper. 



THE GOLD WHICH DEVIL-BUG WON. 



301 



\nd in a moment Devil-Bug stood 
before her, flinging the light aloft with 
his extended arm, while his features 
were agitated with a grin of triumph. 

" Is it done," murmured Dora, in a 
whisper. 

" Lady, behold the ring !" exclaim 
ed Devil-Bug, slowly approaching the 
proud woman, with the ring flash 
ing in the light. " It is done, good 
lady. I ve got the ring ; now for the 
goold !" 

" He is dead !" exclaimed Dora, 
and a wild light flashed from her dark 
eyes. " I have triumphed !" She 
clasped her hands together with a 
convulsive gesture, and for a moment 
stood motionless as a statue. 

"Yes, lady, he s stone dead, and 
the rats jolly fellers have already 
begin to crawl over his carcase." 
Devil-Bug advanced a step nearer the 
proud dame, and glared upon her with 
his solitary eye. 

"I have triumphed! Rank and 
power are mine. Not an enemy in 
my path, nor a shadow on my future ! 
I shall walk among the titled dames 
of the royal court, I shall feel a coro 
net pressing on my brow. To-mor 
row Livingstone and I depart for 
Hawkwood. From Hawkwood Liv 
ingstone never returns alive ! In a 
month ay, in one short month " 
and her form rose towering to its full 
heighth, while her eye flashed and 
brightened with all the glory of the 
vision that burst upon her soul " In 
one short month^Dora Livingstone, 
the Cobbler s grand-daughter shall be 
the Lady Dora Dalveney, of Lyndes 
wold." 

" But the goold, good lady the 

goold/ 
20 



The proud woman started at the 
sound of that harsh voice, she started 
and beheld the eye of Devil-Bug glar 
ing upon her lovely face with a look 
of terrible meaning. His huge hands 
were crossed upon his breast, and with 
his head drooped low, he stood regard 
ing her with a fixed gaze. That gaze 
spoke volumes ! Better for the fair 
bosom of Dora to have been torn by 
the talons of an enraged tiger, than to 
have had the beauty of her proud 
countenance devoured by the animal 
fire of that steady look! 

She started with involuntary sur 
prise, she receded a single step, and 
then with a faint and trembling voice 
she addressed the savage. 

" The ring," she whispered, avert 
ing her face as she reached forth her 
hand. 

" Here it is, good lady !" And the 
solitary eye of Devil-Bug flashed with 
a glance of gloating admiration, as he 
extended the ring. 

Dora looked steadily at the ring for 
a single moment. 

" It was my mother s ring !" she 
whispered, in husky tones. " I gave 
it " her voice trembled " I gave it 
to him on the night when I consented 
to become his wife, as a pledge of my 
love." 

These words fell trembling from 
her lips, and then like a flash of 
lightning, all her dreams of ambition 
passed away, and a terrible memory 
agitated her soul. 

" I gave it to him while his eyes 
were fixed upon mine, and my hand 
trembled in his I gave it to him, 
while his kiss was yet fresh upon my 
lips! And now Great God! now I 
have murdered him ! 



304 



MABEL. 



No words can depict the utter agony 
of look and emphasis which accom 
panied these words. Her proud form, 
rising in all its queenly stature, quiver 
ed from head to foot, as she held the 
ring extended in one hand while the 
other shaded her eyes from the light. 

" The goold, good lady, the goold /" 

Devil-Bug suddenly advanced, and 
grasping her extended arm with his 
talon fingers, impressed a loathsome 
kiss upon the fair white hand, which 
held the glittering ring. 

She started with a look of silent dis 
gust ; she endeavored to fling the 
savage from her, but his talon fingers 
gathered more closely around her arm. 
His grasp was like the embrace of a 
vice. 

" Yo made the bargain good lady ! 
Yo sold yourself black eyes, poutin 
lips and all, for the ring. D ye think 
I m sich a fool as to be cheated out of 
my wages in this here way ! Don t 
think sich a thing good lady ! Old 
Devil-Bug wants the_gpoM you pro 
mised !" 

" Releasee me " whispered Dora, 
with an ashen face, as she felt the 
grasp of his fingers on her arm "Let 
me pass from this room and from this 
house, and I will reward you with gold 
beyond all your expectations I will 
make you rich for life." 

" Ho, ho. ho !" chuckled Devil-Bug. 
" Here s a tall woman afore me, with 
a look like a queen, a lip like a cherry, 
a cheek like a peach, and eyes like 
di monds in a jew ler s winder ! She 
axes * me to give up all this, " he 
pointed to her voluptuous form " she 
axes me to give up all this for goold ! 
Redikulus !" 

Dora s countenance suddenly grew 



lovely with all the hues of the summer 
dawn. Her eye dilated and sparkled 
with a clear and burning light. Cast, 
ing her glance over DeviLBug s shoul 
der, she beheld her cloak flung over 
the rounds of a chair. On a table, be 
sides this chair, lay the pair of loaded 
pistols which she had brought with her 
to Monk-Hall. 

"Could I but obtain them," the 
thought crossed her soul, like a ray of 
hope ; " I would defy the monster to 
his teeth." 

" Lady, there s a werry purty bloom 
on yer check, and there s a werry rich 
look in your eyes." He paused and 
raised her fair white hand to his loath 
some lips. Then reaching forth his 
other arm, with his blazing eye devour 
ing the loveliness of her face, he endea 
vored to encircle her form with his arm. 

" I am faint," muttered Dora in a 
whisper, and she reached forth her 
hands as if to save herself from falling 
to the floor, while her eye closed as in 
a deadly swoon. 

" Ho, ho, my beauty faints, does 
she?" muttered Devil-Bug, catching 
her form in his arms. " Werry purty 
in the beauty, that is ! [It s a genteel 
way o sayin she consents I spose. ^ 

With her head resting on his shoul 
der, while her bosom almost touched 
his face, Devil-Bug encircled her form 
in his arms and bore her slowly along 
the floor. He laid her gently down in 
the chair, where her cloak had been 
thrown. 

Then stepping backward, he quietly 
surveyed her voluptuous form while 
that look of animal admir? 1 >n red 
dened over his face. 

" She lays there w eautiful 

her head thrown b ,ttle, her eyes 



THE GOLD WHICH DEVIL-BUG WON. 



305 



closed, and her red nps parted ! Sich 
white teeth ! And that form, all dress 
ed in some gentleman s coat and pants 
ho, ho, it all belongs to me ! Sich a 
nice bosom ! It looks quite purty, with 
the shirt collar thrown wide open abou 
he neck ! An that s all mine !" 

The swooning woman lay reclining 
upon the folds of the cloak, flung over 
the rounds of the chair, while the ligh 
streaming over the back of Devil-Bug 
fell mild and softened over her lovely 
face with the eyelids closed as if in 
death. Never had Dora looked so 
beautiful. Never had her lips been 
tinted with such a rose-bud freshness, 
never had such a lively glow bloomed 
from the fulness of her cheek, never 
had the tresses of her unbound hair, 
fell in such bewitching carelessness 
around her countenance and along her 
snowy neck. 

She lay there like a beautiful incar 
nation of sleep, while the savage stood 
gazing upon her with a look of in 
creasing admiration. His solitary eye 
grew loathsome with its expression of 
brute passion, while his lips were 
agitated by a hideous smile. 

" Hello ! My beauty s a comin too ! 
Look, she moves her head, she rests 
it on the table at her side, her eye-lids 
are openin agin !" 

In her unconcious state, Dora gently 
moved her arm, and as gently laid the 
hand upon the white cloth of the table. 
At the same moment her eye-lids 
faintly unclosed, and she gazed around 
with a bewildered stare. 

" Soh, my beauty s had a faintin 
ipell all to herself, muttered Devil - 
Bug with a hideous chuckle, as he ap 
proached the side of the half-conscious 
woman. " I believe I ll taste her lips." 



Laying his hand on her shoulder, he 
stooped slowly down, and the shadow 
of his face darkened her countenance. 
His loathsome lips well-nigh touched 
the ripe lips of the proud woman, when 
her hand moved nervously along the 
white cloth of the table. Nearer drew 
his lips, his hot breath streamed over 
her cheek. 

" One kiss my purty beauty, only 
one kiss " 

With one sudden bound Dora Liv 
ingstone sprung from the chair, and 
when Devil -Bug looked for her again 
she stood in the centre of the floor, hei 
eyes flashing fire, her long dark hair 
streaming wildly from her brow, while ^ 
each extended hand, held a grim pistol 
at the monster s heart. 

" Now devil, I defy you !" she ex 
claimed in a tone of withering scorn. 
" With a loaded pistol in either hand, 
I will fight my way from this den. 
Advance but a step, and I will stretch 
you out upon the floor a lifeless corpse !" 

Devil-Bug started, and covered his 
face with his hands, as if utterly con- 
bunded by this sudden movement of 
the beautiful woman. 

" Ha, ha," the scornful laugh of 
Dora broke on his ear. " Do I hold 
he blood-hound at bay? Monster, 
where is your courage now? Stand 
>ack and let me pass, or I fire this 
pistol !" 

And with deadly aim she points the 
istol at his brawny chest. DC vil-Bug 
raised his face from his hands. Every 
mrsh lineament of his countenance 
was convulsed with an expression of 
iendish laughter. 

" Ho, ho, what a sweet creetur you 
re to-w be-sure ! Be so kind as to 
low my brains out with them pistols 



306 



MABEL. 



it ill quite dissap int me if you don t. 
That s a good girl ; oh fire away my 
duck ! Wot a pity it is for you that 
them bull-dogs ain t got no balls in em ! 
Ha, ha! Wot in the devil made you 
leave em down stairs with yer cloak, 
while I showed yo the way up in this 
room ? I did nt draw out the balls 
of course I did nt ! Who the devil said 
I did !" 

Dora s face grew deathly pale. With 
an involuntary gesture she extended 
her hands the pistols fell to the floor 
with a heavy deadened sound. 

" All is lost !" she muttered as her 
hands dropped listlessly by her side. 

"So it is!" cried Devil-Bug; and 
with the celerity of lightning he sprang 
forward and seized the pistols. " Ho, 
ho, my gal, did I fool you that time ? 
The pistols are loaded, but you don t 
get em agin ! No you don t, upon my 
word!" 

" Fool that I was !" cried Dora with 
a flashing glance. " Oh that I had 
lodged the bullet in his heart !" She 
turned away, and pressed her red lip 
between her teeth until the blood started 
from the skin. 

" Now my ducky dear, down on 
your knees and axe for marcy !" 
Devil-Bug advanced with a scowling 
brow, while each extended hand held 
a pistol toward her form. " Down on 
your knees, or I fire !" 

" Fire !" echoed Dora, as her proud 
lip curved with scorn. " Fire, and I 
will thank you !" She folded her arms 
and confronted the Savage with a fear 
less brow. 

" Pluck, reg lar pluck !" exclaimed 
Devil-Bug with a stare of involuntary 
admiration. " But come my gal, you 
made the bargain an you must stick 



to it ! I ve stood foolin long enough. 
Its time to put an end to these small 
matters. Now for the goold !" 

He dropped the pistols on the floor ; 
with one convulsive bound like a wild 
beast darting on his prey, he sprang 
forward, and gathered his long arms 
around the form of the proud woman, 
while his rough face rested against her 
velvet cheek, and her lip felt the pres. 
sure of his kiss. 

Starting with a shriek, she endea 
vored to tear her form from his em 
brace, but in vain. She, the proud 
and haughty woman with the outcast 
feasting on her lip and revelling on her 
beauty ! Even in that moment of des 
pair the thought aroused all her ener 
gies. She sprang from his embrace, 
her convulsive efforts for a moment 
loosened the grasp of his arms, but in 
another moment they gathered around 
her form with a closer pressure, and 
like a bird fluttering in the coils of a 
snake, she lay in his power and at his 
mercy. 

She sank helplessly on her knees. 
Devil-Bug bent over her kneeling form, 
and with his arms gathered round her 
waist, impressed his loathsome kisa 
upon her pouting lips. 

Nothing could save the proud beauty 
now. Dishonored, and by a devil in 
human shape ! The thought filled her 
veins with madness ; her eyes seemed 
all on fire with the terrible intensity of 
her thoughts. 

His hot breath streamed over her 
cheek. His sneering chuckle echoed 
n her ears like a death-knell. His 
solitary eye drank in the beauty of hei 
countenance with a look of brutal pas- 
sion. Dora gathered her strength foi 
one last struggle. Her brain throbbing 



THE GOLD WHICH DEVIL-BUG WON. 



307 



with wild delirium, she shouted a name 
that rose to her lips, she knew not 
why, she shouted a name of the olden 
time. 

" Luke !" she shrieked, tossing her 
rms madly on high. " Luke ! Save 
ne, oh save me !" 

As if her voice had aroused the dead 
rom the grave, the secret door slid 
jack, and Luke Harvey stood revealed, 
a dim taper held in his extended hand, 
flashing its light over a pale face, spot 
ted with drops of blood, and marked 
by a fearful gash which laid open the 
flesh along the right temple. His 
dress all torn and disordered was soiled 
by the earth of the grave, and his long 
black hair hung lank and stiffened 
around his face. His eye, dark, pierc 
ing and snake-like at all times, was 
now animated by a lustre that seemed 
supernatural. 

There in that same doorway, which 
the night before had been passed by 
the husband in search of his guilty 
wife, in that same doorway stood 
Luke Harvey gazing upon the savage 
and his victim with one fixed and 
immoveable gaze. 

" Luke save me, save me !" shrieked 
Dora, unconscious that the man whom 
she had sold to death, stood gazing 
upon her peril. " Luke, oh save me ! 

His head bent down, Devil-Bug sud 
denly felt the gleam of a strange light 
flashing over his face. He raised his 
head, he beheld Luke standing silent 
and pale in the doorway, and then 
flinging Dora from him, uttered a wild 
howl of surprise. 

" G d d n !" was his solitary 
ejaculation. " Tf there ain t that feller 
come to life agin !" 

He was about to rise from his feet, 



when the apparition rushed forward, 
and seizing a pistol from the floor, 
struck Devil-Bug a fierce and fearful 
blow over the forehead. 

His skull echoed the blow like a 
piece of metal ringing on the an\il. 
With a curse on his lips, Devil-Bug 
rose fiercely to his feet, but the pistol 
again descended, again that ringing 
sound the monster fell heavily to the 
flopr. He lay senseless as the oaken 
planks on which he rested. 

Thrown prostrate along the floor, 
Dora arose into a kneeling position 
and gazed around in speechless won 
der. 

Tall and erect, the dim light held in 
his extended hand, Luke Harvey 
stood before her, gazing down on her 
face with a saddened and immoveable 
look. The light flashing upward gave 
a ghastly and fearful appearance to his 
pale countenance, while his blazing eye 
encountered hers, with a look so 
strange and piercing, that she was 
forced to avert her gaze. 

" His ghost comes to reproach me !" 
muttered Dora in an almost inaudible 
yet thrilling whisper. 

" Oh Dora, Dora," said a calm and 
deep-toned voice, rendered fearful in 
its very calmness, by its striking con 
trast with the usual sneering tones of 
Luke Harvey. " Oh Dora, Dora, lit 
tle did I think in the times when I 
gathered you to my heart, and tasted 
the freshness of your virgin lip, and 
in very fondness of passion called you 
my own sweet wife, little did I think 
in those times, now gone forever, that 
a moment could ever come, when I 
would behold a scene like this ! Dora, 
whom I once so fondly loved, tnrown 
prostrate on the floor of this polluted 



308 



MABEL. 



chamber, her person, her honor, the 
price of a cold-blooded murder ! Oh 
Dora, Dora you might have spared 
me this shame !" 

The sneer had gone from Luke s 
tongue. He stood gazing upon the 
kneeling woman with a trembling voice 
and a look of agony. Even while he 
looked a scalding tear rolled down his 
deathly cheek. 

" Your body, the price of a cold 
blooded murder !" he uttered in a whis 
per, as his immoveable gaze was still 
rivetted to her countenance. 

"Murder!" echoed Dora, gazing 
wildly in his face. 

" Yes, murder, replied Luke in that 
same tone of unnatural calmness. " I 
overheard your plot Dora, overheard 
every word. In the darkness I stood 
beside the door of the room down-stairs ; 
I saw you enter ; I heard you bargain- 
ing for my blood. Oh Dora, I have 
felt something like a desire for revenge, 
whenever I thought how you trifled 
with my feelings and trampled on my 
heart, but now Dora, now ! You are 
revenged upon me ! Far better the 
knife of the assassin had cut my heart 
in twain, than to look upon you, in such 
shame as this /" She was indeed re 
venged upon him. There was agony 
in his look and tone, in his pale face 
and trembling voice, agony worse than 
death. 

Dora was silent. She bowed her 
fece on her bosom as she knelt at his 
feet, she bowed her face and veiled her 
eyes with her hands. The ring drop 
ped from her finger. 

Luke knelt silently by her side. He 
took the ring from the floor. 

" This ring you gave me on the 
night when you first consented to be 



mine " he paid in that calm aid 
deep-toned voice. " Then it was t.4 
testimonial of our love now it is the 
witness of your shame !" 

Dora shuddered. That voice speak 
ing so sadly to her ear, penetrated her 
very heart with remorse. 

She raised her face from her bosom, 
she gazed upon his countenance in 
silence. It was a strange and awful 
moment. The Rejected lover kneeling 
beside the proud woman, at once the 
faithless Mistress and the guilty Wife. 

"Luke," she whispered in a tone* 
strangely in contrast with her usual 
commanding voice. " Luke, if evei 
you loved me, take that pistol from the- 
floor and place it to my forehead ! . 
am utterly lost death would come ti 
me now like a welcome messenger !" 

There was silence for a single mo 
ment. They gazed sadly in each othery 
faces, while the same thought rose 
from each heart ! Dora thought now 
pure and happy would have been her 
life, had she became the wife of Luke. 
Luke thought how dear and holy a 
thing she would have been to him as a 
wife she, the fallen and dishonored. 

" Curse on the fate that severed us !" 
he cried, wringing his hands wiih a 
mad gesture. 

" There is an awful gulf between us 
now. I am lost, and lost forever ! said 
Dora, as the first tears of repentance 
which she had ever shed, rolled down 
her cheeks. 

" Dora, there is yet a glorious hope 
for you !" cried Luke as his ghastly 
features warmed with an expression of 
enthusiasm that might almost have 
been called holy. " Promise me that 
you will renounce all unhallowed love, 
promise me that you will from this 



THE GOLD WHICH DEVIL-BUG WON. 



309 



time forth, dissolve all connection with 
the poor creature who has dishonored 
you by a foul crime, promise me that 
you will ever be to Livingstone a true 
and faithful wife ; and I swear before 
God, to sustain you in your course to 
defend you from all harm !" 

Oh that tone, that look, that beseech 
ing gesture of the rejected lover ! Dora 
was melted to the heart. 

Radiant with all the beauty of a new 
formed and holy resolve, she raised 
her heart and eyes to heaven. 

" I promise !" she cried, and the 
tears rolled down her cheeks. 

"I swear to sustain you to the death!" 
cried Luke, raising his hands on high. 
There was silence for a single moment, 
and the character of the place in which 
they knelt, the guilt of the wife, the 
revenge of the lover, all were forgotten. 
That Resolve hovered over their hearts 
like the halo around the cross of a 
dying saint. 

In a moment Luke raised her gently 
from the floor, and silently gathered 
the cloak around her disguised form. 
She reddened to the very roots of her 
hair as he placed the cap upon her 
head. Her ambition, her recklessness 
of soul alike were gone ; she felt the 
modesty of a wife once more. She 
stood ready to depart, while the form 
of the insensible savage lay prostrate 
on the floor. 

" In a moment, Dora, I will be with 
you," said Luke as he turned toward 
the secret door. " In a moment I will 
lead you from the place." 

Dora was alone. Oh what a tide of 
tumultuous thoughts came rushing 
madly over her brain ! As she stepped 
across the floor it seemed to her that 
she trod on air, that the present was 



some glorious dream from which she 
would soon awake to the reality of life 
and the pollution of crime. The tones 
of her former lover lingered yet upon 
her ear, how like the days of stainless 
innocence and love ! Then the affec 
tion of Livingstone, his care for her 
slightest wish, his doting love came 
like a burst of sunshine on her soul. 
With a trembling lip and flashing-eye, 
she wondered to herself that idle toys 
like the world s ambition and the love 
which is born of guilt, should ever 
have lured her from the duty of a wife, 
the purity of a woman. 

As these thoughts flashed over her 
soul, Luke stood by her side again. 

" Give this to your husband at the 
earliest opportunity," he said as he 
placed a sealed note in her hands. 
"You start for Hawkewood in the 
morning. For God s sake do not fail 
to give him this." 

Dora placed the note in her bosom. 
Then her large eyes, dark as midnight 
and lustrous as the morn, encountered 
the glance of her former lover, and for 
a moment they silently gazed upon 
each other. 

" Oh Dora, my fever of revenge is 
past ! Till this hour I never knew how 
your image had wound itself into my 
very heart !" 

" And I would have been your assas 
sin !" Dora exclaimed, turning sud 
denly pale. " Oh Luke, I am too vile 
a thing for your slightest notice. I am 
how the word chokes me I am an 
adulteress!" 

11 Let the past be with the past ?" 
said Luke in a solemn tone, as taking 
her hands within his own he raised 
them on high. "Let us now in the sight 
of Heaven confirm our mutual vow !" 






310 



MABEL. 



Fools that they were! As they 
stood there in that lonely room, hand 
linked in hand and eyes raised to 
heaven, Fate was weaving its threads 
of Doom around and about them ; silent 
and stern and immutable Fate was 
surrounding them with its serpent-coils, 
while it looked upon them in scorn, 
and laughed in derision as its awful 
hand pointed to the Future ! To-mor 
row it murmured ha, ha to-morrow ! 

And while they stood in that lonely 
chamber, hand linked in hand and eyes 
raised to Heaven, in his counting room 
silent and alone, the husband mixed the 
poison which on the morrow was to lay 
his guilty wife a stiffened corpse. 

Bending over the table on which 
were scattered the various drugs 
which composed the fatal draught, 
bending over the table, with the light 
of the taper falling upon his death- 
stricken face, the husband laughed 
madly to himself and whispered in 
husky tones, " to-morrow, ha, ha, to 
morrow !" 

Fools that they were! To think that 
Fate which drives its iron wheels over 
hearts and thrones and graves, would 
turn aside in its career for them! 

" Away Dora," cried Luke, "away 
from Monk-Hall !" They moved to- 
ward the door. The wretch thrown 
prostrate on the carpet, groaned. 

"Ha! I forgot the keys!" cried 
Luke, retracing his steps. "There 
they are " he bent over the form of 
Devil-Bug. "In a moment your 
escape is certain." 

He led her from the room, and down 
the stairs. In a few moments they 
etood in the Doorkeeper s den. By the 



dim light the negroes might be di 
cerned sleeping by the fireside. 

It required but another moment fop 
Luke to place the key in the lock, and 
open the massive door. 

She stood in the doorway with the 
cloak thrown round her form and the 
beams of the setting moon Hilling on 
her face. 

" Go, and God go with you Dora !" 
whispered Luke, pushing her gently 
from the door. 

" Do you not go with me ?" she 
whispered as she paused upon the 
threshold. " There is danger for you 
within these walls, perchance death" 

" I have other matters to arrange," 
answered Luke. " I must avenge 
wrong and defend innocence. Go r 
Dora, and remember your vow !" 

He pushed her gently across the 
threshold, he closed the door, and stood 
alone in the Doorkeeper s den. 

The negroes still slumbered by the 
fireside, and the faint light of the fire 
illumined the face of Luke with a 
ghastly radiance. 

He advanced toward the fire, he 
placed his hand hurriedly against hi 
brow, while his eye grew animate with 
strange and powerful emotion. 

" The world would call me a fool 
for acting thus," he whispered. "True, 
she trampled on my heart, true, she 
dishonored her husband, true, she bar 
gained with the ruffian for my life, but 
God alone knows how the faoe we 
once loved to look upon, ever main 
tains a strange influence over the heart,, 
how the voice we once loved to hear, 
even has a music for the soul ! My 
brain whirls in confusion lam weak- 
ened by the loss of blood ah rj 

Turning to regain the door which 



THE GOLD WHICH DEVIL-BUG WON. 



311 



ed into the mansion, he felt the 

strength generated by the excitement 

which had agitated his soul during the 

past hour, he felt this unnatural strength 

jf passing from him like a shadow, he 

stretched forth his hands in the effort 

* to preserve his balance, but in vain ! 

With a cry of agony on his lips he 
fell helpless to the floor. 

Half an hour passed, and Devil-Bug 
stood over the form of the prostrate 
man with a light in his hand. He re 
garded the pale face of Luke with a 
scowl of fierce malignity. His own 
distorted countenance, spotted with 
blood near the temples and livid in hue, 
assumed an expression of savage hate. 

" Soh, Soh, mister, yo helped the 
woman to dig off, did yo ?" he mut 
tered, placing his foot upon the breast 
of the insensible man. " I ve a notion 
to knife your wizzin wonders how 
you d look with a small air-hole in 
your throat?" 

He drew an old-fashioned Spanish 
knife from the breast of his coarse gar 
ment as he spoke. The blade, long, 
pointed and glittering, flew open with a 
touch of the spring. Stooping over the 
form of the insensible Luke, he applied 
the knife to his unbared throat, and with 
a wild grimace destorting his features, 
he moved it gently along the skin. 

" I on y wants to see how near to 
the skin I can go, without cuttin his 
wynd-pipe ! Ho, ho ho !" 

There was a great deal of the phi 
losopher in Devil -Bug. Never a doctor 
of all the schools, with his dissecting 
knife in hand and the corpse of a sub 
ject before him, could have manifested 
more nerve and coolness than the 
savage of Monk-Hall. Slowly and 



gently along the throat of the insensi 
ble man, he moved the glittering knife, 
holding its keen edge within a hair s 
breadth of the skin. Then as if to 
show that his spirits were not depressed 
by the solemnity of the operation, he 
laughed merrily to himself, and hum 
med the catch of some dismal song. 

Suddenly his protuberent brow grew 
heavy with a scowl. He clenched the 
handle of the knife with a grasp of 
fierce resolution, and in a moment, the 
blade glittered in his upraised hand. 

" I ll put an end to this," he mut 
tered hoarsely. " I ll give him a taste 
o this piece o hardware. Crack me 
over the skull with the butt o that are 
pistol, did he ?" 

For a moment the knife quivered in 
the air above his head, and the scowl 
grew darker over his brow. The next 
instant, as if some strange thought had 
suddenly taken his soul by storm, the 
frown cleared away and the knife fell 
from his hand and stuck upright in the 
oaken floor. 

" Nell," he slowly muttered, " Yer 
only hope lies here /" He pointed to 
the body of the insensible Luke. 
" Here lies yer hope, and yer fortin 
this man can make all matters straight. 
He can place yo afore the proud folks 
o this town as the daughter o Living 
stone ; and nobody else can do it ! I d i 
rayther burn myself alive than to hurt i 
a hair of his head." 

Stooping to the floor, he raised Luke 
on his shoulder, he bore him from the 
den, up the stairs, and into his room. 
He laid the form of the insensible man 
upon the bed, and then rushed hurri 
edly from the room, and down the 
stairs again. 

In a few moments, the lamp which 



of- " 



MABEL. 



he held in his hand flashed over the 
massive brick pillars of the dead vault. 

The place was infested with a deathly 
chill, and the atmosphere was like the 
breath of a pestilence. Devil-Bug 
gazed calmly round the vault, as if 
marking the rows of coffins stored 
away in the nooks of the walls, or the 
fragments of the human skeleton 
scattered along the floor. Then he 
gazed upon the pillars of massive brick, 
and then shifting the light from side 
to side, he seemed to feel a strange 
pleasure in observing the heavy 
shadows which ran along the distant 
walls, or crept over the arching ceiling 
above. 

" I d a most forgot it," he soloquized 
as he seated his deformed body on the 
floor. " The doctor sent for me last 
night ; the one what wants me to steal 
dead bodies for him. I must go airly 
in the mornin ; he pays me well ; and 
I likes the business. Sich a jolly busi 
ness ! To creep over the wall o some 
grave yard in the dead o the night, 
&nd with a spade in yer hand, to turn 
up the airth of a new made grave! To 
fnash the coffin lid into small pieces 
Wiih a blow o the spade, and to drag 
ihe stiff corpse out from its restin 
place, with the shroud so white and 
clean, spotted by the damp clay ! To 
kiver the corpse with an old over-coat 
or a coffee bag, and bear it off to the 
doctor, with his penknife s and his dag 
gers and his gim lets ! Hoo, hoo !" 
he emitted a wild imitation of the 
Bcreech-owl,from his compressed teeth, 
" sich a jolly business !" 

Then placing the lamp on the floor, 
and drawing the fragment of a crumb 
ling coffin beneath his elbow, he rested 
his brawny cheek upon his hand, while 



his solitary eye glared fiercely upon 
the thick shadows of the vault. He 
sat thus for a few moments, when his 
senses were overpowered by slumber, 
and he lay there huddled in a heap 
along the floor, sleeping with his eye 
wide open. 

The light flashed over his face, 
while the muscles worked as if under 
the influence of a spell, the brow was 
corrugated with wrinkles like thick 
cords, the eye flashed and sparkled and 
glared, the teeth were clenched together, 
and then around the quivering lips, the 
white foam began to gather like the 
froth on the nostrils of the dying war- 
horse. 

The soul of Devil-Bug was passing 
through the mazes of a fearful dream. 
This it was that made his eye glare 
and his lips move, this it was sent the 
cold shudder through his sleeping form ; 
this it was that clenched his hands and 
made him grasp wildly at the air. As 
he lay there, his soul absorbed by an 
awful night-mare, a world of phan 
toms passed before him. 

The sight that he saw in his sleep, 
the vision that broke upon him ! Was 
it a Revelation from the other world ? 
Was it a Prophecy whispered to the 
monster s soul by the tongues of 
angels? 



CHAPTER FOURTEENTH. 
DEVIL-BUG S DREAM. 

WHEN first he slept, the phantoms 
of his murdered victims rose before 
him ; the man with the broken jaw 
and the lolling tongue, the woman with 



313 



ne blood falling drop by drop from the 
nollow skull. Then the eyes of the 
man started from his death-stricken 
face, then he could see the neck of the 
woman quiver as with the convulsive 
throes of death, and then he could hear 
the low-pattering sound of blood drop 
ping from the hollow skull. The 
sleeper groaned in agony. The woman 
reached forth her skinny arms and 
clasped them round his neck, and ap 
plied her thin lips wet with blood to his 
ear, and whispered Murder in a tone 
of horrible laughter. 

And the man lolled his blackening 
tongue ugh ! how clammy and how 
cold ! against the face of Devil -Bug, 
and looked into his very soul with 
those blood-shot eyes, almost touching 
the forehead of the dreamer. Then 
the dream became confused and wan 
dering. Devil-Bug was surrounded 
by a hazy atmosphere, with coffins 
floating slowly past, and the stars 
shining through the eyes of skulls, and 
the sun pouring his livid light straight 
downward into a wilderness of new- 
made graves, which extended yawning 
and dismal over the surface of a bound 
less plain. 

Then the sun assumed the shape of 
a grinning skeleton-head, and the stars 
went dancing through the dim atmos 
phere, dancing round the sun, each 
star gleaming through the orbless 
socket of a skull, and the blood-red 
moon went sailing by, her crescent 
face, rising above a huge coffin which 
floated through the livid air like a 
barque from hell. Then the sky was 
full of comets darting along like light 
ning, each comet with a long white 
shroud sweeping the heavens as it 
rushed through the air, and then sky 



and sun and moon and stars, were 
succeeded by thick and impenetrable 
darkness. There was a long pause, 
and the darkness resolved itself into 
shape. Devil-Bug stood in the midst 
of a boundless plain, covered with a 
darkness like that which betokens the 
approach of day. The whole sky was 
changed into one vast curtain, which 
hung in midnight folds across the im 
mensity of space. 

The dreamer looked upon this awful 
curtain in awe and wonder. 

"This," cried a voice speakingshrilly 
from the darkness,* "this is the cur 
tain of the Theatre of Hell !" And/* 
then Devil-Bug laughed loudly to him 
self, as if in glee at the merry conceit. 

At the very instant there arose from 
the dark plain, a chorus of shrieks and 
groans and yells of agony. It was as 
though the dying in some vast battle 
field had suddenly, in one breath, sent 
their combined death-shrieks to the 
heavens above. Yell on yell, groan 
on groan continued to rend the air, and 
then a horrible chorus of laughter 
broke on the ear of the dreamer. 

" This," cried the voice, this is the 
Orchestra of Hell!" 

Then the curtain slowly rose. Up, 
up, the dark folds ascended ; higher, 
higher ! The theatre of hell lay bare 
to his view. Devil-Bug started for 
ward, and looked upon the scene, and 
howled in glee ! 

What he then beheld may never be 
told to the ears of living man. Oh ! 
horrible and ghastly, that sight of all 
sights the most dread ! Oh, horrible 
and ghastly ! On every wave a lost 
soul, on every breeze of that heated 
air, a groan of death ! That throne 
rising black and lurid, from the centre 



314 



MABEL. 



of the chaos of flame oh, picture its 
horror to no living ear ! But the fair 
bosomed women, floating on those 
waves, are they not spared ? And the 
babes, lifting their tiny hands on high, is 
there no mercy for them ? And the old 
men,dashed against the red-hot rocks,is 
there no deliverance for them ? Look, 
look ! Strain your eyes, Devil-Bug, 
behold that sight of grandeur ! That 
wave, ha, ha, see how it rises from 



the bosom of the sea, that wave 01 
fire ! How it roars around the throne, 
how it towers and swells ! And in the 
fiery surf which crests its summit, 
look, look, there are millions of souls, 
shrieking for mercy! Only a drop 
of water, only a drop of wuter ! 

The orchestra of hell strikes up its 
music, and the play goes on. 

Suddenly all became dark again 
and the dream changed. 



of tfje <!DUtattcr @ita. 



HB stood in the wide street of a magnificent city. Ali around him, from lofty 
windows, the glare of many lights flashed out upon the winter night. Above, the 
clear cold sky of a calm winter twilight overarched he far extending perspective, 
brilliant with light and life, which marked the extent and grandeur of that wide 
street of a gorgeous city.j 

Devil-Bug looked around him, and beheld the sidewalks lined with throngs of 
wayfarers, some clad in purple and fine linen, some with rags fluttering around 
their wasted forms. Here was the lady in all the glitter of her plumes, and silks, 
and diamonds, and by her side the beggar child stretched forth its thin and skinny 
arm, asking in feeble tones, for the sake of God, some charity good lady ! And 
the lady smiled, and uttered some laughing word to the man of fashion by her side, 
with his slim waist and effeminate face, she uttered a remark of careless scorn, 
and passed the beggar-child unheeded by. Here passing slowly onward, with a 
look of. sanctimony, a white cravat and robes of sable, was the lordly Bishop, whose 
firm step and salacious eye betokened at once his arrogance and guilt ; here was 
the man of law with his parchment book and his cold grey eye ; here was the 
Judge with his visage of solemnity and his pocket-book crammed full with bribes, 
and here, hungry and lean, was the mechanic in his tattered garb, looking to the 
clear blue sky above, as he asked God s vengeance upon the world that robbed 
and starved him.j 

Devil-Bug rubbed his hands with glee. There was something so exhilarating 
to him, in the sight of all this, in the spectacle of*the lofty windows stored with / 
silks and satins, gold and jewels, enriched with the tribute of a whole world, in 
the animation of the sidewalk, its crowds of wayfarers, its rich and poor, its 
worldly and its holy men, that old Devil-Bug laughed gaily to himself and rubbed 
his hands in very glee. 

Wandering slowly onward, he was wrapt in wonder at the magnificence whk,k 
broke upon his vision, when suddenly a massive edifice rose before him, with long 
rows of marble columns and a massive dome breaking into the blue of the sky far 
overhead. Beside this gorgeous structure, which appeared to be in progress of 
erection, for there was scaffolding about its columns and the implements of the 
workmen were scattered around; beside this edifice arose a small and unpre 
tending structure of brick, only two stories high, with its plain old-fashioned 
steeple rising but half-way to the summit of the marble palace. This small 
and unpretending structure was in ruins, the roof was torn from the steeple, the 

(315) 



die 3Ttir Sast Has of tiic (TVuatirr 

windows were concealed by rough boards, and from one corner, the bricks ha 
been thrown down. 

Devil-Bug, when he beheld this structure in ruins, while the marble palace by 
its side arose in such grandeur upon the clear blue sky, smiled to himself and 
clapped his hands boisterously together. 

I" This," he cried, pointing to the edifice, " this should be the old State House, 
and I must be in the Quaker City !" 

As he spoke, a ghostly form glided from among the gay wayfarers of the side 
walk, and stood by his side, a ghostly form like a thin shape of mist with large 
dark eyes flashing from its shadowy face. " It is the old State House," whisper 
ed the ghostly form, in a voice that thrilled to the heart of the listener. *" Yes it 
f ^ is old Independence Hall! The lordlings of the Quaker City have sold their 
fatherVbones for gold, they have robbed the widow and plundered the orphan, 
blasphemed the name of God by their pollution of his faith and church,*they have 
turned the sweat and blood of the poor into bricks and mortar, and now as the last 
% act of their crime, they tear down Independence Hall and raise a royal palace 
?!"/ on its ruins !"j 

" What d ye mean by that," cried Devil-Bug, fiercely. " Royal palace hey 1 
*That means something about a king, don t it!" 

"King I" echoed the Ghost, in a sad and sorrowful tone. " Look at those proud 
chariots rolling along the crowded street, look at those chariots with the horses 
decked in tinselled trappings and with liveried retainers riding at their sides." 
"Yes, yes I see em," cried Devil-Bug, in his coarse way. "Them carriages 
ith horses all rigged out like circus horses, an with fellers ridin along side 
(ressed in monkey-jackets what does it all mean, any how?" 

^V " Those chariots are the equipages of a proud and insolent nobility, who lord it 
over the poor of the Quaker City ! Yes, there rides a Duke, and there a Baron, 
and yonder a Count! This palace is intended for the residence of a king ! Liberty 
long since fled from the Quaker City, in reality has now vanished in its very name. 
< The spirit of the old Republic is dethroned, rnd they build a royal mansion over 
the ruins of Independence Hall !^ 

As the spirit spoke the blaze of lights gre,7 *ore loJiant, the sidewalk was 
thronged by gayer wayfarers, the street resoi-nJ**" to tne echo of chariot wheels, 
and up to the clear sky, like the echo of Niagara, went the hum and confusierv 
of ihe wide city. 

Ho, ho," laughed Devil-Bug. " So they git on quite lively, do they? Stranger, 
if I may axe sich a questi n, whar is Girard College hey? 

Tne eloquent eyes of the Ghost lighted up with an expression of speechless woe. 
"They have torn it down to build this palace with its marble !" it answered, in a 
tone of unutterable agony. 

"And what year d ye call this!* 

" The year of our Lord one thousand dint, hundred and fifty," said the Spirit, 
but Devil-Bug was not sure that he had nearu Bright. It seemed to him afterward; 
that the Spirit had added a word to his enumeration of the time, 

"And this King, whose palace is a-buildin yonder, an* these Dukes and 
Lords, who are ridin in their big carri ges yonder, what great deeds did ihey 
c ever do?" 

" Cheated the poor out of their earnings, wrung the bweat from the brow of the 
mechanic and turned it into gold, traded away the bones of their fathers, sold 






Hast Hag of the 4kuafcrr (Ett^ sn 

Independence Square for building lots, and built this palace for a King ! These 
Ere their mighty deeds !" 

f * It seems to me, stranger, that the King with his Dukes an Lords aint nothin 
out a pack o swindlin Bank directors hey ?J In the year eighteen forty-two, 
there was some fuss made about a monument to Gin ral Washington, in Washing 
ton Square can you tell me, stranger, whatever became of it?" 

The Ghost led him silently through the archway of the ruined State House, 
and in a moment they stood upon Independence Square, all cumbered with heaps 
of marble and piles of building timber. The greater portion of the square was 
occupied by the royal palace, but from the western extreme a free view of the 
heavens might be obtained. 

" Do you see that dark and gloomy building yonder 1" exclaimed the Ghost, 
pointing in a south-western direction. 

* What, that great big jail of a buildin ? Why, stranger, that stands where 
Washin ton Square used to stand. What does it mean, anyhow ?" 

" It is indeed a gaol, built on the ground of Washington Square. Within its 
gloomy cells, all those brave patriots are confined, the brave men who struck the 
last blow for the liberty of the land, against the tyranny of this new-risen nobility. 
There, day after day and night after night, with the rusted iron eating into their 
wasted flesh there they drag their lives away in darkness, in cold and hunger !" 

" Hello ! mister, isn t that a gallows I see yonder opposite the jail 1 It s quite 
comfortin to see that old-fashioned thing alive yet !" 

" It is a gallows !" said the Ghost. " And thanks to the exertions of some of 
the Holy Ministers of God, it is never idle ! Day after day its rope is distended 
by the wriggling body of some murderer, day after day these merciful preachers 
crowd around its blackened timbers, sending the felon into the presence of his God, 
his ears deafened by their hallelujahs, while his stiffened hands grasp that Bible 
whose code is mercy to all men !" 

" Hurrah !" shouted Devil-Bug. " The gallons is livin yet! Hurrah !" 

" For some years it was utterly abolished," said the Ghost. " Murders became 
few in number, convicts were restored to society, redeemed from their sins, and 
the gaols began to echo to the solitary footsteps of the gaoler. But these good 
Preachers arose in the Senate, and the Pulpit and plead beseechingly for blood !" 

" Hurrah for the Preachers ! Them s the jockies !" 

" Give us but the gibbet," they shrieked. " Only give us the gibbet and we ll 
reform the world ! Christ said mercy was his rule, we know more about his re 
ligion than he did himself, and we cry give us blood ! In the name of Moses, in 
the name of Paul, and John, and Peter, in the name of the Church, in the name 
of Christ give us the gibbet, only give us the gibbet!" 

" They said this ? The jolly fellers !" 

The gallows was given to them. The gibbet arose once more in the streets. 
Murder become a familiar thing. Crime dyed its hands in blood, and went laugh 
ing to the gibbet. The good Preachers plead for blood, and they had it !" 

" Hurrah !" screamed Devil-Bug. " The gallows is livin yet ! Hurrah !" He 
sprang from his feet in very glee, and clapped his hands and hurrahed again. 

When he again looked round the Ghost had disappeared. Retracing his steps 

through the archway, Devil-Bug stood on the sidewalk of the broad street again. 

He passed along among the crowds of gay wayfarers, he passed many a princely 

equipage, many a gorgeous chariot, and here and there at the corners of the streets 



318 erjte 2La0t Hag of the dkuafcer 

or among the gayest of the laughing throng^e beheld a squalid beggar crouching 
to the earth as he asked for bread, or a pale-faced mechanic in worn and tattered 
clothes, who shook his hands in impotent rage as he beheld the stare of wealth 
which flashed from the lofty windows as if to tantalize him withUieir splendor. 

At last Devil-Bug stood in front of a lofty marble church which arose from the 
centre of a grave-yard. All around the massive church in the cold light of the 
stars, arose long rows of whitened tomb-stones, with here and there a lordly mon 
ument or slender obelisk, or lofty pyramid of snow white marble. 

Devil-Bug looked at the church intently for a few moments, admiring its mas 
sive structure and expansive dome, when to his utter astonishment the top of a 
vault near the wall of the grave-yard rose suddenly upward, and through the aper 
ture a shrouded form issued in the star-light and stood erect, lifting its hands to 
heaven, while the death-shroud fluttered in the air. 

Suddenly the figure turned, it advanced toward Devil-Bug: he started in utter 
horror. A ghastly corpse with eye of leaden dimness gazing fixedly from a face 
yellowed by decay stood before him. And as he started in horror from each mar 
ble vault of the grave-yard, from each rising mound from beneath each pyramid 
vand obelisk, arose the shrouded form of a corpse, and in an instant the place was 
white with the fluttering shrouds of the multitude of dead. 

On they came, advancing slowly toward the grave-yard wall ; on they came, 
their hands crossed over their white shrouds, their leaden eyes gazing fixedly 
forward, their foreheads all alive with the loathsome grave-worm. On they came 
gliding over the wall, on they came, a throng of the ghastly dead. While Devil- 
Bug started aside in horror, they glided over the grave-yard wall, they mingled 
with the gay throngs of the side-walk, their white shrouds fluttering amid silken 
gowns and velvet robes, their ghastly faces seen among gay visages, vacant with 
the joy of a pleasure-loving world. 

Devil-Bug beheld them file along the street, one by one, a long and fearful 
train, he saw them pass beneath (he glare of the lights, beneath the shadow of 
the palaces, he saw them gliding slowly around, their leaden eyes wearing that 
same fixed gaze, while their hands were folded on their breasts. VWith utter hor 
ror he discovered that the gay revellers of the street beheld them not. They 
walked merrily round while the arisen dead glided all around them, they smiled 
gaily, unconscious of the leaden eyes that were gazing so sadly in their faces, they 
rent the air with laughter, unheeding the rustling sound of the thousand death- 
shrouds that swept the fringe of their costly robes. 7 

Oh what unutterable agony was painted upon "the faces of the arisen dead, as 
they discovered that the living beheld them not ! How their blue lips moved, 
yet uttered no sound, how their white hands were upraised as if in warning, 
while the worms went crawling round each brow. 

" What does this all mean !" shouted Devil-Bug, in utter dismay. " Good folks 
don t you see that the dead s among you ? Good lady, look there, look ! There s 
a walkin corpse at yer shoulder ! Fine gentleman, look, look ! There s a dead 
man at yer back ! Look ! the whole grave yard is emptyin itself into the street, 
look, ye fools, I say look !" 

He screamed and shouted as seized with an agony, whose origin he could noi 
comprehend, he felt himself forced to declare the awful spectacle which he beheld 
to the ears of the pleasure-loving citizens, but he screamed and shouted in vain 

They heard him not [The lord rolling by in his gilded equipage, was uncon 



Hag of the <auafcer Cttg. sis 

-T 1 * 
ecious of the shrouded corpse that looked in his window, the beggar in the guttei f **^^ 

knew not that the form of a friend, long since dead, was now gazing sadly upon ,-,,* 
his misery. 

Devil-Bug gazed far along the street, and to his amazement, heheld a long 
multitude of shrouded dead, walking beneath the flaring lights as far as eye could 
see, until the magnificent perspective was lost in a mass of vacant darkness. 

" Good folks," shouted Devil-Bug in horror " Hello ! Don t you see yer town 
is aJive with dead!" 

" Let them alone, let them alone 1" said a mild and saddened voice. 

B,ushing madly along the street, Devil-Bug turned hurriedly around. 

The pale Ghost was at his side. 

U* 

" Let them alone," it cried in that low-toned voice. " The dead arise around 
them* to warn them of their coming doom, yet they know them not! These are 
their friends, their relatives, their wives, their sisters, their brothers, risen from 
the grave, to warn them of their doom, but their sealed eyes behold them not !" 

* Their doom !" echoed Devil-Bug. " Speak plain will ye ] What d ye mean ] 

"Behold!" cried the stranger, pointing to a black cloud which arose from the 
blue in the western sky. 

Devil-Bug looked and beheld written on the cloud, words in letters of fire, 
which he could not read. 

" What does it mean ?" he shrieked, turning to the figure at his side. 

" The angel of the Judgment writes the doom of this proud city, from the heavens 
his hand is extended, behold the words of flame on yon glistening cloud." 

WO UNTO SODOM 

Devil-Bug looked upon these characters of flame and felt a strange awe pene 
trate his heart. 

" Come," cried the Ghost, " I will show you sights that no human eye may see, 
I will unseal your ear to sounds that no human ear may hear !" 

Devil-Bug felt himself borne upward, he felt himself hurried with the speed of 
wind along the crowded street. 

And he was borne along from every grave-yard, he beheld the shrouded dead 
arise, beheld them pour out upon the thronged side-walk, he saw them lift their 
hands on high, he saw them fix their leaden eyes upon the faces of the living with 
a look of unutterable woe. From lonely burial places, from the banks of the 
broad river, from the grounds of the prjson, up started the shrouded dead, nay 
from the very bricks of the crowded pavement they rose, and joined the snow-white 
multitude who thronged the streets. 

Devil-Bug and his guide stood at the foot of a gallows, which arose like an 
evil omen upon the night The corpse of a convict hung in chains, swung heavily 
to and fro. As Devil-Bug looked, the convict came down from his gibbet, and 
clanking his chains on high, with a hideous face festering with corruption, and 
lighted by leaden eyes gleaming with all the malignity of hell, the felon-corpse 
rushed by and joined the train of the dead. 

Through street after street, through avenue after avenue, Devil-Bug was borne , 
by his ghastly guide, but every wide street, every avenue, each pathway ana 
side- walk was crowded by throngs of laughing citizens, mingling with the mult, 
tudes of the shrouded dead. 
21 



320 he Hast Has of the duattcr (Ettn. 

44 What does all this mean 1" cried Devil-Bug to the Ghost at his side. 

" This night is a festival night with the lordlings of the city. To-morrow thej 
qrill hold a grand revel through the whole extent of the wide town, and to 
morrow " 

The Ghost paused. It pointed to the lurid cloud over head with the letters of 
flame written on its darkness, and as it pointed, a sad smile stole over its lips, an* 
t whispered, 

WO UNTO SODOM 

" To-morrow" shrieked the spirit, " To-morrow will be the last day of the Qua 
ker City. The judgment comes, and they know it not" 

As he spoke, he set Devil-Bug down again in front of Independence Hall 
" Listen to the song of the dead !" cried the Ghost. " Hark how they sing as they 
mingle with the crowds of light-hearted revellers ! Hark how their low-toned 
song breaks like a funeral hymn on the air hark !" 

And as the shrouded dead glided along, mingling unseen with the gay and liv 
ing, there broke from their livid lips a fearful song, uttered in a low and moaning 
chaurit that arose to the heavens in notes of prayer and execration. 

A single voice pealing from among the dead, moving along the street, as they 
eang the solemn hymn, prayed God to curse the Quaker City. 

Then the whole legion of the dead shrieked in one horrible chorus, " Wo unto 
Sdom ! Anathema Marantha !" 

"Cursed be the city," cried that solitary voice, leading the supernatural choir. 
" Its foundations are dyed in blood. The curse of the poor man is upon it, and the 
curse of the orphan. The widow, with her babes starving at her breast, raises hei 
hands and curses it in the sight of God. Wo unto Sodom !" 

And the ghastly train, extending far along the streets, their stiffened hands 
folded upon their white shrouds, took up the cry with their livid lips and chaunted 
in a low yet horrible tone 

" Wo unto Sodom, wo ! Anathema Marantha !" 

" It has burned the Churches of the Living God. It has torn His Cross from 
the Altar, it has soiled His banner with dust and ashes ! Even the graves of the 
dead it has not spared. The hands of violence have torn the bones of the dead 
from their graves, and flung them mockingly beneath the hoofs of the horses. 
Cursed be the city. Wo unto Sodom !" 

" Wo unto Sodom ! The hour of doom draweth nigh. The Church of the liv 
ing God in ruins curses it ; the Cross polluted and covered with ashes curses it ; 
the grave torn open by the hand of violence and the bones of the dead, curse the 
city before the throne of God ! Anathema Marantha !" 

Again that solitary voice resumed its chaunt of death and wo. 
A " The poor man toils in want, and the rch man riots in his sweat and blood. 
Wo unto Sodom ! The guiltless and the innocent pine in the dungeon, while the 
unholy judge feasts upon the price of bribery and shame. The corpse of the inno 
cent swings upon the gibbet, and the worms crawl over its brow, while the Mur 
derer rides in his chariot, his proud form clothed in fine linen and his guilty face 
decked in smiles ! Accursed in the sight of God be Sodom, now and forever !" 

And all along the street, from the ten thousand thousand dead, arose tc 
response 



Hast Bag of the 4kuafcer (UTttg* 321 

M Amen ! Accursed in the sight of God be Sodom, now and forever ! Amen 
aid Amen. Anathema Marantha !" 

And thus, in low arid solemn tones, the solitary Spirit recounted the foul litany 
of the city s crimes, and as each hideous deed of wrong or murder fell from his 
livid lips ; the multitude of the dead raised up their voices and shrieked, " Amen 
and Amen ! Accursed be Sodom, now and forever ! Anathema Marantha !" 

The curse seemed to pierce the ear of Heaven. From the sky, shadowy forms 
of grandeur looked down upon the scene, and suddenly a figure of awful and ma 
jestic beauty, bent from the dim azure and waved a flaming sword across the 
heavens. Up to the sky like the blast of the last trumpet swelled the Anathema 
of the arisen dead, and from the blackness of the cloud, overhanging the city like 
an embodied curse, flashed the letters of doom, Wo unto Sodom I 

" Accursed be the city in the sight of Nations ! It has torn the flag of Freedom 
from the rock, and dashed it in the dust" 

" Accursed be the city in the sight of God !" shrieked the voices of the dead. 
" Wo unto Sodom ! Anathema Marantha !" 

And then they raised their leaden eyes to heaven and clenched their cold white 
hand on high, and then their solemn chaunt was heard once more 

" Accursed be the city before the throne of God ! It has torn the flag of Free 
dom from the rock, and trailed it in the dust. Wo Unto Sodom, wo !" 

And through the streets they wound, this ghastly multitude, circling among 
the careless crowd, their hands crossed on their breasts and their leaden eyes 
raised up to heaven, and far, far along each avenue they extended, one awful train 
of shrouded dead, moving slowly onward while around them swelled the hum and 
roar of the gay city holding its carnival. 

And still up to the heavens arose the chaunt of the solitary voice, and still like 
the thunder-blast of the last trump arose the dread response, " Wo unto Sodom. 
Amen and Amen. Anathema Marantha !" 

The scene changed. Suddenly Devil-Bug was borne upward through the air 
and the city passed from his view. All was night, and blackness, and silence. 

He looked around again, and an exclamation of wonder burst from his lips. He 
stood upon the portico of a proud palace, which arose from the midst of a dark and 
angry river. The palace was reared upon a solitary island which broke the fury 
of the waves in the centre of the river. Devil-Bug looked to the west, arid beyond 
the channel of the river, he beheld the dim and dusky outlines of the magnificent 
city extending north and south in one dark mass of roofs and walls, with here and 
there a heavy dome or towering steeple rising into the sky, while from the lurid 
cloud overhead a strange light was flung upon the darkness of the scene. And 
from that cloud, hovering in mid-heaven, that cloud so lurid, so black and dismal, 
from that mass of ominous darkness, flashed the red-words of flame, " Wo unto 
Sodom." 

All around the isle burst and foamed the waves of the swollen river. The tor 
rent was choked with masses of ice, and a rustling, heaving sound went ever 
more up to the heavens. 

Looking to the west, Devil-Bug beheld the black outlines of the city, with the 
light from that fearful cloud playing upon its roofs and domes, but as he gazed 
upon the east, all was thick darkness, with the broad waves of the river moaning 
and foaming in the blackness of the night. Here and there a towering wave 



322 ante &ast 13as of tUe gutafcer <ttg, 

rose uoavifig into view as it caught a faint gleam of light from the cloud abovi 
the far-off city, but it suddenly sank again into the bosom of night and all wa a 
darkness, thick as chaos. 

As Devil-Bug standing on the roof of the palace, gazed round in wonder, the 
river became the scene of a strange and awful spectacle. The waves were sud 
denly crowded by a fleet of coffins, tossed wildly to and fro, each coffin borne 
upon the surface of the waters like a boat, with the foam dashing over its dull 
dark outlines. And in each coffin sate a corpse, with the death-shroud enfolding its 
limbs and waving along the blackness of the night, while it urged its grave-boat 
merrily over the waters, using a thigh-bone for an oar. And at the foot of every 
coffin, which served for the prow of the unearthly boat, was a lurid light burning in 
a skull, and flinging its radiance around over the waters, over the faces of the dead 
and over the fluttering folds of each death-shroud. Ten thousand coffins, each 
bearing its boatman in the form of a shrouded corpse, floated on the surging waves 
of the river, ten thousand lurid lights, each flaring from the eyeless sockets of a 
skull, gave a terrible radiance to the scene, and the river, far as the eye could 
t - see, was crowded by this fleet of grave-boats with their shrouded oarsmen, tossing 
^ the water aside with the skeleton bone for an oar. 

^V Devil-Bug shouted aloud in the wildness of his glee. Ha, ha ! Ho, ho! There 
t^tf was something so merry to his fancy in the spectacle of a broad river crowded by 
a fleet of coffins, something so joyous in the light flaming from the orbless eyes 
of ten thousand skulls, something so grotesque and horrible in shrouded corpses, 
scattered over the surface of the river, that Devil-Bug felt a strange frenzy of 
glee darting through his veins ; he raised his hands and shouted for very joy. 

As Devil-Bug looked around in fiendish glee, a new wonder met his gaze. The 
fleet of coffins parted suddenly into two divisions, and each division arrayed 
itself as if in the order of battle. On the north, from the island to the city, over 
the surface of the waters extended one grim line of coffins, with a livid corpse 
setting upright in each coffin, and raising the skeleton bone aloft in the stiffened 
hand, while their white shrouds waved like banners upon the night. 

On the south, with a broad path of waves between, another grim line of coffins 
extended from the island to the river, the white shrouds of the corpses borne aloft 
by the wind, while ten thousand deathly hands swung the thigh-bone wildly over 
head. In front of each line of coffins burned the lights, flaring from the orbless 
eyes of a skull, and now as the lurid rays gave strange radiance to the scene, the 
faces of each corpse, the leaden eyes, the blue lips and the brow all green and 
clammy with decay, became fired with deadly rage, and beating the thigh-bone on 
the side of each coffin, the antagonist lines of the dead began to move slowly to 
wards each other. 

Then an unearthly peal of music broke upon the air the music of the hollow 
skull echoing to the blow of the skeleton-bone from side to side it swelled, it 
rose clanking to the heavens, it deafened the ear of night with its infernal din. 
Nearer and nearer to each other the opposing lines of coffins drew, faster and 
faster they glided over the waves, wilder and more terrible swelled the music of 
the skeleton-bone and the skull ! 

Now the opposing lines of the dead glared in each others faces. Now they raised 
their stiffened hands as if eager for the onset, and waved their white shrouds if 
the air. Now a thin line of water lay between each division of the dead. Hiss- 



Hast 2iag of the <&uatter <&itg. 323 

mg and whirling and plunging, the combatants drew near each other, with a low 
muttered groan, far more terrible than the loudest shout, each party hailed the 
approach of its opponent, and then with one deafening crash they closed together , 
Corpse fighting with corpse, dead throttling dead! Coffin meeting with coffin, 
each urged onward by the heaving waves, each crashing madly into the prow of 
its antagonist, while the dead arise, and leaning over the side of their death-boats, 
they reach forth their arms and grasp each other in the clutch of an infernal hate 1 
Then how the fires flaring from the orbless eyes of skulls danced to and fro. Now 
the river grew alive with the white robes of shrouds fluttering on the air, with the 
gleam of lights hissing as they sank beneath the waters, with that horrible groan 
of the corpse as it fought with its fellow corpse ! 

Then how merrily the music of the skeleton-bone and the hollow skull shrieked 
over the waters, and mingling with the low-muttered groans of ten thousand thou 
sand corpses, rose echoing to the heavens above ! Then crash upon crash with 
horrible yells of laughter, the shrouded dead again urged their coffins full upon 
each other, and fought like living men upon a battle-field ! With ghastly faces 
mouldering with corruption, yet fired by all the passions of life, upturned to the 
sky, with the waves rearing and plunging all around them, with their shrouds 
tossing madly on the air, while the skull-fires danced to and fro they closed together 
in terrible combat, and fought amidst the howling of the waters. 

Another peal of the skeleton-bone and the skull, another wild burst of laughter. 
Like a flash of lightning the scene was changed. 

The river was calm as the joy of the Saint, first awakening from the sleep of 
the grave into the peace of God s own sweet rest. Pure, serene, and placid. It 
lay like a mirror before the eyes. Yet still in the sky overhead, hung the cloud 
with its letters of flame, Wo unto Sodom still from the letters of flame a lurid 
light fell over the waters, now so calm and tranquil. And the dark mass of walls 
and roofs which marked the position of the city, with the lofty steeples and proud 
domes steeped in livid light, was reflected in the calm waters, like a magnificent* 
picture, delineated by some unearthly hand. 

And along the calm waters marched a long and winding Column of the dead, 
gliding over the bosom of the river, their stiffened feet but touching the smooth 
surface, while their solemn faces were upraised to the sky, and their white 
shrouds fell in drooping folds around their awful forms. Gliding over the waters, 
two abreast, a long column of the dead, their ghostly figures mirrored in the 
depths below, they sang a low-toned and solemn song. 

Oh how its notes of awful tenderness and feeling floated on the still air, how 
that soft melody filled all space and breathed forth upon the universe, like a per 
fume from eternal flowers. Softly and gently it floated over the river, that wild 
and bewitching lament for the dead. Now it died sadly away until a whisper of 
deep and absorbing melody was all that broke upon the silence of night, then 
loud and louder it rose, it filled the sky, and like a chorus of angel- voices seemed 
to hold earth and heaven, enchained with its deathless song. 

It was a lament for the dead. It was a lament for the dead who were to die on 
the morrow. It was a lament for young maidens, for grey-haired and helpless 
men, for smiling and sinless babes. All were to be mingled in the destruction 
of the morrow, all were to share the doom and the death of the Last Day of the 
guilty and idolatrous city. 



arhe Hast Hag of the &uafter 

The lament wept its tears of melody for them, the young and beautiful Jt wept 
for grey-haired age it wept for smiling innocence. 

c ^ Suddenly its notes changed from sadness to joy. Joy to the captive in his cell, 
^S / joy to the sick man on his couch, joy to the felon who was to die on the morrow ; 
r Joy to thejx>or, ohjoy ! Their day was come at last. The rich with their pur 
ple and fine linen had enjoyed the world long enough ; now the God of the Poor 
would arise in his might, and crush the lordlings under the heel of his power ! 
- What cared the Poor if they too shared the ruin ? Was it not triumph to see 
the rich and corrupt dragged down from their high places was it not triumph 
worth all the deaths in hell ] 

Therefore the band of shrouded dead, winding over the smooth surface of the 
river, sang joy to the poor, joy to hunger, joy to starvation, misery, and wo. Joy 
to ye all ! Your God arises ; his arm is uplifted ; already the rumbling of his 
4f.chariot wheels draw near ! No more hunger now, no more crying for bread. 
No more huddling down in squalor, and want, and cold. The avenger comes 
Shout ye poor, shout from your factories and work-benches, from your huts and 
dens of misery shout ! Hail to the Last Day of the guilty and blood-stained City ! 



> y f 
v ^ 



As the last echo of the song broke on the air, the forms of the dead, their moul- 
dering faces, and their white shrouds, faded slowly from the view, and the day bc- 
<,gan to dawn in the east. The last day of the Doomed city ! Streaking the east 
with faint grey and then with soft crimson and then with purple and gold, the 
day arose upon the river and the city. Devil-Bug looked for the cloud : it was 
gone ; gone with its letters of flame : the night with its Phantoms was over. 
And now the day came on, the awful day preceded by that Night of Omen and 
Prophecy. The Last Day of the doomed city all hail ! 

The laughing waves of the river caught the red gleam of the rising sun, and 
Ihe proud domes shone like masses of burnished silver, and the steeples rose glit 
tering in the sky. 

Devil-Bug beheld the sun arise in grandeur, he saw the stars fading away be 
fore the day-god, slowly and solemnly as they looked their last glance upon the 
beautiful earth, he gazed upon the blue sky and marked the flashes of purple and 
gold, warming upward to the very zenith. It was a glorious day, this last day of 
ten thousand years of blood and crime. The air was freshening and balmy 
although it was winter, and the broad river rippled in innumerable tiny waves, 
caught the sunbeam on its transparent surface and smiled in welcome of the 
rising day. 

As Devil-Bug gazed around, the palace on which he stood sank suddenly be 
neath him. Like a rock hurled from some dizzy height it sank ; one moment its 
towers gleamed in the light, the next instant a small, narrow and barren islet 
uprising from the waves, like the back of some huge ocean monster, assumed the 
place of the gorgeous fabric. The palace was gone, and a flood of sun-light poured 
over the river, where its shadow but a moment before had darkened the waves. 

Devil-Bug was suddenly lifted from the isle by invisible hands and borne across 
the waters towards the mighty city. The waves laughing beneath him, and the 
clea. sunshine around, he was borne slowly onward. As he glided through the 
air. a strange wonder met his gaze. On the surface of the river floated a solitary 
coffin, containing a stiffened corpse, whose white shroud and ashen face lay oper 
to the warm gold of the sun-beams, while its fixed and leaden eyes gazed stead 
fastlv upon the sky. 



of the <auauer orttg. 325 

" Ha, ha !" shrieked Devil-Bug. " It s the corpse of Lorrimer hurrah 1" A 
strange glee animated his breast. As his loud laugh broke upon the air the corpse 
arose in its coffin and flung the folds of its white shroud to the winds. It tossed 
its arms on high and echoed the glee of the Dreamer with a ghastly laugh. Then 
borne onward by the tiny waves, the coffin floated ("own the river. A low mut 
tered chaunt broke from the lips of the corpse, and then sitting erect with the 
white shroud fluttering on the winds, it went sailing merrily over the waves. 

" Hurrah !" cried Devil-Bug. " It s the corpse of Lorrimer hurrah !" 

As his laugh shrieked along the winter air, the river and the coffin with its 
corpse rushed from his view. He stood in the streets of the wide city once again, 
and the awful Drama, which formed the soul of his Dream, wore on to its last scene. 

The streets of the doomed city were utterly deserted. Devil-Bug wandered 
up and down, but gained no sight of a human face. 1,A strange panic seemed to 
have laid hold of the denizens of the proud town. They kept within the shelter 
of their homes ; the lord within his mansion, the king within his palace, the beggar 
within his hut. The streets were deserted by the living, and yet up and down 
the wide avenues glided the white bands of the countless dead. Up and down the 
wide avenues, evermore and unceasing, their cold white hands crossed on their 
breasts and their leaden eyes glaring steadily forward, glided the corpses of the 
night before. And the warm sunlight shone full upon their ghastly faces, upon 
the livid lips and the discolored cheeks. Their leaden eyes, O ! merciful God, 
how fixed and and ghastly was their glare ! tTheir leaden eyes were turned to 
horrible gold. The loathsome worms crawling around each forehead, glistened / 
.gaily in the light, and wreathed a hideous coronet of death upon each festering 
brow ! 

Devil-Bug passed along amid these shrouded forms, he passed along unheeding 
their ghastly faces and their frozen looks. He had grown used to these sights 
of horror. He passed swiftly onward, noting the grandeur and magnificence of 
the streets, the temples of marble, the mansions of towering splendor, the churches 
with their lofty steeples and the halls of pleasure with their glittering domes. 

And as he passed along he noted with strange awe a new omen of the day. The 
towering mansions along the wide streets were sinking slowly into the earth, 
slowly and almost imperceptibly, inch by inch they were sinking into the hard 
ground. Wherever Devil-Bug passed, this wonder met his gaze. In narrow 
alleys and in spacious streets, the same fearful spectacle was exhibited the wide 
town was sinking slowly into the bosom of the earth. 

Suddenly the streets became alive with people. From obscure huts in lonely 
alleys, and from lordly palaces along far vista-ing streets, from quiet dwellings 
and from gorgeous mansions poured the contrasted multitude. It was a gala-day 
in tne city, (It was the anniversary of the death ojFFreedom. The King was to be flT 
crowned, and the multitude were gathered in grand procession to swell his triumph] 

Devil-Bug stood in front of the Ruins of Independence Hall. Along the wide 
street, as far as eye might behold, was one living sea of banners and plumes, 
bayonets and spears. Horses with glittering trappings and gallant riders were 
speeding to and fro; armed bands thronged the streets. There were chariots all 
glistening with cloth of gold, there were long files of liveried retainers, there wero 
proud lords glittering in purple and jewels, and enthroned on a royal seat, perched 
on the summit of a splendid structure, a mimic temple borne on wheels and drawn 
by milk-white steeds, above the gleam of spears and the flutter of banners, sate 
the King. He looked to the blue heavens and smiled ; it was such a glorious 



326 srtie 2Lact Hag of the <auafcer 

day ! He was to be crowned again, in honor of the anniversary of his triumph. 
The sun-shine streamed over his dark and swarthy face ; the breeze played with 
the ringlets of his jet-black hair. 

The King glanced over the living sea and smiled again. The heaven above, 
was the only space that met his eyes, that was not occupied by banners and 
plumes, stern visages and merry faces. From thp roof to the gutters on either 
side of the wide street, all was glitter and show. Fair forms crowded the lofty 
windows, and white hands flung showy scarfs upon the air. Aged matrons lifted 
little children upon high, and pointing toward the throne, bade them look upon 
the King ! White bosoms rose heaving in the sun at the sight of his stern 
majesty; bright eyes glanced upon him in pride. Along the roofs of the houses, 
along the side-walks of the street, clinging to the pillars of the uprising palace, 
nay, over the ruined walls of Independence Hall, gathered the dense multitude,, 
young and old, rich and poor, gazing with fixed interest upon the triumph of 
their King. Purple and rags, grey-hairs and cherry lips, smiling foreheads, and 
wrinkled cheeks, all were mingled in strange contrast ! 

It was a grand day and a glorious sight that sky of blue, that cheerful sun, 
that long vista of palaces and pillared mansions, that dense mass of people, that 
glittering array of spears, and plumes, and banners, with the proud King sitting 
enthroned above all. 

The procession began to move. First came the music rending the air with its 
martial joy, the peal of bugle, the roll of drum, and the clang of cymbols ! Huzza! 
How that cheer of the mob shrieked up to the sky ! Then came the banner- 
knight surrounded by throngs of brave warriors, and riding on a milk-white steed. 
His firm arm swung aloft the Red Banner of the city, with the Crown, and his 
Chain emblazoned on its folds. Huzza ! Another cheer from the mob, at the 
sight of the Crown and Chain ! Then solid files of soldiers were tramping by r 
their bayonets gleaming in the light, their plumes waving in the air. Then came 
the temple drawn by milk-white-steeds, and the King sitting on the throne, 
raised his glance to the heavens, while his proud lip curled in scorn. He de 
spised the multitude whose necks were under his feet. 

And at this moment, as his eye was fixed upon the heavens, while the proudest 
jewel in his Crown, shone like a meteor in the light of the sun, at his very 
shoulder stood a ghastly corpse, its stiffened limbs folded in a white shroud, its 
dull, dead eyes fixed upon his visage the visage of the King. He saw it not. 
There, there upon the summit of the temple, beside his very crown it stood, but 
he saw it not ! Its clammy visage was all alive with hideous grave-worms, and 
its fearful eye was gazing sadly into his own into the proud eye of the King 
but he saw it not. 

Nor did the vast crowd of living men behold the dead multitude as it mingled 
with them, and crowded away their ranks. Nor did the soldiers tramping in 
pride, behold the files of dead men, marching amid the glory of their banners, all 
uniformed in deathly shrouds. Yes, yes, on every side gathered the legions of the 
shrouded dead, amid the ranks of the Procession, in the lofty windows, along the 
eide- walks, on the roof tops, and on Independence Hall, they gathered, that band 
of countless dead. 

Devil-Bug beheld them, he alone of all that innumerable crowd, beheld the 
corpses in their shrouds. He beheld them tnd laughed in glee. It was a sight of 
glorr, a sight of maddening glory to the King as he looked over the soldiers but 



She 2u*t IDag of tnc <aiiafcer orctg. 327 

the corpse at his side, with its dull dead leaden eyes fixed upon his face ah, ha ! 
he saw it not. It raises its arm, it places its stiffened hand upon the shoulder of 
the King. He feels no pressure of the cold, dead fingers, but looks upon the 
iving crowd, ands miles. 

Devil-Bug laughed until his sides ached again. An old and withered man 
standing at his side, looked up at the sound of that wild laugh, and Devil-Bug 
felt the glance of a cold grey eye fixed upon his face. 

^" Why dc you tough 1" said the old man in a deep and mournful voice. "Know 
fou not Liberty is buried to day ] This is her funeral !"1 

Devil-Bug laughed loudly, yet again, and pointed to the Procession, with its 
;omp and banners. 

" That s why I laugh !" he cried. "Only look at the Crown and Chain, and 
^en look at Independence Hall ho, ho, ho !" 

The old man drew him aside into a dark corner. Under his arm, he carried 
IT huge port-folio. 

*I m an antiquary," he said in that low-toned and mournful voice. " I gather 7 , 
up the relics of the past " 

" A sort o cur osity-monger )" suggested Devil-Bug. 

" Look here !" whispered the old man. " Be careful that no one sees you, 
t will cost you your life. Look there !" 

He placed a piece of damp cloth in the hands of Devil-Bug. 

Devil-Bug gazed upon it with some interest. He unrolled it and threw its 
colors, alas ! how faded and tarnished ! he threw its colors open to the glare of the 
day. It was an old banner, an old banner with thirteen crimson stripes, and * 
twenty nine white stars, emblazoned on a blue field. 

" Ho, ho," chuckled Devil-Bug. "Why this is the Merykin Flag ! " 

" That was the American Flag," said the grey-eyed antiquary. 

" Was ;" echoed Devil-Bug. 

" Was the American Flag, I say ! There is no America now. In yonder 
ruined Hall, America was born, she grew to vigorous youth, and bade fair to live 
to a good old age, but alas ! alas ! jjShe was massacred by her pretended 
friends. Priest-craft, and Slave-craft, and Traitor-craft were her murderers. And 
now, a poor old Antiquary has to skulk like an assassin through the street, because 
he has discovered a relic of the olden time, and bears it with him this pro 
scribed and forbidden Flag ! * 

The old man bowed his head. 

" Ho, ho ! Yonder s the purty banner, with the crown and the Chain ! 
Hurrah i" 

As Devil-Bug laughed in his frenzied glee, the old man concealed the Flag, in 
the port folio under his arm, and walked silently away. 

The procession came sweeping by in all its royal pomp. After the temple 
with its throne and King, came the sacred Clergy, in all the pride of priestly 
robes and godly faces. Walking four by four, they talked eagerly together, 
and disputed with great force and energy upon subjects of grave import. Va 
rious banners marked their various creeds. One fat-faced parson swung aloft a 
banner of white witn a grim gibbet pictured on its folds. Hurrah ! The mob 

yelled in grateful applause at the sight the gibbet and the good old gallow a 

J aw, tliey shouted, the gibbet and gallow s law forever ! 



328 2The 2Last Hag of the 

/ .^ Then came another preacher with lanthern-jaws, and an eye liks a Milture * 

iShp/ He swung aloft a banner of sable, dark as midnight, with " Eternal Death" en> 

? blazoned in its da? k surface in lively letters. Hurrah hurrah ! That mob waa 

a pure old fashioned orthodox mob ! Eternal death forever they shrieked. 

Eternal death in the next world, for every soul that disbelieves in our creed 

and in this world, the fire and faggot for all heretics ! Hurrah ! 

And among the dark bands of the Sacred Clergy, walked the shrouded dead, 
looking into the godly faces of the reverend men, with that fixed stare of their 
leaden eyes. There was a corpse at the side of each Doctor of Divinity, a 
ghastly dead man at the shoulder of each oily Priest. And they trooped on with 
their black robes and their banners, and then the Ministers of justice drew nigh. A 
glorious band. A figure of justice done in gilt upon a black ground, floated like 
a bird of omen above their heads. By their sides walked dark-faced miscreants, 
with whips and manacles in their hands ; and a long line of penniless Debtors, 
with staved forms and wan faces brought up the rear, jrlurrah hurrah ! That 

was a lusty cheer ! A la\y^lpjunp^ mob was this old laws and Judges, who 

have an eye for their friends, they shouted, Justice with a bandage over her 
eyes, so thick that gold alone can make her see clear hurrah, hurrah ! 
fl^ Then came ( the slaves of the city, white and black, marching along one 
mass of rags and sores and misery, huddled together ; a goodly tail to the proces 
sion of the King. Chains upon each wrist and want upon each brow. Here 
. they were, the slaves of the cotton Lord and the factory Prince ; above their heads 
* loom of iron, rising like a gibbet in the air, and by their sides the grim over 
seer. Hurrah, hurrah ! This is a liberal mob ; it encourages manufactures. 
The monopolist forever, they yelled, his enterprize gives labour to the poor, 
hurrah, hurrah ! The slaves lifted up their eyes at the sound of that tumultous 
hurrah, and muttered to each other, of glad green fields, and a farmer s life, and 
then they clanked their chains together, and gazed at the ruins of Independence 
.Hall. 

So they went trooping by the slaves of the cotton Lord, and the factory 
Prince. And at their sides, and among their ranks, walked the unseen forms of 
the shrouded dead. For them, the manacled and the lashed, for them the Slaves 
of Capital and Trade, the grim faces of the dead wore a smile. Look up brothers, 
they muttered in their awful tones, the day of your redemption draweth near ! 
This is the last day of your toil. The slaves heard them not, but gazing madly 
upon the ruins of Independence Hall, went sadly on. 

Suddenly a dim faint murmur burst from the ranks of the procession. 

A murmur as faint and dim arose from the side-walk, from the windows, and 
the house-tops. Devil-Bug looked around in wonder. Every face grew suddenly 
white. A strange and awful fear had descended upon the hosts of the King, and 
the crowds of spectators. Rushing to the head of the procession, Devil-Bug looked 
upon the face of the King. It was ashy. 

He turned to his soldiers, he turned to his subjects, he shrieked aloud in horror. 
And at that very moment ten thousand, thousand eyes beheld the object of the 
Monarch s terror. At his side stood a ghastly corpse, with worms crawling round 
its brow, and dull leaden eyes, animate with a horrid light, like a gleam from 
bell 



flast Hag of the <&uafeer OTttg, 329 

One shriek went up to God from that vast crowd one shriek of horror. Every 
eye beheld the corpse at the side of the King, and now oh God of judgment ! 
Every man in all that countless crowd, beheld the form of a grim Dead Man at 
his side ! How the shriek of horror, rushed up at the clear sky, like thunder from 
hell ! Yes, yes, every man beheld the form of a corpse at his side, every woman 
saw the leaden eyes gazing upon her beauty, the very babes beheld the awful 
spectacle and hid their heads in their mother s bosoms, and mingled their shrill 
cry of horror, with the shriek of the millions. 

The film had fallen from their eyes ! They knew that the Dead walked among 
them. They knew that the Last Day was upon them in blackness and fear. The 
Priests cast aside their banners and grovelled in the dust. They shrieked for 
mercy to that God, whose name had been blasphemed by their every act and word. 
With a clanking sound ten thousand muskets and swords, and spears rolled 
upon the ground. The warriors too were on their knees, but they looked upon 
the sky not in imbicile fear, but with a stern and awfiil agony. Then the shrieks 
of the women, the wild yells of the crowd, the horrible anguish of old men, 
tearing their grey hair in very agony ! There, there, with them, and among 
them, and around them, glided the forms of the Dead, with their ghastly eyes 
and their long white shrouds. 

Above the sky was clear, the sun was radiant. Azure and serene, the heavens 
were undimmed by a cloud. The King looked up and folded his arms, while the 
cold sweat trickled down his brow, he set his stern lips together, and muttered a 
curse upon his God. At the very instant, from the clear sky leapt a bolt of red 

thunder; the King lay on the earth a blackened corpse. Then the long line 

of houses began to sink into the earth, slowly, slowly, inch by inch, like ships at 
sea, with the waves creeping over their decks. Then from the earth burst streams 
of vapor, hissing and whirling as they spouted upward into the blue sky. Around 
each pillar of vapor, in an instant there lay a circle of blackened corpses. That 
steam smote the living to the heart, it withered their eye-balls ; it crisped the 
flesh on their bones, like the bark peeling from the log before the flame. 

Then from the sky so clear, so serene, leapt ten thousand bolts of red thunder, 
each bolt striking the earth with a fierce hissing sound, and laying the living 
along its path, a heap of blackened and a festering dead. Then the earth began 
to heave, like the ocean in a storm, and waves of solid ground rose up to the clear 
heavens, bearing palaces and domes, and steeples on their crests ! 

A storm on the land, waves of solid earth, billows crested with domes and steep 
les, with myriads of human beings, hanging like foam on the top of each wave 
and billow huzza ! 

Columns of hot vapor rising from the heaving earth, ten thousand, thousand 
columns, winding upward to the clear blue sky, with a circle of blackened dead, 
thrown in one huddled mass around each hissing column huzza, huzza ! Then 
the shrieks, and the groans, and the low muttered thunder, echoing from the 
bosom of each earthly wave ! 

Then the fair women tossed in the air, clasping their babes in their arms, aa 
they were dashed in fragments on the earth, the old men and the bright-eyed 
youth, all mingled together in the Massacre of judgment ! 

Devil-Bug beheld it all, and was not harmed. An invisible hand bore him on 
through the heaps of bleeding dead, over the waves of tossing earth, on and on, 
unscathed and without harm. He heard the crash of one wave, crested with 



330 2Tte 3Last Ha of the 



temp.es meeting another, with the mass of human beings tossed from its summit 
like foam-sparkles from a brooklet s ripple, he heard the cries of despair, and 
over all, he beheld the smiling sky. 

He felt himself borne suddenly aloft, on the crest of one long and tremendous 
oillow of solid earth ! High above the ruin, high above the universe of that 
city s woe, it rose, it shot upward into the sky ! It remained fixed in the air, an 
awful column of trembling earth, with its crumbling peak tenanted by three 
living beings, besides Devil-Bug. 

A father, and his child, and the lover of that child. The father standing on 
the summit of this dizzy column, tore his grey hairs in very despair, as he beheld 
the city rocking to and fro at its base. The daughter clung to his knees, her 
long golden hair waving in the sunbeams, and her large blue eyes upturned to 
his face. The lover with a dark eye, gazing on the sky, and jet-black hair damp 
with the beaded sweat, trickling from his brow he cowered to the earth of that 
fearful isle, he howled in imbecile agony ! Devil-Bug looked upon the scene 
witn a strange pleasure. There they were, perched on the summit of that dizzy 
column, that column of solid earth, thrown upward into the air, by the wave which 
had tossed them aloft, there they were, alone in that world of death. 

Below them, and around them rocked the city, its temples tossed like autumn 
leaves by the wind, its uncounted myriads of human beings mingled in one awful 
massacre ! 

Then the earth began to crumble from the edges of the column, and far, far 
below, whirling first to one side and the other, the hard lumps of solid clay were 
tossed like wounded birds upon the breeze. The father moaned and gathered 
the blue-eyed girl closer to his knees, but the lover - Devil-Bug, laughed in 
glee as he beheld the dastard act ! the lover rose with a mad shriek, and seized 
the maiden in his arms. 

" Down 1" he cried tossing her aloft "There is room but for one upon this 
isle down !" 

The old man caught him by the throat, he tore the girl from his arms, and 
then battling over her prostrate form, for a foothold on that dizzy column s sur 
face, they grappled together, and fought like devils ! The old man s eyes start 
ed from his withered face, and the lover seized his cheek between his teeth, and 
howled like a hyena rushing on a corpse ! Devil-Bug beheld the scene, and yet, 
by some strange influence, maintained his foothold on the rock. The old man 
gathered the lover in his arms, he tossed him wildly aloft, he sprung from the 
eery isle ! How their folding bodies went down through the clear air, with a 
sound like the whizzing of birds upon the airy ! The fair girl raised herself from 
her prostrate position, she gazed over the edge of the crumbling column! 
Oh God, what an awful space lay between that column s summit and the rocking 
earth ! She raised herself upon her feet, she tossed her golden hair upon the 
! wind, she looked to the blue sky with outspread arms, she leaped toward the 
radiant sun with a wild shriek ! " I come !" "she cried. Then down to the 
heaving wreck of the city, like a dove wounded by the hunter s shaft, plunging 
through the still air she fell ! Devil-Bug was alone upon the surface of the awful 
column, alone with that utterable sight, seen far below. 

He raised his hands aloft, he flung them in the air with a shriek of inferna. 
flee! 



STfte Hast Hag of the <&uafcer <ttg. 331 

And then right over his head, dusky and black gathered the cloud of tne nighl 
before, like the raven corpse of the dead. And in its awful surface was written 
the words of flame and a ghastly voice whispered their meaning to the air, 

WO UNTO SODOM 

Again like a spirit reigning over the evil which he had wrought, Devil-Bug 
raised his hands and laughed in glee. 

" Look below," cried the ghastly voice, speaking from the still air, " look far 
below, and behold the wreck of the doomed city. Temples and domes, heaps of 
dead and piles of solid earth mingled in one awful ruin ! The river burdened 
with blackened corpses, and the bright sky watching smilingly over all ! Look 
and behold the Massacre of Judgments ! The Sacrifice of Justice ! The wronga 
of ages are avenged at last ! At last the voice of Blood crying from the very 
stones of the idolatrous city, has pierced the ear of God . Look beneath, and look 
upon the wreck of the Doomed City ! Look below and with the angels of eternal 
justice, shout the amen to the litany of tbe city s crime^, shout Wo, 

WO UNTO SODOM." 



BOOK THE FOUKTH. 



THE SECOND DAY. 



RAVONI THE SORCERER. 

CHAPTER FIRST. 

6OD 18 JUST. 

THE night drew near its close. From the dark azure of the sky, the cold 
winter stars shone down over the streets of the silent city. 

At that moment, when the night had yet an hour to run, when the morn 
ing dawn was yet an hour distant, in two chambers of the slumbering town, 
removed from each other by the space of a mile, were progressing scene? 
fraught with a deep and solemn interest. 

In one chamber was mystery and gloom ; in the other was poverty and 
death. In one chamber was priestly guilt bargaining with sorcery for the 
downfall of purity and virtue ; in the other, a ruined woman lay, while 
starvation and suicide stood watching by her couch. c * lv *** s 

First, we draw the veil from the chamber of the sorcerer. 

It was an hour before the dawn of morning, on the night of Friday the 
twenty-third of December, when two figures came walking slowly and care 
lessly along one of the prominent streets, near the heart of the city. 

A solitary lamp illumined the pavement, near the centre of a massive 
block of towering mansions. For a few feet around the lamp, was thrown 
a vivid and ruddy light, while all beyond and above, was shadow, starlight 
and the heavy obscurity which falls upon the night, before the dawn of day. 
The figures paused for a moment in the light of the lamp. 

/"Parson do you believe in a God ?" said a voice rendered indistinct and 
husky with wine. 

" Why to tell you the truth Fitz, I ve preached about that particular be 
lief frequently, quite frequently. So often, in fact, that I ve forgotten what 
is my especial faith on that point." 

And with a bland smile the godly Dr. Pyne gazed upon the swarthy 
countenance of Fitz-Cowles. 

333 



334 RAVONI THE SORCERER. 

" Quite drunk," he muttered to himself with a pleasant chuckle. " Has 
quite a snake in his hat. A perfect viper of a snake !" 

Because if you do believe in a God," returned Fitz-Cowles, endeavoring 
to maintain possession of a particular brick near the lamp-post. " I d just 
thank you to name him ! For, Parson hear me now, you fat old do^ ! I 
swear by that God, to have the girl before another day goes over my head !" 

Fitz-Cowles struck his gold-headed cane against the lamp-post, while the 
Parson seemed to enjoy the scene, with a vast fund of good humor. 

" That was very good wine we drank in the cellar ? Eh, Fitz ?" 

" The devil take you and the wine. I was talking of the girl." 

" Oh, you was, was you ? And youM like to have her?" 

" Don t grin that way again, Parson, or I ll knock you down. I will have 
her, eh ? have her, before another sun goes over, over, my " 

" Hat !" suggested the Parson, with a wide grin. 

" Head, curse your, head !" roared Fitz-Cowles. " Hello ! what old build 
ing is this ?" 

Fitz-Cowles started backward toward the curb as he spoke, and placing 
his conical hat on the end of his cane, took a quiet though half-drunken 
survey of the building. 

It was an old-fashioned structure, four stories in height, with a massive 
hall door in the centre, and a multitude of windows on either side. The sur 
face was a bright yellow. This fact, by itself, was sufficient to excite the 
\j attention of a wayfarer, for in the Quaker City, the eye is wearied by one 
^? unvarying sameness of dull red brick. The man who paints a house blue, 
4 " or yellow or pink or white, or any other hue in fact, than this monotonous 
red, is incontinently set down by his neighbours, as slightly weak-minded or 
positively crazy. 

In addition to this striking peculiarity, the house was marked by several 
other characteristics, well adapted to excite the wonder of a citizen or a 
stranger. The windows were numerous, but each window was small and 
cramped in size, with its dingy white shutters, hermetically sealed. The 
roof was flat, the cornices around the eves massive, and the hall d